At the insistence of staff counsel at Boston University, the US Go Congress and AGA this year will be instituting tougher procedures for the appointment of guardians for under-18s staying at BU for the Go Congress without parents, AGA President Andy Okun told the EJ. “It is more involved than in previous years, which is regrettable, but campuses and their lawyers are feeling some pressure in the wake of the Penn State scandal. More vigilance in this area seems to be both inevitable and a good thing, and this is just the year we have to start.” If under-18s are staying in campus housing without a parent or formal legal guardian with them, a parent will have to sign a waiver and appoint an onsite guardian, as has been necessary since 2011. That guardian will have to be staying in the same housing and be attending Congress in the same time period, as always. The new requirement is that the guardian will also have to undergo a database background check by a third party service hired by AGA, as well as a brief online training in the protection of minors. AGA will charge the parents $25 for the background check, although the actual cost will vary and likely be more. The BU policy doesn’t apply to kids who are not staying in campus housing; for them, Congress will ask parents to sign a form as in prior years, but without the need for background check or training. Congress this year has booked some rooms at a hotel near the campus and other housing options are available around Boston. Questions about the policy can be addressed to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. The forms will be ready within the next week or so, Okun said.
American Go E-Journal » U.S. Go Congress
Wednesday March 9, 2016
Sunday December 13, 2015
Monday August 31, 2015
“It would be great if there was a system in place to help people who want to play in the pair-go but don’t have a partner to find one”…”Live broadcasting was good, but I’d rather see live pro comments on a large room with many go players”…”Include the topics discussed on the pro lecture schedule board”…These are just a few of the many suggestions submitted on the US Go Congress Survey. Whether you’ve attended a Go Congress or not, Congress organizers are interested in your opinions on a few basic questions so that they can make future Congresses even better. Click here by midnight this Wednesday to take the brief survey; participants are eligible for go prizes!
photo: Feng Yun 9P plays in a simul at the 2015 US Go Congress; photo by Chris Garlock
Tuesday August 25, 2015
Kudos for Swift Ratings: “I’ve complained before about the timeliness of ratings updates, so let me be the first to compliment those responsible for getting it done swiftly this year,” writes Brady Daniels.
The following US Go Congress tournaments have now been rated: US Open, US Open Masters, Congress Self-Paired, Congress DieHard and Congress U16 AGA Girls’ Championship. Click here for latest ratings.
Monday August 24, 2015
“Meeting all the other people who love to play go as much as I do”…”Pro game review is the single most important activity at the Congress” …” I have attended only two US Go Congresses in the past ten years, but follow them avidly each year and attempt to visit each year.” These are just a few of the more than 100 responses thus far to the US Go Congress Survey. So far, the US Open and pro lectures rank highest in popularity, while the 9×9 and 13×13 tournaments rank lowest. Whether you’ve attended a Congress or not, Congress organizers would like your opinions on a few basic questions so that they can make future Congresses even better. “One of the best things is simply meeting people who love the game and playing go.” Click here to take the brief survey; participants are eligible for go prizes!
Sunday August 23, 2015
Take Go Congress Survey, Win Prizes: The US Go Congress is the single biggest go event in North America each year, drawing hundreds of go players from across the country for a week of go events. Whether you’ve attended a Congress or not, Congress organizers would like your opinions on a few basic questions so that they can make future Congresses even better. Click here to take a brief survey; participants will be eligible for go prizes!
Got US Open Games? Make sure your US Open games are part of the tournament’s permanent record: send in your US Open game records and we’ll add them to the official crosstab (thanks to everyone who’s already done so!)
Email them to us at email@example.com
Tuesday August 18, 2015
The American Go E-Journal’s coverage of the 2015 US Go Congress in St Paul, MN was truly wall-to-wall this year, with more than 60 games broadcast live on KGS, 23 live video feeds on our YouTube channel, well over a dozen live pro game commentaries and nearly two dozen reports in the E-Journal, as well as numerous posts to the AGA’s Facebook page and Twitter feed. None of that would have been possible without a talented and committed team of volunteers, some of them veterans of previous congresses and some newbies, but every one richly deserving of a hearty round of applause and appreciation. Click here to see our Facebook album of team photos.
First and foremost are Assistant Manager Todd Heidenreich, Tech/IT Manager Steve Colburn and Lead Game Recorder Dennis Wheeler; their titles don’t begin to do justice to the many key roles these three play in ensuring our smooth operation. Todd, Steve and Dennis have been our core team for many years now, and hanging out with them in the EJ room each year is a joy that many others have discovered as well.
An exciting addition to the EJ team this year was our video streaming operation, managed by Andrew Jackson, who surpassed his goal of dramatically improving the current state of go video streaming, as evidenced by the impressive number of live viewers and video views. The video streaming team included Ashish Varma (fairgo) Shawn Ray (clossius), Justin Teng (odnihs),Stephen Hu (xhu98), Lionel Zhang and Calvin Sun.
Youth Editor Paul Barchilon makes sure we give proper coverage to the many exciting youth events and rising young go stars; he’s also training the next generation of the EJ’s youth team and worked with Jackson to coordinate youth coverage; special thanks to Justin Teng, who went above and beyond to organize the streaming team for the Redmond Cup games. Game recorders included Andrew Lu, Ethan Frank, and Ashish Varma.
