Andy Liu 1p defeated Ha Yoniru 6p by 2.5 points Monday afternoon in Osaka in the third and final round of the professional preliminary of the Kansai Kiin’s 12th Sankei Cup (see below for game record). Liu defeated Imayi Kazuhiro 6p by resignation in his first game and won against Takashima Yougo 1p by a half point in his second game. The EJ will provide details about the main tournament as soon as possible. Fellow AGA pro Gansheng Shi 1p of Canada lost in his first round, as did two European Go Federation pros, Mateusz Surma 1p and Ali Jabarin 1p. Liu and Shi also played an exchange match with young Kansai Kiin pros, with Liu winning his game against Shintani Yousuki 1p, for an overall 4-0 record for this trip. “I am overjoyed at Andy’s wins and very proud of both our players for their gallant representation of the US and Canadian go communities in Japan,” said AGA President Andy Okun. All the games were broadcast on Pandanet. liu (b) v ha (w) 1-2015-11-01. Photos of Liu and Ha courtesy of Kansai Kiin.
American Go E-Journal » Japan
Monday November 2, 2015
Saturday October 31, 2015
Andy Liu 1p and Gansheng Shi 1p played in an exchange match with Kansai Kiin pros on Friday in Osaka, with Liu (top right) winning his match against Sinntani Yousuki 1p (top left) and Shi (bottom left) losing to Yinaba Karinn 1p (bottom right).
Liu, who won two initial rounds of the 12th Sankei Cup pro preliminary, will play a final preliminary round on Monday at 2:30 p.m. Japanese time, or 12:30 a.m. Monday Eastern time (9:30 p.m. Sunday night Pacific time).
According to the Kansai Kiin, Ha Yoniru 6p and Arakaki Shiyun 9p will play each other Monday morning and the winner of that match will play Monday afternoon against Liu. The matches will be broadcast on Pandanet; the E-Journal will provide information about the Sankei Cup main tournament when available. See below for game records.
- photos courtesy of Kansai Kiin.
Thursday October 29, 2015
The exchange match between Kansai Kiin young professionals and American and European reps takes place in Osaka, Japan, during the day Friday, late Thursday or the middle of the night Friday US time. Andy Liu’s (below, right) game will be at 10a Japanese time (9p Thursday East Coast US time), against Sinntani Yousuki 1p. Gansheng Shi (below, center and left) will play at 2p (1a Friday East Coast US time), against Yinaba Karinn 1p. The games should be broadcast on Pandanet.
- photos courtesy of Kansai Kiin
Tuesday October 27, 2015
American professional Andy Liu 1p has won his way into the final round of the Kansai Kiin’s 12th Sankei Cup pro preliminary in Osaka, Japan. Liu defeated Imayi Kazuhiro 6p by resignation in his first game and won against Takashima Yougo 1p by a half-point in the second round. He plays Ha Yonnyiru 6p on Monday, Nov. 2 at 2:30 p.m. Japanese time.
Fellow AGA pro Gansheng Shi lost in the first round to Mine Yasuhiro 3p, and the two EGF pros, Mateusz Surma 1p and Ali Jabarin 1p lost their matches as well. Shi and Liu will also play in an exchange match with young Kansai pros on Friday, Oct. 30, Liu at 10 a.m. Japanese time against Sinntani Yousuki 1p and Shi at 2 p.m. against Yinaba Karinn 1p. All matches will be broadcast on Pandanet. The EJ will update with photos and game records as soon as they are available.
- Andy Okun; 2014 photo of Liu by Phil Straus
Monday October 26, 2015
The recent 20th anniversary celebration at the Seattle Go Center attracted over 100 people, including two professionals from Japan, Hiroshi Yamashiro 9P, vice president of the Nihon Ki-in, and Yuma 6P, who is also known as Kuma-sensei in Seattle. The October 3 evening reception and concert featured a short speech from Consul General Masahiro Omura from the Seattle Japanese Consulate, who noted that Kaoru Iwamoto’s purchase of the Go Center building for use by the U.S. go community was a good symbol of the continuing reconciliation between Japan and the United States since WWII. Go Center Board President Lee Anne Bowie reported that the late Iwamoto-sensei’s vision to extend go internationally and promote mutual understanding and friendship through the game of go has been upheld at the Seattle Go Center. Harry van der Krogt, Manager at the European Go Cultural Center, another Iwamoto-funded center, extended his congratulations to the Seattle Go Center, and hoped for increased international cooperation to promote go in the future. Andy Okun, president of the AGA, noted that the Seattle Go Center has a strong base of volunteers.
