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

San Diego Prepares to Host 2017 US Go Congress

Tuesday December 13, 2016

On December 4, the San Diego Go Club kicked off its organizational campaign to host the 2017 U.S. Go Congress next August2016.12.11_san-diego-congress-prep 5-12, by sponsoring a go-pizza party for local Congress volunteers at the club president’s home. Some two dozen people showed up to play go, eat pizza and hear about jobs that need to be done over the next eight months. From moving more than 2,000 pounds of Congress equipment — including boards, stones, easels, etc — to the Congress site at the Town and Country Resort, to scheduling the lectures, game analyses and simultaneous exhibitions for the professional go players coming from Japan, China and Korea, many tasks have to be coordinated. Co-Directors for the Congress, Les Lanphear III and Ted Terpstra say they’re confident that the team of workers will be up to the challenges as many past Congress volunteers have already stepped up for 2017. “New volunteers are always welcome, especially for Check-in Day on Saturday, August 5,” says Terpstra. Anyone interested in helping at the 2017 Congress should email him at ted.terpstr2016.12.11_2017GoCongressLogoa@gmail.com.

The 2017 Congress web site is not quite ready, but should be shortly. “People will be able to register for the Congress, choose a dining package and book a room with a special negotiated price,” says Terpstra. The Town and Country Resort is a 46-acre enclave in the heart of the San Diego tourist area. The zoo, museums in Balboa Park, the airport, Seaworld, the beaches and downtown are all within a 10-minute drive. All Congress events and meals are a short walk from the rooms. “No streets need to be crossed in going from the rooms to the playing area,” Terpstra promises.
- photos by Ted Terpstra; Congress logo by Emily Shedlock

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National Go Center Launches Updated Website

Monday December 12, 2016

The National Go Center in Washington DC last week launched it’s updated website. The site features a news feed, resources 2016.12.11_NGC-new-websitesection, contact page and links to the forum. The Center also has a Facebook page and Twitter account. “Please like/follow us!” urges Nate Eagle. “If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, or critiques related to any of our nascent efforts for the NGC’s internet face, please head over to the forum and let us know.”

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Lockhart on Go in “Games World of Puzzles”

Monday December 12, 2016

“There is no losing in go,” says Ben Lockhart in the December edition of Games World of Puzzles magazine, now on 2016.12.11_Games World of Puzzles-lockhartnewsstands. Lockhart represents go in “Perspectives on Play in 2016,” in which Games “polled everyone from top-flight game players to serious scholars who ponder the role of play in our lives to bring you their perspective on the state of games and play in 2016.” The proverb, says Lockhart, “refers to the feeling that you play your best and any mistakes you made you now have the privilege of being able to think about and correct, thus improving.” Lockhart also surveys the current state of competitive go, including this year’s stunning win by AlphaGo over Lee Sedol.

 

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Tia-an Cha Wins Davis/Sacramento Go Club Winter Quarterly tournament

Sunday December 11, 2016

Tia-an Cha 4k (right) bested Willard Haynes 1k to win the Davis/Sacramento Go Club Winter Quarterly tournament on November2016.12.11_Tia-an Cha San Diego winner 19th at the Arcade library in Sacramento. “The field was small, only six players, but the games were good,” Haynes reports. Tai-An Cha and Haynes both had 3-1 records and Tia-an Cha won on tie breaks.

 

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South Central Go Tournament Open for Registration

Sunday December 11, 2016

The second South Central Go Tournament, February 18 and 19, 2017 in Dallas, is now open for on-line registration here. In 2016.12.06_south-central-2015the 2016 tournament (right) 46 players from five states registered with strengths ranging all the way from 7d to 2d (Open Section) and 1k to 20k (Handicap Section). “It was enjoyed by all,” says Robert Gilman. For more information about the tournament visit South Central’s Facebook page or email bobgilman.aga@gmail.com. “We are targeting players from the south central part of the US, but all are welcome,” says Gilman.

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Portland Chess and Go; Helprin Wins

Friday December 9, 2016

20161204_133056“About 30 kids participated in the first Portland Chess and Go Tournament for children of the year” reports Portland, OR, organizer Peter Freedman.  “The top four players in go (A group) played a round robin, the other 7 a Swiss McMahon.  Luke won a playoff against perennial champ Olin Waxler to take first place. Olin played all his games giving a two stone handicap. All games were played on 13×13 boards. Both parents and children enjoyed our new tournament venue, the Lucky Lab Pub, where the Portland Go Club meets Sunday afternoons.”  Winners Report: Go round robin A Division: 1st: Luke Helprin, Irvington; 2nd Olin Waxler, Beverly Cleary and Patrick Le, Roseway Heights, tie; 3rd: Emmett Perkins, Irvington. B Division Go: Oliver Kuerbis, Irvington, 4-0, first; Max Meier, Irvington, 3-1 second; Isaac Stowell, Beverly Cleary, third. Chess Results: Brady Yamin, Irvington, 1st; Ai Rose Solomon, Richmond, 2nd; Miles Gray, Richmond, 3rd. Photo by Peter Freedman: Olin Waxler (l) vs. Luke Helprin (r).
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Perez Wins Latin American Youth Tourney

Wednesday December 7, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-12-07 at 5.36.40 PMAbel 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.

 

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“Play Games. Heal Kids.”

Wednesday December 7, 2016

Every Friday night at around 7pm EST, Skatmaker invites some friends from the local go community to his apartment to 2016.12.06_Extra Life  Play Games. Heal Kids.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

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Drake Hands Schmidt the Reins for Portland Tournament

Tuesday December 6, 2016

After running the annual Portland, Oregon tournament for more than ten years, Peter Drake has retired as tournament 2016.12.06_portland-group_photo4director, 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.
2016.12.06_portland-kidsShohei 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.  
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Mason Go Club Hosts Second Tourney on Thanksgiving Weekend

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 2016.12.06_Mason Go Club-tourneyparticipation, 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
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