American Go E-Journal

The Power Report: Iyama Extends Lead in Kisei Title Match; Xie Defends Women’s Kisei Title; Iyama Tops Prize-Money List for 2014; Annual Promotions

Wednesday February 4, 2015

by John Power, EJ Japan Correspondent

Iyama Extends Lead in Kisei Title Match: The second game of the 39th Kisei title match was held at the Hachinohe Park Hotel in 2015.02.04_Iyama-YutaHachinohe City, Aomori Prefecture, on January 29 and 30. Playing white, Iyama Yuta (right) won by resignation after 228 moves. This gives him a 2-0 lead over the challenger, Yamashita Keigo 9P. The third game, scheduled for February 5 and 6, is close to being a must-win affair for Yamashita if he is going to stop Iyama from winning the title for the third year in a row. The game got off to an interesting start, with Yamashita coming up with a new variation in an old joseki. Iyama showed his flexibility, however, by playing a bad-shape move that actually worked well for him. Early in the middle game, Iyama went on the offensive, and Yamashita found himself forced into playing a territorial strategy that didn’t suit his style. Having fallen behind a little, he did his best to catch up by attacking aggressively, but Iyama countered with the strongest moves and finally took a decisive lead. When Yamashita resigned, Iyama had a lead on the board.

2015.02.04_womens-kiseiXie Defends Women’s Kisei Title: The second game of the 18th DoCoMo Cup Women Kisei title match was held in the Ryusei Studio (in the basement of the Nihon Ki-in in Ichigaya, Tokyo) on January 29. This was a do-or-die game for the challenger, as this title is a best-of-three, but she was outfought by the defending champion, Xie Yimin (left). After 273 moves, Xie, taking black, won by 5.5 points. She won this title for the third year in a row and extended her overall tally to 19, eight ahead of the next woman player (Aoki Kikuyo 8P, with 11).

Iyama Tops Prize-Money List for 2014: Even though he lost two titles last year, Iyama Yuta still earned enough in winnings to top the prize-money list for the fourth year in a row. It was the third year in a row that he topped 100 million yen. Only three other players have reached this mark: Cho Chikun (five times), Cho U (four times) and Kobayashi Koichi (three times). The top ten for 2014 are given below. Fujisawa Rina, aged 16, is probably the youngest player ever to make the list. Xie Yimin made the best ten for the seventh year in a row.
1. Iyama Yuta: ¥140,788,528 (about $1,203,320)
2. Kono Rin: ¥44,983,332
3. Takao Shinji: ¥37,903,600
4. Yamashita Keigo: ¥30,779,458
5. Ida Atsushi: ¥19,210,200
6. Ichiriki Ryo: ¥17,002,800
7. Fujisawa Rin: ¥16,736,161
8. Hane Naoki: ¥13,477,000
9. Xie Yimin: ¥12,931,771
10. Cho U: ¥12,470,600

Annual Promotions: Besides the promotions through the cumulative-win system, a number of promotions are made every year based on prize-money winnings in the top seven titles: the top 6-dan and the top two in the ranks underneath are promoted one rank. The following promotions based on 2014 winnings are dated to January 1.
        To 7-dan: Ohashi Naruya
        To 6-dan: Tajima Shingo, Shiraishi Yuichi
        To 5-dan: Muramatsu Hiroki, Suzuki Shinji
        To 4-dan: Hirata Tomoya , Obuchi Kotaro
        To 3-dan: Takeuchi Kosuke, Numadate Sakiya
        To 2-dan: Tanaka Nobuyuki, Koyama Kuya

Categories: Japan,John Power Report
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Macworld Reviews Go Apps

Wednesday February 4, 2015

Macworld senior contributor Kirk McElhearn provides a terrific overview of go apps on his January 31 Improve your game of Go (or just keep 2015.02.04_smartgo-playerplaying) with this collection of apps column. “If you want to play Go, or want to improve your game, there are a number of excellent iOS apps that can help you learn how to play and try to master the game. Here are the best ones,” writes McElhearn. McElhearn writes The Ask the iTunes Guy column and writes about Macs, music and more on his blog Kirkville

Check Your Chapter Affiliation

Wednesday February 4, 2015

January was the first month of the AGA Chapter Rewards program (AGA Institutes New Chapter Rewards Program 12/31 EJ) in which AGA chapters can earn rewards points from new or renewing memberships or members playing rated games. The points will credit to a chapter only if the member has set that as their affiliated chapter in their member profile.

