As this year’s U.S. Go Congress drew to a close, someone suggested to me that perhaps the E-Journal team is doing our job a bit too well and that some folks are staying home from the Congress because our coverage provides such a great experience of this annual event. Though I don’t think that’s the case – the coverage seems to inspire even more folks to want to be there in person — I took this as high praise for our extensive Congress coverage, which is only possible through the dedication, commitment and hard work of the entire EJ team.
This year we broadcast top-board games from five major events, including the North American Masters, the brand-new Strong Player’s Open, the U.S. Open, the Redmond Cup Senior and Junior Divisions and the North American Pair Go Tournament.
All told, we broadcast and posted 54 top-board game records, 23 pro game reviews, as well as reports and photos from a number of other Congress events. Click here for all the crosstabs and game commentaries and all the news and photos.
We’re fortunate to have an experienced crew as the core of the EJ Congress team, starting with EJ Congress Team Assistant Manager Todd Heidenreich (who did double-duty as Pair Go TD) and IT Manager/Beverage Wrangler Steve Colburn, who keep our recording team well-supplied and running smoothly no matter what the crisis of the day might be.
The always stylish KGS Admin Akane Negishi – who provided key pro relation support — was joined on-site by Greg Wright and was backed up by the usual crew of ever-helpful KGS admins, including Matthew Heymering, Mef, and FlameBlade, with Bill Shubert’s support.
Chris Burg, Richard Dolen and Dennis Wheeler anchored the recording/broadcasting teams for both the U.S. Open each morning and the North American Masters each night; Chris is the master of play-by-play reporting, Richard has been playing longer than the rest of the team combined and Dennis is the unflappable zen master of the team.
Our other game recorders/broadcasters included Gordon Castanza, Calvin Clark, Jim Hlavka, John Mangual, Peter Martin, Michael Scudder, Daniel Short, Solomon Smilack (who also helped with some of the pro game commentaries this year), Phil Straus & Marc Willerth. Todd Blatt was once again our Simulcast Broadcaster for the nightly NAMT pro game commentaries and this year launched the “ToddCam” which provided some unusually-entertaining views of the top boards.
Brian Allen and Phil Straus were our photographers this year, and deserve special recognition and appreciation for matching this year’s gorgeous location with such wonderful images of the Congress.
EJ Youth Editor Paul Barchilon once again did our youth reporting and youth game recording/broadcast coordination and Roy Laird was our roving reporter.
There are lots of prizes given out each year at the Congress, but as far as we’re concerned, none are as well-earned as the distinctive black EJ caps awarded to the hardest-working folks there: Congress Directors Lisa Scott and Andrew Jackson (in photo at left), and U.S. Open/NAMT/Strong Player’s Open Tournament Directors Karoline Burrall and Mike Malveaux, who were ably assisted by Todd Blatt, Jasmine Yan & Jesy Feliccia.
Finally, we owe a huge debt of gratitude to the professional go players who took the time to provide us with such great live game commentaries: Michael Redmond 9P, Seo Neong-Wook 9P, Wang Qun 8P, Mingjiu Jiang 7P, Maeda Ryo 6P, Hajin Lee 3P, Jennie Shen 2P, and Li Ting 1P.
It was a real joy and pleasure to work with such an accomplished team, and I’m hugely proud of how each member of the team helped bring the U.S. Congress – American go’s biggest and brightest event of the year — to thousands of go fans around the world.
I’m already looking forward to next year in North Carolina!
- Chris Garlock, EJ Congress Team Managing Editor
top photo by Phil Straus/Brian Allen; bottom photo by Phil Straus