American Go E-Journal » Go News

Ben Hakala Wins Portland Tourney

Monday November 7, 2011

Ben Hakala took top honors in the October 29-30 Portland Go Tournament. Twenty six players — including three 6-dans and a 7-dan — participated in the tournament, held on the campus of Lewis & Clark College. While organizer Peter Drake laments that “the award for top female player was not awarded, as all 26 players were male,” he reports that Akane Negishi did stop by long enough to offer KGS Plus memberships to the top single- and double-digit kyu players.” Other prizes — books, boards, etc.– were supplied by Yellow Mountain Imports and Slate & Shell, both of whom offered generous discounts. David Fotland also donated a copy of The Many Faces of Go. “Plans are already forming for next year’s tournament,” Drake adds. “The strong players inquired about the possibility of an open division. There is also the possibility of increasing the number of rounds from five to seven — more than the US Open, crammed into two days. That would be a brutal feat of mental endurance, but why not?” Drake also notes that “The tournament tools at were enormously useful, especially in reporting results quickly to the AGA.”
photo by Weitian Liu

Dan division (first to third): Ben Hakala, Nicholas Jhirad, Vincent Zhuang
Single-digit kyu division: Louie Liu, Trey Cundall, James Moore
Double-digit kyu division: Roger LaMarche, Johnny Sajo, Cooper Stevenson
Youth: Louie Liu

Categories: U.S./North America

Gu Li and Won Seongjin Reach 16th Samsung Cup Final

Sunday November 6, 2011

The finalists for the 16th Samsung Cup were set on November 3. Won Seongjin 9P defeated Chen Yaoye 9P and Gu Li 9P eliminated Na Hyun 1P (a day earlier) in the quarter finals. The Samsung Cup quarter finals are played as a best of three match, rather than a straight knockout. Gu Li taught young talent Na Hyun a thing or two, defeating him in two straight games. Meanwhile, Won Seongjin and Chen Yaoye fought it out to the bitter end. Their third game was a 355 move epic, featuring numerous interesting moves and ko fights. This sets the stage for a China vs Korea final, which will surely be please the sponsor. The final will start on December 6, 2011. Check the Pro Go Calendar for details on the Samsung Cup and other tournaments as they’re added.

- David Ormerod; based on his original article: Gu Li to face Won Seongjin in 16th Samsung Cup final (which includes game records and more photos).

Photo: Won Seongjin 9P (left) counts the second game with Chen Yaoye 9P.

New Mississippi Club Already Expanding

Sunday November 6, 2011

The recently-launched Central Mississippi Go Club (CMGO) is expanding to the Madison/Ridgeland area, reports organizer Greg Smith. “We’ve been requested to make a location convenient to a core group of go players in the (Ridgeland) area,” Smith tells the E-Journal. “We’re happy to comply!” Every fourth Tuesday, the club will meet at the Barnes & Noble off I55. “We had a great turnout” for the club’s first meeting November 1 at The Froghead Grill (off Springridge Road in Clinton), Smith adds. “We played a few games face-to-face, taught a new person how to play go, and we all planned to do it again next week. I couldn’t ask for more.” The AGA’s “help really allowed me to assemble an easy-to-transport ‘Go Box,’  making it very easy to host a meeting with a professional feel,” said Smith. “The resources at have been invaluable, and (the AGA’s) personal assistance made it much easier to get the specific help I needed…I’m confident CMGO will be a hub for teaching and playing go in Central Mississippi for quite a while.”
Photo: Future CMGO members Doss and Kirk play the first ever CMGO game.


Categories: U.S./North America

Two Weeks at the Lee Sedol Baduk Academy: Van Tran’s Journal (#1)

Sunday November 6, 2011

Sixteen-year-old Van Tran spent two weeks in South Korea at the Lee Sedol Baduk Academy earlier this year and sent the E-Journal his report, which will appear over the next few weeks. The high school junior lives in the Houston suburb of Spring, Texas, has been playing for two and a half years and is “about 3 dan.”

