Amy Wang 5d and her partner Daehyuk (Daniel) Ko won first place in the 2015 North American Pair Go Championship Thursday night at the U.S. Go Congress. “U.S. Pair Go fans should watch for Amy and Daniel to be competing in the upcoming World Amateur Pair Go Championships in Tokyo,” said TD Todd Heidenreich. The Championships will be held the first weekend in December. Forty eight pairs participated in the popular event, including nine professional players. Six of the eight players on boards 3 and 4 were professionals, drawing a lot of interest from spectators. “Special thanks to Dennis Wheeler, Steve Colburn, Susanna Pfeffer, and Garrett Smith for their assistance,” Heidenreich added.
The top table of the Pair Go tournament determined the overall champion. As with many of the tournaments at this year’s Congress, the matches played on the top board of the tournament were broadcast online — in this case on the Pandanet Go Server — along with a live stream on the AGA’s YouTube page. Click here for Steve Colburn’s album of photos.
Top table results: 1st Place – Amy Wang 5d & Daniel Ko 7d; 2nd Place – Melissa Cao 1k & Justin Ching 6d; 3rd Place – WanYu Chen & Andrew Lu 7d; 4th Place – Julie Burrall 2d & Lionel Zhang 7d.
Table Winners: Amy Wang 5d & Daniel Ko 7d; HsiYun Tang 2P & Mark Lee 7d; Jennie Shen 2P & Josh Larson 3d; Mirano Shiraki 5d & Shunichi Hyodo 6d; Agnes Rzepecki 2k & Aaron Broege 1d; Isabelle Peng 5k & Evan Zou 4d; Nqua Xiong 2k & Fernando Torre 3k; Yoko Ohashi 6k & Mark Fraser 7k; Vivienne Blandy 9k & Mark Smith 7k; Kaoru Hidaka 19k & Shigeo Hidaka 2d; Sarah Crites 11k & Bob Crites 7k; Susanna Pfeffer 10k & Rab Beverly 12k
- photos by Eric Jankowski (right) and Steve Colburn (left).
Curious to see how go might be played without a center point, John Goodell didn’t just theorize about it; he produced 3,000 go sets sans center point. They didn’t catch on, but Goodell’s lifetime of promoting the game earned him the American Go Association’s first Edward Lasker Distinguished Service Award in 2002; he died in 2004 at the age of 94. A longtime St Paul resident, he’s been honored this week at the US Go Congress with a prominent display of memorabilia celebrating his life as a go player and promoter.
Goodell (second from right) learned the game in the mid-1950′s while doing customer research for a department store. His idea was to see if board games would help elicit more reliable information from customers. Although that didn’t work, he became deeply involved with go, leading the US team to the second World Amateur Go Championships in Japan in 1964, as well as serving as president of the AGA from 1962 to 1964. Perhaps most famously, he once imported two tons of go stones and distributed them across the country.
John Goodell said that go is “almost like meditation. When you play go, the world goes away.” And though he played the game for more than half a century, he never entered a tournament, where “You play to win; but winning and losing is of almost no consequence.”
A St Paul documentary filmmaker, Goodell was nominated for an Academy Award in 1974 for “Always a New Beginning.”
Click here for more information about the history of the American Go Association.
Nearly twenty videos from the US Go Congress have been posted so far on the AGA’s YouTube channel as part of the E-Journal’s expanded coverage this year. They include Crazy Go, Lightning Tournament, US Open Masters Rd6: Tong Yulin 4p vs Mark Lee 7d, US Open Masters Rd 5: Cao Youyin 3p vs Tong Yulin 4p live commentary by Cho Hyeyeon 9p, and USGC 2015 – Wang Chen 7d interviewed by Kevin Hwang. The videos have been extremely popular, usually with well over 100 viewers for the live streams and some of the videos have now been viewed over 2,000 times.
