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Yuan Zhou 7d wins DC Fall Open; Redmond inaugurates EJ broadcast center at NGC

Saturday September 8, 2018

Yuan Zhou 7d won the 2018 DC Fall Open, held on September 8 at the National Go Center in Washington, DC. The 4-round 2018.09.08_yuan-zhou-winnertournament was one of a series of events held at the NGC featuring Michael Redmond 9P, thanks to the support of the Nihon Ki-In and the Iwamoto North America Foundation. On Friday, Redmond visited Great Falls and Fox Mill Elementary Schools, Japanese language immersion 2018.09.08_redmond-commentaryelementary schools in Fairfax County, Virginia, to students to go and its culture and to share his story about becoming a professional player. Friday night he and E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock did an AlphaGo game commentary at the NGC and then on Saturday the two inaugurated the brand-new NGC E-Journal broadcast center with live commentaries on Twitch from the top board at the Fall Open (click here to check them out), watched by viewers around the world. Redmond will review game records at 11a Sunday at a special brunch on Sunday morning (register here; email sgf game records to journal@usgo.org).

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2018 U.S. Go Congress volunteer acknowledgements

Tuesday July 31, 2018

By Nate Eagle and Diego Pierrottet2018.07.31-eagle=khalsa-okun-diego

Being co-directors of the 34th annual U.S. Go Congress is the biggest, hardest thing we’ve ever done, and the generosity of attendees in encouraging us has been tremendously meaningful. But the thing we feel, more than anything, is immense gratitude toward the huge team of volunteers, from our core team to all the people who showed up out of nowhere, ready to work, who made the event possible.

Anchoring our core team were Gary Smith, the registrar who made it all possible, Gurujeet Khalsa, whose creation of the first-ever official Go Congress app was such a huge success, Todd Heidenreich, the treasurer who also served as a font of institutional knowledge throughout the week, and I-Han Lui, who managed the pro schedule and was vital with many details of Congress operations.

We are also particularly proud of the National Go Center regulars who played big roles this year: Nathan Epstein, who, working with Xiaocheng (Stephen) Hu on broadcast, took the tech operations of the Congress and the E-Journal team (managed as usual by Chris Garlock; look for his Congress EJ team acknowledgements tomorrow) to new heights, Joel Cahalan, who provided vital Ruby on Rails experience to craft the first-ever SMS pairing notification system, which will now be passed to future Congresses, and Eli Ferster, the assistant registrar who could handle anything.

Daniel Zhao helped in dozens of vital ways throughout the week. Doug Wilkinson (left) poured sweat and, on at least one occasion, blood into the incredibly difficult task of managing the Congress’s substantial equipment needs. It was also Daniel and Doug’s first Congress!

2018.07.31 WilkinsonAndrew Hall performed amazingly in his first year directing the U.S. Open, and his assistant TD, Dan Ritter, was up early every single morning or the last to leave at nights, making sure that players had ready clocks and orderly tables to waiting for them. Josh Lee directed a tremendously exciting U.S. Masters tournament in his first outing. Big thanks to tournament directors Steve Colburn, Keith Arnold, Peter Schumer, Andy Olsen, Lisa Scott, Jim Hlavka, Neil Ritter, Justin Teng, Terry Benson and Todd Heidenreich. And a particular thanks to Greg Kulevich, director of the Seniors Tournament, who worked hard this week, giving up most of his own Congress experience to make one of the biggest tournaments of the Congress a success. Thanks to our excellent translators, Jonathan Hop and Satoru Inoue. Huge thanks to Devin Fraze, who ran the wonderful youth room, and Paul Barchilon, to whom Devin passed the baton at the end.

Thanks to James Pinkerton, Qucheng Gong, and to Facebook, for bringing OpenGo to the American Go community this year: over 66 players got the chance to personally play and learn from the strongest open-source Go AI in the world, and over 10,000 people got to tune in and watch Andy Liu and Ryan Li play Pair Go with OpenGo as a teammate. (It was a particular honor for Nate to get to be one of the hands of OpenGo as Andy’s partner.) And thanks to the volunteers who made the simuls possible by serving as the eyes and hands of OpenGo, which was not an easy job: it required multiple hours of back-straining, brain-draining effort. You did great.

Thanks to the people who showed up early on Friday to help us get everything set up and to help on registration morning, 2018.07.31_josh-lee teachesamong them Chris Kirschner, Marianne Palhamous, Lee Schumacher, John Grenier, Ted Terpstra, Mark Nahabedian, Wayne Nelson, Keith Arnold, Patrick Bannister, Kristal Soo, and so many more. Particular thanks to Neil and Dan Ritter, who assembled the two giant monitors that became the center of the Congress experience, and then disassembled them again so they can travel to next year’s Congress in Madison.

