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EuroGoTV Updates: Sweden, Ukraine, Romania

Sunday July 28, 2013

Artem Kachanovsky 6dSweden: The EGF qualification tournament for Beijing 2013 finished July 22 in Leksand with Hui Fan 7d in first, Pavol Lisy 6d in second, and Alexander Dinerchtein 7d in third. Ukraine: Victory went to Artem Kachanovskyi 6d (left) at the Samsung Cup in Kyiv on July 14. Dmytro Bohatskyi 5d came in second and Andril Kravets 6d placed third. Romania: At the 4th Radu Baciu Grand Prix in Barsov (also July 14), Lucretiu Calota 5d took the lead, followed by Sergiu Dan Iugulescu 2d in second and Sora Sorin 4d in third.
— Annalia Linnan, based on reports from EuroGoTV, which include complete result tables and all the latest European go news

 

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Japan Pair Go Association Grants $3600 for US Pair Go Development

Thursday July 25, 2013

The Japan Pair Go Association has just granted $3,600 to promote Pair Go in the United States next year, reports AGA Pair Go Coordinator Rachel Small. The grant is based on Small’s proposed annual Pair Go plan, which she hopes “will generate enthusiasm, increase the number of Pair Go events held annually, and help Pair Go players form strong partnerships, with the ultimate goal of advancing the culture of Pair Go in the US.” Included in the budget is prize money for the North American Pair Go Championship and the Youth-Adult Pair Go Tournament at the US Go Congress, the second annual Pair Go Tournament at the North American Go Convention, and two additional Pair Go tournaments over the next year. “These are very exciting plans but we need help to make them happen,” Small says. Financial incentives will be provided for an organizer/director for the Pair Go pro teaching workshop at this year’s Congress, a game-recorder for the top table Pair Go game, a volunteer to record video of Congress Pair Go events, and a video-editor to piece together the footage into a short promotional piece, as well as directors of two new Pair Go Tournaments. Those interested should contact  Small at pairgo@usgo.org. -Photo by Steve Colburn: Pair Go contestants at the 2010 Go Congress in Colorado Springs.

Online Tourney Planned to Select U.S. SportAccord World Mind Games Team

Tuesday July 23, 2013

The United States has been invited to send five players – three men and one woman – to the 2013 SportAccord World Mind Games (SAWMG) in Beijing, China. The team will be selected in an online tournament in August, except for the winner of the North American Master’s Tournament (NAMT), who will be automatically selected if eligible and able to participate. All eligible male players who have two or more wins in the NAMT will be seeded into the online men’s selection tournament, a 16-player, 5-round double elimination tournament taking place on KGS over two weekends in August. The remaining slots in the tournament are open to professionals and amateurs who did not participate in SAWMG, prioritized by rating. The men’s online selection will take place on the evenings of August 16, 17, 18, 24, and 25. The women’s online selection will be an 8-player 3-round single elimination. Eligibility is based on the AGA’s policy for international representatives: full or youth AGA membership for at least one year from selection, residency in the US for 6 of the last 12 months, and for this event, US citizenship is required. If you are eligible and interested in participating in this year’s SportAccord World Mind Game selection, whether you are attending NAMT or not, email karoline.burrall@usgo.org. The deadline for registrants who are not participating in NAMT is Wednesday August 14.
- Karoline Burrall, AGA Tournament Coordinator
UPDATE: this post has been updated to reflect that there will be three men and one woman selected for the team, not two women, as originally reported.   The second place female finisher would be an alternate in case the selected rep has to be replaced.

The Power Report (Bonus Edition): Kono Extends Lead In Gosei; Kisei League Update

Monday July 22, 2013

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the American Go E-Journal

Kono Extends Lead In Gosei: Iyama Yuta 9P didn’t have much time to enjoy his Honinbo triumph: just four days later, he was fighting yet another title-match game. The second game of the 38th Gosei title match was played in the Nagaoka Grand Hotel in Nagaoka City, Niigata Prefecture on July 22. The challenger, Kono Rin 9P (left), had got off to a good start in the series, reversing the disastrous trend of his previous record against Iyama. His good form continued in the second game. Taking white, Kono forced a resignation after 194 moves and now has a chance to take the title in the third game, scheduled for July 26.

