American Go E-Journal

Wisonet Go Club Organizing “Slow-Play” Tourney in NJ

Monday November 18, 2013

The Wisonet Go Club in New Jersey is organizing a slow-game tournament November 28-29 in central New Jersey. Unlike most weekend tournaments, the time limits will be two hours per player, two rounds per day and winners will qualify to advance to rounds that will be played in subsequent months. Organizer Ronghao Chen expects the whole event to last “three or four months” and says it’s intended to give dan players a chance to play higher quality games. Kyu level players can join the tournament by special approval only. The tournament will be held at the Madison Suites Hotel in Somerset, NJ. Contact Chen at chenronghao@yahoo.com or call him at 908-872-6202 for more information.

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Lee Sedol’s Commented Games, Volume II: Another Triumph

Sunday November 17, 2013

Book Review of Lee Sedol’s Commented Games:  Volume II (Baduktopia)

by Fritz Balwit

The arrival of the English version of Lee Sedol’s Commented Games Volume I in 2011 fulfilled a dream of our go study group: a high-quality, detailed view into the highest levels of the art of go as practiced by the Korean super-talents.  We had worked our way through stacks of old Go Worlds, graduated Slate and Shell’s magnificent Fairbairn volumes on Go Seigen’s famous Jubangos. But here was something new and different: Lee Sedol, the world’s number one player famed for games of staggering complexity, uncompromising fighting spirit, quadruple ko and half-point wins. I was immediately struck by the superb quality of the books. Everything from the paper to the layout and its large diagrams made for a most enjoyable reading experience. There are just three games in each volume, but the depth of the commentary more than compensates.

Lee actually wrote three books during a six-month hiatus in his tournament schedule while he worked out some kinks in his relationship with the Korea Baduk Association. Volume Two,  now available from GoGameGuru, begins with Lee’s fantastic triumph in Game 3 of the LG Cup against Lee Changho 9P. Lee devotes 100 pages to this game alone. Large diagrams head the chapters and typically include a general point of strategic advice or an insight into the psychology of the game. Indeed, the book abounds in the latter sorts of reflections, both in Lee’s own words and those of the writer, his sister, Lee Sena, who glowingly covers aspects of Sedol’s personal development and the ups and downs of his career. Game Two, against Chang Hao 9P, similarly runs to more than 100 pages and includes commentary and annotated variations at a depth I have never seen before. However, the last game is the best of all. Again, the opponent is the Lee Changho 9P. This time, the occasion is the World Oza 2006. Whereas the first two games will surely repay careful study and help players of all levels to improve their understanding of whole-board vision, deep reading, modern joseki and the like, the last game is best approached as a lesson in humility. I suggest you play through this game with a 6-dan, as we did at our club. He was utterly flummoxed by it and unable to predict the moves or discern the flow of the game.  Lee’s avowed dislike of being “coerced” by his opponent manifests itself in a taut duel of nerves in which each player defiantly shifts the location of the battle in what appears, even to strong amateurs, to be chaotic mayhem. The strangeness of this game has its own beauty and excitement, but don’t expect to pick up any tips.

Baduktopia deserves high praise for putting out these splendid books on one of the most exciting players of our generation. (Click here for a review of Volume 1.) The editorial decision to include few but thoroughly commented games with a limited number of moves per diagram results in a book that you can read anywhere, even without a board.  The biographical materials add a nice dimension to our appreciation of the life of a professional Go player. All in all, I recommend Lee Sedol’s Commented Games: Volumes I and II without reservation. We await with eagerness the arrival of the promised third volume.

Balwit (in cap at right in photo above) was The American Go Foundation’s 2011 teacher of the Year

Portland Go Club Seeking Volunteers for Mochitsuki

Sunday November 17, 2013

The Portland Go Club is looking for volunteers to help them staff a booth at Mochitsuki, a traditional Japanese New Year’s celebration scheduled for Sunday, January 26, 2014 (the Year of the Horse) from 11am to 4 pm.”We’ll have a booth and are looking for 2-4 volunteers to man/woman it and teach interested people how to play,” says Peter Freedman. “Volunteers will be able to attend Mochitsuki for free. It’s a great holiday and if you like Japanese food you are in for a treat.” The event will be held at the Scottish Rite Center – 1512 SW Morrison Street, Portland, Oregon; contact Freedman at peter.freedman@comcast.net.

