The Belfast Open tournament will take place at Belfast Boat Club in the Stranmillis area of Belfast on the 24th and 25th of September. Belfast Boat club is close to the city centre and thus relatively easy to find. There is ample free car parking space beside the venue.
The event will be played in the Main Function Room (downstairs) of Belfast Boat Club. (You can ask at reception if you get lost) The Belfast Open is an EGF Class B tournament, and will count toward both Irish Korea Points and the British Stacey points. This year we will have 5 rounds.
Japanese Rules, 6.5 komi
50 minutes maintime, 30 seconds 3 times overtime
McMahon tournament, Handicaps ?MMS-1, SOS only tiebreaker.
Saturday 24th September
– Registration: 9:30 to 10:30
– Round 1: 11:00 to 13:15
– Round 2: 14:00 to 16:15
– Evening (optional): We usually go for a meal somewhere.
Sunday 25th September
– Round 3: 9:00 to 11:00
– Round 4: 11:30 to 13:30
– Round 5: 14:30 to 16:30
– Prizegiving after 16:30
Please pre-register for the event before 24th September to avoid the penalty fee
– Normal: 12 pounds (Concession: 8 pounds)
– One Day Only: 7 pounds (Concession: 5 pounds)
Concessions (Unemployed, Students, OAPs)
– Penalties (Not a member of any National Go Organisation OR Late registration) 2 pounds
To enter email James (james8hut [at] hotmailDOTcom)
If you want to find a place to stay let us know and we can try to find some suggestions for you.
See you all there.
The American Go Foundation has selected Paul Lockhart as the 2016 Teacher of the Year. Lockhart wins an all expenses paid trip to the US Go Congress in Boston, where he will hold an informal round table discussion about his experiences teaching children. “What a terrific honor,” said Lockhart, “I am delighted to accept, and I look forward to the opportunity to meet and speak with other go teachers around the country.” Lockhart is well known in academic circles for his 2009 book A Mathematician’s Lament: How School Cheats Us Out of Our Most Fascinating and Imaginative Art Form. “For the past 15 years I have been happily teaching Go at Saint Ann’s School in Brooklyn, NY,” adds Lockhart. “What began with four High School students and a magnetic travel go set has grown into a vibrant school-wide go culture, including an after school go club, annual tournaments, classes, seminars, and faculty participation. I am especially pleased with the excitement and energy among the younger students. Most of our club players are under 10, and many of our strongest High School players began playing go as kindergarteners. It has been a fantastic learning experience for me as well.”
Lockhart is also well known in the go community, as the father of Will Lockhart (Director of The Surrounding Game film) and Ben Lockhart 7d, who has studied professionally in Korea and is seeking to become an AGA Professional. “The current partnership with the ING foundation, which along with the American Collegiate Go Association (founded by Will Lockhart), holds large go expos each year with hundreds of attendees, as well as The Surrounding Game documentary film, would not be possible had Paul not introduced go into our lives in such a meaningful way; a way that gave us such love and interest in the game that we both had no choice but to dedicate our lives to go,” writes Ben Lockhart. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo: Paul Lockhart (standing) teaching at St. Ann’s School.
-by Dave Weimer
Twenty years ago I lived around the corner from the Hong Kong Go Association in the Wan Chi District of Hong Kong. Returning to Hong Kong last fall, I discovered that the HKGA had moved. After some investigation, I was able to find the new location in the Kowloon District. During my first visit I was amazed that a search of a card file revealed my membership at the old location!
Some things were the same: I was the only non-Hong Kong native who regularly played; players were friendly and welcoming, often despite the absence of a common language; and counting was usually by the Chinese method. The major difference was that Friday evenings, rather than Saturdays and Sundays, were the best times to find a lot of players and games against opponents of various strengths. My nemesis, a 13 year old named Matthew, was a regular on Friday evenings and we had many enjoyable games. Unlike twenty years ago, when most games seemed to involve big dragons fighting to the death, games seem to show more style now and players usually spend time going over completed games to improve.
As finding the Association might be difficult for someone not familiar with Hong Kong, I offer the following information:
Hours: Tuesdays through Sundays, 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Fees for non-members: HK$20 (about US$2.50) on weekdays; HK$40 on weekends and public holidays.
