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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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The Power Report: Cho Leads Meijin; Kisei, Honinbo Begin; Pair Go

Monday May 13, 2013

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

Cho U keeps sole lead in the Meijin League: Two important games in the 38th Meijin League were played on May 2. In one, Cho U 9P (W) beat Mizokami Tomochika 8P by resignation; in the other, Iyama Yuta Kisei (B) beat Sakai Hideyuki 8-dan, also by resignation. As a result, Cho improved his score to 5-0 and kept the sole lead. Iyama is in second place, on 5-1. The two are scheduled to play each other in June. The only other player with one loss is Hane Naoki, who is on 4-1. However, he has a bye in May.

Two more games were played on May 9. Takao Shinji 9P (W) beat Murakawa Daisuke 7P by resignation and Kono Rin 9P beat Yuki Satoshi Judan, also by resignation.  These results meant that Takao and Kono both kept their hopes of winning the league alive, as each has only two losses (Takao is 4-2 and Kono is 3-2). Neither has played Cho yet, so they need to “cooperate” to drag him down. Of course, they need Iyama to stumble as well. Incidentally, Yuki’s jinx continues: he has now lost 15 games in a row over three Meijin legues. Photo: Cho U, Official Nihon Ki-in photo.

Kisei Leagues starts: The 38th Kisei Leagues got off to a start with a game in the A League. Taking black, Yamashita Keigo Meijin beat Yoda Norimoto 9P by 5.5 points.

Honinbo title match starts on 16th: The big game later this week will be the first game of the 68th Honinbo title match, in which Takao Shinji 9P is challenging Iyama Yuta Honinbo. The game will be played on May 16 & 17. Takao has a dismal record against Iyama of 5 wins to 17 losses, but he was in superb form in the Honinbo League, which he won 7-0, so the title match is unlikely to be one-sided.

Professional Pair Go championship: The E-Journal reported on this tournament on May 6th. The Japanese Pair Go Association would like to add some details about the event. The official name of the tournament is the 1st China-Japan-Korea Professional Pair Go Championship. It is notable as the first purely professional international Pair Go tournament.  The first tournament in which professionals took part was the Pair Go World Cup 2010, which was held in Hangzhou, China. It was organized by the World Pair Go Association, and a total of 16 professional and amateur players took part.  This tournament was popular with spectators and go fans. This year’s event was organized by the WPGA with the cooperation of the Chinese Weiqi Association, Anhui Province and Hefei City. Matsuura Koichiro, President of the WPGA and former Director-General of Unesco, attended the tournament to give out prizes. A large number of photos and the game records can be found at the home pages of the Japan Pair Go Association and on the Pandanet page for the tournament. Photo: Pair Go Winners, representing China, Wang Chenxing 5-dan & Chang Hao 9-dan. From Pandanet.

Categories: World
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Correction: Yu was Choi’s Teacher, not Student

Tuesday May 7, 2013

The E-J mistakenly reported that Jung Choi 3P was the teacher of Changhyeok Yu 9P, in our story on Chinese Pair Go on May 5th.  In fact, the reverse is true: Yu was Choi’s teacher.  We apologize for the error, which has been fixed in the original story.

Categories: World
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China Has Home-Team Advantage in Tri-Nation Pair Go Tournament

Sunday May 5, 2013

Chang Hao 9p (left) and Chenxing Wang 5p (right) took first place at the Tri-Nation Pair Go tournament, held in Heifei, China,  April 30 through May 2. They fended off a challenge from 2nd place winners Korean duo, Jung Choi 3p and her former teacher Changhyeok Yu 9p,  while Japanese pair Satoshi Yuki 9p and Ayumi Suzuki 6p came in third.

The pair go tournament was the main attraction, and go fans also had a chance to play professionals during the event. Former Chinese Go Association President Runan Wang 8p (below) even made an appearance, playing some of Anhui Province’s youngest players.

Another instance of the old connecting with the new was the venue itself: Three Kingdoms Park. As mentioned on Go Game Guru, Chinese history buffs will recognize “Three Kingdoms” as a tempestuous period in Chinese history, filled with struggles between the Wei, Shu and Wu kingdoms. In the same region where there are ancient ruins from those dark times, players of all ages enjoyed peaceful teaching games.

