American Go E-Journal

Yuan Zhou Marks Decade of Teaching in North Carolina

Friday December 30, 2016

Longtime go teacher and author Yuan Zhou (right) recently celebrated a milestone anniversary, leading his tenth North Carolina2016.12.30_yuan-zhouWorkshop December 9-11 in Raleigh, North Carolina.

“Members of the Triangle Go Group have benefited from Yuan Zhou’s workshops for 10 years,” reports Bob Bacon, “and we continue to appreciate his expertise and wisdom.” More than just proper play guidelines, Zhou shares insights into the philosophical depths of the ancient game. “As he reviews attendee’s games he tailors his instruction to each individual and clearly shows how correct play leads to good results. Teacher Zhou explains common patterns with easily remembered expressions, such as ‘heroes live a short life’ — describing a foolhardy invasion — and ‘even the demon is afraid,’ after hane at the head of two stones.

Yuan Zhou serves up a rich banquet of information about Chinese language phrases and meanings relating to go, Bacon says. This year, in addition to sharing many new expressions, he examined and explained the Chinese characters 围棋 (wéi qí), including the subtle alterati2016.12.30_yuan-zhou-studentson made to the characters when later adopted by the Japanese.

One of the highlights of the workshop was Lao Shi Zhou’s review of recent professional games played between Ke Jie and Gu Li, and between Ke Jie and Tang Weixing. Attendees received copies of the games prior to the workshop, and Yuan Zhou analysed and explained some interesting new moves.

“As always, the workshop inspired and empowered the lucky listeners, and left us looking forward to his next appearance in the Triangle,” says Bacon. The workshop was sponsored by the Triangle Go Group of North Carolina; read a more detailed report here.
photos courtesy Bob Bacon

Categories: U.S./North America
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Mark Your Calendar: 2017 Go Events

Thursday December 29, 2016

Cuba: As previously reported, Cuba will host a International Conference of Mind Sports in May 2017. For those interested 2016.12.28_-cuba_tourism_photo_of_a_streetin participating beyond just joining in on the competitions, the call for papers to present a workshop is open until January 31. In addition, I-Dared Travels has developed a program that includes the conference and three additional days for traveling and getting to know a bit of Eastern Cuba. Click here for details.

Australia: The third Australian Go Congress has been announced for September 28 through October 1, 2017 in Sydney. The Australian Go Championships will be the central event at the Congress. In addition, a one day ‘kyu’ tournament will enable younger players to take part and enjoy the experience of being part of a major international event. The organizing committee is also planning other events including Pair Go and Lightning Go, with details to be released in the coming months.

Also coming up in 2017: European Go Congress 2017, Canadian Open 2017, Osaka Go Camp/Japan Go Congress and the US Go Congress. More details here.

 

2017 European Go Congress Moved to Oberhof, Germany

Wednesday December 28, 2016

The 2017 European Go Congress location has changed. Again. It’s now set for Oberhof, Germany July 22-August 6. 2016.12.28_oberhofBurhaniye, Turkey had originally been chosen back in 2014, but after the supportive local Mayor lost in local elections, the Congress was moved to Capadochia, Turkey. The ongoing conflict in and around Syria eventually led to a recent decision to abandon Turkey as a venue altogether. The Russian Federation, which had hosted the 2016 Congress, offered to step in and the European Go Federation’s executive board chose them as the 2017 hosts over a competing bid from Germany. This decision generated so much controversy that a new vote by the entire EGF was scheduled, with the caveat that both the German and Russian candidates would work together to run the Congress whatever the outcome. The EGF overwhelmingly voted — 47-9 — for Oberhoff, Germany, largely because of a preference for holding the Congress in a different country each year, and the EGF board concurred, finalizing the choice. Oberfhoff is normally known as a winter sports resort, but the nearby countryside ensures it still remains an attractive destination in summer. Click here to see a documentary about the Hotel Panorama, where the 61st European Go Congress will be held.

Categories: Europe
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New Youth Tournament in Los Angeles

Monday December 26, 2016

The AGA and the American Asia Culture Exchange Association have announced a new youth tournament to take place Jan. 21 in Los Angeles. The one-day, four-round event is being sponsored by AACEA and its founder, California go enthusiast Jingwei Zheng, and supported by The Korea Daily newspaper. Children and teen-agers aged 17 and younger on the date of the tournament may play in the rated event. Prizes, including trophies, will be awarded in up to four rank divisions, along with other special prizes such as youngest player; it expected about 30 kids will attend. Please pre-register by sending an e-mail to tournament director Yixian Zhou at yixian_zhou@hotmail.com. The event will go from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 10am to 6pm at the Korea Daily Education Center, 690 Wilshire Place, Los Angeles.

