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

Nihon Ki-in Chairman Participates in Nick Sibicky YouTube

Thursday October 27, 2016

Mr. Hiroaki Dan gives a greeting to YouTube audienceThe Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Nihon Ki-in, Mr. Hiroaki Dan, gives a greeting in Japanese at the beginning of Nick Sibicky’s latest YouTube lecture.  Mr. Dan was in the United States on personal business, and he had a one day layover in Seattle.  He spent the afternoon and evening with Seattle Go Center board members, and attended the beginning of Nick Sibicky’s class, which was on Go Seigen (Lecture #223).  Later, while enjoying Dungeness crab, he said he was impressed with the quality and amount of teaching done by volunteers at the Seattle Go Center.  report/photo by Brian Allen.


Mark Lee Wins Cotsen Open, Sweeping 5-0

Sunday October 23, 2016

Mark Lee won the 2016 Cotsen Open, scoring a decisive 5-0 sweep in which the only real threat came in Round 3 when he2016.10.23_mark-lee-trophy faced “a very hard situation” against Dae Hyuk “Danny” Ko. In the end he prevailed against Ko by resignation, a similar end for most of the rest of his games, earning a second straight Cotsen title. Lee (center) missed this year’s US Open and says he’s been hard at work studying, but not go. He’s a freshman in college now, where he says his favorite subject is geography. “I like it, but it’s not nearly as much fun as go,” he laughed.

In addition to tournament sponsor Eric Cotsen (right), AGA president Andy Okun (left) thanked Ambassador Lee Key Cheol, Consul General of the Republic of Korea in Los Angeles for his strong support for the Cotsen Open. He also thanked Kim Nakjung, Director of the Korean Cultural Center in Los Angeles, and Seunghoan Roh, General Manager of the KCCLA, which hosted the Cotsen Open this year. “We really appreciate the longstanding support, not just for this great event, but for promoting go throughout the United States,” said Okun. Cotsen, in addition to thanking all the players for showing up, expressed special appreciation to his  tournament team, “who handled this year’s challenges incredibly well.”

See below for the Cotsen winner report. Click here for the 2016 Cotsen crosstab, where we’ll be posting the top-board games broadcast this weekend on KGS. If you’d like your game record included, please email it to us at; be sure to complete all the game information.

2016.10.23Myungwan-Mark Lee 7d vs Danny Ko 7dSix more videos have been posted on the AGA’s YouTube channel, including the Day Two preview with Chris Garlock and Andrew Jackson; Myungwan Kim 9P on the Round 3 game between Mark Lee 7d and Danny Ko 7d, Jennie Shen 2P on the Round 4 game between Mark Lee and Luo Qipeng, Yang Yilun 7p on his exhibition 2016.10.23-tourney-shotgame against Liao Guiyong 9p, Jennie Shen 2P on the Round 5 game between Mark Lee and Chang Duek Je and a wrap-up interview with AGA president Andy Okun. You can check out all the Cotsen Open video reports on this handy 2016 Cotsen playlist.

2016 Cotsen Winner Report
Open winners: 1st: Mark Lee; 2nd: Qiping Luo; 3rd: Aaron Ye; 4th: Andrew Lu; 5th: Danny Ko; 6th: Deuk Je Chang.
Division A: 1st: Qi-Hao Zhao; 2nd: Mellisa Xuning Zhang; 3rd: Kevin Chao
Division B: 1st: Tim Chang; 2nd: Jesse Jenskins; 3rd: Seowoo Wang
Division C: 1st: Kevin Blaw; 2nd: Yunjen Lee; 3rd: Angelo Orlando Cafazzo
Division D: 1st: Daniel Su; 2nd: Jung Ho Lee; 3rd: Raghavendra Morthy
Division E: 1st: Zongren Huang; 2nd: Alexander Guru; 3rd: Lucia Moscola
Club winners: 1st: Santa Monica, 2nd: Orange County, 3rd: Bay Area
- report/photos by Chris Garlock


