Second Time the Charm as Mark Lee 7D Sweeps to Win Cotsen Open

Mark Lee fended off a last-round challenge to clinch the 2015 Cotsen Open with a perfect 5-0 record. Lee uncharacteristically misread in a 2015.10.25_cotsen-okun-lee-gross-P1000244capturing race against Ho Son 7D of Seattle but fought back and then pulled ahead decisively in the endgame to win by more than 20 points. Large audiences watched the top-board matches, broadcast by the E-Journal team on both KGS and the AGA’s YouTube channel — where Myungwan Kim 9P and Jennie Shen 2P commented the games live — and Lee’s sharp focus throughout the tournament was impressive. “I was the runner-up last year and really wanted to win this year,” he told the E-Journal. “The games were tough but when I got ahead I tried to stay ahead and when things got complicated I just focused on the immediate problem.” Lee (second from right) donated his $1,000 winnings to the American Go Foundation to support their work with young go players; the donation was gratefully accepted by AGF board member Larry Gross (right), along with AGA President Andy Okun (second from left, next to Eric Cotsen at far left).

The Cotsen drew a large field of nearly 150, mostly from Southern California but also from other West Coast  and Western states. After several years at the LA Korean Cultural Center, the Cotsen returned this year to the LA Center Studios in downtown Los Angeles. Players feasted on free food truck tacos from Komodo Food on Saturday and Kogi BBQ  on Sunday, and two experienced masseuses massaged out sore muscles (left) as the playe2015.10.25_massage-P1000220rs sweated out their moves over the go boards. 

Tournament sponsor Eric Cotsen said he was “Really happy with the way the tournament went; everyone seemed to have a good time.” Although he didn’t win as many games as he would have liked, a beaming Cotsen said that “I think the game is awesome! The challenge, the people, everything about it. Figuring out a battle and winning the game, it’s just an awesome feeling.”
– report/photos by Chris Garlock

2015 Cotsen Winner’s Report (CLICK HERE FOR FINAL CROSSTAB)
Open: 1. Mark Lee (7d)  5 – 0; 2. Jeremy Chiu (7d)  4 – 1; 3. Beomgeun Cho (9d)  4 – 1; 4. Aaron Ye (7d)  3 – 2; 5. Xaiocheng Hu (5d)  3- 2; 6. Ho Son (7d)  3 – 2

A (3d & 4d): 1. Melissa Zhang (3d)  4 – 1; 2. Jinming Pan (4d)  4 – 1; 3. Tyler Oyakawa  (3d)  4 – 1
B (1d & 2d): 1. Justin Urban (2d)  4 – 1; 2. Meng Cai (2d)  4 – 1; 3. Andrew Okun (1d)  4 – 1
C (1k – 5k): 1. Shawn Blue (5k)   5 – 0; 2. Ernest French (1k)  4 – 1; 3. Lisa Scott (2k)  4 – 1
D (6k – 10k): 1. John Bulcher (6k)  4 – 1; 2. Caleb Chen (7k)  4 – 1; 3. Samson Chio (8k)  4 – 1
E (11k+): 1. Luke Weatherby (14k)  5 – 0; 2. Alexi Kopylov (20k)  5 – 0; 3. Derek Su (12k)  4 – 1

via American Go E-Journal

Cotsen Open Updates

(2o PST) The second round of the 2015 Cotsen Open is underway now in Los Angeles, California. Top boards are being broadcast live on KGS, 2015.10.24_cotsen-umbrella-P1000116with live-streaming of Board 1 on the AGA’s YouTube channel. We’ll post updates as the day progresses.
photo: awaiting Round 1 pairings Saturday morning on the patio at the LA Center, just outside the Strong Players Room; photo by Chris Garlock

via American Go E-Journal

Americans Liu & Shi to Play in 12th Sankei Tournament in Osaka

Andy Liu 1p and Gansheng Shi 1p will play in a Kansai Kiin pro tournament this coming week; their games will be broadcast on Pandanet. The game will take place starting at 10 a.m. on Oct. 26, Japanese time, or 9P EST in the US. Liu will play against Imayi Kazuhiro 6p and Shi will play against Mine Yasuhiro 3p.

