The final North American Masters Tournament (NAMT) qualifier of the 2013 season is scheduled to be played online the weekend of July 6-7. “This tournament coincides with the rise to power of both Richard the Lionheart and Elvis Presley,” reports AGA Tournament Coordinator Karoline Burrall. Richard (right) was crowned on July 6, 1189, and Presley’s first single — “That’s All Right” — was broadcast 765 years later on Memphis radio station WHBQ on July 7, 1954. You don’t have to be a king or a rock star to play in the tournament but you do need to be at least 4-dan and you must register by July 3. The 4-round online tournament is open to players rated 4D+ and eligible to compete in this year’s North American Masters Tournament at the Go Congress in Tacoma WA. Eligibility for AGA players is based on citizenship or permanent residency in the US, residency in the US for 6 of the past 12 months, and continuous full or youth AGA membership. Click here for detailed schedule and rules, as well as a link to registration. “Long Live the King!” says Burrall.
American Go E-Journal
Wednesday June 19, 2013
Tuesday June 18, 2013
“The First 20 Hours: How to Learn Anything… Fast!” by author Josh Kaufman includes an entire chapter on go, one of the things Kaufman – a bestselling author, learning expert and business advisor – learned using his “systematic approach to rapid skill acquisition.” Covering the history and basics of the game, “It is a good intro from an interested beginner’s perspective,” says EJ reader Howard Cornett. “It is great to see our game as a full chapter in a book about learning something new!” Kaufman notes that “Learning go will require time and concentration. I’m already playing other games, but I have a very limited amount of leisure time. If I want to progress in go as quickly as I’m able, I’ll need to focus.” His summary of “How I Learned to Play Go” may be useful for beginners, teachers and go club organizers, and there’s also some cool go footage in the trailer he made for the book.
Tuesday June 18, 2013
“Too bad they don’t do doodles for living persons,” responded David Shope (A Google Doodle for Go Seigen? 6/12 EJ) via the AGA’s Facebook page. That didn’t stop graphic artist Mike Samuel (who’s designed many of the U.S. Go Congress logos) from drafting up a potential go-themed “Google Doodle” for the internet giant.
Monday June 17, 2013
In the exciting concluding rounds to the third annual Young Kwon National Online Tournament, new American professional Andy Liu became this year’s champion, winning all five rounds. Liu earned professional status at last year’s
first AGA professional qualification event, sponsored by TygemGO, which took place just prior to the US Go Congress in North Carolina. Liqun Liu 7D took second in the 2013 YKNOT, winning 4 out of 5. Other band winners include Aaron Ye 5D, Willis Huang 3D, Larry Qu 1K, Matthew Machado 5K, and Yuliang Huang 21K. The tournament took place over the first two weekends in June on KGS. There were a total of about 60 players, some of whom were new AGA members, and for others, this was their very first online tournament. YKNOT3 sponsor Young Kwon was on hand during the rounds to watch the games and comment. TD Karoline Burrall extended thanks to all of the players who participated in the tournament. “Thanks also to our fantastic sponsor Young Kwon,” added Burrall, “as well as the team of TDs including Dennis Wheeler, Todd Heidenreich, Jay Tabaniag, and Julie Burrall.”
Andy Liu’s 5th-round game against Yue Zhang 7D — “Full of fighting and lively viewer commentary!” — is at right.
Monday June 17, 2013
Seventh-grader Wilson Zhang 1k topped the Sixth Sunflower Happy Cup Youth Go Tournament, with four wins, on June 1 in Cupertino, California. “Forty-one elementary and middle school kids gathered together on a beautiful Saturday afternoon and played four to five rounds of 19×19 games,” reports Wenguang Wang, who organized the event. “To ensure a really fun experience for every kid, players earned prize tickets after each round, and then exchanged their tickets for various fancy prizes. Each participant was also rewarded with a trophy, and at the event’s conclusion all the kids and their parents enjoyed a refreshing ice cream party.” -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo by Ming Liao. Wilson Zhang is at left, in the blue shirt
Monday June 17, 2013
The Nihon Kiin has informed Nihon Kiin America (NKA) that it intends to sell the East 52nd St building that formerly housed the New York Go Center. Nihon Ki-in CEO Mr. Hanyu will be in New York this week to discuss the matter further with Terry Benson, NKA President. “We think it’s a mistake to sell,” Benson says, “especially with New York real estate values climbing. We presented them with a detailed plan by which the building could be put back in use, pay for the cost to do so in less than three years, and be a permanent source of funds to cover its expenses and produce money to benefit American go. The plan was never given serious consideration.”
