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Ary Cheng 3-peats as Redmond Cup Junior Champion

Sunday August 20, 2017

20170810_16075111-year old Ary Cheng 6d (r) defeated 10-year old Matthew Cheng 5d (l) in the third and deciding game of the Redmond Cup Junior Division Finals Thursday August 10th at the 2017 US Go Congress to claim his third consecutive title.  While Matthew has been the only challenger so far to defeat Ary in his 3 consecutive Junior Finals, Ary has still established his dominance at the top of the Junior scene.  In addition to clinching the Redmond title with the final match, he also defeated Matthew in the US Open that same day. Taking black in game 3 of the Redmond, Ary was off to an early lead due to a joseki mistake by Matthew.  However, Matthew fought back strongly. While there were several opportunities for him to turn the game around, he wasn’t able to take full advantage of them and Ary seized victory. Ary and Matthew both took home trophies as well as $300 and $200 respectively. In addition, all of the Redmond Cup finalists also had all of their Congress expenses covered, courtesy of the AGF and AGA. Both kids still have at least one year left in the Junior Division (Under 13), so we can expect them to clash again in the near future and continue to develop as rising stars in the youth Go community. If you missed the game, you can check out the exciting live video commentary of the third game provided by 2005 Redmond Cup champions Zhaonian Chen 8d and Lionel Zhang 7d. Registration for next year’s tournament will open in early February 2018; check out the Redmond Cup page to learn more about the tournament and eligibility requirements.

Special thanks to Ashish Varma, Ethan Frank, and Dennis Wheeler for broadcasting the Redmond Cup Finals on KGS, and if you missed any of the video broadcasts, you can find them on the AGA’s Youtube channel. Stay tuned for highlighted videos of the commentaries; game records of all of the games will be uploaded on the Redmond Cup page within the next week. – Story and photos by Justin Teng, AGA Youth Coordinator

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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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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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Master takes on Park Junghwan and Meng Tailing in latest AGA Master Review Series

Sunday March 19, 2017

The latest in the AGA Master Review Series features Jennie Shen 2P’s translation of Meng Tailing 6p’s commentary on Master’s game against Park Junghwan 9p – Game 24 in Master’s 60-game series — and Michael Redmond 9P’s commentary on Master’s game against Meng Tailing (Game 9). At right is Redmond’s sgf commentary, which includes additional variations.

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“I have taken note that some people are requesting longer videos in the comments, and I can assure you that in some cases I will be doing longer commentaries,” Redmond posted  last week. “In the case of the Master games, Master is outstanding in the opening, and the power of it’s different yet effective moves has the potential to change how we pros think about fuseki. One of my motives in making these videos was to voice my opinion about these new ideas, and therefore I want to focus on the early parts of the games. Master usually takes the lead early in the game, so that also is a factor in my choice to comment on the openings. I also believe that while I could squeeze in a lot of information, it can be difficult for the viewer to digest a lot of new ideas at once, and a large number of short videos is more effective as a learning tool than a small number of long videos.” Redmond added that “In my Redmond Reviews, I will be commentating more on human games, some of them my own. Humans make mistakes, which can be painful for the players but will give me more opportunities to go through to later stages in the games, and more drama late in the games for the viewers to enjoy.”

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Ye Breaks Through in WYGC

Saturday August 13, 2016

IMG_7137Aaron Ye 7d has finally broken the glass ceiling at the World Youth Goe Championships (WYGC) by becoming the first American player to place in the top three at the event.   Now in its 33rd year, the event has been run by the Ing Foundation for decades, and invites strong youth from all over the world to compete. Ye first attended the event in 2011, competing in the Jr. Division when he was just nine years old, and placing fourth overall.  Calvin Sun, now 1P, also competed in the event for years as a child, and had also placed fourth when he was 13 (on his sixth attempt).  China, Korea, Japan and Taiwan have shut everyone else out until this year, when Ye’s determination and effort finally paid off.  Now 14, Ye has been at the top of the US youth go scene for years, winning the Redmond Cup several times, and putting up a strong fight in the AGA pro certification leagues, as well as dominating other youth events and leading in many AGA tournaments.

