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Member’s Edition: Lessons with Kaz: Common Mistakes

Mar, 13/08/2019 - 07:00

download SGF file

Published in the August 13, 2019 edition of the American Go E-Journal.

This commentary is a continuation of the previous article’s game between 3 kyu players, covering more important points, including the opening.  Kaz emphasizes the importance of surrounding a weak group.  Regardless of whether you can make a kill, surrounding can still be very beneficial in the opening and middle game.

A longtime contributor to the American Go E-Journal, former insei Kazunari Furuyama has returned with his popular EJ column, now in sgf files and re-named “Lessons with Kaz”.  Visit his newly improved website, including the advice column and example problems.

Upcoming Go Events: Santa Fe and Quebec

Lun, 12/08/2019 - 18:02

August 17: Santa Fe, NM
Santa Fe Summer Go Tournament
Robert Cordingley 281-989-6272

August 18-23: Mount Orford National Park, Quebec
Summer 2019 Go Camp – CGA
James Sedwick

Get the latest go events information.


Go Spotting: National Gallery features two scenes by Japanese artists involving games of go

Sab, 10/08/2019 - 16:42

Former AGA President Allan Abramson spotted games of go in two scenes currently on display in the East wing of the National Gallery in Washington, D.C.

Horses and Grooms in the Stable

Muromachi period, early 1500s
pair of six-panel screens; ink, color, and gold on paper

The Cleveland Museum of Art, Edward L. Whittemore Fund

“Fine horses were treasured assets for military commanders, who built elaborate stables to house them. A Portuguese priest who visited Japan during the Edo period noted that such stables were spotlessly clean, elaborate structures where members of the elite could entertain, as shown here. Guests sit on tatami mats and play the board games go or shogi (similar to chess) while falconers watch over their hawks and grooms attend to the spirited horses. Monkeys, thought to draw illness away from horses, appear in the panels to the right of the go or shogi players.”

The Cleveland Museum of Art has a high-res version of the entire scene.

Warrior Minamoto Raiko and the Earth Spider

Utagawa Kuniyoshi
1798 – 1861

Edo period, 1843
triptych, woodblock print
Los Angeles County Museum of Art,
The Joan Elizabeth Tanney Bequest

The Earth or Dirt Spider

“Families that rebelled against the emperor were disparaged as ‘dirt spiders’ (tsuchigumo) in some ancient Japanese texts. In the popular imagination, the term was taken literally to refer to a giant, ground-dwelling arachnid. In Kuniyoshi’s print, the Earth Spider tries to ensnare in its web a famous but ailing warrior, Minamoto Raiko (948 – 1021), whose four bodyguards sip sake and play board games. The artist used the story to satirize the harshness of the government in his own day. When the print was issued in 1843, viewers understood that the sick Raiko was a stand-in for the unpopular current shogun, and the horde of demons symbolized the down-trodden townspeople.

“In Yoshitsuya’s version of the story, Raiko’s bodyguards or generals lower themselves in baskets into the cave of the Earth Spider and its serpent companion. The monster glares at the intruders with its green, bulging eyes, while countless small spiders crawl over its body. Despite the odds against them, the bodyguards ultimately slay the Earth Spider. Their victory inspired a centuries-old Noh play, Tsuchigumo, that was adapted for Kabuki theater.”

The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston has a high-quality version of the triptych here.

-edited by Nate Eagle


Go Spotting: Yanko Design

Gio, 08/08/2019 - 02:08

“Yanko Design considers itself an online magazine of modern and industrial product design,” writes AGA member Morgan Faas. On Yanko Design’s website he found a go board design that, in his words, “upgrades the go board into the modern era of technology.”

Indeed, this post by James Hoare asks, “Don’t you think that it’s about time that one of the oldest known board games is due a refresh?” The post goes on to describe a go board with embedded multi-color lights. It seems like each player has one stone that they tap on a point on the board to indicate where they wish to play. Then the point lights up in color. The article doesn’t give some details that might be of interest to go players, such as how captures work, or scoring for that matter. However, this could be an interesting concept for those who might think the game of go needs a technological update.

This 21st century go board is designed by Joonho Sung. It appears to be an idea and not an actual product at this point.

