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New York City Go Club hold first ratings tournament

Wednesday May 30, 2018

The first New York City Go Club ratings tournament was held on May 19. The tournament boasted a full house of 32 players 2018.05.30_New York City Go Club ratings tournament2across four divisions and was sponsored by Pie By The Pound, a restaurant that has been hosting weekly go meet-ups since 2013 and was founded by well-known tournament director Matthew Hershberger.

In addition to entry into the event, registration included all you can eat pizza and drinks during the tournament. Top winner was Peixuan Wang 8d, a former go student from China, who went undefeated for the day. The other division winners were Jason Chimon 1k, Peter Armenia 3k and Jeffrey Losapio 8k.  The tournament even garnered a bit of international attention, with players from Israel and Scotland who were in NYC on holiday were in attendance.

Details for Pie By The Pound’s weekly meetups, as well as other NYC Go clubs and events can be found here.

– report/photo by TD Ying Zhi Qian

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$12,000 prize pool for U.S. Open Masters

Tuesday May 29, 2018

The premier event at the 2018 US Go Congress is awarding $12,000 in prizes this year, organizers report. The US Open Masters is open to all 7-dan and professional players internationally. The overall winner will receive $5,000, with $2,500 going to second place. The top-placing North American competitor wins $2,000. This exciting 9-round event will be played in historic Williamsburg VA at the 2018 Congress July 21-28.

The discount for early-bird registration ends this week on 5/31. Register now to save and be sure to download the free Congress mobile app for the latest Congress news.

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2018 Cotsen dates announced

Tuesday May 29, 2018

Free massages. Free lunch. Pro analysis. Oh yeah, and one of the best fields in the AGA tournament calendar. Mark your2018.05.29_cotsen2016-IMG_2039 calendar now for this year’s Cotsen Open, which has just confirmed for October 13-14 at the Korean Cultural Center in Los Angeles. Watch this space for registration, which is expected to open soon.

Meanwhile, organizers are looking for volunteers for set up, take down and during the event. Contact Ryan Murray ryan@thelec.com if interested.

Also, the E-Journal will be covering the tournament again this year, and is looking for a few good game recorders for the team. Email journal@usgo.org if interested.

photo: Eric Cotsen (r) and friends at the 2016 Cotsen Open; photo by Chris Garlock

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Eric Lui wins Maryland Open

Sunday May 27, 2018

Eric Lui 1P (right) won the 45th Maryland Open, winning all five rounds on May 26-27 to claim his fifth title at the long-running2018.05.27_MD-Open-Eric-Lui tournament. Fifty-one players participated, Gurujeet Khalsa directed and Todd Heidenreich was Assistant TD. 

Complete results:
Open Section
1st: Eric Lui 1p (5-0)

2nd: Justin Teng 6 dan

A Section
1st – Frederick Bao 4 dan

2nd – Benjamin Armitage 3 dan

B Section
1st – Lee Huynh 2 dan


C Section
1st –  James Funk 1 kyu – Kyu Champion

2nd – Seth Liang  3 kyu
2018.05.27_MD-Open-last-game
D Section
1st – Steve Colburn  5 kyu

2nd – James Picket 6 kyu
3rd – Joon Lee 5 kyu

E Section
1st – Julian Turim 15 kyu

2nd – John Christensen  13 kyu

F Section
1st – Alexander Yang 19 kyu (5-0)

2nd – Michael Yang 25 kyu (5-0)

Gregory Lefler Award – Feng Yun Go School
Go Ambassador Award – Yuan Zhou and the XYZ Go Club
photo at left: The last game, waiting for a break in the rain that never came to load the cars 

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AlphaGo vs. AlphaGo; Game 18: Complicated attack and defense

Sunday May 27, 2018

Game 18 of the AlphaGo self-played series “starts with a big fight on the right side but you won’t be sure which side is 2018.05.25_AG-Game18-thumbnailattacking and which side is defending,” says Michael Redmond 9p in his latest AlphaGo video commentary, hosted by the AGA E-Journal’s Chris Garlock. “It’s very complicated, and about a quarter of the board for each side dies.” “Another absolutely beautiful game and awesome review,” says viewer GerSHAK. “Excellent,” adds hippophile. “The game was surprisingly easy to follow for AG vs AG, good choice!”

[link]

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San Diego Go Club welcomes Dalhoon Paul Ahn 9P

Sunday May 27, 2018

Over 30 people came out on May 20 for the San Diego Go Club May Soiree to welcome 9-dan Korean professional go player 2018.05.27_Ahn-WongDalhoon Paul Ahn.  Mr. Ahn played a simultaneous exhibition against eight players others and then played and analyzed games throughout the afternoon, while others played self-paired games. More than 20 people stayed after 5 p.m. to enjoy free pizza (provided by the AGA Chapter Rewards Program) and socialize.
 
