American Go E-Journal » Go News

Canada 3-peats in 4th Youth Friendship Matches

Monday December 12, 2011

The future of North American go was on full display this past Sunday at the 4th US-Canada Youth Friendship Match, held on KGS and viewed by over 250 go fans.  With many exciting matches featuring intense middle games, the Canadians managed to pull away for the third year in a row, posting a 4-1 victory over the U.S.  In a rematch of last year’s top board, Ryan Li, the runner up to the 2010 and 2011 Canadian Opens, once again managed to best Calvin Sun in a close match featuring a territory versus influence battle.  Intense fighting was the theme of the next few boards, with Gansheng Shi, Jianing Gan, and Andrew Huang of Canada posting victories for Canada, and the lone American win from USYGC Champion Vincent Zhuang.  With such a strong showing overall, the North American team has a chance to reclaim victory against the European youth in the Transatlantic Match that will be played next spring. Full results can be seen here.  -Special report by Lawrence Ku

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China Likely to Win Gold in World Mind Games; U.S. Contender for 5th

Sunday December 11, 2011

In the third round of the team competitions at the SportAccord World Mind Games in Beijing, China, the United States finally scored a team win when Mingjiu Jiang forced Catalin Taranu to resign, after Andy Liu and Feng Yun won against Cornel Burzo and Vanessa Wong, reports Thomas Hsiang.  Jie Li, however, lost by 2.5 points to Cristian Pop in a game that both players thought Jie had won.  Kevin Huang then lost to Jan Simara, making the team score 3-2.  The US will now probably finish 5th.

The other match, pitting China against Korea, attracted the attention of a lot of the Chinese pros. Wang Runan, Hua Yigang, Hua Xueming, and Yu Bin – the president, vice president, men’s team coach, and women’s team coach of China Weiqi Association – all showed up to watch.  There were lively discussions in the study room around the several large-screen TV’s showing the key games.  In the game between Kong Jie and Lee Sedol, Kong had a good opening and took the lead early on.  But Lee fought back with a clever maneuver to reverse the situation and won at the end.  On the second table, Gu Li (right) trailed Choi Chulhan early, causing tense moments among the Chinese audience.  But, in a marvelous display of his recent strong form, Gu fought back little bit by little bit.  In the end he found a ko and took a firm lead when Choi could not find a large enough threat for the ko.  With Xie He and Li He winning, China was assured of a 3-2 victory.  China will now probably win the gold medal.

Between Korea and China, there have been three international mind-sport team clashes.  In the 2008 WMSG and the 2010 Asian Games, Korea won both by a 4-1 score.  So for China, this was a sweet victory indeed.

In the third match, Japan won surprisingly easily with a score of 4-1 against Chinese Taipei.  Only Yamashiro Hiroshi lost on the second table to Hsiao Cheng-hao.  Japan will now probably take the bronze.

Tomorrow (12/12) is the off day for Go.  SportAccord and the Beijing government have arranged a visit for some of the go players to a middle school for a teaching and promotional event.  Representing US and EU will be Mingjiu Jiang and Vanessa Wong.
Click here for James Davies’ detailed reports on Ranka Online, where you can also follow live matches, check out the schedule, results and participants.
photo courtesy Ranka Online

Matching Gift Programs A Way to Double Generosity

Sunday December 11, 2011

Many employers have matching programs, where an employee’s gift to a charity is matched by the company. The Seattle Go Center’s relationship with generous go players at Microsoft, for example, is an important part of their funding base through the matching gift program. “With annual giving campaigns going on now, if your company has such a program, please consider a gift to the AGA or the AGF,” urges American Go Association’s National Fundraising Committee Chair Peter Freedman. Freedman notes that only the AGF is a 501c3 organization eligible for tax deductible donations; the AGA is a 501c4, and donations to it are not tax deductible. If your company needs an EIN number, the EIN for the American Go Association is 133643868 and for the United States Go Foundation the EIN is 133621764.

Categories: U.S./North America
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Japan, Korea & China Sweep EU, US & Chinese Taipei in World Mind Games

Saturday December 10, 2011

“Today’s games were uneventful,” reports Thomas Hsiang from Day Two of the SportAccord World Mind Games in Beijing, China.  “Japan, Korea, China cruised to 5-win victories versus the EU, US, and Chinese Taipei teams.  Andy Liu played against Park Jeonghwan today (12/10) and said he was thoroughly impressed. ‘I did not even know how I lost.  Park’s play was perfect’”.  Chinese Taipei’s popular Hei Jia-jia played a tough game against Li He, a game featured on the net broadcast.  The game also attracted many pros in the study room.  After an early exchange that favored Li, Jia-jia fought furiously back in an exciting fighting game.  But in the end she still fell short.”

