This September, the American Collegiate Go Association (ACGA) will be hosting a Chinese professional tournament on US soil for the first time ever, at Harvard University. While four of the strongest Chinese professionals play the semifinals of the Chang Qi Cup, the ACGA will also be holding a 4-round AGA-rated tournament for amateurs. Thanks to the Ing Foundation’s generous sponsorship, there is more than $10,000 available in cash prizes across the divisions, including a 16-player open section, and registrants will receive free catered lunches. Live commentary, pro simuls, and game reviews are also planned, and the entire event is absolutely free. Register early here for a free goodie bag, and a chance to participate in a simul against Chang Hao 9P. -Julian Erville. Photo: Chang Hao winning the Chunlan Cup.
With this year’s US Go Congress just a few short days away, organizers have released the Congress Handbook so that attendees can begin planning to make the most of their time at the biggest go event of the year.
The Handbook provides information about the Congress venue – including maps – and the many events that make of the Go Congress, including rated tournaments like the US Open, Die Hard, and Self-Paired, and unrated events like the Lightning Tournament, 13×13 and 9×9 tournaments. In all, ten tournaments are scheduled, along with events with professionals – including simuls and lectures – and youth activities and tournaments.
Also covered in the Handbook are Day Off options, transportation, nearby restaurants and official go rules and guidelines, as well as bios and photos of all the visiting professional players.
“The chapter putting on this Congress so ably and devotedly, the Twin Cities Go Club, have been stalwart friends, players and teachers over the last 10 years,” says AGA president Andy Okun in his welcome, “Please join me in giving them gratitude during this rewarding week of play.”
Uncovering the link between go and education Go is a game, a hobby, a profession. It’s a competition, it’s a communication tool and it’s a way of life. But what happens when go enters home and school as an educational tool? Xinming Simon Guo, founder of the Go and Math Academy in Chicago, Illinois, will explore go’s impact in his keynote remarks at this year’s US Go Congress opening ceremonies this Saturday in St. Paul, Minnesota. “Imagine an era in which every student has opportunities to learn math through go and fall in love with both of them,” says Guo.
Alistair Wall Wins at 27th Milton Keynes Go Tournament: 35 players gathered in the sunny Open University Sports Pavilion for the 27th Milton Keynes Go Tournament on June 27. First place went to Alistair Wall 2d and second place to Ngoc-Trang (Nyoshi) Cao 2d.
Ngoc-Trang Cao wins the Welsh Open: The 23rd Welsh Open was held at the Min-Y-Mor Hotel in Barmouth and organised by Martin and Helen Harvey. Over the two days, 26 players took part. Ngoc-Trang (Nyoshi) Cao 2d and Mingcan Xu 3d Cardiff finished on 5 wins, but Cao won by tiebreak. Prizes for 4 wins went to Richard Hunter 2d, Roger Huyshe 3k, and David Horan 7k.
The US Go Congress starts this Saturday August 1, and so do the games. Tune in on Pandanet at 3PM in the AGA City League room. We’ll be showing all three games LIVE for Los Angeles vs Greater Washington. The lineup will be:
Board 1: Mark Lee vs Tim Song
Board 2: Evan Cho vs Eric Lui
Board 3: Daniel Ko vs Yuan Zhou
The winner of this tournament will collect $5000, runner up will win $2500. Look out soon for news for the next year’s City League registration!
- Steve Colburn
Get the latest go events information.
Seattle will benefit from the upcoming U.S. Go Congress in St. Paul, even though it is 1700 miles away, as visitors stop by before and after the August 1-9 event. Ryo Maeda 6P and Koyo Hoshikawa 3P from the Kansai Ki-in of Japan will visit the Seattle Go Center on Tuesday and Wednesday, July 28 and 29. They will play simultaneous games on Tuesday, and Maeda Sensei will give one of his famous lectures for kyu players on Wednesday evening.
