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WORLD GO NEWS: China Wins 7th Japan-China Agon Cup; Cho Hanseung Wins GS Caltex Cup; Lee Changho Wins Myeongin; Cho U Evens Match In Tengen Defense; Davis Wins 2nd Irish Championship; Xebo Wins St Nick Tourney In Braunschweig; Hungarian League

Monday December 14, 2009

CHINA WINS 7TH JAPAN-CHINA AGON CUP: Sun Tengyu 4P of China defeated Japan’s Hane Haoki 9P by 3.5 points on December 9th to win this year’s Japan-China Agon Cup. The match between the winners of the Japanese and the Chinese Agon Cup tournaments has been a painful experience for the Japanese lately, as the Chinese Cup holders have now won seven straight matches. Sun is a teen whose only title before winning the Chinese version of the Agon Cup (Ahan Tongshan Cup) this year was the National Individual championship in 2008. Hane is in his thirties and has been a major player on the Japanese pro scene. He is the current Honinbo and held the number one Japanese title, the Kisei, in both 2004 and 2005. In the Chinese event, Sun defeated both Gu Li, China’s current top title holder, and Piao Wenyao 5P, another of the strong young Chinese pros. - Bill Cobb, from Go News, GoGameWorld

CHO HANSEUNG WINS GS CALTEX CUP: Cho Hanseung 9P took the fourth game of the Korean GS Caltex Cup to take the title away from Park Yeonghun 9P by a score of 3-1. Park only won the third game. The GS Caltex Cup is one of the richest among Korean events. In his twenties, Cho’s most recent previous title was the Chunwon, which he won by defeating Lee Sedol 9P in 2006. Park, also in his twenties, has had a more illustrious career, toped off by winning the international Fujitsu twice, in 2004 and 2007. - Bill Cobb, from Go News, GoGameWorld

LEE CHANGHO WINS MYEONGIN: Lee Changho 9P defeated Won Sungjin 9P 3-1 to capture the Korean Myeongin (J: Meijin) title for the thirteenth time. Lee won the decisive fourth game of the match on December 10th by a mere half point. Lee, now in his thirties, has not been so dominant lately, but still wins important titles. His last international title was the LG Cup in 2004. Won is ten years younger and has won only two titles so far, both in 2007: the BC Card Cup and the Chunwon. - Bill Cobb, from Go News, GoGameWorld

CHO U EVENS MATCH IN TENGEN DEFENSE: The Tengen now goes to a decisive fifth game as Cho U 9P leveled the match in defense of his title against challenger Yamashita Keigo 9P. Yamashita went ahead 2-1 by winning the third game on December 3rd, but Cho came back on December 10th to take the fourth of the best-of-five-games match. So far Black has won every game by resignation. The final is scheduled for December 22nd. - Bill Cobb, from Go News, GoGameWorld, Sensei’s Library

DAVIS WINS 2ND IRISH CHAMPIONSHIP: Ian Davis beat Claas Roever 2-1 (date) to take the 2009 Irish Championship title. The championship came down to a final, tense game, “As usual between these two it was a game that could have gone either way,” reported Stephen (last name) on the Irish Go Association website. “After repeating the opening of the second game, Claas took an early lead by switching to a Gibson style strategy using some risky opening plays. However somewhere in the middlegame he lost his way, and Ian forced resignation after a devious invasion.” This was Davis’ second Irish title; he has another 14 wins to pass all time Irish title record holder Noel Mitchell. Davis, President of the Irish Go Association and Irish Correspondent for the E-Journal, credited altitude training in County Donegal for his win. Click here for the record of the final game.

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WORLD GO NEWS: Yamashita Takes Lead In Tengen

Monday December 7, 2009

Cho U  9P’s efforts to avoid losing another of his titles has become an uphill fight in the Tengen.  On December 3rd Challenger Yamashita Keigo 9P won the third game of the best-of-five-games title match to take a 2-1 lead. Cho won this title last year for the first time. Yamashita has also held the title for one year, 2004. He lost it the next year to Kono Rin  9P and failed to retake it as challenger the next two years. Cho held five of the top seven Japanese titles at the beginning of this year, but lost the Meijin to Iyama Yuta 9P in November. The fourth game in the Tengen match is scheduled for December 10th.
- Bill Cobb, from Go News & GoGameWorld

