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US Players Invited to Malaysia Int’l Amateur Go Championship

AGA news - Sat, 13/08/2016 - 13:58

The “Ipoh Wei Qi Enterprise” has formally extended an invitation to AGA players, and to amateurs worldwide, to sign up for the Malaysia International Amateur Go Championship, or MIAGC. The championship will consist of three sessions, including two online selection sessions, denoted Preliminary and Semi-Final by the organizers, and a final session March 11-16, 2017 at the Syeun Hotel, in Ipoh, the capital city of Perak, Malaysia. Early Bird registration offers a discount of 20 Malaysian Ringgits, bringing the price from 180 to 160, roughly $40 USD. If more than five people register together, there is a 20% discount. The preliminary rounds will be held on OGS throughout October, and the semi-finals online November 16 through December 15. Those who win 5 of 10 matches in October’s preliminary will qualify for the semi-final, and players winning 6 of 10 matches in the semi-final will secure a place in the final until all the places are taken. Unique to this tournament is the ability to buy back in, should one lose early. The prize for the champion will be 50,000 RM minimum, or roughly $12,500 USD, and depending on registration totals may be raised. Click here for tournament information and registration.
- edited by Noah Doss

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Ye and Ho Named AGHS Presidents; Officer Applications Now Open

AGA news - Fri, 12/08/2016 - 20:06

April Ye and Brandon Ho have been named the new American Go Honor Society (AGHS) presidents for the upcoming 2016-2017 year. The AGHS is a youth organization that runs K-12 tournaments such as the competitive Young Lions Tournament and the School Team Tournament every year. Are you a high school student that wants to promote go? Apply now to be an AGHS officer for the 2016-2017 year. Fill out the application here 2016AGHSOfficerApp (3) and email it to aghspresident@gmail.com. Applications are due by September 19 and officers will be selected by September 26. - Yunxuan Li, AGHS President. Photos: April Ye at left, Brandon Ho at right.

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US Go Congress: “AlphaGo Insider” Posted; Go Talk with AlphaGo’s Lucas; Landman’s Slides; Thankful Senior; The First 21st Century Go Congress? Keith Arnold Makes His Case

AGA news - Fri, 12/08/2016 - 02:48

More cool stuff from — and thoughts about — last week’s US Go Congress…

“AlphaGo Insider” Posted: Video of the 2016 USGC Computer Go special session on August 4, 2016, presented by Google DeepMind’s Aja Huang 7d and European Champion Fan Hui 2p. Also just posted: “The Number of Possible Go Positions”, presented by John Tromp.

Go Talk with AlphaGo’s Lucas Baker: In his latest Go Talk, Kevin Hwang talks about Alpha Go with Lucas Baker, a member of the Deepmind team; click here for the video.

Landman’s Slides: “Several people wanted the slides to my Go Congress talk,” writes Howard A. Landman. Click here to download them.

Thankful Senior: “Thank you for the Seniors Tournament this year,” writes Eric Osman. “Between that and the US open I was able to have two rated games a day without running around chasing people for a game. Having one tournament game in the morning and one in the afternoon each day was perfect.”

The First 21st Century Go Congress? Keith Arnold Makes His Case
As director of the 2001 Go Congress, I am proud of my effort. Looking back, however, I must admit that I ushered in the new century with a very competent version of what had come before. In the years that have followed, few changes have occurred – a wonderful women’s tournament and the internet broadcast of games being the notable ones that come to mind. But it is fair to say the average attendee transported from a Go Congress ten or even twenty years ago would easily have found his way around its successors through the Twin Cities last year.

Boston was undeniably different. A significant transfiguration of the Self-Paired tournament, a second year of expected rather than novel substantial video coverage, a Senior Tournament, no 13 by 13, live website updates of scheduling, an insane team relay game, blindfold go exhibitions, event stamps and advanced info on the topics of pro lectures made for a very different event. And those are just the changes I can think of off the top of my head. These new visions and the wonderful forward-thinking presence of the AlphaGo team lead me to dub Boston the first 21st Century Go Congress.

I do not mean to suggest that I loved every change, or that every change should become permanent. But what I am saying is that the Boston team breathed fresh energy into a gathering that may have been suffering from a form of nostalgic inertia. No doubt critics of some of these changes will say that a big problem with the event was so many of the key organizers had never been to a Congress before. I would argue that the best thing about this year’s Congress was that so many of the key organizers had never been to a Congress before. The new ideas and energy were palpable, and the result was extremely successful. Boston was demonstrably a breakthrough, with the first big jump in attendance we have had in years.

