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

AGA Prez Launches Member-To-Member Drive

Monday November 17, 2008

Believing that growth in membership and funding “are the keys to the future of the American Go Association,” new AGA President Allan Abramson in launching a member-to-member membership drive. “If each current AGA member pledged to bring in one new member each in the next year, we would quickly double our existing membership,” says Abramson. “Former Board member Gordon Costanza heard my call for this pledge at the Congress, and within one week had signed up five new members!” Others who have taken the pledge include Trevor Morris (Amherst, MA), Terry Schurter (Ewing, NJ), Mike Wallstedt (Taylorsville, UT), Mertin Lebl (Tucson, AZ), Chris Burg (Tucson, AZ), Tyson Williams (Ames, IA) and Larry Russ (Hoboken, NJ). Abramson notes that “More members equals a bigger budget and a bigger budget equals more go for us all,” and also urges “players who read the E-Journal but who are not yet AGA members to consider joining this year; increased membership will support our ability to expand EJ coverage.” Click here to take the Member-to-Member Pledge.

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Koreans Sending Big Group To U.S. Congress

Monday November 17, 2008

A group of more than fifty Korean players will be attending – and competing in – the 2009 U.S. Go Congress in Washington, DC, Thomas Hsiang reports. Hsiang, the American Go Association’s Vice President on International Relations, helped arrange the Korean group visit and adds that “several leaders in the Korean Amateur Baduk Association have expressed interest in joining this group to hopefully inaugurate a permanent link between the US and Korean Baduk communities.” Strong Korean players have been a fixture of the European Go Congress for some years now. Another new development in Korea is the establishment of the “King’s Baduk Academy,” Hsiang tells the E-Journal. “Supported by a number of Korean sponsors, this is a 3-7 year program to train the truly devoted to become pro players and/or go teachers.” Each country is given up to one fully-funded slot for this program and other self-paying slots are available. Applications are being accepted through the end of 2008; stay tuned for more information in future EJ reports.

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New Go Mag Launched

Monday November 17, 2008

A popular social room on KGS has now branched out into a slick online publication. Founded in November 2007 by Eric Dunham of Avon, Minnesota, The Enclave room on KGS quickly grew to be the single largest social room on KGS outside of Computer Go. “As the numbers grew, so did my ambition,” Dunham says in the first edition of The Enclave, which is subtitled “A Premium English Language Go Magazine” and was produced earlier this month. The 38-page magazine — available only as an easily downloadable PDF — is indeed impressive in both scope and production, featuring a fascinating range of go material, including a very interesting interview with Alexander Dinerchtein 3P and an article about the latest developments in go-playing computer programs. Other articles in the premiere edition include a lesson for beginners, a first-hand report from the Norwegian Go Championships and life and death problems. With high production values, excellent pictures and well-edited text, The Enclave is a welcome addition to the small but growing world of English-language go publications. Dunham hopes to continue publication of The Enclave as a free bi-monthly publication with instructional material, game commentaries, articles and reports about the game.

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Texas High School Club Thriving

Monday November 17, 2008

“In the first meeting alone we matched the record attendance of last year,” reports 16-year-old Kris Taylor, President of the Jasper High School Go Club in Plano, Texas. “We had about 30 people for our first meeting, which was just elections and rules and stuff. I had to leave early so when I did, a sophomore member from last year took over and began to teach the beginners some basics. Even the teacher started learning this year!” Taylor launched his high school go club last year with AGF support, and his school fielded two teams in last year’s Ing School Teams Championship. Already an active organizer in the 10th grade, Taylor has a website for his club, and has made a series of Go videos on Youtube, including one on how to care for Yunzi go stones. The club meets after school in social studies teacher Jeff Koch’s room. Koch, a non-player until this semester, told the Journal: “I’ve been most impressed by the more-experienced club members’ drive to promote the game to new players; teaching them not only a fun game, but forcing them to stretch analytical skills that they might not otherwise use in their daily lives.”
-Paul Barchilon, Youth Editor. Photo: Jasper High School Go Club: President Kris Taylor (at far left holding board); Vice President Michael Wu (far right with board); Photo by Jeff Koch

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AGA Caps Amateur Ranks At 7D

Monday November 17, 2008

The American Go Association Board of Directors last week approved a policy capping top ranks for amateurs at 7 dan, “with exception for rare honors for a small number of players with outstanding achievement, such as winning the U.S. Open twice.” The new policy also notes that “Exceptions will be granted by the AGA President, under criteria developed through a public process, and approved by the President.” The policy is a response to concerns about top amateur American ranks in relation to other countries at international events. Ranks are distinct from AGA ratings; click here for AGA Ratings Statistician Paul Matthews’ article Inside The AGA Ratings System.

