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China’s half-point victory clinches win in 2019 World Amateur Go Championships; U.S. places 4th, Canada 6th

Friday June 7, 2019

Wang Chen, China’s representative to the 2019 World Amateur Go Championship edged out his Korean rival Lee Jaesong in a tense half-point game to take top honors, while the US player, Albert Yen, and Canadian Wu Qi You scored outstanding results at 4th and 6th place respectively. Along with Hungarian Pal Balogh in 5th and Ukrainian Dmytro Bogatskyi in
7th, half of the top eight finishers were from outside Asia. Third place went to Chan Nai San of Hong Kong and 8th to Kawaguchi Tsubasa of Japan.

Full results are here. Wang went undefeated in the eight-round, four-day event in Matsue City, Shimane Prefecture, Japan, securing the win at the end of the day three when he beat Lee. It was Lee’s only defeat.

Both players started the game very steadily, taking few risks, and in fact there was very little fighting at any point in the game. When white played the shoulder hit of 60, black opted to link his stones on the upper side with 61, but then white’s capture of 62–68 gave white a locally favorable result. Following that, white kept the game in his grip, and even with the successful invasion of black 121, etc., white was favored for the win. The decisive fight broke out with black 145. White’s defense was solid and, up to 175, he still held the lead. However, white 180 let black complicate the situation, when a jump at around f10 would have been good enough. White 186 is probably the losing move: black 187 captured six stones in the center, and although white could then return to capture four black stones with 194, black had profited slightly from the whole exchange. The rest of the endgame was played precisely by both sides, and it does not look like there was a way for white to avoid a half-point loss.

Among the players who won six of their eight games, the Hong Kong player benefited from having played the top four starters and defeating two of them, while Albert Yen lost only to China and Korea.

The Asada Shizuo Fighting Spirit special prize, awarded to the player who best shows good manners and sportsmanlike conduct, was given to Singaporean Kwa Jie Hui, who placed ninth. While Kwa’s award may have been given for his generous response to a clock mishap in his game with Japan, discussion at the playing site also noted his patient demeanor in the face of fearsome pairings. Kwa played against all of the top six starters, China, Korea, Taiwan, Japan, a French 7-dan, and a German 6-dan, and still came in 5–3. He also represented Singapore in 2018 and played against China, Korea, Taiwan, and strong players from Russia,
Canada, and Finland, similarly scoring 5–3.
– reported by Andy Okun; commentary by Antti Törmänen

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Eric Lui scores second win in Transatlantic Team Championship

Sunday June 2, 2019

In round five of the Transatlantic Professional Go Team Championship, played on June 2, Eric Lui 1P defeated EGF pro Ali Jabarin 2P. The game was followed live by over 300 players on OGS and 4,000 viewers on Twitch.
The game intensified as Ali (white) invaded black’s large moyo on the right side. A white group on the right appeared dead for some time, leading viewers to believe the game would be over soon. Yet, to everyone’s surprise, including main commentator Inseong Hwang, Ali magically found a way to save the group. However, in the process, white had to leave the center undefended, and black’s center territory became too large for white to match. At the final count, black won by 24.5 points.

The next round will take place on June 9, starting at 14:00 US Eastern time. Eric Lui will face Pavol Lisy 2P. The game will be played on OGS and live-streamed on Twitch.
– Hajin Lee

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2019 U.S. Go Congress re-cap

Wednesday May 29, 2019

The 35th annual U.S. Go Congress will be held July 13–20 in Madison, Wisconsin. The playing site, Memorial Union on the UW–2019.03.23 UW-Madison campus, is on the shore of Lake Mendota within walking distance of many restaurants and attractions. Click here for detailed information about the Congress.

Here’s a quick re-cap of our pre-Congress coverage so far:

Registration opens for 2019 U.S. Go Congress
Lake Mendota now ice free; time to register for U.S. Go Congress
Congress to host Teachers’ Workshop
2019 US Go Congress College Scholarship Application Now Open
Nick Sibicky named AGF Teacher of the Year
Professional slate for U.S. Go Congress shaping up


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Help Wanted: KGS Go Server

Wednesday May 29, 2019

-by Paul Barchilon, AGF Vice President, KGS Liaison

As many of our readers are aware, the American Go Foundation (AGF) agreed to take on ownership of the KGS Go Server in 2017.  Our goal was to stabilize and grow the server, and also provide a financial buffer for the service after its creator, Bill Shubert, no longer wanted to run it.  We think KGS is the best place for reviewing games online, with unparalleled game review tools, and terrific chat features that allow people to build real community.  Although there are many other go servers out there, including Asian ones with beautiful graphic design and strong players, we think KGS is still a unique and valuable server.  A common complaint has been that many high level dan players have moved to other servers. The AGF’s mission focuses on education and learning, and we think KGS is the perfect place for beginners and more advanced kyu players to learn and grow.  Dan players are important too, but we think the server can grow more of them, and that more strong players will come back to the server if we can revitalize it.

