American Go E-Journal

The Power Report: Title-award ceremony for Fujisawa Rina; Ke Jie wins Chinese New Year’s tournament; 41st Kisei title match tied

Monday February 27, 2017

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal2017.02.27_Fujisawa Rina

Title-award ceremony for Fujisawa Rina: On January 27, the 18-year-old Fujisawa Rina attended the ceremony for the conferral of the 35th Women’s Honinbo title, held at the Daiichi Hotel Tokyo. Our photo shows her dressed in a furisode kimono receiving a commemorative cup. Her senior Shuko disciple Takao Shinji Meijin gave a congratulatory address, and the ceremony was attended by many young players.

Ke Jie wins Chinese New Year’s tournament: The CCTV New Year’s Cup is a special tournament organized by China’s top TV channel to celebrate the Chinese New Year. The top players from China, Korea, and Japan are invited to compete for a prize of 800,000 yuan (about $116,000). Now in its fifth year, it started out as a domestic tournament but was upgraded to an international one the following year. This year it was held in Beijing from January 29 to 31. The tournament is an irregular knock-out. The players draw lots to see who plays in the first game. The third player plays the loser of that game; the winner then meets the winner of the first game in the final. To win this tournament, you have to win two games; the player drawn into the second game is the only one who, if he loses, doesn’t get another chance. The time allowance follows the NHK format (30 seconds per move, plus ten minutes of thinking time to be used in one-minute units). The tournament is 2017.02.27_41kisei3 Iyama's upsettelevised live on CCTV’s public sports channel and usually attracts an audience of 1%-plus. That may not sound like much, but it translates into ten million viewers. This year Iyama Yuta of Japan and Ke Jie of China met in the first game; taking black, Iyama won by resignation after 233 moves. In game two, Ke beat Pak Junghwan of Korea (I don’t have the details). In the final, Ke took revenge on Iyama, playing white and securing a resignation after exactly 200 moves. Iyama commented: “I was about four points ahead on the board, so I made an all-out attack, then resigned.”  This is Ke’s second successive victory.

41st Kisei title match tied: This year’s Kisei title match is proving to be a hard-fought one and it is now down to a best-of-three. The third game was played at the Yamaya Inn in Kawagoe City, Saitama Prefecture, on February 8 and 9. Kono Rin, the challenger, built a lead on the first day taking white and played thickly on the second day in an attempt to wrap up the game. However, Iyama Yuta Kisei fought on with remarkable tenacity and eventually pulled off an upset win by 1.5 points. This gave him a 2-1 lead. In a title match, you have to win your “good” games; often a failure like this could be very costly.  The fourth game was played at the Gyokushoen Inn in Izu City, Shizuoka Prefecture, on February 15 and 16. This time Kono returned the “favor,” staging an upset after Iyama had taken the lead. Iyama (white) resigned after 179 moves. The fifth game will be played on March 1 and 2.
Tomorrow: Xie defends Women’s Kisei; 42nd Meijin League; 72nd Honinbo League

Share

Upcoming Go Events: Wailuku and Philadelphia

Monday February 27, 2017

March 11: Wailuku, HI
Valley Isle Spring Go Tournament
Danny Topp maui.go.club@gmail.com 719-200-7300

March 12: Philadelphia, PA
2017 Philadelphia Spring Open
Benjamin Sauerhaft Coplon tournaments@penngosociety.org 484-431-0153

 

Get the latest go events information.

Categories: Calendar,Main Page
Share

Redmond Cup Registration Opens

Monday February 27, 2017

IMG_20160731_154429The 24th annual Redmond Cup will begin in April, and registration is due by March 19th. Preliminary games will be played online and the four finalists will be invited to the 2017 US Go Congress to play the final games. There are two divisions in the Cup; the Junior league for kids 12 and under, and the Senior league for 17 and under. Competitors in both leagues must have an AGA or CGA rank of  1 dan or higher.    The Junior league has been expanded to include 12 year olds, and both leagues now require a dan rating (kyu players can compete in the North American Kyu Championships instead). Skype will again be required this year.  Players who complete the tournament will be eligible for $400 scholarships to the AGA Go Camp, or $200 scholarships to the US Go Congress, on a first come first served basis, courtesy of the AGF. Competitors from Mexico are also invited to the event. The participants must be members of the American Go Association or the Canadian Go Association and either residents of the U.S., Canada or Mexico, or citizens of the United States living anywhere in the world, provided that they are also members of the AGA.  For more information on the event, read the rules document here. To register click here. -Story and photo by Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.  Photo:  Ary Cheng 4d (r) competes against Luoyi Yang 4d (l)  in the Junior Division finals for the Redmond, at the 2016 US Go Congress in Boston.