The Sankei tournament is a Kansai Kiin knock-out tournament, created in 2005, with 16 pros and 16 amateurs competing in two separate preliminaries. The current title holder is Daisuke Murakawa Oza 8p. This year, in addition to the two AGA pros, two European Go Federation pros will play, Mateusz Surma 1p of Poland against Kurahashi Masayuki 9p and Ali Jabarin of Israel against Yo Seiki 7p. There is also an exchange match scheduled for Oct. 30th, with Liu playing Sinntani Yousuke 1p at 10 a.m and Shi playing Yinaba Karinn 1p at 2 p.m. Japanese time.

Last year, two EGF pros played the pro preliminaries, Pavol Lisy 1p of Slovakia lost to Yuki Satoshi 9p, but Ali Jabarin beat Saito Tadashi 8p, advancing to the second round, where he lost to Nakano Yasuhiro 9p. While American pros have played many times in Japan, and a number of Americans, including Michael Redmond 9p, James Kerwin 1p (retired) and Francis Meyer 1p, received professional status from the Kansai Kiin or Nihon Kiin, this will be the first time AGA-certified pros will play in Japan as professionals.

via American Go E-Journal

Young Lions Nov. 14 & 15

6a00d8341c630a53ef01116887fc30970c-800wiThe American Go Honor Society (AGHS) will be hosting the 2015 Young Lions Tournament in November. “This is the premier competition for North American youth under 18, and has been one of our longest running tournaments,” says AGHS Promotion Head Stephen Hu.  “There will be 4 rounds in the tournament. The first round starts at 1pm EST, and the second at 4pm EST on November 14th. The third and fourth rounds  rounds will follow the same schedule on November 15. There will be great prizes, as well as trophies and medals for the top three places in each rank division,” adds Hu. The  tournament will be held on KGS, with games broadcast on Twitch.   The registration form is here, the deadline will be Saturday, November 7, so sign up today.  -Paul Barchilon, E- J Youth Editor

via American Go E-Journal

Yu Zhiying wins her first international title – 6th Bingsheng Cup

Yu Zhiying 5p defeated Park Jieun 9p in the final of the 6th Bingsheng Cup, on October 21, 2015.

The final was played in Suzhou, China, and Yu won by 2.5 points after 260 moves.

Yu Zhiying 5 dan (left) and Park Jieun 9 dan at the final of the 6th Bingsheng Cup.

Yu Zhiying 5 dan (left) and Park Jieun 9 dan at the final of the 6th Bingsheng Cup.

Overcoming a rival

Yu Zhiying is currently ranked number one in China in women’s Go, and she’s in fine form.

It was very sensational that she defeated Mok Jinseok 9p and Choi Cheolhan 9p at the group stage of 2015 Samsung Cup.

Defeating Choi by half a point was very particularly impressive!

Choi Jung 6 dan (left) and Yu Zhiying 5 dan at the semifinals of the 6th Bingsheng Cup.

Choi Jung 6 dan (left) and Yu Zhiying 5 dan at the semifinals of the 6th Bingsheng Cup.

Yu earned her spot in the semifinal by defeating Zhang Zhengping 3p (Taiwan) in the round of 16 and Wang Jing Yi 2p (Japan) in the quarter final.

She faced Choi Jung 6p in the semifinal match.

Choi is the defending champion and currently ranked number one in Korea in women’s Go.

Yu and Choi are rivals and currently two of the strongest players in the women’s Go. Their head to head record before this match was 6-5 for Yu’s favor.

Yu defeated Choi in six consecutive games from the middle of 2013 to the end of 2014.

However, it seems like Choi found Yu’s weak spot and narrowed Yu’s lead by winning their next four encounters in 2015.

The game between Yu and Choi was an interesting contrast between Black’s (Yu) thickness and White’s territory.

The game maintained its balance after early fighting and the score became very close.

In the end, Black’s thickness prevailed in the endgame, and Yu went on to face Park Jieun 9p in the final.

Park Jieun’s come back

Li He 5 dan (left) and Park Jieun 9 dan, at the 6th Bingsheng Cup.

Li He 5 dan (left) and Park Jieun 9 dan, at the 6th Bingsheng Cup.

Park Jieun used to dominate women’s Go in Korea along with Rui Naiwei 9p but her results haven’t been as impressive in recent years.

She’s won four international tournaments in her career including the 1st and 2nd Bingsheng Cup in 2010 and 2011.

She defeated Rui by 1.5 point in the round of 16, and ousted Wang Chenxing 5p, the winner of the 4th Bingsheng Cup, in the quarter finals.

Park faced another former Bingsheng Cup champion, Li He 5p, in the semifinal.

