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East-West Duel at 2013 Amateur Meijin

Sunday August 4, 2013

2013 Amateur MeijinWu Poyi carried the flag for Taiwan at this year’s Japanese Amateur Meijin. Coming to Tokyo by way of Miaoli County, he represented Hong Mal-geun-saem’s dojo in the final face-off against Korean-born Osaka resident Hong Suk-eui (left). More than an east vs. west grudge match, though, Poyi had everything to gain. This was his first major amateur tournament in Japan and Suk-eui has held the title for the last two years.

As if that were not enough, Suk-eui has also enjoyed extreme success in the Agon Kiriyama Cup when he defeated seven pros including a victory over a 9-dan that put him in the top 16, not to mention the half dozen amateur titles he has won in his home country. A tall order for any challenger. “If I lose to him, it will be only natural,” Poyi said.

Though Poyi fought hard in the first game and had a decent lead in the second game, Suk-eui won both games by resignation. He is the first player to win the Amateur Meijin three times and hopes next year to make it four. For more about Poyi and the 2013 Amateur Meijin, visit the official IGF website.
– Annalia Linnan, based on a report by the International Go Federation

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U.S. Sends 4 Players to Samsung Prelims

Sunday August 4, 2013

Four U.S. players are participating in the preliminaries of the 18th Samsung Cup, being held August 2-8 in Korea. A total of 345 players will be divided into 19 groups and the winner of each group will advance and join the 13 seeded players in the main tournament, which will start in September. The 19 groups include 14 open groups, two for senior pros, two for women. The last group, called the “world group”, is formed with four North American and four European players. The pairings in this group will start with Yinli Wang (US) vs. Oleg Mezhov, Benjamin Lockhart (US) vs. Rob Van Zeist, Yunxuan Li (US) vs. Jan Hora, and Eric Lui (US) vs. Cristian Pop.

European Go News: Pandanet European Team Championship, 2013 EGC

Friday August 2, 2013

Team CzechiaAt the 3rd Pandanet Go European Team Championship — being played at this year’s European Go Congress in Poland – the Czech Republic triumphed, with Russia in second and Ukraine in third. According to reports, Russia asked the first match between the Czech Republic and Ukraine to be replayed due to an issue with the clock. However, Ondrej Silt 6d (manocska) (left), Jan Simara 6d (flashback), and Jan Hora (JanHora) 6d still led their team to victory. For complete results and full team listings, please visit the official Pandanet website.

Pavol Lisy 6d is the current leader of the main tournament at the 2013 European Go Congress in Olsztyn, Poland. Behind him are Hui Fan 7d and Polish player Mateusz Surma 6d. However, Lisy must continue to play sharply as Fan recently won both the EGF qualifying tournament for Beijing 2013 and the Leksand Open. Meanwhile, Alexander Dinertchein 7d and Ilja Shikshin 7d remain just outside the top ten. According to the official schedule, round four of the main tournament will commence on August 1. For the latest updates, full results, photos, and more, visit the official 2013 European Go Congress website.
– Annalia Linnan, with additional reporting by Alain Cano; photo by Karin Valisova

EuroGoTV Updates: Sweden, Ukraine, Romania

Sunday July 28, 2013

Artem Kachanovsky 6dSweden: The EGF qualification tournament for Beijing 2013 finished July 22 in Leksand with Hui Fan 7d in first, Pavol Lisy 6d in second, and Alexander Dinerchtein 7d in third. Ukraine: Victory went to Artem Kachanovskyi 6d (left) at the Samsung Cup in Kyiv on July 14. Dmytro Bohatskyi 5d came in second and Andril Kravets 6d placed third. Romania: At the 4th Radu Baciu Grand Prix in Barsov (also July 14), Lucretiu Calota 5d took the lead, followed by Sergiu Dan Iugulescu 2d in second and Sora Sorin 4d in third.
— Annalia Linnan, based on reports from EuroGoTV, which include complete result tables and all the latest European go news

 

