American Go E-Journal » U.S./North America
Monday August 27, 2012
Jan Simara Surprise Winner at Euro Championship; The Red Dress Tesuji; U.S. Women’s Tournament Crosstab
Sunday August 26, 2012
Jan Simara Surprise Winner at Euro Championship: Jan Simara 6D was the surprise winner of this year’s European Championship title when he won the deciding game against Ilya Shikshin (click here for the game) at the recent European Go Congress. Simara lives in Zlin in the Czech Republic and just finished university, where he majored in teaching IT. He learned go in chess camp when he was 14 – he’d been playing chess since the age of six — and about two years later quit chess and started to play go. “I studied seriously only once about six years ago for an year when I was about 1-dan,” Simara said, “Mostly reading the Shusaku book Invincible. otherwise I sometimes replay top pro games and do tsumego when I’m in a train going to a tournament.” In an interview with EuroGoTV, Simara’s advice for new players was “Play mainly for joy, never be stressed about results.” Click here for pairings and game records. Final standings for the 2012 European Championship: 1st: Jan Simara; 2nd: Ilya Shikshin; 3rd: Pavol Lisy; 4th: Thomas Debarre; 5th: Ondrej Silt; 6th: Antti Tormanen; 7th: Mateusz Surma; 8th: Gheorghe Cornel Burzo.
- Alain Cano, special European correspondent for the E-Journal; photo by Olivier Dulac
The Red Dress Tesuji: A very stylish and hip 60-second video promoting the upcoming European Women’s Go Championship has been released. The Women’s Go Championship and a side tournament are being organized as part of the 2012 European Go Cup Brno, which is being held September 7-9 in Brno, South Moravia in the Czech Republic.
U.S. Women’s Tournament Crosstab: Tournament Director Lisa Scott has just sent in the crosstab for the recent Women’s Tournament at the U.S. Open, which was won by Kelsey Dyer 1D.
Sunday August 26, 2012
Ron Paul, the libertarian politician who ran unsuccessfully for this year’s Republican Presidential nomination, will have a disproportionate influence at the GOP’s convention this week thanks to his employment of shi (pronounced “sure”), “a strategy expounded and employed by Chinese philosophers and military strategists for thousands of years,” according to “The Grand Shi Strategy of Ron Paul,” a guest column in Forbes by Mark Spitznagel. “Throughout history, perhaps the clearest and most pedagogical example of shi at work has been in the Chinese board game weiqi,” writes Spitznagel, who uses the board position here to show that while “White is far ahead in terms of tangible territory right now…black has established a strategic advantage and intangible edge by moving into the center to command the rest of the board.” Spitznagel sees Ron Paul’s shi strategy “in the great patience and nonaggression that favors the slow buildup of influence and strategic advantage over the decisive all-or-nothing clash,” arguing that the strategy’s success is exemplified by “Mitt Romney’s support of Paul’s current ‘Audit The Fed’ bill, as well as his recent position on the inefficacy of further (as well as past) Fed quantitative easing; it remains only a question of degree with Romney, but a position that nonetheless would have been unlikely without the pressure from the Paul campaign—especially given Romney’s otherwise very simplistic Keynesian-leaning views.”
Thanks to Jim Hlavka for passing this along.
