American Go E-Journal

2010′s Top 20 Professional Go Players

Saturday May 12, 2012

For those of you who like to follow the professional go scene, An Younggil 8P (r) recently finished writing a year-long series of articles for GoGameGuru profiling the top 20 professional go players of 2010. Throughout the series, Younggil goes well beyond the usual historical details to write about players’ personalities and go styles, as well as recounting his own meetings with many of them. Younggil’s intention was to introduce his professional colleagues to a Western audience as humans, rather than just pro go players. He also shares many insights into the life of a professional go player and the go scene in Korea. It makes fascinating reading for any serious go fan.
The full list of bios includes: Lee SedolKong JiePark JunghwanChoi CheolhanKang DongyunHeo YounghoGu LiXie HeWon SeongjinLi ZheZhou RuiyangTuo JiaxiLee ChanghoQiu JunKim JiseokWang XiCho HanseungChen YaoyePark Younghun and Lee Younggu.

photo: Kong Jie (left) and Lee Sedol play in the final of the 23rd Fujitsu Cup (2010). 

2012 WAGC Readies for Launch in Guangzhou

Friday May 11, 2012

To a casual passerby it was just a couple of guys playing go on a Friday night. But this was the Friday night before the 2012 World Amateur Go Championship (WAGC) in Guangzhou, China, and the go players were Hideo Otake 9P (right), Chairman of the Nihon Kiin Board of Directors and IGF President Zhenming Chang (left), Vice Chairman and President of the CITIC Group, a major Chinese firm dealing in finance, real estate, resource development, manufacturing and telecommunications. The two sat down for a quiet game in the lounge on the 30th floor of the Baiyung Hotel, where players from around the world continued to arrive and check in for the 33rd annual event, which begins Sunday and features players from 64 countries in an 8-round championship to determine the top amateur player. Click here for the list of players and here — Warming Up for Guangzhou — for Ranka Online’s report on how some of the WAGC contestants have been taking advantage of the extensive slate of European tournaments to get into shape for this tournament.
- Chris Garlock; photo by John Pinkerton

Lee Sedol Wins GS Caltex Cup; Chen Yaoye Holds Tianyuan; BC Card Cup Finals Begin

Thursday May 10, 2012

May isn’t just a big month for US go players. The temperature is rising on the international go scene too. On May 4, Chen Yaoye 9P defended his Chinese Tianyuan (Tengen) title against up-and-coming player, Zhou Hexi 4P. Zhou faced off a strong field to top the 26th Tianyuan qualifiers for the second year in a row, but once again fell to Chen, who has now held the Tianyuan for four consecutive years. Meanwhile in Korea, Lee Sedol 9P fought back from a 2-1 disadvantage to defeat Park Younghun 9P in the (best of five) 17th GS Caltex Cup. Lee took home a cool $60,000 for his trouble. The finals of the 4th BC Card Cup start tomorrow (May 11 in the US), with Korea’s Baek Hongseok 9P set to take on China’s Dang Yifei 4P. China dominated the earlier rounds of the tournament, but Baek managed to fight his way through to the final, defeating Zhou Ruiyang 5P and Hu Yaoyu 8P along the way. 17 year old Dang Yifei’s run has been no less impressive. En route to the final, Dang defeated Lee Sedol 9P, Park Younghun 9P and Piao Wenyao 9P, among others. Both players are competing for their first international title.

Coming up very soon:

  • The 33rd World Amateur Go Championship is just getting started in Guangzhou, China. Expect updates from the E-Journal team very soon.
  • The 4th BC Card Cup finals start tomorrow. Watch them live on Baduk TV. The coverage for game 1 starts at 11:30pm, May 11, US EDT.
  • The 67th Japanese Honinbo title match starts on May 15 in Kyoto, Japan.
  • This being an Olympic year – the (quadrennial) Ing Cup will begin on May 23 in Taiwan.
    For more details, see the professional Go calendar at Go Game Guru.

- David Ormerod, GoGameGuru; Photo: 17 year old Dang Yifei 4P (right) plays Piao Wenyao 9P.

Online Tygem Pro Qualifier Open to All

Thursday May 10, 2012

President Allan Abramson called today for go players at all levels to play in the Tygem online pro qualifier, which begins the first weekend in June. Abramson said he was “encouraging everyone to participate in this history-making event, and tell your friends that you competed to become a pro!”

