Wednesday December 7, 2016
Abel Perez, of Venezuela, took top honors in the Liga youth tourney, held on OGS. The event is an annual tournament league for players under the age of 18 from all over Latin America. Liga started this year in April and concluded in November; 7 rounds were played each month. There were 24 players from Venezuela, México, Chile and Ecuador. Some games were reviewed by Ignacio Iglesis, a 2 dan go streamer for the Spanish speaking community, on his youtube channel Estudiando Go con Ini. The final matches in round 7 were very competitive as 4 countries had at least one player at the top boards, the winners were: 1st place- Abel Pérez, Venezuela; 2nd place: Leonardo Valdovinos, México; 3rd place: Benjamín Mimiza, Chile; 4th place: Joaquín Proaño, Ecuador; 5th place: Lilian Zavala, México. See full results here.
“The dedication and motivation of the 3 chilean players that took part at the league inspired other kids to become more engaged with go, and it’s very likely that we will have 10 players for next years’ league,” says Sebastián Montiel, Chilean go teacher at Club de Go Aonken. “This was the first time that we organized a tournament as a league system for Latin American youth, and it was quite a great success.” Co- organizer Diego Albuja, Ecuadorian go teacher at Academia de Go, told the Journal: ” I’m delighted that the league tournament concluded so satisfyingly, it depended not only on the guidance of the go instructors, but also on the commitment and will to participate of the young players, this indicates to us as organizers that there is great potential for the youth go scene in Latin America. With this league tournament a very active player in Ecuador, Joaquín Proaño leaves the youth division as he turned 18, and we are glad to see he will continue his path at go as an amateur player.”
“All our players had a rich and fun experience making connections with opponents from the Latin American region,” says Siddhartha Avila, Mexican Go teacher at Dojo de Go
. “Leonardo Valdovinos played the game for the top place, even though it was intense and he came in 2nd, he learned a lot from it. Another highlight was Lilian Zavala, as there are few female players we are proud to see that she continues getting to the top places in local and regional tournaments. These kinds of online tournaments for youth are relatively new for the countries in our region, but play a key role for the development of go. Our event joins the efforts of other Latin American tournaments, like the recent 1st Pandanet Go Latin American Team Championship
which kicked off with 10 teams on November 20th, or the annual online tournament “Torneo Iberoamericano de Go por Internet” which was held for the 18th time this year, with a total of 92 registered players between almost all the countries affiliated with the Iberoamerican Go Federation
. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor, with Siddhartha Avila. Photo: Club members of Chile’s Club de Go Aonken, in the computer lab at Escuela Juan Williams.
Wednesday December 7, 2016
Every Friday night at around 7pm EST, Skatmaker invites some friends from the local go community to his apartment to stream on a real board to Twitch.tv. The recurring cast on stream includes Skatmaker (40k), Devin Fraze (1D), and Thomas Cummings (~15k).
As of November, Skatmaker has been a participant in a charity event known as Extra-Life, which aims to bring together people and their love of games in order to raise money to help children facing life-threatening illnesses. “With the proceeds benefiting Children’s Miracle Network hospitals, these kids can get the medical care and attention they need at little to no cost to their families,” says Skatmaker.
Skatmaker and company have raised nearly $300 so far. The charity streams will continue throughout December, until Extra-Life 2016 ends.
Skatmaker’s Twitch channel ; Skatmaker’s Extra-Life page
photo from the Extra Life “Play Games. Heal Kids.” video
Tuesday December 6, 2016
After running the annual Portland, Oregon tournament for more than ten years, Peter Drake has retired as tournament director, and AGA Treasurer Roy Schmidt has agreed to take over the reins.
Drake, an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Lewis & Clark College, researched computer go since arriving in 2002. With the success of AlphaGo, he is moving on to other topics. “It would have been nice if I had had a paper on the cover of Nature,” he joked, “but at least I was cited, so I’ve made some contribution to the downfall of humanity.” He said that he will certainly continue playing, but now it’s purely for enjoyment and not directly part of his work.
This year’s tournament, held October 15-16 at the scenic college, involved 23 players from around the Pacific Northwest. Stormy weather outside echoed the intense battles on the boards.
Shohei Jinno 6D won the top division, winning all five of his rounds. The next three bands were won respectively by Eugene Zhang 2D, Gordon Castanza 9k, and Olin Waxler 28k. With a 5-0 record, Waxler also won the prize for best youth player. April Hersey 11k, a former president of the Lewis & Clark Go Club, won the prize for best female player.
Thanks to generous donations, there were enough prizes that everyone could take home something. The first prizes snapped up were a hardbound copy of Relentless: Lee Sedol vs Gu Li
and a nice pair of wooden bowls.
photos: (top right) group photo; (bottom left) Olin Waxler vs April Hersey
Editor’s note: we apologize for the delay in posting this report; Peter Drake sent it in promptly in October but we somehow overlooked it.
Tuesday December 6, 2016
The Mason Go Club of Ohio hosted its second annual go tournament on November 26. This year, in order to encourage participation, adults and youth were rewarded separately in each of the three divisions. In Division A, John Davis (5D) of Louisville, Kentucky won adult first place and visiting student Binyun Wang (5D) from China won youth first place. Winners in other divisions include Jerry Qiu (youth Division B), Chris Martin (adult division B), Yeming You (youth division C) and George Meng (adult division C).
The event reached its climax when younger players from the local school go class joined the tournament in the afternoon, playing some fun mini games. Those younger kids weren’t quite ready for a full tournament, but they were encouraged to participate in the event. The youngest player was 5 years old, Zach Li.
