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Updated: 11 weeks 3 days ago

Correction: Kim Broke WYGC Record in 1985

Fri, 26/08/2016 - 01:01

“Congratulations to Aaron Ye on the WYGC (EJ 8-13)” writes eagle-eyed reader Keith Arnold, “he may be the first to finish third, but he is not the first to finish in the top three. Janice Kim took second place in the World Youth Championship in 1985.” Arnold also noted that Bellamy Liu tied for third place back in 1995, and that several contestants besides Calvin Sun had also placed fourth in the past.  “Keith, repository of go lore, is correct in all things,” responded Janice Kim 3p when asked for comment, “I myself wasn’t sure if he had the year right, so I had to go look at the trophy. The year before (’84) I came in 9th, interestingly, my recollection is that Lee Chang-ho 9 dan came in 3rd, and Ryu Shi-hoon 9 dan came in 4th (he was a Korean insei who went to Japan and even won a title there). Kim Young-hwan (not sure what dan he is now) won. The next year when I came in second, Kong Byung-ju (again, not sure what dan he is now) won. The Korean insei system got started around 1980-81, and that first cohort was a POWERHOUSE, headed by Yoo Chang-hyuk 9 dan, the oldest of us. I think I was riding the wave of that team, and see sometime soon something similar for young US go players. I should note that I was studying in Korea, but representing the US, and in those early days the insei system in Korea wasn’t really formalized.”

“To be an insei (or ‘wonsaeng’ in Korean) back then you just kind of had to show up and ‘represent yourself,’ as one might say,” Kim continues. “When Kong Byung-ju came to Seoul, one of the older pros had him take 2 stones against Yu Chang-hyuk, who had already been granted professional 1 dan status for coming in 2nd in the World Amateur Championships a bit earlier. I think Yu was 18, making him one of the oldest of us, he was pretty strong already, in just a couple of years he was challenging Cho Hoon-hyun 9 dan in title matches. That strong younger generation coming in with the lower dan ranks, was one of the reasons why Korean low-dans were globally feared back then.”

“I remember distinctly when Yu was playing this 2-stone evaluation game with Kong, they went to just the early middle game, and then Yu Chang-hyuk said “Andennundayo,” basically, it’s not happening, I can’t give him two stones. That was enough to put Kong Byung-ju at wonsaeng 3 kyu or ‘gup’, in A League. The games that A Leaguers or lower-dan pros played in the wonsaeng study room were fascinating to watch, they were all even, and I remember once a huge, complex capturing race with big eyes, where one side had over 20 liberties, the other, one less, although I wasn’t able to see that before the resignation came. I could not believe my own eyes that a player short a liberty so far down a twisting path would resign at that point, certain of defeat. It’s informed my go sensibilities to this day what it means to be truly strong, although many people would look only at the loss.”

“When Kong and I played in the final at the World Youth, I think I believed I could win, but maybe subconsciously didn’t, I used to watch everyone’s games and wonder inside if I could possibly be playing at that level. Afterwards we went to the top of the hotel we were staying at in Taipei, and tried to drink the beer they had given us at the banquet out of our trophies. I have never cared for beer though, even under such circumstances, so we ended up just singing instead.”

-Paul Barchilon, EJ Youth Editor

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The Power Report (3): Takao to have another crack at Meijin title; Fujisawa to challenge for Women’s Honinbo; Kono has sole lead in Kisei S League; 900 wins for Hane; Promotions & Obituaries

Sun, 21/08/2016 - 02:57

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal

Takao to have another crack at Meijin title: All the games in the final round of the 41st Meijin League were held on August 4. At this stage, three players were still in the running to become the challenger. With only one loss so far, Takao Shinji 9P (right) was one point ahead of Cho U 9P and Murakawa Daisuke 8P, who were both on 5-2. Besides winning his own game, Cho needed Takao to lose for him to make a play-off. Conditions were tougher for Murakawa, however. Only the two higher-ranked players qualify for a play-off in the Meijin League. That meant that Murakawa needed both Takao and Cho to lose, in which case he would meet Takao in a play-off. Go Weekly claimed that the odds of this happening were only one in 16. Takao made these calculations irrelevant by winning his game; this avoided a playoff in the league for the first time in six years. We have just seen Yamashita make three challenges in a row in the Kisei title; Takao is following in his footsteps with his second successive challenge in the Meijin title, not to mention his recently concluded Honinbo challenge. He will be hoping to do better than last year, when he failed to win a game. Apart from Murakawa, Iyama’s main opposition is still coming from older players.
Recent results:
(July 7) Cho U 9P (B) beat Murakawa Daisuke 8P by 2.5 points; Kono Rin 9P (B) beat Hirata Tomoya 7P by resig.
(July 21) Takao Shinji (W) beat Uchida Shuhei 7P by resig.
(Final round, August 4)Takao (B) beat Ko Iso 8P by resig. ; Yamashita (B) beat Cho U by resig.; Murakawa (B) beat Kono Rin 9P by resig.; Hirata Tomoya 7P (W) beat Hane Naoki 9P by resig.
The order after Takao is: 2. Murakawa (6-2); 3. Yamashita (5-3); 4. Cho (5-3); 5. Kono (4-4); 6. Ko (4-4). Hane (3-3), Hirata (2-6), and Uchida Shuhei 7P (0-8, bye in last round) lost their places (that had already been decided before the last round). The first game will be played at the Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo on August 30 and 31.