All those interested should sign up to play on the Tygem server (see below). “Practice with the Tygem server now will make your online competition easier,” he said. “Note that it is Windows-based only, so you may need to arrange to use a friend’s PC.” (5/11 Update: Tygem runs on the iPad, but will not run on a Macintosh computer.  iPad users can download the app from the Mac App Store.) Interested players 7 dan and up should register online, and send Abramson a note stating your interest in competing,  your AGA ID and statement of US/Canadian citizenship (President@usgo.org). For everyone else, “just play and enjoy this historic event.”

The first round of the three-round competition is a simple single elimination tournament open to all eligible AGA members, regardless of rank. Eligible players are US and Canadian citizens who are not already professionals.  Anyone who signs up on TYGEMGO and competes in the tournament will receive an “I Went Out For Pro” enamel pin as a keepsake. Players who are not yet AGA members can join the AGA through TYGEMGO for a promotional $15 rate.

Players who get their TYGEMGO ranking of 6d or higher can skip Round 1 and start in Round 2 with the survivors of Round 1.  Those who make it through Round 2 will join seven pre-seeded players for Round 3. The tournament will select seven finalists to compete from 7/28 to 8/4 in North Carolina, where sixteen players will compete for two pro certifications. The finalists in North Carolina will each receive a $500 subsidy and another $3,000 in prize money will be distributed.

In order to play, go to Tygem’s English-language website and sign up for a TYGEMGO account. Then go to to the registration page and hit the “register” button. Registration runs through May 27. The first round will start the first week-end in June. Contact Yixian Zhou at missbear@gmail.com or Andrew Okun at sponsorship@usgo.org if you have questions.

Categories: U.S./North America
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Quaid Tseng 6d Tops Stony Brook Sakura Matsuri Go Tourney

Thursday May 10, 2012

Quaid Tseng 6d was the top winner at the second annual Sakura Matsuri Go Tournament, hosted by the Stony Brook Go Club May 5 at the Long Island Cherry Blossom Festival in the Wang Center of Stony Brook University in New York State. The Festival celebrates Japanese culture with martial art demonstrations, taiko drum performances, kimono fashion shows and other events. The Stony Brook Go Club offered $200 worth of prizes, including books written by professional go players, teacups, and a traditional Filipino squash sculpture made by Alex Wong and Christian Ang. Open to the public with no entry fee, entrants participated in four rounds and attracted 36 participants. The top seeds consisted of five-dan ranked players ranging from 3-dan to 6-dan. Other undefeated winners were Barbara Huang 7k, Mirza Basim Baig 20k, and Diana Huang 20k.
- report by Christian Ang

Categories: U.S./North America
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BadukMovies Launches Weekly Webcast

Thursday May 10, 2012

Dutch go players Peter Brouwer 6d (‘danoontje’ on KGS) and Kim Ouweleen 4d (‘Murugandi’) have launched a weekly webcast on their BadukMovies website. The short videos — 10 min. max — clearly explain and cover a wide variety of go topics, ranging from “A trick play without drawbacks” to “A Chinese tesuji against moyo” as well as detailed explanations about securing or destroying bases. Every Monday a new screencast is uploaded, with eight posted since the launch on March 20. The free videos are in English and Brouwer and Ouweleen say “Comments, feedback or new ideas for videos are more than welcome. Let us know what you think!” You can also find them on Facebook and Twitter.

“My Father’s Last Game” Translated into Chinese; Cool Players; “Liking” Iwamoto’s Go Centers; Cotsen Correx

Wednesday May 9, 2012

“My Father’s Last Game” Translated into Chinese: Betsy Small’s Traveling Board column in the March 29 E-Journal, “My Father’s Last Game”  has been published in China, on the sina blog and major go websites, as well as in the publication Sports Fan, which has a circulation of about 150,000. “Some readers told me they were in tears after reading the story,” Simon Guo, who translated the article, tells the E-Journal. “Me too.”

Cool Players: “I could be mistaken, but the men in that photograph (Go Photo: Cool Game 4/22 EJ) look like Igor Grishin (left) and Maksim Tikhomirov (right) from the Russian Go Federation,” writes Nikolas. “ Alexandre Dinerchtein sent me more photos of them” on the All About Go blog.

