The American Collegiate Go Association (ACGA) — in conjunction with the Ing Foundation — is hosting its second annual Spring Go Expo on March 29 at MIT in Cambridge, MA, featuring simuls with professional go players. “Events include go variants and a brief history of go outreach around the world,” reports organizer Cole Pruitt, as well as “donation of several unique Ing Foundation-commissioned ‘trick boards’ to US universities, simuls before and after lunch, and a 2-3 person simul with Chang Hao 9P against American mid-dans with live commentary.” In addition to former world champion Chang Hao 9P, Hwa Xueming 7P and US pro Andy Liu 1P will be on hand, along with a delegation from China. “And as a special bonus, everyone who pre-registers will receive a fan signed by Chang Hao 9P upon their arrival at the Expo!” Pruitt adds/ “We still have slots available for the simul, so if anyone is interested in playing a serious game against Chang Hao, they can contact us for more info.” Lunch will be provided, and the entire event is free of charge.
Read about the first Expo here: “Something For Everyone” at First Spring Go Expo 3/27/2013 EJ
photo: Chang Hao 9P (left) with ACGA co-founder Mike Fodera, one of the Expo’s main coordinators
Lukas Podpera 6d (left) of the Czech Republic won the Under-20 division of the 19th European Youth Go Championship (EYGC) held in Bognor Regis, England Feb 28 – Mar 3, thereby securing himself a place in the GLOBIS Cup World Youth Go Championship to be held in Japan on 8 – 11 May 2014 (see Nihon Ki-in Announces New Under-20 World Tourney, EJ 11/30). Jonas Welticke 4d of Germany was runner-up and Frenchman Tanguy LeCalve 5d took third place. In the Under-16s, the top three places went to Alexandru-Petre Pitrop 2d of Romania and Russians Grigorij Fiorin 4d and Viacheslav Kaymin 3d, in that order, and the Under-12 category was won by the only dan player in his age group, Spaniard Oscar Vazquez 2d, with Denis Dobranis 2k of Romania runner-up. 89 took part in all. Click here for full results. Click here also for the results of the pair-go and doubles, held on the Sunday evening, March 2.
The events were organised on behalf of the British Go Association (BGA) by – mainly – Toby Manning, Tony Atkins and Sue Paterson, and ran alongside the British Go Congress (see Double Victory for Cornel Burzo at British Go Congress, 3/3 EJ) at the Butlins Holiday Park, where competitors had full access to the many facilities and entertainments available for youngsters there. Japanese professionals Minematsu Masaki 6P and Kobayashi Chizu 5P (right) were in residence throughout, teaching and reviewing games. Kobayashi told the EJ she was impressed by the talent of the young Europeans, but stressed that to reach the highest levels it will be important for them to get good professional tuition, the earlier the better.
Report by Tony Collman, British correspondent for the E-Journal. Photos courtesy of the British Go Association: Lukas Podpera proudly displays his trophy and national flag alongside Kobayashi Chizu; pro guests Minematsu Masaki 6P (left of photo) and Kobayashi Chizu 5p take time out by the sea.
What do you get when you cross the world’s oldest game with the newest form of currency? A bitcoin go tournament, such as the ones being organized online every week at Bitcoingo.io. “Bitcoins are an ideal currency for an international game like go,” founder Steven Pine told the EJ. “It allows students and teachers to connect and transact without concern for currency exchanges or waiting on a check or wire transfer to clear. The same is true for tournaments. I think the currency has lots of potential to transform the go community in many positive ways.”
Anyone can sign up, enter a tournament and begin playing on Bitcoin’s own Python/mySQL-based server. Komi is 6.5 points, and each player starts with 15 minutes; there are five 30-second overtime periods. Territory counting is used but no full rule set has been formally adopted. A tournament win earns the victor at least one point, depending on how many points their opponent has. A new tournaments starts, and the old one finishes, at midnight each Saturday. The self-paired “most points” format favors active competitors, so if you plan to play to win, you may need a comfy chair. The winner of the February 10 tournament had 78 points.
