Princeton Go Club

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We've gone to Monday nights starting with the 2015-2016 academic year. We also host a smaller meeting Sunday afternoons starting around 2PM. Both meetings are in the Campus Club building at the corner of Washington Road and Prospect St.

Princeton Go Club history:

The Go Club associated with [ext] Princeton University. AGA recognized chapter.

Go has a long history at Princeton. The Princeton club was founded by Professor Ralph J. Fox of the Department of Mathematics in 1945.[1] He continued to promote Go in Princeton until his untimely death in 1973. Professor Fox brought a number of Japanese professionals to visit Princeton, and often hosted them at his house. His late wife Cynthia bequeathed some of his books, photographs and papers to the club archives.

Perhaps the most famous association of Princeton with Go is an opening scene in the film "A Beautiful Mind", depicting the life of Nobel laureate John Nash Jr., in which Nash is challenged to a game by a fellow graduate student.

The Princeton club hosted the fifth US Go Congress in 1989. The following year, the long-standing New Jersey Open, one of the earliest regional events in the US, moved to the Princeton campus where it resides to the present day. The tournament is usually held in late February and has drawn up to 120 players from Virginia to Massachussetts, with occasional visitors from as far away as Austria.

In addition to the New Jersey Open, we participate in the Collegiate Go League:


Club meetings are open to all. No formal association with Princeton is required. We are happy to teach beginning players.

The Princeton - Go connection is not complete without reference to the Robinson Collection - the largest collection of Japanese go material outside of Asia, which is housed in the East Asia library at Princeton. (Note: the Robinson collection was moved to rare-books off-campus storage.)

Former club president Zhaonian (Michael) Chen, AGA 8D, graduated in the class of 2011 (darkmage on KGS). He is the strongest player ever to be part of the Princeton community so far. The strongest current player on campus is Zhongxia "Ricky" Zhao '16.

Organizer: Rick Mott ([email] Meeting times:

  • Monday - 7:00PM - 12:00AM
  • Sunday - 2:00PM - 5:30PM (Sunday meetings sporadic, email before coming)

Location: Campus Club

Princeton Campus Club, at the intersection of Washington Road with Prospect Avenue. The meeting times are the same on Wednesday. 5 Prospect Avenue [ext] Campus Maps.

Note: the meetings were previously held at Frist Campus Center.

Members List (partial):

Zhongxia "Ricky" Zhao '16 (club president)
Kelsey Dyer '17 (club officer)
Rick Mott '73 (AGA chapter representative)
Jim Fredrickson (runs the Sunday meetings)
Patrick Taylor
Fred Kochman

New Jersey Open 2016: The Princeton Go Club will host the New Jersey Open on the weekend of Mar. 19 / Mar. 20, 2016. This is a 2-day, 5-round event which has been running for more than half a century, and on the Princeton campus for 25 years. Here is the tournament information:

                      Mar. 19 / Mar. 20, 2016
                      Frist Campus Center
                      Princeton University

To play in the first round, which will begin at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, you must register by March 17 at [ext] AGA membership and advance payment are required.

Pre-Paid Tournament Fee: $38 for full tournament - $28 youth rate under age 23

$25 Sat. only / $20 Sun. only ($20/$15 under-23)

Free to Princeton University students with ID

Five Rounds: first round Saturday ASAP after 10AM

              first round   Sunday 10:00AM

You may join the tournament for any round, but in order to be paired Saturday you must be here by 12:30PM for round 2 or 3PM for round 3. If you are playing Sunday only, please arrive by 9:30 AM. Official start times for later rounds will be posted at the registration desk and will depend on when the last games of the prior round are done.

In order to accommodate younger players, who often finish games quickly and want to leave early Saturday, the pairings for Round 3 will be posted as soon as possible after round 2. Fast players can expect to be finished on Saturday by approximately 5PM.

Call Rick Mott, (609)466-3306 or (609)851-6351, or email for any questions not answered below.

    • EMERGENCY PHONE NUMBER** Frist help desk, 609-258-1766

(cell phones don't work at the playing site on B level). Please reserve this number for emergencies: if you are on your way but late, call the tournament cell number: 609-851-6351. That number will checked during the last half-hour of registration both days.

The Tournament:

2016 is the 57th anniversary of the New Jersey Open, a great event for strong players and beginners alike. Last year over 130 players entered, from 30 kyu to some of the strongest amateurs in the US.

