American Go E-Journal » Events/Tournaments

2012 SportAccord World Mind Games Overview: Reports, Photos, Games & Commentaries

Tuesday December 25, 2012

The American Go E-Journal collaborated with Ranka Online and SportAccord to provide comprehensive coverage — including our first-ever video broadcasts — of the recent 2012 SportAccord World Mind Games (SAWMG), held December 12-20 in Beijing, China. See below for a selection of highlights of the E-Journal coverage or click here for all of Ranka’s reports.

REPORTS

SAWMG Go Tourney Makes a $plash; Ranka Interview Japan’s Murakawa Daisuke & Mukai Chiaki, Russia’s Natalia Kovaleva & Ilya Shikshin, Hungary’s Rita Pocsai and Csaba Mero and the UK’s Vanessa Wong
Korea Tops China to Win World Mind Games Pair Go Championship
Pair Go Final Features China-Korea Showdown; School Visit; Redmond Exhibition GameRound 7 Report; Sun Naijing: The Ranka InterviewChoi Chulhan 9P Wins Men’s Gold, Li He 3P is Women’s Champion; Lin Chi-han 9P: The Ranka Interview
Men’s & Women’s Finals Set for Sunday; Semi-Finals; Game Commentary: Round 6: Lin-Kang
Round 4: Final Knockouts; Interview with Bill Lin; Game Commentary: Round 4: Park-Missingham
Round 2: The Elimination Round; Round 3: Then There Were 24; Game Commentary: Round 3, Chen-Park (China-Korea)
The Players Arrive; Press Conference; Opening Ceremony; LIVE from the SAWMG: Redmond, Bogdanov, Missingham & Lin; Game Commentary: Round 1 (China-Korea)Second Edition of SportAccord World Mind Games BeginsRedmond to Provide Live Commentaries on World Mind Sports Games
New SportAccord World Mind Games Website Launched
SportAccord World Mind Games Set for Dec. 12-19 in Beijing Sun Naijing Wins Trip to SportAccord World Mind Games
9/12 Deadline for SportAccord World Mind Games Online Tournament Registration
Big Prizes in SportAccord World Mind Games Online Tournament
AGA to Hold Tournaments to Select Players for 2012 SportAccord World Mind Games

GAME COMMENTARIES
Pair Go Final: China-Korea 
Pair Go Round 3: Russia-Canada
Pair Go Semi-Final: China-Japan

Exhibition Game: Redmond-Sun
Round 7 (Men’s Individual Final): Choi (Korea) – Kang (Korea)
Round 7 (Women’s Individual Final): Rui (China) – Li (China)
Round 6: (Women’s Individual) Missingham (Taiwan) – Kovaleva (Russia)
Round 6: (Men’s Individual) Lin (China) – Kang (Korea)
Round 4: (Women’s Individual) Park (Korea) – Missingham (Taiwan)
Round 3: (Men’s Individual) Chen (China) – Park (Korea)
Round 2 (Men’s Individual): Jiang (China) – Kang (Korea)
Round 1 (Men’s Individual): Tuo (China) – Cho (Korea)
Round 1, Men’s Individual: Shiksin (Russia) – Murakawa 

(Japan)

2012 SportAccord World Mind Games Go Broadcasts (YouTube Videos)
Top-board live game commentaries with IGF Media Officer and American Go E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock and 9-dan professional Michael 
Redmond
, includes interviews with Janice Kim 3P, Pair Go founder Mrs Taki, longtime go author James Davies, European Go Federation President Martin Stiassny
Russian Go Federation Vice-President Victor Bogdanov and more.