Fujisawa to challenge for Women’s Honinbo: After a good start to her career the year before last, in which she won two titles, Fujisawa Rina (right) had a “waiting” year last year. Things have now changed, however. In the play-off to decide the challenger to Xie Yimin for the 35th Women’s Honinbo title, held at the Ichigaya headquarters of the Nihon Ki-in o
n August 8, Fujisawa (W) beat Suzuki Ayumi 7P by resig. after 150 moves. The title match will start on September 13. Rina turns 18 on September 18.

Kono has sole lead in Kisei S League: After three rounds, Kono Rin 9P is the only undefeated player in the 41st Kisei S League. In his third-round game, Kono defeated the joint leader after two rounds, Murakawa Daisuke 8P. Level with Murakawa in second place is Ichiriki Ryo 7P. This is a small league, with only five rounds, so Kono is well positioned.
In the eight-player A League, So Yokoku 9P has the sole lead with five straight wins. Closest to him is Cho U 9P on 4-1, the other players have suffered two or more losses, So and Cho will meet in the final round. In the seven-round B1 League, Kyo Kagen 4P has the sole lead with 6-0, followed by Cho Chikun 9P on 5-0. In the B2 League, Ko Iso 8P has the sole lead on 5-1, followed by Yuki Satoshi 9P and Yo Seiki 7P on 4-2.
Recent results:
(July 7) Yamashita Keigo (W) beat Yoda Norimoto 9P by 1.5 points.
(July 14) Ichiriki (B) beat Takao Shinji by resig.
(July 21) Kono (W) beat Murakawa by resig.
(August 11) Yamashita Keigo 9P (B) beat Takao Shinji 9P by resig.; Murakawa Daisuke 8P (B) beat Yoda Norimoto 9P by resig. (Apologies for the game out of order in my previous report.)

900 wins for Hane: Hane Naoki (right) has reached the landmark of 900 wins. At 39 years 11 months, he is the fourth youngest to do so. It took him 25 years three months, which is the third quickest. His winning percentage at this point of 66.6 is the 12th best.

Promotions
To 6-dan: Kobayashi Chizu (90 wins; as of August 5)
To 4-dan: Kyo Kagen (50 wins; as of July 8); Adachi Toshimasa (50 wins; as of July 22)
To 3-dan: Seki Tatsuya (40 wins; as of July 15)

Obituaries: Ito Makoto, Ueki Yoshio
Ito Makoto was born on August 4, 1945 in Shiga Prefecture. He became a disciple of Kitani Minoru and made 1-dan in 1964. He reached 8-dan in 1989 and was promoted to 9-dan when he retired in 2005.
Ueki Yoshio, a member of the Osaka branch of the Nihon Ki-in, died of cirrhosis of the liver on August 10. Born in Osaka on February 25, 1969, he became a disciple of Yamashita Yorimoto 7P. He qualified as 1-dan in 1985 and reached 8
-dan in 2001.

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Artist Paints Go Tribute on Plate

Thu, 18/08/2016 - 23:29

China painter Marlene Shankar, of Adirondack NY, sent the EJ this picture of her latest piece. “The design was a snippet from a painting done by Hua Sanchuan,” says Shankar,  “my painting teacher Audrey McCullough went to China and in her travels she got this book filled with paintings by Hua. Years later I was looking through the book and was amazed to find the picture of the ladies playing go. I decided to put this piece on a plate not only to challenge myself with the level of detail but also because I’ve found it hard to stumble across a go related piece to call my own.”

“China painting requires special dry paints that the artist mixes with oils that can be painted on  porcelain. This paint doesn’t dry and works like oil paints, however the color has to be built up with each firing of the porcelain. When the porcelain is fired the paint bakes into the glaze. After each firing you can determine if another layer of painting is necessary to build up the desired color and texture. The paint build up is similar to that of watercolor, coming on light and waiting to build depth.”  Shankar is part of the Adirondack Region Porcelain Artist Chapter, affiliated with the  World Organization of China Painters.  To see an enlargement of  Hua Sanchuan’s original piece, click on the thumbnail above. -Paul Barchilon

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The Power Report (2): Ishida wins 13×13 tournament; Ida wins Samsung seat; Iyama defends Gosei, maintains grand slam

Thu, 18/08/2016 - 23:12

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal

Ishida wins 13×13 tournament: The final of the 1st 13×13 Pro-Amateur Tournament was held at the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo on July 23. Ishida Yoshio (also known as 24th Honinbo Shuho, left) (B) beat Kono Rin 9P by resig. This is the second 13×13 tournament based on crowd funding on the Net. Ishida also won its predecessor, held two years ago. He commented: “It would be nice if all professional tournaments were 13×13.” Amateurs and a software program also competed in the preliminary tournament (competing for two seats out of the 16 in the main tournament). The first prize is 600,000 yen. The minimum donation for people wishing to help fund the tournament is 3,000 yen. If you make a donation, you also get to vote in choosing the professional participants.

Ida wins Samsung seat: The international qualifying tournament for the 21st Samsung Cup, which is a major international tournament in its own right, was held in Seoul from July 15 to 20. Twenty-one Japanese players participated in the three divisions, that is, general, senior, and women’s. Usually you need to win four or five games in a row to earn a seat in the main tournament. Four Japanese players reached the final, but only Ida Atsushi 8P won one of the coveted seats in the main tournament. The other player besides Ida to reach the final in the general division was Shibano Toramaru. It’s worth remembering his name. Though only 16, he is attracting attention in Japan as a potential future champion; he is an aggressive player but with a highly individualistic style. O Meien commented in a TV commentary that he can’t predict what Shibano will play next, but “if he plays it, that’s good enough for me.” (Remember you read his name here first.)

