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2020 US e-Go Congress thread

aga go congress

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ron paul it’s happening dot jiff

OGS Announcement: https://forums.online-go.com/t/announcing-the-2020-e-go-congress-on-august-1-9/29159
Registration: https://www.gocongress.org/2020/contents/267
Event Schedule: https://www.gocongress.org/2020/content_categories/71
Get AGA Membership: https://www.usgo.org/join-now
NOTE: these games will NOT be officially rated, which is stupid dumb poopy doody bullshit frankly

Where to Watch
AGA twitch channel: https://www.twitch.tv/usgoweb

OGS: http://online-go.com
KGS: https://www.gokgs.com/ (requires client download) or play online here apparently! https://shin.gokgs.com/
Pandanet: https://pandanet-igs.com/communities/pandanet (requires client download)

It looks like the AGA is moving the 2020 Go Congress online! Which means I actually get to attend and play! Thanks, COVID-19! best pandemic

AGA membership is required to participate in the tournaments for some reason even though they’re not rated. I’ll be entering as 10k and seeing how it goes. If you’re interested, watch this thread for records of my games, reviews, and whatever other go stuff I feel like posting. Also post your stuff here too!

I currently plan to enter the Open tournament on August 1st and 2nd (Sat and Sun) and the DDK tourney.

Edited by Applebaps at 2020-07-16 21:30:092020-07-16 21:30
i didn't learn nothin

I understand why the games aren’t officially rated (because it’s much easier to cheat if people are playing from home), but I think that the rate of that happening is so incredibly low and so much easier to detect from later play that it’s a silly decision.

Trying too hard

yeah. i’m a little pissed actually that they’re having the audacity to say you have to have AGA membership to play, given that they’re unrated games

still i love go and this may be my only opportunity to play in a Congress any time soon so i’ll take it lol

i didn't learn nothin

at the very least, the AGA board did vote to consider online ratings….. AFTER the congress lol.

i didn't learn nothin

slowing down my pace of play, i think i’ve done all the training i can constructively do prior to the tournament, now it’s time to rest

i didn't learn nothin

I hope your games go well!

Trying too hard


i didn't learn nothin

checked in for the congress now. they sent out another form. i’m good to go for the DDK and Open tourneys

apparently this year set a record for attendance. gee i wonder why lol. it’s almost like not having to pay 1200+ bucks to fly out get a hotel and register for a thing means more people who like the game can play! interesting hmmm

in any case they’ve completely filled a couple of the tournaments, and are setting up waitlists which i guess they’ve never had to do before. pretty cool

i didn't learn nothin

I feel with events like this it would be good to have a bunch of satellite events across the country and do the open tournament in stages, so winners at the satellite events get entry into the next level up and travel and accommodation paid for, the same way that something like the World Poker Tour does it. You’d get many more players and attendees and open up access to more people.

Trying too hard

opening ceremony in 30 minutes on twitch!

and my first game in the US Open starts in 3.5 hours

i didn't learn nothin

i’m thinking of doing a dual 3-4 opening then diving into my opponent’s 3-3 anywhere it’s available right away

my preparation games had me losing in the center pretty consistently as like a theme. my main goal will be to not be forced into playing for influence

i didn't learn nothin

one more hour. opening ceremony is still going on, they had TDs talk about their events, thanked volunteers and sponsors etc.

there’s a guy talking about teaching beginners who’s getting a little bit Reddit-ish talking about logic and reason and stuff lol. i used to think stuff about “the virtues of learning go” like him, though i’m skeptical of how long you can cling to civic virtues in a martial space and all that. but his heart seems like it’s in the right place in general and i’m very big on beginner outreach as well so i can’t fault him too much haha. whatever gets people playing

as for my upcoming game, i feel sharp. i feel ready. i’m going to play as well as i can, just like usual. i was nervous last night but that’s dropping away as the time ticks down

i didn't learn nothin

Have a good game and have fun!

