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MLily Cup: Setting the Stage

Wednesday August 23, 2017

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by Karoline LiIMG_0602

The 3rd MLily Cup tournament venue is the beautiful Tong Que Tai New Century Hotel International (photo top left) in Tongling City, located in Anhui province, on the Yangtze River just a few hours south-east of Hefei, the provincial capital. One block away, and visible from the hotel, is a large lake called Tianjinghu surrounded by walking paths and parks. A few tree studded walking paths cut across the center of the lake (photo right), joining the banks with several islands and peninsulas. In some areas of the park, it was easy to forget that I was walking in the middle of a city as I climbed stone paths surrounded by forest. I was able to explore the park in the early morning light, before the heat of the day set in - which made the temperature comfortable despite sky-high humidity – and found it to be a popular place for locals to jog, swim, practice martial arts, and warm up their vocal chords to get ready for the day.

fullsizeoutput_bccThe city is filled with copper and bronze statues (bottom left) that provide evidence of the city’s industry. Tongling City is named for it’s copper history, which stretches back 3500 years; Tongling was the site of the first industrial production of copper in China. As a result, it was an early center of industry and wealth in the region. Tongling’s copper continues to serve as the base of industrial copper production in China (historical information from the MLily Game Guide).
-report/photos by Li, EJ Tournaments Bureau Chief

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Ryan Li’s journey to the top 16 of the MLily Cup

Wednesday August 23, 2017

IMG_0616by Karoline Li

Official MLily Cup tournament festivities kicked off Tuesday (local time) in Tongling City with a welcome dinner attended by players and association officials. Ryan Li 1P and his partner Stephanie Yin 1P (photo at right) sat down to talk with AGA National Tournament Coordinator Jeff Shaevel (photo at left on the right) and I after dinner to discuss the upcoming match and Li’s journey to reach this moment. He was born in Beijing, and began playing go with his father around the age of five. He attended a go school a few times a week, and by the time his family moved to Canada at age eight, he had achieved amateur 4 dan status. After the move to Canada, he played mostly online. “He didn’t have a teacher,” Stephanie explained. “He practiced and learned on his own.” When I asked when he started competing seriously, he explained that for a while he only played in a few local tournaments in Ottawa, and his first big competition was the 2010 Canadian Open. “I took second to Matthew Hu,” Ryan says. “That was the year he became a professional.” He represented Canada in the Korean Prime Ministers Cup that year. “I didn’t do much between 2010 and 2012,” Ryan laughs. Then he joined the Pandanet AGA City League team captained by Cathy Li 1P, and was a North American representative to the first MLily Cup. He lost in the preliminaries of the MLily, but his City League team has won the championship three times out of five. He played in the second pro qualification tournament, then won the third tournament in 2015 becoming the fourth North American professional go player. Both tournaments were directed by Jeff Shaevel. “The tournament venue was in Boston right by the ocean, and it was beautiful,” Ryan remembered. “ “It was freezing!” Jeff laughed, and though Ryan agreed he viewed that as a positive. “Well I’m Canadian, so I like the cold.”

The last few years, Li has also been busy studying. He earned his bachelor’s degree in physics from the University of Toronto, and became interested in atIMG_0662mospheric sciences after an internship with a professor who worked in the field. After earning his degree he went straight into a PhD program in the field at Yale University in New Haven, CT. “Does the logic for that fit with the logic of go?” Jeff asked. “I knew you were going to ask that,” Ryan laughed. “No, they don’t really go together.” Ryan explained that atmospheric sciences involves a lot of programming, data science, and theory. “Which is easier?” Jeff pressed. “Definitely go,” Ryan answered right away. “I really enjoy playing go,” he continued, his love of the game evident. “It started as a hobby, but after all these tournaments and becoming pro, it’s beyond a hobby, but it’s still fun. It’s one of the things I enjoy most.”

Li will face Li Xuanhao 6P on August 24th (local time), at 12:30pm in the top 16 match. He has prepared for this game for months by reviewing games and competing at the US Go Congress — where he went 8-1 and took second place in the Masters — in San Diego, and is excited for the match. “I have no secret weapon,” he said with a smile. “I’m just going to play my best and try to play move by move. At this point, I’m trying to relax.” He gives a lot of credit to Stephanie Yin, who has been helping him prepare for his matches and acting as his coach. Jeff smiled as Ryan talked about his preparations and his attitude towards tomorrow’s match. “This is such a proud moment for me,” Jeff beamed. “The pro qualifiers are a big deal for us, but we’re never sure what our pros will be doing after they qualify, and to see you playing in this tournament and doing so well is the most exciting thing. Whatever happens, I’m very, very proud.”
-report/photos by Li, EJ Tournaments Bureau Chief

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Ryan Li 1P ready to face next opponent in the MLily top 16

