American Go E-Journal » 2020 » July

Frank Luo named AGF Teacher of the Year

Thursday July 30, 2020

Frank and his daughter Alice promoting go at a local school.

Frank Luo has been chosen as the AGF Teacher of the Year. The traditional prize, of a free trip to congress, will have to be delayed until next year but the AGF wanted to celebrate Luo’s accomplishments now. Luo will give a talk on the AGA’s Twitch channel on Sunday, Aug. 2 at 4 pm EDT.

“I am so honored to receive the 2020 AGF Teacher of the Year Award,” writes Luo. “Thank you all, especially our parents for supporting their kids playing this educational board game.

“Just like many other go teachers, I started teaching with a desire to connect with my own kids by playing go. Over time, it became a way to share this fascinating game with other families in the local community of Mason, Ohio. In the winter of 2007, I took over an enrichment activity that a few kids, including my own son, had enjoyed greatly. Time flies, it has been more than 12 years now and our go program has had dozens of students since then. With the help of other parents, volunteers, and Huaxia Chinese school in Mason, Ohio, our program has expanded from one class with four students to two classes in the winter of 2019. Now, we have several different levels of groups of young go players active all year round. 2020 has been a year with much uncertainty, so we moved all classes online. We not only have one hour of instruction time, but we also have three playing times each week using Zoom where kids play games and can also socialize with each other. Playing time also serves as a reminder to play go regularly. We teach, we learn, we play with each other, and we play with friends from other parts of the country and other parts of the world.

“We have had all kinds of go activities in the past, including meetups at the libraries, go pizza parties, online team challenge matches, and annual local tournaments that attract players from other cities in Ohio and neighboring states. We organize our students to participate in all AGA/AGHS activities including the School Team Tournament (we always have more than one team), NAKC, Young Lion’s Cup and AGA Youth Go Camp. Our students have performed very well in these activities and received many medals and trophies. We compete with players across the United State and it is fun.

“Several years ago, with the help of my friend and go parent, Tong, we started publishing stories in our community’s newsletter and we started to gain recognition in locally. We also began introducing go to local elementary schools and universities with game nights and many other activities. Many local kids have gotten to know this fascinating board game as a result.

“I try to integrate independent thinking, math concepts, sport spirit, culture, and language elements into my lessons. I hope playing go becomes part of our young kids’ life when they grow up, enjoying the ebb and flow of the game and life. Teaching go has also enriched my own life. Every teaching moment and every event challenges me to do better so our kids can do better as well. We have been thinking about creating a grade level online tournament for double digit kyu players and we are looking for other go teachers who are interested in this idea.

“I appreciate the AGF and the AGA’s commitment to go and look forward to working together to promote go in the future,” said Luo. -Paul Barchilon, EJ Youth Editor. Photo by Frank Luo.


2020 e-Go Congress registration closes; store announced

Thursday July 30, 2020

The 2020 e-Go Congress closed registration the evening of July 29, with 941 people from 52 countries officially registered to attend. Congress organizers urge all registrants to fill out the check-in form as soon as possible, and at least by 8pm on 7/31 or risk having their registration cancelled.

Anyone who missed registration but still hopes to participate can join the waitlist here. Individual TDs may be able to let people from the waitlist join their tournament. There are still many events that will be open for public viewing for those who are not able to play in the 2020 e-Go Congress tournaments.

Whether or not you plan to participate in the events, everyone is welcome to peruse the official 2020 e-Go Congress store:  At the store, you can find t-shirts (men’s, women’s, and children’s styles), mugs, lapel pins, canvas grocery bags, and masks, all with the 2020 e-Go Congress logo!

For more information, check out the congress website:  


The pandemic brings about the closing of the birthplace of the American Go Association

Tuesday July 28, 2020

by Roy Laird

In 1935, a German immigrant and a few of his friends met at Chumley’s, a speakeasy in the West Village, and founded The American Go Association. While the AGA lives on, it has sadly come to light that the storied bar, host to many famous Village denizens and others over the years, has succumbed to the pandemic. Click here to see the New York Post story, which includes a wonderful historic photograph of go players there from 1942. (A meeting of The New York Go Club?) I’m pretty sure that Edward Lasker, the immigrant, who was also a noted chess player and the author of Go and Go-Moku, one of the first go books in English, is the gentleman playing the far game. Can’t resist bragging — I lost a game at nine stones to Lasker in the 1970’s when he had arranged for the NYGC to occupy the basement of The Marshall Chess Club. Can anyone out there identify any of the other players in the photograph?