The event was generously sponsored by the Confucius Institute of Miami University of Oxford, Ohio. The 2017 event is tentatively scheduled for August of next year, according to event organizer Frank Luo.
photos/collage by Frank Luo
Saturday December 3, 2016
The Maui Go Club held its first rating tournament on November 19 in Wailuku HI. Five members participated in five roundsof play where the ranks of many of the players was formally set for the first time. Play strengths ranged from 13k to 5k. “Not too bad for a club that was only formed in 2015,” reports Danny Topp. The number of AGA members also increased from one to five as a result of holding the tournament.
photo (sitting l-r) Danny Topp and Jason Coughlin; (standing l-r): Ruby Truly, Ty Nakama, Andrew Walker and Konoa Stevens
Saturday November 26, 2016
The National Go Center planned for Washington, DC has found a space and expects to sign a lease in December, reports Gurujeet Khalsa. The location has 2900 sq/ft near the Tenleytown Metro in Northwest DC. “It’s a great location with lots of restaurants nearby and off-street parking,” Khalsa tells the E-Journal. “Before signing a lease, we need a fit-out estimate from a contractor licensed to do commercial work in DC; recommendations for a reliable contractor that will do smaller jobs is urgently needed.” If all goes as planned, fit-out will occur in February and the Center will open in March. “There is a lot of volunteer work and a wide variety of skills needed to make this vision a reality,” Khalsa adds. Accounting, non-profit planning and marketing, web and social media, space layout and design, teaching go, “or whatever expertise you can bring,” are welcome; contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saturday November 26, 2016
The 19th Ing’s Cup Youth Go Tournament was held Sunday, November 6 at the Kungfu Fei SiFu Academy in San Jose, CA. One of the most prominent youth go tournaments in the US, the tournament is directed annually by Mingjiu Jiang 7P and sponsored by the Ing’s Goe Foundation. This year, the top division included current Redmond Cup champions Jeremy Chiu and Ary Cheng, former Redmond champion Aaron Ye, as well as former US representatives to the World Youth Go Championship Matthew Cheng, Raymond Feng, and Eric Liu. Jeremy Chiu 7d won Division A with a perfect 3-0 record; Daniel Liu came 2nd and Aaron Ye 3rd with 2-1 records each.
Winner’s report: Division A: 1st place: Jeremy Chiu, 2nd place: Daniel Liu, 3rd place: Aaron Ye; Division B: 1st place: Tina Li, 2nd place: Steven Chen, 3rd place: Yi Co Deng; Division C: 1st place: Delin Fang, 2nd place: Jessica Liu, 3rd place: Brian Kui; Division D: 1st place: Feiyun Chen, 2nd place: Kevin Zhang, 3rd place: Jingfan Feng
- report by Mingjiu Jiang; photos courtesy Jeremy Chiu
Tuesday November 15, 2016
Go teams from the University of Miami and Florida International University played against each other on Saturday, November 5th in their third-round match of the AGA’s Collegiate Go League, live in the Miami Go Club at a Miami Lakes Panera. “The South Florida go scene has recently been galvanized,” reports local organizer Andrew Smith. “On top of entering the AGA City League for the first time, and organizing our first ever AGA-rated event this coming December 10, we have organized two go teams for the Collegiate Go League: one at the University of Miami and the other at the Florida International University. At the November 5 match, the UM team ultimately edged FIU two games to one. The first and second boards finished quickly, with a resignation on each side. It all came down to the third board, which featured a heated back-and-forth played to the bitter end. When the dust settled, UM emerged the victor by 20.5 points.
photo by Andrew Smith
Tuesday November 15, 2016
AGA president Andy Okun’s father, music producer-arranger Milton T. Okun, who worked with John Denver, Placido Domingo and Peter, Paul and Mary among other artists, died Tuesday in Beverly Hills. He was 92. Okun died at home five weeks shy of his 93rd birthday.
A child prodigy pianist, Okun became a music teacher in the New York public school system, before his love for folk music — he was part of the folk quartet The Skifflers and also recorded several albums of his own in the 1950s — drew him into arranging and conducting, including two seasons with Harry Belafonte.
Okun was fired by Belafonte, but the parting proved to be a blessing in disguise, kick-starting his multi-decade career as a music producer. Under his guidance, Peter, Paul and Mary would become one of the music industry’s most successful folk ensembles. Okun also worked with The Brothers Four, The Chad Mitchell Trio and soloists such as Odetta, Laura Nyro, Tom Paxton and John Denver, whom he discovered and guided until the singer’s 1997 death in a plane crash. Okun was known for bringing classical arrangements into the folk/pop idiom, as evidenced with “Perhaps Love,” a gold record duet pairing Denver and opera great Domingo.
PBS named Okun as one of the three most important music producers of all time, along with Quincy Jones and Sir George Martin, and he would collect more than 75 gold and platinum records and 16 Grammy Award nominations for his work.
In 1960, Okun and his wife, Rosemary, founded Cherry Lane Music Publishing Co., which grew into one of the largest independent music publishers. He sold Cherry Lane to Sony BMG in 2010. With his wife, Okun was a founding member and major supporter of the Los Angeles Opera and pivotal in bringing Domingo to Los Angeles as the LAO’s artistic director. Okun’s career is detailed in a 2011 memoir, “Along the Cherry Lane: Tales from the Life of Music Industry Legend Milt Okun.” Adapted from a longer obituary in the Beverly Hills Patch. Read Okun’s obit in Billboard here.
Funeral services will be private. Post condolences on Andy Okun’s Facebook page.