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Southeast Asia Go Congress video series launches

Wednesday January 22, 2020

A series of videos from the recent Southeast Asia Go Congress in Singapore will be released on the AGA’s YouTube channel. The broadcasts, produced by the E-Journal’s Stephen Hu, feature commentaries from Michael Redmond 9p, Cho Hye-yeon 9p, Maeda Ryo 6p, Yang Shuang 2p and other strong players from Southeast Asia.

In the first video, Masters Division Round 2, Hu teams up with Maeda Ryo 6P to comment the game between Chi-hao Shen and Zhongfan Jian.  

Videos in the series will be released Tuesdays at 6p EDT.

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Livestreams from Southeast Asia GO Congress

Monday December 16, 2019

Tune in to the AGA’s Twitch channel this week for livestreams from the Southeast Asia GO Congress. Here’s the schedule:

Dec 17, 9:30-11:30 AM SG [Dec 16, 8:30-10:30 PM ET] Masters R3 (with Yang Shuang 2p)

Dec 19, 9:30-11:30 AM SG [Dec 18, 8:30-10:30 PM ET] Masters R4 (TBA)
Dec 19, 2:30-4:30 PM SG [Dec 19, 1:30-3:30 AM ET] Special Event: Southeast Asia vs. AI (with Michael Redmond 9p)

Dec 20, 9:30-11:30 AM SG [Dec 19, 8:30-10:30 PM ET] Masters R5 (TBA)
Dec 20, 2:30-4:30 PM SG [Dec 20, 1:30-3:30 AM ET] Special Event: Gals vs. Guys (with Cho Hye-yeon 9p)

Dec 21, 9:30-11:30 AM SG [Dec 20, 8:30-10:30 PM ET] Masters R6 (TBA)
Dec 21, 1-3 PM SG [Dec 21, 12-2 AM ET] Redmond’s SEA Congress Reviews (with Michael Redmond 9p)
Dec 21, 3-5 PM SG [Dec 21, 2-4 AM ET] Special Event: Singaporean 7-dan Title Match, Game 1 (TBA)

Dec 22, 1-5 PM SG [Dec 22, 12-4 AM ET] Special Event: Singaporean 7-dan Title Match, Game 2 & 3 (TBA)

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AGF invests in KGS

Wednesday December 4, 2019

-Paul Barchilon, AGF Vice President and KGS Liaison

The AGF is instituting a series of changes to the KGS Go Server to make it more available and more useful as a tool for promoting go. As a first step, KGS+ events will now be free with users able to make a donation – not only to support KGS+ but to cover server costs and fund improvements on the software. All of this year’s saved lectures are now also free, and can be viewed under the KGS Plus menu.

For those that haven’t tried it, KGS+ provides lectures and lessons with professionals and very strong amateurs. In the past, sales of KGS+ provided enough income to pay for itself as well as the server costs. However, attendance has dropped in recent years and the server has not been able to meet its costs for quite some time now. The AGF Board hopes that by opening the lessons to everyone, more people will attend, join the community, and support KGS.

We recognize that the software is now almost 20 years old, and we have a very long list of things we want to improve.  Our current all-volunteer model for making those changes and maintaining the server has not kept up.  Those with the necessary skills are far too busy.  As a first step the AGF will be hiring a software engineer to write a web based registration module. This will allow people to register from any device, including phones and tablets, and from any computer whether it is running Java or not. The current requirement for Java has kept the server blocked entirely from many environments (such as public schools in the US and many international locations).

While the AGF is willing to run KGS at a loss as a service to the go community, we would rather a smaller loss or to break even with any added money invested back into KGS. We hope that by switching to a donation model, we will generate the revenue for upgrades, fund more events, and provide a stable platform for play.  Since the AGF is a 501c3 charity, donations to support KGS will be tax deductible.

Although KGS has seen declining attendance in recent years, there are still between 350 and 800 players on at any given moment. We feel that KGS builds community in a way that other servers don’t.  The chat and room functionality allow people to meet new friends, create virtual go clubs, and learn together with what are still some of the best game editing tools available. Our hope is that the community shares our regard for KGS and will contribute to help keep it afloat. If you would like to donate to the server, through Paypal or with your credit card, click here.

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First Southeast Asia GO Congress set for December 15-22 in Singapore

Monday December 2, 2019

The Singapore Weiqi Association is hosting the very first Southeast Asia GO Congress this month — December 15-22 — at the Asian Civilisations Museum in Singapore. Players will enjoy tournaments, lectures, and exhibition matches with guidance from the 16 pros planning to attend, including Chang Hao 9P, Liang Wei Tang 9P, Ding Wei 9P, Cho Hye Yeon 9P, and US Go Congress favorite Maeda Ryo 8P.

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Lee Sedol retirement reported worldwide

Wednesday November 27, 2019

Lee Sedol plays the first move in the first game of the AlphaGo series

Korean Go champion Lee Sedol has officially retired. “The 36-year-old, who scored 18 victories in international competitions and 32 victories in domestic events, submitted his letter of retirement to the Korea Baduk Association (KBA), which oversees Go professionals in South Korea, on Nov. 19, terminating his legendary 24-year career,” reports the Yonhap News Agency. In an interview with the Korean news agency earlier this week, Lee attributed his desire to retire to the rise of AI and the invincibility of programs such as AlphaGo, stating that “with the debut of AI in Go… even if I become the number one, there is an entity that cannot be defeated.” Lee’s retirement and his AI-based reasons were reported internationally by the media with American media such as Vice, the Guardian, Business Insider, and others reporting the story.

