American Go E-Journal » 2017 » February

The Power Report: Xie defends Women’s Kisei; 42nd Meijin League; 72nd Honinbo League; Professional Pair Go Championship 2017

Tuesday February 28, 2017

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal2017.02.28_Xie wins Womens Kisei

Xie defends Women’s Kisei: The third and deciding game of the 20th Women’s Kisei title match was held in the Ryusei Studio at the Tokyo headquarters of the Nihon Ki-in on February 6. Taking black, Xie Yimin beat Nyu Eiko 1P by resig. after 161 moves. Both sides fought hard, and the game ended up as a large capturing race, won by Xie. This gave her the match 2-1. This is her fifth victory in a row, so she qualified for the title of Honorary Women’s Kisei (for use when she turns 60). She also has earned Honorary Women’s Honinbo and Meijin titles. This is her 26th title. The 17-year-old Nyu may have failed in her first title challenge, but she pushed Xie hard (the latter won the previous four Women’s Kisei title matches 2-0), so she put up a creditable performance. She will surely be back.

42nd Meijin League: (Feb. 2) Kono Rin 9P (W) beat Ko Iso 8P by resig.; Sakai Hideyuki 8P (B) beat Hane Naoki 9P by half a point; Cho U 9P (W) beat Murakawa Daisuke 8P by resig. This loss put Murakawa on 2-1, costing him his share of the lead. (Feb. 16) Yamashita (B) beat Yo Seiki 7P by resig.  Joint leaders of the league are 2017.02.28_leaguesIyama Yuta and Kono Rin, who are both on 2-0 (the lead is provisional, as they have both had their byes and have played one game fewer than the other
players).

72nd Honinbo League: (Feb. 2)  Motoki Katsuya 7P (W) beat Yamashita Keigo 9P by 4.5 points. This win gave Motoki the provisional lead on 4-1, ahead of Hane Naoki and Ko Iso, both on 3-1. (Feb. 9) Hane (W) beat Mitani Tetsuya 7P by resig. This put Hane level with Motoki. (Feb. 16) Takao Shinji Meijin (B) beat Ko Iso by half a point; Cho U (B) beat
Yuki Satoshi 9P by 1.5 points. After starting out with three losses, Takao has  now won two games, so his chances of retaining his league place have improved.

Professional Pair Go Championship 2017: Thirty-two top players took part in this tournament, the opening three rounds of which were held at the Nihon Ki-in on February 12. In the semifinals, the team of Fujisawa Rina and Hane Naoki beat Mannami Nao 3P and Yamashita Keigo and Suzuki Ayumi 7P/Cho Chikun beat Okuda Aya 3P/Yamashiro Hiroshi 9P. The final will be played on March 5.

Tomorrow: China scores overwhelming win in Nong Shim Cup; Promotions; 50th Kido Prizes; Lee Sedol wins exhibition match

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Go Spotting: AMC’s “Humans”

Tuesday February 28, 2017

The second season of AMC’s science fiction series, Humans, features go in its second episode, reports Alicia Seifrid. The 2017.02.28_HumansGoBoardaward-winning television drama explores the social and psychological impact of anthropomorphic robots having their own free will. In the episode, artificial intelligence scientist, Dr. Athena Morrow, finds Silicon Valley billionaire, Milo Khoury, finishing up a game of go with the son of one of his colleagues. As a part of their discussion while Dr. Morrow helps him to clear away the stones, Milo notes that, “there are more possible moves in go than there are atoms in the observable universe; just a bunch of little stones on a piece of wood. People like you and me, we need facts like that to remind us of our own insignificance.” The series currently airs on Sundays at 10p ET on AMC.
Thanks to Paul Wiegand and Gordon Castanza for flagging this as well.
- Brian Kirby

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The Power Report: Title-award ceremony for Fujisawa Rina; Ke Jie wins Chinese New Year’s tournament; 41st Kisei title match tied

Monday February 27, 2017

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal2017.02.27_Fujisawa Rina

Title-award ceremony for Fujisawa Rina: On January 27, the 18-year-old Fujisawa Rina attended the ceremony for the conferral of the 35th Women’s Honinbo title, held at the Daiichi Hotel Tokyo. Our photo shows her dressed in a furisode kimono receiving a commemorative cup. Her senior Shuko disciple Takao Shinji Meijin gave a congratulatory address, and the ceremony was attended by many young players.

