American Go E-Journal » SportAccord World Mind Games

Sun Naijing Wins Trip to SportAccord World Mind Games

Saturday November 10, 2012

Sun Naijing of China will join other winners of online tournaments in bridge, chess, draughts, and xiangqi (Chinese Chess) in observing the world’s best players in action at the SportAccord World Mind Games (SAWMG) in Beijing next month. Sun won the trip in the online adjunct to the upcoming World Mind Games, out of a field of 688 go players from 48 countries, ranging from Argentina to Zimbabwe, with more than half from Japan, which produced last year’s online winner. Sun, who hails from Hefei in Anhui Province, started playing go at age nine and kept it up through university studies and subsequent employment. ‘Go never leaves me,’ he says. In a go career spanning nearly four decades he has won numerous provincial amateur tournaments in Anhui and has thrice finished among the top ten in the massive Evening News Cup, China’s premier amateur event. In 1996 he defeated Chen Linxin 9P in the pro-amateur part of that event. ‘I learn a lot by playing go,’ Mr Sun adds. ‘I like it.’

Sponsored by Pandanet and played on Pandanet-IGS, some 5,400 games were played in this event; other winners include:
Regional winners: Mariya Zakhachenko (Ukraine), Fernando Aguilar
(Argentine), Tamai Kazuki (Japan); each winning a digital camera.
Lottery winners (prize from Pandanet): Dragan Dubakovic (Serbia), Irwin Vinicio Sanchez Chinchuña (Ecuador), Ueda Tatsuya (Japan); each winning an iPad.
Lottery winners (prize from SportAccord): Jeremy Chiu (USA), Igor Burnaevskiy (Russia); each winning a Samsung tablet computer.  Tzvetomir Tzvetanov (France), Nakatomi Nobuo (Japan); each winning a Swatch watch.

This tournament is expected to be held again in 2013 and 2014, possibly with an earlier start time to allow more people to play.  Watch for announcements in the E-Journal, on the IGF website, and on Pandanet website.

- adapted from a report in Ranka Online, the bulletin of the International Go Federation; includes reporting by Thomas Hsiang

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9/12 Deadline for SportAccord World Mind Games Online Tournament Registration

Wednesday September 12, 2012

Wednesday, September 12 is the deadline to register for the second SportAccord World Mind Games Online Tournament. This online tournament is sponsored by SportAccord, the city government of Beijing, Pandanet, and the International Go Federation. Top prize is an all-expenses-included trip to observe the Second SportAccord World Mind Games held in Beijing later this year. There are other prizes for sectional winners as well, plus three iPads as lottery prizes drawn among all players who finish the preliminary round.

 

Big Prizes in SportAccord World Mind Games Online Tournament

Friday August 24, 2012

Here’s a chance to win a free trip to the SportAccord World Mind Games in Beijing. The International Go Federation is organizing the SportAccord World Mind Games Online Tournament  September 16 through October 26, in cooperation with Pandanet and SportAccord. The winner will be invited to the World Mind Games, being held in Beijing this December, with travel and accommodations provided. There are also generous prizes for sectional winners, as well iPAD’s as lottery prizes for anyone who finished the preliminary round. Registration for the SportAccord World Mind Games Online Tournament is free but you must register by September 12; click here to register.

 

 

AGA to Hold Tournaments to Select Players for 2012 SportAccord World Mind Games

Saturday August 18, 2012

The AGA will hold simultaneous men’s and women’s selection tournaments to fill two U.S. slots at the 2012 SportAccord World Mind Games in Beijing, China, from December 12-20. The two selected players – one male and one female — will each compete in the Men’s and Women’s Individual tournaments, and then together as a pair in the Mixed Doubles competition. The sponsors of the tournament will provide travel and accommodation for the players, as well as generous prize money depending upon performance in the tournament.

Each selection tournament will be a 3-round knockout tournament. The rounds are on August 29 – September 1, September 2-4, and September 5-8. The men’s tournament will consist of the six highest-rated players from the US, and two players from Canada. All players must be 7D+ or professional. The women’s tournament will consist of the six highest-ranted players from the US, and two players from Canada. All players must be 4D+ or professional.

In order to compete, players must be citizens of either theUS orCanada, and have been resident in their country of citizenship for at least 6 of the last 12 months. AGA players must have been full or youth continuous members since August 29, 2011. The two selected players will play under theUS flag and colors. The selected players must be able to travel to China and participate in the tournaments from December 12 to 20.

Players may reschedule with mutual consent within those time windows, otherwise they must play at the official game times on KGS in the AGA Tournaments Room: 8 pm ET/5 pm PT on August 30(Thur), September 3(Mon), and September 6(Thur). If the players do reschedule their games within these windows, they must inform the TD immediately of their scheduled time of play.

To register, please click here. Registration for these selection tournaments closes at midnight on Monday, August 27.

