Registration is still open for this weekend’s KGS 2013 Meijin tournament qualifier. The April qualifier featured “many exciting games and drew more than 300 observers,” reports KGS admin Akane Negishi. “One of last year’s contenders, Grande, won the April qualifier again.” The single-elimination qualifier will be held May 25-26 on an Asian/European daytime schedule (Round 1 starts at 5a EDT/2a PDT). In this fifth qualifier, the winner will become a contender for the finals which will start in November. The runner-up may also become a contender if there are 6 or more rounds in the Qualifier. The final KGS Meijin winner will receive a minimum cash prize of $500 and a special Meijin icon. Click here for details and to register.
American Go E-Journal » Europe
Monday May 20, 2013
Sunday May 19, 2013
Many chess players who discover go seem to leave chess behind, but notable Swedish grandmaster Tiger Hillarp Person , the author of “Tiger’s Modern,” finds go to be a nice complement to his enjoyment of chess. Persson recently started blogging at “Chess at the Bag of Cats,” where he has set up a go section. He writes: “I started out with Go in the beginning of 2011 and, after a rapid rise to about 9kyu, I’ve been gaining around 4kyu a year since then. I can really recommend chess players to do this for a number of reasons. First, if you are too tactically inclined a player, then by playing Go you will be forced to think about things like ‘structure’ and ‘plans’. Secondly, if you work as a coach, reliving the struggle of being a beginner at a difficult game (like Chess – or Go) will definitely improve your understanding of those you are coaching. Thirdly, there are few things that let you appreciate the ‘nature’ of what you have learned as a chess player. Learning Go will make it obvious that you know stuff that transcends the chess board.” -Roy Laird, with thanks to Michael Bacon for sending the link.
Saturday May 18, 2013
The XVI Torneo de Madrid wrapped up on May 5 with Seok-Bin Cho 8d (left) in first, followed by Lluis Oh 6d and Pau Carles 3d. One week later, Cho defeated Lukas Kraemer 5d at the 2013 Amsterdam International while Merlijn Kuin 6d came in third. Finishing the same day (May 12) was the Grazer Go Turnier Styrian Masters in Graz, Austria. There, Viktor Lin 4d came in first with Lothar Spiegel 4d in second and Martin Unger 3d in third. For complete result tables and all the latest European go news, visit EuroGoTV.com. -Annalia Linnan, photo from Eurogotv.com
Friday May 17, 2013
“Five days and 50 miles in, we’ve just come out of England’s Lake District, some of the most breathtakingly gorgeous scenery I’ve ever been through and certainly the toughest I’ve ever walked, hiked and rock-climbed,” reports EJ Managing Editor Chris Garlock, who’s walking the 200-mile Coast-to-Coast with his wife Lisa (as reported in the EJ on May 6th) and raising funds for the American Go Foundation (AGF). “We’re enjoying the walk and working hard — still another 150 miles to go! — just like the folks at the AGF, who do so much for American go.” Click here to make a contribution to the AGF. Photo at left by Lisa Garlock: At Hayeswater Tarn, with the Lake District in the background. At right, by Chris Garlock: “Great pub, terrifically creative food, but where’s the go? Hopefully our friends in the BGA will attend to this.”
Thursday May 16, 2013
In a recent interview for EuroGoTV, 17-year-old German player Jonas Welticke 4d shared some insight about his experiences as an insei. Aside from Monday study groups with Ohashi Hirofumi 5d and “playing the other insei kids every weekend,” Wilticke said there is no formal routine, and he mostly studies by himself. His current record after his first week is 10-1.
