Mark Lee fended off a last-round challenge to clinch the 2015 Cotsen Open with a perfect 5-0 record. Lee uncharacteristically misread in a capturing race against Ho Son 7D of Seattle but fought back and then pulled ahead decisively in the endgame to win by more than 20 points. Large audiences watched the top-board matches, broadcast by the E-Journal team on both KGS and the AGA’s YouTube channel — where Myungwan Kim 9P and Jennie Shen 2P commented the games live — and Lee’s sharp focus throughout the tournament was impressive. “I was the runner-up last year and really wanted to win this year,” he told the E-Journal. “The games were tough but when I got ahead I tried to stay ahead and when things got complicated I just focused on the immediate problem.” Lee (second from right) donated his $1,000 winnings to the American Go Foundation to support their work with young go players; the donation was gratefully accepted by AGF board member Larry Gross (right), along with AGA President Andy Okun (second from left, next to Eric Cotsen at far left; click here for more photos).
The Cotsen drew a large field of nearly 150, mostly from Southern California but also from other West Coast and Western states. After several years at the LA Korean Cultural Center, the Cotsen returned this year to the LA Center Studios in downtown Los Angeles. Players feasted on free food truck tacos from Komodo Food on Saturday and Kogi BBQ on Sunday, and two experienced masseuses massaged out sore muscles (left) as the players sweated out their moves over the go boards.
Tournament sponsor Eric Cotsen said he was “Really happy with the way the tournament went; everyone seemed to have a good time.” Although he didn’t win as many games as he would have liked, a beaming Cotsen said that “I think the game is awesome! The challenge, the people, everything about it. Figuring out a battle and winning the game, it’s just an awesome feeling.”
- report/photos by Chris Garlock; click here for a Facebook album with more event photos.
2015 Cotsen Winner’s Report (CLICK HERE FOR FINAL CROSSTAB)
Open: 1. Mark Lee (7d) 5 – 0; 2. Jeremy Chiu (7d) 4 – 1; 3. Beomgeun Cho (9d) 4 – 1; 4. Aaron Ye (7d) 3 – 2; 5. Xaiocheng Hu (5d) 3- 2; 6. Ho Son (7d) 3 – 2
Round 4-5 Top-Board Game Records:
Rd4 Mark Lee v. EvanCho ,
Rd4 Daniel Ko v. Boyang Chen ,
Rd4 Aaron Ye v. Jeremy Chiu ,
Rd4 Ho Son v. Daniel Liu ,
Rd5 Mark Lee v. Ho Son ,
Rd5 Evan Cho v. Boyang Chen ,
Rd5 Stephen Hu v. Jeremy Chiu ,
Rd5 Norman Tsai v. Daniel Ko
Mark Lee 7D (left) stormed through the first three rounds of the 2015 Cotsen Open on Saturday as he tried to capture his first Cotsen title. Only young Aaron Ye even came close to upsetting the former Korean insei, in a third-round slugfest in which Ye managed to gain a slight advantage in the middle game, only to see his position collapse in the endgame under time pressure and an exquisite tesuji by Lee. Top boards in the final two rounds will be broadcast again live on KGS Sunday starting at 10a PST, with live-streaming of Board 1 on the AGA’s YouTube channel. Yilun Yang 7P will play another Chinese professional starting at 8a on KGS. Click here for a crosstab of results through Round 3.
Games from the top boards:
Rd1 Michael Zhou v. Mark Lee ,
Rd1 Evan Cho v. SukJun Kim ,
Rd1 Daniel Ko v. Vincent Zhuang ,
Rd1 Kevin Chao v. Boyang Chen ,
Rd2 Jeremy Chiu v. Mark Lee ,
Rd2 VincentZ huang v. Evan Cho ,
Rd2 Boyang Chen v. Daniel Liu ,
Rd2 Aaron Ye v. Stephen Hu ,
Rd3 Aaron Ye v. Mark Lee ,
Rd3 Daniel Liu v. Evan Cho ,
Rd3 Matthew Burrall v. Daniel Ko ,
photo: awaiting Round 1 pairings Saturday morning on the patio at the LA Center, just outside the Strong Players Room; report/photos by Chris Garlock
Andy Liu 1p and Gansheng Shi 1p will play in a Kansai Kiin pro tournament this coming week; their games will be broadcast on Pandanet. The game will take place starting at 10 a.m. on Oct. 26, Japanese time, or 9P EST in the US. Liu will play against Imayi Kazuhiro 6p and Shi will play against Mine Yasuhiro 3p.
