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

Lee Sedol Says Andy Liu “Stronger Than I Had Anticipated”

Sunday January 27, 2013

With the technical glitches solved, the twice-delayed game between Lee Sedol 9P and new American pro Andy Liu 1P took place Saturday morning on go9dan.com. Lee won by resignation but said that “Andy is much stronger than

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I had anticipated,” adding that AGA President Andy Okun “must be really happy about how strong the AGA pros are!” Okun responded that “we really pleased and proud of our new pros. We are also grateful to Lee Sedol for giving them a chance to hone their skills and learn from such a champion.” The second round in the AGA-Europe Pros vs. Lee Sedol Lee 10-Game Series is likely to be held next weekend; stay tuned for details.

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AGA Board Sets 2013 Goals, Priorities

Thursday January 24, 2013

Organizational priorities and goals for the year ahead were the main topic of discussion at the January 13th meeting of the AGA’s board of directors. The top priority is to complete the rank certification program, followed by expanding the AGA’s presence on go servers, and creating a mentoring program. Although not chosen as a priority per se, the board also intends to create a reasonable reserve fund policy. Also on the agenda were the AGA president’s report and approving prize funding for the USYGC. An overview of the discussion of AGA priorities will be in the minutes, which will be posted as soon as they are approved at the next meeting, scheduled for February 3rd.
- Daniel Smith 

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Pandanet-AGA City League Kicks Off This Weekend

Wednesday January 23, 2013

The Pandanet-AGA City League officially starts this weekend, January 26-27. In its first year, the League features 28 teams from North American cities and regions, divided into four leagues. The teams in each league will play round-robin team matches on the Pandanet Internet Go Server. Each league’s top finisher moves up to the next higher league at the end of the season, while the bottom finisher moves down to the lower league, etc.”Pandanet has provided a generous cash prize fund for the top leagues,” reports Thomas Hsiang.  In addition, the teams are encouraged to seek regional sponsors to pay for the players’ game fees and other team activities.
The inaugural top leagues feature many of the best and strongest North American players. In A-League, they are: Los Angeles, captained by Andy Okun and including Beomgeun (Evan) Cho, Daniel Daehyuk Ko, Curtis Tang, and Seung Hyun (Kevin) Hong; Boston, captained by Ke Lu and including Huiren Yang, Jie Liang, Guochen Xie, and Yunzhe Zhang; DC captained by Keith Arnold and including Jie Li, Eric Lui, Yuan Zhou, and Daniel Chou; NYC, captained by Cole Pruitt and including Andy Liu, Michael Chen, Will Lockhart, and Yingzhi Qian; Vancouver, captained by Cathy Liu and including Matthew (Zi Yang) Hu, David Lu, Qi Zheng, and Bill Lin; Seattle, captained by Michael Cho and including Edward Kim Dong Baek Kim, Son, and Sung-Chul Cho.
In B-League, the teams are Southern California, captained by Yanchen Sun and including Calvin Sun, Rui Wang, Yixian Zhou, and Andrew Lu; DC-2, captained by Edward Zhang and including Lin Lu, Yangang Li and Liang Yu; Toronto, captained by Colin Zheng and including Tiger Gong, Xiaofei Deng, Sarah Yu, and Hank Xie; Massachusetts, captained by Ke Lu and including Di Zhu, Trevor Morris, Yu Zhong, and Ke Lu; San Francisco, captained by Steve Burrall and including Matthew Burrall, Hugh Zhang, Aaron Ye, and Jeremy Chiu; Montreal, captained by Rémi Campagnie and including Rémi Campagnie, Manuel Velasco, Jean-Sébastien Lechasseur, and Vincent Binette.
The League kick-off closely coincides with the unveiling of the new Pandanet client GoPanda-2, “A web-based client that features stunning graphics and works on many platforms,” says Hsiang. Watch for announcement of the schedule of the first round games and future news on the AGA and League   websites.
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Go9dan.com Hopes Third Time is Charm for Andy Liu-Lee Sedol Game

Tuesday January 22, 2013

Hopefully the third time with be the charm for go9dan.com. Technical snafus on Monday once again derailed the Andy Liu-Lee Sedol game, which had been rescheduled from Sunday, when lag problems on the server caused Lee Sedol’s clock to run out.

The game is now scheduled for this Saturday, January 26 at 8a EST. “We presume that the tech team can get the major bugs out in a few days,” says Michael J. Simon, CFO and Head of English Activities for 82 Limited, which is launching the new server. The Liu-Sedol game is the first in a 10-game series against the two new U.S. professionals, Andy Liu and Gansheng Shi, and Romanian pro Catalin Taranu 5P.

The pressure is on, as the new server is also set to host the first World Go League Invitational game at 7a EST this Sunday, January 27 between Sedol and Chen Yaoye. Ten of the world’s top professionals will play for $100,000 in prizes. Organizers plan to run tests this week “where a bunch of people from different continents will play and bet on the games, chat, and generally stress our system,” says Simon.

AGHS T-Shirt Contest

Tuesday January 22, 2013

The American Go Honor Society is having a t-shirt design contest. Come up with any fun designs for the front of an AGHS t-shirt and yours could be the one worn by AGHS members throughout the nation. There are a few requirements:
1) The design must include “American Go Honor Society” somewhere.
2) Only use up to two colors.
3) The design should be created electronically, or if drawn should be sent in the form of an electronic copy.
The AGHS officers will vote on the best design, and the winner will be notified and given a free t-shirt of their own design. Send your submission to aghsregister@gmail.com by March 1st to be entered into the contest. -Julian Erville, AGHS Vice President.