Iyama defends Gosei, maintains grand slam: The second game in the 41st Gosei title match was held at the Hokkoku (North Country) Newspaper Hall in Kanazawa City, Ishikawa Prefecture on June 18. Taking white, Iyama (left) completely outplayed the challenger, Murakawa Daisuke 8P, in the middle game and forced a resignation after 150 moves. A little unusually for him, Iyama set up a large moyo. One of his groups came under attack, but he settled it in sente and was able to add a key capping move to his moyo. Murakawa had to invade, but his group was kept down to one eye by Iyama. The third game was held at the Kansai Headquarters of the Nihon Ki-in in Osaka on July 28. The course of this game was quite different from the previous one. Just about all title-match games are played aggressively, but even so this game stood out for its fierceness, being one ceaseless fight from beginning to end. Playing white, Murakawa matched Iyama blow for blow and took the lead. At one point, Iyama was even wondering if he should resign. However, Murakawa missed a number of good ways to simplify the game in his favor. After creating complications, Iyama took the lead in the midst of some hectic fighting. After 269 moves, Murakawa resigned, so Iyama (Black) defended his title with straight wins. This was his fifth successive Gosei title, so he has qualified for his second honorary title. Iyama’s comment: “You rarely get a chance like this [for an honorary title], so I thought I would go all out. I’m happy, but, considering my ability, this is too much. I want to get stronger so I can play games I’m not ashamed of.” Murakawa is considered one of the foremost players in the “post-Iyama group,” but his record against Iyama is now 3-13. Among the established players, there is no one who appears to be a likely threat to his septuple crown. That’s not to say that he is invincible in Japan: he was eliminated from the Agon Kiriyama Cup, a tournament in which he usually does well, by Hane Naoki in the round of 16 on July 21.
Tomorrow: Takao to have another crack at Meijin title; Fujisawa to challenge for Women’s Honinbo; Kono has sole lead in Kisei S League; 900 wins for Hane; Promotions & Obituaries

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The Power Report (1): Iyama honored by Prime Minister; Kobayashi Koichi wins Master’s Cup; Xie secures quintuple crown

Thu, 18/08/2016 - 01:16

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal

Iyama honored by Prime Minister: On June 16, Iyama Yuta was given a certificate of commendation by the Prime Minister of Japan, Abe Shinzo, in recognition of his feat in achieving the first grand slam in go. He received the certificate in a ceremony at the Prime Minister’s residence. He is the first go player to be so honored.

Kobayashi Koichi wins Master’s Cup: The final of the 6th Igo Fumakira (= fume killer, the name of the main sponsor, an insecticide manufacturer) Master’s Cup was held in the Ryusei TV Studio in the basement of the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo on July 9. Playing white, Kobayashi Koichi, Honorary Kisei, defeated Awaji Shuzo 9P by resig. after 174 moves, winning this title for the first time. This took his tally of titles to 60 (third after Cho Chikun and Sakata Eio).

Xie secures quintuple crown: Xie Yimin (also written Hsieh I-min) has become the first woman player in Japan to hold five titles simultaneously. You don’t have to check the records to confirm this; until quite recently there were only three women titles. Two years ago, a fourth was added with the founding of the Aizu Central Hospital Cup, which Xie finally won in its third term this year, giving her four titles. This year another new title was founded: the Senko Cup Women’s Igo Strongest Player tournament. The final was held at the Geihinan Akekure (which perhaps translates as “Guest House Dawn and Dusk”) in the city of Oe in Shiga Prefecture on July 17. Taking white, Xie beat Mukai Chiaki 5P by 2.5 points to win the inaugural tournament. This is Xie’s 25th title. First prize is eight million yen, the top for a women’s tournament. (Just for reference, the prize money for the others is: Aizu Central Hospital Cup, 7,000,000; Women’s Honinbo, 5,800,000; Women’s Meijin and Women’s Kisei, both 5,000,000. Winning all five titles is worth 30,800,000.)

Kanren and Gen’an Inseki inducted into Hall of Fame: At a meeting of the Go Hall of Fame Induction Committee on July 19, it was decided to add two famous figures from go history to the Hall of Fame. Kanren is a priest from the Heian period who is known to history as the author of a work on go called The Go Rites (Goshiki), which he presented to the emperor of the time (her served Emperor Uda, reigned 887 to 897, and Emperor Daigo, reigned 897 to 930). The book has not survived, but is surmised to have dealt with the rules of go and go etiquette. Kanren was apparently very fond of go and was known as a go saint. The second inductee was Gen’an (or Gennan) Inseki (1798-1859), the 11th head of the Inoue house, who was a leading rival of the Honinbo house, especially Honinbo Jowa, in the 1830s and 1840s. He was one of the central figures of the go world in its most prosperous age in the Edo period. His ambition to become Meijin was frustrated by the Honinbos, but he remains one of the most colorful figures of go history.
Tomorrow: Kanren and Gen’an Inseki inducted into Hall of Fame; Ida wins Samsung seat; Ishida wins 13×13 tournament

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Ye Breaks Through in WYGC

Sat, 13/08/2016 - 22:12

Aaron Ye 7d has finally broken the glass ceiling at the World Youth Goe Championships (WYGC) by becoming the first American player to place in the top three at the event.   Now in its 33rd year, the event has been run by the Ing Foundation for decades, and invites strong youth from all over the world to compete. Ye first attended the event in 2011, competing in the Jr. Division when he was just nine years old, and placing fourth overall.  Calvin Sun, now 1P, also competed in the event for years as a child, and had also placed fourth when he was 13 (on his sixth attempt).  China, Korea, Japan and Taiwan have shut everyone else out until this year, when Ye’s determination and effort finally paid off.  Now 14, Ye has been at the top of the US youth go scene for years, winning the Redmond Cup several times, and putting up a strong fight in the AGA pro certification leagues, as well as dominating other youth events and leading in many AGA tournaments.

