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

U.S. GO NEWS: Lockhart & Xiong Win Boston Youth; World Youth Deadline March 30; Myungwan Kim 9P Workshop Gives NorCal Players A Boost

Monday March 22, 2010

LOCKHART & XIONG WIN BOSTON YOUTH: Ben Lockhart 5d from New York City won the Senior Division and defending champion Kevin Xiong won the Junior Division again at the 4th annual GBCCA Youth Go Tournament and US Youth Go Championship (USYGC) Qualifier that ended on March 20th.  Runners-up in the Senior Division were Andrew Wang in second place, Henry Li (3rd) and Sam Huang (4th). Zachary Lu took 2nd in the Juniors while Bowen He was 3rd.
- report/photos by Ke Lu
WORLD YOUTH DEADLINE MARCH 30: As announced in last week’s E-J, the deadline for the World Youth Goe Championships (WYGC) qualifier is now March 30th.  The qualifier will be held on April 3rd, and the finals on April 10th and 11th.  The winners in each bracket will go on to compete at the WYGC in Taiwan, July 22-28.  For more information click here
MYUNGWAN KIM 9P WORSHOP GIVES NORCAL PLAYERS A BOOST: Thirteen students gathered last weekend to listen to lectures, ask questions, solve problems, have their games reviewed, and play against Myungwan Kim 9P, a top pro from Korea and winner of the U.S. Open two years in a row. At the March 20-21 workshop in Berkeley, CA, Kim took questions from students, and spent a lot of time discussing techniques for assessing the value of different endgame moves, a popular topic among the attendees. The workshop was sponsored by Bay Area Go Players Association, and organizer Roger Schrag plans to schedule two more pro workshops in the area this year.
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U.S. GO NEWS: Qu Sweeps Norcal Tourney; World Youth Qualifier Moved Up To April 3; Northeast Interclub Tourney Invites Teams; School Team Tourney Setting New Records; Agf Accepting Apps For College Scholarships; Aga Ratings Updated; New AGA Database Feature Links Players; Why Host A Pro Workshop?

Monday March 15, 2010

QU SWEEPS NORCAL TOURNEY: Larry Qu 7k topped the Bay Area Go Players Association monthly ratings tournament in Palo Alto, CA on March 6, finishing with a perfect 5-0 record. In the Dan division, Bogdan Dobrescu 5d, Lucas Baker 3d, Samuel Gross 1d, and Sammy Zhang 1d each won three games apiece. The playing field consisted of 33 players, ranging from 7d to 24k, with eight playing in their first AGA-rated tournament ever. The next monthly ratings tournament takes place April 10 in Palo Alto. PHOTOS AT BAY AREA GO

WORLD YOUTH QUALIFIER MOVED UP TO APRIL 3: The selection process for the World Youth Go Championships has just been dramatically accelerated, with an online qualifier to be held April 3 and the finals held on April 10-11. “The Ing Foundation has just notified the AGA that our representatives to the World Youth Go Championships must be selected by April 15th, a sudden change from last year’s policy,” reports AGA Youth Coordinator Paul Barchilon. Since this is before the previously-scheduled USYGC Qualifiers will have chosen winners, a new schedule has been established. Youth players who wish to enter must e-mail youth@usgo.org to register by March 30th. The top sixteen players in each bracket will advance to the finals. The Junior Division is for youth 11 and under, the Senior Division is for youth under 18 as of August 1, 2010. Only US Citizens may enter the qualifier; the winners must be able to travel to Taiwan for the finals (expenses are covered for the youth players, but not for parents). “The previously-scheduled USYGC Qualifiers around the nation will all be held as planned, and the prizes will remain the same, but as those events will no longer select our WYGC representatives, the citizenship requirement will be waived,” says Barchilon.

