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

Gotham Go Tournament & East Coast AGA Pro-Select Qualifier Set for October 12

Tuesday September 17, 2013

The second Gotham Go Tournament, scheduled for October 12th in New York City, will also be the East Coast AGA Pro-Select Qualifier. The tournament will be at the same place as the last one in January, the Hostelling International New York (891 Amsterdam Ave, btw 103rd & 104th in Manhattan). Click here for details and to register. photo: January 2013 Gotham Tournament; photo by John Pinkerton

 

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Cotsen Registration Opens

Sunday September 15, 2013

Free lunch, shoulder massages and pro game commentaries…registration is now open for the Cotsen Open, one of the most unique and popular go events on the annual North American go calendar. The tournament is set for Saturday and Sunday, October 26-27 at the Korean Cultural Center in Los Angeles, CA. Myung-wan 9P, one of the organizers of the US pro system, will also be on hand to teach and play simultaneous games, while local Southern California favorite and renowned US teacher Yi-Lun Yang 7P will also teach and provide game commentary. Registration and lunch are free but only for those who pre-register (and who play both days), “so sign up now!” say organizers. photo: 2012 Cotsen Open players line up for their free lunch at the Korean lunch truck; photo by Chris Garlock

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Jeff Horn Wins Davis-Sac Fall Tourney

Sunday September 15, 2013

Jeff Horn 1d won the Davis/Sacramento Go Club Fall Quarterly Tournament, held September 7 at the Arden-Dimick library in Sacramento. Horn (right) topped a field of seven players ranging in strength from 1 dan to 14 kyu.
- Willard Haynes
GOT TOURNEY REPORT? Let 14,000 go players worldwide know; get published in the E-Journal by sending us your report and photo(s) at journal@usgo.org

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$1,000 AGF Scholarships Available

Sunday September 15, 2013

Applications are open for the American Go Foundation’s College Scholarship, through November 20th. The program  recognizes high school students who have served as important youth organizers and promoters for the go community.  Applicants who have started clubs and promoted go in areas where there is not a strong go community will be given special consideration, strong players who spend much of their time voluntarily teaching will also be considered.  There are two scholarships available, one for a male student and one for a female.  Last year no women applied, so only one scholarship was awarded.  Read about last year’s winner here, and former winners here.  For more information, and the application form, visit the AGF Website. - Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. 

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Go Classified: Players Wanted

Sunday September 15, 2013

Fredericksburg, Virginia: I am trying to start a go club in Fredericksburg; if you live in the area and love to play go, this could be your opportunity. A meeting location has not been picked as I am currently trying to find other people who enjoy playing go as much as I do: reach me at 540-846-7955 or jBarlow90@yahoo.com. P.S. I would like to say thank you to everyone at the AGA for their selfless work in trying to make a stronger go community. Your dedication and commitment help to bring us all together as go players and for that I am grateful.

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Streaming Online Games

Monday September 9, 2013

Popular streaming site twitch.tv is pulling in 38 million viewers a month, by streaming video gamers playing and commenting on their games.  The site’s goal is to “connect gamers around the world by allowing them to broadcast, watch, and chat from everywhere they play,” according to their website.  Why not stream online go games as well, asks AGA member Royce Chen? “Streaming go games, with entertaining and informative comments made by the streamers, could potentially attract the interest of young players, especially those who are already familiar with streams of conventional games,” says Chen. “The idea is to make videos like those by TheOddOne, a popular League of Legends player, who is known for providing entertaining commentary.”

