The European Go Federation has signed a far-reaching and lucrative contract with a group of Chinese investors to promote go in Europe. The deal aims to improve the strength of European amateurs, establish a professional system in Europe and support the European Go Federation, all to achieve the overall goals of enhancing go’s popularity in Europe, as well as developing new cultural contacts between Europe and China. “I think the AGA and EGF efforts will complement each other in a number of ways and give both organizations an even more forceful story to tell to potential sponsors,” said American Go Association President Andy Okun. “EGF President Martin Stiassny deserves a lot of credit for almost single-handedly bringing about this contract,” added Thomas Hsiang, the longtime International Go Federation and American Go Association official who was elected General Secretary of the International Mind Sports Association (IMSA) earlier this year. “I congratulate him on a job well done. There is a lot of hard work ahead, but with the efforts in Europe as well as in US, the future of go in the West looks bright and promising.” The investor group is known as the Beijing Zong Yi Yuan Cheng Culture Communication Co. Ltd. (called CEGO), and is comprised of investors who “believe on the future development of European Go and are willing to commit themselves to promote Go, a great representative of Chinese traditional culture, in the West,” according to the document. In addition to a “Go Academic System” that will send 4-6 players annually to study in China, the contract envisions a new professional go system in Europe in which the EGF will certify up to two players annually as “European Professionals” through new European top tournaments, including a yearly promotion tournament for the aspiring professionals. In addition to financial support for these initiatives, the contract pledges CEGO to contribute yearly payments to enable the EGF to become a “more professional organisation” – including setting up an office and hiring staff – in order to develop and implement these and other goals over the next decade. News of the contract, which was posted on the BGA website, originally broke on Lifein19x19, where there’s been extensive discussion of the deal.
American Go E-Journal
Friday July 5, 2013
Friday July 5, 2013
The first-ever official go-poker tournament is being held this week at the 16th annual Russian Go Congress in Saint Petersburg. Also known as “Dango,” the go variant is well-known in Europe, where it’s played by top players like Matthew Macfadyen and Alexander Dinerchtein 3P. At the beginning of the game each player has 36 cards that can be either go shapes or “action cards” (placing or removing stones, pass etc). Opponents alternate turns, taking a card and “playing” it on the board. Unlike go, Dango introduces a significant measure of luck and randomness but proponents say “it is not on any account a foolish game,” noting that go-poker “requires memorizing, counting and tactical skills.” The entertainment factor for players and viewers lies in the unexpected twists that can turn the whole game upside down after each move. The go-poker tournament at the Russian Go Congress is being held in the evenings after the major regular competitions. Alexander Dinerchtein 3P, who’s a fan of Dango, is participating, providing amateurs with perhaps their best chance to best a professional go player.
- reported by Daria Koshkina, Russian correspondent for the E-Journal; photo credits: cards photo from dango.pro; players photo by Alexey Kozhunkov
Tuesday July 2, 2013
The 16th Russian Go Congress got off to an exciting start in Saint Petersburg on June 29th and 30th when 18-year-old Mikhail Svyatlovsky, a shodan from Moscow, won the Valery Astashkin Memorial Tournament. The traditional first tournament of the congress is held in honor of Valery Astashkin (1945-2008), the “Father” of modern Russian go. Astashkin (right) and Georgy Nilov were the first to spread and promote go in Russia in the 1970s. Together they published a series of introductory teaching articles in “Nauka i Zhizn” (Science and Life, a very popular Soviet/Russian magazine of the time) that produced hundreds of new players, clubs and tournaments. In 1977, Astashkin initiated the first USSR Go Championship and in 1989 he became the first president of the new USSR Go Federation.
This year’s Valery Astashkin Memorial Tournament attracted 55 players ranging in strength from 5-dan to 20-kyu. Its distinctive feature is a full handicap system, making it especially enjoyable and appreciated by kyu players who get a chance to take on stronger players as well as high dans who can practice their fighting skills. Three young aspiring Russian players topped this year’s event. In addition to winner Mikhail Svyatlovsky, who had already shone in several local and youth competitions, Anton Radyushkin 8k from St Petersburg came in 2nd and in 3rd place was Kim Shahov, a 5-kyu from Moscow who is just 11 years old.
The Congress, which attracts hundreds of players from all parts of the big country, as well as foreign guests, runs through July 7th and includes several go tournaments, including the Russian Team Championship and annual Russian Cup.