In a conference call Mr. Hanyu told NKA board members that the proceeds would be used to benefit American go. However Mr. Hanyu also said that the American community would only be “consulted” in determining how the funds would be used. The Nihon Ki-in would have the final authority. He also would not say whether the building would be offered for competitive bids in a public sale or in a private transaction like the one the Nihon Ki-in tried to close in 2011. “The Nihon Kiin has a fiduciary responsibility to make the most of Iwamoto sensei’s gift. A private sale to a friendly buyer would raise obvious suspicions. We will insist on transparency in everything to do with the building,” says Benson. “Iwamoto’s endowment to US go must benefit and be controlled by those who know how to promote go in the US. We hope the Nihon Ki-in honors Iwamoto’s intentions.”
- photo: Andy Liu giving a lesson at the NYGC; photo by Roy Laird
The Power Report: China Dominates 18th LG Cup; Catching Up On “Go Go Japan”; 4th Asian Indoor & Martial Arts Games to Include Go
Monday June 17, 2013
by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the American Go E-Journal
China Dominates 18th LG Cup: The opening rounds of this Korean-sponsored international tournament were held in the city of Kangnung (also written Gangneung) in Korea on June 10 & 12. An excellent report has already been presented (Korea Knocked Out In LG Cup Stunner; Japan Fights On 6/13), so this report will fill in some some details.
The main news is undoubtedly the great success of the new young generation of Chinese players, who took six of the quarterfinal places. However, Japan also made a good start: with just four seeded players taking part (it failed to win any seats in the qualifying tournament), it secured two quarterfinal places, its best result for some years. Also, although he was eliminated in the 2nd round, Kono Rin 9P scored an excellent win in the first round, beating the player who recently won the Ing Cup, Fan Tingyu 9P of China.
The interesting point about the Chinese success is that the main contribution
is not being made by its senior players, such as Gu Li 9P, but by players in their teens and early 20s (I include ages below for the Chinese players to demonstrate this). It really does seem that by your late 20s you are past your peak in China and also in international go. This is also borne out by the early elimination of such great Korean players as the two Yis, Ch’ang-ho and Se-tol, Pak Yeong-hun, Pak Cheong-hwan, and others; these are names to conjure with, but they don’t overawe the Chinese youngsters. Japan operates by different rules, of course; apart from Iyama, its top players are in their thirties.
Full results for the opening rounds:
Round One (June 10): Kono Rin 9P (Japan) (B) defeated Fan Tingyu 9P (aged 16) (China) by resignation; Iyama Yuta 9P (Japan) (W) d. Zhang Tao 3-dan (aged 21) (China) by resig; Takao Shinji 9P (Japan) (B) d. Hong Seong-chi 9P (Korea) by resig; Mok Chin-seok 9P (Korea) (B) d. Hane Naoki 9P (Japan) by half a point; Kim Seong-chin 2P (Korea) (W) d. Gu Li 9P (aged 30) (China) by resig; Li Zhe 6P (aged 23) (China) (B) d. Kang Tong-yun 9P (Korea) by resig; Zhou Ruiyang 9P (aged 22) (China) (B) d. Ch’oe Ch’eol-han 9P (Korea) by resig; Yi Se-tol 9P (Korea) (B) d. Xie Erhao 1P (aged 14) (China) by resig; Li Qincheng 2P (aged 14) (China) (W) d. Pak Yeong-hun 9P (Korea) by resig; Guo Yuzhang 3P (aged 20) (China) (B) d. Cho Han-seung 9P (Korea) by resig; Xia Chenkun 2P (aged 20) (China) (W) d. Kim Chi-seok 9P (Korea) by half a point; Tuo Jiaxi 3P (aged 22) (China) (B) d. Yi Ch’ang-ho 9P (Korea) by resig; Yi Yeong-ku 9P (Korea) (W) d. Xiao Zhenghao 8P (Chinese Taipei) by resig; An Hyeong-chun 4P (Korea) (W) d. Shi Yue 5P (aged 22; winner of the 17th LG Cup) (China) by 5.5 points; An Cho-yeong 9P (Korea) (W) d. Han Yizhou 2P (aged 16) (China) by resig; Chen Yaoye 9P (aged 23) (China) (W) d. Pak Cheong-hwan 9P (Korea) by resig.
