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

Go Draws a Crowd at DC Sakura Mat­suri Street Fes­ti­val

Thursday April 24, 2014

The go booth at the 54th Sakura Mat­suri Street Fes­ti­val on April 12 in Wash­ing­ton D.C. was so popular that organizers quickly went through the more than 200 brochures they brought. The event runs in conjunction with the annual Cherry Blos­som Fes­ti­val in Washington. Teachers — including booth coordinator John Goon, Todd Heidenreich and Benjamin Hong — found themselves teaching multiple students while spectators watched and eagerly awaited their turn at the boards. “For all those who have any Japan­ese cul­tural events in your local area, I def­i­nitely encour­age you all to try and set up a booth like we did,” says Hong. “Because at the end of the day, if there was only one thing I learned from this event, it is that go has a real poten­tial to appeal to all types of peo­ple and can even­tu­ally become a house­hold sta­ple like chess or check­ers if we keep spread­ing the word with out­reach ini­tia­tives like this one.”
- photo courtesy Benjamin Hong; read his complete Sakura Matsuri blog post here

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Wang Ma Wins MGA Don Wiener Memorial

Tuesday April 22, 2014

Wang Ma 6d topped a field of 36 players ranging from 20 kyu to 6 dan at the Massachusetts Go Association’s annual Don Wiener Memorial Tournament on April 13 in Somerville MA. “Among the players were a visitor from Scotland, a visiting scholar from China, and contingents from Vermont, Maine, and Western Massachusetts,” reports TD Eva Casey. “An eight year old girl played as did a player in her eight decade.” Casey also extended “thanks to our friends at the Boylston Chess Club for sharing their space.”

Winners Report:
1st Place: Wang Ma 6d (4-0)
2nd Place: Shawn Ligocki 8k (4-0)
3rd Place: Steven Wu 4d (3-1)
photo (l-r): Steven Wu (back to camera), Wang Ma, John Aspinall and David Spitz; photo by Eva Casey. Click here for more photos

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2nd ACGA Go Expo A Success

Tuesday April 22, 2014

The second American Collegiate Go Association (ACGA) Spring Go Expo drew over a hundred participants to MIT’s main campus on March 29. After a two-hour round of simuls with Chinese professionals in the morning, the event opened with speeches from Ing Minghao, president of the Ing Chang-Ki Weiqi Education Foundation, Chang Hao 9P, Hua Xueming 7P, and ACGA organizers Michael Fodera and Cole Pruitt. Current undergraduates Tommy Liu (MIT) and Cherry Shen (Wellesley) emceed the event and provided translation for the Chinese delegation throughout.

Highlights of the afternoon included an exposition match between Chang Hao 9P and strong western amateurs Trevor Morris 7d and Will Lockhart 5d, broadcast on KGS with live commentary from Andy Liu 1P and Hua Xueming 7P. The Expo also featured the premiere of ‘Ring Go’, a new go variant where players form a ring organized by rank and play two games each: one with white and one with black, against a weaker and stronger player respectively.

On the heels of the Expo, the ACGA is formalizing its structure as an organization and looking to include all university community members in its growth over the next year. For more information about how to get involved in college Go, how to participate in the Collegiate Go League, or receive go equipment for your university-based club, visit www.college-go.org for more information, or contact acga.organizers@gmail.com
- Cole Pruitt

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Game Theorist Frank Lantz to Keynote US Go Congress

Monday April 21, 2014

Frank Lantz, noted game theorist, developer and teacher, will deliver the keynote address at the 2014 US Go Congress opening ceremonies on Saturday, August 9th at 7 p.m., at the Hotel Pennsylvania in New York City. Now the director of a graduate program in game theory and development at New York University, Lantz became known to the go community because of his lecture ‘Go, Poker and the Sublime’ at the at the 2011 Game Developers Conference (Life and Death and Middle Pair: Go, Poker and the Sublime 10/30/2012 EJ). In 2005 Lantz co-founded area/code, a New York based developer that created cross-media, location-based, and social network games. In 2011 area/code was acquired by Zynga and became Zynga New York. In 2012, The New York Times referred to Lantz as a “reigning genius of the mysteries of games” following his design of iPhone puzzle game Drop7.

Yilun Yang 7P Confirmed for AGA Go Camp

Monday April 21, 2014

“The AGA Go Camp is excited to announce that Yilun Yang 7P will be joining us for the summer of 2014,” reports Camp Director Nano Rivera. Yang became a professional at the age of 14 in 1973. He has trained many notable players, including Rui Naiwei (9P), Chang Hao (9P), and Hua Zueming (7P). He is an excellent and experienced teacher, who has been teaching in the United States since 1986. Mr. Yang is also the author of many popular Go books, such as the Fundamental Principles of GoLife and Death by the Numbers, and Life and Death in Chinese Characters. Rivera and co-director Amanda Miller  “welcome all campers to join us for a week of go-playing and fun.” If you’re a go player between the ages of 8 and 18 “and would like an opportunity to study go for a week with a professional teacher, then the AGA East Go Camp is for you,” says Rivera.

