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The Power Report: Nong Shim second stage honors go to China; Ri Ishu wins Young Carp; Xie regains Women’s Honinbo; Honinbo League

Wednesday December 13, 2017

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal

Nong Shim second stage honors go to China: The second stage, in which the fifth to ninth games are played, of the 19th Nong Shim Spicy Noodles Cup was held in Busan in Korea from November 24 to 28. The first stage was dominated by Shin Minjun 6P of Korea. He also won the first two games of the second stage, taking his winning streak to six games. However, Dang Yifei of China then took over, winning the next three games, so China staged a recovery. Japan is down to its last player, Iyama Yuta, who will meet Dang in the first game of the third stage, scheduled to start in Shanghai on February 26. Korea has three players left and China two, so Iyama will need to reproduce his good form in the LG Cup if Japan is going to avoid early elimination. Full results for this round follow.
Game Five (Nov. 24). Shin Minjun (W) beat Chen Yaoye 9P (China) by 4.5 points.
Game Six (Nov. 25). Shin (W) beat Yamashita Keigo 9P (Japan) by resig.
Game Seven (Nov. 26). Dang Yifei 9P (China) beat Shin by resig.
Game Eight (Nov. 27). Dang (B) beat Ichiriki Ryo 8P (Japan) by resig.
Game Nine (Nov. 28). Dang (B) beat Kim Myeonghoon 5P (Korea) by resig.
Remaining players: (Japan) Iyama Yuta; (Korea) Kim Jiseok 9P, Shin Jinseo 8P, Park Junghwan 9P; (China) Dang, Ke Jie 9P

Ri Ishu wins Young Carp:  The main section (the best 16) of the 12th Hiroshima Aluminum Cup Young Carp Tournament was held in the Western Honshu Newspaper Building in Hiroshima on November 25 and 26. This tournament is open to2017.12.13_Wom Hon Xie players 30 and under and 7-dan and under. The finalists this year were two Nihon Ki-in players of Taiwanese birth, Ri Ishu (Li Yixiu) 7P (aged 29) and Yo Chito (Yao Zhiteng) 4P (aged 19). Playing black, Ri, who came second in the first cup, won by 3.5 points. First prize is 3 million yen (about $27,000).

Xie regains Women’s Honinbo: The 36th Women’s Honinbo title match, a best-of-five, went right down to the wire. Xie Yimin, the challenger (right), twice took the lead, but each time Fujisawa Rina (left), the titleholder, caught up. The deciding game was played in the 2017.12.13_Wom Hon Fujisawa_05Special Playing Room on the 7th floor of the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo on November 29. So far, Black had won every game. The nigiri to decide the colors was held again, and Xie drew black. After a hard-fought game extending to 307 moves, Xie won by 8.5 points. This meant that she took back the title Fujisawa won from her last year. It was the eighth time she had won the Women’s Honinbo and her 27th title overall. After the game, Xie commented: “All the games (in the series) were tough. I made lots of mistakes after going into byo-yomi, so I need to improve here. This year I lost the Women’s Meijin title, the Hollyhook (Aizu Central Hospital) Cup, and the Senko Cup to Fujisawa, so I really wanted to win in the final title match of the year. Not giving up until the end worked out well. I think I was lucky.” Fujisawa is still the top woman player, with three titles, but this win restored Xie to her customary position of multiple titleholder. Fujisawa: “Most of the games in this match were tough. I made lots of mistakes in the final game, so the content was not very good for me. I think your mistakes show your level, so I’ll have to start out from scratch again.” First prize for this tournament is 5.5 million yen (about $51,000), the third-highest of the five women’s titles.

Honinbo League: The first game in the third round of the 73rd Honinbo League was played on November 30. Taking black, Hane Naoki 9P (age 41) beat Shibano Toramaru 7P (age 18) by resig. This was Hane’s first win and Shibano’s second loss, so they are even on 1-2. The only undefeated player is former Honinbo challenger Ida Atsushi 8P on 2-0.

Categories: Japan,John Power Report

Go miscellany Year End Edition (3 of 3)

Wednesday December 13, 2017

Being a collection of interesting items – in no particular order – that have landed in our in-box in recent months but never 2017.12.13-Myosu_Magazine_FirstIssue_1-320x213made it into the E-Journal.

