American Go E-Journal » World Amateur Go Championships

ROUND 1 HIGHLIGHTS: Thailand Surprises Romania, Canada Routs Russia

Wednesday May 26, 2010

Here are highlights of James Davies’ Ranka Online report on the first round at the WAGC: Kamon Santipojana 4d of Thailand surprised Lucian Corlan 5d of Romania when the 21-year-old Thai student took command of the game early…As previously reported (NO SURPRISES AT TOP IN PRELIM 1ST-ROUND WAGC RESULTS), Canada’s Yongfei Ge 7d defeated Alexey Lazarev 6d of Russia when the closely-matched game turned into a hard-fought rout, with Ge beating Lazarev by 24.5 points…See below for the game, with commentary by Michael Redmond 9P (at left with E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock). The evenly-matched contest between a pair of 3-dans from Mongolia and New Zealand also turned into a rout when the Chinese-born New Zealander, 15-year-old Kaikun Xie, easily forced opponent Oyutbileg Tsendjav to resign. Boonping Teng of Malaysia “outplayed me in the first part of the game” said the United Kingdom’s T Mark Hall, complaining of severe jet lag, ‘but then he made a blunder in a ko fight at the very end.’…The game between Csaba Deak of Brazil and Daniel Baumann (r) of Switzerland, both ranked 1-kyu, took a similar course, when Deak also “blundered (in the end) and had to resign.”…Perhaps the last closely-matched first-round game was also fought between kyu-level players John Gibson (2-kyu) of Ireland and Carlos Leon Rios Joels (1-kyu) of Peru. ‘I’m going to play quickly because I’m hoping to exploit my opponent’s nervousness at being in his first world championship,’ said Gibson. Click here for Ranka Online’s complete report. photos by John Pinkerton

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NO SURPRISES AT TOP IN PRELIM 1ST-ROUND WAGC RESULTS

Wednesday May 26, 2010

No surprises at the top in the first round of the World Amateur Go Championship, with China, both Koreas and Taipei winning their games handily. In North America, Thomas Hsiang 7d (US, left) beat Sotirios Ioannides 1k of Cyprus (r), Canada’s Yongfei Ge 7d defeated Alexey Lazarev 6d of Russia and Mexico’s Emil Bustamente 5d beat Janez Janza 3d of Slovenia. One unexpected result among European players was Thailand’s Kamon Santipojana 4d’s win against Romania’s Lucian Corlan 5d. By 6A EST, a complete first-round report – and perhaps a preliminary Round 2 report – will be posted on both the AGA website and Ranka Online.

PRESIDENTIAL GO: THE VIEW FROM THE TOP

Wednesday May 26, 2010

The view of the famous Hangzhou lake district was obscured by haze but all eyes in the 28th-floor suite at the Tian Yuan Tower were riveted on the go board inside. While preparations for the 31st annual World Amateur Go Championships were underway twenty floors below on Monday afternoon, outgoing International Go Federation President Hideo Otake 9P (l) and incoming IGF President Zhenming Chang  (r) were enjoying a quiet game (below, with commentary by Michael Redmond 9P) before a busy schedule that included the IGF General meeting, a press conference and the WAGC’s opening ceremonies and banquet. Chang is Vice Chairman and President of the CITIC Group, a major Chinese firm dealing in finance, real estate, resource development, manufacturing and telecommunications. He’s been playing since he was 9 years old. His middle school team was coached by players like Yigang Hua and Runan Wang, and he won the third New Physical Education Cup in 1979, which had previously been won by Weiping Nie and Zude Chen. He’s a strong proponent of go because of “it’s great training for the mind, especially for children.” As a businessman, he appreciates the game’s strategic aspects. “You learn that you can lose the battle but win the war. Or in business terms, that you can lose money but still come out ahead. You also learn to adapt to different situations, for example, to use different joseki in different positions.” After the game, the two men briefly discussed a few key points of play, then shook hands and stood up. It was time to turn their attention to other, perhaps less fun, but no less important, aspects of world go.
- includes reporting by James Davies and Chris Garlock; photo by John Pinkerton; game commentary by Michael Redmond 9P. CLICK “link” to download the sgf file or “read more” for an online game viewer

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CHINA TO LEAD IGF INTO NEW ERA

Tuesday May 25, 2010

The election of Chang Zhenming of China as President of the International Go Federation (IGF) highlighted the International Go Federation’s General Meeting (r) on Monday as the 31st edition of the IGF’s flagship event – the World Amateur Go Championship – formally launched in Hangzhou, China. “I will give my best effort to promote go to the whole world,” Chang promised, “Go is a benefit for everyone.” The other major news was that while there have been setbacks in the attempt to achieve recognition for go as an Olympic sport, mind sports are making significant progress. IGF Director Thomas Hsiang reported that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) includes mind sports as a category that has “no realistic chance of entering either the Summer or the Winter Olympics,” and so won’t be recognized. The good news is that SportAccord (formerly the General Association of International Sports Federation, or GAISF) is expanding its definition of sport to include mind sport and plans to sponsor a number of new events, including Mind Sport Games. Planning for a second World Mind Sports Games (WMSG) in August 2012 is now underway, with Manchester UK as the leading candidate to host. In even more exciting news, the International Federation of Poker has applied to become an IMSA and SA member, which has attracted interest from several major marketing firms, with which the IGF is now in discussions. Upcoming events either sponsored by the IGF or with major IGF involvement are the 21st International Pair Go Championships October 16-17 in Japan, the 16th Guangzhou Asian Games November 12-27 and the 32nd World Amateur Go Championship in Shimane, Japan.
- Chris Garlock; photo by John Pinkerton. Click here for the complete report and more photos on Ranka Online.

