American Go E-Journal » Go News
Monday September 28, 2015
The Power Report: Aoki makes good start in Women’s Meijin; Awaji scores 1000th win; Yuki wins 24th Ryusei; Grand slams update
Monday September 28, 2015
by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal
Aoki makes good start in Women’s Meijin League: The last game of the third round of the 28th Women’s Meijin League was played on September 24. Taking black, Aoki Kikuyo 8P beat Chinen Kaori 4P by resig. Aoki is now 2-0 (she had a bye in the second round), so she shares the provisional lead with Fujisawa Rina, also on 2-0 (she has a bye in this round).
Awaji scores 1000th win: A win in Preliminary B of the 64th Oza tournament on September 24 was Awaji Shuzo 9P’s 1000th official win. Awaji (right) is the 17th player at the Nihon Ki-in to reach this landmark. His record is 592 losses, 3 jigo, and 1 no-result, a winning percentage of 62.6. Awaji was born on August 13, 1948 in Tokyo. He became a disciple of Ito Tomoe 7P, made 1-dan in 1968 and reached 9-dan in 1984. He also graduated from the College of Law (note that this is not the same as a law school in the US) of Aoyama Gakuin University. He has won four minor titles, but challenged unsuccessfully for the Gosei, Tengen, Honinbo and Meijin titles.
Yuki wins 24th Ryusei tournament: Yuki Satoshi 9P won the 24th Ryusei tournament by default. On the day of the final, Cho Chikun’s wife fell critically ill (she died the following day), so he was unable to play. The result was just revealed in this week’s Go Weekly because the organizers took a while to make their decision. Nonetheless, this counts as a title for Yuki and is his 13th (he is now 21st on the all-time list).
Grand slams update: With the theoretical revival of Iyama’s chance of achieving a simultaneous grand slam of the top seven titles, Go Weekly published some statistics. Three players have scored a cumulative grand slam: Cho Chikun, Cho U, and Iyama Yuta. Three players have won six of the top seven: the late Kato Masao (missing the Kisei), Rin Kaiho (missing the Kisei), and Yamashita Keigo (missing the Judan despite three challenges). Next is Kobayashi Koichi with five (missing the Honinbo and the Oza). They are followed by three players who have won four: Otake Hideo, Takao Shinji, and Hane Naoki. Note that this list refers only to current titles. Sakata Eio won seven titles in 1961 and 1964 (in the latter year the only open title he missed out on was the Judan). The final stage of the 54th Judan tournament starts on October 1. Both Iyama and Yamashita have made the final 20.
Qiu Jun 9P and Li Qincheng 1p Even the Score in Chang Qi Cup Semifinal, Forcing Monday Deciders; Seo Joon Jung Wins Inaugural American Chang Qi Tournament
Sunday September 27, 2015
Qiu Jun 9P and Li Qincheng 1p evened their Chang Qi Cup semifinal matches Sunday, defeating Tuo Jiaxi 9P (left, below right) and Lian Xiao 7P, respectively, to force third-game deciders on Monday (these should be broadcast live on KGS, starting at 9:30a EST). Once again the two younger players, Li and Lian — who are good friends as well as fierce competitors — finished first, with Li winning by resignation not long after the lunch break, while the Qiu-Tuo game again went the distance, a 7-hour, 231-move marathon that drew nearly 300 spellbound viewers on KGS (Qiu is at right, in light shirt) . There were also professional game commentaries broadcast on the AGA’s YouTube channel, which are available for review. Here are links to the four Round 1 and 2 game records: Rd1 LiQinCheng v. LianXiao , Rd1 TuoJiaxi v. QiuJun , Rd2 LiQinCheng v. LianXiao , Rd2 TuoJiaxi v. QiuJun . (you can also find them on KGS; look under ChangQi1 and ChangQi2)
In the inaugural American Chang Qi amateur tournament, Seo Joon Jung (right in photo above left) prevailed over Evan Cho in a dramatic final round Sunday afternoon, with Cho taking second place. Other top winners and a complete cross tab will be published later this week.
“This was a wonderful event that showed off the Ing Foundation’s commitment to go in North America, the strength of the North American go community and the vibrant go life here in Boston,” said American Go Association President Andy Okun.
This pro matches were played live at the Student Organization Center at Hilles, Harvard University, in Cambridge, MA, and were sponsored by the American Collegiate Go Association and the Shanghai Ing-Changki Weiqi Education Foundation in conjunction with the Chinese Chang Qi Cup and the American Go Association. The Changqi Cup is one of China’s most generously sponsored tournaments, with a winner’s prize of about $70,000 USD. It’s jointly hosted by the Chinese Go Association and the Shanghai Branch of the Ing Foundation. The tournament first started in 2004 in memory of Ing Chang-ki.
