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Andy Liu 1P Wins Maryland Open

Sunday May 25, 2014

Andy Liu 1P continued his recent run of wins (Andy Liu 1P Sweeps Washington Baduk Open 4/27/2014) EJ on Memorial Day weekend, winning the 41st Maryland Open on May 24-25 with a perfect 5-0 record. Daniel Chou 6d, with 3 wins, was the top qualifier for the Pro Certification tournament, Joe Maia 2k was the Kyu Champion and the Feng Yun Go School won the Gregory Lefler Award. There were 57 players; Todd Heidenreich directed and Keith Arnold was the organizer.

Open Section: Andy Liu 1P (5 wins); Zhaonian Chen 7d (4 wins); Xinying Jiang 6d (3 wins); Daniel Chou 6d (3 wins; top qualifier for Pro Certification tournament); Yuan Zhou 7d (3 wins); Joshua Lee 5d (3 wins); James Pinkerton 5d (2 wins); Zhenying Gu 5d (2 wins); Zhihong Ma 5d (2 wins); Willis Huang 5d (2 wins); Juntin Ching 5d (1 win).

A Section: Patrick Allen 3d; Jared Beck 3d; Brian Gu 3d
B Section: Victor Kang 1d
C Section: Joe Maia 2k (Kyu Champion); Yukino Takehara 1k
D Section: Bob Bacon 6k; Steve Colburn 5k
E Section: Brendan Berger 9k; Tevis Tsai 9k
F Section: Elizabeth Small 12k; Deirdre Golash 13k

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Lee Sedol Takes Lead in Jubango With Gu Li

Sunday May 25, 2014

Focus was the name of the mid-point Game 5 in their 10-game match on May 25 but the intense altitude at the jubango venue in Sangri-La added an extra obstacle for Gu Li 9P and Lee Sedol 9P. Held at 3,000 m (10,000 ft) above sea level, both players took breaks but Lee battled through what Go Game Guru’s An Younggil 8P called “the most spectacular game of the match so far.” Just when everyone thought Gu would take the game, Lee dusted himself off and landed several critical blows against Gu in the final complicated fights. With questionable moves beginning at 140, Gu eventually resigned after Lee’s move at 223. Lee will be able to bask in his 3-2 lead for the next two months as the players take leave until Game 6 on July 27. For more information, including photos (check out the one of Lee using an oxygen mask and Joanne Missingham and her sister modeling local costumes) and preliminary analysis from Younggil, visit Go Game Guru.
—Annalia Linnan, based on a longer article by Go Game Guru; photo and game record courtesy of Go Game Guru

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Congress Earlybird Registration Deadline Fast Approaching

Sunday May 25, 2014

The end of May is coming fast, and with it, the end of the US Go Congress’s early bird pricing. “Register before June 1st to secure the current lowest price,” urges Congress Director Matthew Hershberger. After June first, the registration fee will go up by $50. “This is also the deadline to submit your answers for our contest!” Hershberger adds. “Everyone who sends the correct answer to the problem on the Congress logo will be entered to win an extra $50 off their Go Congress registration. Send your solution to registrar@gocongress.org before June 1st; see the Congress website for more details and a larger view of the problem. “So far, only a handful of players have found the correct answer,” says Hershberger. “Perhaps the problem is too difficult? Don’t give up!”

San Diego Spring Soiree Draws Record Turnout

Sunday May 25, 2014

A record number of players turned out for the San Diego Go Club’s 2014 Spring Go Soiree on Saturday, May 17. Over 30 players, aged 7 to 70+ attended the all-day informal event at chapter president Ted Terpstra’s home. Tony Koslow 16k walked off with the $50 first-place prize for most number of AGA-rated wins, while David Baran, who traveled down from Beverly Hills, took second place. There was spirited action from a group of 3-dan players from the club and the UCSD club. After the games, people were treated to a burgers and chips dinner as analysis carried on into the evening.
- photos courtesy Jenna Jansen 

Categories: U.S./North America
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Game 5 Will Break Tie in Mlily Gu-Lee Jubango This Weekend

Friday May 23, 2014

One thing’s for sure about this weekend’s Gu-Lee game: one of them will take the lead in their historic 10-game jubango. With the score tied at 2-2 and their upcoming break in July, whoever wins this game will take the lead for at least two months until they play again. Lee won the first two games but Gu Li has been making a mighty comeback inside and outside the jubango arena. Including matches from other tournaments, Gu currently has a four-game winning streak against Lee, which according to Go Game Guru is “something that’s never happened before between these two players.” Baduk TV will provide live coverage and commentary and Go Game Guru’s An Younggil 8p will translate and discuss the game with Baduk TV Live viewers via chat. For more information including past games and when game five will be available in your time zone, please visit Go Game Guru.
— Annalia Linnan, based on a longer article by Go Game Guru; photo courtesy of Go Game Guru

