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

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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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

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TIGERSMOUTH TEAM TO TAKE ON INSEI EMPIRE JUNE 13

Monday June 7, 2010

The AGF’s youth go website Tiger’s Mouth have put together a 20-member dream team to challenge Alexandre Dinerchtein 3P and his Insei League, who have been taking on all comers on KGS recently.  The Insei League allows KGS players anywhere in the world to take part in a professional go school taught by Dinerchtein and other Korean Professionals.  The Inseis crushed the British Go League team 7-3 on May 22nd, followed by a 10-3 rout of the Russian National Female Team (in which 2 of the 3 winners were also members of the Insei League as well as Russian nationals) on May 30th. Poland fought back in style on June 5 though, finally stopping the Inseis 13-7.  ”Your team will be the next one we beat,” said Dinerchtein, known as Breakfast on KGS, when he challenged the U.S. recently.  ”Not so fast Breakfast,” responded the AGF’s youth go website Tiger’s Mouth, who put together a 20-member dream team to challenge the Inseis.  Team Tigersmouth has star youth players Curtis Tang 8d and Gansheng Shi 8d,  plus Calvin Sun 7d, ten more dan level kids, and 7 kyu level players.  The stage is set for Sunday June 13th in the AGA Tournaments room on KGS, at 10 am west coast time, observers are welcome.  Pairings will be available shortly before the match  here, Tigersmouth team info is available here.
- Paul Barchilon, EJ Youth Editor

CANADA DOMINATES REDMOND CUP

Monday June 7, 2010

Canadian youth have all but shut the U.S. out of the Redmond Cup this year, with Jianing Gan 6d and  Gansheng Shi 8d winning the Senior Division, and Oliver Wolf 2d and Henry Zhang 1d winning the Junior.  Zhang is the only one of the three from the U.S., he is also the younger brother of former Redmond champ Hugh Zhang.  All four youth have won a free trip to the US Go Congress, where they will play a best two-out-of-three match with their opponent, and split a $1,000 prize pool courtesy of the AGF.  The Senior Division, for youth 12-17 years old,  had 27 youth competing and featured U.S. stars Curtis Tang 8d, Calvin Sun 7d, and Zhongxia Zhao 7d among the top players.  Leading the pack was two-time Redmond Champion and current title holder Gansheng Shi 8d.  Shi has a simple but effective strategy: he just wins, all the time.  Tang or Sun were both favored in this event, but it was fellow Canadian Jianing Gan who pulled out all the stops to place first. He was the only player to beat Shi, each losing only one out of their seven games. Gan, just 13 years old, will be familiar to E-J readers as the challenger to Myungwan Kim in the SPOT1 finals recently.  In the Junior Division, nine kids, all under the age of 12, duked it out for top honors.  Ten-year-old Oliver Wolf had the top record, with four wins in five games.  Four players had three wins, but Henry Zhang had the best SOS (Sum of Opponents Scores) record, and also was the only player to beat Wolf. The Redmond Cup, now in its 17th year, was directed by Michael Bull.  
- Paul Barchilon, EJ Youth Editor.  Photo: Yunxuan Li (l) vs. Jerry Shen (r) in 2009 Redmond finals, Jr. Division.