American Go E-Journal

WAGC Game Report: Round 6

Tuesday May 15, 2012

In Round 6, Tuesday’s afternoon round, China’s Qiao Zhijian (below right) immediately launched into the same Dosaku opening that he had used successfully in the morning round, once again playing his initial moves in less than one second each. The game took a similar course, with black (Qiao) securing considerable territory while white (Korea’s Lee Hyunjoon, at left) constructed a framework, inside which he tried to destroy an invading black group. At one point it looked as if he had a fair chance of catching the invaders, but running wild inside opponents’ frameworks seems to be Qiao’s specialty, and as in his morning game, he successfully brought his invaders to safety. Lee resolutely switched strategies and tried to win on territory, but this appeared difficult. Toward the end of the game Lee started a ko on the lower edge, but by this time all the black stones were connected into a single group, and white didn’t have enough ko threats. Qiao won the ko, started another (indirect) ko that eventually Lee had to win to avoid losing the top left corner, and won the game by 2.5 points.

Serbia’s Mijodrag Stankovic needed less than 40 minutes to dispose of Australia’s David Bofinger (right). ‘Against a 5-dan opponent I chose to fight,’ said 2-dan David, ‘but it was the wrong fight to choose.’ The players from Chinese Taipei, DPR Korea, Japan, and Hong Kong successfully overcame opponents from Germany, the U.S. Belarus, and Singapore. DPR Korea’s Ri Kwang-Hyok will be the next to try to defeat Qiao Zhijian Wednesday morning. The low-teen duo from Chinese Taipei and Hong Kong are also in the five-win band, which means they are still in contention for the championship; they will play each other in Round 7. Another player in this band is Hungary’s Pal Balogh, who used the avalanche joseki to defeat Slovakia’s Pavol Lisy in Round 6, and will face the Korean Lee in Round 7.

In other notable results, Vietnam’s Do Kanh-Binh (left) defeated Alexander Eerbeek, who said ‘I played like a 10-kyu.’ In a match between two players who reside in Canada, French seed Remi Campagnie downed Canadian representative Xianyu Li. In games matching Europeans against Latin American opponents, Italy’s Carlo Metta, Switzerland’s Felicien Mazille, and Argentina’s Eduardo Lopez picked up their third wins by defeating Costa Rica’s Luis Cajiao, Colombia’s Carlos Acuno, and Austria’s Lothar Spiegel, while Ireland’s Colin MacSweeney (right) picked up his second win by beating Brazil’s Nadeen Prem. And most notable of all, Fang Xiaoyan made this a perfect day for China by defeating Mongolia’s Bayarjargal Shartolgoi.
- adapted from James Davies’ report on Ranka Online; click here for latest results and Round 6 online game records.

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2012 WAGC Round 6 Game Records

Tuesday May 15, 2012

Korea-China (Commentary by So Yokoku 8P); Singapore-HongKong; US-DPRK; Germany-Taipei (Commentary by Yang Shuang 3P)
As always, China’s Qiao Zhijian was in his seat ten minutes early. This time, he used those ten minutes to take a short post-prandial nap, while in the facing chair Korea’s Lee Hyunjoon carefully positioned his belongings and then passed the time by looking around the playing area…click here for the complete Ranka Online Round 6 report.

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2012 WAGC Round 5 Game Records

Tuesday May 15, 2012

DPRK-Korea (Commentary by So Yokoku 8P)UK-US (Commentary by So Yokoku 8P); Taipei-China (commentary by Yang  Shuang 3P); Czechia-Japan
On Board 2, China’s Qiao Zhijian chose a variation of the Dosaku opening and played his first ten moves in less than one second each, quickly constructing a huge black framework in the bottom half of the board…Click here for Ranka Online’s complete Round 5 report

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WAGC Short Takes: Yuan Zhou on Tygem & the U.S. Pro System; Nihon Ki-in Teams up with Cho U on New Go App; In the Gardens of the Guangzhou Chess Institute; A Glimpse of James Davies

Tuesday May 15, 2012

Yuan Zhou on Tygem & the U.S. Pro System: Yuan Zhou 7d warmed up for his World Amateur Go Championship appearance by playing on the Tygem server, where he told the E-Journal that “It was very easy and fast to get good games.” Heading into his fifth-round game against the UK’s Samuel Aitkin 4d, Zhou said he was pleased with his 3-1 record thus far, noting that his fourth-round win against Seizoh Nakazono 8d was the first time in WAGC history that the US had prevailed over Japan. He’s excited about the new American pro system now in development and looking forward to competing in the pro qualifier at the Maryland Open at the end of the month. “It’s so important for the future of American go,” Zhou said, “it will give hope to young American players that a go career is possible.”