The weekend after the Go Congress, August 15 and 16, Myungwan Kim 9P will conduct a workshop for strong players. He will be assisted by Mark Lee, winner of the U.S. Open in 2014. The workshop will feature simultaneous games with the two teachers, game analysis of student games, analysis of top games from the U.S. Go Congress, and lessons on the Korean style opening.
The next weekend, August 22 and 23, Inseong Hwang of the on-line Go school the “American Yunguseng Dojang“, will teach a workshop for players 15 kyu and stronger. It will include games between workshop participants, game analysis and lectures. Mr. Hwang says he often explains moves both at the 6-7 kyu level and also at the 1-2 dan level, since that is where people get stuck. Mr. Hwang is the highest rated Go player in Europe (EGF). He will also attend the US Go Congress on his trip.
- photo and report by Brian Allen
NOVA Go Club organizer, Garrett Smith (left), also known as PopPop, reports that he is engaged in extensive preparation for the 2015 U.S. Go Congress next month. He hopes to see a big turnout August 1-9 in St. Paul, MN. If you’re going to the Go Congress too — and some 350 are already signed up — let us know how you’re preparing for the biggest go event in the country! Email your reports and/or photos to us at email@example.com
Patterson’s NYPD Red 2: In James Patterson’s “NYPD Red 2,” one of the NYPD’s detectives is searching for witnesses to an abduction near a park in a Chinese community, reports AGA Life Member David Kent. “The detective, a Caucasian, approaches a go game being played in the park, and challenges the local champion to a game, betting $100. After a hard-fought hour the detective intentionally makes a mistake, throwing the game, which only the champion, an old man, recognizes,” says Kent. “This soon pays off with the old man coming to the aid of the detectives, leading to a witness. The detective plans to give the old man a kaya board from a 700 year old tree instead of the hand-made plywood board he has been using.”
Go in John Green’s Crash Course World History: “Hey, I was watching John Green’s Crash Course World History 2 series and spotted both a depiction of and mention of go,” writes Evan Hale of the Columbus Tesuji Go Club. “In the episode, Green covers the Heian Period of Japan and mentions go when talking about how the elite, upper class spent their leisure time. The mention is a little bit after 7:00 in the video.”
China’s News Silk Road Strategy & Go: In Weiqi Versus Chess (Huffington Post 4/3/2015), David Gosset says that “China’s New Silk Road strategy certainly integrates the importance of Eurasia but it also neutralizes the US pivot to Asia by enveloping it in a move which is broader both in space and in time: an approach inspired by the intelligence of Weiqi has outwitted the calculation of a chess player.” Thanks to reader Ted Joe for passing this along.
Go author and blogger Jonathan Hop has launched a project to translate videos of professional games with commentary into English. “It’s all free and available on YouTube for all to see,” he tells the E-Journal. Hop says he’ll “try to do one or two a week depending on my schedule.” Available so far: Mukai Chiaki vs. Yamada Kimio, Cho Sonjin vs. Yukawa Mitsuhisa in the 63rd NHK Tournament, Takemiya Masaki vs. Goto Shungo and Kanazawa Makoto vs Akiyama Jiro in the 63rd NHK Cup.
Hop is back teaching and playing go after a long hiatus. After going to Korea, studying at a professional dojo and writing four books on go, he realized he didn’t want to be a professional go player, “So when the game felt like a chore, when studying was no longer exciting, I just plain stopped,” he writes on his blog. But now he’s heading to China next month and says “There’s no way I’m going to be in China and not play. So I decided I needed to get back in shape before I go.”
In addition to the pro game translations, Hop is playing on Twitch TV and archiving the games on YouTube. He’s also offering to review kyu level games or low level dan games for free and make videos of the review available on Youtube; send games to firstname.lastname@example.org. He’s also planning a go-playing marathon when he reaches 1,000 subscribers, and says that “I think I’m at 997 which is close enough for me to schedule it. Sunday August 2nd, 12 straight hours of go beginning around 11 a.m.”
