American Go E-Journal » World Amateur Go Championships

WAGC Update: China wins WAGC; US’ Danny Ko in 4th

Thursday June 8, 2017

by Thomas Hsiang, special correspondent to the E-Journal2017.06.07_ Lai Yucheng (Taiwan), Bai Baoxiang (China), Lee Sangbin (Korea)
In the WAGC’s 7th round, the top three tables featured China vs. Russia, Japan vs. DPR Korea, and Taiwan vs. Korea.  China came in at 6-0 and the other were at 5-1.  Bai Baoxiang had no problem with Dmitry Surin; North Korea played brilliantly to defeat Sakamoto Shusaku of Japan; then Taiwan’s Lai Yucheng surprised most people with an upset over Korean Lee Sangbin.  Lee had played a lot of the new “AlphaGo style” moves in this tournament, but for this game his “alpha-like” 4-4 attachment against B’s 3-4 and ogeima enclosure actually led to a very bad early result that he could not recover.  After that, Bai vs Lai in round 8 became a fight for the championship. Click here for complete results.
Bai played a very calm game in round 8, playing solidly and keeping the game close; then pulled ahead in the end game to win the championship.  Lai Yucheng dropped to third.  The second table featured a north-south all-Korean game.  Ri JinUng played very well and led most of the game.  However, in the end game, he repeatedly made errors – missing sente moves, etc – to give away the game by 0.5 point.  Ri dropped from 2nd to 6th due to the loss, a game he will not forget for a long time.  South Korea 2017.06.07_NA WAGCmoved up to second place.  In fourth place was the US’ own Danny Ko, who played solidly in his late-round games.  Japan took fifth after defeating the Czech Republic.  From 7th to 10th are, in order, Romania, Hong Kong, Russia, and Czechia.  Canadian Gong Yujie placed 15th, while Mexico’s Emil Garcia was 17th after winning 5 games in the tournament – a Mexican record in this tournament!
Thus concludes another successful chapter of this unique international amateur go event.  Guiyang City offered great hospitality and a beautiful setting.  Next year’s WAGC will move to Tokyo and back to the May schedule (May 2-9, 2018).  In 2019, the 40th WAGC will be held in Matsue City of Shimane prefecture.  In 2020, WAGC moves to Vladivostok, the Far East Russian seaport, assuming the sponsor agrees to the schedule.
photo (top, l-r) Lai Yucheng (Taiwan), Bai Baoxiang (China), Lee Sangbin (Korea); (bottom, l-r): Emil Garcia (Mexico), Danny Ko and Thomas Hsiang (US), Yujie Gong (Canada).
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WAGC Update: Only China remains undefeated

Tuesday June 6, 2017

by Thomas Hsiang, special correspondent to the E-Journal2017.06.07-wagc-hq

The morning’s round 5 was highlighted by an exciting game between China and DPR Korea, won by China with the smallest margin of 0.5 point.  US rep Danny Ko lost to Cornel Burzo and fell to the 2-loss group.  Japan’s Sakata Shusaku has been playing well since he lost in the second round.  He met Hong Kong’s Chan Naisan and played a strong game from the start, giving his opponent no real chance of coming back.

In the afternoon, the top game was China vs. Korea. Because of the large number of spectators, the playing area had to be screened off by a “chair wall”.  The game lasted well after all other games had finished and remained close.  But in the end, Korea made a yose mistake and had to resign.  Japan defeated Romania and sent Burzo to two losses.  Russia’s veteran Dmitry Surin defeated Czech Lukas Podpera to remain the only 1-loss Western player.  Danny Ko played Thailand’s Vorawat Tanapatsopol and fell behind by quite a bit late in the game and had also entered his last period of 30-second byo-yomi. But Ko played a well-designed whole-board yose trap to overtake his opponent.  When his opponent resigned, Danny Ko had played his last sixty or so moves within the last byo-yomi period.
Entering the last two rounds tomorrow, the picture is clearer.  Having won all his games, China’s Bai Baoxiang has the championship in his control.  There are five countries at one-loss: Japan, Korea, DPR Korea, Taiwan, and Russia.  These six will play each other in round 7: China vs. Russia, Korean vs. Taiwan, and Japan vs. DPR Korea.

photo: WAGC headquarters hotel; Guiyang Sheraton set next to a large Ming-dynasty temple
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WAGC Day 2 Report: China, South Korea, and North Korea undefeated after 4 rounds

Monday June 5, 2017

by Thomas Hsiang, special correspondent to the E-JournalFor day 2 of the 38th World Amateur Go Championship, there were no major surprises at the top tables.  Round 3 in the morning saw US and Russia lose to China and North Korea respectively; Thailand lose to Czech; Austria lose to Hong Kong; and France lose to South Korea.  The Czech player Lukas Podpera caught a lot of attention after he beat Lai Yucheng from Taiwan yesterday.  In round 3 he played a strong game against the Thai representative Vorawat Tanapatsopol, a Go teacher from Bangkok, and won.  2017.06.05_wagc-Japan-Viet Nam

