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News from the Shanghai Go Camp

Monday July 11, 2011

Antonio Egea has reported back from the Shanghai Go Camp, which is currently underway in China. After two weeks of daily go training, at Shanghai International Studies University, the participants are ready for their next challenge. “It looks like the tough part will start now,” says Egea, “we are going to Hangzhou to receive training with the local go students.” Participants have also had time for some sight-seeing. They’ve visited The Bund – a world famous section of Zhongshan Road in Shanghai – and also  Zhou Zhuang, which Egea describes as “a Venice-like city”.

Based on Antonio’s report, direct from Shanghai Go Camp at Go Game Guru. Photo: Go Camp participants enjoy dinner together at a hot pot restaurant.

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Lee Sedol Adds Chunlan Cup to His Trophy Case

Sunday July 3, 2011

Korea’s Lee Sedol 9P (l) has added the Chunlan Cup to his already stuffed trophy case. Lee had never won the Chunlan before and the 8th annual edition – a best-of-three international tournament — began June 27 with Lee defeating China’s Xie He 7P by resignation after a hard fight. Xie, playing black, evened the score on June 29 in a second-round game that’s already been the subject of much discussion because the players created a new pattern in the top right, starting with Lee’s move 18. Lee held white again in the deciding match on June 30. Despite losing Game Two, he tried the new move again and his perseverance paid off as he won the game and the tournament. Lee now adds his first win in the Chunlan Cup to his already impressive record.

For those interested in the new joseki, see An Younggil’s Game 3 commentary.

- Jingning, based on her original reports on the 8th Chunlan Cup at Go Game Guru.

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MyGoFriend Program Ties Top Pro

Sunday June 26, 2011

The MyGoFriend program scored a 2-2 result against Kim Young Sam 8P in a June 16 9×9 exhibition match played during the recent Kido Cup in Hamburg, Germany and broadcast live on KGS. MyGoFriend – a Gold Medal winner at the 15th Computer Olympiad that employs state of the art Monte Carlo algorithms  — won the first two games and Kim Young Sam 8P the last two. While MyGoFriend officially lost the final game on time, due to connection issues, the position was evaluated as unclear or better for MyGoFriend. Click here for the complete report, videos, photos and game records.

GO SPOTTING: Yojiro Takita’s New Film

Saturday June 25, 2011

Yojiro Takita’s next film has an interesting historical connection to the game of go. Takita (r) – who won an Oscar in 2009 for Okuribito (Departures) – is adapting the novel ‘Tenchi Meisastsu,’ about a 17th century astronomer and mathematician. The film is an adaptation of To Ubukata’s novel of the same name, based on the life of Shibukawa, who later took on the name of his father, champion go player Yasui Santetsu, first head of the Yasui house. The novel has won literary awards in Japan on its way to selling 380,000 copies. It was published by Kadokawa, which is collaborating with Shochiku on the movie. Tenchi Meisastsu — which roughly translates as “insights into the universe” — is being shot at Shochiku’s Kyoto studio until the middle of August, and is slated for an autumn 2012 release.
- based on Gavin J. Blair’s story in The Hollywood Reporter, with thanks to Ramon Mercado for spotting the reference.

Categories: Go Art,Go Spotting,World
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U.S. to Send Team to Sport Accord Mind Games in December

Monday June 20, 2011

The American Go Association has been invited to send a team to the Sport Accord Mind Games in December in Beijing. “We’re very excited to have the opportunity to participate in such a prestigious event, and look forward to it with great anticipation,” said AGA President Allan Abramson. Six teams will play in the December 8-17 tournament in Beijing: China, Japan, Kore, Chinese Taipei (representing Asia-Pacific), the U.S. (representing the Americas) and the European Union (representing Europe). Each team will have five members, with at least one female, and there are two medals: team and pair go. The U.S. team selection process will consist of inviting 16 AGA players with 6.0+ rating, including at least two female players, and four CGA players. A 5-round qualifier tournament will be held July 10-12, July 13-16, July 17-20, July 21-23, and July 24-26. Email tournaments@usgo.org for complete SAMG qualifier details and requirements or to register; include your commitment to play in the full qualifier and to travel to Beijing in December. Registration deadline is 8p EST on July 4. Prizes include $10,000-80,000 (USD) for teams and $2,000-12,000 (USD) for pair go. Each team is guaranteed at least the minimum amount. For all players, airfare, hotel, meals, and local transportation are sponsored by Sport Accord. Click here to stay tuned for more details.

