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Chen An 7d defends North Carolina State Champion title

Thursday October 31, 2019

The weather was warm in Raleigh, and the atmosphere on fire as 25 players engaged in their favorite board game. Tournament Director Jeff Kuang ran the show smoothly and pairings appeared quickly. A sumptuous lunch was again provided by Arlene and Adam Bridges.

For the second year running, Chen An 7d won the North Carolina State Championship with a perfect 4-0 record. He faced strong competition this year from another 7 dan player, Chengyu Fu, who placed a very respectable second in the event. The Open Section was quite competitive with two 7 dans, a strong 5 dan, two powerful 4 dans and four battling 3 dans.

Section A ended with a tie between Chen Yuan 2d and Sheng Huo 2d, each with a 3-1 record. Justin Blank 3k was the clear victor in Section B with the only other 4-0 score for the day, with Andrew Thieman 7k and John Aiken 8k tying for second place. Section C produced a 3 way tie for first, with Jeremy Marshburn 9k, Ganning Xu 11k, and Bhaskar Bharath 12k each finishing with a 3-1 result. Yet another tie emerged for top honors in Section D between Justin Su 12k and Russell Herman 12k. Complete results and more photos can be found on the club website.

-report and photos provided by Bob Bacon

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Rich Chalmers takes title of Vermont State Champion, sends everyone home with jars of honey

Wednesday October 30, 2019

A very successful Vermont Go Championship in Middlebury this past weekend attracted participants from far and wide. The 20 player field included five players from Canada and two from Grenoble, France, who happened to be visiting on holiday. Players traveled from Maine, Massachusetts, and throughout New England. Rich Chalmers 1d took first and was crowned Vermont State Champion. Dave Felcan 2d and Dan Deneen 2k claimed second and third place, respectively. In the open handicapped division, Benoit Potvin 11k took first place with the only undefeated record. Robert Lafleche 1k placed second and Andrew Richter 10k placed third.  

Prizes were generous and plentiful. In addition to trophies and framed certificates, sizable gift certificates from Kiseido, Guo Juan’s Internet Go school, and the Yunguseng Dojang were awarded. Prizes also included books donated from Slate and Shell, equipment donated from Yellow Mountain Imports, and Go related goods from local vendors. Everyone received at least one prize. Jars of local honey were given to everyone as a door prize compliments of Rich Chalmer’s farm. Special thanks to Jack Cary for making some awesome posters and tirelessly promoting the tournament.

-report and photos by Pete Schumer

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Last week to register for the Pandanet AGA City League

Tuesday October 29, 2019

This is the last week to register to play in the tournament. Join the strongest players across the US and Canada in this tournament spanning months. The rules for the tournament outline when games are played and any other information. Starting mid-November you can watch many professionals at least five professionals play. Email the Tournament Director to register or find out more at steve.colburn@usgo.org

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Mark Lee collects 5th Cotsen title

Sunday October 27, 2019

Mark Lee (right) with Eric Cotsen; photo by Chris Garlock

Mark Lee won his fifth Cotsen Open title on Sunday, capping his 5-0 sweep with a convincing 123-move win over Andy Liu 1P. “Andy always comes up with new moves, so it was a pretty interesting game,” Lee told the E-Journal after the game. Lee won all five games by resignation. Although he’d been playing a lot of games with Korean professionals and insei before this year’s US Go Congress – where he came in third behind Eiko Kyu and Zhongfan Jian – Lee said he hasn’t had a chance to play much since, due largely to teaching duties with his students. He learned some AI moves studying with the Koreans but says he’s not planning on adding them to his repertoire just yet. “They’re very difficult to understand,” he said. “It’s good to change, but it’s going to be a lot of work,” he laughed. “Maybe I will try later.” This year’s title was especially satisfying, Lee said, “It was the toughest one yet,” due to the large and strong Open Section. “I was really happy to get a chance to play against so many strong players, especially since I don’t get many opportunities to play that many strong players.”