Metaphor stretcher that I am, Boston may have thrown a lot of old Congress tea overboard, and some of it might still be good tea, but I hope it also breathes new freedom into the event, and more freedom for future organizers.
- Keith Arnold, HKA; photos by Chris Garlock

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2016 US Go Congress E-Journal Team Credits

AGA news - Fri, 12/08/2016 - 02:00

Just as this year’s US Go Congress set new records for attendance, the E-Journal provided a record amount of coverage of this major annual event. Karoline Li and Samantha Fede joined our reporting team — which included Paul Barchilon and Justin Teng covering youth events — to publish a whopping 37 reports, including daily tournament updates, “Why We Play” interviews and the new “Behind the Scenes at the US Go Congress” series. Steve Colburn, Todd Heidenreich and Dennis Wheeler once again anchored our amazing game recording team, which recorded and broadcast over 50 top-board game records. Special thanks to Andrew Jackson, Daniel Chou, Andrew Lu, Justin Teng and Louie Liu, who joined Richard Dolen on the morning recording team. Stephen Hu coordinated our streaming coverage on YouTube of not only the top-board games in the US Masters but events like the Redmond Cup, Blindfold Go and Pair Go events. Altogether, the EJ Congress team — including the wonderful pros who were so generous with their time and insights — was far bigger — nearly 50 volunteers all told — and better than ever and I hope you’ll join me in thanking them for their dedication, commitment and yes, sacrifice of time and energy to bring this amazing event to a global audience. See you next year in San Diego!
Chris Garlock; Managing Editor

2016 EJ Congress Team
Todd Heidenreich: Assistant Manager; Steve Colburn: Tech/IT Manager; Dennis Wheeler: Room Manager/Relief; Paul Barchilon: Youth Editor; I-Han Lui & Chun Sun: Pro Coordinators; Karoline Li: Tournament Liaison; Stephen Hu; Tim Holman; Krishna Artem-Mickens: Video streaming team; Phil Straus & Chris Garlock: photos; Samantha Fede: General Assignment Reporter; Akane Negishi: KGS; Matthew Hershberger, US Open/Open Masters TD; Chris Garlock, EJ Managing Editor

Game Recorders: Morning: Andrew Jackson*, Richard Dolen*, Daniel Chou*, Andrew Lu*, Justin Teng*, Louie Liu*
Evening: Solomon Smilack**, David Weimer, Bart Jacob, George Schmitten, Yong Peng, Austin Harvey, Peter Gousios, Mike Scudder (* morning recording team; ** special thanks to Sol for handling the Friday Night Broadcast).
Video Commentary Hosting: Stephen Hu, Andrew Jackson, Solomon Smilack, Daniel Chou, Justin Teng, Louie Liu, Matthew Harwitt, Karoline Li

Professionals: Feng Yun 9P, Liao Guiyong 9P, Mingjiu Jiang 7P, Yilun Yang 7P, Maeda Ryo 6P, Hajin Lee 4P, Jennie Shen 2P, Hsiao Ailin 2P, Cathy Li 1P, Stephanie Yin 1P
photo by James Pinkerton

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Myungwan Kim to Broadcast on Ing Pro Finals

AGA news - Tue, 09/08/2016 - 21:20

Tonight (Aug. 9) and Thursday (Aug. 11), Myungwan Kim 9p will provide live commentary on the finals of the 8th Ing Pro Cup between Park Junghwan 9p and Tang Weixing 9p. The broadcasts will start each evening at 11 p.m. on the East Coast, 8 p.m. Pacific, on the AGA’s YouTube channel. Broadcasting with Myungwan will be our newest host, badatbaduk, a Twitch broadcaster and AGA 4d. Please tune in!

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Yun Bao Wins U.S. Open Masters Tournament; Gaoyuan Zhang Wins U.S. Open

AGA news - Sun, 07/08/2016 - 18:48

Yun Bao 7d defeated Zhongfan Jian on Saturday morning to complete his flawless 9-0 sweep of this year’s US Open Masters. In fact, Bao’s only loss this week was in his unrated blindfold match against Eric Lui on Monday (right); Bao had won his Masters game against Lui the previous night. Hanchen Zhang 1P was second and Andy Liu 1P third in the US Masters. 44 players participated.

Gaoyuan Zhang 6D, also undefeated, won the 2016 US Open, topping a record field of 498; Zefan Wen 6D was second and David Lu 6D third. See below for US Open division winners, listed 1st to 3rd for each division.
Matthew Hershberger directed both tournaments.

