American Go E-Journal

Yunshe Zhang 6d & Benjamin Gunby 2k tie atop MGA’s Don Wiener Memorial

Friday May 24, 2019

Four-game winners Yunshe Zhang 6d and Benjamin Gunby 2k tied for first place in the Massachusetts Go Association’s annual Don Wiener Memorial Tournament held April 7, at the Boylston Chess Club in Cambridge, MA. Two dozen players competed. Six three-game winners tied for third place: Javier Gonzales 1d; Sean Patrico 2k; Katerina Hrycyna 3k; Igor Pikovets 5k; David Kahn 8k; Albert Brox 9k. The players ranged in age from seven to octogenarian. “Five women participated (that includes you, Zooey),” says organizer Eva Casey. “We had one foreign visitor, Nils van der Blaar of Germany.” Click here for photos.
This report got lost in our system; apologies for the delay.

Early registration for the U.S. Go Congress ends June 1

Thursday May 23, 2019

Have you made your plans to attend this year’s U.S. Go Congress yet? Register now to get the early rate, which ends June 1. The Congress is scheduled for July 13 – 20 in Madison, WI. “Some spaces for the MLB Milwaukee Brewers game excursion on the break-day are going are still available, but going fast so don’t delay,” urges Congress Director Dave Weimer. 

The professional slate continues to grow with the Korean Baduk Association sending Hyunghwan Kim 8P, and Jongho Moon 1P, along with long-time Congress friend Myungwan Kim 9P. “We expect to confirm the Nihon-kiin representatives soon,” Weimer adds. 

At the 2018 U.S. Go Congress; photo by Phil Straus

Nick Sibicky named AGF Teacher of the Year

Thursday May 23, 2019

Seattle go teacher Nick Sibicky has been selected as Teacher of the Year by the American Go Foundation (AGF).  The prize includes a free trip to the US Go Congress in Madison, WI, where Sibicky will be honored at the Awards Banquet.  Sibicky will present a special lesson for his fans at congress also, and it’s a great opportunity for online viewers to meet him in person. “I am most humbled by the AGF with this award,” Sibicky told the Journal. “My go class and YouTube channel feel dwarfed by and indebted to the countless clubs, school programs, and outreach events the AGF is responsible for.”  Sibicky launched his popular online lessons on YouTube seven years ago.  His first lecture featured a game review between two players who were 5 kyu and has been viewed over 140,000 times.  As his channel grew, more and more viewers discovered his lessons.  23,000 viewers now subscribe to his channel, and individual videos can reach up to 8,000 viewers each week.  Sibicky’s lessons are engaging, humorous, and educational. They feature topics like “My Robot Overlord” about AI go programs and “Andrew Jackson Sucks at Go” co-taught with fellow YouTuber Andrew Jackson.  The videos are all well produced with graphics and titles as well as audience participation.  There are 345 videos to choose from, with new ones coming out every week.  Check out Sibicky’s channel here. 

Sibicky shared how he began with the Journal:  “Since moving to Seattle in 2008, I have been an active member of the Seattle Go Center. They regularly had hosted go classes for a variety of skill levels, and around 2011-2012 were looking for new teachers. I volunteered to take the Monday night class while my friend Andrew Jackson picked up the Wednesday night class. At the same time, I had been enjoying Dwyrin’s (aka Bat’s Go Lectures) series on YouTube. His videos indirectly inspired me to bring a video camera to my class. Brian Allen, the Seattle Go Center manager at the time, was particularly supportive of the idea. From 2012, I started regularly posting video recordings of the classes online. 

“There have been two “secrets” responsible for the success behind my channel. The first of which is consistency. By always having a class of live students to prepare for, I have been forced to come up with new ideas, topics, and approaches to the lessons. Stagnation is not possible. Furthermore, I have since learned that the proprietary algorithms working behind the scenes on YouTube heavily promote continuously active channels. The consistency of my posts has taken advantage of that. The second secret is my students. Unlike most of the other go content available, my lessons show interactions with real, present go players. They ask the questions that the viewers at home also want to ask. They interact with the material in ways I didn’t anticipate as their instructor. They struggle. They laugh. They let the viewer know that they are part of a broader community, where we each are working to improve ourselves. And that is something rarer and rarer to find in this digital content era.

