American Go E-Journal

Review: “The Tengu’s Game of Go”

Tuesday January 3, 2017

by David Bogie
2017.01.01_tengu-game

“The Tengu’s Game of Go” is the last in a four-volume fantasy by Lian Hearn, set in medieval Japan. Magic beasts with enchanted weapons, convoluted plots with betrayals and double-crosses galore. Go? Not so much.

The author is well-versed in Japanese lore and history and has based many of her books on ancient and traditional folk stories. She knows the equipment used to play go but I don’t think she has any real concept of the game’s territorial objective.

During the game mentioned in the title, the tengu (a magical being) tricks a human into stealing an enchanted bow from his opponent. This theft somehow shifts the game in his favor, implying the author thinks of go as a series of contests with tangible goals. Go actually appears in only three or four short passages that will not interest go players in the least.

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Registration Open for the 3rd North American Kyu Championships

Tuesday January 3, 2017

Crystal TrophyThe third annual North American Kyu Championships (NAKC) will be held on February 4th this year on KGS. This one-day, 4-round tournament is open to all kyu-level players under the age of 18 from the United States, Canada, or Mexico. The best Junior (under 13) and Senior (under 18) players in each of five divisions will be able to win a fabulous crystal trophy, and the winners of the top division will also be granted entry into the prestigious Redmond Cup, which is traditionally open only to dan-level players. All players who compete in every round of the NAKC will also be eligible to receive either a $400 scholarship to the AGA Summer Go Camp, or a $200 scholarship to the 2017 US Go Congress, courtesy of the American Go Foundation. The deadline to register for the NAKC is January 29th; click here to register and here for the official Rules and Format. For dan players, registration for the 2017 Redmond cup will open in mid to late February.

Report from the 2016 Paris Meijin

Sunday January 1, 2017

Once again this year, many go fans were reunited on the two weekends of November 26-27 and December 3-4, as for the fifteenth time the Paris Ouest Go Club hosted the 34th Paris Meijin tournament. Regular supporters Canon France, the Asahi newspaper, the Nihon-Kiin, Nippon Transeuro and the Association of Expatriot Japanese from the Fukushima Region all supported the tournament.

Linh Vu TU winner of Sections B and C
Jiaxin GAO winner of Section A

During the first weekend 59 players, with strength ranging from 20 to 5-kyu, entered into five rounds of competition. Each year it seems that the level of play is higher, perhaps because many players train on the internet. At the end it was 12 year old Vu Linh Tu (5-kyu, right) who was the victor of Section C with 5 wins out of 5, whilst Antonin Masseau won the 10-kyu category. See full results.

During the second weekend there were 64 players whose strength ranged from 4-kyu to 6-dan. Players above 1-dan played in Section A, whilst the rest played in Section B. Amongst the 34 players in Section B was Vu Linh Tu, who had qualified from the previous weekend, and he won this section too, beating Frédéric Berthomier (1-kyu) in the final. See full results.

In Section A, Jiaxin Gao (right), a visiting 6-dan student from China, emerged victorious over all his adversaries. Jiaxin is studying Computer Science at Paris-Sud University and hopes to take part in more tournaments in France. See full results.

Based on the original article in Revue Française de Go by Jérôme Hubert, translated by Ian Davis

Categories: Europe
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2016 American Go Yearbook Released

Sunday January 1, 2017

The American Go Yearbook 2016 Member’s Edition Collection was released on New Year’s Day, January 1, 2017. One of the 2016.12.24_Yearbook-joinbenefits of membership in the American Go Association is the Member’s Edition of the American Go E-Journal, the largest English language go publication in the world. If you’re not yet a member, this is a great time to join!

The Member’s Edition includes game commentaries and other special content and the annual Yearbook collects it all into one handy online document. The 2016 edition includes game records from this year’s US Open, US Masters and Cotsen tournaments, as well as Globis commentary. Extra content includes Michael Redmond 9Ps Pair Go tsumego problems and his Cho v. Deep Zen commentaries, as well as Stephanie Yin 1Ps Women’s Championship commentary.

Once selected in the online Yearbook, game records or PDFs open up quickly and easily for review or download. We appreciate our member’s support of the AGA and hope that they will find the Yearbook a valuable and useful resource. Click here now to join the AGA and begin receiving the Member’s Edition. Special thanks to the Yearbook Games Editor Myron Souris for pulling all the 2016 material together.

- Chris Garlock, Managing Editor

Yuan Zhou Marks Decade of Teaching in North Carolina

Friday December 30, 2016

Longtime go teacher and author Yuan Zhou (right) recently celebrated a milestone anniversary, leading his tenth North Carolina2016.12.30_yuan-zhouWorkshop December 9-11 in Raleigh, North Carolina.

