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

Go Book Donation Raises Funds for AGA, Expands Empty Sky Collection

Sunday May 6, 2012

Call it the Joseph Yao tesuji. The ripple effects of his recent donation of his collection of 300 go books to the AGA make Yao’s move a tremendously skillful move, maximizing the use of his books on both a local and global level. A Boeing Jet Propulsion Laboratory retiree who lives in Los Angeles, Yao was a lifelong devotee of go, buying hundreds of books. “Since it was hard to get go books in the US, he sent $100 or more a month to Japan to buy the newest go books,” Andy Okun tells the E-Journal. “He studied the books assiduously, even after having a stroke, but further declines in his health means he can no longer use them, according to his wife, Hong-Dan Zheng, so they made this arrangement with the AGA to get the books into the hands of people who could use them.” The Rochester (NY) -based Empty Sky Go Club (l) was the high bidder in an online auction of the books in April, and the club promptly donated the entire collection to the Greg Lefler Wing of the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) Library, where over 100 go books are already available via the WorldCat inter-library system. “We hope this extensive collection will be utilized by go players not only around the country, but around the world,” said the Empty Sky’s Steve Colburn. The $2,200 raised by the auction will fund a small go-and-mathematics college scholarship, Okun reports

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May Madness Kicks Off This Weekend

Friday May 4, 2012

Go players looking for competition will find it every weekend this month, from coast to coast, and plenty of places in-between. From Seattle, WA to Santa Fe, NM and Chicago, IL to Baltimore, MD, no less than nine tournaments are being held, including several at which the top-finishing player with qualifying citizenship will earn the right to compete for pro certification this summer in North Carolina the week before the US Go Congress. Here’s a quick overview of the line-up:

May 5, Santa Fe, NM: Santa Fe Spring Tournament
May 5, Stony Brook, NY: Stony Brook Sakura Matsuri Go Tournament
May 5-6, Seattle, WA: 1st AGA-Tygem Seattle Pro Prelim
May 12, San Francisco, CA: Bay Area Go Players Association Monthly AGA Ratings Tournament
May 12, Boulder, CO: Rocky Mountain Spring Go Tournament
May 12, Chicago, IL: It Was 20 Years Ago Today
May 20, Seattle, WA: Iwamoto Youth 19×19 Tournament
May 26-27, Baltimore, MD: 39th Maryland Open/TYGEMGO Pro Prelim
May 28, Cupertino, CA: Bay Area High School Go Tournament 2012
Check the AGA Tournament Calendar for latest postings
photo: at the April  28-29 Cotsen AGA-TygemGo Pro Prelim; photo by Chris Garlock

Go Canada! Canadians Welcome U.S. Players

Friday May 4, 2012

For those interested in traveling north of the border, there are several events coming up in Canada. The Golden Key Cultural Centeris hosting the 2012 GTA Go Open Tournament May 19 at 2330 Midland Ave.,Toronto,  On. With a resurgence of membership in the last year, the Toronto Go Club is celebrating by hosting its first tournament since 2008. The 1-day 4-round tournament will be held June 2 in Room 106 of the 519 Community Centre in Toronto, Canada. And organizers of this year’s Canadian Open, set for June 29-July 2 in Gatineau, Quebec (near Ottawa) are “hoping to draw many American players,” reports Marc St-Onge of the Outaouais Go Club. With nearly $2,000 in top cash prizes, a large field of strong players is expected, along with many players of all strengths. The Korean Baduk Association has tentatively announced the presence of Seung-Hyun Park 7P at the event , and Guo Juan 5P will be doing lessons, reviews and simultaneous games. Prizes will be awarded in all divisions and the event also includes a Pair Go Tournament. Organizers have negotiated lower rates for accommodations at the Université du Québec en Outaouais. “These apartments are fully furnished, air conditioned and include free wireless internet access,” says St-Onge. “There is a kitchen with everything you need to prepare your meals,” he says, but as these accommodations are limited, those interested should reserve early. For those interested, organizers will also plan for affordable transportation to and from Parliament Hill for the Canada Day Celebrations on July 1st, including concert and fireworks. Click here to register or email St-Onge at info@go-outaouais.com for details.

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Nominations Open For 4 AGA Board Seats; Board OK’s Budget, Seeks Prez

Friday May 4, 2012

Four American Go Association (AGA) Board of Director seats are up for election this year, The terms of four seats, one in each region and the at-large position, expire this September. Nominations are now being accepted and will close on June 15. Nominations must be made by email by full members of the AGA. Send to elections@usgo.org. For the regional positions members must reside in that region; click here for complete election information and qualifications.

