American Go E-Journal » Go News

NYIG Open Go tournament set for April 21

Wednesday March 21, 2018

Registration is now open for the first New York Institute of Go Open Go Tournament, scheduled for Saturday April 21. Click here2018.03.18_nyig-graphic  to register. The tournament will be held at the New York Institute of Go, 255-05 Northern Blvd, 2FL, Little Neck, NY 11362. Space is limited to 90 players, “so please register early,” says TD Tianhao Xiong, adding “Players of all ages and all strengths welcome!” For more information please check or email


Hai Li 5P plans to spend more time teaching US amateurs after a successful US Go Congress experience

Tuesday March 20, 2018

4.pic_hdImpressed with the dedication and focus of amateur players at the US Go Congress, Hai Li 5P is planning on coming back to the US to teach in the LA area. Attendees at the 2017 US Go Congress in San Diego will recognize him as one of the pro teachers, and the leader of a large delegation of his students and their families from China. Fourteen students aged seven to eleven and ranging from 2d to 5d came with Mr. Li (photo at right) to the Go Congress and participated in many of the tournaments and youth events, including the US Open. According to Mr. Li, they had a wonderful experience and felt challenged by their tournament games, which Mr. Li hopes will motivate them to study even harder after their return to China. All fourteen students expressed the desire to return for the next Go Congress, and Mr. Li hopes that he can bring an even larger group of students to this year’s Go Congress in Williamsburg, VA.

While observing tournament games at the Go Congress in San Diego, Mr. Li was struck with the focus and attention given to the games by the amateur players, particularly the kyu-level players. As a teacher, Mr. Li has trained many top players, including Shi Yue 9P, but now focuses most of his teaching on his go school in Tianjin, China that he built from just three students. JinHai Go School now employs nine other professional teachers – seven full time, two on contract – who train over 200 students in the main campus and satellite campuses around Tianjin. The focus of the go school is young amateurs, based on the belief that training in go is beneficial for the formation of good habits – focus, manners, intelligence, and improved academic performance. 20180101_084503The students also train to improve their ranking, of course, which they can do at a large annual tournament around the turn of the new year. This past January, Mr. Li’s Bohai Rim Tianyuan Go Tournament (photo at left) concluded successfully, with nearly 800 players from Tianjin and five surrounding provinces participating – and even a few players from the US – participating. Mr. Li hopes that more go lovers from the US will attend the tournament in the future.

Mr. Li was moved by the importance with which the amateur players at the Go Congress treated the one-on-one playing experience, particularly the adult kyu-level players. This inspired him to return to the US to promote Go to these players and more generally, and he is hoping to help grow the American go player base more actively by starting a branch of his go school here in the US this year, beginning in the LA area. Stay tuned!

-photos provided by Hai Li 5P
-report by Karoline Li, Tournaments Bureau Chief


The Power Report (2/2): Iyama wins first Judan game; 73rd Honinbo League; 43rd Meijin League

Monday March 19, 2018

by John Power, special Japan correspondent for the E-Journal2018.03.19_56jyudan1_4

Iyama wins first Judan game: The Judan best-of-five got off to a start on March 6. It was played at the same venue as the Women’s Meijin game, as detailed above. These two titles share a sponsor, the Sankei Nerwspaper, and it has been the practice in recent years to link them in this way. The challenger is Murakawa Daisuke 8P, who has been the top young player at the Kansai Ki-in for some time now. This is his fourth title match with Iyama. His first challenge was the only successful one: he scored 3-2 and took the 62nd Oza title from Iyama in 2014, but the following year he lost it to him 0-3. He also lost the 41st Gosei title match to Iyama by the same margin in 2016. This is the reverse of the usual pattern, in which a young player fails in his first challenge but does better later. 2018.03.19_56jyudan1_5Murakawa’s record so far against Iyama is three wins to 14 losses: his only wins have come in their first title-match clash.
In the first Judan game, Murakawa drew black in the nigiri. The tenor of the game was set quite early when Iyama played a cleverly timed sequence that turned an earlier move of his into an efficient forcing move. After that, the game developed peacefully for a while, but that was misleading; in the end, it turned into a capturing race between two large groups. This was won by Iyama, so Murakawa had to resign after 156 moves. The second game will be played on March 22.

73rd Honinbo League: The Honinbo League is one round and one game away from finishing. As before, Ida Atsushi 8P has the provisional lead, but he hasn’t yet played his sixth-round game against Yamashita Keigo 9P. Motoki is on 4-1. Yamashita on 3-2, and Ko Iso 8P on 4-2. One of these three will be the challenger. Results of recent games are listed below.
(March 1) Ko Iso 8P (B) beat Shibano Toramaru 7P by resig.
(March 8) Motoki Katsuya 8P (B) beat Yo Seiki 7P by resig.; Kobayashi Satoru 9P (B) beat Hane Naoki 9P by resig.

43rd Meijin League: After four rounds of the league, two players share the lead: Cho U 9P and Shibano Toramaru 7P. both 2-0 (both have already had their byes). Recent results:
(March 1) Hane Naoki 9P (W) beat Yamashita Keigo 9P by resig.; Cho U 9P (W) beat Murakawa Daisuke 8P by resig.
(March 8) Kono Rin 8P (B) beat Takao Shinji 9P by resig.
(March 15) Shibano beat Yo Seiki (don’t have details yet).

