American Go E-Journal

GO SPOTTING: Go Sets at Barnes and Noble

Tuesday December 25, 2012

Here’s an exciting sign of the times: a stack of go sets in the “Classic Games” section of Barnes and Noble. And not just buried on the shelf, but stacked in the aisle, a higher-profile position, priced at $34.95 each. We found this display on New York’s Upper West Side: other stores may not feature it as prominently, but according to the set, B&N commissioned a Chinese manufacturer to produce this set exclusively for them, so they must hope to sell a lot of sets.  The board folds and locks to hold the 360 pieces (not 160 as listed on the B&N website) when not in use. The stones are made yunzi style (flat on one side). Many players prefer the double-convex stones, which are easier to pick up after a game, but yunzi stones have their fans; during post-game analysis, just flip them over to recall which moves were actually played in the game. A few short years ago, books about go were a rarity in mainstream bookstores, Seeing such a prominent display of actual playing equipment inspires hope that our favorite game has finally hit the big time. This version may not quite be ready for prime time; according to the picture on the website, the hoshi, or star points, seem to be missing. Imagine what the Chinese workers who made these sets must have thought.  Nice as it is to see go going mainstream, discerning shoppers can find nicer sets at Yellow Mountain Imports (check out their portable sets, some under $10), Kiseido or Yutopian.
- Roy Laird 

Categories: Go Spotting

Openings for Guo Juan Internet Go School ’13 Term

Monday December 24, 2012

Guo Juan’s Internet Go School is now accepting enrollments for its online group class for the first term of the new year. The class begins January 19-20, 2013, and participants will also receive a 20% discount on a year’s membership for Guo’s audio lectures. The school’s teaching faculty includes Guo Juan 5P, Jennie Shen 2P, Young Sun Yoon 8P and Mingjiu Jiang 7P. Click here for details and to register.

Park Looking to Even the Score in Ing Cup; Live Commentary on Tygem Sunday Night

Saturday December 22, 2012

After Fan Ting Yu 3P’s decisive win over Park Jung-hwan 9P in the first game of the Ing Cup final, Game Two is set for Sunday evening, 8:30p EST (5:30 PST). The AGA’s Myung-wan Kim 9p will give another live commentary in English on the game, broadcast on Tygem’s World Server, which has ample capacity for everyone who wants to watch. In Game One, Fan was ahead going into the endgame, Kim said. “White did make some mistakes in the endgame, but still black could not overcome the margin, so he overplayed and the result was a disaster for black.” Game Three, along with four and five if necessary, will be played in January. photo: Myung-wan Kim at the 2012 Cotsen Open; photo by Chris Garlock

Categories: World

SportAccord World Mind Games: SAWMG Go Tourney Makes a $plash; Ranka Interview Japan’s Murakawa Daisuke & Mukai Chiaki, Russia’s Natalia Kovaleva & Ilya Shikshin, Hungary’s Rita Pocsai and Csaba Mero and the UK’s Vanessa Wong

Saturday December 22, 2012

SAWMG Go Tourney Makes a $plash: The SportAccord World Mind Games (SAWMG) $400,000 in prizes makes the recently-concluded event the fourth largest international men’s tournament in 2012 — after the BC Card, Samsung and LG Cup tournaments — reports International Go Federation (IGF) Vice President Thomas Hsiang, who notes that this year’s go prize pool was doubled from last year. It’s also the richest international women’s tournament ($185,000 in prizes) and pair-go tournament ($66,000), Hsiang adds, as well as “the first international professional tournament run by the International Go Federation.” photo: medalists in the Men’s Individual tournament (l-r): Kang Dongyoon (silver, $40,000); Choi Chulhan (gold, $100,000); Lin Chi-han (bronze, $30,000); photo by Ivan Vigano

Murakawa Daisuke (Japan)
Born near Osaka, Murakawa Daisuke (below, at left) made professional shodan with the Kansai Kiin at age 11. He has been a frequent member of the Japanese team at the International New Stars tournament, where he has played alongside such current greats as Iyama Yuta and Xie Yimin in competition against young professional teams from China, Chinese Taipei, and Korea. This year, just before

the World Mind Games began he earned a place in the Japanese Meijin League, and he celebrated his 22nd birthday during the individual competition in Beijing. Click here for the interview.

Mukai Chiaki (Japan)
Though not a title winner in Japan, Mukai Chiaki (at right) has challenged for women’s titles six times, and was promoted this year to 5 dan. She has frequently represented Japan in international competition, and has done well in team and pair competition at both SportAccord World Mind Games, earning three bronze medals. Ranka spoke with her after the individual competition, in which she defeated Su Sheng-fang of Chinese Taipei in between losses to Rui Naiwei of China and Choi Jeong of Korea, and again after the pair competition. Click here  for the interview.