Photos: (right) Cho Chikun commenting the Mukai Chiaki vs. Yamada Kimio game; (left) Hop playing on Twitch.TV
The US Open Master’s Division will again be a 9-round event with a top prize of $5,000. This section is open to all professionals and 7 Dan players. Additionally, players below 7-dan who earned points in AGA qualifier tournaments will be
eligible to compete in this section. As was done last year, the top three North American finishers in this section will get prizes with a top award of $2,000.
The regular 6-round event will continue as before, open to everyone. Players who qualify for the Master’s Division but do not wish to play 9 games can sign up for the 6-round Open event instead. However, there is no crossover between sections once play begins, and players in the Master’s Division are expected to commit to play the full 9 rounds. Jon Boley is the Tournament Director for the Master’s Division this year.
photo: top-board action at the 2014 US Open Masters Division; photo by Chris Garlock
The American Go E-Journal has a few openings on its US Go Congress team. Anyone interested in helping record/broadcast top-board games at the US Open should email email@example.com. Prior experience is useful but not absolutely necessary. You must be available either mornings (Sun-Sat) or evenings (Sunday, Tuesday, or Friday). “This is a terrific opportunity to get an up—close look at top-board games at a major tournament and be a part of the team bringing this event to the world,” says E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock. “Plus, it’ll improve your own go!”
Tennis Alert: Tennis players be sure to pack your racquets, as there are courts available at this year’s Congress site and E-Journal editor Chris Garlock will be organizing games throughout the week. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if interested in participating.
photo: The EJ’s Dennis Wheeler records a 2014 US Open Masters game; photo by Chris Garlock
Word comes to the E-Journal of two last minute changes in the ranks of the professionals visiting the US Go Congress in Minneapolis-St. Paul. One is that the Korea Amateur Baduk Association will be sending Cho Hyeyeon 9p, a star player and active promoter of the game. Cho, who also attended the 2008 Congress in Portland, works, teaches and plays tirelessly, among other ventures running a go club at the US Army base at Yongsan in Seoul. Meanwhile, difficulties of making last minute travel arrangements have caused the Taiwan Chiyuan to substitute Ms. Tang Hsi Yun 2p, also known as Debbie Tang, for the earlier announced Wang Yuanjun 7p. Like Cho, Tang speaks English. She has been pro since 2004 and taught at the European Go Congress in 2012.
Update (7/21): The spelling of Ms. Tang’s name has been corrected.
At its June 7th board meeting, the Iwamoto North American Foundation for Go approved a request for proposals for the establishment of a Go Center on the East Coast. The foundation is seeking proposals by December 1, 2015. The RFP can be found on the foundation’s web page: http://www.inaf-go.org/. Please direct any questions to board members Thomas Hsiang (thsiang@UR.Rochester.edu), Andy Okun (email@example.com), or Dave Weimer (firstname.lastname@example.org).
With the 2015 US Go Congress less than a month away, it is on track to be a great event with over 350 attendees, says Congress Director Josh Larson. For players of all levels a major draw to attend the Congress is the chance to meet, play and learn from professional players from all over the world. So far, 21 pros are expected at this year’s Congress!
The pros are involved in many activities through the week. You can attend professional lectures during the afternoon and evening, play against a professional during one of the many simultaneous games in the afternoon after the US Open rounds, have your game reviewed in a small group session or hang around and chat with pros at mealtime. A few have been known to turn up at late night card games. Pros will also be involved in special events, like commenting on a key final game or, new this year, playing a demonstration game against an amateur.
A highlight for players of all levels is the review of your tournament games by a professional. These reviews are divided up by rank, so if you are a dan player, the professionals will focus on advanced topics while for kyu players, they will target the basics. You can watch and learn from another reviewee’s pride or pain before going up to the demo board yourself and finding out what actually happened to your stones during your own game. Larson encourages attendees to not be shy about approaching pros. “If you have a question, and see a professional player, ask! They often will just grab a board and give you an answer.” While some attendees will pay for group or individual lessons, all of the above activities are included in the cost of your registration. The US Go Congress is one of a very few events in the go world with so much pro training opportunity.
