American Go E-Journal » Events/Tournaments

Brian’s Go Photos: Memories of the Santa Barbara Go Congress

Monday August 8, 2011

After 9 months of cool cloudy weather in Seattle, this photographer greatly enjoyed the clear skies and mild temperatures of the Santa Barbara Go Congress.  People were playing go everywhere, and a trip to the nearby beaches was always refreshing.  -report/photo by Brian Allen

Categories: U.S. Go Congress

Getting Frank with MingJiu Jiang 7P

Saturday August 6, 2011

MingJiu Jiang 7P was in good form on Friday afternoon at the U.S. Go Congress with spirited and frank game analysis for players 5k – 3d.  Some excerpts:

“Black played here?”


“Are you black?”


“Good!  That’s a very slow move!”


“Ey!!  You didn’t block?  Are you sure?”

“Ooh!  New joseki again!”

“Cut?? (Only) if you want to die!

- report/photo by Brian Allen

Categories: U.S. Go Congress

Redmond Plays Redmond

Saturday August 6, 2011

Michael Redmond 9P treated the winners of his namesake tournament to a special simultaneous game at the US Go Congress Friday August 5th.  The six players were current Redmond Cup champions Aaron Ye 4d, age 9, Calvin Sun 7d, age 14; last year’s winners:  Redmond Meijin Curtis Tang 7d, age 18, and Oliver Wolf 3d, age 12; and current runners-up Gansheng Shi 7d, age 17, and Sammy Zhang 4d, age 11.  It was the Junior Division that scored points though, with both Ye and Wolf notching wins against Redmond, at 4 stones, while all of the Senior contestants lost! – Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.  Photo:  Nine-year-old Aaron Ye 4d (l) forces Michael Redmond 9P to take heed.or : Former Redmond Junior Champion Oliver Wolf 4d, age 12,  gives Michael Redmond 9P cause to reflect.
- report/photos by Paul Barchilon

NEW IN PRINT: Roy Laird Visits the Congress Go Vendors

Saturday August 6, 2011

Dazed and exhausted, I rose from my three-hour slugfest in Round 5 of the US Open Friday with an opponent who had traveled all the way from Japan to torment me with moves I had never seen before. As I left the playing area, I knew what I needed – more go books! Luckily, the annual Go Congress features a roomful of go books, equipment and more. The trick is know where it is. As I left the playing area, I happened to look up, and caught a glimpse of a sign in a second floor window – “vendors here.” Twenty-three steps up and two rights later, voila – the promised land. Near the door, T. Mark Hall (right) was camped out with his perennial GoGod stall. The ultimate compendium of games, articles and miscellany continues to grow; it’s hard to believe it still fits on one disc. Further inside, I found Bill Cobb (bottom) and Sidney and Katherine Yuan (left), offering tables full of wares from Slate and Shell and Yutopian – which generously donated the board for the NAMT top-board final — respectively. This year’s crop of new titles is fewer in quantity than last year, but very nice indeed in quality, and I left with four more books to begin improving my game for next year’s Congress in North Carolina – two Fairbairns, a super-sized Yuan Zhou survey of top player styles, and the seventh volume in Kiseido’s Mastering the Basics series, Invading and Reducing Moyos. I also skipped a few titles, finally abandoning my effort to maintain a complete collection of all non-beginner titles in English. I’ll tell you why in my next report.
- Roy Laird; photos by Steve Colburn, collage by Chris Garlock

Categories: U.S. Go Congress

Zi Yang Hu 1P Wins N.A. Master’s Tournament; Board Auction Raises $1,000 for AGF

Saturday August 6, 2011

Zi Yang Hu 1P won the North American Master’s Tournament Friday night before a combined crowd of over 500, as hundreds packed into the main playing area at the U.S. Go Congress in Santa Barbara CA and hundreds more watched online on KGS. “Just lucky,” the modest 13-year-old told the crowd after the exciting game – which was commented by a rotating tag team of professionals, including Seo Neong-Wook 9P, Wang Qun 8P, Maeda Ryo 6P and Li Ting 1P — concluded. “He’s way too strong,” finalist Curtis Tang 7d added, as the crowd gave the two young players – among the youngest ever to compete for the title — a standing ovation. A few minutes later, after a spirited and very competitive auction, Rachel Small and Eileen Hlavka’s $1,000 bid – which goes to fund the American Go Foundation’s educational programs — won them the autographed board the NAMT final was played on, a 2-inch Japanese Hiba board donated by Yutopian Enterprises. In addition to being signed by both Hu and Tang, the board was also signed by the pros who had commented the game. “These are two young players who will go far,” said the AGF’s Andy Okun, “this board is a great investment in the future of go.” Click here to download the commented game (Round 4, Board 1 under North American Masters’ Tournament Pro Game Reviews). CLICK HERE for complete final standings.
- Chris Garlock; photo by Steve Colburn: l-r: EJ Managing Editor/auctioneer Chris Garlock, Li Ting 1P, Maeda Ryo 6P, Eileen Hlavka, Wang Qun 8P, Rachel Small, Curtis Tang 7d, Zi Yang Hu 1P, Andy Okun (AGF), Neong-Wook 9P & Terry Benson, AGF.

