Who will be the next American pro? Eight young North American go players will battle it out for the honor and opportunity early next year in Los Angeles at the second AGA Pro Certification Tournament. The field includes four Americans and four Canadians, all of whom are quite young. 24-year-old Eric Lui, who used to be among the youngest at tournaments is the oldest participant in this tournament. Lui and Jianing Gan (17) are both seeded players from the previous Pro Qualification Tournament; Calvin Sun (16) and Bill Lin (17) qualified at this year’s US Go Open; Ben Lockhart (20) qualified at the Gotham Go Tournament; Daniel Gourdeau (20) qualified at the Canadian Open, Andrew Lu (16) at the Cotsen Open and Ryan Li (19) was the last qualifier, winning last Sunday’s Online Pro Prelim. The AGA Pro Certification Tournament will be held January 2-8 in Los Angeles and all boards will be broadcast live on KGS by the E-Journal. photo: at the 2012 AGA-Tygem Pro Tournament; photo by Nam Chi-Hyung
American Go E-Journal » U.S. Pro Tournament
Thursday November 21, 2013
Tuesday November 19, 2013
The architect heading up restoration of the historic Hotel Normandie in Los Angeles has donated use of its function rooms for the upcoming second AGA Pro Qualification Tournament January 2-8 in Los Angeles (more details coming soon; meanwhile check out this Online Qualifier game from last Sunday between Jie Liang and Ryan Li which features lots of fighting spirit and really complicated fighting). The donation is courtesy of Jingbo Lou, a Pasadena architect who is leading the $5 million restoration of the 1926 hotel. The Normandie was designed by Albert Walker and Percy Eisen, whose other buildings include the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills and Downtown LA’s Fine Arts Building. The hotel started life as a modest but dignified residence hotel mostly for men, but also serving as a gathering spot for women’s and civic groups; although the hotel kept its name (hailed on a lit steel sign visible for miles from the roof) over the decades, it gradually went downhill, tile and hardwood floors covered with worn carpets, some windows closed off with drywall, stucco concealing brick and hard times hanging over the clientele. In 2010, it almost turned into a hotel for medical marijuana users. For Lou, who grew up in Beijing and came to the US in the early 90s, the hotel was an opportunity to restore a bit of what LA used to be like, to learn something about US society and to show respect for local culture, custom and history. “I was first introduced to go in college back in China, but stopped playing after I came to America,” Lou tells the E-Journal. “I picked up go again twenty years later, this time was with my five-year-old son, who was born in America. We joined a local club, the YuGo Club, and I also participated in teaching go at the Pasadena Public Library’s youth program. I saw there was much positive influence on American youths from go,” he says. “My passion in architecture and development is to build places for people to live, work and enjoy. Promoting go gives me the opportunity to introduce this rich Asian culture to my American friends.” - Andy Okun
Monday October 28, 2013
Players have until this Friday, November 1st to register for the upcoming Pro Qualification Tournament on KGS, scheduled for November 9, 10, 16 and 17. The event is open to US and Canadian citizens who meet a minimal residency requirement and have either an AGA rating or stable KGS rank of 5d or higher. Competitors should also be members of AGA or CGA. The winner will be invited to participate in the pro selection tournament in Los Angeles Jan. 2-8, receiving an $800 travel subsidy. Players can register for the tournament here. Upon registration players should also submit a copy of their US or Canadian passport. The residency requirement is that players have lived in the US or Canada for at least three of the last six years or else obtain a waiver from the AGA president based on their time overseas being temporary and for the purpose of education, go study or an overseas posting. Anyone with questions about the tournament should contact Karoline Burrall Li at email@example.com. Anyone with questions about pro selection or the residency requirement should contact Okun at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saturday October 19, 2013
