American Go E-Journal

Google Donates $120,000 in Free Ads to AGF

Monday June 17, 2013

Google has agreed to donate up to $120,000 per year to the American Go Foundation (AGF) in free AdWords, those text-based ads you see to the right when you search on Google. The AGF received this benefit by qualifying as a Google Nonprofit, a status available to 501c3 corporations. “This is a great new way to reach out to players, teachers, librarians, organizers and people who ought to be players,” said AGF President Terry Benson. The AGF’s first AdWords campaign attracted almost 200 hits in the first week, with a “Got Best Game?” theme; traffic on the AGF website is up at least 30%. Another benefit of the program is access to One Today, a crowdsourced microfinance fundraising app for 501c3s. The app, currently only available for Android, presents users with one charity every day, and asks for a donation of one dollar, or more if a donor is so inclined.  Multiple charities are displayed each day, and users can pick who they want to donate to. The AGF is working on a One Today profile, and will go live on the app in the near future.  Like Microsoft, Exxon, and other major corporations, Google also matches the contributions of employees who make charitable donations to organizations like the AGF. -Roy Laird


New AGA Pro To Play in First Korean Tournament

Saturday June 15, 2013

Gansheng Shi 1p, who qualified with Andy Liu 1p as an AGA pro in last year’s certification tournament, is scheduled to play in his first Korean pro tournament, the KT-Olleh Cup, on Monday June 17th.  The young Canadian will play alongside Korean professionals and even receive a small game fee for playing.  Top prize in the tournament is $100,000.  The KT-Olleh is one of five tournaments that the Hankuk Kiwon (KBA) agreed to allow newly certified AGA pros to play in, and the first to start since Shi traveled to Korea last month. The next scheduled of the five is the Samsung Cup in August.  “My goal in tournaments would be to win at least one game but it seems very difficult,” Shi told the EJ.  Shi is studying at the Choong-Am Dojang in Seoul, with travel support from the AGA and tuition support from the KBA.

Shi says he is enjoying Korea, Korean food, and some new friends. He describes the Choong-Am as a “really quiet nice place to focus on go,” although he had difficulty adjusting at first. “I started off in league C … The first 2-3 weeks were really bad and I had a horrible losing record of something like 3-9, then I managed to stabilize in the league and was able to stay in league C without being moved to league D.  The new month just started and I have been doing great so far, winning most of my games and I really hope to move to the next league after this month.”  Shi fills his days with self-study of pro games and life and death until lunch, a game and then review with a teacher in the afternoon, more self-study and some exercise, and then a game after dinner. “I do feel like I’m progressing, because I have been improving in my record and winning a lot of games lately. Perhaps that is just me stabilizing but I do feel that I am learning a lot in the dojang.”  -Andy Okun.  Photo: Shi playing a simul at the Spring Go Expo earlier this year, from The Surrounding Game’s Facebook Page.

Takemiya Confirmed for U.S. Go Congress; Chinese Weiqi Names Two from Chongqing Go Team

Thursday June 13, 2013

The Nihon Ki-in has just confirmed that the legendary Takemiya Masaki 9P will attend the 2013 U.S. Go Congress, which runs August 3-11 in Tacoma, WA. Famous for his ‘cosmic style‘ of play – focusing on the construction of large moyos and taking territory in the center — Takemiya wowed 2009 Congress attendees with his lectures, game commentaries and demonstrations of ballroom dancing. “We are so thrilled to welcome Takemiya sensei back to the U.S. Go Congress,” said American Go Association President Andy Okun. “We’re sure he’ll be even more illuminating and entertaining this year.” The Chinese Weiqi Association has also just announced that they’re sending two attendees – Yang Yi 6P and Chen Wei 3P — to the Go Congress. Yang (top left) is director of the Chongqing Qiyuan and senior coach of the Chongqing Go Team, while Chen (bottom left), also from the Chongqing Qiyuan, is Coach of the Chongqing Go Team. Chen primarily teaches now, and more than forty of his students have achieved amateur 5-Dan status. “We are deeply grateful to Chinese Weiqi for the help and collegiality in spreading go and building the go community in North America,” said Okun.
- includes reporting by Lee Anne Bowie; Takemiya photo by Phil Straus

