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

San Francisco Go Workshop with Janice Kim 3P Announced

Sunday May 20, 2012

Janice Kim, 3 Dan professional, will teach a two-day go workshop the weekend of June 23 and 24 in Berkeley, California. Berkeley is home to two go clubs and Bay Area Go Players Association, and is just across the bay from San Francisco.

The workshop is open to go players of all strengths (players below 10 kyu may want at least a year’s go experience to benefit from this workshop), and advanced registration is required. Each student will have the opportunity to submit game records before the workshop, and Janice will use them to tailor discussions to the specific interests and needs of the students. Each student will receive a workshop manual containing the records to be discussed, and files will be available for download as well.

“I enjoy seeing the clever moves played in finely-tuned games between world-class players,” Kim says, descriibing the main idea of the content of this workshop is, “but what I really need to know is what to do with the messed-up positions, wacky moves, and mistakes that come up in my games.”

Janice Kim co-authored the award-winning Learn to Play Go book series and also writes a go blog. Her recent workshop in Portland, Oregon and lectures at the Cotsen Go Tournament in Los Angeles were very popular. Learn more about the workshop and sign up on the Bay Area Go Players Association website.

photo: Janice Kim at the 2012 Cotsen Open; photo by Chris Garlock

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AGA Seeks Board Candidates in West, At-Large

Thursday May 17, 2012

With Lisa Scott running in the Central region AGA Board of Directors election and Gurujeet Khalsa in the Eastern region, the American Go Association is still seeking candidates for both the Western and At-large seats.  Nominations, including self-nominations, are being accepted now through June 15 and should be sent to elections@usgo.org. Click here for complete election information and qualifications.

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OWL Tourney Registration Deadline Extended

Tuesday May 15, 2012

The registration deadline for this weekend’s Oscar Wilde Liberation (OWL) Tournament has been extended to Thursday, May 17. A dozen players have registered thus far for the tournament, which will be run on KGS, and there are still slots available for interested players. This will be the second online tournament this year where players can earn points towards the North American Ing Masters tournament at this year’s US Go Congress  in North Carolina in August, and the World Mind Sports Games in Lille, France, also in August. Click here to register.

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Daniel Smith Wins Bob Barber’s 70th Tourney

Sunday May 13, 2012

Daniel Smith 2d took top honors at the May 12 “It Was 20 Years Ago Today” tournament in Chicago, IL. Not a Beatles song reference, the title refered to this being the 20th anniversary — to the month — of Tournament Director Bob Barber’s (at right, at work) first tournament. This was the indefatiguable organizer’s 70th imaginatively-named competition and the 65-year-old — who claims to have “never lost even a single game” at one of his tournaments — says he plans to keep going “for at least another 20 years.” He also noted that three people who played in his first event two decades ago were there this time as well: Ian Feldman, David Rockwell, and Chris Greene. “Greene is also the publisher of Hinoki Press, which generously donates a book to each player at Chicago tournaments,” Barber said.
Winner’s Report: 1st Place High Dan: SMITH, Daniel 2d; 1st Place Low Dan: CHENG, Lixin 1d; 1st Place High Kyu: YU, Patrick 3k; Tie 1st Place Mid Kyu: ROHDE, David 5k & GABELMAN, Joel, 5k; 1st Place Low Kyu: DAVID, Brian, 10k. All six of these players won all four of their games; 36 players participated. photo by Daniel Smith

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33rd WAGC Begins: E-Journal & Ranka Online Team Up for Coverage

Saturday May 12, 2012

The 33rd edition of the World Amateur Go Championships (WAGC) began Sunday morning, May 13, in the gold-draped main playing hall of the Guangzhou Chess Institute (“chess” in this context refers to go, chess and Chinese Chess) in Guangzhou, also known as Canton, the capital city of Guangdong Province in South China. Fifty-six players (Poland’s player missed his plane and has been replaced with a second Chinese player) have traveled from around the world to compete for the title as world’s top amateur. While China and Korea are once again favorites to win, the U.S. last year cracked the top five with Eric Lui’s 3rd-place finish and is represented this year by Yuan Zhou 7d, the popular teacher and author who’s won a number of U.S. titles. The American Go E-Journal and Ranka Online have teamed up again this year to provide full coverage of the WAGC, including tournament reports, game records and commentaries and photos; reports will be posted regularly on the AGA’s website, at Ranka Online and in the daily E-Journal. The 8-round tournament runs May 13-16.
- Chris Garlock; photos by John Pinkerton
Click here to download these Round 1 sgf game records:
DPR Korea (Ri Kwang Hyok 6D) vs China (Fang Xiaoyan 3D)
- Commentary by So Yokoku 8P
US (Yuan Zhou 7D) vs Norway (Pal Harald Sannes 5D) 

Maryland Open Next Stop in TYGEMGO Pro Prelim Series

Saturday May 12, 2012

Next up in the TYGEMGO Pro Prelim series is the Baltimore Go Club’s 39th Maryland Open on May 26-27 in Catonsville Maryland just outside Baltimore. The top finishing player with qualifying citizenship earns the right to compete for pro certification this summer in North Carolina the week before the US Go Congress. Top players also earn points to represent the US in the World MindSport Games in France. “However,” stresses local organizer Keith Arnold, “ALL players of ALL strengths are welcome to play and be present for this historic event.” Click here to pre-register or contact Keith Arnold at hlime81@comcast.net with any questions.

Online Tygem Pro Qualifier Open to All

Thursday May 10, 2012

President Allan Abramson called today for go players at all levels to play in the Tygem online pro qualifier, which begins the first weekend in June. Abramson said he was “encouraging everyone to participate in this history-making event, and tell your friends that you competed to become a pro!”

