American Go E-Journal » 2022 » July

2022 U.S. Go Congress gets underway in Colorado

Sunday July 31, 2022

The 2022 U.S. Go Congress – the first in-person event since 2019 – got underway on Saturday as hundreds of go players from across the country made the trek to The YMCA of the Rockies playing site in Estes Park, Colorado. Despite the additional challenge of having to covid test all attendees, the registration process went smoothly. While the vast majority of attendees tested negative, several did test positive, underlining the need to observe the Congress masking rules to protect everyone’s safety, organizers told the E-Journal.  

With the U.S. Open not beginning until Monday morning, many players used the extra day to take in the scenic opportunities offered by the site amid the Rocky Mountains, while others participated in the ever-popular Self-Paired Tournament, which began at 5p on Saturday. Also on Saturday was the first round in the Redmond Cup for youth players, and on Sunday afternoon the top players met in the first round of the U.S. Masters.

Once again this year, the E-Journal is providing extensive coverage of the Go Congress: follow us on Twitter and for live game coverage, check out our Twitch channel, where we’ll broadcast games from the U.S. Masters and the U.S. Open (starting each morning at 9a Mountain Time), with commentary by professional go players as well as popular go streamers and strong amateurs. And of course we’ll be posting reports on our website and in the EJ. Another great option this year is to get the YAPP app, which has its own social stream, where Congress participants are posting photos and updates.


Sarah Andersen: “How do you play go so well?

Thursday July 28, 2022

Sarah Andersen is an American cartoonist and illustrator, and the author of the webcomic Sarah’s Scribbles. Thanks to Phil Straus for passing this along.

Categories: Go Spotting,Main Page

50 Years aGO – July 1972

Tuesday July 26, 2022

By Keith L. Arnold, hka with Patrick Bannister

On July 7-8 the seventh game of the Hon’inbo title match happened between Rin Kaihō Meijin and Ishida Yoshio Hon’inbo. We see a smiling Ishida in close up, and again in the game photo surveying his 2.5 point win. (Game record: Hon’inbo Game 7.)

The NHK television network sponsored an afternoon of go for foreigners at the Nihon Ki’in on July 16. Forty beginners participated in the lessons, led by Stuart Dowsey, ably assisted by Mark Hall. Honorary Hon’inbo Takagawa Shukaku (pictured with Dowsey) welcomed the group to a very successful event.

At the same time, on July 16-17 Fujisawa Shūkō continued his rear guard action against the attack of the younger generation, in the Meijin League. His victory (pictured) over Ishida Hon’inbo gave him the right to challenge Rin Meijin. (Game record: Meijin League Fujisawa vs. Ishida.) For our younger readers, the strange item in the corner of the playing room is a television set.

On July 23, the world patron of go, Iwamoto Kaoru left Japan for a tour of Europe. On the left, he is pictured with Kodama Sachiko 2d (later Honda Sachiko) in the center. Look for details of the trip in coming months.

In what could only in hindsight be called foreshadowing, the final of the 4th New Faces Tournament was televised on July 24. In a match up that will truly become monotonous in these reports if I live long enough, Kobayashi Kōichi 6d defeated Cho Chikun 5d. (Game record: New Faces Final Game.)

We close this month sadly, and looking back instead of forward. On July 26 1972, Segoe Kensaku, Honorary 9d, passed at age 83. He was simply a giant of go in the early part of the 20th Century. Central to the founding of the Nihon Ki’in, he became for decades its elder statesman. In the West, one of the founding books of English go literature was his essential Go Proverbs Illustrated and we can see him smiling at us from the back of its slipcover. Unlike Kitani Minoru, he had few formal disciples, but they were unmatched in terms of quality. His first was Hashimoto Utarō 9d, who won many titles, and founded the Kansai Ki’in. He was central to bringing his second, Go Seigen, to Japan, and little need be said about his accomplishments. Cho Hunhyun who dominated the Korean Go World for decades was the third.

Segoe’s most dramatic episode centered on his efforts to keep go alive during wartime Japan. By 1945, the Nihon Ki’in building had been destroyed, and Segoe had left Tokyo for the safety of his home in Itsukaichi, nestled in the hills ten kilometers from the center of the city of Hiroshima. There he managed to get the contestants in the Hon’inbo Title match together, and the first game was won by Iwamoto, over his pupil Hashimoto. The match was forced out of the city for safety reasons and the second game was played near his home in Itsukaichi. After two days, Hashimoto had managed a small lead, and on the morning of the third day, August 6, they had just finished wiping off the board, when they paused for an air raid warning. It ceased, and the moves from the previous days play were repeated, while the group noticed a lone plane circling the city in the distance. Soon there was a flash, and then a blast which rocked the room. It took an hour to clean up the room and play resumed. As the game ended, a few hours later, dying refugees from Hiroshima began to wander into the hills. Among them were Segoe’s son and his nephew, both of whom would shortly die.

