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

MA State Championship: It takes a village

Wednesday November 20, 2019

The 2019 MA State Championship on Saturday, November 16, was a huge success with a healthy turnout of 30 players, the biggest tournament in Western Massachusetts in years. It was hosted by the Western Mass Go Association (WMGC) at Springfield College.  Full results and more pictures available here.

Xu Yilin (6d) on Board 1 in black with glasses, on his way to being undefeated.  Luo Yin (5d, in the white hoody) vs Ruihan Cao (3d). photo by Bill Saltman

A successful tournament requires help from so many people, without whom participants could not have had such a great day:

– The team in Boston for giving the WMGC the opportunity to host the state championship.
– Professor Andrew Perry who suggested and helped arrange for the use of the beautiful space at Springfield College.

Shot of the whole room. In the foreground, Trevor Morris (6d) losing to Cao Ruihan (3d). photo by Bill Saltman

– The AGA for its encouragement and sponsorship of the state championship.
– David Kohn, president of MGA, and Eva Casey, for support in publicity, logistics, and coordination with the other MA tournaments.
– Past Go Congress organizers Micah Feldman, who arranged for snacks and took a voluntary bye in round 1, and Bill Saltman, who photographed the tournament.
– Chris Morse and Micah Feldman both helped teach a beginner’s class at Springfield College the evening before the tournament, with about a dozen students in attendance.
– Martha Marteney, who was on hand all day to manage the technical details of running the tournament.
– An anonymous donor for a very generous $500 donation to help draw in some very strong players, and increase the prize pool all the way down the line.
– Neil Ritter, MA State Championship Coordinate, for all his help in preparing for the tournament.  He also drove in early from Boston with boards, stones and clocks, and orchestrated an efficient setup and teardown.  The tournament would not have been such a success without Neil’s help and encouragement.
– All the players, many of whom pitched in throughout the day to help, especially during setup and teardown.

The picture at right is from the third round, and includes the open section top finishers.  Xu Yilin (6d) on board one in black with glasses, on his way to being undefeated.  Luo Yin (5d) in the white hoody manages to win this hotly contested third round game against Ruihan Cao (3d), standing with the blue jacket.  Luo Yin’s only loss was in the previous round to Xu Yilin, the tournament winner.  Ruihan Cao had battled his way up from below the bar, to lose only to the top two finishers in the tournament, in rounds 3 and 4, after having polished off one 6-dan in round 2, earning himself a special mention prize, with the strongest 2-2 result possible from his starting position.

Other excellent results were put in by three 4-0 winners:
 – Aojie Kong (1k), the AGA’s newest member.
 – Andrew McGowan (2k), who, despite having the pressure of a large crowd of players gathered around his 4th round game – the last one of the tournament to finish, managed to hold on to a 1/2 point win against a strong 1d.
 – Teng Chi-hse (5k).  In this top-heavy tournament, he didn’t play a single even game.  In two games he gave a handicap, and in two he received stones.  A great result, showing off his ability to both give and take handicap stones effectively.

And, in a tough field, there were only two 3-1 winners outside of the open section: Ni Niel (1k) and Choung Jino (2k).

– Trevor Morris, Tournament Director; photos by Bill Saltman

Share

Evanston Go Club tournament hosts Open section with players from six states

Sunday November 17, 2019

The Evanston Go Club hosted its semi-annual tournament on November 9th, drawing 33 players from Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin. In addition to the normal handicap section, the tournament included an Open section for dan players. “We’ve never had more than one section before,” says club president and TD Mark Rubenstein, “so I was a little nervous about it. I have my hands full running the self-paired section, so I knew I’d need someone to run the Open section. Thanks to the outstanding help of Lee Huynh, it went smooth as silk!” 

Rubenstein uses his own custom software for running the club’s tournaments, which are always self-paired. Huynh used OpenGotha to manage the Open section. The response of the dan players was unanimous; they greatly prefer to play even games, regardless of the difference in rank… even knowing they’d be up against Albert Yen 8d!
“Special thanks to our Central board members Lisa Scott and Devin Fraze (all the way from Columbus Ohio) for joining us!” says Rubenstein.

Results:
Open Section: 1st place Albert Yen 8d (4-0), 2nd place Meng Wang 6d (3-1)
Handicap A Section: Nathan Beecher 2d (4-0)
Handicap B Section: Daniel Lambert 4k (4-0)
Handicap C Section: 1st Place Alicia Seifrid 14k (5-0), 2nd Place David Bireta 15k (4-1) playing in his first tournament.

Share

Andy Liu 1P wins “certified organic” Gotham Go Tournament in a three way tie

Sunday November 17, 2019

Andy Liu 1P took the top prize by tie-breaks after a three way tie in the top division of the Gotham Go Tournament on November 2nd. “Thanks to everyone who participated,” says organizer Peter Armenia, “and thanks so much to our fabulous tournament director David Glekel, his assistant Jino Choung, and my beautiful wife Gretchen Hanser for keeping the coffee warm, feeding us, and making beautiful ceramic go mugs for the top prizes!”

