American Go E-Journal » U.S./North America

2016 US Go Congress Tourney Reports Posted; Game records wanted

Saturday August 27, 2016

Final tournament winner reports for the 2016 US Go Congress are now available online. Reported tournaments include the 2016.08.27_us-open-2016-IMG_0645US Open, US Open Masters Division, NAMT and Evening League, as well as the Senior Cup, Women’s Tournament, Lightning Tournament, Die Hard, Redmond Cup, Under 16 Girls’ Championship, and Adult/Youth Pair Go. Note that these are winner report, not crosstabs. Click here for the US Open crosstab and the US Open Masters Division crosstab. If you’d like your sgf game record(s) added to the crosstab, send to us at
photo: 2016 US Open; photo by Chris Garlock


SmartGo’s Kierulf on the US Go Congress and his new app

Saturday August 27, 2016

SmartGo’s Anders Kierulf recently published a nice post-Go Congress blog post. In it you’ll find out why Kierulf will be 2016.08.27_kierulf-yasuko-imamurabringing a a 9.7″ iPad to the next Congress instead of his 12.9″ iPad Pro, gives shout-outs to Brady Daniels for making a good case about why you should come to the next Go Congress and Kevin Hwang’s Go Talk about “What did you like most about the Go Congress?” both of which he says “clearly show that people are a main feature of the annual Go Congress.” Kierulf also reports that he just launched a new app for Othello, “a game that go is often confused with.” SmartOthello is written in Swift, Apple’s new programming language, “and is the first step in a redesign of my go apps,” Kierulf tells the E-Journal. “Most of the E-Journal readers are probably not interested in Othello/Reversi, but many might be interested to see the direction of the SmartGo apps.”
photo: Kierulf at the 2016 US Go Congress with Yasuko Imamura, a go instructor and SmartGo user from Kyoto


American Yunguseng Dojang Autumn Class Registration Now Open

Friday August 26, 2016

Registration is now open for the American Yunguseng Dojang’s 16th season of on-line classes, taught by former Korean insei 2016.08.26_Yunguseng Dojangand top-ranked player on the European rating list Inseong Hwang. The program contains five games of league play and analysis of all games, three lectures with interesting topics such as opening theory, local techniques, and evaluation, and a weekly highlights video.

The past three seasons had seven leagues with 42 players, but with 43 members already registered, the upcoming season is expected to open the biggest number of leagues ever. The best player each month get’s a month’s free tuition; click here for current standings.

This season kicks off September 5; register now and get free access to the recorded lesson videos until the season begins.
photo: Yunguseng members meet each other in this year US Congress in Boston and show off their member fans.


Correction: Kim Broke WYGC Record in 1985

Thursday August 25, 2016

2012.04.27_janicekim-2008-10-sf“Congratulations to Aaron Ye on the WYGC (EJ 8-13)” writes eagle-eyed reader Keith Arnold, “he may be the first to finish third, but he is not the first to finish in the top three. Janice Kim took second place in the World Youth Championship in 1985.” Arnold also noted that Bellamy Liu tied for third place back in 1995, and that several contestants besides Calvin Sun had also placed fourth in the past.  “Keith, repository of go lore, is correct in all things,” responded Janice Kim 3p when asked for comment, “I myself wasn’t sure if he had the year right, so I had to go look at the trophy. The year before (’84) I came in 9th, interestingly, my recollection is that Lee Chang-ho 9 dan came in 3rd, and Ryu Shi-hoon 9 dan came in 4th (he was a Korean insei who went to Japan and even won a title there). Kim Young-hwan (not sure what dan he is now) won. The next year when I came in second, Kong Byung-ju (again, not sure what dan he is now) won. The Korean insei system got started around 1980-81, and that first cohort was a POWERHOUSE, headed by Yoo Chang-hyuk 9 dan, the oldest of us. I think I was riding the wave of that team, and see sometime soon something similar for young US go players. I should note that I was studying in Korea, but representing the US, and in those early days the insei system in Korea wasn’t really formalized.”

“To be an insei (or ‘wonsaeng’ in Korean) back then you just kind of had to show up and ‘represent yourself,’ as one might say,” Kim continues. “When Kong Byung-ju came to Seoul, one of the older pros had him take 2 stones against Yu Chang-hyuk, who had already been granted professional 1 dan status for coming in 2nd in the World Amateur Championships a bit earlier. I think Yu was 18, making him one of the oldest of us, he was pretty strong already, in just a couple of years he was challenging Cho Hoon-hyun 9 dan in title matches. That strong younger generation coming in with the lower dan ranks, was one of the reasons why Korean low-dans were globally feared back then.”

