American Go E-Journal » U.S. Go Congress

Remembering John Goodell, American Go Pioneer

Friday August 7, 2015

Curious to see how go might be played without a center point, John Goodell didn’t just theorize about it; he produced 3,000 go sets sans center 2015.08.07_goodellpoint. They didn’t catch on, but Goodell’s lifetime of promoting the game earned him the American Go Association’s first Edward Lasker Distinguished Service Award in 2002; he died in 2004 at the age of 94. A longtime St Paul resident, he’s been honored this week at the US Go Congress with a prominent display of memorabilia celebrating his life as a go player and promoter.

Goodell (second from right) learned the game in the mid-1950′s while doing customer research for a department store. His idea was to see if board games would help elicit more reliable information from customers. Although that didn’t work, he became deeply involved with go, leading the US team to the second World Amateur Go Championships in Japan in 1964, as well as serving as president of the AGA from 1962 to 1964. Perhaps most famously, he once imported two tons of go stones and distributed them across the country.

John Goodell said that go is “almost like meditation. When you play go, the world goes away.” And though he played the game for more than half a century, he never entered a tournament, where “You play to win; but winning and losing is of almost no consequence.”

A St Paul documentary filmmaker, Goodell was nominated for an Academy Award in 1974 for “Always a New Beginning.”

Click here for more information about the history of the American Go Association.

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Congress Videos Posted, Drawing Viewers

Friday August 7, 2015

Nearly twenty videos from the US Go Congress have been posted so far on the AGA’s YouTube channel as part of the E-Journal’s expanded coverage this year. They include Crazy Go2015.08.07_Youtube-videos, Lightning Tournament, US Open Masters Rd6: Tong Yulin 4p vs Mark Lee 7d, US Open Masters Rd 5: Cao Youyin 3p vs Tong Yulin 4p live commentary by Cho Hyeyeon 9p, and USGC 2015 – Wang Chen 7d interviewed by Kevin Hwang. The videos have been extremely popular, usually with well over 100 viewers for the live streams and some of the videos have now been viewed over 2,000 times.

Melissa Zhang wins first AGA U16 Girls’ Championship

Friday August 7, 2015

Melissa Zhang 3d won the inaugural 2015 AGA U16 Girls’ Championship on Thursday, defeating Kelly Liu 1d. The tournament was held during 2015.08.07_girls-champ_DSC_00292015.08.07_girls-tourney-playersthe US Go Congress in St Paul, Minnesota. Although Ms. Liu won a tense ko fight to save a large group in the middle of the board, Ms. Zhang emerged with insurmountable advantage to win the game and the $100 first prize. In the consolation game, Melissa Cao 1d took third place by defeating Amy Wang 5d.
- Ted Terpstra: photo (l-r): Melissa Cao, 3rd; Amy Wang, 4th; Kelly Liu, 2nd; Melissa Zhang, 1st. photo at right: Zhang and Liu playing final. photos by Ted Terpstra (left) and Chris Garlock (right). 

Jeff Horn & Miyoko Miyama Leading in Self-Paired Tourney

Friday August 7, 2015

As of Thursday night, 96 games have been reported in the Self Paired Tournament at the US Go Congress. Jeff Horn (right) seems to be making a pretty 2015.08.07_Jeff-Horn-DSC_0051serious run at sweeping a number of the categories, leading in four of the seven categories, while Miyoka Miyama is leading or tied in two. Many other players are only one or two games behind the leaders, reports TD John Hogan.

All game results must be turned in by 12 noon on Saturday.

Current leaders, with the number of games in parentheses are:

Champion (most wins over losses): tie between Steffen Kurz and Miyoko Miyama (4)

Hurricane (greatest number of wins): Jeff Horn (9)

Giant Killer (most wins against dan players by kyu player): Miyoko Miyama (4)

Keith Arnold/Kyu Killer (most wins against kyu players by dan player): Jeff Horn (8)

Dedicated (most games played): Jeff Horn (15)

Sensei (most games against weaker players): Jeff Horn (13)

Philanthropist (most losses): Sasha (David) Orr (9)

photo by Chris Garlock

 

US Go Congress Updates: Friday Night “Big Broadcast” Set; Fierce Battle for ’15 US Open Masters Title; Crazy Go Photos Posted; Game Records Wanted; Caption Contest

Friday August 7, 2015

Friday Night “Big Broadcast” Set: Top-board US Open Masters games will be broadcast live with professional commentary on KGS and streamed on YouTube; Congress attendees can watch in person in the main playing area. The broadcast starts at 7p CST.

