American Go E-Journal » Go News

AGA Board Waives U.S. Youth Go Championship Requirement

Monday February 1, 2010

The AGA Board acted Sunday to waive the 10-game minimum requirement for the annual U.S. Youth Go Championship, converting last year’s one-time exemption into a permanent exemption for this tournament, which leads to the selection of the U.S. representative to the World Youth tournament. Board Chairman Roy Schmidt noted that “This responds to concerns of youth advocates that the AGA should be encouraging maximum participation in this tournament, with reduced requirements.”

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Matthews To Retire As AGA Ratings Coordinator

Monday February 1, 2010

“Our ratings coordinator, Paul Matthews, has informed me of his decision to retire from this position to spend more time pursuing other go related interests,” reports AGA President Allan Abramson. “Paul has been one of our AGA heroes,” Abramson told the E-Journal, “having developed the rating system algorithms 20 years ago, and having maintained ratings with regular updates for all this time.” Adding that “I personally hold him in the highest regard, and respect the care he devoted to the quality of ratings.” Abramson also had a request for AGA members, asking them to “Please join me in extending our thanks to Paul for 20 years of extraordinary service.” Abramson also noted that “We are now in the process of integrating new open source rating system programming with our other data systems and web site. This transition may take several months to complete, but in the interim we expect to do a ratings update as soon as possible. I ask for your understanding and patience.”

Categories: U.S./North America
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World Pair Go Registration Deadline Extended

Monday February 1, 2010

The registration deadline for the World Pair Go Tournament has been extended to this Thursday at  midnight. Recognizing the World Pair Go Tournament as a special one-time celebration of the 20th anniversary of the creation of Pair Go, the AGA Board Sunday night voted to waive both the one-year continuous membership requirement and the 10-game minimum requirement for the qualification tournament, as it had waived some requirements for the World Mind Sports Games last year under similar circumstances. U.S. citizenship and U.S. residency for at least six of the past twelve months still are required. Interested pros and amateurs must contact President@usgo.org with names and AGA ID’s by the deadline

Gu Li Winningest Pro In ’09

Monday February 1, 2010

An important indication of superiority among go professionals is their winning percentage, especially among the most active players. Here is a rundown for 2009. Gu Li 9P of China was the player with the most wins in international events, winning eighteen and losing seven for a winning rate of 72%. Second in number of wins was fellow Chinese Qiu Jun 9P with 17-8 for a 68% rate. Third was Heo Yeongho 6P of Korea whose 16-4 record gave him an amazing 80% win rate. Not surprisingly, the top twenty international event winners are all either Chinese (9) or Korean (12): nine Chinese and twelve Koreans (a six-way tie for 16th makes the total twenty-one).

In 2008, Gu Li was third behind Lee Sedol 9P and Lee Changho 9P of Korea, but Gu’s winning percentage was higher: 82% vs. 75% and 74%.

In Japan in 2009 Iyama Yuta 9P was dominant, not only winning the most games (43-14) but also having the highest winning percentage among the top winners: 75%.

Yuki Satoshi 9P was second in wins, 40-15.

Top title holder Cho U 9P fell to fifth place, winning 35 while losing 19 for a 65% rate. Cho was the top winner in 2008 in Japan.

In Korea, Kim Jisuk 6P, who turned twenty during 2009, was the top winner at 71-20 for a 78% rate. His 78% winning percentage was also top among the thirty players with the most wins.

Choi Cheolhan 9p was second on the winning list with 56-18 for a 76% rate, and Lee Changho 9P was third with 50 wins and a 66% rate.

Lee Changho was second in 2008 behind Lee Sedol 9P (who is currently not playing in professional events).

Kong Jie 9P is the top winner for 2009 in China: 47-20 for a 70% rate.

Only one player among the top thirty winners in China has a higher rate: Tan Xiao 5P in fifteenth place with a 74% rate for 33-12.

