American Go E-Journal » Events/Tournaments

U.S. Go Congress 2017 EJ Team Recognition

Tuesday August 22, 2017

The American Go E-Journal’s comprehensive coverage of the annual U.S. Go Congress would not have been possible without the following team of dedicated volunteers who arrived early, stayed late and worked hard every single day to bring this major U.S. go event to the world. Our coverage included broadcasting — on our YouTube and Twitch channels and KGS — top-board games from every round of the US Masters and US Open, the City League and Redmond Cup finals, the Pair Go tournament and the Bao Yun Blindfold game. Reports appeared daily on our website and in the E-Journal, as well as on our Twitter feeds and Facebook page.2017.08.16_PS- EJ group looking at camera composite

Steve Colburn and Todd Heidenreich anchored the EJ Congress team as usual, helping coordinate the E-Journal’s editorial and game recording teams. Dennis Wheeler led the game recording team and was our liaison for KGS support, aided by Lee Schumacher and Akane Negishi. Tournament reporting was once again coordinated by Tournaments Bureau Chief Karoline Li, who served as a broadcast host as well. Phil Straus was our lead photographer (check out his Congress photo album here)

Michael Wanek headed up the video broadcasting team, taking the coverage to a whole new level with an impressive studio that featured a 2017.08.16-coffee-babsgreen-screen skybox overlooking the main playing area. (Sorry about the coffee crisis, Babs; steps2017.08.16-commentary have been taken to deal with those responsible!) Also on the core team were Alaina Wanek, Alex Weavers and Andrew Jackson, who originated this effort just a few years ago. Video broadcast hosts included Andrew Jackson, Chris Garlock, Stephen Xhu, Matt Burrall, Julie Burrall, Justin Teng, Karoline Li, Ricky Zhao and Lionel Zhang.

Game recorders included Lionel Zhang, Meng Cai, Richard Dolen, Nate Eagle (who won the 1-dan division in the U.S. Open), David Weimer and Diego Pierrottet. Many thanks to them, especially Zhang, Cai and Dolen, who recorded the morning rounds.

Special thanks as always to our professional commentators, who bring such depth and understanding to our coverage: Myungwan Kim 9p, Feng Yun 9p, Mingjiu Jiang 7p, Yilun Yang 7p, Jennie Shen 2p, Michael Chen 7d, Cathy Li 1p, Shirley Lin 1p, Eric Lui 1p, William Shi 1p, Stephanie Yin 1p.

Finally, huge thanks and appreciation to the entire 2017 U.S. Go Congress team, led by co-directors Ted Terpstra and Les Lanphear, for organizing this amazing week of go and providing such terrific content for us to cover.

- Chris Garlock
Managing Editor, American Go E-Journal

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A seat at the board: a game recorder’s view

Tuesday August 22, 2017

by Nate Eagle2017.08.19-wu-hao-eagle

Move 110 of Wu Hao’s game against Ryan Li in this year’s U.S. Masters is remarkable: two seemingly dead white stones reach out a toe to the first line, creating a connection to the outside that turns out to be unbreakable due to an invisible sente, one that ends up swallowing up black’s four outside stones and becoming a game-winning fortress of territory. You can check out that move now and relive it—the timelessness of game records is one of the magical things about go, better even than baseball’s much-loved box scores—but I got to actually be there.

I sat next to Ryan Li, across the table from Wu Hao (right), my hand perched in readiness near the trackpad on my laptop, and traveled with two amazing players for several hours. I did my best to be as easy for them to forget as an extra chair at the table, trying not to stretch or fidget or distract from the game. How did I spend those hours? As well as I could, I tried to understand the game and think about white and black’s choices. If you had a magical view into the brain activity of the three humans at that table, of course, you would see two brains afire with electrical tempests of analysis and one brain with a single red LED blinking fitfully. But I was there with them, waiting while they thought, ready to ink their moves into electronic permanence before the 2017.08.19-nate-eagle-IMG_8652stones stopped vibrating.

That waiting, those long stretches of silence, is the difference between being forced to watch a match in its entirety and viewing a record afterward. It’s what gives one’s mind the time to ask questions, and those questions are what make watching a game edifying. It’s exciting when I anticipate a move correctly; even more so when—far more commonly—I’m wrong, and I get to spend the next few minutes learning about why the move actually played was stronger, sharper, bigger, or better-timed. The Socratic principle holds true in go as it does in all things: no teacher can give us knowledge, they can only help us answer our own questions.

Getting to be a recorder during this year’s Go Congress was a privilege and a pleasure: if you’re interested in volunteering to record at a future AGA event, please email journal@usgo.org.

