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Hsiang Elected IMSA General Secretary, Urges Strong N.A. Players to Participate in 2013 SportAccord World Mind Games

Monday June 3, 2013

Longtime International Go Federation and American Go Association official Thomas Hsiang (second from right) was elected General Secretary of the International Mind Sports Association (IMSA) at the 2013 SportAccord Convention held during the week of May 28 in St. Petersburg, Russia. IMSA also announced that the 2013 and 2014 SportAccord World Mind Games (SAWMG) will be held December 12-18 in Beijing for both years. For 2013, North America is invited to send a three-man team and one female player to compete for a total prize fund of $400,000 USD. “For North American players, this will be the most lucrative international tournament,” Hsiang told the E-Journal. For example, the team would get $9,000 if they defeat Europe; the female player would get $2,000 if she places 8th; and the pair would get $5,000 if they defeat Europe. “The AGA is planning a selection tournament, possibly using the NAMT event, to select our representative,” Hsiang said. Strong players, especially pros with North American citizenship, are encouraged to make inquiries with the AGA tournament coordinator, at tournaments@usgo.org. The IMSA executive committee also elected the following officials: President: Kirsan Ilyumzhinov (FIDE); Deputy President: Harry Otten (FMJD); Treasurer: Marc de Pauw (WBF). In addition, Geoffrey Borg (FIDE) was designated the Executive Director. photo: Hsiang (second from right) with IGF Secretary General Yuki Shigeno (far right); photo by Ivan Vigano

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The Power Report: Takao Evens Score in Honinbo; Kisei Leagues; Kono or Matsumoto to be Gosei Challenger:

Sunday June 2, 2013

by John Power,  Japan Correspondent for the American Go E-Journal

Takao Evens Score in Honinbo Title Match: Takao Shinji 9P has a notoriously bad career record against Iyama Yuta Honinbo, but he has shown that past results may be irrelevant. After losing the first game in his challenge for the 68th Honinbo title, Takao roared back with a strong win in the second, played on May 28 & 29, so the match is level. There was plenty of drama in the game, with three important ko fights.  The first was worth over 50 points and led to a major trade, but neither side took the lead. Another big trade followed the second ko fight, but once again the game remained evenly poised. Shortly after this (on move 205), Iyama made a small misjudgment , letting Takao take the lead. Iyama resorted to yet another ko but was unable to make up his deficit, so he resigned after 244 moves. The third game will be played on June 5 & 6.

Kisei Leagues: Two games were played in the 38th Kisei Leagues on May 23. In the final game in the first round of the A League, two of the big guns in the league clashed. Takao Shinji 9P, the top-ranked player in the league, beat Hane Naoki 9P, who is the second-ranked player; taking white, Takao won by half a point. This win may have given him some momentum for the Honinbo title match. The B League was one game behind the A League. The game on the 23rd was a match-up between two veteran players, Kobayashi Satoru 9P and Yamashiro Hiroshi 9P; the former is a former Kisei (beating Cho Chikun in 1995), and Yamashiro came within an ace of winning the title in 1992 (he had the lead late in the 7th game but lost it in the endgame). Taking black, Kobayashi beat Yamashiro by resignation.
        The first round of the B League was completed on 30 May. Taking white, 25th Honinbo Chikun (Cho Chikun) defeated Kono Rin 9P by resignation to make a good start to this year’s league.

Kono or Matsumoto to be Gosei Challenger: The semifinals in the 38th Gosei tournament were held on May 23. In one, Matsumoto Takehisa 7P (W) beat Akiyama Jiro 9P by 1.5 points; in the other, Kono Rin 9P (B) beat Cho Riyu 8P by half a point. Either Kono or Matsumoto will challenge Iyama Yuta for the Gosei title, but we don’t have a date for the final yet.

Categories: World
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KBA Names Two Pros for US Go Congress

Wednesday May 29, 2013

The Korea Baduk Association is sending Kim Hyunghwan 6p and Lee Dahye 4p to the US Go Congress in Tacoma this year. Kim Hyunghwan, 27, is a student of famed teacher Kapyong Kwon, whose students include Lee Sedol 9p and Park Junghwan 9p. He distinguished himself as a youth player, and was unbeaten in the 2001 WYGC in Maui, Hawaii, becoming pro the following year. The Maui experience  prompted him to study English. He is also a student of Chinese and teaches go at university clubs. Lee Dahye, 28, aside from representing Korea in international play, is a specialist at teaching beginners, expertise she will be sharing as an instructor at the first ever AGA classroom teaching certification workshop at Congress. Since 2008, Lee has amassed an impressive record broadcasting lessons on Baduk TV, K-Baduk and Cyberoro (you can see some of her lessons on YouTube here).  She has also taught soldiers in Korea’s military, students at university clubs, and multicultural youth. She  edited the Korean edition of Hikaru no go as well. Most relevant for the teaching workshop, she is co-author of the Korean-English go book, Falling in Love with Baduk, which will be distributed to workshop students free in PDF form (it is available for download through the AGF here as well). She graduated Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, majoring in Japanese, and is in graduate school in the same university. -Andy Okun, with assistance from Myungwan Kim 9p. Photo: Lee Dahye 4p