New go mag launched: Myosu, a new Korea-based go publication, was quietly launched last June. Myosu is a Korean term meaning ‘excellent move’. The team is based out of Myongji University, headed up by Editor-in-chief Le Kieu Khanh Linh. “In this magazine, we want to share all kinds of stories from the Baduk world; not only news and playing techniques, but also insights into Baduk culture, people, etc. We hope that we can connect the Baduk world and bring our community closer.”

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making: There is a passing mention of go on page 149 of The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente. It occurs when the main character, September, is talking to Death.
“Death, I don’t know what to do.”
“It’s very brave of you to admit that. Most knightly folk I happen by bluster and force me to play chess with them. I don’t even like chess! For strategy Wrackglummer and even Go are much superior.”
- Willard Haynes


Elite Mind Games Day 3 report

Tuesday December 12, 2017

On Day 3 of the IMSA Elite Mind Games, China and Taipei met in men’s team play.  China’s number 1, Ke Jie, had no problem2017.12.12_iemg-Joanne Missingham vs Sarah Yu with Wang Yuan-Jyun; but the 2016 Ing Cup winner Tang Weixing lost to veteran Chen Shih-Yuan to make the team score 1-1. This result leaves the suspense of championship to the last round tomorrow - the winner between Taipei and Korea will be the champion.  But if they are tied, the three teams will have the same team scores and a complicated tie-breaker will be used to determine the winner.  In the other matches, Europe tied North America when Ilya Shikshin defeated Mingjiu Jiang while the young Canadian Ziyang Hu won a complicated fighting game against Mateusz Surma. Korea defeated Japan 2-0.
On the women’s side, China and Korea met for the top match of the day.  China’s Yu Zhiying played a beautiful territory game to win over Choi Jeong. In the second game, which was also the latest to finish for the day, Korea’s Oh Yu-Jin won against Lu Minquan to tie the team score at 1-1.  Japan beat Europe and Taipei beat North America, both at 2-0.  In tomorrow’s fourth and last round, on the men’s side, China will play vs Europe, Taipei vs Korea, and Japan vs North America; on the women’s side, North America will play vs Korea, Europe vs Taipei, and China vs Japan.
- Thomas Hsiang; photo shows the matches between Taipei and North America. In the front are Joanne Missingham and Sarah Yu; in the back are Yang Tzu-Hsuan and Wan Chen.

Yong Chen wins Slate and Shell tourney at NGC

Tuesday December 12, 2017

The annual Slate and Shell tournament was held at the National Go Center on December 9 with 26 players competing. The2017.12.12_slateshell winners winner in the Dan division was Yong Chen (1D). Runner-up among the Dan players was Ran Zhao (5D). Mike Lash (6K) had the only perfect 4-0 score to score first in the high single-digit Kyu players followed by James Funk (5K). In the lower single-digit Kyu section, Anderson Barreal (7K) and Daniel Acheson (7K) took first and second respectively. Betsy Small (12K) won the double-digit Kyu section followed by Julian Turim (15K).
photo of winners with TDs Gurujeet Khalsa and Gary Smith taken by Jason Turim.


Go miscellany Year End Edition (2 of 3)

Tuesday December 12, 2017

Being a collection of interesting items – in no particular order – that have landed in our in-box in recent months but never 2017.12.10_Haikyo-The Modern Ruins of Japanmade it into the E-Journal.

Modern ruins of Japan: A floor-style goban and bowls on the couch. From the book Haikyo: The Modern Ruins of Japan, by Shane Thoms.
- David Matson

The Stone of Kannon: A friend recommended the book, The Stone of Kannon, by O. A. Bushnell, to me a couple of weeks ago. The book tells the story of the first Japanese contract laborers who were imported in 1868 to work on sugar plantations in Hawaii. This was the first year of the Meiji reign and there was a lot of turbulence in Japan. Go is mentioned a number of times, but it is not a major aspect of the book. Go is present in many scenes both in Japan and on the ship sailing to Hawaii. There is a sub-plot about a retired prostitute who announced on the first day at sea that she was going to choose a husband before they landed in Hawaii. It is described starting on page 201. “O-Miya’s search for a husband worthy of her helped to lighten those long hours – and gave gamblers endless reasons for laying bets…she did not lack suitors. They surrounded her day and night, paying court. They played Go with her, at which she was very proficient, and hanafuda, at which she excelled…” The story focusses on a group that worked the Wailuku Plantation and Sugar Mill. It describes locations that are still in Wailuku and locations where the Maui Go Club has met. We made it the official book of the Maui Go Club. There is a longer version this story on our website.
- Danny Topp


