American Go E-Journal

FAQ: How to submit stories to the AGA E-Journal

Sunday January 1, 2023

The American go community is always eager for reports of local tournaments, mentions of go for our Go Spotting column, new tools or study resources, and any go-related news.
Please submit to us at journal@usgo.org.
We try to acknowledge submissions within 24 hours; if you haven’t heard back from us in that time, feel free to re-send or ping us again.

Letters to the editor can also be sent to journal@usgo.org; please include “Letter to the editor” in the subject line. Letters are subject to editing for length and clarity.

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Registration Open for 2023 AGHS Blitz Tournament

Wednesday February 1, 2023

“The AGHS is excited to announce its upcoming online Blitz tournament on Sunday, February 19th,” says AGHS President Jenny Li, “All players are welcome and encouraged to participate! The tournament will encompass 5 blitz rounds during a one-day tournament.”

If you are interested in participating, please use this registration form. The registration deadline is Wednesday, February 15 at 11:59 pm PST. 
Rules and regulations can be found here

Round Schedule (Sunday, February 19th):
Round 1: 10:00 AM PST (1:00 PM EST)
Round 2: 10:30 AM PST (1:30 PM EST)
Round 3: 11:00 AM PST (2:00 PM EST)
Round 4: 11:30 AM PST (2:30 PM EST)
Round 5: 12:00 PM PST (3:00 PM EST)

The Power Report: Sumire’s progress; Promotions & retirements

Tuesday January 31, 2023

By John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal

Sumire’s progress

(Nov. 17) Sumire (W) beat Nyu Eiko, Senko Cup-holder, by resig. (26th Women’s Kisei, main tournament, round 2).

(Nov. 21) Sumire (B)  lost to Sakai Yuki 2-dan by resig. (prelim. round final, Teikei Young Stars).

(Nov. 26) Sumire (W) lost to Koike Yoshihiro (round 1, 17th Young Carp).

(Dec. 1). Sumire (B) beat Mukai Chiaki 6-dan by resig. (main tournament sf, 26th Women’s Kisei).

(Dec. 5). Sumire (W) beat Koyama Ryugo 7-dan by resig. (First Tournament, round 1, 48th Kisei)

 (Dec. 8) Sumire (B) beat Fujisawa Rina Women’s Honinbo by resig. (play-off to decide the challenger, 26th Women’s Kisei).

(Dec. 15) Sumire (W) beat Okuda Aya 4-dan (prelim., round 2, 10th Women’s Hollyhock Cup).

(Dec. 22). Sumire (W) beat Nyu Eiko by resig. (34th Women’s Meijin League).

Promotions

To 9-dan: Cho Riyu (200 wins, as of Dec. 16)

To 6-dan: Yamamoto Kentaro (90 wins, as of Aug. 12). The go press missed this promotion at the time. 

To 2-dan: Mito Shuhei (30 wins, as of Nov. 25)

Retirement

Takamura Tetsuro 5-dan retired as of Dec. 31, 2022.

Born in Kumamoto Prefecture on Jan. 1, 1961, he became a disciple of the late Shimohira Akio 9-dan and qualified as a professional in 1979. He reached 4-dan in 1986 and was promoted to 5-dan on retirement. He was a member of the Nagoya branch of the Nihon Ki-in.

Obituary

Aragaki Takeshi 9-dan died on November 28. He was born in Okinawa on June 4, 1956. He became a disciple of the late 23rd Honinbo Sakata Eio and made 1-dan in 1971. He reached 9-dan in 1994 and retired in 2020. He won the 4-dan, 5-dan, and two 6-dan championships in, respectively, the 2nd, 5th, 8th and 9th Kisei tournaments. 

My next report will be a statistical overview of 2022.