Mlily Cup Preliminaries

Saturday May 25, 2013

The preliminary rounds for the first Mlily Cup concluded May 24th, in Beijing, China.  The cup is organized by the International Go Federation (IGF) and the China Qiyuan, and sponsored by Hengkang Jiaju Technology Company.  The cup is held every other year, thus supplementing the other IGF-organized biannual tournament: the Bailing Cup. With a top prize of RMB 1.8 M (about USD 280K), Mlily ranks near the top of all international titles.  Just as in Bailing, the Mlily Cup takes on an ”open” format:  All professionals may enter in the preliminary rounds; as may all amateurs after winning online selection tournaments.   Ryan Li won the selection tournament from North America, and was the US amateur representative.  Jujo (Zhujiu) Jiang 9P entered as an American pro; while Rui Naiwei 9P entered as a Chinese pro.  All three lost in the first round.  The popular Joanne Missingham 6P(Hei Jia-jia) entered as a Taiwanese pro, and won her section of 11 players, to move on to the main tournament.  - Report by Thomas Hsiang. Photo from the Mlily website: Zhang Xuan 8p (l) has been one of the top female players in China. She is married to Chang Hao 9P.  Joanne Missingham 6P (r) is leading a new generation of strong young female players; she is representing Taiwian.

Categories: World
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Chen Yaoye Shines Again at 27th Annual Tianyuan

Wednesday May 22, 2013

Yaoke ChenChen Yaoye 9P took his fifth consecutive Tianyuan title when he bested Gu Lingyi 5P on May 15. Although Gu joined the top ten Chinese pros in 2009, and was once viewed as one of China’s “most promising” players, he wasn’t able to dethrone Chen.

Chen himself was in a similar situation five years ago when he secured the Tianyuan title from six-time victor Gu Li 9P. As Gu Li defeated Chen in his first international final, at the 10th LG Cup in 2006, some could say Chen’s counter-attack was a long time coming. Before he can even contemplate matching Gu Li’s six-year streak, however, Chen will need to focus on his upcoming match against Lee Sedol 9P in the final round of the 10th Chunlan Cup, on June 17. He will also have to watch out for this year’s Korean Chunwon champion Park Younghun 9P at the China Korea Tengen playoff, rumored to take place in September. Unlike the stereotypical Korean combative style, Park (like Chen) is more flexible. According to Jing at Go Game Guru, “he’s a master of the endgame and tends to prefer more peaceful, territory oriented games.”

For more information about the Gu Lingyi - Chen Yaoye match, including photos and game records, please visit gogameguru.com.

-Annalia Linnan, based on a longer article by Go Game Guru

Correction: Mlily Healthcare is the Sponsor

Tuesday May 21, 2013

The E-J mistakenly reported that the Mlily Cup was possibly sponsored by the Mlily Hotel, in yesterday’s Power Report.  In fact, The Mlily Cup World Open Tournament is sponsored by Healthcare Co., Ltd.  Thanks to Ke Lu for pointing out the error.
Categories: World
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The Power Report: Honinbo, Kisei Updates; Ryo Breaks Yuta’s Record; New Chinese Tourney

Monday May 20, 2013

by John Power,  Japan Correspondent for the American Go E-Journal

Iyama makes good start in Honinbo defense: The first game of the 68th Honinbo title match was played in Ota City in Shimane Prefecture on May 16 and 17. Taking white, Iyama  Honinbo defeated Takao Shinji 9P by 4.5 points. The game was closely fought, but Iyama drew ahead with a severe attack launched a little over 100 moves into the game. Winning with white is a good way to start off a best-of-seven. The second game will be played on May 28 and 29. Photo: Iyama Yuta, current Honinbo, courtesy Nihon Ki-in

38th Kisei Leagues: Two more games were played in the new Kisei leagues on May 16. In the second game in the A League, Cho U 9P (B) defeated Kiyonari Tetsuya 9P (Kansai Ki-in) by 15.5 points. In the first game in the B League, Murakawa Daisuke 7P (Kansai Ki-in) (W) beat Mizokami Tomochika 8P by resignation.

