American Go E-Journal

Imayo Matsumoto, Pair Go Tourney’s Oldest Player

Sunday November 27, 2011

Pair Go is proud of its inter-generational appeal. Many young children, elderly players and all ages in-between are drawn to the handicap tournaments staged with the annual  International Pair Go Championships, which recently took place in Tokyo (Koreans Win Pair Go Championships). For a number of years, the oldest player has been Ms. Imayo Matsuyo, who turned 90 this year and hails from Ehime prefecture on the island of Shikoku. Longtime go journalist and E-Journal contributor John Power had a chance to interview her between rounds.
EJ: What age were you when you learned go?
IM: 60.
EJ: How often and where do you usually play? On the Net?
IM: No I can’t get the hang of computers. I play twice a week at a local go club.
EJ: What is your rank now?
IM: The female rankings are a little more generous than the male. I’d be about 3-dan in the male rankings.
EJ: What is the appeal of go to you?
IM: Being able to play with my son once a year. My daughter-in-law doesn’t mind my stealing him for go tournaments. Playing with him, I feel that I’m improving all the time. By the way, my go club team became the Ehime representative in the Nenrinpikku [a festival of a wide range of sports for players 60 and over] and took first place.
    Read more about Ms. Matsumoto’s “Memories of Pair Go” in her essay submitted to last year’s 20th Anniversary  Pair Go Prize Essays competition, available in English translation on the Panda Net HP. Also available online are essays by Thomas Hsiang (U.S.), Tony Atkins (U.K.), Kirsty Healey & Matthew Macfadyen (U.K.) and more.  

Categories: World

Go Classified: Go Stones/Bowls; DC Go House

Friday November 25, 2011

For Sale: Set of 8mm Japanese glass Go stones in wooden bowls for $60, plus $15 shipping. Worth much more. Contact Anton Ninno, AGA Member #554, Syracuse Go Club, Syracuse, NY at:

Washington DC Go house, looking for 2-3 tenants. Beautiful Takoma Park, 1 mile over the DC border in MD. 2800 sq ft house overlooking Sligo Creek Park.  Four bedrooms plus lower level bedroom 3.5 bathrooms.  Partially furnished.  With parking. For pictures or more information, or to see the house call Karen Gold (202) 422-4356 or email

Categories: Go Classified

Solomon Choe 6d Tops Revived Tacoma Veteran’s Day Tourney

Wednesday November 23, 2011

The Tacoma Go Club re-instituted its annual Veteran’s Day Tournament this year after a two-year hiatus. Solomon Choe 6d topped the tournament, winning the Dan Division. For the first time, the Tacoma Go Club hosted the tournament, which was held on November 12th, in the Esther and Gene Grant and Ben B. Chaney Foundation Art Room in the Tacoma Art Museum. Relish’s Café provided box lunches for those who had pre-registered. “This was also the second time that the Tacoma Go Club used almost all of the features of the handy Go Clubs On-line, including registration, lunch orders, bookkeeping, pairing and reporting,” reports organizer Gordon Castanza (at left in photo below). Slate and Shell provided the Tacoma Go Club with a wide variety of go boards, stones, and go books to award as prizes.

Prize winners:
1. Dan division – first place – Solomon Choe 6d
2. Dan division – second place – Ju Zhao 6d
3. Single digit kyu – first place – George Wu 5k
4. Single digit kyu – second place – Eric Feiveson 3k
5. Double digit kyu – first place – Kevin Burton 13k
6. Double digit kyu – second place – Mark Nieman 24k
7. Beginner’s division – first place – Cooper Stevenson 29k
Photos: Mike Malveaux, who was also the TD for the tournament.

Categories: U.S./North America

Kohrt & Rohde Tie for Tops in Chi’s “Fan Mail from Flounders” Tourney

Wednesday November 23, 2011

Elijah Kohrt 3k and David Rohde 5k tied for first place in the High Kyu division of the Fan Mail from Flounders tournament, held November 19 in Chicago, IL. David Muskovitz 8k took first place in the Mid Kyu division, while Crystal Lin 17k won first in the Low Kyu division. “All four of these players won all four of their games,” reports TD Bob Barber, topping a field of 26 players. “Two of them are students of our local professional, Ms. Liping Huang. Lisa Scott brought a group from the under-appreciated South Side of Chicago.  The highlight of the day was when Lisa’s Mom, Laura Stith, joined us for pizza and soft drinks.  She is a real gem, and her presence allowed us to talk about something other than go for a change.  We’ve invited her back for the next tournament.”

