American Go E-Journal » SportAccord World Mind Games

SportAccord-Pandanet Cup Go Online Tournament Deadline Sunday

Tuesday August 13, 2013

This Sunday, August 18 is the deadline to register for the SportAccord-Pandanet Cup Go Online Tournament (SportAccord-Pandanet Cup Online Go Tournament Registration Opens 6/30 EJ). Preliminary rounds will be played August 22 through September 12. This tournament is supported by SportAccord and Pandanet and organized by the International Go Federation and Pandanet. It also concurrently serves as the 18th Pandanet Cup Internet World Amateur Go Tournament. Participants must be amateurs and may choose to enter one of four classes (“bands”): Open, 2d-3k, 4k-7k, 8k-17k. Except in the Open class, players are required to have a registered and Pandanet-confirmed rank. In addition, players may choose one of three geographic regions to play their games. Generous prizes are provided by the sponsors, including a round trip to the third Beijing SportAccord World Mind Games for the Open champion. Further prizes are provided for regional and class winners. Click here for details and registration forms.

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Online Tourney Planned to Select U.S. SportAccord World Mind Games Team

Tuesday July 23, 2013

The United States has been invited to send five players – three men and one woman – to the 2013 SportAccord World Mind Games (SAWMG) in Beijing, China. The team will be selected in an online tournament in August, except for the winner of the North American Master’s Tournament (NAMT), who will be automatically selected if eligible and able to participate. All eligible male players who have two or more wins in the NAMT will be seeded into the online men’s selection tournament, a 16-player, 5-round double elimination tournament taking place on KGS over two weekends in August. The remaining slots in the tournament are open to professionals and amateurs who did not participate in SAWMG, prioritized by rating. The men’s online selection will take place on the evenings of August 16, 17, 18, 24, and 25. The women’s online selection will be an 8-player 3-round single elimination. Eligibility is based on the AGA’s policy for international representatives: full or youth AGA membership for at least one year from selection, residency in the US for 6 of the last 12 months, and for this event, US citizenship is required. If you are eligible and interested in participating in this year’s SportAccord World Mind Game selection, whether you are attending NAMT or not, email karoline.burrall@usgo.org. The deadline for registrants who are not participating in NAMT is Wednesday August 14.
- Karoline Burrall, AGA Tournament Coordinator
UPDATE: this post has been updated to reflect that there will be three men and one woman selected for the team, not two women, as originally reported.   The second place female finisher would be an alternate in case the selected rep has to be replaced.

Hsiang Elected IMSA General Secretary, Urges Strong N.A. Players to Participate in 2013 SportAccord World Mind Games

Monday June 3, 2013

Longtime International Go Federation and American Go Association official Thomas Hsiang (second from right) was elected General Secretary of the International Mind Sports Association (IMSA) at the 2013 SportAccord Convention held during the week of May 28 in St. Petersburg, Russia. IMSA also announced that the 2013 and 2014 SportAccord World Mind Games (SAWMG) will be held December 12-18 in Beijing for both years. For 2013, North America is invited to send a three-man team and one female player to compete for a total prize fund of $400,000 USD. “For North American players, this will be the most lucrative international tournament,” Hsiang told the E-Journal. For example, the team would get $9,000 if they defeat Europe; the female player would get $2,000 if she places 8th; and the pair would get $5,000 if they defeat Europe. “The AGA is planning a selection tournament, possibly using the NAMT event, to select our representative,” Hsiang said. Strong players, especially pros with North American citizenship, are encouraged to make inquiries with the AGA tournament coordinator, at tournaments@usgo.org. The IMSA executive committee also elected the following officials: President: Kirsan Ilyumzhinov (FIDE); Deputy President: Harry Otten (FMJD); Treasurer: Marc de Pauw (WBF). In addition, Geoffrey Borg (FIDE) was designated the Executive Director. photo: Hsiang (second from right) with IGF Secretary General Yuki Shigeno (far right); photo by Ivan Vigano

