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

33rd WAGC Begins: E-Journal & Ranka Online Team Up for Coverage

Saturday May 12, 2012

The 33rd edition of the World Amateur Go Championships (WAGC) began Sunday morning, May 13, in the gold-draped main playing hall of the Guangzhou Chess Institute (“chess” in this context refers to go, chess and Chinese Chess) in Guangzhou, also known as Canton, the capital city of Guangdong Province in South China. Fifty-six players (Poland’s player missed his plane and has been replaced with a second Chinese player) have traveled from around the world to compete for the title as world’s top amateur. While China and Korea are once again favorites to win, the U.S. last year cracked the top five with Eric Lui’s 3rd-place finish and is represented this year by Yuan Zhou 7d, the popular teacher and author who’s won a number of U.S. titles. The American Go E-Journal and Ranka Online have teamed up again this year to provide full coverage of the WAGC, including tournament reports, game records and commentaries and photos; reports will be posted regularly on the AGA’s website, at Ranka Online and in the daily E-Journal. The 8-round tournament runs May 13-16.
- Chris Garlock; photos by John Pinkerton
Click here to download these Round 1 sgf game records:
DPR Korea (Ri Kwang Hyok 6D) vs China (Fang Xiaoyan 3D)
- Commentary by So Yokoku 8P
US (Yuan Zhou 7D) vs Norway (Pal Harald Sannes 5D) 

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Maryland Open Next Stop in TYGEMGO Pro Prelim Series

Saturday May 12, 2012

Next up in the TYGEMGO Pro Prelim series is the Baltimore Go Club’s 39th Maryland Open on May 26-27 in Catonsville Maryland just outside Baltimore. The top finishing player with qualifying citizenship earns the right to compete for pro certification this summer in North Carolina the week before the US Go Congress. Top players also earn points to represent the US in the World MindSport Games in France. “However,” stresses local organizer Keith Arnold, “ALL players of ALL strengths are welcome to play and be present for this historic event.” Click here to pre-register or contact Keith Arnold at hlime81@comcast.net with any questions.

Online Tygem Pro Qualifier Open to All

Thursday May 10, 2012

President Allan Abramson called today for go players at all levels to play in the Tygem online pro qualifier, which begins the first weekend in June. Abramson said he was “encouraging everyone to participate in this history-making event, and tell your friends that you competed to become a pro!”

All those interested should sign up to play on the Tygem server (see below). “Practice with the Tygem server now will make your online competition easier,” he said. “Note that it is Windows-based only, so you may need to arrange to use a friend’s PC.” (5/11 Update: Tygem runs on the iPad, but will not run on a Macintosh computer.  iPad users can download the app from the Mac App Store.) Interested players 7 dan and up should register online, and send Abramson a note stating your interest in competing,  your AGA ID and statement of US/Canadian citizenship (President@usgo.org). For everyone else, “just play and enjoy this historic event.”

The first round of the three-round competition is a simple single elimination tournament open to all eligible AGA members, regardless of rank. Eligible players are US and Canadian citizens who are not already professionals.  Anyone who signs up on TYGEMGO and competes in the tournament will receive an “I Went Out For Pro” enamel pin as a keepsake. Players who are not yet AGA members can join the AGA through TYGEMGO for a promotional $15 rate.

Players who get their TYGEMGO ranking of 6d or higher can skip Round 1 and start in Round 2 with the survivors of Round 1.  Those who make it through Round 2 will join seven pre-seeded players for Round 3. The tournament will select seven finalists to compete from 7/28 to 8/4 in North Carolina, where sixteen players will compete for two pro certifications. The finalists in North Carolina will each receive a $500 subsidy and another $3,000 in prize money will be distributed.

In order to play, go to Tygem’s English-language website and sign up for a TYGEMGO account. Then go to to the registration page and hit the “register” button. Registration runs through May 27. The first round will start the first week-end in June. Contact Yixian Zhou at missbear@gmail.com or Andrew Okun at sponsorship@usgo.org if you have questions.

