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2020 e-Go Congress schedule released

Sab, 04/07/2020 - 23:00

Following hard on the heels of the announcement earlier this week (2020 e-Go Congress announced) of the online 2020 e-Go Congress August 1-9, organizers have now released a preliminary schedule of events. “While a few events may still be added, you can plan on attending any of the events below,” says AGA Congress Coordinator Lisa Scott. Keep an eye on the Congress website for the schedule and updates as details are finalized. Events will be held on OGS, KGS, and Pandanet.

Saturday, August 1
1pm-4pm EDT/10am-1pm PDT Opening Ceremony
4pm-7pm EDT/1pm-4pm PDT e-Go Congress Open Round 1
8pm-11pm EDT/5pm-8pm PDT 9×9 Tournament

Sunday, August 2
1pm-4pm EDT/10am-1pm PDT e-Go Congress Open Round 2
4pm-6pm EDT/1pm-3pm PDT Game Review
7pm-10pm EDT/4pm-7pm PDT e-Go Congress Open Round 3
10pm-11pm EDT/7pm-8pm PDT Hangouts

Monday, August 3
1pm-4pm EDT/10am-1pm PDT Blitz Tournament Round 1
8pm-11pm EDT/5pm-8pm PDT City League Championships Game 1
8pm-11pm EDT/5pm-8pm PDT Beginner Drop in Teaching

Tuesday, August 4
1pm-4pm EDT/10am-1pm PDT Blitz Tournament Round 2
8pm-11pm EDT/5pm-8pm PDT Beginner Official Teaching Event
8pm-11pm EDT/5pm-8pm PDT Double-Digit Kyu Tournament Day 1

Wednesday, August 5
1pm-4pm EDT/10am-1pm PDT Youth Event
8pm-11pm EDT/5pm-8pm PDT City League Championships Game 2
8pm-11pm EDT/5pm-8pm PDT Double-Digit Kyu Tournament Day 2

Thursday, August 6
1pm-4pm EDT/10am-1pm PDT Blitz Tournament Round 3
8pm-11pm EDT/5pm-8pm PDT Pair Go Tournament

Friday, August 7
1pm-4pm EDT/10am-1pm PDT Blitz Tournament Round 4
8pm-11pm EDT/5pm-8pm PDT City League Championships Game 3

Saturday, August 8
1pm-3pm EDT/10am-12pm PDT e-Go Congress Open Round 4
6pm-9pm EDT/3pm-6pm PDT Game Review
8pm-11pm EDT/5pm-8pm PDT TBD Broadcast Event

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Redmond on Go Seigen vs Kitani, The Tengen Game, and AlphaGo vs The World

Sab, 04/07/2020 - 22:14

Tune in to the AGA’s Twitch channel at 8p Sunday night for Part 2 of Michael Redmond 9Ps live commentary on the 1939 game between Go Seigen and his friend and rival Kitani Minoru. If you need your Redmond fix sooner, not to worry, check out the latest Redmond Review featuring The Tengen Game between Honinbo Dosaku and Yasui Santetsu, which originally aired back on May 3. “What a treat!” says Sev.

And Redmond’s brand-new series, AlphaGo vs. The World — in which he and AlphaGo to Zero co-author Chris Garlock do short reviews of the 2016-17 Master vs human games — is now up to Game 11. “Some really beautiful moves by white in this great game,” says Rory Mitchell. “The placement of stones looks so calm, light, and impressive. Thanks so much for the video!”

Also, for the French Redmond fans, jonathan4055 has just posted subtitles in French for Redmond’s recent AlphaGo to Zero: Revisiting AlphaGo vs Lee Sedol, Game 2 commentary. And of course there’s always Redmond’s YouTube channel, as well.