Saturday August 25, 2012
China won both divisions of the 29th World Youth Go Championship, repeating their victories in this event from last year. The week-long tourney wrapped up on August 21, and was sponsored by the Ing Foundation. Twenty-two young players came from all over the world to vie for the top slot in the Junior (under 12) and Senior (under 16) divisions. The tournament was held in Luoyang, China, a city with more than 3,000 years of history. The US sent Calvin Sun 7d in the Sr. and Aaron Ye 5d in the Jr. along with Team Leader Mingjiu Jiang 7P. “China, Korea, and Taiwan sent out top youth professional players, all with great expectations of winning the tournament,” reports Calvin Sun, “through the intense competition, a bit of luck, and the guidance of the USA team leader, Mingjiu Jiang 7p, I got into the Semi-Finals with just one more SOS point than Korea’s representative. Everyone was shocked that Korea’s new female professional did not advance into the Semi-Finals. Japan’s representative, however, fiercely fought into the top four, defeating both Korea and Taiwan in the preliminaries and defeating Taiwan again in the Semi-Finals. We went sightseeing on the third day of the competition, going to places such as the White Horse Temple, which was the first Buddhist temple in China, and the Shaolin Temple, where monks demonstrated their boundless skills of Chinese kungfu.” Winner’s Report: Senior Division: 1st: China, Li Qin Cheng; 2nd: Japan, Koyama Kuya; 3rd: Taiwan, Cheng-Hsun Chen; 4th: USA, Calvin Sun. Junior Division: 1st: China, Wang Shiyi; 2nd: Korea, I-Hyeon Chae; 3rd: Japan, Ueno Asami; 4th: Taiwan, Huang Shi-Yuan; 6th: USA, Aaron Ye. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo by Yanchen Sun: Calvin Sun 7d(l) vs. Li Qin Cheng
Friday August 24, 2012
Chinese professional Weitang Liang 9P put on a brilliant display of technical virtuosity for a captivated audience of 50 go fans in a special event at the Rockville United Church in Rockville, MD on Tuesday August 14. “The strength of a professional player is definitely fascinating,” event organizer Zhiyuan ‘Edward’ Zhang told the E-Journal. “In the 6-on-1 simul, players as strong as 5 dan had five to nine-stone handicaps, yet only one Korean player — Insu Kim — was able to win.”
The event was a collective effort by the Capital Go Club of the American Go Association (AGA), the Great Falls Go Club, the Rockville Go & Chess Group (RGCG), and the Rockville Sister City Corporation (RSCC), and Transamerica Financial Advisors, Inc.
Liang came to DC from his appearance at this year’s US Go Congress on behalf of the China Qiyuan and the Chinese Go Association. “I have heard that the go activities in the Washington DC metro area have been impressive and famous, and am very happy to spend the evening with so many American go players.” Click here for a video clip of the event by Tie-Hua Ng.
The event included a simultaneous exhibition involving six players (Robin Kramer, Gary Li, Tsann Yu, Ben Hong, Insu Kim, and Kevin Wang), a mini AGA-rated tournament, and an open forum for questions and game commentary analysis with Mr Liang, who learned to play go – or weiqi, as it’s known in China – when he was 10. In 1999 he became the 22nd player to achieve Chinese professional 9 Dan status, the highest professional level accorded. Mr. Liang’s go style is described as straightforward, deep, stable, and sharp, and he’s known in the Chinese go community as “Long Life Sword.” Mr. Liang is the only 9-dan professional in the Shenzhen city of Guangdong, where he’s said to have inspired over a hundred thousand of players to learn the game.
The event attracted a diverse turnout of players, likely as a result of advertising via social networks and English, Korean and Chinese newspapers. “The event was a huge success,” said local organizer John Goon. “Not only did we see many new faces of local go players, but we also receive a professor’s inquiry about starting a go club at Howard University in Washington DC.”
In the AGA-rated tournament which ran at the same time as the 6-on-1 simuls with Mr. Liang, Liang Yu 7d scored 2-0 “with impressive wins over Juan Pablo Quizon 6d and Meng Lu 6d,” Tournament Director Todd Heidenreich reported.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: Organizers: John Goon and Edward Zhang; Web Admin: Gurujeet Khalsa; Photographer: Yangang Li; Video: Tie-hua Ng; Transportation: Lin Lu, Xingyu Lu, Tao Wang, Binquan Wang; Reception: Xingyu Lu; Refreshments and Set-up: (Rockville Go & Chess Groups) Nick Nayfack, Todd Heidenreich, Juan Pablo Quizon, Craig Anderson, Nick Quizon, Diego Bigelow, Tim Bigelow, Joseph Huang and Rohit Gopal; Translators: Ching-Sung Chin (Great Falls Go Club), Sam Choi and Bingjib Huang (both also Rockville Sister City Corporation coordinators); Toastmaster and Signage: Edward Zhang.
photos by Yangang Li; click here for a complete photo album of the event.
