American Go E-Journal » 2022 » January

Registration for 2022 AGHS School Team Tournament Closing Soon

Monday January 31, 2022

“Reminder to register for the 2022 AGHS School Team Tournament! Registration closes on February 4th.” says AGHS Co-President Sophia Wang, “Students from the same school or educational institution can form teams of 3 to compete for their school and for prizes including t-shirts and plaques. There will be four rounds held over two Sundays, February 6th and 13th, at 10am and 1pm PST. See more details regarding eligibility and rules on the rules document and register here.”


The Power Report: International tournament for seniors; 77th Honinbo League; Meijin League; Sumire’s progress; Promotions/Retirements; Obituary: Kikuchi Yasuro

Monday January 31, 2022

By John Power, Japan Correspondent  for the E-Journal

International tournament for seniors

O Meien

   The final international event of 2021 was yet another special tournament for senior players, the 1004 Islands Shin-An International Senior Baduk Championship. Sixteen former top players took part, with eight players from the host country of Korea, three each from Japan and China, and two from Taiwan, though those two were actually the Nihon Ki-in players O Rissei and O Meien. The time allowance was just 30 minutes per player plus 30-second byo-yomi x 3; there were two rounds per day. The tournament was held on the net on December 21 and 22. Reaching the final were Yoo Changhyeok of Korea and O Meien. The latter took the lead early in the game, but Yu pulled off a late upset and won by half a point. First prize was 30 million won (about $25,000). O had to be content with half that. Results are given below, but full details for most of the games are not available to me. (All players are 9-dan.)

Round 1 (Dec. 21). Yoda Norimoto (Japan) beat Kim Jongsoo (Korea); Kim Yonghwan (Korea) beat Kobayashi Koichi (Japan); Yoo Changhyeok (Korea) beat O Rissei; Yu Bin (China) beat Seo Nun-uk (Korea); O Meien beat Cho Hoonhyun (Korea); Rui Naiwei (China) beat Kim Ilhwan (Korea); Seo Bongsoo (Korea) beat Takemiya Masaki (Japan); Nie Weiping (China) beat Choe Kyupeong (Korea).

Round 2 (Dec. 21). Yoda beat Kim Yonghwan; Yoo beat Yu; O (B) beat Rui by resig.; Seo beat Nie.

Semifinals (Dec. 22). Yu (B) beat Yoda by 2.5 points; O beat Seo on time.

Final (Dec. 22). Yu (B) beat O by half a point.   

77th Honinbo League

   As of the end of the year, with three rounds completed, Yo Seiki 8P of the Kansai Ki-in had the sole lead as the only undefeated player. 

(Nov. 1) Tsuruyama Atsushi 8P beat Sada Atsushi 7P by 3.5 points. 

(Nov. 12) Ichiriki Ryo Tengen (W) beat Kyo Kagen Judan by resig. 

(Nov. 23) Shibano Toramaru (Oza) (W) beat Motoki Katsuya 8P by resig.

(Dec. 2) Kyo Kagen Judan (B) beat Motoki Katsuya 8P by resig.; Yo Seiki 8P (B) beat Hane Naoki 9P by resig.

(Dec. 10) Yo (W) beat Ichiriki by resig.

(Dec. 13) Shibano (W) beat Tsuruyama by resig.

(Dec. 16) Hane (W) beat Sada by resig.

Meijin League

   The three vacant seats in the 47th Meijin League went to three 8-dans: Yo Seiki, Ida Atsushi, and Shida Tatsuya. The deciding games were all played on November 11. Shida (B) beat Kono Rin, who has been a regular in the league for many years, by resignation and will make his league debut. Ida (B) beat Xie Yimin 7P by 2.5 points, so once again the debut of a woman player in a major league has been put off (recognizing as “major” only the Meijin, Honinbo, and Kisei S Leagues). Ida, a former Honinbo challenger, will make his debut in the Meijin League. Yo (B) beat Fujita Akihiko 7P by resignation, so he made an immediate comeback after losing his place in the previous league. Results of games played last year follow.

(Dec. 3) Ichiriki Tengen (W) beat Ida Atsushi 8P by resig. 

(Dec. 9) Hane Naoki 9P (W) beat Motoki Katsuya 8P by half a point.

