American Go E-Journal

Finals of Virginia State Championship set for November 16

Friday November 8, 2019

Qingbo Zhang, Josh Lee, Yaming Wang and Ran Zhao will face off in the final games of the Virginia State Champion in Annandale VA on Saturday, November 16. The Korean American Baduk Association (KABA) will host, and KABA president James Lee will be the Tournament Director.

“We would like to see more Virginia women and youth players join us at the Virginia State Championship,” said chapter representative Edward Zhang. “Please contact us so we can host Virginia Women’s Championship and Virginia Youth Championship for you!” Players may write to or if they are interested. The KABA is open 11am-9pm everyday at 7202 Poplar St, Suite A, Annandale VA 22003.

New Mexico State Championship 2019 set for November 23

Friday November 8, 2019

Perennial and personal trophies

The Santa Fe Go Club will host this year’s New Mexico State Championship to be held Saturday, November 23, at the Aldea Community Center in Santa Fe, NM. “Billy Maier is eager to defend his title!” reports organizer Robert Cordingly. The winner will hold the perennial trophy until the following championship, but will also receive a personal trophy to keep. Players may compete for the championship if they are full members of the AGA with at least 6 months residency in New Mexico in the past 12 months, but all players are welcome to play in the tournament. Players who register online at GoClubsOnline will receive a box lunch on the day.

Aldea Community Center

In Memoriam: Richard Cann

Friday November 8, 2019

Longtime Go-player Richard Cann, 68, died on Sunday, Oct. 6th of ALS. A memorial service will be held Nov. 16th from 1-4pm at the Hopewell Valley Vineyards, 46 Yard Rd, Pennington, NJ  08534.

Born in Pasadena, California he grew up in Denver, Colorado and lived for many years in Hopewell Township, NJ. He received a BA in 1972, and a Ph.D. in 1978 from Princeton University.   He was a member of the United States Chess Federation, the American Go Association and the Recording Industry Associates of America. He was the IT Director for the Atlantic Trading Company from 2002 until the time of his death.

Richard was known for his passion for music; the game of Go, which he played at a 2 dan level; and his joy in skiing the black diamond trails of Colorado with his brother.  He enjoyed fishing and hiking on his trips to Colorado.  He had 30 years of Sunday morning hard fought racquetball games with a dear friend.  He was a skilled competitor with a generally superior ability at games of most sorts.  His talented musicianship on guitar, violin and piano was expressed by the musical bands he formed and played with over his lifetime.  He was known for his warmth, kindness, quiet sense of humor and his easy smile.  He had a gift for teaching, whether it was a game, a musical instrument or a physics theory.  He had great love for his family as well as the numerous dogs who were valued companions throughout his adult life.  He is terribly missed.

Condolences can be sent to his widow, Joanne Sheehan at
photo by Phil Straus

AGA July Board minutes, Nov. agenda posted

Friday November 8, 2019

The first meeting of the new AGA Board took place on July 19 and followed a new topic-oriented meeting structure. The board discussed expanding and improving major AGA tournaments through funding and policy. The board moved to double the sigma expansion rate of AGA ratings and to revise memberships to better allow for single event and participation in AGA tournaments by foreign nationals. The board also discussed ways to speed up the process of updating ratings following tournaments.
Minutes of the July board meeting can be found here, and the agenda for the upcoming November 17 meeting can be found here.
– Lisa Scott

Appreciation you can wear

Monday November 4, 2019

Towards the end of the 2019 US Go Congress, Greg Steltenpohl had the idea to ask volunteers, E-Journal staff, local club members, professionals, long-time attendees, and online go content creators to sign a t-shirt to give to 2019 Congress Director Dave Weimer, as a surprise at the closing ceremonies.  Since then, Greg tells the EJ, “I had the shirt professionally framed, and presented it to Dave at our local club meetup which is at the same location as the 2019 Congress. We did this in recognition of his long-standing support and service to the go community, and so that he could have a physical representation of our appreciation for all of his service.”

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

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

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

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

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