The precocious teen Chen Yaoye 9P – who turned twenty at the end of 2009 — was second in China with 46-20, which also gives him a 70% win rate.
- Bill Cobb

Categories: Go News,World
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EUROPEAN GO NEWS: Groenen & Brouwer Tie In Dutch Champs; Groenen Denies Pomstra Bid For 5th Win At Heerlen Open; Pocsai-Palogh Corner Market On Hungarian Title Gold; Kachanovskij Wins First KGS Insei League; Kachanovskiy, Simara, Prokopova To Student Oza; Grabowski Steps Down As Polish Ratings Master

Monday February 1, 2010

GROENEN & BROUWER TIE IN DUTCH CHAMPS: Geert Groenen 6d and Peter Brouwer 5d tied for the Dutch title after the final rounds of the Championship, which were played last weekend at the European Go Center near Amsterdam. The winner will be decided in a best-of-three play-off in the Spring. Last year Groenen lost the play-off, while Brouwer took bronze on his first try for the title. EuroGoTV plans to publish a collection of the Dutch Championship games with commentary by Guo Juan 5P. Four other players shared third place while four more kept their seats in the finals for next year. “I am both proud and happy,” said event co-organizer Herman Hiddema, “I kept my place for next year in my first appearance in the finals.” The Women’s and Youth Championships were also held last weekend and for the fourth year in a row Anne van Leeuwen 1k swept 5-0, besting a 12-player field. This year top-youth Alexander Eerbeek 3d had qualified for the main final, where he won three of his eight games; all his losses were to top-rated players. Yuki de Groot won the kid’s title. The side event was won by Rudi Verhagen 5d, who usually is in the main tournament and was the first reserve player this year. Click here for results in the main and the women’s.
- Peter Dijkema

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GROENEN DENIES POMSTRA BID FOR 5TH WIN AT HEERLEN OPEN: Geert Groenen denied Willem-Koen Pomstra’s bid for a fifth win at the Heerlen Open January 9-10 in Holland. Groenen topped the 20th Open, the traditional opener of the new year, winning the deciding match with Willem-Koen Pomstra, who had won the last four. By tradition, the tournament is held in an old bar, which serves a wide variety of beers in the old center of town. 32 participants from 6 countries attended.

POCSAI-PALOGH CORNER MARKET ON HUNGARIAN TITLE GOLD: Dynamic duo Rita Pocsai 4d and Pál Balogh 6d have added the Hungarian Pair Go title to their collection of titles, winning in Budapest on January 30. Pocsai is the Hungarian Women’s Champion and Balogh is the Hungarian Men’s Champion. The pair seem set to bid for a place on the podium in the next Euro-Championships to challenge the rule of Russians. The Youth and Kid’s titles were at stake at the same event and “Despite very bad snow, still nine showed up” Peter Korossy told the E-Journal. Domonkos Albrecht kept his Hungarian Youth title and Róbert Czismadia – who took 4th at last year’s European Championships (EC) — retained his Children’s title. Both will play in the next EC in Romania in March. Click here for results in the Youth and Children’s tourneys In the Hungarian league, held a day earlier in Budapest, both leaders won in the penultimate 6th round. Teams of three play handicap mini-matches of three games each. Origo easily won 8-1, but MGE1 had a hard match, with double-digit Agro which was third: 5-4. Even on match-points, Origo now leads MGE1 by a win and a jigo, but they face tough Agro, while MGE1 meet Sanrensei. The last round will be played in the next fortnight; click here for complete league results full league table.
- Peter Dijkema, based on reports by Peter Korossy

