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NAGF 2023 ProQual: Battling their way to the semis

Chris Garlock | Published on 8/8/2023

(San Francisco Go Club) Undefeated after the first four rounds, and with just one more round in the round robin section of the 2023 NAGF ProQual, Michael Chen and Eric Yoder are headed to the first slot in the semi-finals on Tuesday afternoon. Battling it out for the second slot in the A section are Emile Garcia, Eric Lee and Stephen Lin, all 2-2, so those morning matches will be definitive.

Meanwhile, in the B section, Abraham Florencia and Joel Kenny both have two wins, but Jeremiah Donley (1-2) still has a shot; if he wins against Kenny in Round 5 Tuesday morning, and Zhang defeats Florencia, there will be a 3-way tie in the section, necessitating a playoff.

Round 5 coverage begins at 9:30a PST Tuesday on the AGA’s homepage, and follow us on social media for complete coverage and updates. Morning commentators are Arthur Yeh 5D of the San Francisco Go Club and Albert Yen 8D; afternoon commentators are CGA President James Sedgwick 5D and and Devin Fraze 1k.


Michael (Zhao
nian) Chen has been playing Go for 25 years; he got started with “Fun early games.” Eric Yoder has been playing since 2011, “although I heard of the game in 2009.  A friend suggested the game to me, then two years later I remembered his suggestion when looking for anime to watch. Hikaru no Go was very good, so I tried the game out, and it was great.”

Emil Garcia has been playing for 20 years; he first saw the game in the movie “Pi”. Eric Lee’s been playing 16 years, and started playing in high school, “don't remember why.” Stephen Lin has played for over 15 years and got interested through Hikaru no Go.

Abraham Florencia has played for over 10 years, learning about it on the Internet. Joel Kenny has played for 15 years; “I stumbled across the game while clicking the ‘Random Article’ button on Wikipedia. I found a bot to play atari Go against and was hooked.” Jeremiah Donley’s been playing about 13 years and got interested through anime. “I think looking back I enjoyed the rapid growth and community.”

Nathan Morse has played for 6 years; “My high school had no chess players, but a couple 4dan Go players. I picked it up from them and never looked back.” Edward Zhang  has been playing for 33 years; he began playing with friends and family, “then found it fun, deep and competitive.” Yinli Wang    has played for more than 30 years; “I started to learn Go at a Go school with a lot of kids when I was young, then I gradually loved to play.” 
- report/photos/collage by Chris Garlock; grid by Devin Fraze

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