Trying too hard

it was a great game. i lost by 15.5 points against an OGS 8k but i feel great about how i played

i had White here.


the big thing that got me was, my opponent used the Chinese fuseki and i chose to just leave it alone and reduce later while i took a bunch of early points

which worked, but the margin i lost by ended up being exactly how much i underestimated the point value of the fuseki. basically i said to myself “oh that’s 20 points tops” and it ended up being 37 lol

i didn't learn nothin

i hung in there, i expected to get blown the fuck up but i didn’t. felt really good to go toe to toe with an opponent that strong and see that i’m capable of playing at that level. i’m exhausted tho. don’t wanna think for the rest of today lmao

i’m playing in round 2 tomorrow. 4 games in total, 2 this weekend 2 next weekend. plus the DDK tourney wed/thurs

my goal is to win at least one of my Open games, for now

i didn't learn nothin

i have Black here, won by resignation at move 137! that means i’m 1 and 1 for the tourney so far


White fought well, but in the end i completely overwhelmed them with my power basically. i had something like 40 minutes left on my thinking time and they were nearly in byo-yomi. at move 111, this cut:


they thought for 15 minutes lmao. i was using that time to read out ways they might try to live, and there were some variations i found and others that AI pointed out to me after the game that i missed. but everything my opponent chose to do from that move, they would think for like 5 minutes and then i’d instantly respond. it must have been pretty demoralizing lol

here i’ve highlighted the direction of play of the game. my opponent invaded a bit too close to my right side, so i bullied their weak group up the board, building walls of influence on either side, knowing that eventually they’d have to choose which one of their groups would die


they chose. i made them live with the consequences. they were a little salty afterwards but handled it well i think. i’ve been on the other side of many games like this and i know it hurts

Edited by Applebaps at 2020-08-02 19:18:362020-08-02 19:18
i didn't learn nothin

one of my online friends brought one of his friends and they were spectating once their games were done

first thing the other friend said was “wow this person does not play like a 16kyu” (talking about me) lol

i didn't learn nothin

my opponent had to step away to cool down but they came back, we reviewed, and i made a new friend! they’re going to be okay and we’ll play a lot in the future

i didn't learn nothin

Sounds like it’s a really productive Congress and Open for you then!

Trying too hard

it feels really good to have gone into this game with a definite plan, predicting what my opponent would do and having them play right into it

maybe not every move i made was objectively the best thing i could have done. but i made my moves betting on my opponent’s reactions and they never disappointed lol

this is a viable strategy too

i didn't learn nothin

From: MasterOfMagic at 2020-08-02 19:26:19
Sounds like it’s a really productive Congress and Open for you then!

very much so! this tournament has lit a fire under me in ways i never foresaw. i’m super motivated and i feel like i’m playing the best go of my life

Edited by Applebaps at 2020-08-02 19:27:372020-08-02 19:27
i didn't learn nothin


i had Black here. lost my round 1 ddk tourney game against an opponent who vastly outclassed me. they were like the Super Old Guy where they were happy to just fight locally the entire game and kill me everywhere, been playing for decades and can read like crazy kind of player. thankfully i did live in two of my corners and along one side (that bottom group there, though note that he also did play inside trying to kill that one too)

i was happy to get a game like this though, to be honest. getting utterly out-read helps me see where i’m dead and build more of a library of dead and alive shapes, so it’s good to be pushed to my limits like this sometimes

still though. everything in the center is dead for Black, so i had no chance left. i can’t feel too bad about this one. and i did get to experiment with the great slope, so there’s that as well. their response was unusual, and i ended up with an advantage on the outside, but then couldn’t capitalize on it in time. oh well

Edited by Applebaps at 2020-08-05 01:03:052020-08-05 01:03
i didn't learn nothin

won round 2 by forfeit. a little anticlimactic but i’ll take it

i didn't learn nothin

won round 3 by forfeit as well. looooots of no shows. people are complaining in chat that they’ve won 2 or even all 3 of their games by forfeit

round 4 will be interesting maybe. got like 45 minutes minimum to kill now

i took time off from work for this so i’d hoped that people would actually show up. guess it’s not important to some

i didn't learn nothin

lost my round 4 game by 21.5 points. had White here


it was an intense game with lots of heavy fighting. in the end, Black’s left side was just too big. i wasted some moves in the early endgame trying to kill an alive group, and failed to kill or contain on the bottom, but it was actually quite close throughout. i feel good about this one. my opponent was ranked 4k on KGS, even higher than my round 1 opponent lol. so much for a “DDK” tournament i guess. but it was good experience

