American Go E-Journal » 2012 » November

In Memoriam: Dr. Heidi Kirschner

Thursday November 8, 2012

Doctor Heidi Kirschner died at her home in Seattle on November 1. She was 99 years old. A beloved elder of the American go community, Kirschner helped build the local go scene in Seattle, WA; and her son, Chris, is also a longtime local and national go organizer currently serving on the boards of the Seattle Go Center, the American Go Foundation, and the American Go Association.

Heidi Kirschner was 9 kyu when she arrived in the US from Austria in October 1939, with her husband Franz, also a 9 kyu — and the suitor who was willing to learn go from her. Clutching the then-customary single suitcase that could be squeezed out of Nazi-controlled Europe at that time, Kirschner was, even at 9K, probably the strongest Caucasian woman in the US at that time. In that suitcase was a cardboard go board with wooden stones on which her son Chris, born less than two days after her arrival in Seattle, would learn to play at age 6, shortly after the end of the war.

Kirschner learned go from her mother and an uncle who had visited Japan with the Austrian navy around 1900 and picked it up there.  She grew up in Vienna, the daughter of Ludwig Moszkowicz, a prominent surgeon in Vienna, Austria, and Elizabeth, director of the first nursing school in Austria.  In 1937 Kirschner graduated from the University of Vienna Medical School and at the family graduation party met an American woman, Mildred Lemon from Olympia, Washington, who in 1939 sponsored the immigration of Heidi and Franz to Seattle, where she raised four children before returning to the practice of medicine in 1958, joining her husband in his solo practice.  She retired in 1977 but continued to teach early childhood development part time at the UW Medical School.

As early as 1961, when the American go scene was concentrated in New York City and San Francisco, Kirschner put Seattle on the map by hosting Iwamoto Kaoru 9P during his tour of the United States that year. And her home was often the site for go events like a teaching session a few years later for local Caucasian players when a trio of women professionals — Reiko Kitani, and Sachiko Honda and Teruko — from Japan visited.  With son Chris directing, and assuring her she was not too weak at 9K, she  attended the US Go Congress in Seattle in 1995, and was a fixture at many subsequent Go Congresses as well as at local events at the Seattle Go Center.

As her mother before her, and her son after, Heidi Kirschner believed strongly that go could be an instrument of peace, a belief also shared by  Iwamoto, the Japanese professional go player – and Hiroshima survivor — who funded the Seattle Go Center as part of a mini-network of go centers founded in New York City, Amsterdam, Sao Paolo and Seattle to support the spread of go worldwide.
- photo by Phil Straus

Categories: U.S./North America
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Li He 3P Bests Rui Naiwei 9P to Win Bingsheng Cup

Monday November 5, 2012

Nineteen-year-old Li He 3P bested the legendary Rui Naiwei 9P on November 3rd to take top honors at this year’s Bingsheng Cup. She defeated Rui, arguably the best female player in the world, via resignation in the final to win the title. The former champion, Korean Park Jieun 9P was defeated earlier in a match with Chinese player Yu Zhijing 2P by a narrow 1.5 point margin.

Held at Qionglong Mountain in Suzhou, China, the 4-round tournament is a women’s knockout for 16 players, first held in 2010. The 2012 field included players from China, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Europe, North America, and Oceania. The Cup was dominated by China, however, and after only two rounds the Chinese players had defeated participants from every other country.

Li He took home about $32,000 US along with a promotion from 3P to 5P in addition to her title.

Adapted from a report on Go Game Guru; click here for game records and more information.

Categories: World
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Pair Go “A way to form new friendships”

Monday November 5, 2012

Updated results in last weekend’s Pair Go Championships moved the US team up to 14th place. “Meeting different people was the best part” of the tournament, held in Tokyo,Japan. US team member Amy Su told the E-Journal. “It was very surprising to see so many countries participating,” added Su’s partner, Lionel Zhang. “It shows go is becoming more popular around the world. The informal goodwill match was great.” New US Pair Go Coordinator Rachel Small agreed, noting that “I am a lot more aware of the international presence of Pair Go now and intend to encourage our strong women to play Pair Go. Overall, the event was inspirational. I see Pair Go as a way to form new friendships.”

