American Go E-Journal » Go News

Hosts Wanted for North American Masters’ Qualifiers

Saturday December 10, 2011

Chapters and tournament directors are being sought to host qualifiers for the 2012 North American Masters’ Tournament (NAMT), which will take place at the 2012 Go Congress in Black Mountain, North Carolina. “Up to eight qualifying tournaments will be sanctioned,” reports AGA Tournament Coordinator Karoline Burrall, two in each region — East, West, and Central — and two online tournaments. “Because go players are so spread out across the country, hosting these qualifiers is essential to allow as many eligible players as possible to compete and accumulate points,” Burrall adds. Any chapter holding a tournament and interested in turning it into a NAMT qualifier can email Burrall at

Categories: U.S./North America

U.S. Team Comes Close But Fails to Upset Japan in 1st Round of SportAccord World Mind Games

Friday December 9, 2011

Results from the first day’s team competitions at the SportAccord World Mind Games in Beijing, China on December 9 went pretty much as expected, Thomas Hsiang tells the E-Journal, with China, Japan, and Korea winning against EU, US, and Chinese Taipei. “Chinese Taipei nearly pulled an upset when Chen Shih-iuan defeated Lee Sedol, and Hei Jia-jia (Joanne Missingham) won against Kim Hyemin.  In the game that finished last, the young boy Wang Yuan-jun — only 14! — was leading in his game against Lee Younggo.  Lee finally prevailed and dashed Chinese Taipei’s hope for a big upset.”

The U.S. lost to Japan 0-5, but Andy Liu and Jie Li (right) both had their chances, Hsiang reports. “Andy played ‘fast and very smart’ against Sakai Hideaki, according to Gu Li and Kong Jie, the two Chinese world champions.  Gu Li spent more than an hour watching Andy and told me afterwards that he was very impressed and ‘that unknown young man had a good game and many chances to win’.  Jie lost to Yamashiro Hiroshi by just a half-point, and also had many chances to win, according to Kong Jie.  So our young players made a very positive impression.”

EU lost to China 0-5.

The broadcasting schedule for December 10 will feature the game between Hei Jia-jia and Li He — “the ‘game of the two beauties,’ as they say here in China,” says Hsiang. Tentatively, Andy Liu will be featured on the 14th when he plays against Xie He from China.

Click here for James Davies’ more detailed reports on Ranka Online, where you can also follow live matches, check out the schedule, results and participants.

In other news, Hsiang reports that “the International Go Federation (IGF) held a special Board Meeting today (12/9). I invited (AGA Board member) Andy Okun (in dark blue shirt in photo below) as an observer. Many things were discussed, including an IGF proposal that will fund two projects in the Americas: the AGA’s plan for an international go symposium and the Iberoamerican Go Federation’s plan to start a pilot project teaching go in Venezuela schools.  This proposal now moves forward to IMSA.”  The AGA’s plan to establish a pro system was met with great enthusiasm and encouragement, Hsiang reports. The IGF is starting to plan the next round of the SportAccord World Mind Games that will now be featured for at least five years.  Hsiang and Yuki Shigeno will again represent the IGF in negotiations with SportAccord.  Brunei will be next IGF member, with Kazistan likely to follow. The Ing Foundation will apply to become a new Association Member of IGF; its president, Mr. Ying Ming-haw, has been invited to become an at-large Director of the IGF.  WAGC 2012 will be held in Guangzhou, May 11-18, and the 2012 WAGC 2013 will be held in Japan, with site selection and date to be announced in May 2012.  There is still no site contract for World Mind Sports Games II in 2012 and the event is unlikely to take place.
photos: US team player Jie Li (top right); team captains (bottom left); photos courtesy Ranka Online.

