American Go E-Journal » Go News

U.S. Go Congress Attendance Nears 450; 19 Pros Confirmed

Monday July 11, 2011

With this year’s U.S. Go Congress just a few short weeks away – July 30 through August 7 in Santa Barbara, CA – attendance is shooting up faster than summer temperatures. In addition to a spectacular site right on the coast at UC Santa Barbara, the 8-day event features the U.S. Open – the largest annual Go tournament in the US – the North American Ing Masters – 16 of the strongest amateur and professional players in North America, the Redmond Cup – the preeminent youth tournament of the year – as well as lectures and simuls with 19 professionals, go vendors and more go than you can possibly imagine (yes, the Midnight Madness tournament is back!). There’s plenty for non-players to do in the area (click here for details), and soccer and tennis players should be sure to bring their gear, as there’ll be opportunities for ball games as well as the board kind. So mark your calendar, book your flight and register now!
- photo collage from 2010 U.S. Go Congress; photos by Chris Garlock & Jake Edge

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Top N.A. Players to Vie on KGS for US Representation in Sport Accord Mind Games; Li and Hong Claim First Wins

Monday July 11, 2011

With three professionals, six North American Ing Masters champions and four top Canadian reps you won’t want to miss the opening rounds of the Sport Accord Mind Games (SAMG)  qualifier this week on KGS starting at 8p EST. Pairings include top-seeded Feng Yun 9P vs Yuan Zhou 7d, Mingjiu Jiang 7P (seeded 2) vs Gansheng Shi, Andy Liu (4) vs Calvin Sun, Huiren Yang 1P (5) vs Hugh Zhang, Juyong Ko (7) vs Daniel Chou, Sorin Gherman (8) vs Lionel Zhang and Kevin Huang (9) vs Xianyu Li. Dae Hyuk Koh (6) will play Bill Lin at 10p EST. In the two SAMG matches on Sunday, July 10, Jie Li (3) defeated I-Han Lui and Seung Hyun Hong (10) won over Yinli Wang. The top five players will represent the U.S. in the SAMG this December in Beijing, China. Watch KGS for schedule details: Rounds 1 & 2 are this week; Rounds 3 & 4 are next week and Round 5 will be the week of July 25; the updated schedule will be posted on the AGA’s website.
- SAMG Qualifier Co-Director Zhiyuan ‘Edward’ Zhang

Top North American Players to Vie Online This Week

Categories: U.S./North America
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Redford Perfect in Austin

Monday July 11, 2011

John Redford (front left) drove all the way in from Arkansas to score a perfect 4-0 and win the July 9 White Crane tournament in Austin, Texas. Tied for second place with 3-1:  John Andrichack, Sang Ho Lee, Roger Strain, Landon Dyer, and Ian Mitchell. Click here for an album of tourney photos.
Photo: John Redford (l), playing Ray Heitmann; photo by Tracey Su

Categories: U.S./North America
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Tengxiao Yang 6d Wins Chicago NAIM Qualifier

Monday July 11, 2011

Tengxiao Yang 6d (l) of Valparaiso, IN won the July 9 North American Ing Masters qualifier in Chicago, topping an 8-player field that attracted some strong local Korean players. In second place was Tae Young Rhee 8d. TD:  Bob Barber directed, ably assisted by Lee Huynh and Daniel Smith.

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Liu and Fitzgerald Win Four Apiece in Bay Area Monthly

Monday July 11, 2011

This month’s AGA ratings tournament in the San Francisco Bay Area was held July 9th in Palo Alto, CA. The playing field consisted of 24 players, including young players and adults ranging in strength from 20 kyu to 4 dan. Tournament organizer Roger Schrag estimates that at least half of the players will be heading to Santa Barbara soon to play in the upcoming US Go Congress. Kaiyang Liu 1d led the dan division with four wins, and Cieran Fitzgerald 20k led the kyu division, also with four wins. Next month’s ratings tournament is scheduled for August 13, also in Palo Alto. Photo by Lisa Schrag.

Categories: U.S./North America
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Shi and Ye Top Redmond Cup Qualifiers

Monday July 11, 2011

Gansheng Shi 7d and Aaron Ye 4d placed first in the Redmond Cup qualifiers, held online over the past few months.  The Senior Division, for kids aged 12-17, was dominated by Shi,  a 17 year old Canadian, who won the Redmond in 2008 and 2009.  He was undefeated in the qualifier, but faced very strong competition from his own country, with Tianyu Lin 7d, age 14, and Jianing Gan 7d, age 15, almost making it to the finals.  From the U.S., three-time  Redmond champion Calvin Sun 7d, age 14, fought his way into the top four.  Sun got off to a a rough start, losing in rounds 2 and 3, but then rallied, defeating both Gan and Lin in a playoff to earn the right to face Shi at the Go Congress.  In the Junior Division, for kids under the age of 12, nine-year-old Aaron Ye 4d was undefeated.  He faced strong competition from a bevy of pint-sized prodigies in the Bay Area, including last years USYGC champion Kevin Fang.  It was Sammy Zhang 2d, age 11, who held his ground though, making it to the finals for the upcoming playoff at the Congress.  All four finalists have won a free trip to the US Go Congress, to compete for the Redmond Cup.  The final matches will be held on July 31, Aug. 2, and Aug. 4, at 3p PST, and will be broadcast live on KGS.
- E.J. Youth Editor, Paul Barchilon. The Members Edition of the E-Journal includes a game review of Sun’s final match with Lin by Feng Yun 9P.  Sun catches a large dragon to make a decisive win, but Feng Yun shows us  how Lin could have escaped with a throw-in. To get the EJ Member’s Edition, click here for details on AGA membership.

