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The Power Report (1 of 2): Samsung Cup: Ke v. Ahn, China v. Korea; Yamashita becomes Kisei challenger, sets record; Fujisawa extends lead in Women’s Honinbo challenge; New faces in Meijin League

Monday November 26, 2018

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Samsung Cup: Ke v. Ahn, China v. Korea: The best-of-three semifinals for the 23rd Samsung Cup were held at a Samsung Research Center in Taeon City, Korea.
Results were as follows:
(Game 1, Nov. 5) Ke Jie 9P (China) (W) beat Xie Erhao 9P (China) by resig.; Ahn Kukhyun 8P (Korea) (W) beat Tang Weixing 9P (China) by resig.
(Game 2, Nov. 6) Xie (W) beat Ke by 1.5 points; Ahn (B) beat Tang by resig.
(Game 3, Nov. 7) Ke (W) beat Xie by resig.
Ke and Ahn will meet in the best-of-three final on December 3, 4 and 5. Ke will be vying for his sixth international title; Ahn will be making his debut in an international final.

Yamashita becomes Kisei challenger, sets record: The play-off to decide the challenger for the 43rd Kisei title was Kisei chall L Yamashita R Konoheld at the Tokyo headquarters of the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo on November 9. It featured Yamashita Keigo 9P (left), winner of the S League, and Kono Rin 9P (right), who was second in the S League but who earned his seat in the play-off by defeating Onishi Ryuhei 3P in the final knockout tournament. Taking white, Yamashita beat Kono by resignation. Although the final is called a “best-of-three,” this was enough for Yamashita to win it, as the S League winner starts with a one-game advantage. Unusually for a big game, this also marked a landmark in Yamashita’s career: his 1,000th win. He is the 24th player in Japan to reach this mark and, at 25 years seven months, the fastest. He broke the record set by Yuki Satoshi 9P of the Kansai Ki-in of 27 years one month. The title match with Iyama Yuta will start on January 10. The Kisei will be a familiar arena for Yamashita, as he held the title for one term in 2003 (the 27th Kisei) and for four years in a row from 2006 to 2009 (30th to 33rd). He also made three unsuccessful challenges in a row to Iyama Yuta: he lost the 38th to 40th title matches (2014 to 2016) 2-4, 3-4, and 0-4 in sequence. This may be a good time to challenge Iyama, as he seems a little vulnerable recently. First, though, Yamashita has to try to win the Tengen title match between the two that at this point was tied 1-1. Victory in this match would give him a good springboard for the New Year.

Fujisawa extends lead in Women’s Honinbo challenge: The second game of the 37th Women’s Honinbo title match was held at the headquarters of the Nihon Ki-in on November 9. Playing white, Fujisawa Rina forced the title-holder Xie 2018.11.25_MutsuuraYimin to resign after 212 moves. Fujisawa also won the first game, so she needs just one more win to take the title. The third game will be held on November 24.

New faces in Meijin League: The final play-offs for the three vacant seats in the 44th Meijin League 2018.11.25_Sonwere all held on November 8 but at three different locations. At the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo, Mutsuura Yuta 7P (W, right) beat Ko Iso 8P by resig. At the Nagoya branch, Suzuki Shinji 7P (W) beat Shida Tatsuya 7P by half a point. At the Kansai Ki-in, Son Makoto 6P (B, left) beat Fujii Shuya 7P (a member of the Kansai Ki-in) by resig. All three players will be making their league debuts. Son also earned a promotion to 7-dan, dated as of the following day. Matsuura’s win was his eighth and Son’s his seventh in ongoing streaks.