KACHANOVSKIJ WINS FIRST KGS INSEI LEAGUE: Artem Kachanovskiy (Artem92), a young – barely 17 — player from the Ukraine, won the A-division of the first Insei competition on KGS (KILL), run by Alex Dinerchtein, which ended January 31.  Kachanovskiy defeated early leader ‘j13′ (Finland) 4-0 and was best as well against both teachers: 3-5. His over-all 10-5 (67%) beat j13’s 19-11 (63%), while ‘danigabi’ (Argentina) was 3rd with 9-7 (56%). From France ‘ha’ had entered with the weakest KGS ranking, but he was the first to defeat both trainers and finished fourth. As expected, the teachers did best: Dinerchtein 21-2 and Ilya Shiksin 22-5, despite playing simuls with four or five players at a time. Losses to teachers will no longer count for the winning percentage in the new League, which begins this month. The KILL B-league was won by ‘snowbars’ (Russia) 14-6, despite his 1-3 to ‘feature’ (Germany) 11-5, while “Monestri’ (US) was third with 6-3. Other US-players ‘burrito’ and ‘clossius’ incurred many losses to the teachers, who had perfect scores. ‘lemurov’ (RU) swept the C-league 10-0, ahead of ‘silentfear’ from France and ‘Sinprejic’ (US). US ‘BANKER’ was on even with his concurrence 12-12 but lost 5 to the trainers. ‘Grimalkin’ won only a few games. Despite a loss to US ‘will122166′ 11-10, ‘benwahwah’ won the D league 8-5, and ‘Protronics’ (Norway) won E league, with only a loss less then ímagine’ from Turkey, who scored 13-11, while ‘skyboytkd9′ was 3rd with 4-4. For next month, Dinerchtein also announced the new KIEL, the Entrance League to select for E-division. KIEL costs less, but comes with less lessons. A bonus round after the league caused a sensation when the most active players from each league were invited to a simul against Cho Mikyung 1P. Only ‘j13′ won. Watch the game here.
- Peter Dijkema

KACHANOVSKIY, SIMARA, PROKOPOVA TO STUDENT OZA: Artem Kachanowskiy 6d (Ukraine), Jan Simara 5d and Anna Prokopova 1k (both Czech) qualified for the World Student Oza in Japan, later this year. The qualifiers were held for the first time on KGS.

GRABOWSKI STEPS DOWN AS POLISH RATINGS MASTER: After more than 30 years running the Polish rating list, aka ‘Grabolka’, Krzysztof Grabowski resigned on January 1, although he has retained his place at the EGF rating commission. In addition to three decades of running Polish ratings, Grabowski says he proudest of a Kansai Kiin 3-dan diploma signed by their top three 9-dan professionals, Hashimoto Utaru, Shoji and Sekiyama Toshio in 1990. “Perhaps my greatest joy were the Pair Go tourneys during several Polish summer camps.” Grabowski was named the third honorary member of the Polish Go Association, after Tozawa Akinobu 9p and Janusz Kraszek 6d.
-  Peter Dijkema

Categories: Europe,Go News
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U.S. GO NEWS: Hu Wins Chi Tourney; Jujo Tourney Report; World Pair Go Deadline Weds; NAMT Qualifier Host Sites Sought

Monday January 25, 2010

HU WINS CHI TOURNEY: Thomas Hu 6d won the January 23 “The White and the Black” tournament in Chicago, IL. “A smallish tournament, but some great games,” reports TD Bob Barber. “A new player was Young Rhee 7d, who will be teaching at the brand new Go Center in nearby Arlington Heights. If we move the tourney, we may double attendance. Heady times in Chicago.” 26 players participated. Results: 1st Place Dan: HU, Thomas, 6d, 4-0; 1st Place High Kyu: RUBENSTEIN, Mark, 4k, 4-0; 1st Place Low Kyu: ZHANG, Chris, 33k, 4-0.

JUJO TOURNEY REPORT: Mingjiu Jiang 7P won the Jujo Jiang Ing Goe Tournament held January 9-10 in San Francisco, CA. Winner’s Report: 1st place: Mingjiu Jiang 7P (5-0); 2nd: Calvin Sun 7d (4-1); 3rd: Lu Wang 7d (3-2); 4th: Song Li 6d (3-2).
- reported by Chris Burg

WORLD PAIR GO DEADLINE WEDS: This Wednesday, January 27 is the deadline for registering for the World Pair Go qualifiers. “This is a high level competition, with airfare, room and board for one pair from North America at the end of March,” reports American Go Association President Allan Abramson. The qualifiers will include Canadian pairs. Abramson’s recent Members Memo included details; contact him at President@usgo.org

NAMT QUALIFIER HOST SITES SOUGHT: Beginning this year, the qualification tournament to select the 2011 Fujitsu Cup candidate will be the North American Masters tournament. The NAMT final is held at the annual U.S. Go Congress (LINK), which will be held in Colorado Spring, CO July 31-August 8. “We are now looking for clubs and people to host the NAMT qualifier tournaments around the country,” says AGA Tournament Coordinator Boris Bernadsky. Two sites are being sought in the west, two in the east and two in the central states; there will be two online tournaments as well. Anyone interested in hosting an NAMT qualifier can email Bernadsky at badukboris@gmail.com

