American Go E-Journal » Korea

Go Takes Over Seoul Streets

Sunday September 21, 2014

Hundreds of people gathered to play Go in Korea’s Gwanghwamun Square, on September 21. The event was part of Seoul’s Street Without Cars 2014.09.21_Simultaneous-Go-Games-Seoul-550x367Festival and Learn Go Week. Go fans got autographs from players like Lee Changho, Lee 2014.09.20_Simultaneous-Go-Games2Sedol and Kim Hyojeong, president of the Korean Baduk Professionals’ Union. One hundred professional go players played simultaneous games with attendees, including international visitors from the 51 countries participating in the 9th Korean Prime Minister’s Cup. Over 1,000 people attended, including many families with children. However, because not everyone played games, the goal of 1,004 simultaneous games was not achieved, and the Guinness World Record – 1,000 players at Take-machi-dohri and Chuo-cho Shopping Streets, Oita, Japan on June 6, 1999 — remained unbroken this year.
- Younggil An, Go Game Guru; right: 100 professional Go players play simultaneous games in Seoul, Korea; left: Seo Neungwuk plays international visitors, including AGA president Andy Okun (3rd from right) and Andrew Jackson (far right). 

Categories: Korea,Main Page
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Korea’s Wei TaeWoong Sweeps Korean World Amateur Championship, Besting U.S. in Final

Saturday September 20, 2014

Korea’s Wei TaeWoong (right) swept the 9th Korean World Amateur Championships (KPMC), winning all six games on September 19-20 in2014.09.20_BenLockhart Seoul. US representative Ben Lockhart scored an impressive 5-1 record, losing only to Wei in the final round (photo)China came in second, followed by Taiwan, Japan, the US, Mexico, Taiwan and Russia. The key game was Wei’s fifth-round match against Hu YuChing from China; Hu led slightly from the beginning, but Wei hung in and succeeded in turning the game around. “I am very happy to win the KPMC,” said Wei, “and I will prepare with my best for next year’s pro qualification tournaments.”
- wbaduk.com

“Learn Go Week” rolling in 21 countries with 60+ events; still time to join in!

Tuesday September 16, 2014

Learn Go Week started last weekend, with go players all around the world — 60 events in 21 countries  – running teaching events in their local 2014.09.16_Raleigh-go-weekcommunities. The first-ever event runs through this coming weekend, so if you want to get 2014.09.16_Learn-Go-Week-Canberra-300x401involved, you can still run a beginners’ night at your local go club this week; click here to let Go Game Guru know about it. This weekend, on September 21, 1004 go players in Korea will attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the most simultaneous games of Go in one place, the headline event at Seoul’s Street Without Cars festival. Last Saturday, the San Diego Go Club sponsored a go demonstration and teaching event at the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park in San Diego. “Dozens of people touring the garden stopped by the koi pond site to play a game or learn the basics of go,” reports club president Ted Terpstra. And in Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, North Carolina, the Triangle Go Club of hosted Yuan Zhou to come from Maryland for a public outreach event (right) on September 13 in the community room of the Earth Fare grocery store. Zhou gave a lecture on the history and cultural aspects of go in China, and also played a simultaneous exhibition match against eight local players. “Triangle Go Club members and Zhou also chatted with onlookers about the game, played friendly demonstration games outdoors, and distributed Way To Go’ booklets,” reports local organizer Paul Celmer. Click here for Go Game Guru’s report on Learn Go Week activities thus far, including lots of cool photos of events in places like Canberra, Australia (left).

Discount Available for New BIBA Students

Thursday September 4, 2014

Those interested in studying go in Korea can now get a discount of $100 off per person when they come to study at Blackie’s International Baduk Academy (BIBA). Shawn Ray, a student at BIBA who recently moved to Korea to do a series of lessons on BadukTV, has arranged with the BIBA instructors for this special deal. “BIBA is a school dedicated to giving international go – or baduk, as it’s known here in Korea — players a place to play and study in a dojo-like setting,” Ray tells the EJ. “Right next door to BIBA is a class of Younguseng (insei, or students) who are around 7-9-dan amateur level and BIBA students get to play league games with them. After playing League games, we get our games reviewed by Mr. Kim 9P, or Blackie as we call him, and get an in-depth analysis of our games.” In order to get this discount individuals must come as a group, so those interested should contact Ray at clossius.ShawnRay@gmail.com before coming “to see if we can coordinate students to come around the same time to be eligible for a group discount. Looking forward to seeing everyone in Korea!”

