American Go E-Journal » Events/Tournaments

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

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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.

E-Journal & Ranka to Cover 3rd SportAccord World Mind Games

Sunday December 1, 2013

The third edition of the SportAccord World Mind Games is set for December 12-18 in Beijing. The American Go E-Journal will once again team up with Ranka to provide coverage this year, with Michael Redmond 9P and EJ Managing Editor Chris Garlock providing play-by-play game commentary on the SAWMG YouTube channel as well as coverage in the EJ. 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; click here to see the player roster and schedule.

Upcoming European Tournaments: Barcelona Go Seigen, Avalanche

Saturday November 30, 2013

Adrenalina will host the 2014 Barcelona Go Seigen Spanish final qualifying tournament on February 22 and 23. First through fourth places will receive portions of the 900 EU cash prize and books will be offered to the players with best results. Players who register before February 21 will receive discounts. Additionally, players who stay at the Alberguinn youth hostel will have the opportunity to room with other go players. To register or for more information about the tournament, please visit the Barcelona Go Seigen official website.

The 2014 Avalanche tournament will take place during the same dates in Oulu, Finland. In addition to the games, Avalanche will also offer a go players’ sauna evening and lectures by Su Yang 6d. Boasting the largest prize pool in Finland, cash prizes will be offered to the top three players. Registration fees are determined by rank, not by date. However, players under 18 years of age at the time of the tournament can enjoy a 5 EU discount. To register or for more information, please visit the official Avalanche 2014 website.
Annalia Linnan; for complete listings, check out the European Tournament Calendar

Big Jubango Between Lee Sedol & Gu Li Set To Start In January

Friday November 29, 2013

MLily 2014 jubangoThe dates for the much-anticipated match between Lee Sedol 9p (top left) and Gu Li 9p (bottom left) have finally been announced. The jubango, or ten-game match, will begin on January 26, 2014 in Beijing. Sponsor MLily will award the first player to win six games with 5 million RMB (approximately 820,000 USD). The other player will receive a consolation prize of 200,000 RMB (approximately 33,000 USD). If the score is tied 5-5, the prize will be split without a tie-breaker.

“I think these two players are the best choice for a jubango, and the games will be very exciting,” said Liu Siming, president of the Chinese Weiqi Association. “There hasn’t been a jubango like this in the last 70 years, but we’ve pushed ahead to make this one happen.” With twenty-one international titles between the two of them, Liu considers Lee and Gu “still the best” among today’s top players. Liu also delivered the exciting news that each of the ten games will be played in a different city.

Gu and Lee themselves, though, are trying to stay humble. When asked how he will prepare for the jubango, Gu said, “This match will be a very important part of my career and life.” He has already logged many hours studying to prepare. As for Lee, he does not believe that being the top ranked Korean player has anything to do with how the jubango will unfold. “There were many lightning games in the first half of 2013, and I lost many of them,” Lee said. “However there have been more games with longer time limits in the second half of the year, and I’ve been able to achieve better results in those games. That’s all there is to it.”

For more information about the 2014 MLily Gu vs Lee jubango, please visit Go Game Guru. For the full jubango schedule, please visit Go Game Guru’s Pro Go Calendar.
–- Annalia Linnan, based on a longer article by Go Game Guru, photo courtesy of Go Game Guru

EuroGoTV Update: Czech Republic, Germany, Ukraine

Friday November 29, 2013

Czech Republic: Lukas Podpera 5d (left) dominated the Go Baron Qualification on November 24 in Praha. Behind him were Jan Simara 6d in second and Jan Hora 6d third. Germany: Tobias Berben 4d bested Ji Lu 4d at the Rahlstedter Tengen, Gruppe A on November 17 in Hamburg while Tonny Claasen 4d placed third. Ukraine: At the J. Liedovskoj Memorial tournament in Kharkiv on November 10, Oleksandr Hilliazov 1k came in first, Mykhailo Kovalov 3d in second, and Oleh Lustenko 1k 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

Kisei Match Final to Be Held in Madrid

Thursday November 28, 2013

38th kisei tournamentNam-Ban Madrid Go Club will host the first game of the 38th Japanese Kisei Tournament in Alcala de Henares (Madrid) on January 11 and 12. Current Meijin and Honinbo title-holder Yamashita Keigo 9d (left) will battle defending champion Iyama Yuta 9d. In addition to the main tournament, Nam-Ban Madrid Go Club will also host an Open Side Tournament for amateur go players that will parallel the Kisei title match. Cash prizes will be available for first through fifth place along with additional prizes for the top three Spanish players and top five women players. Players who register before January 1 will enjoy significant discounts. To encourage youth players, tournament sponsors will offer more than 30 scholarships for players under age 20. The scholarship includes free registration, lodging, and transportation between Madrid and Alcala de Henares.

First celebrated in 1976, the Keisei (in English, “Go Saint”) Tournament has become “the most prestigious professional tournament in Japan” with a prize pool of ¥42,000,000 (approx $6.9 million). To register or for more information about this year’s tournament including rules, schedule, and lodging information, please visit the official Keisei website.

—Annalia Linnan; for complete listings, check out the European Tournament Calendar; photo courtesy of Kisei 2014. NOTE: this post has been updated to reflect that the Kisei game will be the first of the tournament, not the final game, as previously reported.