Tomorrow will see the EU pitted against US; the winner will avoid a last-place finish.  Also, China and Korea will crash to produce the likely champion team.  Japan will play Chinese Taipei for a probable third place.

“Andy Okun and I had a two-hour interview with Lee Youngho, brother of Lee Changho, and Xie Rui, the top Weiqi reporter in China who works for Titan Journal, a sports newspaper.  Based on this interview, Titan will publish a feature story about go in America in its next issue.”

Click here for James Davies’ more detailed reports on Ranka Online, where you can also follow live matches, check out the schedule, results and participants.
photo: SAWMG Opening Ceremonies; collage courtesy Ranka Online

 

 

Hosts Wanted for North American Masters’ Qualifiers

Saturday December 10, 2011

Chapters and tournament directors are being sought to host qualifiers for the 2012 North American Masters’ Tournament (NAMT), which will take place at the 2012 Go Congress in Black Mountain, North Carolina. “Up to eight qualifying tournaments will be sanctioned,” reports AGA Tournament Coordinator Karoline Burrall, two in each region — East, West, and Central — and two online tournaments. “Because go players are so spread out across the country, hosting these qualifiers is essential to allow as many eligible players as possible to compete and accumulate points,” Burrall adds. Any chapter holding a tournament and interested in turning it into a NAMT qualifier can email Burrall at tournaments@usgo.org.

Categories: U.S./North America
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U.S. Team Comes Close But Fails to Upset Japan in 1st Round of SportAccord World Mind Games

Friday December 9, 2011

Results from the first day’s team competitions at the SportAccord World Mind Games in Beijing, China on December 9 went pretty much as expected, Thomas Hsiang tells the E-Journal, with China, Japan, and Korea winning against EU, US, and Chinese Taipei. “Chinese Taipei nearly pulled an upset when Chen Shih-iuan defeated Lee Sedol, and Hei Jia-jia (Joanne Missingham) won against Kim Hyemin.  In the game that finished last, the young boy Wang Yuan-jun — only 14! — was leading in his game against Lee Younggo.  Lee finally prevailed and dashed Chinese Taipei’s hope for a big upset.”

The U.S. lost to Japan 0-5, but Andy Liu and Jie Li (right) both had their chances, Hsiang reports. “Andy played ‘fast and very smart’ against Sakai Hideaki, according to Gu Li and Kong Jie, the two Chinese world champions.  Gu Li spent more than an hour watching Andy and told me afterwards that he was very impressed and ‘that unknown young man had a good game and many chances to win’.  Jie lost to Yamashiro Hiroshi by just a half-point, and also had many chances to win, according to Kong Jie.  So our young players made a very positive impression.”

EU lost to China 0-5.

The broadcasting schedule for December 10 will feature the game between Hei Jia-jia and Li He — “the ‘game of the two beauties,’ as they say here in China,” says Hsiang. Tentatively, Andy Liu will be featured on the 14th when he plays against Xie He from China.

Click here for James Davies’ more detailed reports on Ranka Online, where you can also follow live matches, check out the schedule, results and participants.

In other news, Hsiang reports that “the International Go Federation (IGF) held a special Board Meeting today (12/9). I invited (AGA Board member) Andy Okun (in dark blue shirt in photo below) as an observer. Many things were discussed, including an IGF proposal that will fund two projects in the Americas: the AGA’s plan for an international go symposium and the Iberoamerican Go Federation’s plan to start a pilot project teaching go in Venezuela schools.  This proposal now moves forward to IMSA.”  The AGA’s plan to establish a pro system was met with great enthusiasm and encouragement, Hsiang reports. The IGF is starting to plan the next round of the SportAccord World Mind Games that will now be featured for at least five years.  Hsiang and Yuki Shigeno will again represent the IGF in negotiations with SportAccord.  Brunei will be next IGF member, with Kazistan likely to follow. The Ing Foundation will apply to become a new Association Member of IGF; its president, Mr. Ying Ming-haw, has been invited to become an at-large Director of the IGF.  WAGC 2012 will be held in Guangzhou, May 11-18, and the 2012 WAGC 2013 will be held in Japan, with site selection and date to be announced in May 2012.  There is still no site contract for World Mind Sports Games II in 2012 and the event is unlikely to take place.
photos: US team player Jie Li (top right); team captains (bottom left); photos courtesy Ranka Online.

