American Go E-Journal

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

Sunday August 8, 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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AGA Board report

Tuesday September 14, 2021

The AGA Board met at the end of the 2021 e-Go Congress in a meeting that was open to all AGA members.  The board approved minutes of the May meeting and the July special meeting (called to discuss issues of Fair Play in online tournaments and Online Ratings).  The board also approved the final budget for the 2021-2022 fiscal year.  The board was also updated about the NAGF’s plans to hold a Pro Qualification Tournament in August 2021 (since postponed due to the pandemic), and approved times and dates for meetings for the 2021-2022 term.  These meetings are as follows: 

September 19, 2021 (Fall Board Meeting)
November 7, 2021 (Annual “Retreat” and Planning Meeting)
January 9, 2022 (Special COVID Meeting, if needed)
February 27, 2022 (Winter Board Meeting)
May 1, 2022 (Spring Board Meeting)
June 26, 2022 (Summer Business Meeting, if needed)
August 5, 2022 (Annual “Congress” Meeting)
August 6, 2022 (General Assembly Meeting)

Please contact Chair of the Board Lisa Scott at lisa.scott@usgo.org if you would like to attend any of the future meetings (including the mid-September meeting).

AlphaGo vs. AlphaGo with Michael Redmond 9p: Games 51 & 52

Tuesday September 14, 2021

If you’ve been following Michael Redmond’s videos on his YouTube channel, you’ll know that in his commentaries on the 3-3 invasion “there’s one variation I’ve avoided because it’s so complicated.” In today’s commentary on AlphaGo vs. AlphaGo Game 52 with EJ Managing Editor Chris Garlock (which originally aired live on September 5), he explores that variation in detail, along with his usual insightful and deeply-researched insights into the rest of the game. “Always great to see a new AlphaGo review pop up in my YouTube feed, when I missed the Twitch stream,” says Rory Mitchell. Speaking of which, in case you missed it, AlphaGo vs. AlphaGo Game 51 — which aired live on August 8 — was posted August 20, and features “Tesujis, Semiaias, Forever Kos and Fuzzy Sekis,” according to Damon Skinner. “This game is even more complicated and deep than we imagined.” Mark your calendar now for the next live Redmond game commentary, set for Sunday, October 10, 7p ET on the AGA Twitch channel.

[link]

Last Call for American Go Honor Society Officer Applications 2021-2022

Saturday September 4, 2021

Applications for the 2021-2022 American Go Honor Society (AGHS) officer team are closing soon. The American Go Honor Society is an organization driven primarily by high school students to promote go among young players throughout America. Tournaments, leagues, and other go events catered towards youth are hosted throughout the school year by the AGHS.

Please fill out this form to apply.

The application deadline has been extended to Friday, September 10, 2021 at 11:59pm PST.

Third North Carolina state championship to be held outdoors in late September

Thursday September 2, 2021

The North Carolina State Go Championship Tournament will be a two day event September 25 and 26, 2021, at Umstead State Park in north Raleigh. The State Go Champion must be an amateur Go player who has resided in North Carolina at least 50% of the past year. Students meeting these criteria are eligible. The tournament will be held at shelter #2 at the Reedy Creek entrance to the park.

Preregistration will be required to be paired in the first round. To play in the first round you must register before 6:00pm EDT Friday, September 24th. Register online and read more details on the website. Jeff Kuang will be the Tournament Director for the six round tournament, with three games on Saturday and three games on Sunday. Players will have one hour main time, with five byo-yomi periods of 30 seconds each. This is an AGA rated tournament. Players should be sure they have a current AGA membership or renew their membership before the tournament begins at usgo.org.

Entry fees will be $25 for adults and $15 for youths and students. Players may register for a single day of play only for a reduced tournament fee of $15 for adults and $10 for youths and students. There will be generous cash prizes and trophies in all sections. Participants must attend both days to be eligible for prizes.

Since this is an open-air tournament, COVID risks are reduced. Organizers will provide masks and hand sanitizer and players are encouraged to use them. Players older than 12 years old must be vaccinated to participate. Lunch will be provided onsite on Saturday and Sunday, courtesy of the Triangle Go Group and the AGA. Players can join the group and enjoy easy communication with other area Go players at the Triangle Go Group Facebook page.

Kevin Yang 6d sweeps Matsuokai/Sakakibara Go Tournament in San Diego

Thursday September 2, 2021


Kevin Yang 6d went undefeated to win the San Diego Go Club Matsuokai/Sakakibara Go Tournament held at the San Diego Chess Club in Balboa Park on Sunday. Kevin beat his brother Tony Yang 5d – who finished tied for 2nd – in the final round of a strong Open Section to claim the championship. Adam Miller 3d, who flew in from Palo Alto, was the other second place finisher in the Open. A total of 42-players contested for the title in the first open in-person go tournament in Southern California in over a year.

Following Covid-19 protocols, all adults had to be vaccinated and everyone wore masks in the playing room. Many games were played one per table, and several players opted to play outdoors on the picnic tables. Bottles of hand sanitizer were available on every game table.

Two professional players were in attendance to watch their students play: Hai Li, a Chinese 5P, who has Go schools in Irvine and San Diego, and Han Han, also a Chinese 5P, newly arrived and living in Temecula, CA. “It was great to note that almost half of the players were youth and half of those were girls,” reports San Diego Go Club president Ted Terpstra. ‘Many of these young players were playing in their first AGA rated tournament and have now been added to the memberships of the AGA and SDGC.”