NORTHEAST INTERCLUB TOURNEY INVITES TEAMS: Go clubs in the Northeast are invited to participate in the upcoming Northeast Inter-club Go Tournament in the Boston area. The team tournament is being organized by the MIT Go Club and the Massachusetts Go Association on March 27 in Somerville MA starting at 9:30a. Teams will have three members and each club may send multiple teams. Clubs must preregister by March 20th with a complete list of participants and their ranks; email mit-mga-tournament@mit.edu

SCHOOL TEAM TOURNEY: A record breaking 92 teams and 307 individuals are competing in the ninth annual American Go Honor Society (AGHS) School Team Tournament, representing 15 states and 3 provinces in Canada. Two schools, Fair Oaks ES (CA) and Saratoga HS (CA), are entering five teams each, matching Clear Lake HS (TX)’s record, back in 2004. Stuyvesant HS (NY) will seek their second consecutive and third national title in the Open Division. However, they will have to overcome JP Stevens HS (NJ), last year’s silver medalists, along with seven California teams, including all three teams from CA’s 2008 medal sweep, who will seek a spot on the podium after being shut out last year. East Meadows HS (NY) fell just short in their bid to become the second team in AGHS history to win both the Rookies Cup and the School Sweepstakes title, awarded to the best new school and best overall school in the tournament, finishing in second place in the final standings. However, two California schools, Morningstar Chinese School and Redwood Shores GC, hope to accomplish this feat after stunning performances in the first round. In addition, fourteen elementary and middle schools will fight for the Junior Cup title this year, including reigning Junior Champions Cary Chinese School (NC). who are expected to put up a stiff fight to retain their title. Yet they were barely able to hold off a surge from Fairs Oaks ES (CA), who will seek to add the Junior title to their long list of achievements under AGHS competitions. Readers can keep track of the teams on the AGHS ” title=”website” target=”_blank”>website http://aghs.c>. All games are played on KGS, in the AGHS Tournament Room (under Tournaments), and observers are welcome.
- Tim Savoie, AGHS Correspondent

AGF ACCEPTING APPS FOR COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIPS: The American Go Foundation is now accepting applications for its College Scholarship, reports AGF board member Matthew Mallory. “The scholarship is intended to reward organizers who create new, or help existing, go programs in their school or community, playing strength is less important than community service,” Mallory says. Applicants must be at least in their junior year of high school; winners will receive $1,000 and will be announced at the US Go Congress. “Last year Lawrence Ku, a model youth organizer, received the scholarship,” Mallory adds. The deadline is May 15: Click here to learn more and download the application form.
- Paul Barchilon, EJ Youth Editor

AGA RATINGS UPDATED; NEW AGA DATABASE FEATURE LINKS PLAYERS: AGA ratings were updated March 12 and include a number of recent tournaments, including the NOVA Chinese Lunar New Year, New Jersey Open, John Groesch, From the Word Go, and Bay Area Tournament. The ratings – which former Tournament Coordinator Phil Waldron did a tremendous amount of work on — are linked to the AGA Go Database, which includes the records of every game and player in all tournaments played in the United States since 1991. A new FindPath feature

AGA Games Database shows how players are linked through opponents. For example, AGA Database creator Jonathan Bresler 14k is just four players from Feng Yun 9P: Bresler played Stephen Leslie 14k in 1994, Leslie played Eric Lui 7k in 1996 and Lui played Feng Yun in 2007. The search can be unlimited across all games in the database, limited by date, or limited to a particular tournament.

WHY HOST A PRO WORKSHOP? The Portland Go Club hosted two pro workshops in the past year, one by Jennie Shen in the fall and one by Yi Lun Yang in the spring. Both were attended by about 20 dan/low kyu players and middle/double kyu players. Jennie’s workshop was short on lectures and long on game review. Most of the weekend was spent with one group playing while the other group reviewed games, and then switching. Jennie’s tone was light and relaxed – she often cracked jokes, asking “You really played that move?” — teasing the players and making them feel at ease. Mr. Yang’s workshop was more balanced between lectures on various aspects of the game – opening, extensions, attacking, defending, life and death – and game review. Many of the kyu players took notes and Mr. Yang was serious and intense, expressing his strong passion for teaching. He also has a well-developed formal methodology for teaching go. As different as the flavor and structure of these workshops were, they were both excellent and well-received by the players. As a double-digit kyu player I had no idea about direction of play in the opening, let alone a systematic way to approach life and death problems. As a dan player, issues about crosscuts and opening strategy were clarified for me. I’d have either of them back in a Portland minute. Based on these two workshops I’d be equally happy bringing new pros in or bringing either of these two pros back.
- Peter Freedman coordinates the Portland Go Club in Portland, Oregon, and co-directed the 2008 U.S. Go Congress.

