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

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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Big Turnout for Bay Area Go Summer Tournament

Monday August 26, 2013

Forty six kids and adults came out to San Francisco’s Japantown Center on August 17th for the Summer Go Tournament organized by Bay Area Go Players Association. Players ranged in strength from 7 dan to 21 kyu, and 13 people joined or renewed their AGA memberships in order to play in the event. Naoyuki Kai 7d (in photo at right) led the pack with an impressive 4-0 record.

“Some folks traveled three hours or more to get here, so I’m glad we could offer them a full day of competitive face-to-face go,” said Tournament Director Steve Burrall. Reports event organizer Roger Schrag, “Longtime local go leader and past US Go Congress co-director Ernest Brown took lots of pictures and made a beautiful slide show. I hope people who haven’t yet experienced playing in a go tournament will watch it to get an idea of how rewarding, fun, and social it is to play go over a physical board with dozens of other go players all around you.” Bay Area Go’s Fall Tournament is scheduled for Saturday, November 2 in Berkeley.

Winners report: First Division (7d-2d): 1st: Naoyuki Kai 7d. 2nd: Norman Tsai 5d. 3rd: Marshall Quander 2d. Second Division (1d-4k): 1st: Roger Schrag 4k. 2nd: Peter de Blanc 1d. 3rd: Daniel Yoo 4k. Third Division (5k-21k): Douglas Miller 16k. 2nd: James Lee 10k. 3rd: John Lengyel 8k.

Photos by Ernest Brown. 

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Categories: U.S./North America
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2013 U.S. Go Congress at a Glance: Report/Game Index

Saturday August 24, 2013

From before the Opening Ceremonies to the closing Awards Banquet, the American Go E-Journal once again provided comprehensive coverage of the annual U.S. Go Congress, this year held August 3-11 in Tacoma, WA. In addition to broadcasting and posting dozens of top games, many with commentary by professional go players, the EJ published daily tournament recaps and previews (a new feature this year), interviews, features and scrapbooks of photos from the biggest event on the US go calendar. Here’s a selection of our coverage, organized into a handy overview. All the coverage is available online: click on U.S. Go Congress under Categories or search for specific keywords. Game records are posted on the US Open, NAMT  and Strong Players Open; also see below for clickable links to the professional game commentaries. 

Tournament Reports
U.S. Go Congress Recap: Yuhan Zhang Wins U.S. Open
2013 North American Masters Tournament: Final Results (includes player photos)
2013 Strong Players Open: Final Results (includes player photos)
Los Angeles Tops Inaugural Pandanet-AGA City League
Amy Wang and Justin Ching Win Pair Go Tourney
Andrew Lu Repeats As Die Hard Winner

Daily Recaps/Previews

U.S. Go Congress Preview: Sunday, August 4
U.S. Go Congress Recap/Preview: Monday, August 5
U.S. Go Congress Recap/Preview: Tuesday, August 6
U.S. Go Congress Recap/Preview: Wednesday, August 7
U.S. Go Congress Recap/Preview: Friday, August 9
U.S. Go Congress Recap/Preview: Matthew Hu Repeats as NAMT Champ; Cong Li Wins SPO

Congress Photo Scrapbooks
U.S. Go Congress Scrapbook: Saturday, August 3 
U.S. Go Congress Scrapbook: Sunday, August 4 
U.S. Go Congress Scrapbook: Monday, August 5 
U.S. Go Congress Scrapbook: Tuesday, August 6

Other Reports
Everyone’s A Winner at NAMT Board Auction
Dolen & Fukuda Receive Lasker Awards
Go History Lessons on Display at Congress
Takemiya on Teaching
Korean Leaders visit Seattle Go Center
Auto Exec Turns His Sights on Popularizing Go
Go Quiz: Something In Common

Youth Reports
Defending Champs Hold Onto Redmond Cup Titles
Ching, Huang, and Xu Top Youth Team Tourney
Kurebayashi’s Top Youth-Adult Pair Go
Frisbee Go – Youth Room Style
Gan and Ye Score in Redmond Cup; Lightning Tourney in Youth Room

Game Commentaries: The E-Journal team broadcast 15 professional commentaries during the 2013 U.S. Go Congress. In addition to the U.S. Open, the North American Masters and the Strong Players Open, we also covered the Pandanet-AGA City League A-League final as well as the Samsung Qualifier taking place in Korea.

