Beumgeon (Evan) Cho defeated Zhi Yuan (Andy) Liu in an edge-of-the-seat nailbiting Round 5 victory on Sunday to win the 2013 Cotsen Open. The thrilling last-round contest between the two undefeated players — Liu was going for a bi-coastal sweep after winning the Gotham Open earlier this month in New York City — drew a crowd in the Korean Cultural Center in Los Angeles as well as online where observers watched Myungwan Kim 9P’s live analysis of the game. In third place was Eric Lui, Won Sik Lee took 4th place, Calvin Sun 5th and Andrew Lu 6th. Santa Monica won the $1,000 Club Champion prize, Orange County was second and Tucson third. In other division results, Anders Kierulf won Division A (4d-3d), Daniel Alvira won Division B (2d-1d), Jung Kang won Division C (1-5k), Gary Huang won Division D (6-11k) and Charles Polkiewicz won Division E (12k+). Click here for the final crosstab and see below for game records. photos: at right: Cho (center) with tournament sponsor Eric Cotsen (right) and AGA President Andy Okun; at left: the round 5 game. report by Chris Garlock; photos by Chrissy Hampton.
Justin Teng 6d celebrated his birthday by winning the annual NOVA Pumpkin Classic on October 27 with a 4-0 score. Other divisional winners in the 20-player field were: Nathan Epstein 2k, Edward Lane 7k, Anderson Barreal 10k, and Sarah Crites 19k. Taking second in their divisions were: Ray Hunley 1d, Yukino Takehara 1k, Robert Ehrlich 5k, Garrett Smith 9k, and Bob Crites 9k. All winners took home the traditional pumpkin.
- report/photo by Gurujeet Khalsa, Tournament Director
Before a single stone had been played at this weekend’s Cotsen Open in Los Angeles, two announcements drew sustained and resounding applause from the 140 gathered players. First was tournament sponsor Eric Cotsen’s confirmation that “funding has been secured for the next four Cotsen Opens,” guaranteeing the return of the popular annual event through 2017. The second was Asian Go Federation (AGF) President Dae-won Suh’s announcement that plans are in the works for a Korean Baduk Cup in spring 2014, to be held, like the Cotsen, at the Korean Cultural Center. “I wish you all the best of luck,” said a beaming Suh. “Now let’s play baduk!” And with that, a day of fierce competition commenced over three hotly-contested rounds, broken only by a lunch break for free tacos from the food truck conveniently parked in the KCC parking lot, enabling players to enjoy a tasty lunch beneath clear Southern California skies before returning to the boards inside. Hundreds who could not attend the tournament followed the action live on KGS where the E-Journal team broadcast top boards, with pro commentaries on selected games. Leading the field are Beomgeun Cho, Andy Liu, Won Sik Lee and Eric Lui, all with 3-0 records (Click here for the tournament crosstab and see below for game records). The tournament continues Sunday with a pro-pro game on KGS starting at 8a PST between Yilun Yang 7p and Wang Qun 8p, followed by the final two rounds of the Cotsen. photo collage: top right: Haijin Lee 3p reviews a player’s game; bottom right: spectators gather around one of the top boards; bottom left: two masseuses — one of the Cotsen’s unique features — work their way through the field; top left: longtime go author Richard Bozulich (at left, talking to AGA President Andy Okun) dropped by for a brief visit Saturday morning while in town from Japan on a business trip. photo at left: Cotsen staff play a casual game.
Report, photos & collage by Chris Garlock
It takes a lot to get the guys at the Korean Go Club in Los Angeles to stop playing. Their moves are fierce and the concentration is total. But on Friday, they put down their stones and looked up from their boards as Dae-won Suh, President of the Asian Go Federation (AGF) and Vice President of the Korean Amateur Baduk Association (KABA) and Dalsoo Kim, Secretary General of the AGF announced that the club — an AGA chapter — will be the first overseas branch of KABA.
The United States was chosen because of the ongoing collaboration between the Korean and American go communities, especially last year’s inauguration of the US pro system through the Tygem-AGA Pro Tournament. “This is just the fifth professional go system in the world,” said an obviously proud Suh, who’s also a former Korean Ambassador. “We very much hope it will prosper.” And Los Angeles was selected because “it has the largest Korean population outside of our country,” he added. Another connection is the Korean Cultural Center, which this weekend is hosting the Cotsen Open for the second year. “We’re very glad that the KCC can host this tournament again this year and hope that it will help discover new talents,” Suh said.
