Mark Lee fended off a last-round challenge to clinch the 2015 Cotsen Open with a perfect 5-0 record. Lee uncharacteristically misread in a capturing race against Ho Son 7D of Seattle but fought back and then pulled ahead decisively in the endgame to win by more than 20 points. Large audiences watched the top-board matches, broadcast by the E-Journal team on both KGS and the AGA’s YouTube channel — where Myungwan Kim 9P and Jennie Shen 2P commented the games live — and Lee’s sharp focus throughout the tournament was impressive. “I was the runner-up last year and really wanted to win this year,” he told the E-Journal. “The games were tough but when I got ahead I tried to stay ahead and when things got complicated I just focused on the immediate problem.” Lee (second from right) donated his $1,000 winnings to the American Go Foundation to support their work with young go players; the donation was gratefully accepted by AGF board member Larry Gross (right), along with AGA President Andy Okun (second from left, next to Eric Cotsen at far left; click here for more photos).
The Cotsen drew a large field of nearly 150, mostly from Southern California but also from other West Coast and Western states. After several years at the LA Korean Cultural Center, the Cotsen returned this year to the LA Center Studios in downtown Los Angeles. Players feasted on free food truck tacos from Komodo Food on Saturday and Kogi BBQ on Sunday, and two experienced masseuses massaged out sore muscles (left) as the players sweated out their moves over the go boards.
Tournament sponsor Eric Cotsen said he was “Really happy with the way the tournament went; everyone seemed to have a good time.” Although he didn’t win as many games as he would have liked, a beaming Cotsen said that “I think the game is awesome! The challenge, the people, everything about it. Figuring out a battle and winning the game, it’s just an awesome feeling.”
- report/photos by Chris Garlock; click here for a Facebook album with more event photos.
2015 Cotsen Winner’s Report (CLICK HERE FOR FINAL CROSSTAB)
Open: 1. Mark Lee (7d) 5 – 0; 2. Jeremy Chiu (7d) 4 – 1; 3. Beomgeun Cho (9d) 4 – 1; 4. Aaron Ye (7d) 3 – 2; 5. Xaiocheng Hu (5d) 3- 2; 6. Ho Son (7d) 3 – 2
A (3d & 4d): 1. Melissa Zhang (3d) 4 – 1; 2. Jinming Pan (4d) 4 – 1; 3. Tyler Oyakawa (3d) 4 – 1
B (1d & 2d): 1. Justin Urban (2d) 4 – 1; 2. Meng Cai (2d) 4 – 1; 3. Andrew Okun (1d) 4 – 1
C (1k – 5k): 1. Shawn Blue (5k) 5 – 0; 2. Ernest French (1k) 4 – 1; 3. Lisa Scott (2k) 4 – 1
D (6k – 10k): 1. John Bulcher (6k) 4 – 1; 2. Caleb Chen (7k) 4 – 1; 3. Samson Chio (8k) 4 – 1