Seattle Go Center
700 NE 45th Street   Seattle, WA 98105   206 545.1424


Room 305 at Sakura Con 2014

Sakura Con weekend is almost here! We will be doing outreach, and playing teaching games at this incredible gathering devoted to Japanese anime and popular culture. We will be in room 305 of the Washington State Convention Center (downtown on Pike St near 6th Ave). This is the same room as last year – just go up the escalator to  the third floor and turn left. You do not need a convention pass to reach us.

Our official hours are: Friday, April 19, 10 am to 8 pm; Saturday April 20, 10 am to 8 pm, Sunday April 21 10 am to 4 pm. We will probably stay open later on Friday and Saturday evening.

We have a 13×13 Tournament on Sunday, starting at 10:00. Everybody can play, but the prizes are reserved for the regular Sakura Con attendees.


Beginner-Friendly Youth Tournament Sat March 29

We will be having a beginner-friendly Youth Go Tournament on Saturday, March 29, from 2-5 p.m. at the Seattle Go Center. There will be prizes for all: books, donated equipment and fun little things. This tournament is not AGA rated, and it is free. Advance registration is not required, but please send me an email if you think you will be coming.

This will be for all players under 18, but we expect that most of the participants will be grade school aged. Students will compete by grade group: k-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12. The default board size will be 13×13, but if both players agree, it can be 19×19. If students play 19×19, the games will be fast by adult standards — 30 minutes to a side.

If you are new to the Go Center, our directions page has useful information on parking and transportation options in the area.



Meetup at Crossroads Bellevue a Success

We are continuing our meet-up for playing Go at the Crossroads Bellevue Shopping Center on Thursdays from 5:30-8:00 pm.   Last week, Feb. 20,  we had 8 players, from beginner to 6 dan. We meet in the Game Lane, inside the Crossroads common area, in front of Uncle’s Games and the KCLS Library (near the giant chess board).  Brian Allen will be there for the first two weeks, and Sonny Cho will be providing free instruction.  We will provide equipment.

Eastside Meet-up Thursday Evenings

We are going to try a regular meet-up for playing Go at the Crossroads Mall in Bellevue on Thursdays from 5:30-8:00 pm for the next 6 weeks, starting Feb. 20.   We will meet in the Game Lane, inside the Crossroads common area, in front of Uncle’s Games and the KCLS Library (near the giant chess board).  Brian Allen will be there for the first two weeks, and we will provide equipment.  Go Center volunteer Thane W. will be there on a regular basis.

In the past year, we have gotten six inquiries from people looking to play Go on the Eastside. At present, we do not know of any other regular Go events on the Eastside, except for Sonny Cho’s Friday evening children’s class at Tyee Middle School, which is organized through the United Seattle Bellevue Korean School.  We hope that Eastside players will find Crossroads convenient, and that we can establish a regular time and place to play Go on the Eastside.

Ratings Tournament this Sunday Feb 2

Chicken wings and quiet Go games

We will be having our regular Monthly Ratings Tournament this Sunday, Feb. 2, with registration from 12:15 – 12:45. I have asked around, and I think we will have a good crowd for our quiet games, even though some of our members will be going to Super Bowl parties. Deborah will be bringing chicken wings to the Go Center, and playing in the tournament. We encourage other pot luck donations, such as nachos and guacamole. Kimbap is another good choice; that is what Lee Sedol had for lunch when he won the first game of his jubango with Gu Li.

If you plan to play in the Ratings Tournament, please make sure your AGA (American Go Association) membership is up to date.  If you need help updating your membership, please come early.


Jin Chen Memorial Tournament Draws Big Crowd

The fourth annual Jin Chen Memorial Tournament, held Jan. 5, 2014 at the Seattle Go Center, brought together 46 players from diverse backgrounds.  The 12-person open section was won by Ximeng (Simon) Yu, a 1 dan professional from China who is also a local college student.  Second place in the open went to longtime Northwest teacher and player Edward Kim 7d. Edward lost his game to Simon on time, but said he was also behind on points.  Third place went to Ran Yan, who traveled to Seattle for the tournament.  In the handicapped sections, Go Center teacher Nick Sibicky won the upper dan section, and Ning An, visiting from China,  placed second.  As is often the case in Seattle, the local Betcher brothers ruled the lower dan section, with Jordon first and Job second.  In the upper kyu section, Andrew Mott was first and tireless teacher John Richards was second.  In the large lower kyu section Wilhelm Fitzpatrick placed first, young Steven He second, and Rainer Romatka third.

Friends and family of the late Jin Chen came to the tournament from China, including 5 players.  They donated a large and beautiful scroll painting of wei-chi players to the Go Center.  The trip was organized by Shan Chen, Jin’s father.  Their able translator was Xingshuo Liu 7d, a law student at Indiana University.  Photo: 1st Round, 1st Board (l-r): Simon Yu, Momoko Tsutsui; 2nd Board: Bert Hallonquist and Edward Kim.  Photo/Report Brian Allen

Jan. 5 Tournament Update

The Jin Chen Tournament is on Sunday, Jan. 5.  Registration is on the day of the tournament, from 10:00 -10:30 a.m.  There will be a short break for lunch after the first round.  The second round will start at 1:30 p.m. The third and final round should be done by 6:30 p.m., with prizes done by 7:00 p.m.

The tournament has an open section and several handicapped sections. Everybody who can finish a 19×19 game is welcome.  We are expecting some youth players in the 25 kyu range, and a number of double digit kyu players. At the strong end of the scale, we are expecting one  young Chinese pro, Yu, Ximeng, and several amateurs who are 7-dan.  We have five guests from China who will be playing, who are 1 or 2 dan on the Chinese scale.  The 4 dan pro Yao, Xiaomin will not be playing, but she will be at the tournament all day, and looks forward to doing game analysis for players.

