News from the American Go Association

June 8, 2005

ATTACHED FILES: 2005.06.08 Yang's 2005 Go Congress Problem.sgf; 2005.06.08 Go Congress Registration Form.pdf; 2005.06.08 Go Congress Trifold Brochure.pdf
The annual U.S. Go Congress is North America's biggest and best go event of the year. Eight days of go, this year in Tacoma, Washington from August 6-14, feature The US Open, North America's biggest tournament, the continuous and ever-popular Self-Paired Handicap Tournament, professional instruction, special events, private lessons, the North American Ing Cup, the Redmond Cup, great shopping for go stuff and much, much more! Whether you're looking to improve fast, catch up with old (and new) go friends, or enjoy a unique family vacation, the Go Congress has a lot to offer just about everybody.

RECORD TURNOUT EXPECTED AT GO CONGRESS: Double last year's sign-up at this point, a whopping 254 people have already signed up for this year's Go Congress; click here to see who's coming:  Check out the Congress website for more information and register on line at  REGISTER ON OR BEFORE NEXT WEDNESDAY, JUNE 15TH to avoid late registration fees (or call 206-579-8071, but not before 7P PDT, please). For the full preliminary CONGRESS SCHEDULE, go to

NON-PLAYERS WELCOME: All playing levels and all ages are welcome at the Go Congress, as are non-players. "We already have 35 non-players attending," reports Congress Director Steve Stringfellow, "so non-players will have plenty of company to enjoy our gorgeous scenery and fun and interesting tourist venues. August here is awesome!" Tacoma boasts many museums and parks, ranging from Chihuly glass and traditional art to beaches and The Point Defiance Zoo, all easily accessible by local bus or car or by foot. Day trips by private vehicle might include Seattle, one of the special Wednesday trips (see below) or these possibilities: Wolf Haven is less than an hour to the south, where you can view rescued wolves and join an evening howl-in. Northwest Trek, a wild animal park, is a 37-minute drive. Centralia, less than an hour south, has an antique mall and factory outlets. Olympia, the state capital, is a half hour south, home of the famous Olymp ia oyster and a replica of the DC Capitol Building. Two hours to the west is the Pacific Ocean with many fun activities at Ocean Shores. Many hiking venues await the adventurous, close at hand or an hour away to the east at Mount Rainier.

PROFESSIONALLY SPEAKING: Not sure where you went wrong in that last game? Check it out with a top pro at a lecture or lesson! Here's who's on tap so far: from the Chinese Weiqi Association: Zhang Wendong, 9P, Vice Secretary General of Chinese Weiqi Association, & Li Hai, 5P. From the Kansai Kiin, Japan, Maeda Ryo, 6P. From the US: Mingjiu Jiang 7P.

TOP AMATEURS BATTLE: Challenging the best in the US in the US Open will be Cornel Burzo, European 6d and well known KGS/IGS instructor, and Takahiro Kitagawa, 8d from Japan. Plus, watch the top North American amateurs duke it out nightly in the Ing Cup: Jie Li 9d (US), Yongfei Ge 8d7 (Canada), Jong Moon Lee 8d (US), Lianzhou Yu 7d (US), Thomas Hsiang 7d (US), Joey Hung 8d (US), Jung Hoon Lee 8d (US) Ted Ning 7d (US), Yuan Zhou 7d (US), Edward Kim 7d (US), I-Han Lui 7d (US), Eric Lui 7d (US), Jon Boley 6d (US).

TAKE THE YANG CHALLENGE! The E-Journal and the 2005 US Go Congress are pleased to announce a contest for the best solution to Mr. Yang's RAINIER Go Congress Puzzle (attached). Winners will receive $25 off Congress Registration for the best solution to Mr. Yang's Congress Go Problem. Prizes will be awarded to best Shodan Challenger, best kyu player and best dan player solution. Deadline: July 4. Please send solutions to Prizes are nontransferable.

BEYOND DIEHARD: Extreme sports have finally come to go! Chuck Robbins - who holds the records for Most Games and Most Tournaments -- will host a Midnight Madness Tournament at the Congress with one game held each night beginning at midnight. Yes, you read that right! Hey, you can sleep when you get home.

KOMI ADJUSTMENT REJECTED: Noticing that only one quarter of this year's congress registrants are from the East Coast, "A proposal was floated to adjust for the notorious strength of West Coast go players," reports Congress organizer Steve Stringfellow. East Coast players would receive an extra 2 points komi when taking Black and lose 2 points komi when taking White in even games. However, the proposal was rejected by AGA Rules Expert Terry Benson who felt it might jeopardize the fundamental integrity and simplicity of AGA rules. "Those taking this report seriously are encouraged to register for Keith Arnold's unrated Speed Go Tournament," suggests Stringfellow.

