American Go E-Journal » SportAccord World Mind Games

2013 SportAccord World Mind Games Overview: Reports, Photos, Games & Commentaries

Wednesday December 18, 2013

The American Go E-Journal collaborated with Ranka Online and SportAccord to again provide comprehensive coverage of the 2013 SportAccord World Mind Games (SAWMG), held December 12-18 in Beijing, China. The team included American Go E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock, Ranka Online Editor Ivan Vigano, James Davies, John Richardson, Yuki Shigeno and Michael Redmond 9P. See below for a selection of highlights of the E-Journal coverage, or click here for all of Ranka’s reports.  

Korea Men’s Team & Zhiying Yu Win Gold in World Mind Games

Includes game records/commentaries for Men’s Team Round 5 (finals) and Women’s Individual Round 7 (final).

China Wins World Mind Games Pair Go Tournament; Meeting the Masters; Do Bridge Players Have All The Fun?
Includes game records/commentaries for Pair Go rounds 1-3.

SportAccord World Mind Games Day 4
: China & Korea Sweep to Final Showdown in Men’s Team Tourney; Wang Chenxing & Yu Zhiying in All-China Women’s Individual Final; Redmond Audio Game Commentaries
Includes game records/commentaries for Men’s Team Round 4 and Women’s Individual Rounds 5 & 6. 

Ranka SAWMG Highlights: Japan’s National Team; Interview with Park Jieun; The Red-Faced King; Designing a Tournament with Martin Stiassny

SportAccord World Mind Games Day 3 (Saturday, December 14): Wang Chenxing Clinches Medal in Women’s Individual Tourney; China & Korea Continue to Steamroll Men’s Teams, North America Blanked Again; Benjamin Teuber on Playing Michael Redmond 9P and Studying in China; Draughted In: Why Zhao Hanqing Changed Games; Going to the Max
Includes game records/commentaries for Men’s Team Round 3 and Women’s Individual Round 4.

SportAccord World Mind Games Day 2 (Friday, December 13): North America & Japan’s Men’s Teams Winless as China-Korea Final Looms; All-China Final in Women’s Individual; PLUS: Svetlana Shikshina 3P Moves to Canada; What We Can Learn from Chess & Japan’s Yoshida Mika Considers Flamenco
Includes game records/commentaries for Men’s Team Round 2 and Women’s Individual Rounds 2 & 3

Men’s Team & Women’s Individual Events Launch Go Competitions at SportAccord World Mind Games (Thursday, December 12)
Includes game records/commentaries for Men’s Team Round 1 and Women’s Individual Round 1

2013 SportAccord World Mind Games Launch in Beijing
SportAccord World Mind Games North American Player Profiles
SportAccord World Mind Games Japanese Player Profiles
2013 SportAccord Online Tournament Into Final Stage

 

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China Wins World Mind Games Pair Go Tournament; Meeting the Masters; Do Bridge Players Have All The Fun?

Wednesday December 18, 2013

China’s Chenxing Wang 5P and Ruiyang Zhou 9P (left) defeated Chinese Taipei’s Joanne Missingham 6P and Yuan-Jyun Wang 6P on Wednesday to win gold in the SportAccord World Mind Games (SAWMG) Pair Go competition. The 3-round event capped the third annual SAWMG competition, which included men’s team and women’s individual events in go, as well as competitions in chess, bridge, draughts and Chinese Chess, and ran December 12-18 in Beijing, China. The bronze medal was won by Park Jieun and Kim Jiseok, the pair from Korea. Click here for full go coverage on Ranka Online, complete event coverage on the SportAccord World Mind Games website – including video commentaries by Michael Redmond 9P on the SAWMG YouTube channel — and of course on the usgo.org website. Coverage this year included audio commentaries by Redmond on KGS; check KGS Plus under Recent Lectures.