The fee is $10 for youth and voting members; all others $15. The total purse for prizes is $1000.  You need to be an AGA member to play, since this a rated tournament.  You can register online here:

 This is our biggest tournament of the year, and we hope you can make it.

Closed until Jan. 2

The Seattle Go Center will be closed for the New Year’s Holiday on Tuesday, Dec. 31, and Wednesday Jan. 1.  We will be open on Thursday Jan. 2 and Saturday Jan. 4 for our regular hours.

We have 6 visitors from China who have come for the Jin Chen Tournament on Sunday, Jan. 5.   They include the professional Yao, Xiaomin 4P, who was a colleague of our teachers Yang, Yilun and Guo, Juan when they lived in China.  So we enjoyed meeting her!

Our visitors will be at the Go Center on Saturday afternoon, Jan. 4.


First Annual Pair Go Gala

Fourteen pairs of go players gathered at the Seattle Go Center Saturday night, December 7, for a gala dress-up event that included two rounds of Pair Go and three kinds of cake provided by the stylish Bakery Nouveau of Capitol Hill.  Among the strong players, the winning team was “EASTWEST” – Momoko Tsutsui and Jon Friedman (center in photo).  TD Bill Chiles reported that the middle group was led by Deborah Niedermeyer and Brian Allen (right in photo).  The aptly named “DRESS TO KILL”, Marilyn and Rainer Romatka, ruled the last group (left).  Participants enjoyed door prizes from Pandanet Internet Go, while the winners received fans with calligraphy from the Go Center.  At the end of the holiday evening, organizer Bill Thompson revealed his secret plan to make this an annual event, and there was no objection.  Photo by Joe Schneider, report by Brian Allen

Pair Go Saturday Night Dec. 7

Photo and photo styling by Anne Thompson.The Seattle Go Center is proud to present a gala evening of Pair Go on Saturday, December 7.  We will have a two-round Pair Go tournament featuring a dessert buffet sponsored by Bakery Nouveau of Seattle and prizes for the top teams. The tournament will be played by International Pair Go rules, so participants are encouraged to dress in formal or semi-formal attire.

Registration for the tournament will be open between 6:00pm and 6:45pm with the first round beginning at 7:00pm. The fee for participants is $5.00 for annual and lifetime members of the Seattle Go Center, $5.00 for children under 18 and $10.00 for non-member adults.  

New! 1 pm Opening on Tuesdays

We will now open at 1:00 pm on Tuesdays, rather than 3:00 pm, effective November 19, 2013.  We hope that this will give our afternoon players more time.  Informal instruction will still begin at 3:00 pm, and continue until 9:00 pm.  Chris K. will be the manager in the early afternoon.


Go Clubs start at Hamilton, McDonald and Sacajawea

Oct. 2: The fall Go clubs at Seattle Public Schools are starting up.  Students can still sign up the for the club at Hamilton International Middle School, which meets on Thursdays after school.  The McDonald elementary club has 13 players. There will be another session in the winter.

Fall Classes Start Up

Our full lineup of evening classes will start up the week of Sept. 23.  Beginners have classes on Thursdays, Double Digit Kyu Players (advanced beginners) meet on Mondays, and Single Digit Kyu Players meet on Wednesdays.  All these classes are free, and your first ten visits to the Go Center are also free.

We recommend the Thursday evening classes for those who are starting out.  “Real Beginners” and “Beginners Workshop”  will start fresh on September 26, 2013.  They are free, but you need to register by contacting the Manager.  It is best for adults and teenagers.  (We also have informal lessons for beginners, including youth, on Tuesdays, from 3-9 p.m., and also on Saturdays, from 1-5 p.m.)

If you already play on a 19×19 board, and can finish a game, but are not a strong player, then the “Double Digit Kyu Player” class on Mondays with Nick Sibicky  is for you (20 kyu – 5 kyu players). This class is starting up again Sept 23, 2013.

If you are in the 10 kyu to 1 kyu range, and working towards being a dan level player,  then the Wednesday Night class with Andrew J is for you.  This is the “Single Digit Kyu Class” (SDK). The class is ongoing, and you may join at any time.

“It’s really a simple but difficult game” – Takemiya

August 15: Two professional Go players who came for last week’s U.S. Go Congress  have been visiting us this week, treating us to 3 sessions of simultaneous games, and 3 evening lectures.  Chihiro Chujo 1p from the Kansai Ki-in, based in Osaka, Japan is a young pro who loves teaching and who has been enthusiastically learning English during our stay.  The famous Masaki Takemiya 9p from the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo was our second visitor.  He was friendly and patient, and was very generous about signing books, fans and membership cards, and about posing for photos.  He also gave two excellent lectures that explained his style of play to a non-expert audience.

On Tuesday evening, Aug 13, Mr. Takemiya played simultaneous games with four players who had been in the Go Center’s “Seattle Strong Player’s Tournament”.  The games were recorded by Dennis Wheeler and Oren Laskin, and broadcast on the KGS Go Server (  A computer in our kitchen picked up the games, and we projected the games on the wall, so that we could talk about the games as they were going on.  It was great fun.

These should be considered teaching games, and not compared to a tournament game between two professionals.  All our players were given handicap stones, and Mr. Taklemiya was playing four individuals at once.  At the same time, we are proud that Sonny (Sung-Chul) Cho won his game, and that Ho Son had an even score, with only a two stone handicap, creating a tie by Japanese rules.  The game records are below, for your enjoyment and study.  (Correction on Aug 18, 8:00 pm: moves adjusted in Sonny’s game.)



Games from Wednesday Lecture

Here are two games by Masaki Takemiya that he analyzed for the Wednesday, Aug. 28 lecture.  The first game is from early in his career in 1969, the second from 1988.



The Pros Are Here!

This is a great week for Go in Seattle.  We will have events with professional Go players all this week, Monday Aug. 12 – Thurs. Aug. 15, at 7:00 p.m.  We will also have simultaneous games with pros on Tuesday and Thursday afternoon.  The schedule is in our events calendar; you can then click on a listing for more detail.

