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2022 New England Open: Final report, credits and appreciation

Dom, 18/09/2022 - 23:34
First 3 places in the tournament (includes all 4 and 5 game winners of top section), l-r:
Yuxiao Wang (2nd place, 4-1), Xinyu Tu (1st place, 5-0), Trevor Morris (TD), Hao Li (3rd place, 4-1)

Xinyu Tu took first place at the 2022 New England Open over the Labor Day weekend, winning all five rounds. See below for the complete winner’s list.

“We had players from each of the six New England states, except for New Hampshire,” reports organizer Trevor Morris  “Next year, we’ll be recruiting heavily from New Hampshire!”  In order to incentivize New England players, “next year we’ll have a special prize for the top finisher from each of the six New England states,” said Morris.

With over $3,000 in cash and prizes, the 2022 New England Open tripled the advertised $1,000 prize pool. Prize sponsors, in order of the value of their donations, included ZBaduk, OGS, BenKyo Baduk, GoMagic, Battle Standard (physical location, hosting the Central CT Go Club), New York Go Institute, BadukPop, AYD, Yilun Yang, SmartGo, Shawn’s Go Group, baduk.club, AwesomeBaduk, Chris Sagner, and Guo Juan’s Internet Go School. Click here for links to all of the sponsors and a detailed description of their donations. 

“A special thanks to Sunstein LLP, an intellectual property law first, for sponsoring breakfast, which included, importantly, bottomless coffee, on the second day,” said Morris. “The breakfast was very popular, and would not have been possible without their generous support.”

Morris also thanked Chris Sanger, “not only for donating lessons to the prize pool but also for offering to be the odd player out.  Thanks to him, no one had to take a forced bye.  In the rounds that he did not play (most of them!), he was super-helpful pitching in on logistics.” The E-Journal’s Eva Dee Beech made streaming of the final round possible, training Morris on how to set up cell phones to stream live, and then providing the off-site live transcription to KGS for the top two boards.  She also arranged for TelegraphGo to provide live commentary on Twitch.

Winner’s Report

Open section winners: Xinyu Tu (1st place, 5-0); Yuxiao Wang(2nd place, 4-1); Hao Li (3rd place, 4-1).

Four-game winners, all of whom earned a new rank, per their new official AGA ratings:

Hughes de Saxce (1 kyu) [now 1 dan]; Andrew Hall (1 dan) [now 2 dan]; David Fang (3 kyu entry rank; official rank: 5 kyu) [now 2 kyu]; Laura Wu (7 kyu) [now 6 kyu].

“An unexpected shout-out to the Feng Yun Go School,” adds Morris. Three of her young students were a real pleasure to have at the tournament, and they each gained more than 2 points in their official AGA ratings: Zhihan William Huang: 19kyu -> 8kyu; Zhiyong Huang: 10kyu -> 4kyu; David Fang: 5kyu -> 2kyu.

4 Game Winners, not in open section (l-r): Hughes de Saxce (1 kyu), Andrew Hall (1 dan), David Fang (3 kyu, in front), Trevor Morris (TD), Laura Wu (7 kyu)

“Finally, we’d like to recognize the nine players who competed for the first time in an AGA tournament,” says Morris. “That’s a full 18% of the entire pool.  We look forward to seeing you all at the next one!” Hao Li, Yuxiao Wang, Jiayi Chen, Wei Chen, Patrick Blackstone, Philippe Lessard, Sophia Mears, Zeyi Tong, Martha Marteney.

The full tournament cross-grid and photos are available on the website.

Prize Coordinator: Michael Scudder (+ wife Lyda); Tournament Director: Trevor Morris (+ partner Martha Marteney). Photos by Chi-Hse Teng.

