American Go E-Journal » Events/Tournaments

The Budget-Conscious Go Player’s Guide to the 2011 U.S. Go Congress

Monday May 30, 2011

How did 2011 U.S. Go Congress co-director Lisa Scott attend last year’s Congress for less than $600, including travel? Here are some of her tips on how to save money on this year’s Congress, set for July 30 – August 7 in Santa Barbara, CA. “Registering early to get the full discount is a must,” Scott notes. This year, that means registering by June 1. “Next, I usually find a cheap way to stay offsite, staying with a friend who lives nearby or with friends in a nearby hotel. Last year, I stayed with three friends in an extended-stay hotel, so we had a kitchen, which made meals cheaper.” And travel? “Last year I also drove to Colorado Springs with my sister, which saved a ton on airplane tickets. And in 2008, I turned the trip into a longer vacation by taking a week to visit national parks on the way, which made the trip even more unforgettable!”

Categories: U.S. Go Congress

World Go News May 2011

Monday May 30, 2011

36th Kisei League

On 24 May 2011, the Nihon Ki-in announced players who will take up the last four spots in the 36th Kisei League. Seto Taiki 7P of the Kansai Ki-in, Akiyama Jiro 8P, Kono Rin 9P and Kobayashi Koichi 9P. These players were selected based on playing through single knock out preliminary matches and will join top performers from the 35th Kisei League. The winner of the 36th Kisei League will earn the right to challenge Kisei title holder, Cho U 9P, in 2012 for the 36th Kisei. The 36th Kisei League players are Iyama Yuta 9P, Yamashita Keigo 9P, Hane Naoki 9P, Kato Atsushi 8P, Kono Rin 9P, Seto Taiki 7P, Takao Shinji 9P, Yamashiro Hiroshi 9P, Yoda Norimoto 9P, Ryu Shikun 9P, Kobayashi Koichi 9P and Akiyama Jiro 8P.

Joanne Missingham turns 17

On 26 May 2011, Joanne Missingham 5P, who plays professionally under her Chinese name, Hei Jiajia, turned 17 while playing in the 4th Taiwan Qiwang, a Taiwanese Go tournament. She received a received birthday cake in the shape of a Go board as a surprise gift from fans. The cake even had edible stones! Missingham’s rapid promotion (she was promoted to 2P in late 2010 and 5P in early 2011) has not escaped the notice of international Go bodies. Japan has invited her to take part in this year’s Nakano Cup, a prestigous tournament for under-20s. Previous winners of this tournament include none other than this year’s Judan and Bosai Cup winner, Iyama Yuta, who won the Nakano Cup in 2005, 2006 and 2007.

32nd World Amateur Go Championships begin

On 28 May 2011, as a prelude to the 32nd World Amateur Go Championship (WAGC), Otake Hideo 9P played an exhibition match with local school girl Ohara Moeka in a Castle Game reenactment at Matsue Castle in Shimane Prefecture. Ohara was a quarter finalist at the Japanese Girls High School Go Tournament in the individual division and received a 3 stone handicap from Otake. Both players donned elaborate kimonos to evoke the Edo period, during which the famous Castle Games took place. Shimane Prefecture was the birth place of two famous players – Honinbo Dosaku in 1645 and Iwamoto Kaoru in 1902.

- Jingning; based on her original report at Go Game Guru. Photos: Joanne Missingham 5P (top right) and Ohara Moeka reenacts castle game with Otake Hideo 9P (bottom left)

World Amateur Go Championship; Round 1 Update

Sunday May 29, 2011

The playing area on the third floor of the Shimane Prefectural Assembly Hall is divided into a main inner room with nineteen boards, fourteen of which have official game recorders, and a smaller outer area with ten boards. In round 1 the solo seat went to Spain’s Joan Flos. The signal to start the games on the other boards was given by chief referee Takemiya Masaki just after 9:30a on Sunday, May 29, and live online broadcasts of four of the recorded games began immediately. AnotherWorld Amateur Go Championship (WAGC) was under way. photo at right: the Seicho Yasuragibushi Preservation Society gives a performance of traditional songs and dances, accompanied by drums and shamisen at the opening ceremonies of the 32nd annual WAGC.

In the inner room, spectators gathered around Board 13, where Hironori Hirata (Japan) was playing Alexander Selby (U.K.). Next to them Thomas Debarre (France) was taking on Kanh Binh Do (Vietnam); this game also attracted attention.

The tournament is being played with time limits of one hour per player, followed by three renewable 30-second overtime periods. Timing was handled by new tournament clocks, made by Citizen Corporation for the Nihon Kiin. The beep tones of the clocks provided a soft electronic background to the click of slate and shell on wood.

Following WAGC tradition, in the first round the middle half of the field drew for opponents from the upper and lower quarters. At the end of the round, every game turned out to have been won by the higher-seeded player. Ranka asked its professional commentator Hiroshi Yamashiro 9P of the Nihon Kiin and referees Shimpei Kuwamoto 6P (also of the Nihon Kiin) and Yasuhiro Nakano 9P (Kansai Kiin) for their observations on the round.

“They are strong,” said Shimipei Kuwamoto. “In the post-mortem reviews they were all very definite about their ideas. It was clear that they were bent on playing their own games. One player (Kamil Chwedyna, Poland) played several of his opening moves on the second line. At first glance it looked as if his hand must have slipped, but he knew what he was doing. I guess he had worked this strategy out in advance.” Chwedyna won his game.