SportAccord World Mind Games Kick Off Friday, 12/9

Thursday December 8, 2011

Preparations for the first edition of the SportAccord World Mind Games are in full swing, reports Thomas Hsiang. The Games kick off on Friday, December 9 and “There will be broadcast of events everyday during the tournament on the internet,” Hsiang tells the E-Journal.  The IGF’s Ranka Online will also be providing coverage and the EJ will relay highlights. The go broadcast is from 1500 to 1600 Beijing time (US EST 0200 to 0300) and can be watched live on the SportAccord Youtube Channel or on the IMSA channel. The go event schedule: Team Tournament, December 9, 10, 11, 13, 14; Pair Tournament, December 15, 16; off day, December 12.

In the team event, US will play against:  Japan (12/9); Korea (12/10); EU (12/11); Chinese Taipei (12/13); China (12/14). The US playing order is Mingjiu Jiang, Jie Li, Andy Liu, Kevin Huang, Yun Feng. The EU’s schedule: China (12/9); Japan (12/10); US (12/11); Korea (12/13); Chinese Taipei (12/14). The EU playing order is Catalin Taranu, Christian Pop, Cornel Burzo, Jan Simara, Vanessa Wong.

Won Seongjin Wins 16th Samsung Cup

Thursday December 8, 2011

After several months of preliminaries and finals, the 16th Samsung Cup wrapped up surprisingly quickly this week, with a three game match between Won Seongjin 9P and Gu Li 9P. The games were played over three consecutive days starting on December 5, 2011. Won clinched the third game on December 7, scoring a 2-1 win, as well as his first major international title. Both players are renowned for their thick and powerful fighting styles, but many go fans expected Gu, who’s known as ‘muscle man’ in Asia, to defeat ‘Won punch‘ in the heavyweight stakes. Even if Gu’s fans were disappointed with the results, they can’t have been disappointed with the games, which thoroughly demonstrated the power and creativity of both masters.
- Jingning; Games and photos are available in her original article: Won Seongjin wins 16th Samsung Cup! 

Photo: Gu Li 9P (left) and Won Seongjin 9P play the opening of the second game.

Categories: World

Won Lee Wins First TRENDnet Championship

Tuesday December 6, 2011

The first TRENDnet Southern California Go Championship was held December 3-4 in Alhambra, CA, under clear skies and cold dry Santa Ana winds.  Inside the Southern California Chinese Broadcasting building, the atmosphere was warmer as about 50 players of all ages gathered for five rounds of go.  The open section – and $500 top prize — was won by Won Lee 7d.  Lee, a veteran SoCal strong player not so active in recent years, put on a strong showing by edging out local strong youths Curtis Tang 7d and Andrew Lu 6d, according to tournament organizer Kevin Chao.  Other section winners were Yunxuan Li 3d in the dan section, Vincent Ma 3k in the high kyu section, Raymond Liu 7k in the mid kyu section, and Gary Huang 10k in the low kyu section.  The tournament featured a $2,000 prize pool and was sponsored by TRENDNet, a Torrance, CA-based supplier of home and small business networking equipment.
- Andrew Okun; photo: Won Lee at left, Kevin Chao at right, Andy Okun in center.

Winner’s Report:
Open Section: Champion  Won Lee 7d (4-1); 2nd place Curtis Tang 7d (4-1); 3rd place Andrew Lu 6d (4-1). Dan Section: 1st place Yunxuan Li 3d (5-0); 2nd place Jae Kim 1d (4-1); 3rd place Ming Teh Wu 4d (3-2). High Kyu Section: 1st place Vincent Ma 3k (5-0); 2nd place Kevin Chou 1k (3-2); 3rd place Ted Terpstra 5k (3-2). Mid Kyu Section: 1st place Raymond Liu 7k (4-1); 2nd place Jiayue Li 8K (4-1); 3rd place Michal Lebl (3-2). Low Kyu Section; 1st place Gary Huang 10k (4-1); 2nd place Susanna Pfeffer 12k (4-1); 3rd place Samantha Davis 10k (3-2).

Categories: U.S./North America

Jiang Weijie Wins 24th Mingren

Monday December 5, 2011

While Japan has already crowned its Meijin for 2011, the 39th Myeongin continues and 24th Mingren concluded this week, with Jiang Weijie (5p) defeating Kong Jie (9p) in five games.

