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Pro System Launch “Monumental Moment” for U.S. Go, says Cho Hunhyun 9P

Sunday April 29, 2012

For a guy whose nickname is “The God of War” and who has amassed over 1,000 career wins, Cho Hunhyun 9P in person in actually pretty mild-mannered. In Los Angeles this weekend to help launch the American Go Association’s (AGA) nascent professional certification system at the Cotsen Open AGA-Tygem Pro Prelim, Cho took a few minutes out of a jam-packed schedule Saturday at the Korean Cultural Center to sit down for an interview with the American Go E-Journal. “This is a monumental moment for the AGA,” Cho said, “and I wanted to be here, on behalf of the Korean Baduk Association, to show our support.” Saying that he’s “very impressed” by the American effort and enthusiasm for go, Cho said that simply by launching the American pro system “You have taken the most important step.” But, like the game of go itself, Cho encouraged American players to settle in for a long road ahead. “China dominated this game for 5,000 years,Japan dominated it for 500 years and Korea has been on top for just 30 years, so for American players to compete on a world level, it’s going to take a long time, 10, 20, maybe even 50 years.”  Developing a professional system is absolutely key to building the strength of American players, Cho said, because it creates the necessary financial incentives and infrastructure and ultimately will make it possible to have a career as an American professional go player. But because it’s impossible to predict the rise of homegrown go prodigies or geniuses, Cho said America must “just follow the path, be patient and put in the effort and someone will come forth.” This was Cho’s own path to the top, he said, saying that “choosing the path of a go professional was like destiny,” adding that he feels that “this journey has not ended” for him and he thinks he still has more to contribute to the game. “The beauty of go is that people become modest when they play.” As proof, Cho revealed that he’s recently taken up golf, where “I am now the amateur” and can just have fun playing.
- report/photos by Chris Garlock; translation for Cho Hunhyun by James Kim

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Cary Chinese School Teams Win in Carolina Team Tourney; Owen Chen 5D Tops Individual Competition

Sunday April 29, 2012

“The team competition was fierce” at the April 22 Carolina Spring Go Tournament, reports organizer Owen Chen. The team competition for youth players was one of the unique features of the annual tournament in Raleigh, NC, organized by the Cary Go Club and the Chinese-American Friendship Association of North Carolina. The event drew 34 go players ranging from 6 to 70 years old.

Four teams representing the Raleigh Academy of Chinese Language (RACL), Cary Chinese School (CCS) and the Chinese School at Chapel Hill (CSCH) competed in the team tournament. “Young players kept reporting and checking the team scores posted on the wall after each round,” Chen tells the E-Journal. In the end, two teams from CCS -   CCS Team 1, consisting of Alvin Chen, John Zhu and their teacher Jeff Kuang, and CCS Team 2, consisting of Byron Qi, Larry Zhang and David Hao, tied for the first place in the team competition with each team scoring 8 wins.

In the individual competition, Chen himself, a 5-dan, won the open section. Jeff Kuang 5d and Guojun Zhu 4d tied for the second place of the open section, each with three wins.

Brian Wu 1d won Section A (6k-1d) with a score of 3-1.  Ralph Abbey 10k, Alvin Chen 12k and Jeff Martyn 10k all won 3 games and tied for the first place in Section B (15k-10k).    In the beginner section of Section C (27k-19k), Byron Qi 20k, Anna Wiggins 19k and Larry Zhang 20k tied for the first place, each with 3 wins.
Photos:  top right: CCS teams 1 & 2; above left: Owen Chen (at left in photo) plays Jeff Kuang. Photos courtesy Owen Chen

Categories: U.S./North America
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Two Kims Add to Cotsen Pro Line-Up

Friday April 27, 2012

Two more professionals have been confirmed for this weekend’s Cotsen Open in Los Angeles, CA: Janice Kim 3P (at far right) and Kim Hyo-jung 2P (below at right). The American-born Janice Kim has long been a popular teacher at U.S. events, including the annual Go Congress, while Kim Hyo-jung is a well-known commentator and MC at Korean go events. That will make an impressive total of seven pros at the Cotsen, including Cho Hun-hyun 9PYang Jae-ho 9P, Yoo Chang-hyuk 9P, Myung-wan Kim 9P and Yilun Yang 7P, all of whom are expected to play in simuls with Cotsen attendees as well as give lectures and game commentaries. Registration opens at 8a Saturday (walk-ins are welcome), Saturday, 4/28 at the Korean Cultural Center (5505 Wilshire Blvd.Los Angeles,CA); Round 1 is scheduled for 10a PST, Round 2 for 1P and Round 3 for 4:15P. Live EJ game broadcast of top-board games on KGS begins with Round 1 and live commentaries should begin around 11a PST. Watch the AGA website and keep an eye on KGS for updates throughout the weekend.  

 

Bonus at This Month’s Bay Area Go Tournament

Tuesday April 24, 2012

Twenty-six kids and adults gathered in Palo Alto, CA, on April 14 for this month’s ratings tournament run by Bay Area Go Players Association. Players ranged in strength from 7 dan to 18 kyu, and four players won three games apiece: Yue Fang 1d, Tai-An Cha 5k, Bryan Tan 12k, and Sybil Fu 15k. As is usual at the Bay Area Go tournaments, go books were handed out as prizes to everyone playing in their first tournament and those who won all of their games.