Categories: U.S./North America
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Traveling Go Board: Go Hothouse in UK Garden City

Saturday November 16, 2013

A go hothouse sprang up in Letchworth Garden City, UK the weekend of November 8-10, when 14 of the UK’s strongest and most promising players congregated at the home of Letchworth Go Club organizers Simon and Alison Bexfield (see New Go Club Blooms in UK’s Garden City, EJ 4/5) for an intensive weekend honing their go skills under the guidance of  Juan Guo 5P. Juan, famous for her Internet Go School and a frequent attendee at US Go Congresses, flew in from her home in Holland to be there.

Co-host and participant Alison Bexfield 2d (pictured, right of center) described the event as “inspirational”, explaining that “the weekend was one of a series run by the British Go Association over the past few years to encourage the development of the leading UK players.” The program was developed by British Pair Go Champion Kirsty Healey who also organizes the weekends, which are aimed at increasing the number of players with a European Rating (GoR) over 2400. Invited attendees had to be rated over 2100 or meet other criteria such as being young and rapidly improving players.

The format was a mix of formal teaching from Juan on particular openings, interspersed with games and reviews of those games. Intensifying the complete absorption in go, many slept at the Bexfields’ or in nearby accomodation and the event was catered throughout by Simon Bexfield.

Participant Tim Hunt 2d (pictured, center), a senior IT developer at the Open University, told the EJ: “The event was excellent, as usual. Guo Juan is a fantastic teacher. The Bexfields are wonderful hosts.”

Check out Juan’s Facebook page for more photos.

Report by Tony Collman, British correspondent for the EJ. Photo by Juan Guo; (L-R) Matthew MacFadyen 6d, Richard Hunter 3d, Tim Hunt 2d, Alison Bexfield 2d, Matt Scott 2d.

 

The Power Report (Part 2): Precise Counting At The Spicy Noodles Cup; Yuki Satoshi Breaks Losing Streak To Win Seat In New Meijin League; Kyo Wins Nakano Cup; Globis To Sponsor New International Tournament:

Saturday November 16, 2013

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal

Precise Counting At The Spicy Noodles Cup: According to an article on the fourth game of the Nong Shim Spicy Noodles Cup (full details of the opening round given in my previous report), there was some precise counting going on. At the end of the game, Fan Tingyu (right), who had won three games in a row, and Kang Tongyun were engaged in a half-point ko fight. Fan calculated that he had one fewer ko threat and that losing the ko would lose the game by half a point, so he resigned. If the game had continued, four ko threats (and replies) and four ko captures were the only moves remaining, apart from filling a few dame points, so the game was very close to being finished anyway, but Fan decided not to waste further time. Apparently it’s not unusual for Chinese players to resign half-point losses, but that shows a lot of confidence in your counting. photo courtesy EGC2014

Yuki Satoshi Breaks Losing Streak To Win Seat In New Meijin League: Yuki Satoshi (left) had a horrible time in the last two Meijin Leagues, losing sixteen games in a row (the losing streak actually started three leagues ago), but he ended his bad run with wins in the last two rounds of the 38th league. Nothing daunted, Yuki will be back to try his luck again in the upcoming 39th league. In the play-off for a seat, held on October 31, he defeated Cho Sonjin 9P (W) by resignation. This will be his fifth Meijin league in a row. The other two play-offs were held on November 7. Ko Iso 8P (B) defeated Ichiriki Ryo 3P by 3.5 points and Ryu Shikun 9P (B) beat Nakano Hironari 9P by 6.5 points.

