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World Amateur Go Championship: Rounds 2 & 3

Monday May 30, 2011

THIS JUST IN: Click here for all the latest news from the 2011 World Amateur Go Championships (WAGC) live from Japan, including a report on Round 4 results, reported by our colleagues at Ranka Online, the bulletin of the International Go Federation.

Round 2 of the 2011 WAGC started just after 1:30 on May 29 with all players present. This time the bye went to Mykhailo Halchenko of the Ukraine. The player with the bye receives a teaching game from one of the referees, so Mykhailo 5D found himself playing Yasuhiro Nakano 9P at two stones. This was a tough challenge, and Mykhailo went down to honorable defeat by resignation.

In the real competition, six players now faced opponents of equal rank. The game between Thomas Debarre of France and Cornel Burzo of Romania, both 6D and hopeful of finishing in the top ten, was particularly intense. The winner, by 3.5 points, was Burzo, who earned a pairing against China’s Baoxiang Bao in the next round. In another duel of 6D players, Merlijn Kuin of The Netherlands triumphed over Franz-Josef Dickhut of Germany, and in a clash between two 7D players, Chinese Taipei’s Tsung-Han Wu overcame Canada’s Jun Fan. These four players are also expected to contend for places in the top ten.

At the 5D level, Kanh Binh Do of Vietnam picked up his first win by downing former European champion Zoran Mutabzja of Croatia. At the 1D level, Francisco Pereira of Portugal overcame Michael Galero of the Philippines, and Aliaksandr Suponeu of Belarus bested Manitra Razafindrabe of Madagascar. At the 1k level, Miroslav Smid of Slovakia scored a win over Mario Miguel Aguero Obanda of Costa Rica.

Unlike Round 1, round 2 produced some upsets. In one of the most unusual games of the afternoon, Kamil Chwedyna 4D of Poland used his patented second-line opening to defeat Viktor Lin 5D of Austria. In the closest game Salvador Larios 1k of Mexico squeaked past Hock Doong Ho 1D of Malaysia by half a point, and in the biggest surprise of the day, James Hutchinson 1k of Ireland upended Torben Pedersen 3D of Denmark.

Round 3: Once again most of the spectators chose to watch the game of the Japanese player, Hironori Hirata (in photo at right). Yesterday they had seen him sail serenely past opponents from the United Kingdom and New Zealand, and this morning they expected him to do likewise against Morten Ofstad from Norway. For most of the game it looked as if their expectations would be fulfilled, but the Norwegian 4D did not give up easily and his perseverance was rewarded: a critical mistake in a life-and-death situation forced the Japanese 8D to resign. Mr Hirata accepted defeat with good grace and bowed in apology to his onlooking supporters.

The spectators then moved into the outer playing area to watch the game between Chi-hin Chan of Hong Kong and Tsung-han Wu of Chinese Taipei, which was still in progress. The outcome was impossible to predict: both players are young and strong, both represent territories where go is booming among the younger generation, and the position on the board was tense. After a thrilling endgame it was Tsung-Han Wu, clad in blue jeans, a plaid shirt, and a black vest and sporting earrings, who walked away the winner by a point and a half.

In another 1.5-point finish, Choltit Rattanasetyut of Thailand defeated Xiang Zhang of Singapore. The Thai player led throughout the first half of the game, but victory did not come easily: the lead changed hands twice before the end.

These results left the players from Norway, Chinese Taipei, and Thailand undefeated. Joining them in the all-victorious group were Baoxiang Bai (China), Woo-soo Choi (Korea), Kamil Chwedyna (Poland), and Eric Lui (US), who defeated opponents from Romania, The Netherlands, Spain, and Slovenia in round 3. The Poland-Spain game featured another remarkable opening. Playing black, Kamil Chwedyna placed his first four stones in a pon-nuki shape in the center of the board; then he fought his way to a 6.5-point victory. In the next round the players from China, Korea, and Chinese Taipei will tackle the players from Thailand, the US, and Norway.
- James Davies, Ranka Online; edited by Jake Edge

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Wisonet Cup Semi-finals to be held June 19 in NJ

Monday May 30, 2011

The semi-finals of the first Wisonet Cup Go Tournament will be held at 1p on June 19 at the Madison Suites Hotel in Somerset, NJ. It will feature two matches between 7D players: Andy Liu vs. Kevin Huang and Minshan Shou vs. Xinyu Tu. The basic time limit will be 2 hours with 60 seconds of byo-yomi.  If there’s a big enough audience, organizers may arrange to relay the game(s) on a a large go display board in the conference room and possibly broadcast the games on KGS. There may also be a fast game tournament held at the same location in the morning.
- Ronghao Chen, TD (shown at right watching a game during the May 22 Wisonet round)

fast game tournament
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First Alabama Go Championship Held

Monday May 30, 2011

The first Alabama Go Championship was held May 28 in Montgomery, Alabama and drew 10 players.  There was a first place tie between Jacob Dennis 20k and Marlin Taylor 7k. Second place went to Daniel High 10k, while third place was also a tie between William Ott 3k and Thomas Walcutt 8k.
- Thomas Walcutt

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Still Time to Register for NAIM Online Qualifier 2

Monday May 30, 2011

If you missed the May 28 deadline for signing up for the NAIM Online Qualifier 1  tournament, you still have time to sign up for Qualifier 2. Deadline for registering for Qualifier 2 is June 10; email agatd2@gmail.com Click here for NAIM details.
- Tengxiao Yang, NAIM Online Qualifier Co-director

