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UCLA Claims Second Collegiate Go League Championship

Wednesday May 29, 2019

UCLA’s CGL Team: Paul Chin (back left); Ying Ngai Yu 7d (front left); Xinyu Liu 7d (front right); Lionel Zhang 6d (back right)

UCLA continued to display the strength of its premier Go club with a triumphant 2-1 victory over University of Chicago in the 2019 Collegiate Go League Championship Finals. UCLA entered the league in 2014, and has made the finals every year except 2017. They won the title in 2016, but have been seeking the winning magic touch to clinch another title ever since.

For University of Chicago, this was its first Finals appearance after joining the CGL in 2016. Leveraging the strength of first board Zirui Song 1p, 2018 US Open Masters champion, University of Chicago managed to defeat UCLA’s first board, Ying Ngai Yu 7d. However, the depth of UCLA’s roster proved overwhelming with decisive victories by Xinyu Liu 7d and Lionel Zhang 6d over Cheuk To Tsui 4d and Henry Li 4d respectively.

Paul Chin, UCLA’s Team Captain and President of the UCLA Go Club expressed gratitude to the Korean Baduk Association and Ahn Dalhoon 9p in particular for visiting the club to play and teach the members. Paul added, “We welcome anyone in the area to come play with us on Friday nights at 6:30 pm in room 6201 of the Mathematical Sciences building while school is in session.”

Meanwhile, University of Maryland defeated Brigham Young University 2-1 in a series of extremely close games to claim the B League title. This is UMD’s first B League title after having won the A League championship in 2015.

The Collegiate Go League is an online league held on KGS for universities in North America. Matches are 3 against 3 and all undergraduate and graduate students of a university are eligible to participate on their respective school’s roster. Season 9 will start in October 2019 with 10 rounds roughly every two weeks (with a winter break in the middle) and will culminate with the championship playoffs in April 2020. There is both an A League for dan-level teams and a B League for kyu-level teams. Registration for Season 9 will close on September 25th. – Justin Teng, AGA Youth Coordinator

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Redmond Cup prelims down to the wire entering final round

Saturday May 25, 2019

The final round of the 26th Redmond Cup Preliminaries has just started, and the race for the finalist spots in both the Junior and Senior divisions are still up for grabs, with no guaranteed finalists yet. In the Senior division, 3rd Redmond Meijin Aaron Ye 7d remains undefeated at 5-0, but will have to overcome 2018 AGA Girls Cup runner-up Melissa Cao 3d (currently 4-1) to guarantee a spot in the finals. Cao has had a fantastic tournament so far, defeating 4-time Junior Redmond Cup Champion Ary Cheng 6d and 2018 US Open Champion Brandon Zhou 5d in the previous two rounds. 2018 Redmond Cup runner-up Jeremy Chiu 6d and Richie Lou 5d also have a 4-1 record as well, and will play each other to move into a likely finalist position.  A victory for Melissa Cao in this round would result in a 3-way tie for first place, so a playoff would determine the two finalists the week following the final round. For both Ye and Chiu, this is the last year that they are eligible to compete in the Redmond Cup as both will turn 18 in 2020. Both of them have participated in the Redmond Cup since 2011 and combined taken 9 of the 16 finalist spots over their 8 years of competing. Should they both qualify for the finals this year, it would be Chiu’s final chance to defeat Ye in this tournament, having lost the two previous encounters in 2014 and 2018. 

The Junior division preliminaries is about as exciting as it can get. After Ary Cheng 6d’s four-year reign over the tournament before graduating to the Senior division, the field has been left wide open for new blood to take the throne. After 5 rounds, no player is undefeated and there is potential for a 6-way tie at a 4-2 score. Currently, Kevin Huang 6d and Ben Gong 3d lead the pack at 4-1, but Yuxin Fu 5d, Frederick Bao 4d (2018 Junior Redmond Cup runner-up), Kosuke Sato 3d, Duc Minh Vo 2d, and Alex Qi 2d are all chasing them at 3-2 records. The final round will pit Huang against Fu and Gong against Bao, and it will be up to Fu and Bao to force a tiebreaker playoff with victories.