U.S. Open Round 1, Board 1: Jennie Shen 2P on Zi Yang (Matthew) Hu vs. Tianyu (Bill) Lin
U.S. Open Round 2, Board 1: Cathy Li 1P on Zi Yang Hu vs. Jianing Gan
U.S. Open Round 3, Board 1: Shirley Lin 1P on Zi Yang Hu vs. Yuhan Zhang 7d
U.S. Open Round 3, Board 1: Chujo Chihiro 3P on Zi Yang Hu 1p vs. Yuhan Zhang 7d
U.S. Open Round 3, Board 2: Myungwan Kim 9P on Calvin Sun 7d vs. Peilun Li 7d
U.S. Open Round 4 Board 1: Wei Chen 3P on Yuhan Zhang 7d vs. Calvin Sun 7d
U.S. Open Round 5 Board 1: Mingjiu Jiang 9P on Yuhan Zhang 7d vs. Peilun Li 7d
NAMT Round 1 Board 1: Yang Yi 6P on Matthew Hu 1p vs Jianing Gan 7d
NAMT Round 2, Board 1:  Yilun Yang 7P on Calvin Sun 7d vs. Zi Yang Hu 1P
NAMT Round 4 Board 1: Takemiya Masaki on Stephanie Yin 1p vs. Zi Yang Hu 1P
NAMT Round 4 Board 2: Mingming Yin 1p on Hugh Zhang 7d vs Andy Liu 1P
SPO Round 2 Board 2: BeomGeun (Evan) Cho 7d vs Yuhan Zhang 7d (player commentary)
SPO Round 4 Board 1:  Myungwan Kim on Cong Li 3P vs Yuhan Zhang 7D
SPO Round 4 Board 2:  Huiren Yang 1p on Peilun Li 7d vs Evan Cho 7d
Pandanet-AGA City League A-League final: Myungwan Kim 9P on Beumgeon (Evan) Cho and Jie Li
Samsung Qualifier: Mingjiu Jiang 7P on Eric Lui 7d vs Ben Lockhart

2013 US GO CONGRESS EJ TEAM
Managing Editor: Chris Garlock; Assistant Manager: Todd Heidenreich; Broadcast coordinator: Steve Colburn and Dennis Wheeler; Photography: Phil Straus; KGS admin: Akane Negishi, with Sadaharu Wakisaka; Youth Editor: Paul Barchilon; Myron Souris (off-site support). Simulcast Manager: Solomon Smilack; US Open Game Recorders: Dennis Wheeler, Richard Dolen, Mike Lepore, Frank Lam. NAMT Game Recorders: Dennis Wheeler, Richard Dolen, Andrew Jackson, Solomon Smilack, David Weimer, Logan Lancaster, Brian Leahy, Ethan Frank, Matt Payton, Alex Salazar, Mike Lepore. Professionals: Cathy Li, Myunyan Kim, Yilun Yang, Shirley Lin, Huiren Yang, Mingjiu Jiang, Takemiya Masaki & Pro Coordinator I-Han Lui. photo by Phil Straus

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Takemiya Masaki 9P & Chihiro Chujo 1P Teach at Seattle Go Center

Friday August 23, 2013

During the week following the U.S. Go Congress, Takemiya Masaki  9p from the Nihon Ki-in and Chihiro Chujo 1p from the Kansai Ki-in each taught three times at the Seattle Go Center.  Ms. Chujo was an enthusiastic go teacher, and an eager student of the English language.  Her English vocabulary increased notably during her week-long visit. In his first lecture, Takemiya gave commentary on two of his games; one from the beginning of his career in 1969 and one with his friend and competitor Cho Chikun from 1988.  Takemiya’s second lecture was for kyu players, and stressed that “those who play where they want lose more games but get stronger faster”.  He admitted that sometimes there is only one move on the board, and showed an example of this situation, but he reassured the audience of 22 players that usually there are options to try out.  Both Chujo and Takemiya played simultaneous games on Tuesday, Aug. 14,  the busiest day of the week at the Go Center.  Two of Takemiya’s games with strong players were recorded and broadcast on KGS, and then shown in the kitchen with a digital projector.  At one point there was a roar from the kitchen when the internet connection was temporarily lost, puzzling the players in the main room who did not know what had happened.  The games are posted in the news section of the Go Center website, along with the two games Mr. Takemiya presented in his lecture.

There was also time for sight-seeing, and for good seafood dinners.  Miss Chujo went for a canoe ride, while Mr. Takemiya had a fine round of golf, with three birdies, and also went tango dancing after one of his lectures.  Top photo: Takemiya Masaki; bottom: Chihiro Chujo. Report/photos by Brian Allen

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EJ Archive Project Underway

Sunday August 18, 2013

The project to extend the searchable E-Journal archives to the entire 14-year history of the EJ is now underway. Thanks to the work being done by volunteers Roy Hatcher and Corey McQuarters, our current searchable online archives now go back to January 2010. E-Journals prior to that are available online but are not yet searchable. Anyone interested in joining the team – experience with WordPress is helpful but not necessary – can email journal@usgo.org. Volunteers will be eligible to receive recognition and a stylish EJ cap.