-edited by Roger Schrag


U20 Eastern Youth Open coming up this month in New York

Gio, 08/08/2019 - 01:23

The first annual U20 Eastern Youth Open will be held Saturday, August 31. Young Go players under the age of 20 will compete for a $1,500 prize pool. All players must be under 20 years old by the date of the tournament, ranked 10 kyu or higher, and current AGA or CGA members. Players whose AGA ranks are out of date but who have a KGS rank with at least 10 most recent games at the rank of 10 kyu or higher may enter. Pre-registration is required. Click here for tournament details.


Action Comedy Nerd Show at the 2019 US Go Congress

Mar, 06/08/2019 - 17:35

Show co-host Dr. Jerry Jaffe 1d was so inspired by his short visit to the 2018 US Go Congress in Williamsburg that this year he registered as a player and participated in the entire week. An episode of his podcast also resulted, of course. During the week he interviewed Congress Director Dave Weimer on the Congress, Myungwan Kim 9P on his project teaching people with autism, and Ryan Li 1P on the New York Institute of GO.

Listen to the full podcast here (also available through iTunes and Stitcher) if you want to learn the answer to Dave Weimer’s favorite go joke: How many go players does it take to change a lightbulb?


Member’s Edition: Guo Juan 5P on Dan Game 2 Stone Handicap

Mar, 06/08/2019 - 07:00

download SGF file

Commentary:  Guo Juan 5P
Game Editor:  Myron Souris
Published in the Aug 6, 2019 edition of the American Go E-Journal

In this 2 stone handicap game (Black is 1 dan, White is 3 dan), Guo Juan guides the reader through the inevitable overplays while White tries to climb back into the game from the handicap.

Guo Juan 5P is a popular go teacher based in Amsterdam. Check out her online go school, featuring recorded lectures and problems presented in a Spaced Repetition System. Here you will learn and remember correct play. And there’s a one month free trial!


Member’s Edition: Yilun Yang’s August Easy Life and Death Puzzle

Mar, 06/08/2019 - 07:00

download SGF file

Black to play. Can Black make two eyes?
Published in the August 6, 2019 edition of the American Go E-Journal.

Yilun Yang 7P is one of the most popular go teachers in the US. You can reach him at


Trevor Morris remembers his father Peter

Mar, 06/08/2019 - 04:39
Peter Morris and his wife Sharon

My father, Peter Morris (AGA #3222), passed away last week. He was an active Go player for many years. He and his three sons (Doug – #2856, Brett – #7468, and Trevor – #2829) began playing Go in the late 1970’s, and started playing at the Greater Washington Go Club around 1984. Through the rest of the 80s – before the day of internet Go servers – we would often take the hour drive from Shepherdstown, WV to the Cedar Lane Unitarian Church in Washington, D.C. on Friday nights to play.

As a family, we would often play Go on vacation. Games were a bonding activity for us, with Go being the one we would always return to. Peter continued to play Go and be active in tournaments for more than 30 years, from the late 1970’s through the early 2010’s. He will be missed.

-by Trevor Morris
-photo provided by Trevor Morris
-read Peter Morris’ obituary here.


Upcoming Go Events: Cincinnati, Santa Fe, Quebec

Lun, 05/08/2019 - 21:12

August 10: Cincinnati, OH
5th Annual Cincy Tri-State Tournament
Frank Luo 513-787-0202

August 17: Santa Fe, NM
Santa Fe Summer Go Tournament
Robert Cordingley 281-989-6272

August 18-23: Mount Orford National Park, Quebec
Summer 2019 Go Camp – CGA
James Sedwick

Get the latest go events information.


NYIG launches USGC video series

Lun, 05/08/2019 - 07:31

The New York Institute of Go is launching a new series based on the 2019 US Go Congress on its YouTube channel. The series, featuring Stephanie Yin 1P, is as follows: 
-Monday, August 5: 5 Best Moves
-Monday, August 12: Top 5 Mistakes
-Monday, August 19: Pro Game Review. Zhongfan Jian vs Mark Lee
-Monday, August 26: Top 5 Go Fighting Tactics


New AGA Chapters for July 2019

Gio, 01/08/2019 - 14:59

The AGA is regularly asked for new chapters around the country. These are the newly registered chapters from July 2019:

Peoria & Normal Go Club – Approximately every two weeks on Saturday or Sunday afternoon – Contact Brad Rose

Members should check their information when logging in. If you are not receiving the EJ make sure your email is up to date. Chapters can always update their current chapter through the AGA Membership Manager if they have changed.


