American Go E-Journal » World

North America & Europe Among Early Outs at Chunlan Cup

Wednesday April 4, 2012

North American representative Jing Yang 8D and European representative Alexandre Dinerchstein 3P were among the 16 players eliminated in the first two rounds of the 9th Chunlan Cup, which wrapped up on April 30. Now only 8 players remain. In Round One, Yang drew Choi Cheolhan 9P, a top Korean pro known as the ‘venomous snake’ because of his aggressive fighting style. Yang fought hard and gave Choi a difficult game, but eventually resigned in the early endgame (see game below). The Chunlan Cup is an invitational Go tournament for 24 top players from around the world, which uses a knockout format. Yang qualified as the North American representative in February this year. The quarter-finals will be held in late 2012, with no specific date set yet.
- David Ormerod; based on his original article: Just 8 players left in 9th Chunlan Cup at Go Game Guru. Photo: Jing Yang (left) plays Choi Cheolhan.

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Second International Children’s Art Contest Accepting Submissions

Monday April 2, 2012

The second International Children’s Go Art Contest is now accepting submissions, and will culminate in an exhibit of the pieces at the U.S. Go Congress in North Carolina this summer.  The event is sponsored by the Mexican Youth Go Community and the AGA, in honor of the International Go Symposium.  Organizer Siddhartha Avila says “the contest will feature children’s artwork, in which they will be free to express their visions, emotions and ideas about go through painting. Its purpose is to make go culture flourish among children, and promote it through a creative exchange.”  Last year’s contest drew submissions from Japan, the Phillipines, India, the US and Mexico.  Submissions must be received in Mexico City by July 13th.  Complete information, including the submission forms and event details, can be found on the Go Symposium site. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor

Zen Computer Go Program Beats Takemiya With Just 4 Stones

Tuesday March 20, 2012

Taking just a four-stone handicap on a full board, the Zen computer go program defeated Takemiya Masaki 9P on March 17. The legendary pro played two games against Zen as part of the 6th E&C Symposium in Japan. In the first game Zen received a five stone handicap and won by 11 points. After that the handicap was reduced to four stones, but Zen surprised many by winning again, this time by 20 points. Zen — aka Zen19 — was written by programmer Yoji Ojima and ran on hardware provided by Kato Hideki, of team DeepZen. According to Hideki, the hardware for this match was a mini-cluster of four PCs (a dual 6-core Xeon X5680/4.2 GHz, a 6-core Xeon W3680/4 GHz and two 4-core i7 920/3.5 GHz) connected via a GbE LAN. This is the same hardware used by Zen’s ‘zen19s’ and ‘zen19d’ accounts on KGS. Both of the games were played with 30 minutes main time and 60 seconds byo-yomi. Zen is currently ranked 5 dan when playing under similar time conditions on KGS. Earlier in the day, another pro, Ohashi Hirofumi 5P played two even games on 9×9 against Zen. The result was one win each. While winning against a pro with four stones is very impressive and shows how far computers have come in go, it’s clear that Zen was able to win these games by avoiding fighting to a certain extent and relying on its excellent positional judgement, raising the question of whether Zen and other programs will continue to improve steadily as the handicap is reduced and they’re forced to play a more risky style.
- adapted from David Ormerod’s report on GoGameGuru, which includes both Takemiya-Zen game records. Photo: Takemiya Masaki 9P.

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China Steals Show at 4th BC Card Cup

Tuesday March 20, 2012

The 4th BC Card Cup is about to enter the round of 16. This year’s tournament has been full of upsets with favorites falling left and right in the early rounds. Two stand-out players so far have been 16 year old Mi Yuting 3P and 18 year old Dang Yifei 4P of China. In the first round, Mi defeated Korea’s young star, Park Junghwan 9P. Then in the round of 32, Mi caused quite a stir by defeating the legendary Lee Changho 9P. Dang followed suit by defeating Lee Sedol 9P in the round of 32. Mi and Dang are joined by China’s Gu Li 9P, Niu Yutian 7P, Zhou Ruiyang 5P, Kong Jie 9P, Liu Xing 7P, Xie He 7P, Tan Xiao 5P, Chen Yaoye 9P, Jiang Weijie 9P, Piao Wenyao 9P and Hu Yaoyu 8P, and Korea’s Lee Wonyoung 3P, Park Younghun 9P and Baek Hongseok 9P. Unfortunately for Japan and Taiwan, the handful of their players who made it to the round of 64 were eliminated at that stage.
- Jingning; based on her original article: China on a roll in 4th BC Card Cup at Go Game Guru. Photo: Mi Yuting 3P.

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Kiseido Releases Modern Master Games in Hard-Copy

Tuesday March 20, 2012

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.

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Matthew Harwit 4D Tops Colorado Youth Tournament

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.

Park Junghwan Wins 13th Maxim Cup

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.

Jingning; based on her original article Park Junghwan wins 13th Maxim Cup at Go Game Guru.

Photo: Park Junghwan 9P.

Insei League Expands

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.

Zavala, Shakti, Top Mexican Youth Go Championships

Monday February 27, 2012

Lillian Zavala 9k and Ogam Shakti 15k led the top division of the Mexican Youth Go Championships, held Feb. 11 in Mexico City.  44 kids attended the event, which was limited to those under the age of 12. “We had the support of some of the pioneer go players in Mexico,” reports Mexican Youth Coordinator Siddhartha Avila.  “Dr. Marcos Arámbula  helped organize, and Dr. Ricardo Quintero was the referee, both were active  in the 80′s, when the game was almost unknown in Mexico. The kids had a great time at Ekoji Buddhist Temple where the tournament took place, a special thanks goes to Rev. Todaka and the Temple’s staff for kindly hosting the event. Before the tournament we saw kendokas training at their dojo, with them, the garden, the altar, the statues, tatami rooms, go boards, bowls and stones, the atmosphere took us for a moment on a trip to ancient Japan where  Igo  has been practiced for so long. Santiago Dimayuga, a 6 year old child with autism played in Section C, reaching 4th place.  He has been playing for just a couple months, with the support of his Teacher Ana María who taught him the basics;  this is a great achievement, he seems to like go very much. This proves once again the inclusive nature of go, and how we can break barriers through its practice. This experience broadened our vision about teaching, and there are talks about  making a deeper approach in the field of go and autism. In Section A there was a tie between Lilian Zavala 9k and Ogam Shakti 15k each with 4-0 records, the final will be played soon, Vicente A. Cortez 14k came in third place. Omar Zavala 13k won Section B, followed by Hans Torres 20k and Fernando López 20k. Section C was topped by Leonardo Pineda 24k, second place went to E. Amélie Zdeinert 24k and third place to Ximena Tejada 25k.  We would like to thank all the teachers, parents and volunteers for their support in making this event possible, as well as the American Go Association for their prize sponsorship –  the winners had nice sets of Yunzi stones as prizes,” writes Avila.  Full Results are here, a photo gallery is here. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo and report by Siddhartha Avila.

China Wins 13th Nongshim Cup

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.

Jingning; based her original article China wins 13th Nongshim Cup at Go Game Guru. Photo: Lee Changho 9P (left) plays Xie He 7P in the final game.