Saturday August 19, 2017

IMG_4795Ryan Li 1P is gearing up for his next match in the  MLily Meng Baihe Cup World Go Open Tournament (MLily Cup), achieving his place in the top 16 after a stunning upset win against Chen Yaoye 9P (photo at right) in the last round on June 21st; see the story and game record here“My goal going into the match was to not let him win too easily,” Li (right) said of preparing for the June match with Chen. In an interview at the recent U.S. Go Congress, Li said that he was excited for the match against Chen as a learning opportunity since Chen is a world champion who had previously beaten Ke Jie 9P. During the match, there was a moment at the beginning of the endgame, after all the groups had been settled, when Li realized he could actually win. “He told me that it felt like his heart would pop out of his chest,” Stephanie Yin 1P said with a smile. Li remembers that his first professional go tournament was as an amateur player invited to participate in the MLily preliminaries in 2012 where he lost in the first round, and he characterizes his place in the top 16 of this year’s MLily as a life achievement. “I’ve always wanted to be in the top 16 in a professional go tournament,” he says. “I set that goal right before this tournament started, and it immediately happened. It’s just amazing.” Ryan Li is only the fourth professional go player to be certified by the AGA, winning the January 2015 pro certification tournament, and when not playing go, he is pursuing a PhD in atmospheric sciences at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.

Li will face Li Xuanhao 6P in Tongling, Anhui on August 24th, and he used the 33rd US Go Congress as training to prepare for the match. He won eight of nine games in the US Open Masters Division, taking second place and losing only to tournament champion Wu Hao 2P of China. On top of his Go Congress training, he has been studying his opponents’ game records for the past year, and says Li Xuanhao’s style is calm; he expects playing against Li to be difficult, and not just because of his calm, solid style. “I know him pretty well,” Ryan says. “If I were playing someone else, I could review games with him and discuss strategy, but since he’s my opponent of course that would be awkward.” What is he most looking forward to? “I’m really looking forward to all the time before the match, because I’m still in the top 16 right now,” Ryan laughs. Stay tuned for our on-site coverage of the top 16 of the MLily Cup this week.

-report by Karoline Li, EJ Tournaments Bureau Chief; photo by Stephanie Yin 1P

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Tang Zhenbokang Wins 11th Greg Lefler Memorial Tournament in Rochester

Monday November 2, 2015

IMG_3175The Empty Sky Go Club was host to 24 players for the 11th Greg Lefler Memorial IMG_3178Tournament on October 24th. Players from 8d to 28k competed in four rounds.

There were three divisions of winners. Dan Section: 1) Tang Zhenbokang; 2) Thomas Hsiang. Single Digit Kyu Section: 1) Jim Gonnella; 2) Luk Yan-Yeung. Double Digit Kyu Section: 1) Nakaya Hiroaki; 2) Joe Bauser. All first place winners went 4-0 and second place were 3-1.

Full tournament crosstabs have been rated on the AGAGD. Photos: (left) 24 players from Rochester, Syracuse, Buffalo, and Utica play a morning round. (Right) Tang Zhenbokang (white shirt) and others watch on as Thomas Hsiang plays one of his games.

 

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Capital Go Club Seeks Volunteers

Thursday June 27, 2013

The Capital Go Club in metro Washington is “looking for partners in operation and strategic planning,” reports club organizer Edward Zhang. The club has been serving area go players since 2010, organizing nearly a dozen events with professional go players, team competitions among American, Taiwanese, Chinese and Korean players, friendly matches between AGA members and students at local schools, and the 2013 NA Go Convention (photo), which featured tournaments covering two weekends in New Jersey and Virginia, instruction by professional players and more. The club’s top priorities over the next year include “setting up official go program in local schools, facilitating visits by players from Asia and planning for the 2014 edition of the NA Go Convention,” says Zhang. “If you want to be part of these exciting projects, please let us know!” Volunteers don’t need to live in the Washington DC metro area, Zhang adds. “We currently have a small but energetic and talented team, and there will be multiple types of rewards for a job well done.” Reach Zhang at zhiyuanz@gmail.com.

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Liu Xiaohan Wins NAGC’s Bei Dou Xing Cup

Friday March 1, 2013

Liu Xiaohan 7D (right) won the Bei Dou Xing Cup, the second leg of the recent North American Go Convention, held February 16-17 in Arlington, VA. Zhang Shujian 5D won the Expert division, Feng Wei 6K the Proficient division, Frederick Bao 13K the Intermediate, and Sarah Crites 20K (below left) the Novice.

Zhou Xinyu and Zheng Xiangnan won the Pair Go championship in DC despite handicap disadvantage. Notably, in the Pair Go semi-final, Yukino Takehara teamed up with Benjamin Coplon and bested her big brother Keiju Takahara and partner Ziyi Ge. The Ge/Takahara and Rongrong Zhang/Nathan Epstein pairs took 3rd place. In the NY/NJ NAGC Pair Go, Amy Wang 2D and Justin Ching 3D from the Feng Yun Go School won the final match against Yinyu Zhou and Wuhao Jiao; Ziyi Ge /Xinzeng Feng and Yingzhi Qian/Michael Zhaonian Chen tied for 3rd. Ge was extremely excited to play Pair Go, saying “It is so much fun, and you can feel the sweetest moment when your partner plays at the exact spot you want it.” Wuhao Jiao/Xinyu Zhou and Yingzhi Qian/ Michael Zhaonian Chen took 3rd places.

