Friday, September 27, 2013

Journey to the Middle Kingdom set for October 8th on Kickstarter! 

Journey to the Middle Kingdom is my next project and I am very excited for it!  The story basically goes like this: Three young kids are sent back in time to ancient China to take part in Chinese fairy tales to make sure they happen the way they should.  To aid them in their journey, the Jade Emperor of Chinese heaven grants them three magic calligraphy brushes.  Whenever someone writes a Chinese character with the calligraphy brush, whatever you write, becomes real.  

I got the idea back when I was studying Chinese and I used to imagine the characters becoming real and jumping off the page.  From there, I simply added brushes.  The idea to use Chinese fairy tales as the backdrop came from the face I love fantasy stories in general from any country, but I especially like Chinese ones, so the two seemed to meld together perfectly.  

The first story arc, which I plan to take 6-8 books if my outline holds, will be based on the "Legend of the White Snake Maiden" or "Bai She Zhuan" in Chinese.  The tale is about a White snake demon who falls in love with a mortal man named "Xu Xian."  Their love is forbidden, but heaven remains silent. Eventually, a Buddhist monk named Fa Hai captures the White Snake Maiden in a tower and breaks up the two lovers forever. Eventually, the White snake maiden is freed by her best friend, the Green snake maiden.  

Of course I'm going to have my own unique twist to the tale itself, so you'll have to see how it all turns out.  I'm using Kickstarter to help me with the artist fees and printing the book.  I've got a lot of nice perks for anyone who wants to help make this project a reality, including Kickstarter ONLY artwork, T-shirts, a digital copy of the book, and even your own calligraphy brush (magic not included).  It all gets started October 8th!  It's going to be one heck of a ride.  If you want to stay posted on updates, visit the "Journey to the Middle Kingdom" Facebook page or website.

Twitter: @yithril


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Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sunday Go Puzzles

This one can be a bit frustrating, as it seems so simple and there are only so many moves that you can try.  Good luck!

We have to start out with a sente move if we're going to get anywhere, so let's threaten to connect out, then make use of the fact White doesn't have much in the way of liberties.


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Sunday, August 12, 2012

Interview with Gansheng Shi New American 1 Dan Professional



I recently interviewed Gansheng Shi 1p after his success in becoming one of the first American Go Professionals.  I wanted to get his outlook on the process of becoming a professional, the challenges of playing through the tournament, and what he thought about the future of American Go.

Before the U.S. Professional Go tournament was announced, did you ever think about becoming a pro in Asia?

I did not think about becoming a pro in Asia because having been in training in china before, I understand that it is a very difficult task.

Did you do anything special to prepare for the tournament?


I did play out pro games for an hour each day for a month before coming to the tournament

What game was your hardest game and why?

The hardest game was games 2 and 3 with Yang Jing because I had to overcome a 1-0 deficit. The second game I was able to come back in late game and in the third game I also played amazing endgame to win by half a point.

Were you relieved when you won?

I was very excited and relieved when I won the pro tournament because I had never thought about becoming a go pro before.

How do you think you'll fare against other professionals?  Which tournaments do you plan to partake in?

I think it will be very difficult facing other Asians pros, but I do think the road to a good pro is long and I believe I will work hard to improve my go skills.

How do you plan to build your strength to compete against other professionals?

I plan on training in Korea for 6 months in an Insei school and by playing against other professionals in tournaments such as the Samsung, LG and BC card cup.

What are your thoughts about the future of Go in the U.S.? 

I have faith in the American go pro system because I see great support from the American and international go community such as the KBA. I see America producing new pros in many years that will be able to compete internationally against Asian pros. comments

Sunday Go Puzzles

Today's problem is actually a bit tricky.  The aim should be clear: you've got to use those two cutting stones to their fullest, but how?

Solution to Last Week's Problem

This problem is not so hard if you know to hane first.  If you got that, then the throw in practically jumps right out at you.  comments

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Sunday Go Puzzles

Today's problem is an adventure in false eyes.  See if you can kill White.  This problem is not so hard for intermediate level players, but the tesuji can be overlooked in games.

Solution to Last Week's Problem


If you saw Black 1, then great!  This is a case where we might get confused by the throw in stone, but since we have 3 spaces next to it, we are assured of a real eye. comments

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Reached my funding goal!

This about sums up my feelings.

So we've reached the $800 goal for Sunday Go Lessons, and I can't tell you how awesome that is.  I've always wanted to bring the joy of Go to as many people as I could, and this is a great way of doing it.  I started playing Go when I was 19 and it's one of the few things I can say that I've worked really hard at.  I like it so much I went halfway across the world just to play it with people who are probably ten times as passionate about it as I am.  Go honestly makes me feel content, and I know it can do wonders for other people in improving their lives as well, even if it's just another hobby on the shelf.  I'd like to work towards a vibrant Go community in the U.S., and given the fact that there are now going to be U.S. professional players, it's important we create our own unique American Go culture to try and make that program a success as well.  Again, a big thanks to the Go community for stepping up.  

Now, we've reached our funding goal, but there are a few things I could use to make the videos really great. I can live without them, for sure, but living with them would be preferable :P

Here are the stretch goals.  If you know someone that might be interested in any of the perks, from game reviews to personal tutoring, let them know, and thanks again!

Lateral Tripod $200 - If we can reach the $1,000 funding level, then I can get one of these bad boys.  I've been using my own tripod, but it's really old and is being held together by duct tape and a prayer.  A lateral tripod would allow me to do overhead shots, so I can point the camera straight down at the board.  If you saw the videos of the professional games I did, a lateral tripod would make the shot a lot clearer.  Here is the page on Amazon.
Anything over this, I'll donate the equivalent amount of free lectures to the American Go Foundation so that they can freely give them to Go Teachers who'd like to use them in their classes to teach children or really anyone else who wants to learn Go.
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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sunday Go Puzzles!

Last week's puzzle was on the harder side, so we're going to do something simple this week.  This is a problem that tests how much you understand about eyes.

Solution to Last Week's Problem
The first move sort of jumps out at you, but the rest takes awhile to really work through.  White has some liberty problems, so he has to connect at 4.  What you have to see is that if White captures 5 directly then Black can come under.

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