American Go E-Journal » Go News

Vegas Go Club Hosts 2-Day Tourney This Weekend

Friday December 6, 2013

The AGA and the Las Vegas Go Club are hosting a two-day, four-round AGA-rated go tournament as part of MSI’s second Las Vegas Mind Sports Festival this weekend. “Two days of non-stop game-play involving Go, Chess, Scrabble, Magic: The Gathering and a cornucopia of other games will quench the thirst of fans and players looking for a festival tournament quite like no other,” says the Las Vegas Go Club. “The blend of mind sports coupled with an unbeatable stay-and-play hotel package make it an experience not to miss.” Arrive by 9:30 a.m. Saturday, rounds at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. $100 top prize, others based on attendance. Best hat worn by a go player wins a box of Bendicks Bittermints. More info: Chris Tettamanti, 702-604-4000 or tettamanti@gmail.com.

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SportAccord World Mind Games Japanese Player Profiles

Thursday December 5, 2013

Thirty players (18 men and 12 women) from around the world — China, Chinese Taipei, Europe, Japan, Korea and North America — will compete for major cash prizes in this year’s SportAccord World Mind Games, coming up December 12-18 in Beijing. Here are Michael Redmond’s 9P’s introduction and brief biographical sketches of the Japanese players. Redmond and EJ Managing Editor Chris Garlock will be providing play-by-play game commentary on the SAWMG YouTube channel as well as coverage in the EJ. click here to see the player roster and schedule

by Michael Redmond 9P
Overall, it is clear that Japan has decided to give younger players a chance this year. Unfortunately, star players from the same age group such as Murakawa Daisuke and Ichiriki Ryo are missing, I would have liked to see them in this tournament. Murakawa was the B league winner of the Kisei league and recently he lost to Yamashita Keigo in the playoff to decide the challenger. In the league he bested top players such as Takao Shinji, Hane Naoki, and Kono Rin. I suppose that the Kisei tournament, among other things, posed a potential schedule issue for him this time. Ichiriki is a formidable 16 year old player, he seems to be winning all the time. Two weeks ago he lost to Ko Iso in the final to enter the Meijin league, his only loss in the recent past that I can remember. I would guess he has some other schedule issues. As to the women, judging from domestic tournaments I would have expected to see Xie Imin, Mukai Chiaki, or Okuda Aya, but actually I have a feeling that Yoshida might have a better track record in international tournaments.

Rina Fujisawa 2P: Born in 1998, at the age of 11 years and 6 months, she became the youngest player to become pro in Japan, breaking Cho Chikun’s record of 11 and 9 months. She began playing as a pro in April 2010, and caused some comment by beating a 9-dan in June of the same year. Rina is the granddaughter of Fujisawa Shuko, and her father is Fujisawa Kazunari 8P. She has an intuitive and aggressive style.

Akihiro Fujita 4P: Born in 1991, Akihiro became a pro in 2006. Won the 38th Shinjin-O (New Kings) tournament in 2013, and in 2010 came one win away from entering the Honinbo league, losing to Yamashiro 9p in the final round. He is considered to be one of the most promising young players in Japan.

Tomoya Hirata 3P: Born in 1994, became pro in 2009. Plays an aggressive style. In June this year I played him and published a commentary in the EJ on the game, which I lost by a mistake in late middlegame.

Kazushi Tsuruta 2P: Born in 1995, became pro in 2010. In 2011 he won into the Gosei Honsen.

Mika Yoshida 8P: Born in 1971, became pro in 1986. Won several Women’s titles from 1992 to 2005. Plays a well-balanced style.

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’14 US Go Congress To Be Held In Midtown Manhattan, Sources Say

Wednesday December 4, 2013

According to informed sources, plans are under way to hold the 2014 U.S. Go Congress at the Hotel Pennsylvania in midtown Manhattan from August 9-16. “It’s a terrific location with easy access all that New York City has to offer,” the highly-placed source said. The Pennsylvania has previously hosted the East Coast Oza qualifiers. More details on the 2014 US Go Congress are expected to be announced soon.