AGA Seeks Player Comment on SportAccord Selection Process

Thursday April 18, 2013

Should the North American Masters Tournament (NAMT) be used to select North American representatives to the SportAccord World Mind Games? The American Go Association is looking for comment by strong players (players with AGA rating 6.0 and up) on this proposal. With a total prize fund of $400,000, the SportAccord World Mind Games (SAWMG) is the  most lucrative international event North American go players can compete in. The event sponsors, SportAccord and the Beijing City government, pay for travel and accommodation, plus generous prize money for all players. “If we use the NAMT as the selection tournament, we raise its profile as a prestigious event,” says AGA President Andy Okun. “And for an event as significant as the SAWMG, a face-to-face selection tournament would seem better.” The NAMT points selection and 16-player format — all citizen and permanent resident professionals invited with two seats reserved for Canadian amateur participants — would remain largely the same. However, since the SAWMG previously has invited both male and female players, the proposal includes a format change to the NAMT requiring that 2-4 seats in the tournament be filled by women eligible for SAWMG (citizens), chosen by traditional NAMT qualification procedures (professional or most points). The 2013 SAWMG invitations and format have not been finalized yet, but assuming that the AGA is invited to send at least one male and one female player again this year, the highest finishing eligible male and female players (citizens) in the 2013 NAMT would be the AGA representatives to SportAccord. Strong players (players with AGA rating 6.0 and up) are urged to click here by May 1 to weigh in on the proposal.

2012 SportAccord World Mind Games Overview: Reports, Photos, Games & Commentaries

Tuesday December 25, 2012

The American Go E-Journal collaborated with Ranka Online and SportAccord to provide comprehensive coverage — including our first-ever video broadcasts — of the recent 2012 SportAccord World Mind Games (SAWMG), held December 12-20 in Beijing, China. See below for a selection of highlights of the E-Journal coverage or click here for all of Ranka’s reports.

REPORTS

SAWMG Go Tourney Makes a $plash; Ranka Interview Japan’s Murakawa Daisuke & Mukai Chiaki, Russia’s Natalia Kovaleva & Ilya Shikshin, Hungary’s Rita Pocsai and Csaba Mero and the UK’s Vanessa Wong
Korea Tops China to Win World Mind Games Pair Go Championship
Pair Go Final Features China-Korea Showdown; School Visit; Redmond Exhibition GameRound 7 Report; Sun Naijing: The Ranka InterviewChoi Chulhan 9P Wins Men’s Gold, Li He 3P is Women’s Champion; Lin Chi-han 9P: The Ranka Interview
Men’s & Women’s Finals Set for Sunday; Semi-Finals; Game Commentary: Round 6: Lin-Kang
Round 4: Final Knockouts; Interview with Bill Lin; Game Commentary: Round 4: Park-Missingham
Round 2: The Elimination Round; Round 3: Then There Were 24; Game Commentary: Round 3, Chen-Park (China-Korea)
The Players Arrive; Press Conference; Opening Ceremony; LIVE from the SAWMG: Redmond, Bogdanov, Missingham & Lin; Game Commentary: Round 1 (China-Korea)Second Edition of SportAccord World Mind Games BeginsRedmond to Provide Live Commentaries on World Mind Sports Games
New SportAccord World Mind Games Website Launched
SportAccord World Mind Games Set for Dec. 12-19 in Beijing Sun Naijing Wins Trip to SportAccord World Mind Games
9/12 Deadline for SportAccord World Mind Games Online Tournament Registration
Big Prizes in SportAccord World Mind Games Online Tournament
AGA to Hold Tournaments to Select Players for 2012 SportAccord World Mind Games

GAME COMMENTARIES
Pair Go Final: China-Korea 
Pair Go Round 3: Russia-Canada
Pair Go Semi-Final: China-Japan

Exhibition Game: Redmond-Sun
Round 7 (Men’s Individual Final): Choi (Korea) – Kang (Korea)
Round 7 (Women’s Individual Final): Rui (China) – Li (China)
Round 6: (Women’s Individual) Missingham (Taiwan) – Kovaleva (Russia)
Round 6: (Men’s Individual) Lin (China) – Kang (Korea)
Round 4: (Women’s Individual) Park (Korea) – Missingham (Taiwan)
Round 3: (Men’s Individual) Chen (China) – Park (Korea)
Round 2 (Men’s Individual): Jiang (China) – Kang (Korea)
Round 1 (Men’s Individual): Tuo (China) – Cho (Korea)
Round 1, Men’s Individual: Shiksin (Russia) – Murakawa 

(Japan)

2012 SportAccord World Mind Games Go Broadcasts (YouTube Videos)
Top-board live game commentaries with IGF Media Officer and American Go E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock and 9-dan professional Michael 
Redmond
, includes interviews with Janice Kim 3P, Pair Go founder Mrs Taki, longtime go author James Davies, European Go Federation President Martin Stiassny
Russian Go Federation Vice-President Victor Bogdanov and more.

