American Go E-Journal » Korea

Your Move/Readers Write: Where Was Ben?

Tuesday August 18, 2015

Where Was Ben? “I enjoyed reading your story about Lockhart’s win,” writes Ted Terpstra. “But the story failed to say where the competition 2015.08.18_ben-lockhartwas held and where the next round will be. It is always interesting to read where our American players are playing.”
The prelim was in Seoul, Korea; the next stage starts on 9/7 in Beijing, China.

Lockhart Wins Samsung Cup World Division

Saturday August 15, 2015

Benjamin Lockhart 7d prevailed over fellow American Ricky Zhao 7d in the finals of the Samsung Cup World Baduk Masters World Division in Seoul, Korea and2015.08.15_ben-lockhart-close-up 2015.08.15_ben-lockhartwill play next month in the round of 32 of the top international event in Beijing.  The World Division was established three years ago as a way of encouraging players from the rest of the world to excel at go; Americans have won all three years.  Lockhart was in the final last year but lost to Eric Lui 7d.  This year the division was expanded from eight to 12 players, with four from Europe, three from North America, one from Latin America, and four from Asia excluding the major go countries.  Click here to see more photos.

Korean Youth Tourneys

Tuesday July 7, 2015

The Korean Baduk Association is inviting any interested youth to two different events.  Airfare is not covered, but accommodations, meals, and all local transport is.  The World Youth Baduk Festival will be held in Inje, Gangwon, from August 1-4.  Students from Elementary school up through College are all invited.  The 2nd Kuksu Mountain Cup will be held August 7-12 in Jeolla South Province, the age limit is under 15, but slightly older is also acceptable.  All levels of players are welcome. Contact if you are interested in attending any of these events.

Samsung Cup Selection Tournament Planned for North American Players

Saturday June 6, 2015

The AGA is selecting three players to represent North America in the 2015 Samsung Cup World Baduk Masters World Division. The 12-player World Division will be played August 2nd – 5th in Seoul, Korea. Interested players should be available to play in the online selection tournament on the third and fourth weekend of June. Eligibility: AGA/CGA member and US/Canada citizenship, AGA 6.0 minimum rating required, amateur or certified professional by the AGA; US players must meet the AGA overseas eligibility criteria. The selection tournament will be held on KGS Go Server. Interested players should send their names, AGA number and rating and country of citizenship to by midnight, Sunday, June 14th. Note that the format of the tournament is single elimination so players may be out earlier than August 5.

The three selected players will each receive a $1,000 stipend toward their expenses traveling to Korea, but must arrange their own air travel and lodging. The World Division winner will play in the Main Round of the Samsung Cup, so there is a chance that players will go back to Korea in the second week of September. The winning player will also receive approximately $5,000 in Main Round prize money. Note that AGA professionals can participate in the Samsung Cup General Division at the end of July although there are no monetary subsidies. Interested AGA professional players should email Cherry Shen for Main Division details.

The Power Report: Globis Cup Final Commentary, Huang vs. Na

Sunday May 24, 2015

2nd Globis Cup final: Huang vs. Na
White: Huang Yunsong 3P (China)
Black: Na Hyun 6P (Korea)
Played on May 10, 2015
See: The Power Report: Huang of China Wins Globis Cup 5/10 EJ
Click here for the SGF.

Venue: Graduate School of Management, Globis University
Commentary by O Meien 9P, translated by John Power, Japan E-Journal correspondent

It was no surprise that Na Hyun made the final of this tournament for players under 20, as he is one of the top young players in Korea. Among the Chinese players, one might have expected Yang Dingshin, rated 18th in the world, or Li Qincheng, who won the CCTV Cup, a TV tournament like Japan’s NHK Cup, last year, but Huang proved to be a dark horse. Actually, at 18 he is two years older than the other two Chinese representatives, so you could say he pulled rank.

The following commentary is an amplified version of the report in Go Weekly of the public commentary conducted by O Meien, with Mannami Nao 3P acting as his assistant.