Japan Pair Go Association Grants $3600 for US Pair Go Development

Thursday July 25, 2013

The Japan Pair Go Association has just granted $3,600 to promote Pair Go in the United States next year, reports AGA Pair Go Coordinator Rachel Small. The grant is based on Small’s proposed annual Pair Go plan, which she hopes “will generate enthusiasm, increase the number of Pair Go events held annually, and help Pair Go players form strong partnerships, with the ultimate goal of advancing the culture of Pair Go in the US.” Included in the budget is prize money for the North American Pair Go Championship and the Youth-Adult Pair Go Tournament at the US Go Congress, the second annual Pair Go Tournament at the North American Go Convention, and two additional Pair Go tournaments over the next year. “These are very exciting plans but we need help to make them happen,” Small says. Financial incentives will be provided for an organizer/director for the Pair Go pro teaching workshop at this year’s Congress, a game-recorder for the top table Pair Go game, a volunteer to record video of Congress Pair Go events, and a video-editor to piece together the footage into a short promotional piece, as well as directors of two new Pair Go Tournaments. Those interested should contact  Small at pairgo@usgo.org. -Photo by Steve Colburn: Pair Go contestants at the 2010 Go Congress in Colorado Springs.

Online Tourney Planned to Select U.S. SportAccord World Mind Games Team

Tuesday July 23, 2013

The United States has been invited to send five players – three men and one woman – to the 2013 SportAccord World Mind Games (SAWMG) in Beijing, China. The team will be selected in an online tournament in August, except for the winner of the North American Master’s Tournament (NAMT), who will be automatically selected if eligible and able to participate. All eligible male players who have two or more wins in the NAMT will be seeded into the online men’s selection tournament, a 16-player, 5-round double elimination tournament taking place on KGS over two weekends in August. The remaining slots in the tournament are open to professionals and amateurs who did not participate in SAWMG, prioritized by rating. The men’s online selection will take place on the evenings of August 16, 17, 18, 24, and 25. The women’s online selection will be an 8-player 3-round single elimination. Eligibility is based on the AGA’s policy for international representatives: full or youth AGA membership for at least one year from selection, residency in the US for 6 of the last 12 months, and for this event, US citizenship is required. If you are eligible and interested in participating in this year’s SportAccord World Mind Game selection, whether you are attending NAMT or not, email karoline.burrall@usgo.org. The deadline for registrants who are not participating in NAMT is Wednesday August 14.
- Karoline Burrall, AGA Tournament Coordinator
UPDATE: this post has been updated to reflect that there will be three men and one woman selected for the team, not two women, as originally reported.   The second place female finisher would be an alternate in case the selected rep has to be replaced.

The Power Report (Bonus Edition): Kono Extends Lead In Gosei; Kisei League Update

Monday July 22, 2013

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

Kono Extends Lead In Gosei: Iyama Yuta 9P didn’t have much time to enjoy his Honinbo triumph: just four days later, he was fighting yet another title-match game. The second game of the 38th Gosei title match was played in the Nagaoka Grand Hotel in Nagaoka City, Niigata Prefecture on July 22. The challenger, Kono Rin 9P (left), had got off to a good start in the series, reversing the disastrous trend of his previous record against Iyama. His good form continued in the second game. Taking white, Kono forced a resignation after 194 moves and now has a chance to take the title in the third game, scheduled for July 26.

Kisei League Update: Three games have been played in the 38th Kisei leagues so far in July. They have not altered the lead in either league, but one favorite has suffered a setback. On July 11, Kiyonari Tetsuya 9P of the Kansai Ki-in, playing white, defeated Yoda Norimoto 9P (right) by resignation in the A League. Kiyonari went to 2-1 and is doing well in his comeback to the league. Yoda is now 1-2 and will have to focus on keeping his place rather than on winning the league. On July 18, Kobayashi Satoru 9P (W) defeated Cho U 9P by resignation in the A League.  Kobayashi is now 2-1 and Cho 1-2. The latter was regarded as one of the early favorites, but his prospects don’t look good now. In the B League on the same day, Hane Naoki 9P (W) defeated Kono Rin 9P by 1.5 points. Both players are now on 1-2. In the A League, Yamashita Keigo Meijin has the sole lead on 2-0. In the B League, both 25th Honinbo Cho Chikun and Murakawa Daisuke 7P of the Kansai Ki-in are on 2-0.

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The Power Report: Kobayashi Satoru Wins His First Igo Masters Cup; Yuki Reaches Third Round of Mlily Championship

Sunday July 21, 2013

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

Kobayashi Satoru Wins His First Igo Masters Cup:
The final of the 3rd Igo Masters Cup, which is open to players 50 years and older who have won a top-seven title or who are doing well in the prize-money rankings, featured a clash between former Kisei Kobayashi Satoru 9P and Ishii Kunio 9P, who was hoping to win his first official title. These days Ishii is best known as the nurturer of the extraordinary talent of Iyama Yuta. Kobayashi, taking black, won by 1.5 points.