Winner Report
Open Section:
1st: Mark Lee (5-0); 2nd: Andy Liu (4-1); 3rd: Evan Lin (4-1); 4th: Xiaocheng Hu (4-1); 5th: Calvin Sun (4-1); 6th: Ying Ngai Yu (3-2).
Section A (4d-2d): 1st: Kosuke Sato (5-0); 2nd: Zhizhe Zhang (5-0); 3rd: Ashish Varma (4-1)
Section B (1d-2k): 1st: Tony Yang (5-0); 2nd: Tommy Yinhe Liu (5-0); 3rd: Andrew Luo (4-1)
Section C (3k-5k): 1st: Billy Maier (5-0); 2nd: Samuel Kennedy (5-0); 3rd: Shawn Blue (4-1)
Section D (6k-10k): 1st: David Su (4-1); 2nd: Mario Espinoza (4-1); 3rd: Viet Nguyen (4-1)
Section E (11k-30k): 1st: Jiqi Wang (5-0); 2nd: Michael Lee (5-0); 3rd: Xiao Tiao Wang (4-1)

Club prize winner: Santa Monica Go Club

The E-Journal’s coverage this year included broadcasting top boards on OGS and videos on the AGA’s YouTube channel and Facebook page, including interviews with Eric Cotsen, Yilun Yang 7P, Richard Dolen and more
 

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Four players undefeated in Cotsen Open with two rounds to go

Saturday October 26, 2019

Defending champion — and four-time winner — Mark Lee has some serious competition in his quest for a fifth Cotsen Open title. Lee swept all three rounds Saturday but with the Open Section one of the biggest and toughest in years, there are some top players still in the hunt with two rounds to play, including Andy Liu 1P, Evan Lin and Ming Lin, a very strong player from Taiwan. All three are also undefeated after three rounds.

Mark Lee (l) in his Round 3 game against Shuaiheng Tao; photo by Chris Garlock

With 155 players this year, the Cotsen moved to a new, more spacious venue in downtown Los Angeles, and once again featured the professional masseuses for go-tensed shoulders and free taco truck lunch that have drawn hungry players from throughout the LA area and as far away as Seattle, WA, Evanston, IL, Tennessee, New York City and even Melbourne, Australia.

The E-Journal’s coverage this year included broadcasting top boards on OGS and videos on the AGA’s YouTube channel and Facebook page, including interviews with Eric Cotsen, Yilun Yang 7P, Richard Dolen and more. CLICK HERE for the top-board game records for rounds 1-3; tune in on OGS for Round 4 Sunday starting at 10:30am PDT.
– report/photo by Chris Garlock

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Cotsen Open set for Saturday in LA

Wednesday October 23, 2019

At the 2018 Cotsen; photo by Chris Garlock

Over 150 have already registered for this year’s Cotsen Open in Los Angeles, CA. Online registration has closed, but day-of registration is available Saturday, starting at 8a. Everyone must be registered or checked-in (if pre-registered) by 9a if they wish to play in Round 1. The location is the MG Studio, 1319 W 11th St; parking across the street. Registration and check in will be in the back of the building at 1320 Connecticut St. As usual, the Cotsen features free lunch from the Kogi BBQ Taco Truck, free registration for those who play both days, club prizes and Yilun Yang 7P will play a pro-pro game Sunday morning. Online coverage will be provided by the E-Journal; follow us @theaga on Twitter and @AmericanGoAssociation on Facebook, with video coverage on our YouTube channel and top-board games on OGS.

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Ben Lockhart: 1993-2019

Friday October 18, 2019

Ben Lockhart, one of the stars of the American go scene, died peacefully at home on Saturday, October 12th, reports his brother Will Lockhart. Ben had been fighting an aggressive cancer for the past two years. “Even in the last stages of his illness, Ben was filled with an amazing energy for life, and a strong sense of himself,” Will said. “I want to express to the go community at large, how thankful I am for the community you gave him. Determined to live his life in his own way, according to his own principles, Ben pursued what he loved completely. As a teenager traveling alone in Korea and Budapest, and as a young man following his own scary and unconventional path, Ben found a world that made sense to him, and in that world you were his second family. You were his second siblings, his teachers, his friends, his guardian angels, his devoted fans.”

