American Go E-Journal » Main Page

Go Quiz: Running go players (answers)

Saturday March 3, 2018

E-Journal photographer Phil Straus recently found this photo in his archives and we asked readers if they could identify the 2018.02.24_running-go-playersrunners and the year and location of the U.S. Congress.
First, the answers. The runners (l-r) were: Eric Osman, Jim Kerwin 1P, Anders Kierulf and Bruce Amos. The Congress was the third, in 1987, at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, MA.
The winners: Keith Arnold, Terry Benson, Roy Laird, Trevor Morris and Debbie Siemon.
Close but no tesuji: Andy Okun, who thought Kerwin was Steve Stringfellow and guessed Amos was George Schmitten; Shai Simonson, who thought Amos was Bob High; and Bruce Amos himself, who not only thought Osman was Phil Straus (who took the photo), but guessed it was the 1985 Congress in Westminster, Maryland. Half a point to Bruce, however, for reminding us that “The first US go congress had about 60 players with about 5 at the 5-dan level or higher, and was won by Thomas Hsiang. Curiously, the wikipedia entry doesn’t mention his name. After that, of course, it really took off.”
Bonus points to Trevor Morris, who not only got the names, year and location right, but noted that “I may be the only player responding here who’s played tournament games against all four! I remember well playing (and losing to) James Kerwin in the Fujitsu Qualifier in a cold winter in Winnipeg in the mid-90s.”

Got quiz? If you’ve got a suggestion for a challenging Go Quiz, send it to us at



Categories: Go Quiz,Main Page

New “Surrounding Game” web store features 9×9 go sets

Thursday March 1, 2018

A new web store associated with The Surrounding Game documentary launched earlier this week. In addition to movie 2018.03.01_Starter Pack DVDmerchandise, the store is introducing custom-made 9×9 go sets, aimed at new players. “A lot of non-players, after watching the film, asked how they could get their hands on a set and try the game out themselves” reports director Will Lockhart. “So we decided to make our own.”

The new 9x9s can be purchased individually, or at a discount together with the film. “We see the movie as a new way to promote the game, and reach people who might not otherwise be interested in go. And now I believe we’ve put together the most complete beginner set out there: a beautiful, laser-engraved cherry wood board, stones, and a new modern rules booklet – our attempt to present the game in the most elegant and beginner-friendly way possible.”

The Go sets and many other web store items are available here.


AGA seeking volunteers

Wednesday February 28, 2018

If you appreciate all the great go content brought to you by the American Go Association and want to help grow the go community even more, we’re looking for a few good volunteers for some key positions:

Social Media Coordinator – Experience with Facebook groups, Google Groups, Twitter. Person will manage our social media pages and work with people who have questions; help grow our platforms, gain users, and turn those into AGA members, and will provide assistance for the Streaming team when necessary.

Webmaster – Assist with updating webpages, answer emails sent to and respond or forward to the appropriate person, and assist with publishing events to the website calendar.

Server Admin – Assist with Server admin duties. Experience with Linux necessary. Helpful to know Apache, Drupal, WordPress, bash scripting.

To find out more and/or volunteer, email



AlphaGo Zero vs. Master; Game 6: Don’t worry, play tenuki

Sunday February 25, 2018

AG Zero is back, this time “with a big group that looks like it’s about to die, just floating around in the middle of Master’s moyo”2018.02.25_AG-Zero-Master6 says Michael Redmond 9P in his commentary. “But Zero doesn’t seem to be worried, because it plays away and does all sorts of stuff.”

“Master vs Zero with Zero on black are especially great games,” enthuses viewer Stefan Kaitschick. “Master getting beaten with the common sense moves, while Zero does what it pleases, is something of a horror show.” Adds agazmenlyfzsys, “Alphago zero is just from another dimension.”

Click here for Redmond’s video commentary, hosted by the AGA E-Journal’s Chris Garlock, and see below for the sgf commentary. To support this content, please consider joining or renewing your membership in the American Go Association; click here for details.

Video produced by Michael Wanek and Andrew Jackson. The sgf files were created by Redmond, with editing and transcription by Garlock and Myron Souris.