“Members of the Triangle Go Group have benefited from Yuan Zhou’s workshops for 10 years,” reports Bob Bacon, “and we continue to appreciate his expertise and wisdom.” More than just proper play guidelines, Zhou shares insights into the philosophical depths of the ancient game. “As he reviews attendee’s games he tailors his instruction to each individual and clearly shows how correct play leads to good results. Teacher Zhou explains common patterns with easily remembered expressions, such as ‘heroes live a short life’ — describing a foolhardy invasion — and ‘even the demon is afraid,’ after hane at the head of two stones.

Yuan Zhou serves up a rich banquet of information about Chinese language phrases and meanings relating to go, Bacon says. This year, in addition to sharing many new expressions, he examined and explained the Chinese characters 围棋 (wéi qí), including the subtle alterati2016.12.30_yuan-zhou-studentson made to the characters when later adopted by the Japanese.

One of the highlights of the workshop was Lao Shi Zhou’s review of recent professional games played between Ke Jie and Gu Li, and between Ke Jie and Tang Weixing. Attendees received copies of the games prior to the workshop, and Yuan Zhou analysed and explained some interesting new moves.

“As always, the workshop inspired and empowered the lucky listeners, and left us looking forward to his next appearance in the Triangle,” says Bacon. The workshop was sponsored by the Triangle Go Group of North Carolina; read a more detailed report here.
photos courtesy Bob Bacon

Categories: U.S./North America
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Mark Your Calendar: 2017 Go Events

Thursday December 29, 2016

Cuba: As previously reported, Cuba will host a International Conference of Mind Sports in May 2017. For those interested 2016.12.28_-cuba_tourism_photo_of_a_streetin participating beyond just joining in on the competitions, the call for papers to present a workshop is open until January 31. In addition, I-Dared Travels has developed a program that includes the conference and three additional days for traveling and getting to know a bit of Eastern Cuba. Click here for details.

Australia: The third Australian Go Congress has been announced for September 28 through October 1, 2017 in Sydney. The Australian Go Championships will be the central event at the Congress. In addition, a one day ‘kyu’ tournament will enable younger players to take part and enjoy the experience of being part of a major international event. The organizing committee is also planning other events including Pair Go and Lightning Go, with details to be released in the coming months.

Also coming up in 2017: European Go Congress 2017, Canadian Open 2017, Osaka Go Camp/Japan Go Congress and the US Go Congress. More details here.

 

2017 European Go Congress Moved to Oberhof, Germany

Wednesday December 28, 2016

The 2017 European Go Congress location has changed. Again. It’s now set for Oberhof, Germany July 22-August 6. 2016.12.28_oberhofBurhaniye, Turkey had originally been chosen back in 2014, but after the supportive local Mayor lost in local elections, the Congress was moved to Capadochia, Turkey. The ongoing conflict in and around Syria eventually led to a recent decision to abandon Turkey as a venue altogether. The Russian Federation, which had hosted the 2016 Congress, offered to step in and the European Go Federation’s executive board chose them as the 2017 hosts over a competing bid from Germany. This decision generated so much controversy that a new vote by the entire EGF was scheduled, with the caveat that both the German and Russian candidates would work together to run the Congress whatever the outcome. The EGF overwhelmingly voted — 47-9 — for Oberhoff, Germany, largely because of a preference for holding the Congress in a different country each year, and the EGF board concurred, finalizing the choice. Oberfhoff is normally known as a winter sports resort, but the nearby countryside ensures it still remains an attractive destination in summer. Click here to see a documentary about the Hotel Panorama, where the 61st European Go Congress will be held.

Categories: Europe
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New Youth Tournament in Los Angeles

Monday December 26, 2016

The AGA and the American Asia Culture Exchange Association have announced a new youth tournament to take place Jan. 21 in Los Angeles. The one-day, four-round event is being sponsored by AACEA and its founder, California go enthusiast Jingwei Zheng, and supported by The Korea Daily newspaper. Children and teen-agers aged 17 and younger on the date of the tournament may play in the rated event. Prizes, including trophies, will be awarded in up to four rank divisions, along with other special prizes such as youngest player; it expected about 30 kids will attend. Please pre-register by sending an e-mail to tournament director Yixian Zhou at yixian_zhou@hotmail.com. The event will go from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 10am to 6pm at the Korea Daily Education Center, 690 Wilshire Place, Los Angeles.

2016 American Go Yearbook Coming Soon; Join Now!

Sunday December 25, 2016

The American Go Yearbook 2016 Member’s Edition Collection is scheduled to be published January 1, 2017. One of the 2016.12.24_Yearbook-joinbenefits of membership in the American Go Association is the Member’s Edition of the American Go E-Journal, the largest English language go publication in the world. If you’re not yet a member, this is a great time to join!