There were a number of strong games in round 4.  At the end, only three undefeated players remain – China, South Korea, and North Korea.  The round started with an exciting game between Hong Kong’s Chan Naisan and South Korean Lee Sangbin.  “Lee is just too strong”, sighed Chan after losing a well-fought game.  Lukas Podpera lost by just 0.5 point to North Korean Ri Jin-Ung (whose name was mis-spelled in yesterday’s report).  Anoother Go teacher, Romanian Cornel Burzo lost to China in a game that finished very late and attracted many Chinese Go reporters. The match between Japan’s Sakamoto Shusaku and Vietnam’s 12-year old Vo Duy Minh (right) also attracted a lot of media attention, although the result was hardly surprising.  Danny Ko recovered to defeat the player from Macao.
For round 5 on Tuesday, the top games will be China vs. North Korea, Finland vs. South Korea, Japan vs. Hong Kong, and US vs. Romania.
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WAGC Day 1 Report: Early strong pairings

Sunday June 4, 2017

by Thomas Hsiang, special correspondent to the E-Journal2017.06.04_wagc-danny-ko

The pairing for WAGC this year, as in 2016, uses a Chinese algorithm that does not pre-order the players. Therefore some early strong pairings have already taken place on the first day.  In round 1, Japanese 7D Sakamoto Shusaku met with South Korean Lee Sangbin, with Lee winning a tough match.  In the second round, Taiwanese representative 7D Lai Yucheng lost to Czech 7D Lukas Podpera by 2.5 points, producing the first major upset.  US representative Danny Ko fought a difficult battle with German Lukas Kraemer and achieved a 2-0 result.  After the game, former world champion Yoo Changhuh reviewed the game for the players in great detail and Danny said that he felt like he had improved from the review.  He will need the extra strength as he prepares to meet Chinese Bai Baoxiang in the third round.  Bai has won the WAGC once previously already.  Canadian representative Yujie Gong lost in the second round to long-time Polish mainstay Leszek Soldan and was 1-1 going into the second day.  Other players who drew special interest include the DPR Korea player Jin Ungri who, although listed only as 4D, defeated a number of famous North Korean players to emerge as the country’s first representative to WAGC in several years; the 12-year old Vo Duyminh from Vietnam and the 72-year old Zoran Mutabzija from Croatia, who the youngest and oldest players respectively.  Jin easily won his first two games so far, while the other two were both 1-1 with Vo given a forfeiture after he misread the schedule and was late by 25 minutes in the first round.  In the third round, the strongest pairings include Danny Ko vs. Bai Baoxiang, Russian Dmitry Surin vs. Lee Sangbin, and Hong Kong 7D Chan Naisan vs. Austrian Victor Lin.

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IGF meetings kick off 38th World Amateur Go Championship in Guiyang, China

Saturday June 3, 2017

by Thomas Hsiang, special correspondent to the E-JournalThe 38th World Amateur Go Championship is being held at the five-star Guiyang Sheraton Hotel in downtown Guiyang, China.  On June 3, the first day, the International Go Federation held its annual Board and General Assembly meetings.  A number of important announcements were made by Chairman Chang Zhenming, president and chairman of CITIC 2017.06.03_wahc-igc-mtgSecurities, Inc:
  • The next three WAGC’s will be held in Tokyo May 2-9, 2018; in Matsue City of the Shimane Perfecture in 2019; and in Vladevostok, Russia, in 2020.  Maxim Volkov, president of Russian Go Federation, was on hand to celebrate the announcement.
  • IGF will host the “CITIC Securities Cup” – the First International Artificial Intelligence Go Open – on August 16-17, 2017, in the City of Ordos of Inner Mongolia, China.  16 programs will be entered into the competition from over the world.  Generous prizes will be provided.
  • IGF offers a $20,000 grant to support the First Latin America Go Congress, to be held October 12-16, 2017 in Cancun, Mexico.
  • The Second IMSA Elite Mind Games, participated by IGF, will be held December 8-16, 2017 in Huai’an City, China.  This event will continue at least through 2019.
  • The 2017 Pair Go World Cup will be held August 7-10, 2017 in Tokyo.
  • A new member, the Republic of Georgia, was admitted and is now the 77th member of IGF.
Mr. Hiroaki Dan, chairman of Nihon Kiin and vice president of IGF, made the proposal for IGF to take on surveying and building up go instructional materials for schools.  The proposal was approved unanimously by the Board and will become a priority for IGF in the next few years.  Chairman Chang made the following declaration on behalf of IGF: “In recognition of the benefit of Go in the development of intelligence and character of youths, IGF will promote Go education in schools by surveying its members for existing Go educational materials worldwide, followed by sponsoring studies that consolidate these materials to build systematic educational content and pedagogy.  We welcome active participation from IGF members.”
Mr. Chang also called on IGF to take up studies to work toward a universal ruleset and to establish a universal rating system.
After the General Assembly, the traditional ceremony to draw pairing was held.  In the evening, a lavish dinner banquet concluded the busy day.  Tomorrow the first two rounds of competition will be held.
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Baoxiang Bai of China wins 2016 World Amateur Go Championships

Tuesday June 14, 2016

China’s Baoxiang Bai (right) defeated Chinese Taipei’s Chia-Cheng Hsu to win his second world amateur championship with a 2016.06.14_37wagc_BAIperfect 8-0 record. Korea’s Kibaek Kim was second, and Chinese Taipei’s Chia Cheng Hsu was third. Benjamin Lockhart of the US was 13th, Manuel Velasco of Canada was 28th and Emil Garcia of Mexico was 36th. The tournament took place June 5-8 in Wuxi, a city of six million located slightly northwest of Shanghai. Full results here. Click here for more WAGC reports on Ranka.