Categories: Korea
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Rui Naiwei Joins Lee Sedol, Park Junghwan & 13 Others for Samsung Knockout Round

Sunday August 31, 2014

Xiao Zhenghao 8P and Rui Naiwei 9PPlayers from China, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and the U.S. gathered in Qingdao, China on August 26-28 for the group2014.08.31_Round-of-16-players-19th-Samsung-Cup stage of the 19th Samsung Cup. However, the stand-out competitor was Chinese player Rui Naiwei 9p (left), the only female player make it through to the next, or knockout, stage. Rui is one of only two women to ever make it to the knockout phase of the Samsung; she’s not only done so seven times, but made it to the quarter finals in the 5th and 6th Samsung Cups. This year, she is already off to a good start with two wins against Taiwan’s Xiao Zhenghao 8p (left). Rui will join Park Junghwan 9p, Lee Sedol 9p, and the 13 other knockout finalists in Daejeon, Korea on October 14-16 to compete for this year’s quarter finals. For more information on this year’s Samsung Cup including photos, game records, and pairings for the next round, visit Go Game Guru.
–Annalia Linnan, based on a longer article by Go Game Guru; photos courtesy Go Game Guru

Gu-Lee Jubango Round 7 Broadcasts Tonight

Saturday August 30, 2014

Game 7 in the MLily Gu vs Lee Jubango will take place Sunday, August 31 in Lhasa. Live online coverage is being provided by Go Game Guru’s An Younggil 8p on Baduk TV Live starting at midnight, Sunday morning (9pm 8/30 PST), and by Myungwan Kim 9P on Pandanet starting at 10pm EST (7pm PST). The score currently stands at 4-2 in Lee’s favor so this will 2014.08.29_jubangobe a critical match for Gu. Already down two games, Gu’s back would really be against the wall if he loses this round, as he’d have to win three straight games just to tie. “Let’s see how Gu Li will do,” Kim tells the E-Journal. “As a go fan who wants to enjoy more exciting games, I support Gu Li for this next game.” Click here for the latest version of Pandanet and here to read more about the match on Go Game Guru. You can also check out GGG’s commentary on Round 6 here.

Categories: Japan,Korea,World
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Clossius in the Land of Baduk: Vacation Lessons

Monday August 25, 2014

By Shawn Ray, Special Correspondent to the E-Journal2014.08.24_BIBA-by-waterfall

When you think of a go school you probably imagine us holed up inside for endless hours of study, practice and play. So you would have been surprised to see the Blackie’s International Baduk Academy (BIBA) students recently when we went camping and hit the beach.

After a three-hour drive, we arrived at a cabin on the side of a spectacular mountain; shades of summer camp back in the States. Except that in this cabin there was a very nice go board and bowls of stones waiting for us, and less than ten minutes after we arrived, we were playing go. After losing a couple of games to fellow students, I decided to try my luck on the tennis court just outside the cabin. Tennis is my favorite physical sport, so I jumped at the chance to finally get outside and play and we had time for two matches before lunch.

After lunch, we hiked to a waterfall. It was a bit more strenuous getting there than I’d anticipated but well worth it for the refreshing plunge into the icy waters. When another student dove under the waterfall to try and get a rock from beneath the crashing waters, I had to take the challenge on as well. Just like go, however, it proved to be far more difficult than I had realized. Diving under a waterfall and fighting the current to get to the bottom was very hard! I persevered, however, and was finally able to get a rock as well. Here we are at the side of the waterfall getting ready to take the plunge.

After our trip to the waterfall, we all went back to the camp to play more go and tennis, including doubles and Pair Go. My score for the day: seven games of go, seven tennis matches, and one rock from the waterfall. I slept very well that night but the next day I 2014.08.24_BIBA-go-playerswas really sore! No pain, no gain, right?

A few days after our camping trip, it was time for the yearly trip to the beach. The first day was a bit of a disappointment since the waves were too large and beach security wouldn’t let anyone in. No problem for go players: we went back to the hotel and played go. The second day was far more exciting, still with big waves, but safe enough for us to go in. Again like go, though, appearances were deceptive. After riding the waves a good few times, I was pushed into the beach where I was knocked over and dragged back into the water only to be hit by the next wave. This repeated about four times before I was able to stand up and get out of the current. I probably should have resigned there but no, back in I went. Riding the waves more carefully this time around, I was really enjoying myself, until, a really big wave lifted me and my float ring up,  completely flipped me over and threw me into the beach face first. With a bloody nose and sore shoulder, I was 0-2 but not ready to resign just yet and went right back into the water for a few more hours of fun.

