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The Power Report: Kido Prize winners announced; Top prize-money winners in 2018; Iyama wins 56th Shusai Prize, Ishida wins Okura Prize

Sunday March 17, 2019

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Kido Prize winners announced
The 52nd Kido Prizes will be awarded at a ceremony scheduled for March 26. They are awarded to the top Nihon Ki-in performers of 2018 in various categories and are named after the predecessor of the magazine “Monthly Go World.” They were selected by a committee of go journalists on February 5.
Most outstanding player: Iyama Yuta, quintuple crown. Iyama has now won this prize for seven years in a row.
Outstanding players: Cho U (won the Meijin title), Kyo Kagen (won the Gosei title)
New Star: Ueno Asami (won a women’s title in her second year as a pro)
Women’s Prize: Fujisawa Rina (won three women’s titles)
International prize: Shibano Toramaru (for beating Ke Jie in the Japan-China Ryusei play-off)
Most wins: Shibano Toramaru (46-23)
Best winning percentage: Fujita Akihiko (83.67%)
Most successive wins: Koike Yoshihiro (19)
Most games played: Shibano Toramaru (69)

Top prize-money winners in 2018
As usual, Iyama was far ahead of anyone else. His income dropped by ¥13,000,000 from last year owing to his loss of two titles from his septuple crown, but it’s considered a major achievement to top one hundred million yen. There’s a big drop to the next player in the list, but Ichiriki is doing well when you consider he’s also a university student. This year only one woman player made the top ten compared to two last year.
1. Iyama Yuta: ¥146,960,000 (about $1.3 million) (top for the eighth year in a row, clearing one hundred million yen for the seventh year in a row)
2. Ichiriki Ryo 8P: ¥51,617,199 (2nd for second year in a row)
3. Cho U: ¥41,519,000
4. Yamashita Keigo: ¥32,838,813
5. Shibano Toramaru: ¥22,266,400
6. Fujisawa Rina: ¥21,897,900
7. Kyo Kagen: ¥20,288,300
8. Kono Rin: ¥18,696,277
9. Hane Naoki: ¥12,746,400
10. Motoki Katsuya: ¥12,485,000

Iyama wins 56th Shusai Prize, Ishida wins Okura Prize
Both these prizes were decided on February 12. The Shusai Prize is awarded to a player with outstanding results in the previous year and who has a promising future. For the seventh year in a row, it went to Iyama Yuta, which is a new record.
The 48th Okura Kishichiro Prizes were awarded to three amateur players who have played a prominent role in spreading go and to Ishida Yoshio, otherwise known as 24th Honinbo Shuho.

Tomorrow: Another Ueno makes pro; Yang wins LG Cup; China’s overwhelming win in Nong Shim Cup

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Go featured in Chicago museum exhibit

Wednesday March 13, 2019

“I was invited to the opening ceremony of a new exhibition at the Chinese American Museum of Chicago,” writes Xinming (Simon) Guo. 2019.03.13_Chicago-exhibit1The exhibition, “The Chinese Helped Build the Railroad – The Railroad Helped Build America,” features the history of the 12,000 plus Chinese 2019.03.13_Chicago-exhibit2workers who contributed in the building of the world’s first Transcontinental Railway in United States in mid-19th century.

“I was so astonished when I found a Weiqi game in the exhibition,” says Guo. The introduction says that these Chinese railroad builders worked in inhospitable environment of the American West and gathered to play fan-tan (a gambling game) or Weiqi after more than 10 hours of back-breaking work each day.

This exhibition will last for one year “and it is a perfect opportunity to promote Weiqi (Chinese for Go). I have been working with the museum for many years. We have organized Weiqi workshops, Weiqi courses, and Weiqi culture stations in the museum several times. With the help from local go community, we will work together to start a new add-on service — providing on-site hands-on Weiqi workshop for students visiting the museum on school field trips.”

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ICYMI: Ethan Wang wins first official AGA state championship in PA; Tianfu Cup Prelim crosstab posted; Summer of Outreach in Seattle; Janice Kim in NM; Kissinger on AI and go:

Sunday September 16, 2018

Sometimes folks send in reports late, sometimes those reports just get lost in the EJ in-box, but eventually we do catch up…

Ethan Wang wins first official AGA state championship in PA: The Penn Go Society had the2018.09.16 PA state championship distinction of holding the first tournament under the new AGA State Championship system. Held April 28-29 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, more than 40 players attended the event at the Wharton Center for Student Life. In the Dan division, Chase Fu came in first and Ethan Wang and Yu Liang tied for second. In the Kyu division, Alexander Qi took first and Jino Choung and Evan Springer tied for second. $1000 in cash prizes were distributed.  “The Penn Go Society looks forward to next years state championship and looks forward to seeing other states join this system,” said Benjamin Sauerhaft Coplon.