Mark Lee Cruising in Cotsen

Saturday October 22, 2016

Defending champion Mark Lee 7D cruised through the first three rounds of this year’s Cotsen Open on Saturday, putting2016.10.22_mark-lee himself in position to capture the title for the second year in the final two rounds on Sunday. Also undefeated are Qipeng Luo and Andrew Lu. Click here for complete results through Round 3:  2016.10.21_cotsen-tiebreakreport Catch the top-board action live on KGS, starting at 10:30a PST. The E-Journal’s coverage this year includes short videos posted on YouTube, including player interviews, brief pro commentaries and an interview with Eric Cotsen. Photos and videos are also posted on the AGA’s Facebook page and more photos on our Twitter feed. The tournament, one of the largest and most popular on the AGA’s annual calendar, returned to the Los Angeles Korean Cultural Center this year, and attracted a field of 166 players.
- report/photo by Chris Garlock

Cotsen Open Videos2016.10.22_yang-commentary
2016 Cotsen Open – Chris Garlock and Andrew Jackson preview the Open (2:39)
2016 Cotsen Open — Interview with Eric Cotsen (8:59)
2016 Cotsen Open – Rd 1 Bd 1 review! (Yilun Yang 7P on Mark Lee 7d vs Wenyi Wang 6d) (17:50)
2016 Cotsen Open – Rd 2 Bd 1 review! (Yilun Yang 7P on Mark Lee 7d vs Kai Naoyuki 7d) (13:10
“Why We Play Go” at the 2016 Cotsen Open, Samantha Fede with Lisa Scott (1:42)
“Why We Play Go” at the 2016 Cotsen Open, Samantha Fede with Rui Wong (2:21)
“Why We Play Go” at the 2016 Cotsen Open, Samantha Fede with Sam Tregar (1:37)
Videos produced by Chris Garlock; Andrew Jackson, Technical Producer

 10/22 (7:15a PST): This report has been updated to include the other undefeated top players and the PDF of game results.



Seminar on Strategy Games at Cambridge Not Child’s Play

Wednesday October 19, 2016


IMG_20161002_113336An international seminar on strategy games was held at Cambridge University, England, on October 1st and 2nd. Organized by ChessPlus, and co-sponsored by Google’s Deepmind, the event drew about 40 teachers from 15 countries, who shared their expertise on teaching go, chess and other games in schools. The first day began with a compelling presentation from Dr. Barry Hymer, Professor of Psychology in Education at the University of Cumbria, in Lancaster. Hymer provided a brief introduction to mindset theory, and what it does and doesn’t say about achievement as it relates to strategy games. He contrasted two different mindsets: fixed vs. growth. Those with the former believe intelligence is a fixed trait that can’t be changed, while those with the latter believe intelligence is cultivated through learning. Dr. Hymer’s chart (below, at right) shows how these mindsets play out. All of us exhibit some of both types of mindsets at times, and in different areas.

Hymer also expounded on some mindset myths, which included the belief that natural ability and talent don’t exist, or that they don’t matter, and that hard work guarantees ultimate success. Instead, multiple factors come into play to create success, including what Hymer calls metacognitive strategies (how we think about thinking). Hymer noted Gary Kasparov, from the chess world, felt the same way: “It’s not enough to work hard and study late into the night. You must also become intimately aware of the methods you use to reach your decisions.” In a later presentation, Hymer discussed some educational studies with a few surprising results, including that praising students does not lead to any greater level of excellence or even motivation. Negative feedback also does not help.Screen Shot 2016-10-19 at 3.31.47 PM Instead, Hymer advocates engaged, attentive, and non-judgmental feedback, which he said helps create self-motivated students who then cultivate the love of learning for themselves. These types of students outperform all other categories by as much as 30%, said Hymer. An example of this from the go community would be the kinds of questions one asks in a teaching game: “What were you hoping to achieve when you went here? How do you think your opponent might respond? Were there other places you thought of playing, and why?” Getting a student to think about how they reached their decisions is key to creating autonomous learners in Hymer’s approach.