Tmw: Iyama takes lead in Oza and Tengen; Fujita wins Young Carp; Youngest players & one veteran share lead in Honinbo League; Xie picks up first win in Women’s Honinbo; Ida defends Crown  

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Ye, Velasco, Trujillo top Pan-American Championship

Saturday November 24, 2018

Screen Shot 2018-11-24 at 3.21.40 PMAaron Ye 7d of the US took first place in the Pan-American Championship in Mexico City on November 10th.  Canadian Player Manuel Velasco came in second and Cuban player Orlando Trujillo placed third.  Mr. Kijin Song, the director of the Korean Cultural Center in Mexico presented the winners with certificates and cash prizes of $30,000, $20,000, and $10,000 Mexican pesos for their respective placings in the tournament. The online qualifiers drew players from Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Colombia, Brazil, Ecuador, Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Peru, Cuba, the USA, and Canada. The finals were held at the Museo Nacional de las Culturas, within walking distance of the Zocalo Plaza in Mexico City. The event drew a large audience from the local go community. “The 2nd Baduk Festival in Mexico was held at the same time,” reports organizer Sid Avila, “we had free games amongst the public participants, the majority of them being children; 2 raffles were held so that 18 people could play simultaneous games with Soohang Ryu 7P, from the Korean Baduk Association.Later prizes were raffled for the public, and we had a baduk book exhibition and a photographic exhibit as well.”

Online preliminaries were held in August, and determined the top five players from different countries. They were invited to Mexico City, with all expenses paid, to compete in the final stage. In addition to Ye and Velasco,  Fernando Aguilar of Argentina (who had to cancel due to family complications), Alfonso Artique of Uruguay, Abner Turkieltaub Melo of Chile, and Orlando Trujillo of Cuba (by invitation) were the finalists.  As the host country, Mexico was excluded from the online qualifier and received a seeded seat into the finals.  The Korean Cultural Center in Mexico held a separate online qualifier for Mexican players, which was won by Abraham Florencia, a high-dan  player who placed 8th at the World Amateur Go Championships earlier in the year.

A great amount of attention was focused on the game between Ye (black) and Velasco (white).  Velasco had a strong opening and held a large territorial lead until a detrimental mistake in the middle-game. Ye successfully seized the opportunity and killed a large group, ultimately securing a win-by-resignation.  After the tournament, the game was displayed on a projector in the background and was reviewed by Ryu.

Ye reports ” I was glad to have the opportunity to attend the event and make new go friends from Latin American countries. Organizing a Pan-American tournament was a creative and innovative idea to connect go players from North and South America. After all, an important part of the game is connecting with the community. I was surprised but excited to see the event attract quite a lot of local Mexican go players. The experience was very unique and memorable and I hope to continue to promote go on the continent in the future.”

The event was sponsored by the Embassy of the Republic of Korea and the Korean Cultural Center in Mexico, with the valuable support of the National Museum of World Cultures, the Korean Baduk Association, the Tygem Go Server, the Korean Sports Promotion Organization, and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. For more pictures, click here. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo by Korean Cultural Center in Mexico photographer Seol Ha Kim.

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Feifan Jia 5d tops Lake Erie Go Tournament

Friday November 23, 2018

Feifan Jia 5D took top honors at the 4th Lake Erie Go Tournament,  held November 18 on the campus of Lake Erie College. 2018.11.23_lake-erie-report1 Twenty players competed in the four round, handicap tournament, and player ranks ranged from 5d to 25k. The tournament was co-directed by Soren Jaffe and Catherine Swank.

2018.11.23_lake-erie-report2Dan division (2kyu and up) winners:
1st place: Feifan Jia 5D
2nd place: Soren Jaffe 5D
3rd place: Devin Fraze 2K

Kyu division (3kyu and below) winners:
1st place: Joe Kaplan 6K
2nd place: Ian Hogan 7K
3rd place: Manny Jauregi 14K

photos: (right) Tournament director Soren Jaffe (left) with Kyu division winner Joe Kaplan; (Left) Tournament director Catherine Swank (left) with Dan division winner Feifan Jia.

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11-year-old Sophie Lin 2d wins 2018 New York Youth Go Open

Friday November 23, 2018

The 2018 New York Youth Go Open was hosted on November 17 at the New York Institute of Go in Little Neck, NY. The 2018.11.23-NYIG-youth-tourney-IMG_1296Institute’s first youth AGA-rated face to face tournament with both trophies and cash prizes attracted 45 young players from the minimum age of 4  to 10th graders. Eleven-year-old Sophie Lin 2d won the top division with a four-game winning streak.

