American Go E-Journal » Events/Tournaments

Ali Jabarin Wins Amsterdam International; Historic Euro-Korean Go Battle Remembered

Sunday June 8, 2014

Ali Jabarin 6d of Israel took the 2014 Amsterdam International Go Tournament main, centerpiece of Amsterdam Go Together 2014, with five wins out of six. It was played Friday May 30 – Sunday June 1 at the European Go Cultural Centre (EGCC), Amstelveen in the Netherlands (Holland) and Jabarin was only beaten by Zhao Baolong 2p of China who won all six rounds but, as a professional, took part out-of-competition. In second-equal place, with four wins each, came Pavol Lisy 7d of Slovakia, Yong-Su Yu 7d of Korea (pictured), Christian Pop 7d of Romania, Kim Paolo 7d of Korea and Csaba Mérő 6d of Hungary. Click here for full results, and here to connect with the EGCC’s Facebook account for more photos.

Pavol Lisy had also qualified as a pro the day before the main tournament after winning Stage 2 of the 1st Euro Pro Qualification (see Pavol Lisy First European Pro,- EJ, 7/1), a competition in which all the Europeans mentioned above have been participants, and for which Zhao has been professional coach, along with compatriot Li Ting 1p. Lisy’s new status will not, however, come into effect until August 1. Jabarin – along with Mateusz Surma 6d of Poland, Lukáš Podpera 6d of Czechia and Cornel Burzo 6d of Romania – is also still in the running to gain professional status by winning two further knockout rounds at Vienna on June 20.

Former Korean Amateur Champion Yong-Su Yu was a special guest at the event and well-known to the veterans there, as during the eighties he lived in the Cologne area in Germany and won the Amsterdam International every year from 1985-89. “I cannot [be] very content with the result in this Amsterdam go tournament,” he said, “but it’s not very bad. The top players in Europe are much stronger than I thought.” He also praised the hospitality he and his group, led by best friend Kim Paolo, had received and said, “Everyone in the Dutch Go Association [Federation] was so kind to us”.

In 1985 Yong-Su demonstrated the superiority of Korean amateurs in that era when he played a celebrated nine-game match, winning 7-2, against then Dutch and European Champion Ronald Schlemper 7d, a go prodigy who had come to dominate the game in Holland and who had won the European Championship twice already at that point (and has three times in all). The match, which featured games in the three Dutch towns of Leeuwarden, Arnhem and Tilburg, was sponsored by Dutch insurance company Interpolis, who published a book about it at the time, with game analysis by other Dutch amateurs.

Now one of Yong-Su’s party, Lee Kwang-Ku 3d, who is a journalist for Korean-language weekly Ilyo Shinmun and author of a three-volume book on modern Korean go, is also planning to write a book about the match with Korean professional commentary on at least some of the games. Schlemper, who these days lives in Japan, will be interviewed for the book too, which it is hoped will also be produced in an English-language edition. Photographer and sometime board member of the Dutch Go Federation Harry van der Krogt, now Financial Director of the EGCC, was the initiator of the match and following the Amsterdam tournament he has – by way of research for the book – traveled with Yong-Su, Kim and Lee to Arnhem to revisit the Hotel Groot Warnsborn (right), the only one of the match locations still standing. He told the E-Journal the hotel and surrounding park “made a great impression on me in 1985 [...] and now in 2014 it has not lost any of its charm“. It was also Yong-Su’s favourite location of the three: “Arnhem was the best place from three because maybe……..I could have a good time with Dutch go players…….drink….chatter. I could win all three games…..”.

Report by Tony Collman; photos by Harry van der Krogt: (from top) Yong-Su Yu at the Amsterdam International 2014; playing in the 9-game match with Schlemper in 1985; (L-R) Lee Kwang-Ku, Yong-Su Yu, Kim Paolo at the Hotel Groot Warnsborn.

