American Go E-Journal » Europe

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.

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EuroGoTV Update: Russia, UK, Serbia

Saturday December 7, 2013

16th Serbian Individual CupRussia: The Cup of Japan House finished December 1 in Moscow with Ilja Shikshin 7d in first, Igor Nemlij 5d in second, and Vadim Khavin 4d in third. UK: Bruno Poltronieri 3d bested Andrew Kay 4d in The Coventry at Warwick University on November 30. Yuanbo Zhang 4d placed third. Serbia: Also on November 30, Dusan Mitic 6d (left) won the 16th Serbian Individual Cup in Belgrade. Behind him were Nikola Mitic 5d and Dejan Krstic 4d.
– Annalia Linnan,  based on reports from EuroGoTV, which include complete result tables and all the latest European go news; photo courtesy of EuroGoTV

Berlin Feasts On Full Week of Go

Wednesday December 4, 2013

If go was food, Berlin go players would surely be loosening their belts after a sustained feast of the game last week, with the Go to Innovation Tournament kicking off Berlin Go Week, topped off with the Berlin Championship and followed by the Kranich Tournament for dessert.

The Go to Innovation Tournament, with a first prize of 1,000 EU, was played November 22 – 24 at the Innovationspark Wuhlheide, 12555 Berlin. Unusually, it uses the Hahn system, whereby the tournament is won on a point score with game points awarded according to the size of win/loss. It was won by Korean Hwang In-seong 8d (right) for the eighth time, with Bernd Sambale 2d (left) in second place and Lluis Oh 6d third. Click here for Eurogotv’s report with photos, video and game records, here for full results, and here for an after-tournament interview with Hwang, in which he reveals plans to extend his Yunguseng Dojang internet go academy to American time zones in the near future. “I got this plan because I have about 10-15 American time zone go players in my go school and they can’t fully enjoy because the time (is better) suited for Europeans,” Hwang old the E-Journal. “Therefore, I will open one more go school which has same system but (a more) suitable time for American go players.” He expects the new classes to start in January 2014.

Berlin Go Week continued on Monday November 25 with a simultaneous prize challenge: Bernd Schutze, Michael Budhan and David Seibt (all 4-dans) v the Rest of the World. Tuesday saw the Iron-Man tournament with several go variations to compete in: Five-in-a-row, Tsunami go, Blind go and Globus go or Risigo. Then on Wednesday there was a two-hour workshop with Hwang Inseong and on Thursday the order of the day was to “bring a travelcard and a magnetic go set” for an evening of go games on Berlin’s Ring Railroad (Ringbahn).

The Berlin Championship 2013 (Berliner Meisterschaft) title match was held, according to tradition,  at the end of Berlin Go Week on Friday November 29.  The previous title-holder, Johannes Obenaus 5d, is currently studying in Taiwan, so the final was between Michael Budahn 4d and David Seibt 4d. The event, held at Humboldt University, Berlin, was beset by difficulties and errors, starting with Hwang In-seong being unable to deliver the expected live TV commentary due to a lack of equipment. The byo yomi of 5 stones in 5 minutes was not set properly at first, and then with both players in overtime, both lost groups under pressure. When Seibt then pressed the clock with the wrong hand and Budahn raised an objection, the game recorder thought it was all over and failed to record the subsequent moves as the game continued, thinking the players were simply analysing it. Finally, however, Seibt was declared the winner by 10 points and took the title of Berliner Meister 2013. Click here for the Eurogotv report, including photos, video and correct game record.

Last weekend, November 30 – December 1, Berlin Go Week gave way to the five-round Kranich Tournament (Berliner Kranich Turnier), also held at the Humboldt University, Berlin and featuring traditional Japanese food provided  by a team of Japanese housewives as well as a calligraphy stand and bookstall. It was won by Czech student Lukas Podpera (left), who entered as a 5d and left as a 6d after seeing his European Go Rating (GoR) exceed 2600. In second place came Robert Jasiek 5d and third was Kevin Sanow 4d. Click here for Eurogotv’s round-by-round report, including photos, videos and game records, here for full results and here for an after-tourney interview with Podpera, his first ever.

Click here to connect with Berlin Go Club’s Facebook page with photos from the entire week.