The Sankei tournament is a Kansai Kiin knock-out tournament, created in 2005, with 16 pros and 16 amateurs competing in two separate preliminaries. The current title holder is Daisuke Murakawa Oza 8p. This year, in addition to the two AGA pros, two European Go Federation pros will play, Mateusz Surma 1p of Poland against Kurahashi Masayuki 9p and Ali Jabarin of Israel against Yo Seiki 7p. There is also an exchange match scheduled for Oct. 30th, with Liu playing Sinntani Yousuke 1p at 10 a.m and Shi playing Yinaba Karinn 1p at 2 p.m. Japanese time.
Last year, two EGF pros played the pro preliminaries, Pavol Lisy 1p of Slovakia lost to Yuki Satoshi 9p, but Ali Jabarin beat Saito Tadashi 8p, advancing to the second round, where he lost to Nakano Yasuhiro 9p. While American pros have played many times in Japan, and a number of Americans, including Michael Redmond 9p, James Kerwin 1p (retired) and Francis Meyer 1p, received professional status from the Kansai Kiin or Nihon Kiin, this will be the first time AGA-certified pros will play in Japan as professionals.
The American Go Honor Society (AGHS) will be hosting the 2015 Young Lions Tournament in November. “This is the premier competition for North American youth under 18, and has been one of our longest running tournaments,” says AGHS Promotion Head Stephen Hu. “There will be 4 rounds in the tournament. The first round starts at 1pm EST, and the second at 4pm EST on November 14th. The third and fourth rounds rounds will follow the same schedule on November 15. There will be great prizes, as well as trophies and medals for the top three places in each rank division,” adds Hu. The tournament will be held on KGS, with games broadcast on Twitch. The registration form is here, the deadline will be Saturday, November 7, so sign up today. -Paul Barchilon, E- J Youth Editor
Pre-registration for this weekend’s Cotsen Open has ended — 143 pre-registered! — but organizers report that “you can still register at the door” on Saturday morning. Registration will open at 8a on Saturday at the LA Center Studios, 1201 W. 5th Street, Ste. T-100 (450 S. Bixel Street will get you to the correct gate to enter) and closes at 9a sharp; anyone registering after 9a will not be able to play in the first round (click here for the complete schedule). “Even if you pre-registered, you must still sign in Saturday morning,” notes Tournament Director Chris Sira.
The Cotsen offers a free food truck lunch on both days and the entry fee is refunded if you play in all five rounds. Yilun Yang 7P will play a match against Qun Wang 8P on Sunday morning, followed by an analysis of the game. Kiseido/Yutopian will have a vendor table on the Saturday of the event. The E-Journal will broadcast top-board games on KGS.
photo: Eric Cotsen reviews a game with Yilun Yang 7P at last year’s Open; food truck in background; photo by Chris Garlock
East Coast go players who can’t make the Cotsen Open in Los Angeles this weekend can still get their dose of go competition by attending tournaments in Arlington, Virginia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, or Rochester, New York. The NOVA Pumpkin Classic will be held Saturday, October 24 in Arlington, the 11th Annual Greg Lefler Memorial Tournament in Rochester will also be held Saturday and the Philadelphia Fall Open – the first AGA-rated tournament organized by The Penn Go Society in many years — will be held Sunday, October 25th in Philadelphia. Anyone attending two of the tournaments should email photos to us at email@example.com!
Registration for this weekend’s Cotsen Open has topped 120, organizers report. Coming up October 24-25 at the LA Center Studios in Los Angeles, CA, the popular tournament features a free food truck lunch on both days: Komodo Food on Saturday and Kogi BBQ on Sunday. The $20 entry fee is refunded if you play in all five rounds. Yilun Yang 7P will play a match against Qun Wang 8P on Sunday morning, followed by an analysis of the game. Kiseido/Yutopian will have a vendor table on the Saturday of the event.
Volunteers are needed to help set up on Friday and record top-board games during the tournament. To help set up (free pizza!), email CotsenOpen@gmail.com; if interested in recording/broadcasting for the E-Journal (free EJ caps!); email firstname.lastname@example.org.
photo: top board at the 2014 Cotsen; photo by Chris Garlock
President Barack Obama learned go in college, reports American Go Association President Andy Okun. In a brief conversation in the meet-and-greet line at a recent fundraiser in California, Okun says he mentioned his position with the AGA and Obama responded, “I learned to play go in college from a guy named Tim” adding that “Tim was a go master.” He asked a nearby aide if the aide had ever played go (he hadn’t), noting that “It’s a very complicated game … non-linear.” As quickly as it started, the discussion ended and staff moved Okun and his son out of the room.
