American Go E-Journal » AGA Chapters

Support American Go during the holiday season and beyond

Monday November 16, 2020

During this holiday season you’re going to do a lot of online shopping. While you’re on Amazon help American Go by donating a portion to the AGF. Amazon Smile helps by donating a portion of purchases through their Smile website. Please set your charity to “US GO FOUNDATION, dba American Go Foundation”. There are browser extensions (Chrome – Firefox) that will help redirect your browser to always support the Smile Program. Most purchases give back to this program and support Go in the US. Sign up today!

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Tony Yang 5D sweeps NGC Fall Online Tournament

Sunday November 15, 2020

Seventy six players from across the country participated in the National Go Center’s first online tournament on Saturday, November 14, competing via Zoom and KGS. Tony Yang 5D was the overall tournament champion with a perfect 4-0 score. All three- and four-game winners are being sent an NGC t-shirt in the style and color of their choice as a prize. Co-TD’s Gurujeet Khalsa and Garrett Smith kept the rounds running on time. “It helped a lot,” reports Smith, “to have an optional training session on Zoom the night before the tournament so everyone knew how to use the technology. We learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t and will use that in future online tournaments.”

The tournament was also the pilot of the online ratings system that Josh Lee and the NGC have developed. Says Khalsa, “After reviewing the numbers with Josh, we will publish the results online for community comment.”

Winner Report
4 Game winners: Tony Yang (5D), Jared Nishikawa (2D), Mario Espinoza (6K), David Rohlfing (9K)
3 Game winners: Soren Jaffe (5D), Rujun Ding (5D), Sophie Lin (2D), Alan Yang (1D), Jerry Jaffe (1D), Jeroen Meijer (1K), Peter Schumer (2K), Austin Robinson (2K), Michael Sherman (2K), Gordon Fraser (3K), Eric Yang (3K), John Gipson (5K), Ragnarr Markssen (5K), Theodore Terpstra (5K), Caleb Lesher (6K), Bradley Johnston (10K), Howard Cornett (10K), Juliet Zhang (11K), Adam King (13K), Lewis Reining (13K), Vaughn Hannon (14K), Nicholas Liddington (17K), Patrick Blackstone (18K)

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Support the AGF by doing (almost) nothing

Friday September 18, 2020

Do you like supporting go? Do you use Amazon for ordering those necessary items for back to school and quarantining yourself? You’re half way to becoming a donating hero. Head on over to Amazon Smile and set your charity to “US GO FOUNDATION, dba American Go Foundation”. There are browser extensions (ChromeFirefox) that will help redirect you to always support the Smile Program. Most purchases give back to this program and support Go in the US. Sign up today!

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New AGA Chapters for August 2020

Tuesday September 1, 2020

The AGA is regularly asked for new chapters around the country. These are the newly registered chapters from August 2020:

Luther College Go Club – Contact me if you are interested in joining the Luther College Go Club. We’ll start having meetings once I find a location within Luther College and have a few members interested in joining. We will be meeting in person with a social distancing protocol if possible. – Contact Amey Shedinger

Womxn’s Online Go Club – Online. Email us for more information! All are welcome. – Contact Samantha Fede

Members should check their information from time to time. If you are not receiving the EJ make sure your email is up to date. Chapters can always update their current chapter through the AGA Membership Manager if they have changed.

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AGAGD to become official ratings lookup for the AGA

Tuesday September 1, 2020

As reported before the e-Go Congress the Web Team has been working to upgrade the AGAGD to take over for the old Ratings pages. They have been working hard to make sure all of the information has been copied over and enhanced. In the last month we have heard from various Chapter heads and many others with ideas for updates. In addition to the existing features we have added the following recently: Paginated listing for tournaments and all player ratings, header icons to better help sort tables, rating and renewal due for quick searches, tournaments now show date rated. There are still some in-progress upgrades on the system. We are always looking for help, this is an open source project and any interest programmers can contact the volunteer coordinator or webmaster.

The Ratings pages will redirect to the AGAGD starting September 13th.

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AGA Encourages Players to Stay Home

Saturday March 14, 2020

The following statement has been released by the American Go Association’s Board of Directors.

“Generally, the AGA considers promoting face-to-face go to be one of it’s biggest priorities. As COVID-19 has progressed, however, it has become clear that practicing social distancing is something that everyone needs to do for their health and the health of those around them.

With that in mind, the AGA is encouraging folks to cancel or postpone all planned club and tournament events in March and April. This is a developing situation that is changing weekly (and lately daily), and we hope that we will be able to resume in-person play soon – once the pandemic has subsided.

The Seattle Go Center in Seattle and the National Go Center in Washington, DC have both suspended tournaments and face-to-face play and are closely monitoring the situation. Updates are at seattlego.org and nationalgocenter.org.

