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Member’s Edition: Lessons with Kaz: Common Mistakes

Mar, 23/06/2020 - 07:00

Download SGF File

Published in the June 23, 2020 edition of the American Go E-Journal.

This is a game between 1 kyu players.

In this lesson I’d like to emphasize the importance of learning a basic shape and a basic move. This is because if you learn them, you can use them in many other situations.

This commentary has a lot of useful information in the variations. So please be sure to check all the variations.

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.


Your Move/Readers Write: Reactions to the AGA’s Statement on Injustice

Mar, 23/06/2020 - 00:36

NOTE FROM THE EDITOR: The letters below have been edited from correspondence sent to the E-Journal in response to the recently-published “Statement on Injustice from the AGA Code of Conduct Committee.” This note is in response to concerns raised by membership and leadership regarding publication of the letters. As editor of the E-Journal, I believe strongly that we should not ignore controversy in our community and that it’s important to have these conversations. Therefore, we publish most letters to the editor in excerpted or edited form, except where nongermane or duplicative. The E-Journal has long been a staple of the American Go community and AGA leadership often works closely with EJ staff;  however, the stories within do not explicitly express the views of AGA leadership,unless otherwise noted. On this selection of letters to the editor, this distinction has been noted, and this will be made clear in all future publications of letters to the editor.
Chris Garlock, Managing Editor 

“The AGA’s recent “Statement on Injustice from the AGA Code of Conduct Committee” was really outstanding!” writes Aaron Julian Congo. “As an African American AGA member I wanted to thank you for the statement.”

“This statement and its pandering to political correctness and its virtue signaling is contemptible,” wrote Anthony Lizotte. “Go players are welcoming and decent people for the most part. Good conduct, sportsmanship and polite interactions are expected at all AGA events regardless of skin pigmentation. The AGA has limited funds and resources, please do not waste time discussing a non-existent issue. If people really feel strongly about getting more people of color to play go, it is as simple as going to a black neighborhood and starting up a go club at a school, church, or library. And this I would strongly encourage and applaud.”

“Is white not a color?” wonders Trevor Snyder. “Just say minorities if you’re going to reference a specific ethnic group. Race and ethnicity are not synonymous. Until we educate ourselves, there will always be a divide and until you can communicate appropriately there will always be ignorance. Thank you for your attempt to be mindful but please choose your language adequately.”

NOTE: The opinions expressed in letters to the editor are not necessarily those of the American Go Association.


The Power Report: Korea dominates opening rounds of 25th LG Cup; Iyama makes good start Honinbo defence; Iyama leads Meijin League; Kisei S League starts

Mar, 23/06/2020 - 00:25

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Korea dominates opening rounds of 25th LG Cup

After a gap of two months caused by the shutdown to stop the spread of the coronavirus Covid-19, professional go activity resumed in Japan in June with the holding of two major events. On June 1, the 25th LG Cup King of Go, a Korean-sponsored international tournament, started its opening round. With international travel restrictions still in effect throughout north Asia, the games were played on the Net. Moreover, the 16 games were spread over three days, presumably to ensure there was no overcrowding in the local venues. This year Korean players did well in the international qualifying tournament, also held on the Net, so half of the 32 players in the first round were Korean. They were joined by nine players from China, five from Japan, and two from Chinese Taipei. Each game featured a Korean player. With 18 players last year, China scored ten wins in the first round; with two fewer players, Korea did almost as well this year, winning nine games. Japan had two more players than last year, thanks to Son Makoto and Onishi Ryuhei winning seats in the qualifying tournament, but, like Chinese Taipei, were unable to pick up a win. Onishi came closest, losing by just half a point. As an elementary-school pupil, Onishi spent some time studying in a Korean dojo, and he remembered that his opponent, Lee Taehyun, often reviewed his games for him.

   In the second round, Korea won six games to China’s two, but one of the Chinese wins went to Ke Jie, so Korea won’t be counting its chickens just yet. The next round will be played in November.

