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.