US Go Congress Updates: Congress Airport Shuttle; EJ Adds Video Streaming

Congress Airport Shuttle: For those finalizing their US Go Congress travel plans, Congress organizers have coordinated with SuperShuttle to2015.06.19_streaming-test-youtube 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.

via American Go E-Journal

Yufei Hu & Tai-An Cha Top Davis/Sacramento Summer Tourney

The Davis/Sacramento Go Club held its Summer Tournament on June 20 at the Arden-Dimick Library in Sacramento, CA. Seven players from 2015.06.22_Davis-Sac-winnersthe Bay Area to the foothills attended. The upper division was won by Yufei Hu 3d (left), and Tai-An Cha 5k (right), won the lower division. Both had 4-0 records.
– Willard Haynes

via American Go E-Journal

Baltimore Club Uses Chapter Rewards to Pay Dues

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 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

via American Go E-Journal

More Go Players Streaming

Screen Shot 2015-06-18 at 1.11.29 PMMore 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 hereHe 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.

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. Battousi 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



via American Go E-Journal

Go Commentary: Gu Li ve Zhou Ruiyang – 10th Chunlan Cup

This is game 2 from the 10th Chunlan Cup final.

The game was played between Gu Li 9p and Zhou Ruiyang 9p on June 10, 2015, in Zhangjiajie, China.

Gu won game 1 of the final by resignation on June 8, 2015, and this was game 2 from the best three match.

Zhou Ruiyang 9 dan (left) and Gu Li 9 dan at the 10th Chunlan Cup final.

Zhou Ruiyang 9 dan (left) and Gu Li 9 dan at the 10th Chunlan Cup final.

Gu Li

Gu Li is currently ranked #8 in China, but he used to be #1 for a long time in his prime.

Gu Li 9 dan at the 10th Chunlan Cup final.

Gu Li 9 dan at the 10th Chunlan Cup final.

He won the 10th LG Cup defeating Chen Yaoye 9p in 2006, and it was his first international title in his career.

In 2007, he won the 6th Chunlan Cup, and he won the 21st Fujitsu Cup in 2008.

In 2009, Gu became invincible. He won the 4th Toyota-Denso Cup, the 13th LG Cup and the 1st BC Card Cup respectively, and he became unarguably the best in the world. Especially, he defeated Lee Sedol 9p by 2-0 in LG Cup, and he was in his peak.

In 2010, he won the 15th Samsung Cup, but surprisingly Gu didn’t add any international title since then.

Gu lost to Lee Sedol in the final of the 3rd BC Card Cup, and he was also defeated by Won Seongjin 9p at the 16th Samsung Cup in 2011.

Gu was in the final of the 1st MLily Cup in 2013, but he lost to Mi Yuting 9p, who was unknown by that time, and it was shocking news for his fans.

There was a historical match between Gu Li and Lee Sedol in 2014 called MLily Gu vs Lee Jubango, and Gu lost to Lee badly by 6-2 score. Most of Go fans might have thought it’ll take a while for Gu to overcome from the defeat, but Gu won against Kim Jiseok 9p in the semifinals at the end of 2014, and he proceeded to the final.

In this Chunlan Cup, Gu defeated Lee Sedol, Cho U 9p, and Kim Jiseok 9p respectively to proceeded to the final.

Zhou Ruiyang

Zhou Ruiyang 9 dan at the 10th Chunlan Cup final.

Zhou Ruiyang 9 dan at the 10th Chunlan Cup final.

Zhou Ruiyang was born in 1991, and became a pro in 2002.

He’s currently ranked #5 in China, but he also used to be #1 in China for a year between 2010 and 2011.

His results in the international matches weren’t outstanding when he was ranked #1, but he was getting better since 2012, and he eventually won the 1st Bailing Cup by defeating Chen Yaoye in early 2013.

At the time, Chen was ranked #1, but Zhou shutout Chen by 3-0. Zhou’s style of play is practical and lively, and somehow that’s working very well against Chen’s thick and solid style of play.

He won two domestic titles (13th Liguang Cup and 1st Luoyang Longmen Qisheng) after winning the Bailing Cup in the same year.

In 2014, he proceeded to the final of the 18th LG Cup to challenge for another title, but he lost to Tuo Jiaxi 9p.

This final is his 2nd challenge to win his 2nd international title.

Zhou defeated Iyama Yuta 9p, Shi Yue 9p and Chen Yaoye 9p to the final in this Chunlan Cup.

Let’s have look at the final of the 10th Chunlan Cup.

Gu Li 9 dan (left) and Zhou Ruiyang 9 dan after the game.

Gu Li 9 dan (left) and Zhou Ruiyang 9 dan after the game.

Commented game record

Gu Li vs Zhou Ruiyang

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Register for US Go Congress by July 1 & Save; Day-Off Activities Include Stillwater Riverboat Ride and a day at the Uptown Lakes

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 to2015.06.17_St-Paul-riverboat $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.

2015.06.17_St-Paul-downtownIf 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.

via American Go E-Journal

Almost pro: An interview with An Jungki

An Jungki 5d defeated Chen Yaoye 9p in the round of 32 of the 20th LG Cup on June 8, 2015.

Since then, many Go fans have been interested in learning more about him.

An Jungki

An Jungki is a yeongusaeng (Korean insei), which means he’s training to become a professional Go player, but hasn’t formally qualified yet. Nevertheless he’s already very strong.

