American Go E-Journal

The Power Report: Kobayashi Satoru Wins His First Igo Masters Cup; Yuki Reaches Third Round of Mlily Championship

Sunday July 21, 2013

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

Kobayashi Satoru Wins His First Igo Masters Cup:
The final of the 3rd Igo Masters Cup, which is open to players 50 years and older who have won a top-seven title or who are doing well in the prize-money rankings, featured a clash between former Kisei Kobayashi Satoru 9P and Ishii Kunio 9P, who was hoping to win his first official title. These days Ishii is best known as the nurturer of the extraordinary talent of Iyama Yuta. Kobayashi, taking black, won by 1.5 points.

Yuki Reaches Third Round of Mlily Championship: The Mlily World Weiqi Open Championship is yet another Chinese-sponsored international tournament. We reported earlier on the results in the first round (Mlily Cup Preliminaries 5/25/2013 EJ). Yuki Satoshi 9P was the only Japanese representative to survive that round. He also did well in the second round, defeating Li 1-dan of China. In the round of 16, Yuki will be matched against Wang Xi 9-dan of China. We don’t have full details, but the second round was yet another triumph for China, which won 13 games to two wins for Korea and one for Japan. Among the 13 Chinese players going on to the next round are such prominent players as Gu Li, Kong Jie, Hu Yaoyu, and Zhou Ruiyang. The two Korean players are Ch’oe Ch’eol-han and Cho Han-sung. Yi Se-tol was eliminated in this round. There are rumors of a best-of-ten match between Yi and Gu Li, but, if true, the timing is not good for Yi, as he seems to have passed his peak.

Categories: Japan,John Power Report
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Google Adwords Boosts AGF Traffic 500%

Sunday July 21, 2013

The American Go Foundation has seen a 500% increase in website traffic since setting up a Google AdWords account in May, reports project  manager Roy Laird. “We were doing okay, with roughly 500 unique visitors per month, but then we learned that as a 501c3, we qualified for Google Nonprofit status, allowing us to run up to $330 worth of AdWords messages per day.  Now fewer than 100 visitors per day is a slow day. More than 2,600 people visited in the month of June alone.”  Laird says that the goal for now is to generate “click-thrus” – people clicking the ad and coming to the AGF website. When the entire $330/day budget is fully utilized, he says the goal will be to reduce the “bounce rate” – targeting more carefully so fewer people visit and then leave immediately.  “In a typical pre-AdWords month, 200 or so of our visitors would indicate interest by looking at more than one page. In June – our first complete month with the campaign – more than 650 people liked what they saw enough to explore further.”  The ads, which appear as text blurbs on the right of Google searches, are triggered by searching for “key words” that relate to the topic one is searching for.  The ads can link to any page on the site, but the primary goal is to teach people to play through the Learn to Play page,” said Laird,  “we’re not selling the AGF, we’re selling go.” Finding key words that will lead to people actually clicking on the link can be challenging, and Laird says he was surprised at the effectiveness of some unusual approaches. “Someone suggested the puzzle angle, so we created an ad about ‘The Ultimate Puzzle’, which has attracted more than 450 hits in the past month, more than any other ad. Surely there are some other killer out-of-the-box ideas out there. Send them to mail@agfgo.org, and help us grow American go!” Laird thanked Steve Colburn for letting the AGF know they were eligible for Google Non-Profit status. - Paul Barchilon

Categories: U.S./North America
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Brits “Members-Only” Website Move Sparks Debate

Sunday July 21, 2013

A plan to move previously public material into a “members only” section of the British Go Association’s (BGA) website has sparked controversy. BGA president Jon Diamond recently announced that the the Association’s policies, minutes, and ratings would be moved to the new Members-Only section of the site, which would also include material not previously available on the site, including online versions of recent editions of the quarterly British Go Journal (BGJ) and annual accounts. The announcement of the plan to increase the value of BGA membership was made in an article in the BGJ’s latest issue, sparking a heated discussion on Gotalk, with the ratings move clearly the most hotly-debated. One poster characterized making the ratings list accessible only to members as “counter-productive,” another appealed for the Organisers’ Handbook to remain public, while another pointed out that much of the data about British players is already readily available on the European Go Database. Others, however, thought the move didn’t go far enough, suggesting that full tournament results should be available only to members. The “explosion of correspondence” prompted BGA Treasurer Toby Manning to appeal to participants in the debate to send him a brief summary of their views so that he can prepare a condensed report for the BGA Council’s consideration. Diamond tells the E-Journal that he expects to have a final determination this week about what will be moved to the Members-Only section. While American Go Association currently has no similar plans, AGA President Andy Okun says that the question of how to maximize membership value has been discussed previously, noting that, for example, game commentaries are distributed only in the E-Journal’s Member’s Edition.
- Tony Collman, British correspondent for the E-Journal

