American Go E-Journal » U.S./North America
Monday January 20, 2014
Monday January 20, 2014
A delegation of Cuban go players has been invited to attend this year’s U.S. Go Congress for the first time and AGA board member Robert Gilman is coordinating fundraising efforts to support the visit. “The Cubans have greeted our invitation with ‘immense joy’,” Gilman — who organized the 2013 visit by US players to Cuba (Traveling Board: U.S.-Cuba Friendship Match “A Rare Opportunity”) — reports, “but the key question is money. Cuba is a poor country, the Cuban internal currency is worthless in the U.S. and the AGA does not have the budget to sponsor the delegation, so we’re asking the go community to step up. Cubans have made strong efforts to develop go there, but isolation from the international go community and limited internet have handicapped them. This visit will help them develop and extend bonds with our neighbors to the South.” The invitees are Cuba’s top two players and the president of the Academia Cubana de Go. The video here describes this effort.
Contributions can be made through either the AGA or the American Go Foundation (AGF); contributions to the AGF are tax deductible. In either case, put “CC2014” in the memo field, and mail the check to Gilman at P.O. Box 40020 in Albuquerque, NM 87196-0020. Checks will be acknowledged as they are received but not cashed until its clear the project is a go. If you are contributing, please complete the form here.
Saturday January 18, 2014
Last Saturday, January 11, the Las Vegas Go Club (LVGC) was at full capacity. “New membership to our club is up and we are hoping that it transfers to long-time go players.” reports Mike Wanek. “In the last month or so, we have had four new members who have started to attend the club regularly.” The seven regular members of the LVGC were very surprised when over 15 people showed up for last week’s meeting. “Currently, our main goals for the club are twofold,” says Chris Tettamanti. “First, to generate interest in the great game of go and second, to boost membership to the AGA.” As the club grows, donations are collected to buy much needed club equipment. Sean Jacobson noted that “The latest set of donations will go to purchasing new game clocks. We are very close to having enough in donations to purchase 5 or 6 of them already. This will allow us to create mini-tournaments on days that we have a large turnouts.” Weekly meetings of the Las Vegas Go Club — which welcomes players of all strengths — are on Saturdays from 4pm to 10pm at the IHOP at 7490 S. Las Vegas Blvd. photos courtesy Chris Tettamanti
Thursday January 16, 2014
Alex Panaccione won all four games to win the January 12 MGA Winter Tournament. Twenty eight players turned out for the event, which was directed by Eva Casey with support from Eric Tillberg, whose entry fee was waived as a result. “I hope others will begin to learn the ropes of directing this way too in upcoming tournaments,” says Casey. Tillberg took third place and Graham Higgins was second. Click here for more photos.
photo: Panaccione (right) playing Eric Osman; photo by Eva Casey
Monday January 13, 2014
The AGA is launching a new event for young players, the North American Kyu Championships (NAKC), to be held on KGS, on Saturday Feb. 15. The event will replace the USYGC, which had been tied into the Ing Foundation’s World Youth Goe Cup. The NAKC will welcome kids who live in both Canada and Mexico to compete with their counterparts in the US. Dan level players will be able to compete in the Redmond Cup (including players from Canada and Mexico). Youth who compete in either event will also be eligible for $400 scholarships to the AGA Go Camp, or $200 scholarships to the US Go Congress, courtesy of the AGF, on a first come first served basis.
Brackets in the NAKC will be divided by rank, with a new bracket formed approximately every 5 ranks or so depending on the range of participants. Within brackets, all games will be played even. Depending on the number of entrants in a given bracket, there will be either 3 or 4 rounds. There will be a trophy for the best Junior player (under 13) and the best Senior (under 18) in each bracket. Jr. and Sr. level youth will compete together. Registration is now open for both the NAKC and the Redmond Cup, and more information can be found on the AGA webpage for youth events. The deadline for the NAKC is Feb. 11th. to register, click here. For Redmond Cup registration, click here. The AGA is no longer involved with the Ing Foundation’s private tournament for youth. AGA members who wish to play in Ing events can find information on the Ing Foundation’s website here. -Story and Photo by Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo: Kyu players competing at a tournament in Colorado.
Sunday January 12, 2014
More than half a century ago, a small gift changed Terry Benson’s life. His parents bought him a go set at a mall bookstore in 1960. “It was a flimsy, cardboard set with small, flat bottom, plastic stones and a 1949 AGA rule book,” says Benson. “As plain as a game could be. But it was the best gift ever!” Now Benson, President of the American Go Foundation (AGF), is urging go players to also give the gift of go. “Think about what a little go set can do or what the first set or the first experience with go meant to you,” says Benson. Contributions help the AGF work with go organizers to spread the game. “The number of children that the AGF can reach is only limited by the gifts we receive from players who value go,” says Benson. “We need your help to find the next kid who could become an organizer, a champion, the parent of a go fan, or a lifelong player.” AGF projects this year alone include teaching teachers at a dozen schools in LA, where over 300 kids are now learning the game. “Jay Jayaraman in Memphis has started First Capture Go programs through The Confucius Institute at 18 schools with more signing on,” adds Benson. “Peter Freedman and 2011 AGF Teacher of the Year Fritz Balwit have a half-dozen programs in Portland with a chess and go hybrid model,” and the AGF sent more than 100 free Starter Sets to schools and libraries throughout the US that are starting go programs. Another 119 sets of the complete Hikaru no Go manga have been added to libraries and community centers, many of which now sport go clubs or teaching programs run by youth librarians with equipment from the AGF. The AGF also supported the Teacher Workshop at the 2013 Go Congress, provided $3,000 to help the US Go Camp this year in Pennsylvania and another $7,000 for kids coming to the Go Congress, as well as awarded a $1,000 2012 AGF College Scholarship to go organizer Joey Phoon and a $1,500 earmarked donation covered online teaching games for kids who had never experienced professional training. “We’re doing what we can but we need you to keep the game going,” says Benson. “What we can do depends on you.” Click here for details on how to contribute.