Though some might imagine feeling out of place as a Caucasian insei, Welticke seems to have had no problem. In fact, there are some that might know him as a familiar face. “They have already published a considerably sized picture of me, though I didn’t know it,” he said. “They used some footage from the European Go Center and made an article about it almost one year ago.” More than the food, habits, and transportation, the biggest difference Welticke has found is how go is treated in Japan. He said there are “easily” 80 players at the Nihon Ki-in every afternoon. “It would be awesome to have as many go players in Europe,” he said. “Also, there are weekly newspapers dedicated to go. They are often sold out, which fascinates me again and again.” Welticke looks forward to having his name listed in the go newspaper toward the end of the month when he is promoted to D class. For the full interview, please visit EuroGoTV. -Annalia Linnan, photo credit EuroGoTV
Wednesday May 15, 2013
The strongest pairs in Europe competed in Amsterdam, May 11 and 12, for the European Pair Go Championship. The Shikshin siblings – Ilya and Svetlana, both 7d – who swept the Russian Pair Championship this February, were the clear favorites. Another interesting Russian pair featured Natalia Kovaleva 5d, the 2007 European Female Champion, playing with aspiring young player Alexander Vashurov 5d, who has won several European Youth Championships. Kovaleva has won the European Pair Championship five times, with her usual partner Dmitry Surin 6d, who could not come this year. Other strong competitors included Czech pair, Klara Zaloudkova 3d and Jan Hora 6d, and Hungarians Péter Markó 3d and Rita Pocsai 5d.
The tournament pulled in 24 pairs from 10 countries. The Shikshins won all of their games, capturing first place, in second were Zaloudkova and Hora, while third went to Kovaleva and Vashurov. With their win, the Shikshin siblings earned the right to represent Europe in pair go competitions at the next International Sport-Accord Games.
The Pair Go Championship was held in conjunction with the Amsterdam Rapid. The results here were not so predictable, as the tourney introduced handicap games and short time limits (30 minutes). Russia was also on top here, as the two players who made it to the final match were Ilya Shikshin and Natalia Kovaleva, both of whom were undefeated going in. The final match was held with reduced time-control (only 15 minutes) and Kovaleva, who had 2 handicap stones, was the victor. For full results from the Pair Go Championship go here, for the Amsterdam Rapid go here. Eurogotv also has game records from the Pair Go event here. -Daria Koshkina. Photo: Svetlana Shikshina 7d and Ilya Shikshin 7d, at right, playing Natalia Kovaleva 5d and Alexander Vashurov 5d, at left. Copyright Harry van der Krogt 2013, used by permission.
Friday May 10, 2013
Hungary and Czechia have now qualified for the finals in the Pandanet Go European Team Championship A league, joining Russia and Ukraine, who had previously qualified. This is the second consecutive trip to the league finals for Hungary and Czechia, while Russia and Ukraine have not missed a final yet, with Russia winning both previous titles. The European Team Championship (ETC), now in its third year, is comparable to the German Bundes League but with national teams from thirty European countries divided into three leagues.
ETC games are played online using the Pandanet Internet Go Server. The top four teams in the A league are invited to compete for 10,000 Euros in the finals at the European Go Congress in Olsztyn, Poland in July, and up to five players per team receive support for their Congress travel costs.
Two-time defending champions Russia may be tough to dethrone, with European professionals Alexander Dinerchtein and Svetlana Shikshina and three-time European Champion Ilya Shiksin heading up the roster. Last year, with no team gathering more than one match win, Russia had to rely on tiebreakers to retain the championship. Germany’s last-place finish means direct demotion to the B league for next season, while Israel, promoted to the A league last season, managed to reach 9th place and need to win a playoff match against Austria to stay league A.
The B league team from Finland will be directly promoted to A league. UK will spend next season in League C, while 9th place Switzerland still hopes of staying in the B league through the playoff match. Their opponent will be Slovakia, Slovenia or Turkey. Slovakia will not leave one of the first two places so they get at least a shot at being promoted. The only team that can still pass them is Slovenia. Turkey must hope for Slovenia to struggle to get a chance in the playoff match against Switzerland.
The last matches in the C League will be played on May 14th. All results will be available on the ECT tournament page.
- Jan Engelhardt, German Correspondent for the E-Journal. Photo: Catalin Taranu (l) vs. Ilya Shiksin (r), from the EGC 2012 Website
Friday May 10, 2013
Reigning British Champion, Andrew Kay 5d, has taken first place at the Candidates’ Tournament, with six straight wins. The tournament, held at Edinburgh University in Scotland this year for the first time ever, is part of the British Championship. Twenty-one contenders, selected on grade, were invited by the British Go Association (BGA); an ineligible player also competed to even out the pairings.