Anyone who participated in the NAKC or the Redmond Cup is eligible to receive $400 off the price of the Go Camp. If you did not play in either tournament, but still need financial assistance, AGF scholarships are available here.  Visit the Go Camp website for general information, pictures from past camps, and news regarding this year’s Go Camp, which is scheduled for August 3-9. If you have any questions about the camp, contact the directors at  agagocampeast@gmail.com - Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.  Photo by Amanda Miller: Yang teaching at last year’s Go Camp.

Seattle Anime Festival Provides Teaching Opportunity

Monday April 21, 2014

The Seattle Go Center provided 15 volunteers to teach go at Sakura-Con, Seattle’s big festival of Japanese anime, manga and games.  Working in shifts, the volunteers kept the Go Center room open for 15 hours a day on Friday and Saturday, April 18-19.  On Sunday, they ran a 13×13 tournament.  The Go Center does not have an official teaching style, but most teachers follow Bill Camp’s advice from the 2013 Go Congress Teacher’s Workshop to “never answer a question that hasn’t been asked”, trying not to swamp new players with too much information.  In the late afternoon and early evening of Saturday, the room was completely full, and the enthused teachers were explaining the game in their own words.  As I was waiting for my students to play, I heard Dan Top declare, “In a situation like this, I just try to keep my stones together.  I don’t want any of my stones going down into the basement alone.” – photo of Dan Top and report by Brian Allen.

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‘Learn to Play Go’ Brings Game to Elementary School Students

Monday April 21, 2014

“We just finished our ‘Learn to Play Go’ presentation at Sedgwick Elementary School, in Cupertino, CA, reports Wenguang Wang.  “Yanping Zao and I presented go to four classes of third-graders in four 30-minute sessions (over 90 kids total).  Since we have done this every year for Sedgewick’s Annual Discovery Day, most of the kids in third grade or higher have been exposed to go.  During the event, we talked about some fun facts of go, taught them the rules, and everybody played a few 9×9 games.  Most kids loved the game and many were interested to visit our Santa Clara Youth Go Club to have more fun playing go,” adds Wang. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.  Photo by Yanping Zhao: Wang teaching students at Sedgwick Elementary.

Jason Bates Tops Syracuse “Salt City Tournament”

Sunday April 20, 2014

Twenty-six players participated in Syracuse’s 7th Annual Salt City Go Tournament this past Saturday, with Jason Bates 2d (front left) winning the A division by tie-break ahead of Tim Aylsworth and Wayne Nelson; all three had identical 3-1 records and received cash prizes. Yan-Yeung Luk won all four of his games to clinch the B division, beating out Meg Houston and Ava Zurita, while Cross Bianchi swept his games in the C division, finishing one win ahead of Ryan Iffert and Kelvin Cheng. Theo Eckert-Budis 14k was the winner of the annual cake problem prize. Five C division players are first-year students in the weiqi class taught at the CNY Chinese School — the youngest of these was 8-year-old Liya Luk 16k, who finished with a 2-2 record. The oldest tournament participant was again 96-year-old Milton Sack 15k, who won both of the games he played. “Special thanks to Slate and Shell for greatly discounting its new books for use as prizes at the tournament,” says Syracuse Go Club organizer Richard Moseson. At right: this year’s problem cake: black to move. 

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Washington Open Baduk Championship Selected as AGA Pro Tourney Qualifier

Saturday April 19, 2014

Next weekend’s Washington Open Baduk Championship has been selected as a qualifier for this year’s AGA Pro Qualification Tournament; top boards will be broadcast on KGS by the EJ (email journal@usgo.org if you’re interested in being on the broadcasting team). The two-day event in Northern Virginia includes pro lectures and an unrated rapid tournament. The first Washington Open Baduk Championship will be held in Vienna, VA on April 26-27, with a top prize of at least $1,200 and cash prizes for every section. Myungwan Kim 9P (right) and Sohyun Park 3P will give lectures for both dan and kyu players on Saturday night, followed by a rapid tournament, and the professionals will do game reviews and simuls on Sunday afternoon. The tournament will be held at the Korea-U.S. Science Cooperation Center (1952 Gallows Road, Suite 330) in Vienna, VA and is sponsored by the Embassy of the Republic of Korea, the Korean Cultural Center – DC, and Scorpion Sport Inc. in L.A. It is co-hosted by the Korean Amateur Baduk Association (KABA) and the American Go Association (AGA), and organized by the NOVA Go Club, the Baltimore Go Club, and the Korean-American Go Association. There’s no entry fee but AGA membership is required and lunch is free. Click here to register. NOTE TO VISITORS: Organizers have negotiated a discounted rate with Extended Stay America (8281 Willow Oaks Corporate Drive, Fairfax VA 22031), 4.5 miles from the playing site; call 703-204-0088 and ask for the NOVA Go Club rate, or email MRD@extendedstay.com.
- photo by Chris Garlock 

 

Miichigan & Toronto Vie for Collegiate Go League Championship Saturday on KGS

Friday April 18, 2014

After a convincing performance against lower seeds Yale and U Maryland last Saturday, the two top seeds of the Collegiate Go League, University of Michigan and University of Toronto, are vying for the championship title this Saturday, April 19 at 1 pm (EST) on KGS. Top boards will have live professional commentary and will be announced throughout KGS; head to the ‘Collegiate Go League’ room to catch the action and see who will be crowned ACGA university champion for season 3 and receive the coveted cash prize and ACGA Cup. Commentary will begin around 1:30 pm after matches commence.
- Cole Pruitt