The recent Pair Go World Cup in Japan prompted your correspondent to post this photo from the May 15 Pair Go Games at the Seattle Go Center. All 16 contestants were kyu players, so the emphasis was on having fun, and trying to play turns in the correct order. The intermission featured oolong tea from Taiwan, presented by Huei-Ling Shiang. Table 2 winners were Lucy Wang and Bryan Newbold. Table 1 winners were Brian Allen and Deborah Niedermeyer. The Seattle Go Center is planning a gala Holiday Pair Go Tournament for December of this year. Photo: Table 1. Photo and Report by Brian Allen
American Go E-Journal » Events/Tournaments
Sunday July 17, 2016
Tuesday July 12, 2016
Michael Redmond 9P is graciously providing all E-Journal readers with a set of tsumego problems featured at the 2016 pro pair go tournament. Of course, these problems are quite tough, but nevertheless entertaining to everyone, especially because Michael will later provide each solution.
In this tsumego contest, each pair has up to 10 minutes to answer each problem, but only the first 5 pairs can answer. The race to answer first makes these problems highly challenging. After signalling having an answer, a pair must play each move within 5 seconds. The pair team plays Black’s moves, while the composer plays White’s, which allows the composers to show their favorite variation for White.
Michael gives this interesting background for this tsumego from Ohashi Hirofumi 6P:
“This problem is misleading, in that Black’s first and 3rd moves are relatively easy to find, while White 4 is counter-intuitive. Ohashi tells me that he saw surprise and maybe shock in the top Chinese pairs faces when he played move 4, but Ke Jie quicky recovered, flickering his fingers in a burst of concentration, and was in time to give the correct answer.“
Monday July 11, 2016
Jeremy Chiu 6d and Luoyi Yang 4d swept the preliminaries of the 2016 Redmond Cup, beating out last year’s champions Albert Yen 7d and Ary Cheng 4d. However, both defending champions will have a chance for revenge in the finals. All four youth have won a free trip to congress to compete in person.
The Senior Division featured a field of 16 players under the age of 18, including five former Redmond Cup Finalists. Chiu 6d, age 14, seeded fourth by rating, displayed his power by sweeping the competition, including last year’s champion Yen, and 4-time Redmond Cup champion Aaron Ye 7d. This will be Chiu’s second appearance in the Redmond Cup Finals since 2014. “The preliminaries were very tough and I faced many strong opponents,” Chiu told the E-J, “however, I think I played quite well, and fortunately, I was able to come out on top.”
The battle for the second coveted spot in the finals came down to defending champion Yen, and newcomer Muzhen (Alan) Ai 7d, both boys are 16 years old. Yen came out on top, ending with a 5-1 record and losing only to Chiu. “I am very happy to make the finals again, and I hope to continue my strong performance from last year,” Yen told the EJ.
The Junior Division featured seven budding dan players all below the age of 13, including both of last year’s finalists, Ary Cheng 4d, age 10, and Raymond Feng 2d, age 12. However, newcomer Luoyi Yang 4d, age 12, of Canada came out firing, sweeping the competition. The race for second place was much tighter, and a bit over halfway through the tournament, it seemed that defending champion Ary Cheng would be the likely candidate to make the finals with a 3-1 record. However, nine-year old Matthew Cheng 2d (not related to Ary) upset the defending champion and won the rest of his games to take second place by one SODOS point. Because Matthew is also this year’s Junior representative for the World Youth Go Championships, which occurs the same time as the Redmond Cup Finals, he chose to give up his spot in the finals, and Ary Cheng will have the chance to defend his title.
The Redmond Cup Finals is a best-of-3 match that will occur at the US Go Congress this year, complete with KGS broadcasts and live video commentary by pros. The matches will occur on 7/31, 8/2, and 8/4 (if necessary) at 3 pm EDT. Stay tuned for more detailed player profiles about this year’s finalists. - Story by Justin Teng, photos courtesy Jeremy Chiu (l) and Luoyi Yang (r).
Sunday July 10, 2016
China’s Yu Zhiying and Ke Jie (right) have won the 2016 Pair Go World Cup, defeating Chinese Taipei’s Joanne Missingham and Chen Shih Iuan in the final on Sunday afternoon in Tokyo and collecting the top prize of 10 million yen ($100,000 USD). The two finalist teams earned their berths by defeating Korea’s Choi/Park and Oh/Choi (also Korea) in the semifinals on Sunday morning. Korea’s Choi Jeong and Park Junghwan took third place. Click here for complete standings and details. The tournament field was comprised of 32 players in 16 teams, three teams from Japan, two teams each from China, Korea, Taipei and Europe, and one each from North America, Central/South America, Oceania/Africa, Asia and one team made of the winners of the 26th Amateur Pair Go Championship (who are from Korea).
