News

Closed during COVID-19 emergency

The Go Center is suspending most routine operations effective immediately, due to concern for everyone’s health and safety while the COVID-19 novel coronavirus emergency plays out.  We encourage everyone to keep playing Go at home, and to return to the Go Center when we reopen.  And we will be exploring online options for the Seattle area Go community.

We will be closed at least through March 29.  We will reassess then about whether to open on March 30 or March 31.

The Saturday “Programming Computer Go AI” meetup is suspended as far as face-to-face meetups go, but it is available through the Slack channel, and a dedicated Google Groups email list (ask Drew to add you if you’re not already on it).  Drew will be reaching out through Meetup.com, Slack, and the AI email list to keep the momentum going.

The twice-monthly Shogi meetups will be online during this emergency, at 81Dojo.  Up-to-date event details can be found on the Seattle Shogi Meetup page (no meetup.com account needed to see the info) and Brandon reports that the March 7 event “was the first ever live-streamed on Twitch. Attendance was actually higher than a typical in-person event and we even got some strong players from outside Washington to participate! This success in spite of COVID-19 is encouraging so far.”

DDK class updated info — the Monday “Double Digit Kyu” class also is suspended during the covid-19 emergency.  Dr. Nick will make further announcements about the DDK lectures.

Paid Private Instruction (which usually happens when the Go Center is closed) can continue, as long as teacher and student agree to observe certain precautions.  Contact us for details.

The annual Go Center membership meeting, where Directors are elected, is postponed until (probably) mid-April.  Please stay tuned for further announcements.

The Board of Directors meeting scheduled for March 22 will happen as scheduled, with additional precautions about interpersonal distance and cleaning.  And, most the Directors will attend by teleconference technology.  (These meetings are open to observation, but honestly, most Go players would rather play Go than observe the Directors discussing finances and long-term planning.  That’s why we’re so grateful to the Directors — they take care of the boring stuff, so the rest of us can focus on on our Go.  If you want to observe, contact us to make arrangements.)

The monthly AGA ratings tournament scheduled for April 5 is uncertain.  We will reassess on March 29 whether to hold it as scheduled, postpone it, or cancel until May.

The April outreach eventsSakura-Con, Cherry Blossom Festival (at Seattle Center) — seem to be planning to run as scheduled, so if things have settled down by then, the Go Center may be participating.

This was a difficult decision to reach, because we believe in the importance of face-to-face community games.  But safety must come first.  Several of our community are at elevated risk for severe illness, or live with / take care of people at elevated risk.  Helping to slow the spread of COVID-19 is the right thing to do.

— Mike M.; updated 2020-03-17 by Mike M.

COVID-19 Outbreak

The Seattle region has been impacted by the COVID-19 novel coronavirus, and the Go Center continues to monitor the guidance of health authorities at www.kingcounty.gov/covid which includes restrictions on small gatherings of people.

As of March 12, the Go Center is planning to stay open to the degree practicable (though note we are closed on March 12). We are increasing precautions — sanitizing surfaces, spacing Go boards farther apart, laundering tablecloths — Brian has even begun sanitizing the stones. And we have more precautions to implement.

Several members of our Go-playing community, or their loved ones, are in groups at risk of severe illness: over 60 years of age; pregnant; having medical conditions such as lung disease, compromised immune system, diabetes, etc. There are risks associated with contact and gathering together, and safety must come first.

If you or someone you live with / care for is at increased risk of severe illness, you probably should stay home for now. If you have symptoms like fever, coughing, sneezing, shortness of breath — you should stay home, and consult your doctor.

Please check back for further developments. And, please wash your hands, cover your cough with your elbow, stay appraised via www.kingcounty.gov/covid, and take care of yourself and your loved ones.

Mr. Komatsu, 3 Dan Professional, March 9 – March 12

Mr. Daiki Komatsu, 3 Dan professional Go player of the Nihon Ki-in, has been visiting Seattle! Here is his profile page.

