American Go E-Journal

Motchisuki festival attendees learn Go in Portland

Wednesday January 29, 2020

Each year Go players in Portland host a table teaching Go at Portland’s Mochitsuki festival, an annual Japanese and Japanese-American cultural festival and celebration of the Japanese New Year held at Portland State University. Several thousand people attended this year, and volunteers Neal Wright, Patrick Easley, Stewart Towle, Rick Steinfeldt, Olin Wexler, and Peter Freedman were busy all afternoon teaching new Go players of all ages, from 4 to 74.

Teachers at the table ran a Hikaru no Go anime to attract attention and provided Way To Go pamphlets, along with some Go Worlds, Go books, and of course information on Go locally and nationally. “It was a great day, I am hoarse,” reports Peter Freedman, and not for nothing. Their engagement and enthusiasm have gotten them invited to host a table at the Cherry Blossom Festival at Clark College in Vancouver this April by an impressed attendee of Motchitsuki Portland.

European Youth Go Yearbook 2019 is released

Wednesday January 29, 2020

This is a story about the beginning of a new future for youth go players in Europe. The European Youth Go Yearbook 2019 with its only 140 pages covers the SEYGO Tour with in depth review of each of its five stages in Vatra Dornei, Jena, Zaostrog, Vienna and Lausanne during 2019, including interviews with the young talents and upcoming stars.

The chapter entitled Go Through the Eyes of Youth shows not just how the youth see go, but also what they feel about it. The book includes country reports from Romania, United Kingdom, Croatia, Germany, Ukraine, and France.

Detailed and easy-to-follow reviews of the semi-finals and finals of the U12, U16 and U20 categories of the tournaments are provided by Catalin Taranu 5P, Alexander Dinerstein 3P, Mateusz Surma 2P, Ali Jabarin 2P, Andrii Kravets 1P, and Sinan Djepov 5d.

The European Youth Go Yearbook was written by Sinan Djepov 5d, who was the European U20 Youth Go Champion in 2018 and is also a creator of the ExploreBaduk project which will soon be re-launched with its new version.

For a preview of the book, check out these two teasers: Why solving life & death is important? and Go Through the Eyes of Youth.

The book is available on sale as E-book or limited paper edition which will be on sale at several events: TIGGRE – Ellie Cup (Grenoble)European Youth Go Championship 2020 (Stubicke Toplice – Zagreb)64th European Go Congress (Kamyanets-Podilskyi) or at all SEYGO 2020 events.

Ninghan Duan 6D wins Midwest Open

Tuesday January 28, 2020

Open winners

In the recent Midwest Open, Ninghan Duan 6D of Florida took first place and was named Tournament Champion, while Eric Yoder 6D on Kentucky was second, and Meng Wang 5D of Michigan was third.

State winners

State Champions: Ohio: Soren Jaffe; Kentucky: Eric Yoder; Tennessee: Joe Kimbal. Alex Lillie was announced as the state champion at the event. However, after further review of the official rules posted one month prior to the event at gohio.org/state-championships it was found that Soren Jaffe is the winner. The issue arose due to the TD’s method of registration where he was not able to see the state of the people who registered at the door instead of online.

In the Low Dan / High Kyu Division (2D-4k): 1st place: Alex Lillie from Ohio; 2nd place: Mitchell Schmeisser from Pennsylvania; 3rd place: Cheng Cheng from Illinois.

In the SDK Division (5k-9k): 1st place: Kari-Ann Lindsay from Indiana; 2nd place: Joe Kimbal from Tennessee; 3rd place: Richard Crawley from Ohio (not pictured).

In the High DDK Division (10k-19k): 1st place: Manny Jauregui; 2nd place: Michael Queener; 3rd place: David Olnhausen.

In the Low DDK Division (20k-30k): 1st place: Anthony Bolaney; 2nd place: James Orr; 3rd place: Anna Heinzman.

