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

Nominations Open For 3 AGA Board Seats

Monday May 2, 2011

Three American Go Association (AGA) Board of Director seats are up for election this year, reports Arnold Eudell, who’s coordinating this year’s election process. The terms of three seats – one in each region – expire this September. Nominations are now being accepted and will close on June 15; nominations must be made by email by full members of the AGA. Send to elections@usgo.org Click here for complete election information and qualifications.

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Osman Wins in Western MA

Monday May 2, 2011

Eric Osman 2d (l) edged out a win in the Western Massachusetts Go Club Spring 2011 tournament on April 30. The tournament in Amherst, MA “had a modest turnout of 16 hard-core players not lured away by one of the most beautiful spring New England weekends yet this season,” reports organizer Trevor Morris. Three players went into the final round undefeated “but none were able to convert to 4-0 and we ended up with 7 players at 3-1” and Osman won on tiebreak to claim the top prize on a month membership to the KGS Insei League. Other first place finishers were Richard Buckman 5k and Stan Silver 14k.  Additional 3-1 winners were Micah Feldman, Joseph Chaves, Ralph St. Louis and Ruban Mitchel. “Thanks to the sponsorship of the KGS Insei League, we’ll be donating over $100 in proceeds from the tournament to Japan relief efforts,” adds Morris. Click here for photos.

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NYC Tsunami Relief Tourney Raises $400

Monday May 2, 2011

”Last week’s Tsunami Relief Tournament in New York City raised over $400 dollars that will be donated through the Japan Society in New York,” reports organizer Boris Bernadsky. Over 30 players attended the April 23 event, some of whom had just started playing earlier this year, including four from the newly-formed Lycee Francias De New York go club. Ben Lockhart 6D won first place with a 3-0 record, winning a month of participation in the KGS insei-league, donated by Alexander Dinerchtein. Other prizes were teaching games donated by Goh Juyeon 8P and Lee Hajin 3P of Korea. The playing space was donated by Randy Au of Meetup.com, whose NY Mostly Go Club meets semi-regularly. Click here http://www.meetup.com/mostlygo/photos/1361253/22934425/ for tournament photos.
- photos by Randy Au.

Categories: U.S./North America
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AGA Seeking Hosts For NAIM Qualifiers

Monday May 2, 2011

The American Go Association (AGA) is looking for chapters interested in hosting qualifiers for this year’s North American Masters’ Tournament (NAIM). The AGA will sanction as many as eight local NAIM qualifiers – which usually draw large crowd of strong players — and two online events over the next two months. All participants of the qualifiers accumulate points for the NAIM, and the clear winner of each event is guaranteed a place in the main NAIM tournament at the 2011 US Go Congress at Santa Barbara, CA this August. If your chapter is interested in holding a NAIM qualifier during May and June, contact National Tournament Coordinator Edward Zhang at tournaments@usgo.org

Congress and Camp Scholarships Available to Young Players

Monday May 2, 2011

The  American Go Foundation (AGF) is again offering youth scholarships to both the AGA Summer Go Camp and the US Go Congress. A limited number of scholarships are available and the application deadline  is  May 30. Up to 15 awardees will be selected by June 1. Applications received after the deadline will be placed in a lottery, along with other applicants who were not selected in the first round. The remaining scholarships will be awarded by chance.  Needs-based scholarships to the Go Camp are also available. To apply for Go Camp, click here.  To apply for Go Congress, click here.
- Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.  Photo: Eight-year-old Aaron Ye, 2d, reviews his US Open game with Yilun Yang 7P, at the 2010 Go Congress in Colorado Springs.

Children’s Programs Flourishing

Monday April 25, 2011

Elementary school go programs are on the upswing, with organizers across the country launching programs for young kids. Xinming Simon Guo used the Chinese New Year last February to introduce 64 second-graders at Hawthorne Elementary, in Chicago, IL, to the game. “We celebrated a special Chinese Spring Festival. Besides having delicious food for the celebration of the Chinese New Year, the students were treated with ‘delicious’ Chinese culture in the game of weiqi (go).”  Guo reports that some of the kids will soon join his weekly program at the local Chinese school.

In Camp Hill, PA, Mark Lichtenstein started a program at Eisenhower Elementary.  ”I received go equipment from the AGF last school year,” reports Lichtenstein, “it got some use at the high school where I was teaching part time but the school closed over the summer, which I had anticipated.  I  brought the equipment with me to my new location, and I am glad I did, because it gave me the opportunity to lead a small go club at Eisenhower.  I had 6 to 8 children in the club plus an assistant from the high school for each meeting.  We met in February and March every other week for about an hour.  Everyone learned some basics.  Due to time constraints and attention spans, we started on 9×9 and moved to 13×13 but never went to 19×19.  A few parents approached me at other school events and told me that their children were having a great time.  The highschooler downloaded a go app for her smart phone.  The parent running the chess club a few tables over was intrigued but I’ve not got him playing yet.”

