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The Power Report: Korea and China Take the Prizes at Asian Indoor & Martial Arts Games; Cho U Stumbles in Meijin League; Kono Rin Makes Good Start in Gosei

Wednesday July 10, 2013

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the American Go E-Journal

Korea and China Take the Prizes at Asian Indoor & Martial Arts Games: On July 2, the finals of the individual male competition and the Pair Go tournament were held at the 4th Asian Indoor & Martial Arts Games. In the former, Tang Weixing 3P of China took first place, and in the latter victory went to the Chinese team of (Ms.) Gao Xing 1P and Peng Liyao 5P. The following day, the second stage of go competition started, that is, the male and female team championships. In the male team championship, three-player teams from ten countries started out in a four-round Swiss System tournament, which was followed by a knock-out tournament for the top four. The results of the Japanese team are given below (the team consisted of Hirata Tomoya 3P, Tsuruta Kazushi 2P, and Motoki Katsuya 2P), followed by details of the knock-out stage.

Round 1 (July 3). China beat Japan 3-0; Round 2 (July 3). Japan beat Hong Kong 2-1; Round 3 (July 4). Japan beat Mongolia 3-0; Round 4 (July 4). Japan beat Singapore 3-0. Japan qualified for the knock-out.
Knock-out stage: Semifinals (July 5). Korea beat Japan 2-1; China beat Chinese Taipei 3-0.
Final (July 5). Korea beat China 2-1.
Japan did not enter a team in the women’s team tournament. The results in the knock-out round were as follows: Semifinals (July 5). China beat Chinese Taipei 2-1; Korea beat Thailand 3-0; Final (July 5). China beat Korea 2-1.

Cho U Stumbles in Meijin League: Until very recently, Cho U (left) seemed to have victory in the 38th Meijin League more or less sewn up, but he has stumbled at the second-last hurdle and, if he loses in the final round, won’t even make a play-off for first place. Three games were held in the league last week. On July 1, Kono Rin 9P, taking black, beat Murakawa Daisuke 7P by 1.5 points. This game was played on a Monday because Kono had a title-match game scheduled for the following Saturday. On July 4, Hane Naoki 9P (W) beat Sakai Hideyuki 8P by 6.5 points and Takao Shinji 9P (W) beat Cho U 9P by 2.5 points. Cho U keeps the sole lead with a 6-1 score, but the problem for him is that the four players ranked above him in the league, that is, Hane, Iyama Yuta, Kono, and Takao, are all on 5-2. Hane and Iyama are playing each other in the final round, so one of them has to end up with 6-2. If Kono beats Cho in their game, they will both be 6-2. Takao, who is playing Yuki Satoshi, could also end
up on 6-2, making a four-way tie for first. However, the rule in the Meijin League is that only the two highest-ranked players in a multiple tie qualify for the play-off. That would be either Hane or Iyama and Kono. That makes it very simple for Cho: whatever happens, he has to win his final game.

Kono Rin Makes Good Start in Gosei: Kono Rin 9P (right) has got off to an excellent start in his challenge for the 38th Gosei title. Before this match began, his record against the defending champion, Iyama Yuta, was a dismal six wins to 14 losses; moreover, he had lost eight games in a row, including a wipe-out in last year’s Tengen title match. However, when the Gosei match started on July 6, he showed that past results are irrelevant to a title match. Taking black, he forced Iyama to resign after 161 moves. The game was played in Kanazawa City in Ishikawa Prefecture. The venue was in the Hokkoku Newspaper Meeting Hall , an ultra-modern 20-storey building that is the headquarters of one of the sponsors of the title, the Hokkoku (= North Country) Newspaper. The second game is scheduled for July 22.

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Canada vs. US in Redmond Cup Finals

Monday July 8, 2013

Both divisions of the Redmond Cup will come down to a showdown between the US and Canada at  the Go Congress this year, with Jianing Gan 7d and David Lu 6d leading their age divisions, while Americans Andrew Lu 6d and Aaron Ye 5d placed second.  In the Jr. Division, 11 year old David Lu, from Vancouver is new on the scene, and proved to be a force to be reckoned with, scoring a perfect record in the online finals.  Lu’s skillful play left last year’s Redmond Champ, Aaron Ye, and this year’s current US Youth Go Champion Jeremy Chiu 5d to duke it out for second.  Ye prevailed and will face Lu in a best two-out-of-three final live at the Go Congress in Tacoma.  For an exciting match between Lu and Ye in the qualifiers, check out Guo Juan 5P’s insightful commentary on the members only game record included with this weeks E-J.  Ye gets off to an early lead, but Lu stays the course and makes a big comeback in the end.  Youth members can join the AGA for only $10, and receive free commentary like this every week.