The club was honored also to have the European Women’s Champion, Vanessa Wong 7-dan, as a guest. She played in the simul and, playing an even game, beat Paul Ahn.
2018.05.27_You-Ahn-Wong-SDGC
“The San Diego Chess Club has graciously offered to allow the go club to use its building for special events,” reports club president Ted Terpstra. “The San Diego Go Club intends to hold the first annual California Go Championship there this fall. The facility seats 150 for competition and has a separate skittles room for post-game analysis.” Details will be forthcoming.
photos: top right: Paul Ahn 9P versus Vanessa Wong 7D, with Seth Cardew, Les Lanphear, and David Saponara (president, San Diego Chess Club); photo by Henry You
bottom left: Henry You 5D Vice-president SDGC, Paul Ahn 9P, Vanessa Wong 7D; photo by Ted Terpstra
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Updating AGA chapter information

Friday May 25, 2018

The AGA would like to encourage all chapters to keep their information up to date. The organization lists all of the current 2018.05.17 aga chapter mapchapters and other clubs on our go clubs map. All of this is pulled directly from our membership database. Follow our easy guide to update your information here. Your information will be directly updated on the go clubs map and will help your club to attract members. Not a chapter or want to be listed on the AGA go clubs map? Sign up to be a chapter today!
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Go Congress “Early Bird” discount ends May 31

Wednesday May 23, 2018

If you haven’t yet registered for the US Go Congress in Williamsburg VA this year, you have until May 31 to take advantage of2018.04.02_go-congress-sign-in the Early Bird registration discount. On June 1 the cost goes up by $50 per person. To get the discount it is necessary to register  and make a minimum payment of $70.

The U.S. Go Congress runs from July 21-28 and features a full week of go-related activities. Register now and reserve your spot in the premier annual event of American go.

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South Sound Go Club holds first tournament

Wednesday May 23, 2018

South Sound Go Club held its first AGA-rated tournament on Sunday, May 20, at Terracrux Games. Ten players 2018.05.23_South Sound Go Clubparticipated, including two new to the AGA. Mike Malveaux directed.

TerraCrux Games  is an independent games store located at 760 Commerce Street in Tacoma, WA,” Malveaux reports. “They do a brisk trade in games like Magic The Gathering, Warhammer, X-Wing, and many other games; and the owner, Doug, lets SSGC use the playing area as a weekly meeting spot.”

There were three rounds, and nobody won all three. Three players won 2 out of 3 games, creating a three-way tie for first place. “Since there were no prizes or trophies, we didn’t need to declare a singular winner.”

Winning two games: Steve Zhang (5k), Joel Simpson (8k), Katherine Harmon (20k).

2018.05.23_Andrew Zhang and Steve StringfellowFurthest travelers: Andrew Zhang (1k) and Steve Zhang (5k) drove over 200 miles from Corvallis, OR.

Newest AGA members: Kathleen Dorsett (20k) and John Evans (12k).

The most common player name was Steve (30%); the second most common player name was Kate (20%).

Closest game: In the 2nd round, Steve Stringfellow 5d played Andrew Zhang 1k at 5 stones handicap. Both players were deep into byo-yomi before the dame were filled. When the counting was done, Steve had squeaked out a 1.5 point victory.

South Sound Go Club is hoping to make this a quarterly event, and planning is underway for a tournament in August.

photo (top right): Left: Steve Jones from Olympia, WA, vs. Joel Simpson from Everett, WA; Left background:  Steve Zhang vs. Andrew Zhang (both from Corvallis, OR); Center foreground: Katherine Harmon vs. Kathleen Dorsett (both from Tacoma, WA); Right background: John Evans (formerly Tacoma, now from Portland, OR) vs. Tom Cruver (Tacoma; president of SSGC).
photo (bottom left): Andrew Zhang and Steve Stringfellow
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The Empty Board: Philosophical Reflections on Go #7

Monday May 21, 2018

by William Cobb2018.05.21_empty-go-board-blurred

“Blitz” games are an interesting phenomenon in the go world, often played at ten seconds per move. They do count as go games since they follow the rules of the game, but to me, they’re about as appealing as playing blindfolded (although I have heard of one guy  who plays amazing well blindfolded). Actually, blitz games are not that different from playing blindfolded. Although you can do a bit of analysis in a few seconds, you certainly can’t see most of what is going on in the game. Since you don’t have time to think, except in a very superficial way, there are inevitably a lot of bad moves, although I suspect a stronger player would usually beat a weaker one. And you can’t deny that such a game can generate a lot of excitement—sort of like a dog fight. So I can see why some people like to play blitz games. So-called trick moves should be very effective. However, it seems a way to create a lot of bad habits since the results would generally just be a function of luck, instead of superior understanding, strategy, and analysis. Trying to figure out what is happening and how to best counter your opponent’s moves is what makes go such an engrossing game. If you minimize that intellectual challenge, I would think the game would soon become boring. I suppose there are times when you are too tired to really play the game but would like to have something to do. Maybe the people who play blitz games are just exhausted or bored and looking for a little easy stimulation. Are there ever blitz tournaments? You could play a lot of rounds in a day.

photo by Phil Straus; photo art by Chris Garlock

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