LG Cup Yields More Surprises

Saturday June 18, 2011

The 16th LG Cup has continued to defy the predictions of go fans, creating a very interesting tournament going into the quarter finals. As we mentioned last week, Lee Sedol 9P, Gu Li 9P and Kong Jie 9P were all knocked out in the first round of the main tournament. Round two took place on June 15, 2011. Piao Wenyao 9P – the defending LG Cup champion – was eliminated by rising Korean star Kim Jiseok 7P. Some readers may remember Kim Jiseok’s explosive play against Gu Li in the BC Card Cup. Many are expecting Kim, who turned 22 last week, to break through on the international stage any day now. Qiu Jun 8P and Xie He 7P also defeated Choi Cheolhan 9P and Park Younghun 9P respectively.

Meanwhile the anticipated game between Iyama Yuta 9P and Lee Changho 9P concluded with Lee’s convincing win in 102 moves. The eight players who made it to the quarter finals are: Qiu Jun 8P, Jiang Weijie 5P and Xie He 7P of China. Kim Jiseok 7P, Won Seongjin 9P, Lee Changho 9P and Heo Youngho 9P of Korea. And Chen Shiyuan 9P of Taiwan. Of these eight, Lee is the only one with a solid track record in international tournaments, but he faces competition from a number of young and talented players to win this one.

Just to maintain the suspense, we’ll have to wait until November 2011 for the next two rounds to be played. The final will be in February 2012.

- Jingning; based on her original report on the 16th LG Cup at Go Game Guru. Photo: Lee Changho at the 16th LG Cup.

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WORLD GO NEWS ROUND-UP June 6-13: Go Seigen’s Birthday, Kong Jie Wins Asian TV Cup, LG Cup Begins

Monday June 13, 2011

This week living go legend, Go Seigen, turns 97. As many readers will know, Go is famous for his brilliant record in the newspaper sponsored jubango (ten game matches) of the 1930s-50s and his involvement in the Shin Fuseki (new opening) movement of the 1930s. According the Gregorian calendar, Go’s birthday was on June 12. However, if you missed it, his birthday according to the Chinese (lunar) calendar is on June 20 this year, so there is still an opportunity for those who wish to celebrate it.

In other news, Kong Jie 9P won the 23rd Asian TV Cup for the third year in a row. Kong defeated Yamada Kimio 9P of Japan and Baek Hongseok 8P of Korea to defend the Cup for China. A full report is available at Go Game Guru.

The 16th LG Cup has started in Seoul, Korea – with the first round being completed on June 13. Some notable results from this round include Park Younghun 9P defeating Lee Sedol 9P, Lee Changho 9P knocking out Gu Li 9P and Park Jungsang 9P eliminating Kong Jie 9P. This promises to be an exciting tournament, with the most anticipated game of round two being Lee Changho’s meeting with Iyama Yuta 9P of Japan. You can keep track of all the results and see the game records at Igokisen.

Photo: Go Seigen at the 6th Ing Cup in 2009, by Ho at Falling Stones.

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Eric Lui on the 2011 World Amateur Go Championship

Monday June 13, 2011

U.S. representative Eric Lui 7d placed third in the 2011 World Amateur Go Championship, the highest finish ever achieved by a U.S. player. Eric sent along this report on the tournament, as well as the exciting final-round game — with his comments — that clinched the 3rd-place win.
This year’s World Amateur Go Championship featured 57 players. The Japanese representative was 84-year-old Hirata Hironori who was playing in the WAGC for his eighth time, having won the tournament in 1995. The youngest player was 13-year-old C.H. Chan from Hong Kong, who is already well-known on KGS. The tournament venue was the Shimane Prefectural Assembly Hall, located right across from Matsue Castle, one of the last remaining medieval castles in Japan. Shimane is the birthplace of the great Honinbo Dosaku and Iwamoto Kaoru 9P.