All those interested should sign up to play on the Tygem server (see below). “Practice with the Tygem server now will make your online competition easier,” he said. “Note that it is Windows-based only, so you may need to arrange to use a friend’s PC.” (5/11 Update: Tygem runs on the iPad, but will not run on a Macintosh computer.  iPad users can download the app from the Mac App Store.) Interested players 7 dan and up should register online, and send Abramson a note stating your interest in competing,  your AGA ID and statement of US/Canadian citizenship (President@usgo.org). For everyone else, “just play and enjoy this historic event.”

The first round of the three-round competition is a simple single elimination tournament open to all eligible AGA members, regardless of rank. Eligible players are US and Canadian citizens who are not already professionals.  Anyone who signs up on TYGEMGO and competes in the tournament will receive an “I Went Out For Pro” enamel pin as a keepsake. Players who are not yet AGA members can join the AGA through TYGEMGO for a promotional $15 rate.

Players who get their TYGEMGO ranking of 6d or higher can skip Round 1 and start in Round 2 with the survivors of Round 1.  Those who make it through Round 2 will join seven pre-seeded players for Round 3. The tournament will select seven finalists to compete from 7/28 to 8/4 in North Carolina, where sixteen players will compete for two pro certifications. The finalists in North Carolina will each receive a $500 subsidy and another $3,000 in prize money will be distributed.

In order to play, go to Tygem’s English-language website and sign up for a TYGEMGO account. Then go to to the registration page and hit the “register” button. Registration runs through May 27. The first round will start the first week-end in June. Contact Yixian Zhou at missbear@gmail.com or Andrew Okun at sponsorship@usgo.org if you have questions.

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Quaid Tseng 6d Tops Stony Brook Sakura Matsuri Go Tourney

Thursday May 10, 2012

Quaid Tseng 6d was the top winner at the second annual Sakura Matsuri Go Tournament, hosted by the Stony Brook Go Club May 5 at the Long Island Cherry Blossom Festival in the Wang Center of Stony Brook University in New York State. The Festival celebrates Japanese culture with martial art demonstrations, taiko drum performances, kimono fashion shows and other events. The Stony Brook Go Club offered $200 worth of prizes, including books written by professional go players, teacups, and a traditional Filipino squash sculpture made by Alex Wong and Christian Ang. Open to the public with no entry fee, entrants participated in four rounds and attracted 36 participants. The top seeds consisted of five-dan ranked players ranging from 3-dan to 6-dan. Other undefeated winners were Barbara Huang 7k, Mirza Basim Baig 20k, and Diana Huang 20k.
- report by Christian Ang

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“My Father’s Last Game” Translated into Chinese; Cool Players; “Liking” Iwamoto’s Go Centers; Cotsen Correx

Wednesday May 9, 2012

“My Father’s Last Game” Translated into Chinese: Betsy Small’s Traveling Board column in the March 29 E-Journal, “My Father’s Last Game”  has been published in China, on the sina blog and major go websites, as well as in the publication Sports Fan, which has a circulation of about 150,000. “Some readers told me they were in tears after reading the story,” Simon Guo, who translated the article, tells the E-Journal. “Me too.”

Cool Players: “I could be mistaken, but the men in that photograph (Go Photo: Cool Game 4/22 EJ) look like Igor Grishin (left) and Maksim Tikhomirov (right) from the Russian Go Federation,” writes Nikolas. “ Alexandre Dinerchtein sent me more photos of them” on the All About Go blog.

“Liking” Iwamoto’s Go Centers:
Noting that “The Seattle Go Center is in serious jeopardy because the Nihon Ki-in has decided to sell the building that has housed it since its inception” and that “the unilateral manner in which the decision was made raises questions regarding the future of all of the Iwamoto Go Centers,” NY Go Center Board member Roy Laird is urging go players to “like” any or all of the three Iwamoto Go Centers that have Facebook pages: The Seattle Go CenterThe New York Go Center and The European Go Cultural Centre. “This public groundswell of support could open the door to a more effective partnership between the Nihon Ki-in and Western Go,” suggests Laird.

Cotsen Correx: Myung-wan Kim is 9P (not 3P as mistakenly reported in our 5/2 post In Appreciation: The 2012 Cotsen Open Team), Chris Sira was the Tournament Director. Our apologies for the error and oversight.

Edward Kim 7d wins Seattle Pro Prelim

Monday May 7, 2012

Edward Kim (r) won all five of his games  to win the first AGA-Tygem Seattle Pro Prelim, held May 5-6 at the Seattle Go Center.   Ten players competed for the opportunity to go to the AGA-Tygem Pro Final in North Carolina, which will be from July 28th to August 4th.  Second place was earned by Yixian Zhou 6d, who had a 4-1 record.   Third went to David (Dong) Ma 6d, fourth (on a tie breaker) to young Vincent Zhuang 6d and fifth to Nicholas Jhirad 6d.  The second band, which was not competing for the pro position, had six  dan level players.  Kum Kang Lee 4d placed first, Job Betcher 2nd and Louie Liu 3rd.  The tournament also generated points for the 2012 World Mind Sports selection process.

The Seattle Go Center expressed “special thanks” to Tournament Director John Hogan, “who did a great job starting a new tournament tradition.” Bill Chiles was Asst. TD, while  Dennis Wheeler, Oren Laskin, Bill Camp, and Bill Thompson recorded games from the top two boards.  The games are available here.
- photo by Brian Allen