American Go E-Journal

North American Youth Overwhelm Europe in Transatlantic Match

Friday June 21, 2013

For the second consecutive year, top young North American players have defeated their European counterparts in the Transatlantic Youth Go Friendship Match. “The Europeans lost by a large margin last year,” reports organizer Andrew Huang, “and were certainly looking for a more positive result this year. However, the North American team was keen to stifle the Europeans’ ambitions, and won the first seven games, eventually finishing with an 8-2 victory. We are looking forward to another exciting event next year, as the European team will be thirsty to exact revenge.” The match was held June 2 on KGS, and marked the fifth year for the Transatlantic Youth Tourney. Ten players representing the United States and Canada teamed up for North America, while ten European youngsters  were chosen from Russia, Germany, France, Austria, Romania, Czechia, Slovakia, and Poland to compete for the Europeans. Lawrence Ku and the American Go Honor Society organized the event, which was held in the Transatlantic Youth Go Tournament room on KGS.  Previous years events are listed here; for this year’s results, click here. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Image by Paul Barchilon, based on a graphic from DairyReporter.com

Share

Chen Yaoye Wins Chunlan Cup to Take First Major International Title

Thursday June 20, 2013

Six years after becoming the youngest 9-dan professional, Chen Yaoye 9P (right) finally broke through on the world stage when he defeated Lee Sedol 9P (at left in photo) 2-1 on June 20 to capture the Chunlun Cup and win his first major international title. This was Chen’s fourth attempt at an international title and it was smiles all round as he finally made his long overdue breakthrough. Lee seems to make a habit of being present at special milestones in Chen’s career and looked genuinely pleased for Chen. The last time these two met in an international final was in 2007 at the 19th Asia TV Cup, where Chen was promoted to become the youngest (at the time) 9-dan professional.

In other news from the 9th Chunlan Cup, Jiang Weijie 9P defeated Kong Jie 9P in the playoff to take third place. The Chunlan Cup is an invitational go tournament for 24 top players from around the world. In addition to players from China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan, a European and a North American representative are also invited. The top 8 seeded players proceed directly to round two, while the remaining 16 play a single elimination round, knocking out 8 players. After the first round, the remaining 16 players compete in a knockout tournament, culminating in a best of three final. The tournament is sponsored by Chunlan Group, a Chinese conglomerate with interests in the air conditioning, domestic appliance, automotive, finance and alternative energy industries.

The Chunlan Cup uses Chinese rules, with a komi of 7.5 points, and offers a prize of $150,000 USD to the winner.
- based on a more detailed report on GoGameGuru, which includes game records and more photos

Categories: World
Share

Go Catches On in Rural North Carolina

Thursday June 20, 2013

“Who would have guessed that go would catch on so well in a tiny rural town where hogs outnumber humans?” asks a school librarian in rural North Carolina.

The American Go Foundation has sent hundreds of copies of Hikaru no Go manga to schools and libraries across the country. One set went to a middle school in Burgaw, North Carolina. “Ninety percent of our students receive free or reduced price lunch,” writes school librarian Kathleen Stewart-Taylor. “Most of our 275 students are African American or Latinos. Some of them are children of migrant workers; a few of them work in the fields/farms themselves. Many have parents who can’t speak English or can’t read or write in any language. We live within 20 minutes of the ocean, but most of my students have never seen it.” But, says  Stewart-Taylor, “I would bet that 75 % of my students now know about go and at least 25% have tried to play a game.”

“Several months ago you sent us a free set of (Hikaru no Go) manga,” says Stewart-Taylor. “It worked.  We now have a go club and they are talking about going to a tournament next year! This is a big deal for us. We have tried chess, but our students didn’t like the deep game trees, they prefer  the sense of ‘aliveness’ that they have with go.” The Hikaru no Go series was among the top 10 books circulated during the second semester and “Top 5 for the last 9 weeks,” Stewart-Taylor reports. “Many students now come in to the library during lunch to log on to Tigers Mouth. One of the Hikaru manga even got swiped! This just doesn’t happen. Check out books and lose them, sure. Drop one off the combine and run over it, you bet ya. But stolen?” (He returned it.)

“Next year, If I can get a nucleus of students who know the game well enough to teach others, I’m going to print off small go boards and have them play during lunch,” Stewart-Taylor adds. “Go is cheap — just give them a printout of a board and a couple of different colored markers. Lunch can be a hard time with lots of discipline referrals.  I’m hoping that playing go will reduce the problem behaviors.”

