American Go E-Journal » 2018 » February

AGA becomes certifying organization for Presidential Volunteer Service Awards

Monday February 12, 2018

The AGA has successfully applied to become a certifying organization for the Presidential Volunteer Service Awards, according to2018,02,12_Presidential Volunteer Service Awards AGA President Andy Okun.  “It is a chance for our volunteers to receive recognition from the wider community for the hours they put in,” said Okun.  The award is given based on unpaid hours logged as a volunteer, with bronze medals for 100 or more hours in a calendar year, silver over 250 hours, and gold over 500 hours.  For teens and children the hours are less.  A volunteer who has logged more than 4,000 hours in total qualifies for a lifetime award.  The awards program has existed under several names since the 1980s, and includes a certificate, a signed letter from US president Donald Trump, and the choice of a pin, coin, or medallion.  The first recipient of an award, a bronze medal, will be Wenguang Wang, of Santa Clara, California, who teaches weekly go classes for school children, runs several tournaments, and organized and ran last year’s Go Camp.  Wang was 2017′s AGF Teacher of the Year as well.  AGA volunteers interested in being considered for the award should contact Volunteer Coordinator Bob Gilman at or Okun at


Gao Jiaxin wins 22nd Orsay Tournament

Sunday February 11, 2018

Traditionally Orsay is the first (in all senses of the word) tournament of the new year in France. It allows players to meet up 2018.02.11_orsay_2018_01again and to break their New Year’s resolutions – I’m going to make 5 dan by Wednesday. As usual it took place in Bouvêche, a unique building in the grounds of the Orsay castle. 59 players took part, 18 of whom were dan level, most where from locals Île de France, but others came from Brittany, Rhone Alpes, Alsace, and elsewhere. As befitting France, the food available was also an important element, and special mention must also be made for Anne-Claire who prepared around 15 Galette des Rois (a traditional cake) for the players to enjoy. Inseong Hwang (8-dan) was on hand to give commentaries to the tournament participants.

2018.02.11_orsay_2018_05At the top of the table, the big winner with five victories, there was Gao Jiaxin (7-dan), who had helped many of the young players at the local Orsay club progress. In second place with 4 victories was Benjamin Blanchard (4-dan). After this several players trailed in with 3 victories apiece.

Other notable performances: Guillaume Ougier (1-kyu) with 4 victories and a loss to his sister (we expect a good atmosphere at their house) ; Li Liyun (13-kyu) 5 victories ; Robin Rouillon (17-kyu) 4 victories. Remember their names for the future.

- Ian Davis, based on original article by Benjamin Hellouin
 photos: Anne-Claire and Julien preparing the food; Ariane Ougier – Jiaxin Gao; photos by Ralf Wurzinger


Categories: Europe,Main Page

AlphaGo Zero-AlphaGo Master #5: Strange and wild stuff happening

Sunday February 11, 2018

“There’s some strange stuff in this game, especially in the early part of the game,” says Michael Redmond 9p in his fifth 2018.02.09_zero-master-game5commentary on the AG Zero games. “Then later on things get really exciting, as Zero does some amazing stuff inside Master’s moyo. The sequence that Zero uses to reduce the moyo is quite spectacular.”

Click here for Redmond’s video commentary, hosted by the AGA E-Journal’s Chris Garlock, and see below for the sgf commentary. To support this content, please consider joining or renewing your membership in the American Go Association; click here for details.

Video produced by Michael Wanek and Andrew Jackson. The sgf files were created by Redmond, with editing and transcription by Garlock and Myron Souris.



Young Player Need for 5th GLOBIS Cup

Wednesday February 7, 2018

The AGA has received an invitation to send a strong US or Canadian player under the age of 20 to the 5th GLOBIS Cup U-20 World Go Championship, to be held April 19-23, 2018, in Tokyo, Japan. The event, sponsored by the GLOBIS Corporation and organized by the Nihon Ki-in, will provide meals and accommodations for the players, as well as an accompanying adult if the player is under 18. Air fare will be borne by the player and any companions. The player must have been under 20 years old on January 1, 2018, and meet the other AGA or CGA eligibility requirements. Any necessary online play-offs will take place before Feb. 20. This is a great opportunity to compete in an international tournament, explore Tokyo, and represent the AGA and CGA. Interested players should respond with their names, best form of contact, and KGS IDs before Feb. 11 to


Redmond Reviews: Michael Redmond 9P vs Kuwabara Shun 1P

Saturday February 3, 2018

Michael Redmond’s video game commentaries return with an exciting game by Redmond against Kuwabara Shun 1P in the 2018.02.03 RedmondReviewsecond round of the Kisei First Tournament. “We get into the avalance joseki and Kuwabara springs a new variation on me and then it gets really messy in the middle game,” says Redmond, hosted by Chris Garlock of the AGA E-Journal. It’s a human-human game, “So there are mistakes,” Redmond laughs. “It’s pretty exciting.” Click here for the video.




Sarah Yu on the IMSA Elite Mind Games

Thursday February 1, 2018


White: Choi Jeong
Black: Sarah Yu
Commentary: Sarah Yu
Game Editor: Myron Souris
Published in the February 1, 2018 edition of the American Go E-Journal

This exciting game is from the 2017 IMSA Elite Mind Games women’s team tournament.

Already by the 3rd move, Sarah Yu shows her intention to avoid calm and normal go, and then sacrifices stones and starts kos. Her strategy works as she attains a promising position, only to make a slip in time pressure, leading to a complicated winner-take-all ending.

Sarah gives her impressions of this game and her entire experience surrounding the competition: “This game was the last round in women’s team. I truly enjoyed this game, and came to see the difference of skills between myself and my opponent. I am privileged to have become a part of it. And I am honoured to represent North America in this high standard tournament. Overall, I am pleased with the games I played.

“This year’s IEMG was in structure similar to the one in March 2016. For Go this year, both men and women played in team of two. After the team tournament, one would play in individual blitz, and the other player in pair Go.

“Sometimes I found myself asking, what was my role in this? This year, my goal was to enjoy the tournament, the side events, and to connect a little with other players. I am also grateful for the opportunity to open my eyes in other areas, such as tea tasting, calligraphy, and draughts.

“At the closing ceremonies, it was with mixed emotions to see players getting their prizes. My impression is that IMSA and the Chinese organizers have been doing good work together to meet the standard of the tournament, and to host cultural events for entertainment.”


“The Surrounding Game” announces worldwide release

Thursday February 1, 2018

For everyone that’s been marking time until the general release of The Surrounding Game, your wait is nearly over.2018.01.25_surrounding-game-ReleaseAnnouncement

The documentary team just announced that February 15th will see the film released worldwide on DVD, Blu-ray, and instant digital streaming. Through their new web store (operational now, though with limited items) players will be able to also purchase film posters, 9×9 starter sets, and other film merchandise. As an added bonus the filmmakers will include six never-before-seen deleted scenes on the discs.

“Thanks to volunteers from around the globe, the movie now comes with subtitle options in many languages”, said co-director Cole Pruitt, “including Spanish, French, German, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Russian.We’re excited to share this extra material with all of you next month!”

February 24th will see KGS host the stars of the film as they play simultaneously against the online community.  Plans are for AGA commentators, including Michael Wanek, Will Lockhart and Andrew Jackson, to follow the action in a live-stream on the AGA YouTube channel.

The pending world-wide release will not preclude current offerings. For example, clubs or individuals will still be able to purchase the screening pack which, among other benefits, includes an official license to host a public screening of the film as many times as you want, to include including selling tickets.

To keep abreast of all things Surrounding Game, click here.

- edited by Charles “Doc” Sade

Categories: Go News,World