A draft update of the AGA’s official Tournament Regulations is now posted for review and comment. First published in (year) by Ken Koester and updated periodically, “These are not sweeping changes, mostly moderate edits and additions to the prior edition,” reports Chris Kirschner, who’s been working with Karoline Li and Steve Burrall on the updates.
Proposed changes include defining regulations for self-promotion and TD discretion (the new section follows a recent policy decision by the Board regarding this issue, which has been simmering for years); regulations have been modified throughout to include competition played under other rule sets than AGA rules; rulings procedures are described separately for cases in which the ruling relates directly to rules of play, and those which relate to player behavior in the course of competition; definition of the completion of a move, and right of opponent to play is clarified; time control management section has been amplified and clarified; advisory elements of the original have been amplified, and moved into appendices; there is a change in the composition of an appeals committee if formed, which includes the TD as a non-voting member of the committee; requests that a summary of all appeals be sent to the AGA Tournament Coordinator.
Comments should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by July 20, after which the draft will be edited with the comments in mind. “We expect to have a final in time for the Congress, says Kirschner, who adds that “We are also reviewing various informal guidelines for regulating online tournament play.” Anyone with ideas on that should send them to email@example.com.
Sixteen professional go players have been confirmed for this year’s US Go Congress, set for August in New York City. They include the following pros from Korea:
Park Jungsang 9P: Born in 1984, Park became a professional in 2000 and was a semi-quarter finalist in the 6th Samsung World Championship in 2001, as a 2-dan pro. Park won the 8th SK Gas Rookies Cup in 2004 and was a semi-quarter finalist at the 10th LG World Championship in 2005. In 2006 he won the 19th Fujitsu Cup against Zhou Heyang 9P, earning immediate promotion to 9P. That year he was also the runner-up in the 3rd Electronic Land Baduk King of Kings against Lee Changho 9P. In 2007 he was runner-up at the Maxim Coffee Cup against Lee Sedol 9P and runner-up at the 3rd Zhonghuan Cup against Lee Changho 9P. Park was the Silver Medalist at the 1st World Mind Sports Game Individual Division in 2008. An active commentator on Baduk TV since 2009, he’s also been the Chief Commentator at Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) since 2013. Park Jungsang will give lectures for strong go players at the Congress; as an active Baduk TV commentator he’s very knowledgeable on recent joseki and openings.
Lee Dahye 4P: Born in 1985, Lee graduated from Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, where she majored in Japanese. She became a professional in 2000. A lecturer for ‘How to Baduk’ at Baduk TV since 2008, she was a proofreader of Hikaru no Go’s Korean version in 2011 and published the book ‘Falling in Love with Baduk’ that same year. She was a lecturer on ‘Endgame master by Lee Dahye’ at KBaduk TV from 2011 to 2012 and ‘Beginner’s Project, Open the Baduk’ in 2014. Lee has been a teacher of multiple cultural kids program since 2011 and a Visiting Lecturer in baduk at the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies since 2012. She’s a Visiting Lecturer at Halla University this year. Lee specializes in teaching beginners and will give series of lectures at the ‘Teacher’s Seminar’ at the Congress again this year. She was very popular last year and expects to attract a lot of would-be go teachers.
Myungwan Kim 9P: Born in 1978, Kim became a professional in 1994. He was runner-up at the BC Card Rookies Cup in 1998, 1999 and 2002, and a Semi-Quarter finalist at the 10th Samsung World Championship in 2005. He won the US Open from 2008 to 2010. The Korean Baduk Association sent Kim to the United States in 2008 to help spread baduk. “I am going to help both Korean pros with their lectures as a co-lecturer and translator,” he says.
The Highbrow Game: Go is classified as a “high-brow” game in a chart detailing “the best and worst of art and popular culture,” in a 1949 issue of LIFE magazine, reports Molly Fitzpatrick on nerve.com . “Looking at the other classifications, I am unsure whether it’s a compliment or not,” says EJ reader Garrett Bredell, who sent us the link. “But nice to see it mentioned anyway.”
An Unlikely Place: “My father spotted a go reference in a very unlikely place!” writes Alicia Seifrid. “An opinion article by Bob Pinato in the latest issue of Microwave Product Digest spoke about the current world political situation, and it mentioned go in reference to China’s recent policy of claiming of nearby islands. The author likened this to a real-life version of ‘GO, the ancient Asian game of power and strategy.’”
The 35th World Amateur Go Championships will be held July 4-11 in Gyeongju, Korea. The American Go E-Journal will once again be teaming up with Ranka to provide comprehensive daily coverage of this major amateur tournament featuring top players from 74 countries and territories around the world.