HANDICAPPING THE WAGC

Tuesday May 25, 2010

Sixty players from 60 countries and regions. Eight rounds over four days. For 31 years, the World Amateur Go Championships (WAGC) have assembled a global gathering of top amateurs to compete, meet and spread the game of go around the world. This year’s WAGC is being held this week in Hangzou, China, organized by the China Qiyuan, the Chinese agency responsible for board and card games, under the supervision of the International Go Federation, and co-organized by the Hangzhou Branch of the China Qi-Yuan (Chinese Go Association). After arriving on Monday and participating in the IGF General Meeting and opening ceremonies on Tuesday, the tournament proper commences on Wednesday morning. This year, DPR Korea, playing in the WAGC for the first time since 2006, joins China and the Republic of Korea as top contenders for the title. China’s Chen Wang is just 17 years old but won the Chinese Evening News Cup. Taewon Jo of DPR Korea, a veteran at age 21, won the individual amateur event in the World Mind Sports Games in 2008. And Hongsuk Song, a year older at 22, has been doing well in the Republic of Korea, winning the international Korean Prime Minister’s Cup last October and more recently taking the amateur Kuksoo title and the Korean Sports Cup. Two more 17-year-olds who bear watching are Nai San Chan of Hong Kong, China, and Thomas Debarre of France, who finished third and eighth, respectively, in the World Amateur Go Championship last year. Also hoping to place in the top eight are newcomers Cheng-hsun Chen (age 11, at left) of Chinese Taipei and Yohei Sato (29) of Japan, but they will be vying with a group of twenty other players ranked 5 dan and above, including established stars such as Ondrej Silt (23) of Czechia.
- Based on James Davies’ report on Ranka Online; photo (top right): panel in front of the WAGC playing site with signatures of the players (photo by Ivan Vigano); photo of Cheng-hsun Chen by John Pinkerton

E-JOURNAL’S WAGC COVERAGE COMMENCES

Tuesday May 25, 2010

The American Go E-Journal‘s special coverage of the World Amateur Go Championships (WAGC) begins with tomorrow’s edition. Each morning’s edition will include our reports through midday local time in Hangzhou, China; click here anytime for the latest live news, posted as it happens by the EJ/Ranka Online team. The daily WAGC E-Journals will also include special game commentaries usually only included in the Member’s Edition, provided as part of our support for world go. We hope you enjoy our complete coverage of the 31st annual competition among top amateur players from around the world, which runs through May 31. The weekly E-Journal will resume next week.
- Chris Garlock; photo: WAGC players warm up Monday morning; photo by John Pinkerton

LIVE FROM THE WORLD AMATEURS!

Sunday May 23, 2010

The American Go E-Journal will publish special daily editions this week live from the World Amateur Go Championships (WAGC) in Hangzhou, China. We’re teaming up again with Ranka Online this year to provide complete coverage of the 31st annual competition among top amateur players from around the world, which will run May 24-31. American-born pro Michael Redmond 9P will provide game commentaries for the Ranka/E-Journal effort – which will include ongoing updates on both Ranka and the AGA website , as well as via the daily E-Journal reports — while Ivan Vigano, James Davies and Chris Garlock will report and John Pinkerton will provide photos.
- Chris Garlock; photo: WAGC players warm up Monday morning; photo by John Pinkerton

LIVE FROM THE WORLD AMATEURS!

Monday May 17, 2010

The American Go E-Journal will publish special daily editions next week live from the World Amateur Go Championships (WAGC) in Hangzhou, China. We’re teaming up again with Ranka Online this year to provide complete coverage of the 31st annual competition among top amateur players from around the world, which will run May 24-31. American-born pro Michael Redmond 9P will provide game commentaries for the Ranka/E-Journal effort – which will include ongoing updates on both Ranka and the AGA website , as well as via daily E-Journal reports — while Ivan Vigano, James Davies and Chris Garlock will report and John Pinkerton will provide photos.

RANKA & E-JOURNAL TEAM UP AGAIN FOR WAGC

Monday May 10, 2010

The American Go E-Journal will team up again with Ranka this year to provide complete coverage of the World Amateur Go Championships (WAGC). The 31st annual competition among top amateur players from around the world is set for May 24-31 in Hangzhou, China. American-born pro Michael Redmond 9P will provide game commentaries for the Ranka/E-Journal effort – which will include ongoing updates on both Ranka and the AGA website , as well as via daily E-Journal reports — while Ivan Vigano, James Davies and Chris Garlock will report and John Pinkerton will provide photos. NOTE: if you have tips about go places to visit in Shanghai — or have go contacts there — please email journal@usgo.org immediately. Click here to see last year’s coverage, and here for this year’s WAGC details, including the schedule. photo: Hall of Hangzhou Tian Yuan Tower, where the WAGC will take place.

World Pair Go Registration Deadline Extended

Monday February 1, 2010

The registration deadline for the World Pair Go Tournament has been extended to this Thursday at  midnight. Recognizing the World Pair Go Tournament as a special one-time celebration of the 20th anniversary of the creation of Pair Go, the AGA Board Sunday night voted to waive both the one-year continuous membership requirement and the 10-game minimum requirement for the qualification tournament, as it had waived some requirements for the World Mind Sports Games last year under similar circumstances. U.S. citizenship and U.S. residency for at least six of the past twelve months still are required. Interested pros and amateurs must contact President@usgo.org with names and AGA ID’s by the deadline