Reduced Hours During Go Congress Aug. 3-11

The Seattle Go Center will be open Tuesday, Aug. 6 from 3-10 p.m.  We will be closed all other days from Saturday, Aug. 3 through Sunday Aug. 11, since we will be at the U.S. Go Congress in Tacoma.  We hope to see you there!

Pros Visiting in August

We have some excellent events coming up. Maeda Ryo 6p from the Kansai Ki-in will be visiting us on Thursday afternoon, Aug 1, for simultaneous games, and on Friday evening, Aug. 2 for a lecture. ($15 general admission, $10 for youth and voting members).  Maeda-sensei is one of our favorite instructors for kyu players.

The U.S. Go Congress will meet in Tacoma at Pacific Lutheran University from Saturday, Aug. 3 to Saturday Aug. 10.  There will be 22 professional Go players from around the world participating in this event.  The Go Center will be open only on Tuesday, Aug. 6, during this week, since most of our staff and instructors will be at the Go Congress.  It is possible to get day passes to the Go Congress for $60.  Go Congress Site

After Go Congress, Kansai Ki-in pro Chihiro Chujo will give a lecture suitable for kyu players on Monday evening at 6:30 Aug. 12, and play simultaneous games at 3:00 p.m., Aug. 13.

The famous Masaki Takemiya 9p from the Nihon Ki-in will playing simultaneous games with strong players  in the evening on Tuesday Aug. 13, and  will give a lectures for strong players in the evening of Aug. 14, and for intermediate players in the evening of Aug. 15.

Please check our calendar on this website for the latest schedules: events calendar




New Classes Starting Week of June 10

The Seattle Go Center will be expanding its sequence of free evening classes.  We will be adding a “Single Digit Kyu Player’s Class” on Wednesday night, June 12,  with Andrew Jackson 5d as the instructor.  Here is the revised sequence of our classes, in order of  rising difficulty:

Thursdays, starting June 13: “Real Beginners” 7 week intro class starts at 6:30 p.m. with Jon Friedman.  Here is the flyer.  “Beginners Workshop” ongoing class starts at 7:00 pm with Frank Lam. The Workshop is good for graduates of “Real Beginners” up to about 15 kyu. Here is their website.

Mondays, “Double Digit Kyu Players Class” (DDK) continues with Nick Sibicky, and guest lecturers.  This class is now designed for players in the 20 – 5 kyu range.  Nick’s lectures are also available on youtube.

On Wednesday nights, a new class with Andrew J. starts up, for Single Digit Kyu Players (9k – 1k).  Andrew is a lively teacher who moved to Seattle only a year ago. Welcome Andrew!

All classes are free, but students need to pay for their attendance, be voting members (yearly and lifetime members), or be using their free “New Member” 10 visit card.  It is fine for students to take more than one class.  For example, a 20 kyu player could benefit from both the “Beginners Workshop” and Nick’s DDK class.

Students who are above 10 k may also want to take informal lessons on Tuesdays with strong players  Sonny Cho or Ho Son, or arrange for private lessons with Jon Boley


Closed Memorial Day Weekend

The Seattle Go Center will be closed for Memorial Day Weekend, May 25 – 27.    An Ikebana group will be meeting there for a workshop.

Nick’s Monday night DDK class on May 27 is also taking a holiday.

Youth 19×19 May 19 Sunday

The Iwamoto Youth 19×19 Tournament will be held Sunday, May 19, at the Seattle Go Center, at 1:00 p.m. If the open section has a least 4 players, the first place prize will be $50. There will also be an handicapped section with book and equipment prizes.  This is a great way for youth to start playing rated games.  The tournament is free, but players must be under 18, and have an American Go Association membership, which costs $10. AGA memberships can be set up online  or in person on the day of the tournament. Advanced registration is not required, but please send an email with your playing strength if you know you are coming. 

Cherry Blossom Festival April 26-28

This weekend, from Friday April 26, through Sunday April 28, we will be teaching and sharing the game of Go down at the Cherry Blossom Festival, in  the Armory Building of the Seattle Center (near the Space Needle).  The Go Center will be closed, except for Jon’s private lessons.  We will be doing outreach at Cherry Blossom on all three days, starting at 10:00 a.m.   The AGA  rated Tournament starts at 9:30 on Saturday in Room H of the Armory Building, and the Children’s 13×13 Tournament starts at 1:00 on Sunday at the same place.  We hope to see you there!  We have more info on our  events calendar page.


Ho Son wins Seattle Top Go Players’ Tournament

Ho Son won the first competition of the Seattle Top Go Player’s Tournament on April 7, 2013.  Edward Kim and Chan Jeong tied for 2nd place.  The deciding game between Mr. Son 7d and Mr. Kim 7d was played late on Sunday afternoon, and is posted below.

TD Sonny Cho gives Space Needle trophy to Ho Son

The round robin tournament took place on the first Sundays of February, March and April at the Seattle Go Center, and had 8 players.  Mr. Son won a cash prize of $250, and a trophy topped by the Seattle Space Needle with titles in four languages: English, Japanese, Chinese and Korean.

A second competition is planned for the first Sundays of May, June and July 2013.  All strong players are welcome to join in.  The fee is $50 for the whole competition, plus visitor fees of $3.50/day for players who are not voting members of the Go Center.  For more information, please contact the Tournament Director, Sonny Cho, at this email, or Brian Allen, the Go Center Manager.


Tournament Details

The results of the tournament are posted here.  Two games from the final day were recorded by Dennis Wheeler and are posted just below.  You should be able to replay these games in your browser: just click the arrows. The first game is the deciding match between Ho Son (white) and Edward Kim, which Mr. Son won by resignation.





