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GO SPOTTING: Go: A Novel/George Hoshida’s Go Sketches

Sunday June 5, 2011

Janice Kim’s article about go stones in a Japanese internship camp (GO SPOTTING: ‘The Archaeology of Internment’ 5/9) prompted roving E-Journal contributor Peter Shotwell to send along some excerpts from Holly Uyemoto’s 1995 book Go: A Novel, which focuses on generational differences among Japanese-Americans. The sketches below — which are not part of the novel — are from the George Hoshida Collection on the Japanese American National Museum website.

I used to not like Uncle Mas very much. He bored me… I always found Uncle Mas drab, a frog on a log. It requires no stretch of the imagination to picture his tongue popping out suddenly,  catching a fly or a raindrop. But one day, my grandmother told me a story about Uncle Mas that changed the way I saw him for good…

Before he became a naturalized citizen, [Ojiichan, another uncle] carried a copy of the Constitution in his wallet and took it with him everywhere he went. He quoted from it freely. After Pearl Harbor… Ojiichan brought out his Constitution and cited the Fourth Amendment rights [but they] took him away, the Constitution neatly folded again and put back in his wallet.

Ojiichan was a great go player [but] deemed a Japanese cultural item, the government barred Ojiichan from taking his old go table with him into camp, so he made one… He learned to shape and polish quartz veined with orange borax, and obsidian black and bright, with edges that cut metal and skin. Uncle Mas was fascinated with the go board. He begged Ojiichan to let him play with it. Ojiichan told him not to go near the board… Later, he brought down the go board and the stones, smooth quartz and biting obsidian, and asked my grandmother, ‘Where is he?’ He then set about teaching Uncle Mas how to play—not the five-in-a-row kind of go that children and Westerners play, but the real thing. Uncle Mas learned quickly. He had an aptitude for strategy: in the end, both too much so, and not enough. Ojiichan’s friends would gather around, joke, give Uncle Mas hints, and make friendly wagers about how many moves it would take Ojiichan to win. The nightly face-off between Ojiichan and Uncle Mas became community entertainment.

Uncle Mas winning was never a question, but one day it happened. About six months after he started playing, he beat Ojiichan. And Ojiichan made him swallow one of his own stones. This was Uncle Mas’s victory, and his punishment. Uncle Mas thought Ojiichan was joking, but he wasn’t. He insisted Uncle Mas swallow the stone. Uncle Mas reasoned that as the winner, he should choose whether or not he had to swallow the stone. Ojiichan said it was his ‘tadai no gisei o haratte eta shyori,’ his conquest, having exceeded his master, and his punishment for the same reason—the Japanese equivalent of Pyrrhic victory.

Uncle Mas swallowed the stone, and he stopped playing go…after his big win, he made himself scarce…The next time my grandmother saw him was when she was called to the infirmary after Uncle Mas had been found in the latrine trying to pass a huge fecal boulder. He was rushed to the hospital and operated on. The doctor said he would be fine. There were no fresh fruits and vegetables to speak of in camp. Most meals consisted of mutton and either rice or potatoes. The camp doctor assured Ojiichan and my grandmother that constipation was entirely normal in camp, but it seemed that there had been an inorganic stoppage of Uncle Mas’s bowels: during his operation, the doctor extracted one perfectly round, flat, knife-edged obsidian stone.

‘Remember that story about Uncle Mas?’ I asked my mother one day. ‘The go stone Ochiijan made him swallow?’ ‘Nobody made anybody swallow anything,’ my mother said.  ‘Then why does Uncle Mas have a bad stomach?’  ‘Because he can’t express himself.’ ‘You mean, talk?’

When he was released from the camp infirmary, Uncle Mas was whole again, except that he stopped talking… A week later, he suddenly slumped over. He was rushed back to the infirmary. There were lots of cuts in Uncle Mas’s large intestine; they had ruptured and were bleeding. The doctor removed four feet of Uncle Mas’s large intestine and sewed him up again. ‘Don’t you remember?’ I prodded my mother. ‘Grandma told me.’ ‘I was a baby then. Besides, sometimes she just liked to tell you stories.’