Kyo Wins Nakano Cup: The Nakano Cup is a privately sponsored tournament founded by the late Nakano Koji. Although he died in 2004, he had made financial provision to keep the tournament going. The 10th Cup was won by 15-year-old Kyo Kagen 1-dan, a Taiwanese player who became a professional earlier this year.

Globis To Sponsor New International Tournament: Globis, a Japanese corporation that specializes in education and training for business, has founded a new international tournament for young players. It will be for players under 20 and will get under way next spring and have a first prize of three million yen. Sixteen players will take part: six from Japan, three each from Korea and China, and one each from Chinese Taipei, Europe, North America, and Oceania.

Categories: Japan,John Power Report
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Bozulich Demands Recount In NYC Comptroller Race

Saturday November 16, 2013

“I am demanding a recount!” Richard Bozulich tells the E-Journal after his bid for New York City Comptroller came up short last week. With his 1,124 votes lagging even the 5th-place candidate, however — and well behind winner Scott Stringer’s 782,703 votes — the longtime go writer’s chances look vanishingly slim. Bozulich was nominated by the Personal Freedom Party to be its candidate for Comptroller after the party was notified that Kristin Davis, its original nominee, was ineligible (Richard Bozulich Reportedly Throws Hat Into New York Comptroller Race 7/17 EJ). “It would be fantastic for go in New York and around the world if I became comptroller,” said the undeterred Bozulich, who turned up at the recent Cotsen Open. “With $111 billion in pension funds to play with, go would become the most popular game in the world.” photo: Bozulich (at left), glimpsed at the recent Cotsen Open in Los Angeles, talking to AGA President Andy Okun; photo by Chris Garlock

Categories: U.S./North America
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LA Go Clubs Demo Go at Expo

Tuesday November 12, 2013

Pasadena’s Yu Go Club — with support from other area clubs — participated in Pacific Media Expo’s three-day expo in the LAX Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles last weekend. “People who had never seen the game were introduced to it, learned the rules and enjoyed playing against other beginners,” reports Joe Walters. Yu Go Club members Ross Secrest, Greg Kulavich, Jiaying “Jerry” Shen, and Walters were assisted by Samantha Davis of the Santa Monica Go club and Jermelle MacCleod of the Woodland Hills Go club. The Yu Go Club is sponsored by Reiyukai America. photo by Joe Walters

Categories: U.S./North America
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Once Again, Naoyuki Sweeps Bay Area Go Tournament

Monday November 11, 2013

Bay Area Go Players Association held its Fall Go Tournament November 2nd in Berkeley, CA. Thirty nine players gathered for four rounds of play, free pizza, and a lunchtime discussion of go problems led by Matthew Burrall 7d. For the second tournament in a row, Naoyuki Kai 7d (AGA rating 8.61) (in photo at right) led the top division with a 4-0 record.

“This time we added a fourth division so that more players would win prizes,” reports organizer Roger Schrag. While the top division had a strong field including Naoyuki, Redmond Cup winner Aaron Ye 6d, and USYGC winner Jeremy Chiu 5d, all strengths were well represented. Half a dozen high school students from Monta Vista High School in Cupertino came out to play, most of them in the 20 to 25 kyu range. In all, six kids and four adults joined the AGA at the tournament.

Bay Area Go’s Winter Tournament is scheduled for Saturday, February 22nd, 2014, again in Berkeley. Details will be posted soon at www.bayareago.org.

Winners report: First Division: 1st: Naoyuki Kai 7d (AGA rating 8.61). 2nd: Aaron Ye 6d. 3rd: Wei Cheng 6d. Second Division: 1st: Jay Chan 1d. 2nd: Marshall Quander 2d. 3rd: Yin Luo 3d. Third Division: 1st: Peter Pan 1k. 2nd: Yuanjie Chen 1k. 3rd: Julie Burrall 4k. Fourth Division: 1st: Rena Katz 16k. 2nd: Thomas Rike 6k. 3rd: Ben Matthews 7k.

Photo by Ernest Brown.

