American Go E-Journal » Go News

Freedman Named AGF Teacher of the Year

Saturday June 14, 2014

Peter Freedman, of Portland, OR, has been named the AGF Teacher of the Year, winning a free trip to the US Go Congress in NYC.  Freedman, who has been active in the Portland area for decades, has focused his primary activities on youth go in recent years. Freedman and Fritz Balwit (2011 AGF Teacher of the Year) had tried to establish go clubs in schools for many years, but they were short-lived and drew minimal numbers  “Meanwhile, our chess and go program at Irvington Elementary had run for many years, with upwards of 30 students every term,” Freedman told the Journal.  “It became 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. I approached several school chess coaches about the idea of morphing their programs into chess and go clubs, and now there are over 100 children in these clubs, spread over five  schools, I teach go and Fritz teaches chess in most schools. The students can play only chess; play only go; or, switch between chess and go each month.  New students must play a month of go before they decide on their option. 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.”

AGA President Andy Okun had this to say about Freedman: “While many people know him as a club organizer, AGA volunteer and co-director of the really successful 2008 Portland Congress, Peter has also been teaching go for many years, and very intensively since retiring eight years ago.  For the last three years, he’s run the Irvington Elementary School Go Team, which has played matches against teams in Portland, Detroit and Mexico City.  He led the effort to make the Portland Go Club a 501c3 so it could raise money for a go in the schools program, and has raised thousands of dollars for that effort.” Recent activities included bringing Mingjiu Jiang 7P to Portland, for a workshop attended by 19 players from across Oregon, ranging in age from 7 to 72, and strength from beginner to 3 dan. “Nine of the players were kids or teens,” said Freedman, “one of whom taught himself to play three months ago, another was a 7 year old kgs 3 kyu.  Andrew Nguy, who recently started the robust David Douglas H.S. Go Club, was also in attendance. Mingjiu was up to the challenge of teaching such a diverse group, moving from simple problems to more complex ones that the  advanced people could chew on.”

“The AGF board faced a very tough decision again this year,” reports President Terry Benson, “with five extremely strong candidates, each of whom fully deserved the award. Fortunately, we choose a new teacher every year, and the other candidates will all have a chance again next year.” 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.  Photos: Top: The Irvington Elementary Go Team plays a match against Mexico City, Freedman is 2nd from right; Bottom: students at the Mingjiu Jiang workshop last April. 

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7th Japan – Cuba Friendship Games Played in Santiago de Cuba and Havana

Saturday June 14, 2014

Eighteen Japanese players visited Cuba in May for the 7th Go Friendship Exchange. Play began in Santiago de Cuba from May 16 to 18 at a special event with children and their teachers from the different schools there where go is taught. While the technical level of play is still low, “there is very much enthusiasm and it is hoped that in a little time they will improve their level,” says Rafael Torres Miranda, President of the Academia Cubana de Go. The Exchange continued on Saturday, May 24 in Havana at the Cuban Go Academy, where high-level players participated. This year’s Exchange celebrated the 10th anniversary of the International Society of Exchange of Go, which organizes these meetings. It also celebrated 400 years of diplomatic relations between Cuba and Japan; in 1614 the samurái Hasekura Tsunenaga visited the island on an official visit.
- Bob Gilman; photos courtesy Rafael Torres Miranda

Categories: World
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China and Korea Evenly Pegged After LG Cup Round of 16

Thursday June 12, 2014

After one brief day to lounge by the pool, it was back to business on June 11 for the winners of 19th LG Cup’s round of 32 (19th LG Cup gets serious – Round of 32 6/9 Go Game Guru). Three of the pairs had only played each other once before and two of the games repeated the previous result.

Korea’s current top ranked pro, Park Junghwan 9p (right), replicated his win earlier this year (in the Chunlan Cup) against Tang Weixing 9p. Meanwhile, Kim Jiseok 9p defeated Li Zhe 6p, to make it 2-0. However, Fan Tingyu 9p (left) reversed his Nongshim Cup result from last year, defeating Kang Dongyun 9p by resignation. Choi Cheolhan 9p managed to avoid his natural enemy, Chen Yaoye 9p (who defeated Shi Yue9p). However his record against Xie He 9p is also less than impressive at 1 win and 5 losses. Much to the delight of the many Korean pros who came to support their countrymen, Choi won his game against Xie. Two other pairs had never met previously. Tuo Jiaxi 9p proved too strong for Byun Sangil 3p and Park Younghun 9p defeated An Dongxu 5p. The remaining match up between two Chinese youngsters saw the more experienced Xie Erhao 2p emerge as the winner over Ding Shixiong 1p.  There will now be a long break in the tournament schedule. The quarter finals and semifinals will be played on November 17 and 19, 2014.