In other Board news, Daniel Smith reports that at the April 22 board meeting, “the Board spent most of its time discussing the fiscal year 2013 budget, which was approved. The Board also heard that the presidential search committee has identified some candidates and hopes to select the next AGA president at the June 3 board meeting.”

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NY Go Center & Nihon Ki-in America Announce Support for Seattle Go Center

Wednesday May 2, 2012

The Board of Directors of Nihon Ki-in America (NKA) and the New York Go Center (NYGC) have announced their support for the Seattle Go Center, which has sued the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo to prevent the sale of the SGC building in Seattle, WA. “From its founding, the Seattle Go Center has been particularly successful in uniting players from all cultural backgrounds and in drawing broad support from the go community,” they said in a press release on April 28. “In that sense, the Seattle Go Center has been the most successful of Iwamoto-sensei’s four go centers.” Saying that “The NYGC Board was not consulted or informed of Nihon Ki-in Japan’s plan to close the Seattle Go Center,” the NKA (the non-profit entity created to run the NYGC) and NYGC – which was formally closed in 2010 when the Nihon Ki-in shuttered the building on East 52nd Street in Manhattan but continues to exist organizationally – warned that unilateral decisions like closing the Seattle Center will “seriously damage the relationship between Japanese Go and the American go community.” “We never suggested that Seattle be sold to fund New York,” they added. “While we appreciate Nihon Ki-inJapan’s interest in re-establishing the New York Go Center, we strongly disapprove of doing so at the expense of the Seattle Go Center.” Noting that “The Nihon Ki-in has generously supported international go for decades with the creation of overseas chapters, establishment of the World Amateur Championships and the International Go Foundation, invitations for overseas teachers, the visits of hundreds of professionals,” the NKA and NYGC called on the Nihon Ki-in “to negotiate a mutually acceptable agreement with the American Go Association, the Seattle Go Center and the New York Go Center to make the best use of Iwamoto-sensei’s generous endowment to go in the United States.” photo of sign outside  former site of the New York Go Center by d_run on flickr

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Bay Area High School Tourney May 28

Monday April 30, 2012

Bay Area k-12 schools are invited to compete in a half-day team contest in Cupertino, CA. Spectators are welcome, say organizers Kevin Huang and David Su,  and competition should be strong among the local stars.  Complete info is on the web here.  The tourney will be held Monday May 28, (Memorial Day) from 12pm-6pm, at the ThinkTank Learning Center. Schools that register by Tuesday, May 1st get a reduced rate of $15, the fee is $18 after the 1st.  Teams should contain three people. If a school has a shortage of players, players from different schools may register together as a team. The top 3 teams in each division will receive a prize, and participants will receive a team consolation prize.  Click here to register. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.  Photo: promo poster by Innod.net, double-click on the image for a full size blow-up.

Second Online NAIM/WMSG Qualifier Scheduled

Monday April 30, 2012

The Oscar Wilde Liberation Tournament NAIM/WMSG Qualifier is set for May 19-20 in the AGA Tournament Room on KGS. This second online tournament will afford players another chance to win points towards the North American Ing Masters (NAIM) Tournament and the upcoming 2012 World Mind Sports Games. The tournament is designed for 16 players, with four rounds over two days. Yixian Zhou will direct, and points will be awarded separately for players based on whether they are eligible for NAIM or WMSG points. Click here by Tuesday, May 15 to register. Click here for tournament schedule and details. All players must be either eligible for the North American Ing Masters Tournament or the World Mind Sports Games, both scheduled for August 2012. The NAIM will be during the US Go Congress, August 4-12 in Black Mountain, NC, while the World Mind Sports Games will take place in Lille, France August 9-23. The second WMSG will be an all-amateur event this year, but further details of the tournaments have not yet been released (How to Earn Qualie Points for 2012 World Mind Sports Games in France article). Irish author and playwright Oscar Wilde (photo above) wrote many successful works including The Importance of Being Ernest and The Picture of Dorian Grey. May 19 marks the 115th anniversary of Wilde’s release from Reading Gaol Prison in 1897.
- Karoline Burrall, AGA Tournaments Coordinator

