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Sudden death at the 9×9 tournament

Sunday July 22, 2018

The evening unrated tournament series at the U.S. Go Congress kicked off Saturday night with the 9×9 tournament, directed by 2018.07.21 9x9 tourneyPete Schumer, who just returned from Maeda’s summer go camp in Japan. Fifty three players, with ranks ranging all the way from 30 kyu to 7 dan, were split into tables of six to play a round robin of five games to determine a winner for each table to move on to the playoff rounds. 9×9 games are generally pretty short, but with just an hour to complete the tournament (the building was closing at 10pm), the time limit on the games was just 6 minutes for each player, with no overtime. Moving on to the playoffs will be: Aaron Ye 7d, Do Khanh Bing 5d, Nick Sibicky 4d, Vo Minh Duy 4d, Jake Game 1d, Terry Wong 2 k, Eli Fenster 5k, John Christensen 13k, and Bethany Nyborg 18k. Stay tuned for updates on playoff results.
- Matt Burrall; photo by Chris Garlock

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The Power Report (Part 3 of 3): Kyo makes good start in Gosei; Kobayashi Koichi wins tournament for senior players; Ryu wins seat in 2018 Samsung Cup; Yamashita leads S League; Cho U keeps lead in Meijin League; Promotions; Obituary: Nishigami Yoshihiko 9P

Sunday July 22, 2018

by John Power, special Japan correspondent for the E-Journal2018.07.22_Gosei2 Kyo

Kyo makes good start in Gosei : The 43rd Gosei best-of-five title match got off to a start on June 23. The venue was the Hokkoku (North Country) Newspaper Hall in Kanazawa City, Ishikawa Prefecture. The Hokkoku Newspaper is a member of the Newspaper Igo Federation, a group of 13 regional newspapers that sponsor the Gosei tournament.
This year the challenger is Kyo Kagen 7-dan, who is making his title-match debut. He was born in Taiwan, where he is known as Hsu Chiayuan (Xu Jiayuan in Pinyin). Kyo has 2018.07.22_Gosei2 Iyama Kyoalready made a name for himself as one of the most promising younger players in Japan; he was promoted to 7-dan in 2017, when he won a seat in the Kisei S League. He will turn 21 onDecember 24. In the first Gosei game, he drew white and forced Iyama to resign after 226 moves. Kyo made a very severe attack that brought Iyama to his knees. Of the time allowance of four hours each, Kyo had three minutes left; Iyama was down to his last minute.
The second game was played at the Nihon Ki-in headquarters in Tokyo on July 6. The game concluded after 271 moves with Kyo (black) winning by 1.5 points. Once again Kyo slugged it out toe to toe and took the lead. Iyama’s septuple crown seems to be in serious danger. The third game will be played on July 3.

Kobayashi Koichi wins tournament for senior players: According to Go Weekly, tournaments for around eight 2018.07.22_Kobayashi with Wang Runanplayers are popular in various places in China and “legendary” Japanese and Korean players are sometimes invited to take part. On July 1 and 2, the city of Shaoxing in Zhejiang Province held the 1st International Weiqi Great Players Tournament to commemorate the building of a weiqi hall. (Shaoxing is a city of five million and is well known for the rice wine of the same name.) The participants were all top players in the last century, so I will give all the results (all players are 9-dan; I don’t have full details of the games).

(Round 1, July 1) Ma Xiaochun (China) beat Yang Jaeho (Korea), Kobayashi (Japan) beat Rin Kaiho (representing Chinese Taipei), Cao Dayuan (China) beat Seo Bong-soo (Korea), Nie Weiping (China) beat Takemiya Masaki.
(Round 2, July 1) Kobayashi beat Ma, Nie beat Cao.
(Final, July 2) Kobayashi (W) beat Nie by 4.5 points.
First prize was 200,000 yuan ($30,000)

Ryu wins seat in 2018 Samsung Cup: The international preliminaries for the current Samsung Cup were held in Seoul from July 2 to 7 with about 380 players taking part in the various sections. They included 35 players from Japan, of whom just one was successful: Ryu Shikun 9P in the Senior division. He will be competing in the main tournament for the third time and the first time since 2001.

Yamashita leads S League: After three rounds, Yamashita Keigo has the sole lead in the 43rdKisei S League with a score of 3-0. He is followed by Kono Rin 9P and Kyo Kagen 7P, both on 2-1. In the A League, three players on 3-1 share the lead: Murakawa Daisuke 8P, So Yokoku 9P, and Yo Seiki 7P. In the B1 league, Tsuruyama Atsushi 7P has the provisional lead with 5-1, but Akiyama Jiro 9P, on 4-1, also has only one loss. In the B2 League, Shibano Toramaru, on 6-0, has the sole lead.

