It looks like the field for the Go Congress is going to be really impressive this year. Jie Li, who missed 2007 and 2008 is going to attend, as will Andy Liu, winner of the 2006 congress. There’s also Curtis Tang who was fourth in 2006 as a 13 year old. He hasn’t played in US tournaments since then, and I thought I’d heard he was receiving professional training in China (if so, he’s not now a pro). Canada is sending Yongfei Ge, who has won 2 prior Opens, Juyong Koh, who was top three in last year’s Open, and Gan Sheng Shi, who had a major upset against Mingjiu Jiang this previous year. That’s in addition to a number of perennial strong American players like Zhaonian Chen, Eric Lui and Thomas Hsiang (a somewhat arbitrary list, I suppose).
There’s also a large contingent of professionals attending from China, Korea and Japan. Last year, one of them, Yin Kuo, played in the Open, so I’m curious to see whether that will happen again, even if active professionals are likely to dominate the open.
There’s some uncertainty from where I sit about which American professionals will play. Mingjiu almost always does, Myungwan did last year, and won the event, but there are others I don’t know about.
Sunday morning: Myungwan Kim is playing on one of the top three boards. Little surprise that he won, playing against Jianing Gan, a 12 year old Canadian player.
Sunday Evening: Seems that Jie Li and Mingjiu Jiang aren’t playing in the open. Nor are any foreign players. So I’m somewhat disappointed. Find pairings, although no results yet, at the Congress News page.
Later: After some delay, results are regularly being posted at the news page–after three days, there are no huge surprises. In the Ing, you could count Andy Liu beating Yilun Yang for the second time in a few weeks as noteworthy, and the same for Jie Li losing to Juyong Koh, but neither is a shock. Juyong Koh, Myungwan Kim and Andy Liu are the only undefeated players in the top section of the Open, so two of them will play on Thursday, and then we’ll be down to a maximum of one undefeated player after Friday.
I also noticed that Curtis Tang isn’t participating, even though he was previously listed.
Friday Night: It seems like the top board of Saturday (the last day) could be anticlimactic. Myungwan Kim is 5-0, but has already beat all 4-1 players (Andy Liu, Juyong Koh, Zhaonian Chen), so he’ll probably play someone who is 3-2. Some of the 3-2 players are very good, but others would provide an absolute mismatch. More interesting will be which two of the three 4-1 players are paired.
Andy Liu has really had an amazing tournament–aside from being 4-1 in the Open, he went 5-0 in the Ing Masters. All told, he won against Chaelim Kim, Thomas Hsiang, Jie Liang, Eric Lui (twice), Mingjiu Jiang 7p, Yilun Yang 7p and Feng Yun 9p. Seems like he’s now got a lead on strongest American amateur (Jie Li went 4-1 in the Ing).
Saturday Morning: Minor surprise, as Zhaonian Chen beats Andy Liu. Myungwan Kim beats Yongfei Ge. That puts Myungwan at 6-0, Zhaonian at 5-1, followed by several players at 4-2 (Andy Liu, Juyong Koh, Eric Lui, Thomas Hsiang, Jie Liang, Yuan Zhou, Richard Liang and Matthew Burall). And with that, I’m done covering congress.