Gu Li 9p was a notable absence in this year’s main draw. Unfortunately for Gu’s fans, he was defeated by An Kukhyun 4p in the final round of this year’s preliminary tournament. The LG Cup is a major international go tournament. It started in 1996 and the prize money is currently 300 million Won (about $300,000 USD). The runner up receives 100 million Won (about $100,000 USD). The main draw of 32 players is part invitational, comprising of five Korean players, five Chinese players, four Japanese players, one Taiwanese player and including the previous year’s winner and runner up. The tournament is sponsored by LG Electronics, a multinational consumer electronics company whose headquarters are in South Korea.
- Based on a report on Go Game Guru, where you’ll find more photos and game records. 

 

 

Categories: Korea
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YKNOT4 Shaping Up for Strong Dan Levels, Kyu Levels Encouraged to Register

Thursday June 12, 2014

With the Young Kwon National Online Tournament (YKNOT) less than two weeks away, a competitive open section is shaping up with over 10 players 6-dan and above. Eligible players in the open section this year will earn NAMT points towards participation in the US Invitational, the 9-round $5,000 prize event. Players who qualify through NAMT will be eligible for an extra $2,000 in prizes.

“Dan level registration has been strong, but we also encourage kyu players to register!” says AGA Tournament Coordinator Karoline Burrall. “We encourage registration at all playing levels, and prizes will be awarded at all levels.”
YKNOT4 sponsor Young Kwon is a go player from Pearl River, New York and a previous US Open champion. Dedicated to promoting go in the United States, he has sponsored this tournament and provided the nearly $3,000 in prizes while offering free registration to all players. The only requirements for the tournament are AGA membership and a United States address. AGA life members living anywhere are also welcome.

Registration is free. The tournament games will be played on June 21, 22, and 28th. Click here to register, and visit the website for schedule, rules, and details.

Seattle Celebrates Go Seigen’s Birthday

Thursday June 12, 2014

“Go Go Seigen” was the slogan on the birthday cake at the Seattle Go Center on Wednesday night.  In Japan, it was already Thursday, and Go Seigen’s birthday.  Most of the ten Seattle celebrants were members of the SDK class (single digit kyu players).  Frank Brown cut the cake.  Frank turned 60 on Tuesday, and immediately bought a lifetime membership in the Seattle Go Center with his new senior discount.  The Go Center wishes both birthday boys many more years of go playing.  Report and photo by Brian Allen.

Nominations for AGA Board Closing June 15; At-Large Seat Open

Thursday June 12, 2014

There are currently no nominees for the At-Large seat on the AGA Board of Directors, reports Arnold Eudell. Incumbents Bob Gilman (Central) and Gurujeet Khalsa (Eastern) have been nominated to run to retain their seats and Ted Terpstra has been nominated for the western region. Help determine the direction of play for the American Go Association by joining the AGA Board of Directors. Nominations are being accepted through June 15 and must be sent to elections@usgo.org.  Click here for candidate statements and complete election information and qualifications.

Categories: U.S./North America
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Go Seigen Turns 100, Keeps On Playing

Thursday June 12, 2014

Go Seigen — regarded by many to be the greatest go player who ever lived — celebrated his 100th birthday on June 12. “I still study Go every day, placing stones on the board,” Go Seigen said in his book ‘A Way of Play for the 21st Century.’ “You might think study is meaningless for me, since I retired so many years ago. But for people who play it, Go is like an eternal friend, a permanent art form. I’ll continue playing and studying Go. Probably just like you.” Many players, including pros, still study and learn from Go Seigen’s games today. “Go Seigen created a new paradigm in the game of go and raised the understanding of future players to a new level,” writes Youngil An 8P on Go Game Guru. Click here to see Youngil An’s commentary on a memorable 1940 Go Seigen game against Kitani Minoru, who was his best friend and rival. “Even though this game was played almost 75 years ago,”  says Youngil An, “Go’s play still feels modern and he plays many moves that normal players wouldn’t even imagine.”
- Based on a report on Go Game Guru; photo by Zhang Jingna

Categories: Japan,World
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EuroGoTV Update: Germany, Netherlands, Sweden

Tuesday June 10, 2014

Germany: Cristian Pop 7d (left) bested Alexandr Dinerstein 7d at the KidoCup Hamburg Top 8 on June 9 while Mateusz Surma 6d came in third. Netherlands: Jord de Jong 1k took the Districtstoernooi Groningen on June 8. Behind him were Rene Goedhart 3d and Sjoerd Koolen 2d. Sweden: The Swedish Championship finished on June 1 in Norrkoeping with Jakob Bing 3d in first, Kim Johansson 1d in second, and Fritiof Olsson 1k in third.
– Annalia Linnan, based on reports from EuroGoTV, which include complete result tables and all the latest European go news; photo courtesy of EuroGoTV

