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Second Edition of SportAccord World Mind Games Begins

Tuesday December 11, 2012

The second edition of the World Mind Games is about to start on December 12, with final preparations now in progress. This year’s event, hosted in Beijing, China, will include 8 days of competitions in five mind sports; go, bridge, chess, draughts (checkers), and xiangqi (Chinese chess). Players representing the different mind sports are some of the world’s best, including: GO: Jiang Weijie, Chen Yaone, Park Jeonghwan, Choi Chulhan; BRIDGE: Fu Zhong, Bauke Muller, Peter Bertheau and Fredryk Nystrom, Joe Grue, Ming Sun, Catherine d’Ovidio, Nicola Smith, Lynn Deas; CHESS: Humpy Koneru, Aronyan Levon, Rajabov Teymur, Karyakin Sergey, Hou Yifan, Muzychuk Anna; DRAUGHTS: Alexei Chizov, Alexander Georgiev, Zoja Golubeva; XIANGQI: Wang Tian Yi, Nguyen Hoang Lam, Lei Kam Fun, Ng Jun Ming, Chan, Chun Kit, Chen Li Chun, Jia Dan, Cao Phuong Thanh.

The 2012 SportAccord World Mind Games also have an extensive social, cultural and educational program which will run in parallel with the competitions and involve the local public, especially students. The following five ambassadors will represent the different participating sports and promote them among the public. Go: Joanne “Jia Jia” Missingham; Bridge: Sjoert Brink; Chess: Hou Yifan; Draughts: Alexey Chizhov; Xiangqi: Chan Chun Kit. In addition, the winners of the online tournament will join the SportAccord World Mind Games in Beijing to meet and play against the Grand Masters.

Twenty-four media platforms will air the event and the television broadcast will be available in 64 territories around the world. The live web-streaming will be available on the YouTube Mind Games Channel. American Go E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock is part of the team — which includes Michael Redmond 9P and Janice Kim 3P — covering the SAWMG go event; watch for daily reports on the AGA website and in the E-Journal.

The SportAccord World Mind Games are a multi-sports event promoting the value of mind sports, with the world’s best players delivering top-level performances and creating valuable new experiences based on their intelligence, strategy and mental exercise.
photo: in the go playing room at the 2012 SportAccord World Mind Games; photo by Chris Garlock  

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Chen Yaoye to challenge Lee Sedol for Chunlan Cup

Monday December 10, 2012

Lee Sedol 9P (l), the lone Korean to make it to the semifinals of the Chunlan Cup,will defend his title against Chen Yaoye 9P (r), the number one ranked player in China.

Vying for his first international title, Chen was a child prodigy, becoming a pro at 10 years-old. He also broke a record for youngest player to become a 9-Dan professional, coincidentally after losing to Lee in the 2007 Asian TV Cup, the last time they played each other in an international final.

Lee, on the other hand, has won every major international title except the Ing Cup. Last year he defeated China’s Xie He in the final to win the Chunlan Cup.

The quarter finals December 4-5 in Hangzhou, China included Jiang Weijie 9P, Piao Wenyao 9P, Kong Jie 9P, Won Seongjin 9P, Kim Jiseok 8P and Park Junghwan 9P.

Chen defeated Jiang Weije 9P, and Lee bested Kong Jie 9P in the semifinals on December 6th to earn their spots in the final, a best-of-3 match early next year, though the exact dates have not yet been set.

The Chunlan Cup is sponsored by Chunlan Group, a Chinese conglomerate with interests in the air conditioning, domestic appliance, automotive, finance and alternative energy industries. The tournament uses Chinese rules, with a komi of 7.5 points, and offers a prize of $150,000 USD to the winner.

Adapted from a report on Go Game Guru; click for game records and more information. Edited by Ben Williams

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Kim Myung-wan 9P to Comment Live on Samsung Cup Final

Saturday December 8, 2012

Kim Myung-wan 9p will be providing live game commentary on the upcoming contest between Gu Li 9P, one of China’s strongest players, and Lee Sedol 9P, Korea’s strongest player, in the final of the 17th Samsung Cup. The match will take place in Shanghai on Dec. 11-13, and Kim’s live English-language commentary will be on the Tygem go server the first 15 minutes of every hour on Tygem’s  “Korea 1″ server.  The games, which could last four or five hours, are set to start at 6p West Coast time (9p EST), on Dec. 10, 11 and 12. In their lifetime record against each other, Gu Li has a slight lead of 15-14. photo: Kim Myung-wan 9p at the 2012 Cotsen Open/AGA-Tygem Pro Qualifier; photo by Chris Garlock

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Redmond to Provide Live Commentaries on World Mind Sports Games

Friday December 7, 2012

Michael Redmond 9P will provide live commentaries on the SportsAccord World Mind Sports Games, scheduled for December 12-19. The live broadcasts will take place on the following YouTube channel. The go section of the daily coverage will be anchored by Chris Garlock of the American Go E-Journal, with Redmond providing live commentaries on the matches.

