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

Go Congress Updates: Yulin Tong Takes Lead in US Open Masters; Day Off; Self-Paired Update; Phil’s Photos

Wednesday August 5, 2015

Yulin Tong Takes Lead in US Open Masters: The lead in the Open Masters changed not once but twice on Tuesday. First, Youyin Cao 3P Tong-YuLin beat defending champion Mark Lee in the morning round. Cao is a Champion Team member of the 2014 Huang Long Shi Shuang Deng Cup Ring Contest. Then in the fifth round on Tuesday night, Yulin Tong 4P (right) defeated Cao in just 107 moves. Click here for the latest results. Three rounds have been played in the US Open; click here for the latest results. (update: this post has been updated; Cao beat Lee by resignation, not by half a point)

2015.08.04_pairings-us-open-rd3Day Off: Anyone signed up for Stillwater bus ride: bus will load/depart 9a at Flynn Circle, next to building #7.

Self-Paired Update: As of Tuesday morning, 68 games recorded so far. Leader in some prize categories (# of games in parentheses):
Champion – most wins over losses – Jeff Horn (5)
Hurricane – greatest number of wins – Jeff Horn (7)
Giant Killer – most wins against dan players by kyu player – Miyoko Miyama (3)
Keith Arnold (Kyu Killer) – most wins against kyu players by dan player – Jeff Horn (6)
Dedicated – most games played – Sasha (David) Orr  (10)
Sensei – most games against weaker players – Jeff Horn (8)
Philanthropist – most losses – Sasha David) Orr (8)
Many other players are only one or two games behind the leaders, so play more self-paired games!
- John Hogan, TD
Phil’s Photos: Check out EJ photog Phil Straus’ latest album of photos on his Facebook album.

Go Congress Provides Teachers & TDs with Chance to Learn

Wednesday August 5, 2015

Both the AGA Teacher Certification and the Tournament Director Workshops kicked off Monday afternoon. This is the third year for the Teacher2015.08.04_go-volunteer-DSC_0040-001 Certification, consisting of four 2-hour sessions, which have been a great success. Nearly two dozen participants showed up for the first session Monday afternoon, which was about learning to teach go to an absolute beginner. Later sessions will focus on teaching DDK, SDK players, and one-on-one teaching.

Chris Kirschner conscripted a volunteer from the campus staff at St Thomas University, where the Congress is being held. Interested but somewhat mystified, Diane Kruger, Associate Dean of Finance and operations, College of Education, Leadership and Counseling, stood at the demo board while Kirschner demonstrated how to teach someone to play go for the very first time. He was quite entertaining and encouraging and fielded questions from the audience about various teaching methods. Before the session was over, not only had his volunteer learned some of the basics of the game, but she was eagerly requesting contact info from everyone to continue learning and also to share with the rest of her faculty staff.

This is the first year for the TD Workshop, and actual certifications will not be granted at the end of the four 1-hour sessions, as the format is still evolving. Topics will cover pairing, reporting, and organizing for your own local tournament. To encourage new TDs, the AGA will provide mentoring help from established AGA TDs as they start their first tournaments. A number of experienced go teachers and tournaments have been enlisted to share their knowledge and mentor interested members for both workshops. A schedule of events was included in Congress welcome packets. Myung Wan Kim will be teaching Thursday 1 to 3 — “Mathematical end games”, that is, counting — and “After school programs” on Saturday 1 to 3. Kirschner and Maeda will be teaching the “one on one” session on Friday.
- Dennis Wheeler; photo: volunteer Diane Kruger observing an Open Masters game Tuesday with AGA president Andy Okun; photo by Chris Garlock