Daily Go Broadcasts (All)

Michael Redmond 9P and Janice Kim 3P Interview Each Other

Pair Go Finals: Choi-Choi (Korea) – Li-Jiang (China)
Pair Go Semi-Finals: Li-Jiang (China) – Mukai-Murakawa (Japan)

Men’s Final: Choi (Korea) – Kang (Korea)

 

SportAccord World Mind Games: SAWMG Go Tourney Makes a $plash; Ranka Interview Japan’s Murakawa Daisuke & Mukai Chiaki, Russia’s Natalia Kovaleva & Ilya Shikshin, Hungary’s Rita Pocsai and Csaba Mero and the UK’s Vanessa Wong

Saturday December 22, 2012

SAWMG Go Tourney Makes a $plash: The SportAccord World Mind Games (SAWMG) $400,000 in prizes makes the recently-concluded event the fourth largest international men’s tournament in 2012 — after the BC Card, Samsung and LG Cup tournaments — reports International Go Federation (IGF) Vice President Thomas Hsiang, who notes that this year’s go prize pool was doubled from last year. It’s also the richest international women’s tournament ($185,000 in prizes) and pair-go tournament ($66,000), Hsiang adds, as well as “the first international professional tournament run by the International Go Federation.” photo: medalists in the Men’s Individual tournament (l-r): Kang Dongyoon (silver, $40,000); Choi Chulhan (gold, $100,000); Lin Chi-han (bronze, $30,000); photo by Ivan Vigano

Murakawa Daisuke (Japan)
Born near Osaka, Murakawa Daisuke (below, at left) made professional shodan with the Kansai Kiin at age 11. He has been a frequent member of the Japanese team at the International New Stars tournament, where he has played alongside such current greats as Iyama Yuta and Xie Yimin in competition against young professional teams from China, Chinese Taipei, and Korea. This year, just before

the World Mind Games began he earned a place in the Japanese Meijin League, and he celebrated his 22nd birthday during the individual competition in Beijing. Click here for the interview.

Mukai Chiaki (Japan)
Though not a title winner in Japan, Mukai Chiaki (at right) has challenged for women’s titles six times, and was promoted this year to 5 dan. She has frequently represented Japan in international competition, and has done well in team and pair competition at both SportAccord World Mind Games, earning three bronze medals. Ranka spoke with her after the individual competition, in which she defeated Su Sheng-fang of Chinese Taipei in between losses to Rui Naiwei of China and Choi Jeong of Korea, and again after the pair competition. Click here  for the interview.

Natalia Kovaleva (Russia)
Natalia Kovaleva (below, at left) began competing in tournaments in the Far East in 2004, when she and Alexei Lazarev won three games at the International Amateur Pair Go Championship in Tokyo. A high point in her career so far came at the World Mind Sports Games in Beijing in 2008, where she won a game from a Japanese professional opponent. For the past couple of years she has been working for the Russian Go Federation. Ranka spoke with her after the first pair round, in which she and Ilya Shikshin lost to Japan’s Mukai Chiaki and Murakawa Daisuke. Click here for the interview.

Ilya Shikshin (Russia)
Three-time European champion Ilya Shikshin (at right) comes from a go-playing family that includes his sister Svetlana, who has played professionally in Korea. At this year’s World Mind Games he lost to Japanese and Chinese opponents in the first two rounds of individual competition to earn a five-day break, after which he partnered with Natalia Kovaleva in the pair competition and took fifth place, best among the pairs from outside the Far East. Ranka talked with him after the first round of the pair event. Click here for the interview.