Here’s the schedule of the go section of the live broadcasts:

• 12 December: 15:30 – 17:00 local time; 7:30 – 09:00 GMT
• 13 December: 17:00 – 18:00 local time; 9:00 – 10:00 GMT
• 14 December: 16:30 – 17:15 local time; 8:30 – 09:15 GMT
• 15 December: 16:15 – 17:00 local time; 8:15 – 09:00 GMT
• 16 December: 17:00 – 18:00 and 20:00~ local time; 9:00 – 10:00 and 12:00~ GMT
• 18 December: 17:00 – 18:00 local time; 9:00 – 10:00 GMT

The full schedule of broadcasts is available here.

Missingham Named Go Ambassador at World Mind Games

Thursday December 6, 2012

Joanne “Jiajia” Missingham (r) has been named Go Ambassador at the upcoming SportAccord World Mind Games, which begin next week in Beijing, China. Other ambassadors include Hou Yifan (chess), Sjoert Brink (bridge), Chan Chun Kit (Xiangqi) and Alexey Chizhov (draughts). Missingham will also participate in the North American Go Convention next February.

Currently training in Taiwan, Missingham 6P was the runner-up at the first Bingsheng Cup Women’s World Championship in 2010. Her ranking in Taiwan Go Association has risen rapidly, putting her within striking range of top male Taiwanese players. Next year Missingham will be the only Taiwanese female playing in the Chinese Women’s A League, arguably the world’s top women’s go league. Missingham, born in Australia, lived in California for several years before moving to China in 2008 to study go, and joined the Taiwan Qiyuan in 2010. She’s also known as an artistic performer, especially in music and calligraphy; click here for a video of her recent lute solo. Also famous for her philanthropy and battles against sexism, in 2011 she led a tremendous charity effort for Japan after the Fukushima earthquake and she led a protest against unfair rules on female players’ tournament fees in a tournament in Taiwan.

Missingham will return to the U.S. and teach go in both New York/New Jersey and Washington DC during the North American Go Convention (NAGC) February 8-17, 2013. The NAGC website has been updated to clarify tournament schedule and locations, and information is also available in Chinese and Korean. While the two open championship tournaments, as well as the Pair Go and Blitz championship are all in the weekends of Feb. 9-10 and Feb 16-17, there are also rated games and teaching activities during weekday evenings 2/8, 2/12-2/15.

The NAGC organizing committee has been joined by two ‘veteran’ U.S. Go Congress tournament directors, Sam Zimmerman and Christopher Sira. Pre-register before 12/25 to avoid the upcoming 10% price increase.
- reported by Edward Zhang; photo: Missingham at the 2010 Bingsheng

US Youth Championship Jan. 19

Tuesday December 4, 2012

The United States Youth Go Championships will be held Saturday, January 19th, on KGS.   The tourney will determine National Dan, Single Digit Kyu (SDK), and Double Digit Kyu (DDK) Champions. The winners will receive trophies, and prizes will be awarded in the following brackets: 5-7 dan 1-4 dan, 1-4 kyu, 5-9 kyu, 10-15 kyu, 16-20 kyu, 21-25 kyu, 26 -30 kyu (depending on number of registrants).  The qualifiers will use several formats for pairing, and all dan level youth will compete in an open section.  The top four eligible youth will then move on to a double elimination final held on January 20th, and continuing the following weekend. Contestants will also be entered into a pool to receive partial scholarships to either the AGA Summer Youth Go Camp, or the US Go Congress, courtesy of the AGF, 16 Scholarships will be awarded.

The Junior Division is for youth under 12, the Senior Division is for youth under 16 as of August 15, 2013.  Only US Citizens under 16 may enter the finals, youth who are under 18 may compete in the qualifiers and kyu brackets, and so may residents who are not citizens.  To register, e-mail youth@usgo.org with your name, AGA #, date of birth, AGA rating, KGS ID, and citizenship.  You may enter at a rank higher than your official AGA rank, but may not enter at a lower one.  The registration deadline is Sunday, January 13th.  For more info, see the USYGC page. -Paul Barchilon E-J Youth Editor.  Photo: USYGC Sr. Division Champion Calvin Sun 7d, (at left) competing against Alexandru-Petre Pitrop, of Romaniam at the 2012 World Youth Go Championships, in Luoyang, China.  Photo by Abby Zhang.

