American Go E-Journal » U.S./North America

Jiang & Li Lead SAMG Qualifier

Tuesday July 19, 2011

Mingjiu Jiang 7P and Jie Li 7d lead the online Sport Accord Mind Games Qualifier, both with three wins and no losses.  There are just two rounds left in the SAMG: Round 4 on July 21-23 and Round 5 on July 24-26. Click here for latest standings.

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Yuan Zhou 7d upset FengYun 9P by just 1.5 points in this July 11 Round 1 game.

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Excitement Building for Upcoming U.S. Go Congress in Santa Barbara, CA

Tuesday July 19, 2011

With just twelve days left before the year’s biggest go event on the continent, there’s still time to register for the 2011 U.S. Go Congress July 30-August 7 in Santa Barbara, CA – and to sign up online for Congress tournaments and events! “This year’s Congress is proving truly exciting,” says Congress Director Lisa Scott. “Between tour groups from three countries, new tournaments, tons of trips to local attractions, and nearly 20 pros, we’re beyond pumped!”
- photo of the University of California, Santa Barbara, site of the 2011 U.S. Go Congress

Prabhavalkar & Thompson Top Tacoma Tourney

Monday July 18, 2011

Rohit Prabhavalkar 9k and Bill Thompson 16k topped the July 17 Tacoma (WA) Go Club’s Congress Warm-up tournament, posting 3-1 records. The 4-round tournament, held at the Seattle Go Center, drew “Fourteen intrepid go players, ranging from 6d to 17K, who showed up on a beautiful Sunday morning in Seattle to play go,” reports Gordon Castanza. TD Mike Malveaux was also warming up: he’ll be the US Open TD at the upcoming 2011 US Go Congress in Santa Barbara. The Tacoma Go Club provided lunch-time pizzas for all players.
- photo courtesy Gordon Castanza

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Canada Edges Out U.S. in Gerry Cup Mixed-Team Tournament

Monday July 18, 2011

It was a rough weekend for U.S. teams. The Japanese women’s soccer team beat the U.S. team in the World Cup and Canada edged out the  U.S. 8-7 in the third Gerry Cup mixed-team tournament. Click here for details on the Gerry Cup; your local sports section has reports on the women’s soccer match.

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Crumb Takes First at Skip Ascheim Memorial Tournament in Somerville

Monday July 18, 2011

Matthew Crumb 3k topped a field of 24 players at the Massachusetts Go Association’s Skip Ascheim Memorial Tournament, which was held July 17 in Somerville, Massachusetts. Eric Osman 2d (r in photo) was second and John Aspinall 3k (l) was third; Crumb had left by the time the photo was taken. In an email to the Western Massachusetts go club, Osman noted that he upheld the “honor” of the club by going 4-0: “Osman handily felled the honorable Sir Francis Roads of  British Go Association fame, as well as two 7d’s.   ‘I feel my medal is  a bit pre-tarnished’ says Osman, who admits that his first round win was influenced by his 2d opponent putting his own stones in atari at a crucial moment in the game.   ‘These things happen’.”
- Based on a report from Eva Casey and Eric Osman’s email

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Lee Wins NOVA Congress Tuneup Tournament

Monday July 18, 2011

Josh Lee 4d (in photo at right) went 4-0 to win the top section at the annual NOVA Congress Tuneup tournament held July 16 in Fairfax, VA. Lee says he is ready for Congress now even if his score means he will likely be competing at 5d in Santa Barbara. Second place in that section went to Jimmy Yang 5d 2-2 on a tie breaker with Xinlin Yang 2d. Other sectional winners in the tournament were Don Allison 1k at 3-1, Willis Huang 5k at 4-0, and Tristan Tran 16k with a 4-0 record. The other second place winners were Kabe Chin 1k 2-2, Joey Phoon 6k 2-2, and Michael Rhone 15k 2-2. All winners received certificates good for free internet lessons at Guo Juan’s Go School.
- Gurujeet Khalsa

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Burned-out Mr. Go Welcomes Helping Hands

Monday July 18, 2011

Multi-talented go promoter Blake Haber (aka Mr. Go) recently lost everything in a house fire at his home in Santa Barbara, California.  Haber was the cartoonist for the American Go Journal (at right), has made go videos (including this one), as well as created go blogs and websites.  In addition to all his other belongings, he lost his go library and equipment including several handmade boards.  Any contributions of go books or equipment, or money to help him get back on his feet, would be much appreciated.  He can be reached at the following email address: .
- From an article at EuroGoTV, which includes links to reports on the fire.