The online prelim for the American Go Association’s 2013 professional selection process will take place on KGS in November, the AGA Pro System Committee announced earlier this week. The event is open to US and Canadian citizens who meet a minimal residency requirement and have either an AGA rating or stable KGS rank of 5d or higher. Competitors should also be members of AGA or CGA. The tournament will take place November 9, 10, 16 and 17 in the AGA Tournaments Room on KGS. The winner will be invited to participate in the pro selection tournament in Los Angeles Jan. 2-8 2014, receiving an $800 travel subsidy. Players can register for the tournament here. Upon registration players should also submit a copy of their US or Canadian passport. The residency requirement is that players have lived in the US or Canada for at least three of the last six years or else obtain a waiver from the AGA president based on their time overseas being temporary and for the purpose of education, go study or an overseas posting. For questions about the tournament contact Karoline Burrall Li at email@example.com. For questions about pro selection or the residency requirement contact AGA President Andy Okun at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sunday August 4, 2013
The AGA’s second pro certification tournament is being planned for this coming December, AGA President Andy Okun tells the E-Journal. “We had hoped to announce earlier in the year, but the sponsor of our first tournament, Tygem, decided for internal reasons not to continue their support, so we spent some time on the search for a replacement sponsor.” The AGA’s pro system committee felt strongly that a 2013 tournament should be held and so a smaller tournament is being planned for early or mid-December, with eight competitors competing for one pro position. The competitors will include the two runners-up from last year’s certification, two from the top finishers of the US Open at this year’s U.S. Go Congress, one chosen in an online tournament, one from the Cotsen Tournament tentatively scheduled for late October, one from a tournament in New York, and the top-rated eligible AGA player not selected by these events. The finals will be held in Los Angeles and will include a modest travel subsidy. photo: Myungwan Kim 9P congratulates Andy Liu 1P, the first pro certified by the AGA in 2012; photo by Steve Colburn
Wednesday July 17, 2013
The American Go Association (AGA) Board of Directors approved the AGA budget for fiscal 2014 at its meeting on July 7; the budget includes funds for a pro certification tournament to be completed by the end of 2013. The AGA will continue to look for new sponsors to replace Tygem, but will run this year’s tournament from reserves and from money earmarked for the AGA’s new professional system. In other actions, the Board approved the creation of a pilot program for AGA ratings of online games, which would parallel the ratings system now in place for in-person games. President Andy Okun will be pursuing implementation plans along with completion of plans to issue formal Rank Certificates to players who have demonstrated achievement at a particular rank level. The first such certificates will be awarded to top finishers in most brackets at the 2013 US Go Congress. Additionally, Bob Gilman and Royce Chen have been authorized to investigate the feasibility of bringing a Cuban player — or players — to the 2014 US Go Congress. The Board will assess options for fundraising and implementing such an effort after the committee reports back.
AGA Pro Tourney Game Records Posted; Women Who Get Go; Vogue interviews Xie Yimin; GoGoD Publishes Chinese Classic in E-Book Form; Go Mention in Stevie McCabe Mystery; Nice Go
Wednesday September 12, 2012
AGA Pro Tourney Game Records Posted: AGA-TYGEMGO Pro Tournament game records for both the main tournament and the Exhibition League have been added to the AGA Professional System page on the AGA website. To see the tournament draw – and download game records – scroll down to “Results.” Thanks to Dennis Wheeler and Steve Colburn for their work on this.