Thanks to Lisa Scott for managing the AGA meetings and for working to bring us the first year with an official Code of Conduct, a hugely valuable tool for making the Congress a welcoming place for everyone.

Thanks to the front-desk staff at William and Mary—all students—who handled the largest group they’d ever had come through with kindness, patience, and helpfulness.

We will have inevitably missed people—please know that no matter what it was, your contribution toward making Congress happen was essential and appreciated. Thank you, and we hope to see everyone next year in Madison!

photos: top right: Nate Eagle (left) and Diego Pierrottet (right) with the National Go Center’s Gurujeet Khalsa (second from left) and AGA president Andy Okun (second from right), photo by Phil Straus; bottom left: Doug Wilkinson, Equipment Manager and first-time Congress attendee, photo by Nate Eagle; bottom right: Masters TD Josh Lee teaching go.

 

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New York Youth Team Go Championship training new generation of players

Saturday January 6, 2018

A dozen teams faced off just before Christmas in the New York Youth Team Go Championship, hosted by the New York 2018.01.04_NYTC 2Institute of Go.  The five-round event, held December 22-23, was organized by the New York Go Association and held at The New York Institute of Go in Queens, NY.

The Institute’s focus is on popularizing the game, especially among a younger generation of players. This year’s Championship was the second annual competition, providing an opportunity for youth players in the New York City area to meet current students from universities including prominent Ivy League schools.

The teams, with three players each, had players from different regions. The MustWin team (1st table: Cathy Liao, 2nd table: Chenghan Du, 3rd 2018.01.04_NYTCtable: Jason Long) swept the 2017 Championship, with The Go Ninga Masters taking second and the Dark Go team in third. The World Champions team won the Best Fighter award. Almost of the players have been learning go for just one to two years, and some had met and played in the first team championship in 2016.

“How did you improve so fast since the last Rating Competition” an 18-kyu player asked another player, who’s now 15-kyu.  “I must practice go more often now.” The MustWin team’s eight-year-old Chenghan Du said “I have to get up early tomorrow morning to study a pro game before tournament, I promised Mrs. Yin to study at least one game per day.”

Institute founder and lead teacher Stephanie Yin called the Championship “a great opportunity for young players to learn from each other, share experience, and improve in and outside go. The success of consecutive youth tournaments led us to encourage the passion of go to prosper.” Starting this year, New York Go Association will offer scholarships to youth players; stay tuned for details. The New York Go Expo and 2017 Dreamworks School Invitational is free event and will be hold on Feb 17-18, 2018 in New York. The event includes pro activities, free rated games, and etc. Details to follow.

 – includes reporting by Stephanie Yin, with help from Aaron Julian; photos by Stephanie Yin

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Prevailing over drum ensemble, Trevor Morris tops Boston Winter Open

Sunday December 10, 2017

Nearly three dozen players — 32 to be exact — ranging in strength from beginner to 6d, made their way to the Stratton Student Center at MIT to participate in the Boston Winter Open on December 2. The tournament was divided into two divisions, a 12 person Open Division with dan players playing even games, and a 20 person Handicap Division with kyu players playing handicap – 2 games.

Open Division players competed for cash prizes and our winners were: 1st place Trevor Morris, 6d (4-0), 2nd place David Cho, 5d (3-1), and 3rd place Qingbo Zhang, 5d (3-1).

Handicap Division prizes were awarded to those with 4-0 and 3-1 records. Our winners were: Adam Prescott, 9k (4-0), Jin Greene, 12k (3-1), Eva Casey, 5k (3-1), Michael Scudder, 2k (3-1), and Matt Clarke, 2k (3-1).

This tournament was made particularly unique due to the surprising addition of live music starting in the middle of the third round. The source turned out to be a Senegalese Drum Ensemble participating in MIT’s World Music Day in the auditorium beneath the playing area. In investigating the event, we discovered it would last through our final round and were kindly given a box of ear plugs. We also confirmed the hypothesis that go tournaments and drums do not go well together (in case you were wondering). Fortunately our players are awesome and seemed mostly amused. We will try to be more aware of adjacent events for future tournaments.
– Neil Ritter

 

Thanks to everyone for coming and to the MIT Go club and the MGA for organizing!