Ambassador Suh also noted that “there were lots of Korean professionals at this year’s U.S. Go Congress,” adding that the Korean Baduk Association (the professional player’s association in Korea) and KABA “have committed to supporting the U.S. go scene,” including training like that offered by Myung-wan Kim 9P, who beamed quietly in the back of the Korean Go Club as the officials made their remarks. “All of this, we hope, will help promote go in the United States,” said Suh.
AGA President Andy Okun welcomed the move and called KGC organizer Gary Choi “a real friend to the go community and the AGA for a very long time,” and thanked the club’s players “for being so welcoming when we come here and for supporting AGA events like the Cotsen.” Okun also extended an enthusiastic welcome and congratulations to KABA’s new branch, saying that “LA is the right place” for this step.
Korean Consul General Yeonsung Shin closed the brief ceremony — which was also attended by Hajin Lee 3p, Chosun Daily reporter Hongryal Lee, Cyberoro reporter Kim Soo Kwang, KABA staffer Jong-geun Lee and 2015 Go Congress organizer Josh Larson — by announcing that he and Ambassador Suh are interested in working with the AGA to organize a Consul’s Cup and Shin, Suh and Okun could later be seen discussing plans. But first Okun was invited to take on Kim Younghwan 9p — the “Younghwan Wizard” — who quickly demonstrated his ability to give more handicap stones to amateur players than any other pro, and still win.
- report/photos by Chris Garlock
“I am wondering if there is a typographical error in last week’s ‘Capture Go’ story, when Mr. Jayaraman says, ‘We call the game we teach go, not Capture Go,” writes veteran organizer Jean DeMaiffe, a graduate of Yasuda Sensei’s International Go Teacher Certification Program. “Surely the organizers are going to call their game ‘Capture Go’ or better still, as Yasuda-sensei calls it, ‘The Capture Game’. I have taught ‘The Capture Game’ as part of my Go curriculum for years and can readily attest to the importance of clearly differentiating between the goals of the two games. After learning to play capture, most of my students consistently need to be refocused on capturing territory, rather than just stones. Thanks for your help in setting one or more of us straight on this issue.”
“Our curriculum is meant to serve less as an introduction to regulation go than as an in-depth introduction to the underlying principles of the game,” responds Jayaraman. “These include the basic rules of stone placement, liberties and capturing, as well as the traditions of the game like etiquette, problem study, and history. Our use of the term ‘go’ is also rooted in some practical considerations. Our program is primarily focused on equipping teachers with no prior knowledge of go with the skills, supplies, and support to be able to introduce their students to the game. In many cases these classes may be the only time they ever hear of the game. For those whose interest in regular go is sparked, however, they and their families will be familiar enough with the game to seek out more information about it, and hopefully utilize the existing resources in our community, like the Memphis Go Club or the introductory regulation go workshops the Confucius Institute at the University of Memphis offers. For these students who pursue it, the precise name of the specific rule variation that first set them on the path of go will probably be inconsequential.”
The food truck and masseuses are confirmed, the boards and clocks have been set up and the Koreans professionals await the arrival of players at the 2013 Cotsen Open in Los Angeles, CA today, one of the most competitive tournaments outside the annual U.S. Go Congress. Registration opens at 8a sharp at the Korean Cultural Center (5505 Wilshire Blvd) and walk-ins are welcome to compete for thousands in individual and club prizes. The tournament fee is completely refundable for players attending both days (three rounds Saturday and two rounds Sunday), and the lunches are free both Saturday and Sunday. For those unable to attend, follow the top-board action LIVE on KGS as the American Go E-Journal team broadcasts games on the USGO accounts, and look for updates on the AGA website as well as in daily EJ updates. photo: setting up Friday at the Cotsen; report/photo by Chris Garlock
“How often do you gamble on behalf of your company?” wonders Bill Pieroni, Global Chief Operating Officer at Marsh in his October 11 post on LinkedIn. “It probably occurs more often than you think. The outcomes of most actions are often dependent on a combination of skill and luck. Skill involves impacting the outcome in a purposeful and measurable way. Luck dominates when an outcome is based on random, uncontrollable factors. It is useful to think about skill and luck on a continuum. For example, Wéiqí, a game of strategy, is dominated by skill, while winning the lottery is based on luck.”
The 16th Annual Go To Innovation tournament will take place November 22-24 in Berlin, Germany. Founded in 2004, Dr. Martin Sattelkau teamed up with software developer Alexander Eckert to create a new annual tournament to attract more go players in Germany and throughout Europe. The grand prize for the winner is 1000 EU but cash prizes are available up to 20th place, along with go books for places 21-30 and as 3 consolation prizes. A separate jackpot of 450 EU is available for players with 8 wins. Registration is 35 EU for general players and 10 EU for youths (under 16). To register or for more information, please visit the official Go To Innovation website.