Melissa Zhang 3d won the inaugural 2015 AGA U16 Girls’ Championship on Thursday, defeating Kelly Liu 1d. The tournament was held during the US Go Congress in St Paul, Minnesota. Although Ms. Liu won a tense ko fight to save a large group in the middle of the board, Ms. Zhang emerged with insurmountable advantage to win the game and the $100 first prize. In the consolation game, Melissa Cao 1d took third place by defeating Amy Wang 5d.
- Ted Terpstra: photo (l-r): Melissa Cao, 3rd; Amy Wang, 4th; Kelly Liu, 2nd; Melissa Zhang, 1st. photo at right: Zhang and Liu playing final. photos by Ted Terpstra (left) and Chris Garlock (right).
All game results must be turned in by 12 noon on Saturday.
Current leaders, with the number of games in parentheses are:
Champion (most wins over losses): tie between Steffen Kurz and Miyoko Miyama (4)
Hurricane (greatest number of wins): Jeff Horn (9)
Giant Killer (most wins against dan players by kyu player): Miyoko Miyama (4)
Keith Arnold/Kyu Killer (most wins against kyu players by dan player): Jeff Horn (8)
Dedicated (most games played): Jeff Horn (15)
Sensei (most games against weaker players): Jeff Horn (13)
Philanthropist (most losses): Sasha (David) Orr (9)
photo by Chris Garlock
Friday Night “Big Broadcast” Set: Top-board US Open Masters games will be broadcast live with professional commentary on KGS and streamed on YouTube; Congress attendees can watch in person in the main playing area. The broadcast starts at 7p CST.
Fierce Battle for ’15 US Open Masters Title: Unlike last year, when Mark Lee plowed through the field at the U.S. Open Masters, it’s safe to say that after six rounds, this year’s competition is wide open. With three rounds still to play, there are four 5-game winners: defending champion Mark Lee, Zirui Song, Yulin Tong and Chen Wang. Lee lost to Youyin Cao in the fourth round; Zirui Song lost to Yulin Tong in the fourth round; Yulin Tong lost to Mark Lee in the 6th round, and Chen Wang lost to Mark Lee in the third round. Click here for complete results — and top-board game records through Round 6.
Crazy Go Photos Posted: Click here for Betsy Small’s snapshots from Tuesday night’s Crazy Go session (right), directed as usual by Terry “These Go Games Are INSANE!” Benson.
Game Records Wanted: Send in your US Open game records and — as we did last year — we’ll add them to the crosstab. Email it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Caption Contest: Submit your caption(s) and you could be a winner! Captions should be funny, clever and/or creative; have fun! Want to submit a photo for the contest? email it to us at email@example.com
- photos by Chris Garlock
US Open 4-0 winners: Albert Yen; Xiaocheng Hu; Ary Cheng; Yifan Zhang; Gilbert Feng; Keiju Takehara; Kunio One; Aaron Johnson; Brian Kirby; Kelly Liu; Peter Zunick; Paul Weiner; Mark Fraser; Sherrie Echols; Ryan Kim.
Albert Yen 7d and Ary Cheng 3d swept their divisions in the Redmond Cup finals at the US Go Congress. The preliminary rounds were held online (see E-J 7/8/15) and saw both boys emerge on top, 15-year-old Yen with a perfect record, and 9-year-old Cheng winning 5 out of 6 games. The Senior Division (under 18) pitted Yunxuan Li 6d, age 17, with 5 wins, against Yen in a best 2 out of 3 final. In the Junior (under 13), Raymond Feng 3d, age 11, was the other finalist. Cheng and Feng both were AGA rated at 1 dan during the qualifiers, but defeated higher ranked opponents throughout the event. Both boys are playing at 3 dan in the US Open, and doing quite well, proving once again that it is very hard to pin serious kids down to a given rank as they often improve at lightning speed. The Senior division games were also popular on the AGA’s Youtube Channel, which featured live commentaries by Calvin Sun 1P, with Justing Teng 7d and Lionel Zhang 7d streaming video, and both divisions were broadcast live on KGS as well. All of the streamed videos remain available on the AGA channel here. All four Redmond finalists won a free trip to congress to compete, and will receive $300 for first place, and $200 for second, courtesy of the American Go Foundation, as well as Redmond Cup trophies. - Story and photos by E-J Youth Editor Paul Barchilon. Top: Yunxuan Li 6d (l) vs. Albert Yen 7d (r); Bottom: Raymond Feng 3d (l) vs. Ary Cheng 3d (r).
