American Go E-Journal » 2022 » October

Tianhao Li Sweeps Pumpkin Classic

Sunday October 23, 2022

The long-running Pumpkin Classic returned to the National Go Center on October 22 after a pandemic hiatus. Tianhao Li (7D) 4-0 (far right in picture), in his first AGA tournament, topped a tough high-dan field followed by Eric Lui (2P) 3-1. All three- and four-game winners took home  a pumpkin for Halloween.

Other 3 and 4 game winners:
Chao Wang (3D) 4-0; Richard Duan (2D) 3-1; Hyungwook Lee (4K) 3-0; Gurujeet Khalsa (6K) 4-0; Gary Smith (9K) 3-1; Andrew Liu (10K) 3-1; Laurie Ensworth (14K) 3-1.

A special shout-out to recent beginners Calvin Li (20K) and Harrison Davis (10K) who showed great fighting spirit in their first tourney. Also to 11 year old Andrew Liu (10K) who played face-to=face for the first time after studying online and shown here receiving his pumpkin from AGA President Gurujeet Khalsa.

– Gurujeet Khalsa


The Power Report: Oh wins Go Seigen Cup; Sakai wins King of the New Stars; Hirata wins Agon Kiriyama Cup; Shibano increases lead in Meijin title match, Iyama fights back

Sunday October 23, 2022

By John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal

Oh wins Go Seigen Cup

Top left: Meijin, Shibano at left; top right: Iyama; bottom right: Agon winner Hirata; bottom left: King New Stars, Sakai at right.

The best-of-three final of the 5th Go Seigen Cup was held on the net at the end of September. Oh Yujin 9-dan of Korea beat Wang Chenxing 5-dan of China 2-0. This is Oh’s first victory in this tournament. She also won the 7th Bingsheng Cup in 2016.

Game One (Sept. 27). Oh (B) by resig.

Game Two (Sept. 28). Oh (W) by resig.

Sakai wins King of the New Stars

The best-of-three final of the 47th King of the New Stars was fought between Otake Yu 7-dan and Sakai Yuki 3-dan. Otake had been enjoying good results this year, so he was the favorite, but Sakai showed that his rank was lagging behind his real strength. As noted in my previous report, his win in the first game of this match put an end to a winning streak by Otake of thirteen.

The second game was played at the Tokyo headquarters of the Nihon Ki-in in Ichigaya on September 30. Taking black, Otake took the lead, but in the endgame, which is supposed to be his forte, he blundered, allowing Sakai to stage an upset. The latter won by 1.5 points after 285 moves. This is the 18-year-old Sakai’s first title.

Here are details of the tournament. Players are eligible if they are 6-dan and under and 25 and under on August 1 when a new term of the tournament starts. Since the 32nd term, winners graduate from the tournament. Before this rule came in, many players won a number of terms, the record being five times, achieved by Yoda Norimoto, closely followed by Yamashita Keigo, who won it four times in a row. Playing time is 3 hours each for the main tournament and the title match. First prize is ¥2,000,000 (about $13,450 at $1 = ¥148.7).

Hirata wins Agon Kiriyama Cup

The final of the 29th Agon Kiriyama Cup was played in a tea house called the Kagyuan (Snail’s Hermitage) in the grounds of the headquarters of the Agon sect in Yamashina Ward, Kyoto City, on October 1. Playing black, Hirata Tomoya 7-dan prevailed in a tight endgame contest and beat Iyama Yuta Meijin Honinbo by 1.5 points. This is Hirata’s first win in a tournament open to all players; the game was his first ever with Iyama. He won the 14th Hiroshima Aluminum Cup Young Carp tournament in 2019. Iyama has won this tournament five times.

Shibano increases lead in Meijin title match, Iyama fights back

The fourth game in the 47th Meijin title match was held at the Takarazuka Hotel, Takarazuka City, Hyogo Prefecture, on October 6 and 7. Taking white, Shibano Toramaru won by resignation after 208 moves. Iyama Yuta did not make any big mistakes, but some of his play in the middle game was a little dubious. Shibano took the lead and was able to hang on to it until the end. He now led the match 3-1, so his chance of making a comeback as Meijin looked good.

The fifth game was played at the Imai Residence in the town of Kawazu in Shizuoka Prefecture on October 12 and 13. Iyama suffered from a hallucination in the middle-game fighting, so Shibano took the lead. However, he made a miscalculation later on in the middle game, and that allowed Iyama to pull off an upset. 

With a 3-2 lead, Shibano still has the advantage, but he will have bitter memories of last year’s Honinbo title match in which he lost three games in a row after taking a 3-1 lead. The sixth game will be played on October 24 and 25.

Tomorrow: Tengen title match tied; Fujisawa makes good start in Women’s Honinbo; 47th Kisei tournament; Nong Shim Cup


Chicago Rapid Championship on track for record attendance

Thursday October 20, 2022

Who will be taking these prizes home?

