World news

Remembering John Goodell, American Go Pioneer

AGA news - Fri, 07/08/2015 - 20:48

Curious to see how go might be played without a center point, John Goodell didn’t just theorize about it; he produced 3,000 go sets sans center point. They didn’t catch on, but Goodell’s lifetime of promoting the game earned him the American Go Association’s first Edward Lasker Distinguished Service Award in 2002; he died in 2004 at the age of 94. A longtime St Paul resident, he’s been honored this week at the US Go Congress with a prominent display of memorabilia celebrating his life as a go player and promoter.

Goodell (second from right) learned the game in the mid-1950′s while doing customer research for a department store. His idea was to see if board games would help elicit more reliable information from customers. Although that didn’t work, he became deeply involved with go, leading the US team to the second World Amateur Go Championships in Japan in 1964, as well as serving as president of the AGA from 1962 to 1964. Perhaps most famously, he once imported two tons of go stones and distributed them across the country.

John Goodell said that go is “almost like meditation. When you play go, the world goes away.” And though he played the game for more than half a century, he never entered a tournament, where “You play to win; but winning and losing is of almost no consequence.”

A St Paul documentary filmmaker, Goodell was nominated for an Academy Award in 1974 for “Always a New Beginning.”

Click here for more information about the history of the American Go Association.

Categories: World news

Congress Videos Posted, Drawing Viewers

AGA news - Fri, 07/08/2015 - 18:21

Nearly twenty videos from the US Go Congress have been posted so far on the AGA’s YouTube channel as part of the E-Journal’s expanded coverage this year. They include Crazy Go, Lightning Tournament, US Open Masters Rd6: Tong Yulin 4p vs Mark Lee 7d, US Open Masters Rd 5: Cao Youyin 3p vs Tong Yulin 4p live commentary by Cho Hyeyeon 9p, and USGC 2015 – Wang Chen 7d interviewed by Kevin Hwang. The videos have been extremely popular, usually with well over 100 viewers for the live streams and some of the videos have now been viewed over 2,000 times.

Categories: World news

Melissa Zhang wins first AGA U16 Girls’ Championship

AGA news - Fri, 07/08/2015 - 17:16

Melissa Zhang 3d won the inaugural 2015 AGA U16 Girls’ Championship on Thursday, defeating Kelly Liu 1d. The tournament was held during the US Go Congress in St Paul, Minnesota. Although Ms. Liu won a tense ko fight to save a large group in the middle of the board, Ms. Zhang emerged with insurmountable advantage to win the game and the $100 first prize. In the consolation game, Melissa Cao 1d took third place by defeating Amy Wang 5d.
- Ted Terpstra: photo (l-r): Melissa Cao, 3rd; Amy Wang, 4th; Kelly Liu, 2nd; Melissa Zhang, 1st. photo at right: Zhang and Liu playing final. photos by Ted Terpstra (left) and Chris Garlock (right). 

Categories: World news

Jeff Horn & Miyoko Miyama Leading in Self-Paired Tourney

AGA news - Fri, 07/08/2015 - 17:08
As of Thursday night, 96 games have been reported in the Self Paired Tournament at the US Go Congress. Jeff Horn (right) seems to be making a pretty serious run at sweeping a number of the categories, leading in four of the seven categories, while Miyoka Miyama is leading or tied in two. Many other players are only one or two games behind the leaders, reports TD John Hogan.

All game results must be turned in by 12 noon on Saturday.

Current leaders, with the number of games in parentheses are:

Champion (most wins over losses): tie between Steffen Kurz and Miyoko Miyama (4)

Hurricane (greatest number of wins): Jeff Horn (9)

Giant Killer (most wins against dan players by kyu player): Miyoko Miyama (4)

Keith Arnold/Kyu Killer (most wins against kyu players by dan player): Jeff Horn (8)

Dedicated (most games played): Jeff Horn (15)

Sensei (most games against weaker players): Jeff Horn (13)

Philanthropist (most losses): Sasha (David) Orr (9)

photo by Chris Garlock


Categories: World news

US Go Congress Updates: Friday Night “Big Broadcast” Set; Fierce Battle for ’15 US Open Masters Title; Crazy Go Photos Posted; Game Records Wanted; Caption Contest

AGA news - Fri, 07/08/2015 - 05:25

Friday Night “Big Broadcast” Set: Top-board US Open Masters games will be broadcast live with professional commentary on KGS and streamed on YouTube; Congress attendees can watch in person in the main playing area. The broadcast starts at 7p CST.

Fierce Battle for ’15 US Open Masters Title:
Unlike last year, when Mark Lee plowed through the field at the U.S. Open Masters, it’s safe to say that after six rounds, this year’s competition is wide open. With three rounds still to play, there are four 5-game winners:  defending champion Mark Lee, Zirui Song, Yulin Tong and Chen Wang. Lee lost to Youyin Cao in the fourth round; Zirui Song lost to Yulin Tong in the fourth round; Yulin Tong lost to Mark Lee in the 6th round, and Chen Wang lost to Mark Lee in the third round. Click here for complete results — and top-board game records through Round 6. 

Crazy Go Photos Posted: Click here for Betsy Small’s snapshots from Tuesday night’s Crazy Go session (right), directed as usual by Terry “These Go Games Are INSANE!” Benson.

Game Records Wanted: Send in your US Open game records and — as we did last year — we’ll add them to the crosstab. Email it to us at

Caption Contest: Submit your caption(s) and you could be a winner! Captions should be funny, clever and/or creative; have fun! Want to submit a photo for the contest? email it to us at
- photos by Chris Garlock

US Open 4-0 winners: Albert Yen; Xiaocheng Hu; Ary Cheng; Yifan Zhang; Gilbert Feng; Keiju Takehara; Kunio One; Aaron Johnson; Brian Kirby; Kelly Liu; Peter Zunick; Paul Weiner; Mark Fraser; Sherrie Echols; Ryan Kim. 

Categories: World news

Yen and Cheng Sweep Redmond Finals

AGA news - Fri, 07/08/2015 - 01:34

Albert Yen 7d and Ary Cheng 3d swept their divisions in the Redmond Cup finals at the US Go Congress. The preliminary rounds were held online (see E-J 7/8/15) and saw both boys emerge on top, 15-year-old Yen with a perfect record, and 9-year-old Cheng winning 5 out of 6 games. The Senior Division (under 18) pitted Yunxuan Li 6d, age 17, with 5 wins, against Yen in a best 2 out of 3 final. In the Junior (under 13), Raymond Feng 3d, age 11, was the other finalist.  Cheng and Feng both were AGA rated at 1 dan during the qualifiers, but defeated higher ranked opponents throughout the event. Both boys are playing at 3 dan in the US Open, and doing quite well, proving once again that it is very hard to pin serious kids down to a given rank as they often improve at lightning speed. The Senior division games were also popular on the AGA’s  Youtube Channel, which featured live commentaries by Calvin Sun 1P, with Justing Teng 7d and Lionel Zhang 7d streaming video, and both divisions were broadcast live on KGS as well.  All of the streamed videos remain available on the AGA channel here.  All four Redmond finalists won a free trip to congress to compete, and will receive $300 for first place, and $200 for second, courtesy of the American Go Foundation, as well as Redmond Cup trophies. - Story and photos by E-J Youth Editor Paul Barchilon. Top: Yunxuan Li 6d (l) vs. Albert Yen 7d (r); Bottom: Raymond Feng 3d (l) vs. Ary Cheng 3d (r).

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