Natalia Kovaleva (Russia)
Natalia Kovaleva (below, at left) began competing in tournaments in the Far East in 2004, when she and Alexei Lazarev won three games at the International Amateur Pair Go Championship in Tokyo. A high point in her career so far came at the World Mind Sports Games in Beijing in 2008, where she won a game from a Japanese professional opponent. For the past couple of years she has been working for the Russian Go Federation. Ranka spoke with her after the first pair round, in which she and Ilya Shikshin lost to Japan’s Mukai Chiaki and Murakawa Daisuke. Click here for the interview.

Ilya Shikshin (Russia)
Three-time European champion Ilya Shikshin (at right) comes from a go-playing family that includes his sister Svetlana, who has played professionally in Korea. At this year’s World Mind Games he lost to Japanese and Chinese opponents in the first two rounds of individual competition to earn a five-day break, after which he partnered with Natalia Kovaleva in the pair competition and took fifth place, best among the pairs from outside the Far East. Ranka talked with him after the first round of the pair event. Click here for the interview.

Rita Pocsai and Csaba Mero (Hungary)
Ranka interviewed the Hungarian pair, Rita Pocsai (at left), a university student studying special education, and Csaba Mero (right), a statistical programmer, after their loss to the Chinese pair in the first round of the pair-go competition at the World Mind Games. Click here for the interview.

Vanessa Wong (UK)
During the gold medal individual matches, Ranka had a chance to speak with European women’s champion Vanessa Wong (at left in photo at right, with Pair Go partner Jan Hora), who was born in Hong Kong, and came to England to go to boarding school. Click here for the interview.
photos by Ivan Vigano 


Free Lessons for Youth

Saturday December 22, 2012

If you are under 18, there is still time to apply for free teaching lessons from professionals, through the  American Go Foundation.  Yi Lun Yang 7P, Janice Kim 3P, and  Jennie Shen 2P, will offer lessons online to students who qualify.  Applicants must be AGA members, currently in grades K-12, and not had private  professional lessons before (attending a lesson at a previous congress is not a problem).  Applicants will be judged on their demonstrated interest in go, their short essays and any letters of recommendation.   Finalists may be asked to play a game against a strong amateur to confirm their enthusiasm.   Six lessons will be provided to each player selected.  The deadline for applications is January 1 2013. Apply to get stronger today, click here to download the form.   -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.

EuroGoTV: December 20

Saturday December 22, 2012

Alpar Kilinc Go Turnuvasi: The 2012 Alpar Kilinc Go Turnuvasi, played from 12-15/16 in ODTU – Ankara, Turkey, was won by Bertan Bilen 2d, second was Giray Erdi 2d and third was Fatih Sulak 2d (photo Ertug Akkol 1d)… Braila- Junior City Championship 2012: The Braila- Junior City Championship 2012, played on 12/15 in Braila, Romania, was won by Theodor Tomas 2d, second was Albert Trifan 13k and third was Ana Ruxandra Gavriliu 17k… Moscow Cup Semifinal: The Moscow Cup Semifinal, played from 12/15-16 in Moscow Russia, was won by Vjacheslav Kajmin 2d, second was Ivan Bojkov 1k and third was Sofia Mazlova 1d… Torneo di Udine: The third Torneo di Udine, played on 12/16 in Udine, Italy, was won by Leonardo Giuliato 3k, second was Andres Saro 4k and third was Dusan Milavec 5k… SRP go-tournament: The 11th SRP go-tournament, played on 12/16 in Zagreb, Croatia, was won by Kristina Sicaja 20k, second was Tomislav Spoljaric 20k third Karlo Caic 20k… Austrian Championship Finals: the champion has yet to be decided; 2011 champion Schayan Hamrah and Viktor Lin both scored 4 wins each in the finals and will play a best-of-three match to determine the winner; go newbie Markus Flenner made an impressive video of the event, with Christina Colin starring as a reporter… Karelia Championship: The Championship of Karelia, played from 12/08-09 in Petrozavodsk, Russia, was won by Vladimir Shvecov 3d, second was Ivan Kulikovskij 5d (left) and third was Nikolaj Zajcev 3d… Cup of Perm Region: The Cup of Perm Region, played from 12/08-09 in Perm, Russia, was won by Segej Pavlov 3d, second was Alexej Solovskij 2d and third was Segej Sonin 2d… Championship of Novosibirsk: The Championship of Novosibirsk, played from 12/08-09 in Novosibirsk, Russia, was won by Roman Li 4d, second was Vitalij Radnaev 1d and third was Pavel Pristupa 1d… Kurgan Championship: The Championship of Kurgan, played from 12/01-02 in Kurgan, Russia, was won by Oleg Novikov 2d, second was Sergej Sonin 2d and third was Kirill Radaev 1k… Izhevsk Open Cup: The Open Cup of Izhevsk, played from 12/01-02 in Izhevsk, Russia, was won by Jurij Beljaev 3d, second was Igor Nemlij 5d (right) and third was Sergej Korolev 1k… - adapted from EuroGoTV, which includes winner reports, crosstabs, game records and photos. Edited by Taylor Litteral

