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

YASUMASA HANE 9P & GO FAMILY TO ATTEND U.S. GO CONGRESS

Friday June 18, 2010

The opportunity to learn from top professional go players has always been a major attraction of the annual U.S. Go Congress, set this year for July 31 – August 8 in Colorado Springs, CO.  This year’s roster of pros includes a very special visit by Yasumasa Hane 9P (right, in blue jacket) well-known as a major contributor in the development of the Chinese fuseki as well as the father of Naoki Hane 9P (far left, in tan jacket), the current Honinbo and a former holder of the Kisei and Tengen titles. Hane’s family — wife Masami 1k (left front), daughter Michiyo Yamamori 1k (back center) daughter-in-law Shigeko Hane 1P (back left, next to husband Naoki), and Shigeko’s daughters Ayaka 1k, Ranka 1k and Rinka 4k (center) — will also be attending and playing in the U.S. Open. “It’s a great honor to host such a famous and impressively strong go family,” says American Go Association President Allan Abramson. “We look forward to learning much from the Hane family.” Also attending the Congress this year are defending U.S. Open champion Myung Wan Kim 9P (US), Seong-yong Kim 9P of Korea, Ming Jiu Jiang 7P US, Yilun Yang 7P (US), Ryo Maeda 6P (Japan), Cheng Xiaoliu 6P (China), Jennie Shen 2P (US), Hui Ren Yang 1P (US), Cathy (Chen Shuo) Li 1P (China), and Qiao Shiyao 1P (China). CLICK HERE for details and to register for the U.S. Go Congress.
- Chris Garlock; photo courtesy the Hane family. Includes reporting by Yuki Shigeno

ichiyo Yamamori 1k(daughter/wife of Yamamori6p
Share

REGISTER FOR U.S. GO CONGRESS BY JUNE 30 & SAVE; REGISTRATION TOPS 300

Monday June 14, 2010

“Register for this year’s 2010 U.S. Go Congress by midnight June 30 and save!” says Congress Director Karen Jordan. Base costs increased $50 after 6/15 and will increase $75 after 6/30 and $100 after 7/17.  Registration for the Congress — set for July 31 – August 8 in Colorado Springs, CO — has now passed 300, including 12 professionals, 113 dan players and 138 kyus. Click here for the latest list of attendees.  The Congress website is being regularly updated with new Congress information, like the Go Congress group rate for people coming to the Congress site from Denver International Airport. Click here for the website of the Congress shuttle service; the e-mail address is aairshuttle@aol.com.  You may sign up and pay online. Questions about the Congress? Click here for answers to frequently asked questions.

ZIPEI FENG 7D WINS ROCKY MOUNTAIN SPRING GO TOURNEY

Monday June 14, 2010

Zipei Feng 7d took first place in the June 12 Rocky Mountain Spring Go Tournament in Boulder, Colorado. “We had 43 players attend,” reports David Weiss, “including five people who drove all the way from Salt Lake City, and drove back immediately after the tournament was over.” Victor Traibush 3k won 2nd place, Yun Bo Yi 6d was 3rd and Lenny Den 15k won 5 of 6 games in his second tournament to take first place in the handicap section.

Categories: U.S./North America
Share

TANG WENHUA 6D MOST CAFFEINATED IN SANTA MONICA COFFEE CUP

Monday June 14, 2010

Tang Wenhua 6d (r) claimed top place in the 2010 Santa Monica Coffee Cup’s Espresso Division last Saturday after a tense final-game win over the Santa Monica Go Club’s own Yixian Zhou 7d, the 2009 US Open 6d Division winner.  In addition to a pound of dark roast and the eponymous hand-painted coffee cup — in this year’s theme color of avocado green — Tang was awarded certification as a 6-dan amateur by the Hankuk Kiwon, courtesy of the Kiwon’s go ambassador, Myung-wan Kim 9P (center). Other winners topping the 50-player field were Tyler Oyakawa 2d in the Java (2k-2d) Division, Alex Lee 3k in the Mocha Division (3k-4k), Ezana Berhane 7k in the Arabica Division (5k-9k), David Whiteside 10k in the Cappuccino Division (10k-14k) and Jerry Lu 15k in the Decaf (15k and under) Division. The Espresso Division also served as an NAMT qualifier and eligible players will receive points toward an NAMT invitation for Congress.  Joe Cepiel was tournament director. “Fifty players is a lot for the UnUrban Coffeehouse but the cool June weather made it nice and some folks took their equipment outside to play in the open air,” said organizer Andrew Okun (at left in photo at left). Next year’s theme color will be purple, Okun adds.
- photos courtesy Andy Okun

