American Go E-Journal » 2008 » November

Berlin To Host Major Tourney

Monday November 17, 2008

The 29th annual Berliner Kranich tournament will be held November 28-30 in Berlin, Germany. The international go tournament one of the largest and oldest in Germany and features seminars, go vendors, food, calligraphy and more. Many top players are expected, including Oh ChiMin 7D and Hong Seul KI 7D of Korea, Ang Li 3P from China and many strong European players. Top games will be presented live online by EuroGoTV and Yoon YoungSan — the Korean professional now living in Hamburg to promote go in Europe — will comment the final game of the Berlin championship on Friday evening, just before the Kranich. Details (in German) are available on the Berlin Go association website.

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German Tourney Updates

Monday November 17, 2008

Hong Seul-ki (left) 7D swept the recent Hamburg Tengen, played in the Hamburg suburb of Rahlstedt November 8-9. Hong was 5-0 in the A group at the 26th annual Tengen, ahead of Michael Budahn 3D (both of Berlin) and Floris Barthel 4D (from Utrecht in the Netherlands). Only local Lukas Scholz 5k was also undefeated. Micha Eggen 6k won B-group 7-0; about fifty players participated in each group. In the C group, 14 youngsters played, with young Fréderic Claasen 17k winning, while his even younger sister Alina 24k finished at 3-3. Fréderic Claasen first laid claim to fame at the 2008 European Go Congress in Sweden, where he did well in both the kids championships and as the partner of Yoon Young-sun 5P in Pair Go, where they reached the final knock-out stage. In last week’s report on the German Pair Championships in St. Augustin, we neglected to mention that almost one hundred people played in the open tourney there. In the top group no one was without a loss: Matthias Terwey (4-1), Tobias Berben (3-2) and Hai Lin (2-2 and a jigo) – all 4D – took top places, while Malte Weiss (5-0) and Christina Amhof (4-1) were 1k’s who are likely to win their way into the dan rankings. Up-and-coming youngsters to watch are Jonas Sorgalla 9k, Nils Brakmann 20k and Lena Knauer 25k all won their five games in the main tourney; Knauer is not only perhaps the youngest winner, but is also from Cologne, which will host the European Championships in 2012.
- reported by Peter Dijkema, European EJ correspondent

New Go Mag Launched

Monday November 17, 2008

A popular social room on KGS has now branched out into a slick online publication. Founded in November 2007 by Eric Dunham of Avon, Minnesota, The Enclave room on KGS quickly grew to be the single largest social room on KGS outside of Computer Go. “As the numbers grew, so did my ambition,” Dunham says in the first edition of The Enclave, which is subtitled “A Premium English Language Go Magazine” and was produced earlier this month. The 38-page magazine — available only as an easily downloadable PDF — is indeed impressive in both scope and production, featuring a fascinating range of go material, including a very interesting interview with Alexander Dinerchtein 3P and an article about the latest developments in go-playing computer programs. Other articles in the premiere edition include a lesson for beginners, a first-hand report from the Norwegian Go Championships and life and death problems. With high production values, excellent pictures and well-edited text, The Enclave is a welcome addition to the small but growing world of English-language go publications. Dunham hopes to continue publication of The Enclave as a free bi-monthly publication with instructional material, game commentaries, articles and reports about the game.

Texas High School Club Thriving

Monday November 17, 2008

“In the first meeting alone we matched the record attendance of last year,” reports 16-year-old Kris Taylor, President of the Jasper High School Go Club in Plano, Texas. “We had about 30 people for our first meeting, which was just elections and rules and stuff. I had to leave early so when I did, a sophomore member from last year took over and began to teach the beginners some basics. Even the teacher started learning this year!” Taylor launched his high school go club last year with AGF support, and his school fielded two teams in last year’s Ing School Teams Championship. Already an active organizer in the 10th grade, Taylor has a website for his club, and has made a series of Go videos on Youtube, including one on how to care for Yunzi go stones. The club meets after school in social studies teacher Jeff Koch’s room. Koch, a non-player until this semester, told the Journal: “I’ve been most impressed by the more-experienced club members’ drive to promote the game to new players; teaching them not only a fun game, but forcing them to stretch analytical skills that they might not otherwise use in their daily lives.”
-Paul Barchilon, Youth Editor. Photo: Jasper High School Go Club: President Kris Taylor (at far left holding board); Vice President Michael Wu (far right with board); Photo by Jeff Koch

Pro Game Commentaries On Go Sensei Project

Monday November 17, 2008

Jay Tabaniag’s new Go Sensei Project now has 15 sample pro game commentaries from Russian player and teacher Alexander Dinerchtein; click here to download these game commentaries.

Categories: Game Commentaries
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GO SPOTTING: Mathematician Paul Erdos

Monday November 17, 2008

“Between long walks, loafing in the common room, and endless games of Go, it was hard to imagine when work got done,” wrote Bruce Schechter in “My Brain is Open: The Mathematical Journeys Of Paul Erdos” (Touchstone, 1998) The famed Hungarian mathematician Paul Erdos (right) (pronounced Air-dish) became a go player when he moved to the United States in the 1930′s; this passage describes Erdos’s arrival at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, in 1938. “That Erdos and other mathematicians became addicted to Go at the Institute is easy to understand,” Schecter continues. “The ancient Asian game is deceptively simple, played by alternately placing black and white stones (at the Institute they used thumb tacks) at the intersections of a 19×19 rectangular grid. A game of Go, viewed from the right perspective, is really nothing more than a problem in graph theory. If, as G. H. Hardy wrote, ‘chess problems are the hymn-tunes of mathematics,’ a game of Go is a cantata.” Thanks to H. Vernon Leighton for passing this along. If you’ve seen an interesting reference to go, send it to us at journal@usgo.org

