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

Eric Lui sweeps in DC as players prep for U.S. Go Congress

Sunday June 24, 2018

Eric Lui 1P swept the annual Congress Tune-up tournament 4-0 Saturday at the National Go Center. Eric’s undefeated streak in NGC tournaments now extends for over a year, and the local crowd is rooting for him in the prestigious Open Masters next month at the US Go Congress in Williamsburg VA. Justin Teng (6D) and Qingbo Zhang (5d) tied for second in the high Dan2018.06.24_hal t-shirt division.

Darren Bias (1K) went undefeated at 4-0 to win the 1K-3D division. Haskell (Hal) Small (2D) finished second but was only awarded his NGC t-shirt prize if the self-described “non t-shirt person” agreed to pose in it for a picture (right); Congress organizers wanted to be sure it got worn at least once. “If you see Hal at Congress this year, encourage him to wear his shirt proudly,” said TD Gurujeet Khalsa.

There was a three way tie for first in the 4K-9K division with Mike Lash (4K), Eli Ferster (6K), and Tevis Tsai (6K) taking home the honors. In the 10K-20K division, John Christensen (13K) made a strong undefeated showing, while second place was tied between Jack de la Beaujardiere (10K), Noah Mullinax (11K), and Joshua Johnson (14K).

“There was a lot of excitement among the crowd for the upcoming Congress” reports Khalsa. “We learned our lesson last year not to tamper with tradition when we renamed this tournament the Summer Sizzler only to have our air-conditioning fail in the middle of a huge heat wave. This year we got refocused on getting ready for Congress with the old name and all went well.”

Congress is less than a month away, so if you haven’t registered yet, you can still do so here. Also download the free Congress mobile app where you can see the bios of Eric Lui and other pros coming this year, and lots more.

photo by Betsy Small

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Congress-Goer Mini Tune Up Workshop with Eric Lui 1p

Sunday June 10, 2018

Eric Lui 1p will lead a Congress-Goer Mini Tune Up workshop on Saturday June 30 in Baltimore. “Turn your 3-3 Open record 2018.06.10_EricLui workshopinto a 4-2 with the latest joseki and fuseki developments from AlphaGo and the pros,” says organizer Keith Arnold.  Aimed at low dan and single digit kyu, but all are welcome.  Contact Keith Arnold (hlime81@verizon.net) or Eric Lui (eric_lui2002@yahoo.com) for details. Space is limited.

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Facebook AI “OpenGo” to play simuls at 2018 U.S. Go Congress 

Monday June 4, 2018

Maker:0x4c,Date:2017-9-5,Ver:4,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar01,E-Y

Artificial Intelligence has taken go into new realms and this year at the US Go Congress attendees will be able to learn and improve their own games by playing against one of the new generation of AI players.  Facebook’s OpenGo, which features a 20-0 record against top-30 professionals, will be playing teaching simuls early in the week.

The simuls will be held on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday afternoons (July 22, 23, and 24) with OpenGo playing 20 simultaneous no-handicap teaching games each day. Each player will be mailed an SGF file after the game with annotations from OpenGo.

Participants will play on physical boards, with volunteers relaying the moves to and from OpenGo. The Congress organizers expect high demand for the 60 simultaneous playing slots and are offering the opportunity first to those who have completed their Congress registration by June 20. If more than 60 of those registrants wish to play against OpenGo, a lottery will be held for the seats.

To sign up, select the OpenGo Simul event as part of your registration on the Go Congress websiteIf you’ve already registered, go to “My Account,” click on an attendee name, then find the “Simul against Facebook OpenGo” section to add the event to your registration. If you haven’t already registered, select the event as part of your new attendee registration.

The schedule of events has been added to the Congress mobile app along with other events and lots of information about the Congress. It is available as a free download for iOS and Android devices.