Women Who Get Go: Go has been catching on recently among young women in Japan, Daniel Krieger reported in The Japan Times earlier this year (The women who get go 5/15/2012). “Just last year, it started to get more popular,” said Mayumi Otsuka, 29, who has been hosting monthly get-togethers since last year at a go parlor in Osaka where she and her 27-year-old sister, Satomi, have been working (and playing up to 10 times a day) for the past three years. International Go Federation vice president Thomas Hsiang said that “To facilitate the next big change, we need a model” like a “Bobby Fischer” of women’s go, and suggested that the two best bets on the pro scene are 18-year-old Joanne Missingham, who is a sensation in Taiwan, and Hsieh Yi Min (Xie Yimin), a 22-year-old prodigy who came to Japan 10 years ago and is now at the top of the women’s game. photo: Yasuko Mantani (left) and Aya Kitano commence a game of go at the Shinsaibashi Igo Salon in Osaka. photo by AIMI NAKANO, courtesy The Japan Times
Vogue interviews Xie Yimin: In a related story, GoGameGuru’s David Ormerod reports that “Vogue Taiwan and the fashion house Chanel recently did a video interview with Xie Yimin, the Women’s Honinbo Meijin in Japan. It’s part of a series of interviews with directors, musicians, go players – basically artists.” Although the video is in Mandarin, GoGameGuru has posted an English transcript along with the video here. “When I first arrived at the Nihon Kiin, I had to learn to kneel while I played,” Xie Yimin says in the interview. “I would kneel until my legs and feet went numb. However, my Go Sensei (teacher) said that, before the goban, one must learn to display a modest demeanour before one can become strong at Go.”
GoGoD Publishes Chinese Classic in E-Book Form: GoGoD has issued another e-book on Amazon: Gateway To All Marvels. Gateway is special edition of the 1347 Chinese classic Xuanxuan Qijing (Gengen Gokyo in Japanese), which John Fairbairn says “is surely the most significant go book ever produced. It has become the foundation for virtually every problem book since, as well as being the main source for early go theory.” The new e-book version “brings together every problem and every variant from perhaps every subsequent edition, and discusses how the almost 500 problems and their solutions have evolved and varied, and also how even modern professionals often disagree on the correct solutions or, dare we say it, trip up,” Fairbairn adds. Previous GoGoD e-books include Inoue Genan Inseki and The Life of Honinbo Shuei, also available on Amazon.
Go Mention in Stevie McCabe Mystery: “Go is mentioned in the fifth novel in the Stevie McCabe mystery series, No Shadow in the City by John Callaghan, a Scottish author,” reports Su Co Chon Duc (Marjorie E. Hey). “In Chapter 4, there are several pages introducing go to the private investigator, Stevie McCabe. It is mentioned again in passing in Chapters 6 and 29. There’s some mayhem, but there are no ripping viscera, no splintering skulls. Yes, there are sexual encounters, because the characters have real lives, but no lingering erotica. It is marked for For Adults because of language.” While the first four books are available in paperback and Kindle format, Su Co Chon Duc notes that this book is currently only available on Kindle.
Nice Go: Bob Barber reports that go pops up in “Mr. Nice,” a 2010 film about a Welsh drug dealer. “There’s a minute of go at minute 19,” says Barber.
Tuesday August 7, 2012
The AGA-TYGEMGO Pro Tournament finals were made possible by the work of many people who logged a lot of hours at Black Mountain last week, including: Myung Wan Kim 9P (event organizer, Tygem support, pro commentator), Andy Okun (event organizer), Allan Abramson (event organizer, game recorder), Jeff Shaevel (event organizer, tournament director), Todd Heidenreich (recording team leader, game recorder), Dennis Wheeler (game recorder), Richard Crandall (game recorder), Peter St. John (game recorder), I-Han Lui (game recorder), Terry McIntyre (game recorder), Andrew Jackson (game recorder). Also the tech teams at event sponsor Tygem, along with support from KGS. photo: Steve Colburn
Saturday August 4, 2012
Gangsheng Shi (far left) defeated Jianing Gan Saturday morning to become the second US-certified professional in the AGA-TYGEMGO Pro Finals that concluded today in Black Mountain, NC. Shi and Andy Liu won professional certification and $1,500 each in prize money.
“You both played beautifully and really earned this honor,” American Go Association President Allan Abramson (second from left) said at a special welcoming ceremony Saturday afternoon with tournament organizer Myungwan Kim 9P (second from right) and TD Jeff Shaevel (center). Kim outlined the rights and responsibilities of a professional go player to the newly-minted professionals as they sipped organic green tea from US-made cups. “You’re eligible to play in major Korean tournaments as well as other tournaments where US pros are invited,” Kim said. He also discussed the “high expectations” of professional go players, noting that “You are not individual go players any longer, you are now representatives of the AGA and the US go community.” The two nodded solemnly, looking a bit overwhelmed.