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Berlin Feasts On Full Week of Go

Wednesday December 4, 2013

If go was food, Berlin go players would surely be loosening their belts after a sustained feast of the game last week, with the Go to Innovation Tournament kicking off Berlin Go Week, topped off with the Berlin Championship and followed by the Kranich Tournament for dessert.

The Go to Innovation Tournament, with a first prize of 1,000 EU, was played November 22 – 24 at the Innovationspark Wuhlheide, 12555 Berlin. Unusually, it uses the Hahn system, whereby the tournament is won on a point score with game points awarded according to the size of win/loss. It was won by Korean Hwang In-seong 8d (right) for the eighth time, with Bernd Sambale 2d (left) in second place and Lluis Oh 6d third. Click here for Eurogotv’s report with photos, video and game records, here for full results, and here for an after-tournament interview with Hwang, in which he reveals plans to extend his Yunguseng Dojang internet go academy to American time zones in the near future. “I got this plan because I have about 10-15 American time zone go players in my go school and they can’t fully enjoy because the time (is better) suited for Europeans,” Hwang old the E-Journal. “Therefore, I will open one more go school which has same system but (a more) suitable time for American go players.” He expects the new classes to start in January 2014.

Berlin Go Week continued on Monday November 25 with a simultaneous prize challenge: Bernd Schutze, Michael Budhan and David Seibt (all 4-dans) v the Rest of the World. Tuesday saw the Iron-Man tournament with several go variations to compete in: Five-in-a-row, Tsunami go, Blind go and Globus go or Risigo. Then on Wednesday there was a two-hour workshop with Hwang Inseong and on Thursday the order of the day was to “bring a travelcard and a magnetic go set” for an evening of go games on Berlin’s Ring Railroad (Ringbahn).

The Berlin Championship 2013 (Berliner Meisterschaft) title match was held, according to tradition,  at the end of Berlin Go Week on Friday November 29.  The previous title-holder, Johannes Obenaus 5d, is currently studying in Taiwan, so the final was between Michael Budahn 4d and David Seibt 4d. The event, held at Humboldt University, Berlin, was beset by difficulties and errors, starting with Hwang In-seong being unable to deliver the expected live TV commentary due to a lack of equipment. The byo yomi of 5 stones in 5 minutes was not set properly at first, and then with both players in overtime, both lost groups under pressure. When Seibt then pressed the clock with the wrong hand and Budahn raised an objection, the game recorder thought it was all over and failed to record the subsequent moves as the game continued, thinking the players were simply analysing it. Finally, however, Seibt was declared the winner by 10 points and took the title of Berliner Meister 2013. Click here for the Eurogotv report, including photos, video and correct game record.

Last weekend, November 30 – December 1, Berlin Go Week gave way to the five-round Kranich Tournament (Berliner Kranich Turnier), also held at the Humboldt University, Berlin and featuring traditional Japanese food provided  by a team of Japanese housewives as well as a calligraphy stand and bookstall. It was won by Czech student Lukas Podpera (left), who entered as a 5d and left as a 6d after seeing his European Go Rating (GoR) exceed 2600. In second place came Robert Jasiek 5d and third was Kevin Sanow 4d. Click here for Eurogotv’s round-by-round report, including photos, videos and game records, here for full results and here for an after-tourney interview with Podpera, his first ever.

Click here to connect with Berlin Go Club’s Facebook page with photos from the entire week.

Report by Tony Collman. Photos: Viktor Lin 6d (L) plays Go to Innovation Tournament winner, Hwang In-seong 8d; The Berliner Meister trophy; Kranich Tournament victor, Lukas Podpera 6d – all courtesy of Eurogotv. Photos of play by Judith van Dam.

CORRECTION: the player at left in the top photo has been updated to Bernd Sambale 2d, rather than Viktor Lin 6d as originally reported.

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The Power Report (Part 3): Second Round Of Nong Shim Cup Starts; Severe Penalty For Lateness; Obituary: Oka Mitsuo; Promotion: Yo Chito

Wednesday December 4, 2013

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal

Second Round Of Nong Shim Cup Starts: Japan has made a bad start in the second round of the 15th Nong Shim Spicy Noodles Cup, which is being played in Pusan, Korea. In Game 5, played on December 2, Kang Tong-yun 9P of Korea (W) defeated Kono Rin 9P by resignation. Japan has yet to score a win, and only Yuki Satoshi 9P and Cho U 9P are left.

