American Go E-Journal » 2011 » April

UK Tourney Updates: Chong Han Edges Out Kay & Wong in British Open, Second Matthew Wins Arundel

Monday April 11, 2011

Chong Han Edges Out Kay & Wong in British Open: Chong Han 5d (Loughborough) won the April 8-10 British Open, the British Go Congress’ main tournament, beating out Andrew Kay and Vanessa Wong on a SOS tie break. The Swindon Go Club hosted this year’s Congress in the historic town of Malmesbury, and many players took advantage of the early summer weather to visit the Abbey and Abbey House Gardens. Andrew Kay did not go away empty-handed, having won the Friday Evening British Lightning tournament. Additional prizes were awarded to the four players in the Congress’ two “perfect games” resulting in jigo. Click here for full results and here for the original report.

Second Matthew Wins Arundel: Matthew won Arundel again this year. Matthew Cocke 5d (Epsom) was the best of the 26 players in the March 27 UK tournament, taking the first previously won by Matthew Macfadyen. Winning all three games were Michael Webster 1k (London) and Adan Mordcovich 5k (Wanstead). All those on two wins received prizes including runner-up Francis Roads 3d (Wansted). After the event many players went on to enjoy the evening of a sunny day in the Black Rabbit. Click here for full results.
- reported by Tony Atkins

Categories: Europe

School Teams Tourney Draws 50 Teams

Monday April 11, 2011

Mandarin Language and Culture School from California took top honors in the 10th annual North American School Team Tournament. Organized by the American Go Honor Society (AGHS), the tournament was held on KGS over the weekends of March 5 and March 12.  More than 50 teams and about 190 players from America, Mexico, and Canada signed up for the largest national youth team tournament, with over $3,000 in prizes provided by the AGF and AGA. Justin Teng, one of the nine officials and a tournament participant, said, “People were pretty excited and pumped up. They were in quite a competitive spirit, encouraging and rallying their teammates while battling against other schools.” More AGHS tournaments, including the Doubles Tournament for Pair Go, are in the works.  AGHS Presidents Jack Ye and Jasmine Yan directed the tournament – many thanks to Meredith Leu, Joshua Wu, Ryan Ngoy, Viral Kotecha, Rebecca Cheng, Eric Chen, Tommy Liu, Justin Teng, and Tim McCaffrey for their invaluable assistance!

Winner’s Report: Varsity: 1st: Mandarin Language and Culture School, 2nd: Richard Montgomery High School, 3rd: SV Chinese School; Junior Varsity: 1st: Richard Montgomery High School, 2nd: Bellaire High School, 3rd: Mission San Jose High; Intermediate: 1st: Klein Oak High School, 2nd: Betcher Home School, 3rd: Escuela de Arte ‘Pipiolo; Novice: 1st: Jasper High School, 2nd: Manlius Pebble Hill School, 3rd: Richard Montgomery High School.  -Special to the E-J by Jasmine Yan, AGHS Co-President. Photos: Mandarin Language Team, with advisor, top; Richard Montgomery Team, with advisor, bottom.

Park Younghun Wins 12th Maxim Cup

Monday April 11, 2011

On April 7 2011, Park Younghun 9P won the 12th Maxim Cup, beating Lee Changho 9P by half a point in the second match. Park won the first match several weeks ago (March 21), and with two wins he took the best of three title.

Two masters of endgame

Both Lee and Park are famous for their accurate counting and endgame skills. Go fans used to say that if Park and Lee played and the winning margin was half a point, the winner would be Lee. However, now people say that if the winning margin is half a point, the winner will be Park.

In November last year Park also won the Korean Myeongin (Korea’s equivalent of the Japanese Meijin).

The Maxim Cup

The Maxim Cup is a rapid Korean domestic tournament for 9 dan players only. This year, the tournament was held on the beautiful Jeju Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is popular with tourists.

Stone Babushkas?

Lee was accompanied by his wife and, prior to the match, revealed that the couple were very happy and plan on having two or three children. Given that Lee’s nickname as a Go player is “Stone Buddha”, perhaps the little ones could be called the “Stone Babushkas”? Before you ask, there was no mention of whether the children would learn Go.

After the match, a reporter asked Lee how he felt about losing his dominance of the baduk world after more than two decades. Lee was non-plussed, and replied that he did not mind as long as he could still play a good and interesting game.

- Jingning; based on her original report at Go Game Guru, which includes more pictures and game records.