In fact, Kay did not even need to compete, as the current Champion qualifies automatically for the Challengers’ League, between the eight best players from the Candidates’, who also earn qualifying points for selection as the British entrant to the World Amateur Go Championship. The top two players will be pitted against one another in the Title Match itself, decided on the best of three games.
Also qualifying were Des Cann and Matt Crosby with five wins each, and Tim Hunt, Andrew Simons, Boris Mitrovic, Alex Kent and Alex Rix with four. Francis Roads will be the reserve player, Richard Hunter having stood down.
The location in the far north of the UK was deliberately chosen to encourage more Scottish entrants, a ploy which was completely successful, since more Scots (and indeed more women) attended than in any previous year.
The Challengers’ League is due to take place at the Fitzrovia Room, International Student House (ISH), 229 Great Portland Street, London, W1W 5PN between Friday May 24 and Monday May 27 and the Title Match is provisionally scheduled for Sunday June 30 in Cambridge.
Click here for full results of the Candidates’ Tournament.
-Tony Collman. Compiled from material on the BGA’s website. Photo: Andrew Kay, courtesy of his website.
Friday May 10, 2013
The deadline for registration of the first International Collegiate Go Tournament (North American College Players Invited to July Tournament in China, But Must Act Quickly 5/2/2013 EJ) has been extended until May 31. The invitation has been extended to students in Europe as well. More details about the July 7-13 event can be found at the ACGA’s website.
Alexander Dinerchtein 3P’s Perspectives on Shikshin, Studying and the Need for More Europe-U.S. Play
Saturday May 4, 2013
Though he is a 7-time European Go Champion, the first Russian player to achieve professional rank and currently considered one of Europe’s finest players, Alexandre Dinerchtein 3p (“breakfast” on KGS) keeps his accomplishments in perspective.
Referring to his record against Ilya Shikshin 7d (“roln111″ on KGS), he told the E-Journal in a recent interview that “The official score is 24-8, but we cannot say that I am stronger.” Dinerchtein says he won early games against Shikshin because the distance in strength between them was much greater. For example, in their first match in 2001, Dinerchtein, the European Champion, played Shikshin as a 3-dan amateur. Their score in recent games has been more evenly matched, however, and Dinerchtein says he thinks Shikshin has more talent. “My score is not bad with him only because I know his go style well, his weak and strong points.” Citing strategy as a key Shikshin weakness, Dinerchtein said he forces Shikshin to solve more strategy-oriented problems. Shikshin “plays the same fuseki in every game for exactly the same reason,” says Dinerchtein, “he likes to avoid fuseki and joseki questions and start middlegame fights early.” These middlegame conflicts are Shikshin’s greatest strength and Dinerchtein’s biggest weakness. “I cannot fight as well as Ilya can and I hate any risk on the go board,” Dinerchtein told the E-Journal. Like his favorite professional Kobayashi Koichi 9P, Dinerchtein would rather games be as peaceful and risk-free as possible.
In terms of game study, Dinerchtein said that when he started playing go 25 years ago, “it was hard to find even a single go book, [a] single pro game record.” But now with many go books, game databases, and internet lessons (including his Insei League KGS go school), “it’s easy to find good partners online, so you can improve a lot without even visiting Asian go schools.” Dinerchtein emphasized the importance of studying professional games by using chess as an example. “Every chess grandmaster who wants to win tournaments spends a lot of time preparing new variations using go game databases,” he said, “I am sure soon we will see the same situation in go.”
Though go resources have expanded, the thing Dinerchtein would like to see most in the future is more “serious” interaction between top European and U.S. players. Except for his game with Michael Redmond 9P in 2001, he has never played any top U.S. players in an official event. As for recent U.S.-European events, he said, “I saw the matches between Lee Sedol and U.S. pros (and European pro Taranu), but I don’t think that they were interesting enough” because they were “novelty” fast games. He’d like to see the European Go Federation (EGF) and American Go Association (AGA) sponsor tournaments with big titles and prize purses, like those organized by the Chinese Weiqi Association, Korean Baduk Association and the Nihon Ki-in in Japan. Find out more about Dinerchtein on his homepage, KGS, OGS, DGS, or sign up for the GOAMA newsletter.
- Annalia Linnan