American Go E-Journal » AGA Chapters

2023 Chicago Open adds Saturday-only breakfast plan and carpool support

Tuesday March 7, 2023

Registration for the 2023 Chicago Open on May 27-28 in Evanston, Illinois, has started, with eight out-of-state players already registered, including five high-dan players. See the Who’s Coming List to view the current registrants. Co-organizers Cheuk To Tsui and Albert Yen expect a high turnout. 

“The Chicago tournaments have seen steady growth, and we hope to see this trend continue,” Tsui said. “Our goal is to make the 2023 Chicago Open a mainstay event on the calendar.”

Register before May 6 to seize the early bird discounts, customized name tags, and limited Evanston Holiday Inn discounts. Groups are encouraged to register together for both days of the tournament to be eligible for the club discounts: Groups of 5-6: $3 off per person; Groups of 7-8: $5 off per person; Groups of 9+: $7 off per person.

New updates have been made to the registration form to support travelers. Firstly, the Chicago Open now offers an optional $10 breakfast plan for Saturday on top of the pre-existing lunch plans and Saturday dinner. Secondly, registrants may indicate on the registration form if they need help finding a roommate or carpool to have their contact added to the public Open Room/Carpool Spreadsheet. The registrants are responsible for contacting others on the spreadsheet to arrange room sharing and carpooling. Feel free to send questions or concerns to Evanston Go Club President Mark Rubenstein at

Lastly, the Chicago Open organization team welcomes AGHS website manager Jamie Tang, who is grateful for the support of the co-organizers. “We’re very excited that Jamie has joined the Chicago Open organization team,” Yen said. “She has been invaluable in heading our outreach efforts, being responsible for everything from E-Journal reports to club contact.”


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.


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

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


Go and roast pig at SF Go Club Lunar New Year tourney

Friday January 27, 2023

The San Francisco Go Club’s Lunar New Year Go tournament was a vibrant celebration of the Chinese New Year. On a sunny but brisk Saturday, January 21, 37 players gathered to compete in three divisions. The tournament was a lively event that included a roast pig lunch. After three rounds of intense competition, the winners of each division were announced: Jonathan Ketner (1st place), Eric Lee (2nd place), and Christopher Kim (3rd place) in Division 1; Dash Zhang (1st place), Andrew Li (2nd place), and Joey Chou (3rd place) in Division 2; and Reid Byron (1st place), Patrick Vincent O’Melveny (2nd place), and Syd Shafer (3rd place) in Division 3. “Congratulations to all the winners!” said club President Matthew  Barcus.



Monday January 23, 2023

The American Go Association is converting to new software in February. There will be a new website and added functionality for members and chapters that you will be hearing more about soon. The implementation team is preparing to convert the existing records to the new system and need your help in making sure the records are clean and up to date. Here is what you can do:


Go to the website and log in (select ‘Member/Chapter Login’ under ‘Membership’ in the menu on the left-hand side).

If you have trouble logging in, just send a note to Include your full name, AGA ID (if you know it), and your date of birth. After verification, the AGA will send you a temporary password. (The existing ‘Forgot My Password’ option does not always work properly; just email to instead.)

Once logged in, check and update your data to make sure it is current. If your membership has expired or will be expiring soon, this would be a great time to renew!

If you have any questions at all, just send them to


If you are listed as the Chapter Representative for an AGA Chapter, you will be given a choice to also manage that Chapter when you individually log in. Please update your Chapter information, with special attention to the ‘Public Contact Info’, ‘Meeting Place and Time’ and ‘Website’ (if you have one) fields. These are how people seeking to meet up and play will find you.

For Chapters it is especially important to bring your chapter membership up to date if it has expired. Only chapters that are current in their membership will be able to participate in chapter benefits. This includes having your listing being findable for people looking to play or by members seeking to affiliate and be members of your chapter. If you have earned Chapter Rewards points (and most recently expired Chapter have) you can use those points to renew your chapter membership. Just send an email requesting to be updated with points to and it will be taken care of.

If you are no longer the Chapter Representative or have assumed the role from someone else, send us the information and it will get verified and updated.

Again, if you have any questions at all, just send them to


Books, books, books! (Did we mention they’re free?)

Sunday January 22, 2023

Could your chapter use some free books? Perhaps to stock or replenish your club’s library and/or to offer as tournament prizes? When Yutopian went out of business, it gave its stock of 32,000 books to the American Go Foundation, which teamed up with the AGA to offer free books to AGA chapters. More than two dozen AGA chapters responded to a direct mailing last Fall and now other chapters, libraries, and school programs can participate, but you must act now. 

