Monday April 8, 2013
Zebin Du (right), a Chinese 4-dan, won the British Open last weekend, winning all six games. There were 67 players taking part in the Open, which was part of the British Go Congress weekend April 5-7. Special guest Michael Redmond 9P, the American professional who was concluding his week-long training tour of England — thanks to the Nihon Ki-in and the Sasakawa Foundation — ran a training session on Friday, played simultaneous matches and analyzed games throughout the weekend (Redmond Lecture & Simul Launches British Congress 4/6 EJ). Second was Yuanbo Zhang 4d, with five wins. A group of 4-dans came next with four wins each: Andrew Kay, T.Mark Hall, and Andrew Simons. Oscar Selby 12k (Epsom) won the British Lightning, with some close handicap victories over dan players. Andrew Simons also won the Stacey Grand Prix for the year with 29 points; in second was Toby Manning with 26 points and third was Richard Hunter (17). The weekend event, organised by Alison and Simon Bexfield from the nearby Letchworth Club, also featured the BGA’s AGM and a congress dinner on Saturday evening. Click here for the 4th-round game between Zebin Du and Yuanbo Zhang; click here for complete tournament results.
- based on a longer report on the BGA website; photo by Tony Collman
Saturday April 6, 2013
US-born Japanese professional Michael Redmond 9P opened proceedings at the 2013 British Go Congress with a teaching session on Friday April 5. Redmond used some of his recent competition games from the Japanese qualifying tournaments to illustrate his remarks about the avalanche joseki and some of the ramifications that arise when using an opening he currently favors, a variation (Black 5 at R8) on the Chinese Opening.
The games were also used as the basis of an informal competition to identify the best (i.e. Redmond’s) play at certain junctures. Each solution was followed by a detailed explanation of why he chose that particular move over others proposed either by him in a multiple-choice format, or occasionally from the floor. Three prizes of a special go fan went to those who got the most right. The fans were hand-decorated by Iyama Yuta 9P, current holder of six of the seven major Japanese titles, with calligraphy which Redmond translated as “play naturally.”
In the evening Redmond gave a simultaneous demonstration (above right), taking on five challengers at a time from a total of 10 playing in relay. Click here for links to all the games used in Redmond’s teaching sessions, in zipped sgf format, courtesy of Tony Atkins.
The events took place at the Cromwell Hotel in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, UK and were organized by Alison Bexfield 2d on behalf of the British Go Association.
- report/photos by Tony Collman, special correspondent to the E-Journal. photos: Redmond playing the simul (top right); Prizewinner Andrew Simons 4d
Saturday April 6, 2013
Amir Fragman 4d won the 2013 Jerusalem Open Baduk tournament, held during the Passover holiday and initiated and hosted by the Korean Culture Center in Jerusalem. Twenty four players competed in the tournament, played March 28-29 in Jerusalem, Israel. In second was Ali Jabarin 5d and third was Ofer Zivony 3d. Tournament results.
- Shavit Fragman
Friday April 5, 2013
Although springtime in Siberia doesn’t hold quite the same allure, as, say, Paris, nearly three dozen go players gathered in Tomsk the last weekend in March for the second annual Tomsk Go Festival. The March 30-31 event featured a tournament, simuls and discussions about developing go in Siberia, the vast and remote area that comprises the central and eastern portion of the Russian Federation,Tomsk, with a population of just over half a million, is one of the biggest and oldest Siberian towns, celebrating its 400th anniversary in 2004. The festival tournament’s players hailed from various Siberian regions and even included a visiting guest from Mexico. Another honorary guest was Natalia Kovaleva 5d (photos), one of the strongest women players in European go, who was once the European female go champion and won the Russian female go championship several times. Kovaleva not only won the 5-round tournament but took part in the side events including the simuls, signing a goban which will be auctioned off. Kirill Denisov 4d took second place and in third was Pavel Prisupa 2d. A major part of the festival focused on the future of Siberian Go, which is a challenge due to the difficulty of players from the far regions of Russia attending the major tournaments and go events in Moscow and Saint-Petersburg. Siberian go centers work to catch up through club, students’ and regional activities and numerous tournaments held each year in different cities in the region. Organizers hope that the success of this year’s Tomsk festival shows that the vast Siberian go community can soon compete with the leading regions.
- Daria Koshkina; photos: Kovaleva with statue of writer Anton Chekhov in Tomsk (top right) and playing (left); photos by Roman Malakhov. Click here for his album on Facebook. CORRECTION: this post has been updated to reflect Kirill Denisov’s 4d rank (not 3d as originally reported).
