Capital One has informed its Card Lab Connect partners that it is ending the program, under which AGA members could apply for go-decorated VISA cards whose fees were shared with AGA, according to AGA President Andy Okun. “I am quite disappointed, as the program was a nice addition to the AGA budget and the cards a nice conversation piece,” he told the E-Journal. New applications are no longer being accepted, although spending on existing cards will generate revenue through the end of September. After that the cards will be replaced with ordinary Capital One cards, which members may keep or cancel as they please. The AGA will make good on its offer of a $50 cash rebate for New York Congress attendees showing the card. “We promised,” Okun said (U.S. Go Congress Registration Opens with Special Rebate Offer 3/30/2014). Capital One cited declining business in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis as reason for leaving the affinity card business. There are a few similar other programs out there, but Okun said he would like feedback at email@example.com before deciding on whether to go down that path.
American Go E-Journal » U.S./North America
Saturday June 28, 2014
Friday June 27, 2014
If you’re in the St Louis area this weekend – or maybe just passing through the airport – you’ll want to stop by the stamp show at the Renaissance St. Louis Airport Hotel. Longtime go player and philatelist Les Lanphear will be showing his award-winning stamp exhibition “Go, The World’s Oldest Board Game,” which uses brilliantly-colored stamps from around the world to tell the story of go, from its’ origins through development of the game, the people involved, as well as various related historical developments, including go’s transmission to Japan, Europe and the United States. “The last time I showed the exhibit was around three years ago,” Lanphear tells the E-Journal. “About 50% has been changed with many new items. I am getting it ready for an international exhibit on Korea in August.” The hours of the show are 10a to 6p Friday and Saturday and 10a to 4p Sunday.
photo: Lanphear at the 2008 US Go Congress in Portland, OR; photo by Chris Garlock.
Thursday June 26, 2014
Saturday June 21, 2014
A draft update of the AGA’s official Tournament Regulations is now posted for review and comment. First published in (year) by Ken Koester and updated periodically, “These are not sweeping changes, mostly moderate edits and additions to the prior edition,” reports Chris Kirschner, who’s been working with Karoline Li and Steve Burrall on the updates.
Proposed changes include defining regulations for self-promotion and TD discretion (the new section follows a recent policy decision by the Board regarding this issue, which has been simmering for years); regulations have been modified throughout to include competition played under other rule sets than AGA rules; rulings procedures are described separately for cases in which the ruling relates directly to rules of play, and those which relate to player behavior in the course of competition; definition of the completion of a move, and right of opponent to play is clarified; time control management section has been amplified and clarified; advisory elements of the original have been amplified, and moved into appendices; there is a change in the composition of an appeals committee if formed, which includes the TD as a non-voting member of the committee; requests that a summary of all appeals be sent to the AGA Tournament Coordinator.
Comments should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by July 20, after which the draft will be edited with the comments in mind. “We expect to have a final in time for the Congress, says Kirschner, who adds that “We are also reviewing various informal guidelines for regulating online tournament play.” Anyone with ideas on that should send them to email@example.com.
Wednesday June 18, 2014
Candidates for the AGA Board of Directors have now been finalized. Incumbent Gurujeet Khalsa is running unopposed in the Eastern region, as is Robert Gilman (also an incumbent) in the Central region. Ted Terpstra and Jingwei ‘Jay’ Zheng are running for the seat in the Western region for the seat currently held by Steve Burrall, while in the At-Large, Diego F. Pierrottet is running against Edward (Zhiyuan) Zhang. Candidate statements, if submitted, are available on the AGA Elections page. Ballots will be sent out in early July and winners announced August 10.
Sunday June 15, 2014
Ming Curran 3D topped a field of 17 players ranging from 4d to 20k at the Berkeley Go Club’s ratings tournament on June 14. The event was hosted in the Games of Berkeley game store’s downstairs playing rooms, with store gift certificates given as prizes.
Organizers were Peter de Blanc and Linden Chiu, with Chiu directing. “Thanks to both Games of Berkeley and the Bay Area Go Players Association, who provided clocks and stones,” said Chiu.
Results: 1st: Ming Curran 3d (3-0); 2nd: Sean Wahl 10k (3-0); 3rd: Garnet Chaney 19k (3-0).
photo courtesy Linden Chiu
Sunday June 15, 2014
Game results from this year’s Young Kwon National Online Tournament (YKNOT) will be included in the new AGA Online Ratings system, the AGA reports. This is similar to the AGA On-Line Games Self-Paired Tournament on KGS, which is also contributing results to the new AGA Online Ratings system, which is still in development.