Hymer’s presentation was followed by an equally engaging one from Jorge Nuno Silva, of the University of Lisbon (Portugal). Professor Silva gave a lecture on the intellectual history of games in education. Drawing on games from across the centuries (most now completely forgotten) Silva illustrated how and why games are important to learning. Along the way he fascinated the audience with stories of strange and interesting games, including Rythmomachia: ”Invented as a pedagogical game, to help the teaching of Arithmetic, in the 11th century. Even the setup of the pieces on the board was an important experience. It was popular everywhere where Boethius’ Arithmetic was taught. It vanished, naturally, in the 17th century, as mathematics developed in a different way. Chess then took over.”jorge

The seminar continued with presentations from teachers and specialists from all over the world. Daniela Trinks of Myongji University in Korea spoke on the didactics of go, and Stefan Löffler spoke on the didactics of chess. Mads Jacobsen, from Denmark, spoke about the extraordinary success of chess programs in his country, where 30% of all schools have chess as a scheduled activity. Toby Manning of the British Go Association, and Paul Barchilon of the American Go Foundation both spoke on efforts to introduce go to more schools in their respective countries. “The beautiful rooms of Cambridge University provided a wonderful environment for these two days of learning, teaching, discussing, inspiration and forming cooperations,” said Daniela Trinks. “The success of this seminar proves once more that chess and go teachers shouldn’t see each other as rivals but as colleagues who have a lot in common. By sharing our experiences we can learn from each other, improve teaching praxis and develop more successful educational programs at schools in the future.”

The main organizers were John Foley, Stefan Löffler, Rita Atkins and John Upham from Chessplus. The seminar was sponsored by DeepMind, and supported by the British Go Association, the European Go Federation, the European Go Cultural Centre, the American Go Foundation and the UK Backgammon Federation. An online documentation of the seminar, including videos, photos and presentation files is planned. Interested readers can see the program, and associated slideshows, for all segments highlighted in blue on this page. -Story and photos by Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Top: Seminar participants take a break on the lawn at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge;  Lower right: Slide from Dr. Barry Hymer’s presentation; Lower left: Professor Jorge Nuno Silva shows the board for Rythmomachia.


Cotsen Pre-registration Deadline Tuesday; Game Recorders Wanted

Tuesday October 18, 2016

Pre-registration for this year’s Cotsen Open — this weekend, October 22nd-23rd in Los Angeles — closes at 11:59p Tuesday, 2016.10.18_cotsen-P1000211October 18th (not Thursday, 10/20 as previously posted). Players who pre-register get a discounted $20 entry fee, free food truck lunch on both days and a full refund of the entry fee if they play in all five games; click here to register. Day-of registration will also be available for $25. The Cotsen Open features thousands of dollars in prizes, an extremely competitive Open Division, free masseuses (right) to massage players during their games, and a demonstration game between Yilun Yang 7p and Guiyong Liao 9P on Sunday. 

The E-Journal will provide live KGS commentary on top board games as well as posting video reports on the AGA’s YouTube channel. If you’re interested in being a game recorder — a great way to get stronger — please email
photo: 2015 Cotsen Open; photo by Chris Garlock


Matthew Cheng 4d Tops Bay Area Fall Tourney

Saturday October 15, 2016

Matthew Cheng 4d topped a field of 27 players at the Bay Area Go Player’s Fall tournament, held in Berkeley Oct. 8.  In the2016.10.15_Bay-Area-tourney 7k+ division second place was Colin Grant 10k and first place was Jeremy Wang 16k.  In the 1k-6k division second place was Yunyen Lee 2k and first place was Roger Schrag 4k.  In the 1d-3d division second place was Hezheng Yin 1d and first place was Jay Chan 1d.  In the 4d-7d division second place was Daniel Liu 6d and first place was Matthew Cheng 4d.
- report/photo by Steve Burrall; photo: On the top board Naoyuki Kai 7d (right) faces off against Daniel Liu 6d (left).

