American Go E-Journal » U.S. Go Congress

Get in on the e-Go Congress fun with Go songs, game reviews, and the AGF board auction

Friday August 7, 2020

This year’s e-Go Congress is providing hundreds of players with opportunities for competition, fun games, and connection with friends while streaming live on Twitch, proving that even a pandemic can not stop Go players from getting together – albeit virtually – in summer for the Go Congress. Even if you haven’t registered for the event or played in one of the many tournaments that have started so far, there are still ways you can participate in this year’s e-Go Congress!

If you have been thinking about upgrading your playing equipment and want to support youth and Go education, consider bidding on the AGF auction board. This year’s board is an antique floor board and stones generously donated by Solomon Smilack, who has spend a considerable amount of time tracking down and collecting vintage Go equipment from Japan.

There have been several creative submissions to this year’s Bob High Memorial Song and Poetry Contest, and voting is open! Vote on your favorite go-themed song and poem here.

Want to get your game reviewed or play against a professional? There are still spots open for the final three 2020 e-Go Congress Pro Small Group Sessions on Friday 8/7 and Saturday 8/8. See details and sign up here!  

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AGF board auction goes virtual

Thursday August 6, 2020

A vintage Goban is being auctioned online as a fundraiser for the AGF, in lieu of the traditional auction held at the final banquet at the Go Congress. “I’ve spent the last several months of the quarantine tracking down vintage go equipment from Japan with the hope of bringing it to US players at affordable prices. To that end, I have opened an Etsy shop called DangerMonkeyGoStones where I have listed a number of pieces of Go Equipment,” writes Solomon Smilack.

The auction is live on ebay and will close on Sunday Aug. 9 at 12:30 pm. The board and stones were donated by Smilack, and 100% of the proceeds will benefit the AGF. Click here to visit the auction. -Paul Barchilon, AGF VP

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e-Go Congress Blitz Tournament begins today

Monday August 3, 2020

“I’m looking forward to seeing some spirited Go this week,” says TD Jon Boley of the start of the e-GoCongress answer to any players missing the Go Congress’ beloved Lightning Tournament. With mini-tournaments of three rounds each on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday on KGS beginning at 1pm EDT, registered players will have plenty of opportunities to put themselves into atari and otherwise participate in time-honored blitz and lightning go mistakes. Any players with questions about the tournament or any issues should contact the TD at blitz@gocongress.org.

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Pandanet AGA City League Finals this week!

Saturday August 1, 2020

The start of the 2020 e-Go Congress brings a week of exciting tournaments this year. This will end the eighth year of the Pandanet AGA City League. This tournament comes down to the top two teams from the A League: New York City vs Bay Area. A showdown for coastal supremacy between this years teams.

Starting in November we have had four leagues and 31 teams from across the US and Canada. They’ve played once a month since then to find the top teams. The leagues range in ranks from 10 kyu to more than a few professional players. Full list of the rules from this season can be found on the Pandanet page.

This week we will watch the A League Finalists. Each game will take place on the AGA Twitch Channel at 8PM EDT/5PM PDT/9AM JST (Next Morning). The lineup for the three nights of games are:

Monday August 3rd – Board 3 – Zhongfan Jian 7d (NYC) vs Jeremy Chiu 7d (Bay Area)
Wednesday August 5th – Board 2 – Hanchen Zhang 1p (NYC) vs Hajin Lee 4p (Bay Area)
Friday August 7th – Board 1 – Ryan Li 1p (NYC) vs Mingjiu Jiang 7p (Bay Area)

The games will take place in the AGA City League room on Pandanet. Board 3 will nigiri for colors and the other games will alternate colors based on that.

For each of our leagues the winners will be promoted to the next league next year. We look forward to seeing how they will shake up their new leagues next year.
A League:
3rd Place: Greater Washington
4th Place: Canwa Vancouver 1
5th Place: Waterloo 1
B League:
1st Place: Chicago
2nd Place: Waterloo 2
3rd Place: Canwa Vancouver 2
C League:
1st Place: Los Angeles
2nd Place: Montreal
3rd Place: Atlanta
D League:
1st Place: Seattle 2
2nd Place: New Mexico
3rd Place: NY City 2

There will be an informational meeting the second week of congress for the City League. This will be one of the meeting on Saturday August 15th. Full meeting schedules for the week can be found on the Chapters Email list.

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Frank Luo named AGF Teacher of the Year

Thursday July 30, 2020

Frank and his daughter Alice promoting go at a local school.

Frank Luo has been chosen as the AGF Teacher of the Year. The traditional prize, of a free trip to congress, will have to be delayed until next year but the AGF wanted to celebrate Luo’s accomplishments now. Luo will give a talk on the AGA’s Twitch channel on Sunday, Aug. 2 at 4 pm EDT.

“I am so honored to receive the 2020 AGF Teacher of the Year Award,” writes Luo. “Thank you all, especially our parents for supporting their kids playing this educational board game.