But Uncle Mas still has terrible troubles with his stomach, and he still refuses to play go. I saw him studying Ochiijan’s fancy table once. Uncle Mas ran his hand over the top, touched the carvings, and, pulling back in order to see, squinted at the inlaid grid. He opened the drawers and studied the stones. He held one of the smooth black onyx in his palm, rolling it back and forth. And then he walked away.
- excerpted from Go: A Novel, by Holly Uyemoto

Sketches from the George Hoshida Collection on the Japanese American National Museum website. George Hoshida (1907-1985) was born in Japan and at the age of five, his family settled in Hilo, Hawaii. As an active practitioner of Judo, Hoshida was active at the local dojo. This led directly to his arrest by FBI agents on the day after the bombing of Pearl Harbor as a potential saboteur. Unlike most Japanese Americans living in Hawaii, Hoshida was incarcerated for the duration of the war, first at Kilauea Military Camp and Sand Island in Hawaii and later in mainland Justice Department internment camps at Lordsburg and Santa Fe, New Mexico. Eventually, he was able to rejoin his wife and young daughters, but only when they agreed to leave Hawaii to be incarcerated with him in a War Relocation Authority camp on the mainland. Hoshida began a visual diary of his incarceration from his earliest days in prison. The two notebooks in the collection of the Japanese American National Museum are an extremely rare visual document of the special Justice Department camps and chart his frequent movement from one facility to the next. (Hoshida bio courtesy the Japanese American National Museum, which supports several Japan relief efforts.)
- editing, layout and graphics research by Chris Garlock

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AGA Go Camp Confirmed for Summer Fun

Monday April 18, 2011

The AGA East Coast Go Camp has finalized details for this year’s camp, which will be held at the Madison Suites Hotel in Somerset, New Jersey, July 23-30. Mingjiu Jiang 7p and Yuan Zhou 7d will be the primary teachers.  Jiang, one of the driving forces behind the incredibly successful Bay Area (CA) scene, and organizer of the Zhujo Jiang youth tourney every year, has a proven track record with kids.  He counts some of the strongest youth in the country among his students.  Zhou, one of the most popular teachers on the East Coast, is also well known for his many books on go.  His deep insight into what kyu players are failing to see make his lessons all the more valuable.  “Students aged 8 – 18 are invited to spend a week playing go and making friends,” says camp director John Mangual.  “Double-digit kyus, upper-level dans, and anyone in-between can all participate. At previous camps, beginning players rapidly improved between 5 – 10 kyu levels in just one week, while advanced players improved their fundamentals and learned more about life and death, joseki and midgame fighting.   Our professional staff will make camp worthwhile for even the strongest amateurs.  The camp is an exciting chance to play go face to face, instead of just online,” adds Mangual. For more information, visit the camp page here, or e-mail Mangual at agagocampeast@usgo.org. - Photo: Kids take a break from studying to bury one of their counselors in pillows, photo by Amanda Miller (who is at the bottom of the pillow pile) from last year’s camp. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.

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Amberly Elementary Gets Go

Sunday March 6, 2011

Kids at Amberly Elementary School, in Portage MI,  learned about go this year. “Each year Amberly offers an opportunity for parents and members of the community to teach classes for an after school enrichment program,” writes Jason Preuss, whose daughter attends the school. “I decided it would be a great opportunity to introduce go.  The class met once a week for six weeks and had six students ranging from 1st to 5th grade.  It was enough time to cover the material in the first Level Up book.  The students enjoyed the class and the parents gave positive feedback. For my first time out I was pleased with how the class went. I would like to thank the AGF for their support, in particular the classroom start up kit.”
- EJ Youth Editor Paul Barchilon.  Photo by Jason Preuss
photo (l to r): Jason Preuss, Deidra Preuss, Alyson Koh, Jonathan Koh, Jonathan Ballard, Jacob Ballard. Not pictured: Zyad Wallace.
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THE TRAVELING GO BOARD: A FLOWER BLOOMS IN THE JAIL YARD

