American Go E-Journal » 2013 » December

Go Spotting: Making the World’s Best Go Pieces

Thursday December 12, 2013

“Sitting in front of a clay oven in which the temperature is kept at 1,200 C, workers use a traditional tool to precisely drop melted materials onto an iron board,” reports ChinaDaily.com. “ As a result, crystal-clear Go pieces, which look like black jade along with the color white, immediately appear. This is how the world-famous Yunzi, the special Go pieces, are produced… Yunzi is short for Yunnan Go pieces, and has a history of more than 500 years. The ancient process of making Yunzi was lost towards the end ofthe Ming Dynasty. In 1974, researchers found the formula from ancient Go pieces and the process remained a secret…” Read more here (be sure to click on the photo to see the entire gallery of how the stones are made).

Categories: Go Spotting
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New Go Mag Tries to Bridge Print, Online Formats

Thursday December 12, 2013

Imagine sitting at your go board, playing through a game from a printed game commentary. You come to a point where you need further explanation, scan the QR code into your Smartphone, and go online for a tutorial. Or jump online to play the game with the aid of your laptop or tablet. Whichever works best for you, Cooper Stevenson wants to help you enjoy the beauty of the game with his new magazine, Formation. “I want to engage the initial spark people have when they first appreciate the game and carry them all the way to expert levels,” Stevenson told the EJ in a recent interview. “Learning go should feel like a journey through a scenic valley, discovering new treasures along the way.” The inaugural issue includes coverage of a merger to create a potentially major new server, the latest scientific evidence that go actually produces physical changes in the brain, and move-by-move commentary by Go Seigen on a classic encounter with Kitani from 1957. Stevenson adapted Jim Z. Yu’s translation, also available as the first of ten games and several other game analyses in the free download, “Go on Go: The Analyzed Games of Go Seigen.”

By porting instructional material online, Stevenson hopes to make it easier for players to learn, especially those new to the game. “When I was learning from printed books, the diagrams were too hard to read,” Stevenson said. “I wanted to give authors a better way to communicate their ideas to their readers.” Formation will be available in print and online. The print version will have a spiral binding so as to lie flat next to the goban. QR links will enable players to step through a variation, get the answer to a problem, and so on. “The key is delivering the best content respective to the medium by which it is delivered,” Stevenson said. “The online site will have current news because digital media are more timely. The print medium will have more in-depth stories and features from the world of go. The reader can take their time absorbing the content, as a copy is always on the coffee table, ready for a good read.”  Subscriptions to the print version will be available soon at the website.

Formation is looking for volunteer proofreaders, interesting games, and authors. If you have an idea for future content, contact editor@formationmag.com.

2013 SportAccord World Mind Games Launch in Beijing

Thursday December 12, 2013

Approximately 150 bridge, chess, draughts, go and xianqi players flew into Beijing Monday for the third SportAccord World Mind games, which run through December 18. Daily highlights are available on YouTube, click here for schedule and results and you can also follow the action on Facebook. Go, with 30 players, has the third largest contingent, behind bridge (48 players) and chess (32 players); 18 men and 12 women from China, Chinese Taipei, Europe, North America, Japan, and Korea. The men will compete as teams, the women as individuals, and the Games will also include pair events (see below for Michael Redmond’s commentary on the Round 1 game between Danny Ko 7d and Ruiyang Zhou 9P). The Games were officially declared open Tuesday evening by Yang Xiacho, president of the Organizing Comittee and deputy mayor of Beijing, at an opening ceremony held in the main second floor hall of the Beijing International Conference Center, which will be the competition venue for the coming week. The announcement was accompanied by a musical fanfare and projected images of fireworks and preceded by official greetings from dignitaries, including Wang Wei, executive president of the Organizing Committee and vice chairman of the Beijing Olympic City Development Association (BODA), and Marius Vizer, president of SportAccord. Representative groups of contestants marched onto the stage to witness the raising of the Chinese flag and the SportAccord flag by a crack drill team in white uniforms, after which the stage was taken by a succession of Chinese dance teams, including a shadowboxing demonstration, kickball dance team, military exercises with broadswords and an exhibition of classical dance skills in a ‘Chess Rhyme’, in which the dancers were dressed as black and white chess queens. There was much in these performances to inspire the spectators, who were already in a good mood following a buffet banquet, and the ceremony ended at a quarter past eight, in plenty of time for everyone to rest up for the week ahead, though the go players met briefly for a technical meeting to set up the competition draw. Click here for James Davies’ detailed opening ceremony and technical meeting report on Ranka. photos by Ivan Vigano

