Chinese professional Weitang Liang 9P put on a brilliant display of technical virtuosity for a captivated audience of 50 go fans in a special event at the Rockville United Church in Rockville, MD on Tuesday August 14. “The strength of a professional player is definitely fascinating,” event organizer Zhiyuan ‘Edward’ Zhang told the E-Journal. “In the 6-on-1 simul, players as strong as 5 dan had five to nine-stone handicaps, yet only one Korean player — Insu Kim — was able to win.”
The event was a collective effort by the Capital Go Club of the American Go Association (AGA), the Great Falls Go Club, the Rockville Go & Chess Group (RGCG), and the Rockville Sister City Corporation (RSCC), and Transamerica Financial Advisors, Inc.
Liang came to DC from his appearance at this year’s US Go Congress on behalf of the China Qiyuan and the Chinese Go Association. “I have heard that the go activities in the Washington DC metro area have been impressive and famous, and am very happy to spend the evening with so many American go players.” Click here for a video clip of the event by Tie-Hua Ng.
The event included a simultaneous exhibition involving six players (Robin Kramer, Gary Li, Tsann Yu, Ben Hong, Insu Kim, and Kevin Wang), a mini AGA-rated tournament, and an open forum for questions and game commentary analysis with Mr Liang, who learned to play go – or weiqi, as it’s known in China – when he was 10. In 1999 he became the 22nd player to achieve Chinese professional 9 Dan status, the highest professional level accorded. Mr. Liang’s go style is described as straightforward, deep, stable, and sharp, and he’s known in the Chinese go community as “Long Life Sword.” Mr. Liang is the only 9-dan professional in the Shenzhen city of Guangdong, where he’s said to have inspired over a hundred thousand of players to learn the game.
The event attracted a diverse turnout of players, likely as a result of advertising via social networks and English, Korean and Chinese newspapers. “The event was a huge success,” said local organizer John Goon. “Not only did we see many new faces of local go players, but we also receive a professor’s inquiry about starting a go club at Howard University in Washington DC.”
In the AGA-rated tournament which ran at the same time as the 6-on-1 simuls with Mr. Liang, Liang Yu 7d scored 2-0 “with impressive wins over Juan Pablo Quizon 6d and Meng Lu 6d,” Tournament Director Todd Heidenreich reported.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: Organizers: John Goon and Edward Zhang; Web Admin: Gurujeet Khalsa; Photographer: Yangang Li; Video: Tie-hua Ng; Transportation: Lin Lu, Xingyu Lu, Tao Wang, Binquan Wang; Reception: Xingyu Lu; Refreshments and Set-up: (Rockville Go & Chess Groups) Nick Nayfack, Todd Heidenreich, Juan Pablo Quizon, Craig Anderson, Nick Quizon, Diego Bigelow, Tim Bigelow, Joseph Huang and Rohit Gopal; Translators: Ching-Sung Chin (Great Falls Go Club), Sam Choi and Bingjib Huang (both also Rockville Sister City Corporation coordinators); Toastmaster and Signage: Edward Zhang.
photos by Yangang Li; click here for a complete photo album of the event.