American Go E-Journal » Events/Tournaments

Behind the Scenes at the US Go Congress: Keith Arnold

Wednesday August 9, 2017

IMG_0363Keith Arnold is one of very few with a perfect* US Go Congress attendance record. The second tournament he played in after learning go in college was the very first US Go Congress at Western Maryland College – now called McDaniel College – his alma mater. He hasn’t just been an attendee; Keith fullsizeoutput_a9edirected the 2001 Go Congress in York, PA, and has directed the Lightning Tournament for about two decades now, he’s not quite sure. “That’s a horribly good question,” he says when asked. “I wish I knew the answer to that, but probably in the realm of 20 years.” What brought this baseball cap-clad player to the game in the first place? “Do you want the truth or the lie?” he asks with a twinkle in his eye. He continues with a lovely story of traveling with his aunt at the age of 12 to visit her friend Helen in Southern California. They stayed with Helen and her father, who happened to play often with Peter Redmond, Michael Redmond’s father, and Michael himself when he was a kid. Turns out that everything about this story is true. Except that there was no go taught or played on this trip; he actually learned to play after after seeing it played during college and becoming interested. “I love playing go, it hasn’t in the slightest lost its attraction or interest for me,” says Keith. , but on attending Go Congress he adds it’s a combination of the game and the people.

-photos: Keith Arnold in his signature baseball cap (right); counting players off to their tables in the Lightning Tournament.
-report/photos by Karoline Li, Tournaments Bureau Chief

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U.S. Go Congress Tournaments Recap/Preview

Tuesday August 8, 2017

US Go Congress Tournaments Schedule: Wednesday 8/92017.08.08-blind-go
9:00a: Die Hard
7:00p: Evening League

Hao Wu leading US Open Masters Division
Hao Wu 2P of China is leading the US Open Masters Division this year with an undefeated record of five wins, but the North American professionals are making a fine show with Ryan Li 1P, Andy Liu 1P, and Eric Lui 1P all with 3-1 records. Longtime US Open players Yongfei Ge 7d and Michael Chen 7d also have three wins each. They’ll be back at it Thursday morning with Round 6. Check the Masters crosstab for latest results and top-board game records. 

Ryan Li prevails over Bao Yun in Blind Go match: Bao Yun showed off his impressive go skills Tuesday afternoon in a Blind Go match against Ryan Li 1p (right). His eyes covered with a rolled-up bright orange 2017 Go Congress staff shirt, Bao duked it out with Li as E-Journal game recorder Dennis Wheeler called out the coordinates of the moves. A big crowd gathered around the game and this year it was also streamed live on the AGA’s YouTube channel with commentary by Jennie Shen 2p, hosted by Steven Hu 6d. Once again — this was the second year for the Blind Go match — the game was as exciting as it was amazing but in the end Bao Yun ran out of time while trying to break into Ryan Li’s massive moyo.

Youth Lightning, 13×13, and 9×9
Youth Lightning table winners: Hong Yang 6d, Ben Gong 3d, Sangho Wang 2k, Lucas Lu 9k, Stephanie Tan 10k, ZhongRen Huang 20k.
Youth 13×13 table winners: Jeremy Chiu 7D, Tim Cui 5d, Terry Luo 2d, Ben Gong 3d, Andrew Luo 1d, Derek Su 4k, David Volpe 7k, Yulissa Wu 10k, Lujia Chen 21k.
Youth 9×9 table winners: Jeremy Chiu 7d, Seowoo Wang 2d, Darwin Kim 8k, Justin Lee 10k, Vedat Veziroglu 12k, Isabella Leong 22k.

- reported by Tournaments Bureau Chief Karoline Li and Chris Garlock; photo by Garlock

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Exhilaration in both victory and defeat abound at Lightning Tournament

Tuesday August 8, 2017

“Lightning tournament in five minutes!” called TD Keith Arnold outside the main playing room Monday night as players gathered to test IMG_0439themselves against the clock. After subsequent three and one minute warnings, Arnold lined all the fullsizeoutput_a9cplayers up along the wall according to rank and began explaining the rules. Most of them were common rules for a normal tournament with a notable exception: each player only gets 10 minutes on the clock with sudden death, no overtime. “If your opponent forgets to hit their clock, think very carefully about your next move,” Arnold quipped before counting the players off into tables of six players each. In the spirit of his speed tournament, the rules announcement and pairings are done in less than 10 minutes, and games commenced immediately. Choruses of laughter and surprised exclamations resounded as players did their best play as quickly as possible without making foolish mistakes, especially as the clocks ticked inexorably down to zero. “Oh my god, why am I so dumb!” came the plaintive cry from one table, followed by “What am I doing!” from another. Even AGA President Andy Okun (right) got in on the fun, taking a break from his numerous official duties at Go Congress, and hilarity ensued around the room as players explored the limits of their go abilities at ludicrous speed.

