American Go E-Journal » World

Historic Mexico-Korea baduk match set for Dec. 8

Friday December 7, 2018

Encuentro de Baduk México-Corea 2018,  a cross cultural baduk (go in Korean) tournament is set for December 8th in Mexico 2018.12.07_Mexico-Korea baduk matchCity.  The match will be held in honor of  South Korea’s ambassador to Mexico, the event will take place at the Korean Cultural Center and the opening ceremony will feature its Director, Mr. Kijin Song. The format is a fast-paced, round robin match consisting of 5 team members, on one side Mexican nationals and on the other Korean residents and/or Korean descendants born in Mexico. Philipp Neubert, a german student from Myongji University who is doing  field research for his Ph.D thesis about go in Latin America is invited as an international observer.

The Korean Cultural Center and a Korean newspaper “El Coreano,” both with established headquarters in Mexico City, are organizing the event. “For many years there have been active Korean players with a limited interaction in their own community,” reports organizer Sid Avila,  “perhaps only Kim Chang-Ha,  a gentle friend and strong player has showed up and participated at the successful Mexican Go Congresses organized so far.”

“Since the  Korean Cultural Center opened their baduk workshop two years ago, there has been a steady increase in public interest for go. There have been two Baduk Festivals, workshops at universities, exhibitions and even international events like the recent Pan-american Baduk Championship 2018 where Aaron Ye, from the US claimed the title.  The Korean community seems to be welcoming the exciting idea that there are strong Mexican players who can compete with them. They are also surprised that baduk is taught at elementary schools, and played at universities, and that there are quite well organized events by the Mexican Go Association,” adds Avila. -Paul Barchilon, EJ Youth Editor.

 

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Ye, Velasco, Trujillo top Pan-American Championship

Saturday November 24, 2018

Screen Shot 2018-11-24 at 3.21.40 PMAaron Ye 7d of the US took first place in the Pan-American Championship in Mexico City on November 10th.  Canadian Player Manuel Velasco came in second and Cuban player Orlando Trujillo placed third.  Mr. Kijin Song, the director of the Korean Cultural Center in Mexico presented the winners with certificates and cash prizes of $30,000, $20,000, and $10,000 Mexican pesos for their respective placings in the tournament. The online qualifiers drew players from Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Colombia, Brazil, Ecuador, Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Peru, Cuba, the USA, and Canada. The finals were held at the Museo Nacional de las Culturas, within walking distance of the Zocalo Plaza in Mexico City. The event drew a large audience from the local go community. “The 2nd Baduk Festival in Mexico was held at the same time,” reports organizer Sid Avila, “we had free games amongst the public participants, the majority of them being children; 2 raffles were held so that 18 people could play simultaneous games with Soohang Ryu 7P, from the Korean Baduk Association.Later prizes were raffled for the public, and we had a baduk book exhibition and a photographic exhibit as well.”

Online preliminaries were held in August, and determined the top five players from different countries. They were invited to Mexico City, with all expenses paid, to compete in the final stage. In addition to Ye and Velasco,  Fernando Aguilar of Argentina (who had to cancel due to family complications), Alfonso Artique of Uruguay, Abner Turkieltaub Melo of Chile, and Orlando Trujillo of Cuba (by invitation) were the finalists.  As the host country, Mexico was excluded from the online qualifier and received a seeded seat into the finals.  The Korean Cultural Center in Mexico held a separate online qualifier for Mexican players, which was won by Abraham Florencia, a high-dan  player who placed 8th at the World Amateur Go Championships earlier in the year.

A great amount of attention was focused on the game between Ye (black) and Velasco (white).  Velasco had a strong opening and held a large territorial lead until a detrimental mistake in the middle-game. Ye successfully seized the opportunity and killed a large group, ultimately securing a win-by-resignation.  After the tournament, the game was displayed on a projector in the background and was reviewed by Ryu.

Ye reports ” I was glad to have the opportunity to attend the event and make new go friends from Latin American countries. Organizing a Pan-American tournament was a creative and innovative idea to connect go players from North and South America. After all, an important part of the game is connecting with the community. I was surprised but excited to see the event attract quite a lot of local Mexican go players. The experience was very unique and memorable and I hope to continue to promote go on the continent in the future.”

The event was sponsored by the Embassy of the Republic of Korea and the Korean Cultural Center in Mexico, with the valuable support of the National Museum of World Cultures, the Korean Baduk Association, the Tygem Go Server, the Korean Sports Promotion Organization, and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. For more pictures, click here. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo by Korean Cultural Center in Mexico photographer Seol Ha Kim.