Rita Pocsai and Csaba Mero (Hungary)
Ranka interviewed the Hungarian pair, Rita Pocsai (at left), a university student studying special education, and Csaba Mero (right), a statistical programmer, after their loss to the Chinese pair in the first round of the pair-go competition at the World Mind Games. Click here for the interview.

Vanessa Wong (UK)
During the gold medal individual matches, Ranka had a chance to speak with European women’s champion Vanessa Wong (at left in photo at right, with Pair Go partner Jan Hora), who was born in Hong Kong, and came to England to go to boarding school. Click here for the interview.
photos by Ivan Vigano 

 

2012 SportAccord World Mind Games: Korea Tops China to Win World Mind Games Pair Go Championship

Wednesday December 19, 2012

Korea Tops China to Win World Mind Games Pair Go Championship: Korea’s Choi Jeong and Choi Chulhan are the 2012 Pair Go champs at the SportAccord World Mind Games, defeating the Chinese team of Li He and Jiang Weijie in a nearly 3-hour marathon game on December 19 in Beijing, China.

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“This is another high-level pair go match that’s virtually indistinguishable from a regular one-on-one game,” says Michael Redmond 9P in his detailed commentary (right) on the game. “As in the second-round game between China and Japan, the outcome of the game is determined by the fight in the center, and, also as in that game, there’s a late-stage turn of fortune that’s decisive.” The Round 3 Russia-Canada game “is a good example of the players consciously using Pair Go tactics and techniques,” says Redmond in his commentary, “such as setting each other up or the use of forcing moves to allow one’s partner to make a strategic choice.” Click here for Ranka’s complete final report on the Pair Go tournament, including Round 2 action and a collage of photos of other mind sports. And check out the SAWMG YouTube Channel for Michael Redmond’s live game commentary with E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock and a special appearance by Janice Kim.

2012 SportAccord World Mind Games: Pair Go Final Features China-Korea Showdown; School Visit; Redmond Exhibition Game

Tuesday December 18, 2012

Pair Go Tourney Final Features China-Korea Showdown: It’s China vs. Korea in the Pair-Go final at the 2012 Beijing SportAccord World Mind Games, which will be held on Wednesday, December 19, beginning at 9:30A local time. The Chinese team of Jiang Weijie 9 and Li He 3P will face Choi Chulhan 9P and Choi Jeong 2P of Korea; watch for live broadcast on Cyberoro and Michael Redmond’s game commentary on the SAWMG Channel. The semi-final rounds on Tuesday afternoon featured some tremendously exciting games, including the China-Japan match (click here for Michael Redmond 9P’s commentary), which was shaping up as an upset by Japan before a momentary lapse handed the win to China in the late endgame. Click here for Ranka’s first-round and second-round reports; photo of the round 1 Hungary (l)-China (r) game by Ivan Vigano.

School Visit:
December 17 dawned clear and cold in Beijing, excellent weather for a group of World Mind Games go players and officials from China,

Chinese Taipei, Japan, Korea, and North America to pay an afternoon visit to the Shuang Huayuan campus of the Beijing Chaoyang Fangcaodi International school to take on thirty-three primary schoolchildren in simultaneous games. Click here for Ranka’s full report. photos by Ivan Vigano

Su Sheng-fang: The Ranka Interview 
Su Sheng-fang, the 16-year-old pro from Chinese Taipei, was one of the eight unseeded players in the women’s division at the World Mind Games. She started playing go at the age of eight; “I was a noisy child and I wasn’t good at arithmetic, so Mother started sending me to a go club. She thought it would do me good,” said Su (left). She was the amateur women’s champion in Chinese Taipei three years in a row and last year made professional shodan. Click here for Ranka’s complete report; photo by Ivan Vigano

Game Commentary: Redmond Exhibition Game
W: Michael Redmond 9P

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B: Naijing Sun 6D
Commentary: Michael Redmond 9P
Edited by Chris Garlock

Sun, an amateur 6-dan, played very strongly in this limited-time exhibition game on Sunday, December 16; his play in the opening was professional level and he showed great fighting spirit.  Sun was the winner of the Pandanet-SportAccord Online Go Tournament and an official guest at the World Mind Games in Beijing.