Categories: U.S./North America
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The Power Report (Part 1): Honinbo League’s Second Round Nearly Completed; Xie Catches Up In Women’s Honinbo Title Match; Big Week Coming Up; Three Promotions And A Retirement

Monday November 11, 2013

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal

Honinbo League’s Second Round Nearly Completed: The first round of the 69th Honinbo League was completed on the last day of its specified month of October. In the fourth game, Cho U 9P (B) defeated Sakai Hideyuki 8P by resignation. Three of the four games in the second round were played on November 6. Yamashita Keigo 9P (B) beat Cho U by resig.; Takao Shinji 9P (B) beat Sakai Hideyuki by resig. and Kono Rin 9P (B) beat Yo Seiki 7P by resig. Yamashita and Kono lead the league with two wins each. Takao and Cho are 1-1; Ida Atsushi 7P is 1-0; Yuki Satoshi 9P is 0-1; and Yo and Sakai are both 0-2. When he set a new record by winning a place in the league at the age of 18, Yo Seiki (right) was hailed as a coming star, but he has had a tough initiation into top-level play.

Xie Catches Up In Women’s Honinbo Title Match: In the fourth game of the 32nd Women’s Honinbo title match, Xie Yimin faced a kadoban (a game that might lose a series) for the first time ever in this title. Xie had black and played steadily, forcing the challenger Mukai Chiaki to resign after 189 moves. That means that the title will be decided in the fifth game on November 27.

Big Week Coming Up: There are some big games coming up this week. In the third round of the LG Cup, scheduled for November 11, Iyama Yuta will play Chen Yaoye of China and Takao Shinji will meet Tuo Jiaxi, also of China. The semifinals follow on the 14th. Back in Japan, the play-off to decide the Kisei challenger, between Yamashita Keigo and Murakawa Daisuke, will be held on the 14th.

Three Promotions And A Retirement: A win by forfeit on October 31 secured Kato Tomoko a promotion to 6-dan with 90 wins as a 5-dan. The promotion took effect the following day. Born in 1969, Kato won the Women’s Honinbo in 1992, the Women’s Meijin in 1995, the Women’s Strongest Player in 2000, and the Women’s Kakusei in 2001. Wins on November 7 earned Fujita Akihiko a promotion to 4 dans (after 50 wins) and Takeda Yoshinori a promotion to 2-dan (after 30 wins). Both promotions took effect on November 8. Kawamoto Noboru 9P, born in 1941, retired as of October 31. He was a disciple of Masubuchi Tatsuko 8P, became 1-dan in 1961 and 9-dan in 1989. He won the 8-dan section of the 9th Kisei tournament in 1984.
Tomorrow: Precise Counting At The Spicy Noodles Cup; Yuki Satoshi Breaks Losing Streak To Win Seat In New Meijin League; Kyo Wins Nakano Cup; Globis To Sponsor New International Tournament 

Categories: Japan,John Power Report
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China vs Korea: Tang Weixing to Play Lee Sedol in 2013 Samsung Cup Final

Sunday November 10, 2013

Tang Weixing secured his place in the 2013 Samsung Cup Final when he defeated Shi Yue 9p in Daejeon, Korea on November 7. Though he lost his first match, Tang’s keen eye and perseverance through games two and three led him to victory. Meanwhile, Lee Sedol 9p (left) had a similar journey on his route to the final. Korean fans worried when a misread in his first match caused Lee to surrender to opponent Wu Guangya 6p. However, he quickly recovered and sailed through games two and three.

The finals will be held December 9-12 in Suzhou, China and broadcast live on Baduk TV. Defending champion Lee will be going for his fifth Samsung Cup title while Tang will be making his international debut. If Tang wins, China will close the year as winner of all the 2013 major international tournaments. Will Lee’s veteran status be enough to carry the flag for Korea? Tune in to find out!

For more information on the 2013 Samsung Cup semifinals including photos, game records, and post-game interviews, please visit Go Game Guru.
- Annalia Linnan, based on a longer article on Go Game Guru; photo courtesy of Go Game Guru