American Go E-Journal

In Memoriam: Philadelphia Go Players Hugh Albright and John Bender

Thursday October 10, 2013

News has belatedly reached us of the death of two former Philadelphia go players, Hugh Albright and John Bender.

Albright, who died of heart failure at 82 in 2011, “was an avid go player in the ’80′s and ’90′s,” says former AGA President Phil Straus. He “played regularly at the Philadelphia Go Club, which met in my house in the 80′s, and was a very active participant in East Coast tournaments.” A retired professor of mathematics and former dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at La Salle University, Albright was a Christian Brother who lived for 40 years in the Christian Brothers community in Mount Airy, Philadelphia. “Never did he show anger or impatience of criticism,” said fellow Brother Edward Davis. “He had a wonderful sense of humor and a passionate enjoyment of life.” Albright “enjoyed chess and played basketball in his younger years,” according to his obituary. He also played the piano and studied Gregorian chant.

The 44-year-old Bender – “the fastest-learning go player” Straus ever taught – “known on Wall Street as the troubled genius who’d quit the billionaire track without explanation in 2000 and retreated to a fortified compound in the Costa Rican jungle” died there mysteriously on January 8, 2010, reports Ned Zeman in “Love and Madness in the Jungle,” published May 7, 2013 in Outside Magazine. Originally thought a suicide, authorities have since charged Bender’s wife with his murder. Bender “went from beginner to 4-dan very quickly,” says Straus. Bender “Gave a talk about go attitude at the 1987 Go Congress,” Straus says. “Didn’t think blunders were important. Only plans were important. ” “His progress in the game was amazing,” agrees Wing Luk, who knew Bender when he was a student at Penn in 1985. “John and I together went to North Philadelphia to play against the Koreans a number of times.” This and other remembrances of Bender are on Jonathan Kaplan’s blog. photo: John and Ann Bender at their 1999 wedding; photo courtesy Outside Magazine

Categories: World

Room for More Teams in Pandanet City League: Deadline October 12

Tuesday October 8, 2013

“The Pandanet City League is looking for a few more teams,” reports TD Steve Colburn. “We are looking for some more teams for this season to fill our roster.” Talk to your club members soon – deadline is October 12 — and sign up for the Pandanet AGA City League. There are openings in all of the leagues. Email Colburn at for more info or to register. League Managers are wanted as well; email the TD to inquire.

French Go Update: Clermont-Ferrand; Lyon

Tuesday October 8, 2013

About 80 go players participated in a very convivial tournament near Clermont-Ferrand, on September 28-29, with Motoki Noguchi 7D winning all his games. And at the international Tournament of Lyon, 58 participants turned out on October 5-6; Thomas Debarre 6D won. Click here for results.
- Laurent Coquelet

Categories: Europe

Matt Litke 9k Plays – and Tops — Entire Field in Lancaster Tourney

Monday October 7, 2013

Eight players came out to the Continental Inn in Lancaster, PA for the Fall For Go Tournament last weekend. First place certificate went to Matt Litke 9k, with five wins against all seven opponents (5-2), and second place certificate went to Bob Crites 9k, with five wins against six (5-1) opponents. Honorable mention to Marie Bartel 13k with four wins against six opponents (4-2). The tournament’s instant pairing format allowed players to start their next game almost immediately after finishing a game. “I can’t believe it’s already 5:00!” said Bob Crites after playing half a dozen back-to-back games without even taking a break for lunch.
- photo by Jason Long

Categories: U.S./North America

28th Brussels Tournament Set for October 26-27

Monday October 7, 2013

The annual 28th Brussels Tournament will take place October 26-27. Because it will not be part of the European Cup this year, the tournament will be offering cash prizes for the top four players rather than ECup points. In addition, all players with four or five wins will receive a prize and there will be a tombola (lottery) with 150 EU prizes for all pre-registered players. For players who register and pay before October 20, there is a 5 EU discount. Players born after October 31, 2001 will also receive an additional 5 EU discount. For more information including schedule, venue, and accommodations, please visit the Belgian Go Federation website.
— Annalia Linnan; for complete listings, check out the European Tournament Calendar

EuroGoTV Update: Romania, Hungary, Austria

Monday October 7, 2013

romanian cup preliminariesRomania: Larisa Popescu 2k (left) won the Romanian Cup preliminaries 1/4 CSRB hosted in Bucuresti on September 29. Behind her were Rares Ghioc 2k and Iulian Lungu 2k. Hungary: Also on September 29, the European Hans Pietsch Memorial Finals finished in Budapest with Antti Tormanen 6d in first, Pal Balogh 6d in second, and Catalin Taranu 7d in third. Austria: Though he took fifth in the European Hans Pietsch Memorial, Pavol Lisy 6d conquered the Seewinkel Go Tournament on September 22 in Apetion. Viktor Lin 6d placed second and Lukas Podpera 6d came in third.
- Annalia Linnan, based on reports from EuroGoTV, which include complete result tables and all the latest European go news


Categories: Europe

Two More Pros Confirmed for Cotsen Open

Saturday October 5, 2013

Two Korean professionals, Lee Hajin 3p and Kim Minhee 3p, have just been confirmed for the upcoming Cotsen Open in Los Angeles, CA. With Yang Yilun 7p and Myung-wan Kim 9p, that means four pros will be on hand for individual game analysis and simuls.

