Tuesday April 9, 2013
Ho Son 7d won the first competition of the Seattle Top Go Player’s Tournament on April 7, while Edward Kim 7d and Chan Jeong tied for 2nd place. The deciding game between Son and Kim was played late on Sunday afternoon, and is posted on the news page of the Seattle Go Center website (Both players are also on the AGA Pandanet City League Seattle A Team, and Edward Kim won the AGA Tygem Pro Preliminary in Seattle last year). The round robin tournament took place on the first Sundays of February, March and April at the Seattle Go Center, and had 8 players. Son won a cash prize of $250, and a trophy topped by the Seattle Space Needle with titles in four languages: English, Japanese, Chinese and Korean.
A second competition is planned for the first Sundays of May, June and July 2013 at the Seattle Go Center. All strong players are welcome to join in. The tournament was organized by Sonny Cho, using a format popular in Korea. All games are played on an open board, but some handicapping is done with reverse komi. The winner of this competition, Ho Son, will be giving extra komi to all players for the next round. Photo: Winner Ho Son/ Text and photo by Brian Allen
Monday April 8, 2013
Visiting Korean go professional Moonyong Choi 6P was the highlight of the annual San Diego Go Club Spring Soiree, held Saturday, April 6 at club president Teddy Terpstra’s home. “Choi played a simultaneous exhibition (right) with anyone who wanted a game,” Terpstra reports, “and more than a dozen players competed.” Players received up to a 9-stone handicap in their games, but only long-time AGA member Les Lanphear was able to pull off a victory, eking out a 1-point win with a 5-stone handicap. Afterwards, Choi remained for dinner and cheerfully went over many go problems of his own design with members. The winner of the door prize for beginners of a go board with legs, wooden bowls and stones was Sam Plantowsky (left), a high school player from Santee.
- photos courtesy Ted Terpstra; (lower left) San Diego Go Club president Ted Terpstra awarding the door prize to Sam Plantowsky
Sunday April 7, 2013
With nominations for the AGA’s Central Region Board seat (Special Election Announced for Central Region Board Seat, 3/26 EJ) closing on April 15, nominations have started to come in, reports Arnold Eudell. “Bob Gilman has been nominated to complete the 2012-2014 central region vacated by Bob Barber,” Eudell says. In his candidate statement, Gilman says that “I am a long time AGA member, have contributed articles to the eJournal, and edited several pages in the recent update of the AGA web site. I organized a trip this past February for a group of US players to travel to Cuba for friendship games at the Academia Cubana de Go in Havana. I am interested in encouraging greater active involvement by AGA members in forming and executing AGA development plans.” Details on qualifications and nominations are available on the AGA Election page; questions can be sent to email@example.com.
Sunday April 7, 2013
Moonyong Choi 6P spent a week visiting school and youth go clubs in the California Bay area, March 18-24. The Korean Baduk Association (KBA) sent Choi to see first-hand what go programs in America are like, and he is currently in the Los Angeles area visiting programs there as well. “It was really fun,” reports Patrick Wang, of Hyde Park Middle School in Cupertino, “the pro introduced himself, told us how he started playing, why he played, and how he went pro. After that, we asked him questions like how many tournaments he had won or how to improve. Then he played four people at once with nine handicaps on 19×19 and five handicaps on 13×13. Our school teacher even let us stay after lunch to finish the games! To end it off everyone asked him for his autograph.” Choi also visited Meyerholtz Elementary, Valley Christian High, and Berryissa Chinese School, all in San Jose, before finishing up his trip with a visit to the Santa Clara Youth Go Club. At all of the locations, Choi spoke to the children about his challenges in becoming a pro. “I studied for five years at the go school and became an insei which is a preliminary professional. During the course I lost a lot of times, especially games that I was ahead but lost in the end game. Sometimes I cried a lot and felt depressed,” said Choi, “Did you ever lose a game that you thought you had won? Did you hate your opponent for that? However, you don’t have to hate the person. Because you’re the one that made the mistake . We are all in the learning process. Correcting the mistakes and playing better the next time is what is important.”