[link]

The pairing system used prevented the top four seeded players (China, Korea, Japan, Chinese Taipei) from being paired together before Round 4. Several exciting matchups, including Romania vs. France and Chinese Taipei vs. Canada, occurred as early as Round 2. Since there were an odd number of players, a ‘Dummy’ player was introduced. Each round, the one player paired against ‘Dummy’ gained a free win and played a teaching game against a professional.

The stakes were high in my final-round match against the player from Chinese Taipei. Both of us had lost only to China and Korea, and the winner would finish in third place while the loser would drop to 8th. The game itself was very exciting and was the last of the round to finish. While any go player is familiar with the thrill of winning, there are no words to describe what it felt like for me to achieve this victory.
- Eric Lui (shown at right in photo, playing John Karlsson of Sweden)
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Baoxiang Bai of China Wins World Amateur Go Championship; U.S. Places Third

Monday June 6, 2011

On June 1 2011, China’s Baoxiang Bai (in photo at right) won the 32nd World Amateur Go Championship (WAGC) with a triumphant clean sweep of 8 wins. South Korea’s Woo Soo Choi finished in second place with an impressive 7 wins – losing only to Bai in round 5.  Arguably, Bai’s match with Choi in round 5 determined the winner of the tournament. Eric Lui of the U.S. claimed third place with 6 wins, the best-ever result for the U.S.

Interestingly enough, in last year’s 31st WAGC, China and Korea also met in round 5 to battle it out for the championship. Korea won last year’s championship (the 31st WAGC). Other than Choi, Bai also defeated Hirata of Japan (see below for a just-posted game commentary by An Younggil 8P of Go Game Guru on the game between Baoxiang Bai and Hironori Hirata), Wu of Chinese Taipei, Lui of the US, Rattanasetyut of Thailand, Burzo of Romania, Suponeu of Belarus, and Mezhov of Russia.

The rest of the top 10 are as follows: Thomas Debarre of France, Hironori Hirata of Japan, Jun Fan of Canada, Franz-Josef Dickhut of Germany, Tsung-Han Wu of Chinese Taipei, Gheorghe Cornel Burzo of Romania, and Merlijn Kuin of Netherlands.  The full results are available at EuroGoTV.
- Based on the report from Jingning at Go Game Guru; edited by Jake Edge

[Update: An Younggil 8P of Go Game Guru has commented the game between Baoxiang Bai (China) and Hironori Hirata (Japan) for E-Journal readers. The game record is below.]

[link]

World Amateur Go Championship: Rounds 6 & 7

Wednesday June 1, 2011

Round 6 began at 1:30pm on May 31 with China’s Baoxiang Bai and Chinese Taipei’s Tsung-han Wu squaring off. One of those two was about to lose his unbeaten status. Next to Bai and Wu, Korea’s Woo-soo Choi was paired against Poland’s Kamil Chwedyna (photo at right). One of those two players was about to lose his second game of the day, after four straight wins in the first half of the tournament. The Polish player drew white and placed his first three stones on the 9-10, 11-10, and 4-2 points, while the Korean occupied three corners.

On three other boards in the main playing room, Japan’s Hironori Hirata was playing Spain’s Joan Flos, Thailand’s Choltit Rattanasetyut was playing Vietnam’s Kanh Binh Do, and France’s Thomas Debarre was playing Eric Lui of the US. The winners of these games would still be very much in contention, provided one of them could manage to beat the winner of the Bai-Wu game.

In the outer playing area the Ukraine’s Mykhailo Halchenko had been drawn down against Romania’s Cornel Burzo. A win for the Ukranian would leave him in contention for the championship too. A win for the Romanian would mean a good chance at taking one of the top ten places, conditional on a strong performance tomorrow. Sixteen other players with 3-2 records were also playing for chances to finish in the top ten. With the stakes becoming increasingly clear, the pace of play slowed. Only a few games finished in less than two hours. Two of these ended in victories for Japan and Korea. At the two-hour ten-minute mark the Southeast Asian showdown between Thailand and Vietnam was also over, and in this game victory went to Thailand, by 9.5 points.

