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

The Man Behind the YKNOT Tournament

Monday December 20, 2010

Open to U.S. players of all levels and featuring a prize purse of nearly $3,000, the new Young Kwon National Online Tournament (YKNOT) is being billed as one of the largest western online go tournaments yet. “Even if you just joined the AGA or renewed your membership, you’re eligible to play as long as you’ve resided in the U.S. for six months in the past year and you can play online (KGS)” Tournament Director Yixian Zhou told the E-Journal. Click here for free registration. A former U.S. Open Champion, Mr. Kwon (r) is a 7-dan from Pearl River, NY. A retired data processing executive, he’s enjoying his golden years playing tennis, traveling and playing go. Though he was exposed to the game as a youngster watching his father play, he didn’t formally learn go until his freshman year at Seoul National University. While he thinks his go strength has gradually weakened in recent years, he tries to “maintain the fire” in him by continuing to play. “My goal is to promote go in the United States through increasing the AGA’s membership,” Young Kwon told the EJ. “I am committed to supporting this tournament as an annual event.” He adds that “Go has helped me in shaping my thought process, life style and career. Go forces you to apply strategic thinking and problem resolution at the same time. The combination of the two elements changes throughout the game, and that is why we love the game so much. It is simply an application of the economic principle– the most gains with the smallest resources.” Mr Kwon also has a broader vision of go activities in North America, noting that “Matches between two countries are very healthy for spreading go, so I hope that we can set up ‘country to country’ matches in the future. European and South American countries are strong potential candidates.”
- Edward Zhang

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Canada Wins 3rd Youth Friendship Match

Monday December 20, 2010

Over 300 go fans showed up on KGS to watch the future of North American go display their talent at the 3rd US-Canada Youth Friendship Match. Neither team disappointed, with many exciting games featuring intense fighting. The 7-player Canadian team won all but the last two boards, repeating their dominance of the U.S. in last year’s edition of the friendship match. On the top board, Calvin Sun, the U.S. WYGC representative, battled Ryan Li, the runner-up in the 2010 Canadian Open. Li gained an early edge, claiming a lot of territory, but a weak group during the midgame gave Sun a chance. However, Li squeaked out life, and Sun could not gain any advantage while attacking the group, giving Li the victory. The Canadians asserted their dominance in the next few boards as well, with Gansheng Shi, Tianyu (Bill) Lin, Jianing Gan, and Andrew Huang all claiming commanding victories, leaving Ben Lockhart and Vincent Zhuang as the only victorious members of the U.S. team. With such a strong showing from both teams, the North American team will definitely make for an exciting matchup against European youth in the 3rd Transatlantic Youth Go Match in Spring 2011. Full results are here.
- Special report by Lawrence Ku

Grantwriter/Fundraiser Sought

Monday December 20, 2010

The AGA Board of Directors is forming a committee to seek corporate and institutional support for special events and projects. “We are searching for a volunteer with grant-writing and/or fundraising experience to serve on the committee,” reports Andy Okun. If interested, contact Paul Celmer at pcelmer@earthlink.net

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GO SPOTTING: Tron: a Legacy of Go

Monday December 20, 2010

Go makes a brief appearance in the new movie Tron: Legacy. “One of the players comments to an observer that her opponent’s patience usually overcomes her more aggressive strategy,” reports reader Alicia Seifrid. “What a great movie to incorporate go into!” The game’s being played on “a nice floor board,” adds Alf Mikula, “it was too quick to get a good grasp of the position, but it did look like a real game in progress.” Thanks to everyone who passed along this sighting!

Are You Smarter Than a Jeopardy Contestant?

Monday December 20, 2010

They knew that go originated in China and that black makes the first move, but the contestants on a recent Jeopardy stumbled on the question of which warrior class emerged in Japan at the same time as go, and all three were stumped by a question any beginning go player would know instantly: “A stone that is threatened with capture is said to be “in” this; the makers of Pong chose it for their company name.” Click here to see how you score on the go-related questions on the December 13 Jeopardy: scroll down to the Double Jeopardy! Round and it’s the last column on the right; answers are revealed by hovering over the amount in the box.