The Power Report: Ichiriki and Shibano win Teikei Young Stars leagues; Konishi wins first title; Women’s Meijin League

Monday January 30, 2023

By John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal

Shibano & Ichiriki win leagues

Ichiriki and Shibano win Teikei Young Stars leagues

The final section of the Teikei Young Stars tournament consists of two six-player leagues. The winners meet in a play-off to decide the title. In a tournament labeled as for “young stars”, it was a little surprising to find holders big-three titles, namely, Shibano Toramaru Meijin in the A League and Ichiriki Ryo Kisei in the B League. All the games were played from December 17 to 22, and, not surprisingly, each won his league 5-0 (each was two wins clear of the field) and will meet in the best-of-three play-off scheduled for March. Actually, Seki Kotaro Tengen also played in the B League, though he did not do very well, scoring 2-3.

Konishi wins first title

Konishi Kazuko 8-dan

The three Teikei tournaments are now in their second terms. The first to be decided was the Female Legends tournament. In the final, held on December 24, Konishi Kazuko 8-dan (B) beat Kuwahara Yoko 6-dan by resignation. The game was played in the Ryusei Studio at the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo. In her fifth appearance in a tournament final, Konishi finally scored her first success. First prize is 2,000,000 yen ($15,564 at $1 = ¥128.5).

Women’s Meijin League

With three rounds completed, there are only two undefeated players in the 34th Women’s Meijin League:  Ueno Asami on 3-0 and Nakamura Sumire on 2-0.

Below are results since my previous report.

(Nov. 7) Ueno Asami, Women’s Hollyhock title-holder, (B) beat Ueno Risa 2-dan by resignation. This is the first official game between the sisters.

(Dec. 1) Ueno Asami (W) beat Suzuki Ayumi 7-dan by resig.

(Dec. 5) Nyu Eiko (B) beat Xie Yimin 7-dan by resig.

(Dec. 15) Ueno Asami (W) beat Kobayashi Izumi 7-dan by resig.

(Dec. 19) Ueno Risa (W) beat Suzuki by resig.

Tomorrow: Sumire’s progress; Promotions & retirements

Upcoming Go Events: San Diego

Monday January 30, 2023

February 5: San Diego, CA
2023 San Diego Winter Go Tournament
Ted Terpstra ted.terpstra@gmail.com 619-384-3454
Enrique Garcia enrique.garcia@usgo.org

Get the latest go events information.

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The Power Report: Iyama saves Japan in Nongshim Cup; Shin wins Samsung Cup; Kawabata Yasunari inducted into Hall of Fame; Chinese players meet in LG Cup final

Sunday January 29, 2023

By John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal

Iyama saves Japan in Nongshim Cup

Iyama wins

The second round of the 24th Nongshim Cup was held on the net in late November. Japan did badly, but in the final game of the round, Iyama Yuta, who won four games in a row in the previous cup, once again saved their bacon, picking up the first Japanese win. Results follow.

Game 5 (Nov. 25). Kang Dongyun 9-dan (Korea) (W) beat Shibano Toramaru 9-dan (Japan) by resig.

Game 6 (Nov. 26). Kang (W) beat Tuo Jiaxi 9-dan (China) by resig.

Game 7 (Nov. 27). Kang (B) beat Yo Seiki 8-dan (Japan) by half a point. (This was Kang’s fifth win in a row.)

Game 8 (Nov. 28). Lian Xiao 9-dan (China) (W) beat Kang by resig.

Game 9 (Nov. 29). Iyama Yuta 9-dan (Japan) (B) beat Lian by resig.

The third round is scheduled for February 20~24.

Shin wins Samsung Cup

The 27th Samsung Cup will always be remembered as the first tournament in which a woman player, Choi Jeong 9-dan, reached the final. In the best-of-three title match, however, she lost 0-2 to Shin Jinseo 9-dan, the world’s number one rated player. The first game was played on November 7; taking black, Shin won by resignation. The second game was played on the following day; taking white, Shin again won by resig. Shin finally won this title after coming second in the 25th and 26th cups. The first game was a convincing win for Shin, but in the second the lead switched back and forth. Shin seemed to prevail because of his greater powers of concentration.

Kawabata Yasunari inducted into Hall of Fame

Kawabata Yasunari, author of “Meijin” (Master of Go), was inducted into the Go Hall of Fame on November 11. He is the second literary figure inducted after the haiku poet Shiki. “Meijin” is a novel based on newspaper commentaries Kawabata wrote about the retirement game played by Shusai Meijin with Kitani Minoru and is the most famous literary work dealing with go.