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Shigeo Hidaka Wins Go Congress Problem Contest

Thursday June 5, 2014

“May is over, and with it comes the end of our contest!” reports 2014 US Go Congress Director Matthew Hershberger. Throughout May, anyone who sent in the correct solution to the go problem featured in this year’s Congress logo was entered for a chance to win $50 off their Congress registration. More than 300 are already registered for the Congress, which runs August 9-17 in New York City.

The problem proved difficult for many, while others were already familiar with it from books or lessons. It’s a famous Chinese problem titled 明珠出海, which translates to “Pearl Emerging From the Sea”. The goal is simply for white to escape the net of black stones. Some two dozen players submitted their solutions. Of those, all but one answered correctly.

The contest winner is Shigeo Hidaka 2d. “Congratulations, Shigeo, and thank you to everyone who submitted their solution!” says Hershberger.

One possible solution is shown here. There are other slight variations that are also acceptable.

Seattle 1 to Play Canwa Vancouver 1 in Pandanet-AGA City League Finals

Wednesday June 4, 2014

Seattle 1 will play Canwa Vancouver 1 on Saturday, August 9th in the 2014 Pandanet-AGA City League finals at the US Go Congress in

[link]

New York City. In other A League results, Greater Washington won 3rd place and Boston was 4th. New York City took first place in the B League, and Chicago was second. Play is still ongoing in the C League, where Katy TX 1 is currently leading with an undefeated score. They are followed by Canwa Vancouver 2, Katy TX 2, and Brentwood/Nashville. Round 6 will be played on Saturday June 17th. The game at right is the one that put Seattle 1 into the finals, with Seattle’s Ho Son (B) defeating Greater Washington’s Jie Li (W) in what turned out to be the tie-break game; as this game was played both cities had won a game (Board 1 – Seattle 1, Board 3 – Greater Washington).
- Steve Colburn, TD

3 Weeks Left to Register for YKNOT 4, Second Online NAMT Qualifier

Monday June 2, 2014

Players in the top section of the upcoming fourth annual Young Kwon National Online Tournament  (YKNOT) will be eligible to win points towards NAMT qualification, which this year means eligibility for the 9-round US Invitational tournament at this year’s US Go Congress; NAMT qualifiers in the US Invitational will be eligible for $2,000 more in prizes reserved for the NAMT players.

“We also encourage kyu players to register for the YKNOT,” says AGA Tournament Coordinator Karoline Burrall. “We want good strong competition at all levels! Every single player, including kyu players, can win part of the nearly $3,000 in prizes that the tournament offers.”

The Young Kwon National Online Tournament is the largest annual online tournament in North America. Registration is free and open to all levels, with nearly $3,000 in total prizes, which will be awarded to all levels. The tournament will take place on June 21, 22, and 28th. Click here to see the tournament webpage with registration details and rules and click here to register. Players have until Friday, June 20th to register. There are no citizen or permanent residency requirements; AGA members living in the US or AGA life members living anywhere are eligible, and even players who join the AGA the day before the start of the tournament are welcome to participate.

The YKNOT is the second online qualifier; the first is the June 7-8 Age of the Fabulist tournament, which is limited to players 4D+; register here.

Congress Pro Update; Teachers’ Workshop Returns

Monday June 2, 2014

Two more professional go players have just been confirmed for this year’s US Go Congress, bringing the total so far to 14 (click here for the complete list). Shinichi Aoki 9P won the 3rd NEC Shun-Ei Tournament in 1988; his sister is Aoki Kikuyo 8P. Korean professional Dahye Lee 4P, who specializes in teaching non-professional players how to teach youth in Korea, was a big hit at the Go Congress Teachers’ Workshop last year (photo) and will be returning this year.  The workshop will again offer the opportunity for players interested in teaching go to earn certification as an AGA-recognized go teacher.  The first workshop last year graduated 40 teachers, “far more than expected,” says Chris Kirschner, who is organizing the event this year.  The curriculum has been expanded this year and with more than 50 already registered, “We are far above the 23 we had at this time last year” says Kirschner.  The certificate program requires attendance of at least 8 hours including core topics, but those interested in only a few topics are welcome to attend those only.  The Congress website allows you to sign up for just those sessions in which you have the most interest.  The curriculum is still subject to change, so anyone interested in presenting their ideas at a session, or creating a new session is invited to contact Kirscher at planning@usgo.org.
photo: 2013 go teacher workshop participants show off their certificates; photo by Phil Straus

