American Go E-Journal » 2022 » November

Raleigh tourney to benefit Ukraine

Wednesday November 30, 2022

On December 10th in Raleigh, N.C., local organizer Boris Bernadsky is hosting Go Rebuilds, a tournament to raise funds to benefit Ukraine. “All of the proceeds are going towards providing civilian medical supplies or helping displaced pets in Ukraine,” says Bernadsky. “We are working with two charities, but participants may directly donate to the charity of their choice.” A number of sponsors have already signed on to provide prizes, including (all registrants will receive a basic membership), the European Go Journal (participants will receive a 3-month digital membership) and BadukPop; click here for the full list. Register here or email with questions.


RFP: Relationship between mind sports and cognitive functions

Monday November 28, 2022

The Iwamoto North American Go Foundation (INAF) is seeking to fund one or two university projects for a comprehensive literature survey and review of research linking mind sports to cognitive science. Of particular interest is how mind sports such as go may contribute to the cognitive development of youth and to the cognitive maintenance of senior citizen. The deadline for submitting a proposal is March 31, 2023. CLICK HERE for details.


50 Years aGO – November 1972

Monday November 28, 2022

By Keith L. Arnold, hka, with Patrick Bannister

On November 5, Takao Matsuda, once again, secured the title of U.S. Hon’inbo, winning the telephone match by a half a point over Shigeo Matsubara. Matsuda had never lost this tournament since it began in 1968.

Hashimoto Utarō challenged Sakata Eio for the Ōza title. Sakata won the first game on November 16, but Hashimoto evened the score on November 30. (Game records: Game 1, Game 2.)

The 33rd Anniversary of Shūsai Meijin’s death was memorialized with an exhibition match between Rin Kaihō Meijin and Ishida Yoshio Hon’inbo. Over 2,000 people watched the match. We also share this casual picture of the two men at the top of the Japanese go world.

We lack specific dates on some other events. First, Bruno Rüger passed away in mid November (according to Go Review; Sensei’s Library states September 24). Born in 1886, Rüger (pictured) was one of the leading proponents of go in Germany. He founded the “German Go News” in 1920, and went on to write at least 10 books on the game. He received, along with Edward Lasker, the prestigious Ōkura Prize. Sadly, he passed before he could receive his nidan diploma from the Nihon Ki’in.

Two “Gaijin” leagues took place in Japan. James Davies won the Gaijin Hon’inbo at 6-0, while Manfred Wimmer won the Gaijin Meijin with a 7-0 record. Other members of both leagues were Stuart Dowsey, Horst Müller, Richard Bozulich, William Pinckard and Mark Hall.

Finally, a family match was resumed in New York. Robert Ryder 5d and his son Jonathan Ryder 2d played Mitsuo Horiguchi and his son Tsuneo for the 4th time in their rivalry. The Ryders prevailed to even the series at 2-2. Robert Ryder was a president of the American Go Association and one of the first Western 5 dan players. Horiguchi was the long time manager of the New York Go Club. Here is a picture from the early 1980s of Ryder playing a game at a crowded New York Go Club, with Mr. Horiguchi looking on.

Photos courtesy of Go Review and Keith Arnold, game records from SmartGoOne


Go Spotting: Why Chinese go players aren’t winning

Sunday November 27, 2022

“When a nation’s fortunes rise or fall, so too do its fortunes in Go.” That’s from “Why Chinese players of Go aren’t winning any more” in the Nov. 12 issue of The Economist, quoting Marshal Chen Yi, a go-playing soldier in China’s civil war. The column notes that after decades of dominating the go world, “Chinese players have been losing more than they have been winning.” Things reached a new low this month when not a single Chinese player qualified for the Samsung Fire Cup. Some – including the EJ’s own Stephen Hu — say it’s because Chinese players have not embraced AI as much as other international players, while others say the strict covid lockdown in China has prevented elite Chinese players from competing in the weekly domestic tournaments that provided invaluable experience. The lockdowns have also made it harder for China’s national team to meet to analyze opponents’ styles. “It has been very difficult for us to do intensive training,” team coach Yu Bin told The Economist.  

Thanks to Dave Weimer for passing this along. Send your go-spottings to us at

Categories: China,Main Page

INAF solicits nominations for Lifetime Achievement Award

Sunday November 27, 2022

The Iwamoto North American Go Foundation (INAF) Board has approved establishing a new “INAF Lifetime Achievement Award” to honor individuals who, over their lifetime, have made significant contributions to the advancement of the culture and sport of go in North America. It is expected that up to one award will be made each year. The deadline for submitting a nomination is March 31. CLICK HERE for details.


