Friday April 26, 2013
by Jan Engelhardt
While a number of western countries have begun hosting professionals from Japan, Korea and China to teach and promote go, westerners who have become professional go players are still very rare. So rare that thus far it’s only happened eleven times.
The only German who ever became a professional go player was Hans Pietsch, who became a professional 1-dan at the Nihon Ki-In in 1997. Born in 1968 in Bremen, Germany, Pietsch discovered go at the relatively late age of 12 but after great sucess in German and European tournaments he decided to try to become a professional in Japan. In 1990 he started as an Insei at the Nihon Ki-in Go Scool in Chiba, studying with Kobayashi Chizu, who supported him a lot from the very beginning. After seven long years he finally made pro and was promoted to 4-dan in just three years.
Pietsch’s most famous game was his 1997 half-point victory against Yoda Norimoto. An Youngil 8P recently published a very detailed commentary about that game.
Tragically, Pietsch’s blossoming career was cut short when he was murdered 10 years ago during an armed robbery while on a promotional tour for the Nihon Ki-In in Guatemala. He was posthumously promoted to 6-dan. The German go community honors his memory annually at the ‘Hans Pietsch Memorial’ tournament, a team tournament in which schools from all over Germany take part. This year there will also be a large international tournament in Budapest. The main goal of the organizers around Csaba Mero is to keep the memory of Hans Pietsch alive
It’s impossible to know that the German go scene would look like today if it had a native professional. We can just try to follow his example in realising our dreams, keeping in mind that the time to do so can be much shorter than you think.
- Jan Engelhardt is the E-Journal’s German correspondent.Click here to see more photos.
Friday April 19, 2013
The UK is likely to be relegated next year to the C-League in the 30-nation Pandanet Go European Team Championship, after another poor result in the eighth round match on April 15 against Belgium, which resulted in a draw.
The tournament is played online in three leagues of ten teams each on the Pandanet (IGS) server in the EuropeanTeamChamps room. So far, the UK team has not won a single round, with five losses and three draws to date. The ninth and final league round is to be played against Italy on Tuesday May 7. Unless the UK can pull a win out of the hat then, they will be automatically relegated to the bottom league next year.
The top four teams will face off in over-the –board finals at the European Go Congress in Olszystn, Poland later this year. Click here for full results to date, and here for British Go Association President Jon Diamond’s report.
- Tony Collman
Friday April 19, 2013
Cambridge took the open division of this spring’s London International Teams tournament without losing a single game on Sunday April 14. The twice-yearly event was held at the Nippon Club in central London, UK.
Four teams of three played three matches each and the winning team comprised Andrew Simons 4d, David Ward 4d and Jonathan Chin 2d, who each won all their games. Click here for Simons’ game against the Nippon Club’s Shinichi Nao 6d*.
The second (handicap) division, also comprising four teams, was narrowly won by the South London Go Club, with Twickenham a close second.
Further details in Tony Atkins’ report for the British Go Association. Click here for full results. Click here to see Kiyohiko Tanaka’s photo journal of the day.
* Simons reconstructed the game from memory and apologizes if dame, gote yose moves or ko threats are in the wrong order: the main body of the game and final position are as on the day. Simons, the Cambridge captain, said of this game (round 2 of 3), “I’ve played Nao a a few times in this tournament before and he likes to play san ren sei and make centre moyos so my jump of white 8 is my favoured anti-san-ren-sei tactic recently. His p10 jump was a mistake and should be n14 instead as my block at o14 was successful: the way he cut in the game was bad shape and I got a good result. His r7 invited complications as he felt behind and I resisted and was happy enough with the result of that fight on the right. Q2 was a big mistake from which I knew wasn’t really sente and he noticed too which led to messy fighting on the lower side but at least I won the ko on the left. He caught up a bit later but I maintained enough of my early lead to win (and not run out of time).”
- reported by Tony Collman
Friday April 19, 2013
While the clash of titans in the final match at the St. Petersburg Go Consul Cup League A (Dinerchtein’s “Water” Douses Shikshin “Fire” at St. Petersburg Go Consul Cup 4/14/2013 EJ) naturally generated the most general public hullabaloo, the Cup’s B League — consisting of 86 players ranging from 6d to 15k — offered plenty of excitement and surprising results as well.
Thousands of go events around the world routinely show that the game can unite people and draw them together. Shared common interest in go can create the most loyal friendship and, it turns out, love. This is the case of Igor Burnaevskiy 4d and Dina Burdakova 5d, the young Russian married couple who took the two first places of the League B event; Igor managed to defeat Alexey Lazarev 6d, the first Russian player who won European Go Champion Title in 1991, thus leaving him in the 3rd position in League B.
This success is quite unique. We’ve heard of Asian pro marriages but Dina and Igor (at left) are the first and only European high-dan married couple. Dina Burdakova has been playing go since childhood and is an acknowledged Russian go-star, three times Russian Female Champion, winning this title for the first time in 1999 at the age of 12. Husband Igor Burnaevskiy, in contrast, can be called “the dark horse” of this tournament. He started playing go about 6 years ago after watching “Hikaru no Go” and reached 5d on KGS without playing in any major go competitions. He appeared in real tournaments only in 2011. The couple’s secret lies not only in go training but in shared experience and merging the strong points of their different styles. The drama of the Go Consul Cup League B sprang up in the final round when they had to face each other in a match to determine the winner. Here Igor showed his stronger side – the feeling of fuseki – and drew the game to the victory. In any case, the result allowed both spouses to pass to the League A (top 8 with rotation system) and we’ll see them competing with Russian top players at the next Russian grand event.