Much of what we know of this event comes from the victor of the game, Hashimoto Utarō. In 1989 I was honored to attend the opening ceremony of the Kisei title in New York City, a match between Takemiya Masaki and Kobayashi Kōichi. But for me, the highlight were the brief remarks of the victor of the Atom Bomb Game, Hashimoto. I cannot specifically recall his translated words, but I will never forget the gentle grace, faith in humanity and love of go, he expressed – sharing his feelings of being in the United States, while filled with the memories of the past. For me, that is the legacy of the man, who made that game, and that grace, possible.

Ishida Yoshio

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Photos from Go Review and by Keith Arnold, special thanks to John Fairbairn and T. Mark Hall for their “Go in Wartime Japan” chapter from The Go Companion


Donations sought for AGF Charity Auction

Saturday July 23, 2022

The AGF Charity Auction, set to begin on July 30th, in tandem with the 38th US Go Congress in Estes Park, CO, is open to everyone on the internet this year, not just the Congress attendees.

If you’re interested in donating an item or service to this auction – which benefits the American Go Foundation’s work of connecting kids with quality go instruction, books, equipment, scholarships, and more, CLICK HERE for details on how to do so.

“If you’re a teacher with lesson packages, a player with a library of books, or even someone with a package of gift cards, money orders, negotiable securities, or anything else, please consider donating!” says Solomon Smilack. Already donated items included a kaya goban, go lesson packs, and go libraries.

You can also sign up as a bidder; the auction begins on July 30.

Categories: Main Page

Live at the NGC: A go champion makes a surprise visit and Go Tour(ists) stop by

Saturday July 23, 2022

The National Go Center had a surprise visit recently from Lucas Neirynck, the current champion of France and Belgium, honeymooning with his bride Sophie. Two other new visitors were Anh Nguyen and Charles Tintera who stopped by on a ‘Go Tour’ fresh from visiting the Nashville, Triangle, and NOVA Go Clubs. Their final stop will be the US Go Congress in Colorado.

“A great evening of go all around with the newlyweds sent on their way with the coveted NGC t-shirt,” says NGC Executive Director Gurujeet Khalsa.

Charles and Anh made it on to their next destination visiting Devin Fraze and Baduk House in Columbus, Ohio, shown here playing in a simul against Eric Yoder.

photo (top right): Left to right: Charles Tintera, Richard Duan, Anh Nguyen playing Lucas Neirynck, James Pinkerton, and Gurujeet Khalsa. photos by Sophie Neirynck & Devin Fraze


Korea Go Report: Kim Hyemin wins 9th Daeju Cup, 400 KBA pros & more

Saturday July 23, 2022

photo: 9th Daeju Cup winner Kim Hyemin 9p (left) and runner-up Lee Minjin 8p. Courtesy of Han Changkyu/Hangame

by Daniela Trinks, Korea correspondent for the E-Journal

Kim Hyemin wins 9th Daeju Cup

The Daeju Cup is a national senior tournament limited to male players above 50 and female players above 30 years. The 9th edition ended this year with an all-female final between Kim Hyemin 9p and Lee Minjin 8p. Both players are well known to be best friends, yet the final turned out to be a long intense battle. Kim Hyemin who was due to give birth to her second child ten days later, showed outstanding fighting spirit and won the 2-hour match after 226 moves. She took home 15M KRW ($11,600), while Lee Minjin won 5 Million KRW ($3,900). 

Shin Jinseo’s LG Cup Victory NFT

In May, a limited edition of Non-fungible tokens (NFT) was issued to commemorate Shin Jinseo’s victory in the LG Cup earlier this year. In total, 361 NFTs were offered for sale on OpenSea. Lee Kyungho was the Korean artist in charge of transforming Shin Jinseo’s kifu into digital artwork. The first game of the finals was a dramatic comeback victory in which the A.I. had predicted a 1% winning rate for Shin at one point. 

