American Go E-Journal » 2008 » December

Chess Doping Scandal

Monday December 15, 2008

“Grandmaster Vassily Ivanchuk refused to submit a urine sample for a drug test at the Chess Olympiad in Dresden and is now considered guilty of doping,” reports Maik Grossekathöfer in Spiegel Online. “The world of chess is outraged that he could face a two-year ban. The incident in Dresden and the possibility of a professional ban for Ivanchuk has caused outrage in the chess world. The players, who fraternize with one another, say that accusing one of them of doping is an insult to their honor and intelligence. Letters of protest were issued, and players are accusing bureaucrats in the world of championship chess of destroying the game, because, as they insist everyone should know, doping provides no benefits in chess.” Click here for the complete report. Photo: Vassily Ivanchuk, photo by Dimitri Papadopoulos/QuebecPress.com

Categories: World
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Women Creating Stir In Japanese Ryusei

Monday December 15, 2008

Two female players have created a bit of a stir in the popular Ryusei tournament, now underway. With two wins each, Suzuki Ayumi (left) 4P and Xie Yimin 4P have a good chance to advance to the second round in an event where women players rarely win more than one game. The Ryusei is a fast-play — 30 seconds per move plus 10 one-minute thinking periods — event that’s broadcast on TV and draws a large audience. The play begins with eight groups of twelve players each who play a win-and-continue round; the winner and the player who wins the most games in each group then join a sixteen player single elimination tournament. Women players are always included though it is rare for them to win more than one game and this year Suzuki Ayumi 4P has defeated two men in Block G, Kuwamoto Shinpei 6P and Furuya Masao 3P, while Xie Yimin 4P has defeated a fellow female player Kim Hyunjung 3P as well as Miyasaki Ryutaro 6P who is male. Xie next faces Ko Iso 7P and Suzuki’s next opponent is Sakai Hideyuki 7P. These two male opponents are better-known because they have good records in tournament play and will be a real challenge for Suzuki and Xie. Since it’s possible to make it into the final event by winning three games, both women have a chance to reach the next level. Last year Rin Kaiho 9P made it into the final event with only two wins; he outranked the two other two-game winners in his group. Kono Rin 9P won this event last year, and Cho U 9P the two years before that.

Categories: Go News,Japan
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Lee Changho And Chang Hao In Chunlan Finals

Monday December 15, 2008

In the semifinals of the 7th international Chunlan Cup on December 11th there were three Chinese players and one Korean. Lee Changho 9P of Korea defeated Kong Jie 7P while Chang Hao 9P defeated Zhou Heyang 9P, so Lee and Chang will meet in the best-of-three-game finals. Chang came in second last year, losing to fellow countryman Gu Li 9P, which is the only time the Chinese have won this event. Lee has won it twice, in 2003 and 2005. Overall, Koreans have won it four times and the Chinese and Japanese once each. The winner’s purse is about $150,000.00 US. Lee is also the only Korean ever to take second place, in the first Chunlan in 1999 when he lost to his teacher Cho Hunhyun 9P.

Categories: Go News,World
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Korean Pro Launches English Blog

Monday December 15, 2008

With few Asian professional go players blogging in English, Lee Hajin (right) 3P new blog about her go career is notable. Assisted by her father, Hajin includes her personal diaries and essays, as well as photos on the blog. “It is very cool how members can comment and participate in the discussion, and I have personally signed up and spoken with Hajin; I find her to be very kind,” reports Tigersmouth news editor Tom Bahun. “The site is set up well and very easy to use; the news section is great because you get the latest articles before anywhere else. Who better to report them, than someone who is right there?” adds Bahun. For updates on go news by teenagers, check out the new Tigersmouth News section

Categories: Go News,Youth
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Yes On Blackberry Go

Monday December 15, 2008

There are at least two Blackberry go apps, according to readers responding to last week’s query (Your Move: Readers Write: Blackberry Go 12/8 EJ) mgo and Gome. There are two versions of mgo, including mgo_x, which features sgf export, notes Hannes, who’s involved in mgo development. “The mgo team is currently working on a heavily revised and enhanced version of the software, so all user feedback is highly appreciated,” Hannes adds. “You can also download a trial version of Gome to check compatibility with your mobile phone,” says Gome author Guillaume.

