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Updated World Go News
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Amateur Pair Go Championship postponed due to COVID

Ven, 30/07/2021 - 23:50

The 32nd International Amateur Pair Go Championship has been postponed to next year. It had been scheduled to be held on December 11 and 12 this year, but due to the fact that the COVID-19 situation in Japan is not improving, organizers decided that “it’s just too difficult to safely invite players from overseas.” The Championship is expected to be held in late November or December of 2022.

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Member’s Edition: Calvin Sun on his game with Andrii Kravets

Mar, 27/07/2021 - 08:00

Calvin Sun 1P is a US representative in the 1st Transatlantic Professional Go League, which is being played in Europe. He will be commenting on all of his games in the tournament for the E-Journal.

“This is my second game against Andrii Kravets 1p. After a peaceful opening, Andrii made some questionable moves that left him in an unfavorable position for the rest of the game.” – Calvin Sun

Download SGF File

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Upcoming Go Events: Evanston

Mar, 27/07/2021 - 02:40

July 31: Evanston, IL
Evanston Go Club Go Tournament
Mark Rubenstein mark@evanstongoclub.org 847-869-6020

Get the latest go events information.

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Go Spotting: Go and Polyominoes

Lun, 26/07/2021 - 01:25

by Xinming Simon Guo

My former math instructor, professor George Litman from National Louis University, recently invited me to visit his personal library. There, I found a mathematics book he purchased in 1995: Polyominoes: Puzzles, Patterns, Problems, and Packings. In the preface, the author, Professor Solomon Golomb, mentioned that polyominoes were first observed in patterns formed by 5 connected stones/markers on a Go game board in 1907.

Coincidentally, I also discovered these patterns in 2011 on the Go board, but I didn’t know they were polyominoes. In a Go game forum, I posted a puzzle about the possible shapes formed by 8 connected stones, which proved to be too challenging at the time. So I changed the difficulty level to 6 stones (Hexomino), and found all 35 shapes.

The unexpected discovery about polyominoes has led to the formal integration of these shapes into my Go and Math curriculum. The photo below captures all the shapes of pentominoes (5-stone string):

Photo by Jane online summer camp student Jane, 2020

By the way, there are 363 shapes of octominoes (8-stone string), a number arrived at by adding an extra stone based on 7-stone strings, removing duplicates, and counting the distinct shapes. No formula has been found yet to calculate the number of shapes.

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AGA releases updated COVID guidelines for local play

Dom, 25/07/2021 - 01:07

With an increasing percentage of the American public vaccinated and many localities easing or lifting COVID restrictions, the American Go Association – which last year urged all chapters and clubs to avoid face-to-face play – has released recommendations[CK1]  for resumption of local play and tournaments.

“We are being very conservative in our recommendations,” said Andy Okun, AGA President, “but we do want to acknowledge people’s desire to get competing again. With a little inconvenience and some patience, it should be possible for most people to play with reasonable safety.”

Basic FAQ:

It is now safe to play go face-to-face?
Everyone, and every club, has to take responsibility for the safety of their own activities. That said, with basic safety precautions (see below), it should be possible for most people to play with reasonable safety.

Can I re-open my local AGA chapter for face-to-face play?
Chapters may decide on their own whether to re-open; AGA can’t decide for you. We recommend you only re-open if you follow basic safety precautions (see below).

Can a local chapter require proof of vaccination for players?
That’s a local decision to made in consultation with members of your chapter. AGA has no objection to such a requirement.

Do we have to wear a mask if playing outside?
That is your choice and may depend on local conditions.  Follow local guidelines on masking but be aware that according to the CDC, there’s still risk of transmission and the safety of a chapter attendees is the responsibility of local organizers so erring on the side of extra caution is well-advised.

Do we need to wash stones and/or boards and bowls?
We don’t think so. Touch transmission has been assessed by the CDC as a very low risk.
HOWEVER: The AGA strongly recommends that sanitizer, gloves and spare masks be made readily available to all; supplemental funding is available to AGA chapters to offset the costs of providing these supplies; email planning@usgo.org.

Why so strict on being masked at all times?
Two people sitting across from each other for an hour in a closed room is the exact situation in which COVID is most readily transmitted.

Can my local chapter hold a tournament?
YES; providing you follow basic safety precautions (see below).

Are there more detailed organizer’s resources available?
Yes: see AGA recommendations, tournament announcement templates for Low  and Moderate level risk categories, best practices, and Basic Characteristics of COVID-19 Relevant to Board Game Play. Any further questions — email planning@usgo.org.
These documents are intended to assist organizers get us back to competing again, not quite like the good old days, but as safely as we can be in these trying  times.