   Games were played at the headquarters of the respective go associations. Players were spread out to maintain social distancing and there were extra cameras, so that the opposing countries could monitor the playing room. With no opponent on the other side of the go board, players were able to dispense with their masks. The time allowance is three hours each, followed by byo-yomi of 45 seconds x five times. Komi is 6.5. There is no break for lunch.

Round 1

(June 1)  Byun Sangil 9P (Korea) (W) beat Murakawa Daisuke 9P (Japan) by resig.; Kang Dongyun 9P (Korea) (W) beat Kyo Kagen 8P (Japan) by resig.; Park Junghwan 9P (Korea) (W) beat Ichiriki Ryo 8P (Japan) by resig.; Lee Donghoon 9P (Korea) (B) beat Son Makoto 7P (Japan) by resig.; Lee Taehyun 7P (Korea) (B) beat Onishi Ryuhei 5P (Japan) by half a point; Shin Minjoon 9P (Korea) (B) beat Wang Yuanjun 9P (Chinese Taipei) by resig.

(June 2) Tang Weixing 9P (China) (B) beat Kim Jiseok 9P (Korea) by resig.; Lian Xiao 9P (China) (B) beat Lee Younggu 9P (Korea) by resig.; Yang Dingxin 9P  (China) (B) beat Seol Hyunjoon 5P (Korea) by resig.; Ke Jie 9P (China) (B) beat Park Kunho 4P (Korea) by resig.; Hong Kipyo 8P (Korea) (B) beat Li Xuanhao 5P by resig.

(June 3) Zhao Chenyu 8P (B) beat Choi Jeong 9P (Korea) by resig.; Ding Hao 5P (China) (W) beat Park Seunghwa 8P (Korea) by resig.; Shin Jinseo 9P (Korea) (W) beat Fan Yunro 8P (China) by resig.; Gu Jihao 9P (China) (W) beat Kim Sanghyun 2P (Korea) by 4.5 points.

Round 2 (June 5, 8)

(June 5) Kang (W) beat Tang by resig.; Lee (B) beat Lian by resig.; Shin Minjoon (B) beat Ding by resig.; Yang (W) beat Lee by resig.

(June 8) Ke (W) beat Shin Jinseo by resig.; Park (W) beat Hong by resig.; Byun (W) beat Zhao by resig.; Weon (W) beat Gu by 1.5 points. 

Taking Shibano’s temperature

   If official go activity as such in Japan resumed on June 1 with the LG Cup Net games, the first pre-virus old-style face-to-face game was played on June 2 and 3. This was the first game of the 75th Honinbo title match and, despite fears about too many unplayed title games piling up, it was only a couple of weeks behind schedule. It was held, as originally planned, at the Tokiwa Hotel in Kofu City, Yamanashi Prefecture, but minus all the “trimmings.” Usually securing a title-match game is a coup for a provincial city or town, and the local dignitaries and notable go players do their best to make a big occasion of it. They stage an elaborate welcome party for the players and their large “entourage” of go officials and reporters and also hold side events, such as tournaments for children, public commentaries on the title game, and sightseeing for the players. None of that took place this time, but at least the face-to-face game got played, though everyone wore masks and had their temperatures checked. 

Iyama makes good start Honinbo defence

   Shibano drew black in the nigiri, but the game was dominated by Iyama. He showed excellent judgment in deciding that he could afford to sacrifice a large group. Shibano resigned after 182 moves.

   The second game was originally scheduled to be held in the Kokura Castle Garden in Kita-Kyushu City, but it was switched to the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo (I haven’t seen an explanation of the reason). It was played on June 13 and 14; taking black, Iyama won by resignation after 143 moves.

   The third game will be played at the Takarazuka Hotel in Takarazuka City on June 22 and 23.