Elite Mind Games Day 2 report

Monday December 11, 2017

In today’s IMSA Elite Mind Games team competitions for both men and women, China drew North America, Korea drew Europe,2017.12.11_Mingjiu-KeJie and Taipei drew Japan.  China and Korea easily defeated their opponents to win 4-0; the suspense was with the closely matched games between Taipei and Japan.  For men, the top two Taiwanese players Wang Yuan-Jyun and Chen Shih-Yuan defeated Japan’s new stars Shibano Toramaru and Mutsuura Yuta.  For women, much attention was focused on the match between Joanne Missingham (Hei Jia-Jia) and the multiple title winner Fujisawa Rina (granddaughter of Fujisawa Shuko).  The game lasted over five hours, with Rina finally prevailing over the seemingly rusty Joanne.  The other game featured two shodans, the 15-year old Yang Tzu-Hsuan and the 17-year old Nyu Eiko, both having reached major title challenges this year in their countries.  Eiko, daughter of multi-time world xiangqi champion Zhao Guorong and Go 5p Niu Lili who is famous for 2017.12.11-IEMG logohave written Go Seigen’s books for the past 20+ years, calmly won over Tzu-Hsuan in their first of many anticipated matches to come.

For readers who are not familiar with the IMSA Elite Mind Games, this event is a replacement of the previous SportAccord World Mind Games held from 2011 to 2014.  A unique feature of these events is their strong involvement of Western players.  Not only is the prize fund spread out to all players, the format of play, which does not use simple knock-outs, also allows the Western players to play many games with the top pros from Asia, thus allowing valuable training experience for the former.  In today’s IMSA Executive Meeting, it was announced that IEMG will be continued for at least another two years.  In addition, new events are being developed, aiming to hopefully reach three IMSA events per year by 2019.

-   Thomas Hsiang; photo: Mingjiu Jiang (left) vs. Ke Jie


Go miscellany Year End Edition (1 of 3)

Monday December 11, 2017

Being a collection of interesting items – in no particular order – that have landed in our in-box in recent months but never 2017.12.11-legend-5-rings-l5c05_ide_tadaji_artmade it into the E-Journal.

Legend of the Five Rings: Fantasy Flight Games publishes a card game called “Legend of the Five Rings” which takes inspiration from Japanese, Chinese, and Korean history and legend. A short story posted to FFG’s website contains an image of a gentleman engaged in an interesting game of go while holding a white stone correctly. The short story, itself, contains a discussion between two characters about Shogi, with a passing comment that one prefers the “purity” of go.
- Joe Marino

Atari origins: “Started in 1972, Atari was named by one of its founders, Nolan Bushnell, for a move in the ancient Asian game of Go. ‘Atari was what you said to your opponent if you put their stones in jeopardy, kind of like check in chess,’ Mr. Bushnell explained in an interview. ‘I just thought it was a cool word and a cool name.’ From Atari (Remember It?), a New Console With Old Games, in The New York Times 11/24/2017
Bushnell gave the keynote address at the 2012 Go Congress.
- Ted Terpstra

Can A.I. Be Taught to Explain Itself? As machine learning becomes more powerful, the field’s researchers increasingly find themselves unable to account for what their algorithms know — or how they know it.
- From The New York Times, 11/21/2017


IMSA Elite Mind Games 2017 edition underway in China

Sunday December 10, 2017

The second version of the IMSA Elite Mind Games (IEMG) is underway in Huai’an City, Jiangsu Province, China. The event 2017.12.10_Ke Jie taking the players' vowruns December 9-16, and features 72 male and 62 female top athletes from five sports — Bridge, Chess, Draughts, Go, and Xiangqi — competing for medals and the boasting right as world champions. In addition, a total prize pot of €900,000 will be distributed to the participants.

The Go tournament’s first day started shortly after lunch and did not all end until six hours later.  In the men’s team, China drew Korea to feature the clash of four superstars from these two teams – Ke Jie (at right, taking the Player’s Vow), Tang Weixing, Park Jeong-Hwan, and Shin Jin-Seo.  Shin played white against Tang and used a clever sacrifice to build a big moyo and scored the first win of the day. Ke, on the other hand, fought brilliantly with Park to force the team score to 1-1.  On the women’s side, the North American team played against Europe.  Sarah Yu from Canada and Wan Chen from US both lost by resignation to Natalia Kovaleva from Russia and Manja Marz from Germany. The North American team is now likely to fall to the last place.  All other matches had expected results: for men, Japan over Europe, Taipei over North American; for women, China over Taipei, and Korea over Japan – all with 2-0 score.

