American Go E-Journal » China

Players Sought Last Minute for ENN World Weiqi Open

Monday May 2, 2016

The AGA is seeking up to 12 US representatives for the first ENN Cup World Weiqi Open Tournament. The ENN Cup is a new world tournament and the preliminary selection will be held May 24-28 at the China Qiyuan office in Beijing, China. Winners in the preliminary section will go on to compete in the main competition. The tournament will be a knock-out style format. There will be 2,000RMB (about $300 USD) prize money for each game (pre-tax amount). Players must bear all costs themselves (air fare, lodging, food, etc.) Note: Competitions for the top 32, 16, 8 places will take place on November 6th, 8th, and 10th in China. Eligibility: North American citizen, AGA/CGA/Mexico Go Association member, as well as each country’s own eligibility requirements. Interested players should contact cherry.shen@usgo.org and president@usgo.org immediately.

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American pros Liu, Lui Fight Bravely in Ing Cup

Friday April 22, 2016

American professionals Andy Liu 1p and Eric Lui 1p fought bravely earlier this week in an unsuccessful attempt to make it through the first round of the 8th Ing Pro Cup in Shanghai. The two notched strong games but succumbed in the end to the legends they were paired against in the top drawer international tournament.  Both played well, according to Kim Myungwan 9p. Eric Lui built up a strong position but his opponent, Hane Naoki 9p, “was such an experienced player that he controlled the game, avoiding Eric’s provocation.”  Andy Liu, facing Lee Sedol 9p, actually started ahead.  “Andy was winning in the OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAbeginning, up until around fifty moves,” Kim said.  “I think that Lee Sedol was a little bit nervous because Andy started well. It’s not so surprising because Andy has played very well recently at pro tournaments. Andy later pursued territory too much which eventually backfired.”  Hane Naoki fell in the second round, but Lee Sedol made it through and plays Kang Dongyoon on Sunday in the Ing’s third round.  Other third round match ups are Park Junghwan 9p v. Ke Jie 9p, Shi Yue 9p v. Chen Youye 9p, and Tang Weixing 9p v. Kim Jiseok 9p.  The winners will continue on to June finals in Tibet.  Meanwhile, over the weekend, Liu (left in photo at right) came to the end of his run in the Kansai Kiin’s Sankei Cup.  After four wins, perhaps the best pro tournament run a Western player has had in Asia, he came up short against Daisuke Murakawa 8p, a very strong opponent.  All three games available below.
- report by Andy Okun and Ted Terpstra
2016.04.21_eric lui v hane naoki
2016.04.21_Andy Liu v murakawa
2016.04.21_andy liu v lee sedol

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Myungwan Kim to broadcast Ing Cup Round 3 this Saturday

Thursday April 21, 2016

The AGA’s YouTube & Twitch channels will feature commentary from Myungwan Kim 9p on the games of the 8th Ing Cup this Saturday April 23rd, with commentary starting at 8pm Pacific time.

“If Round 2 goes as expected, we’ll cover Ke Jie vs Park Jungwhan, who are set to face each other if they both win on Thursday” says co-host Andrew Jackson.  “That’s the most likely game.  Otherwise, Myungwan will pick which game we cover.  Either way, coverage starts at 8pm!”
The Ing Cup, a quadrennial international tournament with one of the largest prizes ever, resumed play this past week, with US favorites Andy Liu 1p and Eric Lui 1p drawing hard matches in the early rounds against Lee Sedol 9p and Hane Naoki 9p respectively. Both Liu and Lui lost.
Tune in on the AGA’s Twitter or Facebook feeds to find out the final pairing and any other late breaking announcements!
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Categories: China
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The Traveling Board: Eric Lui on the 2016 IMSA

Wednesday April 6, 2016

By Eric Lui2016.04.06-eric-lui-1st_IEMG_-Feb-28-2016-11-36-AM

It’s unusually nice out today*. As I stroll down my neighborhood and head towards the park, the sun’s rays hit me square in the back, right between the shoulder blades. The tingling warmth spreads all the way down and brings feeling to my toes…

It’s midnight in Huai-An, China, the site of the inaugural IMSA Elite Mind Games 2016. After a thirty-hour ordeal that included a cab ride of record-breaking speed between Shanghai’s international and domestic airports followed by a half-day layover, I arrived at the New Century Grand Hotel, a majestic venue secluded from downtown and just about everything else.

