World Go News from the American Go Association
November 12, 2007; Volume 8, #74

TOP STORIES: Cho U Retakes Meijin; Bi Jang 9d Sweeps Cotsen; U.S. Invited To Ing; U.S. Goes 3-2 In 18th Pair Go Tourney
US GO NEWS: Youth Championships Seek Venues; World Mind Sports Details Emerge; U.S. Mind Sports Fundraising Gets In Gear
WORLD GO NEWS: Lee Sedol Grabs Lead In GS Caltex Cup; Kono Rin Recovers In Tengen; Yuki And Sakai Tie Up Kansai Kiin Championship; Japan Out Of LG Cup; Cho Hanseung Takes First Game In KBS Cup
GO QUIZ: Top Three Name Three
MEMBER’S EDITION BONUS CONTENT: Fan Hui 2P takes a look at a game from the 4th Changqi Cup between Ma Xiaochun 9P and Dong Yan 7P in today’s game commentary. Our bonus files today include a dramatic half-pointer Pro-Pro Exhibition Game at the 2007 Cotsen on November 11 between Yigang Hua 8P, President, Chinese Kiin and our very own Yilun Yang 7P, with comments by Yang. As a special bonus we’re including the exciting 5th-round battle in last weekend's Cotsen Open between Jong In Jeong 8d and Jang Bi 9d, who got into time trouble in this game but went on to win the 2007 Cotsen title. Non-members: all this great content is just a click away. photo: studying tsume-go problems at the Cotsen Open; photo by Chris Garlock

CHO U RETAKES MEIJIN: Cho U 9P won the decisive seventh game in the Meijin title match on November 8th and 9th, taking the title back from Takao Shinji 9P, who took it from Cho last year to become the Meijin-Honinbo, a prestigious position in Japan. Cho, who held this title in 2004 and 2005, won the final game by 2.5 points. This gives Cho five current Japanese titles, two of which are in the top seven: this one and the Gosei, which he won for the second consecutive year back in August. Cho needs only one win in each event to be the next challenger in both the Kisei and the Judan, and he has won his first game in the current Honinbo League.

BI JANG 9D SWEEPS COTSEN: Bi Jang 9d (r) swept the 2007 Cotsen Open 5-0 to win the $1,000 top prize and his third AGA tournament. The former Korean insei – who reached #14 among Korean amateurs and is now visiting and teaching in Seattle, WA – is undefeated thus far in three AGA tournaments this year. Dae Hyk Ko 8d took 2nd place, Robert Mateescu 8d was 3rd, Jong In Jeong 8d 4th, Lu (Jeffrey) Wang 8d 5th and Calvin Sun 6th. The Orange County Go Club won the $1,000 Go Club prize. Other top winners included Wei Sha, Brett Kelly, Kevin Yang, Xu Ming Li, Victor Aranda, Henry Zhang and Vincent Yue (click here for complete list of prize-winners). A capacity crowd of 140 crammed the historic Mayfair Hotel’s ballroom for the Cotsen, one of the richest tournaments of the year, with over $5,000 in prizes, sponsored by Eric Cotsen and the American Go Association. Yilun Yang 7P was on hand as usual, with his tsume go problems and an exciting half-point game played online against Chinese Kiin President Yigang Hua 8P on Sunday morning. Fourteen top-board games were broadcast live on KGS to hundreds of viewers worldwide by the EJ team of Chris Garlock, Andrew Okun, Richard Dolen and Joe Cepiel. The Cotsen Open team included organizer Casie Rizer, Chris Hayashida, La Nida Cedeno and David Doshay; Chuck Robbins was the Tournament Director.
photo: Eric Cotsen (r) reviews Hua-Yang Pro-Pro game; photo by Chris Garlock

U.S. INVITED TO ING: All U.S. professionals are being invited to vie for the chance to play in the 2008 Ing Cup, the prestigious quadrennial competition of 32 top go players from around the world. This is the first time the United States has been invited to send a player to represent North America. “We deeply appreciate the ING Foundation for its support in achieving this major step for the AGA,” says AGA President Mike Lash. The Cup winner takes home nearly half a million dollars and all players who compete receive cash prizes. An online competition will be held to select the U.S. rep; stay tuned for details.