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NGC news/updates: Tournament, Pair Go/Paella, Toronto Spectacular

Dom, 18/09/2022 - 19:30

The National Go Center’s 2022 Back-to-School Tournament – 9/24/2022 is next Saturday and  Pair Go/Paella Night – 9/23/2022 is on the previous Friday evening. “If you are planning to come to either of these events, please preregister asap so we can know how many are coming,” says NGC Executive Director Gurujeet Khalsa. “Looking forward to seeing many of you at either or both!”

Another upcoming big event coming up is the Toronto Go Spectacular to be held December 28-30 in Toronto, Canada. Pre-registration is open now with an early-bird discount until the end of September.

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Santa Monica’s “(de-caf) Coffee Cup” returns

Dom, 18/09/2022 - 02:43

The Santa Monica Go Club’s annual “(de-caf) Coffee Cup” tournament is back after a two year hiatus. The in-person tournament will be held this coming Saturday, September, 24th, at the UnUrban coffee shop in Santa Monica (3301 Pico Blvd , S M. 90405). Registration is available at goclubs.org. Any additional questions, email Brent Russell at the SMGC Google Group (all info is provided on the goclubs.org site). “We look forward to seeing you there!”                             

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Member’s Edition: Yilun Yang’s Hard September Puzzle

Mar, 13/09/2022 - 07:00

Black group races death, and must do something in White’s corner.

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

Download SGF File

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Member’s Edition: Yilun Yang’s Easy September Puzzle

Mar, 13/09/2022 - 07:00

To attack White, Black must take advantage of the inside stone.

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

Download SGF File

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Toronto Go Spectacular: Open tournament

Mar, 13/09/2022 - 00:00

The premium events at the Toronto Go Spectacular December 28-30 are the invitational events, say organizers. “But for many of us, ‘we just want to play some go!’ Don’t worry, we’ve got this taken care of!” says CGA president James Sedgwick. Thursday December 29th & Friday December 30th will see a 6-round Swiss-McMahon tournament, for players Beginner-7D.  In fact, even professionals ineligible for the North American Championship are welcome to participate.

Adult players 10K-25K can consider their preferred choice between the novice tournament and open tournament.  “A potential downside to the open tournament is you may wind up with some large handicap games,” says Sedgwick. “The novice tournament will give you the opportunity to compete against many players near your level, and also is less of a time commitment.  However you should anticipate playing many/most of your games against 6-12 year old children if you choose to compete in the novice event.” 

Organizers are expecting a large field of 150 players, with prizes commensurate for a major event like this. “First prize should be 1000-1500 CAD, comparable to the largest prizes at past Canadian open championships,” Sedgwick tells the EJ. “Large, but still a big step down from what the professionals have the chance to earn!” Trophies and so on will be available to players at all levels.

Discounted early bird registration is available until September 30th. For those who insist on waiting until the last moment late registrations will be accepted until Christmas. Refunds are available without question until December (minus the Eventbrite processing fees); after December, refunds are at the discretion of the organizers.

Accommodation options are now finalized; organizers have arranged a discount, but rates are not fixed, and they can be expected to rise through the fall. Check out all the details and order your tickets on the event page.  Email torontogospectacular@gmail.com for more info, or ask questions on the Facebook event.

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AGF Launches Kids Go Server

Sab, 10/09/2022 - 23:02
kidsgoserver.com

Kidsgoserver.com, a new site designed specifically for kids aged 6 to 12, is now live on the web as a beta release. A joint project of the American Go Foundation and the British Go Association, the server is designed to be a totally safe and kid friendly environment that can be used by anyone, and in schools. The site is accessed through a website, and requires no software, and no login. Graphics and animations help kids realize when stones are in atari. Your choice of rocket ships on the home page will take you to a lessons page or a playing page on one of several planets. For now, the lessons are only text, but voice actors will read them in the future. More lessons, as well as go problems, will be coming as well.  Kids can play either 9×9 or 13×13 against weak AI bots, as well as against other kids. Chat is limited to preselected phrases so there are no safety concerns. Kids who wish to save their avatar can generate a login code or just pick a new avatar every time they come.

