American Go E-Journal

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

Friday November 26, 2021

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 all your stories to our E-Journal Article Submission form, which allows us to better manage your article submissions, improve our workflow and publishing turn-around time. You can still get in touch with us by email for any inquiries related to the E-Journal or your subscription at journal@usgo.org!
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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Go Spotting: The Economist

Friday November 26, 2021

In its November 13 issue, The Economist described last year’s flare-up in the decades-long Sino-Indian border dispute as though China and India were engaged in a match of go. These two powers have largely avoided direct conflict, for they “were focused on building their own core structures,” as go players in the early stages of a match might do as they peacefully lay claim to the corners and sides of the board. At times, India has sought to define its border with its neighbor. But China—as any go player would—resisted, knowing that the unsettled border is one that can be exploited for further advantage. Now, with these two powers entering the later stages of the game where “the board fills up and one player emerges dominant, there should be no surprise for [China] to push the advantage.”

You can read the piece here. The article is behind a paywall which may require either registering an account that will grant limited access for free, or becoming a paid subscriber.
– Paul Adamski, with thanks to Bart Lipofsky and Pete Schumer for flagging this.

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50 Years aGO – November 1971

Wednesday November 24, 2021

by Keith L. Arnold, hka, with Patrick Bannister

On November 4, Sakata Eio won the first game in his defense of the Ōza title against Hashimoto Shōji 9d. He completed the defense on November 17. (Game records: Game 1, Game 2)

Back in the USA, Takao Matsuda won the New York Championship on November 20 and 21. Future AGA President John Stephenson was promoted to shodan after winning the kyu championship.

Go Seigen made a trip to the US, visiting Hawaii as well as New York from the 15th to the 20th and San Francisco on the 22nd. New York Champion Matsuda was one of the few players to manage a win against him – on three stones. The game was featured in Go Review.

As mentioned previously in this column, the “new” (and current) Nihon Ki’in building was opened on November 22.

Finally, in Europe, the International Go Master Tournament was held in Yugoslavia from the 26th to the 29th. The clear champion with a perfect 6-0 record was Jürgen Mattern of Germany.

Sakata Eio wins Ōza title match Game 1

Image 1 of 3

Photos courtesy of Go Review

Vermont Go Club’s tournament variation

Monday November 22, 2021

The Vermont Go Club held a club tournament over the past four weeks, reports organizer Pete Schumer. The winner was Jack Cary (2k) with a perfect record of 5 – 0.  “I’m writing to the e-journal just as a suggestion for other clubs,” says Schumer. “All our games were self-paired, in person, timed appropriately, and with everyone wearing masks.  The idea was that with current conditions, it’s tough to get everyone together for a full day weekend tournament.  But by spreading it out over four meetings and allowing people to play just one or at most two ‘official’ games each week along with some friendly games, we were able to create a low-pressure but enjoyable tournament.  Even if a player missed a meeting or two, it didn’t really matter.”

Upcoming Go Events: San Diego

Monday November 22, 2021

November 27-28: San Diego, CA
2021 California State Go Championship
2021 U16 Girls’ California State Go Championship
2021 U16 Boys’ California State Go Championship
2021 U16 13×13 California State Go Championship
Ted Terpstra ted.terpstra@gmail.com 619-384-3454
Enrique Garcia enrique.jrgarcia711@gmail.com

Get the latest go events information.

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GoSpotting: Aji’s Quest

Saturday November 20, 2021

Ted Terpstra reports that a new children’s book highlighting Go and Go terms, has become available. “Aji’s Quest is a fascinating story of a young Quoll who goes in search of a great Go master, Tenuki, so he can learn to become a Go master himself,” says Terpstra. “During Aji’s quest, he learns much about the game of Go and is tested repeatedly at the board. The book is best appreciated if the reader has a basic knowledge of Go.”

Aji’s Quest is a comic series by Collette Bezio originally released online that is now published in print by Board’N’Stones.

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Students exercised mind and body at Stone Mountain Park

Saturday November 20, 2021

On November 7, 2021, Feijun (Frank) Luo 7d taught his first in-person Go class in nearly two years for Atlanta Contemporary Chinese Academy at Stone Mountain Park. “We met with great excitement and joy,” says Luo. Frank played go with students and watched them play for two hours, and then he led them on a hike on Stone Mountain. Despite the strenuous hiking, all students climbed to the summit of Stone Mountain by supporting each other. At the summit of Stone Mountain, not only did they enjoy the spectacular view of Atlanta and the beautiful sunset, but also played a game of group speed Go to the amusement of all. Joining Frank in this class were the students Collin Guo, Leo Huang, Ryan Huang, Gavin Situ, Eric Wang, Lucas Wang, Andrea Wang, Jiayue Wu, Kevin Yang, Jiaming Zou, and Jiayi Zou. “It’s vital to stay physically and mentally active during this pandemic,” continued Luo. “We will have more classes like this to help achieve the goal!” 

-report by Feijun (Frank) Lui

SDGC Opens Regstration for Four California Go Championships

Saturday November 20, 2021


Over the Thanksgiving weekend – November 27 & 28, 2021 – The San Diego Go Club will be hosting four go tournaments. Registration for all of them is open, and will close at 11:59 P.M. PST on Thanksgiving day – November 25. Online registration will be necessary to participate in the first round; onsite registration will be accepted for rounds 2-5. All four tournaments will be held at the spacious San Diego Chess Club in Balboa Park. Current AGA membership is required for all tournaments.

