Photographer Sarah Small’s album of 31 images of the 2014 US Pair Go Championships is now posted on the AGA’s Facebook page. Small brings an original and creative eye to the highly popular go variant first introduced in 1990.
photo by Sarah Small
The next session of In-seong Hwang 7D’s online go school starts next week but there’s still time to sign up for the American Yunguseng Dojang. A well-known top player in Europe, Hwang Inseong 7D has participated in major European tournaments since 2005 and is currently the top-rated player in the European Go Ratings. He trained at the Korean Yunguseng Academy, studied Go in Myong-ji University and worked for a baduk TV channel as commentator. The program consists of interactive online lectures, student league-play and game reviews on KGS. Students have access to all past lectures and reviews, including those from the European sister-school, as well as “personal go reports” to help students assess the progress they are making and the areas which need most work. “Great teacher, great sense of humor, and a penchant for understanding how people think,” says one student. “I feel myself getting stronger every day.” Click here for details on the program, schedule and pricing.
Where’s the 2015 Go Congress? “I’ve heard that the next Congress will be in Seattle or in Minneapolis,” writes Wayne Nelson. “Which is it?”
St Paul/Minneapolis, AKA the Twin Cities: see 2015 Congress Website Launches 8/14 EJ.
Hugh Zhang 7d will be serving a second term as co-president of the American Go Honor Society (AGHS), alongside Calvin Sun 1P, who will be serving his first term. The organization, run entirely by high school students, has opted for two presidents several times before. “It’s great to see a lot of new faces joining the AGHS. I’m excited for the coming year and hope it will be our most successful yet!” Zhang told the E-Journal. “A lot of new ideas were suggested by various members this year, and we hope to implement some of them in the coming year.” Officer positions are still open, and the AGHS has extended the deadline until August 28th. Sign up today and help build the future of American go. Details and the application are available on the AGHS website. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo: Hugh Zhang 7d competing in the 2013 Korean Prime Minister’s Tournament.
Registration is now open for the 2014 SportAccord World Mind Games – Pandanet Online Tournament. This year’s go tournament, held jointly with Chess.com and BridgeBase.com, includes different bands and multiple winners in each band. Generous cash prizes will be awarded, along with other prizes such as tablet computers, Swatches, digital cameras, etc. In addition, SportAccord will provide weekly lottery prizes for all players who played in any given week, including computers, TV’s, etc. Click here for details.
The 4th SportAccord World Mind Games will be held in Beijing, China, December 11-17, 2014.
Like last year, the Mind Games will be preceded by the 4th SportAccord World Mind Games Online Tournament, which will be played on the Internet Go Server (IGS, aka Pandanet).
The tournament is open to amateur players in all countries and territories belonging to the International Go Federation.
Registration closes on September 15, 2014.
Full details are available here.
Response to our request for US Open (or Masters Division) game records from last week’s US Go Congress has been so enthusiastic that we’re extending the deadline one week. Over 50 games have already been sent in for posting to the official US Open crosstab, so you can check out how your friends (and/or opponents) played (sometimes with variations and comments from pros at the Congress). Games must be in sgf format with all game info complete, including both players’ full names, and the round number(s); also be sure to name the file in this format: US-Open_Rd1-Su-Kierulf (white player first). Email game records by midnight next Friday, August 29 to email@example.com.
- photo by Nate Eagle
The Go and Math Academy in Chicago is looking for volunteers to help to promote go/weiqi at a Chinese cultural festival on September 27. About 1,500 students are expected to attend the daylong festival. “We need volunteers to prepare some activities and interact with visitors,” says local organizer Xinming Simon Guo 2d. “Because we have promoted go in Chicago schools for many years (McCormick Elementary Students Learn Go (And Math)) 7/29 EJ), probably some visitors already know the basic rules.” Contact Guo at firstname.lastname@example.org for details on how to volunteer.
photo: Guo teaching at the LaSalle Language Academy
So you want to run a go demonstration for Learn Go Week (“Learn Go Week” Planned to Launch September 13 7/19 EJ), but aren’t sure what to do? You’re not alone. Since proposing Learn Go Week in July, the folks at Go Game Guru say they’ve received more questions about this than anything else. “The good news is that it’s not that hard, and we’ll work with you to make it as easy as possible,” says GGG’s David Ormerud. They have customizable posters,brochures, printable go sets and much more ready for you to use. Some 15 events are planned so far in half a dozen countries. Read more here.