RECOMMENDED BASIC PRECAUTIONS

Wear masks: All attending should be required to be masked or shielded [CK3] at all times (unless eating). Refusal to comply may result in expulsion from the event.
– Be vaccinated: We recommend that  organizers ask unvaccinated people (except kids too young) stay at home. Organizers wishing to check vaccine status are free to do so.
Sanitizer, gloves and spare masks to be provided: Frequent hand washing or sanitizing will be encouraged, particularly after touching one’s face, particularly nose, eyes and mouth. Sanitize after you do. Supplemental funding is available to AGA chapters to offset the costs of providing these supplies; email planning@usgo.org
– Post Signage in highly visible locations (e.g., at entrances, in restrooms, on televisions) that promote everyday protective measures and describe how to stop the spread of germs, such as by properly sanitizing and/or washing hands, and properly wearing a mask. Provide signs and messages in multiple languages as needed. Prominently post copies of the AGA Guidelines for Safe Board Game Play (below).
Urge players to stay home if they are in doubt: Encourage all potential participants to stay home if they have any symptoms that resemble those of Covid-19. People also should not participate if they have been recently exposed to someone with COVID. Consult current CDC and or local criteria regarding when a person may return to group activities after having had, or been exposed to someone with Covid-19, and with respect to vaccination status.
If possible, play outside, but if you play inside, try to have the room as well ventilated as possible.
Post tournament pairings online or on a large wall screen: to prevent crowding, do not use wall charts.
Observe standard social distancing guidelines: Spectators should observe normal social distancing practice. A brief look at a game is OK, but extended kibitzing in close proximity to the players is discouraged.

2021.07.24_AGA-GUIDELINES-FOR-SAFE-BOARD-GAME-PLAYDownload

Updated July 24, 2021

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Final day to bid on items AGF auction

Sab, 24/07/2021 - 18:43

Today is the final day to bid in the auction to benefit the AGF. Participants can bid on Go lessons from online teachers, dojo membership, Go equipment, Go books, old Go periodicals, and more! Players can also donate directly to the AGF to help support the amazing projects they do every year. Funds donated to the AGF support the following programs, and more:

  • Send free Go equipment to hundreds of schools across the nation
  • Help teachers to purchase additional equipment on a matching basis
  • Provide matching startup funds for new Go programs for children
  • Publish The Way to Go, the most widely read Go book in English
  • Distribute free copies of Go As Communication, a book about teaching Go
  • Purchase specialized equipment for Go instructors in schools
  • Cover thousands of dollars of scholarships for kids and youth players at the Go Congress
  • Bring the AGF Teacher of the Year to the Go Congress
  • Grant annual college scholarships to players who promote go in their communities
  • Provide youth scholarships to attend the AGA Summer Go Camps
  • Maintain the KGS server as a go owned and operated community
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Go Spotting: Tokyo Olympics Google Doodle

Sab, 24/07/2021 - 18:32

Reader Michael H. reports that the current Google Doodle celebrating the summer olympics in Tokyo is a playable RPG that includes scenes of Go. “Google’s webpage recently updated to celebrate the Tokyo Olympics with the Doodle Champion Island Games. Visitors can play an in-browser old-school Japanese RPG complete with minigames and sidequests. While exploring the game I noticed one room with a floor goban, bowls, and stones – a game of Go! Continuing, I found another room featuring three more gobans – perhaps the meeting place of the local go club. There are two game being played, but although the protagonist remarks that the game looks fun, there is, unfortunately, no one available to play. I was glad to see go included as one of the many references to Japanese culture featured in this Google Doodle.” Visit Google.com to see the doodle and play the game.

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NYGHS Summer Open concludes, Tony Tang 7D finishes as Dan Division Champion

Sab, 24/07/2021 - 18:25

The NYGHS is proud to announce the conclusion of our first official tournament. The tournament ran smoothly despite the unconventional format. Participants spent their first competition day, June 27th, competing for a seed in the second day. On the second competition day, which took place on July 3rd, players were placed into brackets based on their seeds and competed for first, second, and third place in their respective divisions. All tournament participants were given a chance to play on the second competition day regardless of how they had initially performed. 

