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Redmond Cup Champions Return to Defend Their Titles Against New Challengers

Sunday July 22, 2018

Aaron Ye pictureThe 25th Redmond Cup preliminaries, for the strongest young players in North America, were held on KGS between March and June and ended with both of last year’s champions, Aaron Ye 7d and Ary Cheng 6d sweeping the Senior and Junior divisions respectively. Their challengers this year are Aaron’s longtime rival Jeremy Chiu 7d, and a newcomer to the Finals in the Junior, Frederick Bao 4d. Ye and Chiu competed against each other in the Finals of the Junior Division in 2014, with Ye taking the crown. Both kids have represented the US in international tournaments numerous times, and are the current stars of the North American youth scene. Learn more about the two Senior Division players below:

Aaron Ye (at left) is 16-years old and from Cupertino, California. He started playing go at the age of 6, and won the Junior Division of the US Youth Go Championships for three years in a row from 2010-2012. He went on to represent the US at the World Youth Go Championships three times, where he achieved 4th in 2011 and 6th in 2012 in the Junior Division ,and 3rd place in the 2016 Senior division. In addition, he represented the US in the Liming Cup and the World Amateur Go Championships. To add even further to his list of achievements, he achieved the title of Redmond Meijin in 2017 for winning the Redmond Cup five times–a feat that had only been accomplished by two other players in the history of the tournament. If he can hoist the championship trophy once more this year, he will have won the title more years than anyone else.

These days, Aaron doesn’t have much time to study go, but he plays casual games with his friends in his spare time and teaches go at a local Chinese school. For this upcoming match, Aaron told the EJ, “[Jeremy and I] had played many games in the past and through those games, I can tell that Jeremy is a talented player. I respect him a lot and wish him good luck for the game.” Outside of Go, Aaron enjoys playing tennis and watching Chinese dramas, particularly recommending Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms.

Jeremy Chiu pictureJeremy Chiu (at right) is 16-years old and from San Jose, California. He started playing go at the age of 5 through a class at his local Chinese school, and studies under Mingjiu Jiang 7p. While under the shadow of Aaron Ye’s dominance for many years in the US Youth Junior scene, he finally managed to defeat his rival in the Junior Division of the US Youth Go Championships, and placed 5th later that year in the World Youth Go Championships Junior Division. Chiu later represented the US again in the Senior Division of the World Youth Go Championships in 2015, where he placed 6th, as well as in the 2016 Korean Prime Ministers Cup and the 2016 International Amateur Pair Go Championships. Chiu is no stranger to success in the Redmond Cup, having won the Senior Division in 2016. He now has another chance to take down his rival this year.

Aside from taking lessons from Mingjiu Jiang 7p, Jeremy studies go by playing on Tygem and Fox and using AI to assist him with reviewing his games. When tournaments are coming up, he also does some tsumego and watches commentated games from his favorite pro, Meng Tailing 6p, on WeiqiTV. Jeremy credits AI for being an invaluable tool for analyzing positions, and says that it has had a large influence on his tendencies in the opening. He hopes to be able to perform better in tournaments, represent the US more in international tournaments, and one day become a professional Go player. When asked for his thoughts about this match, he said, “Aaron is and has always been a tough but fun opponent to play against; his aggressive style and precise reading often launches our games into intense fights. I’m hoping we’ll play some exciting games!” Outside of go, he participates in math competitions, the Future Business Leaders of America club, and enjoys playing the violin, piano, and video games.

In the Junior Division, 12-year old Ary Cheng 6d from Sunnyvale, California is defending his title for the 4th consecutive year, holding a dominating 6-1 record across his previous Finals matches. His 4th unique opponent, 11-year Frederick Bao 4d from Bethesda, Maryland, will take his first shot at dethroning the current king of the Junior scene.

The first round of the best-of-three Redmond Cup Finals kicks off at the 2018 US Go Congress on 7/22 at 3 pm with live video commentary by Eric Lui 1p and the Honorary Keith Arnold 4d, as well as a live broadcast of both divisions’ Finals games on KGS. Stay tuned to find out whether Aaron Ye can distinguish himself as a legend, or if Jeremy Chiu can close the curtains on Aaron’s reign. -Justin Teng, Redmond TD

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Are you a Rotarian?