“Of course, the one thing fueling this whole endeavor is the joy I find in teaching. My day job is teaching music production and audio engineering at a local college. But teaching go has been even more rewarding. Not having to deal with administration, grading deadlines, nor faculty meetings is a dream environment. I can place all of my spirit into the lesson and the students. I love this game, and I love sharing this game with other people. I have been very fortunate to find an environment that fostered such a love. I hope that everyone has something they love to share with others because I know the joy one gets from doing so. There are dozens if not hundreds of formal and informal teachers in my life. The individual lessons they taught me often are forgotten, but their spirit is remembered. Collectively, they represent one of the most positive continuing forces in my life. I hope the students attending my class and the viewers watching my little internet videos feel their spirit through me.”– Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.  Photos: Screen captures from Sibicky’s YouTube Channel.

Eric Lui wins Transatlantic Team Championship Round 4, faces Ali Jabarin on June 2

Thursday May 23, 2019

EricLui 1P won Round 4 of the Transatlantic Team Championship, defeating Mateusz Surma 2P, who had won the first three rounds. The game was played on May 5, but the final result was not announced until May 14 due to official challenges by both players. Details of the official ruling are here.The next round, between Eric Lui and Ali Jabarin will take place on June 2, from 14:00 US EDT or 20:00 CEST.

Upcoming Go Events: Baltimore

Tuesday May 21, 2019

May 25-26: Baltimore, MD
46th Maryland Open
Keith Arnold hlime81@verizon.net 410-788-3520

Get the latest go events information.

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IMSA World Masters Championship report

Sunday May 19, 2019

The 2019 IMSA World Masters Championship was held in Hengshui, China, from May 13 to 18. The Championship included five sports, Go, Chess, Bridge, Draughts, and Xiangqi, which in total offered 99 medals in 17 disciplines, with 170 players from 47 countries participating.
In Go, Men’s team (round-robin), Women’s team (round-robin), and Pair Go (bracket-tournament) competitions took place. Players were invited from six regions – China, Korea, Japan, Chinese Taipei, Europe, and North America. North America was represented by Ryan Li 1P, William Shi 1P, and Eric Lui 1P in Men’s, Shirley Lin 1P and Gabriella Su 6D in Women’s, and Eric Lui 1P and Shirley Lin 1P in Pair Go. 
The competition results are as follows:
Men’s Team
1st: China; 2nd: Korea; 3rd: Japan; 4th: Chinese Taipei; 5th: Europe; 6th: North America
Women’s Team: 1st: Korea; 2nd: China; 3rd: Japan; 4th: Chinese Taipei; 5th: North America; 6th: Europe
Pair Go (6 pairs from each region plus 2 wildcard pairs selected by drawing): 1st: Korea (Choi Jeong & Shin Jinseo); 2nd: Chinese Taipei – wildcard (Pai Hsin Hui & Lin Li Hsiang); 3rd: Chinese Taipei (Jiajia Missingham Joanne & Wang Yuan Jyun); 4th: Europe (Natalia Kovaleva & Ilya Shikshin); 5th: China (Yu Zhiying & Mi Yuting)6th: Europe – wildcard (Ariane Ougier & Pavol Lisy); 7th: Japan (Eiko Nyu & Daisuke Murakawa); 8th: North America (Shirley Lin & Eric Lui).
– Hajin Lee

Web server upgrade update

Wednesday May 15, 2019

This week the AGA IT team upgraded the web server for the organization. The migration went smoothly and has resolved many issues. We focused on tightening up some security and fixing some long broken issues. Members will now see that the Membership Manager will automatically accept your payments again. This is great news for players and tournament directors everywhere. If there are any issues please report them to webmaster@usgo.org so we can take care of them. 
– Steve Colburn

Seeking players for Samsung Fire & Marines Insurance World Masters Baduk Masters

Wednesday May 15, 2019

The 2019 Samsung Fire & Marines Insurance World Masters Baduk Masters tournament is inviting three players from North America to participate in their event, which will take place July 2nd through July 5th at the Korea Baduk Association. AGA-certified professionals and 6D+ amateur players are invited to apply. Sponsors will provide $1000 towards travel expenses. Please e-mail tournaments@usgo.org to apply (or ask for additional information) no later than Wednesday, May 22nd. In the event that we need to hold a qualifying event, please note that it will take place the weekend of May 25-26 and evenings of the week following, if necessary.
– Jeff Shaevel

Pandanet AGA City League Round 7 – This Sunday!