Categories: U.S./North America
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EUROPEAN GO NEWS: Hricova/Silt Czech Pair Champs; Li Ting Kansai Kiin 1-Dan; Diamond Sharp In Maidenhead; Hebsacker Hamburg Leads German League; Artem Tops Kill A-League; Liu 2p To Teach In Zurich; Metta Takes Trofeo

Monday January 25, 2010

HRICOVA/SILT CZECH PAIR CHAMPS: Jana Hricova and Ondrej Silt won the Czech Republic Pair Championship in Prague January 23-24, in which five pairs competed. Anna Prokopova and Jan Simara also finished at 3-1, but lost the mutual game. Ondrej Kruml swept the side event, topping 37 participants. Click here for results. David LeBaDuy won all five in the childrens tourney with 13 kids. - Peter Dijkema

LI TING KANSAI KIIN 1-DAN: In what’s being hailed as “a real sensation for Austria,” Vienna’s Li Ting will begin playing as a professional for the Kansai Kiin on March 1. Li learned go at the age of 6 in Beijing and took a BA there, a MA in Tokyo and has been working on her Ph. D in Vienna — on the spread of Go in Europe – where she’s been living and teaching with her husband Hu Bin. Both were co-organizers of the 2007 European Go Congress, where Li placed 7th, and she’s continued to do well in Europe, sharing the Slovenian Open title in April 2009 with Hwang In-seong 7d. – Peter Dijkema, after http://www.goverband.at/

DIAMOND SHARP IN MAIDENHEAD: British Go Association President Jon Diamond 4d won the 19th Furze Platt tournament in Maidenhead on tie-break, ahead of David Ward 3d and Tim Hunt 3d on January 23 at Hitachi Europe Ltd’s headquarters. Five players won all three games. The team from Central London did best with a 75% overall result. Click here for results. - Peter Dijkema

HEBSACKER HAMBURG LEADS GERMAN LEAGUE: The Hebsacker team defeated Kieloben in Round 5 of the German team leagues, or Bundesliga, on January 14. Led by captain Tobias Berben, editor of the German Go Journal, Hebsacker drew just one match, won the rest and are now two matchpoints clear of ‘eternal’ champs Karlsruhe, while St. Pauli — also from Hamburg — moved into third place after their match with Frankfurt Dragons. Unexciting Elks from Darmstadt drew their fifth match in a row, with Igoist Berlin. With ten teams in a division, four more matches are up. - Peter Dijkema, based on dgob.de

ARTEM TOPS KILL A-LEAGUE: Former European Youth Champ Artem Kochanovskiy (‘artem92′, Ukraine) leads the KGS Insei League (KILL) A-league with a 9-4 (69%) record. Kochanovskiy has only lost to league teachers and has won three crucial games with early leader ‘j13′ (Finland), who is second with 18-10 (64%), including 1-7 to teachers Alex Dinerchtein (16-2) and Ilya Shiksin (17-5). Third is ‘danigabi’ from Argentina with 9-6 (60%); he’s lost once to both leaders and the other losses are to his teachers. In the B-league, ‘feature’ (Germany) 10-5 overtook ‘monestri’ (US) 6-3. Both are at 67%, but ‘feature’ played more games and they have not played each other yet. ‘Snowbars’ (Russia) is close behind with 10-6 (63%). All three have lost all their encounters with the trainers. In C-league ‘lemurov’ (Russia) avoided teaching games and leads 6-0, while US-players ‘Sinprejic’ 6-7 (including 0-4 to teachers) and ‘Banker’ 11-16 (0-5) are 4th and 5th. Leagues end at the end of each month. - Peter Dijkema

LIU 2P TO TEACH IN ZURICH: Liu Yuanbo 2P will be at the Zurich Go Club February 12-14 for simuls and a weekend workshop, reports swissgo.org. Liu is known as PeteLiu 2p, tartaric 9d and MilanMilan 9d on KGS. A week earlier, on Friday, February 5, Li Yue 5d (Madrid) will teach on the theme “attack to benefit”. - Peter Dijkema