Totaling 32 players, participants were split into three divisions with each division featuring a $75 prize for first and a $50 prize for second. Top three players in each division will also receive a one month silver subscription to the NYIG YouTube channel. The tournament concluded with a first place finish from Tony Tang 7d in the Dan Division after his win against runner-up Eric Yoder 6d. 

Full Results:
Division A:
1st place – Tony Tang 7D
2nd place – Eric Yoder 6D
3rd place – Jate Greene 3D 

Division B:
1st place – Albert Tang 1K
2nd place – Michael Sherman 2K
3rd place – Jamie Tang 5K

Division C:
1st place – Della Tang 12K
2nd place – Benjamin Lo 9K
3rd place – Ajay Dheeraj 14k

“Thank you so much to all our engaged participants who were able to make the tournament possible,” says Patrick Zhao. “We will do our best to provide and improve upon events such as these in the future. After other summer Go events, namely the e-Go Congress, stay on the lookout for the return of the NY GO League. We hope to see you soon!”

-report by Patrick Zhao

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Still time to bid on the goban. And the lessons, the dojo, books, periodicals…

Ven, 23/07/2021 - 22:29

The closing ceremonies of the annual US Go Congress are just hours away and the Congress won’t be complete without the auction of a goban to benefit the American Go Foundation. And this year you can bid on so much more. “Help raise much-needed funds and get yourself some prizes along the way!” says Solomon Smilack. Click here and then use the buttons to register, so that you can bid on the auction items. Click Auction to review the current offerings, select Donate to give financial support to the AGF directly, or Donate Item to add something to the auction. “There are go lessons from online teachers, dojo membership, go equipment, go books, old go periodicals, and more!” says Smilack.

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Pete Schumer named AGF Teacher of the Year

Ven, 23/07/2021 - 21:17

“I’m quite overwhelmed and deeply humbled to be chosen as this year’s AGF Teacher of the Year,” said Schumer. “It’s quite an honor to join all the past recipients who have done so much towards the teaching, promotion, and dissemination of go.” Ordinarily a Teacher of the Year wins a free trip to the US Go Congress. As that is online this year, Schumer will be invited to the 2022 Go Congress in Estes Park as a guest of the AGF.

Schumer has been teaching a course on go at Middlebury College in Vermont since 1987.   “The course is more about introducing and promoting the history, spirit, and cultural aspects surrounding go as much as it is about improving one’s measurable ranking,” says Schumer.  “Self awareness and self-improvement is a large part of the course’s intent, but developing a deeper appreciation of the game and a humble respect for its great practitioners is even more important.   The course is also a writing course where students write and revise papers on the rules of go, on the theme of ‘Go as a Metaphor’, on the concept of ‘Collaboration versus Competition’.  The students also research a related East Asian art or tradition and give a presentation on their findings.  The ‘aha’ moment for many of them is when they discover the powerful connections and interdependencies between the spirit of go and that of the art they have been studying.”

Schumer has also created and run the Vermont Go Club, which has been active for over 30 years.  “The best way to promote go is through friendships and through such rich, joyful, meaningful get togethers.  In addition, I add one weekend meeting a month devoted to teaching new players about the game.   Again I am more interested in simply making them aware of this wonderful game, teaching them the basics, making sure they have a fun and positive experience (say beating me on a 9×9 board with a five stone handicap), and leaving it at that.  The analogy I like to give is that more people take art appreciation courses in college than become studio art majors.  Museums rely on an educated public that appreciates beautiful art whether or not most people can produce beautiful art.  Similarly, the American public seems to support and love football (based on the number of people who watch the Super Bowl, say), yet very few of us reach the level of even playing at the college level – or even care to.  We should continue to strive to educate the public about the game and foster a deep appreciation of it.  Our commitment and affection for the game can truly inspire others.”

“I want to thank the selection committee for their warm support and confidence in me.  I promise to redouble my effort to ‘pay it forward’ by continuing to pass along my knowledge and enthusiasm of the game to the younger generation,” adds Schumer. -Paul Barchilon, EJ Youth Editor. Photo: Schumer with a young opponent at the Osaka Go Camp in 2018

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Member’s Edition: Yilun Yang’s July Hard Life and Death Puzzle

Gio, 22/07/2021 - 08:00

Black lacks eye-space and must somehow find more space.

Yilun Yang 7P is one of the most popular go teachers in the US. You can reach him at yly_go@yahoo.com.

Download SGF File

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INAF and Nihon Kiin upcoming events

Mer, 21/07/2021 - 19:21

The Iwamoto North America Foundation (INAF) and the Nihon Kiin announce two upcoming joint online events.  Anyone may sign up on a first-come-first-served basis.