The WYGC was held August 4th-7th in Tokyo this year, at the Nihon Kiin.  Ye reached the semi-finals by edging out Takei Taishen 7D of Japan by a hairs-breadth 3rd tier tie breaker (SOSODOS). After losing to the tournament’s champion Jiang Qirun 2P of China, Ye went on to take 3rd place by defeating Ahn Dongjun  5D of Korea. The USA junior player, nine-year-old Matthew Cheng 2d faced a tough choice this year, as he also won the Redmond Cup qualifiers and could have had a free trip to the US Go Congress to compete at the finals. Unfortunately, the WYGC and the Congress were both held the same week this year, so Cheng had to choose one over the other. Cheng did well at the WYGC though, “placing 7th in an outstanding performance by a player who learned go from a you-tube video a scant three years ago,” said Team Leader Mike Bull. Cheng also managed to draw matches with three of the four strongest players in his division in his first three games of the tournament. -Paul Barchilon, EJ Youth Editor, with Mike Bull. Photo by Abby Zhang: Ahn Dongjun 5d (l) vs. Aaron Ye 7d (r).

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Iberoamerican Go Championship Extends Invitation to Players Worldwide

Sat, 13/08/2016 - 14:04
The Venezuelan Go Association, in collaboration with the Embassy of Japan, will host the 18th Iberoamerican Go Championship October 7-9 at the 5-star Pestana Caracas Premium City and Conference Hotel in Caracas, Venezuela. “We would very much like to have a lot of participants from every country,” says Loli Puerta of the Asociacion Venezolana de Go. The 7-round Swiss-paired tournament will be played using WAGC rules, with players playing even games with 6.5 komi. Trophies will be awarded to the top three players. Games will be played on all three days of the tournament, with a city tour following the closing ceremony on Sunday. Lunch will be provided on each day. To register, contact the Organizing Committee by October 4th with your name, rank, country, and age. Include photo identification. The registration fee is $30. Transportation to and from the airport will be provided. Any questions about the event may also be directed to the Organizing Committee in either English or Spanish.

- edited by Brian Kirby

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US Players Invited to Malaysia Int’l Amateur Go Championship

Sat, 13/08/2016 - 13:58

The “Ipoh Wei Qi Enterprise” has formally extended an invitation to AGA players, and to amateurs worldwide, to sign up for the Malaysia International Amateur Go Championship, or MIAGC. The championship will consist of three sessions, including two online selection sessions, denoted Preliminary and Semi-Final by the organizers, and a final session March 11-16, 2017 at the Syeun Hotel, in Ipoh, the capital city of Perak, Malaysia. Early Bird registration offers a discount of 20 Malaysian Ringgits, bringing the price from 180 to 160, roughly $40 USD. If more than five people register together, there is a 20% discount. The preliminary rounds will be held on OGS throughout October, and the semi-finals online November 16 through December 15. Those who win 5 of 10 matches in October’s preliminary will qualify for the semi-final, and players winning 6 of 10 matches in the semi-final will secure a place in the final until all the places are taken. Unique to this tournament is the ability to buy back in, should one lose early. The prize for the champion will be 50,000 RM minimum, or roughly $12,500 USD, and depending on registration totals may be raised. Click here for tournament information and registration.
- edited by Noah Doss

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Ye and Ho Named AGHS Presidents; Officer Applications Now Open

Fri, 12/08/2016 - 20:06

April Ye and Brandon Ho have been named the new American Go Honor Society (AGHS) presidents for the upcoming 2016-2017 year. The AGHS is a youth organization that runs K-12 tournaments such as the competitive Young Lions Tournament and the School Team Tournament every year. Are you a high school student that wants to promote go? Apply now to be an AGHS officer for the 2016-2017 year. Fill out the application here 2016AGHSOfficerApp (3) and email it to aghspresident@gmail.com. Applications are due by September 19 and officers will be selected by September 26. - Yunxuan Li, AGHS President. Photos: April Ye at left, Brandon Ho at right.

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US Go Congress: “AlphaGo Insider” Posted; Go Talk with AlphaGo’s Lucas; Landman’s Slides; Thankful Senior; The First 21st Century Go Congress? Keith Arnold Makes His Case

Fri, 12/08/2016 - 02:48

More cool stuff from — and thoughts about — last week’s US Go Congress…

“AlphaGo Insider” Posted: Video of the 2016 USGC Computer Go special session on August 4, 2016, presented by Google DeepMind’s Aja Huang 7d and European Champion Fan Hui 2p. Also just posted: “The Number of Possible Go Positions”, presented by John Tromp.

