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Kai Fugami wins 22nd Anniversary Tournament in Seattle

Wednesday October 11, 2017

Kai FugamiThe Seattle Go Center 22nd Anniversary Tournament attracted 40 players on Oct. 1.  They used newly refinished go boards, and enjoyed pizza provided by the AGA Rewards program. The tournament went smoothly, despite the good-sized crowd, and it has already been rated by the AGA.

The Open Section filled up with eight players. The winner was Kai Fugami, playing his first tournament at the Go Center. Kai grew up in Japan, and for a while he was an insei with the Kansai Ki-in. He is a 8-dan amateur in Japan. Kai’s dad grew up in Seattle, and Kai’s family has now moved to Bellingham.  Kai is in college now.

Second place in the Open Section went to Alex (Xinlei) Liu. He is currently an AGA 7 dan. Alex won the Go Center Spring Tournament this year, and placed second to Yue Zhang last year in the Anniversary Tournament. Third place went to Yichen Li, who currently has an AGA 6 dan rating.

The Children’s Prize went to Austen Li, who won all his games in the Handicapped Section. He also placed first in the Double Digit Kyu Player Group. Young Amy Ling placed second in this group.

Go Center Instructor Larry Eclipse won the Middle Group of the Handicapped Section, with volunteer Christian De Oro taking second, and Thursday afternoon manager Nathan Saritzky taking third.

The Upper Group of the Handicapped Section extended up to 2 dan. It was won by Brendan Roof, who selected both volumes of Cho Chikun’s “All About Life and Death” for his prize.  The books were donated to the Go Center. Former Board member Dan (Denga) Tang placed second.

Friends of the Seattle Go Center should note that the Anniversary Party will held on Sunday, October 15, starting at 4 p.m.
photo: Kai Fugami during one of his games.  Photo/Report by Brian Allen

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Evanston go club featured in magazine

Sunday October 1, 2017

The Evanston Go Club is featured in a feature article in the September issue of Chicagoly Magazine. “I’ve known the author, Alan Henry, for 2017.10.01_evanston-gomany years.” said club president Mark Rubenstein. “He’s always wanted to do an article about go, and he hit a home run with this one!”
Henry interviewed Rubenstein and other club members for the article, which covers everything from the history of the game all the way up through AlphaGo.
“If you can get your hands on a physical copy, it’s worth it.” said Rubenstein. “It looks even better on the printed page, and there are some things that aren’t in the online version. Kudos to Alan and everyone at Chicagoly Magazine for putting together one of the best articles about go I’ve ever read!”
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The Power Report (1): Hsieh and Iyama pair win Pair Go tournament; Ichiriki wins Kisei S League; Youngest member ever of Honinbo League

Wednesday September 6, 2017

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal2017.09.06_pair-go

Hsieh and Iyama pair win Pair Go tournament: The Pair Go World Championship Stars Tournament 2017 was held at the Cerulean Tower Tokyu Hotel in Shibuya, Tokyo, on August 12 and 13 and was won by the pair of Hsieh Yimin and Iyama Yuta, representing Japan. In a sense, this tournament is a successor to the Pair Go World Cup 2016 Tokyo, which was held in Shibuya last year and was a great success with go fans. It is actually in two parts. The first part, the Stars Tournament, was a mini-knockout tournament in which two pairs from Japan and one each from Korea and Chinese Taipei took part. The winners are to play the winning pair from last year’s World Cup in the second part of the tournament, called the Masters Match, in October.

The luck of the draw saw the two teams from Japan play each other in the first round. The pair of Hsieh Yimin 6P (spelling is a mixture of two romanization systems but follows the Nihon Ki-in HP) and Iyama Yuta 9P (B) beat the pair of Fujisawa Rina 3Pand Hane Naoki 9P by resig. In the other first-round game, Choi Jeong 7-dan and Park Jeonghwan 9-dan (W) from Korea beat Hei Jia-jia 7P (also known as Joanne Missingham) and Chen Shih-yuan 9P of Chinese Taipei by resig. In the final, Hsieh and Iyama (B) beat Choi and Park by resig. First prize was ten million yen. Hsieh and Iyama will meet the World Cup-winning pair of Yu Zhiying 5P and Ke Jie 9P in the Masters Match. Hei and Chen (B) beat Fujisawa and Hane by 5.5 points in the play-off for 3rd place.

