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Updated World Go News
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How we’re coping: WMGC & SiliValley

Lun, 23/03/2020 - 21:34

“The WMGC (Western MA Go Club) held it’s usual Thursday night meeting via Zoom last week,” reports Trevor Morris. “Ten of us showed up on-line. At times, it was a bit chaotic, with three different conversations going on simultaneously! Several of us used OGS for the first time. I signed up as a supporter there; I really like the AI analysis.” The club is hoping for an even bigger turn-out this Thursday. “Perhaps some out-of-town friends would like to join us?” Trevor wonders. “I’m hoping that Zoom’s breakout rooms with cut down on the chaos.” Reach him at gotrevor@gmail.com

“The SiliValley Go Group is, of course not meeting,” says David Doshay. “I am playing correspondence go both via OGS and email, sending coordinates back and forth. I am trying to help some of our folks who are not computer savvy to get set up on OGS, and last night I was setting up Zoom sessions so that I can continue teaching the child of a friend how to play. We will try the first lesson tonight. I am not playing any games in real time via go servers. Other than that we are well stocked with food and are watching streaming content, avoiding zombie-pandemic movies.”

How are you coping with the COVID-19 pandemic? Playing more online go? Studying more? Producing online go content? We’d especially like to hear if you’re streaming on Twitch or posting videos to YouTube. Email us today at journal@usgo.org. We’ll share the best tips and ideas with your fellow go players!

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AlphaGo vs. AlphaGo; Game 37: Into thin air

Lun, 23/03/2020 - 01:42

In this game, “the attacking side suddenly abandons the attack and sacrifices some stones,” says Michael Redmond 9P in his latest AlphaGo game commentary with Chris Garlock. “The attack sort of disappears into thin air.” At the same time, the defending side is trying to sacrifice some stones as well, “so it’s a very unusual fight,” Redmond says, “it wouldn’t happen among human players, I don’t think.” Oh, “And the endgame gets a bit exciting, too.”

The commentary originally streamed live on the AGA’s Twitch channel; follow it to get notified of upcoming live streams.

[Embedded SGF File]

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How’re you coping with the crisis?

Lun, 23/03/2020 - 01:15

Playing more online go? Studying more? Producing online go content? We’d like to hear about how go players around the world are dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. Email us today at journal@usgo.org. We’ll share the best tips and ideas with your fellow go players!

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50 years aGO – March 1970

Lun, 23/03/2020 - 00:23

by Keith Arnold, hka with Patrick Bannister

The Third British Go Congress took place on March 21 and 22. A visiting Japanese 4 dan, a Mr. Akiyama, won the British Open Championship, narrowly defeating John Diamond 3 dan who was declared British National Champion. Mr. Diamond would go on to serve as BGA President and win the British Championship 8 times.

European Horst Mueller, 3 dan, played a televised game with Iwamoto 9 dan on March 26th. Iwamoto praised the visitor for his efforts, losing by 3 points in the 5 stone game. Perhaps Mr. Mueller was already working on the German translations included in the “GO; International Handbook and Dictionary” written by John Tilley and first published in the summer of 1970.

Finally we feature this glorious photo of two top Japanese matches. In the foreground, Hashimoto Shoji holds the white stones against Ishida Yoshio in the All Japan Pro Best 10. In the background, Sakata Eio defends the challenge of Ishida’s fellow Kitani disciple, Kato Masao, who takes black in one of the final games of the 25th Honinbo League. The games were played on March 4, I could only find the record of the Honinbo League match (below).

[Embedded SGF File]

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Redmond on AG-AG Game 38 Saturday night on Twitch

Sab, 21/03/2020 - 00:46

Tune in to the AGA’s Twitch channel Saturday night at 8p EDT to catch Michael Redmond 9P and Chris Garlock with their latest live game commentary on the AlphaGo vs AlphaGo series. “I see you guys are having new teaching tools!,” said Nat Cole, referring to Redmond’s ability to draw on the board using OGS. “It’s much more effective than when we had to go off on the a, b, c, d, e points. Thank you for doing that!” “Great stuff!” added Ian Eccleston. “I renewed my AGA membership to help support this content.” Tune in at 8p on Saturday, March 21; viewers will be able to ask Redmond and Garlock questions during the live commentary.

