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ROUND 1 HIGHLIGHTS: Thailand Surprises Romania, Canada Routs Russia

Wednesday May 26, 2010

Here are highlights of James Davies’ Ranka Online report on the first round at the WAGC: Kamon Santipojana 4d of Thailand surprised Lucian Corlan 5d of Romania when the 21-year-old Thai student took command of the game early…As previously reported (NO SURPRISES AT TOP IN PRELIM 1ST-ROUND WAGC RESULTS), Canada’s Yongfei Ge 7d defeated Alexey Lazarev 6d of Russia when the closely-matched game turned into a hard-fought rout, with Ge beating Lazarev by 24.5 points…See below for the game, with commentary by Michael Redmond 9P (at left with E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock). The evenly-matched contest between a pair of 3-dans from Mongolia and New Zealand also turned into a rout when the Chinese-born New Zealander, 15-year-old Kaikun Xie, easily forced opponent Oyutbileg Tsendjav to resign. Boonping Teng of Malaysia “outplayed me in the first part of the game” said the United Kingdom’s T Mark Hall, complaining of severe jet lag, ‘but then he made a blunder in a ko fight at the very end.’…The game between Csaba Deak of Brazil and Daniel Baumann (r) of Switzerland, both ranked 1-kyu, took a similar course, when Deak also “blundered (in the end) and had to resign.”…Perhaps the last closely-matched first-round game was also fought between kyu-level players John Gibson (2-kyu) of Ireland and Carlos Leon Rios Joels (1-kyu) of Peru. ‘I’m going to play quickly because I’m hoping to exploit my opponent’s nervousness at being in his first world championship,’ said Gibson. Click here for Ranka Online’s complete report. photos by John Pinkerton

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THE TRAVELING GO BOARD: Shanghai: Chicken Feet, New Friends, the Mysteries of Go and Pint-Sized Players

Friday May 21, 2010

“How much you can drink is directly related to how strong you are,” proclaimed Sun Bo, brimming glasses of both wine and beer in front of the amateur 5-dan. E-Journal photographer John Pinkerton and I had landed in Shanghai a few short hours earlier and Jin Sheng Yu (far left) and his wife Dai Zijia (far right) had picked us up and whisked us off to dinner with fellow go players Quin Zhixuan 5d (2nd from left), Du Yufeng 3P (3rd from right) and Sun Bo (3rd from left), who goes by “Jacky.” We’re in China to cover the 31st annual World Amateur Go Championships (WAGC), which start Monday in nearby Hangzhou and arrived a few days early to explore go in Shanghai. Feng Yun 9P had generously provided an introduction to Jin and though we had all just met, we were soon bonding over platters of Cantonese food, wine, beer and of course, go talk. Jin is a 4-dan pro in his early thirties who became a pro at 11 in 1990 who now works days at the Children’s Palace and runs a go school on weekends. His wife, who insisted we call her Diana, teaches English at a Shanghai high school. Jacky, who we immediately nicknamed “Tough Jacky” because he confidently claimed to be strong at everything from go to ping pong, drinking and karaoke, is Jin’s student and colleague at the weekend go school, which is so new — it just opened in March — that it hasn’t been named yet. As we downed one delicacy after another — you haven’t lived until you’ve sucked the fatty skin off chicken feet and slurped up glutinous rice balls in sweet red bean sauce — discussion ranged from the pros and cons of internet play (“anyone can get to 7-dan online”) to how best to study pro games (split between some who said it was necessary to try to understand the moves and others said No, just play through the moves and try to get a feel for them). All agreed that at the top levels go is deeply mysterious and that questions of “good” and “bad” moves largely come down more to a sense of the game and style, rather than absolute assessment. After dinner we adjourned to Jin’s club, near the famous Jingan Temple in downtown Shanghai, on the 6th floor of a nondescript office building. We could hear the chatter of young voices as we came out of the elevator and soon a dozen young go players were crowding around us, practicing their English and excitedly shaking hands. A few minutes later I was playing a simul with 7-year-old Zhu Qiying (l) and 8-year-old Zhang Chi (r), two young kyu players whose seriousness and poise was impressive. Zhu took up the game just 10 months ago on a dare from her classmates in school, and her twice-a-week lessons compete for her attention with dance, piano, English, skating, mathematics and other classes. Zhang — a rosy-cheeked youngster who also studies Chinese chess, piano and calligraphy — would like to be a pro and has been playing for two years. Jin has fifty young students already, and his instruction covers all aspects of go, “because you can’t understand go without understanding its culture, as well.” After the games and brief interviews and photos, the kids went home and we went into the teacher’s room to check out the gambling go game Jacky and Zhixuan were playing. But that’s another story.
- Chris Garlock; photos by John Pinkerton

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NEW GO SCHOOL IN KOREA

Saturday April 10, 2010

Kim Dongyeop 9P and Kim Seonmi 2P head up “Baduk World,” a new go school in Korea for foreign players.  “We offer a five- and six-day study plan,” reports Jonathan Hop, “where students get the personal guidance of professional and high dan amateur players and also visit Korea. Anyone of any strength is welcome.”