Friday November 26, 2010

It has now been almost a year since I first visited the Federal Correctional Institute in Englewood, CO, and I am pleased to report that they now have a weekly go club with regular attendance of 10 to 20 inmates. My first article on this program sparked a tremendous outpouring of support from the go community:  Slate and Shell donated over 20 books for the inmates, Yellow Mountain Imports sent a treasure trove of nice playing sets and books, SmartGo donated free licenses for the full version of their program,  Janice Kim sent more copies of the Learn to Play Go series, and of course the AGF provided free sets and matching funds as well.  All of these resources have been put to good use by the inmates, who are making steady progress.  I have been able to visit the prison every few months, and have had a warm reception every time. Continue reading…)

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U.S. GO NEWS: Qu Sweeps Norcal Tourney; World Youth Qualifier Moved Up To April 3; Northeast Interclub Tourney Invites Teams; School Team Tourney Setting New Records; Agf Accepting Apps For College Scholarships; Aga Ratings Updated; New AGA Database Feature Links Players; Why Host A Pro Workshop?

Monday March 15, 2010

QU SWEEPS NORCAL TOURNEY: Larry Qu 7k topped the Bay Area Go Players Association monthly ratings tournament in Palo Alto, CA on March 6, finishing with a perfect 5-0 record. In the Dan division, Bogdan Dobrescu 5d, Lucas Baker 3d, Samuel Gross 1d, and Sammy Zhang 1d each won three games apiece. The playing field consisted of 33 players, ranging from 7d to 24k, with eight playing in their first AGA-rated tournament ever. The next monthly ratings tournament takes place April 10 in Palo Alto. PHOTOS AT BAY AREA GO

WORLD YOUTH QUALIFIER MOVED UP TO APRIL 3: The selection process for the World Youth Go Championships has just been dramatically accelerated, with an online qualifier to be held April 3 and the finals held on April 10-11. “The Ing Foundation has just notified the AGA that our representatives to the World Youth Go Championships must be selected by April 15th, a sudden change from last year’s policy,” reports AGA Youth Coordinator Paul Barchilon. Since this is before the previously-scheduled USYGC Qualifiers will have chosen winners, a new schedule has been established. Youth players who wish to enter must e-mail youth@usgo.org to register by March 30th. The top sixteen players in each bracket will advance to the finals. The Junior Division is for youth 11 and under, the Senior Division is for youth under 18 as of August 1, 2010. Only US Citizens may enter the qualifier; the winners must be able to travel to Taiwan for the finals (expenses are covered for the youth players, but not for parents). “The previously-scheduled USYGC Qualifiers around the nation will all be held as planned, and the prizes will remain the same, but as those events will no longer select our WYGC representatives, the citizenship requirement will be waived,” says Barchilon.

NORTHEAST INTERCLUB TOURNEY INVITES TEAMS: Go clubs in the Northeast are invited to participate in the upcoming Northeast Inter-club Go Tournament in the Boston area. The team tournament is being organized by the MIT Go Club and the Massachusetts Go Association on March 27 in Somerville MA starting at 9:30a. Teams will have three members and each club may send multiple teams. Clubs must preregister by March 20th with a complete list of participants and their ranks; email mit-mga-tournament@mit.edu

SCHOOL TEAM TOURNEY: A record breaking 92 teams and 307 individuals are competing in the ninth annual American Go Honor Society (AGHS) School Team Tournament, representing 15 states and 3 provinces in Canada. Two schools, Fair Oaks ES (CA) and Saratoga HS (CA), are entering five teams each, matching Clear Lake HS (TX)’s record, back in 2004. Stuyvesant HS (NY) will seek their second consecutive and third national title in the Open Division. However, they will have to overcome JP Stevens HS (NJ), last year’s silver medalists, along with seven California teams, including all three teams from CA’s 2008 medal sweep, who will seek a spot on the podium after being shut out last year. East Meadows HS (NY) fell just short in their bid to become the second team in AGHS history to win both the Rookies Cup and the School Sweepstakes title, awarded to the best new school and best overall school in the tournament, finishing in second place in the final standings. However, two California schools, Morningstar Chinese School and Redwood Shores GC, hope to accomplish this feat after stunning performances in the first round. In addition, fourteen elementary and middle schools will fight for the Junior Cup title this year, including reigning Junior Champions Cary Chinese School (NC). who are expected to put up a stiff fight to retain their title. Yet they were barely able to hold off a surge from Fairs Oaks ES (CA), who will seek to add the Junior title to their long list of achievements under AGHS competitions. Readers can keep track of the teams on the AGHS ” title=”website” target=”_blank”>website http://aghs.c>. All games are played on KGS, in the AGHS Tournament Room (under Tournaments), and observers are welcome.
- Tim Savoie, AGHS Correspondent