Chinese players meet in LG Cup final

Two more rounds in the 27th LG Cup were played in mid-November. In the quarterfinals, the last remaining Japanese player was eliminated, then the world number one was eliminated in the semifinals. Details follow.

Quarterfinals (November 13 & 14). Shin Jinseo 9-dan (Korea) (W) beat Mi Yuting 9-dan (China) by resig.; Kang Dongyun 9-dan (Korea) (B) beat Ke Jie 9-dan (China) by resig.; Yang Dingxin 9-dan (China) (W) beat Shibano Toramaru 9-dan (Japan) by resig.; Ding Hao 9-dan (China) (W) beat Kim Myonghoon 9-dan (Korea) by 2.5 points.

Tomorrow: Ichiriki and Shibano win Teikei Young Stars leagues; Konishi wins first title; Women’s Meijin League

Registration Open for the 2023 Redmond Cup and AGA Girls Cup

Saturday January 28, 2023

Redmond Cup and Girls Cup Finalists compete at the 2022 US Go Congress in Estes Park, Colorado

Registration is now open for the 30th Redmond Cup and 6th AGA Girls Cup, the AGA’s annual premier youth tournaments for North American youth under 18 and females under 16 respectively. Players must have an accredited rank of 1-dan or higher to participate in the Redmond Cup, and an accredited rank of 9-kyu or higher to participate in the AGA Girls Cup. The Redmond Cup features both a Junior (under 13) and a Senior (13-17) division, while the AGA Girls Cup will feature one division (under 16). Both tournaments are online preliminaries to determine two finalists in each division who will be invited to play in a best-of-three match at the 2023 US Go Congress. The American Go Foundation will cover all reasonable expenses for the finalists of both tournaments to travel to and compete at the 2023 USGC. Players who complete all rounds of either tournament will also be eligible for a $200 scholarship to the 2023 USGC.

The new tournament format that debuted last year was met with positive reception by many of the players, and will be used again for this year’s tournaments. This includes a multi-stage preliminary with proctored matches for the latter stages, and mandatory video calls with strict camera setup guidelines for all games.

Registration for the Redmond Cup will close on March 1st, with competition starting on March 6th. Registration for the AGA Girls Cup will close on March 8th, with competition starting on March 13th. Interested competitors can read about the rules for the Redmond Cup and rules for the AGA Girls Cup for more information, and email youth@usgo.org with any inquiries.

– Story and photo by Justin Teng, AGA Youth Coordinator

Go and roast pig at SF Go Club Lunar New Year tourney

Friday January 27, 2023

The San Francisco Go Club’s Lunar New Year Go tournament was a vibrant celebration of the Chinese New Year. On a sunny but brisk Saturday, January 21, 37 players gathered to compete in three divisions. The tournament was a lively event that included a roast pig lunch. After three rounds of intense competition, the winners of each division were announced: Jonathan Ketner (1st place), Eric Lee (2nd place), and Christopher Kim (3rd place) in Division 1; Dash Zhang (1st place), Andrew Li (2nd place), and Joey Chou (3rd place) in Division 2; and Reid Byron (1st place), Patrick Vincent O’Melveny (2nd place), and Syd Shafer (3rd place) in Division 3. “Congratulations to all the winners!” said club President Matthew  Barcus.

The Power Report: Ida sets new record in Crown; China wins 23rd Agon Kiriyama Play-off; Iyama wins Ryusei title after life-and-death hallucination

Tuesday January 24, 2023

By John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal

Ida sets new record in Crown

Ida Atsushi 9-dan

The Crown title is a regional title, open only to the members of the Central Japan (Nagoya) branch of the Nihon Ki-in. The one-game final of the 63rd title was held on November 22. Ida Atsushi 9-dan (B) beat Mutsuura Yuta 7-dan by resignation. This was his seventh successive Crown title, a new record (though other players have won it more often). First prize is 1,700,000 yen.