US Open Results
6-Dan: Gaoyuan Zhang 6D (6 wins); Zefan Wen 6D; David Lu 6D
5-Dan: Sai Sun 5D (6 wins); Michelle Zhang 5D; Forest Song 5D
4-Dan: Minh Vo 4D; Yong Chen 4D; Ruoshi Sun 4D
3-Dan: Soren Jaffe 3D (6 wins); Dominique Cornuejols 3D; Meng Cai 3D
2-Dan: Lee Huynh 2D; Daniel Puzan 2D; Michael Fellner 2D
1-Dan: Jochen Tappe 1D (6 wins); Ken Koester, Jr 1D; Terry Luo 1D
1-Kyu: David Frankel 1K (6 wins); Shawn Ligocki 1K; Bill Phillips 1K
2-Kyu: Lei Xu 2K; Michael Scudder 2K; Jeff Pratt 2K
3-Kyu: François van Walleghem 3K; Bart Jacob 3K; Darrell Speck 3K
4-Kyu: Chi Wong 4K; Mishal Awadah 4K; William Maier 4K
5-Kyu: Theodore Terpstra 5K; Phil Tracy 5K; Robert Ehrlich 5K
6-Kyu: Gurujeet Khalsa 6K; Robert Gilman 6K; Weiqiu You 6K
7-Kyu: Joel Olson 7K; Johnathan Gohde 7K; Tevis Tsai 7K
8-Kyu: Dave Whipp 8K (6 wins); Wen Lepore 8K; Joseph Chaves 8K
9-Kyu: Adam Isom 9K (6 wins); Wendel Silva 9K; Liya Luk 9K
DDK A: Jiamu Si 12K (6 wins); Dan Maas 10K; Jung Lee 10K
DDK B: Alexandra Patz 13K; Lawrence Gross 13K; Michael Williams 13K
DDK C: Lawrence Pierce 24K; Antonina Perez-Lopez 20K; Maya Boerner 20K
photos by Chris Garlock

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Chiu Defeats Yen to Clinch Redmond Cup Senior Title

AGA news - Sun, 07/08/2016 - 17:22

Jeremy Chiu 6d  won the final game in the Redmond Cup at the US Go Congress Thursday, taking the Senior Division title from defending champion, 16-year old Albert Yen 7d, with a final score of 2-1. Chiu and Yen had developed quite a rivalry over the course of this Congress, meeting not only in the Redmond Cup Finals, but also in the Die Hard Tournament and the Youth Team Tournament, where Albert was victorious. However, Chiu was determined to take his first Redmond Cup Title after the series was tied up by Yen on Tuesday. Taking black in the 3rd game, Chiu was able to parry against Yen’s attacks while building a gigantic moyo. While Yen was able to create a group inside the moyo, Chiu was able to create enough territory while attacking it to emerge victorious. All of the games were broadcast on KGS while former champions Gansheng Shi 1p and Hugh Zhang 7d provided commentary on the AGA’s Youtube Channel, which can be found here. Chiu and Yen will take home $300 and $200 in prize money respectively as well as trophies, and also earned free trips to the US Go Congress by becoming finalists through an online preliminary tournament. Information about next year’s Redmond Cup will be released in early 2017; eligibility requirements can be found here. -EJ Special Report by Justin Teng, photo: Albert Yen 7d (l) vs Jermy Chiu (r).

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Kim Youngsam Cleans Up as European Go Congress Wraps Up

AGA news - Sun, 07/08/2016 - 17:00

Another two-week long European Go Congress has flown by quickly. Between hard go battles on the boards, participants at the historic 60th Congress could enjoy football, volleyball, basketball and table tennis matches, creative workshops, board games, exhibitions and more. Players and guests were especially amazed by the photo screen for instant photo printing provided by the Videofabrika company, enabling anyone to instantly print or email photos of themselves playing go or posing with props, or photos of pro guests who would then autograph the photos. Overall 984 people from 36 countries, including 27 accredited journalists, organizers and volunteers, took part in EGC 2016. 689 players competed in the Main and Weekend tournaments. Several EGC records were set, including the largest number of players in the Rapid Tournament (306) and Youth tournament (42).

The EGC’s Closing Ceremony featured live music, dance performances and a reception. RGF vice-president Vladimir Gorzhaltsan, together with Turkey’s Kerem Karaerkek, representing the EGC 2017 organizing team, started the countdown watch showing the time left till the start of the next Congress.

