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WORLD GO NEWS ROUND-UP February 22-28: Kong Jie’s slump continues; BC Card Cup 2nd round; Cho U takes Kisei lead; Piao Wenyao wins LG Cup; Rui Naiwei 1-0 in Female Kuksu; Park Yeonghun vs. Lee Changho in Maxim Cup; Zhou Hexi in Tianyuan finals

Monday February 28, 2011

Kong Jie’s slump continues. Kong Jie 9P suffered another loss on February 27 when Wang Lei 6P defeated him by resignation after only 103 moves in the quarterfinals of the 11th RICOH Cup. This loss eliminates Kong from the tournament and from defending his RICOH Cup title. BC Card Cup 2nd round.  There were no big surprises over the February 26-27 weekend in the second round of play in the 3rd BC Card Cup tournament. Of the 16 players left in the tournament, Korea enjoys a considerable advantage with 11 players going into the third round while China has only 5 players left in competition. This does not at all suggest that China is out of the picture. On the contrary, in the 1st BC Card Cup, China went into the third round with only four players and Gu Li 9P won the title 3-1 against Korea’s Cho Hanseung 9P. China remains strong with veteran Gu Li, Zhou Ruiyang 5P who is currently ranked #1 in Chinese rankings (as of December 31, 2010), and Chen Yaoye 9P. The third round will be begin on March 10th and continue through March 20th. Cho U takes Kisei lead. In the fifth round of the 35th Kisei title match, Cho U 9P defeated Iyama Yuta 9P by 2.5 points on February 25, taking a 3-2 lead in the series. With two rounds left to play, Cho is only one game away from winning the Kisei title for a second year in a row. Iyama, however, must win the remaining two games if he hopes to become the next Kisei. The sixth round will be played on March 10,11. Piao Wenyao wins LG Cup. In the second round of the 15th LG Cup final, held February 23, Piao Wenyao 9P (l in photo) defeated defending LG Cup champion Kong Jie 9P (r) by resignation, sweeping the series 2-0. This is Piao’s first international title win and his third title as a professional. Given this win according to the Chinese promotion system, Piao is now a 9 dan. Click here for both game records on GoGameGuru. Rui Naiwei 1-0 in Female Kuksu. In the first round of the 16th Female Kuksu title match, Rui Naiwei 9P defeated Kim Yunyoung 3P by resignation on February 22. Rui has won the Female Kuksu eight times and this is Kim’s first Kuksu title match. The second round of the three-game series will be played on March 8th. Park Yeonghun vs. Lee Changho in Maxim Cup. In the last semifinal round of the 12th Maxim Cup, held on February 22, Lee Changho 9P defeated Mok Jinseok 9P by resignation. Lee now advances to the Maxim Cup finals to face Park Yeonghun 9P who defeated Choi Cheolhan 9P in their semifinal match on February 21. With this win, Lee is keeping hopes alive that his present title-less state will soon be reversed. In order to do that, however, Lee will need to defeat Park who won the Maxim Cup title in 2008. The Maxim Cup is one title that has eluded Lee. In fact, this will be his first time competing in a Maxim Cup title match. Zhou Hexi in Tianyuan finals. In the final round of the 25th Tianyuan challenger decision match, held February 21, Zhou Hexi 4P defeated veteran Yu Bin 9P by 2.5 points. Zhou will now face defending Tianyuan champion Chen Yaoye 9P for the title.
- JustPlayGo; edited by Jake Edge

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WORLD GO NEWS ROUND-UP February 14-21: Piao Wenyao wins game 1 in Lg Cup final; Rui Naiwei wins the Female Myeongin; Cho U evens the Kisei; Xie Yimin wins Female Kisei