“David started learning go when he was six, and loved the game immediately,” says Lu’s mother Jessie Fan.  “Almost every summer, he goes to Beijing for go camp, where he has studied with Tian Feng Fang 9P for the last two summers. Currently, he doesn’t have much time for studying go, except for participating in the CGA (Canadian Go Association) Dragon League, as well as the City League. He just came back from the Canadian Open, where he was ranked 12th, and is the only one in the open division (6 – 7 Dan) who is under 15 years old.”  

In the Senior Division, defending champion Jianing Gan is intent on holding his title.  His showdown last year, with Calvin Sun 7d, resulted in two consecutive losses for Sun.  Gan also fought superbly in the Tygem AGA pro certification test at the same time, and came within a match of going pro.  Gan again has a perfect record going into the finals, having already faced and defeated his two biggest rivals: Calvin Sun and Andrew Lu 6d.  Lu is having a good year, having finally overcome his longtime rival Calvin Sun, to take this year’s US Youth Go Championship title, and now also finishing second in the Redmond qualifier.  Lu will get his chance against Gan again at congress, with a live broadcast on KGS, at 3 pm PST on August  4th, 5th and 8th in the AGA Tournaments Room.  The Jr. Division matches will also be broadcast.  The Redmond Cup is now in its 20th year, and was directed by Michael Bull.  Twenty-three players competed in the Senior Division (12-17) with another ten competing in the Junior (under 12).  -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.  Photos: Upper Left, David Lu, by Jessie Fan; Lower Right Jianing Gan cementing his Redmond win at last year’s finals, by Paul Barchilon.

 

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Poltronieri Wins UK Milton Keynes Tournament

Monday July 8, 2013

Bruno Poltronieri 2d from Warwick University won the 25th Milton Keynes Tournament, beating Toby Manning  2d in the  final round. Graham Blackmore  13k and Brent Cutts  8k also won all three of their games. Click here for full tournament report.

The tourney was played on Saturday July 6, at  the Sports Pavilion in the Open University‘s grounds. Milton Keynes is a planned city, built in the second half of the last century. Its location in Buckinghamshire was chosen for its equal proximity to the ancient university cities of Oxford and Cambridge and is itself the realspace centre of the (mainly virtual) Open University. It encompasses the town of Bletchley and hence Bletchley Park, site of the famous wartime code-breaking activities of Alan Turing and others. The roughly rectilinear gridwork road system is used as the basis for the board in the “Milton Keynes Board Tournament“, which is featured as a side event at the Milton Keynes tournament (graphic from tournament flyer at right; flyer and problem by Tim Hunt 2d, who also won the event. Solution to be published in the next edition of the British Go Journal).
- Tony Collman, British correspondent  for the E-Journal

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Shikshin Narrowly Prevails Over Surin in Russian Cup Final

Sunday July 7, 2013

Dmitry Surin 6D came very close in his attempt to wrest the Russian Cup from favorite Ilya Shikshin on the final day of the 2013 Russian Go Congress on July 7. Surin, who unexpectedly won his game against Alexander Dinerchtein 3P in the semi-finals had defeated Shikshin in a recent tournament, so the match promised to be spectacular from the very start. As previously reported (Surin Bests Dinerchtein to Win Berth in Russian Cup Final 7/6/2013 EJ), Surin is an accomplished joseki expert and inventor, so it was no surprise when he started one of the myriad complicated variations of the taisha joseki. Both players stuck to their natural active fighting style, so the later part of the championship game delivered very intense collisions, an exciting clash lasting until the very end, with Shikshin eking out a narrow 1.5 point win.
- Daria Koshkina, Russian corespondent for the E-Journal; photo by Mikail Krylov

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EuroGoTV Updates: Poland, Romania, Netherlands

