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.
Monday August 6, 2012
Hotta Yumi, author of the award winning Hikaru no Go manga, delighted kids and teens in the Youth Room at the U.S. Go Congress on Monday. The second annual Hikaru no Go Trivia Contest was a huge success, with Hotta (seated) serving as the official judge. Fifteen kids competed in teams of three, trying to answer questions that were so difficult even Hotta was often stumped. Reigning Hikaru trivia champion Bijan Saniee (standing, far right, in photo below) led his team to victory, once again showing his profound knowledge of the most obscure bits of detail from the popular manga. Ten-year-old Austin Liao (at far left in photo at right) gave him a run for his money though, popping his hand up repeatedly, and correctly answering some of the most challenging questions of the afternoon. After Team Bijan secured their victory, Hotta Yumi signed autographs and took photos with fans. Winston Jen (at left in photo at left), who donated 1,000 sets of the manga to the AGA, competed on a team as well. A special moment came when Hotta presented Jen with a thank-you gift , an original hand-drawn picture of Sai and Hikaru, dedicated to Jen by name, and signed by both Hotta and Hikaru artist Takeshi Obata. Test your own Hikaru knowledge with this HNG Quiz with some of the questions from the contest: A: Who drank his coffee black, even when he was in middle school? B: Who was Isumi’s roommate in China? C: What is Akira’s mother named? D: How is Hikaru able to take the Insei test, even though he missed the deadline? E: On what day does Sai disappear, and how can you tell? Click here and you could be a winner!
- Paul Barchilon, Youth Editor; photos by Chris Garlock
Monday August 6, 2012
Maeda Ryo 6P, the popular Japanese professional who’s a regular attendee at the annual U.S.Go Congress, is organizing a 3-week intensive go camp in Osaka next year. “I guarantee a 3-stone improvement for kyu players,” Maeda (at left) smilingly told the E-Journal Monday, “and one stone for dan players.” Classes will run five days a week, with two days off for sight-seeing to places like the Shusaku Memorial Museum in Innoshima as well as Kyoto, Nara and Himeji. Campers will play league games in the morning, with teaching games with pros – 4-5 will be available daily — in the afternoon, along with lectures, quizzes and simuls, and in the evening there will be casual games with local amateur players. Li Ting 1P — another popular Congress pro — is also helping organize the camp, along with Hayashi Kouzou 6P, with the support of the Kansai Ki-in. Email Osaka.firstname.lastname@example.org for more info or to reserve your space.
photo: Maeda giving a lecture Monday at the U.S. Go Congress; photo by Chris Garlock
Monday July 23, 2012
The second International Children’s Go Art Painting Contest has received almost seventy entries. Submitting countries include Japan, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, The Philippines, Pakistan, Bulgaria, Argentina, Mexico and the United States (including Hawaii). The deadline was July 13th, and the artworks are being exhibited at Espacio Japón, the Japanese embassy in Mexico city’s cultural center. Go workshops, talks and an Ukiyo-e Go prints exhibition are also featured. The panel of judges was composed of members devoted to arts and education, including Fumiko Nakashima, Alma G. Juárez, Yuko Kosaka (Yuro), Daniella Campirano, Miguel A. Ramírez and Lilian R. Romero. The judges made a final decision on three top places and two notable submissions for each category. The results will be announced August 5th at the International Go Symposium in Black Mountain, NC and the artworks will be on display during the U.S. Go Congress. The Mexican Youth Go Players Association would like to thank Japan’s Cultural Attaché in Mexico Miwa Yoshizawa; Ph.D Marcela Zepeda Zaleta, the Principal at the Pipiolo Educational and Artistic Research Center; Israel Rodríguez Nava, President of Asociación Mexicana de Baduk-Igo-Weiqi; A.C. and the volunteers that supported us. Special recognition goes to all the enthusiastic children around the world that expressed their love for go through painting, they have many things to share with us at the International Go Symposium. -Siddhartha Avila, Comunidad Mexicana de Go Infantil y Juvenil. Photo: Art by Aaron Ye 5d, 2nd place winner from last year’s A section.
Monday July 23, 2012
Four additions bring this year’s U.S. World Mind Sports Games (WMSG) team to a total of 21 players. “Some will be flying direct from the U.S. Go Congress in North Carolina to London or Paris and then by train to Lille, France,” reports Chris Kirschner, “arriving just in time to start Round 1 of the individual competition at 2 PM local time on August 13. As previously reported (“Youthful” U.S. WMSG Team Announced 7/16 EJ) the U.S. team is young – over half are under 18 – which Kirschner called “A good portent for our future competition in these games. Unlike in 2008, professionals are not permitted to participate this year, so our team has a good chance to do well.”