SportAccord World Mind Games Kick Off Friday, 12/9

Thursday December 8, 2011

Preparations for the first edition of the SportAccord World Mind Games are in full swing, reports Thomas Hsiang. The Games kick off on Friday, December 9 and “There will be broadcast of events everyday during the tournament on the internet,” Hsiang tells the E-Journal.  The IGF’s Ranka Online will also be providing coverage and the EJ will relay highlights. The go broadcast is from 1500 to 1600 Beijing time (US EST 0200 to 0300) and can be watched live on the SportAccord Youtube Channel or on the IMSA channel. The go event schedule: Team Tournament, December 9, 10, 11, 13, 14; Pair Tournament, December 15, 16; off day, December 12.

In the team event, US will play against:  Japan (12/9); Korea (12/10); EU (12/11); Chinese Taipei (12/13); China (12/14). The US playing order is Mingjiu Jiang, Jie Li, Andy Liu, Kevin Huang, Yun Feng. The EU’s schedule: China (12/9); Japan (12/10); US (12/11); Korea (12/13); Chinese Taipei (12/14). The EU playing order is Catalin Taranu, Christian Pop, Cornel Burzo, Jan Simara, Vanessa Wong.

Won Seongjin Wins 16th Samsung Cup

Thursday December 8, 2011

After several months of preliminaries and finals, the 16th Samsung Cup wrapped up surprisingly quickly this week, with a three game match between Won Seongjin 9P and Gu Li 9P. The games were played over three consecutive days starting on December 5, 2011. Won clinched the third game on December 7, scoring a 2-1 win, as well as his first major international title. Both players are renowned for their thick and powerful fighting styles, but many go fans expected Gu, who’s known as ‘muscle man’ in Asia, to defeat ‘Won punch‘ in the heavyweight stakes. Even if Gu’s fans were disappointed with the results, they can’t have been disappointed with the games, which thoroughly demonstrated the power and creativity of both masters.
- Jingning; Games and photos are available in her original article: Won Seongjin wins 16th Samsung Cup! 

Photo: Gu Li 9P (left) and Won Seongjin 9P play the opening of the second game.

Categories: World
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Won Lee Wins First TRENDnet Championship

Tuesday December 6, 2011

The first TRENDnet Southern California Go Championship was held December 3-4 in Alhambra, CA, under clear skies and cold dry Santa Ana winds.  Inside the Southern California Chinese Broadcasting building, the atmosphere was warmer as about 50 players of all ages gathered for five rounds of go.  The open section – and $500 top prize — was won by Won Lee 7d.  Lee, a veteran SoCal strong player not so active in recent years, put on a strong showing by edging out local strong youths Curtis Tang 7d and Andrew Lu 6d, according to tournament organizer Kevin Chao.  Other section winners were Yunxuan Li 3d in the dan section, Vincent Ma 3k in the high kyu section, Raymond Liu 7k in the mid kyu section, and Gary Huang 10k in the low kyu section.  The tournament featured a $2,000 prize pool and was sponsored by TRENDNet, a Torrance, CA-based supplier of home and small business networking equipment.
- Andrew Okun; photo: Won Lee at left, Kevin Chao at right, Andy Okun in center.

Winner’s Report:
Open Section: Champion  Won Lee 7d (4-1); 2nd place Curtis Tang 7d (4-1); 3rd place Andrew Lu 6d (4-1). Dan Section: 1st place Yunxuan Li 3d (5-0); 2nd place Jae Kim 1d (4-1); 3rd place Ming Teh Wu 4d (3-2). High Kyu Section: 1st place Vincent Ma 3k (5-0); 2nd place Kevin Chou 1k (3-2); 3rd place Ted Terpstra 5k (3-2). Mid Kyu Section: 1st place Raymond Liu 7k (4-1); 2nd place Jiayue Li 8K (4-1); 3rd place Michal Lebl (3-2). Low Kyu Section; 1st place Gary Huang 10k (4-1); 2nd place Susanna Pfeffer 12k (4-1); 3rd place Samantha Davis 10k (3-2).

Categories: U.S./North America
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Jiang Weijie Wins 24th Mingren

Monday December 5, 2011

While Japan has already crowned its Meijin for 2011, the 39th Myeongin continues and 24th Mingren concluded this week, with Jiang Weijie (5p) defeating Kong Jie (9p) in five games.
- GoGameGuru.com

Categories: World
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