Thursday January 9, 2014
The fourth annual Jin Chen Memorial Tournament at the Seattle Go Center brought together 46 players from diverse backgrounds. The 12-person open section was won by Ximeng (Simon) Yu, a 1 dan professional from China who is also a local college student. Second place in the open went to longtime Northwest teacher and player Edward Kim 7d. Edward lost his game to Simon on time, but said he was also behind on points. Third place went to Ran Yan, who traveled to Seattle for the tournament. In the handicapped sections, Go Center teacher Nick Sibicky won the upper dan section, and Ning An, visiting from China, placed second. As is often the case in Seattle, the local Betcher brothers ruled the lower dan section, with Jordon first and Job second. In the upper kyu section, Andrew Mott was first and John Richards was second. In the large lower kyu section Wilhelm Fitzpatrick placed first, young Steven He second, and Rainer Romatka third.
Friends and family of the late Jin Chen came to the tournament from China, including 5 players. They donated a large and beautiful scroll painting of wei-chi players to the Go Center. The trip was organized by Shan Chen, Jin’s father. Their able translator was Xingshuo Liu 7d, a law student at Indiana University. Photo: 1st Round, 1st Board (l-r): Simon Yu, Momoko Tsutsui; 2nd Board: Bert Hallonquist and Edward Kim. Photo/Report Brian Allen
Wednesday January 8, 2014
Maojie “Jeff” Xia, who’s visiting Santa Barbara during his winter break from the University of Montana, arrived at the Santa Barbara airport on New Year’s Day and went straight to the Santa Barbara Go Club at the Coffee Bean, where he played for three and a half hours non-stop with club members including Stephanie Ho and Melvin Rosenfeld, giving both six stones and winning by resignation. Xia returned to the club last Saturday for “Saturday Sasual Go”, this week held at the home of Goro Nakano, where he played a simul with three club members. Xia, an ex-insei who studied at Nie WeiPing’s Go school in Beijing, is currently studying accounting at the University of Montana.
photo (l-r): Maojie “Jeff” Xia, Stephanie Ho (7 stones handi, B+2.5), Goro Nakano (7 stones handi, W+R), Melvin Rosenfeld (6 stones handi, W+R).
– report/photo by Ed Lee
Saturday January 4, 2014
Both West Coast NAMT points qualifier tournaments are coming up soon. The Northern California Ing Cup – sponsored by Ing’s Goe Foundation – is set for Saturday, January 18th, while The Dado 2014 Southern California Go Championship – organized by the Orange County Go Club and the Dado Cultural Exchange Association – will be held on Saturday and Sunday February 8-9. The 1-day, 4-round Ing Cup features Jiang ZhuJiu and Rui NaiWei, who will lead a team of 20 players from China, and is hosted by Legend’s Game Store. The Southern California Championship, a 2-day, 5-round event, has $2,500 in cash awards, with $600 to the open section winner; registration deadline is Feb. 5. Winners in both events qualify for the 2014 North American Masters Tournament (NAMT). photo: 2013 NorCal Ing
Friday January 3, 2014
Over 500 hundred fans watched online Friday morning as the opening round began for the second AGA Pro Qualification tournament. The games are being held at the historic Hotel Normandie in downtown Los Angeles, and broadcast online on KGS. Games began at 9:30 am (PST) Friday, January 3. Players who lose in the first round will still have a second chance to continue on into Round Two in this double elimination knockout event. Round Two started at 4:30 pm (PST) today (Jan. 3).
Round 1 results: Eric Lui defeated Daniel Gourdeau (W+12.5); Jianing Gan defeated Ryan Li (W+r); Bill Lin defeated Ben Lockhart (W+14.5); Calvin Sun defeated Andrew Lu (B+1.5).
Before the games started, each player was given a portable go set from the Korea Baduk Association (KBA). The winner will not only be certified as the AGA’s third professional player, but will also win a $1,500 cash prize, and each finalist will receive $800.
Jeff Shaevel is the tournament director, Myungwan Kim the referee, and the E-Journal’s game recording team includes Andrew Jackson, Richard Dolen, Dave Dows, Dennis Wheeler and Joe Cepiel. Also on hand are AGA president Andy Okun and Executive Vice President Ted Terpstra.
- report by Dennis Wheeler