- report by Chris Garlock; photos by Chris Garlock (right) and Andy Okun (left), Photo at left: Will Lockhart, Cole Pruitt, Liu Siming and Seo Joon Jung
Sunday September 27, 2015
The third game of the 40th Meijin title match was held at the Tokiwa Hotel in Kofu City, Yamanashi Prefecture on September 24 and 25. Playing white, Iyama Yuta Meijin beat Takao Shinji Tengen by resignation after 148 moves. Iyama now needs just one more win to defend his title. Eighty moves were played on the first day, and Takao commented: “I spoiled it on the first day.” Actually, however, according to Go Weekly, he did not play any moves that could clearly be labeled as dubious. Rather, as Takao indicated after the game, he had regrets about some of his moves, as in retrospect he didn’t feel that they were the best attacking moves. Thanks to his skill at settling weak groups, Iyama seems to have gained a slight edge. On the second day, Iyama drew further ahead. In the end, Takao had to play unreasonably, and Iyama wrapped up the game by attacking and bringing down a large group. The fourth game will be played on October 5 and 6. The pressure on Takao has increased; he will want to avoid a repeat of his 0-4 loss to Iyama in the 35th Meijin title match. This, by the way, is Iyama’s 13th successive win. He is now fourth on the list of most games won. He probably has more games left this year than most of his rivals, so he should move up a place or two.
- John Power
Sunday September 27, 2015
The Chang Qi Cup Round 2 semifinal games are underway now and being broadcast live on KGS and YouTube. Qiu Jun 9P and Li Qincheng 1p are battling to force deciding matches; both lost their first-round matches yesterday, to Tuo Jiaxi 9P and Lian Xiao 7P, respectively.
The matches are being played live at the Student Organization Center at Hilles, Harvard University, in Cambridge, MA. Area go players are welcome to stop by and check out the action, including the Chang Qi amateur tournament also underway, sponsored by the American Collegiate Go Association and the Shanghai Ing-Changki Weiqi Education Foundation in conjunction with the Chinese Chang Qi Cup and the American Go Association.
- Chris Garlock
Saturday September 26, 2015
In a nice bit of timing, the semi-finals of China’s Chang Qi Cup were held on US soil on Saturday, the day after Chinese President Xi Jinping capped his first U.S. visit with a meeting with President Obama and a black-tie state dinner at the White House. Four of the world’s strongest go players competed for the coveted title; Qiu Jun 9P, Lian Xiao 7P, Li Qincheng 1P and Tuo Jiaxi 9P. Lian Xiao 7P, playing black, won his game against Li Qincheng in 161 moves, shortly after the lunch break. One of the rising stars of the go world, Lian is ranked #11 in China (as of March 2015), has already won several domestic titles and continues to climb the rankings. This would be the biggest title of his career so far. Just after 4pm, Tuo Jiaxi 9P, playing white, edged out Qiu Jun 9P by a single point — the game is scored with Ing counting — in a 241-move nail-biter that had the more than 200 KGS viewers on the edge of their collective seats wondering who would triumph. Tuo Jiaxi is one of the top players in China. He won the 2014 LG Cup, has reached several quarter- and semifinals, and was ranked #1 in the country for a while back in 2013. He won this tournament in 2010, and should be one of the favorites this year to win the Chang Qi Cup. Tuo is #6 in the world, while Qiu is #23, according to Remi Coulom’s GoRatings.org. “It was a very close game for a long time,” Tuo told the EJ after the game, “but as a professional I’m used to playing long games so it was no problem.” He and Qiu know each other’s games so well that Tuo said he planned no special preparation, “just rest and relaxation.”
The semifinals are a best-of-three series, so the players will meet again on Sunday, September 27; the games will be broadcast live on KGS (starting at 9:30a EST) with commentary on the AGA’s YouTube channel. Depending on the results, there may be final round(s) on Monday.
The semifinals were held in Cambridge, MA at Harvard’s Student Organization Center at Hilles, sponsored by the American Collegiate Go Association (ACGA), the Shanghai Ing-Changki Weiqi Education Foundation and the American Go Association (AGA), which also hosted the inaugural American Chang Qi Tournament, drawing over 200 go fans to both play and watch on a gorgeous sunny fall day.
The Changqi Cup is one of China’s most generously sponsored tournaments, with a winner’s prize of about $70,000 USD. It’s jointly hosted by the Chinese Go Association and the Shanghai Branch of the Ing Foundation. The tournament first started in 2004 in memory of Ing Chang-ki.
- report/photos/collage by Chris Garlock; translation assistance by Cheng Hao; tech support by Steve Colburn
Thursday September 24, 2015
East Coast go players — especially those in the Boston area — are counting down the hours to this weekend’s first American Chang Qi tournament. The tournament is being held September 26-27 in conjunction with the semi-finals of the 2015 Chang Qi Cup, at which four top pros from China will compete for a berth in the Chang Qi Cup finals. The weekend promises a go bonanza for both players and observers, who will be able to compete in the amateur tournament as well as watch the pro games; for those who can’t make it in-person, there will be full coverage of the entire weekend’s events on the AGA’s live broadcast channel (starting at 9a EST on Saturday), on KGS and in the E-Journal. Online registration (free) is continuing, but there will be on-site registration from 8:30 to 9:30 on Saturday. Visit the ACGA’s website for more details.
