American Go E-Journal

Behind the Scenes at the US Go Congress: Andy Olsen

Friday August 11, 2017

IMG_0488Every tournament must have a director, and Andy Olsen has consistently stepped up to the plate on the Wednesday day off to direct the Die Hard tournament for those players that don’t want to take a rest day in the middle of the annual U.S. Go Congress. Olsen believes this is the fifth time he has directed the event. “I like to volunteer and help out, and this tournament is a focused one-day effort,” Olsen says. “The rest of the time, I get to play.” He first learned to play go in college, and began playing on IGS while also playing in his college chess club in 1993. After graduating college he moved to Houston, and tried both the local chess and go clubs. “The part of go I like best is the exchange of ideas with your opponent and reviews after the games,” Olsen explains, and the players at the Houston go club did that – the players at the chess club didn’t – so he stuck with go. The 2003 Go Congress in Houston took place during a lull in his go playing habit, which Olsen characterizes as unfortunate, but he has attended every Go Congress since 2009 in Washington DC. At more than half of those he has served as the TD for the Die Hard tournament, working hard behind the scenes to make sure that go players who want to maximize this once-a-year opportunity to immerse themselves in the game are afforded a chance to pass up local charms and get some more rated games under their belts.

-report/photo by Karoline Li, Tournaments Bureau Chief

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