- Michael Wanek
Thursday August 25, 2016
Thursday August 25, 2016
“Congratulations to Aaron Ye on the WYGC (EJ 8-13)” writes eagle-eyed reader Keith Arnold, “he may be the first to finish third, but he is not the first to finish in the top three. Janice Kim took second place in the World Youth Championship in 1985.” Arnold also noted that Bellamy Liu tied for third place back in 1995, and that several contestants besides Calvin Sun had also placed fourth in the past. “Keith, repository of go lore, is correct in all things,” responded Janice Kim 3p when asked for comment, “I myself wasn’t sure if he had the year right, so I had to go look at the trophy. The year before (’84) I came in 9th, interestingly, my recollection is that Lee Chang-ho 9 dan came in 3rd, and Ryu Shi-hoon 9 dan came in 4th (he was a Korean insei who went to Japan and even won a title there). Kim Young-hwan (not sure what dan he is now) won. The next year when I came in second, Kong Byung-ju (again, not sure what dan he is now) won. The Korean insei system got started around 1980-81, and that first cohort was a POWERHOUSE, headed by Yoo Chang-hyuk 9 dan, the oldest of us. I think I was riding the wave of that team, and see sometime soon something similar for young US go players. I should note that I was studying in Korea, but representing the US, and in those early days the insei system in Korea wasn’t really formalized.”
“To be an insei (or ‘wonsaeng’ in Korean) back then you just kind of had to show up and ‘represent yourself,’ as one might say,” Kim continues. “When Kong Byung-ju came to Seoul, one of the older pros had him take 2 stones against Yu Chang-hyuk, who had already been granted professional 1 dan status for coming in 2nd in the World Amateur Championships a bit earlier. I think Yu was 18, making him one of the oldest of us, he was pretty strong already, in just a couple of years he was challenging Cho Hoon-hyun 9 dan in title matches. That strong younger generation coming in with the lower dan ranks, was one of the reasons why Korean low-dans were globally feared back then.”
“I remember distinctly when Yu was playing this 2-stone evaluation game with Kong, they went to just the early middle game, and then Yu Chang-hyuk said “Andennundayo,” basically, it’s not happening, I can’t give him two stones. That was enough to put Kong Byung-ju at wonsaeng 3 kyu or ‘gup’, in A League. The games that A Leaguers or lower-dan pros played in the wonsaeng study room were fascinating to watch, they were all even, and I remember once a huge, complex capturing race with big eyes, where one side had over 20 liberties, the other, one less, although I wasn’t able to see that before the resignation came. I could not believe my own eyes that a player short a liberty so far down a twisting path would resign at that point, certain of defeat. It’s informed my go sensibilities to this day what it means to be truly strong, although many people would look only at the loss.”
“When Kong and I played in the final at the World Youth, I think I believed I could win, but maybe subconsciously didn’t, I used to watch everyone’s games and wonder inside if I could possibly be playing at that level. Afterwards we went to the top of the hotel we were staying at in Taipei, and tried to drink the beer they had given us at the banquet out of our trophies. I have never cared for beer though, even under such circumstances, so we ended up just singing instead.”
-Paul Barchilon, EJ Youth Editor
Saturday August 13, 2016
Aaron Ye 7d has finally broken the glass ceiling at the World Youth Goe Championships (WYGC) by becoming the first American player to place in the top three at the event. Now in its 33rd year, the event has been run by the Ing Foundation for decades, and invites strong youth from all over the world to compete. Ye first attended the event in 2011, competing in the Jr. Division when he was just nine years old, and placing fourth overall. Calvin Sun, now 1P, also competed in the event for years as a child, and had also placed fourth when he was 13 (on his sixth attempt). China, Korea, Japan and Taiwan have shut everyone else out until this year, when Ye’s determination and effort finally paid off. Now 14, Ye has been at the top of the US youth go scene for years, winning the Redmond Cup several times, and putting up a strong fight in the AGA pro certification leagues, as well as dominating other youth events and leading in many AGA tournaments.
