American Go E-Journal » U.S./North America

U.S. Go Congress Tournaments Recap: Day 1

Sunday July 14, 2019

US Go Congress Tournament Schedule: Sunday 7/14
9:00a: US Open, round 1; US Open Masters Division, round 1 & 2
1:00p: Self-paired tournament begins; Senior Tournament, round 1
3:00p: Women’s Tournament, round 1
7:00p: US Open Masters, round 1; Lightning Tournament

9×9 Tournament
Players met on tiny fields of battle to kick off the 35th US Go Congress with the 9×9 tournament Sunday night following opening ceremonies. Games were competitive with 30 dan level players and 46 kyu and wraped up close to 11:00 pm. “Table winners will be paired up throughout the next couple of days until we’ve crowned the kyu and dan quarter board champions,” says TD Pete Schumer.

-report by Karoline Li, Tournaments Bureau Chief

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Congress at Sunset

Sunday July 14, 2019

by Samantha Fede
You’ve read about the exciting tournament action. You’ve watched the top boards and streamed the commentary. You’ve heard of the simuls and game commentaries and lectures. But Go Congress is about more than just the game. It’s a place to make new friends and see old ones. That may sound corny, but it’s the reason that I come back year after year. This year is shaping up to be a particularly relaxing experience. Congress Director Dave Weimer did an excellent job selecting an amazing lake-front venue. The first floor of the Memorial Union, where most of the Congress activities take place, includes Der Rathskeller (German for “basement of a town hall”). Decorated like a German beer hall, this sprawling venue spills out onto a terrace overlooking sparkling Lake Mendota . After the opening ceremony Saturday night, many attendees joined the crowd of locals to cluster around tables and pitchers of local beer. I sat with some old friends, like Congress Coordinator Lisa Scott and Brady Daniels of “Brady’s Blunders,” as well as new friends like Congress IT volunteer Greg Steltenpohl and first-time attendee Max Peterson. We watched the spectacular sunset turn the sky pink and purple while live music played on the waterfront stage. As it got dark, Jennie Shen 2p observed fireflies flicker around the trees and friends finishing the 9×9 tournament pulled up chairs. The day had been hot, but a cool breeze off the water made us forget any lingering worries. Every year, each Congress location has its charms; this year is downright magical.

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2019 U.S. Go Congress: Day 1

Sunday July 14, 2019

The 2019 U.S. Go Congress got underway Saturday in Madison, WI as hundreds of go players registered and immediately began gathering around go boards in the main playing area for unofficial games (the U.S. Open begins Sunday morning). The annual City League finals were held Saturday afternoon (look for a full report soon) and broadcast live on OGS and Twitch. Follow all the Masters top-board action on Twitch starting at 9a Sunday, plus updates on the Congress on Twitter and Facebook.
– report/photos/collage by Chris Garlock

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Stage set for Youth Tournament Finals: El Classico Match-up in Redmond Cup Senior Division

Saturday July 13, 2019

Ye (left) and Chiu (right) playing in their first Redmond Cup Finals against each other in 2014 in New York.

17-year old Aaron Ye 7d and 17-year old Jeremy Chiu 6d defeated Melissa Cao 3d and Zhixiang Lou 5d respectively to earn their berths into the Finals of the 26th Redmond Cup Senior Division. This is a repeat match-up from last year’s Finals, and will be the last time for the two young superstars to clash in this tournament as they will both be ineligible to participate due to age starting next year. Both Ye and Chiu are from the Bay Area, and have had a long rivalry competing against each other since 2010 at a local Bay Area tournament. Since then, both have won numerous US Youth titles and represented the US at international tournaments.

Chiu (left) and Ye (right) playing in their second Redmond Cup Finals against each other in 2018 in Williamsburg, Virginia.

When asked about the upcoming match, Ye responded saying, “I think Jeremy is a very talented Go player. From past games, I know he has put in a lot of effort into Go. I wish him good luck for the games.” Chiu shared a similar sentiment, telling the EJ, “Aaron and I have been playing for years; it does feel a bit surreal that this is our last Redmond match together. Aaron is and has always been a tough but fun opponent to play against; his aggressive style and precise reading often launches our games into intense fights. I’m hoping we’ll play some exciting games!” You can learn more about Ye and Chiu from last year’s player profile interview.

In the Junior Division, 6 players were still in contention for finalist spots at the beginning of the last preliminary round. Kevin Huang 6d defeated Yuxin Fu 5d in the battle to decide the first finalist, while Frederick Bao 4d defeated Ben Gong 3d, tying both players at 4 wins and 2 losses. Meanwhile, Duc Minh Vo 2d defeated Boya Hou 1d, and Alex Qi 3d defeated Kosuke Sato 3d to also end the preliminary tournament at 4 wins and 2 losses. While normally there would have been a tiebreaker playoff to decide the second finalist, Bao had defeated all of the other players in the tie, so he earned the second finalist spot. Bao was also a finalist in last year’s tournament, while this is Huang’s first appearance.

In the 2nd AGA Girls Cup, nearly 20 players competed for two finalist spots. Participation was more than double compared to last year’s field, which bodes well for the future of this tournament. Defending champion Tianyi Li 3d swept the preliminary rounds 5-0 to earn the chance to defend her title in the Finals, while Ruyan Fan 4d, Sophia Wang 2d, and Ruogu Lin 1d ended the preliminaries at 4-1, resulting in a 3-way tiebreaker playoff. Fan defeated both of the other tied players to earn her first appearance in the AGA Girls Cup Finals.

