American Go E-Journal » Events/Tournaments

WAGC Day 1 Report: Early strong pairings

Sunday June 4, 2017

by Thomas Hsiang, special correspondent to the E-Journal2017.06.04_wagc-danny-ko

The pairing for WAGC this year, as in 2016, uses a Chinese algorithm that does not pre-order the players. Therefore some early strong pairings have already taken place on the first day.  In round 1, Japanese 7D Sakamoto Shusaku met with South Korean Lee Sangbin, with Lee winning a tough match.  In the second round, Taiwanese representative 7D Lai Yucheng lost to Czech 7D Lukas Podpera by 2.5 points, producing the first major upset.  US representative Danny Ko fought a difficult battle with German Lukas Kraemer and achieved a 2-0 result.  After the game, former world champion Yoo Changhuh reviewed the game for the players in great detail and Danny said that he felt like he had improved from the review.  He will need the extra strength as he prepares to meet Chinese Bai Baoxiang in the third round.  Bai has won the WAGC once previously already.  Canadian representative Yujie Gong lost in the second round to long-time Polish mainstay Leszek Soldan and was 1-1 going into the second day.  Other players who drew special interest include the DPR Korea player Jin Ungri who, although listed only as 4D, defeated a number of famous North Korean players to emerge as the country’s first representative to WAGC in several years; the 12-year old Vo Duyminh from Vietnam and the 72-year old Zoran Mutabzija from Croatia, who the youngest and oldest players respectively.  Jin easily won his first two games so far, while the other two were both 1-1 with Vo given a forfeiture after he misread the schedule and was late by 25 minutes in the first round.  In the third round, the strongest pairings include Danny Ko vs. Bai Baoxiang, Russian Dmitry Surin vs. Lee Sangbin, and Hong Kong 7D Chan Naisan vs. Austrian Victor Lin.

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IGF meetings kick off 38th World Amateur Go Championship in Guiyang, China

Saturday June 3, 2017

by Thomas Hsiang, special correspondent to the E-JournalThe 38th World Amateur Go Championship is being held at the five-star Guiyang Sheraton Hotel in downtown Guiyang, China.  On June 3, the first day, the International Go Federation held its annual Board and General Assembly meetings.  A number of important announcements were made by Chairman Chang Zhenming, president and chairman of CITIC 2017.06.03_wahc-igc-mtgSecurities, Inc:
  • The next three WAGC’s will be held in Tokyo May 2-9, 2018; in Matsue City of the Shimane Perfecture in 2019; and in Vladevostok, Russia, in 2020.  Maxim Volkov, president of Russian Go Federation, was on hand to celebrate the announcement.
  • IGF will host the “CITIC Securities Cup” – the First International Artificial Intelligence Go Open – on August 16-17, 2017, in the City of Ordos of Inner Mongolia, China.  16 programs will be entered into the competition from over the world.  Generous prizes will be provided.
  • IGF offers a $20,000 grant to support the First Latin America Go Congress, to be held October 12-16, 2017 in Cancun, Mexico.
  • The Second IMSA Elite Mind Games, participated by IGF, will be held December 8-16, 2017 in Huai’an City, China.  This event will continue at least through 2019.
  • The 2017 Pair Go World Cup will be held August 7-10, 2017 in Tokyo.
  • A new member, the Republic of Georgia, was admitted and is now the 77th member of IGF.
Mr. Hiroaki Dan, chairman of Nihon Kiin and vice president of IGF, made the proposal for IGF to take on surveying and building up go instructional materials for schools.  The proposal was approved unanimously by the Board and will become a priority for IGF in the next few years.  Chairman Chang made the following declaration on behalf of IGF: “In recognition of the benefit of Go in the development of intelligence and character of youths, IGF will promote Go education in schools by surveying its members for existing Go educational materials worldwide, followed by sponsoring studies that consolidate these materials to build systematic educational content and pedagogy.  We welcome active participation from IGF members.”
Mr. Chang also called on IGF to take up studies to work toward a universal ruleset and to establish a universal rating system.
After the General Assembly, the traditional ceremony to draw pairing was held.  In the evening, a lavish dinner banquet concluded the busy day.  Tomorrow the first two rounds of competition will be held.
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Early-bird Congress registration extended

Wednesday May 31, 2017

Due to the excitement surrounding the recent AlphaGo – Ke Jie match and the Memorial Day weekend, the Directors of the 2017 US Go Congress – San Diego have decided to extend the end of the early-bird Congress registration from June 1 to2017.05.31_Town.Country.Resort Monday, June 5. “This will enable registrants to still take advantage of the $50 saving for Congress registration and the subsidized  meals packages through Sunday, June 4,” says Ted Terpstra. 
The Congress will be held at the Town and Country Resort in San Diego from August 5 to August 13. Discounted hotel reservations can be made through the Congress web site.

Nearly 400 have already signed up to attend the 2017 Congress, including delegations of players from China, Japan, and South Korea. Teachers and pros from around the world will be at the Congress to lecture, play simultaneous exhibitions and analyze games in the afternoons and evenings. A round of the US Open will be played every morning except Wednesday, which is a rest day to take in the sights of San Diego.