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US Go News: N.A. Fujitsu Players Finalized

Monday November 10, 2008

Sixteen of the continent’s top players, led by Mingjiu Jiang (right) and Jie Li, have been selected to compete for the right to represent North America at the Fujitsu World Go Championship, reports Tournament Coordinator Philip Waldron. The N.A. Fujitsu will be held on the KGS Go Server on November 22-23; the winner of the four-round elimination event will represent North American at the Fujitsu in Japan. Additional notable names in the tournament include professional Huiren Yang, 2009 WAGC representative Eric Lui, past champion and 2008 KPMC representative Thomas Hsiang and 2008 Redmond Cup champion Gan Sheng Shi of Canada. Click here for a full list of players and tournament information.

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Wheeler’s Contributions Recognized

Monday November 10, 2008

Noting that Dennis Wheeler “has served the AGA with distinction in the capacity as online tournament director,” the American Go Association’s Board of Directors issued a special commendation to Wheeler last week, thanking him “on behalf of the nation’s go players.” Wheeler is retiring from his post as the AGA’s main online tournament director after several years on the job. The Board also issued Wheeler complimentary year’s membership in the AGA for his service.

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Jennie Shen to Teach in Philly

Monday November 10, 2008

There’s still time to sign up for the upcoming Jennie Shen (left) 2P workshop in Philadelphia. The workshop – which includes lectures and game December 12 and runs through the afternoon of December 14. Cost is $100 for the whole session, or $50 for youth or Penn Go Society members. Check out the Penn Go Society website for details; contact Matt Bengtson(matt@mattbengtson.com, 215-704-4600) or Peter Nassar (pnassar@vet.upenn.edu, 215-898-6271) for more info. photo by Glenn Peters of the Portland (OR) Go Club; click here for more of his go photos.

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Joey’s Go School Back in Biz

Monday November 10, 2008

AGA 8 dan Joey Hung has re-opened his go school in Fremont, California. Joey’s Go School – which shut down in August 2006 when Hung decided to focus on his MBA and investing – is located at 114 Yucca Court in Fremont and is open Saturdays and Sundays from 1:30-5P. Contact him at egogames@yahoo.com or call 510-659-8220. 

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Jie Li Wins N.A. Student Oza; Saul Lapidus Tops Rochester Tourney; Zhang Repeats At Ing Youth Cup

Monday November 3, 2008

JIE LI WINS N.A. STUDENT OZA: Jie Li swept to victory in this weekend’s North American Student Oza online qualifier on KGS, winning all four rounds and the opportunity to represent North America in the upcoming 2009 World Oza in Japan. Yue Zhang (2-2) was the runner-up, losing to Li and Jeffery Fung (1-3) of Canada. And in a nail-biting battle for third place, Kwo-Ping Ho (2-2) forced Xingshuo Liu (1-3) to resign in Sunday’s final round. “Many thanks to Phil Waldron, the AGA’s new Tournament Coordinator for organizing this event,” says online Tournament Director Dennis Wheeler, “and a terrific job by newly-installed Online Tournament Directors Daniel Short, Oren Laskin and Lawrence Ku, as well as our favorite KGS admin, Akane Negishi.”

SAUL LAPIDUS TOPS ROCHESTER TOURNEY: Saul Lapidus 1D topped the fourth annual Greg Lefler Memorial Tournament , held October 25-26 in Rochester, NY. Thirty-three players from five states and Canada gathered at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) campus. “Two of the winners were deaf players,” notes TD Steve Colburn. Winner’s Report: Dan Division: 1st: Saul Lapidus 1D, 2nd: Phil Waldron 6D, 3rd: Dan Short 3D. Single Digit Kyu Division: 1st: Carrie Lapidus 6K, 2nd: Victor Kostyuk, 3rd: Peter Wynn 5K. Double Digit Kyu Division: 1st: Jesy Felecia, 2nd: Kevin King, 3rd: Brandon Chan.

ZHANG REPEATS AT ING YOUTH CUP: Hugh Zhang 6D repeated as champion of the Ing’s Cup Youth Go Tournament on October 26. The 11th annual event attracted 110 kids — including 36 first-time tourney players — to the Chinese Cultural Center of Sunnyvale, CA, where youth ranging from 6D to 30K vied for prizes and trophies. This year, tournament organizers Mingjiu Jiang 7P and Reid Augustin 5D decided to combine all of the 13×13 players into one large division, which Darren Huang won, sweeping all five of his games. Winner’s Report: Division A (Open): 1st: Hugh Zhang, 2nd: Justin Shieh, 3rd: Albert Chen. Division B: 1st: Anthony Su, 2nd: Brandon Lin, 3rd: David Su. Division C: 1st: Daniel Liu. Division D: 1st: Binjih Lin. Division E: 1st: Alex Zhu. Division F: 1st: Matthew Fu. Division G: 1st: Aaron Ye. Division H: 1st: Alan Hwang. Division I: 1st: Kevin Hung.

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