Reminder to players in last week’s US Open (or Masters Division) tournaments to send in your game record(s) and we’ll add it (them) to the official US Open crosstab. Thanks to Anders Kierulf (at right), Keith Arnold, Andrew Hall and William Luff for sending in their games. Games must be in sgf format with all game info complete, including both players’ full names, and the round number(s); also be sure to name the file in this format: US-Open_Rd1-Su-Kierulf (white player first). Email game records by this Friday, August 22 to email@example.com.
- photo by Nate Eagle
The 2014 Toto Cup International Junior Go Championship was held on July 28th at the Asia-Pacific Import Mart in Kitakyushu. This is the city where Toto got its start as Toyo Toki (Oriental Ceramics) nearly a century ago. While still mainly a ceramics manufacturer, the firm has expanded into high-tech fields such as photocatalytic coatings, and is also an enthusiastic sponsor of tournaments for young people, in disciplines ranging from basketball through volleyball to go.
At the opening ceremony the contestants and other participants were welcomed in Japanese and Chinese by a group of officials that included Ishimaru Yasuhiko, general manger of the general affairs division of Toto, Kitahashi Kenji, Mayor of Kitakyushu, and some big names in the go world: Otake Hideo, former Japanese Meijin, Luo Jianwen, vice-chairman of the China Weiqi Association, and Chou Chun-Hsun, Taipei's first professional 9-dan go player. Mayor Kitahashi pleased the audience by describing go as the ultimate intellectual game.
Following an explanation of the tournament rules in Japanese and Chinese by referees Takemiya Yoko (son of another former Japanese Meijin) and Jin Qianqian (a Chinese pro), the players limbered up with calisthenics. Such exercises are a regular part of the day for Japanese schoolchildren and much of Japan's work force, blue collar and white collar alike, but they are a bit unusual at go tournaments. But then, this was no ordinary go tournament: the contestants were a peppy group of over two hundred youngsters from Kyushu and neighboring prefectures in Japan, five cities on the Chinese mainland, and one city in Taiwan. A dozen or so of the youngest concluded the opening ceremonies by presenting bouquets to the officials.
And then the competition began. The strongest dan-ranked players faced off in an unlimited class, in which all games were played on even terms. The other dan-ranked players competed in an A class with handicaps given according to rank (1-5 dan). The numerous kyu-level players also played handicap go.
Eighty of the Japanese contestants had been selected through prefectural qualifying tournaments. Among them were Hashimoto Junpei, a highschool junior from Kumamoto Prefecture who won the unlimited class in 2012, and Nishimura Ryotaro, a highschool freshman from Yamaguchi Prefecture, who was unlimited runner-up in 2011 and took third place in 2012. Both of them won their games in the morning round.
When the round ended Ranka spoke with Qi Taozhu, a Chinese schoolgirl who was looking somewhat unnerved after having a large group of stones captured by Hashimoto Junpei. She admitted to taking go lessons at a daochang (go academy) in Guangzhou, but said she had no intention of becoming a professional player. Her school interests include math and English, and as for a career, she said, 'Oh, I'm undecided; my plans keep changing.'
While the dan-ranked players were completing this round, the kyu-evel players completed two rounds, with a break in between for some pair go on 13 x 13 boards. Also participating in the pair go were Otake, Takemiya, and Okinawa native Chinen Kaori, a former holder of several ladies' professional titles. Ms Chinen was taking a break from a beginners' class she had been teaching with Izawa Akino, another female pro.