Recent results in the S League:
(June 14) Ichiriki Ryo 8P (B) beat Cho U 9P by resig.
(June 21) Kono Rin 9P (W) beat Takao Shinji 9P by resig.
(July 13) Yamashita (W) beat Kyo Kagen by resig.

Cho U keeps lead in Meijin League: Cho U 9P not only has the sole lead in the 43rd Meijin League on 6-0, he is now two points clear of the field. The only other player with a chance of becoming the challenger is Shibano Toramaru 7P, who is on 4-2. If Cho wins his seventh-round game, against Ko Iso 8P, or if Shibano loses his, with Kono Rin 9P, Cho will win the league. If Cho loses, his final game against Takao Shinji 9P will assume greater importance. Recent results:
(June 7) Yamashita Keigo 9P (B) beat Murakawa Daisuke 8P by resig.; Shibano Toramaru 7P (B) beat Hane Naoki 9P by 3.5 points.
(June 14) Ko Iso 8P (W) beat Kono Rin 9P by 1.5 points.
(June 28) Cho (W) beat Yo Seiki 7P by 4.5 points.
(July 5) Yamashita Keigo 9P (W) beat Takao Shinji 9P by resig.; Yo Seiki 7P (W) beat Hane Naoki 9P by resig.

Promotions
To 8-dan: Rin Kanketsu (Lin Hanjie) (150 wins; as of July 6)
To 3-dan: Cho Zuiketsu (Zhang Ruijie) (40 wins; as of June 19)
To 2-dan: Utani Shunta (as of June 8), Seki Kotaro (as of June 26) (both 30 wins)

Obituary: Nishigami Yoshihiko 9P
Nishigami Yoshihiko died of colon cancer on June 30. Born in Osaka on March 16, 1941, Nishigami became a disciple of Hosokawa Chihiro 9P. He became 1-dan at the Osaka branch of the Nihon Ki-in 2in 1960, reached 8-dan in 1989, retired in 2006 and was promoted to 9-dan.

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2018 U.S. Go Congress launches in Williamsburg

Sunday July 22, 2018

Heavy daylong rains may have slowed the arrival in Williamsburg, VA of some of the hundreds of go players at the 2018 U.S. Go 2018.07.21_go-congress-fife-drumCongress, but it didn’t dampen their spirits in the slightest, as old friends and new connected and hit the boards. New York City swept DC in the finals of the Pandanet City League — watch for full details soon — and the first round of the 9×9 tournament was held after the opening ceremonies. The U.S. Open commences at 9a sharp Sunday morning;  watch live on Twitch or YouTube and there will also be live pro commentary on KGS.  Plus check out lots of photos and reports on Facebook and Twitter and the free Congress mobile app not only has all the information attendees need  — including latest schedule updates, pairings and more — but a cool social stream as well, where we’ll be posting additional photos and reports, handy for anyone in the world who wants to see what’s going on at this popular event. photo: a fife and drum corps welcomes go players to historic Williamsburg; report/photo by Chris Garlock

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U.S. Go Congress coverage on all platforms

Saturday July 21, 2018

The 34th U.S. Go Congress gets underway this weekend in Williamsburg, VA. Follow all the action on the AGA website, on our2018.07.21_USGC_EJThumbnail Facebook and Twitter pages, in the daily E-Journal and be sure to check out our video broadcasting coverage of all major tournaments, including the 9-round US Masters, Redmond Cup Finals, Pandanet AGA City League Finals and Pair Go Finals, on our official Twitch channel – where the USGC broadcasts will be featured — as well as on our YouTube channel. “This year, we will be mainly focusing on the Twitch chat, so make sure you join the conversation there!” says Stephen Hu. 