Severe Penalty For Lateness: Unfamiliarity with Tokyo trains cost Arakaki Shun 9P of the Kansai Ki-in nearly one half of his time allowance in a game at the Nihon Ki-in on November 21. Arakaki got on a train going the wrong way on the Yamanote loop line and so was 27 minutes late. According to the rules, the time a player is late is tripled and deducted from the time allowance. With the one minute Arakaki actually spent on his first move thrown in, that meant that he lost one hour 22 minutes out of three hours on his first move. Not surprisingly, he lost the game.

Obituary: Oka Mitsuo
Oka Mitsuo 7P died on November 19. Born on August 10, 1932, Oka became a disciple of Segawa Yoshio 9P. He turned professional in 1962 and reached 6-dan in 1978. He retired in 1998 and was promoted to 7-dan.

Promotion: Yo Chito
Yo Chito was promoted to 2-dan on November 29. The fifteen-year-old Yo made his international debut recently as a member of Japan’s Nong Shim Cup team.

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EGF Launches Discussion Forum

Wednesday December 4, 2013

The European Go Federation (EGF) now has its’ own discussion forum. The new platform for European go issues is intended for use by go organizers throughout Europe. “You can use this forum also for your tournament announcements, if you want to spread the information throughout Europe,” says EGF President Martin Stiassny. “I will use this forum intensively, for announcements but also for answering your questions.”

One of the first posts on the forum is about a new team tournament in Guangzhou, China from December 19-26 “It is more or less a new team world championship,” says Staissny. “It will be an amazing event. It will be held every two years and should be the tournament with the highest prize-money in China. Guangzhou has a super Go-Club, like Hangzhou. Although the flight-costs are not covered by the organizers, the prize-money for the amateur-teams is really surprising, and I see very good chances for teams from Europe to win this prize-money.” Stiassny urges European players “to find three players of one country, so called ‘regions’ might be Scandinavia or Spain/Portugal, but not ‘Western Europe’ or ‘Balkan’”.

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The Power Report (Part 2): Newcomer Makes Good Start In Honinbo League; Ichiriki Wins Young Carp Tournament; 26th Women’s Meijin League; Aoki vs. Ishii In Women’s Kisei Play-Off; Mukai Finally Beats Xie; Hane Defends Okan Title

Tuesday December 3, 2013

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal

Newcomer Makes Good Start In Honinbo League: Three players are undefeated after two rounds in the 69th Honinbo League. Two of them are heavyweights, Yamashita Keigo 9P and Kono Rin 9P; the surprise is that the third is league newcomer Ida Atsushi 7P (right). Born on March 15, 1994, Ida started out the year as a 4-dan, but jumped to 7-dan when he won a Honinbo seat. He is a member of the Central Japan (Nagoya) branch of the Nihon Ki-in. Ida’s second win came on November 14, when, playing white, he beat Yuki Satoshi 9P by resig.

Ichiriki Wins Young Carp Tournament: The 8th Hiroshima Aluminium Cup Young Carp Tournament, open to Nihon Ki-in players 30 and under and 6-dan and under, was held on November 16 and 17. It was won by the sixteen-year-old Ichiriki Ryo 3P (left). Playing white in the final, he defeated Fujita Akihiko 4P, holder of the King of the New Stars title, by resignation.

26th Women’s Meijin League: In a game played on November 14, Chinen Kaori 4P (W) beat Okuda Aya 3P by 2.5 points. This extended Chinen’s score to 3-1, bringing her level with Suzuki Ayumi 6P.  The league leader is Kato Keiko on 4-1. In another game, played on November 20, Yoshida Mika 8P picked up his first win by beating Ishii Akane 2P; Yoshida had black and won by resignation.

Aoki vs. Ishii In Women’s Kisei Play-Off: In the semifinals of the 17th Women’s Kisei tournament, held on November 18, Ishii Akane 2P (B) beat Chinen Kaori 4P by resignation and Aoki Kikuyo 8P (W) beat Konishi Kazuko 8P, also by resignation, so Ishii and Aoki will meet in the play-off to decide the challenger to Xie Yimin.

