American Go E-Journal

World Amateur Go Championship; Round 1 Update

Sunday May 29, 2011

The playing area on the third floor of the Shimane Prefectural Assembly Hall is divided into a main inner room with nineteen boards, fourteen of which have official game recorders, and a smaller outer area with ten boards. In round 1 the solo seat went to Spain’s Joan Flos. The signal to start the games on the other boards was given by chief referee Takemiya Masaki just after 9:30a on Sunday, May 29, and live online broadcasts of four of the recorded games began immediately. AnotherWorld Amateur Go Championship (WAGC) was under way. photo at right: the Seicho Yasuragibushi Preservation Society gives a performance of traditional songs and dances, accompanied by drums and shamisen at the opening ceremonies of the 32nd annual WAGC.

In the inner room, spectators gathered around Board 13, where Hironori Hirata (Japan) was playing Alexander Selby (U.K.). Next to them Thomas Debarre (France) was taking on Kanh Binh Do (Vietnam); this game also attracted attention.

The tournament is being played with time limits of one hour per player, followed by three renewable 30-second overtime periods. Timing was handled by new tournament clocks, made by Citizen Corporation for the Nihon Kiin. The beep tones of the clocks provided a soft electronic background to the click of slate and shell on wood.

Following WAGC tradition, in the first round the middle half of the field drew for opponents from the upper and lower quarters. At the end of the round, every game turned out to have been won by the higher-seeded player. Ranka asked its professional commentator Hiroshi Yamashiro 9P of the Nihon Kiin and referees Shimpei Kuwamoto 6P (also of the Nihon Kiin) and Yasuhiro Nakano 9P (Kansai Kiin) for their observations on the round.

“They are strong,” said Shimipei Kuwamoto. “In the post-mortem reviews they were all very definite about their ideas. It was clear that they were bent on playing their own games. One player (Kamil Chwedyna, Poland) played several of his opening moves on the second line. At first glance it looked as if his hand must have slipped, but he knew what he was doing. I guess he had worked this strategy out in advance.” Chwedyna won his game.

“The age range was impressive,” noted Yasuhiro Nakano. Aside from 84-year-old Hironori Hirata of Japan, there are quite a few players in the 50-70 age bracket, and then there are the young players from Southeast Asia. “It will be very interesting to see how strong the ones from Indonesia (14), Singapore (22), Thailand (21), and Vietnam (22) become,” said Nakano. The players from Indonesia, Singapore, and Thailand won their first games, as did Hironori Hirata.

“The game between the two young players from Austria (Viktor Lin, 19, at left, above) and Israel (Jonathan Lidor, 18, right) was riveting,” said Hiroshi Yamashiro. “Since this was the first round, most of the games were somewhat one-sided, those two players were extremely well matched. Their game wasn’t recorded, but it was very good, with interesting content. They are both already playing at the 6-dan level. They have a bright future.” Viktor Lin emerged the winner in that game, with opponent Jonathan Lidor wryly commenting that  “Yesterday I played a friendly game against Viktor. We said that whoever won that game would have to lose today, and that’s what happened, after I blundered.”
- James Davies, Ranka Online; click here for his complete report. Note: the American go E-Journal team of Chris Garlock and John Pinkerton was unable to attend this year’s WAGC due to a family emergency.

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AGA Board Nominations Closing Soon

Monday May 23, 2011

There’s now less than a month before AGA board nominations close on June 15.  Things are off to a quick start with Gordon Castanza and Paul Celmer nominated in the western and eastern regions respectively.

If you are a full member of the AGA you may nominate, or self-nominate, a candidate in your region by writing or email at elections@usgo.org.
Details of the qualifications for office and election schedule are online.  Chapter representatives must check there for special instructions due to mailing list problems

Categories: U.S./North America
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Limited Space at June 4 Santa Monica Coffee Cup

Monday May 23, 2011

The fifth annual Santa Monica Coffee Cup — which has just been designated an NAIM Qualifier  — will be held Saturday, June 4 at the UnUrban Coffeehouse in Santa Monica, California. There is an absolute limit of 50 players so pre-registration is essential. The tournament fee is $10, plus AGA membership or renewal if necessary. Send an e-mail to Andy Okun at abc@okun.name with your name and AGA number if you have one. “Eric Cotsen, should he attend, plays free,:” reports Okun. “The temperature is liable to be cool and comfortable and the sky an attractive blue, as usual.” This year’s theme color is Orange.

