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Lee Sedol drops to AI player in final career match

Saturday January 11, 2020

South Korean Go icon Lee Sedol closed out his illustrious career last month in a three-game match with home-developed artificial intelligence (AI) program HanDol, according to a report by the Yonhap News Agency.

Lee, who turned pro at 12 and went on to capture 18 international and 32 domestic titles, defeated HanDol in the opener of the best-of-three match in Seoul, playing with a two-stone advantage. The second match was played without any handicap, and HanDol was victorious. In the decisive third game, HanDol, developed by South Korea’s NHN Entertainment Corp., took down the 36-year-old master after 181 stones in Lee’s final match, held in his hometown of Sinan, 400 kilometers south of Seoul.
“I should have done better early, and then the (final game) would have played out much like the first one,” Lee said. “To be honest, I don’t think HanDol is particularly strong when playing with an advantage. I think some of the younger players would have beaten HanDol.”

Looking back on his career, Lee said, “I’ve enjoyed this ride. In the past, I used to say, ‘Baduk is my life,'” he said. “But now, I think there’s more to my life than baduk. I take away a lot of fun memories. Even though I lost today, I was happy to have played a good match.”

Note: This post has been updated to clarify the game sequence.


AlphaGo vs. AlphaGo; Game 34: The AI and the ponnuki

Friday January 10, 2020

After a brief break for the holidays, Michael Redmond 9P and Chris Garlock return with their latest AlphaGo vs. AlphaGo game commentary.

The game features a ponnuki* near the center of the board,” and Redmond says that “nowadays with people getting new ideas from AI’s, a lot of the old ideas — the old values, you might say — about things like ponnukis or josekis have been questioned. So in this game we get to see how an AI handles a ponnuki.” After that, Redmond warns, “things get very tactical, there’s a lot of calculating, a lot of groups and you have to figure out what’s alive and what’s dead; there’s a lot to figure out.”

The commentary was originally streamed live on Twitch, which gave viewers a chance to interact with Redmond and Garlock, who will be live-streaming more game commentaries — some AlphaGo vs. AlphaGo and some of Redmond’s games — on January 16, 23 and 30 on the AGA’s Twitch channel. Follow the AGA’s Twitch channel and get notified of live streams.

* Capturing a single stone, leaving a diamond shape. According to the proverb, “A ponnuki is worth thirty points” Sensei’s Library



New AGA Tournament Director Support mailing list is live

Friday January 10, 2020

The AGA has been working to help those who run our tournaments across the country. A new mailing list has been created to help both veteran and new directors with the goal of creating a sounding board for issues and questions that might arise throughout the year. If you are or would like to become a tournament director, please consider joining the TD Support mailing list. Discussions will be most useful with a good blend of both veteran tournament directors and fresh perspectives from new TDs. The mailing list will also be a great place for TDs to ask questions and share experiences.

We have updated our information to help you join these lists to connect with TDs and Chapter leaders. Full Mailing List information can be found on the left menu bar of the USGO website.


Frederick Bao wins 2019 Young Lions Tournament

Thursday January 9, 2020

“Over 70 players from across North America competed intensely in the AGHS’s annual Young Lions Tournament, which took place over the past month,” says AGHS Promotion Head Sophia Wang, “There was impressive participation, including several high-dan competitors and many new players joining the Go community.” Frederick Bao, who won first place at the 2019 US Open as well as multiple recent tournaments, emerged victorious as the champion of the 2019 Young Lions Tournament after being undefeated in the highly competitive open division. Zhixiang Lou followed closely as second place and Ruihan Cao took third.

Winners’ Report: Open Division 1st: Frederick Bao, 2nd: Zhixiang Lou, 3rd: Ruihan Cao; Division A 1st: Toranosuke Ozawa, 2nd: Sophie Lin, 3rd: Chase Lin; Division B 1st: Steve Zhang, 2nd: Kyle Fenimore, 3rd: Samantha Soo; Division C 1st: Jason Yang, 2nd: Stephanie Tan, 3rd: Juanshu Lan; Division D 1st: Zhiyong Huang, 2nd: Joshua Wong, 3rd: Allen Tan; Division E 1st: Shinyan Hu, 2nd: Christina Wang, 3rd: Ethan Tu; Division F 1st: Zhihan William Huang, 2nd: Noah Carrafa, 3rd: Enzo Aozono-Araldi -Lionel Zhang, EJ Youth Correspondant


February 8 NYIG Open to feature a Night With the Pros

Tuesday January 7, 2020

The New York Go Association will be hosting the 2020 NYIG Open in Little Neck, NY on February 8, 2020. The NYIG Open is a 4-round, AGA-rated tournament from 9 AM to 5 PM.

Fancy spending the evening with a Go World Champion after the tournament? This year’s special NYIG Open will be joined by two esteemed professional players from China, Gu Zihao 9P (right) and Wang Xiangyun 3P (below), who will teach and interact with our Go fans in the “Night With the Pros” event. After a Go lecture by World Champion Gu Zihao 9P and pizza, you get to ask your own questions during “Ask the Pros” with Gu Zihao 9P, Wang Xiangyun 3P, Stephanie Yin 1P, and Ryan Li 1P. 

For more details, please visit or contact
-report and photos provided by Ryan Li


Registration Open for the 2020 North American Kyu Championships, Redmond Cup, and AGA Girls Cup

Tuesday January 7, 2020

Registration is now open for the annual suite of AGA-run youth tournaments, including the 7th North American Kyu Championships (NAKC), the 27th Redmond Cup, and the 3rd AGA Girls Cup. For all three tournaments, competitors must reside in North America and be a member of the his or her country’s national Go organization.