2016 American Go Yearbook Coming Soon; Join Now!

Sunday December 25, 2016

The American Go Yearbook 2016 Member’s Edition Collection is scheduled to be published January 1, 2017. One of the 2016.12.24_Yearbook-joinbenefits of membership in the American Go Association is the Member’s Edition of the American Go E-Journal, the largest English language go publication in the world. If you’re not yet a member, this is a great time to join!

The Member’s Edition includes game commentaries and other special content and the annual Yearbook collects it all into one handy online document. The 2016 edition includes game records from this year’s US Open, US Masters and Cotsen tournaments, as well as Globis commentary. Extra content includes Michael Redmond 9Ps Pair Go tsumego problems and his Cho v. Deep Zen commentaries, as well as Stephanie Yin 1Ps Women’s Championship commentary.

Once selected in the online Yearbook, game records or PDFs open up quickly and easily for review or download. We appreciate our member’s support of the AGA and hope that they will find the Yearbook a valuable and useful resource. Click here now to join the AGA and begin receiving the Member’s Edition. Special thanks to the Yearbook Games Editor Myron Souris for pulling all the 2016 material together.

- Chris Garlock, Managing Editor

The Power Report (3 of 3): Iyama defends Tengen title; Judan Best Four; Takao wins 3rd Over 40 Quick Go Tournament; Promotions/New Players

Sunday December 25, 2016

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal2016.12.25_42tengen4 Iyama de4ends

Iyama defends Tengen title: The third game of the 42nd Tengen title was held at the Munekata Yurix, a leisure complex, in Munekata City, Fukuoka Prefecture on December 1. After the challenger Ichiriki Ryo 7P leveled the series with a win in the second game (November 11), there was a gap of just under three weeks. Iyama (black) felt that he had fallen behind a little in the opening, so he decided to let Ichiriki build a moyo, his plan being to stake the game on living after invading it. The game was actually decided by hectic fighting in the centre. Ichiriki resigned after move 163.
The fourth game was played at the Hotel New Awaji in Sumoto City, Hyogo Prefecture on December 12. Taking white, Iyama (right) won by resignation after 188 moves. Facing a kadoban, Ichiriki played boldly, setting up a large moyo. Iyama tried to cut it down to size and the game was decided by a ko fight in the centre. Iyama gave up a group in return for winning the ko, but he secured the lead.
This is the last title match of the year, so Iyama ends the year with six out of the seven top titles. He will be just as busy next year defending his sextuple crown and he will be the favorite to become the Meijin challenger.

Judan Best Four: The semifinalists in the 55th Judan tournament have been decided. Yamashita Keigo 9P meets Yo Seiki 7P in one semifinal and Imamura Toshiya 9P plays Hane Naoki 9P in the other. Incidentally, Yo beat Ichiriki Ryo 7P in the quarterfinals.

2016.12.25_3over40 Takao leftTakao wins 3rd Over 40 Quick Go Tournament: This is a relatively new tournament for middle-aged professionals. It’s in its third year, but this could be my first report on it. As readers of this page will know, Takao Shinji (left) turned 40 during the Meijin title match; since he played in the tournament, the name should read “Over 39” or “40 and over,” but the Japanese name reads “Over 40 haya-go tonamento,” so this is not a mistranslation. The Nihon Ki-in likes the sound of “over 40,” although, presumably, aware of the inaccuracy. (“U20” is used in tournament names in the same way.) In the preliminary, the time allowance is ten seconds a move; according to Takao, this was quite an ordeal for him — not just playing but also pressing the clock within the time. He couldn’t help feelingly keenly how much he had slowed down in reading speed since his youth, though he still won his way through. In the main tournament, the NHK format is followed (30 seconds per move plus 10 minutes thinking time in one-minute units).
The semifinals and final were held at the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo on December 6. In the final, Takao (B) beat Kato Atsushi 9P by resignation after 121 moves. This was the first time a current titleholder played in the tournament. First prize is 500,000 yen (close to $43,000).

Promotions
To 8-dan: Kanazawa Hideo (150 wins, as of Dec. 2)
To 3-dan: Onishi Kenya (40 wins; as of Nov. 25)

New professionals2016.12.25_powers-mrs-taki-IMG_9774
The winter qualifying tournament for professional 1-dan was completed on Nov. 19. The top two players in the 16-player Swiss System tournament were Shibano Ryunosuke (aged 19) and Seki Kotaro (aged 15). Shibano is the older brother of Shibano Toramaru 3-dan (aged 15), who has already attracted a lot of attention since becoming a pro in summer last year. Ryunosuke was an insei like Toramaru, but ran into the age limit two years ago. This year he entered university and intended to give up his professional ambitions if he failed this time. Last year he became the youngest player to win the Amateur Honinbo tournament; he took first place in the qualifying tournament with a score of 12-3 (he lost his first three games), so he can finally set about trying to catch up with his younger brother.

