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

Third North Carolina state championship to be held outdoors in late September

Thursday September 2, 2021

The North Carolina State Go Championship Tournament will be a two day event September 25 and 26, 2021, at Umstead State Park in north Raleigh. The State Go Champion must be an amateur Go player who has resided in North Carolina at least 50% of the past year. Students meeting these criteria are eligible. The tournament will be held at shelter #2 at the Reedy Creek entrance to the park.

Preregistration will be required to be paired in the first round. To play in the first round you must register before 6:00pm EDT Friday, September 24th. Register online and read more details on the website. Jeff Kuang will be the Tournament Director for the six round tournament, with three games on Saturday and three games on Sunday. Players will have one hour main time, with five byo-yomi periods of 30 seconds each. This is an AGA rated tournament. Players should be sure they have a current AGA membership or renew their membership before the tournament begins at

Entry fees will be $25 for adults and $15 for youths and students. Players may register for a single day of play only for a reduced tournament fee of $15 for adults and $10 for youths and students. There will be generous cash prizes and trophies in all sections. Participants must attend both days to be eligible for prizes.

Since this is an open-air tournament, COVID risks are reduced. Organizers will provide masks and hand sanitizer and players are encouraged to use them. Players older than 12 years old must be vaccinated to participate. Lunch will be provided onsite on Saturday and Sunday, courtesy of the Triangle Go Group and the AGA. Players can join the group and enjoy easy communication with other area Go players at the Triangle Go Group Facebook page.


Kevin Yang 6d sweeps Matsuokai/Sakakibara Go Tournament in San Diego

Thursday September 2, 2021

Kevin Yang 6d went undefeated to win the San Diego Go Club Matsuokai/Sakakibara Go Tournament held at the San Diego Chess Club in Balboa Park on Sunday. Kevin beat his brother Tony Yang 5d – who finished tied for 2nd – in the final round of a strong Open Section to claim the championship. Adam Miller 3d, who flew in from Palo Alto, was the other second place finisher in the Open. A total of 42-players contested for the title in the first open in-person go tournament in Southern California in over a year.

Following Covid-19 protocols, all adults had to be vaccinated and everyone wore masks in the playing room. Many games were played one per table, and several players opted to play outdoors on the picnic tables. Bottles of hand sanitizer were available on every game table.

Two professional players were in attendance to watch their students play: Hai Li, a Chinese 5P, who has Go schools in Irvine and San Diego, and Han Han, also a Chinese 5P, newly arrived and living in Temecula, CA. “It was great to note that almost half of the players were youth and half of those were girls,” reports San Diego Go Club president Ted Terpstra. ‘Many of these young players were playing in their first AGA rated tournament and have now been added to the memberships of the AGA and SDGC.”

Winners in the Handicap Sections:

Division 1: 2-dan to 4-kyu
1st Place – Pasco Kwok 2d 
2nd Place – Lester C Lanphear 1k 
3rd Place – Enrique Garcia 3k

Division 2: 5-kyu to 9-kyu
1st Place – Angel Shunying Zhou 5k 
2nd Place – Angelina Zhao 5k 
3rd Place – Warren T Andrews 6k 

Division 3: 10-kyu to 24-kyu
1st Place – Zoe Tan 15k 
2nd Place – Lucia Moscola 10k 
3rd Place – David Saponara 17k

Southern California Go tournaments coming up:
The Dapu Cup North America Go Open: Sunday, October 17, 2021 in Temecula
4th Annual California Go Championship: November 27&28, 2021, San Diego

-report and photos by Ted Terpstra


Second North American Youth Open to be held on KGS September 4th, registration closes September 1st

Wednesday August 25, 2021

The North American Youth Go Open is an annual open tournament sponsored by the American Go Foundation for all young players of all levels under the age of 18. “Since the US Youth Go Championship was discontinued many years ago, we all missed having it,” says Stephanie Yin. “The goal for the NAYO is to provide an opportunity for young players to once again compete in a high-standard North American tournament. We are proud to host the 2nd NAYO this year and believe to make this event the largest open youth Go tournament in North America.” Originally intended as a face-to-face competition, the first tournament was held online due to the pandemic. Organizers plan to hold the tournament in-person in the future, sponsored by the New York Institute of Go as well as the American Go Foundation.

The day will begin with a short and greeting ceremony, which all participants can join, at 11:30 – 11:45 AM EDT on Saturday, September 4, 2021. There is no rank requirement to enter. The top three players in each division – based on rank – will receive certificates and trophies. For registration, schedule, and rules, tournament video requirements, please visit the tournament website. Registration will close Wednesday, September 1. “Players can join other young fighters preparing for the tournament at the NYIG summer Go camp!” concludes Yin.

-report by Stephanie Yin


NAGF Pro Qualification Tournament postponed

Tuesday August 17, 2021

Due to growing concerns about the COVID outbreak across North America, the NAGF has postponed the Pro Qualification Tournament scheduled for this week. 

Ryan Hunter and Justin Teng putting up the banner at the National Go Center in preparation for the now-postponed NAGF Pro Qualification Tournament

Organizers carefully considered the rapid increase in the rate of new cases particularly in Washington DC, where the tournament was to be held. The tournament would have taken place indoors at the National Go Center over many hours — which is a serious concern for viral spreading — and the Delta variant is known to make even some fully vaccinated people sick.

“I recognize this is a bitter disappointment, most especially for the players,” said AGA president/NAGF chair Andy Okun. “But the safety of the players and their families back home, as well as the tournament staff, had to our highest priority.”

The new dates of the tournament are yet to be announced.


Hai Li’s go school reconvenes outdoors in Southern California

Monday August 16, 2021

Last Sunday, over 50 Go players, students, and parents of Hai Li’s go school gathered in an Irvine, CA park to celebrate in-person Go for the first time in over a year.