“We will continue working harder to hold more tournaments, and encourage and provide more opportunity to young players in New York!” said Institute president Stephanie Yin 1p. Every year, the New York Go Association and New York Institute of Go holds anywhere from 5-10 tournaments, with at least five of them youth competitions. Stephanie Yin has now taught nearly 400 youth players in New York, steadily growing the community of young go players. Click here for more on the Institute, including local tournaments, the Institute’s go club, and their YouTube channel.

Winner’s Report
Open Division (2dan-7kyu, No handicap): Sophie Lin, Chase Lin, Boyang Liu
Kyu Division: 8kyu-17kyu
Senior Division (grades 6-10): Brandon Zhu; Lillian Wu; David Wu
Junior Division (grades 3-5): Jack Zhang; Alex Fan-Cui; Gary Ning
Kyu Division: 18kyu-26kyu
Senior Division (grades 6-10): Alan Yang; Joyce Shen; Darian Pan
Junior Division (grades 3-5): Fangyi Yu; Fangwu Yu; Ava Gao
Elementary Division (K- grade 2): George Ning; Chenxi Du; Daniel Deng

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AlphaGo vs. AlphaGo; Game 24: More human?

Saturday November 17, 2018

“It could be that the way humans play go is changing, but in this game AlphaGo plays a lot of moves that human players are2018.11.16 AG24 playing these days,” says Michael Redmond 9P in the latest installment of his game commentaries with E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock. “There’s a lot of fighting, as usual, but the territory is balanced and right up into the endgame there are groups whose life and death status is ambiguous,” Redmond says. “That affects the way the endgame is played, which makes it really interesting.”

Thanks to NGC Executive Director Gurujeet Khalsa for technical support, Jeff Fitzgerald for camera, lighting and sound; produced by Nathan Epstein and Michael Wanek.

[link]

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Charles French – 1928-2018: a personal good-bye

Friday November 16, 2018

by Keith Arnold2018.11.15-charles-french-IMG_2297

I loved Charles French.  That is a term I do not throw around much, but I loved Charles French,who passed away, age 90 on November 13.  All of us, who can remember the time before a stroke severely limited his tournament, workshop and Congress attendance, will recall him fondly.

Charley found go as a chess player fairly early in his life, but never truly got to play until he found the AGA in his retirement. His enthusiasm for the game was perhaps the greatest I have ever witnessed, and he played with a glee that would rival any child.

He also played at a pace rivaled only by a glacier.  His determination and concentration were amazing and he played with deliberate joy, outlasting if not outplaying you.  Indeed, his motionless pose before the go board became a thing of legend, immortalized by me in my poem “Charley at the Ban.”

He was an inveterate tournament goer and congress attendee.  Charley ran a go club from his home in Pennsylvania for many years and, with skills from his work as Treasurer of  the Philadelphia Gas Works, he patiently sorted out some long neglected tax issues for the AGA back in the 1990s. He was a favorite student of Jujo Jiang, who unfailingly asked about him long after he stopped holding his Cleveland Workshops.  He reached 2 kyu, a respectable achievement for a man who started playing in retirement. The AGA database shows 522 games and 108 tournaments, but many of his games were too early for the database to capture.

Charley was a wonderful man, a gentleman of the last century in every good way, and perhaps a few of the bad, that term implies.  He was unfailingly courteous, polite, generous and kind. He loved family and children and above all a good joke and a laugh. Charley also appreciated women, a handsome man, he enjoyed attention, and yes,  to be waited upon, but was always thankful and full of praise for the efforts of others.