When the dust settles, four finalists will be invited to the 2019 US Go Congress in Madison, Wisconsin in July to compete in a best-of-3 Finals. Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion of this year’s preliminary tournament. – Justin Teng, AGA Youth Coordinator

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EGF takes lead in Transatlantic Pro Team championship

Sunday April 7, 2019

Mateusz Surma 2P from the European Go Federation (EGF) defeated Andy Liu 1P in the first round of the 2019 Transatlantic Professional Go Team Championship on Sunday, April 7. The game was played live and broadcast by the AGA on Twitch with host Nick Sibicky and commentator Eric Lui 1P. More than 12,000 viewers observed the nail-biting game that lasted more than three hours.

In early mid-game, Surma’s mis-steps in the upper right corner led to Liu’s advantage, building strong shape in the center. However, Surma persisted, collecting points on both the right and left sides, and perfectly timing a deep invasion into Liu’s territory on the lower side. The invasion led to a complex fight when both players were in byoyomi. A series of ko fights created huge exchanges that were much favorable for Surma, and Liu resigned.

The AGA’s next player will be Calvin Sun 1P, and Surma will be playing with Black in the next round, scheduled for April 14, 14:00 EDT on KGS in the Transatlantic Pro Team room, and broadcast live on Twitch. All videos of the live streaming will also be available on YouTube.

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Applications open for 17th World Students Go Oza Championship prelim

Wednesday September 26, 2018

The 17th World Students Go Oza Championship will be held from Feb 18 to 22, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan.  Sixteen students from around the world will come together in Japan to decide the world’s number one student player.  To select the 16 students, an online preliminary round will be held on Pandanet.  Two students from the Americas will be selected; their airfare and accommodations will be covered by the event organizers.  Click here  for details and here for the entry form . The application deadline is Oct 21. Students under the age of 30 and currently enrolled in an American university/college may participate in the preliminary round, irrespective of their nationality.

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Moments from the MLily Cup: Days three and four

Saturday August 26, 2017

fullsizeoutput_c0dHua Xueming 7P’s Go philosophy is familiar
“No matter who I play with, if I’m playing a game of Go I am enjoying myself,” Hua Xueming 7P said through a translator during the Ruilong Primary School visit. “Even just last night I played four games, until midnight!” In the discussion room during the top eight round, she played a four-stone game with Jeff Shaevel (photo top right). Competition Officer Liu Jing 8P expressed similar feelings at the event, emphasizing that when he sees children playing and enjoying Go it makes him happy, because it reminds him of when he played as a child and how much he enjoyed it.

fullsizeoutput_c10Players began the top eight round with choosing for color
All in unison, following announcements of Wang Runan 8P, President of the Chinese Weiqi Association, players took stones from their bowls to choose for color, arranged the bowls appropriately, and started their clocks to begin the top eight round games. Park Jungwhan 9P and Chen Zijian 4P chose black and white respectively (photo top left).

Nie Weiping 9P joins the discussion room
In the discussion room during the top 16 matches, Hua Xueming played a go game with tournament sponsor Ni Zhanggen while everyone watched the tournament games projected on a fullsizeoutput_c1ascreen at the front of the room. During the top eight matches Hua Xueming 7P, Nie Weiping 9P, and Yu Bing 9P focused on a lively review of the tournament games in progress (photo bottom right).

fullsizeoutput_c16Semi-finalists chosen and paired
Competition Officer Liu Jing 8P introduced each of the four semi-finalists and prepared the box from which each player would choose their position and opponent for the best-of-three semi-final round (photo bottom left).
report/photos by Karoline Li, EJ Tournaments Bureau Chief

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MLily Cup: Final four players chosen and paired

Saturday August 26, 2017

fullsizeoutput_c0cPark Jungwhan 9P, Park Yonghun 9P, Li Xuanhao 6P, and Xie Ke 3P were victorious in their top eight games on Saturday afternoon 8/26. After all the games were finished, the players drew lots to choose their matches for the next round, which will be best of three matches; games will take place on November 17th, 19th, and 20th.

Pairings for the top four best of three matches (photo, left to right):
Li Xuanhao 6P vs Park Yonghun 9P
Xie Ke 3P vs Park Jungwhan 9P
report/photo by Karoline Li, EJ Tournaments Bureau Chief

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Adventures in Tongling City and a very short birthday