“Just like many other go teachers, I started teaching with a desire to connect with my own kids by playing go. Over time, it became a way to share this fascinating game with other families in the local community of Mason, Ohio. In the winter of 2007, I took over an enrichment activity that a few kids, including my own son, had enjoyed greatly. Time flies, it has been more than 12 years now and our go program has had dozens of students since then. With the help of other parents, volunteers, and Huaxia Chinese school in Mason, Ohio, our program has expanded from one class with four students to two classes in the winter of 2019. Now, we have several different levels of groups of young go players active all year round. 2020 has been a year with much uncertainty, so we moved all classes online. We not only have one hour of instruction time, but we also have three playing times each week using Zoom where kids play games and can also socialize with each other. Playing time also serves as a reminder to play go regularly. We teach, we learn, we play with each other, and we play with friends from other parts of the country and other parts of the world.

“We have had all kinds of go activities in the past, including meetups at the libraries, go pizza parties, online team challenge matches, and annual local tournaments that attract players from other cities in Ohio and neighboring states. We organize our students to participate in all AGA/AGHS activities including the School Team Tournament (we always have more than one team), NAKC, Young Lion’s Cup and AGA Youth Go Camp. Our students have performed very well in these activities and received many medals and trophies. We compete with players across the United State and it is fun.

“Several years ago, with the help of my friend and go parent, Tong, we started publishing stories in our community’s newsletter and we started to gain recognition in locally. We also began introducing go to local elementary schools and universities with game nights and many other activities. Many local kids have gotten to know this fascinating board game as a result.

“I try to integrate independent thinking, math concepts, sport spirit, culture, and language elements into my lessons. I hope playing go becomes part of our young kids’ life when they grow up, enjoying the ebb and flow of the game and life. Teaching go has also enriched my own life. Every teaching moment and every event challenges me to do better so our kids can do better as well. We have been thinking about creating a grade level online tournament for double digit kyu players and we are looking for other go teachers who are interested in this idea.

“I appreciate the AGF and the AGA’s commitment to go and look forward to working together to promote go in the future,” said Luo. -Paul Barchilon, EJ Youth Editor. Photo by Frank Luo.

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2020 e-Go Congress registration closes; store announced

Thursday July 30, 2020

The 2020 e-Go Congress closed registration the evening of July 29, with 941 people from 52 countries officially registered to attend. Congress organizers urge all registrants to fill out the check-in form as soon as possible, and at least by 8pm on 7/31 or risk having their registration cancelled.

Anyone who missed registration but still hopes to participate can join the waitlist here. Individual TDs may be able to let people from the waitlist join their tournament. There are still many events that will be open for public viewing for those who are not able to play in the 2020 e-Go Congress tournaments.

Whether or not you plan to participate in the events, everyone is welcome to peruse the official 2020 e-Go Congress store: https://usgo-stuff.org/.  At the store, you can find t-shirts (men’s, women’s, and children’s styles), mugs, lapel pins, canvas grocery bags, and masks, all with the 2020 e-Go Congress logo!

For more information, check out the congress website: https://www.gocongress.org/2020.  

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2020 e-Go Congress Pro Events and Broadcast Schedule

Tuesday July 28, 2020

With the e-Go Congress starting in just a few days, the organizers have published the final list of Broadcast events and small group lessons with pros and strong amateurs.

Small-group sessions with pros and strong amateurs are available to registered attendees only (at a fee of $35 per event).  These sessions include game reviews and simuls with Myungwan Kim 9p, Yoonyoung Kim 8p, Mingjiu Jiang 7p, Yilun Yang 7p, Ryo Maeda 6p, Cathy Li 1p, Ryan Li 1p, Michael Chen 7d, and Yuan Zhou 7d.  Register here if you would like to participate in the e-Go Congress and be eligible to register for the small-group pro events.

The e-Go Congress will have a full schedule of broadcasts on Twitch, including game commentaries, pro lectures, public game reviews, a film screening, and the AGF Teacher of the Year Presentation. The schedule for those events is below (and on the e-Go Congress website, gocongress.org).  Pros and strong amateurs offering these events include Michael Redmond 9p, Myungwan Kim 9p, Yoonyoung Kim 8p, Guo Juan 5p, Eric Lui 1p, Ryan Li 1p, and Inseong Hwang 7d.

While it doesn’t have a specific broadcast timeslot, this year’s e-Go Congress is also continuing the tradition of holding the Bob High Memorial Song and Poetry Contest.  Entries to the contest are due by 11pm EDT on Monday, August 3, and can be submitted here.  A panel of 3-5 judges will each read and rate all entries, and the top scoring entries will become the finalists.  The final winner will be selected by e-Go Congress attendees and viewers of the AGA’s Twitch channel.  

