American Go E-Journal » World Amateur Go Championships

Players Arrive at 34th World Amateur Go Championship

Friday August 30, 2013

Players in the 34th World Amateur Go Championship began arriving Friday in Sendai, Japan, registering at the Hotel Monte Hermana, where a playing room has been set up (and where some players, shrugging off their jetlag, immediately began playing go).

Saturday’s schedule is light, with a friendship match in the morning, followed by the International Go Federation’s General meeting in the afternoon, followed by a press conference and then the traditional opening ceremony and reception in the evening.

The 8-round tournament — with a field of 62 top amateur players from as many countries — begins Sunday and runs through Wednesday, with rounds each morning and afternoon. On Thursday, the players will tour the nearby area ravaged by the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami, before returning home. In cooperation with Ranka, the E-Journal will file daily reports on all the action, including tournament result updates, game commentaries, photos and daily recaps. Reports will first appear on the AGA’s website and then in the following day’s EJ.
- photos: left: US player Curtis Tang; top right: first games; bottom right: registering; report/photos by Chris Garlock 


EJ & Ranka Coverage of 34th WAGC To Start 9/1

Thursday August 29, 2013

China and Korea are favorites again this year to win the 34th edition of the World Amateur Go Championships, which will be held on September 1-4 in Sendai, Japan. Beginning September 1st,  Ranka Online and the American Go E-Journal will provide full daily coverage of the championship.

The field of 62 players from as many countries will range in age from 14 to 57 and in official rank from 7 kyu to 8 dan. Yuqing Hu will represent China and Hyunjae Choi is playing for Korea; those two countries have not dropped a single game to any other country in this event since 2006. The players from perennially strong Chinese Taipei, Japan, and Hong Kong (Wei-shin Lin, Kikou Emura, and King-man Kwan) will also bear watching, particularly 14-year-old Lin, who will move on from the World Amateur to a pro career in Taiwan.

These Asians will be challenged, however, by a strong European contingent, led by Slovakian prodigy Pavol Lisy, who finished runner-up to former Chinese pro Fan Hui in this year’s European Championship. Joining Pavol will be four other young finalists from the European Championship: Thomas Debarre (France), Ilya Shikshin (Russia), Artem Kachanovskyi (Ukraine), and Nikola Mitic (Serbia). Also competing will be such established European stars as Ondrej Silt (Czechia), Csaba Mero (Hungary), Cornel Burzo (Romania), Merlijn Kuin (Netherlands), and Franz-Josef Dickhut (Germany).

Challenging the Asians and Europeans will be a pair of North American students: Curtis Tang (US), a UC Berkeley student who trained for a year at a go academy in China, and Bill Lin (Canada), who played in the World Mind Games last December and is coming off a 3-1 defense of his Canadian Dragon title.

The Southern hemisphere will be represented by Hao-Song Sun (Australia, 11th place at the 2008 World Mind Sports Games), Xuqi Wu (New Zealand, 12th place at the 2009 Korea Prime Minister Cup), and a pack of hopeful new players from South America and South Africa.

In the past the World Amateur Go Championship has been held in the spring, but this year the schedule was moved back because of the effects of the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011. Thanks to support from all over the world during the past two years, most of the regions hit by the earthquake are now recovering. It is hoped that through the game of go this tournament will give the world proof of the recovery and encourage the local people to press ahead with the long recovery process.
- Ranka Online
NOTE: This report has been updated to reflect Curtis Tang’s status as a college student, not high school.

Amir Fragman 4d Wins Jerusalem Open

Saturday April 6, 2013

Amir Fragman 4d won the 2013 Jerusalem Open Baduk tournament, held during the Passover holiday and initiated and hosted by the Korean Culture Center in Jerusalem. Twenty four players competed in the tournament, played March 28-29 in Jerusalem, Israel. In second was Ali Jabarin 5d and third was Ofer Zivony 3d. Tournament results.
- Shavit Fragman 

2012 WAGC at a Glance: Report/Game Index

Thursday May 17, 2012

The American Go E-Journal and Ranka Online teamed up again this year to provide full coverage of the GAC Trumpchi Cup 33rd World Amateur Go Championship May 11-18 in Guangzhou, China. Round-by-round reports, game records, commentaries, feature stories and photos brought the annual gathering of 56 top amateurs from 55 countries to life for go fans around the world. Below is a handy overview of the coverage in both the E-Journal and Ranka Online; click here for final tournament results (or here for an easy-to-use WAGC Smart Crosstable by the EJ’s Myron Souris, which includes several nifty features, including the ability to place cursor over a player name to highlight all opponent names and results). Thanks to the organizers and staff of the International Go Federation, the China Qi-Yuan and the Guangzhou Qi-yuan for their generous support and assistance. Special thanks to the Ranka/EJ team for all their hard work: (l-r) Yoshitaka Morimoto (Go Weekly), So Yokoku 8P, Ting Ting Chen (translator), Yang Shuang 3P, Chris Garlock (EJ), John Pinkerton (EJ), Ivan Vigano (Ranka), Yuki Shigeno (IGF), James Davies (Ranka), Taro Matsuo (Go Monthly).