Zhou Ruiyang 5P Shuts Out Chen Yaoye 9P in Bailing Cup Final

Monday January 21, 2013

Zhou Ruiyang 5P (at right, in photo) won his first international title in convincing fashion after taking down Chen Yaoye 9P (below left) 3-0 in the Bailing Cup on January 19th.

Despite being rated only 5P, Zhou was one of China’s strongest pros and has played on the Chinese team in the last two Nongshim Cups. However, an international title had eluded him in his ten-year career as a pro, until now.

Chen is another player who is long overdue for an international title after dominant performances in Chinese domestic tournaments like the Chinese Tengen and Chanqi Cup.

His next chance will be against Lee Seedol in the Chunlan Cup final this coming July.

The Bailing Cup is an international go tournament sponsored by the Guizhou Bailing Pharmaceutical Group; it started in 2012 and the winner receives about $300,000 USD. The format is a straight knock-out of 64 players with a best-of-five game final.

Adapted from a report on Go Game Guru; click for game records and more information. Edited by Ben Williams

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After Server Lag Issues, Liu-Sedol Game Reset for January 21

Sunday January 20, 2013

“Andy Liu 1p and Lee Sedol 9p started off a pretty interesting game this morning in go9dan.com’s 10-game kadoban (Andy Liu 1P Takes on Lee Sedol Sunday on go9dan.com) but ran aground when lag problems on the server  caused Lee Sedol’s clock to run out,” reports AGA President Andy Okun. “Andy had already noted the lag problem and asked if there was a way of changing the time settings but there wasn’t.” It was agreed that the two will play a new game tomorrow (Monday, January 21) at 8a EST (5a on the West Coast) with longer byo-yomi settings.  Here’s the SGF of the game up to the point of stoppage.

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Edward Kim 7d & Ho Son 7d Tie for First at Jin Chen Memorial Tournament in Seattle

Sunday January 20, 2013

Edward Kim 7d and Ho Son 7d — both undefeated — shared the first place honors for the open section of the 3rd Jin Chen Memorial Tournament, held Jan. 6 in Seattle, WA. Second place went to guest Xingshuo Liu 7d, who is a law student at Indiana University and said that she isn’t playing much now, and that she “was probably a stronger player when she was 12 years old in China.”  The tournament attracted 32 players, with five 7-dans and three 6-dans in the open section.

In the handicapped section, there were three bands for prizes: dan level, 1k-5k, and 6k+. Among the dan players, Daniel Poore placed first, Job Betcher second, and Chang Kim third. For the 1k-5k group, Jordon Betcher was first, Moon Wung Sung second, and Judith Debel third. For the 6k group, Jae Moon Kim placed first, George Schmitten second and Frank Brown third.

Tournament Directors were Daniel Top and Bill Chiles. Dennis Wheeler and Andrew Jackson recorded four top games, which are posted at the Seattle Go Center website.

Photo: Xingshuo Liu and Edward Kim during round 2 of the tournament. Report and photo by Brian Allen.

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NA Go Convention Registration Nears 100; Daytrippers Welcomed

Friday January 18, 2013

Registration for the upcoming N.A. Go Convention is nearing 100, reports organizer Edward Zhang. The week-long event February 8-17 spans two weekends, beginning in Parsippany-Troy Hills, NJ (2/8-12) and then moving to Arlington, VA (2/13-17); click here for the full schedule. Organizers are welcoming daytrippers by rewarding 3-win and 4-win players, and Zhang says that with $3,170 in cash prizes, plus trophies, books, convention certificates, and rank certificates, “everyone will win something!” Those “who can only make it one day, Saturday or Sunday, may see our event as a traditional one-day-four-round tournament, with a possibility of fifth and sixth rounds in Blitz or Pair Go at your discretion” adds Zhang. The pre-registration deadline for reduced rates has been extended to January 20. “Special thanks to Zhimin Zhang, president of Bei Dou Xing restaurant franchise in Hebei, China, for donating part of the cash prize pool,” Zhang adds. Transportation is being arranged for players traveling from New York to Parsippany; sign up here and “If there are enough requests, we will schedule a shuttle bus to pick up and drop off,” says Zhang.

Myungwan Kim 9P Live Tygem Commentary Friday on Bailing Cup Round 3; Andy Liu 1P Takes on Lee Sedol Sunday on go9dan.com

Thursday January 17, 2013

It’s going to be a busy online go weekend. On Friday, go fans can watch Myungwan Kim 9P comment on the Bailing Cup live on Tygem, as Chen Yaoye 9P (left) — down 0-2 — tries to stay alive in his battle for the title against Zhou Ruiyang 5P. And on Sunday, Andy Liu 1P will play Lee Sedol 9P on go9dan.com.

Kim’s commentary starts at 8:30p EST Friday, January 18 on the Tygem World Server, while the Liu-Sedol game is at 8a EST on Sunday, January 20 on go9dan.com.

In his online reviews of the first two games, Kim said that although Chen, currently the top player in China and considered one of the strongest players in the world, was expected to have a slight edge, “he was not able to stand up to the pressure of the championship series.” Zhou on the other hand, the number one player in China in 2011, has handled the pressure well, Kim said, “perhaps because he has played in a world championship once before.” In this best-of-five Cup, Chen will have to win all three of the remaining games to win the $300,000 prize and the international title. Whoever prevails in the series, the winner will have his first world championship.

Sunday’s Liu-Sedol game is the first in a 10-game series against the two new U.S. professionals, Andy Liu and Gansheng Shi, and Romanian pro Catalin Taranu 5P, sponsored by the new go9dan.com server (New Go Server Launches With 10 Top Pros in $100,000 Invitational). photo: Andy Liu (right) receiving his professional certificate from Myungwan Kim 9P in August 2012 after winning the AGA-TYGEMGO Pro Tournament; photo by Steve Colburn