Go Talk with AlphaGo’s Lucas Baker: In his latest Go Talk, Kevin Hwang talks about Alpha Go with Lucas Baker, a member of the Deepmind team; click here for the video.

Landman’s Slides: “Several people wanted the slides to my Go Congress talk,” writes Howard A. Landman. Click here to download them.

Thankful Senior: “Thank you for the Seniors Tournament this year,” writes Eric Osman. “Between that and the US open I was able to have two rated games a day without running around chasing people for a game. Having one tournament game in the morning and one in the afternoon each day was perfect.”

The First 21st Century Go Congress? Keith Arnold Makes His Case
As director of the 2001 Go Congress, I am proud of my effort. Looking back, however, I must admit that I ushered in the new century with a very competent version of what had come before. In the years that have followed, few changes have occurred – a wonderful women’s tournament and the internet broadcast of games being the notable ones that come to mind. But it is fair to say the average attendee transported from a Go Congress ten or even twenty years ago would easily have found his way around its successors through the Twin Cities last year.

Boston was undeniably different. A significant transfiguration of the Self-Paired tournament, a second year of expected rather than novel substantial video coverage, a Senior Tournament, no 13 by 13, live website updates of scheduling, an insane team relay game, blindfold go exhibitions, event stamps and advanced info on the topics of pro lectures made for a very different event. And those are just the changes I can think of off the top of my head. These new visions and the wonderful forward-thinking presence of the AlphaGo team lead me to dub Boston the first 21st Century Go Congress.

I do not mean to suggest that I loved every change, or that every change should become permanent. But what I am saying is that the Boston team breathed fresh energy into a gathering that may have been suffering from a form of nostalgic inertia. No doubt critics of some of these changes will say that a big problem with the event was so many of the key organizers had never been to a Congress before. I would argue that the best thing about this year’s Congress was that so many of the key organizers had never been to a Congress before. The new ideas and energy were palpable, and the result was extremely successful. Boston was demonstrably a breakthrough, with the first big jump in attendance we have had in years.

Metaphor stretcher that I am, Boston may have thrown a lot of old Congress tea overboard, and some of it might still be good tea, but I hope it also breathes new freedom into the event, and more freedom for future organizers.
- Keith Arnold, HKA; photos by Chris Garlock

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2016 US Go Congress E-Journal Team Credits

Fri, 12/08/2016 - 02:00

Just as this year’s US Go Congress set new records for attendance, the E-Journal provided a record amount of coverage of this major annual event. Karoline Li and Samantha Fede joined our reporting team — which included Paul Barchilon and Justin Teng covering youth events — to publish a whopping 37 reports, including daily tournament updates, “Why We Play” interviews and the new “Behind the Scenes at the US Go Congress” series. Steve Colburn, Todd Heidenreich and Dennis Wheeler once again anchored our amazing game recording team, which recorded and broadcast over 50 top-board game records. Special thanks to Andrew Jackson, Daniel Chou, Andrew Lu, Justin Teng and Louie Liu, who joined Richard Dolen on the morning recording team. Stephen Hu coordinated our streaming coverage on YouTube of not only the top-board games in the US Masters but events like the Redmond Cup, Blindfold Go and Pair Go events. Altogether, the EJ Congress team — including the wonderful pros who were so generous with their time and insights — was far bigger — nearly 50 volunteers all told — and better than ever and I hope you’ll join me in thanking them for their dedication, commitment and yes, sacrifice of time and energy to bring this amazing event to a global audience. See you next year in San Diego!
Chris Garlock; Managing Editor

2016 EJ Congress Team
Todd Heidenreich: Assistant Manager; Steve Colburn: Tech/IT Manager; Dennis Wheeler: Room Manager/Relief; Paul Barchilon: Youth Editor; I-Han Lui & Chun Sun: Pro Coordinators; Karoline Li: Tournament Liaison; Stephen Hu; Tim Holman; Krishna Artem-Mickens: Video streaming team; Phil Straus & Chris Garlock: photos; Samantha Fede: General Assignment Reporter; Akane Negishi: KGS; Matthew Hershberger, US Open/Open Masters TD; Chris Garlock, EJ Managing Editor

Game Recorders: Morning: Andrew Jackson*, Richard Dolen*, Daniel Chou*, Andrew Lu*, Justin Teng*, Louie Liu*
Evening: Solomon Smilack**, David Weimer, Bart Jacob, George Schmitten, Yong Peng, Austin Harvey, Peter Gousios, Mike Scudder (* morning recording team; ** special thanks to Sol for handling the Friday Night Broadcast).
Video Commentary Hosting: Stephen Hu, Andrew Jackson, Solomon Smilack, Daniel Chou, Justin Teng, Louie Liu, Matthew Harwitt, Karoline Li

Professionals: Feng Yun 9P, Liao Guiyong 9P, Mingjiu Jiang 7P, Yilun Yang 7P, Maeda Ryo 6P, Hajin Lee 4P, Jennie Shen 2P, Hsiao Ailin 2P, Cathy Li 1P, Stephanie Yin 1P
photo by James Pinkerton

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Myungwan Kim to Broadcast on Ing Pro Finals

Tue, 09/08/2016 - 21:20

Tonight (Aug. 9) and Thursday (Aug. 11), Myungwan Kim 9p will provide live commentary on the finals of the 8th Ing Pro Cup between Park Junghwan 9p and Tang Weixing 9p. The broadcasts will start each evening at 11 p.m. on the East Coast, 8 p.m. Pacific, on the AGA’s YouTube channel. Broadcasting with Myungwan will be our newest host, badatbaduk, a Twitch broadcaster and AGA 4d. Please tune in!

