American Go E-Journal

U.S. GO NEWS: Qu Sweeps Norcal Tourney; World Youth Qualifier Moved Up To April 3; Northeast Interclub Tourney Invites Teams; School Team Tourney Setting New Records; Agf Accepting Apps For College Scholarships; Aga Ratings Updated; New AGA Database Feature Links Players; Why Host A Pro Workshop?

Monday March 15, 2010

QU SWEEPS NORCAL TOURNEY: Larry Qu 7k topped the Bay Area Go Players Association monthly ratings tournament in Palo Alto, CA on March 6, finishing with a perfect 5-0 record. In the Dan division, Bogdan Dobrescu 5d, Lucas Baker 3d, Samuel Gross 1d, and Sammy Zhang 1d each won three games apiece. The playing field consisted of 33 players, ranging from 7d to 24k, with eight playing in their first AGA-rated tournament ever. The next monthly ratings tournament takes place April 10 in Palo Alto. PHOTOS AT BAY AREA GO

WORLD YOUTH QUALIFIER MOVED UP TO APRIL 3: The selection process for the World Youth Go Championships has just been dramatically accelerated, with an online qualifier to be held April 3 and the finals held on April 10-11. “The Ing Foundation has just notified the AGA that our representatives to the World Youth Go Championships must be selected by April 15th, a sudden change from last year’s policy,” reports AGA Youth Coordinator Paul Barchilon. Since this is before the previously-scheduled USYGC Qualifiers will have chosen winners, a new schedule has been established. Youth players who wish to enter must e-mail youth@usgo.org to register by March 30th. The top sixteen players in each bracket will advance to the finals. The Junior Division is for youth 11 and under, the Senior Division is for youth under 18 as of August 1, 2010. Only US Citizens may enter the qualifier; the winners must be able to travel to Taiwan for the finals (expenses are covered for the youth players, but not for parents). “The previously-scheduled USYGC Qualifiers around the nation will all be held as planned, and the prizes will remain the same, but as those events will no longer select our WYGC representatives, the citizenship requirement will be waived,” says Barchilon.

NORTHEAST INTERCLUB TOURNEY INVITES TEAMS: Go clubs in the Northeast are invited to participate in the upcoming Northeast Inter-club Go Tournament in the Boston area. The team tournament is being organized by the MIT Go Club and the Massachusetts Go Association on March 27 in Somerville MA starting at 9:30a. Teams will have three members and each club may send multiple teams. Clubs must preregister by March 20th with a complete list of participants and their ranks; email mit-mga-tournament@mit.edu

SCHOOL TEAM TOURNEY: A record breaking 92 teams and 307 individuals are competing in the ninth annual American Go Honor Society (AGHS) School Team Tournament, representing 15 states and 3 provinces in Canada. Two schools, Fair Oaks ES (CA) and Saratoga HS (CA), are entering five teams each, matching Clear Lake HS (TX)’s record, back in 2004. Stuyvesant HS (NY) will seek their second consecutive and third national title in the Open Division. However, they will have to overcome JP Stevens HS (NJ), last year’s silver medalists, along with seven California teams, including all three teams from CA’s 2008 medal sweep, who will seek a spot on the podium after being shut out last year. East Meadows HS (NY) fell just short in their bid to become the second team in AGHS history to win both the Rookies Cup and the School Sweepstakes title, awarded to the best new school and best overall school in the tournament, finishing in second place in the final standings. However, two California schools, Morningstar Chinese School and Redwood Shores GC, hope to accomplish this feat after stunning performances in the first round. In addition, fourteen elementary and middle schools will fight for the Junior Cup title this year, including reigning Junior Champions Cary Chinese School (NC). who are expected to put up a stiff fight to retain their title. Yet they were barely able to hold off a surge from Fairs Oaks ES (CA), who will seek to add the Junior title to their long list of achievements under AGHS competitions. Readers can keep track of the teams on the AGHS ” title=”website” target=”_blank”>website http://aghs.c>. All games are played on KGS, in the AGHS Tournament Room (under Tournaments), and observers are welcome.
- Tim Savoie, AGHS Correspondent

AGF ACCEPTING APPS FOR COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIPS: The American Go Foundation is now accepting applications for its College Scholarship, reports AGF board member Matthew Mallory. “The scholarship is intended to reward organizers who create new, or help existing, go programs in their school or community, playing strength is less important than community service,” Mallory says. Applicants must be at least in their junior year of high school; winners will receive $1,000 and will be announced at the US Go Congress. “Last year Lawrence Ku, a model youth organizer, received the scholarship,” Mallory adds. The deadline is May 15: Click here to learn more and download the application form.
- Paul Barchilon, EJ Youth Editor

AGA RATINGS UPDATED; NEW AGA DATABASE FEATURE LINKS PLAYERS: AGA ratings were updated March 12 and include a number of recent tournaments, including the NOVA Chinese Lunar New Year, New Jersey Open, John Groesch, From the Word Go, and Bay Area Tournament. The ratings – which former Tournament Coordinator Phil Waldron did a tremendous amount of work on — are linked to the AGA Go Database, which includes the records of every game and player in all tournaments played in the United States since 1991. A new FindPath feature

AGA Games Database shows how players are linked through opponents. For example, AGA Database creator Jonathan Bresler 14k is just four players from Feng Yun 9P: Bresler played Stephen Leslie 14k in 1994, Leslie played Eric Lui 7k in 1996 and Lui played Feng Yun in 2007. The search can be unlimited across all games in the database, limited by date, or limited to a particular tournament.

WHY HOST A PRO WORKSHOP? The Portland Go Club hosted two pro workshops in the past year, one by Jennie Shen in the fall and one by Yi Lun Yang in the spring. Both were attended by about 20 dan/low kyu players and middle/double kyu players. Jennie’s workshop was short on lectures and long on game review. Most of the weekend was spent with one group playing while the other group reviewed games, and then switching. Jennie’s tone was light and relaxed – she often cracked jokes, asking “You really played that move?” — teasing the players and making them feel at ease. Mr. Yang’s workshop was more balanced between lectures on various aspects of the game – opening, extensions, attacking, defending, life and death – and game review. Many of the kyu players took notes and Mr. Yang was serious and intense, expressing his strong passion for teaching. He also has a well-developed formal methodology for teaching go. As different as the flavor and structure of these workshops were, they were both excellent and well-received by the players. As a double-digit kyu player I had no idea about direction of play in the opening, let alone a systematic way to approach life and death problems. As a dan player, issues about crosscuts and opening strategy were clarified for me. I’d have either of them back in a Portland minute. Based on these two workshops I’d be equally happy bringing new pros in or bringing either of these two pros back.
- Peter Freedman coordinates the Portland Go Club in Portland, Oregon, and co-directed the 2008 U.S. Go Congress.

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