Before a single stone had been played at this weekend’s Cotsen Open in Los Angeles, two announcements drew sustained and resounding applause from the 140 gathered players. First was tournament sponsor Eric Cotsen’s confirmation that “funding has been secured for the next four Cotsen Opens,” guaranteeing the return of the popular annual event through 2017. The second was Asian Go Federation (AGF) President Dae-won Suh’s announcement that plans are in the works for a Korean Baduk Cup in spring 2014, to be held, like the Cotsen, at the Korean Cultural Center. “I wish you all the best of luck,” said a beaming Suh. “Now let’s play baduk!” And with that, a day of fierce competition commenced over three hotly-contested rounds, broken only by a lunch break for free tacos from the food truck conveniently parked in the KCC parking lot, enabling players to enjoy a tasty lunch beneath clear Southern California skies before returning to the boards inside. Hundreds who could not attend the tournament followed the action live on KGS where the E-Journal team broadcast top boards, with pro commentaries on selected games. Leading the field are Beomgeun Cho, Andy Liu, Won Sik Lee and Eric Lui, all with 3-0 records (Click here for the tournament crosstab and see below for game records). The tournament continues Sunday with a pro-pro game on KGS starting at 8a PST between Yilun Yang 7p and Wang Qun 8p, followed by the final two rounds of the Cotsen. photo collage: top right: Haijin Lee 3p reviews a player’s game; bottom right: spectators gather around one of the top boards; bottom left: two masseuses — one of the Cotsen’s unique features — work their way through the field; top left: longtime go author Richard Bozulich (at left, talking to AGA President Andy Okun) dropped by for a brief visit Saturday morning while in town from Japan on a business trip. photo at left: Cotsen staff play a casual game.
Report, photos & collage by Chris Garlock