Hai Li 5P of China relocated to Southern California about a year after bringing several of his Go students from his school in China to attend the 33rd U.S. Go Congress in San Diego in 2017. He has since has become a well-known local teacher with students in San Diego and Orange counties. His students are regular participants in tournaments and Li himself has assisted with coordination of the California and San Diego Go Championships.

The party naturally featured Go games between the students and players, but the focus of the afternoon was the reacquaintance of friends. A lavish lunch, featuring many Chinese dishes provided by the families, capped the afternoon.

-report and photos by Ted Terpstra


Ryan Li wins 1st Transatlantic Pro League

Monday August 16, 2021

Ryan Li 3P, a North American Go Federation certified professional, defeated European Go Federation professional Ilya Shikshin 4P by 2-0 in the best-of-three final of the 1st Transatlantic Pro League on August 15. Li wins the €1,000 prize along with the Transatlantic Pro League title. A recording of the live commentary on Twitch can be viewed by clicking here.

In the match to decide the 3rd place winner, Artem Kachanovskyi 2P defeated Tanguy Le Calve 1P by 2-1. For full details on the Transatlantic Professional Go League, visit the official tournament website.


SDGC teaches Go at the Toro Nagashi Festival

Saturday August 14, 2021

The San Diego Go Club participated in the Japanese Friendship Garden’s celebration of its ancestors at the annual Toro Nagashi Festival in honor of the tradition of Bon Odori. Toro Nagashi (floating lanterns) is a ceremony in honor of those who have passed. The floating lanterns commemorate loved ones and wish them peace.

SDGC took over the exhibition hall during the festival to teach Go, recruit new members, and demonstrate how the game is played. Over 65 copies of “The Way to Go” (provided by the American Go Foundation) were handed out to those festival participants who asked for a Go lesson. All were required to wear masks in the indoor spaces. The eight-hour event, attended by thousands of people on a perfect 73-degree San Diego day, also included food vendors, dancers, singers, sales of Japanese products, and ended with the traditional floating of lanterns down the creek running through the garden.

For over ten years, the SDGC has been giving weekly Go lessons at the Japanese Friendship Garden (JFG), located in Balboa Park. Based on it volunteer work, the SDGC is invited to participate in the JFG’s special celebrations.

-report and photos provided by Ted Terpstra, President of the San Diego Go Club


Ryan Li 3P and Ilya Shikshin 4P advance to Transatlantic Professional Go League final

Saturday August 14, 2021

The final round of the 1st Transatlantic Professional Go League will feature a showdown between North American pro Ryan Li 3P and European pro Ilya Shikshin 4P. The players will compete for a first-place prize of €1,000.

In the semi-final round, Li defeated Artem Kachanovskyi 2P and Shikshin defeated Tanguy Le Calve 1P to earn their seats at the final table. Kachanovskyi and Le Calve will play on Saturday, August 14 to determine the third- and fourth-place finishers. The final best-of-three match between Li and Shikshin will begin on Sunday, August 15.

All games will begin at 11AM EDT (5PM CEST). The European Go Federation will broadcast the match with professional commentary on its Twitch channel. For full details on the Transatlantic Professional Go League, visit the official website.

-report by Hajin Lee


Evanston Go Club hosts first in-person tournament since beginning of pandemic

Saturday August 14, 2021

The Evanston Go Club returned to in-person competition with a tournament on Saturday, July 31. “Turnout was excellent, with 36 players ranging from 30 kyu to 8 dan, including 15 first-timers and seven players from out of state,” says club president and TD Mark Rubenstein. “I wasn’t sure whether attendance would be low due to COVID concerns, or high due to people eager to get out and play in person. But I had an inkling it would be the latter, since attendance at our weekly club meetings in the last month has been much higher than normal.” Rubenstein also notes that this may be a very good time for clubs to reach out to new players. “We’re seeing lots of first-time players, and they’re coming back each week!” Winners received cash prizes, and the winner of the low dan band also received a copy of Albert Yen’s new book “Overcoming Human Igo” (available on Amazon).

High dan 1st place: Albert Yen
High dan 2nd place: Alexander Qi
Low dan (three-way tie): Wanqi Zhu, Lee Huynh, Sungsoo Kim
Low kyu 1st place: Aaron Soley
Low kyu 2nd place: Mike Neigebauer
High kyu 1st place: Robert Qi
High kyu 2nd place: Lewis Herman

-report by Mark Rubenstein


Seattle Go Center Seeks New Operations Manager

Sunday August 8, 2021

Brian Allen early in the pandemic

The Seattle Go Center is looking to hire a part time Operations Manager, who can work 50 hours a month.  Their current operations manager, Brian Allen, is planning to retire and concentrate on documentary photography.  He started volunteering in 2002, and became General Manager in 2008. In 2018, his manager position was divided into two roles, programs and operations. Kyle Burg is the current Program Manager.

The Operations Manager position includes paying bills, doing payroll, filling out tax forms, doing maintenance, supervising maintenance contracts, and meeting and coordinating with the Board.  The Operations Manager should be familiar with the game of go, and passionate about sharing it, but they do not have to be a strong player.

The Seattle Go Center was built in 1995 in the University District, and it has the largest weekly gathering of go players in North America. A new building is being planned for their location, and when it is done, the Seattle Go Center will be on the 2nd floor of a very tall apartment building. The center will move to an interim location during the construction. Because of these changes, the Operations Manager will be organizing for two moves, but they will have less maintenance work to do once the Seattle Go Center leaves its old building.

For additional information about this unique position feel free to contact Board President Bill Chiles. Report by Brian Allen. Photo by Cullen Mott.