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 2nd World Students Pair Go Championship is coming up in December, and the United States is searching for a male and female representative through a pair go qualifying tournament.
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 with their names and best method of contact as soon as possible as we need to select a representative by October 1st. Please email even if you don’t have an immediate partner. - Austin Freeman. Photo from World Amatelur Pair Go Website.
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
Saturday September 19, 2015
The first International Mind Sports Association Elite Mind Games (IEMG) will be held January 5-12, 2016 in Huai-An City, Jiangsu Province, China. The North American team will comprise three male players and one female player. All participants will have travel, accommodation, and visa application expenses paid for. Players will all receive prize money, a minimum of €1,000, which, after IGF surcharge, will be around $1,000.
Online playoffs will be held on the weekend of October 3-4 with tie-breakers on Oct. 10-11 (if needed). Players will need to budget the entire weekend as the online selections will likely begin at 9:00am PST / 12:00pm EST and end in the late afternoon/evening.
Eligibility: US/Canadian Citizenship. US players must have had continuous AGA membership for a year and have been resident in the US for six of the last 12 months. Interested players must email email@example.com by Sunday, September 27th.
According the International Go Federation, the format will be the same as the fourth Sport Accord World Mind Games (men’s team event, women’s individual event, pair go). The Men’s team competition is a round-robin, the women’s is a double-elimination with extra games to determine all places, and pair go is a straight knockout.
Friday September 18, 2015
The third of Haylee’s (Hajin Lee 3p) live stream demonstration matches with AGA pros is set for this Saturday evening at 7 p.m. Eastern time on YouTube. Haylee is 1-1 so far, having won against Calvin Sun 1p but lost against Gansheng (William) Shi 1p. In each episode, Haylee does a short interview about the life and go career of the player, plays a game online while thinking out loud, and then reviews the game with the player. Tomorrow night’s game is against Ryan Li 1p.
Monday September 14, 2015
Matthew Burrall 7d and Steve Burrall 3d topped the Davis/Sacramento Go Club Fall Tournament, tying for first place after tie-breakers. The tournament was held September 5th at the Arden-Dimick library in Sacramento. “We had 16 players, our largest number in a few years,” reports organizer Willard Haynes. “It was also the strongest field that we have ever had.” There were five dan level players ranging from 1 dan to 7 dan. “One player, Jeremy Cook 9k, came all the way from Los Angeles,” Haynes adds. The lower division was won by Cordell Newmiller, 8k by tie breaker. Laura Holeman 12k, played in her first AGA tournament.
Sunday September 13, 2015
Registration is speeding up as the Chang Qi Cup approaches. At this point, less than two weeks remain before the Cup kicks off at Harvard University. The unprecedented event will include professional commentary on the Chinese semifinals, an amateur tournament with more than $10,000 in total cash prizes, and multiple other special events. There will be a lot of professional go players on hand: Chang Hao 9P, Yu Bin 9P, Mingming Yin 1P, Andy Liu 1P, Gansheng Shi 1P, Calvin Sun 1P, and Ryan Li 1P have all confirmed they’ll be in attendance.
Because there are less than two weeks left, organizers highly recommend that anyone who wants to make travel plans do so soon. Information about hotels and transportation, as well as general information and registration, is all available on the ACGA’s website. -Julian Erville. Photo: Student Organization Center at Hilles, Harvard University.
Saturday September 12, 2015
Officer applications for the American Go Honor Society are due by September 19. The organization runs multiple events every year including the School Team Tournament and the Young Lions, and is run entirely by high school students. The open positions include Vice President, Promotion Head, Webmaster, Tournament Organizer, Secretary, and Treasurer. To apply, download the application form on the AGHS’s website and send it in to AGHSpresident@gmail.com by September 19.
Friday September 11, 2015
Registration has started for the new year for the Pandanet AGA City League. “We’re looking for your teams from local areas to compete for the best city across the US and Canada,” says organizer Steve Colburn. Check here for rules
for team makeup and other information. Registration continues through Sept 27th. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
“We’re running a special this year only for new and existing teams,” Colburn adds. For the 2015-2016 year the AGA has partnered with Pandanet to offer a deal to teams who play. If the following two conditions are met, each team member will receive $50 off of their Go Congress registration: All games are played throughout the year and player bio and photos are included with team registration.