The AGA would like to recruit volunteers of any playing strength, who would stream some of their online go games. All that’s needed is a webcam and a twitch.tv account. Live streams would be promoted on the AGA Facebook page, and  archived recordings can also be submitted for uploading to the new Go AGA YouTube channel, which is being managed by Shawn Ray (AKA Clossius on Youtube).  Anyone interested in streaming can email Royce Chen for more details. Ray also plans to promote lessons from several popular online go teachers on the new Youtube channel, with archived videos from both twitch and youtube available.  Subscribe to the new channel to get updates on this content. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor

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Only a Passing Matter

Tuesday September 3, 2013

In the recent US Go Congress, there were a lot of exciting half-point games. There was also some confusion over AGA rules and passed stones. On the top two boards of the US Open on the same day, for example, one game finished with black winning by a half-point while on the other, white won by half a point. How could this happen? Here’s an updated explanation of AGA rules, originally published back in 1992 when the rules were new.

In an even game with 7 and ½ komi, if White must make the third pass at the end of the game, that stone does change the score (from the traditional territory count) but does not (except rarely*) change the apparent result. The reason is a matter of parity.

Under AGA rules players alternately fill in any dame and both pass one stone to indicate the end of the game. That’s a design feature of AGA rules to avoid language problems and end game confusion and has no effect on the result.

If Black plays the last stone on the board, White – under AGA rules – also hands over a third pass stone. Why and what is the effect?

When Black plays last on the board, the number of stones played by both players (not including pass stones) must be odd. Since the board is odd (361), the territory after filling in prisoners will be even. (Odd minus odd equals even.) So any difference in the scores of the two players must also be even: 2, 4, 6, 8, etc. (e.g. 33 – 27 or 32 – 26).

If White is behind by 6 points (territory count) and gets 7 ½ komi, White wins by 1½ . The additional pass stone prisoner reduces the victory to ½ point, but White still wins. If White is behind by 8 and gets 7 ½ komi, White loses by ½ point. The additional pass means White is down 1 ½ points – just a bigger loss.

And if White plays last on the board, there is no third pass stone and no issue.

*Note, if there is a seki (or a combination of sekis) with an odd total number of shared liberties, the parity of points on the board changes and the added White pass stone can appear to change the result in a 1 point game. The combination happens very rarely – less than 1/1000. The Congress game between Matthew (Zi Yang) Hu 1p (w) vs Yuhan Zhang 7d (b) (U.S. Go Congress Recap/Preview: Wednesday, August 7 8/6 EJ; click here for the game) is the first reported example since AGA rules were introduced in 1991. But the “change” is an illusion. AGA rules are designed to produce the same result whether counted by territory or area. The last pass stone does that and the 7 1/2 point komi compensates White for Black’s last dame advantage. In addition, if you counted by traditional territory rules with a 6 1/2 point komi, this game would end the same: White loses by half a point.
- Terry Benson, with Dennis Wheeler and Phil Straus; photos of the Hu-Zhang game by Chris Garlock 

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EJ & Ranka Coverage of 34th WAGC To Start 9/1

Thursday August 29, 2013

China and Korea are favorites again this year to win the 34th edition of the World Amateur Go Championships, which will be held on September 1-4 in Sendai, Japan. Beginning September 1st,  Ranka Online and the American Go E-Journal will provide full daily coverage of the championship.

The field of 62 players from as many countries will range in age from 14 to 57 and in official rank from 7 kyu to 8 dan. Yuqing Hu will represent China and Hyunjae Choi is playing for Korea; those two countries have not dropped a single game to any other country in this event since 2006. The players from perennially strong Chinese Taipei, Japan, and Hong Kong (Wei-shin Lin, Kikou Emura, and King-man Kwan) will also bear watching, particularly 14-year-old Lin, who will move on from the World Amateur to a pro career in Taiwan.

These Asians will be challenged, however, by a strong European contingent, led by Slovakian prodigy Pavol Lisy, who finished runner-up to former Chinese pro Fan Hui in this year’s European Championship. Joining Pavol will be four other young finalists from the European Championship: Thomas Debarre (France), Ilya Shikshin (Russia), Artem Kachanovskyi (Ukraine), and Nikola Mitic (Serbia). Also competing will be such established European stars as Ondrej Silt (Czechia), Csaba Mero (Hungary), Cornel Burzo (Romania), Merlijn Kuin (Netherlands), and Franz-Josef Dickhut (Germany).