Today’s Game Commentary: Daniel Ko (US) vs. Ruiyang Zhou (China)
Daniel Ko, the 7-dan from Los Angeles, California acquits himself quite well in this game against a world champion. Zhou won the first Bai Lin Ai Tou Cup, was a finalist in the 18th LG Cup and a member of the championship Chinese team in the 13th Nong Shim Cup. This game features a modern-style professional opening and competing moyos that both players invade. This could have been a close game but in the key fight in the middle-game, white pulls ahead in territory while attacking black. Click above or here to download the sgf file and open in your favorite go software.

Game Commentary: Redmond on the Samsung Final

Thursday December 12, 2013

After a very calm start for both players, Lee Sedol 9P starts to attack in the middle game of the Samsung Game 2 final (Korean Fans Shocked By Loss in Samsung Cup Final As Tang Weixing 3P Sweeps Lee Sedol 9Pon

[link]

December 11, sparking a very exciting fight, where I’ve concentrated most of my comments. Tang Weixing 3P ably parries Lee’s attack and after the dust settles it’s a very close game.

- Michael Redmond 9P 

 

Categories: Game Commentaries,World
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Your Move/Readers Write: Yang Problem Correction

Thursday December 12, 2013

“On Yang’s puzzle (12/10 Member’s Edition), did you mean white to play instead of black to play?” wonders Eric Osman.
You are correct; sharp find! Sorry about that. We’ve updated the problem, so if you reload the tsumego problem link, you should see the correction.

Korean Fans Shocked By Loss in Samsung Cup Final As Tang Weixing 3P Sweeps Lee Sedol 9P

Wednesday December 11, 2013

Chinese rising star Tang Weixing 3P (left) has overcome Korean legend Lee Sedol 9P (right) to claim the 2013 Samsung Cup. Before the match, played December 9-11 in Suzhou, China, Lee said that he was desperate to win for his country. Having won the Samsung Cup four times, Lee, the defending champion, was considered the favorite by many, including his challenger, but Tang, in his debut in an international final, showed nerves of steel to win the title 2-0. The first game was an intense battle that came to a thrilling climax in a complex ko fight. Many commentators thought that Lee had won this fight with some clever exchanges, as did Lee himself. However Tang was equal to the task, extending his threats and gaining enough from the ko to win by half a point. In the second game Lee, holding black, went on the offensive from the get-go and established a commanding position. Once again, however, Tang resisted solidly to claw his way back, and in the end black did not have enough points. It has been 17 years since Korea has not claimed a major international title. This had Korean fans cheering for Lee in the Samsung final, the last major tournament of the year. Instead, Tang reaffirmed the recent Chinese dominance, leaving Korea winless in 2013. Click here for Go Game Guru’s report on the Samsung semi-finals, which includes interviews with Lee and Tang, photos and game records from the semis.
- Ben Gale, Korea Correspondent for the E-Journal

Categories: World
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Terpstra Tops Las Vegas MindSports Go Event

Wednesday December 11, 2013

Ted Terpstra of the San Diego Go Club topped a field of 8 at the December 7-8 go section of the 2013 Las Vegas MindSports event. Sponsored by MindSports International, the event included other “brain” games such as chess, Scrabble, Magic: The Gathering and various miniature war-games. Runners-up in the 4-round go competition were locals Michael Wanek (LV Go Club) in second place and Jun-Suk Kim (LV Go Club) placed third; the three medal winners split a nearly $200 prize pot. During breaks, players were allowed to watch the other games at MindSports, watch sports in the Sports Book, or gamble at the gaming tables.  “The event coincided with the National Finals Rodeo,” reports local organizer Chris Tettamanti, “and in the Venetian Hotel venue, there were plenty of places to buy authentic Western wear and cowboy gear. photo courtesy Chris Tettamanti

Categories: U.S./North America
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Syracuse Tourney Breaks Attendance Record

