American Go E-Journal

The Power Report (Part 2): Xie Defends Women’s Meijin Title; Yuki Wins Third NHK Cup In A Row; Yuki Evens Score In Judan; Iyama Wins Tournament of Champions

Wednesday April 9, 2014

by John Power, EJ Japan Correspondent

Xie Defends Women’s Meijin Title: The third game of the 26th Women’s Meijin title match was held at the Nihon Ki-in in Ichigaya, Tokyo, on March 24. Drawing black in the nigiri, Xie Yimin (right) played strongly and scored a solid win, forcing a resignation after 209 moves. She made a good comeback from her loss in the second game. This gave her the match 2-1, so she won this title for the seventh year in a row.

Yuki Wins Third NHK Cup In A Row: Yuki Satoshi (at right in photo below) has been going through a spell of bad form recently, especially in the leagues, but he is just as strong as ever at fast games. In the final of the 61st NHK Cup, telecast on March 23, he defeated Kono Rin 9P by resignation to win the title for the third year in a row and the fifth time overall (all in the last six years). Winning three in a row matches the record set by Sakata Eio and Yoda Norimoto; in total titles won, he is tied for second with Otake Hideo and Yoda, but here he is still a long way behind Sakata’s ten. Playing black, Kono took the early lead, but in a game marked by violent fighting the lead shifted back and forth, and Kono missed his best chance to take the lead in the middle game. Kono is known for his endgame skill, but here he was outplayed by Yuki.

Yuki Evens Score In Judan: Perhaps his NHK win will become a turning point for Yuki. He followed it up by beating Takao Shinji 9P in the second game of the 52nd Judan title match (photo at left), which was played in Sumoto City on the island of Awaji in Hyogo Prefecture on March 27. Playing black, the challenger actually took the lead in the middle game, but Yuki went all out in the endgame and wrested a half-point lead from him. That makes the score 1-1; the third game will be played on April 10.
Iyama Wins Tournament of Champions: The semifinals and final of the Tournament Winners Championship, a tournament for all 12 title-winners in 2013 plus a player chosen by fan vote, were held at the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo on March 22 (the first two rounds were held on February 14 and 15). In the semifinals, Iyama Yuta beat Kyo Kagen, winner of last year’s Nakano Cup, and Yamashita Keigo beat Yuki Satoshi Judan. The final thus became a rematch between the player who only recently fought the Kisei title match, and the result was the same. Taking black, Iyama beat Yamashita by resignation after 189 moves. Iyama was awarded the Prime Minister’s Cup and the Minister for Education and Science’s Diploma. The final was open to the public, being played on the stage in the Nihon Ki-in’s large hall while a public commentary was given simultaneously by Ishida Yoshio 9-dan and Yoshihara Yukari 6-dan. Presumably the players were able to shut out the commentary when they concentrated on the game. However, after the game Yamashita said that he did take in one comment by Ishida, which was, “If the players can hear me, their training as professionals is incomplete.” Usually in a public commentary like this, the commentators take care to avoid referring to the colors, instead holding up a black stone if they want to refer to black. However, Ishida told a story from a public commentary he did a long time ago of a player who told him later that he had relied on Ishida for territorial evaluation and just focused on reading.
Tomorrow: Cho U Advances in Chunlan Cup; Ida Becomes Honinbo Challenger; Meijin League Update; Promotions; Obituary: Yoshida Yoichi

Categories: Japan,John Power Report
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The Power Report (Part 1): Chisato Cup; Japan Eliminated From 2nd Bailing Cup; Ichiriki Sets Record

Tuesday April 8, 2014

by John Power, EJ Japan Correspondent

Chisato Cup: The semifinals and finals of this new tournament for young players were played in the town of Seiro in Niigata Prefecture on March 1 and 2, but I forgot to include it in my previous report. The favorite of the fans was probably Fujisawa Rina 2P (right), the granddaughter of Fujisawa Shuko, but she lost to Hirata Tomoya 3P in one semifinal. In the other, Suzuki Shinji 4P beat Kimoto Katsuya 3P. Suzuki (B) then beat Hirata by resignation in the final to take the first prize of two million yen (a little under $20,000). In my report on the opening rounds of this tournament, I made a bad guess, based on a Net search, about the business of the sponsor, the Chisato corporation. Apparently it is an insurance agency specializing in towns and village councils throughout Japan.