Kisei League Update: Three games have been played in the 38th Kisei leagues so far in July. They have not altered the lead in either league, but one favorite has suffered a setback. On July 11, Kiyonari Tetsuya 9P of the Kansai Ki-in, playing white, defeated Yoda Norimoto 9P (right) by resignation in the A League. Kiyonari went to 2-1 and is doing well in his comeback to the league. Yoda is now 1-2 and will have to focus on keeping his place rather than on winning the league. On July 18, Kobayashi Satoru 9P (W) defeated Cho U 9P by resignation in the A League.  Kobayashi is now 2-1 and Cho 1-2. The latter was regarded as one of the early favorites, but his prospects don’t look good now. In the B League on the same day, Hane Naoki 9P (W) defeated Kono Rin 9P by 1.5 points. Both players are now on 1-2. In the A League, Yamashita Keigo Meijin has the sole lead on 2-0. In the B League, both 25th Honinbo Cho Chikun and Murakawa Daisuke 7P of the Kansai Ki-in are on 2-0.

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The Power Report: Kobayashi Satoru Wins His First Igo Masters Cup; Yuki Reaches Third Round of Mlily Championship

Sunday July 21, 2013

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the American Go E-Journal

Kobayashi Satoru Wins His First Igo Masters Cup:
The final of the 3rd Igo Masters Cup, which is open to players 50 years and older who have won a top-seven title or who are doing well in the prize-money rankings, featured a clash between former Kisei Kobayashi Satoru 9P and Ishii Kunio 9P, who was hoping to win his first official title. These days Ishii is best known as the nurturer of the extraordinary talent of Iyama Yuta. Kobayashi, taking black, won by 1.5 points.

Yuki Reaches Third Round of Mlily Championship: The Mlily World Weiqi Open Championship is yet another Chinese-sponsored international tournament. We reported earlier on the results in the first round (Mlily Cup Preliminaries 5/25/2013 EJ). Yuki Satoshi 9P was the only Japanese representative to survive that round. He also did well in the second round, defeating Li 1-dan of China. In the round of 16, Yuki will be matched against Wang Xi 9-dan of China. We don’t have full details, but the second round was yet another triumph for China, which won 13 games to two wins for Korea and one for Japan. Among the 13 Chinese players going on to the next round are such prominent players as Gu Li, Kong Jie, Hu Yaoyu, and Zhou Ruiyang. The two Korean players are Ch’oe Ch’eol-han and Cho Han-sung. Yi Se-tol was eliminated in this round. There are rumors of a best-of-ten match between Yi and Gu Li, but, if true, the timing is not good for Yi, as he seems to have passed his peak.

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Iyama Retains Honinbo Title With 4.5-Point Win in Game 7

Saturday July 20, 2013

In the end, Iyama Yuta 9P’s hold on the Honinbo title came down to 4.5 points. That was Iyama’s margin of victory over Takao Shinji 9P in the final game of the 68th Honinbo title, which concluded on July 18 at 7:42p after 262 moves in Hadano, Kanagawa prefecture, Japan. This is the third time in three years that the Honinbo has gone the full 7-game distance, including last year when Iyama took the title from Yamashita Keigo 9P. Iyama and Takao began their grueling duel in mid-May with Iyama winning the first game. Takao quickly made up the loss by controlling the next two games. However, Iyama (right) was not intimidated and fought back in games four and five, giving himself a chance to capture the match in game six, but Takao quickly extinguished those hopes in just 194 moves to set up yet another dramatic final game for the match. In the decisive seventh game (left), Iyama, taking black, used almost half of his eight-hour time allowance during the first day alone. When Takao sealed the move (W74) at 5:07p on July 17, he had four hours and forty-eight minutes remaining while his opponent only had four hours and five minutes. At 9a the next morning, the tricky sealed move was revealed and

[link]

