American Go E-Journal » Go News

“This is a Pilgrimage”: Kids Write About Go Camp

Monday May 21, 2012

With the deadline for early registration coming up on May 28, kids across the country are signing up for the AGA summer go camp.  “To me this is not a vacation: this is more like a pilgrimage that I need to take, not just for fun or to improve my skills, but as a young go player who wishes to be a part of the go community as much as possible,” writes Marcus Gould. The AGF is committed to helping youth who want to go but can’t afford it, and is holding a fund raising drive to support the camp.  Youth must write an essay if they want a scholarship, and their passion is evident from their submissions. “I want to go to the AGA Go Camp in order to advance my own game, and to meet other people who love go as much as I do.  Lately, I haven’t had too many chances to play go in real life, as opposed to online.  I see this as an awesome opportunity to play other players my level in real life,” writes David Gillule.  “My plane ticket is all the way from Salt Lake City, and is more expensive than the camp itself; it’s my summer job that’ll be paying this off,” writes Benson Merrill. The camp will take place the week before the Go Congress from July 28 to August 4 and will be held at the same location, the YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly in Black Mountain, North Carolina.  AGF needs based scholarships are  available for players who can’t afford the full cost, and youth who played in the USYGC are eligible for a $400 scholarship to camp.  More details on AGF scholarships can be found here.  Sign up before May 28 and save $50 off the price of camp.  Details are on the camp website. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo: Kids take a break from studying to bury one of their counselors in pillows, photo by Amanda Miller (who is at the bottom of the pillow pile) from the 2010 Go Camp.

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San Francisco Go Workshop with Janice Kim 3P Announced

Sunday May 20, 2012

Janice Kim, 3 Dan professional, will teach a two-day go workshop the weekend of June 23 and 24 in Berkeley, California. Berkeley is home to two go clubs and Bay Area Go Players Association, and is just across the bay from San Francisco.

The workshop is open to go players of all strengths (players below 10 kyu may want at least a year’s go experience to benefit from this workshop), and advanced registration is required. Each student will have the opportunity to submit game records before the workshop, and Janice will use them to tailor discussions to the specific interests and needs of the students. Each student will receive a workshop manual containing the records to be discussed, and files will be available for download as well.

“I enjoy seeing the clever moves played in finely-tuned games between world-class players,” Kim says, descriibing the main idea of the content of this workshop is, “but what I really need to know is what to do with the messed-up positions, wacky moves, and mistakes that come up in my games.”

Janice Kim co-authored the award-winning Learn to Play Go book series and also writes a go blog. Her recent workshop in Portland, Oregon and lectures at the Cotsen Go Tournament in Los Angeles were very popular. Learn more about the workshop and sign up on the Bay Area Go Players Association website.

photo: Janice Kim at the 2012 Cotsen Open; photo by Chris Garlock

Categories: U.S./North America
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AGA Seeks Board Candidates in West, At-Large

Thursday May 17, 2012

With Lisa Scott running in the Central region AGA Board of Directors election and Gurujeet Khalsa in the Eastern region, the American Go Association is still seeking candidates for both the Western and At-large seats.  Nominations, including self-nominations, are being accepted now through June 15 and should be sent to elections@usgo.org. Click here for complete election information and qualifications.

Categories: U.S./North America
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OWL Tourney Registration Deadline Extended

Tuesday May 15, 2012

The registration deadline for this weekend’s Oscar Wilde Liberation (OWL) Tournament has been extended to Thursday, May 17. A dozen players have registered thus far for the tournament, which will be run on KGS, and there are still slots available for interested players. This will be the second online tournament this year where players can earn points towards the North American Ing Masters tournament at this year’s US Go Congress  in North Carolina in August, and the World Mind Sports Games in Lille, France, also in August. Click here to register.