Youngest title-winner: Iyama Yuta’s record for youngest title-winner has been broken, though in an unofficial tournament. In the final of the 4th Okage Cup, held in Ise City on May 16, the fifteen-year old Ichiriki Ryo 3P defeated Anzai Nobuaki 6P, who had won the previous two cups.  Iyama Yuta won the Agon Kiriyama Cup at the age of 16, so Ichiriki has lowered his record by a year, though Iyama retains the record for an official title.  The tournament is sponsored by a manufacturer of traditional sweets, and is open to members of the Nihon Ki-in aged 30 and under. The format is NHK-style (30 seconds per move plus ten minutes of thinking time taken in one-minute units). The best 16 competed in a final knockout tournament, held on May 15 and 16. Born in Miyagi Prefecture on June 10, 1997, Ichiriki is a disciple of So Kofuku 9P. He became a professional in 2011. He is also enrolled in first year of high school. It will be interesting to see if he can follow further in the footsteps of Iyama. Photo: Ichiriki Ryo, courtesy Nihon Ki-in

New Chinese international tournament: Launching international tournaments seems to be the latest fashion in China, reflecting both the increasing prosperity of Chinese corporations and the high status of go as an intellectual sport. The increasing success of Chinese players in the international arena is undoubtedly another factor. The latest new arrival is the Mlily Cup World Open Tournament, sponsored by Mlily Healthcare. It starts out with an international qualifying tournament being held from May 21 to 24 that will decide 50 out of the 64 places in the first round of the main tournament. Of the 50, four places are reserved for women players and four for amateurs. The disposition of the 14 seeded places is five to China, three each to Japan and Korea, one to Chinese Taipei, and two special seeds selected by the organizers. First prize is 1,800,000 yuan (about $285,000). The first two rounds will be played in July, and the next two in August. The dates of the final and semifinals have not yet been decided. China graphic from wallsave.com

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Deadline May 31 for China Collegiate Trip

Monday May 20, 2013

Two years ago, the Shanghai Ing Chang-Ki Wei-Chi Education Foundation hosted a group of 11 American college students to participate in a week long go summer camp in China.  This year, they are hosting a new event in Shanghai, July 7-13, and inviting college students from America to compete in an international tournament.  Students from 50 different colleges will be invited, and  attendees will also have a chance to explore Shanghai and Hangzhou, while  learning a bit more about a culture that is on the opposite side of the world.  Organizer Michael Fodera reports that  ”housing, food, travel within China, and Ing sponsored tourist trips are all free.  All ranks are welcome, even beginners as week as 20kyu.  The tournament is not just limited to college students; college or university faculty members are also eligible. Though they will have to compete in the open section, which will be full of  top amateur players.”  To register for the event, visit the American Collegiate Go Association website. Photo by Will Lockhart: American students vs Fudan and Jiaotong University students, from the 2011 trip to China.

KGS Meijin Qualifier May 25

Monday May 20, 2013

Registration is still open for this weekend’s KGS 2013 Meijin tournament qualifier. The April qualifier featured “many exciting games and drew more than 300 observers,” reports KGS admin Akane Negishi. “One of last year’s contenders, Grande, won the April qualifier again.”  The single-elimination qualifier will be held May 25-26 on an Asian/European daytime schedule (Round 1 starts at 5a EDT/2a PDT).  In this fifth qualifier, the winner will become a contender for the finals which will start in November. The runner-up may also become a contender if there are 6 or more rounds in the Qualifier. The final KGS Meijin winner will receive a minimum cash prize of $500 and a special Meijin icon. Click here for details and to register.

EuroGoTV Interview: Jonas Welticke on Life as an Insei

Thursday May 16, 2013

In a recent interview for EuroGoTV, 17-year-old German player Jonas Welticke 4d shared some insight about his experiences as an insei. Aside from Monday study groups with Ohashi Hirofumi 5d and “playing the other insei kids every weekend,” Wilticke said there is no formal routine, and he mostly studies by himself. His current record after his first week is 10-1.

Though some might imagine feeling out of place as a Caucasian insei, Welticke seems to have had no problem. In fact, there are some that might know him as a familiar face. “They have already published a considerably sized picture of me, though I didn’t know it,” he said. “They used some footage from the European Go Center and made an article about it almost one year ago.”  More than the food, habits, and transportation, the biggest difference Welticke has found is how go is treated in Japan. He said there are “easily” 80 players at the Nihon Ki-in every afternoon. “It would be awesome to have as many go players in Europe,” he said. “Also, there are weekly newspapers dedicated to go. They are often sold out, which fascinates me again and again.” Welticke looks forward to having his name listed in the go newspaper toward the end of the month when he is promoted to D class. For the full interview, please visit EuroGoTV-Annalia Linnan, photo credit EuroGoTV

Categories: Europe,World,Youth
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