News

Cherry Blossom Festival

This April 8th through April 10th, the Seattle Go Center will be hosting an outreach event at the Seattle Center Fisher Pavilion. We will be located at the back left loft of the Armory. Hours will be from 9am-4pm. We hope to see you there.

Light Rail Now Reaches Go Center

The Seattle Go Center is now a mere 5-10 minute walk from the U District Station. Simply exit on Brooklyn & 45th, head north on Brooklyn, and then head west on NE 45th Ave.

With the last major changes for the Link Light Rail system having occurred back in 2016, you can be forgiven if you haven’t kept up with the latest developments. As of October 2nd, 3 new stations have opened on the Link Line 1, Including the U District Station, on Brooklyn Ave NE between 43rd & 45th streets. The other new Stations are the Roosevelt station, on 12th Ave NE between 65th & 67th streets; and Northgate station, on 1st Ave NE, adjacent to the Northgate Mall.

Upcoming Changes in Covid Addenda

As of October 25, we will start checking proof of vaccination, as required by the King County mandate. At that time, people without proof will need to leave the premises. This does not affect our mask policy, and mask are still mandatory. On the positive side, proof of vaccination will allow members to eat food inside the Go Center in a limited form. Also the windows can now be closed depending on weather (Day time manager judgement).

Thanks for your patience and understanding through these rough times.

Seattle Go Center Opening

As of June 1, the Seattle Go Center will be opening up for in person games. We will be open on Tuesday nights from 3pm to 9pm and Saturday afternoons from 1pm to 6pm. We will still be having our remote zoom Game Night.

Until we fully re-open, we ask that in addition to the regular Code of Conduct, you acknowledge the following:

  • We ask that unvaccinated people do not come to the Seattle Go Center.  (We are sorry that this means that many young players cannot attend until after vaccinations for youth become available.)
  • There will be no food eating inside the premises.
  • Wearing a mask is required at all times from entering the premises until leaving, unless you are on the roof deck. 
  • You may consume drinks inside but must return your face mask to its functioning position after each sip.
  • Managers may add or change requirements in response to ongoing developments related to COVID.

Mid-May Update

The Seattle Go Center has been closed due to coronavirus precautions for over two months now. Brian still goes there to check on the building, and to do office work. The neighborhood is much quieter, due to a huge reduction in traffic on nearby I-5, and in jets crossing above. The veterinary clinic downstairs is still open for urgent care, so the building doesn’t feel too lonely. They recently changed their name to “Caring Pet Clinic”, and put up new signs.

Our financial situation is stable for now, but we worry about the effects of a long closure on the Go Center. Meanwhile, the plans for developing the property, with space for us in a new building, are proceeding energetically, despite COVID-19 worries. The property is owned by our benefactor, the Nihon Ki-in of Japan.

Tuesdays were our big days, with 20-40 visitors each Tuesday this winter. All that has changed.  Some of those Tuesday players are meeting on go servers now at the same time of the week.  Go Center Member Bob (Mingcun) Fan reports that he is now playing Mr. Yao on OGS, and then they have a phone call to review the game.  This is happening with some of the meet-ups too. The Zoka coffeehouse group that used to meet in person on Monday and Friday mornings now meets on KGS, using the Go Center “room”.  Member Frank Brown writes that about six players have made the transition. 

Seattle Go Center members have been taking advantage of online Go education for years.  Some have private online lessons with pros, while others are part of the American Yunguseng Dojang.

Our Wednesday SDK class with Jonathan (Chin Jung) Cheng has now gone completely online.   This class is designed for 9K – 1D players.  He is doing a series on using opening moves suggest by AI.  Jonathan teaches the class live on Wednesdays from 6-7 pm PDT through Zoom, and later posts the lectures on YouTube.

Nick in front of imaginary Go demo board
Nick Sibicky in Cyberspace

Before COVID-19, Nick Sibicky used to give his DDK lectures in front of a live audience at the Go Center on Monday nights, and then post them on YouTube.  Now he is recording them at home. He is up to lecture #388!  Nick’s popular lessons were originally intended for double digit kyu players, but his scope has widened to include many issues of interest to stronger players as well.  His most recent lecture at the Go Center was with Nihon Ki-in Pro Daiki Komatsu in early March.

Washington State Governor Jay Inslee recently announced “Washington’s Phased Approach” to reopening, with four phases.  The Go Center Board of Directors will meet online to decide how our organization fits into the opening rubric. The earliest the Go Center might be able to reopen would be late June 2020. In the meantime, Brian is working on washing all the go stones.

COVID-19 Closure and Cancelation: 03-24 update

Seattle Go Center remains closed due to the COVID-19 emergency. On 3-23, Governor Inslee issued a proclamation, that (among other measures) closed all non-essential businesses and banned all recreational gatherings regardless of size, for at least two weeks. This means the soonest the Go Center might be able to re-open would be April 9.

Accordingly, the April monthly ratings tournament (that was scheduled for April 5) is canceled. The annual Spring Go Tournament, scheduled for May 3, is uncertain at this time.

