American Go E-Journal

Go Photo: Terpstra Tykes

Sunday October 28, 2012

Two of the American Go Association’s younger members, Brady (#20162) and Maddie (# 18087) Terpstra battling for ratings. The two are San Diego Go Club President Ted Terpstra (#754)’s grandchildren.
Photo courtesy Ted Terpstra


Categories: Go Photos

Matt Burrall, Yongfei Ge & Sarah Yu Play for N.A. at Two Int’l Tourneys

Saturday October 27, 2012

North America has three representatives at international tournaments this weekend: Matthew Burrall and Yongfei Ge at the 7th Korea Prime Minister Cup International Amateur Baduk Championship, and Sarah Yu at the Women’s Bingshen Cup World Championship.

The Women’s Bingshen Cup World Championship is an international championship for women, now in it’s third year. It’s being held in Suzhou, China this year from October 28-November 4. Jin Yu (Sarah) studied go for 6 years in China, where her coach was Ruan Yunsheng 7P. She immigrated to Canada in 2005 and graduated from Queen’s University this spring and is now looking for work. In 2000, Yu placed second in the children’s group the national competition for girls in China and in 2009, she played for Canada in the International Amateur Pair Go in Japan with John Yu. She took bronze for Canada this summer in the World Mind Sports Game women’s individual.

The 7th Korea Prime Minister Cup International Amateur Baduk Championship is an international amateur championship hosted this year from October 25-October 30. Matthew Burrall’s dad taught him go when he was four years old, along with his siblings. Soon after, he began to take the kids to the local Davis/Sacramento tournaments and Matthew attended his first Go Congress when he was six. “My oldest sister Kristen and I took to it the most and improved steadily together as we continued to play in local and San Francisco tournaments,” says Burrall. For many years the Burrall kids all attended the Go Camp and the Go Congress every year. “I went with our good friend Jon Boley to Korea for three months to study in the Yang Jae-Ho Dojang,” adds Burrall, and the summer after high school he went to Korea again for a few weeks where he stayed with and was taught by Kim Myung Wan. In 2008 he competed in the first World Mind Sports Games in Beijing and Burrall also recently competed in the first AGA-TygemGo Pro Qualifier at this year’s US Go Congress. Yongfei Ge is representing Canada at the KPMC.
- Report by AGA Tournament Coordinator Karoline Burrall

Categories: U.S./North America

Carlisle High Gets Hikaru

Thursday October 25, 2012

A newly acquired set of the Hikaru no Go manga is on prominent display at the entrance to the high school library in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. The students were fascinated by the go display,” says Capri Stiles (at right in photo), Carlisle High School librarian. “Expanding the knowledge of the students through authentic experiences is always a great way to promote literacy. The display encouraged students to start the series, and ninth graders who started reading them at one of our middle schools were delighted to be able to access the rest of them here. A playing board and a collection of go magazines really increased the interest in the books.” The American Go Foundation makes the popular manga series available to school and public libraries for free, with just a $20 charge for shipping, click here to order a set. The donation to Carlisle High School was arranged by Fred Baldwin (AGA 8k), a member of the Harrisburg Area Go Club. Baldwin, who is also a long-term member of the Carlisle Area School District board, also arranged for two Carlisle middle school libraries and the local public library to receive their own sets. Several kids at one of our middle schools have developed an interest in go, thanks largely to Hikaru,” Baldwin says, “and two or three of them are regular participants in club play. It’s good to see teenagers learning to love the game and benefit from the mental discipline it requires. I especially appreciate how our school district’s librarians, Ms. Stiles and Stephanie Weimer, have worked with other faculty members to encourage Carlisle students to give go a try.” -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo and reporting by Fred Baldwin.

NoVA Pumpkin Classic; Debarre’s 3rd French; Best School for Inseis?; Go & Strategy Club; Berlin Tourney; More Than Just a Game?

Monday October 22, 2012

NoVA Pumpkin Classic Reminder: Register at by 10P October 25 for the annual Pumpkin Classic in Arlington, VA. More details on the AGA-rated four-round tournament on the website.


Debarre Wins 3rd French Championship: Thomas Debarre 6d won his third French Championship title recently in Lyon, defeating Tanguy le Calve in the final. Here’s the game.
- Alain Cano

What’s The Best School for Inseis? Joy Craft wonders “what is the best school in the world for students who want to become pros?” Her son has been to a program in China and is looking into one in Korea and she’s curious what EJ readers would recommend. Email your suggestions to us at journal@usgo,org

Go and Strategy Club: Social thinker, venture investor and founder of the Russian School for Strategic Branding Efim Ostrovskiy runs the graphically striking Go and Strategy Club website, which has some interesting perspectives on the history of the game.

Berlin “Go to Innovation” Tourney: If you’re planning to be in Berlin next month, check out the 5th “Go to Innovation” tournament there, scheduled for November 16-18. The 8-round event has over 2,000 Euros in prizes.

More Than Just a Game? Saying that go is fundamentally a recreational board game like chess, the Washington State Department of Revenue Board of Tax Appeals recently denied the Seattle Go Center’s request for an exemption from local property taxes. The SGC had argued that go enhances the “functioning of individuals in society” and promoted cross-cultural understanding and tolerance, as required by state law governing such exemptions. “I guess someone who is clueless enough to think of chess as fundamentally a recreational board game is not going to appreciate the depth of Go,” said Forbes contributor Peter J Reilly in his fascinating column “Go Is More Than A Game Despite What State of Washington Thinks,” which quotes Thore Graepel, a Principal Researcher for Microsoft as saying that “Go is a great game that develops intellect and character.”