Days 5&6 (Tuesday, 12/16 & Wednesday, 12/17) Summary: (winners denoted with links; click on links for game records, uncommented unless otherwise noted)
Round 1 (12/16): Europe (Kovaleva-Fan)-China; Korea-North America; Europe (Shikshin-Shikshina)-Japan; Chinese Taipei-Europe (Burdakova-Lisi).
Round 2 (12/16): Europe (Burdakova-Lisi)- North America; China-Japan (Redmond commentary); Europe (Shikshin-Shikshina)- Europe (Burdakova-Lisi); Chinese Taipei-Korea.
Round 3 (12/17): China-Chinese Taipei (Redmond commentary);  Japan-Korea; Europe (Burdakova-Lisi)-Europe (Shikshina-Shikshin).

Meeting the Masters: Students at the Huajiadi Experimental Primary School in Beijing got a chance to meet some of the SportAccord World Mind Games’ top go players and officials on Tuesday. The school is known for its cutting-edge approach to teaching and boasts nearly a thousand junior grade go players. The guests were greeted by two rooms of children buzzing with excitement. In the first classroom, a hands-on lesson on nakade grabbed the children’s attention, and in the second the pupils quickly settled down and answered questions about the history and rules of the game. The guests were then taken downstairs to the gymnasium, where boards had been set out for the 40 kids who would take on top professionals in nine-stone handicap games….click here for complete report.

Do Bridge Players Have All The Fun? “Let’s have dinner! We drink vodka!”  Not the first words you would expect to hear after the tense final of an international go final. But this is how bridge superstar Fulvio Fantoni greeted the rival Polish team at the conclusion of the Pairs Open at the 2013 SportAccord World Mind Games. “We’re all good friends – we’ve known each other for many years,” Fantoni says… click here for full report

 

Redmond: “Easy Does It”

Tuesday December 17, 2013

“Study life and death problems.” We’ve all heard that advice on how to get stronger at go, but it turns out that there’s a missing word that’s key to improving. The word is easy. Literally. Michael Redmond 9P revealed the missing word during one of his KGS audio commentaries on SAWMG games last weekend: “Study easy life and death problems.” Hard problems, “especially really complicated ones,” tend to be discouraging, “and they rarely come up in actual games,” Redmond said. Studying easy problems — “at least 15 minutes a day” — trains your eye to quickly see shapes and patterns and solving problems provides positive reinforcement that makes studying more likely, he adds. And since everyone’s definition of “easy” will necessarily be different, look for problems you can solve in two minutes or less.
- Chris Garlock

Korea Men’s Team & Zhiying Yu Win Gold in World Mind Games (updated with games & photos)

Monday December 16, 2013

Click here for latest winner results and Ranka Online’s full coverage. At 9 pm EST (6p PST) Tuesday night, Michael Redmond 9P and E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock will provide live audio commentary on KGS on the top boards at in the Pair Go competition.

The men’s team competition at the 2013 SportAccord World Mind Games came to a dramatic finish Monday in Beijing as China battled Korea for the gold medal. The games on the first two boards both ended in resignation after intense fighting, with Korea’s Park Jeonghwan winning on board one and China’s Zhou Ruiyang on board two. On board three Korea’s Cho Hanseung, who had lost a game in the match against Chinese Taipei in the first round, faced China’s undefeated Wang Xi and eked out a win by a fraction of a stone, and the jubilant Korean team (right) took home the gold medals. The other two men’s matches were also dramatic. Chinese Taipei defeated the European team (which won 5th place) to capture the bronze medal, and Japan defeated North America (which finished 6th) to finish fourth, but Canada’s Yongfei Ge ended the North Americans’ winless streak by beating a Japanese opponent on board three. The European team also won a game, and they very nearly won two; Chinese Taipei’s lead player Chou Chun-hsun was sweating profusely after a last-minute come-from-behind victory over France’s Fan Hui. In the women’s individual competition, Yu Zhiying (left) defeated Wang Chenxing in the all-Chinese final match to take the gold, with Wang winning silver, and Korea’s Park Jieun the bronze. - James Davies; click here for his full report in Ranka

Day 5 (Monday, 12/16) Summary: (click on links for game records, uncommented unless otherwise noted)
Men’s team tournament (fifth round): Korea 2-1 over China: Park Jeonghwan beat Fan Tingyu (Redmond Commentary), Cho Hanseung beat Wang Xi; Zhou Ruiyang beat Kim Jiseok; Chinese Taipei 2-1 over Europe: Chou Chun-hsun beat Fan Hui, Ilya Shikshin beat Wang Yuan-jyun, Lin Chun-yen beat Pavol Lisy; Japan 2-1 over North America: Fujita Akihiko beat Huiren Yang, Hirata Tomoya beat Daniel Daehyuk Ko, Yongfei Ge (right) beat Tsuruta Kazushi. 