Categories: U.S./North America
Share

AGA BOARD NOMINATIONS CLOSE JUNE 15

Monday June 14, 2010

Deadline for nominations to the American Go Association’s Board of Directors is Tuesday, June 15. “This is a great opportunity to contribute to the current running and future direction of the AGA,” says President Allan Abramson. Deadline for nominations is June 15. Email nominations to elections@usgo.org Nominees must be full AGA members, as must be those who make nominations; CLICK HERE for details on nomination procedures and candidate qualifications.

Categories: U.S./North America
Share

SIX WIN IN U.S. YOUTH GO CHAMPIONSHIPS

Monday June 14, 2010

Six young go players have won national titles in the recently-completed U.S. Youth Go Championships, which were held online.  Curtis Tang 7d led the High Dan (5-7d) division, narrowly defeating former champion — and current World Youth Representative — Calvin Sun 7d.  In the Low Dan (1-4d) division, which had both senior and junior sections, Justin Shieh 4d took top honors in the senior, while seven-year-old Aaron Ye 1d won the junior.  Van Tran is the new Single Digit Kyu Champion in the 1-4k range, while Larry Qu won in the 5-9k range.  The Double Digit Kyu Champion is Raymond Liu 10k.  The new title holders will receive trophy plaques with their name and title, and partial scholarships to the Go Camp or Go Congress.  Everyone who entered will also receive free audio go lessons, courtesy of Guo Juan’s Internet Go School. Click here for full standings in each division.
- report/photo by Paul Barchilon, Youth Editor; photo: Boulder youth compete at the USYGC Qualifier in April 2010


TIGER’S MOUTH DEFEATS INSEI EMPIRE IN ONLINE YOUTH TOURNEY

Monday June 14, 2010

U.S. youth competing for Team Tiger’s Mouth eked out a narrow 9-8 victory over Alexandre Dinerchtein’s Insei League Sunday on KGS.  Seventeen youth from the U.S. and Canada faced off against the Inseis, who were mainly European.  The top board featured a close battle between 13-year-old U.S. champ Calvin Sun 7d and 17-year-old Ukranian KGS star Artem Kachanovskyj 7d, with Sun prevailing.  Canadian 13-year-old Jianing Gan 7d, lent a hand to his U.S. friends, scoring a win against a Russian 5 dan, while  Yang Xu 5d, Justin Shieh 4d, Justin Teng 3d,  Aaron Ye 1d, April Ye 3k, Gilbert Feng 3k, and Maher Qandil 5k,  all notched up wins for Tiger’s Mouth as well.  The top board, and full standings, are available here. – Paul Barchilon, E-J. Youth Editor

MICHAEL REDMOND ON STUDYING, IMPROVING YOUR GAME AND HOW THE PROS TRAIN

Monday June 14, 2010

“My study of the endgame actually had more effect on my opening,” Michael Redmond 9P told the E-Journal during a recent interview during the World Amateur Go Championships in Hangzhou, China. Redmond, who this issue becomes a regular game commentary contributor to the E-Journal (Member’s Edition only; click here to join), shared his tips on studying, improving, and thoughts on the differences in professional training in Japan, China and Korea.

Over the last year or so, Redmond has been studying the classic Castle Games,  with special attention to close games. “The result was that I was reviewing very high-quality games, games in which the players were not being greedy, but were going for the balanced moves, and showing very good positional judgment, and I think that reflected onto my game and helped me a lot,” said Redmond. “I’m much more aware of what’s going on.”

Still, Redmond knew he had to focus on improving his endgame. “What happened was that I ended up with this big collection of close games, and I had them in Word and could print them out.” Redmond pulled a small booklet of clipped-together sheets from his pocket. “So what I did last year was to copy game positions about 30 moves from the end of the game. I like the fact that I don’t have the names of the players, because it brings back memories (of the specific players), so it’s better not to be seeing that. I write the result – for instance in this game, White wins by one point – so I have to hold the position in my head and count it, and by doing that, I think I’m improving my reading ability. Not just reading out an endgame, but life and death problems, as well.”