Like last year, a competition in solving life-and-death problems was also held. The four human pairs competed against the Pandanet life-and-death AI program Panda Sensei in solving five problems. The time allowed for the super-difficult problems was ten minutes each. Panda Sensei won easily, like last year, with four correct solutions in the fastest time. Choe and Park came second, with one correct solution, and Hsieh and Iyama third (they solved the same problem, but the Korea pair was a little faster). What is notable, however, is that Panda Sensei was unable to solve one problem.

(Even in Japan, some fans commented that the winning team above is only half Japanese, as Hsieh is Taiwanese, but it has long been established that players can represent the country of their professional affiliation.)

Ichiriki wins Kisei S League: Two games in the S League of the 42nd Kisei tournament were held on August 10. Yamashita Keigo 9P (W) beat Kono Rin 9P by resig. and Murakawa Daisuke 8P (W) beat Cho U 9P, also by resig. As a result, there were four players on 2-2, namely, 2017.09.06_Honinbo league Kyo left Shibano rightKono, Yamashita, Murakawa, and Cho U, which meant that Ichiriki Ryo 7P, on 4-0, became unbeatable with one round still to be played. The other league member is So Yokoku 9P, who is on 0-4. Ichiriki secures a place in the play-off to decide the challenger; he needs only one game in the best-of-three, so he has a good chance of meeting Iyama in the title match.

Youngest member ever of Honinbo League: The four vacant places in the 73rd Honinbo League have been decided. Two of the final play-offs were held on August 17. In one, Kobayashi Satoru 9P (B) beat Terayama Rei 5P by resig.; in the other, Ida Atsushi 8P (W) beat Ichiriki Ryo 7P by half a point. Kobayashi will play in his fifth Honinbo League and Ida in his fourth.
The third place was decided on August 31. Playing black, Yo Seiki (Yu Chengqi) 7P beat Yoda Norimoto 9P by 2.5 points. This will be Yo’s fourth Honinbo League.
The last place was decided on September 4, when Shibano Toramaru 7P (right) beat Kyo Kagen (Xu Jiayuan) 4P (game details not yet available to me). At 17 years nine months, Shibano is the youngest player to win a seat in the Honinbo League. He has been a pro for three years exactly, so he is also the quickest. (The record for all leagues is held by Ichiriki Ryo, who got into the Kisei League aged 16 years nine months. The new league starts in October; many fans will be looking forward to Shibano’s debut, as he is not only the strongest high-teen player in Japan but also has an aggressive, individualistic style.
Tomorrow: Xie to challenge for Women’s Honinbo; Ichiriki to challenge for Oza and Tengen; DeepZenGo wins computer tournament

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Ryan Li 1P ready to face next opponent in the MLily top 16

Saturday August 19, 2017

IMG_4795Ryan Li 1P is gearing up for his next match in the  MLily Meng Baihe Cup World Go Open Tournament (MLily Cup), achieving his place in the top 16 after a stunning upset win against Chen Yaoye 9P (photo at right) in the last round on June 21st; see the story and game record here“My goal going into the match was to not let him win too easily,” Li (right) said of preparing for the June match with Chen. In an interview at the recent U.S. Go Congress, Li said that he was excited for the match against Chen as a learning opportunity since Chen is a world champion who had previously beaten Ke Jie 9P. During the match, there was a moment at the beginning of the endgame, after all the groups had been settled, when Li realized he could actually win. “He told me that it felt like his heart would pop out of his chest,” Stephanie Yin 1P said with a smile. Li remembers that his first professional go tournament was as an amateur player invited to participate in the MLily preliminaries in 2012 where he lost in the first round, and he characterizes his place in the top 16 of this year’s MLily as a life achievement. “I’ve always wanted to be in the top 16 in a professional go tournament,” he says. “I set that goal right before this tournament started, and it immediately happened. It’s just amazing.” Ryan Li is only the fourth professional go player to be certified by the AGA, winning the January 2015 pro certification tournament, and when not playing go, he is pursuing a PhD in atmospheric sciences at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.