In Memoriam: David Erbach

Sunday February 26, 2017

We just learned that David Erbach has died. A long time go player, and former editor of the publication Computer Go, 2017.02.25_erbachErbach taught Computer Science at Western Kentucky University until his retirement in 2014. “Dave was part of the wave of early computer scientists who made the first tentative attempts to program a computer to represent and then to play go,” says former AGA president Terry Benson. Erbach was previously head of the Computer Science department at Purdue University-Fort Wayne and the Business Computing department at the University of Winnipeg. In addition to go, he loved model airplanes and was, with his father, a competitive member of the Academy of Model Aeronautics. He was also a keen pianist. He died of prostate cancer in September 2016, at the age of 69.

LifeIn19x19.com back online

Sunday February 26, 2017

One of the largest English-language go communities, LifeIn19x19.com, is back online. The site suffered a downtime of about 2017.02.25_19x19-site_logo12 days beginning on February 6th, reports Adrian Petrescu. It was brought back online last Saturday (details here). “I worry we lost a lot of people who gave up on retrying to access the site after over a week,” says Petrescu. “Pretty much every feature that existed before the downtime has been restored,” he adds.

Blackie’s Baduk Academy launches online teaching service

Sunday February 26, 2017

If you can’t get to Blackie’s International Baduk Academy, Blackie’s will come to you. “We recently started an online teaching2017.02.25_kim-diana
service
in order to help people who cannot come to Korea to still be able to study with us,” Diana Koszegi 1P (below right) tells the E-Journal. She and Kim Seungjun 9P (aka “Blackie,” top right) “would like it to be as similar as possible” to the experience of those who have attended Blackie’s, also known as BIBA.

The project will be held on the Korean Go server, Tygem and begins in March. The program includes league games, group reviews, offline lectures, life and death problems and teaching games. The cost is 200€ per month; register for 6 months and get a month free.

Categories: Korea,Main Page
Share

Go and Math Workshop for Elementary School Teachers

Saturday February 25, 2017

Screen Shot 2017-02-25 at 5.51.13 PMThirteen teachers from the National College of Education in Chicago, IL, participated in a 90-minute go workshop on Jan 26. The teachers, and their professor Xue Han,  learned the basic rules of go, experienced a couple of games themselves, and reviewed case studies of students playing go in elementary classrooms.  “After the workshop, one teacher said that she had decided to bring go back to her classroom of more than twenty 3rd graders” reports Xinming Simon Guo, of Go and Math Academy in Chicago. Guo has been providing workshops at schools, conferences and educational institutes in the Chicago area since 2008. The primary audiences for the workshops are teachers, both in-service teachers who have been teaching in the classroom everyday, and pre-service teachers who will start teaching after they graduate from the university. These hands-on workshops are always centered on one topic — go and math. “If you don’t know go, how can you know the relationship between go and math?” ask Guo, “but if you know how to play you will naturally employ  fundamental math skills in the game. It’s just that you won’t necessarily detect that relationship while you’re totally absorbed in the pleasure and pressure of playing.”

According to Guo’s research 55 out of 94 Common Core Math Standards from Grades K to 3 are almost naturally connected to go. “Teachers design many classroom activities. Sometimes they have to design several activities to meet the requirement of only one standard. For one game to cover almost 60% of core standards in the early elementary math curriculum is impressive,” says Guo. “Meanwhile, students learn math without even noticing it. Acquisition of math happens naturally as you play go. That’s the beauty of game-based learning.  Most of these teachers don’t know go, so I introduce it as an educational game, which removes the pressure for competition. Once they start to play, they are able to experience the subtle ways fundamental math skills are at work, and identify many learning opportunities embedded in the game.” For further reading see Northwestern University Exploring Go and Math. (E-J 1/31/17 -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.  Photo: Guo presenting at NCE in Chicago.

Go sculpture (and tech) in Vienna

Saturday February 25, 2017

Go is getting some interesting exposure in Vienna, Austria, reports Christian Palmers. At left is a go sculpture installed last2017.02.25_touch-screen 2017.02.25_go-sculptureDecember, while at right is a touchscreen go-table, designed and programmed by Daniel Bösze from Vienna.  Vienna’s go players — or “gospielers” — play at the Go7 go center.   