Categories: U.S./North America
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Quaid Tseng 6d Tops Stony Brook Sakura Matsuri Go Tourney

Thursday May 10, 2012

Quaid Tseng 6d was the top winner at the second annual Sakura Matsuri Go Tournament, hosted by the Stony Brook Go Club May 5 at the Long Island Cherry Blossom Festival in the Wang Center of Stony Brook University in New York State. The Festival celebrates Japanese culture with martial art demonstrations, taiko drum performances, kimono fashion shows and other events. The Stony Brook Go Club offered $200 worth of prizes, including books written by professional go players, teacups, and a traditional Filipino squash sculpture made by Alex Wong and Christian Ang. Open to the public with no entry fee, entrants participated in four rounds and attracted 36 participants. The top seeds consisted of five-dan ranked players ranging from 3-dan to 6-dan. Other undefeated winners were Barbara Huang 7k, Mirza Basim Baig 20k, and Diana Huang 20k.
- report by Christian Ang

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“My Father’s Last Game” Translated into Chinese; Cool Players; “Liking” Iwamoto’s Go Centers; Cotsen Correx

Wednesday May 9, 2012

“My Father’s Last Game” Translated into Chinese: Betsy Small’s Traveling Board column in the March 29 E-Journal, “My Father’s Last Game”  has been published in China, on the sina blog and major go websites, as well as in the publication Sports Fan, which has a circulation of about 150,000. “Some readers told me they were in tears after reading the story,” Simon Guo, who translated the article, tells the E-Journal. “Me too.”

Cool Players: “I could be mistaken, but the men in that photograph (Go Photo: Cool Game 4/22 EJ) look like Igor Grishin (left) and Maksim Tikhomirov (right) from the Russian Go Federation,” writes Nikolas. “ Alexandre Dinerchtein sent me more photos of them” on the All About Go blog.

“Liking” Iwamoto’s Go Centers:
Noting that “The Seattle Go Center is in serious jeopardy because the Nihon Ki-in has decided to sell the building that has housed it since its inception” and that “the unilateral manner in which the decision was made raises questions regarding the future of all of the Iwamoto Go Centers,” NY Go Center Board member Roy Laird is urging go players to “like” any or all of the three Iwamoto Go Centers that have Facebook pages: The Seattle Go CenterThe New York Go Center and The European Go Cultural Centre. “This public groundswell of support could open the door to a more effective partnership between the Nihon Ki-in and Western Go,” suggests Laird.

Cotsen Correx: Myung-wan Kim is 9P (not 3P as mistakenly reported in our 5/2 post In Appreciation: The 2012 Cotsen Open Team), Chris Sira was the Tournament Director. Our apologies for the error and oversight.

Edward Kim 7d wins Seattle Pro Prelim

Monday May 7, 2012

Edward Kim (r) won all five of his games  to win the first AGA-Tygem Seattle Pro Prelim, held May 5-6 at the Seattle Go Center.   Ten players competed for the opportunity to go to the AGA-Tygem Pro Final in North Carolina, which will be from July 28th to August 4th.  Second place was earned by Yixian Zhou 6d, who had a 4-1 record.   Third went to David (Dong) Ma 6d, fourth (on a tie breaker) to young Vincent Zhuang 6d and fifth to Nicholas Jhirad 6d.  The second band, which was not competing for the pro position, had six  dan level players.  Kum Kang Lee 4d placed first, Job Betcher 2nd and Louie Liu 3rd.  The tournament also generated points for the 2012 World Mind Sports selection process.

The Seattle Go Center expressed “special thanks” to Tournament Director John Hogan, “who did a great job starting a new tournament tradition.” Bill Chiles was Asst. TD, while  Dennis Wheeler, Oren Laskin, Bill Camp, and Bill Thompson recorded games from the top two boards.  The games are available here.
- photo by Brian Allen

Zavala Wins Mexican Youth Go Championship

Monday May 7, 2012

Lilian Zavala 9k, age 12, defeated Ogam Shakti Rojas 15k, age 11, at the finals for the Mexican Youth Go Championship (MYGC), in Cuautla Morelos, near Mexico City on March 18th.  “A full weekend trip was planned to this beautiful place,” reports organizer Siddhartha Avila, “where kids, parents, teachers and friends could enjoy the natural surroundings and have fun with different activities outdoors. There was intense go activity on Saturday morning, with matches and teaching games, later some of the kids played the first two rounds of the AGHS School Team Tournament online, while on Sunday the MYGC final game was won by Zavala.” More photos are available here
- Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.  Photo by Siddhartha Avila: Lilian Zavala 9k (l) vs. Ogam Shakti Rojas 15k (r).

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

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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.

Categories: U.S./North America
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