The WYGC was held August 4th-7th in Tokyo this year, at the Nihon Kiin.  Ye reached the semi-finals by edging out Takei Taishen 7D of Japan by a hairs-breadth 3rd tier tie breaker (SOSODOS). After losing to the tournament’s champion Jiang Qirun 2P of China, Ye went on to take 3rd place by defeating Ahn Dongjun  5D of Korea. The USA junior player, nine-year-old Matthew Cheng 2d faced a tough choice this year, as he also won the Redmond Cup qualifiers and could have had a free trip to the US Go Congress to compete at the finals. Unfortunately, the WYGC and the Congress were both held the same week this year, so Cheng had to choose one over the other. Cheng did well at the WYGC though, “placing 7th in an outstanding performance by a player who learned go from a you-tube video a scant three years ago,” said Team Leader Mike Bull. Cheng also managed to draw matches with three of the four strongest players in his division in his first three games of the tournament. -Paul Barchilon, EJ Youth Editor, with Mike Bull. Photo by Abby Zhang: Ahn Dongjun 5d (l) vs. Aaron Ye 7d (r).

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Redmond Cup Player Profiles

Thursday July 28, 2016

With congress right around the corner, the 2016 finalists for the Redmond Cup are gearing up for the championship matches. The first match of both the Senior (under 18) and Junior (under 13) divisions will be broadcast on KGS, Sunday 8/1 at 3 pm EDT. The Senior Division Finals will also be live-streamed on the AGA’s Youtube channel with professional commentary from Jennie Shen 2p and Lionel Zhang 6d.  Tuesdays match will be commentated by Stephanie Mingming Yin 1p and Michael Chen 8d, if there is a third round in either division, Gansheng Shi 1p and Andrew Lu 7d will comment live on Thursday.  The player profiles below will help EJ readers know who is who.jeremy_chiu

Leading the Senior Division is 14-year-old Jeremy Chiu 6d, from San Jose, California. He is looking to win his first Redmond Cup title after being the runner-up in the Junior Division in 2014 and coming out in first place in this year’s Senior Division preliminaries. He first learned about go from his Chinese school when he was 5-years old, and started taking classes shortly thereafter. Currently, he studies with Mingjiu Jiang 7p, who has taught many other star US Youth players.  On Chiu’s own time, he does lots of tsumego and reviews professional games, along with playing and reviewing games on Tygem. Aside from go, he also enjoys playing the piano and violin, as well as swimming. When asked about his thoughts for the finals, Chiu told the EJ, “Albert is a very strong AlbertYenplayer, especially in the middle game, and I will need to be very careful. I hope that we will play good games in the finals.”

Albert Yen 7d, age 16, is from Chicago, Illinois, and is the defending champion in the Senior Division. He started playing go when he was 5 years old after watching Hikaru no Go and joining a local go club in Taiwan. Albert currently studies with Mingjiu Jiang 7p, and studies go by playing and reviewing slow, quality games when he has time.  Yen is also a star track-and-field hurdler at his high school. While Yen fell to Chiu in the preliminaries, Yen told the EJ, “I think our strengths are very close. I don’t want to do anything too different to prepare for the finals, so I will just remain cool and trust my abilities during the games.”

luoyi_yang

Luoyi Yang 4d, age 12 is from Toronto, Canada, and placed first in the Junior Division preliminaries this year. She started playing go at the age of 4 at a local go school in China, where she studied with Ding Lie 6p, Wang Xiangyun 2p, and Wang Chenfan 4p, two afternoons a week before moving to Canada this past year. Outside of playing go, she enjoys playing the piano and singing.AryCheng copy

Ary Cheng 4d, age 10, lives in Sunnyvale, California, and is the defending champion in the Junior Division. He started learning go at age 6 in a go class at a Chinese school, and was immediately drawn towards the game. Currently, he studies with Mingjiu Jiang 7p, and plays on IGS in addition to doing tsumego. When he is not playing go, he also enjoys playing table tennis. -Justin Teng, Redmond Cup TD.  Photos courtesy of the players.
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Evanston Hits Anime Convention

Friday May 27, 2016

EVANSTON PICMembers of the Evanston Go Club took the game of go to Anime Central last weekend, teaching hundreds of attendees how to play, reports club president Mark Rubenstein.  “This event is so much fun!” said Rubenstein. “We were there for 14 hours on Friday and 12 hours on Saturday, and we were teaching non-stop. I’m sure many of the kids we taught will continue to learn and play.”  Evanston Go Club has been teaching go for many years at ACEN, the largest anime convention in the midwest, with over 31,000 attendees last year.  “I think I’m finally catching up on my sleep now!” mused Rubenstein four days after the convention.