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The Power Report: Sumire’s results; Kido Prizes; Shibano wins Shusai Prize; Postponements; Promotion; Obituary: Kubouchi Shuchi 9P

Mer, 18/03/2020 - 18:00

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Sumire’s results
This year Nakamura Sumire 1P is finding things a bit tougher than last year. Since my previous report, she has suffered two losses, so her record this year is 4-6. Her birthday was on March 2, so the first game below was her last as a ten-year-old.

On Feb. 24, Sumire (B) lost by resig. to Sakaguchi Ryuzo 9P after 176 moves (Prelim. C, 27th Agon Kiriyama Cup, played at the Nihon Ki-in Kansai HQ).

 On March 5, Sumire (W) lost to Horimoto Mitsunari 4P by resig. after 197 moves (Prelim. C, 46th Meijin tournament, same venue as above).

Kido Prizes
The 53rd Kido Prizes were chosen by a committee of representatives from the go media on February 17. As the list following shows, there were few surprises.

Most Outstanding Player: Iyama Yuta
Outstanding Player: Shibano Toramaru
New Star: Son Makoto, King of the New Stars
Women’s Prize: Ueno Asami
International Prize: Not awarded
Most Wins: Shibano Toramaru (52)
Best Winning Percentage: Ichiriki Ryo (77.05%)
Most Successive Wins: Ichiriki & Fujita Akihiko (16)
Most Games Played: Shibano Toramaru (70)

Shibano wins Shusai Prize
On February 12, Shibano Toramaru was chosen as the recipient of the 57th Shusai Prize. This prize is awarded to an outstanding player with good future potential.

Postponements
The corona virus is continuing to affect go tournaments and not just international ones. Among the tournaments that have been postponed are: the 3rd World Go Championship (sponsored by the Nihon Ki-in), the 7th Globis Cup, and the 9th Ing Cup. The international preliminary for the LG Cup, which was scheduled for Seoul in April and which usually attracts about 300 players, has been cancelled; instead, the seats in the main tournament that were at stake were allocated to participating countries based on their past results, with the method of selection being left up to each country. This measure indicates that the organizers are still hopeful of being able to hold the main tournament later this year.

Promotion
To 8-dan: Shuto Shun (150 wins, as of Feb. 25)

Obituary: Kubouchi Shuchi 9P
Kubouchi Shuchi died of old age on January 21, 2020. He was born on January 25, 1920, so he was just four days short of his 100th birthday. A native of Osaka, he became a disciple of Kubomatsu Katsukiyo, hon. 9-dan. He qualified as 1-dan in 1935 and reached 9-dan in 1960. He was one of the leading members of the Kansai Ki-in. He played in four Meijin Leagues and three Honinbo Leagues. My memory may not be reliable, but I seem to recall that in his heyday Kubouchi was fond of playing the 5-4 point, which usually led to exciting games.

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The Power Report: Shibano starts well in Judan; 75th Honinbo League; 45th Meijin League

Mar, 17/03/2020 - 18:00

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Shibano starts well in Judan

The 58th Judan title match got off to a start on March 3, with the first game being played at the Osaka University of Commerce. The defending titleholder, Murakawa Daisuke, played well in the opening and early middle game to take an early lead in territory, but the challenger, Shibano Toramaru Meijin, pulled off an upset in the middle game. Taking white, he won by 3.5 points after 276 moves. The second game will be played on March 26.

75th Honinbo League

After the completion of the fifth round, three players shared the lead on 4-1: Shibano Toramaru Meijin, Ichiriki Ryo 8P, and Kyo Kagen 8P. A crucial game was played on March 12 in which Kyo Kagen beat Ichiriki Ryo, so Kyo has the provisional lead with 5-1. At the other end of the league, Yamashita Keigo has lost his fifth straight game and has already lost his league place.