 

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Inaugural Latin American Go Congress sparkles in Cancun

Wednesday October 25, 2017

Known worldwide for sparkling beaches and water, these attractions were but a pretty side element at the first Latin American Go Congress in Cancun, Mexico from October 13th to 15th. Sixty-four players from 15 countries played in the six-round 19th Ibero American Go 2017.10.25_Latin American Go CongressChampionship (CIG). After a slightly delayed start on the first day (familiar to many U.S. Go Congress participants), TD Milosh Trnka Rodriguez kept the McMahon event moving smoothly. Time limits were short to fit two rounds each day before lunch – generally 35 minutes per player plus 5 x 30 overtime. The overall winner was Kim Hyuneoo of Korea. The Ibero Championship (limited to citizens of the Ibero-American member states) was won by Fernando Aguilar 7d (below left) of Argentina, the perennial top player from the region.

The first Latin American Youth Go Championship was run by Siddhartha Avila of Mexico and had 16 players from six countries divided in two categories. Division A was won by Soomin Oh 2d from Korea and in Division B Shanti Ramírez 12 kyu from Mexico came out on top. In the first Pandanet Go Latin American Team Championship (PGLATC) Mexico bested guest Argentina in a 3-board match with a 2-1 score.

With generous international support, six pros attended: Enda Hideki 9P and Komatsu Daiki 2P from Japan; Cho Hye-yeon 9P and Youngshin Lee 5P from Korea; Mateusz Surma 1P from the European Go Federation; and Eric Lui 1P from the AGA with funding provided by the American Go Foundation. After the main games, the pros provided quick game analysis and each afternoon half of the players took on the pros in simuls. Few of the amateurs won!

aguilar_DSC0186There were lectures on pros games (including an especially lively one analyzing a victory over a fellow 9P by Cho Hye-yeon, 9P) and sessions on teaching go by a leading Korean expert from KIBA, Mr. Kwon Kapyong 8P. And, of course, there was lots of casual play and discussion of games whenever players sat around a board.

The evening events included Crazy Go (with 19 variants) on Friday night run by AGF President Terry Benson. Rengo Kriegspiel was run for the first time in Spanish. As usual, everybody won. On Saturday evening, The Surrounding Game film was screened.
Each of the three evenings included a round of the second Ibero-American Pair Go Championship – with many of the pros and the Congress Director playing – won by Samy Suastegui, 8k of Mexico and Youngshin Lee, 9P of Korea.
The Emporio hotel provided a classy setting for the event. There was an included opening dinner at the hotel, box lunches each day, and plenty of coffee and water. The closing dinner at Porfirios had a classic Mexican atmosphere – good food and mariachi music. There was even a little impromptu singing of Go songs. And a new one – in Spanish – written by Benson and Ester Monroy added to the canon.
Funding for the event came from the International Go Federation, Pandanet, Nihon Ki-in, Korean Baduk Association, American Go Association, American Go Foundation, and Mexico’s National University UNAM.

The Mexican Go Association Congress team led by Emil Garcia and including Marco Hernandez, Temilotzin Ibarra, Ester Monroy, Dafne Rios, with additional support from UNAM students staff and media team gave a good start to the tradition of Latin American Go Congresses.
The site of the 2018 event will be announced before the end of the year with Bogota, Colombia and Buenos Aires, Argentina the likely candidates. For those who like an international Congress diet, there is a new hearty entrée on the menu.
– report/photos by Terry Benson

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Categories: Latin America
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2017 Cincy/Tristate Go Tournament held in Mason, OH

Tuesday September 5, 2017

On August 26, go players gathered in Mason, Ohio, for the 3rd annual Cincy/Tri-state go tournament. The tournament, generously sponsored 2017.09.05-CincyGoTournamentby the Asian Pacific American Forum of General Electric and the Confucius institute of Miami University attracted about 40 players from major cities of Ohio and neighboring states including Indiana, Kentucky, and Michigan. Also on hand was a graduate student from George Washington University who traveled all the way from DC to southwest Ohio just to enjoy meeting new friends while playing go.

Eight-year-old Stephanie Tan from Indiana swept with an impressive four wins and was placed top youth in Division C. College student Soren Jaffe of Cleveland Ohio, defeated University of Cincinnati exchange student Feifan Jia (5D) of China in the fourth round (de facto the final game). Other winners of the tournament include: Haoze Zou (5D, youth division A) from Mason, Ohio; Chris Martin (4K, adult Division B) from Louisville, Kentucky; Jonathan Luo (8K, youth Division B) from Mason, Ohio; and Dave Olnhausen (15K, adult Division C) from Toledo, Ohio.

