American Go E-Journal » 2014 » May

Maryland Open Attracting a Crowd This Weekend

Wednesday May 21, 2014

Players are coming from as far away as Chicago and New York for this weekend’s 41st Maryland Open, which is also a NAMT Qualifier and Pro Qualifier. Click here for details and to register. There will be prizes in all sections and cash prizes in the open section. There will be five rounds; three Saturday and two Sunday. “Come for one day or both!” says organizer Keith Arnold. Registration on Saturday runs from 9 until 10:30 am, with the first round at 11 am; first round Sunday 9:30 am. “Our thanks to Yellow Mountain Imports” for sponsoring, Arnold adds.

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The Power Report (Part 2): Iyama Makes Good Start In Honinbo Title Defense; Kisei B League Starts

Wednesday May 21, 2014

by John Power, EJ Japan Correspondent

Iyama Makes Good Start In Honinbo Title Defense: The difference in experience seemed to be a big factor in the opening game of the 69th Honinbo title match, which was held on May 14 and 15. Though still only 24 (until May 24), Iyama Yuta Honinbo (right) has already played in eleven best-of-sevens (and won seven of them). In contrast, Ida Atsushi 8P, at 20, was playing in his first title match and was the youngest player ever to challenge for the Honinbo title.

One advantage for Ida (left) is that this is the first time that Iyama has faced an opponent younger than himself in a title match, so he will now know how his seniors felt. The opening game was played in Ida’s home town of Suzuka in Mie Prefecture, so he also had the overwhelming support of the fans on the spot. The game was actually played in the Tsubaki Okami Yashiro, a Shinto shrine, in a building called the Sanshuden, which had just been renovated as a training center. This game was held to celebrate the upcoming official opening of the hall on May 18. The arrangements for an event like this are made many months in advance; Ida was a complete dark horse in the Honinbo league, so city officials had no way of knowing that a local player would be starring.

Ida drew white in the nigiri. The game started with his taking profit in three corners, letting Iyama build a moyo. Ida made an invasion on the right side and had to fight hard to settle his group. However, he then had to switch to another invasion at the top before he had made the side group completely alive. Iyama made a clever placement on the side that set up a double attack on the two groups and he was able to kill the one at the top. Ida was forced to resign after 197 moves.

The main impression from this game is of Iyama’s greater skill in fighting, but Ida seemed to improve round by round in the Honinbo league, so we can expect him to adapt rapidly to two-day games. His play with black in the second game, scheduled for May 25 and 26, will give an indication of how his challenge
will fare.

Kisei B League Starts: The first two games were played in the 39th Kisei B League on May 15. Murakawa Daisuke 7P (W) scored an upset half-point win over Yoda Norimoto 9P and Kobayashi Satoru 9P (B) beat Cho Riyu 8P by resignation. The A League starts on the 22nd.

Categories: Japan
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Regan and Cocke Regain British Pair Go Championship

Wednesday May 21, 2014

Natasha Regan and Matthew Cocke of Epsom (right) regained the title of British Pair Go Champions at the 24th British Pair Go Championship on Saturday May 17. They had lost it last year to Kirsty Healey and Matthew Macfadyen, but the 2013 Champions were unable  to defend the title due to a prior diary fixture*. The clinching game of the three-round tournament was against Ingrid Jendrzejewski and Alex Selby and ended with both pairs having less than two minutes left of their allocated 45 before sudden death could decide it. Nevertheless Regan and Cocke won by a comfortable margin.

A separate handicap competition was won by Jil Segerman and Pat Ridley, four pairs contending. Fighting Spirit prizes went to Edwina Lee and Charles Leedham-Green (main) and siblings Roella and Edmund Smith (handicap). The latter pair’s sister Kelda and father Paul Smith won the quiz, and local pair Sam McCarthy and John Collins took the prize for Best-Dressed Pair. The prizes (below, left) were paired items of Japanese handicraft from the Japan Centre, the prize-winners being invited, in order, to make a selection from amongst those remaining.