The WAGC is organized by the International Go Federation; this year the preparatory work is being done at the Korea Baduk Association in Seoul, Korea. The tournament venue will be the Hyundai Hotel in the Bomun Lake resort area of Gyeongju, a former capital of Korea once famed for its architectural and other riches. Now it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a major tourist destination, participants will find much to see, both on and off the go board.
Beginning next week, the E-Journal will run a series of profiles of WAGC players to familiarize readers with the competitors.
Kiseido is having a sale of all English-language go books and magazines listed on its book page. Get 10% off the listed price with free shipping when you order five books or more; the sale runs through July 25. Dozens of books are available, including the Graded Go Problems for Beginners series, the Get Strong at Go Series and more. You can also check out Kiseido’s Go World Online website, which presents recent games played by some of the top players in the world. There you’ll find detailed commentaries on the first five games of the ongoing ten-game match between Lee Sedol and Gu Li, who are billed as the two strongest players in the world. Also featured on this site – which is currently free of charge — is Iyama Yuta’s defense of his Kisei title against Yamashita Keigo.
Candidates for the AGA Board of Directors have now been finalized. Incumbent Gurujeet Khalsa is running unopposed in the Eastern region, as is Robert Gilman (also an incumbent) in the Central region. Ted Terpstra and Jingwei ‘Jay’ Zheng are running for the seat in the Western region for the seat currently held by Steve Burrall, while in the At-Large, Diego F. Pierrottet is running against Edward (Zhiyuan) Zhang. Candidate statements, if submitted, are available on the AGA Elections page. Ballots will be sent out in early July and winners announced August 10.
“I spotted what I think is an error in the Wired article (Wired Magazine on “The Mystery of Go, the Ancient Game That Computers Still Can’t Win” 5/13 EJ),” writes Vernon Leighton. “It said that Michael Redmond was the first American go professional and that James Kerwin was the second. I believe that Kerwin was the first.” Which is correct? Click here to submit your answer.
Help demo/teach at the Smithsonian Folk Festival on the National Mall in Washington DC. Available dates: 6/28 (Sat), 6/29 (Sun), 7/5 (Sat), and 7/6 (Sun). Outdoor venue with expected daily traffic flow of 200+ people. 11 AM to 5 PM. Volunteers pick their dates/times. All necessary equipment and handout material will be provided, including complimentary meal tickets. Contact: John Goon, firstname.lastname@example.org.
June 21: Sacramento, CA
Davis/Sacramento Summer Quarterly
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Ming Curran 3D topped a field of 17 players ranging from 4d to 20k at the Berkeley Go Club’s ratings tournament on June 14. The event was hosted in the Games of Berkeley game store’s downstairs playing rooms, with store gift certificates given as prizes.
Organizers were Peter de Blanc and Linden Chiu, with Chiu directing. “Thanks to both Games of Berkeley and the Bay Area Go Players Association, who provided clocks and stones,” said Chiu.
Results: 1st: Ming Curran 3d (3-0); 2nd: Sean Wahl 10k (3-0); 3rd: Garnet Chaney 19k (3-0).
photo courtesy Linden Chiu
Cristian Pop of Romania has won the top division in the 2014 Kidocup, Europe’s biggest weekend tournament, held June 7-8 in Hamburg, Germany. A total of 224 go players from nearly a dozen different countries gathered for the competition, which included plenty of casual play as well as simuls with professionals. The festivities opened amid hot summer weather with a Korean drum group performing in the courtyard of the Heinrich Wollgast-school located in the heart of Hamburg. Alexandr Dinerstein (Russia) edged out Jan Simara (Chechia) and Mateusz Surma (Poland) for second place in the ”European Top 8, a round robin competition of the strongest players at Kidocup; Simara took third and Surma fourth. Ali Jabarin (Israel) was 5th, Pavol Lisy 6th, Cornel Burzo 7th and Ondrej Silt 8th. Andrii Kravets 6D (Ukraine) won the main tournament. Click here for complete results of the handicap section and Tobias Berben’s detailed tournament report (in German) and photos. Click here for an additional report and photos.
- photo: Cristian Pop, at right, playing Ondrij Silt 6d; second board is Jabarin-Lisy
Game results from this year’s Young Kwon National Online Tournament (YKNOT) will be included in the new AGA Online Ratings system, the AGA reports. This is similar to the AGA On-Line Games Self-Paired Tournament on KGS, which is also contributing results to the new AGA Online Ratings system, which is still in development.
