Photos by EJ photographer Phil Straus. Top left: EJ game recorder Richard Dolen; Top right: longtime Congress attendee Ken Koester (second from right) and fellow Lightning Tournament players await instructions from TD Keith Arnold; Bottom right: KGS Admin Akane Negishi shows off her go-themed earrings and nails; Bottom left: Triple-threat Tournament Director Karoline Burrall (TD for the U.S. Open, North American Ing Masters and Strong Players Open).
American Go E-Journal » U.S. Go Congress
Monday August 6, 2012
Congress Updates (Sunday, August 5): Tournament Reports; Win a Free Private Pro Lesson; Sign Up for U.S. Pair Go Championships; 9×9 Table Winners
Sunday August 5, 2012
U.S. Open: Canadian players played a leading role in some top-board upsets at the 2012 U.S. Open, which got underway Sunday morning at the Blue Ridge Assembly in Black Mountain, NC. Newly-minted U.S. pro Gansheng Shi of Canada lost to Canadian Go Association President James Sedgwick, while defending U.S. Open champion Yongfei Ge lost to Bill Lin; both are also Canadians. For complete Round 1 results from the Open, NAIM and SPO, as well as top-board game records, are available on the tournament crosstab. Click here for crosstabs and game records for NAIM and the SPO. Top-board Open games are being broadcast live daily on KGS from 9a-12p (EST); NAIM and SPO games are from 7-10p.
photo: birds-eye view of the U.S. Open main playing area; photo by Chris Garlock
Win a Free Private Pro Lesson!: Find the best fuseki – the first 8 moves — on this USA-shaped go board and win a private one-hour lesson at the Go Congress with one of the professionals in attendance. “Beware the quirky border points,” warns Congress Co-Director Paul Celmer. “In general, if a stone can cover more than one point it’s considered one point.” Printouts of the board grid will be available at the Congress Help Desk. Mark white moves with a number and black moves with a number in a circle. The winner will be determined by a panel of Congress pros. Deadline for entries is Thursday at noon. Include your name and email and deliver your completed entry to the Congress Help Desk.
Sign Up for U.S. Pair Go Championships: The U.S. Pair Go Championships will be held Thursday evening. Sign-up sheets will be posted in the BRC lobby to enter your Male-Female partnerships. “Entry deadline is 11:00pm Wednesday night!” says TD Todd Heidenreich. Anyone signing up after the deadline will be placed on the Alternates List and paired into the tournament if possible.
9×9 Table Winners: Sathya Anand 2k; Erik Backus 4k; William Xu 5k; Kalinda Fraser 8k; Aaron Otero 13k; Edward Lane 22k; Justin Ching 3d; Louie Liu 2d; Gabriella Su 1d.
- Lee Huynh
Sunday August 5, 2012
Top right: Pro simul with Chinese professional Weitang Liang 9P; Middle right: Mingjiu Jiang 9P lectures; Bottom right: Youth Lightning Tournament; Bottom left: Nolan Bushnell models his KGS t-shirt and American Go E-Journal cap while beating Chuck Robbins; Middle left: analyzing their round 1 U.S. Open game; top left: Wisonet Cup State Team Go Tournament organizer Ronghao Chen watches Round 1. Photos/Collage by Chris Garlock
Sunday August 5, 2012
Hikaru no Go manga creator Hotta Yumi provided a fascinating peep behind scenes when she sat down Sunday with American Go E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock to explain the process of creating the popular manga. With her editors needing final artwork eight weeks before publication, Mrs. Hotta said that months of painstaking work went into each new manga. Depending on the storyline, “I sometimes was working on three episodes simultaneously,” she said, through translator Akane Negishi. She would roughly sketch out the stories and then send them to Obata Takeshi, the artist who would turn them into finished artwork. At the same time, the rough drafts would go to the Nihon Ki-in, where staff would find games that would best illustrate the story, and the game records or positions would also go to Mr. Obata, who would add them to the finished artwork. “The go was of course taken very seriously,” Mrs. Hotta said, “That’s why so much effort was necessary. We really wanted to help make go more accessible to a broader audience.”