- photograph of the Town and Country Resort taken by Ted Terpstra

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2017 US Go Congress update video; early registration ends soon

Friday May 19, 2017

Andrew Jackson and Michael Wanek are back with another video update on this year’s US Go Congress, th2017.05.19_congress-updateis time with Congress directors Les Lanphear and Ted Terpstra. Lanphear and Terpstra talk about some of the highlights of this year’s Congress and remind those thinking about attending that Early Registration ends June 1st, when registration price and meal plan prices increase. Also, they note, after June 1st, the rooms at the hotel — “And it is an amazing venue!” says Wanek, who just did a site visit last week — will not be guaranteed.

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2017 Cotsen Open dates set

Saturday May 13, 2017

The 2017 Cotsen Open dates have been confirmed for October 21-22 at the Korean Cultural Center in Los Angeles. Registration will open soon,2017.05.13_cotsen-IMG_2035 says Tournament Organizer Christopher Saenz. As usual registration fees will be refunded for all players who show up both days, free lunch is provided by tournament sponsor Eric Cotsen (right), and of course free shoulder massages.

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Teacher of the Year Nominations Sought

Saturday April 22, 2017

photo-3-552x600Nominations for the American Go Foundation’s  Teacher of the Year award are due by May 21st. Presented each year at the U.S. Go Congress, the award  recognizes an outstanding American teacher. The winner  will receive an all expenses paid trip to the US Go Congress.  To be eligible, a teacher must be a member of the AGA, have been teaching go to children for at least two hours a week (during the school year) for two years, have started a go club or organization for youth, and have helped their students enter appropriate tournaments, if possible.  If you would like to nominate someone for this award, including yourself, e-mail mail@agfgo.org.  Nominations are due by May 21st and should include a description of the teacher’s activities,  how long they have been teaching, and how many students attend their program. - Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo:  Paul Lockhart, 2016 AGF Teacher of the Year, working with students in New York.  Read more about Lockhart’s work here.

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Cotsen Open seeks local organizer

Sunday April 16, 2017

The Cotsen Open is seeking an organizer for this year’s tournament, coming up in October in Los Angeles. “We need 2017.04.16_cotsen-P1000919someone who is organized, has follow-through, and who loves go,” says previous organizer Samantha Davis, who has moved to Chicago. “I’ll be able to train the right applicant, so you won’t be thrown in the deep end,” Davis adds. This is a paid position. If interested, email CotsenOpen@gmail.com.
photo: 2016 Cotsen Open; photo by Chris Garlock

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U.S. Go Congress registration opens

Sunday April 9, 2017

Registration for the 2017 U.S. Go Congress 2017.04.08_town-country-resortin San Diego is now open. The largest annual go activity in the United States — last year 650 attended in Boston — the Congress runs August 5-12 this year. Events include the US Open, the largest annual go tournament in the US, professional lectures and game analysis, continuous self-paired games, and all kinds of go-related activities from morning to midnight.

The 2017 Congress will be held at the Town and Country Resort in San Diego, California, which is right in the center of town. “The venue for go tournaments, lectures and game analyses, as well as hotel rooms and meals are all within a short walk of each other, no streets to cross,” says Congress Director Ted Terpstra.

Lodging reservations most be done through the Town and Country Resort hotel via a link on the AGA page, not through the AGA. A special rate is available that 2017.04.08_town-country-resortway and is good for three days before and after the Congress for those who want to extend their stay in San Diego. Details on Congress costs are here.

For those who select one of the meal packages, their food will be served on-site at the convention center under the supervision of the executive chef. Meal plan details are here.

The Town and Country Resort is an 46-acre oasis near most of the tourist attractions in town. It is a quick ten-minute drive from downtown, the airport, the Pacific Ocean beaches, Seaworld, the zoo, Balboa Park and many other sights. People staying there have use of the three swimming pools and the gym. The Town and Country Resort has its own trolley stop and is contiguous to a bus terminal, an upscale mall and a golf course.

“The San Diego Go Club is happy to welcome everyone and look forward to hosting a great US Go Congress,” says Terpstra.

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Reflections on Pair Go

Wednesday February 22, 2017

by Eric Lui 1P2017.02.22_A Simple Guide to Pair Go

Editor’s note: Lui, who’s now a regular game commentator for the E-Journal, wrote this after attending the second Pair Go World Cup in July 2016 and recently shared it with us. Coincidentally, Hajin Lee recently made a short Pair Go introduction video, saying she hopes “to see more pair go events in the US and Europe in the future.” We hope you enjoy both.

Reflecting upon his legendary career, the great Sakata Eio opined that a necessary prerequisite for go mastery is self-2017.02.22_pair-go-world-cup-411_sreliance, which can only be developed once one fully accepts the game’s solitary nature, specifically the completely isolated state that all players find themselves in during the process of a game.

