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Park Younghun Wins 12th Maxim Cup

Monday April 11, 2011

On April 7 2011, Park Younghun 9P won the 12th Maxim Cup, beating Lee Changho 9P by half a point in the second match. Park won the first match several weeks ago (March 21), and with two wins he took the best of three title.

Two masters of endgame

Both Lee and Park are famous for their accurate counting and endgame skills. Go fans used to say that if Park and Lee played and the winning margin was half a point, the winner would be Lee. However, now people say that if the winning margin is half a point, the winner will be Park.

In November last year Park also won the Korean Myeongin (Korea’s equivalent of the Japanese Meijin).

The Maxim Cup

The Maxim Cup is a rapid Korean domestic tournament for 9 dan players only. This year, the tournament was held on the beautiful Jeju Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is popular with tourists.

Stone Babushkas?

Lee was accompanied by his wife and, prior to the match, revealed that the couple were very happy and plan on having two or three children. Given that Lee’s nickname as a Go player is “Stone Buddha”, perhaps the little ones could be called the “Stone Babushkas”? Before you ask, there was no mention of whether the children would learn Go.

After the match, a reporter asked Lee how he felt about losing his dominance of the baduk world after more than two decades. Lee was non-plussed, and replied that he did not mind as long as he could still play a good and interesting game.

- Jingning; based on her original report at Go Game Guru, which includes more pictures and game records.

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Park Jieun Wins Jeongganjang Cup

Monday April 4, 2011

In a much anticipated match between two of the strongest women go players in the world, Park Jieun 9P defeated Rui Naiwei 9P by resignation in the final round of the 9th Jeongganjang Cup on March 28. Rui was the favorite going into the final game, defeating all three of her challengers in the previous rounds. In the end it came down to the last two remaining players from China and Korea and Team Korea prevailed, pulling out a remarkable victory in this historic tournament.
- JustPlayGo; edited by Jake Edge

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Zhuang Sweeps World Youth Qualifier

Monday April 4, 2011

Dark horse candidate Vincent Zhuang 5d pulled off a surprise victory in the World Youth Go Qualifier this past weekend on KGS.  Zhuang, who is 14, only narrowly made it to the finals at all.  A last -minute change in the age requirements by the Ing Foundation disqualified two older players with better records, allowing only kids under 16 next August to compete. Interestingly, the AGHS Young Lions Tourney in November of last year foreshadowed this result, with Zhuang beating two of the same finalists who would compete in this year’s WYGC qualifier. On Saturday, April 2, Zhuang got off to a great start by defeating Hugh Zhang 7d, who was the top seed in the four player double elimination finals.  Next he took down Andrew Lu 6d, eking out a 1.5 point win in a complicated fighting game.  Round 3 saw Lu knocking out Zhang, and set the stage for the finals the following day.  With everything on the line, Zhuang and Lu went at it Sunday morning.  They played at a break-neck pace, despite having an hour each, with neither willing to give an inch as the game exploded into heavy fighting again.  Zhuang carved out large territories on the right and left sides, and sacrificed a center group, to pull ahead and win the game.  His victory will carry him all the way to Romania, where he will represent the US in the WYGC.  In the Junior Division (under 12) nine-year-old Jeremy Chiu 1k upset some apple carts in his own right, knocking out Sammy Zhang 2d, and setting the stage for a showdown with 8-year-old Aaron Ye 3d, who is undefeated in the event.  As both players live in the Bay Area, their final matches will be played in person, at the BAGPA ratings tourney on Saturday the 9th. - Paul Barchilon, EJ Youth Editor.

Japan Disaster Relief Update (updated 4/3)

Sunday April 3, 2011

(updated with details on the 4/23 NYC tourney and a PayPal account for the Kansai Kiin) “Many go players and clubs have asked where they could send money for disaster relief in Japan,” reports American Go Association President Allan Abramson. “For example, New York City go organizer Boris Bernadsky and other New York players are planning an April 23 Tsunami Relief Tournament to raise funds for relief, and next week’s NOVA Cherry Blossom tournament also will be dedicated to disaster relief.”

“For direct donations, here is what I have learned so far,” Abramson tells the E-Journal:

The Kansai Kiin has a disaster relief fund. Bank name: The Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ,  Kawaramachi Branch (Branch Code:003); Account No.: Ordinary Account 311018, Account Name: Kansaikiin. You can also now donate via PayPal: kochi@Kansaikiin.jp

Pandanet also has a disaster relief fund: Bank: Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation; Branch: Marunouchi Branch (Branch Code: 245); Account Number: 1441312; Swift Code:  SMBC JP JT

The Nippon Foundation has two ways to contribute: through the Sasakawa Peace Foundation (http://www.spfusa.org/care.htm) or directly through the Nippon Foundation. It may be necessary to have routing/Swift numbers for the two banks, and these have been requested for U.S. donations and will be posted as soon as they’re available.