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Durham and Cleveland face off in online Friendship match Sunday

Ven, 03/07/2020 - 21:46

With many traditional July 4th activities — attending professional sports events and traveling, for example — restricted by the COVID-19 pandemic, longtime Go teacher Yuan Zhou is coordinating a Friendship Team Go tournament between the Triangle Go Group (Durham, NC) and the Cleveland Go Club this Sunday, July 5. “Let this be Go players’ way to celebrate our Independence Day!” says Zhou. The tournament will take place on KGS starting at 10a EDT; pairings and more info is posted here. “You all are welcome to observe the team matches and kibitz in the games!” says Zhou, adding “Hopefully there will be more online events like this!”

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AGA election ballots emailed

Gio, 02/07/2020 - 02:44

Both chapter and individual ballots in the American Go Association’s elections have been emailed to all eligible members. If it is not in your inbox please check in spam. Candidate statements, if submitted, are available on the AGA elections page: AGA Board Elections | American Go Association. If you did not receive a ballot and believe you should have or have any questions, please contact elections@usgo.org.

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The Power Report: Ichiriki to challenge for Gosei; Tournaments canceled; Retirement: Honda Kunihisa

Mer, 01/07/2020 - 18:00

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Ichiriki to challenge for Gosei

   The play-off to decide the challenger for the 45th Gosei title was held at the Nihon Ki-in on June 29. Taking white, Ichiriki Ryo 8P beat Cho U 9P by 4.5 points, so he will make his first Gosei challenge. The first game with Hane Naoki Gosei will be played on July 18.

Tournaments canceled

   The Nihon Ki-in has announced that two Japanese-sponsored international tournament have been cancelled for this year. They are the World Go Championship 2020 and the Senko Cup World Go Women’s Strongest Player 2020. These tournaments had already been postponed and it had been hoped to hold them in the autumn, but that came to look less and less feasible. 

Retirement: Honda Kunihisa

   Honda Kunihisa 9P of the Kansai Ki-in retired as of June 15, which was his 75th birthday. Born in Ishikawa Prefecture, he became a disciple of Hashimoto Utaro 9P and qualified for 1-dan in 1961. He reached 9-dan in 1973. Back in the late Showa period (1926-89), he was one of the mainstays of the Kansai Ki-in. He was also known as probably the least talkative player in the go world. He won the rating tournament four times, the Kansai Ki-in No. One Position tournament four times, and the 31st NHK Cup in 1984. He played in the Kisei leagues three times, the Meijin League seven times, and the Honinbo League once. He also won a number of Kansai Ki-in prizes.

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2020 e-Go Congress announced

Mar, 30/06/2020 - 22:12

If you’re disappointed that this year’s US Go Congress has been canceled, mark  your calendar for the 2020 e-Go Congress. Scheduled for August 1-9, the e-Go Congress will be held online and includes a weekend “Open” tournament, a weekday daytime “blitz” tournament, evening 9×9, Pair Go, Double-Digit Kyu tournaments, professional events, a daytime youth event and the City League Tournament Championships. 

This “taste of” Congress event “will hopefully give you a chance play a little go and reconnect with old friends —or make new ones—while you eagerly await the more immersive experience of the 2021 US Go Congress, which will have even more tournaments, events, lessons, and youth activities!“ says AGA Congress Coordinator Lisa Scott. More details — including a schedule of events — are expected to be announced soon.

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Your Move/Readers Write: Modeling safe behavior

Mar, 30/06/2020 - 20:17

“If Patience and Fortitude, the two lions guarding the New York Public Library, are wearing masks as an example to the public,” writes Terry Benson (in response to Your Move/Readers Write: Strict observance of masking and other sanitary practices), “can’t we all be on the same public health message? It’s a war and we aren’t winning.”

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The Power Report: Iyama extends lead in Meijin League; Kisei S League; Suzuki to challenge for Women’s Hollyhock Cup

Mar, 30/06/2020 - 18:00

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Iyama extends lead in Meijin League

   With Iyama maintainaing his unbeaten record in the 45th Meijin League, it’s looking more and more as if he will be the one to challenge the new Meijin, Shibano Toramaru. Shibano has won their only previous title match, but he is finding Iyama a different proposition in two-day games. We shouldn’t make any predictions, however, as Ichiriki Ryo is following hard on Iyama’s heels with just one loss. Recent results follow. Incidentally, Iyama’s win below is his ninth in a winning streak that started on March 5.