AGF ACCEPTING APPS FOR COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIPS: The American Go Foundation is now accepting applications for its College Scholarship, reports AGF board member Matthew Mallory. “The scholarship is intended to reward organizers who create new, or help existing, go programs in their school or community, playing strength is less important than community service,” Mallory says. Applicants must be at least in their junior year of high school; winners will receive $1,000 and will be announced at the US Go Congress. “Last year Lawrence Ku, a model youth organizer, received the scholarship,” Mallory adds. The deadline is May 15: Click here to learn more and download the application form.
- Paul Barchilon, EJ Youth Editor

AGA RATINGS UPDATED; NEW AGA DATABASE FEATURE LINKS PLAYERS: AGA ratings were updated March 12 and include a number of recent tournaments, including the NOVA Chinese Lunar New Year, New Jersey Open, John Groesch, From the Word Go, and Bay Area Tournament. The ratings – which former Tournament Coordinator Phil Waldron did a tremendous amount of work on — are linked to the AGA Go Database, which includes the records of every game and player in all tournaments played in the United States since 1991. A new FindPath feature

AGA Games Database shows how players are linked through opponents. For example, AGA Database creator Jonathan Bresler 14k is just four players from Feng Yun 9P: Bresler played Stephen Leslie 14k in 1994, Leslie played Eric Lui 7k in 1996 and Lui played Feng Yun in 2007. The search can be unlimited across all games in the database, limited by date, or limited to a particular tournament.

WHY HOST A PRO WORKSHOP? The Portland Go Club hosted two pro workshops in the past year, one by Jennie Shen in the fall and one by Yi Lun Yang in the spring. Both were attended by about 20 dan/low kyu players and middle/double kyu players. Jennie’s workshop was short on lectures and long on game review. Most of the weekend was spent with one group playing while the other group reviewed games, and then switching. Jennie’s tone was light and relaxed – she often cracked jokes, asking “You really played that move?” — teasing the players and making them feel at ease. Mr. Yang’s workshop was more balanced between lectures on various aspects of the game – opening, extensions, attacking, defending, life and death – and game review. Many of the kyu players took notes and Mr. Yang was serious and intense, expressing his strong passion for teaching. He also has a well-developed formal methodology for teaching go. As different as the flavor and structure of these workshops were, they were both excellent and well-received by the players. As a double-digit kyu player I had no idea about direction of play in the opening, let alone a systematic way to approach life and death problems. As a dan player, issues about crosscuts and opening strategy were clarified for me. I’d have either of them back in a Portland minute. Based on these two workshops I’d be equally happy bringing new pros in or bringing either of these two pros back.
- Peter Freedman coordinates the Portland Go Club in Portland, Oregon, and co-directed the 2008 U.S. Go Congress.

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U.S. GO NEWS: Seattle Hosts Pro Workshop For Kyu Players; Myungwan Kim 9p Workshop Set For Berkeley; Orlando Hosts Guo Juan 5p Workshop; Teacher Of The Year Nominations Open; New Go Club In Chi; Turn-Based Go App Released; Smart Games Adds Igowin Life App

