American Go E-Journal » Go News

Live at the White House: A Report from the Welcome Ceremonies for China’s President

Friday January 21, 2011

by Allan Abramson, AGA President
It was cloudy and cold early Wednesday morning, as we went through the White House security lines. Feng Yun 9P and Paul Matthews had risen at 2 am in northern New Jersey to drive to DC and Paul Celmer and Frank Salantrie had driven in from North Carolina on Tuesday. Feng Yun and Paul had to wait an hour for clearance, as her name had been reversed on the guest list for the welcoming ceremony for Chinese President Hu Jintao. We had all been invited because of the go community’s contributions to President Obama’s gift last year to President Hu of an America-made go board and bowls, plus fine jade Chinese stones donated by Feng Yun (Go Community To Attend White House Event Welcoming Chinese President 1/17 EJ). Companies from all the military services assembled on the South Lawn, including one dressed in Revolutionary War red. A band played before the 9 am ceremony started. It was a full military review, with upwards of 400 invited guests, plus dignitaries. Small U.S. and Chinese flags had been given to us to wave before the press cameras. Presidents Obama and Hu began with a walk on the lawn to inspect the assembled companies, and then they shook hands with invited children from schools with Chinese language  and cultural instruction, before going up to the podium. Each made a speech, full of promises and pledges for cooperation between our countries. Then they went up the stairs into the White House, ending the formal ceremony. The go community’s presence at this meeting between the two leading superpowers provides a metaphor for peaceful competition. It also offers us a glimpse of a positive future, when go becomes an integral part of our society. Once again, we are challenged to make this happen.
photos by Allan Abramson; top right, l-r: Salantrie, Celmer, Feng Yun & Matthews. Click here for an online photo album

Categories: U.S./North America
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Go Community To Attend White House Event Welcoming Chinese President

Monday January 17, 2011

When President Hu Jintao of China arrives at the White House this Wednesday, the U.S. go community will be there. President Obama brought President Hu a go board and glass bowls when he visited China last year, and has invited Feng Yun 9P, who donated a set of go stones given to her when she left China, North Carolina’s Frank Salantrie – who made the board — the West Coast glass blower who made the bowls, and American Go Association President Allan Abramson and AGA Board member Paul Celmer to participate in the arrival ceremony. “Obviously, we’re incredibly thrilled and honored that go is playing such a visible role in this high-profile event,” said Abramson. “With the game emphasizing the long view, as well as trades between the players instead of all-out victory, we think go is the perfect metaphor for better relations among all people.” photos by Peter Armenia
For more on this, see Kitty Felde’s Go” diplomacy to be used with China’s President Hu?

MingJiu Jiang 9P Wins Jujo Jiang Tournament

Monday January 17, 2011

Fittingly – and not surprisingly – it was the Brothers Jiang who battled it out for the top prize at the recent Jujo Jiang Tournament, held January 8 in San Francisco, CA. MingJiu Jiang 9P prevailed in the climactic 4th-round game against his brother — and tournament namesake — Zhujiu “Jujo” Jiang 9P (at left in photo) , winning the championship, which was sponsored by ZhiQiang Guo. “Mr. Guo participated in the tournament two years ago and enjoyed it so much that he decided to be a sponsor this year,” reports organizer Ernest Brown. The final was broadcast live on KGS. There were eight prizes in each of four divisions in the handicap portion of the tournament as well as four cash prizes in the open section. Matthew Burrall 6d took second place and tourney namesake Jujo Jiang 9P was third, while Qucheng (Roger) Gong 6d placed 4th and Hugh Zhang 6d was 5th; all had 3-1 records. Aaron Ye 2d topped the Handicap Division with a 4-0 record and Eric Su 3d was second, also with 4-0; Justin Shieh 4d took third place with 3-1.

The 19th-annual tournament “was well populated by youth dan level players,” Brown told the E-Journal, adding that “During the tournament go lessons were provided free to the public.” Next year’s 20th anniversary tournament is already being planned, and will again be held at the Chinese Culture Center in the Financial District Hilton Hotel in San Francisco.  “We look forward to hosting many of the professional players who have participated in the tournament over the years from around the world,” says Brown. Click here for tournament photos.