Jiang and Zheng Top Youth Adult Pair Go

Tuesday August 4, 2015

0804151648bXinyiang Jiang 7d and Xiangnan Zheng 7d took first place at the top table at Youth-Adult Pair Go at the Go Congress on Aug. 4th.  Often a warm up for the official Pair Go Tournament on Thursday night, the more casual event gives many teams their first chance to play pair go in a tournament setting.  18 pairs competed for prizes and fun, with pros Hajin Lee 3P and Calvin Sun 1P both getting in on the action as well.  Rengo pair Yunxuan Li 6d and Ashish Varma 4d took first place at table two, while Andrew Zhang 7k and Nqua Xiong 3k won at table three, Steve Zhang 17k and Collette Bezio 11k won at table four.  0804151538aBezio, the author of Aji’s Quest is attending her first Go Congress, and described her 7 year old partner as “amazing”.  Other youth events this week included Lighting Go, 9×9, and 13×13 mini tourneys.  Team 13×13 Rengo, with three players on each team alternating moves, and the 19×19 Youth Team Tourney are set for Thursday and Friday.  -Story and Photo by Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.  Upper Left: Xinyiang Jiang 7d and Xiangnan Zheng 7d (l) play Albert Yen 7d and Chang Yun Hsin 6d; Hajin Lee 3p and Kiren Polora 8k (r) play Ethan Frank 6k and Sherrie Echols 9k (l).



Kelly Liu to Play Melissa Zhang for 1st Girls’ Under-16 Championship

Tuesday August 4, 2015

In the semifinals of the first-ever AGA Girls’ Under-16 Championship held Monday at the Twin Cities US Go Congress, Kelly Liu 1d upset Amy Wang 5d in a hard-fought match. In the other semifinal, Melissa Zhang 3d beat Melissa Cao 1d when she chased a one-eyed group across the board and denied it a second, life-giving eye. Ms. Liu will now play Ms. Zhang for the championship and a $100 first-place prize on Thursday at 1 p.m., while Ms. Wang will play Ms. Cao for third place.
- Ted Terpstra, TD
Update: the headline has been updated; Liu did not win the Championship but will play Zhang on Thursday in the final.


US Go Congress Updates: Lee, Song & Cao Leading in US Masters; Masters Players Photo Album; Stones Fly at Lightning Tournament; Lee-Sibicki Game Draws a Crowd

Monday August 3, 2015

2015.08.03_Masters-players-facebookMark Lee, Zirui Song & Youyin Cao Leading in US Masters: Defending Masters champion Mark Lee scored his third successive win 2015.08.03_lightning-arnoldon Monday, defeating Chen Wang, but his 3-0 record has company, with both Zirui Song and Youyin Cao also undefeated so far. Click here for the tourney crosstab. Click here for results through Round 2 in the US Open.

2015 US Open Masters — The Players: An album of EJ photographer Phil Straus’ portraits of all 26 players in the US Open Masters tournament has been posted  on the AGA’s Facebook page.

Stones Fly at Lightning Tournament: 68 players turned out for this year’s Lightning Tournament, organized as usual by Keith Arnold (standing). The winners will play off later this week; table winners were Yihang Sun 5d, Mirano Shireki 5d, Jinhan Bai 2015.08.03_lee-sibicki-review-DSC_00594d, Gilbert Feng 2d, Daniel Puzan 1d, Jim Hlavka 1d, Pauline Pohl 2k, Ethan Frank 6k, Tevis  Tsai 7k, Preston Peng 9k, Sarah Crites 11k and Steve Zhang 17k.

Lee-Sibicki Game Draws a Crowd: Despite some technical glitches with the video feed, Hajin Lee’s game against Nick Sibicki (left) drew plenty of on-site interest, with nearly 100 gathering on the first floor of the student center to watch the popular go video bloggers play. Lee played on the stage in Scooter’s, while the game against Sibicki — who was in another room upstairs — was projected on the screen behind her and broadcast online. After the game, which Lee won handily, the two reviewed the game and took questions from the appreciative crowd. Another match is being planned for Thursday at 3p.
- reports/photos by Chris Garlock

Categories: U.S./North America

LA Tops Greater DC to Win 2015 Pandanet AGA City League Finals

Monday August 3, 2015

In the City of Angels vs. The Beltway Boys, Los Angeles prevailed over Greater Washington in the 2015 Pandanet AGA City League finals last 2015.08.03_city-league-winners-DSC_0008Saturday afternoon at the US Go Congress in St Paul, MN.  The top two boards split, with LA winning the Mark Lee (LA)  vs Zirui (Tim) Song (GW) game on Board 1 and Eric Lui (GW) defeating Evan Cho (LA) on Board 2 (both on time), making the Danny Ko-Yuan Zhou game the decider. The exciting showdown got even more so when a clock problem on Board 3 forced a game replay on Saturday night. Danny Ko won that game on time, sealing the win for Los Angeles.

