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UK Preview: 3rd Isle of Skye Tournament This Weekend

Thursday March 13, 2014

One of the most beautiful and romantic UK tournament locations must surely be the Isle of Skye in Scotland’s Western Highlands, which this weekend, March 15-16, hosts the 3rd edition of its two-yearly tournament (alternating with the two-yearly Isle of Man Go Week). Despite its remoteness from most of the UK, 30 have already registered including Britain’s strongest native player, Matthew Macfadyen 6d, who rarely competes these days but who also entered – and won – the first two Skye tournaments.

Although the island’s economy was formerly dominated by crofting, these days tourism is its key money-spinner. Tournament organizer Carel Goodheir tells us that, for reasons which are not entirely clear, about 6,000 Chinese visit every year now, which is approximately twice the population of the largest settlement, Portree, where the tourney is held. So far none of them have entered but he hopes to find a way to bring the tourney to their attention in the future.

Forty years ago, when Goodheir first moved to the island, he estimates about 80% of the inhabitants  spoke the Scottish Gaelic as their main language, but nowadays less than 40% can speak it. Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, a public higher education college in Sleat, Skye, is the world’s only educational establishment using Scottish Gaelic as the medium of instruction. If you’ve never heard the language – which in 2000AD also had about 1600 speakers in the US, and  currently has over 2300 in Canada – check out this short (2′ 15″) BBC Alba (Gaelic service) TV report on the 1st Skye tourney in 2010, featuring Neil Mitchison explaining the game in Gaelic, and believed to be the only BBC coverage to date of a go tournament. The clip opens with co-organizer John Macdonald at the board playing Aideen O’Malley, a director of Sabhal Mòr Ostaig.

Click here for full tournament details

Report by Tony Collman, British correspondent for the E-Journal. Photo: Carel Goodheir mooring his boat at Portree with Honey the dog,  Old Man of Storr in background, by Ruth Goodheir

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Kiseido Launches Go World Online with Detailed Gu-Lee Game Commentary

Monday February 10, 2014

A commentary by Rob van Zeijst on the historic first jubango match between Gu Li and Lee Sedol highlights Kiseido’s launch of Go World Online this month. van Zeijst, three-time European champion and former Japan Go Association insei compiled the commentary on this showdown between the top two go players in the world from various commentaries of top Chinese, Korean and Japanese professionals. Go World Online “will present in-depth commentaries of important tournament games soon after they are played,” says Kiseido’s Richard Bozulich. The in-depth analysis in the commentary’s 24 game figures and 85 variation diagrams will give you a sense of Gu’s and Lee’s supreme reading powers and their flawless intuition that enables them to spot all the tesujis that are hidden under the moves played in the game,” says Bozulich. van Zeijst also explores the interesting question of “Why a Ten-Game Match?” Another game featured this month will be between Zhou Ruiyang 9-dan and Shi Yue 9-dan, two young (22) Chinese players who have both been ranked 3rd (2660) in the most recent Chinese ratings. And in preparation for release this month are the first and second games of the 38th Kisei Title Match between Iyama Yuta and Yamashita Keigo, the top two players in Japan.

Categories: Go World,World
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Wang Chenxing Takes First International Title With Bingsheng Cup Win

Tuesday September 17, 2013

4th Bingsheng CupWang Chenxing 5P (left) secured her first major international title when she defeated Yu Zhiying 5p in the 4th Bingsheng Cup on September 12. On her journey to the final round, Wang defeated last year’s winner Rui Naiwei 9P, Xie Yimin 6P, and Li He 3P.

However, 15-year-old Yu deserves recognition in her own right. If she had defeated Wang, she would have broken the world record for youngest international title holder in the go world. The current record is held by Lee Changho 9p for his win at the 3rd Tongyang Securities Cup in 1992 when he was 16 years and 6 months. At 15 years and 10 months, Yu’s triumph would have shattered Lee’s 20-year streak.

First played in 2010, the Bingsheng Cup remains the only women’s individual international go tournament. It draws the top 16 players from China, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Europe, North America, and Oceania. Named after Sun Zi (aka Sun Tzu), the author of The Art Of War, the Bingsheng Cup is held annually at the Sun Wu Memorial Hall on Qionglong Mountain in Suzhou, China. For more information about the 4th Bingsheng Cup including photos, a post-game interview with Wang, and game records, visit Go Game Guru.
­- Annalia Linnan, based on a longer article by Go Game Guru; photo courtesy of Go Game Guru

EuroGoTV Update: Netherlands, Hungary, Czech Republic

Saturday September 14, 2013

BRNO tournament 2013Netherlands: At The Delfts Toernooi on September 8, Filip Vanderstappen 5d defeated Rene Aaij 5d and Gelmer Bouwman 3d placed third. Hungary: The Kispesti Nadydij Goverseny also finished September 8 in Bupdapest with Dominik Bovis 4d in first, Peter Marko 4d in second, and Gabor Szabics 5d in third. Czech Republic: In Prague, Jan Simara 6d (left) took the Brno Tournament on September 8. Behind him were Lukas Podpera 6d and Ondrej Silt 6d.
- Annalia Linnan, based on reports from EuroGoTV, which include complete result tables and all the latest European go news

