Voting begins soon for the three open seats on the American Go Association’s Board of Directors. Candidates are Martin Lebl in the central region, and incumbents Paul Celmer and Chris Kirschner for the eastern and western regions respectively. Voting is by AGA chapters, and chapter reps “should have received their initial ballot count through the AGA Chapters mailing list,” reports Election Coordinator Arnold Eudell. Official ballots will be going out in one week and must be received by August 3; notify email@example.com of any discrepancies. Click here for voting procedures and candidate statements.
American Go E-Journal » Go News
Saturday June 22, 2013
Saturday June 22, 2013
“I have nothing to declare but my genius,” Irish poet, dramatist and wit Oscar Wilde is said to have told customs officials. Now his namesake, Oscar Selby 9k, the British Under-Ten 2013 go champion, has been declared a genius on nationwide TV.
Selby (right), of Epsom, was featured on the June 18 Channel 4 Child Genius broadcast. He is one of 21 highly gifted children aged seven to 11 who were selected to take part in a competition, run in association with British Mensa, to find the UK’s “ultimate child genius.” Selby is said by the producers to be a favorite to win. Five contestants are eliminated in each round and Selby has made it through the first round. The last two episodes will be broadcast on June 25 and July 2.
Selby first came to national attention at the age of seven, when he became the youngest child to get an A* grade in GCSE Maths, a public exam usually taken at age 16.
At this year’s British Open, as reported on gogameguru.com, young Selby walked off with a rake of prizes including the British Lightning Trophy and a special award from American-Japanese pro and E-J contributor, Michael Redmond 9p. Less than two weeks ago he won the handicap division of the British Pair Go Championship with partner Rebecca Margetts 20k (see E-J report of Jun 13) and in March won his age-category at the British Youth Championships, ranked third by win rate with 4/5.
Selby grew up with go: his mother Natasha Regan 1k (an actuary), father Matthew Selby 3k (a computer software engineer) and uncle Alex Selby 4d are all keen go players. With playing partner Matthew Cocke 5d, Regan held the UK Pair Go Championship from 2011 to 2012.
Click here to see Channel 4′s page on the episode (including playback, 47:31 with commercials; may not be available everywhere).
Friday June 21, 2013
For the second consecutive year, top young North American players have defeated their European counterparts in the Transatlantic Youth Go Friendship Match. “The Europeans lost by a large margin last year,” reports organizer Andrew Huang, “and were certainly looking for a more positive result this year. However, the North American team was keen to stifle the Europeans’ ambitions, and won the first seven games, eventually finishing with an 8-2 victory. We are looking forward to another exciting event next year, as the European team will be thirsty to exact revenge.” The match was held June 2 on KGS, and marked the fifth year for the Transatlantic Youth Tourney. Ten players representing the United States and Canada teamed up for North America, while ten European youngsters were chosen from Russia, Germany, France, Austria, Romania, Czechia, Slovakia, and Poland to compete for the Europeans. Lawrence Ku and the American Go Honor Society organized the event, which was held in the Transatlantic Youth Go Tournament room on KGS. Previous years events are listed here; for this year’s results, click here. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Image by Paul Barchilon, based on a graphic from DairyReporter.com
Thursday June 20, 2013
Six years after becoming the youngest 9-dan professional, Chen Yaoye 9P (right) finally broke through on the world stage when he defeated Lee Sedol 9P (at left in photo) 2-1 on June 20 to capture the Chunlun Cup and win his first major international title. This was Chen’s fourth attempt at an international title and it was smiles all round as he finally made his long overdue breakthrough. Lee seems to make a habit of being present at special milestones in Chen’s career and looked genuinely pleased for Chen. The last time these two met in an international final was in 2007 at the 19th Asia TV Cup, where Chen was promoted to become the youngest (at the time) 9-dan professional.
In other news from the 9th Chunlan Cup, Jiang Weijie 9P defeated Kong Jie 9P in the playoff to take third place. The Chunlan Cup is an invitational go tournament for 24 top players from around the world. In addition to players from China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan, a European and a North American representative are also invited. The top 8 seeded players proceed directly to round two, while the remaining 16 play a single elimination round, knocking out 8 players. After the first round, the remaining 16 players compete in a knockout tournament, culminating in a best of three final. The tournament is sponsored by Chunlan Group, a Chinese conglomerate with interests in the air conditioning, domestic appliance, automotive, finance and alternative energy industries.
The Chunlan Cup uses Chinese rules, with a komi of 7.5 points, and offers a prize of $150,000 USD to the winner.
- based on a more detailed report on GoGameGuru, which includes game records and more photos
Thursday June 20, 2013
“Who would have guessed that go would catch on so well in a tiny rural town where hogs outnumber humans?” asks a school librarian in rural North Carolina.
The American Go Foundation has sent hundreds of copies of Hikaru no Go manga to schools and libraries across the country. One set went to a middle school in Burgaw, North Carolina. “Ninety percent of our students receive free or reduced price lunch,” writes school librarian Kathleen Stewart-Taylor. “Most of our 275 students are African American or Latinos. Some of them are children of migrant workers; a few of them work in the fields/farms themselves. Many have parents who can’t speak English or can’t read or write in any language. We live within 20 minutes of the ocean, but most of my students have never seen it.” But, says Stewart-Taylor, “I would bet that 75 % of my students now know about go and at least 25% have tried to play a game.”
