American Go E-Journal

FAQ: How to submit stories to the AGA E-Journal

Monday March 21, 2022

The American go community is always eager for reports of local tournaments, mentions of go for our Go Spotting column, new tools or study resources, and any go-related news. Please submit to us at journal@usgo.org. We try to acknowledge submissions within 24 hours; if you haven’t heard back from us in that time, feel free to re-send or ping us again.

Letters to the editor can also be sent to journal@usgo.org; please include “Letter to the editor” in the subject line. Letters are subject to editing for length and clarity.

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’22 U.S. Go Congress Updates: Han Han 5P wins Masters; King Bi’s $4K bid wins AGF board auction

Sunday August 7, 2022

NOTE: Here are a couple quick updates from the 2022 U.S. Go Congress Awards Banquet Saturday night. Stay tuned for more Congress reports, including complete tournament winners reports, top winner photos, and an exclusive EJ interview with NAMT winner Han Han.

Han Han 5P completed his 7-0 sweep of the 2022 North American Masters on Saturday morning by defeating Andy Liu 1P. In the photo at right, Han Han excitedly showed off his trophy and $5k check at Saturday night’s awards banquet.

The banquet kicked off with a longtime tradition, the auction of a go board — in this case a high quality kaya floor goban from the vintage team at Store.Baduk.Club — the benefit the American Go Foundation, which has long invested in young go players, many of whom were in attendance at the Go Congress. A fierce bidding war broke out for the goban, which had been signed by NAMT players, including newly-minted U.S. pro Alex Qi, and both outgoing AGA president Andy Okun and incoming president Gurujeet Khalsa. In the end, 2022 Redmond finalist King Bi (2nd from right), was the winner with a record $4,000 bid. “My family just wanted to give something back to the organization that has done so much for young go players,” Bi said.

– report by Chris Garlock; photos by Garlock (right) and Phil Straus (left)
In photo at left (l-r): AGA president Andy Okun, AGF VP Paul Barchilon, AGF president Terry Benson, King Bi, E-Journal Managing Editor (and auctioneer) Chris Garlock, auction organizer Solomon Smilack.

’22 U.S. Go Congress Updates: Li/Yen win U.S. Pair Go Championships; Han Han continues Masters sweep

Friday August 5, 2022

(l-r): Tina Li 5d/Albert Yen 8d & Lliya Yuk 1K/Edward Zhang 7D (photo by Chris Garlock)

Tianyi Li 3d/Albert Yen 7d won the 2022 U.S. Pair Go Championships Thursday night at the U.S. Go Congress, defeating Liya Luk 1d/Edward Zhang 7d, who took second place. In 3rd were Paige Kimball 1d/Jasper Emerton 5d and in 4th were Samantha Soo 3d/Jerry Ju 3d. Li/Yen will represent the US in the IAPGC in Tokyo, Japan on December 10-11, 2022.

Fifty two pairs competed in the main Pair Go Tournament. Winning first place were Xiaodi Huang 6d/Kevin Chao 5d and in second place were Yingzhi Qian 5d/Will Lockhart 5d. Table Winners: Yujie Liu 3d/Wanqi Zhu 3d; Jino Choung 1d/Joel Kenny 4d; Yuki He 1d/Benjamin Gunby 1k; Jonathan Green 1k/Jun Wu 1k; Angel Zhou 2k/Daniel Luo 2k; Kacey Saff 5k/Peter Schumer 2k; Laura Wu 8k/Howard Wong 1d; Sarah Crites 5k/Bob Crites 5k; Maya Boerner 6k/Andreas Boerner 6k; Vivienne Blandy 6k/Mark Fraser 7k; Terri Schurter 9k/Gurujeet Khalsa 6k; Giovanni Ventura 5k/Simon Zhang 13k.

In the North American Masters Tournament, Han Han 5P on Friday morning continued his sweep through the field, defeating Alex Qi 1P for a 5-0 record. In an unexpected bit of offboard drama, Han Han asked TD Kevin Chao mid-game to check Qi’s glasses to make sure the newly-minted young professional was not receiving outside assistance. Play continued after Chao found no such evidence.