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Yun Bao Wins U.S. Open Masters Tournament; Gaoyuan Zhang Wins U.S. Open

Sun, 07/08/2016 - 18:48

Yun Bao 7d defeated Zhongfan Jian on Saturday morning to complete his flawless 9-0 sweep of this year’s US Open Masters. In fact, Bao’s only loss this week was in his unrated blindfold match against Eric Lui on Monday (right); Bao had won his Masters game against Lui the previous night. Hanchen Zhang 1P was second and Andy Liu 1P third in the US Masters. 44 players participated.

Gaoyuan Zhang 6D, also undefeated, won the 2016 US Open, topping a record field of 498; Zefan Wen 6D was second and David Lu 6D third. See below for US Open division winners, listed 1st to 3rd for each division.
Matthew Hershberger directed both tournaments.

US Open Results
6-Dan: Gaoyuan Zhang 6D (6 wins); Zefan Wen 6D; David Lu 6D
5-Dan: Sai Sun 5D (6 wins); Michelle Zhang 5D; Forest Song 5D
4-Dan: Minh Vo 4D; Yong Chen 4D; Ruoshi Sun 4D
3-Dan: Soren Jaffe 3D (6 wins); Dominique Cornuejols 3D; Meng Cai 3D
2-Dan: Lee Huynh 2D; Daniel Puzan 2D; Michael Fellner 2D
1-Dan: Jochen Tappe 1D (6 wins); Ken Koester, Jr 1D; Terry Luo 1D
1-Kyu: David Frankel 1K (6 wins); Shawn Ligocki 1K; Bill Phillips 1K
2-Kyu: Lei Xu 2K; Michael Scudder 2K; Jeff Pratt 2K
3-Kyu: François van Walleghem 3K; Bart Jacob 3K; Darrell Speck 3K
4-Kyu: Chi Wong 4K; Mishal Awadah 4K; William Maier 4K
5-Kyu: Theodore Terpstra 5K; Phil Tracy 5K; Robert Ehrlich 5K
6-Kyu: Gurujeet Khalsa 6K; Robert Gilman 6K; Weiqiu You 6K
7-Kyu: Joel Olson 7K; Johnathan Gohde 7K; Tevis Tsai 7K
8-Kyu: Dave Whipp 8K (6 wins); Wen Lepore 8K; Joseph Chaves 8K
9-Kyu: Adam Isom 9K (6 wins); Wendel Silva 9K; Liya Luk 9K
DDK A: Jiamu Si 12K (6 wins); Dan Maas 10K; Jung Lee 10K
DDK B: Alexandra Patz 13K; Lawrence Gross 13K; Michael Williams 13K
DDK C: Lawrence Pierce 24K; Antonina Perez-Lopez 20K; Maya Boerner 20K
photos by Chris Garlock

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Chiu Defeats Yen to Clinch Redmond Cup Senior Title

Sun, 07/08/2016 - 17:22

Jeremy Chiu 6d  won the final game in the Redmond Cup at the US Go Congress Thursday, taking the Senior Division title from defending champion, 16-year old Albert Yen 7d, with a final score of 2-1. Chiu and Yen had developed quite a rivalry over the course of this Congress, meeting not only in the Redmond Cup Finals, but also in the Die Hard Tournament and the Youth Team Tournament, where Albert was victorious. However, Chiu was determined to take his first Redmond Cup Title after the series was tied up by Yen on Tuesday. Taking black in the 3rd game, Chiu was able to parry against Yen’s attacks while building a gigantic moyo. While Yen was able to create a group inside the moyo, Chiu was able to create enough territory while attacking it to emerge victorious. All of the games were broadcast on KGS while former champions Gansheng Shi 1p and Hugh Zhang 7d provided commentary on the AGA’s Youtube Channel, which can be found here. Chiu and Yen will take home $300 and $200 in prize money respectively as well as trophies, and also earned free trips to the US Go Congress by becoming finalists through an online preliminary tournament. Information about next year’s Redmond Cup will be released in early 2017; eligibility requirements can be found here. -EJ Special Report by Justin Teng, photo: Albert Yen 7d (l) vs Jermy Chiu (r).

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Kim Youngsam Cleans Up as European Go Congress Wraps Up

Sun, 07/08/2016 - 17:00

Another two-week long European Go Congress has flown by quickly. Between hard go battles on the boards, participants at the historic 60th Congress could enjoy football, volleyball, basketball and table tennis matches, creative workshops, board games, exhibitions and more. Players and guests were especially amazed by the photo screen for instant photo printing provided by the Videofabrika company, enabling anyone to instantly print or email photos of themselves playing go or posing with props, or photos of pro guests who would then autograph the photos. Overall 984 people from 36 countries, including 27 accredited journalists, organizers and volunteers, took part in EGC 2016. 689 players competed in the Main and Weekend tournaments. Several EGC records were set, including the largest number of players in the Rapid Tournament (306) and Youth tournament (42).

The EGC’s Closing Ceremony featured live music, dance performances and a reception. RGF vice-president Vladimir Gorzhaltsan, together with Turkey’s Kerem Karaerkek, representing the EGC 2017 organizing team, started the countdown watch showing the time left till the start of the next Congress.