The graphics and characters were all designed by Nick Snyder, a professional animator and artist. The coding is by Akita Noek from OGS, with lessons by Paul Barchilon, and conceptual design by Barchilon and AGF President Terry Benson.

Click here to visit the site, and here to give us feedback on the beta.

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Registration opens for Toronto Go Spectacular

Lun, 05/09/2022 - 01:20

Registration is now open for the first-ever Toronto Go Spectacular, scheduled for December 28-30 in Toronto, Canada.

The event, organized by the North American Go Federation, will include the first North American Professional championships, new North American youth championships, and two open tournaments. All the action will take place at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Center in Toronto, and players from around the world are welcome to participate in the open tournaments.

“We’re absolutely thrilled to host this exciting go event,” said Canadian Go Association president James Sedgwick. “It’s a great opportunity for go players to gather in a world-class city.” Incoming American Go Association president Gurujeet Khalsa added that he’s “looking forward to seeing a large contingent of U.S. players attend.”

The youth championships will include one for players under 12, and one for players under 16; 8 players and 2 alternates will be accepted for each competition. Apply by October 31st to guarantee your application will be considered. Citizenship in Canada or the USA is not required to compete in these events, only permanent resident status, but applicants must be members of either the CGA or AGA. Applicants for the U12 must be at least 5K and born on or after January 1st, 2011, and for the U16 must be at least 1K and born on or after January 1st, 2007. Those accepted will receive a $250 travel/accommodation subsidy.

Stay tuned for more announcements in the days and weeks ahead or sneak a peek on your own on the event website

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NY Congresswoman impressed by NYIG students’ performance

Gio, 01/09/2022 - 04:10
(l-r) Yin and Congresswoman Meng

AGA Vice President for Development Stephanie Yin met with U.S. Congresswoman  Grace Meng (D, NY 6th CD in Queens) on August 18 to discuss potential future collaborations. They discussed AI and go, social media platforms, local and national politics, education, and the Congresswoman’s new National Museum of Asian Pacific American History and Culture. The Congresswoman was especially impressed by the performance of students at Yin’s New York Institute of Go (NYIG), with 14 of the 20 students competing at the recent 2022 U.S. Go Congress winning awards. Congresswoman Meng says she hopes to be able to attend future AGA events in the New York City area.

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Korean Women’s Baduk League update

Mer, 31/08/2022 - 01:40

Report by Edward Zhang, Capital Go Club

Team Segwipo (Jeju island)

Team Segwipo (Jeju island), ranked #1 in the Korean Women’s Baduk League, will advance directly to the finals on September 21-23. The teams ranked 2-4 will compete in best-of-three playoffs on September 14; the playoffs will be live on BadukTV.

In the Korean Women’s Baduk League, eight teams play a double round-robin and each match has one regular game and two fast games. After 13 of 14 rounds, the top three teams are Segwipo (Jeju island) with an 11-2 record, and Suncheon Bay and Samcheok Marine, both with 8-5 records.

The league has been well organized and it’s very competitive. Through BadukTV and Youtube, the players showcase their talents in the game, and characters in the after-game interviews. It is a bit of surprise that the team with the world’s current #1 woman player, Choi Jung, just ranks 5th and there is a risk of missing the playoffs. That’s as surprising as if Lebron James’ Lakers missed the NBA playoffs.

R13 match on August 18, Photo from BadukTV
(Yoonyoung Kim in orange team shirt facing the camera)

In the playoffs, No.3 and No.4 play first, and then the winner meets No.2 in the semi-final. The team prizes are: $41,000 (55,000,000 won) for first place, $26,000 for second, $19,000 for third and $11,000 for fourth.

The player who wins the League MVP award – determined by fan and press voting — receives an additional $26,000. The top five individual performers are Cho Seung-ah (11-2), Choi Jung (11-2), Kim Yoonyoung (9-3), Kim Chae-young and Oh Yoojin (both at 9-4). Kim Yoonyoung, who just moved back to Korea in 2021 after living in Canada for a few years, is clearly a dark horse to help her team dominate in the league.

