American Go E-Journal » World

Chinese Go Leaders Hold Summit on Promoting Go Worldwide

Wednesday October 23, 2013

Nearly forty leaders met to discuss “spreading weiqi to the world” in Beijing on September 23. The summit gathered a number of heavyweights in the Chinese go community, including Ma Xiaoming and Xia Guozhu from China’s Association for International Friendship with Foreign Countries, Liu Siming, Wang Runan, Hua Yigang and Wang Yi from the Chinese Weiqi Association, Li Lizhen from the headquarters of the Confucius Institute, and Wang Ping from China’s National General Administration of Press and Publication. In addition, executives from different media companies were invited, including Window of Golden Street (WGS), Sina, eWeiqi, Sohu, Blue Focus and Qingfeng.

Both Ma and Liu emphasized the urgency of promoting go globally and praised the “Weiqi Travelling Worldwide” project, while Shao Qiang from WGS proposed the idea of a China-US Go Congress. The influential level of the summit attendees is the highest in many years, a strong indication of China’s interest in global Weiqi cooperation.
- Alice Zhang, translated by Rainy Han and Zhiyuan ‘Edward’ Zhang

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Sinking Feeling for “Handicap Go”

Tuesday October 15, 2013

After 20 years out of print, Kiseido’s “Handicap Go” was released in an extensively revised and rewritten edition earlier this year. However, reports Anders Kierulf, it may have to be reprinted again soon, as the ship carrying a thousand copies sank in the Indian Ocean last June. “Fortunately, we were insured and the insurance company already paid us the full value,” Richard Bozulich says. “There is a story floating around that the ship was carrying arms for Syrian rebels and the Russian Navy sank it so those arms would not get to Syria,” says Kierulf. Bozulich plans to be at the Cotsen Open later this month. Meanwhile, “Handicap Go” is now available in SmartGo Books, which has a new website, and Kiseido is having a pre-Christmas sale of books until November 15.

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Korea Wins Korea Prime Minister Cup; Canada is 3rd & US 16th

Monday October 14, 2013

Korea and China fought it out for the top spot in the 8th Korea Prime Minister Cup International Amateur Baduk Championship, held October 10-15. Korean student Park Jae-geun 6d, 17, took first place with a win over China’s Li Fu 8d, 39, principal of the Haikou FuLi Go Training Center. The US representative, Hugh Zhang 7d, came in 16th place with five wins, his only loss being to the 4th place finisher from Hong Kong. Canada’s Bill Lin came in a very strong 3rd place also with five wins and a loss, to the winner Park. The US player was seeded somewhat lower than Canada’s because of mixed US results in prior years, according to tournament organizers. The tournament attracted 62 players from all over the world to the small industrial city of Gumi in the province of Gyeongbuk-do. Gumi was the birthplace of the late Korean leader Park Jeong-hee and benefited from a great deal of industrial development during his 1961-79 time in power, growing from a village to a major city with Samsung, LG and other factories.
- report by Andy Okun; photo by Ling Shan

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In Memoriam: Philadelphia Go Players Hugh Albright and John Bender

Thursday October 10, 2013

News has belatedly reached us of the death of two former Philadelphia go players, Hugh Albright and John Bender.

Albright, who died of heart failure at 82 in 2011, “was an avid go player in the ’80′s and ’90′s,” says former AGA President Phil Straus. He “played regularly at the Philadelphia Go Club, which met in my house in the 80′s, and was a very active participant in East Coast tournaments.” A retired professor of mathematics and former dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at La Salle University, Albright was a Christian Brother who lived for 40 years in the Christian Brothers community in Mount Airy, Philadelphia. “Never did he show anger or impatience of criticism,” said fellow Brother Edward Davis. “He had a wonderful sense of humor and a passionate enjoyment of life.” Albright “enjoyed chess and played basketball in his younger years,” according to his obituary. He also played the piano and studied Gregorian chant.

The 44-year-old Bender – ”the fastest-learning go player” Straus ever taught – ”known on Wall Street as the troubled genius who’d quit the billionaire track without explanation in 2000 and retreated to a fortified compound in the Costa Rican jungle” died there mysteriously on January 8, 2010, reports Ned Zeman in “Love and Madness in the Jungle,” published May 7, 2013 in Outside Magazine. Originally thought a suicide, authorities have since charged Bender’s wife with his murder. Bender “went from beginner to 4-dan very quickly,” says Straus. Bender “Gave a talk about go attitude at the 1987 Go Congress,” Straus says. “Didn’t think blunders were important. Only plans were important. ” “His progress in the game was amazing,” agrees Wing Luk, who knew Bender when he was a student at Penn in 1985. “John and I together went to North Philadelphia to play against the Koreans a number of times.” This and other remembrances of Bender are on Jonathan Kaplan’s blog. photo: John and Ann Bender at their 1999 wedding; photo courtesy Outside Magazine

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Student Oza Prelim Registration Now Open

Saturday October 5, 2013

Registration is now open for the qualifying prelim for the 12th World Students Go Oza Championship, which will be held February 24-28, 2014 in Tokyo. Sixteen students from around the world will gather in Japan to decide the world’s number one student player. There will be an online preliminary round on Pandanet to select the 16 student players. Click here for details. University/college students under the age of 30 are eligible to participate in the online preliminary round.