“I remember distinctly when Yu was playing this 2-stone evaluation game with Kong, they went to just the early middle game, and then Yu Chang-hyuk said “Andennundayo,” basically, it’s not happening, I can’t give him two stones. That was enough to put Kong Byung-ju at wonsaeng 3 kyu or ‘gup’, in A League. The games that A Leaguers or lower-dan pros played in the wonsaeng study room were fascinating to watch, they were all even, and I remember once a huge, complex capturing race with big eyes, where one side had over 20 liberties, the other, one less, although I wasn’t able to see that before the resignation came. I could not believe my own eyes that a player short a liberty so far down a twisting path would resign at that point, certain of defeat. It’s informed my go sensibilities to this day what it means to be truly strong, although many people would look only at the loss.”

“When Kong and I played in the final at the World Youth, I think I believed I could win, but maybe subconsciously didn’t, I used to watch everyone’s games and wonder inside if I could possibly be playing at that level. Afterwards we went to the top of the hotel we were staying at in Taipei, and tried to drink the beer they had given us at the banquet out of our trophies. I have never cared for beer though, even under such circumstances, so we ended up just singing instead.”

-Paul Barchilon, EJ Youth Editor


Artist Paints Go Tribute on Plate

Thursday August 18, 2016

DSC02149China painter Marlene Shankar, of Adirondack NY, sent the EJ this picture of her latest piece. “The design was a snippet from a painting done by Hua Sanchuan,” says Shankar,  “my painting teacher Audrey McCullough went to China and in her travels she got this book filled with paintings by Hua. Years later I was looking through the book and was amazed to find the picture of the ladies playing go. I decided to put this piece on a plate not only to challenge myself with the level of detail but also because I’ve found it hard to stumble across a go related piece to call my own.”

hua-sanchuan-兰闺雅集图“China painting requires special dry paints that the artist mixes with oils that can be painted on  porcelain. This paint doesn’t dry and works like oil paints, however the color has to be built up with each firing of the porcelain. When the porcelain is fired the paint bakes into the glaze. After each firing you can determine if another layer of painting is necessary to build up the desired color and texture. The paint build up is similar to that of watercolor, coming on light and waiting to build depth.”  Shankar is part of the Adirondack Region Porcelain Artist Chapter, affiliated with the  World Organization of China Painters.  To see an enlargement of  Hua Sanchuan’s original piece, click on the thumbnail above. -Paul Barchilon


Ye Breaks Through in WYGC

Saturday August 13, 2016

IMG_7137Aaron Ye 7d has finally broken the glass ceiling at the World Youth Goe Championships (WYGC) by becoming the first American player to place in the top three at the event.   Now in its 33rd year, the event has been run by the Ing Foundation for decades, and invites strong youth from all over the world to compete. Ye first attended the event in 2011, competing in the Jr. Division when he was just nine years old, and placing fourth overall.  Calvin Sun, now 1P, also competed in the event for years as a child, and had also placed fourth when he was 13 (on his sixth attempt).  China, Korea, Japan and Taiwan have shut everyone else out until this year, when Ye’s determination and effort finally paid off.  Now 14, Ye has been at the top of the US youth go scene for years, winning the Redmond Cup several times, and putting up a strong fight in the AGA pro certification leagues, as well as dominating other youth events and leading in many AGA tournaments.

The WYGC was held August 4th-7th in Tokyo this year, at the Nihon Kiin.  Ye reached the semi-finals by edging out Takei Taishen 7D of Japan by a hairs-breadth 3rd tier tie breaker (SOSODOS). After losing to the tournament’s champion Jiang Qirun 2P of China, Ye went on to take 3rd place by defeating Ahn Dongjun  5D of Korea. The USA junior player, nine-year-old Matthew Cheng 2d faced a tough choice this year, as he also won the Redmond Cup qualifiers and could have had a free trip to the US Go Congress to compete at the finals. Unfortunately, the WYGC and the Congress were both held the same week this year, so Cheng had to choose one over the other. Cheng did well at the WYGC though, “placing 7th in an outstanding performance by a player who learned go from a you-tube video a scant three years ago,” said Team Leader Mike Bull. Cheng also managed to draw matches with three of the four strongest players in his division in his first three games of the tournament. -Paul Barchilon, EJ Youth Editor, with Mike Bull. Photo by Abby Zhang: Ahn Dongjun 5d (l) vs. Aaron Ye 7d (r).