Tomorrow, for both men and women teams, America will play vs China, Europe vs Korea, and Taipei vs. Japan.

2017.12.10_IEMG'17 openingThe Mind Games launched on Saturday with a grand opening ceremony (left) at the Great People’s Hall of Huai’an. In addition to the same five sports as last year, the Chinese National Guandan Championship will be held at the same venue. Guandan is a traditional Chinese card game which was showcased as a demo sport in 2016.  The International Federation of Card Games (FCG) will also run an international tournament in Huai’an as a parallel event.

In Go, IEMG will have five medal competitions: men’s and women’s team play, men’s and women’s individual blitz play, and pair go. Six countries/regions are represented: China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, USA (joined by Canada), and EU (joined by non-EU European countries). The all-star casts include: from China, Yu Zhiying, Lu Minquan, Ke Jie, and Tang Weixing; from Japan, Fujisawa Rina, Nyu Eiko, Shibano Toramaru, and Matsuura Yuta; from Korea, Oh Yu-Jin, Choi Jeong, Park Jeong-Hwan, and Shin Jinseo; from US-Canada, Sarah Yu, Wan Chen, Mingjiu Jiang, and Ziyang Hu; from EU, Natalia Kovaleva, Manja Marz, Ilya Shikshin, and Mateusz Surma.
- report/photos by Thomas Hsiang

Categories: China,Main Page

Record turnout at San Diego Go Club winter soiree

Sunday December 10, 2017

Setting an all-time record, more than 50 people attended the San Diego Go Club’s “winter” soiree at club president Ted 2017.12.10_san-diego-DSCN4777Terpstra’s home on Sunday, December 3. The quarterly event, which features AGA-rated games and pizzas has become a southern California go fixture for the last seven years. The soiree enables go enthusiasts from the several go clubs in southern California to play self-paired games and socialize in a pleasant surrounding. Players aged 7 to over 70, ranging from beginners to professionals came to 2017.12.10_san-diego-DSCN4781 2play, hailing from Los Angeles, Orange County, Riverside County, UCSD, North County Go Club, San Diego east county, the Chinese bookstore in San Diego and the regulars from the San Diego Go Club. People started coming at 11:30 a.m. and some stayed until 8:30 p.m. analyzing games.

Free pizza, thanks to the AGA rewards program, cake (thanks to a donation) and beverages (thanks to the president) were served to all who stayed to socialize at 5 p.m.

Best quote of the day: “The president needs to buy a larger house.”

photos by Ted Terpstra


Prevailing over drum ensemble, Trevor Morris tops Boston Winter Open

Sunday December 10, 2017

Nearly three dozen players — 32 to be exact — ranging in strength from beginner to 6d, made their way to the Stratton Student Center at MIT to participate in the Boston Winter Open on December 2. The tournament was divided into two divisions, a 12 person Open Division with dan players playing even games, and a 20 person Handicap Division with kyu players playing handicap – 2 games.

Open Division players competed for cash prizes and our winners were: 1st place Trevor Morris, 6d (4-0), 2nd place David Cho, 5d (3-1), and 3rd place Qingbo Zhang, 5d (3-1).

Handicap Division prizes were awarded to those with 4-0 and 3-1 records. Our winners were: Adam Prescott, 9k (4-0), Jin Greene, 12k (3-1), Eva Casey, 5k (3-1), Michael Scudder, 2k (3-1), and Matt Clarke, 2k (3-1).

This tournament was made particularly unique due to the surprising addition of live music starting in the middle of the third round. The source turned out to be a Senegalese Drum Ensemble participating in MIT’s World Music Day in the auditorium beneath the playing area. In investigating the event, we discovered it would last through our final round and were kindly given a box of ear plugs. We also confirmed the hypothesis that go tournaments and drums do not go well together (in case you were wondering). Fortunately our players are awesome and seemed mostly amused. We will try to be more aware of adjacent events for future tournaments.
Neil Ritter


Thanks to everyone for coming and to the MIT Go club and the MGA for organizing!