After lunch, Hashimoto and Nishimura kept on winning. At the end of the third round, four of the five undefeated players in the unlimited class were Japanese. In the deciding fourth-round games among these five, Nishimura defeated Hashimoto by 3.5 points while Ren Yihua, a 13-year-old from Dalian in China, defeated Imamura Daigo, a freshman at the Sasebo National College of Technology in Japan. The fifth undefeated player was drawn down and lost, so the champion was either Nishimura or Ren, but which one? When the tie-breaking points were tallied, they gave first place to Nishimura, second place to Ren, and third place to Hashimoto.
Hashimoto and Nishimura than began an extended analysis of their final game, at the conclusion of which Ranka asked Nishimura for his comments. Echoing the sentiments of countless professional and amateur players before him, he said, 'I played badly; I was lucky to win.' Asked how he studied go, he said he played every day on the Internet. His next major tournament will be the Amateur Honinbo in Tokyo, August 23-24.
Ren Yihua, who came accompanied by his father (a lawyer) and mother (a real estate agent), also considered himself lucky to have won four games, since he has not studied go formally for over a year. He now plays mainly on the Internet, against opponents from China, Japan, and Korea. Like Qi Taozhu, he gave math as a favorite school subject. Hashimoto Junpei, who has been a tournament player since his primary school days, said that these days, he plays go only to prepare for events such as this one.
In the meantime, while the tournament staff calculated the scores to see who had won the other sections, Ms Chinen and Ms Izawa were holding the players enrapt by challenging them to solve a series of go problems. When the awards were presented, it transpired that class A had been won by Xie Le, a nine-year-old from Shanghai who said he had made shodan in six months at a daochang, and then quit formal instruction and carried on by himself. Class B (1-5 kyu) was won by Yeh Che-chun, a twelve-year old from Taipei. Class D (11-20 kyu) was won by Ren Zheming, a diligent third-year middle school student from Shanghai who said he liked math and science and played go only once or twice a month. Class C (6-10 kyu) was won by Ai Xiaoke, a six-year-old from Beijing who started playing go at age four. She said she plays go every day during holidays, but has other interests at school, such as swimming, table tennis, and fencing. Her mother commented that China seems to be trying to make school more interesting for the students, instead of just stuffing knowledge into them as in the past.
And after giving these and the other prize-winners their awards, Mr Ishimaru summed things up for Ranka by saying, 'Toto is glad to sponsor tournaments like this. It's meaningful for us because, after all, the future belongs to these young people.'
- James Davies. Photos by Ito Toshiko.
A new AGA chapter has just started up in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago. The Wauconda Go Club meets Wednesdays from 6-9p at Middleton’s on Main, a gastropub in Wauconda, IL. The brand-new club just started on August 4 and organizer Brad Edwards has hopes of “one day developing a small but passionate group of players.” For anyone in the area “looking for a reason to get out of the house on a Wednesday night, have a few drinks and perhaps play a few lively rounds of one of the world’s oldest board games, the Wauconda Go Club is here for you,” says Edwards. Middleton’s offers over 100 types of beer from around the world, “an impressive wine, single malt and Irish whiskey collection” as well as a “well-rounded and eclectic menu.”
Click here to find a local AGA chapter or go club; if you have local chapter or club news to share, email it to firstname.lastname@example.org
photo by Brad Edwards
The 2014 E-Journal Congress Team provided expanded coverage of this year’s US Go Congress, from top player previews before a single Congress stone was played to live online broadcasts of top boards at all nine rounds of the new US Open Masters Division, as well as more in-depth reporting on other non-US Open/Masters Congress tournaments. This year for the first time the EJ added social media, posting lots of updates and photos on Twitter @theaga and on Facebook, attaining an almost 10,000 reach on Facebook over the course of the week, an impressive 600% increase. Click here for all the EJ Go Congress reports.
