American Go E-Journal

The Power Report (Part 1): All-Chinese Final In LG Cup; Yamashita To Challenge For Kisei Title; Iyama Defends Tengen Title; Cho U Picks Up First Win In Oza Title Match, But Iyama Defends; Iyama Reaches Judan Semifinals

Monday December 2, 2013

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal

All-Chinese Final In LG Cup: The quarterfinals and semifinals of the 18th LG Cup were held in Inch’eon City in Korea on November 11 and 13. Chinese players had dominated the tournament so far, taking six of the eight quarterfinal places, but for once Japan had done better than Korea, with Takao Shinji and Iyama Yuta taking the other two places. However, this was as far as their luck held out, as they were both eliminated in the quarterfinals.
Quarterfinal results, Nov. 11: Chen Yaoye 9P (China) (B) defeated Iyama Yuta 9P (Japan) by resignation; Tuo Jiaxi 3P (China) (B) d. Takao Shinji 9P (Japan) by 4.5 points; Li Zhe 6P (China) (W) d. Xia Chenkun 2P (China) by resig.; Zhou Ruiyang 9P (China) (B) d. Li Qincheng 1P (China) by resig.
Semifinal results, Nov. 13: Tuo (B) d. Li by resig.; Zhou (B) d. Chen by 4.5 points. The final is scheduled for February 10, 12, and 13. photo: 18th LG Cup semifinalists, from left: Li Zhe 6 dan, Tuo Jiaxi 3 dan, Zhou Ruiyang 9 dan and Chen Yaoye 9 dan; photo courtesy GoGameGuru

Yamashita To Challenge For Kisei Title: The play-off to decide the challenger to Iyama Yuta for the 38th Kisei title was held at the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo on November 14. Playing white, Yamashita Keigo 9P forced Murakawa Daisuke 7P to resign after 144 moves. Yamashita has won the Kisei title five times, first in 2003 and then from 2006 to 2009. This will be his chance to seek revenge for his loss of the Meijin title to Iyama this year. The first game will be played in Alcala de Henares, near Madrid, in Spain on January 11 & 12. With a first prize of 45 million yen (nearly $440,000 USD), the Kisei is Japan’s richest title.

Iyama Defends Tengen Title: The third game of the 39th Tengen title match was held at the Yutoku Inari Shrine in Kashima City, Saga Prefecture on November 28. Iyama Yuta (W) defeated Akiyama Jiro 9P by resignation after 176 moves, so he defended his title with straight wins. This is his third successive Tengen title; he now has a winning streak of nine wins in the Tengen.

Cho U Picks Up First Win In Oza Title Match, But Iyama Defends: Games Two and Three in the 61st Oza title match were held in quick succession at the Saryo Soen inn in Akiu Hot Spring, Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture. It’s quite unusual to hold two games from a title match in a row at the same venue outside Tokyo; it was made necessary, of course, by Iyama Yuta’s crowded schedule. The second game was played on November 19; taking black, Iyama won by resignation after 243 moves. This gave him a 2-0 lead over the challenger, Cho U 9P. It looked as if the match might end very quickly, as the third game was played on the 21st, with only one day’s break. However, Cho (right) played a masterly game with black and forced a resignation after just 161 moves, making the series a lot more interesting. This was the fourth time two games have been played in a row like this and the first time the wins have been shared. The fourth game was played at the Sanyoso inn in Izu-no-kuni City, Shizuoka Prefecture on December 2. Taking black, Iyama won by resignation after 221 moves, so he defended his title with a 3-1 score. This is his second successive Oza title and it maintained his current tally at six of the top seven. He has also taken his overall tally to 22, which is even with O Rissei and Hane Naoki in 13th place.
The Oza title match was the last of the tournament year. This is the first year since 2001 that Cho U has failed to win a title. Iyama has proved to be his nemesis, but he is too good a player not to make a comeback. Incidentally, Iyama’s six first prizes and his TV Asia win have earned him 152.5 million yen $1.5 million USD). Various match fees and game fees have to be added to this, so his final total should be a new record by a big margin.

Iyama Reaches Judan Semifinals: The significance of this news item is that Iyama is keeping alive his chances of becoming the first player ever to win a genuine grand slam, that is, all seven titles in one year. To do so, he needs to become the Judan challenger and then to win it after defending his Kisei title at the beginning of next year. Iyama’s opponent in the semifinal is Mizokami Tomochika 8P. The other semifinal matches Hane Naoki against Takao Shinji.

Tomorrow: Newcomer Makes Good Start In Honinbo League; Ichiriki Wins Young Carp Tournament; 26th Women’s Meijin League; Aoki vs. Ishii In Women’s Kisei Play-Off; Mukai Finally Beats Xie; Hane Defends Okan Title

CORRECTION:  The Kisei first prize of 45 million yen has been updated to reflect that it’s worth nearly $440,000 USD, not the $300,000 originally reported.