Number of KBA professionals reaches 400

The 57th women’s pro qualifiers took place in Seoul, and in the end, Ko Yunseo (18), Kim Heesoo (17), and Lee Nakyung (13) placed first to third respectively and became pro. With this, the total number of professional players affiliated with the Korea Baduk Association (KBA) increased to 400 (322 male, 78 female). Including retired and deceased professionals, the total adds up to 502. Since the founding of the KBA in 1945, the number of professional players has exceeded 100 in 1990, 200 in 2005, and 300 in 2015. In the past, becoming a pro was limited to two persons per year. However, with time this number has increased to 20 because the pathway to becoming a pro has expanded to include things like female qualifiers, country-side qualifiers, young talent qualifiers, and amateur results in international pro championships. However, this approach has raised a few eyebrows because most tournaments are won by the top 10 players, leaving a majority of the pros with no source of income. Therefore, most of them resort to teaching, broadcasting, coaching, refereeing, or publishing to make ends meet.  

51st National Junior Sports Festival

The Go event of the 51st National Youth Sports Festival was held from May 28th to 29th in Gumi. It was organized by the Korea Sports Council and the Korea Baduk Association, with sponsorship from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the Ministry of Education, and the Korea Sports Promotion Foundation and hosted by the Gyeongsangbuk province. 17,889 participants from 17 cities and provinces across the country took part in 36 different sport events, 201 of them were Go players who competed in four divisions in single-elimination tournaments: male U16, female U16, male U13 and female U13. All the matches were 3-player team games. The time limit was 30 minutes, followed by 3 periods of 30 seconds byoyomi. The third place was not determined, so the losers of both semi-finals received a bronze medal each. In addition to the team medal winners, best player awards were given in each division. 


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Table: Final standings of the Go event of the 51st National Youth Sports Festival.

Shin Jinseo wins Sawpalcosanol League

Shin Minjun (left) and Shin Jinseo at the prize ceremony of the Sawpalcosanol Best Player Competition. Courtesy of Kim Sookwang/Cyberoro

The Sawpalcosanol Best Player Competition is a new league tournament which began in 2020 and named after one of the sponsor’s (Infobell) products. Besides the line-up of top players, the relatively long time limit is quite unique in Korea: each player had a basic time of 2 hours, and 3 periods of 30 seconds. 

In the first edition, the top eight players in Korea contested. Shin Jinseo (6:1) and Park Jeonghwan (5:2) topped the league to meet again in the best-of-5 final, which Shin swept 3:0. In the second edition, there were qualifiers to determine four players, who joined four seeded players and a wild card to compete in the league. Park Jeonghwan swept the league 8:0 to become the title challenger. Shin Jinseo managed to defend his title narrowly by 3:2. 

The third edition saw Shin Minjun and Byun Sangil finishing the league 7:1, followed by Park Jeonghwan, Kang Dongyoon, and the wild card Lee Changseok with a 5:3 result. In the title match, Shin Jinseo won against challenger Shin Minjun 3:1 to retain his crown, making him the winner of all three editions of the Sawpalcosanol League. The winner’s purse was 70M KRW ($54,000), and the runner-up received 20M KRW ($15,500).

Table. 3rd Sawpalcosanol Best-of-5 title matchTable

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Yoo Changhyuk wins 3rd Shinan International Senior Championship

2021 & 2022 Winner Yoo Changhyuk 9p (left) and runner-up O Meien 9p. Courtesy of Han Changkyu/Hangame.

The “1004 Islands Shinan Senior Baduk Championship” was played online this year. The Korean players travelled to the sponsor’s province Shinan, whereas the foreign participants played from their respective countries. While the first edition held in 2019 included team and individual competitions, after a break the championship returned in 2021 as a solely individual competition. The participation is limited to players above 50, however, this year each country was allowed to send one player above 45 (Lee Changho, Chang Hao, Takao Shinji) but none of them made it to the semi-finals. As you can see in the list below, the majority of participants are living Go legends who won domestic and international titles in their prime.

South Korea: Cho Hoonhyun, Seo Bongsoo, Yoo Changhyuk, Lee Changho, Choi Kyubyeong, Kim Soojang, Kim Chanwoo, Kim Yeonghwan

Japan: Kobayashi Koichi, Takao Shinji, Takemiya Masaki, O Meien, O Rissei

China: Yu Bin, Chang Hao, Cao Dayuan

The results of all three editions are shown in the table. Despite the new rule for the U50 wild cards, this year’s title match saw the same finalists as last year, and Yoo Changhyuk 9p managed to win the title two times in a row. He received 30M KRW ($23,300), while O Meien 9p got 15M KRW ($11,600).Text

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Table: Results of the Shinan International Senior Go Championships 2019-2022.