Don’t know your chapter or want to change it? Here’s how: In the menu on the left of the AGA home page select Member/Chapter Login under the Membership and Chapters section. This will take you to the login page where you can login by email address or AGA number. There are links there if you either forgot your password or never set one. Log in and you’ll get to the home page for the Members/Chapters area. From there, click on the link to view or update your membership info. Once you reach that page, scroll down to the section titled Other Info. There is a field there for Chapter with a drop down box that will give you a list of active chapters to choose from. Pick the chapter you would like to be affiliated with and then click on Save at the bottom of the page.

 

Categories: U.S./North America
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US-Cuba Thaw Rekindles Hope for Visit

Monday February 2, 2015

The recent resumption of diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba has renewed hope that a Cuban delegation will be able to attend this 2015.01.15_Cuba-visityear’s US Go Congress. An effort last year stalled because of problems getting visas from the US State Department. “We are quite hopeful of better success this year,” says Bob Gilman, AGA Director for the Central Region. “We have learned some things from the 2014 effort, and the recent thaw in US – Cuban relations can only be helpful.”

The AGA has invited three Cuban players to the 2015 Go Congress in St. Paul, MN, including Rafael Torres Miranda 2d, President of the Academia Cubana de Go, Roylan de la Torre Marrero 5d and Orlando Mederos Trujillo 5d.

The invitation builds on 2013 visit by US players to Havana, where a friendly competition between US and Cuban players was a great success. “There are Cuban go players in all provinces of the country, and they were a serious and enthusiastic group,” says Gilman, who organized the visit.

Fundraising is now underway to enable the Cuban delegation to attend the Congress. “Cuba is a poor country, and the Cuban players cannot afford this trip without help from the US go community,” says Gilman. “The US go community has received wonderful support from Japan, Korea, and China and we’re now in a position where we can help the growing go community in Cuba.” While the details are worked out and the costs are finalized, those interested in helping can make a pledge here. As in 2014, if donations cannot be used, they will be returned, e.g., if visa problems should again prevent some invitees from coming. Contributions will be made through the American Go Foundation (AGF), and may be taken as a deduction on the donor’s federal income tax. 

Categories: Latin America
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Pandanet to Publish EJ Reports in Japanese

Saturday January 31, 2015

Pandanet has begun posting E-Journal articles on their site, translated into Japanese. The first one is the EJ’s recent report on the AGA pro 2015.01.31_ej-pandanettournament. “We’re tremendously pleased that EJ reporting is now available in Japanese,” said E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock.  Pandanet plans to post a translated EJ article each week.

Go Spotting: JAG

Saturday January 31, 2015

Go drives the plotline in a second-season episode of JAG entitled “The Game of Go.”  “Harm and a Colombian drug lord play a high-stakes game 2015.01.31_JAG-episodeof go, with the prize being a Marine who was left behind during a covert mission, as Webb and the JAG team once again butt heads,“ reports Dave Holland.

“My recollection of the episode is that several moves were spread out over the unfolding of 2015.01.31_JAG-close-upthe plot with closeups of the contested part of the board. It represented middle game fighting. A little far-fetched for a US Navy lawyer and a drug kingpin to be such accomplished players but good exposure for the game nevertheless.“ Note that the moves are played inside the board squares rather than on the intersections.

“I enjoy the EJ’s ‘Go Spotting’ column as go has a way of showing up in unexpected places,” says Holland. “I live in Minneapolis and recently met a young player from northern Minnesota whose grandfather learned baduk during the Korean War. He also went to high school with Bob Dylan.“

Categories: Go Spotting
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Bringing Go to Portland’s Mochitsuki Festival

Thursday January 29, 2015

20150125_111905Peter  Freedman (at far right), Hikaru  Saito, Glenn  Peters, Jessie  Jenkins  and Jessie’s friend, Austin,  taught  at  least  50 people  to  play  go  at Portland’s Mochitsuki  Festival  on Sunday  January  25th. Held  at  Portland  State  University from  10  to  4 , thousands came to  celebrate  the  new  year, eat  traditional  food  and  experience  traditional  Japanese  culture. -Photo and story courtesy Peter Freedman

Jin Chen Tournament Draws Strong Field in Seattle

Wednesday January 28, 2015

The Open Section of the Jin Chen Memorial Tournament at the Seattle Go Center drew twelve players, including two 7 dans and three 6 dans.Jin Chen Posterized  Since the Jan. 4 tournament had only three rounds, there was a tie for first place between Boyang Chen 6d from Oregon, and Chan Chung 5d from the Seattle area.  Edward Kim placed 3rd, after losing one game on time.

