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

Kyu Players Win Big

Tuesday February 18, 2014

48 kids and teens competed in the AGA’s new North American Kyu Championships (NAKC) for youth, held Feb. 15th on KGS.  The event was dominated by younger players, with 41 kids competing in the Junior Division (12 and under) and just 7 players in the Senior (13-17). Mexico made a strong showing, with 17 players, competing from the Biblioteca de Mexico (a public library in Mexico City), with 11-year-old Valeria Gonzalez 17k (r) taking top honors in the 16-20k bracket.  Everyone who entered became eligible for AGF scholarships to Go Camp or Go Congress, and first place winners will receive personalized trophies with their names engraved.

Nine-year-old Raymond Feng 1k was the Jr. winner in the 1-5k bracket, while Yukino Takehara 2k won in the Sr.  For complete results in all brackets, click here.  The event was run by Paul Barchilon, with very able support from new Assistant Youth Coordinator Justin Teng. The NAKC replaces the former US Youth Go Championships, while the Redmond Cup will provide dan level players in Canada, the US, and Mexico with the chance to compete (dan players can register here).  -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.  Photos by Siddhartha Avila: top: Valeria Gonzalez 17k contemplates her next move; bottom: at the Biblioteca de Mexico.

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Evan Cho Repeats as Dado 2014 SoCal Go Champion

Monday February 17, 2014

Defending champion Evan Cho 7D held onto his title last weekend at the Dado 2014 SoCal Go Championship. Nearly 60 players attended the Orange County championship on a beautiful sunny weekend in Southern California. Players came from as far as Arizona and a large contingent came from the San Francisco Bay Area. The Open section consisted of 14 strong players 6d-7d and above, including Cho. “Thanks to the generous sponsorship of the Dado (大道) Cultural Exchange Association, the tournament enjoyed an excellent venue, refreshments and substantial cash prizes,” reported Steve Burrall. Kevin Chao directed. photo: (l-r): Aaron Ye, Andrew Lu, Danny Ko, Kevin Hong, Evan Cho, Kevin Chao (in background) and Jay Zheng, president of the Dado Assosociation.
Winner’s Report:
Open Section: Champion Evan Cho 7D; 2nd: Kevin Hong 7D; 3rd: Danny Ko 7D; 4th: Andrew Lu 7D; 5th: Aaron Ye 6D.
Dan handicap: 1st: Wensheng Wang 4D; 2nd: April Ye 1D; 3rd: Steve Burrall 3D; 4th: Alex Lee 1D; 5th: Wai-to Char 1D.
Upper Kyu Handicap: 1st: Hendrick Rommeswinkel 3K; 2nd: Ted Terpstra 5K; 3rd: Preston Hutchins 2K
Mid Kyu Handicap: 1st: Ben Matthews 7K; 2nd: Jerry Lu 8K; 3rd: Susanna Pfeffer 10K
Low Kyu Handicap: 1st: Daniel Su 15K; 2nd: Chris Lin 13K; 3rd: Scott Nichols 12K

Categories: U.S./North America
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Five Players Notch Perfect Records at NOVA Tourney

Monday February 17, 2014

Taking advantage of a break in the recent winter weather, twenty-six players turned out for the NOVA Chinese Lunar New Year tournament on Saturday, February 15 at George Mason Law School in Arlington VA. “The tournament results were a bit unusual, as all first place players had perfect records!” reports organizer Allan Abramson. The Lunar New Year beginner’s 13×13 tournament also attracted eight players. “Congratulations to all the beginners who participated: the future of US go!” said Abramson. photo: Beginner’s Tournament players, with Ching-Sung Chin (right); click here for more photos.  
Winner’s Report:
First: Daniel Chou, 6D, 4-0; Hsiao Hsiung, 1K, and Mohan Sud, 3K, both tied at 4-0; Joey Phoon, 5K, 4-0; and Mulan Liu, 16K, 4-0; Second: Zhiyuan Zhang, 6D, 3-1; Tevis Tsai, 9K, 2-2; and Sean Lin, 25K, 3-1
Lunar New Year Beginner’s 13×13 Tournament: First: Ethan Tung, 6-0 and Justin Wang, 6-0; Second: Eric Chang, 4-2; Third: Frank Chang, 3-3 and Minche Lee, 3-3

Categories: U.S./North America
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Celebrating the Year of the Horse by Teaching Go