Tuesday December 10, 2013

After three successive years of declining participation, the Syracuse Go Club’s Fall Self-Paired Tournament broke its all-time attendance record on November 23, with the 27 players more than doubling the attendance from the previous year.  Players ranging in strength from 5d to 28k played 55 AGA-rated games.  Bob Sollish 1d of Syracuse had the best individual record, with four wins and no losses against three other dan players and a 1k player.  Every participant was able to select a prize to take home at the end of the day, including several discounted books provided by Slate and Shell.
- report/photo by Richard Moseson 

photo: Xinde Ji 5d (left) plays an unrated high-handicap game with first-time participant Yan-Yeung Luk 13k, while Luk’s daughter and a friend, also players in the tournament, look on.

Categories: U.S./North America
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South London Go Club Hosts Kyu-Players Teaching Day

Tuesday December 10, 2013

The South London Go Club held a very successful teaching day and tournament for some two dozen kyu-players at the Quaker Meeting House, Croydon on Saturday December 7. In the morning three dan-grade volunteers from the British Go Association (BGA) gave 50-minute teaching sessions in rotation to three groups selected by grade, and in the afternoon each group played a Swiss tournament, while the teachers — joined by Paul Smith 1d, who was escorting his young son Edmund to the event — played a round-robin. For the teaching sessions, our correspondent “added a stone to the weak group”:

British Champion Andrew Kay 4d gave an extremely lucid presentation on probe stones, which he described as stones which ask a question of the opponent. It is though, he explained, actually a trick question designed so that however it is answered, it will receive a response which makes it the wrong answer. He went on to demonstrate exactly what he meant in practical terms on the board, using first a life-and-death situation in the corner, then a joseki not well-known even to low-dan players.

BGA stalwart and AGA member Francis Roads 2d (left, pointing at board) chose a game submitted to the event by one of the attendees for review as the teaching material. It became the subject of a “penny go” exercise, whereby at critical junctures in the review each member of the student group was invited to place a penny where they thought the next play should be. Showing great tact and sensitivity to the diffidence of the learners, Roads not only withheld the identity of the game’s players but even made himself absent as the (identical) pennies were placed. One of the teaching points he was most emphatic about was controlling the knee-jerk tendency of weaker players to “obey the 5cm rule”, ie unthinkingly responding to any move with a play within 5cm of the opponent’s last stone.

Tim Hunt 2d also used a game review to illustrate various teaching points, particularly in the opening. He, however, made his points using a high-level professional game, so here it was more often an analysis of why this or that move was a good one, compared to the students’ various suggestions. The game was from round 1 of the 1998 Japanese Oza qualifiers which Michael Redmond won as white against the legendary Cho Chikun. When Redmond visited the UK earlier this year Hunt had heard someone ask him his favourite game, and this was it. The teacher needed no recourse to a game record, as he had clearly studied it in great depth and knew every move as well as numerous possible variations at each stage.

After a short break for lunch, the tournament(s) got under way: three rounds with half an hour per player then sudden death, and handicaps (for the students, but not the teachers), set equal to grade difference, komi 7.5. Natasha Regan 1k of Epsom won in the first division (1k – 5k), narrowly beating Sue Paterson 4k of Arundel by one point in the third round, with Chris Volk 2k of Reading pushing Paterson into third place with one point more on aggregate. In the second division (6k – 10k) Peter Fisher 7k of Leicester was victorious, while Francis Moore 6k of the home club placed second and Malcolm Hagan 6k of Winchester third. In the third division (11+k) Gerry Gavigan 12k, also of South London, won and Adam Field 13k of Winchester and 8-year-old Edmund Smith 13k of Milton School took second and third place respectively. In the teachers’ tournament, Tim Hunt prevailed, winning all three games. (Placings above are based on tie-break by sum of players’ scores, per the hand-produced tables at the South London Go Club website; click here for official results). 

All the prizes were books aimed at improvers: Understanding Dan-level Play, by Yuan Zhou; How Not To Play Go, also by Yuan Zhou; Attack and Defence, by Ishida Akira and James Davies; Opening Theory Made Easy, by Otake Hideo;  Go Proverbs vol 1, published by the Nihon Ki-in and finally Go By Example: correcting common mistakes in double-digit kyu play, by Neil Moffat. Prizes went to all with three wins and some with two. In addition, two copies of Anders Kierulf’s SmartGo Kifu iPhone/iPad app, donated to the event by the author, went to the first takers.

