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Kuksu and X’ian International youth go tournaments

Monday March 25, 2019

Screen Shot 2019-03-23 at 2.04.15 PM “We have been invited to send teams to two youth tournaments in Asia,”  reports AGA President Andy Okun. “With all expenses paid for kids once they arrive, this is an  an incredible go-related cultural experience for the price of round trip air fare.”  The Kuksu Mountain tournament will be held August 2-7, in scenic Jeollanamdo Province, South Korea.  Youth teams will be attending from all over the world, and participants will compete in multiple tournaments, with prizes in various rank brackets.  Go related side events and local tourism are part of the program as well.  Organized by the Korean Baduk Association, the popular event will be held for the sixth time this summer.  Any AGA youth 18 and under are eligible to attend, and a team leader is also sought.  Accompanying adults are welcome as well, but are asked to pay a $270 fee to help cover costs (as is the team leader). If you are interested in the event, or would like more information, fill out the application form here.

IMG_0704The X’ian Education Bureau is organizing an international tournament as well, for youth aged 13-18.  A four person team will be selected for this event.  The date is not set yet, but it is expected to be in mid-late August.  X’ian was the former capital of China and is rich in history and culture, and the famed terracotta army is nearby as well.  The event will include three days of competition and two of sightseeing and cultural exchange.  12-14 teams are expected to participate.   As with the Kuksu participants must pay their own airfare.  There is a $200 charge per person as well, and then all other expenses are covered.  The application form is here-Paul Barchilon, EJ Youth Editor.  Photos: Top: 2018 Kuksu tournament; Bottom: A few members of the life-size Terracotta Army, of which there are 8,000. Photo by Paul Barchilon.

 

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Park Junghwan tops World Go Championship; videos posted

Wednesday March 20, 2019

Park Junghwan has topped the World Go Championships for the third year; videos have been posted online  and include commentaries by Michael Redmond 9P. 2019.03.20 World championship-redmondThe 3-day tournament March 18-20 featured Iyama Yuta 9p and Cho U 9p from Japan, Park Jeong Hwan 9p, Shin Jinseo 9p from Korea, Ke Jie 9p of China and qualifiers Jiang Weijie 9p (China), Liao Yuanhe (China) and Yoo Changhyuk 9p (Korea). The event was sponsored by the Hankyu Corporation, Sumitomo Mitsui Card Co., Ltd., NTT DOCOMO, Inc. and IGO&SHOGI CHANNEL INC.

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Registration open for World Youth Goe Tourney

Monday March 4, 2019

Screen Shot 2019-03-04 at 4.15.08 PMThe  Ing Foundations annual World Youth Goe Championship will be held in Xian, China, July 22-27, and registration for the preliminaries is now open, reports Mingjiu Jiang 7P.  “The tournament is open to US citizens, resident in the US for at least 6 of the past 12 months; Senior Group (Age 12—15) Junior Group (Age under 12). Players cannot attend in the same group more than twice in 3 years, for instance, if you obtain the seat this year, you cannot join the US team again for 3 years,” says Jiang.
 
The qualifier games will be played on KGS, with Ing rules, 1 hour 3/30 each. Skype video call will be required for all games. “We will pick the top four players of each group,” said Jiang. The final winner of each group will be invited to play this year’s Ing’s World Youth Cup in China.  The qualifier will be  Mar. 23 and 24. At 9:00am PST and 1:00pm PST.  To register email mingjiu7p@hotmail.com or call (650-796-1602) by Mar.17, 2019.  Please include your name, date of birth, rank, KGS ID, phone number and address. - Paul Barchilon, EJ Youth Editor. Photo: Last year’s team, Elwin Li, Mingjiu Jiang, and Melissa Cao.  Photo by Mingjiu Jiang.
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Free new ebook offers window into studying go in China

Monday January 14, 2019

bookcoverHave you ever wondered what it would be like to study in a Chinese go school? Sinan Djepov of Bulgaria, rated 5d by the European Go Federation, recently spent three months studying go at Ge Yuhong Go Academy in Beijing as part of the CEGO Academic Programme. This program, a collaboration between the EGF and Chinese company CEGO teams up pros from China with teachers from Europe to train young players who will become the next generation of top players.

Djepov recently published a new ebook entitled, Go Studies: A History of Adventure, in which he presents new opening ideas, joseki changes, creative moves, and also his experience of what it is like to study go in a Chinese go school in the 21st century. He has made the ebook available for free. You can download your copy in PDF format from his Explore Baduk website.

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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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