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The Power Report (Part 2 of 3): Iyama defends Honinbo title; Fujisawa defends 5thHollyhock Cup

Thursday July 19, 2018

by John Power, special Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Iyama defends Honinbo title: The fourth game of the 73rdHoninbo best-of-seven title match was held at the Hotel Hankyu Expo Park in Suita City, Osaka Prefecture, on June 12 and 13. Yamashita Keigo 9P, the challenger, who had white, 2018.07.19_Honinbo5 Yamashita Kataoka 9P moustache Iyamatook the initiative in the fighting on the first day and went into the second day with a slight advantage. But on the evening of the second day he flinched in the face of an all-out do-or-die challenge by Iyama Yuta (or Honinbo Monyu) and in a flash his lead was upset. He resigned after 189 moves. Iyama had now won three games in a row, so Yamashita faced a kadoban. Incidentally, this is the third year in a row that this hotel was scheduled to host a Honinbo game, but on the previous occasions the match ended before it reached the hotel.
The fifth game was played at the Konjakutei inn in Aizu Wakamatsu City, Fukushima Prefecture, on June 30 and July 1. Playing white, Iyama secured a resignation after 228 moves and won the match 4-1. As in the previous game, Yamashita played well and seemed to have the initiative in the middle-game fighting on the second day, but when he launched an attack there was a chink in his armor; Iyama seized the opportunity to unleash a fierce counterpunch that Yamashita was unable to handle. He fought on until he ran out of options.
The prize money is 30,000,000 yen (about $278,000). Iyama has now held the Honinbo title for seven years in a row, so he has matched the record of Sakata Eio (16th to 26th terms); his next goals will be the nine-in-a-row posted by Takagawa Shukaku (7th to 15th terms), then Cho Chikun’s record of ten in a row (44th to 53rd). This is Iyama’s 52nd title. He is in fourth place after Cho Chikun (74), Sakata Eio (64), and Kobayashi Koichi (60), but in his tally of big-three titles (19) he is second only to Cho (29). Also, he has won 41 top-seven titles, just behind Cho’s record of 42.
Like the venues for the first and second games, the venue for the fifth game has a connection with the Meiji Restoration 150 years ago. The restoration of imperial rules was made possible by the victory of the clans supporting the restoration over those supporting the Tokugawa shogunate. After an attack by Imperial forces on Edo, the last shogun, Yoshinobu, surrendered in May 1868, but the Aizu clan, which supported the Tokugawas, continued fighting. The imperial army attacked Aizu Wakamatsu in October and the city surrendered in early November. The most famous incident in this part of the war was a mass suicide of 19 teenaged Aizu samurai in the White Tiger Corps when they concluded (prematurely) that their side had lost. This episode has been very popular in literature and film. For details of the war, check out “the Boshin war” in Wikipedia2018.07.19_Hollyhock Fujisawa and for the suicide “the Byakkotai.” The players visited the White Tiger graves to make offerings the day before the game.

Fujisawa defends 5th Hollyhock Cup: The games in the 5th Aizu Central Hospital Women’s Hollyhock Cup best-of-three were held in the space of eight days. The first two games were held in the Konjakutei, a traditional Japanese inn, in Aizu Wakamatsu City in 2018.07.19_Hollyhock3 Xie Redmond referee FujisawaFukushima Prefecture with just one rest day between them; the score was a tie, so the deciding game was played at the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo after a break of four days. Xie made a good start in her bid to seek revenge for her loss to Fujisawa last year when she pulled off an upset win in the first game, but Fujisawa fought hard to take the next two games, thus defending her title.
Results
Game 1 (June 15). Xie (W) by resig.
Game 2 (June 17). Fujisawa (W) by resig.
Game 3 (June 22). Fujisawa (B) by resig.
Fujisawa won the inaugural term, so she has now won this title three times. By my count, this is her eighth title. First prize is 7,000,000 yen (close to $65,000).
(Note: Until the third term, this tournament was a knock-out, with the previous winner starting out in the final stage and the final being just one game. Last year the final became a best-of-three, with the winner to defend the title this year. It has taken two years to transform the title to the usual challenger format.)

Tomorrow: Kyo makes good start in Gosei; Kobayashi Koichi wins tournament for senior players; Ryu wins seat in 2018 Samsung Cup; Yamashita leads S League; Cho U keeps lead in Meijin League; Promotions; Obituary: Nishigami Yoshihiko 9P

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Your Move/Readers Write: Treat women players equally

Thursday July 19, 2018

Treat women players equally: “If you have to qualify a sentence with ‘I hope it’s not sexist to say…’, just don’t say it at all,” writes Seth Yoder (7/18 Power Report, Nannami Nao wins Senko Cup). “That qualification is akin to saying, “Not to be racist, but…’” The go world, Yoder continues, “is at a crucial point right now. We can decide whether to make this a welcoming environment for women, or to keep it a snobby, insular boy’s club. Treat women players like they’re people in their own right, instead of always identifying/qualifying them by their relationships with men. Resist that impulse.”
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Go Spotting: “The Passions of the Mind,” and “1636: The Ottoman Onslaught”

Thursday July 19, 2018

Stone’s “Passions of the Mind: In Irving Stone’s biographic novel about Sigmund Freud, “The Passions of the Mind,” there is the following sentence, reports2018.07.11_The_Passions_of_the_Mind David Matson: “Sigmund stayed until one in the morning, playing Japanese Go.” It occurs in Section 9 of Book Two: The Longing Soul.

