American Go E-Journal

Sophia Wang & Alan Huang win 2018 US Pair Go Championship

Friday July 27, 2018

Thursday evening at the US Go Congress means that time for Pair Go. This year, 36 pairs gathered in the Sadler Center to 2018.07.28 Pair Go kids2018.07.28 PairGo winnerscompete in this popular tournament. Sophia Wang 3d and Alan Huang 7d won the Open Section and will represent the United States in the 2018 International Amateur Pair Go Championship in Tokyo during the first weekend of December.

Open Section:
1st – Sophia Wang 3d and Alan Huang 7d (left)2nd – Melissa Cao 4d and Jeremy Chiu 7d; 3rd – Tina Li 3d and Justin Teng 6d; 4th – Sophia Wang 3k and Fred Bao 4d
Table Winners: Yoonyoung Kim 4p and Diego Pierrottet 4k; Seowoo Wang 2d and Nhat Minh Vo 5d; Cathy Liao 10k and Michael Chen 7d; Vivie Truong 5k and Bill Gundberg 2k; Yoko Ohashi 6k and Mark Fraser 6k; Bethany Nyborg 18k and Keith Arnold 4d; Vidie Pong 12k and John Uckele 4k; Tonya Perez-Lopez 20k and Tevis Tsai 6k.
Report by Pair Go TD Todd Heidenreich; photos by (left) Dennis Wheeler and Phil Straus

David Cho and Moonhun Oh outlast the field in Seniors Tournament

Friday July 27, 2018

The Seniors Tournament featured tough competition in both the Dan and Kyu divisions. “Special shout out to Motoyoshi Makino2018.07.28 David Cho-right 2018.07.28 Moonhun Ohfor being able to defeat champion David Cho,” said TD Greg Kulevich. Makino defeated Cho in the final round, but Cho’s score on tiebreaks prevailed to make him the Dan champion. In the Kyu division, Moonhun Oh was the only undefeated in the end, making him champion of that division. Steffen Kurz won the sportsmanship prize. Shunichi Hyodo (4-1) was second in the Dan division and David Frankel (4-1) was third. Pete Schumer (4-1) took second in the Kyu division and Jim Pickett (4-1) was third.
- report/photos by Matt Burrall; (right) Motoyoshi Makino vs David Cho; (left): Moonhun Oh

Baum prizes a hit at congress

Friday July 27, 2018

20180726_225242“Can you help me find an old person who is around my rank?” and “is that guy really old?” have become popular questions at congress this year as kids compete for the new Baum prizes.  Adults are enjoying the games too, and finding young folk ready and willing to play – all very much in the spirit that Leonard Baum would have wanted to encourage with the endowment in his honor.  Kids must be under 16, and adults at least 40 years older than the kid.  Games must be submitted Saturday afternoon by the end of the Youth Pizza party, results can be left in the box, or given to Paul Barchilon or Neil Ritter. Please remember to circle the winner, many slips have come in without the winner indicated. With 30 games played so far here are the current standings:

The Badger ( Youth under 12 who plays the largest number of adults)
  • 24008 Duc Minh Vo with 7 games
The Grasshopper (Youth age 12 to 15 who plays the largest number of adults)
  •  Maya Boerner with 6 games
  •  Seowoo Wang with 6 games
The Elder Slayer (Young player who beats the largest number of adults)
  •  Duc Minh Vo with 6 games
The Dan Destroyer (Young player who beats the largest number of dan level adults)
  •  Seowoo Wang with 4 victories over dan players
  •  Duc Minh Vo with 4 victories over dan players
The Old Hand (Adult who plays the most games)
  •  Don Karns with 7 games
The Encourager (Adult who loses the most games)
  •  Don Karns with at least 3 losses (4 games with no winner identified!)
The Teacher (Adult who gives the most 9 stone (or higher) teaching games)
  •  Don Karns with 3 nine stone games

Story and photo by Paul Barchilon, EJ Youth Editor: Current leader Duc Minh Vo 1d, age 10, plays former AGA President Mike Lash 4k


Congress Updates: Wei Ding and Dalhoon Ahn leading in US Masters; Rain helps boost Diehard turnout; Aaron Ye clinches Redmond Cup Senior Division; Bao and Cheng tied in Junior; Sibicky and Nyborg tops in 9×9; “Why We Play” returns

