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

Early registration for the U.S. Go Congress ends June 1

Thursday May 23, 2019

Have you made your plans to attend this year’s U.S. Go Congress yet? Register now to get the early rate, which ends June 1. The Congress is scheduled for July 13 – 20 in Madison, WI. “Some spaces for the MLB Milwaukee Brewers game excursion on the break-day are going are still available, but going fast so don’t delay,” urges Congress Director Dave Weimer. 

The professional slate continues to grow with the Korean Baduk Association sending Hyunghwan Kim 8P, and Jongho Moon 1P, along with long-time Congress friend Myungwan Kim 9P. “We expect to confirm the Nihon-kiin representatives soon,” Weimer adds. 

At the 2018 U.S. Go Congress; photo by Phil Straus
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Nick Sibicky named AGF Teacher of the Year

Thursday May 23, 2019

Seattle go teacher Nick Sibicky has been selected as Teacher of the Year by the American Go Foundation (AGF).  The prize includes a free trip to the US Go Congress in Madison, WI, where Sibicky will be honored at the Awards Banquet.  Sibicky will present a special lesson for his fans at congress also, and it’s a great opportunity for online viewers to meet him in person. “I am most humbled by the AGF with this award,” Sibicky told the Journal. “My go class and YouTube channel feel dwarfed by and indebted to the countless clubs, school programs, and outreach events the AGF is responsible for.”  Sibicky launched his popular online lessons on YouTube seven years ago.  His first lecture featured a game review between two players who were 5 kyu and has been viewed over 140,000 times.  As his channel grew, more and more viewers discovered his lessons.  23,000 viewers now subscribe to his channel, and individual videos can reach up to 8,000 viewers each week.  Sibicky’s lessons are engaging, humorous, and educational. They feature topics like “My Robot Overlord” about AI go programs and “Andrew Jackson Sucks at Go” co-taught with fellow YouTuber Andrew Jackson.  The videos are all well produced with graphics and titles as well as audience participation.  There are 345 videos to choose from, with new ones coming out every week.  Check out Sibicky’s channel here. 

Sibicky shared how he began with the Journal:  “Since moving to Seattle in 2008, I have been an active member of the Seattle Go Center. They regularly had hosted go classes for a variety of skill levels, and around 2011-2012 were looking for new teachers. I volunteered to take the Monday night class while my friend Andrew Jackson picked up the Wednesday night class. At the same time, I had been enjoying Dwyrin’s (aka Bat’s Go Lectures) series on YouTube. His videos indirectly inspired me to bring a video camera to my class. Brian Allen, the Seattle Go Center manager at the time, was particularly supportive of the idea. From 2012, I started regularly posting video recordings of the classes online. 

“There have been two “secrets” responsible for the success behind my channel. The first of which is consistency. By always having a class of live students to prepare for, I have been forced to come up with new ideas, topics, and approaches to the lessons. Stagnation is not possible. Furthermore, I have since learned that the proprietary algorithms working behind the scenes on YouTube heavily promote continuously active channels. The consistency of my posts has taken advantage of that. The second secret is my students. Unlike most of the other go content available, my lessons show interactions with real, present go players. They ask the questions that the viewers at home also want to ask. They interact with the material in ways I didn’t anticipate as their instructor. They struggle. They laugh. They let the viewer know that they are part of a broader community, where we each are working to improve ourselves. And that is something rarer and rarer to find in this digital content era.

“Of course, the one thing fueling this whole endeavor is the joy I find in teaching. My day job is teaching music production and audio engineering at a local college. But teaching go has been even more rewarding. Not having to deal with administration, grading deadlines, nor faculty meetings is a dream environment. I can place all of my spirit into the lesson and the students. I love this game, and I love sharing this game with other people. I have been very fortunate to find an environment that fostered such a love. I hope that everyone has something they love to share with others because I know the joy one gets from doing so. There are dozens if not hundreds of formal and informal teachers in my life. The individual lessons they taught me often are forgotten, but their spirit is remembered. Collectively, they represent one of the most positive continuing forces in my life. I hope the students attending my class and the viewers watching my little internet videos feel their spirit through me.”– Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.  Photos: Screen captures from Sibicky’s YouTube Channel.

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Eric Lui wins Transatlantic Team Championship Round 4, faces Ali Jabarin on June 2

Thursday May 23, 2019

EricLui 1P won Round 4 of the Transatlantic Team Championship, defeating Mateusz Surma 2P, who had won the first three rounds. The game was played on May 5, but the final result was not announced until May 14 due to official challenges by both players. Details of the official ruling are here.The next round, between Eric Lui and Ali Jabarin will take place on June 2, from 14:00 US EDT or 20:00 CEST.