Mukai Finally Beats Xie: Mukai Chiaki (right) has finally succeeded in a title challenge to Xie Yimin. In the fifth game of the 32nd Women’s Honinbo title match, held at the Nihon K-in in Tokyo on November 27, Mukai (B) beat Xie by resignation after 251 moves. This was an impressive win for Mukai, as she spent a large part of the game under severe pressure. She made a reducing move that was a little too deep, and for the next 100 moves or so a large group of hers was harried and harassed by Xie. Spectators thought that Xie would win, but Mukai found a brilliant move that secured a link with another group. Xie is the one known for staging upsets in tough positions, but here she was on the receiving end. This win earned Mukai her first title after six unsuccessful challenges, five of them to Xie. The latter is now reduced to two titles.

Hane Defends Okan Title: The Okan or Crown title decides the top player at the Nagoya branch of the Nihon Ki-in. The 54th title match (just one game) was held on November 29. Hane Naoki (B) defeated the challenger, Nakano Hironari 9P, by resignation after 237 moves. This is Hane’s tenth Okan title. His father, Hane Yasumasa, also won it four times; as far as I know, this is the only case of two players in the same family winning the same title.

Tomorrow: Second Round Of Nong Shim Cup Starts; Severe Penalty For Lateness; Obituary: Oka Mitsuo; Promotion: Yo Chito

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The Power Report (Part 1): All-Chinese Final In LG Cup; Yamashita To Challenge For Kisei Title; Iyama Defends Tengen Title; Cho U Picks Up First Win In Oza Title Match, But Iyama Defends; Iyama Reaches Judan Semifinals

Monday December 2, 2013

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal

All-Chinese Final In LG Cup: The quarterfinals and semifinals of the 18th LG Cup were held in Inch’eon City in Korea on November 11 and 13. Chinese players had dominated the tournament so far, taking six of the eight quarterfinal places, but for once Japan had done better than Korea, with Takao Shinji and Iyama Yuta taking the other two places. However, this was as far as their luck held out, as they were both eliminated in the quarterfinals.
Quarterfinal results, Nov. 11: Chen Yaoye 9P (China) (B) defeated Iyama Yuta 9P (Japan) by resignation; Tuo Jiaxi 3P (China) (B) d. Takao Shinji 9P (Japan) by 4.5 points; Li Zhe 6P (China) (W) d. Xia Chenkun 2P (China) by resig.; Zhou Ruiyang 9P (China) (B) d. Li Qincheng 1P (China) by resig.
Semifinal results, Nov. 13: Tuo (B) d. Li by resig.; Zhou (B) d. Chen by 4.5 points. The final is scheduled for February 10, 12, and 13. photo: 18th LG Cup semifinalists, from left: Li Zhe 6 dan, Tuo Jiaxi 3 dan, Zhou Ruiyang 9 dan and Chen Yaoye 9 dan; photo courtesy GoGameGuru

Yamashita To Challenge For Kisei Title: The play-off to decide the challenger to Iyama Yuta for the 38th Kisei title was held at the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo on November 14. Playing white, Yamashita Keigo 9P forced Murakawa Daisuke 7P to resign after 144 moves. Yamashita has won the Kisei title five times, first in 2003 and then from 2006 to 2009. This will be his chance to seek revenge for his loss of the Meijin title to Iyama this year. The first game will be played in Alcala de Henares, near Madrid, in Spain on January 11 & 12. With a first prize of 45 million yen (nearly $440,000 USD), the Kisei is Japan’s richest title.

Iyama Defends Tengen Title: The third game of the 39th Tengen title match was held at the Yutoku Inari Shrine in Kashima City, Saga Prefecture on November 28. Iyama Yuta (W) defeated Akiyama Jiro 9P by resignation after 176 moves, so he defended his title with straight wins. This is his third successive Tengen title; he now has a winning streak of nine wins in the Tengen.

