American Go E-Journal » Go News

Three Top-Player Congress Tourneys Merged into Single Super-Event, AGA Announces

Wednesday April 2, 2014

An expanded prize pool and a new tournament structure are planned for the strongest players at this year’s US Go Congress. “The AGA Board, in close consultation with strong players across the country, felt strongly that we needed to raise the stakes, the prestige and the competitiveness of the top tournaments and this is the result,” said American Go Association President Andrew Okun. 

In recent years, strong players competed in three separate main tournaments at Congress, the 6-round US Open open section in the mornings, the 4-round North American Masters Tournament (NAMT) for North American professionals and qualified amateurs in the evenings, and the 4-round Strong Player Open, also in the evenings. 

In the new structure, these three tournaments will be combined into a single 9-round US Open, which will serve both as the top section of the U.S. Open and as the NAMT. The U.S. Open winner will take a top prize of $5,000 and the NAMT-eligible player with the strongest result will become the North American Masters Champion and win $2,000. Other prizes will be paid to other finishers both overall and in the NAMT.  All players 7d and above – and all players who qualified for the NAMT — will be eligible to compete in this new event. Strong players who wish only to play the traditional six rounds of the US Open may do so instead, but will not be eligible for the top prizes. 

The U.S. Open/NAMT will take place during the six mornings of the US Open – at the 2014 US Go Congress in New York City August 9-17 — with an additional three rounds in evenings during the week. Click here for the FAQ on these changes.
photo of 2013 NAMT and SPO playing room by Phil Straus 

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1st Washington Open Baduk Championship Set for April 26-27

Wednesday April 2, 2014

The East Coast is getting a new major tournament. The first Washington Open Baduk Championship will be held in Northern Virginia on the weekend of April 26-27. With a top prize of at least $1,000, and cash prizes for every section, “this two-day tournament is not to be missed!” says organizer Allan Abramson. Click here for more details and to register. 

The Championship is sponsored by the Embassy of the Republic of Korea, the Korean Cultural Center – DC and Scorpion Sport Inc. in L.A., co-hosted by the Korean Amateur Baduk Association (KABA) and the American Go Association (AGA), and organized by the NOVA Go Club, the Baltimore Go Club, and the Korean-American Go Association.

The Championship will be a rated five-round, one hour per player event. AGA membership is required. No entry fee, and lunch is free. Other attractions will include a rapid tournament on Friday night, lectures by Myungwan Kim 9P and another Korean professional, and simuls with the pros. “A packed weekend of competition and fun for all,” says Abramson. 

Your Move/Readers Write: Real Cotsen, Fake Chickens

Wednesday April 2, 2014

“Can you confirm that the Cotsen dates (Cotsen Dates Confirmed for 2014-2016 4/1 EJ) are real, not an April 1st joke?” writes Anders Kierulf. “It just seems so unlikely after the dates moving around every year and being announced very late. Also, the 2016 dates should probably be Oct. 22-23, not Oct. 23-24, as that’s not a weekend.”
Yes, the 2014, 2015 and 2016 Cotsen dates are real, though as Kierulf notes, the 2016 dates are actually October 22-23. The Dumb Cluck? 9×9 Go Reportedly Solved story, on the other hand, is not real. Our apologies for any confusion. 

European Go Federation and CEGO Launch Online Training for Pro Students

Tuesday April 1, 2014

The CEGO Online Training for European professional students has just launched. The online training is part of the Pre Pro League, part of the European Go Federation’s (EGF) new contract with the CEGO Chinese investor group to establish a European professional system (European Go Federation Inks Deal With Chinese to Promote Go in Europe 7/5/2013 EJ). ”This is another part of the EGF-CEGO cooperation focused on developing European professional go players,” says EGF president Martin Stiassny. “I wish all the players great games with a lot of fun and success.”

The online training is primarily for students who have been studying in Bejing for the last six months (read more about it on Benjamin Teuber’s blog), but to provide some training access for other players who will participate in the European Pro Qualification starting in Strasbourg in May the number of CEGO Online Training participants was increased to 16.

An initial round was played between eight players to figure out the league division and now five series will be played with an A and B league with 6 players each. A League players include Zhao Baolong (teacher), Pavol Lisy, Ali Jabarin, Ilya Shikshin, Cornel Burzo and Andrij Kravets. In the B League are Dusan Mitic, Fredrik Blomback, Viktor Lin, Benjamin Teuber, Lukas Krämer and Zeno van Ditzhuijzen. Li Ting is the other teacher.

Follow the action in the “Euro Dream Team” room on KGS, where you’ll find nearly daily games (20:00 GMT+2 starting) top games, through June 20. Click here for complete details, including full player roster and bios.

 

Categories: Europe
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Go Camp Registration Opens

Tuesday April 1, 2014

The AGA Go Camp is pleased to announce that registration for the 2014 camp is now open. Camp will be held from August 3 to August 9, the week before Go Congress, at YMCA Camp Kresge in White Haven, PA, about a 2 hour drive from New York City. Camp directors Amanda Miller and Nano Rivera invite campers of all skill levels, and between the ages of 8 and 18, to join them for a week of go-playing and fun. Youth who played in the NAKC or the Redmond Cup are eligible for a $400 scholarship, and need-based scholarships of up to $250 are also available. For more information on the latest camp-related news, and to download the registration forms, please visit the camp website at http://www.gocampeast.org/. Any questions can be e-mailed to Amanda Miller at agagocampeast@gmail.com. - Story and Photo by Amanda Miller

Cotsen Dates Confirmed for 2014-2016

Tuesday April 1, 2014

Not only have this year’s Cotsen Go Tournament has been confirmed and scheduled for October 25-26, according to AGA President Andy Okun, but dates have been set for 2015 and 2016 as well. For the third time running, this year’s event will take place at the Korean Cultural Center-Los Angeles (KCCLA), in the Mid-Wilshire district of Los Angeles.

