American Go E-Journal » U.S. Go Congress

Last Chance to Weigh In on Go Congress Survey

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 2015.08.30_US-Go-Congress-Feng-Yun-DSC_0086broadcasting 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 SurveyWhether 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



Your Move/Readers Write: Kudos for Swift Ratings

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.

US Open, Pro Lectures Lead in Go Congress Survey

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 year2015.08.24_pro-lecture-DSC_0056 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!

Categories: U.S. Go Congress

Take Go Congress Survey, Win Prizes; Got US Open Game Records?

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 2015.08.15_US-Open-DSC_0035the official crosstab (thanks to everyone who’s already done so!)

Email them to us at

2015 E-Journal Congress Team Credits

Tuesday August 18, 2015

by Chris Garlock, Managing Editor, American Go E-Journal2015.08.15_EJ-team

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 me2015.08.18_streaming-DSC_0092dia 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 2015.08.18_Phil-Straus-Chris-Garlock-go-on-football-field-50-yard-lineYouTube 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), Ken Koester (left) and Chris Garlock (bottom right).



Categories: U.S. Go Congress

Kevin Chao Wins AGF Board Auction

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 2015.08.15-board-winner-kevin-chaobanquet 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 2015.08.15_Benson-Okun-Garlock-signed-boardthe 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

Categories: U.S. Go Congress

US Go Congress Updates: Ratings, Winner Reports, Game Records & Congress Coverage Goes Viral

Friday August 14, 2015

2015 Congress Ratings Update: As of Friday, August 14th, the results of four Congress tournaments have been submitted, reports Jonathan2015.08.14_US-Open-DSC_0054 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

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

Yulin Tong Wins U.S. Open Masters Tournament; Albert Yen Wins U.S. Open

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 Masters2015.08.08_tong-analysis-DSC_0097Tournament 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

Cuban delegation to U.S. Go Congress “bringing back much” to island nation

Saturday August 8, 2015

Rafael Torres Miranda had a problem. The automotive importer had just discovered the game of go in 1990 but had no one to teach him and, worse yet, no one to play with. Twenty five years later, he’s attending the U.S. Go Congress as President of the Cuban Go Federation, the first time a delegation of Cuban go players has ever participated.2015.08.07_cuban-interview

“The high level of play and the variety — as well as sheer quantity — of go activities is very impressive,” Miranda (at right, in white shirt) told the E-Journal. The other member of the delegation is Dr. Lazaro Bueno Perez (far left), a professor of chess and go at the University of Camaguey, and both said that they “will be bringing much back to Cuba from the Go Congress.”

Miranda says that there are some 2,000 go players in Cuba, ranging in strength from 5-dan to double-digit kyu players. “We’ve come a long way in a very short time,” he said. Miranda learned about the game from a Japanese colleague in the automotive business. The game intrigued him immediately. Although his colleague didn’t think he was serious, but he did teach Miranda the rules and they played. “No one in Cuba played go,” he laughs, “everyone played chess.” But as a judo teacher Miranda knew how to study and train and determination did the rest. They have had major support from the Association for International Go Exchange (a group of retired Japanese who love the game) and pros from the Nihon Ki-in. The Cubans make their own go equipment and there are now players in every city in the country.

In addition to the obvious barriers posed by Cuba’s political isolation, perhaps the biggest obstacle to spreading the game and improving Cuban go player’s strength has been one that go players around the world can appreciate: extremely limited internet access. There’s also a real hunger to participate in go tournaments around the world. “Always we want to participate,” Miranda said, chuckling. “We can’t, but we want to.” He hopes that the timing of the Cuban delegation to the U.S. Go Congress as official relations between the United States and Cuba have been established this year may be a harbinger of more opportunities to travel and compete internationally. “We are grateful to the AGA, the American Go Foundation, and to Bob Gilman for making this possible.”

Cuba will host the 17th Iberoamerican Go Championships October 9-11 at the Cuban Go Academy in Havana. Cuba. In addition to the chance for Cuban go players to meet their comrades from other Latin American countries, Miranda said it’s an opportunity for the Cuban Go Federation to be in the spotlight; after all Cuba organized the first four international tournaments in Latin America (1998-2001) before the current Championship series began.
- Chris Garlock; photo by Phil Straus

Amy Wang/Danny Ko Win 2015 North American Pair Go Championship

Friday August 7, 2015

Amy Wang 5d and her partner Daehyuk (Daniel) Ko won first place in the 2015 North American Pair Go Championship Thursday night at the OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAU.S. Go Congress. “U.S. Pair Go fans should watch for Amy and Daniel to be competing in the upcoming World Amateur Pair Go Championships in Tokyo,” said TD Todd Heidenreich. The Championships will be held the first weekend in December. Forty eight pairs participated in the popular event, including nine professional players. Six of the eight players on boards 3 and 4 were professionals, drawing a lot of interest from spectators. “Special thanks to Dennis Wheeler, Steve Colburn, Susanna Pfeffer, and Garrett Smith for their assistance,” Heidenreich added.

2015.08.07_pair-go-crowd-IMG_2947The top table of the Pair Go tournament determined the overall champion. As with many of the tournaments at this year’s Congress, the matches played on the top board of the tournament were broadcast online — in this case on the Pandanet Go Server — along with a live stream on the AGA’s YouTube page. Click here for Steve Colburn’s album of photos.

Top table results: 1st Place – Amy Wang 5d & Daniel Ko 7d; 2nd Place – Melissa Cao 1k & Justin Ching 6d; 3rd Place – WanYu Chen & Andrew Lu 7d; 4th Place – Julie Burrall 2d & Lionel Zhang 7d.

Table Winners: Amy Wang 5d & Daniel Ko 7d; HsiYun Tang 2P & Mark Lee 7d; Jennie Shen 2P & Josh Larson 3d; Mirano Shiraki 5d & Shunichi Hyodo 6d; Agnes Rzepecki 2k & Aaron Broege 1d; Isabelle Peng 5k & Evan Zou 4d; Nqua Xiong 2k & Fernando Torre 3k; Yoko Ohashi 6k & Mark Fraser 7k; Vivienne Blandy 9k & Mark Smith 7k; Kaoru Hidaka 19k & Shigeo Hidaka 2d; Sarah Crites 11k & Bob Crites 7k; Susanna Pfeffer 10k & Rab Beverly 12k
- photos by Eric Jankowski (right) and Steve Colburn (left).