American Go E-Journal

China Tops World Mind Games Mixed Doubles

Sunday December 18, 2011

China took the gold medal in the SportAccord World Mind Games mixed doubles event, with Korea winning silver and Japan bronze. The U.S. team of Feng Yun and Jie Li (photo) defeated Europe’s Vanessa Wong and Catalin Taranu in the final.

Click here for Ranka Online’s full coverage of the World Mind Games, which ended on December 16th.


20th Jujo Jiang Tourney Jan. 8

Saturday December 17, 2011

Mingjiu Jiang 7P, and the Ing Foundation, are again sponsoring the Jujo Jiang Tournament in San Francisco, CA.  Last year’s event drew 66 competitors, and similar numbers are expected this year.  All levels are welcome, there will be prizes in four divisions: Open, Dan, Kyu, and Novice, this will be an AGA rated tournament..  Jiang Jujo 9P and Rui NaiWei 9P will be in attendance again this year.  To register, and for more information, go to, or e-mail  - Paul Barchilon. Photo: Jujo Jiang (l) plays his brother, Mingjiu Jiang (r) at the 2011 Jujo Tourney.

Paging Bill Gates

Saturday December 17, 2011

If you – or someone you know — works in a high tech company or a company with business interests in Asia, the American Go Association’s National Fundraising Committee is looking for you. The Fundraising Committee wants to approach such companies with sponsorship proposals to energize the go community in the United States. “While our mandate is to raise funds,” says Committee Chair Peter Freedman, “our underlying goal is transforming the place of go in the American cultural landscape.  You should be able to walk down the street, ask a stranger of they have heard about the game of go, and have them respond ‘Sure, it’s that ancient Asian strategy game.’” To help raise the public profile of go, the Committee is also seeking for contacts within the media that can help get Hikaru No Go on the air. And finally, they’re looking for contacts for Microsoft’s Bill Gates and Paul Allen, Larry Ellison at Oracle, and Google’s Sergey Brin and Larry Page, all of whom have played go and may be willing to help promote the game.
Click here for the full text of Freedman’s “A Go Transformation in the U.S.” or reach Freedman at


Categories: U.S./North America

U.S. Youth Go Camp Future in Doubt

Saturday December 17, 2011

The future of American youth go camps is very much in question, American Go Association President Allan Abramson tells the E-Journal. “On the one hand, the camps can be a great experience for our young players. On the other hand, after the last three years’ experience of low attendance and losing money each year, the Board and I have agreed that it may be time to recognize that the Congress itself has become the Go camp, and that the AGA should not guarantee funding for a separate camp anymore.” The AGA is looking for organizers/directors for the 2012 go camp(s), Abramson says, but warns that “Those who take on the task of organizing and running the camp will need to plan carefully to break even financially, at least.” Those interested in attending a camp will need to register early, as well, to ensure the survival of the camps. “Early registration will ensure that we have enough interest to hold the camp, while procrastination will ensure that the organizers will cancel the camp, rather than lose money.” Those interested in running a camp in 2012 should contact Abramson at

Categories: Youth

Go Classified: Play With A Real Japanese Set!

Tuesday December 13, 2011

S40Y Yuki Stones, 11.3mm thick (2nd biggest made): $700; Kaya Itame full-size slight branch mark on one side, otherwise perfect: $1050; Brand new, never played on or with. Free Shipping to USA from the Kiseido suppliers. Guaranteed. Peter Shotwell;

Categories: Go Classified

U.S. Only Remaining Barrier to World Mind Games Gold Medal for China

Tuesday December 13, 2011

Barring a miracle by the Americans against China, the winner of the Japan-Korea match in the SportAccord World Mind Games on December 14 will take the team silver while China takes the gold. China defeated Japan 4-1 in the 4th round Tuesday, while Chinese Taipei shut out the Americans, winning all five of their games by resignation. Korea swept the European team. The loser of the Japan-Korea match will take the bronze medal. The mixed doubles rounds are scheduled for Thursday and Friday.
- Based on James Davies’ detailed reports on Ranka Online, where you can also follow live matches, check out the schedule, results and participants.

Time Out for Kids: SportAccord Delegation Visits a Go Class in Beijing

Tuesday December 13, 2011

December 12 was a rest day for the go competition at the SportAccord World Mind Games, but for a dozen or so of the players and officials, it was an opportunity to pay an afternoon visit to the Zhang Guan Gun No. 3 Elementary School. This is one of the schools in Beijing where the pupils also learn to play go. About two dozen schoolboys, dressed in light blue school uniforms, were lined up inside the school gate to greet the bus carrying the players and officials, escort them to the school meeting room, and present them with self-made gifts.

“We played one-on-two simultaneous games with representatives from the 5th and 6th grades,” says Thomas Hsiang, a 7-dan. “My two opponents were 3D players and both took only three stones.  We played in their go classrooms, on tables specially made just for playing go.  It was there that one sees the future of go in China and understands why it will be hard for others to compete with the Chinese in go in the foreseeable future.”