European Go Congress Update: Hui Fan Strikes Again

Sunday August 4, 2013

European Go Congress 2013Hui Fan 7d (left) is on fire lately. On top of his recent Leksand Open and EGF Qualification for Beijing 2013 wins, Fan has climbed to the top of the leader board for the main tournament at the 2013 European Go Congress underway in Poland. Behind him are Antti Tormanen 6d and former first place holder Mateusz Surma 6d. However, formidable contenders Ilja Shikshin 7d, Alexandr Dinerchtein 7d, and Ondrej Silt 6d hold sixth, seventh, and eighth. Twenty-year-old Lukas Kräemer 5d is also closing in on the top ten. The main tournament recommences on August 5 at 10 A.M. local time.

Meanwhile, the weekend tournament finished August 4 with Shikshin in first, Fan in second, and Ali Jabarin 6d in third. For the latest updates, full results, photos, and more, visit the official 2013 European Go Congress website.
– Annalia Linnan; photo courtesy EuroGoTV

Korea Knocked Out In LG Cup Stunner; Japan Fights On

Thursday June 13, 2013

For the first time in the history of the LG Cup, there are no Koreans in the quarter final line-up. Korean fans were left in shock after Tuo Jiaxi 3P (left) knocked out Lee Sedol 9P (right) in a game with a very unusual opening. Japan continued the charge through the draw, with two of the Japanese players, Iyama Yuta 9P and Takao Shinji 9P, making it through, while Kono Rin 9P was defeated by Chen Yaoye 9P. This is the first time Japanese players have made it through to the quarter finals of the LG Cup since 2008, when Kono Rin did so. If Iyama or Takao manages to win the 18th LG Cup, it will be Japan’s first victory in this tournament since O Rissei (who was born in Taiwan) won it in 1998. There are six Chinese players still in the draw. The most notable is Li Zhe 6P, who is making an amazing comeback from his sabbatical, storming his way to the quarter final. Chen, Tuo and Li will be joined by their countrymen, Zhou Ruiyang 9P, Li Qincheng 1P and Xia Chenkun 2P. The two youngsters, Xia Chenkun and Li Qincheng, could turn out to be the dark horses in this competition, as China has some frighteningly strong children coming through the ranks. Though the quarter finals and semifinals will not take place until November, Japanese finalists Iyama and Takao will duel it out in the fourth game of the Honinbo on June 17 and 18. Meanwhile, Chinese finalist Chen Yaoye will compete against defending champion Lee Sedol on the international front at the Chunlan Cup also on June 17.
-Annalia Linnan, based on reports — including pairings, photos, and game records — on Go Game Guru. photo at bottom left: Team Japan (from left, clockwise): Kono Rin, Takao Shinji, Yamashiro Hiroshi, Iyama Yuta and Hane Naoki. 

AGF Expands Go World Offer

Wednesday May 8, 2013

Now that Go World magazine has ceased publication (EJ 11/16/12) , back issues of this matchless archive of top analysis and instruction have become more valuable than ever. The American Go Foundation’s Store offers a selection,  and the first 108 issues are also available as PDFs from Kiseido Digital.  The AGF was delighted to recently receive a generous donation of hundreds of oldies but goodies from the publisher, including twenty issues that have never been available from the AGF before. Click here to browse the contents of all but the last seven issues. If you’re unfamiliar with this great resource, download a free sample issue of Go World and check it out.  A total of more than 50 back issues are now available to AGA members, and AGF programs.  Click here to order from the AGF,  who will ship anywhere in the US.  If you enjoy the “real feel” of actual paper-and-ink, act now — when they’re gone, they’re gone!  Still missing an elusive issue? Kiseido is offering all back issues from #72 – #124 on at $8/each including airmail from Japan. Issue #125-129 are $10/each. Some earlier issues are also available.   Click here to find more info about Kiseido’s offer (at the bottom of the page). -Roy Laird

Clash of the Go Titans? Jubango Between Lee Sedol 9P and Li Gu 9p Looks Likely

Thursday April 18, 2013

Gu Li and Lee SedolThough neither the Korean Baduk Association nor the Chinese Weiqi Association have officially confirmed whether the rumored 10-game match, or jubango, between Sedol Lee 9P (right) and Li Gu 9P (left) will actually occur, buzz surrounding the potential match hints otherwise. Major Korean newspaper Dong-A Ilbo reports that “both players have agreed to play the ten games between October 2013 and May 2014, in various locations throughout China.”

While some details remain fuzzy, including venues and exact dates, news reports claim the budget for the match is estimated to be approximately $1.15 million USD. The reason Lee cites for this sum is the damage the loser’s reputation will suffer “throughout the go world and in the history books.” As many fans hail Lee as Korea’s top player and Gu remains the top Chinese player, his concern is understandable. It is not personal, however. In an interview after their most recent match (March 20), Lee said, “Gu Li is the best rival for me to play against, but he’s also a best friend of mine for life.” Gu echoed the sibling-esque rivalry when he said, “I always fight intensely whenever I play against Lee Sedol. I’d like to create more exciting games for go fans.”