Probably because he loved my wife, we spent many, many July weekends at his home on the Jersey Shore.  These were truly some of the favorite times of my life, well fed and taken care of by his wife Addie, and the only price of admission endless games (and with Charley games were endless)  in the sun on the deck. And “Uncle Charley’s” delight and joy in the arrival of our daughter is something I will always remember and appreciate.

stalwart opponent
always, now forever, I
await your next move

 

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The Power Report: Samsung Cup update; Yamashita becomes Kisei challenger, sets record; Fujisawa extends lead in Women’s Honinbo challenge; New Faces in Meijin League

Wednesday November 14, 2018

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Samsung Cup: Ke v. Ahn, China v. Korea: 
The best-of-three semifinals for the 23rd Samsung Cup were held at a Samsung Research Center in Taejeon City, Korea. Results were as follows:
(Game 1, Nov. 5) Ke Jie 9P (China) (W) beat Xie Erhao 9P (China) by resig.; Ahn Kukhyun 8P (Korea) (W) beat Tang Weixing 9P (China) by resig.
(Game 2, Nov. 6) Xie (W) beat Ke by 1.5 points; Ahn (B) beat Tang by resig.
(Game 3, Nov. 7) Ke (W) beat Xie by resig.
Ke and Ahn will meet in the best-of-three final on December, 3, 4 and 5. Ke will be vying for his sixth international title; Ahn will be making his debut in an international final.

Yamashita becomes Kisei challenger, sets record: The play-off to decide the challenger for the 43rd Kisei title was 2018.11.14_kisei43 Yamashita L Kono Rheld at the Tokyo headquarters of the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo on November 9. It featured Yamashita Keigo 9P (left), winner of the S League, and Kono Rin 9P, who was second in the S League but who earned his seat in the play-off by defeating Onishi Ryuhei 3P in the final knockout tournament. Taking white, Yamashita beat Kono by resignation. Although the final is called a “best-of-three,” this was enough for Yamashita to win it, as the S League winner starts with a one-game advantage. Unusually for a big game, this also marked a landmark in Yamashita’s career: his 1,000thwin. He was the 24thplayer in Japan to reach this mark and, at 25 years seven months, the fastest. He broke the record set by Yuki Satoshi 9P of the Kansai Ki-in of 27 years one month.

The title match with Iyama Yuta will start on January 10. The Kisei will be a familiar arena for Yamashita, as he held the title for one term in 2003 (the 27thKisei) and for four years in a row from 2006 to 2009 (30thto 33rd). He also made three unsuccessful challenges in a row to Iyama Yuta: he lost the 38thto 40thtitle matches (2014 to 2016) 2-4, 3-4, and 0-4 in sequence. This may be a good time to challenge Iyama, as he seems a little vulnerable recently. First, though, Yamashita has to try to win the Tengen title match between the two that is now tied 1-1. A win here would give him a good springboard for the new year.

Fujisawa extends lead in Women’s Honinbo challenge: The second game of the 37th Women’s Honinbo title match2018.11.14_37fhon2 Fujisawa L Xie R was held at the headquarters of the Nihon Ki-in on November 9. Playing white, Fujisawa Rina (left) forced the title-holder Xie Yimin to resign after 212 moves. Fujisawa also won the first game, so she needs just one more win to take the title. The third game will be held on November 24.

New Faces in Meijin League: The final play-offs for the three vacant seats in the 44thMeijin League were all held on November 8 but at three different locations. At the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo, Mutsuura Yuta 7P (W) beat Ko Iso 8P by resig. At the Nagoya branch, Suzuki Shinji 7P (W) beat Shida Tatsuya 7P by half a point. At the Kansai Ki-in, Son Makoto 6P (B) beat Fujii Shuya 7P (a member of the Kansai Ki-in) by resig. All three players will be making their league debuts. Son also earned a promotion to 7-dan, dated as of the following day. Matsuura’s win was his eighth and Son’s his seventh in ongoing streaks.

Promotion: To 4-dan: Mannami Nao (50 wins, as of Nov. 9)

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Michael Chen 8D tops Gotham Go Tournament

Wednesday November 14, 2018

An undefeated Michael Chen 8D took top honors in the Gotham Go Tournament on November 10 in New York City. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATournament Director David Gleckle directed his first tournament with his assistants Ying and Sichen, and organizer Peter Armenia extended special “Thanks to my wife Gretchen for managing all the food and drinks.”