Chinese dominate at World A.I. Go Championship

From June 18th to 20th, the 1st Gangwon Province World A.I. Go Championship took place in a hybrid format: 18 A.I. programs competed online, while about 100 human Go fans took part in face-to-face side events. This new international competition was organized by the Korean Baduk Association and sponsored by the Gangwon Province and Pyeongchang County. Among the 18 A.I. programs, 11 were from China, four from Japan, two from Korea, and one from Australia. Four Chinese programs advanced to the semi-finals, and YILEGO defeated ChaoRanGo 2:1 to win the title and prize money of 20M KRW ($15,500). The runner-up received 10M KRW ($7,800), and the joint third-placed WUWEIGo and DaPangGo took home 5M KRW ($3,900) each. More information on the championship results and A.I. developers can be found here

17th Korean Prime Minister’s Cup announced

After two years of online competitions, the 17th edition of the Korean Prime Minister’s Cup (KPMC) will return face-to-face. It will be held from September 24th to 30th in South Korea’s six-largest city, Gwangju. Meanwhile, the Korean representative was chosen in a k.o.-tournament among 90 players. Kim Jeongseon, who ranks second in the Korean amateur list, will represent Korea.

Categories: Korea,Main Page

San Diego Go Club celebrates Tanabata

Saturday July 23, 2022

Separated by the Milky Way, the stars Orihime and Hikoboshi align once every year on the seventh day of the seventh month; originating from Chinese folklore, Tanabata is a holiday that celebrates the meeting of the two stars.

As part of Tanabata festivities this year, the San Diego Go Club was invited to the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park on July 7, where chapter members taught go to hundreds of children. “The way to Go” booklets were handed out and kids played on a big go board made on the plaza surface. Some children were so interested in go that they went to the following SDGC chapter’s weekly gathering for lessons.

“Several other children’s activities that day at the Japanese Friendship Garden filled the plaza, reports SDGC president Ted Terpstra. Demonstrations every hour included the San Diego Japanese Hulu Club, the San Diego Kimona Club, Masazumikai (Japanese Brush Painting), and the San Diego Kendo Bu (Japanese martial arts).

photo by Ted Terpstra


Meet the NAGF’s newest pros in a live streaming event Sunday

Wednesday July 20, 2022

Catch brand-new North American Go Federation (NAGF) professionals Kevin Yang 1P and Alexander Qi 1P this Sunday, July 24 live on the AGA’s Twitch Channel starting at 1p ET (10a PST). Devin Fraze will host the 90-minute online event, which will feature Yang and Qi reviewing one game each from the recent Pro Qualification Tournament, and the two new pros will also answer questions from the online audience.


AGA Execs issue urgent phishing warning

Tuesday July 19, 2022

“Phishing” probes aimed at the American Go Association have increased in volume and sophistication recently, according to AGA President Andy Okun, who is urging all members of the go community to be cautious and skeptical of all messages they receive.

“I’m never going to e-mail you or text you or message you asking for a hurried package of gift cards, money orders, negotiable securities, or anything else,” said Okun. “If you receive a communication like this that purports to come from me or another AGA official, please write us back at our AGA email or other e-mail already known to you, or call us on the phone.”

Until recently, the pace of such attacks was low and almost always in the form of a message purporting to be from Okun to another AGA official like the treasurer, asking for quick but modest transfer of $5,000, say, to a distant bank. The change in recent weeks is that the e-mails are being sent to other AGA members, expanding the pool of potential victims.

Federal Trade Commission Consumer Advice
Office of the Comptroller of the Currency


Tuesday tradition continues at Seattle Go Center

Sunday July 17, 2022

by Brian Allen

Players from beginner to 3 or 4 dan come to the Seattle Go Center on Tuesdays, and everybody can find a game or informal instruction. Lately, Haichen Zhu, a 7 dan, has also been coming, and I noticed last week that he was taking black, facing a player I did not know.

The doors open at 3 p.m., with the busiest time between 6 to 8 p.m. We close at 9 p.m. About 15 to 20 players have been coming in July. In late May, we had more than 30 players.

The Go Center is still being careful about COVID: the windows in the large playing room are kept open, and masks are required, except when sipping drinks or eating food. As usual, food is not allowed at the playing tables, but it may be enjoyed at the conference table, lounge area, kitchen and outdoor deck. Chris Kirschner has been bringing in his fresh baked bread, and toppings from the local Trader Joe’s are purchased with donations.

The local light rail station for the U District is now open, so visitors to Seattle should note that they can take a train from SeaTac airport directly to our neighborhood. There is a bit of walking at both ends of the train trip, totaling about .6 mile. Our website has directions to the center.

Development plans for the Go Center property (and new Seattle Go Center space) are proceeding, but it looks like the current location will continue for a while. So if you are in Seattle, come visit us on Tuesdays!

Report and photo by Brian Allen. (Brian retired as Operations Manager in 2021, but he is still a Tuesday regular.)