American Go E-Journal

Why We Play: Edward Zhang 6d

Wednesday October 28, 2015

Age: 362015.10.28_Edward Zhang-self
Years playing go: 26
Lives in: McLean, VA
Home club: Capital Go Club

Life is unpredictable: could be great, could go south. Playing go for nearly three decades has taught me strategies that have benefited me tremendously in my current career in financial planning. Reading out the variations helps me understand which is a manageable trade and which is an unfavorable battle. It’s also important to keep a couple byo-yomi periods for the uncertainties at the end. That said, it’s still impossible to predict a go game or life, but we can always plan to avoid the unnecessary pains, taking only the calculable risks.

Why do you play? Tell us in 100 words or less your favorite thing about the game of go, include your name, age, how long you’ve played go, where you live and your home go club, and email to Be sure to include a current photo!

Categories: Why We Play

Andy Liu 1P Scores Two Wins in Japan Pro Tournament Prelim

Tuesday October 27, 2015

American professional Andy Liu 1p has won his way into the final round of the Kansai Kiin’s 12th Sankei Cup pro preliminary in Osaka, Japan.2015.10.28_Andy-Liu Liu defeated Imayi Kazuhiro 6p by resignation in his first game and won against Takashima Yougo 1p by a half-point in the second round. He plays Ha Yonnyiru 6p on Monday, Nov. 2 at 2:30 p.m. Japanese time.

Fellow AGA pro Gansheng Shi lost in the first round to Mine Yasuhiro 3p, and the two EGF pros, Mateusz Surma 1p and Ali Jabarin 1p lost their matches as well. Shi and Liu will also play in an exchange match with young Kansai pros on Friday, Oct. 30, Liu at 10 a.m. Japanese time against Sinntani Yousuki 1p and Shi at 2 p.m. against Yinaba Karinn 1p. All matches will be broadcast on Pandanet. The EJ will update with photos and game records as soon as they are available.
- Andy Okun; 2014 photo of Liu by Phil Straus

AGF College Scholarship – Deadline Nov. 14th

Monday October 26, 2015

AGF-logo-smallApplications are now being accepted for the American Go Foundation(AGF) college scholarshipThe program  recognizes high school students who have served as important youth organizers and promoters for the go community . To apply, download and complete the application form here.  Applicants should describe their accomplishments and volunteer work in a short essay. Letters of recommendation may also be included. Applicants whose enthusiasm and ambition have helped spread go in under-served areas will be given special consideration. Strong players who spend much of their time voluntarily teaching will also be considered, although the award focuses on promoters and organizers who have made substantial contributions during their go career. Applications are due Nov. 14th this year. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.  

Nihon Ki-in Pros Join Seattle’s 20th Anniversary Party

Monday October 26, 2015

Anniversary Party CompositeThe recent 20th anniversary celebration at the Seattle Go Center attracted over 100 people, including two professionals from Japan, Hiroshi Yamashiro 9P, vice president of the Nihon Ki-in, and Yuma 6P, who is also known as Kuma-sensei in Seattle.  The October 3 evening reception and concert featured a short speech from Consul General Masahiro Omura from the Seattle Japanese Consulate, who noted that Kaoru Iwamoto’s purchase of the Go Center building for use by the U.S. go community was a good symbol of the continuing reconciliation between Japan and the United States since WWII.  Go Center Board President Lee Anne Bowie reported that the late Iwamoto-sensei’s vision to extend go internationally and promote mutual understanding and friendship through the game of go has been upheld at the Seattle Go Center.  Harry van der Krogt, Manager at the European Go Cultural Center, another Iwamoto-funded center, extended his congratulations to the Seattle Go Center, and hoped for increased international cooperation to promote go in the future.  Andy Okun, president of the AGA, noted that the Seattle Go Center has a strong base of volunteers.

While Mr. Yamashiro had to return to Japan the day after the party, Kuma-sensei gave lectures and played simultaneous games for the next four days at the Seattle Go Center.  This was his second visit to Seattle.  Sunday’s lecture consisted of reviews of games from the Saturday tournament (Seattle Go Center 2oth Anniversary Tournament Draws Big Crowd  10/20 EJ).  His Monday lecture was for the “Double Digit Kyu Class,” which is usually taught by Nick Sibicky.  Kuma-sensei explored the double low approach to the 4-4 stone, and did a very good job of keeping his explanations simple enough for kyu players.  On Tuesday, he played simultaneous games with eight players while others watched, and then gave short lessons as each game finished. As usual on Tuesdays, there were more than 30 players visiting the center. On Wednesday, Kuma taught the “Single Digit Kyu Class”, with Andrew Jackson hosting.  Kuma-sensei also had time to see more of Seattle, and to enjoy Northwest seafood.  Photos: (top) Hiroshi Yamashiro 9P giving greetings from the Nihon Ki-in, (left) Fumi Tagata soprano, (right) Kuma-sensei playing simultaneous games.   More photos here.
- Report/photos by Brian Allen