— Annalia Linnan; for complete listings, check out the European Tournament Calendar
“I ran a small tournament at my place in Des Plaines (IL) on October 19 with 9 players,” reports Laura Kolb Moon. “We named it the First Ivy Moon Tournament after my baby daughter.” Daniel Puzan 1k took first place with a perfect 4-0 record, and Lisa Scott (1k) and Matt Inwood (5k) took 2nd with 3-1 records. graphic: the tournament’s namesake demonstrates the rare but surprisingly effective “Cheerio tesuji”; photos by Laura Kolb Moon
Nearly three dozen players attended the 2013 Portland (Oregon) Go Tournament, held (date) at Lewis & Clark College. “This is an increase of over 25% from last year,” said tournament director Peter Drake. Zipei Feng 7d swept the 10-player open division with five wins, followed by Harry Zhou and Nick Zhirad. In the dan handicap division, the winners were Jim Levenick, Glenn Peters, and Eugene Zhang. For single-digit kyu, Maxwell Chen (also 5-0), Minh Pham (president of the Lewis & Clark College Go Club), and Clark Brooks. For double-digit kyu, Eric Hanscom, Eric Wang, and Ethan Zhuang.
The numbers for youth and female players were also improved from last year, Drake reports. Maxwell Chen took the prize for top youth player. Cynthia Gaty was the top female player.
GoClubsOnline was used for tournament administration. “Thanks to Yellow Mountain Imports for a generous prize discount,” says Drake, who also thanked KGS, SmartGo, and Darrell Malick (via Cynthia Gaty) for prize donations and Glenn Peters for bringing boards, stones, clocks, and snacks.
What game has tens of millions of active players, is very popular in Asia, has professional leagues and professional tournaments all over the world and was originally dominated by the North American League? Not go, of course. It’s League of Legends, one of the most popular eSports, or organized video game competitions. We were tipped off to this phenomenon by one of the strongest amateur go players in the United States, who admitted recently that his go playing time has been cut into not only by work and family, but by his fascination with League of Legends. “As a mental and strategy game, it bears a close resemblance to go,” the player — who prefers to remain anonymous — says, although unlike go, League of Legends is a team game, with five players on each team. “Like the go world, China and Korea are dominating League of Legends now,” the player says. “However, because this game has such a big fan base in North America, there is a chance that we can come back.” According a Forbes report in August, “If there needed to be further evidence of the growing enthusiasm in the West for eSports, League of Legends may have just set some sort of unofficial record for most tickets to a live event sold in the shortest amount of time. In about an hour after they went on sale, tickets to October’s World Championship Final event in LA’s Staples Center were sold out.” And according to a report in the Wall Street Journal, “Top (videogame) players can ultimately take home $18,000 a month or more.”
Kelsey Dyer was “pleasantly surprised to find go” mentioned in Clifford A. Pickover’s “The Math Book,” which chronicles discoveries and advances in mathematics throughout history. Picover “gives a rundown of the object of the game and its mathematical facets” and Dyer says that his favorite line is “While powerful chess software is capable of defeating top chess players, the best Go programs often lose to skillful children.”
Go-playing university/college students under the age of 30 can still register for the qualifying prelim for the 12th World Students Go Oza Championship, which will be held February 24-28, 2014 in Tokyo. Sixteen students from around the world will gather in Japan to decide the world’s number one student player. There will be an online preliminary round on Pandanet to select the 16 student players. Click here for details. University/college students under the age of 30 are eligible to participate.
Nearly forty leaders met to discuss “spreading weiqi to the world” in Beijing on September 23. The summit gathered a number of heavyweights in the Chinese go community, including Ma Xiaoming and Xia Guozhu from China’s Association for International Friendship with Foreign Countries, Liu Siming, Wang Runan, Hua Yigang and Wang Yi from the Chinese Weiqi Association, Li Lizhen from the headquarters of the Confucius Institute, and Wang Ping from China’s National General Administration of Press and Publication. In addition, executives from different media companies were invited, including Window of Golden Street (WGS), Sina, eWeiqi, Sohu, Blue Focus and Qingfeng.
Both Ma and Liu emphasized the urgency of promoting go globally and praised the “Weiqi Travelling Worldwide” project, while Shao Qiang from WGS proposed the idea of a China-US Go Congress. The influential level of the summit attendees is the highest in many years, a strong indication of China’s interest in global Weiqi cooperation.
