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

New Congress app proving popular

Wednesday July 25, 2018

With “It’s in the app” the answer to virtually every question at this year’s US Go Congress – from the schedule of events to U.S.2018.07.24 adult-youth-social Open pairings, announcements, campus maps, pro bios and more – it’s no surprise that the first-ever Congress app has been generating impressive stats. Overall app views blew past 20,000 on Tuesday afternoon, and almost 300 people have been using it each day. The social feed, which enables any user to post photos and comments — and where the E-Journal team has been posting a constant stream of updated Congress news — is by far the most-used, with over 5,000 views, and the schedule is next, with nearly 3,500. The app, which replaces the traditional printed booklet, “has turned out to be even more useful than we thought, surpassing all expectations,” said app creator Gurujeet Khalsa.


Race for US Open Masters “wide open” after upsets in fifth round

Tuesday July 24, 2018

Wei Ding 9P and Dalhoon Ahn’s 9P winning streaks in the US Open Masters ended Tuesday morning as they were defeated by2018.07.24 Andy Liu round 5 review Bin Fu 7d and Andy Liu 1P. That means there are now five players with 4-1 records (Ryan Li 1P is the fifth). Ahn “made two mistakes in the opening, and I got the better of him on two corners,” Liu told the E-Journal. “After that I had a pretty good lead.” Ahn “didn’t make any mistakes after that and was able to catch up a bit, but I just played really carefully.” Holding onto his lead “was really nerve-wracking,” Liu cheerfully admitted, “but I’m really good at managing my emotions now. I had some problems in the past winning won games, but now I know how to play safely.” He says he’s been watching a lot of AI games, “and they’re really good (at winning won games); they always keep their lead. So that was going through my head, how would a top AI keep its lead?” “This shows how good US pros are,” said Pro Coordinator I-Han Lui. “Now everyone has a chance at the title.” Round 6 is scheduled for Thursday morning; watch live on KGS, Twitch or YouTube
photo: Andy Liu and Dalhoon Ahn review their Round 5 game; report/photo by Chris Garlock


Go Congress Update (Late Edition): Wei Ding and Dalhoon Ahn leading in Masters; Seniors tourney popularity grows; Blackout at the Lightning Tournament

Monday July 23, 2018

Wei Ding and Dalhoon Ahn leading in Masters: Wei Ding and Dalhoon Ahn are in the lead in the US Open Masters, undefeated after four rounds. With 3-1 records are Ryan Li, Bin Fu, Zirui Song and Andy Liu. Click here  for complete results – and top-board game records. Click here for the US Open crosstab; add your game records by sending them to

Seniors tourney popularity grows: In just its third year, the Seniors Tournament has steadily grown in popularity, and this year, with Greg Kulevich directing, exceeded the original 40-player cap with a total of 46 participants. After two rounds, front-runners have emerged, but there are still two more rounds to play.
Undefeated Kyus: Moonhun Oh 1k, Bart Jacob 3k, Ray Heitman 5k, Frank Brown 6k (Moonhun Oh leads the tiebreaks)
Undefeated Dans: David C2018.07.23_Lightning-image4ho 5d, Eiji Hayashi 5d, Jon Thek 3d, and Jeff Horn 1d (David Cho leads the tiebreaks)

Blackout at the Lightning Tournament: Judging strictly by decibel level, the Lightning Tournament certainly sounds like the most fun, as stones fly and clocks are punched. This year saw an extra challenge, as the lights went out in the middle of the tournament (it was that kind of day; in mid-afternoon the Sadler Center was evacuated briefly when an overheated sensor set of fire alarms). Luckily the blackout didn’t last long, but every second counts in a game that is only 10 minutes with sudden death. Despite competition from a number of other popular offerings, the Lightning attracted 80 players on Monday night, split into tables of six competing in a fast-paced round robin style.
Dan table winners: Willis Huang 6d, Tianyuan Zhang 5d, Andrew Zalesak 3d, Soren Jaffe 4d, King Bi 3d, Jake Game 1d.
Kyu table winners: Terry Wang 2k, Billy Maier 3k, Tony Zhang 3k, Benjamin Coplon 5k, Tevis Tsai 6k, Tsulmuun Ganbatoor 8k, Josh Johnson 14k, Tonya Perez-Lopez 20k.
Playoffs continue through the week; Keith Arnold, as always, directed.
- reports by Julie Burrall and Matt Burrall; photos by Julie Burrall




