American Go E-Journal

2019 US Go Congress College Scholarship Application Now Open

Friday April 19, 2019

57226489_1325562057596081_3899342546807029760_nUniversity students can apply for a $200 AGF scholarship to the 35th US Go Congress in Wisconsin, Madison held July 13-20. Applicants must be aged 26 or younger and actively enrolled in college (rising students starting in Fall 2019 and recent graduates in Spring 2019 are also eligible). Both undergraduate and graduate students may apply. After filling out the application, applicants should email proof of enrollment to youth@usgo.org and the application will be reviewed within three days. If approved, additional instructions will then be sent on claiming the scholarship. Interested applicants should not register for the US Go Congress until his or her application status has been received. There are a total of 25 scholarships available first-come first-serve with 20 allotted to US students and 5 for Canada/Mexico students, so apply soon to claim one! - Justin Teng, AGA Youth Coordinator.  Photo: University of Maryland Go Club by Jack de la Beaujardiere

Teacher of the Year nominations due May 7th

Thursday April 18, 2019

DSCN5452 copyNominations for the American Go Foundation’s  Teacher of the Year award are due by May 7th. Presented each year at the U.S. Go Congress, the award  recognizes an outstanding American teacher. The winner  will receive an all expenses paid trip to the US Go Congress.  To be eligible a teacher must be a member of the AGA and have been teaching go to children  for at least one hour a week for two years. There are new eligibility criteria this year, and the award is now open to other kinds of teachers as well.  Click here for more information.  If you would like to nominate someone for this award, including yourself, email mail@agfgo.org.  Nominations are due by May 7th and should include a description of the teacher’s activities,  how long they have been teaching, and how many students attend their program. - Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo:  2018 AGF Teacher of the Year Ted Terpstra surrounded by a few of his many students.

Upcoming Go Events: Jerusalem

Monday April 15, 2019

April 21-22: Jerusalem, Israel
Spring Go Tournament & KPMC Qualifier
Shavit kpmc@go-mind.com

Get the latest go events information.

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The Power Report (2 of 2): Murakawa wins second Judan game; Kono leads Meijin League; Change at top of Nihon Ki-in board

Saturday April 13, 2019

by John Power, Japan Correspondent of the E-Journal2019.04.13_57judan Murakawa

Murakawa wins second Judan game: Game Two of the 57th Judan title match was held in the special playing room, Yugen, at the Tokyo headquarters of the Nihon Ki-in on March 29. The time allowance for this tournament is relatively short, being just three hours per player, so the game was over by 5:23 p.m. (it started at 10 a.m.). Taking white, the challenger Murakawa Daisuke 8P won by resignation after 154 moves, so he evened the score at 1-1. Iyama was a little dissatisfied with his opening, so he tried to make the fighting 2019.04.13_57judan2_1as complicated as possible, with an ambiguous sacrifice of a group that he later was able to save. However, Murakawa found the right timing to simplify a large-scale fight, and this made the difference. The win is quite significant for Murakawa: it put an end to a losing streak to Iyama of 13 games, which was part of a career record of three wins to 18 losses. Those three wins came in the 62nd Oza title match in 2014 when he beat Iyama 3-2. He lost the three other title challenges he made to Iyama. The third game will be played on April 11.

Kono leads Meijin League: There has not been much action in the 44th Meijin League in recent weeks. After the March 2019.04.13 meijin leagueround, Kono Rin, on 4-0, had the sole lead. So far, only one game in the April round has been played. Iyama Yuta recovered to even his score after his bad start, so he is still in the running to win the league, though he will need help from someone else to drag Kono down (he himself plays Kono in the July round).
Recent games:
(March 21) Hane Naoki (W) beat Mutsuura Yuta 7P by resig.
(March 28) Yamashita Keigo (W) beat Suzuki Shinji 7P by 3.5 points.
(April 4) Iyama Yuta (B) beat Murakawa Daisuke 8P by resig.

Change at top of Nihon Ki-in board: Dan Hiroaki, chairman of the board of directors of the Nihon Ki-in, announced that2019.04.13_Kobayashi Satoru he would resign his post as of March 31 to take responsibility for a deterioration in the finances of the Nihon Ki-in, though he planned to serve as a director until the end of his term in June 2020. At a special meeting of the board on April 2, Kobayashi Satoru 9P, the vice chairman of the board, was chosen to replace him. He will serve out the remainder of Dan’s term. He has not (yet) been replaced as vice chairman. In its 2018 budget, the Ki-in anticipated a loss of 30,000,000 yen but the actual deficit turned out to be 70,000,000 (around $600,000). I’m afraid I have no information about how serious the Nihon Ki-in’s financial troubles are. Incidentally, one of Kobayashi’s first tasks in his new post was the pleasant one of welcoming a delegation of Chinese monks on a courtesy call to the Nihon Ki-in. There were four monks from the Lingyin Temple in Hangzhou and one monk from the Shaolin Temple and they were accompanied by Wang Runan 9P of the Chinese Weiqi Association and two woman professionals. The Lingyin temple was founded during the Sung dynasty (960~1279) by the monk Ji Gong, who was a go player and has maintained a go connection. In 2009, it founded a Buddhism and Weiqi Cultural Exchange Center. It holds tournaments and is active in spreading go. (There’s lots of information about this temple on the Net, but a quick search didn’t find any mention of its go connections.)