“[changed] the flow of the game,” according to live game commentator Rin Kanketsu 7P. Yet up until move 70, either player could have taken the title. It was white’s tenuki at move 82 that was the crucial misstep that allowed black to secure thickness and give Iyama the advantage. White attempted to complicate the game at move 92 but Iyama stayed unfazed through the endgame and claimed victory with only two minutes left on his clock. In a post-game interview, Iyama said he felt fortunate to have held on to the title after such a challenging series. Takao felt lucky he made it to the end but was disappointed in his own performance. Since his most recent Honinbo title in 2007, Takao has tried to “reclaim the crown” three times to no avail. Iyama, on the other hand, holds five of the seven major Japanese titles (Kisei, Honinbo, Tengen, Oza, and Gosei) and also won the 25th Asian TV Cup at the end of June, proving his international prowess.
- Annalia Linnan, based on a more detailed report — including more photos and game records — on Go Game Guru; photos courtesy Go Game Guru

Israeli Go Workshop Connects with Government Officials

Monday July 15, 2013

Senior officials at the  Israeli Ministry of Economy attended a special training session, linking economic concepts to go, at a conference near Jerusalem, on July 11th. “We were invited to lecture on Strategic Thinking and Decision Making Tools – Use of Go/ Baduk as a model,” reports Shavit Fragman, president of Mind Chain Baduk Club. “Baduk and economic concepts were discussed at length, with many demonstrations and illustrations. It drew a lot of attention (no one left or fell asleep) and participants reported it was the best workshop of the day. The audience also showed great interest in the baduk brochures and other available go materials, and expressed interest in continued sessions to further explore the concepts and model for use in their work and life. Since the beginning of the year Mind Go Club has demonstrated baduk to over 500 new people,” adds Fragman.  The presentation is available as a pdf here, more photos from the event are here. -Paul Barchilon.  Photo by Shavit Fragman.

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Go Dreams Come True at Osaka Camp

Thursday July 11, 2013

Going to Japan to train to play go is a dream for many western go players. It’s a dream come true for 32 players from around the world, who are now attending the 3-week Osaka Go Camp led by by Maeda Ryo 6P and Li Ting 1P. The camp started July 1, and most of the participants are from the United States, followed by Canada, France and Germany; all told, there are ten different nations represented by players ranging from 25-kyu up to 7-dan.

The daily schedule includes one league game and different kinds of professional lectures. Maeda is stressing the importance of endgame reading and gives out homework for that. The winner of the camp league will get the opportunity to play a teaching game against a professional 9-dan. The most promising candidate so far is Lionel Zhang 6D from the US, who has four wins and no losses thus far.

On the weekend there are friendly tournaments against local players visiting the camp. Some of them are regular visitors to the US Go Congress and were happy to be able to play in their hometown against westerners. Wednesday and Thursday are free days that can be used for sightseeing trips. There have already been trips to Kansai Kiin, Osaka Castle and Kyoto. Some people did not want to stop playing go for even a day and used their free time to pay a visit to the Kansai Branch of Nihon Kiin and challenged the people there.

The professionals are not just teaching go; they also take time to show participants around. Especially going out for dinner with local people is very worthwhile. Nakano Yasuhiro 9P even gave an example of traditional Japanese music, giving a performance with a shamisen, a three-stringed, Japanese musical instrument. Click here for additional photos and reports on the camp’s blog.
- Jan Engelhardt, German Correspondent for the E-Journal; photo: a friendly tournament against locals

The Power Report: Korea and China Take the Prizes at Asian Indoor & Martial Arts Games; Cho U Stumbles in Meijin League; Kono Rin Makes Good Start in Gosei

Wednesday July 10, 2013

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the American Go E-Journal

Korea and China Take the Prizes at Asian Indoor & Martial Arts Games: On July 2, the finals of the individual male competition and the Pair Go tournament were held at the 4th Asian Indoor & Martial Arts Games. In the former, Tang Weixing 3P of China took first place, and in the latter victory went to the Chinese team of (Ms.) Gao Xing 1P and Peng Liyao 5P. The following day, the second stage of go competition started, that is, the male and female team championships. In the male team championship, three-player teams from ten countries started out in a four-round Swiss System tournament, which was followed by a knock-out tournament for the top four. The results of the Japanese team are given below (the team consisted of Hirata Tomoya 3P, Tsuruta Kazushi 2P, and Motoki Katsuya 2P), followed by details of the knock-out stage.