Park Jieun Wins Jeongganjang Cup

Monday April 4, 2011

In a much anticipated match between two of the strongest women go players in the world, Park Jieun 9P defeated Rui Naiwei 9P by resignation in the final round of the 9th Jeongganjang Cup on March 28. Rui was the favorite going into the final game, defeating all three of her challengers in the previous rounds. In the end it came down to the last two remaining players from China and Korea and Team Korea prevailed, pulling out a remarkable victory in this historic tournament.
- JustPlayGo; edited by Jake Edge

Categories: World

NOVA Cherry Blossom Raises $702 for Japan Relief

Monday April 4, 2011

The annual NOVA Cherry Blossom tournament on April 2 raised $702 for disaster relief for Japan, “which will be split into equal donations to the Kansai Kiin and Pandanet relief funds,” reports organizer Allan Abramson. Fifty-nine players participated in the NOVA Cherry Blossom tournament, with Daniel Chou 6d topping the field. “This was our first Cherry Blossom in the new George Mason University Founder’s Hall, now that the beautiful Sumner School in DC (longtime Cherry Blossom tourney site) closes on weekends,” Abramson added.

Winner’s Report: First Place: Daniel Chou 6d, 4-0; Hal Small 3d, 3-1; Liu Hong Chun 1d, 4-0; Jacob Lewellen 2k, 4-0; Kevin Chin 3k, 3-1; Baifu Li 5k, 3-1; Caleb Vickers 8k, 4-1; Julian Erville 11k, 4-0; Chris Tolley 15k, 4-0 and Adam Chambers 15k, 4-0 (tie); and Robert Burdsal 17k, 3-1.
Second Place: Jing Guo 7d, 3-1; Keiju Takehara 3d, 2-1; Gary Li 1d, 2-2; Kelsey Dyer 2k, 3-1 and Xiaojing Du 2k, 3-1 (tie); Yukino Takehara 3k, 3-1; Raymond Yeh 6k, 3-1 and Joey Phoon 6k, 3-1 and Michael Lash 6k, 3-1 (tie); Joseph Lee 7k, 3-1 and Gurujeet Khalsa 8k, 3-1 (tie); and Tristan Tran 15k, 3-1

Categories: U.S./North America

Zhuang Sweeps World Youth Qualifier

Monday April 4, 2011

Dark horse candidate Vincent Zhuang 5d pulled off a surprise victory in the World Youth Go Qualifier this past weekend on KGS.  Zhuang, who is 14, only narrowly made it to the finals at all.  A last -minute change in the age requirements by the Ing Foundation disqualified two older players with better records, allowing only kids under 16 next August to compete. Interestingly, the AGHS Young Lions Tourney in November of last year foreshadowed this result, with Zhuang beating two of the same finalists who would compete in this year’s WYGC qualifier. On Saturday, April 2, Zhuang got off to a great start by defeating Hugh Zhang 7d, who was the top seed in the four player double elimination finals.  Next he took down Andrew Lu 6d, eking out a 1.5 point win in a complicated fighting game.  Round 3 saw Lu knocking out Zhang, and set the stage for the finals the following day.  With everything on the line, Zhuang and Lu went at it Sunday morning.  They played at a break-neck pace, despite having an hour each, with neither willing to give an inch as the game exploded into heavy fighting again.  Zhuang carved out large territories on the right and left sides, and sacrificed a center group, to pull ahead and win the game.  His victory will carry him all the way to Romania, where he will represent the US in the WYGC.  In the Junior Division (under 12) nine-year-old Jeremy Chiu 1k upset some apple carts in his own right, knocking out Sammy Zhang 2d, and setting the stage for a showdown with 8-year-old Aaron Ye 3d, who is undefeated in the event.  As both players live in the Bay Area, their final matches will be played in person, at the BAGPA ratings tourney on Saturday the 9th. - Paul Barchilon, EJ Youth Editor.

Japan Disaster Relief Update (updated 4/3)

Sunday April 3, 2011

(updated with details on the 4/23 NYC tourney and a PayPal account for the Kansai Kiin) “Many go players and clubs have asked where they could send money for disaster relief in Japan,” reports American Go Association President Allan Abramson. “For example, New York City go organizer Boris Bernadsky and other New York players are planning an April 23 Tsunami Relief Tournament to raise funds for relief, and next week’s NOVA Cherry Blossom tournament also will be dedicated to disaster relief.”