Daily Go Broadcasts (All)

Michael Redmond 9P and Janice Kim 3P Interview Each Other

Pair Go Finals: Choi-Choi (Korea) – Li-Jiang (China)
Pair Go Semi-Finals: Li-Jiang (China) – Mukai-Murakawa (Japan)

Men’s Final: Choi (Korea) – Kang (Korea)

 

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SportAccord World Mind Games: SAWMG Go Tourney Makes a $plash; Ranka Interview Japan’s Murakawa Daisuke & Mukai Chiaki, Russia’s Natalia Kovaleva & Ilya Shikshin, Hungary’s Rita Pocsai and Csaba Mero and the UK’s Vanessa Wong

Saturday December 22, 2012

SAWMG Go Tourney Makes a $plash: The SportAccord World Mind Games (SAWMG) $400,000 in prizes makes the recently-concluded event the fourth largest international men’s tournament in 2012 — after the BC Card, Samsung and LG Cup tournaments — reports International Go Federation (IGF) Vice President Thomas Hsiang, who notes that this year’s go prize pool was doubled from last year. It’s also the richest international women’s tournament ($185,000 in prizes) and pair-go tournament ($66,000), Hsiang adds, as well as “the first international professional tournament run by the International Go Federation.” photo: medalists in the Men’s Individual tournament (l-r): Kang Dongyoon (silver, $40,000); Choi Chulhan (gold, $100,000); Lin Chi-han (bronze, $30,000); photo by Ivan Vigano

Murakawa Daisuke (Japan)
Born near Osaka, Murakawa Daisuke (below, at left) made professional shodan with the Kansai Kiin at age 11. He has been a frequent member of the Japanese team at the International New Stars tournament, where he has played alongside such current greats as Iyama Yuta and Xie Yimin in competition against young professional teams from China, Chinese Taipei, and Korea. This year, just before

the World Mind Games began he earned a place in the Japanese Meijin League, and he celebrated his 22nd birthday during the individual competition in Beijing. Click here for the interview.

Mukai Chiaki (Japan)
Though not a title winner in Japan, Mukai Chiaki (at right) has challenged for women’s titles six times, and was promoted this year to 5 dan. She has frequently represented Japan in international competition, and has done well in team and pair competition at both SportAccord World Mind Games, earning three bronze medals. Ranka spoke with her after the individual competition, in which she defeated Su Sheng-fang of Chinese Taipei in between losses to Rui Naiwei of China and Choi Jeong of Korea, and again after the pair competition. Click here  for the interview.

Natalia Kovaleva (Russia)
Natalia Kovaleva (below, at left) began competing in tournaments in the Far East in 2004, when she and Alexei Lazarev won three games at the International Amateur Pair Go Championship in Tokyo. A high point in her career so far came at the World Mind Sports Games in Beijing in 2008, where she won a game from a Japanese professional opponent. For the past couple of years she has been working for the Russian Go Federation. Ranka spoke with her after the first pair round, in which she and Ilya Shikshin lost to Japan’s Mukai Chiaki and Murakawa Daisuke. Click here for the interview.

Ilya Shikshin (Russia)
Three-time European champion Ilya Shikshin (at right) comes from a go-playing family that includes his sister Svetlana, who has played professionally in Korea. At this year’s World Mind Games he lost to Japanese and Chinese opponents in the first two rounds of individual competition to earn a five-day break, after which he partnered with Natalia Kovaleva in the pair competition and took fifth place, best among the pairs from outside the Far East. Ranka talked with him after the first round of the pair event. Click here for the interview.

Rita Pocsai and Csaba Mero (Hungary)
Ranka interviewed the Hungarian pair, Rita Pocsai (at left), a university student studying special education, and Csaba Mero (right), a statistical programmer, after their loss to the Chinese pair in the first round of the pair-go competition at the World Mind Games. Click here for the interview.

Vanessa Wong (UK)
During the gold medal individual matches, Ranka had a chance to speak with European women’s champion Vanessa Wong (at left in photo at right, with Pair Go partner Jan Hora), who was born in Hong Kong, and came to England to go to boarding school. Click here for the interview.
photos by Ivan Vigano 

 

Help Build the Future of Go in the US

Friday December 21, 2012

The American Go Foundation‘s annual fund-drive is under way. “Every dollar you give is matched by the hundreds of hours AGF board members, mentors and volunteers spend on helping our programs and encouraging others to teach go,” says AGF President Terry Benson. The AGF and AGA worked “more closely than ever to promote go” in 2012, Benson says, and “Now the AGF needs to rebuild our treasury.”