WORLD GO NEWS: Korean Myeongin Title Match Tied At 1-1

Monday December 7, 2009

The best-of-five-games match between Lee Changho 9P and Won Sungjin 9P (right) for the Meyongin (Japanese: Meijin) title in Korea was tied at 1-1 when Won won the second game on December 3rd by 1.5 points. The last winner of this title was Lee Sedol 9P, but since he has taken a temporary leave of absence from the pro scene, the title holder will be decided by this match. Lee Changho has won this title twelve times since first taking it from Cho Hunhyun 9P in 1991. Won’s latest title victories were the BC Card Cup and the Chunwon in 2007. He is ten years younger than Lee Changho.
- Bill Cobb, from Go News, GoGameWorld & Sensei’s Library

WORLD GO NEWS: Park Yeonghun Fights Back In GS Caltex Cup

Monday December 7, 2009

On December 2nd, Park Yeonghun 9P avoided a shut-out in the the GS Caltex Cup when he defeated challenger Cho Hanseung 9P in Game 3 of their best-of-five-games title match. Park must win both remaining games to retain the title he has held for the last two years. The GS Caltex Cup is one of the most lucrative in Korea. Park has a more outstanding record of title wins than Cho by a significant margin. Both are in their twenties. Game four in the match is set for December 9th.
- Bill Cobb, from Go News, GoGameWorld & Sensei’s Library

11/24/2009 World Go News: Cho U Evens Up Tengen Title Match; Cho U To Challenge For Kisei; Cho Hanseung Closing In On GS Caltex Cup; Korea Wins Pair Go Championships; U.S. Places 14th

Tuesday November 24, 2009

CHO U EVENS UP TENGEN TITLE MATCH: Cho U 9P (right) won the second game against challenger Yamashita Keigo 9P in the best-of-five-games defense of his Tengen title on November 19th to make the score 1-1. Cho, who holds “only” four titles now, after losing the Meijin to Iyama Yuta 9P, won this title last year for the first time, taking it from Kono Rin 9P who held it for three years. Kono took it from Yamashita in 2005, and Yamashita was unable to regain it despite being the challenger the next two years. Yamashita had held the title for only one year. The third game in the title match is scheduled for December 3rd. Cho is also currently engaged in defending his Oza title against challenger Yamada Kimio 9P. Cho won the first game of that match and the second of the best-of-five-games event will be on November 24th.
- Bill Cobb, from reports in Go News, GoGameWorld, & Sensei’s Library

CHO U TO CHALLENGE FOR KISEI: Cho U 9P defeated O Rissei 9P in the playoff game November 16th between the winners of the two leagues to decide who would get to challenge Yamashita Keigo 9P for the Kisei title. At the age of fifty, O is a member of the older generation now, but has had a remarkable career, doing well in international events and winning his most recent title in 2004, which involved defeating Cho U to retain the Judan title for the fourth consecutive year. The Kisei is the number one title in Japan with a winner’s prize of about $400,000 US. Yamashita has held this title five times, including the last four years. Yamashita first won it in 2003, when he defeated O who had held it for three years, having taken it from Cho Chikun 9P in 2000. This is Cho U’s first challenge for the Kisei. Cho U and Yamashita are currently engaged in the title match for Cho’s Tengen title; Yamashita has won the first game of that contest. The best-of-seven-games finals will begin next January 14th.
- Bill Cobb, from reports in Go News, GoGameWorld, & Haengma

CHO HANSEUNG CLOSING IN ON GS CALTEX CUP: Cho Hanseung 9P (right) won the second game of the GS Caltex Cup title match on November 17th against title holder Park Yeonghun 9P to make the score 2-0 in the best-of-five-games match. Cho, who is not as accomplished as Park, won his most recent title, the Chunwon, in 2006. Park won the international Fujitsu in both 2004 and 2007. The next game in the title match will occur on December 2nd. The GS Caltex Cup has the highest winner’s prize among Korean tournaments.
- Bill Cobb, from reports in Go News & GoGameWorld