Women’s individual tournament (seventh round): Yu Zhiying (China) beat Wang Chenxing (China) (Redmond Commentary).
Check the KGS Plus 12/16 games (under Recent Lectures) for Redmond’s audio commentaries on both the men’s and women’s finals with EJ Managing Editor Chris Garlock) 
- photos by Ivan Vigano 

 

SportAccord World Mind Games Day 4: China & Korea Sweep to Final Showdown in Men’s Team Tourney; Wang Chenxing & Yu Zhiying in All-China Women’s Individual Final; Redmond Audio Game Commentaries

Monday December 16, 2013

The third annual SportAccord World Mind Games are taking place December 12-18 in Beijing, China. Click here for latest go competition winner resultshere for Ranka Online’s full coverage and here for reports on all 2013 SportAccord World Mind Games competitions (chess, go, bridge, Chinese Chess & draughts). CLICK HERE TO WATCH GAMES LIVE! 
NOTE: At 9 pm EST (6p PST) on Monday, December 16, Michael Redmond 9P and E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock will provide live audio commentary on KGS on the SAWMG China-Korea men’s team final.  

China & Korea Sweep to Final Showdown in Men’s Team Tourney: In the fourth round of the men’s team event at the 2013 SportAccord World Mind Games China swept Europe 3-0 to remain completely undefeated. Korea rolled over North America 3-0, but on the top board in this match, the USA’s Huiren Yang (left), the oldest player competing, played an outstanding game against Korea’s top-rated pro Park Jeonghwan (right). The Koreans following the action on the monitor screens outside the playing room praised Yang’s opening and thought he had ample opportunity to win, even though Park prevailed in the end. In contrast, Daniel Daehyuk Ko was completely hamstrung by Kim Jiseok on board two, and Yongfei Ge, who tried an unusual opening with a three-stone corner enclosure on board three, was quickly beaten by Cho Hanseung. So China and Korea will meet on Monday to decide which team will take home the gold medals.

Attention now focused on the match between Japan and Chinese Taipei. The game on the top board, between Chou Chun-hsun (Chinese Taipei, black) and Fujita Akihiko (Japan, white) was played to a YouTube audience with live commentary from Michael Redmond. Black framed the lower side. When White made a capping invasion, Black jumped into the lower left corner. In the next twenty moves White let Black capture the corner but built a solid wall above it, reducing Black’s framework to thirty points of territory buried under the wall. ‘At this point I thought White had a slightly better position,’ Fujita said. After a black mistake in the choice of joseki in the top right corner and a favorable exchange on the top left, White had a taken over large area stretching from the left side into the center and had a clear lead. Black tried unsuccessfully to reduce White’s area, and then resigned. First game to Japan.

On board two, Hirata Tomoya (black) started well for Japan, but then made a life-and-death mistake and lost a big group. ‘This game was very tough for me,’ said his opponent Wang Yuan-jyun. ‘In the opening I made a mistake that let Black capture five stones and get a strong position. Then Black made a minor mistake and I caught up a little, but I made another mistake that let him thrust out into the center and I was then even further behind. My only chance was to attack one of his groups and try to kill it. This should not have been possible–there were many variations and none of them worked–but fortunately for me he overlooked a move and the group died.’ Second game to Chinese Taipei.

The result of the match now rested on the outcome on board three, where Japan’s eighteen-year-old Tsuruta Kazushi was playing Chinese Taipei’s fifteen-year-old Lin Chun-yen. “I felt that I had the advantage in the opening,” Lin said later. “I may have been about ten points ahead – but I lost that lead in the middle game. Now I was behind and the game was quite unfavorable for me, but I managed to regain the lead in the endgame. At the point when my opponent resigned I was about ten or fifteen points ahead.” Match to Chinese Taipei by a 2-1 score, putting them in a strong position to capture the bronze medals. They also won the bronze medal last year in men’s individual competition, after Japan beat them to take the bronze in mixed team competition two years ago.