Pavol Lisy First European Pro

Sunday June 1, 2014

Pavol Lisy 1p (right)  of Slovakia has become the first-ever professional go player appointed by a European body, after adding two more wins at Amsterdam on Thursday May 29 to his two at Strasbourg the week before (see First Knockouts in Euro Pro Qualifications, 5/26 EJ) in the First European Pro Qualification Tournament.

The third and final stage of the tournament, which will see the appointment of a second European Pro, will be held in Vienna on June 20, where those who have only lost one game so far will compete in two further knockout rounds for the prize of professional status.

Lisy, who was a 7d amateur Slovakian Go Champion 2010-2014 and twice European Under-20 Champion, started playing go at age five. He previously had a hobby collecting beer bottle caps, of which he had thousands, mostly brown and white ones, and his father made a paper go board and used the bottle caps as go stones to introduce his son to the game.

The tournament is the result of an agreement (pdf, 6.85Mb) between the European Go Federation and the Beijing Zong Yi Yuan Cheng Culture Communication Co. Ltd. (“CEGO”), who describe themselves as “investors who themselves are Go friends [who] believe on (sic) the future development of European Go and are willing to commit themselves to promote Go [...] in the West“. The agreement is aimed at the establishment of  a full professional European go system and at enhancing the popularity of, and increasing the audience for go in Europe.

Click here for full tournament details, including results table, player profiles and the rules and constitution, and here to see the record of Lisy’s fourth round, clinching game with Cornel Burzo 6d of Romania.

Report by Tony Collman, photos by Harry van der Krogt: (lower left) Cornel Burzo 6d (right) congratulates Lisy on the  7.5 point win that secured him professional status.

Alex Kent to Challenge Andrew Kay for British Championship

Saturday May 31, 2014

Reigning British Champion Andrew Kay 4d (right) and Alex Kent 3d (below left) will meet in the final of the 2014 British Championship after taking top places at the Challengers’ League, held over the bank holiday weekend, Friday May 24 to Tuesday May 27, at the International Student House in London. The Challengers’ is a round-robin between the eight top players from the first stage of the Championship, the Candidates’ Tournament (see Ge Bei Lead UK Challenger, EJ 5/10), with 105 minutes each main time, and overtime of 15 plays in 5 minutes. Kay won all seven rounds, while Kent won five. Click here for full results.

As it transpired, four of those who qualified to contend for a place in the final in fact did not:  Sandy Taylor 2d, Tim Hunt 3d and Bruno Poltronieri 3d all found they had other commitments which clashed while, most unfortunate of all, Ge Bei (below right) did not confirm his entry in time. Ge had come first in the Candidates’, beating all his opponents, including reigning champion Kay who had once again waived his right to bypass the first stage of the Championship.

The British Go Association’s (BGA) Championship organizer, Jenny Radcliffe explained that Ge “failed to update his contact information with the BGA and didn’t or couldn’t check the email address to which the invitation was sent. We tried to track down alternative modes of contact but failed to find any so eventually, since we really needed to be sure we had eight players, had to call up another reserve. By the time Bei got in touch, the reserve had already booked non-refundable travel and accommodation, and rearranged his personal life.”

BGA Rules state, “It is the responsibility of the qualified players to determine their eligibility for entry to the Candidates’ Tournament and the Challengers’ League and submit their entries to these events.” At the time of going to press we had been unable to contact Ge for comment.

In the circumstances, reserve Alistair Wall 2d was called up along with the next three highly-placed in the Candidates: Alex Rix 3d, Kiyohiko Tanaka 2d and Harry Fearnley 2d.

Radcliffe added “We hope that this will be a reminder to everyone that it really is important to keep the BGA informed of your contact details!”

