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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.
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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.

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

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“[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.

Categories: World
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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

SportAccord-Pandanet Cup Online Go Tournament Registration Opens

Sunday June 30, 2013

Registration procedures for the 2013 SportAccord-Pandanet Cup Online Go Tournament have just been announced. Participants must be amateurs and may choose to enter one of four classes (“bands”): open, 4d-1k, 2k-7k, 8k-17k. Except in the Open class, players are required to have a registered and IGS-confirmed rank. In addition, players may choose one of three geographic regions to play their games. Registration starts now and ends on August 18. The preliminary rounds will be played August 22 through September 12. This tournament is supported by SportAccord and Pandanet and organized by the International Go Federation and Pandanet. It also concurrently serves as the 18th Pandanet Cup Internet World Amateur Go Tournament. Players may advance based on their results within their class and region. Generous prizes are provided by the sponsors, including a round trip to the Third Beijing SportAccord World Mind Games for the open champion. Further prizes are provided for regional and class winners. In addition, anyone who finishes six or more games in the preliminary rounds is eligible for lottery prizes provided by SportAccord. In 2012 these prizes included an iPad, Swatches and cameras, and comparable prizes will be offered in 2013. Click here for details and registration forms.
- Thomas Hsiang

Categories: World
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Mind GO Club Re-Opens This Week in Rehovot, Israel

Tuesday June 25, 2013

The Mind GO club’s second largest go club in Israel is re-opening this week. The club, in Rehotot at Weizmann Science Institute, is opening under the auspices of Professor Peleg, Dean of Mathematics faculty at the Institute. Meetings start this Wednesday, June 26, 20:00 in the Ziskind building (Math and Computer Science), second floor, room 261. All are welcome. Shavit Fragman first opened the club at the Weizmann Science Institute in 2004 and it was run then successfully run for several years by Dr. Andreas Doncic from Sweden. For further details, contact Shavit @ 054-4500453.

Mexican Youth Go Flourishing

Monday June 24, 2013

The Mexican Children’s Go Tournament drew 65 players May 18th in Mexico City. Organized by Pipiolo Art School and the Buddhist Temple Eko-ji, where the tournament was hosted, the event was divided into five sections: 4k-15k, 16k-20k, 21k-25k, 13×13 and 9×9.

“Go has been a regular subject at our elementary school for 5 years,” reports Siddhartha Avila, “the tournaments are a way of gathering children, having fun, testing their performance at the board, practicing mutual learning and teaching, and also encouraging peer respect and other values. This year the Principal, Marcela Zepeda, approved a new project teaching Go to K2-K3 students, and they played in the 9×9 board section. A group of young Taiwanese players took part in the tournament, tracing new bridges to share cultures and experiences through go, their top player Leon Lee won the 4k-15k section with a perfect 4 wins.”

Winners Report: 4k-15k: 1. Leon Lee, 2. Omar Zavala, 3. Lilian Zavala; 16k-20k: 1. Adam George, 2. Carlos Gallegos, 3. Amir George; 21k-25k: 1. Angel M. Mendez, 2. Ana R. Contreras, 3. Axel E. Fematt; 13×13 board: 1. Jordi Cirujeda, 2. Marcos A. Gonzalez, 3. Alberto I. Buendía; 9×9 board: 1. Aquiles Echevarria, 2. M. Fernanda Zamora, 3. Kairi Ochoa. – Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo by Siddhartha Avila.

 


North American Youth Overwhelm Europe in Transatlantic Match

Friday June 21, 2013

For the second consecutive year, top young North American players have defeated their European counterparts in the Transatlantic Youth Go Friendship Match. “The Europeans lost by a large margin last year,” reports organizer Andrew Huang, “and were certainly looking for a more positive result this year. However, the North American team was keen to stifle the Europeans’ ambitions, and won the first seven games, eventually finishing with an 8-2 victory. We are looking forward to another exciting event next year, as the European team will be thirsty to exact revenge.” The match was held June 2 on KGS, and marked the fifth year for the Transatlantic Youth Tourney. Ten players representing the United States and Canada teamed up for North America, while ten European youngsters  were chosen from Russia, Germany, France, Austria, Romania, Czechia, Slovakia, and Poland to compete for the Europeans. Lawrence Ku and the American Go Honor Society organized the event, which was held in the Transatlantic Youth Go Tournament room on KGS.  Previous years events are listed here; for this year’s results, click here. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Image by Paul Barchilon, based on a graphic from DairyReporter.com

Chen Yaoye Wins Chunlan Cup to Take First Major International Title

Thursday June 20, 2013

Six years after becoming the youngest 9-dan professional, Chen Yaoye 9P (right) finally broke through on the world stage when he defeated Lee Sedol 9P (at left in photo) 2-1 on June 20 to capture the Chunlun Cup and win his first major international title. This was Chen’s fourth attempt at an international title and it was smiles all round as he finally made his long overdue breakthrough. Lee seems to make a habit of being present at special milestones in Chen’s career and looked genuinely pleased for Chen. The last time these two met in an international final was in 2007 at the 19th Asia TV Cup, where Chen was promoted to become the youngest (at the time) 9-dan professional.

In other news from the 9th Chunlan Cup, Jiang Weijie 9P defeated Kong Jie 9P in the playoff to take third place. The Chunlan Cup is an invitational go tournament for 24 top players from around the world. In addition to players from China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan, a European and a North American representative are also invited. The top 8 seeded players proceed directly to round two, while the remaining 16 play a single elimination round, knocking out 8 players. After the first round, the remaining 16 players compete in a knockout tournament, culminating in a best of three final. The tournament is sponsored by Chunlan Group, a Chinese conglomerate with interests in the air conditioning, domestic appliance, automotive, finance and alternative energy industries.

The Chunlan Cup uses Chinese rules, with a komi of 7.5 points, and offers a prize of $150,000 USD to the winner.
- based on a more detailed report on GoGameGuru, which includes game records and more photos

Categories: World
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