We were at Sakura Con 2013

Solomon and Katie at Sakura Con 2013

The Seattle Go Center had a lot of fun doing outreach at Sakura Con 2013 at the Washington State Convention Center, March 29-31.  We will be back next year.  You do not need a pass to reach us.   Come by for a lesson, or a game!

Free Beginner Classes start April 4 – Thursday

We are pleased to offer two free Thursday evening classes starting April 4. “Real Beginners 1″ and “Real Beginners 2″ will both meet at 7:00 p.m. at the Go Center, alternating lectures and practice games, and run for 7 weeks.

Jon Friedman will be teaching “Real Beginners 1”.  This class is for students who want to start learning the game of Go from the beginning.

Frank Lam will teach “Real Beginners 2”, continuing with many of his students from the previous “Real Beginners 1” class. 

When students finish “Real Beginners 2″, they should be ready for Nick Sibicky’s Monday Night class: “Double Digit Kyu Players”.

Both Thursday classes are free.  Once students have used up their first (free) ten visit card, they need to pay for their visits to the Go Center, or pay for a voting membership (quarterly, yearly or lifetime).  Students planning to take the Thursday classes should send an email to confirm that they are coming to the instructor, or to me at


Annual Meeting Sunday March 24 at 2 PM

The Seattle Go Center will hold its annual meeting on Sunday, March 24, at 2:00 p.m. at the Seattle Go Center.  The Agenda will include reports on the last year (which was exciting) and the election of four members to the Board of Directors.  The Board has a total of nine members.  All members of the Seattle Go Center community are welcome to the meeting.  People who have quarterly, yearly, or lifetime memberships may vote at the meeting.  We expect the meeting to last about an hour, and there will be plenty of time for playing Go afterwards, unless you are elected to the Board, which has a meeting at 3:00 p.m.



Brian Allen

Manager, Seattle Go Center

Yilun Yang Workshop this weekend, March 16-17

The Go Center will be closed this weekend, except for Yang Workshop participants.  We will not be offering our usual beginner’s lessons on Saturday Afternoon or Sunday Morning.

There are still spaces available in this once a year workshop with Mr. Yang.  For more information on the workshop, please click here.

Top Players Tournament March 3 Results

On Sunday, March 3, the Seattle Top Go Player’s Tournament had a second day of games. The round robin tournament uses reverse komi to match players with different ratings.  At this point, no one is undefeated. You can click to the results here. The next session will be April 7, starting at noon, at the Seattle Go Center.  The Monthly AGA Ratings Tournament, which is open to players of all strengths, will also be held on the same day, with registration from 12:15 to 12:45 p.m.

Top Players Tournament Results

The first day results of the Seattle Top Go Players round robin tournament are posted here. The tournament will continue on March 3, the same day as our next Monthly Ratings Tournament.

시애틀 바둑 최강자전

(Korean version of Top Go Player’s Tournament information.  English version below.)


시애틀 바둑 회관에서 열리고 있는 바둑대회중 특히 고단자들을 위한 대회 하나를 소개하고자 합니다. 참가자격은 미국 아마츄어 단위로 4단 이상이며 참가비는 50불입니다. 참가하는 모든 분이 번갈아 가며 한번씩 두는 데  10명이 대회에 참가하면 9판을 두시게 됩니다. 매달 첫번째 일요일 12시에 대회가 있고 하루에  한 분이 보통 3판을 두기 때문에 전체 대회를 소화하는데 3개월이 걸립니다.

모든 대국은 단위가 차이가 나더라도 접바둑은 없으며 대신 덤을 받는 것으로 실력차이를 조절합니다. 이를테면 4단은 5단에게 선으로 두고, 6단에게는 선에 덤을 5집 받고, 7단에게는 선에 덤을 10집 받게 됩니다.

3개월의 리그가 끝나면 우승자 한명은 승단하게 되고 다음번 3개월의 리그에 새 단위가 적용됩니다.

모든 출전비는 전액 1,2,3등에게 지급되며 우승자에게는 트로피가 준비되어 있습니다.

더 자세한 내용이 알고 싶으시면 리그 진행자인 조성철님께 연락하시기 바랍니다.


(425) 457-2267


Seattle Top Go Player’s Tournament

The Seattle Go Center has announced the “Seattle Top Go Player’s Tournament”, which will start on Sunday, Feb. 3.

This is a round robin tournament for players 4 dan and stronger, which will meet on the same days as our Monthly Ratings Tournament.  All games will start with an empty board — we will use komi and reverse komi to adjust for differences in strength. There are three cash prizes and a trophy.  The fee is $50 for the tournament, which will probably take 3 Sundays to finish.  Players who are not voting members of the Go Center will also need to pay an additional $3.50 a visit. Tournament Director will be Sung-Chul Cho (Sonny Cho).

This kind of tournament is very popular in Korea, and the Korean name for our tournament is 시애틀 바둑 최강자전 .  This tournament is not AGA – rated, so players do not have to be AGA members. However, if two AGA members play each other, they can submit the game to the AGA as a self-paired game, if they want.

Sunday Intensive Classes at 2:00

This Winter, we are pleased to continue our Intensive Classes on most Sundays when we do not have tournaments.  Running from 2-4 p.m.,this is the most advanced class that we offer. It is recommended for single digit kyu players, and for dan level players. The Instructors are Jon Boley 6d, and Edward Kim 7d, and the fee is $20.  The class schedule is in the events calendar.

First Place Tie at Jin Chen Memorial Tournament

Edward Kim 7d and Ho Son 7d shared the first place honors for the open section of the 3rd Jin Chen Memorial Tournament, held Jan. 6, 2013.  They were both undefeated.  Second place went to guest Xingshuo Liu 7d, who is a law student at Indiana University. The tournament attracted 32 players, with five 7-dans and three 6-dans in the open section.