Yuki Reaches Third Round of Mlily Championship: The Mlily World Weiqi Open Championship is yet another Chinese-sponsored international tournament. We reported earlier on the results in the first round (Mlily Cup Preliminaries 5/25/2013 EJ). Yuki Satoshi 9P was the only Japanese representative to survive that round. He also did well in the second round, defeating Li 1-dan of China. In the round of 16, Yuki will be matched against Wang Xi 9-dan of China. We don’t have full details, but the second round was yet another triumph for China, which won 13 games to two wins for Korea and one for Japan. Among the 13 Chinese players going on to the next round are such prominent players as Gu Li, Kong Jie, Hu Yaoyu, and Zhou Ruiyang. The two Korean players are Ch’oe Ch’eol-han and Cho Han-sung. Yi Se-tol was eliminated in this round. There are rumors of a best-of-ten match between Yi and Gu Li, but, if true, the timing is not good for Yi, as he seems to have passed his peak.

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Iyama Retains Honinbo Title With 4.5-Point Win in Game 7

Saturday July 20, 2013

In the end, Iyama Yuta 9P’s hold on the Honinbo title came down to 4.5 points. That was Iyama’s margin of victory over Takao Shinji 9P in the final game of the 68th Honinbo title, which concluded on July 18 at 7:42p after 262 moves in Hadano, Kanagawa prefecture, Japan. This is the third time in three years that the Honinbo has gone the full 7-game distance, including last year when Iyama took the title from Yamashita Keigo 9P. Iyama and Takao began their grueling duel in mid-May with Iyama winning the first game. Takao quickly made up the loss by controlling the next two games. However, Iyama (right) was not intimidated and fought back in games four and five, giving himself a chance to capture the match in game six, but Takao quickly extinguished those hopes in just 194 moves to set up yet another dramatic final game for the match. In the decisive seventh game (left), Iyama, taking black, used almost half of his eight-hour time allowance during the first day alone. When Takao sealed the move (W74) at 5:07p on July 17, he had four hours and forty-eight minutes remaining while his opponent only had four hours and five minutes. At 9a the next morning, the tricky sealed move was revealed and

[link]

“[changed] the flow of the game,” according to live game commentator Rin Kanketsu 7P. Yet up until move 70, either player could have taken the title. It was white’s tenuki at move 82 that was the crucial misstep that allowed black to secure thickness and give Iyama the advantage. White attempted to complicate the game at move 92 but Iyama stayed unfazed through the endgame and claimed victory with only two minutes left on his clock. In a post-game interview, Iyama said he felt fortunate to have held on to the title after such a challenging series. Takao felt lucky he made it to the end but was disappointed in his own performance. Since his most recent Honinbo title in 2007, Takao has tried to “reclaim the crown” three times to no avail. Iyama, on the other hand, holds five of the seven major Japanese titles (Kisei, Honinbo, Tengen, Oza, and Gosei) and also won the 25th Asian TV Cup at the end of June, proving his international prowess.
- Annalia Linnan, based on a more detailed report — including more photos and game records — on Go Game Guru; photos courtesy Go Game Guru

Israeli Go Workshop Connects with Government Officials

Monday July 15, 2013

Senior officials at the  Israeli Ministry of Economy attended a special training session, linking economic concepts to go, at a conference near Jerusalem, on July 11th. “We were invited to lecture on Strategic Thinking and Decision Making Tools – Use of Go/ Baduk as a model,” reports Shavit Fragman, president of Mind Chain Baduk Club. “Baduk and economic concepts were discussed at length, with many demonstrations and illustrations. It drew a lot of attention (no one left or fell asleep) and participants reported it was the best workshop of the day. The audience also showed great interest in the baduk brochures and other available go materials, and expressed interest in continued sessions to further explore the concepts and model for use in their work and life. Since the beginning of the year Mind Go Club has demonstrated baduk to over 500 new people,” adds Fragman.  The presentation is available as a pdf here, more photos from the event are here. -Paul Barchilon.  Photo by Shavit Fragman.

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