Categories: U.S. Go Congress

Yongfei Ge Closes in on U.S. Open Title, Mingming “Stephanie” Yin Wins Strong Player’s Tournament

Saturday August 6, 2011

Yongfei Ge’s five straight wins make him a near shoo-in for this year’s U.S. Open, which wraps up with the sixth and final round Saturday, August 6 at the U.S. Go Congress. And Mingming “Stephanie” Yin 1P (l) won the Strong Player’s Tournament Friday night with a strong 4-0 record. Here are the 5-0 winners in the U.S. Open: Ge Yongfei; Yuxuan Ye; Aaron Ye; Oliver Wolf; Solomon Smilack; Yunxuan Li; Kevin Fang; Stephen Tung; April Ye; Jordan Betcher; James Carter; Vincent Ma; Michael Lash; James Johnson; Kalinda Fraser. CLICK HERE for complete final standings in the Strong Players Tournament.

Categories: U.S. Go Congress

U.S. Go Congress Game Records, Pro Commentaries, Pairings & Results (updated Friday night)

Friday August 5, 2011

Twenty pro game commentaries — and 55 top-board game records — have now been posted online; including reviews by Michael Redmond 9P, Mingjiu Jiang 7P, Maeda Ryo 6P, Hajin Lee 3P, Jennie Shen 2P and Li Ting 1P. The commentaries are on top boards in the U.S. Open, the North American Masters, and the Redmond Cup.

Plus, check out how your friends and fellow club members are doing in the AGA Tournament Crosstabs, including the following tournaments:
2011 US Open; 2011 North American Masters Tournament; 2011 Redmond Cup Junior Division; 2011 Redmond Cup Senior Division;
2011 Strong Players Open

photo: Ryo Maeda 6P (left) and Li Ting 1P (right) comment a game on Friday, August 5 with EJ staffer Solomon Smilack. Photo by Chris Garlock

Categories: U.S. Go Congress


Friday August 5, 2011

Categories: U.S. Go Congress

The Go Congress Remembers Yoshi Sawada

Friday August 5, 2011

At a memorial set up for Yoshi Sawada – the popular go player and translator who died unexpectedly in late February – attendees at the 2011 U.S. Go Congress shared their memories. Here’s a selection:

I’ll miss his witty banter with Maeda, I’ll miss the energy and joy he brought to a room.
- Anonymous

He was always so happy, and it made me happy to see him. The Congress just is not the same without him. - Anonymous

With his warm heart and experience he often helped many of us from Japan who sometimes felt unfamiliar traveling abroad.
-    Miyoko Miyama

His kindness and generosity was overflowing. He was always there with a broad smile and welcome.
- None C. Redmond

He radiated sunny good humor and cheer. I wish I had been able to play with him longer.
- Chris Scammon

He loved go, but he didn’t just keep it to himself – he shared it with everyone, along with his joyful and generous spirit.
- Roy Laird

Yoshi was always a bright spot in our day, helpful and generous with his laughter.
- Steve and Eileen Barberi

Yoshi made Maeda’s lectures great fun. Rock-paper-scissors. You are missed dude.
- Frank B

Yoshi Sawada: A Brief Biographical Sketch
by Steve Burrall
Yoshi Sawada was born in 1950 in the Belgian Congo while his father was stationed there working for the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. They moved to Belgium and then back to Japan where he attended elementary school and high school, although he attended junior high in Geneva.

His father was a very strong amateur go player and though Yoshi often watched his father play, he was not allowed to touch go equipment and did not actually play go while growing up.

After attending college in France, he went to work for the Japanese Foreign Ministry in Paris, where he began playing go as well as developing expert golfing skills. A few years later he came to the U.S. where he nearly became a professional golfer.

Shuttling back to Japan in the off-seasons allowed Yoshi to take lessons from professional go players and mingle with top pros like Ishida, Rin and the Kobayashis. He ended up in Sacramento helping establish the Japanese American Community Center and worked there until Proposition 13 eliminated its funding. During those years he received his 1 dan and 3 dan diplomas from the Nihon Kiin.

During the early ‘80s he trained personnel for Furrow’s Hardware and his legendary generosity led to his next career change. After completing an arduous task as a favor to a Japanese businessman while at Furrow’s, he soon had a hectic career as a highly sought-after international business consultant. He was also a professional tennis instructor at the Laguna Racquet Club.

- this is an edited version of the biography Burrall wrote for the Sacramento Go Club newsletter in 1998; photos by Chris Garlock (top right) and Debbie Siemon (bottom left)

Brian’s Photos: Pro Game Analysis

Friday August 5, 2011

Feng Yun 9P (l) & Murakami Akihide 2P giving lectures on Thursday, August 4 at the U.S. Go Congress. photos by Brian Allen

Categories: U.S. Go Congress