Monday February 21, 2011

Piao Wenyao wins game 1 in Lg Cup final. The 15th LG Cup final began on February 21 with two of China’s top players battling for the title. Piao Wenyao 9P won the first game in the three-game series, defeating Kong Jie 9P by resignation after only 123 moves. Kong is the defending LG Cup title holder. Piao, while not having many titles to his name, is still ranked fairly well (12th) among Chinese professionals and is looking for his first international title. Rui Naiwei wins the Female Myeongin. Rui Naiwei 9P (r in photo) successfully defended her title for a sixth straight year on February 18 by defeating Cho Hyeyeon 9P (l) in the third and final round of the the 12th Female Myeongin title match. She won the series 2-1. In the second round, on February 15, Cho defeated Rui by 7.5 points. This will be Rui’s tenth title win in the Female Myeongin since the tournament began in 2000. Her only loss was to Cho in 2004, which is the only time that Cho has won the title. Cho U evens the Kisei. In the fourth round of the 35th Kisei, held February 18, Cho U 9P evened the series to two games each by defeating Iyama Yuta 9P by half a point. The fifth round will be played on February 24-25. Xie Yimin wins Female Kisei. Xie Yimin 5P defeated Umezawa Yukari 5P in the second round of the 14th Female Kisei title match, winning the title 2-0. This is the second year in a row that Xie has won the Female Kisei. Note that the match was played on February 1 and made available (broadcast) on February 16.
- edited by Jake Edge from reports on JustPlayGo

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Rising Young “Tiger Cubs” Sharpen Claws at 25th Tianyuan

Monday February 21, 2011

Three young Chinese players who reached the Tianyuan semi-finals last week — Zhou Hexi 4P, Li Haojie 4P and Shi Yue 4P — are part of a group of rising young professionals that the Chinese media has affectionately dubbed “the tiger cubs generation.” The three cubs were joined in the semi-final by stalwart Yu Bin 9P. Yu, who has been the Chinese National Coach since 2009, is extremely pleased with the progress of the younger players. He says that the time is ripe for some of these younger players to make their breakthrough. According to Yu, these young guns are very adept in the game, especially in the middle game and endgame where they typically make fewer mistakes than their older counterparts. Yu says the young players can sometimes lack experience in direction of play and vision during the opening, and can sometimes have trouble adjusting psychologically to the intense competition. However, he goes on to say that the best way to combat these challenges is to play in more high profile games such as the upcoming semi finals. This year’s Tianyuan – the 25th — has been full of surprises, with some of the favorites, Gu Li, Kong Jie and Chang Hao all eliminated in the first round. The Tianyuan tournament is one of the major go tournaments on the Chinese domestic circuit, similar to the Chunwon tournament in Korea and Tengen tournament in Japan. All three tournaments use the same characters in their name, which can be roughly translated to “the origin of heaven.” Tianyuan is also the Chinese name of the center point of the go board. In the semi final, Zhou Hexi prevailed over Li Haojie. Shi Yue couldn’t overcome old hand Yu Bin, setting up a final between teacher Yu Bin and student Zhou Hexi.

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Update 2/21: In the final (r), Zhou Hexi defeated teacher Yu Bin. Yu, playing black, was winning for the first half of the game, but there was a reversal after black made an oversight in the top left corner. Zhou held on to the lead to win by 2.5 points. With this tournament win, Zhou becomes the challenger for the Tianyuan title and will take on Chen Yaoye in a three-game match. Chen, another young Chinese star who just turned 21 in December, has already proven himself in top tournament play. In 2009 he took the Tianyuan title from Gu Li and he held it successfully against Gu in 2010. Can he make it three in a row?
- Jing Ning; adapted from her original report on Go Game Guru

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Chen Zude 9P Battling Cancer Again

Monday February 21, 2011

The legendary Chen Zude 9P underwent a successful operation for pancreatic cancer last week, reports David Omerod of Go Game Guru. Chen, the current president of the Chinese Weiqi Association, was the first Chinese professional to become 9 dan after the introduction of professional ranks in China. “He is now recovering in hospital, where he has been visited by the Chinese Women’s Weiqi team,” Omerod tells the E-Journal. “He is in high spirits and intends to start playing weiqi again soon.” Credited with popularizing the Chinese fuseki, Chen also wrote a popular autobiography, ‘Beyond Self’, which was inspired by his first battle with cancer 30 years ago.

