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

Hikaru Author to Attend Congress

Monday April 16, 2012

Hotta Yumi, author of the best selling manga series Hikaru no Go is confirmed for the US Go Congress.  Hotta will meet fans, sign autographs, and answer questions at the Go Symposium on Sunday, and will be a celebrity judge for the official Hikaru no Go Trivia contest in the Youth Room on Monday.  When Hotta was learning to play go, she got frustrated at never being able to beat the professionals who taught her. “So I thought, wouldn’t it be great if I had a strong supernatural ally, maybe then I could beat a pro someday,” she told the E-Journal in an earlier interview. The result was the best-selling manga and anime series Hikaru no Go, which is credited with renewing or sparking interest in go worldwide in recent years. “I had no idea how popular it was outside Japan until I went to the European Go Congress two years ago and met so many people who told me they learned about go through Hikaru No Go,” Hotta said, laughing. -Paul Barchilon with Chris Garlock, photo by John Pinkerton.

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Congress Scholarships for Youth Available

Monday April 16, 2012

The American Go Foundation (AGF) is offering $200 youth discounts to this year’s US Go Congress.  Interested youth must write an essay on why they want to go; the application deadline is May 30th. Twenty-Five scholarships are available, and up to 15 awardees will be selected by June 1. Five scholarships are available to residents of Canada or Mexico. Applications received after May 30th will be placed in a lottery with the remaining scholarships  awarded at random from qualifying essays.  The scholarships are available for youth who are under 18.  For more information, and to apply, click here.  - Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo: Youth playing Four Color Go at the 2011 Congress, photo by Paul Barchilon.

Cotsen Open Registration Nearing Triple Digits

Saturday April 14, 2012

Nearly 100 are already pre-registered for the Cotsen Open coming up April 28-29 in Los Angeles, one of the biggest tournaments of the year, with a strong field and this year featuring appearances by top Korean professionals including Cho Hun-Hyun 9P, Yoo Chang-hyuk 9P and KBA Secretary General Yang Jae-ho 9P, who will be commenting, teaching and observing the opening phase of US pro certification process. In addition to turnout by local players and clubs, a big contingent from Arizona is expected as usual and so far the player traveling the farthest (besides the Korean pros) is Vermonter Peter Schumer. Also signed up is SmartGo creator Anders Kierulf, coming in from Salt Lake City and longtime go organizer Jeff Shaevel from cedar Park, Texas. Unique among go tournaments anywhere, everyone who registers by 4/23 gets free lunch both days.
photo: tournament sponsor Eric Cotsen and one of the masseuses, another unique feature of the tournament; photo by Chris Garlock

How to Earn Qualie Points for 2012 World Mind Sports Games in France

Friday April 13, 2012

All tournaments designated as North American Ing Masters qualifiers, as well as AGA-Tygemgo Pro Tournament qualifiers, are now tournaments at which strong players will be able to earn qualification points for the 2012 World Mind Sports Games (WMSG), scheduled to take place in Lille, France, from August 9-23, reports AGA Tournament Coordinator Karoline Burrall. Players interested in representing the U.S. at the WMSG must be U.S. citizens; all other AGA eligibility criteria for international representatives apply. Upcoming tournaments at which players can earn points are Ronghao Chen’s NAIM qualifier and Self Paired Tournament in Somerset, New Jersey April 21-22, the Cotsen Open in Los Angeles on April 28-29, the AGA-Tygem Seattle Pro Prelim in Seattle, Washington on May 5-6, the Rocky Mountain Spring Go Tournament in Boulder, CO on May 12 and the Maryland Pro Tournament (details coming soon). Details are on the tournaments calendar. Players should indicate to the tournament director that they would like to earn WMSG points at these events. “Players are welcome to play in and attend as many qualifier tournaments as they wish,” notes Burrall, “but only their two highest point scores will add to make up their final points.”

U.S. Go Congress Offers Chance to Win Free Meal Plan

Tuesday April 10, 2012

U.S. Go Congress organizers have just announced a drawing for a free 2012 Congress meal plan – a $225 value — on April 25th. “Who says there’s no such thing as a free lunch…and breakfast and dinner?!” said Congress Co-Director Peter Armenia and Paul Celmer. This year’s Congress runs August 4 – 12 in Black Mountain, North Carolina.

Here’s how to enter:
1) Register and pay your total Congress balance. If you have already registered and paid, you can still enter the contest by completing the following steps.
2): Post a memory: on the 2012 Congress Facebook page post at least a paragraph that describes either your favorite memory of a U.S. Go Congress, or tells how you came to learn about go. Favorite pictures of a Go Congress from your personal album will also be accepted. If you don’t want to post to Facebook you can email it to paul@gocongress12.org and indicate that we can post your story or anecdote.
3): Notify: send an email to paul@gocongress12.org indicating that you have entered the contest.

You must complete all three steps to be considered for entry. The winner will be drawn at random from complete entries. Payment and postings must be made by midnight (EST) April 24th. “Of course, even if you do not wish to enter the contest we still very much appreciate your Congress payment to ensure your room reservations!” say Armenia and Celmer.