Friday April 5, 2013
A new go club is about to bloom in the historic English town of Letchworth, “The first garden city in the world.” Beginning April 18, the Letchworth Garden City Go Club will meet weekly on Thursday evenings at the Central Methodist Church Hall (at right; Norton Way South, entrance £3). Organizer Alison Bexfield 2d previously ran the now-defunct Letchworth Go and Puzzle Club with husband Simon 1k, but they could no longer manage the commitment after their kids were born. Now that her children are old enough to play too, Bexfield is committed to introducing a new generation to the game, and is simultaneously launching the Letchworth Junior Chess and Go Club at the same venue at an earlier time. Bexfield is currently organizing the 2013 British Open Tournament and British Go Congress in nearby Stevenage. “By running the British Open I thought I would see if there were any local players lurking that might give sufficient local interest to restart a public club,” she says. Details of all British clubs are available on the British Go Association’s Clubs Page.
- Tony Collman
Thursday April 4, 2013
Junfu Dai 8D (right) successfully defended his title against Lluis Oh 6D in the 41st Paris International Go Tournament at the Lycée Louis Le Grand on April 1. Though it was the first time Spanish player Oh placed, it was Dai’s third victory in four years, a reign broken only by Liu Yuanbo’s win in 2011. However, there may still be hope for Oh, as Dai was runner-up in 1996 and 2008 before he finally became champion. Joining Dai and Oh in the ranks as top Europeans is Romanian player Cristian Pop 7D. No stranger to tournaments, Pop has won the championship in his home country six times. Founded in 1972, the annual Paris International Go Tournament now holds a level 5 ECup rating and is hailed as “one of the largest go events in Europe behind the European Go Congress.” For more information about this year’s tournament including rules, registered players, and results, visit the official Paris 2013 website.
- Annalia Linnan; photo courtesy EuroGoTV, which includes selected game records
Wednesday April 3, 2013
Viktor Bogdanov 4d (photo), won the Yama no Kaze 4 tournament, held March 23-24 in Basssano del Grappa, Italy. In second place was Fausto Predieri 1k and third was Leonardo Giuliato 3k. Click here for results.
- EuroGoTV; click here for all the latest European go news
Tuesday April 2, 2013
While most people probably think about soccer when they hear about the German Bundes League, there’s also an equivalent for go. The German Go Bundes League is one of the biggest western go leagues (the Pandanet-AGA City League just started this year). It was started in 2005 and is organized much like the soccer league. There are currently 83 teams from all over Germany, divided into seven leagues. All leagues but the fifth contain 10 teams who play nine rounds from September to May. At the end of the season the top teams are promoted to the superior league while the worst-performing are demoted. The fifth league is the entry point for new teams, so it contains more teams than the other leagues, currently 29. While every team has up to ten players, only four members play for their team at a tournament. More than 650 players take part in the Bundes League, and nearly all of the strongest German go players can be found on their home town’s team. But the league is not just for the strongest players, it gives everybody the chance to fight for their city and to grow stronger together with the team. Because of the large distances between the teams most of the matches are played online using the KGS go server. However, offline matches are allowed if two teams are closely located or meet each other at a tournament. The large advantage of games played online is that fans can follow the match from their home computers and root for their favorite teams. The current season is about to end: seven of the nine matches have been played and at the moment the ‘Leipziger Loewen’ (Leipzig Lions) team is in first place in the top league, having just beat the formerly leading team in a close match. But the Lions must keep up their good results in the last two matches to hold onto their league; it’s this sort of hotly-contested competition that makes the German Bundes League so popular.
- Jan Engelhardt, E-Journal Correspondent
Sunday March 31, 2013
The British Online League’s fifth season opened on March 22. Eighteen teams of three players each, loosely organized geographically, will compete in three divisions through the end of the year in the “British Room” on KGS. The league was established in October 2009 to encourage interaction between players in different areas of the country and online play among members of the British Go Association (BGA), though only team captains need be members. There is a prize for the winning team in each division, funded from entry fees. The first division winner, which last season was Edinburgh, also holds the GoGoD Shield and each player in that team wins a GoGoD disk as part of their prize. The league is organized by John Collins on behalf of the BGA.
- Tony Collman, Correspondent for the E-Journal, based on reports on the BGA website
Thursday March 28, 2013
Paris is lovely in the springtime and especially so for go players, with the 41th Paris International Go Tournament taking place this weekend at the Lycée Louis Le Grand. With over 200 players are already registered, the 3-day tournament is one of the largest go events in Europe and is set for March 30 through April 1; click here for details and to register. Fans can also follow top-board action on KGS and on EuroGoTV.