Young Go players competing at the 2018 US Go Congress

The year kicks off on February 1st with the 7th North American Kyu Championships, which is a four-round, one-day tournament on the KGS Go Server for North American kyu players under the age of 18. Top junior (under 13) and senior (13-17) players in each of five rank divisions can win personalized crystal trophies, and the junior and senior champions of the top division will be invited to play in the Redmond Cup, which traditionally requires one to have a dan-level rank to compete. Players who complete all rounds of the NAKC will also be eligible for a $200 scholarship to the 2020 US Go Congress (USGC) in Estes Park, Colorado, courtesy of the American Go Foundation. Registration for the NAKC closes on January 26th, and interested competitors can read about the rules and additional details here.

Frederick Bao 5d (l) vs Kevin Huang 5d (r) at the 2019 Redmond Cup Junior Division Finals

The 27th Redmond Cup and 3rd AGA Girls Cup are premier tournaments for North American youth under 18 and females under 16 respectively. Players must have an accredited rank of 1-dan or higher to participate in the Redmond Cup, and an accredited rank of 10-kyu or higher to participate in the AGA Girls Cup. The Redmond Cup features both a Junior (under 13) and a Senior (13-17) division, while the AGA Girls Cup will feature one division. Both tournaments are online preliminaries to determine two finalists in each division who will be invited to play in a best-of-three match at the 2020 US Go Congress. The American Go Foundation will cover all reasonable expenses for the finalists of both tournaments to travel to and compete at the 2020 USGC. Players who complete all rounds of either tournament will also be eligible for a $200 scholarship to the 2020 USGC. Registration for the Redmond Cup will close on March 11th, with competition starting on March 15th. Registration for the AGA Girls Cup will close on March 18th, with competition starting on March 22nd. Interested competitors can read about the rules for the Redmond Cup here and rules for the AGA Girls Cup here. – Story and photos by Justin Teng, AGA Youth Coordinator


Go Clubs: Bloomington, Indiana

Monday January 6, 2020

The American Go Association’s newest chapter is The Stone Cutters Go Club in Bloomington, Indiana. “We welcome anyone with an interest in Go to come and visit, new players included!” says the club on its website. “Our goal is to help provide a network for Go players and bring awareness of Go to the community.” Club founder Vera Flocke especially encourages local or visiting AGA members to drop by. “It would be great to see our club grow,” she says. The club meets Thursday evenings at 7p at the Runcible Spoon, 412 E 6th Street, Bloomington, IN 47408.
Got club news? Email us at


Upcoming events at the National Go Center

Sunday January 5, 2020

Pair Go/Paella Next Friday, 1/10

The National Go Center is welcoming in the New Year with another Pair Go/Paella night on January 10 at 7 PM. Chris Garlock will be making his famous paella for the event. Come with or without a partner (we will pair you up and explain the rules) for this social event. Please pre-register by Wednesday night so we can give Chris a head count at Pair Go/Paella Night – 1/10/2020. $5 at the door to cover costs. Side dishes, desserts, and beverages most welcome. 

Yuan Zhou’s Monthly Workshop on 1/12

The full year’s schedule for these popular workshops are in the Calendar. Get the year off to a great start with a day of sharpening your Go skills at Yuan Zhou’s Monthly Group Lesson – 1/12/2020. After an in-depth review of a famous pro game in the morning, participants pair off after lunch and play a tournament style game followed by reviews. 

Winter/Spring Tournament Schedule

Our first three tournament dates of 2020 are set. First up will be the annual Chinese Lunar New Year tournament on 2/15. This is always a great event with trophies and cash prizes. It will be followed by the traditional Cherry Blossom event on 3/28 and May Madness on 5/2. Registration is open now for the Chinese Lunar New Year Tournament – 2/15/2020.


Go Spotting: Brain Myths Exploded

Saturday January 4, 2020

“In Lecture 24 of her course Brain Myths Exploded (available at The Great entitled Does Technology Make You Stupid? Indre Viskontas uses Go to support her thesis that the answer to the title question is no,” writes Joel Sanet. “After spending about a minute and a half (at minute 23) describing Go in which she calls it ‘the most complex game ever devised by our species’ and ‘the pinnacle of human intelligence,'” she points out AlphaGo’s defeat of Lee Sedol. However, in defense of her position she also mentions Fan Hui’s statement that playing against AlphaGo has made him a better Go player.”

Categories: Go Spotting,Main Page

2020 International Collegiate Go Tournament registration opens

Friday January 3, 2020

The Shanghai Ing Foundation will be hosting the 2020 International Collegiate Go Tournament in Shenzhen, China this summer. The tournament starts on July 7th and will conclude on the 13th. This event is open to any current undergraduate or graduate level college student. All costs related to room, board, and tours during the event will be covered by the tournament organizer.

“This is a truly unique experience as the Shanghai Ing Foundation does not spare any expense during the planning of this event,” says Mike Fodera. To find out more about this program, check out the schedule and regulations as well as additional information on the Shanghai Ing Foundation’s website.
While play is competitive, players of all skill levels are welcome to participate. There will be five divisions: a high dan, low dan, single digit kyu, double digit kyu, and women’s division. The deadline for applying is March 15th. Please send all registration forms directly to Mike Fodera –
If you have any questions about the event, or would like to find out more about previous events hosted by the Ing Foundation, email Mike Fodera.  

Categories: China,Main Page