American Go E-Journal » U.S./North America

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 

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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

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2021 Pro Qualification Plans Announced

Friday March 5, 2021

The North American Go Federation (NAGF) has announced its intention to certify one new professional player through a Pro Qualification tournament this Summer at the National Go Center in Washington D.C.

Any player who is eligible and interested in participating in the tournament must submit this application form by April 1, 2021 to be considered for entrance. For more information on the tournament, including eligibility requirements, please click here. Final details of the competition, along with the selected contestants, will be announced in May.

-report by Hajin Lee

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New AGA Chapters for February 2021

Monday March 1, 2021

The AGA is regularly asked for new chapters around the country. These are the newly registered chapters from February 2021:


Midway Go Club – We are located in Chicago with meetings upcoming. They are Online for now. Will be at the Japanese Culture Center at 1016 W BELMONT AVE – CHICAGO, IL 60657 – Contact William Shehan

Members should check their information from time to time. If you are not receiving the EJ make sure your email is up to date. Chapters can always update their current chapter through the AGA Membership Manager if they have changed.

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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.

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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

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A new Winter Olympic sport?

Monday February 22, 2021

According to AI analysis, cooler areas of the board are lower priorities for play, but when Audrey Wang and Milan Mladenović took to the icy waters of Walden Pond for a game last Saturday, it was a real challenge finding hotspots.

“Milan and I played for over 15 minutes and he resigned,” Wang reported on Facebook. “The first few minutes were intense but after that my body settled in and got used to it. It’s really not that bad. Milan and some other people do this every Saturday at Walden Pond, inspired by the Wim Hof breathing technique and his ice training. It’s believed to be really good for the body.”

“This is my first time in ice water,” said Wang, “but I was in cold water before and it was better than previous times because my hands were not in the water and I was really only half in the water this time.”

“I did it this time for art, not for health benefits,” she added. “But my body felt amazing afterwards. Victory also tastes better when it requires extra work.”

NOTE: Wang and Mladenović are in a pandemic pod; observers were socially distanced. The AGA strongly urges masking and social distancing for everyone’s safety.
photos by Ken Lucas

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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

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2021 online e-Go Congress announced

Tuesday February 16, 2021

2019 Congress in Madison, WI

The AGA today announced that the 2021 US e-Go Congress will be held online July 17-24. With the pandemic continuing, the AGA has determined this is the safest for all of its players. The Congress Coordinator is working with this year’s director “to prepare and plan another excellent year of lots of Go,” organizers report.

“Last year’s e-Go Congress was a great success,” said AGA Congress Coordinator Lisa Scott, “and we’re thrilled to be able to build on that for another year.  We’re all looking forward to being back in person at a US Go Congress when it’s safe to do so, but in the meantime, it’s wonderful to be able to involve so many people, in North America and around the world, who might not be able to attend an in-person Congress.  I can’t wait to see everyone online this summer, and in-person next year!” 

Tournaments will include a weekend “Open” tournament, a weekday daytime “blitz” tournament, evening 9×9, Pair Go, Double-Digit Kyu tournaments, professional events, a daytime youth event and the City League Tournament Championships. Tournaments will be held on KGS, OGS, and Pandanet. “We hope to see many friends and repeat players from last year,” say organizers. Watch the E-Journal and the Go Congress website for more information. 

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AGA and CGA announce the North American Go Federation

Saturday February 6, 2021

The American Go Association and the Canadian Go Association are pleased to announce the formation of the North American Go Federation (NAGF), a governing body representing Go across North America.

The NAGF will inherit the joint professional system of the American Go Association and the Canadian Go Association and will work on growing and enriching this system. In addition, the NAGF will work to develop and support Go competitions for both elite players and amateur fans in North America. NAGF will also be the vehicle for choosing North American representatives for international events, while the AGA and the CGA will continue to select for invitations directed to them individually.

“For hundreds of years, countries in East Asia have celebrated those who achieve mastery in Go, and we believe the highest achieving Go players in North America deserve recognition as well,” says the NAGF’s Chair of the Board and American Go Association President Andy Okun. “The Canadian Go Association is pleased to have a formal structure around the collaboration which has always existed between the AGA and CGA, and are looking forward to what we can achieve together,” adds James Sedgwick, President of the Canadian Go Association.

Regional Go associations such as the European Go Federation and the Ibero-American Go Federation have brought tremendous improvements to the development of Go in their respective communities. The intention of the NAGF is to learn from these organizations and collaborate with them when opportunities present themselves.

For more information on the NAGF, please visit the official website, or send an email to contact@nagofed.org.

-report by Hajin Lee 4P

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