Categories: Europe,Go News
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Your Move/Readers Write: File under “How Cool Is This!?”

Sunday July 21, 2013

“This issue (7/21 EJ) gets filed under ‘How Cool Is This!?’” writes Jean de Maiffe. “Pairing go and music satisfies two of my longtime pleasures, and as an old go teacher, I am especially delighted with the children’s day camp information. Three cheers for go organizers and go teachers everywhere!”

Iyama Retains Honinbo Title With 4.5-Point Win in Game 7

Saturday July 20, 2013

In the end, Iyama Yuta 9P’s hold on the Honinbo title came down to 4.5 points. That was Iyama’s margin of victory over Takao Shinji 9P in the final game of the 68th Honinbo title, which concluded on July 18 at 7:42p after 262 moves in Hadano, Kanagawa prefecture, Japan. This is the third time in three years that the Honinbo has gone the full 7-game distance, including last year when Iyama took the title from Yamashita Keigo 9P. Iyama and Takao began their grueling duel in mid-May with Iyama winning the first game. Takao quickly made up the loss by controlling the next two games. However, Iyama (right) was not intimidated and fought back in games four and five, giving himself a chance to capture the match in game six, but Takao quickly extinguished those hopes in just 194 moves to set up yet another dramatic final game for the match. In the decisive seventh game (left), Iyama, taking black, used almost half of his eight-hour time allowance during the first day alone. When Takao sealed the move (W74) at 5:07p on July 17, he had four hours and forty-eight minutes remaining while his opponent only had four hours and five minutes. At 9a the next morning, the tricky sealed move was revealed and

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“[changed] the flow of the game,” according to live game commentator Rin Kanketsu 7P. Yet up until move 70, either player could have taken the title. It was white’s tenuki at move 82 that was the crucial misstep that allowed black to secure thickness and give Iyama the advantage. White attempted to complicate the game at move 92 but Iyama stayed unfazed through the endgame and claimed victory with only two minutes left on his clock. In a post-game interview, Iyama said he felt fortunate to have held on to the title after such a challenging series. Takao felt lucky he made it to the end but was disappointed in his own performance. Since his most recent Honinbo title in 2007, Takao has tried to “reclaim the crown” three times to no avail. Iyama, on the other hand, holds five of the seven major Japanese titles (Kisei, Honinbo, Tengen, Oza, and Gosei) and also won the 25th Asian TV Cup at the end of June, proving his international prowess.
- Annalia Linnan, based on a more detailed report — including more photos and game records — on Go Game Guru; photos courtesy Go Game Guru

Congress Registration Nears 400, Pentathlon & Teacher’s Workshop Added

Saturday July 20, 2013

Registration for this year’s US Go Congress is nearing 400, including 22 professional go players. The Congress runs August 3-11 in Tacoma, WA. Among the highlights are the Pentathlon, a new event “for the truly dedicated competitors” that includes the US Open, 9×9, 13×13, lightning, and self-paired tournaments. Also new this year is the Teacher’s Workshop, which will provide teachers with a certificate that will identify them as officially recognized AGA Go Teachers. Takemiya Masaki 9P will lead a session on “The teaching game,” and Lee Dahye 4P, a specialist in teaching teachers in Korea, will run several sessions on teaching single digit kyu players. “Many of us have taught someone to play; now is the time to learn how to do it better,” says Congress Director Chris Kirschner. “The original theme of aiming just at beginners has been left in the dust,” adds workshop director Bill Camp. Anyone may attend any of the 16 workshop sessions, but only registered participants earn a certificate; click here for details and to sign up.
photo: Kirschner models the 2013 Congress t-shirt; photo by Phil Straus