I’m looking around for a familiar face. There are none, to my slight disappointment mixed with relief, since at this point I’m rather unsure in my ability to form a coherent thought, let alone communicate in words. I stumble inside the luxurious living quarters on the eighth floor (surely a sign of good things to come), dragging the trusty luggage that has been with me to the ends of the earth. I check my phone for messages, and there it is, in flawless pinyin, ‘ming tian jian’, meaning ‘see you tomorrow’. Just for a moment, the fatigue melts away and my mind is clear and sharp.

The next morning at the dining hall I’m greeted by Ryan Li and Sarah Yu, the Canadian half of our North American Go Dream Team led by Mingjiu Jiang on the first board and Andy Okun, AGA president extraordinaire, as team leader. With players from around the world representing the various disciplines (Go, Chess, Draughts, Bridge, and Xiangqi), it’s a truly international event, complete with a security checkpoint and metal detectors located at the entrances to each of the playing areas.

2016.04.06_Team_IMSA-cropped“If the situation is bad, keep your head up and wait for your opponent to make a mistake.” Mingjiu chuckled slightly, motioning with his fork towards the air. It was lunch the next day and he was giving us some last-minute advice before we were set to take on Korea in the Men’s Team competition. We nodded solemnly in unison, Ryan and me, carefully avoiding each other’s gaze to prevent the inevitable burst of laughter. Despite arriving after midnight and missing the opening ceremony, Mingjiu appeared in good spirits, greeting anyone he recognized with a hearty clap on the shoulder. With so many varied and delicious desserts up for grabs, it was all I could do to resist overindulging myself right before the game. I reluctantly bade farewell to the sublime chocolate cake, looking back one last time before taking the long walk to the battlefield with the others, each of us lost in our own thoughts.

Both Korea and China fielded teams of some of the world’s top players. While we were unable to take a game from either 2016.04.06_Ryan-Li-1st_IEMG_-Feb-27-2016-11-038country, we scored a win against Japan in a game where Ryan (right) fully showcased his fighting skills to defeat one of Japan’s up-and-coming young professionals. Against the Taiwanese team there were also good chances to win, although their superior experience prevailed in the end. After consecutive defeats, we managed to regain some pride with a victory over Europe. Overall, we were still somewhat disappointed, but there were moments during my own games when I felt that my opponents were not as strong as I imagined, and I was not as weak. With steady, determined effort, I wholeheartedly believe that in the foreseeable future the West will be competitive on the international stage.

After the conclusion of the Men’s Team and Women’s Individual events, the Pair Go knockout in which Ryan and Sarah participated took place. I wandered into the game review room during the final round, and, whilst standing around awkwardly, was invited by one of the top Taiwanese players, Chen Shiyuan 9p, to take a seat alongside him and Zhou Junxun 9p as they analyzed their compatriots’ game. Being able to ask them questions when I didn’t understand something was a real treat. Even after just a couple of hours, I felt like I had gotten stronger. These are the moments that every go player lives for.

I’m on the trail now, picking up speed as I navigate the winding path through the riverbend. When I reach the top of the hill, I’m breathing hard and my jet-lagged legs are starting to cry out in protest. In just a few days it’ll be roughly twenty degrees cooler again for a while before the warmth finally returns for good. But for now, on the cusp of spring, I’ll take one more lap around the baseball field, one more breath of the crisp air, enjoying the moment while it lasts, wishing for one more day in sunny Huai-An, and my very own copy of AlphaGo.