Go Congress broadcasts reaching new audience heights

Monday July 23, 2018

The E-Journal’s US Go Congress broadcast coverage is achieving unprecedented audience levels this year, thanks to, 2018.07.24_FB_IMG_1532376461324which hosted their first official “Twitch Plays Go” event three months ago. All Go Congress broadcasts this week are being featured on the Twitch front page, and Saturday’s Pandanet City League final stream saw a total of more than 2,000 viewers, who witnessed an exciting 300+ move battle with a 2018.07.24_FB_IMG_1532376526014half-point finish. The EJ broadcast crew includes Stephen Hu, Nathan Epstein and Joel Cahalan, along with commentators (see below).

Live broadcasts of pro commentaries and interviews can be found on the official AGA Twitch channel, and abridged version of the recordings are posted daily in the 2018 US Go Congress YouTube playlist, which includes:
- Pandanet-AGA City League Finals Board 1, Ryan Li 1p (W) vs Zirui Song 1p (B), commentary by Eodeokdung Lee 2p
- US Masters Round 1, Andy Liu 1p (W) vs Zirui Song 1p (B), commentary by Stephanie Yin 1p
- Redmond Cup Finals Game 1, Jeremy Chiu 7d (W) vs Aaron Ye 7d (B), commentary by Eric Lui 1p
- US Masters Round 2, Alan Huang 7d (W) vs Eric Lui 1p (B), commentary by Stephanie Yin 1p
- Interview with Nate Eagle, US Go Congress co-director.
photo source: Eodeokdung Lee 2p


Go Congress Updates: 13×13 tourney visited by phantom go player; Quick, here are the Youth Lightning table winners!; Dramatic AGA Board election results in; Playing Facebook’s AI

Monday July 23, 2018

13×13 tourney visited by phantom go player: There were 41 participants in the 13×13 tournament Sunday night, directedProcessed with VSCO with g6 preset by Jim Hlavka. The players were spread across seven tables with six players playing round robin at each table. To make the numbers work, the final table added a phantom go player, which honorably forfeited all its games and the tournament attendees took a moment to appreciate its sacrifice. Basic time was set at 15 minutes for each game with no overtime. From a mixed dan/kyu table, emerged an unbreakable three-way tie, and the dan player moved into the dan quarterfinals, while the two kyu players will compete for the kyu quarterfinals spot. The players in the quarterfinals are as follows:
Dan section: Ary Cheng (5D), Yiduo He (6D) Ye Sun (3D), and Seowoo Wang (2D)
Kyu section: Jim Conyngham (4K), Eric Hookway (10K), Joshua Johnson (15K), and the future winner of the face-off between Jasper Emerton (2K) and Darwin Kim (2K)
- report/photo by Julie Burrall

2018.07.22 Facebook Open Go simulQuick, here are the Youth Lightning table winners! Tianyuan Zhang 5d, Brian Wu 2d, Derek Zhou 19k.
- reported by Paul Barchilon

Dramatic AGA Board election results in: “Everybody won. Everything passed,” reports Arnold Eudell on the AGA Board Elections. Eastern: Gurujeet Khalsa; Central: Lisa Scott; Western: Christopher Saenz: At-Large: Paul Celmer. Details here.

Playing Facebook’s AI: Congress attendees got a chance to play Facebook’s go AI Sunday (left) in the first of three simul exhibitions, culminating in a Pair Go exhibition game Tuesday night in which Andy Liu and Ryan Li will each team up with OpenGo, competing for $4,500 in prizes, with commentary by Stephanie Yin 1P with Chris Garlock.
- photo by James Pinkerton






Go Congress Updates: So much go, so little time; More Congress coverage than ever