The main focus, however, was on the tournament winners. The winner of the main Congress tournament was unexpected. Before the last round the bets were on the recent European champion Ilya Shikshin and Chan Yi-Tien, the World Amateur Champion who also won the EGC Rapid tournament but both of them lost in the final round, so fortune turned her eye to Korean 7d Kim Youngsam (left), who had already won in several EGC events here including the Pair Go tournament with Manja Marz, the Weekend tournament, and the Lightning tournament. All the results can be found here.
- Daria Koshkina, special correspondent to the E-Journal at the European Go Congress

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Board/Bowl Auction Raises $2,200 for AGF

AGA news - Sun, 07/08/2016 - 02:14

The annual auction benefiting the American Go Foundation got a boost this year when go bowls signed by AlphaGo programmer Aja Huang and Fan Hui 2P were added to the auction, conducted at the closing banquet at the US Go Congress on Saturday, August 6. Brady Daniels’ $500 bid won him the bowls, while John Tromp’s $1,700 bid enabled him to take home the board signed by all the professional go players attending this year’s Go Congress. The American Go Foundation is dedicated to promoting go in the U.S. With its support, thousands of American children have learned go in hundreds of schools, libraries and community centers across the country. The AGF also provides scholarships and resources for youth who play go, and supports go in institutional settings such as prisons, and senior centers.
photo: Tromp and Daniels with AGA president Andy Okun (far left); photo by Steve Colburn

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Behind the Scenes at the US Go Congress: Lisa Scott

AGA news - Sat, 06/08/2016 - 21:57

Newly-elected AGA board member Lisa Scott is definitely not new to the AGA scene. She served as a Central Region board member from 2010 to 2013, and has just been appointed US Go Congress Coordinator for the AGA. Scott learned to play go on KGS during her first year of college, and found out about the Go Congress in 2006, when she asked around about why most go players seemed to drop offline during the first week of August. Scott has directed the Women’s Tournament at the Go Congress every year since the Lancaster, PA in 2007, her first Go Congress. The first year, 23 women played in the tournament. Participation has been lower some years, but at the 2015 Go Congress in St. Paul 40 women played, and this year that number grew to 46. “With around 90 rated women registered for the Go Congress this year, including pros,” Scott says with a smile. “That means over 50% of them are playing in the Women’s Tournament!” Scott’s biggest goal of the tournament is to build community and give women a chance to meet other female players outside their own clubs. With the number of female registrants and Women’s Tournament players rising each year, more players are getting the chance to meet and play against new people. “I like finding people good games to play.”
report/photo by Karoline Li, Congress Tournament Liaison

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60th European Go Congress Ends in St Petersburg

European Go Federation - Sat, 06/08/2016 - 19:14
The 60th European Go Congress closed in St Petersburg with the closing cermony on Saturday 6th August, just after the end of the European Open. Of the 597 players in this Kim Young-Sam, 7d Korea, was the best taking the Open title on tie break.
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2016 US Go Congress Credits

AGA news - Sat, 06/08/2016 - 18:00

Although just one name goes on the annual Congress Director plaque, there are literally dozens of volunteers who work for months to ensure a fun-filled week of go for the hundreds of go players who attend the largest event on the U.S. go calendar. To those volunteers we say Thank You for a job well-done!
- Walther Chen, Director, 2016 US Go Congress 

Our core Congress team went far above and beyond: Jason McGibbon, Chun Sun, Yuan Cao, Matthew Hershberger, Becci Torrey, Stephen Hu, James Carrier, Neil Ritter, Dan Ritter, Andrew Hall, Li Chen, James Peters, Tim Holman, Brian Lee, I-Han Lui, Milan Mladenovic.

The core team would like to give a special thanks to the following people, who made the Boston 2016 US Go Congress possible by helping plan and prepare ahead of time, by working all day on registration day, by staying late to set up boards, by helping run events, and so much more. These people are all extended members of our core team: Srividya Kalyanaraman, Krishna Artis-Mickens, Greg Kulevich, Cat Thu Nguyen Huu, John Kane, Chris Kirshner, Ted Terpstra, Alice Peng, William Wright, Dan Steinbrook, Audrey Wang, Joe Chaves, William Luff.

We would like to thank the following people for volunteering to help prepare and run the Boston 2016 US Go Congress: Wei Shi, Shurun Fan, Keith Arnold, William Wright, Graham Higgins, Helen Higgins, David Hampton, Shawn Ligocki, Wen Zheng, Mark Huang, Eva Casey, Wanda Metcalf, Cat Huu, David Spitz, Mark Nahabedian, Gabriello Adler-Abramo, Alice (Siyu Peng), John Fuhrer, James Putnam, Rob Campbell, Thao Tran, Julia Grunewald, Michael Williams, Eric Reid, Danni Chen, Alan Yin, Spence Konde, Briana Sextonstalone, John Piermarini, Henry Galperin, Brianna Sextone-Stallone, Spence Kande, and many others!