Monday February 22, 2010

SEATTLE HOSTS PRO WORKSHOP FOR KYU PLAYERS: Kyu players in the Northwest will want to be in Seattle this weekend. The Seattle Go Center is hosting Jennie Chen 2P for a workshop for kyu players with a focus on their issues. The workshop will be divided into two groups, so that Ms. Shen can provide instruction that’s relevant to the strength of the player. The workshop is recommended for anyone who plays full-board games and is able to record his or her games. Dan level players are welcome to attend, but the discussion will not be centered on their questions. The workshop is scheduled for this weekend, February 27-28 at the Go Center. Rates are $55 for voting members of the Seattle Go Center, and for youth; $80 for all others. Email Brian Allen for more information at  brian@seattlegocenter.org

MYUNGWAN KIM 9P WORKSHOP SET FOR BERKELEY: The Bay Area Go Players Association will host a workshop with Myungwan Kim 9P  March 20-21 in Berkeley, CA. “Because of some generous donations the entry fee is just $50 for students under 23 and $90 for those 23 and over,” says Roger Schrag. The first pro sent to the U.S. by the Korean Baduk Association, Kim came to the Los Angeles area in June, 2008. He won the US Go Congress Open in 2008 and 2009. Today Kim – who was promoted to 9 dan about three months ago — runs a Go Academy in the Los Angeles’ Korean Go Club, teaching roughly three times per week. Click here  http://www.bayareago.org/workshop3.html for details and to register.

ORLANDO HOSTS GUO JUAN 5P WORKSHOP: The Orlando go club is hosting a workshop with Guo Juan 5P March 27-28 in Orlando, Florida. Click here http://goworkshopflorida.blogspot.com/ for details, or email Joshua Lee at Masterman535@gmail.com

TEACHER OF THE YEAR NOMINATIONS OPEN:  Nominations are open for the  AGF Teacher of the Year, an excellence award that comes with an all-expenses paid trip to the US Go Congress. To be eligible, a teacher must be a member of the AGA, have been teaching Go to children for at least two hours a week for two years, and have helped kids enter any available tournaments. In recent years, winners have far exceeded these requirements, some running several programs at once.  Click here <http://agfgo.org/teacher.html> for more information. To nominate someone for this award, including yourself, please write to agf@usgo.org. The deadline is March 31.
- Paul Barchilon, EJ Youth Editor

NEW GO CLUB IN CHI: There’s a new place to play go in the Chicago area, reports local organizer Bob Barber.  The Go Center in Arlington Heights is open seven days a week, with daily and monthly fees to choose from.  “Owner Yong Yu says there are 21 boards, with room to expand, especially in nice weather,” says Barber. “Plenty of free parking, several nearby restaurants, and Young Rhee, AGA 7 dan, is often on hand for lessons.” The club is located at 350 E. Golf Road; 847-640-6474

TURN-BASED GO APP RELEASED: The new Boardz is a different way to play go online on the iPhone and iPod touch. “Games played on Boardz are turn-based, meaning you can play your moves whenever you wish,” says Boardz author Christopher Maughan, “you don’t need to stay online until the game is finished.” Boardz also features authentic ‘shell’ stone and wooden board graphics, as well as smooth animations. Full territory statistics are shown at the end of the game, and you can play with friends or random opponents on 9×9, 13×13 or 19×19 boards. Search the app store for ‘Boardz’, or you click here http://www.snarlsoftware.com/boardz for more information. Boardz is $2.99, and in addition to go, can play shogi, XiangQi  and chess.

SMART GAMES ADDS IGOWIN LIFE APP: One of the fastest ways to get stronger at go is to practice life and death problems. David Fotland’s new Igowin Life gives you problems at your level, whether you are a 25-kyu beginner or a dan-level expert.  The app plays against you as you solve each problem.  It quickly learns your strength and gives you problems that challenge you to improve your skills. Igowin Life is available now in the iTunes application store for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad.  This app ports the “Solve Go Problems” feature from The Many Faces of Go.  Over 2000 problems are included, graded by difficulty from 25 Kyu beginner problems to difficult Dan level problems.  Problems are shown in various orientations or with colors reversed, giving over 32,000 combinations.  A magnifying glass lets you precisely choose your spot to play.  Search the app store for Igowin to find all of the Igowin applications. Several more will be released in the next few months.