- reported by Daria Koshkina, Russian Correspondent for the E-Journal. Photo credits: Astashkin photo from Astashkin family archive; Svyatlovsky photo by Alexey Kozhunkov. Click here for tourney results (in Russian, not yet submitted to EGD).
Tuesday July 2, 2013
Super-Go Tournaments between professionals from China and Japan were quite popular back in the 1980s. The legendary Nie Weiping earned his nickname as the “Iron Goalkeeper” when, as China’s last remaining player in the first three Super-Go events, he defeated all the remaining Japanese players, a sequence of 11 consecutive wins. This year France and Germany are attempting to rekindle this national excitement with the Élysée Cup, a friendly online team tournament occasioned by the “année franco-allemande/Deutsch-französisches Jahr” celebrating the French-German friendship. Organized by the French Go Federation and the German Go Federation, the tournament — played on KGS — follows the model of the previous Super-Go tournaments, with each country fielding teams comprised of eight top players each. The two lowest-ranked players begin, with the winner continuing to play the next strongest opponent from the other team until there are no more opponents left. If the last player of a team is defeated it has lost the tournament. In addition to national bragging rights, the winning team will collect 200 Euro. France’s Toru Imamura scored the first win on June 29, defeating Jun Tarumi by resignation; His next opponent will be Lukas Kraemer on a date to be determined. The French team includes Motoki Noguchi 7d, Thomas Debarre 6d, Rémi Campagnie 6d, Benjamin Papazoglou 5d, Tanguy Le Calvé 5d, Antoine Fenech 5d, Frédéric Donzet 5d, Toru Imamura 4d and Benjamin Dréan-Guénaizia 5d (Substitute Player). The German team includes Pei Zhao 6d, Jin Zou 6d, Benjamin Teuber 6d, Franz-Josef Dickhut 6d, Christoph Gerlach 6d, Johannes Obenaus 5d, Lukas Kraemer 5d, Jun Tarumi 5d and Yi Zhang 5 Dan (Substitute Player).
- Jan Engelhardt, German correspondent for the E-Journal
Monday July 1, 2013
Richard Moseson 5k has been chosen as the American Go Foundation’s Teacher of the Year, winning a free trip to the US Go Congress in Tacoma, where he will be honored at the final awards banquet. “The most satisfying thing about introducing go to young kids has been seeing many of them become totally involved in the game, and eventually zipping past me in playing strength,” Moseson told the E-Journal. Moseson started the go club at Manlius Pebble Hill (MPH), in Manlius NY, when his two sons were both students at the school, in 2003, and has continued ever since. “At various times I’ve also run short eight-week sessions for students in the first grade and third grade classes, and we’ve had some of those students eagerly join the club when they reached middle school age,” Moseson reports. “I’m also running a club with Chinese elementary school age kids, at a ‘Chinese young adult ministry’ that meets every Friday evening for dinner and bible study. I meet with the kids for an hour before dinner.
“We had five students from our two clubs play in the annual Salt City Go Tournament last month (one of them won the C Division with a 4-0 record and another won three games and finished in third place). I have most of the students at both clubs playing on KGS now. We had two three-person teams from MPH participate in this year’s AGHS School Team Tournament, and they both finished with respectable 2-2 records. Some of the kids have come to play at some of the Syracuse Go Club weekly meetings as well. Membership at MPH has waxed and waned (our high has been 15 students), but I’ve had the satisfaction of seeing three of my students head off to college stronger than I am,” adds Moseson.
In addition to his current clubs, Moseson has run programs at other schools in the past, and has been active in the Syracuse go community. He has also served as an AGF Mentor for several years, helping new go programs across the nation with advice, support, and resources, via e-mail. “The AGF board faced a very tough decision this year,” reports President Terry Benson, “with four extremely strong candidates, each of whom fully deserved the award. Fortunately, we choose a new teacher every year, and the other candidates will all have a chance again next year.” -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photos by Richard Moseson: Upper left: Moseson; center: at the MPH club; bottom: at the Chinese Young Adult Ministry.
