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IGOLOCAL, GROWING RAPIDLY, YET TO HIT CRITICAL MASS

Thursday August 26, 2010

Barely a month after launching, IgoLocal already has more than a thousand users. IgoLocal enables players to find and contact each other, and there are now 1131 users in 62 countries, with 449 of those in North America and 570 in Europe. The network is growing at 35 new members each day, reports founder Chuck Thomas, “and that number is trending upwards.” Users “are still figuring out how to use the system to the best benefit of their communities,” says Thomas. “1,100 users may sound like a lot of go players, but it’s actually an absurdly tiny number when spread throughout the entire planet.” Thomas says he can “easily envision a quarter million users on this system,” and says that “At the current rate, it may be another two months before we begin to reach critical mass.  This is fine – the users who are already on the system are able to go about their business, and one day they’ll receive a PM or even a game challenge from a previously-unknown rival, who is well matched to their rank.” Thomas points out that “Igolocal keeps working for you even if you forget about it for a while,” and admits that “Even I have only the faintest idea what the end result will be. This has never been done before.” Two hundred of the IgoLocal users are dan-level or stronger and two professionals are also registered, Jennie Shen 2p in Santa Barbara, and An Young-gil 8p in Sydney, Australia. The site supports six languages, English, French, German, Dutch, Russian and Japanese, and volunteers are now working on Italian, Polish and Chinese translations.

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WORLD GO NEWS ROUND-UP August 16-23

Monday August 23, 2010

Sakai Hideyuki evens Gosei 2-2 with Cho U. Sakai Hideyuki 7P defeated Cho U 9P by 3.5 points in the fourth round of the 35th Gosei title match. The series is now tied at 2-2, with the final game to be played on August 27th. Lee Changho defeats Lee Sedol in Myeongin league play. In the final regular League A game of the 38th Myeongin, Lee Changho 9P defeated Lee Sedol 9P by resignation. Sedol’s loss eliminates him from the main tournament, finishing with a 2-3 league record. Lee Changho finished with a 3-2 league record but will now enter into a playoff match with An Kukhyun 2P, who also finished at 3-2. The winner will join Kang Dongyun 9P in the main tournament. Agon Cup Second Round Results. Qiu Jun 9P, Chen Yaoye 9P, Chang Hao 9P, and Piao Wenyao 5P each won their respective second round matches in the 12th Agon Cup, putting them in the semifinals. The defending Agon Cup title holder, Sun Tengyu 4P, lost to Jun by resignation. In the other three matches, Wang Xi 9P, Gu Li 9P, and Jiang Weijie 5P each lost their respective games to Yaoye, Hao, and Wenyao. The semifinals will be played on August 30th. Jiang Weijie and Li Zhe tied in Mingren challenger match. In the first game of the 23rd Mingren challenger match, Jiang Weijie 5P defeated Li Zhe 6P by resignation.  In the second game Zhe narrowly defeated Weijie by half a point. Park Yeonghun clinches 1st round spot in Myeongin. Park Yeonghun 9P clinched a first round spot in the 38th Myeongin by defeating Kim Kiyoung 5P by 3.5 points in the last round of League B play for each player. Yeonghun will now advance to the final tournament with a 4-1 record. The last regular game for League B will pit Cho Hanseung 9P against Park Jeonggeun 4P on August 26th. The winner of that match will then play a tie breaker with Won Sungjin 9P, who has a 3-2 record, to determine who among the remaining League B players will join Yeonghun in the tournament finals. Lee Sedol 9P, Choi Cheolhan 9P, and Won Sungjin 9P win in round one of the 54th Kuksu. Each won by resignation. Mok Jinseok 9P will play Ko Geuntae 7P on August 20th and Heo Yeongho 7P will play Lee Chungyu 3P on August 29th to complete the first round (game records).
- JustPlayGo

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SPOTS OPEN IN KIM-IN CUP INT’L SENIOR BADUK TOURNEY

Monday August 23, 2010

Applications are now being accepted for the 4th Kim-in Cup International Senior Baduk Competition. The tournament is being held November 5-8 in GangJin City, Korea and is open to male go players 50 and older and female players 30 and older. It’s sponsored by the Korea Baduk Association and the Korea Amateur Baduk Association; KBA provides hotel, meals and domestic transportation for all players, who must cover their own travel costs to Korea. email iris@baduk.or.kr for details and to register.