Categories: U.S./North America

Myungwan Kim to Run Teacher Training in LA This Weekend

Thursday October 13, 2016

Myungwan Kim 9p is running a teacher training workshop in Los Angeles this weekend, aiming to enable attendees to teach beginners especially in group settings like high school go clubs and after-school programs.  The course will go from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with a lunch break, either Saturday and Sunday, or Sunday and Monday at the attendees’ choice, at the Joong-ang Newspaper company in Koreatown LA, 2nd floor conference room.  Topics includes teaching with concepts, images and stories, liberty races and cross cuts.  Successful attendees rated 7k or stronger will receive an AGA Teacher Certificate; this is the first time the teaching program has been offered outside the US Go Congress. Tuition is $100 for adults, $75 for under 17, but tuition is waived for students who pledge to open a club in their high school. Contact Kim at or 213-210-1577 if you want to attend or find out more.

Categories: U.S./North America

San Diego Go Club Fall Soiree a “Huge Success”

Thursday October 13, 2016

The San Diego Go Club’s Fall Soiree at the club president’s home, overlooking Mission Bay on October 9 was a “huge2016.10.12_san-diego success,” reports Ted Terpstra, who hosted the event. Over 35 players of all strengths from beginner to 6-dan enjoyed an afternoon of competition and camaraderie. The quarterly event drew college students from UCSD, USI, UCLA as well a bevy of grammar school players from as far away as Pasadena. New players were recruited from the local Korean and Chinese communities. As usual, pizza and drinks were given to the competitors at the end of the day as part of the AGA Rewards program. The star of the day, who beat back all comers, was a new student from UC -Irvine, a Chinese 6-dan, JZ Sheng. After seven hours of intense playing, the crowd slowly diminished as the sun set over the Pacific Ocean.
Categories: U.S./North America

“Don’t Have A Cow!” Tournament Results

Wednesday October 12, 2016

The Evanston Go club hosted its third quarterly tournament on Saturday, October 8. Attendance was good at 30 players. 2016.10.12_don't-have-a-cow“We’re so glad we were able to use the Immanuel Lutheran Church again”, said club president and TD Mark Rubenstein. “It’s a great space, with lots of tables and plenty of light. And if you step outside the playing room, you can faintly hear the organist practicing. We will continue to have four tournaments a year; the next one will be in January. If you’re not on our email list, hop on over to our website and click the link to sign up!”

Winners were:
Albert Yen 7d, Daniel Dowell 2d, Richard Solberg 2k, Adrien Wolkowiak 7k, and Daniel Lambert 12k. Kudos to Adrien Wolkowiak and Daniel Lambert for winning 5 of 5 games each. Special thanks to Yellow Mountain Imports for supplying prizes.
The name of this tournament was “Don’t Have A Cow!” because it was on this day in 1871 that the Chicago Fire started. Legend has it that the fire was started by a cow kicking over a lantern in Mrs. O’Leary’s barn.
Categories: U.S./North America

4-Way Tie at MGA Fall Tourney

Monday October 10, 2016

Ming Li 5D, Dan Schmidt 3K, Graham Higgins 5K and Mark Nahabedian 12K, each with with three wins and one loss, tied 2016.10.09-Dan_Schmidt_vs_Shawn_Ligocki_Ed_Gillis_Graham_Higgins_Fred_Wardwell_Wanda_Mecalf_Mark_Nahabedian_for first place at the Massachusetts Go Association’s Fall Tournament on October 9, topping a field of 18. James Peters directed the Tournament.
- Eva Casey, Tournament Coordinator of the Massachusetts Go Association.
photo: Dan Schmidt vs Shawn Ligocki; Ed Gillis, Graham Higgins, Fred Wardwell, Wanda Mecalf and Mark Nahabedian; photo by Eva Casey
Categories: U.S./North America