Below is a list of the professionals who have currently confirmed to attend the 2015 Us Go Congress.
Among pros currently based in the US we have:
Former women’s world champion and leading teacher, Feng Yun 9P.
The Korea Baduk Association’s Go Ambassador to the US, Myungwan Kim 9P.
Mingjiu Jiang 7P, who has been the North American representative in multiple international tournaments and teacher in the Bay Area for more than 25 years.
Yilun Yang 7P, author of many books, including “Fundamental Principles of Go,” and a revered teacher who does annual workshops across the country.
Jennie Shen 2P from Santa Barbara, gives individual lectures, group lessons, and audio lectures on KGS.
Stephanie Yin 1P studied under Nie Weiping 9P and Yu Bing 9P and has placed first in multiple tournaments.
Andy Liu 1P is one of the first AGA professionals.
Shirley Lin 1P taught Go at Nanjing University and is a previous US Open Champion.
Cathy Li 1P coached the Canadian team in the 1st World Mind Sports Games.
Professional delegates from foreign go organizations include:
Wang Qun 8P (China)
Wang Yuanjyun 7P (Taiwan)
Na Jonghoon 7P (Korea)
Maeda Ryo 6P (Japan)has been a popular lecturer at previous US Go Congresses.
Hajin Lee 3P (Korea) well-known for her go videos on YouTube and currently secretary general of the International Go Federation.
Murakami Akihide 3P (Japan)
Koyo Hoshikawa 3P (Japan)
Cao Youyin 3P (China)
Feng Yun 9p teaching at the 2014 Go Congress
Update: Wang Qun 8P ‘s name has been corrected (our original post had it as Wan Qun 8P).
With less than 50 miles to go to complete his 200-mile walk along the Pembrokeshire Coast Path in Wales, E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock reports “there’s just $139 left to go to raise $2,500 for the fabulous work of the American Go Foundation!” Click here to support the AGF, and check out Garlock’s Facebook page (Christopher Garlock) for daily posts about the walk. “It’s been a great adventure made even better knowing so many folks are helping grow go in the U.S.,” says Garlock. “Thanks so much!” Garlock braving the Welsh rain on the Path late last week; photo by Lisa Garlock
(or what I learned during my two-year vacation from playing games) by Janice Kim 3P
Humans are not randomizers, they require computers, or cards, and even those require perfect input for true randomization. A good watch with a sweeping second hand can take care of a lot in poker. If you develop the strategy of eyes going to your watch, as if you’re the smartest Princess Bride in the world poisoning a cup, basing your actions entirely on the position of a watch hand on the dial, you will be about as random as humans get. I look pretty much like Lee Chang-ho would playing poker, a Stone Buddha in a skirt and heels, a non-sentient target no more than a table’s-length away, which is why it is oh-so-perfect.
Of course this is only truly useful if you are not looking at your cards at all, so as not to introduce the possibility of fear in yourself, and playing against the best cash players in the world, and aren’t an actual threat to the way of life to wealthy and powerful, testosterone-enhanced, actively aggressive people. And then you have to have enough chips neatly stacked in front of you, or maybe with one almost toppling over, to enrage enough or entice enough to engage enough to get any play. The buy-in on such where-are-you-on-the-guest-list events is steep if you aren’t backed.
You have to modify by close observation which perimeters to change, and how, when playing poker in all other situations. The lipstick camera in televised events, for example, lets the audience play along, and makes you look insane, or insanely driven for a spotlight. If you unfocus your eyes, it’s just possible to look like you’re looking without actually seeing your cards exactly, but the whole thing is too complex to deal with rationally, and I’m not color-blind.