Choi’s top tips for new players are “First of all, don’t be afraid of losing the game. I myself have played more than 20,000 games and lost half of them. There is a saying that ‘losing means learning’. It’s ok if you lose but knowing the reason and correcting it is how you take your skills to the next level. That’s why having a good teacher is essential. Second, being modest or having a humble attitude is good. There are lots of people that play better than you. You are in the learning process. Learning from your weaker opponent’s mistakes and from your stronger opponent’s good moves will make you a better person the next day. Third, enjoy the game. When you’re playing you always have to do the best you can. Think as much as possible. This is a war game. But once it’s over admit the results and try hard to find better moves. The more you love the game and dedicate yourself to it, the better player you will be.” His advice was well received, and Yanping Zhao of the Santa Clara Youth Go Club reported “It was a wonderful visit to our club. Mr. Choi, and our club members all had a very good time! About 15 kids came to the club to meet the pro. Mr. Choi was very kind to play a teaching game with almost every one of the them. He played several rounds, each round with four or five kids at the same time. During the breaks between the rounds, we had pizza and the pro chatted with kids. At the end, the kids signed a thank you card to express their appreciation. The kids all hope to meet Mr. Choi again and more pros in the future!” The visit was part of a larger outreach to support new programs in America, and was arranged by Myungwan Kim 9P. More pros will be visiting soon, and future trips will be scheduled in other areas of the country if all goes well.
-Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo by Yanping Zhao: Moonyong Choi 6P plays a simul at the Santa Clara Youth Go Club, in California.
Thursday April 4, 2013
A small but appreciative crowd turned out for an evening of go with Japanese 4-dan professional Narumi Osawa in Washington, DC on April 2 during the city’s Cherry Blossom Festival. Osawa’s free talk and simul at the Japan Information and Cultural Center (JICC) included a collaborative game with beginners — including a pair of young children — and a simul with seven pairs of players. “I found it creative that she let beginners take turns to play,” said local organizer Edward Zhang, “as well as teaching along the way when seeing an opportunity in the game. I also loved the Pair Go format of the simul, encouraging communication and collaboration. Her successfully getting students involved by asking many many questions is consistent with some other Japanese pros I met in Go Congresses.” Ms. Osawa is not only a pro from Nihon-Kiin, but also a special envoy of the Japanese government, which may account for the enthusiastic presence of the embassy’s Minister for Public Affairs Masato Otaka for the entire evening. As the visiting go players pondered moves during the simul, embassy staff clustered around a small board off to the side as they tried to solve life and death problems. “Special thanks to JICC director Izumi Seki, who initiated and organized this special event,” said Greater Washington Go Club organizer Haskell Small. Among those in attendance were former AGA President Allan Abramson and new AGA Board Chair Gurujeet Khalsa. Osawa will reportedly be in the US for two months before heading Brazil for a week.
- report/photos & collage by Chris Garlock
Tuesday April 2, 2013
Eleven-year-old Jeremy Chiu 5d has won the Junior Division of the US Youth Go Championships (USYGC), finally defeating his longtime rival Aaron Ye 5d. The tourney began on Jan. 20th, but the final rounds weren’t completed until March. Chiu got off to a good start in the double-elimination tourney by defeating Willis Huang 3d in the first round, and then beating Ye in round 2. Chiu then went on to defeat Redmond Cup runner up Austen Liao 3d, and then Brandon Zhou 2d – who at just nine years of age is a player to watch out for. Chiu finally got his face off with Ye on March 16th, in a game with heavy fighting. Ultimately, Ye’s center group was caught without eyes, and short on time, and he was forced to resign. The game record is below, look for a Feng Yun commentary on another match from this series in the near future. Chiu also won in the Ing Foundation’s World Youth Qualifier, and will be going on to compete in Prague this summer, along with Andrew Lu 6d, who also won both the USYGC Senior Division and the Ing Qualifiers. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo by Muling Huang
Monday April 1, 2013
“Registration for the AGA Summer Go Camp is now open,” reports camp director Amanda Miller,”we welcome campers from the ages of 8 to 18 to attend for a week of go-playing and fun.” For the convenience of the campers and their families, payments can be made online, although some forms must still be mailed directly to the organizers. The camp will take place two weeks before the Go Congress from July 20 to July 27 and will be held at YMCA Camp T. Frank Soles in Rockwood, Pennsylvania. Registration information and forms can be found here. Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo by Amanda Miller: Mingjiu Jiang 7p playing a simul at last year’s camp.