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$12,000 prize pool for U.S. Open Masters

Tuesday May 29, 2018

The premier event at the 2018 US Go Congress is awarding $12,000 in prizes this year, organizers report. The US Open Masters is open to all 7-dan and professional players internationally. The overall winner will receive $5,000, with $2,500 going to second place. The top-placing North American competitor wins $2,000. This exciting 9-round event will be played in historic Williamsburg VA at the 2018 Congress July 21-28.

The discount for early-bird registration ends this week on 5/31. Register now to save and be sure to download the free Congress mobile app for the latest Congress news.

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Go Congress “Early Bird” discount ends May 31

Wednesday May 23, 2018

If you haven’t yet registered for the US Go Congress in Williamsburg VA this year, you have until May 31 to take advantage of2018.04.02_go-congress-sign-in the Early Bird registration discount. On June 1 the cost goes up by $50 per person. To get the discount it is necessary to register  and make a minimum payment of $70.

The U.S. Go Congress runs from July 21-28 and features a full week of go-related activities. Register now and reserve your spot in the premier annual event of American go.

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U.S. Congress app has international appeal

Thursday May 17, 2018

很荣幸能在这里欢迎各位来到第 34 届围棋大会。第34回USコングレスへようこそ。This is the opening line in US Go Congress Co-Director Diego Pierrottet’s welcome message, which, for those who don’t read Chinese or Japanese, is “It’s my pleasure to 2018.05.17_congress-app-multi-languagewelcome you to the 34th Annual US Go Congress.” The wealth of information available each year in the Congress attendee booklet has been a challenge for those who do not read English, but with the new Congress mobile app — available on both iOS and Android devices — not only will more information be available, it’s now being provided in multiple languages.

“As more textual material is added, the intent is to translate that as well,” adds app developer Gurujeet Khalsa. “This is our first effort at internationalization using volunteer translators. We think this will make it a more inviting experience for our overseas visitors, and would welcome volunteers who can translate into other Asian and European languages. We would like to thank translators Chiemi Mori, Shigeru Takehara, Daniel Chou, and Yanqing Sun for getting this effort started.”

The Congress app can be downloaded here. Congress registration  is ongoing and still available at the Early Bird Discount price. The 2018 Congress will be held in historic Williamsburg, VA from July 21-28.

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U.S. Go Congress meal plan offers “Variety and value”

Monday May 14, 2018

In searching for a venue for the 2018 US Go Congress Co-Director Diego Pierrottet reports that “We really wanted to offer a great plan with multiple options at a reasonable price. One of the very top concerns we heard from past Congress attendees was the meal plan. At William & Mary we are glad to be able to offer a tremendous variety of high quality meals. We also negotiated cost savings up to 20% off per meal over regular door prices for our Congress attendees who sign up for a meal plan.”

The website for Center Court at Sadler Center gives an idea of the numerous options, including:2018.05.13_wm-mary-dining_pizza_station

  • The Chop House, offering made-to-order salads
  • Maize, featuring vegan and vegetarian options
  • Natural, serving a menu tailored to guests with special dietary needs like celiac, gluten and dairy intolerances
  • Taliaferro’s, offering handmade pasta and pizza
  • Tidewater Grill, featuring handmade burgers and hot sandwiches as well as seafood options
  • Reves Global, presenting authentic recipes from around the world from Asian-inspired dishes to West Coast cuisine and Latin dishes
  • Simple Servings, serving minimally processed food prepared without gluten or seven of the eight most common food allergens: milk, eggs, soy, tree nuts, peanuts, shellfish and wheat

“If you haven’t yet registered, or registered and didn’t select a meal plan yet, try one of the flexible combinations on the Congress website,” Pierrottet suggests, “We heard your concerns.”

Registration is still available for Congress at the Early Bird discount price. You can also keep up with Congress goings on by downloading the free mobile app for iOS and Android devices.

