American Go E-Journal » Go News

North American Kyu Championships Launch for Youth

Monday January 13, 2014

The AGA is launching a new event for young players, the North American Kyu Championships (NAKC), to be held on KGS, on Saturday Feb. 15.  The event will replace the USYGC, which had been tied into the Ing Foundation’s World Youth Goe Cup.  The NAKC will  welcome kids who live in both Canada and Mexico to compete with their counterparts in the US.  Dan level players will be able to compete in the Redmond Cup (including players from Canada and Mexico).  Youth who compete in either event will also be eligible for $400 scholarships to the AGA Go Camp, or $200 scholarships to the US Go Congress, courtesy of the AGF, on a first come first served basis.

Brackets in the NAKC will be divided by rank, with a new bracket formed approximately every 5 ranks or so depending on the range of participants. Within brackets, all games will be played even. Depending on the number of entrants in a given bracket, there will be either 3 or 4 rounds. There will be a trophy for the best Junior player (under 13) and the best Senior (under 18) in each bracket. Jr. and Sr. level youth will compete together.  Registration is now open for both the NAKC and the Redmond Cup, and more information can be found on the AGA webpage for youth events.  The deadline for the NAKC is Feb. 11th. to register, click here.  For Redmond Cup registration, click here.  The AGA is no longer involved with the Ing Foundation’s private tournament for youth.  AGA members who wish to play in Ing events can find information on the Ing Foundation’s website here. -Story and Photo by Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo: Kyu players competing at a tournament in Colorado.

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Iyama Wins Half-Pointer Over Yamashita in First Kisei Game in Spain

Sunday January 12, 2014

Iyama Yuta 9P (left) defeated Yamashita Keigo 9P by half a point in the first game of the 38th Kisei title match, which was  hosted in Alcalá de Henares by the Nam Ban Madrid Go Club on January 11-12, in accordance with the tradition that this title’s first game is played outside Japan. In the postgame analysis, Yamashiro Hiroshi 9p (Referee and Vice President of the Nihon Ki-in), Osawa Narumi 4P (game recorder) and Makihata Taeko 3p (game recorder) watched.
- report/photo by Harry van der Krogt, European Go Cultural Centre
Update (1/13): the game record has been added; click on “first game” above. 

Categories: Europe
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“The Best Gift Ever!”

Sunday January 12, 2014

More than half a century ago, a small gift changed Terry Benson’s life. His parents bought him a go set at a mall bookstore in 1960. “It was a flimsy, cardboard set with small, flat bottom, plastic stones and a 1949 AGA rule book,” says Benson. “As plain as a game could be. But it was the best gift ever!” Now Benson, President of the American Go Foundation (AGF), is urging go players to also give the gift of go. “Think about what a little go set can do or what the first set or the first experience with go meant to you,” says Benson. Contributions help the AGF work with go organizers to spread the game. “The number of children that the AGF can reach is only limited by the gifts we receive from players who value go,” says Benson. “We need your help to find the next kid who could become an organizer, a champion, the parent of a go fan, or a lifelong player.” AGF projects this year alone include teaching teachers at a dozen schools in LA, where over 300 kids are now learning the game. “Jay Jayaraman in Memphis has started First Capture Go programs through The Confucius Institute at 18 schools with more signing on,” adds Benson. “Peter Freedman and 2011 AGF Teacher of the Year Fritz Balwit have a half-dozen programs in Portland with a chess and go hybrid model,” and the AGF sent more than 100 free Starter Sets to schools and libraries throughout the US that are starting go programs. Another 119 sets of the complete Hikaru no Go manga have been added to libraries and community centers, many of which now sport go clubs or teaching programs run by youth librarians with equipment from the AGF. The AGF also supported the Teacher Workshop at the 2013 Go Congress,  provided $3,000 to help the US Go Camp this year in Pennsylvania and another $7,000 for kids coming to the Go Congress, as well as awarded a $1,000 2012 AGF College Scholarship to go organizer Joey Phoon and a $1,500 earmarked donation covered online teaching games for kids who had never experienced professional training. “We’re doing what we can but we need you to keep the game going,” says Benson. “What we can do depends on you.” Click here for details on how to contribute.

Baduk TV Now Available on Apple TV

Sunday January 12, 2014

Live Korean go matches with commentary, game reviews and lessons are now available 24/7 through KorTV on Apple TV. KorTV — an Internet television network designed to provide free live Korean IPTV — provides HD quality live Korean go streaming services for $2.99 a month. KorTV also provides baduk (as go is known in Korea) VODs, such as lessons for various levels from beginner to professional and hour-long world matches and Korean leagues. The live broadcasting is in Korean, but some VOD have English subtitles or dubbing. Note: this is a separate service from Baduk TV English — the partnership between Baduk TV and Go Game Guru. 