“A student ran up me this afternoon and gasped ‘Mrs. Stewart!  Did you know about the agfgo website?! (pant pant) . . . It’s so cool!’ He’ll be at the local public library this weekend, studying go.”
- report by Roy Laird

6/20: Burgaw is in North Carolina, not South Carolina, as originally reported.

Long Live the King! Final NAMT Qualifier Scheduled for July 6-7

Wednesday June 19, 2013

The final North American Masters Tournament (NAMT) qualifier of the 2013 season is scheduled to be played online the weekend of July 6-7. “This tournament coincides with the rise to power of both Richard the Lionheart  and Elvis Presley,” reports AGA Tournament Coordinator Karoline Burrall. Richard (right) was crowned on July 6, 1189, and Presley’s first single — “That’s All Right” — was broadcast 765 years later on Memphis radio station WHBQ on July 7, 1954. You don’t have to be a king or a rock star to play in the tournament but you do need to be at least 4-dan and you must register by July 3. The 4-round online tournament is open to players rated 4D+ and eligible to compete in this year’s North American Masters Tournament at the Go Congress in Tacoma WA. Eligibility for AGA players is based on citizenship or permanent residency in the US, residency in the US for 6 of the past 12 months, and continuous full or youth AGA membership. Click here for detailed schedule and rules, as well as a link to registration. “Long Live the King!” says Burrall.

Expert On “How to Learn Go in 20 Hours”

Tuesday June 18, 2013

“The First 20 Hours: How to Learn Anything… Fast!” by author Josh Kaufman includes an entire chapter on go, one of the things Kaufman – a bestselling author, learning expert and business advisor – learned using his “systematic approach to rapid skill acquisition.” Covering the history and basics of the game, “It is a good intro from an interested beginner’s perspective,” says EJ reader Howard Cornett. “It is great to see our game as a full chapter in a book about learning something new!” Kaufman notes that “Learning go will require time and concentration. I’m already playing other games, but I have a very limited amount of leisure time. If I want to progress in go as quickly as I’m able, I’ll need to focus.” His summary of “How I Learned to Play Go” may be useful for beginners, teachers and go club organizers, and there’s also some cool go footage in the trailer he made for the book.

Your Move/Readers Write: A Doodle for Google, Anyway

Tuesday June 18, 2013

“Too bad they don’t do doodles for living persons,” responded David Shope (A Google Doodle for Go Seigen? 6/12 EJ) via the AGA’s Facebook page. That didn’t stop graphic artist Mike Samuel (who’s designed many of the U.S. Go Congress logos) from drafting up a potential go-themed “Google  Doodle” for the internet giant.

Andy Liu 1P Sweeps YKNOT3

Monday June 17, 2013

In the exciting concluding rounds to the third annual Young Kwon National Online Tournament, new American professional Andy Liu became this year’s champion, winning all five rounds. Liu earned professional status at last year’s

[link]

first AGA professional qualification event, sponsored by TygemGO, which took place just prior to the US Go Congress in North Carolina. Liqun Liu 7D took second in the 2013 YKNOT, winning 4 out of 5. Other band winners include Aaron Ye 5D, Willis Huang 3D, Larry Qu 1K, Matthew Machado 5K, and Yuliang Huang 21K. The tournament took place over the first two weekends in June on KGS. There were a total of about 60 players, some of whom were new AGA members, and for others, this was their very first online tournament. YKNOT3 sponsor Young Kwon was on hand during the rounds to watch the games and comment. TD Karoline Burrall extended thanks to all of the players who participated in the tournament. “Thanks also to our fantastic sponsor Young Kwon,” added Burrall, “as well as the team of TDs including Dennis Wheeler, Todd Heidenreich, Jay Tabaniag, and Julie Burrall.”

Andy Liu’s 5th-round game against Yue Zhang 7D — “Full of fighting and lively viewer commentary!” — is at right.

