American Go E-Journal » Cotsen Open

Cotsen Update: Club Winners, Crosstab, Videos & Team Thanks

Sunday November 1, 2015

The Orange County Go Club was the top winner in the club competition at the recent Cotsen Open, winning $1,000. In second place ($300) was the 2015.11.01_Cotsen-club-winner-IMG_1146Santa Monica club and Arizona ($200) took third place. Yilun Yang awarded special prizes to Cotsen Tournament Director Chris Sira and James Chen for his many contributions to the early years of the Cotsen Open.

The 2015 Cotsen crosstab has now been posted. The Cotsen livestream videos have also been posted now, including a very brief one in which Mark Lee reviews key points in his Round 3 game against Aaron Ye.

Tournament Organizer Samantha Davis thanked Assistant Tournament Organizer Wenguang Wu, Tournament Assistant Katie Dicus, Webmaster Laura Mayer-Sommer, Photographer Brian “Ferrari” Peregrina and many volunteers, including Sighris Sargon, Paru Maheta-Sargon and Chris Kirschner.

E-Journal team leader Chris Garlock’s crack recording/broadcast team included Andrew Jackson (YouTube live-streaming), Dennis Wheeler, Joe Cepiel, Richard Dolen and Jim Woh (game recorders). Xiaocheng Hu (xhu) provided the graphics for the video stream.
photo: Eric Cotsen, Orange County Go Club’s Kevin Chao and AGA president Andy Okun; photo by Brian “Ferrari” Peregrina


Second Time the Charm as Mark Lee 7D Sweeps to Win Cotsen Open

Monday October 26, 2015

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 2015.10.25_cotsen-okun-lee-gross-P1000244capturing 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 playe2015.10.25_massage-P1000220rs 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
E (11k+): 1. Luke Weatherby (14k)  5 – 0; 2. Alexi Kopylov (20k)  5 – 0; 3. Derek Su (12k)  4 – 1

Round 4-5 Top-Board Game Records:
Rd4 Mark Lee v. EvanCho ,
Rd4 Daniel Ko v. Boyang Chen ,
Rd4 Aaron Ye v. Jeremy Chiu ,
Rd4 Ho Son v. Daniel Liu ,
Rd5 Mark Lee v. Ho Son ,
Rd5 Evan Cho v. Boyang Chen ,
Rd5 Stephen Hu v. Jeremy Chiu ,
Rd5 Norman Tsai v. Daniel Ko 


Mark Lee Looking to Score First Cotsen Title

Saturday October 24, 2015

2015.10.24_MarkLee-P1000132Mark Lee 7D (left) stormed through the first three rounds of the 2015 Cotsen Open on Saturday as he tried to capture his first Cotsen title. Only young 2015.10.24_cotsen-umbrella-P1000116Aaron Ye even came close to upsetting the former Korean insei, in a third-round slugfest in which Ye managed to gain a slight advantage in the middle game, only to see his position collapse in the endgame under time pressure and an exquisite tesuji by Lee. Top boards in the final two rounds will be broadcast again live on KGS Sunday starting at 10a PST, with live-streaming of Board 1 on the AGA’s YouTube channel. Yilun Yang 7P will play another Chinese professional starting at 8a on KGS. Click here for a crosstab of results through Round 3.
Games from the top boards:
Rd1 Michael Zhou v. Mark Lee ,
Rd1 Evan Cho v. SukJun Kim ,
Rd1 Daniel Ko v. Vincent Zhuang ,
Rd1 Kevin Chao v. Boyang Chen ,
Rd2 Jeremy Chiu v. Mark Lee ,
Rd2 VincentZ huang v. Evan Cho ,
Rd2 Boyang Chen v. Daniel Liu ,
Rd2 Aaron Ye v. Stephen Hu ,
Rd3 Aaron Ye v. Mark Lee ,
Rd3 Daniel Liu v. Evan Cho ,
Rd3 Matthew Burrall v. Daniel Ko ,

photo: awaiting Round 1 pairings Saturday morning on the patio at the LA Center, just outside the Strong Players Room; report/photos by Chris Garlock


