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

Nihon Ki-in Summer Camp Offers Discount & Special Programs

Saturday March 28, 2015

Students under the age of 25 who register for the Nihon Ki-in Summer Go Camp before May 31 will get 10% off the program fee. The intensive2015.03.28_NHK-camp-group training program for non-Japanese go players who want to raise their level and improve their go skills will receive “excellent lectures and workshops every day by highly-selected and richly-experienced professionals of the Nihon Ki-in.” The camp runs August 21 through September 3 at the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo. In includes a special training program on August 27 at ‘Sugi no yado’ where the legendary Fujisawa Shuko hosted his famous ‘Shuko training camp’ each year with promising young professionals.


Kids Win Big in Portland

Friday March 27, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-03-20 at 12.38.42 PMTwenty-seven children, ranging from  preschool to 4th grade, played in a chess and go tournament at Taborspace in Portland, OR, on Sunday, March 15th, reports Peter Freedman. “This winds up the tournament season for players from the three schools where Fritz Balwit and I  teach afterschool chess and go clubs. Kahlial Lofquist is pictured holding  the school  Mind Sports Championship  trophy, awarded  to  the  school  with  the  highest  win/loss  percentage  for  chess  and  go  combined, which went to Irvington Elementary.” Go winners: 1st:  Tommy  Boyd, 4-0, Beverly Cleary; 2nd: Kahlial Lofquist  3 1/2 -0 (one bye), Irvington; 3rd: Olin Waxler, 3-1,  Beverly  Cleary. Also finishing  at 3-1, but  playing  weaker  opponents: Emmet Mayer and Mason Bonner. Chess winners: 1st: Leo Frankunas, Irvington; 2nd: Dylan Nakaji, Richmond; 3rd: Edwin  Chen, Ainsworth . Mind Sports records: First: Irvington, 24-20; 2nd: Beverly  Cleary, 13-12; 3rd: Richmond, 9-9. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo by Peter Freedman.


Burrall Hands Off Tournaments Post To Shen

Thursday March 26, 2015

Karoline Burrall (right) has exchanged her role as AGA Tournament Coordinator for work as a Congress correspondent for the AGA E-Journal. “We 2015.03.23_Karoline-Burrall-Liowe Karoline a huge debt for the tireless work she put in and the extremely professional and skilled job she did in the tournament coordinator position,” said AGA President Andy Okun. 2015.03.25_cherry-shen“We couldn’t have gotten by without her tremendous effort.” Longtime Southern California player Cherry Shen (left) has taken on the Tournament Coordinator title and the bulk of the job, including managing foreign representative selection. Like Burrall, Shen comes from a family of go players including father Gary Shen, a frequent Congress volunteer and So Cal regular. “Cherry has long shown willingness to help out in many go events and I’m grateful to her for volunteering again,” said Okun. Among other things, Shen won an AGF college scholarship in 2010, represented the US at the World Mind Games in Lille, volunteered for the American Collegiate Go Association, taught go in an elementary school and served as translator for “The Surrounding Game” team. She lives and works in New York, where her day job is in finance, Okun said.

Categories: U.S./North America

Workbooks Popular in Seattle School Go Clubs

Wednesday March 25, 2015

WorkbooksAfter-school go club teachers in Seattle have often used handouts with go problems, but this year they have started giving each student their own workbook with their name on it.  The results were surprising: the beginners really liked the books, sometimes more than playing.  One student told me he was going to sign up for the spring session just so that he could finish his workbook!  The go clubs are in local elementary schools, and most of the students are in grades 1-3.  The Center is mostly using English translations of the “Level Up” books by Lee Jae-Hwan, with some of the “Speed Baduk” workbooks by Kim Sung-Rae as well.

The workbooks have been an education for the teachers as well.  The books use a lot of repetition, and progress much more slowly than the typical introductory class at the Seattle Go Center.  “Level Up” doesn’t introduce the concept of “two eyes” until the end of the 2nd volume.  Apparently, the students like the repetition, as it makes the problems seem easy.  But over time, they get a thorough grounding in the fundamentals.  The “Level Up” series has 10 volumes; the “Jump Level Up” series follows that.

Finding the beginning volumes of either series in the U.S. can be hard, but the “Level Up” books can be ordered directly from Korea.  They are shipped by international surface mail, so it takes a while for them to arrive.  One order took about 2 weeks, another order, about 8 weeks.  To order books, contact Baduktopia at  More information on Baduktopia can be found on FacebookPhoto/Report by Brian Allen

AGA Go Camp Set for July

Monday March 23, 2015

Go Camp 2014 (150) copyThe AGA Go Camp will take place from July 18th through July 25th at YMCA Camp Kern in Oregonia, Ohio (just 40 minutes from Cincinatti). Directors Amanda Miller and Nano Rivera return to organize the event, and they invite campers of all skill levels, between the ages of 8 and 18, to join them for a week of go-playing and fun.  More information regarding the camp will be available soon, and registration should open within the next two weeks,  keep your eyes out for future announcements in the E-J. Potential campers who participated in the NAKC or Redmond Cup are eligible for a $400 scholarship, and need-based scholarships will also be available. Any questions can be e-mailed to Amanda Miller at -Story and Photo by Amanda Miller.

