Welcome to the American Go Association

Get in on the e-Go Congress fun with Go songs, game reviews, and the AGF board auction

Friday August 7, 2020

This year’s e-Go Congress is providing hundreds of players with opportunities for competition, fun games, and connection with friends while streaming live on Twitch, proving that even a pandemic can not stop Go players from getting together – albeit virtually – in summer for the Go Congress. Even if you haven’t registered for the event or played in one of the many tournaments that have started so far, there are still ways you can participate in this year’s e-Go Congress!

If you have been thinking about upgrading your playing equipment and want to support youth and Go education, consider bidding on the AGF auction board. This year’s board is an antique floor board and stones generously donated by Solomon Smilack, who has spend a considerable amount of time tracking down and collecting vintage Go equipment from Japan.

There have been several creative submissions to this year’s Bob High Memorial Song and Poetry Contest, and voting is open! Vote on your favorite go-themed song and poem here.

Want to get your game reviewed or play against a professional? There are still spots open for the final three 2020 e-Go Congress Pro Small Group Sessions on Friday 8/7 and Saturday 8/8. See details and sign up here!  

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AGF board auction goes virtual

Thursday August 6, 2020

A vintage Goban is being auctioned online as a fundraiser for the AGF, in lieu of the traditional auction held at the final banquet at the Go Congress. “I’ve spent the last several months of the quarantine tracking down vintage go equipment from Japan with the hope of bringing it to US players at affordable prices. To that end, I have opened an Etsy shop called DangerMonkeyGoStones where I have listed a number of pieces of Go Equipment,” writes Solomon Smilack.

The auction is live on ebay and will close on Sunday Aug. 9 at 12:30 pm. The board and stones were donated by Smilack, and 100% of the proceeds will benefit the AGF. Click here to visit the auction. -Paul Barchilon, AGF VP

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The Power Report: Iyama defends Honinbo; Ichiriki makes good start in Gosei; League updates; Sumire’s winning streak ends; More tournaments rescheduled

Tuesday August 4, 2020

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Iyama defends Honinbo, matches Takagawa: The fifth game of the 75th Honinbo title match was held at the Todaya hotel in Toba City, Mie Prefecture, on July 8 and 9. Taking white, Honinbo Monyu, aka Iyama Yuta, won by 4.5 points after 243 moves. Shibano did not seem to make any big mistakes, but Iyama took the lead in territory. With move 116, Iyama went for more territory instead of strengthening his only weak group. He staked the game on being able to look after it and was successful. Iyama defended his title with four wins to one loss. This is his ninth successive Honinbo title, so he has matched the record of 22nd Honinbo Shukaku (Takagawa Kaku), who held the title from 1952 to 1960. Next year he will have a chance to draw even with 25th Honinbo Chikun (Cho Chikun), who won the title for ten years in a row. 

45th Meijin League: Ichiriki Ryo, now on 6-1, has maintained the pressure on Iyama Yuta by winning his July game. Iyama is on 6-0 and faces Cho U in this round. Results since my last report follow.
(July 6) Ichiriki Ryo 8P (W) beat Hane Naoki Gosei by resig.
(July 9) Kono Rin 9P (W) beat Yamashita Keigo 9P by 1.5 points.

S League: With two out of three second-round games played in the 45th Kisei S League, Kyo Kagen 8P has the provisional lead on 2-0. Cho U, on 0-2, is in trouble. Just one game has been played since my last report. On July 13, Kyo Kagen (W) beat Cho U by resig.

Sumire’s winning streak ends: “Streak” is perhaps an exaggeration. Nakamura Sumire 1P won her first three games after the resumption of professional go last month, with one of the wins earning her one of the 16 seats in the main tournament of the 5th Senko Cup. Unfortunately, the luck of the draw pitted her against Ueno Asami, holder of the Women’s Honinbo title, who is one of the top two women players in Japan at present. Taking white, Ueno won by resignation after 164 moves. This was Sumire’s first game with a current titleholder. Her record for the year is now 10-11. As there was no title-match game last week, this game adorned the front page of Go Weekly.     The Korean server Cyber Oro, which runs the Nihon Ki-in’s server, has organized a series of Net games, called “Sumire’s Oro Challenge,” among Sumire and four Korean players. She plays each player three times, so it’s quite a large-scale project. The games are fast games, with a time allowance of 10 minutes per player plus byo-yomi of 40 seconds x 3. The first opponent was Korea’s number two woman player Kim Chaeyoung 6P; the first game was played on July 10 and the next two the following day. Not surprisingly, Kim won 3-0. The second opponent was Seo Neung-uk 9P; the games were played on July 17 and 18, but I don’t have the results yet. The third opponent is the legendary Suh Bongsu 9P, with the games to be played on July 24 and 25. The fourth player is Jeong Yujin 1P, and the games are scheduled for July 31 and August 1. I would have chosen four Korean female 1-dans for a series like this, but you could say that Sumire has been lucky to get to play so many top players. We know from the invitational games organized last year that losses to top-level opposition doesn’t discourage her.