Cotsen Pre-Registration Closes; On-site Registration Available Saturday Morning

Wednesday October 21, 2015

Pre-registration for this weekend’s Cotsen Open has ended — 143 pre-registered! — but organizers report that “you can still register at the door” 2015.10.21_cotsen-yang-review-DSC_0039on Saturday morning. Registration will open at 8a on Saturday at the LA Center Studios, 1201 W. 5th Street, Ste. T-100 (450 S. Bixel Street will get you to the correct gate to enter) and closes at 9a sharp; anyone registering after 9a will not be able to play in the first round (click here for the complete schedule). “Even if you pre-registered, you must still sign in Saturday morning,” notes Tournament Director Chris Sira.

The Cotsen offers a free food truck lunch on both days and the entry fee is refunded if you play in all five rounds. Yilun Yang 7P will play a match against Qun Wang 8P on Sunday morning, followed by an analysis of the game. Kiseido/Yutopian will have a vendor table on the Saturday of the event. The E-Journal will broadcast top-board games on KGS.
photo: Eric Cotsen reviews a game with Yilun Yang 7P at last year’s Open; food truck in background; photo by Chris Garlock 


Cotsen Registration Tops 120; Volunteers Wanted

Monday October 19, 2015

Registration for this weekend’s Cotsen Open has topped 120, organizers report. Coming up October 24-25 at the LA Center Studios in Los 2015.10.19_cotsen2014-DSC_0057Angeles, CA, the popular tournament features a free food truck lunch on both days: Komodo Food on Saturday and Kogi BBQ  on Sunday. The $20 entry fee is refunded if you play in all five rounds. Yilun Yang 7P will play a match against Qun Wang 8P on Sunday morning, followed by an analysis of the game. Kiseido/Yutopian will have a vendor table on the Saturday of the event.

Volunteers are needed to help set up on Friday and record top-board games during the tournament. To help set up (free pizza!), email; if interested in recording/broadcasting for the E-Journal (free EJ caps!); email

photo: top board at the 2014 Cotsen; photo by Chris Garlock


Cotsen Update: 90 registered; Volunteers needed (free pizza & caps!)

Tuesday October 13, 2015

Over 90 players have already pre-registered for this year’s Cotsen Open, coming up October 24-25 at the LA Center Studios in Los Angeles, CA.2015.10.13_Komodo Truck The popular tournament features a free food truck lunch on both days: Komodo Food on Saturday and Kogi BBQ  on Sunday. The $20 entry fee is refunded if you play in all five rounds.

Volunteers are wanted to help set up on Friday and record top-board games during the tournament. “Free pizza for helping set up the tournament space on Friday, October 23,” promises Tournament Organizer Samantha Davis. Email her at

If interested in recording/broadcasting for the E-Journal (free EJ caps!); email



Cotsen Open Deadline Approaching

Tuesday October 6, 2015

With the October 20 deadline approaching, over 65 players have already pre-registered for this year’s Cotsen Open, October 24-25 at the LA 2015.10.06_cotsen-yang-DSC_0066Center Studios (note new location). In addition to one of the largest and strongest fields on the West Coast, the tournament features free food truck lunch on both days, a full refund of the $20 entry fee if you play in all five rounds and the hallmark of the Cotsen, free massages for all players. Davis adds. Yilun Yang 7P will play a match against Qun Wang 8P on Sunday morning, followed by an analysis of the game. Kiseido/Yutopian will have a vendor table on the Saturday of the event.