Categories: U.S./North America
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YKNOT Tourney Launches Saturday on KGS

Monday January 17, 2011

More than 120 members of the American Go Association will vie for nearly $3,000 in prizes in the inaugural Young Kwon National Online Tournament (YKNOT), which begins this Saturday. The field includes AGA Life Members from Asia and Europe as well as AGA members in the United States – click here for complete list — and dan winners will be awarded Korean Baduk Association’s Dan-level certificates. Nearly twenty players applied or renewed their AGA membership to qualify to play YKNOT, and over a dozen players tested their web camera and Skype during the Q/A session last Saturday. With many players are new to online tournaments, co-director Zhiyuan ‘Edward’ Zhang is strongly recommending that all players familiarize themselves with the relevant software. “A reliable internet connection is critical,” Zhang adds. He notes that while it may seem inconvenient at first to have to use software and a web camera, “we are confident that the benefits of low costs, no transportation expenses, more supervision, and a quasi face-to-face experience far outweigh the drawbacks.” For details and complete YKNOT notices, click here. Tournament pairings will be announced soon. The tournament will be held over five days: January 22, 23, 29, 30 and February 5; game times are 1p ET for dan and 6p ET for kyu divisions.

Categories: U.S./North America
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Torrey Tops MGA Winter Tourney

Monday January 17, 2011

Becci Torrey 1d (at right, in photo) won the January 16 Massachusetts Go Association’s Winter Handicap Tournament, topping a field of 32 at the club in Davis Square, Somerville. Players ranged in strength from 18 kyu to 7-dan, and in age from 14 to septugenarian, reports TD Eva Casey, “with every decade in between represented.”  The players traveled from Western Massachusetts and Cape Cod, as well as Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, New York, and  Rhode Island. “Seven women participated if you include the TD,” adds Casey. Gus Heck 2k and Doug Frantz 12k tied for second, while Laura Wu 12k came in third. Click here for photos. Photos courtesy Eva Casey.

Categories: U.S./North America
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WORLD GO NEWS ROUND-UP January 11-17: Moon Sweeps Stage 1 in Jeongganjang Cup; Iyama Yuta Wins Game 1 in Kisei; Kuksu final tied at 1-1; KBS final shaping up

Monday January 17, 2011

Moon sweeps stage 1 in Jeongganjang Cup. Moon Dowon 2P (r in photo) swept the first stage, seven-game series in the 9th Jeongganjang Cup. In the last game on January 14, she defeated Japan’s Suzuki Ayumi 5P (l) by 3.5 points, leaving Team Japan with only one player (Yoshida Mika 8P) left going into the second stage. Moon’s seven straight wins leaves Team Korea intact with all five players, while Team China remains with only two players (Rui Naiwei 9P and Tang Yi 2P). Moon will play China’s Tang in the first round of stage two on March 22nd. Regardless of how the second stage unfolds, the remarkable rise of Moon Dowon throughout this tournament is one of those career markers that will be remembered for some time. Earlier results: round 6, round 5, round 4, and last week’s round-up. Iyama Yuta wins game 1 in Kisei. Day two in the first round of the 35th Kisei final gave Iyama Yuta 9P the win by resignation over defending Kisei champion Cho U 9P. Iyama thus takes a 1-0 lead in this seven-game series. Cho won the title last year for the first time in his career, which also marked his first time contending for the title. Likewise, this is Iyama’s first Kisei title match. The second round will begin on January 26th. Kuksu final tied at 1-1. On January 14, Choi Cheolhan 9P defeated Lee Changho 9P by resignation in the second round. The five-game series is now tied at 1-1. The third round will be played on February 14th. In the first round, Lee defeated Choi by resignation after only 136 moves on January 12. This was a significant win for Lee given the difficulties with his game over the past several months and the need to defend his title. KBS final shaping up. In the final round of the 29th KBS Cup winner’s bracket on January 10, Park Junghwan 9P defeated Baek Hongsuk 7P by resignation, thus advancing Park to the KBS title match while pushing Baek into the loser’s bracket. Because the KBS tournament is divided into two brackets, Baek’s loss to Park in the winner’s final does not mean that Baek is out of KBS title contention. He will have a second chance to advance to the title match in the loser’s final on January 31st when he faces Lee Sedol 9P who defeated Choi Cheolhan 9P by resignation in semifinal play. The winner of that match will then face Park Junghwan for the KBS title.
- JustPlayGo; edited by Jake Edge

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Yu Go & Santa Monica Clubs Team Up at LA Anime Convention

Monday January 17, 2011

The Yu Go Club and Santa Monica Go Club teamed up to teach dozens of anime fans the basics of go at the recent Anime Los Angeles (ALA) convention, reports Samantha Davis. “The interest from con-goers was amazing, and go at ALA was a huge success!” The clubs ran three go demonstrations and a panel over the course of the three-day convention. photo courtesy Samantha Davis

Categories: U.S./North America
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Flying Finn wins London Open

Monday January 17, 2011

Antti Tormanen 6d (l) of Finland bested favorite Wang Wei 6d in the London Open at the end of December. Wang, who had just moved from Cork to London, but is originally from China, was favored for the Open – held December 28-31 — after being the previous year’s runner up, and indeed, after four rounds only he and Tormanen were unbeaten at the top. But when the two players faced off in round 5, the Fin won after an epic battle, and then won his last two games to complete his sweep and take first place. Wei Wang also won the rest of his games to end on six wins and take second place. CLICK HERE for the full results.