Redmond explained that “The problem is that you can have two endgame moves that are about the same size, but they each lead to a different endgame.” He launched into an analysis involving calculations of moves as small as 1/6th or 1/12th of a point, “so you have very fine points implicit in the seemingly simplest yose moves, including follow-ups and ko threats, which complicate the calculation.” And, he added, “calculating is not good enough; in fact it’s confusing, because there’s no way to see which move is bigger, you just have to read it out, and then it’s very clear. Right now I can do 30 moves, and I have done a 50-move yose.”

Eventually Redmond expects to be able to read out the last 100 moves, “because top players are capable of reading out the last 100 moves in less than an hour. If I can have a picture of what’s happening when I come to the last 100 moves, it’ll make a big difference.” If all of this sounds a bit confusing,” Redmond’s the first to agree, but said that “it shows that just calculating the size of a move, which is what I’ve been doing for years now, is pretty useless. Or I should say it’s useful, but it’s not exact, and it’s the reason why it’s pretty easy to lose a couple of points with that system.”

Asked about how he and other top professional study, Redmond said that “Everyone has their own system,” adding that “I think one of the weaknesses of Japanese go as a whole is that we don’t have any coaches. We all improvise on our own. The Chinese have coaches, and I think the Koreans do too. I think the idea of having coaches is a very good system.” The downside of the coach system that that “it changes the way a person’s game develops at the lower levels, and I think that in China it makes it more difficult (for individual players) to have a lasting strength.”

Conversely, Redmond said, the Japanese system turns out to have a hidden strength, because while Japanese players don’t have an established counter to the new Chinese or Korean moves, “the strength is for the player himself. In all of his personal study, he will be building a feeling for the game, which should last longer. So I think both methods have their strong points.”

Redmond said he doesn’t play much on the internet these days. “I wasn’t sure it was improving my game. It’s very hard to play at my best when I can’t see my opponent; it makes a difference in my feeling for the game. I think I concentrate better if I have an opponent in front of me. And I enjoy it more.” Redmond added that playing in person is the best way to improve your game. “Someone close to your own strength, a little stronger or even a bit weaker. Gives you a different viewpoint. And review your games. “
- Chris Garlock; photos by John Pinkerton

IN MEMORIAM: Edmund Havens

Monday June 14, 2010

Edmund Havens was killed in an automobile accident in Spain on May 28. Greater Washington Go Club (GWGC) organizer Haskell Small says Havens was a “kind, elderly gentleman who has come to the club several times in the past year or so. I knew him from way back in the GWGC’s early years, and I was happy to see him return. I will miss him.” Havens was a “Proud father, devoted husband, intrepid traveler, avid reader, movie buff, puzzle addict, veteran Marine, retired civil servant, arts patron, and Past Master,” according to Haven’s obituary in the Washington Post, which includes details about calling hours Tuesday night, the memorial service on Wednesday and interment Thursday.

Categories: U.S./North America
Share

QUALIFIERS SET FOR 2010 N.A. ING CUP

Monday June 7, 2010

Qualifiers for this year’s North American Ing Cup (NAIM) tournament have been scheduled. The NAIM features the largest prizes in North America as 32 of the continent’s top players meet each year at the US Go Congress for an exciting week of competition.  First up is the June 12 Santa Monica Coffee Cup in Santa Monica, CA. Pre-registration required; abc@okun.name THIS JUST IN: also on June 12, the KGC Summer Tournament will be held in Kalamazoo, MI; register at paul@kzoogo.info The New York Go Center NAIMT Qualifier will be held June 13 in New York City; pre-register at badukboris@gmail.com The first KGS NAIM Qualifier is set for June 19 (note: rescheduled from 6/5!) ; pre-registration is required; deadline 6/17 by midnight EST. Email badukboris@gmail.com The second KGS NAIM Qualifier will be held June 26-27; pre-registration required by midnight (EST) June 24: badukboris@gmail.com photo: at the 2009 Santa Monica NAIM Qualifier; photo by Andy Okun

Categories: U.S./North America
Share