(Feb. 20) Kono Rin 9P (B) beat Yamashita Keigo 9P by resig.; Kyo Kagen 8P (B) beat Hane Naoki 9P by resig.

(March 5) Shida Tatsuya 8P (B) beat Hane Naoki Gosei by resig.

(March 12) Kyo beat Ichiriki.

45th Meijin League

With one game to go in the March round, the lead is shared by Iyama Yuta and Ichiriki Ryo, who are both on 3-0. They will meet in the April round, so there will then be a sole leader. With 0-4, Yamashita Keigo 9P is doing almost as badly as in the Honinbo League. At least as far as leagues concerned, Yamashita, with a combined 0-9 record, must be undergoing one of the worst slumps of his career.

(Feb. 20) Iyama Yuta Kisei (W) beat Murakawa Daisuke Judan by resig.

(Feb. 27) Ichiriki Ryo 8P (W) beat Kyo Kagen 8P by resig.

(March 5) Rin Kanketsu 8P (W) beat Yamashita Keigo by resig.

Tomorrow: Sumire’s results; Kido Prizes; Shibano wins Shusai Prize; Postponements; Promotion; Obituary: Kubouchi Shuchi 9P

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Member’s Edition: Lessons with Kaz: Common Mistakes

Mar, 17/03/2020 - 07:00

[Embedded SGF File]

Published in the March 17, 2020 edition of the American Go E-Journal.

In this 2-stone handicap game between a 1 kyu and 1 dan, Kaz focuses on how to connect stones, giving numerous shapes and follow-ups. Kaz describes that that a 2-stone handicap “is very similar to an even game because there are two more open corners.” Kaz asks that you please read all the variations, because some are useful for double digit kyu players, while others are useful for 4 dan players. If you don’t check all the variations, you may miss that.

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. Kaz also has room for offline teaching.

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Go players keep going during pandemic

Mar, 17/03/2020 - 03:48

Go players are coming up with creative ways to keep playing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The National Go Center in Washington DC is “working to set up both formal and informal offline play,” reports Gurujeet Khalsa. “We have a room on the KGS Go Server where anyone can go. For those of you already familiar with KGS, if you sign in, go to the Rooms Menu, then Room List, you will get a pop-up menu to select a room. Our room is under Clubs on that menu. Click on Clubs and then scroll down to National Go Center.”
There’s also a National Go Center presence on Discord, the free application that many gamers use for voice communication and text chat. It is a good supplement to KGS. KGS has a voice option but the quality is somewhat spotty. Click here for the NGC Discord. “Folks can meet and play informally on KGS anytime,” Khalsa adds. “We’ve been having discussions with the Seattle Go Center and others and are looking at some inter-league type play as well.”

Meanwhile, in New York City, organizer Peter Armenia has created a Gotham Go Group – Manhattan group on OGS (Online Go Server). “So maybe folks can meet there on Tuesdays and Wednesdays to keep as much normalcy in these less than normal times as possible,” says Armenia. “I don’t normally play go online, but I will try to be there to get a game with some familiar faces.”

Armenia adds that “Some folks are talking about getting a KGS Gotham Go Group room going. If that happens I will let you know.”

And this just in from Jonathan Hop: “I just wanted to drop you guys a line and let you know I opened my new site.” The subscription service provides full access to the video library, go problem sets, and a dashboard to track your progress in different skills. “It’d definitely give people something to do while we’re all practicing social distancing!” says Hop. 

Got go news? Email it to journal@usgo.org!

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The Power Report: Iyama overcomes Kono fightback in Kisei title match; Yoda resumes playing; Top four decided in 1st Hakata Kamachi Cup; New pair wins Professional Pair Go Championship

Mar, 17/03/2020 - 03:08

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Iyama overcomes Kono fightback in Kisei title match

Iyama

As noted in my previous report, Iyama Yuta won the first three games in the 44th Kisei title match, but Kono saved the first kadoban. In the fifth game, which was played at the Hotel Kagetsuen in the town of Hakone, Kanagawa Prefecture, on February 26 and 27, Kono continued his fightback. Taking white, he won by resignation after 232 moves. Kono had fallen behind in territory, but managed to pull off an upset. Iyama was apparently quite crestfallen at his failure to convert his early lead into a win. With this win, Kono reached his “norm”against Iyama: two wins.

