Thursday April 19, 2012
The Seattle Go Center filed suit against the Nihon Ki-in on April 19 in King County Superior Court. The suit charges the Nihon Ki-in with breach of contract and fraud in connection with the Nihon Ki-in’s recent decision to sell the Seattle Go Center building “in order to redirect these resources to the New York Go Center,” said the Center in a press release. The Nihon Ki-in closed the New York Go Center in November 2010, though it still owns the building it was housed in. “The Seattle Go Center deeply regrets that we have been forced to take this action,” the Center’s press release continued. “We are very disappointed that despite more than a month of urging the Nihon Ki-in to enter into negotiations with us, the Nihon Ki-in has not yet done so. The cloud of uncertainty hanging over Seattle Go Center’s future has severely impaired our ability to conduct fundraising.” The Nihon Ki-in has not thus far given any reason for its apparent decision to revive the New York Go Center at the expense of Seattle’s, either publicly, to Seattle Go Center Directors or to the American Go Association’s (AGA) Board. “While I would have preferred a negotiated settlement,” said AGA President Allan Abramson, “given that the Nihon Ki-in has thus far ignored the AGA’s two letters seeking information on the basis for their decision, we certainly understand why the Seattle Go Center felt it had to take action. The AGA will continue to support the Center, which has been such a success.” The Seattle Go Center, which opened in 1995 and is now self-supporting, is one of those founded by Kaoru Iwamoto 9P, whose famous atomic bomb go game against Hashimoto Utaro is depicted on the outside of the Seattle Center (above right) and who traveled extensively throughout the West with the aim of spreading go to promote peace, founding go centers in São Paulo, New York, Seattle and Amsterdam. “Iwamoto-Sensei wanted to promote international friendship by providing a place where people of all backgrounds and ethnicities could enjoy learning and playing go together,” said the Seattle Go Center. “We think we are doing a great job of fulfilling that vision.”
photo: at this year’s Jin Chen Memorial Tournament; photo by Brian Allen
Thursday April 19, 2012
With just over a week to go before he attends the April 28-29 Cotsen Open in Los Angeles, Cho Hun-Hyun 9P – considered one of the greatest players of all time – has sent the American go community his congratulations “on starting your professional system and hosting the Cotsen Open,“ adding that “I hope the American go community develops further through this tournament and that many will enjoy go as a mind sport.” Adds Yoo Chang-hyuk 9P, who will also be at the Cotsen, “I can’t wait to see the first American professionals. Even though they may not as strong as Korean professionals at first, Americans can catch up pretty fast by having many opportunities to compete in tournaments.” He also says that he looks forward to “having even more baduk cultural exchanges with Korea.” Finally, KBA Secretary General Yang Jae-ho 9P, who will accompany Cho and Yoo, says that “Having talented kids is critical to developing the baduk community. That’s why we adopted pro qualification for talented kids. Likewise, America can be one of the strongest baduk countries in the world if kids are enthusiastic about baduk. I’d like to give those kids a chance to play with the top professionals from Korea and hopefully they will have a good experience. If those kids become a professional, I look forward to them coming to Korea to participate in tournaments, honor America, and establish baduk friendship between America and Korea. Best wishes for the success of the tournament!” Remember: you must register by April 23rd to be eligible for the free lunch and full registration refund. photo courtesy Go’s Everywhere
Monday April 16, 2012
Hotta Yumi, author of the best selling manga series Hikaru no Go is confirmed for the US Go Congress. Hotta will meet fans, sign autographs, and answer questions at the Go Symposium on Sunday, and will be a celebrity judge for the official Hikaru no Go Trivia contest in the Youth Room on Monday. When Hotta was learning to play go, she got frustrated at never being able to beat the professionals who taught her. “So I thought, wouldn’t it be great if I had a strong supernatural ally, maybe then I could beat a pro someday,” she told the E-Journal in an earlier interview. The result was the best-selling manga and anime series Hikaru no Go, which is credited with renewing or sparking interest in go worldwide in recent years. “I had no idea how popular it was outside Japan until I went to the European Go Congress two years ago and met so many people who told me they learned about go through Hikaru No Go,” Hotta said, laughing. -Paul Barchilon with Chris Garlock, photo by John Pinkerton.
Monday April 16, 2012
The American Go Foundation (AGF) is offering $200 youth discounts to this year’s US Go Congress. Interested youth must write an essay on why they want to go; the application deadline is May 30th. Twenty-Five scholarships are available, and up to 15 awardees will be selected by June 1. Five scholarships are available to residents of Canada or Mexico. Applications received after May 30th will be placed in a lottery with the remaining scholarships awarded at random from qualifying essays. The scholarships are available for youth who are under 18. For more information, and to apply, click here. - Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo: Youth playing Four Color Go at the 2011 Congress, photo by Paul Barchilon.
