American Go E-Journal » Events/Tournaments

Mingjiu Jiang 7P, Cathy Li 1P and all N.A. pros confirmed for Go Congress

Sunday May 29, 2016

Popular teacher Mingjiu Jiang 7P will talk about “Tricky Moves in Josekis” at the upcoming US Go Congress July 30-August 2016.05.29-pro-collage7 in Boston. Also joining the professional line-up at the Congress are Ryan Li 1P, Eric Lui 1P and Calvin Sun 1P; together with previously announced Andy Liu 1P and William Shi 1P, all the young North American pros will be in attendance at the Congress. Longtime Congress favorite Cathy Li 1P has also confirmed she’ll be there. A special guest, An Yan 7P from China, will also attend; he’s taught many strong players in the US, including 2016 Congress director Walther Chen 5d. Over 300 have already registered for the Congress; see who’s coming here.


Want to Host a Go Congress?

Sunday May 22, 2016

With this year’s US Go Congress in Boston on track to be the largest-ever, American Go Association president Andy Okun 2016.05.21_2015-go-congress-DSC_0035wants to hear from communities that would like to put on a Congress in the coming years. “We are trying to fix a venue for a California Congress in 2017, but we need to look further ahead, or possibly consider returning to one or two of our successful Congress sites from the past.” Interested chapters should contact Okun at; a future Congress organizers meeting will be held in Boston as well.

photo: at the 2015 US Go Congress in Minneapolis/St Paul; photo by Chris Garlock 


US Go Congress Announces More Professionals & Topics

Sunday May 22, 2016

More pros and their lecture topics have just been announced for this year’s US Go Congress, set for July 30- August 7 in 2016.05.22_pro-collageBoston, MA.

Feng Yun 9P will talk about: “Invading,” Jennie Shen 2P will co-host with Myungwan Kim 9P, and they will have a joint session on “AlphaGo 5 games summarized commentary” and William Shi 1P will talk about “Star point josekies and recent developments (strong kyu to weak dan)” and “Avalanche Opening Joseki (lower dan and up)”

Click here for details and to register.


Final rounds of the AGA City League this Sunday

Wednesday May 18, 2016


The last round of the Pandanet AGA City League is this Sunday, May 22nd. Each of these teams has played six exciting rounds so far with one more and the finals to go. Play starts at 3pm EST/12pm PST on Sunday unless otherwise noted on the schedule pages. Schedules: A League / B League / C League

Vancouver has climbed slightly ahead of Greater Washington in the A League. They are 5-1 each against the rest of the field. With two professionals for each team (Chinese and American professionals), play has shown the strength of their players. Los Angeles has been hot on their heels all year with Boston one game behind them.

Washington DC 2 has taken a commanding lead all year with their undefeated streak. Edmonton has taken one loss this year. We’ll have to see who leads the middle of the pack between Washington DC 1, New Jersey, and San Francisco 1.

The C League is led by Atlanta 2, followed by Boston 3, and Atlanta 1.




US Go Congress tournaments: Old favorites and new excitement

Saturday May 14, 2016

Tournament details for this year’s US Go Congress — July 30-August 7 in Boston — are still in development, but in addition to2016.05.14_2015usopen-DSC_0057 the US Open and US Open Masters, players can already look forward to favorites like the Diehard, Lightning, Crazy Go, and Pair Go tournaments. Some new excitement has been added for all levels in the form of Relay Go tournaments, where teams of players will switch off playing games of pair go, with an added element being that the teams that are currently not playing are able to discuss and strategize. One tournament will be open to all, and one will be an exciting US-China team showdown featuring professional and very strong players that promises to be an exciting addition to Go Congress events. A new Evening League will be a week-long ladder tournament, combining elements of the Self-Paired tournament and Midnight Madness and giving players the opportunity to self-pair and play rated games throughout the day. Stay tuned for further updates as we get closer to game-time.
- Karoline Li, EJ Congress Team (if you’re interested in being on this year’s team, email us at
photo: at the 2015 US Open; photo by Chris Garlock