Friday August 24, 2012
Twenty seven players ranging in age from eight to 72 came out to Palo Alto, CA on August 18 to play in this month’s AGA ratings tournament organized by Bay Area Go Players Association. Ranks ranged from 20 kyu to 6 dan, with six players entering at a rank of 4 dan or above. Justin Shieh 5d and Lucas Baker 4d led the Dan division with four wins apiece, while Jay Chan 1k led the Kyu division also with four wins. Four-game winners and those playing in their first tournament ever got to take home a go book of their choosing, and long-time go teacher Herb Doughty gave beginner go lessons in the courtyard just outside the tournament hall. Next month’s ratings tournament is coming up September 8, again in Palo Alto. Photo by Lisa Schrag.
Sunday August 19, 2012
Chinese Taipei is dominating the World Mind Sports Games, winning six of the 9 medals awarded thus far, including gold, silver and bronze in the Men’s Individual, gold and silver in the Team, and gold in the Women’s Individual.Japan took silver in the Women’s,Canada took bronze in the Women’s, andSingapore took bronze in the Team.
U.S. results in the Men’s Individual: 17th: Zhao, Zhongxia; 28th: Song, Forest; 52nd: Ching, Justin; 57th Xu, Yang.
U.S. results in the Women’s Individual: 14th: Wang, Yinli; 15th: Shen, Cherry; 18th: Zhang, Yan (Tina).
U.S. results in the Team: USA1 was 10th in Group A and USA 2 was 12th in Group B.
Saturday August 18, 2012
Congress Tournament Winners: In addition to winning the North American Ing Masters, Matthew Hu (right) won the 2012 U.S. Open at the recent U.S. Go Congress, collecting a set of jade stones and bowls donated by the Confucius Institute of Raleigh, North Carolina in addition to his cash prize and trophy. Evan Cho won the Strong Players Open. Click here for a PDF of the prize-winners in all the Congress tournaments, including North American Ing Masters, Strong Players Open, Pair Go, US Open, Continuous Self-Paired Tournament, Wednesday Die Hard Tournament, Midnight Madness, Wisonet Cup State Team Go Tournament, Michael Redmond Cup, Youth Team, Youth Room Tournaments, 9×9 Tournament, 13×13 Tournament, Crazy Go, Lightning Go. Click here for pro game commentaries (scroll down to Game Review) and here for final results in the NAIM, US Open and Strong Player’s Open. Also, click here for an album of Congress photos, posted by Co-Director Peter Armenia.
Congress Credits: “Putting on a Go Congress is a monumental effort,” says 2012 U.S. Go Congress Co-Directors Peter Armenia and Paul Celmer (below, right, with Congress Registrar Arlene Bridges; Armenia is at left). “It is even more of a challenge with an unpaid, volunteer staff. Every staff member running around during the recent Go Congress was working hard for the love of the game and as a service to the go community. Many had defined roles, but some simply dove in where they saw a problem or need. And this year besides the Congress, we had the challenge of adding the Pro Certification Tournament, International Go Symposium, and Youth Go Camp. Supporting these events is a complex and stressful task, and we could not have done it without a highly skilled, energetic, and dedicated team.” One of the most inspiring moments for Celmer came at the very end of the Congress, when one of the Blue Ridge Assembly maintenance staff came up in his truck. “He came out of his truck, shook my hand, and thanked me because one of our staff had taught his ten-year-old son the game,” says Celmer.
There are also a few commemorative USA-shaped half-inch thick plywood go boards still available for sale, $40 dollars plus shipping, as well as the puzzle coasters with Congress logo, $15 dollars plus shipping. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested. If you would like to purchase a replica of the large USA shaped board that the two pros played on, contact Frank Salantrie (standing, in photo below right) at email@example.com.