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Seattle Go Center seeks Operations Manager

Mer, 31/08/2022 - 01:23

The Seattle Go Center is looking to hire a part time Operations Manager who can work 50-75 hours a month.  The Operations Manager position includes paying bills, doing payroll, filling out tax forms, doing light maintenance, supervising maintenance contracts, and meeting and coordinating with the Board.  The Operations Manager should be familiar with the game of go, and passionate about sharing it, but they do not have to be a strong player.

If you would like to help our unique institution in this important role, please contact Bill Chiles, Board President, at billchiles-gocenter@hotmail.com for more information.

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2022 Canadian Open: Out of Country, Out of Mind… No, Wait, Into Mind

Mer, 31/08/2022 - 01:21

Report/photos by Ashley Qi

Quebec City. A beautiful and scenic vacation destination with countless locations to explore. But instead of solely vacationing, many have chosen to dedicate time to exploring their minds at the Canadian Open, held August 26-29. Among these players were skilled American contenders: Alexander [Alex] Qi (1P), Alan Huang (7D), Jeremy Chiu (7D), Justin Teng (6D), and Joel Kenny (4D). With so many strong competitors, there were bound to be riveting games and results. And so it began.

The first round concluded with Alexander Qi winning by a narrow half point against Hongyi Li 6D and victories for Alan, Huang, Jeremy Chiu, and Joel Kenny as well. 

In the second round, tensions rose when Alan Huang played Yongfei Ge 7D. Due to a clock malfunction, Ge was not able to properly stop his time counting down. However, since he had hit the clock and played his turn, Huang spent some time calculating his next move. When the clock started counting down the final seconds of the byo-yomi period, Huang played his move and hit the clock… only for it not to register because the clock was still on Ge’s time. In a panic, Huang continued hitting the clock with enough vigor to send it flying onto the board (I mean, with a game as intense as his, who would want to lose by time?). The clock issue was eventually sorted out, and thankfully someone had a picture of the board just moments before the disaster – so all was right in the world. And one has to admit: it does elicit a chuckle, looking back on it. Huang ended up being 2.5 points short of winning after such a harrowing game. Meanwhile, Alex Qi and Justin Teng both won their second round games.

As the sun set and the first day drew to a close, the standings were as such: Alex Qi undefeated at 2-0, with Alan Huang, Jeremy Chiu, Justin Teng and Joel Kenny all at 1-1. 

Refreshed and ready to go on day two, the American players were prepared for a busy day. Two games, a simul, and a banquet were on the to-do list, and the morning started off with quite the kicker. Chiu and Teng were playing against each other, setting the tone for the friendly competition with a 2-2 opening and even some mirror go. This ultimately concluded with a win for Chiu. Qi, Huang, and Kenny also emerged victorious in their third round games. 

The fourth round games brought all-around positivity for the American players with each of them winning their respective games. This left the records at 4-0 for Qi, 3-1 for Huang, Chiu, and Kenny, and 2-2 for Teng. On this positive note, the players prepared for the banquet. Qi had considerably less time to do so, as he was invited to play a simul as a newly minted NAGF professional. The banquet later that night was quite enjoyable, as well as a good time – props to the organizers!

(l-r): Devin Fraze, Justin Teng, Robert Qi, Ashley Qi, Alan Huang, Jeremy Chiu, Alexander Qi
Not pictured: Joel Kenny

The final day was the one to decide it all – two more rounds and the awards ceremony loomed ahead. Qi was defeated by Guanyu Song 6D, leaving Qi’s standing at 4-1 alongside both Huang and Chiu. That meant a tie going into the final round, where Qi was paired with Chiu. Qi emerged victorious while Huang and Teng notched up wins as well. After the dust settled, the standings were as such: 5-1 for Qi and Huang, 4-2 for Chiu and Kenny, and 3-3 for Teng. At the awards ceremony, Qi came in second place to champion Guanyu Song with a tiebreaker difference of just one SOS point. Huang, despite defeating Song in the fourth round, officially came in third place with the lowest SOS of the three 5-1 finishers. While the cash prize was originally only for the top two finishers, the tournament director decided to award Huang the same cash prize that Qi received. An incredible ending to an incredible tournament – all the American players made their country proud, indeed.
CLICK HERE for lots more photos and final standings, on the Canadian Open Facebook event page.