China Holds Slight Edge in Nongshim Cup

Monday December 3, 2012

In the knockout battle of the 14th Nongshim Cup, the second round — held November 26-30 – saw all of the remaining Japanese players eliminated, leaving the two remaining Korean players and three Chinese rivals to battle it out for the title.

The two players left for Korea are Choi Cheolhan 9P (left) and 19-year-old sensation Park Junghwan 9P, while China still has Jiang Weije 9P, Xie He 9P, and Chen Yaoye 9P – providing just the kinds of matchups China wants going into the final. Chen is 9-1 all time against Choi and Xie also holds a winning record against him. In general, the solid, patient style of play favored by the two Chinese pros performs well against the Korean fighting style of Choi and Park.

It was a topsy-turvy second round, where Lee Hobum 3P (who stopped Tan Xiao’s 3-win streak in the first round) lost to Japan’s Fujita Akihiko 3P. Fujita, however, lost to China’s Wang Xi 9P in his next game. Wang went on to defeat Kim Jiseok and Anzai Nobuaki before losing to Korea’s Choi Cheolhan 9P.

Choi snuffed out Japan’s last hope by defeating their final player – Murakawa Daisuke 7P. The final round will begin February 26, 2013

The Nongshim Cup is a team event between China, Japan and Korea. The sponsor, Nongshim, is a Korean instant noodles company. The tournament uses a win and continue format, which is common in these team events. Korea has dominated this event, winning it 10 times. In contrast, China has won the tournament twice and Japan only once.

Adapted from a report on Go Game Guru; click here for game records and more information. Edited by Ben Williams

 

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New SportAccord World Mind Games Website Launched

Thursday November 29, 2012

The SportAccord World Mind Games website has a new and updated design, with a number of useful options to improve user’s experience. Visitors can access the latest news about the upcoming event, results, schedule, players’ biographies, and photos, and the website will also have an option to be read in two languages; English or Chinese. During the event – which runs December 12-19 in Beijing — live broadcast coverage will be available through the website as well. The SportAccord World Mind Games are a multi-sports event which highlights the value of mind sports, including go, bridge, draughts, and Chinese chess, featuring the world’s best players delivering top-level performances and creating “new valuable experiences based on intelligence, strategy and exercise of mind,” says SportAccord, the umbrella organisation for 107 international sports federations and organisations.

Slump Over, Lee Sedol Pulls Off Olleh Cup Hat Trick

Tuesday November 27, 2012

Lee Sedol 9P seems to be fully recovered from his slump earlier this year, pulling off a classic hat trick in the Olleh Cup by defeating Choi Cheolhan 9P 3-1 in the final for his third straight Olleh championship title. It also makes Lee the only winner in this all-Korean tournament, which started just three years ago.  In 2010 he defeated Kang Dongyun 9P and Lee Changho 9P in 2011. The final game was an exciting contest showing how professionals  consider the whole board situation when playing and both sides fight for life throughout. The Olleh Cup not only features the best Korean players but also hosts a children’s tournament.
Adapted from a report on Go Game Guru; click here for game records and more information. Edited by Ben Williams

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New Sao Paolo Go Club Opens with Style

Sunday November 25, 2012

Go clubs are generally pretty quiet places, where the most you might hear is the click of the go stones, perhaps the rattle of a teacup. But on November 15 the brand-new Paulista Go Center in Sao Paolo, Brazil rocked as visiting pro Murakami Akihide 2P (right) danced to South Korean rapper  PSY’s global hit Gangnam Style, now YouTube’s most-watched-ever video. Earlier in the evening, Murakami – who was part of an 18-member delegation from Japan — participated in a more traditional exercise, playing a game (left) with Wang Sen Feng (KGS wsfbr 5d), currently the strongest player in Brazil. The new club and attendant festivities were just the latest in a “very fruitful year for go in Brazil,” reports Thiago Sinji Shimada. In addition to sending representatives to the World Students Go OZA Championship in Japan, the World Amateur Go Championship in China, the World Mind Sports Games in France and the International Amateur Baduk Championship KPMC in Korea, “We implemented a go program in some schools across the country (Go Teaching Project Takes Root in Brazil 6/18/2012 EJ),” says Shimada, who a few years ago helped found a go school, the Insei Brazil, in collaboration with the Nihon Kiin of Brazil.

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