(Dec. 18) Yo Seiki 8P (W) beat Kyo Kagen Judan by resig.

(Dec. 20). Shida Tatsuya 8P (B) beat Yamashita Keigo 9P by 3.5 points.  

Sumire’s progress

This report follows on from my report published on November 10 and takes Sumire to the end of the year. Her final record was 43 wins to 18 losses, which put her in third place in the most-wins list after Ueno Asami on 54-25 and Kyo Kagen Judan on 44-21.

(Nov. 11) Sumire (B) lost to Suzuki Ayumi 7P by half a point (25th Women’s Kisei main tournament, round 2).

(Nov. 13) Sumire (B) beat Ueno Asami, Women’s Kisei, by 1.5 points (Women’s Brains Match, details given earlier in this report); Sumire (W) lost to Xie Yimin 7P by resig. (final of the Brains Match). These are both unofficial games.

(Nov. 18) Sumire (W) lost to Kaneko Maki 2P by 4.5 points (round 1, prelim., Teikei Cup Young Stars).

(Nov. 22) Sumire (B) beat Fujii Koki 1P by 4.5 points (prelim., 47th King of the New Stars)

(Nov. 29) Sumire (B) beat Kimu Shujun 9P by 3.5 points (Prelim. C, 78th Honinbo).

(Dec. 2) Sumire (B) beat Hoshiai Shiho 3P by resig. (Prelim. B, Women’s Meijin).

(Dec. 9) Sumire (B) beat Suzukawa Natsumi 1P by resig. (Prelim., 47th King of the New Stars). 

(Dec. 23) Sumire (W) beat Shimoji Gensho 7P by resig. (Prelim. C, 48th Meijin tournament).


To 2-dan (30 wins): Toyoda Hirohito (as of Nov. 12); Miura Taro (as of Nov. 26)

To 3-dan (40 wins): Kuwabara Shun (as of Nov. 23); Sakai Yuki (as of Dec. 24) 

To 4-dan: Sotoyanagi Sebun (50 wins, as of Dec. 7) 


Otake Hideo 9P, one of the top players of the second half of the 20th century, retired on December 15 after a go career of 65 years. He was born in Kita Kyushu City in Fukuoka Prefecture on May 12, 1942. He became a disciple of Kitani Minoru in 1951 and made 1-dan in 1956. He won his first title, the Nihon Ki-in No. One Position, in 1966 and monopolized it for the five years of its existence. He won the 14th Yomiuri Meijin title in 1975 and the 1st (1976), 3rd (1978), and 4th (1979) Asahi Meijin titles. He acquired the nickname of “the Meijin man” when he played in the Meijin title match nine times in the decade from 1975 to 1984. He and Rin Kaiho 9P, who was born in the same year, were great rivals and this period was called “the age of Otake and Rin.” He won a total of 48 titles, which is fifth best, including seven Gosei, five Judan, and one Oza among the top-seven titles, and five NHK Cups. A winning streak of six years in the Gosei earned him the title of Honorary Gosei. He also won two international titles, the 5th Fujitsu Cup in 1992 and the 6th TV Asia tournament in 1994. His career record is 1319 wins, 846 losses, 5 jigo, 1 no-contest. He served as chairman of the Nihon Ki-in board of directors from 2008 to 2012.

Chino Tadahiko 9P retired as of December 16. Chino was born in Chiba Prefecture on July 4, 1937. He became a disciple of Nakamura Yutaro 9P and made 1-dan in 1953. He reached 9-dan in 1983. He played twice in the Honinbo League.

Obituary: Kikuchi Yasuro

Kikuchi Yasuro, the leading amateur player of the second half of the 20th century and founder of the Ryokusei Igo Gakuen (Igo College), died of old age on November 3. Kikuchi was born in Tokyo in 1929. In 1948, he entered Senshu University and established himself as the top university player. In 1957, he won the 3rd Amateur Honinbo Championship; in all, he won it 13 times. In 1992, he won the 14th World Amateur Go Championship; he made five appearances in this tournament in all. He also won the Amateur Best Ten nine times. Winners of the Amateur Honinbo and the Amateur Best Ten got to play games with professionals, and, playing on a handicap of reverse komi or two stones, he enjoyed quite a good winning percentage. For example, taking black with a reverse komi of five, he beat Sakata Eio by eight points in 1957. In 1979, he founded the Ryokusei Igo Gakuen with the goal of giving children a healthy upbringing through go. It was not meant to be a training school for professionals, though about 20 of his pupils did become professionals, starting with Muramatsu Ryuichi 8P and including Yamashita Keigo, former Kisei, Aoki Shinichiro 9P, and his sister Kikuyo 8P. His last pupil to become a pro was Hoshiai Shiho 3P. I recall reading that when he was young, he consulted Segoe Kensaku 9P about whether he should become a professional. Segoe’s answer was that he had enough talent, but that he would be “just another 9-dan,” whereas as an amateur he would have a more illustrious career.

Tomorrow: 2021 stats


The Power Report: Iyama regains Oza title; The Teikei tournaments; Ueno wins Young Carp; Ida sets record in Crown title

Saturday January 29, 2022

By John Power, Japan Correspondent  for the E-Journal

Iyama regains Oza title

In contrast to his other recent title matches, Iyama never fell behind in the 69th Oza best-of-five. Rather, it was the titleholder, Shibano Toramaru, who had to play catch-up in the second game and then save a kadoban in the fourth. The final game, played on December 9, was the last title-match game of the year. Iyama got black in the nigiri. The game was very close and in the end was decided by a small slip in judgment by Shibano, who resigned after move 161.

With this win, Iyama regained the title that he lost to Shibano two years ago. He was also once again the holder of a quintuple crown. Of the top seven titles, he is missing just the Tengen and the Judan, but he has already been eliminated from the 60th Judan tournament, so there is no immediately prospect of his getting another grand slam.  Results follow (note that Black won all the games). Incidentally, the Go Weekly reporter worked out that during 2021 Iyama’s record in kadoban games (that is, games in which he could have lost a match) was eight successive wins. The Oza prize is 14,000,000 yen (about $123,000). This is Iyama’s 67th title.

Game 1 (Oct. 29). Iyama (B) by resig.; Game 2 (Nov. 12). Shibano (B) by resig.; Game 3 (Nov. 19). Iyama (B) by resig.; Game 4 (Dec. 3). Shibano (B) by resig.; Game 5 (Dec. 9). Iyama (B) by resig.

The Teikei tournaments

In 2021, three new tournaments were founded by one sponsor, the Teikei Corporation. This is actually a massive family of companies whose core business seems to be providing security services of various kind. The three tournaments are described below. 

The Teikei Cup New Stars Tournament is for players of 25 or under, as of April 1 of the tournament year (this date applies to the other two tournaments also). The top 12 players in a preliminary tournament qualify for two all-play-all six-player leagues, the winners of which meet in a best-of-three final. First prize is 10,000,000 yen (close to $88,000), the most generous of the three tournaments. Unusually for a Japanese tournament, the leagues were held at the rate of a game a day from December 20 to 25 (the 23rd was a rest day). In the A League, Shibano Toramaru tied on 4-1 with Ichiriki Ryo, but Shibano took precedence because he won their encounter in the league. Kyo Kagen Judan dominated the B League with a score of 5-0. Shibano and Kyo will meet in the final in March. 

The Teikei Cup Legends Tournament: for players 60 and above. Players start out in a preliminary tournament, but honorary titleholders and the top four players in the Women Legends (see below) are seeded into the main tournament, which is a standard knockout. In the 1st term, 17 players are in the main tournament. First prize is 5,000,000 yen.

The Teikei Cup Women Legends Tournament: for players 45 and older. First prize is 2,000,000 yen. Actually the 1st term of this tournament has already been completed.  Thirteen players took part in a knock-out tournament, with three of the players being seeded into the second round. In the semifinals, Aoki Kikuyo 8P (B) beat Hosaka Mayu 3-dan by 4.5 points (played on November 25) and Kato Tomoko 6P (W) beat Tsukuda Akiko 6P by resig. (December 2). In the final, held in the Ryusei Studio in the basement of the Nihon Ki-in on December 11, Aoki (W) beat Kato Tomoko by 4.5 points. All four of these players are seeded into the Legends Tournament.

Ueno wins Young Carp

The main tournament of the 16th Hiroshima Aluminum Cup Young Carp Tournament was held at the Hotel MyStays Hiroshima on November 20 and 21. In the final, Ueno Asami (B) beat Nishi Kengo 5P by resignation. Last year this tournament was won by Fujisawa Rina; this year it was the turn of her main rival in women’s go, Ueno. She didn’t get an easy draw, either; her defeated opponents, in order, were Otani Naoki 4P, Koike Yoshihiro 6P, recognized as one of the top young players, and Mutsuura Yuta 7P, who has played in the Meijin league. First prize is 3,000,000 yen (about $26,360).

Ida sets record in Crown title

Ida Atsushi 8P

This is a title open only to players at the Central Japan (Nagoya) branch of the Nihon Ki-in, who number about 50. The final of the 62nd Crown title was held in the Hodaka Hotel in Takayama City, Gifu Prefecture, on November 30. Taking black, Ida Atsushi 8P, the titleholder, beat the challenger Otake Yu 5P by resignation. Ida surprised his opponent by unveiling a new move in a large-scale corner fight in the opening; he said later that it was a move that AI doesn’t give and which he discovered for himself. It turns a seki into a winning capturing race for Black. Otake found a way to live but at the cost of having other stones come under severe pressure. After this opening, AI assessed Black’s winning chances at 90%. Ida’s own assessment was that he gained about five points. He has now held this title for six years in a row, which is a new record. First prize is 1,700,000 yen (just under $15,000).

Tomorrow: Choi wins 4th Go Seigen Cup; China wins Agon Kiriyama Cup play-off; Shibano wins Ryusei; Suzuki to challenge for Women’s Kisei; Kuksu Mountains World Championship


The Power Report: Iyama defends Meijin title; Han wins SGW Cup; Xie wins Women’s Brains Match; Seki wins Tengen

Friday January 28, 2022

By John Power, Japan Correspondent  for the E-Journal

46th Meijin; Iyama (r)

Iyama defends Meijin title

When Iyama Yuta Meijin survived a kadoban in the sixth game of the 46th Meijin title match (see my report of November 4), he caught up with the challenger, Ichiriki Ryo Tengen, for the second time. In effect, the best-of-seven was down to a one-off clash. The seventh game was played in the Imai Villa, a Japanese-style inn, in Kawazu City, Shizuoka Prefecture, on November 4 and 5. The nigiri was held again and Iyama drew black. Both sides played aggressively, but, perhaps because of the pressure of staking everything on this one game, Ichiriki made a slack move in the middle game. Iyama took full advantage of it and seized control of the game. Ichiriki resigned after move 129. This gave Iyama his second Meijin title in a row and his eighth overall. Notably, following his Honinbo title defense earlier in the year, it is the second successive best-of-seven in which he fell behind and had to make a comeback. That may show that keeping his place at the top is getting harder. Be that as it may, he remained the indisputable number one in Japan and also reached some impressive milestones. This is his 66th title (two more than Sakata Eio and only nine behind Cho Chikun). It is also his 27th big-three title, which is just two behind the record-holder—Cho Chikun, of course. Finally, he also maintained his quadruple crown (holding four of the top-seven titles). First prize is 30 million yen (about $263,600, at $1 = ¥113.8). 

Han wins SGW Cup

Han Zenki

The SGW Cup Golden Mean Tournament is a tournament open to Nihon Ki-in players from 31 to 60 who have not won a top-seven title or the Ryusei or Agon Kiriyama titles or this title itself. It follows the NHK format.

The modified Swiss System tournament for the top 16 players that concluded the 4th Cup was held at the Nihon Ki-in on November 6 and 7. The two undefeated players after three rounds met in a final. Han Zenki 8P (B) beat Okuda Aya 4P by 3.5 points after 310 moves.

Previous winners, in order, are: Rin Kanketsu 8P, Ko Iso 9P, and Kanazawa Hideo 8P. First prize is 2,000,000 yen (about $17,500). 

Xie wins Women’s Brains Match

The Women’s Brains Match is an invitational tournament for four players organized by the Fumakira company and held at the Fumakira Brains Park Hiroshima on November 13. In the first round, Xie Yimin 7P (W) beat Fujisawa Rina, Women’s Honinbo, by resignation and Nakamura Sumire 2P (B) beat Ueno Asami, Women’s Kisei, by 1.5 points. Incidentally, this was the first time Sumire had won a game against Ueno. In the final, Xie (B) beat Sumire by resig. The tournament followed the NHK format. Brains Park (using the English words) is the name of a research facility established by the Fumakira company, whose main product is insecticides. It is located near a Fumakira factory and has a view of the Itsukushima shrine gate, which is considered one of the top three tourist attractions in Japan.

Seki wins Tengen

One of the biggest surprises of the 2021 tournament year was the one-sided triumph of the 20-year-old Seki Kotaro in the 47th Tengen title match. Recently, the 24-year-old Ichiriki has clearly established himself as the number two player after Iyama Yuta and he has won 14 titles. In contrast, the unheralded Seki had won just one junior title, the 45th King of the New Stars in 2020, and was not yet considered to be a dangerous rival for Ichiriki. Among his colleagues, Seki is known for his fondness for using AI in his research and for his aggressive middle-game fighting. In the pre-match interview with Go Weekly, however, he commented that beating Shibano Toramaru in the play-off to decide the challenger had given him confidence, and he also mentioned that he had spent a lot of time studying the opening and the endgame in preparation for the title match.

Seki started the match with a win, but Ichiriki evened the score in the second game. Significantly, however, Seki had played well though he ended up losing in the endgame. He bounced back and wrapped up the match with good wins in the third and fourth games. First prize is 13,000,000 yen (about $114,235). Results follow.

Game 1 (Oct. 5). Seki (W) by resig.

Game 2 (Nov. 16). Ichiriki (W) by resig.

Game 3 (Nov. 25). Seki (W) by resig.

Game 4 (Dec. 6). Seki (B) by resig.

Iyama set a slew of youth records early in his career. Recently Shibano has lowered some of them. Now Seki is following in their footsteps. Winning a top-seven title after just four years eight months as a professional is a new speed record (eclipsing Shibano’s five years one month). At exactly 20, he is one month older than Shibano was when he won the Meijin title. He is the first player born in the 21st century to win a top-seven title. For his part, Ichiriki had now lost both his top-seven titles and had also failed in his Meijin challenge despite coming very close to winning the match. He will be pinning all his hopes on his Kisei challenge.

Incidentally, while analyzing a game of Seki’s a year earlier, Cho Chikun commented that he was convinced he would soon win a title. Instead of just playing the move everyone would play, Seki looked “for something better and this is the difference between title-winners and ordinary players.” 

Tomorrow: Iyama regains Oza title; The Teikei tournaments; Ueno wins Young Carp; Ida sets record in Crown title


In Memoriam: Peter Freedman

Wednesday January 26, 2022

Longtime go teacher and local organizer Peter Freedman has died. “Peter was a gentle and wonderful man,” said AGA president Andy Okun. “I am grateful for the chances I had to enjoy the game and organizing work with him over the last decade.” Freedman, who was active in the Portland, Oregon go scene for many years, directed the 2008 U.S. Go Congress, and was a key player in organizing the International Go Symposium in 2012.

“He was instrumental in organizing the Portland Go Club back in the 1970s and acted as President for a long time,” says Doug Cable. “Peter was also the main ‘mover and shaker’ for having the annual tournament at the Japanese Garden for several years and recently, in September of 2019, a major tournament there combined with teaching sessions for non-go players and beginners, as well as a display of Japanese woodblock prints with go subject matter. The growth of go in this town has been indelibly imprinted with the fingerprints of Peter Freedman.”

Named Teacher of the Year in 2014 by the American Go Foundation, Freedman ran several AGF programs over the years, “always encouraging kids, teaching new ones, and seeking to find ways to spread the game,” said Paul Barchilon. “He was often calling or emailing me to tell me about a new program (Irvington Elementary Program a Hit, Chess and Go in Portland and Beyond), or a new kid he was proud of. The pandemic of course took a toll on his activities, but he was teaching new kids on Zoom when possible, and even tried to arrange some matches between kids at my club and kids at his. His devotion to the game, and specifically to helping kids learn it, was something so many benefitted from. He will be greatly missed, but we should celebrate him for a life well lived.”

A Tribute to our Go Saint, Peter Freedman

by Fritz Balwit

I first met Peter Freedman in 2007 shortly after I took up the game of go. I had been working for some years teaching chess in afterschool programs when I was forcibly converted to go by an avid player who saw me innocently reading a chess book while we waited for our kids to finish a tumbling class. I was so taken with the beauty of the game that I immediately resolved to teach it instead of chess in all of my classes. Proceeding with more enthusiasm than knowledge, I embarked on this plan with mixed results. It was then that Peter got word of the project and called me up. I was surprised by the cheerful avidity with which he volunteered to assist me: ”Why hadn’t I thought of this–teaching kids in after-school classes,” he said. “This is the way to keep the precious cultural heritage of go alive!” I was glad to have him join me, not least because he had so much to teach me.  

Little did I know that we would collaborate for about eight years and bring go to about 10 different schools in the Portland area, teaching hundreds of kids how to play. This became our mission. I would lose hope time and again, but it would always be restored at the sight of faithful Peter, always there before me with his box of go boards, and a bag of treats for the kids. His love for teaching, his boundless patience with administrative hassles and general good cheer was enough to sustain me in what was not always rewarding work, especially in foul Winter weather when the public schools felt like grubby and pestilential places. Still we trusted the exquisite beauty of our game might counter the chaos of life. And sometimes it did. 

Peter never let the negatives get him down. He was there every week, sometimes 2 or 3 times a week. He showed immense kindness and wisdom in dealing with the kids. He undertook much of the communications with parents, too, diplomatically smoothing away difficulties both inside and outside of the classroom, and Peter refused any form of compensation for his work in all of this time. 

Freedman at the 2008 U.S. Go Congress; photo by Phil Straus

Sometimes Peter and I would sit down and play a game. It was then that I saw why he wanted to teach–for while it is possible to play go or chess out of many motives high and low, his notion of go emphasized the pure joy of communication that the game can entail. He always expressed making a move in terms of asking a question: What do you want and what are you prepared to give me? Winning or losing, for him the anxieties of ego and self judgment remained in the background.  To the kids, he showed that one could learn how to make better moves, devise a more clever plan, but in the end, go always involved sharing, taking responsibility for thinking for yourself,  and above all learning from your opponent. Playing go was fun but it represented a larger form of life wisdom. 

I was always impressed to hear about Peter’s projects outside of the game of go. He was an avid ping-pong player and a very good one. He had a deep appreciation of basketball and traditional folk music and blues. Many of our interests overlapped and we enjoyed sharing our enthusiasm. Peter’s way was always affirmation: What was good in the world? Go learn about it, cheer for it, and become a part of it. 

His last major project involved public advocacy for the Medicare-for-All Bill. He led a group trying to promote this through political means. The movement is still hanging in the balance, and it is sad that he did not get to see his efforts come to fruition. 

In short, the number of people that Peter impacted for good is astounding. He left us too soon, but we have plenty of his work still to accomplish–as well as his style of play and engagement with the world.  He has taught us the importance of cultivating joy in an ever-widening circle of friendships. 


Registration Open for the 2022 North American Kyu Championships

Wednesday January 26, 2022

Young players at the 2018 US Go Congress.

The 9th North American Kyu Championships (NAKC) is now open for registration to start off the annual suite of AGA-run youth tournaments. The tournament will be held online on the KGS Go Server and consist of four rounds over the course of one day. Players must be under the age of 18, reside in North America, and be members of their country’s national Go organization to compete. The top junior (under 13 years old) and senior (13-17 years old) players in each division will win personalized crystal trophies, and the junior and senior champions of the top division will receive an invitation to play in the Redmond Cup, which is traditionally only eligible to dan-level players. Players who complete all rounds of the tournament will also be eligible for a $200 scholarship to the next in-person US Go Congress, courtesy of the American Go Foundation. Last year’s tournament featured nearly 150 players, and the AGA hopes that this year’s tournament will be just as exciting!

Registration for the NAKC will close on February 19th, and interested players can read the rules and additional details for more information.

Stay tuned for information about this year’s Redmond Cup and AGA Girls Cup; both will feature a new tournament format and registration will be opening soon.

Story by Justin Teng, AGA Youth Coordinator, Photo by Paul Barchilon.


Registration Open for 2022 AGHS School Team Tournament

Tuesday January 18, 2022

“Registration for the 2022 AGHS School Team Tournament is now open through February 4th,” says AGHS Co-President Sophia Wang, “Inspired by the popular series Hikaru No Go, students from the same school or educational institution should form teams of 3 to compete for their school and for prizes. A total of four rounds will be held over two Sundays, February 6th and 13th, at 10am and 1pm PST. In order to be eligible, players must attend school in North America and be under 19/currently enrolled in grades K-12. Maximum of 5 teams per institution.”

Click here for rules and regulations

Click here to register (deadline: 2/4/2022)


50 Years aGO – January 1972

Sunday January 16, 2022

by Keith L. Arnold, hka, with Patrick Bannister

Ōhira Shūzō wins the Nihon Ki’in Championship

On January 7th, Kitani Reiko 6d (daughter of the great Kitani Minoru, wife of Kobayashi Kōichi) defeated Honda Sachiko 4d to capture the Ladies Hon’inbo for the sixth time. It should be noted that the Hon’inbo title eluded her father and her husband, but not her daughter, Kobayashi Izumi. (Game record: Ladies Hon’inbo Game 3)

Two events dominated this month, our coverage of them started last. First, two games completed the Nihon Ki’in Championship, which started the new year knotted at 1-1. On January 11-12, Ishida Yoshio lost to Ōhira Shūzō in a game titled by Go Review, “Even Computers Make Mistakes.” Ōhira regained the title with a win in the fourth game on January 18-19. (Game records: Nihon Ki’in Championship Game 3, Game 4)

Sakata Eio wins Jūdan Game 1

Japanese go fans were enthralled by the Jūdan match between two members of the old guard. It should be noted, back in those days, the Jūdan was 4th in prestige amongst the big seven titles. On January 26-27, Sakata Eio defeated the title holder Hashimoto Utarō in the first game. (Game record: Jūdan Game 1)

There were interesting developments in the Meijin and Hon’inbo leagues. As of January 27, both dethroned champions were leading the leagues. Fujisawa Shūkō led the Meijin League, seeking revenge against Rin Meijin, while Rin led the Hon’inbo League looking for a rematch with Ishida Hon’inbo. Ishida was off to a bad start (0-2) in the Meijin League.

Game records thanks to SmartGo, photos from Go Review.


Updates: San Diego postpones championship, Portland suspends meet-ups, NGC postpones Friday nights

Saturday January 15, 2022

As previously reported, the AGA is asking chapters to delay tournaments and to consider not having club meetings at least for the month of January, until the latest wave of Covid-19, the Omicron variant, has passed. Here are some local updates:

San Diego: The San Diego Go Club is postponing, due to Covid19, the 11th Annual San Diego Go Championship, which had been scheduled for the spring of 2022. “The SDGC now hopes to hold the tournament at the San Diego Chess Club in May 2022.” Vaccinated members of the SDGC have voted to continue to meet in person at “At Ease Games” on Miramar Road on Thursday from 7-11 p.m. Masks will be required for all players and spectators. A booster vaccination is recommended.

Portland (OR): Due to the recent surge in Covid cases, and per the recommendations of the American Go Association, PGC is suspending Tuesday night “Learn and Play Go” meet-ups at Alder Commons.  “We hope to restart them again soon.  In the meantime we encourage players to seek games via our Portland Go Discord.” For an invite to the discord email

Washington, DC: The National Go Center in Washington, DC has decided to postpone opening on Friday nights until sometime in February. “There is just too much uncertainty around the Omicron surge right now. We’ll keep you posted on when Fridays will be starting up again.” Wednesday nights will continue for now for masked and fully vaccinated participants. “Stay safe, and we look forward to things getting back to normal.”

Got go news? Post it here!


Redmond AlphaGo livestream Sunday night

Saturday January 15, 2022

Tune in on the AGA’s Twitch channel this Sunday, January 17 at 7p ET for another AlphaGo vs AlphaGo live commentary by Michael Redmond 9P, hosted by E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock. “AlphaGo played the mini-Chinese,” in AG-AG #54, says Redmond, adding “I will talk a bit about the pressing move at the 4-5 point that AIs like so much.” For more Michael Redmond content, check out his YouTube channel.