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.
So as I mentioned earlier in the week, John Gibson was kind enough to send me some scans of some old IGA newsletters (2-11). The first batch from 1990 are now uploaded onto the website. Each month, I will be uploading the batch from the next year. In order to complete the set, can anyone lay their hands on the very first IGA Newsletter, and any issues after number 11.
As a bit of fun, can anyone guess which name within these volumes was on the run from the law?
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