Thanks also to the translators: Moon Ki Cho, Yumin Guo, Tracy Zhao, Yekan Ji, Xinying Jiang, Seon Kinrot, Brian Kirby, Chenchen Luo, Wei Tang, Tony Cha, Richard Dolen, Joshua Guarino

Special thanks
Community: David Kahn, the Massachusetts Go Association, and the Boston Go Community; all the friends and family who don’t play go but helped anyways
For Amateur Team Relay Go: Neil Ritter, Dan Ritter, Chun Sun, Andrew Hall, Becci Torrey, James Peters, John Kane, Tim Holman, Dave Felcan, Yuan Cao, Shawn Ligocki, Dan Steinbrook, Andrew Jackson, Nick Sibicky, Brian Lee, Tim Holman, Steven Xhu. And finally, a special thanks to the professional players who volunteered to be team captains and do commentary: Jenny Shen, Mingjiu Jiang, Yilun Yang, Feng Yun, Willian Shi, Andy Liu, Eric Lui, Calvin Sun, and Ryan Li

photo by James Pinkerton

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Go Congress Updates: Bao Yun Clinches ’16 US Open Masters; Broadcast Schedule & Tourney Reports

AGA news - Sat, 06/08/2016 - 04:30

Bao Yun Clinches ’16 US Open Masters; Battle Underway for Runner-Up: There’s still one more round to play in the 2016 US Open Masters but the name of this year’s winner can already be inscribed: Bao Yun 7D. Bao defeated Song Zirui 1P Friday night by 3.5 points to build an unassailable 8-0 lead and clinch the 2016 title. The action now moves to the battle for second place. Zhang Hanchen will have to beat Ito Kenryo to take second place; if Ito wins, tiebreaks will determine the winner. In other Round 8 action, Andy Liu let certain victory against Zhang Hanchen slip away when he neglected to secure the life of a group in the endgame on Board 2 (click here for an sgf of the commentary by Feng Yun 9P and Yilun Yang 7P); Ito Kenryo 1P beat Ryan Li by half a point on Board 3, Eric Lui 1P defeated Sun Shuo 7d by 4.5 points on Board 4, Jian Zhongfan 7d beat Zhang Siyuan 7d by a half-point on 5 and Zhaonian Chen 7d won by 8.5 points over Albert Yen 7d on Board 6. Click here for the 2016 Masters Division crossgrid, with results and top-board game records. Click here for the US Open crosstab, updated through Round 5. 

Broadcast Schedule
10a: US Open Masters Round 9 (final): Live pro commentary on the AGA YouTube Channel.
10:30a: US Open Masters Round 9: Live pro commentary on KGS.
PLUS: Check all the pro game commentaries from the week here.

US Go Congress Tournaments Schedule: Saturday 8/6
9:00a: US Open, round 6; US Open Masters, round 9

Diehard
Exactly 100 players ranging from the low 27 kyu to 7d decided they did not need a day off on Wednesday 8/3 — “because rest is for babies” — and gathered in the main playing room for the annual Diehard Tournament. Both Ted Lin 3k and Alexander Foti 4k were undefeated with four wins.

Pair Go
Click here for a Facebook album of all this year’s pairs, and read here for the tournament story and results to find out who will be representing North America in the International Pair Go Championships in Japan!

Senior Cup
Visit live.gocongress.org for final tournament crosstabs. Chunlin Xu 7k won all four games to be the only undefeated player in the tournament.

Women’s Tournament
Visit live.gocongress.org for final tournament crosstabs.

Lightning Tournament
Players are on their own to find and complete their playoff games, and both the dan and kyu section playoffs have not yet reached the semi-final round. With just one more day left of play, will they complete before the end of the Go Congress? Will we be left without lightning champions? Stay tuned to find out!

report by Karoline Li, Congress Tournament Liaison; photos by Chris Garlock

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Gabriella Su 6d & Jeremy Chiu 7d Top 2016 North American Pair Go Championship

AGA news - Sat, 06/08/2016 - 04:15

The 2016 North American Pair Go Championship attracted 120 players, including seven professionals, on Thursday night.  The overall champions this year are Gabriella Su 6d and Jeremy Chiu 7d (right), who will represent North America in the International Amateur Pair Go Championship in Tokyo in December. Always one of the most popular events of the week, Pair Go provides everyone an opportunity to play in a fun unrated tournament. Pair Go promotes the formation of partnerships which combine the diverse skills and personalities of each player. Since everyone can play, Pair Go is especially attractive for those who don’t play in the rest of the competitive tournaments during the Go Congress. The North American Pair Go Championship is supported by World Pair Go Association and the Japan Pair Go Association.

