Kiseido has just issued Modern Master Games, Volume One, The Dawn of Tournament Go in hard-copy; it was first released in September 2011 (Modern Master Games & More New Releases from SmartGo Books 9/19 EJ) in digital format by SmartGo Books. A survey of Japanese go from the founding of the Honinbo tournament in the 1940s to the Meijin and Judan tournaments in the 1960s, Modern Master Games was written by by Rob van Zeijst and Richard Bozulich, with historical notes by John Power. It includes 11 games, including the “Atomic Bomb Game” between Iwamoto and Hashimoto, analyzed in detail and tied together with a historical commentary by John Power. The games in this book were played in turbulent times. When the first Honinbo tournament was established in 1941, the war had not yet seriously affected the Japanese go world or the daily life of the average Japanese. But by the time of the third Honinbo tournament, Japanese society was in chaos — bullets were whizzing overhead during the first game of the title match and the atomic bomb was dropped just 10 kilometers from where the second game was being played. After the war, life slowly returned to normal. By the 1950s, the go world was again abuzz. Rivalries were flourishing, and newspapers were establishing new tournaments with abundant prize money. As the post-war go world was reorganizing itself, the matches played were of much consequence — it became more than just winning a title. The results were to determine the organizations that governed the game in Japan until today. The pressures on the players were intense, and it exposed their psychological strengths as well as fragilities. Takagawa’s games in this book show how dangerous it is to underestimate an opponent. It was almost unbelievable to some that the mild-mannered Takagawa, whose quiet and laid-back style, never attacking too strongly and lacking the brilliance of a player like Sakata, could hold the Honinbo title against all comers for nearly a decade. Sakata’s games are good illustrations of the slashing style which earned him the moniker Razor-Sharp Sakata. We also see examples of the depth of his analysis when he makes an unorthodox peep (dubbed the tesuji of the century) against Fujisawa Shuko that entails another tesuji 15 moves later whose consequences also have to be analyzed. The fact that both Sakata and Fujisawa could read this deeply and accurately shows that the level of their play was second to none. Fujisawa Hosai was another important player of this era — his power on the go board was likened to that of a bulldozer. He had a penchant for playing imitation go, but this was, as explained in the commentary on one of his games, a well thought-out strategy that he used to take advantage of the komi system that had been recently adopted. photo: Hashimoto Utaro (l) and Go Seigen (r) in 1947; photo courtesy Go Igo Weiqi Baduk blog.
American Go E-Journal » World
Tuesday March 20, 2012
Sunday March 18, 2012
Eighteen youngsters competed in the March 3 Colorado Youth Go Tournament at the Eloise May library in Denver. Playing strengths ranged from 4-dan to 40-kyu and ages from 5 – 14. Matthew Harwit 4D won the dan section, Tim Chang 20k won the kyu section and Andrew Huang won the majority of his games, and was the 5-and-under Colorado state champion. David Weiss and Alex Yavich were the TDs.
Tuesday March 6, 2012
On March 5, 2012, Park Junghwan 9P defeated Choi Cheolhan 9P to take the 13th Maxim Cup two games to zero. The Maxim Cup is a 9 dan only invitational tournament in Korea. Like last year, the finals took place at the beautiful UNESCO World Heritage listed Jeju Island. It seems that reporters make a habit of giving the players a hard time at the Maxim Cup finals. Last year, Lee Changho was asked how he felt about losing his dominance over the Go world. This time, Choi was in the hot seat and got grilled about his upcoming wedding. Park was not spared either. Asked about his disappointing first round loss in the 4th BC Card Cup, where he started as one of the favorites, Park said that hopefully with this win, his performance will improve in future tournaments. Both games featured creative openings, followed by hard fighting.
Photo: Park Junghwan 9P.
Monday March 5, 2012
Alexandre Dinerchtein’s Insei League is reaching out to youth with discounts and free memberships. The league is run on KGS, and is structured the same way Korean kids train to become professionals. ”We call for young players who are ready to devote themselves to the game and to compete later with Asian professionals,” writes Dinerchtein 3P. “We have changed our pricing policy to encourage participation in the League for any promising children. The first three prizewinners of the European and the US Youth Go Championships, under 12 and 18, get free places in the Insei League. Go Champions under 12 and 18 of any country get 3 months in the League instead of 1 for $95. Young players who took second through fifth place during the last youth go championship of their country can play for 2 months instead of 1 for $95. Young go players under 18 and stronger than 10 kyu get a 15% discount.” As another incentive, Dinerchtein has set up a prize jackpot, which increases by $250 each month. Insei League members can win the jackpot if they place in the top three at the World Youth Go Championship, in either age group, or top three at the World Amateur Go Championship, or at the Korean Prime Minister Cup. “Every year the League will store about $3000 and we hope that this jackpot helps to develop a more serious approach to go studies,” adds Dinerchtein. For more information, visit the Insei League website. - Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.