Sunday July 22, 2018

So much go, so little time: The first full day of the 2018 US Go Congress was packed with go, from the first rounds of the US 2018.07.22 simulOpen and the US Open Masters (the main tournament crosstabs have been updated; click here for the US Open and here for the Masters) to the first rounds of the Senior (55 and over) and Womens’ tournaments, and ending with the 13×13 tournament and the second round of the US Masters. In 2018.07.22 social-screenshotbetween was a jam-packed schedule of lectures, simuls and of course all the casual play attendees could fit in. Pro lectures this year are targeted by playing strength and there are special sessions like Andy Liu’s Beginner’s Boot Camp as well as the ever popular In-seong Hwang’s “Let’s Get the Go-Avengers,” which drew a standing-room-only crowd, and the first of three Facebook Open Go simuls. photo by Matt Burrall

More Congress coverage than ever: Whether you’re on-site at the Congress or keeping track from home, we have lots of ways to enjoy the Congress virtually, from reports on our Facebook page and Twitter stream to the free Congress mobile app, which has a very active social stream on which anyone can post and which features lots of on-the-spot posts by the EJ’s roving reporters and photographers. You can watch live streams of the top boards on Twitch or YouTube and there’s also live pro commentary on KGS.  


Redmond Cup Champions Return to Defend Their Titles Against New Challengers

Sunday July 22, 2018

Aaron Ye pictureThe 25th Redmond Cup preliminaries, for the strongest young players in North America, were held on KGS between March and June and ended with both of last year’s champions, Aaron Ye 7d and Ary Cheng 6d sweeping the Senior and Junior divisions respectively. Their challengers this year are Aaron’s longtime rival Jeremy Chiu 7d, and a newcomer to the Finals in the Junior, Frederick Bao 4d. Ye and Chiu competed against each other in the Finals of the Junior Division in 2014, with Ye taking the crown. Both kids have represented the US in international tournaments numerous times, and are the current stars of the North American youth scene. Learn more about the two Senior Division players below:

Aaron Ye (at left) is 16-years old and from Cupertino, California. He started playing go at the age of 6, and won the Junior Division of the US Youth Go Championships for three years in a row from 2010-2012. He went on to represent the US at the World Youth Go Championships three times, where he achieved 4th in 2011 and 6th in 2012 in the Junior Division ,and 3rd place in the 2016 Senior division. In addition, he represented the US in the Liming Cup and the World Amateur Go Championships. To add even further to his list of achievements, he achieved the title of Redmond Meijin in 2017 for winning the Redmond Cup five times–a feat that had only been accomplished by two other players in the history of the tournament. If he can hoist the championship trophy once more this year, he will have won the title more years than anyone else.

These days, Aaron doesn’t have much time to study go, but he plays casual games with his friends in his spare time and teaches go at a local Chinese school. For this upcoming match, Aaron told the EJ, “[Jeremy and I] had played many games in the past and through those games, I can tell that Jeremy is a talented player. I respect him a lot and wish him good luck for the game.” Outside of Go, Aaron enjoys playing tennis and watching Chinese dramas, particularly recommending Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms.

Jeremy Chiu pictureJeremy Chiu (at right) is 16-years old and from San Jose, California. He started playing go at the age of 5 through a class at his local Chinese school, and studies under Mingjiu Jiang 7p. While under the shadow of Aaron Ye’s dominance for many years in the US Youth Junior scene, he finally managed to defeat his rival in the Junior Division of the US Youth Go Championships, and placed 5th later that year in the World Youth Go Championships Junior Division. Chiu later represented the US again in the Senior Division of the World Youth Go Championships in 2015, where he placed 6th, as well as in the 2016 Korean Prime Ministers Cup and the 2016 International Amateur Pair Go Championships. Chiu is no stranger to success in the Redmond Cup, having won the Senior Division in 2016. He now has another chance to take down his rival this year.

Aside from taking lessons from Mingjiu Jiang 7p, Jeremy studies go by playing on Tygem and Fox and using AI to assist him with reviewing his games. When tournaments are coming up, he also does some tsumego and watches commentated games from his favorite pro, Meng Tailing 6p, on WeiqiTV. Jeremy credits AI for being an invaluable tool for analyzing positions, and says that it has had a large influence on his tendencies in the opening. He hopes to be able to perform better in tournaments, represent the US more in international tournaments, and one day become a professional Go player. When asked for his thoughts about this match, he said, “Aaron is and has always been a tough but fun opponent to play against; his aggressive style and precise reading often launches our games into intense fights. I’m hoping we’ll play some exciting games!” Outside of go, he participates in math competitions, the Future Business Leaders of America club, and enjoys playing the violin, piano, and video games.