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IMSA World Masters Championship report

Sunday May 19, 2019

The 2019 IMSA World Masters Championship was held in Hengshui, China, from May 13 to 18. The Championship included five sports, Go, Chess, Bridge, Draughts, and Xiangqi, which in total offered 99 medals in 17 disciplines, with 170 players from 47 countries participating.
In Go, Men’s team (round-robin), Women’s team (round-robin), and Pair Go (bracket-tournament) competitions took place. Players were invited from six regions – China, Korea, Japan, Chinese Taipei, Europe, and North America. North America was represented by Ryan Li 1P, William Shi 1P, and Eric Lui 1P in Men’s, Shirley Lin 1P and Gabriella Su 6D in Women’s, and Eric Lui 1P and Shirley Lin 1P in Pair Go. 
The competition results are as follows:
Men’s Team
1st: China; 2nd: Korea; 3rd: Japan; 4th: Chinese Taipei; 5th: Europe; 6th: North America
Women’s Team: 1st: Korea; 2nd: China; 3rd: Japan; 4th: Chinese Taipei; 5th: North America; 6th: Europe
Pair Go (6 pairs from each region plus 2 wildcard pairs selected by drawing): 1st: Korea (Choi Jeong & Shin Jinseo); 2nd: Chinese Taipei – wildcard (Pai Hsin Hui & Lin Li Hsiang); 3rd: Chinese Taipei (Jiajia Missingham Joanne & Wang Yuan Jyun); 4th: Europe (Natalia Kovaleva & Ilya Shikshin); 5th: China (Yu Zhiying & Mi Yuting)6th: Europe – wildcard (Ariane Ougier & Pavol Lisy); 7th: Japan (Eiko Nyu & Daisuke Murakawa); 8th: North America (Shirley Lin & Eric Lui).
– Hajin Lee

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Web server upgrade update

Wednesday May 15, 2019

This week the AGA IT team upgraded the web server for the organization. The migration went smoothly and has resolved many issues. We focused on tightening up some security and fixing some long broken issues. Members will now see that the Membership Manager will automatically accept your payments again. This is great news for players and tournament directors everywhere. If there are any issues please report them to webmaster@usgo.org so we can take care of them. 
– Steve Colburn

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Seeking players for Samsung Fire & Marines Insurance World Masters Baduk Masters

Wednesday May 15, 2019

The 2019 Samsung Fire & Marines Insurance World Masters Baduk Masters tournament is inviting three players from North America to participate in their event, which will take place July 2nd through July 5th at the Korea Baduk Association. AGA-certified professionals and 6D+ amateur players are invited to apply. Sponsors will provide $1000 towards travel expenses. Please e-mail tournaments@usgo.org to apply (or ask for additional information) no later than Wednesday, May 22nd. In the event that we need to hold a qualifying event, please note that it will take place the weekend of May 25-26 and evenings of the week following, if necessary.
– Jeff Shaevel

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AGA to update web server May 14

Friday May 10, 2019

The AGA IT Team will be upgrading its web server on Tuesday May 14th starting at 7PM EST/4PM PST. “As we upgrade to the new server we will be placing the them into maintenance mode so no data is lost in the transfer,” says Steve Colburn. “We hope to have the changes completed in a timely manner that night.” The largest changes users will notice are that the site will be fully secure HTTPS and should ensure that there are no errors with the Membership Manager when paying membership fees. The site may take 24-48 hours to fully update.  “We are hoping that most users will be able to access the new site by Wednesday morning, and thank you for your patience during this time,” Colburn added.

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Professional slate for U.S. Go Congress shaping up

Thursday May 9, 2019

One of the main attractions of the annual U.S. Go Congress is expert coaching from professional players through game analyses,087 PStraus 2018 Yang analyzing copy lectures, simultaneous games, and informal interaction. As in past years, the Chinese, Japanese, and Korean professional associations are all sending representatives to this year’s Congress, set for July 13-20 in Madison, WI. The Chinese Weiqi Association will be sending Tianfeng Fang (8p), Heyang Zhou (9p), and Zhe Li (6p). The Kansai-kiin will be sending Ysuhiro Nakano (9p) “and we expect the Nihon-kiin to send two professionals to lead the Teachers’ Workshop,” says Congress Director Dave Weimer. The Korea Baduk Association is planning on sending two professionals as well.

The AGA expects a number of professional players based in North America to participate, as well. “Renowned teacher Yilun Yang (7p; photo) has already registered, along with our Yoonsung Kim (5p) and Cathy Li (1p) who will be joining us from Canada,” says Weimer.

In-seong Hwang (7d) will again do his four-lecture series. “We also note that the retired but ever popular Hajin Lee (4p) will be attending,” Weimer added.

photo: Yilun Yang at the 2018 US Go Congress; photo by Phil Straus

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Registration open for 46th Maryland Open

Thursday May 9, 2019

The 46th Maryland Open is coming up on Memorial Day weekend, May 25-26. The longest running tournament in the nation, many go players use it to prep for the annual U.S. Go Congress, coming up in July. The event – held at the Catonsville Senior Center — includes five rounds, three on Saturday, two on Sunday. “Come for one day or both!” say organizers. So far, 16 players, ranging from 23 kyu to 6 dan have already registered.

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AGF launches professional matching program

Thursday May 9, 2019

IMG_2242.JPG - Version 2The American Go Foundation (AGF) is launching a new matching funds program for visiting professional workshops.  Modeled on a previous, but long defunct AGA program, the new grant encourages established go programs to take advantage of the professional go players residing here in America, both those certified by the AGA and by foreign organizations. The AGF will pay 50% of the cost, up to $1,500 per program, for locations that bring a Pro out to teach. Travel, lodging, and professional fees are all eligible for reimbursement. Each location may request funding up to the $1,500 limit. AGF programs and AGA Chapters are both eligible for this grant. Requests will be considered on a first come first serve basis up to a cap of $15,000 for the year. To view a list of professionals living in the US, visit the AGA Professionals page. To apply for matching, email the AGF at mail@agfgo.org.-Paul Barchilon, AGF Vice President. Photo: Yilun Yang at a 2008 workshop at the Boulder Kids and Teens Go Club.

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