U.S. GOES 3-2 IN 18TH PAIR GO TOURNEY: The US team of Eric Lui and Cherry Shen finished 3-2 in the 18th International Amateur Pair Go Tournament last weekend in Tokyo, reports US Guest Official Allan Abramson. “They had a tough first game against the Russian team, leading up to the endgame, but made some mistakes under time pressure to lose,” Abramson tells the EJ. The Russians went on to finish 6th; their 4-1 result was the best finish by a non-Asian team in many years. The Korean team -- Chang Bae Kang and Hye Lim Kim -- was the overall winner, with a perfect 5-0 record. “They played a Japanese team for the championship,” says Abramson, “which is a great step for the host country: usually the final two are from China and Korea.” In all, 32 pairs competed, with 11 pairs from Japan, selected through regional tournaments and the other 21 from all over the world. France, Germany and Finland also had 3-2 records. Japanese teams came second, third and fourth. Fifth was Taipei and sixth was Russia's Dmitriy Surin and Natalia Kovaleva with 4 wins. The US team beat Malaysia, lost to a Japan pair, beat a Japan pair and beat another Japan pair by time in the final round. Canada´s Dong Wan and Naiting Liu won 2 games. France was 10th, Germany 13th and Finland 16th with three wins. Scoring two wins were Austria, Czechia, Spain and Poland. Gunn Larsen and Oystein Vestgarden of Norway won 1 game and the best dressed prize. In other results: China won 3, Thailand and Singapore 2, Costa Rica, Australia, Philippines 1 and Peru 0. Michael Redmond 9P and Yuki Shigeno 2P provided English-language comments on the Championship game to a filled room. There also was a one-day open handicap pair tournament on Sunday, which attracted 172 pairs from all over Japan. The annual event concluded with a final awards banquet for all the competitors; much informal discussion involved the inclusion of Pair Go -- with 48 pairs from 42 countries expected -- in the first International Mind Game event, scheduled for Beijing next October.
- includes reporting by Tony Atkins

YOUTH CHAMPIONSHIPS SEEK VENUES: The second annual U.S. Youth Go Championship (USYGC) season will begin in January, reports AGA President Mike Lash. “Start the publicity for youth in your city!” says Lash. Funded by the ING Foundation, the USGC features a series of eight qualifiers that conclude with finals in May 2008 to select the US Senior and Junior players who will compete in the World Youth Go Championships later next year. Chapters interested in hosting a USYGC qualifier -- including those who have already indicated an interest -- should contact USYGC Tournament Coordinator Nicole Casanta at “Modest funding is available to host chapters to support the qualifiers and finals,” Lash tells the E-Journal, who urges interested chapters to step up soon. “We will select venues based on distribution of locations, tournament experience, venue resources and the overall availability of choices.”

WORLD MIND SPORTS DETAILS EMERGE: Next year’s First World Mind Sport Games (WMSG) will feature men’s and women's teams, Pair Go teams and individual events, reports AGA President Mike Lash. There will be an individuals event open to all players and one open only to amateurs. “The AGA will use regional AGA-rated tournaments -- and internet events as needed -- to create a large pool of qualified players from which the final group of up to 24 players will be selected,” Lash tells the E-Journal, noting that only U.S. citizens qualify for the U.S. team. “We are planning a one-day tournament at the US Go Congress in Portland to make the final cut from all eligible players, followed by assignment to specific events,” Lash adds. Organizers will be recruiting coaches to support the teams and players both before departure and in Beijing. “Players interested in attending the WMSG should consider the substantial commitment of time and effort required through next year and start sharpening their game!” Lash urges.

U.S. MIND SPORTS FUNDRAISING GETS IN GEAR: With nearly $5,000 in pledges already received, The American Go Foundation's Mind Sport Games Fund is off to a great start, according to AGF VP Roy Laird. “More support is needed,” says Laird, who is coordinating the fundraising drive. "We intend to send a full team of about twenty players to Beijing next year," Laird tells the E-Journal. "Player expenses will be covered once they arrive for the two week event, so we just need to cover travel, uniforms, and incidental expenses. Any support will go a long way." Donations to the AGF are tax-deductible. "Other mind sports, especially chess and bridge, are expected to send large teams,” adds Laird, “We want to show the world that go, and specifically American go, is alive and kicking!" Click here for more details.

LEE SEDOL GRABS LEAD IN GS CALTEX CUP: Lee Sedol 9P (l) took the first game of the best-of-five-game GS Caltex Cup title match by resignation on November 3rd. Lee is defending his title against challenger Park Yeonghun 9P. This event changed to an eight-member league this year to determine the challenger, and Park came through it with an impressive 7-0 record. The league included Lee Changho 9P and Choi Cheolhan 9P, both of whom went 3-4. Formerly known as the LG Refined Oil Cup, the sponsorship changed in 2006. Lee Sedol won it in 2006 and 2002; Park was the challenger in 2004, losing to Lee Changho. This is one of the five national titles Lee Sedol currently holds, along with two international titles. Park won the international Fujitsu this year and also holds a Korean national title, the Kisung.

