A diverse playing field ranging from 7 dan to 26 kyu gathered in Palo Alto, CA on August 13 for the Bay Area Go Players Association monthly AGA ratings tournament. “I was worried that most of our regular players would still be recovering from the US Go Congress and wouldn’t make it,” admits tournament organizer Roger Schrag. But 29 kids and adults played in the tournament, more than half of them having just returned from the US Go Congress less than a week earlier. “Perhaps the Congress energized these players and reminded them how rewarding face to face go play can be,” Schrag suggests. Tony Xie 5d (playing White on the middle board in the photo) swept the dan division with an impressive 4-0 record. In the kyu division, Raymond Feng 6k and Bryan Tan 13k led with four wins and one loss each. The next monthly AGA ratings tournament in the San Francisco Bay Area will be held September 10 in Palo Alto. Photo by Lisa Schrag; click here for more photos.
American Go E-Journal » U.S./North America
Saturday August 20, 2011
Saturday August 20, 2011
Cherry Shen 6d reports on her experiences this summer:
I’ve traveled to China several times before but none of my trips were quite as insightful or fun as this one. On July 22-30, a team of 11 American undergraduates and graduates had the amazing opportunity to attend the 1st U.S.-China Go Camp/College Student Exchange, simultaneously playing go and learning about China’s rich culture and history. The group consisted of 10 students (William Lockhart, Steven Palazola, Cherry Shen, David Glekel, Zachary Winoker, Michael Haskell, Michael Fodera, Dan Koch, Brian Lee, and Cole Pruitt) and one team leader (Walther Chen), most of them hailing from the East Coast . Exploring China with a group of go enthusiasts was hilarious, eye-opening, and extremely memorable. As soon as we landed from the airport, we were showered with generosity and overwhelming hospitality from the members of the Ing foundation, Mrs. Lu, translators, other go players, and everyone else. The university hotels we stayed at were great and the authentic Chinese food was incredible. Aside from the mind-blowing go-themed hotel, go schools, and go lectures hall, I also learned about the many cultural aspects of China during our trips to the Great Wall of China, Yu Garden, Shanghai Financial District, and more. The presence of go in China was so impressive, especially when we were introduced to numerous 4-5 dans who were 7/8 year-olds at the Hangzhou Go School. We also had unique opportunities to receive teaching games from professionals, meet other college go students, and tour go facilities. This journey has been unbelievably amazing and enriching; and I hope we can reciprocate this experience to future visiting Chinese college students. - Special E-J Report by Cherry Shen. Photo: At Fudan University, with various college go players.
Wednesday August 17, 2011
Thirteen-year-old Ki Jie 2p and his compatriot, ten-year-old Liao Yuanpei have conquered the World Youth Go Championships, shutting out 11 other nations who sent representatives to Bucharest, Romania, to compete. The semi finals, held this morning, August 17th, saw Ke take down Chen Cheng-Hsung 7d of Chinese Taipei in a pay-back match. Chen was the only player to beat Jie in the previous rounds, but couldn’t do it a second time. Meanwhile, Korea’s Song Sang-Hun knocked out Japan’s Koyama Kuya, setting the stage for the final showdown this afternoon. Song (at left above), was overwhelmed by Jie (at right), and forced to resign in just 102 moves. In the Junior Division US champ Aaron Ye 4d did his best against China’s Liao Yuanpei 5d, but had to resign when the situation became hopeless. Chinese Taipei’s Chen Chi-Jui 6d rose to the occasion to defeat Korea’s Lee Ye-Chan 4d, and then went on to face Liao again in the finals. Chen drew black and opened with the Low Chinese, fitting in a game with two Chinese boys under 4.5 feet tall, and seemed to be getting everything he wanted. Liao seemed perfectly happy to crawl on the second line in his own moyo, perhaps planning on demolishing Chen’s third line stones even then, ultimately forcing him to resign. SGF game records of all of these matches are available on EuroGoTV. With all the fighting on the go board, the kid’s all got a chance to have some fun on yesterday’s sightseeing tour. Everyone was delighted with Peles and Bran Castles, and the kids found time to blow of some steam playing soccer as well . New friends have been made all across the globe now, and international barriers seem small when kids like this can come together from all over the world. No one seemed happier than Yang Yu-Chia of the Ing Foundation himself, who jumped right in to play soccer with the kids even after a long day of sightseeing. The Ing Foundation has sponsored the WYGC for the past 28 years, and has made it possible for strong children to compete live internationally. Winners Report: Junior Division: 1st: Liao Yuanpei (China), 2nd: Chen Chi-Jui (Chinese Taipei), 3rd: Lee Ye-Chan (Korea), 4th: Aaron Ye (US); Senior Division: 1st: Ke Jie (China), 2nd: Song Sang-Hun (Korea), 3rd: Chen Cheng-Hsun (Chinese Taipei), 4th: Koyama Kuya (Japan). Story and photos by E-J Youth Editor Paul Barchilon, who is covering the event from Romania. Photos: Top: Song Sang-Hun 4d, Korea (l) vs. Ke Jie 2P, China (r); bottom: Liao Yuanpei 5d, China, waves to the camera while visiting Bran Castle on the day off.