There’s no doubt to me that poker is as complex as go, or at least, that if you have a game with simple enough rules, you get games of the most complexity. In poker, there are only five things you can do, after all: check, call, bet, raise, fold. Eighty percent of the time in ring games for the most part you should fold, and that is only when it’s your turn and you don’t have sente. For the other 20% of the time you can only do one of two of the other things, depending on whether you have sente or not. It’s harder to say than to do, and it’s not that hard to say, although some people say it more clearly than others. I’m like the Yoda of the poker world, but I wish I was the Yoda of the go world.
That reminds me of the coin again. In poker, gote has the value that sente has in go. There’s the secret. If you’d like to start a dialectic on these subjects, you can send me 1% of your game earnings later, if you choose to play for a time and find this information of practical value, or just send me a note. Yoda has no pockets, or any need for them. Yoda desires kind friends. If you read this last bit in a Yoda-voice, it is to write me immediately, please, good idea, I think. Yes. I have some letters, here somewhere, did I mention I have no pockets? I have this computer box though, hitting it with a stick I sometimes do.
No doubt poker is obscenely lucrative if you want to have fundamentally no fun or interest in what you are doing, but sleeping on a pile of greenbacks is fun or interesting for less than five minutes, and impossible after that no matter how tired you are. I can personally guarantee you of this, having on the occasion of one of my biggest wins, missing my daughter’s second birthday it was, finding out that without one of the regular’s secret boxes at the Bellagio, all cash comes cold and hard and lumpy, to be dumped on the bedspread before you collapse on it as well from not sleeping for 38 hours straight. You can get it in conveniently-sized flags and cranberries, colored wafers in $5,000 and $25,000 denominations, if you are prepared to carry and possibly lose non-traceable poker chips in a casino filled with people, kill you for them they would. Cash in a duffel bag is safer, using the force all around you. Even revealing this information will have me marked by the dark side. I found it was better to ask myself in the end why I wanted to negate myself, or if by way of another poorly-scaled analogy, if omniscience, if wise, requires dice to play with the universe. So much for poker.
Since I’m not able to memorize everything, a feat that puts the memorizing of the first 10,000 digits of pi in a little perspective, it’s lucky that my pattern recognition skills and ability to analogize seem built in to my brain, more or less, so I can play go. Of course it helps to be able to read, and to count, accurately. These do not appear to be built in to my brain, and required 10,000 hours of practice for me to be able to read well, and about a quarter of that amount of time to count to ~60 (fractions still throw me a little).
Of course I’ll never know everything, and know only the first six digits of pi (I know more digits of the transcendental number e, but no one has ever stopped me to congratulate me on my license plate, or could understand why I would pay $79 a year for an apparently random one, until now. See, I get a lot of writing). I figure being able to know very little, what I can do is try to prepare myself, and hope for the best. My chances appear random, but I suspect I’ll be a surprise ringer in the coming zombie apocalypse. I love game players, go players most of all. Who am I? I have achieved every award in Plants vs. Zombies, that is not easy, especially for someone in my position.
Chess is more than enough for my brain, but the board is much smaller and the pieces are all differently weighted, so I don’t find it my perfect analogy. Sorry chess guys who can kick me up and down the street in chess that I enjoy playing to the extent I have any idea what I’m doing, and probably also in go and poker for that matter, with any practice. Not clear if I still rule the wasteland in Plants vs. Zombies, but I am kind of old-school, does anyone even play that anymore, even in secret? That’s all that I have on chess, and, also, my kids played in a chess tournament, and my little daughter wanted to play too although she didn’t know how exactly. She gamely finished all the rounds, and they gave her a trophy too, to her tears of relief. As far as I could tell, the trophy was for being the youngest player to finish all her games that day, without actually knowing how to play chess. I wanted to take names and meet them in the darkening parking lot.
But I digress a little, and ramble on a lot. All true games are exciting and fun, and can keep kids entertained in ways that have educational value, more or less. I wouldn’t get all didactic and insist on one game over another, I say let kids play what they want, while remembering, safety first, and urgent before big. You need a way to live, two eyes at least, or otherwise a way to connect, or escape. Escape I did, for two long, long years.