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EUROPEAN GO NEWS: Hricova/Silt Czech Pair Champs; Li Ting Kansai Kiin 1-Dan; Diamond Sharp In Maidenhead; Hebsacker Hamburg Leads German League; Artem Tops Kill A-League; Liu 2p To Teach In Zurich; Metta Takes Trofeo

Monday January 25, 2010

HRICOVA/SILT CZECH PAIR CHAMPS: Jana Hricova and Ondrej Silt won the Czech Republic Pair Championship in Prague January 23-24, in which five pairs competed. Anna Prokopova and Jan Simara also finished at 3-1, but lost the mutual game. Ondrej Kruml swept the side event, topping 37 participants. Click here for results. David LeBaDuy won all five in the childrens tourney with 13 kids. - Peter Dijkema

LI TING KANSAI KIIN 1-DAN: In what’s being hailed as “a real sensation for Austria,” Vienna’s Li Ting will begin playing as a professional for the Kansai Kiin on March 1. Li learned go at the age of 6 in Beijing and took a BA there, a MA in Tokyo and has been working on her Ph. D in Vienna — on the spread of Go in Europe – where she’s been living and teaching with her husband Hu Bin. Both were co-organizers of the 2007 European Go Congress, where Li placed 7th, and she’s continued to do well in Europe, sharing the Slovenian Open title in April 2009 with Hwang In-seong 7d. – Peter Dijkema, after http://www.goverband.at/

DIAMOND SHARP IN MAIDENHEAD: British Go Association President Jon Diamond 4d won the 19th Furze Platt tournament in Maidenhead on tie-break, ahead of David Ward 3d and Tim Hunt 3d on January 23 at Hitachi Europe Ltd’s headquarters. Five players won all three games. The team from Central London did best with a 75% overall result. Click here for results. - Peter Dijkema

HEBSACKER HAMBURG LEADS GERMAN LEAGUE: The Hebsacker team defeated Kieloben in Round 5 of the German team leagues, or Bundesliga, on January 14. Led by captain Tobias Berben, editor of the German Go Journal, Hebsacker drew just one match, won the rest and are now two matchpoints clear of ‘eternal’ champs Karlsruhe, while St. Pauli — also from Hamburg — moved into third place after their match with Frankfurt Dragons. Unexciting Elks from Darmstadt drew their fifth match in a row, with Igoist Berlin. With ten teams in a division, four more matches are up. - Peter Dijkema, based on dgob.de

ARTEM TOPS KILL A-LEAGUE: Former European Youth Champ Artem Kochanovskiy (‘artem92′, Ukraine) leads the KGS Insei League (KILL) A-league with a 9-4 (69%) record. Kochanovskiy has only lost to league teachers and has won three crucial games with early leader ‘j13′ (Finland), who is second with 18-10 (64%), including 1-7 to teachers Alex Dinerchtein (16-2) and Ilya Shiksin (17-5). Third is ‘danigabi’ from Argentina with 9-6 (60%); he’s lost once to both leaders and the other losses are to his teachers. In the B-league, ‘feature’ (Germany) 10-5 overtook ‘monestri’ (US) 6-3. Both are at 67%, but ‘feature’ played more games and they have not played each other yet. ‘Snowbars’ (Russia) is close behind with 10-6 (63%). All three have lost all their encounters with the trainers. In C-league ‘lemurov’ (Russia) avoided teaching games and leads 6-0, while US-players ‘Sinprejic’ 6-7 (including 0-4 to teachers) and ‘Banker’ 11-16 (0-5) are 4th and 5th. Leagues end at the end of each month. - Peter Dijkema

LIU 2P TO TEACH IN ZURICH: Liu Yuanbo 2P will be at the Zurich Go Club February 12-14 for simuls and a weekend workshop, reports swissgo.org. Liu is known as PeteLiu 2p, tartaric 9d and MilanMilan 9d on KGS. A week earlier, on Friday, February 5, Li Yue 5d (Madrid) will teach on the theme “attack to benefit”. - Peter Dijkema

METTA TAKES TROFEO: Carlo Metta 1d (Pisa) won the 5th Trofeo Higashitika held January 16-17 in Remanzacco, in the Udine province in northeast Italy. Metta won his first four and drew his last game with Sandro Poldrugo 1k (Triest), who finished second. Radovan Golja 3d (Ljubljana – Slovenia) 3-2 finished 3rd in a field of 22. Only Frederico Forte 16k (Pisa) won all five rounds. Click here for results.