China Tops World Mind Games Mixed Doubles

Sunday December 18, 2011

China took the gold medal in the SportAccord World Mind Games mixed doubles event, with Korea winning silver and Japan bronze. The U.S. team of Feng Yun and Jie Li (photo) defeated Europe’s Vanessa Wong and Catalin Taranu in the final.

Click here for Ranka Online’s full coverage of the World Mind Games, which ended on December 16th.

U.S. Only Remaining Barrier to World Mind Games Gold Medal for China

Tuesday December 13, 2011

Barring a miracle by the Americans against China, the winner of the Japan-Korea match in the SportAccord World Mind Games on December 14 will take the team silver while China takes the gold. China defeated Japan 4-1 in the 4th round Tuesday, while Chinese Taipei shut out the Americans, winning all five of their games by resignation. Korea swept the European team. The loser of the Japan-Korea match will take the bronze medal. The mixed doubles rounds are scheduled for Thursday and Friday.
- Based on James Davies’ detailed reports on Ranka Online, where you can also follow live matches, check out the schedule, results and participants.

Time Out for Kids: SportAccord Delegation Visits a Go Class in Beijing

Tuesday December 13, 2011

December 12 was a rest day for the go competition at the SportAccord World Mind Games, but for a dozen or so of the players and officials, it was an opportunity to pay an afternoon visit to the Zhang Guan Gun No. 3 Elementary School. This is one of the schools in Beijing where the pupils also learn to play go. About two dozen schoolboys, dressed in light blue school uniforms, were lined up inside the school gate to greet the bus carrying the players and officials, escort them to the school meeting room, and present them with self-made gifts.

“We played one-on-two simultaneous games with representatives from the 5th and 6th grades,” says Thomas Hsiang, a 7-dan. “My two opponents were 3D players and both took only three stones.  We played in their go classrooms, on tables specially made just for playing go.  It was there that one sees the future of go in China and understands why it will be hard for others to compete with the Chinese in go in the foreseeable future.”

In an unscheduled event, Andrew Okun (right), the American team captain, dropped in on a lesson in a regular classroom to give some second graders a chance to practice their English. They peppered him with questions. Where do you live? Los Angeles. Do you like chicken? Yes. Do you also like duck? Yes. Do you like ice cream? Yes, I like it too much (patting midsection). After ten minutes or so, Okun ended the session with a question to the class: Do you like studying English? The class went wild in shouting Yes.

Back in the go classroom the games were still in progress. On the whole, the pupils were acquitting themselves well but finding that without a handicap, beating world-class professional players and even world-class European amateurs and IGF Vice Presidents is not so easy. Unfortunately, the bus had to leave and some of the pupils’ parents had come to get them, so the games were cut short, farewells were bid, and a smiling group of players and officials returned to the Beijing Intercontinental Grand Hotel.

- James Davies, with additional reporting by Thomas Hsiang; photos courtesy Ranka Online; where you can read Davies’ full report.

China Likely to Win Gold in World Mind Games; U.S. Contender for 5th

Sunday December 11, 2011

In the third round of the team competitions at the SportAccord World Mind Games in Beijing, China, the United States finally scored a team win when Mingjiu Jiang forced Catalin Taranu to resign, after Andy Liu and Feng Yun won against Cornel Burzo and Vanessa Wong, reports Thomas Hsiang.  Jie Li, however, lost by 2.5 points to Cristian Pop in a game that both players thought Jie had won.  Kevin Huang then lost to Jan Simara, making the team score 3-2.  The US will now probably finish 5th.

The other match, pitting China against Korea, attracted the attention of a lot of the Chinese pros. Wang Runan, Hua Yigang, Hua Xueming, and Yu Bin – the president, vice president, men’s team coach, and women’s team coach of China Weiqi Association – all showed up to watch.  There were lively discussions in the study room around the several large-screen TV’s showing the key games.  In the game between Kong Jie and Lee Sedol, Kong had a good opening and took the lead early on.  But Lee fought back with a clever maneuver to reverse the situation and won at the end.  On the second table, Gu Li (right) trailed Choi Chulhan early, causing tense moments among the Chinese audience.  But, in a marvelous display of his recent strong form, Gu fought back little bit by little bit.  In the end he found a ko and took a firm lead when Choi could not find a large enough threat for the ko.  With Xie He and Li He winning, China was assured of a 3-2 victory.  China will now probably win the gold medal.

Between Korea and China, there have been three international mind-sport team clashes.  In the 2008 WMSG and the 2010 Asian Games, Korea won both by a 4-1 score.  So for China, this was a sweet victory indeed.

In the third match, Japan won surprisingly easily with a score of 4-1 against Chinese Taipei.  Only Yamashiro Hiroshi lost on the second table to Hsiao Cheng-hao.  Japan will now probably take the bronze.