Round 2 (June 12): Takao (B) d. Guo by resig; Iyama (W) d Yi Yeong-ku by 1.5 points; Chen (B) d. Kono by resig; Li Qincheng (W) d. Mok by resig; Li Zhe (B) d. An Hyeong-chun by resig; Tuo (B) d. Yi Se-tol by resig; Zhou (B) d. An Cho-yeong by 2.5 points; Xia (W) d. Kim by 2.5 points.
Quarterfinal pairings (November 11): Iyama vs. Chen, Takao vs. Tuo, Zhou vs. Li Qincheng, Li Zhe vs. Xia.
photos: (top right): Team China (from left): Yu Bin, Li Zhe, Zhou Ruiyang and Xia Chenkun; (bottom left): 18th LG Cup quarter finalists (from left): Chen Yaoye, Iyama Yuta, Tuo Jiaxi, Takao Shinji, Li Zhe, Xia Chenkun, Li Qincheng and Zhou Ruiyang. Photos courtesy Go Game Guru
Catching Up On “Go Go Japan”: Two places out of eight may not seem a spectacular success, but for Japan it’s a big improvement on recent results. The go media here has been giving much of the credit to the foundation of a national team. Since I omitted to report on this earlier, now is a good time to catch up. Go Go Japan, the name of the national team, was chosen in a poll of go fans and announced on May 20 (the first word is English and the second refers to the game). The actual founding of a national team by the Nihon Ki-in and the Kansai Ki-in is dated to April 1 this year; the aim is to promote solidarity in international competition and to improve results. Members are the top 15 players in the prize-winning list, players with previous good results in international tournaments, the winners of the King of the New Stars, Hiroshima Aluminium Cup, the Okage Cup and Nakano Cup, the top ten women players, and all teenaged players, with the last-mentioned given the status of trainees (all of the above must volunteer for the team, though). This is quite a large pool, but there’s some overlap and the membership for the opening year, including coaches and playing coaches, amounts to 32 players. In theory, training camps and other events may be held, but the main activity so far has been setting aside Fridays and Saturdays for senior members of the team to play training games on the Net with the junior players. The most famous of the 30 players on the team are Iyama Yuta, Yamashita Keigo, Hane Naoki, Cho U, Takao Shinji, Kono Rin, Yuki Satoshi, and O Meien. Coaches are Yamashiro Hiroshi, who is also Vice President of the Board of Directors of the Nihon Ki-in, and Cho Riyu 8-dan, with Cho U and Takao acting as playing coaches. It’s hard to know how much of a boost the formation of the national team gave to the players competing in the LG Cup, but it’s certainly the focal point of the news coverage in Japan. Local fans are certainly hoping that this opening success is not a flash in the pan.
4th Asian Indoor & Martial Arts Games to Include Go: The 4th Asian Indoor & Martial Arts Games will be held in Incheon City in Korea from June 30 to July 5. Eight sports will be featured, including go, chess, billiards, bowling, and kick boxing. Participation represents yet another advance in raising the profile of go as a sport in Asia, following the major breakthrough in having it included as a regular competition sport at the 16th Asian Games in 2010. The Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games are organized by the Olympic Committee of Asia and are held every four years in the year before the Asian Games. They are staged at the same venue, and Incheon will host this event and the 17th Asian Games next year. There are three go events: male individual, Pair Go (referred to as Rapid Mixed Team on the event’s HP), and male team. Ten countries or territories are taking part: Korea, China, Japan, Chinese Taipei, Malaysia, Singapore, Mongolia, Vietnam, Chinese Hong Kong, and Macao. Countries with professional organizations are fielding teams of low-dan, young players. The players representing Japan will be Hirata Tomoya 3P (aged 19), Tsuruta Kazushi 2P (aged 18), Motoki Katsuya 2P (aged 17), Sada Atsushi 1P (aged 17), Okuda Aya 3P (aged 24) and Fujisawa Rina 1P (aged 14).
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
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.
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