(June 15) Ichiriki Ryo 8P (W) beat Kono Rin 9P by 3.5 points.

(June 18) Kyo Kagen 8P (W) beat Rin Kanketsu 8P by resig.

(June 25) Iyama Yuta Kisei (B) beat Kyo Kagen by resig.; Kono Rin 9P (B) beat Hane Naoki Gosei by resig.; Ichiriki (B) beat Rin Kanketsu 8P by resig.

Kisei S League

   The S League in the 45th Kisei tournament completed its first round with the games below.

(June 18) Kono Rin (W) beat Takao Shinji 9P by resig.

(June 22) Kyo Kagen 8P (W) beat Murakami Daisuke Judan by resig.

Suzuki to challenge for Women’s Hollyhock Cup

   Suzuki Ayumi, holder of the Women’s Kisei title, won the play-off to decide the challenger to Fujisawa Rina for the 7th Hollyhock Cup. At the age of 36, she seems to be enjoying a renaissance in her career. Her opponent in the play-off was the 23-year-old Iwata Saeka 1P, who is a new name to me. Though born in Tokyo and a disciple of Ishida Yoshio, she is a member of the Kansai Ki-in. She let slip her first chance at glory.

Semifinals (June 20) Suzuki Ayumi, Women’s Kisei, (B) beat Xie Yimin 6P by half a point; Iwata Saeka 1P (W) beat Nyu Eiko 2P by half a point.

Final (June 21) Suzuki (W) beat Iwata by resig. 

Tomorrow: Ichiriki to challenge for Gosei; Tournaments canceled; Retirement: Honda Kunihisa

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Latin American Go Congress canceled

Mar, 30/06/2020 - 16:00

It’s official. The 4th Latin American Go Congress, which was to be held in Buenos Aires in October 2020, has been canceled. “The coronavirus pandemic will still take some time to bring under control in Argentina and it has become apparent that a Congress in October is no longer feasible in the current year,” reports Haroldo Brown. Current plans are for Argentina to hold the Congress in October 2021.  In a related update, Brown says “It is likely that we will hold some sort of Latin American online tournament in October but have no specific news on this as we are just beginning to think about it.”

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Member’s Edition: Albert Yen 7d on a Pandanet Game

Mar, 30/06/2020 - 07:00

Download SGF File

White: Albert Yen 7d
Black: anon 6d (Pandanet)
Commentary: Albert Yen 7d
Game Editor: Myron Souris
Published in the June 30, 2020 edition of the American Go E-Journal

Albert gives this overview of his online game against a Pandanet 6 dan: “I found it interesting, because the game was effectively decided by two attachments. In the age of AI where attachments just seem to be in every game, I want to talk about my experience with playing attachments.

Albert Yen is an 8 dan player from Chicago. He first started playing go at the age of five after watching Hikaru no Go on television, and became 6 dan in Taiwan when he was 7. 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 running and ping pong.

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Your Move/Readers Write: Strict observance of masking and other sanitary practices

Mar, 30/06/2020 - 00:59

“Peter Armenia is missing the point in his comments about Roger Schrag’s letter,” writes Steve Burrall. “I don’t doubt that he is correct about that particular photo depicting relatively low-risk conditions based on details he provided, but E-Journal readers had no way of knowing those details.  For all we know, that could have been some superspreader about to sneeze over his improperly-worn mask on somebody else’s type 1 diabetic kid over the Go board.  Putting the word ‘safely’ on a photo of a guy wearing a mask on his chin was unfortunate. One of my reactions upon seeing the photo was in fact happiness that a Go club is active again in person, but for that to happen everywhere and for an in-person Go Congress to happen again, chances are it will take strict observance of masking and other sanitary practices to make it safe and legal.”
Editor’s note: The wording on the original post was not Armenia’s and while there are clearly different opinions and varying levels of comfort, we’re confident that all can agree that strict observance of masking and other sanitary practices are key to everyone’s safety and health as we work through this crisis together. Let’s keep the life and death problems strictly on the board!