Eagle, who recorded evening Masters games (as well as the City League final), went 6-0 to win the shodan division of the 2017 U.S. Open
photo (top right): Eagle’s view of Wu Hao; (bottom left): Eagle recording a game between Matthew Hu and Tim song during the Pandanet AGA City League finals on August 5; photo by Chris Garlock

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Categories: U.S. Go Congress
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Ryan Li 1P ready to face next opponent in the MLily top 16

Saturday August 19, 2017

IMG_4795Ryan Li 1P is gearing up for his next match in the  MLily Meng Baihe Cup World Go Open Tournament (MLily Cup), achieving his place in the top 16 after a stunning upset win against Chen Yaoye 9P (photo at right) in the last round on June 21st; see the story and game record here“My goal going into the match was to not let him win too easily,” Li (right) said of preparing for the June match with Chen. In an interview at the recent U.S. Go Congress, Li said that he was excited for the match against Chen as a learning opportunity since Chen is a world champion who had previously beaten Ke Jie 9P. During the match, there was a moment at the beginning of the endgame, after all the groups had been settled, when Li realized he could actually win. “He told me that it felt like his heart would pop out of his chest,” Stephanie Yin 1P said with a smile. Li remembers that his first professional go tournament was as an amateur player invited to participate in the MLily preliminaries in 2012 where he lost in the first round, and he characterizes his place in the top 16 of this year’s MLily as a life achievement. “I’ve always wanted to be in the top 16 in a professional go tournament,” he says. “I set that goal right before this tournament started, and it immediately happened. It’s just amazing.” Ryan Li is only the fourth professional go player to be certified by the AGA, winning the January 2015 pro certification tournament, and when not playing go, he is pursuing a PhD in atmospheric sciences at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.

Li will face Li Xuanhao 6P in Tongling, Anhui on August 24th, and he used the 33rd US Go Congress as training to prepare for the match. He won eight of nine games in the US Open Masters Division, taking second place and losing only to tournament champion Wu Hao 2P of China. On top of his Go Congress training, he has been studying his opponents’ game records for the past year, and says Li Xuanhao’s style is calm; he expects playing against Li to be difficult, and not just because of his calm, solid style. “I know him pretty well,” Ryan says. “If I were playing someone else, I could review games with him and discuss strategy, but since he’s my opponent of course that would be awkward.” What is he most looking forward to? “I’m really looking forward to all the time before the match, because I’m still in the top 16 right now,” Ryan laughs. Stay tuned for our on-site coverage of the top 16 of the MLily Cup this week.

-report by Karoline Li, EJ Tournaments Bureau Chief; photo by Stephanie Yin 1P

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Last chance to add your U.S. Open games to the crosstab

Saturday August 19, 2017

With nearly 100 game records already added to this year’s U.S. Open crosstab, we’re extending the deadline for submitting games. The new2017.08.19_recording-IMG_8751 deadline is 11:59pm next Sunday, August 27. Email your sgf files to us at journal@usgo.org and be sure to complete the game information with both player’s names and the game result.  

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U.S. Go Congress tournaments rated in record time

Friday August 18, 2017

Less than a week after the conclusion of the 33rd US Go Congress last Saturday, the US Open, US Open Masters Division, Redmond Cup, and the Die Hard 2017.08.18_us-open-IMG_8746tournaments have all been rated, in what Ratings Coordinator Jonathan Bresler believes to be record time. “Mmmm,” said AGA president Andrew Okun, contentedly, adding “On behalf of the Congress attendees and the entire go community, my thanks and compliments to TDs Matthew Hershberger, Andy Olsen, and Justin Teng, along with Jonathan Bresler, Treasurer Roy Schmidt, Membership Coordinator Charles Alden, the Congress directors and staff, for their diligence.” Players can see their results reflected in the AGA Games Database.
- photo by Chris Garlock

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Terry Benson receives Lasker Award

Friday August 18, 2017

Longtime go organizer Terry Benson was awarded the Edward Lasker Award at the 2017 Go Congress closing banquet for his lifetime of service2017.08.17_benson-award-cropped to the American Go Association and the go community. Completely surprised but obviously pleased, Benson was visibly moved by the recognition and received a standing ovation. “Terry has been organizing and helping and working tirelessly for the organization and the game since before I was born,” said AGA president Andy Okun. “It is not only a real privilege and honor to be able to give him this award, but humbling to see the very high bar he’s set for the rest of us.”

Benson served as president of the AGA from 1977-1989 and as Managing Editor of the American Go Journal from 1976-1998. He is currently the president of the American Go 2017.08.17_lasker-awardFoundation and during his tenure the AGF has raised over a half million dollars to promote go. From time to time he’s hosted the longtime floating Brooklyn Go Club, which moves from apartment to apartment throughout New York City. He began playing go in 1960 with a cardboard and plastic Christmas present set his parents bought at a New Jersey mall. He taught himself and a couple of high school buddies. One of them found Arthur Smith’s go book and “tried to steal a march” on him, but Terry found Lasker’s Go and Go-moku. “The games were horrible, long kyu slugfests, jidorgo, but great fun,” he remembers.  He played occasionally through high school and college. In 1975 he stumbled into Games Gallery where then-AGA President  John Stephenson and Treasurer Matthias Thim were playing across the counter. He was quickly drawn into the game and almost immediately recruited a succession of other enthusiasts who helped create the AGA of today. “I get too much credit,” he says, “but I’ll do whatever bit I can to get more people playing go.”

