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

YKNOT Finals Set for Saturday, March 10 on KGS

Friday March 9, 2012

The final rounds of the Young Kwon National Online Tournament (YKNOT) will be played Saturday, March 10 on KGS in the AGA Tournaments Room. After three exciting rounds of play, seven players of the YKNOT 2, sponsored by Young Kwon, remain undefeated. The three undefeated players of the open section are Zhanbo Sun, a 2-dan professional and champion of last year’s YKNOT, Mingming Yin 1- dan professional and winner of the Strong Players Open of the 2011 Go Congress, and Yue Zhang 7D.  Other undefeated players include Meng Lu, Yunxuan Li, April Ye, and Julian Erville. “Special thanks to the tournament directors, Young Kwon for sponsoring, and KGS for hosting and tournament support!” says AGA Tournaments Coordinator Karoline Burrall.
3/11: Updated: Yue Zhang 7D was the third undefeated top player, not Andy Liu 7D, a past winner of the North American Ing Masters tournament and US representative overseas, who was 2-1. 

Categories: U.S./North America

NAIM Qualifier & Self-Paired Tourneys Set for Somerset, NJ

Friday March 9, 2012

Go players of all levels will be able to play or watch top-level play April 21-22 when the Wisonet Go Club hosts both a North American Ing Masters (NAIM) Qualifier and a self-paired tournament at the Madison Suites Hotel in Somerset, New Jersey. The NAIM Qualifier will provide high-level competition for strong dan players, as well as qualification points for the 2012 North American Ing Masters Tournament, which will be held at the US Go Congress in Black Mountain, NC in August. Meanwhile, players of all strengths will be able to play in a simultaneous self-paired tournament organized by Wisonet Go Club President and Tournament Director Ronghao Chen. To be eligible for the Qualifier, players must US citizenship or a green card, full AGA membership for the past year, and have lived in the US for six of the last 12 months. Players in this section may attend one or both days to play AGA-rated games. Players who would like to compete in the Qualifier must register by April 12; the registration fee is $45. For the self-paired tournament, the fee is $35 for both days, $22 for Saturday only, and $15 for Sunday only. Tournament prizes will be based on attendance after venue costs. The Somerset Madison Suites Hotel is also offering a special rate for visiting go players at the tournament. Click here for details, tournament registration form, and directions. Contact Ronghao Chen with any questions at

Categories: U.S./North America

Limited Seats Left for Janice Kim Workshop in Portland, OR

Friday March 9, 2012

With 20 players already signed up for Janice Kim 3P’s April 6-8 workshop in Portland, OR, there are just five seats left, reports Portland Go Club organizer Peter Freedman. Workshop participant strength ranges from 12kyu to 2 dan. “Workshop size limited to 25,” Freedman tells the E-Journal, “so there are still a few more slots.”  Email for more information.

Categories: U.S./North America

Insei League Expands

Monday March 5, 2012

Alexandre Dinerchtein’s Insei League is reaching out to youth with discounts and free memberships.  The league is run on KGS, and is structured  the same way Korean kids train to become professionals.  “We call for young players who are ready to devote themselves to the game and to compete later with Asian professionals,” writes Dinerchtein 3P. “We have changed our pricing policy to encourage participation in the League for any promising children.  The first three prizewinners of the European and the US Youth Go Championships, under 12 and 18, get free places in the Insei League. Go Champions under 12 and 18 of any country get 3 months in the League instead of 1 for $95. Young players who took second through fifth place during the last youth go championship of their country can play for 2 months instead of 1 for $95. Young go players under 18 and stronger than 10 kyu get a 15% discount.”  As another incentive, Dinerchtein has set up a prize jackpot, which increases by $250 each month.  Insei League members can win the jackpot if they place in the top three at the World Youth Go Championship, in either age group,  or top three at the World Amateur Go Championship, or  at the Korean Prime Minister Cup. “Every year the League will store about $3000 and we hope that this jackpot helps to develop a more serious approach to go studies,” adds Dinerchtein. For more information, visit the Insei League website. - Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.

Nihon Kiin Urged Not to Sell Seattle Go Center

Sunday March 4, 2012

Calling it “active and successful,” and “a gateway to/from Asia,”  top leadership of the American Go Association on Feb. 27 urged the Nihon Kiin not to sell the Seattle Go Center (SGC), after rumors to that effect began to circulate. “The Center regularly hosts many tournaments, and provides playing space, teaching games, and lessons for both beginners and advanced players,” wrote Allan Abramson, AGA President, Andrew Okun, AGA Board Chairman and Thomas Hsiang, AGA International Vice President in a letter to Otake Hideo, Chairman of the Board of Directors at the Nihon Kiin. “In addition, the Center regularly conducts public outreach at festivals and other events, provides teachers for school go clubs, runs special tournaments for young players, and sponsors workshops by visiting professionals.”  The SGC had just celebrated its 16th anniversary last September, and the Jin Chen Memorial Tournament on Jan. 8  attracted 42 players, the largest AGA-rated event at the Seattle Go Center in several years. In the AGA’s letter to the Nihon Kiin, Abramson wrote that he remembered “the first time I walked through the door into the Center. Within five minutes, I felt the energy and spirit of the people working there. Most important, I felt the warmth and spirit of Iwamoto-Sensei, and his desire to promote Go around the world, in one great community.” Adding that “We would consider the loss of the Seattle Go Center to be a major blow to Go in the US, and hurtful to the many volunteers who have worked so hard and so long to make it a success,” Abramson, Okun and Hsiang urged that “In the spirit of Iwamoto-Sensei, we suggest that it would be best to continue to enjoy the success of the Seattle Go Center, rather than sell it.” The Nihon Kiin has not thus far responded to either the 2/27 letter, a subsequent email on Mar. 2 from Abramson, or the E-Journal’s request for comment. photo: at the September 18 Tacoma (WA) Go Club’s annual Back-To-School Tournament at the Seattle Go Center

