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

Go a hit at DC Sakura Matsuri festival

Monday April 16, 2018

A beautiful day of sunshine and summer-like temperatures pierced the erratic spring weather in Washington DC for the 58th 2018.04.14_dc-fest-IMG_0667annual Sakura Matsuri street festival last Saturday. Over 20 volunteers from the National Go Center came out to staff a tent on Pennsylvania 2018.04.14_dc-fest-IMG_0693Avenue and teach all comers the game. From the time the gates opened after the National Cherry Blossom Festival parade until the early evening, a lively stream of festival goers enjoyed meeting the volunteers and learning about go.
Local go organizer John Goon, who passed away last year, ha2018.04.14_dc-fest-20180414_142702d organized volunteers from the local go clubs to participate in this event for over a decade, and the NGC was excited to keep the tradition going. “It was wonderful to see such strong volunteer support,” said NGC Executive Director Gurujeet Khalsa. “The NGC is also the sponsoring chapter for the US Go Congress to be held in Williamsburg VA in July, and it is enthusiastic volunteers each year that make the Congress a huge success.”
More pictures of the Sakura Matsuri can be found on the NGC Facebook page. Registration for the US Go Congress is open, and the first-ever Go Congress mobile app for the Go Congress.

photos by Chiemi Mori and Allan Abramson

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US Go Congress registrations soar

Saturday April 14, 2018

After opening registration on March 31st, the attendee count for the 34th U.S. Go Congress, to be held this July in Williamsburg,2018.04.14_congress-pineapple Virginia, has steadily climbed. “We marched past 100 like a fife and drum brigade!” said Gary Smith, the Go Congress registrar. “128 and counting!”

“Gary [Smith], Diego [Pierrottet], and I are getting tons of emails, and making changes every day,” said Nate Eagle, who, with Pierrottet, is directing this year’s Congress. “I’ve been really grateful for some of the early registrants who’ve written to us about suggestions for the site, or information they need. Everyone who lets us know about something to improve helps hundreds of other users.”

“We’ve made a lot of updates,” Eagle continued. “We’ve added the ability to add on Friday-night accommodations for anyone who needs to travel to Williamsburg the day before. We’ve launched the official Go Congress mobile app with a download button on the main page. We’ve moved the Congress site to SSL to ensure the security of people’s login information. And I’m continuing to work with Rex Cristal, who’s provided invaluable support for the Congress site for years, and Joel Cahalan to make steady improvements to the Congress website to make it more mobile-friendly and easier to use.”

“We’ve also added a Frequently Asked Questions page,” Eagle says. “If you’ve got a question, or have information that you think would be useful to other people interested in or attending Go Congress, please let me know! The more information we can provide, the better.”

Pineapples were an important symbol of hospitality in Colonial Williamsburg. Congress Co-director Nate Eagle wanted to use a pineapple in the Congress logo, but everybody thought the reference was too obscure.

 

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First-ever U.S. Go Congress mobile app released

Tuesday April 10, 2018

With registration for the 2018 US Go Congress in Williamsburg, VA now open, the Congress team has just released a companion 2018.04.10_congress-appscreenapp for either iOS or Android devices. The app complements the information found on the Congress website with pages for scheduling, travel information, staff contacts, social and much more. Click here now to download.

The app will be continually updated with new pages such as pro biographies and information between now and the Congress, and will be a source of live information at the Congress. You can see what the overall 2018 Congress schedule looks like in the app today with placeholders for events and lectures that will be filled in as they are confirmed. Once the schedule is finalized, a My Schedule feature will be turned on that allows each attendee to build their personal Congress schedule of events.

“This is a step we are taking towards a paperless, digitally enabled Congress,” says Congress Co-Director Diego Pierottet. “We are also planning large display screens to be prominently located to post the latest news and information. We are looking to enhance the Congress experience for everyone and would appreciate suggestions on the app and what other sorts of information we should add.”

Please download the app, especially if you are considering coming to the US Go Congress this year. Your feedback can be sent to Gurujeet Khalsa (gurujeet.khalsa@nationalgocenter.org) “and is greatly appreciated.”

