American Go E-Journal

Your Move/Readers Write: Why It’s Better to Fall in Love with the Game

Sunday February 10, 2013

“There is a persistent problem with the thinking behind many go articles (The Spirit of Play: “I’m Stuck” 10/29/2012 EJ, for example),” writes Terry Benson. “Everyone eventually gets stuck at some level and can’t get higher. Their game might change, but it doesn’t get better. Whatever rank they are will be their high water mark. That’s go and that’s life. There are limits in our brains which we can test but not break.

“So anyone who plays only because they are ‘getting better’ sooner or later will stop playing. Hopefully, before they give up, they’ll realize that go is a great game with many types of puzzles to solve and a wonderful way to connect to other people. They’ll switch from ‘I have to get better’ to playing for the pure enjoyment of stones, wood, patterns, and the thrills of the contest.

“What we need in this country — and indeed in the world — are millions of people playing go the way millions play tennis or golf or run. Most of them will be duffers; 35 handicap golfers, 9-minute milers, and, in go, 25 kyus. And their level of play will seem horrid to ‘serious’ players. But they are playing and they should be encouraged to play simply for the joy of playing.  If they are having fun in the confusion of 25 kyu – leave them alone, especially if they’re kids! We know how often a won game gets away, even from stronger players. In some ways the game is even more fun at 25 kyu because literally anything can happen.

“There’s nothing wrong with wanting to get better or trying to learn something new. There are levels of play that some people will find more satisfying than others. But improvement is a short term rationale. It’s far better to fall in love with the game.”

Benson, a 1-dan, has been playing go for 52 years and has served as president of the American Go Association, Managing Editor of the American Go Journal and is currently President of the American Go Foundation. He directed the video/webcast of the International Go Symposium 2012, where he gave a talk on promotion of the game. 


NAGC Update (Saturday Night)

Saturday February 9, 2013

The North American Go Convention continues on Sunday, February 10. Cut-off time is 8:45A for the first round. “Drive safe” urges organizer Edward Zhang. Highlights include 3-4 rated games in the Open, awards for day-trippers 4-win trophies and 3-Win certificate), the Blitz Go Final, Pair Go Final and the Award Ceremony. Four pros are on hand: Myungwan Kim 9P, Joanne Missingham 6P, Andy Liu 1P and Stephanie Yin 1P. Click here for photos from Day One or here for more photos on Facebook.
Game records:
Round 1: zhaonian-chen-xuzeyu
Round 2: Cao-Ruxu-chen-zhaonian
Round 3:  wang-jun-chen-zhaonian
Round 4: zhaonian chen-wang ruinan


School Teams Tournament

Saturday February 9, 2013

Are you enrolled in a go club at school? If so, this is your chance to challenge other go clubs from all over North America.  Registration is now open for the American Go Honor Society’s (AGHS) 14th annual School Team Tournament.  In March, go clubs from the United States, Canada, and Mexico will compete for $3,000 in prizes, with some for every club.  Which club will take home the glory of being North America’s strongest go club? Register from now to March 1st to take your shot at being the best. Gather your team mates and play in various divisions ranging from Novice to Varsity level. Teams must be composed of three people who are in high school or below and are all younger than 20. Each member of each team must be enrolled in the same school or learning institution, and each school/learning institution can enter a maximum of 3 teams for the tournament. For returning teams, there have been a few important changes in the rules this year: check them out and register on our website: The deadline to sign up is March 1st, and the tournament will be held on KGS on March 16 and 23, with rounds at 1 and 4 pm Eastern Time. - Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor

World Go League Invitational Off & Running

Saturday February 9, 2013

The World Go League Invitational (New Go Server Launches With 10 Top Pros in $100,000 Invitational 12/15/2012 EJ) is underway. Sponsored by new go server, the contest seeks to determine the strongest go player in the world in a battle between the top five Korean pros and the top five Chinese pros. The World Pro Go League, the first quarterly league, commenced the last week of January and will end in March or April. Click here to see the the latest results and playing schedule and here for game records. To read comments see’s Facebook page.

Here are the results in the first five games; the first player is white and the winner is in bold: 1. Lee Sedol-Chen Yaoye; 2. Shi Yue-Lee Changho; 3. Park Junghwan-Xie He (note from the “future authority of Korean Go” Park Junghwan won by time against one of the super-powers of China Xie He at move 84. We confirmed with Xie that it was not a technical problem. “The opening joseki feels good for white. After W’s move at 60, the game looks difficult for black.” said Lee Sedol); 4. Kong Jie-Park Younghoon; 5. Fan Tingyu-Kim Jisuk.

