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.
American Go E-Journal » World
Sunday November 25, 2012
Monday November 19, 2012
An Younggil 8P reviews the deciding game between Choi Cheolhan 9P and Chen Yaoye 9P at the China-Korea Tengen in September. In this game commentary from Go Game Guru, the tremendously exciting game features two opposing styles of play, Chen’s solid and territorial style and Choi’s thick, fighting style.
This game involves beautiful tesuji and unorthodox moves at every turn, and comes down to the wire with two desperation kos to finish the game.
Chen won the first match in this best-of-3 series, so Choi was fighting for his life, as well as looking for revenge since he fell to Chen last year 2-0. He is 1-8 against Chen all-time – losing the last seven games in a row.
- Adapted from a report on Go Game Guru; edited by Ben Williams
Sunday November 18, 2012
The second SportAccord World Mind Games (SWMG) will be held December 12-19 in Beijing, China. The multi-sport event is intended to highlight the value of mind sports and features five games: bridge, chess, draughts (checkers), go and xiangqi (Chinese Chess). Coverage will be provided on the SWMG website, Ranka Online and in the E-Journal.
The SWMG go tournament is held under the auspices of the International Go Federation (IGF), and 28 players — 16 men and 12 women — will participate. The competition format includes Men’s Individual and Women’s Individual events and a Pair Go event. The Individual events feature a double elimination in seven rounds, a time limit for each side of 1 hour, with three 30-second byo-yomi periods. Eight pairs will compete in the Pair Go event, a single elimination with two rounds each day and three rounds in total. The time limit is 1 hour each side, with three 30 second byo-yomi periods.
The surprise this year is that nearly 80% of the field is new: the only returnees from last year are Li He (China), Choi Chulhan and Park Jeonghwan (Korea), Mukai Chiaki (Japan), Joanne Missingham (Taipei), and Vanessa Wong (Great Britain). This reflects the astounding rate at which young players have been rising to the top all over the world during the past year or so. Nearly one-third of the contestants are under 20, and all but five of the rest are under 30.
In the Asian zone, China used its internal rating system to select its two best women and two best men, and added LG Cup-winner and world meijin Jiang Weijie as its third man. Korea and Chinese Taipei held qualifying tournaments in which young players did conspicuously well. Japan followed their lead by entering five of its best young players. In the European zone, three men selected in a special qualifier held in Lille in August are joined by the top three finishers in the recent European Women’s Championship. In the North American zone, two young Canadians — Tianyu Lin and Irene Sha — won the men’s and women’s qualifiers, shutting out the United States. Only in South America was youth denied: Argentina’s famed veteran Fernando Aguilar rebuffed five rivals from Argentina, Mexico, and Chile to become the first South American go player to compete in the SportAccord World Mind Games.
Friday November 16, 2012
After 35 years, Go World will cease publication after the next issue. “We regret to inform you that there will only be one more issue, #129, of Go World published,” Richard Bozulich writes in a letter now being received by subscribers. “After that Kiseido will cease publication.” “By relieving ourselves of the burdens of putting out Go World, we can devote ourselves to putting out some other kinds of publications,” Bozulich tells the EJ. For example, “We will be publishing a new book on December 5 titled, Fight Like a Pro — The Secrets of Kiai.” And, adds Bozulich, “After I publish this book, I am going to work on another project aimed at teaching go to children, called How to Develop a Photographic Memory and Turn Your Child into a Genius. Of course there will be more than go in the contents, but go will be the centerpiece.” Published continuously since 1977, Go World was for many years the sole source of go news and instruction for Western players, who eagerly awaited each quarterly issue, packed with instructional articles on tactics and strategy for beginners and stronger players alike as well as articles on the background and history of the game. High production values were the magazine’s hallmark, from the full-color reproductions of go prints on the cover to detailed analyses of top international title matches, featuring Korean, Chinese and Japanese players. Bozulich and longtime go author John Power – who also collaborated on many now-classic go books – “inspired a new generation of go writers, publishers and journalists,” said American Go E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock. “Go World set a standard for excellence, longevity and commitment to the game of go that we can only dream of achieving.” Click here to purchase the final issue of Go World.
Friday November 16, 2012
Does Won Seogjin 9P’s promise to dance Gangnam style if he won in the Samsung Cup also apply to the LG Cup? Won (l), known as ‘Won Punch’ for his powerful haymaker, promised his fans he’d do his version of South Korean pop artist PSY’s megahit if he defended his Samsung Cup title earlier this year, but the lighthearted hopes of many go fans were dashed when Park Junghwan 9P eliminated Won in the Samsung quarter finals. Now Won will play Shi Yue 5P for the LG Cup title, reigniting hopes that Won will have a chance to show off his dance moves if he wins the LG. Shi defeated Kang Dongyun 9P to advance to the final, marking another challenge by a member of the “Chinese Tiger Club Generation” so called because of their young age and fierce fighting styles. Won bested Choi Cheolhan 9P in his bid to repeat his championship run from last year. The 17th LG Cup will be decided by a best-of-3 match in mid-February 2013. Games will be broadcast live on Baduk TV.
Adapted from a report on Go Game Guru; click here for game records and more information.
Note (11/18): this report has been updated to reflect that Won is not defending the LG title (as originally reported), just playing in the final. Neither Won or Shi have won the LG Cup before, nor played in the final. Title holder Jiang Weijie didn’t make it through to the finals, because it’s a straight-out tournament, rather than a challenger league + title match.
