American Go E-Journal » Go News

Going to Extremes

Saturday March 9, 2013

If regular go is getting too easy, you may want to check out the eXtreme Mindgame Challenge, which proposes to expand play to a staggering 57 x 57 board.

“The goal of this project is to make this 4000 year old game really extreme,” say the project’s organizers, who say they’re planning to recruit two teams to eight players each to play on the biggest board in the world. “Players will be quite strong so that they can focus on the whole game,” they add.

It’s not clear who’s behind the grandiose effort, which is trying to raise $5,000 for the summer 2013 project but has only attracted two supporters for a grand total of $60 thus far.

With 3,249 intersections in a 57×57 board, project organizers calculate the number of possible game positions at 10 to the 2,000 power.

- Thanks to Paul Barchilon for passing this along

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Categories: Go Spotting,World
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Teacher of the Year Nominations Sought

Friday March 8, 2013

Nominations for the American Go Foundations  Teacher of the Year award are now open. The award is presented each year at the U.S. Go Congress and recognizes an outstanding American teacher. The winner  will receive an all expenses paid trip to the congress.  To be eligible, a teacher must be a member of the AGA, have been teaching go to children for at least two hours a week (during the school year) for two years, have started a go club or organization for youth, and have helped their students enter appropriate tournaments, if possible.  If you would like to nominate someone for this award, including yourself, e-mail mail@agfgo.org.  Nominations are due by April 30th and should include a description of the teacher’s activities,  how long they have been teaching, and how many students attend their program. - Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.  Photo: Last year’s winner Joe Walters, of Pasadena, CA, with students from his program.  To read more about Joe’s work, check out Sensei #8.

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European Youth Go Championship This Weekend

Friday March 8, 2013

Europe’s top youth players are gathered in Budapest this weekend for the European Youth Go Championship, which runs March 8-10. They’ll compete in a 6-round main tournament as well as a 5-round side tournament; click here to see results. Game records and videos are also being posted on the EuroGoTV website.

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Categories: Europe
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Csaba Mero 6D Wins Dublin’s Confucius Cup

Friday March 8, 2013

Csaba Mero 6D (left) won the 2013 Confucius Cup, played March 2-3 in Dublin, Ireland. Zebin Du 4D took second place and in third was Antoine Fenech 5D. Latest European tournament results available on EuroGoTV’s website

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Categories: Europe
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15 Strongest Women in Go Battle in Longshi Cup

Friday March 8, 2013

Late in February, the 3rd Huang Longshi Cup kicked off, pitting the five strongest women from China, Japan, and Korea against each other.

Kim Chaeyong gave Korea a quick start, taking out Japan’s Osawa Narumi 4P and Ishii Akane 2P, as well as China’s Song Ronghui 5P and Chen Yiming 2P. However, 14-year-old Yu Zhiying 2P from China stopped Kim’s run, and added two of her own, defeating Japan’s Okuda Aya 3P and Korea’s Kim Hyelim 2P. That leaves Xie Yiin 6P and Mukai Chiaki 5P for Japan, and Yu Zhiying 2P, Li He 3P and Wang Chenxing 5P (who won 8 games in a row in last year’s tournament) for China. Korea may be in the best position with Park Jieun 9P left, as well as Choi Jung 3P and Moon Dowon 2P

Round 2 begins on April 6th. The Huang Longshi Cup is an international women’s win-and-continue team tournament between China, Japan and Korea named after Huang Longshi – a famous Chinese go genius from the Qing dynasty.
Adapted from a report on Go Game Guru; click for game records and more information. Edited by Ben Williams
photo: Team Japan – from left: Mukai Chiaki, Xie Yimin and Osawa Narumi. 

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Categories: World
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Portland Kids Best Mexico in Inter-School Tourney

Thursday March 7, 2013

Youngsters from Portland, OR, took on kids from Mexico City, in a friendly match on KGS, held on Feb. 24th.  The Portland group, organized by Peter Freedman, played two rounds, and won 9-5, with one tie. The Mexican group are students of Siddhartha Avila’s, at the Pipiolo elementary school, and have competed with the Portland kids before, who Avila says are “much stronger this year”.  The kids video conferenced with each other before the matches, and were able to meet their opponents by Skype as well as across the board.  “Some of the kids we played plan on visiting Portland before going on the Go Congress in Tacoma this summer,” reports Freedman.  “They and their parents will homestay with our go families, spending a week playing go, soccer, and sightseeing with us.  Our families are really revved about this idea.”  Winner’s Report: Portland 2 game winners: McCaleb Nessler-Cass 16k, Jordan Reed 24k, Hikaru ?k; 1 game winners: Wilson ?k, Ellis Zehnder 23k; Mexico 2 game winners: Samuel 17k; 1 game winners: David Martinez 16k, Sebastian 20k, Yatzitl 24k.  Story by Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor -Photo: Students from Pipiolo competing, by Siddhartha Avila.

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Park Junghwan Reclaims Nongshim Cup for Korea

Thursday March 7, 2013

Park Junghwan continued Korea’s dominance of the Nongshim Cup, defeating Jiang Weijie 9P to take home the 11th Korean win in the Cup’s 14-year history.