Mason is located in the northeast corner of greater Cincinnati area. Mason was named one of the best places to live in the United States several times by Money magazine and CNN. Mason is home to Kings Island amusement park and home of the Western & Southern Open, one of the world’s top tennis tournaments. It’s the third year the go tournament was hosted here by Mason Go Club and Huaxia Chinese School at Mason.
– report/photos by Frank Luo

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Categories: U.S./North America
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Cho, Coplon and Cornett tie to top Skip Ascheim Memorial Go Tournament

Friday July 14, 2017

What do a 5-dan, a 5-kyu and a 12-kyu have in common? They all tied for first at the recent Skip Ascheim Memorial Go Tournament in Boston.2017.07.14_Benjamin_Coplon_David_Cho_Howard_Cornett_all_4-0 David Cho 5D, Benjamin Coplon 5k and Howard Cornett 12k were all 4-0 at the July 9 tournament, organized as usual by the Massachusetts Go Association. “Charles Chapple, the English Teacher from Franklin High School in Franklin NH, who had come with five students to the MGA’s Spring Tournament, was back with student Miriam Fallahi, despite it being summer vacation,” reports TD Eva Casey.
photo (l-r): Coplon, Cho and Cornett. Click here for more photos.

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Categories: U.S./North America
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Go Spotting: Misaeng (An Incomplete Life)

Sunday June 4, 2017

by Daniel Acheson2017.06.03_Misaeng
“Misaeng,” which means “an incomplete life,” is a 2014 South Korean television drama about 26-year old Jang Geu-rae and his struggles adapting to corporate life after failing to qualify as a professional go player.
Starting with the show’s title, which refers to the life and death status of a group of stones, “Misaeng” is suffused with go imagery and references. Flashbacks to Geu-rae’s go career pepper the storyline, and there are many scenes where the game is used to make analogous connections to his internship. In one episode, for example, Geu-rae adapts his go study system to completely reorganize his section’s shared files, which are a hopeless mess. While this may not sound like much, this early assignment, and the drama that surrounds it, becomes a pivotal moment in the story’s development.
Geu-rae’s corporate environment also mimics life on the goban: Among the interns and staff there is fierce competition for survival and promotion. Like the middle game, opening moves – education, internships, career choices – have determined certain relationships, and the characters must find opportunities to advance within (or in spite of) the constraints imposed by their past actions. In this respect Geu-rae is at a distinct disadvantage.
Due to the hermetic years spent studying go, Geu-rae possesses none of the educational or social advantages of his peers. He is armed onlyÀ±ÅÂÈ£ ÀÛ°¡ ÀÎÅͺä. ÀÌ»ó¼· ±âÀÚ. babtong@heraldcorp.com 2013.03.07 with a high-school equivalency exam certificate and an aptitude for undertaking difficult, thankless work. Nothing about his start with One International is auspicious. Geu-rae’s manager, Oh Sang-shik, regards this new intern as an unqualified burden and openly voices hopes that Geu-rae will fail. Among peers Geu-rae is known as a “bomb,” meaning someone who will explode under the pressures of the internship and thus fail. Yet Geu-rae surprises everyone with his fortitude.
In a similar way, I think “Misaeng” will also pleasantly surprise its viewers. Although the show starts slowly, each episode builds momentum and invests viewers more and more in the characters and their storylines. The data confirms this: Average ratings for “Misaeng” jumped fivefold from its premier in October 2014 to its conclusion in December of that year.
One reason for this popularity, I think, is that it is relatable. In 2012, when “Misaeng” started as a webtoon, its creator, Yoon Tae-ho, began with “countless interviews with real-life people who work for corporations.” “Explain it to me as if you were explaining it to a middle school student,” he would say to his interviewees. “If you really want to know about something, you have to have the courage to look like an idiot, the courage to say you don’t know anything about what they know.” As a result Geu-rae’s world, and with that of his contemporaries, feels real and lived in precisely because it is the world inhabited by so many in their personal and professional lives.
The struggle for complete life is as present on the goban as it is in the office or home, even if it is less evident. It’s also something that each player must face on their own despite being in the company of others. This is the essence of “Misaeng.”
“Misaeng” is available on Hulu Plus. Quotes from The Korea Herald and Korea Joongang Daily
photo (bottom left): Webtoon writer Yoon Tae-ho poses in his office prior to an interview with The Korea Herald on March 7. (Lee Sang-sub/The Korea Herald)
Edited by Howard Wong
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Categories: Go Art,Korea
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Tourney Updates: Michael Chen wins Philly Open; Yen-Ta Huang tops in Bay Area tourney; Diverse turn-out for CIRU tourney; NH high-schoolers trek to Boston tourney

Saturday April 15, 2017

Michael Chen wins Philly Open: Michael Chen 8d won the 2017 Philadelphia Spring Open, held March 12th at theOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA University of Pennsylvania. More than 50 players participated. Click here for a full report.

