American Go E-Journal

DC & Toronto Lead Pandanet-AGA City Leagues; Round 8 Set for Sunday

Monday June 10, 2013

Greater Washington has a slim one-point edge over Los Angeles in the the Pandanet-AGA City A League after seven rounds of play. In the B League Toronto has come out with a strong record and is leading the league with San Francisco hot on their heels. Round 8 is set for this Sunday, June 16 at 2p on IGS. In the A League, Los Angeles will play New York City, Greater Washington will play Boston, and Seattle will play Vancouver. With the field so strong at this point, Boston could wind up challenging LA and GW for the top slot. In the B League, Southern California will take on San Francisco in a tough match-up, Massachusetts will play Washington DC’s Team 2 and Toronto will play Montreal. It will be exciting to see if Toronto will gain another win to stay on top of the standings or will there be a tight playoff the last two rounds to determine the winner. Up-to-date standings are available on the Pandanet-AGA City League Page

While the east coast has arguably been dominating national tournaments in recent years, LA found a secret weapon in 22-year-old anchor BeomGeun ‘Evan’ Cho 7D. The former Korean insei is 6-0 in the league, and has defeated several former US Open and/or North American Masters champs including Jie Li 7D, Andy Liu 1P, Ziyang Hu 1P and Huiren Yang 1P. And with Daniel Ko and Curtis Tang on tap, the LA team is so solid that if a team cannot beat Cho, then it must beat both Ko and Tang. Team captain Andrew Okun, President of the American Go Association, probably knows how to motivate his team. Meanwhile, with AGA legend Jie Li on board, DC is a legitimate champion candidate. Vancouver’s 2-4 score may be a bit of a surprise, but if they get Ziyang Hu 1P back to the lineup, they are still in the striking range. Boston is 3-0 against three teams with 2 wins, yet win-less against top two teams; it may be time for the team to step out of their “comfort zone”. Seattle has demonstrated the powerful strength of Korean American players, while New York City is also strong, but just has not yet had a good opening. Toronto is leading after beating San Francisco but the DC Team 2 is closely behind, followed by Montreal, Southern CA and Massachusetts.

Jon Boley and Steve Colburn head up the team running the City League, in which teams from North American cities play in a league system on the Pandanet-IGS server in the AGA room. The teams consist of up to five players, out of which three are selected to play in each round.
- report by Steve Colburn and Edward Zhang

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Go Classified: Goban For Sale

Monday June 10, 2013

Katsura goban, 4.5 inches thick.  With legs, total height 9.5 inches.  20 years old, but only used by a little old man on Sundays. Bob Barber; komoku@clear.net

Categories: Go Classified
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Nominations For 2013 AGA Board Directors Closing June 15

Sunday June 9, 2013

The central region American Go Association board seat remains wide open as no names have been submitted as candidates, reports Arnold Eudell. “Incumbents Paul Celmer and Chris Kirschner remain the sole candidates in the eastern and western regions respectively.” Eudell added. Nominations close Saturday, June 15 and must be sent to elections@usgo.org. Click here for procedures, qualifications and candidate statements

Categories: U.S./North America
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The Power Report: Cho U Wins Crucial Game In Meijin League; Takao Takes Lead In Honinbo Title Match; Kono To Challenge Iyama For Gosei Title; New Professional Couple

Sunday June 9, 2013

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

Cho U Wins Crucial Game In Meijin League: Thanks to defeating his most formidable opponent, Cho U 9P (right) is a lot closer to ecoming the challenger for the 38th Meijin title. In a game played on June 1, Cho (taking black) defeated Iyama Yuta Honinbo by resignation, improving his record to 6-0 and keeping the sole lead. Iyama had been one of just two players with only one loss, but, with his score now 5-2, the best he can hope for is a tie for first, but that will happen only if Cho loses both his remaining games; his opponents are Takao Shinji 9P and Kono Rin 9P. The other player with one loss is Hane Naoki 9P, who is on 4-1; he has already played Cho, so he has to rely on the above-mentioned pair for help in catching up. Incidentally, Saturday games are quite unusual, but Iyama is extremely busy, what with Honinbo games in successive weeks. On June 6, Sakai Hideyuki 8P (B) defeated Yuki Satoshi Judan by resignation. This was Sakai’s first win in the league, to six losses, while Yuki still has not opened his account. He is now 0-6 and has suffered a dismal 16 losses in a row, spread over three Meijin leagues.