While Mr. Yamashiro had to return to Japan the day after the party, Kuma-sensei gave lectures and played simultaneous games for the next four days at the Seattle Go Center. This was his second visit to Seattle. Sunday’s lecture consisted of reviews of games from the Saturday tournament (Seattle Go Center 2oth Anniversary Tournament Draws Big Crowd 10/20 EJ). His Monday lecture was for the “Double Digit Kyu Class,” which is usually taught by Nick Sibicky. Kuma-sensei explored the double low approach to the 4-4 stone, and did a very good job of keeping his explanations simple enough for kyu players. On Tuesday, he played simultaneous games with eight players while others watched, and then gave short lessons as each game finished. As usual on Tuesdays, there were more than 30 players visiting the center. On Wednesday, Kuma taught the “Single Digit Kyu Class”, with Andrew Jackson hosting. Kuma-sensei also had time to see more of Seattle, and to enjoy Northwest seafood. Photos: (top) Hiroshi Yamashiro 9P giving greetings from the Nihon Ki-in, (left) Fumi Tagata soprano, (right) Kuma-sensei playing simultaneous games. More photos here.
- Report/photos by Brian Allen
Saturday October 24, 2015
Andy Liu 1p and Gansheng Shi 1p will play in a Kansai Kiin pro tournament this coming week; their games will be broadcast on Pandanet. The game will take place starting at 10 a.m. on Oct. 26, Japanese time, or 9P EST in the US. Liu will play against Imayi Kazuhiro 6p and Shi will play against Mine Yasuhiro 3p.
The Sankei tournament is a Kansai Kiin knock-out tournament, created in 2005, with 16 pros and 16 amateurs competing in two separate preliminaries. The current title holder is Daisuke Murakawa Oza 8p. This year, in addition to the two AGA pros, two European Go Federation pros will play, Mateusz Surma 1p of Poland against Kurahashi Masayuki 9p and Ali Jabarin of Israel against Yo Seiki 7p. There is also an exchange match scheduled for Oct. 30th, with Liu playing Sinntani Yousuke 1p at 10 a.m and Shi playing Yinaba Karinn 1p at 2 p.m. Japanese time.
Last year, two EGF pros played the pro preliminaries, Pavol Lisy 1p of Slovakia lost to Yuki Satoshi 9p, but Ali Jabarin beat Saito Tadashi 8p, advancing to the second round, where he lost to Nakano Yasuhiro 9p. While American pros have played many times in Japan, and a number of Americans, including Michael Redmond 9p, James Kerwin 1p (retired) and Francis Meyer 1p, received professional status from the Kansai Kiin or Nihon Kiin, this will be the first time AGA-certified pros will play in Japan as professionals.
The Power Report (2): Fujisawa Rina makes good start in title defense; Women’s Meijin League; Iyama wins Agon Kiriyama title
Tuesday October 13, 2015
Fujisawa Rina makes good start in title defense: The first game of the 34th Women’s Honinbo title match was held at the Kashoen inn in Hanamaki City, Iwate Prefecture on October 8. It matches the 17-year-old titleholder Fujisawa Rina (right) against Xie Yimin, who held this title for six years in a row. This is the first title match between the two, and it gives us some insight into what the next five years will look like. If Xie can win, the age of Xie, who now holds two titles, may continue. If Fujisawa wins, she may displace Xie from the top position. At the party on the eve of the game, Fujisawa commented that playing a match with Xie had been one of her goals. Perhaps she didn’t expect to play her first match with her as the defending champion. Xie, who will be 26 on November 16, commented that this was her first match with a younger player. Taking white, Fujisawa beat Xie by 2.5 points after 290 moves. The game was decided by a ko fight in the endgame. The second game will be played on October 18.
Women’s Meijin League: In a game played on October 8, Suzuki Ayumi 6P (W) beat Chinen Kaori 4P by resig. As the previous challenger, Suzuki is the number one-ranked player in the league, but this is her first win after two losses. Chinen has already suffered four losses, so she is teetering on the edge of demotion. Joint leaders are Fujisawa Rina and Aoki Kikuyo 8P on 2-0.
Promotion: To 2-dan: Shibano Toramaru (aged 16) (30 wins; promoted as of Oct. 9)
Iyama wins Agon Kiriyama title: The final of the 22nd Agon Kiriyama Cup was held at the Kyoto headquarters of the Agon sect in Kyoto on October 10. Iyama Yuta (left), playing black, beat Kyo Kagen 3P by resig. after 187 moves. This is the fourth time Iyama has won this title, which matches Cho U’s record. The play-off between the Japanese and Chinese titleholders will be held in China on December 25.
Monday October 12, 2015
The Seattle Go Center held a large tournament to celebrate their 20th anniversary on Saturday, Oct. 3. It was the largest fall tournament they have had in many years, with 48 players participating. The well organized TD’s, Bill Chiles and Dan Top, kept the event on schedule despite the large crowd. The players were smoothly distributed in terms of strength, so that most of the handicapped games used small handicaps. (88% of the handicapped games used two stones or less.) The next day, Kuma Sensei 6P from the Nihon Ki-in gave a lecture reviewing tournament games.