Ke Jie wins Chinese New Year’s tournament: The CCTV New Year’s Cup is a special tournament organized by China’s top TV channel to celebrate the Chinese New Year. The top players from China, Korea, and Japan are invited to compete for a prize of 800,000 yuan (about $116,000). Now in its fifth year, it started out as a domestic tournament but was upgraded to an international one the following year. This year it was held in Beijing from January 29 to 31. The tournament is an irregular knock-out. The players draw lots to see who plays in the first game. The third player plays the loser of that game; the winner then meets the winner of the first game in the final. To win this tournament, you have to win two games; the player drawn into the second game is the only one who, if he loses, doesn’t get another chance. The time allowance follows the NHK format (30 seconds per move, plus ten minutes of thinking time to be used in one-minute units). The tournament is 2017.02.27_41kisei3 Iyama's upsettelevised live on CCTV’s public sports channel and usually attracts an audience of 1%-plus. That may not sound like much, but it translates into ten million viewers. This year Iyama Yuta of Japan and Ke Jie of China met in the first game; taking black, Iyama won by resignation after 233 moves. In game two, Ke beat Pak Junghwan of Korea (I don’t have the details). In the final, Ke took revenge on Iyama, playing white and securing a resignation after exactly 200 moves. Iyama commented: “I was about four points ahead on the board, so I made an all-out attack, then resigned.”  This is Ke’s second successive victory.

41st Kisei title match tied: This year’s Kisei title match is proving to be a hard-fought one and it is now down to a best-of-three. The third game was played at the Yamaya Inn in Kawagoe City, Saitama Prefecture, on February 8 and 9. Kono Rin, the challenger, built a lead on the first day taking white and played thickly on the second day in an attempt to wrap up the game. However, Iyama Yuta Kisei fought on with remarkable tenacity and eventually pulled off an upset win by 1.5 points. This gave him a 2-1 lead. In a title match, you have to win your “good” games; often a failure like this could be very costly.  The fourth game was played at the Gyokushoen Inn in Izu City, Shizuoka Prefecture, on February 15 and 16. This time Kono returned the “favor,” staging an upset after Iyama had taken the lead. Iyama (white) resigned after 179 moves. The fifth game will be played on March 1 and 2.
Tomorrow: Xie defends Women’s Kisei; 42nd Meijin League; 72nd Honinbo League

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Redmond Cup Registration Opens

Monday February 27, 2017

IMG_20160731_154429The 24th annual Redmond Cup will begin in April, and registration is due by March 19th. Preliminary games will be played online and the four finalists will be invited to the 2017 US Go Congress to play the final games. There are two divisions in the Cup; the Junior league for kids 12 and under, and the Senior league for 17 and under. Competitors in both leagues must have an AGA or CGA rank of  1 dan or higher.    The Junior league has been expanded to include 12 year olds, and both leagues now require a dan rating (kyu players can compete in the North American Kyu Championships instead). Skype will again be required this year.  Players who complete the tournament will be eligible for $400 scholarships to the AGA Go Camp, or $200 scholarships to the US Go Congress, on a first come first served basis, courtesy of the AGF. Competitors from Mexico are also invited to the event. The participants must be members of the American Go Association or the Canadian Go Association and either residents of the U.S., Canada or Mexico, or citizens of the United States living anywhere in the world, provided that they are also members of the AGA.  For more information on the event, read the rules document here. To register click here. -Story and photo by Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.  Photo:  Ary Cheng 4d (r) competes against Luoyi Yang 4d (l)  in the Junior Division finals for the Redmond, at the 2016 US Go Congress in Boston.

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In Memoriam: David Erbach

Sunday February 26, 2017

We just learned that David Erbach has died. A long time go player, and former editor of the publication Computer Go, 2017.02.25_erbachErbach taught Computer Science at Western Kentucky University until his retirement in 2014. “Dave was part of the wave of early computer scientists who made the first tentative attempts to program a computer to represent and then to play go,” says former AGA president Terry Benson. Erbach was previously head of the Computer Science department at Purdue University-Fort Wayne and the Business Computing department at the University of Winnipeg. In addition to go, he loved model airplanes and was, with his father, a competitive member of the Academy of Model Aeronautics. He was also a keen pianist. He died of prostate cancer in September 2016, at the age of 69.

