Saturday October 26, 2013
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
2013.10.26_CotsenRd1Bd1_Beomgeun Cho-Yixian Zhou
2013.10.26_CotsenRd1Bd2_Andy Liu-Wayne Cheng-Haijin Lee Commentary
2013.10.26_CotsenRd1Bd3_Won Sik Lee-Izuki Matsuba
2013.10.26_CotsenRd2Bd1_Beomgeun Cho-Ari Saito-Yilun Yang Commentary
2013.10.26_CotsenRd2Bd2_Andy Liu-Gus Price
2013.10.26_CotsenRd2Bd3_Won Sik Lee-Rui Wang
2013.10.26_CotsenRd3Bd2_Andy Liu-Juyong Ko
2013.10.26_CotsenRd3Bd3_Yunxuan Li-Won Sik Lee
Saturday October 26, 2013
It takes a lot to get the guys at the Korean Go Club in Los Angeles to stop playing. Their moves are fierce and the concentration is total. But on Friday, they put down their stones and looked up from their boards as Dae-won Suh, President of the Asian Go Federation (AGF) and Vice President of the Korean Amateur Baduk Association (KABA) and Dalsoo Kim, Secretary General of the AGF announced that the club — an AGA chapter — will be the first overseas branch of KABA.
The United States was chosen because of the ongoing collaboration between the Korean and American go communities, especially last year’s inauguration of the US pro system through the Tygem-AGA Pro Tournament. “This is just the fifth professional go system in the world,” said an obviously proud Suh, who’s also a former Korean Ambassador. “We very much hope it will prosper.” And Los Angeles was selected because “it has the largest Korean population outside of our country,” he added. Another connection is the Korean Cultural Center, which this weekend is hosting the Cotsen Open for the second year. “We’re very glad that the KCC can host this tournament again this year and hope that it will help discover new talents,” Suh said.
Ambassador Suh also noted that “there were lots of Korean professionals at this year’s U.S. Go Congress,” adding that the Korean Baduk Association (the professional player’s association in Korea) and KABA “have committed to supporting the U.S. go scene,” including training like that offered by Myung-wan Kim 9P, who beamed quietly in the back of the Korean Go Club as the officials made their remarks. “All of this, we hope, will help promote go in the United States,” said Suh.
AGA President Andy Okun welcomed the move and called KGC organizer Gary Choi “a real friend to the go community and the AGA for a very long time,” and thanked the club’s players “for being so welcoming when we come here and for supporting AGA events like the Cotsen.” Okun also extended an enthusiastic welcome and congratulations to KABA’s new branch, saying that “LA is the right place” for this step.
Korean Consul General Yeonsung Shin closed the brief ceremony — which was also attended by Hajin Lee 3p, Chosun Daily reporter Hongryal Lee, Cyberoro reporter Kim Soo Kwang, KABA staffer Jong-geun Lee and 2015 Go Congress organizer Josh Larson — by announcing that he and Ambassador Suh are interested in working with the AGA to organize a Consul’s Cup and Shin, Suh and Okun could later be seen discussing plans. But first Okun was invited to take on Kim Younghwan 9p — the “Younghwan Wizard” — who quickly demonstrated his ability to give more handicap stones to amateur players than any other pro, and still win.
- report/photos by Chris Garlock
Saturday October 26, 2013
The food truck and masseuses are confirmed, the boards and clocks have been set up and the Koreans professionals await the arrival of players at the 2013 Cotsen Open in Los Angeles, CA today, one of the most competitive tournaments outside the annual U.S. Go Congress. Registration opens at 8a sharp at the Korean Cultural Center (5505 Wilshire Blvd) and walk-ins are welcome to compete for thousands in individual and club prizes. The tournament fee is completely refundable for players attending both days (three rounds Saturday and two rounds Sunday), and the lunches are free both Saturday and Sunday. For those unable to attend, follow the top-board action LIVE on KGS as the American Go E-Journal team broadcasts games on the USGO accounts, and look for updates on the AGA website as well as in daily EJ updates. photo: setting up Friday at the Cotsen; report/photo by Chris Garlock
Tuesday October 22, 2013
Online registration for the 2013 Cotsen Go Open and 2nd AGA Pro Prelim is now closed. To register on-site in Los Angeles, come early this Saturday, October 26th; registration opens at 8a at the Korean Cultural Center (5505 Wilshire Blvd). “If you are not registered by 9:30, you will not be allowed to play in the first game,” organizers warn. The Cotsen features a number of unique attractions, including paying the AGA “one time rating fee” for all players who do not currently have an AGA membership, prizes for those who can solve certain go problems, one candidate will be selected for the AGA’s next professional certification tournament to be held later this year. Plus, Myung-wan Kim 9P, one of the organizers of the US pro system, will also be on hand to teach and play simultaneous games and local Southern California favorite and renowned US teacher Yi-Lun Yang 7P will also teach and provide game