Wednesday May 4, 2016
by Phil Straus
In early 1997, I played in a Baltimore tournament as a 45-year-old three-dan. I split the first two games. In my third game I was paired in an even game with a two-dan. Statistically I had about a 2/3 chance of winning. I lost, but what was shocking was that I resigned in less than 30 minutes. I had recently published, with Yilun Yang, Whole-Board Thinking in Joseki. The opening (fuseki) was by far the strongest part of my game. I was ahead at the end of the opening in at least 95% of my tournament games. I was shocked to be so far behind so early in a game. Normally, I have to get to my middle-game weaknesses before I fall behind.
I had spent the previous decade studying intently, hoping to reach the upper levels of amateur play. I looked across the board, and realized my opponent had better potential than I. He was seven years old. I withdrew from the fourth round, went home in time to get a babysitter and go to the movies with my wife. By Monday, I had stopped all my regular lessons and training, and became a full-time photographer.
This past Saturday, I played in the Philadelphia tournament as a 64-year-old two-dan. In my first game, I took six stones from Eric Lui, 1P. I was right. That seven-year-old in 1997 had had more potential. I was delighted that I didn’t lose this game until the fighting in the middle game. The six-stone handicap helped delay my second resignation against this fine player. It was a pleasure to lose again to this young man, who still has such great potential.
Straus is a former president of the American Go Association. He’s at right in the photo above, playing Eric Lui. photo by Henry Hathaway.
Tuesday May 3, 2016
The April 30 Philadelphia Spring Open, run by the Penn Go Society, attracted 17 players. There was a wide range of ranks on display from 21kyu to 1p. “The four rounds featured some super competitive games,” reports organizer Henry Hathaway. After four hard-fought rounds, Neil Zod (2-2), won the double digit kyu division. Kai Li won the single digit kyu division and was the only player to go 4-0. In the final round Michael Chen 8d faced Eric Lui 1p, with the title of champion on the line. After a hard, complicated game, Chen emerged victorious with a record of 3-1 and walked away with the $150 cash prize. “Thanks to everyone who took part and for making this a great event,” says Hathaway.
Tuesday May 3, 2016
The tenth annual Orlando Go Tournament was held April 22-23 in Orlando, FL. Nearly three dozen attended, with 34 players ranked 28k-5d arranged into four divisions.
Division 1 (1d and up): 1st: Jonathan Fisher (4d), 2nd: Joshua Fromme (3d), 3rd: Han Lee (1d)
Division 2 (5k-1k): 1st: Rapheal Shreiber (1k), 2nd: Oscar Silva (5k), 3rd: Tony Vick (5k)
Division 3 (8k-6k): 1st: Eric Crawford (8k), 2nd: Aaron Otero (8k), 3rd: Johnny Heckathorne (6k)
Division 4 (9k and down): 1st: Rab Bevery (12k), 2nd: Stefan Kurtenback (9k), 3rd: George Lebovitz (10k)
photo by Paul Wiegand
Tuesday May 3, 2016
This year four American Go Association (AGA) regional Board of Director seats are in play. The Eastern, Western, Central as well as the membership elected At-Large seats will be selected. The current terms of office expire this September. If you know of someone who you believe would offer guidance and service to the AGA consider making a nomination. Nominations, including self-nominations may be made by full members for the region in which the member resides or nationwide for the At-Large seat and must be received by June 15, 2016. If no nominations are received Donald Trump wins by default. Chapter representatives should check that the email address in the AGA database is current. Ballots and announcements will go to the primary email address. Nominations and questions must be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Click here for complete election information and qualifications.
Monday May 2, 2016
The AGA is seeking up to 12 US representatives for the first ENN Cup World Weiqi Open Tournament. The ENN Cup is a new world tournament and the preliminary selection will be held May 24-28 at the China Qiyuan office in Beijing, China. Winners in the preliminary section will go on to compete in the main competition. The tournament will be a knock-out style format. There will be 2,000RMB (about $300 USD) prize money for each game (pre-tax amount). Players must bear all costs themselves (air fare, lodging, food, etc.) Note: Competitions for the top 32, 16, 8 places will take place on November 6th, 8th, and 10th in China. Eligibility: North American citizen, AGA/CGA/Mexico Go Association member, as well as each country’s own eligibility requirements. Interested players should contact email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org immediately.