photo: Hotta Yumi (l) shows drafts of Hikaru no Go manga; report by Chris Garlock, photos by Steve Colburn
Saturday August 4, 2012
A standing-room-only crowd packed into Washburn Hall at the U.S. Go Congress opening ceremonies Saturday night, where – after a brief but entertaining Congress welcome from Congress Directors Paul Celmer and Peter Armenia — Atari founder Nolan Bushnell regaled the rapt audience with tales of how he came to found the company that helped define the computer entertainment industry for years. The talk was the keynote presentation of the ongoing International Go Symposium (see below for Sunday’s schedule).
“Isn’t go a great game?!” Bushnell began, to cheers and applause. “Go allows us to engage both side of our brain,” Bushnell continued, “but it requires humility and patience, both of which are hard for Americans. But wouldn’t the world be a better place if everyone played go?” He then described how he learned go from a fellow chess club member in college, was instantly entranced by the game, and then got interested in arcade games while working in an amusement park. Punctuating his own history and that of the computer game industry with jovial asides – “I turned down an offer to buy a third of Apple for $50,000; I regret that.” – Bushnell described developing classics like the Atari 2600 gaming console and Pong, which drew knowing nods from many in the crowd of gamers, some of whom had brought their favorite Atari game cartridges to be autographed. “Go has been really important in my career,” Bushnell said, as he described the ups and downs of a long and fascinating life. “Just like in a game of go, at the end, you pick up the pieces and start over again.”
Now CEO of Brainrush, Bushnell has gotten interested in education and in the effects of aging on the brain, and he described software his company’s working on that he said has gotten tremendous results by focusing on play instead of the usual approach of “presentation, practice, test.” Bushnell concluded by throwing his arms wide and proclaiming that “I love go players” and confiding that he often plays on KGS (“Often anonymously”) but that he needs “a two-martini account” for those days when he just wants to have fun playing.
International Go Symposium Schedule for Sunday, August 5
A = Attending Congress; S = Skype presentation; also streaming live online. Papers and web links will be posted online after the Symposium; details will be announced in the E-Journal.
9:00 Thomas Wolf Go Theory S
Basic Seki in Go
9:45 Chen Zu-yan Poetry S
The Art of Black and White: Weiqi in Chinese Poetry
10:30 Roxanna Duntley-Matos Education and Community Organization A
“Playing Under and Pushing Through the Stones”: Privileging Transnational Go Network Formation and Minority Leadership from Lower to Higher Education.
11:15 Peter Shotwell History
The Origins of Go Strategies in Classical Chinese Grammar
1:00-2:30 A Panel Discussion on Go inChinaToday:
Marc Moskowitz A
Wei Qi Wonders: Conversations About the Game of Go in China (Film)
The Challenges of Categorization for an Increasingly Globalized Game
Stephanie Mingming Yin (China1-dan Professional) A
Experiences in Growing Up in the Profession and Observations on the Chinese Methods of Education Joshua A. Guarino (Go Congress Japanese-English Interpreter) A
Peter Shotwell (Go Historian)
Go in China1985
2:30 Hotta Yumi A
Hikaru no Go creator – Interview
Paul Barchilon (Vice-President and Youth Coordinator, American Go Foundation: 2006 Teacher of the Year) Akane Negishi (Translator)
3:15 Terry Benson Rules/Attitudes A
Spreading Go – Rules and Attitudes Which Make That Hard
A Panel Discussion on Go on How to Start a Go Program in Your Community
Moderated by Roy Laird, PhD, LCSW-R (Program Director, New York City Children’s Aid Society)
Play Go and Grow: Why Every School and Library Should Have a Go Program A
Paul Barchilon (Vice-President and Youth Coordinator, American Go Foundation: 2006 Teacher of the Year)
