American Go E-Journal » World Amateur Go Championships

WAGC Round 1 Games & An Interview with Alexandr Bukh of Kazakhstan

Sunday September 1, 2013

In these first-round games, very strong players make short work of their

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 weaker opponents. Curtis Tang 6D (US) needed just 100 moves to force a resignation from 4-kyu John Erickson Javier (Phillipines), while Alexandr Bukh 5k (Kazakhstan) didn’t last much longer against Bill Tianyu Lin 7D (Canada), resigning after 103 moves (click here for Michael Redmond’s game commentary). In his game commentaries, Michael Redmond 9P shows how the games were actually over much earlier. We’re also including the uncommented records for the Serbia-Nepal and India-Australia games.
Alexandr Bukh, Kazakhstan’s representative, has only been playing for about five years, and this is his country’s first appearance in the WAGC. “For as long as I can remember I have been captivated by Japanese culture,” he says, “both the new and the old, and this led me to discover the game of go. I spent some time working in a company importing used vehicles from Japan, and through this I had the chance to learn some Japanese.” His visit to Sendai for the WAGC is his first time in Japan. Back home, Bukh travels each week to the city of Karaganda to play at its go club, “which has roughly ten regular players,” and he’s met another twenty or so other players across the country. “Recently there has been a surge in interest in go,” Bukh said, which lead to Kazakhstan’s invitation to play in this year’s WAGC. “The most popular sports in Kazakhstan are ice hockey, soccer and martial arts,” said Bukh, “I hope go will soon become one of them.”
- Bukh interview by John Richardson; game commentary by Michael Redmond; edited by Chris Garlock

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Ranka Online WAGC Highlights: Sunday, September 1

Sunday September 1, 2013

The 34th World Amateur Go Championship Begins: The 34th World Amateur Go Championship began with a rousing opening ceremony and reception at the Sendai International Hotel on the evening of August 31…click here for Ranka’s report.

Round 1: The first round was paired by the traditional WAGC method, which matches the middle half of the field (28 players this year) at random against the first and fourth quarters (14 players each)…click here for James Davies’ report.

Interview with Christopher Welsh (South Africa): “Go is not as popular in South Africa as it is in some European countries. We have perhaps a hundred registered players. Perhaps fifty of those are regular club and tournament players. There are some initiatives to bring go into the townships in South Africa, which are going encouraging well, but its difficult make these initiatives happen.” Click here for the full interview by James Davies.

Goodwill Event: For the players at the 2013 World Amateur Go Championship, the first official event was a Goodwill Event held on Saturday morning, August 31, at the AER complex in Sendai. Naturally, it was a go-playing event. The Championship contestants were paired against a group of local players of all ages…click here for the full report.
3rd World Amateur Go Championship: The program of the 3rd WAGC (1981) is now available in PDF file format: click here to download.
photos by Ivan Vigano 

 

Advice from Top Amateurs on How to Get Stronger

Saturday August 31, 2013

“Think for yourself, play your own game, and make your best effort.” That was the advice Kikou Emura (left) of Japan gave to amateur players who want to improve their game, in response to a question from E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock at the Saturday afternoon press conference at the World Amateur Go Championship. “You must love go,” said China’s Yuqing Hu (second from left), adding “and try hard.” Korea’s Hyunjae Choi (third from left) said that “Studying and playing a lot helps.” Ilya Shikshin (second from right) of Russia agreed that “you must love go and play a lot, but also I think you must never give up. There’s always another way to learn, even when you get frustrated.” And Malaysia’s Low Khin Su (right) said that “The important thing is to enjoy the game and always make an effort to improve.” The players also shared their favorite players. For Emura, it’s Fujisawa Shuko and Sonoda Yuichi; for Yu, Fujisawa Shuko; Choi’s favorite is Cho Chikun, Shikshin’s is Go Seigen and Su’s is Ohashi Hirofumi. In other comments, Shikshin said that “I know many in Europe are expecting a good performance from me, and I will do my best despite disappointing results at the European Go Congress earlier this month,” while 32-year-old Yuging Hu acknowledged that “the majority of strong Chinese players (are) in their 20s” and said that “This is all the more reason to take this competition seriously and work harder.”
- includes reporting by John Richardson; photo by John Pinkerton.

