American Go E-Journal » Events/Tournaments

ROUND 4 HIGHLIGHTS: China, Hong Kong, Korea & Chinese Taipei Top Field At Mid-Point of Tourney

Thursday May 27, 2010

(posted Thursday, May 27, 8P local time) After the fireworks in the preceding rounds, the fourth round on Thursday afternoon ended with no great surprises. On three of the top four boards, the undefeated players from China, Hong Kong, and Korea won by resignation against the previously undefeated players from the US, Sweden, and Poland. On the fourth top board Fernando Aguilar of Argentina played doggedly to the end against Cheng-hsun Chen of Chinese Taipei, but lost by 7.5 points.
At the other end of the field, four players picked up their first wins. Rodrigo Edmundo Carpio Cordero of Ecuador, at 7 kyu the tournament’s lowest-ranked player, scored a mild upset against Sandeep Dave 6k of India, and Pedro Miguel Martins Cremona of Portugal won by a generous margin against Csaba Deak of Brazil while Jose Miguel Gomez Pinto (l) of Chile won against Daniel Antonio Vargas Campos of Costa Rica and Joseph Michael Galero of the Philippines rebounded from his morning loss to Francesca Mauri by beating Jean Nepomucene Rakotondravelo of Madagascar by 17.5 points. Maria Puerta of Venezuela scored her second win of the day — and third win of the tournament — against John Gibson of Ireland (thus earning a fifth-round pairing against Ondrej Silt of Czechia, who defeated Thomas Debarre of France), while Italy’s Francesca Mauri lost to Bertan Bilen of Turkey. The next round on Friday morning will also see a showdown between China’s Chen Wang and Korea’s Hongsuk Song, the players from the two countries that finished first and second last year. This promises to be the most closely-watched of a slate of exciting matches scheduled for Friday morning by the tournament’s pairing computer. In preparation for the upcoming action, most of the players went on an evening sightseeing excursion and dinner party at Hangzhou’s famed West Lake on Thursday night.
- based on James Davies’ report on Ranka online; photo by John Pinkerton

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ROUND 3 HIGHLIGHTS (UPDATED): High Anxiety for Chinese Taipei, All The Women Win, Sweden Notches 3rd Victory

Thursday May 27, 2010

(posted Thursday, May 27 5:11p local time) The Chinese pairing system in use at the WAGC produced a boatload of interesting matches in the third round Thursday morning. Taewon Jo of DPR Korea, who had defeated Yohei Sato of Japan in the second round, now found himself facing 11-year-old Cheng-hsun Chen of Chinese Taipei. The game began with two variations of the avalanche joseki in adjacent corners, leading to a large-scale game with each side amassing over a hundred points worth of territory, including captured enemy groups. Facing an imperturbable opponent, Chen appeared to be in a state of high anxiety in the middle game as referees, reporters, and players whose games had already finished began to gather around the board to watch. At the end, however, he was playing with quick confidence, wining on the board without needing komi. As previously reported, the third round’s big upset occurred on the twentieth board, where Maria Puerta 3k of Venezuela defeated Wan-kao Lou 5d of Macau. “For most of the game he was in control,” Puerta said. “He had a big territory and I had some dead groups, but then late in the game he let me capture four stones. Perhaps it was just lack of caution on his part, but that four-stone capture joined all my groups together, and inside the large space surrounded by them there was a group of his that only had one eye. He still had his big territory left, but it wasn’t enough, so he resigned.” Cementing the 100% women’s win in the round, Francesca Mauri of Italy defeated Joseph Michael Galero of the Philippines. On the other top boards, the players from China, Hong Kong, and Korea remained undefeated by beating opponents from Israel, Canada, and Austria. A pair of North and South Americans also remained defeated: Thomas Hsiang 7d (US) overcame a strong challenge by David Ormerod 5d (Australia), and Fernando Aguilar 7d (Argentina) defeated Pal Balogh 6d (Hungary). Leszek Soldan 5d of Poland likewise remained undefeated, beating Kamon Santipojana 4d of Thailand (in photo at right; see below for Michael Redmond 9Ps commentary on the game), and in an all-European match, 18-year-old Frederik Blomback 5d from Sweden scored his third straight win by handing veteran Christoph Gerlach 6d of Germany his second loss. In the fourth round, the four undefeated Far Eastern players will take on the four undefeated players from Europe and the Americas.
- Based on James Davies’ report on Ranka online; photo by John Pinkerton

