American Go E-Journal » World

China Wins World Mind Games Pair Go Tournament; Meeting the Masters; Do Bridge Players Have All The Fun?

Wednesday December 18, 2013

China’s Chenxing Wang 5P and Ruiyang Zhou 9P (left) defeated Chinese Taipei’s Joanne Missingham 6P and Yuan-Jyun Wang 6P on Wednesday to win gold in the SportAccord World Mind Games (SAWMG) Pair Go competition. The 3-round event capped the third annual SAWMG competition, which included men’s team and women’s individual events in go, as well as competitions in chess, bridge, draughts and Chinese Chess, and ran December 12-18 in Beijing, China. The bronze medal was won by Park Jieun and Kim Jiseok, the pair from Korea. Click here for full go coverage on Ranka Online, complete event coverage on the SportAccord World Mind Games website – including video commentaries by Michael Redmond 9P on the SAWMG YouTube channel — and of course on the usgo.org website. Coverage this year included audio commentaries by Redmond on KGS; check KGS Plus under Recent Lectures.

Days 5&6 (Tuesday, 12/16 & Wednesday, 12/17) Summary: (winners denoted with links; click on links for game records, uncommented unless otherwise noted)
Round 1 (12/16): Europe (Kovaleva-Fan)-China; Korea-North America; Europe (Shikshin-Shikshina)-Japan; Chinese Taipei-Europe (Burdakova-Lisi).
Round 2 (12/16): Europe (Burdakova-Lisi)- North America; China-Japan (Redmond commentary); Europe (Shikshin-Shikshina)- Europe (Burdakova-Lisi); Chinese Taipei-Korea.
Round 3 (12/17): China-Chinese Taipei (Redmond commentary);  Japan-Korea; Europe (Burdakova-Lisi)-Europe (Shikshina-Shikshin).

Meeting the Masters: Students at the Huajiadi Experimental Primary School in Beijing got a chance to meet some of the SportAccord World Mind Games’ top go players and officials on Tuesday. The school is known for its cutting-edge approach to teaching and boasts nearly a thousand junior grade go players. The guests were greeted by two rooms of children buzzing with excitement. In the first classroom, a hands-on lesson on nakade grabbed the children’s attention, and in the second the pupils quickly settled down and answered questions about the history and rules of the game. The guests were then taken downstairs to the gymnasium, where boards had been set out for the 40 kids who would take on top professionals in nine-stone handicap games….click here for complete report.

Do Bridge Players Have All The Fun? “Let’s have dinner! We drink vodka!”  Not the first words you would expect to hear after the tense final of an international go final. But this is how bridge superstar Fulvio Fantoni greeted the rival Polish team at the conclusion of the Pairs Open at the 2013 SportAccord World Mind Games. “We’re all good friends – we’ve known each other for many years,” Fantoni says… click here for full report

 

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U.S. Team to Play in 1st Zhu Gang Cup World Team Go Championship

Tuesday December 17, 2013

Mingjiu Jiang 7P (center), Stephanie (Mingming) Yin 1P and Zhaonian (Michael) Chen 8D will make up a U.S. team at the upcoming Zhu Gang Cup World Team Go Championship. The brand-new event for both professionals and amateurs features a significant prize-money pool and runs December 19-26 in Guangzhou, China. It’s hosted by the Chinese Weiqi Association  and the Guangzhou All-Sport Federation.

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Game Commentary: Redmond on the Samsung Final

Thursday December 12, 2013

After a very calm start for both players, Lee Sedol 9P starts to attack in the middle game of the Samsung Game 2 final (Korean Fans Shocked By Loss in Samsung Cup Final As Tang Weixing 3P Sweeps Lee Sedol 9Pon

[link]

December 11, sparking a very exciting fight, where I’ve concentrated most of my comments. Tang Weixing 3P ably parries Lee’s attack and after the dust settles it’s a very close game.