Sunday March 4, 2018

rotarylogoThe Go Playing Friendship of Rotarians, a special interest group within the worldwide service organization Rotary International, is seeking US rotarians who would be interested in participating in their activities. The group started in Japan, and has been active in Korea and Taiwan, but wants to get US players involved, according to Takuhei Kanazawa of Tokyo Aoyama Rotary Club. Interested folks can contact AGA President Andy Okun at president@usgo.org.

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Young Player Need for 5th GLOBIS Cup

Wednesday February 7, 2018

The AGA has received an invitation to send a strong US or Canadian player under the age of 20 to the 5th GLOBIS Cup U-20 World Go Championship, to be held April 19-23, 2018, in Tokyo, Japan. The event, sponsored by the GLOBIS Corporation and organized by the Nihon Ki-in, will provide meals and accommodations for the players, as well as an accompanying adult if the player is under 18. Air fare will be borne by the player and any companions. The player must have been under 20 years old on January 1, 2018, and meet the other AGA or CGA eligibility requirements. Any necessary online play-offs will take place before Feb. 20. This is a great opportunity to compete in an international tournament, explore Tokyo, and represent the AGA and CGA. Interested players should respond with their names, best form of contact, and KGS IDs before Feb. 11 to president@usgo.org.

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Go Spotting: Japanese firefighting jacket

Tuesday November 7, 2017

This 19th-century Japanese firefighting jacket is in the collection at the Seattle Art Museum. “The jacket tells a story from the life of Minamoto2017.11.07_firemans-coat-go-spider-1080px no Yorimitsu (948–1021), a warrior-hero,” according to a recent post on the museum’s blog. “The story is as follows: Yorimitsu was sick, and was resting in bed. He was visited by a priest—but the priest was actually a giant spider (tsuchigumo) in disguise! Yorimitsu, being very clever, sees through the disguise, and attacks the spider with his sword, wounding him. Yorimitsu’s four attendants, called the Four Heavenly Kings, were playing a game of go while guarding him, and leapt up to track the spider back to his den.

This narrative was popular in theatrical productions, and there was a song in Noh theatre specifically about tsuchigumo, the intimidating earth spider. The story appears frequently in woodblock prints in the nineteenth century as well. The jacket shows the moment when the go game was abandoned, with tsuchigumo retreating back to his web. So great was the hurried effort to find the spider that the attendants left behind their personal effects, scattering go pieces in their haste.”

Thanks to Steve Jones for passing this along.

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Go books go global…and local

Wednesday August 9, 2017

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by Steve Colburn & Jeremiah Parry-Hill

Even in this new age of e-books, many go players still turn to good old-fashioned hard-copy books about go. Over the years, many players and clubs tend to collect books about go, from the mundane to the rare. Places like the Seattle Go Center — and now the National Go Center in Washington, DC — have shelves full of printed materials  for their members to study and borrow. This is convenient if you have the type of real estate that can house a large number of books. But what if your club doesn’t have a Go Center?

In Rochester NY, at the Empty Sky Go Club, we’ve decided to work with our host university, the Rochester Institute of Technology, to house the club’s books. Over the years, we had collected over five hundred go books —  far too many for anyone’s house. We decided that our new players should have access to those teaching materials when they’re starting out. Empty Sky Go Club’s longtime advisor, Tom Policano, suggested that Empty Sky be known for our expansive library.

We partnered with RIT Libraries to catalog and collect the books that were formerly stored in several club lockers. At present there are 385 books on the shelves of RIT’s walk-up collection (right), with another 170 in the queue to be added by the end of the year.

We were curious to benchmark against the collections of peer institutions. Princeton University’s Asian Library is well-known for its collection of books on go; they currently hold 248 titles. But the Cleveland Public Library system is the current champion, with 434 titles.