Thursday November 15, 2012
On November 12 and 14, Lee Sedol 9P of Korea and Gu Li 9P of China swept the 17th Samsung Cup semifinals, both defeating their opponents 2-0. Gu and Lee now proceed to the Cup finals, which will be played December 11-13 in Shanghai (not Korea, as originally reported) and broadcast live on Baduk TV. Interestingly, the two superstars have only met in two international tournament finals, which account for 7 of their past 30 games. The two are neck and neck at 4-3 in Gu’s favor in international finals; Gu won the 13th LG Cup in 2009 2-0 and Lee won the 3rd BC Card Cup 3-2 in 2011. Gu has a slight lead in their overall head-to-head, with a 15-14 record. This finals series will decide who takes the lead from here. Their 29th game during the Samsung Group Stage resulted in a spectacular quadruple ko, which was ruled a draw and Gu won the rematch to pull ahead by one game.
- adapted from a report on GoGameGuru, which includes extensive reports, photos and game records from the Samsung Cup; photo: Lee Sedol (left) and Gu Li (right) with famous Korean musician and amateur go player Kim Janghoon at the 17th Samsung Cup semifinals.
Thursday November 15, 2012
Almost three months after the 37th Meijin title match started, Yamashita Keigo 9P prevailed in the decisive final game on November 12 and 13 in Kofu, Yamanashi, Japan, successfully defending his Meijin title for the first time. As if trying to prove a point after Hane Naoki 9P forced a seventh game, Yamashita started a severe attack around move 60 and skillfully carried the momentum from one attack to another, winning convincingly in just 138 moves. No doubt Yamashita’s focus will now shift to taking the Honinbo title back from Iyama Yuta, but first, there should be a little time to sit back and enjoy some Yamanashi wine.
- adapted from a report on GoGameGuru, which includes game records for all seven games.
Saturday November 10, 2012
Sun Naijing of China will join other winners of online tournaments in bridge, chess, draughts, and xiangqi (Chinese Chess) in observing the world’s best players in action at the SportAccord World Mind Games (SAWMG) in Beijing next month. Sun won the trip in the online adjunct to the upcoming World Mind Games, out of a field of 688 go players from 48 countries, ranging from Argentina to Zimbabwe, with more than half from Japan, which produced last year’s online winner. Sun, who hails from Hefei in Anhui Province, started playing go at age nine and kept it up through university studies and subsequent employment. ‘Go never leaves me,’ he says. In a go career spanning nearly four decades he has won numerous provincial amateur tournaments in Anhui and has thrice finished among the top ten in the massive Evening News Cup, China’s premier amateur event. In 1996 he defeated Chen Linxin 9P in the pro-amateur part of that event. ‘I learn a lot by playing go,’ Mr Sun adds. ‘I like it.’
Sponsored by Pandanet and played on Pandanet-IGS, some 5,400 games were played in this event; other winners include:
Regional winners: Mariya Zakhachenko (Ukraine), Fernando Aguilar
(Argentine), Tamai Kazuki (Japan); each winning a digital camera.
Lottery winners (prize from Pandanet): Dragan Dubakovic (Serbia), Irwin Vinicio Sanchez Chinchuña (Ecuador), Ueda Tatsuya (Japan); each winning an iPad.
Lottery winners (prize from SportAccord): Jeremy Chiu (USA), Igor Burnaevskiy (Russia); each winning a Samsung tablet computer. Tzvetomir Tzvetanov (France), Nakatomi Nobuo (Japan); each winning a Swatch watch.
This tournament is expected to be held again in 2013 and 2014, possibly with an earlier start time to allow more people to play. Watch for announcements in the E-Journal, on the IGF website, and on Pandanet website.
- adapted from a report in Ranka Online, the bulletin of the International Go Federation; includes reporting by Thomas Hsiang
Monday November 5, 2012
Nineteen-year-old Li He 3P bested the legendary Rui Naiwei 9P on November 3rd to take top honors at this year’s Bingsheng Cup. She defeated Rui, arguably the best female player in the world, via resignation in the final to win the title. The former champion, Korean Park Jieun 9P was defeated earlier in a match with Chinese player Yu Zhijing 2P by a narrow 1.5 point margin.
Held at Qionglong Mountain in Suzhou, China, the 4-round tournament is a women’s knockout for 16 players, first held in 2010. The 2012 field included players from China, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Europe, North America, and Oceania. The Cup was dominated by China, however, and after only two rounds the Chinese players had defeated participants from every other country.
Li He took home about $32,000 US along with a promotion from 3P to 5P in addition to her title.
Sunday November 4, 2012
Seung Joo Han of Korea won the 7th Korean Prime Minister Cup, held October 27-28 at Kwangju in Korea. Yuqing Hu of Chinawas second and Yongfei Ge of Canada was an impressive third, edging out by one SOSOS point Japan’s Nagatoki Kinoshita (4th); Hong Kong’s NaiSan Chan (5th) rounded out the top five winners . Matthew Burrall of the US was 32nd in a 70-player field (click here for final standings); click here for Ranka’s interview with him. Ranka’s coverage also includes tournament reports and includes interviews with Artem Kachanovskyi (Ukraine), Shirin Mohammadi (Iran), Mateusz Surma (Poland), Kinoshita Nagatoki (Japan) and Geert Groenen (The Netherlands). Yongfe Ge photo by Ito Toshiko.