Jonathan Hop 3d, author of the “So You Want to Play Go?” series, has opened a new website featuring video lectures for go players of all levels. There are several free lessons for new users to try the service out, and then lessons on various topics can be rented for $1.99. “Currently the site has about 20 lectures,” says Hop, “but little by little I will put more up. My goal is to make go more of a game that Americans can relate to, and see as fun and personable. You’ll find lectures for total beginners, as well as those on more advanced topics like invasions and josekis.” Hop has given lectures on KGS, and has been teaching players, from total beginners to single digit kyus, for a number of years. Check out Hop’s site here.
American Go E-Journal » U.S./North America
Friday July 12, 2013
Wednesday July 10, 2013
Although last weekend’s Vegas event was thinly attended, AGA President Andy Okun reports that “it was fun and we taught a dozen or so people to play.” The winner of the dan section of the tournament was Michael Wanek 4d of Las Vegas, with Brandon Zhou 2d as runner up. The kyu section was a three-way tie between James Schaefer, Joe Nemeth and Sootiat Boonchuen. “In the teaching, I noted with pleasure how much easier it is to teach chess players to play go,” Okun tells the E-Journal. “They read automatically, since that’s what you do in a game.” Click here for Okun’s commentary on a live-streamed broadcast of Wanek’s game with Roy Kanamaru.
Monday July 8, 2013
Both divisions of the Redmond Cup will come down to a showdown between the US and Canada at the Go Congress this year, with Jianing Gan 7d and David Lu 6d leading their age divisions, while Americans Andrew Lu 6d and Aaron Ye 5d placed second. In the Jr. Division, 11 year old David Lu, from Vancouver is new on the scene, and proved to be a force to be reckoned with, scoring a perfect record in the online finals. Lu’s skillful play left last year’s Redmond Champ, Aaron Ye, and this year’s current US Youth Go Champion Jeremy Chiu 5d to duke it out for second. Ye prevailed and will face Lu in a best two-out-of-three final live at the Go Congress in Tacoma. For an exciting match between Lu and Ye in the qualifiers, check out Guo Juan 5P’s insightful commentary on the members only game record included with this weeks E-J. Ye gets off to an early lead, but Lu stays the course and makes a big comeback in the end. Youth members can join the AGA for only $10, and receive free commentary like this every week.
“David started learning go when he was six, and loved the game immediately,” says Lu’s mother Jessie Fan. “Almost every summer, he goes to Beijing for go camp, where he has studied with Tian Feng Fang 9P for the last two summers. Currently, he doesn’t have much time for studying go, except for participating in the CGA (Canadian Go Association) Dragon League, as well as the City League. He just came back from the Canadian Open, where he was ranked 12th, and is the only one in the open division (6 – 7 Dan) who is under 15 years old.”
In the Senior Division, defending champion Jianing Gan is intent on holding his title. His showdown last year, with Calvin Sun 7d, resulted in two consecutive losses for Sun. Gan also fought superbly in the Tygem AGA pro certification test at the same time, and came within a match of going pro. Gan again has a perfect record going into the finals, having already faced and defeated his two biggest rivals: Calvin Sun and Andrew Lu 6d. Lu is having a good year, having finally overcome his longtime rival Calvin Sun, to take this year’s US Youth Go Championship title, and now also finishing second in the Redmond qualifier. Lu will get his chance against Gan again at congress, with a live broadcast on KGS, at 3 pm PST on August 4th, 5th and 8th in the AGA Tournaments Room. The Jr. Division matches will also be broadcast. The Redmond Cup is now in its 20th year, and was directed by Michael Bull. Twenty-three players competed in the Senior Division (12-17) with another ten competing in the Junior (under 12). -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photos: Upper Left, David Lu, by Jessie Fan; Lower Right Jianing Gan cementing his Redmond win at last year’s finals, by Paul Barchilon.