The AGF Store, previously available only to approved AGF programs, is now open to college clubs and AGA chapters, while continuing to serve schoolslibraries and community programs. The AGA has renewed its matching grant program for college clubs to help them purchase playing equipment from the AGF Store for club use.  The AGF had a booth at the American Library Association convention again this year to encourage libraries to order the Hikaru no Go manga for only $20.  “These sets are the seeds for the future of go which we’ve planted in hundreds of communities around the country,” says Benson, “often with the assistance of local volunteers working with their community’s youth librarians. The library clubs are nurtured with the equipment made possible by generous go players.”

The AGF provided most of the funding to broadcast and archive the sessions at the 2012 International Go Symposium and the AGF also provided $11,000 in scholarships for kids to attend this year’s US Go Congress and US Go Camp, as well as $1,000 for new go comics on the TigersMouth website. The $1,000 AGF College Scholarships reward college bound organizers and “We just received a shipment of $15,000 worth of boards, stones, and bowls to replenish our supplies for youth programs.”

“If you have helped the AGF before,” urges Benson, “please renew your support. If you haven’t, please start now.”

 

2012 SportAccord World Mind Games: Korea Tops China to Win World Mind Games Pair Go Championship

Wednesday December 19, 2012

Korea Tops China to Win World Mind Games Pair Go Championship: Korea’s Choi Jeong and Choi Chulhan are the 2012 Pair Go champs at the SportAccord World Mind Games, defeating the Chinese team of Li He and Jiang Weijie in a nearly 3-hour marathon game on December 19 in Beijing, China.

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“This is another high-level pair go match that’s virtually indistinguishable from a regular one-on-one game,” says Michael Redmond 9P in his detailed commentary (right) on the game. “As in the second-round game between China and Japan, the outcome of the game is determined by the fight in the center, and, also as in that game, there’s a late-stage turn of fortune that’s decisive.” The Round 3 Russia-Canada game “is a good example of the players consciously using Pair Go tactics and techniques,” says Redmond in his commentary, “such as setting each other up or the use of forcing moves to allow one’s partner to make a strategic choice.” Click here for Ranka’s complete final report on the Pair Go tournament, including Round 2 action and a collage of photos of other mind sports. And check out the SAWMG YouTube Channel for Michael Redmond’s live game commentary with E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock and a special appearance by Janice Kim.

2012 SportAccord World Mind Games: Pair Go Final Features China-Korea Showdown; School Visit; Redmond Exhibition Game

Tuesday December 18, 2012

Pair Go Tourney Final Features China-Korea Showdown: It’s China vs. Korea in the Pair-Go final at the 2012 Beijing SportAccord World Mind Games, which will be held on Wednesday, December 19, beginning at 9:30A local time. The Chinese team of Jiang Weijie 9 and Li He 3P will face Choi Chulhan 9P and Choi Jeong 2P of Korea; watch for live broadcast on Cyberoro and Michael Redmond’s game commentary on the SAWMG Channel. The semi-final rounds on Tuesday afternoon featured some tremendously exciting games, including the China-Japan match (click here for Michael Redmond 9P’s commentary), which was shaping up as an upset by Japan before a momentary lapse handed the win to China in the late endgame. Click here for Ranka’s first-round and second-round reports; photo of the round 1 Hungary (l)-China (r) game by Ivan Vigano.

School Visit:
December 17 dawned clear and cold in Beijing, excellent weather for a group of World Mind Games go players and officials from China,

Chinese Taipei, Japan, Korea, and North America to pay an afternoon visit to the Shuang Huayuan campus of the Beijing Chaoyang Fangcaodi International school to take on thirty-three primary schoolchildren in simultaneous games. Click here for Ranka’s full report. photos by Ivan Vigano

Su Sheng-fang: The Ranka Interview 
Su Sheng-fang, the 16-year-old pro from Chinese Taipei, was one of the eight unseeded players in the women’s division at the World Mind Games. She started playing go at the age of eight; “I was a noisy child and I wasn’t good at arithmetic, so Mother started sending me to a go club. She thought it would do me good,” said Su (left). She was the amateur women’s champion in Chinese Taipei three years in a row and last year made professional shodan. Click here for Ranka’s complete report; photo by Ivan Vigano