Aaron Ye 6d won the Diehard Tournament on Wednesday, the event traditionally held on the Congress day off. 76 players participated and seven had perfect 4-0 records: Aaron Ye 6d (Overall winner); Daniel Puzan 1d; David Frankel 1k; Steve Wishnousky 3k; Vincent Tam 5k; Aaron Pearson 7k and Chris Ramsumair 8k.
- report by Andy Olsen, TD; photo by Garrett Smith
In American Go Association Board of Director election results, incumbents Martin Lebl and Chris Kirschner retained their seats in the Central and Western regions respectively, while Diego F. Pierrottet defeated George Lebovitz for the Eastern seat. Kirschner received 18 votes (85%) while Andrew Jackson got 3 write in votes. Lebl got 19 votes. Pierrottet received 17 votes (60%) while Lebovitz got 7 votes (25%); there were 4 abstentions.
AGA President Andy Okun welcomed Pierrottet, congratulated Lebl and Kirschner and spoke warmly of Celmer. “Paul has been on the board since before I first joined in 2008 and has been thoughtful, positive and productive as a board member,” said Okun. “That’s on top of everything else he’s done for the go community including co-running two successful US Go Congresses. I’ll miss him in our meetings, but look forward
to seeing him at go events around the country.”
Iyama taking aim at two former titles: The first quarterfinal of the 63rd Oza tournament was held on July 13. Playing white, Iyama Yuta (r) defeated Ichiriki Ryo 7P by resignation. With both players in byo-yomi in the late middle game, Ichiriki made a snap judgement that he could live with a large group, so instead of starting a ko to make sure of two eyes he moved into his opponent’s territory. Iyama made a snap judgement that the group couldn’t be saved by a player in byo-yomi; he connected the ko and killed the group. Iyama thus became the first player to reach the semifinals of this tournament. The titleholder is Murakawa Daisuke, who took the title off Iyama last year. Iyama had previously reached the semifinals of the 41st Tengen title by beating beat Ko Iso 8P. In the semifinal, played on July 30, he beat Ri Ishu 7P (W) by resignation. In the play-off to decide the challenger, he will meet the winner of the other semifinal between Yamashita Keigo and Yuki Satoshi 9P.
Iyama retakes lead in Gosei title match: After a break of a month from the opening game, two games were played recently in the 40th Gosei title match. On July 20, the second game was played at the Hokkoku (North Country) Newspaper Hall in Kanazawa City, Ishikawa Prefecture. Iyama Yuta Gosei (white) got a favorable position in the opening, but Yamashita Keigo 9P launched a bold series of do-or-die moves that eventually drew a misjudgment from Iyama. He later started a ko to try to get back into the game, but played an invalid ko threat and had to resign after 183 moves. The third game was played at the Nagaoka Grand Hotel in Nagaoka City, Niigata Prefecture on July 27. Iyama, playing black, built up a small lead, though the game was marked by complicated fighting. Late in the middle game, Iyama had a chance (with move 175) to set up a large-scale capturing race. Research by the players following the game showed that he would have won it by one move, but, in byo-yomi, he hesitated to take the risk. Yamashita almost caught up, but Iyama just managed to hold on to his lead. The game finished after 292 moves and ended in a win for Iyama by one and a half points. The fourth game will be played at the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo on August 7. photo: Iyama Yuta Gosei (l); Yamashita Keigo 9P
Takao to challenge for Meijin title: The final round of the Meijin League is one of the biggest events of the summer, which this year has been its usual hot, humid and unbearable self in Tokyo. Four players were in the running to win the league, which added to the interest. They were, in order of ranking, Kono Rin, Yamashita Keigo, Takao Shinji (right), and Ko Iso.