For more information about the tournament including photos and game records, please visit Go Game Guru. -Annalia Linnan, photos from gogameguru.com

Shi Yue Wins Go9dan.com’s First Professional World Go League

Tuesday April 30, 2013

Chinese pro Shi Yue has won first prize in go9dan.com’s first professional World Go League. “I was really happy that I managed to top all these very strong players,” Shi said. The 3-month long World Go League featured ten of the top players in the world competing for $100,000 in prizes, five players each from South Korea and China. From Korea, Lee Changho, Lee Sedol, Park Younghoon, Kim Jisuk and Park Junghwan participated, and from China Shi Yue, Chen Yaoye, Fan Tingyu, Xie He and Kong Jie. Go TV relayed Lee Sedol’s professional commentary on selected games. Shi Yue won with a 7-2 record and Park Junghwan and Chen Yaoye were runners up with 6-3. Ironically go9dan.com co-founder Lee Sedol finished last with a 2-7 record. Click here for complete game results.
“Unique to the World Go League, the top 10 superpowers went head to head without any preliminaries,” go9dan.com’s Michael Simon tells the E-Journal. Forty five games among the world’s strongest go players were recorded; for game records click here and look for games marked (P) for professional. All of the games were played online, “which created some very interesting issues,” Simon says. “We saw players run out of time and even place stones on unintended intersections on the board.” When Lee Sedol was doing game commentaries on BadukTV, he talked about his “mouse misses” and specifically about players who are experienced online vs. those who are not experienced.
Asked his secret to success, Shi said that “the secret is to maintain sound health and an active mind…In go, confidence is very important. Nowadays luck seems to matter a lot, too.” On his thoughts on the future of go in China, Korea, and Japan, Shi notes that “Recently, Japan is falling behind in world go championships, and the competition is strongest between China and Korea. Personally, I want to see Japan recover quickly and compete on the world’s top stage. And I also wish to see top players from Europe and other countries compete at the highest level.”
Go9dan.com is a global online go site co-founded by Lee Sedol and former US Champion John J. Lee. It is directly involved in the establishment and planning of projects to foster go. Unexpected network problems and defects in the application took longer to cure than expected so its beta period was extended. Simon says that go9dan.com anticipates launching its full-fledged service very soon.
Categories: World
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The Power Report: Yuki takes Judan Title, Reducing Iyama to Quintuple Crown; Korea Wins Huading Cup After 3-Way Tie

Monday April 29, 2013

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

Yuki takes Judan Title, Reducing Iyama to Quintuple Crown: Challenger Yuki Satoshi 9P put an end to Iyama Yuta’s reign as a sextuple titleholder on April 26 when he won the final game of the 51st Judan title match, which was played at the headquarters of the Kansai Ki-in. Taking white, Yuki won by 1.5 points after 261 moves to win his second top-seven title. Yuki took the lead in the middle game and thereafter, thanks to accurate play, managed to fend off Iyama’s attempts to catch up. Yuki is the fourth Kansai Ki-in player to win the Judan title. He has now won 11 titles, but nine of these are fast-go titles; his only previous top-seven title was the 36th Tengen title, which he won in 2010.

In March, Iyama became the first player ever to hold six of the top-seven titles simultaneously, and there was a lot of speculation about his chances of monopolizing all seven by winning the Meijin title later this year. That prospect has now been ruled out after his reign as a sextuple titleholder ended after just 43 days. To have a second crack at this goal, Iyama will have to hang on to his other titles, then regain the Judan title next year, while also picking up the Meijin title this year or next year.

As with the fourth game, all the interest of the press focused on Iyama at the end of the game, with photographers snapping him, not the winner. The report the next day in the Yomiuri newspaper, for example, featured a photo of Iyama with the headline ‘Iyama reduced to five crowns.’ Yuki probably was philosophical about this; after all, he had the title, and his career had reached a new peak at the ‘advanced’ age, for tournament go, of 41.

Korea Wins Huading Cup After 3-Way Tie: The Huading Tea Industries Cup World Women’s Team Tournament is a tournament for three-player teams from the four East Asian countries with professional go organizations. Last year, in the tournament’s first edition. it was dominated by Korea, which didn’t lose a game, but this year China, Korea, and Japan fought their way to a three-way tie, with each country winning two matches and losing one. Last place was filled by Chinese Taipei, which failed to win a match but did pick up an individual win, one more than last year. The first tie-breaker is the number of games won. Japan had five wins, compared to six each for China and Korea, so it took third place. The second tie-breaker is the results of the players on the top board, but here, too, China and Korea were tied, so the organizers had to resort to the third tie-breaker, the results on the second board. Here the Korean player had one more win, so that gave Korea the championship for the second time running. photo: Xie playing Hei (Joanne Missingham) of Chinese Taipei;  photo by sina.com

Results:
Round 1 (April 26): Japan 2, Taiwan 1: Xie Yimin (Hsieh I-min) 6P (B) defeated Hei Jiajia (Joanne Missingham) 6P by half a point; Okuda Aya 3P (W) lost to Su Shengfang 2P by resignation; Mukai Chiaki 5P (B) d. Zhang Zhengping 3P by resig.; China 2, Korea 1: Li He 5P (W) d. Pak Chi-eun 9P by 3.5 points; Tang Yi 2P (B) lost to Kim Mi-li 2P by resig; Wang Chenxing 5P (W) d. Kim Ch’ae-yeong 1P by resig.