The 2022 Chicago Rapid Championship being held in Evanston, Illinois on Nov 12 is setting records for early registrations. “We have 43 players registered and we’re still three and a half weeks out!” said organizer Albert Yen 8d. “We’re on track to beat our last record of 84 players. And strong players take note; this is your chance to play against Alex Qi, our newest American pro!”

“This tournament will have something for everyone,” said club president Mark Rubenstein. “An open section for 5 dan and above, a self-pair section for 4 dan and below, and a free youth section with lessons by Simon Guo for beginners. Not to mention instant reviews by Shawn Ray (Clossius) and Tim Song 1p, winner of the 2018 US Open Masters, live streaming on Twitch, a variety of prizes, and lunch and dinner at the venue.”

Register by 11/1 for early-bird pricing and raffle to win a free lesson with Alex Qi 1p. For complete information on the tournament format and registration details, visit


50 Years aGO – October 1972

Wednesday October 19, 2022

By Keith L. Arnold, hka, with Patrick Bannister

October 4-5 was the sixth and final game of the Meijin title match. Rin Kaihō retained the title, defeating veteran Fujisawa Shūkō. This was his 6th Meijin title overall. (Game record: Meijin Game 6.) Go Review had an interesting take on the generation wars at the time, opining that because Rin and Ishida Yoshio used all of their time, and Shūkō and Sakata Eio did not, the young men were somehow inferior in “the techniques of go.” Somehow, Go Review seemed to blame time controls for the players who used their time defeating the players who did not.

On October 9 Nihon Ki’in held a celebration of Japan-China rapprochement. Few details are available, but the picture we present is filled with go players, including Shūkō, Sakata and Ōtake Hideo.

Speaking of the the generational divide, October 19 saw an old school matchup in the semifinal of the Ōza title, with Takagawa Kaku defeating the legendary Go Seigen. (Game record: Ōza semifinal.)

We now take a glance at the future looking at the statistics for the go year as of October 20. Leading all pros with an 89.5% winning percentage was Cho Chikun 5d, closely followed by Kobayashi Kōichi 6d at 85.7%.

Takao Matsuda once again became New York Champion on October 22.

Finally we complete Stuart Dowsey’s survey of American go with the pro tour’s “West Coast Swing” in early October. The large go scene in Los Angeles, was noted as being completely dominated by Japanese players, with 5 different clubs, led by the Rafu-Ki’in. Purportedly, the only non-Japanese member of these clubs was a young man named Richard Dolen (pictured). The scene in San Francisco was less insular, under the leadership of Bill Yamato, Wayne Dote and Mark Okada. Visits were also made at the two clubs in Seattle, the Seattle Ki’in and the Last Exit Go Club.

Meijin Game 6 post-game review joined by Go Seigen

Image 1 of 4

Photos courtesy of Go Review, game records from SmartGoOne


AGF College Scholarship Open

Tuesday October 18, 2022

Applications are now being accepted for the American Go Foundation(AGF) college scholarshipThe program  recognizes high school students who have served as important youth organizers and promoters for the go community. To apply, download and complete the application form here.  Applicants should describe their accomplishments and volunteer work in a short essay. Letters of recommendation may also be included. Applicants whose enthusiasm and ambition have helped spread go in under-served areas will be given special consideration. Strong players who spend much of their time voluntarily teaching will also be considered, although the award focuses on promoters and organizers who have made substantial contributions during their go career. Applications are due Nov. 16th this year. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.  


Kevin Yang 1P Wins Lanke Cup Prelim

Sunday October 16, 2022

Kevin Yang 1P has won the preliminary qualifying round of the first Quzhou Lanke Cup World Weiqi Open Tournament, an international professional event organized by the Chinese Weiqi Association. Yang will represent North America in the tournament, which kicks off December 24, 2022.

The Quzhou Lanke Cup offers a prize of 1,800,000 RMB (about $250,000 USD) to the winner. In total, 32 players are invited: 14 from China, 8 from South Korea, 5 from Japan, 2 from Chinese Taipei, 1 from Europe, 1 from North America, and 1 additional player will be nominated by the organizing team as a wild card once all 31 competitors are finalized.

Among professional players based in North America, four entered the preliminary qualifying round. The format was double elimination (see below for results), and the event was held on OGS with video recording requirements. In addition, for the final match, proctors were also present with each player. The North American Go Federation appreciates the generous gift of Edward Zhang, which supported the presence of proctors.

– reported by Hajin Lee

Preliminary Round Results

Pumpkin Classic and Pair Go Paella at NGC this Friday

Sunday October 16, 2022

The 2022 Pumpkin Classic Tournament is back this year after a pandemic hiatus, reports the National Go Center’s Gurujeet Khalsa. “Winners in every division take home a beautiful pumpkin ready to carve for Halloween,” says Khalsa. Scheduled for Saturday, October 22, this is a 4-round AGA rated tournament.

