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

AGA YouTube channel hits 10,000 subscribers

Tuesday December 5, 2017

The American Go Association’s YouTube Channel hit the 10,000 subscriber mark this week. “This is an awesome number to hit 2017.12.05_aga-youtube-10,000-screengrabfor a channel,” said the AGA’s Steve Colburn. “We are reaching almost every country on the globe,” added AGA president Andy Okun, who credited Michael Redmond 9P — whose AlphaGo video commentaries with American Go E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock have been hugely popular this year –as well as pr2017.12.05_aga-youtube-10,000-colburnoducers Andrew Jackson and Michael Wanek “for growing and expanding our coverage of this game.”

Noting that “10,000 represents four times the current AGA membership right now,” Okun urged fans of the channel to join the AGA to support ongoing coverage.

To celebrate the achievement, Colburn (left) made a brief video that should not be attempted at home.

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Eric Lui 1P on AI impact on opening theory

Tuesday December 5, 2017

“At the Bay Area Go Players 2017 workshop in Berkeley, California Nov. 18-19, Eric Lui 1p presented a fascinating and2017.12.03_eric-lui-analyzes extensive coverage of the impact of AI on current go opening theory in addition to the staples of game analysis and tsume-go drills,” reports Steve Burrall.

photo: Lui analyzes a game for Mish Awadah (left), president of the SF Go Club; photo by Steve Burrall

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Ryan Li wins Gotham tourney

Monday December 4, 2017

Ryan Li 1P (right) won the recent Gotham Go Tournament, held November 18 in New York City. The handmade ceramic bowls went 2017.12.03_gotham-Lockhart-Lito Tianning Dia via random draw of all first place winners. Other winners in the Open section were Michael Chen (2nd), Alan Huang (3rd) and Ben Lockhart (4th, at left).

Other first-place winners were: High dan: Qingbo Zhang; 1d-2k: Tianning Dia; Single-digit kyu: Brian Ye; Double-digit kyu: Richard Chalfant.

Click here for more photos.

- report/photo courtesy Peter Armenia

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In Memoriam: Joel Olson

Sunday November 26, 2017

Joel Olson passed away on November 14 at the age of 76. Olson was a retired meteorologist and veteran. He was a member of a number of local 2017.11.26_joel-olsongroups in Norman, Oklahoma, including the Citizens Climate Lobby (CCL) and the Oklahoma Go Players Association and was knowledgeable in so many areas, ranging from the environment to economics, photography and the arts. He also had a strong background in music, having played in marching bands while at school. “But if Joel had to pin a label on himself,” says longtime friend Donna Clifford-Jones, “he would say that first and foremost he was an environmentalist. He cared about our planet and had a strong commitment to promoting solar energy in Oklahoma.”

A long-time member of AGA (#568), Olson was an organizer of the Oklahoma Go Players Association in Oklahoma City for several years. He attended go congresses at least from 2009-2016 (he won the 7-kyu section in 2016) and was part of the U.S.A. delegation to Cuba in 2013 (he was credited for photos in the E-Journal), reports Ted Terpstra.

“Joel loved to learn new things,” says Clifford-Jones. ” Often he did this through the purchase of books, CD’s, DVD’s, and sheet music in particular. He was an avid Great Courses follower and would sit and watch lecture after lecture until the series was over. He was also a fan of science fiction and maintained a large collection of authors. Joel also liked to travel and had driven to most areas of the United States in his lifetime, as well as a trip to Cuba in 2013. He loved to visit the New Orleans Jazz Festival and was planning on that event for 2018. But I think Joel’s greatest gift was his kindness. He was a calm and gentle person who cared about the welfare of others. I will miss him eternally for the great joy he brought to my life.”

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Young Lions Deadline Saturday

Monday November 20, 2017

6a00d8341c630a53ef01116887fc30970c-800wi-300x226There’s less than a week left to sign up for the American Go Honor Society’s Young Lions Tournament. The deadline is this Saturday November 26th. The AGHS website says “Young Lions is a premier youth tournament for the new generation of go players to earn their first titles. Youth players from the United States, Canada, and South America will earn the right to battle for glory. But this road is full of pitfalls and dangers. Who will emerge as the leader of the Pride?” All youth players 18 and under are welcome to participate in this online tournament. The tournament will be held on the 3rd and 10th of December on KGS. Click here to sign up, and click here to view the rules. 

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The Power Report (1 of 2): Iyama and Xie to meet in LG Cup final; Ida defends Crown title

Sunday November 19, 2017

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal2017.11.19_LG Xie Erhao Iyama

Iyama and Xie to meet in LG Cup final:  A Japanese representative had made the best eight of the 22nd LG Cup, so the Nihon Ki-in offered to host the quarterfinals and semifinals at its headquarters in Tokyo. If one motive was to give its player the advantage of playing on home ground, this worked out just right, as Japan got its first finalist in a world championship since 2007. That year was also the only previous time that Japan hosted LG Cup games. All the games were telecast with live commentary on the Igo & Shogi Channel.