Francis Roads organized the event on behalf of the British Go Association (BGA) and it was held this year at a new venue, the function room of the Red Lion Public House – also the home of the Welwyn Garden City Tournament. Roads bemoaned the fact that none of the pairs who had previously complained of the difficulty of reaching the old venue by public transport had in fact taken advantage of the easy accessibility of the Tournament’s new home. With so few attending, Roads made an ad hoc adjustment to the rules so only six pairs competed for the title, not the full eight qualified pairs who should have. Reporting this deviation to the BGA Council, Roads wrote:

“The entry was disappointingly low at ten pairs. I decided to deviate from the official rules and draw only six pairs in the even game section. To have done otherwise would have led to even games between grossly mismatched pairs, and only two pairs in the handicap division. I suggest that the rules be revised to allow for such a possibility.”

Click here for full results, and here to see our correspondent’s photo album of the event.

*Happy Birthday!

Tony Collman, British Correspondent for the E-Journal. Photos: British Pair Go Champions, (L-R) Matthew Cocke and Natasha Regan, play round 3; Prize table. Thanks to John Collins for loan of camera.

The Power Report (Part 1): Yamashita Increases Lead In Meijin League; Ichiriki Wins New International Tournament

Tuesday May 20, 2014

by John Power, EJ Japan Correspondent

Yamashita Increases Lead In Meijin League: Yamashita Keigo (right) hasn’t played a game in the 39th league since our last report, but his lead has opened up to two wins because of a loss suffered by Cho U. In a game played on May 8, Yuki Satoshi 9P (W) picked up his first win in the league by beating Cho by half a point. Cho drops back to 3-2, putting him in a three-way tie for second with Hane Naoki 9P and Ryu Shikun 9P. Yamashita is on 5-0, so he has a two-game cushion, which makes him an even better bet for challenger than he appeared to be in the Honinbo league. On the same day, Kono Rin 9P (B) beat Murakawa Daisuke by resig. Murakawa slips to 1-4 and now will have a tough job keeping his place.

Ichiriki Wins New International Tournament: Japan had its best result in an international tournament for 17 years when its representatives took first and second place in the Globis Cup World Igo U-20. The official name notwithstanding, the tournament is open to players 20 and under (there is some confusion, as the Nihon Ki-in’s HP defines it as “under 20,”but the  Chinese player Lian Xiao turned 20 on April 8 ). At any rate, 16 top young players from Japan, China, Korea, Chinese Taipei, Europe, North America, and Oceania took part. The time system is NHK-style, that is 30 seconds per move plus ten minutes’ thinking time in one-minute units. The first round consists of four double-elimination mini-tournaments (similar to the opening round of the Samsung Cup). Four players compete in each, playing until they have two wins, thus qualifying for the quarterfinals, or two losses, thus being eliminated. The tournament was held from May 9 to 11.

Globis is a Japanese venture-capital company that also provides educational services in business and management. It runs its own university, the Graduate School of Management, Globis University, and the main force behind its sponsorship is the college president, Hori Yoshito, a keen go player.

Because of their outstanding results recently, the players from Korea and China were considered the favorites, especially Lian Xiao 7-dan of China, who won the 15th Agon Kiriyama Cup play-off with Japan last December. Local fans were surprised and pleased, therefore, to see two of the Japanese representatives make the final. One was Ichiriki Ryo (left), who was recently promoted to 7-dan for winning a place in one of the current Kisei leagues; the other was Kyo Kagen 2P, a Taiwanese-born player, who has been doing very well this year (he is top of the most-wins list at present, with a 23-4 record, including 17 wins in a row; Ichiriki is in second place with 20-2).

Both Ichiriki and Kyo qualified quickly for the quarterfinals with two straight wins; one of the players falling by the wayside with 1-2 was Ida Atsushi, who is now challenging for the Honinbo title. Ichiriki beat Na Hyeon 4P of Korea in the quarterfinals and Lian Xiao 7P of China in the semifinals; Kyo first beat Li Qincheng 1P, then Xia Chenkun 3P, both of China. In the final, Ichiriki (black) beat Kyo by resignation after 155 moves. In the play-off for third place, Lian beat Xia. First prize is worth 3,000,000 yen (close to $30,000), second 500,000, and third 200,000.
Tomorrow: Iyama Makes Good Start In Honinbo Title Defense; Kisei B League Starts
photo (bottom left): Ichiriki Ryo 7 dan plays Kyo Kagen 2 dan at the 1st GLOBIS Cup; photo courtesy Go Game Guru

Categories: Japan
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Seattle Go Center Looks East