This year’s EJ Congress team was led by Managing Editor Chris Garlock, with Todd Heidenreich, Assistant Managing Editor and Steve Colburn, Tech/Game Recorder Support. Joining the team this year was Tournament Liaison/Reporter Karoline Li, who brought much-needed depth and breadth to the EJ’s coverage of other Congress tournaments. Paul Barchilon once again coordinated youth coverage, including both EJ reporting and KGS broadcasts of youth games. KGS continues to be a tremendous partner, with admin extraordinaire Akane Negishi (sweety) and her team of KGS admins, including Sadaharu Wakisaka onsite at the Congress. Masters Division games with audio commentary are available for a limited time free on KGS Plus; look under “Recent Lectures” under USGO5.
The EJ game recording team was anchored as usual by the indefatigable Dennis Wheeler, who, along with Richard Dolen and Nathan Borggren, broadcast the morning US Open Masters Division games. The evening broadcast team included Andrew Jackson, Bart Jacob, Dave Weimer, Nate Eagle and Diego Pierrottet, as well as Wheeler, Dolen and Borggren. Solomon Smilack was on the evening recording team and also did the Friday night live pro commentary simulcast.
Photographer Phil Straus did his usual fabulous job capturing indelible images of the Go Congress, and this year we were able to feature many more of them in a terrific series of albums on the AGA’s Facebook page. Sarah Small covered the Pair Go tournament and her album is also posted on the AGA Facebook page.
Many thanks to the professional go players who participated in the E-Journal’s live audio commentaries on KGS this year; this was a new and very well-received effort, thanks to He Xie 9P, Feng Yun 9P, Myungwan Kim 9P, Jungsang Park 9P, Yilun Yang 7P, Jennie Shen 2P, Stephanie (Mingming) Yin 1P and Shirley (Xuefen) Lin 1P. Thanks to Pro Coordinator I-Han Lui for smoothly coordinating everything and to Daniel Chou and Kevin Hwang for translations.
Special thanks to the tournament directors who worked hard on the Congress tournaments and worked closely with the EJ team to report results throughout the week: Chris Sira for the US Open; Boris Bernadsky, Jon Boley, and Chris Kirschner, US Open Masters Division; Joshua Lee for 9×9; Jim Hlavka for 13×13; Keith Arnold for the Lightning; Todd Heidenreich for Pair Go; Will Lockhart for the Die Hard; Lisa Scott for the Women’s Tournament; Nader Goubran for Midnight Madness; Michael Fodera for the Self-Paired; and Terry Benson for Crazy Go.
- photos (and collage) by Phil Straus, except for the photo of Straus, which is by Steve Colburn, and the photos of Hwang and Pierrottet, by Chris Garlock.
Photo (top row, l-r): Garlock, Negishi, Dolen, Jacob; second row: Jackson, Colburn, Wheeler, Wakisaka; third row: Heidenreich, Sira, Borggren, Barchilon; fourth row: Weimer, Kevin Hwang, Nate Eagle, Diego Pierrottet; fifth row: Boley, Li, Small; bottom row: Smilack, Bernadsky, Straus.
A large crowd of somber friends shared memories of a great teacher at a memorial held last Friday evening for Sasaki Tadashi 8P, who died last month at 51 (In Memoriam: Sasaki Tadashi 8P 7/28 EJ & The Power Report 7/30 EJ). Players loved the bubbly humor underneath Sasaki sensei’s stoic exterior. Teaching never seemed like work to him, such was his love of the game. Players will also remember him for Baseball Go and his way of comparing territory to countries. During simultaneous games he would give away stones for komi when students made mistakes, and ask for it back when they made good moves. Sasaki sensei brought a lightness to go in the US, and he will be missed.
- Solomon Smilack; photo by Phil Straus
Send in your US Open (or Masters Division) game record(s) in sgf format with all game info complete, including both players’ full names, and the round number(s), and we’ll add it (them) to the official US Open crosstab. Email game records – by Friday, August 22 – to email@example.com.
