American Go E-Journal » Go News

Youth Go Championships

Sunday February 20, 2011

The United States Youth Go Championships will be held March 26 and 27, with finals on the first weekend in April.  The tournament will be held online, and will select the US representatives to the World Youth Goe Championships, in Bucharest, Romania.  The finals will also determine National Dan, Single Digit Kyu (SDK), and Double Digit Kyu (DDK) Champions. The winners will receive trophies, and prizes will be awarded in the following brackets: 5-7 dan 1-4 dan, 1-4 kyu, 5-9 kyu, 10-15 kyu, 16-20 kyu, 21-25 kyu, 26 and up kyu.  Contestants will be entered into a pool to receive $400 scholarships to  this year’s AGA Summer Youth Go Camp, courtesy of the AGF, 16 Scholarships will be awarded. The Junior Division is for youth 11 and under, the Senior Division is for youth under 18 as of August 1, 2011. Only US Citizens may enter the finals, residents may compete in the qualifier; the winners must be able to travel to Romania for the finals, August 12-19 (expenses are covered for the youth players, but not for parents).  To register, e-mail youth@usgo.org with your name, AGA #, date of birth, AGA rating, KGS ID, and citizenship.

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“Fun and Games”

Thursday February 17, 2011

Many of you caught the go joke Robert Cordingley spotted in the Go Daddy First Impressions ad, when CEO Bob Parsons (l)catches the flying shirt button and says “Its all fun and games until someone loses an eye.” (One reader also suggested that the sound of Parson catching the button “sounds like a stone hitting a goban pretty hard” which seems like even more of a stretch) While this is a common expression among go players referring to the need for eyes to live, Richard Moseson points out that “if you do a search on this phrase in Google, there are over 100,000 non-go-related hits, some claiming that the expression comes from wrestling matches in Ancient Rome,” leading him to wonder “Is this truly a go-related expression?” Terry Benson says no, sending along a cite that claims it’s an old American proverb and also noting the verse in Don Freed’s 1992  song “You Can’t Be a Pirate”: “Being a pirate is all fun and games/Till somebody loses an eye. btw, no word on whether Parsons is a go player.

Categories: U.S./North America
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Young Kwon Tourney Winner’s Report

Monday February 14, 2011

Nearly 300 watched 2010 NAIM champion Huiren Yang 1P and newcomer Zhanbo Sun 2P (see our profile elsewhere in this edition) battle it out February 5 in the Young Kwon National Online Tournament February 5 final on KGS. After several complicated battles and unfathomable trades, Sun managed to squeeze a 5.5-point victory to sweep the tournament, while Calvin Sun took second place in the tie-breaker. The tournament’s prize purse was donated by Young Kwon, with dan certificates generously supplied by the Korean Baduk Association, through coordination by Myungwan Kim 9P. KGS-AGA liaison is Akane Negishi; Assistant tournament directors were Binquan Wang, Hua Lin, Xingshuo Liu, Zhenying Gu and Jon Boley. Tournament directors were Chris Kirschner, Yixian Zhou and Zhiyuan ‘Edward’ Zhang.  Winners are pictured at right:
UPPER ROW (l-r): Bryan Tan (19-23k), Tengxiao Yang (6d), Gordon Castanza (8-10k), Calvin Sun (6d), Martin Field (5-7k), Tom Xu (4-5d), Dan Bensky (19-23k), Henry Zhang (1-2k)
LOWER ROW (l-r): Ze-Li Dou (1-3d), Zhanbo Sun 7d+), Tommaso Mason (11-13k), Young Kwon, Yunxuan Li (1-3d), Dazhi Xu (4-5d)
COMPLETE WINNER’S LIST: 7d+: Zhanbo Sun, Calvin Sun; 6d: Hugh Zhang (awarded Korean Baduk Association, KBA 6d), Tengxiao Yang; 4-5d: Dazhi Xu, Tom Xu; 1-3d: Ze-Li Dou (awarded KBA 4d), Yunxuan Li; 1-2k: Donald Allison (awarded KBA 1d); Henry Zhang; 3-4k: Larry Qu, Sile Chen; 5-7k: Martin Field, Stephen Allen; 8-10k: Thomas Giles, Gordon Castanza; 11-13k: Julian Erville, Tommaso Mason; 14-18k: Jerry Lu, Tristin Tran; 19-23k: Bryan Tan, Dan Bensky; 23-35k: Jonathon Hu.

Categories: U.S./North America
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WORLD GO NEWS ROUND-UP February 8-14: Choi Cheolhan wins the Kuksu; Did Lee Changho resign too early?; Cho U and Yamashita Keigo advance to NEC Cup final

Monday February 14, 2011

Choi Cheolhan wins the Kuksu. Choi Cheolhan 9P (l in photo) added yet another title to his growing list this year by defeating Lee Changho 9P (r) by resignation in the fourth round of the 54th Kuksu on February 14. Choi won the series 3-1. This also marks an unfortunate milestone for Lee Changho, who is currently without a title. It’s the first time since the late 1980s that Lee has not held a single title. Did Lee Changho resign too early? In the 24th Fujitsu Cup preliminaries on Februrary 9, Lee Changho 9P lost to Won Sungjin 9P by resignation in the first round of play, thus eliminating him from the main tournament. This will be the first time since 1994 that Lee Changho has not participated in the main tournament. The controversy surrounding this particular game is the question of whether Lee resigned too early. Cyberoro is reporting that pros who have analyzed the game believe that Lee should not have resigned and are puzzled with his decision. Others cite Lee’s precipitous slide in performance over the past year, among other things like his recent marriage, as an explanation. For further updates on the controversy, see the discussion at Life in 19×19. Cho U and Yamashita Keigo advance to NEC Cup final. In the 30th NEC Cup semifinals, Cho U 9P and Yamashita Keigo 9P both won their respective matches against Kono Rin 9P, current NEC title holder, and O Meien 9P. Cho and Yamashita will now face one another in the final (date TBA). While Cho has participated in the NEC Cup title match three times and won it twice, in 2004 and 2007, this will be Yamashita’s first.
- JustPlayGo; edited by Jake Edge

