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Cotsen Open registration now open

Thursday June 29, 2017

Registration for the 2017 Cotsen Open is now open. The tournament is set for October 21-22 at the Korean Cultural Center in Los Angeles. “As 2017.06.28_2016-cotsenalways, you get your registration fee back if you show up to both days, lunch is provided by Eric, and masseuses are available,” reports Tournament Organizer Christopher Saenz. “We are also working on getting a screening of the Surrounding Game.”
photo: at the 2016 Cotsen Open; photo by Chris Garlock

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Pause the Clock: Reflections on Ryan Li’s historic victory

Thursday June 29, 2017

by Keith L. Arnold, hka2017.06.28_ryan-li

The American Go Association has come a long way since I first became active in 1985. In those days the place to be was on the East Coast with far more events and tournaments. But now, we have wonderful broadcasts of top professional games, and if you live on the East Coast, as I do, they don’t start until 1:30 in the morning, making the West Coast the place to be. Bleary-eyed bitterness aside, it is a great time to be a Western go fan, with access to world news, live streaming events and global opponents as close as your nearest screen.

Having just finished my Kickstarter download of “The Surrounding Game” documentary, which focuses its wonderful introduction to the world of go on the birth of our professional system, being confronted almost immediately with Ryan Li 1P’s victory over two-time world champion Chen Yaoye 9p last week was pure serendipity. There is a moment in the film where I express my skepticism about our pro system effort. I should explain, as I swallow some crow, that my main objection was always concern that we could not provide our new pros a living. I would sarcastically urge players to “keep your day job” at meetings when the topic came up, but I should confess that I also had concerns about how strong our pros would be.

Now, as we celebrate Ryan’s win, it’s a good time to take a moment to appreciate the route we have taken to get here, and why this is such an amazing accomplishment. Those of us used to the bullet train of the modern internet go world might benefit from a little history from the guy still riding the rusty bus several stops behind.

For decades, American players had no chance to play a professional at all, certainly not in a serious game. Apart from occasional, usually Japanese, pro tours, we could only look at their game records, on paper, received months after the games were played. We s2017.06.28_ryan-li-close-uptudied, and we played as much as we could – usually once a week at our local clubs.

The US Go Congress was the first change. Beginning in 1985, American go players, at least for a week, once a year, could grab a simul or three from professional go players. But this only made the gap seem all the more vast. In 1986 at the first Seattle Go Congress, our strongest player Charles Huh played Sakata 9 dan in a two stone one-on-one exhibition game. Sakata, one of the greatest players in history, was no longer at his peak form, yet Huh was helpless at two stones, and that was with Sakata outside most of the time on smoking breaks.

In the 1990s, Western players started to have chances to play professionals in serious matches during the annual Fujitsu Qualifiers. Still the gap seemed evident – as Michael Redmond 9P played for a decade without a loss to an amateur player. But the 1990s also brought the internet. Access to news, sgfs, opponents and unlimited chances to play began to increase the Western level of play. While I do not mean to diminish the efforts of our early professional teachers — Feng Yun, Yilun Yang, Zhujiu Jiang, Ming-jiu Jiang, James Kerwin and others — the steady shrinking of time and distance provided by the internet has broadened, amplified and, arguably, exceeded their efforts.

More and more opportunities to play pros arrived, and Western players started to win. On the one hand, I do not think this was a matter of percentages — more games does not guarantee more wins — I think we were actually getting stronger. However, the wins were often against non-active pros, certainly not against current top international players.

All that changed last week. In a serious international event, a Western pro defeated, not just a pro, not just a 9 dan, but a 9 dan world champion in his prime. It is an accomplishment for Western go that is simply unequaled. Before this week, I would argue that our greatest accomplishment was Eric Lui’s third place in the World Amateur Championship. We cannot forget the significant accomplishments of Michael Redmond 9P, but because he trained in Japan, I submit that Redmond’s success is the success of a Westerner, not the success of Western go.