World Amateur Championship Set for May 11-17
2012 WAGC Readies for Launch in Guangzhou
33rd WAGC Begins: E-Journal & Ranka Online Team Up for Coverage
WAGC Orientation & Pairings
WAGC Short Takes: Yuan Zhou on Tygem & the U.S. Pro System; Nihon Ki-in Teams up with Cho U on New Go App; In the Gardens of the Guangzhou Chess Institute; A Glimpse of James Davies
WAGC Go Players on Destiny, Predicting the Weather and Managing a Disco Bar
Go Photo: Unwinding at the WAGC
The Nakazono Fan Club’s Road Trip to Guangzhou
31st General Meeting of the IGF
Interview with Igor Popov (Russia)
Interview with Chan Chihan (Hong Kong)
Interview with Chen Cheng-Hsun (Taipei)
Interview with Fang Xiaoyan (China, at right)
Interview with Leslie Perez (Chile)

2012 WAGC Round 1
Overview (EJ) Detailed Report (Ranka)
Game Records: DPR Korea-China (Commentary by So Yokoku 8P); Thailand-Japan (Commentary by Yang Shuang 3P); US-Norway; Brazil-Korea

2012 WAGC Round 2
Overview (EJ)
Detailed Report (Ranka)
Game Records: Finland-UK (Commentary by Kaz Furuyama); Hungary-DPRKorea (Commentary by So Yokoku 8P); Taipei-US (Commentary by So Yokoku 8P); Japan-Netherlands (uncommented) photo: China Go Association President Wang Runan (left) relaxes over a game; photo by John Pinkerton

2012 WAGC Round 3
Detailed Report (Ranka) Game Records: China-Macau (Commentary by Yang Shuang 3P); DPRKorea-Austria; Japan-Korea; Slovakia-Romania
photo: WAGC winner Qiao Zhijian 7d (2nd from left), 2nd-place winner Hyunjoon Lee of Korea (far left), and third-place winner Chen ChengHsun of Tapei (2nd from right), with China Go Association President Wang Runan (3rd from left) and IGF Secretary-General Yuki Shigeno (far right); photo by John Pinkerton

2012 WAGC Round 4
U.S. Beats Japan in Controversial 4th-Round WAGC Game (EJ)
Detailed Report (Ranka)
Game Records
: US-Japan (Commentary by So Yokoku 8P); HongKong-China (Commentary by So Yokoku 8P); Czechia-Taipei

2012 WAGC Round 5
Overview (EJ)
Detailed Report (Ranka)
Game Records: DPRK-Korea (Commentary by So Yokoku 8P); UK-US (Commentary by So Yokoku 8P); Taipei-China (commentary by Yang  Shuang 3P); Czechia-Japan
photo: EJ photographer John Pinkerton; photo by Taro Matsuo

2012 WAGC Round 6
Overview Report (EJ)
Detailed Report (Ranka)
Game Records: Korea-China (Commentary by So Yokoku 8P); Singapore-HongKong; US-DPRK; Germany-Taipei (Commentary by Yang Shuang 3P)

2012 WAGC Round 7
Detailed Report (Ranka)
Game Records
: China-DPRK (Commentary by So Yokoku 8P); HongKong-Taipei; Hungary-Korea; Japan-Slovakia

2012 WAGC Round 8
Detailed Report (Ranka)
Game Records: Korea-Taipei (Commentary by Yang Shuang); Finland-Romania (Commentary by Yang Shuang); Japan-Bosnia; China-Germany

The Nakazono Fan Club’s Road Trip to Guangzhou

Wednesday May 16, 2012

Japan’s player, Seizoh Nakazono 8d, brought something unique to the World Amateur Go Championships: his own cheering section. The group of a dozen supporters traveled to Guangzhou specifically to support Nakazono, who was not only their country’s representative but a fellow graduate of the Kumamoto high school in Kyushu, Japan’s third-largest island. E-Journal readers may also recall him from our report on a visit a few years ago to his Sunshine Go Club in Tokyo. The go-playing Kumamoto graduates in Tokyo number about 40, Shinji Ohmura told the E-Journal on Wednesday, and are regulars at the Sunshine Go Club, where they play in tournaments against each other and against graduates of other schools. High school was a long time ago for the group, who are in their 60s and 70s now, but go has kept them together over the years and, for the Guangzhou group, the miles as well. They faithfully showed up every day at the playing venue, intently following their classmate’s every play. “We’re not go fans,” Shinji, a 62-year-old 3-dan, said, “just fans of Mr. Nakazono.”
- Chris Garlock; photo: the Nakazono fan club watches the Round 4 match between Japan’s Seizoh Nakazono and Yuan Zhou of the United States; photo by John Pinkerton

2012 WAGC Round 8 Game Records

Wednesday May 16, 2012

Korea-Taipei (Commentary by Yang Shuang); Finland-Romania (Commentary by Yang Shuang); Japan-Bosnia; China-Germany
On Board 1, China’s Qiao Zhijian played more deliberately against Germany’s Bemjamin Teuber than he had in the preceding three rounds against opponents from Chinese Taipei and the two Koreas. As in those rounds, his game attracted the most attention from the spectators …Click here for Ranka’s complete Round 8 report.