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71 Turn Out at Mexican Youth Go Championships

Sunday July 17, 2011

Mexico City drew 71 kids to it’s recent youth tournament, held June 4th.  “The children were from different schools and clubs, and ranged in rank from 30k to 10k,” reports organizer Siddhartha Avila,  “this was a great opportunity to round up the majority of young players in the same place, and to make new friends. After this we’re looking forward to  consolidating the existing go clubs, and to eventually create more go programs for youth in México.  The event wouldn’t have been possible without the collaboration of go teachers, players, and volunteers who offered their efforts to run the tournament.  We want to thank them as well as the AGF for their donation of 20 sets of  stones, which we needed to make this possible.” Winners Report: 1st: Fernando Álvarez 13k, 2nd: Vicente A. Cortez 17k, 3rd: Adam S. George 13k. Full results here. A retro style photo album from the event, by Alma Juárez is here.  -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor, photo by Alma Juárez.

US Youth to Play Japanese Insei

Sunday July 17, 2011

Ten of America’s youth players will compete in the first ever friendship matches with Japanese insei this coming Thursday, July 21st.  The insei are youth that are studying to become professionals in Japan, their lifestyle has been portrayed in the Hikaru no Go manga and anime, inspiring countless American kids to reach for the stars themselves.  Insei in classes B through D will compete, as will the top four high school players in Japan, according to Nihon Ki-in Overseas Coordinator Tom Urasoe.  The match has been organized by AGA Youth Coordinator Paul Barchilon, who chose the ten member US team based on both playing strength and dedication to the go community.  The matches will be held on the Japanese Yugen no Ma Go Server.  An English language version of the client is available at Wbaduk.com games will be held in the Japanese Go Room.  The US team, and a list of their opponents, can be found on Tigersmouth.org.  To observe the matches, download the client and create an id.  Matches will be held Thursday, July 21, at 5 pm PDT. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.  Image: insei characters from Hikaru no Go

Balwit Named Teacher of the Year

Sunday July 17, 2011

Portland go teacher Fritz Balwit has been selected as the American Go Foundation’s Teacher of the Year. “My selection is a great honor,” says Balwit, “it has been a unique privilege to introduce go to children. They immediately recognize its magical properties, and are receptive to its aesthetic allure at an intuitive level. I have found that it brings people together in friendly collaboration based on respect and shared appreciation. I hope to continue working with kids in schools and to create a space at our local go salon where kids can discover the beauty of the game.  I teach go daily at Portland English Language Academy where I also teach English as a second language. We have a very lively group that plays for fun. Many of the Korean, Japanese and Taiwanese students are newly introduced to their traditional game. These are mostly younger adults and a few teenage kids. One kid- Shohei Jinno- came forward in a class and shyly mentioned his rating was 6 dan; he subsequently rolled over all Oregon players at the AGA tournament in Salem.”
Balwit started showing up on the radar in 2008, according to longtime organizer Peter Freedman: “For a number of years he had taught chess in the public schools, but about the time I met him he had recently fallen in love…with go.  He morphed his chess clubs into ‘chess/go clubs’, but in fact all his chess clubs became go clubs.  During 2008 he had clubs in seven schools.  As a result of his efforts over 125  children and youth were exposed to go, and 90 played in one of the school go clubs.  Fritz also ran several go camps during school breaks.”  Many of the programs Balwit launched in 2008 continued in the following years, and he is running five programs now.  “I’ve assisted Fritz teach at many of these schools,” adds Freedman, “I call him ‘the pied piper of go’ in Portland.  He has a magical way with children. He is gentle, funny, articulate, gives out tons of positive reinforcement, and continually amazes me with the way he explains go to children, making it more than a game.  He talks about how in go you must share, just as in life. When talking about building a wall, he remarked, ‘If you don’t play here there will be a little hole for a ferret to crawl through.  You don’t want a ferret running around in your house, do you?”  Actually, Fritz has two ferrets running around his real life house, along with three children ranging from elementary to middle school age, all of whom play go. One of them was his assistant in the go club he organized at her school.” Balwit has won an all expenses paid trip to the US Go Congress in Santa Barbara, where he will be honored at the awards banquet.  He will be speaking at the congress as well, in a special round table for teachers, and anyone who wants to work with kids, on Tuesday, Aug. 2, at 5:00 pm.  -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.  Photo by Fritz Balwit: Balwit (r) teaching his son Theo (l).