Wang Chenxing & Yu Zhiying in All-China Women’s Individual Final: In the fifth round of women’s repechage competition, played in the morning before the men’s team round, Wang Chenxing (China) was matched against Svetlana Shikshina (Russia) and Park Jieun (Korea) against Chang Cheng-ping (Chinese Taipei). Park and Chang played a classical opening, and their game looked close until Park isolated four of Chang’s eyeless stones on the lower side. Chang fought desperately to counterattack, and though she succeeded in slicing White apart, she could not kill the cut-apart pieces. Instead, another black group died and Chang resigned. In the Wang-Shikshina game, Wang forced a weak black group to live with just two small eyes. Both sides then made big territories elsewhere. Shikshina declined a chance to start a major fight and the game ended without incident, Wang winning comfortably by 10.5 points.

The final round of the women’s repechage was therefore played between Wang and Park. Their game proceeded until all the territories had been completed and only neutral points remained to be filled. At this point Park counted that she was a bit behind and resigned to take possession of the bronze medal. Wang will play China’s Yu Zhiying again on Tuesday to see who gets the silver medal and who gets the gold. While Wang was defeating Park, a playoff for fourth place was also taking place. Chang Cheng-ping (right) and Svetlana Shikshina (left) played a lively game that proceeded with lots of skirmishes but no decisive battles. Shikshina found herself increasingly on the defensive, however, forced to concede territory in order to keep her groups alive. Late in the endgame, when Chang succeeded in capturing five white stones in the center, Shikshina resigned. Fourth place therefore goes to Chinese Taipei’s Chang Cheng-ping while fifth place goes to Russia’s Svetlana Shikshina.
- James Davies, Ranka; photos by Ivan Vigano

Day 4 (Sunday, 12/15) Summary: (click on links for game records, uncommented unless otherwise noted)
Men’s team tournament (fourth round): Chinese Taipei 2-1 over Japan: Fujita Akihiko beat Chou Chun-hsun (Redmond commentary); Wang Yuan-jyun beat Hirata Tomoya; Lin Chun-yen beat Tsuruta Kazushi (Redmond commentary); China 3-0 over Europe: Fan Tingyu beat Fan Hui; Zhou Ruiyang beat Ilya Shikshin; Wang Xi beat Pavol Lisy; Korea 3-0 over North America: Park Jeonghwan beat Huiren Yang; Kim Jiseok beat Daniel Daehyuk Ko; Cho Hanseung beat Yongfei Ge
Women’s individual tournament
Fifth round: Wang Chenxing (China) beat Svetlana Shikshina (Russia); Park Jieun (Korea) beat Chang Cheng-ping (Chinese Taipei)
Sixth round: Wang Chenxing (China) beat Park Jieun (Korea)

Redmond Audio Game Commentaries: This year, in addition to the various video feeds made available by SportAccord, Michael Redmond 9P and American Go E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock are doing live audio game commentaries on KGS, which are also being posted on KGS Plus under Recent Lectures.“12/15/13 8:59″ is the commentary on the Men’s Team Round 4 game between Fujita Akihiko (Japan) and Chou Chun-hsun (Chinese Taipei); “12/15/13 9:29″ is the Tsuruta Kazushi (Japan) vs Lin Chun-yen (Chinese Taipei) Men’s Team Round 4 game.