School Teams Deadline Extended to 3-25

Monday March 23, 2015

The School Teams Tournament has extended their registration deadline to this Wednesday, to catch any last minute teams that didn’t have time to sign up.  The tourney starts this Saturday. All matches will be played online, and schools from Canada, the US, and Mexico are all invited.  Scholarship and cash prizes will both be distributed.   To register, fill out the form here, by March 25. More information may be found on the AGHS website

University of Tokyo Wins Friendship Match with UCLA

Monday March 23, 2015

Players from the University of Tokyo edged out players from UCLA in an online friendship match on Saturday, February 14. The University of Tokyo team defeated the UCLA team with a 3-2 record. Players from both teams are active members of their university go clubs. On the top board, Chaohao Pan, the UCLA team captain, yielded to Kentaro Tsutsumi after he lost a 2015.03.23_univ-tokyo-logostring of key stones when trying to capture Tsutsumi’s invading white dragon. On the second board,2015.03.23_ucla-logo Norman Tsai from UCLA lost to Hikaru Ishikawa in a game that was peaceful and balanced until the eightieth move, when Ishikawa fatally punished an overplay by Tsai. Leo Zhang scored UCLA’s first victory with a win on the fifth board against Takaya Matsuura, whose mistake in the early endgame cost him the life of a huge group. The game on the fourth board was also decided by an endgame error, but in this case it cost UCLA’s Chenyi Zhu the game against Keito Tabuchi. UCLA’s other win came from Izuki Matsuba, the only club member from Japan, who defeated his compatriot Shuhei Nakajima with a solid lead throughout the game. “It is a great experience to play with the Japanese players,” said Chenyi Zhu. “They are strong, but I am confident that the victory will belong to us the next time.“

Julie Burrall Tops Davis/Sac Spring Tourney

Monday March 23, 2015

Julie Burrall 1d topped the Davis/Sacramento Go Club’s Spring Tournament at the Rancho Cordova library on March 14. There were 10 players. 2015.03.23_Davis-Sac-teachingBurrall won the upper division, and Tai-An Cha, 5k, won the lower division. The library co-sponsored the event and advertised it at the library. “In addition to the tournament, we set up an area to teach beginners about go,” reports Willard Haynes. “We introduced the game to five people. We also celebrated Pi Day with a chocolate cream pie.”
photo: John Patterson teaching.

Categories: U.S./North America

Updates: Number of Legal 18×18 Go Positions Computed; Latest XKCD Go Comic

Tuesday March 17, 2015

Number of Legal 18×18 Go Positions Computed; 19×19 On The Horizon: “It took about 50,000 CPU hours and 4PB of disk IO, but now we know the exact number of legal 18×18 Go positions,” johntromp wrote in a 2015.03.14_go-boardrecent post on slashdot. “Seeking computing power for the ultimate 19×19 count,” the post continues. “Thanks to the Chinese 2015.03.14_xkcd-comicRemainder Theorem, the work of computing L(19,19) can be split up into 9 jobs that each compute 64 bits of the 566-bit result. Allowing for some redundancy, we need from 10 to 13 servers, each with at least 8 cores, 512GB RAM, and ample disk space (10-15TB), running for about 5-9 months.”
Thanks to Steve Colburn for passing this along.

Latest XKCD Go Comic: In a possibly related development, here’s the latest go comic from xkcd, “A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language.”

Categories: U.S./North America

AGA Chapters Rewards Program Off to Fast Start

Sunday March 15, 2015

The Manhattan Go Club and Seattle Go Center top the first month of the new AGA Chapter Rewards program, earning 150,000 and 125,000 points, respectively.  AGA chapters earn points when they get new or renewing members or when their members play rated games. Small and medium clubs get an extra multiplier to earn points faster. “We got off to a great start in January with new and renewing memberships” says Rewards Coordinator Gurujeet Khalsa. Seventy one chapters earned a total of 2,412,500 points, “almost $2,500 that chapters can get reimbursement for expenses related to go promotion.” Click here to see chapter-by-chapter results for January, and details on how points are calculated. Activity by members unaffiliated with a chapter still earn points in an AGA pool (see instructions here on how to affiliate with a chapter). To redeem points, take a picture of a receipt with a smartphone and email it to Put in a one line description of what the go promotional activity was (e.g. “Advertisement for Cherry Blossom tournament”). Also include the chapter name and the name and address for reimbursement. Reimbursement is to the person listed as the chapter organizer or to a club account with the chapter name. Address any questions to


Categories: U.S./North America