Categories: World

North American Go Convention Launches

Saturday February 9, 2013

The North American Go Convention launched Friday night with welcoming speeches from organizers and professionals and simuls at the Days Inn Hotel in Parsippany, New Jersey. Action continues Saturday with tournaments, lectures, simuls and more. Call 703-888-9240 or 407- 810-4098 for info. photos by Errol Missingham; collage by Chris Garlock

Barber & Smith Moving On, Central Region Seeks New Board Members

Friday February 8, 2013

The AGA Board of Directors is seeking two new board members as current members Bob Barber and Daniel Smith take their departure.  Barber, a much-loved Chicago go organizer, is known for his creatively-named – and very well-run — tournaments and is a longtime AGA volunteer. “We owe Bob a huge debt of gratitude for his many years of dedicated work on behalf of the local and national go community,” said Board Chair Daniel Smith. Barber is leaving to focus on other new activities in his life and to provide an opportunity on the AGA board for someone with more current involvement in AGA activities. With more than a year left in Barber’s term, the Board has determined that its by-laws call for a special election; details will be forthcoming from AGA Elections Officer Arnold Eudell.  Smith, meanwhile, is leaving his Illinois home to take a tech job in California and is giving up his Central Region seat per the by-laws.  “In his short time on the board, Daniel has been diligent, thorough and creative and I’m confident he’ll remain involved in all we’re doing,” said AGA President Andy Okun.  Given the smaller amount of time remaining in Smith’s term, the board will appoint an interim board member pending this summer’s election.  Central region resident AGA members who are interested in filling this seat or chapter leaders with a recommendation should get in touch with Okun – — or a board member as soon as possible.

Categories: U.S./North America

Maeda Osaka Go Camp Details Released

Friday February 8, 2013

New details have just been released on the Kansai-Kiin’s 3-week intensive go camp with Maeda Ryo 6P in Osaka this summer (Maeda Organizing 2013 Go Camp in Osaka 8/6/2012 EJ). It will be held at the Osaka University of Commerce from June 30 – July 20. Attendees will receive intensive training from Kansai-Kiin professionals, play against top amateur players and former inseis while they make friends and go sightseeing around historical cities like Kyoto, Nara, and Himeji. There are also some optional tours to Hiroshima and/or the Shusaku Memorial Museum in Innoshima. Register before February 28 and get a 5,000-yen discount. “Maeda is hoping — and excited — to show the best part of Japan and have great time with attendees!” reports Akane Negishi.
- photo: Maeda at the 2012 US Go Congress; photo by Chris Garlock