U.S./N.A. NEWS

Monday March 8, 2010

MILLING, BOEHEM & HADDAD TOP AUSTIN WILDFLOWER CLASSIC: Chris Milling 4k, William Boehem 9k and Geoffrey Haddad 20k shared top honors at the March 6 Wildflower Classic in Austin, TX. The three emerged undefeated 4-0 to top the 24-player field, reports TD Andy Olsen. Photo by Steven Morris.

AGA BOARD APPROVES CONTINUATION OF FUJITSU CUP & NAIM; SEEKS 2010 HOSTS: American Go Association Tournament Coordinator Boris Bernadsky reports that the AGA Board has voted to continue holding the Fujitsu Cup and North American Ing Masters (NAIM) tournaments as two separate events. “Despite the suspension last year of Ing funding, the Board voted to continue using the Ing name and rules out of respect and in appreciation for Ing’s previous and long-term financial support and commitment to go,” Bernadsky says. Bernadsky also reports that there are still NAIM hosting opportunities for interested clubs and players. “So far the Boston Go Club and the Southern California Go Club have agreed to host qualifiers,” he says. Email tournaments@usgo.org if you’re interested, or visit NAIM’s Facebook page 

ZHANG WINS MONTREAL WINTER TOURNEY: Hanxi Zhang 6D of Ottawa won the 31st Winter Tournament on February 28. The one-day, three-round event, officially known as the Tounoi d’hiver, was held at the Jean-de-Brébeuf College, in Montreal and attracted 41 players. Winner’s Report: Group A: Hanxi Zhang, 6D, Ottawa; Group B: Jean-Sébastien Lechasseur, 4D, Quebec; Group C: Ying-Chu Chen, 1D, Montreal; Group D: Aida Harumitsu, 5K, Montreal; Group E: Timon Sun, 18K, Montreal.

U.S. TOURNAMENT NEWS: Chen & Yuan Win NJ Open; Mingjiu Jiang 7p To Rep N.A. At Chunlan Cup; Rueckriemen Wins VT Tourney; First-Timer Shin Wins Gold At Groesch Memorial

Monday February 22, 2010

CHEN & YUAN WIN NJ OPEN: ZhaoNian (Michael) Chen 7d, Zhi Yuan (Andy) Liu 7d shared top honors and New Jersey State Co-Champions last weekend, winning $300 each. 115 players turned out one of the strongest fields on the year at the 51st annual tournament February 20-21 in Princeton, New Jersey, organized by the Princeton Go Club. The E-Journal broadcast the Board 1 games live on KGS to crowds that topped 500 for the final showdown for the final round game between Chen and Yuan. The game records can be found on KGS under usgo1; a game commentary for the EJ by Alexander Dinerchtein on the final round game is attached. 5-game winners ($100 each): William Lockhart 6d, Justin Teng 4d, Huang Sida 2k, Brian Aronson 3k. 4-game winners ($60 each): Kevin Shang 5d, Jared Beck 4d, Li Shi 1d, Brandon Langley 2k, Amy Su 5k, Kim Ilhee 6k, Iris Lin 9k, Adam Newshan 14k, Joanne Huang 17k, Robert Cole 19k, Jessica Huang 21k. Beginner (15k and below) random drawing for a complete go set: Jonathan Hong. Paul Matthews and Rick Mott directed the tournament.