The WYGC was held August 4th-7th in Tokyo this year, at the Nihon Kiin. Ye reached the semi-finals by edging out Takei Taishen 7D of Japan by a hairs-breadth 3rd tier tie breaker (SOSODOS). After losing to the tournament’s champion Jiang Qirun 2P of China, Ye went on to take 3rd place by defeating Ahn Dongjun 5D of Korea. The USA junior player, nine-year-old Matthew Cheng 2d faced a tough choice this year, as he also won the Redmond Cup qualifiers and could have had a free trip to the US Go Congress to compete at the finals. Unfortunately, the WYGC and the Congress were both held the same week this year, so Cheng had to choose one over the other. Cheng did well at the WYGC though, “placing 7th in an outstanding performance by a player who learned go from a you-tube video a scant three years ago,” said Team Leader Mike Bull. Cheng also managed to draw matches with three of the four strongest players in his division in his first three games of the tournament. -Paul Barchilon, EJ Youth Editor, with Mike Bull. Photo by Abby Zhang: Ahn Dongjun 5d (l) vs. Aaron Ye 7d (r).
Saturday August 13, 2016
- edited by Brian Kirby
Saturday August 13, 2016
The “Ipoh Wei Qi Enterprise” has formally extended an invitation to AGA players, and to amateurs worldwide, to sign up for the Malaysia International Amateur Go Championship, or MIAGC. The championship will consist of three sessions, including two online selection sessions, denoted Preliminary and Semi-Final by the organizers, and a final session March 11-16, 2017 at the Syeun Hotel, in Ipoh, the capital city of Perak, Malaysia. Early Bird registration offers a discount of 20 Malaysian Ringgits, bringing the price from 180 to 160, roughly $40 USD. If more than five people register together, there is a 20% discount. The preliminary rounds will be held on OGS throughout October, and the semi-finals online November 16 through December 15. Those who win 5 of 10 matches in October’s preliminary will qualify for the semi-final, and players winning 6 of 10 matches in the semi-final will secure a place in the final until all the places are taken. Unique to this tournament is the ability to buy back in, should one lose early. The prize for the champion will be 50,000 RM minimum, or roughly $12,500 USD, and depending on registration totals may be raised. Click here for tournament information and registration.
- edited by Noah Doss
Sunday July 3, 2016
-by Dave Weimer
Twenty years ago I lived around the corner from the Hong Kong Go Association in the Wan Chi District of Hong Kong. Returning to Hong Kong last fall, I discovered that the HKGA had moved. After some investigation, I was able to find the new location in the Kowloon District. During my first visit I was amazed that a search of a card file revealed my membership at the old location!
Some things were the same: I was the only non-Hong Kong native who regularly played; players were friendly and welcoming, often despite the absence of a common language; and counting was usually by the Chinese method. The major difference was that Friday evenings, rather than Saturdays and Sundays, were the best times to find a lot of players and games against opponents of various strengths. My nemesis, a 13 year old named Matthew, was a regular on Friday evenings and we had many enjoyable games. Unlike twenty years ago, when most games seemed to involve big dragons fighting to the death, games seem to show more style now and players usually spend time going over completed games to improve.
As finding the Association might be difficult for someone not familiar with Hong Kong, I offer the following information:
Hours: Tuesdays through Sundays, 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Fees for non-members: HK$20 (about US$2.50) on weekdays; HK$40 on weekends and public holidays.
Directions: Take the MTR to the Lai Chi Kok Station; take the B1 exit and go straight ahead a few steps to Tai Nan West Road; turn left onto Tai Nan West Road; go three short blocks to its end at King Lam Street (there is a Honda dealer on the corner); turn left onto Kim Lam Street for one block to Yee Kuk West Street; turn left and enter Number 82 on the left almost immediately; take the elevator to the third floor; play Go! (Based on experience, I highly recommend following these directions rather than relying on a map app.) -Photo courtesy of Hong Kong Go Association’s Facebook Page
Wednesday June 29, 2016
“The 3rd Mexican Go Congress turned out to be a huge success,” reports Mingming Stephanie Yin 1P. “The event was held June 18th-20th at the Tlatelolco Cultural Center in Mexico City, and was full of surprises for everyone. Three Professionals were invited: Hye-Yeon Cho 9p, William Gansheng Shi 1p, and myself. We held game reviews, lectures, and simul games. A new record high for the Mexican Open Tournament was set as well, with 56 players. The participation in the Youth tournament was also pretty impressive, with a 36 player field in two categories,” said Yin. Mexican Go Association Youth Coordinator Sid Avila adds “these kids are starting to compete at higher levels, some have already played in international tournaments and are also playing in the Open.”
