American Go E-Journal » Latin America

17th Ibero-American Championship in Cuba Draws 37 Players from 8 Countries

Wednesday October 28, 2015

Just over three dozen players players from eight countries competed in the 17th Ibero-American Championship tournament held at the Cuban Go Academy in Havana from2015.10.28_Ibero-Am-group 2015.10.28_Ibero-Am-winnersOctober 9 to 11. Hisao Uyama 7d (Brazil) won first place; Fernando Aguilar 7d (Argentina) finished second and Santiago Alvarez 5d (Cuba) was third. “It was a nice occasion to foster international friendship through go,” Aguilar told the E-Journal.

The field included 19 Cubans and 18 players from other nations. John Harriman 2d (US) finished 10th with a 4-2 record. Other US players competing were Bob Gilman and Tania Tadakia.  High officials from the Cuban Ministry of Sport attended the event, and it was covered on Cuban television. photo: (l-r) Fernando Aguilar, Hisao Uyama & Santiago Alvarez.
- report/photos by Bob Gilman

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Three US Players to Compete at 17th Ibero-American Tournament in Havana

Wednesday October 7, 2015

Three U.S. players will participate in the 17th Ibero-American Championship Tournament October 9-11 in Cuba, where leading Latin American2015.10.04_Rafael-Torres-Miranda-and-Lazaro-Bueno-Perez players will compete to determine a champion. Last year in Quito, Ecuador there were 47 players of all levels from eleven countries. Besides Latin America, players also came from  Korea, the United Kingdom and the U.S. “Havana is a city rich in history all the way from the 16th century to modern times,” says attendee Bob Gilman, who’s organized several US-Cuba exchanges. “I am eagerly looking forward to playing and extending my relationships with Latin American players.” There is information about the tournament here, and Gilman says people wanting to learn more are welcome to write him at bobgilman.aga@gmail.com.
photo: Cuban Go Federation Rafael Torres Miranda (left) and Cuban go organizer Lazaro Bueno Perez at the 2015 US Go Congress; photo by Phil Straus

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Myungwan Kim 9p Visits Mexico City Go Class

Wednesday September 16, 2015



Myungwan Kim 9p fields questions on September 2 from students at Pippiolo in Mexico City, where instructor Siddhartha Avila (to his left) teaches as part of a very successful curriculum for preschool and elementary school children. One asked Kim who his strongest three opponents have been, and when he answered Lee Changho, Lee Sedol and Cho Hoon Hyun, the kid immediately said “Have you played Gu Li?!”
- report/photo by Steven Burrall

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Coloquio de Go Mexicano Wraps Up

Tuesday September 1, 2015

The third and final day of the Mexican Go Congress began on Monday with round 5 of the Mexican Open, then during lunch Myungwan Kim 9P2015.09.01_mexico-congress lectured on manipulating the surrounding board situation to prepare for crosscuts. A well-2015.09.01_mexico-congress2timed forcing move that may be bad locally because it seems to erase aji or makes an ugly shape can be perfectly situated to cause your opponent to collapse at the end of a crosscut sequence if you have made sure to read it out correctly.  After the 6th and final round, Kim reviewed the top-board game (right) in which Congress director Emil Garcia finally managed to triumph over defending champion Abraham Florencia.  Pictured in the lower right corner is a variation (not the real game) showing white collapsing after inappropriately choosing the small avalanche when the ladder is unfavorable.
- report/photos by Steven Burrall; photo at left: Newly-crowned Mexican Open champion Emil Garcia (right) gets a teaching game from Myungwan Kim 9p atop the pyramid at Teotihuacán.
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Mexican Go Congress: Kids 13×13 & Myungwan Kim 9P on Handling Crosscuts

Monday August 31, 2015

The second day of the Mexican Go Congress kicked off on Sunday with a children’s 13 x 13 tournament (right), and Mexican Open rounds 3 and 4 occupied the late morning and early afternoon, followed a lecture by Myungwan Kim 9P on 2015.08.31_Mexico-Congress-KIDS13X132015.08.31_Mexico-Congress-Kimhandling crosscuts (left). Kim showed two recent games of Lee Changho’s in which Lee lost early due to not handling crosscuts as well as his younger opponents.  Kim explained that the new generation of professionals receives much more in-depth training in reading out long and complicated sequences than was the case 15 years ago.  Kim said that this was the most important single lecture topic for two reasons: handling a crosscut correctly may often mean the difference between establishing a superior position or completely collapsing, and learning to handle them requires practice of the reading skills that one should be applying constantly other aspects of the game. The Congress concludes on Monday with a final day of activities.

Report/photos by Steven Burrall; photos: (right) TD’s Emil Garcia and Daphne Rios supervise the children’s 13 x 13 action;  (left) Myungwan Kim 9P lectures on the crosscut. 

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Second Go Congress Underway in Mexico City

Sunday August 30, 2015

Forty two go players signed up for the Mexican Open, a three-day, six-round tournament this weekend which is the main event of the second 2015.08.30_Mexico-Congress-viewColoquio de Go, or Go Congress, in Mexico City.  “Enthusiasm for go is much newer in 2015.08.30_Mexico-Congress-registerMexico than in the United States, but they have a bright future with indefatigable organizer, registrar and TD Emil Garcia,” reports Steve Burrall. Garcia  (seated in blue shirt) is also a very strong player, who placed sixth in the recent Prime Minister’s Cup.  Saturdays’s two rounds were followed by a lecture from Myungwan Kim 9p on a game he played with Lee Sedol that was a watershed event in his go playing career. Kim then played a simultaneous match with 12 local players.  The photo at right, the view from board #8 in the tournament room, shows the ruins of Tlatelolco, a former pyramid transformed into an adjacent church by the Spaniards.
- report/photos by EJ Special Correspondent Steve Burrall