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The Power Report: Shibano takes Judan title, sets new records; Iyama extends lead in Honinbo title match; Sumire’s “second start” improves on her first

Mar, 30/06/2020 - 00:38

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Shibano takes Judan title, sets new records

   Even though professional go resumed on June 1, it took over two weeks for the 58th Judan title match, which had been interrupted with the score tied at 1-1, to get underway again, so in the end there was a break of close to three months. On June 17, the third game was finally played at the Nihon Ki-in headquarters in Tokyo. Taking white, the challenger, Shibano Toramaru Meijin, forced Murakawa Daisuke Judan to resign after 176 moves. 

   The fourth game was held at the same venue on June 26. Playing black, Shibano won by resignation after 141 moves. This gave him his third concurrent title, to go with the Meijin and Oza titles, and broke some records set by Iyama Yuta. At 20 years seven months, he is the youngest player to secure a triple crown, the previous record being Iyama’s 23 years one month. Shibano achieved this feat five years nine months, after becoming a professional; that put a big dent in the previous speed record, Iyama’s ten years three months. 

Iyama extends lead in Honinbo title match

   I gave the result of the second game of the 75th Honinbo title match in my previous report (June 22), but I have some supplementary information, so please bear with me. The game was played at the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo on June 13 & 14, having been transferred from the originally scheduled venue, the Kokura Castle Garden in Kita-Kyushu City, because of a recent resurgence of the coronavirus in that city. It is the first Honinbo title game to be held at the Ki-in for 45 years. The last such game was the 7th game of the 30th title match. As it happened, the referee for this game was Ishida Yoshio, also known as 24th Honinbo Shuho, and he played in the 1975 game, beating Sakata Eio and winning the Honinbo title for the 5th year in a row. 

   As with Game One, there were no party or other related events, though what was called a “mini” press conference was held. Iyama took a small lead in the middle-game fighting and used great skill to convert this into a solid lead. Shibano resigned after 143 moves.

   The third game was played at the originally scheduled venue of the Takarazuka Hotel, Takarazuka City, Hyogo Prefecture. Taking white, Iyama played positively in the opening and scored another convincing win. Shibano resigned after move 172. This was Iyama’s third one-sided win in a row, so Shibano’s Honinbo challenge seems to be in bad trouble. 

Sumire’s “second start” improves on her first 

   Japan’s youngest professional player, eleven-year-old Nakamura Sumire 1P, had a very successful first year, scoring 24 wins to 17 losses in 2019 and posting the best winning percentage for a 1-dan. Things had been a little tougher for her this year, though her record of 7-10 before Covid-19 put a stop to professional go, was nothing to be ashamed of for a new 1-dan. The enforced break does not seem to have affected her form and she has already evened her score for the year. On June 18, taking black, she beat Sano Takatsugu 8P by resignation after 141 moves in Preliminary C in the 69th Oza tournament. This was her first official game since April 6 and was played at the Kansai HQ of the Nihon Ki-in. On June 25, taking white, she beat Ms. Deguchi Mariko 1P in the final round of the preliminary tournament for the 5th Senko Cup by half a point. This secured her a seat in the main tournament (the best 16). Deguchi being her senior, this game was played on her home ground, the Kansai Ki-in. On June 29, Sumire (W) beat Araki Issei 4P by 6.5 points in Preliminary B of the 30th Ryusei tournament. Araki is a fellow member of the Nihon Ki-in’s Kansai HQ, so that is where the game was played. Just for the record, Sumire’s score to date is 27-17. Three straight wins is a great way to get back into the swing of across-the-board. Sano 8P commented that he had checked out some of the games Sumire played on the net during the enforced break and he got the impression her game was maturing. To his cost, he was able to confirm this.