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Officer Applications Open for the American Go Honor Society (AGHS) 2022-2023

Lun, 29/08/2022 - 02:19

American Go Honor Society (AGHS) officer applications are open for the 2022-2023 year. The AGHS is a youth-led organization dedicated to promoting go and directing tournaments for emerging young go players. North American players who are in the 8th-12th grades are eligible and encouraged to apply. The deadline for applications is September 4, 2022 at 11:59pm PDT.

Please use this form to submit applications.

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50 Years aGO – August 1972

Dom, 28/08/2022 - 07:00

By Keith L. Arnold, hka, with Patrick Bannister

August 4th found Iwamoto Kaoru in London on his European tour. He gave a lecture and scored 9-1 in a simultaneous exhibition.

The European Go Congress carried into the first two weeks of August, in Ensechede, Holland. Iwamoto made an appearance there as well, along with 120 participants from all over Europe, including visitors from the U.S. and Mexico. Jürgen Mattern of Germany was undefeated, and secured his fifth Championship. Germany won the team championship, followed by the host nation.

On August 14, James Davies played T. Miyoshi, a mystery author known as the “Literary Hon’inbo,” in a special televised match. Davies opened on tengen and secured a convincing victory.

The Meijin Title, between Rin Kaihō Meijin and Fujisawa Shūkō 9d began on August 16. Go Seigen is pictured in our photo of the match, which was won convincingly by Shūkō. In the second game, on August 26-27, our photo captures the moment, after a long game and long ko fight, that Shūkō realizes he has lost by one point. As the month closes, the match is tied. (Game records: Game One, Game Two.)

Finally on August 19-20, the Brazil Ki’in celebrated its 25th anniversary, with an incredible 218 players participating.

[See image gallery at www.usgo.org]

Photos from Go Review, game records from SmartGo One

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Han Han 5P: “Harder than I expected”

Mar, 23/08/2022 - 20:05

The competition at this year’s North American Masters Tournament was “harder than I expected,” Chinese professional Han Han 5P told the E-Journal earlier this month after closing out his 7-0 sweep of the field. “In a few of the games, I was actually behind and had to fight hard to get back in the game.” Han’s 4th-round game against Michael Chen 8D was especially tough, he said. While American professionals are improving in strength, they don’t get enough opportunities to play in high-level competitions with other professionals to develop and hone their skills, Han said.

Born in Beijing in 1989, Han Han became a professional go player at the age of 14 and achieved 5 dan in 2009. He used to play in the National Go League A and defeated more than a dozen world champions in tournaments. He has been teaching go for more than 15 years and helped many kids become professionals. He’s also lectured on go many times at Tsinghua and Peking University since 2015, and is currently a columnist for the most popular go magazine in China. Outside of go, he loves art and is zealous about classical music. He now lives in California, near San Diego.

Han’s advice to amateur players looking to improve their game is to “practice life and death problems, that’s a basic reading skill.” AI analysis is of limited use for all but the most advanced players, Han said. “The basics – life and death, tesuji – are so, so important.”

Han, who several times during the NAMT raised concerns about the possibility of cheating through use of AI go programs, said that steps need to be taken to reduce that possibility, including metal detectors at tournaments (these were used at the recent U.S. pro qualifier), having observers or referees, and either delaying live broadcasts (as is done in poker tournaments) or not permitting commentary during the broadcast.
– report/photo by Chris Garlock; thanks to NAMT TD Kevin Chao for translation assistance.