“Liking” Iwamoto’s Go Centers:
Noting that “The Seattle Go Center is in serious jeopardy because the Nihon Ki-in has decided to sell the building that has housed it since its inception” and that “the unilateral manner in which the decision was made raises questions regarding the future of all of the Iwamoto Go Centers,” NY Go Center Board member Roy Laird is urging go players to “like” any or all of the three Iwamoto Go Centers that have Facebook pages: The Seattle Go CenterThe New York Go Center and The European Go Cultural Centre. “This public groundswell of support could open the door to a more effective partnership between the Nihon Ki-in and Western Go,” suggests Laird.

Cotsen Correx: Myung-wan Kim is 9P (not 3P as mistakenly reported in our 5/2 post In Appreciation: The 2012 Cotsen Open Team), Chris Sira was the Tournament Director. Our apologies for the error and oversight.

Champagne Celebrates Go Congress Contest Win

Tuesday May 8, 2012

“Watching a young player, whose feet didn’t even touch the floor, cling to his teddy bear while he beat opponent after opponent…sitting with Noni Redmond in North Carolina as she patiently taught an interesting craft to other non-players…the lack of greens on the menu in Rochester….the whitewater rafting kayak trip in the Chicago River when one of the players went overboard and had to get decontaminated…the players and non-players whom I’ve met and whom I look forward to seeing year after year after bloody year.” These U.S. Go Congress memories won Laura Champagne the recent 2012 Go Congress Registration Story Contest — and a free Congress meal plan — when her submission was selected at random from those sent in. Meanwhile, go players continue to sign up for the August 4-12 Go Congress in Black Mountain, NC at a record-setting pace, organizers report. “So if you’re planning to come and still have not registered and reserved your rooms, you should do so now!” says Congress Co-Director Paul Celmer. Registration prices go up in June, he notes. And with well over 400 go enthusiasts planning to attend, the first-ever North American Go Symposium – free for Congress attendees – and lots of other great go activities, including the inaugural AGA Pro Certification Tournament, which ends just as the Congress begins, “you have a fantastic chance of meeting some of the most interesting and enjoyable people on the planet!”
- photo: Michael Redmond (l) & Nakayama Noriyuki at the 2006 U.S. Go Congress in Black Mountain, NC

 

Categories: U.S. Go Congress
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EuroGoTV Updates: May 4-7

Tuesday May 8, 2012

Britain Seeks New Leader: (5/7) After racking up 25 British Championship titles, Matthew Macfadyen has decided, for now, to retire from the UK Championship. The race is now on to see who will replace him…Apeldoorn 2012: The Apeldoorn 2012, a class C tournament, played May 6 in Apeldoorn, Netherlands, was won by Rudi Verhagen 5d (left)Danish Championship 2012: The Danish Championship 2012, a class A tournament, played May 5-6 in Copenhagen, Denmark, was won by Per Marquardsen 2d…Korean Ambassador Cup 2012: The Korean Ambassador Cup, a class A tournament, played May 5-6 in Praha, Czech Republic, was won by Pal Balogh 6d (right)449th Velika Gorica weekend-go-tournament 2012: The 449th Velika Gorica weekend-go-tournament, a class C tournament, played on May 5 in Velika Gorica, Croatia, was won by Zvonko Bednjanec 3k…Gosente Mini Handicap Tournament 2012: The Gosente Mini Handicap Tournament, a class C tournament, played on May 4 in Riga, Latvia, was won by Karina Stanislavska 10k…
- excerpted from EuroGoTV, which includes complete winner reports, crosstabs and photos.

Categories: Europe
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Edward Kim 7d wins Seattle Pro Prelim

Monday May 7, 2012

Edward Kim (r) won all five of his games  to win the first AGA-Tygem Seattle Pro Prelim, held May 5-6 at the Seattle Go Center.   Ten players competed for the opportunity to go to the AGA-Tygem Pro Final in North Carolina, which will be from July 28th to August 4th.  Second place was earned by Yixian Zhou 6d, who had a 4-1 record.   Third went to David (Dong) Ma 6d, fourth (on a tie breaker) to young Vincent Zhuang 6d and fifth to Nicholas Jhirad 6d.  The second band, which was not competing for the pro position, had six  dan level players.  Kum Kang Lee 4d placed first, Job Betcher 2nd and Louie Liu 3rd.  The tournament also generated points for the 2012 World Mind Sports selection process.

The Seattle Go Center expressed “special thanks” to Tournament Director John Hogan, “who did a great job starting a new tournament tradition.” Bill Chiles was Asst. TD, while  Dennis Wheeler, Oren Laskin, Bill Camp, and Bill Thompson recorded games from the top two boards.  The games are available here.
- photo by Brian Allen