- Michael Redmond 9P 

 

Categories: Game Commentaries,World
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Korean Fans Shocked By Loss in Samsung Cup Final As Tang Weixing 3P Sweeps Lee Sedol 9P

Wednesday December 11, 2013

Chinese rising star Tang Weixing 3P (left) has overcome Korean legend Lee Sedol 9P (right) to claim the 2013 Samsung Cup. Before the match, played December 9-11 in Suzhou, China, Lee said that he was desperate to win for his country. Having won the Samsung Cup four times, Lee, the defending champion, was considered the favorite by many, including his challenger, but Tang, in his debut in an international final, showed nerves of steel to win the title 2-0. The first game was an intense battle that came to a thrilling climax in a complex ko fight. Many commentators thought that Lee had won this fight with some clever exchanges, as did Lee himself. However Tang was equal to the task, extending his threats and gaining enough from the ko to win by half a point. In the second game Lee, holding black, went on the offensive from the get-go and established a commanding position. Once again, however, Tang resisted solidly to claw his way back, and in the end black did not have enough points. It has been 17 years since Korea has not claimed a major international title. This had Korean fans cheering for Lee in the Samsung final, the last major tournament of the year. Instead, Tang reaffirmed the recent Chinese dominance, leaving Korea winless in 2013. Click here for Go Game Guru’s report on the Samsung semi-finals, which includes interviews with Lee and Tang, photos and game records from the semis.
- Ben Gale, Korea Correspondent for the E-Journal

Categories: World
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Mi Yuting Triumphs at 1st MLily Cup

Sunday December 8, 2013

1st MLily Cup 2013The 1st MLily Cup finished on December 6 with China’s newest 9d player Mi Yuting (left) at the helm. On his journey to his breakthrough win, the 18-year-old Mi defeated Lee Sedol 9p, Kang Dongyun 9p, Kong Jie 9p, Dang Yifei 4p, and Wang Xi 9p. Final challenger Gu Li 9d hoped to end his three-year runner-up streak but Mi dominated 3-1.

The MLily Cup is a biennial international go tournament sponsored by MLily Meng Baihe. It is intended to alternate with the Bailing Cup every other year. For more information about this year’s MLily Cup including photos and game records, please visit Go Game Guru.
— Annalia Linnan, based on a longer article by Go Game Guru; photo courtesy of Go Game Guru

China & Japan Top Pair Go Futian Cup

Saturday December 7, 2013

China and Japan split top honors at the “Futian Cup” 3rd Shenzhen International Pair Go Masters Tournament in China November 24-26. Chinese pros Kong Xiang-ming 8P and Ma Xiao-Chun 9P (right) bested three other professional pairs from South Korea (Yung Young-min 3P & Cho Hoon-Hyun 9P), Japan (Tomoko Ogawa 6P & Masaki Takemiya 9P) and Chinese Taipei (Wang Jing Yi 2P & Lin Hai Feng 9P) to win 100,000 Yuan (about $16,500), while the Japanese pair won the amateur division. Judy Debel of the Seattle Go Center and Ted Terpstra of the San Diego Go Club (at left) represented the American Go Association at the Futian Cup, placing fourth. China was second, and Europe was third. Click here  for game records (playable on PandaNet) and photos.

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SportAccord World Mind Games Japanese Player Profiles

Thursday December 5, 2013

Thirty players (18 men and 12 women) from around the world — China, Chinese Taipei, Europe, Japan, Korea and North America — will compete for major cash prizes in this year’s SportAccord World Mind Games, coming up December 12-18 in Beijing. Here are Michael Redmond’s 9P’s introduction and brief biographical sketches of the Japanese players. Redmond and EJ Managing Editor Chris Garlock will be providing play-by-play game commentary on the SAWMG YouTube channel as well as coverage in the EJ. click here to see the player roster and schedule

by Michael Redmond 9P
Overall, it is clear that Japan has decided to give younger players a chance this year. Unfortunately, star players from the same age group such as Murakawa Daisuke and Ichiriki Ryo are missing, I would have liked to see them in this tournament. Murakawa was the B league winner of the Kisei league and recently he lost to Yamashita Keigo in the playoff to decide the challenger. In the league he bested top players such as Takao Shinji, Hane Naoki, and Kono Rin. I suppose that the Kisei tournament, among other things, posed a potential schedule issue for him this time. Ichiriki is a formidable 16 year old player, he seems to be winning all the time. Two weeks ago he lost to Ko Iso in the final to enter the Meijin league, his only loss in the recent past that I can remember. I would guess he has some other schedule issues. As to the women, judging from domestic tournaments I would have expected to see Xie Imin, Mukai Chiaki, or Okuda Aya, but actually I have a feeling that Yoshida might have a better track record in international tournaments.

