A go presentation and tournament will be part of the Las Vegas Mind Sports Festival at the Venetian/Palazzo this coming weekend, according to AGA President Andy Okun. The three-day event will also feature chess, mahjongg, Magic: The Gathering and Scrabble. This Friday, July 5, Okun will give a short presentation/lesson about go, followed by a 9×9 and/or blitz tournament, depending on attendance. On Saturday, July 6, at 11 a.m., a three-round AGA-rated tournament will be held in conjunction with the Las Vegas Go Club. Players interested in participating should send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
American Go E-Journal » Go News
Monday July 1, 2013
The Power Report: Iyama One Win Away From Defending Honinbo Title; Iyama Wins 25th TV Asia Cup, Secures Japan Its First International Title In Eight Years; 38th Kisei Leagues Update; Japan Eliminated From Asian Indoor And Martial Arts Games
Monday July 1, 2013
by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the American Go E-Journal
Iyama One Win Away From Defending Honinbo Title: The fifth game of the 68th Honinbo title match was held at the Hotel Hankyu Expo Park in Suita City on June 24 and 25. This was another irregular Monday/Tuesday game because of the hectic schedules of both players (Wednesday/Thursday is usual for two-day games). Suita City is in Osaka Prefecture, the home ground of Iyama, so the overwhelming majority of the fans who attended the party on the eve of the game were rooting for him. Takao was unfazed, however. In his speech, he commented that he now understood the feelings of his favourite baseball team, the Chiba Lotte Marines (from the prefecture to the east of Tokyo), when they were playing the Osaka-based Hanshin Tigers on their home ground. His humor may not have converted the fans but it won him generous applause. In reply, Iyama apologized for his inability to think of anything witty to say despite being an Osakan (natives of Osaka are known for their wit and dominate the ranks of comedians in Japan) and said he would make his statement on the go board. As it turned out, Iyama was as good as his word. After a fierce struggle featuring a series of kos, he took advantage of a hallucination by Takao in a capturing race involving yet another ko and took the lead in the ensuing trade (not the first in the game). Takao fought on valiantly, but had to resign after 242 moves. Having taken a 3-2 lead, Iyama has two chances to pick up the win that will complete his first successful Honinbo defense. He had made a good start to the week, but there was even better to come.
Iyama Wins 25th TV Asia Cup, Secures Japan Its First International Title In Eight Years: Japan’s last victory in an individual world title came in the 17th TV Asia tournament when Cho U won the final on June 17, 2005. That was a good year for Japan, as Cho had also won the 9th LG Cup on April 20, and the Japanese team won the Nong Shim Cup team tournament, which started in the autumn of 2005 and concluded on February 24, 2006. Since then, however, Japanese fans have suffered so many disappointments that they have scaled back their expectations on the international scene. However, that may be changing with the founding of the national team, known as Go Go Japan. Everyone admits that Japan lacks the depth of China and Korea, especially among the younger generation of players, but things have started to look up with the success of Takao and Iyama in the opening rounds of the current LG Cup. Iyama has followed up his success there with an outstanding performance in the 25th TV Asia tournament, which this year was hosted by Japan and staged at the Hotel New Otani in Tokyo on the last three days of June. Japan’s representatives this year were Yuki Satoshi and Iyama, who took first and second places respectively in this year’s NHK Cup. Both of them won their first-round games, but Yuki was eliminated in the semifinal by Pak Cheong-hwan (or Jong-hwan), a 20-year-old Korean who has established himself as the world’s number one over the last two or three years. He was outplayed by Iyama in the final, however, and had to resign after 198 moves. This gives Iyama his first international title (not counting an invitational tournament he won in China May 2001; the games are given in Go World 126). However, Japanese fans will be expecting a lot more from him.
- photo courtesy Go Game Guru, which also has a report on the tournament.
Round 1 (June 28). Yuki Satoshi 9P (Japan) (W) defeated Jiang Weijie 9P (China) by 2.5 points; Iyama Yuta 9P (Japan) (W) d. Yi Ch’ang-ho 9P (Korea) by resig.; Wang Xi 9P (China) (W) d. Yi Se-tol 9P (Korea) by resig.
Semifinals (June 29). Pak Cheong-hwan 9P (Korea) (W) d. Yuki by 5.5 points; Iyama (W) d. Wang by resig.
Final (June 30). Iyama (W) d. Pak by resig.
Incidentally, White won all games in this tournament, which is a little unusual. Note that Yi Se-tol took part as a substitute for Pak Hong-seok 9-dan of Korea. As the previous winner, he had a seeded place, but was unable to take part, as he is doing his military service.
