American Go E-Journal » World

US Youth to Play Japanese Insei

Sunday July 17, 2011

Ten of America’s youth players will compete in the first ever friendship matches with Japanese insei this coming Thursday, July 21st.  The insei are youth that are studying to become professionals in Japan, their lifestyle has been portrayed in the Hikaru no Go manga and anime, inspiring countless American kids to reach for the stars themselves.  Insei in classes B through D will compete, as will the top four high school players in Japan, according to Nihon Ki-in Overseas Coordinator Tom Urasoe.  The match has been organized by AGA Youth Coordinator Paul Barchilon, who chose the ten member US team based on both playing strength and dedication to the go community.  The matches will be held on the Japanese Yugen no Ma Go Server.  An English language version of the client is available at Wbaduk.com games will be held in the Japanese Go Room.  The US team, and a list of their opponents, can be found on Tigersmouth.org.  To observe the matches, download the client and create an id.  Matches will be held Thursday, July 21, at 5 pm PDT. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.  Image: insei characters from Hikaru no Go

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“Study Go,” Organizer & Consultant Urges Big Pharma

Sunday July 17, 2011

Mind Go Club organizer Shavit Fragman recommends that Big Pharma executives study go in his recently published article Pharma Business avalanche, Modeling Through the strategy game of Go. Shavit is President and CEO of MindPharma, a healthcare consulting firm.

With $100 billion in Big Pharma revenues set to evaporate in the coming years due to patent expirations and generic substitutes, Fragman uses the Avalanche joseki (or nadare) as a metaphor for the potential impact of patent expiration on big pharma revenues and profits. Noting that an avalanche is a risk when climbing Everest, Fragman says that “Experienced climbers know how critical every step” is and how “One small mistake may lead to” disaster. “High skill is a must for high mountain climbers,” he notes, “Similarly in the game of go.”

Fragman’s paper develops his thesis by demonstrating and discussing near future trends in the pharmaceuticals market and analyzes several other pharmaceutical companies strategy using the avalanche joseki, leading to his recommendation that pharma executives “study the game of go, its finesse and benefit from the strategic tools and whole board (universal/cosmic) view and thinking.”

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News from the Shanghai Go Camp

Monday July 11, 2011

Antonio Egea has reported back from the Shanghai Go Camp, which is currently underway in China. After two weeks of daily go training, at Shanghai International Studies University, the participants are ready for their next challenge. “It looks like the tough part will start now,” says Egea, “we are going to Hangzhou to receive training with the local go students.” Participants have also had time for some sight-seeing. They’ve visited The Bund – a world famous section of Zhongshan Road in Shanghai – and also  Zhou Zhuang, which Egea describes as “a Venice-like city”.

Based on Antonio’s report, direct from Shanghai Go Camp at Go Game Guru. Photo: Go Camp participants enjoy dinner together at a hot pot restaurant.

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Lee Sedol Adds Chunlan Cup to His Trophy Case

Sunday July 3, 2011

Korea’s Lee Sedol 9P (l) has added the Chunlan Cup to his already stuffed trophy case. Lee had never won the Chunlan before and the 8th annual edition – a best-of-three international tournament — began June 27 with Lee defeating China’s Xie He 7P by resignation after a hard fight. Xie, playing black, evened the score on June 29 in a second-round game that’s already been the subject of much discussion because the players created a new pattern in the top right, starting with Lee’s move 18. Lee held white again in the deciding match on June 30. Despite losing Game Two, he tried the new move again and his perseverance paid off as he won the game and the tournament. Lee now adds his first win in the Chunlan Cup to his already impressive record.

For those interested in the new joseki, see An Younggil’s Game 3 commentary.

- Jingning, based on her original reports on the 8th Chunlan Cup at Go Game Guru.

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MyGoFriend Program Ties Top Pro

Sunday June 26, 2011

The MyGoFriend program scored a 2-2 result against Kim Young Sam 8P in a June 16 9×9 exhibition match played during the recent Kido Cup in Hamburg, Germany and broadcast live on KGS. MyGoFriend – a Gold Medal winner at the 15th Computer Olympiad that employs state of the art Monte Carlo algorithms  — won the first two games and Kim Young Sam 8P the last two. While MyGoFriend officially lost the final game on time, due to connection issues, the position was evaluated as unclear or better for MyGoFriend. Click here for the complete report, videos, photos and game records.

GO SPOTTING: Yojiro Takita’s New Film

Saturday June 25, 2011

Yojiro Takita’s next film has an interesting historical connection to the game of go. Takita (r) – who won an Oscar in 2009 for Okuribito (Departures) – is adapting the novel ‘Tenchi Meisastsu,’ about a 17th century astronomer and mathematician. The film is an adaptation of To Ubukata’s novel of the same name, based on the life of Shibukawa, who later took on the name of his father, champion go player Yasui Santetsu, first head of the Yasui house. The novel has won literary awards in Japan on its way to selling 380,000 copies. It was published by Kadokawa, which is collaborating with Shochiku on the movie. Tenchi Meisastsu — which roughly translates as “insights into the universe” — is being shot at Shochiku’s Kyoto studio until the middle of August, and is slated for an autumn 2012 release.
- based on Gavin J. Blair’s story in The Hollywood Reporter, with thanks to Ramon Mercado for spotting the reference.