In the Junior Division, 12-year old Ary Cheng 6d from Sunnyvale, California is defending his title for the 4th consecutive year, holding a dominating 6-1 record across his previous Finals matches. His 4th unique opponent, 11-year Frederick Bao 4d from Bethesda, Maryland, will take his first shot at dethroning the current king of the Junior scene.

The first round of the best-of-three Redmond Cup Finals kicks off at the 2018 US Go Congress on 7/22 at 3 pm with live video commentary by Eric Lui 1p and the Honorary Keith Arnold 4d, as well as a live broadcast of both divisions’ Finals games on KGS. Stay tuned to find out whether Aaron Ye can distinguish himself as a legend, or if Jeremy Chiu can close the curtains on Aaron’s reign. -Justin Teng, Redmond TD


Sudden death at the 9×9 tournament

Sunday July 22, 2018

The evening unrated tournament series at the U.S. Go Congress kicked off Saturday night with the 9×9 tournament, directed by 2018.07.21 9x9 tourneyPete Schumer, who just returned from Maeda’s summer go camp in Japan. Fifty three players, with ranks ranging all the way from 30 kyu to 7 dan, were split into tables of six to play a round robin of five games to determine a winner for each table to move on to the playoff rounds. 9×9 games are generally pretty short, but with just an hour to complete the tournament (the building was closing at 10pm), the time limit on the games was just 6 minutes for each player, with no overtime. Moving on to the playoffs will be: Aaron Ye 7d, Do Khanh Bing 5d, Nick Sibicky 4d, Vo Minh Duy 4d, Jake Game 1d, Terry Wong 2 k, Eli Fenster 5k, John Christensen 13k, and Bethany Nyborg 18k. Stay tuned for updates on playoff results.
- Matt Burrall; photo by Chris Garlock


2018 U.S. Go Congress launches in Williamsburg

Sunday July 22, 2018

Heavy daylong rains may have slowed the arrival in Williamsburg, VA of some of the hundreds of go players at the 2018 U.S. Go 2018.07.21_go-congress-fife-drumCongress, but it didn’t dampen their spirits in the slightest, as old friends and new connected and hit the boards. New York City swept DC in the finals of the Pandanet City League — watch for full details soon — and the first round of the 9×9 tournament was held after the opening ceremonies. The U.S. Open commences at 9a sharp Sunday morning;  watch live on Twitch or YouTube and there will also be live pro commentary on KGS.  Plus check out lots of photos and reports on Facebook and Twitter and the free Congress mobile app not only has all the information attendees need  — including latest schedule updates, pairings and more — but a cool social stream as well, where we’ll be posting additional photos and reports, handy for anyone in the world who wants to see what’s going on at this popular event. photo: a fife and drum corps welcomes go players to historic Williamsburg; report/photo by Chris Garlock


Andrea Baisero 4K & Mark Nahabedian 12K top MGA’s Skip Ascheim Memorial Handicap Tournament

Wednesday July 18, 2018

Participants in the Massachusetts Go Association ‘s annual Skip Ascheim Memorial Handicap Tournament held July 15 at 2018.07.18_MA Go assn-Eric_Osman_Andrea_Baisero_Mark_Nahabedian_Inkyu_Chung_Howard_Cornettthe Boylston Chess Club in Cambridge ranged from 5 dan to 14 kyu. “It was a relaxed friendly occasion,” reports TD Eva Casey, “though we did remember solemnly not only Skip, the founder of our club, but also our good friend, and a regular at our tournaments, Wayne Yee Mon (1958-2018) , who died suddenly June 8.”

Two players won all four games. Those players tied for first place, splitting the combined first and second place cash prizes equally. The third place cash prize was won by the three-game winner whom our software deemed had the winningest opponents. The other two three-game winners got honorable mention.

First Place (4 wins) Andrea Baisero 4-kyu and Mark Nahabedian 12-kyu
Third place (3 wins) Eric Osman 1-dan
Honorable Mention (also 3 wins)   Inkyu Chung 3-kyu and Howard Cornett 10-kyu.

photo: (l-r) Eric Osman, Andrea Baisero, Mark Nahabedian, Inkyu Chung, Howard Cornett; click here for more photos