Japan Eliminated from 2nd Bailing Cup: The qualifying section and the first round of the main tournament of this Chinese-sponsored international tournament were held at the Chinese Qiyuan (Ki-in) in Beijing from March 13 to 18. Seventeen professionals and amateurs from Japan took part in the qualifying tournament, but no one won a place in the main tournament, though Ida Atsushi 7P (left), Ichiriki Ryo 7P, and Son Makoto 3-dan did reach the final round. This is a massive tournament, with 64 players competing in the first round. Japan had three seeded players, but they were all eliminated. Their results: Zhang Tao 4P (China) beat Akiyama Jiro 9P (Japan), Mok Chin-seok 9P (Korea) beat Takao Shinji 9P (Japan), and Wang Xi 9P (China) beat Yuki Satoshi 9P (Japan). Twenty-two Chinese and ten Korean players proceeded to the second round. Incidentally, the two players fighting a jubango at present, Yi Se-tol and Gu Li, were both eliminated in this round. See also Battle for 2nd Bailing Cup Cup Begins 4/3 EJ.

Ichiriki Sets Record: The first of the four vacant seats in the 39th Kisei Leagues has been taken by Ichiriki Ryo 4-dan (right). In the final, held on March 21, Ichiriki (B) beat Cho U 9P by 7.5 points. At 16 years nine month, he is the youngest player to win a seat in any of the three leagues. This feat also earned him an automatic promotion to 7-dan. The previous record for the Kisei Leagues was 17 years ten months, set by Iyama Yuta. Iyama still holds the Meijin League record, at 18 years five months, and Yo Seiki set a new record for the Honinbo League last year of 18 years two months. On April 3, the second of the vacant places went to Cho Riyu 8P; playing white, he beat Seto Taiki 7P by 8.5 points.
Tomorrow: Xie Defends Women’s Meijin Title; Yuki Wins Third NHK Cup In A Row; Yuki Evens Score In Judan; Iyama Wins Tournament of Champions

Categories: Japan,John Power Report
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Your Move/Readers Write: 1940′s Article on Go Found

Tuesday April 8, 2014

“I expect you’ll have many responses to Stuart French’s question (looking for 1940′s article about how Japanese generals used the game of go to strategize WWII in the Pacific) in the April 7 E-Journal (Your Move/Readers Write: More Responses to The Popular Go Quiz Question), but I give mine anyways,” writes Reinhold Burger. “I think the article may have been a piece in the May 18 1942 edition of Life Magazine (pp. 92-96), entitled ‘Go: Japs play their national game the way they fight their wars.’ The map in question is on page 96. Btw, it includes a photo of Edward Lasker placing a stone on the board.” Burger goes on to wonder “if this is a serious example of the game. After 42 moves, neither player has touched the lower left corner (i.e., where the Indian ocean lies). But I am quite weak (DDK), so perhaps a stronger player could comment.”
Thanks also to David Doshay, Grant Kerr and quizmaster Keith Arnold, who also flagged the same article. It also appears on page 26 of The Go Player’s Almanac published by Kiseido, reports Richard Bozulich.

Go Spotting: Parsing Go

Tuesday April 8, 2014

EJ reader Simon Guo found this description of how to use Perl to parse a go game record file in Simon Cozens computer language book, Advanced Perl Programming.

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Categories: Go Spotting
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Teacher of the Year Nominations Sought

Tuesday April 8, 2014

Nominations for the American Go Foundation’s  Teacher of the Year award are now open. The award is presented each year at the U.S. Go Congress and recognizes an outstanding American teacher. The winner  will receive an all expenses paid trip to the congress.  To be eligible, a teacher must be a member of the AGA, have been teaching go to children for at least two hours a week (during the school year) for two years, have started a go club or organization for youth, and have helped their students enter appropriate tournaments, if possible.  If you would like to nominate someone for this award, including yourself, e-mail mail@agfgo.org.  Nominations are due by May 5th and should include a description of the teacher’s activities,  how long they have been teaching, and how many students attend their program. - Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.  Photo: Last year’s winner Richard Moseson from New York.  To read more about Richard’s work, click here.

AGA City League Round 3 Results

Monday April 7, 2014

In the A League, Seattle 1 defeated Los Angeles (2-1), Canwa Vancouver 1 def Toronto (3-0) and Greater Washington def

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 Boston (2-1). In the B League, San Francisco 1 def Washington DC 1 (3-0), New York City def NC Raleigh (3-0) and Chicago def Washington DC (3-0). In the C League, West Tennessee/Memphis def Lincoln (2-1), Katy, TX 1 def Canwa Vancouver 2 (2-1), Syracuse def Seattle 2 (3-0), and Katy TX 2 def Brentwood/Nashville (2-1).