Ranka SAWMG Highlights: Japan’s National Team; Interview with Park Jieun; The Red-Faced King; Designing a Tournament with Martin Stiassny

Monday December 16, 2013

Japan’s National Team: Members of Japan’s brand-new national team — nicknamed ‘Go-Go Japan’ — talk about their practice sessions and how being on the team has changed their approach to the game… Interview with Park Jieun: The bronze medalist in the women’s individual event says go in Korea has changed from an enriching cultural activity to a sport that’s “only about winning”…The Red-Faced King: Inspired to aim for the top by Mikhael Gorbachev, the former President of the Soviet Union, who also has a prominent “port-wine stain” birthmark, Chou Chun-Hsun 9P (right), known as the ‘Red-Faced King’, talks about why teaching is an important responsibility and why go players need to maintain good physical fitness… Designing a Tournament with Martin Stiassny: The European Go Federation President discusses possible format changes for next year’s World Mind Games and the need for an internationally standardized ratings system…
photo at left by Ivan Vigano; Chou Chun-Hsun photo courtesy Pandanet 

SportAccord World Mind Games Day 3: Yu Zhiying Clinches Medal in Women’s Individual Tourney; China & Korea Continue to Steamroll Men’s Teams, North America Blanked Again; Redmond Audio Game Commentaries Now Available; Benjamin Teuber on Playing Michael Redmond 9P and Studying in China; Draughted In: Why Zhao Hanqing Changed Games; Going to the Max

Saturday December 14, 2013

The third annual SportAccord World Mind Games are taking place December 12-18 in Beijing, China. Click here for latest go competition winner resultshere for Ranka Online’s full coverage and here for reports on all 2013 SportAccord World Mind Games competitions (chess, go, bridge, Chinese Chess & draughts). CLICK HERE TO WATCH GAMES LIVE! 
NOTE: At 9 pm EST (6p PST) on Sunday, December 15, Michael Redmond 9P and E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock will provide live audio commentary on KGS on Round 4 games from the World Mind Games.  

Yu Zhiying Clinches Medal in Women’s Individual Tourney: How does men’s go differ from women’s go? Aside from superficial matters such as the players’ average height, some have pointed to a temperamental difference: women tend to play more impetuously–to start a fight at the drop of a hat; men tend to play more patiently, laying deep strategic plans that only slowly mature into victory, sometimes with little or no fighting at all. Others find men’s go more coldly logical and women’s go more ‘human’. Womanly qualities were on full display in the centerpiece game in the fourth round of women’s individual competition at the SportAccord World Mind Games on December 14th. The two players, China’s Wang Chenxing and Yu Zhiying (right), the last remaining undefeated duo, came out fighting to kill from the word ‘go’. Black (Ms Wang) laid out a loose group on the left side. White (Ms Yu) immediately surrounded it, with lethal intent. Black, with equally lethal intent, cut off and attacked some of the surrounding white stones. White defended them by attacking an adjacent black group, and so it went, both players carefully pondering their moves, with the life of their stones at stake. And then this battle royal had a heartwarming ‘human’ outcome. Every single threatened group lived. Peace descended on the board, the pace of play quickened, and in the end Yu Zhiying won by 5.5 points (click here to see the Michael Redmond’s game commentary), ensuring a berth in the final, one win away from a gold medal, and assured of at least the silver.
- James Davies, Ranka; click here for the rest of his report on the Women’s Individual competition. 

China & Korea Continue to Steamroll Men’s Teams, North America Blanked Again: The powerhouse men’s teams from China and Korea continued their dominance in the third round Saturday, with China sweeping Japan on all three boards and Korea chastening the European team — exuberant after their victory over North America in the previous round — with a perfect 3-0 score. The North American team suffered their third straight shutout defeat, this time at the hands of the Chinese Taipei team (NA’s Huiren Yang, at left, plays Taipei’s Chou Chun-hsun). These games amply displayed the “manly” qualities of strategy and deliberation. The young Japanese team in particular seemed determined to make the most of their opportunity to take on three of the best players in China, and their games were among the last to end, even though they all ended in resignation. Two other players, both amateurs, who strove patiently against strong professional opponents were North America’s Daniel Daehyuk Ko, who lost to Wang Yuan-jyun by 12.5 points, and Europe’s Pavol Lisy, who stayed in a tough contest against Korea’s Cho Hanseung until fairly late in a game that was broadcast live via YouTube, with commentary by deputy chief referee Michael Redmond 9P and American Go E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock. The duo also took time to do live audio commentary on KGS on two Men’s Teams Round Two games. - based on a report by Ranka’s James Davies

