American Go E-Journal » China

Kevin Yang wins 2022 China – North America Youth New Pro Tournament

Friday December 23, 2022

Kevin Yang 1P won the 2022 China – North America Youth New Pro Tournament by defeating Alexander Qi 1P in the final round. The 2022 China – North America Youth New Pro Tournament was hosted and organized by the Chinese Weiqi Association as part of the 2022 Youth Weiqi Forum.

A total of four professional players under the age of 16 were invited to the tournament – Kevin Yang and Alexander Qi from North America, and Haozhe Yang 1P and Youjia Deng 1P from China. The players competed in a single-elimination tournament over five days between December 11 and 15, 2022. The matches were played online on Yike Go Server, with an online proctoring system.

Final results:
Winner: Kevin Yang 1P
Runner-up: Alexander Qi 1P
3rd place: Haozhe Yang 1P
4th place: Youjia Deng 1P


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

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.


National Go Center prevails in International Friendship Match with Hong Kong club

Sunday November 6, 2022

In an online International Friendship Match last month with the Hong Kong Go Club GoLegend, the National Go Center prevailed 3-0. GoLegend is a go school in Hong Kong, China, and the games were played on OGS. NGC’s Michael Zeller 8K beat GoLegend’s Yan Chuan 10K in the first match on October 9; Jim Bonomo 2K defeated Darren Kwok 2k in the second on October 16, and Richard Duan 2D beat Ernie Hui 2D in the final match on October 30, with American professional Eric Lui providing live commentary. The San Diego Go Club played GoLegend in a match earlier this year.


Kevin Yang 1P Wins Lanke Cup Prelim

Sunday October 16, 2022

Kevin Yang 1P has won the preliminary qualifying round of the first Quzhou Lanke Cup World Weiqi Open Tournament, an international professional event organized by the Chinese Weiqi Association. Yang will represent North America in the tournament, which kicks off December 24, 2022.

The Quzhou Lanke Cup offers a prize of 1,800,000 RMB (about $250,000 USD) to the winner. In total, 32 players are invited: 14 from China, 8 from South Korea, 5 from Japan, 2 from Chinese Taipei, 1 from Europe, 1 from North America, and 1 additional player will be nominated by the organizing team as a wild card once all 31 competitors are finalized.

Among professional players based in North America, four entered the preliminary qualifying round. The format was double elimination (see below for results), and the event was held on OGS with video recording requirements. In addition, for the final match, proctors were also present with each player. The North American Go Federation appreciates the generous gift of Edward Zhang, which supported the presence of proctors.

– reported by Hajin Lee

Preliminary Round Results

Ryan Li 3P to duel with Kevin Yang on Friday in Lanke Cup N.A. Prelim Final 

Wednesday October 12, 2022

Ryan Li 3P (2-1) and Kevin Yang 1P (2-0) will duel in the N.A. prelim final for the Quzhou Lanke Cup World Go Championship this Friday, October 14 at 8pm EDT (5pm PT) via (OGS). The prelim utilizes a double-elimination format and the finalists have previously competed with Eric Lui 2P (1-2) and Alex Qi 1P (0-2).

Round 1 (9/16 & 17)
Li (OGS ID: CrazyWind) def. Qi (OGS ID: alexqi2008)  Game Record

Yang (Keviny2007) def. Lui (FedExpress)  Game Record

Round 2 (9/23 & 25)
Yang def. Li Game Record
Lui def. Qi Game Record

Round 3 (10/2)
Li def. Lui Game Record

The North American Go Federation (NAGF) has assigned proctors in New York and California to ensure fair play on OGS (see also AGA’s FairPlay policy). Hajin Lee 1P is the Executive Director.

Known as the birthplace of go culture, Quzhou City is 230 miles southwest of Shanghai. As early as the Eastern Jin Dynasty (317 – 420), there was a story about Wang Zhi, a woodcutter, playing go with an immortal in Lanke Mountain. This is the earliest written record of the origin of go in China. In addition, Quzhou has beautiful natural scenery including mountains, karst caves and bamboo sea, and the descendants of Confucius once lived here to spread Confucian culture.

The prize pool for the Lanke Cup is $583,000 and the 1st-5th round players earn $4300, $7100, $14,300, $28,600, $86,000 and $257,000 (champion).

Report by Capital Go Club; photo credit: and Chinese Weiqi Association
NOTE (10/13): The match time has been updated to 8p ET (5p PT).

Upcoming Event: Nov. 27, 2022 ‘Hybrid’ Open tournament and VA State Championship Final


Han Han 5P: “Harder than I expected”

Tuesday August 23, 2022

The competition at this year’s North American Masters Tournament was “harder than I expected,” Chinese professional Han Han 5P told the E-Journal earlier this month after closing out his 7-0 sweep of the field. “In a few of the games, I was actually behind and had to fight hard to get back in the game.” Han’s 4th-round game against Michael Chen 8D was especially tough, he said. While American professionals are improving in strength, they don’t get enough opportunities to play in high-level competitions with other professionals to develop and hone their skills, Han said.

