American Go E-Journal

Young Kwon National Online Tournament (YKNOT) Field Shaping Up

Monday May 6, 2013

With just three weeks left to register for the third annual Young Kwon National Online Tournament (YKNOT), the field already shows “an exciting diversity of ranks from the high 7 dans all the way into the 20 kyus!” reports AGA


Tournament Coordinator Karoline Burrall. The tournament, with $3,000 in total prizes, is shaping up to have a very strong open section, with at least 9 of the registrants so far being 6 dan or stronger. Players of any level can register for free. “Brand new AGA members are welcome,” Burrall adds, “or even those who haven’t joined the AGA yet, as long as players are AGA members by the time of the tournament, they may participate!” Players don’t have to be citizens or permanent residents either; if you live in the US you are eligible to compete and AGA life members living anywhere are also eligible. Now in its third year, the tournament has produced two champions so far, both professional players: Zhanbo Sun 2P in 2011, and Mingming Yin 1P in 2012. Check out the final game of the 2012 tournament between Mingming Yin 1P (Mingming) and Jie Liang 8D (gust) at right, featuring some exciting fighting throughout the game. “Continued thanks goes to Young Kwon for sponsoring this exciting tournament and his dedication to promoting go in the US!” says Burrall. “His support makes all of this possible.” Players who have already registered (or if you just want to see who is playing), click here and double check that your information is correct. If you requested a rank adjustment when you registered, these changes are not displayed yet; Burrall will be contacting players closer to the tournament date to discuss any rating change requests.

Categories: U.S./North America

E-Journal Editor Closing in on Walk Goal

Monday May 6, 2013

With just a week before starting his 200-mile trek across England (E-Journal Editor’s 200-mi UK Walk to Raise Funds for AGF 4/17 EJ), American Go E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock 3D Garlock has raised nearly half of his $1,000 fundraising goal. “Go players have been incredibly generous,” says Garlock – who’s undertaking the Coast to Coast Walk with his wife Lisa to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary and raise funds for the AGF. “From our friends at Go Game Guru to AGA President Andy Okun and San Diego Go Club president Ted Terpstra, the response has been truly inspiring.” The AGF supports go in hundreds of schools, libraries and community centers across the country, provides scholarships and resources for youth who play go, and supports go in institutional settings such as prisons, and senior centers. Click here to donate and follow him on Facebook (Christopher Garlock) for posts from the Walk.
photo by Lisa Garlock

Categories: U.S./North America

An Invitation to Vienna

Monday May 6, 2013

If you’ve been thinking about visiting Vienna, mid-June could be just the time. The Österreichischer Goverband will be hosting Wien 2013, Vienna’s annual International Go Tournament June 15-16. Attractions include plenty of prize money, book prizes for players with multiple wins, and a venue in one of the most beautiful parts of Vienna, near the Lainzer Tiergarten, 20 minutes to the city center. Registered players will also enjoy inexpensive meals, free wifi, and a welcome party June 14 that includes grilled food, poker, and free go play. Players who register before May 20 are eligible for discounted accommodations. For more information on rules and how to register, visit the official Wien 2013 website.
-Annalia Linnan

Categories: Events/Tournaments

Maryland Open Set As Second Eastern Region NAMT Qualifier

Sunday May 5, 2013

Strong players in the Eastern Region will have another chance to earn points towards the North American Masters Tournament on Memorial Day weekend. The May 25-26 Maryland Open in Baltimore has been designated the second NAMT Qualifier for the Eastern Region, reports AGA Tournament Coordinator Karoline Burrall. “Now in its 40th year, the Maryland Open is a great competition with a long history,” says Burrall, “and is a fantastic opportunity for players in the open section to earn points towards the North American Masters Tournament at this year’s U.S. Go Congress in August.” The five-round, two-day tournament also offers prizes in all dan and kyu sections. Check out the Maryland Open section of the Baltimore Go Club webpage for information on schedule, directions, and nearby lodgings for traveling players.
- photo: Jie Li 7d, Andy Liu 1P and Daniel Chou 6d review a game at the 2012 Maryland Open; photo by Chris Garlock

China Has Home-Team Advantage in Tri-Nation Pair Go Tournament

Sunday May 5, 2013

Chang Hao 9p (left) and Chenxing Wang 5p (right) took first place at the Tri-Nation Pair Go tournament, held in Heifei, China,  April 30 through May 2. They fended off a challenge from 2nd place winners Korean duo, Jung Choi 3p and her former teacher Changhyeok Yu 9p,  while Japanese pair Satoshi Yuki 9p and Ayumi Suzuki 6p came in third.

The pair go tournament was the main attraction, and go fans also had a chance to play professionals during the event. Former Chinese Go Association President Runan Wang 8p (below) even made an appearance, playing some of Anhui Province’s youngest players.

Another instance of the old connecting with the new was the venue itself: Three Kingdoms Park. As mentioned on Go Game Guru, Chinese history buffs will recognize “Three Kingdoms” as a tempestuous period in Chinese history, filled with struggles between the Wei, Shu and Wu kingdoms. In the same region where there are ancient ruins from those dark times, players of all ages enjoyed peaceful teaching games.