Developing Youth Programs
Peter Freedman, PhD (Portland, OregonChildren’s go organizer); 2011 Portlandand Mexico Children’s Tournament) A
Teaching Children to Become Go Players
Siddhartha Avila (Program Director, Mexican Youth Go Community; Univ.of Michigan Cultural Ambassador Go Program) A
The Art of Go in Education and Presentation of the International Children’s Go Art Contest
photos: (top right) Nolan Bushnell delivers Symposium keynote speech; (middle left) Bushnell talks with Congress attendees after the speech, including the EJ’s Steve Colburn (right) and Todd Blatt (left); (middle right): Congress Directors Paul Celmer (standing, center) and Peter Armenia (seated at right) with Chris Kirschner (left) as the Ghost of Congresses Past. photos by Chris Garlock
Saturday August 4, 2012
Friday August 3, 2012
The International Go Symposium kicks off a full schedule of presentations on the history and culture of the game of go at 9a (EST) Saturday morning in Washburn Hall at the US Go Congress in Black Mountain, NC. The Symposium – sponsored by the International Go Federation, the American Go Foundation and the American Go Association – will also be streamed live online. Nolan Bushnell, founder of Atari, the first computer game maker, will deliver the event’s keynote speech at 7:30p. photo: Symposium organizer Peter Shotwell (in flowered shirt) and Symposium Videographer Terry Benson (in cap) setting up Friday; photo by Chris Garlock
International Go Symposium Schedule for Saturday, August 4 (the second and final day is Sunday, August 5); A = Attending Congress; S = Skype presentation
9:00 Chen Zuyuan History S
The Evolution of Japanese Territory and Chinese Area Scoring Since the Tang Dynasty
9:45 Jacques Basaldua Computer S
Advances in M-eval: A Multivariate Evaluation Function for Opening Positions in Computer Go
10:30 Peter Schumer Teaching A
Design of a College Go Course
11:15 IsraelRodriguez Nava Culture S
Cultural Considerations in the Spread of Go in Western Countries
1:00 Bill Spight Go Theory S
How to EstimateTerritory: Research into the Influence of Immortal, Partially Immortal, and Dead Stones, and the Estimation of Territory on the 3×3 Board
1:45 Francois van Niekerk Computer S
New Work on MCTS Parallelisatio
2:10 Peter Shotwell Culture
A reading of the short version of “Historical Hypotheses and Facts About the Game of Go inVietnam,” a paper by Konstantin Bayraktarov of Bulgaria
2:15 Peter Shotwell Culture
Some Notes on the Possible Origins in Ancient Greeceand Rome(via Bactria) of the Tibetan Custodial Capture Game Mig Mang That Uses Go Stones and Boards
2:30 Dalsoo, Kim History A
A Study of Flower (Star) Points in Go and Other Games
3:15 Kyle Blocher Go Theory A
The Value of Moves: Sente, Gote, and Combinatorial Game Theory
4:00 Ichiro Tanioka History
The Origin of 19×19 Go-boards inChina
4:45 Dae-won Suh Greeting
7:30 Nolan Bushnell Keynote Speech
Peter Armenia, Paul Celmer & Peter Freedman
Moving Go From the Cultural Backgrouond to Center Stage
Friday August 3, 2012
Hundreds of go players will converge on the YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly in Black Mountain, NC today for eight days of go at the 2012 U.S. Go Congress. Congress registration is in the Blue Ridge Center lobby area. Click here for 2012 Go Congress Handbook, the 43-page guide to the biggest U.S. go event of the year. The pocket-sized handbook – easily viewable online as well as on your handheld device — provides a comprehensive guide to the complete schedule of dozens of activities, from daily tournaments to pro lectures, as well as special events this year, including the first International Go Symposium to be held in North America, the Keith Arnold Challenge, Mountain Top Go, a Friday Night Campfire, pig picking and live bluegrass music. Also included are brief bios of the 17 professionals attending, a handy “Week at a Glance” overview, and site maps.