Takao Takes Lead In Honinbo Title Match: All the momentum now seems to be with Takao Shinji 9P (left) in the 68th Honinbo title match. In the third game, played in the Hokkaido city of Kushiro on June 5 & 6, he defeated the defending champion Iyama Yuta and took a 2-1 lead. Playing black, Takao forced a resignation after 167 moves. In its report, Go Weekly was unable to specify a losing move for Iyama; he apparently played no dubious moves after the opening, so Takao must have gained an advantage in the first fight of the game, in which he sacrificed corner stones to set up a squeeze on the outside. Iyama has now lost three important games on the trot; the fourth Honinbo game, scheduled for June 17 & 18, will be a crucial one for his title defense.

Kono To Challenge Iyama For Gosei Title: In the final of the 38th Gosei tournament, Kono Rin 9P (B) defeated Matsumoto Takehisa 7P by 1.5 points, so he will challenge Iyama Yuta Gosei for the title. Kono challenged Iyama for the Tengen title last November, but lost three straight; he will be hoping to improve on this record in what will be his first Gosei challenge. The title match starts on July 6.

New Professional Couple: On June 4, Suzuki Ayumi 6-dan and Rin Kanketsu 7-dan got married at a hotel in Karuizawa. Rin commented: “There’s a perfect balance of supply and demand in our marriage: I like composing life-and-death problems and my wife likes solving them.” As far as I know, this is the 16th marriage among Nihon Ki-in professionals.

Categories: Japan,John Power Report
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AGA Board Nominations Closing Soon

Thursday June 6, 2013

Less than 10 days remain before nominations close for the 2013 AGA board elections. Incumbents Peter Celmer and Chris Kirschner are running to retain their seats in the Eastern and Western regions respectively. Nominations, including self-nominations are being accepted through June 15 and should be sent to elections@usgo.org

Categories: U.S./North America
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New Huntsville Go Club Seeks Rocket Scientists

Thursday June 6, 2013

The new Rocket City Go Club in the Huntsville, AL area has been founded “in the hope that we could lure some of the many NASA rocket scientists in the area into trying one of the world’s most ancient and fun board games” reports Adam LeCroy.Non rocket scientists are also welcome of course!” The club’s inaugural meeting will be June 17th at noon, at the Sinsaegae restuarant, 2701 Patton Rd SW, Huntsville, AL.
Got go club news? Get the word out! Email reports to us at journal@usgo.org 

Categories: U.S./North America
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UK Taps Shodan Challenger Chris Bryant to Reverse Team Fortunes

Thursday June 6, 2013

A new captain has been appointed to head up the British team for the online Pandanet Go European Team Championship 2013 following the UK’s demotion to the C League, after they failed to win a single game last season (A League Finalists Set in European Team Championship 5/10 EJ).

Chris Bryant 1d (pictured), a 23-year-old software engineer from Bury, who plays at St Albans Go Club, has been charged with reversing the team’s fortunes and his personal go history speaks of a man with the resolve to achieve his goals. Bryant learned go in February 2011 and early on made a commitment to try and reach dan grade within a year, signing up for the British Go Association (BGA)’s Shodan Challenge, where ambitious players are supported in a formal attempt to reach a specified higher grade within one year.

The puzzle-loving Bryant attributes his go success to solving an estimated 10,000 tsumego problems in a year — including about 1,000 in the first week alone, bringing him to 13-kyu — and in fact has only played about 300 actual games.

