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

AGA Announces Plans for Second Pro Certification Tournament

Sunday August 4, 2013

The AGA’s second pro certification tournament is being planned for this coming December, AGA President Andy Okun tells the E-Journal.  “We had hoped to announce earlier in the year, but the sponsor of our first tournament, Tygem, decided for internal reasons not to continue their support, so we spent some time on the search for a replacement sponsor.”  The AGA’s pro system committee felt strongly that a 2013 tournament should be held and so a smaller tournament is being planned for early or mid-December, with eight competitors competing for one pro position.  The competitors will include the two runners-up from last year’s certification, two from the top finishers of the US Open at this year’s U.S. Go Congress, one chosen in an online tournament, one from the Cotsen Tournament tentatively scheduled for late October, one from a tournament in New York, and the top-rated eligible AGA player not selected by these events.  The finals will be held in Los Angeles and will include a modest travel subsidy. photo: Myungwan Kim 9P congratulates Andy Liu 1P, the first pro certified by the AGA in 2012; photo by Steve Colburn

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Los Angeles Tops Inaugural Pandanet-AGA City League

Sunday August 4, 2013

Team Los Angeles won the Pandanet-AGA City League A-League finals Saturday at the U.S. Congress in Tacoma, WA, defeating the Washington team 2-1 in hard-fought games (click here for game records). Beumgeon (Evan) Cho defeated Jie Li on Board 1, while Seung Hyun (Kevin) Hong beat Yuan Zhou on Board 3 in the afternoon games, broadcast live on Pandanet. Eric Lui, playing via Pandanet from Seoul Korea, where he’s playing in the Samsung Cup preliminaries for the AGA, scored DC’s only win by defeating Dae Hyuk (Daniel) Ko. Andy Okun captained the LA team.  “We’re tremendously pleased with the results of our first year of the Pandanet AGA City League,” League Project Co-Manager Jon Boley reported to Congress attendees Saturday night at a brief awards ceremony. Twenty eight teams competed in four leagues: LA won the A League, Toronto won the B League, Chicago won in C League, and Brentwood, TN won the D League. Karoline Burrall was the League Manager, Steve Colburn was the League webmaster and support was provided by Andy Okun and Thomas Hsiang. The EJ’s Andrew Jackson and Dennis Wheeler recorded the Board 1 and Board 3 games. photo (l-r): Jon Boley, Evan Cho, Andy Okun, Daniel Ko, Steve Colburn, Kevin Hong and Karoline Burrall; photo by Phil Straus

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U.S. Sends 4 Players to Samsung Prelims

Sunday August 4, 2013

Four U.S. players are participating in the preliminaries of the 18th Samsung Cup, being held August 2-8 in Korea. A total of 345 players will be divided into 19 groups and the winner of each group will advance and join the 13 seeded players in the main tournament, which will start in September. The 19 groups include 14 open groups, two for senior pros, two for women. The last group, called the “world group”, is formed with four North American and four European players. The pairings in this group will start with Yinli Wang (US) vs. Oleg Mezhov, Benjamin Lockhart (US) vs. Rob Van Zeist, Yunxuan Li (US) vs. Jan Hora, and Eric Lui (US) vs. Cristian Pop.

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U.S. Go Congress Scrapbook: Saturday, August 3

Saturday August 3, 2013

Hundreds of go players are converging on Pacific Lutheran University in Takoma, WA today as the 29th annual U.S. Go Congress gets underway. Here are some snapshots by EJ photographer Phil Straus: top right: Yuan Zhou plays Seung Hyun Hong in the Pandanet-AGA City League Finals on Saturday afternoon; bottom right: early arrivals waste no time getting on the board; bottom left: Congress Registrar Judy Debel prepares early Saturday for the onslaught of go players from around the world; top left: E-Journal staffers Todd Heidenreich (right) and Steve Colburn prep for the EJ’s Congress coverage.
- photos by Phil Straus; collage by Chris Garlock
Plus: Click here Phil Straus’ complete album of the day. 

 

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Pandanet AGA City League Finals this Saturday

Friday August 2, 2013

Team Los Angeles, captained by Andy Okun, will play Team Washington DC, led by I-han Lui, in the inaugural Pandanet AGA City League finals this Saturday at the U.S. Go Congress in Tacoma, WA.

Schedule: Saturday, August 3, 3:00 p.m. (PST): Beumgeon Cho vs Jie Li on Board 1 and Seung Hyun Hong vs Yuan Zhou on Board 3; at 8:30 p.m. (PST) Dae Hyuk (Daniel) Ko vs Eric Lui (Eric Lui is in Seoul Korea to play in the Samsung Cup preliminaries as a representative of the AGA.  Due to this special circumstance, organizers, working with Myung-wan Kim 9P, arranged for a monitor for Eric and a place for him to play in Seoul at the KBA in Pro Room A)All games will be broadcast on IGS: Board 1 on on AGACL1; Board 2 (Daniel Ko vs Eric Lui) will be played directly against each other online; Board 3 will be broadcast on AGACL2.