Nihon Ki-in Teams up with Cho U on New Go App: Colorful cats, dogs and frogs danced on Taro Matsuo’s iPad as the Go World editor enthusiastically showed off the Nihon Kiin’s playful go app developed with top pro Cho U 9P. The new app features cute cartoon animals that guide a beginner through learning the fundamentals of go in a “fun and accessible way,” Matsuo said. Now available in the iTunes app store in Japanese (search for Nihon Ki-in or go), the hope is to release an English-language version later this year. The app joins other Nihon Ki-in apps including its tsume-go (life and death) app; IgoFree, for playing go in-person on an iPad, and e-publications including Go World, Go Weekly (featuring playable game records), and more than ten go books, “with two more due out next month,” Matsuo says proudly.

In the Gardens of the Guangzhou Chess Institute: Clouds of dragonflies flitted above us as we took in the view from the garden atop the Guangzhou Chess Institute. A waterfall burbled merrily nearby, giving a measure of relief from the oppressive heat. Built for the 2010 edition of the Asian Games, the Institute is a spectacular venue for go, chess and Chinese Chess events near scenic Baiyun Mountain, and includes two major playing halls, rooms for players and officials to stay in, and study rooms, as well as lush gardens and an impressive museum dedicated to the three games. The museum celebrates the Chinese origins of go, and the key figures in that history, from Ming emperor Yao, who legend says had it invented for his son, to Wu Qingyuan, known to the west as Go Seigen, the prodigy who triumphed so spectacularly in Japan, became one of the best players of all time and, with Kitani Minoru, broke away from the traditional opening patterns to develop modern go. Other Chinese go giants like Chen Zude, Nie Weiping and Gu Li are also highlighted, although all the museum text is in Chinese, leaving the western vistor to puzzle out things like the player’s names on the historical games on the walls (shown here by So Yokoku 8P). An exhibition of English-language panels covering much the same material were produced for the WAGC main playing area and perhaps will be displayed in the museum. The exhibits of boards, pieces and carved wood panels in the cool and shadowy museum are inviting in Guangzhou’s heat, but so too are the whisper of the breeze in the bamboo and rustle of the twisted pines in the Institute’s gardens, as the player’s stones click steadily along like cicadas in the trees.

A Glimpse of James Davies: James Davies does not flaunt his encyclopedic knowledge of the game of go, its history and players. It’s not his style. The author of elegant Ishi classics like An Introduction to GO, 38 Basic Joseki and Attack and Defense, who’s covering the WAGC for Ranka Online, Davies drifts about the playing area, seemingly aimlessly, keenly watching and listening, jotting down the occasional note, asking a quiet question or two of players exiting the playing area. Over six feet tall with a perfectly-trimmed bushy mustache that hides his expression but not the hint of a twinkle in his eyes, and always impeccably attired in a sports coat regardless of the oppressive heat, Davies’ comprehensive round-by-round reports and provide a keen eye for the telling detail, the way one player places his stones, the demeanor of another, the positional status of each game Davies turns his attention to. In another life, perhaps, the Baltimore native might have been a sportcaster, the kind with the true fan’s appreciation of the game and a gift for the sharp-eyed observation, dryly delivered.