The Young Kwon National Online Tournament is the largest annual online tournament in North America. Registration is free and open to all levels, with nearly $3,000 in total prizes, which will be awarded to all levels. The tournament will take place on June 21, 22, and 28th. Click here to see the tournament webpage with registration details and rules and click here to register. Players have until Friday, June 20th to register. There are no citizen or permanent residency requirements; AGA members living in the US or AGA life members living anywhere are eligible, and even players who join the AGA the day before the start of the tournament are welcome to participate.
Peter Freedman, of Portland, OR, has been named the AGF Teacher of the Year, winning a free trip to the US Go Congress in NYC. Freedman, who has been active in the Portland area for decades, has focused his primary activities on youth go in recent years. Freedman and Fritz Balwit (2011 AGF Teacher of the Year) had tried to establish go clubs in schools for many years, but they were short-lived and drew minimal numbers “Meanwhile, our chess and go program at Irvington Elementary had run for many years, with upwards of 30 students every term,” Freedman told the Journal. ”It became clear to me that chess and go clubs have a much better chance to introduce children and teens to go than free-standing go clubs. I approached several school chess coaches about the idea of morphing their programs into chess and go clubs, and now there are over 100 children in these clubs, spread over five schools, I teach go and Fritz teaches chess in most schools. The students can play only chess; play only go; or, switch between chess and go each month. New students must play a month of go before they decide on their option. There is a segment of our culture that knows, appreciates and respects chess, while only a few know of go. Yet, many of us were chess players before we were go players. It seems like a nice path. We need a new motto: chess is our friend, not our enemy.”
AGA President Andy Okun had this to say about Freedman: “While many people know him as a club organizer, AGA volunteer and co-director of the really successful 2008 Portland Congress, Peter has also been teaching go for many years, and very intensively since retiring eight years ago. For the last three years, he’s run the Irvington Elementary School Go Team, which has played matches against teams in Portland, Detroit and Mexico City. He led the effort to make the Portland Go Club a 501c3 so it could raise money for a go in the schools program, and has raised thousands of dollars for that effort.” Recent activities included bringing Mingjiu Jiang 7P to Portland, for a workshop attended by 19 players from across Oregon, ranging in age from 7 to 72, and strength from beginner to 3 dan. “Nine of the players were kids or teens,” said Freedman, “one of whom taught himself to play three months ago, another was a 7 year old kgs 3 kyu. Andrew Nguy, who recently started the robust David Douglas H.S. Go Club, was also in attendance. Mingjiu was up to the challenge of teaching such a diverse group, moving from simple problems to more complex ones that the advanced people could chew on.”
“The AGF board faced a very tough decision again this year,” reports President Terry Benson, “with five extremely strong candidates, each of whom fully deserved the award. Fortunately, we choose a new teacher every year, and the other candidates will all have a chance again next year.” Freedman and Balwitz have put together curriculum guides and outlines for their method, which can be downloaded on the AGA Teaching Page. Free equipment, Hikaru no Go, and other resources are available on the AGF website. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photos: Top: The Irvington Elementary Go Team plays a match against Mexico City, Freedman is 2nd from right; Bottom: students at the Mingjiu Jiang workshop last April.
Eighteen Japanese players visited Cuba in May for the 7th Go Friendship Exchange. Play began in Santiago de Cuba from May 16 to 18 at a special event with children and their teachers from the different schools there where go is taught. While the technical level of play is still low, “there is very much enthusiasm and it is hoped that in a little time they will improve their level,” says Rafael Torres Miranda, President of the Academia Cubana de Go. The Exchange continued on Saturday, May 24 in Havana at the Cuban Go Academy, where high-level players participated. This year’s Exchange celebrated the 10th anniversary of the International Society of Exchange of Go, which organizes these meetings. It also celebrated 400 years of diplomatic relations between Cuba and Japan; in 1614 the samurái Hasekura Tsunenaga visited the island on an official visit.
- Bob Gilman; photos courtesy Rafael Torres Miranda
“I do not have a copy of the actual story (Go Spotting: Northeastern University Magazine, 6/7 EJ)”, writes Erwin Gerstorfer, “but at least I can tell you something about the depicted print.” The print is from an Oban Triptych titled Kinki-Shoga no Zu (The Four Accomplishments) by Chikashige Morikawa, who was active in the second half of the 19th century, and was published in October, 1881 by Komori Sojiro.
After one brief day to lounge by the pool, it was back to business on June 11 for the winners of 19th LG Cup’s round of 32 (19th LG Cup gets serious – Round of 32 6/9 Go Game Guru). Three of the pairs had only played each other once before and two of the games repeated the previous result.
