American Go E-Journal » 2011 » November

Ouleween Keeps Cork Title in Dutch Hands

Wednesday November 23, 2011

For once, Cork was not visited by some terrible natural disaster on the eve of its annual tournament, as it has been in recent years. The 2011 UCC Weiqi Tournament was won by Kim Ouleween (left), a professional artist from Amsterdam who’s done some game commenting on EuroGoTV. His 5-game sweep kept the tournament in Dutch hands for the second year in a row. In second place on tiebreak was KGS star Ian ‘Javaness’ Davis, who collected more SOS than Spain’s Matei Garcia. Also winning 5/5 was Thomas Shanahan from Galway. The 23 players were all grateful for organiser Justyna Kleczar’s hard work.

Click here for full results and a photo album
photo: Kim Ouleween (left) Cao Tong Yu (right)

Categories: Europe
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Two Weeks at the Lee Sedol Baduk Academy: Van Tran’s Journal (#3)

Tuesday November 22, 2011

July 10: Sunday the dojang is closed so I went to Myongi with Om, an 18-year-old Thai player who has been there for a year. We went by subway and bus. The public transportation in Korea is quite complicated, and we had to transfer subways and buses a couple of times. When we arrived at Myongi we met with Om’s friend and we visited the Inseidong, the Korean Go Club. It fascinates me that there seem to be no weak players to be found in Korea. The club was filled with people 7-dan or stronger and there was a pro tournament on the third floor of the building. After visiting the Inseidong and shopping at Myongi we went to the cinema to watch Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2.
Photo (right): Very clean subway!

July 11: Today at the dojang, school founder Lee Sedol 9P came to teach the inseis. He seemed to be very calm and modest. He went over all of the inseis’ games and I  watched the review. I was shocked to see that Lee Sedol was able to play out a whole game after just seeing the board a few times as he went around the room. I got him to sign my fan during lunch, which he did with a smile and nod. On a side note I won all but one of my games against Kang Chang Hyo, the top player in the 10th division. I was put in the lowest league which has 2 dans to 4 dans, but through intense concentrated study for a week I went on a winning streak and was able to end up seco2nd in the league.
Photo (left): A day at the dojang

July 14: Today was a pretty good day. I won two games against people in higher leagues. One’s name was Pakchan and I don’t remember the other’s name, but they are both significantly stronger that the people in my league. Even though I was able to beat them, the headmaster wouldn’t move me up because of my losing streak in the first two days which brought down my record. I memorized another three pro games today, all played by Lee Sedol. I find his games a challenge to go over because he tenukis and plays aggressively all over the board. It takes a lot of thought to follow.

Sixteen-year-old Van Tran spent two weeks in South Korea at the Lee Sedol Baduk Academy earlier this year and sent the E-Journal his report, which is appearing in the EJ this month. The high school junior lives in the Houston suburb of Spring, Texas, has been playing for two and a half years and is “about 3 dan.”

Categories: Youth
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Cho Hanseung Wins 55th Kuksu

Sunday November 20, 2011

Korea has a new Kuksu in town. On November 16, Cho Hanseung 9P defeated Choi Cheolhan 9P in the deciding game of the 55th Kuksu title match. The two players exchanged blows in a five game series, in which black won every time. Cho finally triumphed, winning the series 3-2. The Kuksu is the most prestigious of the domestic Korean titles. The word corresponds to the Chinese characters (国手, guoshou), which literally mean ‘national hand’, but translate loosely to something more like ‘national treasure’. This is Cho Hanseung’s first Kuksu title. He gained early discharge from compulsory military service after winning a gold medal for Korea in the 2010 Asian Games. Some say that since leaving the army he’s been stronger than ever…

- Jingning; based on her original article: Cho Hanseung wins 55th Kuksu in Korea. Photo: Cho Hanseung 9P.

Categories: World
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Bruno Witte, 92, Passes

Monday November 14, 2011

“While Bruno Witte (AGA # 3885) did not play in AGA tournaments, I think he was the oldest active registered go player in the AGA” when he died recently at 92, reports Ted Terpstra. “He was a member of the San Diego Go Club for many years and I had a Thursday afternoon game scheduled with him for the last several years. He regularly beat me (5 kyu) with a three stone handicap.” Witte was a retired mathematician.

Categories: U.S./North America
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Go Shop Offers Tumblers & Totes

Monday November 14, 2011

If go problems are your cup of tea, a new shop may have just the thing for you. The Go Shop carries a neat line of go “tumblers” or insulated beverage containers. The Fuseki Series includes the Chinese Opening, Kobayashi, Mini Chinese Opening and San  Ren Sei, and there’s also a Corner Problems tumbler and a Go Board tumbler. All are offered in English, Chinese or Korean. To carry your tumblers, and other go materials, the Go Shop also carries a go-themed tote bag. “For us, every small move counts,” says the Go Shop.