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Categories: Europe
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EUROPEAN GO NEWS: Trippel Takes Winterthur; Marigo Masters Italian Open; Krämer German Youth Champ; Ulster Sweeps Munster To Reach Irish Interprovincial Finals; Metta Sweeps Lucca; French Youth Congress And Hikaru Cup

Monday November 16, 2009

TRIPPEL TAKES WINTERTHUR: Lorenz Trippel of Zurich was undefeated in the one-day fast-play Swiss Winterthur tourney on November 14, ahead of Mark Wirdnam and Lisa Tao. Click here for results and photos.
- Peter Dijkema, after a report on swissgo.org

MARIGO MASTERS ITALIAN OPEN: Francesco Marigo 4d of Milan swept the 30th Italian Open (photo) field of 52 in Bologna, November 7-8. Only Massimiliano Spallanzi 12k from Modenaalso won all five rounds. Click here for results and photos.
- Peter Dijkema

KRÄMER GERMAN YOUTH CHAMP: Bonn’s Lukas Krämer 4d won the German Youth — Deutsche Jugendmeister — title in Hamburg on November 7-8. The event was hosted at the 27th “Rahlstedter Tengen,” which attracted over a hundred players to three different tourneys. In the traditional ‘Tengen’ events, Lutz Franke won Group One of 44 players on SOS ahead of Lu Ji and Stefan Kaitschick (also of Hamburg), while Björn Hölscher swept Group Two 7-0, topping a field of 50.
- Peter Dijkema

ULSTER SWEEPS MUNSTER TO REACH IRISH INTERPROVINCIAL FINALS: Ulster beat Munster on all three boards on November 13 in the Irish Go Association‘s new online interprovincial competition . This puts them through to the final, where they will play the winner of the Leinster – Connacht match. “The better team won” said Munster Team Captain Rory Wales. “It was a good hard match, and we’re just pleased to have got through it” responded Ulster Team Captain James Hutchinson. Munster clearly missed Cao Tong Yu 4d and Wei Wang 7d. Meanwhile, Colin MacSweeny and Michael Thai join Ian Davis and Noel Mitchell in the Top-8 tourney, which kicks off in January. The other four places will be filled from the ladder. “Intense competition can be expected for the rest of November”, according to the Irish Go Association.
- Ian Davis, Irish Correspondent, with additional reporting by Peter Dijkema

METTA SWEEPS LUCCA: Carlo Metta 1k of Pisa swept the Tai Kai Japan Palace tourney 5-0 in Lucca, Italy on October 31 and November 1. He finished ahead of Fausto Predieri (2nd) and Pasquale De Lucia (3rd). A week later, Metta surprised with silver at the 30th Italian Championship, as reported last week. Click here for results.
- Peter Dijkema, after a link on agi.go.it

FRENCH YOUTH CONGRESS AND HIKARU CUP: The French “Congres National des Jeunes” (right) – or Youth Congress — took place in a castle near Lens en Vercours in the Isereregion of the French Alps October 24-31. After four days of study with the team of teachers led by Fan Hui, students vied for the Hikaru Cups. French-American Thomas Debarre 5d once again won the top category “Lycée” while Florian Melcer won the “College” title and Mélissa Héaulme successfully defended her “Primaire” title, proving one can become a “Championne” starting simply by learning ‘atari-go.’ Héaulme’s father Alain is an active promotor of this teaching style in France. The report on the French site contains links to 5 YouTube videos.
- Peter Dijkema, after a report by Motoki Noguchi

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Categories: Europe
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Chapter News: Tacoma Club Teaches at Senior Center