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EUROPEAN GO NEWS

Monday March 8, 2010

MARIGO RECLAIMS ITALIAN TITLE: Francesco Marigo 4d from Milano regained his Italian title, when he defeated opponent Carlo Metta 1k in his hometown Pisa twice and took the 2009 title (the first game was held last year) 3-0 on Friday, March 5. Marigo held the title from 2001-2006. Viktor Bogdanov 5d of Petrozavodsk (Russia) won the Firenze (Florence) Open, held last weekend in Colleoli, a village in the green hills of Toscany.
- Peter Dijkema, from reports by Nicoletta Corradi at www.figg.org

MARZ BEST AT BST-MEISTERSCHAFT: Manja Marz 4d of Marburg won the combined Meister(in) title of Brandenburg, Saxony and Thüringen states. Last weekend in Leipzig (Saxony) Marz stayed ahead of locals Jens Henker 4d and David Schmidt 1d . Manja is married to Micha Marz 3d, President of DGoB. Click here for results.
- Peter Dijkema, after dgob.de

GONZE GOES FOR BELGIAN TITLE: With current Belgian Champion Lucas Neirlinck 4d not defending his title, François Gonze 3d grabbed his chance. In the first weekend of the round-robin with 10 last weekend in Brussels, Gonze won all four rounds, with three close behind at 3-1: Jan Ramon 4d, Thomas Connor 3d and Pieter Beyens 2d. The second and final playoff is set for March 21-22.
- Peter Dijkema, after a report by Frank Segers at EuroGoTV.com

SURMA AND NG EURO YOUTH-CHAMPS: Mateusz Surma 4d (Poland) won the under-16 European Championship and Anson Ng 1k (UK) took the under-12 title in Sibiu, Romania,  March 4-7. Surma and Ng will represent Europe at the next Goe World Youth Championships. Mihai Valentin Serban 4d (RO) won the under-18 and Christian Pop 7d the side event over the weekend. Saijo Masataka 9P was the top special guest at the jubilee 15th Youth-EC. Next was his student Catalin Taranu 5P, now President of the Romanian Go Association and the third guest was Csaba Merö 6d (Hungary), winner of the first Youth-EC back in 1996 in Baile Felix, Romania. The three categories attracted a record number of children, 75 in the under-12, 48 in under-16 and 13 in under-18, while 40 grown-ups took part in the Open tourney. EuroGOTV broadcast video and games on KGS.
- Peter Dijkema

HWANG SNAPS UP BIG CHEESE IN HARBURG MOUSETRAP: Hwang In-seong 7d from Berlin took home the top prize in the March 6-7 “Mausefalle” (‘Mousetrap’, is German for ‘snapback’) in Hamburg-Harburg. A large field of 112 players turned out from 37 German clubs. Hwang joins current Deutscher Meister Christoph Gerlach and Benjamin Teuber as two-time winners. Only Cho Seok-bin 7d has won the Mousetrap three times. Local veteran Stefan Kaitschick 5d finished second, losing only to Hwang. Local hopeful Timo Kreuzer 1k was undefeated, as was Olaf Engel 5k from Flensburg. The former received a thick luxury go-ban as special prize for best youth, while Olga Silber 1k earned her a set of luxury stones as best woman with 4-1. Top winners got money prizes, others got books. Click here for full results.
- Peter Dijkema, after dgob.de

SILT SWEEPS IRISH CONGRESS: Ondrej Silt 6d from Czech Republic overcame the opposition of Wang Wei 7d, winner of last year’s Irish Congress in his hometown Cork. Silt won the Irish Open 5-0 in the Teachers Club at the heart of old Dublin last weekend. Wang was second, while Willem Mallon 4d and Willem-Koen Pomstra 5d (both of Holland) shared third place. Also Kim Ouweleen 2d (NL) and Quentin Mills 4d (UK) won 3 each. Click here for the full results. At the rapid handicap tourney, the Friday before, Edwin Brady 2k (UK) had best sos. Also Justyna Klaczar 3k (PL), Pomstra, Bernd Sambale 1k (D), James Hutchinson 1k (UK) and Ouweleen won 4-1. Click here for the full results.
- Peter Dijkema, after www.irish-go.org