The Open Section had 8 players and was won by longtime Northwest champion Edward Kim 7d. Edward bested Chanseok Oh, Jeremiah Donley, and Peter Nelson in his three games. Peter Nelson placed 2nd in the Open Section.
Chris Kirschner won all his games in the Dan Handicapped Section, winning that section. Chris is one of the founders of the Go Center, and one of its most active volunteers. Ben Hakala placed 2nd. Jung Doo Nam won the Single Digit Kyu Player Handicapped Section, with David Snow placing second. Mark Richardson won the Double Digit Kyu Player Handicapped Section, with Lucy Wang placing second.
Photo Captions: (Top) Andy Okun, President of the AGA, playing Harry van der Krogt of the European Go Cultural Center in a friendly game in the tatami room of the Seattle Go Center. (Bottom) First round of the tournament. Photos and report by Brian Allen.
The Power Report (1): Iyama defends Meijin title; Kisei knockout tournament begins; Honinbo League starts; Korea wins 2nd O-kage Cup
Monday October 12, 2015
by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal
Iyama defends Meijin title: The fourth game of the 40th Meijin title match was held at the Kashikojima Hojoen, a traditional inn in Shima City in Mie Prefecture, on October 5 and 6. Playing black, Iyama Yuta (right) forced a resignation after 227 moves and so defended his Meijin title with four straight wins. This is his third Meijin title in a row and his fifth overall. The game started with Iyama playing a little too aggressively. Takao (left) swallowed up an important black stone, but Iyama kept fighting relentlessly, so he didn’t get a chance to take the lead. The game developed into an enormous fight, but Takao missed his best chance to attack. Iyama increased the pressure in a fight among a number of eyeless groups and eventually came out on top. Takao was unable to improve on his score in his challenge to Iyama for the 35th Meijin title. At the moment, Iyama seems unstoppable. He has defended all the titles in his quadruple crown and next will be aiming at restoring his sextuple crown, with Oza and Tengen challenges starting soon. He has improved his chances in these matches by finishing off the Meijin match early. The above win was his 15th in a row, which is a new personal record.
Kisei knockout tournament begins: The first game in the irregular knockout tournament to decide the Kisei challenger was played on October 1. B League-winner Yamada Kimio 9P (B) beat Kyo Kagen 3P, winner of the C League, by resig.
Honinbo League starts: The 71st Honinbo League got off to a start on October 1 with a game between two heavyweights, Yamashita Keigo 9P and Kono Rin 9P. Playing black, Yamashita won by resig. He has made a good start in his bid to repeat as challenger.
Korea wins 2nd O-kage Cup: The O-kage (gratitude) Cup is an international tournament for players 30 or under sponsored by Hamada Sogyo and the tourist shops in Okage-Yokocho (Gratitude Alley) in the city of Ise. This year the scale was expanded from three-player to five-player teams from Japan, Korea, China, and Chinese Taipei. The extra two places went to women players. Korea showed overwhelming strength. In the first section, an all-play-all league, it lost only two games out of 15, beating Japan 4-1, Chinese Taipei 5-0, and China 4-1. The other three teams tied for second place, each with one win and two losses, but Japan took second place, thanks to having scored seven individual wins to China’s six. On the top board, Ida Atsushi 8P won all his games. Chinese Taipei took fourth place, but it will be satisfied with a rare victory over the Chinese team (3-2). In the final, Korea was awesome, beating Japan 5-0. In the play-off for 3rd place, China took revenge on Chinese Taipei, not dropping a game. There were five prizes for top individual performances; these were all won by Koreans. In an interview, the Korean coach Yang Keon 9P commented: ‘I think we did too well. But I did feel that our activity since setting up a national team has borne fruit little by little.’ He said that the members of the national team study from 10 to 5 every day, playing games and studying the opening. As a result, he said, he felt that they were beginning to catch up with China. Concerning the Japanese team, he commented: ‘Their level is extremely high. I think that one factor in our getting this kind of result is there’s a gap in research into the opening.’ In Korea, a lot of time is devoted to studying the opening; rivals will study together and try to work out definitive openings. The accumulation [of knowledge] makes a big difference. ‘We believe that, with the deluge of information (game records), selecting the best patterns and doing research at a more advanced level is important.’ photo: Okage with the sponsors
Tomorrow: Fujisawa Rina makes good start in title defense; Women’s Meijin League; Iyama wins Agon Kiriyama title
Sunday October 4, 2015
University/college students under the age of 30 are invited to participate in an online preliminary competition for the 14th World Students Go Oza Championship. Click here for details and here for the entry form. Application deadline is October 19. Note that students living in China, Korea, Japan and Chinese Taipei cannot participate in the online preliminary round.
The World Students Go Oza Championship will be held February 22-26, 2016 in Tokyo, Japan, where 16 students from around the world will compete to determine the world’s number one student player.