2020 e-Go Congress Pro Events and Broadcast Schedule

Tuesday July 28, 2020

With the e-Go Congress starting in just a few days, the organizers have published the final list of Broadcast events and small group lessons with pros and strong amateurs.

Small-group sessions with pros and strong amateurs are available to registered attendees only (at a fee of $35 per event).  These sessions include game reviews and simuls with Myungwan Kim 9p, Yoonyoung Kim 8p, Mingjiu Jiang 7p, Yilun Yang 7p, Ryo Maeda 6p, Cathy Li 1p, Ryan Li 1p, Michael Chen 7d, and Yuan Zhou 7d.  Register here if you would like to participate in the e-Go Congress and be eligible to register for the small-group pro events.

The e-Go Congress will have a full schedule of broadcasts on Twitch, including game commentaries, pro lectures, public game reviews, a film screening, and the AGF Teacher of the Year Presentation. The schedule for those events is below (and on the e-Go Congress website,  Pros and strong amateurs offering these events include Michael Redmond 9p, Myungwan Kim 9p, Yoonyoung Kim 8p, Guo Juan 5p, Eric Lui 1p, Ryan Li 1p, and Inseong Hwang 7d.

While it doesn’t have a specific broadcast timeslot, this year’s e-Go Congress is also continuing the tradition of holding the Bob High Memorial Song and Poetry Contest.  Entries to the contest are due by 11pm EDT on Monday, August 3, and can be submitted here.  A panel of 3-5 judges will each read and rate all entries, and the top scoring entries will become the finalists.  The final winner will be selected by e-Go Congress attendees and viewers of the AGA’s Twitch channel.  

DateTimePro/Host/PresenterEvent (all on Twitch)
Saturday, 8/11pm-3pm EDTe-Go Congress OrganizersOpening Ceremony
Sunday, 8/24pm-5pm EDTFrank LuoAGF Teacher of the Year Presentation
5pm-6pm EDTRyan Li 1PLecture
6pm-7pm EDTInseong Hwang 8dLecture
Monday, 8/38pm-11pm EDTMyungwan Kim 9P and Brandon ZhouPandanet AGA City League board 3 commentary
Tuesday, 8/48pm-11pm EDTDavid KahnBeginners Introduction (20 mins)
Eric Lui 1P and Will LockhartTwitch Plays Go (1 hour)
The Surrounding GameFilm screening
Wednesday, 8/54pm-5pm EDTGuo Juan 5PGame review (public, entry by lottery)
8pm-11pm EDTInseong Hwang 8d and Cat MaiPandanet AGA City League board 2 commentary
Thursday, 8/64pm-5pm EDTGuo Juan 5PGame review (public, entry by lottery)
8pm-11pm EDTYoonyoung Kim 8PPair Go top board commentary
Friday, 8/74pm-5pm EDTGuo Juan 5PGame review (public, entry by lottery)
8pm-11pm EDTMichael Redmond 9PPandanet AGA City League board 1 commentary
Saturday, 8/84pm-5pm EDTGuo Juan 5PGame review (public, entry by lottery)
5pm-6pm EDTRyan Li 1PLecture
6pm-7pm EDTInseong Hwang 8dLecture
8pm-11pm EDTMyungwan Kim 9PTeam Relay Go commentary
Sunday, 8/91pm-3pm EDTe-Go Congress OrganizersClosing Ceremony

Registration for 2020 e-Go Congress closing tomorrow 7/29

Tuesday July 28, 2020

Registration for the 2020 e-Go Congress has continued to be strong, breaking all US Go Congress records. As of this writing, registration is at 772 people overall. However, registration will close on Wednesday, 7/29 at 8pm EDT so register now if you want to play! A waitlist will open when registration closes, but there’s no guarantee that those on the waitlist willet the chance to play. After registration, all registered attendees are required to fill out the check-in form if they would like to play in tournaments.

