NOVA Go Club organizer, Garrett Smith (left), also known as PopPop, reports that he is engaged in extensive preparation for the 2015 U.S. Go Congress next month. He hopes to see a big turnout August 1-9 in St. Paul, MN. If you’re going to the Go Congress too — and some 350 are already signed up — let us know how you’re preparing for the biggest go event in the country! Email your reports and/or photos to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
American Go E-Journal » U.S. Go Congress
Friday July 24, 2015
Tuesday July 21, 2015
The US Open Master’s Division will again be a 9-round event with a top prize of $5,000. This section is open to all professionals and 7 Dan players. Additionally, players below 7-dan who earned points in AGA qualifier tournaments will be
eligible to compete in this section. As was done last year, the top three North American finishers in this section will get prizes with a top award of $2,000.
The regular 6-round event will continue as before, open to everyone. Players who qualify for the Master’s Division but do not wish to play 9 games can sign up for the 6-round Open event instead. However, there is no crossover between sections once play begins, and players in the Master’s Division are expected to commit to play the full 9 rounds. Jon Boley is the Tournament Director for the Master’s Division this year.
photo: top-board action at the 2014 US Open Masters Division; photo by Chris Garlock
Tuesday July 21, 2015
The American Go E-Journal has a few openings on its US Go Congress team. Anyone interested in helping record/broadcast top-board games at the US Open should email email@example.com. Prior experience is useful but not absolutely necessary. You must be available either mornings (Sun-Sat) or evenings (Sunday, Tuesday, or Friday). “This is a terrific opportunity to get an up—close look at top-board games at a major tournament and be a part of the team bringing this event to the world,” says E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock. “Plus, it’ll improve your own go!”
Tennis Alert: Tennis players be sure to pack your racquets, as there are courts available at this year’s Congress site and E-Journal editor Chris Garlock will be organizing games throughout the week. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if interested in participating.
photo: The EJ’s Dennis Wheeler records a 2014 US Open Masters game; photo by Chris Garlock
Saturday July 18, 2015
Saturday July 18, 2015
Word comes to the E-Journal of two last minute changes in the ranks of the professionals visiting the US Go Congress in Minneapolis-St. Paul. One is that the Korea Amateur Baduk Association will be sending Cho Hyeyeon 9p, a star player and active promoter of the game. Cho, who also attended the 2008 Congress in Portland, works, teaches and plays tirelessly, among other ventures running a go club at the US Army base at Yongsan in Seoul. Meanwhile, difficulties of making last minute travel arrangements have caused the Taiwan Chiyuan to substitute Ms. Tang Hsi Yun 2p, also known as Debbie Tang, for the earlier announced Wang Yuanjun 7p. Like Cho, Tang speaks English. She has been pro since 2004 and taught at the European Go Congress in 2012.
Update (7/21): The spelling of Ms. Tang’s name has been corrected.
Wednesday July 15, 2015
With the 2015 US Go Congress less than a month away, it is on track to be a great event with over 350 attendees, says Congress Director Josh Larson. For players of all levels a major draw to attend the Congress is the chance to meet, play and learn from professional players from all over the world. So far, 21 pros are expected at this year’s Congress!
The pros are involved in many activities through the week. You can attend professional lectures during the afternoon and evening, play against a professional during one of the many simultaneous games in the afternoon after the US Open rounds, have your game reviewed in a small group session or hang around and chat with pros at mealtime. A few have been known to turn up at late night card games. Pros will also be involved in special events, like commenting on a key final game or, new this year, playing a demonstration game against an amateur.
A highlight for players of all levels is the review of your tournament games by a professional. These reviews are divided up by rank, so if you are a dan player, the professionals will focus on advanced topics while for kyu players, they will target the basics. You can watch and learn from another reviewee’s pride or pain before going up to the demo board yourself and finding out what actually happened to your stones during your own game. Larson encourages attendees to not be shy about approaching pros. “If you have a question, and see a professional player, ask! They often will just grab a board and give you an answer.” While some attendees will pay for group or individual lessons, all of the above activities are included in the cost of your registration. The US Go Congress is one of a very few events in the go world with so much pro training opportunity.
Below is a list of the professionals who have currently confirmed to attend the 2015 Us Go Congress.
Among pros currently based in the US we have:
Former women’s world champion and leading teacher, Feng Yun 9P.
The Korea Baduk Association’s Go Ambassador to the US, Myungwan Kim 9P.
Mingjiu Jiang 7P, who has been the North American representative in multiple international tournaments and teacher in the Bay Area for more than 25 years.
Yilun Yang 7P, author of many books, including “Fundamental Principles of Go,” and a revered teacher who does annual workshops across the country.
Jennie Shen 2P from Santa Barbara, gives individual lectures, group lessons, and audio lectures on KGS.
Stephanie Yin 1P studied under Nie Weiping 9P and Yu Bing 9P and has placed first in multiple tournaments.
Andy Liu 1P is one of the first AGA professionals.
Shirley Lin 1P taught Go at Nanjing University and is a previous US Open Champion.
Cathy Li 1P coached the Canadian team in the 1st World Mind Sports Games.
Professional delegates from foreign go organizations include:
Wang Qun 8P (China)
Wang Yuanjyun 7P (Taiwan)
Na Jonghoon 7P (Korea)
Maeda Ryo 6P (Japan)has been a popular lecturer at previous US Go Congresses.
Hajin Lee 3P (Korea) well-known for her go videos on YouTube and currently secretary general of the International Go Federation.
Murakami Akihide 3P (Japan)
Koyo Hoshikawa 3P (Japan)
Cao Youyin 3P (China)
Feng Yun 9p teaching at the 2014 Go Congress
Update: Wang Qun 8P ‘s name has been corrected (our original post had it as Wan Qun 8P).