Go Spotting: Google Classroom

Mer, 31/07/2019 - 18:00

Go is now among the themes available for classes on Google Classroom, reports Alicia Seifrid. First launched in 2014, Google Classroom is an all-in-one platform for teachers, giving them online tools to post lesson material, distribute, collect and grade assignments, and communicate with students. When creating a new class (something any user with a Google account can do), you can apply a graphic theme to your class pages. For the Go graphic, under the “Other” category, look for the “Game Night” theme.
edited by Brian Olive


2019 World Youth Goe Championship: Day 1 report

Mer, 31/07/2019 - 05:51

Crystalline waters, comforting warmth and miles of golf courses… everything you’d expect at the Phileas Beach Resort in Selangor, Malaysia. But behind these peaceful scenes, a vicious battle rages on. Not a physical struggle, of course, but one of mentality, and awareness. The 36th World Youth Go Championship has started, and the players are ready to prove themselves, including the three U.S. representatives, Alexander Qi 4d and Noah Flaherty 15k for the Junior Division, and Ary Chen 5d for the Senior Division.

The tournament begins with Alex Qi facing Artemii Pishchaniklov (Russia), Noah Flaherty facing Shuntaro Saga (Japan), and Ary Chen facing Shih-Chun Chung (Chinese Taipei). After two and a half hours of intense fighting and quick calculating, the U.S. team pulls two victories. They’ve got some time before the next round, and there’s plenty to do as they relax and unwind, exploring the stunning resort, the pool and so much more.

However, as they flood back into the playing room, the tension is still palpable as the players, refreshed, prepare for the second round. The second round pairings are Ary Chen against Li HoaTong (1P, China) Alex Qi against Hsu Ni-Ni (Chinese Taipei, 7d) and Noah Flaherty against Oleskandr Shchepaniuk (Ukraine, 4k), and this time the U.S. team falls to their stronger opponents. Still, under the encouragement and guidance of team leader MingJiu Jiang, they look forward to the next rounds. Now that this day’s grueling “war” has come to a close, the U.S. players can finally relax, and let all their tensions flood away. After all, tomorrow brings a new day – and there are players to beat, and battles to win.
-report/photos by Ashley Qi


A Pro in Mexico

Mer, 31/07/2019 - 04:33

By Zirui Song 1P

The 6th Mexican Go Congress was a lifetime experience. I was both instructor and referee. I played simuls every afternoon, gave a lecture on life and death problems, and tried to review as many Congress games as possible. While only there three days, I hope my teaching could indeed offer them some insights into the thinking of a pro-level player when playing the game. They were polite and respectful when asking me to review the games, and whenever I saw them understand and gain from my teachings, I would genuinely feel really happy and fulfilled. They would laugh back at me, too.

Though my perspective is different from a player, I was not alienated from the exciting event at all. The passion for the game of go connected everyone at the Congress. On the last day, many people brought their own boards and started playing at the front door of the building. To be honest, I envy their passion towards the game sometimes. Whenever they finished, they would never directly put the stones back into the boxes before going back to the game to discuss the important fights or game-deciding moments. 

Emil, the president of the Mexican Go Association, and his girlfriend, Dafne, welcomed me to stay at their place during the Congress. They cared for my needs and gave me the most comfortable stay possible. All the other people at the event were really hospitable as well, and I feel bad for not remembering all their names. What I do remember is that every night after the congress games, we went to dinner, drank and talked for hours. On the last day, they insisted on walking with me to the Art Museum and Chinatown in Mexico City to show me the different facets that Mexico City has to offer. 

I sincerely hope that I can go back again.

With funding from the American Go Foundation, Zirui Song, 1P from Chicago, was the AGA representative at the Mexican Go Congress. 

-photos provided by Zirui Song. Report edited by Terry Benson.