Very cool, but what if you don’t live in Cleveland, New Brunswick, Rochester, Washington or Seattle? The true power of putting books in an institutional repository is that most libraries are part of a worldwide system called WorldCat, which catalogs books and other media from all over the world. Which means all of these books are as close as your local library via the Interlibrary Loan system.

So if you’re looking for a go book to study, now is the time to check your local library and borrow something interesting. From Janice Kim’s “Learn to Play Go” series, to many Nakayama titles, to every copy of Go World and a whole lot more, there are many many options for players to study and deepen their enjoyment of the game. Check it out!

photo by Steve Colburn

 

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Go Congress Close to Running Out of Rooms at the Resort

Friday June 23, 2017

When the 2017 US Go Congress last year signed its contract with the Town and Country Resort, the committee thought that 200 guaranteed rooms a night was being optimistic, reports Congress Co-Director Ted Terpstra. Now, with more than a month to go before the August 5 arrival date, there are only 25 rooms left at the contracted prices of $135 plus fees and taxes for Garden rooms and $170 for the Royal Palm Tower rooms, respectively.  (These prices are for one or two people in a room; it’s slightly more to have a third or fourth adult in the room. Children are free if they are third or fourth in the room.) When the 25 rooms are booked, rooms the hotel’s available rooms will move to the going public rate, currently $190 for a Garden Room, $198 for a Regency Tower Room and $246 for a royal Palm Tower Room, plus taxes and fees.  If any of the 200 Congress contracted rooms are not booked by July 1, the Congress will have to return them to the hotel’s inventory for letting out at current rates.  June 30 is also the end of the second early bird period. On July 1, registration will go up by $50 and meal plans costs will be increased by about $100 for the breakfast, lunch and dinner plan.  Act now!

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MLily: Ryan Li 1p Vs. Chen Yaoye 9p in Second Round; AGA Broadcasts

Monday June 19, 2017

2016.04.06_Ryan-Li-1st_IEMG_-Feb-27-2016-11-038China Korean Tengen 2013The AGA Broadcast team will provide coverage of two games from Round 2 of the 3rd Lily Cup tomorrow, June 20th, starting at 10:30 p.m. PDT (UTC-7), with commentary by Jennie Shen 2p. Our very own Ryan Li 1p, winning yesterday against Cheng Honghao 2p, now faces world champ Chen Yaoye 9p. Elsewhere in the tournament, Wang Haoyang 6p scored an upset win against Shin Jinseo, the rising Korean phenom, which wins him the chance to play DeepZenGo in round 2.

Join us at http://www.youtube.com/c/usgoweb/live or http://twitch.tv/usgoweb !

 

kf_zen_01The MLily cup is the first traditional tournament in which AI players are seeded just as their human counterparts, and it may also be the last, with Tygem China News reporting that no future Chinese tournaments will allow AI entrants.

 
 
 

Here is Ryan Li’s monster 363(!) move 1st round win over Cheng Honghao 2p:

[link]

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Hold an AlphaGo Match Viewing and Kibitzing Party

Wednesday May 17, 2017

Next week’s face off between Ke Jie 9p and DeepMind’s updated AlphaGo software promises to be more than a long-awaited grudge match (“One small bleep for a computer, one giant push for mankind,” commented AGA President Andy Okun). It will also be be a chance to think about the future of go. Moves suggested by AlphaGo have already become common in online and professional tournament play as players build, break and rebuild their opening and middle game theories. “More than anything else, then, this is a chance to learn new things about the game by analyzing, commenting on, arguing about and playing over the moves thrown off in the brawling between China’s fearsome slugger and Google’s triumph of modern engineering,” Okun said. “We should do this together.” To this end, any chapter that holds an AlphaGo viewing party during next week’s event is eligible for $100 of (non-alcohol) expenses supported by the AGA president’s discretionary chapter rewards points pool, in addition to using their own points. Since the games are in Asia and may be late at night, watching online later is fine. Conditions are that the chapter is current, that more than a couple of people attend, that it be before May 30, and that you send the EJ a notice of the event beforehand so we can put word out about it, and an account of the event and a couple of pictures. Send questions to president@usgo.org.

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