Winners in the Handicap Sections:

Division 1: 2-dan to 4-kyu
1st Place – Pasco Kwok 2d 
2nd Place – Lester C Lanphear 1k 
3rd Place – Enrique Garcia 3k

Division 2: 5-kyu to 9-kyu
1st Place – Angel Shunying Zhou 5k 
2nd Place – Angelina Zhao 5k 
3rd Place – Warren T Andrews 6k 

Division 3: 10-kyu to 24-kyu
1st Place – Zoe Tan 15k 
2nd Place – Lucia Moscola 10k 
3rd Place – David Saponara 17k

Southern California Go tournaments coming up:
The Dapu Cup North America Go Open: Sunday, October 17, 2021 in Temecula
4th Annual California Go Championship: November 27&28, 2021, San Diego

-report and photos by Ted Terpstra



New lectures by Michael Redmond 9P and Tsuruyama Atsushi 8P sponsored by INAF

Thursday September 2, 2021

The Iwamoto North American Foundation (INAF) is pleased to sponsor two more lectures produced by the Nihon Kiin. The first, “the Art of Sacrificing Stones,” is a dan-level lecture in English by Michael Redmond 9P based on a game between the greatest master of the Edo period, Honinbo Dosaku (本因坊道策), and the multi-talented genius Yasui Santetsu (安井算哲). The second, “Useful Techniques for Capturing Race” by Tsuruyama Atsushi 8-dan, is a kyu-level lecture given in Japanese with English subtitles.

-report and screenshots provided by Thomas Hsiang

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Feng Yun 9P on the Chinese Opening (Part Two)

Wednesday September 1, 2021

Part Two of Feng Yun’s multipart analysis of the Chinese Opening. This is her first series as a new contributor to the AGA E-Journal.

Feng Yun 9p is one of the very few women 9p players in the world and is the only one who is a US resident. She runs a highly regarded go school in the USA, and teaches online: including private lessons, classes, and summer workshops. Her school can be found online here.

[link]

50 years aGO – August 1971

Monday August 30, 2021

By Keith L. Arnold, hka, with Patrick Bannister

Ōtake Hideo defends the All Japan First Place Title
Ōtake Hideo defends the All Japan First Place Title

From August 10 we see Ōtake Hideo 9d in triumph over Katō Masao 7d in the All Japan First Place Title. Ōtake’s 2-0 victory meant that he now had held the title for 4 straight years. (Game records: Game 1, Game 2.)

The first game of the Meijin Title took place on August 20 and 21. Fujisawa Shūkō, the title holder, confidently dominated his young challenger, Rin Kaihō…until he made one of his fateful blunders on move 131, going on to lose the game. Sakata Eio watches as Rin shares his thoughts with a dismayed Shūkō. (Game record: Meijin Game 1.)

Rin Kaihō wins Meijin Game 1
Rin Kaihō wins Meijin Game 1

On August 15, the ladies of Koyukai once again took on the best foreign players for the fourth time. The games ended 4-4-2 so for the first time the guests did not win. Wins by notables Manfred Wimmer, Horst Mueller, and James Davies were offset by losses by Richard Bozulich and James Kerwin.

On 29 to 30 August, Nihon Ki’in’s young professional players went on a biking trip at the Cycle Sports Center in Izu, by invitation from the Japan Bicycling Promotional Association (Nihon Jitensha Shinkōkai, which later would be absorbed into the present-day Japan Keirin Autorace Foundation).

Nihon Ki'in's young professionals on a biking trip
Nihon Ki’in young professional players on a biking trip

Photos courtesy of Go Review, Go Weekly, and Igo Club, game records thanks to GoGod

Go Spotting: GOD, HUMAN, ANIMAL, MACHINE: Technology, Metaphor, and the Search for Meaning

Thursday August 26, 2021

“Imagine sitting down to a game of Go,” writes Becca Rothfeld in The New York Times, “not in a cafe or a park, where you could banter with your adversary or discuss strategy with onlookers, but alone in front of a screen. Your opponent is not a person but an algorithm, AlphaGo, a program created by Google’s machine-learning subsidiary, DeepMind. Squinting into the cool glare of your monitor, you manipulate digital pieces. You touch nothing tangible: You are unable to scrutinize the expressions of your faceless competitor.”

“These, roughly, are the strange and surgical circumstances under which Lee Sedol, one of the best Go players in the world, was vanquished in a best-of-five match in 2016,” Rothfeld writes. “As the essayist and cultural critic Meghan O’Gieblyn reports in her nimble new book, ‘God, Human, Animal, Machine: Technology, Metaphor, and the Search for Meaning,’ one former Go champion watched the game and exclaimed that AlphaGo’s winning maneuver was “not a human move.” Read the rest of the review here.

Thanks to Ted Terpstra for sending this in.

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Second North American Youth Open to be held on KGS September 4th, registration closes September 1st

Wednesday August 25, 2021

The North American Youth Go Open is an annual open tournament sponsored by the American Go Foundation for all young players of all levels under the age of 18. “Since the US Youth Go Championship was discontinued many years ago, we all missed having it,” says Stephanie Yin. “The goal for the NAYO is to provide an opportunity for young players to once again compete in a high-standard North American tournament. We are proud to host the 2nd NAYO this year and believe to make this event the largest open youth Go tournament in North America.” Originally intended as a face-to-face competition, the first tournament was held online due to the pandemic. Organizers plan to hold the tournament in-person in the future, sponsored by the New York Institute of Go as well as the American Go Foundation.

The day will begin with a short and greeting ceremony, which all participants can join, at 11:30 – 11:45 AM EDT on Saturday, September 4, 2021. There is no rank requirement to enter. The top three players in each division – based on rank – will receive certificates and trophies. For registration, schedule, and rules, tournament video requirements, please visit the tournament website. Registration will close Wednesday, September 1. “Players can join other young fighters preparing for the tournament at the NYIG summer Go camp!” concludes Yin.

-report by Stephanie Yin