Categories: Go Art,Go Spotting,World
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U.S. to Send Team to Sport Accord Mind Games in December

Monday June 20, 2011

The American Go Association has been invited to send a team to the Sport Accord Mind Games in December in Beijing. “We’re very excited to have the opportunity to participate in such a prestigious event, and look forward to it with great anticipation,” said AGA President Allan Abramson. Six teams will play in the December 8-17 tournament in Beijing: China, Japan, Kore, Chinese Taipei (representing Asia-Pacific), the U.S. (representing the Americas) and the European Union (representing Europe). Each team will have five members, with at least one female, and there are two medals: team and pair go. The U.S. team selection process will consist of inviting 16 AGA players with 6.0+ rating, including at least two female players, and four CGA players. A 5-round qualifier tournament will be held July 10-12, July 13-16, July 17-20, July 21-23, and July 24-26. Email tournaments@usgo.org for complete SAMG qualifier details and requirements or to register; include your commitment to play in the full qualifier and to travel to Beijing in December. Registration deadline is 8p EST on July 4. Prizes include $10,000-80,000 (USD) for teams and $2,000-12,000 (USD) for pair go. Each team is guaranteed at least the minimum amount. For all players, airfare, hotel, meals, and local transportation are sponsored by Sport Accord. Click here to stay tuned for more details.

LG Cup Yields More Surprises

Saturday June 18, 2011

The 16th LG Cup has continued to defy the predictions of go fans, creating a very interesting tournament going into the quarter finals. As we mentioned last week, Lee Sedol 9P, Gu Li 9P and Kong Jie 9P were all knocked out in the first round of the main tournament. Round two took place on June 15, 2011. Piao Wenyao 9P – the defending LG Cup champion – was eliminated by rising Korean star Kim Jiseok 7P. Some readers may remember Kim Jiseok’s explosive play against Gu Li in the BC Card Cup. Many are expecting Kim, who turned 22 last week, to break through on the international stage any day now. Qiu Jun 8P and Xie He 7P also defeated Choi Cheolhan 9P and Park Younghun 9P respectively.

Meanwhile the anticipated game between Iyama Yuta 9P and Lee Changho 9P concluded with Lee’s convincing win in 102 moves. The eight players who made it to the quarter finals are: Qiu Jun 8P, Jiang Weijie 5P and Xie He 7P of China. Kim Jiseok 7P, Won Seongjin 9P, Lee Changho 9P and Heo Youngho 9P of Korea. And Chen Shiyuan 9P of Taiwan. Of these eight, Lee is the only one with a solid track record in international tournaments, but he faces competition from a number of young and talented players to win this one.

Just to maintain the suspense, we’ll have to wait until November 2011 for the next two rounds to be played. The final will be in February 2012.

- Jingning; based on her original report on the 16th LG Cup at Go Game Guru. Photo: Lee Changho at the 16th LG Cup.

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WORLD GO NEWS ROUND-UP June 6-13: Go Seigen’s Birthday, Kong Jie Wins Asian TV Cup, LG Cup Begins

Monday June 13, 2011

This week living go legend, Go Seigen, turns 97. As many readers will know, Go is famous for his brilliant record in the newspaper sponsored jubango (ten game matches) of the 1930s-50s and his involvement in the Shin Fuseki (new opening) movement of the 1930s. According the Gregorian calendar, Go’s birthday was on June 12. However, if you missed it, his birthday according to the Chinese (lunar) calendar is on June 20 this year, so there is still an opportunity for those who wish to celebrate it.

In other news, Kong Jie 9P won the 23rd Asian TV Cup for the third year in a row. Kong defeated Yamada Kimio 9P of Japan and Baek Hongseok 8P of Korea to defend the Cup for China. A full report is available at Go Game Guru.

The 16th LG Cup has started in Seoul, Korea – with the first round being completed on June 13. Some notable results from this round include Park Younghun 9P defeating Lee Sedol 9P, Lee Changho 9P knocking out Gu Li 9P and Park Jungsang 9P eliminating Kong Jie 9P. This promises to be an exciting tournament, with the most anticipated game of round two being Lee Changho’s meeting with Iyama Yuta 9P of Japan. You can keep track of all the results and see the game records at Igokisen.

Photo: Go Seigen at the 6th Ing Cup in 2009, by Ho at Falling Stones.

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Eric Lui on the 2011 World Amateur Go Championship

Monday June 13, 2011

U.S. representative Eric Lui 7d placed third in the 2011 World Amateur Go Championship, the highest finish ever achieved by a U.S. player. Eric sent along this report on the tournament, as well as the exciting final-round game — with his comments — that clinched the 3rd-place win.
This year’s World Amateur Go Championship featured 57 players. The Japanese representative was 84-year-old Hirata Hironori who was playing in the WAGC for his eighth time, having won the tournament in 1995. The youngest player was 13-year-old C.H. Chan from Hong Kong, who is already well-known on KGS. The tournament venue was the Shimane Prefectural Assembly Hall, located right across from Matsue Castle, one of the last remaining medieval castles in Japan. Shimane is the birthplace of the great Honinbo Dosaku and Iwamoto Kaoru 9P.

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The pairing system used prevented the top four seeded players (China, Korea, Japan, Chinese Taipei) from being paired together before Round 4. Several exciting matchups, including Romania vs. France and Chinese Taipei vs. Canada, occurred as early as Round 2. Since there were an odd number of players, a ‘Dummy’ player was introduced. Each round, the one player paired against ‘Dummy’ gained a free win and played a teaching game against a professional.

The stakes were high in my final-round match against the player from Chinese Taipei. Both of us had lost only to China and Korea, and the winner would finish in third place while the loser would drop to 8th. The game itself was very exciting and was the last of the round to finish. While any go player is familiar with the thrill of winning, there are no words to describe what it felt like for me to achieve this victory.
- Eric Lui (shown at right in photo, playing John Karlsson of Sweden)
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