The family wanted to reach out to let the go community know Ben has passed. Will plans to write a longer memorial for Ben in the future, celebrating his trajectory through the go scene. Readers who would like to contribute memories, stories or photos of Ben are welcome to do so by email to youth@usgo.org. We will share them with the family when they have had a little time to catch their breath. – Paul Barchilon, EJ Youth Editor

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Just two weeks left to register for the Pandanet AGA City League

Thursday October 17, 2019

Two weeks remain to register your team for this season. Registration ends Saturday November 2nd. The first round will start on November 17th. Please see the updated rules for the year for any questions. Registration and questions can be sent to steve.colburn@usgo.org. We hope to see your city compete this year!

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The Power Report: Shibano to challenge for Oza title; Son wins King of New Stars; Cho U wins Agon Kiriyama Cup

Thursday October 17, 2019

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Shibano to challenge for Oza title

This is turning into a big year for Shibano Toramaru. Wrapping up the Meijin series by the fifth game enables him to give his undivided attention to the next title match on his calendar. In the play-off to decide the challenger for the 67th Oza title, held on September 20 at the Nihon Ki-in headquarters in Tokyo, he defeated Kyo Kagen 8P (W) by resignation after 195 moves. The title match with Iyama Yuta will start on October 25. At 19 years 11 months, he is the youngest-ever Oza challenger (the previous record was 20 years four months, set by Ichiriki Ryo in in 2017).

Son wins King of New Stars

The best-of-three final of the 44th King of the New Stars tournament featured a clash between Son Makoto 7P and Koike Yoshihiro 4P, two promising players of the younger generation. For Son, it was his last chance, as he had been promoted to 7-dan, and this tournament is restricted to players under 26 and under 7-dan (pairings were made on August 1, 2018, before Son earned his promotion by winning a seat in the Meijin League). He also made the final in 2017, but lost 0-2 to Shibaano Toramaru. In the first game, played on September 30, Son (B) won by 5.5 points. In the second, played on October 7, Son (W) won by resignation. Both games were played at the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo. First prize is 2,000,000 yen (about $18,700).

Cho U wins Agon Kiriyama Cup

The final of the 26th Agon Kiriyama Cup was held at the headquarters of the Agon sect in Kyoto on October 5. Cho U, then still Meijin, (W) beat Ichiriki Ryo 8p by resignation. This is the fifth time Cho has won this title, the last time being the 19th cup. Ichiriki, the recent king of fast go, is now down to two haya-go titles, the Ryusei and the NHK Cup.

Promotions

To 9-dan: Sakai Maki (200 wins, as of Sept. 20)

To 8-dan: Tsuruyama Atsushi (150 wins, as of Sept. 27)
To 4-dan: Takeuchi Kosuke, Tsuneishi Takashi (both 50 wins, both as of Sept. 13)

To 3-dan: Ueno Asami, Nagashima Kozue (both 40 wins, both as of Sept. 20)

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Go as part of curriculum at U.S. Army Command and General Staff College: an interview with Dr. James Sterrett

Wednesday October 16, 2019

As the Chief of Simulation Education at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Dr. James Sterrett uses games and simulations in a variety of ways to teach students. In an interview conducted last month by Chris Ghorbani, Dr. Sterrett described his introduction to the game, as well as how and why he uses go in his classes. From starting in college with a friend “on a home-made board using bottle caps as the stones,” he now uses go to demonstrate the concepts of design elegance. In his class on Training with Simulations, students play go for 30 minutes before discussion on the depth and utility created in the game by just a tiny number of rules. Students use this as inspiration to design and develop their own training games, trying to achieve elegance with their own new game requirements.

Dr. Sterrett describes one of his favorite things about go as being the discussions it provokes in his classes, describing them as “wonderful – not just of strategy, operations, and tactics inside Go, but people wind up drawing parallels between the situation on the board and various situations in current affairs, history, or even their own lives.” He continues in the interview to discuss the game, the rise of AI, and comparisons between go and other games he uses in his curriculum, including kriegspiel and chess. “Go teaches strategy, operations, tactics, and weaving them together to achieve victory,” says Dr. Sterrett. “The lack of a clearly defined center of gravity in Go ensures the players must define it by their decisions, much as in grand strategy. Thus, Go is a superb tool for honing a strategic mindset and seeing the links between the levels of war.” 

Dr. Sterrett concludes by thanking the go community for continued efforts to spread go, and hopes that it is still played thousands of years in the future. Click here to read the full interview.

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