-photo (left): a player reacts to his mistake under time pressure
-report/photos by Karoline Li, Tournaments Bureau Chief

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U.S. Go Congress Tournaments Recap: Day Three

Tuesday August 8, 2017

US Go Congress Tournament Schedule: Tuesday 8/82019.08.08-lightning-go
9:00a: US Open, round 3; US Open Masters Division, round 5
1:00p: Seniors’ Tournament, round 3; Youth-Adult Pair Go
1:30p: Under-16 Girls’ Tournament, day 1
7:00p: Crazy Go

Lightning Tournament
The main playing area at the Go Congress is usually a scene of quiet concentration. Not Monday night, when it was a cacophony of slammed stones, slapped clocks and raucous laughter as go players tried desperately to play coherent games with only 10 minutes of basic time and sudden death. TD Keith Arnold extended a special thanks to Mark Nahabedian for graciously bowing out of the tournament to make an even number of players. See our full story on this year’s Lightning Tournament and a behind-the-scenes profile of TD Keith Arnold.
Table winners: Yom Nonaka 5d, Tanimiya Yuichi 5d, Zhaoting Han 5d, David Glekel 4d, Konrad Scheffler 2d, Boris Bernadsky 1d, Noah Doss 1k, Jim Fienup 3k, Luke Belyeu 4k, Caleb Johnson 6k, David Baran 8k, Zougren Huang 20k.

-report by Karoline Li, Tournaments Bureau Chief; photo by Chris Garlock

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U.S. Go Congress Updates: Andy Liu and Wu Hao undefeated in Masters; Tuesday’s Congress coverage; Congress tournament recap coming; Pro game commentaries, Masters Rounds 1-3

Tuesday August 8, 2017

Andy Liu and Wu Hao undefeated in Masters: And then there were two. After four rounds of spirited play in the 2017 US Open Masters Division, just two players remain undefeated: Andy Liu 1p and Wu Hao 2p. Wu Hao began the day by defeating 2016 Masters champion Bao Yun in a game that looked good for the defending champion until the late endgame, when the margin had narrowed so much that Bao was 2017.08.07_us-open-kid-recordingforced to launch a last ditch — and as it turns out, unwinnable — ko that cost him a large group and the game. In the evening round, Wu Hao forced Ryan Li to resign after just 150 moves. Andy Liu beat Eric Lui 1p in Round 3 and then bested Tim Song 1p in a dramatic game that included a late-game swap of groups. Check the Masters crosstab for latest results and top-board game records. 

2017.08.07_go-players-shadows-psTuesday’s Congress coverage: The E-Journal’s live coverage on Tuesday, August 8 begins with a preview of the day on the AGA’s YouTube and Twitch channels at 8:30a PDT, and broadcast of Round 5 of the U.S. Masters top boards starts at 9a on YouTube/Twitch and KGS, with pro commentary starting around 10a. At 2p we’ll broadcast Bao Yun’s “Blindfold Go” game against Ryan Li on all three platforms.

Congress tournament recap coming: Watch the website Tuesday morning for our updates on the Lightning, Youth Lightning, 13×13 and 9×9 tournaments. Meanwhile, check the US Open crosstab for latest results.

Pro game commentaries, Masters Rounds 1-3: Click here to download the following pro commentaries:
Jennie Shen 2p on the Round 1, Board 2 game between Bao Yun and AaronYe.
Yilun Yang 7p on the Round 2, Board 4 game between Andy Liu and Albert Yen.
Shirley Lin 1p on the Round 3, Board 2 game between Bao Yun and Wu Hao.