Categories: U.S./North America
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Daniel Smith Wins Bob Barber’s 70th Tourney

Sunday May 13, 2012

Daniel Smith 2d took top honors at the May 12 “It Was 20 Years Ago Today” tournament in Chicago, IL. Not a Beatles song reference, the title refered to this being the 20th anniversary — to the month — of Tournament Director Bob Barber’s (at right, at work) first tournament. This was the indefatiguable organizer’s 70th imaginatively-named competition and the 65-year-old — who claims to have “never lost even a single game” at one of his tournaments — says he plans to keep going “for at least another 20 years.” He also noted that three people who played in his first event two decades ago were there this time as well: Ian Feldman, David Rockwell, and Chris Greene. “Greene is also the publisher of Hinoki Press, which generously donates a book to each player at Chicago tournaments,” Barber said.
Winner’s Report: 1st Place High Dan: SMITH, Daniel 2d; 1st Place Low Dan: CHENG, Lixin 1d; 1st Place High Kyu: YU, Patrick 3k; Tie 1st Place Mid Kyu: ROHDE, David 5k & GABELMAN, Joel, 5k; 1st Place Low Kyu: DAVID, Brian, 10k. All six of these players won all four of their games; 36 players participated. photo by Daniel Smith

Categories: U.S./North America
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33rd WAGC Begins: E-Journal & Ranka Online Team Up for Coverage

Saturday May 12, 2012

The 33rd edition of the World Amateur Go Championships (WAGC) began Sunday morning, May 13, in the gold-draped main playing hall of the Guangzhou Chess Institute (“chess” in this context refers to go, chess and Chinese Chess) in Guangzhou, also known as Canton, the capital city of Guangdong Province in South China. Fifty-six players (Poland’s player missed his plane and has been replaced with a second Chinese player) have traveled from around the world to compete for the title as world’s top amateur. While China and Korea are once again favorites to win, the U.S. last year cracked the top five with Eric Lui’s 3rd-place finish and is represented this year by Yuan Zhou 7d, the popular teacher and author who’s won a number of U.S. titles. The American Go E-Journal and Ranka Online have teamed up again this year to provide full coverage of the WAGC, including tournament reports, game records and commentaries and photos; reports will be posted regularly on the AGA’s website, at Ranka Online and in the daily E-Journal. The 8-round tournament runs May 13-16.
- Chris Garlock; photos by John Pinkerton
Click here to download these Round 1 sgf game records:
DPR Korea (Ri Kwang Hyok 6D) vs China (Fang Xiaoyan 3D)
- Commentary by So Yokoku 8P
US (Yuan Zhou 7D) vs Norway (Pal Harald Sannes 5D) 

Maryland Open Next Stop in TYGEMGO Pro Prelim Series

Saturday May 12, 2012

Next up in the TYGEMGO Pro Prelim series is the Baltimore Go Club’s 39th Maryland Open on May 26-27 in Catonsville Maryland just outside Baltimore. The top finishing player with qualifying citizenship earns the right to compete for pro certification this summer in North Carolina the week before the US Go Congress. Top players also earn points to represent the US in the World MindSport Games in France. “However,” stresses local organizer Keith Arnold, “ALL players of ALL strengths are welcome to play and be present for this historic event.” Click here to pre-register or contact Keith Arnold at hlime81@comcast.net with any questions.

2010′s Top 20 Professional Go Players

Saturday May 12, 2012

For those of you who like to follow the professional go scene, An Younggil 8P (r) recently finished writing a year-long series of articles for GoGameGuru profiling the top 20 professional go players of 2010. Throughout the series, Younggil goes well beyond the usual historical details to write about players’ personalities and go styles, as well as recounting his own meetings with many of them. Younggil’s intention was to introduce his professional colleagues to a Western audience as humans, rather than just pro go players. He also shares many insights into the life of a professional go player and the go scene in Korea. It makes fascinating reading for any serious go fan.
The full list of bios includes: Lee SedolKong JiePark JunghwanChoi CheolhanKang DongyunHeo YounghoGu LiXie HeWon SeongjinLi ZheZhou RuiyangTuo JiaxiLee ChanghoQiu JunKim JiseokWang XiCho HanseungChen YaoyePark Younghun and Lee Younggu.

photo: Kong Jie (left) and Lee Sedol play in the final of the 23rd Fujitsu Cup (2010). 