*The IMSA Elite Mind Games were held in early March and Eric sent in this report a few weeks ago; we apologize for the delay in publication. Click here for the E-Journal’s previous reports on the IMSA. Team photo (l-r): Mingjiu Jiang, Sarah Yu, Andy Okun, Eric Lui, Ryan Li

 

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Young Players Wanted for Li Min Cup First Session

Saturday April 2, 2016

Young North American players are being sought for the first session of the new Li Min Cup World Best Go Star Championship from April 25 to 30 in Hangzhou, China. Note that this a separate event from the Li Min Cup Finals, which we reported on earlier this week (AGA Seeks Young Player for Li Min Cup 3/27/2016)The events have different deadlines, structures, and compensations; most notably, players will cover all expenses to attend the first session, while organizers cover costs for the finals, so they are in fact quite different despite the title.

Eligibility: US/Canadian citizen born after Jan. 1, 1993 for amateur players and US/Canadian citizen born after Jan. 1, 1996 for professional players. Players must also meet AGA’s/CGA’s eligibility requirements too. Prizes (Pre-tax amounts): 1st round: 3,000 RMB (if you are top 32 player). 2nd round: 4,000 RMB (if you are top 16 players)

Interested players should respond before midnight April 7th. Please email cherry.shen@usgo.org

- Joel Sherman

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AGA Seeks Young Player for Li Min Cup

Sunday March 27, 2016

The AGA has received a request to send a young North American (US or Canadian) player to Hangzhou, China, for the new Li Min Cup World Best Go Star Championship Finals in mid-October. The tournament format will be a single elimination knockout of the final 32 players. The organizers will provide food and lodging, and travel expenses of up to 10,000 RMB.
Eligibility: US/Canadian citizen born after Jan. 1, 1993 (must meet AGA’s/CGA’s eligibility requirements too).
Awards (before tax): 1st round: 5,000 RMB (32 players), 2nd round: 8,000 RMB (16 players), 3rd round:10,000RMB (8 Players), 4th round: 10,000 RMB (4 Players), Champion: 400,000 RMB, Runner-up: 120,000RMB
Interested players should respond before midnight April 3rd. If there are multiple interested players, a quick single elimination play-off may be held based off of ratings on the April 9/10 weekend.
If interested, email cherry.shen@usgo.org with your KGS ID, best form of contact, AGA ratings. Please confirm in the email that you are born after Jan. 1, 1993.

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Ke Jie defeats Lee Sedol to win Nongshim Cup for China

Sunday March 6, 2016

Ke Jie 9p defeated Lee Sedol 9p in the final game of the 17th Nongshim Cup on March 5, enabling Team China to take the Cup back home for 2016.03.06_Ke-Jie-trophy-Nongshim-Cupanother year. While Korea has dominated this event, winning it 11 times, China now has five wins; Japan has won it only once. The Nongshim Cup is a team event between China, Japan and Korea, sponsored by the Korean instant noodles company. Lee Sedol had scored three consecutive wins, beating Gu Li, Lian Xiao and Iyama Yuta. The match against Ke Jie was Lee’s fourth in as many days and though some worried that he’d be tired going into the final round, others said it was a great opportunity for Lee because of his form’s sweeping upturn. Although Ke Jie was the last man standing for China, his head-to-head record against Lee was 7-2 and he demonstrated a superior sense of balance in the Nongshim final, resolving a tense middle game with a trade and employing his excellent endgame technique to close out the win.
- adapted from a longer report on Go Game Guru, which includes more details, game commentaries and more photos.

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Categories: China,Japan,Korea
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Korea Tops IEMG Pair Go

Thursday March 3, 2016

Koreans Park Jeonghwan 9p and Choi Jeong 6p defeated the Chinese team of Tang Weixing 9p and Yu Zhiying 5p to take first place in the three 2016.03.04_mind-games-pair-goround pair go competition at the IMSA Elite Mind Games in Huaian.  

Playing for North America, the Canadian team off Ryan Li 1p and Sarah Yu 6d, took sixth place overall, losing to Ilya Shikshin 1p and Natalya Kovaleva 5d.  Li and Yu lost in round one to the Taiwanese team of Joanne Missingham 7p and Lin-li Hsiang 6p, but scored a win in round two against Ali Jabarin 1p of Israel and Elvina Kalsberg 5d of Russia.  

