Pictured: Kevin Yang (2nd from left) on winning the California State Championship
Kevin Yang is a teenage, Chinese-American, NAGF professional shodan (formerly a 7d AGA amateur) and a member of the San Diego Go Club. He is the student of Chinese professional Han Han.
His first rated game was in late 2017. He officially reached shodan by October 2019. According to his rating graph, he improved massively over the Covid-19 lockdown, jumping from 2d at the start of 2020 to 7d in August 2021. Whether Kevin achieved this growth through playing rated online tournaments or was simply given a jump promotion, or a mix of the two, is unclear.
He won the 2021 San Diego Go Club Tournament. In the same year, he won the 4th California State Go Championship.
Kevin qualified as a professional in 2022, by beating Alexander Qi in the qualification tournament. He represented the USA in the 2nd Transatlantic Go League and came 2nd: he scored 8-1 in his Preliminary Group, beat Artem Kachanovskyi 2-0 in the semifinal before losing to Ryan Li 0-3 in the final.
He also competed in the 9th Globis Cup (World U-20). He began by losing to Mori Chisaki, transitioning to the losers' preliminaries. However, he then reversed his fortunes by beating Nishimura Jin. After that, he evened his score against Mori by beating her in their second match up, by which he qualified for the main tournament. Kevin was only knocked out in the round of eight, by the strongest Japanese teenager, Fukuoka Kotaro.
In October 2022, Kevin beat Ryan Li to take the North American slot in the Quzhou Lanke Cup international tournament ( see game). Kevin defined the position early in the game, which was played on OGS at a time control of 1 hr + 5 x 1m byo-yomi. By the 45th move, with a fifteen move sequence he'd both secured the lower left corner and achieved a centre-facing ponnuki in sente, and went on to solidify the upper left. At the time, Alexander commented that the position seemed good for Kevin, and indeed he was probably a few points ahead. Ryan was never able to come back into the game.