Tomorrow (12/12) is the off day for Go.  SportAccord and the Beijing government have arranged a visit for some of the go players to a middle school for a teaching and promotional event.  Representing US and EU will be Mingjiu Jiang and Vanessa Wong.
Click here for James Davies’ detailed reports on Ranka Online, where you can also follow live matches, check out the schedule, results and participants.
photo courtesy Ranka Online

Japan, Korea & China Sweep EU, US & Chinese Taipei in World Mind Games

Saturday December 10, 2011

“Today’s games were uneventful,” reports Thomas Hsiang from Day Two of the SportAccord World Mind Games in Beijing, China.  “Japan, Korea, China cruised to 5-win victories versus the EU, US, and Chinese Taipei teams.  Andy Liu played against Park Jeonghwan today (12/10) and said he was thoroughly impressed. ‘I did not even know how I lost.  Park’s play was perfect’”.  Chinese Taipei’s popular Hei Jia-jia played a tough game against Li He, a game featured on the net broadcast.  The game also attracted many pros in the study room.  After an early exchange that favored Li, Jia-jia fought furiously back in an exciting fighting game.  But in the end she still fell short.”

Tomorrow will see the EU pitted against US; the winner will avoid a last-place finish.  Also, China and Korea will crash to produce the likely champion team.  Japan will play Chinese Taipei for a probable third place.

“Andy Okun and I had a two-hour interview with Lee Youngho, brother of Lee Changho, and Xie Rui, the top Weiqi reporter in China who works for Titan Journal, a sports newspaper.  Based on this interview, Titan will publish a feature story about go in America in its next issue.”

Click here for James Davies’ more detailed reports on Ranka Online, where you can also follow live matches, check out the schedule, results and participants.
photo: SAWMG Opening Ceremonies; collage courtesy Ranka Online

 

 

U.S. Team Comes Close But Fails to Upset Japan in 1st Round of SportAccord World Mind Games

Friday December 9, 2011

Results from the first day’s team competitions at the SportAccord World Mind Games in Beijing, China on December 9 went pretty much as expected, Thomas Hsiang tells the E-Journal, with China, Japan, and Korea winning against EU, US, and Chinese Taipei. “Chinese Taipei nearly pulled an upset when Chen Shih-iuan defeated Lee Sedol, and Hei Jia-jia (Joanne Missingham) won against Kim Hyemin.  In the game that finished last, the young boy Wang Yuan-jun — only 14! — was leading in his game against Lee Younggo.  Lee finally prevailed and dashed Chinese Taipei’s hope for a big upset.”

The U.S. lost to Japan 0-5, but Andy Liu and Jie Li (right) both had their chances, Hsiang reports. “Andy played ‘fast and very smart’ against Sakai Hideaki, according to Gu Li and Kong Jie, the two Chinese world champions.  Gu Li spent more than an hour watching Andy and told me afterwards that he was very impressed and ‘that unknown young man had a good game and many chances to win’.  Jie lost to Yamashiro Hiroshi by just a half-point, and also had many chances to win, according to Kong Jie.  So our young players made a very positive impression.”

EU lost to China 0-5.

The broadcasting schedule for December 10 will feature the game between Hei Jia-jia and Li He — “the ‘game of the two beauties,’ as they say here in China,” says Hsiang. Tentatively, Andy Liu will be featured on the 14th when he plays against Xie He from China.

Click here for James Davies’ more detailed reports on Ranka Online, where you can also follow live matches, check out the schedule, results and participants.

In other news, Hsiang reports that “the International Go Federation (IGF) held a special Board Meeting today (12/9). I invited (AGA Board member) Andy Okun (in dark blue shirt in photo below) as an observer. Many things were discussed, including an IGF proposal that will fund two projects in the Americas: the AGA’s plan for an international go symposium and the Iberoamerican Go Federation’s plan to start a pilot project teaching go in Venezuela schools.  This proposal now moves forward to IMSA.”  The AGA’s plan to establish a pro system was met with great enthusiasm and encouragement, Hsiang reports. The IGF is starting to plan the next round of the SportAccord World Mind Games that will now be featured for at least five years.  Hsiang and Yuki Shigeno will again represent the IGF in negotiations with SportAccord.  Brunei will be next IGF member, with Kazistan likely to follow. The Ing Foundation will apply to become a new Association Member of IGF; its president, Mr. Ying Ming-haw, has been invited to become an at-large Director of the IGF.  WAGC 2012 will be held in Guangzhou, May 11-18, and the 2012 WAGC 2013 will be held in Japan, with site selection and date to be announced in May 2012.  There is still no site contract for World Mind Sports Games II in 2012 and the event is unlikely to take place.
photos: US team player Jie Li (top right); team captains (bottom left); photos courtesy Ranka Online.