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In Memoriam: Dr. Chun-Shan Shen

Thursday September 13, 2018

By Thomas Hsiang2018.09.13_Shen CS

Dr. Chun-Shan Shen, a multi-time US go champion, passed away on September 12 at the age of 86.  Dr. Shen was born in 1932; received his B.S. degree in physics from the National Taiwan University in 1955 and Ph.D. in astrophysics from the University of Maryland in 1961.  He worked briefly at Princeton University, then NASA, before taking a teaching position at Purdue University.  In 1973 Dr. Shen returned to Taiwan and joined the faculty of Tsinghua University.  In 1988 he became a Minister Without Portfolio in the Taiwanese government.  In 1989 he returned to Tsinghua as the Dean of Science and became Tsinghua’s President in 1994 until his retirement in 1997.

Dr. Shen was well-known for his deep and broad knowledge in many topics.  He famously delivered many lectures bringing astrophysics and space science to the general audience, both in US and in Taiwan.  He was a prolific writer, authoring hundreds of articles on educational policies, politics, and literature, with many deep insights, some of which changed history.  For example, he is credited with suggesting the use of “one country, two systems” policy that eventually peacefully resolved the China-Taiwan and China-Hong Kong quandaries.  Another famous example was how he eased the bloodshed during the 1980 “Formosa Incident”.  That year, a group of Taiwanese took to the street to seek political freedom.  When the protest turned violent, many people were arrested.  Then-president Chiang Ching-Kuo had wanted to severely punish the protestors, including executing a couple of the leaders.  Dr. Shen took upon himself to dissuade Chiang, defending the protestors as patriotic and intelligent young people.  Chiang yielded, bringing a potentially violent episode to a peaceful closure.

Dr. Shen published a number of books, including the three famous autobiographies “Three Chapters of a Floating Life”, “Another Chapter”, and “An ‘After’ Chapter”.  In them he first described the three important parts of his life: science, go and Bridge, and literature; followed by a discussion of his view on the politics in Taiwan; ending with an honest, almost cutting, look into his relationships with the women in his life and a discussion on life and legacy.

During Shen’s earlier life in US, he was among the top go players.  AGA old-timers will remember his many battles with Takao Matsuda in the 1960’s for the “US Honinbo” title, predating the current “US Open Championship”.  His last visit to an AGA event was in 1997, when he came to the Lancaster Congress and won every game he played.  None of them counted because he did not register in the US Open.  Still, he cheerfully crowned himself the “Off-Stage Champion”!

In addition to go, Dr. Shen was a top-notch Bridge player.  He joined the Taiwanese team that won second place in the 1969 and 1970 Bermuda Cup, the only world championship at that time, finishing only to the legendary Italian Blue team.

Most of all, to many who have interacted with him, Chun-Shan was a fun, humorous, honest, and devoted friend.  He was never pretentious, never aloof; his great intellect was never overbearing.  He will be greatly missed.

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Applications open for 17th World Students Go Oza Championship prelim

Wednesday September 12, 2018

The 17th World Students Go Oza Championship will be held from Feb 18 to 22, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan.  Sixteen students from around the world will come together in Japan to decide the world’s number one student player.  To select the 16 students, an online preliminary round will be held on Pandanet.  Two students from the Americas will be selected; their airfare and accommodations will be covered by the event organizers.  Click here  for details and here for the entry form . The application deadline is Oct 21. Students under the age of 30 and currently enrolled in an American university/college may participate in the preliminary round, irrespective of their nationality.

 

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“Surrounding Game” doc coming to Netflix

Tuesday August 7, 2018

“The Surrounding Game” — the award-winning documentary about go — is coming to Netflix starting on August 30. Anyone with a Netflix2018.08.06_surrounding-game-netflix_graphic account will be able to watch for free in the US, as well as in English-speaking territories, South Korea, and Japan. “To celebrate the Netflix release, we’ll also be rolling out some special discounts on our web store” says co-director Cole Pruitt. “We’re excited to share the film with new audiences!”

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Havana to host international go tournament in September

Monday August 6, 2018

The Academia Cubana de Go will host an international go tournament in Havana September 14-16 and are encouraging US2018.08.06_cuba-tourney players to attend. Click here for details. I–Dared Travels, a provider of US to Cuba trip arrangements, has put together a travel package for this trip, which includes three days of mental challenge and cameraderie, as well as exploring Havana and its outskirts, including a visit to Finca Vijia, home of Ernest Hemingway. Participants will take part in five rounds of WGAC regulation games, and lodging will be provided by the Hotel Palco, an extension of the Convention Center of Havana.  Registration closes August 31. Those interested should be sure to review US regulations governing travel to Cuba; Federal regulations are at 31 CFR 515.567.

“I have now played go in Cuba three times since 2013 and have enjoyed each trip,” says Bob Gilman. “Cubans have put a lot of energy into developing the game there and are very happy to have visitors from other countries. If anyone has questions about my experience traveling to Cuba, you may write me at bobgilman.aga@gmail.com.”