2013 SportAccord Online Tournament Into Final Stage

Sunday September 29, 2013

The go part of the 2013 SportAccord Mind Sport Online Tournament has just gone into the final stage. Over 1000 go players worldwide participated in the largest-ever online tournament. Three regional preliminary tournaments were held for Asia, Europe and Africa, and the Americas. The winners from four separate rank divisions in each region then participate in the finals. Many prizes are provided by Pandanet and by SportAccord, including tablet computers, digital cameras, etc. The top winner from the Open division will win an all-expense-paid trip to Beijing to observe the Third SportAccord World Mind Games held December 12-18 and to receive his trophy. In addition, all players who finished the preliminary round will be placed in a lottery pool for a grand prize of an iPad. The games are held on the Pandanet Internet Go Server (IGS). Click here for finalists, schedule, go client, and other details.
- Thomas Hsiang

Ancient City of the Phoenix Cup: Chen Yaoye vs. Park Junghwan

Thursday September 26, 2013

human go stonesEvery other year since 2003, a top Chinese and top Korean player play an exhibition match in Fenghuang City, China. The grand prize is 400,000 RMB (approximately $65,000 USD) and the runner up receives 280,000 RMB. What makes the Ancient City of the Phoenix Cup unique are the 361 human go stones (left) that mimic the game on a 31.7 x 31.7 meter board.

This year, Chinese player Chen Yaoye 9p defeated Korean player Park Junghwan 9p by 14.5 points in a 50 minute sudden-death match. White (Chen), favored in the opening, took a lead after two major ko fights, and stayed ahead until the end after 298 moves. For more information on this year’s Ancient City of the Phoenix Cup including game record and photos, please visit Go Game Guru.
– Annalia Linnan, based on a longer article by Go Game Guru

Wang Chenxing Takes First International Title With Bingsheng Cup Win

Tuesday September 17, 2013

4th Bingsheng CupWang Chenxing 5P (left) secured her first major international title when she defeated Yu Zhiying 5p in the 4th Bingsheng Cup on September 12. On her journey to the final round, Wang defeated last year’s winner Rui Naiwei 9P, Xie Yimin 6P, and Li He 3P.

However, 15-year-old Yu deserves recognition in her own right. If she had defeated Wang, she would have broken the world record for youngest international title holder in the go world. The current record is held by Lee Changho 9p for his win at the 3rd Tongyang Securities Cup in 1992 when he was 16 years and 6 months. At 15 years and 10 months, Yu’s triumph would have shattered Lee’s 20-year streak.

First played in 2010, the Bingsheng Cup remains the only women’s individual international go tournament. It draws the top 16 players from China, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Europe, North America, and Oceania. Named after Sun Zi (aka Sun Tzu), the author of The Art Of War, the Bingsheng Cup is held annually at the Sun Wu Memorial Hall on Qionglong Mountain in Suzhou, China. For more information about the 4th Bingsheng Cup including photos, a post-game interview with Wang, and game records, visit Go Game Guru.
­- Annalia Linnan, based on a longer article by Go Game Guru; photo courtesy of Go Game Guru

The Power Report: Latest News from Japan

Thursday September 12, 2013

by John Power, Japan Correspondent

Yamashita Off to Good Start in Meijin Defense: The first game of the 39th Meijin title match was held at its regular venue, the luxury traditional hotel and restaurant of the Chinzanso in Tokyo. Challenging the Meijin, Yamashita Keigo, was Iyama Yuta, the monarch of Japanese go, who was not only after revenge for losing the Meijin title to Yamashita two years ago but also seeking to become the second player to hold the Triple Crown of Kisei, Meijin, and Honinbo. The Meijin title match always starts in September, which is when the weather starts to cool down a little after the usually unbearable summer but which is also typhoon season. In fact, the weather in Japan this September has been very turbulent, with record rainfalls and unfamiliar tornadoes ripping through residential areas. The opening day of the game was not an exception, with a violent thunderstorm at dawn. The players were insulated from the weather, of course, but the game was not. With move 32, Yamashita made an aggressive cap that he later recognized was a bit of an overplay. It was redeemed only by a badly timed cut made by Iyama on move 53 that turned out to be more of an overplay. The ensuing fight eventually dragged in half a dozen groups, with the focus on a large capturing race. This looked bad for Iyama, but instead of being obstinate, that is, going all out to capture Iyama’s group, Yamashita cleverly engineered a large-scale trade that gave him a win. Iyama was forced to resign after 172 moves. This was an uncharacteristic loss for Iyama, with a miscalculation of the balance of the trade thrown in later in the game on top of his earlier overplay. However, a best-of-seven gives him plenty of time to make a comeback. The second game will be played on September 19 & 20.