Li will face Li Xuanhao 6P in Tongling, Anhui on August 24th, and he used the 33rd US Go Congress as training to prepare for the match. He won eight of nine games in the US Open Masters Division, taking second place and losing only to tournament champion Wu Hao 2P of China. On top of his Go Congress training, he has been studying his opponents’ game records for the past year, and says Li Xuanhao’s style is calm; he expects playing against Li to be difficult, and not just because of his calm, solid style. “I know him pretty well,” Ryan says. “If I were playing someone else, I could review games with him and discuss strategy, but since he’s my opponent of course that would be awkward.” What is he most looking forward to? “I’m really looking forward to all the time before the match, because I’m still in the top 16 right now,” Ryan laughs. Stay tuned for our on-site coverage of the top 16 of the MLily Cup this week.

-report by Karoline Li, EJ Tournaments Bureau Chief; photo by Stephanie Yin 1P

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Terry Benson receives Lasker Award

Friday August 18, 2017

Longtime go organizer Terry Benson was awarded the Edward Lasker Award at the 2017 Go Congress closing banquet for his lifetime of service2017.08.17_benson-award-cropped to the American Go Association and the go community. Completely surprised but obviously pleased, Benson was visibly moved by the recognition and received a standing ovation. “Terry has been organizing and helping and working tirelessly for the organization and the game since before I was born,” said AGA president Andy Okun. “It is not only a real privilege and honor to be able to give him this award, but humbling to see the very high bar he’s set for the rest of us.”

Benson served as president of the AGA from 1977-1989 and as Managing Editor of the American Go Journal from 1976-1998. He is currently the president of the American Go 2017.08.17_lasker-awardFoundation and during his tenure the AGF has raised over a half million dollars to promote go. From time to time he’s hosted the longtime floating Brooklyn Go Club, which moves from apartment to apartment throughout New York City. He began playing go in 1960 with a cardboard and plastic Christmas present set his parents bought at a New Jersey mall. He taught himself and a couple of high school buddies. One of them found Arthur Smith’s go book and “tried to steal a march” on him, but Terry found Lasker’s Go and Go-moku. “The games were horrible, long kyu slugfests, jidorgo, but great fun,” he remembers.  He played occasionally through high school and college. In 1975 he stumbled into Games Gallery where then-AGA President  John Stephenson and Treasurer Matthias Thim were playing across the counter. He was quickly drawn into the game and almost immediately recruited a succession of other enthusiasts who helped create the AGA of today. “I get too much credit,” he says, “but I’ll do whatever bit I can to get more people playing go.”

The Lasker Award is named after Edward Lasker, a founder of the American Go Association. Other awardees include Richard Dolen and Frank Fukuda in 2013.

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Aaron Ye achieves Redmond Meijin; Ary Cheng and Matthew Cheng tied in Junior Division

Thursday August 10, 2017

2017 Redmond Cup Senior Division15-year old Aaron Ye 7d (at left) defeated Muzhen (Alan) Ai 7d (right) 2-0 to claim his fifth Redmond Cup title, making him the third Redmond Meijin (following Eric Lui 1p in 2001 and Curtis Tang 8d in 2010). Ai put up a good fight throughout the match, having held a large territorial lead for most of Game 1 until a decisive mistake in the endgame gave Ye the opportunity to just barely reverse the game and win by 1.5. Determined to cement his title in Game 2, Ye played a solid game, establishing an early territorial advantage and holding it until Ai was forced to resign after miscalculating the life and death of one of Ye’s groups. Ye has been a dominant force in the Redmond Cup ever since he  started playing in it at the age of 9, winning the Junior Division four times in a row from 2011-2014. While the competition grew tougher once he aged into the Senior Division (13-17), Ye has remained at the top of the North American youth scene.