Monday July 1, 2013
Richard Moseson 5k has been chosen as the American Go Foundation’s Teacher of the Year, winning a free trip to the US Go Congress in Tacoma, where he will be honored at the final awards banquet. “The most satisfying thing about introducing go to young kids has been seeing many of them become totally involved in the game, and eventually zipping past me in playing strength,” Moseson told the E-Journal. Moseson started the go club at Manlius Pebble Hill (MPH), in Manlius NY, when his two sons were both students at the school, in 2003, and has continued ever since. “At various times I’ve also run short eight-week sessions for students in the first grade and third grade classes, and we’ve had some of those students eagerly join the club when they reached middle school age,” Moseson reports. “I’m also running a club with Chinese elementary school age kids, at a ‘Chinese young adult ministry’ that meets every Friday evening for dinner and bible study. I meet with the kids for an hour before dinner.
“We had five students from our two clubs play in the annual Salt City Go Tournament last month (one of them won the C Division with a 4-0 record and another won three games and finished in third place). I have most of the students at both clubs playing on KGS now. We had two three-person teams from MPH participate in this year’s AGHS School Team Tournament, and they both finished with respectable 2-2 records. Some of the kids have come to play at some of the Syracuse Go Club weekly meetings as well. Membership at MPH has waxed and waned (our high has been 15 students), but I’ve had the satisfaction of seeing three of my students head off to college stronger than I am,” adds Moseson.
In addition to his current clubs, Moseson has run programs at other schools in the past, and has been active in the Syracuse go community. He has also served as an AGF Mentor for several years, helping new go programs across the nation with advice, support, and resources, via e-mail. “The AGF board faced a very tough decision this year,” reports President Terry Benson, “with four extremely strong candidates, each of whom fully deserved the award. Fortunately, we choose a new teacher every year, and the other candidates will all have a chance again next year.” -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photos by Richard Moseson: Upper left: Moseson; center: at the MPH club; bottom: at the Chinese Young Adult Ministry.
Monday July 1, 2013
A go presentation and tournament will be part of the Las Vegas Mind Sports Festival at the Venetian/Palazzo this coming weekend, according to AGA President Andy Okun. The three-day event will also feature chess, mahjongg, Magic: The Gathering and Scrabble. This Friday, July 5, Okun will give a short presentation/lesson about go, followed by a 9×9 and/or blitz tournament, depending on attendance. On Saturday, July 6, at 11 a.m., a three-round AGA-rated tournament will be held in conjunction with the Las Vegas Go Club. Players interested in participating should send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saturday June 29, 2013
The upcoming online “Long Live the King!” final qualifier will be strong players’ last chance to earn points towards this year’s North American Masters Tournament (NAMT) at the 2013 US Go Congress in Tacoma, WA in August. To check how many points you have accumulated, please click here to view the spreadsheet. The four-round tournament will take place July 6-7 on KGS in the AGA Tournaments Room, and will be directed by Todd Heidenreich. Deadline to register is July 3; for details, rules, and registration click here. Registration and participation is free, and every player in the tournament is guaranteed to earn some points. The outright winner of the tournament will automatically qualify to play in NAMT.