July 5: Today is my first day of Go School. This is a very weird experience. I can’t understand anything that other people are saying, but somehow I feel like I have learned a lot about go today. The Koreans are very strong and I like the general Korean style that most people play. They like thickness very much and they like to fight aggressively. It amazes me how dedicated these kids are to go. Every day they have formal go study for 12 hours and then when they get back ome they study until 11PM when they go to sleep. Most of the people here my age are 9-dan and are aspiring professionals. It surprises me the gap in skill between a 9-dan and a 1-dan professional. There are even some 9-dans that aren’t inseis because they are weaker than the other 9-dans. There are many 9-dans who are very strong, but only a few become professional every year. A bit of food for thought is that these kids are able to give their all just for a small chance of becoming a  professional. They seem to live in a closed world of go. If they have free time they study go and they eat while they look at top go player’s statistics for “fun.” I lost all my games today even though I am playing with their very young students.

July 6: I woke up today with a terrible backache from sleeping on the floor. There are about 20 kids who are all exceptional at go staying in the headmaster’s apartment. They are all 3-dan and higher. Though most of them are 9-dans, the lowest-ranked out of the Koreans is a little kid I think about 6 who is a solid 3-dan. I have started to specialize my study in Korean Go to hangmae, a Korean technique which means the flow of stones. I find it to be somewhat similar to tesuji which applies many odd fighting shapes. It really helps with fighting and simplifies reading because hangmae acts as a bookmark leading to a favorable result. Today I lost all my games as well. It‘s a bit frustrating to lose all your games to little kids. To be continued next week…
Photo: Headmaster playing a serious go game with a student.

Categories: World,Youth

Yamashita Keigo Wins Meijin 4-2, Becomes 7th Honinbo Meijin

Sunday October 30, 2011

Challenger Yamashita Keigo 9P (at right) won the Meijin title match last Friday, taking the title from defending Meijin Iyama Yuta 9P in six games. After Yamashita went up 3-1 in the seven-game match, Iyama was in a tight position. He successfully defended a kadoban (match-deciding game) in Game 5 to bring the score back to 3-2, but faced another one in Game 6. Iyama Yuta’s fans hoped that he’d be able to stage a fight-back and defend the title but their hope was short-lived after Yamashita neatly wrapped up the series with a 3.5 point win as white on October 28. The final score for the series was 4-2. Yamashita Keigo now holds the Japanese Honinbo and Meijin titles simultaneously. Just the seventh player to do so, he joins Sakata Eio, Rin Kaiho, Ishida Yoshio, Cho Chikun, Cho U and Takao Shinji in the history books.
- Jingning; based on her original article: Yamashita Keigo wins 36th Meijin at Go Game Guru.

Photo: Yamashita Keigo, Honinbo Meijin.

Categories: World

Jonathan Hop to Launch Go Video Site; Seeks Contributors

Sunday October 30, 2011

Go author Jonathan Hop is starting a video lecture website aimed at popularizing go and providing more resources for people who want to learn more. The website, Sunday Go Lessons “will eventually grow to have hundreds of lectures on various topics, from joseki to the middle game, and will present go in a fun and exciting way,” Hop tells the E-Journal. “Perfect for getting friends and colleagues acquainted with the game.” Looking for financial contributions from the go community to help get his dream off the ground, Hop is offering prizes for contributors, including free lectures and signed copies of his books. Jonathan Hop is a 4 dan amateur and studied at the Yu Changhyuk Baduk Dojo in Migeum, S. Korea and is also the author of the So You Want to Play Go?series, a primer for players of all skill levels. Click here for details on the new site.


TRENDnet Sponsors New Tournament In Southern California

Sunday October 30, 2011

Leading networking company TRENDnet is sponsoring a brand-new tournament in Southern California. The first annual TRENDnet 2011 Southern California Go Championship will be held December 3-4 in Alhambra, California, reports Orange County Go Club organizer Kevin Chao.  The five-round tournament includes a $2,000 prize pool and a $500 top prize for the open section. TRENDnet, a Torrance, CA-based global provider of award-winning networking solutions to small and medium size business and home users, has committed to sponsoring the tournament through 2013. Since its start in 1990, TRENDnet — under the slogan “Networks People Trust” — has built a diverse product line that includes wireless, fiber, wwitch, gigabit, voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), keyboard/video/mouse (KVM), Internet camera, print server, powerline, Bluetooth, storage server, power over Ethernet (PoE), and multimedia accessories.

Categories: U.S./North America

UK TOURNAMENT REPORTS: August 27– October 2

Sunday October 30, 2011

SHREWSBURY TOURNAMENT, 2 October:   The winner of this year’s Shrewsbury tournament was Toby Manning, after a long struggle with Baron Allday.   Kathleen Timmins also won three games. Although numbers were down on last year, those present enjoyed the tournament and commented that the shift to Sunday had made travel and parking troublefree.