But everyone was a winner at this tournament, because during the lunch break between the first and second  rounds, local amateur 8 dan Joey Hung gave a lecture. He reviewed game openings, discussed some common joseki, and covered what he calls ‘the first rule of the opening’. “In the front row there was a 7 dan player, and sitting near him an 18 kyu player. It is very challenging to teach such a wide range of players at once,” explained Joey later. “But I think everyone learned something.” Indeed, a lot was learned that day.

Next month’s Bay Area Go tournament will be held on Saturday, May 12, in San Francisco’s Japantown Center.

Categories: U.S./North America
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Yang Shuang 2P Visits DC-Area Go Clubs

Tuesday April 24, 2012

Chinese Pro Yang Shuang 2P was in the metro Washington DC area last week visiting both the NOVA Go Club in Arlington,VA and the Greater Washington Go Club (GWGC) in Bethesda MD.“Ms. Yang received a warm welcome by AGA President Allan Abramson and club regulars” at the NOVA Go Club on April 16 reports Daniel Chou. “She graciously offered to play simuls with enthusiastic attendees led by Joshua Lee 6D and Haskell Small 4D,” followed by game analysis. The GWGC visit on April 20 “was a great success,” adds Haskell Small. “There were ten players in the simul, a number of others observing, and GWGC was rocking!” Ms. Yang plans to visit the Feng Yun Go School in New Jersey later this month.
photo by Jie Li

Categories: U.S./North America
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Amsterdam Tourney Includes Speed Go on a Boat

Tuesday April 24, 2012

This year’s edition of the Amsterdam International Go Tournament includes a Rapid (Speed Go) Tournament that will be played on a boat that travels through/around the city of Amsterdam. The tournament – the 41st edition – runs Thursday, May 17th – Sunday, May 20th and is being presented by The Amsterdam Go Club, in cooperation with the European Go Centre – celebrating it’s 20th anniversary — the Dutch Go Association, the EGF and EuroGoTV. This year’s tournament is part of the European Cup, level 5, the highest level, allowing top European finishers to earn points for the European Cup system. A large field is expected, with many players already pre-registered, including players from Belgium,  Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Korea, Poland,  Romania, Spain, Switzerland and Turkey. In case of sufficient participants and interest commentary on the top  games will be given by Cho Seokbin 7P from Korea. Discount for online pre-registration before May 1. Free and cheap lodging is available; for details see the tournament site and click here for photos from previous tournaments. photo: at the 2008 Amsterdam Tournament; photo by Judith van Dam

Categories: Europe
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2012 AGA Board Minutes Posted Online

Tuesday April 24, 2012

Minutes of the American Go Association Board of Director’s 2012 meetings – including the January 21 special meeting to discuss the proposed “tap” on foreign prize winnings – have now been posted online. Click here for all Board minutes 2003-2012 or here for January 4January 21 and February 27 minutes.

Categories: U.S./North America
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Brooklyn Go Club at Sakura Matsuri Festival

Tuesday April 24, 2012

The Brooklyn Go Club will be staffing go tables at the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens’ Sakura Matsuri Festival again this year on April 28-29. “Go doesn’t technically doesn’t start until 1pm, but BGC members can show up at noon at 1000 Washington Ave and help set up,” reports Marc Palmer.

Categories: U.S./North America
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Kevin Huang Wins Somerset NAIM Qualifier

Monday April 23, 2012

Kevin Huang 7D took first place in the April 21-22 North American Ing Masters (NAIM) Qualifier Tournament in Somerset, New Jersey. Huang’s win qualified him to participate in the NAIM at the 20120 U.S. Go Congress. The second place winner was Xinyu Tu 7D, who received qualifier points to NAIM and the 2012 World Mind Sports Games (WMSG) in France, and third place winner Lionel Zhang 6D also collected qualifier points to the WMSG. The final game to determine the first place winner was appropriately dramatic, reports tournament organizer Ronghao Chen. “Xinyu Tu put his 47th move at the center of the board and made a big moyo. Kevin Huang immediately invaded, attempting to make his group live and reduce Tu’s terRitory. Kevin spent a lot of time trying to solve this very difficult problem, and at the end of his game he only had 31 seconds remaining. Xinyu made big mistakes and retreated several times as Kevin finally broke Tu’s defense line, killed Tu’s 30 more stones and won the game and the tournament.”
Categories: U.S./North America
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Jiang to Teach Go Camp

Monday April 23, 2012

Mingjiu Jiang 7P will be returning to teach at this year’s AGA Go Camp, reports camp director Amanda Miller. Jiang is an experienced professional player who has represented the United States in a number of international go tournaments. He has extensive teaching experience, and counts many of the strongest youth in the country among his students.  Camp pricing and details can be found on the 2012 Camp Website here. For the convenience of the campers and their families, payments for the camp can be made online, although some forms must still be mailed directly to the organizers. 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 again 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.  Story and photo by Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.  Photo: Jiang, at right, plays a simul in the Youth Room at the 2011 Go Congress.