Game Commentary: Redmond Exhibition Game
W: Michael Redmond 9P

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B: Naijing Sun 6D
Commentary: Michael Redmond 9P
Edited by Chris Garlock

Sun, an amateur 6-dan, played very strongly in this limited-time exhibition game on Sunday, December 16; his play in the opening was professional level and he showed great fighting spirit.  Sun was the winner of the Pandanet-SportAccord Online Go Tournament and an official guest at the World Mind Games in Beijing.

Scientists at the 2012 International Go Symposium

Tuesday December 18, 2012

The 2012 International Go Symposium in Black Mountain, North Carolina attracted leading scholars and researchers from around the world for two days of presentations and discussions on the many aspects of the game of go. Hours of footage have now been edited down and posted online to accompany the conference papers. This 3-part series covers highlights of Symposium presentations by teachers, scientists, historians and anthropologists. 

In addition to the teachers and social scientists whose presentations have been described previously in this series, several computer scientists and mathematicians brought their colleagues up to date on recent advances in those areas at the 2012 Symposium. Programmers have been trying to create strong go programs since the creation of the first computers in the 1950’s, but their efforts were so ineffective that go was dubbed “the fruit fly of artificial intelligence.” Top-level play is still an exclusive human domain, but these days computers are closing in, thanks largely to the so-called “Monte Carlo Tree Search” (MCTS) technique, which selects each move by playing out hundreds of thousands of games and choosing the move that seems to win the most games. ZenGo, an MCTS-based program, recently defeated the legendary Takemiya – twice! And in October, playing as “Zen19″, ZenGo finished nearly 200 games over a four-day period on KGS, ending with a ranking of 5D.  Jacques Basaldúa, the author of GoKnot, reviews the basics of the MCTS algorithm and explains how a new filtering mechanism known as “CLOP optimization” is making programs stronger than ever (right)Francois van Niekerk also looks at MCTS, focusing on its unique ability to make use of parallelization and supercomputers.

In the world of mathematics, Prof. Elwyn Berlekamp and others have been exploring how to calculate the “temperature” of endgame moves, for instance in Berlekamp’s Chilling Gets The Last Point. Bill Spight, who wrote a chapter about Berlekamp’s “Coupon Go” in More Games of No Chance, presents some further thoughts on Berlekamp’s concept of “thermographic” analysis, and discovers surprisingly deep questions of life and death on the 3×3 board. Kyle Blocher uses combinatorial game theory in a different way, to develop a method for assessing the value of moves that he calls “miai counting”. Another aspect of the game that seems to yield to mathematical analysis is seki, as we learn from Thomas Wolf, the author of Mastering Ladders. Wolf explores how to recognize a seki when it appears, differentiating among “basic”, “linear” and “circular” types and developing a way to express seki in mathematical terms (left).

The AGA and the 2012 US Go Congress are extremely grateful to The International Go Federation for financial support that made this event possible, and to The American Go Foundation for supporting the video recording.  NOTE: Links to all the videos and to associated papers, links and contact information be found at the Symposium website.

Categories: U.S. Go Congress
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2012 SportAccord World Mind Games Day 6: Round 7 Report; Sun Naijing: The Ranka Interview

Sunday December 16, 2012

Round 7 Report
The four players took their seats in the playing room at the Beijing International Conference Center ten minutes before the starting time of round 7. Choi Chulhan and Kang Dongyoon, playing for the men’s individual gold medal and $100,000 sat facing each other in stony Korean silence. Li He and Rui Naiwei, playing for the women’s individual gold medal and $40,000, chatted cheerily in Chinese. The silver medals come with awards of $40,000 (men) and $20,000 (women). Click here for the full reportwinner’s photos by Ivan Vigano

Up Next: Pair Go
This is not the end of the go competition at the World Mind Games in Beijing. Starting on December 18th, Li, Lin, and the two Choi’s will contend for further medals in the pair go competition, where Choi Chulhan is partnered with Choi Jeong, Li He with Jiang Weijie, and Lin Chi-han with Joanne Missingham.