7th Ing Cup World Collegiate Invitational streams Saturday

Thursday November 24, 2022

The 7th Ing Cup World Collegiate Invitational will be streamed live this Saturday, November 26 on the USGO Twitch channel with commentary starting around 8am EST. Stephanie Yin 1p is organizing the US team and the event and Devin Fraze will manage the AGA E-journal broadcast. Commentators will be Alex Qi 1p and the U.S. youth team from the New York Institute of Go (NYIG) (graphic). The Invitational is organized by the Ing Foundation; the format consists of 8 versus 8 matches between teams across the world. Saturday’s is the first match.   

Board one will be played by Tianhao Li (黎天浩) an AGA 8.5 dan and a graduate student in Chemistry at Princeton. He learned go in Nanjing at the age of 4 and by 10 he had won a championship for children. After that he focused on academic goals and played go on the internet in his spare time. At Tsinghua University he joined the go team and played as one of the principal players going on to win first place in the amateur group of the 25th Ing Cup Go Tournament for Chinese undergraduates. Recently he attended his first tournament in the U.S. and looks forward to playing in more competitions in the future.

For more information on the other players, tune into the stream on Saturday.


4th Latin American Go Congress “a huge success”

Thursday November 24, 2022

Top left: Congress playing area; top right (l-r): special guest Devin Fraze, Feng Yun 9p, organizer Haroldo Brown, Eunkyo Do 1p, Stephanie Yin 1p and Argentina Go Association president Santiago Laplagne; bottom: Congress attendees.

The Quzhou Lanke Cup 4.º Congreso Latino­americano de Go 2022 (4th Latin American Go Congress) turned out to be a huge success,” reports Stephanie Yin 1P. “The event was held October 7th-11th, 2022 in the capital of Argentina, Buenos Aires. Three professional go players were invited: Feng Yun 9p, Stephanie Yin 1p, and Eunkyo Do 1p from Korea.  We held game reviews, lectures, simul games, and had many unforgettable memories with the local players!” The presence of both Feng Yun and Stephanie Yin was funded by the American Go Foundation, notes AGF president Terry Benson. “This is the U.S. paying back the support we got for decades and paying forward go in this hemisphere,” said Benson.  

“The 84-odd participants enjoyed the Congress tremendously and in no small way this was thanks to the participation of Stephanie and Feng Yun who worked tirelessly on revisions, simultaneous games, workshops and live commentary of games. Thanks also goes to Devin Fraze, who was most supportive in all matters.” said organizer Haroldo Brown. “We had the most kids who participated in the congress this year. It is not a large number but we are very happy to see go has been introduced more in the kids community.”

“The Latin American Go Congress is a very unique Go congress” said Stephanie Yin. “It is priceless to meet so many enthusiastic go players on the other side of the states.” Players there are very humble and eager to improve, Yin added. The Pandanet City League Finals featured Chile and Brazil, and at the closing ceremony, both teams brought their handmade country flags to celebrate. 

“I believe that the world of go will expand much more quickly than we expected because we have so many such awesome go players!” said Yin. As the AGA’s Development VP, the representative of the American Go Foundation, and also as a professional go player, Yin pledged to “do my best to promote, teach, and help whenever and wherever needed. I also hope that more schools will include go as a subject in America. I am seeing a brighter future for the world of go.”

11/27: This post has been updated to include the information about the AGF and Terry Benson’s quote.

Categories: Latin America,Main Page

INAF announces new professional lecture videos

Monday November 21, 2022

Video stills: top: Takemiya Masaki 9p; bottom right: Cho Zuiketsu 5p; bottom left: Tajiri Yuto 5p

The Iwamoto North American Go Foundation (INAF) has just released three videos produced in cooperation with the Nihon Kiin. The first is a lecture by Takemiya Masaki 9p on his choice of the “best selection of cosmic-style game”. He gives detailed commentary of the game between himself and Cho Chikun to decide the 1988 Kisei challenger.

The second video introduces several modern “AI style Josekis” in a lecture by Cho Zuiketsu 5p. These new moves are analyzed in detail using actual games between Cho and other pros as examples, “including a very clever ladder-blocker that you don’t want to miss!” says INAF’s Thomas Hsiang. Cho should be familiar to the western players as he was dispatched by the Nihon Kiin to the Seattle Go Center in 2018 and to Europe in 2019.

The third video is given by Tajiri Yuto 5p on “how to use thickness for kyu players”. Tajiri visited the US Go Congress and the Seattle Go Center in 2019 and was a popular lecturer for the kyu players. In this lecture he discusses how to build and use thickness, an important topic as one moves from the kyu to dan ranks.