Categories: U.S./North America
Share

Wilson Zhang Wins Happy Cup

Monday June 17, 2013

Seventh-grader Wilson Zhang 1k topped the Sixth Sunflower Happy Cup Youth Go Tournament, with four wins, on June 1 in Cupertino, California. “Forty-one elementary and middle school kids gathered together on a beautiful Saturday afternoon and played four to five rounds of 19×19 games,” reports Wenguang Wang, who organized the event. “To ensure a really fun experience for every kid, players earned prize tickets after each round, and then exchanged their tickets for various fancy prizes. Each participant was also rewarded with a trophy, and at the event’s conclusion all the kids and their parents enjoyed a refreshing ice cream party.” -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo by Ming Liao. Wilson Zhang is at left, in the blue shirt

Local Organizers Oppose Nihon Kiin Plan to Sell New York Go Center

Monday June 17, 2013

The Nihon Kiin has informed Nihon Kiin America (NKA) that it intends to sell the East 52nd St building that formerly housed the New York Go Center. Nihon Ki-in CEO Mr. Hanyu will be in New York this week to discuss the matter further with Terry Benson, NKA President.  “We think it’s a mistake to sell,” Benson says,  “especially with New York real estate values climbing. We presented them with a detailed plan by which the building could be put back in use, pay for the cost to do so in less than three years, and be a permanent source of funds to cover its expenses and produce money to benefit American go. The plan was never given serious consideration.”

In a conference call Mr. Hanyu told NKA board members that the proceeds would be used to benefit American go. However Mr. Hanyu also said that the American community would only be “consulted” in determining how the funds would be used. The Nihon Ki-in would have the final authority. He also would not say whether the building would be offered for competitive bids in a public sale or in a private transaction like the one the Nihon Ki-in tried to close in 2011.  “The Nihon Kiin has a fiduciary responsibility to make the most of Iwamoto sensei’s gift. A private sale to a friendly buyer would raise obvious suspicions. We will insist on transparency in everything to do with the building,” says Benson. “Iwamoto’s endowment to US go must benefit and be controlled by those who know how to promote go in the US. We hope the Nihon Ki-in honors Iwamoto’s intentions.”
- photo: Andy Liu giving a lesson at the NYGC; photo by Roy Laird

Categories: U.S./North America
Share

The Power Report: China Dominates 18th LG Cup; Catching Up On “Go Go Japan”; 4th Asian Indoor & Martial Arts Games to Include Go

Monday June 17, 2013

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the American Go E-Journal

China Dominates 18th LG Cup: The opening rounds of this Korean-sponsored international tournament were held in the city of Kangnung (also written Gangneung) in Korea on June 10 & 12. An excellent report has already been presented (Korea Knocked Out In LG Cup Stunner; Japan Fights On 6/13), so this report will fill in some some details.

The main news is undoubtedly the great success of the new young generation of Chinese players, who took six of the quarterfinal places. However, Japan also made a good start: with just four seeded players taking part (it failed to win any seats in the qualifying tournament), it secured two quarterfinal places, its best result for some years. Also, although he was eliminated in the 2nd round, Kono Rin 9P scored an excellent win in the first round, beating the player who recently won the Ing Cup, Fan Tingyu 9P of China.

The interesting point about the Chinese success is that the main contribution
is not being made by its senior players, such as Gu Li 9P, but by players in their teens and early 20s (I include ages below for the Chinese players to demonstrate this). It really does seem that by your late 20s you are past your peak in China and also in international go. This is also borne out by the early elimination of such great Korean players as the two Yis, Ch’ang-ho and Se-tol, Pak Yeong-hun, Pak Cheong-hwan, and others; these are names to conjure with, but they don’t overawe the Chinese youngsters. Japan operates by different rules, of course; apart from Iyama, its top players are in their thirties.

Full results for the opening rounds:
Round One (June 10): Kono Rin 9P (Japan) (B) defeated Fan Tingyu 9P (aged 16) (China) by resignation; Iyama Yuta 9P (Japan) (W) d. Zhang Tao 3-dan (aged 21) (China) by resig; Takao Shinji 9P (Japan) (B) d. Hong Seong-chi 9P (Korea) by resig; Mok Chin-seok 9P (Korea) (B) d. Hane Naoki 9P (Japan) by half a point; Kim Seong-chin 2P (Korea) (W) d. Gu Li 9P (aged 30) (China) by resig; Li Zhe 6P (aged 23) (China) (B) d. Kang Tong-yun 9P (Korea) by resig; Zhou Ruiyang 9P (aged 22) (China) (B) d. Ch’oe Ch’eol-han 9P (Korea) by resig; Yi Se-tol 9P (Korea) (B) d. Xie Erhao 1P (aged 14) (China) by resig; Li Qincheng 2P (aged 14) (China) (W) d. Pak Yeong-hun 9P (Korea) by resig; Guo Yuzhang 3P (aged 20) (China) (B) d. Cho Han-seung 9P (Korea) by resig; Xia Chenkun 2P (aged 20) (China) (W) d. Kim Chi-seok 9P (Korea) by half a point; Tuo Jiaxi 3P (aged 22) (China) (B) d. Yi Ch’ang-ho 9P (Korea) by resig; Yi Yeong-ku 9P (Korea) (W) d. Xiao Zhenghao 8P (Chinese Taipei) by resig; An Hyeong-chun 4P (Korea) (W) d. Shi Yue 5P (aged 22; winner of the 17th LG Cup) (China) by 5.5 points; An Cho-yeong 9P (Korea) (W) d. Han Yizhou 2P (aged 16) (China) by resig; Chen Yaoye 9P (aged 23) (China) (W) d. Pak Cheong-hwan 9P (Korea) by resig.