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Student Pair Go Qualifier This Weekend

Thursday September 24, 2015

318The 2nd World Students Pair Go Championship is coming up in December, and the United States is searching for a male and female representative through a pair go qualifying tournament.

The online pair go qualifying tournament will be held this weekend with a possible extension to Monday if needed. The winners of the qualifiers will get 50 percent of the round-trip airfare cost, and the meals will be covered from Friday evening to Tuesday morning. The championship will be held in Tokyo, Japan from December 4th to the 8th, and this will be a 4-round Swiss system with a 45 minute sudden death time limit.

To be eligible for the tournament and the championship, you must have been an AGA member for at least one year, an amateur player,  an undergraduate or graduate student of a University/College, under the age of 30, a US citizen, and you must have lived in the US for at least six years in the last twelve years

Interested players should email cherry.shen@usgo.org with their names and best method of contact as soon as possible as we need to select a representative by October 1st. Please email even if you don’t have an immediate partner. - Austin Freeman. Photo from World Amatelur Pair Go Website.

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Gold for Korea, Silver for China and Bronze for Chinese Taipei

Wednesday June 10, 2015

Changhun Kim 6d (right) of Korea has won the 36th World Amateur Go Championship, held this year for the first time in Thailand. In second was 2015.06.10_Changhun KimAohua Hu 6d of China, and third place was taken by 12-year-old Jyun-Fu Lai 7d from Chinese Taipei. The remainder of the top-ten finishers: [4] Chi-hin Chan (Hong Kong), [5] Satoshi Hiraoka (Japan), [6] Cornel Burzo (Romania), [7] Artem Kachanovskyi (Ukraine), [8] Juyong Koh (Canada), [9] Pal Balogh (Hungary) and [10] Daniel Ko (United States). Click here for the full tournament results and the final-round report. Other reports include Round 6: Hungary vs Belgium; Korea Storms Ahead on Third Day of WAGC & Round 4: China vs Korea.
- Ranka Online

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World Amateur Go Championship: Korea & Chinese Taipei Undefeated After 4 Rounds; US & Canada Both 3-1

Monday June 8, 2015

Twelve-year-old Jyun-Fu Lai 7d of Chinese Taipei (right) and Korea’s Changhun Kim 6d were the only two undefeated players at the end of the2015.06.08_WAGC_Jyun-Fu-Lai second day of the 2015 World Amateur Go Championships (WAGC) in Bangkok, Thailand on June 8. Indonesia’s 12-year-old Rafif Fitrah 4d had notched a surprise victory over Ondrej Silt 6d (Czech Republic) in the only major upset of the first day of the WAGC on June 7, as both Rounds 1 and 2 concluded with few surprises. Danny Ko (US) is 3-1, defeating Germany, Israel and Indonesia and losing to Chinese Taipei in the second round. Canada’s Juyong Koh is also 3-1, beating Poland, Russia and and Colombia and losing to Korea in the 3rd round. Click here for latest results. The festivities kicked off on Saturday morning with a friendship event and the Annual General Meeting of the International Go Federation (IGF) was held that afternoon (click here for full report). Highlights of the reports included the uncertain future of the Sport Accord World Mind Games (SAWMG), which may move from an annual event to biennial, possibly restarting in 2016 in China. China is likely to again host the World Mind Sport Games, probably in Macau in 2016. China will also host next year’s WAGC, although the exact location is yet to be decided. Also reported was the release of the IGF Facebook page and YouTube channel. In other reports, Poland’s Koichiro Habu 4d missed a critical move that could have allowed him to snatch victory from Canadian Juyong Koh 7d, both playing for their first time at this event.
- Ranka Online

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36th World Amateur Go Championship Launches June 7

Saturday June 6, 2015

Players from six continents and assorted islands will gather at the Montien Riverside Hotel in Bangkok for this year’s World Amateur Go 2015.06.06_wagc-playersChampionship June 7-10. The Asian contingent will be young, including 12-year-old contestants from Chinese Taipei, Indonesia, and Malaysia and teenagers from China, Hong Kong, Korea, Macau, Singapore, and host country Thailand. Japan will field a two-time former world champion, and Europe will field several players who have placed high in past years. Danny Ko represents the US and Juyong Koh is playing for Canada. Click here for video self-introductions by sixteen of the fifty-eight players. Click here for the list of players and the event schedule. The events main sponsors are CP All, The Siam Commercial Bank, and Red Bull. Seven games each round will be broadcast on Pandanet. Ranka Online will carry reports of the entire event.
- Ranka Online 

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