American Go E-Journal

Simons to Challenge Kay for British Championship

Monday May 27, 2013

Reigning British Champion, Andrew Kay 4d, and fellow Cambridge University graduate Andrew Simons 4d, have emerged as the finalists for the British Go Championship from this weekend’s Challengers’ League. Simons is the Terry Stacey Grand Prix 2013 title-holder (awarded for best tournament results over the year to the British Go Congress last April). The pair will meet for the best-of-three final at a time and place yet to be fixed, to decide who will take the title of British Champion. As both players intend to travel to Asia over the next three months, the final will probably not take place before August. When it does happen, it is likely to be followed live in the British Room on the KGS go server, with professional commentary.

In the Challengers League, which ran from Friday till Monday, each of the eight most successful players from the Candidates’ Tournament (see the EJ from May  10th), held earlier this month in Edinburgh, played one game against each other, with 1 hour 45 minutes main time each and 15 stones in 5 minutes repeating overtime. Under British Go Association (BGA) rules, the current title-holder was required to play in the Challengers’ League on the same terms as the other seven, and in fact Kay also waived his right to be entered automatically, winning his place at the Candidates’ Tournament as the others did. He said of this decision, “I’m always keen for an opportunity to play a high-level game of go with a reasonably long playing time and I like Edinburgh”. The other six challengers, in order of score, were: Alex Kent 2d, Alex Rix 2d, Des Cann 4d, Boris Mitrovic 2k, Francis Roads 1d, and Tim Hunt 2d.

The Challengers’ League was held in the Nash Room and elsewhere at the International Student House, London and the British Championship 2013 is organized by Jenny Radcliffe on behalf of the BGA. Ms Radcliffe also expressed pride at the excellent showing by Alex Kent, whom she herself taught to play in Durham less than 10 years ago. Click here for full results. -Story and photo by Tony Collman.  Photo: Andrew Simons (l) vs. Andrew Kay (r)


Categories: Europe
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Triple Ko in Tiger’s Mouth Tourney

Monday May 27, 2013

An interesting triple ko came up in the most recent Tiger’s Mouth prize tourney.  The tourneys are run every month, and are open to youth in the US and Canada. Handicapped, and with prizes in double-digit kyu, single-digit kyu, and dan sections, the tourneys provide challenging games for players of all levels, with prizes courtesy of the AGF.  The triple ko came up in a six stone game between Narnian 12k, and Gocookrice 18k, and can be seen in the attached game record. The ruleset was Japanese, which technically means the game should be no result. The players asked the TD to make a ruling, he decided it was a seki, and gave the win to white on territory.  How would the triple ko have been resolved in other rule sets?  The E-J asked Yilun Yang 7p to weigh in with Chinese rules: “If both players keep taking the ko in this situation, it seems the game should be no-result. Black has to keep capturing,  otherwise black loses. Unless one side gives up the ko battle, no one can win, and neither player can give up the ko in this game.”

AGA rules resolve the issue by making full board repetition illegal, which turns this situation into what is called “Super Ko“. AGA Rules Coordinator Terry Benson says: “The main point of AGA rules is that the players have to figure and play it out – not the ref – and we have no null games. A triple ko is going to prohibit the 6th move. So who starts matters. Thus finding a ko threat on move 6 which the opponent answers, would reset the triple ko with the other player to start. I think Ing rules would be the same. This is a fighting ko.” See move 257 to illustrate the options.

E-J Games Editor Myron Souris has a succinct analysis for this situation: “according to AGA rules Black wins the triple ko, no matter who plays first.  If Black takes 1st, then 6 moves later White would be forbidden from repeating the position from just before Black’s 1st move.  So White dies.  And White taking the triple ko 1st is useless, because Black is alive in double ko. With the AGA rules, Terry and the rules committee devised a truly beautiful ruleset:  simple, rigorous, and sensible. Numerous people have unfairly criticized the AGA ruleset for being to difficult to apply to these multiple ko situations, e.g., ‘Knowing when a previous board position repeats is too difficult.’  Terry’s analysis exposes that misconception for this game.  A few years ago, I found about a dozen pro games (the latest is the infamous 2012 Gu Li vs. Lee Sedol game) ending in triple and quadruple ko, all of which even I could apply the AGA rules to resolve who would have won without too much work. Yes, some contrived multiple ko situations can be extremely difficult to analyze for who wins; however, those situations don’t seem to appear in real games, and in any event, the AGA allows the players to play out the situation themselves.” To sign up for the next Tiger’s Mouth Tourney, on June 15th, click here. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor 

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Podpera, Hui, and Pittner Lead Fifth Kido Cup in Hamburg