Tina Li 3d Defends AGA Girls Cup Title

Mar, 30/07/2019 - 23:59
Ronnie Fan 4d (left) vs. Tina Li 3d (right) at the 2019 AGA Girls Cup Finals

Tina Li 3d defeated Ronnie Fan 4d 2-1 in the AGA Girls Cup Finals at the US Go Congress in Madison, Wisconsin to defend her title and claim her second consecutive championship. Both girls are 13 years old. Taking black in game 1, Li launched an all-out-attack on one of Fan’s dragons, but Fan was able to live and cruise to victory by resignation as Li had little potential remaining after the attack. However, Li did not back down in game 2 the next day, turning the game into a large-scale battle where the status of multiple large dragons came into question. In the end, everything lived on both sides, but Li had the territorial advantage and won by 14.5 points. The final decisive game was much more peaceful with Li (who drew black) staking out a large framework and Fan slowly chipping away at it throughout the game. While Fan managed to make large incisions, it was not enough and Li secured the victory by 13.5 points as well as this year’s title. See below for the records of all three games.

Game 1
Game 2
Game 3

Special thanks to Seowoo Wang for broadcasting the games live on KGS as well as for assisting during the preliminaries, and to the American Go Foundation for sponsoring this tournament. This year’s tournament was the second edition of the annual AGA Girls Cup, which holds online preliminaries for two finalist spots and invitations to play in the Finals live at the US Go Congress. Registration for next year’s tournament will open in early 2020; competitors must be residents of North America, a female aged 15 or under, and a member of her national Go organization with an official rank of 10 kyu or stronger.
– story/photo by AGA Youth Coordinator and AGA Girls Cup TD Justin Teng


Go Spotting: Hunter x Hunter

Mar, 30/07/2019 - 16:16

Longtime EJ contributor Janice Kim recently sent along this screenshot “from my favorite anime, Hunter x Hunter. In this longer scene,  the King of the Chimera Ants learns Go from books, and takes on the national champion, winning after playing just ten games. His advisors had mentioned to him that Go is quite more difficult than chess or shoji (not agreeing, just reporting there :) and so he wanted a challenge while he’s waiting to take over the world. 

“This is from episode 102, fourth season I believe. The first three seasons are on Netflix, but you have to go on crunchyroll to see episodes from there.
The first episodes are a little slow, but there is a lot in there about training, that I’m perhaps somewhat hilariously extrapolating to Go, with I think good results.”


Member’s Edition: Albert Yen 7d on Pandanet City League B

Mar, 30/07/2019 - 07:00

download SGF file

White:  Tianyuan Zhang 5d (Chicago)
Black: Ary Cheng 6d (San Francisco)
Commentary: Albert Yen 7d
Game Editor: Myron Souris
Published in the July 30, 2019 edition of the American Go E-Journal

This week we’d like to welcome Albert Yen 7d as an E-Journal Member’s Edition game commentator.  Over the last weeks, Albert gave us enlightening commentary on all 8 of his World Amateur Championship games as seen on the AGA’s home page.

In this 2nd round, board 3, game of the 2018 Pandanet City League B Division, Albert describes both players and key concepts from the game:

“Both are very talented young players.  Ary has already gotten 4 Redmond Cup Championship titles as a 13 year old and from personal observation I believe Tianyuan has the strength of an AGA 6d.  They are both pupils of Mingjiu 7p (whom I have studied under for 5 years).  In this game both sides show incredible fighting spirit, although they often get too caught up in local fighting and forget to evaluate the direction of play and consider the global position.  This is a good game for players who typically overindulge in fighting to learn from.  There are several instances of direction mistakes, so see if you catch them!”

Albert Yen first started playing go at the age of five after watching Hikaru no Go on television.  He received 6 dan at the age of 7 in Taiwan.  Albert continued to compete in America after he moved to Chicago in fifth grade and studied under Jiang Mingjiu 7p.  To date, he has made several showings in national and international tournaments, including winning representation to the World Youth Goe Championship in 2014, 1st place in the Redmond Cup in 2015, and 4th place at the 2019 World Amateur Go Championship.  Albert is currently a second year undergraduate student in UIC’s GPPA BA/MD program in Chicago.  Outside of go, Albert enjoys sprinting and running.