As an added bonus, “We will be printing new ‘Cotsen Open’ branded products, including never before seen playmat travel go boards with original art,” reports Tournament Organizer Samantha Davis. 

photo: Yilun Yang 7P plays pro-pro game at the 2014 Cotsen Open; photo by Chris Garlock


Cotsen Registration Opens

Wednesday September 9, 2015

“At long last, Cotsen Open 2015 registration is now open!” reports Tournament Organizer Samantha Davis. The tournament is set for October 24-25 at the LA Center Studios (1201 W. 5th Street, Ste. T-100) in Los Angeles, California. “There are many great perks for preregistering!” Davis says, including free food truck lunch on both days, and a full refund of the $20 entry fee if you play in all five rounds. “And everyone gets free massages during their games (if they want),” Davis adds. As usual, there will also be a Sunday morning game between Yilun Yang 7p and another top pro, as well as thousands of dollars in prizes.
Categories: Cotsen Open

Youwhan Kim Wins 2014 Cotsen Open

Sunday October 26, 2014

Dark horse Youwhan Kim 7D, a former Korean insei, won the 2014 Cotsen Open, upsetting 2014 Masters champion Mark Lee in the second round 2014.10.26_M-Kim-cotsen-champ-DSC_0103and going on to sweep the rest of the tournament, 5-0. Kim’s play was consistently sharp and tough and he was unfazed by the speedy 20-second overtime, which added pressure to some of his opponents. Tournament sponsor Eric Cotsen congratulated the new tournament champion, saying “I like change. Anything that shakes things up at the top, that works for me.” Click here for top-board game records and complete results. Additional photos are on the AGA’s Facebook page.

Kim is part of an informal dojo at Myungwan Kim 9P’s home in Los Angeles, where2014.10.27_myungwan-teaches-DSC_0092 Beomgeun “Evan” Cho and Mark Lee also live. Youwhan Kim arrived three months ago to study English and says Myungwan Kim (no relation) “has been a big help with advice about life in Los Angeles.” Although Youwhan Kim and Mark Lee did not know each other back in Korea — Lee is of a younger generation — the two have played at Myungwan Kim’s, where they split games 1-1. Youwhan Kim was in the second insei league, “close to professional,” says Myungwan Kim, but is now too old to become a professional in Korea. He’s studying go at Myongji University and had many friends in Korea who spoke English, and realized he’d need to learn English too. He has one more semester of study at Myongji and will return to finish up in a few months. His advice to amateur players who want to improve: “Review your own games carefully; this is the best way to get better.”
- report/photos by Chris Garlock


2014 Cotsen Go Tournament & AGA Pro Prelim Winner’s Report

Sunday October 26, 2014


Click here for top-board game records and complete results. Additional photos are on the AGA’s Facebook page.

Special Awards: Richard Dolen (top right) and Larry Gross received special awards from tournament sponsor Eric Cotsen for their longtime support and promotion of the game of go.

1. Youwhan Kim 7d
2. Calvin Sun 8d*
3. Mark Lee 7d*
4. Qipeng Luo 7d*
5. Beomgeun Cho 9d*
* Sun & Lee were tied for 2nd; Sun was awarded 2nd place by default when Lee missed the award ceremony; Luo and Cho were tied for 4th place and Luo won 4th place in a rock-paper-scissors shoot-out conducted by Eric Cotsen.

A – 3d-5d
1. Jerry Shen 4d
2. Michael Wanek 4d
3. Nathan Harwit 4d2014.10.27_yang-DSC_0066

B – 1d-2d
1. James Lou 2d
2. Tina Bai 2d
3. Dan Alvira 2d

C – 1k-5k
1. Ryan Kierulf 1k
2. Clement Wong 3k
3. Yunyen Lee 3k

D – 6k-11k
1. Greg Kulevich 8k
2. Christopher Rumsey 9k
3. Chris Kaynor 8k

E – 12k+2014.10.27_cotsen-club-prize
1. Dowson Yang 19k
2. James Maloney 25k
3. Victoria Blue 26k

1. Orange County
2. Bay Area
3. YuGo*
* YuGo was tied with Arizona and won 3rd in a rock-paper-scissors shoot-out (at right)

Cotsen Staff: Samantha Davis & crew: Wenguang Wu, Katie Dicus, Matthew Jarrell, Torey Byrne was photographer, and Jerry Miller. Chris Sira was the Tournament Director.
E-Journal Team: Richard Dolen (Board 2), Nick McNelis (Board 3), Joe Cepiel (Board 4); team coordination (& Board 1 recording) by Chris Garlock