- photo by Chris Garlock
Mark Lee 7D (Lee Sang Hyeop) defeated Songyan Jiao 7D in just 208 moves on Saturday morning to sweep the 2014 US Open Masters Division, 9-0. Conner Li 3P took second with 7 wins followed by Matthew Hu 2P in third place also with 7 wins. With 6 wins each, fourth place went to Songyan Jiao 7D, Ryan Li 7D took fifth, Andy Liu 1P took sixth, and Calvin Sun 1P took 7th. “My opponents were very tough but I think maybe I was a little lucky,” the modest 17-year-old former insei from Korea told the E-Journal after his final win. “After my first couple of wins I was able to build my confidence.” Lee (left) said that he was so focused on playing his best in each game that “I wasn’t really thinking about winning the championship, so it’s just now starting to sink in.” The Masters is the first title that Lee, who studied with Myungwan Kim 9P (at left, with Lee, reviewing Saturday’s game) when he was younger, has won since he was 11. “It was clear to me (back then) that he was very talented and smart and had a lot of potential,” said Kim. Lee, who’s thinking about moving to the US, will be visiting Kim in Los Angeles for a few months this autumn, teaching go and studying English, and plans to compete in the Cotsen Open at the end of October. “As a former insei, he dedicated his whole life to studying go to be a pro,” said Kim. “While it may be still an ongoing project he hopes to find some other meaningful work in his new life in the US.” Click here for the Masters crosstab. NOTE: Masters Division games with audio commentary are available for a limited time free on KGS Plus; look under “Recent Lectures” under USGO5. photos by Phil Straus (right) and Chris Garlock (left)
US Open: top winners (6/7D): 1st: (tie) Xiaotian Hu & Xuyu Xiang; 3rd: Daniel Chou; click here for complete winner’s list. NEW THIS YEAR: Send us your US Open game record in sgf format with all game info complete, including both players’ full names, and the round number, and we’ll add it to the official US Open crosstab. Email them – by Friday, August 22 – to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other Events: Jeff Wu 5k won the 13×13 kyu championship in a final game with Ann Wu 10k, while April Ye 1D took the dan championship. In the 9×9 tournament, Dirk Riedeman 3D won the dan division, while Matt Mo 10k won both of his playoff games to win the kyu division. Speedy players Yukino Takehara 1k and Will Lockhart 5D progressed furthest in Lightning Tournament’s kyu and dan divisions respectively. Julian Erville 1D took first place in the Midnight Madness, followed by Yukino Takehara 1k in second place, and Jeremy Chiu 6D won first place in the Die Hard Tournament on Wednesday with a perfect four-win record. In the Women’s Tournament: Top Bracket: 1st: Chen Jiahui (4-0); 2nd: Wan Yian; 3rd: April Ye. Middle Bracket: 1st: Kelly Liu (4-0); 2nd: Yoko Ohashi; 3rd: Amanda Miller. Bottom Bracket: 1st: Marjorie Hey; 2nd: Alexandra Platz; 3rd: Kaoru Hidaka. 13×13 photo by Karoline Li
NOTE (8/17): the US Open results PDF has been updated to the correct final report and the 9×9 dan winner has been added.
Bill Lin 7d and Aaron Ye 6d are the winners of the Redmond Cup, after a series of online matches, and then a live final at the US Go Congress. In the Junior Division (under 13) Ye, who has held the Redmond title for the past three years, made it clear he has no intention of giving up his title. He won all five rounds of the online qualifiers, and then cemented his status with two wins in a row against runner up Jeremy Chiu 6d, who lost on time in round 1 on Sunday, and then was defeated on the board again on Monday. Both boys are 12 years old. In the Senior Division (under 18) Bill Lin was undefeated in the six round qualifiers, but then stumbled in the first round of the finals, losing to two year reigning champ Jianing Gan 7d on Sunday afternoon. He came back fighting strong on Monday though, winning that round, and then claiming the title with a second win on Thursday. Matches from both divisions were broadcast live on KGS, and hundreds of viewers watched the games.