In the handicapped section, there were 3 bands for prizes: dan level, 1k-5k, and 6k+.   Among the dan players, Daniel Poore placed first, Job Betcher second, and Chang Kim third.  For the 1k-5k group, Jordon Betcher was first, Moon Wung Sung second, and Judith Debel third.  For the 6k group, Jae Moon Kim placed first, George Schmitten second and Frank Brown third.

Tournament Directors were Daniel Top and Bill Chiles.  Dennis Wheeler and Andrew Jackson recorded four top games, which are below. These can be reviewed in your browser.







New Lease and Management Agreement with Nihon Ki-in

The Board of Directors of the Seattle Go Center is pleased to announce that we have signed a new agreement with the Nihon Ki-in, providing for our continued management and occupancy of the Iwamoto Building in support of our mission to promote the game of Go and encourage cultural exchange in the spirit of Iwamoto-sensei.  The lease term runs through 2016, with the Go Center having the option to renew through 2021. The official documents were recorded in Seattle this morning, Dec. 21, 2012. To a large extent, this new agreement simply formalizes the understanding the two organizations have always had, and ensures that misunderstandings will not occur in the future.

On behalf of the entire Seattle Go Center community, the Directors express heart-felt thanks to the Nihon Ki-in, and particularly to President Norio Wada.  This agreement, which not only formally extends  the relationship between our two organizations, but reaffirms our ties to one another, was only made possible by the vision and leadership the Nihon Ki-in provided throughout this process.

The Seattle Go Center remains deeply grateful to the Nihon Ki-in for its support, generosity, and guidance since the Seattle Go Center’s inception in 1994.  We will strive to justify their faith in us, now and far into the future.

New Session of “Real Beginners” on Thursdays

Starting Thursday, Jan 10, Frank Lam will be teaching a new session of our “Real Beginners” Class, from 7:00-9:00 p.m.  This is a great way to learn Go in a classroom format. The class is free but advanced registration is required.  Please send your name and phone number to the Manager if you want to join the class.  Frank Lam has been teaching at the Go Center for two years, and he has a website to help his students.  The class will run for 7 lessons, but it will not meet Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14).


Finding Go Equipment and Books in Seattle

Our little store at the Go Center is ready for a wide range of holiday gift giving. We now have three kinds of full sized boards: shin kaya (spruce), bamboo and painted. We have full sized glass stones (8.5 mm thick) and school club sized (6.5 mm thick). We have two sizes of magnetic boards, which are great as starter sets. We also have the full range of “Graded Go Problems” by Kano Yoshinori and all 5 “Learn to Play Go” books by Janice Kim. In addition, we have a great stocking stuffer, available only at the Go Center – our logo patch! We accept cash and checks; you can also use Paypal if your portable device connects to the web.

Other Retailers –

We view our store as a convenience to our members, not as a big profit center, so we are not offended if you buy your equipment elsewhere.

Shiga’s Imports in the University District of Seattle, next door to the University Bookstore, often has good equipment, including slotted and folding boards.

Uwajimaya in the International District of Seattle has some economical equipment – just watch out for boards with tiny stones.

And the huge H Mart Korean Grocery Stores in Federal Way and Lynnwood often have basic sets at good prices.


Jon’s Classes start Sunday Oct. 14

We are very excited to start our intensive Sunday teaching schedule with Jon Boley 6d at the Seattle Go Center this Sunday, Oct. 14!   Scott Arnold 2d will be assisting the morning youth classes, and Edward Kim 7d will teach some afternoon classes.

In the mornings we will have two youth classes:

9:00 AM – 10:00 AM is a beginners class that is focused on getting kids ready both intellectually and emotionally for the Sunday advanced youth class
10:00 AM – Noon is the Sunday advanced youth class.  As noted below we have different themes for each month and the youth class will be
mirroring the afternoon adult classes.

Afternoons: Jon will be joined by Edward Kim over the next three months in teaching both the intensive class and the group class.

October we will be focusing on shapes:  Ladder shapes, geta shapes, gote eyes, sente eyes, miai eyes.

November: counting liberties

December: finding the big move with a focus on emotional response to reading

Class schedule:

Intensive class (limit 6 students): 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM ($20) free
admittance to the group class. Register by emailing me
Group class (unlimited): 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM ($10) students attending the group class are welcome to come during the intensive class to play games.

10/14 – Jon Boley
10/21 – Edward Kim
10/28 – Jon Boley

11/4 – No class! Play in the ratings tournament
11/11 – Jon Boley
11/18 – Edward Kim
11/25 – No class due to Thanksgiving

12/2 – No class! Play in the ratings tournament
12/9 – Jon Boley
12/16 – Edward Kim
12/23 – Jon Boley (last class for this session)

One last note, students that are active, enrolled members of the
intensive class can also play Jon Boley (ongoing) games on Dragon Go Server
( during the session.

We hope to see you all soon!

SGC and Nihon Ki-in Reaffirm Joint Commitment to Iwamoto-sensei’s Vision

September 20, 2012

 Nihon Ki-in’s Vice President, Hiroshi Yamashiro 9P and Hiroko Shinkai 5P visited Seattle Go Center last weekend, Sept. 14-16, to join in the celebration of the Seattle Go Center’s seventeenth anniversary.   This was Mr. Yamashiro’s first visit to Seattle; Ms. Shinkai, a student of Seattle Go Center founder, the late Kaoru Iwamoto- sensei,  was present at the Go Center’s opening ceremony in 1995.

On Friday evening, Mr. Yamashiro and Ms. Shinkai enjoyed a Salmon House dinner with the Seattle Go Center Board of Directors.  On Friday and Sunday they took advantage of the beautiful weather, visiting  Mt. Rainer and a variety of Seattle landmarks, with members of the Go Center acting as guides. Their attendance at the Go Center’s anniversary celebration also afforded them the opportunity to talk with Go Center members about a wide variety of topics, including methods of teaching, how to effectively take advantage of the opportunities offered by the internet, and the possibility of a single universal ranking system.