- Chris Garlock; photos by John Pinkerton

WAGC Game Report: Round 5

Tuesday May 15, 2012

Tuesday, May 15: On Board 2, China’s Qiao Zhijian chose a variation of the Dosaku opening and played his first ten moves in less than one second each, quickly constructing a huge black framework in the bottom half of the board…There were fewer fireworks on Board 1, but after a good opening and a bad middle game, Korea’s Hyunjoon Lee outplayed DPRK’s Ri Kwang Hyok in the endgame and then won the final one-point ko to prevail by 2.5 points…On Board 7, Samuel Aitken (UK, at right ) used his fifth move to make a three-space extension from the third line to the second line, a new pattern that has been appearing in professional games. He and Yuan Zhou (US) battled it out for the next two and a half hours, but in the end Aitken resigned…On Board 9, Lukas Podpera (Chechia) and Japan’s Nakazono Seizo also battled it out for two and a half hours, but today Nakazono’s Japanese supporters had the satisfaction of seeing Japan’s amateur Honinbo score a convincing win in the longest game of the round. The fastest was the game between Mongolia and Portugal, over in less than an hour and described as ‘an easy win’ by Portugal’s Daniel Tome. The most dramatic involved the players from Romania and Singapore: “I had the game in my pocket for at least 90% of the time,’ said Romania’s Cornel Burzo after it ended, ‘but with the clock counting the time, I got stressed and tried to shorten the process by killing a group. The moment after I played the stone I realized it was a catastrophic mistake. I went from something like a hundred points ahead to a hundred points behind.” Click here for the complete report on Round 5. Click here for Round 5 game records, including Taipei-China (commentary by YangShuang 3P); Czechia-Japan; DPRK-Korea; UK-US.
- adapted from James Davies’ Ranka Online report; photo by John Pinkerton

WAGC Go Players on Destiny, Predicting the Weather and Managing a Disco Bar

Tuesday May 15, 2012

One of just two women players at this year’s World Amateur Go Championship, Chile’s Leslie Perez (top left) says it was “destiny” that she learned to play go, taught by a classmate at university in Valparaiso where she was studying for her bachelor’s degree in computer science. She’s playing at 4k at the WAGC but had reached 1k on KGS a few years ago before her studies cut back her playing time. She’s now studying for a Ph.D in Belgium, “but I’m still playing go” she tells James Davies in a Ranka Online interview. In other interviews, Norway’s Pal Sannes (bottom right) reveals that he works for the Norwegian Meteorological Institute, predicting the weather…Yuan Zhou (US, top middle) talks about being “quite pleased” about losing to his student Josh Lee…Malaysia’s Zaid Waqi (bottom left) discusses developments in Malaysian go…Kerem Karaerkek (Turkey, top right) talks about his work as a mountain guide, guitarist and disco bar manager…Japan’s Nakazono Seizo (bottom middle) says that his go salon’s 6-point komi, permitting drawn games, “works fine.”
- adapted from James Davies’ report on Ranka Online; photos/collage by John Pinkerton

2012 WAGC Round 4 Game Records

Tuesday May 15, 2012

US-Japan (Commentary by So Yokoku 8P); HongKong-China (Commentary by So Yokoku 8P); Czechia-Taipei (Uncommented)
With all players present except the still missing Moroccan, the afternoon round started a few minutes early…Click here for Ranka Online’s report.   

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2012 WAGC Round 3 Game Records

Tuesday May 15, 2012

China-Macau (Commentary by Yang Shuang 3P); DPRKorea-Austria; Japan-Korea; Slovakia-Romania
Fifteen minutes before the start of Round 3 on May 13, Qiao Zhijian, the main Chinese contestant, was already seated at his board…Click here for Ranka Online’s report on the round. 

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This Week’s Go Calendar: Seattle

Monday May 14, 2012

May 20: Seattle, WA
Iwamoto Youth 19×19 Tournament
Brian Allen manager@seattlego.org 206.545.1424

Get the very latest tournament information.

Categories: Calendar
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U.S. Beats Japan in Controversial 4th-Round WAGC Game

Monday May 14, 2012

The fourth-round contest between the US and Japan turned into a controversial and dramatic slugfest involving a series of severe attacks, both players in overtime, a key losing move in the late middle-game, a ko fight with both players in their last period of overtime and a sudden loss by Japan on time, complicated by a clock dispute that went all the way up to the tournament’s chief referee. See So Yokoku 8P’s commentary on the game to see what all the excitement was about. Click here for Ranka Online’s complete reports on Rounds 3 and 4 (including a more detailed report  on the US-Japan game), here for the latest results and here for Round 3 game records and Round 4 game records.
- Chris Garlock; photo: Nakazono (left), referees Liu and Sun (center) and Zhou; photo by John Pinkerton

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