Tianfu Cup Prelim crosstab posted: The crosstab for the 2018 Tianfu Cup Preliminary is now up, and includes the game records. Thanks to TD Jeff Shaevel, Steve Colburn, Dennis Wheeler and Todd Heidenreich for their work getting this done.

Summer of Outreach in Seattle: July was busy for the Seattle Go Center outreach crew, with events on three weekends.  July 1, players from Seattle Go Center and South Sound Go Club staffed a table at the Seattle Storm women’s professional basketball game during the Storm’s “Japan Night” event, and introduced the game to approximately 50 young sports enthusiasts. The following weekend, July 7 and 8, we were at the two-day “Japan Fair” in Bellevue, WA, where Dave Snow’s collection of Hikaru no Go hangings attracted attention from young adults who were in middle school when HnG was new.

2018.09.16-Bart-Jacob-05-01Bart plays go in Cape Town: “While on holiday in Cape Town, South Africa, I was able to stop by the Cape Town Go Club and play a few games,” writes Bart Jacob. “I am on the right side of picture, along with Christian, Sam, Chris and Michael from Cape Town.”

Janice Kim in NM: On September 1, Janice Kim 3p, offered game reviews for players in Albuquerque and Santa Fe. In commenting on game records brought in by local area players, she introduced her overall thoughts about how to play and how to study. She said that she finds players in the US are strong in the opening game but tend to be relatively weak at life and death. She stressed the importance of being able to visualize a sequence in your head. As an exercise, she put up a common joseki on a board, then took it off and asked one of the players to put it up using only black stones. Here’s an example (right). She said that in playing a game she looks for an “I win” move. To find such a move, you must have a good assessment of the overall game status, i.e., you must count. If you judge that you are ahead, the next step is to ask yourself, “How can I possibly lose this game?” and then to take the necessary steps to lock it up. If you judge that you’re behind, “agitate.” You must take risks. “If you lose, it doesn’t matter whether you lose by a half point or twenty.”
– Bob Gilman, Albuquerque Go Club

Kissinger on AI and go: “AlphaGo defeated the world Go champions by making strategically unprecedented moves—moves that humans had not conceived and have not yet successfully learned to overcome,” wrote HENRY A. KISSINGER in “How the Enlightenment Ends” in the June Atlantic. “Are these moves beyond the capacity of the human brain?” Before AI began to play Go, “the game had varied, layered purposes,” Kissinger continues. “A player sought not only to win, but also to learn new strategies potentially applicable to other of life’s dimensions. For its part, by contrast, AI knows only one purpose: to win. It “learns” not conceptually but mathematically, by marginal adjustments to its algorithms. So in learning to win Go by playing it differently than humans do, AI has changed both the game’s nature and its impact. Does this single-minded insistence on prevailing characterize all AI?” And, reflecting on AlphaGo Zero’s mastery of the game on its own, Kissinger wonders “What will be the impact on human cognition generally? What is the role of ethics in this process?”

 

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Yuan Zhou 7d wins DC Fall Open; Redmond inaugurates EJ broadcast center at NGC

Saturday September 8, 2018

Yuan Zhou 7d won the 2018 DC Fall Open, held on September 8 at the National Go Center in Washington, DC. The 4-round 2018.09.08_yuan-zhou-winnertournament was one of a series of events held at the NGC featuring Michael Redmond 9P, thanks to the support of the Nihon Ki-In and the Iwamoto North America Foundation. On Friday, Redmond visited Great Falls and Fox Mill Elementary Schools, Japanese language immersion 2018.09.08_redmond-commentaryelementary schools in Fairfax County, Virginia, to students to go and its culture and to share his story about becoming a professional player. Friday night he and E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock did an AlphaGo game commentary at the NGC and then on Saturday the two inaugurated the brand-new NGC E-Journal broadcast center with live commentaries on Twitch from the top board at the Fall Open (click here to check them out), watched by viewers around the world. Redmond will review game records at 11a Sunday at a special brunch on Sunday morning (register here; email sgf game records to journal@usgo.org).