  • March 9 – Mr. Komatsu lectured at Nick Sibicky’s “Double Digit Kyu” class!
  • March 10 – Mr. Komatsu played simultaneous games, defeating seven challengers at once. Pizza for participants was provided courtesy of the AGA Chapter Rewards program.
  • March 11 – Mr. Komatsu visited the Uwajimaya weekly Go outreach meetup that Go Center volunteers have facilitated for many years.
  • March 12 – Mr. Komatsu will visit the Couth Buzzard weekly Go outreach meetup.

Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 novel coronavirus outbreak, two school visits had to be canceled.

Daiki Komatsu faces multiple opponents.
Daiki Komatsu 3 Dan battles multiple Go players.
Mr. Komatsu engaged 7 players simultaneously

— Mike M.

Strong Japanese Player Coming to Seattle Feb. 29 – Mar. 3

The Seattle Go community is fortunate to have frequent strong visitors, teaching and competing at the Go Center. A good example — Feb. 29 – March 3, 小野慎吾 (Ono Shingo) will be here.

Mr. Ono is a strong Japanese amateur and friend of Chris Scribner’s. He’s ranked as a Japanese amateur 7 dan, but in tournaments he plays at a 12d rating.  He’s not an accredited pro, but his strength is close to pro 1 dan.  Chris listed a few of Mr. Ono’s achievements from his profile page:

  • Won the central Japan Meiyo Honinbou (amateur) tournament 7 times in a row
  • Won the amateur Ryusei (national) tournament in 2015
  • As a senior in college, won the national Jikketsu tournament (a tournament for college students)
  • In his third year of middle school, won the national boy’s and girl’s tournament
  • He’s also placed highly in many amateur tournaments. Recently he placed in the top 16 for the national amateur Honinbou tournament
Go player in black faces multiple opponents

Mr. Ono has generously offered to play simultaneous games, with up to 4 players at a time.

Go players consider their boards.

He also will be competing in the monthly AGA ratings tournament on March 1, which is an outstanding opportunity for a up-and-coming dan level players!

Further, he’s interested in getting together with other strong players.  If you’re interested, please email and I’ll pass it along to Chris and Mr. Ono.

— Mike M.
Updated with photos, 2020-03-12

Jin Chen Tournament, Jan. 5, 2020

Seattle Go Center held the annual Jin Chen tournament on January 5, 2020. There were 41 players — 33 in the Handicap section, and 8 in the Open. Nick Wilmes, Seattle’s AGA Chapter Representative, was Tournament Director; and pizza lunch from Pudge Bros. was provided for all players, thanks to the generosity of Seattle AGA Chapter and the AGA Chapter Rewards program.

The tournament has been rated already:
Open – agagd.usgo.org/tournaments/seat20200105open/
Handicap – agagd.usgo.org/tournaments/seat20200105handi/

Round 1 games at the 2020 Seattle Jin Chen Go Tournament

Youth players made a strong showing. Overall, 39% (16 out of 41) of the players were Youth, including two in the Open section — including the Open winner, Xinlei Liu 7d.

One advantage to having a relatively large field in the Handicap section is that most games were played even or at a low handicap. Out of 88 games played, all but 3 had a handicap of three stones or less.

Players who won three games:
Xinlei Liu, 7d
Chris Scribner, 1d
Alex Hu, 2k
Yulissa Wu Lu, 7k
Brian Allen, 9k
Quincy Costello, 19k

— Mike M.

Happy 2020 from Mr. Yang

Happy 2020 puzzle for Go players
Happy 2020 puzzle from Mr. Yang

This is (basically) the same puzzle that appeared in the American Go E-Journal near the end of 2019. The picture links to the SGF — happy solving! (Thank you, Mr. Yang!)

— Mike M.

Myungwan Kim, 9 Dan Pro, Nov. 30 – Dec. 6

Mr. Myungwan Kim, 9 Dan professional, is visiting Seattle this weekend and next week. After that, he’ll spend a few days in Portland, OR before returning to Korea.

