American Go E-Journal

The Power Report (Bonus Edition): Kono Extends Lead In Gosei; Kisei League Update

Monday July 22, 2013

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

Kono Extends Lead In Gosei: Iyama Yuta 9P didn’t have much time to enjoy his Honinbo triumph: just four days later, he was fighting yet another title-match game. The second game of the 38th Gosei title match was played in the Nagaoka Grand Hotel in Nagaoka City, Niigata Prefecture on July 22. The challenger, Kono Rin 9P (left), had got off to a good start in the series, reversing the disastrous trend of his previous record against Iyama. His good form continued in the second game. Taking white, Kono forced a resignation after 194 moves and now has a chance to take the title in the third game, scheduled for July 26.

Kisei League Update: Three games have been played in the 38th Kisei leagues so far in July. They have not altered the lead in either league, but one favorite has suffered a setback. On July 11, Kiyonari Tetsuya 9P of the Kansai Ki-in, playing white, defeated Yoda Norimoto 9P (right) by resignation in the A League. Kiyonari went to 2-1 and is doing well in his comeback to the league. Yoda is now 1-2 and will have to focus on keeping his place rather than on winning the league. On July 18, Kobayashi Satoru 9P (W) defeated Cho U 9P by resignation in the A League.  Kobayashi is now 2-1 and Cho 1-2. The latter was regarded as one of the early favorites, but his prospects don’t look good now. In the B League on the same day, Hane Naoki 9P (W) defeated Kono Rin 9P by 1.5 points. Both players are now on 1-2. In the A League, Yamashita Keigo Meijin has the sole lead on 2-0. In the B League, both 25th Honinbo Cho Chikun and Murakawa Daisuke 7P of the Kansai Ki-in are on 2-0.

Categories: Japan,John Power Report
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Tennis (or Soccer) Anyone? Bring Your Racquet (and Cleats) to the US Go Congress

Monday July 22, 2013

Fitness can be key to both mental and physical endurance on the go board, which is why many attendees at the annual US Go Congress pull themselves away from the go board for a few hours each day to play soccer or tennis. “Bring your cleats and shorts,” Terry Benson urges soccer players, while former tennis club organizer Lisa Schrag says “Bring your racquet!” Benson is organizing soccer games every afternoon at 4:30 except for Saturday and Wednesday, while Schrag and Chris Garlock will be organizing round robin doubles in the afternoons. “All ages come and play,” says Benson. “Let your body loose and your mind run free!” Listen to morning announcements and watch for signs posted at the main players room to get the details once you arrive.
- photo by Lisa Schrag 

Categories: U.S. Go Congress
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EuroGoTV Updates: Germany, Netherlands, Czech Republic

Monday July 22, 2013

Thomas Kettenring 3dGermany: At the Stuttgarter Turnier in Stuttgart on July 14, Thomas Kettenring 3d (right) bested Jonas Fincke 4d and Jochen Tappe 1d placed third. Netherlands: Sjoerd Koolen 2d took the District Groningen tournament on July 13 with Heike de Rijk 1k in second and Frenk Arnold 1k in third. Czech Republic: The Moyo Open finished July 14 in Pardubice with Pavol Lisy 6d in first, Ondrej Silt 6d in second, and Jan Prokop 5d in third.
— Annalia Linnan, based on reports from EuroGoTV, which include complete result tables and all the latest European go news

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.