American Go E-Journal » World

PARK JUNGSANG WINS FIRST OLLEH KT CUP

Thursday May 27, 2010

Park Jungsang 9d defeated Hong Kipyo 4d by 11.5 points in the inaugural Olleh KT Cup, a Korean professional tournament sponsored by the Olleh KT telecommunications company. This tournament, with a total of nearly $600,000 (700 million won) in prize money.
-from JustPlayGo

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KIM SEONGJAE EVENS SCORE IN MYEONGIN A-LEAGUE

Thursday May 27, 2010

Kim Seongjae 3P defeated An Kukhyun 1P by 4.5 points, giving both players a 1-1 standing in League A play of the 38th Myeongin. An Kukhyun’s earlier victory came against Lee Changho 9d (click here for more information on this match). Sponsored by High1 Resort, the Myeongin is currently the richest tournament in Korea, with about $712,000 in prize money.
-from JustPlayGo

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LEE SEDOL ADVANCES TO PRICE INFORMATION CUP FINALS

Thursday May 27, 2010

Lee Sedol 9P advanced to the finals of the Price Information Cup after defeating Kim Jiseok 7P by resignation after just 114 moves in the final game of League B play. Jiseok, who has experienced a bumpy start this year, was last year’s Price Information Cup winner. Lee Changho and Yoo Changhyuk will play the final league game on May 26th.
-from JustPlayGo

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LEE CHANGHO LEADS TEAM NETMARBLE TO VICTORY

Wednesday May 26, 2010

Lee Changho 9P earned a win in the first stage of league play in the 2010 Korean Baduk League Cup when Jong Sungji resigned after 135 moves. Combined with wins from Kim Seongjae 3P and Song Taekon 9P, Changho’s win gave Team Netmarble a 3-2 victory over Team Kixx.
-from JustPlayGo

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KOREA AND CHINA DOMINATING RIVALRY AMONG MAJOR GO POWERS

Wednesday May 26, 2010

With the 31st annual World Amateur Go Championships now underway and being held this year for only the second time in China, a look at the current status of the longtime rivalry between the three major go powers is instructive. There are nine currently active international tournaments – the Nongshim, Ing, BC Card, Jeongganjang, Asian TV, Fujitsu, LG, Samsung, and Chunlan — that involve China, Japan, and Korea. Half of the latest winners of these are Chinese, and the other half are Korean. The most recent victory by the Japanese was four years ago, at the 7th Nongshim Cup in 2006 when Yoda Norimoto 9P, in the final game, managed to defeat “iron door” Lee Changho 9P of Korea, who had finished off a win for the Koreans in the first six editions of this win-and-continue team tournament. Several titles have been completely controlled by the Chinese and Koreans. The Ing Cup, which currently has the biggest purse, has been won five times by Koreans and once by Chinese. The Japanese were runners-up twice. The international BC Card Cup, which includes a Taiwanese representative and has one-hour basic time and 30 seconds byoyomi, has been won once by a Korean representative and once by a Chinese. The Jeongganjang Cup, a team event for women pros, has been split five-three between Korean (five wins) and Chinese teams. Others, mostly longer-running events, have had occasional Japanese winners. The Asian TV Fast Game Cup (ten minutes and then thirty seconds) has been won nine times by Japanese players, most recently by Cho U 9P in 2005. Otherwise, the Koreans have seven victories versus five for the Chinese. This is the only event in this group won more often by the Japanese than by either of the other two countries. The Fujitsu is the longest-running of these tournaments and the most fully international. It guarantees a place in the main tournament for representatives from the Americas and Europe as well as Taiwan. On rare occasions one of these representatives has won a game. The Koreans have triumphed in it fourteen times, the Japanese six, but the Chinese only twice. The LG Cup saw the only win of one of this group of events by a Taiwanese player, Zhou Junxun 9P in 2007. Otherwise the Koreans have seven wins and the Chinese four, with the Japanese coming out on top twice. The Samsung is open to all pros and some amateurs in the early stages. It has been won twice by the Japanese, three times by the Chinese, and nine times by Koreans. The Chunlan also includes Western and Taiwanese representatives. It has seen four victories by Koreans, two by Chinese, and one by a Japanese representative. If international events that are no longer held were included, the percentage of Japanese victories would be greater since they had better results in earlier days. At present it is clear that the battle for international dominance is between Korea and China. Korea was clearly dominating until very recently, but China is now making a strong challenge for the top spot.
- Bill Cobb, based on reports on Sensei’s Library, Go News and GoGameWorld

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AT 20, PAIR GO LOOKS BACK AND AHEAD

