Sunday November 6, 2011
Sixteen-year-old Van Tran spent two weeks in South Korea at the Lee Sedol Baduk Academy earlier this year and sent the E-Journal his report, which will appear over the next few weeks. The high school junior lives in the Houston suburb of Spring, Texas, has been playing for two and a half years and is “about 3 dan.”
July 5: Today is my first day of Go School. This is a very weird experience. I can’t understand anything that other people are saying, but somehow I feel like I have learned a lot about go today. The Koreans are very strong and I like the general Korean style that most people play. They like thickness very much and they like to fight aggressively. It amazes me how dedicated these kids are to go. Every day they have formal go study for 12 hours and then when they get back ome they study until 11PM when they go to sleep. Most of the people here my age are 9-dan and are aspiring professionals. It surprises me the gap in skill between a 9-dan and a 1-dan professional. There are even some 9-dans that aren’t inseis because they are weaker than the other 9-dans. There are many 9-dans who are very strong, but only a few become professional every year. A bit of food for thought is that these kids are able to give their all just for a small chance of becoming a professional. They seem to live in a closed world of go. If they have free time they study go and they eat while they look at top go player’s statistics for “fun.” I lost all my games today even though I am playing with their very young students.
July 6: I woke up today with a terrible backache from sleeping on the floor. There are about 20 kids who are all exceptional at go staying in the headmaster’s apartment. They are all 3-dan and higher. Though most of them are 9-dans, the lowest-ranked out of the Koreans is a little kid I think about 6 who is a solid 3-dan. I have started to specialize my study in Korean Go to hangmae, a Korean technique which means the flow of stones. I find it to be somewhat similar to tesuji which applies many odd fighting shapes. It really helps with fighting and simplifies reading because hangmae acts as a bookmark leading to a favorable result. Today I lost all my games as well. It‘s a bit frustrating to lose all your games to little kids. To be continued next week…
Photo: Headmaster playing a serious go game with a student.
Sunday October 30, 2011
Challenger Yamashita Keigo 9P (at right) won the Meijin title match last Friday, taking the title from defending Meijin Iyama Yuta 9P in six games. After Yamashita went up 3-1 in the seven-game match, Iyama was in a tight position. He successfully defended a kadoban (match-deciding game) in Game 5 to bring the score back to 3-2, but faced another one in Game 6. Iyama Yuta’s fans hoped that he’d be able to stage a fight-back and defend the title but their hope was short-lived after Yamashita neatly wrapped up the series with a 3.5 point win as white on October 28. The final score for the series was 4-2. Yamashita Keigo now holds the Japanese Honinbo and Meijin titles simultaneously. Just the seventh player to do so, he joins Sakata Eio, Rin Kaiho, Ishida Yoshio, Cho Chikun, Cho U and Takao Shinji in the history books.
- Jingning; based on her original article: Yamashita Keigo wins 36th Meijin at Go Game Guru.
Photo: Yamashita Keigo, Honinbo Meijin.
Friday October 28, 2011
Deadline for registering for the 10th World Student’s GO OZA Championship is this Sunday, October 30. The Student’s Oza takes place in Tokyo, Japan February 27 to March 2. Founded in 2003, the tournament is for students throughout the world, and is organized by students. University/college students under the age of 30 can participate in the preliminary rounds on Pandanet, which start on November 6. Click here to register “It was an exciting event and an enjoyable trip,” says Yue Zhang 7D from Ohio, who played in the 9th World Student’s GO OZA Championship. Click here for results from the last event. The championship is organized and sponsored by the All-Japan Students GO Association, Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Pandanet and the Nihon Ki-in.
Monday October 24, 2011
Japanese American high school students are invited to apply with the Japanese Consulate for a free trip to Japan. “I would like to introduce an invitation program for Japanese-American students by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan to you. This program invites Japanese-American students to Japan, and promotes mutual understanding between younger generations of both countries through 10 days stay in Japan,” Consul Yanagida of the Japanese Consulate in Denver, announced. Five students from all over the United States will be invited from March 9th to 20th, 2012. American high-school students whose ancestral origins are in Japan can apply to this program. For details, see the Consulate webpage. Residents of any state can apply, but should do so to their local consulates, which are listed here. The deadline is November 30th. - Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.
