American Go E-Journal » 2016 » July

The Power Report (1): Iyama makes good start in Gosei defense; Iyama Yuta defends Honinbo title; Takao and Murakawa share lead in 41st Meijin League

Thursday July 7, 2016

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal

Iyama makes good start in Gosei defense: The first game of the 41st Gosei title match, in which Iyama Yuta faces2016.07.07_41gosei1_iyama the challenge of Murakawa Daisuke 8P, was held at the Hotel Kokonoe in Hamamatsu City in Shizuoka Prefecture on June 25. Taking black, Iyama prevailed in a violent clash between two large groups. Once this was decided, the game was over, so Murakawa resigned after 159 moves. Go reporters are increasingly using the term “Iyama magic” for the way he takes the lead in the fighting even when his opponent doesn’t make identifiable mistakes. If anything, Murakawa had appeared to have the edge in the middle-game fighting, but Iyama put into effect a large-scale strategy exploiting the aji of a more-or-less discarded group, whereupon it turned out that he was not the one with problems. The next game will be played on July 18. (NOTE: Iyama will be playing with Hsieh Yi Min in the Mind Sports Pair Go World Cup 2016, which begins in Tokyo this Saturday, July 9; click here for our June 19 preview and watch for EJ Managing Editor Chris Garlock’s reports later this week) 

Iyama Yuta defends Honinbo title:  The fifth game of the 71st Honinbo title match was held at the Yoshikawaya inn in Iisaka Hot Spring, Fukushima City on June 29 and 30.  Taking black, Iyama forced a resignation after 177 moves. After losing the opening game, Iyama won four in a row to defend his title. This is a landmark victory for him, as it secures him his first honorary title, which requires you to hold the title for five years in a row. Actually, in the case of the Honinbo title the wording is actually “eternal Honinbo;” Iyama will become “26th Honinbo,” followed by the special name he chooses for himself (he will unveil it at the award ceremony 2016.07.07_71honinbo5_4later this year).  He will use the title when he turns 60. Just for the record, his predecessors are 22nd Honinbo Shukaku (Takagawa Kaku), 23rd Honinbo Eiju (Sakata Eio), 24th Honinbo Shuho (Ishida Yoshio), and 25th Honinbo Chikun (Cho Chikun; Cho won 11 titles in a row, so he assumed the title immediately after his 10th term).
        The fifth game was the usual fierce fight between Iyama (black) and Takao. Both sides made moves they were dissatisfied with in the earlier part of the game, but it remained evenly balanced. A little after 100 moves, Iyama played a well-timed peep that helped him secure a group in sente, enabling him to switch to a big endgame point. This gave him the lead and, although there was a lot more fighting, he hung on to it. Takao resigned after 177 moves. Besides becoming the first player for 23 years to earn an honorary title (the last was Rin Kaiho in the Tengen title), Iyama also maintained his septuple crown.
        Fukushima City was the birthplace of the 6th Honinbo Shuhaku (1716-41); the game was played there to commemorate the 300th anniversary of his death. He became the head of the Honinbo house at the age of 18 but died young. His main grave is at the Honmyoji Temple in Tokyo, but a portion of his bones are buried at the Josenji temple in Fukushima. The day before the game, the players visited the temple to pay their respects to him. Incidentally, this game was the 400th title-match game in the modern Honinbo tournament.

Takao and Murakawa share lead in 41st Meijin League: After the seventh round (out of nine), Takao Shinji 9P and Murakawa Daisuke 8P share the lead in the 41st Meijin League, with both on 5-1 (each has had a bye). Next in the running is Cho U 9P, who is on 4-2. The results in the May round were significant. Murakawa Daisuke (who will also be playing in the Pair Go tournament this weekend), who suffered his first loss in the April round, regained a share of the lead by beating Takao Shinji; both were then on 4-1.  This was a chance for Cho U to take the sole lead, but he lost his game to Kono Rin, so he briefly joined Murakawa and Takao in a three-way tie; he then spoiled it by losing to Takao in the June round. Recent results: 
(May 12) Ko Iso 8P (B) beat Yamashita Keigo 9P by 1.5 points.
(May 19) Hirata Tomoya 7P (B) beat Uchida Shuhei 7P by resig. This was a game
between two winless newcomers to the league. His loss will cost Uchida his lea
gue place; Hirata has an outside chance of keeping his.
(June 2) Kono Rin 9P (B) beat Ko Iso 8P by half a point.
(June 9). Hane Naoki 9P (W) beat Uchida Shuhei 7P by resig.
(June 20) Takao Shinji 9P (W) beat Cho U 9P by half a point.
(June 30). Yamashita Keigo 9P (W) beat Hane Naoki 9P by resig.