Mukai to Challenge for Women’s Honinbo Title: Mukai Chiaki 5-dan will make her third challenge for the Women’s Honinbo title and her sixth challenge overall to women’s triple crown holder Xie Yimin. So far she has been frustrated by Xie’s fighting strength, which is unmatched among women players in Japan, but Mukai is clearly the number two player here, so competing with Xie is her destiny. She will surely be encouraged by her success early this year: although Japan took only third place in the 2nd Huading Cup in late April, Mukai won all three of her games and helped Japan to a rare team win over China. In the play-off to decide the challenger, held on August 29, Mukai (W) beat Chinen Kaori 4P by resignation. She previously challenged for this title in 2010 and 2011, losing 0-3 and 1-3 respectively.

Japanese Players Eliminated from Samsung Cup: A report on the opening round mini-tournament that starts off the Samsung Cup has already appeared in this journal. Here are the details of the Japanese players’ results. There were two seeded players in the main tournament, Takao Shinji and Yuki Satoshi, who were joined by Komatsu Hideki, winner of a seat in the veterans’ section of the qualifying tournament. In the first round, the Samsung Cup is divided into eight groups of four players; they play each other until a player qualifies for the second round with two wins or is eliminated with two losses.
Game 1 (Sept. 3). Komatsu (W) d. Eric Lui (USA) by resig.; Gu Lingyi 5P (China) (B) d. Takao by resig.; Gu Li 9P (China) (W) d. Yuki by resig.
Game 2 (Sept. 4). Fan Yunruo 4P (China) (W) d. Takao by resig.; Chen Yaoye 9P (China) (B) d. Komatsu by resig.; Liao Xingwen 5P (W) d. Yuki by resig.
Game 3 (Sept. 5). Yi Se-tol 9P (Korea) (B) d. Komatsu by resig.

Young Players Gain Honinbo Seats and Promotions: Every year there is a radical turnover in the Honinbo League: four players out of eight lose their seats, compared to only three out of nine in the Meijin League and four out of twelve in the Kisei Leagues. That means, in theory, that there’s a little more scope for new young stars to make their debut in this league. That’s certainly how things have turned out this year, with two teenagers and two veterans joining the 69th league. The first three of the play-offs for the places up for grabs were held on August 29. Kono Rin 9P, who recently came very close to taking the Gosei title from Iyama Yuta, defeated Yamashiro Hiroshi 9P (B) by 1.5 points. At 32, Kono qualifies as one of the veterans. The other veteran is Sakai Hideyuki 8P, aged 40. Taking white, Sakai beat his fellow Kansai Ki-in player Imamura Toshiya 9P by 7.5 points. Sakai has played in eight Meijin leagues, but this will be his first Honinbo league. The third player to win a seat on the 29th was Yo Seiki 3P (right). The 18-year-old Yo (B) beat Han Zenki 8P by 8.5 points. Yo is a player who has been attracting attention as a possible future star for the better part of a year now. Born in Taiwan on July 6, 1995, he became a professional at the Taiwanese Qiyuan (Ki-in), reaching 2P, but then switched to the Kansai Ki-in, where he started out as a 1-dan in 2009. He quickly established himself as a worthy successor — and now a rival — to the Kansai Ki-in’s top young player, Murakawa Daisuke 7P (born on December 14, 1990). Yo has been sweeping all before him this year, winning 18 games in a row before losing in the semifinals of the Tengen tournament (see our previous report). He has also reached the final of the 38th King of the New Stars tournament. In the second round of the current NHK Cup, he scored a very impressive win over Cho U, impressive especially because of how strongly he fought back after incurring a slight disadvantage in the opening. Already some go reporters are talking of him as a future rival to Iyama, and not in the very distant future, either. Yo set a new record by becoming the youngest player to win a seat in the Honinbo League; the previous record was 20 years two months, set by Iyama. The latter’s record for any league — 17 years ten months in the Kisei Leagues — remains intact. The final play-off for a league seat was held on September 5; Ida Atsushi 4P beat Cho Sonjin 9P, so he also makes his league debut. He is almost as young as Yo, having been born on March 15, 1994 and if his game had been held before Yo’s, he would have temporarily held the record. A member of the Nagoya branch of the Nihon Ki-in, that is, the Central Japan Headquarters, Ida has also attracted attention as an up-and-coming player. One of the advantages of winning a seat in a league (or a title) for a young player is gaining an automatic promotion (it usually takes effect the next day). When Iyama won the Agon Kiriyama Cup at the age of 16 in 2005, he went from 4P to 7P, then to 8P for becoming the Meijin challenger in 2008, then to 9P for winning the Meijin title the following year. Ko Iso also went from 4P to 7P when he won a place in the Meijin League in 2005. Ri Ishu and Uchida Shuhei have also won such promotions in recent years. In a sense, they are a bonus attached to a more substantial achievement than a mere promotion. In any case, Yo is the first player in Japan to jump four ranks, so he has another record.