MARIGO CAMPIONE ITALIANO: Francesco Marigo 4d from Milano regained his (2001-2006) Italian title for 2009, when he defeated his opponent Carlo Metta 1k in his hometown Pisa twice and took the title 3-0 on Friday, March 5. The first game had been last year. Viktor Bogdanov 5d of Petrozavodsk (Russia) won the Firenze (Florence) Open, held last weekend in Colleoli, a village in the green hills of Toscany.
- Peter Dijkema, from reports by Nicoletta Corradi at www.figg.org

MARZ BEST AT BST-MEISTERSCHAFT: Manja Marz 4d of Marburg won the combined Meister(in) title of Brandenburg, Saxony and Thüringen states. Last weekend in Leipzig (Saxony) she stayed ahead of locals Jens Henker 4d and David Schmidt 1d . Manja is married to Micha Marz 3d, President of DGoB. Click here for the results.
- Peter Dijkema, after dgob.de

GONZE GOES FOR BELGIAN TITLE: With current Belgian Champion Lucas Neirlinck 4d not defending his title, François Gonze 3d grabbed his chance. In the first weekend of the round-robin with 10, last weekend in Brussels, he won all 4. Three follow him at 3-1: Jan Ramon 4d, Thomas Connor 3d and Pieter Beyens 2d. Second and final part is up for March 21-22. Gonze still has to play all three at his heels.
- Peter Dijkema, after a report by Frank Segers at EuroGoTV.com

CHEN DOMINATES DRESDEN: Chen Lei 6d easily swept the 23rd Dresden tournament 5-0 on February 27-28 in Germany. Runner-up Marc Landgraf 3d lost to Chen and Thomas Hübner 3d took third. Click here for results.
- Peter Dijkema, after dgob.de

SIMEUNOVIC SWEEPS SAMAC: Zoran Simeunovic 5d swept the fifth annual tournament in Samac, Bosnia the last weekend in February. Dragan Barisic 5d, also of Bosnia, was second and Robert Jovicic 3k from Zagreb (Croatia) came in third. The other three players from Zagreb — Mato Tausan 9k, Fran Pejonic 11k and Filip Pejonic 13k also won 4-1. As Rado Babic 12k of Austria reported, the tourney featured 25 players from 8 clubs in 4 different countries. Click here for results.
- Peter Dijkema

BLOMBACK BANKS VAESTERAS: Scandinavian Champion Fredrik Blomback 5d (Stockholm) flowered at the Open Champs in Vaesteras, Sweden the last weekend of February, sweeping the event 5-0. Martin Li 5d of Falun and Charlie Akerblom 4d of Norrköping lost only to Blomback and also made the podium. Jakob Bing 2k, Robert Aahs 4k and Robin Nilsson 11k won 4-1 as well. In Vaesteras 28 took part. Click here for results.
- Peter Dijkema

MGE-1 HUNGARIAN TEAM CHAMP: The MGE-1 team, captained by György Czismadia 4d, narrowly won the Hungarian Team Title,  staying half a point clear of Origo under Zoltán Fódi 1d in the final round. While Origo crushed PaGoda-2 8-1, they defeated PaGoda Agro by only 6-3; half a point more (jigo is possible with 6 komi) would have tied them with MGE-1. Winners were awarded cash prizes and champagne. The student team of PaGoda-1 — Alexandra Urban 1d, Júlia Seres 1k and Péter Markó 2d — won bronze. Click here for the detailed results.
- Peter Dijkema and Péter Korossy (Hungary)

HUNGARIAN SCHOOLKID PRELIMS: The preliminaries of the Hungarian Championship for schoolkids kicked off February 19 in Hejokeresztúr in the East of Hungary, where 45 kids played, mostly on 9×9 and 13×13. “There were lots of age groups, lots of medals, lots of happy kids,” reports Péter Korossy. The next day, 18 played round-robin in three age-groups in Pápa in the West and the following week in Szigetszenmiklós in central Hungary, 14 took part on February 26 and 24 a day later in Budapest, at the the “Rabbity Six” tourney (see last week’s news). For results, click here – for photo links, click here “The finals are up for May in Budapest, where most of Hungarian go-life is concentrated,” adds Korossy.
- Peter Dijkema and Péter Korossy (Hungary)