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2018 U.S. Go Congress volunteer acknowledgements

Tuesday July 31, 2018

By Nate Eagle and Diego Pierrottet2018.07.31-eagle=khalsa-okun-diego

Being co-directors of the 34th annual U.S. Go Congress is the biggest, hardest thing we’ve ever done, and the generosity of attendees in encouraging us has been tremendously meaningful. But the thing we feel, more than anything, is immense gratitude toward the huge team of volunteers, from our core team to all the people who showed up out of nowhere, ready to work, who made the event possible.

Anchoring our core team were Gary Smith, the registrar who made it all possible, Gurujeet Khalsa, whose creation of the first-ever official Go Congress app was such a huge success, Todd Heidenreich, the treasurer who also served as a font of institutional knowledge throughout the week, and I-Han Lui, who managed the pro schedule and was vital with many details of Congress operations.

We are also particularly proud of the National Go Center regulars who played big roles this year: Nathan Epstein, who, working with Xiaocheng (Stephen) Hu on broadcast, took the tech operations of the Congress and the E-Journal team (managed as usual by Chris Garlock; look for his Congress EJ team acknowledgements tomorrow) to new heights, Joel Cahalan, who provided vital Ruby on Rails experience to craft the first-ever SMS pairing notification system, which will now be passed to future Congresses, and Eli Ferster, the assistant registrar who could handle anything.

Daniel Zhao helped in dozens of vital ways throughout the week. Doug Wilkinson (left) poured sweat and, on at least one occasion, blood into the incredibly difficult task of managing the Congress’s substantial equipment needs. It was also Daniel and Doug’s first Congress!

2018.07.31 WilkinsonAndrew Hall performed amazingly in his first year directing the U.S. Open, and his assistant TD, Dan Ritter, was up early every single morning or the last to leave at nights, making sure that players had ready clocks and orderly tables to waiting for them. Josh Lee directed a tremendously exciting U.S. Masters tournament in his first outing. Big thanks to tournament directors Steve Colburn, Keith Arnold, Peter Schumer, Andy Olsen, Lisa Scott, Jim Hlavka, Neil Ritter, Justin Teng, Terry Benson and Todd Heidenreich. And a particular thanks to Greg Kulevich, director of the Seniors Tournament, who worked hard this week, giving up most of his own Congress experience to make one of the biggest tournaments of the Congress a success. Thanks to our excellent translators, Jonathan Hop and Satoru Inoue. Huge thanks to Devin Fraze, who ran the wonderful youth room, and Paul Barchilon, to whom Devin passed the baton at the end.

Thanks to James Pinkerton, Qucheng Gong, and to Facebook, for bringing OpenGo to the American Go community this year: over 66 players got the chance to personally play and learn from the strongest open-source Go AI in the world, and over 10,000 people got to tune in and watch Andy Liu and Ryan Li play Pair Go with OpenGo as a teammate. (It was a particular honor for Nate to get to be one of the hands of OpenGo as Andy’s partner.) And thanks to the volunteers who made the simuls possible by serving as the eyes and hands of OpenGo, which was not an easy job: it required multiple hours of back-straining, brain-draining effort. You did great.

Thanks to the people who showed up early on Friday to help us get everything set up and to help on registration morning, 2018.07.31_josh-lee teachesamong them Chris Kirschner, Marianne Palhamous, Lee Schumacher, John Grenier, Ted Terpstra, Mark Nahabedian, Wayne Nelson, Keith Arnold, Patrick Bannister, Kristal Soo, and so many more. Particular thanks to Neil and Dan Ritter, who assembled the two giant monitors that became the center of the Congress experience, and then disassembled them again so they can travel to next year’s Congress in Madison.

Thanks to Lisa Scott for managing the AGA meetings and for working to bring us the first year with an official Code of Conduct, a hugely valuable tool for making the Congress a welcoming place for everyone.

Thanks to the front-desk staff at William and Mary—all students—who handled the largest group they’d ever had come through with kindness, patience, and helpfulness.

We will have inevitably missed people—please know that no matter what it was, your contribution toward making Congress happen was essential and appreciated. Thank you, and we hope to see everyone next year in Madison!

photos: top right: Nate Eagle (left) and Diego Pierrottet (right) with the National Go Center’s Gurujeet Khalsa (second from left) and AGA president Andy Okun (second from right), photo by Phil Straus; bottom left: Doug Wilkinson, Equipment Manager and first-time Congress attendee, photo by Nate Eagle; bottom right: Masters TD Josh Lee teaching go.

 

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New York Youth Team Go Championship training new generation of players

Saturday January 6, 2018

A dozen teams faced off just before Christmas in the New York Youth Team Go Championship, hosted by the New York 2018.01.04_NYTC 2Institute of Go.  The five-round event, held December 22-23, was organized by the New York Go Association and held at The New York Institute of Go in Queens, NY.