Bitcoins are notoriously unstable – last week it was discovered that as much as 5% of the total bitcoin money supply had been stolen from a prominent exchange without detection several years ago; the exchange declared bankruptcy. (NY Times 2/25/14) If you plan to convert your winnings to real-world money you may face a challenge. The weekly pot has been 6,000,000 “satoshis” but before you start planning your retirement, you should know that it breaks down to about $40 depending on the bitcoin’s daily value relative to the USD. (On 3/1/14 one bitcoin was valued at $556.85 on Coindesk, which monitors exchanges, down more than ten percent from just ten days before.) “Although the ‘satoshi’ – the smallest fraction of a bitcoin that can be transacted, currently .00000001th of a bit coin — is not well-known, we decided to use it as a base unit to drive home the point that bitcoins are easily divisible and can facilitate micro payments,” Pine said. “Some services talk about ‘millibits,’ but we thought it would be more fun for people to win like 1,000,000 satoshis.” Pine and cofounder Jonathan Hales are underwriting the prizes themselves, hoping that tournament and teaching fees will make the site revenue positive.
If you check it out, bear in mind that it’s a work in progress. Traffic is very low; a private room on an established server would probably bring in more users. But if you enjoy checking out new servers, Steven and Jonathan will appreciate your visit!
- Roy Laird
In “a nice little follow-up” to the recent New Jersey Open, organizer Rick Mott reports that “We got 22 new members and 34 renewals, for a total of 56 memberships out of 135 total attendees.” Of those, Mott notes that “almost half – 26 — were youth memberships.”
photo by John Pinkerton
“We are making good progress toward bringing a group of Cuban go players to this year’s U.S. Go Congress,” (Cuban Delegation Invited to US Go Congress 1/20/2014 EJ) reports Bob Gilman, who has been organizing the project. Three Cuban players have accepted the invitation to attend, and fundraising for the project is nearly complete. “Go has been the bridge for us to learn about many cultures, places, and especially good people, for whom friendship and respect are most important values,” says Rafael Alberto Torres Miranda 2D (at left in photo), one of the invitees and President of the Academia Cubana de Go. The other players invited are Carlos Alberto Perez Palacio 5D and Roilan de la Torre Marrero 5D. The Cubans have their passports now and are working with the Cuban Sports Ministry to obtain US visas.
The visit will return the hospitality the Academia extended to a group of US players who played there in February 2013. Because the Cubans cannot afford the travel costs themselves, Gilman, working through the American Go Foundation, has been raising money to sponsor the visit. There is a brief video on the project here. “We estimate we will need about $6,000,” says Gilman, “and we are nearly there, but still need some additional donations.” Those interested in supporting the project can make out a check to the American Go Foundation (with “CC2014” in the memo field); include your email address so that Gilman can acknowledge donations as they are received. Send checks to: Robert D. Gilman, P.O. Box 40020, Albuquerque, NM 87196-0020. “I will hold them uncashed until the Cubans have their visas, probably in April. At that point I’ll inform contributors and send the checks on to the AGF for cashing.” For more details on the project, email email@example.com.
photo by Andrew Okun
Lee Sedol did not need this kiss for luck from his daughter before the first game of his historic jubango with Gu Li, but perhaps it carried over to the second, where he was fortunate to come from behind. Five out of six of you who ventured into the scary world of no multiple choice did not need luck either, correctly identifying the other pro in last week’s photo (left). “Easy.” comments Brian Kirby,” That’s Cho Hanseung (Hansung) 9P. He’s the current Kuksu, recently beating out Lee Sedol to defend his title. Mr. Cho doesn’t get as much press as Mr. Sedol, but he actually became pro the same year (1995).” Congratulations to Dong Wei of Austin, Texas, our winner this week, selected at random from those answering correctly.
THIS WEEK’S QUIZ: Congratulations to Paul Mathews and Rick Mott for their wildly successful 55th New Jersey Open, attracting a record 125 players March 1-2 in Princeton (including 22 new members and 34 renewals). The oldest continuous tournament in the US (second oldest is the Maryland Open: the 41st is coming up on May 24-25; see you there!), the NJO gathered go players from all over the East Coast. An informal but 99 44/100% accurate poll of this year’s attendees taken by your quizmaster confirmed the answer to this week’s question: of all those playing in this year’s New Jersey Open, one player held the record for the earliest NJ Open appearance. Did he play in his first NJO in 1973, 1975, 1977 or 1986? Click here to submit your answer; bonus points if you name the player correctly.
Go Game Guru has just published an excellent detailed game commentary by Younggil An 8P on the second game of the MLily Gu vs Lee Jubango, which was played on February 23 on the outskirts of Shanghai. “Many people expected that Gu Li (right) would have something of an advantage in this match,” says An, “because most of the games will be played in China. However, it doesn’t seem like Lee Sedol is affected by that so far…Actually, it looks like Gu Li is under quite a bit of pressure from his fans and the Chinese media.”