Categories: Go Spotting
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GO PHOTO: Go Masters in Gardena

Monday November 17, 2008

“Attendees at the November 8-9 workshop with Tadashi Sasaki 8p of the Nihon Ki-in got a bit of a surprise when Yoshiaki Nagahara 6p (right) and Masaaki Fukui 8p joined in Saturday morning for a few hours of teaching games,” reports Andy Okun. “Nagahara and Fukui accompanied Sasaki to the United States to do some tourism but were not quite ready to start taking in the sights.” The workshop at the South Bay Ki-in in Gardena, CA, was the second this year presented by the South Bay Ki-in and Santa Monica Go Club, and attracted 26 participants. Photo by Andy Okun

Categories: Go Photos
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AGA Caps Amateur Ranks At 7D

Monday November 17, 2008

The American Go Association Board of Directors last week approved a policy capping top ranks for amateurs at 7 dan, “with exception for rare honors for a small number of players with outstanding achievement, such as winning the U.S. Open twice.” The new policy also notes that “Exceptions will be granted by the AGA President, under criteria developed through a public process, and approved by the President.” The policy is a response to concerns about top amateur American ranks in relation to other countries at international events. Ranks are distinct from AGA ratings; click here for AGA Ratings Statistician Paul Matthews’ article Inside The AGA Ratings System.

Categories: U.S./North America
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Go Quiz: Smoke & Mirrors

Monday November 17, 2008

Last week’s Quiz asked what the cultural phenomenon was in both Shonen Jump’s 2004 English edition of Hikaru no Go, Volume One and The Middle Game of Go. Many of you, knowing the Middle Game of Go is a serious book, and remembering that Sakata held a cigarette in his hand on the cover of your old copy, conjectured that smoking was the only “cultural phenomenon” that was part of the book. A closer look at the cover of the 2007 edition reveals that the cigarette has vanished. Similarly, in Hikaru no Go, as Cordell Newmiller points out – “a particularly rude player extinguishes a cigarette on a go board to arrogantly mark the correct move. The cigarette was changed to chewing gum in the US release.” 5 out of 14 smoked out the correct answer, including Reinhold Burger, this week’s winner, selected at random from those answering correctly. With just a few weeks left, the race at the top tightens: P Waldron 27/29, K Salamony 26/29, S Fawthrop 18/20, G Kerr 17/17, Reinhold Burger 13/13, T Fung 10/12, P Schumer 10/14, J Huber 7/7, T Morris 7/13, B Kirby 6/8, R Mercado 5/5, O Nava 5/5 and D McGlothin 5/9. THIS WEEK’S QUIZ: Takemiya Masaki (left), who attended this year’s U.S. Go Congress, has won 3 of Japan’s top 7 titles and challenged for 6 out of 7. What’s the one title in which he has ironically failed to qualify for the final? Click here to send us your answer.
- Keith Arnold; photo by Chris Garlock

Categories: Go Quiz
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World Go News: Cho Takes Third Straight Meijin; Teen Park Jiyeon in Women’s Myeongin Finals To Challenge Rui Naiwei; Chinese-Korean Finals in LG Cup

Monday November 10, 2008

CHO TAKES THIRD STRAIGHT MEIJIN: Cho U (left) has retained his Meijin title after an exciting seesaw battle with Iyama Yuta that went the full 7-game distance. After losing the first two games in his Meijin title defense against teen Iyama 8P, Cho 9P then won three straight games to take a 3-2 lead but then lost Game 6 in less than 100 moves. Cho won the decisive seventh game on November 5-6 and so will hold that title for the third year in a row and the fifth time overall. Cho is now in the midst of a major run at the top seven Japanese titles. He already holds the Meijin and the Gosei, and he’s the challenger for both the Tengen and the Oza (he’s won the first game in the Oza title match), and he is in the finals to be the challenger for the Judan. In the Honinbo League, which has just started, he is 1-0. The only one of the top seven he is out of currently is the Kisei, although he came close to winning his section of that League. Iyama is also compiling an impresssive record. He won his section of the Kisei League, but lost the play-off game to Yoda Norimoto 9P; he is still alive in the Losers’ Bracket of the Judan, lost to Cho in the finals to be the challenger for the Oza, and is playing in the challenger’s tournament for the Gosei. 

TEEN PARK JIYEON IN WOMEN’S MYEONGIN FINALS TO CHALLENGE RUI NAIWEI: Seventeen-year-old Park Jiyeon 1P has won no titles yet, but she now finds herself in the finals of the tournament to determine the challenger for Rui Naiwei (left) 9P’s Korean Women’s Myeongin (Japanese: Meijin) title. This tournament is a double-elimination; after their first loss, the losers play each other in a separate bracket until only one is left. That player then plays the winner of the winners’ bracket to decide who will be the challenger. This year Cho Hyeyeon 8P, who challenged Rui for it five times, winning in 2003 while still a teen herself – and who is also the current Women’s Kuksu – is the winner of the winner’s bracket. She beat Park in the semi-finals of that bracket, but Park won the final game among the losers, so she and Cho will meet again.

CHINESE-KOREAN FINALS IN LG CUP: The best-of-three-game finals of the 13th international LG Cup will be between Lee Sedol 9P of Korea and Gu Li (below right) 9P of China. In the semifinals November 5th, Lee knocked out fellow Korean Park Yeonghun 9P, while Gu eliminated Korea’s Lee Changho 9P by 1.5 points. Lee Sedol won this event last year, as well as in 2003, and Gu won it in 2006. Lee Changho has won it four times. Overall, the Koreans have been victorious seven times, the Chinese and the Japanese twice each, and the Taiwanese once. The finals will occur in late February in Seoul.

Categories: World
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