American Go E-Journal

NOVA Cherry Blossom Raises $702 for Japan Relief

Monday April 4, 2011

The annual NOVA Cherry Blossom tournament on April 2 raised $702 for disaster relief for Japan, “which will be split into equal donations to the Kansai Kiin and Pandanet relief funds,” reports organizer Allan Abramson. Fifty-nine players participated in the NOVA Cherry Blossom tournament, with Daniel Chou 6d topping the field. “This was our first Cherry Blossom in the new George Mason University Founder’s Hall, now that the beautiful Sumner School in DC (longtime Cherry Blossom tourney site) closes on weekends,” Abramson added.

Winner’s Report: First Place: Daniel Chou 6d, 4-0; Hal Small 3d, 3-1; Liu Hong Chun 1d, 4-0; Jacob Lewellen 2k, 4-0; Kevin Chin 3k, 3-1; Baifu Li 5k, 3-1; Caleb Vickers 8k, 4-1; Julian Erville 11k, 4-0; Chris Tolley 15k, 4-0 and Adam Chambers 15k, 4-0 (tie); and Robert Burdsal 17k, 3-1.
Second Place: Jing Guo 7d, 3-1; Keiju Takehara 3d, 2-1; Gary Li 1d, 2-2; Kelsey Dyer 2k, 3-1 and Xiaojing Du 2k, 3-1 (tie); Yukino Takehara 3k, 3-1; Raymond Yeh 6k, 3-1 and Joey Phoon 6k, 3-1 and Michael Lash 6k, 3-1 (tie); Joseph Lee 7k, 3-1 and Gurujeet Khalsa 8k, 3-1 (tie); and Tristan Tran 15k, 3-1

Categories: U.S./North America

Zhuang Sweeps World Youth Qualifier

Monday April 4, 2011

Dark horse candidate Vincent Zhuang 5d pulled off a surprise victory in the World Youth Go Qualifier this past weekend on KGS.  Zhuang, who is 14, only narrowly made it to the finals at all.  A last -minute change in the age requirements by the Ing Foundation disqualified two older players with better records, allowing only kids under 16 next August to compete. Interestingly, the AGHS Young Lions Tourney in November of last year foreshadowed this result, with Zhuang beating two of the same finalists who would compete in this year’s WYGC qualifier. On Saturday, April 2, Zhuang got off to a great start by defeating Hugh Zhang 7d, who was the top seed in the four player double elimination finals.  Next he took down Andrew Lu 6d, eking out a 1.5 point win in a complicated fighting game.  Round 3 saw Lu knocking out Zhang, and set the stage for the finals the following day.  With everything on the line, Zhuang and Lu went at it Sunday morning.  They played at a break-neck pace, despite having an hour each, with neither willing to give an inch as the game exploded into heavy fighting again.  Zhuang carved out large territories on the right and left sides, and sacrificed a center group, to pull ahead and win the game.  His victory will carry him all the way to Romania, where he will represent the US in the WYGC.  In the Junior Division (under 12) nine-year-old Jeremy Chiu 1k upset some apple carts in his own right, knocking out Sammy Zhang 2d, and setting the stage for a showdown with 8-year-old Aaron Ye 3d, who is undefeated in the event.  As both players live in the Bay Area, their final matches will be played in person, at the BAGPA ratings tourney on Saturday the 9th. - Paul Barchilon, EJ Youth Editor.

Japan Disaster Relief Update (updated 4/3)

Sunday April 3, 2011

(updated with details on the 4/23 NYC tourney and a PayPal account for the Kansai Kiin) “Many go players and clubs have asked where they could send money for disaster relief in Japan,” reports American Go Association President Allan Abramson. “For example, New York City go organizer Boris Bernadsky and other New York players are planning an April 23 Tsunami Relief Tournament to raise funds for relief, and next week’s NOVA Cherry Blossom tournament also will be dedicated to disaster relief.”

“For direct donations, here is what I have learned so far,” Abramson tells the E-Journal:

The Kansai Kiin has a disaster relief fund. Bank name: The Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ,  Kawaramachi Branch (Branch Code:003); Account No.: Ordinary Account 311018, Account Name: Kansaikiin. You can also now donate via PayPal:

Pandanet also has a disaster relief fund: Bank: Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation; Branch: Marunouchi Branch (Branch Code: 245); Account Number: 1441312; Swift Code:  SMBC JP JT

The Nippon Foundation has two ways to contribute: through the Sasakawa Peace Foundation ( or directly through the Nippon Foundation. It may be necessary to have routing/Swift numbers for the two banks, and these have been requested for U.S. donations and will be posted as soon as they’re available.

Adspace Available in 2010 Go Yearbook

Sunday April 3, 2011

Advertisers in the American Go Yearbook now have an exciting opportunity to interactively promote their go-related products to readers of the American Go Yearbook. The 2010 Yearbook is being released as a PDF this year, enabling the inclusion of clickable links that take readers directly to websites. “So, for example, an advertiser can now not only include a clickable link to their main website but links to specific product pages they’d like to promote,” reports Yearbook Managing Editor Chris Garlock. Sections of the 2010 Yearbook are being released as they’re complete, with the entire Yearbook to be released upon completion of all the sections, and the Go Tools section — currently in production — will feature a wide selection of the E-Journal articles on go books, software and hardware, and is an especially good location for go-related ads this year. Deadline for ads in the Yearbook Go Tools section is April 17; email for rate and ad spec details.