2012 SportAccord World Mind Games Day 6: Round 7 Report; Sun Naijing: The Ranka Interview

Sunday December 16, 2012

Round 7 Report
The four players took their seats in the playing room at the Beijing International Conference Center ten minutes before the starting time of round 7. Choi Chulhan and Kang Dongyoon, playing for the men’s individual gold medal and $100,000 sat facing each other in stony Korean silence. Li He and Rui Naiwei, playing for the women’s individual gold medal and $40,000, chatted cheerily in Chinese. The silver medals come with awards of $40,000 (men) and $20,000 (women). Click here for the full reportwinner’s photos by Ivan Vigano

Up Next: Pair Go
This is not the end of the go competition at the World Mind Games in Beijing. Starting on December 18th, Li, Lin, and the two Choi’s will contend for further medals in the pair go competition, where Choi Chulhan is partnered with Choi Jeong, Li He with Jiang Weijie, and Lin Chi-han with Joanne Missingham.

Sun Naijing: The Ranka Interview
Only one game took place in the playing room at the Beijing International Convention Center on the morning of December 16. Sun Naijing (right), winner of the Pandanet-SportAccord Online Go Tournament and official guest at the World Mind Games, took on Michael Redmond (left) in a regulation game with clocks, broadcast live on the Internet by Sina.com. ” I tried my best, but I was playing a professional 9-dan, and he was much stronger,” Sun said. Though Sun spent most of the game rescuing a large black group, he says that “As an amateur player, I play more for fun than to win.” Click here for the full interview and Michael Redmond’s game commentaryphoto by Ivan Vigano

2012 SportAccord World Mind Games Day 5: Choi Chulhan 9P Wins Men’s Gold, Li He 3P is Women’s Champion; Lin Chi-han 9P: The Ranka Interview

Sunday December 16, 2012

Choi Chulhan 9P Wins Men’s Gold, Li He 3P is Women’s Champion: Choi Chulhan 9P and Li He 3P are the champions of the SportAccord World Mind Games, with Choi (Korea) defeating Kang Dongwan 9P (Korea) in the Men’s Individual event and Li (China) upsetting Rui Naiwei 9P (China) in the Women’s Individual on December 16.  Click here to download Michael Redmond’s commentaries on both games.
Game Commentary: Round 7 (Men’s Individual Final): Choi-Kang
This is an all-Korean final for the 2012 SAWMG Men’s Individual title. The players are top Korean players who have confidence in their reading abilities, which are on full display in this exciting game.
Game Commentary: Round 7 (Women’s Individual Final): Choi-Kang
Rui is a strong fighter, as well as a tenacious player. She’s been at or close to the top of the women’s game for quite a while now. Li, on the other hand, is a new young player who’s recently become very prominent in women’s go.

Lin Chi-han 9P: The Ranka Interview: Chinese Taipei’s Lin Chi-han 9P – who won the third-place bronze medal at this year’s SportAccord World Mind Sports Games — started playing go when he was about six years old. “My uncle could play go, and Mother thought it would be good for me to learn,” he said. When he was about nine or ten he started taking lessons from Lin Sheng-hsian, a 7-dan pro. He became a professional in 2000; he also began studying business administration at Taiwan National University around then. “I graduated in 2004, but I had already starting winning professional tournaments and was committed to a professional career,” Lin said. “My university training may prove useful later when it comes to investing my earnings, but it has not been of any direct use to me as a go player.” When he’s not playing or teaching go, Lin is a big NBA fan. Click here for Ranka’s full interview. photo by Ivan Vigano

Game Commentary: Round 6: Missingham-Kovaleva
Women’s Individual

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W: Joanne Missingham 6P (Taipei)
B: Natalia Kovaleva 5D (Russia)
Commentary: Michael Redmond 9P
Edited by Chris Garlock

I saw Kovaleva in Japan recently at the Pair Go Championships, where she and her partner were among the stronger pairs, and she did well here this week in the SportAccord World Mind Games Women’s Individual event.

In this game against Joanne Missingham 6P, Kovaleva’s attack backfires when Missingham counter-attacks with a devastating ko.