British Open Now Welcomes All Comers

Saturday January 11, 2014

Following lively debate on British go community subscription list Gotalk (see British Open Not So Open, Eurogotv 12/30/13), the British Go Association (BGA) has now reviewed its decision to limit entry to the British Open and British Lightning this year to members of the BGA or other national go organization (see footnote to British Open Taking Entries, EJ 12/29/13). Instead non-members will be subject to a £5 surcharge, payable upon attendance. The events form part of the British Go Congress 2014 which, as reported, will be held at the English south coast resort of Bognor Regis, February 28 – March 3, alongside the European Youth Go Championship. Click here to enter.

Tony Collman, British correspondent for the E-Journal

Report from the Zhugang Cup World Weiqi Team Championship

Saturday January 11, 2014

“It was our great pleasure and honor” to play in the recent Zhugang Cup World Weiqi Team Championship (Korea Wins New International Tournament 1/3 EJ), reports Mingming (Stephanie) Yin 1P (at right). Yin, along with MingJiu Jiang 7P (at left) and Zhaonian (Michael) Chen 6D (bottom right) represented the U.S. at the event in Guangzhou, China, where strong players from around the world gathered in teams of three to compete for a total prize pot of over 5,000,000 RMB ($825,000 USD). “After three rounds of heavy competition among unseeded teams, the US team was successfully able to defeat opponents in the qualification sessions and gain entry into the ranked session,” Yin says. “There, we went up against five teams, all of which had a line-up of world-class competitors.” In the first round, the US played China’s seeded team with Shi Yue 9P, Zhou RuiYang 9P, and Chen YaoYe 9P. In the third round, they played Japan’s Wild Card Team with Takemiya Masaki 9P, Kobayashi Koichi 9P and Cho Chikun 9P, and in the fifth round, the US played Korea’s Wild Card Team with Cho Hun-hyeon 9P, Yoo Chang-hyuk 9P and Lee Chang-ho 9P. “We lost to these incredibly strong teams but finished the tournament with a 2-3 record because of 3-0 wins against the Canadian and Czech Republic teams. To our surprise, we were presented with a Zhugang Cup World Team Go Championship ‘Outstanding Contribution Award.”
photos courtesy Mingming (Stephanie) Yin 

Categories: World
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Ximeng Yu Wins as Jin Chen Memorial Tournament Draws Big Crowd

Thursday January 9, 2014

The fourth annual Jin Chen Memorial Tournament at the Seattle Go Center brought together 46 players from diverse backgrounds.  The 12-person open section was won by Ximeng (Simon) Yu, a 1 dan professional from China who is also a local college student.  Second place in the open went to longtime Northwest teacher and player Edward Kim 7d.  Edward lost his game to Simon on time, but said he was also behind on points.  Third place went to Ran Yan, who traveled to Seattle for the tournament.  In the handicapped sections, Go Center teacher Nick Sibicky won the upper dan section, and Ning An, visiting from China,  placed second.  As is often the case in Seattle, the local Betcher brothers ruled the lower dan section, with Jordon first and Job second.  In the upper kyu section, Andrew Mott was first and John Richards was second.  In the large lower kyu section Wilhelm Fitzpatrick placed first, young Steven He second, and Rainer Romatka third.

Friends and family of the late Jin Chen came to the tournament from China, including 5 players.  They donated a large and beautiful scroll painting of wei-chi players to the Go Center.  The trip was organized by Shan Chen, Jin’s father.  Their able translator was Xingshuo Liu 7d, a law student at Indiana University.  Photo: 1st Round, 1st Board (l-r): Simon Yu, Momoko Tsutsui; 2nd Board: Bert Hallonquist and Edward Kim.  Photo/Report Brian Allen

 

Categories: U.S./North America
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Go Photo: Former Insei Visits Santa Barbara Club

Wednesday January 8, 2014

Maojie “Jeff” Xia, who’s visiting Santa Barbara during his winter break from the University of Montana, arrived at the Santa Barbara airport on New Year’s Day and went straight to the Santa Barbara Go Club at the Coffee Bean, where he played for three and a half hours non-stop with club members including Stephanie Ho and Melvin Rosenfeld, giving both six stones and winning by resignation. Xia returned to the club last Saturday for “Saturday Sasual Go”, this week held at the home of Goro Nakano, where he played a simul with three club members. Xia, an ex-insei who studied at Nie WeiPing’s Go school in Beijing, is currently studying accounting at the University of Montana.
photo (l-r): Maojie “Jeff” Xia, Stephanie Ho (7 stones handi, B+2.5), Goro Nakano (7 stones handi, W+R), Melvin Rosenfeld (6 stones handi, W+R).
– report/photo by Ed Lee

