The E-Journal’s coverage of the 4th AGA Pro Qualification Tournament — this week in Los Angeles — has been expanded to include brief video game highlights focusing on key points in selected games. In our first batch, Tyler Oyakawa 5d provides a 2-minute review of the main ways to approach the 3-5 point in the Round 1 game between Sarah Yu and Daniel Gourdeau (right). “Nice comparison,” says Dontbtme. In his review of the Round 1 Andrew Lu-Aaron Ye game (4:10), Oyakawa explains how to manage an attack on weak groups, and in the Manuel Velasco-Jeremy Chiu first-round game (5:10), he looks at options for handling your opponent’s moyo, including when to reduce and when (and how) to invade. Finally, Oyakawa provides a brief explanation of Ben Lockhart’s fast opening moves against Andrew Lu in their Round 2 game (2:00). “Check them out and let us know what you think!” urges EJ Managing Editor Chris Garlock.
American Go E-Journal » U.S. Pro Tournament
Monday January 4, 2016
Sunday January 3, 2016
The year is barely a few days old and it’s already been an exciting one for the American Go Association. Hundreds tuned in on January 1 to Myungwan Kim 9Ps commentary on our YouTube channel for the third round of the MLily Cup battle between go titans Lee Sedol and Ke Jie. Then an attack on the datacenter that hosts our site took the AGA’s website down until midday Sunday (though we were able to get some preliminary content out via our Facebook and Twitter feeds on Saturday and early Sunday), just in time for our coverage of the 4th AGA Professional Qualifier at the Hotel Normandie in Los Angeles. And as the AGA pro event began to wind down for the day early Sunday evening, our coverage of the fourth round of the MLily began. “After the pro qualifications, I thought I’d have a go overdose, but no way,” said one YouTube viewer, “let’s watch this game.”
AGA Pro Qualifier coverage continues all week, with game broadcasts beginning at 9:30a PST and 3P PST daily, along with continuous posts on Facebook and Twitter, plus game highlights on YouTube. And if a fifth game is needed in the MLily Cup, we’ll broadcast that as well; stay tuned for complete details.
report/photos by Chris Garlock
Sunday January 3, 2016
As you may be aware, the AGA website has been down for the last couple of days, due to a DDOS attack on the datacenter that hosts our site. While this issue has hopefully been resolved, we strongly urge you to follow us on Facebook and Twitter, where we’ll be continuing to cover the ongoing AGA Pro Qualifier Tournament live in Los Angeles, CA. Games are being broadcast on KGS starting at 9:30a and 3p PST daily.
- report/photo by Chris Garlock
Friday January 1, 2016
“With regard to the ‘Top US Players to Compete in 4th AGA Pro Tourney January 3-9 in LA’ report (12/29),” writes Ted Terpstra, “shouldn’t this be ‘North American’ go players instead of US go players as some of the 8 are from Canada?”
Quite right, thanks for the correction. Canada will be represented by Daniel Gourdeau, Manuel Velasco, and Jin (Sarah) Yu. Gourdeau is a returning contender, but for Velasco and Yu it will be their first attempt.
Tuesday December 29, 2015
Eight top US go players will gather in Los Angeles next week to determine the next US professional. Play in the 4th AGA Pro Qualification starts on Sunday, January 3 and ends on January 9. The games will be broadcast live on KGS from the Hotel Normandie by the E-Journal; morning rounds will begin at 9:30 AM and afternoon rounds will begin at 4:30 PM. The players are Eric Lui 7d, Ben Lockhart 7d, Aaron Ye 7d, Jeremy Chiu 6d, Sarah Yu 6d, Andrew Lu 7d, Daniel Gourdeau 6d and Manuel Velasco 5d. The tournament will be played in two parts, a Round Robin Prelim Sunday through Wednesday, followed by the Championship Thursday and Friday. Myungwan Kim 9P is the tournment referee, Jeff Shaevel is the Tournament Director, AGA President Andy Okun will be on hand and Chris Garlock and Dennis Wheeler will head up the EJ recording team, which will also broadcast game commentaries on the AGA’s YouTube stream.
photo: at the 2015 pro tourney; photo by Chris Garlock
Friday January 16, 2015
The players in last week’s AGA Pro Qualification Tournament were of course the stars of the event – click here for the final results and game records — but there was an entire team of volunteers who made it possible for the tournament to happen and for it to be broadcast around the world.
AGA President Andy Okun coordinated with local Boston-area organizers including David Kahn of the Massachusetts Go Association to put on the event at the Nantasket Beach Resort. TD Jeff Shaevel not only devised the tournament’s format, which proved popular with players and viewers alike, but made sure the event ran smoothly and on time. Myungwan Kim 9P worked with Okun and Shaevel and also provided live game commentary on KGS.
The E-Journal team included game recorders Andrew Jackson, William Luff, Daniel Steinbrook, Andrew Hall and Brian Lee, as well as AGA president Andy Okun and former Korean insei Mark Lee, who generously pitched in to help out. Akane Negishi and her team of KGS admins helped bring the games to the world, and Dennis Wheeler and Steve Colburn kept the results page updated, including posting each round’s game records. In addition to coordinating the recording team, E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock took his turn at game recording and provided comprehensive daily coverage, including updates on Facebook, Twitter and the AGA’s website.
