American Go E-Journal » Events/Tournaments

5 MINUTES WITH: Carlos Joels, Peru

Sunday May 30, 2010

Stuck at home sick a few years ago, Carlos Joels 1k of Peru was channel surfing when he came across a strangely fascinating game being played on Japanese TV. He had been a chess player, but was bored with it because of the constant repetition of the moves and, seeing the go board he realized that this offered more scope for innovative play and decided to learn the game. The 25-year-old — who has just graduated with a degree in economics — has now been playing go for a year and a half, playing every day and going to the go club in Lima every week where there are about 10 players. Next year, he plans to go to Taiwan to learn Chinese. “Of course,” he says with great excitement, “there is a go club there where I hope I will improve very fast.”
- None Redmond, special correspondent to the E-Journal; photo by John Pinkerton

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WAGC CREDITS & ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Sunday May 30, 2010

We hope you’ve enjoyed this year’s expanded coverage of the World Amateur Go Championship, as the E-Journal and Ranka online teamed up again this year. It would not have been possible without the support and help of many dedicated people and organizations, first and foremost the International Go Federation – which does so much to spread go around the world – and its tireless Secretary General Yuki Shigeno, one of the hardest-working (and nicest) go organizers we know. The China Qi-Yuan and it’s Hangzhou Branch hosted a terrific event this year and we look forward to returning in 2012 to explore more go in China.
Michael Redmond 9P’s game commentaries were, as always, simply brilliant. His keen insights and ability to home in on the key points of each game this week should be required reading for go players of all strengths. He’s also just a lot of fun to work with and we’re very pleased to announce that he’s generously agreed to become a regular contributor to the E-Journal. We were also very fortunate to have Michael’s wife, Xianxian Niu 3P, contribute game commentaries, as well, working with IGF VP Eduardo Lopez Herrero to provide game commentaries in Spanish.
It was once again a real pleasure to get to work side by side with the unflappable Ranka online editor Ivan Vigano, who’s as committed to high-quality go journalism as we are and has a great sense of humor, which makes the long days together during the WAGC pass far too quickly.
We cannot praise longtime go writer James Davies too highly: the legion fans of his books already know he’s a great writer, but to see him in action this week as he quietly soaked up the details of each round, caught players for a quick quote and pulled it all together with a depth of knowledge of go’s rules, history and culture was like attending a weeklong master seminar in go writing.
Photographer John Pinkerton’s evocative photos speak for themselves, and he continues to be a tried and true fellow go traveler, always up for one more adventure, one more shot.
We always seem to pick up a few new team members and this year was no exception. The biggest – and nicest – surprise contributor was of course None Redmond, often referred to as “Michael’s mom” but now, we hope, thanks to her lovely series of player portraits this week, as our very own “Special Correspondent.” We look forward to working with her again in the future. Thanks also to Alain Cano, who put together the terrific standings chart for us, and Jing Ning Xue for translation help. Very special thanks to Thomas Hsiang, who always had time for our questions despite juggling his many roles and responsibility. Thomas should be appointed the AGA’s permanent ambassador to the rest of the world, but he should also be cloned before we burn the poor man out.
Our thanks and deep gratitude also to the American Go Association’s leadership and membership for your continued strong support for the E-Journal and AGA website, which have become such important resources for go players and organizers around the world. If we have forgotten anyone – and we probably have – we apologize in advance and are confident that you’ll let us know so that we can give credit where it’s due.
- Chris Garlock, Managing Editor; photo by Yuki Shigeno

WAGC GAME COMMENTARIES: Round 7

Saturday May 29, 2010

See below for Michael Redmond 9P’s commentaries on four Round 7 game records (click on “link” to download the sgf or “read more” for the online viewer): Nai San Chan 6d (Hong Kong) vs Yongfei Ge 7d (Canada, at right); Alexey Lazarev 6d (Russia) vs Song Hong Suk 7d (S Korea); Ondrej Silt 6d (Czechia) vs Yohei Sato 6d (Japan); Jo Tae Won 7d (N Korea) vs Wang Chen 7d (China).
CLICK HERE for latest standings, courtesy of Alain Cano

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ROUNDS 6 &7 HIGHLIGHTS: Korea Looking to Lock Down 2010 WAGC; Czechia Pushing for Best in The West

Saturday May 29, 2010

With just one round left to play, Korea appears to have a lock on the 2010 World Amateur Go Championship. Hongsuk Song (r) defeated Naisan Chan (l) of Hong Kong in Round 6 on Friday and Lazareev Alexey of Russia Saturday morning to extend his thus-far unbroken string of wins to seven. He’s strongly favored in his Round 8 game against Czechia’s Ondrej Silt, who seems to have a solid grip on the best showing for Europe and the West. The winner of the China-Hong Kong game should be a shoo-in for second place, and the battle for third is in flux, with Taipei and North Korea in contention. Sweden’s Fredrik Blomback and Hungary’s Pal Balogh have turned in excellent results and should make the top ten, while the chances of North America – the U.S., Canada and Mexico are all 4-3 — breaking back into that group are looking pretty slim. Check out James Davies’ thorough report on Round 6 on Ranka online (with a Round 7 report expected soon) and click here for latest standings.
- Chris Garlock; photo by John Pinkerton