We had hoped that by providing financial security for the server, it would be able to survive and grow on its own.  However, as time has passed, it has become clear that we need more support from the community to make that a reality.  Our team of programmers (all volunteers) have busy day jobs, and although they do their best, there is too much work to be done. Our admin team has also become smaller, and is greatly in need of an infusion of volunteers.  

The go community should have lots of programmers out there who can help.  We should also have lots of people who are willing to be admins. If you are interested in volunteering to help make KGS the best possible server it can be, please email me at kgs@agfgo.org.  

On the programming level, we need people who can code in Java and Javascript.  The code for ShinKGS is actually open source. Skilled coders could help us bring more features to the web compatible version of KGS and – most urgently  – to create a registration module that can run from any web-browser and doesn’t require Java. If you are willing to help us with our task list, email kgs@agfgo.org.

On the Admin side, we need team players who have a helpful, forthcoming attitude, can stay calm under pressure, and are able to properly judge if, when, and how to intervene in public chats, deal with complaints and enforce KGS policies on escaping. A community only thrives with the support of those in it. The more people maintaining the spirit of KGS, the easier for all.

Admins need enough spare time to be on several times a week and should be able to keep an idle window open on the server. They should be quick to step in when needed.  We also need admins in many languages and time zones, and would like to have at least one admin on at any given time.

While the AGF owns KGS and, with the help of many donors, provides the basic financial support, KGS really belongs to all of us. If the server is to move forward, we need help from the community. 

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AGA video updates

Wednesday May 29, 2019

Round 2 of the Transatlantic Professional Go TeamChampionship — Calvin Sun 1p vs. Mateusz Surma 2p — has been posted on the AGA’s YouTube page. Game 3 is scheduled to be posted on May 29 and Game 4 on June 1. Game 1 is posted here. Plus, Michael Redmond and Chris Garlock’s AlphaGo vs. AlphaGo commentaries will resume this Friday;  check out the 30-game playlist here.

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UCLA Claims Second Collegiate Go League Championship

Wednesday May 29, 2019

UCLA’s CGL Team: Paul Chin (back left); Ying Ngai Yu 7d (front left); Xinyu Liu 7d (front right); Lionel Zhang 6d (back right)

UCLA continued to display the strength of its premier Go club with a triumphant 2-1 victory over University of Chicago in the 2019 Collegiate Go League Championship Finals. UCLA entered the league in 2014, and has made the finals every year except 2017. They won the title in 2016, but have been seeking the winning magic touch to clinch another title ever since.

For University of Chicago, this was its first Finals appearance after joining the CGL in 2016. Leveraging the strength of first board Zirui Song 1p, 2018 US Open Masters champion, University of Chicago managed to defeat UCLA’s first board, Ying Ngai Yu 7d. However, the depth of UCLA’s roster proved overwhelming with decisive victories by Xinyu Liu 7d and Lionel Zhang 6d over Cheuk To Tsui 4d and Henry Li 4d respectively.

Paul Chin, UCLA’s Team Captain and President of the UCLA Go Club expressed gratitude to the Korean Baduk Association and Ahn Dalhoon 9p in particular for visiting the club to play and teach the members. Paul added, “We welcome anyone in the area to come play with us on Friday nights at 6:30 pm in room 6201 of the Mathematical Sciences building while school is in session.”

Meanwhile, University of Maryland defeated Brigham Young University 2-1 in a series of extremely close games to claim the B League title. This is UMD’s first B League title after having won the A League championship in 2015.