Photo: Chinese Chang Qi delegation at dinner at the Yenming restaurant near Harvard Square Thursday night. Standing (l-r): Qiu Jun, Lian Xiao, Li Qin Cheng, Tuo Jia Xi (click here for their profiles) and AGA President Andy Okun. Seated (l-r): Shao Weigang 9p, Ying Ming-haw, son of the founder of the Ing Foundation, Hua Yigang 8p, former president of China Qiyuan, currently VP of Chinese Weiqi Association and Wang Yi 5p, captain of the Chinese National Weiqi team.
Thursday September 24, 2015
The online pair go qualifying tournament will be held this weekend with a possible extension to Monday if needed. The winners of the qualifiers will get 50 percent of the round-trip airfare cost, and the meals will be covered from Friday evening to Tuesday morning. The championship will be held in Tokyo, Japan from December 4th to the 8th, and this will be a 4-round Swiss system with a 45 minute sudden death time limit.
To be eligible for the tournament and the championship, you must have been an AGA member for at least one year, an amateur player, an undergraduate or graduate student of a University/College, under the age of 30, a US citizen, and you must have lived in the US for at least six years in the last twelve years
Interested players should email firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday September 23, 2015
The Triangle Go Group of central North Carolina hosted the 15th Triangle Memorial Tournament at its traditional outdoor setting in Umstead State Park in Cary NC on September 19. The sensation of this year’s tournament was 18-year-old Andy Zalesak 2D, who defeated the top four rated players to capture Section A, his second 4-0 sweep of a North Carolina tournament this year. Sharing second place at 3-1 were Dalan Robertson and John Moore. Other section winners were Kerianne Squitire and Bob Bacon, 3-1 in Section B (6-7k); Vincent DiMattia, Alvin Chen, and Dale Blann, all 3-1 in Section C (9-11k); and Alex Kuang 16k with a perfect 4-0 in Section D.
Following tradition, lunch was provided for the players and all entry fees, plus an additional donation from the club, were returned to the players in prizes. The tournament honors the memory of two Duke mathematics professors, Joe Shoenfield and Richard Scoville, who for decades played go daily at lunchtime and were mainstays in creating a go tradition in central North Carolina.
- Charles Alden; photo: Andy Zalesak (right) vs. Dalan Robertson at the Triangle Memorial Tournament; photo by Bob Bacon
The Power Report (2): Kyo Kagen wins two junior titles; Women’s Meijin League; Iyama ekes out narrow win in Meijin
Tuesday September 22, 2015
by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal
Kyo Kagen wins two junior titles: Kyo Kagen 3-dan (right) is continuing his impressive form and has won two titles in the last week. On September 13, the semifinals and final of the 2nd Yucho Cup Youth Championship/Nakano Koji Memorial were held at the Nihon Ki-in. In the semifinals, which started at noon, Kyo (W) beat Yo Seiki 7P by resig. and Motoki Katsuya 7P (W) beat Son Makoto 3P, also by resig. The final started at 3 o’clock, and Kyo (B) beat Motoki by resig. after 143 moves. This is an unofficial title sponsored by the post office bank (Yucho) for players under 21 and under 8-dan. Kyo also won the 10th term of the Nakano Cup, the predecessor of this tournament. These games were sandwiched in-between the first and second games of the 40th King of the New Stars title match. In the first game, played on September 11, Kyo (B) beat Hirata Tomoya 4P by resig. after 175 moves. In the second game (September 16, above left), Kyo (W) won by resig. after 194 moves, so he took the title with straight wins. This is his first official title. He turns 18 on the 24th.
Women’s Meijin League: One game in the 28th Women’s Meijin League was played on September 10. Fujisawa Rina Women’s Honinbo (W) beat Chinen Kaori 4P by 7.5 points. On 2-0, Fujisawa shared the lead with Mannami Nao 3P. This game completed the second round. On September 17, Okuda Aya 3P (W) defeated Mannami Nao by resig. and Kato Keiko 6P (B) defeated Suzuki Ayumi 6P by 3.5 points. Mannami is now 2-1, along with Okuda. If Fujisawa Rina wins her third-round game, she will have the sole lead.
Iyama ekes out narrow win in Meijin: The second game of the 40th Meijin title match was played at the Hotel Oncri (written “onkuri” in Japanese) in the hot spring resort of Furuyu in Saga City, Kyushu on September 17 and 18. After very complicated fighting in the first 150 moves, the challenger, Takao Shinji 9P, took the lead around move 170, but he slipped up at least twice in the endgame, letting Iyama Yuta Meijin catch up and then stage an upset. Iyama, who had black, won by half a point (right). Losing a game like this is very painful and puts the challenger under a lot of pressure. Incidentally, this win was Iyama’s twelfth in a row. Another statistic: this win by the player with black stopped a winning streak of seven by White in games between these two players. Overall, Iyama now leads Takao 25-13, and White has won 23 of these games. The third game will be played on September 24 and 25.