The top table of the tournament determined the overall champions. As with many of the tournaments at this year’s congress, the matches played on the top board of the tournament were recorded onto the Pandanet Go Server along with a live stream on the AGA’s Official YouTube page. Click here to see an album of photos of all of the pairs in the tournament.

Top table results: 1st Place – Gabriella Su 6d and Jeremy Chiu 7d; 2nd Place – Yin Li Wang 6d and Daniel Liu 6d; 3rd Place – Melissa Cao 4d and Justin Ching 7d; 4th Place – Wan Chen 4d and Ricky Zhao 7d

Table Winners: Table 2: Tongyu Wang 7d and Xiangnan Zheng 7d; Table 3: Irene Sha 6d and James Sedgwick 6d; Table 4: Lee Dahye 4p and Cam Wagner 1d; Table 5: Nqua Xiong 2d and Michael Chen 7d; Table 6: Yasuko Imamura 6d and Nick Blake 3d; Table 7: Marina Watabe 3d and David Glekel 3d; Table 8: Seowoo Wang 1d and Andrew Jackson 4d; Table 9: Ai-Lin Hsiao 2p and Yihsiu Chen 10k; Table 10: Lee Anne Bowie 3k and Dave Hampton 3k; Table 11: Jesy Feliccia 4k and Kilin Tang 7k; Table 12: Alexandra Patz 13k and Marc Palmer 1d; Table 13: Wanda Metcalf 5k and Mark Nahabedian 13k; Table 14: Emily Briley 19k and Jonathon Green 2k; Table 15: Antonina Perez-Lopez 20k and Chris Lahey 11k
- Todd Heidenreich, Tournament Director; photos by Chris Garlock; photo at left: Tselmuun Ganbaatar (r) and her partner Eric Hookway.

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Behind the Scenes at the US Go Congress: Tech Support

AGA news - Fri, 05/08/2016 - 21:16

As you might imagine, there’s a lot of behind-the-scenes work that goes into broadcasting games from the annual US Go Congress, whether on KGS, Pandanet, YouTube or Twitch. Most of the time, everything works, and go fans around the world can follow the top-board action from the comfort of their own homes or at work.

But sometimes things go sideways. Like Thursday morning. With just minutes to go before the sixth round in the US Open Masters was scheduled to begin, and with Bao Yun and Ito Kenryo — the last two undefeated players left — seated at Board 1, the internet connection for the game recorder’s computers and the livestream feed went dead. The E-Journal team quickly scrambled to troubleshoot the problem, find workarounds and implement backup plans. The BU tech guys were called in, cables and adapters were swapped and software settings were rapidly reconfigured. As always, the priority was to ensure no disruption or distraction for the players while working to bring the best possible broadcast to viewers on the various platforms. At home, viewers probably didn’t even notice the 2-minute delay in the start of the round, which otherwise went off without a hitch. The way we like it.
- Dennis Wheeler & Chris Garlock; photo by Garlock

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Hajin Lee’s Next Big Move

AGA news - Fri, 05/08/2016 - 20:58

It’s only August and already Hajin Lee has had one heck of a year. She got married, stepped down from her post as Secretary General of the International Go Federation, got promoted to 4-dan professional at the Korean Baduk Association and got accepted to an MBA program in Switzerland. Oh, and there was that whole AlphaGo thing.

The AlphaGo games against Lee Sedol in March came just before the end of Lee’s tenure at the IGF and the huge crush of media interest generated headlines and news reports around the world as hundreds of journalists descended on Seoul, where she’d spent years as a pro. “Working at that event was really crazy, it was one of the busiest times of my life, but it was still fun,” she said. In addition to witnessing the most massive promotion of go in the history of the game, Lee came away with a personal memento of the moment:  “DeepMind sent me a beautiful set of Wedgewood tea cups and pots” for her wedding to fellow go player Dan Maas.

But the tea party will have to wait; Lee is moving to Switzerland this Fall to get an MBA focusing on international organizations. “When I applied for the program, I wanted to get some kind of job at the UN. But right now, I am open to other options because there are many organizations that do education or philanthropy work and I am mostly interested in those sectors,” building on her work at the IGF. “I really enjoyed working with the global community and the international context [at the IGF],” she told the E-Journal.