 The quarterfinals were played on November 13. The results were as follows: Ke Jie 9P (China) (W) beat Shin Jinseo 8P (Korea) by resig.; Xie Erhao 5P (China) (W) beat Choi Cheolhan 9P (Korea) by resig.; Jiang Weijie 9P (China) (W) beat Lee Wonyong 7P (Korea) by half a point; Iyama Yuta 9P (Japan) (W) beat Yang Tingxin 6P (China) by resig.

2017.11.19_LG Ke IyamaThe LG Cup is a Korean-sponsored tournament, but no Korean players made the 2017.11.19_LG Ke Jiesemifinals, so perhaps Korean fans didn’t mind the tournament’s being held overseas. Lots are drawn after each round to do the pairings for the next round, and Iyama (at right in photo at left) was paired with Ke Jie (left), who is widely recognized as the world’s number one. In this tournament, the player who wins the nigiri can choose colors; Ke (right) took white—perhaps he was influenced by the fact that White won all the games in the quarterfinals. He started out with two three-three points, showing the influence of AI. In contrast, Iyama played the high Chinese Opening. Initially, Ke took the lead, but in a later fight his play was perhaps a little too aggressive, letting Iyama get back into the game. Later on, Ke made a mistake and resigned after 267 moves. In the all-Chinese semifinal, Xie (W) Jiang beat by resig.

The best-of-three final will be held on February 5, 7, and, if needed, 8. Iyama has won the TV Asia Cup, but this will be his first final in a full-scale international tournament. If he wins, it will be Japan’s first international title since 2005, when Cho U won the LG Cup. Unfortunately, I have no information about Xie Erhao.

Ida defends Crown title: The Crown tournament is open only to players at the Central Japan (Nagoya) branch of the Nihon Ki-in. First prize is 1.7 million yen (about $15,400). Ida Atsushi 8P won this title for the first time last year and was able to defend it this year. The one-game final was played on November 13; taking white, Ida defeated Mutsuura Yuta 7P by resig. after 174 moves.

Tomorrow: Shibano picks up first league win; Fujisawa levels score in Women’s Honinbo; Suzuki makes Tengen main tournament; Iyama increases lead in Oza

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Executive Summary of AGA Board Meeting 11/12/2017

Sunday November 19, 2017

The board discussed the AGA policy for use of computers/electronic devices during tournaments in light of recent advances in Go AI, and moved to form a committee to formulate rules, guidelines, and procedures to ensure fairness while keeping tournaments welcoming. The president’s report included positive feedback on go commentary broadcasts and a potential deal to put go sets on Navy ships. Other business included a status update on the by-law review and ranking system work, as well as how to use the interest in Go AI to expand the AGA and go community in the US.
-Samantha Fede, AGA Secretary

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Life and death on Halloween in Seattle

Sunday November 12, 2017

The Seattle Go Center had eight competitors, all kyu players, in the Contest of Life and Death on Halloween. Halloween Lucy and Nick watchFrank Lam did a great job of curating problems from the Nihon Ki-in that were challenging to our kyu players, and that had a single correct first move. Kyle Burg assisted ably. Lucy Wang won the competition, with 5 out 8 problems solved on the first try.  The prize was a quart of premium ice cream, which Lucy shared.  There was also pumpkin pie.
photo: Lucy Wang and Nick Wilmes watch Zhi Wei Chen try the second set of problems.
- photo/report by Brian Allen

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Boston Winter Open set for December 2

Sunday November 12, 2017

The Boston Winter Open is set for Saturday, December 2 at MIT in Cambridge, MA. The four-round tournament — hosted by MIT, organized by2017.11.11_boston-spring-2017 Cam Wagner and the MIT Go club, the MGA, and The Gojo — is open to up to 80 players, with two divisions, Open and Handicap. Entrants must be AGA 1d+ to play in the Open Division and may opt in on the day of the tournament. Even games with cash prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. Anyone can play in the Handicap Division. Games will be handicap – 2 with prizes for 4-0 and 3-1 records. Click here for details and to RSVP.

photo: at the 2017 Boston Spring Open

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In Memoriam: John Goon

Wednesday November 8, 2017

John Goon, a longtime go organizer and tireless promoter of the game, died recently. A memorial will be held on Saturday, November 18, from 2:30 to 5 at a familiar location: Rockville United Church, 355 Linthicum Drive, Rockville, home of2017.11.08_John-Goon-DC-SakuraMatsuri-2014.04 the Friday night gatherings of the Rockville Go & Chess (and lots of other things) Group. In lieu of flowers, the family welcomes donations in John’s name to WETA-TV and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. “John was one of my first go friends when I started to play go about 35 years ago,” says Haskell Small. “I have fond memories of playing go with John into the wee hours at the Greater Washington Go Club . He worked tirelessly promoting go in our area.”

photo: John Goon (in hat) teaching at the 2014 DC Sakura Matsuri festival

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