MINGJIU JIANG 7P TO REP N.A. AT CHUNLAN CUP: Mingjiu Jiang will represent North America at the North American Chunlan Cup after defeating Feng Yun to win the qualifier Sunday night on KGS. In the first round earlier in the week, Mingjiu Jiang won over Calvin Sun, and Jie Li won over Jason Gu. Feng Yun received a bye when her opponent could not meet the schedule. In the second round, Jie Li 7D had to withdraw due to his law school school schedule, leaving Feng Yun and Mingjiu Jiang to battle it out.The sponsoring Chunlan Group is a large conglomerate of electrical, electronic, and mechanical manufacturing companies, headquartered in Taizhou, China.  In 1999, Chunlan began sponsoring a world go championship, first as an annual event, then as a biannual event beginning in 2001. With a top prize of 1 million yuan (about $150,000USD), the Chunlan Cup is comparable in size to the Fujitsu, LG, and Samsung Cup. For the 8th Chunlan, 16 top players from around the world have been invited to participate in a knock-out that will begin in late March, and continues through the rest of the year until concluding with a final 3-game series in June 2011.Korea leads the Cup so far with four, Japan has one win, and China has won the last two. Jimmy Cha represented North America in 2008 and won his first round against Imamura Toshiya 9P from the Kansai Kiin, but lost to China’s Huang Yizhong 7P in the second round.  Alexander Dinerchstein played for Europe and lost in the first round.

RUECKRIEMEN WINS VT TOURNEY: Rolf Rueckriemen 2k won the February 13 From the Word Go tournament in in Middlebury, VT. There were 12 players from Vermont, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. Wnner’s Report: 1st: Rolf Rueckriemen 2k (4-0); 2nd (tie): Adam Luter 1k (3-1) & Lihu Ben-Ezri Ravin 4k (3-1); 4th: Henry Danaher 2k (3-1). Peter Schumer directed.

FIRST-TIMER SHIN WINS GOLD AT GROESCH MEMORIAL: First-time tournament player Joe Shin took home top honors at last weekend’s John Groesch Memorial. The 4-round tourney was held on February 20 in College Park, MD and attracted a dozen players. Zarathustra Goertzel also finished 4-0 and won the kyu prize. The John Groesch Memorial prize for the best performance by a player under the age of 20 who is new to tournament go (defined by less than two years of tournament play) was won by Alexei Avakov with 3 points. Steve Mount directed.

U.S. GO NEWS: Seattle Hosts Pro Workshop For Kyu Players; Myungwan Kim 9p Workshop Set For Berkeley; Orlando Hosts Guo Juan 5p Workshop; Teacher Of The Year Nominations Open; New Go Club In Chi; Turn-Based Go App Released; Smart Games Adds Igowin Life App

Monday February 22, 2010

SEATTLE HOSTS PRO WORKSHOP FOR KYU PLAYERS: Kyu players in the Northwest will want to be in Seattle this weekend. The Seattle Go Center is hosting Jennie Chen 2P for a workshop for kyu players with a focus on their issues. The workshop will be divided into two groups, so that Ms. Shen can provide instruction that’s relevant to the strength of the player. The workshop is recommended for anyone who plays full-board games and is able to record his or her games. Dan level players are welcome to attend, but the discussion will not be centered on their questions. The workshop is scheduled for this weekend, February 27-28 at the Go Center. Rates are $55 for voting members of the Seattle Go Center, and for youth; $80 for all others. Email Brian Allen for more information at  brian@seattlegocenter.org

MYUNGWAN KIM 9P WORKSHOP SET FOR BERKELEY: The Bay Area Go Players Association will host a workshop with Myungwan Kim 9P  March 20-21 in Berkeley, CA. “Because of some generous donations the entry fee is just $50 for students under 23 and $90 for those 23 and over,” says Roger Schrag. The first pro sent to the U.S. by the Korean Baduk Association, Kim came to the Los Angeles area in June, 2008. He won the US Go Congress Open in 2008 and 2009. Today Kim – who was promoted to 9 dan about three months ago — runs a Go Academy in the Los Angeles’ Korean Go Club, teaching roughly three times per week. Click here  http://www.bayareago.org/workshop3.html for details and to register.

ORLANDO HOSTS GUO JUAN 5P WORKSHOP: The Orlando go club is hosting a workshop with Guo Juan 5P March 27-28 in Orlando, Florida. Click here http://goworkshopflorida.blogspot.com/ for details, or email Joshua Lee at Masterman535@gmail.com

TEACHER OF THE YEAR NOMINATIONS OPEN:  Nominations are open for the  AGF Teacher of the Year, an excellence award that comes with an all-expenses paid trip to the US Go Congress. To be eligible, a teacher must be a member of the AGA, have been teaching Go to children for at least two hours a week for two years, and have helped kids enter any available tournaments. In recent years, winners have far exceeded these requirements, some running several programs at once.  Click here <http://agfgo.org/teacher.html> for more information. To nominate someone for this award, including yourself, please write to agf@usgo.org. The deadline is March 31.
- Paul Barchilon, EJ Youth Editor