Tomorrow: Iyama extends lead in Meijin League; Kisei S League; Suzuki to challenge for Women’s Hollyhock Cup

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AlphaGo vs. Lee Sedol Game 2, revisited, plus AlphaGo vs. The World

Lun, 29/06/2020 - 01:05

If you missed the live commentary — originally aired on May 17 on Twitch — by Michael Redmond 9P and Chris Garlock on the second game of the historic 2016 AlphaGo vs. Lee Sedol match, it’s now been released on the AGA’s YouTube channel. Click here to check it out. “Those days of Lee Sedol and you two doing the commentary were some of the most enjoyable times during that AlphaGo match,” said Mike Young. “I got really excited about Go for awhile.”

While there was no live broadcast this Sunday, Redmond and Garlock will return on Sunday July 5 at 8 PM EDT on AGA Twitch. Meanwhile, you can check out their new AlphaGo vs. The World series playlist, with new releases of commentaries on the AlphaGo Master games every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 11 AM EDT.

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Your Move/Readers Write: More on “Gotham Go back in action”

Lun, 29/06/2020 - 00:00

“I am very disappointed by the E-Journal article “Gotham Go back in action,” writes Roger Schrag. “The article includes a photo of two people playing go ‘safely’; one player is wearing a mask incorrectly with their mouth and nose completely outside the mask, while the other player is not wearing a mask at all. Scientists and epidemiologists the world over agree that wearing masks is key to slowing the spread of Covid-19. By suggesting go players don’t need to wear masks in order to play safely in person does a gross disservice to the go community.”
Gotham Go organizer Peter Armenia responds: “I would guess most epidemiologists would think the situation depicted here is quite safe. They are two low-risk individuals, in a currently low risk (less than 1% positive test rate for Covid19) location, outside 4+ feet apart. The kid’s parents and adult pictured were provided detailed information on playing safely and urging every individual to assess their risk and personal situation to determine what is safe for them. It’s not up to the AGA or the Gotham Go Group to tell people what they can choose to do.

NOTE: The opinions expressed in letters to the editor are not necessarily those of the American Go Association. The E-Journal welcomes letter to the editor, which are subject to editing.

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The Empty Board: Philosophical Reflections on Go #15

Sab, 27/06/2020 - 05:31

By William Cobb

I was chatting with the young man to whom I am teaching go the other day and I remarked that he was beginning to make a lot more plays that were like those of a real go player. His reply was that that might be true but in fact he felt like most of the time he had no idea what was going on.  It struck me immediately that I feel that way a lot of the time also. Moreover, often when I did think I knew what was going on I was mistaken. This feeling of being caught up in a rapidly shifting and somewhat puzzling situation is an inescapable characteristic of the game of go. This, of course, is another of the many ways in which playing go is like living life. Hopefully, with time and experience you begin to get some idea of what is going on in life. You recognize more of the actual opportunities facing you and you get a more realistic idea of what you are likely to be able to do in particular situations. Plus you also develop a better sense of what to expect from others.

Lately we’ve all been dealing with a host of realities we had not really been expecting though we knew such things were possible. It is very frustrating, not unlike playing an even game against a player who is much stronger than you. The new restrictions on living are too much like being told you can play a game of go but you have to hold the stones two inches above the board, drop them, and not move them afterwards. It would be hard to enjoy playing that way just as it is hard to enjoying living the way we have to now. Actually, the present situation has made playing go seem more like a very orderly activity—certainly one that involves virtually no frustrations. The lack of clarity about what is really going on in a game is now rather comforting in comparison with just living life.

photo by Phil Straus; photo art by Chris Garlock

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Your Move/Readers Write: More applause for AGA Statement on Injustice

Ven, 26/06/2020 - 22:06

“Add my applause to the AGA statement on injustice,” writes Steven Burrall. “Even though Go players are a very nice bunch of people and perhaps need to hear the message less than members of most organizations, I think it is a great time for all organizations to publicly affirm the principles that are now building momentum to correct persistent inequities in racial justice.  Anyone who has done work for the AGA knows that there was no waste of money and resources in calling attention to the issue; a volunteer stepped up to write an excellent statement and I appreciate it.”

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Gotham Go back in action

Ven, 26/06/2020 - 00:18
photo courtesy Peter Armenia

The Gotham Go Group was back in action — safely — on Tuesday at the Hungarian Pastry Shop.