Division winners were Yong Chen 7d, Niel Ni 1d, Alexander Yu 2k, and Micah Murphy 10k, with Amari Gonzales 20k and Zhihan Huang 29k also undefeated in Murphy’s division. Peter Armenia’s eight year old daughter, Veronica, played in her first official tournament and he reports that she took her losses in stride with grace and composure.

Complete winner’s list
Open Division (all 3 wins)
1st Andy Liu; 2nd Alan Huang; 3rd Michael Chen
A: 1st Yong Chen; 2nd Lei Sun; 3rd Jianjin Lin
B: 1st: Niel Ni (undefeated); 2nd Sophie Lin; 3rd Afa Zhou
C: 1st Alexander Yu; 2nd Alex Fan-Cui; 3rd Luke Luo
D: 1st Micah Murphy (undefeated); 2nd Amari Gonzales (undefeated); 3rd Zhihan Huang (undefeated)

Share

U.S. Go Congress Survey Closing Soon

Friday November 15, 2019

U.S. Go Congress organizers would love to thank everyone who has filled out the Congress Survey – nearly 200 responses already.  The feedback they’ve received has been extremely valuable, especially since over half of the responses came from people who couldn’t attend the 2019 Congress, and nearly a quarter of respondents have never been able to attend a Congress. 

Ryan Li 1p playing simul at the 2019 US Go Congress; photo by Chris Garlock

Among the responses so far were two from people who haven’t attended since the late 1990s, as well as four from people who have attended 26 or more Congresses. Over half of respondents rate playing in tournaments as their favorite thing about Congress, while 28% of attendees say their favorite part is learning from pros, and 27% say their favorite part is spending time with friends (people seem to have multiple favorites).

Interestingly, 36% of respondents would like to attend the European Go Congress and 34.5 say they’d maybe like to, but only 8.5% actually have attended.

Feedback from everyone – longtime attendees, new players, and everyone in between – will help the AGA make the next U.S. Go Congress in Estes Park (August 1-9, 2020) a better event for everyone!  Click here now to complete the survey if you haven’t already.

Share

Pandanet AGA City League Round 1 this weekend

Thursday November 14, 2019

This Sunday November 17th starts the 8th year of the Pandanet City League in the US and Canada. This year brings four sets of leagues with 30 different teams. Check the teams listing to find your closest city to root for. Watch at least nine different pros in the top three leagues. Games can be found in the AGA City League rooms using the GoPanda2 client. Watch on any platform whether it be at your computer or on a mobile device. Games start LIVE at 3PM unless otherwise noted.

Share

Registration Open for 2019 Young Lions Tournament

Sunday November 10, 2019

“The American Go Honor Society is hosting its annual Young Lions Tournament, ” says Promotion Head Sophia Wang, “All go players under age 18 of any rank are welcome. It is a great tournament where youth players can compete against others from the United States, Canada, and Mexico for prizes. There is a total prize pool of $600 in cash, trophies, and other awards.”

For registration, click here.
For detailed rules, click here.

Share

2019 Cotsen Open wrap-up

Sunday November 10, 2019

A few follow-ups to the Cotsen Open, which recently celebrated its 30th anniversary with one of the biggest tournaments yet:
Games: Top-board game records are posted here.
Videos: Click here for a playlist of all the Cotsen videos, including a brand-new highlights reel and interviews with founder Eric Cotsen, first-time game recorder Timothy Yu and more.
Results: See below for the complete list of winners.

Credits: The Cotsen is sponsored by Eric Cotsen; this year’s tournament was organized by Ryan Murray and directed by Kevin Chao. The tournament Co-Organizer was Chris Saenz and the Assistant Director was ChiWu (Jack) Chao. Yilun Yang 7P was the resident pro. Leah Wilson was the MG Studio rep, Georgett Cota was the Assistant Organizer and the official tournament photographer was Charles Brewer, who also served as a volunteer. Other volunteers were Wenguang Wu and Devin Fraze. Vendors were Kogi (food truck) and TPT (tables/chairs). Paula and Cindy were the massage therapists.

The E-Journal crew was headed up by Managing Editor Chris Garlock, who also produced the videos. Jeff Fitzgerald was the videographer and video editor. Game recorders were Kevin Hwang, Vince Ma, Yen-Chin Wang, Timothy Yu and Lionel Zhang. Stephen Hu provided technical support.

Special thanks to AGA president Andy Okun.