While video streaming and social media coverage have been generating a lot of this year’s interest in the Congress, our game recording team quietly went about the everyday work of broadcasting top-board games online, not only so that go players around the world could watch live, but so that the games are recorded for posterity. Dennis Wheeler anchored the team, as usual, and with the indefatigable Richard Dolen they broadcast all the morning top-board games. The evening game recording team included Solomon Smilack — who also transcribed the live pro commentary for the Friday Night Big Broadcast –David Weimer, Bart Jacob, Stephen Hu, Andrew Lu, Ethan Frank, George Schmitten, Yong Peng, Yanqing Sun and Austin Harvey. Thanks as always to Akane Negishi and the entire team at KGS for their support and help. And a big shout-out to US Open Masters/US Open TD Jon Boley, whose coordination with pairings and results data was critical to our timely reporting; plus his sense of humor made him a perfect fit for the EJ team.The professional go players have become an integral part of the EJ team each year, contributing their insights in live game commentaries, this year on our YouTube livestream as well as on KGS. They included: Feng Yun 9P, Cho Hye-yeon 9P, Yilun Yang 7P, Jennie Shen 2P, Shirley Lin 1P, Stephanie Yin 1P, Cathy Li 1P. Special thanks to Myungwan Kim 9P and Yilun Yang 7P for their Big Game broadcast Friday night, and to pro coordinator I-Han Lui, who provided professionals for both the KGS and video stream commentaries. And a very special thanks this year to Hajin Lee 3P and Nick Sibicki, who anchored our streaming video commentary, and to Matthew Hershberger, who also helped with the commentary on Pair Go night.
Finally, I want to thank EJ photographer — and my very good friend — Phil Straus (left, in yellow shirt), without whom literally none of this would be possible: Phil taught me how to play go 30 years ago when I showed up at the Philadelphia Go Club, which he ran out of his house in center city Philly. He’s been there for me as a go player, go journalist and friend for three decades.
Thanks to the entire team, and to you, our readers; see you next year in Boston!
photos by Phil Straus (top right), Chris Garlock (left) and Ken Koester (bottom right).
Saturday August 15, 2015
The Orange County Go Club’s Kevin Chao 6D (right) prevailed in a spirited bidding war at the annual go board auction at the 2015 U.S. Go Congress banquet August 8. For much of the auction, conducted by E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock and American Go Foundation president Terry Benson, it was a 3-man duel between Brady Daniels, Congress Director Josh Larson and an increasingly hoarse banquet MC Andrew Jackson. The back of the board — donated by Yutopian — had been signed by most of the professional go players attending the Go Congress, and previous winner Andy Okun testified to the veracity of Garlock’s promise of improvement, noting that he’d been 1-kyu when he won the auction and is now shodan.
When Jackson’s bid of $1,200 knocked Daniels out, the board seemed destined to head to Seattle, but then Chao swooped in with a bid of $1,500, his first of the evening, and it proved decisive. “This is so amazingly generous,” said Benson. “This will help fund American Go Foundation activities and programs that promote go across the United States, including important future investments like go camp scholarships.”
“The support of go players like Kevin and Chris (whose recent walk across Wales raised $2,400 for the AGF) is what makes this such an incredible community,” added American Go Association president Andy Okun. “They, and all our generous AGF contributors, are truly planting the seeds for the future of American go.”
photo: (top left) Benson, Okun & Garlock; photos by Phil Straus
Friday August 14, 2015
2015 Congress Ratings Update: As of Friday, August 14th, the results of four Congress tournaments have been submitted, reports Jonathan Bresler. “The four tournaments are the U.S. Open, the U.S. Open Masters, the DieHard and the Girls 16 and Under. The DieHard and Girls have been rated.” Self-Paired results are expected to be submitted Monday. Click here for AGA ratings.
(8/16 Update/Clarification: the U.S. Open and U.S. Open Masters results were just submitted on August 14 and have not yet been rated)
Winner Reports Posted: Complete Congress tournament winner reports are now posted online.
Congress Coverage Going Viral: The EJ’s Congress posts on Twitter and Facebook have been generating lots of traffic and likes, and the videos on our YouTube page have been getting tons of views. Our story on the Cuban delegation, for example, reached over 1,000 people on Facebook, the report on go pioneer John Goodell reached nearly 1,000 and photo albums like Phil Straus’ recent collection of Pair Go photos reached nearly 600. Over on YouTube, the 23 Congress videos reached people in over 100 countries, added almost 1,000 subscribers and the most-viewed video was Round 4, Mark Lee vs Cao Youyin with Haylee commenting, with over 2,600 views since it went live.
photo: 2015 US Open players; photo by Chris Garlock
Saturday August 8, 2015
Yulin Tong 4P defeated Zexiang Sui 7D in just 126 moves (click here to see the game) Saturday morning to lock up his 2015 U.S. Open MastersTournament championship, losing just one game, to defending champion Mark Lee, on his way to an 8-1 record. Click here for complete results and to see the professional review by Cho Hye-yeon 9P and Myungwan Kim 9P on the AGA’s YouTube page. Albert Yen won the U.S. Open; click here for complete results.
photo: Tong (second from left) reviews the Round 9, Board 2 game with Chen Wang 7D and Qun Wang 8P, as Yongfe Ge 7D, Ryan Li 1P and Eric Lui 7D watch; photo by Chris Garlock