Report by Tony Collman. Photos: Viktor Lin 6d (L) plays Go to Innovation Tournament winner, Hwang In-seong 8d; The Berliner Meister trophy; Kranich Tournament victor, Lukas Podpera 6d – all courtesy of Eurogotv. Photos of play by Judith van Dam.

CORRECTION: the player at left in the top photo has been updated to Bernd Sambale 2d, rather than Viktor Lin 6d as originally reported.

EGF Launches Discussion Forum

Wednesday December 4, 2013

The European Go Federation (EGF) now has its’ own discussion forum. The new platform for European go issues is intended for use by go organizers throughout Europe. “You can use this forum also for your tournament announcements, if you want to spread the information throughout Europe,” says EGF President Martin Stiassny. “I will use this forum intensively, for announcements but also for answering your questions.”

One of the first posts on the forum is about a new team tournament in Guangzhou, China from December 19-26 “It is more or less a new team world championship,” says Staissny. “It will be an amazing event. It will be held every two years and should be the tournament with the highest prize-money in China. Guangzhou has a super Go-Club, like Hangzhou. Although the flight-costs are not covered by the organizers, the prize-money for the amateur-teams is really surprising, and I see very good chances for teams from Europe to win this prize-money.” Stiassny urges European players “to find three players of one country, so called ‘regions’ might be Scandinavia or Spain/Portugal, but not ‘Western Europe’ or ‘Balkan’”.

Categories: Europe
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French Go Report: Strasbourg Three-Peats as French Club Champs; Dai Junfu Sweeps Paris-Meijin

Monday December 2, 2013

Strasbourg Three-Peats as French Club Champs: For the third consecutive year, the Strasbourg Go Club has won the French Club Championship. The 11th French Club Championship — also named “Master Lim Cup”, in honor of Eugene Lim, a great master in France since 1970 – was held November 23-24, with 14 teams competing in Dijon. The Strasbourg club team includes Motoki Noguchi 7d, Thomas Debarre 6d, Fred Donzet 5d and Antoine Fenech 5d. The Grenoble club took second, and Dijon, which hosted the event, finished third. Click here for team results and individual results. photo: the Strasbourg teams; photo by Antoine Fenech.

Dai Junfu Sweeps Paris-Meijin: Dai Junfu 8d swept the 31st Paris-Meijin on December 1, besting Fan Hui 8d in the final game. Held in Paris, this is one of France’s major tournaments, and featured 28 dan players. Benjamin Dréan-Guénézia 5d finished 2nd, Fan Hui 3rd , Motoki Noguchi 7d was 4th and César Lextrait 5th. Click here for resultsphoto: Dai JUNFU is 5th from left, Benjamin Dréan-Guénézia is 6th from left; photo by Jérôme Hubert.

- Laurent Coquelet, French Correspondent for the E-Journal

Categories: Europe
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E-Journal & Ranka to Cover 3rd SportAccord World Mind Games

Sunday December 1, 2013

The third edition of the SportAccord World Mind Games is set for December 12-18 in Beijing. The American Go E-Journal will once again team up with Ranka to provide coverage this year, with Michael Redmond 9P and EJ Managing Editor Chris Garlock providing play-by-play game commentary on the SAWMG YouTube channel as well as coverage in the EJ. Thirty players (18 men and 12 women) from around the world — China, Chinese Taipei, Europe, Japan, Korea and North America — will compete for major cash prizes; click here to see the player roster and schedule.

Upcoming European Tournaments: Barcelona Go Seigen, Avalanche

Saturday November 30, 2013

Adrenalina will host the 2014 Barcelona Go Seigen Spanish final qualifying tournament on February 22 and 23. First through fourth places will receive portions of the 900 EU cash prize and books will be offered to the players with best results. Players who register before February 21 will receive discounts. Additionally, players who stay at the Alberguinn youth hostel will have the opportunity to room with other go players. To register or for more information about the tournament, please visit the Barcelona Go Seigen official website.