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Kuksu Mtn. a hit with kids

Wednesday August 28, 2019

Children compete at the Kuksu Mountains Tournament in Korea.

The Sixth Kuksu Mountain International Baduk Festival was held in Korea August 2-7, in Jeollanamdo. Children from ten countries attended, in teams of varying sizes, and local Korean children participated as well. The US sent three kids: Jiayang Su, Henry Lyman, and Sun Lee.

“Henry and Jiayang won all of their matches and got a special certificate,” reports his mother Christin Lyman. “The team got to play a simul with a pro. They had 3 pros playing 8 kids each. The closing ceremony was amazing with traditional folk performances (dancing and singing). We visited Lee Sedol’s birthplace (a remote island called Sinan), a celadon museum (Gangin is the celadon capital of Korea), and a water park that was lots of fun for the kids.”

Jiayang Su, Sun Lee, and Henry Lyman, representing the US in Korea.

Sponsored by the Korean Baduk Association, the Kuksu Mountains event has been drawing lots of kids in a spirit of international cooperation. Children attended from China, Japan, Russia, Hong Kong, Chinese Taipei, the US, the Philippines, Thailand, Mexico and Korea this year. – Paul Barchilon, EJ Youth Editor. Photos by Christine Lyman.

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2019 World Youth Goe Championship: Day 1 report

Tuesday July 30, 2019

Crystalline waters, comforting warmth and miles of golf courses… everything you’d expect at the Phileas Beach Resort in Selangor, Malaysia. But behind these peaceful scenes, a vicious battle rages on. Not a physical struggle, of course, but one of mentality, and awareness. The 36th World Youth Go Championship has started, and the players are ready to prove themselves, including the three U.S. representatives, Alexander Qi 4d and Noah Flaherty 15k for the Junior Division, and Ary Chen 5d for the Senior Division.

The tournament begins with Alex Qi facing Artemii Pishchaniklov (Russia), Noah Flaherty facing Shuntaro Saga (Japan), and Ary Chen facing Shih-Chun Chung (Chinese Taipei). After two and a half hours of intense fighting and quick calculating, the U.S. team pulls two victories. They’ve got some time before the next round, and there’s plenty to do as they relax and unwind, exploring the stunning resort, the pool and so much more.

However, as they flood back into the playing room, the tension is still palpable as the players, refreshed, prepare for the second round. The second round pairings are Ary Chen against Li HoaTong (1P, China) Alex Qi against Hsu Ni-Ni (Chinese Taipei, 7d) and Noah Flaherty against Oleskandr Shchepaniuk (Ukraine, 4k), and this time the U.S. team falls to their stronger opponents. Still, under the encouragement and guidance of team leader MingJiu Jiang, they look forward to the next rounds. Now that this day’s grueling “war” has come to a close, the U.S. players can finally relax, and let all their tensions flood away. After all, tomorrow brings a new day – and there are players to beat, and battles to win.
-report/photos by Ashley Qi

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Registration still open for 24th Pandanet Cup Internet World Amateur Go Tournament

Monday July 8, 2019

Registrations are now being accepted for the 24th Pandanet Cup Internet World Amateur Go Tournament. The deadline is July 17. Registration is free; click here. Prizes are awarded for all divisions.

There are five divisions: Main Class (6-dan and up); A Class (5-dan~2-dan); B Class (1-dan~3-kyu); C Class (4-kyu~7-kyu); D Class (8-kyu~).

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Shikshin clinches first Transatlantic Championship for EGF

Sunday July 7, 2019

In round eight of the Transatlantic Professional Go Team Championship, played on July 7, Ilya Shikshin 3P of the EGF defeated the AGA’s last standing player, Ryan Li 1P. With this critical victory, the EGF team claimed the first Transatlantic Championship and the €10,000 Euro prize.
Black (Shikshin) opened by building a strong moyo on the right side, while white secured territory at the top and lower left. White (Li) split a left-side black group into two parts, and a fight ensued. White’s attack seemed severe, but black managed to live without incurring too much damage to his right-side territory. After the black group secured its life, the two players were neck-and-neck. White stumbled with move 152, a sente push played under time pressure, which forced white spend another move on O5 instead of responding to black on the left side. An intense endgame followed. Black wrapped up the game, winning by 3.5 points in the end.
The Transatlantic Professional Go Team Championship was the first team match between professional players of the European Go Federation and American Go Association. Each team was represented by five players in a win-and-continue format. All games were broadcast live on the American Go Association’s Twitch channel, including commentary by strong players from both North America and Europe. This last round, featuring players Ilya Shikshin and Ryan Li, attracted more than 4,400 simultaneous viewers, a record for the Transatlantic Championship.
– report by Hajin Lee

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Registration opens for 24th Pandanet Cup Internet World Amateur Go Tournament

Monday June 24, 2019

Registrations are now being accepted for the 24th Pandanet Cup Internet World Amateur Go Tournament. The deadline is July 17. Registration is free; click here.

There are five divisions: Main Class (6-dan and up); A Class (5-dan~2-dan); B Class (1-dan~3-kyu); C Class (4-kyu~7-kyu); D Class (8-kyu~).

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