Categories: U.S./North America
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Hurricane Aftermath Assistance

Monday November 5, 2012

“The American Go Association extends its deepest concern to members, their families, and the communities impacted in the aftermath of hurricane Sandy,” says AGA President Andy Okun. To assist members who may have been impacted and those who would like to contribute to the recovery efforts, the following websites may be helpful in finding assistance and contributing to the recovery: The Red Cross; United Way; Salvation Army; Charity Navigator.

For those of you working on relief efforts, whether individually or as a club, please let us know about the support you are providing, the extent of the problem, where you are, and how others may help, including contact information, so that we can share with our readers. email us at journal@usgo.org

 

Categories: U.S./North America
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Your Move/Readers Write: Spoiling a Masterpiece Unnecessarily

Monday November 5, 2012

“What a shame that the Lee Sedol-Gu Li game (Quadruple Ko: Gu Li vs Lee Sedol in the 17th Samsung Cup 11/3 EJ) was left as an unsatisfying draw!” writes Terry Benson. “Starting in the 1920′s and particularly with American rules experts Robinson and Olmstead in 1941, many of those interested in the rules of go have proposed a ‘super ko rule’ to treat all ko’s – even complex ko’s – as we do a simple ko: break the full board repetition with a ko threat. Traditional Chinese rules, Ing rules, AGA rules (now used in France and Britain), and the rules of New Zealand and Australia all have super ko in some form. Only the resistance of Japanese and Korean traditionalists has prevented this simple and logical change. Why should the death of a Japanese warlord in 1582, the day after a triple ko occurred, be the superstitious basis for a rule of go? Lee and Gu created a masterpiece of go that was spoiled by an ugly rule. They could have played it out. With examples like this, maybe someday the countries of the go world will agree on clear, logical, complete rules.”
photo: Lee Sedol 9 dan (foreground) and Gu Li 9 dan (far right).

Korea’s Seung Joo Han Wins KPMC; US Places 32nd

Sunday November 4, 2012

Seung Joo Han of Korea won the 7th Korean Prime Minister Cup, held October 27-28 at Kwangju in Korea. Yuqing Hu of Chinawas second and Yongfei Ge of Canada was an impressive third, edging out by one SOSOS point Japan’s Nagatoki Kinoshita (4th); Hong Kong’s NaiSan Chan (5th) rounded out the top five winners . Matthew Burrall of the US was 32nd in a 70-player field (click here for final standings); click here for Ranka’s interview with him. Ranka’s coverage also includes tournament reports and includes interviews with Artem Kachanovskyi (Ukraine), Shirin Mohammadi (Iran), Mateusz Surma (Poland), Kinoshita Nagatoki (Japan) and Geert Groenen (The Netherlands). Yongfe Ge photo by Ito Toshiko.

Categories: World
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Korea Wins Pair Go Championships; US is 15th

Sunday November 4, 2012

The Korean Pair Go team of Jang Yun Jeong and Lee Hoseung swept to victory in the 23rd International Pair Go Championships, held over the weekend in Tokyo, Japan.  Japanese pairs dominated the rest of the top-ten finishers, with only two other countries placing; Chinese Taipei in 8th and Russia in 10th. The U.S. team of Amy Su and Lionel Zhang was 15th, edged by the Thailand pair in 14th, while European Pair Go champs Klara Zaloudkova and Jan Hora were 17th. Click here for complete results as well as game records. Note: the Chinese team was unable to participate at the last moment, so their last-place result is because of forfeits, not on-the-board losses.