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Pandanet Cup registration ending soon

Saturday July 7, 2018

The 23rd Pandanet Cup, a long-standing internet world amateur go tournament, will continue to accept registration (free) until July 17.  Players are divided into five bands, depending on their strengths.  In the preliminary round of the tournament, players play self-paired games with others in the same band from anywhere in the world.  For advancement onto the second stage, players’ scores are compared with only those in the same band and in the same geographic region: Asia and Oceania, Americas, or Europe and Africa.  The scoring is based on the number of wins and the winning percentage.  In the second stage, regional winners play others in the same band in a knock-out tournament until a band champion is produced.  Generous prizes are provided to all winners.

Free registration is ongoing and ends on July 17.  For details, click here.

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WAGC Update: Undefeated Taipei leads

Sunday May 6, 2018

Taipei’s Yi-Tien Chan leads the 2018 World Amateur Go Championships, with a 6-0 record and just two rounds to go. China’s 2018.05.06-39wagc-Aaron-YEChen Wang, Korea’s Sangcheon Kim, Singapore’s Jie Hui Kwa, Hungary’s Csaba Mero and Poland’s Stanislaw Frejlak all have five wins each. Aaron Ye (right) of the U.S. is now ranked 23rd at 3-3, while Mexico’s Jose Abraham Florencia Islas is 4-2 and Canada’s Yongfei Ge is also 4-2. Latest reports and scores are on Ranka Online, including interviews with Thiago Shinji Shimada Ramos of Brazil, Torben Pedersen of Denmark and Ólafur Sigurðarson of Iceland.

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Ing World Youth Qualifier May 6

Tuesday May 1, 2018

IMG_0005The 35th World Youth Goe Champion will be held in Germany, at Stahleck Castle in Bacharach, from July 18 to 23.  Food and lodging will be covered by the organizers, and Ing’s Goe Foundation will provide $1500 for the air ticket.  The qualifying tournament is this Sunday, May 6th, and players must register by Thursday, May 3rd. Games will be played on KGS, with Ing rules, 1hour 3/30 each. Skype video will be required for all games. The top four players in each group will then play a single elimination tournament. The winner will represent the US at the Ing World Youth Cup in Germany. 

Eligibility: US Citizens, Resident of the US for at least 6 months for the past 12 months; Senior Group (Age 12—15) Junior Group (Age under 12). Players cannot be part of the the US team in the same group more than twice within 3 years.

Registration: By email or phone mingjiu7p@hotmail.com (650-796-1602) by May 3, 2018

 

 

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“Twitch Plays Go” broadcast introduces the game to thousands 

Monday April 30, 2018

Streaming giant Twitch.tv’s all-day livestream about go attracted nearly 20,000 viewers last Saturday. “Being able to introduce so many people to the game in such a unique way was a thrill,” said Hajin Lee, the former professional player2018.04.30 Twitch_Plays_Go-IMG_1229 and popular commentator.

The broadcast was hosted by Lee, Twitch streamer Stephen Hu, and directors of the “Surrounding Game” documentary Will Lockhart and Cole Pruitt, and featured a variety of go content for beginners as well as more experienced players.

2018.04.30 Twitch_Plays_Go-screenshotLockhart and Pruitt kicked off the broadcast with a segment on the rules of go (left). Next viewers enjoyed a special showing of The Surrounding Game, during which the twitch chat-room was abuzz with comments. “It was so much fun to follow the chat as the movie played” says Lockhart. “Part-way through, we were elevated to the featured video on Twitch’s front page, and all of a sudden the number of live viewers jumped to over 15 thousand!” Viewership hit a high of 17,500 during the livestream.

After the film, Lockhart hosted an interactive 9×9 game between the Twitch audience and Hajin Lee 4p (Haylee), in which viewers could vote between move options. With just a 2-stone handicap, the audience fought valiantly, but in the end the pro prevailed. “Although most of the audience was new to go, the chat consistently chose better options,” said Lee. “I think this interactive group play format has a great potential as a beginner class tool.”

2018.04.30 Twitch_Plays_Go-teamThe broadcast continued with live commentary on back-to-back high-level tournament games.  Stephen Hu 6d joined Haylee to cast the semi-finals of the 2018 Creator’s Invitational Tournament between Justin Teng 6d (USA) and Peter Marko (Hungary). In the end Marko eked out a 0.5-point win, advancing to face winner Norman Tsai and Stephen Hu himself in the CIT finals next week.

Pruitt returned to host the final segment: the Collegiate Go League Championship. The strength of the West Coast was in full display, with UCLA and UC Irvine competing in the finals. In an exciting and dramatic result, with boards 2 and 3 split, the championship was decided by the board 1 result with another 0.5-point game. Shengjie Zhou 6d of UC Irvine escaped with the narrowest of victories over UCLA’s Cheng-Yi Huang 3p to notch Irvine’s first CGL championship.

“This was a tremendous opportunity to promote go,” said Hu. “Thanks to everyone who participated, and to BattsGo, the National Go Center, CatsPlayGo, and many more for providing entertaining promos for their channels.”

If you missed the livestream, an archived version of the “learn to play” segment is here and the rest of the stream is here.

 

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