Fierce Battle for ’15 US Open Masters Title:
Unlike last year, when Mark Lee plowed through the field at the U.S. Open Masters, it’s safe to say that after six rounds, this year’s competition is wide open. With three rounds still to play, there are four 5-game winners:  defending champion Mark Lee, Zirui Song, Yulin Tong and Chen Wang. Lee lost to Youyin Cao in the fourth round; Zirui Song lost to Yulin Tong in the 2015.08.06_crazygo-bensonfourth round; Yulin Tong lost to Mark Lee in the 6th round, and Chen Wang lost to Mark Lee in the third round. Click here for complete results — and top-board game records through Round 6. 

Crazy Go Photos Posted: Click here for Betsy Small’s snapshots from Tuesday night’s Crazy Go session (right), directed as usual by Terry “These Go Games Are INSANE!” Benson.

Game Records Wanted: Send in your US Open game records and — as we did last year — we’ll add them to the crosstab. Email it to us at journal@usgo.org

Caption Contest: Submit your caption(s) and you could be a winner! Captions should be funny, clever and/or creative; have fun! Want to submit a photo for the contest? email it to us at journal@usgo.org
- photos by Chris Garlock

US Open 4-0 winners: Albert Yen; Xiaocheng Hu; Ary Cheng; Yifan Zhang; Gilbert Feng; Keiju Takehara; Kunio One; Aaron Johnson; Brian Kirby; Kelly Liu; Peter Zunick; Paul Weiner; Mark Fraser; Sherrie Echols; Ryan Kim. 

Yen and Cheng Sweep Redmond Finals

Thursday August 6, 2015

0803151731a Albert Yen 7d and Ary Cheng 3d swept their divisions in the Redmond Cup finals at the US Go Congress. The preliminary rounds were held online (see E-J 7/8/15) and saw both boys emerge on top, 15-year-old Yen with a perfect record, and 9-year-old Cheng winning 5 out of 6 games. The Senior Division (under 18) pitted Yunxuan Li 6d, age 17, with 5 wins, against Yen in a best 2 out of 3 final. In the Junior (under 13), Raymond Feng 3d, age 11, was the other finalist.  Cheng and Feng both were AGA rated at 1 dan during the qualifiers, but defeated higher ranked opponents throughout the event. Both boys are playing at 3 dan in the US Open, and doing quite well, proving once again that it is very hard to pin serious kids down to a given rank as they often improve at lightning speed. 0803151542bThe Senior division games were also popular on the AGA’s  Youtube Channel, which featured live commentaries by Calvin Sun 1P, with Justing Teng 7d and Lionel Zhang 7d streaming video, and both divisions were broadcast live on KGS as well.  All of the streamed videos remain available on the AGA channel here.  All four Redmond finalists won a free trip to congress to compete, and will receive $300 for first place, and $200 for second, courtesy of the American Go Foundation, as well as Redmond Cup trophies. - Story and photos by E-J Youth Editor Paul Barchilon. Top: Yunxuan Li 6d (l) vs. Albert Yen 7d (r); Bottom: Raymond Feng 3d (l) vs. Ary Cheng 3d (r).

Aaron Ye 6d Wins Diehard Tournament

Thursday August 6, 2015

Aaron Ye 6d won the Diehard Tournament on Wednesday, the event traditionally held on the Congress day off. 76 players participated and seven 2015.08.06_Diehardhad perfect 4-0 records: Aaron Ye 6d (Overall winner); Daniel Puzan 1d; David Frankel 1k; Steve Wishnousky 3k; Vincent Tam 5k; Aaron Pearson 7k and Chris Ramsumair 8k.
- report by Andy Olsen, TD; photo by Garrett Smith

Go Congress Updates: Yulin Tong Takes Lead in US Open Masters; Day Off; Self-Paired Update; Phil’s Photos

Wednesday August 5, 2015

Yulin Tong Takes Lead in US Open Masters: The lead in the Open Masters changed not once but twice on Tuesday. First, Youyin Cao 3P Tong-YuLin beat defending champion Mark Lee in the morning round. Cao is a Champion Team member of the 2014 Huang Long Shi Shuang Deng Cup Ring Contest. Then in the fifth round on Tuesday night, Yulin Tong 4P (right) defeated Cao in just 107 moves. Click here for the latest results. Three rounds have been played in the US Open; click here for the latest results. (update: this post has been updated; Cao beat Lee by resignation, not by half a point)

2015.08.04_pairings-us-open-rd3Day Off: Anyone signed up for Stillwater bus ride: bus will load/depart 9a at Flynn Circle, next to building #7.