Categories: U.S./North America

Everyone a Winner at Syracuse Self-Paired

Wednesday November 23, 2011

All 15 players at the November 19 Syracuse Self-Paired Tourney earned prizes for participating in the annual self-paired tournament, reports organizer Richard Moseson. The tournament was held at the Betts Branch Library in Syracuse, NY, and prizes included several books from Slate and Shell.
photo: Leslie Lamphere (l) plays Jim Gonnella

Categories: U.S./North America

Koreans Win Pair Go Championships

Wednesday November 23, 2011

The Korean team of Kim HeeSue and Lee Hoseung (photo) won the 22nd annual International Amateur Pair Go Championships, held November 19-20 in Tokyo. The U.S. team — Roxanne Tam and Yuan Zhou (left) — finished 25th place with a 2-3 record. The U.S. pair “are disappointed, but determined to come back someday and produce a better result,” reports AGA President Allan Abramson, who was a guest official at the event. Click here for results and game records.

Categories: World

Ouleween Keeps Cork Title in Dutch Hands

Wednesday November 23, 2011

For once, Cork was not visited by some terrible natural disaster on the eve of its annual tournament, as it has been in recent years. The 2011 UCC Weiqi Tournament was won by Kim Ouleween (left), a professional artist from Amsterdam who’s done some game commenting on EuroGoTV. His 5-game sweep kept the tournament in Dutch hands for the second year in a row. In second place on tiebreak was KGS star Ian ‘Javaness’ Davis, who collected more SOS than Spain’s Matei Garcia. Also winning 5/5 was Thomas Shanahan from Galway. The 23 players were all grateful for organiser Justyna Kleczar’s hard work.

Click here for full results and a photo album
photo: Kim Ouleween (left) Cao Tong Yu (right)

Categories: Europe

Two Weeks at the Lee Sedol Baduk Academy: Van Tran’s Journal (#3)

Tuesday November 22, 2011

July 10: Sunday the dojang is closed so I went to Myongi with Om, an 18-year-old Thai player who has been there for a year. We went by subway and bus. The public transportation in Korea is quite complicated, and we had to transfer subways and buses a couple of times. When we arrived at Myongi we met with Om’s friend and we visited the Inseidong, the Korean Go Club. It fascinates me that there seem to be no weak players to be found in Korea. The club was filled with people 7-dan or stronger and there was a pro tournament on the third floor of the building. After visiting the Inseidong and shopping at Myongi we went to the cinema to watch Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2.
Photo (right): Very clean subway!

July 11: Today at the dojang, school founder Lee Sedol 9P came to teach the inseis. He seemed to be very calm and modest. He went over all of the inseis’ games and I  watched the review. I was shocked to see that Lee Sedol was able to play out a whole game after just seeing the board a few times as he went around the room. I got him to sign my fan during lunch, which he did with a smile and nod. On a side note I won all but one of my games against Kang Chang Hyo, the top player in the 10th division. I was put in the lowest league which has 2 dans to 4 dans, but through intense concentrated study for a week I went on a winning streak and was able to end up seco2nd in the league.
Photo (left): A day at the dojang

July 14: Today was a pretty good day. I won two games against people in higher leagues. One’s name was Pakchan and I don’t remember the other’s name, but they are both significantly stronger that the people in my league. Even though I was able to beat them, the headmaster wouldn’t move me up because of my losing streak in the first two days which brought down my record. I memorized another three pro games today, all played by Lee Sedol. I find his games a challenge to go over because he tenukis and plays aggressively all over the board. It takes a lot of thought to follow.

Sixteen-year-old Van Tran spent two weeks in South Korea at the Lee Sedol Baduk Academy earlier this year and sent the E-Journal his report, which is appearing in the EJ this month. The high school junior lives in the Houston suburb of Spring, Texas, has been playing for two and a half years and is “about 3 dan.”

Categories: Youth

Cho Hanseung Wins 55th Kuksu

Sunday November 20, 2011

Korea has a new Kuksu in town. On November 16, Cho Hanseung 9P defeated Choi Cheolhan 9P in the deciding game of the 55th Kuksu title match. The two players exchanged blows in a five game series, in which black won every time. Cho finally triumphed, winning the series 3-2. The Kuksu is the most prestigious of the domestic Korean titles. The word corresponds to the Chinese characters (国手, guoshou), which literally mean ‘national hand’, but translate loosely to something more like ‘national treasure’. This is Cho Hanseung’s first Kuksu title. He gained early discharge from compulsory military service after winning a gold medal for Korea in the 2010 Asian Games. Some say that since leaving the army he’s been stronger than ever…

- Jingning; based on her original article: Cho Hanseung wins 55th Kuksu in Korea. Photo: Cho Hanseung 9P.

Categories: World

Bruno Witte, 92, Passes

Monday November 14, 2011

“While Bruno Witte (AGA # 3885) did not play in AGA tournaments, I think he was the oldest active registered go player in the AGA” when he died recently at 92, reports Ted Terpstra. “He was a member of the San Diego Go Club for many years and I had a Thursday afternoon game scheduled with him for the last several years. He regularly beat me (5 kyu) with a three stone handicap.” Witte was a retired mathematician.

Categories: U.S./North America