Go to the Pandanet web site for all the game records from the rest of the season

Full results:
A League: 1st – Los Angeles; 2nd – Greater Washington; 3rd – Boston; 4th – Seattle 1
B League: 1st – Princeton; 2nd - Bay Area
C League: 1st – Berkeley; 2nd – Boston 2
Click here for some photos and a short video of the players playing the finals. You can go back and watch the recorded match from Board 1 on YouTube and go through the review by Jennie Shen 2p. Watch for more information this week about registering for the fourth year of this tournament!

8/17: This post has been updated; Princeton placed 1st in the B League and the Bay area team was second. 


Professionally Speaking: Maeda Ryo 6P on Why Go is So Hard to Understand

Monday August 3, 2015

“There’s no real answer to the question of ‘Where’s the best move,’” Japanese professional Maeda Ryo 6P told a room full of rapt go players2015.08.03_maeda-DSC_0002-001 2015.08.03_maeda-closeup-DSC_0005Monday afternoon at the US Go Congress in St Paul, MN. “Ask two different professionals and you’ll get two different answers.” One option, Maeda suggested, is to “find the move with the least wrong with it.”

Maeda also posed the following go conundrum: “On the one hand, you want to make territory; on the other, you don’t want to make territory. It’s one of the things that makes go so hard to understand.” Fortunately, Maeda revealed, go is actually quite simple: “There are only two options: fighting or not fighting.”
- report/photos by Chris Garlock



Congress Update: 13×13 Table Winners; Self-Paired Update

Monday August 3, 2015

13×13 Table Winners: Justin Teng 6D, Melissa Zhang 3D, Julian Erville 1D, Peter Schumer 2K, Xiong Nqua 3K, Sherrie Echols 9K, Mathias2015.08.03_okun-playing-DSC_0064 Kramm 7K, Steve Zhang 17K.
- Jim Hlavka, Director

Self-Paired Update: There have been 46 games played so far. This rated tournament is open to anyone who wants to play; see page 12 in the Congress handbook for details/rules.
- John Hogan, TD; photo by Chris Garlock


Main Tournaments Get Going at US Go Congress

Sunday August 2, 2015

The first day of this year’s US Go Congress on Sunday featured the first round of the US Open — in which 253 players participated — and Rounds 1 and 2 of 2015.08.02_us-open-round1the US Open Masters, in which 26 top players, including nine professionals this year, are playing for over $7,000 in cash prizes. Click here for the Masters crosstab. Defending Masters champion Mark Lee is off to a good start, notching successive wins over Calvin Sun and Michael Chen.

Go players also had plenty of other activities to choose from during the day, including lectures and simuls with professional go players like Mingjiu Jiang 7P, who was operating on just a few hours of sleep after arriving late Saturday night and then playing in the first round of the Masters Sunday morning (and would go on to play in the second round after lecturing all afternoon).

The 13×13 tournament was held Sunday night; we’ll post results on that and on Saturday’s 9×9 tournament as soon as we get them. Redmond Cup games were also held today; watch a report on those results soon as well.

The E-Journal’s expanded coverage proved a great success as Andrew Jackson anchored live video streams and game commentary on the AGA’s YouTube channel. As usual the EJ team broadcast top-board games on KGS along with pro game commentaries, and photos and updates were posted on the AGA’s Twitter feed — follow us @theaga (#gocongress #congress2015) — and Facebook throughout the day.

Live coverage begins Monday at 9a (CST) on KGS and Facebook.

- report/photo by Chris Garlock

NOTE: email us at if there’s anything in particular at the Congress you’d like to see included in our coverage.



US Go Congress Launches in St Paul

Saturday August 1, 2015

Hundreds of go players from around the world — including the first-ever delegation from Cuba — gathered Saturday on the campus of the 2015.08.01_birds-eye-viewUniversity of St. Thomas in St Paul, Minnesota for the 31st annual US Go Congress. Old friends reunited and new ones were made across the go boards that spilled out of the main playing room into the student center’s atrium (photo).

The US Open/Masters tournament begins on Sunday; play is scheduled to begin at 9a (CST); top boards will be broadcast live on KGS (look for usgo accounts) and pro commentary by Jennie Shen will begin at 10a. Other highlights of the Sunday schedule include a live Haylee go match; click here for the complete schedule.

Keep up with all the E-Journal’s Congress reports this week on the AGA website, on Facebook — “American Go Association” — and Twitter — @theaga. New this year: live video broadcasts of games; watch on our YouTube channel (usgoweb).
- report/photo by Chris Garlock