NGC announces Fall class schedule

Lun, 29/07/2019 - 14:05

The National Go Center just announced its schedule of classes for the Fall. “This is the first time we have had a formal schedule of classes and we’re very excited about this step forward,” said Executive Director Gurujeet Khalsa. There will be a 6-week Saturday Children’s Beginner class for ages 6-12. This grew out of the Family Go program the NGC has been running for parents and children for the past two years. Josh Lee 6d will draw on his extensive experience at Family Go to lead the class. The kids will have a peer to look up to as well with Frederick Bao 5d assisting Josh fresh from his triumph at the US Open in Madison. “In another first for the NGC” says Khalsa, “we put an ad in Washington Parent magazine’s August issue,  a prime spot for finding youth enrichment activities.” All of the children will be getting a copy of the first volume of the Level Up! Series as a workbook also with fun manga comics explaining the game.

There will also be a 3-week Adult/Youth(13+) Beginner Class. “New folks have always found the NGC to be a welcoming place to learn from others,” reports Khalsa, “but many people have expressed an interest in a class just for beginners to get started with go, and this is for them.” Daniel Chou 6d has volunteered to teach a 6-week class for Kyu level players to help them move towards Shodan and get more enjoyment out of playing. Rounding out the Fall schedule will be two monthly workshops led by Yuan Zhou. Zhou’s popular workshops are becoming part of the NGC curriculum with registration through the NGC website.

The NGC Classes page has links to all the classes with details and registration information. Says Khalsa, “This is just the beginning. We’ll be looking to expand in a Winter term with more classes, especially follow-ons for those taking beginner lessons.”


2019 U.S. Go Congress credits

Dom, 28/07/2019 - 15:04

With this year’s U.S. Go Congress successfully concluded and rapidly fading into happy memories for the more than 400 go players who spent July 13-20 immersed in the game of go in Madison, WI, we wanted to take a moment to gratefully acknowledge to team of volunteers who made it all possible. Many of the folks below gave up the game for the week to make the Congress possible, and their dedication and commitment helped make this annual event the highlight of the American go calendar. Next year’s Congress is set for August 1-8 in Estes Park, CO; if you’d like to consider being a part of the Congress team, email or if you’re interested in the E-Journal team.


E-Journal team; photo by Phil Straus

Congress Staff
Director – Dave Weimer
Deputy Director – Edward Ream
Registrar – Susan DeVos
Congress IT – Greg Steltenpohl
Pro Coordinator – I-Han Lui
Pro Coordinator Assistant – Satoru Inoue
Pro Coordinator Assistant – Daniel Zhao
Tournament Coordinator – Neil Ritter
AGA Congress Coordinator – Lisa Scott
Logo Design – Eric Piotrowski
Staff – Dan Kastenholtz
Staff – Yi Tong
UW Memorial Union Staff – Laura Richards
UW Memorial Union Staff – Lydia Dalton
UW Memorial Union Staff – Hannah Scott

E-Journal Staff
Managing Editor/Twitch stream host – Chris Garlock
Twitch stream producer – Michael Wanek
Assistant Twitch stream producer/host – Stephen Hu
Twitch stream music – Dash8
Support manager and head barista – Todd Heidenreich
IT department – Steve Colburn
Twitch stream hosts – Julie Burrall, Samantha Fede, Tyler Oyakawa, Nick Sibicky
Twitch stream Pro commentators – Yoonyoung Kim 8P, Yilun Yang 7P, Mingjiu Jiang 7P, Jennie Shen 2P, Ryan Li 1P, Stephanie Yin 1P
Twitch interviews – Keith Arnold
Head Game Recorder – Dennis Wheeler
Game recorders – Austin Harvey, Bart Jacobs, Anthony Long, Jeffrey Losapio, Edward Stackman
E-Journal Assistant Managing Editor – Karoline Li
E-Journal reporters – Julie Burrall, Samantha Fede
Future Staff – Quentin, Quentin

Special Thanks
Josh Lee, Andrew Hall, Dan Ritter, Solomon Smilack, Andy Okun

Congress Coverage
Twitch videos
AGA EJournal stories


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