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Member’s Edition: Broken Ladder Game from North American Go Foundation Pro Qualification Tournament

Mar, 23/08/2022 - 07:00

Commentary: Albert Yen
Game Editor: Gordon Fraser
Published in the August 23,, 2022 edition of the American Go Journal

This is the legendary broken ladder game in the semi finals of this year’s pro qualification tournament. Eric Yoder, who pulled off a broken ladder game against me in this year’s Midwest Open, once again shocked the world with another broken ladder. In the most dramatic way possible, Eric turned a desperate game into a victory and advanced to the finals, ultimately placing third and just missed out on professional promotion. My commentary will focus on the broken ladder part of the game.

Download SGF File

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Chao Xie 6D tops San Francisco Go Club Mountain Day Tournament

Dom, 21/08/2022 - 21:38

Chao Xie 6D topped the San Francisco Go Club Mountain Day Tournament, held on Saturday, August 20 at the San Francisco Go Club. The three-round tournament attracted more than 30 players, who competed for cash prizes and gift cards to BadukPop. Lunch was provided for tournament participants.

Results for the tournament were as follows:

Division 1: 1. Chao Xie 6D; 2. Jeremy Chiu 7D; 3. Will Lockhart 5D
Division 2: 1. Jaewoo Park; 2. Casey Dahlin; 3. Jason He
Division 3: 1. Ramiro Lobo; 2. Nash Shankman; 3. Youchen Zhao

The SF Go Club thanks all those who attended and contributed to the success of the tournament. The Club plans to host its next tournament on Saturday 17 September 2022 with details and sign up information to be provided soon.
Matthew Barcus, President, San Francisco Go Club

[See image gallery at www.usgo.org]
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SDGC meets Hong Kong Go Challenge

Dom, 21/08/2022 - 21:25

The San Diego Go Club (SDGC) was recently challenged to an online Vanguard Go tournament by GoLegend, a go school in Hong Kong, China. Three youth players from each club and an instructor (exhibition) were matched against each other, where each game was against someone of the same rating. Representing the SDGC were Evan Tan (4d and the 2022 Redmond Cup junior champion), Elias Klingbeil 2d, Andy Zhou 1d, and Michael Zhou (6d, instructor). Elias and Michael won their games. All were spirited contests, with GoLegend arranging a Zoom connection for the players, a Twitch channel for spectators, and a go pro to do commentary. For the benefit of the American side, the communications were done in English. SDGC players now have a taste of international competition. GoLegend is interested in developing more go contacts with chapters in the AGA.

Registration is now open for two go tournaments the SDGC is hosting on Sunday, September 25, 2022: The 2022 U16 Girls and U16 Boys California State Go Championships and the End-of-Summer-Go-Tournament (for the non-youth). The competition is held at the San Diego Chess Club in Balboa Park. There is a $10 entry fee. CLICK HERE for registration and further information.

  • Ted Terpstra, San Diego Go Club
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Game recorders wanted!

Dom, 21/08/2022 - 19:27
Keith Arnold recording Board 1 at the 2022 NAMT earlier this month; photo by Chris Garlock

Here’s a great way to get stronger and help bring go to a wider audience: the E-Journal team has openings for volunteer game recorders for upcoming tournaments, including the Canadian Open and the New England Open. Best of all, you can do it from home! The EJ successfully tested remote game recording at this year’s U.S. Go Congress and is now planning to expand this service to provide streaming of top boards at local events. The Canadian Open is August 26-29, the Western Mass Open is September 3-4 (Labor Day weekend); volunteers need to be available for at least one 2-hour window. If interested – or for more information – email journal@usgo.org   

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Phil’s Photos: 2022 U.S. Go Congress

Ven, 19/08/2022 - 12:36

Phil Straus, for many years the E-Journal’s official photographer, though mostly retired from those duties, still takes the U.S. Go Congress and EJ staff photos as well as his own snapshots and portraits; here’s a selection from this year’s Congress.  

[See image gallery at www.usgo.org]
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