At this time, the AGA is making no recommendations about events in May or any time after that. Preparations for the US Go Congress in Estes Park at the beginning of August are continuing, even as we develop contingency plans in case the effects of the pandemic continue into the summer. Congress staff are working closely with the YMCA and monitoring recommendations from public officials. Colorado has declared a state of emergency and recommended postponing gatherings of 250 or more for the time being.

Stay safe – and maybe take this opportunity to rediscover online go playing, read some go books, and watch some of the many videos available on Twitch and YouTube!”

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Why does it take so long to get a tournament rated?

Monday February 17, 2020

At the 2019 US Open; photo by Chris Garlock

by Steve Colburn
During last year’s U.S. Go Congress I heard the same question more than a few times. “Why does it take so long to get the tournament I last played in rated?” We’re always trying to get ratings updated more quickly but here’s why that’s often a challenge.

At the end of the tournament the Tournament Director (TD) sends a results file to the AGA, which processes the data. Two of the key things are active membership and game result probability.
An active AGA membership gives you many benefits, among the largest of which is being rated in our system. So the first major check is to see if all player’s AGA memberships are up to date, and expired memberships are the largest reason ratings are delayed. The AGA Membership Manager has been working very well since it was fixed in May 2019, and TDs are no longer able to submit tournament results without all players being AGA members.
The second check, which occurs less frequently but can also slow down updated ratings, is when game result probabilities are suspect, like when it’s reported that a significantly lower-ranked player defeated a stronger player. In such a case, we’ll check in with the TD to see if it’s an error, if someone just had a good — or a bad — day.

Once these two hurdles are cleared, the rest of the process moves fairly quickly and the updated ratings can be posted. Our ultimate goal is for every TD to be able to run tournaments with no issues so that we can process and post updated that same weekend.

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Upcoming AGA Board meeting Feb. 23

Thursday February 13, 2020

The AGA Board is meeting on Sunday, February 23rd at 8pm EST.  Topics of discussion include: updates on several on-going projects as well as new domestic and international tournaments, the creation of two new commissions, U.S. Go Congress, staff re-appointments, teaching, the accessibility of board meetings, and access to go clubs.  For more information, you can find the detailed agenda here.
Are you an AGA member interested in listening in to the meeting?  Please contact the Chairperson at lisa.scott@usgo.org for call-in information.
Are you interested in commenting on past board meeting minutes?  You can submit your comments here, and they’ll be available to entire board and relevant officers. Past minutes are available here.

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Empty Sky Go Club celebrates 41st anniversary

Wednesday January 22, 2020

by Steve Colburn
It’s hard to imagine in these days of 24/7 global online go, but back in the late 1970s, if you were one of the few non-Asian Americans interested in go, your playing options were limited to a handful of clubs in places like New York City or San Francisco. A group of go players in upstate New York, hundreds of miles away from the nearest club, decided to organize their own club in Rochester, and formed an official chapter of the American Go Association on January 15, 1979, dubbing it the Empty Sky Go Club, an ironic name coined by organizer William Hewitt in honor of Rochester’s often cloudy sky. Club meetings originally moved from house to house, but from 1980 through 2000 were held regularly at Dave Weimer’s house in the South Wedge.

While the world of go — and indeed the game itself — has transformed dramatically in the 41 years since then, the Empty Sky Go Club is still fundamentally the same, in the sense that it’s a bunch of local players who value getting together every week to play this ancient game. On January 13, the current members of the club gathered to celebrate its 41st birthday.

Like all go clubs, the Empty Sky has gone through both fat and lean years as membership has waxed and waned. Longtime local organizers like Dave Weimer and Chris Garlock have relocated to other communities — where they continue to build the go community — but a steady group of students and locals have kept the game going in The Flower City for nearly half a century. Indeed, Empty Sky hosted two Go Congresses, first in 1991 and then again in 2004. The members that have come through this club are among the most loyal that I have ever seen, moving around the globe and continuing to grow friends through the game.

The Empty Sky Go Club would like to thank all its members, past and present, for coming to club throughout the years. And if you’re ever in Rochester, be sure to drop by (we meet every Monday and Thursday night in Java Wally’s, the RIT coffee shop located in Wallace Library, building 5) and be a part of our future as we look forward to many more years of fun and camaraderie together.

Got a story about your local club? We’d love to hear it! Email us at journal@usgo.org

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New AGA Tournament Director Support mailing list is live

Friday January 10, 2020

The AGA has been working to help those who run our tournaments across the country. A new mailing list has been created to help both veteran and new directors with the goal of creating a sounding board for issues and questions that might arise throughout the year. If you are or would like to become a tournament director, please consider joining the TD Support mailing list. Discussions will be most useful with a good blend of both veteran tournament directors and fresh perspectives from new TDs. The mailing list will also be a great place for TDs to ask questions and share experiences.

We have updated our information to help you join these lists to connect with TDs and Chapter leaders. Full Mailing List information can be found on the left menu bar of the USGO website.

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