Bonus: Power Pictured: “I had someone on Facebook ask if we could get a picture of John Power to include in the report some day,” writes Steve Colburn. “They’re interested to see who does Japanese reporting for us.” photo: John Power with Pair Go’s Mrs Taki at the 2016 Pair Go World Cup in July 2016; photo by Chris Garlock

Categories: Japan,John Power Report
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The Power Report (2 of 3): Nyu to challenge for Women’s Kisei; Ke Jie wins Agon Kiriyama Cup play-off; 72nd Honinbo League; 42nd Meijin League; Women’s Meijin League

Saturday December 24, 2016

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal2016.12.24_Nyu left, O Meien

Nyu to challenge for Women’s Kisei: The play-off to decide the challenger to Xie Yimin for the 20th Women’s Kisei title was held on December 8. Two relative newcomers to professional go were facing off in the final: Nyu Eiko 1P (aged 17, at left) and Miyamoto Chiharu 1P (aged 22). Whoever won would be making her first challenge for a title and would also be the first 1-dan to do so in this tournament. Taking black, Nyu won by 5.5 points. Nyu became a professional last year and is a disciple of Michael Redmond 9P. The title match will start on January 19.

2016.12.24_Ke wins AgonKe Jie wins Agon Kiriyama Cup play-off: The 18th Agon Kiriyama Cup Japan-China Play-off was held at the Kyoto headquarters of the Agon sect in Kyoto (below right) on December 11. Representing China, Ke Jie 9P (W) beat Kono Rin by resignation after 150 moves. Kono started off badly in the opening, but Ke (left) made what he himself called “a simple oversight” that allowed Kono to put one of his groups into ko. However, Kono failed to take enough compensation for ceding the ko to Ke. This is Ke’s second victory and his country’s 13th in this play-off.2016.12.24_JC Agon venue
At the award ceremony, representatives of both countries paid tribute to the contribution of the late Kiriyama Seiyu, head of the Agon sect until his death on August 29, to developing go and to promoting Chinese-Japanese friendship.

72nd Honinbo League: Hane Naoki, on 3-0, has the provisional lead; the other undefeated player is Cho U, on 2-0. It already looks unlikely that Takao Shinji, on 0-3, will repeat as challenger.
Recent results:
(Nov. 14) Motoki Katsuya 7P (B) beat Takao Shinji Meijin by resig.
(Nov. 21) Hane Naoki 9P (W) beat Yuki Satoshi 9P by resig.
(Dec. 1) Hane (B) beat Motoki Katsuya 7P by resig.
(Dec. 8) Yamashita Keigo 9P (W) beat Mitani Tetsuya 7P by half a point.
(Dec. 15) Yuki Satoshi 9P (B) beat Takao Shinji Meijin by resig.

42nd Meijin League: The new Meijin league is a strong one, with three members of the quartet known as “the four Deva Kings,” that is, the top four (of the first decade of the 21st century). They are Yamashita Keigo, Cho U, and Hane Naoki. Takao Shinji is missing because he holds the title. That means that Iyama Yuta is back in the league after a gap of four years. He commented that he welcomed the chance to test himself against top competition in the league. The first round was completed in December.
(Dec. 5) Ko Iso 8P (W) beat Yo Seiki 7P by resig.; Iyama Yuta Kisei (W) beat Sakai Hideyuki 8P by resig.
(Dec. 15) Kono Rin (B) beat Cho U by 2.5 points; Murakawa Daisuke 8P (W) beat Yamashita Keigo by 3.5 points.
Women’s Meijin League: With one game to go, Fujisawa Rina keeps the sole lead in the 29th Women’s Meijin League with a perfect score. Okuda Aya, on 4-1, is the only other player in contention if she stumbles. If Fujisawa loses her final game and Okuda wins, the latter will be the challenger, as she is ranked higher.
Recent results:
(Nov. 16) Okuda Aya 3P (W) beat Sakakibara Fumiko 6P by resig.
(Dec. 1) Aoki Kikuyo 8P (W) beat Kato Keiko 6P by resig. This win ensured that Aoki kept her seat in the league.
(Dec. 8) Okuda Aya 3P (W) beat Ishii Akane 2P by resig.