“It sounds very exciting,” Liu said, “the KBA has been so very generous to us all.” Added Shi, “I’m very happy for the opportunity to play and I hope that our success will influence more people to play go.” TD Jeff Shaevel agreed, saying that “A lot of people, including right here at the Congress, are looking up to you now. It might seem like the same as a few days ago, but everything’s changed now.”
Here’s the final set of results from the AGA-TYGEMGO Pro Finals, including all standings and prizes. For latest standings and game records, click here and scroll down to Results.
7A (Game 2): GANSHENG SHI (W, PRO), Jianing Gan (B, Seed)
Game 1: Curtis Tang (W), CALVIN SUN (B)
Game 2: SOOIL KIM (B), Matthew Burrall (W)
Game 3: YUAN ZHOU (B), Edward Kim (W)
Game 4: BILL LIN (B), Andrew Lu (W)
Game 5: JUSTIN TENG (W), Ned Phipps (B)
Final standings and prizes
1st (Final score: 6 points, $300 each) : Curtis Tang, Calvin Sun, Bill Lin
4th (4-4.5 points, $175 each): Andrew Lu, Sooil Kim, Yuan Zhou
7th (3-3.5 points): Justin Teng, Edward Kim, Matthew Burrall, Ned Phipps
11th (2 points): Ben Lockhart
photos: top right: Shi and Liu receive pro certificates from Myungwan Kin 9P and AGA President Allan Abramson as TD Jeff Shaevel looks on (photo by Chris Garlock); middle left: Shi and Liu meet with Kim for a special welcome ceremony (photo by Chris Garlock); bottom right: the entire AGA-TYGEMGO Pro Finals group; photo by Nik Gonzales, Second Camera, The Surrounding Game
Friday August 3, 2012
Andy Liu defeated Gansheng Shi on Friday morning to become the first US certified go professional, prevailing 2-1 in the final match of the AGA-TYGEMGO Pro tournament. Shi then defeated Jianing Gan Friday afternoon by 1.5 points in the first round of the three-game match to determine the other US certified professional. The second round will be held at 9a Saturday morning, with the third round (if necessary) to be held Saturday afternoon. Both games will be broadcast – with live commentary by Myungwan Kim 9P– on TygemGo Korea1 Server and on KGS. “This was a really exciting Final,” an exhausted Kim told the E-Journal. “All the top finalists were young players, which bodes well for the future of the new American pro system. This Final was not the end,” Kim added. “There’s a lot to do, both domestically and internationally, now that our first two US certified pros have joined the ranks of American professionals.”
Here are the full results of Friday’s games from the AGA-TYGEMGO Pro Finals. The name in ALL CAPS is the winner (color played, next match). For latest standings and game records, click here and scroll down to Results.
Morning games (8/3):
4A (Game 3): ANDY LIU (B, PRO), Gansheng Shi (B, 7A)
Game 1: CURTIS TANG (W), Andrew Lu (B)
Game 2: CALVIN SUN (W), Sooil Kim (B)
Game 3: BILL LIN (B), Hugh Zhang (W)
Game 4: EDWARD KIM (W), Justin Teng (B)
Game 5: MATTHEW BURRALL (B), Ben Lockhart (W)
Game 6: NED PHIPPS (W), Yuan Zhou (B)
7A (Game 1): GANSHENG SHI (B), Jianing Gan (W)
Game 1: Curtis Tang, Calvin Sun
Game 2: Sooil Kim, Matthew Burrall
Game 3: Yuan Zhou, Edward Kim
Game 4: Bill Lin, Andrew Lu
Game 5: Justin Teng, Ned Phipps
7A (Game 3, if needed): Gansheng Shi, Jianing Gan
photo at right: TD Jeff Shaevel congratulates Liu; photos (left) by Nik Gonzales, Second Camera, The Surrounding Game