Categories: Europe
Share

Your Move/Readers Write: Looking for go clocks

Saturday February 25, 2017

“I am looking for suitable electronic clocks for go,” writes Agustín. “The AGA website makes an amazing work at listing 2017.02.25_clockswhere to get go equipment of different qualities, but unfortunately it is almost entirely about go stones, boards and bowls, but not clocks. The ideal clock I am looking for would be “Cheapest available clock in the US which supports both byo-yomi (5 x 30 seconds, 5 x 1 minute, etc) and Canadian Byo-Yomi (20/25 stones in 10/15 minutes). Since you’re probably using clocks in every tournament, I am hoping that you can point me on the right track.”
Send your suggestions to us at journal@usgo.org

Reflections on Pair Go

Wednesday February 22, 2017

by Eric Lui 1P2017.02.22_A Simple Guide to Pair Go

Editor’s note: Lui, who’s now a regular game commentator for the E-Journal, wrote this after attending the second Pair Go World Cup in July 2016 and recently shared it with us. Coincidentally, Hajin Lee recently made a short Pair Go introduction video, saying she hopes “to see more pair go events in the US and Europe in the future.” We hope you enjoy both.

Reflecting upon his legendary career, the great Sakata Eio opined that a necessary prerequisite for go mastery is self-2017.02.22_pair-go-world-cup-411_sreliance, which can only be developed once one fully accepts the game’s solitary nature, specifically the completely isolated state that all players find themselves in during the process of a game.

As far as I can tell, there are two types of people in this world: Pair Go enthusiasts and those who can do without. Takemiya Masaki gushes that Pair Go is “playing catch with the emotions…the instant that love is born.” Ishida Yoshio, on the other hand, says that in Pair Go you have three opponents.

The most anticipated match in the first round of the main knockout tournament saw the departure of powerhouse 2017.02.22_pair-go-world-cupChinese pair Shi Yue and Wang Chenxing, who succumbed to the charming synergy of Choi Cheolhan and Oh Yujin. Our first-round victory against the Thai pair was defined more by relief than pleasure, since it ensured that we would get to play at least one more game. In the second round against Taiwanese superstars Chen Shiyuan and Joanne Missingham, the game became difficult right from the start when a mistake in judgment set the tone for the rest of the way. My partner Sarah Yu fought gamely during many continuous kos and we maintained our chances for a while but were unable to cause an upset.

Our conquerors would go on to score an excellent victory in the semifinal against the Choi-Oh pair, earning themselves a 2017.02.22_lui-pair-gofinal showdown with the Chinese pair of Ke Jie and Yu Zhiying, the male and female world No. 1 respectively.
During the last round of the Shuffle Pair Go friendship match, I was paired with the Thai female player, Pattraporn Aroonphaichitra. As we waited at the board for our opponents, Amy Song, the Australian female player took the seat across from Pattraporn. But who was her partner? I took a quick glance around – there were still a few empty seats and just a couple minutes until game time. I couldn’t help but smile when I noticed Sarah, looking ever so serene, sitting next to Iyama Yuta. My new partner was completely absorbed in her phone, and I opened my mouth to say something when, sensing a disturbance in the Force, we both looked up. Making his way through the large crowd that had gathered around the closed-off playing area with ruthless efficiency was “One Dragon Per Game” Shi Yue, one of the strongest and most universally feared Chinese pros for his aggressive playing style.

2017.02.21_pair-go-eric-luiPattraporn played beautifully and we enjoyed a lead for most of the game. It was a singular experience to watch as Shi Yue struggled to contain his frustration with the position as his plans to deal us pain were disrupted again and again. When the game was over, Shi Yue transitioned seamlessly from executioner to teacher, pointing out missed opportunities and explaining his thought processes at key points while the rest of us sat transfixed by the clarity of his analysis. A while later, only dimly aware that the postmortem had concluded and that the others had started putting the stones away, I slowly and reluctantly joined in.

Later that night, long after Yu Zhiying and Ke Jie had collected their 10 million yen 1st place prize, I would find myself tuning in to the Wimbledon final from my hotel room. During one of Andy Murray’s signature tirades, I realized that Ishida was wrong. Whether you are playing Pair Go, individual go, or tennis, the number of opponents remains the same. One, and it’s not the one on the other side. As Murray sealed the first set with a thunderous forehand and an emphatic fist pump, his fierce visage betraying equal parts triumph and anguish, I was reminded of a timeless image of Sakata, in the midst of his prime, staring at the go board with an expression of utmost intensity and exquisite pain. A formidable, yet lone individual.

Pair Go was invented to popularize the game of go by emphasizing the social aspects of the game. But no matter how many players there are, the game itself remains the same mysterious, fascinating challenge it has been for thousands of years.
photo: US team Sarah Yu and Eric Lui with Cho Chikun

Categories: Pair Go
Share