Han Han vs Alex Qi in Round 5 of the NAMT (photo by Chris Garlock)

Update: Han Han notched his sixth win Friday night, beating Albert Yen. Round 6 of the NAMT was broadcast on Twitch, with EJ Managing Editor Chris Garlock hosting Michael Redmond 9P for commentary on the top boards. Check out the stream — which includes a discussion on handling allegations of cheating in go — here.

CLICK HERE for the NAMT crosstab.
CLICK HERE for the U.S. Open crosstab.

Frankel, Saff and Beech prizewinners in Die Hard

Thursday August 4, 2022

While most Go Congress attendees were off taking advantage of local attractions in the Rocky Mountains, seventy nine players played 138 games in the Die Hard Tournament on Wednesday. With eight games played and four wins, David Frankel 1D won the prize for most games and most wins in the Dan division, while Kacey Saff 5K took the prize for most wins in the kyu division with a 5-2 record and EJ Congress Team producer EvaDee Beech 4K’s SOS record for her seven games clinched the most games prize in the kyu division. Jae Donley was the TD.
For the first time, Die Hard Board 1 games were streamed live on the AGA’s Twitch channel; check out the video here (the last one — Yoder-Yi — is especially exciting, with massive attacks and counter-attacks as both players are in byo-yomi).

’22 U.S. Go Congress Updates: NAMT/US Open crosstabs; Die Hard to be streamed

Tuesday August 2, 2022

After three rounds in the North American Masters Tournament (NAMT) – and four more still to go — just two players are undefeated: Han Han 5P and Zhaonian Chen 7D. Click here for the NAMT crosstab.
Meanwhile, in the U.S. Open, two of the five rounds have been completed; click here for the U.S. Open crosstab.

On Tuesday, in addition to commenting on the top boards in the NAMT, Eric Lui 2P and host Eric Lee 3D reviewed two kyu games from the U.S. Open (check out the streams here). Open players interested in having their games included in the Twitch commentary on Thursday can email their OGS username to journal@usgo.org. Note that you must record your Round 3 games on OGS in a demo board and be sure to name the game “US Open Round 3” and include both player’s actual names.

BREAKING NEWS: On Wednesday, the top board at the Die Hard tournament will be broadcast live — for the first time ever! — on OGS and Twitch by the EJ team, starting at 9a MT. The Die Hard’s format is Arena Style: win the most points by winning the most games. Players are re-paired immediately after their games conclude. See Die Hard under Tournaments in the YAPP app for complete details.

N.A. players at online World Youth Goe Championship

Tuesday August 2, 2022

The World Youth Goe Championship, going on now online, includes players  representing North America: Jate Greene, Senior player; Kevin Xu, Junior player; Crane Kuo, Junior player, Zifei Gong, Senior player. Greene and Xu are from the U.S., while Kuo and Gong are from Canada. The games are being played on the Tencent Wild Fox server

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Congresses of Yesteryear

Tuesday August 2, 2022

One of the big hits of Sunday night’s opening ceremonies at the 2022 U.S. Go Congress was the slideshow of photos from past Congresses, from the first one in 1985 in Westminster, Maryland, to the last pre-pandemic gathering in 2019 in Madison, Wisconsin. Click below to see a video of the show and find out more about the U.S. Go Congress history here. Photos by Phil Straus; slideshow by Eric Wainwright.

A day at the Go Congress

Tuesday August 2, 2022

One of the big attractions of the U.S. Go Congress – now underway in Estes Park, CO – is the opportunity for total immersion in the game. For most attendees, the day begins with a round of the U.S. Open, the “main event” of the Congress, with 240 players this year competing in a 5-round Swiss-McMahon tournament, with 90 minutes of basic time for each player. For regular tournament players, this is a chance to test their skills against the largest field of the year, while for others this may be their only chance to compete at an in-person event.