Round 2 (June 12): Takao (B) d. Guo by resig; Iyama (W) d Yi Yeong-ku by 1.5 points; Chen (B) d. Kono by resig; Li Qincheng (W) d. Mok by resig; Li Zhe (B) d. An Hyeong-chun by resig; Tuo (B) d. Yi Se-tol by resig; Zhou (B) d. An Cho-yeong by 2.5 points; Xia (W) d. Kim by 2.5 points.

Quarterfinal pairings (November 11): Iyama vs. Chen, Takao vs. Tuo, Zhou vs. Li Qincheng, Li Zhe vs. Xia.
photos: (top right): Team China (from left): Yu BinLi ZheZhou Ruiyang and Xia Chenkun; (bottom left): 18th LG Cup quarter finalists (from left): Chen Yaoye, Iyama Yuta, Tuo Jiaxi, Takao Shinji, Li Zhe, Xia Chenkun, Li Qincheng and Zhou Ruiyang. Photos courtesy Go Game Guru

Catching Up On “Go Go Japan”: Two places out of eight may not seem a spectacular success, but for Japan it’s a big improvement on recent results. The go media here has been giving much of the credit to the foundation of a national team. Since I omitted to report on this earlier, now is a good time to catch up. Go Go Japan, the name of the national team, was chosen in a poll of go fans and announced on May 20 (the first word is English and the second refers to the game). The actual founding of a national team by the Nihon Ki-in and the Kansai Ki-in is dated to April 1 this year; the aim is to promote solidarity in international competition and to improve results. Members are the top 15 players in the prize-winning list, players with previous good results in international tournaments, the winners of the King of the New Stars, Hiroshima Aluminium Cup, the Okage Cup and Nakano Cup, the top ten women players, and all teenaged players, with the last-mentioned given the status of trainees (all of the above must volunteer for the team, though). This is quite a large pool, but there’s some overlap and the membership for the opening year, including coaches and playing coaches, amounts to 32 players. In theory, training camps and other events may be held, but the main activity so far has been setting aside Fridays and Saturdays for senior members of the team to play training games on the Net with the junior players. The most famous of the 30 players on the team are Iyama Yuta, Yamashita Keigo, Hane Naoki, Cho U, Takao Shinji, Kono Rin, Yuki Satoshi, and O Meien. Coaches are Yamashiro Hiroshi, who is also Vice President of the Board of Directors of the Nihon Ki-in, and Cho Riyu 8-dan, with Cho U and Takao acting as playing coaches. It’s hard to know how much of a boost the formation of the national team gave to the players competing in the LG Cup, but it’s certainly the focal point of the news coverage in Japan. Local fans are certainly hoping that this opening success is not a flash in the pan.

4th Asian Indoor & Martial Arts Games to Include Go: The 4th Asian Indoor & Martial Arts Games will be held in Incheon City in Korea from June 30 to July 5. Eight sports will be featured, including go, chess, billiards, bowling, and kick boxing. Participation represents yet another advance in raising the profile of go as a sport in Asia, following the major breakthrough in having it included as a regular competition sport at the 16th Asian Games in 2010. The Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games are organized by the Olympic Committee of Asia and are held every four years in the year before the Asian Games. They are staged at the same venue, and Incheon will host this event and the 17th Asian Games next year. There are three go events: male individual, Pair Go (referred to as Rapid Mixed Team on the event’s HP), and male team. Ten countries or territories are taking part: Korea, China, Japan, Chinese Taipei, Malaysia, Singapore, Mongolia, Vietnam, Chinese Hong Kong, and Macao. Countries with professional organizations are fielding teams of low-dan, young players. The players representing Japan will be Hirata Tomoya 3P (aged 19), Tsuruta Kazushi 2P (aged 18), Motoki Katsuya 2P (aged 17), Sada Atsushi 1P (aged 17), Okuda Aya 3P (aged 24) and Fujisawa Rina 1P (aged 14).