American Go E-Journal » Events/Tournaments

Unusual domination in Lightning Tournament

Monday August 1, 2022

Eighty four players competed in this year’s Lightning event at the U.S. Go Congress, “with an unusual number of players dominating their tables,” reports TD Keith Arnold.
Table winners were: Lambert Li 6 dan (undefeated); Kevin Huang 6 dan (undefeated); James Sedgwick 6 dan; Al Tang 2 dan (undefeated); Feng Li 2 dan; Stephanie Tan 1 dan; Benjamin Gundy 1 kyu (undefeated); Daniel Lou 2kyu; Austin Robinson 4 kyu (undefeated); Luke Belyeu 4 kyu (undefeated); Brad Rose 6 kyu; Regina Kim 10 kyu (undefeated); Lee Belyeu 13 kyu (undefeated); Hayden Fung 20 kyu (undefeated). Playoffs will be held this week.                                                           

Special thanks to Cat Mai for keeping the clocks running on time. photos by Chris Garlock

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AGF Auction Update: Still time to donate and to bid

Monday August 1, 2022

“There’s still time to donate go equipment or services to the AGF Auction,” reports Solomon Smilack. “The event runs for one week alongside the US Go Congress, and is a great way to support an amazing cause.” The auction, which benefits the American Go Foundation, is online, so you don’t need to be present at the Go Congress to donate, or to bid.

Donors who have stepped up so far include Roy Laird, who has donated five “Instant Go Libraries,” which includes dozens of new and out-of-print books up for grabs in each set, most in excellent condition and some even signed by their authors. The team at Store.Baduk.Club have donated a new kaya floor board, as well as a refurbished set of Slate & Shell stones with premium bowls. This gear will have historic value, too, as it will be used during the final round of the 2022 North American Masters Tournament. 
The team at GoMagic.org have donated ten Gold Memberships to their online Go-Learning platform. From Inseong Hwang, five Spectator Memberships to his online school and Yunguseng Dojang. And Bill Phillips has donated “an amazing quilt made from sixteen T-shirts of past US Go Congresses!”

Bidders can register any time, but Smilack says “it is best to register in advance so that you aren’t rushing at the last minute to enter your bids.” This year’s winners will have the additional checkout options of Apple Pay or Google Pay.

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2022 U.S. Go Congress gets underway in Colorado

Sunday July 31, 2022

The 2022 U.S. Go Congress – the first in-person event since 2019 – got underway on Saturday as hundreds of go players from across the country made the trek to The YMCA of the Rockies playing site in Estes Park, Colorado. Despite the additional challenge of having to covid test all attendees, the registration process went smoothly. While the vast majority of attendees tested negative, several did test positive, underlining the need to observe the Congress masking rules to protect everyone’s safety, organizers told the E-Journal.  

With the U.S. Open not beginning until Monday morning, many players used the extra day to take in the scenic opportunities offered by the site amid the Rocky Mountains, while others participated in the ever-popular Self-Paired Tournament, which began at 5p on Saturday. Also on Saturday was the first round in the Redmond Cup for youth players, and on Sunday afternoon the top players met in the first round of the U.S. Masters.

Once again this year, the E-Journal is providing extensive coverage of the Go Congress: follow us on Twitter and for live game coverage, check out our Twitch channel, where we’ll broadcast games from the U.S. Masters and the U.S. Open (starting each morning at 9a Mountain Time), with commentary by professional go players as well as popular go streamers and strong amateurs. And of course we’ll be posting reports on our website and in the EJ. Another great option this year is to get the YAPP app, which has its own social stream, where Congress participants are posting photos and updates.

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YAPP is back!

Friday July 15, 2022

The handy Yapp app that allows Go Congress attendees to see the latest Congress events schedule, post photos and see profiles of other attendees is back. The app – first used at the 2018 Congress in Williamsburg, VA, enables users to see the latest schedule of events like pro simuls as new information is added, and Congress attendees can create their own personal schedule to ensure they get the most out of the event. The Social Feed a great place to share photos, which may be picked up by the EJ Congress team to share on the AGA’s Twitter feed as well as in EJ reports.  The attendees section is a great way to introduce yourself to other Congress participants with a pic and a bio about your interests.

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EJ team seeks Congress game recorders

Sunday July 10, 2022

The E-Journal plans to livestream top boards once again this year at the upcoming U.S. Go Congress — July 30 – August 7 in Estes Park, CO — and is looking for a few dedicated volunteers to record the games. This is a great way to provide an important service to the world go community, as well as to gain valuable experience closely watching top games. Game recorders must have their own laptops and need to be available during the U.S. Open rounds, which generally take place in the morning during the Congress. Email journal@usgo.org if interested and/or need more details.
photo: Justin Teng recording at the 2016 U.S. Go Congress; photo by Chris Garlock  

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The 32nd International Amateur Pair Go Championship Officially Announced

Thursday July 7, 2022

Sophia Wang 3d and Alan Huang 7d (2018)
Tina Li 3d and Aaron Ye 7d (2019)

After a 2-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the Japan Go Association and World Pair Go Association have announced The 32nd International Amateur Pair Go Championship (IAPGC). Players from around the world will be invited to participate in a 2-day tournament in Tokyo, Japan from December 10-11, 2022.