The results were:
Cho U 9P (B) beat Kono Rin 9P by resignation. Both players finished on 5-3.
Yamashita Keigo 9P (W) beat Ko Iso 8P by resig. Yamashita finished on 6-2 and Ko on 5-3.
Takao Shinji Tengen (W) beat Murakawa Daisuke Oza by resig. Takao finished on 6-2 and Murakawa on 3-5.
Hane Naoki 9P (W) beat Kanazawa Makoto 7P by resig. Hane ended on 2-6 and Kanazawa on 1-7. They both lost their places, as did So Yokoku 9P, who was on 3-5 and had a bye in the last round.
Takao and Yamashita were tied for first, so they met in a play-off on August 3. Takao (W) beat Yamashita by 5.5 points, so he will make his first challenge for the Meijin title for five years. Takao lost his last challenge to Iyama Yuta 0-4 in the 35th Meijin tournament. In general, he has done badly against Iyama, but his results have improved in the last couple of years. The title match will start on September 3.
Promotion: To 2-dan: Mutsuura Yuta (aged 16) (30 wins) (as of July 17)
photo research by Maeda Ryo & Todd Heidenreich
Yulin Tong Takes Lead in US Open Masters: The lead in the Open Masters changed not once but twice on Tuesday. First, Youyin Cao 3P beat defending champion Mark Lee in the morning round. Cao is a Champion Team member of the 2014 Huang Long Shi Shuang Deng Cup Ring Contest. Then in the fifth round on Tuesday night, Yulin Tong 4P (right) defeated Cao in just 107 moves. Click here for the latest results. Three rounds have been played in the US Open; click here for the latest results. (update: this post has been updated; Cao beat Lee by resignation, not by half a point)
Both the AGA Teacher Certification and the Tournament Director Workshops kicked off Monday afternoon. This is the third year for the Teacher Certification, consisting of four 2-hour sessions, which have been a great success. Nearly two dozen participants showed up for the first session Monday afternoon, which was about learning to teach go to an absolute beginner. Later sessions will focus on teaching DDK, SDK players, and one-on-one teaching.
Chris Kirschner conscripted a volunteer from the campus staff at St Thomas University, where the Congress is being held. Interested but somewhat mystified, Diane Kruger, Associate Dean of Finance and operations, College of Education, Leadership and Counseling, stood at the demo board while Kirschner demonstrated how to teach someone to play go for the very first time. He was quite entertaining and encouraging and fielded questions from the audience about various teaching methods. Before the session was over, not only had his volunteer learned some of the basics of the game, but she was eagerly requesting contact info from everyone to continue learning and also to share with the rest of her faculty staff.
This is the first year for the TD Workshop, and actual certifications will not be granted at the end of the four 1-hour sessions, as the format is still evolving. Topics will cover pairing, reporting, and organizing for your own local tournament. To encourage new TDs, the AGA will provide mentoring help from established AGA TDs as they start their first tournaments. A number of experienced go teachers and tournaments have been enlisted to share their knowledge and mentor interested members for both workshops. A schedule of events was included in Congress welcome packets. Myung Wan Kim will be teaching Thursday 1 to 3 — “Mathematical end games”, that is, counting — and “After school programs” on Saturday 1 to 3. Kirschner and Maeda will be teaching the “one on one” session on Friday.