Winner Mark Lee (r) with Eric Cotsen.
photo by Chris Garlock

2019 Cotsen Winner Report (Final)
Open Section:
 1st: Mark Lee (5-0); 2nd: Andy Liu (4-1); 3rd: Evan Lin (4-1); 4th: Xiaocheng Hu (4-1); 5th: Calvin Sun (4-1); 6th: Ying Ngai Yu (3-2).
Section A (4d-2d): 1st: Kosuke Sato (5-0); 2nd: Zhizhe Zhang (5-0); 3rd: Ashish Varma (4-1)
Section B (1d-2k): 1st: Tony Yang (5-0); 2nd: Tommy Yinhe Liu (5-0); 3rd: Andrew Luo (4-1)
Section C (3k-5k): 1st: Billy Maier (5-0); 2nd: Samuel Kennedy (5-0); 3rd: Shawn Blue (4-1)
Section D (6k-10k): 1st: David Su (4-1); 2nd: Mario Espinoza (4-1); 3rd: Viet Nguyen (4-1)
Section E (11k-30k): 1st: Jiqi Wang (5-0); 2nd: Michael Lee (5-0); 3rd: Xiao Tiao Wang (4-1)Club prize winner: Santa Monica Go Club

Share

Your Move/Readers Write: Remembering Ben Lockhart

Saturday November 9, 2019

Star of the show: “Sad news (Ben Lockhart: 1993-2019) from a wonderful NYC Go family,” writes Peter Armenia. “Ben was an accomplished and passionate Go player, as well as a friendly and inquisitive soul. Whenever he showed up at our meetings or tournaments he was the star of the show. He left us way too early, but he left us with an inspiring example of how to live life following your passion and how to face mortality with insight and dignity.”

Lockhart at the 2016 AGA Pro Qualifier; photo by Chris Garlock

Razor-sharp pursuit of the game: “When I think of Ben, I am sopping wet and wearing only a towel,” writes Keith Arnold. “Perhaps I should explain. Several years ago, I headed back to my dorm room to get ready to emcee the Congress Banquet. The last thing I did was check the Lightning tournament results and, with an hour till the banquet, I was in the Dan final, but the other semi-final had yet to take place. So, I happily intended to declare myself the winner.

After showering, I dripped my way back to my room. Almost immediately, there was a knock on the door. I will never know how he figured out which room was mine, but I opened the door to find Ben and a friend, Go set and Ing clock in tow. He announced that he had just won the other semifinal and was here to play the Lightning final. I am sure I hesitated, but in short order I found myself soaking down onto the dorm room carpet to play with the gangly teenager. This was the only game I ever played with Ben and I have no record of the 18 minutes we spent on the board, yet it was enough to etch Ben’s essence on my mind forever.

I mean only Ben would have done this in the first place, with his single-minded, if slightly off schedule, pursuit of the game. And he loved our lightning game, laughing at himself for an early mistake, bearing down after, with a stream of self-revelatory commentary one can only appropriately hear in a lightning game. His focus was amazing, as was his comfort in his surroundings; he found nothing strange about sitting on the floor opposite this middle-aged man clad only in a wet towel. The game was the thing. Ultimately, his youthful enthusiasm and growing strength overwhelmed both my groups and my hopes. After some hasty dressing, I was soon handing this force of nature the Lightning tournament trophy.

And I am so glad, so very glad to have been able to do so, to reward this young man, who should have had so many other victories. In many ways, we could not have been less alike, and yet we shared an absolute love for this game. Yet while I labored to a gentleman’s ‘C’ in the rest of my life to conserve what focus I could for go, that was not Ben’s way. I will always envy and admire his razor-sharp pursuit of the game, tirelessly learning and playing and also teaching. It is sad that we will never know how far he could have gone, but we can take great solace in knowing he went absolutely as far as he could have gone in the time he had, and I know that would make him smile.

Share

Finals of Virginia State Championship set for November 16

Friday November 8, 2019

Qingbo Zhang, Josh Lee, Yaming Wang and Ran Zhao will face off in the final games of the Virginia State Champion in Annandale VA on Saturday, November 16. The Korean American Baduk Association (KABA) will host, and KABA president James Lee will be the Tournament Director.

“We would like to see more Virginia women and youth players join us at the Virginia State Championship,” said chapter representative Edward Zhang. “Please contact us so we can host Virginia Women’s Championship and Virginia Youth Championship for you!” Players may write to agatd1@gmail.com or zhiyuanz@gmail.com if they are interested. The KABA is open 11am-9pm everyday at 7202 Poplar St, Suite A, Annandale VA 22003.

Share

New Mexico State Championship 2019 set for November 23

Friday November 8, 2019

Perennial and personal trophies

The Santa Fe Go Club will host this year’s New Mexico State Championship to be held Saturday, November 23, at the Aldea Community Center in Santa Fe, NM. “Billy Maier is eager to defend his title!” reports organizer Robert Cordingly. The winner will hold the perennial trophy until the following championship, but will also receive a personal trophy to keep. Players may compete for the championship if they are full members of the AGA with at least 6 months residency in New Mexico in the past 12 months, but all players are welcome to play in the tournament. Players who register online at GoClubsOnline will receive a box lunch on the day.

Aldea Community Center
Share