International Go Federation Celebrates Successful Year

Saturday August 31, 2013

The last year has been a very successful one for the International Go Federation, its leaders reported Saturday at the annual IGF General Meeting, held the day prior to the launch of the World Amateur Go Championship, this year in Sendai, Japan.

In addition to successful editions of the WAGC, World Student Oza, World Mind Sports Games, International Pair Go Championship and SportAccord Mind Sports Games, the IGF for the first time directly funded two new projects. The Central and South American Go Propagation Project resulted in 140 go workshops in Venezuela and the 1st International Go Symposium at the 2012 U.S. Go Congress generated tremendous participation from contributors around the world. IGF VP Thomas Hsiang called both efforts “A very good start.”

The IGF also enjoyed financial success in 2012-2013, thanks largely to major financial support from the China Ki-In for the 2012 WAGC and SAWMSG, reported Secretary-General Yuki Shigeno. Another exciting new event, the first Mlily Cup, came together quickly with support from a new sponsor, and although the late start precluded participation by western players this year, the IGF expressed hope that in the next edition there will be slots for players from both the U.S. and Europe.

The 24th annual International Pair Go Championships are coming up in November in Tokyo, and the 3rd edition of the SportAccord Mind Games will be December 12-18 in Beijing (and will be covered again this year by Ranka and the E-Journal). New countries participating in the 2013 WAGC are Brunei and Kazakhstan, and those players received warm welcomes from the IGF leadership and the assembled players.

The final bit of news is that the 2014 and 2015 editions of the WAGC have been confirmed for Korea, the 2014 location definitely in Seoul, with details to be announced at a later date.
- report by Chris Garlock; photos by John Pinkerton

Players Arrive at 34th World Amateur Go Championship

Friday August 30, 2013

Players in the 34th World Amateur Go Championship began arriving Friday in Sendai, Japan, registering at the Hotel Monte Hermana, where a playing room has been set up (and where some players, shrugging off their jetlag, immediately began playing go).

Saturday’s schedule is light, with a friendship match in the morning, followed by the International Go Federation’s General meeting in the afternoon, followed by a press conference and then the traditional opening ceremony and reception in the evening.

The 8-round tournament — with a field of 62 top amateur players from as many countries — begins Sunday and runs through Wednesday, with rounds each morning and afternoon. On Thursday, the players will tour the nearby area ravaged by the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami, before returning home. In cooperation with Ranka, the E-Journal will file daily reports on all the action, including tournament result updates, game commentaries, photos and daily recaps. Reports will first appear on the AGA’s website and then in the following day’s EJ.
- photos: left: US player Curtis Tang; top right: first games; bottom right: registering; report/photos by Chris Garlock 

EJ & Ranka Coverage of 34th WAGC To Start 9/1

Thursday August 29, 2013

China and Korea are favorites again this year to win the 34th edition of the World Amateur Go Championships, which will be held on September 1-4 in Sendai, Japan. Beginning September 1st,  Ranka Online and the American Go E-Journal will provide full daily coverage of the championship.

The field of 62 players from as many countries will range in age from 14 to 57 and in official rank from 7 kyu to 8 dan. Yuqing Hu will represent China and Hyunjae Choi is playing for Korea; those two countries have not dropped a single game to any other country in this event since 2006. The players from perennially strong Chinese Taipei, Japan, and Hong Kong (Wei-shin Lin, Kikou Emura, and King-man Kwan) will also bear watching, particularly 14-year-old Lin, who will move on from the World Amateur to a pro career in Taiwan.

These Asians will be challenged, however, by a strong European contingent, led by Slovakian prodigy Pavol Lisy, who finished runner-up to former Chinese pro Fan Hui in this year’s European Championship. Joining Pavol will be four other young finalists from the European Championship: Thomas Debarre (France), Ilya Shikshin (Russia), Artem Kachanovskyi (Ukraine), and Nikola Mitic (Serbia). Also competing will be such established European stars as Ondrej Silt (Czechia), Csaba Mero (Hungary), Cornel Burzo (Romania), Merlijn Kuin (Netherlands), and Franz-Josef Dickhut (Germany).