Japan secured third place with Tomoya Hirata 7P and Hoshiai Shiho 1P defeating Missingham and Hsiang.
- Andy Okun, Special Correspondent for the E-Journal, with reporting by Hajin Lee
photo: Pair go top medalists with Pair Go founder Mrs Taki and local CP official

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Korea, China Win at IEMG, with NA Players in 5th Place; Li Scores Against Japan Pro

Tuesday March 1, 2016

Two of the three go events at the IMSA Elite Mind Games ended Monday with Korean and Chinese victories, while the North American Men’s2016.03.02_1st_IEMG_team_korea team and lone woman contender Sarah Yu 6d each took 5th place.  In the course of the match, each of the three men players defeated a pro with Ryan Li 1p scoring a final round win against the young Japanese talent Mutsuura Yuta 2p.

The men’s team, comprising Li, Jiang Mingjiu 7p and Eric Lui 1p, were winless in the first three matches of the five match round robin, losing to Korea (see team photo at right), Taiwan and China.  Round four was against the European Go Federation team of Fan Hui 2p, Ali Jabarin 1p and Ilya Shikshin 1p, expected to be the main competition for North America.  On board three, Lui beat Shikshin while on board two, after falling behind early on, Li scrapped hard and fought gallantly, but was unable to catch up with Jabarin.  The match turned then on board one, where Jiang beat Hui, recently in the news for his October match against AlphaGo, in a hard fought half-point game.

North America’s final day match against Japan could not have moved North America out of 5th but was the deciding factor in Japan or Taiwan taking 3rd place in the match.  Japan, needing the win to stay on the medal stand, won by 2-1.  Although Li beat the strong 16-year-old Mutsuura, Lui lost to Toramaru Shibano 2p, another 16-year-old with a strong record in his two years of pro play.  Jiang meanwhile, lost to Hirata Tomoya 7p, although both a disappointed Jiang and some observers in the room thought he had a chance to win.

Li’s win was in line with the opinion expressed by the Asian team captains present, that the young AGA and EGF pros had improved significantly, approaching in strength a new Chinese pro and matching weaker Japanese pros. They mainly need more  opportunities for serious tournament play in order to improve.

Korea effectively won the tournament by beating main rival China by 2-1 in round two.  Both were undefeated against the other teams.  Japan staked its claim on third place against main rival Taiwan in round one when Mutsuura and Shibano prevailed in their games.

In the women’s individual tournament, a 12-player double elimination, Sarah Yu lost in round one to Korea’s Oh Yujin 2p, but then won against Rita Pocsai 4d of Hungary and then Elvina Kalsberg 5d to guarantee at least a fifth place finish.  Her round four match against Yu Zhiying 5p went beautifully until the players were in byo yomi and the Chinese pro took control of the game. Yu Zhiying went on to win the tournament.  Yu’s last game was against Cao Youyin 3p.  Cao won, taking fourth.  Joanne Missingham 7p of Taiwan was third and Choi Jeong 6p of Korea took second.

A three-round pair go event started Tuesday, with Yu and Li facing off against Taiwanese teammates Missingham and Lin Li-Hsiang 6p.

- reported by Andy Okun from Huaian, Jiangsu Province, China; photo courtesy Ranka Online

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IMSA Elite Mind Games Update

Tuesday March 1, 2016

Despite being pushed to the loser’s bracket, Yu Zhiying 5P defeated Yu Jin 6D and Joanne Missingham 7P to make it into the women’s final at 2016.02.29_MingjiuJiang-IEMGthe IMSA Elite Mind Games, where she’ll play Choi Jeong 6P for the gold medal. In the men’s team division, North America defeated Europe 2 to 1, thanks to Jiang Mingjiu 7P’s (right) dramatic half-point victory over Fan Hui 2P and Eric Lui 1P’s win against Ilya Shikshin 1P. The match between North America and Europe attracted a lot of attention because for the first time, both teams were represented by professional players. Meanwhile, China defeated Japan 3-0, Korea defeated Chinese Taipei 2-0 and with just one round to go, the Korean team is leading with four wins while the Chinese team has three wins and one loss.
- adapted from a report on Ranka Online 

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