The remainder of the field participated in a unique Friendship Shuffle Match on Sunday, in which partners were randomly shuffled and brand new pairs formed. As on Saturday, hundreds of local go fans packed the hall to watch the matches and game commentaries.
- report/photos by Chris Garlock. Photo at left (l-r): Ko Rei Bun, Francisco d’Albuquerque, Nei Wei Ping, Takemiya Masaki and Michael Redmond study one of Sunday morning’s matches.
Saturday July 9, 2016
Rain and wind from the edges of Typhoon Nepartak swirled outside Hikarie Hall in in Tokyo’s upscale Shibuya neighborhood Saturday morning as the 2016 Pair Go World Cup contestants gathered for the tournament’s first round. As is traditional at Pair Go events, the players were dressed up, many in outfits native to their countries, and the 32 players made a fine sight as they paraded, two by two, into the playing area. Promptly at 11a, the round began, and shortly thereafter, spectators crowded in to watch, deepest around top player Iyama Yuta and his partner Hsieh Yi Min.
Pair Go at this level is a deeply thrilling game, combining the beauty of go with the excitement of a team sport. Although players cannot betray any hint of their feelings or react to moves, there’s an unmistakable electricity in the air that comes from the intense focus of four players over the go board.
There were no surprises in the first round, as the Central/South American team of Rosario Papeschi and Fernando Aguilar lost to hometown favorites Hsieh Yi Min and Iyama Yuta (above right), Oceania/Africa’s Amy Song and David He fell to Korea’s Choi Jeong and Park Jeonghwan, while Europe’s Natalia Kovaleva and Ilya Shikshin lost to China’s Yu Zhiying and Ke Jie and Chinese Taipei’s Chang Kai Hsin and Wang Yuan Jyun fell to Korea’s Jeon Yujin and Song Hongsuk.
On the other side of the draw, North Americans Sarah Yu and Eric Lui had no trouble dispatching Asia’s Pattraporn Aroonphaichitta and Nuttakrit Tarchaamnuayvit (left), Chinese Taipei’s Joanne Missingham and Chen Shih Iuan beat Japan’s Wang Jong Yi, Japan’s Mukai Chiaki and Ichiriki Rui defeated Europe’s Rita Pocsai and Ali Jabarin and Korea’s Oh Yujin and Choi Chulhan prevailed over China’s Wang Chenxing and Shi Yue.
After traditional Japanese box lunches, Round 2 began at 2:30. The playing room had been completely reset, the eight original boards (32 players, two pairs to a board) now shrunk to four. As play began, spectators again flooded in to watch, while hundreds more watched on monitors in an auditorium next door, where professionals provided commentary and children tried their hand at solving life and death problems in the Panda Sensei tent in the back of the hall.
Back on the boards, epic battles were playing out as the pairs fought to get to the semi-finals on Sunday. The North American team got into a major ko fight with Taipei’s Missingham/Chen early on that they had to win and never really recovered, though Sarah Yu later said “I really enjoyed the fight.” Korea’s Oh/Choi beat Japan’s Chiaki/Ryo, China’s Yu/Ke won over Korea’s Jeon/Song and Korea’s Choi/Park defeated Japan’s Hsieh/Iyama. So Yu/Ke will face Choi/Park and Missingham/Chen will face Oh/Choi in the semi-finals on Sunday. Latest results here.
Photo (l-r): Ke Jie, Nie Wei Ping, his son Ko Rei Bun and Yu Zhiying review the Ke/Yu Round 1 game while Michael Redmond looks on.
- report/photos by Chris Garlock
Friday July 8, 2016
Thirty two players comprising sixteen teams gathered Thursday in Tokyo to launch the second Pair Go World Cup. First invented in 1990 by Hisao and Hiroko Taki to attract more female players to the game, Pair Go has grown steadily in popularity around the world and the Pair Go Association now boasts 74 member countries and territories.
After an elegant Japanese box lunch at the Cerulean Towers Tokyu Hotel in the Shibuya district, the players assembled for the draw ceremony to determine their first-round opponents. With a top prize of $10M JPY, organizers have attracted an impressive array of top players, including Ke Jie – Yu Zhiying (China); Iyama Yuta – Hsieh Yimin (Japan); Park Junghwan – Choi Jeong (Korea) and Chen Shih-Iuan – Hei Jiajia (Taiwan). Notable pairs from the West include Eric Lui – Sarah Yu (North America); Fernando Aguilar – Rosario Papeschi (Latin America) and Ilya Shikshin – Natalia Kovaleva (Europe). All games will be broadcast on Pendant. “I’m very excited to see top professionals and top amateurs gathered here,” said an obviously pleased Mrs. Taki, who then conducted a warm series of interviews with the players.