38th Kisei Leagues Update: On June 27, three games were played in the Kisei leagues. In the A League, Yoda Norimoto 9P (W) defeated Yamashiro Hiroshi 9P by resignation. Yoda is now 1-1 and Yamashiro 0-2. In the B League, Murakawa Daisuke 7P (W) beat Hane Naoki 9P by resignation and Kono Rin 9P (W) beat Mizokami Tomochika 8P also by resignation. That made Murakawa, now on 2-0, the sole leader of the league, but it was for only one day. On June 28, there was a somewhat surprising result when Cho Chikun, 25th Honinbo, (W) defeated Takao Shinji 9P by half a point. This may sound a little disrespectful towards Cho, who is one of the all-time greats, but he is already 57, so one would have expected Takao to beat him. Takao doesn’t seem to have maintained the outstanding from he displayed in the LG Cup. (This game was played on a Friday, which is unusual, to give Takao more time to recover from the Honinbo game at the beginning of the week.) As a result, Cho joined Murakawa at the top of the B League.
Japan Eliminated From Asian Indoor And Martial Arts Games: The first five rounds of the individual men’s championship and the Pair Go in the 4th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games were held on June 30 and July 1 in Incheon City in Korea. In the former event, 22 players from 11 countries took part. Tsuruta Kazushi 2P scored 2 wins to 3 losses and Sada Atsushi 1P 3-2 in the Swiss System preliminary round (Sada beat Tsuruta in Round 5), but both were eliminated, as only the top four players qualify for the final round. In the Pair Go preliminary round, also a Swiss, the team of Okuda Aya 3P and Hirata Tomoya 3P scored 3-2, as did Rina Fujisawa 1P and Motoki Katsuya 2P. Both teams were eliminated. The final rounds of the above tournaments will be played on July 2.
Sunday June 30, 2013
Registration procedures for the 2013 SportAccord-Pandanet Cup Online Go Tournament have just been announced. Participants must be amateurs and may choose to enter one of four classes (“bands”): open, 4d-1k, 2k-7k, 8k-17k. Except in the Open class, players are required to have a registered and IGS-confirmed rank. In addition, players may choose one of three geographic regions to play their games. Registration starts now and ends on August 18. The preliminary rounds will be played August 22 through September 12. This tournament is supported by SportAccord and Pandanet and organized by the International Go Federation and Pandanet. It also concurrently serves as the 18th Pandanet Cup Internet World Amateur Go Tournament. Players may advance based on their results within their class and region. Generous prizes are provided by the sponsors, including a round trip to the Third Beijing SportAccord World Mind Games for the open champion. Further prizes are provided for regional and class winners. In addition, anyone who finishes six or more games in the preliminary rounds is eligible for lottery prizes provided by SportAccord. In 2012 these prizes included an iPad, Swatches and cameras, and comparable prizes will be offered in 2013. Click here for details and registration forms.
- Thomas Hsiang
Saturday June 29, 2013
The upcoming online “Long Live the King!” final qualifier will be strong players’ last chance to earn points towards this year’s North American Masters Tournament (NAMT) at the 2013 US Go Congress in Tacoma, WA in August. To check how many points you have accumulated, please click here to view the spreadsheet. The four-round tournament will take place July 6-7 on KGS in the AGA Tournaments Room, and will be directed by Todd Heidenreich. Deadline to register is July 3; for details, rules, and registration click here. Registration and participation is free, and every player in the tournament is guaranteed to earn some points. The outright winner of the tournament will automatically qualify to play in NAMT.
- Karoline Burrall, AGA Tournament Coordinator
Saturday June 29, 2013
Spain: At the II Open de Bilbao on June 16, Kiichi Matsumoto 1k bested Miguel-Angel Antolinez 2d and Alejandro Menendez 8k placed third. KGS: On June 23, French player Tanguy Le Calve 5d (Welvang on KGS) led his nine-player team to victory against German team leader Oliver Wolf 4d (sinsai on KGS) in the French-German Youth Friendship Match. There were three players per age group (U18, U15, and U11) with the each team leader on board one. In the end, France triumphed 5-4. Live commentary on select games by Hwan In-seong 8d (including the match between Wolf and Le Calve) can be found here. Slovakia: Jan Simara 6d (right) dominated the Slovak Go Festival on June 23 while Ondrej Silt 6d came in second and Dominik Boviz 3d in third.