Mexican Youth Sponsor Contest

Sunday April 3, 2011

Mexico is hard at work on developing a serious go community among kids, an effort led by Siddhartha Avila, a teacher at Pipiolo Art School in Mexico City. “Last December we organized an open tournament for children, and 37 kids participated from 4 different schools, ” reports Avila, ” those 37 kids are 90% of the youth go players for the whole country.”  Avila’s group, Comunidad Mexicana de Go Infantil y Juvenil, are sponsoring an international art contest for kids to help boost the community.  More information, including an application, can be found here. Go among kids is “growing faster than with adults, where the national tournaments haven’t had more than 40 players ever,” said Avila. “It’s ok to promote go among adults, but I seriously believe that the key for go development at this moment is working with children and taking it to a national level.”  The Mexican kids are playing internationally too, having entered three teams in the recently-concluded AGHS School Team Tourney, and even scoring a bronze medal in the intermediate division.  Avila’s students have become regulars at the monthly Tiger’s Mouth tournaments as well, which are sponsored by the AGF.
- Paul Barchilon, EJ Youth Editor

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Lee Sedol, Park Junghwan, Heo Yeongho & Gu Li Make BC Card Cup Semifinals

Sunday April 3, 2011

The quarterfinals of the 3rd BC Card Cup concluded on April 3 with Gu Li 9P defeating Kim Jiseok 8P. In other quarterfinal results, Park Junghwan 8P defeated Zhou Ruiyang 5P, Lee Sedol 9P defeated Chen Yaoye 9P and Heo Yeongho 8P defeated Zhong Wenjing 5P, leaving Gu as the only Chinese player in the semi finals, facing off against three Korean players.

In the semifinals, Lee will play Park and Heo will play Gu, setting up a possible Lee versus Gu final.

An interview with Lee Sedol

Below is an excerpt from a television interview with Lee after his quarterfinal win against Chen.

“This was a very intense game. Did you prepare for it?”
“No special preparation but I did want to dictate the direction of play to avoid too much fighting in the opening. While I did manage to avoid too much fighting in the opening, I wasn’t too pleased with my play today. My opening was not very good.”

“And the ko in the lower part of the board?”
“At the time I thought the ko would be very difficult under normal circumstances. However, even after I won the ko, the situation did not improve much for me.”

“I heard you and your family have taken up hiking?”
“Yes, we have been before. Now that spring has come, I’m looking forward to hiking more often with my family.”

“You will play Park Junghwan 9P next in the semi final. Is Park your preferred opponent?”
“Definitely not. Park is a very good player, very difficult to beat. It will be a very tough game. But, if I prepare well, I believe I can win.”

- Jingning; based on her original report at Go Game Guru, which includes more pictures and some game records. Also see: Commentary: Kim Jiseok vs Gu Li 3rd BC Card Cup

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Michael Redmond 9P Reports from Japan

Monday March 28, 2011

“It is fortunate that Japanese people seem not to be inclined to show their stress and frustration in violent acts,” reports Michael Redmond 9P — who’s just been confirmed as a participating professional in this year’s U.S. Go Congress — from his home in Japan outside Tokyo. “Instead people did hit the stores with heavy shopping, stockpiling basic foods such as rice, milk, bottled water, etc. Most of these are back in the stores now, but water is still difficult to get.

“After the quake there was a local gas shortage including the Kanto (Tokyo) area as well as the earthquake-damaged northeast. In the damaged areas the problem was compounded by difficulty in the logistics of getting it there. Since the victims in the disaster area need fuel to keep warm and to evacuate they will be helped first, and we will be waiting a bit longer for the gasoline to arrive. Apart from the logistics, the gas shortage is caused by the fact that some important gas depots/refineries were hit by the tsunamis that attacked the whole Pacific coast. The earthquake damage was not so bad actually, but the tsunami was off the expected scale and nothing could stop it. Gas stations in my area, which have been closed since the  earthquake hit, re-opened last Sunday. They apparently are getting gas and other necessities to the disaster areas now also.

“Since the nuclear energy plant has shut down, there’s obviously also a shortage of electric energy in northern Japan, not including Hokkaido, and we are subjected to scheduled power cutoffs. I’m not sure how far south this goes, but it’s at least as far as
Tokyo. The main inconvenience caused by the power cutoffs is that the trains are limited, in my case making travel to Tokyo less easy than usual.