China wins 23rd Agon Kiriyama Play-off

Li Qincheng 9-dan

The annual Japan-China Agon Kiriyama Cup Play-off was held on the net on December 17. Li Qincheng 9-dan of China, who held white, beat Hirata Tomoya 7-dan of Japan by resignation. Actually, the Chinese go world has apparently been in a chaotic state because of covid-related restrictions, and there were repeated changes in the arrangements for this play-off. In the end, the Chinese managed to hold their Agon-Kiriyama Cup the day before this play-off (Li beat Xie Erhao 9-dan in the final). The chaos didn’t seem to affect Li’s play. 

Iyama wins Ryusei title after life-and-death hallucination

The final of the 31st Ryusei title was telecast on December 26. Iyama Yuta (B) beat Yuki Satoshi 9-dan of the Kansai Ki-in by resignation after 111 moves. This is his fourth Ryusei title, but his first for ten years. Most title matches in 2022 featured at least one young player, but this was an exception: Iyama is 33 and Yuki 50. This is Iyama’s 71st title, so he is just four behind Cho Chikun. His pace has slowed considerably, so it no longer seems so certain that he will reach three digits.

There’s a strange story attached to this triumph, though. In his quarterfinal game with Kato Atsushi 9-dan, both Iyama and Kato hallucinated that one of Kato’s groups was dead when it could live with one move. As a life-and-death problem, it could easily be solved by an average amateur. Having assumed it was dead, neither player took another look at it. At the end of the game, Iyama took this group of six stones off the board and counted the score. He and Kato had agreed the game was over and the latter made no objection when the former took the group off the board (it needed another move to live). The result was a 3.5-point win for Iyama. Kato accepted this result, so there was no problem as far as the rules were concerned. Takao Shinji 9-dan, who did the commentary for the TV program, said that in 30 years as a professional he had never seen anything like it.

Iyama confided to Cho U, who later became the commentator for the final, that he was deeply upset by his oversight and felt that he had lost the trust of go fans. He told Cho that he was determined to win the final while playing a good game to regain the trust of fans.

Pandanet AGA City League Round 2 this weekend

Monday January 23, 2023

Round 2 of Pandanet AGA City League happens this weekend. Watch teams from almost 40 teams and among 150 players from across the US and Canada. You can best find the games this Sunday January 29th @ 3pm EST/12pm PST in the AGA City League Rooms. Root for your local squad or your favorite national players and friends. Any schedule changes will be noted on the round pages:

A LeagueB LeagueC LeagueD LeagueE League

2023 Chicago Open registration opens

Monday January 23, 2023

Registration for the 2023 Chicago Open is now available on Baduk Club.

The tournament will take place over Memorial Day Weekend, May 27-28, in Evanston, Illinois. It will consist of eight rounds played over two days, with one-day options available. A departure from previous tournaments in Evanston, the 2023 Chicago Open will switch to McMahon pairing instead of the self-paired format. Co-organizers Cheuk To Tsui and Albert Yen anticipate a more intense tournament experience using the McMahon style. “The tournament will be more fast-paced, and players can experience a weekend packed with Go,” Yen said. “With eight rounds, winners will have to clear the field, and everyone will get a chance to prove themselves against more opponents than before.”

As part of the tournament experience, players can purchase lunch plans on both days and join the dinner party on Saturday. For lunch plans, the 2023 Chicago Open has partnered with Tealicious Bubble Tea, which will provide bentos and drinks. On Saturday evening, Dengeo’s will cater a Mediterranean buffet. Vegetarian and gluten-free options are available. 

“We hope to see more young people and travelers in our event to facilitate interaction between Go players from different areas,” said Mark Rubenstein, long-time leader of the Evanston Go Club. 

Due to the success of the 2022 Chicago Open, Evanston Holiday Inn will serve as the tournament venue. Evanston Holiday Inn is offering discounted accommodations and parking. Participants are encouraged to register for the tournament by May 6 for early bird pricing and to book the discounted accommodations before they sell out.  

– by Jamie Tang