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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Chinese Game Collections

My new order of weiqi books arrived a few days ago. This time, it's all professional game collections, since that way I don't need to read much Chinese. ;) The top three books are part of a series on Japanese masters, and the bottom two are the complete collection of Japanese "castle games" played during the Edo period. (I think the publisher only printed 800 copies, so it's sort of a collector's item) 

From left to right: Honinbo Dosaku, Honinbo Jowa, Honinbo Shuei
Dosaku is my favorite master to replay. :)
The series also has Shusaku, Shuho, and Shusai, but I didn't get those for various reasons.

   A look at the contents of the Dosaku collection.

"The castle games were played in the Shogun's castle by the best Japanese players of the day. " - Sensei's Library

The original Japanese version of this collection is ridiculously rare/expensive, so it's good to have an affordable Chinese edition.

Index of the games

Easy to read diagrams inside.

I've started replaying one of the games.

My study of these classic games will hopefully prove to be helpful, although I'm still looking for people to play. I have a new lead on a weiqi club in the city, so I'll go hunting for it this weekend.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

My stay in China

Despite my job teaching English in the capital of Jiangxi Province (Nanchang), I sadly have not found anyone to play Go with on a regular basis. I've consoled myself by taking advantage of the ridiculously low book prices to stock up on a few items.  Some I bought at the Xinhua bookstore downtown, but most of them I had to buy online through
I got Lee Changho's six volume tesuji series (top left), which was sold out in most places online, along with some tsumego collections, and a couple of other books which I may review later.

A Chinese edition of the classic Japanese tsumego collection Igo Hatsuyoron that was published a few years ago with new research by Chinese professionals.

Still can't read most of the commentary for the diagrams, although I'm working on it.

 China also has a semi-monthly Go magazine called Weiqi Tiandi (World of Weiqi), which I've been picking up at the newsstands downtown.

I plan on trying to translate some of the more interesting articles into English, possibly with the help of my students.  I'll keep on buying more issues until I leave China, of course. I also plan on picking up a few more books through Dangdang.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

2011 September Bay Area Tournament

The Bay Area Go Players Association's monthly tournament was this past Saturday in Palo Alto. I went 2-1 playing at 2 dan. Lost my first game pretty badly to another 2 dan who was sort of sandbagging. Then I won against a 3 dan. (Got off to a bad start, but played a good endgame to come back and win by resignation) My last game was against a provisional 1 kyu. The two stone handicap made it a little difficult, but I played conservatively and somehow won by 0.5 points. Still a lot of room to improve.

Friday, August 12, 2011

2011 US Go Congress: Wrap-up - Part 2

In the afternoon, Bill, Kalinda, and I played our last club team match against the Orange County Go Club, whose team comprised of Curtis 7-dan, Gansheng 7-dan, and Calvin 7-dan. :P As though that weren't bad enough, Curtis was the North American Masters finalist, losing out to 13 year old Ziyang Hu 1P of China in the last game, and Gansheng and Calvin were the finalists in this year's Redmond Cup for the strongest youth players. So yeah, not your average 7-dan players. Kalinda got 20 points reverse komi in addition to 9 stones in her game against Calvin and lost by 31, Bill was absolutely wrecked by Gansheng, and I was forced to resign at 6 stones against Curtis. Oh well.

After the last round of soccer in the afternoon, came the award ceremony and banquet. I won my section in the Die Hard tournament, which I expected, having gone undefeated. I was surprised to find that I had also won first place in the 1-dan section of the US Open, getting a certificate from the Korean Baduk Association.

Deborah, a friend of mine from the AGA summer camp I attended at Mills College in high school, did the inscription of my name inside. :)

So these are all the awards I wound up with. Later on, I found out I had won the US Open tiebreaker with Kevin, because he had taken a forfeit win in the first round. The universe works in strange ways, sometimes. Initially, I was actually paired with the guy who forfeited, before the TDs had to redo the pairings because of other errors. The guy who I did get paired with, Jack, won all of his remaining games to go 5-1 and take third place.

9-Dan Showdown is the book I got with my vendor certificates; it covers the ten-game matches between Go Seigen and Fujisawa Kuranosuke. I hope to post my thoughts on the material in the near future.

This is the fan I purchased on the second to last day, as a symbol of my becoming a dan player. Pretty meaningless, since it won't help me play better, but I still like the motto on it.
The characters read SEKISHIN in Japanese or SHIXIN in Chinese, which translates as "Stone mind". Supposedly, the idea is "to reach a state like a heart inside a stone". It was written by Otake Hideo, a professional I admire for his aesthetic style. I believe Takemiya said of him, "He will not play ugly moves for love nor money.", which is something I hope to emulate one day.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

2011 US Go Congress: Wrap-up - Part 1

Some crazy stuff happened at the end of this Congress, which took a while for me to process, so I'm posting about it in two parts.

My last day did not start off especially well, when I found out the AGA's meal plan for my residence hall didn't cover Saturday's breakfast. I paid with my debit card anyway, not wanting to play the final US Open game on an empty stomach; this turned out to be a good move.

I really wanted to win the last game, since I figured going 5-1 would surpass my previous Congress best of 4-2 and assure me a spot in the top three of the division. The kid who had beaten me Thursday, Kevin, had also won against the only other 4-0 player (Brady) in the division on Friday, so I figured he was guaranteed first place. Since Brady and I were both 4-1 now, we were paired for the last game, so I was hoping to win it and get second place.

The game itself turned out to be a little anti-climactic. It seemed as though he were playing on insufficient sleep, and I got an early advantage. Then he played way too aggressively, and I killed his group to force a resignation. Afterwards, I played a self-paired game against a guy I'd met at a Bay Area tournament and won, achieving a winning record of 3-2 in the self-paired tournament. This made me feel better about my overall performance at this Congress, so I was pretty happy at this point. A lot more happened in the afternoon, however.

Friday, August 5, 2011

2011 US Go Congress: Day 7

Won my US Open game today, against a remarkably weak Japanese 2 dan. I also won two self-paired games, both against people I knew, taking 2 stones in one and giving 2 in the other.

In more exciting news, the Santa Cruz Go Club team advances to play an all-7 dan team in the final match of the club team tournament! There is literally insufficient handicap to make it competitive, so we're thinking about asking for reverse komi as well. Bill and Kalinda have done well up to this point, including winning their games today to get us to the final. (I didn't play, because the other team's first board forfeited due to other commitments.) Still, playing against 7 dans is a different proposition altogether. Funnily enough, one of the tournament organizers told me that the all-dan player team that went up against them in the previous round couldn't manage better than a 1.5 point loss between the three of them :P

Tomorrow's the last day of Congress, with the final games of the US Open and the awards banquet afterward. Obviously, I'd like to win my last game and go out on a high note, but I've had a great time this week no matter what happens.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

2011 US Go Congress: Day 6

Had my first loss in the US Open today; also lost a self-paired game. But at least the games were fun and interesting, unlike yesterday.