The game was full of tough and fierce fighting and Park was just able to save half a point to proceed to the final.


The final against Park was another challenge for Yu. The head to head record between Yu and Park before this game was tied at 2-2.

Yu Zhiying 5 dan (left) and Park Jieun 9 dan, at the end of the final game.

Yu Zhiying 5 dan (left) and Park Jieun 9 dan, at the end of the final game.

The final started with calm and peaceful opening, which suited Yu’s style of play.

Black (Park) started a tentative attack on White’s center stones, but her strategy wasn’t clear enough, and White successfully settled her weak groups with skillful sabaki.

The game was still very close as it entered endgame, but White’s position was thicker than it appeared. Yu maintained her lead until the end with her excellent endgame technique.

It was Yu Zhiying’s first international title! Congratulations!

The Bingsheng Cup

The Bingsheng Cup was first played in 2010 and is held annually at Qionglong Mountain, Suzhou, China.

The original name of the tournament is the Qionglong Mountain Bingsheng Cup, and it’s sometimes referred to as the Qionglong Cup (in English) because of this.

Currently the only women’s individual international Go tournament, it uses a knockout format for the top 16 players from China, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Europe, North America and Oceania.

Amateurs are allowed to take part if they win the right to represent their region.

The time limit for games is 2 hours main time and 5 x 1 minute byo-yomi.

The first prize is 250,000 RMB and the runner up receives 100,000 RMB.

Qionglong Mountain is where Sun Zi (aka Sun Tzu) wrote The Art of War (孫子兵法), and is called the mountain of the wisdom.

Bingsheng (兵圣) literally means ‘soldier saint’ – named in honor of Sun Zi. The second character also appears in the names of the Qisheng and Kisei (Go saint) tournaments.

6th Bingsheng Cup photos


6th Bingsheng Cup full results

Round of 16

Yu Zhiying 5p (China) defeated Zhang Zhengping 3p (Taiwan)

Park Jieun 9p (Korea) defeated Rui Naiwei 9p (China)

Wang Chenxing 5p (China) defeated O Yujin 2p (Korea)

Li He 5p (China) defeated Mukai Chiaki 5p (Japan)

Choi Jung 6p (Korea) defeated Joanne Missingham 7p (Oceania)

Nyu Eiko 1p  (Japan) defeated Song Ronghui 5p (China)

Wang Jing Yi 2p (Japan) defeated Wang Yinli 6d (North America)

Chen Yiming 2p (China) defeated Rita Pocsai 5d (Europe)

Quarter finals

Yu Zhiying 5p defeated Wang Jing Yi 2p

Park Jieun 9p defeated Wang Chenxing 5p

Choi Jung 6p defeated Chen Yiming 2p

Li He 5p defeated Nyu Eiko 1p


Yu Zhiying 5p defeated Choi Jung 6p

Park Jieun 9p Li He 5p


Yu Zhiying 5p defeated Park Jieun 9p

Game records

Park Jieun vs Yu Zhiying – Final

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Yu Zhiying vs Choi Jung – Semifinals

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Li He vs Park Jieun – Semifinals

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Park Jieun vs Rui Naiwei – Round of 16

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Choi Jung vs Joanne Missingham – Round of 16

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Rita Pocsai vs Chen Yiming – Round of 16

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Cotsen Pre-Registration Closes; On-site Registration Available Saturday Morning

Pre-registration for this weekend’s Cotsen Open has ended — 143 pre-registered! — but organizers report that “you can still register at the door” 2015.10.21_cotsen-yang-review-DSC_0039on Saturday morning. Registration will open at 8a on Saturday at the LA Center Studios, 1201 W. 5th Street, Ste. T-100 (450 S. Bixel Street will get you to the correct gate to enter) and closes at 9a sharp; anyone registering after 9a will not be able to play in the first round (click here for the complete schedule). “Even if you pre-registered, you must still sign in Saturday morning,” notes Tournament Director Chris Sira.