Nihon Kiin to Celebrate 90th Birthday With Special Summer Camp

Thursday May 22, 2014

In celebration of the 90th birthday of Nihon Kiin, a special summer go camp will be held in Tokyo August 26 through September 4.  Included in the camp are daily pro instructions in separate dan and kyu sections, playing in the largest Japanese amateur tournament — the Takara Shuzou Cup, where the 1000+ participants will all receive special commemorative prizes — and visits to the Honinbo title ceremony, to Kamakura, site of the Go Seigen-Kitani jubango, and to Yugen no ma, the legendary tatami playing room adorned by a Kawabata calligraphy (right).  The camp fee is between JPY 50 to 55K (about $500); housing starts at ~$40 a night.  The camp is recommended for players 10 kyu and up, including high dans.  For further information and registration forms, contact igf@usgo.org.
- photo by John Pinkerton

Categories: Japan
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Maryland Open Attracting a Crowd This Weekend

Wednesday May 21, 2014

Players are coming from as far away as Chicago and New York for this weekend’s 41st Maryland Open, which is also a NAMT Qualifier and Pro Qualifier. Click here for details and to register. There will be prizes in all sections and cash prizes in the open section. There will be five rounds; three Saturday and two Sunday. “Come for one day or both!” says organizer Keith Arnold. Registration on Saturday runs from 9 until 10:30 am, with the first round at 11 am; first round Sunday 9:30 am. “Our thanks to Yellow Mountain Imports” for sponsoring, Arnold adds.

The Power Report (Part 2): Iyama Makes Good Start In Honinbo Title Defense; Kisei B League Starts

Wednesday May 21, 2014

by John Power, EJ Japan Correspondent

Iyama Makes Good Start In Honinbo Title Defense: The difference in experience seemed to be a big factor in the opening game of the 69th Honinbo title match, which was held on May 14 and 15. Though still only 24 (until May 24), Iyama Yuta Honinbo (right) has already played in eleven best-of-sevens (and won seven of them). In contrast, Ida Atsushi 8P, at 20, was playing in his first title match and was the youngest player ever to challenge for the Honinbo title.

One advantage for Ida (left) is that this is the first time that Iyama has faced an opponent younger than himself in a title match, so he will now know how his seniors felt. The opening game was played in Ida’s home town of Suzuka in Mie Prefecture, so he also had the overwhelming support of the fans on the spot. The game was actually played in the Tsubaki Okami Yashiro, a Shinto shrine, in a building called the Sanshuden, which had just been renovated as a training center. This game was held to celebrate the upcoming official opening of the hall on May 18. The arrangements for an event like this are made many months in advance; Ida was a complete dark horse in the Honinbo league, so city officials had no way of knowing that a local player would be starring.

Ida drew white in the nigiri. The game started with his taking profit in three corners, letting Iyama build a moyo. Ida made an invasion on the right side and had to fight hard to settle his group. However, he then had to switch to another invasion at the top before he had made the side group completely alive. Iyama made a clever placement on the side that set up a double attack on the two groups and he was able to kill the one at the top. Ida was forced to resign after 197 moves.

The main impression from this game is of Iyama’s greater skill in fighting, but Ida seemed to improve round by round in the Honinbo league, so we can expect him to adapt rapidly to two-day games. His play with black in the second game, scheduled for May 25 and 26, will give an indication of how his challenge
will fare.

Kisei B League Starts: The first two games were played in the 39th Kisei B League on May 15. Murakawa Daisuke 7P (W) scored an upset half-point win over Yoda Norimoto 9P and Kobayashi Satoru 9P (B) beat Cho Riyu 8P by resignation. The A League starts on the 22nd.

Categories: Japan
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Regan and Cocke Regain British Pair Go Championship

Wednesday May 21, 2014

Natasha Regan and Matthew Cocke of Epsom (right) regained the title of British Pair Go Champions at the 24th British Pair Go Championship on Saturday May 17. They had lost it last year to Kirsty Healey and Matthew Macfadyen, but the 2013 Champions were unable  to defend the title due to a prior diary fixture*. The clinching game of the three-round tournament was against Ingrid Jendrzejewski and Alex Selby and ended with both pairs having less than two minutes left of their allocated 45 before sudden death could decide it. Nevertheless Regan and Cocke won by a comfortable margin.

A separate handicap competition was won by Jil Segerman and Pat Ridley, four pairs contending. Fighting Spirit prizes went to Edwina Lee and Charles Leedham-Green (main) and siblings Roella and Edmund Smith (handicap). The latter pair’s sister Kelda and father Paul Smith won the quiz, and local pair Sam McCarthy and John Collins took the prize for Best-Dressed Pair. The prizes (below, left) were paired items of Japanese handicraft from the Japan Centre, the prize-winners being invited, in order, to make a selection from amongst those remaining.