2017.04.15-bay-area-tourneyYen-Ta Huang tops in Bay Area tourney: Yen-Ta Huang 3d topped the 28-player field at the Bay Area Go Spring Tournament held April 1st, in Berkeley, CA. Winner Report: 3d-6d 1st Yen-Ta Huang 3d, 2nd Youfei chen 6d; 1k-2d 1st Chao Zhang 2d, 2nd Daniel Jeppson 1k; 5k-2k 1st Yunyen Lee 2k, 2nd Xiaofei Long 2k; 24k-6k 1st Nathan Bouscal 6k, 2nd Shanthanu Bhardwaj 6k.

Diverse turn-out for CIRU tourney: Seventy six players participated in the April 1 tournament hosted by the Confucius Institute of Rutgers University (CIRU) and the Feng Yun Go School. The players represented “a wide spectrum 2017.04.15_feng-yun-DSCN2569of ages, strengths, and ethnic heritage, girls and boys, men and women,” reports TD Paul Matthews. Feng Yun 9P reviewed players games and signed performance rank certificates for players who won all three of their games: Alan Huang 7d, Amy Su 5d, David Glekel 4d, Andrew McGowan 1k, Ted Lin 2k, Katherine Xie 3k, Seth Liang 5k, Sarah Crites 6k, Micah Murphy 10k, Kaden Li 21k, and John Crossman 25k. Complete tournament data, including all performance ratings and pairings, are available online at Go Tourney Ratings and there’s also a tournament photo gallery. Complete report here.

2017.04.15_4_of_the_5_High_School_girls_who_came_all_the_way_from_Franklin_NH_to_play_in_their_first_Go_tournamentNH high-schoolers trek to Boston tourney: This year’s Don Wiener Memorial Tournament included five high school students who were participated in their first go tournament. The students are members of the Franklin High School in Franklin, NH, and were brought to the April 9 tournament in Cambridge, MA by club advisor Charles Chapple, an English teacher at Franklin High. “Mr. Chapple, 7 kyu, plans to enter the next MGA tournament himself,” reports TD Eva Casey. Winner Report: Matthew Clarke 3k (4-0); Mark Nahabedian 12k (4-0); David Cho 4d ( 3-1); Runner up: Wayne Yee Mon 15k (3-1); Second Runner up: Wanda Metcalf 4k (3-1). photo: four of the Franklin High students. More photos here.

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Chicago High School Runs First Tourney

Friday March 17, 2017

Screen Shot 2017-03-17 at 4.40.14 PMDisney II Magnet High School, in Chicago, IL, held their first go tournament on Feb 7th, to celebrate the Spring Festival, or Lunar New Year of 2017. More than 30 students from 7th to 12th grade registered for the 4-week single-elimination tournament. The final four winners were Calvin Huang, Edgar Venegas, Isaac Smith and Alejandro Hernandez, from 9th and 11th grade.

“We bring different cultural activities into our world language classrooms,” reports Ming Laoshi, Chinese teacher and tournament organizer at the school. “I chose this game from Go and Math Academy in 2015, and then my students fell in love with it. Nowadays, I even use go as the classroom activity when I need a substitute teacher.”

“Go can be used to support goals in the Chinese curriculum,” adds Xinming Simon Guo, of Go and Math Academy, “particularly to enhance understanding of Chinese culture and to reinforce learning language skills (numbers, colors, shapes, positions and locations, timing, etc). Research shows that nonlinguistic representation can have a powerful effect on students’ vocabulary development. Go has numerous vocabularies that can be visually represented on the board and playing go can be aligned with the five major language learning standards — Communication, Culture, Connections, Comparisons, and Communities.”

“Organizing a tournament in the school setting turned out to be really easy,” reports Laoshi, “it started with a small budget. After setting up, all I needed to do was email students a pairing notice every week and enter the results in a Google spreadsheet.” The school plans to organize another  tournament next year, when every student can have an opportunity to play in every round. -Paul Barchilon EJ Youth Editor. Photo by Xinming Guo:Disney II tournament winners and Chinese language teacher Ming.

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