“For direct donations, here is what I have learned so far,” Abramson tells the E-Journal:

The Kansai Kiin has a disaster relief fund. Bank name: The Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ,  Kawaramachi Branch (Branch Code:003); Account No.: Ordinary Account 311018, Account Name: Kansaikiin. You can also now donate via PayPal:

Pandanet also has a disaster relief fund: Bank: Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation; Branch: Marunouchi Branch (Branch Code: 245); Account Number: 1441312; Swift Code:  SMBC JP JT

The Nippon Foundation has two ways to contribute: through the Sasakawa Peace Foundation ( or directly through the Nippon Foundation. It may be necessary to have routing/Swift numbers for the two banks, and these have been requested for U.S. donations and will be posted as soon as they’re available.

Adspace Available in 2010 Go Yearbook

Sunday April 3, 2011

Advertisers in the American Go Yearbook now have an exciting opportunity to interactively promote their go-related products to readers of the American Go Yearbook. The 2010 Yearbook is being released as a PDF this year, enabling the inclusion of clickable links that take readers directly to websites. “So, for example, an advertiser can now not only include a clickable link to their main website but links to specific product pages they’d like to promote,” reports Yearbook Managing Editor Chris Garlock. Sections of the 2010 Yearbook are being released as they’re complete, with the entire Yearbook to be released upon completion of all the sections, and the Go Tools section — currently in production — will feature a wide selection of the E-Journal articles on go books, software and hardware, and is an especially good location for go-related ads this year. Deadline for ads in the Yearbook Go Tools section is April 17; email for rate and ad spec details.

Categories: U.S./North America

Mexican Youth Sponsor Contest

Sunday April 3, 2011

Mexico is hard at work on developing a serious go community among kids, an effort led by Siddhartha Avila, a teacher at Pipiolo Art School in Mexico City. “Last December we organized an open tournament for children, and 37 kids participated from 4 different schools, ” reports Avila, ” those 37 kids are 90% of the youth go players for the whole country.”  Avila’s group, Comunidad Mexicana de Go Infantil y Juvenil, are sponsoring an international art contest for kids to help boost the community.  More information, including an application, can be found here. Go among kids is “growing faster than with adults, where the national tournaments haven’t had more than 40 players ever,” said Avila. “It’s ok to promote go among adults, but I seriously believe that the key for go development at this moment is working with children and taking it to a national level.”  The Mexican kids are playing internationally too, having entered three teams in the recently-concluded AGHS School Team Tourney, and even scoring a bronze medal in the intermediate division.  Avila’s students have become regulars at the monthly Tiger’s Mouth tournaments as well, which are sponsored by the AGF.
- Paul Barchilon, EJ Youth Editor

Categories: World,Youth

Lee Sedol, Park Junghwan, Heo Yeongho & Gu Li Make BC Card Cup Semifinals

Sunday April 3, 2011

The quarterfinals of the 3rd BC Card Cup concluded on April 3 with Gu Li 9P defeating Kim Jiseok 8P. In other quarterfinal results, Park Junghwan 8P defeated Zhou Ruiyang 5P, Lee Sedol 9P defeated Chen Yaoye 9P and Heo Yeongho 8P defeated Zhong Wenjing 5P, leaving Gu as the only Chinese player in the semi finals, facing off against three Korean players.

In the semifinals, Lee will play Park and Heo will play Gu, setting up a possible Lee versus Gu final.

An interview with Lee Sedol

Below is an excerpt from a television interview with Lee after his quarterfinal win against Chen.

“This was a very intense game. Did you prepare for it?”
“No special preparation but I did want to dictate the direction of play to avoid too much fighting in the opening. While I did manage to avoid too much fighting in the opening, I wasn’t too pleased with my play today. My opening was not very good.”

“And the ko in the lower part of the board?”
“At the time I thought the ko would be very difficult under normal circumstances. However, even after I won the ko, the situation did not improve much for me.”

“I heard you and your family have taken up hiking?”
“Yes, we have been before. Now that spring has come, I’m looking forward to hiking more often with my family.”

“You will play Park Junghwan 9P next in the semi final. Is Park your preferred opponent?”
“Definitely not. Park is a very good player, very difficult to beat. It will be a very tough game. But, if I prepare well, I believe I can win.”

- Jingning; based on her original report at Go Game Guru, which includes more pictures and some game records. Also see: Commentary: Kim Jiseok vs Gu Li 3rd BC Card Cup

Categories: World