MTV’s popular drama Teen Wolf features go prominently in the latest episode The Fox and the Wolf. Part of the episode is set in a Japanese internment camp, during the second World War, and a character named Satomi uses go throughout the episode, to help control her emotions. ”You take too frequently, and you take too much,” Satomi tells a younger woman, in a conversation at the go board that is as much about stealing supplies for sale on the black market as it is about the game. “The young fox always knows the rules so she can break them, the older wiser animal learns the exceptions to the rules,” says Satomi as she captures a stone. The entire episode can be streamed on the MTV website here, go first appears in the episode at the 9 minute mark. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo: Satomi studies the board, from Teen Wolf Episode 21.
The 2014 U.S. Go Congress website is undergoing some testing today and may be offline at times. We apologize for any inconvenience.
At the British Go Congress in Bognor Regis, England, Cornel Burzo 6d (right) of Baia Mare, Romania first won the British Lightning on Friday February 28, then followed it up with a sweep of the six-round British Open, March 1-2. In all, 61 players took part in the Open, including nearly 25% from mainland Europe and beyond. Prizes were awarded in eight separate divisions based on grade, and the runner-up in the first division, Robert Rehm 5d of the Netherlands, also took first prize in the second division, with Bei Ge 5d (UK ) runner-up. Click here for the British Go Association’s (BGA) report giving full list of divisional prize-winners and here for full tournament results. The Stacey Grand Prix, which bestows the Terry Stacey Memorial Trophy on the player with most wins above the McMahon bar in tournaments since the previous Congress, went this year to Toby Manning 2d.
The Congress also took in the BGA’s Annual General Meeting on the evening of Saturday March 1 and rounded off on Monday March 2 with a teaching day featuring Japanese Nihon Ki-in professionals Minematsu Masaki and Kobayashi Chizu, who have also been teaching and reviewing throughout the weekend.
Meanwhile the European Youth Go Congress, running in parallel at the same venue with eighty-nine players in three age divisions, also finished March 2. The tournament continued at presstime and will be reported soon, but the impatient may click here for full results.
Report by Tony Collman, British correspondent for the E-Journal; photo courtesy of European Go Congress 2014 website.
Update (3/8): there was no communal meal on March 1, as previously reported.
China and Korea were the final contenders in the 15th Nongshim Cup after Japan was knocked out at the end of round 2. In round 3, Korea’s Park Junghwan 9p defeated China’s Tan Xiao 7p and Zhou Ruiyang 9p and Korean fans relaxed, thinking Park had secured the cup like last year. However, China’s secret weapon Shi Yue 9p defeated Park in 133 moves. This seems to be a familiar pattern, as Park has only bested Shi once in their five game history.
The Nongshim Cup is a team tournament between China, Japan, and Korea. Since its inception, Korea has won 11 times. This year’s victory puts China at three wins while Japan has only won once.
Forty four kids and adults came to Berkeley, CA on February 22nd to play in the Winter Go Tournament organized by Bay Area Go Players Association. Eleven year old Jeremy Chiu 6d (right in photo at right), winner of the 2013 US Youth Go Championship junior division, led the open section with a 4-0 record. He faced a strong field, however, including 2012 European Women’s Go Championship winner Vanessa Wong 7d, three-time Redmond Cup champion Aaron Ye 6d, and 2012 Korea Prime Minister Cup contestant Matthew Burrall 7d.
Bay Area Go promoted the tournament as appropriate for players of all levels, and in fact a wide range of players participated. Three handicap sections in addition to the open section ensured that all players had a good shot at winning prizes. “It is nice that the really strong players had stiff competition in the open section,” says organizer Roger Schrag, “But I am especially glad that the kyu players, double-digit kyus, and even 20+ kyu players all had people at their level to play.”
Bay Area Go’s Spring Go Tournament is set for Saturday, May 31st in San Francisco’s Japantown Center. Details will be posted soon at www.bayareago.org.
Winners report: Open section: 1st: Jeremy Chiu 6d. 2nd: Vanessa Wong 7d. 3rd: Zhihong Ma 5d. Upper handicap section: 1st: Anbo Chen 3d. 2nd: Linden Chiu 2d. 3rd: Peter de Blanc 1d. Middle handicap section: 1st: Matthew Cheng 7k. 2nd: Yunyen Lee 3k. 3rd: Thomas Rike 6k. Lower handicap section: 1st: Benjamin Yu 10k. 2nd: Sean Wahl 10k. 3rd: Donald Swen 14k.
photos by Zhihong Ma
Spain: The 32nd Barcelona Go Seigen Tournament finished on February 23 with Oscar Anguila 4d (left) at the helm. Behind him were Pau Carles 3d and Lluis Oh 6d. Czech Republic: Also on February 23, Pavol Lisy 7d took the 10th International Tournament in Blansko. Jan Simara 6d placed second while Ondrej Silt 6d came in third. Ireland: The 2014 Confucius Cup finished in Dublin on February 16 with Hui Fan 8d in first, Csaba Mero 6d in second, and Antoine Fenech 5d in third.