Round 1 (July 3). China beat Japan 3-0; Round 2 (July 3). Japan beat Hong Kong 2-1; Round 3 (July 4). Japan beat Mongolia 3-0; Round 4 (July 4). Japan beat Singapore 3-0. Japan qualified for the knock-out.
Knock-out stage: Semifinals (July 5). Korea beat Japan 2-1; China beat Chinese Taipei 3-0.
Final (July 5). Korea beat China 2-1.
Japan did not enter a team in the women’s team tournament. The results in the knock-out round were as follows: Semifinals (July 5). China beat Chinese Taipei 2-1; Korea beat Thailand 3-0; Final (July 5). China beat Korea 2-1.

Cho U Stumbles in Meijin League: Until very recently, Cho U (left) seemed to have victory in the 38th Meijin League more or less sewn up, but he has stumbled at the second-last hurdle and, if he loses in the final round, won’t even make a play-off for first place. Three games were held in the league last week. On July 1, Kono Rin 9P, taking black, beat Murakawa Daisuke 7P by 1.5 points. This game was played on a Monday because Kono had a title-match game scheduled for the following Saturday. On July 4, Hane Naoki 9P (W) beat Sakai Hideyuki 8P by 6.5 points and Takao Shinji 9P (W) beat Cho U 9P by 2.5 points. Cho U keeps the sole lead with a 6-1 score, but the problem for him is that the four players ranked above him in the league, that is, Hane, Iyama Yuta, Kono, and Takao, are all on 5-2. Hane and Iyama are playing each other in the final round, so one of them has to end up with 6-2. If Kono beats Cho in their game, they will both be 6-2. Takao, who is playing Yuki Satoshi, could also end
up on 6-2, making a four-way tie for first. However, the rule in the Meijin League is that only the two highest-ranked players in a multiple tie qualify for the play-off. That would be either Hane or Iyama and Kono. That makes it very simple for Cho: whatever happens, he has to win his final game.

Kono Rin Makes Good Start in Gosei: Kono Rin 9P (right) has got off to an excellent start in his challenge for the 38th Gosei title. Before this match began, his record against the defending champion, Iyama Yuta, was a dismal six wins to 14 losses; moreover, he had lost eight games in a row, including a wipe-out in last year’s Tengen title match. However, when the Gosei match started on July 6, he showed that past results are irrelevant to a title match. Taking black, he forced Iyama to resign after 161 moves. The game was played in Kanazawa City in Ishikawa Prefecture. The venue was in the Hokkoku Newspaper Meeting Hall , an ultra-modern 20-storey building that is the headquarters of one of the sponsors of the title, the Hokkoku (= North Country) Newspaper. The second game is scheduled for July 22.

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The Power Report: Iyama One Win Away From Defending Honinbo Title; Iyama Wins 25th TV Asia Cup, Secures Japan Its First International Title In Eight Years; 38th Kisei Leagues Update; Japan Eliminated From Asian Indoor And Martial Arts Games

Monday July 1, 2013

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the American Go E-Journal

Iyama One Win Away From Defending Honinbo Title: The fifth game of the 68th Honinbo title match was held at the Hotel Hankyu Expo Park in Suita City on June 24 and 25. This was another irregular Monday/Tuesday game because of the hectic schedules of both players (Wednesday/Thursday is usual for two-day games). Suita City is in Osaka Prefecture, the home ground of Iyama, so the overwhelming majority of the fans who attended the party on the eve of the game were rooting for him. Takao was unfazed, however. In his speech, he commented that he now understood the feelings of his favourite baseball team, the Chiba Lotte Marines (from the prefecture to the east of Tokyo), when they were playing the Osaka-based Hanshin Tigers on their home ground. His humor may not have converted the fans but it won him generous applause. In reply, Iyama apologized for his inability to think of anything witty to say despite being an Osakan (natives of Osaka are known for their wit and dominate the ranks of comedians in Japan) and said he would make his statement on the go board. As it turned out, Iyama was as good as his word. After a fierce struggle featuring a series of kos, he took advantage of a hallucination by Takao in a capturing race involving yet another ko and took the lead in the ensuing trade (not the first in the game). Takao fought on valiantly, but had to resign after 242 moves. Having taken a 3-2 lead, Iyama has two chances to pick up the win that will complete his first successful Honinbo defense. He had made a good start to the week, but there was even better to come.