Sunday July 12, 2015
Top pro Yuan-Jun Wang 7p will visit and teach at the US Go Congress as part of the first delegation in many years from the Taiwan Chiyuan, the organization of Taiwanese professional players, AGA president Andy Okun told the E-Journal. The 19-year-old star has been a pro since 2007, winning a number of titles over the years including the Haifeng Cup Professional Championship , the East Steel Cup and the Guests Cup. He has also been runner-up in the Acer Cup and Siyuan Cup and represented Taiwan in the SportAccord World Mind Games three times. Also visiting will be Taiwan Chiyuan Secretary General, Yi-Ching Lu. Ms. Lu is, coincidentally, Mr. Wang’s mother. “Taiwanese players have been growing in stature and the Taiwan go scene, amateur and pro, is active and vibrant,” Okun said. “This will be a good chance for our go enthusiasts to establish links with another important part of the go world.”
Wednesday July 8, 2015
Albert Yen 7d (at left) and Ary Cheng 1d (at right) lead the Redmond Cup’s Senior and Junior standings after completing the preliminary rounds, held online, over the last few months. The Senior division, with a field of nineteen players, was especially hard-fought: the three top-seeded players, Yen, Jeremy Chiu 6d, and four-time Junior champion Aaron Ye 6d, were all still undefeated after the third round. By the end, it was still close, with four players holding 4-2 records or better. Although the Senior division was competitive, the fifteen-year-old Yen was dominant, winning all six rounds. “Some luck was needed to pull me through undefeated,” Yen told the Journal, “Yunxuan Li is a respectable opponent in the finals, and I must be very careful as his fighting is quite strong.”
Yunxuan Li 6d, age 17, claimed second place in the Senior division by going 5-1. His one defeat was in the third round against Yen, but he will have a chance for revenge when the two front-runners square off in a best of three in the finals. While this will be Yen’s first time competing in the finals, Li is excited to return after finishing runner-up in the Junior division in 2009: “It’s been six years since my last Redmond. It is such a pleasure to be in it again.”
In the Junior Division players fought neck and neck. With a field of seven, byes became an issue, so the event was run as a a round robin – giving each kid a chance to play all of the others. Nine-year-old Ary Cheng 1d, was the clear-cut winner, losing only once to the top seed. Cheng told the Journal he is thrilled to have made it into first place as a shodan: “I will work hard to improve my skill and play the best game I can in the final.” The battle for second place and a trip to the finals, on the other hand, was extremely close. Two players – the top seed, Tingwen Zhang 5d, and Raymond Feng 1d – finished 4-2. The mathematical tie-breaking systems were no help: Zhang and Feng both had the same SOS and SODOS scores. The tournament directors used their face-to-face matchup to decide second place. Because he had pulled off an upset in the first round against the higher ranked Zhang, Feng earned his place as the runner-up.
The final rounds will be broadcast live on KGS, from the US Go Congress, at 3 pm on August 2nd, 3rd, and 6th. Yen, Li, Cheng, and Feng have all won a free trip to Congress, where they will play best-of-three matches for the titles of their respective divisions. -EJ Special Report by Julian Erville
Monday June 29, 2015
Sunday June 28, 2015
Xinming Simon Guo 1d, of Chicago, Illinois, has been named the AGF Teacher of the Year, winning a free trip to the 2015 U.S. Go Congress in St. Paul, Minnesota. Guo has been active in youth go promotion for years, first partnering with the Confucius Institute in Chicago in the fall of 2012 to offer go instruction to Chinese language classrooms. “This program has been very successful,” Guo told the Journal. “Some schools requested more instructional hours, and some schools added go to their after-school program. More teachers joined this program in 2014 and 2015. One school started a tournament after my introduction courses. Meanwhile, I have started to train teachers to meet the increasing demand for go in Chicago’s schools.”
In 2012, Guo founded the GoAndMath Academy, whose mission is “to use go to help develop students’ math ability, especially number sense.” In 2013 and 2014, Guo organized several workshops, one was to aid Chinese teachers in the Chicago area in bringing go to the classroom as a part of Chinese culture. The other two workshops were directed towards math teachers at ICTM (Illinois Council of Teachers of Mathematics) in October of 2013 and MMC (Metropolitan Mathematics Club of Chicago) in February of 2014. “During these workshops, I gave a presentation on the link between go and Common Core State Standards,” Guo told the E-Journal. “I taught teachers how to play go and how the game can be integrated into math classrooms. Specifically, the teachers learned ways to incorporate go to help students develop number sense and incorporate three domains in Common Core standards — Counting and Cardinality, Operations and Algebraic Thinking, Number and Operations in Base Ten.” Guo’s approach to integrating go into American school curricula affected about 3,500 students and 50 teachers in 2013, and subsequently 6,500 students in 2014.
“As a licensed math teacher and a go instructor, I will continue to research how go helps develop students’ number sense and other math abilities. Currently, I am designing a go and math curriculum that can be easily used in school settings, especially in math classrooms.” Guo is currently affiliated with over forty schools in the Chicago area, three universities, and three museums and libraries. Guo will give a talk at the US Go Congress on Monday, Aug. 3. “My plan is to let go players know that go can help math and it is correlated with the new Common Core Math Standards. This is a powerful research result to extend go to school programs, and this is what I have done for years. Usually I present this go and math correlation to math teachers and educators in conference. I will adjust it for go players. I am a go player for math teachers and math teacher for go players,” adds Guo. -EJ special report, by Amy Su. Photo: Guo (standing) teaching kids, from GoandMath Academy’s Facebook page.