Tuesday October 7, 2014

The Tacoma Go Club held its final event for the recent “Learn Go Week” on September 20 at the Agape Senior Center in Tacoma, Washington. “A great 2014.10.05_Tacoma-Steuernagle-Cruver-Castanza2014.10.05_Tacoma-Mowery-Warinersunny fall afternoon in the Pacific Northwest was enjoyed by newcomers to the newly opened senior center,” reports Tacoma Go Club president Gordon Castanza. After learning the basic rules of go on a 9 x 9 board, some of the fine points of the “Capture Game” were explained on a 19 x 19 demo board.
photo (l-r): Gordon Castanza, Ren Steuernagle , and Tom Cruver. At the end of the event, Reiko Mowery, President Agape Senior Group, and Rina Wariner, Executive Director Agape Senior Group treated the participants to tea and pastries.

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Categories: U.S./North America
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Ryan Li’s journey to the top 16 of the MLily Cup

Wednesday August 23, 2017

IMG_0616by Karoline Li

Official MLily Cup tournament festivities kicked off Tuesday (local time) in Tongling City with a welcome dinner attended by players and association officials. Ryan Li 1P and his partner Stephanie Yin 1P (photo at right) sat down to talk with AGA National Tournament Coordinator Jeff Shaevel (photo at left on the right) and I after dinner to discuss the upcoming match and Li’s journey to reach this moment. He was born in Beijing, and began playing go with his father around the age of five. He attended a go school a few times a week, and by the time his family moved to Canada at age eight, he had achieved amateur 4 dan status. After the move to Canada, he played mostly online. “He didn’t have a teacher,” Stephanie explained. “He practiced and learned on his own.” When I asked when he started competing seriously, he explained that for a while he only played in a few local tournaments in Ottawa, and his first big competition was the 2010 Canadian Open. “I took second to Matthew Hu,” Ryan says. “That was the year he became a professional.” He represented Canada in the Korean Prime Ministers Cup that year. “I didn’t do much between 2010 and 2012,” Ryan laughs. Then he joined the Pandanet AGA City League team captained by Cathy Li 1P, and was a North American representative to the first MLily Cup. He lost in the preliminaries of the MLily, but his City League team has won the championship three times out of five. He played in the second pro qualification tournament, then won the third tournament in 2015 becoming the fourth North American professional go player. Both tournaments were directed by Jeff Shaevel. “The tournament venue was in Boston right by the ocean, and it was beautiful,” Ryan remembered. “ “It was freezing!” Jeff laughed, and though Ryan agreed he viewed that as a positive. “Well I’m Canadian, so I like the cold.”

The last few years, Li has also been busy studying. He earned his bachelor’s degree in physics from the University of Toronto, and became interested in atIMG_0662mospheric sciences after an internship with a professor who worked in the field. After earning his degree he went straight into a PhD program in the field at Yale University in New Haven, CT. “Does the logic for that fit with the logic of go?” Jeff asked. “I knew you were going to ask that,” Ryan laughed. “No, they don’t really go together.” Ryan explained that atmospheric sciences involves a lot of programming, data science, and theory. “Which is easier?” Jeff pressed. “Definitely go,” Ryan answered right away. “I really enjoy playing go,” he continued, his love of the game evident. “It started as a hobby, but after all these tournaments and becoming pro, it’s beyond a hobby, but it’s still fun. It’s one of the things I enjoy most.”

Li will face Li Xuanhao 6P on August 24th (local time), at 12:30pm in the top 16 match. He has prepared for this game for months by reviewing games and competing at the US Go Congress — where he went 8-1 and took second place in the Masters — in San Diego, and is excited for the match. “I have no secret weapon,” he said with a smile. “I’m just going to play my best and try to play move by move. At this point, I’m trying to relax.” He gives a lot of credit to Stephanie Yin, who has been helping him prepare for his matches and acting as his coach. Jeff smiled as Ryan talked about his preparations and his attitude towards tomorrow’s match. “This is such a proud moment for me,” Jeff beamed. “The pro qualifiers are a big deal for us, but we’re never sure what our pros will be doing after they qualify, and to see you playing in this tournament and doing so well is the most exciting thing. Whatever happens, I’m very, very proud.”
-report/photos by Li, EJ Tournaments Bureau Chief

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