Tomorrow: Kisei Leagues; Xie wins 3rd Aizu Central Hospital Cup

Categories: Japan,John Power Report

Paul Lockhart Named Teacher of the Year

Monday July 4, 2016

photo 3The American Go Foundation has selected Paul Lockhart as the 2016 Teacher of the Year.  Lockhart wins an all expenses paid trip to the US Go Congress in Boston, where he will hold an informal round table discussion about his experiences teaching children. “What a terrific honor,” said Lockhart,  “I am delighted to accept, and I look forward to the opportunity to meet and speak with other go teachers around the country.” Lockhart is well known in academic circles for his 2009 book A Mathematician’s Lament: How School Cheats Us Out of Our Most Fascinating and Imaginative Art Form.  “For the past 15 years I have been happily teaching Go at Saint Ann’s School in Brooklyn, NY,” adds Lockhart. “What began with four High School students and a magnetic travel go set has grown into a vibrant school-wide go culture, including an after school go club, annual tournaments, classes, seminars, and faculty participation.  I am especially pleased with the excitement and energy among the younger students.  Most of our club players are under 10, and many of our strongest High School players began playing go as kindergarteners.  It has been a fantastic learning experience for me as well.”

Lockhart is also well known in the go community, as the father of Will Lockhart (Director of The Surrounding Game film) and Ben Lockhart 7d, who has studied professionally in Korea and is seeking to become an AGA Professional.  “The current partnership with the ING foundation, which along with the American Collegiate Go Association (founded by Will Lockhart),  holds large go expos each year with hundreds of attendees, as well as The Surrounding Game documentary film, would not be possible had Paul not introduced go into our lives in such a meaningful way; a way that gave us such love and interest in the game that we both had no choice but to dedicate our lives to go,” writes Ben Lockhart. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.  Photo: Paul Lockhart (standing) teaching at St. Ann’s School. 


Playing Go in Hong Kong

Sunday July 3, 2016

-by Dave Weimer

13254283_10153430156721793_2158670935980139262_nTwenty years ago I lived around the corner from the Hong Kong Go Association in the Wan Chi District of Hong Kong. Returning to Hong Kong last fall, I discovered that the HKGA had moved. After some investigation, I was able to find the new location in the Kowloon District. During my first visit I was amazed that a search of a card file revealed my membership at the old location!

Some things were the same: I was the only non-Hong Kong native who regularly played; players were friendly and welcoming, often despite the absence of a common language; and counting was usually by the Chinese method. The major difference was that Friday evenings, rather than Saturdays and Sundays, were the best times to find a lot of players and games against opponents of various strengths. My nemesis, a 13 year old named Matthew, was a regular on Friday evenings and we had many enjoyable games. Unlike twenty years ago, when most games seemed to involve big dragons fighting to the death, games seem to show more style now and players usually spend time going over completed games to improve.

As finding the Association might be difficult for someone not familiar with Hong Kong, I offer the following information:

Hours: Tuesdays through Sundays, 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Fees for non-members: HK$20 (about US$2.50) on weekdays; HK$40 on weekends and public holidays.

Directions: Take the MTR to the Lai Chi Kok Station; take the B1 exit and go straight ahead a few steps to Tai Nan West Road; turn left onto Tai Nan West Road; go three short blocks to its end at King Lam Street (there is a Honda dealer on the corner); turn left onto Kim Lam Street for one block to Yee Kuk West Street; turn left and enter Number 82 on the left almost immediately; take the elevator to the third floor; play Go! (Based on experience, I highly recommend following these directions rather than relying on a map app.) -Photo courtesy of Hong Kong Go Association’s Facebook Page


Categories: China,World