The sixth game was held at the Tokiwa Hotel in Kofu City, Yamanashi Prefecture, on March 5 and 6. Taking white, Iyama won by 3.5 points after 262 moves. The game featured hectic fighting from the outset, but Kono was let down by a slack move with Black 137—White had a good counter that he had overlooked. This decided the game and gave Iyama the series 4-2. By winning his eighth Kisei title in a row, he matched the record set by Kobayashi Koichi. It also matches Iyama’s personal record set in the Honinbo title. He can now aim at becoming the first player to win two titles ten times. Whatever happens after this, his victory ensures that Iyama remains the number one player for another year.

Kono

For the fourth time, the third win in a best-of-seven challenge to Iyama proved elusive for Kono. Aged 39, he cannot expect many more chances to take a top-three title.

Yoda resumes playing

In my previous report, I gave the details of the suspension from play of Yoda Norimoto by the Nihon Ki-in. Since then, Yoda has sued the Nihon Ki-in at the Tokyo District Court. On March 11, the Nihon Ki-in announced that the suspension would be lifted until the result of the court hearing has been given. It is expected at the end of April.

Top four decided in 1st Hakata Kamachi Cup

The first and second rounds of the new Hakata Kamachi Cup were held at the Tokyo headquarters of the Nihon Ki-in on February 15 and 16. The final four—Ueno Asami, Fujisawa Rina, Mukai Akiko, and Nyu Eiko–were players who have been prominent in women’s go recently, but there were some notable results on the way. Competing in the main tournament were the ten players who qualified in the preliminary round, five seeded players, and one wild card, Hei Jiajia (aka Joanne Missingham) of Taiwan. It’s unusual for an overseas player to be given a seat in a domestic tournament, but Hei is popular with local fans. Full results are given below. (The semifinals and final are scheduled for April 13 and 14.)

Round 1 (Feb. 15) Ueno Asami, Women’s Honijnbo, (B) beat Yashiro Kumiko 6P by resig.; Nakazawa Ayako 5P (B) beat Cho Chen 2P by resig.; Xie Yimin 6P (W) beat Tsukuda Akiko 5P by resig.; Mukai Chiaki 5P (B) beat Mannami Nao 4P by 1.5 points; Hei Jiajia 7P (Taiwan) (B) beat Omori Ran 1P by resig.; Nyu Eiko 2P (B) beat Tatsumi Akane 3P by resig.; Tsuji Hana 1P (B) beat Inaba Karin 1P by resig.; Fujisawa Rina, Women’s Hollyhock Cup-holder, (B) beat Moro Arisa 1P by resig.

Round 2 (Feb. 16) Ueno (B) beat Nakazawa by resig.; Mukai (W) beat Xie by resig.; Nyu (B) beat Hei by half a point; Fujisawa (B) beat Tsuji by resig.

New pair wins Professional Pair Go Championship

The semifinals and final of the Professional Pair Go Championship 2020 were held at the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo on March 1. Because of the corona virus, there were no spectators, although Pair Go tournaments thrive more than ordinary tournaments on the close contact between players and spectators. For their part, the organizers were probably relieved at being able to complete the tournament schedule. A live commentary was broadcast on the Net. In one semifinal, the pair of Okuda Aya 4P and Murakawa Daisuke Judan beat Chinen Kaori 6P and Motoki Katsuya 8P; in the other, Suzuki Ayumi 7P and Yo Seiki 8P beat Yoshida Mika 8P and Onishi Ryuhei 5p. In the final, Okuda & Murakawa (W) beat Suzuki & Yo by 10.5 points.

