The American Go Foundation Newsletter
"Each One Teach One"
Number 10 Winter 2013

If you haven't visited us lately online, please drop in! We spent months developing our newly expanded, restructured and redesigned site . We've added drop-down menus for schools , colleges , libraries, AGA chapters and community/institutional programs , with specific information on how we can help them start and sustain Go programs. We think it's easier to find our other programs and services, too. Comments please! What's missing that you need? What typos did we overlook? Help us improve the site even more. Many thanks to Lee Gentry, AGF VP Paul Barchilon and Roy Laird for seeing this project through to completion.

We know in theory that an integrated approach to instruction can lead to deeper understanding than teaching subjects in separate "silos." Putting this concept into practice is challenging, but Xinming Simon Guo has developed an interlocking set of curricula. Guo teaches math, Chinese and Go in the Chicago public schools. “In my math classes I introduce Go as a tool to cultivate number sense," Guo recently told The American Go E-Journal . "Students can get an intuitive understanding of numbers, their magnitude, relationships, and how they are affected by operations. In my Chinese language classes, I introduce Go with visual literacy, which helps beginners to learn numbers in Chinese. For advanced Chinese language learners, Go can be one centerpiece to link the 5C standards for Foreign Language Learning in the 21st Century: Communication, Culture, Connections, Comparisons, and Communities. In my Go class, math and Chinese language elements are threaded throughout the curriculum." Guo recently introduced a group of pre-teachers to the game, hoping to spark interest so that "[their] students will have more chances to touch this marvelous game." Photo: Guo teaching kids at Lake Forest Academy.

You can give your program a boost by getting ready for a tournament. Tournaments are not just for strong players! Players of all strengths can meet and enjoy playing "serious" Go, both online and in person. According to The American Go Association Event Calendar , there's something happening somewhere in the US just about every weekend -- hopefully near you from time to time . . . but even if not, see below for an online competition your school program can join. We'd also like to mention a couple of extra special events that are coming up:

Hikaru-Style School Team Tournament
Hikaru No Go readers love the three-person team tournament format that appears throughout the series. Now they can enter their school teams in a similar league. The American Go Honor Society will direct The 13th North American School Team Tournament online on two successive Saturdays, March 16 and March 23. Schools, home schooling networks and some other groups can participate; contact the organizers for specifics. Each team will consist of three players and one alternate, as well as a (preferably non-playing) captain. Each team member will play a total of four rounds on The KGS Go Server , at 1 PM and 4 PM on each day. Registration is now open and will close around March 1.

Two-Week Convention in February:
The North American Go Convention will take place over two successive long weekends along the East Coast in February. The convention will include several tournaments and instruction and lectures by former US champion Myungwan Kim, Stephanie Mingming Yin (who described her experiences earning pro status in China at this year's International Go Symposium) and the young Australian 5P Joanne Missingham . The first set of tournaments, lectures and simuls will occur in Parsippany, NJ from February 8-12, then the pros will travel to Washington DC for a similar schedule. The Korean Baduk Association will award certificates to top finishers, but all levels are welcome.
Spring Go Expo in March :, The American Collegiate Go Association will organize a Spring Go Expo in conjunction with Harvard and MIT on March 23-24. Billed as “a two-day celebration of the ancient Chinese game of go", the event will feature lectures, informal game play and pro instruction, culminating with an exhibition match between Andy Liu 1P, America's first pro, and well-known Chinese 9P Chang Hao . Many aspects of the game will be explored -- for instance, Prof. Elwyn Berlekamp , the prominent mathematician with an interest in "Mathematical Go" may make an appearance. The Expo is free and open to the general public.

Go has been an established vocation in Asia since the early 1600's, when the first Shogun established four state-sponsored Go schools in Japan. Western players wanting to pursue Go as a profession, such as California native Michael Redmond , have had to go to Japan, China or Korea -- until now. The much-anticipated AGA-Tygem Professional Qualifying Tournament came to an exciting conclusion in August, when Andy Liu of New York and Gangsheng Shi from Canada became the first North American Professionals. Their pro status will allow them to face off against the world's best players in top international pro tournaments . To learn more about the US pro system click here . You can download many of the game records in sgf format for review from the crossgrid at the bottom of the Tygem Tournament page . (Pictured: Andy Liu, America's first pro. Photo by Nik Gonzalez courtesy of The American Go E-Journal )

As promised last issue, more than two dozen speakers addressed a wide range of fascinating Go-related topics at The 2012 International Go Symposium in August. Atari Founder Nolan Bushnell delivered the keynote address; another major attraction was a Q&A with Hotta Yumi , the creator of Hikaru No Go. Educators and organizers from schools and colleges shared their ideas and experiences, while other presenters addressed how to cultivate an effective teaching attitude ; how the teaching of go to the disenfranchised can be a Frierian act of empowerment; why go should be taught in every school ; and more. Meanwhile, other speakers provided insights from a more historical and anthropological viewpoint . What's it like to earn pro status in China? How did various rule sets evolve, and why can't everyone agree on a universal set? Why do we play on a 19x19 board ? Why are there star points? Scientists and mathematicians rounded out the field of presenters. In the past few years, computers have made astounding progress in their playing ability. One computer program, Zen, played nearly 200 games as "Zen19" on The KGS Go Server over a four day period in October as a 5D, and recently defeated the legendary TakemiyaMasaki 9P on four stones – twice ! Speakers explained the techniques of multivariate analysis and the use of supercomputers has made this possible. Others spoke on the use of combinatorial game theory , “ thermography ” and other topics of interest. If these questions intrigue you, check out the linked videos.