 

 

Categories: U.S. Go Congress
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Your Move/Readers Write: Stomu Yamashta’s Go Supergroup

Friday July 19, 2013

“Thank you for Tony Collman’s article about Bert Jansch and John Renbourn, two legendary musicians I did not know were go players,” writes Steve Burrall. “Another go connection in music is ‘Go’ by Stomu Yamashta (actually Tsutomu Yamashita), Steve Winwood and Michael Shrieve. In 1976 the Japanese percussionist Tsutomu Yamashita formed what is generally considered to be a ‘supergroup’ owing to having musicians from Traffic, Santana and Return to Forever; the name of the group as well as the name of the first recording was ‘Go’.  While not explicitly about the game of go, the influence of the game is quite clear in some of the songs. Yamashita is quoted as saying that ‘it’s a game of chance, random and abstract, with few rules. It’s also about opposites colliding, reality and fantasy shifting into one another, re-birth through suffering, and defeat turned to victory.’ Those with an interest in the confluence of jazz, rock music and classical music are likely to find it to be a very beautiful music journey.” -Graphic from the Wikipedia page for the album.

Go at the Japanese Friendship Garden Day Camp

Friday July 19, 2013

The Japanese Friendship Garden of San Diego’s summer day camp is including go lessons, for the second year in a row. Using equipment provided by the American Go Foundation, San Diego Go Club president Ted Terpstra reports that he’s “teaching beginners the basics of go, and having them playing games on small boards within 20 minutes.” Fifteen day campers are learning about go through Hikaru no Go episodes on Hulu, as well as with books. “The enthusiastic go players have sets available during free time for playing after learning the essentials,” Terpstra adds. Each week is a different age grouping with children in grades from kindergarten through 6th, the program is running for five weeks. -photo by Ted Terpstra: third and fourth graders learn go.

Congress Pair Go Tourney Adds Special Festivities

Thursday July 18, 2013

At this year’s US Go Congress, the Pair Go Tournament will include special festivities including an opening ceremony, and slide show, as well as a Best Dressed Competition. Pair Go players will also receive lapel pins featuring the new US Pair Go logo (at right, designed by graphic designer Wende Mate to show the “solidifying identity” of Pair Go in the US) “and other goodies,” reports AGA Pair Go Coordinator Rachel Small. In conjunction with the World Pair Go Association, ‘Pair Go Promotion Partner (PGPP) Passports’ will be launched in the US for the first time at the Congress. “The passport is a symbol of enthusiasm for promoting Pair Go, and will be stamped at each Pair Go event you attend to track your adventures in competitive Pair Go, starting with this Congress’s North American Pair Go Championship and Youth-Adult Pair Go Tournament,” says Small. To receive your passport at the Congress, apply for PGPP membership at the Congress website . After the Congress, a short video will be released highlighting the congress Pair Go events and celebrating the culture of Pair Go in the US. ‘Like’ AGA Pair Go on Facebook  to see coverage of the Congress events, including tournament results and photos from the Best Dressed Competition. To contribute photos to be included in the slide show, email pairgo@usgo.org. Financial incentives will be provided for an organizer/director for the Pair Go pro teaching workshop at this year’s Congress, a game-recorder for the top table Pair Go game, a volunteer to record video of Congress Pair Go events, and a video-editor to piece together the footage into a short promotional piece. Those interested should contact Small at pairgo@usgo.org.

Kan Yao 5D Wins Skip Ascheim Memorial

Thursday July 18, 2013

Kan Yao 5d took first place in the annual Skip Ascheim Memorial Tournament on Sunday July 14th in Somerville Massachusetts, topping a field of 22. “The Massachusetts Go Association greatly appreciates the cordial relationship we have with the Boylston Chess Club in whose space we hold our tournaments,” says Tournament Director Eva Casey. Su Co Chon Duc (aka Marjorie Hey) helped run things for part of the day when Casey had to leave to deal with a family emergency. Results: 1st: Kan Yao 5D (4-0); 2nd: Tiantian Yuan 3D (3-1); 3rd (tie): Jason McGibbon 3k and Giancarlo Feula 7k (both 3-1).
Categories: U.S./North America
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