American Go E-Journal » Go News

Zhang, Enyeart & Hoffman Sweep in Austin, TX

Sunday January 26, 2014

John Zhang 4D, Peter Enyeart 3k and Damon Hoffman 17k all went 4-0 to top the Austin “Dead of Winter” Go Tournament on January 25 at local game store Great Hall Games in Austin, TX. “This was the first of what is planned to be quarterly tournaments throughout 2014,” said tournament director Bart Jacob. He added that although “the unusually cold and icy weather limited the number of out-of-town players this time, we hope and expect future tournaments will draw players from Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and beyond.” On a side note, Jacob also said that “The rumored participation of Lee Seedol 9P and Gu Li 9P was proved incorrect as apparently they could not reschedule their commitment to their first game of their jubango match.” photo: Bart Jacob (left) with John Zhang.

Categories: U.S./North America
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Portland Chess and Go Programs Booming

Saturday January 25, 2014

In Portland, OR, there are now over 100 children in chess and go programs, spread over five  schools, and organized by Peter Freedman and Fritz Balwit.  Freedman teaches go and Balwit teaches chess in most schools.  “We decided to leverage our long-running chess and go program at Irvington Elementary,” Freedman told the Journal, “I approached several school chess coaches about the idea of morphing their chess clubs into chess and go clubs. The Richmond club got off to a rousing start in November, with 41 children, 1st-5th grades, coming to the first meeting. Limited to 40, we were oversubscribed, with parents coming to the meeting with checks hoping there was still room to enroll their children. It was the best response ever to a new chess and go club, and confirms our view that ‘the way to a new go player’s heart is through chess.’  While Richmond is a  Japanese language magnet school, where go is more familiar than the average school, a great many of these children did play chess, or want to, but had never heard of go,” said Freedman. Parents are enthusiastic too, with one writing in to say:”just wanted to let you know Ben had a great time today. He had said earlier that he didn’t want to learn go, but after one lesson, he is begging me to buy him a go board. I will sign him up for the rest of the year and will put a check in the mail tomorrow.”

For several years Freedman and Balwit had tried to establish go clubs in schools, but they were short-lived and drew minimal numbers. Meanwhile, Irvington chess and go club had run for many years, with upwards of 30 students every term.  ”It is quite clear to me that chess and go clubs have a much better chance to introduce children and teens to go than free-standing go clubs,” says Freedman.  ”John Goon has a similar approach in Maryland.  There is a segment of our culture that knows, appreciates and respects chess, while only a few know of go. Yet, many of us were chess players before we were go players.  It seems like a nice path.  We need a new motto: chess is our friend, not our enemy.”

In addition to the Irvington and Richmond programs, Freedman reports that several other schools are picking up the model. The Grant High School chess club morphed into a chess and go club this year, with about 12 students.  Beverly Cleary elementary school did as well, with Freedman teaching go and  long time chess coach Brad Kerstetter continuing his work.  Freedman also envisions that his model should be economically sustainable, is actively pursuing this: “At Irvington and Richmond we charge $75/term, or $150 for the year, per child, for a one hour/week club meeting.  In Irvington, Beverly Clearly, and Richmond we divide the group in two.  For the first month half of the kids play go, half play chess.  The second month, they switch.  After that they choose: chess only, go only, or, chess and go.  If they choose chess and go, they play one game for 4 weeks, and then switch each four weeks until the end of school,” reports Freedman.

“Needless to say, the starter kits and technical support we get from the AGF are an important part of our success,” notes Freedman, “we order and pay shipping for a Hikaru no Go manga set at each school where we teach as well.”  Freedman and Balwitz have put together curriculum guides and outlines for their method, which can be downloaded on the AGA Teaching Page.  Free equipment, Hikaru no Go, and other resources are available on the AGF website.  -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.  Photo from the Irvington Elementary School Yearbook (click on image to view it at full size).