Self-Paired Update: As of Tuesday morning, 68 games recorded so far. Leader in some prize categories (# of games in parentheses):
Champion – most wins over losses – Jeff Horn (5)
Hurricane – greatest number of wins – Jeff Horn (7)
Giant Killer – most wins against dan players by kyu player – Miyoko Miyama (3)
Keith Arnold (Kyu Killer) – most wins against kyu players by dan player – Jeff Horn (6)
Dedicated – most games played – Sasha (David) Orr  (10)
Sensei – most games against weaker players – Jeff Horn (8)
Philanthropist – most losses – Sasha David) Orr (8)
Many other players are only one or two games behind the leaders, so play more self-paired games!
- John Hogan, TD
Phil’s Photos: Check out EJ photog Phil Straus’ latest album of photos on his Facebook album.

Go Congress Provides Teachers & TDs with Chance to Learn

Wednesday August 5, 2015

Both the AGA Teacher Certification and the Tournament Director Workshops kicked off Monday afternoon. This is the third year for the Teacher2015.08.04_go-volunteer-DSC_0040-001 Certification, consisting of four 2-hour sessions, which have been a great success. Nearly two dozen participants showed up for the first session Monday afternoon, which was about learning to teach go to an absolute beginner. Later sessions will focus on teaching DDK, SDK players, and one-on-one teaching.

Chris Kirschner conscripted a volunteer from the campus staff at St Thomas University, where the Congress is being held. Interested but somewhat mystified, Diane Kruger, Associate Dean of Finance and operations, College of Education, Leadership and Counseling, stood at the demo board while Kirschner demonstrated how to teach someone to play go for the very first time. He was quite entertaining and encouraging and fielded questions from the audience about various teaching methods. Before the session was over, not only had his volunteer learned some of the basics of the game, but she was eagerly requesting contact info from everyone to continue learning and also to share with the rest of her faculty staff.

This is the first year for the TD Workshop, and actual certifications will not be granted at the end of the four 1-hour sessions, as the format is still evolving. Topics will cover pairing, reporting, and organizing for your own local tournament. To encourage new TDs, the AGA will provide mentoring help from established AGA TDs as they start their first tournaments. A number of experienced go teachers and tournaments have been enlisted to share their knowledge and mentor interested members for both workshops. A schedule of events was included in Congress welcome packets. Myung Wan Kim will be teaching Thursday 1 to 3 — “Mathematical end games”, that is, counting — and “After school programs” on Saturday 1 to 3. Kirschner and Maeda will be teaching the “one on one” session on Friday.
- Dennis Wheeler; photo: volunteer Diane Kruger observing an Open Masters game Tuesday with AGA president Andy Okun; photo by Chris Garlock

 

Jiang and Zheng Top Youth Adult Pair Go

Tuesday August 4, 2015

0804151648bXinyiang Jiang 7d and Xiangnan Zheng 7d took first place at the top table at Youth-Adult Pair Go at the Go Congress on Aug. 4th.  Often a warm up for the official Pair Go Tournament on Thursday night, the more casual event gives many teams their first chance to play pair go in a tournament setting.  18 pairs competed for prizes and fun, with pros Hajin Lee 3P and Calvin Sun 1P both getting in on the action as well.  Rengo pair Yunxuan Li 6d and Ashish Varma 4d took first place at table two, while Andrew Zhang 7k and Nqua Xiong 3k won at table three, Steve Zhang 17k and Collette Bezio 11k won at table four.  0804151538aBezio, the author of Aji’s Quest is attending her first Go Congress, and described her 7 year old partner as “amazing”.  Other youth events this week included Lighting Go, 9×9, and 13×13 mini tourneys.  Team 13×13 Rengo, with three players on each team alternating moves, and the 19×19 Youth Team Tourney are set for Thursday and Friday.  -Story and Photo by Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.  Upper Left: Xinyiang Jiang 7d and Xiangnan Zheng 7d (l) play Albert Yen 7d and Chang Yun Hsin 6d; Hajin Lee 3p and Kiren Polora 8k (r) play Ethan Frank 6k and Sherrie Echols 9k (l).