Hiroshi Yamashiro 9P from the Nihon Ki-in showing the right move

A frequent subject of conversation was Iwamoto-sensei’s vision of uniting people of different backgrounds and cultures through the game of Go.  This principle is a core value of the Nihon Ki-in, and is an important consideration in many of the decisions they make.  Helping to realize that vision is the reason that the Seattle Go Center was founded, and remains its sole charter.  Because this vision is so important to both organizations, everyone involved was excited to exchange ideas and experiences about how best to honor Iwamoto-sensei’s legacy.

The entire Seattle Go Center membership was energized by the commitment and enthusiasm of both Mr. Yamashiro and Ms. Shinkai. The Go Center was proud to convey its own expression of Iwamoto-sensei’s bequest, and grateful to have the chance to identify opportunities to work more closely with the Nihon Ki-in in the future.  At speeches during the Saturday anniversary party, (which also was attended by Japanese Special Consul Hana and AGA President Andrew Okun), both Seattle Go Center and Nihon Ki-in reaffirmed their commitment to Iwamoto-sensei’s vision, and to cooperating over the long term toward achieving that vision together.

Hiroko Shinkai 5P from the Nihon Ki-in

Visiting Pros from Nihon Ki-in

We are pleased to announce that two professional Go players will be visiting the Seattle Go Center the weekend of our anniversary party.  Mr. Hiroshi Yamashiro 9p and Ms. Hiroko Shinkai 5p will be visiting from Thursday, September 13, until Sunday, Sept. Sept. 16.  A schedule of their lectures and simultaneous games is posted on our events page.

Mr. Yamashiro was born in Yamaguchi Prefecture, was a disciple of Mr. Toshihiro Shimamura, and became a pro in 1972.  He became a 9-dan in 1985, and holds 16 titles. Four years ago, he won his 1000th victory as a pro.  He belongs to the Nagoya area Nihon Ki-in and is currently Vice President of the Nihon Ki-in.  He has also been the vice president of the Nihon Ki-in Professional Go Players Assn.

Ms. Shinkai was a disciple of Mr. Kaoru Iwamoto 9p, the benefactor of the Seattle Go Center.  She was born in Tokyo,  became a pro in 1971, and a 5-dan in 1998.  She holds 2 titles, and belongs to the Tokyo Nihon Ki-in.  She is inventor of the new game “Cacomo”.


(Japanese translation of previous post)






もっと 読む







アンドリュー グロス

Litigation Ended

August 2, 2012


The Board of Directors of the Seattle Go Center is very pleased to announce that we have determined that our legal action against the Nihon Ki-in is no longer necessary, and have therefore withdrawn our lawsuit.


Representatives for both the Go Center and the Nihon Ki-in are in agreement that we can amicably resolve any issues in a manner that is beneficial to both parties, and that will allow both organizations to continue fulfilling our mutual goals of sharing, teaching and promoting Go in the United States in the tradition of Iwamoto-Sensei.  We are deeply grateful to the Nihon Ki-in for their willingness to put this incident behind us and work together toward resolution in the spirit of friendship and cooperation which has been the hallmark of our relationship from even before the founding of the Seattle Go Center.


The Board of Directors wishes to express our sincere gratitude for the unfailing support and generosity that the Nihon Ki-in has always extended to us, and we look forward to continuing the friendship long into the future.  We would also like to thank the members of the Seattle Go Center for their unwavering commitment during this difficult period.



Andrew B. Gross

President, Seattle Go Center Board of Directors

Tuesdays are Big!

Over 45 players visited the Seattle Go Center on Tuesday, July 24. They ranged from complete beginners to 6 dan players.  Tuesdays are always well-attended at the Go Center.  Even on slow weeks we will have 25 players.  Our priority is teaching beginners and intermediates, but everybody can find a game.  Members also shared fresh bread baked by Chris Kirschner, caught up with old friends, and made new ones.  Visiting AGA members from other parts of the country are encouraged to come by on Tuesdays.  It’s one of the things that makes Seattle special.

Study with a Pro June 16 + 17

Guo Juan 5p Workshop this weekend – June 16 + 17. Learn Go from a pro! More info at this page of our website:  Guo Juan

May 19 & 20: Outreach and Youth Tournament

We have lots happening on the weekend of Saturday, May 19 and Sunday May 20.  This includes two days of outreach at the U District Street Fair, a Saturday evening appearance at the new McDonald International School, the Youth 19×19 tournament on Sunday at 1:00, and the AGA chapter meeting at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday.  For more information, please click on our calendar on the Events Page: events

AGA – Tygem Pro Prelim Results

Results have been posted to this AGA webpage:  tournament results 

This tournament, on May 5 and 6 at the Seattle Go Center,  selected Edward Kim to go to North Carolina in July to compete for the new AGA pro position.   The winner of that competition will be able to compete in five Korean Baduk Association tournaments.  There was also a section B for players who did not compete for the pro position.  They could earn points to qualify for the 2012 WMSG (World Mind Sports Game) competitions in France, as well as cash prizes.


シアトル碁センター売却計画に関する声明書     2012年5月2日

(Japanese translation of previous post)










閉鎖する事を日本棋院から相談も受けてはおりませんし、その旨の報告を受けた事もありません。 私達はニューヨーク碁センターの資金的な援助の為に、シアトル碁センターを売るなどと提案した事は全くありません。 日本棋院がニューヨーク碁センターの再建を




ご厚意溢れるご寄付により購入出来た建物と地元の碁打ちの皆さまの支持により、資金的に自立して行く事が可能です. どちらか一方を犠牲にする必要はありません。 シアトル碁センターはその活動を継続し、ニューヨーク碁センターは再開発され、ニューヨークにあって、その国際的に多様な囲碁のコミュニティーに奉仕して行くべきと考えます. ニューヨーク碁センターは正しく経営され、維持されれば、必ずや利益を上げて行くセンターになって行くと