Ye and Ho Named AGHS Presidents; Officer Applications Now Open

Friday August 12, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-08-12 at 1.04.23 PMScreen Shot 2016-08-12 at 1.04.42 PMApril Ye and Brandon Ho have been named the new American Go Honor Society (AGHS) presidents for the upcoming 2016-2017 year. The AGHS is a youth organization that runs K-12 tournaments such as the competitive Young Lions Tournament and the School Team Tournament every year. Are you a high school student that wants to promote go? Apply now to be an AGHS officer for the 2016-2017 year. Fill out the application here 2016AGHSOfficerApp (3) and email it to Applications are due by September 19 and officers will be selected by September 26. - Yunxuan Li, AGHS President. Photos: April Ye at left, Brandon Ho at right.


US Go Congress: “AlphaGo Insider” Posted; Go Talk with AlphaGo’s Lucas; Landman’s Slides; Thankful Senior; The First 21st Century Go Congress? Keith Arnold Makes His Case

Thursday August 11, 2016

More cool stuff from — and thoughts about — last week’s US Go Congress…2016.08.12_AlphaGo Insider

“AlphaGo Insider” Posted: Video of the 2016 USGC Computer Go special session on August 4, 2016, presented by Google DeepMind’s Aja Huang 7d and European Champion Fan Hui 2p. Also just posted: “The Number of Possible Go Positions”, presented by John Tromp.

Go Talk with AlphaGo’s Lucas Baker: In his latest Go Talk, Kevin Hwang talks about Alpha Go with Lucas Baker, a member of the Deepmind team; click here for the video.

Landman’s Slides: “Several people wanted the slides to my Go Congress talk,” writes Howard A. Landman. Click here to download them.

Thankful Senior: “Thank you for the Seniors Tournament this year,” writes Eric Osman. “Between that and the US open I was able to have two rated games a day without running around chasing people for a game. Having one tournament game in the morning and one in the afternoon each day was perfect.”

The First 21st Century Go Congress? Keith Arnold Makes His Case2016.08.11_us-open-DSC_0120
As director of the 2001 Go Congress, I am proud of my effort. Looking back, however, I must admit that I ushered in the new century with a very competent version of what had come before. In the years that have followed, few changes have occurred – a wonderful women’s tournament and the internet broadcast of games being the notable ones that come to mind. But it is fair to say the average attendee transported from a Go Congress ten or even twenty years ago would easily have found his way around its successors through the Twin Cities last year.

2016.08.11_blind-go-IMG_0491Boston was undeniably different. A significant transfiguration of the Self-Paired tournament, a second year of expected rather than novel substantial video coverage, a Senior Tournament, no 13 by 13, live website updates of scheduling, an insane team relay game, blindfold go exhibitions, event stamps and advanced info on the topics of pro lectures made for a very different event. And those are just the changes I can think of off the top of my head. These new visions and the wonderful forward-thinking presence of the AlphaGo team lead me to dub Boston the first 21st Century Go Congress.

I do not mean to suggest that I loved every change, or that every change should become permanent. But what I am saying is that the Boston team breathed fresh energy into a gathering that may have been suffering from a form of nostalgic inertia. No doubt critics of some of these changes will say that a big problem with the event was so many of the key organizers had never been to a Congress before. I would argue that the best thing about this year’s Congress was that so many of the key organizers had never been to a Congress before. The new ideas and energy were palpable, and the result was extremely successful. Boston was demonstrably a breakthrough, with the first big jump in attendance we have had in years.

Metaphor stretcher that I am, Boston may have thrown a lot of old Congress tea overboard, and some of it might still be good tea, but I hope it also breathes new freedom into the event, and more freedom for future organizers.
- Keith Arnold, HKA; photos by Chris Garlock


2016 US Go Congress E-Journal Team Credits

Thursday August 11, 2016

Just as this year’s US Go Congress set new records for attendance, the E-Journal provided a record amount of coverage of this major annual event. Karoline Li and Samantha Fede joined our reporting team — which included Paul Barchilon and Justin Teng covering youth events — to publish a whopping 37 reports, including daily tournament updates, “Why We Play” interviews and the new “Behind the Scenes at the US Go Congress” series. Steve Colburn, 2016.08.09_EJ-Congress-Team-DSC_0137Todd Heidenreich and Dennis Wheeler once again anchored our amazing game recording team, which recorded and broadcast over 50 top-board game records. Special thanks to Andrew Jackson, Daniel Chou, Andrew Lu, Justin Teng and Louie Liu, who joined Richard Dolen on the morning recording team. Stephen Hu coordinated our streaming coverage on YouTube of not only the top-board games in the US Masters but events like the Redmond Cup, Blindfold Go and Pair Go events. Altogether, the EJ Congress team — including the wonderful pros who were so generous with their time and insights — was far bigger — nearly 50 volunteers all told — and better than ever and I hope you’ll join me in thanking them for their dedication, commitment and yes, sacrifice of time and energy to bring this amazing event to a global audience. See you next year in San Diego!
Chris Garlock; Managing Editor