Saturday October 15, 2011
The 2nd Bingsheng Cup came and went this week and Park Jieun 9P chalked up another international win. The Bingsheng Cup is a competition for the strongest female go players worldwide. First held last year, the tournament takes place at Qionglong Mountain, Suzhou, China and is also called the Qionglong Cup by some people. China, Japan and Korea, of course, fielded strong teams. However, being a truly international competition, competitors from other regions were also able to qualify. North America was represented by the USA’s Feng Yun 9P, who runs the Feng Yun Go School in New Jersey (she won the North American qualifier tournament for the Bingshen by defeating Yinli Wang 6D; Cathy Li 1P lost to Feng Yun by forfeit in the final on September 28. ). Joanne Missingham 5P once again played for Oceania and Natalaia Kovaleva 5D for Europe. Unfortunately all three of these players were knocked out in the first round and Missingham wasn’t able to repeat her impressive feat from the 1st Bingsheng Cup. In last year’s tournament Missingham fought all the way to the final, only losing to Korea’s Park Jieun 9P. This year, Park eventually faced China’s Tang Yi 2P in the final on October 13, 2011, but once again Park was too strong.
Feng Yun 9P’s game is below. More games and photos are available in Go Game Guru’s 2nd Bingsheng Cup report.
- Jingning; based on her original article at Go Game Guru. Photos: Left; Yu Zhiying 2P (left) plays Feng Yun 9P. Right; Park Jieun 9P in the final.
Sunday September 25, 2011
An otherwise normal game in the main tournament of the 39th Myeongin has become a sensation. This is because amateur go player, Cho Insun 7D, just turned pro under the Korean Baduk Association’s new points system. On September 20, 2011, Cho Insun began his Myeongin game with Park Jeonggeun 4P in more or less the usual way. However, he knew that if he won the game he would be allowed to turn professional. And so did everyone else. Despite the pressure and anticipation of others, Cho played an excellent game, grabbing a win as well as the points he needed to take his tally to the crucial number, 100. Under the new system, amateur players can accumulate points for performing well in the professional tournaments that allow amateurs to qualify and compete. Some examples of these are the LG Cup, the Samsung Cup and, of course, the Myeongin. Cho is the first player to reach 100 points under this system and become pro. Perhaps his story will inspire other aspiring amateurs worldwide? Congratulations Cho Insun 1P.
See Cho Insun’s game and join the discussion at Go Game Guru.
- Jingning; based on her original article at Go Game Guru. Photo: Cho Insun 1P.
Tuesday September 20, 2011
Piao Wenyao 9P won the 13th Ahan Tongshan Cup yesterday, defeating Chen Yaoye 9P in the final (on September 20, 2011). The Ahan Tongshan Cup is a rapid tournament in China, which is also sometimes referred to as the Agon Cup, because it shares a sponsor with the Japanese Agon-Kiriyama Cup. The time allowed for play is slightly unusual, with players receiving 30 seconds per move and 10 x 60 second byo yomi periods. The byo yomi can be used if the players need more than 30 seconds on a particular move. Those who follow professional go may recall that Piao also won the 15th LG Cup, in February 2011.
- Jingning; based on her original article: Piao Wenyao defeats Chen Yaoye to win 13th Ahan Tongshan Cup on Go Game Guru. Photo: Piao Wenyao 9P reviews the final game.
Monday September 19, 2011
Those who have attended Congresses will be familiar with seeing top board games computer projected onto a large screen, relayed to on-line audiences around the world. Many more people will have played on-line. A new go server aims at these online fans. The Kaya Go Server aims to improve accessibility, especially for newcomers, by making it simple to play in a web browser. There is also an emphasis on making community features readily available. For details there’s an interesting interview with Kaya’s lead developer, Gabriel Benmergui , a leading Argentine player, as well as comments in Finnish champion Anntii Törmänen’s blog and there’s also overall information on on-line go servers.
- Bob Gilman
Sunday September 18, 2011
Want to win a free trip to the SportAccord World Mind Games in Beijing this December? Enter the brand-new SportAccord World Mind Games Online Tournament for your chance at the trip! Registration is now open for the tournament, which will be held on the Internet Go Server (IGS) under the auspices of SportAccord, supported by Samsung and Rado and organized by the International Go Federation and Pandanet. The winner of this all-amateur event will be invited to observe the first SportAccord World Mind Games (SAWMG), scheduled for December 8-17 in Beijing (RANKA online will present reports and up-to-date news from the venue on game results and other items). SportAccord will provide an SAWMG entry ticket, round-trip airfare, local transportation and accommodations. In addition, the Online Tournament winner will be presented with a medal during the SAWMG official banquet. Registrants must be amateurs and members of an association affiliated with the IGF (or recognized by such an association), must be able to communicate in English by email, and must play all tournament games on IGS. The tournament will run from early October to mid November. Click here for application information and forms.