The complete standings, ratings and pairings for the 2014 New Jersey Open have now been posted online, courtesy of the Feng Yun Go School, reports tournament director Paul Matthews.
NJO Co-Champions Mengchen Zhang 7D (at right in photo at left) and Eric Lui 7D (at left) each received a $400 prize; certificates and cash awards were also given to other players who won four or five games and who played all five rounds, $60 for four wins and $80 for five. A beginner’s prize, a good quality complete go set, was awarded to Sophia Wang by random drawing from players rated 15k and below who completed at least three games. “We had a good field of beginners this year,” said organizer Rick Mott. “Fifteen in the drawing, plus one — Audrey Shin — who was ineligible as a previous winner, and two — Peter and Alana Noehrenberg — who generously asked to be left out of the drawing because they already had equipment.”
A record 135 players participated in the 2014 New Jersey Open held at Princeton University on March 1 and 2, organized by Mott and hosted by the Princeton University Go Club. photos by Frank Huang (left) and by Chris Garlock (right).
Eric Lui 6D (left) and Mengchen Zhang 6D (top right) won the 2014 New Jersey Open, topping a field that attracted an all-time record 135 players over two days March 1-2 in Princeton, New Jersey. Both players had 4-1 records and their tie-break scores were so close that they were declared co-winners.
One of the earliest regional go events in the US, this year’s NJO was the 55th, reported longtime TD Rick Mott, who shared directing duties with Paul Matthews. In addition to being one of the oldest go events and reliably drawing some of the largest and strongest fields in the country, the NJO may also be the only US go tournament to use Fischer timing (50 minutes, 10 seconds for each move). It’s sponsored by the Princeton Go Club, which meets at Princeton University’s Campus Center Campus Club Wednesdays at 7:30 PM during the academic year. photos by John Pinkerton
Round 3 results: Board 1: Kevin Huang d. Andy Liu; Bd 2: Michael Chen d. Ricky Zhao; Bd 3: Mencheng Zhang d. Eric Lui; Bd 4: Yishen Wang d. Heping Wang; Bd 5: Jing Guo d. Andrew Huang.
Round 4 results: Board 1: Eric Lui d. Kevin Huang; Bd 2: Michael Chen d. Mengchen Zhang; Bd 3: Zhongxia Zhao d. Jun Wang; Bd 4: Lionel Zhang d. Jing Guo; Bd 5: Andrew Huang d. Heping Wang.
Round 5 results: Board 1: Eric Lui d. Michael Chen; Bd 2: Mengchen Zhang d. Kevin Huang.
The 21st annual Redmond Cup will begin in April, and registration is due by March 15th. Preliminary games will be played online and the four finalists will be invited to the 2014 US Go Congress to play the final games. There are two divisions in the Cup; the Junior league for kids 12 and under, and the Senior league for 17 and under, on August 17th 2014. Competitors in both leagues must have an AGA or CGA rank of 1 dan or higher. Redmond tournament director Michael Bull, who ran the event for the past twenty years, has retired this year, and the event will now by run by Paul Barchilon and Justin Teng. The Junior league has been expanded to include 12 year olds, and both leagues now require a dan rating (kyu players can compete in the North American Kyu Championships instead). Players who complete the tournament will be eligible for $400 scholarships to the AGA Go Camp, or $200 scholarships to the US Go Congress, on a first come first served basis, courtesy of the AGF. Competitors from Mexico are also invited to the event. The participants must be members of the American Go Association or the Canadian Go Association and either residents of the U.S., Canada or Mexico, or citizens of the United States living anywhere in the world, provided that they are also members of the AGA. For more information on the event, read the rules document here. To register click here. -Story and photo by Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo: David Lu 6d (l) vs. Aaron Ye 6d (r), while Justing Teng records the game for broadcast, from the 2013 Go Congress in Tacoma.
A record 126 players turned out at the 55th annual New Jersey Open for the first day of play on Saturday in Princeton University’s Frist Campus Center, with hundreds more watching online on KGS. See below for Rounds 1 & 2 game records. The E-Journal team of Chris Garlock and John Pinkerton broadcast top-board games live on KGS on Saturday and will broadcast Rounds 4 & 5 Sunday beginning at 10a EST.