EuroGoTV Update: Netherlands, England, Finland

Wednesday January 8, 2014

Netherlands: Michiel Tel 5d (left) took the Heerlen NieuwJaars Go Toernooi on January 5. Behind him were Jonas Welticke 4d and Geert Groenen 6d. England: Yuanbo Zhang 4d bested Benjamin Drean-Guenaizia 5d at the London Open on December 31 while Pierre Paga 4d placed third. Finland: The Takapotku Open finished in Espoo on January 6 with Juri Kuronen 6d in first, Antti Tormanen 7d in second, and Vesa Laatikainen 5d in third.
– Annalia Linnan,  based on reports from EuroGoTV, which include complete result tables and all the latest European go news; photo courtesy of EuroGoTV

Zhang Yuanbo Wins London Open

Sunday January 5, 2014

The 40th London Open Go Congress, the UK’s largest and oldest go event, took place December 28-31 at the International Student House in central London. With a field of 109 players ranging from 5d to 24k, first place in the seven-round main tournament was taken by Zhang Yuanbo 4d (right), a Chinese graduate of the University of Nottingham, with six wins. French visitors Benjamin Drean-Guenaizia 5d and Pierre Paga 4d took second and third place with six and five wins respectively and Briton Andrew Simons 4d, also on five wins, came fourth. Games were 90 minutes main time (60 if both players 20k or weaker), with Canadian (repeating) overtime of 20/5 and tie-breaks decided on McMahon score. In fact, as our photo below shows, Zhang could have had a perfect 7/7 if he had noticed opponent Drean-Guenaizia’s flag fall during overtime in round six. However, his attention was entirely focused on the close battle on the board and he eventually decided the game was lost and resigned. Click here for full results.

After 10-minute round-robin qualifiers, fellow Finns and good friends Mikko Suikola 4d and Janne Nikula 2d emerged from a knockout stage as finalists in the Lightning, held on Monday evening, December 30. The 12-minute final was rather informal, with beer on the table and good-natured banter passing between the competitors as they played, referee Jenny Radcliffe having to step in at one point to warn one of the many spectators not to comment on the position. Despite a stiff handicap of three stones, based on McMahon score after Nikula’s rather poor showing in the main, Suikola nevertheless prevailed to take first prize.

In the Pair Go, an unfortunate paucity of female competitors meant there were a number of all-male teams admitted to balance the numbers and in fact no females figured in the top three (of 14) pairs, who were Boris Mitrivoc 2d and Fynn Bachmann 1k, Andre Stadtler 3d and Chris Volk 2k, and Andrew Russell 4k and Jonathan Green 5k, in that order. The tournament rule that a Pair Go team shall comprize “one lady and one man” was overcome by the forensic observation that the term “lady” was undefined. We spare the blushes of the nominal “ladies” by not specifying who was which. Click here for full results.

Top European-rated player, Korean Hwang In-seong 8d (right, at board facing camera) was present throughout, spending two-three hours per round reviewing games as well as giving a lecture on opening theory on Sunday 12/29 and one on local techniques Monday 12/30 and reviewing the top game on the teaching board on the Tuesday afternoon, 12/31. He told the E-Journal he had competed in the London Open in 2005 and was very happy to have been invited to teach there this year. Guo Juan, who has for many years filled this role, was in Montreal this year and so unable to attend.

There was also a new event on Monday 12/30, the first WBaduk Varsity Match, between teams from Oxford and Cambridge Universities which was drawn (see Oxford and Cambridge Battle to Draw in 1st WBaduk Varsity Match, EJ 1/1).

After the prize-giving ceremony, proceedings ended with Rengo followed by a New Year’s Eve meal.

The Congress was organized by the British Go Association and the Central London Go Club, and also received support from the Nippon Club, the Anglo-Korean Society, WBaduk and others. Martha McGill was the main organizer, Jenny Radcliffe tournament director and organizer and referee for the Lightning and Rengo. Nick Wedd was the referee for the main tournament and organizer and referee for the Pair Go. Tony Atkins organized provision of equipment and David Cantrell ran the bookstall. Others too numerous to mention played smaller roles.

Click here for further details in the British Go Association’s report.

In other British go news Under-10 Champion Oscar Selby 7k (pictured above, looking over Hwang’s shoulder) took the 2013 Youth Grand Prix with 1411 points – more than twice those of his nearest rival, Edmund Smith 17k. Click here for full details.

Tony Collman, British correspondent for the E-Journal.