Korea Knocked Out In LG Cup Stunner; Japan Fights On

Thursday June 13, 2013

For the first time in the history of the LG Cup, there are no Koreans in the quarter final line-up. Korean fans were left in shock after Tuo Jiaxi 3P (left) knocked out Lee Sedol 9P (right) in a game with a very unusual opening. Japan continued the charge through the draw, with two of the Japanese players, Iyama Yuta 9P and Takao Shinji 9P, making it through, while Kono Rin 9P was defeated by Chen Yaoye 9P. This is the first time Japanese players have made it through to the quarter finals of the LG Cup since 2008, when Kono Rin did so. If Iyama or Takao manages to win the 18th LG Cup, it will be Japan’s first victory in this tournament since O Rissei (who was born in Taiwan) won it in 1998. There are six Chinese players still in the draw. The most notable is Li Zhe 6P, who is making an amazing comeback from his sabbatical, storming his way to the quarter final. Chen, Tuo and Li will be joined by their countrymen, Zhou Ruiyang 9P, Li Qincheng 1P and Xia Chenkun 2P. The two youngsters, Xia Chenkun and Li Qincheng, could turn out to be the dark horses in this competition, as China has some frighteningly strong children coming through the ranks. Though the quarter finals and semifinals will not take place until November, Japanese finalists Iyama and Takao will duel it out in the fourth game of the Honinbo on June 17 and 18. Meanwhile, Chinese finalist Chen Yaoye will compete against defending champion Lee Sedol on the international front at the Chunlan Cup also on June 17.
-Annalia Linnan, based on reports — including pairings, photos, and game records — on Go Game Guru. photo at bottom left: Team Japan (from left, clockwise): Kono Rin, Takao Shinji, Yamashiro Hiroshi, Iyama Yuta and Hane Naoki. 

UK Pair Go Monarchs Lose Crowns But Still Best-Dressed

Thursday June 13, 2013

England’s reigning pair go King and Queen lost their crowns last weekend. At the June 9 British Pair Go Championships, 25-time British Champion Matthew MacFadyen 6d and his wife and pair go partner Kirsty Healey 2k won the final game by 12.5 points to usurp the UK pair go throne held by 2012 champs Matthew Cocke 5d and Natasha Regan 1k . The outgoing royalty took some consolation from their prize for Best-Dressed pair, having come attired as a medieval royal couple (photo).

Eight pairs competed in the main tournament, for which world amateur pair go and European pair go qualification points were allocated. A further seven pairs played in a separate handicap tournament, won by Rebecca Margetts 20k and Oscar Selby 9k.

The event took place at Foxcombe Lodge Hotel, Boars Hill, near Oxford, England, and was organised by Francis Roads on behalf of the British Go Association (BGA). Click here for full results.
- Tony Collman, based on material on the BGA’s website; photo by Tony Atkins
CORRECTION (6/17):  MacFadyen-Healey won the final game by 12.5 points, not 2.5 as originally reported. 


Categories: Europe,Go News

A Google Doodle for Go Seigen?

Wednesday June 12, 2013

On Go Seigen’s 99th birthday, Go Game Guru renewed the call for a Google Doodle next year on the go master’s 100th birthday.

Google regularly changes the logo on their homepage to mark the anniversary of important events and celebrate the achievements of great scientists and artists. These are called Google Doodles.

“Since Go Seigen will turn 100 in 2014, we thought it would be great if we, as a community of go players, could convince Google to celebrate Go Seigen’s 100th birthday with us,” said Go Game Guru’s David Ormerod. “Not only would this be a great way to mark the world’s greatest go player becoming a centenarian, it would also introduce many new people to this fascinating game.”

Email and ask them to celebrate Go Seigen’s 100th birthday on June 12, 2014. Click here for Go Game Guru’s report, which includes an overview of the life of the “living legend.”

Categories: World

Go Helps Minority Cultures Preserve Their Traditions in U.S.

Wednesday June 12, 2013

How can minority cultures gain acceptance in American society without abandoning their cultural values and traditions? The game of go may be one way.

One Friday last month, Academy of the Americas (AoA) students traveled to Kalamazoo, Michigan with the Go Cultural Ambassador International Program (GCAIP) where Detroit and Ypsilanti youth taught Kalamazoo students how to play go. They related the ancient board game to community building, anti-bullying and peer mentorship in the kindergarten through higher education continuum, influenced by the anti-bullying work of top pro Yasutoshi Yasuda.

GCAIP’s mission is to promote global citizenship and cultural validation with an emphasis on academic excellence in the social sciences and humanities. It uses go to bridge and even transcend cultural differences. Eighty students aged 9-13 attended the daylong event at the Western Michigan University College of Health and Human Services.  Participants analyzed the first Hikaru No Go anime with faculty assistance using the theories of “cultural humility” and “transformative complicity.” The young students “grasped college-level theory leaving Diana Hernandez, WMU’s Director of the Division of Multicultural Affairs,  in shock,” according to WMU Assistant Professor  Dr. Roxanna Duntley-Matos who is also the co-founder of the Asociacion Latina Alcanzando Suenos (ALAS) and GCAIP.

Detroit youth paired up with El Sol Elementary teachers and students and with University of Michigan faculty Dr. Robert M. Ortega (known for his promotion of cultural humility in child welfare) to discuss how their game strategies reflected their personalities (i.e. risk taker, adventurous, aggressive or cautious).   WMU provided university flags and patches to inspire participants to work hard and return in a few years as college students. Live music and a karate demonstration led by Martin Gatlin added to the festival-like atmosphere. “The day ended with students dancing the bachata and merengue giving the entire day a true Latino touch,” Matos said. “All in all, we had people from two universities, three schools and one community program blending elements from Latino, African American, Euro-American and Asian cultures.”

