by Chris Garlock, Managing Editor, American Go E-Journal
The American Go E-Journal’s coverage of the 2015 US Go Congress in St Paul, MN was truly wall-to-wall this year, with more than 60 games broadcast live on KGS, 23 live video feeds on our YouTube channel, well over a dozen live pro game commentaries and nearly two dozen reports in the E-Journal, as well as numerous posts to the AGA’s Facebook page and Twitter feed. None of that would have been possible without a talented and committed team of volunteers, some of them veterans of previous congresses and some newbies, but every one richly deserving of a hearty round of applause and appreciation. Click here to see our Facebook album of team photos.
First and foremost are Assistant Manager Todd Heidenreich, Tech/IT Manager Steve Colburn and Lead Game Recorder Dennis Wheeler; their titles don’t begin to do justice to the many key roles these three play in ensuring our smooth operation. Todd, Steve and Dennis have been our core team for many years now, and hanging out with them in the EJ room each year is a joy that many others have discovered as well.
An exciting addition to the EJ team this year was our video streaming operation, managed by Andrew Jackson, who surpassed his goal of dramatically improving the current state of go video streaming, as evidenced by the impressive number of live viewers and video views. The video streaming team included Ashish Varma (fairgo) Shawn Ray (clossius), Justin Teng (odnihs),Stephen Hu (xhu98), Lionel Zhang and Calvin Sun.
Youth Editor Paul Barchilon makes sure we give proper coverage to the many exciting youth events and rising young go stars; he’s also training the next generation of the EJ’s youth team and worked with Jackson to coordinate youth coverage; special thanks to Justin Teng, who went above and beyond to organize the streaming team for the Redmond Cup games. Game recorders included Andrew Lu, Ethan Frank, and Ashish Varma.
While video streaming and social media coverage have been generating a lot of this year’s interest in the Congress, our game recording team quietly went about the everyday work of broadcasting top-board games online, not only so that go players around the world could watch live, but so that the games are recorded for posterity. Dennis Wheeler anchored the team, as usual, and with the indefatigable Richard Dolen they broadcast all the morning top-board games. The evening game recording team included Solomon Smilack — who also transcribed the live pro commentary for the Friday Night Big Broadcast –David Weimer, Bart Jacob, Stephen Hu, Andrew Lu, Ethan Frank, George Schmitten, Yong Peng, Yanqing Sun and Austin Harvey. Thanks as always to Akane Negishi and the entire team at KGS for their support and help. And a big shout-out to US Open Masters/US Open TD Jon Boley, whose coordination with pairings and results data was critical to our timely reporting; plus his sense of humor made him a perfect fit for the EJ team.The professional go players have become an integral part of the EJ team each year, contributing their insights in live game commentaries, this year on our YouTube livestream as well as on KGS. They included: Feng Yun 9P, Cho Hye-yeon 9P, Yilun Yang 7P, Jennie Shen 2P, Shirley Lin 1P, Stephanie Yin 1P, Cathy Li 1P. Special thanks to Myungwan Kim 9P and Yilun Yang 7P for their Big Game broadcast Friday night, and to pro coordinator I-Han Lui, who provided professionals for both the KGS and video stream commentaries. And a very special thanks this year to Hajin Lee 3P and Nick Sibicki, who anchored our streaming video commentary, and to Matthew Hershberger, who also helped with the commentary on Pair Go night.
Finally, I want to thank EJ photographer — and my very good friend — Phil Straus (left, in yellow shirt), without whom literally none of this would be possible: Phil taught me how to play go 30 years ago when I showed up at the Philadelphia Go Club, which he ran out of his house in center city Philly. He’s been there for me as a go player, go journalist and friend for three decades.
Thanks to the entire team, and to you, our readers; see you next year in Boston!
photos by Phil Straus (top right), Ken Koester (left) and Chris Garlock (bottom right).