i’m particularly proud of my ability to live with White’s top two groups in the center. Black probably had an easy game chasing me around, but in the end I feel I was able to put a lot of what I’ve been learning into practice in this one

that puts me at 2-2 for the DDK tourney. i’ll have my final standings soon

i didn't learn nothin

kinda didn’t care for The Surrounding Game tbh

it’s a documentary that follows the pro exams of a group of young americans trying to become the first US go professionals certified by the AGA. it came out in 2017 and was mostly filmed prior to the 2016 alphago v. sedol series

it felt like it was mostly targeted at people who either know very little about go or who are just getting into it and are in that passionate philosophically-focused phase where they’re very impressed by the IDEA of the game more so than trying to win

these young pro candidates are very much in that mindset as well and it comes across in the movie. one of them cites the “more possible games than visible protons in the universe” thing, another talks about how people would just meditate on an empty board and how it’s said to contain the universe, there’s a lot of teen boy dramatic monologue-ing going on about how important the game is to them and how they just want to only play it and get lost in it etc.

one of the boys talks about how he’d rather be an all-knowing emotionless higher being of some kind so he could play better (which serves as a bit of a weird moment post-AI lol), another one talks about how obsessed he is with the game and how he hasn’t spent 24 hours away from a board in years and how he’s socially awkward, etc.

there’s also some weird posturing from one of the boys about how he and one of the other players are “pretty normal, we like girls and stuff” lol

there are also some really cool moments, like we get to see a floor-style go board signed by Go Seigen, and Seigen actually appears in the film. he’s dead now, in the film he’s extremely old and talks about the good old days playing against Kitani in their famous long game series and stuff, and if you’re into go history that’s pretty cool. this scene happens when Michael Redmond, a pretty famous Japanese pro and american expatriate, takes one of these young boys to go meet Go Seigen on his 99th birthday and like, the kid clearly doesn’t quite know how to handle it and kinda stands there awkwardly while Seigen-sensei is telling his story and replaying old games from memory and they keep cutting away to this teenager just kind of standing there

it’s an incredible gift and i felt like it was kinda wasted on this kid. especially since it didn’t galvanize him to try again in his pro exams next year, he just like, went to college and stopped playing the game. very nice of Redmond-sensei to try though lol. and Seigen-sensei to take the time out when he had so little left

there’s a section of the game devoted to explaining the rules, but it’s done in mystical terms where like the explanation is designed to lead an audience member to conclude “wow, what a grand and mysterious game from such simplicity” or something. a professor talks about the mind emerging from neurons interspersed with the rules of go lmao

so if you’re someone who’s a bit past that phase of your play and who views the game as a kind of mental sport and you’re already playing to win and trying to get better at it, this philosophical teenage-y stuff is sort of a hindrance and a little annoying to be honest. it’s good to be passionate about the game but we also need to not make it something it isn’t. the old japanese style of making visually pleasing shapes, or the way monks used to play where they’d try to avoid capturing stones, you can’t win like that. period. there’s no deeper universal truth there

i also don’t feel like the movie would convince anyone to actually play the game, to be honest

it has this weird distance from the game itself and focuses more on all these peripheral aspects while also showing the intense brutal difficulty of the pro exams. and in the epilogue it reveals that just about all the kids who didn’t make pro that year gave up the game. it all has the effect of making you go “wow what a grand and mysterious game, seems really hard though, i’m already older than 14 so it’s hopeless for me to try” when that is not true at all

Edited by Applebaps at 2020-08-06 17:02:132020-08-06 17:02
i didn't learn nothin

needed to take a break after round 4; i lost it pretty handily in a really stupid way and felt awful about it after

overall i’m happy to have met my initial goal, which was to win in at least one of my games in the Open

the DDK tourney was a joke and i would not enter it again if it came around for another congress. they never even posted the final standings lol

i’ve got some adjustments to make to be able to play well in a tournament setting. that’s a skill all to itself for sure. but for now i’m overall very happy with how things went. got the full tournament experience

i didn't learn nothin

I’m glad that you got the full tournament experience, you learned a bunch, and it sounds like you had a good time despite them running the tournament like a bunch of clowns.

Trying too hard

yeah! it was something for sure. got a lot of good info and game records to go over with AI later

i didn't learn nothin
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