So, is it still possible? Will the two players, born the same year and then became pro together twelve years later, have a face-off like never before? Korean player An Younggil 8p says that despite the missing pieces “we have reasons to be optimistic.”

Right now, Lee and Gu’s official record is 17-15 with Gu in the lead (17-17 if one includes exhibition games). For more details surrounding the Lee-Gu jubango, visit Go Game Guru.

-Annalia Linnan, based on a longer article on Go Game Guru

Categories: Go News,Go World
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Junfu Dai 8D Three-Peats in Paris

Thursday April 4, 2013

Junfu Dai 8D (right) successfully defended his title against Lluis Oh 6D in the 41st Paris International Go Tournament at the Lycée Louis Le Grand on April 1. Though it was the first time Spanish player Oh placed, it was Dai’s third victory in four years, a reign broken only by Liu Yuanbo’s win in 2011. However, there may still be hope for Oh, as Dai was runner-up in 1996 and 2008 before he finally became champion. Joining Dai and Oh in the ranks as top Europeans is Romanian player Cristian Pop 7D. No stranger to tournaments, Pop has won the championship in his home country six times. Founded in 1972, the annual Paris International Go Tournament now holds a level 5 ECup rating and is hailed as “one of the largest go events in Europe behind the European Go Congress.” For more information about this year’s tournament including rules, registered players, and results, visit the official Paris 2013 website.
- Annalia Linnan; photo courtesy EuroGoTV, which includes selected game records

 

Go World Classics: The Go Burglar

Saturday December 29, 2012

by William Pinckard

During the Edo period a go club, like a tea ceremony room or a kyoka poetry meeting, was a place where rank, station and sex were irrelevant: what mattered most was the skill of the participants. Such people came as close to forming a genuine meritocracy as was possible in class-conscious Japan in those days, and this must have been a large part of go’s appeal to new players.

The fact that go requires deep concentration over relatively long periods of time naturally leads to absent-mindedness in everything unrelated to the game at hand. The absent-minded go player is a stock joke in Japan like the absent-minded professor in the West. A fine example of this is the old story called Go Doro, ‘the Go Burglar,’ several versions of which are preserved in the public story-telling tradition of the Edo and Meiji periods.

Two friends who were addicted to go and were pretty evenly matched used to play every night until very late, so wrapped up in their games that they were oblivious to everything around them. This was a great nuisance to their families, but the worst part of it was their habit of smoking, for they were always spilling hot ash and making holes in the tatami as they lit their pipes from the burning coal in the tobacco tray.

Their wives kept scolding them about this until they had to quit playing altogether. But they couldn’t keep from thinking about go and wishing they could play again. One evening they hit upon a plan. “Let’s just stop smoking while we play! Instead, we”ll go out and have a pipe after each game!”

It’s a splendid idea, but of course they forget about it as soon as they get into their first game and start fiddling with their pipes. After a while one of them notices something. “Oy!” he calls out. “There’s no coal in the tobacco tray!” The wife thinks to herself “If I put a coal in the tray they’ll start burning holes in the tatami all over again. I’ll find something red and bring that instead.”

So from the kitchen she brings in a small red vegetable called a snake gourd and carefully pokes it down into the ashes of the tobacco tray, where it looks just like a bit of burning coal. The men don’t notice a thing, and after a while the wife goes to bed, satisfied that she has nothing more to worry about. On and on the two friends play, frowning and muttering at the go board, sucking away at their pipes and having a great old time.

Later that night a burglar sneaks into the back of the house. He stealthily fills his bag with everything he can get his hands on and hoists it over his shoulder. Just as he is about the take off he hears the click of a go stone. The burglar plays go too, so when that sound comes his curiosity is aroused. With the bag still slung over his shoulder he tiptoes toward the room where the two friends are playing and peeks through the door.

At first he just stands there, watching, but then moves close, bit by bit, until he’s right beside them. One player is about to make a move. the burglar simply can’t control himself. “That’s no good!” he exclaims, putting down the bag. “You ought to play on the other side!” A typical kibitzer’s remark.

Both men are studying the board. “Hey, onlookers are supposed to keep quiet,” says one. “This happens to be a crucial moment in the game.” He glances up briefly. “Who might you be, anyway?” he asks. Click goes a stone onto the board.

All three study the move. It’s a tense moment.

“I’m a burglar,” comes the reply.

“Hmmm…” Click goes another stone. “I see…” Click. “Well, make yourself at home…”

Originally published in Go World #45 (Autumn 1986); click here to find out more about Go World. graphic: cover of GW#95; a surinomo by Utamaro entitled Gods Playing Go. Date unknown. Recalling the Ranka theme, Utamaro depicts (from left to right) Juroujin (the god of Longevity), Benzaiten (the Goddess of Good Fortune), and Bishamonten (the God of Riches) engaged in a game of go (from the collection of Erwin Gerstorfer).

Categories: Go World
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