Player Notes:
Team Los Angeles
Beungeum Cho
 was undefeated in League play with a score of 10-0. Started playing Baduk at the age of 8.  When he was 13 he turned serious and attempted to become a professional Korean Baduk player. At the age of 18 he had to choose between becoming an Yeonguseng (Insei) at KBA and going to University.  He decided to study English in school with an eye towards teaching Baduk internationally.  He is now in Los Angeles teaching Baduk with Kim Myung-wan 9p.
Dae Hyuk Ko learned Baduk at the age of 5 from his parents.  He started actively playing at the age of 15.  In 1998 he moved to the US to study English and go to college.  In 2006, he joined the AGA and started playing in AGA Tournaments.  His wins include the 2008 Korea Times Myung-In Championship in Los Angelese, 2009 Samsung North Americca qualifier, and 2010 the Cotsen Open in Los Angeles. Three time winner of the Santa Monica Cup.
Seung Hyun Hong is substituting for Curtis Tang who was unable to make the finals.  Seung Hyun starting playing Baduk at the age of 6 from his father a 10 kyu.  In middle school, he was a Yeonguseng at KBA for one year.  In 2006 he came in third place in the US Open. Seung Hyun is now focusing on teaching his daughter to play Baduk.  She is 2 years old.

Team Washington DC
Jie Li has represented the United States nearly a dozen times in top international invitational championships, and has won 11 North American titles, 7 U.S. national titles, and 13 regional titles. Though not holding a professional certificate, he is one of the strongest go players in the United States, playing at an equal level with many American professionals and has earned the all-time-most North American and US titles combined.
Yuan Zhou 7D
was born in Tianjin, China. His father taught him to play go at the age of six and he was twice invited to represent Tianjin in the All China Go Prodigy Cup. In 1989 Zhou immigrated to the USA, joined the American Go Association (AGA) and became a US citizen. Zhou was the president of the University of Maryland Go club, from which he earned a BS in Electrical Engineering, and became increasingly involved in AGA events, winning many go tournaments, including 30 U.S. go titles and has represented USA in international tournaments many times (WAGC, Korea Prime Minister Cup, World Pair Go Championship, etc). Zhou was also elected to be the AGA board of directors in 2005. Zhou is also a popular author, teacher and lecturer; he lives in Germantown, Maryland.
Eric Lui achieved amateur one dan at the age of 6, representing the US internationally in Seoul, Korea a year later. To date, he has had about a dozen international representations to the World Youth Go Championship, WAGC, Korean Prime Minister Cup, World Student Go Oza, Pair Go, and the Samsung. Eric holds Japanese go in high esteem, citing Kobayashi Satoru and Takemiya Masaki among his favorite players. He also has great admiration for Ma Xiaochun and Yoo Changhyuk.

 

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Seattle Go Center Expecting Visitors Around Go Congress

Friday August 2, 2013

With the U.S. Go Congress happening just an hour’s drive away in Tacoma, the Seattle Go Center is preparing for special events before and after the Congress.   Professional Ryo Maeda will be visiting the Go Center before the Congress, on Aug. 1 and 2, while Masaki Takemiya 9p and Chihiro Chujo 1p will be giving lectures and playing simultaneous games Aug. 12-15 after the Congress.  The calendar on the Go Center website has the details.

The Seattle Go Center will be closed during most of Go Congress, but it will be open on Tuesday, Aug 6, from 3 – 10 p.m.  “Tuesdays are our biggest day, so it’s always great time for visitors to drop by; everybody can find a game, from beginners to 6 dan players,” reports Manager Brian Allen.  Photo: Brian Allen washing the Go Center sign.  Photo by Luke Allen.

 

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Your Move/Readers Write: Following Congress Tournaments; Watching Congress Games on an iPad

Friday August 2, 2013

Following Congress Tournaments: “Since I (and the large majority of AGA members / US go players) cannot attend the U.S. Go Congress,” writes Kate Collin, “the most important thing for me is to have an up-to-date reference regarding what’s going on with the tournaments. I’d love to have something like the daily sports section of my newspaper, that would tell me: Results, Current standings, Broadcast schedule. I notice that the Congress web site does not even seem to be set up to anticipate posting results, which is frustrating, and I don’t see a central place on the AGA web site that would do that either. Another thing that would be very useful, since I generally won’t be able to watch games live, would be a reference for what KGS IDs are used to broadcast the various games, so that it is possible to search the archive for the games. Good luck! And thanks in advance for your efforts!”
The E-Journal will once again be coordinating tournament coverage, including broadcasting top-board games on KGS (mornings 9-12 and evenings 7-11; look for USGO), and posting results, game records and photos. Click here to see an example of the 2012 U.S. Open tournament grid; our post-Congress wrap-up from last year also includes grids from the NAIM and Strong Player’s Open as well as pro game commentaries and more, all of which we expect to do again this year. We also try to do a daily recap in the EJ of highlights from each tournament and other Congress events. If there’s more or other coverage readers are interested in, just let us know and we’ll do our best to get it for you!