Preliminary line-up of Go Congress pros (and topics) announced

Monday May 9, 2016

Organizer’s of this year’s US Go Congress – July 30- August 7 in Boston, MA — have just announced the following line-up of 2016.05.09_congress-pro-collageprofessionals and their lecture topics.  Myungwan Kim 9p: “Mathematical Endgame” (all levels), “Liberty racing” (kyu level), “Puppydog and Bulldozer” (all level) and many more. Yilun Yang 7p on “How to play a reasonable opening” and “Against a strange move.” Andy Liu 1p on “The secret to get stronger.” Stephanie Yin 1p will present a series: “How to improve from one level to another” (15 kyu to 5 kyu) and “How to improve from one level to another” (5 kyu to 1 dan). More pro news and lecture topics are coming in the future, Congress organizers promise. Meanwhile, nearly 300 have already registered for this year’s Congress; click here for complete details.


Go Congress “Early Bird” discount extended; “Blindfold Go” master Bao Yun confirmed, AlphaGo Q&A

Sunday May 1, 2016

The early bird discount for this year’s US Go Congress has been extended to midnight Monday night. Click here now to save 2016.05.01_congress-updates$25 on registering for the Congress, which runs July 30-August 7 in Boston, MA.

In other Go Congress news, “Super Brain” Bao Yun 7d, the blindfold go master has just confirmed he’ll be attending this year’s Go Congress, where he will challenge an American professional in an even game blindfolded at 1p on Monday August 1.

Also, there will ba a Q&A session right after the AlphaGo team’s keynote address, please submit your questions here.


Congress Scholarships for Youth

Monday April 11, 2016

0807151358aThe American Go Foundation (AGF) is offering $200 youth scholarships to this year’s US Go Congress.  Interested youth must write an essay on why they want to go; the application deadline is May 31st. Twenty-five scholarships are available, and up to 15 awardees will be selected by June 1. Five scholarships are available to residents of Canada or Mexico. Applications received after May 31st will be approved on a space available basis.  The scholarships are available for US youth who are under 18. Youth who competed in either the NAKC or the Redmond Cup are eligible for an additional $200 scholarship, for $400 total. For more information, and to apply, click here.  - Story and photo by Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo: The Youth Team Tournament is one of the many activities in the Youth Room at Congress.


Google DeepMind team members confirmed for US Go Congress

Saturday April 9, 2016

Google DeepMind team members Aja Huang 7d and Hui Fan 2P have just confirmed that they’ll attend this year’s US Go 2016.04.09_aja-huang-congressCongress in Boston. “This is an exciting opportunity for the American go community to meet some of the team behind AlphaGo, which attracted global attention to go,” said Congress Director Walther Chen. The Congress runs July 30-August 7; click here for details. Dr. Huang (right), who was seen by millions worldwide last month playing for AlphaGo against Lee Sedol 9P, will give the keynote speech — together with European champion Hui Fan 2p — at the Congress opening ceremony on July 30. They’ll also attend a “Computer Go Afternoon” session on August 4. In other Congress updates, the attendance of the following professional players have been confirmed: Myungwan Kim 9P, An Yan 7P, Hajin Lee 3P, Yi Tang 2P and Shuang Yang 2P.
- Chun Sun


The Traveling Board: Eric Lui on the 2016 IMSA

Wednesday April 6, 2016

By Eric Lui2016.04.06-eric-lui-1st_IEMG_-Feb-28-2016-11-36-AM

It’s unusually nice out today*. As I stroll down my neighborhood and head towards the park, the sun’s rays hit me square in the back, right between the shoulder blades. The tingling warmth spreads all the way down and brings feeling to my toes…

It’s midnight in Huai-An, China, the site of the inaugural IMSA Elite Mind Games 2016. After a thirty-hour ordeal that included a cab ride of record-breaking speed between Shanghai’s international and domestic airports followed by a half-day layover, I arrived at the New Century Grand Hotel, a majestic venue secluded from downtown and just about everything else.