Categories: Europe

Baduk TV English Drops Prices, Expands Options

Saturday December 22, 2012

Baduk TV English — the partnership between Baduk TV and Go Game Guru – has just introduced new pricing plans, reducing prices by as much as 60% Baduk TV Live is available for $7 per month, Baduk TV On Demand is $10/month and Baduk TV English is now $20/month. The brand-new Baduk TV Day Pass provides 1-day access to all videos for $2.70. The Baduk TV English introductory special offer — $1 for the first week of Baduk TV English, when you order a monthly subscription — ends this week, on Friday, December 21. The expanded pricing options and reduced costs are possible because of the success of the new service, says Go Game Guru’s David Ormerod. “Thank you to everyone who’s subscribed to Baduk TV and helped the service grow to this point. The support from the go community has been humbling, and it gives us the motivation we need to keep Go Game Guru going, day by day.” Click here for complete details.

Portland Go Club Now a 501c3 Non-Profit

Saturday December 22, 2012

The Portland Go Club is now a 501c3 non-profit under federal tax code. “This means it is a charitable organization able to accept tax deductible donations and apply for foundation grants available to such organizations,” reports Peter Freedman. The basis for the application was the club’s active education and outreach program, both to the general public and particularly to children in schools. “The club has taught hundreds of children to play, in both public and private schools,” says Freedman. Unlike many clubs, the club has not run tournaments for years; Oregon tournaments are run by the Corvallis Go Club and the Lewis and Clark Go club. The Portland club does, however, run matches between schools locally, where organizers teach, and between local schools and schools elsewhere (on KGS). Clubs interested in more detailed information can contact Freedman at

Categories: U.S./North America

Updates: NAGC Adds $1,000 Team Prize; Catalin Taranu 5P Joins U.S. Pros in 10-Game Series

Friday December 21, 2012

The best-performing team at the February 8-17 N.A. Go Convention will win a $1,000 prize, reports organizer Edward Zhang.“All you need to do is to team up with some friends and play the best go in your division,” Zhang says. A minimum of seven players fulfills team eligibility. Players will still play the 6 or 8-round weekend tourney individually, and as in the Cotsen Open, a team score will be calculated. To get the early registration discounted rate, register before 12/25 and you can add the team name later. Early registrants will also receive a go book.

Romanian pro Catalin Taranu 5P will join U.S. professionals Andy Liu and Gansheng Shi in the 10-game series against Sedol Lee sponsored by the new server (New Go Server Launches With 10 Top Pros in $100,000 Invitational). The league will run from the end of January to April, and includes Lee Sedol, Lee Changho, Kong Jie, Xie He, Chen Yaoye, Park Junghwan, Kim Jisuk, Park Younghoon and Shi Yue.



Categories: U.S./North America

Help Build the Future of Go in the US

Friday December 21, 2012

The American Go Foundation‘s annual fund-drive is under way. “Every dollar you give is matched by the hundreds of hours AGF board members, mentors and volunteers spend on helping our programs and encouraging others to teach go,” says AGF President Terry Benson. The AGF and AGA worked “more closely than ever to promote go” in 2012, Benson says, and “Now the AGF needs to rebuild our treasury.”

The AGF Store, previously available only to approved AGF programs, is now open to college clubs and AGA chapters, while continuing to serve schoolslibraries and community programs. The AGA has renewed its matching grant program for college clubs to help them purchase playing equipment from the AGF Store for club use.  The AGF had a booth at the American Library Association convention again this year to encourage libraries to order the Hikaru no Go manga for only $20.  “These sets are the seeds for the future of go which we’ve planted in hundreds of communities around the country,” says Benson, “often with the assistance of local volunteers working with their community’s youth librarians. The library clubs are nurtured with the equipment made possible by generous go players.”

The AGF provided most of the funding to broadcast and archive the sessions at the 2012 International Go Symposium and the AGF also provided $11,000 in scholarships for kids to attend this year’s US Go Congress and US Go Camp, as well as $1,000 for new go comics on the TigersMouth website. The $1,000 AGF College Scholarships reward college bound organizers and “We just received a shipment of $15,000 worth of boards, stones, and bowls to replenish our supplies for youth programs.”

“If you have helped the AGF before,” urges Benson, “please renew your support. If you haven’t, please start now.”