 

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Teacher of the Year Nominations Due May 13

Sunday April 8, 2018

IMG_4772Nominations for the American Go Foundation’s  Teacher of the Year award are due by May 13th. Presented each year at the U.S. Go Congress, the award  recognizes an outstanding American teacher. The winner  will receive an all expenses paid trip to the US Go Congress.  To be eligible, a teacher must be a member of the AGA, have been teaching go to children for at least two hours a week (during the school year) for two years, have started a go club or organization for youth, and have helped their students enter appropriate tournaments, if possible.  If you would like to nominate someone for this award, including yourself, e-mail mail@agfgo.org.  Nominations are due by May 13th and should include a description of the teacher’s activities,  how long they have been teaching, and how many students attend their program. - Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo:  2017 AGF Teacher of the Year Wenguang Wang playing with one of his students in Santa Clara, CA.

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2018 US Go Congress registration opens

Monday April 2, 2018

Registration for the 2018 US Go Congress has officially been launched. “Everyone has a lot of questions in planning for the 2018.04.02_go-congress-sign-insummer, and we’ve got answers for (some of those) questions,” says Congress Co-Director Nate Eagle. 

  • Costs! How much coin of the realm this year will involve?
  • Transportation. What are the best ways to get to Williamsburg?
  • Who can I ask about…? Find out which volunteer is best suited to answer other questions you might have.

The Congress will be held in Williamsburg, Virginia, on the campus of William & Mary, July 21-28. At the site, click on “Start Here” to sign up. Once you’ve signed up or signed in, under the “My Account” page,  you can add attendees, as needed. The Go Congress site uses new accounts every year, so even if you’ve registered for previous Congresses, you’ll need to sign up for this year. “Stay tuned for more updates to the site,” adds Eagle, who’s co-directing with Diego Pierrottet. “We’ll have lots more information to come. We can’t wait to see you this July!” 

 

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Hai Li 5P plans to spend more time teaching US amateurs after a successful US Go Congress experience

Tuesday March 20, 2018

4.pic_hdImpressed with the dedication and focus of amateur players at the US Go Congress, Hai Li 5P is planning on coming back to the US to teach in the LA area. Attendees at the 2017 US Go Congress in San Diego will recognize him as one of the pro teachers, and the leader of a large delegation of his students and their families from China. Fourteen students aged seven to eleven and ranging from 2d to 5d came with Mr. Li (photo at right) to the Go Congress and participated in many of the tournaments and youth events, including the US Open. According to Mr. Li, they had a wonderful experience and felt challenged by their tournament games, which Mr. Li hopes will motivate them to study even harder after their return to China. All fourteen students expressed the desire to return for the next Go Congress, and Mr. Li hopes that he can bring an even larger group of students to this year’s Go Congress in Williamsburg, VA.

While observing tournament games at the Go Congress in San Diego, Mr. Li was struck with the focus and attention given to the games by the amateur players, particularly the kyu-level players. As a teacher, Mr. Li has trained many top players, including Shi Yue 9P, but now focuses most of his teaching on his go school in Tianjin, China that he built from just three students. JinHai Go School now employs nine other professional teachers – seven full time, two on contract – who train over 200 students in the main campus and satellite campuses around Tianjin. The focus of the go school is young amateurs, based on the belief that training in go is beneficial for the formation of good habits – focus, manners, intelligence, and improved academic performance. 20180101_084503The students also train to improve their ranking, of course, which they can do at a large annual tournament around the turn of the new year. This past January, Mr. Li’s Bohai Rim Tianyuan Go Tournament (photo at left) concluded successfully, with nearly 800 players from Tianjin and five surrounding provinces participating – and even a few players from the US – participating. Mr. Li hopes that more go lovers from the US will attend the tournament in the future.

Mr. Li was moved by the importance with which the amateur players at the Go Congress treated the one-on-one playing experience, particularly the adult kyu-level players. This inspired him to return to the US to promote Go to these players and more generally, and he is hoping to help grow the American go player base more actively by starting a branch of his go school here in the US this year, beginning in the LA area. Stay tuned!