“This is the 3rd time Mexico has run its Go Congress and every year the community is growing and people are more interested,” reports Mexican Go Association president Emil Garcia. “I believe the world of go is entering into a new stage of development, and we are really glad Mexico is catching this upheaval with the support of Associations such as KABA, the AGA, and the AGF, who helped us bring the pros in. Undoubtedly Mexican go will keep growing having such big allies. I see a bright future for North American go as a whole.”
“On the last day, the pros were invited to visit a private Mexican elementary school named CIEA Pipiolo, which is the only elementary school with go as a school subject in Mexico City,” said Yin, “There are around 80 students ranging in age from 5-12 years old. Everyone is talented and extremely passionate about go. We three pros were separated and played pair go with the kids in teams.”
All three pros issued a joint message for the kids: “It’s wonderful to be here with all of you, our futures of go. We hope that you will enjoy playing go, learning go, and some of you may become professionals in the future.” Yin adds “I believe that the world of go will expand much more quickly than we expected. As professional go players, we will do our best to promote, teach, and help. We also hope that more schools will include go as a subject in America. I am seeing a brighter future for the world of go.”
Tuesday June 14, 2016
China’s Baoxiang Bai (right) defeated Chinese Taipei’s Chia-Cheng Hsu to win his second world amateur championship with a perfect 8-0 record. Korea’s Kibaek Kim was second, and Chinese Taipei’s Chia Cheng Hsu was third. Benjamin Lockhart of the US was 13th, Manuel Velasco of Canada was 28th and Emil Garcia of Mexico was 36th. The tournament took place June 5-8 in Wuxi, a city of six million located slightly northwest of Shanghai. Full results here. Click here for more WAGC reports on Ranka.
Sunday June 12, 2016
There’s just a week left to register for Padanet’s 13×13 Internet Go Tournament. Registration is free but you must sign up by June 19. “This year we are holding an open tournament in which all games are played on even and a handicap tournament based on Pandanet ratings,” Pandanet’s Keiko Sota tells the E-Journal. The open tournament is for players 3-dan and higher; the winner will earn the right to challenge Yuki Satoshi 9-dan in a 13×13 game and the second place winner will earn the right to challenge Sakai Hideyuki 8-dan, also in a 13×13 game. The handicap tournament is divided into A class (2-dan~2-kyu) and B Class (3-kyu and under); there are no handicap stones; the handicaps will be in komi. Click here for details and applications; if you are not already a member of Pandanet, register and get an ID here first.
Monday April 4, 2016
The 33rd World Youth Goe Championship is open for registration, reports Mingjiu Jiang 7P. The event is open to US citizens only. The Senior Division is for youth aged 12—15, and the Junior for kids under 12. Players cannot be on the team, in the same age division, more than twice within 3 years. The initial qualifiers will be held on KGS with Ing rules, April 30th and May 1st. The top two players in each division will play the final games face to face, on May 14th and 15th, at the Ing Foundation in Menlo Park, California. Round trip airfare to Menlo Park, and lodging, will be paid by the American Ing Goe Foundation. The final winners will then compete in the 33rd World Youth Goe Championship, to be held in Tokyo, Japan, Aug. 3—8. The players’ airfare, food and lodging will be covered by the organizers.
Registration is due by April 23, 2016. To register, email your name, date of birth, division, rank, KGS id, phone and address to firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also call Mingjiu at (650-796-1602)
Sponsored by: Ing’s Goe Foundation. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.