To 3-dan: Tanimiya Ayako (40 wins; as of Feb. 27). Tanimiya earned her promotion after 37 years as 2-dan.


AlphaGo vs. AlphaGo; Game 17: Fun with kos

Sunday March 18, 2018

Michael Redmond 9p, hosted by the AGA E-Journal’s Chris Garlock, reviews the 17th game of the amazing AlphaGo vs. AlphaGo2018.03.16_AG-KJ-self-play17_screengrabselfplay games. “There’s a bit of fun with kos,” says Redmond. “And there’s a new move that’s become popular in pro play. It’s an interesting and close game and AlphaGo finds a very unusual way to finish it off.”

“Master versus Master games are my favorite go videos” says Alek Erickson. “I love these self-play games,” agrees Melinda Green. “Amazing game and beautiful analysis,” adds GerSHAK.

Click here for Redmond’s video commentary, and see below for the sgf commentary. To support this content, please consider joining or renewing your membership in the American Go Association; click here for details.

Video produced by Michael Wanek and Andrew Jackson. The sgf files were created by Redmond, with editing and transcription by Garlock and Myron Souris.



The Power Report (1/2): Korea wins Nong Shim Cup; Fujisawa defends 30th Women’s Meijin; Kato & Iyama win Pair Go

Sunday March 18, 2018

by John Power, special Japan correspondent for the E-Journal2018.03.18_19noshin10_1-2

Korea wins Nong Shim Cup:
  The final round of the 19th Nong Shim Spicy Noodles Cup was held in Shanghai from February 26 to March 1. Recently, victory in this three-way team tournament had been monopolized by China, but this time they were thwarted by Korea.
To recap, the first Korean player, Shin Min-jun 6P, gave his team a great start by winning all four games in the opening round, held from September 19 to 22. In the second round, held from November 24 to 28, he picked up two more wins before losing to Dang Yifei of China (at right in photo). Dang closed out this round with two more wins, so only two players had any success in the first two rounds.
In the first game of the final round, Game 10, Dang played Iyama Yuta 9P of Japan, who was his country’s last hope. Dang (W) won by resignation, so this was another international failure for Iyama, following on his loss in the LG final. In Game 11, played on February 27, Dang (W) beat Shin Jinseo 8P of Korea by resignation so he extended his winning streak to five games. In game 12 (February 28), Kim Jiseok 9P of Korea (W) scored a dramatic win over Dang by just half a point, so he prevented Dang from matching Shin’s record. In game 13, played on March 1, Kim (B) beat China’s top board, Ke Jie 9P by resignation. This secured Korea its first victory in the Nong Shim Cup since the 14th term without having to call upo2018.03.18_30fmeijin2_2n their top board, Park Junghwan. Korea scored eight wins to three losses, China 5-5, and Japan 0-5. Japan came third for the 12thyear in a row, but it was only the second time it failed to pick up even one win.

Fujisawa defends 30th Women’s Meijin: Recently, most of the women’s title matches have featured Xie Yimin playing Fujisawa Rina, but this year’s Women’s Meijin title match was different, with a member of an older generation trying to make a comeback. The challenger was Yashiro Kumiko (below left), who won a couple of titles over a decade ago, and the defender was Fujisawa Rina, who holds three of the top five women’s titles. The first game 2018.03.18_30fmeijin2_3was played on February 28 in the Arisu Building at the Heian Jogakuin University, an Anglican-linked women’s university also known as St. Agnes’ University. The Arisu Building is a former nobleman’s resident that is on the campus. According to Go Weekly, Fujisawa’s play “overflowed with fighting spirit.” She held the initiative throughout and forced a resignation after 196 moves (she had white). The second game, which was played on the campus of the Osaka University of Commerce on March 7, developed differently, with Yashiro taking the lead. However, she let Fujisawa pull off an upset late in the game and win by 3.5 points. This meant that Fujisawa defended her title with straight wins. Surprisingly, this is her first successful defence, which is not what you would expect of a player who not so long ago held four of the top five women’s titles. First prize is 3,500,000 yen (about $32,000).

Kato & Iyama win Pair Go: The final of the Professional Pair Go Championship 2018 was held at the Nihon Ki-in in Ichigaya, Tokyo, on March 4. This is a knockout tournament, with 16 pairs competing. Reaching the final were the Kato Keiko 6P/Iyama Yuta 9P pair and the Suzuki Ayumi 7 P/Ko Iso 9P pair. The latter drew black in the nigiri, but lost a game full of hectic fighting. They resigned after 218 moves.

Tomorrow: Iyama wins first Judan game; 73rd Honinbo League; 43rd Meijin League

Categories: Japan,John Power Report

San Diego club promotes go at Cherry Blossom Festival

Sunday March 18, 2018

For the seventh year in a row, the San Diego Go Club had several tables for demonstrating and teaching go during the annual 2018.03.18_san-diego-cherry-blossomCherry Blossom Festival this weekend at the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park. This year the festival stretched over three days: Friday – Sunday. The club was given a choice spot, just inside the entrance, right next to a crowd favorite: the large well-stocked koi pond. Thousands of people streamed through the garden, even coming through a light rain on Saturday (Note: plastic go stones do not float on wet vinyl go boards.)