KOREA WINS PAIR GO CHAMPIONSHIPS; U.S. PLACES 14TH: Korea won the 20th International Amateur Pair Go Championships, held November 14-15 in Tokyo. Thirty two pairs from 22 countries and territories competed. Japanese pairs took 2nd, 3rd and 5th, with a Chinese pair winning 4th place. From the West, only the Russian team managed to crack the top ten – and that just barely – with Elvina Karlsberg 4d and Evgeny Matveev 5d from Russia in 10th. The U.S. team of Yinlin Wang and Yuan Zhou placed 14th, with Canada in 15th. Other top-20 teams from Europe included Germany at 17th place, with the Czech Republic at 18th and the United Kingdom at 19th. Click here for full results.
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WORLD GO NEWS: Yamashita Takes First Game In Tengen Title Match; Korean Myeongin Reaching Final Stages; Honinbo League Proceeding Slowly

Monday November 16, 2009

YAMASHITA TAKES FIRST GAME IN TENGEN TITLE MATCH: Challenger Yamashita Keigo 9P (left) defeated Tengen title holder Cho U 9P on November 12th to take the first game in their best-of-five-games title match. Cho now holds four of the top seven Japanese titles. He won the Tengen for the first time last year, defeating Kono Rin 9P, who had held it for the preceding three years. Yamashita lost the title to Kono after winning it from Hane Naoki 9P in 2003; he then unsuccessfully challenged for the next three years. Yamashita’s main claim to fame is holding the number one title in Japan, the Kisei five times, including the last four years.
- Bill Cobb, Sources: Go News, GoGameWorld

KOREAN MYEONGIN REACHING FINAL STAGES: On November 12-13, Won Sungjin 9P (right), who had defeated Seo Gunqoo 4P, defeated Hong Sungji 7P by a score of 2-1 (winning his two games by a total of five points) to become the League A final winner in the 37th Myeongin (J: Meijin), which has a complicated structure. This year there are two six-player leagues after the usual preliminary event. The top two players in each league have a best-of-three-games match and the winners of those matches have a final match. Since Lee Sedol 9P, who won this title last year, has taken a leave of absence from the active pro scene, the winner of this final match will be the title winner; this match is a best-of-five-games contest. A further complication arose in one league where a play-off game was needed to determine the second winner. The top two from League B, Lee Changho 9P and Kim Seongje 3P will start their playoff on November 16th. Lee Changho is one of the world’s best-known players, but is not as dominant these days. Kim has never taken a title and is still in his teens. Won won the international Chunwon title and the BC Card Cup in 2007. Of these three only Lee currently holds a title, the Korean KBS Cup, which he has held ten times.
- Bill Cobb, Go News, GoGameWorld, Sensei’s Library

HONINBO LEAGUE PROCEEDING SLOWLY: The eight-player round robin to determine the challenger for Hane Naoki 9P’s Honinbo title is proceeding at its usual leisurely pace. At this point Iyama Yuta 9P (recently promoted for winning the Meijin) and Yamashita Keigo 9P have the best records at 2-0. Neither of these players have even challenged for this title before, let alone won it. Among the other League participants only Takao Shinji 9P (currently 1-1) and Takemiya Masaki 9P (also 1-1) have ever won the Honinbo title. Takao held it three years, from 2005-2007, and Takemiya was Honinbo six times, including four consecutive years in 1985-1988. Yamada Kimio 9P (0-2) was the challenger in 2006, losing to Takao. Cho U 9P (1-1–he lost to Iyama) challenged twice unsuccessfully, in 2001 and 2005. The remaining two players, Yuki Satoshi 9P and Mimura Tomoyasu 9P have also never been the challenger.
- Bill Cobb, from GoGameWorld, Go News, Wikipedia, Wintry Smile

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Korean Go School Accepting Foreign Students

Monday November 16, 2009

KOREAN GO SCHOOL ACCEPTING FOREIGN STUDENTS: Foreign students have until November 31 to apply at the department of Baduk Studies, Myongji University in Yongin, Korea. Check the pages of the admission office as well as the department’s homepage for details, or email Daniela Trinks.