-photos provided by Hai Li 5P
-report by Karoline Li, Tournaments Bureau Chief

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2018 U.S. Go Congress website launched

Sunday March 4, 2018

Organizers of this year’s US Go Congress recently launched a new design for the Congress website, where you can subscribe to2018.03.03-2018-congress-website the Congress mailing list to stay up to date on Congress news and be among 2018.03.03_2018-congress-sitethe first to know when registration opens. The 2018 Congress runs July 21 – 28 at The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA. “If you’ve never been to Williamsburg, you’re in for a treat,” reports Congress Co-Director Nate Eagle. “The beautiful, tree-lined campus of William & Mary is directly next to Colonial Williamsburg, where you can step directly into a recreation of 18th-century American life. I spent a couple weekends down there in the Fall and am looking forward immensely to seeing some of those beautiful grass lawns filled with go boards and sprawling go players, locked in combat.” Registration is expected to open later this month.

photo (l-r): Congress directors Diego Pierrottet and Nate Eagle “duking it out while Lord Bortetourt suppresses his urge to kibitz.”

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Go Quiz: Running go players

Saturday February 24, 2018

E-Journal photographer Phil Straus recently found this photo in his archives. If you can name the go players and the year and location of 2018.02.24_running-go-playersthe U.S. Congress, click here.

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Silver Anniversary of the Redmond Cup – Registration Now Open

Sunday February 18, 2018

20771547_1491980427527052_1440893765_o-600x3372018 marks the 25th anniversary of the Redmond Cup, which began in 1994. Named after Michael Redmond, the only player of non-Asian descent to ever achieve the rank of professional 9 dan, the Redmond Cup has represented the highest-level of competition for youth players in North America. Four of the five current AGA pros are former Redmond Cup champions, and many former champions have represented the US or Canada in international competition.

Preliminaries will be played on KGS, with the top two players in each the Junior (12 and under) and Senior (13-17) division receiving invitations to the finals, which will be held in July at the 2018 US Go Congress in Williamsburg, Virginia. Courtesy of the American Go Association and the American Go Foundation, finalists will also have all basic expenses covered to attend the 2018 US Go Congress, and any participant who completes all rounds of the preliminary tournament will be eligible for a $400 scholarship to the AGA Go Camp (details TBD) or a $200 scholarship to the 2018 US Go Congress.

Players must have an accredited rank of 1 dan or higher, be residents of the US, Canada, or Mexico, and have an active membership with any of aforementioned countries’ Go association to register for the Redmond Cup. Please consult the Rules and Regulations for more information about the tournament. Registration is now open and will close on March 7th. - Story and photo by AGA Youth Coordinator Justin Teng. Photo: 2017 finalists Aaron Ye (l) and Muzhen Ai (r). 

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“Give Me Liberties, or Give Me Death!” New site launched for 2018 Go Congress in Williamsburg, Virginia

Thursday September 14, 2017

The organizers of the upcoming 2018 Go Congress, which will be held in Williamsburg, Virginia at the College of William and Mary from July 212017.09.13_congress-site-launched – 28, have launched the updated Go Congress site for 2018. “There’s one very important thing everyone should do: go to the site now and make sure you’re signed up for the Go Congress newsletter,” says Nate Eagle, co-director of the 2018 Go Congress with Diego Pierrottet. “And check back often: we’re going to be updating the site frequently with new information and features.”

“When the idea of the National Go Center hosting a Congress was suggested, I was quite dubious, because I was worried about keeping focus on the newly opened National Go Center.” says Eagle. “But when Diego showed me the research he’d done into William & Mary as a venue, I changed my mind. William & Mary is a gorgeous location, with brick-lined sidewalks and luxurious shade, and it’s close to Colonial Williamsburg, Busch Gardens, and a lot of other great attractions. And the excitement of preparing to host Congress has been infectious around the NGC: a ton of people have volunteered to staff important positions and help make the event outstanding.”

Williamsburg, Virginia is convenient to three major airports in Newport News, Norfolk, and Richmond, and is also accessible via Amtrak’s Northeast Regional train. If you have any questions or are interested in volunteering, please contact either Diego Pierrottet or Nate Eagle.

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