NEW GO CLUB IN CHI: There’s a new place to play go in the Chicago area, reports local organizer Bob Barber.  The Go Center in Arlington Heights is open seven days a week, with daily and monthly fees to choose from.  “Owner Yong Yu says there are 21 boards, with room to expand, especially in nice weather,” says Barber. “Plenty of free parking, several nearby restaurants, and Young Rhee, AGA 7 dan, is often on hand for lessons.” The club is located at 350 E. Golf Road; 847-640-6474

TURN-BASED GO APP RELEASED: The new Boardz is a different way to play go online on the iPhone and iPod touch. “Games played on Boardz are turn-based, meaning you can play your moves whenever you wish,” says Boardz author Christopher Maughan, “you don’t need to stay online until the game is finished.” Boardz also features authentic ‘shell’ stone and wooden board graphics, as well as smooth animations. Full territory statistics are shown at the end of the game, and you can play with friends or random opponents on 9×9, 13×13 or 19×19 boards. Search the app store for ‘Boardz’, or you click here http://www.snarlsoftware.com/boardz for more information. Boardz is $2.99, and in addition to go, can play shogi, XiangQi  and chess.

SMART GAMES ADDS IGOWIN LIFE APP: One of the fastest ways to get stronger at go is to practice life and death problems. David Fotland’s new Igowin Life gives you problems at your level, whether you are a 25-kyu beginner or a dan-level expert.  The app plays against you as you solve each problem.  It quickly learns your strength and gives you problems that challenge you to improve your skills. Igowin Life is available now in the iTunes application store for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad.  This app ports the “Solve Go Problems” feature from The Many Faces of Go.  Over 2000 problems are included, graded by difficulty from 25 Kyu beginner problems to difficult Dan level problems.  Problems are shown in various orientations or with colors reversed, giving over 32,000 combinations.  A magnifying glass lets you precisely choose your spot to play.  Search the app store for Igowin to find all of the Igowin applications. Several more will be released in the next few months.

Nakayama Noriyuki 6P Dies

Friday February 19, 2010

Nakayama Noriyuki 6P died on February 16. The prolific author, reporter and go writer was well-known to American go players who met him during his many trips to the United States over the last three decades. “Nakayama’s deep and abiding love for the game of go and his irrepressible sense of humor endeared him to everyone who was fortunate enough to cross his path over the years,” said American Go Association President Allan Abramson. “He’ll be missed by his many friends around the world.” Said Ji Li 7D, one of the top American amateur players, “Nakayama made significant impacts and contributions to the American go community.” One of Nakayama’s most popular books in the West, The Treasure Chest Enigma, was re-issued in 2005; he ghost wrote books for many top professionals and authored several for himself. Well known as one of the professionals who most toured the West to spread and teach go, Nakayama – born September 3, 1932 — loved to play amateurs and – a twinkle in his eye – would respond to their questionable moves by saying, with a quizzically cocked head, “Ah! New Joseki, neh?!”, or “Oohh! Strong move! But maybe… this (playing his move…) better!!!” Although Nakayama never won a title, “He was funny and approachable,” said longtime fan Keith Arnold 5d. “There was an unmistakable quiet dignity that did not ask for, yet clearly demanded respect. Respect for a dedication to the game, to teaching, and to spreading its joys, winning players with a smile.”
- Chris Garlock, includes reporting on Sensei’s Library; photo by Phil Straus; click here for his album of Nakayama photos

 

NAKAYAMA’S LAST LECTURE: Longtime Congress favorite Noriyuki Nakayama 6P announced at the 2006 US Go Congress that it would be the last year he’d be attending the U.S Go Congress. His wife had been ill recently and it was a great hardship for him to be away for the month it took to attend both the U.S. and European Congresses. At a standing-room only lecture at the Congress, the irrepressible Nakayama said that “I’m afraid the answer might be ‘jigo’ if my wife asks me which is more important, my American go friends or her.” Much-loved for his cherubic delight in teaching go to players of all strengths, Nakayama said “The best thing about go is that you make many friends.” At the lecture, he set up two life and death problems and invited members of the audience to come up and try to solve them, gleefully refuting the wrong moves until somebody solved the problem correctly. For the game section of the lecture, he showed part of the game he won to get promoted to 2P.
- Chris Garlock; Photo by Jian Zhang