Born in Beijing in 1989, Han Han became a professional go player at the age of 14 and achieved 5 dan in 2009. He used to play in the National Go League A and defeated more than a dozen world champions in tournaments. He has been teaching go for more than 15 years and helped many kids become professionals. He’s also lectured on go many times at Tsinghua and Peking University since 2015, and is currently a columnist for the most popular go magazine in China. Outside of go, he loves art and is zealous about classical music. He now lives in California, near San Diego.

Han’s advice to amateur players looking to improve their game is to “practice life and death problems, that’s a basic reading skill.” AI analysis is of limited use for all but the most advanced players, Han said. “The basics – life and death, tesuji – are so, so important.”

Han, who several times during the NAMT raised concerns about the possibility of cheating through use of AI go programs, said that steps need to be taken to reduce that possibility, including metal detectors at tournaments (these were used at the recent U.S. pro qualifier), having observers or referees, and either delaying live broadcasts (as is done in poker tournaments) or not permitting commentary during the broadcast.
– report/photo by Chris Garlock; thanks to NAMT TD Kevin Chao for translation assistance.


“A Contemporary Art Experiment, From Go Seigen to AlphaGo” is winning exhibition

Tuesday May 17, 2022

The proposed exhibition “A Contemporary Art Experiment, From Go Seigen to AlphaGo” has been selected as the winning exhibition for the 2021 OCAT Research-Based Curatorial Project, “ at the OCAT Research Center in Beijing. The selection “means we get to stage another, bigger exhibition for the next stage with the entire museum space at our disposal later this year,” reports Zhiyan Yang, who will curate the show with Chen Jiayi.

“We were happy to be one of the ‘Artists’ providing materials,” says AGF President Terry Benson, who along with longtime AGAers Roy Laird and Barbara Calhoun recorded some Silly Go Songs showing the broader cultural of Go in the west. Some of the old covers of the American Go Journal (below) were also included.

A total of 29 proposals were initially made, with a resulting shortlist of five, including “The Flow of Broken Mirrors: Rewriting ‘Modernity’ in Perception of Boundaries,” “Why Everything Has Not Disappeared,” “The Fragile and Dangerous Domain of Optimism – Redefinition and Reproduction of Failure,” “Algorithms: The Magician of Exhibition Knowledge Production” and the winner, “Go, A Contemporary Art Research Experiment – From Wu Qingyuan to AlphaGo” which “explores how go, as an ‘old media’ and a rearguard culture in the contemporary context, transcends its own attributes as a game, and produces more diversity in the process of blending with cultural practice and artistic creation.” CLICK HERE for a walk-through of the exhibit featuring the five finalist projects.

An expanded exhibition – with more materials from the AGA – will be mounted in Beijing later this year.

Categories: China,Main Page

Chinese Go player gets one-year ban for using AI during national competition

Monday March 21, 2022

photo by VCG

The Chinese Weiqi Association on March 15 suspended Liu Ruizhi from attending competitions overseas for a year after he violated the “no use of AI” rules when participating in a national chess competition earlier that day. According to the statement, Liu Ruizhi used an AI program during the first round of the Chinese professional Go Championship preliminaries, and his supervisors did not fulfill their supervisory responsibilities. According to the rules of the competition, the use of AI is strictly prohibited, and players who break this rule will be banned for one year. If the player is a member of the national training team, they will be expelled from the team immediately.

Zuo Shiquan, head of the equipment manufacturing research institute under the China Center for Information Industry Development, told the Global Times on Wednesday that AI can guide a player by calculating the next step after analyzing the historical data of contestants input in advance and that this counts as cheating during a match.

Liu Ruizhi was born in 1996; his career began in 2019, but he had not won any major matches during his career, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

The Chinese Professional Go Championship is a professional tournament with the longest history and the largest participation in China. A total of 231 people signed up for the competition – a new record – of which 194 participated in the preliminaries.

– adapted from a report by Chen Xi in the Global Times

Categories: China,Main Page

Redmond on Shin Minjun’s masterpiece: Live commentary Sunday night

Saturday December 11, 2021

Shin Minjun 9P

Rounds 5-9 of the 23rd Nongshim Cup were played November 26-30. The Nongshim is a team tournament with teams of five players each for China, Japan, and Korea. Iyama Yuta 9P showed up early to play as Japan’s third player after Shibano Toramaru 9p and Kyo Kagen 9P had been eliminated. Michael Redmond 9P will do a live commentary on Iyama’s 9th-round game against Korea’s Shin Minjun 9P on his YouTube channel on Sunday, December 12 at 7p EST.
“After a well-researched opening, Shin Minjun reduced Iyama’s moyo with a brilliant sequence that will be one of the main focuses of my commentary,” says Redmond. “The game ended in a spectacular fight in which a big dragon died.”  – Chris Garlock