Round 2 (April 27): Korea 2, Japan 1: Pak (B) d. Xie by resig.; Kim Mi-li (W) d. Okuda by resig.; Kim (B) lost to Mukai by resig.; China 3, Chinese Taipei 0: Li (B) d. Hei by resig.; Tang (W) d. Su by resig.; Wang (B) d. Zhang by resig.

Round 3 (April 28): Japan 2, China 1: Xie (B) d. Li by resig.; Okuda (W) lost to Tang by resig.; Mukai (B) d. Wang by half a point.; Korea 3, Chinese Taipei 0: Pak (W) d. Hei by resig.; Kim Mi-li (B) d. Su by resig.; Kim (W) d. Zhang by resig.

Categories: World
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GoGoD to Sponsor KGS Meijin April Qualifier

Friday April 26, 2013

GoGoD (Games of Go on Disk) will be sponsoring the KGS Meijin April qualifier. “Werfeus” of Finland, a longtime KGS user, won the March qualifier. “Many strong players are joining every month and you can find fun and exciting games in the qualifiers,” says KGS’ Akane Negishi.  The single-elimination qualifier will be held on April 27-28; Round 1 starts at 12p EDT/9a PDT. Registration is still open to those who qualify for tournament entry.
Categories: World
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The Power Report: Iyama Catches Up in Judan Title Match

Tuesday April 23, 2013

by John Power,  Japan Correspondent for the American Go E-Journal
After losing two games in a row in the 51st Judan title match, Iyama Yuta 9P has stopped the rot and evened the series against Yuki Satoshi 9P.

The fourth game was played on Iyama’s home ground of the Kansai headquarters of the Nihon Ki-in in Kita Ward, Osaka, on April 18. This was the day that Iyama could lose his sextuple crown, so there was an unusually large press contingent in attendance, just in case.

Playing black, Iyama (right) started with a good opening and secured a slightly favourable position. He then turned this into a decisive lead by playing a sharp attacking move in the latter half of the middle game. This is Iyama’s forte: whether he is ahead or behind, he is very dangerous in the middle game, as he is always looking for the most aggressive move. He doesn’t just try to coast to
a win. In this case, he played a clamp with move 113 that cut off four white
stones and put the game out of Yuki’s reach. Yuki resigned after move 179.

After the game, the photographers from various media had to jostle with each
other to get photos of Iyama — not a sight you often see with go matches. In
an interview, Iyama expressed his relief at getting a win after two games in which ‘my play was hopeless’.

Yuki has another chance to take his second top-seven title, but psychologically this convincing win may have tilted the balance in Iyama’s favour. The final game will be played at the Kansai Ki-in, Yuki’s home ground, on Friday, April 26.
photo courtesy European Go Congress 2014 website 

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First China-Korea-Japan Pair Go Championship Set for Next Week

Tuesday April 23, 2013

A new event, the first China-Korea-Japan Pair Go Championship, will be held next week, April 30 through May 2, in Anhui, China. The event will be broadcast on Pandanet. Three male veterans are paired with three new female stars to play in this unique event. The players are Suzuki Ayumi and Yuki Satoshi from Japan, Wang Chenxing and Chang Hao from China, and Choi Jeong and Yoo Changhyuk from Korea. Originally scheduled for early 2012 to coincide with the opening of a theme park in Anhui built on a site from the ancient “Three Nation” (san-guo) period, the China-Japan tension and the political uncertainty on the Korean Peninsula caused the postponement until now.
- Thomas Hsiang

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Down 0-8, Western Pros Resign Jubango Against Lee Sedol 9P

Wednesday April 17, 2013

The 10-game match on go9dan.com between Lee Sedol 9P and three Western professionals, has been called after eight fascinating games, as the Western pros — Catalin Taranu, Gansheng Shi and Andy Liu — were “out of the money,” reports go9dan’s Michael Simon. “All of the many observers found the games enjoyable and even amazing,” Simon added. “There really is no end to go strength.” The game records and reviews are available online: Game #1 Lee-Andy Liu, Game #2 Lee-Gansheng Shi; Game #3 Lee-Catalin Taranu, Game #4 Lee-Andy Liu, Game #5 Lee-Gansheng Shi (uncommented), Game #6 Lee-Catalin Taranu, Game #7 Lee-Andy Liu, Game #8 Lee-Gansheng Shi.

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