Tomorrow: Shibano starts well in Judan; 75th Honinbo League; 45th Meijin League

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AGA Encourages Players to Stay Home

Sab, 14/03/2020 - 20:06

The following statement has been released by the American Go Association’s Board of Directors.

“Generally, the AGA considers promoting face-to-face go to be one of it’s biggest priorities. As COVID-19 has progressed, however, it has become clear that practicing social distancing is something that everyone needs to do for their health and the health of those around them.

With that in mind, the AGA is encouraging folks to cancel or postpone all planned club and tournament events in March and April. This is a developing situation that is changing weekly (and lately daily), and we hope that we will be able to resume in-person play soon – once the pandemic has subsided.

The Seattle Go Center in Seattle and the National Go Center in Washington, DC have both suspended tournaments and face-to-face play and are closely monitoring the situation. Updates are at seattlego.org and nationalgocenter.org.

At this time, the AGA is making no recommendations about events in May or any time after that. Preparations for the US Go Congress in Estes Park at the beginning of August are continuing, even as we develop contingency plans in case the effects of the pandemic continue into the summer. Congress staff are working closely with the YMCA and monitoring recommendations from public officials. Colorado has declared a state of emergency and recommended postponing gatherings of 250 or more for the time being.

Stay safe – and maybe take this opportunity to rediscover online go playing, read some go books, and watch some of the many videos available on Twitch and YouTube!”

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“Alphago to Zero” Twitch stream draws record crowd

Sab, 14/03/2020 - 03:26

More than 13,000 viewers — a new record for the AGA’s Twitch channel — tuned in for Thursday night’s Twitch broadcast featuring Michael Redmond 9P and Chris Garlock discussing their new book “Alphago to Zero” and reviewing a game from the historic 2016 showdown between the world champion and the DeepMind AI. “Their passion for this game is infectious,” said CalmExit. The two talked about what it was like to provide the English-language commentary for the 2016 match for a global audience with intense media attention, and took questions from viewers. Chayashida wondered about “Michael and Chris’s thoughts, looking back, four years later…on the actual match as well as how AI has changed the game in the past 4 years.” And sam83a wondered “Does Michael plan writing other books using AI other than this 4-volume series? For example revisiting his san ren sei book, or analyzing historical classical games.” Check out the video to hear the answers to those questions and more, as well as Redmond’s review of Game 4 — chosen by a viewer poll — of the AlphaGo-Lee Sedol match. “I absolutely love how much Redmond loves the game,” said Trevoke. Stephen Hu produced the stream.

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Stay home, watch go! Pandanet City League this weekend

Ven, 13/03/2020 - 17:21

Self-Isolation? Recovering from St Patty’s Day? Miss other sporting events? Logon to Pandanet this Sunday March 15th at 3pm EST/12pm PST and watch some go! Many of the country’s top players are playing throughout the day. Check out our schedule pages for your favorite players and local teams for the times they’re playing.

A League B LeagueC LeagueD League

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Registration Open for 2020 AGHS School Team Tournament

Gio, 12/03/2020 - 21:11

“Registration for the 2020 AGHS School Team Tournament is now open through March 31st, ” says Promotion Head Sophia Wang, “All participants must be North American residents in grades K-12 and attend the same school as their teammates. Each team has 3 players, with no more than 5 teams per institution. A total of four rounds will be held on two Sundays—April 5th and 12th—at 10am and 1pm PST each day. Players of all four rounds will receive a participation prize, and the top teams in each division will receive cash and trophies.”

Click here for registration
Click here for detailed rules

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Redmond and Garlock on AlphaGo Thursday on Twitch

Gio, 12/03/2020 - 04:02

Michael Redmond 9P and Chris Garlock, who teamed up four years ago to comment the historic AlphaGo-Lee Sedol match in Seoul, will appear on the AGA’s Twitch channel Thursday night at 7p EDT to discuss the match and their brand-new e-book AlphaGo to Zero.