The Institute’s focus is on popularizing the game, especially among a younger generation of players. This year’s Championship was the second annual competition, providing an opportunity for youth players in the New York City area to meet current students from universities including prominent Ivy League schools.

The teams, with three players each, had players from different regions. The MustWin team (1st table: Cathy Liao, 2nd table: Chenghan Du, 3rd 2018.01.04_NYTCtable: Jason Long) swept the 2017 Championship, with The Go Ninga Masters taking second and the Dark Go team in third. The World Champions team won the Best Fighter award. Almost of the players have been learning go for just one to two years, and some had met and played in the first team championship in 2016.

“How did you improve so fast since the last Rating Competition” an 18-kyu player asked another player, who’s now 15-kyu.  “I must practice go more often now.” The MustWin team’s eight-year-old Chenghan Du said “I have to get up early tomorrow morning to study a pro game before tournament, I promised Mrs. Yin to study at least one game per day.”

Institute founder and lead teacher Stephanie Yin called the Championship “a great opportunity for young players to learn from each other, share experience, and improve in and outside go. The success of consecutive youth tournaments led us to encourage the passion of go to prosper.” Starting this year, New York Go Association will offer scholarships to youth players; stay tuned for details. The New York Go Expo and 2017 Dreamworks School Invitational is free event and will be hold on Feb 17-18, 2018 in New York. The event includes pro activities, free rated games, and etc. Details to follow.

 – includes reporting by Stephanie Yin, with help from Aaron Julian; photos by Stephanie Yin

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Prevailing over drum ensemble, Trevor Morris tops Boston Winter Open

Sunday December 10, 2017

Nearly three dozen players — 32 to be exact — ranging in strength from beginner to 6d, made their way to the Stratton Student Center at MIT to participate in the Boston Winter Open on December 2. The tournament was divided into two divisions, a 12 person Open Division with dan players playing even games, and a 20 person Handicap Division with kyu players playing handicap – 2 games.

Open Division players competed for cash prizes and our winners were: 1st place Trevor Morris, 6d (4-0), 2nd place David Cho, 5d (3-1), and 3rd place Qingbo Zhang, 5d (3-1).

Handicap Division prizes were awarded to those with 4-0 and 3-1 records. Our winners were: Adam Prescott, 9k (4-0), Jin Greene, 12k (3-1), Eva Casey, 5k (3-1), Michael Scudder, 2k (3-1), and Matt Clarke, 2k (3-1).

This tournament was made particularly unique due to the surprising addition of live music starting in the middle of the third round. The source turned out to be a Senegalese Drum Ensemble participating in MIT’s World Music Day in the auditorium beneath the playing area. In investigating the event, we discovered it would last through our final round and were kindly given a box of ear plugs. We also confirmed the hypothesis that go tournaments and drums do not go well together (in case you were wondering). Fortunately our players are awesome and seemed mostly amused. We will try to be more aware of adjacent events for future tournaments.
– Neil Ritter

 

Thanks to everyone for coming and to the MIT Go club and the MGA for organizing!

 

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Inaugural Latin American Go Congress sparkles in Cancun

Wednesday October 25, 2017

Known worldwide for sparkling beaches and water, these attractions were but a pretty side element at the first Latin American Go Congress in Cancun, Mexico from October 13th to 15th. Sixty-four players from 15 countries played in the six-round 19th Ibero American Go 2017.10.25_Latin American Go CongressChampionship (CIG). After a slightly delayed start on the first day (familiar to many U.S. Go Congress participants), TD Milosh Trnka Rodriguez kept the McMahon event moving smoothly. Time limits were short to fit two rounds each day before lunch – generally 35 minutes per player plus 5 x 30 overtime. The overall winner was Kim Hyuneoo of Korea. The Ibero Championship (limited to citizens of the Ibero-American member states) was won by Fernando Aguilar 7d (below left) of Argentina, the perennial top player from the region.

The first Latin American Youth Go Championship was run by Siddhartha Avila of Mexico and had 16 players from six countries divided in two categories. Division A was won by Soomin Oh 2d from Korea and in Division B Shanti Ramírez 12 kyu from Mexico came out on top. In the first Pandanet Go Latin American Team Championship (PGLATC) Mexico bested guest Argentina in a 3-board match with a 2-1 score.