Click here for photos by Mikhail Krylov (A, B, C Leagues), League B prizegiving
and results (A, B, C leagues, in Russian)
- Daria Koshkina
Sunday April 14, 2013
Defeating U.S. professional Gangshen Shi 1P on two stones, Lee Sedol 9P (right) has driven the AGA-Europe pro team to three stones in the AGA-Europe Pro vs. Sedol 10-game series on go9dan.com. The AGA/Europe team desperately needed to clinch their first victory in the series, which has just two games to go. “It was a well-fought game for Gansheng until the game approached the end,” go9dan reports. “Gansheng captured a group in the upper right corner and was ahead in the game. But then after he entered byo-yomi, the board started to get complicated.” Click here for comments on where Shi went wrong and to see the game record. European pro Catalin Taranu will play Lee in Game #9, taking three stones; stay tuned for details on the date/time.
- photo: Lee at the 2012 Olleh KT Cup; photo courtesy GoGameGuru
Sunday April 14, 2013
Over 150 players met in St. Petersburg for the 2013 Cup of Consul General of Japan on April 13-14 but the final showdown between Alexander Dinerchtein 3p (breakfast on KGS) and Ilya Shikshin 7d (roln111 on KGS) attracted the most attention. Though Shikshin’s father was one of Dinerchtein’s earliest instructors, many go enthusiasts know that Dinerchtein and Shikshin junior’s styles could not be more different. A skilled fighter, Shikshin often tries to find ways to create conflict while Dinerchtein would rather be calm and flexible.
While both techniques have their merits, Dinerchtein took control this round as he simultaneously kept an early lead and reduced Shikshin’s large framework. Short on territory, Shikshin resigned after 184 moves and Dinerchtein claimed the title. Alexander Vashurov 5d finished in third. For more information about the tournament including rules and results, visit the official Russian Federation Go website. For more on Dinerchtein, stay tuned for the upcoming EJ interview.
Sunday April 14, 2013
French player Cesar Lextrait 2d (left), Romanian player George Ghetu 3d, and German player Daniil Janov 3d have all won Class A tournaments in their respective home countries. The French Championship Stage 2, Mediterranean League concluded March 24 with Olivier Clergue 3d in second place and Manuel Frangi 1d in third. In the 4th annual Radu Baciu Championship on March 31 in Cluj, Romania, Laura Avram 2d took second followed by George Ginguta 1d. The Weiqi im Weinkeller took place April 6-7 in Karisruhe, Germany, with Guido Zakrzewski 2d coming in second and Cuong Nguyen 1d in third. For complete result tables and all the latest European go news, visit EuroGoTV.com.
- Annalia Linnan, based on reports on EuroGoTV.com
Monday April 8, 2013
Zebin Du (right), a Chinese 4-dan, won the British Open last weekend, winning all six games. There were 67 players taking part in the Open, which was part of the British Go Congress weekend April 5-7. Special guest Michael Redmond 9P, the American professional who was concluding his week-long training tour of England — thanks to the Nihon Ki-in and the Sasakawa Foundation — ran a training session on Friday, played simultaneous matches and analyzed games throughout the weekend (Redmond Lecture & Simul Launches British Congress 4/6 EJ). Second was Yuanbo Zhang 4d, with five wins. A group of 4-dans came next with four wins each: Andrew Kay, T.Mark Hall, and Andrew Simons. Oscar Selby 12k (Epsom) won the British Lightning, with some close handicap victories over dan players. Andrew Simons also won the Stacey Grand Prix for the year with 29 points; in second was Toby Manning with 26 points and third was Richard Hunter (17). The weekend event, organised by Alison and Simon Bexfield from the nearby Letchworth Club, also featured the BGA’s AGM and a congress dinner on Saturday evening. Click here for the 4th-round game between Zebin Du and Yuanbo Zhang; click here for complete tournament results.
- based on a longer report on the BGA website; photo by Tony Collman
Saturday April 6, 2013
US-born Japanese professional Michael Redmond 9P opened proceedings at the 2013 British Go Congress with a teaching session on Friday April 5. Redmond used some of his recent competition games from the Japanese qualifying tournaments to illustrate his remarks about the avalanche joseki and some of the ramifications that arise when using an opening he currently favors, a variation (Black 5 at R8) on the Chinese Opening.
The games were also used as the basis of an informal competition to identify the best (i.e. Redmond’s) play at certain junctures. Each solution was followed by a detailed explanation of why he chose that particular move over others proposed either by him in a multiple-choice format, or occasionally from the floor. Three prizes of a special go fan went to those who got the most right. The fans were hand-decorated by Iyama Yuta 9P, current holder of six of the seven major Japanese titles, with calligraphy which Redmond translated as “play naturally.”
In the evening Redmond gave a simultaneous demonstration (above right), taking on five challengers at a time from a total of 10 playing in relay. Click here for links to all the games used in Redmond’s teaching sessions, in zipped sgf format, courtesy of Tony Atkins.
The events took place at the Cromwell Hotel in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, UK and were organized by Alison Bexfield 2d on behalf of the British Go Association.
- report/photos by Tony Collman, special correspondent to the E-Journal. photos: Redmond playing the simul (top right); Prizewinner Andrew Simons 4d
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