Prep for winning a pumpkin the night before at Pair Go/Paella Night on Friday, October 21; sixteen players participated before the Back to School event last month and enjoyed Chris Garlock’s famous paella and other treats. “Come for one or come for both,” says Khalsa, “we look forward to seeing you there.”

Pre-registration early helps tremendously in planning for the events and getting the first tournament round started on time.


Ryan Li 3P to duel with Kevin Yang on Friday in Lanke Cup N.A. Prelim Final 

Wednesday October 12, 2022

Ryan Li 3P (2-1) and Kevin Yang 1P (2-0) will duel in the N.A. prelim final for the Quzhou Lanke Cup World Go Championship this Friday, October 14 at 8pm EDT (5pm PT) via (OGS). The prelim utilizes a double-elimination format and the finalists have previously competed with Eric Lui 2P (1-2) and Alex Qi 1P (0-2).

Round 1 (9/16 & 17)
Li (OGS ID: CrazyWind) def. Qi (OGS ID: alexqi2008)  Game Record

Yang (Keviny2007) def. Lui (FedExpress)  Game Record

Round 2 (9/23 & 25)
Yang def. Li Game Record
Lui def. Qi Game Record

Round 3 (10/2)
Li def. Lui Game Record

The North American Go Federation (NAGF) has assigned proctors in New York and California to ensure fair play on OGS (see also AGA’s FairPlay policy). Hajin Lee 1P is the Executive Director.

Known as the birthplace of go culture, Quzhou City is 230 miles southwest of Shanghai. As early as the Eastern Jin Dynasty (317 – 420), there was a story about Wang Zhi, a woodcutter, playing go with an immortal in Lanke Mountain. This is the earliest written record of the origin of go in China. In addition, Quzhou has beautiful natural scenery including mountains, karst caves and bamboo sea, and the descendants of Confucius once lived here to spread Confucian culture.

The prize pool for the Lanke Cup is $583,000 and the 1st-5th round players earn $4300, $7100, $14,300, $28,600, $86,000 and $257,000 (champion).

Report by Capital Go Club; photo credit: and Chinese Weiqi Association
NOTE (10/13): The match time has been updated to 8p ET (5p PT).

Upcoming Event: Nov. 27, 2022 ‘Hybrid’ Open tournament and VA State Championship Final


Go Classified: Clossius 6-lesson bundle pack

Wednesday October 12, 2022

Clossius Go Tournament Deal: Shawn Ray – aka Clossius – is offering a discounted 6-Lesson bundle pack to raise funds so he can attend a tournament. “I am well known for my Clossi Approach for Kyu players,” says Ray.
photo: Shawn Ray at the 2022 U.S. Go Congress.

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Upcoming Events: Evanston Go Club Fundraiser and Tournament Update; CO Bodhi Tree Tournament; Yang Portland workshop

Tuesday October 11, 2022

Spots Still Open for Simul with Albert Yen on Oct 15
On October 5th, the Evanston Go Club hosted a fundraiser simul event with Albert Yen 8 dan, winner of the 2022 Midwest Open and Chicago Open. Local players contributed $25 to play a 3-person simul with Albert, who reviewed each game. The proceeds will go toward the tournament fund of the 2022 Chicago Rapid Championship, which will take place on November 12th. Details of the tournament can be found here “The passion of the local go community is energizing,” said Yen. “Moon Ki, an old friend whom I haven’t seen for three years, drove an hour to participate in the simul and catch up. There was also Derek, who was just a beginner before the pandemic. Not only is he as strong as Mark now, he’s also a foot taller!” “The Chicago Rapid will be bigger than anything we’ve organized before in Illinois,” said Mark Rubenstein, president of the Evanston Go Club. “We are introducing new elements such as inviting professional players and collaborating with prominent Go teachers. We really appreciate all the contributors and spectators who came out to support the club.”

The Evanston Go Club will organize the final fundraiser on October 15th online on OGS. Players who are interested in playing Albert can secure their slot by contacting him at A donation of $30 to the Evanston Go Club is requested. All proceeds go towards special prizes, equipment, and professional commentary/review for tournaments hosted by the club.

Colorado Bodhi Tree Tournament 10/22
The Denver Go Tournament Group’s Bodhi Tree Go Tournament is set for October 22, from 9a to 4p in Lakewood, CO. There is a player limit of 32 people. Register with
There will be 4 rounds, 30 minutes main time with a Byo-yomi of five 30 second periods. $20 entry fee; proceeds will go to the Danger Monkey Go Club and the Buddhist Association of Denver (and prizes).

Yang Portland workshop 11/6
Yilun Yang 7p will be hosting a workshop at the Portland Go club on November 6 at 1p. Players of all ranks are welcome. If there is anyone unable to pay the fee, DM Please share anything you might want Yilun Yang to cover in his workshop by emailing