Bryant not only took the Challenge and met it, but also displayed his organizational flair by running the Shodan Challenge in 2011 – 2012 for the BGA. At that time there was an individual mentoring system, but this was difficult logistically and as Bryant explains, “The way [it] works at the moment is that there is a forum/Google group where people can post up games to be reviewed”. The BGA has also held closed teaching events for stronger players to improve. Bryant has already identified and made contact with more than the maximum pool of twelve (minimum six) strong players from which four will be selected for each round .

Outgoing captain Andrew Simons 4d continues to play a part in strengthening British go talent by giving lectures most Thursdays at 8pm in the British Room on the KGS go server. Bryant said of the lectures,  “These have helped a lot of people; it’s the kind of thing that I’d love to see more of. I give lectures myself, though mostly on Second Life – we have a go playing location there called Kido Province

As for future ambitions, Bryant said, “I’d like to become British Champion one day – going to need lots more tsumego for that though ;). I’ve never had a dedicated teacher but there have been a few people who I’ve got advice from and I’m really appreciative of that. One of the things I like most about go is that strong people seem eager to teach others, and so the trend continues as those players themselves become stronger!”

This year’s Championship starts in September.

- Tony Collman

Categories: Europe,Go News
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Tan Xiao, Liu Xing, Shi Yue & Lian Xio Blaze Into Changqi Cup Semi-Finals

Wednesday June 5, 2013

gu li & liu xingPreliminaries for the 10th Changqi Cup finished May 31 after three days of fierce matches. When the smoke cleared, Tan Xiao 7P, Liu Xing 7P, Shi Yue 9P, and Lian Xio 4P stood above the rest, including last year’s defending champions Chen Yaoye 9P and Tuo Jiaxi 3P. The finalist’s circle was especially sweet for Liu as he competed in 2007, 2008, and 2011 to no avail. However, this year he bested his two-time conqueror Gu Li 9P. No date has been set for the semifinals, although the finals have been scheduled for late October 2013.

Known as one of China’s “most generously sponsored tournaments” with a grand prize of over $73,000 USD, the Changqi Cup always draws China’s top players. Pros who made an appearance this year were Chang Hao 9P, Fan Tingyu 9P, Kong Jie 9P, and Jiang Weijie 9P, to name a few. Joint-hosts the Chinese Go Association and the Ing Foundation (Shanghai Branch) originally came together in 2004 to honor Ing Chang-ki. For more information about this year’s tournament including photos and game records, please visit Go Game Guru.
- Annalia S. Linnan, based on reporting on Go Game Guru

AGF Restocks, Publishes DIY 9×9 Board

Wednesday June 5, 2013

What does $17,000 buy? If you’re The American Go Foundation, here’s the answer: 8,000 9×9 cardboard beginner boards for the Starter Set, 1,000 full size wooden boards for the Club Classic and 2,000 vinyl boards for distribution to AGF programs and AGA chapters. Thanks to generous donors, “We’ve provided hundreds of programs with materials in the last few years, and our successful outreach to schools and libraries means that demand is growing even faster,” AGF VP Paul Barchilon told the EJ. For the DIYers out there, the AGF has also made the PDF of the 9×9 board available as a download. “Why didn’t we think of this before?” muses AGF President Terry Benson. “Print boards and rules, make stones from card stock with a ¾” punch (available online or at any good craft store) and you’re ready to go.” The AGF is supported entirely by generous go players; to support their work, click here.

Categories: U.S./North America
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Third International Children’s Art Contest

Wednesday June 5, 2013

The popular International Children’s Go Art Contest is back for the third year in a row, and children are invited to submit their pieces.  Last year’s contest drew almost 70 entries, from ten different countries, and this year organizers hope to pull in even more.  The entries will be exhibited at the US Go Congress in Tacoma, in August.  The categories will be for under 12 and under 16, with three winners, and 2 notable entries in each category.  Magnetic go sets for the top six winners will be provided by Yellow Mountain Imports.  To see some highlights of last year’s entries, visit the online gallery on the Go Symposium site.  The contest also has a Facebook page here.  Complete entry information is available in the pdf file attached to this link (right click to download once it takes you to the page with the file) GoArtContest2013. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor