American Go E-Journal » 2022 » April

AGF Teacher of the Year Nominations Open

Sunday April 10, 2022

Schumer (l) with a young player in Osaka in 2018

Nominations for the American Go Foundation’s  Teacher of the Year award are due by May 5th. The winner will receive an all expenses paid trip to the US Go Congress in Estes Park this summer.  To be eligible a teacher must be a member of the AGA and have been teaching go to children for at least one hour a week for two years. The award is now open to other kinds of teachers as well, including online efforts. Teachers of the Year for 2020 and 2021 are also invited, and all three will be honored at the awards banquet. Click here for more information.  If you would like to nominate someone for this award, including yourself, email  Nominations are due by May 5th and should include a description of the teacher’s activities, how long they have been teaching, and how many students attended their program. – Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo: 2021 Teacher of the Year Pete Schumer


NGC Cherry Blossom Tournament returns; Eric Lui sweeps

Saturday April 9, 2022

An enthusiastic crowd of 58 go players turned out on April 2 to welcome Spring and the return of the National Go Center’s Cherry Blossom Tournament after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic. Because of the large group and general uncertainty over ratings with no recent tournament play, all games were played even without handicaps.

Eric Lui (1P) was the overall winner at 4-0 beating Alan Huang (7D) 3-1 in the final round for the championship. Cash prizes were awarded to the top players, and all 4 or 3 game winners got their choice of an NGC t-shirt or a go book. The other 4-0 winner was Ning-Yuan Ernest Wang (6K), back in the US on a business trip from Taiwan and still fondly remembered from his days at the Johns Hopkins Go Club.

The other three-game winners were Qi Huang (5d), Qingbo Zhang (5D), Joel Kenny (4D), Ching Long Lam (3D), Samantha Soo (2D), Alex Fan-Cui (1D), James Bonomo (2K), Ken Onishi (2K), Joseph Craig (3K), Anderson Barreal (4K), Robert Qi (5K), John Gipson (6K), Zhaorong Ma (8K), Mi=ulan Liu (10K), Amber Boyden (13K).

“We had one player, Siddhant Rajoriya (28K), who had only been playing the game for one week,” says TD Gurujeet Khalsa. “He showed real aptitude for go, and we hope to see him playing at a Dan level next year. A shout-out goes to Samantha Soo’s mom also. She left New York City at 2 AM to bring Samantha and two other players to the event, which was great!”
photo courtesy Gurujeet Khalsa


Michael Redmond live commentary Sunday: Jowa vs. Yonezo

Saturday April 9, 2022

Tune in on the AGA’s Twitch channel this Sunday, April 10 at 7p ET for another live game commentary by Michael Redmond 9P, hosted by E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock. Redmond will be reviewing a game between Honinbo Jowa and Shinomiya Yonezo.

Honinbo Jowa (1787-1847), the 12th head of the Honinbo house, became MeijinGodokoro in 1831. He has been noted for his extremely strong playing strength, murky origins, and infamous intrigues. Shinomiya Yonezo (1769-1835), a self-taught go hustler, played a famous jubango against Honinbo Jowa.


Yoonyoung Kim 8P back in Korea’s Top 5

Saturday April 9, 2022

Per a recent report by the Korean Baduk Association, which regularly updates professional player ratings, Shin Jin-seo 9P has been No. 1 in the among Korean professional rankings for 27 months. Popular go teacher and Asian Games gold medalist Yoonyoung Kim 8P ascended to #5 after going 3-1 in the recent Daeju Cup.

As a new mom, Kim says she enjoys a balanced life juggling family, tournaments and teaching. Speaking of promoting go via Twitch streaming, where she has 3,600 followers, she said “I hope to meet many of you over there.” 

She and her husband temporarily moved from Canada to Korea a year ago and in January, Kim defeated Jung dongsik 6P, Cha Sukwun 8P and Kim Chanwoo 6P to make the final 16. Her fourth match was broadcast live on TV on Feb. 11. The Daeju Cup, which invites men over 50 and women over 30, has a top prize of 15 million Won ($12,400 USD).

Report by Edward Zhang, Capital Go Club

Categories: Korea,Main Page

Go Congress filling up quickly

Saturday April 9, 2022

Registration for the 2022 Go Congress is proceeding briskly with over 170 attendees so far,” reports Co-Director Eric Wainwright.  “Rooms in the Main Lodge are almost filled up, but there’s still plenty of rooms left in the East Lodges.  If you’re thinking about staying at one of the many offsite locations around Estes Park, now’s the time to make your arrangements.

The main playing site is Assembly Hall situated in the center of the YMCA campus.  Built in 2009, it’s a modern facility with over eleven thousand square feet of space for tables to be spread out. Lectures, game reviews, and other events will take place in other buildings and cabins scattered nearby.  
”It looks like we’ll have sizable group of young players this year, as many pros and teachers are bringing their students,” reports Wainwright, “It’s a good thing that our Youth Room will be the size of a basketball court.  Actually, it is a basketball court!”‘

More information and registration are at


SmartGo One: new SmartGo for iPhone and iPad releases today

Thursday April 7, 2022

Five years in the making, the all-new version of SmartGo for iPhone and iPad will be released today. SmartGo One includes an improved user interface, more features, better integration, and stronger computer play. “One app for all your go needs,” says creator Anders Kierulf. “Whether you want to learn the game, play against the computer, solve problems, or read go books, it’s all there.” SmartGo One is “is SmartGo Kifu and Go Books rolled into one, and taken to the next level.”

Kierulf says every part of SmartGo has been improved, including:
• Stronger computer play, based on KataGo, and thus much stronger than previous versions of SmartGo.
• Better problem solving: problem solving flow is much better, with improved statistics, and you can add additional problem collections.
• File management: Folders, game collections, sync using iCloud Drive, open ZIP files, and more.
• Additional features include dark mode, syncing, books, player biographies and easy board rotation.
Click here for a full comparison. 

The books from Go Books are all integrated into SmartGo One, so if you bought books in Go Books, you can read those in SmartGo One.

SmartGo One is a free download, and all the game recording and organizing features are available for free, as is computer play up to 13×13. Advanced features, computer play on 19×19, and updates to the complete GoGoD collection (current 114,000+ game records and 4,400 mini-biographies) are available via a modest $12/year subscription (with a 14-day free trial). To get a full month free, use this link.

Kierulf also notes that a Mac version of SmartGo One is in the works.


Seeking candidates for AGA President

Wednesday April 6, 2022

The AGA Board of directors is seeking candidates to take on the Presidency of the AGA at the end of the current term (September 1, 2022). “The position involves a lot of work and a lot of responsibility,” says outgoing President Andy Okun, “but also the opportunity to join with the board, the chapters, and the members of the AGA to build a remarkable future for our game and our organization.”

The search committee established April 15 as the deadline for submissions in its initial March 15 announcement, so there is only a week to go. A brief functional description of the position can be found here.

Interested members should email a statement of candidacy and a CV to the AGA Presidential Search Committee at by April 15, 2022. Qualified candidates will be sent a preliminary questionnaire to submit for further review.


Korea Go Report: Park Jeonghwan first Wooseul-Bongjo League champion; 7th Future Star Rookie Championship; Award for ‘Baduk’ magazine; International Women’s Team Go Cup announced; Jubango under discussion; KBF elects new president Seo Hyoseok

Tuesday April 5, 2022

by Daniela Trinks, Korea correspondent for the E-Journal

Park Jeonghwan first Wooseul-Bongjo League champion
The Wooseul-Bongjo Korean Baduk Association Championship, a.k.a. Wooseul-Bongjo League is a new domestic tournament established last year. It was named after one of the sponsor Infobell’s products. The qualifiers took place in three stages, from February to August 2021, to select ten players who joined the seeds Shin Jinseo and Park Jeonghwan in the two parallel leagues. The league games began in August 2021 with a thinking time of 90 minutes and five periods of 40 seconds byoyomi.
Ranked #1 and #2 on the Korean rating list since January 2020, Shin Jinseo 9p and Park Jeonghwan 9p were expected to win their respective leagues and meet in the final; however, Lee Donghoon 9p pulled a surprise by defeating all five players in the Wooseul League. Meanwhile, Park Jeonghwan went undefeated in the Bongjo League. From February 20th to March 8th, the two league winners met in the best-of-five finals. Park swept the first three games and became the first Wooseul-Bongjo League champion. This is Park’s first domestic title in two years.
The final Wooseul-Bongjo ranks shown in the table were determined after matches between the same-ranked players in each league. The total prize money was 250 million KRW ($205,000), including 50 million KRW ($41,000) and 20 million KRW ($16,000) for the 1st and 2nd placed players. The prize money for the 3rd to 12th place ranged from 4 million to 10 million KRW.

7th Future Star Park Shinyoung 2p (left) and runner-up Han Woojin 3p. Photo courtesy of Han Chankyu/Hangame.

7th Future Star Rookie Championship
The Future Star Rookie Championship, a national tournament, was launched in 2015 with the help of Mok Jinseok 9p and some individual sponsors. This year, Han Woojin 3p and Park Shinyoung 2p advanced to the finals. Han Woojin (16) became a pro in 2019 and was promoted to 2 dan and 3 dan in 2020 and 2021, respectively. His winning rate in 2022 was an astonishing 77.4% which elevated him to rank #58 on the Korean rating list. The other finalist was Park Shinyoung (19) who started his professional career last year. Even though he was lower in rank (#92), he had a better winning rate (78.3%) than Han Woojin 3p in 2022.
In the final, both rookie pros showed high ambitions to win their first title and had a fierce fight from the very beginning. In the early opening, Park Shinyoung started a ko with Black 33, after creating ko threats in the lower right corner. As the proverb says, “There are no ko threats in the opening”, Black ignored White’s ko threat, and KataGo’s winning rate jumped to 85% proving his judgment right. He managed to maintain his lead until his mistake, Black 111, turned the match into a close game. When Han tried to capture a black group with White 122, he missed a big chance and allowed Black to regain his advantage. White should have defended his group at 127 instead. Due to the thinking time of 2 hours, and byoyomi of 1 minute 3 times, a long match was expected, however, it ended rather quickly after 2.5 hours. Park won the first title match in his career by resignation after 131 moves. The winner’s purse was 10 million KRW ($8,200), and the runner-up received 5 million KRW ($4,100).

Award for ‘Baduk’ magazine
The Korean Magazine Association selected the monthly magazine ’Baduk’ as an “Excellent Content Magazine” in the category of sports, hobbies, and leisure. The annual award comes with a publication subsidy from the Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism. ’Baduk’ is published by the Korean Baduk Association. This is the sixth award for the magazine.
It is the only Go magazine in South Korea with a 54-year history dating back to August 1967 when the first edition called ‘Baduk World’ came out. It was later renamed ’Baduk’ in 1969. The 657th 2022 April issue took pride in putting the award banner on its cover.