— Annalia Linnan, based on reports from EuroGoTV, which include complete result tables and all the latest European go news
Thursday June 27, 2013
The American Go Association is welcoming news that the Nihon Ki-in plans to use proceeds from the sale of the former New York Go Center to benefit go in North America. After considering “all options on handling the New York Go Center, including renting the current building,” Nihon Ki-in Secretary General Ikuo Hanyu told the E-Journal Thursday that the final decision by the Nihon Ki-in Directors “in their view the best option — is to sell the building and use the proceeds for the benefit of go in North America.” Hanyu added that “We will seek strong consultation with the American Go Association on the future support of go activities in North America.” While local organizers had recently expressed concerns (Local Organizers Oppose Nihon Kiin Plan to Sell New York Go Center 6/17/2013 EJ), AGA President Andy Okun tells the E-Journal that “In recent months, the Nihon Ki-in has included AGA leaders in its deliberations about how to more effectively pursue Iwamoto’s vision in North America.” Okun added that “The AGA is pleased to be involved and is grateful for Nihon Ki-in’s making clear the assets of the New York Go Center will be used for North American go. I, for one, look forward to working with them to bring these efforts to fruition.” Nihon Kiin America President Terry Benson agreed, saying that “We in New York are pleased to see the Nihon Ki-in’s commitment to a public sale of the NYGC building and to working with the AGA to support North American Go.” Benson said that while “On a personal level, it’s a sad day for Iwamoto’s vision of a multicultural Go Center in New York, we respect the Nihon Ki-in’s current decision and will work with the Ki-in to maximize the benefit for go.” photo: the former NYGC’s courtyard playing area; photo by Roy Laird
Thursday June 27, 2013
The Capital Go Club in metro Washington is “looking for partners in operation and strategic planning,” reports club organizer Edward Zhang. The club has been serving area go players since 2010, organizing nearly a dozen events with professional go players, team competitions among American, Taiwanese, Chinese and Korean players, friendly matches between AGA members and students at local schools, and the 2013 NA Go Convention (photo), which featured tournaments covering two weekends in New Jersey and Virginia, instruction by professional players and more. The club’s top priorities over the next year include “setting up official go program in local schools, facilitating visits by players from Asia and planning for the 2014 edition of the NA Go Convention,” says Zhang. “If you want to be part of these exciting projects, please let us know!” Volunteers don’t need to live in the Washington DC metro area, Zhang adds. “We currently have a small but energetic and talented team, and there will be multiple types of rewards for a job well done.” Reach Zhang at email@example.com.
Thursday June 27, 2013
It was a neck-and-neck finish, with Carter and two others, Richard Hunter 3d of Bristol and Toby Manning 2d of Leicester all entering the final round with a chance of winning – and each going on to win his game in that round. In the end the Welshman triumphed by just half a SOS point. Also distinguishing themselves with four wins were John Green 4k of Leamington and Colin Maclennan 10k of Twickenham.
The tournament was a five-round MacMahon, with the bar at 1-dan. Click here for full results.
Wales is one of the four main territories which make up the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (the UK) – the others being England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. It is a country with its own National Assembly, its own Celtic language* and its own Open Go Tournament. Scotland holds its own Open Tournament, too (see June 1 EJ report) and both are in addition to the British Open (see April 8 EJ report).
We may commiserate with those defeated by adapting words from the famous Welsh poet, Dylan Thomas**:
Though go games be lost, the game of go shall not.
- Report by Tony Collman, British Correspondent for the E-Journal, based partly on a report on the British Go Association’s website.
Go Congress Updates: Strong Players Face July 1 Deadline for SPO Eligibility; Soccer & Tennis Confirmed
Wednesday June 26, 2013
Strong Players Face July 1 Deadline for SPO Eligibility: Strong players who register for the US Go Congress by July 1st have the chance to be invited to participate in this year’s Strong Players Open (SPO), which will run simultaneously with the North American Masters Tournament (NAMT). This year’s Congress runs August 3-11 in Tacoma, WA. This 16-player, 4-round event is designed to provide a strong tournament – in addition to the US Open — for professionals and amateurs who did not or could not qualify for the NAMT. There are no citizenship, residency, or length of membership requirements for the SPO, just full Go Congress registration by July 1st. After that, the strongest players who have registered will be invited to participate in the Strong Players Open and the strongest 16 players who accept will be selected for the tournament.
Soccer & Tennis Confirmed: In breaking U.S. Go Congress sports news, the E-Journal can now confirm that there will be both soccer and tennis at this year’s Congress. “Bring your cleats and shorts,” Terry Benson urges soccer players, while tennis players should bring their racquets and tennis balls, says Chris Garlock. “Soccer every afternoon at 4:30 except for Saturday and Wednesday, field TBD,” says Benson. “All ages come and play. Let your body loose and your mind run free!” Garlock and Lisa Schrag will coordinate the tennis action at the PLU courts, most likely at the same time. Check in at the EJ office at the Congress to confirm.
Wednesday June 26, 2013
Sighted go players who struggle to master the game of go may be surprised to learn that many blind people in Japan know how to play go, and that there are clubs with blind players who meet on a regular basis. Last Fall, Bay Area Go Players Association board members Roger and Lisa Schrag traveled to Japan and met with Mr. Fumio Miyano (second from right in photo) of the Japan Go Society for the Visually Impaired in Osaka, Japan. The Society produces special 9×9 and 19×19 go sets and Braille go books so that blind and visually impaired people can play go. Black and white stones can be differentiated by feel, grid lines are raised, and the stones fit into holes in the board so that they will not move when a player touches them to read the board position.
The Japan Go Society for the Visually Impaired also hosts an annual international go tournament for blind players. There are some strong go players out there who are blind. Nakamaru Hitoshi of Japan and Song Jung-taek of Korea, for example, each are rated at 5 dan.
The Society has provided Bay Area Go Players Association with a special 9×9 go set and Braille go materials. “If you have a blind or visually impaired friend in the San Francisco Bay Area interested in learning to play go, we now have the necessary equipment to teach them,” says Roger Schrag; contact him for details and to make arrangements.