Iyama leads Meijin League

   Iyama Yuta and Shibano Toramaru have just started their first best-of-seven title match, but the chances look good there will a second one in the autumn, as Iyama, on 5-0, has kept his sole lead in the 45th Meijin League. At present, the main threat to him would seem to be Ichiriki Ryo 8P, the only player with only one loss. However, he still has four games to go and his loss was to Iyama, so he will need outside help to catch up. Incidentally, after losing every game in the Honinbo League, Yamashita finally picked up his first win in the Meijin League. Results since my last report follow. 

(June 4) Hane Naoki Gosei (W) beat Rin Kanketsu 8P by 5.5 points. 

(June 8) Yamashita Keigo 9P (W) beat Cho U 9P by 11.5 points; Iyama Yuta Kisei (W) beat Hane by resig.

(June 11) Kono Rin 9P (W) beat Kyo Kagen 8P by half a point. 

Kisei S League starts   

   The first game in the 45th Kisei S League was played on June 11. It was between the players promoted from the 44th A League. Ichiriki Ryo (W) beat Cho U by resig.


Sanno Hirotaka 9P retired as of May 29. He was born on May 29, 1940 in Hiroshima Prefecture. In 1952, he became a disciple of Segoe Kensaku, Hon. 9P. He made 1-dan in 1957 and reached 9-dan in 1979. He reached the landmark of 500 wins in 2006. He made instruction tours of Europe and the US in 1964. He is a fan of Shusaku and contributed a number of game commentaries to “Invincible.”


Your Move/Readers Write: Timing is important

Sab, 20/06/2020 - 05:44

“It’s not so helpful to suggest folks tune into a Twitch broadcast ‘tonight’ when the E-Journal comes out many hours after said broadcast has finished,” writes Rick Rubenstein. “Perhaps you should get into the habit of announcing these in the prior day’s journal instead.”
Our apologies; that commentary — Golden Panda Cup, Iyama Yuta 9p (W) vs Mutsuura Yuta 7p (B), with Michael Redmond 9p – is available here. Tomorrow night (Sunday, June 21) at 8p EDT, Redmond will do another live commentary on the AGA’s Twitch channel, this one on a 1939 game between Go Seigen and Kitani Minoru.


Go and Math Academy in Chicago to offer Go Game Based Math Learning online summer program

Ven, 19/06/2020 - 20:23

Contact the Go and Math Academy at with any questions. This online program will be lead by Xinming Guo, AGF Teacher of the Year 2015.


Register now for Go Game Based Math Learning online workshop on June 24th

Ven, 19/06/2020 - 20:17

Xinming Guo, AGF Teacher of the Year in 2015, will be teaching an online workshop on Go and math learning on Wednesday June 24th from 3:30 to 5:30 PM central time. The workshop is sponsored by National Louis University and Guo’s Go and Math Academy.


Candidates finalized for AGA board seats

Gio, 18/06/2020 - 19:21

Candidates in the Eastern region are Justin Teng and Stephanie Yin. The contest for the At-Large seat is between Darrell Ashworth, Ted Terpstra, and Varma Ashish. Sole candidates for the central and western regions are Lisa Scott and Christian Saenz respectively. Look for your email ballots with instructions for online voting in early July.


AGA Seeks player for 15th Korea Prime Minister’s Cup

Gio, 18/06/2020 - 19:18

With no US Open tournament on which to base eligibility, the AGA will hold an online qualifier to select one representative to the 15th Korea Prime Minister’s Cup, which will be held online this year (Tygem) throughout August. Any AGA amateur member who is a US Citizen and rated 6d+ may participate. Please respond to no later than Wednesday, June 24 to participate in the event. 


San Diego Go Club Plays On

Gio, 18/06/2020 - 19:16

The San Diego Go Club has been barred from its coffee house where it has met once a week on Tuesdays, from 7-11 p.m., for more than 25-years due to the Coronavirus, but the go players still compete. Local and more afield go players play on KGS on Tuesdays and simultaneously talk and see each other on the Discord app. The average online attendance is actually more than was showing up at the coffee house.

