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

Save $50, register for U.S. Go Congress before July 1

Tuesday June 26, 2018

If you’re thinking about attending this year’s U.S. Go Congress, register before this Sunday and save $50. The registration late fee2018.06.27_williamsburg increases $50 on Sunday, July 1st. The biggest U.S. go event of the year includes the U.S. Open, a six-day tournament of epic proportions, the U.S. Masters, where top players compete for $12,000 in prizes, lectures, game reviews, and simuls from American and Asian professionals, youth activities and tournaments including the Redmond Cup, a host of tournaments including the U.S. Women’s tournament, Seniors (55+), 9×9, 13×13, Die Hard, and more!

Plus: great evening activities including Crazy Go and Pair Go, teachers workshops, the first-ever Congress workshop to train Tournament Directors, all in a gorgeous location on the campus of America’s second-oldest institute of higher learning, next to Colonial Williamsburg, one of the most-visited tourist destinations on the East Coast.  “Make memories that will last the rest of your life!” say Congress organizers Nate Eagle and Diego Pierrottet.


Peter Gao tops Evanston Go Club’s Summer Solstice tournament

Tuesday June 26, 2018

The Evanston Go Club’s Summer Solstice tournament on Saturday drew 21 players ranging from 25 kyu to 4 dan. For some, this 2018.06.27 Evanston Go Club’s Summer Solstice tournamentwas their first tournament ever; others have been coming to the Evanston tournaments for up to 14 years. “We run our tournaments self-paired, so players can play as many games as they want.” said tournament director Mark Rubenstein. “Chase Grange 11k and Thomas Gehrt 6k each played 8 games; that’s a lot of games to play in one day!” Prizes were supplied by Yellow Mountain, and awarded to 6 players; first and second place in each of three bands: dan, single digit kyu, and double digit kyu.”Chase Grange won the double digit kyu band, but unfortunately he had to leave before the prizes were awarded; so Mike O’Day and Mary Skolnik took home the prizes in that band.” said Rubenstein. As is the custom, pizza at Giordano’s capped off the day.
#1 Dan: Peter Gao 4d: 4-0
#2 Dan: Daniel Dowell 3d: 3-2
#1 SDK: Satoru Inoue 1k: 3-1
#2 SDK: Laura Moon 2k: 4-2
#1 DDK: Chase Grange 11k: 6-2
#1 DDK: Mike O’Day 15k: 5-2
#2 DDK: Mary Skolnik 19k: 4-2

New York Institute of Go Wins 2018 School Team Tournament

Monday June 25, 2018

STT_graphicThe New York Institute of Go took top honors in the 2018 American Go Honor Society (AGHS) School Team Tournament, which took place on KGS over the weekends of May 19 and May 26. The winning team consisted of Sophie Lin 2k, Patrick Zhao 3k, and Marcos Yang 3k. Second and third place went to Northwest Chinese School Team 1 and Team 2. In Division II, Northwood High School took first place with an impressive undefeated record, CNY Chinese School took second, and Northwest Chinese School Team 3 took third.​ ​This year, around 50 students participated in the annual youth team tournament, with prizes including trophies, plaques, and t-shirts. Jeremy Chiu, AGHS Tournament Director, says, “This tournament drew teams from all kinds of educational institutions from all parts of the country. Players of all skill levels competed in the competitive yet friendly environment, giving viewers fierce and exciting games.” -Lionel Zhang

Winner’s Report: Division I: 1st: New York Institute of Go Team 1, 2nd: Northwest Chinese School Team 1, 3rd: Northwest Chinese School Team 2; Division II: 1st: Northwood High School, 2nd: CNY Chinese School, 3rd: Northwest Chinese School Team 3.


Eric Lui sweeps in DC as players prep for U.S. Go Congress

Sunday June 24, 2018

Eric Lui 1P swept the annual Congress Tune-up tournament 4-0 Saturday at the National Go Center. Eric’s undefeated streak in NGC tournaments now extends for over a year, and the local crowd is rooting for him in the prestigious Open Masters next month at the US Go Congress in Williamsburg VA. Justin Teng (6D) and Qingbo Zhang (5d) tied for second in the high Dan2018.06.24_hal t-shirt division.

Darren Bias (1K) went undefeated at 4-0 to win the 1K-3D division. Haskell (Hal) Small (2D) finished second but was only awarded his NGC t-shirt prize if the self-described “non t-shirt person” agreed to pose in it for a picture (right); Congress organizers wanted to be sure it got worn at least once. “If you see Hal at Congress this year, encourage him to wear his shirt proudly,” said TD Gurujeet Khalsa.

There was a three way tie for first in the 4K-9K division with Mike Lash (4K), Eli Ferster (6K), and Tevis Tsai (6K) taking home the honors. In the 10K-20K division, John Christensen (13K) made a strong undefeated showing, while second place was tied between Jack de la Beaujardiere (10K), Noah Mullinax (11K), and Joshua Johnson (14K).

“There was a lot of excitement among the crowd for the upcoming Congress” reports Khalsa. “We learned our lesson last year not to tamper with tradition when we renamed this tournament the Summer Sizzler only to have our air-conditioning fail in the middle of a huge heat wave. This year we got refocused on getting ready for Congress with the old name and all went well.”

