The American Go Foundation Newsletter
"Each One Teach One"
Number 7 Winter 2011

Is your Go program or club too far from the nearest tournament? The new year brings with it the start of the youth tournament season, with two important online tournaments now accepting registrations as nearby as the closest computer, and a third coming soon. The American Go Honor Society's Tenth Annual School Team Tournament , hosted on the KGS Go Server resembles the intramural play seen in Hikaru No Go – three-player teams rise or fall based on their total result, competing for thousands of dollars in prizes. Games in the lower sections are handicapped, so players of all strengths are welcome ; last year more than 200 students participated. Any school can field up to three teams, home school teams are welcome also.Teams must register by Feb. 12, on the AGHS website . Two important events for strong young players are also getting underway. The Nineteenth Redmond Cup , named for California native Michael Redmond 9P , offers strong young players the chance to win an all-expense-paid trip to the finals at The US Go Congress . Interested youth must register by Feb. 15th, and can do so by e-mailing their name, birthday, phone number, AGA # and rank to . Players in the junior sections must be under twelve years old, and at least 5K in strength. Dan-level players 12-17 compete in the senior section, games will be played on the Pandanet Internet Go Server . Coming up in April will be The US Youth Go Championship , which selects the US representatives to the World Youth Goe Championship .

When the American Library Association holds its annual conference in New Orleans this June, the AGF will be there, showing thousands of librarians how easy it is to set up a Go club at their libraries. The biggest, most dynamic group within the ALA is Young Adult Librarians Service Association (YALSA) . As they struggle to remain relevant in the digital age, young adult librarians are more interested than ever in forming lively interest groups that will bring young adults to the library. Go is a perfect fit. The AGF already provides lots of support for library-based clubs – click here to see our special librarians' page . Our goal is to make more librarians aware of how we can help them build attendance and participation in their facilities by starting a Go club. “This is a chance to bring Go into the mainstream, and we hope that enlisting librarians in our cause will lay a solid foundation for tomorrow's Go clubs,” says AGF Vice President Paul Barchilon, who will coordinate our presence at the event.

Philanthropist and Go enthusiast Winston Jen gave the AGF 100 sets of Hikaru No Go manga (comics) in 2009. He asked us to find a way to put them where young people could discover Go through this exciting series. We responded with an offer our school and library programs couldn't refuse -- the complete set for the cost of shipping ($20). (If you haven't taken advantage of this offer, it's still available.) That program went so well that Winston has challenged us with a much larger donation -- 1000 sets! That's one of the main reasons we're going to the ALA Conference in June (see above.) YALSA alone, the largest subgroup within ALA, has 5000 members; if we can persuade one in five to take 23 popular manga at less that $1 each, we will have achieved our goal. Readers will find a label on the inside front cover of each book with links that will help them learn more about Go. Each set of Hikaru will come with cardboard playing sets, copies of The Way to Go , and information on how to start a free Go club. This is by far the largest project we have ever attempted; and it would not have been possible if we hadn't just outsourced our order fulfillment.

Guess what we got for Christmas? A new warehouse! When we opened our online store for Go teachers in 2009, we continued processing orders the same way we always had, from some spare rooms at a computer business in central Pennsylvania. But after opening The AGF Store last year so that materials were more easily available to approved programs, we outgrew the makeshift operation that had served us well for years. So it was that in mid-December, after months of preparation, a truck rolled up to the loading dock at Key Fulfillment, a Colorado-based order fulfillment specialist, and offloaded fourteen pallets of boards, stones, magazines, and other paraphernalia we have accumulated over the years. AGF VP Paul Barchilon met the truck and spent the rest of the holiday season unpacking and sorting our wares, and helping our new partners set things up. Now we can receive shipments by truck, and track our inventory and ex[enses more closely, while costs remain roughly the same.
The AGF is extremely grateful for the years of help we received from Marilyn Campbell, our one-woman fulfillment department since we began supplying Go teachers and organizers ten years ago, and from Chuck Robbins, who hosted our shipping operation for many years at his business, CT Inc. and arranged to ship our inventory to Colorado. Chuck and Marilyn helped us get the store off the ground so we could supply hundreds of Go teachers with materials they can't get anywhere else.

Go has appeared as an important theme in Asian art through the centuries, never more so than in the ukiyo-e woodblock prints that became popular in Japan from 1650 or so on. Ukiyo-e could be mass produced, creating a market for popular art that came to be dominated by colorful scenes of everyday life. William Pinckard avidly collected and curated hundreds of works throughout his life, many of which have graced the cover of Go World magazine -- click here to see 108 of the images that have been used so far. Now Kiseido has produced this thoroughly annotated and commented collection of 75 of the most memorable and remarkable prints. To see more ukiyo-e and learn about them, you can also visit The Internet Go Server's Art Gallery . AGF-approved programs can also choose among six images suitable for framing while supplies last on the AGF store.

Do you know a college-bound Go player who has helped to grow Go in your community? Encourage him or her to apply for the AGF College Scholarship , a $1000 grant to two students – one male, one female – who have made an outstanding contribution to their Go communities, especially in underserved areas. Previous winners have found that although $1000 doesn't go too far covering the cost of college today, winning the award helps their application to stand out to admissions officers who are looking for active, well-rounded people to join their student bodies. High school juniors are especially encouraged to apply now, so if they win they can list the scholarship on their college applications next year.

Does your Xbox avatar want to learn go? Now it's possible, thanks to The Path of Go , available for $5 or 400 Microsoft points. The storyline involves a quest for the evil twin, while moving through a series of levels by playing go. This was not just another quick rollout by Microsoft, but an " an abstract test bed that was perfect for a number of key AI principles ," according to lead developer Joaquim Candela, who was quoted in an insider report . "Is Go going to work on the Xbox, for people who are used to blowing other people up?" he said. "The answer is, we'll see." The game has already attracted more than 350 reviews, achieving a four star rating on the Microsoft site; one independent reviewer found it “interesting” and “suspenseful”, with a “decently strong” playing engine. Click here for the complete review in The American Go e-Journal .


If you saw Tron: Legacy, the recent hit film from Disney based on the popular video game, you briefly saw our favorite game. Actress Olivia Wilde came up with the idea of including go, according to a 12/16/10 interview in the Times-Union . “That was my nerdy idea because Go is the one game that humans consistently beat computers at,” Wilde told the reporter. “[I said] we should have something about Go, because people who know about it will know computers can't beat humans and it'll be this cool reference to what humans can do that computers can't.” Wilde also references Buddhism's “beginner's mind” in describing her character, Quorra. – click here for the article in The American Go e-Journal.

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Managing Editor: Roy Laird
Associate Editors: Paul Barchilon, Terry Benson

Text material published in Sensei may be freely reproduced, as long as you credit " Sensei : The American Go Foundation Newsletter" as the source and hotlink to the AGF home page if possible. Articles appearing in Sensei represent the opinions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official views of the American Go Foundation.