- Dennis Wheeler; photo: volunteer Diane Kruger observing an Open Masters game Tuesday with AGA president Andy Okun; photo by Chris Garlock
Xinyiang Jiang 7d and Xiangnan Zheng 7d took first place at the top table at Youth-Adult Pair Go at the Go Congress on Aug. 4th. Often a warm up for the official Pair Go Tournament on Thursday night, the more casual event gives many teams their first chance to play pair go in a tournament setting. 18 pairs competed for prizes and fun, with pros Hajin Lee 3P and Calvin Sun 1P both getting in on the action as well. Rengo pair Yunxuan Li 6d and Ashish Varma 4d took first place at table two, while Andrew Zhang 7k and Nqua Xiong 3k won at table three, Steve Zhang 17k and Collette Bezio 11k won at table four. Bezio, the author of Aji’s Quest is attending her first Go Congress, and described her 7 year old partner as “amazing”. Other youth events this week included Lighting Go, 9×9, and 13×13 mini tourneys. Team 13×13 Rengo, with three players on each team alternating moves, and the 19×19 Youth Team Tourney are set for Thursday and Friday. -Story and Photo by Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Upper Left: Xinyiang Jiang 7d and Xiangnan Zheng 7d (l) play Albert Yen 7d and Chang Yun Hsin 6d; Hajin Lee 3p and Kiren Polora 8k (r) play Ethan Frank 6k and Sherrie Echols 9k (l).
In the semifinals of the first-ever AGA Girls’ Under-16 Championship held Monday at the Twin Cities US Go Congress, Kelly Liu 1d upset Amy Wang 5d in a hard-fought match. In the other semifinal, Melissa Zhang 3d beat Melissa Cao 1d when she chased a one-eyed group across the board and denied it a second, life-giving eye. Ms. Liu will now play Ms. Zhang for the championship and a $100 first-place prize on Thursday at 1 p.m., while Ms. Wang will play Ms. Cao for third place.
- Ted Terpstra, TD
Update: the headline has been updated; Liu did not win the Championship but will play Zhang on Thursday in the final.
Japanese representatives eliminated from Mlily Cup: The first two rounds of the 2nd Mlily Cup, a Chinese-sponsored international tournament, were held in Beijing on July 7 and 9. The three Japanese players, Ida Atsushi 8P, Yuki Satoshi 9P, and Ichiriki Ryo 7P, were all eliminated in the opening round. photo: Li Qincheng 1P (l), Yuki Satoshi 9P (r)
Yoda keeps lead in Kisei S League: Yoda Norimoto 9P has maintained his undefeated record in the top league, the S League, of the 40th Kisei tournament. In a game played on July 9, Yoda (B) beat Takao Shinji 9P by half a point. Yoda is now 3-0. On July 16, Kobayashi Satoru 9P (B) beat Yamashiro Hiroshi 9P by resignation to pick up his first win (to two losses). Yamashiro has the same score. In another game, played on July 23, Yamashita Keigo 9P (W) beat Murakawa Daisuke Oza by resig. Yamashita goes to 2-1 and Murakawa to 1-2.
Progress report on other leagues: In the A League, Kono Rin 9P has the sole lead on 5-0 with two rounds to go. The only other players in the running are Ichiriki Ryo 7P and Cho Riyu 8P, who are both on 4-1. In the B Leagues, Awaji Shuzo leads the B1 League with 4-2 and Yamada Kimio 9P leads the B2 League on 5-1. In the C League, which is a Swiss System, four players have unblemished records after three rounds. They are: Akiyama Jiro 9P, Han Zenki 8P, Yo Seiki 7P, and Kyo Kagen 3P. In the fourth round, Akiyama will play Han and Yo will meet Kyo. Only one player from this league can join the irregular knock-out tournament for league-winners; to win the league, you have to win all five games, so they are the only ones still in the running.
Cho Chikun repeats in Fumakira Masters: The final of the 5th Fumakira Igo Masters tournament was held in the Ryusei Studio in the basement of the Nihon Ki-in in Ichigaya, Tokyo, on July 11. Taking white, Cho Chikun 9P (l) beat Takemiya Masaki 9P by 5.5 points to win this title for the second year in a row and for the third time overall. This is an official title, so it takes Cho’s record tally to 74 titles. Takemiya was disappointed to miss this opportunity to win his first title for 20 years.