As far as I can tell, there are two types of people in this world: Pair Go enthusiasts and those who can do without. Takemiya Masaki gushes that Pair Go is “playing catch with the emotions…the instant that love is born.” Ishida Yoshio, on the other hand, says that in Pair Go you have three opponents.

The most anticipated match in the first round of the main knockout tournament saw the departure of powerhouse 2017.02.22_pair-go-world-cupChinese pair Shi Yue and Wang Chenxing, who succumbed to the charming synergy of Choi Cheolhan and Oh Yujin. Our first-round victory against the Thai pair was defined more by relief than pleasure, since it ensured that we would get to play at least one more game. In the second round against Taiwanese superstars Chen Shiyuan and Joanne Missingham, the game became difficult right from the start when a mistake in judgment set the tone for the rest of the way. My partner Sarah Yu fought gamely during many continuous kos and we maintained our chances for a while but were unable to cause an upset.

Our conquerors would go on to score an excellent victory in the semifinal against the Choi-Oh pair, earning themselves a 2017.02.22_lui-pair-gofinal showdown with the Chinese pair of Ke Jie and Yu Zhiying, the male and female world No. 1 respectively.
During the last round of the Shuffle Pair Go friendship match, I was paired with the Thai female player, Pattraporn Aroonphaichitra. As we waited at the board for our opponents, Amy Song, the Australian female player took the seat across from Pattraporn. But who was her partner? I took a quick glance around – there were still a few empty seats and just a couple minutes until game time. I couldn’t help but smile when I noticed Sarah, looking ever so serene, sitting next to Iyama Yuta. My new partner was completely absorbed in her phone, and I opened my mouth to say something when, sensing a disturbance in the Force, we both looked up. Making his way through the large crowd that had gathered around the closed-off playing area with ruthless efficiency was “One Dragon Per Game” Shi Yue, one of the strongest and most universally feared Chinese pros for his aggressive playing style.

2017.02.21_pair-go-eric-luiPattraporn played beautifully and we enjoyed a lead for most of the game. It was a singular experience to watch as Shi Yue struggled to contain his frustration with the position as his plans to deal us pain were disrupted again and again. When the game was over, Shi Yue transitioned seamlessly from executioner to teacher, pointing out missed opportunities and explaining his thought processes at key points while the rest of us sat transfixed by the clarity of his analysis. A while later, only dimly aware that the postmortem had concluded and that the others had started putting the stones away, I slowly and reluctantly joined in.

Later that night, long after Yu Zhiying and Ke Jie had collected their 10 million yen 1st place prize, I would find myself tuning in to the Wimbledon final from my hotel room. During one of Andy Murray’s signature tirades, I realized that Ishida was wrong. Whether you are playing Pair Go, individual go, or tennis, the number of opponents remains the same. One, and it’s not the one on the other side. As Murray sealed the first set with a thunderous forehand and an emphatic fist pump, his fierce visage betraying equal parts triumph and anguish, I was reminded of a timeless image of Sakata, in the midst of his prime, staring at the go board with an expression of utmost intensity and exquisite pain. A formidable, yet lone individual.

Pair Go was invented to popularize the game of go by emphasizing the social aspects of the game. But no matter how many players there are, the game itself remains the same mysterious, fascinating challenge it has been for thousands of years.
photo: US team Sarah Yu and Eric Lui with Cho Chikun

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Categories: Pair Go
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San Diego Prepares to Host 2017 US Go Congress

Tuesday December 13, 2016

On December 4, the San Diego Go Club kicked off its organizational campaign to host the 2017 U.S. Go Congress next August2016.12.11_san-diego-congress-prep 5-12, by sponsoring a go-pizza party for local Congress volunteers at the club president’s home. Some two dozen people showed up to play go, eat pizza and hear about jobs that need to be done over the next eight months. From moving more than 2,000 pounds of Congress equipment — including boards, stones, easels, etc — to the Congress site at the Town and Country Resort, to scheduling the lectures, game analyses and simultaneous exhibitions for the professional go players coming from Japan, China and Korea, many tasks have to be coordinated. Co-Directors for the Congress, Les Lanphear III and Ted Terpstra say they’re confident that the team of workers will be up to the challenges as many past Congress volunteers have already stepped up for 2017. “New volunteers are always welcome, especially for Check-in Day on Saturday, August 5,” says Terpstra. Anyone interested in helping at the 2017 Congress should email him at ted.terpstr2016.12.11_2017GoCongressLogoa@gmail.com.

The 2017 Congress web site is not quite ready, but should be shortly. “People will be able to register for the Congress, choose a dining package and book a room with a special negotiated price,” says Terpstra. The Town and Country Resort is a 46-acre enclave in the heart of the San Diego tourist area. The zoo, museums in Balboa Park, the airport, Seaworld, the beaches and downtown are all within a 10-minute drive. All Congress events and meals are a short walk from the rooms. “No streets need to be crossed in going from the rooms to the playing area,” Terpstra promises.
- photos by Ted Terpstra; Congress logo by Emily Shedlock

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