Ali Jabarin Wins Amsterdam International; Historic Euro-Korean Go Battle Remembered

Sunday June 8, 2014

Ali Jabarin 6d of Israel took the 2014 Amsterdam International Go Tournament main, centerpiece of Amsterdam Go Together 2014, with five wins out of six. It was played Friday May 30 – Sunday June 1 at the European Go Cultural Centre (EGCC), Amstelveen in the Netherlands (Holland) and Jabarin was only beaten by Zhao Baolong 2p of China who won all six rounds but, as a professional, took part out-of-competition. In second-equal place, with four wins each, came Pavol Lisy 7d of Slovakia, Yong-Su Yu 7d of Korea (pictured), Christian Pop 7d of Romania, Kim Paolo 7d of Korea and Csaba Mérő 6d of Hungary. Click here for full results, and here to connect with the EGCC’s Facebook account for more photos.

Pavol Lisy had also qualified as a pro the day before the main tournament after winning Stage 2 of the 1st Euro Pro Qualification (see Pavol Lisy First European Pro,- EJ, 7/1), a competition in which all the Europeans mentioned above have been participants, and for which Zhao has been professional coach, along with compatriot Li Ting 1p. Lisy’s new status will not, however, come into effect until August 1. Jabarin – along with Mateusz Surma 6d of Poland, Lukáš Podpera 6d of Czechia and Cornel Burzo 6d of Romania – is also still in the running to gain professional status by winning two further knockout rounds at Vienna on June 20.

Former Korean Amateur Champion Yong-Su Yu was a special guest at the event and well-known to the veterans there, as during the eighties he lived in the Cologne area in Germany and won the Amsterdam International every year from 1985-89. “I cannot [be] very content with the result in this Amsterdam go tournament,” he said, “but it’s not very bad. The top players in Europe are much stronger than I thought.” He also praised the hospitality he and his group, led by best friend Kim Paolo, had received and said, “Everyone in the Dutch Go Association [Federation] was so kind to us”.

In 1985 Yong-Su demonstrated the superiority of Korean amateurs in that era when he played a celebrated nine-game match, winning 7-2, against then Dutch and European Champion Ronald Schlemper 7d, a go prodigy who had come to dominate the game in Holland and who had won the European Championship twice already at that point (and has three times in all). The match, which featured games in the three Dutch towns of Leeuwarden, Arnhem and Tilburg, was sponsored by Dutch insurance company Interpolis, who published a book about it at the time, with game analysis by other Dutch amateurs.

Now one of Yong-Su’s party, Lee Kwang-Ku 3d, who is a journalist for Korean-language weekly Ilyo Shinmun and author of a three-volume book on modern Korean go, is also planning to write a book about the match with Korean professional commentary on at least some of the games. Schlemper, who these days lives in Japan, will be interviewed for the book too, which it is hoped will also be produced in an English-language edition. Photographer and sometime board member of the Dutch Go Federation Harry van der Krogt, now Financial Director of the EGCC, was the initiator of the match and following the Amsterdam tournament he has – by way of research for the book – traveled with Yong-Su, Kim and Lee to Arnhem to revisit the Hotel Groot Warnsborn (right), the only one of the match locations still standing. He told the E-Journal the hotel and surrounding park “made a great impression on me in 1985 [...] and now in 2014 it has not lost any of its charm“. It was also Yong-Su’s favourite location of the three: “Arnhem was the best place from three because maybe……..I could have a good time with Dutch go players…….drink….chatter. I could win all three games…..”.

Report by Tony Collman; photos by Harry van der Krogt: (from top) Yong-Su Yu at the Amsterdam International 2014; playing in the 9-game match with Schlemper in 1985; (L-R) Lee Kwang-Ku, Yong-Su Yu, Kim Paolo at the Hotel Groot Warnsborn.

Google’s Shusaku Doodle Sparks UK Kerfuffle

Saturday June 7, 2014

A Google doodle on June 6 honoring the 185th birthday of Honinbo Shusaku sparked a bit of a kerfuffle in the UK when Google hastily replaced it with links to letters, photos and maps of the Normandy landings to honor the 70th anniversary of D-Day. “What were you thinking #Google?” chided a tweet. “Unfortunately a technical error crept in and for a short period this morning an international doodle also appeared,” said Peter Barron, Google’s director of communication. “We’re sorry for the mistake, and we’re proud to honour those who took part in D-Day.” The Shusaku doodle remained in some countries, including Japan and Hong Kong, honoring one of the greatest go players of the 19th century. Click here to read Go Game Guru’s report, which includes Shusaku’s famous Ear-reddening Game, and here to read the BBC’s report.  Click here for an interesting discussion on Board Game Geek about which countries the doodle appeared in.
Thanks to readers around the world who sent in sightings and links to reports.

Categories: Go Spotting,World
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