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LIVE FROM JEONJU: Yuan Zhou on the 4th Annual Korea Prime Minister Cup

Monday November 2, 2009

By Yuan Zhou 7d
The matches at the just-concluded Korea Prime Minister Cup (KPMC) World Go Championship – the 4th annual — were very exciting, with representatives from 68 nations fighting hard for their countries. I was pleased to finish fifth, the best result yet for the United States in this tournament. Held in Jeonju, Korea, the hometown of famous world champion Lee Changho 9P, the event — which ran October 23-27 — is well organized by the Korean Baduk Association and a special bonus was that Lee Changho himself attended. My only losses were to the Korean representative (on right in photo), who won the championship this year, and the Chinese Taipei representative, a 1-dan professional who was allowed to play because he doesn’t officially become a pro until 2010. The match with the Korean representative was a very complicated game, and we were both down to our last byo-yomi period and one time we only had a couple seconds left on our clock. None of my games were easy, and the Europeans I played were all strong and played well. The New Zealand player I defeated in the last round would have placed 4th place if he had won; Canada’s Gangsheng Shi – this year’s Redmond Cup winner — did also did well, finishing in 8th place. 2009 KPMC World Go Championship official final result (top 16 finishers): 1. Korea; 2. China; 3. Chinese Hong Kong; 4. Japan; 5. USA; 6. Singapore; 7. Chinese Taipei; 8. Canada; 9. South Africa; 10. Thailand; 11. Ukraine; 12. New Zealand; 13. Slovenia; 14. Serbia; 15. France; 16. Netherlands. Click here for complete resultsPhoto: Yuan Zhou, US (left) and Song Hong-suk, Korea; group photo with Lee Changho 9p (center)

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Go School Updates

Monday November 2, 2009

Go teacher Joey Hung 7d is shuttering his Fremont, CA-area school “for a while” he tells the E-Journal, to focus on business opportunities. Meanwhile, Gabriel Benmergui 6d and Ali Jabarin 6d have just started up the online Atsumi Go School, which offers lessons, study groups and free game commentaries of games played between students. Benmergui is a top Argentinian player who has studied in Lee SangHun’s school, at Kim Sung-Rae 4p’s KBC school in Korea and represented Argentina at the World Amateur Go (WAGC) Championships and the World College Go Championship, where he defeated both Korean amateurs. Jabarin, Israeli champion for the last three years, placed 13th in the WAGC and represented Israel in the 2008 World Mind Sports Games, and is the current European Youth Champion.

WORLD GO NEWS: Cho Hanseung To Challenge For Korean GS Caltex Cup; Cho Hyeyeon To Challenge Rui Naiwei For Women’s Myeongin

Monday November 2, 2009

CHO HANSEUNG TO CHALLENGE FOR KOREAN GS CALTEX CUP: Cho Hanseung 9P (l) defeated An Choyeong 9P in an October 30 playoff match to determine the challenger for Park Yeonghun 9P for the GS Caltex Cup title. Relatively unknown in the West, Cho has not yet won any titles, while An has won a couple, and Park has won the international Fujitsu twice in recent years as well as several Korean titles, as the Caltex Cup, one of the most lucrative Korean titles. Park has held this Cup for the last two years, having taken it from Lee Sedol 9P in 2007. Cho is currently tied with Park for fourth place on the list of Korean pros with the most wins this year; An is in sixth place right behind them. The best-of-five-games title match begins on November 3rd.
- Bill Cobb, from reports in Go News, GoGameWorld & Sensei’s Library; photo: Cho playing Gu Li earlier this year in the BC Cup final.

CHO HYEYEON TO CHALLENGE RUI NAIWEI FOR WOMEN’S MYEONGIN: Cho Hyeyeon 8P defeated Lee Sula 1P on October 27th to win the right to challenge Rui Naiwei 9P for the Korean Women’s Myeongin (J: Meijin) title. Lee is seventeen and has been a pro for just two years. She defeated Cho by 1.5 points in the semi-finals of the challenger’s tournament, but this event has a losers’ bracket which Cho won, giving her the opportunity for a rematch in the finals. Rui has won this title eight of the ten times it has been contested, including the last five consecutive years. Six of those ten matches were between Cho and Rui, with Cho winning only once, in 2003. Cho also defeated Rui in the Women’s Kuksu title match in 2004; in both wins Cho was still in her teens. The Myeongin title match is a best-of-three-games contest.
- Bill Cobb, from reports in Go News, GoGameWorld & Sensei’s Library

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