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

LA goes 2-1 in Chinese city league

Monday May 27, 2019

In round one of the Chinese city league Saturday morning in Liuzhou, Los Angeles defeated the team from Jingdezhen. This was a major victory since the opponents were last year’s city league runner-up. In Saturday night’s round two, L.A. lost by five points to last year‘s city league champion, Nanjing. Sunday morning in round three, L.A. was again victorious, this time over the city of Tianjin. In the photo, Captain O Rissei is about to convert what appears to be a massive seki into a kill for black.
Los Angeles will play four more games at the end of August, and if they are able to win at least two of them, they will proceed to the finals.
– reported by Steve Burrall

See also Los Angeles team joins Chinese city league; report from Liuzhou

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Congress to host Teachers’ Workshop

Monday May 27, 2019

Renowned teachers of teachers Toshifumi Mizuma 7P and Yuto Tajiri 5P will lead the Teachers’ Workshop at the upcoming U.S. Go Congress. The workshop is sponsored by the Iwamoto North American Foundation (INAF) and the Nihon-kiin. Open to all go players who want to become more effective in teaching beginners and high-kyu players, the INAF wishes to encourage those who have not previously participated in a Congress teachers’ workshop by providing them with $200 stipends. Those interested in participating in the Workshop should contact Mark Rubenstein.

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Los Angeles team joins Chinese city league; report from Liuzhou

Sunday May 26, 2019

A team from Los Angeles has joined the Chinese city league for the 2019 season,reports Steve Burrall from China. “The expense of fielding a team has historically been prohibitive for most non-Asian countries, but team leader Peter Chang has stepped up with funding for the first-ever team from the US to participate.” There are 32 teams including 24 from Chinese cities and eight international cities. Teams can have up to 12 players, but for each match, teams can be 3 to 6 players who confer on strategy during the match while each takes a turn playing a series of moves against the other team; international teams must include one native player, one female player and one amateur player.“Mr. Chang has filled these slots with Michael Redmond 9P, Shirley Lin 1P and amateurs Cheng C C 7d, Wang Yi Hsin 7d and Luo Qi Peng 7d.  Completing the team are Captain O Rissei, Hsu Chia Yuan 8p and Liu Dhin Shin 3p,” Burrall reports. The first series of matches is currently underway in the city of Liuzhou. Los Angeles is 1-1 as of Saturday night May 25.

photo: team members discuss strategy while one player is playing on a board off to the right. Captain O Rissei 9p is in the center, seated at the board next to Michael Redmond 9p. photo by Steve Burrall
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San Diego End-of-School Spring Soiree

Saturday May 25, 2019

Over 60 people turned out for the San Diego Go Club’s 2019 Spring Soiree at the San Diego Chess Club in Balboa Park. Forty youth go players competed in either a 13×13 tournament or a 19×19 tournament which were run by Hai Li, a Chinese 5-dan professional. Kevin Charles Yang won the 19×19 tournament with 3-0 record over Evan Tan on tie-breakers. Five players in the 13×13 side earned four victories out of the 5-round non-handicapped competition. Adults playing self-paired games were put in a separate playing room. Both groups combined at 5 p.m. to partake of free pizza provided to both players and spectators. The San Diego Go Club will host the Second Annual 5-Round California Go Championship on the Saturday and Sunday after Thanksgiving (November 30 and December 1, 2019). There will be a prize pool of over $800.

Report/photo by Ted Terpstra, President, San Diego Go Club; photo: Hai Li, Chinese 5P, and his wife, Ya Wen giving awards to some of the twenty 19×19 players.
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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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Evanston Go Club teaches beginners at Anime Central

Friday May 24, 2019

The Evanston Go Club taught scores of first-time go players at Anime Central (ACen) over two days last weekend. ACen is the largest anime, manga and Japanese popular culture convention in the Midwest, with over 30,000 attendees.

“This event is the most fun we have all year!” said club president Mark Rubenstein. “This is our 11th year at ACen. We teach all day Friday and Saturday and run a 9×9 tournament exclusively for beginners. Our mission is to impart our enthusiasm for Go to as many people as we can, and to get new-comers playing as quickly as possible. Most of the people we teach stay long enough to play a few games, but some stay for hours!”

Rubenstein is directing the Teacher’s Workshop at the U.S. Go Congress this year, which will be taught by two professionals from the Nihon Ki-in. Scholarships are available for participants who have not previously attended a Congress Teachers’ Workshop and teach, or have plans to teach, beginners. For more information contact Mark at mark@evanstongoclub.org.

“If you are interested in teaching Go, don’t miss the Teacher’s Workshop at the Congress!” said Rubenstein.

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Yunshe Zhang 6d & Benjamin Gunby 2k tie atop MGA’s Don Wiener Memorial

Friday May 24, 2019

Four-game winners Yunshe Zhang 6d and Benjamin Gunby 2k tied for first place in the Massachusetts Go Association’s annual Don Wiener Memorial Tournament held April 7, at the Boylston Chess Club in Cambridge, MA. Two dozen players competed. Six three-game winners tied for third place: Javier Gonzales 1d; Sean Patrico 2k; Katerina Hrycyna 3k; Igor Pikovets 5k; David Kahn 8k; Albert Brox 9k. The players ranged in age from seven to octogenarian. “Five women participated (that includes you, Zooey),” says organizer Eva Casey. “We had one foreign visitor, Nils van der Blaar of Germany.” Click here for photos.
This report got lost in our system; apologies for the delay.