Ruxu Cao 7D showed his mastery of Blitz Go, topping the competition in both NAGC chapters. With his star performance and solid support from other teammates, Team Beijing, consisting of just nine visiting players from mainland China, took the NAGC Team champion title. Yuan Zhou directed the DC event; Zhiyuan ‘Edward’ Zhang was “Commissioner and Chief Judge” of the NAGC.
- photos by Joshua Guarino (except top right, by Liang Yu); Pair Go photos: Rongrong Zhang-Nathan Epstein (top left); Xiangnan Zheng-Xinyu Zhou (top right); Yukino Takehara-Benjamin Coplon (bottom left); Keijiu Takehara-Ziyi Ge (bottom right)
CORRECTION: The following correction was posted on 3/26/2013: In the NY/NJ NAGC Pair Go, Amy Wang 2D and Justin Ching 3D from the Feng Yun Go School won the final match against Yinyu Zhou and Wuhao Jiao; Ziyi Ge /Xinzeng Feng and Yingzhi Qian/Michael Zhaonian Chen tied for 3rd. Also: Click here for Joanne Missingham’s Interview on VOA during NA Go Convention and N.A.G.C photos & updates.

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NAGC Update: Pro Events in Parsippany Tuesday; Event Moves South on Wednesday

Tuesday February 12, 2013

The North American Go Convention continues tonight as professional go players Myungwan Kim 9P and Joanne Missingham 6P (at right, playing Pair Go; click here for the game record) give lectures, play simuls or provide game reviews from 7-10p in Parsippany, NJ. The action shifts south tomorrow, moving to McLean, VA (8200 Greensboro Drive, Suite 900) and then to GMU in Arlington for the weekend (3351 Fairfax Dr.)

Results from the NAGC Days Inn Cup New York Metro Open: Open Division (6d and above): 1st: Ruxu Cao 7d; 2nd: Ruinan Wang 7d and Zeyu Xu 7d (tie). Expert Division (3d-5d): 1st: Zhihong Ma  4d; 2nd: Justin Ching 3d; 3rd: Willis Huang  3d. Proficient Division (1k-2d): 1st: Xinyu Zhou  1d; 2nd: David Glekel  2d; 3rd: Yunxiu Zhang  1k. Intermediate Division (12k-2k): 1st: Dan Ambrose 4k; 2nd: Barbara Huang 7k; 3rd: Bab Crites 12k. Novice Division (13k and below): 1st: Sarah Crites 28k; 2nd: Eric Weiss 17k; 3rd: James-Lee Meredith 18k. There were 33 players in the Dan and 1k Division, 16 players in the Kyu Division, for a total of 49 players. There were 17 players in the Blitz Go tournament, and eight in the Pair Go tournament.
Click here for the Dan Division Cross Tab and the Kyu Division Cross Tab
- Yue Zhang, Tournament Director; photo by Liang Yu

 

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NAGC Update (Saturday Night)

Saturday February 9, 2013

The North American Go Convention continues on Sunday, February 10. Cut-off time is 8:45A for the first round. “Drive safe” urges organizer Edward Zhang. Highlights include 3-4 rated games in the Open, awards for day-trippers 4-win trophies and 3-Win certificate), the Blitz Go Final, Pair Go Final and the Award Ceremony. Four pros are on hand: Myungwan Kim 9P, Joanne Missingham 6P, Andy Liu 1P and Stephanie Yin 1P. Click here for photos from Day One or here for more photos on Facebook.
Game records:
Round 1: zhaonian-chen-xuzeyu
Round 2: Cao-Ruxu-chen-zhaonian
Round 3:  wang-jun-chen-zhaonian
Round 4: zhaonian chen-wang ruinan

 

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North American Go Convention Launches

Saturday February 9, 2013

The North American Go Convention launched Friday night with welcoming speeches from organizers and professionals and simuls at the Days Inn Hotel in Parsippany, New Jersey. Action continues Saturday with tournaments, lectures, simuls and more. Call 703-888-9240 or 407- 810-4098 for info. photos by Errol Missingham; collage by Chris Garlock

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N.A. Go Convention Plans Proceed for Weekend Launch in NJ

Thursday February 7, 2013

Plans for this weekend’s North American Go Convention are proceeding as a winter storm bears down on the region. “Our three professionals have arrived on-site and we’ve arranged for shuttle service from both Newark Penn Station and the Park & Ride in Parsippany-Troy Hills,” says NAGC Commissioner Edward Zhang (at right with Joanne Missingham and her parents, Nan-Ping and Errol). Click here for a short video overview about the NAGC.

Shuttle sign-up is strongly encouraged so the NAGC volunteers can plan accordingly and reduce wait time. Players may also stay at the Days Inn Hotel on Friday if they wish to avoid traveling on Saturday, when the storm is forecast to hit. “Keep in mind that there is a second chapter of the NAGC in DC from February 13-17, with same three Open, Blitz and Pair Go tournaments,” adds Convention Director Yue Zhang 7D.

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