Directions: Take the MTR to the Lai Chi Kok Station; take the B1 exit and go straight ahead a few steps to Tai Nan West Road; turn left onto Tai Nan West Road; go three short blocks to its end at King Lam Street (there is a Honda dealer on the corner); turn left onto Kim Lam Street for one block to Yee Kuk West Street; turn left and enter Number 82 on the left almost immediately; take the elevator to the third floor; play Go! (Based on experience, I highly recommend following these directions rather than relying on a map app.) -Photo courtesy of Hong Kong Go Association’s Facebook Page
“The 3rd Mexican Go Congress turned out to be a huge success,” reports Mingming Stephanie Yin 1P. “The event was held June 18th-20th at the Tlatelolco Cultural Center in Mexico City, and was full of surprises for everyone. Three Professionals were invited: Hye-Yeon Cho 9p, William Gansheng Shi 1p, and myself. We held game reviews, lectures, and simul games. A new record high for the Mexican Open Tournament was set as well, with 56 players. The participation in the Youth tournament was also pretty impressive, with a 36 player field in two categories,” said Yin. Mexican Go Association Youth Coordinator Sid Avila adds “these kids are starting to compete at higher levels, some have already played in international tournaments and are also playing in the Open.”
“This is the 3rd time Mexico has run its Go Congress and every year the community is growing and people are more interested,” reports Mexican Go Association president Emil Garcia. “I believe the world of go is entering into a new stage of development, and we are really glad Mexico is catching this upheaval with the support of Associations such as KABA, the AGA, and the AGF, who helped us bring the pros in. Undoubtedly Mexican go will keep growing having such big allies. I see a bright future for North American go as a whole.”
“On the last day, the pros were invited to visit a private Mexican elementary school named CIEA Pipiolo, which is the only elementary school with go as a school subject in Mexico City,” said Yin, “There are around 80 students ranging in age from 5-12 years old. Everyone is talented and extremely passionate about go. We three pros were separated and played pair go with the kids in teams.”
All three pros issued a joint message for the kids: “It’s wonderful to be here with all of you, our futures of go. We hope that you will enjoy playing go, learning go, and some of you may become professionals in the future.” Yin adds “I believe that the world of go will expand much more quickly than we expected. As professional go players, we will do our best to promote, teach, and help. We also hope that more schools will include go as a subject in America. I am seeing a brighter future for the world of go.”
The Evanston Go Club held its second tournament of the year last weekend. The event, dubbed Spring Fling, drew 34 players ranging in rank from 18k to 5d. Winners were Henry Li 2d (4-0), Cheuk To Tsui 2d (3-1), Nathan Chan 3k (4-0), Cong Chen 3k (4-0), William Torres 5k (4-0), Sean Garcia 10k (4-0), Keom Granger 10k (5-2), Crystal Lin 14k (3-2), and Chad Cook 15k(3-2).“We’re back on track to run four tournaments a year again!” said Mark Rubenstein, club president and TD. “Our March Madness tournament had over 40 players, and with 34 this time it’s clear the local go community can support four a year as we had in the past.” In addition to players from Illinois, there were also players from Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan and Minnesota. “Thanks to Immanuel Lutheran Church for letting us use the space, to Yellow Mountain for donating prizes, to everyone who helped during registration, and a special thanks to everyone who came from out of state! We’re looking forward to the next one in September.” Click here for more info about the Evanston Go Club, other local clubs, upcoming events, and how to join the email list.
This year’s US Go Congress in Boston “is shaping up to be the largest Go Congress ever!” reports Walther Chen. “Please help us make it a success by renewing your AGA membership and paying your outstanding balance in advance. This will help you avoid long queues during registration day at the Go Congress.” Also, he reminds Congress attendees that you have until June 30 to get a no-questions-asked full refund and if you register and pay on-site at Congress, there is a $100 late fee. “See you soon!”
Myungwan Kim 9p will return to provide live commentary of the Bailing Cup round of 32, between Tang Weixing and Park Junghwan, starting at 8:30pm PDT on 6/29. He’ll also provide live commentary on the round of 16, on July 1, again starting at 8:30pm. The early rounds of the Bailing cup are being played in Beijing, and the players have 2hrs 45min, with five one-minute byo-yomi periods following. They’ll take a lunch break from 9:30pm to 10:30pm. Twitch broadcaster “badatbaduk”, himself an AGA 4d, will host the commentary. You can watch the event on the AGA YouTube Channel or the AGA Twitch stream.