Categories: Japan,Main Page

The Power Report: Yoda suspended by the Nihon Ki-in; Most wins; Best winning streaks; Winning streaks recently ended; Retirements

Thursday November 17, 2022

By John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal

Yoda suspended by the Nihon Ki-in

This is not a matter one wants to get involved in, the reason being that, with the paucity of information available, it’s not possible for an outsider to make any meaningful judgment, but I can give some details. My report on the Masters Cup published on August 23, 2019, gives the bare bones of the dispute. More details are given in my report of February 22, 2020. The Nihon Ki-in board of directors suspended Yoda from play for six months. At the time, he missed some games, but when Yoda launched a legal appeal against the ruling, making the matter sub judice, the Nihon Ki-in reinstalled him until the court case was finished. The court gave its decision on October 14 and found in favor of the Nihon Ki-in, which announced that Yoda had been suspended for six months, from October 15 to March 16 next year. When he turned up at the Ki-in to play a game the next day, a director blocked his way to the playing room and he was informed in person of the ban. Yoda had won a seat in the Samsung Cup in the Japanese domestic qualifying tournament, but had to give this up. Nakamura Sumire was selected to replace him.

Most wins
 (as of Nov. 4)

Ida wins 2nd Tengen game

1. Ueno Asami Women’s Hollyhock: 43-20

2. Nakamura Sumire 3-dan: 42-20

3. Fujisawa Rina Women’s Honinbo: 41-15

4. Koike Yoshihiro 7-dan: 36-10; Nyu Eiko Senko Cup: 36-18; Ichiriki Ryo Kisei: 36-21

7. Otake Yu 7-dan: 33-12; Ida Atsushi 9-dan: 33-14

9. Suzuki Ayumi 7-dan: 32-22

10. Shibano Toramaru Meijin: 31-16

(This week Go Weekly listed only the top six. 7th to 10th are my best guesses.)

Best winning streaks

7: Cho U 9-dan, Kono Rin 9-dan

6: Kobayashi Izumi 7-dan, Nishioka Masao 3-dan,

Winning streaks recently ended

10: Koike Yoshihiro 7-dan

9: Rin Kanketsu 8-dan

8: Motoki Katsuya 8-dan, Sakai Yuki 3-dan

7: Shida Tatsuya 8-dan, Muramatsu Daiki 6-dan, 

6: Akiyama Jiro 9-dan, Yamashita Keigo 9-dan

5: Iyama Yuta Honinbo, Ogaki Yusaku 9-dan, Kono Takashi 8-dan, Anzai Nobuaki 8-dan, Konishi Yoshiakira 1-dan, Takao Shinji 9-dan 


Makihata Taeko 5-dan retired as of November 5. She was born in Tokyo on February 9, 1980. She became 1-dan in 1997 and reached 4-dan in 2014. She was promoted on 5-dan after retiring. 


Maxwell Chen sweeps Peter Freedman Memorial Oregon Go Championship, takes Oregon State Go Champion title

Wednesday November 16, 2022

1st Place Winners (l-r): Maya S, Maxwell Chen & David Engle

Maxwell Chen swept the Peter Freedman Memorial Oregon Go Championship last weekend to take the title of Oregon State Go Champion. Chen was undefeated in the Open Division after five rounds Saturday and Sunday, November 12-13 in the Yanai Classroom at Portland’s Japanese Garden. The event drew 32 players, with 8 competing in the Open Division, and the rest competing in two additional divisions for cash prizes, Go gear, books and gift certificates from tournament sponsors Baduk.clubs and SmartGo. 
“Competition was tough, but the venue and the games were amazing,” said Chen. The tournament took place at peak foliage season and players took full advantage of garden’s serene and inspiring walks between rounds of intense play.
The Portland Go Club hosted the state championship this year, and dedicated the tournament to Peter Freedman, one of the club’s founders, and a legendary spreader of the game of go to old and young alike, touching the lives of many players. Freedman passed away early this year. “Peter taught me Go at my high school chess club nearly 20 years ago,” says Stewart Towle, “and during the tournament’s award ceremony we celebrated his life and contributions to the go community with warm remembrances.”
Tournament Director Patrick Easley ran a tight ship, coordinating pairings, setting up clocks and troubleshooting issues as they arose. From 11 am to 3 pm both days Karl Keefer and Stew Towle hosted a community outreach area in the main lobby of the Garden’s indoor space. “We taught people the basics of how to play Go, played 9×9 games, and gave presentations on Go history and famous games, such as the oldest recorded game, the infamous ‘Ear-Reddening Game’ and Lee Sedol’s fourth game versus AlphaGo,” said Towle.
“I had never played in a Go tournament before,” said Division 2 participant June Rana. “I had also never been to the Japanese Garden (and) I have to say both made a great impression on me. I will certainly be attending again in the future.“

2022 Peter Freedman Memorial Oregon Go Championship Results

Open Division
1st Place and Oregon Champion: Maxwell Chen
2nd Place: Steve Stringfellow
3rd Place: Jason Wang

Division 1 (2d-6k)
1st Place: Maya S
2nd Place: Jim Levenick
3rd Place: Gordon Marsh
4th Place: Glenn Peters
5th Place: Robert O’Malley

Division 2 (7k-20k))
1st Place: David Engle
2nd Place: Catrina Smith
3rd Place: Aaron Sabolch

– Report/photos by Stewart Towle