Watching Congress Games on an iPad: “Can I use my Ipad to watch the games from the Congress?” wonders Joe Walters. “If so, how?”
Unfortunately, probably not, since iPads can’t run the KGS java client. “People have done this by running the client on their computer and then sending the display output to their iPad,” KGS’ Bill Shubert tells the EJ, “but I don’t personally know how to do this, so I think an iPad won’t work at this time.” If anyone has information on how to make KGS work on an iPad, let us know at journal@usgo.org and we’ll pass it along.

 

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US Pair Go Development Update

Saturday July 27, 2013

The Pair Go teaching workshop will not be held at the 2013 US Go Congress, as previously reported (Japan Pair Go Association Grants $3600 for US Pair Go Development 7/25 EJ) but will instead occur sometime before August 2014. “It will be the first US professional workshop to focus specifically on learning how to play go strategically and harmoniously in a partnership, and will be funded by the new JPGA grant,” reports AGA Pair Go Coordinator Rachel Small. Small is seeking a Director/Organizer to collaborate on this developing project; email her at pairgo@usgo.org. She also notes that the funds granted by the JPGA support US Pair Go activity from August 2013 through the August 2014 US Go Congress.

Small also reports that the winning pair from the North American Pair Go Championship at this year’s Congress will be offered a professional game review with Shirley Lin, scheduled for Friday, August 9th at 1:30p. “Lin’s comments will help the pair to compete at their best at the International Amateur Pair Go Championship in Tokyo this November,” says Small.

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Japan Pair Go Association Grants $3600 for US Pair Go Development

Thursday July 25, 2013

The Japan Pair Go Association has just granted $3,600 to promote Pair Go in the United States next year, reports AGA Pair Go Coordinator Rachel Small. The grant is based on Small’s proposed annual Pair Go plan, which she hopes “will generate enthusiasm, increase the number of Pair Go events held annually, and help Pair Go players form strong partnerships, with the ultimate goal of advancing the culture of Pair Go in the US.” Included in the budget is prize money for the North American Pair Go Championship and the Youth-Adult Pair Go Tournament at the US Go Congress, the second annual Pair Go Tournament at the North American Go Convention, and two additional Pair Go tournaments over the next year. “These are very exciting plans but we need help to make them happen,” Small says. Financial incentives will be provided for an organizer/director for the Pair Go pro teaching workshop at this year’s Congress, a game-recorder for the top table Pair Go game, a volunteer to record video of Congress Pair Go events, and a video-editor to piece together the footage into a short promotional piece, as well as directors of two new Pair Go Tournaments. Those interested should contact  Small at pairgo@usgo.org. -Photo by Steve Colburn: Pair Go contestants at the 2010 Go Congress in Colorado Springs.
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Google Adwords Boosts AGF Traffic 500%

Sunday July 21, 2013

The American Go Foundation has seen a 500% increase in website traffic since setting up a Google AdWords account in May, reports project  manager Roy Laird. “We were doing okay, with roughly 500 unique visitors per month, but then we learned that as a 501c3, we qualified for Google Nonprofit status, allowing us to run up to $330 worth of AdWords messages per day.  Now fewer than 100 visitors per day is a slow day. More than 2,600 people visited in the month of June alone.”  Laird says that the goal for now is to generate “click-thrus” – people clicking the ad and coming to the AGF website. When the entire $330/day budget is fully utilized, he says the goal will be to reduce the “bounce rate” – targeting more carefully so fewer people visit and then leave immediately.  “In a typical pre-AdWords month, 200 or so of our visitors would indicate interest by looking at more than one page. In June – our first complete month with the campaign – more than 650 people liked what they saw enough to explore further.”  The ads, which appear as text blurbs on the right of Google searches, are triggered by searching for “key words” that relate to the topic one is searching for.  The ads can link to any page on the site, but the primary goal is to teach people to play through the Learn to Play page,” said Laird,  “we’re not selling the AGF, we’re selling go.” Finding key words that will lead to people actually clicking on the link can be challenging, and Laird says he was surprised at the effectiveness of some unusual approaches. “Someone suggested the puzzle angle, so we created an ad about ‘The Ultimate Puzzle’, which has attracted more than 450 hits in the past month, more than any other ad. Surely there are some other killer out-of-the-box ideas out there. Send them to mail@agfgo.org, and help us grow American go!” Laird thanked Steve Colburn for letting the AGF know they were eligible for Google Non-Profit status. - Paul Barchilon

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