An qualified to compete in this year’s LG Cup and MLily Cup by winning his way through the preliminary rounds.

He defeated many pros in the process and earned 95 out the 100 points required to turn pro through the new system that saw Cho Insun become pro in 2011. He only has to win one more game in a professional tournament to qualify.

Yeongusaeng aren’t allowed to compete in normal amateur tournaments within Korea, which means they can’t earn a promotion to 6d or 7d through winning important amateur tournaments. That’s why An Jungki’s rank is still 5d at the moment.

Recently, I had the opportunity to speak to Jungki and this is what he said…

An Junggi 5 dan amateur (left) and Chen Yaoye 9 dan at the 20th LG Cup.

An Jungki 5 dan amateur (left) and Chen Yaoye 9 dan at the 20th LG Cup.


The game against Chen Yaoye

An Younggil: Hi Jungki, thanks for agreeing to do an interview for Go players overseas!

First of all, How did you feel when you faced players like Chen Yaoye 9p and Kang Dongyun 9p?

An Jungki: I was so nervous when I faced Chen Yaoye.

In an interview, after I won the final of the preliminaries, I said that I wanted to play against Chen Yaoye in the main tournament. That’s because I like his style of play very much, even though it’s quite different to my own.

There are so many aspects of Chen’s game which I wanted to learn from. It was the most exciting moment of my life so far.

In the game against Kang Dongyun, I had some chances to attack his weak group in the middle game, but I missed them and I eventually lost the game.

I like fighting, but the game proceeded at Kang’s pace somehow. However, I tried to do my best, so I don’t regret being defeated. I was happy enough in the end.


The road to yeongusaeng

An Junggi 5 dan amateur.

An Jungki 5 dan amateur.

Younggil: How old were you when you first learned Go and who taught you?

Jungki: I started playing Go when I was 7. I learned to play at a baduk academy in Jeonju.

[Ed: Jeonju is Cho Hunhyun 9p and Lee Changho 9p’s hometown.]

I went to Seoul to study Baduk more seriously when I was 9, and it was very tough at the beginning.

I cried a lot at first, because I missed my family, but eventually I adapted to my new life at the baduk school in Seoul.


Younggil: And when did you become yeongusaeng?

Jungki: In 2010.


Younggil: You moved to Seoul in 2006 and became yeongusaeng in 2010, so it took almost four years?

Jungki: Yes, right.


Younggil: I see. The first few years must have been very hard for you. I understand that, because I also moved to Seoul to study baduk more seriously when I was 12.

By the way, how do you think the level of the players you’ve faced in the LG Cup and MLily Cup compares with your yeongusaeng classmates?

Jungki: Pros like Chen Yaoye and Kang Dongyun are obviously stronger than yeongusaeng.

Their reading ability might be similar, but they have a deeper insight into the game and seem to manage the whole board better than yeongusaeng usually do.


Becoming a pro

Younggil: I hope you don’t mind me asking this next question – I’m asking because I imagine many people would like to know.

If you played a jubango (10 game match) with one of today’s top players, such as Park Junghwan 9p, what do you think the right handicap would be?

Jungki: That’s a difficult question to answer… I think maybe 3.5 points komi would be appropriate.


Younggil: That’s interesting! Anyway, I heard that you’re ranked #6 in the yeongusaeng class. Is that right?

Jungki: Yes, that’s right.


Younggil: And you currently have 95 out of 100 points under the new pro qualification system.

If you win your next game in an international tournament, you’ll be able to turn pro, right? How do you feel about that at the moment?

Kang Dongyun 9 dan (left) and An Junggi 5 dan amateur at the 20th LG Cup.

Kang Dongyun 9 dan (left) and An Jungki 5 dan amateur at the 20th LG Cup.

Jungki: I don’t really care about the points in the new pro qualification system, because I can still become a pro in other ways [e.g. the normal pro qualification tournament].

I’ll do my best in the MLily Cup, but at the moment, I just want to study baduk as hard as I normally do.

Younggil: Yes, I agree. Becoming a pro can’t be the final goal for you. You should have a higher goal in baduk.

Turning pro is just a new beginning in your Go career, I think.


How to get better at Go

(An Jungki style)

Younggil: The next question will be the last.

Do you have any advice for Go players outside of East Asia who want to get better at Go?

Jungki: Hmm… I think playing many games is the most important thing if you want to get better at baduk. Improving one’s reading is also very important, I think.

Younggil: Yes, everyone says so. But, how can you improve your reading in that case? Could you explain in more detail please?

Jungki: There are many ways. I think reviewing your own games is one of the best ways.

You can review your games and try to play differently, and continue exploring what you were planning, on a board. In the process, you can improve your reading.

You can also replay your favorite players’ games and try to understand the meaning of their moves, why they played like that, consider other possible options, and so on.

You can learn a lot from pros’ games and you can also improve your reading in that way.


Younggil: Thank you for your time today and good luck in the coming months!

Go players around the world will be following your story and cheering for you!

Jungki: Thank you.

An Junggi 5 dan amateur at the opening ceremony from the 20th LG Cup.

An Jungki 5 dan amateur at the opening ceremony from the 20th LG Cup.

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Slate fixed for 2015 Board Elections

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 with any questions.

via American Go E-Journal

Go Spotting: Go and the President in Scientific American

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 2015.06.16_go-presidentDepartment 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

via American Go E-Journal