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LifeIn19x19.com back online

Sunday February 26, 2017

One of the largest English-language go communities, LifeIn19x19.com, is back online. The site suffered a downtime of about 2017.02.25_19x19-site_logo12 days beginning on February 6th, reports Adrian Petrescu. It was brought back online last Saturday (details here). “I worry we lost a lot of people who gave up on retrying to access the site after over a week,” says Petrescu. “Pretty much every feature that existed before the downtime has been restored,” he adds.

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Blackie’s Baduk Academy launches online teaching service

Sunday February 26, 2017

If you can’t get to Blackie’s International Baduk Academy, Blackie’s will come to you. “We recently started an online teaching2017.02.25_kim-diana
service
in order to help people who cannot come to Korea to still be able to study with us,” Diana Koszegi 1P (below right) tells the E-Journal. She and Kim Seungjun 9P (aka “Blackie,” top right) “would like it to be as similar as possible” to the experience of those who have attended Blackie’s, also known as BIBA.

The project will be held on the Korean Go server, Tygem and begins in March. The program includes league games, group reviews, offline lectures, life and death problems and teaching games. The cost is 200€ per month; register for 6 months and get a month free.

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Go and Math Workshop for Elementary School Teachers

Saturday February 25, 2017

Screen Shot 2017-02-25 at 5.51.13 PMThirteen teachers from the National College of Education in Chicago, IL, participated in a 90-minute go workshop on Jan 26. The teachers, and their professor Xue Han,  learned the basic rules of go, experienced a couple of games themselves, and reviewed case studies of students playing go in elementary classrooms.  “After the workshop, one teacher said that she had decided to bring go back to her classroom of more than twenty 3rd graders” reports Xinming Simon Guo, of Go and Math Academy in Chicago. Guo has been providing workshops at schools, conferences and educational institutes in the Chicago area since 2008. The primary audiences for the workshops are teachers, both in-service teachers who have been teaching in the classroom everyday, and pre-service teachers who will start teaching after they graduate from the university. These hands-on workshops are always centered on one topic — go and math. “If you don’t know go, how can you know the relationship between go and math?” ask Guo, “but if you know how to play you will naturally employ  fundamental math skills in the game. It’s just that you won’t necessarily detect that relationship while you’re totally absorbed in the pleasure and pressure of playing.”

According to Guo’s research 55 out of 94 Common Core Math Standards from Grades K to 3 are almost naturally connected to go. “Teachers design many classroom activities. Sometimes they have to design several activities to meet the requirement of only one standard. For one game to cover almost 60% of core standards in the early elementary math curriculum is impressive,” says Guo. “Meanwhile, students learn math without even noticing it. Acquisition of math happens naturally as you play go. That’s the beauty of game-based learning.  Most of these teachers don’t know go, so I introduce it as an educational game, which removes the pressure for competition. Once they start to play, they are able to experience the subtle ways fundamental math skills are at work, and identify many learning opportunities embedded in the game.” For further reading see Northwestern University Exploring Go and Math. (E-J 1/31/17 -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.  Photo: Guo presenting at NCE in Chicago.

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Go sculpture (and tech) in Vienna

Saturday February 25, 2017

Go is getting some interesting exposure in Vienna, Austria, reports Christian Palmers. At left is a go sculpture installed last2017.02.25_touch-screen 2017.02.25_go-sculptureDecember, while at right is a touchscreen go-table, designed and programmed by Daniel Bösze from Vienna.  Vienna’s go players — or “gospielers” — play at the Go7 go center.   

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Your Move/Readers Write: Looking for go clocks

Saturday February 25, 2017

“I am looking for suitable electronic clocks for go,” writes Agustín. “The AGA website makes an amazing work at listing 2017.02.25_clockswhere to get go equipment of different qualities, but unfortunately it is almost entirely about go stones, boards and bowls, but not clocks. The ideal clock I am looking for would be “Cheapest available clock in the US which supports both byo-yomi (5 x 30 seconds, 5 x 1 minute, etc) and Canadian Byo-Yomi (20/25 stones in 10/15 minutes). Since you’re probably using clocks in every tournament, I am hoping that you can point me on the right track.”
Send your suggestions to us at journal@usgo.org

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