Mr. Kim is here promoting a simplified form of Go called “Connect Go”, more accessible for some populations. While he’s here, he has graciously agreed to play some simultaneous games and give some lectures.

Updated Wed., December 4
Sat.Nov. 30
1-3pmSimuls
6-8pmLecture (with free pizza!): “Pro game analysis using AI, and the difference from human”
Sun.Dec. 1
9-11amConnect Go seminar
5pm-6pmConnect Go discussion and practice
Mon.Dec. 2
6:30-8:30pmMr. Kim guest lecturer with Nick Sibicky for the “Double Digit Kyu” lesson (with free pizza!)
Tue.Dec. 3
6:30-8:30pmConnect Go demonstration and discussion
Thu.Dec. 5
6:30-8:30pmSimuls
Fri.Dec. 6
1-3pmOffsite: Simuls at Lakewood Korean Baduk Club, 3822 Steilacoom Blvd. SW, Lakewood, WA 98499

Mr. Kim has long been helpful to the Go Center, to the AGA, and to American Go players. He has taught at Go Camp and the Go Congress multiple times, and taught Go players to be Go teachers, and ran a Go school in California.

Gala Night of Pair Go, Sat. Dec. 7

Seattle Go Center is pleased to present the 7th Annual Gala Night of Pair Go!

Pair Go poster
  • Register in person, 5:00 – 5:30 PM
  • $10 entry ($5 for youth 17 and younger / Go Center voting members)
  • Mixed gender two-player teams
  • Festive attire is encouraged

This is a great holiday event, with two rounds of Pair Go, cake, prizes and lots of fun.  (We expect to finish the evening around 10 PM.)  We will be following a slightly modified form of the International Pair Go rules.  Each team is to be composed of different genders (female + male, female + non-binary, or male + non-binary).  Team members may be of any age.  This is not an official Pair Go competition, and formal dress is encouraged, but not required.

24th Anniversary Tournament Report

October 6, 2019, Seattle Go Center held a Go tournament to celebrate our 24th anniversary. AGA Chapter Rep Nick Wilmes officiated with aplomb.

Forty Go players signed in to compete — including ten Youth players, younger than 18 — and the first round was delayed several minutes while AGA memberships were initiated or renewed, pairings were tweaked, and extra clocks were brought out. The players didn’t seem to mind, chatting with friends old and new.

Go players gaze seriously at their games in progress.

Seattle Go Center 24th Anniversary Tournament – Open Section

Young girls take the white stones, elder men take the black stones.

Seattle Go Center 24th Anniversary Tournament – Handicap Section

After the first games, pizza lunch from Pudge Bros. was quickly demolished by the hungry Go players and their support staff (a.k.a. families).

Go players display their winning certificates.

When the dust settled after the third round, Haichen Zhu 7 Dan had won the Open Section (and the $150 prize).

Three men discuss a table full of books about Go.
Seattle Go Center 24th Anniversary Go Tournament. Prize table for Handicap Section.

In the Handicap Section, 3-game winners were Brendan Roof 1 Dan, Lucy Lu Wang 2 Kyu, David Snow 5 Kyu, Emma Huang 12 Kyu, and Derek Wisher 14 Kyu, and they got to select a prize from a table loaded down with books about Go. Ms. Huang also won the Youth Prize.

One advantage of having such a large field of competitors is that nearly everyone had someone near their strength to play against. In the Handicap Section, all but two of the games were played at a handicap of 3 or less.

Join us at the Go Center for the next tournament, Sunday November 3. There’s no entry fee (and no prizes), and AGA membership is required. The next tournament with prizes (and entry fees) is the Jin Chen, scheduled for January 5, 2020.

–Mike M.

Code of Conduct

The Seattle Go Center Board of Directors recently approved our new Code of Conduct, so members, visitors, and managers have a common set of expectations to keep everyone feeling comfortable at the Go Center — and a clear path for voicing concerns as they arise.

Here is the full text of Seattle Go Center Code of Conduct in PDF.
Here is the American Go Association Code of Conduct, which informs behavior expectations at tournaments and other AGA events.