commentary. There will also be a pro game over the internet between Yi-Lun Yang 7P and another pro. Lee Hajin 3p and Kim Minhee 3p will also be there to do game reviews and simuls along with a late addition to the delegation, Kim Younghwan 9p. Kim (left) became pro in 1987. His nickname is “Younghwan Wizard” because of his ability to give more handicap stones to amateur players than any other pro, and still win. He is currently working as a baduk instructor and a commentator for Baduk TV. The tournament also features free lunch at a food truck (but only for those who pre-register) and two masseuses who will make the rounds “to ease the tensions that arise in your shoulders when you discover that your big group really doesn’t have two eyes.” There are also go club prizes of $1,500, to be awarded to top three clubs that have the most points overall in the tournament. Top-board games will be broadcast live on KGS by the E-Journal. photo: Cotsen with son Lord at the 2012 Cotsen Open; top right photo by Chris Garlock
Thursday October 10, 2013
This Saturday’s Gotham Tournament in New York City is “basically full up,” reports organizer Peter Armenia. The space holds 82 and there are already 83 registered. There may be some no-shows or last-minute cancellations though, so if you’re interested in playing, go ahead and register here and if you’re registered but not able to attend, email Armenia at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the continent, there’s still time and space to sign up for the popular Cotsen Open in Los Angeles, CA (free lunches, massages, pro commentaries, etc), October 26-27. Click here to register.
Click here for the complete upcoming go tournament/event calendar.
Saturday October 5, 2013
Two Korean professionals, Lee Hajin 3p and Kim Minhee 3p, have just been confirmed for the upcoming Cotsen Open in Los Angeles, CA. With Yang Yilun 7p and Myung-wan Kim 9p, that means four pros will be on hand for individual game analysis and simuls.
Minhee Kim 3P (left) became a professional in 1991 and is now working as a lecturer at Myoungji University’s Department of Baduk Studies. Hajin Lee 3P became a professional in 2004 and now works in the Korea Baduk Association’s International Affairs Division.
The 5-round Cotsen will run Saturday and Sunday, October 26-27 at the Korean Cultural Center in Los Angeles, CA. Click here for details and to register. The tournament also features cash prizes for go clubs, free lunch both days and free shoulder massages while you play.
photo (top right): Lee Hajin 3p (left), with IGF Secretary General Yuki Shigeno 2p last month at the World Amateur Go Championship in Japan; photo by John Pinkerton
Sunday September 22, 2013
The winning go club at the upcoming Cotsen Open takes home a $1,000 prize. Points are awarded based on how well each club’s members do in the popular event, scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, October 26-27 at the Korean Cultural Center in Los Angeles, CA. “So make sure your club is well-represented!” says registrar Samantha Davis. Click here for details and to register. The 5-round tournament also features game commentaries by Myung-wan Kim 9P and Yilun Yang 7P, free lunch both days and free shoulder massages while you play. photo: Myungwan Kim commenting a game at the 2012 Cotsen; photo by Chris Garlock
Sunday September 15, 2013
Free lunch, shoulder massages and pro game commentaries…registration is now open for the Cotsen Open, one of the most unique and popular go events on the annual North American go calendar. The tournament is set for Saturday and Sunday, October 26-27 at the Korean Cultural Center in Los Angeles, CA. Myung-wan 9P, one of the organizers of the US pro system, will also be on hand to teach and play simultaneous games, while local Southern California favorite and renowned US teacher Yi-Lun Yang 7P will also teach and provide game commentary. Registration and lunch are free but only for those who pre-register (and who play both days), “so sign up now!” say organizers. photo: 2012 Cotsen Open players line up for their free lunch at the Korean lunch truck; photo by Chris Garlock
Sunday September 1, 2013
This year’s Cotsen Open and Pro Prelim has been set for October 26-27 at the Korean Cultural Center in Los Angeles, according to AGA President Andy Okun. The tournament, put together by local go devotee and businessman Eric Cotsen, will include many of the features that made it a perennial favorite. These include the circulating massage therapists, impressive trophies, free lunch, and refunds for those who preregister and play all their games, as well as teaching, puzzles, and a demonstration game by Yang Yilun 7P. “We are extremely grateful to Eric for sponsoring this great event again, and to the KCCLA, Ambassador Yeon-sung Shin and retired Ambassador Suh Dae-won for arranging for us to be in their beautiful facility again,” said Okun. Top boards will be broadcast online by the E-Journal. A registration site should be up within days; inquiries can be sent to registrar Samantha Davis at CotsenGoTournament2013@gmail.com.