Saturday May 25, 2013

The fifth annual Kido Cup was held in Hamburg, Germany May 18-20. The three day event, including a main tournament, top group, and kids tournament, has become the largest go event held in Germany. In addition to the tournaments, this year’s Kido Cup also featured numerous side events, including six visiting pros from Korea playing teaching games and giving game reviews. Lukas Podpera 5d was the champion at the main tournament among a field of 198 players. Full main tournament results are available here. Fan Hui 2p, a pro from China living in France since 2000, won the top group with a 6-1 record. Top group results are available here. Arved Pittner 5k from Berlin won the kids tournament. Full results are available here.  Story by Jan Engelhardt, photo by Joachim Beggerow.

Categories: Europe
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Mlily Cup Preliminaries

Saturday May 25, 2013

The preliminary rounds for the first Mlily Cup concluded May 24th, in Beijing, China.  The cup is organized by the International Go Federation (IGF) and the China Qiyuan, and sponsored by Hengkang Jiaju Technology Company.  The cup is held every other year, thus supplementing the other IGF-organized biannual tournament: the Bailing Cup. With a top prize of RMB 1.8 M (about USD 280K), Mlily ranks near the top of all international titles.  Just as in Bailing, the Mlily Cup takes on an “open” format:  All professionals may enter in the preliminary rounds; as may all amateurs after winning online selection tournaments.   Ryan Li won the selection tournament from North America, and was the US amateur representative.  Jujo (Zhujiu) Jiang 9P entered as an American pro; while Rui Naiwei 9P entered as a Chinese pro.  All three lost in the first round.  The popular Joanne Missingham 6P(Hei Jia-jia) entered as a Taiwanese pro, and won her section of 11 players, to move on to the main tournament.  - Report by Thomas Hsiang. Photo from the Mlily website: Zhang Xuan 8p (l) has been one of the top female players in China. She is married to Chang Hao 9P.  Joanne Missingham 6P (r) is leading a new generation of strong young female players; she is representing Taiwian.

Categories: World
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Go Spotting: Chinese Military Fantasy Novels

Saturday May 25, 2013

An article in the May 23 issue of the magazine Foreign Policy entitled “Pulp Liberation Army” surveys the strange and terrifying underground world of Chinese military fantasy novels. One such novel, 2066: Red Star Over America, “portrays the United States in the throes of a Cultural Revolution, where bands of marauding U.S. students fight battles in the country’s ravaged countryside. China is the world’s top superpower, and an earthquake has sunk Japan, erasing it from the map. The protagonist, a Chinese Go player and diplomatic envoy, tries to return civilization to a crumbling United States.” Go player to the rescue! Read the full article here. Thank you Matthew Curran for sharing this.

Categories: Go Spotting
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Summer Go Camp

Friday May 24, 2013

The AGA Summer Go Camp will be held  at YMCA Camp T. Frank Soles in Rockwood, Pennsylvania, from July 20 to July 27. “Go Camp was a wonderful experience,” writes Sathya Anand 1k, who attended last year, ” I feel my understanding of the subtle complexities of go has been heightened considerably. I loved that everyone in my immediate vicinity had the same passion for learning that I had. I learned a boatload of joseki, as well as the ability to pinpoint where I needed to improve.”

 “I loved the fact that everyone there was a go player just like myself,” writes Shawn Ray 4d, “I had fun doing activities with everyone while also studying go. I feel like I improved a good bit because the teachers broke me of my bad habits, and I think that really helped me focus my moves, and to play on a higher level.”

“If you’re a go player between the ages of 8 and 18, and would like an opportunity to study with a professional teacher for a week, the AGA Go Camp is for you,” says Camp Director Amanda Miller. Yilun Yang 7P will be the teacher this year. He has trained many notable players, including Rui Naiwei 9P and Chang Hao 9P. Anyone who played in the US Youth Go Championships can get a $400 AGF scholarship to the camp.  If you didn’t play, but need financial help to attend, you can apply for a needs based scholarship here.  Please visit the camp website for registration information, or email the camp at agagocampeast@gmail.com. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo by Amanda Miller: Campers at last year’s event, in Black Mountain, NC.

KBA Donates Free Beginner’s Book to AGA

Thursday May 23, 2013

With the publication of Falling in Love with Baduk: Play a Game in One Week, The Korea Baduk Association has taken yet another important step to support Western go.  Written in both Korean and English by Dahye Lee and Jihee Baek, two young Korean pros, this is a book aimed at beginners, and especially Westerners. “People with different skin colors and different languages can understand one another when seated across the Baduk board,” they write.  “It thrills us to imagine a view of Easterners and Westerners playing the game together.” This is a valuable book for serious newcomers of any age. Basic principles are broken down into seven simple lessons, presumably one per day, with dozens of problems illustrating each day’s lesson. Ms. Lee will attend this year’s US Go Congress and will participate in the AGA’s first teacher training program. The book is ideal for classroom situations too, and can be used as a manual for non-players who find themselves running go programs at libraries or schools.   The book is available as a free download from the AGF website here, it is 86 mb, so expect it to take a little time.