Go Center members were intrigued to meet the teacher of Edward Kim 7d, since Edward has taught many of the strong players in the Northwest.   Years ago, Edward’s teacher was his older brother Hong Kim, who also lives in the Seattle area.  This was the first time Hong played in an AGA rated tournament.  He won the handicapped section for players 2 kyu and stronger, playing as a 2d.  Second place went to young Chanseok Oh.  The 3 kyu to 9 kyu band was won by local Frank Brown, with new player Ben Resnick placing second.  The double digit kyu player’s section was won by Elan Ma, with second to California visitor Barry Stiefel.  Elan also won the children’s prize.  There were 30 players at the tournament, which is held on the first Sunday in January every year to mark the birthday of our old friend Jin Chen.  Report and photo illustration by Brian Allen

 

 

The Power Report: Xie Makes Good Start in Women’s Kisei Defense; Honinbo League Update; Judan challenger: Kobayashi Satoru or Ida

Tuesday January 27, 2015

by John Power, EJ Japan Correspondent

Xie Makes Good Start in Women’s Kisei Defense: The first game of the 18th DoCoMo Cup Women’s Kisei title match, a best-of-three,2015.01.27_Kazuko was played at the Hotel Sunlife Garden in Hiratsuka City, Kanagawa Prefecture, on January 22. Konishi Kazuko 8P (right) of the Kansai Ki-in is making her first appearance in a title match (she has reached the finals of three knock-out titles but lost each time). Xie has held this title for four of the the last five years. In the nigiri to decide colors, Xie drew white. Konishi played positively in the opening and seized the initiative, but Xie managed to set up the kind of confused fight in which she excels. Konishi failed to find the best move in the crucial middle-game fight, and this gave Xie a chance to upset her lead. Konishi resigned after 136 moves. The second game will be played on January 29. It’s a must-win game for Konishi if she is to take the match to a deciding game on February 2.

Honinbo League Update: Two games were played in the 70th Honinbo League on January 22. Yamashita Keigo 9P (B) beat Takao Shinji 9P by resignation and Kono Rin 9P (W) beat Yo Seiki 7P, also by resignation. Yamashita goes to 3-1, keeping him in second place behind Ida Atsushi 8P (4-0). Kono evened his score to 2-2, and both Takao and Yo, on 1-3, will now have to focus on keeping their league places.

Judan challenger: Kobayashi Satoru or Ida: The second semifinal of the 53rd Judan tournament was held in Nagoya on January 22. It2015.01.27_shida tatsuya was contested by two of the leading young players at the Central Japan branch of the Nihon Ki-in, Ida Atsushi 8P and Shida Tatsuya 7P (right). Ida was the top new star of last year, winning the Honinbo League on debut. Although he lost the title match to Iyama Yuta, he seems to be on course to challenge again. Shida is older (24 to Ida’s 20) and was the top young player in Nagoya until Ida emerged. Shida won the Hiroshima Aluminium Cup in his second year as a pro (2007) and came second in the Agon Kiriyama Cup in 2013. Shida had won their two previous encounters, but in the last year Ida has gotten a lot stronger. Taking black in this game, he forced a resignation, so he will meet Kobayashi Satoru in the play-off to decide the challenger to Takao Shinji.

Categories: Japan,John Power Report
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UK Go Updates: Charles Hibbert Wins Maidenhead-Hitachi

Tuesday January 27, 2015

Maidenhead-Hitachi Tournament: On January 24th, Charles Hibbert 2 dan went on to win all three of his games, claiming the Maidenhead title. Coincidentally, it was also his first-ever tournament. Second and third place were claimed by Alistair Wall and Jitka Bartova. All players winning three or two games received a prize. 55 players took part in the event.
- edited by Amy Su from reports on the BGA website.

Categories: Europe
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