In the Junior Division, 11-year old Ary Cheng 6d came out swinging against 10-year old Matthew Cheng 5d, slaying a dragon in what would be a swift Game 1 victory that took just over an hour and only 139 moves. However, Matthew was not deterred and came back in Game 2, able to kill a large group himself and bring the series to a tie. Ary is trying to win his third consecutive Junior title, but this year could be the most difficult yet. He won both of his previous titles with clean 2-0 sweeps.  The third and deciding game will take place on Thursday, 8/10 at 3 pm PDT and will be broadcast live on KGS, Youtube, and Twitch, with live video commentary by Michael Chen 8d and Lionel Zhang 7d. Missed any of the games? You can watch recordings of the two Senior Division games with video commentary by former Redmond Cup champions and finalists below: Game 1 (commentary by Eric Lui 1p and Julie Burrall 1d) Game 2 (commentary by Gansheng Shi 1p and Ricky Zhao 7d) - Story and photo by AGA Youth Coordinator Justin Teng.

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Meet the 2017 Redmond Cup Finalists

Wednesday August 2, 2017

After a preliminary tournament spanning nearly three months, Muzhen Ai 7d and Matthew Cheng 5d emerged at the top of the pack in the Senior (13-17) and Junior (12 and under) divisions respectively to compete in their first Redmond Cup Finals. However, they will face stiff competition against 4-time champion Aaron Ye 7d and 2-time champion Ary Cheng 6d, who placed second in their respective divisions. The first round of the best-of-3 Finals will take place at the 2017 US Go Congress on August 6th, with live commentary for the Senior Division by Eric Lui 1p and Julie Burrall 1d on the AGA Youtube channel. Learn more about the young finalists below:

Screen Shot 2017-08-02 at 3.45.10 PM17-year old Muzhen “Alan” Ai (at left) is from Dallas, Texas and is looking for his first Redmond Cup title after barely failing to qualify for the Finals last year. Despite sweeping the preliminaries 6-0, Ai told the EJ that he was “surprised to have made the finals after not studying go for a long time.” Ai started playing go at the age of 5 in Hebei, China after his mother accidentally took him to the wrong room of an apartment, which just so happened to be a go classroom. Studying with Zhao Yuhong 5p, Ai managed to achieve 5 dan in 3 years after barely passing the promotion tournament. On the last day of the tournament, he recalls, “I left early after losing my last game and thought I had no chance to get to 5 dan. When my mom was blaming me, she received a phone call from a teacher and was told that I was the last one on the promotion list.” Having moved to the US in 2015, Ai says that he “regrets not putting enough effort into studying go when he was little” but looks forward to playing some good games in the Finals.

Screen Shot 2017-08-02 at 3.44.57 PM15-year old Aaron Ye (at right) from Cupertino, California is a familiar face in the Redmond Cup, having won the Junior division title four times in a row from 2011-2014. However, this is his first Finals in the Senior Division, and he is looking to achieve the honorary title of Redmond Meijin, which is granted to those who win the Redmond Cup at least 5 times. So far, this has only been achieved by Eric Lui 1p in 2001 and Curtis Tang 8d in 2010. Going 5-1 in the preliminaries, Ye told the EJ that he is happy to have made the Finals, and would like to thank the AGF and the volunteers who run the tournament every year for so many years. In addition, he looks forward to having fun in San Diego with his go friends. When Ye was 5 years old, he stumbled upon go when a family friend’s son happened to have an extra spot in a group lesson. He currently studies with Myungwan Kim 9p and while he barely has time to play games due to schoolwork, he watches pro games while doing homework to keep himself in shape. Outside of go, Ye enjoys cooking and enjoying good food.

Screen Shot 2017-08-02 at 3.44.36 PM10-year old Matthew Cheng (at left) is from San Jose, California. He is qualifying for the second time this year, but only competing for the first.  Last year he was busy attending the World Youth Go Championships as the US Junior representative and had to cede his spot in the Redmond.  Matthew started playing go at the age of 5, and first learned by watching Youtube videos and then attending a local go class. In addition to learning from several teachers in the past (currently he studies by himself over the internet), Matthew also plays on IGS/KGS, does tsumego often, and reads many Chinese and English go books. Outside of go, Matthew also enjoys playing table tennis.

Screen Shot 2017-08-02 at 3.44.25 PM11-year old Ary Cheng (at right – no relation to Matthew) is from Sunnyvale, California and is the only returning finalist from last year’s tournament. Having held the Junior title for the last two years in a row, Ary is looking to defend his title once again. Ary started playing go at the age of 6 after attending a group lesson in a Chinese school, and has never stopped playing since. Currently, he is studying with Mingjiu Jiang 7p and practices by playing on IGS and doing life and death problems. Outside of go, Ary also enjoys playing table tennis.