Above, Mitani 7p and Tormanen 1p. Photos provided by Nihon Kiin.

Event 1 –  August 2  2021, US Eastern time 21:00 to 22:30.   Lecture for kyu players by Mitani Tetsuya 7p (三谷哲也) and Antti Tormanen 1p.  This pair has frequently visited Europe and given many popular lectures since 2012. This event is limited to the first 100 people. Register for this webinar.

Above, Taijiri 5p. Photo provided by Nihon Kiin.

Event 2 – August 7 2021 US Eastern time 21:00 to 22:30.  Interactive AI play for kyu players with Tajiri Yuto 5p (田尻悠人).  All participants will join in to play with AI, led by Mr. Taijiri who will also provide Q&A, quizzes, and commentary. Register ahead of time for this webinar.

Additional events will be forthcoming.  Please check INAF website and on AGA e-journal for announcements.

  • Lecture by Tsuruyama Atsushi 8p, a student of Cho Chikun, on “Key points of Capturing Race” (single-digit kyu to 4d players); 
  • Lecture by Michael Redmond 9p on “Technical Improvements” (dan players); 
  • Lecture by Mitani Tetsuya 7p and Antti Tormanen 1p on “Understand Go Rules and How to Play on 9×9” (beginners); 
  • Lecture by Ichiriki Ryo 9p, commentary on his recent games (all players). This will be presented on YouTube.

Go to the INAF website to sign up: http://www.inaf-go.org/2021/07/sign-up-for-joint-inaf-nihon-kiin-online-events/
 Zoom links will be sent to all registrants by the end of July.

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Member’s Edition: Yuan Zhou Commentary on a Chinese City League A Game

Mer, 21/07/2021 - 08:00

Commentary: Yuan Zhou
Game Editor: William Cobb

This commentary on a recent pro game is by Yuan Zhou. It is from the Chinese City League A, played in the seventh round on June 8, 2021, between Yang Dingxin 9p of China versus Shin Jinseo 9p of South Korea.

Yuan Zhou is a popular go teacher and author of many go books (available on Amazon and as e-books from SmartGo, including several on the impact of AI on current pro play). His unusually thorough commentaries make pro games clear and understandable to players of all levels. Zhou is based in Germantown, Md. His web site is at http://zhouyuan.com .

Download SGF File

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Member’s Edition: Yilun Yang’s July Easy Life and Death Puzzle

Mer, 21/07/2021 - 08:00

White attacks the corner strongly with the marked stone. Can Black survive?

Yilun Yang 7P is one of the most popular go teachers in the US. You can reach him at yly_go@yahoo.com.

Download SGF File

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Inside the Chinese A League

Mar, 20/07/2021 - 22:09

by Yuan Zhou    

There’s a very important professional go event that western go players probably don’t know much about. Known in English as “The Chinese A League” and started in 1999, the annual format changes, but currently it consists of sixteen teams, each of which is associated with a particular city that is the home of the corporate sponsor of the team. Divided into two groups of eight teams each, they play each other twice in a round robin event that is extremely popular among Chinese go fans. The teams contain six pro players each, and teams in the stronger “A” league (there is also a “B” league) are allowed to add one foreign pro to their team (this is expensive, of course). Each encounter involves four games between the two teams so only four of the six play each time. Three of the games involve relatively long basic times, two hours each, but one game is fast play, one minute per move. This latter difference is to accommodate having one of the games in each meet shown on TV. After the round robin season, the two teams with the best records have a play-off to determine the ultimate winner, and the two with the worst records have a play-off to see which gets eliminated from the League.

Ke Jie 9p of China

This event means that Chinese pros are regularly involved in very high-level games during the year, which is made even more valuable by having top foreign pros involved. For example, in the most recent running of this event, the foreign players included Shin Jinseo 9p of Korea (known as “AI Shin” because of his devotion to studying the AI strategies and considered by many to be Number One in Korea), Shin Minjun 9p who is challenging for first place in Korea, Park Junghwan 9p of Korea, as well as Lee Donghoon 9p and Kim Jiseok 9p of Korea, and also Iyama Yuta 9p who holds the top titles in Japan, Ichiriki Ryo 9p of Japan who is challenging Iyama these days, and Shibano Toramaru 9p.

This extraordinary amount of high-level competition, combined with exclusive access to the best of the AI programs, Fine Arts, is probably the main reason Chinese pros are currently dominating the international go scene, winning most of the titles. If you look at the list of title holders on the go news web site mentioned below, you will see the overwhelming number are Chinese.