- Alice Zhang, translated by Rainy Han and Zhiyuan ‘Edward’ Zhang
Go author Jonathan Hop is working on a new project about Chinese culture and language. “I am trying to get funds to do a graphic novel,” Hop tells the E-Journal. In “Journey to the Middle Kingdom,” three modern-day kids travel back to ancient Chinese fairy tales. “The main character’s grandfather plays go and owns an antique shop,” Hop, a 4-dan from Ann Arbor MI and author of the “So You Want to Play Go” series says. “Go will make an appearance in the first book and I’m definitely going to have it in several others because the book series is a celebration of Chinese culture. I also may even teach the readers a little bit about go (because that’s what I do) if the series gets underway, but I gotta get the first book going.” With just 14 days to go, Hop’s Kickstarter campaign has raised nearly $1,200 toward the $10,000 goal.
Online registration for the 2013 Cotsen Go Open and 2nd AGA Pro Prelim is now closed. To register on-site in Los Angeles, come early this Saturday, October 26th; registration opens at 8a at the Korean Cultural Center (5505 Wilshire Blvd). “If you are not registered by 9:30, you will not be allowed to play in the first game,” organizers warn. The Cotsen features a number of unique attractions, including paying the AGA “one time rating fee” for all players who do not currently have an AGA membership, prizes for those who can solve certain go problems, one candidate will be selected for the AGA’s next professional certification tournament to be held later this year. Plus, Myung-wan Kim 9P, one of the organizers of the US pro system, will also be on hand to teach and play simultaneous games and local Southern California favorite and renowned US teacher Yi-Lun Yang 7P will also teach and provide game commentary. There will also be a pro game over the internet between Yi-Lun Yang 7P and another pro. Lee Hajin 3p and Kim Minhee 3p will also be there to do game reviews and simuls along with a late addition to the delegation, Kim Younghwan 9p. Kim (left) became pro in 1987. His nickname is “Younghwan Wizard” because of his ability to give more handicap stones to amateur players than any other pro, and still win. He is currently working as a baduk instructor and a commentator for Baduk TV. The tournament also features free lunch at a food truck (but only for those who pre-register) and two masseuses who will make the rounds “to ease the tensions that arise in your shoulders when you discover that your big group really doesn’t have two eyes.” There are also go club prizes of $1,500, to be awarded to top three clubs that have the most points overall in the tournament. Top-board games will be broadcast live on KGS by the E-Journal. photo: Cotsen with son Lord at the 2012 Cotsen Open; top right photo by Chris Garlock
Andy Liu won the October 12 Gotham Go Tournament in New York City. Liu Xiaohan was second and in 3rd place was Benjamin Lockhart, who qualified to play in the AGA Pro Select tournament in Los Angeles later this year. “We had a total of 82 players competing for $1500 in cash and prizes from all ranks!” report organizers Peter Armenia and Mathew Hershberger. Click here for full results and a photo album. photo: Benjamin Lockhart (l) plays Zhong Sichen in the final round; photo by Peter Armenia
The second year of the Pandanet-AGA City League kicks off this weekend on IGS. Play will start for all of the leagues at 3pm on Saturday, October 28th. “We have 17 teams for this season and play should be very exciting,” says Tournament Director Steve Colburn. “Watch some of the best players in the country vie off against each other.” Play will take place in the AGA City League Room; watch for more information on the Pandanet site.
“In the past few weeks we have started our chess/go clubs at Beverly Clearly, Irvington, and Grant High,” writes Portland, OR, go teacher Peter Freedman. ”Fritz [Balwit] and I are teaching at Irvington and we have 33 children. 8 have never played go before, the rest have been in the club in past years. They range from 2nd to 6th grades. I am also teaching go at Beverly Cleary, where the chess club coach has agreed to change his club to a chess and go club. We had 13 children at our first meeting and expect more to attend in the future. One child has had some exposure to go previously. The initial response by these chess-playing children is very positive,” adds Freedman. The chess and go program at Grant High, taught with Balwit, is also off to a good start. ”So far there are about 10-12 students coming, some of whom have played go before. We expect the club to grow, one of the Japanese language teachers has 180 students, and has invited me to present to her classes.” The busy Portland organizers also have programs or demos scheduled for three other local schools as well, and plan to create go teams and school matches once all the schools get rolling. “We’ve bought t-shirts for all 33 kids in the Irvington program, at a cost of less than $10 per shirt. Since parents pay $150 a year for the weekly, one hour club, we have raised enough money to support this,” adds Freedman. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo by Peter Freedman: Ansel Wallace (l), a member of the Irvington Chess and Go club, in his new club t-shirt.
The deadline for the American Go Foundation’s College Scholarship is just one month away. The program recognizes high school students who have served as important organizers and promoters for the go community. Read about last year’s winner here, and former winners here. For more information, and the application form, visit the AGF Website. - Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.