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Categories: U.S./North America
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In Memoriam: Horst Sudhoff

Monday March 21, 2016

by Allan AbramsonOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Horst Sudhoff, long-time friend of the U.S. Go Congress and go players all over the world, died at 84 on Saturday, March 18, peacefully and surrounded by his family, in Bochum, Germany.

We met at his first U.S. Go Congress. He loved to play rapid games, and we quickly became partners, playing late into the night during the week. He attended 20 straight Congresses. After each one, he drove thousands of miles in a few weeks, hitting virtually all of the tourist sights in nearby states. Horst touched every state but Alaska and Hawaii, and delighted in sharing what he saw in story after story.

Horst’s joy in go was unlimited. He once he told me that he had memorized over 10,000 tesuji. Indeed, his game was full of aggressive tesuji, and it took me several years to learn the patience to counter with a late probe at a weakness. He was about five Dan when we first met, able to give me three stones and still make me feel silly.

We talked about go, travel, business, investing, Germany, and his family. Pride in his children was foremost, and he never tired of relating all of their educational and professional accomplishments. My wife Helga and I visited the family in Bochum, and our families formed a lasting bond.

2016.03.21_horst-sudhoff-2009At his 20th Congress Horst said that it would be his last, and that it was time to explore more of Europe. So, to memorialize his final Congress, we agreed to play 100 “serious” games, and finished the last as appetizers were served at the banquet. We laughed, looked at each other, and declared that it would be a long time before anyone else came close to this record (or would want to)…

Later, we invited him to the 2009 Congress in Washington, DC, but when he arrived it was clear that Horst had some health problems. Sudden low blood pressure made it hard to walk, so after a while in the hospital undergoing diagnosis, he was flown home and his travels were over. We visited him in Bochum again, and his spirit remained high, along with his unbounded joy in life.

Horst Sudhoff was outgoing and warm with everyone, and made friends in many countries. Anyone who would like to contribute memories, stories, or photos may send them to me at allango1@verizon.net for a memory book for his family.

Allan Abramson is a longtime Northern Virginia go organizer and former president of the American Go Association. photo (top right): Horst Sudhoff shows off his sheaf of Self-Paired Tournament wins at the 2002 U.S. Go Congress (photo by Phil Straus); left: at the Abramson home in 2009; photo by Allan Abramson

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Categories: Europe
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Ke Jie: “I still feel like I’m in a dream”

Wednesday January 6, 2016

Ke Jie’s defeat of Lee Sedol in the M-Lily Cup is the buzz of Chinese media. The 18-year-old Chinese phenom has been on a stunning run of success, winning2016.01.06_Ke-Jie-2nd-MLily-Cup-Final-300x300 three championships in one year: the Bailing Cup, the Samsung Cup, and then the M-Lily Cup earlier this week. Ke Jie’s record in rated games for the year was 58 wins and 16 losses, with an impressive 34-game winning streak when playing with White, which was broken by Lee Sedol.

Ke Jie is the youngest person in history to win three major international tournaments, taking the mantle from Lee Sedol, who had accomplished the same feat at 22. “I was going to resign,” Ke Jie said in an interview immediately after the M-Lily final. “I still feel like I’m in a dream. I thought I had lost.” Ke Jie’s teacher, Nie Weiping, had been commentating on the game and was worried about his student. He mentioned that the game was “just too exciting.” Ke Jie had felt that he hadn’t played his best. He said “I thought if Lee Sedol is at the top of his game, then there is no way I can win. Strength was not the main factor for deciding who won. I was fortunate to win.”

Ke Jie started learning go at the age of 5 and studied under Zhou Zong Qiang 5 dan. His father was a go enthusiast. Ke Jie lived in Li Shui in Zhejiang province where there were not many places to play, however Ke Jie’s father started his own go center. This attracted many stronger players to come, making for a good environment to learn the game. Ke Jie started studying under Nie Weiping at the age of 8, won the National Youth Tournament in 2007 and became professional in 2008.
- Jonathan Hop, translated from Chinese news reports. Click here for GoGameGuru’s report as well, which includes game records, commentaries, photos and a discussion of how the final game’s result unexpectedly hinged on half point kos and the counting system used, according to Korean professionals.