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ROUND 3 HIGHLIGHTS: Venezuela Takes Down Macau, Chinese Taipei Defeats North Korea, Hungary Loses to Argentina

Thursday May 27, 2010

Venezuela’s Maria Puerta 3k (L) took down the much stronger – and younger — Wan Kao Lou 5d of Macau in the third round of the World Amateur Go Championships Thursday morning . The 54-year-old Puerta – who’s the President of the Venezuelan Go Association and a Director for the International Go Federation – won an enthusiastic round of applause from her fellow players during the lunch break. In other Round 3 results (click here for latest results, available by 6A EST), Thomas Hsiang 7d (U.S.) defeated David Ormerod 5d (Australia) but faces China’s Wang Chen in the 4th round (click on “read more” below for Michael Redmond 9P’s commentary on Hsiang’s half-point win over France’s Thomas Debarre in Round 2), Chinese Taipei defeated North Korea, Canada lost to Korea, Argentina defeated Hungary and Austria lost to Hong Kong.
- Chris Garlock; Click here for Ranka Online’s complete report. photo by John Pinkerton

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5 MINUTES WITH: T Mark Hall, UK

Wednesday May 26, 2010

T Mark Hall (left, with correspondent None Redmond), the U.K.’s WAGC rep, lives in London, where he works with John Fairbairn to produce the encyclopedic Games of Go on Disk, better-known as GoGod. We interviewed Hall right after his second-round loss to Canada’s Yongfei Ge 7d and he was planning to use GoGod – “a large database of professional go games supported by an extensive fund of programs, data and articles to help existing players enjoy and benefit from these games” – to analyze his game. Hall is a retiree from the British Foreign Office; his first assignment was in Tokyo, where he learned go and spent three years playing whenever he could. His travels have taken him to places around the world, including Milan, Nigeria, Greece, Burma and a 1992 stint in Seoul. Hall plans to take advantage of his WAGC trip to China to explore the country through mid-June. Through the EJ’s extensive network of sources, we have learned that T is Hall’s legal first name, adopted after an employer insisted on using Hall’s first name even though he preferred Mark.
- None Redmond, special correspondent for the E-Journal; photo by John Pinkerton

ROUND 2 HIGHLIGHTS: DPR Korea Downs Japan, U.S. Squeaks By France, Austria Upsets Czechia

Wednesday May 26, 2010

“I didn’t expect to lose on the first day,” said Japan’s Yohei Sato after his second-round loss to Taewon Jo of DPR Korea. Sato “missed a move in the middle game, completely failed to see it,” he said, admitting “This is going to hurt. But perhaps it’s psychologically easier to lose to an opponent like this early on, instead of after winning five or six games in a row.” Thomas Hsiang 7d (U.S.) squeaked out a half-point win over a visibly distraught Thomas Debarre 5d (France). “After the opening I felt I was far ahead, but then he tried hard to catch up and I almost let him do it,’ said Hsiang.
In one of Day 1’s most surprising upsets, Bernhard Scheid 5d (Austria) defeated Ondrej Silt 6d (l)  of Czechia. Silt “made a joseki mistake and so I got the lead,” said Scheid, “but then he managed to complicate the game and my lead became less clear. But then he began to make mistakes in the endgame, and after a while he resigned.” Meanwhile, Lucian Corlan of Romania recovered from his morning defeat by beating Geert Groenen of the Netherlands, Pal Balogh of Hungary downed Yuxiang Lou of Singapore, Ofer Zivony of Isreal beat Kaikun Xie of New Zealand, Leszek Soldan of Poland prevailed over Emil Estuardo Garcia Bustamante of Mexico, and Frederik Blomback of Sweden outplayed Le Khanh Lam Bui of Vietnam. Meanwhile, on the top boards, the players from China, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, and the Republic of Korea rolled to victory over opponents from the Ukraine, Ireland, Denmark, and Switzerland. Summing up his game against Cheng-hsun Chen of Chinese Taipei, Ireland’s John Gibson (r) said “I resigned when I started getting into time trouble and realized that all my groups were dying. Chen had used up 10 minutes and 15 seconds of his time. It might have been 10 minutes and 30 seconds if I hadn’t helped him get his water bottle open. Perhaps that was the best thing I did during the game.’
- based on James Davies’ report on Ranka online; photos by John Pinkerton