“Several months ago you sent us a free set of (Hikaru no Go) manga,” says Stewart-Taylor. “It worked. We now have a go club and they are talking about going to a tournament next year! This is a big deal for us. We have tried chess, but our students didn’t like the deep game trees, they prefer the sense of ‘aliveness’ that they have with go.” The Hikaru no Go series was among the top 10 books circulated during the second semester and “Top 5 for the last 9 weeks,” Stewart-Taylor reports. “Many students now come in to the library during lunch to log on to Tigers Mouth. One of the Hikaru manga even got swiped! This just doesn’t happen. Check out books and lose them, sure. Drop one off the combine and run over it, you bet ya. But stolen?” (He returned it.)
“Next year, If I can get a nucleus of students who know the game well enough to teach others, I’m going to print off small go boards and have them play during lunch,” Stewart-Taylor adds. “Go is cheap — just give them a printout of a board and a couple of different colored markers. Lunch can be a hard time with lots of discipline referrals. I’m hoping that playing go will reduce the problem behaviors.”
“A student ran up me this afternoon and gasped ‘Mrs. Stewart! Did you know about the agfgo website?! (pant pant) . . . It’s so cool!’ He’ll be at the local public library this weekend, studying go.”
- report by Roy Laird
6/20: Burgaw is in North Carolina, not South Carolina, as originally reported.
Wednesday June 19, 2013
The final North American Masters Tournament (NAMT) qualifier of the 2013 season is scheduled to be played online the weekend of July 6-7. “This tournament coincides with the rise to power of both Richard the Lionheart and Elvis Presley,” reports AGA Tournament Coordinator Karoline Burrall. Richard (right) was crowned on July 6, 1189, and Presley’s first single — “That’s All Right” — was broadcast 765 years later on Memphis radio station WHBQ on July 7, 1954. You don’t have to be a king or a rock star to play in the tournament but you do need to be at least 4-dan and you must register by July 3. The 4-round online tournament is open to players rated 4D+ and eligible to compete in this year’s North American Masters Tournament at the Go Congress in Tacoma WA. Eligibility for AGA players is based on citizenship or permanent residency in the US, residency in the US for 6 of the past 12 months, and continuous full or youth AGA membership. Click here for detailed schedule and rules, as well as a link to registration. “Long Live the King!” says Burrall.
Tuesday June 18, 2013
“Too bad they don’t do doodles for living persons,” responded David Shope (A Google Doodle for Go Seigen? 6/12 EJ) via the AGA’s Facebook page. That didn’t stop graphic artist Mike Samuel (who’s designed many of the U.S. Go Congress logos) from drafting up a potential go-themed “Google Doodle” for the internet giant.
Monday June 17, 2013
In the exciting concluding rounds to the third annual Young Kwon National Online Tournament, new American professional Andy Liu became this year’s champion, winning all five rounds. Liu earned professional status at last year’s
first AGA professional qualification event, sponsored by TygemGO, which took place just prior to the US Go Congress in North Carolina. Liqun Liu 7D took second in the 2013 YKNOT, winning 4 out of 5. Other band winners include Aaron Ye 5D, Willis Huang 3D, Larry Qu 1K, Matthew Machado 5K, and Yuliang Huang 21K. The tournament took place over the first two weekends in June on KGS. There were a total of about 60 players, some of whom were new AGA members, and for others, this was their very first online tournament. YKNOT3 sponsor Young Kwon was on hand during the rounds to watch the games and comment. TD Karoline Burrall extended thanks to all of the players who participated in the tournament. “Thanks also to our fantastic sponsor Young Kwon,” added Burrall, “as well as the team of TDs including Dennis Wheeler, Todd Heidenreich, Jay Tabaniag, and Julie Burrall.”
Andy Liu’s 5th-round game against Yue Zhang 7D — “Full of fighting and lively viewer commentary!” — is at right.
Monday June 17, 2013
Seventh-grader Wilson Zhang 1k topped the Sixth Sunflower Happy Cup Youth Go Tournament, with four wins, on June 1 in Cupertino, California. “Forty-one elementary and middle school kids gathered together on a beautiful Saturday afternoon and played four to five rounds of 19×19 games,” reports Wenguang Wang, who organized the event. “To ensure a really fun experience for every kid, players earned prize tickets after each round, and then exchanged their tickets for various fancy prizes. Each participant was also rewarded with a trophy, and at the event’s conclusion all the kids and their parents enjoyed a refreshing ice cream party.” -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo by Ming Liao. Wilson Zhang is at left, in the blue shirt
Monday June 17, 2013
The Nihon Kiin has informed Nihon Kiin America (NKA) that it intends to sell the East 52nd St building that formerly housed the New York Go Center. Nihon Ki-in CEO Mr. Hanyu will be in New York this week to discuss the matter further with Terry Benson, NKA President. “We think it’s a mistake to sell,” Benson says, “especially with New York real estate values climbing. We presented them with a detailed plan by which the building could be put back in use, pay for the cost to do so in less than three years, and be a permanent source of funds to cover its expenses and produce money to benefit American go. The plan was never given serious consideration.”
In a conference call Mr. Hanyu told NKA board members that the proceeds would be used to benefit American go. However Mr. Hanyu also said that the American community would only be “consulted” in determining how the funds would be used. The Nihon Ki-in would have the final authority. He also would not say whether the building would be offered for competitive bids in a public sale or in a private transaction like the one the Nihon Ki-in tried to close in 2011. “The Nihon Kiin has a fiduciary responsibility to make the most of Iwamoto sensei’s gift. A private sale to a friendly buyer would raise obvious suspicions. We will insist on transparency in everything to do with the building,” says Benson. “Iwamoto’s endowment to US go must benefit and be controlled by those who know how to promote go in the US. We hope the Nihon Ki-in honors Iwamoto’s intentions.”
- photo: Andy Liu giving a lesson at the NYGC; photo by Roy Laird