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
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 email@example.com 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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.