Updated Broadcast Times for Saturday’s Lee Sedol – Gu Li Game

Thursday January 23, 2014

The highly anticipated first game of the 10-game series (jubango) with $860,000 in prize money between Lee Sedol and Gu Li will be held in China on Sunday, Jan. 26 (Lee Sedol-Gu Li Jubango to be Broadcast Live on KGS 1/20 EJ).  Thanks to the international date line, this game will start on Saturday evening, Jan. 25 in the U.S.  The game will be broadcast by KGS starting at 8:30 pm EST, and 5:30 pm PST.  The commentary by Myungwan Kim and others will start at 10 pm EST and 7 pm PST.

Here is a promo for the match from China, with English subtitles provided by gogameguru.com.  The Seattle Go Center will be showing the game with a digital projector and host Andrew Jackson is planning on staying up late, since the game could run 8 hours.  Saturday Manager Dennis Wheeler added “we’re going to make it a big midnight party”.  Photo: KGS broadcast of Takemiya simultaneous games from the Seattle Go Center (Aug. 2013).  Photo/Report by Brian Allen

Categories: World
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Europe’s “Top 8″ to Battle Online in Champions League

Wednesday January 22, 2014

Eight of Europe’s top players will battle it out online starting this Thursday in the 1st WBaduk European Top 8 Champions League. Organized by the European Go Federation and WBaduk, the 7-round round robin tournament has a 3,000-euro prize pool, with 1,000 euros to the winner. The players are Hui Fan 2P (France), Ilya Shikshin 7D (Russia), Catalin Taranu 5P (Romania), Alexander Dinerchtein 3P (Russia), Antti Tormanen 7D (Finland), Pavol Lisy 6D (Slovakia), Artem Kachanovski 7D (Ukraine) and Csaba Mero 6D (Hungary). Rounds will be played on the Wbaduk server every Thursday and Monday at 19:30 (1:30p EST) Central European Time from January 23 through February 13.

Categories: Europe
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Ari Saito 2014 San Diego Champ

Tuesday January 21, 2014

Ari Saito 7D (right front) topped a field of more than 30 go players gathered on the UC San Diego campus January 18 “on a beautiful 70+ degree southern California day” to contend for the 2014 San Diego Go Championship, reports San Diego Go Club President Ted Terpstra. “The ultimate game pitted Saito against Yixian Zhou 6D (left front),” said Terpstra. Saito’s win win gave him a 3-0 record, the $100 first prize and the title. Jenna Jansen 3k not only won the kyu championship with a 3-0 record but took the dual title of San Diego Women’s Champion. In the title game, she edged long-time AGA stalwart Les Lanphear by 3.5 points. David SU, 26-kyu won the youth prize for his 3-0 finish. The third annual tournament was a combined effort of the UCSD Go Club and the San Diego Go Club. photo by Ted Terpstra

Categories: U.S./North America
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In Memoriam: David Relson

Monday January 20, 2014

David Relson, a “mainstay of the AGA” from the mid-1970′s to the mid-’80′s, died on September 21, 2013 at 65. An active cyclist, “he was almost home after riding 73 miles on a beautiful fall day when he collapsed,” reported his family in their annual letter. “Dave was a key member of the group which took the hand-off of a recreated AGA from a small group in New York (John Stephenson, Matthias Thim, and Masao Takabe) and moved it to the next level with broader national support,” former AGA president Terry Benson tells the E-Journal. “His enthusiasm was infectious. He was smart and sharp and reliable and an early computer person with both skills and personality.  A great guy.” Relson was president of the Ann Arbor Go Club when in January 1977 Ann Arbor was the first club to insist on AGA membership by all its members. He served in a succession of leadership roles at the AGA for a dozen years beginning in 1976, serving as Membership Secretary, AGA rating coordinator, and on the Executive Committee, as well as assisting in running Easterns, the AGA’s major tournament at the time. “Dave was also the second AGAer to go to the European Go Congress (1977 in the Netherlands), report back, and encourage others to go and for us to have a Congress,” Benson adds. “He was a generous and thoughtful teacher,” remembers Dewey Cornell, who met Relson in 1978, when Relson ran the Ann Arbor club which met at the University of Michigan. “He started out each meeting by distributing a printout with our latest ratings. For a new player, that was a nice incentive.”
- includes reporting — and photo (top right) by T. Benson — from the American Go Journal, Vol. 15 #4 (July-August-Sept 1980), page 37
Categories: U.S./North America
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Cuban Delegation Invited to US Go Congress