In an unscheduled event, Andrew Okun (right), the American team captain, dropped in on a lesson in a regular classroom to give some second graders a chance to practice their English. They peppered him with questions. Where do you live? Los Angeles. Do you like chicken? Yes. Do you also like duck? Yes. Do you like ice cream? Yes, I like it too much (patting midsection). After ten minutes or so, Okun ended the session with a question to the class: Do you like studying English? The class went wild in shouting Yes.

Back in the go classroom the games were still in progress. On the whole, the pupils were acquitting themselves well but finding that without a handicap, beating world-class professional players and even world-class European amateurs and IGF Vice Presidents is not so easy. Unfortunately, the bus had to leave and some of the pupils’ parents had come to get them, so the games were cut short, farewells were bid, and a smiling group of players and officials returned to the Beijing Intercontinental Grand Hotel.

- James Davies, with additional reporting by Thomas Hsiang; photos courtesy Ranka Online; where you can read Davies’ full report.

Equipment Donation Helps NC Club Spread Go

Tuesday December 13, 2011

Thanks to Gayla Halbrecht of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, the Triangle Go Group has a new batch of go equipment to continue their outreach efforts in local middle schools and at their club locations. Halbrecht (at right in photo) donated her late husband Herbert’s equipment to the Go Group. Herbert Halbrecht (at left), who took up the challenge of learning go in his ‘80s and wished to bring the game to his fellow seniors, “was an amazing, enthusiastic guy who was always looking for ways to stretch the conventional wisdom about the aging brain,” Paul Celmer tells the E-Journal. “He was an inspiration and it was a privilege to have met him.” American Go Association President Allan Abramson added that “People like Herbert are what keep us working hard to spread go.”

Categories: U.S./North America

Canada 3-peats in 4th Youth Friendship Matches

Monday December 12, 2011

The future of North American go was on full display this past Sunday at the 4th US-Canada Youth Friendship Match, held on KGS and viewed by over 250 go fans.  With many exciting matches featuring intense middle games, the Canadians managed to pull away for the third year in a row, posting a 4-1 victory over the U.S.  In a rematch of last year’s top board, Ryan Li, the runner up to the 2010 and 2011 Canadian Opens, once again managed to best Calvin Sun in a close match featuring a territory versus influence battle.  Intense fighting was the theme of the next few boards, with Gansheng Shi, Jianing Gan, and Andrew Huang of Canada posting victories for Canada, and the lone American win from USYGC Champion Vincent Zhuang.  With such a strong showing overall, the North American team has a chance to reclaim victory against the European youth in the Transatlantic Match that will be played next spring. Full results can be seen here.  -Special report by Lawrence Ku

China Likely to Win Gold in World Mind Games; U.S. Contender for 5th

Sunday December 11, 2011

In the third round of the team competitions at the SportAccord World Mind Games in Beijing, China, the United States finally scored a team win when Mingjiu Jiang forced Catalin Taranu to resign, after Andy Liu and Feng Yun won against Cornel Burzo and Vanessa Wong, reports Thomas Hsiang.  Jie Li, however, lost by 2.5 points to Cristian Pop in a game that both players thought Jie had won.  Kevin Huang then lost to Jan Simara, making the team score 3-2.  The US will now probably finish 5th.

The other match, pitting China against Korea, attracted the attention of a lot of the Chinese pros. Wang Runan, Hua Yigang, Hua Xueming, and Yu Bin – the president, vice president, men’s team coach, and women’s team coach of China Weiqi Association – all showed up to watch.  There were lively discussions in the study room around the several large-screen TV’s showing the key games.  In the game between Kong Jie and Lee Sedol, Kong had a good opening and took the lead early on.  But Lee fought back with a clever maneuver to reverse the situation and won at the end.  On the second table, Gu Li (right) trailed Choi Chulhan early, causing tense moments among the Chinese audience.  But, in a marvelous display of his recent strong form, Gu fought back little bit by little bit.  In the end he found a ko and took a firm lead when Choi could not find a large enough threat for the ko.  With Xie He and Li He winning, China was assured of a 3-2 victory.  China will now probably win the gold medal.

Between Korea and China, there have been three international mind-sport team clashes.  In the 2008 WMSG and the 2010 Asian Games, Korea won both by a 4-1 score.  So for China, this was a sweet victory indeed.

In the third match, Japan won surprisingly easily with a score of 4-1 against Chinese Taipei.  Only Yamashiro Hiroshi lost on the second table to Hsiao Cheng-hao.  Japan will now probably take the bronze.

Tomorrow (12/12) is the off day for Go.  SportAccord and the Beijing government have arranged a visit for some of the go players to a middle school for a teaching and promotional event.  Representing US and EU will be Mingjiu Jiang and Vanessa Wong.
Click here for James Davies’ detailed reports on Ranka Online, where you can also follow live matches, check out the schedule, results and participants.
photo courtesy Ranka Online