- Karoline Burrall, AGA Tournament Coordinator
Thursday June 27, 2013
The American Go Association is welcoming news that the Nihon Ki-in plans to use proceeds from the sale of the former New York Go Center to benefit go in North America. After considering “all options on handling the New York Go Center, including renting the current building,” Nihon Ki-in Secretary General Ikuo Hanyu told the E-Journal Thursday that the final decision by the Nihon Ki-in Directors “in their view the best option — is to sell the building and use the proceeds for the benefit of go in North America.” Hanyu added that “We will seek strong consultation with the American Go Association on the future support of go activities in North America.” While local organizers had recently expressed concerns (Local Organizers Oppose Nihon Kiin Plan to Sell New York Go Center 6/17/2013 EJ), AGA President Andy Okun tells the E-Journal that “In recent months, the Nihon Ki-in has included AGA leaders in its deliberations about how to more effectively pursue Iwamoto’s vision in North America.” Okun added that “The AGA is pleased to be involved and is grateful for Nihon Ki-in’s making clear the assets of the New York Go Center will be used for North American go. I, for one, look forward to working with them to bring these efforts to fruition.” Nihon Kiin America President Terry Benson agreed, saying that “We in New York are pleased to see the Nihon Ki-in’s commitment to a public sale of the NYGC building and to working with the AGA to support North American Go.” Benson said that while “On a personal level, it’s a sad day for Iwamoto’s vision of a multicultural Go Center in New York, we respect the Nihon Ki-in’s current decision and will work with the Ki-in to maximize the benefit for go.” photo: the former NYGC’s courtyard playing area; photo by Roy Laird
Thursday June 27, 2013
The Capital Go Club in metro Washington is “looking for partners in operation and strategic planning,” reports club organizer Edward Zhang. The club has been serving area go players since 2010, organizing nearly a dozen events with professional go players, team competitions among American, Taiwanese, Chinese and Korean players, friendly matches between AGA members and students at local schools, and the 2013 NA Go Convention (photo), which featured tournaments covering two weekends in New Jersey and Virginia, instruction by professional players and more. The club’s top priorities over the next year include “setting up official go program in local schools, facilitating visits by players from Asia and planning for the 2014 edition of the NA Go Convention,” says Zhang. “If you want to be part of these exciting projects, please let us know!” Volunteers don’t need to live in the Washington DC metro area, Zhang adds. “We currently have a small but energetic and talented team, and there will be multiple types of rewards for a job well done.” Reach Zhang at email@example.com.
Go Congress Updates: Strong Players Face July 1 Deadline for SPO Eligibility; Soccer & Tennis Confirmed
Wednesday June 26, 2013
Strong Players Face July 1 Deadline for SPO Eligibility: Strong players who register for the US Go Congress by July 1st have the chance to be invited to participate in this year’s Strong Players Open (SPO), which will run simultaneously with the North American Masters Tournament (NAMT). This year’s Congress runs August 3-11 in Tacoma, WA. This 16-player, 4-round event is designed to provide a strong tournament – in addition to the US Open — for professionals and amateurs who did not or could not qualify for the NAMT. There are no citizenship, residency, or length of membership requirements for the SPO, just full Go Congress registration by July 1st. After that, the strongest players who have registered will be invited to participate in the Strong Players Open and the strongest 16 players who accept will be selected for the tournament.
Soccer & Tennis Confirmed: In breaking U.S. Go Congress sports news, the E-Journal can now confirm that there will be both soccer and tennis at this year’s Congress. “Bring your cleats and shorts,” Terry Benson urges soccer players, while tennis players should bring their racquets and tennis balls, says Chris Garlock. “Soccer every afternoon at 4:30 except for Saturday and Wednesday, field TBD,” says Benson. “All ages come and play. Let your body loose and your mind run free!” Garlock and Lisa Schrag will coordinate the tennis action at the PLU courts, most likely at the same time. Check in at the EJ office at the Congress to confirm.
Wednesday June 26, 2013
Sighted go players who struggle to master the game of go may be surprised to learn that many blind people in Japan know how to play go, and that there are clubs with blind players who meet on a regular basis. Last Fall, Bay Area Go Players Association board members Roger and Lisa Schrag traveled to Japan and met with Mr. Fumio Miyano (second from right in photo) of the Japan Go Society for the Visually Impaired in Osaka, Japan. The Society produces special 9×9 and 19×19 go sets and Braille go books so that blind and visually impaired people can play go. Black and white stones can be differentiated by feel, grid lines are raised, and the stones fit into holes in the board so that they will not move when a player touches them to read the board position.
The Japan Go Society for the Visually Impaired also hosts an annual international go tournament for blind players. There are some strong go players out there who are blind. Nakamaru Hitoshi of Japan and Song Jung-taek of Korea, for example, each are rated at 5 dan.
The Society has provided Bay Area Go Players Association with a special 9×9 go set and Braille go materials. “If you have a blind or visually impaired friend in the San Francisco Bay Area interested in learning to play go, we now have the necessary equipment to teach them,” says Roger Schrag; contact him for details and to make arrangements.