Results:

Open Division:
1: Michael Chen (undefeated) 8d
2: Peixuan Wang 8d
3: Jing Guo 6d

Dan Division:
1: Patrick Zhao 3d
2: Alexander Qi 2d
3: Niel Ni 1d

1-4k Division:
1: Jino Chang 2k
3: Ted Lin 2k
3: Jason Chimon 1k

5-9k Division:
1: Andy Segal 5k
2: Luke Kuo 9k
3: Jeffrey Losapio 5k

DDK Division:
1: Alex Fan-cui 10k
2: Zhiyong Huang 15k
3: Ashley Qi 15k

And winning the drawing for the special Manhattan Go Board was Patrick Zhao.

 

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California State Go Championship set for Nov. 24-25 in San Diego

Wednesday November 14, 2018

On the weekend after Thanksgiving, Saturday and Sunday, November 24 & 25, the San Diego Go Club will host the first annual California State Go Championship. The 5-round tournament will include an Open Section and Handicap Sections, and the best record in the Open by a California resident or student will earn the title of 2018 California State Champion, win cash and a trophy and have her or his name engraved on a permanent champion plaque. A total of $600 and trophies will be awarded for the best results in the various sections. AGA membership is required. Pre-registration by 11:59 p.m. Thanksgiving Day is required to play in Round 1. The site for the competition is the San Diego Chess Club in Balboa Park.

In conjunction with the Open Championship, the SDGC is hosting the 2018 13×13 State Go Championship. This competition will be 5-round, 30-minute games, intended for 20-Kyu to 30-Kyu players and beginners. The best boy and girl will be declared the 13×13 California State Champions and win appropriate trophies. The site is the same as the Open State Championship. Pre-registration by 11/23, 11:59 p.m. is required to play in Round 1 but walk-ins can play in later rounds. AGA membership is required but the California Go Association will have Chinese professional Hai Li rate the games for it. Players in this tournament can choose to play in the first three rounds of the AGA-rated 19×19 State championship on Saturday and take byes for rounds 4 & 5 on Sunday.

Register here for both tournaments.

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Evanston Go Club tournament attracts diverse, far-flung — and new — crowd

Tuesday November 13, 2018

The Evanston Go Club’s November 10 fall tournament drew 42 players from five states; Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, MinnesotaAllPlayers-300x225 and, “Wait for it,” said TD Mark Rubenstein, “Hawaii!” The diverse field included players ranging in rank from 26k to 7d. Albert Yen 7d, a regular at the Evanston tournaments for many years, was able to play his first-ever even game against another 7 dan, Boya (Eric) Hu.

“With 13 dans, 15 single-digit kyus, 14 double-digit kyus, and ages ranging from 7 to 70, this tournament was one to be remembered!” said Rubenstein. “And exactly half the participants were first-time attendees; a new record!”

Daniel Lambert, who streams his games on Twitch, was recording his games at the tournament and has posted them online with commentary. And Xinming Simon Guo, the AGA’s 2015 Teacher of the Year, was there teaching some of his youngest students.

WinnersDan-300x225Prizes were supplied by Yellow Mountain Imports. “YMI has been donating prizes to us for many years; thanks Yellow Mountain!” said Rubenstein.

“You’ll notice all the DDK winners played six games,” Rubenstein added. “In fact, thirteen players played more than four games, which is the minimum to be eligible for a prize. This is one of the advantages of self-paired tournaments; players can play as many games as they like. You’ll also notice that Jim Benthem is holding three coins in his hand, and is the only one without a prize. That’s because there were only two prizes available for the Dan section, so the three players agreed to flip coins for them… and Jim lost the toss.”SimonAndKids-300x225

As is the tradition, about a dozen players and family members went out for pizza after the tournament.

Click here  for more photos.

Winners:
Dan division:  3-way tie for first place (no second place): Albert Yen 7d (3-1), Yang Yang 3d (3-1); James Benthem 1d (3-1)
Single-Digit Kyu division: Tied for first place: Laura Moon 2k (4-0), Steffen Kurz 4k (4-0); Second place: Daniel Lambert 6k (4-1)
Double-Digit Kyu division: First place: Blake O’Day 10k (6-0); Tied for second place: Mike O’Day 15k (5-1), Jowita Wisniewski 20k (5-1)

Update (11/14): Links added for Daniel Lambert.

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