 

Categories: World
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Your Move/Readers Write: Other Ways of Getting Unstuck

Sunday November 4, 2012

“I enjoyed the article about being stuck at certain levels (The Spirit of Play: “I’m Stuck” 10/29 EJ)” writes Pierre-Yves Laflèche. “In my experience the 2-kyu (or thereabouts) block has been the biggest one for my students. I’ve found that often, trying to power through with problems or reviews can leave the player frustrated if his efforts don’t pay off. It’s one thing to recommend doing problems and game reviews to improve, but what if the student does that and still isn’t improving? A complex situation like that would best be served by a teacher and lessons, but that isn’t always possible with time and budget constraints. One solution that I’ve offered my students has been to change up their playing style, in an attempt to broaden their go horizons and get out of unproductive or unsatisfying habits. The classic example would be to emulate the great Takemiya Masaki’s moyo play, but that is not the only path. I’d be interested in hearing other possible solutions, as this problem is something I’ve thought about quite a bit.”
Send your responses to journal@usgo.org

 

Chinese Professional Go Player and Pioneer Chen Zude Dies

Saturday November 3, 2012

Chen Zude, one of the first Chinese nine-dan professionals, died of pancreatic cancer in Beijing on November 1. He was 68.

“Though we’ve lost one of the go world’s brightest lights,” said AGA President Andy Okun. “We’re fortunate that Chen Zude inspired so many to follow in his path, leaving a community that, while saddened by this loss, is larger and stronger than ever.”

Credited as the first modern Chinese player to defeat a Japanese nine-dan (Iwata Tatsuaki) in an even game, Chen grew up during the “Cultural Revolution” era and was a self-taught player as well as a politically savvy go promoter, bringing the game from the status of “bourgeois decadence” to that a mind sport of national pride.  He is often considered the father of modern go in China and as go became integrated into the sports ministry in China, Chen was selected as the first president of China Qiyuan when it was established in 1992 to promote go as a profession.  He continued in that position until 2003 when it was passed on to Wang Runan.  Chen was also the first president of the Chinese Weiqi Association, a body that represents go on the international scene. In 1980, when Chen was playing in the “Xintiyu Bei” (New Sports Cup), he vomited blood and was diagnosed with stomach cancer, which he battled for 32 years.

“Because of his health, Chen never visited the US, but he often expressed his hope that the West would get to appreciate the fascinating game to which he devoted his life,” reports  International Go Federation (IGF) vice president Thomas Hsiang, who met Chen in Beijing in 2008.  “He always gladly hosted visitors from the West, giving them copies of his books and offering the full cooperation of China Qiyuan.” Chen’s study of fuseki “triggered the systematic study of fuseki both in China and Japan,” adds Frank Fukuda. “He also advocated and emphasized the cultural aspects of go, saying that it would bring peace and help people conduct themselves well.”
photo: Chen (second from left) in 2008 with Thomas Hsiang (second from right), Hua Yigang (then president of the China Qiyuan) and Hsiang’s wife, Joy (left).

Categories: World
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U.S. Defeats Finland in Int’l Amateur Pair Go First Round, Loses to Czechs in Second

Saturday November 3, 2012

The U.S. team of Amy Su and Lionel Zhang (left) drew Finland for its first round game at the International Amateur Pair Go  competition in Tokyo on November 3. The Finns, Eliza Pieniniemi and Antti Tormanen, chose black, “but after an unusually quiet game, the U.S. won comfortably,” reports Allan Abramson. “Sunday brings four intense rounds, so the U.S. has its work cut out to finish strong.” Click here for live game broadcasts and results.
This just in (11:30p EST 11/3): The U.S. team lost its second-round game to the strong Czech team, while China lost its first two games  to Ukraine and Japan (11/4 correction; the Chinese team was unable to attend, so these were forfeits, not on-the-board losses); Korea and Chinese Taipei look strong at 2-0. photo by Allan Abramson 

Categories: U.S./North America
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