“Our thanks to Eric Cotsen (left) for his continued hosting of this outstanding event, and our gratitude as well to retired Ambasador Suh Dae-won (right), the Korean consulate in Los Angeles and the staff and management of KCCLA for providing such a beautiful venue,” said Okun. The two-day, five-round event will include lunch, some pro go teaching and massage therapy and, Okun hopes, “a vendor table or two and other goodies.” As in previous years, the E-Journal will provide full on-site coverage, broadcasting top-boards live on KGS.

In addition, though venues have not been locked down, two more Cotsen tournaments have been agreed to between Cotsen and the AGA for Oct. 24-25, 2015 and Oct. 22-23, 2016.
- photo: Cotsen (left) and  Ambasador Suh Dae-won at the 2013 Cotsen; photo by Chris Garlock
Update: the 2016 dates have been corrected.  

Dumb Cluck? 9×9 Go Reportedly Solved

Tuesday April 1, 2014

A team of researchers at the University of Brightloch have announced that 9×9 go has been solved. Inspired by recent improvements in computer play by Montecarlo algorithms, they hypothesized that “If a computer can play at random andplay good games, what prevents a more powerful device (like a brain) to do something similar?”

So the researchers picked a team of 100,000 chickens and taught them to play go. “It was hard in the beginning, but once a few knew how to play they started teaching others,” they report. “After a couple months all were playing as 30k players and we set them loose in a field filled with 9×9 go boards and bowls with stones. Also some grain and water.”

A month later the chickens were gone, and the same position was repeated on every 9×9 board: perfect play, with white winning by 0.5 points with 7.5 komi. The chickens had also left a note. It said “So long, and thanks for all the grain.”
- based on a report on Nordic Go Academy by RBERENGUEL; thanks to Go Game Guru, which posted it on their Facebook page

Categories: World
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Gu Li Strikes Back, Winning Game 3 in MLily Gu vs Lee Jubango

Sunday March 30, 2014

Gu Li 9p (right) chalked up his first win in the MLily Gu vs Lee jubango, forcing Lee Sedol 9p to resign in game 3 on Sunday, March 30. Lee and Gu faced one another in Chengdu – the capital city of Sichuan, China – having traveled straight there after their game at the 10th Chunlan Cup two days earlier.

After 
Lee won game 2 of this historic jubango in February, he led the 10 game match 2-0. Since Gu lost game 2 in regrettable circumstances, many go fans reasonably surmised that Lee would have the psychological advantage going into the third game, but over the last week, Gu defeated Lee in the 4th Zhaoshang Cup (a China vs Korea team tournament) on March 23, and followed it up with another win at the 10th Chunlan Cup on the 28th, which may have helped to restore Gu’s confidence. The win is heartening not only for Gu, of course, but for go fans worldwide who are doubtless hoping the jubango will go the full 10 games.
- Based on Go Game Guru’s report, which includes the game record and An Younggil 8p’s brief analysis. 

 

Categories: World
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U.S. Go Congress Registration Opens with Special Rebate Offer

Sunday March 30, 2014

Registration for the 2014 U.S. Go Congress has opened with a special offer: $50 cash for using your AGA Capital One Visa credit card. Use it to pay for the Congress and you’ll get an extra $10, for a total of $60. “This year’s Congress is in New York City, one of the continent’s premier destinations,” says AGA president Andy Okun. “To help Congress attendees enjoy themselves in the Big Apple, we’re offering $50 cash walking-around money to any Congress attendee who at the time of registration shows us their AGA Capital One Visa credit card and tells us, hand on heart, they have bought something with it.” 

Possible New York City uses for this cash windfall include museum entry, cab fare, hot dogs, pretzels with mustard, lemonade, pizza slices “or oysters,” says Okun, noting that author Mark Kurlansky has argued that New York should really be called “The Big Oyster”. Oysters used to be plentiful in New York, and when European settlers first arrived, it is estimated that half of the oysters in the world were in New York’s harbors, inlets and riverbeds. Although that’s no longer the case, “$50 should get get you a dozen Blue Point oysters, a bowl of clam chowder and two beers at the Oyster Bar in Grand Central Station,” Okun says.
One payment per credit card. The AGA affinity card is a no fee credit card, “so it costs you nothing to apply and use the card,” says Okun. The AGA receives a one-time payment of $50 the first time you use it and a percentage of your spending on the card thereafter. Click here to apply for the card and here to register for the Congress.

 

Matthew Burrall & Tai-An Cha Top Davis/Sacramento Tournament

Sunday March 30, 2014

Matthew Burrall 6d and Tai-An Cha 5k topped their divisions in the Davis/Sacramento Go Club’s Spring Tournament at the Arden-Dimick library in Sacramento on March 29, 2014. There was a field of 17 players ranging in strength from about 20 kyu to 6 dan. “This was the largest number of player that we have had at one of our tournaments in quite a while,” reports Willard Haynes.
photo: Matthew Burrall 6d (left) and Tai-An Cha 5k

Categories: U.S./North America
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