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Mexico Holds 2nd Go Congress; Myungwan Kim 9P as Special Guest

Thursday August 27, 2015

The Mexican Go Association is holding its second Go Congress this weekend, August 29-31 at Centro Cultural Tlatelolco in Mexico City. The main event in the Congress is the second Mexican Go Open Tournament with total cash prizes of 9,000 Mexican pesos.  Go and Origami workshops along with a 13 x13 blitz tournament and Hikaru No Go screening will take place for youngsters and the Myungwan Kim 9p will provide lectures, game reviews and simultaneous games, said MGA President Emil Garcia.  USA and Europe are making great efforts to develop go in their regions, with Congresses and pro qualification, said Garcia. “Mexico and Latin America shouldn’t lag behind.” Click here for the Congress site; during the Mexican Open, players can follow top-board games on KGS through the GoMex1 and GoMex2 accounts.

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Cuban delegation to U.S. Go Congress “bringing back much” to island nation

Saturday August 8, 2015

Rafael Torres Miranda had a problem. The automotive importer had just discovered the game of go in 1990 but had no one to teach him and, worse yet, no one to play with. Twenty five years later, he’s attending the U.S. Go Congress as President of the Cuban Go Federation, the first time a delegation of Cuban go players has ever participated.2015.08.07_cuban-interview

“The high level of play and the variety — as well as sheer quantity — of go activities is very impressive,” Miranda (at right, in white shirt) told the E-Journal. The other member of the delegation is Dr. Lazaro Bueno Perez (far left), a professor of chess and go at the University of Camaguey, and both said that they “will be bringing much back to Cuba from the Go Congress.”

Miranda says that there are some 2,000 go players in Cuba, ranging in strength from 5-dan to double-digit kyu players. “We’ve come a long way in a very short time,” he said. Miranda learned about the game from a Japanese colleague in the automotive business. The game intrigued him immediately. Although his colleague didn’t think he was serious, but he did teach Miranda the rules and they played. “No one in Cuba played go,” he laughs, “everyone played chess.” But as a judo teacher Miranda knew how to study and train and determination did the rest. They have had major support from the Association for International Go Exchange (a group of retired Japanese who love the game) and pros from the Nihon Ki-in. The Cubans make their own go equipment and there are now players in every city in the country.

In addition to the obvious barriers posed by Cuba’s political isolation, perhaps the biggest obstacle to spreading the game and improving Cuban go player’s strength has been one that go players around the world can appreciate: extremely limited internet access. There’s also a real hunger to participate in go tournaments around the world. “Always we want to participate,” Miranda said, chuckling. “We can’t, but we want to.” He hopes that the timing of the Cuban delegation to the U.S. Go Congress as official relations between the United States and Cuba have been established this year may be a harbinger of more opportunities to travel and compete internationally. “We are grateful to the AGA, the American Go Foundation, and to Bob Gilman for making this possible.”

Cuba will host the 17th Iberoamerican Go Championships October 9-11 at the Cuban Go Academy in Havana. Cuba. In addition to the chance for Cuban go players to meet their comrades from other Latin American countries, Miranda said it’s an opportunity for the Cuban Go Federation to be in the spotlight; after all Cuba organized the first four international tournaments in Latin America (1998-2001) before the current Championship series began.
- Chris Garlock; photo by Phil Straus

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Cuba to Host 17th Ibero-American Championship in Havana in October, Welcomes US Players

Thursday June 4, 2015

The Academia Cubana de Go has announced that it will host the 17th Ibero-American Championship tournament in Havana October 9-11. US players are very welcome, organizers say.  “I had a great time,” says Bob Gilman, who was one of four US players at last year’s Ibero-American Championship in Quito, Ecuador in 2014

The relaxation of restrictions on travel to Cuba by US citizens should make it easier for US players to travel to Havana for this tournament, says Gilman, who visited Havana in 2013 with a group of US players. “Travel for a competition is now permissible under a ‘general license.’” While prior government approval is not necessary, travelers must maintain documentation for five years that this travel meets the specifications in the Treasury Department regulations. “I am doubtful whether a trip extending much before or after the tournament would meet the regulatory standards for travel for a competition,” says Gilman. “Another possibility would be a ‘people to people’ group trip such as in 2013.” While this would permit seeing more of Cuba, it “requires more organization and has its own set of regulatory standards to meet,” notes Gilman, who adds “I would be interested in hearing from US players interested in making the trip.” Write Gilman here.

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Mexico Bests Portland in School Match

Tuesday May 26, 2015

DSC_0092Mexico City triumphed over Portland, OR in a friendly children’s tourney held May 16th on KGS, reports organizer Peter Freedman. Each city fielded a team of six children, ranked from 10-21k. They participated in a three-round tournament using 19×19 boards and KGS handicaps. “Luke Helprin’s parents hosted the Portland team at their house, and his dad Ted graciously provided snacks and helped with Spanish,” said Freedman.  Portland got off to a good start in round one by winning 4 out of 6 games.  Round two was a tie with each team winning 3 matches, setting the stage for a decisive showdown.  In the third round, Mexico City came up from behind by winning 5 out of 6 matches. -Austin Freeman with Paul Barchilon.  Photo by Siddhartha Avila: Members of the Mexican team Skyping with Portland.  

Winners Report: Overall Wins: Mexico 10, Portland 8; 3 game winner: Luke Helprin 20k; 2 game winners: Hikaru Saito 10k, Diego Ali Manjarrez 14k, Leonardo Valdovinos 14k, Daniela Luciano 22k, Almudena Espinosa 21k.

 

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