American Go E-Journal » 2023 » February

Juanshu Lan 6D repeats as Texas State champ

Sunday February 26, 2023

Juanshu Lan 6D topped a 53-player field to repeat as the Texas State Champion for 2023 at the 5-round South Central Go Tournament held in Dallas on February 18/19th. Lan had won the title in 2022 when the tournament was held on-line due to COVID restrictions.

Left: Open Section TD Bart Jacob with Juanshu Lan, Open Section winner and Texas State Champion; (top right) Play in progress at the tournament; (bottom right) Texas State Championship trophy

Lan, just 11 years old, claimed the title after winning a tightly contested final round with Sungjun Lee 5D who also entered that round with a 4-0 record. There were a total of 17 players in the Open section ranging from 3D to 6D.  The top three finishers all with a record of 4-1 were: Juanshu Lan (1st), Sungjun Lee (2nd) and Jake Game (3rd).

In the Handicap Section thirty-six players competed, divided into three bands. Strengths ranged all the way from one dan to twenty kyu. Yinglai Xia was the top finisher in the top band followed by Alan Yin.

There were nine players age 13 and younger – three in the Open Section and six in the Handicap Section. There were ten players from outside Texas. 

Yellow Mountain Imports donated prizes for the tournament, and players received books as door prizes from the recent distribution of Yutopian go books close-out inventory.

Bob Gilman, Organizer, 2023 South Central Go Tournament


Go Photo: Phil vs Phil

Wednesday February 22, 2023

EJ photographer Phil Straus sometimes has trouble finding an opponent. Here’s his solution.

Categories: Uncategorized

Thousands of go books are on the way

Tuesday February 21, 2023

by Terry Benson, AGF President

Thousands of books from the Yutopian donation of 32,000 go books are now on their way to AGA chapters and programs around the country. A team of volunteers led by myself and ex-AGA president Andy Okun sent out 62 shipments last week. With luck the heavy boxes will survive and arrive, a belated Valentine’s Day gift for go lovers. 

Orders were fulfilled as best as possible; the actual inventory turned out to be wildly different from the printed request form chapters used. A half dozen titles simply weren’t there and others were available in tiny quantities. Some titles with few copies were not on the inventory at all and were included for those who asked for one of each. It was a painstaking process which took almost five days to finish, wrapping up at 5pm last Wednesday.

The team that literally put their backs into the effort included Ted Terpstra and Arunas Rudvalis (up from San Diego) plus Los Angeles go community locals Aaron Murg, Christopher Hsing, Brent Russell, Diego Villafuerte, Joe Cecile, Russell Bernhardt, and Andy’s wife, Julia Blanchard, along with Andy and me. Moving boxes, opening boxes, picking books, filling boxes, sealing boxes and cleaning up was a real labor of love. Paul Barchilon (AGF VP) and Kathryn Taylor (AGF fulfillment) pitched in with advice and long-distance labeling. The detailed chapter orders were well-managed by Bob Gilman over the last couple of months. 

This undertaking enabled the AGA and AGF to distribute or save for future distribution about a third of the cache of nearly 450 boxes of books, and the AGF has 50 “Library Sets” as seed collections. While not quite free (chapters use their points), hopefully everyone will enjoy the books and appreciate the work involved in getting them. If recipients have any problems, please contact and we will see what is possible.


Upcoming Go Events: San Francisco, Cleveland

Monday February 20, 2023

February 25: San Francisco, CA
Guy Moreau Memorial Tournament
Matthew Barcus 415-316-2953

February 26: Cleveland, OH
Cleveland Go Club Ratings Tournament
Soren Jaffe 440-231-7057
Steve Zilber 216-632-1929

Get the latest go events information.

Categories: Calendar,Main Page

Shang Zhou 7D tops San Diego 2023 Winter Go Tournament

Monday February 20, 2023

This year’s San Diego Winter Tournament, held on February 5, began with clear skies and brisk 60 degree weather. Roughly 40 tournament attendees arrived from as far away as England to test their strength. Local club president Enrique Garcia tried to keep the atmosphere light with a plethora of breakfast snacks, but the announcement of the first round was followed by tense silence as dark clouds began to brew over the many gobans.

Competition in the open section was small but fierce: of the eight players, one was a 7-dan, and three were 6-dans. In the end, however, 7-dan Shang Zhou, who recently moved to San Diego from China to study at UCSD, took the number 1 spot, with three wins.

Meanwhile, in the handicap section, Elias Klingbeil 3D, Aaron Jones 4k and Nicholas Liddington all walked away with a perfect 3-0 record.

Other notable attendees were Eric Green Yang 2D and Jake Kim 3D. Green, who’s been playing go for about four years, won the raffle for a copy of “Invincible: the Games of Shusaku.” His favorite go server is Fox “because you can find a match so quickly.” He plays at least one game a day and would like to thank his mentor Han Han for helping him on his journey.