Ichiriki makes good start in 45th Gosei challenge: Ichiriki Ryo 8P is making his fourth challenge for a top-seven title, after three failures against Iyama Yuta. In the case of the Gosei title, he has the added incentive that his family’s newspaper, the Hokkoku (North Country) Newspaper, which is based in Sendai, is a member of the Newspaper Igo League that sponsors the tournament. Since graduating from university, he has been working in the Tokyo office of the newspaper, so conceivably he could also report on his own performance. The defending titleholder is Hane Naoki 9P, who beat Ichiriki in the play-off to decide the challenger last year. He beat Kyo Kagen in the title match, winning his first title since winning the Gosei title in 2011. He is aged 43 to Ichiriki’s 23. The first game was played at the Hokkoku Newspaper Hall in Kanazawa City, Ishikawa Prefecture, on July 18. Taking white, Ichiriki won by 1.5 points after 261 moves. The second game will be played on August 3.

More tournaments rescheduled: The 7th Hollyhock Cup title match, in which Suzuki Ayumi, Women’s Kisei, is challenging Fujisawa Rina, will be played at the Nihon Ki-in on July 27, 29, and, if necessary, 31.
The 7th Globis Cup was originally scheduled for May 8 to 10 this year, but it was another of the victims of Covid-19. It is now scheduled to be played on the Net on August 1 and 2.
The opening rounds of the 13th Chunlan Cup were supposed to be played in February, but this Chinese-sponsored international tournament was one of the first casualties of Covid-19. It has finally been decided to play the games on the Net, with Round 1 slated for July 29 and Round 2 July 31. Both Iyama and Shibano will play in this tournament.

Promotion: To 9-dan: Arimura Hiroshi (200 wins, as of July 7)

Retirement: Ms. Furusho Katsuko 2P has retired as of July 8, which is her birthday. Born in Tokyo in 1943, she became a disciple of Nakaoka Jiro 9P. She became 1-dan in 1969 and was promoted to 2-dan in 2005. She was promoted to 3-dan after her retirement.

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Your Move/Readers Write: Chumley’s ID’s; The real goal of improving

Monday August 3, 2020

Chumley’s ID’s: All these IDs are ‘probably'” writes Terry Benson in response to a request for photo ID’s in our July 28 report on the closing of Chumley’s, the former West Village speakeasy where the American Go Association was founded in 1935. “Playing Dr. Lasker (back left) is Elizabeth Morris (back right), an early AGA organizer and, with her husband Lester, author of an early introduction to go pamphlet. Watching them (back middle) is – I believe – Lasker’s good friend George Chernowitz – 25 at the time – or (possibly) Lester Morris. The other woman (front right) is likely Edith Chernowitz. The navy officer (front right) is perhaps Lieutenant Ingersoll, a math teacher at the Naval Academy, who – along with Lasker – presented Emmanuel Lasker’s go board and stones to the Academy that same year (1942) as the photo.
photo: New York Post, LIFE Images Collection via Getty Images

The real goal of improving: “Maybe my winning percentage will go up’” (The Empty Board: Philosophical Reflections on Go #16 7/25 EJ). “When we were taking lessons from Janice Kim,” writes Michael Ryan, “one of our number said something about hoping that person’s winning percentage would go up. Janice replied, ‘The purpose of improving your game is not to win more games. It is to be able to play stronger players.’ The implication is that you will have more interesting games that way. Just so.”

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Winner, winner, chicken dinner

Monday August 3, 2020

This year’s AGA Board of Directors election winners by region are:
Eastern – Stephanie Yin
Central – Lisa Scott
At-Large – Ted Terpstra
Western, by write-in vote –  Lester C. Lanphear III 
Thanks to all the candidates and voters for participating in this year’s elections. And condolences to write-in candidates Donald Duck and Alphago.
– Arnold Eudell

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Problem of the Week

Surprising Tesuji

Black to play