The Ninth Annual San Diego Go Championship was supposed to occur earlier this year, but when face-to-face competition was impossible, the club decided to have a free 5-round tournament online on KGS, in the San Diego Go Club room. Competition started three-weeks ago by 24-players (7-dan to 22-kyu) – more than half of whom are youth.. They will play one game a week for four weeks. The last round will be face-to-face whenever that is possible. There are no cash prizes, but the winner of the Open will have his name engraved on the club’s permanent plaque and win a trophy. Previous winners include Mark Lee (10-dan), Ari Saito (7-dan), Leran Zou (7-dan) and Yi Wang (6-dan).

After 3-rounds, Yixian Zhou 6d is the only undefeated player. In the Handicap section, four players remain undefeated: Anna Zhou 16k, Angelina Zhao 8k, Michael Sanders 7k, and Arunas Rudvalis 6k.

The San Diego Go Club has petitioned the AGA Board to allow this online competition to have its games AGA rated.The AGA Board is still deciding, but players are happy to have some meaningful competition none-the-less.

The 3rd annual California State Go Championship is still on the SDGC’s schedule, for the Saturday and Sunday after Thanksgiving. If face-to-face playing is not possible by then, the tournament will be held online, so that there will be a 2020 California Go Champion as well as an U16 girl and an U16 boy Champion. Everyone can compete, but only California residents can win the titles.

-report by Ted Terpstra


Statement on Injustice from the AGA Code of Conduct Committee

Mer, 17/06/2020 - 19:35

The American Go Association shares the communal outrage at the inequality and injustice suffered by so many minority groups, and particularly by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. Racism and racial inequality are anathema to the inclusive mission of our organization. The American Go Association stands behind its mission to foster inter-cultural and international goodwill through Go-related activities. Current events have prompted us to consider how we can be more conscious of the different experiences that shape our members’ lives, and reminded us of our priority to listen and learn from each other, and to welcome all into our community.  

While we are a diverse community in many ways, we recognize that we have far more work to do to make our community equally welcoming to everyone. The experiences of people of color matter deeply to us, and we welcome any feedback so that we can learn how we can do better. The creation of the AGA Code of Conduct between 2015 and 2018 was catalyzed by the experiences that members shared with us, and we want the structure that it created to be a forum where experiences can continue to be shared in a way that helps us grow and become better as an organization. However, we realize we cannot place this burden on people of color alone. We ask every member of our community for help in becoming more aware of and addressing inequalities and injustices that exist in our community. You can contact the Code of Conduct Committee at any time at or 240-513-7825. 

We understand that words are not enough. The AGA board will take up issues of diversity and inclusion at it’s upcoming June 28 meeting, where concrete actions can be initiated to improve our organization in this regard. I am happy to present your ideas to the board as Coordinator for Diversity and Inclusion (email, or you can submit suggestions through the Code of Conduct Committee as described above. As a member you can listen into the meeting and observe the development of these initiatives in real time. You can also see a summary of the meeting in the posted minutes, available at, and in the EJournal.  To join the June 28 board meeting, please email for call-in information. 


AGA May Board Meeting and Upcoming Meeting June 28

Mar, 16/06/2020 - 17:40

In the regularly scheduled May 2020 meeting of the AGA Board of Directors, the board discussed the continued impact of COVID-19 on the go community, including forthcoming recommendations to continue to minimize or adjust in person go play given COVID-19 related health concerns and re-evaluation of the possibility of rating certain online games. They also approved the 2021FY budget, discussed virtual activities that could be offered as a “mini-congress,” and reviewed a proposal for a go map application.  You can find the minutes of that meeting here.  
You can find the minutes of the April special meeting (convened to decide whether or not to cancel the 2020 US Go congress) here.  The summary of that meeting was previously published and can be found here.  

The AGA Board has added an additional meeting on June 28, 2020.  The topics of discussion include the annual report, online events for early August, rank certificate program, ratings, AGA privacy policy, conflict of interest policy, and long-term goals and priorities.  For more information, you can find the detailed agenda here.