Challenging the Asians and Europeans will be a pair of North American students: Curtis Tang (US), a UC Berkeley student who trained for a year at a go academy in China, and Bill Lin (Canada), who played in the World Mind Games last December and is coming off a 3-1 defense of his Canadian Dragon title.

The Southern hemisphere will be represented by Hao-Song Sun (Australia, 11th place at the 2008 World Mind Sports Games), Xuqi Wu (New Zealand, 12th place at the 2009 Korea Prime Minister Cup), and a pack of hopeful new players from South America and South Africa.

In the past the World Amateur Go Championship has been held in the spring, but this year the schedule was moved back because of the effects of the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011. Thanks to support from all over the world during the past two years, most of the regions hit by the earthquake are now recovering. It is hoped that through the game of go this tournament will give the world proof of the recovery and encourage the local people to press ahead with the long recovery process.
- Ranka Online
NOTE: This report has been updated to reflect Curtis Tang’s status as a college student, not high school.

Amir Fragman 4d Wins Jerusalem Open

Saturday April 6, 2013

Amir Fragman 4d won the 2013 Jerusalem Open Baduk tournament, held during the Passover holiday and initiated and hosted by the Korean Culture Center in Jerusalem. Twenty four players competed in the tournament, played March 28-29 in Jerusalem, Israel. In second was Ali Jabarin 5d and third was Ofer Zivony 3d. Tournament results.
- Shavit Fragman 

2012 WAGC at a Glance: Report/Game Index

Thursday May 17, 2012

The American Go E-Journal and Ranka Online teamed up again this year to provide full coverage of the GAC Trumpchi Cup 33rd World Amateur Go Championship May 11-18 in Guangzhou, China. Round-by-round reports, game records, commentaries, feature stories and photos brought the annual gathering of 56 top amateurs from 55 countries to life for go fans around the world. Below is a handy overview of the coverage in both the E-Journal and Ranka Online; click here for final tournament results (or here for an easy-to-use WAGC Smart Crosstable by the EJ’s Myron Souris, which includes several nifty features, including the ability to place cursor over a player name to highlight all opponent names and results). Thanks to the organizers and staff of the International Go Federation, the China Qi-Yuan and the Guangzhou Qi-yuan for their generous support and assistance. Special thanks to the Ranka/EJ team for all their hard work: (l-r) Yoshitaka Morimoto (Go Weekly), So Yokoku 8P, Ting Ting Chen (translator), Yang Shuang 3P, Chris Garlock (EJ), John Pinkerton (EJ), Ivan Vigano (Ranka), Yuki Shigeno (IGF), James Davies (Ranka), Taro Matsuo (Go Monthly).

World Amateur Championship Set for May 11-17
2012 WAGC Readies for Launch in Guangzhou
33rd WAGC Begins: E-Journal & Ranka Online Team Up for Coverage
WAGC Orientation & Pairings
WAGC Short Takes: Yuan Zhou on Tygem & the U.S. Pro System; Nihon Ki-in Teams up with Cho U on New Go App; In the Gardens of the Guangzhou Chess Institute; A Glimpse of James Davies
WAGC Go Players on Destiny, Predicting the Weather and Managing a Disco Bar
Go Photo: Unwinding at the WAGC
The Nakazono Fan Club’s Road Trip to Guangzhou
31st General Meeting of the IGF
Interview with Igor Popov (Russia)
Interview with Chan Chihan (Hong Kong)
Interview with Chen Cheng-Hsun (Taipei)
Interview with Fang Xiaoyan (China, at right)
Interview with Leslie Perez (Chile)

2012 WAGC Round 1
Overview (EJ) Detailed Report (Ranka)
Game Records: DPR Korea-China (Commentary by So Yokoku 8P); Thailand-Japan (Commentary by Yang Shuang 3P); US-Norway; Brazil-Korea