Ryan Li 1P, homegrown and homemade, has announced to the world that we are more than a grateful recipient of support and a vacation opportunity; we are now a force to be reckoned with. We also owe an enormous debt of thanks to Myungwan Kim 9 dan.  Without his vision, help and guidance we would not have been able to put Ryan where he clearly deserved to be.

a western pebble
slung across the mighty seas
brings down a champion


photos courtesy Ryan Li

 

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Japanese delegation to conduct workshop at 2017 US Go Congress

Wednesday June 28, 2017

There will be a 5-day go workshop conducted by the Japanese delegation to the 2017 US Go Congress in San Diego. The Nihon Ki-in is sending Yamashiro Hiroshi 9p (vice chairman of the Nihon Ki-in, director of INAF) and Tsuruta Kazushi 4p to work with 7-10 very strong US and Canadian attendees at the Congress. The target audience are the under-thirty (U30-years-old) North American players ranked 6 dan and above, including AGA professionals.

Either Yamashiro or Tsuruta will play a game against one of the attendees from 1-3 p.m. (SMTThF). Then from 3-4:30 p.m., there will be a game analysis by both Yamashiro and Tsuruta for all workshop attendees.

To register for the workshop, Congress attendees should send an email to the Congress professional coordinator, I-han Lui  ihan.lui@gocongress.org.  If the number of requests becomes too large, priority will be given, in order, to AGA pros, U20 amateurs, and higher-ranked amateurs.

Submitted by Ted Terpstra, Co-Director 2017 US Go Congress – San Diego

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Wednesday is “Big” night at the NGC

Tuesday June 27, 2017

Since the opening of the National Go Center in Washington, DC May, organizers reports that “we have been very gratified to see the volunteer 2017.06.25_ngc-kidsupport for having the National Go Center open Tuesday thru Saturday nights.” And “Now that we have had a little time to be open and get feedback, the top suggestion has been that we pick a single night that everyone is encouraged to come if they can so that no matter what your level, you can always find a good match. Also it should have a time where beginners can come and get dedicated instruction in how to play. And with community turnout, a social time to bring refreshments, plan activities, and see friends.”

With that in mind, Wednesday has been designated the “big” night at the NGC. “We’ll be open longer hours on Wednesdays, from 5-11 PM, with 5-7 a special time for beginners to learn the game with volunteers on hand to teach. Feel free to bring refreshments to share also.”

Friday is “another great night to play with a dedicated group of attendees,” NGC organizers add. “Check the schedule for other nights before you come as our summer schedule is a little less regular.” Details on the NGC’s Facebook page and follow the NGC on Twitter.

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Categories: U.S./North America
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Slate & Shell offers 50% discount to AGA chapters and go clubs

Sunday June 25, 2017

Slate & Shell is offering a special opportunity for US go clubs and AGA chapters to get books for prizes and libraries: 50% off on all Slate & Shell 2017.06.25_slate-shell-logobooks. Minimum order is ten books. Send an email to customerservice@slateandshell.com for instructions.

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Go Classified: Go teacher needed

Sunday June 25, 2017

McLean, VA: Hope Chinese School’s McLean campus is looking for a go instructor for the 6-week summer camp during Jun 28 – Aug 11, 2017. It is a paid position. Contact: 703-371-3414, hcscamp.va@gmail.com. The summer camp has an emphasis on Asian culture, and the camp director Dinny Li hopes the instructor can teach 2 hours in the afternoon, two to four times a week.

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Categories: Go Classified,Youth
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Internet World Amateur Go Tournament now accepting registration

Friday June 23, 2017

The longest-running internet tournament, the 22nd Pandanet Internet World Amateur Go Tournament (IWAG) is now accepting registrations. The free registration requires the player to have an established rank on Pandanet, which is established after playing 20 games there.  Depending on their playing strengths, the players are divided into five groups.  First-round winners are selected from Asia, Americas, and Europe by a 2:1:1 ration to play a knock-out tournament in the higher rounds.  Generous prizes are provided.
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Categories: World
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Ryan Li 1p upsets Chen Yaoye 9p to move to MLily Final 16

Wednesday June 21, 2017

American Go Association pro Ryan Li 1p, of Canada, has defeated two-time world champion Chen Yaoye 9p in the second round of the MLily Meng Baihe Cup2017.06.21_Li-Yaoye World Go Open Tournament.