Minhee Kim 3P (left) became a professional in 1991 and is now working as a lecturer at Myoungji University’s Department of Baduk Studies. Hajin Lee 3P became a professional in 2004 and now works in the Korea Baduk Association’s International Affairs Division.

The 5-round Cotsen will run Saturday and Sunday, October 26-27 at the Korean Cultural Center in Los Angeles, CA. Click here for details and to register. The tournament also features cash prizes for go clubs, free lunch both days and free shoulder massages while you play.
photo (top right): Lee Hajin 3p (left), with IGF Secretary General Yuki Shigeno 2p last month at the World Amateur Go Championship in Japan; photo by John Pinkerton

Categories: Cotsen Open

Student Oza Prelim Registration Now Open

Saturday October 5, 2013

Registration is now open for the qualifying prelim for the 12th World Students Go Oza Championship, which will be held February 24-28, 2014 in Tokyo. Sixteen students from around the world will gather in Japan to decide the world’s number one student player. There will be an online preliminary round on Pandanet to select the 16 student players. Click here for details. University/college students under the age of 30 are eligible to participate in the online preliminary round.

The Power Report: Iyama Takes Lead In Meijin; Fujita Wins King Of The New Stars; Mukai Scores First Win In Women’s Meijin League; Most Wins; New Professional Couple

Wednesday October 2, 2013

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the American Go E-Journal

Iyama Takes Lead In Meijin, Thanks To Blunder By Yamashita: The third game of the 38th Meijin title match was held at the Takarazuka Hotel in Takarazuka City, Hyogo Prefecture on September 25 and 26. Takarazuka City is known as the home of the famous all-female theatrical troupe, the Takarazuka Troupe, but to Iyama Yuta it is probably more familiar as the home of his teacher Ishii Kunio. Not that Iyama would have visited Ishii very frequently, as his home is a two-hour journey from Ishii’s home. Iyama was not a live-in disciple; instead he played teaching games with Ishii on the Net.  Even so, Yamashita Keigo was making his first visit to Takarazuka, so Iyama held the home-ground advantage.

This doesn’t seem to count for much in go, as fans don’t get to cheer players on (at best, they sometimes quietly watch the first few moves of title games). In a game marked by small-scale fighting, Yamashita, playing white, took the advantage and, further helped by a rare misreading by Iyama, he set up a winning position. As usual, Iyama did his best to complicate the game, and in the middle of a ko fight Yamashita made a terrible blunder, playing a ko threat that filled in one of his own liberties. He needed to play another move immediately to save six of his stones that his mistake had put into jeopardy, but he chose to retake the ko. Iyama immediately ceded the ko and took the six stones. This gave him a narrow win by 1.5 points.

Fortunately for Yamashita, he has two weeks to recover from the shock of this setback. The fourth game will be played on October 9 and 10. He will have to win two games in a row to secure the lead he should have had at this point.

Fujita Wins King Of The New Stars: Fujita Akihiko 3-dan has won his first title with straight wins. In the second game of the 38th King of the New Stars title match, played on September 26 at the Kansai Ki-in in Osaka, he defeated Yo Seiki 7-dan (White) by resignation after 181 moves. Yo did not show the strength expected from his recent successes of winning a place in the Honinbo league and his winning streak of 18 games. Because of his promotion to 7-dan for winning the Honinbo seat, he won’t get another chance to win this title. With this win, Fujita extended a winning streak of his own to 15 games.

Mukai Scores First Win In Women’s Meijin League: On September 26, Mukai Chiaki 5P (W) defeated Okuda Aya 3P by resignation in a third-round game in the 26th Women’s Meijin League. Mukai is now 1-2 and Okuda 0-2. Suzuki Ayumi 6P and Kato Keiko 6P, both on 3-0, lead the league.

Most Wins: With the tournament year three-quarters gone, this may be a good time to see who is racking up the wins in Japan. Kono Rin has a slight lead in the following list, which is dated as of September 27 and is for Nihon Ki-in players (though I have added Yo Seiki).
1. Kono Rin 9P (right): 33-17
2. Iyama Yuta Kisei: 31-16
3. Takao Shinji 9P: 30-17
4. Ichiriki Ryo 3P: 25-4
5. Yo Chito 1P: 23-3
6. Yo Seiki 7P: 22-4
7. Cho U 9P: 22-18
9. Yamashiro Hiroshi 9P: 21-12

New Professional Couple: There’s been another marriage among go professionals (I reported earlier on the June  4 marriage of Suzuki Ayumi 6P and Rin Kanketsu 7P). On September 20, Mukai Chiaki 5P married Sugimoto Akira 8P. As far as I know, they are the 17th go couple.

Correction: I made a mistake with the name of the Taiwanese player on Japan’s Nong Shim team. It is Yo Chito, not Cho Chito. (His name in Chinese is Yao Zhiteng.)

Categories: Japan,John Power Report

Go Spotting: Videodrome & Mishima

Tuesday October 1, 2013

“I recently spotted the appearance of go boards in two films, ‘Videodrome’ and ‘Mishima’” writes Deke Gould. “Here are screenshots and approximate times in each film.”

32:00 in David Cronenberg’s “Videodrome”: there appears to be a folding go board buried on Max Ren’s coffee table, partially exposed.

23:28 in Paul Schrader’s “Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters”: during the “Temple of the Golden Pavilion” segment.


Categories: Go Art,Go Spotting