The 2021 King Cup California State Go Championship will be the premier event of the tournament weekend with five rounds over two days. The tournament will have both Open and Handicap sections. Over $1,100 in prizes will be awarded with at least $400 going to the King Cup winner. This will be the 4th time that the best Go player in California will be crowned. Previous winners include Calvin Sun 1P, Evan Lin 7d, and Bo Luan 6d. In 2018 and 2019 competition was fierce with 76 players and 66 players respectively. While only residents of California, including students, are eligible to win the King Cup, everyone can play. The King Cup will have 45-minutes per player plus Byo-yomi timing. The entry fee for the King Cup is $20 for adults and $10 for youth.

The other three tournaments are all for youth under the age of 16-years who choose not to play in the King Cup. Hai Li 5P will be the tournament director for all of the youth tournaments. The entry fee for each of the youth tournaments will be $5. On Saturday, both the U16 Girls’ California State Go Championship and the U16 Boys’ California State Go Championship will be contested. These will both be 4-round, 30-minute time per player plus Byo-yomi. On Sunday, an U16 California State 13×13 Champion will be crowned. The time limit will be 15-minutes per player. This tournament is open to everyone.

For safety, all adults will be required to be vaccinated for the Covid19 virus, and all players and spectators will be required to wear masks except when dining on the lunchtime pizza that will be provided both days. There are several outdoor tables if any players want to play their games outside.

-report by Ted Terpstra

Go Photo: Opening in the morning sun

Thursday November 11, 2021

Photo by Phil Straus; board by Bill Saltman.

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The Power Report: Iyama starts with win in Oza challenge; Sumire’s progress; First snap AI inspection; The ideal and the real ; Most wins/ Most successive wins; Promotions

Wednesday November 10, 2021

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Yokohama Royal Park Hotel

Iyama starts with win in Oza challenge
The 69th Oza title match, a best-of-five, got off to a start on October 29. The defender is Shibano Toramaru, whose target is to win the title for the third year in a row. So far he has won six titles. The challenger is Iyama Yuta, who is hoping to pick up his fifth concurrent title. He holds the Kisei, Meiin, Honinbo, and Gosei titles.
   The venue was a special playing room on the 65th floor of the Yokohama Royal Park Hotel in Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture. This is probably the highest venue for a title-match game.
   Iyama drew black in the nigiri. In the opening, he set up four low, territorial positions, so White found himself setting up a large moyo. During fighting that started when Iyama tried to reduce the moyo, Shibano made a misjudgment and fell a little behind. He went all out and caught up enough to make the game a half-pointer, but then he made a mistake in the endgame and had to resign soon after. The game lasted 205 moves. The second game will be played on November 12.

Sumire’s progress
   Having been eliminated from a number of tournaments, this seems to be a season of lean pickings for Nakamura Sumire 2P. Since September 2 (see my report of September 28), she has played only five games, the first two of which she lost. Because of that she dropped into third place in the most-wins list for two weeks, but she regained second place after winning two games in one day.
(Sept. 27) Sumire (W) lost to (Ms.) Moro Arisa 2P by 5.5 points (16th Young Carp preliminary).
(Oct. 4) Sumire (B) lost to Kobayashi Koichi by 5.5 (Prelim. B, 70th Oza).
(Oct. 21) Sumire (W) beat Kobayashi Chizu 6P by 15.5; Sumire (W) beat Shimosaka Miori 3P by 3.5. (Both games in Prelim. B, 33rd Women’s Meijin)
(Oct. 25) Sumire (B) beat O Keii 3P by resig. (25th Women’s Kisei, main tournament).

First snap AI inspection
   The first snap inspection to prevent AI-assisted cheating (see my report of September 28) was carried out on September 23. Led by the director responsible for organizing tournaments, Aoki Kikuyo 8P, a number of Nihon Ki-in employees entered a playing room where eight games were being played just as play was about to resume after the lunch break. They ordered the players to suspend their games and inspected their persons and their belongings with a metal detector. The rule is that devices such as smart phones and tablets have to be handed over to the staff before playing. Fortunately, there were no untoward discoveries.

The ideal and the real
    Hino Shota, aged 16, has just qualified as a professional. His responses at a news conference held on October 5, contrasted ambition and realism. Asked about his future goals, he replied: “In the future, I want to become a player who can star in world championships. My goal for the time being is to make the best eight in the Kings of the New Stars tournament.”

Most wins
  The competition from second place down is quite fierce, but, with under ten full weeks to go, it’s hard to see anyone overtaking Ueno in first place. (Results below are as of Oct. 29.)
1. Ueno Asami: 43-21
2. Nakamura Sumire: 37-16
3. Fukuoka Kotaro 2P: 36-11
4. Fujisawa Rina: 35-11
5. Kyo Kagen: 34-16
6. Motoki Katsuya 8P: 32-14
7. Seki Kotaro 7P: 31-10; Nyu Eiko 3P: 31-14
9. Ichiriki Ryo: 30-14

Most successive wins
6: Enda Hideki 9P; Oomote Takuto 3P. In recent weeks, a number of good winning streaks have come to an end. The main ones are listed below.
Kyo Kagen, Fujisawa Rina: 11; Horimoto Mitsunari: 10; Seki Kotaro: 9.

Promotions
To 8-dan: Suzuki Isao (150 wins; as of Oct. 5)
To 7-dan: Kanno Masashi (120 wins, as of Sept. 24)
To 5-dan: Koyama Kuya (70 wins, as of Sept. 24)
To 3-dan: Ito Kenryo (40 wins; as of Oct. 15)