Congress Airport Shuttle: For those finalizing their US Go Congress travel plans, Congress organizers have coordinated with SuperShuttle to provide a quick and easy way for attendees to get from the MSP airport to the University of St. Thomas. Click here to arrange a shuttle that will be ready when your plane lands and takes you directly to St. Thomas. $15 one-way or $26 round trip.
EJ Adds Video Streaming: In addition to the E-Journal’s usual comprehensive coverage of the annual US Go Congress, including daily top-board broadcasts on KGS, updates on the website, Twitter and Facebook and daily E-Journal reports, we’ll also be testing some live-streaming video of top-board games this year. “We’re excited to expand our coverage and hope to develop some innovative approaches,” says Andrew Jackson, who’s coordinating the effort for the E-Journal. “We’ll be streaming the Hajin/Sibicky game as well.” Click here to check out a test stream Jackson conducted recently at the Seattle Go Club.
More go players and teachers are starting to stream their games on Twitch, the world’s leading video platform and community for gamers. More than 45 million gamers gather every month on Twitch to broadcast, watch and chat about gaming. Several go players are getting in on the action, including Shawn Ray 4d, who reviews games and holds lectures; Battousai 5d, who teaches and has lectures using different go servers; and Xiaocheng-Stephen Hu 3d, who goes over many go concepts.
Shawn Ray will have Yoonyoung Kim 4p, a pro from South Korea, in his next lecture this Saturday at 8 pm central time, on June 20th. “This should be a fun event as well as my first professional guest on stream. If it goes well I also plan to do more events like these,” Ray notes. The event can be watched on Ray’s Twitch channel here. He also has a list of teachers that are streaming reviews and teaching games, which can be found here.
Xiaocheng-Stephen Hu, also known as xhu98, is the host of an ongoing tournament between teachers found on OGS and KGS. The schedule and participants can be found here. “I am really enjoying the tournament,” says Triton Perrin, “of course I am not strong enough to get far, but it has inspired me to work just a little bit harder to do my best against other teachers I look up to. To me, it seems like this tournament is helping the go community come together and get more people involved.” Hu has a lecture every Friday for all ranks, and occasionally has players join him in his lectures. Times can be found on the spreadsheet link from Shawn Ray above.
Josh Allen, also known as Battousai, has been doing lectures for years, and now puts his videos on his website, as well as Twitch and YouTube. Click here to visit his site. Allen has lectures every Wednesday afternoon from 3pm to 9pm EST. “I love games and problems, but I don’t even play go,’ says username Wreqt, “I stick around because I like you. Your instruction and teaching is fantastic, and it is a blast to hear your commentary on this game. Thanks for such a great channel!”
- Special report by Austin Freeman. Image: Battousi’s cartoon version takes on bots, from www.dwyrin.tv.
The Baltimore Go Club was the first to take advantage of paying their annual chapter dues with AGA chapter rewards points. “It was simple. I just sent an email to email@example.com requesting to renew with points,” club President Keith Arnold said. “They checked that we had the necessary 35,000 points and that was it.” All point totals earned through April can be found here.
- Gurujeet Khalsa
If you’re considering attending this year’s US Go Congress, register before July 1 and save $50. That’s when the late registration fee goes up to $100. This year’s Congress runs August 1-9 in St Paul, Minneapolis.
In addition to lots of go — tournaments, lectures, pro simuls and more — the Go Congress offers exciting options for the traditional day off on Wednesday. “The votes from our online survey are in: the riverboat ride in Stillwater, MN and spending time in the Uptown region of Minneapolis generated the most interest for day off activities,” reports Aaron Broege.”If you choose to join the group going to Stillwater, this will include time to explore the picturesque downtown Stillwater and, of course, go on a 2.5 hr boat ride on the St. Croix river, complete with food and music. The Stillwater main street is home to numerous bars, coffee shops, restaurants, and antique shops.
If you prefer to stick around the city, the Uptown area is a perfect place to spend your day off, Broege says. “The highlight of this region is the chain of four lakes (Cedar, Lake of the Isles, Calhoun, and Harriet), all of which have separate biking and pedestrian paths around them.” Near Lake Calhoun you can rent bikes, canoes, kayaks, paddle boards, paddle boats, and more. “Lake Calhoun and Harriet have beaches if you just want to take a dip.” When you’re ready to take a break from the activities, the adjacent area is filled with restaurants, shops, and theaters. Within walking distance from Uptown is the Walker Art Center, which focuses on modern artistic exhibits. The outdoor sculpture garden associated with the Walker, home to the Spoonbridge and Cherry — aka the cherry spoon — is a must-see landmark of the Twin Cities. This area provides a great example of how the Twin Cities beautifully blends urban living with natural beauty.
“For those with other interests, we are going to include recommended outings in the Congress booklet,” Broege adds. “There is so much to explore in the Twin Cities that we want to give individuals the chance to put together their own adventure.” Keep up-to-date on even more news and things to do in the Twin Cities through the 2015 Go Congress Facebook page.
photos: (top right) A riverboat on the St. Croix River passing under the bridge in Stillwater; (bottom left) downtown Minneapolis as seen from Lake Calhoun.
A go-playing President of the United States would probably be a better president. That’s according to David Z. Hambrick, a professor in the Department of Psychology at Michigan State University who wrote recently in Scientific American that “my colleague Brooke Macnamara and I found that fluid intelligence—the general ability to reason and think logically—was a strong positive predictor of skill in the board game GO, as measured by a laboratory task that was specially designed to measure a GO player’s ability to evaluate game situations and select optimal moves. In turn, performance in this task was strongly related to a player’s tournament GO rating.” Hambrick adds that while IQ isn’t the only predictor of presidential success, “what science tells us is that a high level of intellectual ability translates into a measureable advantage in the Oval Office.”
Thanks to Mark A. Brown for passing this along. Photo credit: Sam Boulton Sr. via Wikimedia Commons
Incumbents Chris Kirschner and Martin Lebl are running unopposed to retain their seats in the Western and Central regions, respectively while newcomers Diego F. Pierrottet and George Lebovitz will be contesting the Eastern region.
“Chapter reps, please take time to insure your contact information is correct for the both the AGA chapters list and the chapter membership/contact information,” says Arnold Eudell. “You should have already received your preliminary voting rights report. Any further information about the election will come through these sources.” Contact Elections@usgo.org with any questions.