American Go E-Journal » Other

Go at the Cherry Blossom Festival

Saturday March 20, 2021

by Ted Terpstra

For the tenth year in a row, the San Diego Go Club has taught Go to interested people attending the annual Japanese Friendship Garden’s Cherry Blossom Festival in Balboa Park in San Diego. Thousands streamed through the blossoming Japanese cherry trees, blooming azaleas, and wisteria from Friday morning until Sunday at dusk. Everyone was required to be masked and socially distanced.

All who sat down for a go lesson were given a free copy of “The Way To Go” by Karl Baker. This 50-page booklet, which is provided for free to AGA chapters by the AGF, has everything a person new to Go needs to enjoy the game: Go history, rules of the game, examples, references to online Go sites, a glossary of Go terms, and the path to finding Go clubs in the USA.

The annual Cherry Blossom Festival is one of several community outreach programs the San Diego Go Club participates in. The effort results in new club members and new AGA memberships. Hopefully, by Thanksgiving, the Fourth Annual California Go Championship, sponsored by SDGC, will be held face-to-face.

-photos provided by Ted Terpstra


Latin American Go teachers announce pan-American youth team league, registration open until March 20

Sunday March 7, 2021

Diego Albuja of Ecuador, Paola Sarmiento of Colombia, and Sid Avila of México invite players of all the countries of the Americas and the Caribbean to take part in the Liga Panamericana de Go por Equipos Sub 18 “SIRIO” (U18 Pan-American Go Team League Sirio), a Go team league from March to July of 2021 with rounds to be played the last Sunday of each month. Teams of three players under 18 years of age can enter in the following three divisions: Division 19×19 for teams with players from 13 kyu and above; Division 13×13 for teams with players from 19 kyu to 14 kyu; and Division 9×9 for teams with players from 30 kyu to 20 kyu.

The organizers have set up a dedicated group on OGS where games will take place. Registration is open until March 20th. An adult responsible for the players should register the team here.

Round 1: March 28, from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm EDT
Round 2: April 25, from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm EDT
Round 3: May 30, from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm EDT
Round 4: June 27, from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm EDT
Round 5: July 25, from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm EDT

The first game on the day of the matches will be played from official pairings. After finishing the paired game, players may play up to two more self-paired games with appropriate handicaps among other players in their division. They can send challenges freely and victories in these games will count as points for their teams.

The full rules and regulations and the tournament website are available in Spanish. Organizers recommend using Google translate or a similar tool to read the rules in English. If any questions remain, contact the organizers at


Zixuan Gao sweeps 2021 Eastern Youth Open

Friday March 5, 2021

On February 21, the Eastern Youth Open (EYO) tournament, hosted by New York Go Association, took place online on KGS due to the pandemic. Eighty youth players of all different levels from across North America participated. After 4 rounds of competition, Zixuan Gao 5d took first place, her second recent championship following her performance in the Young Lions Tournament in November of 2020. Below are the results of all seven divisions.

Division A
1st Place: Zixuan Gao
2nd Place: Brady Zhang
3rd Place: Alexander Qi

Division B
1st Place: Jenny Li
2nd Place: Ethan Whitman, Juanshu Lan (tie)

Division C
1st Place: Albert Tang
2nd Place: Evan Tan
3rd Place: Stephanie Tan

Division D
1st Place: Sebastian Liang
2nd Place: Jason Liu
3rd Place: Alex Fan-Cui

Division E
1st Place: Ernest Lam
2nd Place: Juliet Zhang
3rd Place: Hector Lampert-Bates

Division F
1st Place: Naomi Hsieh
2nd Place: Yiting Liu
3rd Place: Duan Gao

Division G
1st Place: Woody Yin
2nd Place: Noah Carrafa
3rd Place: Kye Tang 

-photo provided by Zixuan Gao
-report by Stephanie Yin and Rachel Li 


Registration Open until March 11 for 2021 San Diego Go Championship to be held online

Friday March 5, 2021

Registration is now open for the 2021 San Diego Go Championship hosted by the San Diego Go Club. This will be the 10th annual San Diego city championship. In 2019, the Open section featured one player with a rating of 10 dan – who finished 4th – and five 6 dans out of a total of 10 players. The handicap section had another 55 players. 

This is an online 5 round tournament. One round will be played a week for five weeks beginning March 13. AGA Membership is required. There will be no entry fee and no cash prizes, but any AGA member can play to become the San Diego Go Champion. Redesigned 2017 U.S. Go Congress – San Diego t-shirts will be awarded to section winners as well as U16 Girls and U16 Boys winners. 

There will be an Open section – in which five 6 dans have already registered – and a Handicap section in which all levels are welcome. Players must register by 11:59 p.m. PDT by March 11, 2021 to play in the first online round. Late registrants can play in any other round. Byes are acceptable if needed. Free registration is open at GoClubsOnline.

The Open winner will become the 2021 San Diego Go Champion, with their name on a perpetual plaque along with past winners: Mark Lee 10d, Chengjie Huang 7d, Ari Saito 7d, Leran Zou 7d, Yi Wang 6, and Yixian Zhou 6d.

-report by Ted Terpstra


Registration opens for the sixth New York Go League

Saturday February 27, 2021

Registration is open again for the New York Go League! Now in its sixth iteration, players can expect to play one round robin game per week with players of similar rank over the two-month league. The organizers continue to hope that organized competitive play can endure even during the pandemic and plan to offer small prizes to the winners of each division, which in the past have included discounts for New York Institute of Go lessons and programs. Registration is open to anyone with a stable rank with any association or online go server.