Man triumphed decisively in the Man-Machine Challenge, sponsored by the British Go Association and held in parallel with the London Open. John Tromp 2d won 4-0 and went away $1000 richer courtesy of Darren Cook, who was using Many Faces of Go on his laptop. Tromp, who felt the result didn’t reflect the closeness of the games, said that he wasn’t going to repeat his bet, as he expected to lose in a couple of years if the computer continues improving at the current rate.

The 2010 London Open was again sponsored by Pandanet and Winton Capital Management, but attendance was down slightly, no doubt due to the extremely cold weather and snow-related travel difficulties that immediately preceded Christmas. Luckily this had disappeared by the time the London Open started and 99 players turned up to play in this by now traditional 4-day event, which finishes up on New Year’s Eve.

Tormanen, who hails from Oulu in Finland, also won at least one blitz game against Guo Juan 5P at the New Year’s Eve party, during a series of games that was a serious treat to watch and listen to for those attending. Guo, from Amsterdam, was again resident professional, providing game commentaries and lectures throughout the tournament. Although she didn’t play in the Open, she played in the Pair Go Tournament and won, partnered by Ian Davis from Belfast. She also kindly provided a €100 sponsorship for this year’s London Open on her audio site; certificates are given to five young deserving players, each worth 20 audio lectures.

The Lightning was won by Jukka Jylanki 9k from Finland, who beat Andrew Kay 4d from the UK) in the final. The final event was a casual Rengo event after the tournament proper had been closed, and before the New Year’s party, which was won by Frenchmen Arnaud Knippel and Michael White, who attributed their success to brand new hats worn throughout. Geoff Kaniuk and Jenny Radcliffe were the tournament’s main organizers, supported by chief referee Nick Wedd, Tony Atkins and many others. This was Kaniuk’s last year as London Open Tournament Director, after many years of extraordinarily dedicated service and hard work.
- excerpted from Jon Diamond’s report on the British Go Association’s website, which includes all top-board game records and photo galleries of both the main and Pair Go tournaments

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School Teams Tourney Registration

Sunday January 16, 2011

Registration for the AGHS School Teams Tournament is now open. There will be four rounds: Round 1 (12 pm ET) and Round 2 (5 pm ET) will be on February 26; Round 3 (12 pm ET) and Round 4 (5 pm ET) will be the next Saturday, March 5. Players must still be in High School, or younger, and no older than 20 as of February 26. Schools can register a maximum of three teams, each with three players and one alternate. Returning players, please note that the rules have changed for the 2011 tournament: only learning institutions, where a subject other than go is taught are eligible. Regular go clubs are NOT eligible unless they are based at a school. Players are encouraged to form teams from their public/private schools. Registration closes February 12.

Go Featured at Japan Day at Hebrew University in Jerusalem

Sunday January 16, 2011

By setting up tables in the corridor at Hebrew University’s mid-December “Japan Day” in Jerusalem, go organizers Shavit Fragman and Barak Gluska “trapped many of them in ‘geta’ and made them stop, look, ask and learn about go,” reports Fragman. A Hebrew University graduate, Fragman said the school’s spacious Maiersdorf building – where the Japan Day activities were held – was “an ideal place to promote go.” Some students were new to game, while others had played it years ago, and Fragman says that “Some were very enthusiastic about opening a club at the campus.” Nearby, a group of students sang some Japanese songs, a tea ceremony workshop attracted interest, and an artist named Noda gave a lecture about Japanese wood printings. Officials from the Japanese embassy’s culture department visited the Japan Day events, and Professor Ben Ami Shiloni lectured about the relations and differences between Japanese and Jewish traditions, featuring many anecdotes and insights. “Special thanks go to Hadas Kushelevich, a Masters student at the East Asia studies, who organized the event and supported our success,” adds Fragman, “As Hadas proposed, we will organize a go evening at the student’s Bar-Aton club.” Click here www.go-mind.com/gallery.php for a gallery of event photos.

Categories: World
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