Cho U Picks Up First Win In Oza Title Match, But Iyama Defends: Games Two and Three in the 61st Oza title match were held in quick succession at the Saryo Soen inn in Akiu Hot Spring, Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture. It’s quite unusual to hold two games from a title match in a row at the same venue outside Tokyo; it was made necessary, of course, by Iyama Yuta’s crowded schedule. The second game was played on November 19; taking black, Iyama won by resignation after 243 moves. This gave him a 2-0 lead over the challenger, Cho U 9P. It looked as if the match might end very quickly, as the third game was played on the 21st, with only one day’s break. However, Cho (right) played a masterly game with black and forced a resignation after just 161 moves, making the series a lot more interesting. This was the fourth time two games have been played in a row like this and the first time the wins have been shared. The fourth game was played at the Sanyoso inn in Izu-no-kuni City, Shizuoka Prefecture on December 2. Taking black, Iyama won by resignation after 221 moves, so he defended his title with a 3-1 score. This is his second successive Oza title and it maintained his current tally at six of the top seven. He has also taken his overall tally to 22, which is even with O Rissei and Hane Naoki in 13th place.
The Oza title match was the last of the tournament year. This is the first year since 2001 that Cho U has failed to win a title. Iyama has proved to be his nemesis, but he is too good a player not to make a comeback. Incidentally, Iyama’s six first prizes and his TV Asia win have earned him 152.5 million yen $1.5 million USD). Various match fees and game fees have to be added to this, so his final total should be a new record by a big margin.

Iyama Reaches Judan Semifinals: The significance of this news item is that Iyama is keeping alive his chances of becoming the first player ever to win a genuine grand slam, that is, all seven titles in one year. To do so, he needs to become the Judan challenger and then to win it after defending his Kisei title at the beginning of next year. Iyama’s opponent in the semifinal is Mizokami Tomochika 8P. The other semifinal matches Hane Naoki against Takao Shinji.

Tomorrow: Newcomer Makes Good Start In Honinbo League; Ichiriki Wins Young Carp Tournament; 26th Women’s Meijin League; Aoki vs. Ishii In Women’s Kisei Play-Off; Mukai Finally Beats Xie; Hane Defends Okan Title

CORRECTION:  The Kisei first prize of 45 million yen has been updated to reflect that it’s worth nearly $440,000 USD, not the $300,000 originally reported.

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French Go Report: Strasbourg Three-Peats as French Club Champs; Dai Junfu Sweeps Paris-Meijin

Monday December 2, 2013

Strasbourg Three-Peats as French Club Champs: For the third consecutive year, the Strasbourg Go Club has won the French Club Championship. The 11th French Club Championship — also named “Master Lim Cup”, in honor of Eugene Lim, a great master in France since 1970 – was held November 23-24, with 14 teams competing in Dijon. The Strasbourg club team includes Motoki Noguchi 7d, Thomas Debarre 6d, Fred Donzet 5d and Antoine Fenech 5d. The Grenoble club took second, and Dijon, which hosted the event, finished third. Click here for team results and individual results. photo: the Strasbourg teams; photo by Antoine Fenech.

Dai Junfu Sweeps Paris-Meijin: Dai Junfu 8d swept the 31st Paris-Meijin on December 1, besting Fan Hui 8d in the final game. Held in Paris, this is one of France’s major tournaments, and featured 28 dan players. Benjamin Dréan-Guénézia 5d finished 2nd, Fan Hui 3rd , Motoki Noguchi 7d was 4th and César Lextrait 5th. Click here for resultsphoto: Dai JUNFU is 5th from left, Benjamin Dréan-Guénézia is 6th from left; photo by Jérôme Hubert.

- Laurent Coquelet, French Correspondent for the E-Journal

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Mingjiu Jiang Workshop Set for Portland in April

Monday December 2, 2013

Well-known Chinese pro Mingjiu Jiang 7P will do a weekend workshop at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, OR on Saturday and Sunday, April 26-27. “This is part of the Portland Go Club’s continuing effort to bring a variety of pro players to Portland to teach players of all strengths,” reports local organizer Peter Freedman. Those interested in participating must let Freedman know asap and pay to insure a spot. Reach him at peter.freedman@comcast.net, call 503-242-4203 or send $100* to the Portland Go Club, c/o Peter Freedman, 1710 SW Harbor Way, Unit 303, Portland, OR. *There are reduced rates for students and children: college students pursuing a degree: $50; Children and youth up to age 18: $25. photo by Brian Allen

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