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China Likely to Win Gold in World Mind Games; U.S. Contender for 5th

Sunday December 11, 2011

In the third round of the team competitions at the SportAccord World Mind Games in Beijing, China, the United States finally scored a team win when Mingjiu Jiang forced Catalin Taranu to resign, after Andy Liu and Feng Yun won against Cornel Burzo and Vanessa Wong, reports Thomas Hsiang.  Jie Li, however, lost by 2.5 points to Cristian Pop in a game that both players thought Jie had won.  Kevin Huang then lost to Jan Simara, making the team score 3-2.  The US will now probably finish 5th.

The other match, pitting China against Korea, attracted the attention of a lot of the Chinese pros. Wang Runan, Hua Yigang, Hua Xueming, and Yu Bin – the president, vice president, men’s team coach, and women’s team coach of China Weiqi Association – all showed up to watch.  There were lively discussions in the study room around the several large-screen TV’s showing the key games.  In the game between Kong Jie and Lee Sedol, Kong had a good opening and took the lead early on.  But Lee fought back with a clever maneuver to reverse the situation and won at the end.  On the second table, Gu Li (right) trailed Choi Chulhan early, causing tense moments among the Chinese audience.  But, in a marvelous display of his recent strong form, Gu fought back little bit by little bit.  In the end he found a ko and took a firm lead when Choi could not find a large enough threat for the ko.  With Xie He and Li He winning, China was assured of a 3-2 victory.  China will now probably win the gold medal.

Between Korea and China, there have been three international mind-sport team clashes.  In the 2008 WMSG and the 2010 Asian Games, Korea won both by a 4-1 score.  So for China, this was a sweet victory indeed.

In the third match, Japan won surprisingly easily with a score of 4-1 against Chinese Taipei.  Only Yamashiro Hiroshi lost on the second table to Hsiao Cheng-hao.  Japan will now probably take the bronze.

Tomorrow (12/12) is the off day for Go.  SportAccord and the Beijing government have arranged a visit for some of the go players to a middle school for a teaching and promotional event.  Representing US and EU will be Mingjiu Jiang and Vanessa Wong.
Click here for James Davies’ detailed reports on Ranka Online, where you can also follow live matches, check out the schedule, results and participants.
photo courtesy Ranka Online

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Japan, Korea & China Sweep EU, US & Chinese Taipei in World Mind Games

Saturday December 10, 2011

“Today’s games were uneventful,” reports Thomas Hsiang from Day Two of the SportAccord World Mind Games in Beijing, China.  “Japan, Korea, China cruised to 5-win victories versus the EU, US, and Chinese Taipei teams.  Andy Liu played against Park Jeonghwan today (12/10) and said he was thoroughly impressed. ‘I did not even know how I lost.  Park’s play was perfect’”.  Chinese Taipei’s popular Hei Jia-jia played a tough game against Li He, a game featured on the net broadcast.  The game also attracted many pros in the study room.  After an early exchange that favored Li, Jia-jia fought furiously back in an exciting fighting game.  But in the end she still fell short.”

Tomorrow will see the EU pitted against US; the winner will avoid a last-place finish.  Also, China and Korea will crash to produce the likely champion team.  Japan will play Chinese Taipei for a probable third place.

“Andy Okun and I had a two-hour interview with Lee Youngho, brother of Lee Changho, and Xie Rui, the top Weiqi reporter in China who works for Titan Journal, a sports newspaper.  Based on this interview, Titan will publish a feature story about go in America in its next issue.”

Click here for James Davies’ more detailed reports on Ranka Online, where you can also follow live matches, check out the schedule, results and participants.
photo: SAWMG Opening Ceremonies; collage courtesy Ranka Online

 

 

U.S. Team Comes Close But Fails to Upset Japan in 1st Round of SportAccord World Mind Games

Friday December 9, 2011

Results from the first day’s team competitions at the SportAccord World Mind Games in Beijing, China on December 9 went pretty much as expected, Thomas Hsiang tells the E-Journal, with China, Japan, and Korea winning against EU, US, and Chinese Taipei. “Chinese Taipei nearly pulled an upset when Chen Shih-iuan defeated Lee Sedol, and Hei Jia-jia (Joanne Missingham) won against Kim Hyemin.  In the game that finished last, the young boy Wang Yuan-jun — only 14! — was leading in his game against Lee Younggo.  Lee finally prevailed and dashed Chinese Taipei’s hope for a big upset.”