2018.07.11_1636_The_Ottoman_Onslaught“1636: The Ottoman Onslaught”: “Go is mentioned briefly in ‘1636: The Ottoman Onslaught” by Eric Flint,” writes  Mike Goerss. “The novel is in a series of an alternate history where a small American town finds itself in the middle of Germany in 1632. Third to last page, speaking about fighting the Turks as they invade Austria: ‘It is more like a game of go than chess. . . It is more of a game of position than maneuver.’”

“The Next Move”: “AlphaGo Zero, Google’s experimental AI, exists to play Go. There is no awareness, only intelligence.” So begins John Cooper Hamilton’s “The Next Move,” a very short story about AlphaGo in Daily Science Fiction, sent along by Paul Celmer, who published a non-go story in DSF last July, “Spooky Action at a Distance.”

“The Incredible Inventions of Intuitive AI”: Maurice Conti’s “The Incredible Inventions of Intuitive AI” TED talk video mentions AlphaGo beating Lee Sedol, reports Shawn Ray.

 

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Andrea Baisero 4K & Mark Nahabedian 12K top MGA’s Skip Ascheim Memorial Handicap Tournament

Wednesday July 18, 2018

Participants in the Massachusetts Go Association ‘s annual Skip Ascheim Memorial Handicap Tournament held July 15 at 2018.07.18_MA Go assn-Eric_Osman_Andrea_Baisero_Mark_Nahabedian_Inkyu_Chung_Howard_Cornettthe Boylston Chess Club in Cambridge ranged from 5 dan to 14 kyu. “It was a relaxed friendly occasion,” reports TD Eva Casey, “though we did remember solemnly not only Skip, the founder of our club, but also our good friend, and a regular at our tournaments, Wayne Yee Mon (1958-2018) , who died suddenly June 8.”

Two players won all four games. Those players tied for first place, splitting the combined first and second place cash prizes equally. The third place cash prize was won by the three-game winner whom our software deemed had the winningest opponents. The other two three-game winners got honorable mention.

Results:
First Place (4 wins) Andrea Baisero 4-kyu and Mark Nahabedian 12-kyu
Third place (3 wins) Eric Osman 1-dan
Honorable Mention (also 3 wins)   Inkyu Chung 3-kyu and Howard Cornett 10-kyu.

photo: (l-r) Eric Osman, Andrea Baisero, Mark Nahabedian, Inkyu Chung, Howard Cornett; click here for more photos

 

 

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Boot-camp for absolute beginners at Go Congress

Wednesday July 18, 2018

If you’re spouse, friend, or parent of a go player attending the U.S. Go Congress this year, the annual gathering is offering 2018.07.18_AndyLiusomething new: a way for beginning go players to rapidly get up to speed. Led by Andy Liu 1P (left), building on techniques he has evolved in teaching beginners2018.07.18_congress-app, the boot-camp strives to get brand new players near the single-digit kyu level by the week.

Perhaps you’ve wanted to learn and participate but felt intimidated; this is a friendly environment just for you. The camp meets every afternoon (except Wednesday) between lunch and dinner. Come for the entire experience or drop in for a day or two.

There’s still time to register for Congress. You can find more details about this event and all the great things happening at Congress too by downloading the free mobile app for iOS and Android devices.

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AGA membership glitch being resolved

Wednesday July 18, 2018

A glitch in the AGA’s membership manager won’t cause any problems for folks attending the 34th U.S. Go Congress, which begins this weekend in Williamsburg, VA, says AGA president Andy Okun.

“Please be assured that Congress and AGA staff are aware of the problem and will register you as usual,” Okun said. People joining the AGA or renewing their memberships have entered their payments through PayPal, and the AGA has received the money, but the AGA’s membership database has not reflected the payments. “AGA volunteers are working to update the database quickly, and to fix the glitch itself,” Okun added. “If you renewed your membership or joined recently, rest assured that your account will be updated and corrected – it just may take a little longer than usual.”

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