American Go E-Journal » Go News

Go World Offer Deadline Extended!

Monday June 6, 2011

Wouldn’t it be great if, just as your final overtime period was about to expire, you suddenly got another 5 minutes to play? That’s exactly what’s happened with our special Go World offer. Join or renew your AGA membership by June 8 (extended from May 31) and we’ll send you up to 1,700 pages of great stuff! Go World magazine, Kiseido’s quarterly go publication, is the ultimate source of go knowledge in English. Each 64-page issue is packed with extensive review of at least ten major title match games by top professionals as well as problems, instructional articles and series, and coverage of historical, cultural and other aspects of the game. Even if you’re already a member, now’s the time to add more years, and the more you add, the better it gets! Here’s how it breaks down: 1 year ($30) — your choice of any 3 issues (192 pages); 2 years ($50) — your choice of any 7 issues (448 pages); 3 years ($75) — your choice of any 12 issues (768 pages); 4 years ($100) — your choice of any 18 issues (1152 pages); 5 years — ($125) — all 27 issues! (1728 pages). Click here for details and to take advantage of this offer; after June 8, time is up!

NOTE: If you joined the AGA during the recent membership drive, you must download and submit the order form with your selected issues in order to receive your Go World premium (unless you joined for five years, in which case we’re sending all 27 available issues.) Some of our new and renewing members are losing out on the copies of Go World they’re entitled to, because they didn’t tell us which issues they want. Click here if you need to select your issues. Please allow 4-6 weeks for delivery.

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Dixon Elementary Going Strong in New Mexico

Monday June 6, 2011

After nine weeks practicing and studying go, students at Dixon Elementary School in Dixon, NM finished up the 2011 Spring Semester with a knock-out tournament. Everyone who participated received a copy of The Way to Go and the top three players — Liam (1st), Brooklyn (2nd) and Emmett (3rd) — received a copy of Peter Shotwell’s Go! More Than a Game. Shotwell’s book was chosen as an excellent tool for building skills as well as providing concise discussions on go history and culture. The awards were presented at the school’s Awards Day, May 29th, attended by students, teachers and parents.

“We are much indebted to the school librarian, Ms. Maggie Durham for championing go in the school’s art program,” said Santa Fe Go Club member Robert Cordingley, who ran the class. Cordingley also extended thanks to the school staff for their support, particularly Head Teacher Ms. Kiva Duckworth-Moulton and the AGF for their help with equipment and materials. – photo by Robert Cordingley

Teuber Sweeps Amsterdam

Monday June 6, 2011

Benjamin Teuber 6d (r) swept the 2011 Amsterdam Go Tournament, held June 2-5. Click here for EuroGoTV’s coverage, which includes round-by-round reports, photos and game records.

Categories: Europe
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Openings on AGA Web Team Available

Sunday June 5, 2011

If you’d like to help make the best English-language go website in the world even better, the AGA webmaster team now has a few openings available. The workload is shared so no-one gets overloaded and we’re looking for folks with good skills and fresh ideas on how to improve the AGA’s website. If interested, please email journal@usgo.org

Scot Wins Scottish Open

Sunday June 5, 2011

For the first time in many years, the Scottish Open was won this year by a Scottish-born player. Local native Sandy Taylor 2d (Durham) won all five games to take his first tournament title at the Open, held May 28-29 in Dundee. The closure of long-term sponsor Real Time Worlds and a local wedding anniversary contributed to a drop in attendance, with 23 players participating. A new sponsor, Denki — a locally-based “digital toy factory” — ensured that, as ever, all players took away a jar of Dundee’s famous marmalade. Prizes were also awarded to David Lee 2d (Dundee) and Dieter Daems 9k (Leuven) for four wins out of five, and to Martha McGill 2k (Edinburgh), Boris Mitrovic 2k (Edinburgh), Tom Croonenborghs 1d (Antwerp), Eugene Kee-Onn Wong 4k (Glasgow) and Andrew Thurman 7k (Durham) for three wins. Edwin Brady 1k (St Andrews) and Sandy Taylor 2d (Durham) jointly won the Lightning tournament with three wins out of four.
- Tony Atkins, based on his report on the BGA website

Categories: Europe
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“Flawed” Use of Go in Kissinger’s New Book?