Every year, volunteers from the Go Center share the game with attendees at certain festivals. We’ve received confirmation that the following events, originally scheduled for April and May, are canceled: Sakura-Con, Cherry Blossom Festival (at Seattle Center), and University District Street Fair.

The online community resources for playing Go and chatting have been getting increasing use. The Discord server in particular has about 40 users, and the players who meet up regularly at Zoka Coffee on Monday and Friday mornings have been finding each other in the “Seattle Go Center” club room on KGS.

— Mike M.

Online Community Resources

While Seattle Go Center is closed for the COVID-19 outbreak, we’ll keep the community GOing online:

East-vs-West League

Our sister Go Center in the other Washington, the National Go Center, is planning to organize an East Coast vs. West Coast online league. All strengths are welcome to join. If you’d like to participate, please complete the form below.

[ Read more… ]

COVID-19 Response

Seattle Go Center suspended routine operations effective March 13 due to the concern for everyone’s health and safety during the COVID-19 novel coronavirus outbreak and emergency response. We will be closed (see “Closed during COVID-19 emergency” for specifics) at least through March 29, at which time we will reassess. We continue to monitor the guidance from public health authorities at https://kingcounty.gov/covid and we encourage everyone to take appropriate precautions. Our thoughts are with the victims and their loved ones, and we wish a speedy recovery to all.

Though closed for face-to-face games, we are using online resources to keep the community GOing. Please join us virtually Tuesdays and Saturdays to play Go, or just chat and hang out.

— Mike M.

Closed during COVID-19 emergency

The Go Center is suspending most routine operations effective immediately, due to concern for everyone’s health and safety while the COVID-19 novel coronavirus emergency plays out.  We encourage everyone to keep playing Go at home, and to return to the Go Center when we reopen.  And we will be exploring online options for the Seattle area Go community.

We will be closed at least through March 29.  We will reassess then about whether to open on March 30 or March 31.

The Saturday “Programming Computer Go AI” meetup is suspended as far as face-to-face meetups go, but it is available through the Slack channel, and a dedicated Google Groups email list (ask Drew to add you if you’re not already on it).  Drew will be reaching out through Meetup.com, Slack, and the AI email list to keep the momentum going.

The twice-monthly Shogi meetups will be online during this emergency, at 81Dojo.  Up-to-date event details can be found on the Seattle Shogi Meetup page (no meetup.com account needed to see the info) and Brandon reports that the March 7 event “was the first ever live-streamed on Twitch. Attendance was actually higher than a typical in-person event and we even got some strong players from outside Washington to participate! This success in spite of COVID-19 is encouraging so far.”

DDK class updated info — the Monday “Double Digit Kyu” class also is suspended during the covid-19 emergency.  Dr. Nick will make further announcements about the DDK lectures.

Paid Private Instruction (which usually happens when the Go Center is closed) can continue, as long as teacher and student agree to observe certain precautions.  Contact us for details.

The annual Go Center membership meeting, where Directors are elected, is postponed until (probably) mid-April.  Please stay tuned for further announcements.

The Board of Directors meeting scheduled for March 22 will happen as scheduled, with additional precautions about interpersonal distance and cleaning.  And, most the Directors will attend by teleconference technology.  (These meetings are open to observation, but honestly, most Go players would rather play Go than observe the Directors discussing finances and long-term planning.  That’s why we’re so grateful to the Directors — they take care of the boring stuff, so the rest of us can focus on on our Go.  If you want to observe, contact us to make arrangements.)

The monthly AGA ratings tournament scheduled for April 5 is uncertain.  We will reassess on March 29 whether to hold it as scheduled, postpone it, or cancel until May.

The April outreach eventsSakura-Con, Cherry Blossom Festival (at Seattle Center) — seem to be planning to run as scheduled, so if things have settled down by then, the Go Center may be participating.

This was a difficult decision to reach, because we believe in the importance of face-to-face community games.  But safety must come first.  Several of our community are at elevated risk for severe illness, or live with / take care of people at elevated risk.  Helping to slow the spread of COVID-19 is the right thing to do.

— Mike M.; updated 2020-03-17 by Mike M.

COVID-19 Outbreak

The Seattle region has been impacted by the COVID-19 novel coronavirus, and the Go Center continues to monitor the guidance of health authorities at www.kingcounty.gov/covid which includes restrictions on small gatherings of people.

As of March 12, the Go Center is planning to stay open to the degree practicable (though note we are closed on March 12). We are increasing precautions — sanitizing surfaces, spacing Go boards farther apart, laundering tablecloths — Brian has even begun sanitizing the stones. And we have more precautions to implement.

Several members of our Go-playing community, or their loved ones, are in groups at risk of severe illness: over 60 years of age; pregnant; having medical conditions such as lung disease, compromised immune system, diabetes, etc. There are risks associated with contact and gathering together, and safety must come first.

If you or someone you live with / care for is at increased risk of severe illness, you probably should stay home for now. If you have symptoms like fever, coughing, sneezing, shortness of breath — you should stay home, and consult your doctor.

Please check back for further developments. And, please wash your hands, cover your cough with your elbow, stay appraised via www.kingcounty.gov/covid, and take care of yourself and your loved ones.