The Member’s Edition includes game commentaries and other special content and the annual Yearbook collects it all into one handy online document. The 2016 edition includes game records from this year’s US Open, US Masters and Cotsen tournaments, as well as Globis commentary. Extra content includes Michael Redmond 9Ps Pair Go tsumego problems and his Cho v. Deep Zen commentaries, as well as Stephanie Yin 1Ps Women’s Championship commentary.

Once selected in the online Yearbook, game records or PDFs open up quickly and easily for review or download. We appreciate our member’s support of the AGA and hope that they will find the Yearbook a valuable and useful resource. Click here now to join the AGA and begin receiving the Member’s Edition. Special thanks to the Yearbook Games Editor Myron Souris for pulling all the 2016 material together.

- Chris Garlock, Managing Editor

The Power Report (3 of 3): Iyama defends Tengen title; Judan Best Four; Takao wins 3rd Over 40 Quick Go Tournament; Promotions/New Players

Sunday December 25, 2016

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal2016.12.25_42tengen4 Iyama de4ends

Iyama defends Tengen title: The third game of the 42nd Tengen title was held at the Munekata Yurix, a leisure complex, in Munekata City, Fukuoka Prefecture on December 1. After the challenger Ichiriki Ryo 7P leveled the series with a win in the second game (November 11), there was a gap of just under three weeks. Iyama (black) felt that he had fallen behind a little in the opening, so he decided to let Ichiriki build a moyo, his plan being to stake the game on living after invading it. The game was actually decided by hectic fighting in the centre. Ichiriki resigned after move 163.
The fourth game was played at the Hotel New Awaji in Sumoto City, Hyogo Prefecture on December 12. Taking white, Iyama (right) won by resignation after 188 moves. Facing a kadoban, Ichiriki played boldly, setting up a large moyo. Iyama tried to cut it down to size and the game was decided by a ko fight in the centre. Iyama gave up a group in return for winning the ko, but he secured the lead.
This is the last title match of the year, so Iyama ends the year with six out of the seven top titles. He will be just as busy next year defending his sextuple crown and he will be the favorite to become the Meijin challenger.

Judan Best Four: The semifinalists in the 55th Judan tournament have been decided. Yamashita Keigo 9P meets Yo Seiki 7P in one semifinal and Imamura Toshiya 9P plays Hane Naoki 9P in the other. Incidentally, Yo beat Ichiriki Ryo 7P in the quarterfinals.

2016.12.25_3over40 Takao leftTakao wins 3rd Over 40 Quick Go Tournament: This is a relatively new tournament for middle-aged professionals. It’s in its third year, but this could be my first report on it. As readers of this page will know, Takao Shinji (left) turned 40 during the Meijin title match; since he played in the tournament, the name should read “Over 39” or “40 and over,” but the Japanese name reads “Over 40 haya-go tonamento,” so this is not a mistranslation. The Nihon Ki-in likes the sound of “over 40,” although, presumably, aware of the inaccuracy. (“U20” is used in tournament names in the same way.) In the preliminary, the time allowance is ten seconds a move; according to Takao, this was quite an ordeal for him — not just playing but also pressing the clock within the time. He couldn’t help feelingly keenly how much he had slowed down in reading speed since his youth, though he still won his way through. In the main tournament, the NHK format is followed (30 seconds per move plus 10 minutes thinking time in one-minute units).
The semifinals and final were held at the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo on December 6. In the final, Takao (B) beat Kato Atsushi 9P by resignation after 121 moves. This was the first time a current titleholder played in the tournament. First prize is 500,000 yen (close to $43,000).

Promotions
To 8-dan: Kanazawa Hideo (150 wins, as of Dec. 2)
To 3-dan: Onishi Kenya (40 wins; as of Nov. 25)

New professionals2016.12.25_powers-mrs-taki-IMG_9774
The winter qualifying tournament for professional 1-dan was completed on Nov. 19. The top two players in the 16-player Swiss System tournament were Shibano Ryunosuke (aged 19) and Seki Kotaro (aged 15). Shibano is the older brother of Shibano Toramaru 3-dan (aged 15), who has already attracted a lot of attention since becoming a pro in summer last year. Ryunosuke was an insei like Toramaru, but ran into the age limit two years ago. This year he entered university and intended to give up his professional ambitions if he failed this time. Last year he became the youngest player to win the Amateur Honinbo tournament; he took first place in the qualifying tournament with a score of 12-3 (he lost his first three games), so he can finally set about trying to catch up with his younger brother.

Bonus: Power Pictured: “I had someone on Facebook ask if we could get a picture of John Power to include in the report some day,” writes Steve Colburn. “They’re interested to see who does Japanese reporting for us.” photo: John Power with Pair Go’s Mrs Taki at the 2016 Pair Go World Cup in July 2016; photo by Chris Garlock

Categories: Japan,John Power Report
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