- photos (right): US Open Round 2 (by Chris Garlock); (left) Congress main playing area lobby (by Phil Straus); report by Chris Garlock

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U.S. Go Congress Tournaments Recap

Monday August 7, 2017

IMG_0359US Go Congress Tournaments Schedule: Monday 8/7
9:00a: US Open, round 2; US Open Masters Division, round 3
1:00p: Seniors’ Tournament, round 2; Youth 9×9
2:00p: Youth 13×13
3:00p: Women’s Tournament, round 2; Youth Redmond Cup
7:00p: US Open Masters Division, round 4; Lightning; Evening League, night 2

Evening League
The Evening League – the evolution of the Self-Paired Tournament – has gotten a major tech upgrade in its second year thanks to TD Andrew Hall. Hall developed a web app for tracking played games and statistics that anyone can access for tournament updates. “I’ve been running a continuous version of the tournament in the Boston community since last year,” Hall says, allowing him to refine the IMG_0344tournament structure and improve results tracking. Visit evening-league.massgo.org to see the results of the first night of play, and throughout the week to check on player results and statistics. This year there are only four nights of scheduled play, but like last year players may play self-paired games and submit them to the tournament throughout the week.

13×13 Tournament
A smaller than usual but still jovial crowd gathered for the 13×13 tournament Sunday evening. TD Jim Hlavka reported a few over 40 players, and expects that the lower numbers this year are a result of the lack of 13×13 tournament at last year’s Go Congress. Table winners: Brandon Zhou 6D, Yin Zhang 2D, Eugene Zhang 1D, Jim Conyngham 4k, Darwin Kim 4k, Maria Espinosa 9k, Josh Johnson 16k.

Women’s Tournament
TD Lisa Scott also reported a lower turnout than previous years. However, she concedes that part of this is due to some women choosing to play in the Seniors’ Tournament, which takes place on an overlapping schedule. Regardless, Scott is pleased with the strong field of players, a good number of whom are 4 dan and stronger.

photo (right): Evening League TD Andrew Hall punches the clock.
photo(left): Players smile over their tiny boards in the 13×13 tournament.

-report/photos by Karoline Li, E-Journal Tournaments Bureau Chief

 

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U.S. Go Congress Updates: Monday’s Congress coverage; US Open/Masters crosstabs published; Game records reminder

Monday August 7, 2017

Monday’s Congress coverage: The E-Journal’s live coverage on Monday, August 7 begins with a preview of the day — and an overview of 2017.08.06_checking-pairingsCongress tournaments with E-Journal Tournaments Bureau Chief Karoline Li — on YouTube  and Twitch at 8:30a PDT, and broadcast of Round 3 of the U.S. Masters top boards starts at 9a on YouTube/Twitch and KGS, with pro commentary starting around 10a. Coverage of the Redmond Cup continues on all three platforms at 3p. Starting at 7p our coverage of Round 4 of the U.S. Masters will be carried on YouTube/Twitch and KGS, with pro commentary starting about an hour later.

US Open/Masters crosstabs published: Tournament crosstabs for both the US Open and Masters are now up. If you believe the wrong result has been posted, contact the Tournament Director at Usopen@gocongress.org.

Game records reminder: To get your game records added to the official US Open crosstab, email your sgf files to us at journal@usgo.org. Be sure to complete the game information with both player’s names and the game result. For best results, please send them in by 6p on the day the game is played.
photo: checking US Open Round 1 pairings; photo by Chris Garlock

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US Go Congress tournaments bring together old friends and new

Sunday August 6, 2017

Two tables of the Seniors' Tournament

Competitions are underway on all board sizes at this year’s US Go Congress. Official Congress tournaments kicked off Saturday with the Pandanet AGA City League and the 9×9 tournament, and continued Sunday morning at the first round of the US Open and US Open Masters Division.

All players will have a chance to face off in nine other tournaments throughout the week, both rated and unrated, including: Evening League (replaces the Self-Paired), Lightning, North American Pair Go Championship, the Women’s TourMark Nahabedian and Betsy Small ready to play the first round of the Seniors' Tournament.nament, the Seniors’ Tournament, 13×13 Tournament, Under-16 Girls’ Tournament, the Die Hard Tournament, and Crazy Go. Youth players have their own full schedule of tournaments as well: The Redmond Cup, Youth Lightning, Youth/Adult Pair Go, Youth 13×13 and 9×9, the Youth Team Tournament, and Relay Go. Stay tuned for updates and results for all these events.