China Wins WAGC; U.S. is 21st

Wednesday May 16, 2012

THIS JUST IN: China’s Qiao Zhijian 7d, undefeated after eight grueling rounds, is the winner of the 2012 World Amateur Go Championships. In second place is Hyunjoon Lee of Korea, third is Chen ChengHsun of Tapei. US rep Yuan Zhou was 21st. Other Top 10 finishers: Chan Chi Hin (Hong Kong, 4th), Ri Kwang Hyok (DPRK, 5th), Pal Palogh (Hungary, 6th) and Juri Kuronean (Finland, 7th). In 8th place was Japan’s Seizoh Nakazono, 9th was Lou Yuxiang of Singapore and Benjamin Teuber of Germany was 10th. “Overall, the tournament was an impressive display of teenage power,” noted James Davies in his Ranka Online report. “Seven of the top twenty places went to teenage players, including all of the top four. Go seems to have a bright future, and not just in the Far East.” Click here for complete final round reportsfinal standings and Round 7 and Round 8 game records, including So Yokoku’s commentary on the exciting Round 7 China-DPRK game and Yang Shuang’s commentaries on the Round 8 Korea-Taipei and Finland-Romania games.

2012 WAGC Round 7 Game Records

Wednesday May 16, 2012

China-DPRK (Commentary by So Yokoku 8P); HongKong-Taipei; Hungary-Korea; Japan-Slovakia.
The 7th round began with a demonstration of the tombstone tesuji by China’s Qiao Zhijian in the bottom right corner on Board 1 against DPRK’s Ri Kwang Hyok. The resulting fight ended in a ko in the top right corner. Qiao won the ko but had to concede the top right corner territory and also give Kwang Hyok the superior position in the center. See So Yokoku’s commentary below and click here for the complete Ranka report on Round 7. 





Go Photo: Unwinding at the WAGC

Tuesday May 15, 2012

What do go players do after competing all day at the World Amateur Go Championship? Review their games, of course. Here, U.S. player Yuan Zhou 7d — a longtime go teacher and author — analyzes a game Tuesday night in the Baiyun Hotel’s 30th-floor bar/playing room with Sweden’s Martin Li (center) and Pal Sannes of Norway, while Dragan Paunic of Bosnia-Herzegovina watches.
photo by Chris Garlock

WAGC Game Report: Round 6

Tuesday May 15, 2012

In Round 6, Tuesday’s afternoon round, China’s Qiao Zhijian (below right) immediately launched into the same Dosaku opening that he had used successfully in the morning round, once again playing his initial moves in less than one second each. The game took a similar course, with black (Qiao) securing considerable territory while white (Korea’s Lee Hyunjoon, at left) constructed a framework, inside which he tried to destroy an invading black group. At one point it looked as if he had a fair chance of catching the invaders, but running wild inside opponents’ frameworks seems to be Qiao’s specialty, and as in his morning game, he successfully brought his invaders to safety. Lee resolutely switched strategies and tried to win on territory, but this appeared difficult. Toward the end of the game Lee started a ko on the lower edge, but by this time all the black stones were connected into a single group, and white didn’t have enough ko threats. Qiao won the ko, started another (indirect) ko that eventually Lee had to win to avoid losing the top left corner, and won the game by 2.5 points.

Serbia’s Mijodrag Stankovic needed less than 40 minutes to dispose of Australia’s David Bofinger (right). ‘Against a 5-dan opponent I chose to fight,’ said 2-dan David, ‘but it was the wrong fight to choose.’ The players from Chinese Taipei, DPR Korea, Japan, and Hong Kong successfully overcame opponents from Germany, the U.S. Belarus, and Singapore. DPR Korea’s Ri Kwang-Hyok will be the next to try to defeat Qiao Zhijian Wednesday morning. The low-teen duo from Chinese Taipei and Hong Kong are also in the five-win band, which means they are still in contention for the championship; they will play each other in Round 7. Another player in this band is Hungary’s Pal Balogh, who used the avalanche joseki to defeat Slovakia’s Pavol Lisy in Round 6, and will face the Korean Lee in Round 7.

In other notable results, Vietnam’s Do Kanh-Binh (left) defeated Alexander Eerbeek, who said ‘I played like a 10-kyu.’ In a match between two players who reside in Canada, French seed Remi Campagnie downed Canadian representative Xianyu Li. In games matching Europeans against Latin American opponents, Italy’s Carlo Metta, Switzerland’s Felicien Mazille, and Argentina’s Eduardo Lopez picked up their third wins by defeating Costa Rica’s Luis Cajiao, Colombia’s Carlos Acuno, and Austria’s Lothar Spiegel, while Ireland’s Colin MacSweeney (right) picked up his second win by beating Brazil’s Nadeen Prem. And most notable of all, Fang Xiaoyan made this a perfect day for China by defeating Mongolia’s Bayarjargal Shartolgoi.
- adapted from James Davies’ report on Ranka Online; click here for latest results and Round 6 online game records.