The Lasker Award is named after Edward Lasker, a founder of the American Go Association. Other awardees include Richard Dolen and Frank Fukuda in 2013.

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Thomas Hsiang on IMSA past, present and future

Friday August 18, 2017

International Mind Sports Association Secretary General Thomas Hsiang discusses IMSA’s short- and long-term plans in a recent interview2017.08.16_Thomas-Hsiang-150x150 with Sports Destination Management. IMSA, which started with Bridge, Go, Draughts and Chess, added Xiangqi in 2015, just added Mahjong this year. Other games under consideration for membership include “electronic games, duplicate poker and cue sports,” Hsiang says. Next up on the IMSA calendar are the IMSA Elite Mind Games, Hsiang says, which “will be held in China in the second week of December.”

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Go Congress Updates: U.S. Open crosstab updated; Pro game commentaries, Masters Rounds 4-9; 2017 U.S. Go Congress coverage links

Monday August 14, 2017

U.S. Open crosstab updated: The 2017 U.S. Open crosstab is now completely updated through Round 6 and all game records that have been2017.08.14_PS- flamingo-go sent in have been posted as well. To include yours, send in your sgf file by this Sunday, August 20. Be sure to complete the info section, including names of both players and the result. Send to journal@usgo.org

Pro game commentaries, Masters Rounds 4-9: Click here to download the following pro commentaries:
On Sojin on the Round 4, Board 2 game between Wu Hao and Ryan Li
Stephanie Yin on the Round 5, Board 2 game between Tim Song and Michael Chen
Stephanie Yin on the Round 5, Board 3 game between Ryan Li and Gansheng Shi
Feng Yun 9P on the Round 6, Board 2 game between Yongfei Ge and Andy Liu
Yilun Yang 9P on the Round 7, Board 2 game between Ryan Li and Andy Liu
Cathy Li 2P on the Round 9, Board 1 game between Wu Hao and Yongfei Ge

2017 U.S. Go Congress coverage links: If you missed any of the 2017 U.S. Go Congress coverage, click here for our comprehensive website reports, including tournament updates, profiles and more, and click here for our extensive video coverage, including daily previews, game commentaries and wrap-ups.

- report Chris Garlock; flamingo go photo by Phil Straus

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Yang Hong wins U.S. Open top division; Eric Feiveson tops 1-kyu division

Sunday August 13, 2017

Yang Hong won the 2017 U.S. Open at the U.S. Go Congress in San Diego last week, winning all six rounds. Eric Feiveson took first place in the 1-kyu2017.08.13_us-open-IMG_8744 division. Click here for a PDF of the final standings (down to the DDKs) and a DDK multiband PDF.

Click here for the complete U.S. Open crosstab, which includes some game records; if you’d like yours included, send your sgf file to us by next Sunday, August 20. Be sure to complete the info section, including names of both players and the result. Send to journal@usgo.org

- report/photo by Chris Garlock

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Wu Hao 2p sweeps 2017 U.S. Masters; N.A. pros take next three places

Saturday August 12, 2017

2017.08.12_Hao-WuWu Hao 2p of China swept the 2017 U.S. Masters tournament, scoring a perfect 9-0 record. North American pros were close behind with Ryan Li 1p second at 8-1, Andy Liu 1p in third (7-2) and Eric Lui 1p taking fourth (6-3). The rest of the top-10 finishers were: 5th: Zhaonian (Michael) Chen 7d; 6th: Zirui Song 7d; 7th: Yongfei Ge 7d; 8th: Bao Yun 7d; 9th: Albert Yen 7d; 10th: Zhongxia (Ricky) Zhao 7d.2017.08.12_Masters-player-collage

Click here for the Masters crosstab, with complete results and top-board game records. Here’s a PDF with the final standings.

Top row (l-r): Ai, Muzhen; Chen, Zhaonian; Chui, Jeremy; Gao, Yifei; Ge, Yongfei; Gourdeau, Daniel
Row 2: Hao, Wu; Huang, Alan; Ko, Daehyuk (Daniel); Li, Ryan; Liu, Zhi Yuan (Andy); Lockhart, Ben
Row 3: Lui, Eric; Luo, Qipeng; Naddef, Jean-Loup; Shi, Gangsheng; Song, Zirui; Sun, Quan
Row 4: Xiaoran, Liu; Yang, Hu Zi; Ye, Aaron; Yen, Albert; Yoder, Eric; Yu, Sarah
Row 5: Yun, Bao; Zhao, Zhixun; Zhao, Zhonxia (Ricky); Zhou, Erica; Zhou, Sean; TD Matthew Hershberger & Assistant TD Jiao Li

photos by Phil Straus; collage by Chris Garlock

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