The books are expected to ship in mid-February; if you have an existing request that you’d like to revise or want to make a request, you can do so now by completing this Google Form. You may submit as many forms as necessary to complete your request. You’ll find a listing of the available books here. If you have any questions about how to order, please address them to rewards@usgo.orgThe deadline for all requests is February 6.

There is also a “Library Set” box – with one copy of every title – as a starter collection for a club or for placement in a local library.  (Please make sure the local library will accept the donation.)

The books are free. Shipping and handling to AGA Chapters will be paid with Chapter Rewards points. (Chapters without enough points will receive points that have been generously donated.) All chapters can receive books and no cash payments are required. There will be a flat charge of $60 (60,000 rewards points) for each box of books. We may reduce some requested amounts to distribute some titles more widely.

The AGF will pay for books sent to AGF programs or libraries. Any club that can get a vehicle to the storage container (in Los Angeles) on Feb 12th or 13th can take boxes at zero cost. (San Diego took a carful and may get more.) 

This is a once-in-a-decade chance, don’t miss it!


Guang Yu Cup Go Tournament honors life contributions to go community

Monday January 2, 2023

The Guang Yu Cup Go Tournament, held at the San Francisco Go Club in Japantown on December 31st, 2022, “was a vibrant and exciting event,” reports SFGC presideny Matthew Barcus. The tournament was sponsored by the family of Guang Yu in honor of his life contributions to the go community. All participants received event T-shirts, and winners of each division were awarded cash prizes and bottles of wine. “Delicious Japanese bentos were provided by local restaurant Akari and boba drinks from Yi Fang added to the festive atmosphere, despite heavy rain,” says Barcus.
Division 1 winners included Chao Xie 7D in 1st Place, Linden Chiu 4D in 2nd Place, and Zilong Mao 4D in 3rd Place. Division 2 winners included Max Zhang in 1st Place, Jonathan Ketner in 2nd Place, and Tao Li in 3rd Place. Division 3 saw Andrew Xie in 1st Place, Liam Liu in 2nd Place, and Taylor Sutton in 3rd Place.
“Congratulations to all the winners and thank you to all the participants who made the Guang Yu Cup Go Tournament a success and a fun way to finish the year,” says Barcus.


North American Online League to launch beta season in January

Friday December 23, 2022

Under the banner of the North American Go Federation (NAGF) a new online league is launching in January. North American Online League (NAOL) playwill be a benefit open to American and Canadian members of the AGA or CGA. The league is built upon the successful models that have been run by the Massachusetts Go Association (MGA) and the CGA. “We are thrilled to offer a new venue for passionate go players of the AGA and CGA to play competitive games without traveling,” says NAGF Executive Director Hajin Lee.  

The NAOL will run two-month seasons with five weekly games in each season played in round-robin groups of six. Milan Mladenovic, who currently runs the MGA league, will be the Director of the NAOL. Games will be played on OGS and integrated with the AGA and CGA membership systems through Leago, a league management software system developed under a grant from the Iwamoto North American Foundation (INAF). “The NAOL coming into existence is sure to be the start of a great year for the go community,” says Akita Noek of OGS. “The OGS team is proud to be part of it and look forward to the many seasons to come!” 

“We are very happy with the partnership and support received from OGS and Leago to make this happen” says AGA President Gurujeet Khalsa. “It will also allow us to give our members an online rating to parallel the one from face-to-face games.” CGA President James Sedgwick adds that “We’re very pleased to be joining our American friends to create a joint league with a larger player base, modernized playing infrastructure, and important additions like commentaries from high level players”.

The initial January-February season will be a beta version while testing and refining the software interfaces. It will be limited to 96 players with priority given to current CGA and MGA league members. To join the wait list to be added to the initial season, send an email to with your name, location and either AGA or CGA membership ID. The March-April season will be open to all current members.


2023 South Central Go Tournament (in person) scheduled for Presidents’ Day weekend in Dallas

Monday December 19, 2022

The 2023 South Central Go Tournament will be held February 18 and 19, 2023 in person in the Dallas area. This will be the 8th annual running of this tournament. (The 2021 and 2022 tournaments were held online because of the pandemic.) There will be an Open Section and a Handicap Section, with three rounds on Saturday and two on Sunday. The Texas resident placing best in the Open Section will become the Texas State Champion. Registration for the tournament is open now at All AGA members wishing to participate are welcome.