Go has a long history at Princeton. The Princeton club was founded by Professor Ralph J. Fox of the Department of Mathematics in 1945, who continued to promote go in Princeton until his untimely death in 1973. “Professor Fox brought a number of Japanese professionals to visit Princeton, and often hosted them at his house,” reports Princeton club organizer Rick Mott. “His late wife Cynthia bequeathed some of his books, photographs and papers to the club archives.” Steve Bretherick, who’s moving to Japan, continued that tradition on Saturday when he donated a table full of go books to anyone who wanted them (below left).
Perhaps the most famous association of Princeton with go is an opening scene in the 2001 film “A Beautiful Mind,” depicting the life of Nobel laureate John Nash Jr., in which Nash – played by Russell Crowe – is challenged to a game by a fellow graduate student. The Princeton club hosted the fifth US Go Congress in 1989. The following year, the long-standing NJO, one of the earliest regional events in the US, moved to the Princeton campus where it has been played ever since. The tournament is usually held in late February and draws players from all over the Eastern Seaboard, from Virginia to Massachusetts, with occasional visitors from as far away as Austria and, this weekend, San Diego, with club organizer Ted Terpstra flying in for the tournament. photos by John Pinkerton (top right) and Chris Garlock (left, bottom right).
Top board results:
Round 1: Board 1: Andy Liu d. Yishen Wang; Bd 2: Michael Chen d. Kevin Huang; Bd 3: Eric Lui d. Jing Guo; Bd 4: Mengchen Zhang d. Zhongxia Zhao; Bd 5: Heping Wang d. Naoki Awakawa.
Round 2: Board 1: M Chen d. A Liu; Bd 2: Kevin Huand d. Yishen Wang; Bd 3: Eric Lui d. Heping Wang; Bd. 4: Mengchen Zhang d. Jing Guo; Bd 5: Zhongxia Zhao d. Lionel Zhang.
Round 3 results: Board 1: Kevin Huang d. Andy Liu; Bd 2: Michael Chen d. Ricky Zhao; Bd 3: Mencheng Zhang d. Eric Lui; Bd 4: Yishen Wang d. Heping Wang; Bd 5: Jing Guo d. Andrew Huang.
This weekend’s New Jersey Open (NJO) on March 1-2 is expected to draw a large field with players at all levels. Top boards will be broadcast live on KGS by the E-Journal. The tournament will be in the same site as last year (Frist Campus Center); pregistration is not required but registration opens at 9a and ends at 10a and you must be there by 10a to be paired in the first round. Cell phones don’t work at the site, but if you’re lost or late, call 609-851-6351 during the last half hour of registration. Trains from NY/Phila arrive at 9:42. You can reach Frist walking or by cab in 10 minutes.
“The U.S. Go Congress has never before been in a place so close to so much!” says Congress organizer Matthew Hershberger. As previously reported (’14 US Go Congress To Be Held In Midtown Manhattan, Sources Say 12/4/2013 EJ), the Congress will be held August 9-17 in midtown Manhattan, “just a stone’s throw from landmarks like the Empire State Building and Madison Square Garden,” Hershberger tells the E-Journal. “You will be playing on the 18th floor of the world famous Hotel Pennsylvania just across the street from Penn Station. Times Square, Bryant Park, Grand Central Station, and Korea Town are all just minutes away on foot, and the subways will easily get you anywhere in the city.” The hotel, which has been hosting visitors since 1919 boasts that “more guests have stayed with us than in any other hotel in the world.”
The largest go activity in the United States, the annual U.S. Go Congress features 8 days of go, including tournaments, professional lectures and game analysis, continuous self paired games, and all kinds of go-related activities from morning to midnight.
And while New York is an expensive city, “we’ve worked hard to keep the Congress affordable,” says Hershberger. That means there are a few differences from previous years. This year there is no meal plan provided; instead, players will be free to explore the many local restaurants of all kinds and at all prices. Locals say you can eat reasonably easily for less than $30/day, or, if you’re so inclined, splurge at some of the best restaurants in the world.
Since the Congress is in a hotel this year, there are no dorm rooms available. “We’ve negotiated extra low prices for guests staying in the hotel,” says Hershberger. A typical room with two beds will run around $1,100 per person (including Congress registration), and there are lower-cost options for the more budget-conscious. You are allowed to have extra people in a room, so groups who are willing to share a room with more people than beds can cut costs significantly.
“Come for the go, come for the camaraderie of old friends, come for thrill of the big city!” urges Hershberger. “Whatever your reasons, we are looking forward to seeing you in New York this August!”