Now in its second year, the Seniors Tournament kicked off Sunday afternoon bringing about 35 players, many of them long-time Go Congress attendees and old friends, together for amicable competition for players over 55. As players gathered amidst warm greetings, many were not surprised to see familiar faces across the board. “Hey Betsy, you’re over here,” called Mark Nahabedian (left in photo at left); “I knew it!” Betsy Small (at right) replied with a smile.
photo (right): Seniors Tournament round one. Front board (l-r): Bart Jacob vs. Steffen Kurz; second board: Peter Schumer vs Miyoko Miyama.
- report/photo by Karoline Li, Tournaments Bureau Chief

 

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U.S. Go Congress Updates: US Open game records wanted; Record games, get stronger; Got cool Congress photos? Congress Classified

Sunday August 6, 2017

Sunday’s Congress Coverage: The E-Journal’s live coverage on Sunday, August 6 begins with a preview of the day — and an interview with “Surrounding Game” filmmakers Cole Pruitt (right) and Will Lockhart — on YouTube  and Twitch at 8:30a PDT, and 2017.08.05_Will-Cole-film titlebroadcast of the U.S. Masters top boards starts at 9a on YouTube/Twitch and KGS, with pro commentary starting around 10a by Jennie Shen 2P on KGS and Shirley Lin 1P on YouTube/Twitch.
Coverage of the Redmond Cup, featuring top young players, continues on all three platforms starting at 3p.
Starting at 7p our coverage of Round 2 of the U.S. Masters will be carried on YouTube/Twitch and KGS, with pro commentary by Yilun Yang 7P (KGS) and Stephanie Yin 1P (YouTube/Twitch) starting about an hour later.

US Open game records wanted: If you’d like your game records added to the official US Open crosstab, please email your sgf files to us at journal@usgo.org. Be sure to complete the game information with both player’s names and the game result. For best results, please send them in by 6p on the day the game is played.

Record games, get stronger: There’s another way of improving your game at this w2017.08.05_casual-gameeek’s Go Congress, in addition to the simuls, lectures and lessons. Record games at the evening rounds of the US Masters, as the country’s top players battle it out. The rounds are Sunday, Monday and Friday, starting at 7p and running until 10p or so. No experience necessary but you must have your own laptop with the latest KGS client installed. If interested, email journal@usgo.org.

Got cool Congress photos? We’d love to see and post them! Email your best shots to us at journal@usgo.org and then watch for them on our Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Congress Classified: Seeking female Pair Go partner
“I am searching for a Pair Go partner for this Thursday’s tournament,” writes Boris Bernadsky 1d. “Must be 8 kyu or stronger, or already have cool costumes prepared.” Email badukboris@gmail.com
Got a go classified (Congress or other)? Email it to us at journal@usgo.org!

photos by Phil Straus (upper right) and Chris Garlock (lower left)

 

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Canwa Vancouver 1 wins Pandanet City League for third time

Sunday August 6, 2017

IMG_5001

A tournament that began last October culminated in a 3-game showdown Saturday afternoon at the U.S. Go Congress in San Diego.

The Canwa Vancouver 1 team faced Greater Washington in the finals of the Pandanet AGA City League, having topped the A League over seven rounds since October. In the end, Canwa Vancouver 1 prevailed, adding a third City League title to their wins in 2014 and 2016, and collecting the $5,000 top prize.
Canwa’s Matthew Hu 1p (B, second from right) lost to Greater Washington’s Tim Song 1p (W; left) on Board 1, but Canwa’s Ryan Li 1p (B, right) defeated Eric Lui 1p (w) on Board 2 and teammate Bill Lin 7d (b) defeated Yuan Zhou 7d (w) on Board 3 to secure the win for Canwa Vancouver. Cathy Li 1p (second from left) captained the team.

“Each of these players took the maximum amount of time to play,” reports TD Steve Colburn. “They each seemed to be intently thinking during their one hour of main time and played most of the game during byo-yomi. It was very tense at the ending of each game as most of the players were hanging on with only one period of time left.”

The full list of winners from the other Leagues are:
A League: Third = Boston; Fourth = Seattle 1; Fifth = Bay Area
B League: Winner = NY City; Second = Chicago; Third = Wash DC 1; Fourth = SF 1
C League: Winner = Syracuse; Second = Ottawa 2
D League: Winner = Cincinnati; Second = New Mexico

photo by Steve Colburn

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