Highland Park Tops School Teams Tourney

Monday April 9, 2012

The American Go Honor Society’s 13th annual School Team Tournament (STT) concluded on KGS last month.  Over 150 avid go players duked it out in 54 teams from 40 schools in the US, Canada, and Mexico.  Teams were sorted by their average rank, in four divisions, and played four rounds. Co-sponsored by the AGA and the AGF, the STT has become the largest national youth tournaments in the US.  Leading the pack in the Varsity Division was Highland Park High School (NJ), who were undefeated.  The school has participated in several past tournaments. “We finally achieved good results this year,” said team captain Yang Xu 5d, “we’ve played in the tournament a few times in the past but lacked a consistent team.” Xu, who is also a part of the AGHS’s Future Leaders Immersion Program (FLIP), describes his school’s victory largely as a culmination of hard work and dedication, adding “this year, we were able to play with an overall higher average rank and I think that helped us a lot….hope to be able to participate in this again next year!”  Following up in 2nd and 3rd place  were Neo Fineart Learning Center and Joaquin Miller Middle School, both from CA. In the Junior Division, Tzu Chi Chinese School (CA) took 1st place with Richard Montgomery High School (MD) and Manlius Pebble Hill School (NY) following in 2nd and 3rd. Albert Einstein High School (MD) took 1st place in the Intermediate division, with Richard Montgomery High School (MD) taking second once again and Cary Chinese School (NC) taking third. In the novice division another team from Cary Chinese School, one of the major go playing schools in the country, took first place. Molalla High School (OR) came in 2nd and Manlius Pebble Hill School (NY) was a close 3rd. Prizes ranging from plaques to equipment were given out, with schools that had good participation also receiving rewards. AGHS Co-Vice President, Justin Teng says “a big thanks to everyone who participated, and to the volunteers, including Hugh Zhang, Monsoon Shrestha, and the AGHS officers who helped make this tournament a huge success. We hope everyone had fun and is looking forward to growing their clubs for next year’s tournament!” The next AGHS event will be a casual gathering on KGS on April 22nd at 4pm ET for pair-go. Keep up with the AGHS on their website. -Eric Chen, AGHS Co-Vice President, with Paul Barchilon.


AGA Go Camp Registration Open

Monday April 9, 2012

Registration for the AGA East Coast Go Camp is now open. Pricing and details can be found on the 2012 Camp Website here. For the convenience of the campers and their families, payments for the camp can be made online, although some forms must still be mailed directly to the organizers. The camp will take place the week before the Go Congress from July 28 to August 4 and will be held at the same location, the YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly in Black Mountain, North Carolina. “The AGA Summer Go Camp welcomes campers from the ages of 8 to 18 to attend for a week of go-playing and fun,” says director Amanda Miller.  AGF needs based scholarships are again available for players who can’t afford the full cost, and youth who played in the USYGC are eligible for a $400 scholarship to camp.  More details on AGF scholarships can be found here. - Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo by Amanda Miller: Campers playing relay go.

Sedgwick Kids Learn Go

Monday April 9, 2012

“I presented the game of go to almost 100 elementary students in Sedgwick’s Annual Discovery Day event,” writes Wenguang Wang.  “The kids seemed to enjoy the fun go facts and the several games they played.”  Sedgwick Elementary  School is in Cupertino, CA; Wang brought his “Let’s Play Go” event to four sessions of third-grade students on April 3rd.  “In each of the half-hour session, the students learned some fun facts about go, the basic rules, and had a chance to play several games on 9×9 boards,” adds Wang. - Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.  Photo by Karen Hersh: Wang, at right, instructs a table of students.

Daniel Chou 6D Leads Field at NOVA Cherry Blossom

Sunday April 8, 2012

Daniel Chou 6D led a field of 43 at the NOVA Cherry Blossom tournament on Saturday, March 31 in Arlington, VA. Tournament Director Allan Abramson tested OpenGotha and reports that “The pairing software worked without a hitch” and urges other TDs to “try it for yourselves,” and send any comments to him at allango1@verizon.net.

Winners Report: First place: Daniel Chou, 6D, (4-0); Craig Nelson, 3D; Ray Hunley, 1D; Joseph Lee, 4K; Baifu Li, 5K; Bob Bacon, 6K and Raymond Yeh, 6K (tied); Gary Smith, 10K, (4-0); Seung Yoon Oh, 18K (4-0); and Ash Abbas, 20K. Second place: Andrew Jackson, 4D; Hongchun Liu, 3D; Kevin Chin, 1K and Pascal Platteborse, 1D (tied); Joey Phoon, 4K; John Gipson, 5K, and Sam Zimmerman, 5K (tied); Mohan Sud, 8K (4-0); Anderson Barreal, 13K and Tariq Khan, 17K (tied); and Stephen Preston, 20K

Categories: U.S./North America
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North America & Europe Among Early Outs at Chunlan Cup

Wednesday April 4, 2012

North American representative Jing Yang 8D and European representative Alexandre Dinerchstein 3P were among the 16 players eliminated in the first two rounds of the 9th Chunlan Cup, which wrapped up on April 30. Now only 8 players remain. In Round One, Yang drew Choi Cheolhan 9P, a top Korean pro known as the ‘venomous snake’ because of his aggressive fighting style. Yang fought hard and gave Choi a difficult game, but eventually resigned in the early endgame (see game below). The Chunlan Cup is an invitational Go tournament for 24 top players from around the world, which uses a knockout format. Yang qualified as the North American representative in February this year. The quarter-finals will be held in late 2012, with no specific date set yet.
- David Ormerod; based on his original article: Just 8 players left in 9th Chunlan Cup at Go Game Guru. Photo: Jing Yang (left) plays Choi Cheolhan.

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