38th Kisei Leagues: Murakawa Wins B League: Two games were played in the B League last week. Murakawa Daisuke 7P of the Kansai Ki-in, who already had the sole lead, put himself in an unassailable position by beating Kono Rin 9P. Every other player already has at least two losses, so Murakawa wins the league regardless of the results in the final round. He will meet the winner of the A League in a play-off to decide the challenger to Iyama Yuta Kisei; in that league Yamashita Keigo has a slight edge, but Kiyonari Tetsuya 9P, Yoda Norimoto 9P, Yamashiro Hiroshi 9P, and Kobayashi Satoru 9P are all still in the running (Cho U is the only one completely out of the running).
(September 5) Hane Naoki (W) defeated Cho Chikun by resignation; Murakawa Daisuke (B) d. Kono Rin by resig.

Akiyama to Challenge for Tengen: Akiyama Jiro 9P (right) will have a crack at chipping a segment out of Iyama Yuta’s quintuple crown. In the play-off to decide the challenger for the 39th Tengen title, held on September 9, Akiyama (B) defeated Yamashita Keigo Meijin by resignation and so gets to make his first title challenge. Akiyama has long been considered a promising player, but his most notable achievement so far has been appearing in three successive Kisei leagues (34th to 36th). He has an image of being one of the younger players, so it’s a bit of a surprise to find that he is already 35. This is finally his chance to break out of the pack. The title match starts on October 21

Women’s Meijin League: One game has been played in the 26th Women’s Meijin League since our last report. On September 5, Chinen Kaori 4P (B) beat Mukai Chiaki 5P by 2.5 points. With two losses, Mukai falls behind the pace. Joint leaders, both on 3-0, are Kato Keiko 6P and Suzuki Ayumi 6P.

Iyama’s Successive Title Matches: In our previous report, we mentioned that Iyama Yuta (right) would set a new record by playing in all the top-seven title matches this year. That is true, but actually he has played in all top-seven title matches since last year’s Oza and his run will continue to next year’s Kisei title match, so he is already guaranteed to set a record of appearing in ten title matches in a row. If Iyama wins the ongoing Meijin title match, he will become the second player after Cho Chikun to hold the big triple crown of Kisei, Meijin, and Honinbo. Cho did this four times, in 1983 and 1996 to 1998.

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Samsung Cup Down to Final 16

Friday September 6, 2013

When the smoke cleared on September 5 from the 32-player group stage of the 2013 Samsung Cup, just 16 players were left, including 11 from China and five from Korea. Japan’s players had all been eliminated, as had Eric Lui of the U.S. Lui lost to Komatsu Hideki and Lee Sedol. “Sedol was too strong for Eric,” says Myung-wan Kim 9P. “But he played very well against Hideki and almost won. I was very surprised how well Eric played.” (see below for Kim’s commentary on Lui’s game against Hideki; his commentary on the Lui-Sedol game will be in next week’s Member’s

[link]

Edition of the E-Journal; click here for details on how to join the AGA and receive the Member’s Edition) The next round will take place on October 8 and 10 with the following draw: Lee Sedol 9p vs Chen Yaoye 9p; Gu Li 9p vs Ahn Seongjun 5p; Qiu Jun 9p vs Gu Lingyi 5p; Park Junghwan 9p vs Zhou Ruiyang 9p; Shi Yue 9p vs Ke Jie 3p; Wu Guangya 6p vs Li Xuanhao 3p; Kim Jiseok 9p vs Fan Yunruo 4p, and Park Younghun 9p vs Tang Weixing 3p.
- includes reporting by Go Game Guru; click here for the full report, photos and game records.

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