METTA TAKES TROFEO: Carlo Metta 1d (Pisa) won the 5th Trofeo Higashitika held January 16-17 in Remanzacco, in the Udine province in northeast Italy. Metta won his first four and drew his last game with Sandro Poldrugo 1k (Triest), who finished second. Radovan Golja 3d (Ljubljana – Slovenia) 3-2 finished 3rd in a field of 22. Only Frederico Forte 16k (Pisa) won all five rounds. Click here for results.

Categories: Europe
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WORLD GO NEWS: Japanese Surge In The Nongshim Cup

Monday January 25, 2010

JAPANESE SURGE IN THE NONGSHIM CUP: The Japanese, who in recent years haven’t survived past the second round of the Nongshim Cup have made it through to the third round this year. Hane Naoki 9P — Japan’s last player — pulled out a win on January 22nd and then defeated Park Yeonghun 9P of Korea. The Nongshim is a win-and-continue team event between five member teams from China, Japan, and Korea. The Japanese and Chinese teams have each won only once in Nonshim’s ten-year history, with Korea winning the other eight titles. The Koreans started out strong as usual, when Kim Jiseok  6P won the first three games, defeating two Japanese: Yamashita Keigo 9P and Takao Shinji 9P. Then Xie He 7P of China took over, winning five games before being stopped by Hane. The Koreans are also down to a single player, Lee Changho 9P, while the Chinese still have three. Hane’s next game will be against Liu Xing 7P of China in early March. The other Chinese players are Chang Hao9P and Gu Li 9P. Sources: Go News, GoGameWorld, Sensei’s Library, JustPlayGo

Categories: World
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EUROPEAN GO NEWS: Groenen Leads Dutch Champs At Halfway Mark; Marz Masters Potsdamer Panda; Dickhut Repeats As NRW-Meister; Belfast Players Dominate Irish Championship Weekender

Monday January 18, 2010

GROENEN LEADS DUTCH CHAMPS AT HALFWAY MARK: Only Geert Groenen 6d (The Hague) was undefeated after the first weekend of the Dutch Championships at the European Go Center (EGC) in Amsterdam January 16-17. Groenen was the only 6-dan able to stop 5-dan Peter Brouwer’s winning streak. Brower (Amsterdam) had defeated three 6-dans in a row, including defending Dutch Champion Merlijn Kuin, who also lost to former insei Emil Nijhuis 6d. The Dutch title tournament is an 8-round final with 16 players over two weekends in January. The finals continue on January 30-31, when the ladies and youth titles are also at stake. On Board One, Nijhuis will be the first to try to stop Groenen, while another interesting pairing this weekend will be between former Dutch Champions Frank Janssen – 4-time winner — and 3-time winner Kuin. “Usually we meet during the second weekend,” Janssen told the E-Journal. This time, however, instead of Board 1, they’ll meet on Board 6, as Janssen won only one game and was paired up. Four top boards are being broadcast every round by EuroGoTV, which will publish a booklet about the Dutch Championships with 10 commented games by Guo Juan 5P. – Peter Dijkema; photo: Peter Brouwer wins his way up the rankings. – by Judith van Dam

MARZ MASTERS POTSDAMER PANDA: German Go Federation (DGoB) President Michael Marz 3d from Marburg won the first Postdamer Panda January 16-17 in Potsdam, despite missing the first round. Marz won all his four games and stayed ahead of Judith Conradi 2d and Robert Deutschmann 2d (both of Berlin), who scored 3-2. Stefan Leon, Michael Motejat, Conny Pohle, Christoph Star and Anne Böttger also made the winner’s podium with their 4-1 results. The tournament attracted 55, who also came for two lectures on computer go and a demonstration game of man against machine on a 37×37 board. Click here for results. -Peter Dijkema,