The Cotsen offers a free food truck lunch on both days and the entry fee is refunded if you play in all five rounds. Yilun Yang 7P will play a match against Qun Wang 8P on Sunday morning, followed by an analysis of the game. Kiseido/Yutopian will have a vendor table on the Saturday of the event. The E-Journal will broadcast top-board games on KGS.
photo: Eric Cotsen reviews a game with Yilun Yang 7P at last year’s Open; food truck in background; photo by Chris Garlock 

via American Go E-Journal

Jonathan Fisher 4D Wins Cocoa Go Tournament

Jonathan Fisher 4D topped a field of 18 at the 2015 Cocoa Go Tournament on October 18. The Space Coast Area Go Association hosted 2015.10.21_Cocoa Go Tournament-collageplayers from West Palm Beach, Sarasota, Orlando, and the local area which is near the Kennedy Space Center.  The top division included three 4 dan players while the lower kyu division included the three youngest players rated at 13K, 15K and 26K.
“Due to the generosity of Slate and Shell, Yellow Mountain Imports and our club President, George Lebovitz, there were prizes for all,” reports tournament director  Bart Lipofsky. Top winner Jonathan Fisher 4D, who swept all three of his games, took home the 24 inch oil canvas of go stones from Yellow Mountain Imports.  Aaron Otero 8K was also undefeated to take first place in the mid kyu division.  Heather Crawford 13K had 2 wins, 1 loss, for first place in the lower kyu division.
“It was very nice to see a family team like the Crawfords who also played last year,” said Lipofsky. Paul Wiegand, who directs the Orlando Go Tournament in April, very graciously supplied all the clocks from his club. Afterwards Lipofsky and his wife Judy hosted a pizza party at their home.

Photos by Bart Lipofsky; collage by Chris Garlock
(top right) Winners Heather Crawford 13K (left); Aaron Otero 8K (center) & Jonathan Fisher 4D (right);
(bottom right) Front left – Dan Micsa 4D  Front right – Jonathan Fisher 4D, Back left – Steve Barberi 1K  Back right, hidden behind Fisher – Karsten Henckell 4D;
(middle bottom) Paul Wiegand 6K, Orlando TD
(bottom left): 3 Crawfords: Front left at table – Eric Crawford 8K Front right at table – Aaron Otero 8K, Back left, standing – Heather Crawford 13K  Back right, standing – Eddie Crawford 26K
(middle left): 3 youngest: Front left – Eddie Crawford 26K, Front right – Yuliang Huang 15K, Back left – Kevin van Workum (the older player) 10K  Back right – Heather Crawford 13K
(top left): Front left – Dan Micsa 4D  Front right – Steve Barberi 1K, Back left – Karsten Henckell 4D  Back right – Jonathan Fisher 4D




via American Go E-Journal

East Coast Go Players Have 3 Tourneys to Choose from this Weekend

East Coast go players who can’t make the Cotsen Open in Los Angeles this weekend can still get their dose of go competition by attending tournaments in Arlington, Virginia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, or Rochester, New York. The NOVA Pumpkin Classic will be held Saturday, October 24 in Arlington, the 11th Annual Greg Lefler Memorial Tournament in Rochester will also be held Saturday and the Philadelphia Fall Open – the first AGA-rated tournament organized by The Penn Go Society in many years — will be held Sunday, October 25th in Philadelphia. Anyone attending two of the tournaments should email photos to us at!

via American Go E-Journal

Cotsen Registration Tops 120; Volunteers Wanted

Registration for this weekend’s Cotsen Open has topped 120, organizers report. Coming up October 24-25 at the LA Center Studios in Los 2015.10.19_cotsen2014-DSC_0057Angeles, CA, the popular tournament features a free food truck lunch on both days: Komodo Food on Saturday and Kogi BBQ  on Sunday. The $20 entry fee is refunded if you play in all five rounds. Yilun Yang 7P will play a match against Qun Wang 8P on Sunday morning, followed by an analysis of the game. Kiseido/Yutopian will have a vendor table on the Saturday of the event.

Volunteers are needed to help set up on Friday and record top-board games during the tournament. To help set up (free pizza!), email; if interested in recording/broadcasting for the E-Journal (free EJ caps!); email

photo: top board at the 2014 Cotsen; photo by Chris Garlock

via American Go E-Journal

Amir Fragman 5D sweeps Israeli Go Championship

The 19th Israeli Go Championship took place in a quiet residence area in Ramat Gan, Israel. During an extended weekend October 15-17, the 6-2015.10.19_amir-fragmanround tournament brought strong and young players from all over the country. The calm atmosphere outside was in great contrast to the fierce fights on the board. Amir Fragman 5D (right) defeated defending champion Jonathan Lidor and a veteran champion Leonid Entin with five straight wins to secure the title. Second was Ofer Zivony and third Reem Ben-David. Half the participants were dan level players.

Click here for full results and more photos.

– report by Shavit Fragman

via American Go E-Journal