A few of the tournaments reached their capacity in the past few days, including: the Double-Digit Kyu Tournament with 120 registered and a growing waitlist, the Relay Go Tournament with 100 registered and a waitlist half again that length, and the 9×9 Tournament with 240 people and a dozen on the waitlist. The e-Go Congress Open – currently with 591 players – the Blitz Tournament – currently 258 players – and the Pair Go Tournament – currently 159 players not all of whom have partners – are still accepting registrations, but not for long, so get registered!


The Empty Board: Philosophical Reflections on Go #16

Saturday July 25, 2020

By William Cobb

Sitting around with way too much time on my hands and trying to think of something to do, I started thinking about go games in the old days. You may be familiar with this traditional Chinese poem:

Just one game they said,
And started to play.
That was yesterday.

For some reason it had never occurred to me that this doesn’t necessarily mean they were playing lots of games; it could still be the same game. The Japanese have some major title games where the players each have eight hours basic time so the games last two days. And there have been games in the old days much longer than that, such as the one in Kawabata’s The Master of Go. That one went on for months, though some of the time was supposedly a result of the sickness of one of the players.

But what would us normal players do with a lot more time? A good indication is the games we play on sites like DragonGo, where most games last at least a few weeks. Of course, that’s because the players are otherwise occupied. What if I started taking, say, fifteen minutes to make a move in a DragonGo game instead of the usual minute or two? I know what to think about: where are the weak stones, where are the open areas, where are the sente moves, where are the largest moves, what is the score, etc. I definitely do not sit and think about such things carefully. In fact, I’m sure a lot of my opponents never count the score; otherwise more of them would resign before the end of the game. I myself would be very embarrassed to lose by more than thirty points and not have resigned. Toward the end of such games, the one losing has no good moves. At any rate, I have decided to use the present situation as a golden opportunity to try really thinking about what is happening in my games. Maybe my winning percentage will go up, and almost certainly my enjoyment of the games will increase.

photo by Phil Straus; photo art by Chris Garlock


Redmond on AlphaGo vs AlphaGo Game 44 this Sunday

Saturday July 25, 2020

Tune in to the AGA’s Twitch channel at 8p Sunday night for Michael Redmond 9Ps live commentary on AlphaGo vs AlphaGo game 44. “It’s going to be wild,” says Redmond, “with two big groups that could have died in a trade and it’s not clear which is better or more important, various kos, and then suddenly it’s all over with the groups surviving, and a half point difference of course.” That’s 8p EDT this Sunday, July 26 on the AGA’s Twitch channel.


AGA seeking volunteers to serve on Committee for Diversity and Inclusion

Friday July 24, 2020

The American Go Association is looking for volunteers to serve on the newly-formed Committee for Diversity and Inclusion. The aim of this committee is to create and implement programs designed to increase the involvement and retention of underrepresented populations in the AGA go community. Programs currently being discussed include outreach to schools, pipeline grants, and community education, and we hope new committee members will bring their own ideas and enthusiasm for making a difference. 

Members of the committee should be able to commit to at least three hours per month, including attending a monthly virtual meeting, though members may invest more time on a project-by-project basis. 

If you are interested in joining the Committee, or if you have any questions, please contact Samantha Fede ( Interested parties should send a short statement (~100 words) on why they are interested in serving and should indicate they understand the expected time commitment.


2020 e-Go Congress registration deadline: Wednesday, July 29

Wednesday July 22, 2020

The upcoming e-Go Congress (August 1-9) is proving so popular that one tournament — Relay Go — has already reached capacity and another — the Double-Digit Kyu Tournament — is expected to do so in the next day or so. In order to ensure that the tournaments run smoothly, registration will close on Wednesday, July 29 at 9pm EDT. Both tournaments will have waitlists and anyone registered for the Congress will also have the opportunity to sign up for small group game reviews and simuls; watch for details soon.

With more than 550 already registered, the e-Go Congress “has surpassed our wildest dreams,” Congress Coordinator Lisa Scott told the EJ.   

As noted above, a waitlist will be available for all tournaments.  All registrants will receive a check-in form on July 28, which they must return by 9pm EDT July 31 in order to play in a tournament.  After check-in forms have been processed, folks who are waitlisted for closed tournaments will be notified if they can in fact play in the tournament. 


AGA elections closing August 1

Wednesday July 22, 2020

Voting for four board of director seats in the 2020 AGA Board Elections closes August 1. Everyone eligible should have received a ballot from Any questions, please contact