Sunday February 16, 2014

When the Lakeforest Mall in Gaithersburg, Maryland sponsored a Chi­nese New Year cel­e­bra­tion recently, local player Benjamin Hong volunteered to teach go, saying “how could you have a Chi­nese New Year cel­e­bra­tion with­out go?” Organizers set up a large 9×9 demo board, a 13×13 and a 19×19 board, as well as mul­ti­ple begin­ner boards for new players. “My big cus­tomer of the day was a lit­tle girl who was about 5,” Hong writes on his blog. “We played a cou­ple games of first cap­ture that went well, and it seemed like she had fun.” A num­ber of inter­ested peo­ple stop by to play and ask ques­tions, and Hong says the suc­cessful event “def­i­nitely got me think­ing about doing more things like this in the future.” Photo by Stephanie  

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In Memoriam: Robert A. McCallister

Saturday February 15, 2014

Robert A. McCallister, one of the key go organizers in the U.S. in the late 1950′s and 60s, died Feb 5 in Winchester, VA at 92. A long time New Jersey organizer, McCallister also served the American Go Association in just about every official capacity, from American Go Journal (AGJ) editor to membership secretary, ratings head and president. “He was part of the first wave of US go after WW II with publication of the American Go Journal and a set of rules for commercial go sets like the one my parents found in Brentanos Bookstore in the Bergen Mall in Paramus NJ,” says former AGA president Terry Benson. McCallister served as AGA Secretary starting in 1957, as well as AGJ staff, and headed AGA publications from 1959 to 1962, editing the AGJ from 1957-1962. He served as president of the AGA in 1961 and 1962, was in charge of membership from 1965 to ’66, then headed ratings with Robert Ryder in 1967, when he drafted a go rating system and, with Richard Dolen, developed a procedure for holding telephone matches that was used for national championships and international friendship matches. ”He was a fixture at the New Jersey Open and remained an active player into the early ’80s,” Benson says. “A quick review of the AGJ during his reign features a nice article by him called ‘My Trip to Japan’ in Vol. 7, No 3 May 1959,” adds Keith Arnold. “He was over for business for five months, coincidentally in the same building that held the Nihon Kiin. He was 3 kyu at the time, and played Segoe Kensaku, Takagawa Kaku and Karigane The game record of the Takagawa game is provided. There is also a photo of him, along with Iwamoto, Karl Davis Robinson and Edward Lasker during Iwamoto’s New York visit.” Benson adds “Thinking of the 55th New Jersey Open coming up on March 1st brings back memories of the fixtures at that tournament: Bob, Harry Gonshor, Bob Ryder and Takao Matsuda. The torch bearers from that era are now all gone.”
photo: McCallister playing Harry Gonshor in 1977; photo by Terry Benson

Categories: U.S./North America
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Yunzi Stones and Lead: An Update

Friday February 14, 2014

“I bought ‘Yunzi Stones’ from Yellow Mountain Imports as a gift for my young children so we can play baduk together,” wrote EJ reader Jason Lee recently. “Later on after ordering, I saw online that this kind of stone can contain lead. So when my order arrived I got a lead test kit from the local hardware store to check them for safety. It turns out that the stones sent to me did contain lead. This is unsafe for my children to use and maybe me too. I wrote about my experience here. Thank you for the great work (the EJ does) for baduk players. I read the website every week.”

The EJ originally reported on this in 2008 (Go Review: Chinese Go Stones 2/4/2008) and we later reported (Yunzi Stones Now Lead-Free 6/23/2008 EJ) that YMI had contacted the manufacturer, who had agreed to eliminate lead from the manufacturing process of yunzi stones, which are special go pieces manufactured in the Chinese province of Yunnan. Apparently the manufacturer did not completely eliminate the lead, instead reducing it below the levels recommended by the Consumer Products Safety Commission; see below for details.

Yellow Mountain Imports responds: “Thanks for reaching out to us. We thought we had resolved this many years back when we had gone through all the reformulation and subsequent tests with the Yunnan Weiqi factory so obviously we were concerned. We take product safety seriously so when we heard these new complaints, we contacted the Yunnan Weiqi Factory immediately. They were equally concerned and arranged for a current official radio spectrometry test. The black stones tested positive at 0.005% (50 parts per million). Lead was also found in the white stones, at an even lower concentration, less than 0.002 (20 ppm). The Yunnan Weiqi Factory reformulated Yunzi stones to be within safe levels as per our request many years ago, while maintaining as much as the original qualities as possible, but it turns out that they cannot eliminate it completely. Lead makes the stones more durable and less brittle. These levels are well below the 0.009 (90 ppm) level recommended by the Consumer Products Safety Commission, but we do not claim that they are lead-free. Anyone who has purchased Yunzi stones and wants to return them can do so and should contact us.” Email customerservice@ymimports.com with any questions or concerns.