Thursday July 26, 2018

Wei Ding and Dalhoon Ahn leading in US Masters: Wei Ding and Dalhoon Ahn shook off their Tuesday losses in the 2018.07.27_round6-board1-reviewUS Masters Open to win their Round 6 games on Thursday morning, defeating Andy Liu and Ryan Li to set up a potentially decisive showdown between the two 5-1 players. Latest Masters crosstab here. Click here for the latest US Open crosstab. photo: Dalhoon Ahn, Ryan Li and Stephanie Yi 1P review the Ahn-Li game; photo by Chris Garlock

Rain helps boost Diehard turnout: This year’s Diehard Tournament — the traditional 4-round Day Off tournament — had 2018.07.26_DieHard95 players, up from 90 last year. “The rain may have caused some people to revise their day off plans,” says TD Andy Olsen, “because many players registered at the last minute Wednesday morning.” The field attracted a good spread of players, from three 7 dans to many double-digit kyus.
Top section Winners: 1st: Tianyi Chen 6d; 2nd: David Cho 5d; 3rd: Ary Cheng 5d.
Additional prizes awarded to undefeated players: Eli Ferster 5k and Dave Whipp 7k.
photo by Steven Burrall

2018.07.27 GregAaron Ye clinches Redmond Cup Senior Division; Bao and Cheng tied in Junior; : Aaron Ye clinched the senior division Monday against Jeremy Chiu. Frederick Bao bounced back against Ary Cheng in the junior division, making the series 1-1.

Sibicky and Nyborg tops in 9×9:  Nick Sibicky 4d is the dan division winner in the 9×9 tournament and the kyu division winner is Bethany Nyborg 18k.

“Why We Play” returns: E-Journal reporter Samantha Fede has been posting new “Why We Play” profiles in the Go Congress app social feed, like this one for Greg Steltenpohl 8k (left), who’s from Madison, WI and has been playing for two years.  Greg’s favorite thing about go: “It’s kind of like programming in that you build a mental game/problem space and you get to navigate through that. I like doing that in programming and go. Solving a big puzzle. I also like to play games of go on my phone anytime I have a little time.” This is his first go congress, and he has already volunteered for next year’s Go Congress in Madison.

- reports by Julie Burrall and Matt Burrall

Over 10,000 tune in for Facebook AI Pair Go match

Wednesday July 25, 2018

More than 10,000 viewers tuned in on Twitch Tuesday night to watch Andy Liu and Ryan Li pair up with AI partners in the 2018.07.26 PairGoAI-stephanie-et-alFacebook Open Go Pair Go match. “It was a huge success,” said event organizer James Pinkerton. “I was so impressed with the incredibly high quality of the game. It was amazing how often the human players’ moves were exactly what the AI would have chosen.” The match featured $4,500 in prizes and paired both players with Facebook’s Open Go AI, which was set for approximately 30,000 roll-outs and 15 seconds per move. Stephanie Yin 1P and Managing Editor Chris Garlock provided live commentary for the audience in the Sadler Center auditorium at William and Mary College, where this year’s US Go Congress is being held. Qucheng Gong contributed insights into the AI’s assessments of the game in real time. Andy Liu/Open Go won the game by resignation after a dramatic middle-game. 2018.07.26 PairGoAI-group“Sometimes Ryan and I would just look at each other and be like ‘We have no idea,’” laughed Liu in the post-game analysis. The game included 3-3 invasions in all four corners, most initiated by the human players, both of whom have been studying AI play extensively in recent months. And as in human Pair Go games, there were periods where two partners seemed to be playing entirely different games. “It was often hard to know just what my partner was thinking,” admitted Li; “I was just trying to follow its lead.” The broadcast team included Steven Hu, Nathan Epstein, Joel Cahalan, Nate Eagle, Josh Lee and Dennis Wheeler; Solomon Smilack did the KGS simulcast. “We’re really excited to bring this open source go AI to the go community,” said Pinkerton, who works at Facebook. “We hope it’ll become an increasingly useful tool for go players around the world.”
photos by Phil Straus; top: (l-r) Yin, Garlock and Gong commenting; bottom (l-r): Garlock, Yin, Gong, Pinkerton, Liu, Li.