Calvin Sun vs. Mateusz Surma in Transatlantic Team Championship Round 2 this Sunday

Friday April 12, 2019

Will Calvin Sun manage to stop Mateusz Surma’s winning streak and save the AGA team? Find out this Sunday starting at 14:002019.04.12 EGF-AGA match EDT when the second round of the Transatlantic Professional Go Team Championship will be played on KGS and live broadcast on Twitch. The live commentary will be led by Seongjin Kim, one of the top amateur players in Europe, and Stephen Hu (a.k.a xhu).
If you missed the epic first round between Surma and Andy Liu, the video from the live-streaming is available here on the AGA’s YouTube channel.
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The Power Report (1 of 2): Takemiya and Kikuchi receive awards; World Go Championship results; Fujisawa defends Women’s Meijin; Ichiriki wins NHK Cup

Friday April 12, 2019

by John Power, Japan Correspondent of the E-Journal

Takemiya and Kikuchi receive awards: 
Every year awards are presented by the Agency for Cultural Affairs honoring persons and bodies who have made significant contributions to Japanese culture. This year the Commissioner for Cultural Affairs Awards for 2018, as they are called, were given out at a ceremony held on March 18 and for the first time go players were included. Takemiya Masaki 9P, who, as the great exponent of cosmic or center-oriented go, has been one of the most popular Japanese professionals over the last four decades, was recognized for his success in local and international tournaments. Also receiving an award was Japan’s top postwar amateur player, Kikuchi Yasuro, who has made major contributions to spreading go. As a player, he won many Japanese amateur championships and also won the World Amateur Go Championship. He has held posts in a number of organizations, including one that is active in popularizing go amongst children. He is probably best known for founding the Ryokuseien Go School, whose most famous graduate is Yamashita Keigo. He will turn 90 on August 20. Kumasu Ken’ichi, a maker of traditional go and shogi boards, also received an award. Three honorees in the go world may sound good, but actually awards were handed out to 86 individuals and three organizations. If that many people get awards every year, it’s a little strange go has had to wait so long.

World Go Championship results: A report on this tournament was given on March 20 in the ejournal. Some time has passed, but, for those interested, here are details of the results.
(March 18) Iyama Yuta 9P (Japan) (B) beat Jiang Weijie 9P (China) by resig.; Shin Jinseo 9P (Korea) (W) beat Cho U 9P (Japan) by resig.; Park Junghwan 9P (Korea) (B) beat Liao Yuanhe 7P (China) by resig.; Ke Jie 9P (China) (W) beat Yu Changhyuk 9P (Korea) by resig.
(March 19) Ke (B) beat Iyama by resig.; Park (W) beat Shin by resig.2019.04.12_WomMei Fujisawa
(March 20) Park (B) beat Ke by 1.5 points.
First prize is 20,000,000 yen (about $180,000).

Fujisawa defends Women’s Meijin: The third game of the 31st Women’s Meijin title match was held at the headquarters of the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo on March 22. Fujisawa drew white in the nigiri and won by resignation after 282 moves, so she defended her title 2-1. She won this title for the third year in a row. Xie Yimin remains in her unaccustomed state of having no title to her name.

Ichiriki wins NHK Cup: The final of the 66thNHK Cup was telecast on March 24. The finalists were Iyama Yuta, Quintuple Crown, who was bidding for his third successive cup, and Ichiriki Ryo 8P, who was hoping that this would be third time lucky. Ichiriki lost the 62nd final to Ida Atsushi in 2015 and the 64thfinal to Iyama in 2017. The latter is part of a 2019.04.12_66nhk_1lopsided record against Iyama of six wins to 18 losses. Ichiriki, aged 21, is often spoken of as the top player of the post-Iyama generation; fittingly, he beat two other top players of that generation on his way to the final: Yo Seiki in the quarterfinals and Kyo Kagen Gosei in the semifinals. As usual, the opening showed the influence of AI go in various places. Ichiriki (white) did well in the early fighting and took the initiative, but the lead then changed hands a number of times. Iyama took the lead, thanks to a slip by Ichiriki, but his policy of always playing the strongest move backfired, letting Ichiriki back into the game. To save a group, Iyama had to resort to a gote seki, which meant that Ichiriki scored a success. In turn, the latter chose the strongest move: instead of solidifying territory with a safety-first move, he made a strong attack on a black group. There were more twists and turns, but in the end the game was even on the board, so Iyama resigned after move 182. This is Ichiriki’s second title win against Iyama, following the 25thRyusei final in 2016. In “fast” games (defined as two hours and under), he now has a lead of 4-1 against him. First prize in the NHK Cup is 5,000,000 yen (about $46,000). Both players will represent Japan in the 31st TV Asia Cup.