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YANG AND CHAN LEAD DECEMBER’S BAY AREA MONTHLY

Sunday December 19, 2010

Twenty five players ranging from 20 kyu to 4 dan played in the San Francisco Bay Area’s December 11 monthly ratings tournament. Some just dropped in for a game or two, while others played as many as six AGA-rated games. Zhi Rui Yang 4d led the dan division with five wins, while Jay Chan 3k led the kyu division with four wins. Aaron Ye 3d, Lucas Baker 3d, Herb Doughty 4k, Victor Wang 7k, Joseph Ehrlich 17k, and Bryan Tan 20k won three games apiece. “We won’t be holding a monthly ratings tournament in January,” reports organizer Roger Schrag. “Be sure to check out the Jujo Jiang Goe Tournament instead.” Monthly ratings tournaments in the San Francisco Bay Area will resume February 12. Photos by Lisa Schrag.

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Myung-Wan Kim 9P Added To EJ Roster

Friday December 17, 2010

Now your AGA membership could win you a free pro commentary! Send in your dan-level game record by next Monday and it could be chosen for a commentary by three-time U.S. Open champion Myung-wan Kim 9P (r), the latest addition to the E-Journal’s growing roster of contributing professionals and top players. Kim – whose other titles include the first Strong Player’s Online Tournament (SPOT1) in May 2010 – is a Korean professional (he made the quarterfinals of the 10th Samsung Cup in 2005 and took second place in the 12th BC Card Cup) who now lives and teaches in the Los Angeles area and who’s also widely-known for his 2008 historic demonstration game against MoGo running on an 800 processor supercomputer. Kim’s debut commentary will be on a dan-level game; email your game (sgf file required) to us at journal@usgo.org with “Kim commentary” in the subject line BY MIDNIGHT JANUARY 24. Please be sure to include your AGA number, as this is a member’s-only benefit.
photo by Yixian Zhou

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Young Kwon National Online Tourney Offers $3,000 in Prizes

Thursday December 16, 2010

Registration is now open for the first-ever Young Kwon National Online Tournament, featuring a prize fund of nearly $3,000. The tournament, sponsored by Young Kwon, will be held online beginning January 22, 2011. “The purpose is to promote the game of go in the United States,” Mr. Kwon told the E-Journal. The 5-round tournament is open to all current AGA members, from 35 kyu to professionals, and eligibility rules include at least six months of residence in the U.S. in 2010. Registration deadline: January 7, 2011; Click here to register.
- Edward Zhang, AGA National Tournament Coordinator

Categories: U.S./North America
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Wheeler & Zhou Join AGA Tourney Team

Thursday December 16, 2010

The AGA Tournament Coordinator team welcomes Dennis Wheeler of Seattle and Yixian Zhou of Los Angeles on board as Assistant National Tournament Coordinators. Wheeler (l) has been actively assisting the AGA for many years, and is a “veteran” director of online qualifiers. Zhou, 7d (r), is both a strong player and a go activist. He assisted in organizing the 2008 Toyota Denso Oza, and co-directed the 2010 N.A. qualifiers of both the Fujitsu Cup and BC Card Cup. Both are active and well-known in their regions. The new Assistant Tournament Coordinators will help bring more tournaments, fun, convenience and value to AGA members.
- Edward Zhang, AGA National Tournament Coordinator

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Andy Liu 7d Wins N.A. Fujitsu Qualifier

Monday December 13, 2010

The online North American Fujitsu Cup Qualifier featured exciting games and a few surprising upsets last weekend on KGS. In the early rounds, 17-year-old Curtis Tang 7d knocked out Feng Yun 9P in a hard-fought match late Thursday night. Huiren

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Yang 1P ran short on time in byo-yomi to advance Dae Hyuk Ko 7d to the final, and Andy Zhiyuan Liu 7d defeated Jie Li 7d by just 1.5 points to advance to the final. On Sunday, Liu defeated Dae Hyuk Ko to win the right to represent North America in the upcoming 2011 Fujitsu Cup. Edward Zhang and Oren Laskin handled the extensive organizing and scheduling logistics for the event and directed the early rounds. Dennis Wheeler was the director for the weekend rounds with Yixian Yhou assisting. Big thanks, as always, to KGS server admins Akane Negishi, Ian Davis and Daniel Short. Click here for full game results and records.

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