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Youth Go Championships

Sunday February 20, 2011

The United States Youth Go Championships will be held March 26 and 27, with finals on the first weekend in April.  The tournament will be held online, and will select the US representatives to the World Youth Goe Championships, in Bucharest, Romania.  The finals will also determine National Dan, Single Digit Kyu (SDK), and Double Digit Kyu (DDK) Champions. The winners will receive trophies, and prizes will be awarded in the following brackets: 5-7 dan 1-4 dan, 1-4 kyu, 5-9 kyu, 10-15 kyu, 16-20 kyu, 21-25 kyu, 26 and up kyu.  Contestants will be entered into a pool to receive $400 scholarships to  this year’s AGA Summer Youth Go Camp, courtesy of the AGF, 16 Scholarships will be awarded. The Junior Division is for youth 11 and under, the Senior Division is for youth under 18 as of August 1, 2011. Only US Citizens may enter the finals, residents may compete in the qualifier; the winners must be able to travel to Romania for the finals, August 12-19 (expenses are covered for the youth players, but not for parents).  To register, e-mail youth@usgo.org with your name, AGA #, date of birth, AGA rating, KGS ID, and citizenship.

WORLD GO NEWS ROUND-UP February 8-14: Choi Cheolhan wins the Kuksu; Did Lee Changho resign too early?; Cho U and Yamashita Keigo advance to NEC Cup final

Monday February 14, 2011

Choi Cheolhan wins the Kuksu. Choi Cheolhan 9P (l in photo) added yet another title to his growing list this year by defeating Lee Changho 9P (r) by resignation in the fourth round of the 54th Kuksu on February 14. Choi won the series 3-1. This also marks an unfortunate milestone for Lee Changho, who is currently without a title. It’s the first time since the late 1980s that Lee has not held a single title. Did Lee Changho resign too early? In the 24th Fujitsu Cup preliminaries on Februrary 9, Lee Changho 9P lost to Won Sungjin 9P by resignation in the first round of play, thus eliminating him from the main tournament. This will be the first time since 1994 that Lee Changho has not participated in the main tournament. The controversy surrounding this particular game is the question of whether Lee resigned too early. Cyberoro is reporting that pros who have analyzed the game believe that Lee should not have resigned and are puzzled with his decision. Others cite Lee’s precipitous slide in performance over the past year, among other things like his recent marriage, as an explanation. For further updates on the controversy, see the discussion at Life in 19×19. Cho U and Yamashita Keigo advance to NEC Cup final. In the 30th NEC Cup semifinals, Cho U 9P and Yamashita Keigo 9P both won their respective matches against Kono Rin 9P, current NEC title holder, and O Meien 9P. Cho and Yamashita will now face one another in the final (date TBA). While Cho has participated in the NEC Cup title match three times and won it twice, in 2004 and 2007, this will be Yamashita’s first.
- JustPlayGo; edited by Jake Edge

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TYGEM Launches iPad App

Monday February 14, 2011

The Korean Go server TYGEM has just launched their English language go app for the iPad. Search for tygem on iTunes. In addition to free services on TYGEM, sources tell the E-Journal that TYGEM plans to offer go servers on an English website by March.

WORLD GO NEWS ROUND-UP February 1-7: Iyama Yuta takes lead in Kisei; Maxim Cup semifinal contenders

Tuesday February 8, 2011

Iyama Yuta takes lead in Kisei. Iyama Yuta 9P (r in photo) took a one-game lead in the 35th Kisei when he defeated Cho U 9P (l) by 1.5 points in the third round on February 3. Iyama now leads the seven-game series 2-1. The fourth round will be played on February 17-18. Maxim Cup semifinal contenders set to go. Lee Changho 9P and Choi Cheolhan 9P each won their respective third-round matches on February 1, rounding out the 12th Maxim Cup main tournament play and setting the stage for the semifinals. Both Lee and Choi defeated their third-round opponents, Cho Hunhyun 9P and Kim Dongyeop 9P respectively, by resignation. The Maxim Cup is a 9-dan only Korean tournament sponsored by Dong Suh Foods. The semifinal match-ups will be the following: Park Yeonghun 9P vs. Choi and Lee vs. Mok Jinseok 9P.
- JustPlayGo; edited by Jake Edge