Two Weeks at the Lee Sedol Baduk Academy: Van Tran’s Journal (#2)

Monday November 14, 2011

July 8: Today, I woke up, got ready and went to the dojang a little early. I’ve started changing my style from the traditional peaceful play found frequently in the States to the somewhat reckless fighting style of the Koreans. I think it’s the best way to improve because it forces you to read further. I have also found that life and death problems are a huge part of Korean go because they come up so often in their games. Today I memorized a pro game on the recommendation of the headmaster. He says it’s not enough to go over a pro game; you have to memorize it in order to get a solid feel of the best move on intuition. I find pro games to be much more helpful now because when you memorize them you understand why professionals make each of their moves. It’s easy to gain two stones in strength by putting a purpose in each stone you play. Oh it’s  a good night because I won all my games today!
Photo (right): Dinner at the dormitory

July 9: Today is Saturday, which is kind of like a break day at the dojang. Everyone participates in a team tournament. On my team was Yu Minh and Masakito, a 7 year-old student from Japan. Both of them are 9d and aspiring professionals. I felt out of place and was given handicaps against the other players. I played a 9d insei with 6 stones and won. The next game I played with another 9d insei with 6 stones and won again. Our team won the tournament, but I knew I didn’t deserve to win because they were much stronger than me.
photo (left): Win some, lose some

Sixteen-year-old Van Tran spent two weeks in South Korea at the Lee Sedol Baduk Academy earlier this year and sent the E-Journal his report, which is appearing in the EJ this month. The high school junior lives in the Houston suburb of Spring, Texas, has been playing for two and a half years and is “about 3 dan.”

Categories: Youth
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AGF Scholarship Applications Due Nov. 20

Monday November 14, 2011

Applications  for the American Go Foundation(AGF) college scholarship are due November 20th. The program recognizes high school students who have served as important youth organizers and promoters for the go community. To apply, download and complete the application form here. Applicants should describe their accomplishments and volunteer work in a short essay. Read about this year’s winners, Jasmine Yan and D’Mitri Moore here.

 

Go Spotting: Neal Stephenson’s Novel “Reamde”

Sunday November 13, 2011

Neal Stephenson’s new novel Reamde has a reference to go, reports Ken Parel-Sewell. “On an iPad in portrait mode, the reference starts on page 271. The section starts with the words ‘Like any Russian, Sokolov enjoyed a game of chess.’ The next paragraph then starts talking about go. ‘He had heard somewhere, though, that mathematically speaking, the game of Go was more difficult than chess…’ It goes on to use go as a metaphor for a particularly difficult situation this character has found himself in. It goes on for a few paragraphs. Check it out.” Stephenson’s speculative fiction novel, set in the present day, centers on the plight of a hostage and the ensuing efforts of family and new acquaintances to rescue her as various captors drag her about the globe. Topics covered range from online activities including gold farming and social networking to the criminal methods of the Russian Mafia and Islamic terrorists, according to Wikipedia’s post.

Sempais Leading the Way in WV

Sunday November 13, 2011

“In Glen Dale, West Virginia, an unlikely new program has attained a huge following at John Marshall High School: Go Club.  With a membership of nearly 100 students, the club has grown by massive leaps and bounds in a way that no one thought possible. Go Club started two years ago with a handful of students in my study hall,” writes school teacher David Will.  “I had brought a board and a book of go problems with me to study hall one day to give me something to do while my students worked on homework.  Three students approached my desk and inquired about the game, something that they had never seen before.  Two of those students would go on to important roles in the club. In years past, I have always taken two or three days to teach the basics of go to my World History classes to close the chapter on ancient Chinese history.  For the rest of the year, many of the students would play the game, but it had not gone beyond a diversion for after the completion of worksheets and tests.  Now, I had an interesting opportunity.  These students and I played go daily for months, honing their skills to where they were competition for me, and one even finally defeated me. Continue reading…)

Debarre Wins Another French Championship

Sunday November 13, 2011

Eighteen-year-old Thomas Debarre 6d (r) won a third French Go Championship October 29-30 at Beire-le-chatel, near Dijon, France. Debarre beat Rémi Campagnie, a young Frenchman who lives in Canada in a final that was commented live on KGS by Fan Hui 2P.
- reported by Alain Cano

Categories: Europe
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