American Go E-Journal

MLily Cup: Ryan Li 1P loses to a friend, encourages enjoyment of go

Thursday August 24, 2017

fullsizeoutput_be2Li Xuanhao 6P prevailed in Thursday afternoon’s top 16 match against Ryan Li 1P, who lost by resignation. “Li Xuanhao has been on a winning streak,” Stephanie Yin 1P says. “He has momentum.” It was a match between friends; Yin and Li Xuanhao grew up together, and he and Ryan Li spent time quite a bit of time together during the previous MLily Cup rounds. However, Ryan Li says it didn’t affect the match, and that when friends face off in tournament games they play the board and not each other. Despite his loss, Li feels good about the match. “One thing I can say after playing this game is that I don’t feel that he’s much stronger than me,” Li explains. “He’s definitely stronger and he won today, but I feel like the gap between us is not big; I think I definitely need more tournament experience.” Li looks forward to future competitions, and would like to continue to represent North American in international tournaments with the full support of the AGA. “I’m excited to see Ryan test himself against the best players in the world.” AGA President Andy Okun says. “He is a great inspiration to folks working to promote go at every level outside of Asia.” Li isn’t only interested in high level competition; he’d like to see more people play go at all strengths. “One thing I want people to know is that go isn’t hard,” Li says. “There is so much to learn and enjoy at every level, and beginners should not be intimidated.” He emphasizes that players think too much about the set theory and too many unnecessary rules, and he thinks that a big takeaway from the recent successes of AI programs is that nothing in go is set. There are no joseki. You don’t have to save all your groups. “It really should be enjoyed,” Li concludes. “Go is not hard. Just play.”
photo: Ryan Li 1P during the opening of his top 16 game against Li Xuanhao 6P
report/photo by Karoline Li, EJ Tournaments Bureau Chief