Go Quiz: Running go players

Saturday February 24, 2018

E-Journal photographer Phil Straus recently found this photo in his archives. If you can name the go players and the year and location of 2018.02.24_running-go-playersthe U.S. Congress, click here.


Registration Open for Youth Go League

Thursday February 22, 2018

aghs logo“The American Go Honor Society (AGHS) is holding its first online go league, and invites all U.S. youth players under the age of 18 to participate,” says Promotion Head Gabby Su.  “Participants will play ​3-4 games​ each month​ in a round robin ​system​. ​The league is divided into several divisions and works similarly to a ladder. At the end of ​a round​, players will get the chance to move up or down the ladder​ depending on how many points they earned​. The Youth Go League is a great opportunity to meet and play against other youth players from all over the United States. It is also a great way to practice playing more serious online games.​”

​For more details, click here. To register, click here.


“Surrounding Game”/KGS Simul Challenge set for Saturday

Thursday February 22, 2018

A special event will be hitting the KGS Go Server this Saturday, Feb 24. Dubbed the “KGS Simul Challenge”, a slew of strong2018.02.21_kgs-challenge players will assemble to play handicapped simul games against anyone online continuously from 3-9pm EDT. Jointly sponsored by KGS and the “Surrounding Game” documentary, the field will feature many of the film’s stars, including Andy Liu 1p, Gansheng Shi 1p, Mingming Yin 1p, and Myungwan Kim 9p. 

“Do you have what it takes to bring down one of these giants?” asks organizer Michael Fodera. All winners will receive a 1-month KGS membership subscription plus a free digital copy of The Surrounding Game. 

Categories: Main Page,World

Hajin Lee wins 2018 Jujo Ing Cup

Wednesday February 21, 2018

Hajin Lee 4P (right) took top honors in the 26th Jiang Zhu Jiu Ing Cup, held February 18 in San Francisco, CA. A total of 76 players 2018.02.21_Hajin Leecompeted for $3,000 in prizes at the Cup, which is sponsored annually by Ing’s Goe Foundation of California. This year’s event was held at the Google Community Space in San Francisco. The event was an exhibition of Mindfulness, hosted by Mindful Schools and included lectures on 2018.02.21_JiangZhuJiuusing go as a tool for Social Emotional Learning in K-8 classrooms. Robert Thomas (Executive Director of Mindful Schools) spoke on the importance of mindfulness for young students and the use of games such as go to foster well being. He was presented with a go set by Jiang Zhu Jiu at the award ceremony.

Players competed for four rounds in five sections with Hajin Lee winning the top “pro” section. Prizes in each section were given to 4th place. Section winners were Shia Zu (High Dan); Brian Yang (Expert); Ryan Lear (Intermediate); Xuan Wu (Novice). Click here for results.

Players in attendance came from China, the Netherlands, Alabama and southern California in addition to local San Francisco Bay Area contestants.

The day prior was the birthday of Jiang Zhu Jiu (above left) and the contestants gave a heart-pounding rendition of Happy Birthday at the award ceremony.

- report/photos by Ernest Brown


The Power Report (3): Meijin League; Marriage between go players; Kido Prizes; Iyama wins Shusai Prize; Promotions

Wednesday February 21, 2018

by John Power, special Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Meijin League: 
The first game in the third round of the 43rd Meijin League was played on February 1. Yo Seiki 7P (W) beat Takao Shinji 9P. Astonishingly, Yo has beaten Takao ten times to just one loss. With the third round almost completed, the only undefeated players are Cho U 9P and Shibano Toramaru; both of them have already had a bye, so their scores are 2-0. Recent results follow.
(Jan. 25) Cho U 9P (B) beat Yamashita Keigo by resig.
(Feb. 1) Yo Seiki (W) beat Takao Shinji by resig.
(Feb. 8) Hane Naoki 9P (B) beat Kono Rin 9P by resig.
(Feb. 15) Shibano Toramaru (W) beat Yamashita by 2.5 points.

Marriage between go players: Go Weekly reported that Mannami Nao 3P (age 32) married Ida Atsushi 8P (age 23) on February 12. Ida is a member of the Nagoya branch of the Nihon Ki-in; Mannami is going to move to Nagoya. Mannami said: “I want to support Ida 8-dan and look after our household.” It seems she plans to follow the lead of Kobayashi Izumi in subordinating her own career to her husband’s. In her case, it may involve some financial loss, as in recent years she has been the most popular woman professional for commentating jobs etc. at go events.