Lee was also recently promoted to 4P by the Korean Go Association. “In the Korean pro system, it’s a cumulative point system,” she explains. Her last promotion was to 3D in 2007. As for the question on many of her fans’ minds, Hajin — known for her popular go broadcasts as Haylee on YouTube — says this, “For the time being, my plan is to continue my YouTube broadcasts in Switzerland. The hope is to continue it for as long as I can.”
- report/photos by Samantha Fede, E-Journal special correspondent, reporting from the 2016 U.S. Go Congress . photo: Lee with husband Dan Maas at the Pair Go tournament Thursday night at the 2016 US Go Congress; photo by Chris Garlock 

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2016 US Open Masters Players

AGA news - Fri, 05/08/2016 - 20:16

The US Open Masters Division is the tournament for the best of the best, with the biggest prizes and most intense schedule. The invitational event, with 44 top players this year, is a 9-round event at the US Go Congress, with 6 rounds played at the same time as the US Open and an additional three rounds played Sunday, Tuesday and Friday nights. The new format replaced the 4-round North American Masters Tournament (NAMT) and the 4-round Strong Players Open in 2014. Eligibility in the Masters Division is limited to professionals, 7 Dan or stronger players and NAMT qualifiers. The top prize will be $5000 for first place, plus a $2000 for the top-placing North American Masters Tournament qualifier. Click here for the 2016 Masters Division crossgrid, with results and top-board game records.

Top row: Bohan An, Matthew Burrall, Fan Chen, Zhaonian Chen, Jeremy Chiu, Yuan Fu, Yongfei Ge, Thomas Hsiang, Alan Huang, Kenryo Ito, Zhongfan Jian

Second row: Xinying Jiang, Dae Hyuk (Daniel) Ko, Jung Hoon Lee, Haoshen Li, Ryan Li, Jie Liang, Tianyu (Bill) Lin, ZhiYuan (Andy) Liu, Benjamin Lockhart, Mengxue Luan, Eric Lui


Third row: Qipeng Luo, Bowen Man, Irene Sha, Gansheng Shi, Zirui Song, Gabriella Su, Calvin Sun, Shuo Sun, Zhengbokang Tang, Tongyu Wang, Zehua Yang


Bottom row: Albert Yen, Bao Yun, Feiming Yun, Cheng Zhang, Hanchen Zhang, Hugh Zhang, Lionel Zhang, Siyuan Zhang, Zhongxia (Ricky) Zhao, Xiangnan Zheng, Yuan Zhou

photos/collage by Chris Garlock

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Why We Play: Melissa Cao 4D, Edward Gillis 2D

AGA news - Fri, 05/08/2016 - 17:28

Melissa Cao 4D
Age: 13
Lives in: New Jersey
Home Club: Feng Yun Go School
Years playing go: 4
Favorite thing about go: “I like how sometimes when you fight you get the outside, you get a wall and you’re able to use that wall to make territory and use that for other battles during the game.” Melissa said she’s mostly been playing that way this tournament, and that’s her typical style. “I usually like go because it helps my concentration too. Before I wouldn’t concentrate as much but after I’ve been playing go I would concentrate more.”

Edward Gillis 2D
Age: 58
Lives in: Boston, MA
Years playing go: 44
Favorite thing about go: “The rules are simple, but the strategy is complex. The margin between winning and losing is narrow so it makes it a good game from the point of view of developing strategies.” Edward used to play chess, but transitioned to go at a young age. “I like go better than chess because it seems more universal. It’s simple rules, you can cultivate a sense of attack and defense or who has the ability to force his opponent (sente). I only heard about go much later than chess. I was making a go board for myself in high school shop class. It turns out my [math] teacher was a go player, so I advanced rapidly. That got me a good start, so I was lucky.”

- report/photos by Samantha Fede, E-Journal special correspondent, reporting from the 2016 U.S. Go Congress  

 

 

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US Go Congress Updates: Bao the One to Beat; AlphaGo Keynote Video Posted; Pro Game Commentaries; Tournaments Schedule

AGA news - Fri, 05/08/2016 - 04:00

Bao the One to Beat: Yun Bao 7d prevailed over Kenryo Ito 1P Thursday morning in the sixth round of the US Open Masters, giving the “Blindfold Go” master a 6-0 record with just three rounds to go. The game was hard-fought by both players, with Ito in a dramatic byo-yomi that had viewers on the edge of their seats. Click here for the game record and here for the livestream broadcast on the AGA’s YouTube channel. Bao has beaten the players with 5-1 records — Andy Liu, Hanchen Zhang, and Eric Lui — so unless something unusual happens in the next couple of rounds, he’s the odds-on favorite to win the 2016 US Open Masters title.  Of course, there remain strong opponents who will try to block Bao in the next three rounds; see below for the schedule. Complete US Open Masters results through Round 6 and top-board game records here. Click here for the US Open crosstab, updated through Round 4. 