Baduk Dungeon Mini-Game WinnersSage Branham, Joe Kimbal, Jake Game, Shawn Ray

50 years aGO – January 1970

Tuesday January 28, 2020

Keith Arnold, hka with Patrick Bannister

Perhaps the best evidence of time flying appears in an ad in the January issue of Go Review.  A Deluxe Go set  is offered for sale – Cherry bowls, 7.5mm Clamshell and Slate stones and a two inch thick Kaya board for the princely sum of $110, shipping from Japan included.

On January 15, Sekiyama Riichi, the first tournament Honinbo, passed away.  He was the teacher of Kajiwara Takeo 9 dan

We will be seeing a lot of Ishida Yoshio in this series, as he begins his dominance in this period.  But he still had time for fun, as shown in this striking photo.  Below is a photo of the second game of the Nihon Kiin Championship against the champion, Ohira.  This was the only game Ishida lost, securing the title 3-1 on January 20-21.  Game records of the match here. Game 1; Game 2; Game 3; Game 4.

Here in the United States, Takao Matsuda 6 dan of New York, author of the famous Matsuda Go Letters, won the New Jersey Open, defeating Takahiko Ishikawa 5 dan of Philadelphia in an all-Japanese final.  Ishikawa was a judo instructor, and was the All Japan Judo Champion two years in a row.

League matches started with the New Year.  Pictured at right is Kajiwara Takeo taking black against Fujisawa Hosai 9 dan  in the Meijin league on January 21st.  Perhaps you can see Kajiwara’s first move, on tengen.  An expert on the fuseki, Kajiwara played the move to offset Hosai’s penchant for mirror go.  Did it work? Find out in the game record here.

Finally, just to show that we have not come that far, a go computer was demonstrated by Toshio Ikeda of Fujitsu.  The computerized board, 2 meters square, could solve “any problem given to it” but could not play a full game.  A steal at $30,000 dollars.  The article concludes “one day we may yet have a computer become a pro!”  Pictured next to Ikeda is Go Seigen.  Ikeda was an avid go player and rule expert, his “On the Rules of Go” was published posthumously by Fujitsu in 1992.  Here’s a game between Ikeda and Go Seigen.

photos courtesy of Go Review, Igo Club and GoBase.org, game records courtesy of SmartGo/GoGod

San Diego Go Club expands educational program

Monday January 27, 2020

The San Diego Go Club has expanded its go educational program to include the Sejong School which teaches Korean language, Korean culture, math, coding and Baduk (Go) on Saturdays and Sundays. Three members of the SDGC – Arunas Rudvalis, Les Lanphear III, and Ted Terpstra – have regularly taught Go at the school on Saturday afternoons since last summer. The American Go Foundation has provided some equipment to the Sejong School through its schools’ program providing free classroom starter sets.

The winter session just ended with an in-house Go tournament for the students. A few of the students also played in the 2019 California State Go Championship in December. By next year, hopefully, many more students will be playing in San Diego Go tournaments.

photo by Soo Yoon
report by Ted Terpstra

Students with Arunas Rudvalis, Les Lanphear III, and Ted Terpstra (left-to-right back)

AlphaGo vs. AlphaGo; Game 35: The ko that wasn’t

Saturday January 25, 2020

Michael Redmond 9P and Chris Garlock return with their latest AlphaGo vs. AlphaGo game commentary, Game 35 of the series, posted on the AGA’s YouTube Channel.

The game features “A lot of intense fighting in the center of the board that sort of spreads to the corners,” says Redmond. Plus, “We’ll see some ko’s, as well as some ko’s that didn’t happen.”

The commentary was originally streamed live on Twitch, which gave viewers a chance to interact with Redmond and Garlock, who will be live-streaming more game commentaries — some AlphaGo vs. AlphaGo and some of Redmond’s games — on January 30 on the AGA’s Twitch channel. Follow the AGA’s Twitch channel and get notified of live streams.