 

LETTER FROM JAPAN: Goodbye, The Congress I Love

By Noriyuki Nakayama 6P

I participated in the US Go Congress this year (2006) as I have for last 21 years. The US Go Congress, which started in 1985, could just as well be described as “the US Open Go Festival.” Participants include players from European countries, Japan and many other countries who love this “Festival” as well as go enthusiasts and go maniacs from every corner of the United States. For many participants, these events are a vacation involving spouses and other members of the family. Many wives and children learn go and participate in events like Pair Go, the 9×9 tournament and Kid’s Go.

I have been engaged in activities to introduce and popularize the game of go in the USA before the US Go Congress was organized, but unfortunately, this year’s visit will be the last one due to my wife’s health problems. I know that I will miss the Go Congress and my friends there very much since I started this journey when I was 49 and it has lasted a full quarter-century since then.

On August 19, 2006, my last lecture started after all the Congress events were finished. It had become a kind of Congress custom for me to present a lecture as the final event but this year’s — literally “the last lecture” – attracted most of the approximately 250 people at the Congress. In the standing ovation which lasted long after I finished, overwhelmed by the emotion, I could not find the words to say Goodbye Go Congress, Goodbye America, Goodbye my dear American go friends!
- A longer version of this letter appeared in the October 9, 2006 edition of the Nihon Ki-in’s weekly Go magazine. Translated by Frank Fukuda and edited by Chris Garlock. This letter also appears in the 2006 American Go Yearbook.

As it turned out, Nakayama was able to attend one last U.S. Go Congress, in 2007…

 

PROFESSIONALLY SPEAKING: Nakayama on How To Improve

“There are three steps to get better,” Noriyuki Nakayama 6P said at a lecture at the 2007 U.S. Go Congress. “Step 1: buy a book. Step 2: read it! Step 3: practice!” As entertaining as always, Nakyama kept the attentive crowd laughing appreciatively as he mixed game analysis of Takemiya’s games with fascinating and amusing anecdotes from the go world. “Replay professional games,” Nakyama advised. “Eventually you will start playing better moves because your fingers will know where to play. Not your mind, your fingers.”

“Ah, The Clam Shells Are Heavy”

Excerpted from The Treasure Chest Enigma; A Go Miscellany, by Nakayama Noriyuki

A little before six in the evening, Kajiwara, who had been glaring at the board hard enough to bore a hole in it, suddenly raised his head and glanced at the scenery outside in the gathering dusk. Not surprisingly, he bore signs of considerable fatigue.

The game recorder’s voice rang out. “Time is up. Kajiwara Sensei, please seal the next move.”

Kajiwara gave a deep nod of assent, then shifted his gaze back to the board. Some five minutes passed by. Suddenly he called out in a flurried tone, “What? The next move’s the sealed move.” His eyes were riveted on the board.

With his whole being concentrated on the go board, Kajiwara had only half taken in the game recorder’s words when he first spoke.

“Yes. The next move – is – the sealed move.” The game recorder replied slowly and carefully, enunciating each syllable clearly.

Kajiwara finally seemed to have grasped that the next move was the sealed move. He let out a long sigh. “Oh? The sealed move?” After a little while he sighed again. “I’m tired out,” he muttered. Preoccupied though he was with his own game, Tainaka happened to overhear these words. Glancing over at the neighboring board, he commented sarcastically: “Why? You’ve only played four stones.”

Kajiwara’s reply to this was a masterpiece. Glaring at the board with a look of complete exhaustion on his face, he muttered: “The clam shells are heavy today.”