The Redmond Cup is a premier youth tournament named after Michael Redmond 9p for dan players under the age of 18. Players compete in an online preliminary tournament in April to determine two finalists in both a Junior (under 13) and Senior (under 18) division. Finalists are given a free trip to the US Go Congress to compete in a best-of-three finals. - Justin Teng, AGA Youth Coordinator

 

 

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The Power Report: Iyama defends Gosei title, becomes Meijin challenger, extends winning streak

Tuesday August 1, 2017

Iyama defends Gosei title, becomes Meijin challenger, extends winning streak: Last week Iyama Yuta extended a winning streak2017.08.02_Iyama (L) defends Gosei he started on April 13 to 16 games. That indicates that this report won’t include any Iyama failures.
The second game of the 42nd Gosei title match was held in the Miyajima Hotel Makoto in Hatsukaichi City, Hiroshima Prefecture, on July 19. Taking black, Iyama played “steadily” and secured a resignation after 145 moves. “Steadily” was the word used by the Go Weekly reporter, but to me the game seemed very complicated. In a kind of trade, Iyama gave up a large group for the chance to attack and eventually kill a big group and a small one. Having lost the first two games, Yamashita Keigo, the challenger, was now faced with a kadoban.
The third game was played at the Hotel Nikko Kumamoto in Kumamoto City, Kumamoto Prefecture, on July 25. Playing white, Iyama forced Yamashita to resign after 206 moves and defended his title with straight wins. This was another game in which fierce fighting started early and spilled all over the board. Yamashita pushed Iyama hard but was unable to prevail. This is Iyama’s sixth successive Gosei title, equally the Gosei record set by Otake Hideo and Kobayashi Koichi,  and his 45th overall. First prize is 8,000,000 yen (at 110.63 yen to the dollar, about $72,313).
2017.08.02_meijin42_league12On July 28, Iyama met Murakawa Daisuke in the eighth round of the 42nd Meijin League (left). The game was played at the Kansai Headquarters of the Nihon Ki-in in Osaka. Iyama had won all his games so far and was leading the league on 6-0. On 4-2, Murakawa was the only other player still in the running with Iyama, but he needed to win his final two games and not only beat Iyama himself, but also have him lose to Yo Seiki in the final round. If that happened, the two would meet in a play-off to decide the challenger. That turned out to be just a dream. Taking black, Murakawa played positively, launching a surprise attack on Iyama early in the game. He seemed to have good momentum in the middle game, but Iyama found a chink in his armor and forced him to resign after 146 moves.2017.08.02_Kobayashi Satoru wins Fume killer
Since losing the Meijin title to Takao Shinji about eight months ago, Iyama has done everything right, defending his other six tiles without being put under severe pressure. He can now aim at securing his second grand slam, which would be a first in board games in Japan.
Unlike the other rounds, all the games in the final round of the Meijin League are played on the same day, which is August 3 this year. This is to heighten the drama and to encourage fan interest―“If A beats B, and C loses to D, etc.”―but this year the only suspense will be whether or not Iyama finishes the league with a clean slate. The first game of the title match will be played on August 30 and 31.

Kobayashi Satoru wins Masters’ Cup: The final of the 7th Fume-killer Igo Masters Cup was held in the TV studio in the basement of the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo on July 22. After a long (266 moves) and fierce fight, Kobayashi Satoru 9P (B) beat Cho Chikun, Hon. Meijin, by half a point. Kobayashi (right) won this title for the second time after a gap of four years. It is sponsored by an insecticide company and first prize is five million yen. This title is open to players 50 and older who have won a top-seven title. Other senior players who have done well in the prize-money-winning list take part in a qualifying tournament for seats in the main tournament. The time allowance is one hour, with the last five minutes allotted to byo-yomi. There was a standing-room-only crowd at a public commentary given in the large hall on the second floor of the Nihon Ki-in.