Club members played demonstration games against go playing visitors as well as taught go to people who had heard of the game but never played. Dozens of copies of “A Way to Go,” the go pamphlet given to AGA chapters every year by the AGF, were distributed. The club added several new potential players to its email list.

- photo: Long-time AGA member (AGA #439)  Les Lanphear III (right) playing a serious game with a visitor from Minnesota; report/photos by Ted Terpstra, President, San Diego Go Club


Ki Choi tops Davis/Sacramento Go Club Spring Tournament

Sunday March 18, 2018

The Davis/Sacramento Go Club held its Spring Tournament at the North Highlands-Antelope library on March 3. There was a 2018.03.18_Ki Young Choi-croppedfield of eight players including Valerie Wong, who was playing in her first AGA tournament. Two 2018.03.18_Tyler Moore-croppedpatrons of the library expressed interest, and were given copies of “The Way to Go” and a brief introduction the game. The Upper Division was won by Ki Choi 2d (right), with a 2-2 record and the Lower Division by Tyler Moore 4k (left), with a 3-1 record.
- Willard Haynes


Chicago Math Teachers Learn Go

Saturday March 17, 2018

IMG_20180210_105212038“As an educator, I have been advocating using go as a math manipulative in schools, and dreaming about the day that students in every classroom will learn go,” writes 2015 AGF Teacher of the Year Xinming Simon Guo. At the Metropolitan Mathematics Conference of Workshops, an annual event for math educators in the greater Chicago area, professor Xiuwen Wu and Guo organized a workshop for teachers in February. “Teachers in the workshop had never heard about go. We first showed teachers how to play, and then they explored how the game is related to math standards in schools. After several games on mini boards, I shared the most important conclusion from our prior research — about 60% of math content from kindergarten to third grade can be covered in just one game. I also showed some authentic classroom videos on kids learning and playing go for further discussion.”

“My co-speaker professor Wu shared her experience on how to use go in  teacher preparation methods courses, and shared pre-service teachers’ suggestions on how to integrate go in math instruction. Finally, she highlighted the benefits of this game-based learning method, including student ownership of learning, wide coverage of math standards, low cost and easy maintenance. Classroom teachers, especially in early elementary grades, are in the ideal position to implement this teaching method. We need to raise awareness among educators involved in making decisions about effective math learning tools and materials, including teachers, school administrators, district education directors and superintendents. As educators learn about go, they will come to see the ease with which teachers can use the game to teach every learner a multitude of math concepts and skills,” adds Guo. - Paul Barchilon, EJ Youth Editor.  Photo by Xinming Simon Guo


Jung Hoon Lee wins Colorado Spring Tournament

Sunday March 11, 2018

Jung Hoon Lee 7D won the Colorado Spring Tournament held on March 10th in Denver, CO, topping a field of 29 players. 2018.03.11_CO-spring-tourney

Complete results:
Dan section:
1st: Jung Hoon Lee, 7D
2nd: Kent Evenson, 1D

Single-digit Kyu section:
1st: Lev Marcus, 8K

2nd: Hannah Jung, 9K
Double-digit Kyu section:
1st: Issac Hatfield, 14K
2nd: Levi Goncharov, 27K
reported by Eric Wainwright, Chapter president, Boulder Go Club

Hongkui Zheng tops Zheng Go Championship

Wednesday March 7, 2018

Hongkui Zheng took top honors in the 5th Zheng Go Championship, formerly known as the Southern California Go 2018.03.07_Zheng CupChampionship. Held March 3 and 4, the Zheng Go Championship took place at the Back Bay Conference Center in Irvine, California.  A record 84 participants came from Southern California as well as travelers from the SF Bay Area, San Diego and Arizona.   Sponsored as in recent years by Jay Zheng, it was organized by Yixian Zhou and directed by Kevin Chao.  Shirley Lin 1p was the resident professional and played simuls with participants after the last round on Saturday.

High Dan Section
1st Hongkui Zheng; 2nd Hoon-Hee Jo; 3rd Yixian Zhou; 4th Yufei Jin; 5th Chenglie Huang; 6th Xiaocheng Hu
Dan section: 1st Josiah Frias; 2nd Jiale Chen; 3rd Troy Zheng; 4th King Bi; 5th Michael Sato; 6th Yuan Yuancheng
Kyu section 1: 1st Yike Deng; 2nd Ted Terpstra; 3rd Barnett Yang; 4th Darwin Kim
Kyu section 2: 1st Zongren Huang; 2nd Lujia Chen; 3rd William Gundberg; 4th Cody Frias
Kyu section 3: 1st Kevin Yang; 2nd Ethan Wong; 3rd Tony Yang; 4th Andy Zhou

photo by Jack Chao (l-r): TD Kevin Chao, Shirley Lin 1p,  champion Hongkui Zheng, sponsor Jay Zheng, organizer Yixian Zhou.