The highlight of the afternoon was the Panda Sensei Tsume-Go Challenge, showing off the Pandanet Sensei life and death computer program, which has been developed over the last 30 years and on which many tsumego creators rely to check their work. In a dramatic timed competition, the professional pairs were given a series of high-level tsumego problems. They had 10 minutes to solve each problem; the first five pairs to hit the call button won the right to show their solution to the judges, led by the famous Ishida Yoshio, also known as “The Computer.” Correct answers were worth up to five points each, while wrong answers penalized the incorrect team two points. Onlookers crowded around the players as they raced to solve the problems, and it was quite entertaining to see top-level professional players wrestling with reading out problems in real time and often, just like amateurs, missing key moves that refuted their solutions. Perhaps not surprisingly, Pandanet Sensei crushed the contest, scoring 24 points; the Chinese team of Ke Jie – Yu Zhiying (top right) scored just 6 points to take second place and the Korean team’s 4 points was enough to take home third place. Acknowledging that the problems were tough and the solving time short, Ishida (at left, refuting a solution from Japan’s Iyama Yuta and Hsieh Yimin) admitted that “I had fun watching all the trouble the top players got into” trying to solve them.
The Pair Go tournament begins Saturday, with two rounds scheduled, followed by semi-finals Sunday morning and the final Sunday afternoon. All games will be broadcast on Pendant.
- report/photos by Chris Garlock
Thursday July 7, 2016
Monday July 4, 2016
The American Go Foundation has selected Paul Lockhart as the 2016 Teacher of the Year. Lockhart wins an all expenses paid trip to the US Go Congress in Boston, where he will hold an informal round table discussion about his experiences teaching children. “What a terrific honor,” said Lockhart, “I am delighted to accept, and I look forward to the opportunity to meet and speak with other go teachers around the country.” Lockhart is well known in academic circles for his 2009 book A Mathematician’s Lament: How School Cheats Us Out of Our Most Fascinating and Imaginative Art Form. “For the past 15 years I have been happily teaching Go at Saint Ann’s School in Brooklyn, NY,” adds Lockhart. “What began with four High School students and a magnetic travel go set has grown into a vibrant school-wide go culture, including an after school go club, annual tournaments, classes, seminars, and faculty participation. I am especially pleased with the excitement and energy among the younger students. Most of our club players are under 10, and many of our strongest High School players began playing go as kindergarteners. It has been a fantastic learning experience for me as well.”
Lockhart is also well known in the go community, as the father of Will Lockhart (Director of The Surrounding Game film) and Ben Lockhart 7d, who has studied professionally in Korea and is seeking to become an AGA Professional. “The current partnership with the ING foundation, which along with the American Collegiate Go Association (founded by Will Lockhart), holds large go expos each year with hundreds of attendees, as well as The Surrounding Game documentary film, would not be possible had Paul not introduced go into our lives in such a meaningful way; a way that gave us such love and interest in the game that we both had no choice but to dedicate our lives to go,” writes Ben Lockhart. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo: Paul Lockhart (standing) teaching at St. Ann’s School.
Wednesday June 29, 2016
This year’s US Go Congress in Boston “is shaping up to be the largest Go Congress ever!” reports Walther Chen. “Please help us make it a success by renewing your AGA membership and paying your outstanding balance in advance. This will help you avoid long queues during registration day at the Go Congress.” Also, he reminds Congress attendees that you have until June 30 to get a no-questions-asked full refund and if you register and pay on-site at Congress, there is a $100 late fee. “See you soon!”
Wednesday June 22, 2016
This year’s US Go Congress organizers have lined up “an exciting ‘Computer Go Afternoon’” reports Chun Sun. “We are honored to have Yuandong Tian from Facebook Research, who will present ‘DarkForest: A DCNN-based open source Go engine,’ on the afternoon of August 4.” Also lined up is John Tromp, who has calculated the exact number of legal go positions, and who will present a lecture on the subject on August 4. As previously reported, Google Deepmind is coming to the Congress this year as well. In addition to giving the opening keynote on Saturday, July 30, Google Deepmind’s Aja Huang and Hui Fan 2P will also present an “AlphaGo Insider” lecture on August 4th’s “Computer Go afternoon,” focusing on the developer community. “After these exciting presentations, DarkForest will play Andy Liu 1p at 3 handicaps,” Chun Sun adds. As the new “JustGo” live recording/broadcasting app will be demoing around the lounge and playing room.