American Go E-Journal » U.S. Pro Tournament

Edward Kim 7d wins Seattle Pro Prelim

Monday May 7, 2012

Edward Kim (r) won all five of his games  to win the first AGA-Tygem Seattle Pro Prelim, held May 5-6 at the Seattle Go Center.   Ten players competed for the opportunity to go to the AGA-Tygem Pro Final in North Carolina, which will be from July 28th to August 4th.  Second place was earned by Yixian Zhou 6d, who had a 4-1 record.   Third went to David (Dong) Ma 6d, fourth (on a tie breaker) to young Vincent Zhuang 6d and fifth to Nicholas Jhirad 6d.  The second band, which was not competing for the pro position, had six  dan level players.  Kum Kang Lee 4d placed first, Job Betcher 2nd and Louie Liu 3rd.  The tournament also generated points for the 2012 World Mind Sports selection process.

The Seattle Go Center expressed “special thanks” to Tournament Director John Hogan, “who did a great job starting a new tournament tradition.” Bill Chiles was Asst. TD, while  Dennis Wheeler, Oren Laskin, Bill Camp, and Bill Thompson recorded games from the top two boards.  The games are available here.
- photo by Brian Allen

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Pro System Launch “Monumental Moment” for U.S. Go, says Cho Hunhyun 9P

Sunday April 29, 2012

For a guy whose nickname is “The God of War” and who has amassed over 1,000 career wins, Cho Hunhyun 9P in person in actually pretty mild-mannered. In Los Angeles this weekend to help launch the American Go Association’s (AGA) nascent professional certification system at the Cotsen Open AGA-Tygem Pro Prelim, Cho took a few minutes out of a jam-packed schedule Saturday at the Korean Cultural Center to sit down for an interview with the American Go E-Journal. “This is a monumental moment for the AGA,” Cho said, “and I wanted to be here, on behalf of the Korean Baduk Association, to show our support.” Saying that he’s “very impressed” by the American effort and enthusiasm for go, Cho said that simply by launching the American pro system “You have taken the most important step.” But, like the game of go itself, Cho encouraged American players to settle in for a long road ahead. “China dominated this game for 5,000 years,Japan dominated it for 500 years and Korea has been on top for just 30 years, so for American players to compete on a world level, it’s going to take a long time, 10, 20, maybe even 50 years.”  Developing a professional system is absolutely key to building the strength of American players, Cho said, because it creates the necessary financial incentives and infrastructure and ultimately will make it possible to have a career as an American professional go player. But because it’s impossible to predict the rise of homegrown go prodigies or geniuses, Cho said America must “just follow the path, be patient and put in the effort and someone will come forth.” This was Cho’s own path to the top, he said, saying that “choosing the path of a go professional was like destiny,” adding that he feels that “this journey has not ended” for him and he thinks he still has more to contribute to the game. “The beauty of go is that people become modest when they play.” As proof, Cho revealed that he’s recently taken up golf, where “I am now the amateur” and can just have fun playing.
- report/photos by Chris Garlock; translation for Cho Hunhyun by James Kim

How to Earn Qualie Points for 2012 World Mind Sports Games in France

Friday April 13, 2012

All tournaments designated as North American Ing Masters qualifiers, as well as AGA-Tygemgo Pro Tournament qualifiers, are now tournaments at which strong players will be able to earn qualification points for the 2012 World Mind Sports Games (WMSG), scheduled to take place in Lille, France, from August 9-23, reports AGA Tournament Coordinator Karoline Burrall. Players interested in representing the U.S. at the WMSG must be U.S. citizens; all other AGA eligibility criteria for international representatives apply. Upcoming tournaments at which players can earn points are Ronghao Chen’s NAIM qualifier and Self Paired Tournament in Somerset, New Jersey April 21-22, the Cotsen Open in Los Angeles on April 28-29, the AGA-Tygem Seattle Pro Prelim in Seattle, Washington on May 5-6, the Rocky Mountain Spring Go Tournament in Boulder, CO on May 12 and the Maryland Pro Tournament (details coming soon). Details are on the tournaments calendar. Players should indicate to the tournament director that they would like to earn WMSG points at these events. “Players are welcome to play in and attend as many qualifier tournaments as they wish,” notes Burrall, “but only their two highest point scores will add to make up their final points.”

AGA-Korea Agreements Posted

Sunday February 5, 2012

The recent agreements signed by the American Go Association with Korea to promote a new professional players’ system in theU.S.have now been posted. Click on our original report — AGA Inks Deals with Korea to Develop U.S. Pro System  (12/26/2011 EJ) – for details on the agreements AGA Board Chairman Andy Okun signed with the Korea Baduk Association and the Korean go server TongYang Online (Tygem) December 19th in Seoul, Korea.

AGA Inks Deals with Korea to Develop U.S. Pro System

Monday December 26, 2011

The American Go Association (AGA) in December signed agreements with Korea to promote a new professional players’ system in the U.S. AGA Board Chairman Andy Okun (right) signed the agreements with the Korea Baduk Association and the Korean go server TongYang Online (Tygem) December 19th in Seoul, Korea. “With the generous support of the KBA and Tygem, we are off to a great start,” Okun said. “These partnerships will help grow go in the U.S. and produce players who can win at the international level. This may be a long road, but with our partners’ help it will be a successful finish.” Said KBA Secretary General Yang Jae-Ho, “The KBA wants the AGA to grow, and is hoping to see American professional players who defeat Asian players in an international tournament.” He added that “I hope to see even bigger tournaments than the Samsung and LG Cup in America.” And Tygem CEO Jeong In-Soo (left, in photo) said that “I sincerely hope TongYang Online and the AGA will lead the globalization of baduk through our cooperation.” Tygem agreed to provide $30,000 annually to fund the AGA’s professional certification tournament, which will be broadcast exclusively via Tygem, which recently launched its English language website, and is seeking to expand its player base outside Asia. Under the KBA Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) – which Feng Yun 9P has complained was negotiated without participation by American professionals – KBA, as part of its cultural mission to spread go around the world, has agreed to allow AGA-certified North American professionals to compete in five major Korean tournaments and to provide them with low-cost training. Kim Myung-Wan 9P, the KBA representative to the U.S., will continue to support the AGA’s efforts, and will chair a committee designing the certification system and developing pro activities. Okun credited the two agreements to Kim’s “hard work and perseverance.”  Click here for the Tygem MOU.