Sunday July 7, 2013

Cristian Pop Romanian National ChampionshipPoland: The 36 International Warsaw Go Tournament finished June 30 in Warszawa with Koichiro Habu 4d in first, Leszek Soldan 5d in second, and Stanislaw Frejlak 4d in third. Romania: After six long days, Cristian Pop 7d (left) was declared the winner of the Romanian National Championship in Mangalia on June 30. Cornel Burzo 6d placed second while Lucian Corlan 5d came in third. Netherlands: Zeno van Ditzhuijzen 5d triumphed at the Toernooi van Utrecht on June 23. Behind him was Robert Rehm 5d in second and Alexander Eerbeek 5d in third.
— Annalia Linnan, based on reports from EuroGoTV, which include complete result tables and all the latest European go news

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Surin Bests Dinerchtein to Win Berth in Russian Cup Final

Saturday July 6, 2013

Dmitry Surin 6D (below) upset Alexander Dinerchtein 3P in the 2013 Russian Cup semi-final on July 6, knocking Dinerchtein out of his accustomed spot in the final, which will be broadcast on KGS on Sunday, July 7. The Cup, which has about 70 players this year, is the final and most spectacular event at the annual Russian Go Congress. The battle of the A league includes the top right Russian players in a double-elimination tournament. Dinerchtein lost by 2.5 points to Surin, known in Europe for winning several European Pair Go Championships with partner Natalia Kovaleva. Surin’s style features deep knowledge and understanding of intricate josekis and difficult variations, great fighting skills and acute reading, all of which he brought to bear in his exciting game with Dinerchtein. Though Surin is considered to be one of the strongest Russian players, most deciding matches at major Russian events wind up Shikshin vs Dinerchtein clashes so Sunday’s final is being highly anticipated at the Congress in Saint Petersburg.
- Daria Koshkina, Russian correspondent for the E-Journal; photo by Mikhail Krylov

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European Go Federation Inks Deal With Chinese to Promote Go in Europe

Friday July 5, 2013

The European Go Federation has signed a far-reaching and lucrative contract with a group of Chinese investors to promote go in Europe. The deal aims to improve the strength of European amateurs, establish a professional system in Europe and support the European Go Federation, all to achieve the overall goals of enhancing go’s popularity in Europe, as well as developing new cultural contacts between Europe and China. “I think the AGA and EGF efforts will complement each other in a number of ways and give both organizations an even more forceful story to tell to potential sponsors,” said American Go Association President Andy Okun. “EGF President Martin Stiassny deserves a lot of credit for almost single-handedly bringing about this contract,” added Thomas Hsiang, the longtime International Go Federation and American Go Association official who was elected General Secretary of the International Mind Sports Association (IMSA) earlier this year. “I congratulate him on a job well done.  There is a lot of hard work ahead, but with the efforts in Europe as well as in US,  the future of go in the West looks bright and promising.” The investor group is known as the Beijing Zong Yi Yuan Cheng Culture Communication Co. Ltd. (called CEGO), and is comprised of investors who “believe on the future development of European Go and are willing to commit themselves to promote Go, a great representative of Chinese traditional culture, in the West,” according to the document. In addition to a “Go Academic System” that will send 4-6 players annually to study in China, the contract envisions a new professional go system in Europe in which the EGF will certify up to two players annually as “European Professionals” through new European top tournaments, including a yearly promotion tournament for the aspiring professionals. In addition to financial support for these initiatives, the contract pledges CEGO to contribute yearly payments to enable the EGF to become a “more professional organisation” – including setting up an office and hiring staff – in order to develop and implement these and other goals over the next decade. News of the contract, which was posted on the BGA website, originally broke on Lifein19x19, where there’s been extensive discussion of the deal.

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Russian Go Congress Hosts 1st “Go-Poker” Tournament

Friday July 5, 2013

The first-ever official go-poker tournament is being held this week at the 16th annual Russian Go Congress in Saint Petersburg. Also known as “Dango,” the go variant is well-known in Europe, where it’s played by top players like Matthew Macfadyen and Alexander Dinerchtein 3P. At the beginning of the game each player has 36 cards that can be either go shapes or “action cards” (placing or removing stones, pass etc). Opponents alternate turns, taking a card and “playing” it on the board. Unlike go, Dango introduces a significant measure of luck and randomness but proponents say “it is not on any account a foolish game,” noting that go-poker “requires memorizing, counting and tactical skills.” The entertainment factor for players and viewers lies in the unexpected twists that can turn the whole game upside down after each move. The go-poker tournament at the Russian Go Congress is being held in the evenings after the major regular competitions. Alexander Dinerchtein 3P, who’s a fan of Dango, is participating, providing amateurs with perhaps their best chance to best a professional go player.
- reported by Daria Koshkina, Russian correspondent for the E-Journal; photo credits: cards photo from dango.pro; players photo by Alexey Kozhunkov