Tomorrow: Iyama defends Tengen title; Judan Best Four; Takao wins 3rd Over 40 Quick Go Tournament; Promotions/New Players

Categories: Japan,John Power Report
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The Power Report (1 of 3): Kono to challenge for Kisei; Ida wins first Crown title; Iyama defends Oza title; Ichiriki wins Young Carp

Friday December 23, 2016

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal2016.12.23_41Kisei challenger Kono Rin

Kono to challenge for Kisei: The second game of the play-off to decide the 41st Kisei challenger was held at the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo on November 14. Taking white, Kono Rin 9P (right) beat Cho U 9P by 1.5 points, so he will make his first challenge for the Kisei title.
Kono has won nine titles, but the Tengen is the only top-seven title he has held, though that was for three years in a row. This is only his second big-three challenge; he lost the 39th Meijin title match to Iyama 2-4 in 2014. He will turn 36 on January 7, just before the title match starts on January 14.

Ida wins first Crown title: The Crown (Okan) title is restricted to members of the Central Japan branch of the Nihon Ki-in in Nagoya. This year it was held on November 14. Playing black, Ida Atsushi 8P beat the defending title holder Hane Naoki by resig. Surprisingly, the 22-year-old Ida is the first player younger than Hane (40) to win the title. It is his third title: he has also won the Judan and the NHK cup. Hane’s winning run as Okan ended at five terms. First prize is 1,700,000 yen (about $14,500).

2016.12.23_64oza3 Iyama defendsIyama defends Oza title: The third game of the 64th Oza title match was held at the Saryo Soen, an entertainment complex, in Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture on November 18. Yo Seiki (or Yu Zhengqi), the challenger, played well with black, but the severity of his attack was exceeded by the power of Iyama’s “shinogi” (rescuing a group). Yo resigned after 122 moves. Iyama (left) succeeded in defending his title with three successive wins, so he came through his first major test since his loss of the Meijin title. This maintained his sextuple crown and gave h2016.12.23_Ichiriki Young Carpim his 39th title, putting him in equal 6th place with Cho U.
Despite the 3-0 score, the series was far from one-sided. Iyama: “There were scenes in which both the first and second games became definite losses for me.”

Ichiriki wins Young Carp: The main tournament in the 11th Hiroshima Aluminum Cup Young Carp Tournament was held at the Central Japan Newspaper Building in Hiroshima on November 26 and 27. Ichiriki (right) was busy with his Tengen challenge, but he still had the energy to pick up this junior title. In the semifinals, Ichiriki beat Fujisawa Rina, Women’s Honinbo, and Motoki Katsuya 7P beat Oomote (pronounced oh-o-mo-te) Takuto. In the final, Ichiriki had white against Motoki and forced a resignation after 156 moves. First prize is 3,000,000 yen (about $25,600).

Tomorrow: Nyu to challenge for Women’s Kisei; Ke Jie wins Agon Kiriyama Cup play-off; 72nd Honinbo League; 42nd Meijin League; Women’s Meijin League

Categories: Japan,John Power Report
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Go Spotting: “Shadowrun” Computer Game

Wednesday December 21, 2016

The 2015 computer game “Shadowrun: Hong Kong” features go, reports Eric Rasmussen. In one scene, a handful of non-2016.12.19_shadowrun_hong_kong_goplayer characters sit around a go game in progress. The player can speak with them, but, unfortunately, cannot join in their fun. “Shadowrun: Hong Kong” is one of the latest games exploring the cyberpunk world of Shadowrun, a fantasy role playing game that started in the 1980s with a tabletop RPG ruleset. The series depicts a near-future version of Earth in which corrupt corporations have led a world full of sprawling metropolises into a gritty, dangerous, hi-tech age. However, unlike many cyberpunk adventures, this world also includes magic and fantasy creatures like Elves and Orcs, alongside the high tech weaponry and hacking-oriented futuristic themes. The turn-based role playing game is available on Windows, Macintosh, and Linux operating systems.
- Noah Doss

Categories: Go Spotting
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Go Books App Adds “The Basics of Life and Death”

Tuesday December 20, 2016

The Go Books app just added “The Basics of Life and Death” by Rob van Zeijst and Richard Bozulich. Part of their new “Road 2016.12.19_basics-life-deathMap to Shodan” series, this book first provides a systematic introduction to life and death, with 50 problems, then goes through 177 problems based on positions that often arise in real games. “As such, it is an invaluable reference work that deserves a place in every go players’ library,” says Anders Kierulf. The Go Books app offers 115 interactive go books that you can read on iPad, iPhone or Macintosh.