Monday July 1, 2013
A go presentation and tournament will be part of the Las Vegas Mind Sports Festival at the Venetian/Palazzo this coming weekend, according to AGA President Andy Okun. The three-day event will also feature chess, mahjongg, Magic: The Gathering and Scrabble. This Friday, July 5, Okun will give a short presentation/lesson about go, followed by a 9×9 and/or blitz tournament, depending on attendance. On Saturday, July 6, at 11 a.m., a three-round AGA-rated tournament will be held in conjunction with the Las Vegas Go Club. Players interested in participating should send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Power Report: Iyama One Win Away From Defending Honinbo Title; Iyama Wins 25th TV Asia Cup, Secures Japan Its First International Title In Eight Years; 38th Kisei Leagues Update; Japan Eliminated From Asian Indoor And Martial Arts Games
Monday July 1, 2013
by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the American Go E-Journal
Iyama One Win Away From Defending Honinbo Title: The fifth game of the 68th Honinbo title match was held at the Hotel Hankyu Expo Park in Suita City on June 24 and 25. This was another irregular Monday/Tuesday game because of the hectic schedules of both players (Wednesday/Thursday is usual for two-day games). Suita City is in Osaka Prefecture, the home ground of Iyama, so the overwhelming majority of the fans who attended the party on the eve of the game were rooting for him. Takao was unfazed, however. In his speech, he commented that he now understood the feelings of his favourite baseball team, the Chiba Lotte Marines (from the prefecture to the east of Tokyo), when they were playing the Osaka-based Hanshin Tigers on their home ground. His humor may not have converted the fans but it won him generous applause. In reply, Iyama apologized for his inability to think of anything witty to say despite being an Osakan (natives of Osaka are known for their wit and dominate the ranks of comedians in Japan) and said he would make his statement on the go board. As it turned out, Iyama was as good as his word. After a fierce struggle featuring a series of kos, he took advantage of a hallucination by Takao in a capturing race involving yet another ko and took the lead in the ensuing trade (not the first in the game). Takao fought on valiantly, but had to resign after 242 moves. Having taken a 3-2 lead, Iyama has two chances to pick up the win that will complete his first successful Honinbo defense. He had made a good start to the week, but there was even better to come.
Iyama Wins 25th TV Asia Cup, Secures Japan Its First International Title In Eight Years: Japan’s last victory in an individual world title came in the 17th TV Asia tournament when Cho U won the final on June 17, 2005. That was a good year for Japan, as Cho had also won the 9th LG Cup on April 20, and the Japanese team won the Nong Shim Cup team tournament, which started in the autumn of 2005 and concluded on February 24, 2006. Since then, however, Japanese fans have suffered so many disappointments that they have scaled back their expectations on the international scene. However, that may be changing with the founding of the national team, known as Go Go Japan. Everyone admits that Japan lacks the depth of China and Korea, especially among the younger generation of players, but things have started to look up with the success of Takao and Iyama in the opening rounds of the current LG Cup. Iyama has followed up his success there with an outstanding performance in the 25th TV Asia tournament, which this year was hosted by Japan and staged at the Hotel New Otani in Tokyo on the last three days of June. Japan’s representatives this year were Yuki Satoshi and Iyama, who took first and second places respectively in this year’s NHK Cup. Both of them won their first-round games, but Yuki was eliminated in the semifinal by Pak Cheong-hwan (or Jong-hwan), a 20-year-old Korean who has established himself as the world’s number one over the last two or three years. He was outplayed by Iyama in the final, however, and had to resign after 198 moves. This gives Iyama his first international title (not counting an invitational tournament he won in China May 2001; the games are given in Go World 126). However, Japanese fans will be expecting a lot more from him.
- photo courtesy Go Game Guru, which also has a report on the tournament.
Round 1 (June 28). Yuki Satoshi 9P (Japan) (W) defeated Jiang Weijie 9P (China) by 2.5 points; Iyama Yuta 9P (Japan) (W) d. Yi Ch’ang-ho 9P (Korea) by resig.; Wang Xi 9P (China) (W) d. Yi Se-tol 9P (Korea) by resig.
Semifinals (June 29). Pak Cheong-hwan 9P (Korea) (W) d. Yuki by 5.5 points; Iyama (W) d. Wang by resig.
Final (June 30). Iyama (W) d. Pak by resig.
Incidentally, White won all games in this tournament, which is a little unusual. Note that Yi Se-tol took part as a substitute for Pak Hong-seok 9-dan of Korea. As the previous winner, he had a seeded place, but was unable to take part, as he is doing his military service.