Tuesday May 20, 2014

While Bellevue is just across Lake Washington from the Seattle Go Center, during rush hours it can be 60 minutes away.  This makes it hard for Bellevue players to come to weekday events at the Seattle Go Center.  In February, the Go Center  started  meet-ups at the Crossroads Bellevue Shopping Center, which is close to the Microsoft campus, and about 12 miles east of the Go Center.  The Thursday group meets from 5:30 to 8:30 in the “Game Lane” of the mall, and has 12 – 18 players coming, both dan and kyu level.  There is a Saturday group as well, meeting at the same place and time, which had five players the last time they met. “We have tried to do this before on the East Side, but we never got a large enough group to keep it going,” reports Manager Brian Allen.  This time, thanks to support from Crossroads Bellevue and Uncle’s Games at the shopping center, and dedicated volunteer Thane W., they are able to get a large enough group on Thursdays that everybody can find a game.  “Now we are hoping that we can also build up Saturdays.” Most of the publicity was done with the Go Center’s e-mail list, which has about 450 addresses.  Photo: Sonny Cho 6d answering question at Crossroads.  Photo/Report by Brian Allen.

Categories: Uncategorized
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Go Quiz: A Trip Down New York’s Go Memory Lane & A Famous Quote

Tuesday May 20, 2014

Last week’s quiz asked about which bit of New York Go history is referenced by one of these shows: “Hong Kong Phooey”, “Underdog”, “Tennessee Tuxedo and His Tales” or “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.” The answer is “Tennessee Tuxedo and His Tales”: Chumley was the name of Tennessee Tuxedo’s walrus sidekick. (click here for this week’s quiz)

The New York go history connection is Lee Chumley, a Greenwich Village resident who had been a soldier, artist, writer and covered wagon driver, and who played a pivotal role in New York go history when he founded his speakeasy in 1922. Chumley’s, frequented by the likes of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Willa Cather, E.E. Cummings, John Steinbeck and Dylan Thomas, became a bohemian incubator of the AGA, which held its early meetings on Monday evenings at the bar.

A report in the January 13th 1934 issue of The New Yorker describes the go scene at Chumley’s, including some of its early practitioners, including Edward Lasker, Karl Davis Robinson and Fritz Kastilan, and observing with The New Yorker’s usual wit that “The Public Library has two books on Go. One hasn’t been taken out since 1916 and the other has never been taken out. Mr. Robinson, of the Chumley group, is writing another one now, but he doesn’t quite know why.” Chumley’s and the AGA Monday night club can be seen in this 1942 photo in Life magazine; Edward Lasker, on the left at the third board from the bottom, was one of the earliest proponents of go in the U.S.

By 1951, meetings had moved to the Marshall Chess Club, but Chumley’s would be a must stop for the attendees of the U.S. Congress this August except that it’s been closed since 2007 for repairs. It was slated to reopen this year, but according to a report in The New York Times last February, local residents are attempting to block the reopening, claiming, ironically, that there are too many bars in the neighborhood to open a “new” one. By the way, Chumley’s is also the originator of the term “86” used in the restaurant business to indicate that something — or someone — should be thrown out. Chumley used it as a means to alert his patrons that a police raid was coming — based on tips usually provided by the police themselves — and customers should exit through the door on 86 Bedford.

Although no one chose the correct answer, the fault doubtless lies with poor wording and editing at our end, and we hope you have enjoyed this trip down New York’s go memory lane. Please send us any memories you have of the place and we will try to preserve this piece of go history.

This Week’s Quiz: Who said this? “The rules of go are so elegant, organic and rigorously logical that if intelligent life forms exist elsewhere in the universe they almost certainly play go.” Was it Albert Einstein, John Nash or Edward Lasker? Click here to submit your answer.

We look forward to seeing all of you at the 41st Maryland Open this weekend in Baltimore. While not as old as Chumley’s, the Gilbert W. Rosenthal Memorial Baltimore Go Club is one of the AGA’s oldest chapters, and has sponsored the Maryland Open go tournament for many years. See you this weekend!
- the editors; photos courtesy Life and the New York Times (Librado Romero)

Categories: Go Quiz
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Dylan Zhu-Dong New British Youth Champion

Tuesday May 20, 2014

Dylan Zhu-Dong 10k of Leamington Go Club beat Oscar Selby 6k of Epsom to become British Youth Champion 2014 at the King Edward VI School, Aston in Birmingham, England on Sunday May 18.  Zhu-Dong, who also took the Under-14 title, defeated the favorite after successfully taking advantage of Selby’s misreading in a fight. Selby did, however, take the Under-12 title. Melchior Chui 9k from Cambridge won again in the Under-16 section and Hilary Bexfield 26k of Letchworth won the Under-10s. Andreas Ghica 35k from Newmarket won the Under-8 at his first go tournament. There were no entrants in the Under-18 division and 19 entered in all. Click here for full results.