Details of the final are yet to be arranged, but it will be a best-of-three (or five if so agreed between the finalists) with 180 minutes main time each and is likely to be broadcast live on KGS with professional commentary.

Report by Tony Collman, British correspondent for the E-Journal. Photos: Andrew Kay celebrates retaining the Championship in 2013; Alex Kent, both courtesy of the BGA website; Ge Bei at the Candidates’, by Tanaka Kiyohiko.

EuroGoTV Update: Russia, Romania, Poland

Thursday May 29, 2014

Russia: Ruslan Dmitriev 5d took the Championship of Moscow on May 18 while Vjacheslav Kajmin 4d placed second and Vadim Khavin 4d was third. Romania: The Romanian Championship Semifinal also finished on May 18 with (left) in first, George Chirila 1d in second, and Liviu Oprisan 4d in third. Poland: Stanislaw Frejlak 4d championed the Turniej w Ozarowie Mazowieckim on May 18. Behind him were Kamil Konieczny 5k in second and Dawid Libront 7k in third.
– Annalia Linnan, based on reports from EuroGoTV, which include complete result tables and all the latest European go news; photo courtesy of EuroGoTV

David Lee Wins Scottish Open

Tuesday May 27, 2014

David Lee 3d of Dundee scored a perfect six wins to take the Scottish Open Championship 2014, which ran Sat May 24 to Sun May 25 at the Gilchrist Postgraduate Club, University of Glasgow. Runner-up was Francis Roads 1d of Wanstead with four wins. Bob Scantlebury 8k of Sheffield distinguished himself with five wins and Joseff Thomas 10k of  Glasgow and Carel Goodheir 9k of Skye also won four of the six rounds. Twenty-five took part in all, ranging from 3d to 17k. Click here for full results.

The tournament benefited for the first time this year from generous sponsorship from the University’s branch of the Confucius Institute, so as well as the Champion receiving a trophy and a pewter quaich (a shallow two-handled drinking cup or bowl), all 14 players on three or more wins selected a book from the British Go Association (BGA) bookstall and everyone took away a bottle of Isle of Skye Go Beer or a box of chocolates.

The event was organized on behalf of the BGA by Michael Comerford (venue and sponsorship) and Donald Macleod (tournament direction).
Report by Tony Collman, British correspondent for the E-Journal; photo (right) courtesy of Joseff Thomas: David Lee (right) is presented with the trophy by Donald Macleod. photo at left: Joseff Thomas (left) against Michael Comerford, by Gwenllian Thurstan

Go Quiz: Name that Problem

Tuesday May 27, 2014

The vast majority of you (84%, or 38 out of 45) correctly chose Edward Lasker as the source of the quote “The rules of go are so elegant, organic and rigorously logical that if intelligent life forms exist elsewhere in the universe they almost certainly play go.” Lasker, a leading German-American chess and go player, was instrumental in developing go in the U.S., and together with Karl Davis Robinson and Lee Hartman founded the American Go Association. “It’s not go-related, but Arthur C. Clarke had a fine comment (quoted from memory here),” writes Fred Baldwin. “Either we are alone in the universe or we are not. Each possibility is equally terrifying.” On a cheerier note, Ramon Mercado writes that “I truly enjoyed reading that bit about the Chumley’s speakeasy in NY. I’ll make sure to have a pint at it next time I’m in NY, if it’s allowed to be opened.” And speaking of Chumley’s, AGA Archivist David Doshay sent along these terrific shots of play at the club, shot for Life magazine in 1940.
This Week’s Quiz: The go problem on this year’s US Go Congress logo is from a collection of classic Chinese problems and like most such problems it has a name. Is it: The Warrior Escapes; An Ambush of Five Stones; or A Pearl Emerging from the Sea? Click here to submit your answer. And, for a chance to win $50 off your Congress registration, email your solution to the problem to registrar@gocongress.org before this Sunday, June 1.
- photos (top right & left) courtesy Life magazine