Programs like these are directly supported by donations to the American Go Foundation (AGF).  The AGF offers free equipment to any go program for kids in the US and Canada (through the CGA).  They also offer free sets of Hikaru no Go to school and public libraries.  For more information, or to make a donation, visit the AGF website. - Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.  Photo – at Hawthorne Elementary in Chicago, Guo is at far left, in the rear, wearing an orange shirt.  Photo by Xinming Simon Guo.

GO SPOTTING: Discover Magazine on “Who’s Smarter, a Human or a Computer?”

Sunday April 24, 2011

“Go computers are not even close to human capability,” reported Andrew Moseman last February in Discover Magazine . In “Who’s Smarter, a Human or a Computer?” Moseman reviews “the ways that humans can still out-think our computational creations—for now.” On the eve of the IBM’s supercomputer thumping of Jeopardy champions, Moseman looked at checkers, chess, poker and go, as well as Scrabble and Risk, which are also games where humans still do better than computer programs. “There won’t be any major popular game solved for a while now,” University of Alberta professor Jonathan Schaeffer — a member of a research team that created a poker-playing AI that can best human players in limit Texas hold ‘em — says. “There’s a gap.”
photo: Watson faces its human rivals in a practice round. Image: Jeopardy / IBM

European Youth Notch First Win in Transatlantic Match

Sunday April 24, 2011

Over 1,000 spectators showed up to cheer on their favorite youth players at the 3rd Transatlantic Youth Match, held Sunday, April 17 on KGS.  From the start, it was a very close match, as the two under-12 boards split their games 1-1 early on in the first series.  While the North American side took the lead with victories by Andrew Lu and Jianing Gan, the Europeans quickly answered, tying the match 3-3 at the end of the series with Ali Jabarin’s victory over Bill Lin.  The second series was equally nail-biting.  Although the Europeans were seemingly down on their last leg, with victories by Gansheng Shi and Daniel Gourdeau putting them in a 4-5 hole, a close win by Thomas Debarre over Ryan Li tied the match up once again.  In the last game to finish, Ricky Zhao had a slight lead against Mateusz Surma, but a large ko in the end proved to be too much for him to handle, giving the Europeans a 6-5 win, their first ever in the history of the Transatlantic Youth Match.  More details, including game records, can be found on the TrabsAtlantic Youth website http://www.usgo.org/tournaments/TransAtlanticYouth/3/
- reported by Lawrence Ku, who also organized the match

Salt City Tourney Draws Skateboarders & Nonagenarian

Sunday April 24, 2011

This year’s Salt City Go Tournament, held April 16 in Syracuse, NY “was remarkable for the efforts that several made to attend it,” reports organizer Richard Moseson.  Brandon Mills traveled the farthest, driving six hours up from Pittsburgh, PA and returning home that evening, while teenagers Justin Gagne and Lyndon Whitney caught an early train from Rochester and then skateboarded (!) the final eight miles to the tournament.  Winner of the Dan Division and taking home the $250 first place prize was another distant traveler, Phil Waldron 5d, who drove down from Ottawa, Ontario.  He and Jared Beck 2d of Ithaca, NY — who captured the $100 second place prize — both finished with 3-1 records. The top two finishers in the B Division, both with 4-0 records, were Seth Rothschild 10k and Tom Smith 11k, students from Syracuse University and the Rochester Institute of Technology respectively, while the first two places in the C Division were won by Lyndon Whitney 18k and Yuk Ki Chau 13k. Seventeen prizes –including several go books generously discounted by Slate and Shell – were awarded in all, out of a field of 30.

Photos: right: top two winners Phil Waldron (l) and Jared Beck (r) with Wayne Nelson and 3rd place winner Jonathan Wang watching. Left: Nonagenarian Milton Sack 11k, playing in his first tournament ever. photos by Richard Moseson

Categories: U.S./North America
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U.S. Go Congress Registration Nears 200 Mark

Monday April 18, 2011

Registration for the 2011 U.S. Go Congress is approaching 200, with 174 registered, including 96 kyu-level players, 57 dan-level players, and 20 non-players. “Initial deposits must be paid by June 1st to ensure the lowest price!” say organizers Lisa Scott and Andrew Jackson. The Congress runs July 30 – August 7 in Santa Barbara, CA, and the registration thus far “suggests that turnout is going to be very high,” say Scott and Jackson, “and also that the discount we’ll be able to offer will be high as well.”  Click here for details and to register.

photos by Gen Zhang & Edward Zhang at the 2010 U.S. Go Congress