Go Seigen elected to Hall of Fame: The 12th selection meeting of the Hall of Fame Awards was held at the Nihon Ki-in on July 21. Go Seigen (r) was the unanimous choice of the 12 committee members in attendance. There were eight nominees, chosen on May 25 by the nomination committee. Each member can vote for three persons, and the support of two thirds of the members is the qualifying condition. This is the first time since the election of Dosaku that a nominee has been supported by every member.
Tomorrow: Iyama taking aim at two former titles; Iyama retakes lead in Gosei; Takao to challenge for Meijin
photo research by Maeda Ryo & Todd Heidenreich
Mark Lee, Zirui Song & Youyin Cao Leading in US Masters: Defending Masters champion Mark Lee scored his third successive win on Monday, defeating Chen Wang, but his 3-0 record has company, with both Zirui Song and Youyin Cao also undefeated so far. Click here for the tourney crosstab. Click here for results through Round 2 in the US Open.
2015 US Open Masters — The Players: An album of EJ photographer Phil Straus’ portraits of all 26 players in the US Open Masters tournament has been posted on the AGA’s Facebook page.
Stones Fly at Lightning Tournament: 68 players turned out for this year’s Lightning Tournament, organized as usual by Keith Arnold (standing). The winners will play off later this week; table winners were Yihang Sun 5d, Mirano Shireki 5d, Jinhan Bai 4d, Gilbert Feng 2d, Daniel Puzan 1d, Jim Hlavka 1d, Pauline Pohl 2k, Ethan Frank 6k, Tevis Tsai 7k, Preston Peng 9k, Sarah Crites 11k and Steve Zhang 17k.
Lee-Sibicki Game Draws a Crowd: Despite some technical glitches with the video feed, Hajin Lee’s game against Nick Sibicki (left) drew plenty of on-site interest, with nearly 100 gathering on the first floor of the student center to watch the popular go video bloggers play. Lee played on the stage in Scooter’s, while the game against Sibicki — who was in another room upstairs — was projected on the screen behind her and broadcast online. After the game, which Lee won handily, the two reviewed the game and took questions from the appreciative crowd. Another match is being planned for Thursday at 3p.
- reports/photos by Chris Garlock
In the City of Angels vs. The Beltway Boys, Los Angeles prevailed over Greater Washington in the 2015 Pandanet AGA City League finals last Saturday afternoon at the US Go Congress in St Paul, MN. The top two boards split, with LA winning the Mark Lee (LA) vs Zirui (Tim) Song (GW) game on Board 1 and Eric Lui (GW) defeating Evan Cho (LA) on Board 2 (both on time), making the Danny Ko-Yuan Zhou game the decider. The exciting showdown got even more so when a clock problem on Board 3 forced a game replay on Saturday night. Danny Ko won that game on time, sealing the win for Los Angeles.
Go to the Pandanet web site for all the game records from the rest of the season.Full results: A League: 1st – Los Angeles; 2nd – Greater Washington; 3rd – Boston; 4th – Seattle 1 B League: 1st – Princeton; 2nd - Bay Area C League: 1st – Berkeley; 2nd – Boston 2 Click here for some photos and a short video of the players playing the finals. You can go back and watch the recorded match from Board 1 on YouTube and go through the review by Jennie Shen 2p. Watch for more information this week about registering for the fourth year of this tournament!
8/17: This post has been updated; Princeton placed 1st in the B League and the Bay area team was second.
“There’s no real answer to the question of ‘Where’s the best move,’” Japanese professional Maeda Ryo 6P told a room full of rapt go players Monday afternoon at the US Go Congress in St Paul, MN. “Ask two different professionals and you’ll get two different answers.” One option, Maeda suggested, is to “find the move with the least wrong with it.”
Maeda also posed the following go conundrum: “On the one hand, you want to make territory; on the other, you don’t want to make territory. It’s one of the things that makes go so hard to understand.” Fortunately, Maeda revealed, go is actually quite simple: “There are only two options: fighting or not fighting.”
- report/photos by Chris Garlock
Get the latest go events information.