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Categories: China,World
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KPMC 2015: Keith Arnold Interviews Eric Lui

Tuesday December 22, 2015

This week we’re presenting extended coverage of the Korean World Amateur Championships (KPMC; click here for our winner’s report on December 8 and here for Eric Lui on Camaraderie and Pure Joy). Here’s Keith Arnold’s interview with Lui, which took place at last Sunday’s meeting of the Baltimore Go Club. The longtime local organizer has known Lui since he first began playing go.
photo: Lui reviewing his Round 5 KPMC game with Hong Kong (watch for the review in tomorrow’s EJ); photo by Keith Arnold. 

KA: First of all, Congratulations on the achievement (5-1; played for championship in final round); were you happy with your play 2015.12.22_eric-luioverall?
EL: Thank you. There were some good moments in my games, and I played about as well as I expected to, so on the whole I’m not dissatisfied.
KA: Can you give us a brief description of the tournament format and venue?
EL: The tournament was a 6-round Swiss, with 40 minutes basic time per player and 3 periods of 30 seconds byo yomi. Initially, the players were split into two groups by strength and then paired within the group. The tournament was held at Riverside Hotel in Seoul’s Gangnam district, a seemingly high-class place with fancy, luxurious dining halls, and a long, spacious hall that led to a separate large room for the playing area.
KA: You are known as a slow player, but is it possible that your experience in byo yomi helps you in a quicker game like this?
EL: I’d prefer to think of others as quick players. There is no room for slow players these days, especially in amateur go where time limits are very short. Speed is key and can be a major weapon. My play in byo yomi is far from ideal, but it seems that my opponents also felt the time pressure.
KA: How was the competition? Other than China, who was your toughest opponent?
EL: The player from Hong Kong was strong, and I also had a tough game against Ukraine.
KA: Do you get a chance to look at some of your opponents games’ to prepare for these events, or do you focus on making sure your own game is sharp?
EL: I didn’t know who would be coming, so I just tried to stay in good physical condition.
KA: How did you feel going into a championship game?
EL: I thought of Ben (Lockhart) last year and wondered if history was going to repeat itself (he went 5-0 before losing to Korea in the final). In fact, scarcely 90 minutes before the game, the Chinese player and I were seated at the same table, having lunch together. It felt a bit odd that we would soon be playing for the championship.
KA: In the final game you played mirror go for the first 14 moves, was that an effort to save time, or was it a particular strategy you worked on?
EL: I’ve been interested in mirror go for a while, yet I know little about it from limited practical experience. Actually, I think mirror go is a poor strategy for saving time, since you can’t just blindly copy your opponent’s moves. There is so much reading and strategic planning involved.
KA: Being 5-0 and dropping to 4th seems harsh; can you explain what hurt your SOS?
EL: It’s fair. This year, the Chinese and Korean players were a class above everyone else, although the young kid from Taiwan had very good chances to win against the Chinese player. My first two rounds were against Serbia and Slovakia, and they both ended up with (only) two wins. Those are the breaks, and there’s nothing to do about it.
KA: How does this compare to your 3rd place in the World Amateur Go Championships?
EL: Finishing third in the WAGC is by far my best achievement, yet my KPMC result is no less satisfying.
KA: You have really done well representing the U.S. Go is such a personal game; does representing your country put additional pressure on you, or is your internal competitive will all the motivation you need?
EL: My major goal for this tournament was to have a good time. In the U.S., we are always fighting for prizes, rating points, etc. and the stakes are much higher. Here, I just felt content to play games face-to-face. I wasn’t too concerned about my results.
KA: What do you feel are the strengths of your game right now? What are you most trying to work on?
EL: I feel confident in games with lots of direct fighting. The opening is probably my weakest part, so I’m concentrating on improving it by studying pro games.
KA: We have played together since you first began playing and I often brag that I taught you everything you know. Can you think of anything you actually learned from me?
EL: That it’s always possible to win against stronger players.
KA: Aside from winning games, what was your favorite part of the trip?
EL: Meeting the other players and organizers was by far the best part. Winning games was just a bonus.

TomorrowEric Lui’s commentary on his KPMC Round 5 game with Hong Kong.

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