Categories: World
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How to Sponsor a Pro at the 2011 US Go Congress

Monday February 14, 2011

This year’s U.S. Go Congress organizers are – for the first time – accepting contributions to support the attendance of professional go players. “Show your appreciation for the professionals who attend Congress by donating to support their attendance and hard work!” urge 2011 Congress Directors Andrew Jackson and Lisa Scott. Those who donate $2500 or more will receive two tickets to attend the Pro Dinner, as well as a complimentary lesson with an attending professional. Donations may also be made by a group of people; anyone who donates at least $200 will receive a mention in the 2011 US Go Congress Handbook. Targeted donations can also be made towards the support of specific attending professionals. For complete details, email andrew.jackson@gocongress.org
photo: Japanese pro Ryo Maeda 6P at the 2010 U.S. Go Congress; photo by Jake Edge

Categories: U.S./North America
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Frank Luo 5d Hops to Win in Atlanta Rabbit Tourney

Monday February 14, 2011

Feijun (Frank) Luo 5d (r) topped a record field of 38 players who turned out for the February 5 Year of the Rabbit Go Tournament in Atlanta, GA. Players aged seven to over sixty competed over four round in three divisions. The tournament was held in the new office building of the Atlanta Contemporary Chinese Academy (ACCA), with Zhiqiang Liu, Board Chairman of the ACCA welcoming all go players to the event. Liu praised go as “the most interesting and intellectually challenging board game” and encouraged further collaboration among the Atlanta Go Club, Atlanta Chinese Go Association and ACCA. The one-day, four-round tournament generated a number of intense games, including the championship game in Division I (4d-5d) between Feijun (Frank) Luo 5d and Geng (Eric) Wang 5d, who each won a go tournament championship in Atlanta in 2010.  Luo managed to defeat Wang by just 2.5 points after playing catch-up for most of the game.  Yongming (Michael) Zhuang secured the Division II (3d-4d) championship after winning all 4 rounds.  Jicheng (Kevin) Tang, Likang Xu, Xiaodong Sun, and Fengli Cao tied in the second place.  In Division III (1d and below), Kun Chen and Alex Hartsell both captured a championship title, and Brandon Zhou and Kyle Cavin had a tie for second place. Notably, four youth players — Kun Chen 14, Zhangzheng Xu 14, Peiyu Tang 13, and Brandon Zhou 7 – performed well at the tournament, and Zhou, the youngest player, is now a 4k player after learning go just 7 months ago. Local organizers plan to host more tournaments in Atlanta in the future, and welcome all players, “regardless of their levels.”

Categories: U.S./North America
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EJ Profile: YKNOT Winner Zhanbo Sun 2P

Monday February 14, 2011

Young Kwon National Online Tournament winner Zhanbo Sun 2P (l) is something of a mystery man to the North American go community, never having appeared previously in an AGA tournament. The 24-year-old Sun hails from Daqing in Heilongjiang Province, which borders Jilin in the south, Inner Mongolia to the west, and Russia to the north and east. Sun began playing go when he was six years old and became a professional in 2000. He has trained with Wenyao Piao 9P, who’s currently ranked 12th in China, and Jiaxi Tuo 6P, who’s ranked 7th. He captained Tsinghua University’s go team from 2005 to 2009 and is now a Ph.D. candidate in Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, NY, majoring in Transportation Engineering. Sun’s hobbies include music and snooker. His favorite thing about go is “Its complexity,” and his advice to amateurs who want to get stronger is simple: “Respect your opponents.” To the relief – or disappointment — of other top North American players, Sun tells the EJ that due to time conflicts he’s unlikely to enter more North American tourneys at this point.

Categories: U.S./North America
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AGA Issues Annual Call for Guest Officials

Monday February 14, 2011

The American Go Association has issued it’s annual call for self-nominations to be guest officials abroad for the AGA, President Allan Abramson announced today. “Each year a few opportunities arise to send people overseas as guest officials,” said Abramson. “An open call for people to nominate themselves is the fair way to go.” Nominations should be sent to president@usgo.org, with a short statement of the contributions to U.S go that would merit selection as a guest official. The deadline this year is Sunday, February 27.

Categories: U.S./North America
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TYGEM Launches iPad App

Monday February 14, 2011

The Korean Go server TYGEM has just launched their English language go app for the iPad. Search for tygem on iTunes. In addition to free services on TYGEM, sources tell the E-Journal that TYGEM plans to offer go servers on an English website by March.

Seattle Go Center Keeps Lights On and Doors Open

Monday February 14, 2011

Despite reduced hours and a vacant rental space, the doors are still open – and the lights still on – at the Seattle Go Center. “Tuesday nights continue to be very popular at the Go Center, with over 30 players attending,” reports Center manager Brian Allen. “The Yang Yilun workshop this weekend had 20 participants, with a good mix of old friends and new faces.” Although the Center’s downstairs rental space is still empty, income has matched expenses for the 2010-11 fiscal year, which started last July. “We have had a big increase in donations, matching grants from employers, and lifetime memberships,” says Allen. “And we reduced expenses by limiting our hours, and relying more on volunteers.  Of course, we are working hard to get the downstairs rented out, which would give us additional income. We had one negotiation get as far as a letter of intent, but now that deal seems unlikely.”
photo by Brian Allen