Space Limited for Gotham Go Tournaments; Register Now

Monday October 26, 2015

Space is limited at the upcoming Gotham Go Tournament, so register soon. The November 14-15th event is really two tournaments, a one-day, 4-2015.10.26_Gotham2013-DSC_6943round AGA-rated tournament on Saturday, November 14, followed by a Pair Go tournament  on Sunday, November 15. Both events will be held at the Hostelling International New York, at 891 Amsterdam Ave (btw 103rd & 104th), which can only handle 84 players. “Breakfast, snacks, coffee and goodies both days!” promises organizer Peter Armenia, “And a Gotham Go surprise for all who participate!”
photo: January 2013 Gotham Tournament; photo by John Pinkerton

Categories: U.S./North America

Fujita Harvests NOVA Pumpkin Field

Monday October 26, 2015

Saki Fujita 5D was undefeated in four rounds against a field of 29 at the October 24 NOVA Pumpkin Classic in Arlington, VA.  Other division 2015.10.26_NOVA-pumpkinwinners include Quinn Baranoski 1K (undefeated), Patrick Sun 6K, Jeff Martyn 10K, Sara Crites 11K, and Kurt Haldeman 15K.  Second place winners include Josh Lee 6D, Victor Kang 3D, Zhao Zhao 5K, Garrett Smith 9K, Deirdre Golash 11k (tie), Robert Cole 12K (tie), and Amber Boyden 20K.
While the go was very serious, the prizes were fun.  All first and second places with a better than even record won a pumpkin.  Gurujeet Khalsa was the TD.Photo by Garrett Smith; champion Saki Fujita is in the front, second from the right.

Categories: U.S./North America

Second Time the Charm as Mark Lee 7D Sweeps to Win Cotsen Open

Monday October 26, 2015

Mark Lee fended off a last-round challenge to clinch the 2015 Cotsen Open with a perfect 5-0 record. Lee uncharacteristically misread in a 2015.10.25_cotsen-okun-lee-gross-P1000244capturing race against Ho Son 7D of Seattle but fought back and then pulled ahead decisively in the endgame to win by more than 20 points. Large audiences watched the top-board matches, broadcast by the E-Journal team on both KGS and the AGA’s YouTube channel — where Myungwan Kim 9P and Jennie Shen 2P commented the games live — and Lee’s sharp focus throughout the tournament was impressive. “I was the runner-up last year and really wanted to win this year,” he told the E-Journal. “The games were tough but when I got ahead I tried to stay ahead and when things got complicated I just focused on the immediate problem.” Lee (second from right) donated his $1,000 winnings to the American Go Foundation to support their work with young go players; the donation was gratefully accepted by AGF board member Larry Gross (right), along with AGA President Andy Okun (second from left, next to Eric Cotsen at far left; click here for more photos).

The Cotsen drew a large field of nearly 150, mostly from Southern California but also from other West Coast  and Western states. After several years at the LA Korean Cultural Center, the Cotsen returned this year to the LA Center Studios in downtown Los Angeles. Players feasted on free food truck tacos from Komodo Food on Saturday and Kogi BBQ  on Sunday, and two experienced masseuses massaged out sore muscles (left) as the playe2015.10.25_massage-P1000220rs sweated out their moves over the go boards. 

Tournament sponsor Eric Cotsen said he was “Really happy with the way the tournament went; everyone seemed to have a good time.” Although he didn’t win as many games as he would have liked, a beaming Cotsen said that “I think the game is awesome! The challenge, the people, everything about it. Figuring out a battle and winning the game, it’s just an awesome feeling.”
- report/photos by Chris Garlock; click here for a Facebook album with more event photos.

2015 Cotsen Winner’s Report (CLICK HERE FOR FINAL CROSSTAB)
Open: 1. Mark Lee (7d)  5 – 0; 2. Jeremy Chiu (7d)  4 – 1; 3. Beomgeun Cho (9d)  4 – 1; 4. Aaron Ye (7d)  3 – 2; 5. Xaiocheng Hu (5d)  3- 2; 6. Ho Son (7d)  3 – 2

A (3d & 4d): 1. Melissa Zhang (3d)  4 – 1; 2. Jinming Pan (4d)  4 – 1; 3. Tyler Oyakawa  (3d)  4 – 1
B (1d & 2d): 1. Justin Urban (2d)  4 – 1; 2. Meng Cai (2d)  4 – 1; 3. Andrew Okun (1d)  4 – 1
C (1k – 5k): 1. Shawn Blue (5k)   5 – 0; 2. Ernest French (1k)  4 – 1; 3. Lisa Scott (2k)  4 – 1
D (6k – 10k): 1. John Bulcher (6k)  4 – 1; 2. Caleb Chen (7k)  4 – 1; 3. Samson Chio (8k)  4 – 1
E (11k+): 1. Luke Weatherby (14k)  5 – 0; 2. Alexi Kopylov (20k)  5 – 0; 3. Derek Su (12k)  4 – 1