Challenging the Asians and Europeans will be a pair of North American students: Curtis Tang (US), a UC Berkeley student who trained for a year at a go academy in China, and Bill Lin (Canada), who played in the World Mind Games last December and is coming off a 3-1 defense of his Canadian Dragon title.

The Southern hemisphere will be represented by Hao-Song Sun (Australia, 11th place at the 2008 World Mind Sports Games), Xuqi Wu (New Zealand, 12th place at the 2009 Korea Prime Minister Cup), and a pack of hopeful new players from South America and South Africa.

In the past the World Amateur Go Championship has been held in the spring, but this year the schedule was moved back because of the effects of the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011. Thanks to support from all over the world during the past two years, most of the regions hit by the earthquake are now recovering. It is hoped that through the game of go this tournament will give the world proof of the recovery and encourage the local people to press ahead with the long recovery process.
- Ranka Online
NOTE: This report has been updated to reflect Curtis Tang’s status as a college student, not high school.

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Popular Teacher’s Workshop to Return at 2014 Go Congress

Tuesday August 27, 2013

The Teacher’s Workshop will be offered again at the 2014 Go Congress, according to AGA VP Chris Kirschner.  “The howling success of the 2013 Workshop indicates that this will become a regular Go Congress event,” he told the E-Journal.  The Workshop had 21 hours of programming, with some of the sessions repeated.   Certificates for 8 hours of participation were earned by 40 teachers who ranged from 15 kyu to 5 dan.  Go teachers who did not attend the workshop are welcome to join the announcement/discussion list for the Workshop, which is being moderated by Bill Camp.  To join the list, just email BillPhotos: top right: Go Phrase Guessing Game devised by Korean Pro Dahee Lee (at back); bottom left: Chris Kirschner; bottom right: Bill Camp.  Photos/report by Brian Allen

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Phoon Wins AGF Scholarship

Monday August 26, 2013

Joey Phoon 5k is the winner of the American Go Foundation’s College Scholarship. Phoon is off to college on familiar turf this month, as he starts the fall term at George Mason University, site of the 2009 Go Congress, which he attended when he was 14. “Walking through campus brings back memories of running through the rain to get to simuls and occasionally getting lost in the huge campus,” Phoon told the E-Journal. Phoon started a go club at George C. Marshall High, in his junior year. “At first it was only me and a couple of friends that I had taught in preparation for the club,” said Phoon, “but we slowly gained momentum and gained member after member. At the end of the year we had 11 members. Every Wednesday we would play a few games then review life and death problems. From just these sessions, the students learned quickly and got to 20 kyu within a couple weeks. I took two of the members to their first AGA rated go tournament and one of them won first place in the 25 kyu division. The go club carried on the following year and we gained 3 new members.” Phoon says running his club “made me understand that teaching a complete stranger is different from teaching a friend. They may be complete novices when it comes to the game but they show great potential. I hope now that I have graduated they will continue the club, and promote go to other people.”

Phoon says going to the Go Congress as a young man had a big impact on him: “Us Eastern shore kids finally got a chance to participate in one of the largest go events in the Western hemisphere. Naturally, my friends from the Great Falls Go Club and I decided to attend as it was a once in a life time chance for us. The Go Congress gave me a chance to meet children around my age throughout the United States that had an interest in go. Not only that, but I met many famous pros along the way like Ryo Maeda and Feng Yun. Their lectures were not only compelling but also gave me a glimpse into the pro go world. Overall, go has changed the way I look at life and how I treat every situation. Rather than focusing on a particular aspect of life, stepping back sometimes can help you find a better solution, because then you can see life from a broader point of view.”

The AGF College Scholarship is presented annually, usually to one male and one female student. There were no female applicants in this past cycle though, so only one scholarship was awarded. Applications for the AGF Scholarship are open through November 20th, and interested students can find more information on the AGF Website. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo by Joey Phoon.

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