Rina Fujisawa 2P: Born in 1998, at the age of 11 years and 6 months, she became the youngest player to become pro in Japan, breaking Cho Chikun’s record of 11 and 9 months. She began playing as a pro in April 2010, and caused some comment by beating a 9-dan in June of the same year. Rina is the granddaughter of Fujisawa Shuko, and her father is Fujisawa Kazunari 8P. She has an intuitive and aggressive style.

Akihiro Fujita 4P: Born in 1991, Akihiro became a pro in 2006. Won the 38th Shinjin-O (New Kings) tournament in 2013, and in 2010 came one win away from entering the Honinbo league, losing to Yamashiro 9p in the final round. He is considered to be one of the most promising young players in Japan.

Tomoya Hirata 3P: Born in 1994, became pro in 2009. Plays an aggressive style. In June this year I played him and published a commentary in the EJ on the game, which I lost by a mistake in late middlegame.

Kazushi Tsuruta 2P: Born in 1995, became pro in 2010. In 2011 he won into the Gosei Honsen.

Mika Yoshida 8P: Born in 1971, became pro in 1986. Won several Women’s titles from 1992 to 2005. Plays a well-balanced style.

E-Journal & Ranka to Cover 3rd SportAccord World Mind Games

Sunday December 1, 2013

The third edition of the SportAccord World Mind Games is set for December 12-18 in Beijing. The American Go E-Journal will once again team up with Ranka to provide coverage this year, with Michael Redmond 9P and EJ Managing Editor Chris Garlock providing play-by-play game commentary on the SAWMG YouTube channel as well as coverage in the EJ. Thirty players (18 men and 12 women) from around the world — China, Chinese Taipei, Europe, Japan, Korea and North America — will compete for major cash prizes; click here to see the player roster and schedule.

Nihon Ki-in Announces New Under-20 World Tourney

Saturday November 30, 2013

The ‘GLOBIS Cup World Go U-20’, a new Japanese world championship for under-20 players, will be held May 8-11 2014 in Tokyo, the Nihon Ki-in has announced. The winner will win 3 million Japanese yen (about $30,000 USD) and all players will receive 35,000 JPY (about $350) for participating. Sixteen players under 20 years of age (as of January 1st 2014) will compete: six from Japan, three each from Korea and China, and one each from Chinese Taipei, Europe, North America and Oceania. “After the termination of the Fujitsu Cup, I am very glad to know that the Nihon Kiin is back to sponsor a world championship,” says AGA Vice President for International
Affairs Thomas Hsiang. The AGA will soon announce a selection procedure for this tournament.

Categories: Japan,World,Youth
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Big Jubango Between Lee Sedol & Gu Li Set To Start In January

Friday November 29, 2013

MLily 2014 jubangoThe dates for the much-anticipated match between Lee Sedol 9p (top left) and Gu Li 9p (bottom left) have finally been announced. The jubango, or ten-game match, will begin on January 26, 2014 in Beijing. Sponsor MLily will award the first player to win six games with 5 million RMB (approximately 820,000 USD). The other player will receive a consolation prize of 200,000 RMB (approximately 33,000 USD). If the score is tied 5-5, the prize will be split without a tie-breaker.

“I think these two players are the best choice for a jubango, and the games will be very exciting,” said Liu Siming, president of the Chinese Weiqi Association. “There hasn’t been a jubango like this in the last 70 years, but we’ve pushed ahead to make this one happen.” With twenty-one international titles between the two of them, Liu considers Lee and Gu “still the best” among today’s top players. Liu also delivered the exciting news that each of the ten games will be played in a different city.

Gu and Lee themselves, though, are trying to stay humble. When asked how he will prepare for the jubango, Gu said, “This match will be a very important part of my career and life.” He has already logged many hours studying to prepare. As for Lee, he does not believe that being the top ranked Korean player has anything to do with how the jubango will unfold. “There were many lightning games in the first half of 2013, and I lost many of them,” Lee said. “However there have been more games with longer time limits in the second half of the year, and I’ve been able to achieve better results in those games. That’s all there is to it.”

For more information about the 2014 MLily Gu vs Lee jubango, please visit Go Game Guru. For the full jubango schedule, please visit Go Game Guru’s Pro Go Calendar.
–- Annalia Linnan, based on a longer article by Go Game Guru, photo courtesy of Go Game Guru