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

AGA Board Candidates Finalized

Wednesday June 18, 2014

Candidates for the AGA Board of Directors have now been finalized. Incumbent Gurujeet Khalsa is running unopposed in the Eastern region, as is Robert Gilman (also an incumbent) in the Central region. Ted Terpstra and Jingwei ‘Jay’ Zheng are running for the seat in the Western region for the seat currently held by Steve Burrall, while in the At-Large, Diego F. Pierrottet is running against Edward (Zhiyuan) Zhang. Candidate statements, if submitted, are available on the AGA Elections page. Ballots will be sent out in early July and winners announced August 10.

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Ming Curran Tops Berkeley Ratings Tourney

Sunday June 15, 2014

Ming Curran 3D topped a field of 17 players ranging from 4d to 20k at the Berkeley Go Club’s ratings tournament on June 14. The event was hosted in the Games of Berkeley game store’s downstairs playing rooms, with store gift certificates given as prizes.

Organizers were Peter de Blanc and Linden Chiu, with Chiu directing. “Thanks to both Games of Berkeley and the Bay Area Go Players Association, who provided clocks and stones,” said Chiu.

Results: 1st: Ming Curran 3d (3-0); 2nd: Sean Wahl 10k (3-0); 3rd: Garnet Chaney 19k (3-0).
photo courtesy Linden Chiu

YKNOT4 Tournament Results To Be Included In New Online Ratings

Sunday June 15, 2014

Game results from this year’s Young Kwon National Online Tournament (YKNOT) will be included in the new AGA Online Ratings system, the AGA reports. This is similar to the AGA On-Line Games Self-Paired Tournament on KGS, which is also contributing results to the new AGA Online Ratings system, which is still in development.

The Young Kwon National Online Tournament is the largest annual online tournament in North America. Registration is free and open to all levels, with nearly $3,000 in total prizes, which will be awarded to all levels. The tournament will take place on June 21, 22, and 28th. Click here to see the tournament webpage with registration details and rules and click here to register. Players have until Friday, June 20th to register. There are no citizen or permanent residency requirements; AGA members living in the US or AGA life members living anywhere are eligible, and even players who join the AGA the day before the start of the tournament are welcome to participate.

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Freedman Named AGF Teacher of the Year

Saturday June 14, 2014

Peter Freedman, of Portland, OR, has been named the AGF Teacher of the Year, winning a free trip to the US Go Congress in NYC.  Freedman, who has been active in the Portland area for decades, has focused his primary activities on youth go in recent years. Freedman and Fritz Balwit (2011 AGF Teacher of the Year) had tried to establish go clubs in schools for many years, but they were short-lived and drew minimal numbers  “Meanwhile, our chess and go program at Irvington Elementary had run for many years, with upwards of 30 students every term,” Freedman told the Journal.  ”It became clear to me that chess and go clubs have a much better chance to introduce children and teens to go than free-standing go clubs. I approached several school chess coaches about the idea of morphing their programs into chess and go clubs, and now there are over 100 children in these clubs, spread over five  schools, I teach go and Fritz teaches chess in most schools. The students can play only chess; play only go; or, switch between chess and go each month.  New students must play a month of go before they decide on their option. There is a segment of our culture that knows, appreciates and respects chess, while only a few know of go. Yet, many of us were chess players before we were go players.  It seems like a nice path.  We need a new motto: chess is our friend, not our enemy.”

AGA President Andy Okun had this to say about Freedman: “While many people know him as a club organizer, AGA volunteer and co-director of the really successful 2008 Portland Congress, Peter has also been teaching go for many years, and very intensively since retiring eight years ago.  For the last three years, he’s run the Irvington Elementary School Go Team, which has played matches against teams in Portland, Detroit and Mexico City.  He led the effort to make the Portland Go Club a 501c3 so it could raise money for a go in the schools program, and has raised thousands of dollars for that effort.” Recent activities included bringing Mingjiu Jiang 7P to Portland, for a workshop attended by 19 players from across Oregon, ranging in age from 7 to 72, and strength from beginner to 3 dan. “Nine of the players were kids or teens,” said Freedman, “one of whom taught himself to play three months ago, another was a 7 year old kgs 3 kyu.  Andrew Nguy, who recently started the robust David Douglas H.S. Go Club, was also in attendance. Mingjiu was up to the challenge of teaching such a diverse group, moving from simple problems to more complex ones that the  advanced people could chew on.”