The essays in Treasure Chest were translated from a collection titled Jitsuroku Igo Kodan. Gokyo Monogatari (Tales of a man crazy about go), reports Bob McGuigan

Photo: Nakayama and Yoshiaki Nagahara 6P watch a casual game at the 2007 Congress; photo by Roy Laird

 

IN MEMORY OF NAKAYAMA SENSEI: A number of Nakayama appreciations, tributes and memories has been posted on GoDiscussions.com http://www.godiscussions.com/forum/showthread.php?t=11152 , including a record of a game between Nakayama and Kojima Takaho, which made the Kido yearbook’s section on noteworthy games, posted by John Fairbairn.

 

Published by the American Go Association
Managing Editor: Chris Garlock
Assistant Editor: Bill Cobb
Website Editor: Gurujeet Khalsa
Games Editor: Myron Souris
Professionals: Yilun Yang 7P; Alexandr Dinerchtein 3P; Fan Hui 2P
Contributors: Paul Barchilon (Youth Editor); Lawrence Ku (U.S. West Coast Reporter); Brian Allen (U.S. West Coast Photographer); Keith Arnold (Go Quiz); Peter Dijkema (Dutch/European Correspondent); Marilena Bara (Romania/European Correspondent); Ian Davis (Ireland Correspondent); Jens Henker (Korea Correspondent); Nicholas Roussos (Cyprus Correspondent); Horatio Davis (Australia/New Zealand Correspondent).
Columnists: James Kerwin 1P; Kazunari Furuyama; Rob van Zeijst; Roy Laird; Peter Shotwell
Translations: Bob McGuigan (Japan)
Formatting: Adam Wright

Text material published in the AMERICAN GO E JOURNAL may be reproduced by any recipient: please credit the AGEJ as the source. PLEASE NOTE that commented game record files MAY NOT BE published, re-distributed, or made available on the web without the explicit written permission of the Editor of the E-Journal. Please direct inquiries to journal@usgo.org

Articles appearing in the E-Journal represent the opinions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official views of the American Go Association.

Big Tourney Weekend Coming Up

Monday February 15, 2010

Well over 100 players are expected at the New Jersey Open this weekend in Princeton, NJ. The 51st annual tournament is one of six events this weekend across the country, including the triple-threat Southern Cal Championship, US Youth Qualifier and NAMT/FUJITSU Qualifier in Alhambra, CA, the Chinese Spring Festival tournament in Columbus, OH and the John Groesch Memorial tourney in College Park, MD. “Princeton’s own Zhaonian (Michael) Chen ’11, who missed last year’s 50th anniversary NJO due to a schedule conflict, will play this year,” says NJO TD Rick Mott. “He has won in the past and it should be a great group of strong players contending for the title.” Also, Mott reports, “Feng Yun 9P has cancelled her classes for this weekend in order to allow her students to attend, so the expected total over both days is around 120 players.” Look for top boards to be broadcast live on KGS by the E-Journal. Look for top boards to be broadcast live on KGS by the E-Journal. Photo: young players review game at 2009 NJO; photo by John Pinkerton

Feng Yun-Jie Li Win Pair Go Qualifier As Pair Go Celebrates 20 Years

Monday February 15, 2010

The Pair Go team of Feng Yun-Jie Li will represent North America at the World Pair Go Association’s 2010 World Cup, after defeating Jin Yu-Jing Yang in last week’s North American Qualifier. The Cup is scheduled for March 20-23 in Hangzhou, China. In related news, in honor of the 20th anniversary of the International Amateur Pair Go Championship, the Japanese Pair Go Association has just published ten essays about Pair Go. Manja and Micha Martz won first place with their thorough, entertaining and well-illustrated essay on the history of Pair Go in Europe and longtime U.S. go organizer – and IGS rep –Thomas Hsiang contributed A Few Memories of Pair Go, noting that “Pair Go has not only been accepted but flourished beyond anyone’s imagination. Aside from frequent regional tournaments held worldwide, Pair Go was featured as the only mixed-gender mind-sport in the First World Mind Sport Games in 2008 and will be a medal event in the 2010 and 2014 Asian Games.” Hsiang also points out that “the US go scene that was once almost exclusively male-dominated now sees a much greater participation by female players, especially among the young….Pair Go has brought together many couples in US and Europe, and not a single couple has been broken up by it!” Click here http://www.pairgo.or.jp/event/pairgo20th/index-e.htm to read the Pair Go essays.