The 2014 Avalanche tournament will take place during the same dates in Oulu, Finland. In addition to the games, Avalanche will also offer a go players’ sauna evening and lectures by Su Yang 6d. Boasting the largest prize pool in Finland, cash prizes will be offered to the top three players. Registration fees are determined by rank, not by date. However, players under 18 years of age at the time of the tournament can enjoy a 5 EU discount. To register or for more information, please visit the official Avalanche 2014 website.
Annalia Linnan; for complete listings, check out the European Tournament Calendar

EuroGoTV Update: Czech Republic, Germany, Ukraine

Friday November 29, 2013

Czech Republic: Lukas Podpera 5d (left) dominated the Go Baron Qualification on November 24 in Praha. Behind him were Jan Simara 6d in second and Jan Hora 6d third. Germany: Tobias Berben 4d bested Ji Lu 4d at the Rahlstedter Tengen, Gruppe A on November 17 in Hamburg while Tonny Claasen 4d placed third. Ukraine: At the J. Liedovskoj Memorial tournament in Kharkiv on November 10, Oleksandr Hilliazov 1k came in first, Mykhailo Kovalov 3d in second, and Oleh Lustenko 1k in third.
– Annalia Linnan,  based on reports from EuroGoTV, which include complete result tables and all the latest European go news; photo courtesy of EuroGoTV

Kisei Match Final to Be Held in Madrid

Thursday November 28, 2013

38th kisei tournamentNam-Ban Madrid Go Club will host the first game of the 38th Japanese Kisei Tournament in Alcala de Henares (Madrid) on January 11 and 12. Current Meijin and Honinbo title-holder Yamashita Keigo 9d (left) will battle defending champion Iyama Yuta 9d. In addition to the main tournament, Nam-Ban Madrid Go Club will also host an Open Side Tournament for amateur go players that will parallel the Kisei title match. Cash prizes will be available for first through fifth place along with additional prizes for the top three Spanish players and top five women players. Players who register before January 1 will enjoy significant discounts. To encourage youth players, tournament sponsors will offer more than 30 scholarships for players under age 20. The scholarship includes free registration, lodging, and transportation between Madrid and Alcala de Henares.

First celebrated in 1976, the Keisei (in English, “Go Saint”) Tournament has become “the most prestigious professional tournament in Japan” with a prize pool of ¥42,000,000 (approx $6.9 million). To register or for more information about this year’s tournament including rules, schedule, and lodging information, please visit the official Keisei website.

—Annalia Linnan; for complete listings, check out the European Tournament Calendar; photo courtesy of Kisei 2014. NOTE: this post has been updated to reflect that the Kisei game will be the first of the tournament, not the final game, as previously reported.

Andrew Kay British Champion Again; David Lee Holds the Scottish Crown

Monday November 25, 2013

Andrew Kay 4d retained the British Championship on Saturday November 23, after concluding a straight 2-0 victory over challenger Andrew Simons 4d in the best-of-three final.

Kay first took the title in 2012, after manytime Championship winner Matthew Macfadyen 6d retired. This year the reigning Champion waived his right to bypass the initial qualifying Candidates’ tournament, winning that round to enter the Challengers’ League from which the finalists emerge (see Simons to Challenge Kay for British Championship, EJ 5/27).

In the first game of the final, played on November 16, Simons (B) resigned whilst in byo yomi.

In the second, Kay (B) – known for his fast and combative play – once again squeezed Simons for time, pushing him into byo yomi with nearly an hour of main time (out of three) left on his own clock. Simons ran out of time in his fourth period of byo yomi. However, comments by referee Tim Hunt suggest Simons probably had about a four-point lead when his flag fell.

Kay said of the decisive game, “Andrew Simons gave me a very tough game” and thanked the large number who watched and commented on the game as it was broadcast live on KGS.

Click here for the Game 1 record, and here for the Game 2 record; game records contain unmoderated spectator comments. Click here for Guo Juan’s professional audio analysis of Game 2.

In other British news, David Lee 3d of Dundee won the separate Scottish Championship for the fourth consecutive year, beating Matt Crosby 3d (Edinburgh) in the final. Four players competed in a knockout on KGS in the final stages. The semi-finalists were Piotr Wisthal 1d (Aberdeen) and Crosby’s initiate, Martha McGill 1k, also of Edinburgh.

Report by Tony Collman, British correspondent for the EJ. Photo courtesy of Kay’s website.