AT 20, PAIR GO LOOKS BACK AND AHEAD

Wednesday May 26, 2010

Pair go is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, and World Pair Go Association Vice President Hiroko Taki (l) looked back and ahead in an interview with Ranka on Tuesday. “When we started the pair go movement twenty years ago, we wrote a lot about the significance of fostering pair go, communication in black and white, international goodwill, and so on,” said Mrs. Taki. “At the time, there was a need to attract more players to the game of go, both in Japan and in western countries. There was a particular need to get more women into the game, and of course that would attract more men. We wanted to present pair go as a game played by ladies and gentlemen, to make it more accessible to women. Our no-smoking policy was a big change. Over these twenty years, I’d say that we have reached and exceeded our goals. In the future I hope to see pair go become an established part of every major go tournament.” Following on the success of the professional Pair Go World Cup held in Hangzhou last March, Mrs. Taki says “We’re hoping to hold more pair go world cups, not next year but perhaps once every four years, like the football world cup.” The next big international pair go tournament will be the Asia Games, where pair go will be one of the events. “Looking beyond that, the World Pair Go Association now has 64 member countries,” notes Mrs. Taki. “Our Chairman is Mr. Koichiro Matsuura, former Director-General of UNESCO, so we’re expecting to develop further under his leadership. We are also now participating in the International Go Federation, and will be working with them.” While the WPGA is developing pair go on the Internet, through Pandanet, Mrs. Taki stresses that “in pair go it’s always important for people to meet face to face over the board.”
- based on James Davies’ report on Ranka online; photo by Ivan Vigano

ROUND 1 HIGHLIGHTS: Thailand Surprises Romania, Canada Routs Russia

Wednesday May 26, 2010

Here are highlights of James Davies’ Ranka Online report on the first round at the WAGC: Kamon Santipojana 4d of Thailand surprised Lucian Corlan 5d of Romania when the 21-year-old Thai student took command of the game early…As previously reported (NO SURPRISES AT TOP IN PRELIM 1ST-ROUND WAGC RESULTS), Canada’s Yongfei Ge 7d defeated Alexey Lazarev 6d of Russia when the closely-matched game turned into a hard-fought rout, with Ge beating Lazarev by 24.5 points…See below for the game, with commentary by Michael Redmond 9P (at left with E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock). The evenly-matched contest between a pair of 3-dans from Mongolia and New Zealand also turned into a rout when the Chinese-born New Zealander, 15-year-old Kaikun Xie, easily forced opponent Oyutbileg Tsendjav to resign. Boonping Teng of Malaysia “outplayed me in the first part of the game” said the United Kingdom’s T Mark Hall, complaining of severe jet lag, ‘but then he made a blunder in a ko fight at the very end.’…The game between Csaba Deak of Brazil and Daniel Baumann (r) of Switzerland, both ranked 1-kyu, took a similar course, when Deak also “blundered (in the end) and had to resign.”…Perhaps the last closely-matched first-round game was also fought between kyu-level players John Gibson (2-kyu) of Ireland and Carlos Leon Rios Joels (1-kyu) of Peru. ‘I’m going to play quickly because I’m hoping to exploit my opponent’s nervousness at being in his first world championship,’ said Gibson. Click here for Ranka Online’s complete report. photos by John Pinkerton

