Monday November 28, 2011
The first SportAccord World Mind Games will be held December 8-16 in Beijing, China. The multi-sport event is intended to highlight the value of mind sports and features five games: bridge, chess, draughts (checkers), go and xiangqi (Chinese Chess). The SAWMG go tournament includes teams from China, Chinese Taipei, Europe, Japan, Korea and the U.S. The U.S. team (right), captained by Andy Okun, includes Feng Yun 9P, Mingjiu Jiang 7P, Ke Huang 7d, Jie Li 7d and Andy (Zhijuan) Liu 7d. Ranka Online will be covering the event, and you can also follow it on YouTube’s mindgameschannel.
Sunday November 27, 2011
Pair Go is proud of its inter-generational appeal. Many young children, elderly players and all ages in-between are drawn to the handicap tournaments staged with the annual International Pair Go Championships, which recently took place in Tokyo (Koreans Win Pair Go Championships). For a number of years, the oldest player has been Ms. Imayo Matsuyo, who turned 90 this year and hails from Ehime prefecture on the island of Shikoku. Longtime go journalist and E-Journal contributor John Power had a chance to interview her between rounds.
EJ: What age were you when you learned go?
EJ: How often and where do you usually play? On the Net?
IM: No I can’t get the hang of computers. I play twice a week at a local go club.
EJ: What is your rank now?
IM: The female rankings are a little more generous than the male. I’d be about 3-dan in the male rankings.
EJ: What is the appeal of go to you?
IM: Being able to play with my son once a year. My daughter-in-law doesn’t mind my stealing him for go tournaments. Playing with him, I feel that I’m improving all the time. By the way, my go club team became the Ehime representative in the Nenrinpikku [a festival of a wide range of sports for players 60 and over] and took first place.
Read more about Ms. Matsumoto’s “Memories of Pair Go” in her essay submitted to last year’s 20th Anniversary Pair Go Prize Essays competition, available in English translation on the Panda Net HP. Also available online are essays by Thomas Hsiang (U.S.), Tony Atkins (U.K.), Kirsty Healey & Matthew Macfadyen (U.K.) and more.
Wednesday November 23, 2011
The Korean team of Kim HeeSue and Lee Hoseung (photo) won the 22nd annual International Amateur Pair Go Championships, held November 19-20 in Tokyo. The U.S. team — Roxanne Tam and Yuan Zhou (left) — finished 25th place with a 2-3 record. The U.S. pair “are disappointed, but determined to come back someday and produce a better result,” reports AGA President Allan Abramson, who was a guest official at the event. Click here for results and game records.
Sunday November 20, 2011
Korea has a new Kuksu in town. On November 16, Cho Hanseung 9P defeated Choi Cheolhan 9P in the deciding game of the 55th Kuksu title match. The two players exchanged blows in a five game series, in which black won every time. Cho finally triumphed, winning the series 3-2. The Kuksu is the most prestigious of the domestic Korean titles. The word corresponds to the Chinese characters (国手, guoshou), which literally mean ‘national hand’, but translate loosely to something more like ‘national treasure’. This is Cho Hanseung’s first Kuksu title. He gained early discharge from compulsory military service after winning a gold medal for Korea in the 2010 Asian Games. Some say that since leaving the army he’s been stronger than ever…
- Jingning; based on her original article: Cho Hanseung wins 55th Kuksu in Korea. Photo: Cho Hanseung 9P.
Wednesday November 9, 2011
Rumors of Ishi Press founder Richard Bozulich’s death, as Mark Twain once said, have turned out to be greatly exaggerated. Bozulich was indeed hospitalized, sources tell the E-Journal, “but he is at home and OK now.” In an email to Teddy Terpstra, Bozulich reported that “Although I was in the hospital for some surgery and experienced a minor glitch, I did survive. My ‘biographer’ did not wait around for the final prognosis and jumped to the conclusion that I had expired.” A clearly amused Bozulich signed off “Best regards from beyond the crypt,” with assurances that “I hope to be around for another 15 years or so.”
Monday November 7, 2011
Go Game Guru — an Australia-based go website featuring go news, commentaries and more — has just opened an online go shop. “We want to make it easier and more affordable for everyone to buy go books,” GGG founder David Ormerod says. The GGG Go Shop catalogue currently includes two dozen popular Kiseido titles “and we have a go book competition to celebrate the opening of the shop,” Ormerod — a frequent contributor to the E-Journal — says. “If things go well we have plans for equipment, merchandise and on-demand video,” Ormerod adds. “We’ll also expand the number of locations we can ship from to continue reducing postage costs for everyone.” GGG first trialed the go bookshop idea back in June and Ormerod says “Our goals haven’t changed since then. Basically everything we’re doing is aimed at either introducing go to new players or helping existing players get stronger.” Ormerod adds that “Go Game Guru is still something of an experiment. Younggil and I started it based on the idea that you could build a self sustaining business around promoting go globally. We don’t ask for donations for this project, because then we’d be competing with go associations. If people want to donate money or time towards promoting go, I’d really encourage them to get involved with their local go association.” Ormerod says that GGG is an attempt to “build a business that provides useful services to the community and uses profits to promote go in online and traditional media – working with existing promoters like go associations.” Ormerod freely admitts that “Nobody really knows whether this theory will work — and there are very mixed opinions among people I know – (but) what we’re really trying to do is test the theory and find out (if it works).”
Monday November 7, 2011
Reports of the death of Richard Bozulich (at left), Ishi Press founder and the father of the English-language go publishing industry, began circulating on the Internet last Saturday. Originating from a post on GoGameGuru, the report of Bozulich’s death at 75 quickly spread across Twitter and other social media and became a focus of discussion on Lifein19x19. The GoGameGuru post was based on an extensive obituary emailed to GGG which was marked “Special to the Japan Times,” however, we have been unable thus far to either find the obit on the Times website or independently confirm Bozulich’s death through our sources in Japan. Stay tuned for further updates as more information becomes available.
photo: Richard Bozulich (at left) with Neville Smythe, President of the Australian Go Association (center) and go writer John Power at the 2008 World Amateur Go Championships; photo by John Pinkerton.
Sunday November 6, 2011
The finalists for the 16th Samsung Cup were set on November 3. Won Seongjin 9P defeated Chen Yaoye 9P and Gu Li 9P eliminated Na Hyun 1P (a day earlier) in the quarter finals. The Samsung Cup quarter finals are played as a best of three match, rather than a straight knockout. Gu Li taught young talent Na Hyun a thing or two, defeating him in two straight games. Meanwhile, Won Seongjin and Chen Yaoye fought it out to the bitter end. Their third game was a 355 move epic, featuring numerous interesting moves and ko fights. This sets the stage for a China vs Korea final, which will surely be please the sponsor. The final will start on December 6, 2011. Check the Pro Go Calendar for details on the Samsung Cup and other tournaments as they’re added.
- David Ormerod; based on his original article: Gu Li to face Won Seongjin in 16th Samsung Cup final (which includes game records and more photos).
Photo: Won Seongjin 9P (left) counts the second game with Chen Yaoye 9P.
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.