日本棋院はこれまで数十年に亘って海外に囲碁の支部会を作り、世界アマ選手権や国際囲碁連盟を創立し育て上げ、海外の囲碁の教師を日本に招待して評価し、世界に何百と言うプロの棋士達を送り出すなど、その他数々の業績を持って世界の囲碁の為に惜しみない貢献をして参りました. 私達は日本棋院のこうした貢献を大きく評価し、深遠なる感謝を捧げるものです、そして、私達が今日本の囲碁の世界と友情で結ばれている事に大きな意義を見いだしているものです. 私達は日本棋院が米国の碁センターとの関係を再評価して下さる事を希望するものです. そして、岩本先生のヴィジョンを行動に移して何年もの長い間ボランティアーをして来た人たちの意見も聞かずに一方的な決定をされる事は、日本の囲碁界とアメリカの碁コミュニティーの関係に大きな傷をつけてしまうと言う事を認識される事を願っております.お互いに協力し合い、共同意識を持って進んで行けば、こうした事は全て回避出来ましょう.




Statement in support of the SGC from the New York Go Center (May 2, 2012)

The Board of Directors of Nihon Ki-in America and the New York Go Center (now closed) supports the continued operation of the Seattle Go Center. From its founding, the Seattle Go Center has been particularly successful in uniting players from all cultural backgrounds and in drawing broad support from the Go community. In that sense, the Seattle Go Center has been the most successful of Iwamoto-sensei’s four Go Centers.

The NYGC Board was not consulted or informed of Nihon Ki-in Japan’s plan to close the Seattle Go Center. We never suggested that Seattle be sold to fund New York. While we appreciate Nihon Ki-in Japan’s interest in reestablishing the New York Go Center, we strongly disapprove of doing so at the expense of the Seattle Go Center.

Both the Seattle Go Center and the New York Go Center are capable of supporting themselves financially thanks to Iwamoto-sensei’s generous contribution of the funds to purchase the buildings and the support of local players. It is not necessary to sacrifice either of them. Seattle should remain and the NYGC should be redeveloped and operated to serve the international Go community in New York. Properly run and maintained, the New York Go Center will undoubtedly generate income.

The Nihon Ki-in has generously supported international go for decades with the creation of overseas chapters, establishment of the World Amateur Championships and the International Go Foundation, invitations for overseas teachers, the visits of hundreds of professionals, and more. We acknowledge and greatly appreciate these contributions, and we value our friendship with the Japanese Go world. We hope the Nihon Ki-in will reevaluate its relationship with the American Go Centers and will realize that unilateral decisions – taken without the input of those who have put Iwamoto-sensei’s vision into action with years of volunteer effort – will seriously damage the relationship between Japanese Go and the American Go community. That damage can be avoided with cooperation and collaboration.

We believe the situation calls for the Nihon Ki-in to negotiate a mutually acceptable agreement with the American Go Association, the Seattle Go Center and the New York Go Center to make the best use of Iwamoto-sensei’s generous endowment to Go in the United States.

Thanks To Our Volunteers!

We had two very successful weekends of outreach this month at the Sakura Con April 6-8, and the Cherry Blossom Festival April 13-15. At Sakura Con, a festival for Japanese anime and manga, our members provided 90 hours of instruction and teaching games. Dan of Bellingham, and the guy in the rabbit outfit also did a lot of teaching. The next weekend, we provided over 80 hours of instruction at the Center House of Seattle Center. Thanks to these efforts, we have some new faces at the Seattle Go Center, and we renewed our connections with old friends.

“This must be the very symbol of international friendship”

The Seattle Go Center was made possible by a generous donation from Kaoru Iwamoto 9 Dan.  Frank Fukuda recently provided this translation of Mr. Iwamoto’s letter of 1996, which followed his visit to the Seattle Go Center:

                                                                 —dated Oct. 10, 1996

 Dear Mr. Fukuda,

 I would like to express my appreciation for your thoughtful arrangements and wonderful hospitality rendered to me while I have been in your area in September. 

The two weeks stay there was now felt so short and I feel like it passed like a blink.

But while I was there, I had a pleasure of watching the one year anniversary tournament at the Seattle Go Center where American, Chinese, Korean and Japanese Go players getting together and enjoying the Go in the same room and I felt that this must be the very symbol of international friendship.

- – - – - – -

I could see that the management of the Go Center now moving on the firm rail and I ask you to continue your leadership for the success of  the Center.

- – - – - – -

I have left United States on 30th and arrived Narita safely.

I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to you for your arrangements and also to Mr. Wang(Andy) for furnishing accommodation for the period of two weeks.

Lastly but not least, I would be most happy if you could convey my deepest gratitude to all the directors and players of Seattle Go Center.

 Yours sincerely,


Kaoru Iwamoto 


Annual Meeting on Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Annual Meeting of the Seattle Go Center will be this Sunday, March 18, starting at 1:00 p.m. Everybody who plays Go at the Center is welcome to this important meeting. We now have received an official letter from the Nihon Ki-in indicating their intention to sell the Go Center building in the near future. The Seattle Go Center Board of Directors is currently determining how to respond to this notice.

The Annual Meeting will include the election of three individuals to the nine member Board of Directors. The election will be limited to “voting members”: lifetime, annual and quarterly members. However, any individual can stand for election to the board if they are nominated. They can be nominated by the current Board, the President of the Board, or by 10% of the voting membership.

We hope to see you at this important meeting. There will be time for go playing afterwards, if you have not been elected to the Board, which will be meeting immediately after the annual meeting.



From the Board of Directors

Posted March 6, 2012: We are aware that rumors are circulating that the Nihon Ki-in has decided to sell the Seattle Go Center building. At this time, we have not received any communication from the Nihon Ki-in regarding these rumors. In view of the fact that the AGA E-Journal has published an article about this situation, we expect that the Nihon Ki-in will provide us with an official statement of intent. When we do receive official information from the Nihon Ki-in, we will notify our membership.