Kido Prizes: The 51st Kido Prizes were announced in the latest issue of Go Weekly. Winners were as follows:
Most Outstanding Player: Iyama Yuta
Outstanding Player: Ichiriki Ryo
New Stars: Mutsuura Yuta (for winning the Agon Kiriyama Cup), Shibano Toramaru (for winning the Ryusei title)
Woman’s Prize: Fujisawa Rina
International Prize: Iyama Yuta
Most wins: Shibano Toramaru (53)
Best winning percentage: Kyo Kagen 7P (80.3%)
Most successive wins: Iyama Yuta, Shibano Toramaru: 16
Most games played: Shibano Toramaru
The most interesting point here is the appearance of three women in the top ten (five in the top 20, 11 in the top 52). In part, this reflects the fact that players like Xie Yimin and Fujisawa Rina do fairly well against male players, but another factor is the increase in the number of women’s titles. This has also led to a big increase in the prize money available (see list below): the two newest women’s tournaments, the Hollyhock Cup, previously known as the Aizu Central Hospital Cup, and the Senko Cup actually having the most prize money. The former, which has completed four terms, is worth 7,000,000 yen to the winner, and the latter, held twice so far, is worth 8,000,000 yen.

Here are some statistics for 2017.
Most wins

  1. Shibano Toramaru: 53 wins, 13 losses
  2. Kyo Kagen: 45-11
  3. Ichiriki Ryo: 44-20
  4. Iyama Yuta: 42-12
  5. (Ms) Fujisawa Rina: 40-23
  6. Shida Tatsuya 7P: 38-11; Mutsuura Yuta 7P: 38-12
  7. Motoki Katsuya 8P: 36-14
  8. (Ms) Xie Yimin: 34-22
  9. (Ms) Mukai Chiaki 5P: 33-18
  10. Cho U: 30-14; (Ms) Ueno Asami 1P: 30-15; Yamashita Keigo: 30-22
  11. (Ms) Nyu Eiko: 27-23

Best winning percentage

  1. Kyo Kagen: 80.36%
  2. Shibano Toramaru: 80.3%
  3. Iyama Yuta: 77.78%

Most successive wins

  1. Iyama Yuta, Shibano Toramaru: 16
  2. Takei Takashi 7P, Mutsuura Yuta: 13

Most prize money won

  1. Iyama Yuta: \159,814,000 (about $1,480,000)
  2. Ichiriki Ryo: \25,237,300
  3. Takao Shinji: \24,595,000
  4. Fujisawa Rina: \24,049,700
  5. Yamashita Keigo: \21,807,300
  6. Kono Rin: \21,713,400
  7. Motoki Katsuya: \20,977,400
  8. Xie Yimin: \20,472,400
  9. Shiba Toramaru: \18,908,700
  10. Mutsuura Yuta: \16,996,200

Iyama wins Shusai Prize: The 55th Shusai Prize, which honors the outstanding player of the previous year, was awarded to Iyama Yuta. This prize usually goes to the player who wins the top Kido prize; Iyama has received it six times in a row (matching the record of Kobayashi Koichi) and seven times overall (behind Cho Chikun’s nine).

The automatic promotions based on prize money won in 2017 were announced recently in Go Weekly. Details follow.
To 2-dan: Ueno Asami Torii Yuta
To 3-dan: Koike Yoshihiro, Yokotsuka Riki
To 4-dan: Tanaka Nobuyuki, Koyama Kuya
To 5-dan: Tsuruta Kazushi, Adachi Toshimasa
To 6-dan: Son Makoto, Numadate Sakiya
To 7-dan: Shiraishi Yuichi
There has also been one promotion by the cumulative-wins system.
To 8-dan: Ri Ishu (150 wins, as of Jan 19)


Feb. 28 deadline for early-bird savings on Japan Go Congress/Osaka Go Camp

Wednesday February 21, 2018

Early-bird deadline for the third Japan Go Congress and sixth Osaka Go camp is February 28. Click here for details and to save2018.02.20_osaka-camp-300x300 5000 JPY or email

Categories: Japan,Main Page