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Early registration for the U.S. Go Congress ends June 1

Thursday May 23, 2019

Have you made your plans to attend this year’s U.S. Go Congress yet? Register now to get the early rate, which ends June 1. The Congress is scheduled for July 13 – 20 in Madison, WI. “Some spaces for the MLB Milwaukee Brewers game excursion on the break-day are going are still available, but going fast so don’t delay,” urges Congress Director Dave Weimer. 

The professional slate continues to grow with the Korean Baduk Association sending Hyunghwan Kim 8P, and Jongho Moon 1P, along with long-time Congress friend Myungwan Kim 9P. “We expect to confirm the Nihon-kiin representatives soon,” Weimer adds. 

At the 2018 U.S. Go Congress; photo by Phil Straus
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Nick Sibicky named AGF Teacher of the Year

Thursday May 23, 2019

Seattle go teacher Nick Sibicky has been selected as Teacher of the Year by the American Go Foundation (AGF).  The prize includes a free trip to the US Go Congress in Madison, WI, where Sibicky will be honored at the Awards Banquet.  Sibicky will present a special lesson for his fans at congress also, and it’s a great opportunity for online viewers to meet him in person. “I am most humbled by the AGF with this award,” Sibicky told the Journal. “My go class and YouTube channel feel dwarfed by and indebted to the countless clubs, school programs, and outreach events the AGF is responsible for.”  Sibicky launched his popular online lessons on YouTube seven years ago.  His first lecture featured a game review between two players who were 5 kyu and has been viewed over 140,000 times.  As his channel grew, more and more viewers discovered his lessons.  23,000 viewers now subscribe to his channel, and individual videos can reach up to 8,000 viewers each week.  Sibicky’s lessons are engaging, humorous, and educational. They feature topics like “My Robot Overlord” about AI go programs and “Andrew Jackson Sucks at Go” co-taught with fellow YouTuber Andrew Jackson.  The videos are all well produced with graphics and titles as well as audience participation.  There are 345 videos to choose from, with new ones coming out every week.  Check out Sibicky’s channel here. 

Sibicky shared how he began with the Journal:  “Since moving to Seattle in 2008, I have been an active member of the Seattle Go Center. They regularly had hosted go classes for a variety of skill levels, and around 2011-2012 were looking for new teachers. I volunteered to take the Monday night class while my friend Andrew Jackson picked up the Wednesday night class. At the same time, I had been enjoying Dwyrin’s (aka Bat’s Go Lectures) series on YouTube. His videos indirectly inspired me to bring a video camera to my class. Brian Allen, the Seattle Go Center manager at the time, was particularly supportive of the idea. From 2012, I started regularly posting video recordings of the classes online. 

“There have been two “secrets” responsible for the success behind my channel. The first of which is consistency. By always having a class of live students to prepare for, I have been forced to come up with new ideas, topics, and approaches to the lessons. Stagnation is not possible. Furthermore, I have since learned that the proprietary algorithms working behind the scenes on YouTube heavily promote continuously active channels. The consistency of my posts has taken advantage of that. The second secret is my students. Unlike most of the other go content available, my lessons show interactions with real, present go players. They ask the questions that the viewers at home also want to ask. They interact with the material in ways I didn’t anticipate as their instructor. They struggle. They laugh. They let the viewer know that they are part of a broader community, where we each are working to improve ourselves. And that is something rarer and rarer to find in this digital content era.

“Of course, the one thing fueling this whole endeavor is the joy I find in teaching. My day job is teaching music production and audio engineering at a local college. But teaching go has been even more rewarding. Not having to deal with administration, grading deadlines, nor faculty meetings is a dream environment. I can place all of my spirit into the lesson and the students. I love this game, and I love sharing this game with other people. I have been very fortunate to find an environment that fostered such a love. I hope that everyone has something they love to share with others because I know the joy one gets from doing so. There are dozens if not hundreds of formal and informal teachers in my life. The individual lessons they taught me often are forgotten, but their spirit is remembered. Collectively, they represent one of the most positive continuing forces in my life. I hope the students attending my class and the viewers watching my little internet videos feel their spirit through me.”– Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.  Photos: Screen captures from Sibicky’s YouTube Channel.

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Eric Lui wins Transatlantic Team Championship Round 4, faces Ali Jabarin on June 2

Thursday May 23, 2019

EricLui 1P won Round 4 of the Transatlantic Team Championship, defeating Mateusz Surma 2P, who had won the first three rounds. The game was played on May 5, but the final result was not announced until May 14 due to official challenges by both players. Details of the official ruling are here.The next round, between Eric Lui and Ali Jabarin will take place on June 2, from 14:00 US EDT or 20:00 CEST.

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