WEDNESDAY GROUP OUTINGS: The traditional Wednesday trips, for those not playing in the Diehard Tournament, are still in the planning stages. Here is what's planned so far. Most trips are under $40, without lunch.
      - Volcano Tour: Mount St. Helens is busy puffing away, building a new dome. If she isn't too active, you can visit her fairly close up. The Interpretive Center will teach you everything we know about volcanoes. A movie will show on the bus, airplane style, as this trip is a bit further away. If she is blowing her top again in celebration of her 25th anniversary, this tour will divert to Mount Rainier, where you can see her from a safe distance.
      - Mount Rainier: The most impressive mountain in the US, Mount Rainier rises from just above sea level to her full 14,410 feet, just 30 miles to the east of PLU. Many hiking trails, fields of wild flowers, and fantastic vistas await you, including a view of near-by Mount St. Helens. Bring sturdy shoes or hiking boots if you wish to hike.
      - The Great Climbing Event: Bring your rock shoes! Bill Enger (3-dan Go, 5.10 rock) will lead a party of climbers on a day climb. Let us know as you register if you are interested in this event. Bill is familiar with all our spectacular mountains, and he will choose a climb and route that is challenging but doable for those participating, so we will need to know your strength and experience. You may want to bring your equipment. Email for more information. Advance registration (At least 10 days please) for this trip is required, so Bill can make appropriate plans.
        - Seattle Go Center Event: Ten years ago at the 1995 Congress, the creation of The Nihon Ki-in Institute of the West was announced. This year The Seattle Go Center will celebrate its tenth anniversary during the Congress with a gala party. Space is limited!
        - Seattle Tour A: Visit Seattle's architecturally exciting new public library, The Pike Place Market (one of the oldest continuous farmers' markets in the US, including many artisan vendors), and The Seattle Center (with Coney Island style rides and games) or The Pacific Science Center.
        - Seattle Tour B: Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo is renowned for its breeding programs and innovative natural habitats; one could easily spend all day in its butterfly house, rain forest, and trails, viewing the African Savannah, the Thai working elephants, the Alaskan grizzlies, and of course the petting zoo for kids.

BOB HIGH MEMORIAL SONG & POETRY CONTEST: "Give me land, lots of land.don't fence me in" has already been used, but don't let that keep from this contest, which involves writing poems or new, clever lyrics to old songs, commemorating wondrous Congress events, amazing players, or the game of go. Winning entries are performed at the Saturday banquet. For examples of prior works, see the AGA songbook at  Youth section (17 & under) judged separately and gets separate prizes (Just note on your submission form that you are under 18). All AGA members and immediate family are eligible and you don't have to be at the Congress to enter. Rules may be downloaded from the website at and will be available at the Congress. Plan ahead; c ompetition is stiff! Submissions by email are welcome and should be sent to by a proxy, in order to conceal the identity of the author.

LOGISTICS: GETTING THERE: Plan to take the Shuttle Express from the airport; they have 100 vans, one leaving every few minutes. Shuttle Express will have a Meet and Greet service at Baggage Claim just for us, enabling you to join other Congress people to save money. For one person, $36; for two, ($45) $22.50 each; for three, ($53) $17.67 each; for four, ($59) $14.75 each; for five, ($66) $13.20 each; for six, ($73) $12.17 each; for seven, ($80) $11.43 each. You have to do the math! (Round up-it's easier.) Let us know when you are to arrive, and we can let you know if someone will probably be waiting for you or how long you would have to wait for the next arrival. Or just take potluck!

TEAM TACOMA: With two previous Congress under their collective belts, this experienced team of organizers includes Chris Kirschner (Registration & Vendor Liason), Mike Lepore (Treasurer), Ken Koester (US Open TD), Duane Burns (US Open Assistant TD), Jared Roach/Jon Boley (Pairing Program), Todd Heidenreich (Children's Director, with Brian Allen & Scott Arnold), Jeff Horn (Pro Liason), The Honorable Keith Arnold (Lightning Tournament), James Hlavka (13x13), Scott Arnold (Crazy Go & Hospitality), Jeff Shaevel (Pair Go), Chuck Robbins (Ing, Diehard & Midnight Madness), Mike Malveau (Marketing), Andrew Gross (Trophies), John Hogan (Facilities/Logistics, assisted by Gordon Castanza), Gordon Castanza (Tournament Control/Scheduling), Jon Boley (Soccer Liaison); Lee Anne Bowie (Wednesday Outings Program & Transportation), Jeff Boscole (video), David Ma (Hospitality/Interpreter - Chinese), Akira Sato/Frank Fukuda (Hospitality/Interpeter - Japan), Edward Kim (Hospitality/Interpreter-Korea), Jon Boley and Mike Malveau (Website).

MORE QUESTIONS? Key Congress contacts: Director Steve Stringfellow:; Registrar Chris Kirschner:; Treasurer Mike Lepore:; Webmaster Jon Boley:

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