SWINDON TOURNAMENT, 18 September:  The Swindon Tournament went well and attracted 36 players. Winning again after a gap of six years was Bei Ge (5 dan), who beat Francis Roads in the last round. Francis led the Wanstead club to victory in the team prize. The only other player to win all three games was young Aidan Putman (12 kyu) from Swindon, so a special prize went to Adan Mordcovich (2 kyu) for two good wins.

BRITISH CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL, CAMDEN, LONDON, 17 September: In an exciting third and deciding game Matthew Macfadyen killed a group early on and held on against everything Nick Krempel could throw at him. Eventually Nick had to resign allowing Matthew to be champion for another year.  The records of all three games are on the BGA website. Guo Juan has kindly commented all three games and has created free audio lectures which are linked from the BGA site.

NORTHERN TOURNAMENT, STOCKPORT, 11 September: Richard Moulds won this year’s Northern tournament. Although there were only 21 players, there were four other prize winners on maximum wins, namely: Ron Bell, Roger Huyshe, James Brownrigg and Brian Timmins. Also noteworthy is the fact that Adan Mordcovich from Wanstead, the youngest player to attend, was placed second overall.

CORNWALL TENZANCE, 10 – 11 September:  Sue Paterson won the Cornish Rapid Handicap on the Saturday and Ian Marsh won the Cornish Open on OURNAMENTS, Pthe Sunday. 20 people took part in all over the weekend that included a teaching session as well as the two tournaments.

BELFAST TOURNAMENT, 27 – 28 August:  Andrew Simons was unbeaten winner at this year’s 22-player Belfast Tournament. Matthew Crosby was second with 4 wins, only losing to Andrew.  Also winning 4 were Poland’s Justyna Kleczar and Marek Gutkowski. Winning 3 to come third was local player James Hutchinson.

MIND SPORTS OLYMPIAD, LONDON, 27 – 28 August: In the 13 x 13 tournament Matthew Cocke proved the best of the 8 players.  Silver place went to Francis Roads winning 6 but losing to Matthew. Bronze place went to Henry Manners with 4 wins on tie-break from Xinyi Lu and event arbiter Tony Atkins.  Matthew then went on to collect his second MSO Gold in two days, by winning the 16-player Open. Silver went to Adam Pirani who lost to Matthew in the last round. Equal Bronzes were Francis Roads and Chu Lu from China. Paco Garcia from Spain was fifth.

- as reported in the October edition of the British Go Association newsletter; more information on upcoming UK tournaments is available here.

Categories: Europe

Shotwell Updates Computer Coverage, Challenges Kissinger

Sunday October 30, 2011

Computer go has improved dramatically in recent years, For instance, a program named “Zen” recently earned a rating of KGS 4D by playing 83 games in 24 hours at that rating, and winning 60 of them. Peter Shotwell (l) has written about computer go for years, and covers all the latest advances in a thorough update of his article available from The Bob High Memorial Library, entitled, “A Time Line of Supercomputer Go: Temporal Difference Learning to Monte Carlo Programming.”  Also available are two appendices featuring interviews with some of the more prominent programmers. Shotwell also joined the critical reaction to Henry Kissinger’s recent use of go principles to explain Chinese thinking, posting “Thoughts on the Relationship of Go to On China by Henry Kissinger and The Protracted Game by Scott Boorman,” arguing in detail that neither of the books contribute much towards understanding the basic differences between Eastern and Western history, thinking and language that are the roots of the differences in strategic outlooks, both past and present.
– Roy Laird

Categories: U.S./North America

Qiyun Zhu 8d Tops Lefler Memorial

Saturday October 29, 2011

Two dozen go players turned out on October 29th in Rochester, NY to play in the seventh Greg Lefler Memorial Tournament. In three rounds of play the following winners emerged: Dan Section: 1st: Qiyun Zhu 8d; 2nd: Yidong Wang 5d; 3rd: Phil Waldron 5d. High Kyu Section: 1st: James Feinup 3k; 2nd: Jim Gonella 6k; 3rd: Sean Reeves 8k. Low Kyu Section: 1st: James Howard 19k; 2nd: Patrick Wesp 13k; 3rd: Angel Lomeli 20k. The tournament is held annually to honor Rochester go organizer Greg Lefler “who taught us all to love go and to promote it in anyway we knew how,” reports Steve Colburn.
- photo courtesy Steve Colburn


Categories: U.S./North America