Sunday June 5, 2011

Henry Kissinger ‘s understanding of go strategy informs his latest book, On China. However, according to a recent review in The Economist, Kissinger’s book “is marred by three related flaws. The first is Mr Kissinger’s insight that Chinese strategists think like players of wei qi or Go, which means that, in the long term, they wish to avoid encirclement. Westerners are chess-players, tacticians aiming to get rid of their opponents’ pieces ‘in a series of head-on clashes’, he writes. ‘Chess produces single-mindedness; wei qi generates strategic flexibility.’” The review, entitled No go points out that “This conceit has been used by other authors. It appears every few pages here like a nervous tic. Even before Mr Kissinger joins the game, the metaphor is pulled into service to analyse, among other things, Chinese policy in the Korean war, the Taiwan Strait crises of the 1950s (where, of course, “both sides were playing by wei qi rules”), the 1962 war with India (“wei qi in the Himalayas”). Later he describes events in Indochina as ‘a quadripartite game of wei qi,’ just at the time when genocide was under way in Cambodia.” Finally, The Economist reviewers say, “the picture of Chinese foreign policy, as formulated by cool, calculating, master strategists playing wei qi, makes it appear more coherent, consistent and effective than it has been. China’s involvement in the Korean war, for example, led, in Mr Kissinger’s phrase, to ‘two years of war and 20 years of isolation,’ hardly a goal for China—or a wei qi triumph.” In a related story, Leonard Lopate recently interviewed Kissinger on NPR’s WYNC and they briefly discussed the game of go; click here to hear the interview; they talk about go  from approximately 13:50 to about 16:20. Click here for our January 24, 2011 report on Kissinger on Go and Chinese Strategic Thinking.
- thanks to Robert A. McCallister, past president of the AGA and former publisher of The American Go Journal, and to Richard Simon, for spotting these reports

“Flawed” Use of Go in Kissinger’s New Book?

Nick Krempel to play Matthew Macfadyen for British title

Saturday June 4, 2011

Matthew Macfadyen, the 2010 British Champion, has won all seven games in the Challengers’ League May 27-30 to earn the right to defend his title. This year he will be playing Nick Krempel 3d (London), who won five games in the League, in a best-of-3 final. Hui Wang and Alistair Wall just missed out on playing for the title by one win each.
- Tony Atkins, based on his report on the BGA website

Categories: Europe
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Ian Marsh Organizes and Wins Bracknell

Saturday June 4, 2011

Ian Marsh, the organizer of the Bracknell Tournament, was also the winner. Marsh 1k (Bracknell) was the best of the 28 players at the May 15 UK tournament. Also winning all three were Xinyi Lu 4k (Maidenhead) and Laurence Anderson 7k (Bracknell). Poland’s Marcel Zantman 6k won two and then had a last round jigo. Bahareh Afshari won the problem solving, Mike Charles won the 13×13 and Peter Collins won the caption contest.
- Tony Atkins, based on his report on the BGA website

Categories: Europe
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Russian Go Congress Set for July 1-11

Saturday June 4, 2011

The 14th Russian Go Congress will be held in Saint-Petersburg from July 1-11. “All foreign go comrades are welcome,” says Maxim Podolyak. Click here for details.

Categories: Europe
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World Amateur Go Championship: Rounds 6 & 7

Wednesday June 1, 2011

Round 6 began at 1:30pm on May 31 with China’s Baoxiang Bai and Chinese Taipei’s Tsung-han Wu squaring off. One of those two was about to lose his unbeaten status. Next to Bai and Wu, Korea’s Woo-soo Choi was paired against Poland’s Kamil Chwedyna (photo at right). One of those two players was about to lose his second game of the day, after four straight wins in the first half of the tournament. The Polish player drew white and placed his first three stones on the 9-10, 11-10, and 4-2 points, while the Korean occupied three corners.

On three other boards in the main playing room, Japan’s Hironori Hirata was playing Spain’s Joan Flos, Thailand’s Choltit Rattanasetyut was playing Vietnam’s Kanh Binh Do, and France’s Thomas Debarre was playing Eric Lui of the US. The winners of these games would still be very much in contention, provided one of them could manage to beat the winner of the Bai-Wu game.