Iyama Wins 25th TV Asia Cup, Secures Japan Its First International Title In Eight Years: Japan’s last victory in an individual world title came in the 17th TV Asia tournament when Cho U won the final on June 17, 2005. That was a good year for Japan, as Cho had also won the 9th LG Cup on April 20, and the Japanese team won the Nong Shim Cup team tournament, which started in the autumn of 2005 and concluded on February 24, 2006. Since then, however, Japanese fans have suffered so many disappointments that they have scaled back their expectations on the international scene. However, that may be changing with the founding of the national team, known as Go Go Japan. Everyone admits that Japan lacks the depth of China and Korea, especially among the younger generation of players, but things have started to look up with the success of Takao and Iyama in the opening rounds of the current LG Cup. Iyama has followed up his success there with an outstanding performance in the 25th TV Asia tournament, which this year was hosted by Japan and staged at the Hotel New Otani in Tokyo on the last three days of June. Japan’s representatives this year were Yuki Satoshi and Iyama, who took first and second places respectively in this year’s NHK Cup. Both of them won their first-round games, but Yuki was eliminated in the semifinal by Pak Cheong-hwan (or Jong-hwan), a 20-year-old Korean who has established himself as the world’s number one over the last two or three years. He was outplayed by Iyama in the final, however, and had to resign after 198 moves. This gives Iyama his first international title (not counting an invitational tournament he won in China May 2001; the games are given in Go World 126). However, Japanese fans will be expecting a lot more from him.
photo courtesy Go Game Guru, which also has a report on the tournament.
Full results:
Round 1 (June 28). Yuki Satoshi 9P (Japan) (W) defeated Jiang Weijie 9P (China) by 2.5 points; Iyama Yuta 9P (Japan) (W) d. Yi Ch’ang-ho 9P (Korea) by resig.; Wang Xi 9P (China) (W) d. Yi Se-tol 9P (Korea) by resig.
Semifinals (June 29). Pak Cheong-hwan 9P (Korea) (W) d. Yuki by 5.5 points; Iyama (W) d. Wang by resig.
Final (June 30). Iyama (W) d. Pak by resig.
Incidentally, White won all games in this tournament, which is a little unusual. Note that Yi Se-tol took part as a substitute for Pak Hong-seok 9-dan of Korea. As the previous winner, he had a seeded place, but was unable to take part, as he is doing his military service.

38th Kisei Leagues Update: On June 27, three games were played in the Kisei leagues. In the A League, Yoda Norimoto 9P (W) defeated Yamashiro Hiroshi 9P by resignation. Yoda is now 1-1 and Yamashiro 0-2. In the B League, Murakawa Daisuke 7P (W) beat Hane Naoki 9P by resignation and Kono Rin 9P (W) beat Mizokami Tomochika 8P also by resignation. That made Murakawa, now on 2-0, the sole leader of the league, but it was for only one day. On June 28, there was a somewhat surprising result when Cho Chikun, 25th Honinbo, (W) defeated Takao Shinji 9P by half a point. This may sound a little disrespectful towards Cho, who is one of the all-time greats, but he is already 57, so one would have expected Takao to beat him. Takao doesn’t seem to have maintained the outstanding from he displayed in the LG Cup. (This game was played on a Friday, which is unusual, to give Takao more time to recover from the Honinbo game at the beginning of the week.) As a result, Cho joined Murakawa at the top of the B League.

Japan Eliminated From Asian Indoor And Martial Arts Games: The first five rounds of the individual men’s championship and the Pair Go in the 4th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games were held on June 30 and July 1 in Incheon City in Korea. In the former event, 22 players from 11 countries took part. Tsuruta Kazushi 2P scored 2 wins to 3 losses and Sada Atsushi 1P 3-2 in the Swiss System preliminary round (Sada beat Tsuruta in Round 5), but both were eliminated, as only the top four players qualify for the final round. In the Pair Go preliminary round, also a Swiss, the team of Okuda Aya 3P and Hirata Tomoya 3P scored 3-2, as did Rina Fujisawa 1P and Motoki Katsuya 2P. Both teams were eliminated. The final rounds of the above tournaments will be played on July 2.

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