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World Go News May 2011

Monday May 30, 2011

36th Kisei League

On 24 May 2011, the Nihon Ki-in announced players who will take up the last four spots in the 36th Kisei League. Seto Taiki 7P of the Kansai Ki-in, Akiyama Jiro 8P, Kono Rin 9P and Kobayashi Koichi 9P. These players were selected based on playing through single knock out preliminary matches and will join top performers from the 35th Kisei League. The winner of the 36th Kisei League will earn the right to challenge Kisei title holder, Cho U 9P, in 2012 for the 36th Kisei. The 36th Kisei League players are Iyama Yuta 9P, Yamashita Keigo 9P, Hane Naoki 9P, Kato Atsushi 8P, Kono Rin 9P, Seto Taiki 7P, Takao Shinji 9P, Yamashiro Hiroshi 9P, Yoda Norimoto 9P, Ryu Shikun 9P, Kobayashi Koichi 9P and Akiyama Jiro 8P.

Joanne Missingham turns 17

On 26 May 2011, Joanne Missingham 5P, who plays professionally under her Chinese name, Hei Jiajia, turned 17 while playing in the 4th Taiwan Qiwang, a Taiwanese Go tournament. She received a received birthday cake in the shape of a Go board as a surprise gift from fans. The cake even had edible stones! Missingham’s rapid promotion (she was promoted to 2P in late 2010 and 5P in early 2011) has not escaped the notice of international Go bodies. Japan has invited her to take part in this year’s Nakano Cup, a prestigous tournament for under-20s. Previous winners of this tournament include none other than this year’s Judan and Bosai Cup winner, Iyama Yuta, who won the Nakano Cup in 2005, 2006 and 2007.

32nd World Amateur Go Championships begin

On 28 May 2011, as a prelude to the 32nd World Amateur Go Championship (WAGC), Otake Hideo 9P played an exhibition match with local school girl Ohara Moeka in a Castle Game reenactment at Matsue Castle in Shimane Prefecture. Ohara was a quarter finalist at the Japanese Girls High School Go Tournament in the individual division and received a 3 stone handicap from Otake. Both players donned elaborate kimonos to evoke the Edo period, during which the famous Castle Games took place. Shimane Prefecture was the birth place of two famous players – Honinbo Dosaku in 1645 and Iwamoto Kaoru in 1902.

- Jingning; based on her original report at Go Game Guru. Photos: Joanne Missingham 5P (top right) and Ohara Moeka reenacts castle game with Otake Hideo 9P (bottom left)

AGA Board Nominations Closing Soon

Monday May 23, 2011

There’s now less than a month before AGA board nominations close on June 15.  Things are off to a quick start with Gordon Castanza and Paul Celmer nominated in the western and eastern regions respectively.

If you are a full member of the AGA you may nominate, or self-nominate, a candidate in your region by writing or email at elections@usgo.org.
Details of the qualifications for office and election schedule are online.  Chapter representatives must check there for special instructions due to mailing list problems

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Limited Space at June 4 Santa Monica Coffee Cup

Monday May 23, 2011

The fifth annual Santa Monica Coffee Cup — which has just been designated an NAIM Qualifier  — will be held Saturday, June 4 at the UnUrban Coffeehouse in Santa Monica, California. There is an absolute limit of 50 players so pre-registration is essential. The tournament fee is $10, plus AGA membership or renewal if necessary. Send an e-mail to Andy Okun at abc@okun.name with your name and AGA number if you have one. “Eric Cotsen, should he attend, plays free,:” reports Okun. “The temperature is liable to be cool and comfortable and the sky an attractive blue, as usual.” This year’s theme color is Orange.

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1st-Round Winners in Wisonet Cup

Monday May 23, 2011

Winners in the recent first round of Wisonet Cup Go Tournament were Minshan Shou (defeated Forest Song); Xinyu Tu (d. Xiruo Liu); Kevin Huang (d. Benjamin Lockhart); Andy Liu (d. Qiyun Zhu). Stay tuned for details on when Round 2 will be held.
- Ronghao Chen, TD

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Stony Brook Hosts First-Annual Tourney

Monday May 23, 2011

The Stony Brook (NY) University Go Club hosted its first annual tournament on May 7. The 4-round tournament attracted 28 players and was held during Stony Brook University’s Sakura Matsuri celebration, which included a number of other Asian cultural events which tournament goers were able to enjoy between matches. Anthony Garcia won the tournament. The tournament boasted free entry, AGA sanctioned games and $250 worth of prizes. “If all goes well, the SBU Go Club will host another tournament at the same time next year,” reports SBU Go Club President-Elect Sean Burton.

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NAIM Qualifier in DC-Baltimore Set for June 17-18

Monday May 23, 2011

The Capital Go Club and Greater Washington Go Club (GWGC) will host a North American Ing Masters (NAIM ) qualifier in the DC metro area June 17-18. The opening round will be on Friday 6/17 in the evening at the GWGC in Bethesda, MD, and the remaining three rounds on 6/17, so that players do not have to squeeze four games into one day. Email agatd1@gmail.com to register. All levels are welcome to watch and/or play free or rated games.  Stay tuned for details.
- Zhiyuan ‘Edward’ Zhang, NAIM Co-Director

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