At the end of Th e 2012 International Go Symposium (above), the winners of The 2 nd International Go Art Contest were announced. The contest is organized every year by The Mexican Youth Go Community (MYGC). Some of the winning entries are amazing, and several of them were purchased by Go-loving art collectors. Funds from the sale were shared between the artists and the MYGC. Click here to learn more and stay tuned for the 3 rd Contest, coming up soon. If you're a young artist (under 18), or know someone who is, it's not too early to start work on an entry! (Pictured: The winner, category A -- "E-go" by Chew Yoo Sew, Malaysia)

Another Symposium feature was a discussion of Marc Moskowitz's new documentary, Weiqi Wonders , by the filmmaker himself, who spoke about the importance of cross-cultural communication. Moskowitz is not the only documentarian to turn his attention to Go recently – The Surrounding Game by Cole Pruitt and Will Lockhart is in post-production and scheduled for release in 2013. Lockhart, Pruitt and their team raised more than $25,000 from nearly 500 donors on Kickstarter , The Go Expo in March will feature an extended preview. Tokyo Newcomer , a newly released feature film about a Chinese prodigy who goes to Japan to study, is getting good reviews but it's hard to find. And, as we mentioned last issue, The Go Masters is now available thirty years after its sensational award-winning debut. Check out these reviews in The New York Times and by Roger Ebert . The highest-grossing Asian film ever at the time, it strangely lapsed into obscurity until rediscovered by Yellow Mountain Imports . While we're talking movies, for an inspiring look at what mind sports can do for kids, check out Brooklyn Castle , the story of a school in a poor section of Brooklyn where the cool kids are the chess team. It's on Netflix . You can find out the full story in The American Go E-Journal here .

Serious Western players who visit China, Korea of Japan often return with tales of a land where 24-hour access to cable-style go channels is possible. Now GoGameGuru, a multifaceted online Go presence, is working to provide that service here, offering subscriptions to the live feed from BadukTV, a 24/7 Go cable channel in Korea. GGG is also developing an archive of videos with English translation. GGG has opened an online store, featuring free shipping on equipment. To support American Go, they also offer a 30% discount to any AGF teaching program -- just write to for a special promotional code. ( Click here to view all the vendor discounts available to AGF programs .) Go video fans can also check out Eurogotv, which offers an archive of taped lectures by Guo Juan 5P and others. And of course there are hundreds of videos on YouTube.

A world ended in 2012, but not the one predicted by the Mayan calendar . Go World , the West's best link to top level play for thirty years announced that it would cease publication with issue #129. Publisher Richard Bozulich and Editor John Power want to turn their attention to some book projects, and with no one ready to take over GW, the time had come to call it quits. The AGF has acquired most of the remaining issues in print, which are on sale to AGF Programs, and any American Go Association member in the US, while supplies last. Click here to learn more. All proceeds go directly to support AGF projects.

AGA RESUMES SUPPORT FOR COLLEGE PROGRAMS Originally launched by former AGA President Mike Lash, the AGA's College Matching Program allowed college clubs to receive financial support that enabled them to purchase supplies from the AGF store . The program was canceled when the AGA lost Ing funding several years ago, but a newly reconstituted AGA Board voted to restart the program in October. Although no equipment is provided free, the AGA will pay for half of any purchases, up to $50, or up to $100 if the program is also an AGA Chapter. As the AGF store is a non-profit, full board sets can be purchased for just $ 10 . Equipment must remain in the club and may not be resold – we don't want to compete with vendors. Colleges also gain access to items like Hikaru no Go for the library, go books, and a host of AGF resources for supporting clubs. More information can be found on the new AGF page for the program here. In a related move, the AGF Board agreed to make the contents of the Store's Teaching , Promotional and Prize pages available to any AGA Chapter, but they still have to buy playing equipment from vendors. –Adapted from a story in The American Go E-Journal by Paul Barchilon. Photo by Paul Barchilon
Want to help us promote Go in the US? Click here to learn how to help us. We depend on support from players like you. Click here to view previous issues of this newsletter.

Managing Editor: Roy Laird

Associate Editors: Paul Barchilon, Terry Benson

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Articles appearing in Sensei present the opinions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official views of the American Go Foundation.