Tuesday May 14, 2019

2017.10.03_PANDANETThe final regular round of the Pandanet AGA City League takes place this Sunday. Starting at 3PM most teams will be seeing who will be winning their leagues. Watch for the two teams in the A league vie for the championship at the US Go Congress in Madison, Wisconsin. Root for your local teams this weekend!

A League – B League – C League

The Power Report: Kisei S League starts; Otake wins 1,300 games; Meijin League; Shibano wins Grand Champion Tournament; Obituary: Ing Ming-hao

Sunday May 12, 2019

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal2019.05.12_kisei-s-league

Kisei S League starts: The S League, the last of the 44th Kisei leagues to get under way, got off to a start on April 25 with a clash between two heavyweights. Takao Shinji 9P (W) beat Yamashita Keigo 9P by resignation. The second game in the league was played on May 2. Yamashita Keigo 9P (B) beat So Yokoku 9P by resig. In the A League, Ichiriki Ryo 8P and Cho U Meijin, who are both on 2-0, share the lead. In the B1 league, Yoda Norimoto 9P, on 3-0, has made the best start, but Hane Naoki, on 2-0, is also undefeated. In the B2 League, Motoki Katsuya 8P, on 3-0, is the only undefeated player.

Otake wins 1,300 games: In a game in the 9th Masters Cup played on April 25, Otake Hideo. Hon. Gosei, (W) defeated 2019.05.12_Otake 1300Hane Yasumasa by resig. This was Otake’s 1,300th win in a go career lasting 63 years. He is the fourth player to reach this mark. He has 820 losses, five jigo, and one no-contest for a winning record of 61%. (Top is Cho Chikun with 1531 wins.)

Meijin League: Only three games have been played in the 44th Meijin League since my last report. On 2019.05.12_meijin-leagueApril 11, Suzuki Shinji 7P (B) beat Son Makoto 7P by 3.5 points. This result slightly improved the former’s chances of retaining his seat and worsened the latter’s. Incidentally, these two featured in the first game in the new NHK Cup, the 67th, and the result went the other way, with Son (W) winning by resignation. On April 25, Hane Naoki 9P (W) beat Shibano Toramaru 7P by resig. and Yamashita Keigo 9P (W) beat Mutsuura Yuta 7P, also by resig. As before, Kono Rin, leads the league on 4-0.

Shibano wins Grand Champion Tournament: The Grand Champion Tournament is a fast-go (NHK format) knock-out2019.05.12_champions Shibano Iyama tournament open to current title-holders plus, if necessary to bring the numbers up to 16, the top players in the previous year’s prize-money list. First prize is a relatively modest one or two million yen (there’s ambiguity because the Nihon Ki-in HP gives both figures). The semifinals and final of the 2018 (6th) Grand Champion Tournament were held at the Nihon Ki-in on May 6. In the semifinals, Iyama Yuta beat Ichiriki Ryo and Shibano Toramaru beat Kyo Kagen. The final was open to the public, being played on the stage of the Nihon Ki-in’s second-story auditorium with a public commentary being given on the same stage at the same time. Presumably the players are so focused on the game they shut out the commentary. Taking white, Shibano beat Iyama by resig. to win this title for the first time. This is his fourth title.

2019.05.12_Ing Ming-haoObituary: Ing Ming-hao
Ing Ming-hao, chairman of the board of directors of the Ing Chang-ki Wei-ch’I Educational Foundation, died on April 20, just a few days after making a speech at the opening ceremony of the Changqi Cup. He was 76. As the son of Ing Chang-ki, Ing Ming-hao carried on his mission of promoting and supporting go around the world. The Chinese Weiqi Association called it “an unfortunate loss for us” and go organizations and players around the world benefited from the Ing Family’s longstanding efforts to support and promote go across the globe. Players at the Changqi Cup stood in silence to express mourning before the second round of Changqi Cup.