Kirschner Hopes to Stage “Honinbo” at Go Congress

Monday February 15, 2010

Plans are afoot once again to stage the world premiere of “The Honinbo” http://www.usgo.org/resources/downloads/Honinbo.pdf go musical at the 2010 U.S. Go Congress. The full-scale parody of “The Mikado” was penned by former AGA president Bob High, and features a cast of go playing characters singing go-themed songs. “We have obtained cooperation from the UCCS Drama department to get facilities and some student assistance,” reports Chris Kirschner, who’s had a longtime dream of producing the musical. “Our job is to get a cast together and prepare to make good use of them.  Plans are just starting, so we are looking for volunteers to launch this production.  Mainly, we need people willing to get up on stage and play the parts.  There are 10 named roles, and several choruses.  Some musical ability is desirable, but don’t hesitate for lack of a voice of gold.  And we will want some production people back-stage as well.” Contact Kirschner at operations@usgo.org for details.

U.S. GO NEWS: Feng Yun/Jie Li Win North American Pair Go 1st Round; USYGC Season Opens; Kirby Sweeps N. California Tourney; SmartGo In S. Korea And Coming Soon To Ipad.

Monday February 8, 2010

FENG YUN/JIE LI WIN N.A. PAIR GO 1ST ROUND: Feng Yun and Jie Li defeated Wan Chen and Curtis Tang Sunday night in the first round of the North American World Pair Go Qualifier, played on IGS. “One pair withdrew at the last moment, and one member of another pair did not show up, so two games were not played,” reports Allan Abramson. Feng Yun and Jie Li will have a bye for the second round, and play the final game on Thursday night. Jing Yang and Jin Yu will play White vs Yuan Zhou and Yinli Wang on Tuesday night – also on IGS, in Round Two.

USYGC SEASON OPENS:  The 2010 United States Youth Go Championship is kicking into gear, with qualifiers now scheduled across the country.  First up is the Orange County Go Club, in Los Angeles, on Feb. 21-22.  New Qualifier locations have been added as well, with Boston, New Jersey, Colorado, and San Francisco all hosting events.  There will also be an online qualifier, hosted by the AGHS <http://aghs.cc>.  This year, the AGA is also adding National Single Digit Kyu (SDK) and Double Digit Kyu (DDK) championships to the event.  The winners will receive trophies, and prizes will be awarded in the following brackets: 1-4 kyu, 5-9 kyu, 10-15 kyu, 16-20 kyu, 21-25 kyu, 26 and up kyu.  In the dan brackets, the strongest kids in the country will be competing for the right to represent the US at the World Youth Go Championships this summer.  Low dan youth will have a chance at prizes and trophies too, with prizes for 1-5 dan as well.  The event is sponsored by the AGA and the AGF, and Guo Juan has donated audio go lessons <http://internetgoschool.com/> as bonus prizes for youth in all categories.  For more information, visit the tournament webpage <http://www.usgo.org/tournaments/USYGC/2010/>
-Paul Barchilon; photo: young players study at the 2009 U.S. Go Congress; photo by Chris Garlock

KIRBY SWEEPS NORCAL TOURNEY: Brian Kirby topped February’s monthly ratings tournament in Northern California, February 6 in Menlo Park, CA. There were 25 players, ranging from 25 kyu to 7 dan, and two played in their first tournament ever. The next monthly ratings tournament will be March 6 in Palo Alto, CA. Winners report: Four game winner: Brian Kirby 2k 4-0. Three game winners: Lucas Baker 2d 3-1, Samuel Gross 1d 3-0, Roger Schrag 7k 3-0, Larry Qu 15k 3-1.
- Roger Schrag

SMARTGO IN SOUTH KOREA AND COMING SOON TO IPAD: SmartGo Pro for the iPhone/iPod touch is now available in South Korea under the name “Smartgo Pro Baduk,” http://itunes.apple.com/kr/app/smartgo-pro-baduk/id353159718?mt=8 reports SmartGo author Anders Kierulf. “It comes with over 15,000 professional games and 2,000 problems.” Search for Baduk in the iTunes App Store. Kierulf also tells the EJ that “I’m working on a version of SmartGo optimized for Apple’s upcoming iPad.”