Sunday May 1, 2016
The early bird discount for this year’s US Go Congress has been extended to midnight Monday night. Click here now to save $25 on registering for the Congress, which runs July 30-August 7 in Boston, MA.
In other Go Congress news, “Super Brain” Bao Yun 7d, the blindfold go master has just confirmed he’ll be attending this year’s Go Congress, where he will challenge an American professional in an even game blindfolded at 1p on Monday August 1.
Also, there will ba a Q&A session right after the AlphaGo team’s keynote address, please submit your questions here.
Sunday May 1, 2016
Fourteen year-old Tony Tang 7d of Syracuse swept all four of his games in the Salt City Tournament’s A division in Syracuse, NY on April 24, and claimed the $100 1st place prize, with Yan Zou 1d and Yuan-Chao Wang 5d (both from Rochester) taking the prize money for 2nd and 3rd place, respectively. Syracuse’s 9th Salt City Tournament on April 16 had 38 players participate, tying its record from a year ago. Players ranged from 9 to 98 years old and from 30 kyu to 7 dan.
Don Cram 4k of Oswego took the 1st place award in the B division as the only four game winner. Buffalo’s Matt Mullins 4k and Sarah Crites 11k from Harrisburg finished in 2nd and 3rd place, respectively (Melissa Harkins of Buffalo and Sarah’s dad Bob also finished with 3-1 records). The top four finishers in the C division all compiled 3-1 records. Tony Sege of Utica took 1st place, followed by Stefan Wang, Theo Eckert-Budis, and Richard Li, all of Syracuse.
All players present at the end of the day were able to select nice prizes for themselves, mostly new books that Slate and Shell provided to the tournament at discount. Allen Noe served as tournament director, and organizer Richard Moseson’s wife Chris once again baked and decorated the tournament’s always-popular problem cake (left; black to play).
Wednesday April 27, 2016
The AGA East Coast Go Camp will feature Myungwan Kim as this year’s teacher. Kim is a 9-dan professional, and the only player dispatched to the United States by the Korean Baduk Association since 2008. Kim has more than 10 years of teaching experience, and his students include several US youth champions, such as Aaron Ye, Andrew Lu, and Brandon Zhou. He is also three-time US Go Congress Open division winner and currently holds the second highest player ranking in the AGA.
If you’re a go player between the ages of 8 and 18 and would like an opportunity to study go for a week with a professional teacher, then the AGA Go Camp is for you. Camp directors Nano Rivera and Frank Luo welcome all campers to join them for a week of go-playing and fun.
Anyone who participated in the North American Kyu Championships or the Redmond Cup is eligible to receive $400 off the price of the Go Camp, courtesy of the American Go Foundation. Youth who did not participate in either tournament, but still need financial assistance, are eligible for need-based scholarships here. Visit the camp website for general information, pictures from past camps, and news regarding this year’s upcoming Go Camp. Any questions about camp should be addressed to email@example.com.
Monday April 25, 2016
The surge in interest in go following the recent match between AlphaGo and Lee Sedol 9p has apparently led to a worldwide shortage of go equipment. Go Game Guru reports that their stocks of go equipment have been significantly depleted “and some products have been removed from our catalog after completely selling out.” In addition, “The factories that make the equipment we sell are facing an even heavier surge in demand,” Go Game Guru reports, “because AlphaGo has caused an even larger ‘go boom’ in Asia. Given that they are struggling to keep up with domestic demand, it’s extremely difficult for them to satisfy the export market.” GGG’s report ends with the warning that “This is not an April Fools’ joke, we deliberately withheld this post for over 48 hours to avoid confusion.”
- Noah Doss, based on a report in Go Game Guru