Wednesday May 26, 2010

Pair go is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, and World Pair Go Association Vice President Hiroko Taki (l) looked back and ahead in an interview with Ranka on Tuesday. “When we started the pair go movement twenty years ago, we wrote a lot about the significance of fostering pair go, communication in black and white, international goodwill, and so on,” said Mrs. Taki. “At the time, there was a need to attract more players to the game of go, both in Japan and in western countries. There was a particular need to get more women into the game, and of course that would attract more men. We wanted to present pair go as a game played by ladies and gentlemen, to make it more accessible to women. Our no-smoking policy was a big change. Over these twenty years, I’d say that we have reached and exceeded our goals. In the future I hope to see pair go become an established part of every major go tournament.” Following on the success of the professional Pair Go World Cup held in Hangzhou last March, Mrs. Taki says “We’re hoping to hold more pair go world cups, not next year but perhaps once every four years, like the football world cup.” The next big international pair go tournament will be the Asia Games, where pair go will be one of the events. “Looking beyond that, the World Pair Go Association now has 64 member countries,” notes Mrs. Taki. “Our Chairman is Mr. Koichiro Matsuura, former Director-General of UNESCO, so we’re expecting to develop further under his leadership. We are also now participating in the International Go Federation, and will be working with them.” While the WPGA is developing pair go on the Internet, through Pandanet, Mrs. Taki stresses that “in pair go it’s always important for people to meet face to face over the board.”
- based on James Davies’ report on Ranka online; photo by Ivan Vigano

NAKAYAMA’S QUIET FAREWELL

Wednesday May 26, 2010

It was a wet afternoon in Tokyo on May 23 when a quiet memorial service was held for the beloved and irrepressible Nakayama Noriyuki-sensei. As the hall at the Okura Hotel filled with Nakayama’s friends, there was time to contemplate the oversize photos showing Nakayama watching the legendary Go Seigen play tournament games. Nakayama’s appearance had not changed much over the years. There was no mistaking the impish smile, the shock of hair. Nakayama’s poetry was also displayed, with each stanza introducing another archaic, almost forgotten character of the ancient Japanese alphabet. In the next room, we paid our respects to Nakayama’s family and to Nakayama while a priest intoned the sutras before Nakayama’s photo, framed in an array of blue and white flowers. We gathered for a meal, after which several people spoke, including Otake Hideo 9P. Takemiya Masaki 9P spoke of Nakayama’s many books and how he had been the choice of so many top go professionals as their ghost writer because of his comprehensive knowledge of go as well as his skillful writing. Michael Redmond 9P also spoke, noting that Nakayama had been very popular in the United States, where he was a frequent and longtime visitor at the annual U.S. Go Congress. Nakayama touched many of us with his wit and wisdom, and the memorial service captured the quiet stillness that grounded both.
- None Redmond, special correspondent for the E-Journal; photo of Nakayama at the 2007 U.S. Go Congress by Chris Garlock

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CHINA TO LEAD IGF INTO NEW ERA

Tuesday May 25, 2010

The election of Chang Zhenming of China as President of the International Go Federation (IGF) highlighted the International Go Federation’s General Meeting (r) on Monday as the 31st edition of the IGF’s flagship event – the World Amateur Go Championship – formally launched in Hangzhou, China. “I will give my best effort to promote go to the whole world,” Chang promised, “Go is a benefit for everyone.” The other major news was that while there have been setbacks in the attempt to achieve recognition for go as an Olympic sport, mind sports are making significant progress. IGF Director Thomas Hsiang reported that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) includes mind sports as a category that has “no realistic chance of entering either the Summer or the Winter Olympics,” and so won’t be recognized. The good news is that SportAccord (formerly the General Association of International Sports Federation, or GAISF) is expanding its definition of sport to include mind sport and plans to sponsor a number of new events, including Mind Sport Games. Planning for a second World Mind Sports Games (WMSG) in August 2012 is now underway, with Manchester UK as the leading candidate to host. In even more exciting news, the International Federation of Poker has applied to become an IMSA and SA member, which has attracted interest from several major marketing firms, with which the IGF is now in discussions. Upcoming events either sponsored by the IGF or with major IGF involvement are the 21st International Pair Go Championships October 16-17 in Japan, the 16th Guangzhou Asian Games November 12-27 and the 32nd World Amateur Go Championship in Shimane, Japan.
- Chris Garlock; photo by John Pinkerton. Click here for the complete report and more photos on Ranka Online.

E-JOURNAL’S WAGC COVERAGE COMMENCES

Tuesday May 25, 2010

The American Go E-Journal‘s special coverage of the World Amateur Go Championships (WAGC) begins with tomorrow’s edition. Each morning’s edition will include our reports through midday local time in Hangzhou, China; click here anytime for the latest live news, posted as it happens by the EJ/Ranka Online team. The daily WAGC E-Journals will also include special game commentaries usually only included in the Member’s Edition, provided as part of our support for world go. We hope you enjoy our complete coverage of the 31st annual competition among top amateur players from around the world, which runs through May 31. The weekly E-Journal will resume next week.
- Chris Garlock; photo: WAGC players warm up Monday morning; photo by John Pinkerton

LIVE FROM THE WORLD AMATEURS!

Monday May 17, 2010

The American Go E-Journal will publish special daily editions next week live from the World Amateur Go Championships (WAGC) in Hangzhou, China. We’re teaming up again with Ranka Online this year to provide complete coverage of the 31st annual competition among top amateur players from around the world, which will run May 24-31. American-born pro Michael Redmond 9P will provide game commentaries for the Ranka/E-Journal effort – which will include ongoing updates on both Ranka and the AGA website , as well as via daily E-Journal reports — while Ivan Vigano, James Davies and Chris Garlock will report and John Pinkerton will provide photos.