By this time a crowd of over thirty onlookers had gathered around the game between the unbeaten duo from China and Chinese Taipei, Baoxiang Bai and Tsung-han Wu. The situation on the board was becoming increasingly uncomfortable for Chinese Taipei, and after another ten minutes Wu resigned, leaving China’s Bai in undisputed first place, at least for the present.

Thomas Debarre and Eric Lui are both relatively slow players, and their game lasted longer. The winner was Eric Lui. His reward: a pairing against the Chinese player in round 7. In the outer playing area, the drawn-down game, another lengthy affair, was won by the drawn-up player, Cornel Burzo. Tomorrow he will first face Kanh Binh Do of Vietnam in a quest to restore Romania to a place in the top ten. In other pairings for round 7, Korea is matched against Chinese Taipei and Japan against Thailand.

Round 7: At 9:30am on June 1, chief referee Masaki Takemiya (standing in photo at left) gave the players a cheery greeting, followed by the formal call to choose colors and start play. As in round 6 the pace of play was generally slow, but three games in the outer playing area ended quickly. Franz-Josef Dickhut of Germany picked up his fifth win by beating Joan Flos of Spain in less than an hour. Next a nine-stone handicap game between Madagascar’s Manitra Razafindrabe and referee Yasuhiro Nakano ended. Both players won, Nakano on the go board, Razafindrabe by getting a bye in the tournament. Shortly afterward Costa Rica’s Mario Miguel Aguero Obanda scored his second win by beating India’s Sandeep Dave.

The first game finished in the main playing room was the match between Japan and Thailand. Thailand’s Choltit Rattanasetyut resigned at 10:40, giving Japan’s Hironori Hirata a sixth win and an assured pairing against Baoxiang Bai of China in the last round. A minute later, on a different board, Armenia’s Artak Margaryan 3k resigned against Azerbaijan’s Bahadur Tahirbayov 6D, and awhile later Zoran Mutabzja of Croatia lost to Mykhailo Halchenko of the Ukraine.  Andrius Petrauskas saw his hopes of gaining a first-ever top-ten finish for Lithuania dim considerably when he lost to Canada’s Jun Fan.

At 11:20 Israel’s Jonathan Lidor made one last attempt to resurrect a dead group, then resigned to Finland’s Mikko Siukola. Vietnam’s Kanh Binh Do chose to play out a long endgame, including a half-point ko, only to lose by a wide margin to Romania’s Cornel Burzo. Not many people witnessed these defeats, however. The spectators were massed at the front of the room where the games involving China, Korea, Chinese Taipei, and the US were proceeding.

In the China-US game, Eric Lui had been struggling without success to attack a large group in the center of the board. He was now playing in his last renewable 30-second time period, which he repeatedly used down to the last second or two, eliciting protracted beeps from his tournament clock. At 11:43 he resigned, and China’s Baoxiang Bai took a big stride closer to a world championship.

In the outer area Poland’s Kamil Chwedyna played the endgame from a standing position to win by 4.5 points against Singapore’s Xiang Zhang. At the other end of this area five armed samurai, a ninja, and two kimono-clad girls wearing hats and veils in the style of Matsue’s founding year, 1611, were posing for photographs. When the photography was finished, some of these medieval characters drifted into the main playing room, arriving in time to see Korea’s Woo-soo Choi win his game against Chinese Taipei’s Tsung-han Wu by 3.5 points.

In the last game to finish, France’s Thomas Debarre defeated Czechia’s Radek Nechanicky. In the final round the French and Thai players are paired together, as are the players from China and Japan, from Korea and Romania, and from Chinese Taipei and the US. And outside, the rain for which Matsue is also famous has let up again.
- James Davies, Ranka Online; edited by Jake Edge