PARIS DECAMPS FOR SUBURBS: For many years the Paris Pandanet – played during Easter – has been held at the ancient City Hall in Paris’ 13th District. With City Hall now under renovation, the 2010 Paris tourney has been moved to the suburb of Antony and will be held April 3-5. The Paris Pandanet is the final event of the Pandanet season and with a top prize of 1000 euros, many strong players are expected to participate. To sign up, click here
- Peter Dijkema

EURO GO DATABASE TO REACH HALF A MILLION: The European Go Database lists over 26,000 players in almost 5,500 tourneys with almost half a million games as well as more than 400 game records and over 300 player pictures. Over 300 also appear in the new American Go Association Game Database. Click here for current standings.
- Peter Dijkema

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Kirschner Hopes to Stage “Honinbo” at Go Congress

Monday February 15, 2010

Plans are afoot once again to stage the world premiere of “The Honinbo” http://www.usgo.org/resources/downloads/Honinbo.pdf go musical at the 2010 U.S. Go Congress. The full-scale parody of “The Mikado” was penned by former AGA president Bob High, and features a cast of go playing characters singing go-themed songs. “We have obtained cooperation from the UCCS Drama department to get facilities and some student assistance,” reports Chris Kirschner, who’s had a longtime dream of producing the musical. “Our job is to get a cast together and prepare to make good use of them.  Plans are just starting, so we are looking for volunteers to launch this production.  Mainly, we need people willing to get up on stage and play the parts.  There are 10 named roles, and several choruses.  Some musical ability is desirable, but don’t hesitate for lack of a voice of gold.  And we will want some production people back-stage as well.” Contact Kirschner at operations@usgo.org for details.

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US Go News: 2010 U.S. Go Congress Dates & Location Set; Portland Yang Workshop Set For March; Redmond Cup Registration Opens; Maiden U.S.-Canada Women’s Team Tourney Launched

Sunday January 3, 2010

2010 U.S. GO CONGRESS DATES & LOCATION SET: This year’s U.S. Go Congress dates have now been finalized for July 31 – August 8, 2010 in Colorado Springs, CO at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. More details are available on the AGA’s GoDiscussion website. Karen Jordan is this year’s Congress Director and the event is hosted by the Springs Go Club, reports club president Jim Michali.

PORTLAND YANG WORKSHOP SET FOR MARCH: The Portland Go Club and Reed College are hosting a workshop with longtime teacher Yilun Yang 7P March 5-7.  To register send a check payable to the Portland Go Club to Peter Freedman, 1710 SW Harbor Way #303, Portland, OR 97201 (note on the check ‘Yi Lun Yang’): $100 for the full weekend; $40/day; 50% off for college students; 75% off for youth/child.

REDMOND CUP REGISTRATION OPENS: Young American go players can now sign up for the 17th edition of the Redmond Cup Tournament. Preliminary games will be played on the Internet, courtesy of IGS-PandaNet, and the four finalists will be invited to the 2010 US Go Congress to play the three final games. There are two divisions in the Cup; the Junior league for those aged less than 12 years and the Senior league for those 12 and older, but younger than 18, on August 1st 2010.  Competitors in the Senior League must be playing at dan strength, in the Junior 5 kyu or stronger. The participants must be members of the American Go Association or the Canadian Go Association and either residents of the U.S., Canada or Mexico or citizens of the United States living anywhere in the world, provided that they are also members of the AGA. The tournament director for the Redmond Cup is Michael Bull; Ing rules of Goe for all games. To register e-mail youth@usgo.org with your name, address, phone #, date of birth, email address, AGA rating, citizenship, and go club. The registration deadline is January 31st 2010 The Cup is sponsored by Michael Redmond 9P and his family, the American Go Association and the American Go Foundation.
Paul Barchilon, Youth Editor

MAIDEN U.S.-CANADA WOMEN’S TEAM TOURNEY LAUNCHED: The score is even in the first U.S.-Canada Women Team Go Tournament, an online event that kicked off last week and runs through January. Sarah Yu from Canada defeated Xingshuo Liu from US in the first round but Yinli Wang collected the first victory for team USA by beating Amira Song to even the score. Colin Zheng, Lisa Scott and Yixian Zhou are helping coordinate this event.
reported by Ke Lu; photo: Xingshuo Liu and Yinli Wang with Yongfei Ge at the 2009 U.S. Go Congress

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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.