Sun Naijing: The Ranka Interview
Only one game took place in the playing room at the Beijing International Convention Center on the morning of December 16. Sun Naijing (right), winner of the Pandanet-SportAccord Online Go Tournament and official guest at the World Mind Games, took on Michael Redmond (left) in a regulation game with clocks, broadcast live on the Internet by Sina.com. ” I tried my best, but I was playing a professional 9-dan, and he was much stronger,” Sun said. Though Sun spent most of the game rescuing a large black group, he says that “As an amateur player, I play more for fun than to win.” Click here for the full interview and Michael Redmond’s game commentaryphoto by Ivan Vigano

2012 SportAccord World Mind Games Day 5: Choi Chulhan 9P Wins Men’s Gold, Li He 3P is Women’s Champion; Lin Chi-han 9P: The Ranka Interview

Sunday December 16, 2012

Choi Chulhan 9P Wins Men’s Gold, Li He 3P is Women’s Champion: Choi Chulhan 9P and Li He 3P are the champions of the SportAccord World Mind Games, with Choi (Korea) defeating Kang Dongwan 9P (Korea) in the Men’s Individual event and Li (China) upsetting Rui Naiwei 9P (China) in the Women’s Individual on December 16.  Click here to download Michael Redmond’s commentaries on both games.
Game Commentary: Round 7 (Men’s Individual Final): Choi-Kang
This is an all-Korean final for the 2012 SAWMG Men’s Individual title. The players are top Korean players who have confidence in their reading abilities, which are on full display in this exciting game.
Game Commentary: Round 7 (Women’s Individual Final): Choi-Kang
Rui is a strong fighter, as well as a tenacious player. She’s been at or close to the top of the women’s game for quite a while now. Li, on the other hand, is a new young player who’s recently become very prominent in women’s go.

Lin Chi-han 9P: The Ranka Interview: Chinese Taipei’s Lin Chi-han 9P – who won the third-place bronze medal at this year’s SportAccord World Mind Sports Games — started playing go when he was about six years old. “My uncle could play go, and Mother thought it would be good for me to learn,” he said. When he was about nine or ten he started taking lessons from Lin Sheng-hsian, a 7-dan pro. He became a professional in 2000; he also began studying business administration at Taiwan National University around then. “I graduated in 2004, but I had already starting winning professional tournaments and was committed to a professional career,” Lin said. “My university training may prove useful later when it comes to investing my earnings, but it has not been of any direct use to me as a go player.” When he’s not playing or teaching go, Lin is a big NBA fan. Click here for Ranka’s full interview. photo by Ivan Vigano

Game Commentary: Round 6: Missingham-Kovaleva
Women’s Individual

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W: Joanne Missingham 6P (Taipei)
B: Natalia Kovaleva 5D (Russia)
Commentary: Michael Redmond 9P
Edited by Chris Garlock

I saw Kovaleva in Japan recently at the Pair Go Championships, where she and her partner were among the stronger pairs, and she did well here this week in the SportAccord World Mind Games Women’s Individual event.

In this game against Joanne Missingham 6P, Kovaleva’s attack backfires when Missingham counter-attacks with a devastating ko.

 

2012 SportAccord World Mind Games Day 4: Men’s & Women’s Finals Set for Sunday; Semi-Finals; Game Commentary: Round 6: Lin-Kang

Saturday December 15, 2012

Men’s & Women’s Finals Set for Sunday: The men’s final  in the 2012 SportsAccord World Mind Sports Games is an all-Korea final with Kang Dongyoon 9P against Choi Chulhan 9P, while the women’s is all-Chinese, as Li He faces Rui Naiwei in the final round, which will be played at 3p (local time) on Sunday, December 16. Watch for live broadcast on Cyberoro and Michael Redmond’s game commentary on the SAWMG Channel