KONO RIN RECOVERS IN TENGEN: Kono Rin 9P took the second game in the best-of-five-game Tengen match on November 8th to even the score 1-1. Rin is defending his Tengen title against challenger Yamashita Keigo 9P. Kono and Yamashita both hold only one title currently: Kono has the Tengen and Yamashita the Kisei. This is Kono's second consecutive defense of this title, with Yamashita as the challenger both times. Kono took this title from Yamashita in 2005, and it is the only title Kono, who is in his middle twenties, has ever won. Yamashita, who is almost thirty, has held the Kisei for the last two years and also won it in 2003.

YUKI AND SAKAI TIE UP KANSAI KIIN CHAMPIONSHIP: Yuki Satoshi 9P (r) and Sakai Hideyuki 7P (l) are tied 1-1 in the Kansai Kiin’s best-of-three First Place Championship. The Kansai Kiin is the western branch of the Nihon Kiin, becoming independent in 1950 under the leadership of Hashimoto Utaro 9P. Located in Osaka, it’s players are not as well known as those in the Nihon Kiin, though they too can play in all the national and international tournaments. The First Place Championship of the Kansai Kiin started in 1950. Last year's winner was Yuki Satoshi 9P, who has had some other successes, including winning the 25th and last holding of the Kakusei tournament in 2003. In 2005 he was the challenger for both the Gosei, losing to Yoda Norimoto 9P, and the Kisei, losing to Hane Naoki 9P. Yuki's challenger this year is Sakai Hideyuki 7P, who became a pro after winning the World Amateur Go Championship. He won the Kansai Kiin First Place championship in 2003.

JAPAN OUT OF LG CUP: All the remaining Japanese representatives in the international LG Cup were eliminated in the third round on November 12th. Cho U 9P lost to Lee Sedol 9P of Korea, whom some now say has taken over the number one spot in the world from Lee Changho 9P, and Kono Rin 9P lost to On Sojin 4P of Korea. The semifinals will include a third Korean, Han Sanghoon 1P, who defeated Liu Jing 8P of China, and a lone Chinese representative, Hu Yaoyu 8P, who defeated Park Jungsang 9P of Korea. Lee is paired against Hu for the semifinals, and Han and On are the other pairing, so the chances of an all-Korean final are good, although since Hu was the runner-up in this event last year, he cannot be considered an easy target for Lee. Lee won this event in 2003 and was the runner-up in 2003, losing to Lee Changho. The semifinals are scheduled for Wednesday, November 14th.

CHO HANSEUNG TAKES FIRST GAME IN KBS CUP: Cho Hanseung 9P (r) defeated Lee Changho 9P by 3.5 points on November 12th in the first game of the best-of-three-games final of the Korean KBS Cup. Cho had already defeated Lee in the fourth round, but this event has a losers' bracket (that is, it's a double elimination tournament) and Lee won his way into the finals, defeating Lee Sedol 9P in the final game in that group. Lee has won this event eight times, first in 1988 and most recently in 2005. The KBS Cup is a fast play event, sponsored by Korean TV. The next game is scheduled for December 3rd.

GO QUIZ: Top Three Name Three
As our year-long competition nears it's close, all three of our leaders ventured to answer our extra-tough question this week about which family has achieved three generations of 9-dans. Leader Phil Waldron pulled a double entry, retracting his first arguably loophole-finding response, and resubmitting the correct one, while second-place holder Kim Salamony (pictured at left, with an OZA-advertising Quizmaster at the Hopkins Tournament) continues to impress. And ever-careful Grant Kerr risked his perfect score with his usual perfect precision: "Sekiyama Richi (b. 1909), Sekiyama Toshio (b. 1937) and Sekiyama Toshimichi (b. 1973)" Sekiyama Richi was the first tournament Honinbo, later he joined the Kansai Kiin, where both his son and grandson have made 9 dan. In the Go Players Almanac, published before Hane Naoki made 9 dan, the elder two Sekiyamas are listed as the only father and son 9 dans - with the grandson at 8 dan - but he is 9 dan now. Congrats to Grant Kerr, this week's winner, chosen – as always – at random from those answering correctly.
THIS WEEKS QUIZ: Daniel Chou 7d, of Virginia, gave me this question months ago, and I’ve been saving it for one of the final challenges. Which of the following has been called the "cradle of go professionals" in China? Is it the cities of Shanghai and Chengdu, Fujisawa Shuko's go classes or the classic books the Ten Games of Danghu? Thanks to Daniel, and good luck with submitting your answer.
- AGA Quizmaster Keith Arnold HKA

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