With generous international support, six pros attended: Enda Hideki 9P and Komatsu Daiki 2P from Japan; Cho Hye-yeon 9P and Youngshin Lee 5P from Korea; Mateusz Surma 1P from the European Go Federation; and Eric Lui 1P from the AGA with funding provided by the American Go Foundation. After the main games, the pros provided quick game analysis and each afternoon half of the players took on the pros in simuls. Few of the amateurs won!

aguilar_DSC0186There were lectures on pros games (including an especially lively one analyzing a victory over a fellow 9P by Cho Hye-yeon, 9P) and sessions on teaching go by a leading Korean expert from KIBA, Mr. Kwon Kapyong 8P. And, of course, there was lots of casual play and discussion of games whenever players sat around a board.

The evening events included Crazy Go (with 19 variants) on Friday night run by AGF President Terry Benson. Rengo Kriegspiel was run for the first time in Spanish. As usual, everybody won. On Saturday evening, The Surrounding Game film was screened.
Each of the three evenings included a round of the second Ibero-American Pair Go Championship – with many of the pros and the Congress Director playing – won by Samy Suastegui, 8k of Mexico and Youngshin Lee, 9P of Korea.
The Emporio hotel provided a classy setting for the event. There was an included opening dinner at the hotel, box lunches each day, and plenty of coffee and water. The closing dinner at Porfirios had a classic Mexican atmosphere – good food and mariachi music. There was even a little impromptu singing of Go songs. And a new one – in Spanish – written by Benson and Ester Monroy added to the canon.
Funding for the event came from the International Go Federation, Pandanet, Nihon Ki-in, Korean Baduk Association, American Go Association, American Go Foundation, and Mexico’s National University UNAM.

The Mexican Go Association Congress team led by Emil Garcia and including Marco Hernandez, Temilotzin Ibarra, Ester Monroy, Dafne Rios, with additional support from UNAM students staff and media team gave a good start to the tradition of Latin American Go Congresses.
The site of the 2018 event will be announced before the end of the year with Bogota, Colombia and Buenos Aires, Argentina the likely candidates. For those who like an international Congress diet, there is a new hearty entrée on the menu.
– report/photos by Terry Benson

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Categories: Latin America
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2017 Cincy/Tristate Go Tournament held in Mason, OH

Tuesday September 5, 2017

On August 26, go players gathered in Mason, Ohio, for the 3rd annual Cincy/Tri-state go tournament. The tournament, generously sponsored 2017.09.05-CincyGoTournamentby the Asian Pacific American Forum of General Electric and the Confucius institute of Miami University attracted about 40 players from major cities of Ohio and neighboring states including Indiana, Kentucky, and Michigan. Also on hand was a graduate student from George Washington University who traveled all the way from DC to southwest Ohio just to enjoy meeting new friends while playing go.

Eight-year-old Stephanie Tan from Indiana swept with an impressive four wins and was placed top youth in Division C. College student Soren Jaffe of Cleveland Ohio, defeated University of Cincinnati exchange student Feifan Jia (5D) of China in the fourth round (de facto the final game). Other winners of the tournament include: Haoze Zou (5D, youth division A) from Mason, Ohio; Chris Martin (4K, adult Division B) from Louisville, Kentucky; Jonathan Luo (8K, youth Division B) from Mason, Ohio; and Dave Olnhausen (15K, adult Division C) from Toledo, Ohio.

Mason is located in the northeast corner of greater Cincinnati area. Mason was named one of the best places to live in the United States several times by Money magazine and CNN. Mason is home to Kings Island amusement park and home of the Western & Southern Open, one of the world’s top tennis tournaments. It’s the third year the go tournament was hosted here by Mason Go Club and Huaxia Chinese School at Mason.
– report/photos by Frank Luo

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Categories: U.S./North America
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Cho, Coplon and Cornett tie to top Skip Ascheim Memorial Go Tournament

Friday July 14, 2017

What do a 5-dan, a 5-kyu and a 12-kyu have in common? They all tied for first at the recent Skip Ascheim Memorial Go Tournament in Boston.2017.07.14_Benjamin_Coplon_David_Cho_Howard_Cornett_all_4-0 David Cho 5D, Benjamin Coplon 5k and Howard Cornett 12k were all 4-0 at the July 9 tournament, organized as usual by the Massachusetts Go Association. “Charles Chapple, the English Teacher from Franklin High School in Franklin NH, who had come with five students to the MGA’s Spring Tournament, was back with student Miriam Fallahi, despite it being summer vacation,” reports TD Eva Casey.
photo (l-r): Coplon, Cho and Cornett. Click here for more photos.

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Categories: U.S./North America
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