The U.S. WMSG team line-up: Men’s Individual: Hugh Zhang, Forest Song, Yang Xu, Justin Ching, Ricky Zhou; Women’s Individual: Jasmine Yan, Yinli Wang, Tina Zhang and Cherry Shen; Team Go: Matthew Burrall, Guozhong Zhuang, Li Zhang, Philip London, Jerry Shen & Cherry Shen; Pair Go: Guozhong Zhuang, Wan Chen, Lionel Zhang, Amy Su; Youth Team: Andrew Lu, Vincent Zhuang, Gabriella Su, Kellin Pelrine, Justin Teng.
Sunday July 22, 2012
Iyama Yuta 9P won his first Honinbo title on July 19. Iyama bested the defending title holder Yamashita Keigo 9P, 4-3 in the title match series. Go fans who’d been anticipating the game were not disappointed. The pair produced an exciting and highly unusual game that kept observers on the edge of their seats, providing serious competition for the Tour de France. A series of kos in the early middle game resulted in a division where white (Iyama) took over 70 points of solid territory and black took thickness across the remainder of the board. White went on to win by 7.5 points after some impressive shinogi (fending off black’s severe attacks). This year is also the 400th anniversary of the formation of the Honinbo house, making the tournament even more special than usual.
David Ormerod; based on his original article Iyama Yuta becomes Honinbo at Go Game Guru. An Younggil 8P has commented game 5 and game 7 of the Honinbo title match. Photo: Yamashita Keigo 9P (left) and Iyama Yuta 9P prepare to play the final game.
Monday July 16, 2012
American go players interested in playing in the upcoming Mind Games in France have one last opportunity to represent the US. “We have four open slots for players in the Men’s Individual and one slot in the Women’s Individual competition at World Mind Sports Games,” reports Chris Kirschner. The Games run August 13-16 in Lille, France. Players are responsible for all costs, estimated at $2,500 – $3,000. The AGA requires that applicants be an AGA member for at least the last year, and WMSG requires US citizenship. Slots will go first to anyone with WMSG qualification points (in point order). After that, it is first come, first on the list. Email email@example.com; deadline is midnight PDT this Thursday, July 19. Those accepted must promptly provide their name as on passport, passport #, date of birth, name of accompanying adult (if under 18), tee shirt size, a short bio of your go life, digital head shot picture (similar to passport size).
Thursday July 12, 2012
The 67th Honinbo title match between Iyama Yuta 9P and Yamashita Keigo 9P is currently being contested in Japan. The match started in May 2012 and on July 9-10 Yamashita faced a kadoban (game that could decide the match) in Game 6. With his back against the wall, Yamashita fought hard and won by resignation. This levels the score at three all and leaves the Honinbo final to be settled by a decisive seventh game on July 18-19. Yamashita Keigo took the Honinbo title from Hane Naoki 9P in 2010 and successfully defended a challenge from Hane in 2011. Iyama Yuta is one of the top professional go players in Japan and this would be his first Honinbo title. More news to follow next week.
Jingning; based on her original article Iyama Yuta and Yamashita Keigo deadlocked in 67th Honinbo on Go Game Guru. Photo: Iyama Yuta 9P (left) and Yamashita Keigo 9P.
Monday June 18, 2012
The Caroline Campelo Cruz e Silva School in Palmas City, Brazil, has launched a full go program for kids, reports teacher Luciano Sanches Teixeira. Recent changes in organization and curricula at the school opened up space for new teaching activities, including a room equipped for teaching chess and checkers. “The first contact with go came about through research about (chess and checkers) on the Internet,” that led to the discovery that “there was another game, an oriental game played with glass spheres on a wooden board,” says Teixeira.
The school received its first go board in 2010, and while the initial interest was sparked by curiosity about an ancient game, Teixeira says that go “gained our attention thanks to its relationship with mathematics.” In addition to the calculations required for playing go, “We also think that looking at the different shapes built on the board and dealing with the delicate stones could also help develop motor coordination and laterality,” which are both important in the literacy process. This year the school launched a project to teach go to all students, for two months the students had go lessons, and “We also offered workshops after the regular classes, where students had access to the game of go throughout the school year.”
Tuesday June 12, 2012
Due to some technical issues, the American Go Association Go Database (AGADB) is currently offline. The AGA Ratings Database is still online and updated through June 3. We apologize for any inconvenience and will keep you updated about when the AGAGD will be back online.