Jake Kim is on a mission to make a difference in the world and says he wants to use go to do it. He started the “Go for a Better World” project to help seniors fight dementia and Alzheimer’s by sharpening their minds. He’s has been playing go for five years and went 1-2 in the tournament’s open section. Contact Jake Kim at with any questions or if you’d like to help him meet his goal.

  • Report/photos by Jackson Hranek

2023 NAGF Pro Qualification Tournament applications open

Monday February 20, 2023

The North American Go Federation (NAGF) will hold the 2023 Pro Qualification Tournament at the San Francisco Go Club at 22 Peace Plaza #501, San Francisco, California from August 6 to 11, 2023.

The NAGF will certify one player from this tournament as a new professional player. For more information on the tournament, including eligibility requirements, please click here. 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 16, 2023 to be considered for entrance.

For questions regarding this tournament, please contact the NAGF at


Man beats machine in human victory over AI

Sunday February 19, 2023

A human player has comprehensively defeated a top-ranked AI system at the board game Go, in a surprise reversal of the 2016 computer victory that was seen as a milestone in the rise of artificial intelligence.

Kellin Pelrine, an American player who is one level below the top amateur ranking, beat the machine by taking advantage of a previously unknown flaw that had been identified by another computer.

The triumph, which has not previously been reported, highlighted a weakness in the best Go computer programs that is shared by most of today’s widely used AI systems, including the ChatGPT chatbot created by San Francisco-based OpenAI.

Financial Times; click here to read more.


Lee, Duan, and Cai Shine as 2022 Virginia State Champions

Sunday February 19, 2023

Edward Zhang 6D (left) plays Samuel Lee 7D (right) for 1st place (front), James Park 6D (left) plays Yaming Wang 5D (right) for 3rd place (back)
Samuel Lee 7D

In a two-day, double-elimination tournament, Samuel Lee 7D defeated Edward Zhang 6D at the Seoul Kiwon Baduk club in Annandale, Virginia to become the 2022 Virginia State Champion. “Lee is a longtime player with over 50 years of experience,” Zhang said. “His sharp reading and amiable personality speak to the positive health benefits of go as a mind-sport hobby.” James Park 6D was third place and Yaming Wang 5D took fourth place. Other 2022 Virginian champions include Richard Duan, who claimed the 2022 Virginia Youth Champion title, and Mei Cai, who improved from a slow start in the 2022 Virginia Open to a 5W-4L record in in-person tournaments to become the 2022 Virginia Women’s Champion.

Since 2019, the Virginia Open has served as the preliminary round for the Virginia State Championships. In the 11th Virginia Open held in 2022, Hongkui Zheng 7D took first place while Thailand champion Karuehawanit Wichrich 8D came in second, and Xiaodi Huang 8D took third. The winners’ prize pool, partially sponsored by Virginia-based company CAFA-DC, totaled $660 and was awarded to winners across different divisions. The tournament also featured talented international players, such as Wichrich and Thailand youth star Pongsakarn Somarra, who finished sixth place with a 3W-3L record despite a twelve-hour time zone difference. The full winners’ list is available here. Shortly after the Virginia Open, Yoonyoung Kim 8P reviewed games per players’ request. The class was free for all players thanks to the AGA’s Chapter Reward program.

The Virginia Open and the Virginia State Champions were directed by by Devin Fraze and Edward Zhang with the help of Jeff Zhang and Jeremiah Donley from Ohio’s BadukHouse, and Garret Smith from the NOVA Go Club.

Listed below are a few featured games from the Virginia Open:

Round 2: Zheng def. Wichrich 
Round 5: Zheng def. Zixuan Guo 
Round 4: Wichrich def. Huang 

photos by Mr. Chang from the Seoul Kiwon, and Edward Zhang

Report by Capital Go Club, with editing by Patrick Zhao


50 Years aGO – February 1973

Sunday February 19, 2023

By Keith L. Arnold, hka, with Patrick Bannister

The main event of February was the veteran Sakata Eio’s defense of the Jūdan title against young challenger Takagi Shōichi 7d. It should be noted, in those pre-Kisei days, the Jūdan was the number three title, behind the Meijin and Hon’inbo (the Jūdan has since fallen to 7th). We see the two players engaged in the first game on February 14-15, which was won by Sakata. The veteran also won the second on the 21st and 22nd. Finally we see a triumphant Sakata after winning three straight on the 28th. (Game records: Game One, Game Two, Game Three)

On February 16-18, the 3rd Prague Handicap tournament welcomed 48 players. The handicap nature of the event is clearly established by the two players who shared the laurels – V Muller 10k and J. Lesak 20k.

Photos from Go Review, game records from SmartGoOne


Last Call for Registration for the New York State Championship

Friday February 17, 2023

February 19th is the last day for early registration to the 1st New York State Championship. The two-day tournament featuring a $1,200 top cash prize will take place on Feb. 25-26, 2023 in Midtown Manhattan, New York.

Reunite with your Go friends in the six-round tournament and in evening events such as pair Go, crazy Go, and 13×13 tournaments. For more information, please visit the tournament page or contact

Stephanie Yin, NYIG President