Central Iowa Go Society’s second casual tournament saw 11 players, more than doubling last tournament’s five entrants, reports Jacob Upland. Players were split into a 13×13 beginner’s section and a 19×19 section. Alex Tong, 2 dan, swept all four games to win first, followed by Dan Klawitter’s impressive 2nd place finish with 3 wins. The beginner’s section came to a dead tie three ways, decided by a round robin.” Alexandra Mielke emerged the final victor to clinch first place,” Upland says.
“Next on the list is Indianola, Iowa on July 9th, continuing the rotation. Be sure to check it out!”
E-Journal Forum (Part 2): In another response to Eric Osman’s query about a forum for responses to articles in the E-Journal, Steve Colburn also notes that the AGA has a sub forum on Lifein19x19.com. “This is for AGA stuff much like there is for other organizations. There are a few AGA officials who also read/comment on Reddit.”
Where’s the 2015 Yearbook? “I tried looking through the AGA website to find the archived zip file with all of the yearbook 2015 sgf files,” writes AGA member Shane, “but I’m having a difficult time locating it on your website. The news article doesn’t seem to link me to where to find the file and a website search for ‘year book’ didn’t yield much better results. Help?” In a related email, Dan writes “I am a member who cannot figure out how to download the 2015 Go Yearbook. Please advise.”
The Yearbook is only for AGA members, so it’s not posted on the website; look for your June 22 Member’s Edition of the E-Journal, which contains individual links to the game commentaries published in 2015, as well as in a handy zip file.
Dan Level: 1st Place – Matthew Machado (2d) 6 – 1; 2nd Place – Zhao Zhixun (6d) 4-1; 3rd Place – Chengkai Ruan (4d) 4-4; Chris Hudnall (2d) 4-3
Kyu Level: 1st Place – Bart Jacob (3k) 6-1; 2nd Place – Lei Xu (2k) 5-2; John Jacob (4k) 5-2; 3rd Place –Ken Blake (1k) 4-3; Ray Heitmann (5k) 4-4Tournament directors Bart Jacob and Jim Conyngham would like to thank all players for participating and Great Hall Games for supplying the playing venue and gift certificates as prizes.
Photo: winners (l-r): Ray Heitmann, Ken Blake, Chis Hudnall, Chengkai (Kyle) Ruan, John Jacob, Cho Chixun, Lei Xu, Matthew Machado
by Keith Arnold
As I sit down for breakfast at our hotel in Beijing, the gentlemen next to me asks “Are you Chris?” “No, my name is Keith.” “Sorry, similar face.” And I thought that was over.
But when he returned with food he tried again. “Your voice is familiar – are you AGA?”
And that is how I met Jeff Kwang 5-dan from North Carolina. The small world of go.
Longtime go player and local organizer Keith Arnold lives in Baltimore, MD.
Andrew Feenberg has made illuminating and interesting points comparing and contrasting the recent match between AlphaGo and Lee Sedol, and the novelized match between Shusai and Kitani in the book The Master of Go.
There are differences in the modern feeling of go, and what go traditionally has been, and it is all about the details; the ones we focus on, and what they mean, are up for debate.
Feenberg suggests (Rational Play? The Master of Go vs. AlphaGo), as some observers in the book do, that move 121 was the central issue, a move away from the main center battle in order to take advantage of the time rules. Kawabata does spend a bit of time on it, but I’d say therein lies the issue for the Master: it’s not a central issue to the game itself.
For that reason, it may have the appearance of a modern attempt to take advantage of ‘fussy’ rules in order to win a game, at some cost to the meaning of the game. In fact, it may be much more insidious than that :), it’s a ‘modern’ way of extracting the maximum number of points whenever you can, without emotional involvement in what appears to be happening on the board at that moment as a battle between two human opponents. In this sense, the modern game is bringing a new, more nuanced sensibility to the concepts of “tempo” in games, specifically “sente” and “gote” in go.
The Master himself allows that it’s a question of timing, and his opponent may not be able to make that small forcing play later, depending on how the center battle goes. It possibly does throw him, as he later misses a crucial timing issue in that center battle (at this level, questions of who is the inferior player I think can’t be shown through one game, or one move in one game, and are beyond the scope of what can be argued through them). But this detail of what the Master actually said is lost as well, perhaps deliberately as it’s subtly suggested that the Master himself is now trying to “justify” an (ugly) move in an attempt to preserve the beauty of go, as if we have a lock on definitions of beauty, and 121 isn’t it, and the players themselves are telling us things about the game that they don’t understand.