The Seattle Go Center recently celebrated its 16th anniversary and is currently in a strong financial situation with an active and vibrant membership. We look forward to serving the Go community well into the future.

School Team Tournament Moved to April 29

The annual Iwamoto School Team Tournament has been postponed until Sunday April 29, at 1:00 o’clock, so that our young players have more time to practice.  Teams have three players, enrolled in Kindergarten to Grade 12. Official teams have both boys and girls, and are all from the same school.  Unofficial teams can be formed too.  The event has free pizza!

Iwamoto School Team Tournament Winners


2002 – Kimball Elementary School

2003 – Bellevue High School

2004 – Bellevue High School

2005 – Hamilton International Middle School

2006 – Hamilton International Middle School

2007 – Tournament moved to Feb 2008

2008 - Home Schoolers

2009 -  Roosevelt High School

2010 -  Meadowdale High School

2011 – Betcher Home School 


Pro Visiting on Tues. Jan 24

Ms. Chizu Kobayashi 5D from Japan will be visiting the Seattle Go Center on Tuesday, Jan. 24.  She will be playing simultaneous games at 3:30 p.m., and give a lecture in the evening, at 7:30 p.m.  Ms. Kobayashi is also representing the Nihon Ki-in, which provided the funding for the Seattle Go Center.  We look forward to her visit.

January Classes Start Up

It is still possible to join our winter classes.  Jon Boley’s winter Youth Classes meet Sunday Mornings at 9:00 a.m.  Nick Sibicky’s Monday evening class for beginners and double digit kyu players meets 6:30 p.m.  Jon Boley’s Tuesday Intensive class meets at 6:00, and his Wednesday class for intermediate players meets at 7:00  You do not have to register in advance for these classes.  More information is on the instruction page.

Monday Class: Beginner to 5 Kyu

The Monday Night class is for beginning players up to 5-kyu. It will run from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., and it is free. If you have just started playing go, and you do not know what a kyu player is, this class is for you. If you are much more experienced, but want to work on your fundamental skills, this class is also for you.  The class will be taught by Dr. Nick Sibicky, 4d. Students who do well in this class will be ready for the Wednesday Night class with Andrew J, which is more advanced.

Video recordings of this class are available on Youtube. They are quite popular.

Every Monday Class lecture will cover a specific theme in an easy to learn manner. Students will also have opportunities to play games during sessions to practice what they learn. There will be a focus on students learning how to “feel their stones” and understanding a go game as a conversation. Students who scale more towards the beginner side of the double-digit-kyu spectrum are encouraged to acquire Janice Kim’s “Learn to Play Go” books for reviewing core concepts.  We also offer one to one instruction in an informal setting on Tuesdays, from 3-9 p.m, and sequenced classes for beginners on Thursdays.

Nick Sibicky is among the 250 highest rated go players in the U.S. He has attended 3 US Go Congresses and has won a number of tournaments including The Wildflower Classic (Austin, TX), Sakura-Con 2010, and multiple Seattle Go Center Ratings Tournaments. He has had teaching games with professionals including Kim Myung-Wan 9p, Guo Juan 5p, Lee Hajin 3p, Janice Kim 3p, Huiren Yang 1p, and Cathy Li 1p. In 2010, Nick competed in the invitational North American Ing Masters Tournament alongside 31 other of North America’s top professionals and amateurs. In addition to his passion for go, Nick has a passion for teaching and learning. Since moving to Seattle 5 years ago, he has completed his PhD in Music, and attained a tenured faculty position at Edmonds Community College where his students have described his lectures as both “brilliant” and “hilarious.”

The class is free because teaching beginners is important to the Seattle Go Center. Regular attendance in the class in encouraged but not required. If you are planning to attend, please contact the Go Center at 206 545-1424 or by email at: class.

Jordan Betcher 6-0 at U.S. Open

Congratulations to Jordan Betcher, one of our Go Center youth players, who won the “J” section (3  kyu) of the U.S. Open this August with a 6-0 record.  Jordan, his brother Job, and  Daniel Zhao of New Jersey also won the kyu section of the Youth Team Tournament at the U.S. Go Congress.  Jordon and Job often come to our local tournaments, so watch out!

Youth 19×19 Tournament – May 15, 2011

Our most challenging youth tournament of the year will be held on Sunday, May 15, from 1 to 5 or 6 p.m. at the Go Center.  If we get enough players, we will have both an open section with cash prizes, and a handicapped section with book and equipment prizes.  The tournament is free, but players must be members of the American Go Association.  ($10/yr for Youth.  More info: here)  Registration is at the beginning of the tournament.

Sukura-Con Outreach

You do not need a pass or ticket to visit the Seattle Go Center room at the Sakura-Con festival, April 22-24. Just go to the 3rd floor of the Washington State Convention and Trade Center, which is downtown at 7th and Pike, and you will find us in room 304. We have a good line-up of volunteers, but more teachers are always welcome at this busy and crazy event. You can find our schedule at this link:

Thanks to our volunteers!

We had a great time at Cherry Blossom Festival this year with teaching and tournaments.  Our outreach tables were very busy, with 7 volunteers teaching non-stop on both Saturday and Sunday.

Cherry Blossom Festival – Seattle Center

The Seattle Go Center will be teaching and playing Go at the Cherry Blossom Festival the weekend of April 1, 2, and 3.  On Friday morning, we will be teaching school groups.  All day Saturday and Sunday, we will be giving short lessons to visitors to our booth.  We also have a free AGA rated tournament on Saturday, and Children’s tournaments on Sunday.

Donations are now tax deductible!

The Seattle Go Center is now recognized as a 501(c)(3) public charity by the IRS.  This means that donations to the Center are tax deductible, and that we qualify for “matching grants” for donations from many employers.  We are listed under our formal name: Nihon Ki-in Go Institute of the West.  For more information, contact Brian at the Go Center.