GCAIP has other activities in the works.  It plans to visit groups in Grand Rapids and Wayne State University and hopes to connect with a new program in Puerto Rico. They already have ongoing relationships with programs in Oregon and Mexico. “Go is more than a game of strategy, it is a way of life. It connects people and communities together,” says Oscar Hernandez, one Detroit youth GO Cultural Ambassador;

GCAIP, AoA and ALAS credit Dr. Earlie Washington, Dean of WMU CHHS and Dr. Linwood Cousins, Director of  the WMU School of Social Work for providing invaluable institutional support. They also thank Kelly Alvarez, Terry Gay, Anne Bowman, Jinny Zeigler, Ernestina Iglesias and Jennifer Clements for helping to organize the Kalamazoo event celebrating AoA’s 20th anniversary and honoring GCAIP co-founder and recently deceased AoA Principal Mrs. Denise Fielder. AoA’s GCAIP Director Mark Duffy played a crucial role continuing the instructional work of Siddhartha Avila, GCAIP co-founder from Pipiolo Elementary School in Mexico. Special thanks from ALAS to Portland organizer Peter Freedman and karate instructor Martin Gatlin for weekly go training over the Internet for the past year.
- Roy Laird; photo: El Sol students learn go; photo by Diana Hernandez

EuroGoTV Updates: Ireland, Romania & Hungary

Wednesday June 12, 2013

galway go tournamentIreland: At the Galway Go Tournament, Justyna Klezcar 2k (right) bested Thomas Shanahan 6k while Anthony Durity 7k placed third. Romania: In Braila, Theodor Toma 2d conquered the under-18 Campionatul National de Go knock-out. Behind Toma were Elian Ioan Grigoriu 2k and Alexandru Georgian Iacob 2k. Hungary: Renato Tolgyesi 1k defeated Dominik Boviz 3d at the 3rd Csiki Cup Group 5 tournament in Budapest; Robert Czismadia 3k took third.
-Annalia Linnan, based on reports on EuroGoTV, where complete result tables and all the latest European go news are available.

Go Camp Updates: Video Posted; One More Camper Needed

Tuesday June 11, 2013

AGA Go Camp Director Amanda Miller is gearing up for this year’s camp, and has nine students enrolled so far.  ”We need just one more student to break even, so if you have been thinking about camp, now is the time to sign up!” Miller says.

Camp will be held July 20-27 at YMCA Camp T. Frank Soles in Rockwood, Pennsylvania. A promotional video from a previous camp captures the exciting camp experience on film. Check out camp information, pictures and news on the camp’s website.

AGF Scholarships are still available to help defray the cost for kids who need it. AGA President Andy Okun has confirmed the camp will run this year, even if it’s at a small loss, “but breaking even would be much better.”
-Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. 

DC & Toronto Lead Pandanet-AGA City Leagues; Round 8 Set for Sunday

Monday June 10, 2013

Greater Washington has a slim one-point edge over Los Angeles in the the Pandanet-AGA City A League after seven rounds of play. In the B League Toronto has come out with a strong record and is leading the league with San Francisco hot on their heels. Round 8 is set for this Sunday, June 16 at 2p on IGS. In the A League, Los Angeles will play New York City, Greater Washington will play Boston, and Seattle will play Vancouver. With the field so strong at this point, Boston could wind up challenging LA and GW for the top slot. In the B League, Southern California will take on San Francisco in a tough match-up, Massachusetts will play Washington DC’s Team 2 and Toronto will play Montreal. It will be exciting to see if Toronto will gain another win to stay on top of the standings or will there be a tight playoff the last two rounds to determine the winner. Up-to-date standings are available on the Pandanet-AGA City League Page

While the east coast has arguably been dominating national tournaments in recent years, LA found a secret weapon in 22-year-old anchor BeomGeun ‘Evan’ Cho 7D. The former Korean insei is 6-0 in the league, and has defeated several former US Open and/or North American Masters champs including Jie Li 7D, Andy Liu 1P, Ziyang Hu 1P and Huiren Yang 1P. And with Daniel Ko and Curtis Tang on tap, the LA team is so solid that if a team cannot beat Cho, then it must beat both Ko and Tang. Team captain Andrew Okun, President of the American Go Association, probably knows how to motivate his team. Meanwhile, with AGA legend Jie Li on board, DC is a legitimate champion candidate. Vancouver’s 2-4 score may be a bit of a surprise, but if they get Ziyang Hu 1P back to the lineup, they are still in the striking range. Boston is 3-0 against three teams with 2 wins, yet win-less against top two teams; it may be time for the team to step out of their “comfort zone”. Seattle has demonstrated the powerful strength of Korean American players, while New York City is also strong, but just has not yet had a good opening. Toronto is leading after beating San Francisco but the DC Team 2 is closely behind, followed by Montreal, Southern CA and Massachusetts.

Jon Boley and Steve Colburn head up the team running the City League, in which teams from North American cities play in a league system on the Pandanet-IGS server in the AGA room. The teams consist of up to five players, out of which three are selected to play in each round.
- report by Steve Colburn and Edward Zhang