“As to the go scene, people didn’t know about the power cutoffs or that the trains would slow down until March 14, so there were games as scheduled on that day, and some players didn’t manage to arrive in time and lost by forfeit. They postponed the March 17 games in Tokyo. Games were played on schedule on 3/24 and after, though some events have been postponed. Supposedly things will return close to normal next month.”
A boy waits in a line in front of a gas station in Kamaishi, northern Japan Monday, March 14, 2011 following the March 11 massive earthquake and tsunami. (AP Photo/Asahi Shimbun, Naoko Kawamura)

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WORLD GO NEWS ROUND-UP March 22-28: Iyama Yuta Evens the Judan; Park Yeonghun Takes Game 1 in Maxim Cup Final

Monday March 28, 2011

Iyama Yuta Evens the Judan. In the second round of the 49th Judan final on March 24, Iyama Yuta 9P tied the series 1-1 by defeating Cho U 9P by resignation. The third round will be played on April 7th. Park Yeonghun Takes Game 1 in Maxim Cup Final. In the first round of the 12th Maxim Cup final on March 21, Park Yeonghun 9P (l in photo) defeated Lee Changho 9P (r) by resignation. The Maxim Cup final is a best of three series and the second game will be played on April 7th.
- JustPlayGo; edited by Jake Edge

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Park Jieun and team Korea win 9th Jeongganjang Cup

Monday March 28, 2011

The 9th Jeongganjang Cup ended today with a final showdown between Rui Naiwei 9P (playing for China) and Park Jieun 9P of Korea.

Rui resigned after 160 moves, but not before plenty of middle game excitement. With this, the Korean women’s baduk team have won their fourth Jeongganjang Cup. Last week Rui stood alone against four Korean opponents and managed to fight her way to Park in a three game streak. Unfortunately for Rui she fell just short of making it four wins (in four days) and taking the Cup back for China.

Rui Naiwei (left) and Park Jieun review the game

A special mention needs to go to Moon Dowon 2P, who set a new record by winning seven consecutive matches in stage one of this tournament. Moon single handedly eliminated most of the Japanese and Chinese teams, setting things up nicely for Korea.

The whole story: 9th Jeongganjang Cup

There’s been quite a lot written by the Go blogging community about this particular tournament. Here is An Younggil’s commentary of the 9th Jeongganjang Cup final (this game). And here are some of Go Game Guru‘s other articles about the 9th Jeongganjang Cup.

To highlight some other Go bloggers and let you enjoy the story as it unfolded, here are some links that you might be interested in:

- David Ormerod; a condensed version of his full report on Go Game Guru

Go Players Rally Support for Japan

Monday March 21, 2011

BELGIANS LAUNCH “GO4JAPAN”: A go club in Belgium has “switched our upcoming tournament to a support rally for the people of Japan” in the wake of the recent earthquake/tsunami, reports local organizer Joost Vannieuwenhuyse. “Already countries like Germany, Spain and Czechia are thinking about, or planning to host similar events,” Vannieuwenhuyse tells the E-Journal. Hoping to make this “a global initiative in the go-playing community,” the Belgium club has launched a Facebook page under the name “GO4 Japan” where others who want to organize their own local events can communicate and coordinate efforts. “Our club, as well as the organization of the Basel tournament in Switzerland will be giving all the registration fees from our tournament to the Japanese Red Cross Society,”adds Vannieuwenhuyse, suggesting that “It would be nice to also see some events there that take place in the US.” “I hope this way we, as go-players, can give back some support, no matter how big or small, to a country that meant and still means so much for this hobby, passion, life of ours. And to offer at least some relief to the people who are suffering from this ongoing disaster.”
ISRAEL HOSTS JAPAN SUPPORT TOURNEY ON MARCH 30: : An “Identifying day with Japan” has been organized for Wednesday, March 30th in Rosh HaAyin, Israel. The home of both current and previous Israeli go champions, Rosh HaAyin’s mayor joined the effort “with enthusiasm,” reports Shavit Fragman, President of the Mind chain of go clubs in Israel. Money collected at tournament will be delivered to the Japanese embassy, and the event will also include a Tree of Wishes, origami crane folding — in Japan, it’s commonly said that folding 1000 paper origami cranes makes a wish come true — and lectures about Japanese culture and the recent disasters in that country.
UK YOUTH EVENT RAISES £150 FOR JAPAN RELIEF: At the just-concluded Youth Championships in Oxfordshire, England, £150 — the result of a collection, together with the proceeds from the event– was sent to the Red Cross Japan Tsunami Appeal.