38th Kisei Leagues Update: On June 27, three games were played in the Kisei leagues. In the A League, Yoda Norimoto 9P (W) defeated Yamashiro Hiroshi 9P by resignation. Yoda is now 1-1 and Yamashiro 0-2. In the B League, Murakawa Daisuke 7P (W) beat Hane Naoki 9P by resignation and Kono Rin 9P (W) beat Mizokami Tomochika 8P also by resignation. That made Murakawa, now on 2-0, the sole leader of the league, but it was for only one day. On June 28, there was a somewhat surprising result when Cho Chikun, 25th Honinbo, (W) defeated Takao Shinji 9P by half a point. This may sound a little disrespectful towards Cho, who is one of the all-time greats, but he is already 57, so one would have expected Takao to beat him. Takao doesn’t seem to have maintained the outstanding from he displayed in the LG Cup. (This game was played on a Friday, which is unusual, to give Takao more time to recover from the Honinbo game at the beginning of the week.) As a result, Cho joined Murakawa at the top of the B League.
Japan Eliminated From Asian Indoor And Martial Arts Games: The first five rounds of the individual men’s championship and the Pair Go in the 4th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games were held on June 30 and July 1 in Incheon City in Korea. In the former event, 22 players from 11 countries took part. Tsuruta Kazushi 2P scored 2 wins to 3 losses and Sada Atsushi 1P 3-2 in the Swiss System preliminary round (Sada beat Tsuruta in Round 5), but both were eliminated, as only the top four players qualify for the final round. In the Pair Go preliminary round, also a Swiss, the team of Okuda Aya 3P and Hirata Tomoya 3P scored 3-2, as did Rina Fujisawa 1P and Motoki Katsuya 2P. Both teams were eliminated. The final rounds of the above tournaments will be played on July 2.
Monday July 1, 2013
Loving Power: “I love the Power Report,” writes Keith Arnold, who also says that he remembers that Ms. Kitani Toshimi (“Promoted to 2 dan after 38 years” in 6/23 Power Report) “attended the second US Go Congress in 1986.”
Go Classifieds Work: “As a longtime AGA member, I have been blessed to learn so much from the community, and also to give back,” writes Lawrence Ku. “Busy with school the past few years and for many years to come, I decided to part with much of my large collection of go books, which have been collecting dust on my bookshelf, most of them read but still in great condition. With the help of the AGA’s reliable American Go E-Journal, I was able to post this list in the classified section and thus pass on to new owners the knowledge and enjoyment I have gained from over 100 books. If any of my fellow go players need to part with their books, equipment, or other go-related items that would benefit their peers’ study of the game, I strongly urge them to take advantage of the EJ’s classified section.”
Send your go classifieds – always free! – to us at email@example.com
Sunday June 30, 2013
Registration procedures for the 2013 SportAccord-Pandanet Cup Online Go Tournament have just been announced. Participants must be amateurs and may choose to enter one of four classes (“bands”): open, 4d-1k, 2k-7k, 8k-17k. Except in the Open class, players are required to have a registered and IGS-confirmed rank. In addition, players may choose one of three geographic regions to play their games. Registration starts now and ends on August 18. The preliminary rounds will be played August 22 through September 12. This tournament is supported by SportAccord and Pandanet and organized by the International Go Federation and Pandanet. It also concurrently serves as the 18th Pandanet Cup Internet World Amateur Go Tournament. Players may advance based on their results within their class and region. Generous prizes are provided by the sponsors, including a round trip to the Third Beijing SportAccord World Mind Games for the open champion. Further prizes are provided for regional and class winners. In addition, anyone who finishes six or more games in the preliminary rounds is eligible for lottery prizes provided by SportAccord. In 2012 these prizes included an iPad, Swatches and cameras, and comparable prizes will be offered in 2013. Click here for details and registration forms.
- Thomas Hsiang
Sunday June 30, 2013
In “Turing’s Cathedral“, author George Dyson’s description of Princeton’s Fuld Hall – where the Institute for Advanced Studies was to be housed – includes this line on page 90: ‘ A chessboard (and later a Go board, favoured by Oppenheimer’s young particle physicists) sat near the windows overlooking the Institute Woods.” Dyson’s account reveals how the digital universe exploded in the aftermath of World War II, illuminating the nature of digital computers, the lives of those who brought them into existence, and how code took over the world.
- None Redmond