EuroGoTV: February 1

Friday February 8, 2013

National Veteran Championship: The National Veteran Championship, played from 01/26-27 in Bucuresti, Romania, was won by Petru Oancea 4d, second was Lucretiu Calota 5d and third was Liviu Oprisan 4d… Cognifide Go Cup #1: The Cognifide Go Cup #1, played on 01/26 in Poznan, Poland, was won by Marek Kaminski 4d, second was Kamil Chwedyna 4d (right) and third was Marcin Majka 2d… Torneo citta` di Treviso: The Torneo citta` di Treviso, played on 01/27 in Treviso, Italy, was won by Stefano Babini 3k, second was Leonardo Giuliato 3k and third was Andrea Brancaccio 6k… 2013 Irish Championship League Kick Off: The 2013 Irish Championship League Kick Off, played from 01/26-27 in Dublin, Republic of Ireland, was won by Roman Pszonka 3d, second was Claas Roever 2k and third was Noel Mitchell 2d… Dutch Female Championship: The Dutch Female Championship, played from 01/26-27 in Amstelveen, Netherlands, was won by Marika Kuin-Dubiel 2d (left), second was Marieke Overbeek 3k and third was Annemarie de Putter 2k… 2. Go turnir Filozofskog fakulteta: The 2. Go turnir Filozofskog fakulteta, played on 01/26  in Zagreb, Croatia, was won by Mladen Smud 1k, second was Nikola Primetica 4k and third was Drazen Odobasic 16k… Warszawska Liga Go #2: The Warszawska Liga Go #2, played on 01/22 in Warszawa, Poland, was won by Stanislaw Frejlak 4d, second was Blazej Madejski 2k and third was Andrzej Drzystek 3k… Dutch Championship: The Dutch Championship, played from 01/12-27  in Amstelveen, Netherlands, was won by Merlijn Kuin 6d and Zeno van Ditzhuijzen 5d,there will be a play off between them, and third was Frank Janssen 6d… Maidenhead: The Maidenhead, played on 01/19 n Maidenhead, United Kingdom, was won by Matthew Cocke 5d, second was Desmond Cann 4d and third was Baromi Kim 5d… Ukrainian Youth Go Championship: The Ukrainian Youth Go Championship, played from 01/19-20 in Rivne, Ukraine, was won by Valerii Krushelnytskyi 1d, second was Oleksandr Mishchuk 12k and third was Oleksandr Zarivniak 12k… Czech Youth Championship-U16 catagory: The Czech Youth Championship-U16 catagory, played from 01/19-20 n Praha, Czech Republic, was won by Samuel Havelka 2k, second was Vojtech Vasa 9k and third was Vojtech Tomek 10k… Czech Youth Championship – U20 catagory: The Czech Youth Championship – U20 catagory, played from 01/19-20 n Praha, Czech Republic, was won by Lukas Podpera 5d, second was Petr Kouba 2d and third was Frantisek Caha 5k… Czech Youth Championship – U12 catagory: The Czech Youth Championship – U12 catagory, played from 01/19-20 in Praha, Czech Republic, was won by Dita Vasova 15k, second was Michal Hrbek 18k and third was Leon Defer 20k… Winter Tournament: The Winter Tournament, played from 01/18-20 in Kosicka Bela, Slovakia, was won by Pavol Lisy 6d, second was Tamas Gerbner 4k and third was Stanislav Urbanik 7k… Jusandan 2013: The Jusandan 2013, played from 01/12-13 in Stockholm, Sweden, was won by Johan Berntsson 1d, second was Micael Svensson 1k and third was Klas Almroth 4d… Schoolkids Championship U16: The Schoolkids Championship U16, 01/12 in Budapest, Hungary, was won by Dominik Boviz 3d, second was Robert Csizmadia 2k and third was Attila Sebok 10k…  Schoolkids Championship U12: The Schoolkids Championship U12, played om 01/12 in Budapest, Hungary, was won by Bulcsu Fajszi 7k, second was David Matolcsi 7k and third was Botond Ekler Szabo 15k… Wintergo 2012: The Wintergo 2012, played from 12/27-01/31 n Overasselt, Netherlands, was won by Zeno van Ditzhuijzen 5d, second was Michiel Eijkhout 6d and third was Frank Janssen 6d… adapted from EuroGoTV, which includes winner reports, crosstabs, game records and photos. Edited by Taylor Litteral

Categories: Europe

Lee Sedol Beats Gangshen Shi to take 2-0 Lead in AGA-Europe Pro 10-Game Series

Thursday February 7, 2013

Lee Sedol 9P defeated American pro Gansheng Shi 1P on February 2 to take a 2-0 lead in the 10-game series between the AGA-Europe pro team and Lee, sponsored by

“In general I felt good about my game,” Shi — who took white in the game (at right) — tells the E-Journal. “I think I


played well and was able to hang on to until the late middle game where I forgot to make an important exchange that cost me the game.  I feel Lee Sedol is really strong and really punishes opponents for misplays and overplays. He was able to catch all of my mistakes and really profit from doing so. Overall it was a very enjoyable experience.”

In the next round, European pro Catalin Taranu will take black with 0.5 komi (W wins ties). Due to the Chinese and Korean New Year holiday this weekend, the series is expected to resume on the weekend of February 16th.

Categories: U.S./North America

N.A. Go Convention Plans Proceed for Weekend Launch in NJ

Thursday February 7, 2013

Plans for this weekend’s North American Go Convention are proceeding as a winter storm bears down on the region. “Our three professionals have arrived on-site and we’ve arranged for shuttle service from both Newark Penn Station and the Park & Ride in Parsippany-Troy Hills,” says NAGC Commissioner Edward Zhang (at right with Joanne Missingham and her parents, Nan-Ping and Errol). Click here for a short video overview about the NAGC.

Shuttle sign-up is strongly encouraged so the NAGC volunteers can plan accordingly and reduce wait time. Players may also stay at the Days Inn Hotel on Friday if they wish to avoid traveling on Saturday, when the storm is forecast to hit. “Keep in mind that there is a second chapter of the NAGC in DC from February 13-17, with same three Open, Blitz and Pair Go tournaments,” adds Convention Director Yue Zhang 7D.