Are you an AGA member interested in listening in to the meeting?  Please contact the Chairperson at for call-in information.

Are you interested in commenting on past board meeting minutes?  You can submit your comments here, and they’ll be available to the entire board and relevant officers. Past minutes are available here.


Member’s Edition: Guo Juan 5P on a 2-3 Dan Game

Mar, 16/06/2020 - 07:00

Download SGF File

Commentary: Guo Juan 5P
Game Editor: Myron Souris
Published in the June 16, 2020 edition of the American Go E-Journal

Guo Juan’s commentary here is a double bonus. The main line covers the strategic aspects throughout a game between 2-3 dan players. A separate variation covers many key aspects you should know about a common modern corner shape.

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!


Tonight: Redmond on Mutsuura Yuta 7P vs Iyama Yuta Kisei, Honinbo, Tengen (9P)

Dom, 14/06/2020 - 21:05

Tune in to the AGA’s Twitch channel at 8p tonight for Michael Redmond 9Ps live commentary on the “Golden Panda Cup” tournament game between Mutsuura Yuta 7P and Iyama Yuta Kisei, Honinbo, Tengen (9P). Hosted by Pandanet, the tournament setup is similar to Nongshim in that there are three teams of five players, and player 1 from team A plays team B, winner plays team C, etc. with the winning player continuing into the next round and losing teams supplying the next player. Mutsuura was a player in the Shibano (Meijin, Oza) team and Iyama was the captain of the Iyama team. This was game 5 of the tournament, and Mutsuura 7P already had 3 wins. He took out former Gosei Kyo Kagen in round 2, and continued to beat Xie Imin and Fujisawa Rina in 3rd and 4th rounds. The Iyama and Ichiriki teams had lost two players each while the Shibano team was untouched. “The Iyama team apparently figured they needed their top player to stop Mutsuura and maybe hoped Iyama could take it away from there,” says Redmond. After winning this game Mutuura was the MVP, called the Golden Panda in this tournament.


Nominations for AGA Board of Directors elections closing, eastern and at-large seats heavily contested

Dom, 14/06/2020 - 17:46

Nominations are coming to a close June 15th and the race in the Eastern region is heating up. Three candidates are running including professional Stephanie Yin, incumbent Gurujeet Khalsa and top player Justin Teng. The contest for the At-Large seat is also active with Darrell Ashworth, incumbent Ted Terpstra and Varma Ashish running, Things are a bit quieter elsewhere with incumbents Lisa Scott in the central region and Christopher Saenz in the west running unopposed. All chapters should have received a preliminary voting rights count through the AGA chapters mailing list. Please check your membership and chapter status for recent expirations. Questions and queries should be sent to

-report by Arnold Eudell


AGA seeks players for the 3rd Wu Qingyuan Cup World Women Weiqi Tournament

Ven, 12/06/2020 - 16:04

American and Canadian women players 5D and stronger are invited to submit their names by June 19 for a chance to represent North America in the third Wu Qingyuan Cup. In light of the global COVID-19 situation, the event will take place on-line. Dates have yet to be determined, but likely sometime in July or August. North America and Europe have each been invited to send a team of four players, pro or amateur, to the event. The standard AGA and CGA eligibility rules will apply. The tournament will continue with semifinals for the top finishers. Please submit to with questions or entry.  


Go Spotting: Beyond the Visible – Hilma Af Klimt

Mer, 10/06/2020 - 21:09

Larry Russ reports that in this documentary about the Swedish artist and mystic Hilma Af Klint, from about 1:15 to 1:30 at the beginning of the documentary there is a Go board with bowls in the room where the speaker is being filmed. The documentary can be rented to view online here.