2012 WAGC Round 2
Overview (EJ)
Detailed Report (Ranka)
Game Records: Finland-UK (Commentary by Kaz Furuyama); Hungary-DPRKorea (Commentary by So Yokoku 8P); Taipei-US (Commentary by So Yokoku 8P); Japan-Netherlands (uncommented) photo: China Go Association President Wang Runan (left) relaxes over a game; photo by John Pinkerton

2012 WAGC Round 3
Detailed Report (Ranka) Game Records: China-Macau (Commentary by Yang Shuang 3P); DPRKorea-Austria; Japan-Korea; Slovakia-Romania
photo: WAGC winner Qiao Zhijian 7d (2nd from left), 2nd-place winner Hyunjoon Lee of Korea (far left), and third-place winner Chen ChengHsun of Tapei (2nd from right), with China Go Association President Wang Runan (3rd from left) and IGF Secretary-General Yuki Shigeno (far right); photo by John Pinkerton

2012 WAGC Round 4
U.S. Beats Japan in Controversial 4th-Round WAGC Game (EJ)
Detailed Report (Ranka)
Game Records
: US-Japan (Commentary by So Yokoku 8P); HongKong-China (Commentary by So Yokoku 8P); Czechia-Taipei

2012 WAGC Round 5
Overview (EJ)
Detailed Report (Ranka)
Game Records: DPRK-Korea (Commentary by So Yokoku 8P); UK-US (Commentary by So Yokoku 8P); Taipei-China (commentary by Yang  Shuang 3P); Czechia-Japan
photo: EJ photographer John Pinkerton; photo by Taro Matsuo

2012 WAGC Round 6
Overview Report (EJ)
Detailed Report (Ranka)
Game Records: Korea-China (Commentary by So Yokoku 8P); Singapore-HongKong; US-DPRK; Germany-Taipei (Commentary by Yang Shuang 3P)

2012 WAGC Round 7
Detailed Report (Ranka)
Game Records
: China-DPRK (Commentary by So Yokoku 8P); HongKong-Taipei; Hungary-Korea; Japan-Slovakia

2012 WAGC Round 8
Detailed Report (Ranka)
Game Records: Korea-Taipei (Commentary by Yang Shuang); Finland-Romania (Commentary by Yang Shuang); Japan-Bosnia; China-Germany

The Nakazono Fan Club’s Road Trip to Guangzhou

Wednesday May 16, 2012

Japan’s player, Seizoh Nakazono 8d, brought something unique to the World Amateur Go Championships: his own cheering section. The group of a dozen supporters traveled to Guangzhou specifically to support Nakazono, who was not only their country’s representative but a fellow graduate of the Kumamoto high school in Kyushu, Japan’s third-largest island. E-Journal readers may also recall him from our report on a visit a few years ago to his Sunshine Go Club in Tokyo. The go-playing Kumamoto graduates in Tokyo number about 40, Shinji Ohmura told the E-Journal on Wednesday, and are regulars at the Sunshine Go Club, where they play in tournaments against each other and against graduates of other schools. High school was a long time ago for the group, who are in their 60s and 70s now, but go has kept them together over the years and, for the Guangzhou group, the miles as well. They faithfully showed up every day at the playing venue, intently following their classmate’s every play. “We’re not go fans,” Shinji, a 62-year-old 3-dan, said, “just fans of Mr. Nakazono.”
- Chris Garlock; photo: the Nakazono fan club watches the Round 4 match between Japan’s Seizoh Nakazono and Yuan Zhou of the United States; photo by John Pinkerton

2012 WAGC Round 8 Game Records

Wednesday May 16, 2012

Korea-Taipei (Commentary by Yang Shuang); Finland-Romania (Commentary by Yang Shuang); Japan-Bosnia; China-Germany
On Board 1, China’s Qiao Zhijian played more deliberately against Germany’s Bemjamin Teuber than he had in the preceding three rounds against opponents from Chinese Taipei and the two Koreas. As in those rounds, his game attracted the most attention from the spectators …Click here for Ranka’s complete Round 8 report.

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