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50 years aGO — June 1970

Ven, 26/06/2020 - 00:12

Keith Arnold, hka, with Patrick Bannister

On June 4 the Nihon Kiin Igo Festival was held.  There were a variety of events, but the greatest excitement was created by the 2nd place finish in the All-Japan Ladies Amateur Championship of an 11-year-old prodigy, Ashida Isoko (pictured)  She would enter the pro ranks in 1975. Today she’s a 6d player with Kansai Ki’in. Her biggest tournament victory so far was taking 1st place in the Kakusei in 1985.

On June 9, veteran player Hashimoto Utaro completed his victory in the Asahi Pro Best Ten (picture) with three straight wins over Kato Masao. (game records: Game 1; Game 2; Game 3).  He held off other young players – Rin Kaiho, Ishida Yoshio and Otake Hideo in the course of this triumph.

Go Review reports that William Pinckard returned to Japan and was furthering his go studies at Iwamoto’s Go Salon and had achieved 2 dan.

Finally, on June 14, the North American Honinbo match was held via telephone.  New York’s Takao Matsuda turned back the challenge of the West Coast’s Shigeo Matsubara.

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AGA President Andy Okun on the AGA’s Statement on Injustice

Gio, 25/06/2020 - 02:49

As the president of the American Go Association, I too am worried about the ways in which our members are affected by current events like Covid-19 as well as ongoing injustice. I am supportive of the recent efforts by the Board and the Code of Conduct committee to address these crises and proud of our members for their ongoing dedication to improving the community.

After hearing and reading different responses from the community, including letters to the editor in the E-Journal and conversations with different AGA leaders, I feel it is important to once again emphasize the AGA’s position: we welcome all people, regardless of race, ethnicity, sex, gender, age, or other creed. In this moment, it is particularly important to recognize the uniquely difficult experiences of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC). We have made strides in the last few years in making our community more welcoming to women; now it is past time for us to make a concerted effort to redress the lack of representation from BIPOC.

I also want to make clear that the AGA sponsors and runs the E-Journal as a journalistic publication covering the Go community, and as such gives the E-Journal maximum flexibility to apply its own journalistic ethics and to cover all points of views, even when the AGA may not agree with some of the sentiments expressed. We will work to make clear when something published in the EJ is intended to be a statement of the AGA and/or its leadership, since some readers may not be fully aware of the distinction between the E-Journal and the AGA, leading to confusion, for which we deeply apologize.

We as an organization always have room to grow, particularly in regards to being welcoming to people of color, and the recent dialogue has served to emphasize that. Many members reached out to thank us or share their support after the publication of our statement on injustice; we could not do it without you. We appreciate your patience as we learn from our mistakes and as we evaluate how we can do a better job of handling issues like this in the future.

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The 2020 New York Youth Open to take place online July 25

Mer, 24/06/2020 - 06:26

New York Youth Open is taking place online this year. “We are all Go thirsty while staying at home,” says AGA Vice President of Development Stephanie Yin 1 dan professional, “So we want to provide opportunities for Go players to play serious Go games.” This time, all youth players who want to improve their Go skills are welcomed to join!

The New York Youth Open (NYYO) is a 4-round open youth tournament hosted by the New York Go Association (NYGA) for all young players at all levels who are under 18 years old. Prizes are awarded in all divisions. Starting in 2017, the NYYO provides easy access to high standard formal tournaments. Young Go players improve their skills and gain experience through participating in NYYO, which prepares them for competing in bigger stages.

The NYYO will take place on Saturday, July 25. There will be four non-handicapped games starting at 12:00 ET. Top three players in each division will receive trophies and certificates, and every player who completes all rounds will receive a one-month FREE subscription (worth $9.99) for NYIG_Go YouTube class membership. More information can be found here: https://www.ny-go.org/youtube-memberships

Registration will be open until July 20, 2020. For registration and more information about the NYYO please visit: https://www.ny-go.org/2020-nyyo

report by Stephanie Yin, Felipo Jian

2020 NYYODownload
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