The main focus, however, was on the tournament winners. The winner of the main Congress tournament was unexpected. Before the last round the bets were on the recent European champion Ilya Shikshin and Chan Yi-Tien, the World Amateur Champion who also won the EGC Rapid tournament but both of them lost in the final round, so fortune turned her eye to Korean 7d Kim Youngsam (left), who had already won in several EGC events here including the Pair Go tournament with Manja Marz, the Weekend tournament, and the Lightning tournament. All the results can be found here.
- Daria Koshkina, special correspondent to the E-Journal at the European Go Congress

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Board/Bowl Auction Raises $2,200 for AGF

Sun, 07/08/2016 - 02:14

The annual auction benefiting the American Go Foundation got a boost this year when go bowls signed by AlphaGo programmer Aja Huang and Fan Hui 2P were added to the auction, conducted at the closing banquet at the US Go Congress on Saturday, August 6. Brady Daniels’ $500 bid won him the bowls, while John Tromp’s $1,700 bid enabled him to take home the board signed by all the professional go players attending this year’s Go Congress. The American Go Foundation is dedicated to promoting go in the U.S. With its support, thousands of American children have learned go in hundreds of schools, libraries and community centers across the country. The AGF also provides scholarships and resources for youth who play go, and supports go in institutional settings such as prisons, and senior centers.
photo: Tromp and Daniels with AGA president Andy Okun (far left); photo by Steve Colburn

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Behind the Scenes at the US Go Congress: Lisa Scott

Sat, 06/08/2016 - 21:57

Newly-elected AGA board member Lisa Scott is definitely not new to the AGA scene. She served as a Central Region board member from 2010 to 2013, and has just been appointed US Go Congress Coordinator for the AGA. Scott learned to play go on KGS during her first year of college, and found out about the Go Congress in 2006, when she asked around about why most go players seemed to drop offline during the first week of August. Scott has directed the Women’s Tournament at the Go Congress every year since the Lancaster, PA in 2007, her first Go Congress. The first year, 23 women played in the tournament. Participation has been lower some years, but at the 2015 Go Congress in St. Paul 40 women played, and this year that number grew to 46. “With around 90 rated women registered for the Go Congress this year, including pros,” Scott says with a smile. “That means over 50% of them are playing in the Women’s Tournament!” Scott’s biggest goal of the tournament is to build community and give women a chance to meet other female players outside their own clubs. With the number of female registrants and Women’s Tournament players rising each year, more players are getting the chance to meet and play against new people. “I like finding people good games to play.”
report/photo by Karoline Li, Congress Tournament Liaison

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2016 US Go Congress Credits

Sat, 06/08/2016 - 18:00

Although just one name goes on the annual Congress Director plaque, there are literally dozens of volunteers who work for months to ensure a fun-filled week of go for the hundreds of go players who attend the largest event on the U.S. go calendar. To those volunteers we say Thank You for a job well-done!
- Walther Chen, Director, 2016 US Go Congress 

Our core Congress team went far above and beyond: Jason McGibbon, Chun Sun, Yuan Cao, Matthew Hershberger, Becci Torrey, Stephen Hu, James Carrier, Neil Ritter, Dan Ritter, Andrew Hall, Li Chen, James Peters, Tim Holman, Brian Lee, I-Han Lui, Milan Mladenovic.

The core team would like to give a special thanks to the following people, who made the Boston 2016 US Go Congress possible by helping plan and prepare ahead of time, by working all day on registration day, by staying late to set up boards, by helping run events, and so much more. These people are all extended members of our core team: Srividya Kalyanaraman, Krishna Artis-Mickens, Greg Kulevich, Cat Thu Nguyen Huu, John Kane, Chris Kirshner, Ted Terpstra, Alice Peng, William Wright, Dan Steinbrook, Audrey Wang, Joe Chaves, William Luff.

We would like to thank the following people for volunteering to help prepare and run the Boston 2016 US Go Congress: Wei Shi, Shurun Fan, Keith Arnold, William Wright, Graham Higgins, Helen Higgins, David Hampton, Shawn Ligocki, Wen Zheng, Mark Huang, Eva Casey, Wanda Metcalf, Cat Huu, David Spitz, Mark Nahabedian, Gabriello Adler-Abramo, Alice (Siyu Peng), John Fuhrer, James Putnam, Rob Campbell, Thao Tran, Julia Grunewald, Michael Williams, Eric Reid, Danni Chen, Alan Yin, Spence Konde, Briana Sextonstalone, John Piermarini, Henry Galperin, Brianna Sextone-Stallone, Spence Kande, and many others!

Thanks also to the translators: Moon Ki Cho, Yumin Guo, Tracy Zhao, Yekan Ji, Xinying Jiang, Seon Kinrot, Brian Kirby, Chenchen Luo, Wei Tang, Tony Cha, Richard Dolen, Joshua Guarino

Special thanks
Community: David Kahn, the Massachusetts Go Association, and the Boston Go Community; all the friends and family who don’t play go but helped anyways
For Amateur Team Relay Go: Neil Ritter, Dan Ritter, Chun Sun, Andrew Hall, Becci Torrey, James Peters, John Kane, Tim Holman, Dave Felcan, Yuan Cao, Shawn Ligocki, Dan Steinbrook, Andrew Jackson, Nick Sibicky, Brian Lee, Tim Holman, Steven Xhu. And finally, a special thanks to the professional players who volunteered to be team captains and do commentary: Jenny Shen, Mingjiu Jiang, Yilun Yang, Feng Yun, Willian Shi, Andy Liu, Eric Lui, Calvin Sun, and Ryan Li

photo by James Pinkerton

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Go Congress Updates: Bao Yun Clinches ’16 US Open Masters; Broadcast Schedule & Tourney Reports