The Collegiate Go League is an online league held on KGS for universities in North America. Matches are 3 against 3 and all undergraduate and graduate students of a university are eligible to participate on their respective school’s roster. Season 9 will start in October 2019 with 10 rounds roughly every two weeks (with a winter break in the middle) and will culminate with the championship playoffs in April 2020. There is both an A League for dan-level teams and a B League for kyu-level teams. Registration for Season 9 will close on September 25th. – Justin Teng, AGA Youth Coordinator

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Alan Huang 7d wins Maryland Open

Monday May 27, 2019

Alan Huang 7d went 5-0 — including a win over Eric Lui 1P — to win the 46th Maryland Open last weekend, topping a field of 75 players. Gurujeet Khalsa and Todd Heidenriech directed and Keith Arnold was the organizer. See below for the Winner’s Report.

Open Section: Champion – Alan Huang 7 dan – 5-0; 2nd – Eric Lui 1p; 3rd – Zhaonian Chen
A Section: 1st – Zhang Quinbo 5 dan; 2nd – Frederick Bao 5 dan
B Section: 1st – Jacky Chong 4 dan; 2nd – David Glekel 3 dan
C Section: 1st – Brian Ye 2 dan
D Section: Kyu Champion – Jiayang Su 1 kyu; 2nd – Jino Choung; 3rd – Jeffrey Losapio 3 kyu
E Section: 1st – Walter “Badger” Zhao 5kyu – 5-0; 2nd – Blair Chisholm 6 kyu – 5-0; 3rd – Bob Crites 6 kyu
F Section: 1st – Edward Caldeira 8 kyu; 2nd – Derek Zhou 9 kyu
G Section: 1st – Patrick Bannister 14 kyu – 5-0; 2nd – Fan Haoquan 28 kyu – 5-0; 3rd – Ashley Qi 11 kyu
Fighting Spirit Prize – Adam Vanderhook 23 kyu
Gregory Lefler Award – Feng Yun Go School
Keith Arnold Go Ambassador Award – Jeffrey Losapio’s friend, for traveling down from New Jersey with him.

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LA goes 2-1 in Chinese city league

Monday May 27, 2019

In round one of the Chinese city league Saturday morning in Liuzhou, Los Angeles defeated the team from Jingdezhen. This was a major victory since the opponents were last year’s city league runner-up. In Saturday night’s round two, L.A. lost by five points to last year‘s city league champion, Nanjing. Sunday morning in round three, L.A. was again victorious, this time over the city of Tianjin. In the photo, Captain O Rissei is about to convert what appears to be a massive seki into a kill for black.
Los Angeles will play four more games at the end of August, and if they are able to win at least two of them, they will proceed to the finals.
– reported by Steve Burrall

See also Los Angeles team joins Chinese city league; report from Liuzhou

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Congress to host Teachers’ Workshop

Monday May 27, 2019

Renowned teachers of teachers Toshifumi Mizuma 7P and Yuto Tajiri 5P will lead the Teachers’ Workshop at the upcoming U.S. Go Congress. The workshop is sponsored by the Iwamoto North American Foundation (INAF) and the Nihon-kiin. Open to all go players who want to become more effective in teaching beginners and high-kyu players, the INAF wishes to encourage those who have not previously participated in a Congress teachers’ workshop by providing them with $200 stipends. Those interested in participating in the Workshop should contact Mark Rubenstein.

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Los Angeles team joins Chinese city league; report from Liuzhou

Sunday May 26, 2019

A team from Los Angeles has joined the Chinese city league for the 2019 season,reports Steve Burrall from China. “The expense of fielding a team has historically been prohibitive for most non-Asian countries, but team leader Peter Chang has stepped up with funding for the first-ever team from the US to participate.” There are 32 teams including 24 from Chinese cities and eight international cities. Teams can have up to 12 players, but for each match, teams can be 3 to 6 players who confer on strategy during the match while each takes a turn playing a series of moves against the other team; international teams must include one native player, one female player and one amateur player.“Mr. Chang has filled these slots with Michael Redmond 9P, Shirley Lin 1P and amateurs Cheng C C 7d, Wang Yi Hsin 7d and Luo Qi Peng 7d.  Completing the team are Captain O Rissei, Hsu Chia Yuan 8p and Liu Dhin Shin 3p,” Burrall reports. The first series of matches is currently underway in the city of Liuzhou. Los Angeles is 1-1 as of Saturday night May 25.

photo: team members discuss strategy while one player is playing on a board off to the right. Captain O Rissei 9p is in the center, seated at the board next to Michael Redmond 9p. photo by Steve Burrall
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