American Go E-Journal

“The Best Gift Ever!”

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.

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Baduk TV Now Available on Apple TV

Sunday January 12, 2014

Live Korean go matches with commentary, game reviews and lessons are now available 24/7 through KorTV on Apple TV. KorTV — an Internet television network designed to provide free live Korean IPTV — provides HD quality live Korean go streaming services for $2.99 a month. KorTV also provides baduk (as go is known in Korea) VODs, such as lessons for various levels from beginner to professional and hour-long world matches and Korean leagues. The live broadcasting is in Korean, but some VOD have English subtitles or dubbing. Note: this is a separate service from Baduk TV English — the partnership between Baduk TV and Go Game Guru. 

British Open Now Welcomes All Comers

Saturday January 11, 2014

Following lively debate on British go community subscription list Gotalk (see British Open Not So Open, Eurogotv 12/30/13), the British Go Association (BGA) has now reviewed its decision to limit entry to the British Open and British Lightning this year to members of the BGA or other national go organization (see footnote to British Open Taking Entries, EJ 12/29/13). Instead non-members will be subject to a £5 surcharge, payable upon attendance. The events form part of the British Go Congress 2014 which, as reported, will be held at the English south coast resort of Bognor Regis, February 28 – March 3, alongside the European Youth Go Championship. Click here to enter.

Tony Collman, British correspondent for the E-Journal

Report from the Zhugang Cup World Weiqi Team Championship

Saturday January 11, 2014

“It was our great pleasure and honor” to play in the recent Zhugang Cup World Weiqi Team Championship (Korea Wins New International Tournament 1/3 EJ), reports Mingming (Stephanie) Yin 1P (at right). Yin, along with MingJiu Jiang 7P (at left) and Zhaonian (Michael) Chen 6D (bottom right) represented the U.S. at the event in Guangzhou, China, where strong players from around the world gathered in teams of three to compete for a total prize pot of over 5,000,000 RMB ($825,000 USD). “After three rounds of heavy competition among unseeded teams, the US team was successfully able to defeat opponents in the qualification sessions and gain entry into the ranked session,” Yin says. “There, we went up against five teams, all of which had a line-up of world-class competitors.” In the first round, the US played China’s seeded team with Shi Yue 9P, Zhou RuiYang 9P, and Chen YaoYe 9P. In the third round, they played Japan’s Wild Card Team with Takemiya Masaki 9P, Kobayashi Koichi 9P and Cho Chikun 9P, and in the fifth round, the US played Korea’s Wild Card Team with Cho Hun-hyeon 9P, Yoo Chang-hyuk 9P and Lee Chang-ho 9P. “We lost to these incredibly strong teams but finished the tournament with a 2-3 record because of 3-0 wins against the Canadian and Czech Republic teams. To our surprise, we were presented with a Zhugang Cup World Team Go Championship ‘Outstanding Contribution Award.”
photos courtesy Mingming (Stephanie) Yin 

Categories: World
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Ximeng Yu Wins as Jin Chen Memorial Tournament Draws Big Crowd

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

 

Categories: U.S./North America
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Go Photo: Former Insei Visits Santa Barbara Club

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

EuroGoTV Update: Netherlands, England, Finland

Wednesday January 8, 2014

Netherlands: Michiel Tel 5d (left) took the Heerlen NieuwJaars Go Toernooi on January 5. Behind him were Jonas Welticke 4d and Geert Groenen 6d. England: Yuanbo Zhang 4d bested Benjamin Drean-Guenaizia 5d at the London Open on December 31 while Pierre Paga 4d placed third. Finland: The Takapotku Open finished in Espoo on January 6 with Juri Kuronen 6d in first, Antti Tormanen 7d in second, and Vesa Laatikainen 5d in third.
– Annalia Linnan,  based on reports from EuroGoTV, which include complete result tables and all the latest European go news; photo courtesy of EuroGoTV

Calvin Sun Edges Out Bill Lin in Dramatic Final to Win AGA Pro Tourney

Tuesday January 7, 2014

Sixteen-year-old Calvin Sun narrowly edged out 17-year-old Bill Lin to become the American Go Association’s third pro Monday night. Sun eked out a 1.5-point win in an exciting nearly 300-move final – forced by Lin’s second-round win earlier in the day — that kept hundreds of fans on KGS guessing until the very end. Sun topped a tough field of eight strong players in the second AGA Pro Qualification Tournament and joins Andy Liu 1P and Gansheng Shi 1P – who won the 2012 edition — as the first homegrown U.S. professional go players. Ryan Li won the Exhibition League. Click here for pairings, results and game records. Jeff Shaevel directed the tournament and Dennis Wheeler led the E-Journal game broadcast team, which included Andrew Jackson, Richard Dolen, Dave Dows and Joe Cepiel. Myungwan Kim 9P served as referee and provided live game commentary on KGS (available free under KGS Plus/Recent Lectures) for the two final rounds. The event was hosted by the historic Hotel Normandie in downtown Los Angeles. photo by Dennis Wheeler

Categories: U.S. Pro Tournament
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US Pro Tourney Goes to Final Tiebreaker Tonight

Monday January 6, 2014

It all comes down to one game now. 17-year-old Bill Lin’s 171-move defeat of 16-year-old Calvin Sun Monday morning means the two will play a decisive tie-breaker tonight to decide who the next AGA pro will be. The game will be broadcast live on KGS at 7P EST (4p PST), with commentary by Myungwan Kim 9P. Click here for pairings, results and game records. photo: Bill Lin (right) plays Calvin Sun in the final round; photo by Dennis Wheeler

Categories: U.S. Pro Tournament
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Calvin Sun 1 Win From U.S. Pro Title; Bill Lin Battles To Keep Hopes Alive

Sunday January 5, 2014

Calvin Sun (right) is one win away from being the next American pro. Sun edged out Jianing Gan by 1.5 points in a dramatic game Sunday morning in which the lead appeared to change hands several times, keeping hundreds of viewers on KGS riveted to their screens. Monday’s final between Sun and bottom bracket winner Bill Lin will be accompanied by live game commentary starting at 10a PST (1p EST) on KGS by Myung-wan Kim 9P, James Kim and Matthew Burrall. Since Sun has already beaten Bill Lin (left in photo) in a previous match, one more win for him will clinch his berth as the next US pro. If Lin wins, there will be one final game to determine the tournament winner. Click here for pairings, results and game records. photo by Dennis Wheeler

Categories: U.S. Pro Tournament
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