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WORLD GO NEWS ROUND-UP January 25-31: BC Card Cup begins; Choi Cheolhan wins the Chunwon; Xie Yimin wins game 1 in Female Kisei; Cho U evens the score in Kisei; Choi Cheolhan wins game 3 in Kuksu

Monday January 31, 2011

BC Card Cup main tournament begins. The 3rd BC Card Cup main tournament began January 31 with 64 participants from Korea, China, Japan, and Taiwan all competing to make it through the first round. Several first-round matches resulted in upsets for top contenders. Kong Jie 9P lost to Tan Xiao 5P, Cho Chikun 9P lost to Yan Huan 5P, Kim Hyunseob 2P lost to Korean amateur Hong Moojin and, while not an upset per se, last year’s BC Card Cup runner-up Chang Hao 9P lost to Lee Younggu 8P. Round two will begin on February 17th. Choi Cheolhan wins the Chunwon. Choi Cheolhan 9P (l in photo) won his first national title of the year on January 27, the Chunwon (Tengen). Choi defeated Lee Taehyun 3P (r) by resignation in the the third round of the 15th Chunwon, sweeping the five-game series, 3-0. With his recent international win in the Nongshim Cup, his 2-1 lead over Lee Changho 9P in the Kuksu final, and his strong showing in other ongoing tournaments, 2011 is shaping up very well for Choi. Xie Yimin wins game 1 in Female Kisei. On January 27, defending champion Xie Yimin 5P defeated Umezawa Yukari 5P by 9.5 points in the first round of the 14th Female Kisei title match. This year’s match up between Xie and Umezawa is a repeat of last year’s title match when Xie swept the series – two games to none. With Xie’s first-round win, Umezawa must now win the remaining two rounds if she hopes to take the title away from Xie. Cho U evens the score in Kisei. In the second round of the 35th Kisei, Cho U 9P evened the series to 1-1 by defeating Iyama Yuta 9P by resignation on January 26-27. The third round will be played on February 2-3. Choi Cheolhan wins game 3 in Kuksu. Choi Cheolhan 9P is only one game away from becoming the new Kuksu. He defeated Lee Changho 9P by resignation in the third round of the 54th Kuksu on January 25, and leads the series 2-1. Choi is no newcomer to the Kuksu title. He has won the Kuksu twice before, in 2004 and 2005, and participated in the title match four times including this year. Lee, on the other hand, has won the Kuksu 10 times and participated in the title match 18 times including this year. The fourth round will be played on February 14th.
- JustPlayGo; edited by Jake Edge

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WORLD GO NEWS ROUND-UP January 18-24: Kim Yunyoung vs. Rui Naiwei in Female Kuksu final; Lee Sedol falls to Mok Jinseok in Maxim Cup; Korea wins the Nongshim again

Monday January 24, 2011

Kim Yunyoung vs. Rui Naiwei in Female Kuksu final. Rui Naiwei 9P defeated Kim Hyeoilim 1P by resignation in the 16th Female Kuksu semifinals, which was held on January 20. Rui, the defending Female Kuksu title holder, will face Kim Yunyoung 1P in the title match. This should be an interesting three-game series. Kim has defeated Rui in the past, most recently in the first round of the 4th Female Gisung where Kim went on to capture the title. Lee Sedol falls to Mok Jinseok in Maxim Cup. On January 20, in the third round of the 12th Maxim Cup, Mok Jinseok 9P defeated Lee Sedol 9P by resignation after 163 moves. Mok will play the winner of the third-round match between Lee Changho 9P and Cho Hunhyun 9P, which will be played on February 2nd. Korea wins the Nongshim again. For a third straight year in a row Korea has won the Nongshim Cup. On January 20, Korea’s Choi Cheolhan 9P (l in match photo) defeated China’s Kong Jie 9P (r) by resignation in the final stage of the 12th Nongshim Cup. Choi has been playing very well as of late and gave Team Korea their 10th Nongshim Cup title. On January 19, Japan was eliminated when Choi defeated Yuki Satoshi 9P by resignation in the second round of stage three.
- JustPlayGo; edited by Jake Edge

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