AlphaGo Keynote Video Posted: Aja Huang and Fan Hui’s AlphaGo keynote speech has now been posted on the AGA’s YouTube channel.

Pro Game Commentaries
US Open Masters Round 6, Ito Kenryo 1p (W) vs. Bao Yun 7d (B) Hajin Lee 4p with Stephen Hu 5d
US Open Masters Round 6, Andy Liu 1p (W) vs Danny Ko 7d (B) Liao Guiyong 9p with Louie Liu 3d & Matthew Harwit 5d
US Open Masters Round 6, Zirui Song 1p (W) vs Eric Lui 1p (B) Liao Guiyong 9p with Louie Liu 3d & Matthew Harwit 5d
US Open Masters Round 6, Cheng Zhang 7d (W) vs Michael Chen 7d (B) Liao Guiyong 9p with Louie Liu 3d & Matthew Harwit 5d
US Open Masters Round 6, Shuo Sun 7d (W) vs Hanchen Zhang 1p (B) Liao Guiyong 9p with Louie Liu 3d & Matthew Harwit 5d

US Go Congress Tournaments Schedule: Friday 8/5
9:ooa: Us Open, round 5; US Open Masters, round 7
1:00p: Senior Cup, round 4; Youth Team Match
3:00p: Women’s Tournament, round 4
7:00p: US Open Masters, round 8; Evening League, night 5

Youth Lightning / 9×9 / 13×13
The youth room has been abuzz with tournaments and impromptu games of relay go in the basement all week, presided over by Devin Fraze, Youth Room Coordinator. Table winners in the Lightning: Albert Yen 7d, Young He 5d, Jessica Wu 3d, Kilin Tang 7k, and a tie between Brian Ye 19k and Stephanie Tan 22k. Table winners in the 9×9: Kilin Tang 7k, Sarah Crites 10k, and Billy Ganbaatar 14k. Table winners in the 13×13: Tony Xie 6d, Patrick Zhao 2k, and Gabriello Adler-Abramo.

Under 16 Girls Championship
Taylor Shu 6d (right) defeated Gabriella Su 6d to clinch the championship in the second annual Under 16 Girls Championship Tournament. Gabriella took second place, while Melissa Cao 3d and Jessica Li 3d placed third and fourth respectively.

Evening League: Latest updates here.

report by Karoline Li, Congress Tournament Liaison; photos by Chris Garlock except for Under 16 Girls Tournament (bottom right) photo by Ted Terpstra. 

 

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Chen and Cao Top Youth Adult Pair Go

AGA news - Fri, 05/08/2016 - 02:14

Michael Chen 8d and Melissa Cao 4d won the top table at Youth Adult Pair Go on Tuesday at the Go Congress.  The event was a big hit with both young and old, drawing 56 players to the Youth Room. Seven tables competed, with first and second place at each table winning prizes, including go books donated by several publishers, Hikaru no Go manga, and several new sets of various anime series donated by Winston Jen. Devin Fraze has taken over in the Youth Room this year,  allowing longtime organizer Paul Barchilon to actually play in the event,  pictured below with his partner, 5 year old Tselmuun Ganbaatar (who was violating all known standards of Pair Go rules and etiquette by telling her partner how it important it was for him to play where she told him). Every table saw exciting games, many with giggling kids – and astonished adults as the kids outplayed everyone nonetheless. Other events in the Youth Room included lightning go on Sunday, 9×9 and 13×13 tourneys on Monday, and relay go on Thursday.  One youngster said he enjoyed relay go the most, because he “really likes to run.” Fraze, whose day job is teaching fifth grade, was clearly up to the challenge of managing so many kids at once.

Winners Report: Table one: 1st place: Michael Chen 8d and Melissa Cao 4d,  2nd place: Daniel Liu 6d and Jinli Wang 6d; Table two: 1st place: Frederick Bao 3d and Sai Sun 5d, 2nd place: Kelly Liu 2d and Yunbo Yi 6d; Table three: 1st place: Yungyan Wu 1k and Tao Wu 1d; Table four: 1st place: Owen Sedgwick 12k and Irene Sha 6d; Table five: 1st place: Liya Luk 9k and Allen Noe 1k; Table six 1st place: Sarah Crites 10k and Bob Crites 7k; Table seven: 1st place Zoey Zhang 30k and Yunzhe Zhang 6d.
- Story and photos by Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor

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