TWO SCHOOLS OFFER CHANCE TO STUDY WITH KOREAN PROS

Thursday August 19, 2010

Korean players dominate the professional go scene these days and now amateurs have some new opportunities to study with top Korean pros. The Yang Jae-Ho Baduk Dojang is recruiting foreign players to study go in Korea. The dojang, or training center, plans to offer English-speaking instructors, and the pro instructor roster — in addition to founder Yang Jae-Ho (l) — includes Yi Sang-Hun 9P, An Dal-Hun 8P and Yi Jung-Wu 7P. The Dojang currently houses over 80 students and school founder Yang Jae-Ho 9P is the director of the Korean team for the Asian Games. Accommodation and training at the Dojang is 750 Euro/$1000 US per month; a 10% discount is available to groups, or students staying for over three months. Cultural excursions are also included in the deal. In Australia, the Young Go Academy in Sydney is run by a Korean professional, An Young-Gil 8P. In addition to An, there are four other instructors, two pros and two strong amateurs; Yu Kyung-Min 6P, who won several titles in Taiwan, including the Chung-hwan Cup, Kim Hyun-Sup 2P, who has recently been in the Korean league, Jang-Bi, the amateur 7-dan who spent a year teaching at the Seattle Go center and won many titles in the U.S., and 24-year-old Lim Mi-Jin, a strong amateur female player. Though the Young Go Academy is smaller than Yang Jae-Ho, it also offers teaching in English, and due to the number of teachers, students are guaranteed more individual attention. Accommodation and training at the Young Go Academy is 800 Euro/$1100 US per month; a 10% discount is available to groups or students staying for over three months and cultural excursions are also offered as part of the package. For more information on either school, contact Sang-Dae Hahn sdhahn@gmail.com

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WORLD GO NEWS ROUND-UP: August 10-15

Monday August 16, 2010

Jiang Weijie & Li Zhe Advance to Mingren tournament finals. Jiang Weije and Li Zhe will battle it out in the 23rd Mingren challenger decision match for the right to face Gu Li 9P.  Jiang Weijie 5P defeated Zhong Wenjing 5P by resignation and Li Zhe 6P defeated Chang Hao 9P by resignation.  Of the 32 players in the tournament, only five were 9-dan pros, with only Hao surviving to the semifinals. (more info and game records) Cho U Defeats Hane Naoki in NEC Cup Second Round. Cho U 9P defeated Hane Naoki 9P by 4.5 points in the second round of the 30th NEC Cup tournament. Cho U will face the winner of the second round match between So Yokoku 8P and Kono Rin 9P, the defending NEC Cup title holder. The remaining second round matches are between Iyama Yuta 9P and O Meien 9P (scheduled for August 19th) and Yuki Satoshi 9P and Yamashita Keigo 9P.  An Kukhyun Forces Playoff in Myeongin. By virtue of defeating Kang Dongyun 9P in the Myeongin A league, An Kukhyun 2P has put himself into position for a playoff against the winner of the August 19 match between Lee Changho 9P and Lee Sedol 9P.  Changho and Sedol are both 2-2, so Kukhyun’s 3-2 record forces the playoff to continue into the main tournament. Kukhyun is a relatively new 18 year-old Korean pro and defeating either Changho or Sedol would be a major boost for his standings.
- reports/photo from JustPlayGo

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IYAMA YUTA 9P’S VERY GOOD YEAR

Friday August 13, 2010

Iyama Yuta 9P, the young turk among Japanese pros, is doing well in his first year as Meijin. He is about to start his first defense of that title against Takao Shinji 9P and has played in every Japanese tournament this year, except for those restricted to women and members of other branches of the Nihon Ki-in. Here’s his record this year in the top seven Japanese titles: in the Kisei League B, he is the only player with two victories; in the Honinbo he lost the challenger decision match to Yamashita Keigo; he’s in the semi-finals of the Judan, lost in the semi-finals of the Oza to Yamada Kimio 9P, lost in the second round of the Tengen to Cho U 9P, and lost in the final of the Gosei to challenger Sakai Hideyuki 7P. In lesser tournaments, he lost in the first round of the Agon Cup, lost in the final preliminary game of the Ryusei, is seeded into the second round of the NHK Cup, is in the second round of the NEC Cup, in the third round of the Daiwa Cup, and lost in the semifinals of the Daiwa Cup Grand Champion to Takao Shinji. Given this track record, it seems likely that he will become an ever bigger threat to Cho U’s current dominance of the Japanese scene.
- Bill Cobb

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SHIKSHIN 2010 EUROPEAN GO CHAMPION

Thursday August 12, 2010

Ilya Shikshin 7d (l) of Russia is this year’s European Go Champion, winning the main tournament at the recently-concluded European Go Congress in Tampere, Finland. Click here for complete results in all EGC tourneys, including the Weekend, Rapid, Pair Go and more. Six Congress Bulletins with reports on the EGC were published and are available online as well. Click here for Congress photo albums and news. There are also some reports on EuroGoTV. photo of Shikshin by Judith van Dam, EuroGoTV

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WORLD GO NEWS ROUND-UP: August 2-9