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16th Russian Go Congress Gathers This Week in Saint Petersburg

Tuesday July 2, 2013

The 16th Russian Go Congress got off to an exciting start in Saint Petersburg on June 29th and 30th when 18-year-old Mikhail Svyatlovsky, a shodan from Moscow, won the Valery Astashkin Memorial Tournament. The traditional first tournament of the congress is held in honor of Valery Astashkin (1945-2008), the “Father” of modern Russian go. Astashkin (right) and Georgy Nilov were the first to spread and promote go in Russia in the 1970s. Together they published a series of introductory teaching articles in “Nauka i Zhizn” (Science and Life, a very popular Soviet/Russian magazine of the time) that produced hundreds of new players, clubs and tournaments. In 1977, Astashkin initiated the first USSR Go Championship and in 1989 he became the first president of the new USSR Go Federation.

This year’s Valery Astashkin Memorial Tournament attracted 55 players ranging in strength from 5-dan to 20-kyu. Its distinctive feature is a full handicap system, making it especially enjoyable and appreciated by kyu players who get a chance to take on stronger players as well as high dans who can practice their fighting skills. Three young aspiring Russian players topped this year’s event. In addition to winner Mikhail Svyatlovsky, who had already shone in several local and youth competitions, Anton Radyushkin 8k from St Petersburg came in 2nd and in 3rd place was Kim Shahov, a 5-kyu from Moscow who is just 11 years old.

The Congress, which attracts hundreds of players from all parts of the big country, as well as foreign guests, runs through July 7th and includes several go tournaments, including the Russian Team Championship and annual Russian Cup.

- reported by Daria Koshkina, Russian Correspondent for the E-Journal. Photo credits: Astashkin photo from Astashkin family archive;  Svyatlovsky photo by Alexey Kozhunkov.  Click here for tourney results (in Russian, not yet submitted to EGD). 

 

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France Notches First Win In France-Germany Élysée Cup Modeled After “Super-Go” Events

Tuesday July 2, 2013

Super-Go Tournaments between professionals from China and Japan were quite popular back in the 1980s. The legendary Nie Weiping earned his nickname as the “Iron Goalkeeper” when, as China’s last remaining player in the first three Super-Go events, he defeated all the remaining Japanese players, a sequence of 11 consecutive wins. This year France and Germany are attempting to rekindle this national excitement with the Élysée Cup, a friendly online team tournament occasioned by the “année franco-allemande/Deutsch-französisches Jahr” celebrating the French-German friendship. Organized by the French Go Federation and the German Go Federation, the tournament — played on KGS — follows the model of the previous Super-Go tournaments, with each country fielding teams comprised of eight top players each. The two lowest-ranked players begin, with the winner continuing to play the next strongest opponent from the other team until there are no more opponents left. If the last player of a team is defeated it has lost the tournament. In addition to national bragging rights, the winning team will collect 200 Euro. France’s Toru Imamura scored the first win on June 29, defeating Jun Tarumi by resignation; His next opponent will be Lukas Kraemer on a date to be determined. The French team includes Motoki Noguchi 7d, Thomas Debarre 6d, Rémi Campagnie 6d, Benjamin Papazoglou 5d, Tanguy Le Calvé 5d, Antoine Fenech 5d, Frédéric Donzet 5d, Toru Imamura 4d and Benjamin Dréan-Guénaizia 5d (Substitute Player). The German team includes Pei Zhao 6d, Jin Zou 6d, Benjamin Teuber 6d, Franz-Josef Dickhut 6d, Christoph Gerlach 6d, Johannes Obenaus 5d, Lukas Kraemer 5d, Jun Tarumi 5d and Yi Zhang 5 Dan (Substitute Player).
- Jan Engelhardt, German correspondent for the E-Journal

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