Saturday April 14, 2012
Nearly 100 are already pre-registered for the Cotsen Open coming up April 28-29 in Los Angeles, one of the biggest tournaments of the year, with a strong field and this year featuring appearances by top Korean professionals including Cho Hun-Hyun 9P, Yoo Chang-hyuk 9P and KBA Secretary General Yang Jae-ho 9P, who will be commenting, teaching and observing the opening phase of US pro certification process. In addition to turnout by local players and clubs, a big contingent from Arizona is expected as usual and so far the player traveling the farthest (besides the Korean pros) is Vermonter Peter Schumer. Also signed up is SmartGo creator Anders Kierulf, coming in from Salt Lake City and longtime go organizer Jeff Shaevel from cedar Park, Texas. Unique among go tournaments anywhere, everyone who registers by 4/23 gets free lunch both days.
photo: tournament sponsor Eric Cotsen and one of the masseuses, another unique feature of the tournament; photo by Chris Garlock
Friday April 13, 2012
All tournaments designated as North American Ing Masters qualifiers, as well as AGA-Tygemgo Pro Tournament qualifiers, are now tournaments at which strong players will be able to earn qualification points for the 2012 World Mind Sports Games (WMSG), scheduled to take place in Lille, France, from August 9-23, reports AGA Tournament Coordinator Karoline Burrall. Players interested in representing the U.S. at the WMSG must be U.S. citizens; all other AGA eligibility criteria for international representatives apply. Upcoming tournaments at which players can earn points are Ronghao Chen’s NAIM qualifier and Self Paired Tournament in Somerset, New Jersey April 21-22, the Cotsen Open in Los Angeles on April 28-29, the AGA-Tygem Seattle Pro Prelim in Seattle, Washington on May 5-6, the Rocky Mountain Spring Go Tournament in Boulder, CO on May 12 and the Maryland Pro Tournament (details coming soon). Details are on the tournaments calendar. Players should indicate to the tournament director that they would like to earn WMSG points at these events. “Players are welcome to play in and attend as many qualifier tournaments as they wish,” notes Burrall, “but only their two highest point scores will add to make up their final points.”
Tuesday April 10, 2012
U.S. Go Congress organizers have just announced a drawing for a free 2012 Congress meal plan – a $225 value — on April 25th. “Who says there’s no such thing as a free lunch…and breakfast and dinner?!” said Congress Co-Director Peter Armenia and Paul Celmer. This year’s Congress runs August 4 – 12 in Black Mountain, North Carolina.
Here’s how to enter:
1) Register and pay your total Congress balance. If you have already registered and paid, you can still enter the contest by completing the following steps.
2): Post a memory: on the 2012 Congress Facebook page post at least a paragraph that describes either your favorite memory of a U.S. Go Congress, or tells how you came to learn about go. Favorite pictures of a Go Congress from your personal album will also be accepted. If you don’t want to post to Facebook you can email it to email@example.com and indicate that we can post your story or anecdote.
3): Notify: send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org indicating that you have entered the contest.
You must complete all three steps to be considered for entry. The winner will be drawn at random from complete entries. Payment and postings must be made by midnight (EST) April 24th. “Of course, even if you do not wish to enter the contest we still very much appreciate your Congress payment to ensure your room reservations!” say Armenia and Celmer.
Monday April 9, 2012
The American Go Honor Society’s 13th annual School Team Tournament (STT) concluded on KGS last month. Over 150 avid go players duked it out in 54 teams from 40 schools in the US, Canada, and Mexico. Teams were sorted by their average rank, in four divisions, and played four rounds. Co-sponsored by the AGA and the AGF, the STT has become the largest national youth tournaments in the US. Leading the pack in the Varsity Division was Highland Park High School (NJ), who were undefeated. The school has participated in several past tournaments. “We finally achieved good results this year,” said team captain Yang Xu 5d, “we’ve played in the tournament a few times in the past but lacked a consistent team.” Xu, who is also a part of the AGHS’s Future Leaders Immersion Program (FLIP), describes his school’s victory largely as a culmination of hard work and dedication, adding “this year, we were able to play with an overall higher average rank and I think that helped us a lot….hope to be able to participate in this again next year!” Following up in 2nd and 3rd place were Neo Fineart Learning Center and Joaquin Miller Middle School, both from CA. In the Junior Division, Tzu Chi Chinese School (CA) took 1st place with Richard Montgomery High School (MD) and Manlius Pebble Hill School (NY) following in 2nd and 3rd. Albert Einstein High School (MD) took 1st place in the Intermediate division, with Richard Montgomery High School (MD) taking second once again and Cary Chinese School (NC) taking third. In the novice division another team from Cary Chinese School, one of the major go playing schools in the country, took first place. Molalla High School (OR) came in 2nd and Manlius Pebble Hill School (NY) was a close 3rd. Prizes ranging from plaques to equipment were given out, with schools that had good participation also receiving rewards. AGHS Co-Vice President, Justin Teng says “a big thanks to everyone who participated, and to the volunteers, including Hugh Zhang, Monsoon Shrestha, and the AGHS officers who helped make this tournament a huge success. We hope everyone had fun and is looking forward to growing their clubs for next year’s tournament!” The next AGHS event will be a casual gathering on KGS on April 22nd at 4pm ET for pair-go. Keep up with the AGHS on their website. -Eric Chen, AGHS Co-Vice President, with Paul Barchilon.
Monday April 9, 2012
Registration for the AGA East Coast Go Camp is now open. Pricing and details can be found on the 2012 Camp Website here. For the convenience of the campers and their families, payments for the camp can be made online, although some forms must still be mailed directly to the organizers. The camp will take place the week before the Go Congress from July 28 to August 4 and will be held at the same location, the YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly in Black Mountain, North Carolina. “The AGA Summer Go Camp welcomes campers from the ages of 8 to 18 to attend for a week of go-playing and fun,” says director Amanda Miller. AGF needs based scholarships are again available for players who can’t afford the full cost, and youth who played in the USYGC are eligible for a $400 scholarship to camp. More details on AGF scholarships can be found here. - Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo by Amanda Miller: Campers playing relay go.