Categories: Japan,John Power Report
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French Go Report: Strasbourg Three-Peats as French Club Champs; Dai Junfu Sweeps Paris-Meijin

Monday December 2, 2013

Strasbourg Three-Peats as French Club Champs: For the third consecutive year, the Strasbourg Go Club has won the French Club Championship. The 11th French Club Championship — also named “Master Lim Cup”, in honor of Eugene Lim, a great master in France since 1970 – was held November 23-24, with 14 teams competing in Dijon. The Strasbourg club team includes Motoki Noguchi 7d, Thomas Debarre 6d, Fred Donzet 5d and Antoine Fenech 5d. The Grenoble club took second, and Dijon, which hosted the event, finished third. Click here for team results and individual results. photo: the Strasbourg teams; photo by Antoine Fenech.

Dai Junfu Sweeps Paris-Meijin: Dai Junfu 8d swept the 31st Paris-Meijin on December 1, besting Fan Hui 8d in the final game. Held in Paris, this is one of France’s major tournaments, and featured 28 dan players. Benjamin Dréan-Guénézia 5d finished 2nd, Fan Hui 3rd , Motoki Noguchi 7d was 4th and César Lextrait 5th. Click here for resultsphoto: Dai JUNFU is 5th from left, Benjamin Dréan-Guénézia is 6th from left; photo by Jérôme Hubert.

- Laurent Coquelet, French Correspondent for the E-Journal

Categories: Europe
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Mingjiu Jiang Workshop Set for Portland in April

Monday December 2, 2013

Well-known Chinese pro Mingjiu Jiang 7P will do a weekend workshop at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, OR on Saturday and Sunday, April 26-27. “This is part of the Portland Go Club’s continuing effort to bring a variety of pro players to Portland to teach players of all strengths,” reports local organizer Peter Freedman. Those interested in participating must let Freedman know asap and pay to insure a spot. Reach him at peter.freedman@comcast.net, call 503-242-4203 or send $100* to the Portland Go Club, c/o Peter Freedman, 1710 SW Harbor Way, Unit 303, Portland, OR. *There are reduced rates for students and children: college students pursuing a degree: $50; Children and youth up to age 18: $25. photo by Brian Allen

Categories: U.S./North America
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Club Corner: Be Tireless and Welcoming

Monday December 2, 2013

The following is a response to a discussion about increasing attendance at go clubs, which was initiated by Aulden Murch recently on the AGA-Chapters email list.  It has been reprinted here with permission.

by Eric Jankowski

After running the Ann Arbor club for a decade, I moved to Colorado and have been largely invisible as an organizer for the last year.  Having been both very and negligibly involved in running clubs, my feeling is that two ingredients are needed for sustainable growth: 1) a tireless advocate for the club who 2) understands the importance of creating an inclusive environment.  I suspect we’ve all known someone with this rare combination at some point — the Susan Weirs, Paul Barchilons, Greg Leflers, and Guo Juans, to name just a few. Those of us who try to build clubs may have even been that person occasionally, and can appreciate it is not a trivial effort to maintain.

The great thing about the first ingredient is that it doesn’t depend on rank.  Anyone that has been bitten by the beauty of the game can be that tireless advocate.  The catch here is that it takes time and energy to be tireless: it can take a big bite out of time for other important life priorities such as work and family.  The tireless advocate here is that person who is always at the club, dragging in all of their friends, putting on workshops at libraries and festivals.  Someone with infectious enthusiasm.  One great example back in Ann Arbor was Albert Guo’s mom; she didn’t ever play, but saw how much her son loved the game and would show up to cook egg rolls at our tournaments.  You just can’t beat that for enthusiasm.  When you show other people how much you want to be somewhere, they want to be there too.

The second ingredient is a little trickier; it requires leadership from strong players who are willing to teach and maintain a welcoming environment.  When the top guns only play each other it creates a feeling of inapproachability.  Back in Ann Arbor, we had a great mix of kids, college students, permanent residents, and even a few famed homeless folk, and I think it’s because we went to great lengths to emphasize an inclusive environment.  We had an implicit rule: Ignoring or bullying younger players, weaker players, or anyone really, cannot be tolerated. In the most constructive and positive way possible, you need to set the tone: “This is a place for having fun, making friends, and a place to learn about this game; if you’re not helping that, you’re not welcome here.”  It’s not enough to parrot that quote; you have to get to know the members of your club and set an example.  Every so often, remind your strong players that they became strong because someone had helped them previously, by creating a place where they felt empowered to learn.  Set an example by teaching new players. Emphasize that your rank has nothing to do with your value as a human.  To grow, your club needs an inclusive culture, but this requires constant attention, and it can fade if you lose that strong player leadership.  Sometimes as a strong player, you just want to play a game and try out that new trick you saw.  Running a club and improving as a player are different things, but this can be easy to forget when there’s a board in front of you.  Resisting that temptation is important if the aim is to grow your club.

So, my advice is:  If you wish to grow your club, be tireless in your efforts to make a welcoming place to play.  And as folks involved in the AGA, I suppose that we have a responsibility to show that these efforts are appreciated and worthwhile.