Korea’s current top ranked pro, Park Junghwan 9p (right), replicated his win earlier this year (in the Chunlan Cup) against Tang Weixing 9p. Meanwhile, Kim Jiseok 9p defeated Li Zhe 6p, to make it 2-0. However, Fan Tingyu 9p (left) reversed his Nongshim Cup result from last year, defeating Kang Dongyun 9p by resignation. Choi Cheolhan 9p managed to avoid his natural enemy, Chen Yaoye 9p (who defeated Shi Yue9p). However his record against Xie He 9p is also less than impressive at 1 win and 5 losses. Much to the delight of the many Korean pros who came to support their countrymen, Choi won his game against Xie. Two other pairs had never met previously. Tuo Jiaxi 9p proved too strong for Byun Sangil 3p and Park Younghun 9p defeated An Dongxu 5p. The remaining match up between two Chinese youngsters saw the more experienced Xie Erhao 2p emerge as the winner over Ding Shixiong 1p. There will now be a long break in the tournament schedule. The quarter finals and semifinals will be played on November 17 and 19, 2014.
Gu Li 9p was a notable absence in this year’s main draw. Unfortunately for Gu’s fans, he was defeated by An Kukhyun 4p in the final round of this year’s preliminary tournament. The LG Cup is a major international go tournament. It started in 1996 and the prize money is currently 300 million Won (about $300,000 USD). The runner up receives 100 million Won (about $100,000 USD). The main draw of 32 players is part invitational, comprising of five Korean players, five Chinese players, four Japanese players, one Taiwanese player and including the previous year’s winner and runner up. The tournament is sponsored by LG Electronics, a multinational consumer electronics company whose headquarters are in South Korea.
- Based on a report on Go Game Guru, where you’ll find more photos and game records.
With the Young Kwon National Online Tournament (YKNOT) less than two weeks away, a competitive open section is shaping up with over 10 players 6-dan and above. Eligible players in the open section this year will earn NAMT points towards participation in the US Invitational, the 9-round $5,000 prize event. Players who qualify through NAMT will be eligible for an extra $2,000 in prizes.
“Dan level registration has been strong, but we also encourage kyu players to register!” says AGA Tournament Coordinator Karoline Burrall. “We encourage registration at all playing levels, and prizes will be awarded at all levels.”
YKNOT4 sponsor Young Kwon is a go player from Pearl River, New York and a previous US Open champion. Dedicated to promoting go in the United States, he has sponsored this tournament and provided the nearly $3,000 in prizes while offering free registration to all players. The only requirements for the tournament are AGA membership and a United States address. AGA life members living anywhere are also welcome.
Registration is free. The tournament games will be played on June 21, 22, and 28th. Click here to register, and visit the website for schedule, rules, and details.
“Go Go Seigen” was the slogan on the birthday cake at the Seattle Go Center on Wednesday night. In Japan, it was already Thursday, and Go Seigen’s birthday. Most of the ten Seattle celebrants were members of the SDK class (single digit kyu players). Frank Brown cut the cake. Frank turned 60 on Tuesday, and immediately bought a lifetime membership in the Seattle Go Center with his new senior discount. The Go Center wishes both birthday boys many more years of go playing. Report and photo by Brian Allen.
There are currently no nominees for the At-Large seat on the AGA Board of Directors, reports Arnold Eudell. Incumbents Bob Gilman (Central) and Gurujeet Khalsa (Eastern) have been nominated to run to retain their seats and Ted Terpstra has been nominated for the western region. Help determine the direction of play for the American Go Association by joining the AGA Board of Directors. Nominations are being accepted through June 15 and must be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Click here for candidate statements and complete election information and qualifications.
Go Seigen — regarded by many to be the greatest go player who ever lived — celebrated his 100th birthday on June 12. “I still study Go every day, placing stones on the board,” Go Seigen said in his book ‘A Way of Play for the 21st Century.’ “You might think study is meaningless for me, since I retired so many years ago. But for people who play it, Go is like an eternal friend, a permanent art form. I’ll continue playing and studying Go. Probably just like you.” Many players, including pros, still study and learn from Go Seigen’s games today. “Go Seigen created a new paradigm in the game of go and raised the understanding of future players to a new level,” writes Youngil An 8P on Go Game Guru. Click here to see Youngil An’s commentary on a memorable 1940 Go Seigen game against Kitani Minoru, who was his best friend and rival. “Even though this game was played almost 75 years ago,” says Youngil An, “Go’s play still feels modern and he plays many moves that normal players wouldn’t even imagine.”
- Based on a report on Go Game Guru; photo by Zhang Jingna