DICKHUT REPEATS AS NRW-MEISTER: NordRhein-Westfalen state Champion Franz-Josef Dickhut 6d belatedly defended his title on January 16-17 in Lippstadt in a round-robin of six players battling for the 2009 Meister title. Matthias Terwey 4d and Lukas Krämer 4d shared second place. And with a full calendar of tourneys almost every weekend in Germany this year, the 2010 NordRhein-Westfalen title may well wind up being contested in early 2011. Dickhut’s major titles include several German Championships and the European Master at the 2008 European Go Congress in Leksand, Sweden. - Peter Dijkema, based on dgob.de

BELFAST PLAYERS DOMINATE IRISH CHAMPIONSHIP WEEKENDER: Two players from Belfast dominated the first weekend of the Irish Championship League, held January 16-17 in Dublin. Winning all four games were defending champion Ian Davis 1d and newcomer James Hutchinson 1k. In second place were John Gibson 1k and Eoghan Barry 3k. With three games each left to play “anything could still happen in the race for the final,” says Davis. Click here for latest results.

Categories: Europe
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EUROPEAN GO NEWS: Pal Balogh Leads Pandanet Rankings; Terwey Takes Essen; Florescu Wins Jubilee Jac In Bucharest; Fan Sweeps Lille Pandanet

Monday January 11, 2010

PAL BALOGH LEADS PANDANET RANKINGS: Pal Balogh leads the current Pandanet rankings at January 1 with 55 points from five tournaments. In the top ten, players from Central Europe dominate: Ondrej Silt with 41 points (5, CZ), Christian Pop 37 (3, RO), Mero Csaba 36 (4, HU), Nikola Mitic 33 (4, RS) and Jan Simara 30 (4, CZ). Young Vanessa Wong (UK) shares 7th with veteran Vladimir Danek (CZ) 17 and Herman Hiddema (NL) shared 9th with Zou Jin (DE) 15. The Pandanet season runs until Easter, closing with the Paris Open, which leaves just four events to go. Click here for the full table.

TERWEY TAKES ESSEN: Matthis Terwey 4D (l in photo at right) of Münster won in Essen on SOS in the opener of the year January 9-10 in Germany, ahead of Lukas Krämer 4D (Bonn), who defeated him in the last round. Despite the snow, a field of 79 turned out. Only Ingmar Schwarz 3k of Dortmund went undefeated 5-0. Click here for results.

FLORESCU WINS JUBILEE JAC IN BUCHAREST: Ion Florescu 6d edged out Cornel Burzo 6d and Cristian Pop 7d in the December 11-12 Japanese Ambassador Cup, held in Bucharest’s National Theatre. All three are from Romania and were former insei in Japan. The special event was organized to celebrate the jubilee anniversary of relations with Japan. Although this year the event was open to foreign guests, just a handful participated, including three Hungarians –Csaba Mero 6d finished fourth with 4-2 and Pal Balogh 6d fifth with 3-3 — two Greek, one Dutch, French and Swiss in the field of 135. A detailed report with videos is available in the news archive (dated Fri 11 Dec) on EuroGoTv.com. Click here for results. photo: winner Ion Florescu (r) with Pal Balogh; photo by Judith van Dam.

FAN SWEEPS LILLE PANDANET: Fan Hui 8d comfortably swept the Pandanet in Lille December 12-13. Female players dominated the rest of the podium, with Li Ting 6d from Vienna (Austria) losing only to him and French Champion Zhang Yanqi to them both. French Youth Champ Thomas Debarre 5d lost to the top three to finish fourth. From the best seven, only young (14y) Vanessa Wong (4d, 6th) didn’t meet Fan. Local hero Lucien Laks 2d had the honor to face Fan for his last game. Despite excellent high-speed rail connections to both Belgium and London, only a few foreigners were among the 75 participants: a handful of Belgians and 2 Brits (Vanessa and her family-member Julius 2d). In Lille many did well with 4-1, but only Sylvain Benesteau 11k (Paris) and local Xavier Seguin 18k remained undefeated in all five rounds. Click here for results.
reports by Peter Dijkema, EJ European Correspondent, from reports on EuroGoTV.com

CORRECTION: The MoGo games were held in Cadiz, southern Spain, not Barcelona, as reported last week. Thanks to Gregorio Morales, Spanish Go Association (AEGO) member and former President, for the catch.

Categories: Europe
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