The U.S. lost to Japan 0-5, but Andy Liu and Jie Li (right) both had their chances, Hsiang reports. “Andy played ‘fast and very smart’ against Sakai Hideaki, according to Gu Li and Kong Jie, the two Chinese world champions.  Gu Li spent more than an hour watching Andy and told me afterwards that he was very impressed and ‘that unknown young man had a good game and many chances to win’.  Jie lost to Yamashiro Hiroshi by just a half-point, and also had many chances to win, according to Kong Jie.  So our young players made a very positive impression.”

EU lost to China 0-5.

The broadcasting schedule for December 10 will feature the game between Hei Jia-jia and Li He — “the ‘game of the two beauties,’ as they say here in China,” says Hsiang. Tentatively, Andy Liu will be featured on the 14th when he plays against Xie He from China.

Click here for James Davies’ more detailed reports on Ranka Online, where you can also follow live matches, check out the schedule, results and participants.

In other news, Hsiang reports that “the International Go Federation (IGF) held a special Board Meeting today (12/9). I invited (AGA Board member) Andy Okun (in dark blue shirt in photo below) as an observer. Many things were discussed, including an IGF proposal that will fund two projects in the Americas: the AGA’s plan for an international go symposium and the Iberoamerican Go Federation’s plan to start a pilot project teaching go in Venezuela schools.  This proposal now moves forward to IMSA.”  The AGA’s plan to establish a pro system was met with great enthusiasm and encouragement, Hsiang reports. The IGF is starting to plan the next round of the SportAccord World Mind Games that will now be featured for at least five years.  Hsiang and Yuki Shigeno will again represent the IGF in negotiations with SportAccord.  Brunei will be next IGF member, with Kazistan likely to follow. The Ing Foundation will apply to become a new Association Member of IGF; its president, Mr. Ying Ming-haw, has been invited to become an at-large Director of the IGF.  WAGC 2012 will be held in Guangzhou, May 11-18, and the 2012 WAGC 2013 will be held in Japan, with site selection and date to be announced in May 2012.  There is still no site contract for World Mind Sports Games II in 2012 and the event is unlikely to take place.
photos: US team player Jie Li (top right); team captains (bottom left); photos courtesy Ranka Online.

SportAccord World Mind Games Kick Off Friday, 12/9

Thursday December 8, 2011

Preparations for the first edition of the SportAccord World Mind Games are in full swing, reports Thomas Hsiang. The Games kick off on Friday, December 9 and “There will be broadcast of events everyday during the tournament on the internet,” Hsiang tells the E-Journal.  The IGF’s Ranka Online will also be providing coverage and the EJ will relay highlights. The go broadcast is from 1500 to 1600 Beijing time (US EST 0200 to 0300) and can be watched live on the SportAccord Youtube Channel or on the IMSA channel. The go event schedule: Team Tournament, December 9, 10, 11, 13, 14; Pair Tournament, December 15, 16; off day, December 12.

In the team event, US will play against:  Japan (12/9); Korea (12/10); EU (12/11); Chinese Taipei (12/13); China (12/14). The US playing order is Mingjiu Jiang, Jie Li, Andy Liu, Kevin Huang, Yun Feng. The EU’s schedule: China (12/9); Japan (12/10); US (12/11); Korea (12/13); Chinese Taipei (12/14). The EU playing order is Catalin Taranu, Christian Pop, Cornel Burzo, Jan Simara, Vanessa Wong.

Won Seongjin Wins 16th Samsung Cup

Thursday December 8, 2011

After several months of preliminaries and finals, the 16th Samsung Cup wrapped up surprisingly quickly this week, with a three game match between Won Seongjin 9P and Gu Li 9P. The games were played over three consecutive days starting on December 5, 2011. Won clinched the third game on December 7, scoring a 2-1 win, as well as his first major international title. Both players are renowned for their thick and powerful fighting styles, but many go fans expected Gu, who’s known as ‘muscle man’ in Asia, to defeat ‘Won punch‘ in the heavyweight stakes. Even if Gu’s fans were disappointed with the results, they can’t have been disappointed with the games, which thoroughly demonstrated the power and creativity of both masters.
- Jingning; Games and photos are available in her original article: Won Seongjin wins 16th Samsung Cup! 

