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The Manhattan Go Club and Seattle Go Center top the first month of the new AGA Chapter Rewards program, earning 150,000 and 125,000 points, respectively. AGA chapters earn points when they get new or renewing members or when their members play rated games. Small and medium clubs get an extra multiplier to earn points faster. “We got off to a great start in January with new and renewing memberships” says Rewards Coordinator Gurujeet Khalsa. Seventy one chapters earned a total of 2,412,500 points, “almost $2,500 that chapters can get reimbursement for expenses related to go promotion.” Click here to see chapter-by-chapter results for January, and details on how points are calculated. Activity by members unaffiliated with a chapter still earn points in an AGA pool (see instructions here on how to affiliate with a chapter). To redeem points, take a picture of a receipt with a smartphone and email it to email@example.com. Put in a one line description of what the go promotional activity was (e.g. “Advertisement for Cherry Blossom tournament”). Also include the chapter name and the name and address for reimbursement. Reimbursement is to the person listed as the chapter organizer or to a club account with the chapter name. Address any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Former Korean insei Mark Lee took home the $700 first-place prize at the 2015 Southern California Go Championship, held the weekend of February 28-March 1 in Monterey Park, California. Seventy two players from Southern California and as far away as the San Francisco Bay area, Arizona, Oregon and Atlanta, Georgia participated in the tournament, which featured a total prize purse of $3,000 and was organized and directed by Kevin Chao. Thanks to sponsorship by the World Journal and American Asia Culture Exchange Association, the event took place at the spacious headquarters of the Los Angeles division of the World Journal (http://www.worldjournal.com/page-about_us-e/).
Open Section: 1st place Mark Lee (5-0), 2nd place Danny Ko (4-1), 3rd place Youwhan Kim (4-1), 4th place Qipeng Luo (3-2), 5th place two-time defending champion Evan Cho (3-2).
Dan Section: 1st place Tyler Oyakawa (5-0), 2nd place Brandon Zhou (4-1), 3rd place AGA president Andy Okun (4-1), 4th place Ted Drange (4-1), 5th place Hanhua Li (4-1)
Upper Kyu Section: 1st place Suttiat Boonchuen (5-0), 2nd place Julie Burrall (4-1), 3rd place Aijun Song, 4th place Alfred Foung (4-1)
Mid Kyu Section: 1st place Ross Secrest (4-1), 2nd place John Bulcher (4-1), 3rd place Michal Lebl (4-1)
Lower Kyu Section: 1st place Dowson Yang (4-1), 2nd place Derek Su (3-2), 3rd place Vivie Truong (3-2)
Photos: (top right) James Guo, president of World Journal L.A., presents the first place trophy to Mark Lee; tournament playing venue. photo by Kevin Chao.
by John Power, EJ Japan Correspondent
Yamashita Draws Level in Kisei, Forcing Decisive Game 7: The sixth game of the 39th Kisei title match was held at the Gyokushoen Arai inn in Izu City, Shizuoka Prefecture, on March 11 and 12. Taking black, Yamashita Keigo 9P (right) defeated Iyama Yuta 9P by resignation after 189 moves. Yamashita has now won three games in a row, so the title match goes down to the wire. The final game will be played on March 19 and 20.
Xie Defends Women’s Meijin Title: The second game of the 27th Women’s Meijin title match was played at Heian Jogaku University, a private women’s university in Kyoto also known as St. Agnes’ University, on 11 March. Xie Yimin, playing black, forced Suzuki Ayumi 6P to resign after 177 moves and so won this title for the eighth year in a row.
Europe’s newest professional go players are Mateusz Surma (left) from Poland and Ilya Shikshin from Russia. Surma took first place in the European Pro Qualification tournament, held March 6-8 in Pisa; Shiksin was second. They join Pavol Lisy and Ali Jabarin, who were the EGF’s first pros last year. Click here for details on the 2015 tournament, including links to some of the tournament games. The four EGF professionals are now qualified for the Grand Slam Tournament in Berlin coming up April 3-6.
- Martin Stiassny, EGF President
San Diego Go Club members taught go to all interested and played exhibition games at the Tenth Annual Cherry Blossom Festival at the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park in San Diego on March 7 & 8. Thousands came out to the garden in 70 degree weather to see the bursting cherry blossoms on over 150 trees. A new $3,000,000 expansion of the garden, including a tea house next to a water fall and koi pond, is almost compete. Club volunteers were kept busy both days from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., teaching go to eager parties ranging in age from 5 to 85. So many people were eager to learn go that they had to queue up for lessons. Many copies of “The Way to Go,” donated by the American Go Foundation, were given to those who showed interest in learning the game.
- report/photo by Ted Terpstra, President, San Diego Go Club. Photo: San Diego Go Club member Les Lanphear (right, in hat) explaining the intricacies of go;