“The AGF board faced a very tough decision again this year,” reports President Terry Benson, “with five extremely strong candidates, each of whom fully deserved the award. Fortunately, we choose a new teacher every year, and the other candidates will all have a chance again next year.” Freedman and Balwitz have put together curriculum guides and outlines for their method, which can be downloaded on the AGA Teaching Page.  Free equipment, Hikaru no Go, and other resources are available on the AGF website.  -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.  Photos: Top: The Irvington Elementary Go Team plays a match against Mexico City, Freedman is 2nd from right; Bottom: students at the Mingjiu Jiang workshop last April. 

YKNOT4 Shaping Up for Strong Dan Levels, Kyu Levels Encouraged to Register

Thursday June 12, 2014

With the Young Kwon National Online Tournament (YKNOT) less than two weeks away, a competitive open section is shaping up with over 10 players 6-dan and above. Eligible players in the open section this year will earn NAMT points towards participation in the US Invitational, the 9-round $5,000 prize event. Players who qualify through NAMT will be eligible for an extra $2,000 in prizes.

“Dan level registration has been strong, but we also encourage kyu players to register!” says AGA Tournament Coordinator Karoline Burrall. “We encourage registration at all playing levels, and prizes will be awarded at all levels.”
YKNOT4 sponsor Young Kwon is a go player from Pearl River, New York and a previous US Open champion. Dedicated to promoting go in the United States, he has sponsored this tournament and provided the nearly $3,000 in prizes while offering free registration to all players. The only requirements for the tournament are AGA membership and a United States address. AGA life members living anywhere are also welcome.

Registration is free. The tournament games will be played on June 21, 22, and 28th. Click here to register, and visit the website for schedule, rules, and details.

Seattle Celebrates Go Seigen’s Birthday

Thursday June 12, 2014

“Go Go Seigen” was the slogan on the birthday cake at the Seattle Go Center on Wednesday night.  In Japan, it was already Thursday, and Go Seigen’s birthday.  Most of the ten Seattle celebrants were members of the SDK class (single digit kyu players).  Frank Brown cut the cake.  Frank turned 60 on Tuesday, and immediately bought a lifetime membership in the Seattle Go Center with his new senior discount.  The Go Center wishes both birthday boys many more years of go playing.  Report and photo by Brian Allen.

Nominations for AGA Board Closing June 15; At-Large Seat Open

Thursday June 12, 2014

There are currently no nominees for the At-Large seat on the AGA Board of Directors, reports Arnold Eudell. Incumbents Bob Gilman (Central) and Gurujeet Khalsa (Eastern) have been nominated to run to retain their seats and Ted Terpstra has been nominated for the western region. Help determine the direction of play for the American Go Association by joining the AGA Board of Directors. Nominations are being accepted through June 15 and must be sent to elections@usgo.org.  Click here for candidate statements and complete election information and qualifications.

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Last Chance to Run for AGA Board!

Friday June 6, 2014

There are currently no nominees for the At-Large and Western region seats on the AGA Board of Directors, while incumbents Bob Gilman (Central) and Gurujeet Khalsa (Eastern) have been nominated to run to retain their seats. Help determine the direction of play for the American Go Association by joining the AGA Board of Directors. “This is a very exciting time for American go,” says AGA President Andy Okun. “Our new professional system, more local events and increased participation in major events make input from the American go community more important than ever.” Nominations are now open for four AGA Board seats, including the three regional seats and the At-Large seat. Nominations are being accepted through June 15 and must be sent to elections@usgo.org.  Click here for candidate statements and complete election information and qualifications.

 

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Shigeo Hidaka Wins Go Congress Problem Contest

Thursday June 5, 2014

“May is over, and with it comes the end of our contest!” reports 2014 US Go Congress Director Matthew Hershberger. Throughout May, anyone who sent in the correct solution to the go problem featured in this year’s Congress logo was entered for a chance to win $50 off their Congress registration. More than 300 are already registered for the Congress, which runs August 9-17 in New York City.

The problem proved difficult for many, while others were already familiar with it from books or lessons. It’s a famous Chinese problem titled 明珠出海, which translates to “Pearl Emerging From the Sea”. The goal is simply for white to escape the net of black stones. Some two dozen players submitted their solutions. Of those, all but one answered correctly.

The contest winner is Shigeo Hidaka 2d. “Congratulations, Shigeo, and thank you to everyone who submitted their solution!” says Hershberger.

One possible solution is shown here. There are other slight variations that are also acceptable.

Go Classified: Metro DC Go Volunteers Wanted

Thursday June 5, 2014

To demo and teach go at the Smithsonian Folk Festival on the National Mall in Washington DC on 6/28/14, 6/29/14, 7/5/14, and 7/6/14. This will be an open air venue and 200+ people a day are expected. Hours: 10a to 4p. Contact John Goon, spineyone@yahoo.com, for more details.