Categories: U.S./North America

Mexican Youth Sponsor Contest

Sunday April 3, 2011

Mexico is hard at work on developing a serious go community among kids, an effort led by Siddhartha Avila, a teacher at Pipiolo Art School in Mexico City. “Last December we organized an open tournament for children, and 37 kids participated from 4 different schools, ” reports Avila, ” those 37 kids are 90% of the youth go players for the whole country.”  Avila’s group, Comunidad Mexicana de Go Infantil y Juvenil, are sponsoring an international art contest for kids to help boost the community.  More information, including an application, can be found here. Go among kids is “growing faster than with adults, where the national tournaments haven’t had more than 40 players ever,” said Avila. “It’s ok to promote go among adults, but I seriously believe that the key for go development at this moment is working with children and taking it to a national level.”  The Mexican kids are playing internationally too, having entered three teams in the recently-concluded AGHS School Team Tourney, and even scoring a bronze medal in the intermediate division.  Avila’s students have become regulars at the monthly Tiger’s Mouth tournaments as well, which are sponsored by the AGF.
- Paul Barchilon, EJ Youth Editor

Categories: World,Youth

Lee Sedol, Park Junghwan, Heo Yeongho & Gu Li Make BC Card Cup Semifinals

Sunday April 3, 2011

The quarterfinals of the 3rd BC Card Cup concluded on April 3 with Gu Li 9P defeating Kim Jiseok 8P. In other quarterfinal results, Park Junghwan 8P defeated Zhou Ruiyang 5P, Lee Sedol 9P defeated Chen Yaoye 9P and Heo Yeongho 8P defeated Zhong Wenjing 5P, leaving Gu as the only Chinese player in the semi finals, facing off against three Korean players.

In the semifinals, Lee will play Park and Heo will play Gu, setting up a possible Lee versus Gu final.

An interview with Lee Sedol

Below is an excerpt from a television interview with Lee after his quarterfinal win against Chen.

“This was a very intense game. Did you prepare for it?”
“No special preparation but I did want to dictate the direction of play to avoid too much fighting in the opening. While I did manage to avoid too much fighting in the opening, I wasn’t too pleased with my play today. My opening was not very good.”

“And the ko in the lower part of the board?”
“At the time I thought the ko would be very difficult under normal circumstances. However, even after I won the ko, the situation did not improve much for me.”

“I heard you and your family have taken up hiking?”
“Yes, we have been before. Now that spring has come, I’m looking forward to hiking more often with my family.”

“You will play Park Junghwan 9P next in the semi final. Is Park your preferred opponent?”
“Definitely not. Park is a very good player, very difficult to beat. It will be a very tough game. But, if I prepare well, I believe I can win.”

- Jingning; based on her original report at Go Game Guru, which includes more pictures and some game records. Also see: Commentary: Kim Jiseok vs Gu Li 3rd BC Card Cup

Categories: World

Ilya Shikhin 7d Sweeps Japanese Council Cup in Russia

Thursday March 31, 2011

Ilya Shikshin 7d (l) swept the 8th annual Japanese Council Cup, held March 25-27 in St Petersburg, Russia. Mitsubishi was the tournament’s main sponsor, providing a rich prize purse as well as covering travel and hotel expenses for the top players. This year the top 16 players in the Cup competed in a new A section while the rest of the field — nearly 80 players up to 3d – comprised the B group. As expected, Alex Dinerchtein 3P and Ilya Shikshin 7d wound up battling for the first place; while Shikshin is a bit higher on


the European rating list, Dinerchtein has better numbers in the Russian ratings and has a favorable score in their head-to-head matches. The two – who both teach online in the KGS Insei League — dominate the current Russian tournament scene, winning half the recent major titles. Shikshin won the showdown (see game record at right) with Dinerchtein at the Japanese Council Cup, sweeping the tournament 6-0, while Dinerchtein took second place. In third was Svetlana Shikshina 7d, who’s not been as active in tournaments recently, occupied with her 4-year-old son Slava. Oleg Mezhov 6d was fourth and Andrej Kashaev 5d fifth. Finns took three of the top five places in the B group, with Samuel Ritakallio 3d from Finland – a former student of Dinerchtein’s – in first place and Pekka Lajunen 2d in second, Dmitrij Kirakosjan 2d of Russia in third, Reino Karttunen 1d (Finland) in fourth and Sergej Vinokurov 1d (Russia) in fifth. “I have the feeling that Finnish 3-dans are able to fight on even with our local 5-dan players,” Dinerchtein tells the E-Journal.

Click here for full results in both the A Group and B Group. For top-board game records, check JPNConsul account on KGS.