Getting good at go is hard work but it’s important to remember to have fun. The BIBA students managed to find challenges on our mountain and beach vacation but most of all we had a lot of fun and welcomed the respite from the continuous study schedule we’re accustomed to. I look forward to our next outing, but now it’s back to work!

Shawn Ray, known as Clossius to his YouTube and KGS fans, recently moved to Korea to do a series of lessons on BadukTV. photos courtesy Ray.

Categories: Korea
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Clossius in the Land of Baduk: At Home Abroad

Tuesday August 5, 2014

By Shawn Ray, Special Correspondent to the E-Journal

Since arriving in Korea, I have learned about much more than baduk, as go is known here. Here, for example, it’s customary to bow to your elders, but back home in America if you bowed down to someone they would give you a funny look.

Though I’ve only been here since the end of May, it didn’t take long to feel a bit homesick. So when Cho Hyeyeon 9P asked if I wanted to help her teach baduk to soldiers on the US military base, I agreed immediately. Arriving on base it was if I’d somehow been instantly transported back to America. The roads, sidewalks, and even the houses are all in the American style and the stores and soda machines take American dollars and have American snacks. It turns out that the base is actually owned by the United States, so technically, I was literally back in United States territory.

After a trip to Burger King, we went to the building where we would teach the Baduk class. The students — who are either soldiers, their wives or kids — arrived shortly after we did; they were all complete beginners of course, and it was nice to teach them and play without the pressure of having to thoroughly think through each and every one of my moves. They all took it in very quickly and played very intriguing moves. My new friend Chris, who now enthusiastically plays the game on KGS when he can, quickly learned how to play the opening on the full board and how to make and take two eyes.

I was very impressed with how quickly the students learned things and I had a lot of fun teaching them. I also got to remember how it felt to be a beginner and just to enjoy playing. Lately, between my teaching work for BadukTV and my own studies, it seems as though I have become so serious that I must make every move as effective as possible. So it is a nice change of pace to be able to play beginners and have fun with the game rather than having the pressure to make every move worthwhile.

It was a good reminder that baduk is as difficult as we make it.

Shawn Ray, known as Clossius to his YouTube and KGS fans, recently moved to Korea to do a series of lessons on BadukTV. photo: Ray (front), with students from the US military base,

Categories: Korea
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Eric Lui and Zhaonian Chen Battle for Spot in Samsung Prelims

Monday August 4, 2014

Eric Lui and Zhaonian Chen play each other tonight in the semifinals of the Samsung Cup World Preliminaries. The winner plays the winner of Xiang Zhang vs Jan Hora match for the spot in the main tournament. Lui, Chen and Seung Hyun (Kevin) Hong are participating in the World Preliminaries of the Samsung Cup this week in Korea. The 2014 Samsung Cup World Baduk Masters expanded the World Division to provide more opportunities to international amateur players. A dozen players were invited: three from North America, one from South America, four from Europe, up to three from Asia (Korea, China, Japan, Taiwan excluded) and up to two from Africa. The winner of the World Division will be invited to participate in the final 32 of the Samsung Cup, with total prize money of $800,000 USD.
- Thanks to Oren Laskin for translation assistance

Lee Sedol vs Gu Li Jubango Resumes This Weekend

Thursday July 24, 2014

After a 2-month break, the MLily Gu vs Lee Jubango resumes this weekend with Game 6 scheduled for 1p Korea time on Sunday, July 27 (12:00a Sunday morning, US EST). Lee Sedol currently leads the match 3-2 after breaking his losing streak against Gu Li in Game 5. Live coverage with commentary of the match will start on Baduk TV three hours after the first move is played. The commentators will replay and analyze the game from the beginning and Go Game Guru’s An Younggil 8P will translate and discuss the game (in chat) with Baduk TV Live viewers. You can watch for as little as $2.70 with a Baduk TV Day Pass. If you plan to watch the game from the very start, subtract three hours from the times given above. Baduk TV starts the coverage three hours later because the games go for so long.
- GoGameGuru.com

Categories: Korea
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