Park was the new anchor for Korea in the team tournament,  handpicked by Lee Changho himself. Jiang was a newcomer to the tournament as well.

The final round kicked off on February 26th, with Choi Cheolhan breaking his personal 8-game losing streak against Chen Yaoye. However, he lost his next game to China’s Xie He 9P.

Xie’s record at the Nongshim Cup is 2nd best in the cup’s history, and got him promoted to 9P in the first place. That left Park to face both Xie and Jiang, but he was able to pull out victories against them both and bring the Cup back to Korea after China won the tournament last year.

Adapted from a report on Go Game Guru; click for game records and more information. Edited by Ben Williams

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Categories: World
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16-Year-Old Fan Tingyu Becomes Youngest Ing Cup Winner

Thursday March 7, 2013

Sixteen-year-old Fan Tingyu 3P defeated Park Junghwan 9P on March 6th to become the youngest winner of the prestigious Ing Cup.

Fan Tingyu Left, Park Junghwan, Right

The Ing Cup, go’s longest-running international tournament, has been called the Go Olympics, since it held once every four years.

The semifinals, which took place last September, set up a showdown between Park and Fan in Singapore, where the first two games of the final were held. They left Singapore with one win apiece in the best-of-5 final.

The three final games were set for Shanghai, starting on March 4th, with Park hot off his win at the Nongshim Cup. Fan took Game Three, and the pressure was on Park, though he was playing as White, to stay in the match.

Game Four was a thriller, with Park, playing white, making a lot of territory early, with a number of weaker groups. Park ended up sacrificing two of the groups to reinforce the center. However, Fan played brilliantly to take away the center territory, with ko battles throughout the board. By the time it was all settled, black was ahead by 3 points and Fan had captured the title.

By winning the Cup, Fan not only becomes the youngest player to win the Ing Cup, but if he’s promoted to 9P, as is customary after winning an international title,  he will be the youngest player to do that as well, breaking Chen Yaoye 9P’s record.

Fan took home about $400,000 US for his efforts.

Adapted from a report on Go Game Guru; click for game records and more information. Edited by Ben Williams

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Go Doc Launching New Fundraiser to Finish Film

Thursday March 7, 2013

Almost exactly a year since co-directors Will Lockhart and Cole Pruitt decided to shoot a documentary on the game of go — The Surrounding Game — the team is moving into the next phase of the project. “We have come a very long way and the filming itself is almost complete, but we still have a long way to go to get to a finished film” says Lockhart. The team filmed at the 2012 U.S. Go Congress and AGA Pro Tournament last summer, traveled to China and Korea in the fall, and spent the winter organizing their extensive footage. “We’re now launching a second fundraiser to raise money for post-production, including hiring a full-time editor, commissioning original music, and digital mastering of the film,” says Lockhart. A new fundraising goal of $30,000 has been set to reach a final cut of the film.

The new fundraiser begins this Saturday, March 9 and will operate via The Surrounding Game’s brand new website, which also features a recently-released trailer for the film. “We are adding Chinese- and Korean-language options for the site to make the project and fundraiser accessible to an international audience, and we’ll be offering a ton of new rewards which weren’t available the first time around,”  says Pruitt. We want “The Surrounding Game” to be as well-produced as it can possibly be, and we hope you’ll share the project with your friends and family and help us reach our goal.” He also noted that last year “we passed our initial goal quickly thanks to a lot of support from EJ readers.”
- screencaps from the latest Surrounding Game trailer

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Traveling Board: U.S.-Cuba Friendship Match “A Rare Opportunity”

Wednesday March 6, 2013

While the U.S. team prevailed in a February 16-17 friendship match in Cuba, “the true victory was in realizing this rare opportunity for players from the two countries to come together,” said trip organizer Bob Gilman.

A team of 11 U.S. players competed with Cubans at the Academia Cubana de Go in Havana. The US players ranged from 5 dan to 24 kyu, and the Cubans had a similarly wide range. The event drew coverage on Cuban sports TV.

“They are just a wonderful group of people and their passion for the game came through every minute we were with them,” said AGA President Andy Okun. “When the barriers between our countries are gone, the North American go community will be that much richer.”

“All the players I played showed intense fighting spirit,” Okun added, “and I think they will benefit a lot once they have easier access to resources and opponents.” He also noted that “The rum they served out to celebrate the end of each day’s play was awfully good.”

Anthony Chen 5d agreed that ”If the Cubans get to play go on the internet, their
strength will improve dramatically. Since their travel is limited, they don’t play against many different styles of players. It was good that our US team was able to provide a measuring stick for them, but if they can play regularly on the internet, I am sure they will raise their level rapidly.”

Catherine and Royce Chen each brought donations for the Academia: Catherine 10 new copies of Cho Hun-Hyeon’s Lessons on Go Techniques Vol. 2, a book she had translated, and Royce 50 used go books he had collected. The Cubans presented the US players with gifts of Cuban handicrafts.
photo: Cuban player Sergio Seara Saenz (left, in white shirt) and Andy Okun (at right, with back to camera); photo by Joel Olson

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