The Young Kwon National Online Tournament is the largest annual online tournament in North America. Registration is free and open to all levels, with nearly $3,000 in total prizes, which will be awarded to all levels. The tournament will take place on June 21, 22, and 28th. Click here to see the tournament webpage with registration details and rules and click here to register. Players have until Friday, June 20th to register. There are no citizen or permanent residency requirements; AGA members living in the US or AGA life members living anywhere are eligible, and even players who join the AGA the day before the start of the tournament are welcome to participate.
Saturday June 14, 2014
Peter Freedman, of Portland, OR, has been named the AGF Teacher of the Year, winning a free trip to the US Go Congress in NYC. Freedman, who has been active in the Portland area for decades, has focused his primary activities on youth go in recent years. Freedman and Fritz Balwit (2011 AGF Teacher of the Year) had tried to establish go clubs in schools for many years, but they were short-lived and drew minimal numbers “Meanwhile, our chess and go program at Irvington Elementary had run for many years, with upwards of 30 students every term,” Freedman told the Journal. “It became clear to me that chess and go clubs have a much better chance to introduce children and teens to go than free-standing go clubs. I approached several school chess coaches about the idea of morphing their programs into chess and go clubs, and now there are over 100 children in these clubs, spread over five schools, I teach go and Fritz teaches chess in most schools. The students can play only chess; play only go; or, switch between chess and go each month. New students must play a month of go before they decide on their option. There is a segment of our culture that knows, appreciates and respects chess, while only a few know of go. Yet, many of us were chess players before we were go players. It seems like a nice path. We need a new motto: chess is our friend, not our enemy.”
AGA President Andy Okun had this to say about Freedman: “While many people know him as a club organizer, AGA volunteer and co-director of the really successful 2008 Portland Congress, Peter has also been teaching go for many years, and very intensively since retiring eight years ago. For the last three years, he’s run the Irvington Elementary School Go Team, which has played matches against teams in Portland, Detroit and Mexico City. He led the effort to make the Portland Go Club a 501c3 so it could raise money for a go in the schools program, and has raised thousands of dollars for that effort.” Recent activities included bringing Mingjiu Jiang 7P to Portland, for a workshop attended by 19 players from across Oregon, ranging in age from 7 to 72, and strength from beginner to 3 dan. “Nine of the players were kids or teens,” said Freedman, “one of whom taught himself to play three months ago, another was a 7 year old kgs 3 kyu. Andrew Nguy, who recently started the robust David Douglas H.S. Go Club, was also in attendance. Mingjiu was up to the challenge of teaching such a diverse group, moving from simple problems to more complex ones that the advanced people could chew on.”
“The AGF board faced a very tough decision again this year,” reports President Terry Benson, “with five extremely strong candidates, each of whom fully deserved the award. Fortunately, we choose a new teacher every year, and the other candidates will all have a chance again next year.” Freedman and Balwitz have put together curriculum guides and outlines for their method, which can be downloaded on the AGA Teaching Page. Free equipment, Hikaru no Go, and other resources are available on the AGF website. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photos: Top: The Irvington Elementary Go Team plays a match against Mexico City, Freedman is 2nd from right; Bottom: students at the Mingjiu Jiang workshop last April.
Thursday June 12, 2014
With the Young Kwon National Online Tournament (YKNOT) less than two weeks away, a competitive open section is shaping up with over 10 players 6-dan and above. Eligible players in the open section this year will earn NAMT points towards participation in the US Invitational, the 9-round $5,000 prize event. Players who qualify through NAMT will be eligible for an extra $2,000 in prizes.
“Dan level registration has been strong, but we also encourage kyu players to register!” says AGA Tournament Coordinator Karoline Burrall. “We encourage registration at all playing levels, and prizes will be awarded at all levels.”
YKNOT4 sponsor Young Kwon is a go player from Pearl River, New York and a previous US Open champion. Dedicated to promoting go in the United States, he has sponsored this tournament and provided the nearly $3,000 in prizes while offering free registration to all players. The only requirements for the tournament are AGA membership and a United States address. AGA life members living anywhere are also welcome.
Registration is free. The tournament games will be played on June 21, 22, and 28th. Click here to register, and visit the website for schedule, rules, and details.
Thursday June 12, 2014
“Go Go Seigen” was the slogan on the birthday cake at the Seattle Go Center on Wednesday night. In Japan, it was already Thursday, and Go Seigen’s birthday. Most of the ten Seattle celebrants were members of the SDK class (single digit kyu players). Frank Brown cut the cake. Frank turned 60 on Tuesday, and immediately bought a lifetime membership in the Seattle Go Center with his new senior discount. The Go Center wishes both birthday boys many more years of go playing. Report and photo by Brian Allen.