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

“The Best Gift Ever!”

Sunday January 12, 2014

More than half a century ago, a small gift changed Terry Benson’s life. His parents bought him a go set at a mall bookstore in 1960. “It was a flimsy, cardboard set with small, flat bottom, plastic stones and a 1949 AGA rule book,” says Benson. “As plain as a game could be. But it was the best gift ever!” Now Benson, President of the American Go Foundation (AGF), is urging go players to also give the gift of go. “Think about what a little go set can do or what the first set or the first experience with go meant to you,” says Benson. Contributions help the AGF work with go organizers to spread the game. “The number of children that the AGF can reach is only limited by the gifts we receive from players who value go,” says Benson. “We need your help to find the next kid who could become an organizer, a champion, the parent of a go fan, or a lifelong player.” AGF projects this year alone include teaching teachers at a dozen schools in LA, where over 300 kids are now learning the game. “Jay Jayaraman in Memphis has started First Capture Go programs through The Confucius Institute at 18 schools with more signing on,” adds Benson. “Peter Freedman and 2011 AGF Teacher of the Year Fritz Balwit have a half-dozen programs in Portland with a chess and go hybrid model,” and the AGF sent more than 100 free Starter Sets to schools and libraries throughout the US that are starting go programs. Another 119 sets of the complete Hikaru no Go manga have been added to libraries and community centers, many of which now sport go clubs or teaching programs run by youth librarians with equipment from the AGF. The AGF also supported the Teacher Workshop at the 2013 Go Congress,  provided $3,000 to help the US Go Camp this year in Pennsylvania and another $7,000 for kids coming to the Go Congress, as well as awarded a $1,000 2012 AGF College Scholarship to go organizer Joey Phoon and a $1,500 earmarked donation covered online teaching games for kids who had never experienced professional training. “We’re doing what we can but we need you to keep the game going,” says Benson. “What we can do depends on you.” Click here for details on how to contribute.

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Ximeng Yu Wins as Jin Chen Memorial Tournament Draws Big Crowd

Thursday January 9, 2014

The fourth annual Jin Chen Memorial Tournament at the Seattle Go Center brought together 46 players from diverse backgrounds.  The 12-person open section was won by Ximeng (Simon) Yu, a 1 dan professional from China who is also a local college student.  Second place in the open went to longtime Northwest teacher and player Edward Kim 7d.  Edward lost his game to Simon on time, but said he was also behind on points.  Third place went to Ran Yan, who traveled to Seattle for the tournament.  In the handicapped sections, Go Center teacher Nick Sibicky won the upper dan section, and Ning An, visiting from China,  placed second.  As is often the case in Seattle, the local Betcher brothers ruled the lower dan section, with Jordon first and Job second.  In the upper kyu section, Andrew Mott was first and John Richards was second.  In the large lower kyu section Wilhelm Fitzpatrick placed first, young Steven He second, and Rainer Romatka third.

Friends and family of the late Jin Chen came to the tournament from China, including 5 players.  They donated a large and beautiful scroll painting of wei-chi players to the Go Center.  The trip was organized by Shan Chen, Jin’s father.  Their able translator was Xingshuo Liu 7d, a law student at Indiana University.  Photo: 1st Round, 1st Board (l-r): Simon Yu, Momoko Tsutsui; 2nd Board: Bert Hallonquist and Edward Kim.  Photo/Report Brian Allen

 

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Go Photo: Former Insei Visits Santa Barbara Club

Wednesday January 8, 2014

Maojie “Jeff” Xia, who’s visiting Santa Barbara during his winter break from the University of Montana, arrived at the Santa Barbara airport on New Year’s Day and went straight to the Santa Barbara Go Club at the Coffee Bean, where he played for three and a half hours non-stop with club members including Stephanie Ho and Melvin Rosenfeld, giving both six stones and winning by resignation. Xia returned to the club last Saturday for “Saturday Sasual Go”, this week held at the home of Goro Nakano, where he played a simul with three club members. Xia, an ex-insei who studied at Nie WeiPing’s Go school in Beijing, is currently studying accounting at the University of Montana.
photo (l-r): Maojie “Jeff” Xia, Stephanie Ho (7 stones handi, B+2.5), Goro Nakano (7 stones handi, W+R), Melvin Rosenfeld (6 stones handi, W+R).
– report/photo by Ed Lee

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West Coast NAMT Qualifiers Coming Up Soon

Saturday January 4, 2014

Both West Coast NAMT points qualifier tournaments are coming up soon. The Northern California Ing Cup – sponsored by Ing’s Goe Foundation – is set for Saturday, January 18th, while The Dado 2014 Southern California Go Championship – organized by the Orange County Go Club and the Dado Cultural Exchange Association – will be held on Saturday and Sunday February 8-9. The 1-day, 4-round Ing Cup features Jiang ZhuJiu and Rui NaiWei, who will lead a team of 20 players from China, and is hosted by Legend’s Game Store. The Southern California Championship, a 2-day, 5-round event, has $2,500 in cash awards, with $600 to the open section winner; registration deadline is Feb. 5. Winners in both events qualify for the 2014 North American Masters Tournament (NAMT). photo: 2013 NorCal Ing

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AGA Pro Qualification Tournament Launches with Live Coverage on KGS

Friday January 3, 2014

Over 500 hundred fans watched online Friday morning as the opening round began for the second AGA Pro Qualification tournament. The games are being held at the historic Hotel Normandie in downtown Los Angeles, and broadcast online on KGS. Games began at 9:30 am (PST) Friday, January 3. Players who lose in the first round will still have a second chance to continue on into Round Two in this double elimination knockout event. Round Two started at 4:30 pm (PST) today (Jan. 3).