Tony Collman, British correspondent for the E-Journal, from a report by Tony Atkins for the British Go Association; photo by Tony Atkins, courtesy of the British Go Association website.

Go Campers Write: Summer Fun

Monday May 19, 2014

What’s a typical day at the AGA Go Camp like? Joe, age 12, writes “I studied everyday with my friends and my teacher, and I had a lot of good times with them. We played games with each other, learned new go problems, joseki, and fuseki, and played in fun tournaments each day. When I left camp, I was sad because I would miss all my new friends, but when I came back home, I was happy because I was beating everyone and showing that I improved.”

Yuga, age 8, writes, “I learned go from morning until evening, and that was my first time studying go for so long. I spent time with a great teacher and lots of new friends, and we played go and talked about go. It made me want to play more and improve more. I learned so much from Mr. Yilun Yang. I learned new josekis. I tried them on KGS, and I feel like my territory is safer than before. I also learned crazy moves that are really good to confuse your opponent. I tried them when I played stronger players, and I won the games!”

Mulan, age 8, sums up everyone’s feelings nicely: “I’m glad I came to the Go Camp because I got to learn new things and learn from players that were stronger than me. It was fun to make new friends and meet up with old friends from the Go Congress and other tournaments.”

Yilun Yang will be joining the Go Camp again this summer as its professional teacher. The camp itself is the week before the Go Congress,  at YMCA Camp Kresge in White Haven, PA, about 2 hours outside of New York City. Youth who played in the NAKC or the Redmond Cup are eligible for a $400 scholarship, and need-based scholarships of up to $250 are available. For more information on the latest camp-related news, and to download the registration forms, please visit the camp website at http://www.gocampeast.org/ or e-mail Amanda Miller at agagocampeast@gmail.com. - Story and photo by Amanda Miller, Go Camp Director. Photo: Campers at the Pair Go Tournament.

Chinese-American Teenage Friendship Cup

Monday May 19, 2014

The Jinhua Sports Adminstration, in Zhejiang, China, has agreed to sponsor a friendship match between American teenagers and their Chinese counterparts in Jinhua city.  The match is tentatively planned for late July or early August, and is being organized by Katherine Zhang. The Americans would need to pay their own airfare to China, but after that, all expenses will be covered. Teens can choose where they want to stay,  either with a host family, or in a hotel.  Jinhua Sports will also organize a sight seeing trip in the area. “I think it’s a great opportunity to build  communications between young go players in these two countries. They can share experiences,  and compare and contrast the teaching methods of each country,” said Zhang.  Interested parties should e-mail Zhang, at katherineysz@yahoo.com,  for more information. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.  Photo: The Temple of renowned Taoist Master Huang Da Xian, in Jinhua.  Photo courtesy TripAdvisor.com

 

Evanston Go Club Celebrates 10th Appearance at ACen Anime Convention

Sunday May 18, 2014

The Evanston Go Club taught go on May 17 and 18 to over a hundred enthusiastic attendees at Anime Central (ACen), the largest annual anime convention in the midwest. “We taught non-stop for 13 hours on Friday, and 11 hours on Saturday,” reported tired but happy club president Mark Rubenstein. The two-day event ended with a 9×9 tournament for beginners, with 20 participants. Everyone who participated received a 9×9 starter set and a copy of The Way To Go.

“This is our favorite event of the year!” said Rubenstein. “This is our 10th year at ACen, and it was a blast! Most people stay for perhaps an hour. We teach them the basics, and they play a few games. There’s a lot to do at ACen, and go is a very small part of it. But some of them can’t get enough go, and spend the better part of the weekend with us!”

“Last year there were 25,000 attendees at ACen, and everyone gets along.” said Rubenstein. “I’ve never seen any kind of tension or altercation in all these years. These kids all accept and enjoy each others’ passions and differences without judgement. The world at large could learn a lot from them.”

Rubenstein extended “special thanks to the tireless Lee Huynh for his enthusiastic help all weekend.” Visit the club’s website for more photos.
- photos courtesy Mark Rubenstein

Categories: U.S./North America
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