Myungwan Kim Opens Go School

Thursday February 13, 2014

Myungwan Kim 9P (left) has opened his own go school, the American Go Institute in the city of Arcadia east of Los Angeles. Kim tells the EJ the Institute offers comprehensive and specialized training programs for kids to approach go and is dedicated to helping and developing kids’ potential. “With expert instruction and a proven training methodology, the Institute provides a true foundation for future success,” Kim said. Kim moved to the US in 2008 to promote go at the behest of the Korea Baduk Association and has been instrumental in starting the AGA’s professional certification program. For the stronger players, the Institute’s methodology involves a great deal of deep reading practice and life and death work in keeping with the latest techniques used in Asian go schools, as well as face-to-face play and review. Beginners are also welcome. In addition to Kim, top level former insei Evan Cho (right) is teaching at the Institute. For more information, call 626-538-4286 or e-mail americangoinstitute@gmail.com.

Categories: U.S./North America
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Bongkyun Moon 4D Tops Twin Cities Winter Tourney

Monday February 10, 2014

The Twin Cities Go Club Winter Open tournament was held last Saturday, February 8, on the University of Minnesota campus in Minneapolis, MN. Thirty four players participated in a three-round McMahon tournament. “Additional players showed up throughout the day and enjoyed casual games in our social room but did not participate in the tournament,” reports Aaron Broege. Bongkyun Moon 4D won all three of his games to place first in the tournament. Bo Hessburg 3k and Xiaoyu Wang 2k also won all three of their games. Prizes were awarded for first place and for individuals who won all three of their games. “There was also a raffle for prizes including books donated by club members, gift cards to the coffee shops where we regularly meet, an AGA membership, and a game review session for kyu players with stronger members of the club,” Broege says. “We welcomed some new faces at the tournament and added four new AGA memberships that day to push our club totals to over 30 active AGA members. We are looking forward to our quarterly AGA ratings tournament in April.”
photo: Bongkyun Moon 4D (left) playing Yanqing Sun 2D; photo courtesy Aaron Broege

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NJO Attracts Players of All Strengths

Sunday February 9, 2014

In the run-up to this year’s New Jersey Open (NJO) in three weeks (March 1&2), Princeton senior Tiansheng (Eric) Guo ran an introductory go class on campus during the intersession break, reports organizer Rick Mott. “Guo got more than 20 attendees, and hopes more novice players will enter the tournament this year,” Mott says. As well as drawing some of the strongest players in the mid-Atlantic region, the NJO honors Bob Ryder, formerly of Bell Labs and a longtime AGA organizer who held the NJO at Rutgers for many years, with a memorial Beginner’s Prize. Registration Sat. 3/1   9AM-10AM at Frist Campus Center, Princeton University. Click here for tournament details.

School Teams Tournament Set for March

Tuesday February 4, 2014

The annual School Teams Tournament is set for March 22 and 29 this year. Run by the American Go Honor Society (AGHS), and co-sponsored by the AGA and the AGF, the event is the largest annual youth competition in North America, drawing players from dozens of schools across the continent.  All K-12 schools and organized learning institutions (such as Chinese language schools) in Canada, the US and Mexico, can register teams consisting of three players. Each school is allowed a maximum of three teams. This year, all teams that complete their matches will also receive an entry prize (regardless of their score in the event).  Teams can choose between a full set of Hikaru no Go manga (23 volumes), two classic go books from Slate and Shell (Fundamental Principles of Go, and Master Play), or a $50 gift certificate to the go vendor of their choice (due to customs fees, not all gifts may be available for Mexico and Canada).  For more details visit the AGHS website. The event is “a good opportunity to see which school club is the best in North America and a chance for young players to communicate,” says AGHS Promotion head Yunxuan Li, “our recent champions in 2012 and 2013 are High Land Park High School and Albert Einstein High School. Will we see the returning of a defending champ or the rise of a new champion?” Rules for the event are here, to register, click here. - Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Double click on the image to enlarge it to full size.