The opening, with Black ignoring 8 to switch to the approach move of 9, is very popular these days. There are many examples of it from actual2015.05.24_globis-1-49 play. The same opening appeared in the play-off for third place.
        O: “In the old days, Black would have captured 16 instead of playing 21, but now this is the mainstream move. I don’t know which is better . . .” Formerly the moves to 21 were like a set opening, but now you often see the pattern to 25. The amount of research that has been carried out on this opening in China and Korea is incalculable. “But I don’t play it as White. I can’t understand why White burrows into the [top right] corner. Actually, this result gives a good contest, so probably my feel for go is out of whack.’ [Laughter from the audience]
        The two-space jump to 29 is also common. The hane of White 32 is also a vital point. O, on seeing Black 33: “This is a strong, calm move.” Instead of 33, you are tempted to play at A, but White has the attachment of B, so perhaps Black thinks this territory won’t amount to much. After gazing at 33 for a while, O expressed admiration. “I get it. He’s strong.”
        White 36. White thinks that the exchange for 37 will make 36 a forcing move when he attaches across the knight’s move with C.
Black 39 and 40 seem to be the par moves. O: “According to my feel for go, 3
9 should be at D. Na’s assessment is that the exchange for 40 makes 39 a forcing move rather than a bad move.”
        When Black expands the bottom with 41, White attacks inside by attaching at 42. The move at 21 leaves White with scope to play this move. O: “That’s why capturing the ladder stone is best.”
 2015.05.24_globis-dia-1       Black responds by solidifying his side territory with 43 on. If instead Black hanes on top with 1 in Dia. 1 (left), White plays 2 and 4, then slides to 6; this will be more than Black can handle. After the game, Huang rapidly laid out the continuation to 19 and said that this was not bad for White. Huang: “I’ve finished researching the attachment of 43. I have confidence in the local variations.”2015.05.24_globis-50-99
       White 54 is a good, calm move. O: “Moves like this reflect the player’s experience. “ At first, O had thought that the result to 52 was not interesting for White, but he started to revise his opinion on seeing 54 on the grounds that Huang was obviously satisfied and we could rely on his perception.
        White 60 is another calm move. Having played a forcing sequence on the right side, White believes that this is good enough. O commented at first that he couldn’t play 60, but White 62 convinced him that Huang knew what he was doing. It turned out later that both the players agreed that the game was good for White at this point. That’s why Black plays 61: he has to harass White’s sole weak group to get back into the game.
        When White ignores 61, 63 looks like the natural follow-up, but the players agreed later that attaching at 65 instead would have made the game more difficult. White’s solid extension of 64 works well. O: “This may have been the decisive point of the game.” That’s not to say that’s it’s a won game for White by any means, but he has an edge.
        Black 77, forestalling White E, is big, but so is White 78.
  2015.05.24_globis-100-112      Black 79 is an all-out move that clearly shows that Black feels he is behind. O commented that it may have been an overplay. It immediately struck O as being too deep.
        White 84. If White answers the peep at 90, Black intends to push down with 84, so countering with 84 is natural.
        The cut of White 92 is a good move. If Black answers at 97, White has the threat of F, so Black goes all out with 93.
        Black 99 extricates the center stones. If White cuts at 103, Black cuts at 102 and at this point Black is ahead in the capturing race. When White plays 100, however, Black has no choice but to reinforce at 103.
        White 112 is the knock-out punch: it makes miai of G and H, so Black has to resign.
        Huang: “There was a lot of pressure, but [winning] feels good. Next, I want to win a bigger international tournament.”
        Na: “I lost without being able to do a thing. I have regrets.”
        During his commentary, O commented that the strength of the top young Chinese and Korean players came from a mixture of reading ability and perception.
Incidentally, the day of the final was the first day that Huang wore a jacket instead of just a jersey. O commented that in China go is regarded as a sport, so the young players all wear jerseys. Often their training camps are held at the same venues as soccer training camps, so the players would feel funny if they dressed differently. O joked that they switch to suits when they turn 30. During this tournament, Ichiriki and the other Japanese representatives were turned out in natty suits and ties. One advantage of the Japanese system that struck me, however, is that the Japanese players are “socialized” earlier than the Chinese players. It was hard to get a word out of the Chinese teenagers in interviews, but the Japanese teenagers were already adept at public speaking. During the reception on the Thursday, Mannami called them up on to the stage at different times for mini “talk shows” TV-style and they all acquitted themselves well.
Mannami had an interesting comment about Korean players. She visited Korea to study go not long ago, and she said she was surprised by the way the young players chatted with each other until the start of the game. In Japan the players psych themselves up before the game, so there’s no chatting; the contest begins as soon as the players take their seats. (She used the sumo term “shikiri,” which refers to the long face-off before a bout begins.)