DateTimePro/Host/PresenterEvent (all on Twitch)
Saturday, 8/11pm-3pm EDTe-Go Congress OrganizersOpening Ceremony
Sunday, 8/24pm-5pm EDTFrank LuoAGF Teacher of the Year Presentation
5pm-6pm EDTRyan Li 1PLecture
6pm-7pm EDTInseong Hwang 8dLecture
Monday, 8/38pm-11pm EDTMyungwan Kim 9P and Brandon ZhouPandanet AGA City League board 3 commentary
Tuesday, 8/48pm-11pm EDTDavid KahnBeginners Introduction (20 mins)
Eric Lui 1P and Will LockhartTwitch Plays Go (1 hour)
The Surrounding GameFilm screening
Wednesday, 8/54pm-5pm EDTGuo Juan 5PGame review (public, entry by lottery)
8pm-11pm EDTInseong Hwang 8d and Cat MaiPandanet AGA City League board 2 commentary
Thursday, 8/64pm-5pm EDTGuo Juan 5PGame review (public, entry by lottery)
8pm-11pm EDTYoonyoung Kim 8PPair Go top board commentary
Friday, 8/74pm-5pm EDTGuo Juan 5PGame review (public, entry by lottery)
8pm-11pm EDTMichael Redmond 9PPandanet AGA City League board 1 commentary
Saturday, 8/84pm-5pm EDTGuo Juan 5PGame review (public, entry by lottery)
5pm-6pm EDTRyan Li 1PLecture
6pm-7pm EDTInseong Hwang 8dLecture
8pm-11pm EDTMyungwan Kim 9PTeam Relay Go commentary
Sunday, 8/91pm-3pm EDTe-Go Congress OrganizersClosing Ceremony
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Registration for 2020 e-Go Congress closing tomorrow 7/29

Tuesday July 28, 2020

Registration for the 2020 e-Go Congress has continued to be strong, breaking all US Go Congress records. As of this writing, registration is at 772 people overall. However, registration will close on Wednesday, 7/29 at 8pm EDT so register now if you want to play! A waitlist will open when registration closes, but there’s no guarantee that those on the waitlist willet the chance to play. After registration, all registered attendees are required to fill out the check-in form if they would like to play in tournaments.

A few of the tournaments reached their capacity in the past few days, including: the Double-Digit Kyu Tournament with 120 registered and a growing waitlist, the Relay Go Tournament with 100 registered and a waitlist half again that length, and the 9×9 Tournament with 240 people and a dozen on the waitlist. The e-Go Congress Open – currently with 591 players – the Blitz Tournament – currently 258 players – and the Pair Go Tournament – currently 159 players not all of whom have partners – are still accepting registrations, but not for long, so get registered!

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2020 e-Go Congress registration deadline: Wednesday, July 29

Wednesday July 22, 2020

The upcoming e-Go Congress (August 1-9) is proving so popular that one tournament — Relay Go — has already reached capacity and another — the Double-Digit Kyu Tournament — is expected to do so in the next day or so. In order to ensure that the tournaments run smoothly, registration will close on Wednesday, July 29 at 9pm EDT. Both tournaments will have waitlists and anyone registered for the Congress will also have the opportunity to sign up for small group game reviews and simuls; watch for details soon.

With more than 550 already registered, the e-Go Congress “has surpassed our wildest dreams,” Congress Coordinator Lisa Scott told the EJ.   

As noted above, a waitlist will be available for all tournaments.  All registrants will receive a check-in form on July 28, which they must return by 9pm EDT July 31 in order to play in a tournament.  After check-in forms have been processed, folks who are waitlisted for closed tournaments will be notified if they can in fact play in the tournament. 

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e-Go Congress Registration Tops 450; Bob High Memorial Song and Poetry Contest open

Tuesday July 21, 2020

Registration for the e-Go Congress continues to climb, passing 450 registrants on Monday, July 20.  “We just hope everyone can actually attend – it’s so wonderful to be able to bring a solid week of go events to people during this pandemic!” says Congress Coordinator Lisa Scott. Registrants hail from 46 countries, and every age group from toddler to senior.

Registration includes 120 double-digit kyu players – far more than usually make it to the US Go Congress. With such high registration, caps will be put on some tournaments, with new registrants joining a waitlist. The first two tournaments to be capped will be the Double-Digit Kyu Tournament and the Relay Go Tournament. “Relay go is proving more popular than we’d expected!” says Tournament Director Audrey Wang. “To make sure that everyone can participate fully, we will cap the tournament at 100 registrants.” Registration for that tournament is currently at 82 people. The Double-Digit Kyu Tournament will be capped at 120 people, with current registration at 91.

In addition to tournaments, the e-Go Congress will feature some opportunities to “hang out” with Go friends, as well as the Bob High Memorial Song and Poetry Contest.  For more information about the contest, check out the rules and entry form here.  For the first time, e-Go Congress attendees and viewers will be able to vote for the winner from among the finalists!  More information about that to come.

For a complete schedule of events, check out the website here!

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