Day 3 (Saturday, 12/14) Summary: (click on links for game records, uncommented unless otherwise noted)
Men’s team tournament (third round): China 3-0 over Japan: Fan Tingyu beat Fujita Akihiko, Zhou Ruiyang beat Hirata Tomoya, Wang Xi beat Tsuruta Kazushi; Korea 3-0 over Europe: Park Jeonghwan beat Fan Hui, Kim Jiseok beat Ilya Shikshin, Cho Hanseung beat Pavol Lisy; Chinese Taipei 3-0 over North America: Chou Chun-hsun beat Huiren Yang, Wang Yuan-jyun beat Daniel Daehyuk Ko, Lin Chun-yen beat Yongfei Ge (Redmond Commentary).
Women’s individual tournament (fourth round): Yu Zhiying (China) beat Wang Chenxing (China), Park Jieun (Korea) beat Oh Jeonga (Korea), Chang Cheng-ping (Chinese Taipei) beat Joanne Missingham (Chinese Taipei), Svetlana Shikshina (Russia) beat Natalia Kovaleva (Russia).

Redmond Audio Game Commentaries Now Available: This year, in addition to the various video feeds made available by SportAccord, Michael Redmond 9P (at left in photo) and American Go E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock (at right) are doing live audio game commentaries on KGS, some of which are also being posted on KGS Plus under Recent Lectures. “12/14/13 9:52″ is the commentary on the Men’s Team Round 3 game between Yongfei Ge 6D and Chun-yen Lin 9P (starts at 6:53); “12/14/13 8:56″ is the commentary on the Women’s Individual Round 4 game between Yu Zhiying and Wang ChengXing (starts 3:43).

Benjamin Teuber on Playing Michael Redmond 9P and Studying in China: The promising young German Benjamin Teuber 6D took on Michael Redmond 9P in a special exhibition match held Saturday morning. South African Victor Chow (‘RoseDuke’), the winner of the SAWMG 2013 Pandanet tournament, was originally slated to play, but Teuber (at left in photo) — who’s currently studying go in China — substituted at the last minute when Chow was unable to attend. The game was calm with Teuber playing a very solid opening, but when he failed to use his thickness to attack, he slowly but surely fell behind. In the Ranka interview, Teuber talks about the new go training program being held in China for top European players and playing soccer with Gu Li.

Draughted In: Why Zhao Hanqing Changed Games: Once a fervent go player, 19-year-old Zhao Hanqing (right) began to study international draughts in 2008 and has already secured victory in the World Championship (Junior Girls). She is currently taking part in the draughts competition at the SportAccord World Mind Games being held in Beijing. Find out more about why she switched games and how China is promoting mind games.

Going to the Max: As games wrap up each day in the playing room at the Sport Accord World Mind Games venue in the Beijing International Conference Center, the review room next door fills up with players, pros and fans who review their games while keeping an eye on monitors showing the games still being played. The rapid clicking of go stones competes with the excited swirl of languages from around the world. Eventually, as darkness falls outside, the game room will empty, the day’s results will be marked on the scoreboard, and even the most hard-core players will tear themselves away from the go boards. For now. Until tomorrow, when the cycle begins again.
- Chris Garlock; all photos this page by Ivan Vigano

Redmond on “Complete Information”

Saturday December 14, 2013

Joseki used to take months, sometimes years, to develop and be accepted. Now, like everything else in this hyper-connected world, they zip around the globe like so many electronic mushrooms, popping up overnight and sometimes fading just as fast. At least that’s the way Michael Redmond 9P sees it. “We’ve seen one particular new sequence repeatedly this week,” Redmond told me during one of our daily broadcasts at the SportAccord World Mind Games in Beijing. “Everyone’s been playing it lately but I think it’s really just a fad and doubt that it’ll last.” Unlike the fabled study groups of Japanese professionals and insei who extensively researched, developed and tested new patterns to spring on their opponents in tournaments, there are no secrets in a world where even top professionals play online on a regular basis. Further proof, if any were needed, that go is indeed a game of complete information.
- Chris Garlock; photo by Makoto Moriwaki, Pandanet

SportAccord World Mind Games Day 2: North America & Japan’s Men’s Teams Winless as China-Korea Final Looms; All-China Final in Women’s Individual; PLUS: Svetlana Shikshina 3P Moves to Canada; What We Can Learn from Chess & Japan’s Yoshida Mika Considers Flamenco

Friday December 13, 2013

The third annual SportAccord World Mind Games are taking place December 12-18 in Beijing, China. Click here for latest go competition winner results, here for Ranka Online’s full coverage and here for reports on all 2013 SportAccord World Mind Games competitions (chess, go, bridge, Chinese Chess & draughts).