Because of the high level of expertise and the decent basic playing time, these Chinese A League games are some of the best in the world every year. I have provided commentaries of several of them over the years in the E-Journal. You can access reports of these games on the go news site gotoeveryone.k2ss.info/news, where some of the game records can also be downloaded.

Yuan Zhou is a popular teacher and longtime contributor to the E-Journal; find out more on his website.

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Ritter and Fraze win in AGA Board elections

Mar, 20/07/2021 - 21:51

Dan Ritter and Devin Fraze have won election to the AGA’s Board in the Easter and Central regions, respectively. The Western region winner will be announced August 2.
– Arnold Eudell

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Triangle Go Group summer park tournament a success

Ven, 16/07/2021 - 00:15

A summer tournament was held at Umstead State Park in Raleigh, NC on July 11, 2021. Twenty four Go players participated. This was the Triangle Go Group’s first paired tournament in nearly 2 years. In keeping with tradition, all entry fees were returned to the players as prize money.

In the very competitive Open Section, there was a 3 way tie for first place honors: Jeff Kuang, Nianci Gan and Sheng (Thomas) Huo each racked up 3 wins and 1 loss. Second place was earned by Xiaoping Wu. Strengths in the top band ranged from 1d to 4d.

Players enjoyed typical North Carolina summer weather that varied from comfortably warm to occasional late day showers, perfect for playing Go. Tournament Director Jeff Kuang ran the show smoothly and pairings appeared quickly. Charles Alden provided invaluable offsite support. A pizza lunch was provided by the Triangle Go Group, along with donuts and iced water.

First place in Section B was captured by Leroy Anderson III with an impressive 3-1 record, losing only to a strong player from the Open Section. Justin Blank placed second with 2 wins and 2 losses. Section C was won by Tom Roncoli, finishing the day with a 3 and 1 tally, and second place was shared by 4 players each winning 2 games: Stephen Gilbert, Andrew Thieman, Harrison Pedigo and Bob Bacon.

The only perfect record of the day was attained by Justin Su in Section D, handily winning all 4 of his games. Second place in Section D was awarded to Russel Herman with a 3-1 performance.

-report and photos provided by Bob Bacon

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Registration open for the 2021 New York Youth Open

Ven, 16/07/2021 - 00:04

The annual New York Youth Open (NYYO) will take place on Saturday, August 7, 2021 in the KGS AGA Tournament Room. The NYYO is a one-day, 4-round open Go tournament for all players under the age of 18. The tournament will begin with a short opening ceremony online at 11:30 – 11:45 AM EDT on Saturday, August 7, 2021. There is no rank requirement to enter. 

The top three players in each division (based on rank) will receive certificates and trophies. For registration, schedule, and rules, tournament video requirements, please visit the website. Registration will close on August 4, 2021. Interested players can also join other young fighters preparing for the tournament at the NYIG summer Go camp.

-report by Stephanie Yin

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Last day to register for the US e-Go Congress

Gio, 15/07/2021 - 14:58

Are you registered for the 2021 e-Go Congress? Registration ends today, July 15th, at 5pm EST. Head on over to https://www.gocongress.org and register today! A week long of go events awaits you!

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AGA City League Finals and League Winners

Mer, 14/07/2021 - 03:43

Congratulations to all of the players for this year’s Pandanet AGA City League. Each of these teams fought hard in their games to win their leagues. The top two leagues are very tough with the strongest players in the US and Canada. The other two leagues are no slouches either. All of those players battled their many opponents to find out the strongest team across many cities.

The AGA City League Finals will take place on July 23rd at 8pm EST/5pm PST on Pandanet in the AGA City League room. These games will be played between New York City, the reigning champs, and Canwa Vancouver 1. Based on their last matchup this will be an exciting series of games. They will be reviewed starting at 9pm on the AGA Twitch channel with Michael Redmond 9p and Chris Garlock. Make sure to tune in to watch these games and reviews!

Congratulate your cities teams on their winning performances this year:


A League
1/2 – Watch on July 23rd!
3 – Greater Washington
4 – Toronto
5 – Chicago

B League
1 – Boston
2 – Seattle 1
3 – Los Angeles
4 – Chicago 2

C League
1 – Seattle 2
2 – Canwa Vancouver 3
3 – Washington DC 2

D League
1 – North Corvalis
2 – New Mexico
3 – New York City 4

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