This was the deciding game between Shikshin and Dinerchtein for 1st place. “Notice that it was possible to kill Black’s group by playing W 74 at L2,” says Dinerchtein. “After the game Ilya was not able to show me any geta on the right, which I was afraid of, and said that ‘I was very lucky here.’”

Categories: Europe

Zhirui Yang 6D Wins 15th Jujo Jiang Youth Goe Cup

Monday March 28, 2011

More than 120 young players turned out for the 15th annual Jujo Jiang Cup Youth Goe tournament last Sunday at the Chinese Culture Center in Sunnyvale, California. The players were all under the age of 21 and ranged in strength from 6 dan to 29 kyu. Zhirui Yang 6 dan, a visitor student from Jilin province, China, led the A division by winning all his games, while local player Aaron Ye 3 dan took 2nd, losing only to Yang.  With a growing go population in the Bay Area, the event also drew local news media, including KTSF26, the World Journal, and SingTao Daily, for onsite reporting. In the 19×19 division, players were divided into nine different groups from Group A (6-3 dan) to Group I (26 – 29 kyu) according to players’ strength. With the goal of prompting interest in go among little children, the tourney also had special 13 x13  board division which attracted 50 beginners around age of 5 or 6.  Trophies were awarded to 1 to 4th place winners for each group and the first six winners of each group could choose their prize a selection of offerings.
Winner’s Report: 19 x 19 Board: Group A (6D-3D): Zhirui Yang, Aaron Ye, Justin Shieh Group B (3D – 2D) Henry Zhang, Daniel Liu, Jeremy Chiu Group C (1D – 5k): Larry Qu, April Ye, Albert Chao Group D(6k-12k): Alan Hwang, Jonathan Ta, Peiken Tien Group E(13k – 16k): Patrick Wang, Eric Liu, Benson Lin Group F(17k-23k): Dyson Ye, Bryan Tan, Ryan Tang Group G(24k-25k): Allison Hwang, Jason Chu, Raymond Chen Group H(26k-29k): Jonathan Mi, Victor Chen, Samantha Meng Group I(26k-29k): David Huang, Jeffrey Mi, Brandan Chu  13 x 13 Board: first place winner for each group: Lilian Zhang,  Timmy Chen, Felix Liu, Catherine Tan. Click here for complete results.

Categories: U.S./North America

Michael Redmond 9P Reports from Japan

Monday March 28, 2011

“It is fortunate that Japanese people seem not to be inclined to show their stress and frustration in violent acts,” reports Michael Redmond 9P — who’s just been confirmed as a participating professional in this year’s U.S. Go Congress — from his home in Japan outside Tokyo. “Instead people did hit the stores with heavy shopping, stockpiling basic foods such as rice, milk, bottled water, etc. Most of these are back in the stores now, but water is still difficult to get.

“After the quake there was a local gas shortage including the Kanto (Tokyo) area as well as the earthquake-damaged northeast. In the damaged areas the problem was compounded by difficulty in the logistics of getting it there. Since the victims in the disaster area need fuel to keep warm and to evacuate they will be helped first, and we will be waiting a bit longer for the gasoline to arrive. Apart from the logistics, the gas shortage is caused by the fact that some important gas depots/refineries were hit by the tsunamis that attacked the whole Pacific coast. The earthquake damage was not so bad actually, but the tsunami was off the expected scale and nothing could stop it. Gas stations in my area, which have been closed since the  earthquake hit, re-opened last Sunday. They apparently are getting gas and other necessities to the disaster areas now also.

“Since the nuclear energy plant has shut down, there’s obviously also a shortage of electric energy in northern Japan, not including Hokkaido, and we are subjected to scheduled power cutoffs. I’m not sure how far south this goes, but it’s at least as far as
Tokyo. The main inconvenience caused by the power cutoffs is that the trains are limited, in my case making travel to Tokyo less easy than usual.

“As to the go scene, people didn’t know about the power cutoffs or that the trains would slow down until March 14, so there were games as scheduled on that day, and some players didn’t manage to arrive in time and lost by forfeit. They postponed the March 17 games in Tokyo. Games were played on schedule on 3/24 and after, though some events have been postponed. Supposedly things will return close to normal next month.”
A boy waits in a line in front of a gas station in Kamaishi, northern Japan Monday, March 14, 2011 following the March 11 massive earthquake and tsunami. (AP Photo/Asahi Shimbun, Naoko Kawamura)

Categories: World

WORLD GO NEWS ROUND-UP March 22-28: Iyama Yuta Evens the Judan; Park Yeonghun Takes Game 1 in Maxim Cup Final

Monday March 28, 2011

Iyama Yuta Evens the Judan. In the second round of the 49th Judan final on March 24, Iyama Yuta 9P tied the series 1-1 by defeating Cho U 9P by resignation. The third round will be played on April 7th. Park Yeonghun Takes Game 1 in Maxim Cup Final. In the first round of the 12th Maxim Cup final on March 21, Park Yeonghun 9P (l in photo) defeated Lee Changho 9P (r) by resignation. The Maxim Cup final is a best of three series and the second game will be played on April 7th.
- JustPlayGo; edited by Jake Edge

Categories: World