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

Presidential Go?

Monday November 24, 2008

Princeton Go Club member Larry Bartels‘ (left) “Unequal Democracy” is among the books that President-Elect Barack Obama has read recently, according to the New Yorker magazine’s November 17 edition. In the book, Bartels argues that the causes of inequality are essentially political, “an insight that suggests that Obama might use economic policy to begin reversing a decades-long trend,” writes George Packer. Is this our best chance yet for a go-playing President?

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Yue Wu Tops Dan Division In Houston Tournament

Monday November 17, 2008

Yue Wu 3d of Houston, TX took first place in the dan division at the Houston Fall Go Tournament held on November 9. “Twenty five players from all over the state (including Waco, Killeen, Dallas, and Saledo near Austin) joined us,” reports Houston Go Club president Robert Cordingley. Players were asked to fill out a written survey so that the club could improve future tournaments. Survey respondents seemed to like the venue and the one-day format, with one of the only problems cited being, “No Heineken.” A prize purse of over $600 was awarded to players in three divisions. Winner’s Report: Dan Division: 1st: Yue Wu 3d, 2nd: Christopher Dean Hudnall 3d, 3rd: Daniel Duan 1d. Single Digit Kyu Division: 1st: Bill Holden 7k, 2nd: Jon G. Gehrkin 1k, 3rd: Jared H. Jessen 7k. Double Digit Kyu Division: 1st: Jack Ye 10k, 2nd: Nathan K. Martin 11k, 3rd: Geoff Haddad 20k.

Andy Liu Sweeps NYC Tourney

Monday November 17, 2008

Andy Liu (in green) 7d (AGA 9.03) won all four of his games in the Masters Open at the New York Go Center in New York City on November 9. “Although only twelve people played in the tournament, it was pretty intense having so many talented players in one room,” TD Boris Bernadsky tells the E-Journal. Four of the tournament entrants were past winners of the US Open, and all of the prize-winners were 7d or above. GameExpress.com and David Saunders donated over $1,400 in prizes. TD Bernadsky adds that “It was a very enjoyable tournament to run. It was great to see old friends meeting.” Winners Report: 1st: Andy Liu 7d/AGA 9.03 (4-0), 2nd: Jong Moon Lee 7d/AGA 8.29 (3-1), 3rd: Tae Hwan Oh 7d (3-1), 4th: Xiliang Liu 7d (3-1). - Photo by Roy Laird

AGA Prez Launches Member-To-Member Drive

Monday November 17, 2008

Believing that growth in membership and funding “are the keys to the future of the American Go Association,” new AGA President Allan Abramson in launching a member-to-member membership drive. “If each current AGA member pledged to bring in one new member each in the next year, we would quickly double our existing membership,” says Abramson. “Former Board member Gordon Costanza heard my call for this pledge at the Congress, and within one week had signed up five new members!” Others who have taken the pledge include Trevor Morris (Amherst, MA), Terry Schurter (Ewing, NJ), Mike Wallstedt (Taylorsville, UT), Mertin Lebl (Tucson, AZ), Chris Burg (Tucson, AZ), Tyson Williams (Ames, IA) and Larry Russ (Hoboken, NJ). Abramson notes that “More members equals a bigger budget and a bigger budget equals more go for us all,” and also urges “players who read the E-Journal but who are not yet AGA members to consider joining this year; increased membership will support our ability to expand EJ coverage.” Click here to take the Member-to-Member Pledge.

Categories: U.S./North America
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Koreans Sending Big Group To U.S. Congress

Monday November 17, 2008

A group of more than fifty Korean players will be attending – and competing in – the 2009 U.S. Go Congress in Washington, DC, Thomas Hsiang reports. Hsiang, the American Go Association’s Vice President on International Relations, helped arrange the Korean group visit and adds that “several leaders in the Korean Amateur Baduk Association have expressed interest in joining this group to hopefully inaugurate a permanent link between the US and Korean Baduk communities.” Strong Korean players have been a fixture of the European Go Congress for some years now. Another new development in Korea is the establishment of the “King’s Baduk Academy,” Hsiang tells the E-Journal. “Supported by a number of Korean sponsors, this is a 3-7 year program to train the truly devoted to become pro players and/or go teachers.” Each country is given up to one fully-funded slot for this program and other self-paying slots are available. Applications are being accepted through the end of 2008; stay tuned for more information in future EJ reports.