Monday April 1, 2013
The upcoming Rocky Mountain Spring Go Tournament on April 13th will have prizes for the winners in Dan, Kyu, and Double Digit Kyu brackets, and will also be raffling go sets “and other fun prizes,” promises organizer Paul Barchilon. “Even if you don’t win your section, you could go home with a nice prize,” he adds. The top section will also be a qualifier for the North American Masters Tournament (NAMT) at the US Go Congress. “We will try to have a beginners section as well, on 13×13, and AGA membership will not be required to play in that section,” says Barchilon. “There are no fixed rounds, so there shouldn’t be too much waiting for games. Players will be paired as they are available. These are handicap games, but an attempt will be made to pair as many even games as is practical.” The NAMT section will have four rounds, and all games will be played even. To register, email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and the rank you would like to play at. You may also leave a message at 303-440-7124.
photo: at the 2012 NAMT Qualifier at the Boulder (CO) Kids and Teens Go Club, photo by Paul Barchilon
Sunday March 31, 2013
James Kerwin 1P, the first Westerner to become a professional player at the Nihon Ki-in, has retired as of 31 March. A disciple of the late Iwamoto Kaoru 9P, Kerwin became professional 1-dan on February 14, 1978. The following year he won the 1-dan section of the Kisei tournament. Although he went back to the US to teach a couple of years later, Kerwin had retained his affiliation with the Nihon Ki-in. “I was informed that they now have a mandatory retirement rule, so I obliged,” Kerwin tells the E-Journal. “While I have retired from the Nihon Ki-in, I have not retired from go.”
“I have the deepest gratitude to the Nihon Ki-in for training me in the game I love so much and for accepting me as one of them,” Kerwin said in a note accompanying his official retirement letter. “During the years I lived in Japan I gained the greatest respect for the Japanese people and a love of their culture and art. I came to Japan because I could not reach my potential as a go player in my own country. When I returned to the United States, I wanted to help advance the level of teaching in the United States so other players could reach their potential without living abroad. Even today American players cannot reach their full potential here, but they can come much closer. I am pleased that I could contribute to that advance in a small way, and the Nihon Ki-in made that possible. I must also say the many efforts the Nihon Ki-in has made to assist Western go players are extraordinary.”
Three other players retired on the same day (which is the end of the financial year in Japan). They included Haruyama Isamu 9P, known in the West for his frequent instruction tours and for co-authoring a classic Ishi Press/Kiseido book Basic Techniques of Go.
- John Power; photo courtesy Nihon Ki-in
Sunday March 31, 2013
Steve Colburn has posted a short (2:43m) video of Chang Hao 9p’s comments on his recent game with Andy Liu (Game Commentary: Chang Hao 9P – Andy Liu 1P 3/23/2013 EJ) at the ACGA Spring Expo. “I wish I had gotten Andy as well but he was too quick,” says Colburn. “Andy first commented that ‘this was the most terrifying game I’ve ever played.” He also notes that “One missed translation from (Chang Hao’s) speech is ‘I would like to see more American go players in international tournaments in the future.” The ACGA held this event March 23-24 at Harvard University in Cambridge, MA. Chang Hao’s translator was Yi Tong. photo: Chang Hao (left), Yi Tong and Andy Liu (right)