In the outer playing area the Ukraine’s Mykhailo Halchenko had been drawn down against Romania’s Cornel Burzo. A win for the Ukranian would leave him in contention for the championship too. A win for the Romanian would mean a good chance at taking one of the top ten places, conditional on a strong performance tomorrow. Sixteen other players with 3-2 records were also playing for chances to finish in the top ten. With the stakes becoming increasingly clear, the pace of play slowed. Only a few games finished in less than two hours. Two of these ended in victories for Japan and Korea. At the two-hour ten-minute mark the Southeast Asian showdown between Thailand and Vietnam was also over, and in this game victory went to Thailand, by 9.5 points.

By this time a crowd of over thirty onlookers had gathered around the game between the unbeaten duo from China and Chinese Taipei, Baoxiang Bai and Tsung-han Wu. The situation on the board was becoming increasingly uncomfortable for Chinese Taipei, and after another ten minutes Wu resigned, leaving China’s Bai in undisputed first place, at least for the present.

Thomas Debarre and Eric Lui are both relatively slow players, and their game lasted longer. The winner was Eric Lui. His reward: a pairing against the Chinese player in round 7. In the outer playing area, the drawn-down game, another lengthy affair, was won by the drawn-up player, Cornel Burzo. Tomorrow he will first face Kanh Binh Do of Vietnam in a quest to restore Romania to a place in the top ten. In other pairings for round 7, Korea is matched against Chinese Taipei and Japan against Thailand.

Round 7: At 9:30am on June 1, chief referee Masaki Takemiya (standing in photo at left) gave the players a cheery greeting, followed by the formal call to choose colors and start play. As in round 6 the pace of play was generally slow, but three games in the outer playing area ended quickly. Franz-Josef Dickhut of Germany picked up his fifth win by beating Joan Flos of Spain in less than an hour. Next a nine-stone handicap game between Madagascar’s Manitra Razafindrabe and referee Yasuhiro Nakano ended. Both players won, Nakano on the go board, Razafindrabe by getting a bye in the tournament. Shortly afterward Costa Rica’s Mario Miguel Aguero Obanda scored his second win by beating India’s Sandeep Dave.

The first game finished in the main playing room was the match between Japan and Thailand. Thailand’s Choltit Rattanasetyut resigned at 10:40, giving Japan’s Hironori Hirata a sixth win and an assured pairing against Baoxiang Bai of China in the last round. A minute later, on a different board, Armenia’s Artak Margaryan 3k resigned against Azerbaijan’s Bahadur Tahirbayov 6D, and awhile later Zoran Mutabzja of Croatia lost to Mykhailo Halchenko of the Ukraine.  Andrius Petrauskas saw his hopes of gaining a first-ever top-ten finish for Lithuania dim considerably when he lost to Canada’s Jun Fan.

At 11:20 Israel’s Jonathan Lidor made one last attempt to resurrect a dead group, then resigned to Finland’s Mikko Siukola. Vietnam’s Kanh Binh Do chose to play out a long endgame, including a half-point ko, only to lose by a wide margin to Romania’s Cornel Burzo. Not many people witnessed these defeats, however. The spectators were massed at the front of the room where the games involving China, Korea, Chinese Taipei, and the US were proceeding.

In the China-US game, Eric Lui had been struggling without success to attack a large group in the center of the board. He was now playing in his last renewable 30-second time period, which he repeatedly used down to the last second or two, eliciting protracted beeps from his tournament clock. At 11:43 he resigned, and China’s Baoxiang Bai took a big stride closer to a world championship.

In the outer area Poland’s Kamil Chwedyna played the endgame from a standing position to win by 4.5 points against Singapore’s Xiang Zhang. At the other end of this area five armed samurai, a ninja, and two kimono-clad girls wearing hats and veils in the style of Matsue’s founding year, 1611, were posing for photographs. When the photography was finished, some of these medieval characters drifted into the main playing room, arriving in time to see Korea’s Woo-soo Choi win his game against Chinese Taipei’s Tsung-han Wu by 3.5 points.

In the last game to finish, France’s Thomas Debarre defeated Czechia’s Radek Nechanicky. In the final round the French and Thai players are paired together, as are the players from China and Japan, from Korea and Romania, and from Chinese Taipei and the US. And outside, the rain for which Matsue is also famous has let up again.
- James Davies, Ranka Online; edited by Jake Edge