Wednesday September 2, 2015
by Myron Souris
E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock recently said to me, “Myron, you’ve been doing the Problem Of The Week for quite a while, why don’t you send me some details for an E-Journal article. Oh, and make it interesting.”
Chris’s last sentence scared me. The American Medical Association uses me as a treatment-of-last-resort for insomnia patients. As if that weren’t bad enough, I’m in the half of go players who make the top half possible (You’re welcome, dan players). But as a result, I probably have a good view of what makes a go problem interesting for most players.
I volunteered in April 2004, when I noticed that no one was updating usgo.org’s Problem Of The Week (POTW). In a classic case of “Be careful what you ask for,” I’m still doing the POTW after 11 years and 590 weekly problems. And no one seems willing to let me out of my volunteer contract.
Over the years I’ve been very happy that some high-dan amateurs from different parts of the world have emailed corrections or improvements. But I enjoy hearing from anyone about what kind of problems to post. Based on unique IP address hits on the go problem for each week, hundreds of people seem to be finding something interesting. I do try hard to find just those problems that have something especially interesting, unique, or instructive.
A few of the problems have been of my own making or based on interesting St. Louis Go Club games from my home club. But most of the problems are from the classic go problem collections, back issues of the American Go Journal and Go World magazines, or any other source which the AGA has permission to use.
Your comments and suggestions are welcome: email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tuesday September 1, 2015
The American Go Honor Society’s outgoing leadership has selected Yunxuan Li 7d as this year’s President. The organization runs multiple events every year: the School Team Tournament and the Young Lions are some of the most popular, and draw students nationwide. Li is excited to lead this year’s cohort of high school student organizers: “I am very glad to take the responsibility of AGHS this year. I hope through the effort we all put in together, we can spread go to a wider audience in North America.” He can’t do it alone, though – Li is calling on interested high school students to apply to be officers this year. The open positions include Vice President, Promotion Head, Webmaster, Tournament Organizer, Secretary, and Treasurer. To apply, download the application form on the AGHS’s website and send it in to AGHSpresident@gmail.com by September 19. -Julian Erville, E-J Youth Correspondent
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
The inaugural American Chang Qi Cup, scheduled for September 26-28 at Harvard University in Cambridge, MA, is shaping up to be an exciting event, and over 100 players have already registered.
The 2015 Chang Qi Cup is the first time that the semi-finals of an international professional tournament will be held in North America. Four top pros from China will compete for a berth in the Chang Qi Cup finals. This event will also include the inaugural American Chang Qi Tournament, an AGA-rated tournament with significant cash prizes. The American tournament features a top prize of $4,000 for the open section, and generous prizes for all division winners.
Hosted by the American Collegiate Go Association (ACGA) and the Shanghai Ing Foundation, special activities are planned, including the Tsumego Challenge, in which competitors solve rapid-fire go problems for small prizes. And for participating college students only, there will be an extra event: free bowling on Saturday night. Similar to the AGA E-Journal’s expanded video coverage at this year’s US Go Congress, local organizers are planning complete coverage of the event through video streaming. Professional commentary on the Chang Qi Cup games, commentary on the top boards of the American tournament, and even special interviews will all be broadcast.
Hotels for the weekend are filling up quickly, so the ACGA urges registrants to book soon. Visit the website for details and registration.
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
Friday August 21, 2015
The American Go Foundation is looking for someone who wants to make part of their living teaching go to children. Start up funds are available for a demonstration project that would include building a program around chess and go in the schools, based on the work of Peter Freedman and Fritz Balwit in Portland, OR. The goal is to create similar programs in any US cities that can find teachers willing to run a program. Click here for: go in the schools job description, a project overview is here: go in the schools, and a sample budget is here: go in the schools budget. Please send a letter of interest describing your background and qualifications to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saturday August 15, 2015
Benjamin Lockhart 7d prevailed over fellow American Ricky Zhao 7d in the finals of the Samsung Cup World Baduk Masters World Division in Seoul, Korea and will play next month in the round of 32 of the top international event in Beijing. The World Division was established three years ago as a way of encouraging players from the rest of the world to excel at go; Americans have won all three years. Lockhart was in the final last year but lost to Eric Lui 7d. This year the division was expanded from eight to 12 players, with four from Europe, three from North America, one from Latin America, and four from Asia excluding the major go countries. Click here to see more photos.
Saturday August 15, 2015
The 2015 Canadian Open will be held in Montreal, Quebec, Canada from September 4-7. Click here for complete details or check out the event’s Facebook page. The 6-round event also features professional go players who will teach, analyze games and lecture. Sohyun Park 3p from Korea has been confirmed as attending, and will be joining forces with Stephanie Yin 1p to teach go during the event. The event is sponsored by Caisse populaire Desjardins du Mont-Royal, Huawei Technologies and Salon de thé et de Go Senthé, “The perfect place to play go in Montréal.”
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.
Got Game Records? 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
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
Sunday August 9, 2015
At the AGA Board meeting held August 4, in Minneapolis, MN at the U.S. Go Congress, Chris Kirschner , Martin Lebl and Diego Pierrottet were congratulated for winning election to the AGA Board; they’ll serve September 1, 2015 to September 1, 2017.
The 2014 Go Congress in New York City had a very healthy surplus. The 2016 Congress will be held in Boston, almost certainly at Boston University, near Fenway Park and across the river from MIT.
There was a discussion on how to award qualifying North American Masters points for the next year. The points will be used to help select the team for the 2016 World Mind Sports Games and eligibility for the Open Masters section as well as its North American prize. A committee will have a proposal circulated before the next board meeting.
At the end of 2014, the AGA had 96 chapters and 2012 members. These numbers have been steady over the last couple of years.
The board was informed of purchase of audio/visual equipment that enabled commentated games from the 2015 Go Congress to appear on YouTube. The equipment can be used for similar purposes at other go tournaments.
The next AGA Board meeting will be held on Sunday, September 13.
- Ted Terpstra, AGA Western Region Board Member