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

2011 U.S. Open Underway

Sunday July 31, 2011

(7/31/2011; 10a PST) The first round of the 2011 U.S. Open is now underway at the U.S. Go Congress in Santa Barbara, CA, with the top three boards being broadcast live on KGS every morning starting around 9a PST. Pairings and game records — including game commentaries — can be found online. Check back for updated pairings, results and game records throughout the week!


In Memoriam: Ethan Baldridge

Sunday July 31, 2011

The go community lost Ethan Baldridge (l) last week. The Richmond, Virginia native — who passed away after a short illness on July 20 at just 31 — was a quiet and slender presence at East Coast Tournaments and workshops for many years, and attended several Go Congresses, helping out with the E-Journal staff.  Ethan also logged countless volunteer programming hours for the AGA, especially on the mail systems. He’ll be missed.

Though not as well-known as some of the other folks I’ve written about, Ethan was a unique and positive personality.  He truly loved the game of go and was deeply committed to studying and improving.  Yet what made him different is the way this commitment animated his behavior.  He was not the super-serious guy with his nose buried in a book, or craning over some strong players discussing one of their games.  Ethan shared his passion with a shy grin and a quiet laugh, finding something interesting in every game, helping beginners and kyu players as well as learning from strong players.

When you played a tournament game against Ethan, you were always in for a delightful battle.  He seemed to pour himself into every move.  Yet when the game was over, his joy and mirth about the game was amazing.  He was simply delighted to have spent a couple of hours learning with you.

Now if you didn’t know him, and you lost, this could be a bit off-putting: suddenly this young man is giggling and pointing out what you did wrong – in the most friendly manner – but to the more serious amongst us, the reaction might be to get upset. But if you knew Ethan, you knew that he would be no different if he had lost, chortling at his own mistakes and gleefully reviewing the lessons learned.

This is what I will miss most about Ethan, that we can be serious about our game and improving, but still recognize that this particular game was simply an enjoyable milepost along the way, an opportunity to measure and learn, but nothing to get upset about.
Thank you Ethan for all the times you laughed at me, the times I made you laugh at you, and most of all, for the times we laughed together.

- Keith Arnold, hka; photo by Allan Abramson at the recent NoVa tournament

Categories: U.S./North America

U.S. Go Congress: Day 1 Live Broadcast Schedule

Sunday July 31, 2011

The American Go E-Journal’s live broadcasts on Day One – Sunday, July 31 — of the 2011 U.S. Go Congress include:
- U.S. Open: top boards in Round 1 will be broadcast live on KGS starting around 9a PST (12 noon EST)
- Redmond Cup: the four finalists in the 2011 Redmond Cup will compete live from the U.S. Go Congress in a special E-Journal broadcast at 3p PST (6p EST) Sunday on KGS. The players are Gansheng Shi 7d vs. Calvin Sun 7d and Aaron Ye 4d vs. Sammy Zhang 3d.
- North American Ing Masters: top boards in this 16-player tournament will be broadcast live on KGS starting at 7p PST.
photo: Calvin Sun (l) plays Gangshen Shi in the 9×9 tournament Saturday night; photo by Steve Colburn

Following the 2011 Go Congress on Twitter, KGS, EJ & Website

Saturday July 30, 2011

Now you can follow all the action at the 2011 U.S. Go Congress — which runs July 31-August 6 in Santa Barbara CA — in a number of ways:
- AGA website: we’ll be posting updates each day throughout the week, including news, photos and games
- E-Journal: daily reports drawn from the previous day’s website posts
- Twitter: follow us @gocongress for updates by the EJ’s Steve Colburn
- KGS: top boards at the U.S. Open every morning and top boards at the Ing Masters every night
Photo: American Go Association President Allan Abramson (r) enjoys a casual game Saturday morning as the 2011 U.S. Congress gets started on the UCSB campus in Santa Barbara, CA. photo by Steve Calburn.

Han Tops Milwaukee Tournament

Thursday July 28, 2011

It was a beautiful venue for a go tournament:  the Calatrava extension to the Milwaukee Art Museum, located right on the shore of Lake Michigan, on a gorgeous sunny day. The July 23 Milwaukee Summer Tournament was just part of a big weekend for Chinese culture:  hundreds of folks dressed in lovely clothes, demonstrating traditional arts and crafts.

Having won the 4d section at Congress last year, Changyu Han 5d played at 5d on Saturday, and won four out of four placing first.  David Rohde 4k won all his three — and actually hasn’t lost a tournament game all year — to win 1st in the High Kyu division; luckily for some, he’s taking a pass on this year’s Congress. And Peter Boyland tied for 1st place, low kyu with Isaac Wooden 17k, but Boyland graciously forsook his share of the prize.