Registration open for New York Go League’s second month of competition

Mer, 10/06/2020 - 20:45

After a successful first month, the New York Go Honor Society team is ready to announce the New York Go League’s second month of competition. “The league has been operating at a participant count of over 80 players and we hope that more will be inclined to join,” says Patrick Zhao, VP of NYGHS. “Registration for the league is and will continue to be completely free for the foreseeable future.” If you are able to commit to two games per week and would like to participate, register here. “We are also proud to announce that although we cannot prize extensively, we will be awarding the top player in every division 50% off NYIG trial classes,” continued Zhao. “Despite it being a relatively small prize, we believe that it corresponds with our motivation of creating this league with the intention of giving people a chance to play competitively and develop their skills in the game.”


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

Mar, 09/06/2020 - 07:00

Download SGF File

Black to play. White’s position is so poor, but has plenty of space. How to attack?
Published in the June 9, 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


Member’s Edition: Albert Yen 7d on USA vs China

Mar, 09/06/2020 - 07:00

Download SGF File

White: Albert Yen 7d (USA)
Black: Wei Xiaolin 7d (China)
Commentary: Albert Yen 7d
Game Editor: Myron Souris
Published in the June 9, 2020 edition of the American Go E-Journal

As an encore for his incredible round 1 game commentary of the US-China Internet Go Tournament, Albert gives us a similarly thrilling commentary of his round 2 game. After taking an early solid lead, Albert maintains an uncompromising approach all the way to the razor thin result at the end of the game.

Albert gives this background for the game: “My opponent is Wei Xiaolin, who is a Chinese 7 dan. Unlike in America, Chinese amateur 7 dan can only be obtained by winning a national amateur tournament, so most Chinese 7 dans have pro-level strength. In fact, Wei was even eligible to become a pro due to his outstanding performance as an amateur player (though he opted to maintain his amateur status).

As a funny side note, I actually met Wei at the 2018 World Student Pair Go Championship in Tokyo. We didn’t talk at the time but I witnessed his pair lose on time, because he “couldn’t see the clock and thought they still had time” (I almost laughed out loud). Thus, while I knew Wei is the heavy favorite in this game I thought I would still have a chance.

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.


Redmond launches new AlphaGo video commentary series

Mar, 09/06/2020 - 01:00

In the first days of 2017, rumors started to ricochet around the online go community. A mysterious online player had been making huge waves by defeating dozens of top professionals on go sites in Asia in recent days. “Master” first appeared on December 29, 2016, registering from Korea. Achieving 30 consecutive wins against many former and current world go champions, Master defeated Park Junghwan four times and Ke Jie twice. After that, Master appeared on a different go site and logged another 30 consecutive wins. That made it 60 games in a row with no losses. Was AlphaGo the Master?

Michael Redmond had been on holiday when the games were being played but word had of course spread swiftly through the professional community about the mysterious online player racking up win after win. “That kind of record was simply mindblowing,” he says, “and even before I got the game files off the internet it was clear that something new was happening. Anyone – or anything – that could win 60 straight games could probably give a 2-stone handicap, and these were top professionals who were losing to a player no-one had ever heard of.” The 60 Master games were not only evidence that AlphaGo had attained a whole new level of play, but an incredibly rich “treasure trove for professionals,” says Redmond.

Working again with American Go E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock, Redmond is launching a new series of videos in which he’ll focus on the key points of each of the 60 Master games in brief videos, most of which will be 15 minutes or less. The commentaries will also be the basis for Volume 2 of AlphaGo to Zero: The Complete Games, “as well as a chance to introduce viewers to the professional go players who tackled Master,” notes Garlock.

The first video will be released on Tuesday, June 9 on Redmond’s YouTube channel and the series will be linked on the AGA’s YouTube channel  as well. Stephen Hu is producing the series.

The human player in this first game is 15-year-old Pan Tingyu 1P, who finished #1 in the Chinese professional qualification tournament in 2015. Pan has Black and plays a modern version of the mini-Chinese, and AlphaGo shows a new move in the upper left corner, which has since become the standard move for White in the Chinese opening pattern.

NOTE: The AlphaGo vs AlphaGo series, now up to Game 41, will continue through Game 55. 


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