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NO SURPRISES AT TOP IN PRELIM 1ST-ROUND WAGC RESULTS

Wednesday May 26, 2010

No surprises at the top in the first round of the World Amateur Go Championship, with China, both Koreas and Taipei winning their games handily. In North America, Thomas Hsiang 7d (US, left) beat Sotirios Ioannides 1k of Cyprus (r), Canada’s Yongfei Ge 7d defeated Alexey Lazarev 6d of Russia and Mexico’s Emil Bustamente 5d beat Janez Janza 3d of Slovenia. One unexpected result among European players was Thailand’s Kamon Santipojana 4d’s win against Romania’s Lucian Corlan 5d. By 6A EST, a complete first-round report – and perhaps a preliminary Round 2 report – will be posted on both the AGA website and Ranka Online.

PRESIDENTIAL GO: THE VIEW FROM THE TOP

Wednesday May 26, 2010

The view of the famous Hangzhou lake district was obscured by haze but all eyes in the 28th-floor suite at the Tian Yuan Tower were riveted on the go board inside. While preparations for the 31st annual World Amateur Go Championships were underway twenty floors below on Monday afternoon, outgoing International Go Federation President Hideo Otake 9P (l) and incoming IGF President Zhenming Chang  (r) were enjoying a quiet game (below, with commentary by Michael Redmond 9P) before a busy schedule that included the IGF General meeting, a press conference and the WAGC’s opening ceremonies and banquet. Chang is Vice Chairman and President of the CITIC Group, a major Chinese firm dealing in finance, real estate, resource development, manufacturing and telecommunications. He’s been playing since he was 9 years old. His middle school team was coached by players like Yigang Hua and Runan Wang, and he won the third New Physical Education Cup in 1979, which had previously been won by Weiping Nie and Zude Chen. He’s a strong proponent of go because of “it’s great training for the mind, especially for children.” As a businessman, he appreciates the game’s strategic aspects. “You learn that you can lose the battle but win the war. Or in business terms, that you can lose money but still come out ahead. You also learn to adapt to different situations, for example, to use different joseki in different positions.” After the game, the two men briefly discussed a few key points of play, then shook hands and stood up. It was time to turn their attention to other, perhaps less fun, but no less important, aspects of world go.
- includes reporting by James Davies and Chris Garlock; photo by John Pinkerton; game commentary by Michael Redmond 9P. CLICK “link” to download the sgf file or “read more” for an online game viewer

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CHINA TO LEAD IGF INTO NEW ERA

Tuesday May 25, 2010

The election of Chang Zhenming of China as President of the International Go Federation (IGF) highlighted the International Go Federation’s General Meeting (r) on Monday as the 31st edition of the IGF’s flagship event – the World Amateur Go Championship – formally launched in Hangzhou, China. “I will give my best effort to promote go to the whole world,” Chang promised, “Go is a benefit for everyone.” The other major news was that while there have been setbacks in the attempt to achieve recognition for go as an Olympic sport, mind sports are making significant progress. IGF Director Thomas Hsiang reported that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) includes mind sports as a category that has “no realistic chance of entering either the Summer or the Winter Olympics,” and so won’t be recognized. The good news is that SportAccord (formerly the General Association of International Sports Federation, or GAISF) is expanding its definition of sport to include mind sport and plans to sponsor a number of new events, including Mind Sport Games. Planning for a second World Mind Sports Games (WMSG) in August 2012 is now underway, with Manchester UK as the leading candidate to host. In even more exciting news, the International Federation of Poker has applied to become an IMSA and SA member, which has attracted interest from several major marketing firms, with which the IGF is now in discussions. Upcoming events either sponsored by the IGF or with major IGF involvement are the 21st International Pair Go Championships October 16-17 in Japan, the 16th Guangzhou Asian Games November 12-27 and the 32nd World Amateur Go Championship in Shimane, Japan.
- Chris Garlock; photo by John Pinkerton. Click here for the complete report and more photos on Ranka Online.