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Calvin Sun Wins ’12 Cotsen

Sunday April 29, 2012

Calvin Sun won the 2012 Cotsen Open, sweeping all five rounds and earning an invitation to the AGA’s first-ever professional certification tournament, which will be held at the US Go Congress this summer in Black Mountain, NC. Runner-up Curtis Tang also collected an invite to the pro certification tournament. Click here for the tournament crosstab with links to top-board game records.
Other top Cotsen winners in the Open section were Chun-hong Chen (3rd), Deuk Je Chang (4th), Daniel (Dae Hyuk) Ko (5th) and Joey Hung (6th). The Santa Monica Go Club won the team prize, collecting the $1,000 prize. Other winners: Section A: 1st: Sang-suk Kim; 2nd: Anthony Chen; 3rd: Gary Shen. Section B: 1st: Yunxuan Li; 2nd: Ho-byun Young; 3rd: Jeremy Chiu. Section C: 1st: Jinming Pan; 2nd: Michael Wanek; 3rd: Daniel Liu. Section D: 1st: Jack Cai; 2nd: April Ye; 3rd: Wait-to Char. Section E: 1st: Sang-chul Lee; 2nd: Sum Kim; 3rd: In-soo Hwang. Section F: 1st: Jiayue Li; 2nd: Gary Huang; 3rd: Yongqiang Chen. Section G: 1st: John Ye; 2nd: Hong L Bach; 3rd: Scott Nichols. photo: Cotsen winner Calvin Sun (2nd from right) with tournament sponsor Eric Cotsen (far left), AGA Board Chair Andy Okun (2nd from left) and AGA President Allan Abramson (far right). photo by Chris Garlock.

Pro System Launch “Monumental Moment” for U.S. Go, says Cho Hunhyun 9P

Sunday April 29, 2012

For a guy whose nickname is “The God of War” and who has amassed over 1,000 career wins, Cho Hunhyun 9P in person in actually pretty mild-mannered. In Los Angeles this weekend to help launch the American Go Association’s (AGA) nascent professional certification system at the Cotsen Open AGA-Tygem Pro Prelim, Cho took a few minutes out of a jam-packed schedule Saturday at the Korean Cultural Center to sit down for an interview with the American Go E-Journal. “This is a monumental moment for the AGA,” Cho said, “and I wanted to be here, on behalf of the Korean Baduk Association, to show our support.” Saying that he’s “very impressed” by the American effort and enthusiasm for go, Cho said that simply by launching the American pro system “You have taken the most important step.” But, like the game of go itself, Cho encouraged American players to settle in for a long road ahead. “China dominated this game for 5,000 years,Japan dominated it for 500 years and Korea has been on top for just 30 years, so for American players to compete on a world level, it’s going to take a long time, 10, 20, maybe even 50 years.”  Developing a professional system is absolutely key to building the strength of American players, Cho said, because it creates the necessary financial incentives and infrastructure and ultimately will make it possible to have a career as an American professional go player. But because it’s impossible to predict the rise of homegrown go prodigies or geniuses, Cho said America must “just follow the path, be patient and put in the effort and someone will come forth.” This was Cho’s own path to the top, he said, saying that “choosing the path of a go professional was like destiny,” adding that he feels that “this journey has not ended” for him and he thinks he still has more to contribute to the game. “The beauty of go is that people become modest when they play.” As proof, Cho revealed that he’s recently taken up golf, where “I am now the amateur” and can just have fun playing.
- report/photos by Chris Garlock; translation for Cho Hunhyun by James Kim

Cary Chinese School Teams Win in Carolina Team Tourney; Owen Chen 5D Tops Individual Competition

Sunday April 29, 2012

“The team competition was fierce” at the April 22 Carolina Spring Go Tournament, reports organizer Owen Chen. The team competition for youth players was one of the unique features of the annual tournament in Raleigh, NC, organized by the Cary Go Club and the Chinese-American Friendship Association of North Carolina. The event drew 34 go players ranging from 6 to 70 years old.

Four teams representing the Raleigh Academy of Chinese Language (RACL), Cary Chinese School (CCS) and the Chinese School at Chapel Hill (CSCH) competed in the team tournament. “Young players kept reporting and checking the team scores posted on the wall after each round,” Chen tells the E-Journal. In the end, two teams from CCS -   CCS Team 1, consisting of Alvin Chen, John Zhu and their teacher Jeff Kuang, and CCS Team 2, consisting of Byron Qi, Larry Zhang and David Hao, tied for the first place in the team competition with each team scoring 8 wins.

In the individual competition, Chen himself, a 5-dan, won the open section. Jeff Kuang 5d and Guojun Zhu 4d tied for the second place of the open section, each with three wins.

Brian Wu 1d won Section A (6k-1d) with a score of 3-1.  Ralph Abbey 10k, Alvin Chen 12k and Jeff Martyn 10k all won 3 games and tied for the first place in Section B (15k-10k).    In the beginner section of Section C (27k-19k), Byron Qi 20k, Anna Wiggins 19k and Larry Zhang 20k tied for the first place, each with 3 wins.
Photos:  top right: CCS teams 1 & 2; above left: Owen Chen (at left in photo) plays Jeff Kuang. Photos courtesy Owen Chen

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