“The age range was impressive,” noted Yasuhiro Nakano. Aside from 84-year-old Hironori Hirata of Japan, there are quite a few players in the 50-70 age bracket, and then there are the young players from Southeast Asia. “It will be very interesting to see how strong the ones from Indonesia (14), Singapore (22), Thailand (21), and Vietnam (22) become,” said Nakano. The players from Indonesia, Singapore, and Thailand won their first games, as did Hironori Hirata.

“The game between the two young players from Austria (Viktor Lin, 19, at left, above) and Israel (Jonathan Lidor, 18, right) was riveting,” said Hiroshi Yamashiro. “Since this was the first round, most of the games were somewhat one-sided, those two players were extremely well matched. Their game wasn’t recorded, but it was very good, with interesting content. They are both already playing at the 6-dan level. They have a bright future.” Viktor Lin emerged the winner in that game, with opponent Jonathan Lidor wryly commenting that  “Yesterday I played a friendly game against Viktor. We said that whoever won that game would have to lose today, and that’s what happened, after I blundered.”
- James Davies, Ranka Online; click here for his complete report. Note: the American go E-Journal team of Chris Garlock and John Pinkerton was unable to attend this year’s WAGC due to a family emergency.

Last Week for Full Discount at Go Congress

Monday May 23, 2011

This is the LAST WEEK to receive the full discount for the 2011 US Go Congress!  Sign up by June 1 at!

Categories: U.S. Go Congress

Local Attractions Draw Families & Non-Players to U.S. Go Congress

Monday May 16, 2011

This year’s U.S. Go Congress at beautiful beach-side UC Santa Barbara has attracted many families with events for non-players and families, as well as players who want an afternoon off from the go board. Events for this year’s Congress – July 30-August 7 — include local Santa Barbara attractions, such as a golf excursion on Monday and buses to the local art fair, as well as trips to LA attractions like the La Brea Tar Pits and tours of Hollywood.  “Santa Barbara is such an attractive vacation spot, we really wanted to give families a reason to come and enjoy themselves!” say Congress Organizers Lisa Scott and Andrew Jackson, “Of course, everyone will benefit more from future price discounts prices if they register early, so we are encouraging people to register before June 1 for the best price.”

Categories: U.S. Go Congress

2011 NAIM Online Qualifiers Scheduled

Monday May 16, 2011

Two online qualifying tournaments for the North American Ing Masters have been set for June 4-5 and June 25-26. “The event will be similar to previous ones,” says National Tournament Coordinator Edward Zhang, noting that this year players will be required to use a web camera. Email to register. Similar to local qualifiers — Andy Liu 7d and Curtis Tang 7d have won two local qualifiers in Boston, MA and Alhambra, CA — the online qualifier winners will each be guaranteed a place in the NAIM main event. “Professional players in U.S. and Canada should also email to let us know your playing status in the 2011 NAIM,” Zhang added.

Go Congress Hosts Sought

Saturday May 14, 2011

With turnout at this year’s U.S. Go Congress in Santa Barbara heading for a record, the American Go Association is already looking ahead to future Congresses. If your chapter might be interested in hosting a Congress – click here for full details on what’s involved in organizing the AGA’s premier event of the year — contact Chris Kirschner at or 206-579-8071 for more information. The 2012 Congress is set for North Carolina, but from 2013 forward is currently up for grabs.

Categories: U.S. Go Congress

World Amateurs Set for Japan May 26-June 3

Monday May 9, 2011

The 32nd annual World Amateur Go Championship (WAGC) will be held later this month in Matsue City in Japan’s Shimane Prefecture. Seventy top amateur players from 70 countries and territories will compete to be the best amateur in the world. The tournament runs Thursday, May 26 May through Friday, June 3, and for the third year the E-Journal and Ranka Online are teaming up to bring you complete coverage of this exciting event, with daily updates including game records, commentary, photos, player profiles and news about the tournament.

AGA Seeking Hosts For NAIM Qualifiers

Monday May 2, 2011

The American Go Association (AGA) is looking for chapters interested in hosting qualifiers for this year’s North American Masters’ Tournament (NAIM). The AGA will sanction as many as eight local NAIM qualifiers – which usually draw large crowd of strong players — and two online events over the next two months. All participants of the qualifiers accumulate points for the NAIM, and the clear winner of each event is guaranteed a place in the main NAIM tournament at the 2011 US Go Congress at Santa Barbara, CA this August. If your chapter is interested in holding a NAIM qualifier during May and June, contact National Tournament Coordinator Edward Zhang at

Congress and Camp Scholarships Available to Young Players

Monday May 2, 2011

The  American Go Foundation (AGF) is again offering youth scholarships to both the AGA Summer Go Camp and the US Go Congress. A limited number of scholarships are available and the application deadline  is  May 30. Up to 15 awardees will be selected by June 1. Applications received after the deadline will be placed in a lottery, along with other applicants who were not selected in the first round. The remaining scholarships will be awarded by chance.  Needs-based scholarships to the Go Camp are also available. To apply for Go Camp, click here.  To apply for Go Congress, click here.
- Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.  Photo: Eight-year-old Aaron Ye, 2d, reviews his US Open game with Yilun Yang 7P, at the 2010 Go Congress in Colorado Springs.