Monday January 20, 2014

A delegation of Cuban go players has been invited to attend this year’s U.S. Go Congress for the first time and AGA board member Robert Gilman is coordinating fundraising efforts to support the visit. “The Cubans have greeted our invitation with ‘immense joy’,” Gilman — who organized the 2013 visit by US players to Cuba (Traveling Board: U.S.-Cuba Friendship Match “A Rare Opportunity”) — reports, “but the key question is money. Cuba is a poor country, the Cuban internal currency is worthless in the U.S. and the AGA does not have the budget to sponsor the delegation, so we’re asking the go community to step up. Cubans have made strong efforts to develop go there, but isolation from the international go community and limited internet have handicapped them. This visit will help them develop and extend bonds with our neighbors to the South.” The invitees are  Cuba’s top two players and the president of the Academia Cubana de Go. The video here describes this effort.

Contributions can be made through either the AGA or the American Go Foundation (AGF); contributions to the AGF are tax deductible. In either case, put “CC2014” in the memo field, and mail the check to Gilman at  P.O. Box 40020 in Albuquerque, NM 87196-0020. Checks will be acknowledged as they are received but not cashed until its clear the project is a go. If you are contributing, please complete the form here.

Lee Sedol-Gu Li Jubango to be Broadcast Live on KGS

Monday January 20, 2014

The first game in the upcoming jubango between Lee Sedol 9P and Gu Li 9p will be broadcast live on KGS with live game commentary by Myungwan Kim 9P. The first game in the series (Big Jubango Between Lee Sedol & Gu Li Set To Start In January 11/29/2013 EJ) is scheduled for January 26 (1/25 in the US) and the 10-game match will run monthly throughout 2014. Whoever wins six games wins the match. “We’re very excited to bring this series to the global go community,” said Kim. “This is really great for western go fans,” agreed American Go Association president Andy Okun. The KGS broadcast commentary will begin at 4p EST on January 25 and Kim will be joined by James Kim 1D,  along with Matthew Burrall 7d and Andrew Lu 7d. The team intends to broadcast and comment on the entire game, which could run over 8 hours. “We may need to take some breaks from time to time,” says Myungwan Kim. “But basically we’ll stay up until the game finishes giving our best explanations and entertainment.”

Categories: World
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Full House for Vegas Go Club

Saturday January 18, 2014

Last Saturday, January 11, the Las Vegas Go Club (LVGC) was at full capacity. “New membership to our club is up and we are hoping that it transfers to long-time go players.” reports Mike Wanek. “In the last month or so, we have had four new members who have started to attend the club regularly.” The seven regular members of the LVGC were very surprised when over 15 people showed up for last week’s meeting. “Currently, our main goals for the club are twofold,” says Chris Tettamanti. “First, to generate interest in the great game of go and second, to boost membership to the AGA.” As the club grows, donations are collected to buy much needed club equipment. Sean Jacobson noted that “The latest set of donations will go to purchasing new game clocks. We are very close to having enough in donations to purchase 5 or 6 of them already. This will allow us to create mini-tournaments on days that we have a large turnouts.” Weekly meetings of the Las Vegas Go Club — which welcomes players of all strengths — are on Saturdays from 4pm to 10pm at the IHOP at 7490 S. Las Vegas Blvd. photos courtesy Chris Tettamanti 

Categories: U.S./North America
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EuroGoTV Update: Croatia, Turkey, Ukraine

Saturday January 18, 2014

Croatia: Lovro Furjanic 1d bested Zoran Mutabzija 5d at the 2. Velika Gorcia Open on January 12 while Mladen Smud 1k placed third. Turkey: The Istanbul City Championship Finals finished on January 4 with Ozgur Degirmenci 2d in first, Mustafa Morca 2k in second, and Hayri Killic 1d in third. Ukraine: Andrii Vdovin 2d conquered the 2014 Championship of the Dnipropetrovsk region on January 5. Kostiantyn Lopatenko 2d came in second and Volodymyr Oblovantyi 1k was third.
– Annalia Linnan,  based on reports from EuroGoTV, which include complete result tables and all the latest European go news