2016 EJ Congress Team
Todd Heidenreich: Assistant Manager; Steve Colburn: Tech/IT Manager; Dennis Wheeler: Room Manager/Relief; Paul Barchilon: Youth Editor; I-Han Lui & Chun Sun: Pro Coordinators; Karoline Li: Tournament Liaison; Stephen Hu; Tim Holman; Krishna Artem-Mickens: Video streaming team; Phil Straus & Chris Garlock: photos; Samantha Fede: General Assignment Reporter; Akane Negishi: KGS; Matthew Hershberger, US Open/Open Masters TD; Chris Garlock, EJ Managing Editor

Game Recorders: Morning: Andrew Jackson*, Richard Dolen*, Daniel Chou*, Andrew Lu*, Justin Teng*, Louie Liu*
Evening: Solomon Smilack**, David Weimer, Bart Jacob, George Schmitten, Yong Peng, Austin Harvey, Peter Gousios, Mike Scudder (* morning recording team; ** special thanks to Sol for handling the Friday Night Broadcast).
Video Commentary Hosting: Stephen Hu, Andrew Jackson, Solomon Smilack, Daniel Chou, Justin Teng, Louie Liu, Matthew Harwitt, Karoline Li

Professionals: Feng Yun 9P, Liao Guiyong 9P, Mingjiu Jiang 7P, Yilun Yang 7P, Maeda Ryo 6P, Hajin Lee 4P, Jennie Shen 2P, Hsiao Ailin 2P, Cathy Li 1P, Stephanie Yin 1P
photo by James Pinkerton


Yun Bao Wins U.S. Open Masters Tournament; Gaoyuan Zhang Wins U.S. Open

Sunday August 7, 2016

Yun Bao 7d defeated Zhongfan Jian on Saturday morning to complete his flawless 9-0 sweep of this year’s US Open 2016.08.08_yun-bao-IMG_0486Masters. In fact, Bao’s only loss this week was in his unrated blindfold match against Eric Lui on Monday (right); Bao had won his Masters game against Lui the previous night. Hanchen Zhang 1P was second and Andy Liu 1P third in the US Masters. 44 players participated.

Gaoyuan Zhang 6D, also undefeated, won the 2016 US Open, topping a record field of 498; Zefan Wen 6D was second and David Lu 6D third. See below for US Open division winners, listed 1st to 3rd for each division.
Matthew Hershberger directed both tournaments.

US Open Results
6-Dan: Gaoyuan Zhang 6D (6 wins); Zefan Wen 6D; David Lu 6D
5-Dan: Sai Sun 5D (6 wins); Michelle Zhang 5D; Forest Song 5D
4-Dan: Minh Vo 4D; Yong Chen 4D; Ruoshi Sun 4D
3-Dan: Soren Jaffe 3D (6 wins); Dominique Cornuejols 3D; Meng Cai 3D
2-Dan: Lee Huynh 2D; Daniel Puzan 2D; Michael Fellner 2D
1-Dan: Jochen Tappe 1D (6 wins); Ken Koester, Jr 1D; Terry Luo 1D
1-Kyu: David Frankel 1K (6 wins); Shawn Ligocki 1K; Bill Phillips 1K
2-Kyu: Lei Xu 2K; Michael Scudder 2K; Jeff Pratt 2K
3-Kyu: François van Walleghem 3K; Bart Jacob 3K; Darrell Speck 3K
4-Kyu: Chi Wong 4K; Mishal Awadah 4K; William Maier 4K
5-Kyu: Theodore Terpstra 5K; Phil Tracy 5K; Robert Ehrlich 5K
6-Kyu: Gurujeet Khalsa 6K; Robert Gilman 6K; Weiqiu You 6K
2016.08.07_us-open-panorama-IMG_06397-Kyu: Joel Olson 7K; Johnathan Gohde 7K; Tevis Tsai 7K
8-Kyu: Dave Whipp 8K (6 wins); Wen Lepore 8K; Joseph Chaves 8K
9-Kyu: Adam Isom 9K (6 wins); Wendel Silva 9K; Liya Luk 9K
DDK A: Jiamu Si 12K (6 wins); Dan Maas 10K; Jung Lee 10K
DDK B: Alexandra Patz 13K; Lawrence Gross 13K; Michael Williams 13K
DDK C: Lawrence Pierce 24K; Antonina Perez-Lopez 20K; Maya Boerner 20K
photos by Chris Garlock