The New York Go League is organized and run by the New York Go Honor Society, with the first iteration beginning in May of 2020 with over 80 players. Registration for the league will be open until March 13th and the league will officially begin the week of March 15th. Interested players can click here to read the rules and regulations, and click here to register.


2021 South Central Go Tournament On-Line draws 76 players

Friday February 26, 2021

From 2016 to 2020, there were five consecutive South Central Go Tournaments held in Dallas over the weekend preceding Presidents’ Day. In 2021, because the pandemic rendered in person play unsafe, the tournament was held online February 13 and 14. Altogether there were 76 players – 16 in the Open Section ranging in strength from 8d to 3d, and 60 in the Handicap Section, ranging in strength from 3d to 24k. The online format allowed wide participation; 73 players from the USA from 16 different states, two players from Canada, and one from Vietnam. There were 28 players aged 13 and under, and 17 double digit kyu players.

The champion in the Open Section was Alexander Qi, who was also the top player aged 13 and under. Kevin Yang finished second, and Zhixun Zhao took third place overall but captured the title of 2021 Texas State Champion as the highest placing Texas resident. “We were delighted to bring together such a wide range of players from so many places and with such a mix of Go experience,” said tournament organizer Bob Gilman.

-report and photos provided by Bob Gilman


Edward Zhang wins Virginia State Championship

Friday February 19, 2021

Edward Zhang 6d won Virginia State Championship finals over the holidays and is now the current Virginia State Champ with Qingbo Zhang 5d runner up for the second year in a row. The four competitors in the two-round knockout final won their spots by being the top finishing Virginia residents in the Virginia Open played in December. Games were played on OGS; the tournament was organized with the help of Baduk Club. Past champion Josh Lee 6d could not participate to defend his title as he has moved out of state. “I was disappointed with my prelim performance,” says champion Zhang, “But I wanted to inspire my 7-year-old daughter, who learned Go just a few weeks before, that daddy doesn’t just ‘talk the talk.'” Click here to see the final game between Edward Zhang 6d and Qingbo Zhang 5d.

-report by Gary Smith, photo provided by Edward Zhang


Clossius launches Western Dan Challenge, prizes up to $1200

Saturday January 16, 2021

To encourage players to play on western Go servers and support the western Go community, Shawn Ray (Clossius) has launched the Western Dan Challenge. Sponsored by Ray, and as a result of various donations, the prize pool has steadily increased to $1200, with prizes being added for more divisions of the event. One sponsor, Aneok, has added prizes for players who choose to play exclusively on OGS. Three divisions overall include a dan division, a single digit kyu division, and a double digit kyu division, with a prize available for most ranked games played in February. Click here for Ray’s Youtube video on the event.


  • Only games played in February will count
  • Must be a ranked game.
  • Must be on a western server like OGS or KGS
  • Must be on the same account. (Makes it easier to track)
  • Must not use AI. I will be having people check.
  • Minimum time settings of 1min 10sec x 5
  • Must use an overtime clock equivalent to the minimum time settings.
  • No Sudden Death
  • Only 19×19 games
  • Do not find flaws with the rules that defeat the spirit of the challenge.

Virginia showdown lights up Christmas weekend

Thursday December 24, 2020

The 2020 Virginia State Championship final is set in knock-out format on OGS on Saturday Dec. 26. After the Dec. 5 prelim – click here for results – four strong players have been invited to the final-four. Semi-finals start at 9am ET, and the final at 2:30 pm ET.

Players are welcome to watch and join in the chat on Baduk Club. Prior to the championship tournament, organizers reached out to all Virginia clubs and several language schools of major VA cities, to scout for more Go players who may have liked to compete. Joshua Lee is the defending VA champion from 2019, and though not in the competition this year, 2019 runner-up Qingbo Zhang has made it to the final four for a shot at the 2020 title.

report by Capital Go Club


Bo Luan 6d sweeps the 2020 California State Go Championship

Tuesday December 15, 2020

Bo Luan 6d of Carpinteria, California won all five of his games this weekend in the Third Annual California State Go Championship, which was hosted online by the San Diego Go Club. The top seven players in the Open Division were all over 6 dan. Finishing second in the Open was Zhengbokang Tang, 8d, (4-1) from Boulder Colorado and third was Yixian Zhou, 6d (3-2) – a familiar figure in the Southern California go scene.

The 50 competing players weren’t only Californians; players also hailed from New York, Vermont, Florida, and Oregon, and were from 7 to 75 years old. Handicap players who went undefeated at 5-0 were Patrick Ferl 1d, from Valley Village, California and David Rohlfing 8k from Dublin, Ohio.

Also selected from the Handicap ranks were the best Under-16 girl and boy:
Tianyi Tina Li 2020 U-16 California State Go Champion.
Alexander Lo 2020 U-16 California State Go Champion.

Registration, pairings for 5-rounds, tabulation of results and calculating tie-breakers for fifty players was made easy using the program. This is the third online tournament the San Diego Go Club has run for free since the pandemic has eliminated face-to-face competition. The other two were the San Diego Go Championship and the California Pair-Go Championship. The individual tournament results have been submitted to the new National Go Center online rating system. Although not rated by the AGA, the tournaments required AGA membership.

report by Ted Terpstra