The best-of-3 Finals in each event will take place at the 2019 US Go Congress on 7/14, 7/15, and 7/18 (if necessary). Tune in to the live broadcasts of the games on KGS at 3 pm on those days to catch the action. Both the Redmond Cup and the AGA Girls Cup are sponsored by the American Go Foundation. – Justin Teng AGA Youth Coordinator and TD for both events.

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5-way tie in MGA Skip Ascheim Memorial handicap Tournament

Thursday July 11, 2019

Eighteen players participated in the Massachusetts Go Association’s annual Skip Ascheim Memorial handicap Tournament held Sunday July 7 at the Boylston Chess Club.

There were no 4-game winners, so the five 3-game winners tied for first place, dividing the combined first second and third place $100 prize money equally.    The winners were David Cho 5d, Javier Gonzalez 2d, Jonathan Green 2k, Sean Patico 2k and Earnest Lam 8k.

“It was nice to see Ralph St. Louis again,” says TD Eva Casey. “He used to play in most of our quarterly tournaments during High School.  Now he’s a high school teacher in Lowell.  He’s on track to finish his master’s degree in biotechnology (something like that) next December. He has not played Go for years but I would not let him sandbag, even though he was rusty.  He had to play at his official AGA rating of -6.8.”

“Many thanks to Dan and Neil Ritter for hauling the equipment to and from the venue,” Casey adds.

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$1,500 prize pool at U20 Eastern Youth Open

Tuesday July 9, 2019

Young Go players under the age of 20 will compete for a $1,500 prize pool at the August 31 U20 Eastern Youth Open. The event is being organized by the New York Go Association, which intends to host this competition annually and make it the largest youth Go tournament in the East. “It is time to provide an opportunity for young players to compete in a high quality face-to-face tournament,” says New York Institute of Go founder Stephanie Yin.

All players must be under 20 years old by the date of the tournament, ranked 10 kyu or higher, and current AGA or CGA members. Players whose AGA ranks are out of date but who have a KGS rank with at least 10 most recent games at the rank of 10 kyu or higher may enter. Pre-registration is required.

The U20 Eastern Youth Open will be held Saturday, August 31 from 9:30AM-4:00PM at the New York Institute of Go, 255-05 Northern Blvd, 2FL, Little Neck, NY.

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AGA Membership Manager fully operational

Monday July 8, 2019

Earlier this year the AGA IT team made sure that the AGA Membership Manager is fully working again. The organization wants our membership to know that our membership software is fully working to accept your payments. We have worked hard over the past months to cut down on issues and problems that have been reported to us. You can follow the two video guides below to help update your member and chapter information.

Members should check their information when logging in. 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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Pandanet AGA City League Finals and Winners

Monday July 8, 2019

This Saturday will feature the Pandanet AGA City League Finals between New York City and Greater Washington. They will be playing LIVE from the US Go Congress in Madison,Wisconsin at 3pm CST. Find the game on Pandanet in the AGA City League rooms under the accounts AGACL1-3.

There will be a Pandanet AGA City League Meeting during Go Congress on July 18 from 5-6PM in the Humanities 1641 room.

The full list of winners for the City League are
A League:
Winner =  TBD
Second = TBD
Third =  Waterloo 1 
Fourth = Boston 
Fifth = Toronto 
B League:
Winner = Bay Area 
Second = Raleigh 
Third = Seattle 1 
Fourth = Waterloo 2 
C League:
Winner = Cincinati 
Second = New York City 2 

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Shikshin clinches first Transatlantic Championship for EGF

Sunday July 7, 2019

In round eight of the Transatlantic Professional Go Team Championship, played on July 7, Ilya Shikshin 3P of the EGF defeated the AGA’s last standing player, Ryan Li 1P. With this critical victory, the EGF team claimed the first Transatlantic Championship and the €10,000 Euro prize.
Black (Shikshin) opened by building a strong moyo on the right side, while white secured territory at the top and lower left. White (Li) split a left-side black group into two parts, and a fight ensued. White’s attack seemed severe, but black managed to live without incurring too much damage to his right-side territory. After the black group secured its life, the two players were neck-and-neck. White stumbled with move 152, a sente push played under time pressure, which forced white spend another move on O5 instead of responding to black on the left side. An intense endgame followed. Black wrapped up the game, winning by 3.5 points in the end.
The Transatlantic Professional Go Team Championship was the first team match between professional players of the European Go Federation and American Go Association. Each team was represented by five players in a win-and-continue format. All games were broadcast live on the American Go Association’s Twitch channel, including commentary by strong players from both North America and Europe. This last round, featuring players Ilya Shikshin and Ryan Li, attracted more than 4,400 simultaneous viewers, a record for the Transatlantic Championship.
– report by Hajin Lee

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Where to play Go in NYC

Thursday July 4, 2019

With the recent closing of Pie by the Pound (Gotham Go Group’s new location, 6/30 EJ), “this is a good time to remind everyone where in-person go can be played in NYC,” reports local organizer Peter Armenia.
Tuesday evenings 6-10:45p: Hungarian Pastry Shop – 1030 Amsterdam Ave – between 110th and 111th
Wednesdays evenings 6-10p: Barnes & Noble (Union Square) – 33 E 17th St. In the cafe on the 3rd floor.  
Sundays 12:30p: Barnes & Noble (Union Square) – 33 E 17th St. In the cafe on the 3rd floor.  
Anytime: Fat Cat – 75 Christopher St, at 7th Ave. – They have a couple sets of boards and stones behind the bar.
Korea Baduk Club –Daily 11AM-12 Midnight  – 36-18 Union Street (Flushing) – Call Sammy Park (718-353-4646) for more info. – Old school, smoky and English sporadically spoken, strong players routinely humbled.

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