Friday’s big event in the Youth Room at Congress was the Youth Team Tourney, where teams of three compete against each other, just like in Hikaru no Go. 16 teams competed, 48 kids total, in both dan and kyu brackets. Top honors were won by Zhen Xianan 7d, Yifei Gao 6d, and Xinying Jiang 6d (with Aaron Ye as the alternate on one match). In the Kyu Division, Patrick Zhao 10k, Kilin Tang 12k and Daniel Zhao 14k won first place. All six received prizes in the Youth Room, as a well as a trophy at the awards banquet, and a free one month membership for Baduk TV. - Story and photos by Paul Barchilon E-J Youth Editor. Top: Bill Lin 7d vs. Jianing Gan 7d in the Redmond Cup finals; Bottom: Kyu Division winners in the Youth Team, at right, demonstrate the advanced strategy that won them the match.
Mark Lee 7D (right) locked up the US Open Masters Division championship on Friday night with his 8th-round win over Andy Liu 1P, giving the 17-year-old former Korean insei an impressive 8-0 record with one final round to play Saturday morning. Matthew Hu was 6-1 coming into the 8th round but his loss to Conner Li knocked him out of contention for the Masters, leaving the NAMT prize race still up in the air. Click here for the Masters Division crossgrid. photo by Chris Garlock
US Open players undefeated through five rounds (also with one final round left to play Saturday morning): Fan Chen 5D; Nick Blake 3D; Dan Alvira 2D; Gilbert Feng 1D; Yukio Ishiyama 1D; Erik Brummelkamp 4K; Dmitry Dimatov 5K; Adam Jiang 7K; Joe Suzuki 7K; Matthias Kramm 9K; Ann Wu 10K; Mackenzie Brown 10K; Mark Nahabedian 13K; Dowson Yang 20K; Gary Smith 24K. Click here for US Open crosstab results.
Longtime go player Steve Barbieri 1K was the high bidder at the traditional Friday night auction of a go board to benefit the American Go Foundation, his $1,000 bid winning a fierce bidding war for a two-inch kaya board signed by all the professional go players at the Go Congress. Barbieri was clearly inspired by AGA President Andy Okun’s example: he became shodan after winning the auction in 2008. “This kind of generosity is what’s enabled us to continue helping grow the game of go across the United States,” said AGF President Terry Benson. ““This contribution will cover one of the AGF college scholarships!” The auction, conducted as usual by American Go E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock and Terry Benson, followed a live game commentary by Jungsang Park 9P and Myungwan Kim 9P on the Masters board one game between Lee and Liu. As usual, the board was donated by Yutopian. photo (l-r): Chris Garlock, Myungwan Kim 9P, Steve Barbieri, Terry Benson, Andy Okun and Jungsang Park 9P; photo by Steve Colburn.
Matt Mo 10k defeated Jim Fienup 3k in the 9×9 Tournament final on Friday to win the kyu championship; Dirk Riedeman 3D still has to play Zheng Xiangnan 5D for the dan championship.
In the 13×13 Tournament, April Ye 1D beat Gabriella Su 5D to clinch the dan championship, while Jeff Wu 5k is still to face Ann Wu 10k in the battle for kyu champion.
In the Lightning Tournament, the dan finalists have yet to be determined, but Yukino Takehara 1k has advanced to the kyu finals and waits for the winner of a semi-final game to play for the kyu championship.
In the Self Paired Tournament, just 129 games have been played, with Matt Pruner 4D leading in Most Games Played, with 12. No other prize category leaders were available at press-time Friday night.
- reporting by Chris Garlock and Karoline Li; bottom right photo of kids playing a casual game Friday night by Phil Straus. Click here for his latest album of Congress photos.
Published in the August 15, 2014 edition of the American Go E-Journal
Shawn Ray, a 4 dan AGA member, asked his teacher — Kim SeungJun 9P from Korea — about the difference between the Mini and Micro Chinese Openings, which have become very popular recently. Even if you’re not familiar with either variation, you’ll find his explanation interesting. Each week full AGA members get useful information like this in full game commentaries. To sign up for the Members Edition, register with the AGA here.