Categories: U.S./North America
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Last Week for Full Discount at Go Congress

Monday May 23, 2011

This is the LAST WEEK to receive the full discount for the 2011 US Go Congress!  Sign up by June 1 at www.gocongress.org!

Categories: U.S. Go Congress
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1st-Round Winners in Wisonet Cup

Monday May 23, 2011

Winners in the recent first round of Wisonet Cup Go Tournament were Minshan Shou (defeated Forest Song); Xinyu Tu (d. Xiruo Liu); Kevin Huang (d. Benjamin Lockhart); Andy Liu (d. Qiyun Zhu). Stay tuned for details on when Round 2 will be held.
- Ronghao Chen, TD

Categories: U.S./North America
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Stony Brook Hosts First-Annual Tourney

Monday May 23, 2011

The Stony Brook (NY) University Go Club hosted its first annual tournament on May 7. The 4-round tournament attracted 28 players and was held during Stony Brook University’s Sakura Matsuri celebration, which included a number of other Asian cultural events which tournament goers were able to enjoy between matches. Anthony Garcia won the tournament. The tournament boasted free entry, AGA sanctioned games and $250 worth of prizes. “If all goes well, the SBU Go Club will host another tournament at the same time next year,” reports SBU Go Club President-Elect Sean Burton.

Categories: U.S./North America
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NAIM Qualifier in DC-Baltimore Set for June 17-18

Monday May 23, 2011

The Capital Go Club and Greater Washington Go Club (GWGC) will host a North American Ing Masters (NAIM ) qualifier in the DC metro area June 17-18. The opening round will be on Friday 6/17 in the evening at the GWGC in Bethesda, MD, and the remaining three rounds on 6/17, so that players do not have to squeeze four games into one day. Email agatd1@gmail.com to register. All levels are welcome to watch and/or play free or rated games.  Stay tuned for details.
- Zhiyuan ‘Edward’ Zhang, NAIM Co-Director

Categories: U.S./North America
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NAIM Online Qualifier 1 Registration Deadline 5/28

Monday May 23, 2011

The first online NAIM tournament qualifier will be held on June 4-5. It will be a 4-round online tournament and there will be two rounds (12 PM EST, 6 PM EST) each day. Email tournaments@usgo.org to register. Please inform TD of your status (Skype ID, KGS ID, AGA ID, Green card holder or US Citizen) when you register. The deadline for registration is 8 PM EST May 28. Online qualifier 2 will be on KGS during June 25-26, and the deadline for registration is June 10.
- Tengxiao Yang, NAIM Online Qualifier Co-director

Categories: U.S./North America
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Evanston Go Club Gets Animated

Monday May 23, 2011

The Evanston Go Club taught over 100 people to play go May 21-22 at Anime Central at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare hotel in Rosemont, Illinois. Anime Central (ACen) is Chicago’s and the Midwest’s largest anime, manga and Japanese popular culture convention. Last year it attracted over 15,000 attendees. “This is our favorite event of the year!” said club president Mark Rubenstein. “We teach beginners on 9×9 boards, while more experienced players play 13×13 or 19×19. We even have a 9×9 tournament at the end of the day. Some of the kids love it so much, they stay for hours.” The Evanston Go Club has been teaching Go at ACEN for the past 5 years, and also teaches at local Japanese festivals and schools.

Categories: U.S./North America
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Kids Get Ready For Go Camp

Monday May 23, 2011

As summer beckons, young go players across the country are looking forward to the annual Youth East Coast Go Camp. AGF Scholarships to the Camp are still available.  “If I get really strong at go camp I might be able to place in Go Congress… maybe even be an insei and then a pro.  Who knows? I also want to meet old friends, and make new ones,” wrote Chance Reimer in a previous scholarship essay.  “It was a great experience being around players as interested in go as I am,” wrote Matt Palumbo, “It was great to meet a pro too!  I liked all the people there, and made a new friend who I continue to keep in touch with.”  Parents like camp too: “The happiness he brought back from camp was radiating all over as soon as we picked him up from the airport, and his happiness is our happiness too,” wrote one parent after the event.   The AGA East Coast Go Camp will be held at the Madison Suites Hotel in Somerset, New Jersey, July 23-30. Mingjiu Jiang 7p and Yuan Zhou 7d will be the primary teachers.  For more information, visit the camp page here, or e-mail Mangual at agagocampeast@usgo.org.
-Paul Barchilon, EJ Youth Editor.  Photo: Campers and staff at the 2009 Go Camp.