2017.08.02_Shibano ToramaruShibano wins first title: One of the brightest prospects at the Nihon Ki-in is Shibano Toramaru 3P (left). Commentators have been impressed by his individualistic style and flair for fighting. Shibano won a seat in the final of the 26th Ryusei Cup, where he was matched against another young star, Yo Seiki 7P (Yu Cheng-ch’i) of the Kansai Ki-in. Playing black, Shibano won the game by resignation. He set a couple of speed records. At 17 years eight months, he became the youngest player to win the Ryusei title, breaking the record Ichiriki Ryo set last year of 19 years one month. Second, he was the fastest to win a title in which all professionals could participate, winning the Ryusei two years 11 months after become a professional. Iyama Yuta set the previous record when he won the 12th Agon Kiriyama Cup three years six months after becoming a pro. This victory also earned Shibano promotion to 7-dan (as of August 1). This set another record, as he was the fastest to 7-dan; the previous record was set by Sakai Hideyuki, who made it in three years four months.

Promotion
To 5-dan: Terayama Rei (70 wins, as of July 28)

Interesting stats: Some interesting players are featuring in the statistical contests this year. Below is the picture as of the end of July.
Most wins
1. Shibano Toramaru: 30 wins 6 losses
2. Ichiriki Ryo 29-8
3. Fujisawa Rina: 27-13
4. Iyama Yuta 26-7
5. Kyo Kagen 4P: 24-5
6. Otake Yu 1P: 21-6; Mutsuura Yuta 3P: 21-9; Mukai Chiaki 5P: 21-10
9. Terayama Rei 5P: 20-7; Motoki Katsuya 8P: 20-8; Xie (Hsieh) Yimin: 20-12; Yamashita Keigo: 20-13
One point of interest is the presence of three female players in the top 12. They are probably getting a bit of a boost from the recent proliferation of women’s titles.

Successive wins
Iyama Yuta: 16 (hasn’t lost a game since April 13).
Shibano Toramaru also had a wining streak of 16 games that came to an end during July.

Correction: In my account of the Senko Cup in my last report, I forgot to mention the location of the venue for the semifinals and finals. They were held at the Akekure inn in the town of Higashi Omi in Shiga Prefecture.

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Updates: East Bay Go Club formed; Australian Go Congress set; Kiseido sale on go books

Monday July 24, 2017

East Bay Go Club formed: The East Bay Go Club has just formed and meets Thursdays from 6:30PM to 9PM “at the beautiful new Games of 2017.07.23_east-bay-clubBerkeley” at 2510 Durant Ave. (near Telegraph Ave), reports Chris Russell. More details on the club’s website.

Australian Go Congress set: The Australian Go Congress is coming up September 28 – October 1 in Sydney. 2017.07.23_australiaThe third such event includes the 2017 Australian National Championships and has an iPhone/iPad-friendly site.

Kiseido sale on go books: Kiseido is having a sale of all English-language go books ordered through their book page. Recent and recommended books include The Basics of Life and Death, Handicap-Go and the Sanrensei Opening and An Encyclopedia of Go Principles. The sale runs through August 31.

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Yang Shuang 2P a hit at Northern VA summer camp

Sunday July 23, 2017

Yang Shuang 2P’s go class has been a big hit among kids attending the Hope Chinese School’s summer camp in Northern Virginia. In the first 2017.07.23_yang-nova-kidsweek of the 10-day program, two dozen students learned the basic s of the game, including liberties, how to capture, snap-backs, ladders, the double-atari, and life and death. Yang’s 2017.07.23_yang-nova-kids-closeinteractive teaching style has been effective at getting all the students involved, said camp director Dinny Li. “I am a bit surprised at how well kids respond to abstract go concepts taught by Ms. Yang,’ Li said. A leader at the Hope Chinese School and an advocate of go, Ms. Li thinks summer camp is a great place for kids to learn go.

Yang cofounded a go school in Shenyang, China over a decade ago. She has taught all levels, and will host a simul this Wednesday, July 26, 8p at the National Go Center in DC. She will also visit the NOVA Go Club next Monday, July 31, 7p in Arlington, VA and will be at the upcoming US Go Congress — August 5-12 — in San Diego.

The Hope Chinese School will continue offer afternoon go classes at the school’s summer camp August 14-25, where other Chinese arts will be offered, including fine art, music, kungfu. Contact 703-371-3414hcscamp.va@gmail.com

- reported by Edward Zhang

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