Similar to previous years, the two U.S. representatives will be determined at the Pair Go Championship at this year’s in-person Go Congress. To be an eligible pair, both players must have U.S. citizenship and have one year of continuous AGA membership. The highest-ranked four pairs will play in a 2-round tournament to represent the U.S. at the IAPGC. An online sign-up form will be available at the Congress.

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Kevin Yang and Alexander Qi top 2022 NAGF professional tournament

Friday July 1, 2022

Kevin Yang and Alexander Qi

A pair of precocious 14-year-olds are North America’s newest professional go players.

Kevin Yang and Alexander Qi topped a competitive field at the North American Go Federation’s (NAGF) 2022 Pro Qualification tournament this week. Click here for final standings, game records and links to video commentaries.

Held at the National Go Center in Washington D.C., the pro qualifier featured eleven top North American amateurs facing off in two rounds a day over five grueling days starting last Monday. Yang swept Group A, defeating Eric Yoder, Qiyou Wu, Eric Lee, Yuan Zhou and Val Lewis. Qi was also undefeated in Group B, beating Remi Campagnie, Edward Zhang, Nate Morse and Tyler Oyakawa.

Yang and Qi then faced off in a best-of-three match, splitting the first two games, with Yang winning the third game on Thursday morning to clinch the first pro spot. Qi then took on Eric Yoder for the second pro slot, going 2-0.

American Go Association president Andy Okun congratulated all the players for their “extremely high level of play,” and said that it was a “special pleasure” to award Yang and Qi the 2022 NAGF professional certificates after their impressive performances this week. Okun thanked the NAGF for organizing the qualification tournament, I-Han Lui for directing, and the National Go Center for hosting. The qualification tournament was partly sponsored by the Iwamoto North American Foundation for Go (INAF).

Yang, who hails from California, started playing go when he was nine years old and in addition to his mother, who got him started, credits professional instruction for improving his game. His favorite part of the game, he told the EJ, “is probably the fighting in the middle game. It really gets your adrenaline flowing, you know?” His advice to amateurs who want to improve is “study life and death and don’t get too caught up in AI game analysis” because the AI moves are so high level they can be confusing “until you get up around 6-dan.”

Qi, who’s from New Jersey, started playing go when he was eight years old, learning from his father. He credits studying life and death with helping improve his game, along with reviewing pro games. Although he says he doesn’t have a lot of time for other hobbies, he does enjoy playing table tennis.

Special thanks to all the game recorders at the NGC this week, and to the amazing team at Baduk Club – led by Devin Fraze – who provided the online game commentary for the NAGF Pro Qualification tournament.
– report by Chris Garlock
NOTE: (7/6) Post updated to reflect INAF’s sponsorship.

Clockwise from top left: Postgame analysis of the final Qi-Yoder game; Rene Campagnie ponders Yoder’s broken ladder magic; postgame analysis of the final Yang-Qi game; Yang (standing in yellow) and Qi at the 2018 Cotsen Open; Yang-Qi final round game; AGA president Andy Okun, TD I-Han Lui, Yang and Qi with their pro certificates and winner’s checks. photos by Chris Garlock except the 2018 Yang-Qi photo by Robert Qi.
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Yang v. Qi in decisive Game 3 Thursday morning for next NAGF Pro

Wednesday June 29, 2022

Yang (left) and Qi; photo by I-Han Lui

The next NAGF professional will be decided at Thursday morning’s final between Kevin Yang and Alex Qi, who split games on Wednesday. Yang — the top player in Group A — prevailed in their head-to-head match Wednesday morning, but Qi — the top player in Group B — bounced back to take Game Two on Wednesday afternoon, setting up the exciting finale on Thursday.

Eric Yoder and Remi Campagnie, who had both placed second in their groups and lost their semifinal placement games, mirrored the top-board battle, with Yoder taking the Wednesday morning game and Campagnie returning the favor that afternoon. The winner of their next match on Thursday morning will play the loser in Group A, and the winner of that final best of three showdown will become the second North American professional.

Campagnie (left) vs Yoder; photo by I-Han Lui

Complete standings here, and follow the NAGF Pro Qualifier’s live streaming coverage at 9:30am ET and 2:30pm ET, click here for live pairings and game files. Click here for photos, follow on Twitter, tournament details and player profiles here.

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Kevin Yang & Alexander Qi lead in NAGF Pro Qualifier

Tuesday June 28, 2022

With a 4-0 record, Kevin Yang leads Group A in the NAGF Pro Qualifier taking place at the National Go Center in Washington, DC, while Alexander Qi is 3-0 in Group B. Complete standings here, and follow the NAGF Pro Qualifier’s live streaming coverage daily at 9:30am ET and 2:30pm ET, click here for live pairings and game files. Click here for photos, follow on Twitter, tournament details and player profiles here.

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NAGF pro qualies kick off in NGC; early round results

Monday June 27, 2022

The 2022 North American Go Federation pro qualifiers kicked off today. Players are split into two groups, and from each group two will make it to a playoff round. Eleven players are competing, after one late withdrawal. After two preliminary rounds, Kevin Yang and Eric Lee are 2-0 in Group A, while Edward Zhang, Remi Coulon and Alexander Qi are 1-0 in Group B.
Click here for informal standings (stay tuned for a formal version with SGF links) and here for photos. Tournament details and player profiles here.

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