“We want to thank the following volunteers, as well as all those that have helped this Congress and who have helped spread the game we love,” say Celmer and Armenia.
2012 U.S. Go Congress Staff/Volunteers: John Aiken, Charles Alden, Keith Arnold, Bob Bacon, Paul Barchilon, Jared Beck, Terry Benson, Dale Blann, Todd Blatt, Adam Bridges, Arlene Bridges, Karoline Burrall, Steve Burrall, Tony Cha, Owen Chen, Steve Coburn, Rich Crandall, Judy Debel, Vincent DiMattia, Richard Dolen, Chris Garlock, Cynthia Gaty, Nader Goubran, Julie Greenberg, Josh Guarino, Todd Heidenreich, Russell Herman, Jim Hlvaka, Chris Kirchner, Jeff Kuang, Jim Levenick, I-han Lui, Steve Mabe, Andy Olsen, Frank Salantrie, Dan Scheck, Peter St. John, Dennis Wheeler, Sam Zimmerman.
- photos by Phil Straus
Saturday August 18, 2012
The AGA will hold simultaneous men’s and women’s selection tournaments to fill two U.S. slots at the 2012 SportAccord World Mind Games in Beijing, China, from December 12-20. The two selected players – one male and one female — will each compete in the Men’s and Women’s Individual tournaments, and then together as a pair in the Mixed Doubles competition. The sponsors of the tournament will provide travel and accommodation for the players, as well as generous prize money depending upon performance in the tournament.
Each selection tournament will be a 3-round knockout tournament. The rounds are on August 29 – September 1, September 2-4, and September 5-8. The men’s tournament will consist of the six highest-rated players from the US, and two players from Canada. All players must be 7D+ or professional. The women’s tournament will consist of the six highest-ranted players from the US, and two players from Canada. All players must be 4D+ or professional.
In order to compete, players must be citizens of either theUS orCanada, and have been resident in their country of citizenship for at least 6 of the last 12 months. AGA players must have been full or youth continuous members since August 29, 2011. The two selected players will play under theUS flag and colors. The selected players must be able to travel to China and participate in the tournaments from December 12 to 20.
Players may reschedule with mutual consent within those time windows, otherwise they must play at the official game times on KGS in the AGA Tournaments Room: 8 pm ET/5 pm PT on August 30(Thur), September 3(Mon), and September 6(Thur). If the players do reschedule their games within these windows, they must inform the TD immediately of their scheduled time of play.
To register, please click here. Registration for these selection tournaments closes at midnight on Monday, August 27.
Monday August 13, 2012
The second World Mind Sport Games (WMSG) opened on Friday, August 9 at the Lille Grand Palais in Lille, France. In all, about 2,000 players from five sports will compete in bridge, chess, draughts (checkers), go, and xiangqi (Chinese Chess). Go events started in full force on Monday, August 13. EuroGoTV and IGS-Pandanet are broadcasting daily games from the WMSG. In all, five gold medals will be awarded in the following go events: men’s and women’s singles and teams, pair, and youth. The first medals were awarded during Saturday’s Gala dinner to three long-time contributors to promoting mind games: Timothy Fok for xiangqi, Gianarrigo Rona for bridge, and Thomas Hsiang for go.
As previously reported (“Youthful” U.S. WMSG Team Announced 7/15 EJ), the U.S. is fielding a 21-player WMSG team, over half of whom are under 18.
Shavit Fragman, the EJ’s Special Correspondent in Israel, reports that Israel will be represented by Amir Fragman, a 19- year-old 5-dan from Rosh HAAyin and Reem Ben David, a 16-year-old 3-dan from Petach Tiqwa. Amir Fragman currently serves in the medical corps as a research assistant and is a member of the Israeli go team, which has been doing very well in tournaments this summer. Reem Ben David is in 11th grade at high school in Petach Tiqwa; this is his first international tournament.