Monday August 15, 2011
Saturday August 13, 2011
E-J Youth Editor Paul Barchilon reports live from Romania.
Some of the strongest kids in the world have gathered here in Bucharest, Romania, for the 28th annual World Youth Go Championship, which began this morning August 13. 22 children, from 13 different countries, have all come to the beautiful Parcul Herestrau, Bucharest’s equivalent of Central Park, with the sponsorship of the Ing Goe Foundation. Players arrived from all over the world on Friday, some as late as midnight local time. Activities began with a Team Leader meeting in the morning, where first round opponents were selected by lottery, this was followed by a presentation on the Ing Rules from Yang Yu-Chia. The first round began at 3 pm, and was broadcast live on both KGS and EuroGoTV. The opening ceremonies were held after the first round, and organizer Catalan Taranu has set a new standard by which to measure the event. Three different Romanian dance troupes performed, ranging from break dance to traditional folk dancing, and representatives from the Chinese, Korean, and Canadian Embassies were all on hand to show their support for Romanian go. Romania is at GMT +2, which makes the start time 11 pm PST in the US, but game records are available on EuroGoTV. We will be broadcasting both rounds daily (look for EuroGo TV in the English Game Room) 2 and 3 are Aug. 14, 4 & 5 will be on the 15th, and the finals will be on the 17th. I will be updating daily, with commented game records whenever possible. US Junior Champion Aaron Ye 4d, age 9, drew Liao Yunpei 5d, age 10, of China for the first match, while Senior Champion Vincent Zhuang 6d, age 15 drew Vanessa Wong 5d, also 15, of the UK. Both US players lost their first match, but spirits remain high. The Chinese team leader, Huang Yizhong 7p, was kind enough to comment both game records for the E-J – which are included here as a freebie. To get great benefits like this, join the AGA for weekly game records, a steal at only $10 for a youth membership. Photo: Liao Yuanpei 5d, China (l) vs. Aaron Ye 4d, US (r), by Paul Barchilon.
Saturday August 6, 2011
Michael Redmond 9P treated the winners of his namesake tournament to a special simultaneous game at the US Go Congress Friday August 5th. The six players were current Redmond Cup champions Aaron Ye 4d, age 9, Calvin Sun 7d, age 14; last year’s winners: Redmond Meijin Curtis Tang 7d, age 18, and Oliver Wolf 3d, age 12; and current runners-up Gansheng Shi 7d, age 17, and Sammy Zhang 4d, age 11. It was the Junior Division that scored points though, with both Ye and Wolf notching wins against Redmond, at 4 stones, while all of the Senior contestants lost! – Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo: Nine-year-old Aaron Ye 4d (l) forces Michael Redmond 9P to take heed.or : Former Redmond Junior Champion Oliver Wolf 4d, age 12, gives Michael Redmond 9P cause to reflect.
- report/photos by Paul Barchilon
Friday August 5, 2011
I’ll miss his witty banter with Maeda, I’ll miss the energy and joy he brought to a room.
He was always so happy, and it made me happy to see him. The Congress just is not the same without him. - Anonymous
With his warm heart and experience he often helped many of us from Japan who sometimes felt unfamiliar traveling abroad.
- Miyoko Miyama
His kindness and generosity was overflowing. He was always there with a broad smile and welcome.
- None C. Redmond
He radiated sunny good humor and cheer. I wish I had been able to play with him longer.
- Chris Scammon
He loved go, but he didn’t just keep it to himself – he shared it with everyone, along with his joyful and generous spirit.