Waldron Weds

Monday July 11, 2011

Phil Waldron (3rd from left)– former President of the Canadian Go Association and a longtime contributor to American go as well – tied the knot with Cindy Pearson on June 11 in Ottawa, Canada. “Thomas Hsiang (2nd from right) and Steve Colburn made it from Rochester, and I’m grateful to Keith Arnold (far left) for making the long trek from Baltimore to join us,” Waldron reports. “Cindy’s not a go player but has learned the rules.  She’s quite indulgent, however, and happily joined me at a tournament in Rochester last year when we were dating.  Having discovered the local shopping opportunities in the city, she may be convinced to do it again.  I think we’re unlikely to make the U.S. Go Congress this year, but next year looks like a much better possibility.”

Categories: U.S./North America
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AGA Board Ballots Due by End of Month

Monday July 11, 2011

Chapter reps should have received their AGA Board ballots via email by now, reports elections coordinator Arnold Eudell. All completed ballots must be received by July 29. Click here for details on the election, includes candidates and statements.

Categories: U.S./North America
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Go Beats Out Shedd Aquarium for Fourth Grader

Monday July 11, 2011

Five young students, and their teacher, Xinming Simon Guo, took advantage of Chicago’s recent Family Fun Festival to introduce go to a larger audience. The Chinese-American Museum of Chicago prepared an assortment of activities to promote Chinese art and culture for visiting families and day-camp groups.  Guo and his students staffed a booth on June 25 and 26, and taught over 60 visitors how to play. “The highlight of the weekend is no doubt the story of a fourth grader  from Springfield IL who visited the event tent on Saturday,” reports Guo. “He said he was pretty good at chess and won the champion in the tournament for 7th graders. He showed great interest in go and learned how to play it immediately. I gave him a cardboard set as a reward for having played his first complete game. On the second day, everybody was astonished to see this boy again. His mom told me their original plan was to visit Chicago’s  Shedd Aquarium, but this boy was so attracted by this new game that he gave up the aquarium to revisit the weiqi desk to learn more about go. ‘How can a fourth-grader choose a game of go instead of visiting Shedd Aquarium — rated as the number one attraction for kids??’ his mother asked.  That’s the magic of go, I answered with a smile.”  Guo began his class at Xilin North Shore School in 2010, with the  the support of the American Go Foundation. Since then, the project has attracted about 25 kids to learn go. “This weiqi (go) demo event is a great opportunity for kids to use what they have learned during the last year. It’s also a chance for them to learn how to serve the public,” added Guo.  Students who taught in the booth were Hann Diao, Edward Lee, Jiangao Fang, Ray Li, and Jeffrey Tang. -Paul Barchilon, E.J Youth Editor, Photo: Guo is at left, the  fourth grader mentioned is at right.  Photo by Xinming Simon Guo.

IN MEMORIAM: Remembering Chester

Monday July 11, 2011

By Keith Arnold, hka

I am a go player, and I love go players, but we are an odd bunch at times.  It is not unusual for us to know a person’s rank, but not his name, his name, but not his job, or his KGS handle and not whether he’s married or single.

So when Mark Rubenstein posted on Facebook about the passing of longtime Chicago go mainstay Chester Zawacki (r) on June 19, I was sad, truly.  I remembered him from many Congresses, and I remembered him as a 2 kyu, but  it was not until I looked up his obituary that I knew of his wife and children.

I even posted on his memorial page how much I liked him, even if though I was not sure we had ever played. In fact, thanks to our AGA Database, it turns out that I played him four times, long-forgotten games in my yearly quest for the “Keith Arnold” prize in the Self-Paired tournament.

I guess my point is that I wish I was less one of those go players who simply know each other as opponents and not as people. Because Chester was not one of those kind of go players. I remember that he loved to talk, loved to get to know people. He certainly knew that I was married, and seeing him was one of the main reasons my wife Erica looked forward to the Congresses – he was one of the folks she loved to see again. And Chester knew me too. Just recently he called to talk about the Civil War, knowing that I am more than simply a 4 dan – but a person with interests beyond go.  Don’t get me wrong, Chester was a go player. He played non-stop, but he did not play silently, head down. He took in his opponent, getting to know him off the board as well as on.

With the annual U.S. Congress coming we have our best chance to spend a week getting to know one another and I hope that each of us strives to learn something new about each of our old go friends, or, better yet, about a new go friend.

Thank you Chester, not just for the forgotten four games, but for being the kind of unforgettable go person I’d like to be.

Click here for Chester Zawaki’s online guest book; photo by Mark Rubenstein

Categories: U.S./North America
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