US Open Check-In: “If you are planning on playing in the US Open, and you are arriving during normal registration hours on Saturday, I’ll be seeing you there to confirm your participation in the tournament,” says U.S. Open TD Karoline Burrall. “You will need to check in with the US Open TD by 9pm. However, if you are arriving late on Saturday (after 9pm), you will need to check in for the tournament by sending me a quick email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling at 919-809-7397.” Anyone who does not check in with a TD to confirm participation in the US Open, will not be paired for Round 1 on Sunday morning.
Photo: Congress Directors Paul Celmer (l) and Peter Armenia (r) unload Congress materials on Friday afternoon; photo by Chris Garlock
Friday August 3, 2012
On the heels of the successful Tygem Pro Test Tournament, which wraps up Saturday, the AGA has just announced another new fully-sponsored tournament. The inaugural Pandanet-AGA City League will officially kick off during the 2012 US Go Congress, which begins this Saturday in Black Mountain, NC. “This an exciting new event and we expect it’ll become an important part of the American tournament scene,” said AGA President Allan Abramson. Funded by Pandanet, the tournament is formatted similarly to the Chinese and Korean City Leagues: each team consists of three active players, one alternate and one captain, representing a city or region in North America. Players may be either pros or amateurs. The top six teams are placed into an “A” League and will play a double round-robin with each other throughout the year on the International Go Server (IGS). Other teams are placed into a “B” League and possibly a third, “C” League. The top finisher in the B League moves up to the A League after each season, replacing the bottom A League team. In addition to generous cash prizes provided by Pandanet, teams are encouraged to seek their own local sponsors to provide the team with travel, training, celebration and community events, and game-fees. “The primary goal of the City League is to provide a new opportunity for pros and strong amateurs to play,” reports AGA Tournament Coordinator Karoline Burrall. “A second goal is to generate regional interest and build up small, grassroots support for go in the North America. Watch for further announcements during the Go Congress and start organizing your own team now!”
U.S. Go Congress Updates: Getting There; MD Team Seeks Players; Game Recorders, Tennis Players and Soccer Fans Wanted; Club Team Tourney Reminder
Wednesday August 1, 2012
“Be assured there are many industrious, creative, and energetic volunteers (as well as a few tired ones) working every day to make your Congress experience well beyond the ordinary,” says Congress Registrar Arlene Bridges. “Many unique events and activities await you that do not usually happen at a Go Congress.”
“But first,” Bridges adds, “you have to get there.” Click here to review a handy Congress Welcome PDF“to help you get to the Congress site on time and prepared to play!” The 20-page PDF includes info on what to bring, check-in details, Congress contacts, driving directions and a site map of the Blue Ridge Assembly (84 Blue Ridge Circle, Black Mountain, North Carolina 28711)
Meanwhile, “there are still seats left on the Maryland team for the Wisonet State Team Go Tournament!” reports AGA TD Coordinator Karoline Burrall. “There is room left for one kyu-level player, three dan-level players, and one alternate player between 5k and 4 dan.” If you live in Maryland and want to compete against teams from New York, New Jersey, California, Virginia, and North Carolina, email Burrall at email@example.com by Friday, August 3. The 5-round tournament runs afternoons (2:30pm) on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday.
And American Go E-Journal Managing Editor reports that “The E-Journal has room for a few more game recorders next week at the U.S. Go Congress!” If you’d like to be part of the team that brings the Congress to the rest of the world, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Garlock also invites racquet-wielding go players to join him for stress-relieving tennis sessions early each morning and in the mid-afternoon, when soccer maven Terry Benson will also be organizing pick-up soccer matches. See the Congress handbook for details.
Haskell and Rachel Small, co-directors of the Club Team Tournament, remind Congress-goers that “Any AGA-sanctioned Go club can field three players as a team. This year, clubs can only field one team. All teams will compete in each of the four rounds at 3pm on Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. Sign up by 1pm on Sunday the 5th!”
Got Congress updates? Email them to us at email@example.com!