Saturday August 26, 2017

IMG_0792by Karoline LiIMG_0799

Down the street from our hotel Jeff Shaevel and I found the One Two Book Cafe, where we hoped to find good coffee to complement our otherwise local – and entirely delicious – culinary adventures here in Tongling. The cafe is also a bookstore and local hangout for young people to come and play games, on top of being a lovely coffeehouse. Jeff and I found ourselves there a couple of mornings when our schedule allowed, and were delighted – but not surprised – to find a Go set at one of the tables, on which he promptly trounced me two games in a row. However, our time there was not only a celebration of Go and good coffee; a room at the back of the cafe is festooned with balloons and stuffed animals and is specially designated as the Happy Birthday room. We looked no further for how to properly acknowledge Jeff’s recently under-celebrated birthday, which had begun only a few minutes prior to the boarding of our flight on Monday August 21 and as a result lasted only a few hours and was over by the time we landed.
report/photos by Li, EJ Tournaments Coordinator

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MLily Cup top eight matches begin

Saturday August 26, 2017

IMG_0975The final top eight players of the MLily Cup begun their games the morning of August 26th in Tongling at 12:30 on the dot. A clock issue that interrupted the game between Fan Yunruo 6P and Park Yonghun 9P in the first few minutes was quickly rectified by the competition officer and the game progressed smoothly.
photo: Park Jungwhan 9P begins his top eight match against Chen Zijian 4P
report/photo by Karoline Li, EJ Tournaments Bureau Chief

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A glimpse of the go-playing students of China during the MLily Cup day off

Friday August 25, 2017

fullsizeoutput_bedby Karoline Li

On Friday 8/25, the day off between the top 16 and top eight MLily Cup games, Jeff Shaevel and I were invited to accompany a delegation of professionals and tournament organizers on a student-centric trip around the city of Tongling. Members of the group included President of the Chinese Weiqi Association Wang Runan 8P, Vice President Nie Weiping 9P, captain of Chinese national Go team Hua Xueming 7P, and coach of the Chinese national Go team Yu Bing 9P. Our first stop was a hotel in the city where Anhui province’s student tournament was held. We were ushered upstairs to a tournament room filled with hundreds of young students sitting at Go boards (photo top right), who applauded enthusiastically at the entrance of the professional players. Wang Runan spoke to open the event, and amid more thunderous applause and the start of games, the pros and their entourage exited.

fullsizeoutput_beeOur second stop was at Ruilong Primary School, where Hua Xueming (photo top left), Wang Runan, and Yu Bing played simultaneous games with the students. The organizer of the event first introduced the professionals to the room, and welcomed Jeff and I as representatives of the AGA; a translator told me afterwards that Wang Runan had spoken of his pleasure that we were there and the positive communication happening between China and America through Go evidenced by our presence. Then the children sat down at prepared Go boards, and each of the three pros took their places. I spoke with one of the teachers in attendance, who let me know that most of the students were between six and eight years old, and all beginner level go players. There were two empty boards on a table in the corner of the room, and when two students who had just come to observe asked Jeff for a simul, he happily obliged. Their table was soon surrounded with the students’ friends watching them play, and parents taking pictures.

fullsizeoutput_bf2The enjoyment in the room, on the part of both the students and the professionals, was palpable at both events of the day. Seeing the way Go is treated by teachers and students in schools as an important and worthy activity was truly wonderful to witness. It made me feel grateful for the teachers in America who spend the time and effort to introduce Go programs in school and bring students into the game. With the continued hard work of our Teachers of the Year, and all those who have not yet received the honor – but put in so many hours to teach Go to children and promote Go programs in Schools like the one Stephanie Yin 1P is introducing in New York City this year – perhaps one day we can have a student community of Go players in the US like the one that Jeff and I witnessed here in Tongling City.
IMG_0912photo (bottom right): Wang Runan 8P, President of Chinese Weiqi Association, reviews a simultaneous game with a student
-photo (bottom left): Jeff Shaevel, AGA National Tournament Coordinator, plays a simultaneous game with two students while friends look on.
-report/photos by Li, EJ Tournaments Bureau Chief

 

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MLily Cup: Pairings decided for top eight match Saturday 8/26

Friday August 25, 2017

Eight players, six from China and two from Korea, will face off in the next round of the MLily Cup on Saturday afternoon 8/26 at 12:30pm. The strength of the young generation of Chinese professionals is evident in the results of the tournament so far; all of the Chinese players in the top eight were born after 1995.

Top eight round pairings:
Chen Zijian 4P of China vs. Park Jungwhan 9P of Korea
Li Xuanhao 6P of China vs. Huang Xin 4P of China
Liao Yuanhe 5P of China vs. Xie Ke 3P of China
Fan Yunruo 6P of China vs. Park Yonghun 9P of Korea

 

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