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AGA Developer Meetings update

Thursday January 23, 2020

Beginning just after the 2019 US Go Congress in Madison, a group of AGA developers have been meeting to discuss software after the historical slow development of the tech used within the AGA. These developers have begun a renewed effort to enhance and upgrade AGA software for enhanced functionality and user experience. Meeting monthly, the group discusses ongoing progress, upcoming projects, and plans for the future. Examples of current projects include modernization of the Go Congress website, updates for the AGAGD, server updates, and development of useful Go apps. Anyone interested in these developments is encouraged to read the meetings minutes, which can be found on the left navigation bar of usgo.org under About the AGA, and check out the AGA Github repositories. We have been working hard to make our software easier to use and involve more volunteers in the process. If you have experience in development and are interested in being involved, please contact volunteer@usgo.org.

Double Redmond on Twitch tonight

Thursday January 23, 2020

Michael Redmond 9P and Chris Garlock return to the AGA’s Twitch channel this Thursday, Jan. 23 at 7p EDT with two brand-new live game commentaries. Both will be on games by Redmond in the Judan B elimination tournament last year, one against Shiraishi Yuichi, the other against Kudo Norio, who won the Oza in 1977 and the Tengen in 1997. “Lots of fighting and dead groups,” says Redmond. “The high point of the game against Kudo was that I calculated a difficult endgame to win by half a point and got it right.”

“Love these commentaries,” says viewer Frank van Will about the latest Redmond Review (Redmond’s Reviews, Episode 17: Michael Redmond 9P vs. Takao Shinji 9P). “The analysis of the lower right corner joseki was fascinating,” added hippophile. “You could have gone on for an hour and I would have been happy!”


Xinlei Liu 7d wins Jin Chen Tournament in Seattle

Thursday January 23, 2020

The Seattle Go Center held the annual Jin Chen tournament on January 5, 2020. There were 41 players – 33 in the Handicap section, and eight in the Open. Nick Wilmes, Seattle’s AGA Chapter Representative, directed the tournament and a pizza lunch from Pudge Bros. was provided for all players, thanks to the generosity of Seattle AGA Chapter and the AGA Chapter Rewards program.

Youth players made a strong showing. Overall, 39% (16 out of 41) of the players were youth, two of whom played in the Open section including Xinlei Liu 7d, who walked away with the $300 grand prize.

2020 Seattle Jin Chen Tournament- Round 1 underway

One advantage to having a relatively large field in the Handicap section is that most games were played even or at a low handicap,” says Programs Manager Mike Malveaux. “Out of a total of 88 games played, all but three had a handicap of three stones or less!”

2020 Seattle Jin Chen Tournament – Winners of all 3 of their games

Winners of all three tournament games:
Xinlei Liu, 7d
Chris Scribner, 1d
Alex Hu, 2k
Yulissa Wu Lu, 7k
Brian Allen, 9k and the Seattle Go Center’s Operations Manger
Quincy Costello, 19k

Erik Hansen 5K wins MGA Winter Tourney

Wednesday January 22, 2020

An undefeated Erik Hansen 5K went 4-0 in the Massachusetts Go Association’s Winter Tournament and took the $50 first prize. Hansen topped 22 players ranging from 14 kyu to 5 dan at the tournament, held January 12, 2020 at the Boylston Chess Club in Cambridge MA.

Hansen (2nd from right) and the 2nd-place winners

Six players tied for second, splitting the remaining $50 in prize money.  Eric Reid pitched in another $10 to the prize pool so that each of the second-place winners got cool $10. Some other kind soul in Eric’s lunch cohort had thoughtfully brought back Chinese takeout for the TD, but since she had already eaten her bag lunch, Eric took the food home and considered he came out even.

Here are the second-place winners, who all went 3-1: David Cho 5D; Eric Osman 1D; Yuancheng “Mike” Luo 1D; John Aspinall 3K; Seth Rothschild 9K; Savanni D’Gerinel 14K.  Click here for complete results and here for photos of everyone who played in the first round.
Eva Casey, Tournament Director