If this were a modern game, there would be no question that White would lose a game without komi; there’s no reasonable chance that one top player can spot another Black no komi, the Master is almost certainly going to lose such a game precisely because of tradition. It’s interesting to me to note our human tendency to focus also on the score beyond winning and losing, as if the players would care if it was a 3 or 4 or 5 point loss, and play accordingly. Observers often say a resignation or a bigger loss is somehow indicative of a greater difference in skill exhibited between the players. It’s rare for someone to see that a great player, seeing he or she was behind, would make plays that were arguably better, but perhaps riskier and result in a greater loss.
Focusing on another detail, I’d hesitate to call this a ‘Western’ influence, although perhaps Kawabata appears focused on ‘outside’ influences and is feeling it from the West, and China could be considered west of Japan, or not being looked at, depending on where one is standing :). The way of thinking behind move 121 to me has clear roots in an outside, fresh perspective of analysis through objective territorial counting that Kitani’s great collaborator in the modern way of play, the player who came to Japan from China, Go Seigen, brought to the table.
A more compelling analogy to me would be between Go Seigen and AlphaGo, and the big question still to be answered is if AlphaGo will bring us a rich body of work like Go Seigen did, so much so that it’s said you can do nothing but study the games of Go Seigen 10 times and become a professional shodan, or if we’ll have 10 tantalizing clues of what AlphaGo was thinking at a point in gmaespacetime.
Much thanks to Mr. Feenberg, and the American Go E-Journal, for bringing such thought-provoking pieces right to me with my morning coffee!
Iowa City, IA: Seeking players to form a go club in Iowa City. All strengths welcome. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
This year’s US Go Congress organizers have lined up “an exciting ‘Computer Go Afternoon’” reports Chun Sun. “We are honored to have Yuandong Tian from Facebook Research, who will present ‘DarkForest: A DCNN-based open source Go engine,’ on the afternoon of August 4.” Also lined up is John Tromp, who has calculated the exact number of legal go positions, and who will present a lecture on the subject on August 4. As previously reported, Google Deepmind is coming to the Congress this year as well. In addition to giving the opening keynote on Saturday, July 30, Google Deepmind’s Aja Huang and Hui Fan 2P will also present an “AlphaGo Insider” lecture on August 4th’s “Computer Go afternoon,” focusing on the developer community. “After these exciting presentations, DarkForest will play Andy Liu 1p at 3 handicaps,” Chun Sun adds. As the new “JustGo” live recording/broadcasting app will be demoing around the lounge and playing room.
The American Go Yearbook 2015 Member’s Edition Collection has just been published. One of the benefits of membership in the American Go Association is the Member’s Edition of the American Go E-Journal, the largest English language go publication in the world. The Member’s Edition includes game commentaries and other special content and the annual Yearbook collects it all into one handy online document. Once selected in the online Yearbook, game records or PDFs open up quickly and easily for review or download. We appreciate our member’s support of the AGA and hope that they will find the Yearbook a valuable and useful resource. Click here now to join the AGA and begin receving the Member’s Edition. Special thanks to the Yearbook Production Team: Myron Souris, Games Editor; Justin Hall, Assistant Online Editor.
- Chris Garlock, Managing Editor
The 39th Canadian Go Open Tournament will be hosted in Mississauga and Oakville, Ontario this year from July 1st to July 3rd over the Canada Day weekend. Participants will have a chance to view the Canada Day fireworks and dazzling cirque shows at Mississauga’s Celebration Square (7 minutes drive away from event venue) after a day of playing Pair Go on Friday.
The six-round main tournament will be hosted on Saturday and Sunday in Oakville. Lectures for both beginners and advanced players and simultaneous game with professional players will be scheduled in between games. A casual four-round lightning Go will be hosted on Saturday night. The tournament will end with a traditional award ceremony and banquet. For detailed schedule and more information, please visit the Golden Key Go School’s website.
The price for the three-day event is $85 for adults and $60 for children. Door price will be $10 higher. Register now for three days of fun.
- Joanna Liu