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PRO WORKSHOP A BIG HIT IN NORCAL

Tuesday October 20, 2009

PRO WORKSHOP A BIG HIT IN NORCAL: “We’re going to emphasize the ‘work’ in workshop,” Janice Kim 3P proclaimed at the start of her October 10-11 workshop with professional go players Seung-jun Kim 9P and Diana Koszegi 1P. Kim proceeded to hand out packets of problems specifically geared to each student’s individual level, and students spent time in class and at home solving go problems that were then graded by the pros. Seung-jun Kim and Diana Koszegi traveled from Korea for thre workshop, which was attended by twenty eight students, who participated in lectures, game reviews, team matches, simultaneous play, as well as go problems and homework. Seung-jun Kim and Diana Koszegi then headed to Las Vegas for some fun and games before continuing on to New York to teach another workshop. The Oakland workshop was co-sponsored by the Bay Area Go Players Association and the Oakland Asian Cultural Center.
- Roger Schrag; photo by Ming Liao

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European Go News: Oh Chi-Min Sweeps Berlin Tourneys; French Autumn Go Report

Monday December 1, 2008

OH CHI-MIN SWEEPS BERLIN TOURNEYS: Oh Chi-Min 7D has swept two German tournaments back-to-back. After winning the Go-to-Innovation tournament in Berlin on November 21-23, Oh won the ‘Crane’ there a week later. Hong Seul-ki 7D finished 2nd and Zou Jin 6D took 3rd prize in the Innovation and Zou Jin moved up to 2nd in the Crane while Hong took 3rd there. The Innovation tournament is scored with Hahn-rules, which yield better scores for large and consecutive wins, while games with reduced handicaps are possible. These rules enabled some two-digit-kyus to take top places, like Pavel Salom 13k, who placed 5th with 7 wins. Next were Radek Nechanicky 6D, Lukas Podpera 2D and his younger brother Milos Podpera 11k, all Czech players. There were 61 participants; the top board was broadcast by EuroGoTV. In the Crane – where EuroGo TV again broadcast the top board — 171 people took part, and only local youngster August Damm 25k also won all 5 rounds.
- reported by Peter Dijkema, European EJ correspondent; photo: Oh (l) plays Bernd Schütze 4D in the final round of the Crane. Photo by Sabine Wohnig. Click here for a complete album of tourney photos.

FRENCH AUTUMN GO REPORT: The big go news in France was Fred Donzet 5D’s 8th-place finish in the recent Korean Prime Minister Cup (Europeans Perform Well At Korean PM Cup 11/17 EJ). Look for a mini profile on Donzet and his most successful student Thomas Debarre (see below) in a future EJ. The National Youth Congress took place during France’s Autumn School Holiday during the last week of October, with teachers Fan Hui 2P and Noguchi Motoki 7D instructing 45 young students. Fan, one of Europe’s top players, is well-known to EJ readers for his game commentaries, while Noguchi is not only a strong player and teacher, but ALSO a scholar on go and art, “During the Congress’ Youth Championships, Mélissa Héaulmé won Primary Title, the first girl to win a Youth Title in 20 years, while Thomas Debarre won the College Title and Michel Papin won ‘Lycée’ ahead of Julie Antigny, who took silver,” Noguchi reported on French Go Association’s website. Two weeks later, Fan and Noguchi confirmed their top-player status at the “2e Mondial des Yeux de l’ Esprit,” – the French version of ‘Minds Games’ — held November 13-19 in Aix-les-Bains. In Aix, Fan won, handing Noguchi his only loss in a strong field that included Dai Junfu 7D, Li Yue 6D from Barcelona, Zhang Yanqi 5D of China and Peter Brouwer of Amsterdam. Games were broadcast on KGS and EuroGoTV. Also undefeated in the 60-player field were Paul Bivon 2k, Maxime Pages 5k and Frédérik Wilthölter 10k. And finally, in the middle of the Mondial tournament, the finals of the French Team Championships were held in Rennes, with the team from Tours winning the title for the first time. The Team Championships title is called the ‘Maitre Lim Coupe’, or Master Lim Cup, named after the go teacher who’s trained strong Paris go players for over 30 years. As a scholar, Master Lim has contributed to Paris-based go mags like ‘Noir et Blanc’ (black and white) with erudite and creative essays on the history and culture of go. In one, Master Lim imagined go rankings as animal characters, in which a strong kyu might be nothing more than a weasel, but 5D’s were real tigers.
- reported by Peter Dijkema, European EJ correspondent; photo: Nobuchi Motoki 7d (l) vs Peter Brouwer 4D

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