Day 2 (Friday, 12/13) Summary (click on links for game records, uncommented unless otherwise noted): Men’s Team: China 3-0 over Chinese Taipei: Fan Tingyu beat Chou Chun-hsun, Zhou Ruiyang beat Wang Yuan-jyun, Wang Xi (left in photo) beat Lin Chun-yen (right). Korea 3-0 over Japan: Park Jeonghwan beat Fujita Akihiko, Kim

Jiseok beat Hirata Tomoy (Redmond commentary), Cho Hanseung beat Tsuruta Kazushi, giving Japan an 0-6 record after two rounds. Europe 3-0 over North America: Fan Hui beat Huiren Yang, Ilya Shikshin beat Daniel Daehyuk Ko, Pavol Lisy (click left for Redmond commentary) beat Yongfei Ge, leaving the N.A. team winless after two rounds.
Women’s individual: Wang Chengxing (China) beat Joanne Missingham (Taipei); Yu Zhiying (China) beat Park Jieun (Korea); Chang Cheng-peng (China) beat Yoshida Mika (Japan); Oh Jeonga (Korea) beat Fujisawa Rina (Japan); Natalia Kovaleva (Russia) beat Dina Burdakova (Russia); Svetlana Shikshina (Russia; click left for Yang Shuang 2P’s KGS game variations) beat Sarah Jin Yu (Canada). Note: Michael Redmond 9P and Chris Garlock did live audio commentary on the Round 2 Missingham-Jeonga game on KGS but because they recorded the game and did variations in the same file (instead of cloning), the record’s trees are a bit of a mess; it’s attached here for those interested.

North America & Japan Men’s Teams Winless as China-Korea Final Looms: On the basis of international tournament results during the current century, China and Korea seemed likely to have the advantage in their matches, but Chinese Taipei’s near-upset of Korea in the first round raised doubts about the size of that advantage. In the second round on Friday, however, the Chinese and Korean teams prevailed handily over Chinese Taipei and Japan. The match between Europe and North America was harder to predict. North America had won a similar match two years ago, but by a close 3-2 score, and this year the European team had the advantage of youth. 

In the game between Russia’s Ilya Shikshin (left in photo) and Daniel Daehyuk Ko (right) of the U.S., Shikshin “started out with a complex opening pattern in which my opponent made several mistakes, so I got the lead,” Shikshin told Ranka. “I think I was about twenty points ahead. After that I tried to play simple moves, and my opponent started to take risks, trying to draw me into an error, but in the end I killed a dragon and he resigned.” 

Slovakia’s Pavol Lisy, on the other hand, “had a bad opening” against Canada’s Yongfei Ge, “but then somehow I caught up and even pulled ahead. At one point I thought I was going to win by about six points, nearly the size of the komi. Then something happened to a group of mine in the corner. At first it looked as if I was going to lose all my territory there. I was terrified, but I thought for ten minutes and found a way to rescue it, and after I did, my opponent resigned.”

Women’s Individual Tournament Rounds 2 & 3: Triumph for China, Disaster for Japan & North America, Mixed for Rest: 
The results on Day 2 were a complete triumph for the two Chinese players, a disaster for the women from Japan and North America, and a mixture of wins and losses for the women from Korea, Chinese Taipei, and Russia. The six winners remain in contention, and Joanne Missingham and Park Jieun, who recorded their first losses, are also still in contention. The two Chinese, Wang Chengxing and Yu Zhiying, will contend for the final undefeated position in Round Four. Click here for the complete Ranka report. 