Round 4-5 Top-Board Game Records:
Rd4 Mark Lee v. EvanCho ,
Rd4 Daniel Ko v. Boyang Chen ,
Rd4 Aaron Ye v. Jeremy Chiu ,
Rd4 Ho Son v. Daniel Liu ,
Rd5 Mark Lee v. Ho Son ,
Rd5 Evan Cho v. Boyang Chen ,
Rd5 Stephen Hu v. Jeremy Chiu ,
Rd5 Norman Tsai v. Daniel Ko 

Mark Lee Looking to Score First Cotsen Title

Saturday October 24, 2015

2015.10.24_MarkLee-P1000132Mark Lee 7D (left) stormed through the first three rounds of the 2015 Cotsen Open on Saturday as he tried to capture his first Cotsen title. Only young 2015.10.24_cotsen-umbrella-P1000116Aaron Ye even came close to upsetting the former Korean insei, in a third-round slugfest in which Ye managed to gain a slight advantage in the middle game, only to see his position collapse in the endgame under time pressure and an exquisite tesuji by Lee. Top boards in the final two rounds will be broadcast again live on KGS Sunday starting at 10a PST, with live-streaming of Board 1 on the AGA’s YouTube channel. Yilun Yang 7P will play another Chinese professional starting at 8a on KGS. Click here for a crosstab of results through Round 3.
Games from the top boards:
Rd1 Michael Zhou v. Mark Lee ,
Rd1 Evan Cho v. SukJun Kim ,
Rd1 Daniel Ko v. Vincent Zhuang ,
Rd1 Kevin Chao v. Boyang Chen ,
Rd2 Jeremy Chiu v. Mark Lee ,
Rd2 VincentZ huang v. Evan Cho ,
Rd2 Boyang Chen v. Daniel Liu ,
Rd2 Aaron Ye v. Stephen Hu ,
Rd3 Aaron Ye v. Mark Lee ,
Rd3 Daniel Liu v. Evan Cho ,
Rd3 Matthew Burrall v. Daniel Ko ,

photo: awaiting Round 1 pairings Saturday morning on the patio at the LA Center, just outside the Strong Players Room; report/photos by Chris Garlock

Americans Liu & Shi to Play in 12th Sankei Tournament in Osaka

Saturday October 24, 2015

Andy Liu 1p and Gansheng Shi 1p will play in a Kansai Kiin pro tournament this coming week; their games will be broadcast on Pandanet. The game will take place starting at 10 a.m. on Oct. 26, Japanese time, or 9P EST in the US. Liu will play against Imayi Kazuhiro 6p and Shi will play against Mine Yasuhiro 3p.

The Sankei tournament is a Kansai Kiin knock-out tournament, created in 2005, with 16 pros and 16 amateurs competing in two separate preliminaries. The current title holder is Daisuke Murakawa Oza 8p. This year, in addition to the two AGA pros, two European Go Federation pros will play, Mateusz Surma 1p of Poland against Kurahashi Masayuki 9p and Ali Jabarin of Israel against Yo Seiki 7p. There is also an exchange match scheduled for Oct. 30th, with Liu playing Sinntani Yousuke 1p at 10 a.m and Shi playing Yinaba Karinn 1p at 2 p.m. Japanese time.

Last year, two EGF pros played the pro preliminaries, Pavol Lisy 1p of Slovakia lost to Yuki Satoshi 9p, but Ali Jabarin beat Saito Tadashi 8p, advancing to the second round, where he lost to Nakano Yasuhiro 9p. While American pros have played many times in Japan, and a number of Americans, including Michael Redmond 9p, James Kerwin 1p (retired) and Francis Meyer 1p, received professional status from the Kansai Kiin or Nihon Kiin, this will be the first time AGA-certified pros will play in Japan as professionals.

Young Lions Nov. 14 & 15

Friday October 23, 2015

6a00d8341c630a53ef01116887fc30970c-800wiThe American Go Honor Society (AGHS) will be hosting the 2015 Young Lions Tournament in November. “This is the premier competition for North American youth under 18, and has been one of our longest running tournaments,” says AGHS Promotion Head Stephen Hu.  “There will be 4 rounds in the tournament. The first round starts at 1pm EST, and the second at 4pm EST on November 14th. The third and fourth rounds  rounds will follow the same schedule on November 15. There will be great prizes, as well as trophies and medals for the top three places in each rank division,” adds Hu. The  tournament will be held on KGS, with games broadcast on Twitch.   The registration form is here, the deadline will be Saturday, November 7, so sign up today.  -Paul Barchilon, E- J Youth Editor