- Roy Laird
Yoshi was always a bright spot in our day, helpful and generous with his laughter.
- Steve and Eileen Barberi
Yoshi made Maeda’s lectures great fun. Rock-paper-scissors. You are missed dude.
- Frank B
Yoshi Sawada: A Brief Biographical Sketch
by Steve Burrall
Yoshi Sawada was born in 1950 in the Belgian Congo while his father was stationed there working for the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. They moved to Belgium and then back to Japan where he attended elementary school and high school, although he attended junior high in Geneva.
His father was a very strong amateur go player and though Yoshi often watched his father play, he was not allowed to touch go equipment and did not actually play go while growing up.
After attending college in France, he went to work for the Japanese Foreign Ministry in Paris, where he began playing go as well as developing expert golfing skills. A few years later he came to the U.S. where he nearly became a professional golfer.
Shuttling back to Japan in the off-seasons allowed Yoshi to take lessons from professional go players and mingle with top pros like Ishida, Rin and the Kobayashis. He ended up in Sacramento helping establish the Japanese American Community Center and worked there until Proposition 13 eliminated its funding. During those years he received his 1 dan and 3 dan diplomas from the Nihon Kiin.
During the early ‘80s he trained personnel for Furrow’s Hardware and his legendary generosity led to his next career change. After completing an arduous task as a favor to a Japanese businessman while at Furrow’s, he soon had a hectic career as a highly sought-after international business consultant. He was also a professional tennis instructor at the Laguna Racquet Club.
- this is an edited version of the biography Burrall wrote for the Sacramento Go Club newsletter in 1998; photos by Chris Garlock (top right) and Debbie Siemon (bottom left)
Thursday August 4, 2011
In our recent “Shusaku Number ” article (What’s Your “Shusaku Number?”), we mistakenly reported that Hoensha founder Honinbo Shuho faced Shusaku in four of the “Castle Games.” Shuho actually never had the chance to play in those matchups. However, records of 38 games between the two masters have been preserved. The oldest dates from 1850, when Shuho was just twelve years old; most notable is the ten-game series (jubango) that Shuho and Shusaku played in 1861. In that series, playing mostly Black with no komi, Shuho managed six victories and one tie. For more details including copious historical material and several commented game records, you can consult Invincible: The Games of Shusaku, generally regarded as one of the most important go books to ever appear in English.
- Roy Laird
Wednesday August 3, 2011
Wednesday August 3, 2011
Next February, IGS (the Internet Go Server) will be twenty years old. In those two decades, IGS has gone through many major changes, especially since it was acquired by Pandanet. These days, in addition to hosting hundreds of players at any hour of the day or night, IGS simulcasts many major tournaments, attracting as many as 1,500 online observers, hosts two of its own online events (The Pandanet Cup and the Cho Chikun Tournament.) On Tuesday afternoon at the U.S. Go Congress, nearly forty Congress attendees gathered for a presentation from Pandanet-IGS on the latest upgrade.IGS President Hiroko Taki (in E-Journal hat and Pandanet t-shirt in photo) and Pandanet staffers Hidekazu Hirai and Keiko Sota , who had traveled from Japan announce that PandaGo, a new, improved, Java-based client, was released in April. They also noted that a client, Tetsuki, is available for the iPod/iPhone/iPad, a feature not currently available from KGS, the other server prominently used by Western players. Click here or here to view a Tetsuki video that Mr. Hirai and Ms.Sota presented. A client for the Android is scheduled to roll out in November. A general discussion of IGS followed; players were especially interested in the ranking system. AGA International Liaison Thomas Hsiang explained that the system is extremely transparent, and is explained at length here. It’s a conservative system, moving slowly through a large numbers of grades – each level is split in half, so for instance a 3K must earn their way to 3K+ before advancing to 2K. Grades tend to run about 3 ranks below AGA ratings. Attendees were also interested to know how IGS handles the problem of “escapers.” Mr. Hirai responded that players who log off their games forfeit within five minutes. A bug that currently boots iPhone users offline when their phone rings is being fixed. With 75,000 active users, Pandanet-IGS hopes to attract more interest from Western players and urged online players to take the new clients out for a test drive, and write to firstname.lastname@example.org with comments and suggestions.
- Roy Laird; photo by Phil Straus