After lunch, where you’ll usually hear players talking about how their morning games went, there’s a wide menu of options available. Pro simuls provide an opportunity to test your skills against top players, who take on multiple opponents and then offer pointers after the games. Lectures this year cover a wide range of go-related subjects like “How to play against a strange move” by Yilun Yang, Ryan Li on Lessons from the Past, Learning from Go Seigen, or Four Trendy Ideas by In-Seong Hwang.

In addition to being the site of the pro simuls, the main playing area is where you’ll find Congress attendees playing go, sometimes just casual pick-up games but often Self-Paired Tournament games, offering a chance not only for more “serious” competition, but also to score some rating points. Here is also where you’ll find knots of players reviewing games, sometimes with a pro or stronger player who happened to drop by, sometimes just among themselves.

This is also where the go vendors set up shop in the evenings, setting out wares that include go books (and software too, these days), equipment and more, including, this year, go-related art.

In addition to the hub of activity at the main playing area, there are lectures and study sessions scattered about the playing site. Tuesday afternoon a go player wandering among the YMCA cabins could dip into both kyu and dan game analysis sessions, lectures by Stephanie Yin, In-Seong Hwang and the Teacher of the Year. Simultaneously, young players faced off in the Redmond Cup.

There are also non-go options in the afternoons, from hikes in the mountains to this year’s newly-popular sport, pickleball.

After dinner, attendees can of course find self-paired and casual games, there are more lectures available, and there’s always a special activity in the main playing area, Sunday night it was the Lightning Tournament, Monday it was 13×13 and Tuesday it’s Crazy Go. Gradually, players drift away, perhaps to lectures, perhaps to bed, and the main playing area slowly empties out until just a few solitary pairs remain bent over the board. “Just one more game,” they say.

Report/photos by Chris Garlock

In other news: Western Mass in-person play picks up; SF tourney report

Tuesday August 2, 2022

Western Mass Go Club in-person play picking up
“I am happy that in-person go playing is picking up again,” reports Eric Osman. “The Western Mass Go club had five enthusiastic members playing last night, July 21, 2022 at the Homewood Suites Hotel in Holyoke Massachusetts.” 
Pictured here are Micah Feldman, Seungly Oh, and Chris Morse. Also present were Bill Saltman and Eric Osman.

Jeremy Chiu tops San Francisco Go Club Ocean Day Tournament
Jeremy Chiu 6D prevailed in a heated Division 1 battle at the July 23 San Francisco Go Club tournament. The three-round tournament drew 30+ players who competed for cash prizes and Pro subscription codes to BadukPop, while enjoying a complementary lunch of Chinese food. Arthur Yeh 4D and Qilu Chen 2D came in second and third in Division 1. Division 2 was won by Wilson Lu 3-kyu with Aaron Lin 4-kyu in second place and Casey Dahlin 5-kyu in third place. Then from Division 3, Youchen Zhao 8-kyu came in first with Jiaying Wei 8-kyu in second and Simon Choi 6-kyu in third. “The SF Go Club thanks all those who attended and contributed to the success of the tournament,” says club president Matthew Barcus. The SF Go Club plans to host its next tournament on Saturday 20 August 2022 with details and sign up information to be provided soon. 

Go Spotting: Great Board Games of the Ancient World

Tuesday August 2, 2022

“The latest catalog (July 2022) from the Great Courses introduces a new course called Great Board Games of the Ancient World,” reports Joel Sanet. “The fifth lecture (of 12) is on go. In 33+ minutes the lecturer briefly covers the history of go from the legendary Emperor Yao to modern AI, the rules of the game including the rule of ko and the area method of counting, and a few tips for raw beginners. If you want to know more about the full course, you can find it here.

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Follow us on Twitter for 2022 Congress pix!

Monday August 1, 2022

Here’s a sample of what was posted on the AGA’s Twitter account on Monday…
photos by Chris Garlock