Obama presented then-Chinese President Hu Jintao with an American-made go board and glass bowls (also American-made) during a visit in 2010 (Go Community To Attend White House Event Welcoming Chinese President 1/17/2011).
photo of go board made by Frank Salantrie by Salantrie
The 19th Israeli Go Championship took place in a quiet residence area in Ramat Gan, Israel. During an extended weekend October 15-17, the 6-round tournament brought strong and young players from all over the country. The calm atmosphere outside was in great contrast to the fierce fights on the board. Amir Fragman 5D (right) defeated defending champion Jonathan Lidor and a veteran champion Leonid Entin with five straight wins to secure the title. Second was Ofer Zivony and third Reem Ben-David. Half the participants were dan level players.
Click here for full results and more photos.
- report by Shavit Fragman
Last month, a new Chess and Go in the Schools program was launched in Portland, Oregon. Over 100 children signed up in 3 different elementary schools, and 10 more children were placed on a waiting list. All children will learn both chess (from Fritz Balwit) and Go (from Peter Freedman), and then play either, or both games. The program’s first tournament for the year is scheduled for October 24th.
“The program’s continued success has sparked an effort by the AGF, with assistance from the SF Ing Foundation, as well as funds from a private donor, in hopes of spreading interest in chess and go to other schools,” says Freedman. “Start up funds will help organizers get off the ground, but the program is self-supporting, generating revenue to pay teachers, buy club T shirts, run tournaments with trophies, provide snacks, and purchase equipment. Projects in two cities are currently underway, with a possible third in the works.” For more information contact: Peter Freedman at: email@example.com. -Story by Amy Su, Picture by Peter Freedman: Kids learning both games in Portland.
A new group of UCSD freshmen, including Weihan Huai, a 2P from China, provided challenges for the old-timers. Every flat service in the house was covered by go boards and bowls as more and more players arrived. Players ranged in age for 10 to 70 and in ratings from 30K to 2P with a large contingent of dan players.
- photo by Jenna Jansen
E-Journal Archives: “Are old ejournal email attachments available in an archival area?” wonders Richard Solberg. “I am interested in looking at some of these in my studies.”
The general EJ archives are in two locations: the 2008-2015 archive is here, while older E-Journals — 2004-2008 — are here. Neither archive includes member’s edition content.
This Sunday, October 18th starts the fourth year of the Pandanet AGA City League. Make sure to follow your local and favorite teams throughout the year. We’ve already had one game early this week and it was exciting to start off the year. For those who have followed in the past we have expanded the leagues and there are now eight teams for the A and B leagues. Also starting this year is video reviews from online commentators like Hajin Lee and Andrew Jackson. The first round will be commented by Xiaocheng-Stephen Hu/xhu98. Worried you’re going to miss football while watching the games? Download the Android and iOS app for Pandanet. Look in the AGA City League and AGA City League (Manual) rooms.
- Steve Colburn, League Coordinator
This year, the French Pair Go Championship took place in Strasbourg on the weekend of the 10th and 11th of October. Fourteen pairs were present. Would the pair of Nyoshi Cao and Antoine Fenech, reigning national champions for the past two years, be able to add to their tally? Many pairs were hoping to claim their title: Monique Berreby and Olivier Clergue, Marie-Claire Chaine and Farid Ben Malek, and Zhao Pei and Baptiste Noir.
After a fierce competition, Cao-Fenech met Pei-Noir in the grand final (right). After a difficult opening, Nyoshi and Antoine headed into a thunderous endgame and ate a big group to clinch as 3-time champions. In second place, there was a tie between Zhao Pei-Baptiste Noir, Laura Lebastard-Jérôme Salignon and Charlotte Vielfaure-Thomas Debarre.
This year, Dominique Cornuejols and Denis Karadaban will represent France at the International Amateur Pair Go Championship.
- Ian Davis, based on the original article in the Revue Française de Go by Simon Billouet
In this rather sad elegiac 2002 film — directed by Yojiro Takita — about the end of the Samurai age, at 46:03 minutes we see a goban (floor board) with two bowls of stones on top of the board, in the background of the scene. At 48:51 we see the local lord playing go on a floor board.
- Duncan Brown