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AGF Increases Congress Scholarships – Includes College Students

Monday May 14, 2018

AGF-logo-smallThe American Go Foundation (AGF) is increasing funding for young people attending the US Go Congress, and is also creating a new set of scholarships for college students. Traditional amounts for kids and teens under 18 were $200 for participating in any of the main AGA online youth events (Redmond Cup, National Kyu Championship, Girls Tournament), and an additional $200 for writing an essay.  This year, as there is no Go Camp, the board decided to increase the essay scholarship to $300.  To apply for the  scholarship, read the information here, and then send your essay in by email. If you played in the youth events, and want your participation scholarship, email your request to youth@usgo.org.  For the new college scholarships, participants must be 26 or younger, and actively enrolled in college.  Graduate and under graduate students are both eligible, click here to apply.  All scholarships are first come first serve, with 20 allotted for the US, and 5 allotted to be split between Canada and Mexico. – Paul Barchilon, EJ Youth Editor.

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Discounts on Day Off activities at U.S. Go Congress

Saturday May 12, 2018

With many activities to choose from in the Williamsburg area, the organizers of this year’s US Go Congress have negotiated2018.05.12 colonial-wmsburg discount rates for two of the most popular: Colonial Williamsburg and Busch Gardens. These group rates are available for July 25, the traditional Wednesday ‘Day Off’ at the mid-point of the Congress. Colonial Williamsburg is next to the William & Mary campus, and shuttles are being arranged for Busch Gardens.

Colonial Williamsburg is the world’s largest living history museum. Step back in time to the 18th century to the dawn of America. With historic trades and sites, two art museums, and interpreters recreating real historic figures, it is a great experience. Enjoy relaxing carriage rides or a sojourn to one of the four taverns.

Busch Gardens is a 383 acre theme park with rides, roller coasters, animals, shows, and 2018.05.12 busch gardensspecial events. Experience family-friendly performances on outdoor stages or even enter a world of virtual reality with the Battle for Eire ride.

The group discounted tickets are available only through the Congress website . You can select them when registering, or if already registered, go to the “My Account” page in the navigation menu,and add the tickets by clicking on an attendee’s name. Tickets are found in the “Activities” section of an account. The discount rates are:

Colonial Williamsburg – $34 (ages 13+) and $17 (ages 6-12) – regular rates $40/$20
Busch Gardens – $59 (ages 10+) and $47 (ages 3-9) regular rates $90 at gate or $70 online.

“These are great venues to relax and enjoy for a day between all the other great events at Congress,” says Congress event organizer Yuan Zhou reports. “Come and enjoy all Williamsburg has to offer!” You can sign up now when you register and also learn more about events on the “Videos” page of the Congress mobile app . By registering for Congress now you can get the additional “early bird” Congress discount in addition to saving on event tickets.

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TD Workshop to Debut at U.S. Go Congress

Thursday May 3, 2018

Have you thought about running a go tournament in your area but weren’t sure where to start? Or have you run tournaments2018.04.22 Carolina Spring Tournament-sm_2454 and would like to hear from other experienced TD’s about how they publicize and manage these events? A new workshop at the U.S. Go Congress this July is meant for you.

“We have four afternoon sessions scheduled this year that will cover everything from how to organize your first tournament to computer programs to help manage pairings and AGA results reporting,” says workshop Director Mark Rubenstein. “It’s very rewarding to run a successful tournament, and this workshop is designed to help all TD’s get better at doing so.”
Topics to be covered include basics, like how to run your first tournament: handicaps, AGA membership requirements, handling ranks, pairings, and reporting. Also covered: publicity and pre-registration; regulations, code of conduct, registration management, conflict management; pairing systems - Swiss, McMahon, round robin, knockout, self-paired, etc., and the reason for choosing one pairing system over another; computer pairing and reporting programs. There will also be Q&A with experienced TDs.
Rubenstein reports that “We already have the schedule in the Congress mobile appand will put descriptions for each session there so you can choose to come to the whole workshop, or just the topics of most interest to you.” Congress registration is open now covering this workshop and all the tournaments, pro lectures, and events in Williamsburg VA this July 21-28. Send TD Workshop suggestions to mark@evanstongoclub.org.
photo: at the recent Carolina Spring Tournament; photo by Bob Bacon
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