Categories: U.S./North America

Teacher of the Year Nominations

Saturday March 3, 2012

Nominations for the American Go Foundations  Teacher of the Year award are now open. The award is presented each year at the U.S. Go Congress and recognizes an outstanding American teacher. The winner  will receive an all expenses paid trip to the congress.  To be eligible, a teacher must be a member of the AGA, have been teaching go to children for at least two hours a week for two years, have started a go club or organization for youth, and have helped their students enter appropriate tournaments, if possible.  If you would like to nominate someone for this award, including yourself, e-mail  Nominations are due by April 15 and should include a description of the teacher’s activities,  how long they have been teaching, and how many students attend their program. - Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.  Photo: Last year’s winner Fritz Balwit, with his son Theo. Photo by Fritz Balwit.

Go Spotting: Go Newsweek

Saturday March 3, 2012

“In the latest issue of Newsweek there is a mention of go,” reports San Diego Go Club President Ted Terpstra. A sidebar to “Why Stephen Breyer and Other Power Players Love Bridge” lists games that celebs play, including bridge, scrabble backgammon, go and chess. Actor Omar Sharif (right) was so successful a bridge player “that he built a bridge empire, writing a column on the game for the Chicago Tribune and launching the traveling Omar Sharif Bridge Circus,” the article reports. Under go, Newsweek notes that “The ancient Chinese board game ensnared Rod Stewart, Paul Giamatti, and Ursula K. Le Guin.” photo courtesy Central Press-Getty Images


New Jersey Open Standings Posted

Wednesday February 29, 2012

A tournament report – including updated ratings and all game results — for the 2012 New Jersey Open (NJO) has been posted online. The final count for the NJO – held February 25-26 at Princeton University in Princeton, NJ — was a record-shattering 131 registered players, including college students from Stony Brook, Cornell, Rutgers, and Princeton. Many current and former students of the Feng Yun Go School participated, including the overall winner, Michael Chen, and runner up, Ricky Zhao. Chen is a recent graduate of Princeton University, where the tournament is held and Zhao has been accepted by Princeton. In addition, the Bob Ryder Memorial Beginner’s Prize, a fine complete go set, was given by random drawing to Daheng Shen 23k. The New Jersey Open was organized by Rick Mott and the Princeton Go Club. The tournament director was Paul Matthews.

Certificates and cash prizes were given to the following winners: New Jersey State Championship ($500/$250/$150): 1st: Zhaonian (Michael) Chen 7d; 2nd: Zhongxia (Ricky) Zhao 7d; 3rd: Minshan Shou 7d. 5 Game Winners ($80): Forest Song 5d; Gyuhyeon (David) Sim 3d; Julian Erville 6k. 4 Game Winners ($50): William Lockhart 5d; Sudhir Vel 4d; Kelsey Dyer 2d; Nathan Borggren 2d; Joshua Guarino 1d; G. Nicholas D’Andrea 2k; David Shin 4k; Ilhee Kim 5k; William Xu 5k; Gurujeet Khalsa 7k; Joyce Hong 9k; Quentin Berthet 10k; Sean Burton 10k; Zeshi Du 11k; Zachary Rudi Schanne 12k; Christopher Cho 17k; Zhi Liu 17k.

Complete tournament standings, including updated ratings and all game results, can be found at the Go Tourney Ratings website. photo: possible future NJO champion Yvette Lapidus, daughter of Carrie & Saul Lapidus, practices her two-handed tesuji Sunday, Feb. 26 at the NJO; photo by John Pinkerton.

The E-Journal broadcast top-board games live on KGS: check account user info for USGO1 & 2 on KGS for game records or download below:
2012.02.25NJOrdbd1: Tu-Huang

Categories: U.S./North America

YKNOT 2 Kicks Off This Weekend on KGS

Tuesday February 28, 2012

The first three rounds of the second Young Kwon National Online Tournament (YKNOT) will kick off this weekend. A field of 70 players from 16 kyu to professional will vie for nearly $3,000 in prizes sponsored by former US Open Champion Young Kwon. The tournament will provide high-level competition for participants, and the open section will be scored as a North American Ing Masters (NAIM) Qualifier. The player field will include professional players Mingming Yin and last year’s YKNOT champion, Zhanbo Sun, both of New York. Tune into the AGA Tournaments Room on KGS this weekend and next to watch the games. The tournament will be directed by a team including TD for Pairings Chris Kirschner, and online TDs Dennis Wheeler, Tina Zhang, Kevin Hwang, and Karoline Burrall. Tournament schedule and rules can be found at the tournament website.

Categories: U.S./North America

Janice Kim Blogs On

Monday February 27, 2012

Teasers from several recent posts on Janice Kim 3P’s Learn To Play Go  blog:

To 3-4, or to starpoint – that is the question
Whether ‘tis better in the endgame to suffer
through gote and komi an outrageous half-point loss
Or to take on a big dragon with only one eye
And by opposing need to resign. To invade, to die…
(The Opening Dilemma; Feb. 6)

Once in a hot pink moon I’ll go on a Go bender, when I throw off the thin, thin, thin mask of normalcy and indulge in ergonomically disastrous, unlimited Go playing and reviewing, a reverse Matrix where I’m plugged into an espresso machine, existential crisis at bay and the good times rolling…
(48 Hours; Jan. 23) 

For the past several days, the immortal lyrics off of They Might Be Giants’ first album have been going through my head: I’ve got two songs in me/And this is/Number three…
(IYDSIYDGI, Jan. 14)

photo courtesy World Poker Tour website

Categories: U.S./North America