New Go Mag Launched

Monday November 17, 2008

A popular social room on KGS has now branched out into a slick online publication. Founded in November 2007 by Eric Dunham of Avon, Minnesota, The Enclave room on KGS quickly grew to be the single largest social room on KGS outside of Computer Go. “As the numbers grew, so did my ambition,” Dunham says in the first edition of The Enclave, which is subtitled “A Premium English Language Go Magazine” and was produced earlier this month. The 38-page magazine — available only as an easily downloadable PDF — is indeed impressive in both scope and production, featuring a fascinating range of go material, including a very interesting interview with Alexander Dinerchtein 3P and an article about the latest developments in go-playing computer programs. Other articles in the premiere edition include a lesson for beginners, a first-hand report from the Norwegian Go Championships and life and death problems. With high production values, excellent pictures and well-edited text, The Enclave is a welcome addition to the small but growing world of English-language go publications. Dunham hopes to continue publication of The Enclave as a free bi-monthly publication with instructional material, game commentaries, articles and reports about the game.

Texas High School Club Thriving

Monday November 17, 2008

“In the first meeting alone we matched the record attendance of last year,” reports 16-year-old Kris Taylor, President of the Jasper High School Go Club in Plano, Texas. “We had about 30 people for our first meeting, which was just elections and rules and stuff. I had to leave early so when I did, a sophomore member from last year took over and began to teach the beginners some basics. Even the teacher started learning this year!” Taylor launched his high school go club last year with AGF support, and his school fielded two teams in last year’s Ing School Teams Championship. Already an active organizer in the 10th grade, Taylor has a website for his club, and has made a series of Go videos on Youtube, including one on how to care for Yunzi go stones. The club meets after school in social studies teacher Jeff Koch’s room. Koch, a non-player until this semester, told the Journal: “I’ve been most impressed by the more-experienced club members’ drive to promote the game to new players; teaching them not only a fun game, but forcing them to stretch analytical skills that they might not otherwise use in their daily lives.”
-Paul Barchilon, Youth Editor. Photo: Jasper High School Go Club: President Kris Taylor (at far left holding board); Vice President Michael Wu (far right with board); Photo by Jeff Koch

AGA Caps Amateur Ranks At 7D

Monday November 17, 2008

The American Go Association Board of Directors last week approved a policy capping top ranks for amateurs at 7 dan, “with exception for rare honors for a small number of players with outstanding achievement, such as winning the U.S. Open twice.” The new policy also notes that “Exceptions will be granted by the AGA President, under criteria developed through a public process, and approved by the President.” The policy is a response to concerns about top amateur American ranks in relation to other countries at international events. Ranks are distinct from AGA ratings; click here for AGA Ratings Statistician Paul Matthews’ article Inside The AGA Ratings System.

Categories: U.S./North America
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US Go News: N.A. Fujitsu Players Finalized

Monday November 10, 2008

Sixteen of the continent’s top players, led by Mingjiu Jiang (right) and Jie Li, have been selected to compete for the right to represent North America at the Fujitsu World Go Championship, reports Tournament Coordinator Philip Waldron. The N.A. Fujitsu will be held on the KGS Go Server on November 22-23; the winner of the four-round elimination event will represent North American at the Fujitsu in Japan. Additional notable names in the tournament include professional Huiren Yang, 2009 WAGC representative Eric Lui, past champion and 2008 KPMC representative Thomas Hsiang and 2008 Redmond Cup champion Gan Sheng Shi of Canada. Click here for a full list of players and tournament information.

Categories: U.S./North America
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Wheeler’s Contributions Recognized

Monday November 10, 2008

Noting that Dennis Wheeler “has served the AGA with distinction in the capacity as online tournament director,” the American Go Association’s Board of Directors issued a special commendation to Wheeler last week, thanking him “on behalf of the nation’s go players.” Wheeler is retiring from his post as the AGA’s main online tournament director after several years on the job. The Board also issued Wheeler complimentary year’s membership in the AGA for his service.

Categories: U.S./North America
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