Sat, 06/08/2016 - 04:30

Bao Yun Clinches ’16 US Open Masters; Battle Underway for Runner-Up: There’s still one more round to play in the 2016 US Open Masters but the name of this year’s winner can already be inscribed: Bao Yun 7D. Bao defeated Song Zirui 1P Friday night by 3.5 points to build an unassailable 8-0 lead and clinch the 2016 title. The action now moves to the battle for second place. Zhang Hanchen will have to beat Ito Kenryo to take second place; if Ito wins, tiebreaks will determine the winner. In other Round 8 action, Andy Liu let certain victory against Zhang Hanchen slip away when he neglected to secure the life of a group in the endgame on Board 2 (click here for an sgf of the commentary by Feng Yun 9P and Yilun Yang 7P); Ito Kenryo 1P beat Ryan Li by half a point on Board 3, Eric Lui 1P defeated Sun Shuo 7d by 4.5 points on Board 4, Jian Zhongfan 7d beat Zhang Siyuan 7d by a half-point on 5 and Zhaonian Chen 7d won by 8.5 points over Albert Yen 7d on Board 6. Click here for the 2016 Masters Division crossgrid, with results and top-board game records. Click here for the US Open crosstab, updated through Round 5. 

Broadcast Schedule
10a: US Open Masters Round 9 (final): Live pro commentary on the AGA YouTube Channel.
10:30a: US Open Masters Round 9: Live pro commentary on KGS.
PLUS: Check all the pro game commentaries from the week here.

US Go Congress Tournaments Schedule: Saturday 8/6
9:00a: US Open, round 6; US Open Masters, round 9

Diehard
Exactly 100 players ranging from the low 27 kyu to 7d decided they did not need a day off on Wednesday 8/3 — “because rest is for babies” — and gathered in the main playing room for the annual Diehard Tournament. Both Ted Lin 3k and Alexander Foti 4k were undefeated with four wins.

Pair Go
Click here for a Facebook album of all this year’s pairs, and read here for the tournament story and results to find out who will be representing North America in the International Pair Go Championships in Japan!

Senior Cup
Visit live.gocongress.org for final tournament crosstabs. Chunlin Xu 7k won all four games to be the only undefeated player in the tournament.

Women’s Tournament
Visit live.gocongress.org for final tournament crosstabs.

Lightning Tournament
Players are on their own to find and complete their playoff games, and both the dan and kyu section playoffs have not yet reached the semi-final round. With just one more day left of play, will they complete before the end of the Go Congress? Will we be left without lightning champions? Stay tuned to find out!

report by Karoline Li, Congress Tournament Liaison; photos by Chris Garlock

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Gabriella Su 6d & Jeremy Chiu 7d Top 2016 North American Pair Go Championship

Sat, 06/08/2016 - 04:15

The 2016 North American Pair Go Championship attracted 120 players, including seven professionals, on Thursday night.  The overall champions this year are Gabriella Su 6d and Jeremy Chiu 7d (right), who will represent North America in the International Amateur Pair Go Championship in Tokyo in December. Always one of the most popular events of the week, Pair Go provides everyone an opportunity to play in a fun unrated tournament. Pair Go promotes the formation of partnerships which combine the diverse skills and personalities of each player. Since everyone can play, Pair Go is especially attractive for those who don’t play in the rest of the competitive tournaments during the Go Congress. The North American Pair Go Championship is supported by World Pair Go Association and the Japan Pair Go Association.

The top table of the tournament determined the overall champions. As with many of the tournaments at this year’s congress, the matches played on the top board of the tournament were recorded onto the Pandanet Go Server along with a live stream on the AGA’s Official YouTube page. Click here to see an album of photos of all of the pairs in the tournament.

Top table results: 1st Place – Gabriella Su 6d and Jeremy Chiu 7d; 2nd Place – Yin Li Wang 6d and Daniel Liu 6d; 3rd Place – Melissa Cao 4d and Justin Ching 7d; 4th Place – Wan Chen 4d and Ricky Zhao 7d

Table Winners: Table 2: Tongyu Wang 7d and Xiangnan Zheng 7d; Table 3: Irene Sha 6d and James Sedgwick 6d; Table 4: Lee Dahye 4p and Cam Wagner 1d; Table 5: Nqua Xiong 2d and Michael Chen 7d; Table 6: Yasuko Imamura 6d and Nick Blake 3d; Table 7: Marina Watabe 3d and David Glekel 3d; Table 8: Seowoo Wang 1d and Andrew Jackson 4d; Table 9: Ai-Lin Hsiao 2p and Yihsiu Chen 10k; Table 10: Lee Anne Bowie 3k and Dave Hampton 3k; Table 11: Jesy Feliccia 4k and Kilin Tang 7k; Table 12: Alexandra Patz 13k and Marc Palmer 1d; Table 13: Wanda Metcalf 5k and Mark Nahabedian 13k; Table 14: Emily Briley 19k and Jonathon Green 2k; Table 15: Antonina Perez-Lopez 20k and Chris Lahey 11k
- Todd Heidenreich, Tournament Director; photos by Chris Garlock; photo at left: Tselmuun Ganbaatar (r) and her partner Eric Hookway.

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