Guozhong Zhuang & John A. Sajo Top Portland Tourney

Monday October 22, 2012

Undaunted by autumnal rain, over two dozen players hunkered down for the 2012 Portland(Oregon) Go Tournament last weekend. The event, including a 7-round handicap tournament and a 5-round open, was held on the picturesque campus of Lewis & Clark College on October 20-22. A startling number of iPads were present, used to record games through Anders Kierulf’s “SmartGo Kifu” app.

Two father-son pairs competed: John and John Sajo and Guozhong and Ethan Zhuang. The younger brother of Vincent Zhuang, Ethan was one of two six-year-olds debuting at this tournament; the other was Maxwell Chen. Maxwell won the youth prize, racking up five wins despite having to miss one round to attend a birthday party.

Four strong players played in the open. Guozhong Zhuang came out on top, winning four rounds. In the handicap bands, the winners were: Dan: John A. Sajo (1st), Glenn Peters (2nd), Louie Liu (3rd); Single-digit kyu: George Schmitten (1st; at left in photo), Jeffrey Kleiss (2nd), Robert O’Malley (3rd); Double-digit kyu: Maxwell Chen (1st), Fillard Spring-Rhyne (2nd), Patrick Easley (3rd).

Thanks to Yellow Mountain Imports for offering a generous discount on prizes. GoClubsOnline was used for pairing and other tournament management tasks.
- Peter Drake, Tournament Director. Photo: George Schmitten (l) plays Masaya Tsukamoto; photo by Peter Drake.

Categories: U.S./North America

SmartGo Kifu Includes Fuseki & Joseki Matching

Monday October 22, 2012

SmartGo Kifu 2.0 includes fuseki and joseki matching: given any board position, it finds all the matching full-board or corner positions in 40,000 pro games and shows you how the professionals played. “Programs like SmartGo for Windows have long done this on the desktop,” says author Anders Kierulf. “Now you can have this capability in your pocket.” SmartGo Kifu runs on iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch, and is available in the App Store. Click here to read more about the newest changes.

Go Classified: Inexpensive Go Sets Wanted

Thursday October 18, 2012

Looking for inexpensive go sets to donate at Christmas to various toy drives. Similar to the $1 chess set at the Dollar Tree store, made in China. Btw, , as chess instructions in those cheap chess sets are pretty bad, when I locate a go set, I’ll probably stick a sticker on them with a website address for
instructions; can’t insert “The Way of Go” as the toy drives want new unopened, unwrapped gifts. Yutopian has a laminated paper board for $4 but no stones; Yellow Mountain Imports has a magnetic 13X13 set for $5. If anyone knows of any 19×19 go set, with stones, in one package for close to $1, please email

Categories: Go Classified

John Kerpan Tops MGA Fall Tourney

Wednesday October 17, 2012

John Kerpan 1d took first place in the Massachusetts Go Association’s Fall Tournament on October 14 in Boston, MA. Kerpan topped a field of 30 players. In second place was Mark Nahabedian 13k and in third was Chia Chan 5k; all three players were 4-0. Eva Casey directed. Photo courtesy Eva Casey.

Categories: U.S./North America

Young Lions Tourney Returns

Wednesday October 17, 2012

The popular Young Lions tourney, for school aged youth, is back with a new twist.  Based on the tournaments in Hikaru no Go, where the newest professionals take on the top insei, the Young Lions has become one of the premier youth tourneys online.  This year the winners will get a special treat though, 1st and 2nd place in the top bracket will get a chance to play a game with our very first crop of American pros, Andy Liu 1P and Gansheng Shi 1P.  The event is run by the American Go Honor Society (AGHS) and has developed a reputation for picking some of the top young players in the US. “Returning competitors, are you curious how much you have improved?” asks AGHS Promotion Head Junhee Kim, “new go players, are you up for the challenge? Come sign up for fun, experience, and most importantly because of your love for go!”  The tourney will feature brackets for all levels, with prizes and glory for all skill levels. See for rules and registration. The tournament will be held on KGS in the AGHS Tournaments Room on November 17th and 18th. E-mail for more info. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.


Portland Tournament Promises Epic Weekend Of Go

Monday October 15, 2012

“We want more!” was the demand after last year’s Portland (Oregon) Go Tournament. With that in mind, tournament director Peter Drake is working to cram even more go into this year’s tournament, coming up October 20-21. First, there will be an open division for strong players. “So far four people have signed up for the open,” Drake reports, Solomon Choe (AGA 5.9d), Robert Tirak (6.0d), Guozhong Zhuang (6.4d), and Nicholas Jhirad (6.4d). Second, the number of games in the main handicapped tournament has been increased from five to seven. This means that players will get in more games in two days than in the week-long US Open. “What the heck,” Drake said, “You’re not getting any work done that weekend anyway.” The event will take place at Lewis & Clark College, a hotbed of computer go research that Drake says “is recognized as the second most beautiful campus in the country.” Registrations are still pouring in, but this tournament typically draws several dozen players. Click here for full details. photo: at the 2011 Portland tournament


Categories: U.S./North America