International Women’s Team Go Cup announced
The Korean Hoban Women’s Go Championship has been transformed into an international team women’s Go tournament, combined with a revival of the defunct Paewang title. The official name of the new competition is “Hoban Cup Seoul Shinmun Paewang World Women’s Baduk Championship”. It is sponsored by the Hoban Group and co-hosted by the Seoul Shinmun and the Korean Baduk Association. The Seoul Shinmun has been published since 1904 and is known as the oldest daily newspaper in South Korea.
This is the first international women’s Go tournament hosted by South Korea since 2011. In the past, South Korea hosted the Bohae Cup (1994-1998), and the Jeong Kwan Jang Cup (2002-2011). Currently, there are only a few world women’s Go championships held, with the majority not opened during the pandemic. China hosts the Wu Qingyuan Cup (also known as Go Seigen Cup), the Bingsheng Cup, the Huang Longshi Cup, and the Tiantai Mountain Cup, while Japan hosts the Senko Cup.
The new tournament is modeled after the Nongshim Cup with teams consisting of five female players from China, Japan, and South Korea who will compete in a “win-and-continue” format. The first stage of seven games is scheduled for May 22nd to 28th, while the second stage will be held in October. The total prize money is 300 Million KRW ($246,000) with the winning team taking home 100 Million KRW ($82,000). In addition, there is an incentive of 2 Million KRW ($1,600) for a 3-win streak, as well as for each additional win thereafter.

Jubango under discussion
At the end of March, the Korean Baduk Association has proposed a jubango between the #1 ranked players of China and South Korea, Ke Jie (24) and Shin Jinseo (22). The match would not only be a good opportunity for the Go development in both countries, but also for promoting Go worldwide. KBA’s proposal stated face-to-face games and that the entire USD 1 Million prize would go to the winner. While both players expressed their interest in such a spectacular event, the Chinese Weiqi Association has yet to respond to the proposal. When the last jubango took place in 2014 between Lee Sedol 9p and Gu Li 9p, it gained worldwide attention among Go fans.

KBF president Seo Hyoseok (right). Photo courtesy of Seo Hyoseok.

KBF elects new president Seo Hyoseok
The Korean Baduk Federation (KBF), the national amateur Go organization, elected Seo Hyoseok (76) as its 8th president. He is known as a passionate amateur 6 dan who has been playing Go for 60 years. He has served as an advisor to the KBF and as a director of the Korean Baduk Association (KBA). The owner of Pyunkang Oriental Medicine Clinic has been sponsoring Go activities generously, such as the international Pyunkang Cup and since 2016 the Pyungkang Cup Senior Baduk League.
Concerned with the lack of publicity, he stepped forward and wrote in March an article for a Korean newspaper titled “Let’s teach Go for children’s happy future” in which he emphasized the educational benefits of Go. In his inauguration speech, Seo said, “There was a time when we saw a Korean Go population of 15 million, but now there are only 7 million. As the president, I will do my best to help Go regain its former popularity and grow beyond that.”

Categories: Korea,Main Page

Last Call for 11th Virginia Open

Tuesday April 5, 2022

The 11th Virginia Open has been set to take place across two weekends starting April 16 on OGS. The tournament will consist of six rounds and features cash prizes for the top open division as well as awards and certificates across five other divisions and for top youth and female players. Webcams will be required for the top two boards of the final three rounds via a Zoom meeting hosted by the TDs. International players are also welcome to participate, and two 8 dan players from Thailand have already registered.

The games from the tournament will be unofficially rated so players can have a post-tournament provisional rating. Yoonyoung Kim 8P will also review six games from the tournament on her Twitch channel at a later date.

Details and registration can be found here, and the registration will close on April 12th. Any inquiries can be directed to

– Edward Zhang of the Capital Go Club


2022 NAGF Pro Qualification Tournament set for June 26-July 1 in DC

Monday April 4, 2022

The North American Go Federation (NAGF) will hold the 2022 Pro Qualification Tournament at the National Go Center in Washington, D.C. from June 26 to July 1, 2022.

Because last year’s tournament was canceled due to covid, the NAGF will certify the top two players from this tournament as new professional players. For more information on the tournament, including eligibility requirements, please click here. The details of the competition rules and the selected contestants will be announced in May.

Any player who is eligible and interested in participating in the tournament must submit the application form by the end of April 24 to be considered for entrance.

For questions regarding this tournament, please contact the NAGF at