US Open division leaders

Wednesday July 25, 2018

With the US Open at the halfway mark, here’s a quick snapshot of the leaders in each band. They’re almost all undefeated, 2018.07.26 US Open division leaders-updatedthough in the 6D section only Tianyi Chen is undefeated and in the 2D section, only Brian Wu is undefeated. Click here for the US Open crosstab. If you’d like to preserve your Open game records for posterity, send them to and we’ll add to the crosstab (be sure to complete all the game info, including result).
- Matt Burrall

Crazy, crazy go

Wednesday July 25, 2018

“Crazy Go was insane as usual,” reports organizer Terry Benson, who says there were over 20 variants at Tuesday night’s event at2018.07.25_crazy-go-IMG_1391 2018.07.25_crazy-go-IMG_1394the US Go Congress, including Coupon Go, courtesy of Elwyn Berlekamp and relatively new entrants like magnetic go, 9-13-19 go, and diagonal go. “It was a moveable feast of go with a voracious herd of players grazing the many weird boards or laughing at Blind Go and the intersection of go and diplomacy in 4 color go,” Benson says. Rengo Kriegspeil, the granddaddy of Crazy Go games, “was hilarious as usual” and after Benson ran one session a young player, Seth Liang, asked if he could referee the game. Benson said Sure, so Seth did “and another kid followed him, having as much fun running the game as playing. Talk about passing the baton!” Zen go had only winners and blind go got some unwanted “help” from other kids. Treasure Go took some rule interpretations. As usual, “A good time was had by all.”

Youth Adult Pair Go Big With Families

Wednesday July 25, 2018

20180724_144745Youth Adult Pair Go drew 60 players to the Youth Room at the Go Congress this year.  Attendance was definitely aided by allowing Rengo pairs (same gender), and several father and child teams were able to compete together. Popular teacher Yuan Zhou 7d and his 8 year old son Derek, 19k, were a team; Bo Qiu 4d played with his son Yizu 9k; Robert and Henry Lyman, 24 and 15k respectively; Jin and Davi Chen, both 5d, rounded out the father and son pairs.  Father daughter pairs also participated, and included Andreas and Maya Boerner, 6k and 11k, as well as Yuzhe and Zoey Zhang, 6d and 20k.

At the top table Rengo Pair Aaron Ye and Muzhen Ai, both 7d, last year’s Redmond Cup rivals took first place, while Albert Yang 7d and Yifan Zhang 5d took second. Other table winners were Jin and Davi Chen, Soren Jaffe and Fred Bao (both 4d), Becci Torrey 2d and Sophia Wang 3k, Allan Abramson 2d and Victoria Xie 9k, Yuzhe and Zoey Zhang, Tonya Perez Lopez 20k and Nhat Minh Vo 5d, and Robert and Henry Lyman.

Other events in the Youth Room included 9×9 and 13×13 tourneys on Monday. table winners in the 9×9 were Tianyuan Zhang 5d and Davi Chen 5d; the 13×13 was won by Duy Minh 5d. - Paul Barchilon, EJ Youth Editor. Photo: Table winners Zoey and Yuzhe Zhang face off against Samantha Soo 15k and James Bonomo 1k.



New Congress app proving popular

Wednesday July 25, 2018

With “It’s in the app” the answer to virtually every question at this year’s US Go Congress – from the schedule of events to U.S.2018.07.24 adult-youth-social Open pairings, announcements, campus maps, pro bios and more – it’s no surprise that the first-ever Congress app has been generating impressive stats. Overall app views blew past 20,000 on Tuesday afternoon, and almost 300 people have been using it each day. The social feed, which enables any user to post photos and comments — and where the E-Journal team has been posting a constant stream of updated Congress news — is by far the most-used, with over 5,000 views, and the schedule is next, with nearly 3,500. The app, which replaces the traditional printed booklet, “has turned out to be even more useful than we thought, surpassing all expectations,” said app creator Gurujeet Khalsa.

Race for US Open Masters “wide open” after upsets in fifth round

Tuesday July 24, 2018

Wei Ding 9P and Dalhoon Ahn’s 9P winning streaks in the US Open Masters ended Tuesday morning as they were defeated by2018.07.24 Andy Liu round 5 review Bin Fu 7d and Andy Liu 1P. That means there are now five players with 4-1 records (Ryan Li 1P is the fifth). Ahn “made two mistakes in the opening, and I got the better of him on two corners,” Liu told the E-Journal. “After that I had a pretty good lead.” Ahn “didn’t make any mistakes after that and was able to catch up a bit, but I just played really carefully.” Holding onto his lead “was really nerve-wracking,” Liu cheerfully admitted, “but I’m really good at managing my emotions now. I had some problems in the past winning won games, but now I know how to play safely.” He says he’s been watching a lot of AI games, “and they’re really good (at winning won games); they always keep their lead. So that was going through my head, how would a top AI keep its lead?” “This shows how good US pros are,” said Pro Coordinator I-Han Lui. “Now everyone has a chance at the title.” Round 6 is scheduled for Thursday morning; watch live on KGS, Twitch or YouTube
photo: Andy Liu and Dalhoon Ahn review their Round 5 game; report/photo by Chris Garlock