Li, who the day before defeated Cheng Honghao 2p in a 363-move game, played as black against Chen. After a fierce middle game fight, Li (left) settled his groups and took a small lead. The two got into a lengthy ko fight but Li held on to win by 2.5 points at the end of the 327-move game (see game record below). The four-and-a-half-hour game was broadcast live on the AGA’s YouTube channel with commentary by Jennie Shen 2P with Andrew Jackson, and can be viewed here.

The 27-year-old Chen’s accomplishments as a pro include defeating Lee Sedol 9p in the 2013 Chunlan Cup and Ke Jie 9p, the top current player, for the 2016 Bailing Cup, as well as winning 17 other national and continental titles.

Li, who is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in earth sciences at Yale, became the fourth AGA-certified pro in 2015. He has represented North America several times and scored wins over Asian pros before, including defeating Japan’s young talent, Mutsuura Yuta 2p, in the 2016 IEMG in China.

He will face Li Xuanhao 6p on August 24 in the top 16 of the MLily Cup. The winner receives about US $260,000 USD and the runner up close to $90,000.
- reported by Edward Zhang; editing by Andy Okun, sgf file produced by Myron Souris

[link]

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Categories: China
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MLily: Ryan Li 1p Vs. Chen Yaoye 9p in Second Round; AGA Broadcasts

Monday June 19, 2017

2016.04.06_Ryan-Li-1st_IEMG_-Feb-27-2016-11-038China Korean Tengen 2013The AGA Broadcast team will provide coverage of two games from Round 2 of the 3rd Lily Cup tomorrow, June 20th, starting at 10:30 p.m. PDT (UTC-7), with commentary by Jennie Shen 2p. Our very own Ryan Li 1p, winning yesterday against Cheng Honghao 2p, now faces world champ Chen Yaoye 9p. Elsewhere in the tournament, Wang Haoyang 6p scored an upset win against Shin Jinseo, the rising Korean phenom, which wins him the chance to play DeepZenGo in round 2.

Join us at http://www.youtube.com/c/usgoweb/live or http://twitch.tv/usgoweb !

 

kf_zen_01The MLily cup is the first traditional tournament in which AI players are seeded just as their human counterparts, and it may also be the last, with Tygem China News reporting that no future Chinese tournaments will allow AI entrants.

 
 
 

Here is Ryan Li’s monster 363(!) move 1st round win over Cheng Honghao 2p:

[link]

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Go Congress registration tops 450

Sunday June 18, 2017

More than 450 attendees have already registered for this year’s US Go Congress, set for August 5-13 in San Diego at the Town and Country2017.06.18_2016-congress-garlock-IMG_0633 Resort. So far eleven North American-based professional go players have accepted invitations to attend, including Myungwan Kim 9P, Yilun Yang 7P, Mingjiu Jiang 7P, Cathy Li 1P, Shirley Lin 1P, Jennie Shen 2P, Stephanie Yin 1P, Eric Lui 1P, Ryan Li 1P, Andy Liu 1P and William Shi 1P. “Every afternoon and evening during the Congress — except Wednesday which is a day for sight-seeing — these pros will be lecturing, playing simultaneous exhibitions and analyzing Go Congress players’ games,” reports Congress Co-Director Ted Terpstra. “Multiple sessions will be going on at once, so it may be difficult to go to all of the events that one would like. The complete schedule will be released as soon as it is ready.” In addition to all of the pro events, will be a five-day workshop by noted European-based go teacher In-seong Hwang. Also, foreign professional go players from China, Japan and Korea will be coming to the Congress to teach. More details on them and their lectures will be forthcoming. All of these sessions are included in the price of Congress registration.
photo: main playing area at the 2016 US Go Congress; photo by Chris Garlock

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