Photo: Gu Li 9P (left) and Won Seongjin 9P play the opening of the second game.

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Jiang Weijie Wins 24th Mingren

Monday December 5, 2011

While Japan has already crowned its Meijin for 2011, the 39th Myeongin continues and 24th Mingren concluded this week, with Jiang Weijie (5p) defeating Kong Jie (9p) in five games.
- GoGameGuru.com

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U.S. vs. Canada Youth Match Set for this Sunday

Monday December 5, 2011

The fourth annual US Canada youth friendship matches will be this Sunday, December 11 on KGS.  Five of Canada’s strongest will square off against the best young players in the US.  The players include Calvin Sun 7d, Hugh Zhang 7d, Andrew Lu 6d, and Vincent Zhuang 6d and Jimmy Yang 5d, for the US side and Ryan Li 7d, Gansheng Shi 7d, Jianing Gan 6d, Daniel Gourdeau 6d, and Andrew Huang 6d, for the Canadian side.  Matches will be held in the AGA Tournaments Room on KGS, at 4 pm ET (1 pm PT), and the public is welcome to observe. 
- Paul Barchilon, EJ Youth Editor

GoGoD Game Database Passes 70,000

Monday November 28, 2011

Go Games on Disk – aka GoGoD – has passed another milestone, with more than 70,000 games now in the sgf database of professional games. “Many of these are modern Japanese, Chinese and Korean games which are not published on the internet, but we have also been delving back into Korean history, to find early games by Cho Hun-hyeon, Seo Pong-su, Kim In, Cho Nam-ch’eol as well as a rare sunjang baduk game from the 1970’s to add to our existing collection of such games played under ancient Korean rules,  and previously unknown games from a visit Takagawa Shukaku made to Korea,” reports GoGod’s T Mark Hall. “These obviously do not appear in the collected games of Takagawa. One effect of the growth is that we now have to use two CDs, one for the database and one for the encyclopaedia, but at no extra cost to our customers.” The latest GoGoD Encyclopaedia has been updated with more details of tournaments and events, as well as updated software for accessing the database faster. Email tmark@ gogod.demon.co.uk for details.

SportAccord World Mind Games Start Next Week

Monday November 28, 2011

The first SportAccord World Mind Games will be held December 8-16 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). The SAWMG go tournament includes teams from China, Chinese Taipei, Europe, Japan, Korea and the U.S. The U.S. team (right), captained by Andy Okun, includes Feng Yun 9P, Mingjiu Jiang 7P, Ke Huang 7d, Jie Li 7d and Andy (Zhijuan) Liu 7d. Ranka Online will be covering the event, and you can also follow it on YouTube’s mindgameschannel.

 

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Imayo Matsumoto, Pair Go Tourney’s Oldest Player

Sunday November 27, 2011

Pair Go is proud of its inter-generational appeal. Many young children, elderly players and all ages in-between are drawn to the handicap tournaments staged with the annual  International Pair Go Championships, which recently took place in Tokyo (Koreans Win Pair Go Championships). For a number of years, the oldest player has been Ms. Imayo Matsuyo, who turned 90 this year and hails from Ehime prefecture on the island of Shikoku. Longtime go journalist and E-Journal contributor John Power had a chance to interview her between rounds.
EJ: What age were you when you learned go?
IM: 60.
EJ: How often and where do you usually play? On the Net?
IM: No I can’t get the hang of computers. I play twice a week at a local go club.
EJ: What is your rank now?
IM: The female rankings are a little more generous than the male. I’d be about 3-dan in the male rankings.
EJ: What is the appeal of go to you?
IM: Being able to play with my son once a year. My daughter-in-law doesn’t mind my stealing him for go tournaments. Playing with him, I feel that I’m improving all the time. By the way, my go club team became the Ehime representative in the Nenrinpikku [a festival of a wide range of sports for players 60 and over] and took first place.
    Read more about Ms. Matsumoto’s “Memories of Pair Go” in her essay submitted to last year’s 20th Anniversary  Pair Go Prize Essays competition, available in English translation on the Panda Net HP. Also available online are essays by Thomas Hsiang (U.S.), Tony Atkins (U.K.), Kirsty Healey & Matthew Macfadyen (U.K.) and more.  

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