Jankowski (top right) is a Research Associate in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of Colorado, Boulder . photo at bottom left: at the 2010 University of Michigan/Ann Arbor United Way tournament.  

Categories: U.S./North America
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In Memoriam: David Drexler, Former AGA Volunteer of the Year

Monday December 2, 2013

David Michael Drexler, 58, passed away November 27, 2013 in his beloved home. He was born June 15, 1955 in Rochester, New York. In his brief lifetime he accomplished much. He was a founding member and past president of the Oklahoma Unix Club, instrumental in forming the first go club in Oklahoma City (OKC), recognized by the American Go Association for his volunteer efforts in outreach and promotion of the game of go. He was a member and officer in the Oklahoma Traditional Music Association, playing the mountain dulcimer with astounding beauty and grace. In the early 1990s Drexler established Internet Access Plus, one of the first internet service provider companies in OKC. His many other loves included hiking in the Wichita Mountains, traveling to see friends and family in California, New York, Hawaii, and Alaska, cooking and bicycling. A memorial service will be held at 3pm, Tuesday, December 3, at Memorial Park Historic Cemetery Chapel.  -Text courtesy of Dignity Memorial Online.  Thanks to Jim Story for letting the E-J know.

Categories: U.S./North America
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E-Journal & Ranka to Cover 3rd SportAccord World Mind Games

Sunday December 1, 2013

The third edition of the SportAccord World Mind Games is set for December 12-18 in Beijing. The American Go E-Journal will once again team up with Ranka to provide coverage this year, with Michael Redmond 9P and EJ Managing Editor Chris Garlock providing play-by-play game commentary on the SAWMG YouTube channel as well as coverage in the EJ. Thirty players (18 men and 12 women) from around the world — China, Chinese Taipei, Europe, Japan, Korea and North America — will compete for major cash prizes; click here to see the player roster and schedule.

Nihon Ki-in Announces New Under-20 World Tourney

Saturday November 30, 2013

The ‘GLOBIS Cup World Go U-20’, a new Japanese world championship for under-20 players, will be held May 8-11 2014 in Tokyo, the Nihon Ki-in has announced. The winner will win 3 million Japanese yen (about $30,000 USD) and all players will receive 35,000 JPY (about $350) for participating. Sixteen players under 20 years of age (as of January 1st 2014) will compete: six from Japan, three each from Korea and China, and one each from Chinese Taipei, Europe, North America and Oceania. “After the termination of the Fujitsu Cup, I am very glad to know that the Nihon Kiin is back to sponsor a world championship,” says AGA Vice President for International
Affairs Thomas Hsiang. The AGA will soon announce a selection procedure for this tournament.

Categories: Japan,World,Youth
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Go Art: Andrew Cole’s Game-Based Art

Saturday November 30, 2013

Novice go player and artist Andrew Cole designs images based on specific games of go. “Quiet Garden” (right) “was based on a game played by Todd Blatt and Jianbo Liu on 9/21/06,” Cole tells the E-Journal. “I found the game in the 2007 AGA Yearbook.” Another image, “1573” (at left) “is based on a game played by Kashio Rigen and Honinbo Sansa in 1573, with an interesting seki at the lower end of the board. This game was included with my SmartGo application.” Cole says that “this is a hobby for me. I love playing go, and this is a different way for me to enjoy the game when my skill level limits me.”

You can find more of Cole’s images of go games on the moca.virtual.museum website: Point of Contention, 1786 and Korigatachi.

Categories: Go Art
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Your Move/Readers Write: Questionable Position in Portland

Saturday November 30, 2013

“Someone was listening to Roger Schrag’s comments in his article on Go Spotting: Lan Su Chinese Garden in Portland (9/3 EJ)” writes Bob Joyce. Schrag wondered “Is the position on the go board (at left) viable?” and Joyce says “I visited the garden on Saturday, September 28th and the position of the stones had changed (right); however, even a beginner (like me) knows that go games do not begin in the middle of the board.”

Upcoming European Tournaments: Barcelona Go Seigen, Avalanche

Saturday November 30, 2013

Adrenalina will host the 2014 Barcelona Go Seigen Spanish final qualifying tournament on February 22 and 23. First through fourth places will receive portions of the 900 EU cash prize and books will be offered to the players with best results. Players who register before February 21 will receive discounts. Additionally, players who stay at the Alberguinn youth hostel will have the opportunity to room with other go players. To register or for more information about the tournament, please visit the Barcelona Go Seigen official website.

The 2014 Avalanche tournament will take place during the same dates in Oulu, Finland. In addition to the games, Avalanche will also offer a go players’ sauna evening and lectures by Su Yang 6d. Boasting the largest prize pool in Finland, cash prizes will be offered to the top three players. Registration fees are determined by rank, not by date. However, players under 18 years of age at the time of the tournament can enjoy a 5 EU discount. To register or for more information, please visit the official Avalanche 2014 website.
Annalia Linnan; for complete listings, check out the European Tournament Calendar