I’m looking around for a familiar face. There are none, to my slight disappointment mixed with relief, since at this point I’m rather unsure in my ability to form a coherent thought, let alone communicate in words. I stumble inside the luxurious living quarters on the eighth floor (surely a sign of good things to come), dragging the trusty luggage that has been with me to the ends of the earth. I check my phone for messages, and there it is, in flawless pinyin, ‘ming tian jian’, meaning ‘see you tomorrow’. Just for a moment, the fatigue melts away and my mind is clear and sharp.

The next morning at the dining hall I’m greeted by Ryan Li and Sarah Yu, the Canadian half of our North American Go Dream Team led by Mingjiu Jiang on the first board and Andy Okun, AGA president extraordinaire, as team leader. With players from around the world representing the various disciplines (Go, Chess, Draughts, Bridge, and Xiangqi), it’s a truly international event, complete with a security checkpoint and metal detectors located at the entrances to each of the playing areas.

2016.04.06_Team_IMSA-cropped“If the situation is bad, keep your head up and wait for your opponent to make a mistake.” Mingjiu chuckled slightly, motioning with his fork towards the air. It was lunch the next day and he was giving us some last-minute advice before we were set to take on Korea in the Men’s Team competition. We nodded solemnly in unison, Ryan and me, carefully avoiding each other’s gaze to prevent the inevitable burst of laughter. Despite arriving after midnight and missing the opening ceremony, Mingjiu appeared in good spirits, greeting anyone he recognized with a hearty clap on the shoulder. With so many varied and delicious desserts up for grabs, it was all I could do to resist overindulging myself right before the game. I reluctantly bade farewell to the sublime chocolate cake, looking back one last time before taking the long walk to the battlefield with the others, each of us lost in our own thoughts.

Both Korea and China fielded teams of some of the world’s top players. While we were unable to take a game from either 2016.04.06_Ryan-Li-1st_IEMG_-Feb-27-2016-11-038country, we scored a win against Japan in a game where Ryan (right) fully showcased his fighting skills to defeat one of Japan’s up-and-coming young professionals. Against the Taiwanese team there were also good chances to win, although their superior experience prevailed in the end. After consecutive defeats, we managed to regain some pride with a victory over Europe. Overall, we were still somewhat disappointed, but there were moments during my own games when I felt that my opponents were not as strong as I imagined, and I was not as weak. With steady, determined effort, I wholeheartedly believe that in the foreseeable future the West will be competitive on the international stage.

After the conclusion of the Men’s Team and Women’s Individual events, the Pair Go knockout in which Ryan and Sarah participated took place. I wandered into the game review room during the final round, and, whilst standing around awkwardly, was invited by one of the top Taiwanese players, Chen Shiyuan 9p, to take a seat alongside him and Zhou Junxun 9p as they analyzed their compatriots’ game. Being able to ask them questions when I didn’t understand something was a real treat. Even after just a couple of hours, I felt like I had gotten stronger. These are the moments that every go player lives for.

I’m on the trail now, picking up speed as I navigate the winding path through the riverbend. When I reach the top of the hill, I’m breathing hard and my jet-lagged legs are starting to cry out in protest. In just a few days it’ll be roughly twenty degrees cooler again for a while before the warmth finally returns for good. But for now, on the cusp of spring, I’ll take one more lap around the baseball field, one more breath of the crisp air, enjoying the moment while it lasts, wishing for one more day in sunny Huai-An, and my very own copy of AlphaGo.

*The IMSA Elite Mind Games were held in early March and Eric sent in this report a few weeks ago; we apologize for the delay in publication. Click here for the E-Journal’s previous reports on the IMSA. Team photo (l-r): Mingjiu Jiang, Sarah Yu, Andy Okun, Eric Lui, Ryan Li