Svetlana Shikshina 3P Moves to Canada: The Russian-born Korean professional (left) moved to Canada in late June 2013 and talks to Ranka’s James Davies about the challenges of her new life there.

What We Can Learn from Chess: FIDE Chief Executive Officer Geoffrey Borg (right) on an unexpected common link between chess and go and Russia’s Ian Nepomniachtchi on lessons from the cheating scandals in chess.

Japan’s Yoshida Mika Considers Flamenco: After her “tragic loss” to young Chinese star Yu Zhiying 4P, Yoshida, former winner of the Women’s Honinbo, tells Ranka’s John Richardson “maybe my future is in flamenco,” which she took up again earlier this year.

- photos by Ivan Vigano/Ranka Online 

Men’s Team & Women’s Individual Events Launch Go Competitions at SportAccord World Mind Games

Friday December 13, 2013

Day 1 Summary: Men’s teams: China beat North America 3-0, Korea beat Chinese Taipei 2-1, Japan beat Europe 3-0. Women’s individual: Yu Zhiying (China) beat Dina Burdakova (Europe/Russia), Chang Cheng-ping (Chinese Taipei) beat Natalia Kovaleva (Europe/Russia), Oh Jeonga (Korea) beat Sarah Jin Yu (North America/US), Fujisawa Rina (Japan) beat Svetlana Shikshina (Europe/Russia). CLICK HERE TO WATCH SAWMG DAY 1 HIGHLIGHTS. Note: click on hotlinked names below for game records, uncommented unless otherwise indicated.

In the match between China and North America, the game between Wang Xi (China) and Yongfei Ge (Canada) was played at a rapid pace, with Ge challenging Wang to an early ko fight. Wang won the ko and captured five white stones in the center, then used his central power to attack and capture White’s largest group. Ge resigned and the game was over in less than an hour. The other two North American players held out longer, but Huiren Yang resigned to 17-year-old Ing Cup-winner Fang Tingyu in less than two hours, and Daniel Daehyuk Ko, after playing his game out nearly to the end and seeing that he was more than ten points behind, resigned to the Bailing Cup winner Zhou Ruiyang. The Ko-Zhou game (click here for Michael Redmond 9P’s game commentary) was broadcast to a live YouTube audience with a running commentary by Michael Redmond 9P.

The European team put up more stubborn resistance in their match with Japan, but Ilya Shikshin lost by 4.5 points to 19-year-old Hirata Tomoya (photo at right; click here for Michael Redmond 9P’s game commentary); Fan Hui managed to rescue a beleaguered group in a ko fight but eventually had to resign against New King (Shinjin-O) title-holder Fujita Akihiko; and in a battle of 18-year-olds, Pavol Lisy struggled to a 28.5-point loss to Tsuruta Kazuya.

The Korean team was matched against Chinese Taipei. In the first round of the men’s team event in the first SportAccord World Mind Games two years ago, Chinese Taipei had given Korea a bad scare by winning on two of the five boards. This year, with only three boards, Korea could not afford two losses. Both sides played deliberately from the outset. Around four o’clock it looked as if the younger player might win on all three boards, and two of the younger players were from Chinese Taipei. Two of these predictions held up: Park Jeonghwan (Korea, age 19) defeated Chou Chun-hsun (Chinese Taipei, age 33) by half a point on board one, and Lin Chun-yen (Chinese Taipei, age 15) defeated Cho Hanseung (Korea, age 31) by resignation on board three. On board two, however, Kim Jiseok (Korea, age 23) fought back to overcome Wang Yuan-jyun (Chinese Taipei, age 17) by 1.5 points. “I was behind from the opening,” said Kim. “I finally managed to catch up in the endgame, but because of the large number of prisoners it was hard to calculate the score accurately. It wasn’t until I won the ko on the right side that I thought I might be ahead.”
- James Davies, Ranka Online. Click here for his complete Day 1 report, the SAWMG Day 1 reportDay 1 men’s results & women’s results.
CORRECTION: this post has been updated to reflect that Fan Tingyu won the Ing Cup and Zhou Ruiyang won the Bailing Cup, rather than the other way around, as originally reported.