The event was the first of its kind for the South London Go Club, but it is intended that it should become an annual event, though perhaps at a different time of year according to organizer David Cantrell, a man with a large beard and quirky sense of humour who signs off unofficial correspondence with such improbable self-stylings as “London Perl Mongers Deputy Chief Heretic”, or “Enforcer, South London Linguistic Massive” often appending an epigram such as, “Human Rights left unattended may be removed, destroyed, or damaged by the security services.”

Click here for further details and full results and a photo album.

Report and photos by Tony Collman, British correspondent for the E-Journal.

The Power Report: Japan Eliminated from Nong Shim; China Wins 15th Agon Kiriyama Cup Play-Off; Unusually Strong Meijin League Starts; Women’s Meijin League

Monday December 9, 2013

by John Power, EJ Japan Correspondent

Japan Eliminated from Nong Shim: As reported last week, Japan made a bad start to the second round, held in Pusan, of the 15th Nong Shim Spicy Noodles Cup when its third player, Kono Rin 9P, was eliminated. Yuki Satoshi 9P also lost his first game, so it looked as if Japan might suffer the ignominy of going winless. Cho U averted that with a good win, but he lost the final game in the round, so the Japanese team has been eliminated. The experiment of blooding two young and inexperienced players (Yo Chito and Anzai Nobuaki; see our report on the opening round, played October 22-25) has not been a success, though in their defense one has to say they didn’t do much worse than their seniors. The final round will be played in Shanghai from February 25 to 28. China has three players left and Korea two.
Results for the remaining games in this round follow: Game 6 (Dec. 3). Chen Yaoye 9P (China) (B) defeated Kang Tong-yun 9P (Korea) by resig. Game 7 (Dec. 4). Chen (B) d. Yuki Satoshi 9P (Japan) by resig. Game 8 (Dec. 5). Chen (B) d. Ch’oe Ch’eol-han 9P (Korea) by 18.5 points. Game 9 (Dec. 6). Cho U 9P (Japan) (B) d. Chen by resig. Game 10 (Dec. 7). Kim Chi-seok 9P (Korea) (W) d. Cho by resig. photos courtesy Go Game Guru; click here for more Nonshim reports, photos and game records.

China Wins 15th Agon Kiriyama Cup Play-Off: For the 11th year in a row, China has won the annual play-off between the holders of the Japanese and Chinese versions of the Agon Kiriyama Cup, which is sponsored by the Agon Buddhist sect. The game was held in Hangzhou City on December 3; taking white, Lian Xiao 4P of China defeated Murakawa Daisuke 7P of Japan by resignation after 164 moves.

Unusually Strong Meijin League Starts: The 39th Meijin League started with a game between two heavyweights, Yamashita Keigo 9P and Hane Naoki 9P, on December 5. Playing white, Yamashita made a good start with a win by resignation. Go Weekly made an interesting observation. All the members of the quartet that dominated the first decade of this century, Yamashita, Hane, Cho U, and Takao Shinji, are present in this league. That is probably quite unusual for a league, as usually one of these players is Kisei, Meijin or Honinbo. There are joined by two other top players from recent years, Kono Rin and Yuki Satoshi, so that makes this year’s Meijin League a very strong one. The other three players are Ryu Shikun, Murakawa Daisuke, and Ko Iso. One of the nine players will have the unenviable task next September of challenging Iyama Yuta.

Women’s Meijin League: Two games in the 26th Women’s Meijin League were played on December 5. Newly-minted Women’s Honinbo Mukai Chiaki (B) beat Suzuki Ayumi 6P by resig. and Yoshida Mika 8P (W, at right) beat Chinen Kaori 4P by 10.5 points. For Suzuki, this was her second loss, so she dropped out of a theoretical tie with Kato Keiko 6P (on 4-1) for first. Mukai and Suzuki are both on 3-2, so they still have a chance if Kato stumbles in the final round.

Promotion: A win on December 5 was Yoshioka Kaoru’s 150th as 7-dan, so it earned him promotion to 8-dan.

Categories: Japan,John Power Report
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