The text in Falling in Love with Baduk appears side by side in Korean and English, following a style developed by Korean publisher Oromedia. Perhaps Oromedia had an uncredited role in developing this book. Oromedia’s Speed Baduk series (9 volumes) has been all-English, but their other books feature side-by-side presentation of the same material in English and Korean. Examples include Korean Style of Baduk, the Think Like a Pro series ( 2 volumes), the 100 Tips for Amateur Players series (3 volumes ), Inspiration of Pro and Creative Life and Death (2 volumes), all available from Yutopian. Here, as in the other bilingual books, it’s fun to see what the authors have to say in both languages on the same page, especially for language learners. The English text uses Korean terminology for concepts lacking an English equivalent, rather than the terms of Japanese origin that Western players learned from the first generation of English go books. For instance, the position known as “atari” is called “dansoo.” The emergence of Korean-based synonyms may further bewilder newcomers who are already struggling to grasp the vast, abstract nature of the game itself. But in the end, it all adds to the ineffable richness of the game. The worldwide community of players has been unable to agree on a single set of rules. There is not even agreement on what the game should be called; we are unlikely to produce a universal lexicon any time soon. Confused readers can always consult Prof. Chi-hyung Nam’s Contemporary Go Terms, if they have one handy, but the question remains – if you want to tell your opponent that their stone is about to be captured, what should you say? -Roy Laird

Six Days Left to Register for YKNOT3

Thursday May 23, 2013

The deadline to register for this year’s Young Kwon National Online Tournament has been extended until midnight on Wednesday, May 29. This means there are still six days to register for the tournament! Sponsored by Young Kwon of Pearl River, NY, the tournament offers nearly $3,000 in total prizes! More than 60 players have already registered. Click here to register and here for details on schedule and rules. Join the wide range of strengths already represented and make this tournament better and even more exciting! The five-round tournament will take place June 1, 2, and 8 on KGS in the AGA Tournaments Room. For those who aren’t going to play in the tournament, be sure to check it out and watch a few games – a tournament with nearly 20 players 5D and stronger promises excitement!

European Go Catalog Near Completion

Thursday May 23, 2013

Dutch go player Theo van Ees 1d, one of the authors of Bibliogo, is developing a catalog of go books and articles. The project started in 1975, and is now a listing of about 3,200 go titles in the main European languages plus Russian. The European Go Cultural Centre, meanwhile, started a library of go books in 2003 and today this collection is managed by librarian Henk Mourik 1k. Database specialist Otto Versteeg 8k has put both collections together in a searchable database listing all of the titles in van Ees’ catalog, with an indication of which items are available at the European Go Cultural Centre library in Amstelveen, Amsterdam. You can search the go catalog, and the plan is to update it frequently. You may report comments and wishes to van Ees at tvanees@xs4all.nl. He is especially interested to hear about omissions and newly published material.

Chen Yaoye Shines Again at 27th Annual Tianyuan

Wednesday May 22, 2013

Yaoke ChenChen Yaoye 9P took his fifth consecutive Tianyuan title when he bested Gu Lingyi 5P on May 15. Although Gu joined the top ten Chinese pros in 2009, and was once viewed as one of China’s “most promising” players, he wasn’t able to dethrone Chen.

Chen himself was in a similar situation five years ago when he secured the Tianyuan title from six-time victor Gu Li 9P. As Gu Li defeated Chen in his first international final, at the 10th LG Cup in 2006, some could say Chen’s counter-attack was a long time coming. Before he can even contemplate matching Gu Li’s six-year streak, however, Chen will need to focus on his upcoming match against Lee Sedol 9P in the final round of the 10th Chunlan Cup, on June 17. He will also have to watch out for this year’s Korean Chunwon champion Park Younghun 9P at the China Korea Tengen playoff, rumored to take place in September. Unlike the stereotypical Korean combative style, Park (like Chen) is more flexible. According to Jing at Go Game Guru, “he’s a master of the endgame and tends to prefer more peaceful, territory oriented games.”

For more information about the Gu Lingyi - Chen Yaoye match, including photos and game records, please visit gogameguru.com.

-Annalia Linnan, based on a longer article by Go Game Guru