The included game this month comes from Katy TX 2 (Bao Doan/missuhcl) vs Brentwood/Nashville(Seth Cardew/sleazypnut). This was a close game with both players fighting for territory throughout.
- Steve Colburn, TD

Your Move/Readers Write: More Responses to The Popular Go Quiz Question

Monday April 7, 2014

“Thanks for asking this great question about popular go references, (Go Quiz: Who Pulled Off the “Miraculous Upset”? 4/4 EJ)” writes Stuart French from Melbourne, Australia. “A few years ago I saw an Australian newspaper article about how the Japanese generals used the game of go to strategize the war in the Pacific. It included a map of SE Asia, from Japan down to Darwin with a Go board super-imposed over the top. I assume ~c.1943. Did anyone submit this to you as one of the options, or have you seen a copy of it? I am chasing it down to use in my Go and Complexity presentation and would really appreciate an electronic copy.” If anyone’s come across this, let us know at journal@usgo.org.

“Love the Camel ad,” writes Bob Barber in Chicago, Il, also in response to last week’s quiz. “David Matson has it, and a photo of the same situation, with David playing Black. I see that the new paperback edition of Shibumi has a go board on the cover, and a few stones. The central stones make an empty triangle. This may be intentional, and not just a stupid mistake. Years ago, Alan Mishlove showed me a video of Richard Boone, as Paladin, playing go. Far out.”

And in response to quizmaster Keith Arnold’s comment that he was expecting “A Beautiful Mind” to be the winner, noting that “the go scenes are less than convincing…” Rick Mott in Princeton, NJ responded “…Meaning the position in the overhead board shot was utterly ridiculous, doubtless set up by some random prop guy who didn’t play. Yet somebody taught the actors to hold the stones the proper way.” Mott goes on to say that “Hollywood is very, very good at faking things if you don’t know what you’re looking at. Years ago, I had a chance to visit a special effects house on a technical project, the short version is that the effects for the ‘planet at the end of the universe’ in Star Trek V were done with an electron microscope using a digital imaging system made by the company I worked for at the time.”

Why Bill Gates Wants to Be a Better Go Player

Sunday April 6, 2014

In “Why does Bill Gates want to be a better Go player?”, David de Ugarte says that “The birth of videogames and Apple’s first steps, free software’s first steps, and even the platforms that allowed for the organization of tens of thousands of volunteers for the earthquake in Haiti, all have something in common: their creators cited Go as a source of personal inspiration and related it to their form of innovating and thinking.” de Ugarte’s fascinating March 14 post on the Las Indias blog asks “What good is Go to those who change the world?” and takes a look at the go lessons learned and applied by Atari founder Nolan Bushnell, Nintendo’s Hiroshi Yamauchi (right), Tron’s Ken Sakamura, Richard Stallman of GNU (/Linux), Microsoft’s Bill Gates and young extrepreneur Luke Biewald (left), the creator of Crowdflower. de Ugarte has published two other posts on go, Reason Against Force and How Go Became The Favorite Game Of Anarchist And Libertarians. He’s an economist, technologist “and entrepreneur committed to new models of economic democracy.”
Thanks to Mark Gilston & Bart Jacob for passing this along.

Categories: Go Spotting,World
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Website Updates: 2 New Books & 2014 Summer Camp

Sunday April 6, 2014

Two new books have just been added to our “New and Noteworthy” page: “Games of Wonder” is an English translation by Ruoshi Sun of Yi Miao, a collection of 40 famous games by some of the best players in the Qing Dynasty, and “Whole Board Opening Problems” by Yuan Zhou draws problem situations from actual games played by amateurs and pros.

The Summer Go Camp page has been updated for 2014, when the camp will be held August 3-9 at YMCA Camp Kresge in White Haven, PA.
- Greg Smith, AGA website team
Update (4/10/14): The title of one of the books has been corrected to “”Games of Wonder” . 

Yen and Zhou Win WYGC Qualifiers

Saturday April 5, 2014

Albert Yen 6d and Brandon Zhou 4d both won 2-0 in the final rounds of the Ing Foundation’s World Youth Goe Qualifier, held in Menlo Park CA on March 29th.  Yen, who is 14 and lives in Illinois, squared off against Aaron Ye 6d, who is competing in the Senior Division for the first time – after having dominated the Jr. Division for several years.  Meanwhile, Zhou, age 10, defeated Ary Alden Cheng, to win the Jr. Division. Zhou hails from Atlanta GA, and is one of the most promising youngsters on the national scene. He only recently began professional lessons, as there are no pros in Atlanta, and has been studying with Alexander Dinerchtein online.  Both boys will travel to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, for the World Youth Go Championships, August 13-17. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.  Photos by Ernest Brown: Albert Yen 6d (l) and Brandon Zhou 4d (r).