Volunteers are needed at a number of such events around the country during the course of the year; if you’d like to be considered, email email@example.com.
photos: (left): TD Jeff Shaevel (in suit) observes game counting; (top right): Game recorder William Luff (right) enjoys one of the perks of game recording; a casual game with pro tournament player Daniel Gourdeau; photos by Chris Garlock
Thursday January 15, 2015
Where are the AGA Pro Game Records? “Isn’t it great having these Qualification tournaments?” writes Jean de Maiffe. “I love seeing our young go players battling it out for the honors and opportunities these tournaments provide. One disappointment, though: the text says ‘Click here for results and game records’ but clicking there only provides results. The results are thrilling and all that, and I wouldn’t want to miss them, but I am yearning for the game records.”
To see the games on the tournament results page, just click on the underlined result (e.g. “B+7.5” under Eric Lui) and an sgf viewer will open up with the game record.
Friday January 9, 2015
In two dramatic cliffhangers, Ryan Li beat Eric Lui in back-to-back games Friday to sweep the AGA Pro Qualification Tournament finals, becoming the American Go Association’s fourth professional. Li had won their game in the round-robin section earlier in the week, so Friday’s wins gave him a 3-0 sweep of the best-of-five finals (he only dropped one game in the entire tournament, against Matthew Burrall). Click here for results and game records and check out the AGA Facebook page for photos.
“Eric was a really tough opponent,” Li told the E-Journal after the final round. “I definitely felt a lot of pressure from him and just wanted to try my hardest, do my best and see what happens. It’s still all sinking in.” Li is in his third year at the University of Toronto, where he’s studying physics. He’s also an avid soccer player. His future go plans are a bit up in the air at the moment. “I had planned to play in the World Amateur Go Championships this year but of course now I can’t do that,” he said, laughing.
“I am tremendously impressed with Ryan’s progress since last year’s pro tournament,” said AGA President Andy Okun. “His poise and seriousness all week were a real inspiration, as was his steadiness during some truly grueling games.” Okun also said that he was “pleased with the overall strength of the field; clearly we’re onto something here.”
Lui took a solid cash lead early in the morning game and hundreds of viewers on KGS thought he seemed to be in a good position after deftly surviving Li’s splitting attack. But Li kept up the pressure and as Lui went into byo-yomi, the game kept getting more and more complicated. Eventually, with the life and death of multiple groups at stake, several huge kos and even a seki, both players were battling the clock as well and in the end, Lui, behind on the board, lost on time as well. In the other two morning games, Jeremy Chiu’s kill of Ben Lockhart’s large central group evened the score at 1-1 in their battle for third place in the tournament, while Matthew Burrall’s win against Daniel Gourdeau put him within one game of clinching fifth place (Gourdeau lost their match in the round-robin section earlier in the week). The afternoon game between Li and Lui was another no-holds-barred contest, closely followed by hundreds on KGS, who were also treated to a live commentary by Myungwan Kim 9P, with Andrew Jackson. The other two afternoon games were each decided by half a point, Lockhart defeating Chiu to take a 2-1 lead, and Matthew Burrall beating Gourdeau to claim fifth place. Lockhart and Chiu will continue their struggle for third place — and seed in the next pro tournament — in a game Saturday at 9:30a that will be broadcast on KGS; if a fifth game is needed it’ll be played and broadcast at 4p (EST).
- report/photos by Chris Garlock
Thursday January 8, 2015
Though frigid temperatures on Thursday closed schools around Boston and coated the Nantasket Beach with frozen surf, the action was hot on the boards at the AGA pro qualification championship. Ryan Li returned to form Thursday morning in the deciding AGA pro qualification championship top-bracket match against Matthew Burrall, taking just 120 moves to win the game, another crowd-pleaser with plenty of complicated fighting. Li advances to play Jeremy Chiu in the next round, which will be broadcast live at 4p Thursday on KGS. Click here for latest results and game records.
Eric Lui awaits the winner of the Li-Chiu match, having defeated Ben Lockhart Thursday morning to assure his berth in the semi-finals. In the other morning match, Daniel Gourdeau, still battling a nasty cold, needed just 118 moves against Ricky Zhao to advance to the next match, which will be played on Friday against Matthew Burrall. Zhao placed 7th, as Yuan Zhou had to withdraw due a family emergency.
- report/photos by Chris Garlock
AGA Pro Qualification Tournament, Day Four: Ryan Li Bests Eric Lui in AGA Pro Round Robin; Championship Begins
Wednesday January 7, 2015
Ryan Li 7d defeated Eric Lui 7d by 7.5 points in the final round of the round-robin section of the ongoing AGA professional qualification tournament. In other Round 7 action, Ben Lockhart beat Jeremy Chiu, Ricky Zhao defeated Matthew Burrall and Yuan Zhou – in his second consecutive half-pointer – beat Daniel Gourdeau. Click here for results, game records and the grid for the championship section of the tournament.
In the first round of the championship section on Wednesday afternoon, Matthew Burrall bounced back from his disappointing performance in the round robin to upset Ryan Li in a thrilling game that had hundreds of viewers guessing until the final moments, when Li’s resignation surprised the crowd, which had been hotly debating the close score. The two are now 1-1 (the first meeting in the round robin counts as the first game) and will meet again in the next round. Ricky Zhao only lasted 125 moves against Eric Lui and Ben Lockhart beat Daniel Gourdeau by 7.5 points, so Lui and Lockhart will play Thursday morning, as will Gourdeau and Zhao. As usual, Yuan Zhou’s game was the last of the day’s to finish; this time, however, despite his best endgame efforts, he came up 2.5 points short and he and Chiu will await their opponents in Thursday’s afternoon round.
- report/photo by Chris Garlock