American Go E-Journal » Events/Tournaments

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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Mi Yuting Triumphs at 1st MLily Cup

Sunday December 8, 2013

1st MLily Cup 2013The 1st MLily Cup finished on December 6 with China’s newest 9d player Mi Yuting (left) at the helm. On his journey to his breakthrough win, the 18-year-old Mi defeated Lee Sedol 9p, Kang Dongyun 9p, Kong Jie 9p, Dang Yifei 4p, and Wang Xi 9p. Final challenger Gu Li 9d hoped to end his three-year runner-up streak but Mi dominated 3-1.

The MLily Cup is a biennial international go tournament sponsored by MLily Meng Baihe. It is intended to alternate with the Bailing Cup every other year. For more information about this year’s MLily Cup including photos and game records, please visit Go Game Guru.
— Annalia Linnan, based on a longer article by Go Game Guru; photo courtesy of Go Game Guru

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

SportAccord World Mind Games Japanese Player Profiles

Thursday December 5, 2013

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 in this year’s SportAccord World Mind Games, coming up December 12-18 in Beijing. Here are Michael Redmond’s 9P’s introduction and brief biographical sketches of the Japanese players. Redmond and EJ Managing Editor Chris Garlock will be providing play-by-play game commentary on the SAWMG YouTube channel as well as coverage in the EJ. click here to see the player roster and schedule

by Michael Redmond 9P
Overall, it is clear that Japan has decided to give younger players a chance this year. Unfortunately, star players from the same age group such as Murakawa Daisuke and Ichiriki Ryo are missing, I would have liked to see them in this tournament. Murakawa was the B league winner of the Kisei league and recently he lost to Yamashita Keigo in the playoff to decide the challenger. In the league he bested top players such as Takao Shinji, Hane Naoki, and Kono Rin. I suppose that the Kisei tournament, among other things, posed a potential schedule issue for him this time. Ichiriki is a formidable 16 year old player, he seems to be winning all the time. Two weeks ago he lost to Ko Iso in the final to enter the Meijin league, his only loss in the recent past that I can remember. I would guess he has some other schedule issues. As to the women, judging from domestic tournaments I would have expected to see Xie Imin, Mukai Chiaki, or Okuda Aya, but actually I have a feeling that Yoshida might have a better track record in international tournaments.

Rina Fujisawa 2P: Born in 1998, at the age of 11 years and 6 months, she became the youngest player to become pro in Japan, breaking Cho Chikun’s record of 11 and 9 months. She began playing as a pro in April 2010, and caused some comment by beating a 9-dan in June of the same year. Rina is the granddaughter of Fujisawa Shuko, and her father is Fujisawa Kazunari 8P. She has an intuitive and aggressive style.

Akihiro Fujita 4P: Born in 1991, Akihiro became a pro in 2006. Won the 38th Shinjin-O (New Kings) tournament in 2013, and in 2010 came one win away from entering the Honinbo league, losing to Yamashiro 9p in the final round. He is considered to be one of the most promising young players in Japan.

Tomoya Hirata 3P: Born in 1994, became pro in 2009. Plays an aggressive style. In June this year I played him and published a commentary in the EJ on the game, which I lost by a mistake in late middlegame.

Kazushi Tsuruta 2P: Born in 1995, became pro in 2010. In 2011 he won into the Gosei Honsen.

Mika Yoshida 8P: Born in 1971, became pro in 1986. Won several Women’s titles from 1992 to 2005. Plays a well-balanced style.

3rd SportAccord World Mind Games Kick Off Next Week in Beijing

Thursday December 5, 2013

The 3rd SportAccord World Mind Games will be held in Beijing, China December 12-18. Contestants will compete for gold, silver, and bronze medals in five disciplines: chess, contract bridge, draughts, go, and xianqi (Chinese chess). This year the go competition will include a round-robin men’s team tournament, a double-knockout women’s individual tournament, and a single-knockout pair-go tournament. China, Chinese Taipei, Japan, and Korea are each sending three men and two women. North America is sending three men and one woman, and Europe is sending three pairs, who will also compete in the men’s and women’s events.

The all-new Chinese contingent includes this year’s winners of three major international tournaments (the Ing, Bailing, and Bingsheng Cups), plus the Bingsheng runner-up. The two Koreans who missed winning medals last year will return to try again, accompanied by three Korean players making their first SportAccord appearances. Among the players from Chinese Taipei and Japan are six teenagers, including the granddaughter of the legendary Fujisawa Shuko.

Europe and North America are fielding mixed pro-amateur teams. The European contingent is primarily Russian, but also includes this year’s European champion (from France) and runner-up (from Slovakia). They will be seeking in particular to avenge Europe’s various losses to the North Americans in the first two SportAccord World Mind Games. Three veteran players on the North American men’s team and one young Canadian woman will try to stop them.

Representing these thirty go players to the world at large will be Russia’s Natalia Kovaleva (far left) and China’s Yu Zhiying (left), the Go Ambassadors of the 2013 World Mind Games. Besides playing in the women’s and pair-go competitions, they will join some of the world’s top stars in the other disciplines in a program of social and publicity events.

Live coverage of the go competition with a running commentary by the popular duo of Chris Garlock and Michael Redmond 9P will be provided to a worldwide audience via the SAWMG YouTube channelFacebook page and Twitter feed. In addition, daily reports and commentaries will be posted on the Ranka website.
- report by Ranka Online 

’14 US Go Congress To Be Held In Midtown Manhattan, Sources Say

Wednesday December 4, 2013

According to informed sources, plans are under way to hold the 2014 U.S. Go Congress at the Hotel Pennsylvania in midtown Manhattan from August 9-16. “It’s a terrific location with easy access all that New York City has to offer,” the highly-placed source said. The Pennsylvania has previously hosted the East Coast Oza qualifiers. More details on the 2014 US Go Congress are expected to be announced soon.

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.

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

Big Jubango Between Lee Sedol & Gu Li Set To Start In January

Friday November 29, 2013

MLily 2014 jubangoThe dates for the much-anticipated match between Lee Sedol 9p (top left) and Gu Li 9p (bottom left) have finally been announced. The jubango, or ten-game match, will begin on January 26, 2014 in Beijing. Sponsor MLily will award the first player to win six games with 5 million RMB (approximately 820,000 USD). The other player will receive a consolation prize of 200,000 RMB (approximately 33,000 USD). If the score is tied 5-5, the prize will be split without a tie-breaker.

“I think these two players are the best choice for a jubango, and the games will be very exciting,” said Liu Siming, president of the Chinese Weiqi Association. “There hasn’t been a jubango like this in the last 70 years, but we’ve pushed ahead to make this one happen.” With twenty-one international titles between the two of them, Liu considers Lee and Gu “still the best” among today’s top players. Liu also delivered the exciting news that each of the ten games will be played in a different city.

Gu and Lee themselves, though, are trying to stay humble. When asked how he will prepare for the jubango, Gu said, “This match will be a very important part of my career and life.” He has already logged many hours studying to prepare. As for Lee, he does not believe that being the top ranked Korean player has anything to do with how the jubango will unfold. “There were many lightning games in the first half of 2013, and I lost many of them,” Lee said. “However there have been more games with longer time limits in the second half of the year, and I’ve been able to achieve better results in those games. That’s all there is to it.”

For more information about the 2014 MLily Gu vs Lee jubango, please visit Go Game Guru. For the full jubango schedule, please visit Go Game Guru’s Pro Go Calendar.
–- Annalia Linnan, based on a longer article by Go Game Guru, photo courtesy of Go Game Guru