Choi Cheolhan Wins Maxim Cup

Thursday May 7, 2015

Choi Cheolhan 9p won the 16th Maxim Cup on May 5, defeating Hong Seongji 9p with a 2-1 score. The Maxim Cup is a 9 dan only invitational tournament in Korea, which was established in the year 2000. Hong Seongji won game 1, but Choi 2015.05.07_Hong-Seongji-Choi-Cheolhan-16th-Maxim-CupCheolhan won the next two games to take the best of three match. This was Choi Cheolhan’s 3rd Maxim Cup title. He won the 10th Maxim Cup, defeating Park Younghun 9p, in 2009 and he defeated Kong Dongyun 9p in the following year. Choi defeated Choi Gyubyeong 9p, Lee Sedol 9p and Kim Jiseok9p en route to the final, and he defeated Hong Seongji in the final…
- from a longer report on Go Game Guru, which includes more photos and game records.

Categories: Korea

Mok Jinseok Wins GS Caltex Cup to Take First Title in 15 Years  

Sunday April 5, 2015

Mok Jinseok 9p (left) won the 20th Caltex Cup on April 2 in Seoul, Korea, defeating Choi Cheolhan 9p with a 3-1 score. This was Mok Jinseok’s 2015.04.05_Mok-Jinseok-20th-GS-Caltex-Cup-1-300x200second career title, and his first in 15 years: he won the KBS Cup in 2000, defeating Lee Changho 9p. Choi Cheolhan won game 1 of the Caltex, but Mok won the next three games to take the best-of-five match. Mok’s nickname is “Boy Wonder” because he defeated Nie Weiping in the 1995 China Korea Lotte Cup when he was just 15 years old, and many Korean baduk fans thought that he would take the torch from Lee Changho. But after winning the KBS Cup when he was 20, Mok never took another title, until now. When the last game was over, Mok burst into tears as his emotions got the better of him, and it took him some time to calm down and give a post-game interview. Choi Cheolhan has now taken second place in the GS Caltex Cup two years running: he was defeated 3-0 by Kim Jiseok last year and lost to Mok this year.
- adapted from a report on Go Game Guru, which includes more details on Mok’s long road back to winning a title, as well as the Caltex game records. 

Categories: Korea,World

Breaking International Title Drought, Park Junghwan Wins LG Cup

Thursday February 12, 2015

Park Junghwan 9p has defeated Kim Jiseok 9p to win the 19th LG Cup 2-1. This was Park’s first LG Cup title, and only his second international 2015.02.12_Park-Junghwan-19th-LG-Cup-300x448title since winning the 24th Fujitsu Cup in 2011. Though Park is currently ranked #1 in the world according to the rating system used by the Korean Baduk Association, in recent years many go fans doubted his ranking, because Park hadn’t won any international titles since 2011. The LG Cup final was held on February 9, 10 and 12 in Gangneung, Gangwon-do, Korea.
- based on Youngil An’s longer report on Go Game Guru

Categories: Korea

Mexico Wins Latin American Youth Team Event

Monday January 5, 2015

QgmZ8s9qCHvio3eunJla01lFoNmcL1jWtj34lnRuck9qLE9TyT4XXGmTemnjBike4nrBZjlY0hiyNiQh93hdADJcf37xODTOSUZMRHqE6uW7vQyn7WKA-4NDH6P2UVFTKgStudents from Mexico City won top honors in the ORION-Latin American Youth Go Team Tournament, held Nov 29-30th on the OGS Go Server, reports Siddhartha Avila.  The Gimnasio de Go team, led by Mexican siblings Lillian and Omar Zavala, both 9k, and joined by Diego Luciano 25k,  won all four matches.  Chile’s Colegio Luterano team came in second, while Ecuador’s Academia de Go came in third.  A total of 36 kids and teens competed, with three players per team.  Schools from México, Venezuela, Ecuador and Chile all participated.  The winning team also played a one round team match against students from Dongjak Academy in Korea, which included Jihyuk Yoon, 3k, age 8, Doohyun Kim, 5k , age 6, and Sungjae Cho 6k, age 7, the Koreans won all three matches. Full results are here, while pictures and reports (in Spanish) can be found here. - Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.  Photo: Students in Chile competing on OGS.

SAWMG Update: China Wins Pair Go Gold; Russia Takes Home Most Medals Overall

Thursday December 18, 2014

China won the SportAccord World Mind Games Pair Go Event to complete their sweep of gold medals in the 4th annual event, 2014.12.18_sawmg-pair-gowhich wrapped up on December 17 in Beijing, China.

Russia emerged as the SAWMG’s big winners overall this year, as their players took home a total of six gold, five silver and one bronze medal. In total, 150 players from 37 countries took part in the 2014 World Mind Games. There were 14 disciplines across five sports, with 24 medal rounds contested. Click here for full results.

More Gold for China (Ranka Pair Go report)
Pair Go Begins (Ranka)
Pair Go Game Records

photo: China’s Pair Go Team, Yu and Mi