Tuesday August 10, 2010

Lee Sedol vs. Lee Changho in Price Information Cup: Lee Sedol 9P defeated Won Sungjin 9P by resignation in their semifinal match on August 8 to advance to the finals of the Price Information Cup. The title match is a best-of-three series that will begin on September 1. The winner will challenge current title holder Kim Jiseok for the 2010 Price Information Cup title.  More information and the game record can be found at JustPlayGo.com. Surprising Advances at the Samsung Cup Qualifier: Two players who were not expected to advance have played their way into the main Samsung Cup.  The qualifier tournament finished on August 6 with Min Sanhgyun, a Korean amateur, defeating several professional opponents to advance.  In addition, the only Japanese player to advance was Murakawa Daisuke 5P.  He is not a high profile Japanese pro, but is the second youngest Japanese pro in the modern era, just one month older than Cho Chikun was when he qualified.  Click below for more information and game records.
- JustPlayGo.com

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13-YEAR-OLD SUN PLACES FOURTH IN WORLD YOUTH

Thursday August 5, 2010

Thirteen-year-old 7 dan Calvin Sun (at right in his match against Korea) placed fourth in the recent World Youth Go Championships, representing the U.S. Nine-year-old Kevin Fang 1d was the Junior Representative, placing eighth.  ”I am happy to have this opportunity to be in the exciting WYGC tournament,” Fang told the E-Journal,  ”I got to play with the top junior players in the world.  I did not reach my goal this time, and ended up with the youngest player award.  I hope I will do better next time.”   The boys won a free trip to Penghu, Taiwan, to compete at the finals, July 22 – 28.  Mingjiu Jiang 7p went as team coach (see below for his commentary on Sun’s critical Round 4 match against Czechia).  ”This was my sixth time representing USA in the WYGC,” writes Sun, “I placed fourth in the senior division this year and Kevin tied for eighth in the junior division–which is a very good outcome considering he was the youngest player participating in the competition. He also got the award for ‘Youngest Player’.  Other than the players from China, Korea, Japan and Taipei, the European Go players were also very strong. My most important game was the fourth round against Czech Republic’s representative, Lukas Podpera, 15. The winner would advance to the finals. Before the game, Mingjiu Jiang 7P helped me study all of Podpera’s games, and I played a fuseki he was not used to, thus leading throughout the game and winning by 17 points.  In the Senior Division, Korea’s Insei Han Seung Joo placed first,

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China’s Baolong Zhao 2P placed second, Chinese Taipei’s Jiayuan Xu 6d placed third, and I placed fourth. In the Junior Division, China Qicheng Li 1P placed first, Korea’s Insei Min-Jun Shin placed second, Chinese Taipei’s Zhengxun Cheng placed third, and Singapore’s Yifei Yue placed fourth.  Penghu is an archipelago made up of 64 small islands west of Taiwan. The tournament took place on Penghu’s largest island, Magog.  The last day we went to another small island and went swimming and crab catching . Unfortunately, it was raining that day so many activities such as snorkeling and fishing were canceled. For dinner, we ate the crabs we caught that afternoon,” said Sun.
- Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor, Photos by Yanchen Sun.  From left, at left, Mingjiu Jiang 7p, Kevin Fang 1d, Calvin Sun 7d

WORLD GO NEWS ROUND-UP: July 26-August 1

Monday August 2, 2010

GU LI IS THE NEW SUPER MEIJIN: In a close and well-battled final round, Gu Li (l) came out on top defeating Lee Changho by 1.5 points in the first Super Meijin Tournament on July 26. Gu Li had lost to Lee Changho in the first round, defeated Iyama Yuta in the second, and came back in the final round to win (click here for an interview with all three players). LEE CHANGHO ADVANCES TO PRICE INFORMATION CUP FINALS: Lee Changho 9P defeated Choi Cheolhan 9P by 2.5 points in the semifinal match of the 6th Price Information Cup on Saturday. The other semifinal match between Lee Sedol 9P and Won Sungjin 9P will be played on August 8th. The Price Information Cup title match is a best-of-three series. The winner of this tournament will challenge current title holder Kim Jiseok for the 2010 Price Information Cup title. KUKSU UNDERWAY: The 54th Kuksu is now underway. Two of the eight first-round matches were played on July 26th and 28th. The first tournament match was close, with Hong Kipyo 4D defeating Yeom Junghoon 7D by just half a point. In the second match, An Hyungjun 2P defeated Park Jinsol 4D by resignation in a very short game of only 94 moves. The remaining six first-round matches will be played in August. The winner of this tournament will challenge Lee Changho, the current Kuksu title holder. The Kuksu — the longest running competition in South Korea — is held by the Hanguk Kiwon and sponsored by The Dong-a Ilbo. Even though it is no longer the largest tournament in terms of prize money, many people still consider the Kuksu title (Kuksu literally means “hand of the nation” or the best player in the country) to be the most prestigious of all Korean titles, especially given its long tradition. The winner’s prize is 40 million KRW.
- JustPlayGo for full reports, photos and game records; Kuksu report includes reporting from Wikipedia

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