U.S. MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN WORLD GO

Saturday May 29, 2010

“The U.S. is making a real difference in world go,” a visibly tired but happy-looking Thomas Hsiang (below, standing) told me Friday night after yet another long day doing double-duty as IGF Director and WAGC player for the U.S. Right after the day’s rounds wrapped up Friday afternoon – he lost to Korea and Hungary — Hsiang was off to help prep for the WAGC’s first-ever drug tests of the top players at the conclusion of the tournament on Saturday. “We must do this from now on to maintain our membership in the International Mind Sports Association,” Hsiang said. He’s serving as the sole Western representative on the arbitration committee for the upcoming Asian Games, and also noted that the United States had been among those advocating for the new three-country support format for the WAGC, with Japan, China and Korea sharing financial responsibility. “There was quite a bit of resistance at first,” Hsiang noted, “but when (main sponsor) JAL’s funding dried up, it became a more receptive environment and things worked out.” Hsiang, an IGF Director who serves as the U.S. representative to the International Go Federation, has also been the lead representative to the World Mind Sports Games. He also noted this year’s second annual collaboration between the IGF’s Ranka online and the American Go E-Journal in teaming up to cover the WAGC. “These are all important developments in world go, and it’s largely an unknown story, but the reality is that we are somebody now, and making real contributions to international go.”
- Chris Garlock; photo by John Pinkerton

FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS: Kicking It With The Kids

Saturday May 29, 2010

“I almost got beat by a 6-year-old!” exclaimed Mexico’s Emil Garcia Bustamente. None of the other players in the room responded: they were too busy battling with other pint-sized go-terrors. Friday’s 6th round had just concluded a few hours previously, but the casual player’s room was jammed with WAGC players taking on young dan students from the Hangzhou Go Association who were equally eager to take on the world’s best amateurs. The kids played with blazing speed as the older players – even 17-year-old Thomas Debarre of France was an oldster compared to the six- and seven-year-olds — muttered their disbelief – and appreciation — in a dozen languages.
- Chris Garlock, photos by Garlock (l) & John Pinkerton (top right)

5 MINUTES WITH: Vesa Laatikainen, Finland

Saturday May 29, 2010

When Vesa Laatikainen was a high school student he bought a book about different games and decided to learn go because it looked attractive.  He enjoyed the different patterns the stones made on the board. He’s now been making those patterns for 27 years.  He studies every day — mostly professional games — and when he is at home he goes to the go club in Helsinki twice a week, where there are between 10 and 20 players of varying strengths. He’s also enjoying passing along his love for the game to his 10-year-old daughter.
- None Redmond, special correspondent for the E-Journal; photo by John Pinkerton

GO PHOTOS: Player Portraits

Saturday May 29, 2010

- Photos by John Pinkerton

5 MINUTES WITH: David Ormerod, Australia

Saturday May 29, 2010

When David Ormerod (l) and a friend saw the film “Pi” in 2002, they thought that go looked like an interesting game, so they found a go board and taught themselves to play, eventually hooking up with a go club in Melbourne. They started a small go club in the university and later on Ormerod began his own company selling chess and go equipment online. Although he had no difficulty selling chess equipment to schools — for a while he worked teaching chess in school — selling go equipment and teaching go, proved difficult because no one had ever heard of it. Ormerod met his wife Jing Ning Xue at university in Melbourne, and the two recently married and moved to Canberra in the Australian Capital Territory, where they both work for the Australian government. In addition to playing go together, the two enjoy biking and Latin dancing. While they were part of a community of several hundred go players in Melbourne, Canberra, is a much smaller place and it’s a good thing it just takes two to play, as often Ormerod and Australian Go Association President Neville Smythe are the only attendees at the local go club.
- None Redmond, special correspondent for the E-Journal; photo by John Pinkerton

WAGC GAME COMMENTARIES: Round 6

Saturday May 29, 2010

See below for Michael Redmond 9P’s commentaries on five Round 6 game records (click on “link” to download the sgf or “read more” for the online viewer): Ondrej Silt 6d (Czechia, at right) vs Fredrik Blomback 5d (Sweden); Song Hong Suk 7d (S Korea) vs Chan Nai San 7d (Hong Kong); Wang Chen 7d (China) vs Cheng-Hsun Chen 6d (Chinese Taipei); Gerardus Petrus Gronen 6d (Netherlands) vs Fernando Aguilar 7d (Argentina); Yohei Sato 6d (Japan) vs Kasper Hornbaek 5d (Denmark)
CLICK HERE for latest standings, courtesy of Alain Cano.

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