Lee Sedol Wins GS Caltex Cup; Chen Yaoye Holds Tianyuan; BC Card Cup Finals Begin

Thursday May 10, 2012

May isn’t just a big month for US go players. The temperature is rising on the international go scene too. On May 4, Chen Yaoye 9P defended his Chinese Tianyuan (Tengen) title against up-and-coming player, Zhou Hexi 4P. Zhou faced off a strong field to top the 26th Tianyuan qualifiers for the second year in a row, but once again fell to Chen, who has now held the Tianyuan for four consecutive years. Meanwhile in Korea, Lee Sedol 9P fought back from a 2-1 disadvantage to defeat Park Younghun 9P in the (best of five) 17th GS Caltex Cup. Lee took home a cool $60,000 for his trouble. The finals of the 4th BC Card Cup start tomorrow (May 11 in the US), with Korea’s Baek Hongseok 9P set to take on China’s Dang Yifei 4P. China dominated the earlier rounds of the tournament, but Baek managed to fight his way through to the final, defeating Zhou Ruiyang 5P and Hu Yaoyu 8P along the way. 17 year old Dang Yifei’s run has been no less impressive. En route to the final, Dang defeated Lee Sedol 9P, Park Younghun 9P and Piao Wenyao 9P, among others. Both players are competing for their first international title.

Coming up very soon:

  • The 33rd World Amateur Go Championship is just getting started in Guangzhou, China. Expect updates from the E-Journal team very soon.
  • The 4th BC Card Cup finals start tomorrow. Watch them live on Baduk TV. The coverage for game 1 starts at 11:30pm, May 11, US EDT.
  • The 67th Japanese Honinbo title match starts on May 15 in Kyoto, Japan.
  • This being an Olympic year – the (quadrennial) Ing Cup will begin on May 23 in Taiwan.
    For more details, see the professional Go calendar at Go Game Guru.

- David Ormerod, GoGameGuru; Photo: 17 year old Dang Yifei 4P (right) plays Piao Wenyao 9P.

Online Tygem Pro Qualifier Open to All

Thursday May 10, 2012

President Allan Abramson called today for go players at all levels to play in the Tygem online pro qualifier, which begins the first weekend in June. Abramson said he was “encouraging everyone to participate in this history-making event, and tell your friends that you competed to become a pro!”

All those interested should sign up to play on the Tygem server (see below). “Practice with the Tygem server now will make your online competition easier,” he said. “Note that it is Windows-based only, so you may need to arrange to use a friend’s PC.” (5/11 Update: Tygem runs on the iPad, but will not run on a Macintosh computer.  iPad users can download the app from the Mac App Store.) Interested players 7 dan and up should register online, and send Abramson a note stating your interest in competing,  your AGA ID and statement of US/Canadian citizenship (President@usgo.org). For everyone else, “just play and enjoy this historic event.”

The first round of the three-round competition is a simple single elimination tournament open to all eligible AGA members, regardless of rank. Eligible players are US and Canadian citizens who are not already professionals.  Anyone who signs up on TYGEMGO and competes in the tournament will receive an “I Went Out For Pro” enamel pin as a keepsake. Players who are not yet AGA members can join the AGA through TYGEMGO for a promotional $15 rate.

Players who get their TYGEMGO ranking of 6d or higher can skip Round 1 and start in Round 2 with the survivors of Round 1.  Those who make it through Round 2 will join seven pre-seeded players for Round 3. The tournament will select seven finalists to compete from 7/28 to 8/4 in North Carolina, where sixteen players will compete for two pro certifications. The finalists in North Carolina will each receive a $500 subsidy and another $3,000 in prize money will be distributed.

In order to play, go to Tygem’s English-language website and sign up for a TYGEMGO account. Then go to to the registration page and hit the “register” button. Registration runs through May 27. The first round will start the first week-end in June. Contact Yixian Zhou at missbear@gmail.com or Andrew Okun at sponsorship@usgo.org if you have questions.

Categories: U.S./North America
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