American Go E-Journal

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

EuroGoTV Update: Russia, Romania, Poland

Monday September 30, 2013

russian championship semifinal

Russia: The Russian Championship semifinal finished on September 22 in Saint Petersburg with Timur Sankin 6d (left) in first, Andrej Cheburakhov 5d in second, and Igor Nemlij 5d in third. Romania: Alin Badea 1d bested Sorin Sora 4d in the 4th Radu Baciu Grand Prix – stage 8 tournament in Craiova on September 15. Adrian Nedan 2k placed third. Poland: Also on September 22, Marcin Majka 3d won the Polish Championship Qualification in Lodz. In second was Sebastian Pawlaczyk 3d and Majus Misiak 2d came in third.
- Annalia Linnan, based on reports from EuroGoTV, which include complete result tables and all the latest European go news


Honolulu Go Club Member Releases Introductory Go E-Book

Monday September 30, 2013

Honolulu Go Club member Brian Johnson has just published Beginner’s Mind: an Introduction to the Game of Go, an introductory go eBook. Johnson is a teacher at Punahou School who teaches a credit high school go course called “Buddhism and the Game of Go” and introduces around 150-200 students each year to the game. The ebook’s text is designed to take advantage of the touchscreen features of the iPad and contains numerous picture galleries, animations, and interactive elements to help explain and clarify basic and more advanced concepts of go strategy. Only available for the iPad, it’s $9.99 in the iTunes Store, where you can download a free sample.
- Sid Kobashigawa, Honolulu Go Club

Go Spotting: Go in the Library

Monday September 30, 2013

The entire Spring 2013 issue of Library Trends magazine is devoted to how to develop gaming programs in libraries. The authors agree that with libraries seeking a relevant connection to Internet-savvy young users, games can draw young people in. Various authors discuss the merits of video, tabletop, card, and role-playing formats. Among them is Thomas Maluck (right), a teen services librarian at Richland Library in Columbia, SC. In an article entitled “Play It Loud,” Maluck describes Go Your Own Way, a program he developed after seeing the AGF booth at the American Library Association convention in New Orleans in 2011. “Go encouraged positive parent-child communication,” he writes. “In one session, as a child learned the rules and played a practice game, his mother tried to kibitz over his shoulder. Her well-intentioned advice was based on a logical understanding of an aggressive, checkers-like strategy, but . . . the child’s understanding of the game was more advanced than his mother’s. Staff invited the mother to play and watched them both develop personal strategies and counterstrategies over the course of several games.” Although Library Trends is published by Johns Hopkins Press, it is not freely available. You’ll need access to Project MUSE; try your local public or university library. It’s an interesting issue.
- Roy Laird

Categories: U.S./North America

2013 SportAccord Online Tournament Into Final Stage

Sunday September 29, 2013

The go part of the 2013 SportAccord Mind Sport Online Tournament has just gone into the final stage. Over 1000 go players worldwide participated in the largest-ever online tournament. Three regional preliminary tournaments were held for Asia, Europe and Africa, and the Americas. The winners from four separate rank divisions in each region then participate in the finals. Many prizes are provided by Pandanet and by SportAccord, including tablet computers, digital cameras, etc. The top winner from the Open division will win an all-expense-paid trip to Beijing to observe the Third SportAccord World Mind Games held December 12-18 and to receive his trophy. In addition, all players who finished the preliminary round will be placed in a lottery pool for a grand prize of an iPad. The games are held on the Pandanet Internet Go Server (IGS). Click here for finalists, schedule, go client, and other details.
- Thomas Hsiang

Local Club Organizers Respond to New Go Club Survey

Sunday September 29, 2013

“The AGA made my club possible 10-15 years ago,” responded on local go club organizer to a recent survey. “As long as I have a working memory, I will be grateful for this.” Said another, “People want to know why they should join the AGA. Usually the only reason they do is because they want to play in an AGA rated tournament.” Wondered another, “Can you provide any other reasons I or my club should rejoin the AGA outside of general support?” A whopping 85 club leaders across the United States responded to the survey last June, which queried them on club revenue sources, tournaments, meeting frequency, advertising methods, internal chapter email list maintenance, size and reach, and AGA membership. The AGA’s Board of Directors has been studying the survey responses and is “already using the results of the survey to plan additional chapter and member services” says survey organizer Greg Smith. “We did learn, however, that there are some misconceptions out there about the AGA and the services it provides. Many people made suggestions about what the AGA could do, when the AGA already does those things.” Smith credited Philip Waldron for establishing a valuable baseline in his “2008 Chapter Report” and Lisa Scott for collating the new survey’s responses. “We’ll both begin following up using the AGA Chapter List over the next few months, correcting the misconceptions there and in the E-Journal,” Smith said. Click here to see a detailed report on the survey.


Categories: U.S./North America

LA After-School Program to Roll Out Go to a Dozen Schools

Sunday September 29, 2013

LA’s BEST, an award-winning after-school program serving 194 high-needs elementary schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District, is establishing go  programs in 12 schools, according to AGA President Andy Okun and LA’s BEST Director of Education Stela Oliveira.  “For those of us who have seen how captivating, fun, and beneficial go is for little kids, this is an incredible chance to spread the benefits of the game and bring something new and exciting to a bunch of students,” said Okun.  The program started over the summer with a trial run at two elementary schools, Latona  and Lareto.  Aside from providing equipment and sets of Hikaru no Go, the AGA and the AGF also provided teacher training, led by former AGF teacher of the year Vincent Eisman, who held a small  training in June and a larger one in late September.  The AGF is providing continuing support through the school year as well.  To donate money to help cover  training costs and equipment expenses click here.

Still Time to Sign Up for Pandanet-AGA City League

Saturday September 28, 2013

There’s still time to sign up for the next Pandanet-AGA City League. “We are looking for some more teams for this season to fill our roster,” reports Steve Colburn. “Talk to your club members and sign up now!” There are openings in all of the leagues; email the League TD Steve Colburn at “We are also looking for League Managers as well,” says Colburn. Email Colburn for details.