Round 1 results: Eric Lui defeated Daniel Gourdeau (W+12.5); Jianing Gan defeated Ryan Li (W+r); Bill Lin defeated Ben Lockhart (W+14.5); Calvin Sun defeated Andrew Lu (B+1.5). 

Before the games started, each player was given a portable go set from the Korea Baduk Association (KBA). The winner will not only be certified as the AGA’s third professional player, but will also win a $1,500 cash prize, and each finalist will receive $800.

Jeff Shaevel is the tournament director, Myungwan Kim the referee, and the E-Journal’s game recording team includes Andrew Jackson, Richard Dolen, Dave Dows, Dennis Wheeler and Joe Cepiel. Also on hand are AGA president Andy Okun and Executive Vice President Ted Terpstra.
- report by Dennis Wheeler

 

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Sunday Seattle Tournament “Will be big,” Organizers Predict

Friday January 3, 2014

At least seven out-of-town players are coming to the Jin Chen Memorial Tournament in Seattle.  “Registration is on the morning of the tournament, Sunday, Jan. 5 at 10 a.m., so we don’t know about everybody who is coming,” reports manager Brian Allen.  “But we expect the open section to be very competitive.”  Xingshuo Liu, 7d and Ran Yan, 6d  are traveling to the games for a second year. A young Chinese pro, Ximeng Yu (Simon), 1P, who is now a local college student is also probably coming.  “We also have five amateur dan level players who are visiting from China.  Their instructor, Xiaomin Yao, 4P, will provide game analysis.  Ms. Yao was a colleague of Guo Juan and Yilun Yang when they lived in China and this is her first trip to the United States.”  Photo: Xingshuo Liu (far left) and Ran Yan (far right) at the 2013 Jin Chen Tournament.  photo by Brian Allen

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EJ to Broadcast AGA Pro Certification Tournament Games on KGS Starting Friday

Wednesday January 1, 2014

Starting this Friday, eight young North American go players will battle it out to be the next American go professional (8 Young North Americans Want To Be Next AGA Pro 11/21/2013 EJ). The second AGA Pro Certification Tournament will take place January 3-7 in Los Angeles and the E-Journal will broadcast top-board games live on KGS in the AGA Tournaments Room. Click here for the schedule and pairings. 

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Go Photo: Happy New Year

Wednesday January 1, 2014

Six-year-old Youti Wan, a student of Ronghao Chen’s at the Wisonet Go School in New Jersey, uses go stones here to say “2014 Happy New Year” in Chinese.

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Mexican Kids Sharpen Tourney Skills

Monday December 30, 2013

“The kids at our school, Gimnasio de Go,  had a very busy December with three tournaments  at different places,” reports Mexico City organizer Siddhartha  Avila.  “On December 4th Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México ran the El otro Tesuji  tournament organized by college and high school students. We sent four elementary school representatives, Paula Corona, Valeria Gonzalez, Mariana García and Omar Zavala-who got 3rd place, pictures here. On December 7th, our group played in the Biblioteca de México, Torneo de Go 2013, a children’s tournament organized by myself,  in collaboration with Biblioteca de México José Vasconcelos, a library where we are offering free go workshops on Saturdays. Winners report: 1st place: Fernanda; 2nd place: Diego Alí and Akira; 3rd place: Naohmi and Kairi. Pictures here.  Finally, on December 13th, we played in the Torneo de Go Invierno 2013, this was our winter elementary school go tournament, which was divided in two brackets.” Winners report: 20kyu-25kyu division: 1st place: Sebastián; 2nd place: Marcos; 3rd place: Diego Alí; 10kyu-19kyu division: 1st place: Omar; 2nd place: Diego Armando; 3rd place: Valeria, pictures here. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.  Photo by Siddhartha Avila: At Biblioteca de México José Vasconcelos

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Baduk Academy Hosts Winter Camp in Hawaii

Thursday December 26, 2013

The Winter BIBA (Blackie’s International Baduk Academy) Baduk Camp in Hawaii has a few slots open, reports Diana Koszegi 1P. Koszegi and Kim Seung-jun 9P are hosting the 6-day event February 7-12 on Kauai Island. The daily schedule includes golf and sightseeing during the days and go in the evenings. The $1,500 cost covers accommodation, meals, on-island transportation and the go study fee; participants must cover their own travel costs to Kauai. Email blackies.academy@gmail.com for details.

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