Semi-Finals: Round 6 began after lunch on December 15, with the same eight players playing as in the fifth round that morning. This was the round that would decide third, fourth, and fifth places. On the top board China’s Lin Chi-han was playing Korea’s Kang Dongyoon, the winner to proceed into the men’s gold/silver medal final, the loser to take the third-place bronze medal. On the next board China’s Chen Yaoye was playing Korea’s Park Jeonghwan, the winner to finish fourth, the loser fifth. Beside them a similar fourth-fifth place playoff was set up in the women’s division, Chinese Taipei’s Joanne Missingham playing Russia’s Natalia Kovaleva. On the last board, China’s Rui Naiwei faced Korea’s Choi Jeong in the women’s medal battle. Michael Redmond gave the players their starting instructions before heading to the YouTube broadcast booth to comment on the Kang-Lin game. In other World Mind Games news, the day ended with medals for the Open and Women’s Bridge Team and Women and Men Chess Blitz competitions; details on the SAWMG siteClick here for Ranka’s full report, which includes Round 6 results. photo by Ivan Vigano

Game Commentary: Round 6: Lin-Kang

December 15, 2012

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W: Chi-Han Lin 9P (Chinese Taipei)
B: Dongyoon Kang (Korea)
Commentary: Michael Redmond 9P
Edited by Chris Garlock

The winner of this game goes to the final, against Choi Chulhan 9P, with the 2012 SportAccord World Mind Games title and $100,000 on the line.

2012 SportAccord World Mind Games Day 3: Round 4: Final Knockouts; Interview with Bill Lin; Game Commentary: Round 4: Park-Missingham

Saturday December 15, 2012

Round 4: Final Knockouts
After lunch on Friday, December 14, the players began to head for the playing room for the final games of the main men’s and women’s knockouts and six games in the repechage (loser’s) sections.The playing room was set up with the women’s games in the front row and the men’s games in back. The television cameras were trained on the game between Korea’s Park Jieun and Chinese Taipei’s Joanne Missingham in the women’s repechage. In the TV commentator’s booth just outside the playing room, Michael Redmond 9P (at left in photo) and American Go E-Journal Managing Editor — and IGS SAWMG Media Officer — Chris Garlock (right)  were giving a live commentary — available on the SAWMG Channel — on this game for a worldwide audience on 54 platforms in countries from Afghanistan on down. The two players obliged them by playing at a brisk pace in the opening.For the second straight day China’s unbeaten Chen Yaoye found himself facing a Korean opponent. Today it was Choi Chulhan, also unbeaten in the World Mind Games. Click here for Ranka’s full report, which includes Round 4 results. photo by Ivan Vigano

Interview with Bill Lin: Canada’s Bill (Tianyu) Lin was one of the first four players to be eliminated, losing to China’s Jiang Weijie in round 1 and Chinese Taipei’s Lin Chun-yen in round 2. Lin was born in Ningbo, a city south of Shanghai and his family emigrated to Vancouver when he was ten. “My father had been crazy about go in his university days, and there was a go board in the house,” Lin says. “I became very interested in playing five-in-a-row, and then I started playing go. An amateur 5-dan named Fan Jiunling had a go school that I attended twice a week for four and a half years until we emigrated. By then I was an amateur 3 dan in China.” Click here to read James Davies’ complete interview on Ranka. photo: Bill Lin (right) playing against Jiang Weijie; photo by Ivan Vigano

Game Commentary: Round 4: Park-Missingham

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December 14, 2012
W: Jieun PARK 9P (Korea)
B: Joanne MISSINGHAM 6P (Chinese Taipei)
Commentary by Michael Redmond 9P
Edited by Chris Garlock

This is a critical game because whoever loses will be knocked out; this is a double-elimination tournament and both players have one loss.

Joanne Missingham, born in Australia,lived in California for a few years and now represents Taipei; she’s also the official Go Ambassador at the SAWMG.

Park Jieun was one of the first Korean female players to really challenge Rui Naiwei when Rui was playing in Korea. So she’s been one of the top Korean players for quite a while now, and she’d be favored to win this match.