Monday February 27, 2012
Sunday February 26, 2012
On February 24, 2012, China won the 13th Nongshim Cup when Xie He 7P defeated Lee Changho 9P in the final game. The Nongshim Cup is a win and continue team event between China, Japan and Korea. The first two rounds took place in late 2011. Young players Tan Xiao 5P of China and Kim Jiseok 7P of Korea emerged as the early stars of the tournament, both winning four consecutive games. After eliminating Tan Xiao, Yamashita Keigo 9P, Piao Wenyao 9P and Gu Li 9P, Kim Jiseok was finally stopped by China’s last man standing, Xie He. Next Xie defeated Won Seongjin 9P and finally Lee Changho, to bring the Nongshim Cup home for China. Congratulations Team China.
Tuesday February 21, 2012
Organizers of the 2012 International Go Symposium have issued a second call for papers and/or presenters (AGA to hold “Go Symposium” at 2012 Go Congress 10/24/2011 EJ). The Symposium, to be keynoted by Atari founder Nolan Bushnell, will take place August 4-5 at the U.S. Go Congress. Presentations can include educational, cultural, historical, literary, artistic, scientific and other interesting aspects of the game (click here for records of a similar 2003 ICOB Conference in Korea, the 2008 Symposium in Sweden and research papers in these fields). Suggested timing is a half-hour presentation with a 15-minute question and answer period. Translators and editing can be provided. “For those unable to attend, we will augment the usual methods of presenting papers by using Skype and possibly other Internet forms of communication that would enable audience participation,” says Peter Shotwell. Prepared talks on DVDs or with other pre-recorded means will also be considered. Pending sponsorships and costs, honorariums may be offered. For those who wish to publish, presentations can be included in an e-publication connected with the American Go Association web site and E-Journal. Publication in other forms will be allowed. Papers and presentations can also be put up before the event on the Symposium’s website. “We are also looking for more sponsorship and would appreciate any suggestions,” adds Shotwell. The conference is sponsored by the International Go Federation and the American Go Association. Contact: Peter Shotwell firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday February 15, 2012
Collecting his first international title, Jiang Weijie 5P of China defeated Lee Changho 9P of Korea on February 15 in the final of the 16th LG Cup. The final started on February 13 and Jiang won the first game by resignation after unexpectedly killing a large white group late in the game. In Game 2, it was Lee who was on the attack. He put the 20-year-old Jiang through a severe test, but eventually resigned after 232 moves.
Jingning; based on her original article: Jiang Weijie wins 16th LG Cup at Go Game Guru. Photo: Jiang Weijie 5P (left) plays go legend Lee Changho 9P.
Monday February 13, 2012
Yuan Zhou 7D, a popular teacher and frequent competitor in top U.S. tournaments, will be the U.S. representative to this year’s World Amateur Go Championship, which will be held in Guanzhou, China in May. “I am excited to represent the U.S. and play in the WAGC,” Zhou (at right) told the E-Journal. “It took me lots of hard work and many tough matches to earn the right to become the U.S. representative. The competition will be very severe. All WAGC players are strong, and there will be no easy matches.”
This is just the third time in the 33-year history of the WAGC that it will be held outside Japan, “signifying a changing international go scene,” reports Thomas Hsiang, the American Go Association’s representative to the International Go Federation, where he’s vice president. “It’s expected at least half of all future WAGC will be sponsored by a non-Japanese city and it’s not out of the question that we may have it in North America one day.” The venue of this year’s WAGC, the Guangzhou Qiyuan, is a “magnificent, huge, board-game center where the mind-sport competitions of the 2010 Asian Games were held,” Hsiang adds.
The E-Journal will provide full onsite coverage of the event, thanks again to generous support from the IGF, providing the AGA membership glimpses of the venue, along with stories and game records of the event.
Monday February 6, 2012
Four teams of elementary school kids in Portland OR and Mexico City, competed against each other in a friendly inter-school match on KGS, Jan. 21st. The kids from Mexico attend Pipiolo Art Institute, and are taught by Siddhartha Avila, who is building a vital Mexican Go community around his youth programs. In Portland, Peter Freedman is workingwith kids at the Irvington School Chess and Go Club. Each school fielded two teams of three kids, the youngest player was 6 years old. The Mexican kids have been playing longer, and won an impressive 10 out of 12 games. “The kids on both sides were really, really, excited,” reports Freedman. “They chatted nicely with each other as they played: ‘How old are you?’ ‘You won. You are better than me.’…We Skyped at the same time, so the kids could see each other. We made introductions, saw Sid’s classroom…it was very, very cool,” added Freedman.
- Paul Barchilon, EJ Youth Editor. Photos: top: Peter Freedman and the Irvington School kids; bottom: Siddhartha Avila with the Pipolo students