CORRECTION

Monday December 15, 2008

“Kono Rin won the Tengen title from 2005 to 2007 — each year the other player was Yamashita Keigo, who played in the Tengen title match five years in a row — so Cho U was the challenger,” writes longtime go journalist John Power (Cho Holds Onto Tengen, Recaptures Oza 12/8 EJ). “Surprisingly, this year was the first time he had reached the title match. The EJ may have been looking forward a year, as the odds are that Cho will defend in 2009 if he maintains the great form he’s in now. Kono Rin also won the Ryusei tournament this year, so he still has two titles. This year was the first time that Kono won more than one title.”

Categories: Go News,Japan
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The Empty Board: The Real Go Player

Monday December 15, 2008

THE EMPTY BOARD: The Real Go Player
by Bill Cobb

At a lecture at this year’s U.S. Go Congress, Takemiya Masaki (right) 9P insisted that it is very important in go to play where you want to, not where you think you ought to. He said that no one believes he is serious about this. It’s easy to understand why. The issue here is what it means to be a “honte” go player. First, think about why we play the game. Surely it’s because we enjoy it: no one is forcing us to play. Those of us at the Congress paid a lot to attend. Takemiya assumes we all agree with this, but he notices that a lot of players often seem to find playing an unpleasant and frustrating experience. He suggested this is because we are worried about where we should play next in the game. For many of us this worry is based in a concern about our ratings, which is what drives us to worry about winning the game we’re playing. It may well be that the excessive focus on ratings so characteristic of the current AGA culture – player rank was the most visible part of Congress ID badges — is the greatest barrier to enjoying playing. The solution is to quit worrying about ratings and winning. Instead, look over the board carefully, and play wherever you want to. Of course, this approach may lead to losses, but it’s the only way to become a real go player, playing your own style of go. This approach requires two essential things, which is where your feelings for the game come from: studying seriously and reviewing your games carefully. Seeing what does and doesn’t work shapes your feeling for the game in the direction that leads to better play. So don’t worry, be happy. Follow your feelings when you play and you’ll not only enjoy the game more, you’ll be a real go player and not someone who only thinks they are a go player.

 

Categories: U.S. Go Congress
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Youth Champ Qualifier Hosts Wanted

Monday December 8, 2008

US Youth Go Championship (USYGC) organizers are looking for chapters interested in hosting one of next year’s regional qualifying events. “This is a great opportunity to encourage many children and youth players to become stronger,” says Coordinator Daniel Short. “It’s also a way to give local players a chance to compete for a national championship.” Eight qualifiers will be held across the country, with regional winners being flown to the national championship tournament in San Francisco, where the final champions — junior and senior — will be selected as the AGA’s representatives to the World Youth Go Championship in August. To find out more about how your chapter can host a USYGC qualifier, email usygc@usgo.org.

GO QUIZ: Waldron & Salamony Share Top Quiz Honors

Monday December 8, 2008

For a change, all of the folks who thought last week’s Quiz was too easy got it right, correctly identifying the Judan as the one title that no player has yet won five times in a row. Congratulations to Grant Kerr, this week’s winner, selected at random from those answering correctly, and thanks to the most recent Go World for inspiring the question.
After leading all year, Phil Waldron was caught in the last three weeks by Kim Salamony, resulting in a jigo in which they share the two top honors of Most Correct and Most Attempts this year. Both finished with 28 right and 3 wrong. Honors for highest percentage — with 50% participation — goes once again to Grant Kerr who was an impressive 18 for 18. Honorable mention goes to Steve Fawthrop for a very respectable 18/20 and to Reinhold Burger, who finished the year with a streak of 5 straight correct answers to finish at 15/15. The rest of the honor roll follows: Terry Fung 11/13, Peter Schumer 11/15, Brian Kirby 8/10, Jonathan Huber 7/7, Andrew Huang 7/12, Trevor Morris 7/13, Deborah McGlothin 6/10, Ramon Mercado 5/5, and Oliver Nava 5/5. My thanks to all 160 of you who participated in the Go Quiz this year, as well as the many others who responded to our polls. See you in January!
- Keith Arnold

Categories: Go Quiz
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YOUR MOVE/Readers Write: Blackberry Go? California Dreamin’

Monday December 8, 2008

BLACKBERRY GO? “Is there software for recording games on a Blackberry?” wonders Bill. Let us know at journal@usgo.org

CALIFORNIA DREAMIN’: “Can you give me and name and contact for the Palo Alto and Menlo Park go clubs?” writes Joy. “We live nearby and my son is playing go online and is interested in a club.” Click here to quickly locate go clubs across the country.