Organizer:  Joyce Tang Boyland; Director: Bob Barber
- reported by Bob Barber; photo: demonstrating go at the Art Museum; photo by Joyce Tang Boyland

Categories: U.S./North America

Tacoma Congress Tune-up Tournament Report

Wednesday July 27, 2011

On a gorgeous, blue-sky Seattle Sunday July 24, 12 intrepid contestants, including two 5-dans, assembled at the Seattle Go Center for the second Tacoma Go Club hosted tournament in a row: the 2011 Congress Tune-Up, with Gordon Castanza as the tournament director. Originally scheduled for four rounds, the players decided that missing the rest of a day on which temperatures rose to 82° F was too much to endure. Consequently, after three rounds, everyone was looking for the exits, and even the Tacoma Go Club’s pizza lunch couldn’t keep the contestants indoors. The final standings saw Solomon Choe 5d and Eric Feiveson 3k finishing the tournament with three wins apiece. Both Joshua Hall 9k and Jon Boley 5d won two out of three games.
- Report and photo by Gordon Castanza

Categories: U.S./North America

GO SPOTTING: Mr Nice Plays Go

Tuesday July 26, 2011

Danish E-Journal reader Martin Liechti spotted go in the new film Mr. Nice, a 2010 crime film – now in limited release in the U.S. – about Howard Marks, a notorious Welsh drug smuggler played by Rhys Ifans (a friend of Marks in real life) and also starring Crispin Glover and Chloë Sevigny. Liechti sent us this screenshot of a scene in which a woman is sitting by a goban. The Danish subtitle says: What’s that?

Japanese Insei Win Friendship Matches With U.S. Youth

Monday July 25, 2011

Ten of America’s young players competed against Japanese insei online last Thursday, July 21, in the first-ever youth friendship matches between the two countries.  The insei, who are studying professionally at the Nihon Kiin, walloped the US team with a 7-3 record.  The insei played live from the Nihon Kiin, while their US counterparts were competing from all across the country.  The matches were held on the Japanese Yugen no Ma Go Server, which is accessible in English through  On the top board, US favorite Calvin Sun 7d lost against Shodai Hirano 6d, both boys are 14 years old.  The two youngest competitors were both 9, Asami Ueno 6d (in pink bow above) and Aaron Ye 4d.   Ueno got off to a good start, with a large capture in the corner, and then proceeded to create living groups effortlessly everywhere she invaded, before Ye was forced to resign.  It wasn’t all losses though, Vincent Zhuang 6d, Andrew Lu 6d, and Ashish Varma 4d pulled out all the stops to win their games.  Zhuang, who along with Ye will represent the US at the World Youth Go Championships in Romania next month, scored a commanding win by resignation against 11-year-old Kazuma Yamaguchi 6d, while Lu bested Saeka Iwata 6d.  The darkhorse victory went to 16 year old Ashish Varma 4d, who vanquished Tomohiro Watanabe 6d, age 15.  A full players gallery, with pictures, results and game records is available on The members edition of this story contains a commented game record on Varma’s win, by Feng Yun, 9P.  AGA youth membership is a steal at only $10, and gets you commented games every week in your mailbox, click here to join.
- Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.  Photo: Japanese insei at the Nihon Kiin, by Tom Urasoe.

Milwaukee Go Club Spreads Go at Art Museum

Monday July 25, 2011

As part of its Summer of China programming, the Milwaukee Art Museum not only recently presented a spectacular nevermore-to-leave-Beijing exhibit of newly restored artifacts from the Forbidden City, but also a two-day Chinese culture festival on that included a go tournament and a go demonstration table on July 23. Hundreds of Milwaukee Go Club brochures were snapped up by the middle of the second day, and hundreds more stopped by to take a look. One young visitor, Ishmael Robinson (r) was so captivated that he stayed for more than an hour and a photo of his lesson with Alex Wang not only made the front page of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel’s Sunday local section, but was ranked #3 in their top Photos of the Week. The festival was preceded by an introductory session at a local public library, “where six attendees caught the go bug, one of whom plans to introduce the game at the daycare where she teaches,” reports local organizer Joyce Tang Boyland. “Thanks are due to all our adventurous and devoted players and volunteers,”  Tang Boyland adds, “without whom this could not have taken place, especially Bob Barber, who TD’ed the tournament and provided mentoring and guidance.”
- photo by Michael Sears, courtesy the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

Categories: U.S./North America

Seattle Go Center Pleased With Renovation

Monday July 25, 2011

The new tenant at the Seattle Go Center has begun renovations by taking out some old walls.  The recent work has pleased the Board and staff of the Seattle Go Center.  “We are happy to see that Companion Pet Clinic is on schedule to open this fall” reports manager Brian Allen.  The long term lease with the veterinarians will be a big help to the Go Center budget.  Rent payments begin in December; the downstairs was empty for over a year.

Categories: U.S./North America