An expanded prize pool and a new tournament structure are planned for the strongest players at this year’s US Go Congress. “The AGA Board, in close consultation with strong players across the country, felt strongly that we needed to raise the stakes, the prestige and the competitiveness of the top tournaments and this is the result,” said American Go Association President Andrew Okun.
In recent years, strong players competed in three separate main tournaments at Congress, the 6-round US Open open section in the mornings, the 4-round North American Masters Tournament (NAMT) for North American professionals and qualified amateurs in the evenings, and the 4-round Strong Player Open, also in the evenings.
In the new structure, these three tournaments will be combined into a single 9-round US Open, which will serve both as the top section of the U.S. Open and as the NAMT. The U.S. Open winner will take a top prize of $5,000 and the NAMT-eligible player with the strongest result will become the North American Masters Champion and win $2,000. Other prizes will be paid to other finishers both overall and in the NAMT. All players 7d and above – and all players who qualified for the NAMT — will be eligible to compete in this new event. Strong players who wish only to play the traditional six rounds of the US Open may do so instead, but will not be eligible for the top prizes.
The U.S. Open/NAMT will take place during the six mornings of the US Open – at the 2014 US Go Congress in New York City August 9-17 — with an additional three rounds in evenings during the week. Click here for the FAQ on these changes.
photo of 2013 NAMT and SPO playing room by Phil Straus
The East Coast is getting a new major tournament. The first Washington Open Baduk Championship will be held in Northern Virginia on the weekend of April 26-27. With a top prize of at least $1,000, and cash prizes for every section, “this two-day tournament is not to be missed!” says organizer Allan Abramson. Click here for more details and to register.
The Championship is sponsored by the Embassy of the Republic of Korea, the Korean Cultural Center – DC and Scorpion Sport Inc. in L.A., co-hosted by the Korean Amateur Baduk Association (KABA) and the American Go Association (AGA), and organized by the NOVA Go Club, the Baltimore Go Club, and the Korean-American Go Association.
The Championship will be a rated five-round, one hour per player event. AGA membership is required. No entry fee, and lunch is free. Other attractions will include a rapid tournament on Friday night, lectures by Myungwan Kim 9P and another Korean professional, and simuls with the pros. “A packed weekend of competition and fun for all,” says Abramson.
“Can you confirm that the Cotsen dates (Cotsen Dates Confirmed for 2014-2016 4/1 EJ) are real, not an April 1st joke?” writes Anders Kierulf. “It just seems so unlikely after the dates moving around every year and being announced very late. Also, the 2016 dates should probably be Oct. 22-23, not Oct. 23-24, as that’s not a weekend.”
Yes, the 2014, 2015 and 2016 Cotsen dates are real, though as Kierulf notes, the 2016 dates are actually October 22-23. The Dumb Cluck? 9×9 Go Reportedly Solved story, on the other hand, is not real. Our apologies for any confusion.
For this week’s quiz, in celebration of go’s prominent role on MTV’s Teen Wolf, as covered in several recent E-Journal reports, let’s hear from you on what you think is the best Western cultural reference to go. Please limit answers to English language and it must be something featuring or mentioning go, but not directly about go or go instruction. And it needs to be original – so the obvious choice of Hikaru No Go does NOT qualify. I will judge the best response on such objective criteria as coolness, popularity, appropriateness and correctness of the reference. This can be books, TV, movies, advertising or news events.
Deadline: 5P Thursday. Nominations so far include Shibumi by Trevanian, Tron: Legacy, Darren Aronofsky’s movie “Pi,” and “A Beautiful Mind” with Russell Crowe. I look forward to hearing from all of you!
- Keith Arnold HKA, quizmaster
The CEGO Online Training for European professional students has just launched. The online training is part of the Pre Pro League, part of the European Go Federation’s (EGF) new contract with the CEGO Chinese investor group to establish a European professional system (European Go Federation Inks Deal With Chinese to Promote Go in Europe 7/5/2013 EJ). ”This is another part of the EGF-CEGO cooperation focused on developing European professional go players,” says EGF president Martin Stiassny. “I wish all the players great games with a lot of fun and success.”
The online training is primarily for students who have been studying in Bejing for the last six months (read more about it on Benjamin Teuber’s blog), but to provide some training access for other players who will participate in the European Pro Qualification starting in Strasbourg in May the number of CEGO Online Training participants was increased to 16.
An initial round was played between eight players to figure out the league division and now five series will be played with an A and B league with 6 players each. A League players include Zhao Baolong (teacher), Pavol Lisy, Ali Jabarin, Ilya Shikshin, Cornel Burzo and Andrij Kravets. In the B League are Dusan Mitic, Fredrik Blomback, Viktor Lin, Benjamin Teuber, Lukas Krämer and Zeno van Ditzhuijzen. Li Ting is the other teacher.
Follow the action in the “Euro Dream Team” room on KGS, where you’ll find nearly daily games (20:00 GMT+2 starting) top games, through June 20. Click here for complete details, including full player roster and bios.
Oh happy days! Tonight Ireland faced the might of Croatia in their league match on IGS. The team stuck to the strategy that they had agreed upon before the game, despite the fierce resistance from the opposing team. The result was a flawless victory – a 4-0 belting. Ireland are now top of the league, in 6th place.
The AGA Go Camp is pleased to announce that registration for the 2014 camp is now open. Camp will be held from August 3 to August 9, the week before Go Congress, at YMCA Camp Kresge in White Haven, PA, about a 2 hour drive from New York City. Camp directors Amanda Miller and Nano Rivera invite campers of all skill levels, and between the ages of 8 and 18, to join them for a week of go-playing and fun. Youth who played in the NAKC or the Redmond Cup are eligible for a $400 scholarship, and need-based scholarships of up to $250 are also available. For more information on the latest camp-related news, and to download the registration forms, please visit the camp website at http://www.gocampeast.org/. Any questions can be e-mailed to Amanda Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org. - Story and Photo by Amanda Miller
“Credit to my wife and daughter for spotting a go board in the Netflix series ‘Orange is the New Black,’” reports Vermont Go Club President Dave Felcan. “In Season 1, Episode 12 (“Fool Me Once”) around the 29:30 mark, a go board can be spotted on a desk next to the main characters. Its there for about 5-7 seconds, so it was a nice spot.”
“I have the Guanzi Pu pdf (‘New on the AGA Website: Classic Chinese Problem Collection‘ 3/16 EJ) in other formats already, but this one is very nicely done,” writes Michael Redmond 9P. “That collection is one of the best of what I call classic tsumego collections, but on the other hand, it wasn’t all problems that would now be called tsumego. It includes many endgame sequences, and some positions in which there is more than one feasible way to play. That is typical of the ancient Chinese collections, which were published before the modern definition of tsumego was established. From the professional viewpoint, those indefinite problems actually add value, although they could confuse weaker players.”