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Dolen & Fukuda Receive Lasker Awards

Saturday August 17, 2013

In a surprise announcement, not one but two Lasker Awards were made at this year’s U.S. Go Congress. The recipients were two longtime go organizers, Richard Dolen (middle in photo at right) and Frank Fukuda (right in photo below). As Dolen himself modestly noted, his greatest claim to fame in 60 years in the go community is having taken Michael Redmond to Japan as a young boy, where he was accepted as a pupil by Oeda Yusuke 8P and eventually became the first US-born 9-dan professional go player. Fukuda’s long go history in Seattle includes being part of the Last Exit Go Club’s team that organized the second U.S. Go Congress in Seattle in 1985. Dolen, whose go career has taken him around the world, has played a key role in the Los Angeles go scene for many years, and the Cotsen Open – one of the major events on the U.S. go calendar – is the result of Dolen introducing Eric Cotsen to Yilun Yang 7P. Fukuda was a key player in the creation of the Seattle Go Center, as well as helping ensure its survival and growth. Click here for Dolen’s “Snapshots from 60 Years of Go” and “Chris Kirscher on Frank Fukuda.” The Lasker Award is named after Edward Lasker, a founder of the American Go Association. photos: top right: Dolen (center) with AGA President Andy Okun (left) and E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock; bottom left: Fukuda (right) with 2013 Congress Director Chris Kirschner; photos by Phil Straus

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Takemiya on Takemiya

Wednesday August 14, 2013

Takemiya Masaki 9p visited the Seattle Go Center Tuesday night to play simuls. “While we were waiting for the simuls to start,” reports Andrew Jackson, “Takemiya got distracted by the screensaver on the center’s computers, which replay famous old games at a pace of a few seconds a move.  I watched him watch a Shusaku game, then a Shuko game, and then the next game that popped up was one of his own, against Rin Kaiho. He gave only a small “huh” of recognition, and no other commentary, but watched it all the way to the end without the slightest awareness of anything else in the room.”
- photo by Andrew Jackson
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Defending Champs Hold Onto Redmond Cup Titles

Wednesday August 14, 2013

Defending champions Jianing Gan 7d and Aaron Ye 6d both held on to their Redmond Cup titles in the exciting final rounds of the tournament at the US Go Congress last week.  Ye won round one (see the E-J from 8-4) and was determined not to lose his title to the challenger David Lu 6d, of Canada. The Redmond finals are a best two out of three match, so the second game is crucial.  Ironically, Lu drew Ye as his opponent in the US Open on Tuesday morning, Aug. 6, and defeated him.  Going into the afternoon match, the question on everyone’s mind was could Lu do it twice in a row on the same day?  The boys played a spirited game, even commenting on each other’s moves before finishing, but Ye showed his full strength and held onto his title.  Ye has now won the Redmond Cup three times – putting him in line to be Redmond Meijin if he can win twice more before turning 18.  In the 20 year history of the Redmond, Eric Lui 7d and Curtis Tang 7d are the only two players to have successfully crossed that line.

In the Senior Division (ages 12-17) Jianing Gan won round one against Andrew Lu 6d.  Lu played a spirited game in round two, determined not to lose two in a row.  Playing white, he successfully parried Gan’s Low Chinese opening, reducing or invading at every possible juncture, but found himself with a running line of eyeless stones as a result.  The tide turned when he was able to save this group, making the game very close.  Gan fought back skillfully, but Lu prevailed to win by 2.5 points.  Round three was played on Thursday, and Gan again opened with the Low Chinese.  Lu managed to invade on both sides, completely undermining Gan’s original Low Chinese side, but giving Gan massive thickness on the outside as a result.  Changing directions, Gan then attacked Lu vigorously on the other side of the board.  Lu, behind on time and in byo yomi for most of the game, was forced to resign when he couldn’t find a solution to save his group.  Having won the final match, Gan held onto his Redmond title for the second year and will be a force to be reckoned with next year as well.  The Redmond Cup has been run by Michael Bull for the past 20 years, with online qualifiers, and a final at congress.  All of the final games were broadcast live on KGS, and drew hundreds of spectators.  Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo by Paul Barchilon: David Lu 6d (l) vs. Aaron Ye 6d (r),  Justin Teng 6d is recording the game in the background. 

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