Francis Roads organized the event on behalf of the British Go Association (BGA) and it was held this year at a new venue, the function room of the Red Lion Public House – also the home of the Welwyn Garden City Tournament. Roads bemoaned the fact that none of the pairs who had previously complained of the difficulty of reaching the old venue by public transport had in fact taken advantage of the easy accessibility of the Tournament’s new home. With so few attending, Roads made an ad hoc adjustment to the rules so only six pairs competed for the title, not the full eight qualified pairs who should have. Reporting this deviation to the BGA Council, Roads wrote:

“The entry was disappointingly low at ten pairs. I decided to deviate from the official rules and draw only six pairs in the even game section. To have done otherwise would have led to even games between grossly mismatched pairs, and only two pairs in the handicap division. I suggest that the rules be revised to allow for such a possibility.”

Click here for full results, and here to see our correspondent’s photo album of the event.

*Happy Birthday!

Tony Collman, British Correspondent for the E-Journal. Photos: British Pair Go Champions, (L-R) Matthew Cocke and Natasha Regan, play round 3; Prize table. Thanks to John Collins for loan of camera.

The Power Report (Part 1): Yamashita Increases Lead In Meijin League; Ichiriki Wins New International Tournament

Tuesday May 20, 2014

by John Power, EJ Japan Correspondent

Yamashita Increases Lead In Meijin League: Yamashita Keigo (right) hasn’t played a game in the 39th league since our last report, but his lead has opened up to two wins because of a loss suffered by Cho U. In a game played on May 8, Yuki Satoshi 9P (W) picked up his first win in the league by beating Cho by half a point. Cho drops back to 3-2, putting him in a three-way tie for second with Hane Naoki 9P and Ryu Shikun 9P. Yamashita is on 5-0, so he has a two-game cushion, which makes him an even better bet for challenger than he appeared to be in the Honinbo league. On the same day, Kono Rin 9P (B) beat Murakawa Daisuke by resig. Murakawa slips to 1-4 and now will have a tough job keeping his place.

Ichiriki Wins New International Tournament: Japan had its best result in an international tournament for 17 years when its representatives took first and second place in the Globis Cup World Igo U-20. The official name notwithstanding, the tournament is open to players 20 and under (there is some confusion, as the Nihon Ki-in’s HP defines it as “under 20,”but the  Chinese player Lian Xiao turned 20 on April 8 ). At any rate, 16 top young players from Japan, China, Korea, Chinese Taipei, Europe, North America, and Oceania took part. The time system is NHK-style, that is 30 seconds per move plus ten minutes’ thinking time in one-minute units. The first round consists of four double-elimination mini-tournaments (similar to the opening round of the Samsung Cup). Four players compete in each, playing until they have two wins, thus qualifying for the quarterfinals, or two losses, thus being eliminated. The tournament was held from May 9 to 11.

Globis is a Japanese venture-capital company that also provides educational services in business and management. It runs its own university, the Graduate School of Management, Globis University, and the main force behind its sponsorship is the college president, Hori Yoshito, a keen go player.

Because of their outstanding results recently, the players from Korea and China were considered the favorites, especially Lian Xiao 7-dan of China, who won the 15th Agon Kiriyama Cup play-off with Japan last December. Local fans were surprised and pleased, therefore, to see two of the Japanese representatives make the final. One was Ichiriki Ryo (left), who was recently promoted to 7-dan for winning a place in one of the current Kisei leagues; the other was Kyo Kagen 2P, a Taiwanese-born player, who has been doing very well this year (he is top of the most-wins list at present, with a 23-4 record, including 17 wins in a row; Ichiriki is in second place with 20-2).

Both Ichiriki and Kyo qualified quickly for the quarterfinals with two straight wins; one of the players falling by the wayside with 1-2 was Ida Atsushi, who is now challenging for the Honinbo title. Ichiriki beat Na Hyeon 4P of Korea in the quarterfinals and Lian Xiao 7P of China in the semifinals; Kyo first beat Li Qincheng 1P, then Xia Chenkun 3P, both of China. In the final, Ichiriki (black) beat Kyo by resignation after 155 moves. In the play-off for third place, Lian beat Xia. First prize is worth 3,000,000 yen (close to $30,000), second 500,000, and third 200,000.
Tomorrow: Iyama Makes Good Start In Honinbo Title Defense; Kisei B League Starts
photo (bottom left): Ichiriki Ryo 7 dan plays Kyo Kagen 2 dan at the 1st GLOBIS Cup; photo courtesy Go Game Guru

Categories: Japan
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