For more information about the tournament including photos and game records, please visit Go Game Guru. -Annalia Linnan, photos from

Go Spotting: Playing With Da Vinci’s Demons

Sunday May 5, 2013

The most recent episode of Da Vinci’s Demons  “The Prisoner” (Episode 3) — is structured to parallel a game of go, played by Riario and the eponymous, mysterious prisoner.  “The villain forces a prisoner to teach him go,” reports EJ reader Diego F. Pierrottet. “The villain then uses the go strategy and philosophy that he is learning against his enemies, in this case DaVinci’s employer and DaVinci himself.” The series airs Friday nights at 9 pm on Starz.
- Dave Weimer

Categories: Go Spotting

U.S. Go Congress Registration Passes 100 Mark

Saturday May 4, 2013

Over 100 early birds have registered for the 2013 U.S. Go Congress, which runs August 3-11 in Tacoma, Washington. Registration cost rises $50 after May 31; payment must be made in full to receive the early-bird discount (which is why only 48 show on the “Who’s Coming” page, though some registrants simply may not yet selected room and board plans).

“This Congress has new exciting plans,” says Congress Co-Director Chris Kirschner. “The AGA will issue official rank certificates, a teacher’s workshop will inaugurate an AGA teacher certification program, and The Pentathlon is a new competitive opportunity for the truly dedicated.” Combined scores from the U.S. Open, Self-Paired, 9×9, 13×13 and the Lightning tournaments will determine the Pentathlon winners. photo: Mt. Rainier, nearby the Congress site

Alexander Dinerchtein 3P’s Perspectives on Shikshin, Studying and the Need for More Europe-U.S. Play

Saturday May 4, 2013

Alexander DinerchteinThough he is a 7-time European Go Champion, the first Russian player to achieve professional rank and currently considered one of Europe’s finest players, Alexandre Dinerchtein 3p (“breakfast” on KGS) keeps his accomplishments in perspective.

Referring to his record against Ilya Shikshin 7d (“roln111″ on KGS), he told the E-Journal in a recent interview that “The official score is 24-8, but we cannot say that I am stronger.” Dinerchtein says he won early games against Shikshin because the distance in strength between them was much greater. For example, in their first match in 2001, Dinerchtein, the European Champion, played Shikshin as a 3-dan amateur. Their score in recent games has been more evenly matched, however, and Dinerchtein says he thinks Shikshin has more talent. “My score is not bad with him only because I know his go style well, his weak and strong points.” Citing strategy as a key Shikshin weakness, Dinerchtein said he forces Shikshin to solve more strategy-oriented problems. Shikshin “plays the same fuseki in every game for exactly the same reason,” says Dinerchtein, “he likes to avoid fuseki and joseki questions and start middlegame fights early.” These middlegame conflicts are Shikshin’s greatest strength and Dinerchtein’s biggest weakness. “I cannot fight as well as Ilya can and I hate any risk on the go board,” Dinerchtein told the E-Journal. Like his favorite professional Kobayashi Koichi 9P, Dinerchtein would rather games be as peaceful and risk-free as possible.

In terms of game study, Dinerchtein said that when he started playing go 25  years ago, “it was hard to find even a single go book, [a] single pro game record.” But now with many go books, game databases, and internet lessons (including his Insei League KGS go school), “it’s easy to find good partners online, so you can improve a lot without even visiting Asian go schools.” Dinerchtein emphasized the importance of studying professional games by using chess as an example. “Every chess grandmaster who wants to win tournaments spends a lot of time preparing new variations using go game databases,” he said, “I am sure soon we will see the same situation in go.”

Insei League KGSThough go resources have expanded, the thing Dinerchtein would like to see most in the future is more “serious” interaction between top European and U.S. players. Except for his game with Michael Redmond 9P in 2001, he has never played any top U.S. players in an official event. As for recent U.S.-European events, he said, “I saw the matches between Lee Sedol and U.S. pros (and European pro Taranu), but I don’t think that they were interesting enough” because they were “novelty” fast games. He’d like to see the European Go Federation (EGF) and American Go Association (AGA) sponsor tournaments with big titles and prize purses, like those organized by the Chinese Weiqi Association, Korean Baduk Association and the Nihon Ki-in in Japan. Find out more about Dinerchtein on his homepage, KGS, OGS, DGS, or sign up for the GOAMA newsletter.
- Annalia Linnan

More on Judge Dee; Huading Correction

Saturday May 4, 2013

For more on Judge Dee (Your Move/Readers Write: Detective Dee Returns  4/29 EJ), check out Peter Shotwell’s 2010 monography on Judge Dee and Go Steganography.

In our April 29 Power Report, we mis-spelled the name of the Huading Tea Industries Cup World Women’s Team Tournament; we apologize for the error.

Categories: U.S./North America

North American College Players Invited to July Tournament in China, But Must Act Quickly

Thursday May 2, 2013

The Shanghai Ing Foundation has opened its first International Collegiate GO Tournament to US and Canadian college students, according to Michael Fodera of the American Collegiate Go Association. Students who attend the July 7-13 event will play go with players from all over China and the world, travel around Shanghai and Hangzhou and play teaching games with stars Gu Li 9P and Chang Hao 9P. While players must cover their own travel costs to China, their food, accommodation, travel within China, tour costs and sponsored events will be paid for by the Shanghai Ing Foundation. “I was one of the players that attended the [Ing-sponsored] 2011 go summer camp,” Fodera tells the E-Journal, “ and I can honestly say that this is a chance of a lifetime. The Ing Foundation really does not spare any expense when it comes to these events.” The opportunity is open to players who have attended college or will attend college —  undergraduate or graduate — in the 2013 calendar year, and who do not hold a professional certification from a recognized go association.

Act fast, however. The deadline for registration is May 15, and, while there is currently no cap on the number of North American students who can attend, the event includes students from the rest of the world as well and if room runs out, requests will be handled on a first-come first-served basis, Fodera says. Click here for details of the trip, as well as links to the registration form and schedule. Questions may be addressed to Fodera at or to the Shanghai Ing Foundation’s Min Xiao at
- Andy Okun

Categories: Youth