The Matthews "Accelerated" pairing system ensures dan level games will be even and lower kyu level games will be handicapped as needed. Prizes will be awarded by the number of games won.

The Campus Center has a food court one floor above the playing room. University regulations prohibit smoking in the building.

Instant Ratings:

Up-to-date AGA ratings will be available when you register at the tournament. After each round, a "tournament rating" will be computed which reflects your results and all your opponents' results. At the conclusion of the tournament, all players will receive a provisional rating (formal AGA ratings are computed with data from multiple tournaments, and may differ from the provisional value). Find out how strong you really are!

The Championship

The overall winner of the tournament will be the 2015 New Jersey State Champion. Everyone is eligible; residing in NJ is not required.


To qualify for all prizes except the Beginner's Prize, you must play in all five rounds. Prizes will be awarded for 4 or 5 wins of five games played. The NJ State Championship will be awarded separately in addition to 4 and 5 game winners.

The Bob Ryder Memorial Beginner's Prize

To encourage beginning players to participate, all entrants 15 kyu and below who complete at least 3 games will be entered in a drawing for a Go set (board, stones, bowls). Winners from previous years are not eligible. NOTE: You, or a designated representative, must be present at the awards ceremony to win! If you are eligible and must leave, make sure someone can accept it for you.

Playing 1 day only, or Skipping a Round

You may play only Saturday or Sunday for a reduced tournament fee (see fee schedule above). If any particular round is inconvenient for you, just tell the Tournament Director in advance. You can skip a round and rejoin the tournament later. New registrants may enter for any round. Register by 12:30PM for round 2 Saturday or Sunday, 3PM for round 3 Saturday. The actual round start times will be determined by the pace of play and will be posted at the registration desk.

AGA Membership

American Go Association membership is required. The Princeton Go club provides free youth AGA membership ($10 value) to Princeton students joining for the first time.

Full membership is now required for all players over the age of 22. However, a reduced rate ($15) is available for members joining the AGA for the first time. You also have the option of paying an AGA playing fee of $10 for just this tournament. Attending any other tournament will require either membership or another playing fee.


GPS Geocoding of the Washington Road/Ivy Lane intersection:

         40.346264, -74.6538723

Coming from Route 1, turn right onto Ivy Lane at the second light (the first one is at the bottom of the hill, just across Lake Carnegie). The parking lot is about 200 meters down Ivy Lane on the uphill side, opposite the astrophysics building (small observatory dome on top).

If you are coming from the Nassau Street end of Washington Road, Ivy Lane is the 3rd light, just after you start down the hill. Turn left onto Ivy Lane. The parking lot is on the left opposite the astrophysics building (small observatory dome on top).

There is a printable on-line map available at the web page. Select "Visiting Campus" from the left-hand column, then "interactive map" at thebottom of the page. Scroll down the list of buildings and click "Frist Campus Center." You will also see an option for a printable PDF map, clearer than just printing the graphics from your browser.

Trains from NYC and Phila. arrive in Princeton at 9:42. On Sunday, you must make the train which arrives at 8:42 or call the tournament cell number above to say you're definitely coming on the later train.

Playing Location: The Frist Campus center is located at the corner of Washington Road and Ivy Lane. You can park in the first lot on the left down Ivy Lane, or the paved lots near the football stadium. Walk back to the light, look across the street and uphill, and you will see a large glass wall. Enter by the nearest door (right side of the glass wall). Cross the cafeteria and follow signs downstairs one level. Email me for handicapped access info.

Accommodations: Princeton now has many hotels in all quality and price ranges within a few miles. A search on Travelocity, Orbitz or Hotwire will find you a room in the range of $70-100 easily.

Only one hotel is within walking distance: the Nassau Inn,

 (609)-921-7500), expensive (best rates $170-$200), ask for the

"weekend package". All other hotels require a car or taxi.

Food & beverages: Light refreshments at the site. Food court up one level, cafe and convenience store up 2 levels. Many restaurants on Nassau Street, 5-10 minute walk from campus center.

Email co-director Rick Mott if you have questions: ([email]

[1] In the biography of P. A. M. Dirac, The Strangest Man by Farmelo, it is stated that Dirac introduced Go to Princeton in the 1930's, when he was a visitor at the Institute for Advanced Studies.

Princeton Go Club last edited by on February 6, 2016 - 04:45
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