“When AlphaGo defeated Lee Sedol, some said it was the end of go,” Redmond and Garlock say in the book’s introduction. “As we have seen since then, it is rather more likely that in many ways the game has just begun.”

The two will discuss the book with viewers, and will take another look at some of the games from the match, with questions and comments from viewers. “Being able to interact with viewers in real time is a real treat,” says Garlock. “We’re really looking forward to it!”

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Member’s Edition: Yilun Yang’s March Hard Life and Death Puzzle

Mar, 10/03/2020 - 07:00

download SGF file

Black to play. Use the marked stone to attack.
Published in the March 10, 2020 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 yly_go@yahoo.com.

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Member’s Edition: Guo Juan 5P on a Pro Handicap Game

Mar, 10/03/2020 - 07:00

download SGF file

White: Wang LaoXi 7P
Black: AGA 1 dan
Commentary: Guo Juan 5P
Game Editor: Myron Souris
Published in the March 10, 2020 edition of the American Go E-Journal

This month you’re sure to find fascinating Guo Juan’s commentary on a 7 stone handicap game between a pro and a dan player. Guo Juan gives this background for Wang LaoXi 7P and his handicap playing style:

Wang Laoshi 7p was one of my go school classmates back in China, a long time ago. I met him when he was ten years old. Without mentioning his successful pro career, he is one of the best Go teachers in China now. His students include many of the top Chinese pros. I really admire his way of playing handicap games. He plays correct moves without trying dirty tricks. A long time ago when I just came to Europe I was troubled by playing high handicap games, because I thought I could not improve myself anymore. But Nie Weiping 9p told me that he also had to play handicap games, even in the China National team. The important thing he said to me was that if we play without dirty tricks, we will still play good style and our students will benefit the most.

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!

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Upcoming Go Events: Painesville

Lun, 09/03/2020 - 21:15

March 22: Painesville, OH
7th Lake Erie Go Tournament
Soren Jaffe ohiogoschool@gmail.com 440-231-7057

Get the latest go events information.

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Canadian Open update

Lun, 09/03/2020 - 14:50

Plans for the Canadian Open to be held late June in Vancouver have been cancelled. “The host organization has had to withdraw, due to the issues with COVID-19 virus,” reports Canadian Go Association president James Seddwick. The CGA is looking into alternate arrangements, with an initial target of holding something on Labour Day weekend September 4-7; stay tuned for a future announcement. “I also wish to offer our sympathies to CGA members with families & friends in China,” Sedgwick added. “I know it has been a tough time with ill family members who cannot be visited, and business and personal impacts. Hopefully lives will return to normal soon.”

Plans for the U.S. Go Congress — scheduled for Estes Park, CO, August 1 – 9 — are moving forward; organizers are monitoring the situation closely with the safety of the attendees and community paramount; stay tuned for updates.

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2020 Redmond Cup and AGA Girls Cup Registration Closing Soon

Lun, 09/03/2020 - 08:06

Registration for the 27th Redmond Cup and 3rd AGA Girls Cup will be closing soon on March 11th and March 18th respectively. Competitors must be residing in the US, Canada, or Mexico and be members of their respective national Go association. The Redmond Cup is restricted to players under 18 with an accredited rank of 1 dan or stronger, while the AGA Girls Cup is restricted to females under 16 with an accredited rank of 10 kyu or stronger. The two finalists in the AGA Girls Cup and the Junior (12 and under) and Senior (13-17) divisions of the Redmond Cup will be invited to the 2020 US Go Congress with all reasonable expenses paid for by the American Go Foundation to play in a best-of-three match. All other participants who complete either preliminary tournament will be eligible for a $200 scholarship to the 2020 US Go Congress.

The Redmond Cup will begin on March 15th with preliminary matches played online through early-mid June. The AGA Girls Cup will follow a similar schedule starting on March 22nd. Players eligible for both tournaments may participate in them simultaneously. Interested players can read more about the Redmond Cup rules here and register here. Likewise, players can read more about the AGA Girls Cup rules here and register here.

–Justin Teng, AGA Youth Coordinator

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