Congress is less than a month away, so if you haven’t registered yet, you can still do so here. Also download the free Congress mobile app where you can see the bios of Eric Lui and other pros coming this year, and lots more.

photo by Betsy Small


In Memoriam: Leonard Baum

Tuesday June 19, 2018

Note: We just recently learned of the passing of Lenny Baum last year, hence the belated obit below. Please send us any and all go-related news at

Leonard Baum (Lenny, fondly known to many as Opa, and a regular at the annual U.S. Go Congress), died unexpectedly at the2018.06.19_LeonardBaum age of 86 on August 14, 2017 at his home in Princeton, NJ. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude in mathematics, from Harvard University in 1953 and received a PhD in Mathematics from Harvard in 1958. He worked for a couple of years at the University of Chicago before moving to Princeton, NJ to work at the Institute for Defense Analysis – a Defense Department think tank which specialized in cryptography. Lenny’s affiliation with IDA in Princeton spanned 1959 through 1978. He wrote over 100 internal papers there and is responsible for what has become the motto of IDA: “No idea is bad. A bad idea is good. A good idea is terrific.” Lenny’s public scientific legacy includes the Baum-Welch algorithm, which directly enabled the first effective speech recognition systems. Today, 50 years later, this work remains at the center of these systems – while its mathematical and algorithmic descendants and other relatives, have impacted many fields from genomics to weather prediction to finance. After leaving IDA, Lenny teamed up with Jim Simons to apply his mathematical modeling to the financial markets. He retired early, legally blind, seeing with only his rods, having lost all his cones to a dystrophy, but that didn’t stop him from travelling the world over, visiting many exotic places. He continued to trade for himself very successfully, often taking very contrarian positions. An avid go player, deep lover of science and seeker of truth, he continued working on math literally up until his death, spending the night before he died reading new math papers on prime numbers. “His greatest pleasure came from facing an opponent many decades younger – often losing but – like the kindly grandfather he was – enjoying every moment of the encounter,” says Terry Benson. The Leonard Baum Prizes are being established in his memory to encourage inter-generational play. “Lenny became part of the mid-Jersey go scene that flourished in the heady world around Princeton’s Institute for Defense Analysis and Institute for Advanced Study,” Benson added. “His visual affliction forced him to track his head inches over the board but was at least partially suited to go. With only rods and no cones he could see what you need to in go: black and white.”

-  Includes reporting originally published in The New York Times on Aug. 18, 2017. photo by Phil Straus


Fu, Xu and Ou top first Boston Youth Go Tournament

Monday June 18, 2018

Sixteen kids participated the first Boston Youth Go Tournament at the Neo Millennium Go Club on May 28th.
The top three players of the senior division were Chase (Bin) Fu, Andrew (Hancheng) Xu and Hanchi Ou. Top four players of junior division were Hantong Li, Yuheng Xue, Jin Greene and Jate Greene.
- Ke Lu


Janice Kim on big and small moves in Albuquerque

Monday June 18, 2018

In a recent game review session for Albuquerque players, Janice Kim 3P emphasized ideas about judging big moves and big areas, 2018.06.18_janice-albuquerqueand, looking at that from the reverse side, not making small moves to respond to your opponent’s last play. “Why should you have to know where your opponent’s last move was?” she asked. ” You should be looking at the whole board to find the best place to play.”
- report/photo by Bob Gilman


Candidates chosen for 2018 AGA election

Sunday June 17, 2018

Candidates for the 2018 board election are in. Central candidate: Lisa Scott; Eastern candidate: Gurujeet Khalsa; Western candidate: Christopher Saenz; At-Large candidate: Paul Celmer. Members and chapters should check their expiration dates and email addresses with the AGA to ensure they receive their ballots.

PechaKucha go presentation in Chicago

Sunday June 17, 2018

Mark Rubenstein and Bob Barber gave their second presentation about go at PechaKucha last week at Martyr’s in Chicago. Their first presentation in 2011 was about go in general; this one focused on AlphaGo. “It had been 7 years since we did our first one,2018.06.17_PPK presentation and we thought the time was right for version 2.0” said Rubenstein.

PechaKucha is a Japanese word that, roughly translated, means chit-chat. PK was devised in Tokyo in February 2003 as an event for young designers to meet, network, and show their work in public. PK is a simple presentation format where you show 20 images, each for 20 seconds. “PK Nights are informal and fun gatherings where creative people get together and share their ideas, works, thoughts… just about anything, really!” Rubenstein tells the EJ.
PK presentations are usually done by one person. But in the first presentation Bob and Mark broke with tradition and presented together, alternating with each slide. “We wanted to do the same thing this time, but the information was too dense in this one”, said Rubenstein. “It was too complicated to keep alternating, so we agreed that I would present solo.”
You can watch the presentation hereThe 2011 presentation from 2011 is here. For more information about Pecha Kucha, click here. “We encourage everyone to check out PK and consider doing a presentation”, said Rubenstein. “It’s lots of fun, and a great way to spread the word about Go!”

Executive Summary of AGA Board Meeting 5/20/2018

Wednesday June 13, 2018

The board of the American Go Association approved a Code of Conduct and creation of a committee to oversee Code of Conduct implementation at its meeting on May 20, 2018. The board also approved bylaw changes to be discussed and voted on by the AGA membership. The president’s report included a discussion of the Tibetan go community. The board also allowed for a budget item for Masters tournament prize money and initiation of the process of developing a formal resolution to address cheating.