Tomorrow: Murakawa wins second Judan game; Kono leads Meijin League; Change at top of Nihon Ki-in board

 

Kono to challenge for Honinbo title

Thursday April 11, 2019

The second game in the play-offs to decide the challenger to Honinbo Monyu, otherwise known as Iyama Yuta, for the 74th Honinbo title was held at the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo on April 10. Kono Rin (W) beat Shibano Toramaru by 1.5 points after 294 moves. Kono will be making his first challenge for the Honinbo title. Kono won the 31st to 33rd Tengen titles (2005 to 2007), the Agon Kiriyama Cup once, the Ryusei twice, the JAL New Stars once, and the NEC Cup twice, for a total of nine titles. This will be his fifth title match with Iyama Yuta. He lost the 39th Meijin (2014) 2-4, the 41stKisei (2017) 2-4, and the 38th (2013) and 39th (2014) Gosei, both 2-3. He always picks up two wins.
- John Power

AlphaGo vs. AlphaGo; Game 30: “The black player would be upset, white would be happy, and they would both be wrong.”

Thursday April 11, 2019

After a nearly 1-month hiatus, Michael Redmond 9p and the AGA E-Journal’s Chris Garlock returned last Friday with the latest 2019.04.05 AG30 in their series of video commentaries on the AlphaGo vs. AlphaGo selfplay games. “This is the one 2019.04.05 AG30-redmond-garlockgame in this series in which AlphaGo plays a variation of the taisha,” says Redmond, “and it reminds me of a variation played in the ‘ear-reddening game’ played by Shusaku against Gennan Inseki in 1846.” “Mindblowing stuff!” says GerSHAK.

These videos are made possible by the support of the American Go Association; please consider joining today!

Video produced by Michael Wanek & Andrew Jackson.

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The Power Report: Honinbo League ends in three-way tie; playoff April 10

Tuesday April 9, 2019

by John Power, Japan Correspondent

Honinbo League ends in three-way tie; playoff April 10: The big news is that there’s a three-way tie in the Honinbo League and the deciding game will be played on April 10; I’ll report the result as soon as I hear it. Here’s the result of the last game in the sixth round. On March 21, Kono Rin 9P (B) beat Yamashita Keigo 9P by resig. This was Yamashita’s third loss, so 2019.04.09 Honinbo leagueit put him out of the running to win the league.

The final round of the 74th Honinbo League was played at the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo on April 4. Following the lead of the Meijin League, all the games in this round were played on the same day. As this round started, four of the eight members of the league were still in the running to become the challenger: Hane Naoki 9P, on 5-1, and three players on 4-1, Kono Rin 9P, Ichiriki Ryo 8P, and Shibano Toramaru 7P. If he won, Hane would clinch the challengership, but if he lost there would a play-off: Kono and Ichiriki were playing each other, so there would be a least one other player on 5-2.

The results:
Yamashita Keigo (B) beat Hane by resig.
Shibano (W) beat Ko Iso by resig.
Kono (W) beat Ichiriki by 1.5 points.
Yo Seiki 8P (W) beat Anzai Nobuaki 7P by resig.

The result was that Shibano, Hane, and Kono ended in a tie and qualified for the play-off. Usually only the two higher-ranked players in a multiple tie make the play-off, but Hane and Kono had the same rank. They played each other on April 8, with Kono (B) winning by resignation. Hane either had the sole lead or shared the lead nearly all the way in the league, but he stumbled at the end. Kono’s win continues his superb form: his record this year is 13-1.

Kono will now play Shibano on April 10. The latter was seeded into the second stage of the play-off because of his higher ranking in the league. At the other end of the league, there are no play-offs for retaining your place. Yamashita, Yo, and Ichiriki all finished on 4-3, but Yamashita’s number one ranking gave him priority over the other two. This was a tough result for Ichiriki: one game made the difference between tying for first and losing his place in the league.

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EGF takes lead in Transatlantic Pro Team championship

Sunday April 7, 2019

Mateusz Surma 2P from the European Go Federation (EGF) defeated Andy Liu 1P in the first round of the 2019 Transatlantic Professional Go Team Championship on Sunday, April 7. The game was played live and broadcast by the AGA on Twitch with host Nick Sibicky and commentator Eric Lui 1P. More than 12,000 viewers observed the nail-biting game that lasted more than three hours.

In early mid-game, Surma’s mis-steps in the upper right corner led to Liu’s advantage, building strong shape in the center. However, Surma persisted, collecting points on both the right and left sides, and perfectly timing a deep invasion into Liu’s territory on the lower side. The invasion led to a complex fight when both players were in byoyomi. A series of ko fights created huge exchanges that were much favorable for Surma, and Liu resigned.

The AGA’s next player will be Calvin Sun 1P, and Surma will be playing with Black in the next round, scheduled for April 14, 14:00 EDT on KGS in the Transatlantic Pro Team room, and broadcast live on Twitch. All videos of the live streaming will also be available on YouTube.