American Go E-Journal » Events/Tournaments

Registration Opens for New Online Self-Paired Tournament Session

Friday December 13, 2013

Registration for the next AGA On-Line Games Self-Paired Tournament — which will run January 1 to March 31, 2014 on KGS — begins December 15. The initial  Self-Paired Tournament — in which 24 players have so far played 44 games — will end December 31, with results announced in early January. Players must be AGA members current through March 1, 2014. A player’s current AGA rating is the default tournament rating. Tournament Ratings may be adjusted by the Tournament Director for those without an AGA rating or for those who whose current AGA rating clearly does not reflect their current playing strength. Games are played and tournament documents are linked in the AGA Tournament Room on KGS.

Simultaneous games will also be offered during this upcoming quarter in the AGA Community Room on KGS by volunteers AGA 4 dan and above. The room is open to all AGA members current through March 31, 2014. Email with your AGA ID number and KGS username for access to the room. A schedule is linked in the room and in the AGA Tournament Room. “These games are a fine opportunity for players to test their understanding and technique against stronger players,” says Gilman.


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. 


2013 SportAccord World Mind Games Launch in Beijing

Thursday December 12, 2013

Approximately 150 bridge, chess, draughts, go and xianqi players flew into Beijing Monday for the third SportAccord World Mind games, which run through December 18. Daily highlights are available on YouTube, click here for schedule and results and you can also follow the action on Facebook. Go, with 30 players, has the third largest contingent, behind bridge (48 players) and chess (32 players); 18 men and 12 women from China, Chinese Taipei, Europe, North America, Japan, and Korea. The men will compete as teams, the women as individuals, and the Games will also include pair events (see below for Michael Redmond’s commentary on the Round 1 game between Danny Ko 7d and Ruiyang Zhou 9P). The Games were officially declared open Tuesday evening by Yang Xiacho, president of the Organizing Comittee and deputy mayor of Beijing, at an opening ceremony held in the main second floor hall of the Beijing International Conference Center, which will be the competition venue for the coming week. The announcement was accompanied by a musical fanfare and projected images of fireworks and preceded by official greetings from dignitaries, including Wang Wei, executive president of the Organizing Committee and vice chairman of the Beijing Olympic City Development Association (BODA), and Marius Vizer, president of SportAccord. Representative groups of contestants marched onto the stage to witness the raising of the Chinese flag and the SportAccord flag by a crack drill team in white uniforms, after which the stage was taken by a succession of Chinese dance teams, including a shadowboxing demonstration, kickball dance team, military exercises with broadswords and an exhibition of classical dance skills in a ‘Chess Rhyme’, in which the dancers were dressed as black and white chess queens. There was much in these performances to inspire the spectators, who were already in a good mood following a buffet banquet, and the ceremony ended at a quarter past eight, in plenty of time for everyone to rest up for the week ahead, though the go players met briefly for a technical meeting to set up the competition draw. Click here for James Davies’ detailed opening ceremony and technical meeting report on Ranka. photos by Ivan Vigano

Today’s Game Commentary: Daniel Ko (US) vs. Ruiyang Zhou (China)
Daniel Ko, the 7-dan from Los Angeles, California acquits himself quite well in this game against a world champion. Zhou won the first Bai Lin Ai Tou Cup, was a finalist in the 18th LG Cup and a member of the championship Chinese team in the 13th Nong Shim Cup. This game features a modern-style professional opening and competing moyos that both players invade. This could have been a close game but in the key fight in the middle-game, white pulls ahead in territory while attacking black. Click above or here to download the sgf file and open in your favorite go software.


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.


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.