Categories: World

Go Photo: Hamilton Go Club Takes the Cake

Monday December 5, 2011

Heather Wonder, one of the members of the Mountain Go Club in Hamilton, Ontario, made this go themed cake. “It was made to celebrate the one year anniversary of our growing club,” reports Nick Prince.


Jimmy Yang Tops Slate and Shell Open

Monday December 5, 2011

Jimmy Yang 5d went 3-1 winning the high dan section at the 2011 Slate and Shell Open in Fairfax, VA on a tiebreak with Josh Lee 5d also 3-1. The sponsor, Slate and Shell, donated books which were awarded to the first and second place winners in each section. Kelsey Dyer 1d, playing in her first tournament since achieving a shodan rating, won the second section with a 3-1 score in a tiebreak with Arnold Eudell 4k (3-1). The other sectional winners were Garrett Smith 9k (3-1), and Anderson Barreal 14k (3-1) with second places going to Gurujeet Khalsa 7k (2-1), and Mohan Sud 10k (2-2).
- Gurujeet Khalsa; photo: tournament winners holding their prizes from Slate and Shell

Categories: U.S./North America

U.S. vs. Canada Youth Match Set for this Sunday

Monday December 5, 2011

The fourth annual US Canada youth friendship matches will be this Sunday, December 11 on KGS.  Five of Canada’s strongest will square off against the best young players in the US.  The players include Calvin Sun 7d, Hugh Zhang 7d, Andrew Lu 6d, and Vincent Zhuang 6d and Jimmy Yang 5d, for the US side and Ryan Li 7d, Gansheng Shi 7d, Jianing Gan 6d, Daniel Gourdeau 6d, and Andrew Huang 6d, for the Canadian side.  Matches will be held in the AGA Tournaments Room on KGS, at 4 pm ET (1 pm PT), and the public is welcome to observe. 
- Paul Barchilon, EJ Youth Editor

Li Wins Young Lions

Monday December 5, 2011

Yunxuan Li 4d topped a field of 51 players in the Young Lions Tournament on KGS last month. The tournament, organized by the American Go Honor Society, featured young players from all over the US, and a few from Canada and Mexico as well. As in previous years, the tourney brought some of North America’s strongest youth together, including current Redmond and USYGC champion Aaron Ye 5d, and Oliver Wolf 4d, former Redmond Champ. “All the games i played were very tough,” Li told the Journal, “Aaron [Ye] has awesome attacking skills and Oliver [Wolf] has a very aggressive and flexible style.” Last year’s winner in this event, Vincent Zhuang 6d, went on to represent the US in the World Youth Go Championships, Li will get a chance to make his mark in the upcoming USYGC in January. Also coming up will be the School Team Tournament, the most popular event hosted by the AGHS, with registration opening around mid-January or February. The Young Lions was directed by AGHS President Jasmine Yan, Vice-Presidents Eric Chen and Justin Teng, Viral Kotecha, Van Tran, Rebecca Cheng, and Keiju Takehara.  -Justin Teng, with Paul Barchilon.  Photo: Yunxuan Li, at right, in a casual game at Go Congress.  AGHS VP Justin Teng is watching the game.  Photo by Wenguang Wu.

Winner’s report: Division A: 1st: Yunxuan Li 4d, 2nd: Oliver Wolf 4d, 3rd: Andrei Razvan 2k; Division B: 1st: Larry Qu 2k, 2nd: Raymond Liu 6k, 3rd: Anurag Varma 2k; Division C: 1st: Zachary Peach 8k, 2nd: Benson Jay Merrill 9k, 3rd: Jerry Qiu 10k; Division D: 1st: Joshua Song 16k, 2nd: Vicente A. Cortez-Tinoco 15k, 3rd: Noah Hill 13k; Division E: 1st: Alissa 18k, 2nd: Neal Fatheringham 18k, 3rd: Monsoon Shrestha 24k.