American Go E-Journal

International Seniors’ Tournament Invites Players

Saturday September 3, 2011

The Korean Amateur Baduk Association (KABA) is inviting international participants to the 5th Kim-In Cup International Senior Baduk Competition, to be held November 4-7 in Gang Jin City, Korea.  Dan players (male – born before 12/31/1961, female – born before 12/31/1981) are welcome to form teams of four to enter.  They may also enter as individuals.  Cash prizes will be given.  Players are responsible for their own air tickets to and from Seoul, Korea; all other expenses are borne by the sponsors. Contact Thomas Hsiang, AGA Vice President for International Affairs at igf@usgo.org if you’re interested.

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Strong Field Expected in New Insei League

Saturday September 3, 2011

More than 60 go players have already registered for the next Insei League. “Our September League will be even stronger than usual,” reports Alexandre Dinerchtein. “We will have Fernando Aguilar (aguilar on KGS) and Pavol Lisy (cheater on KGS) fighting for first place in our supergroup.” Prizes in the League’s five groups total $750 (USD) with a special prize for the most active insei: Japanese green tea set with free shipping from Japan. Insei League teachers include An Younggil, Cristian Pop, Alexandr Dinerchtein, Andy Lui, Hwang Inseong and many 5-6d amateurs. There are a few spaces remaining in the League; click here for details.

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Samsung Cup Group Stage Results

Monday August 29, 2011

The group stage of the 16th Samsung Cup finished on August 26. Unlike other go tournaments, the Samsung Cup doesn’t use a straight knockout in the round of 32. Instead, the players compete in groups of four, with two players advancing from each group. Go Game Guru has a more detailed explanation of how the Samsung Cup round of 32 works. Lee Changho 9P made it through to the next round after receiving a wildcard qualification for the group stage, which he initially expressed reservations about accepting. Unfortunately for Park Junghwan 9P (recent winner of the 24th Fujitsu Cup) and Piao Wenyao 9P (who won the 15th LG Cup in February 2011), luck was not on their side and they’ve both been eliminated. Park and Piao faced very strong competition in a group with Chen Yaoye 9P and Li Zhe 6P. Soccer fans would call this the ‘Group of Death’. The Chinese tiger cub generation are making their presence felt, as are young pros from Korea. In particular Li Xuanhao 3P and Na Hyun 1P are both only 16 years old! This promises to be a very exciting tournament. Here’s the draw for the round of 16, which will be played in Korea starting on October 4 (that’s October 3, US time).

Lee Changho 9P vs Gu Li 9P
Lee Sedol 9P vs Kong Jie 9P
Kim Junghyun 3P vs Chen Yaoye 9P
Kim Jiseok 7P vs Li Zhe 6P
Won Seongjin 9P vs Li Xuanhao 3P
Na Hyun 1P vs Peng Liyao 5P
Lee Younggu 8P vs Tan Xiao 5P
Park Younghun 9P vs Guo Wenchao 5P

- Jingning; based on her Samsung Cup reports at Go Game Guru. Photo: Li Zhe 6P (left) plays Park Junghwan 9P.

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NEW IN PRINT 2011: A Mixed Bag

Wednesday August 24, 2011

by Roy Laird
During this year’s annual visit to the vendor room at the U.S. Go Congress, I added four new titles to my collection. I’m interested in pretty much anything John Fairbairn has to say, so I was excited to see that his ongoing partnership with Slate and Shell has produced two in which he focuses on a single important game played by Shusai , the last hereditary head of the Honinbo school. Old Fuseki vs. New Fuseki describes Shusai’s 1933 encounter with Go Seigen , while The Meijin’s Retirement Game covers the 1938 contest immortalized in Kawabata’s The Master of Go. Shusai’s opponent in that game was of course Kitani Minoru, who along with Go is credited with the creation of the revolutionary “New Fuseki.”  Fairbairn goes far beyond mere game analysis to tell the story of how these games came to be so important, placing them fully in the social and historical context of the time. There are “Timelines” outlining the lives of all three principals, and Old v. New contains an extended essay on the birth of “Hypermodern Openings.” Like Fairbairn’s other works, these books strengthen our appreciation for the deep sociocultural well we dip into each time we reach for a stone.

Another productive collaboration is that between S&S and Yuan Zhou. In addition to instructional material – my personal favorite is his small but powerful booklet, “How Not To Play Go” – he shares insights gained from a lifetime of studying the games of important players in his “Master Play” series. In five previous books, he has analyzed the style of seven top players through detailed discussion of two exemplary games – Go Seigen, Takemiya , Cho Chikun, Kitani, Kato, Lee Chang-ho  and Seo Bong-soo. In this year’s Master Play: The Playing Styles of Seven Top Pros, he takes a similar look at Sakata, Takagawa, Fujisawa Shuko, Rin Kaiho, Nei Wei-ping, Ma Xiao-chun and Cho hun-hyun. They say the best way to improve is to study pro games, and here we have a collection of games by some of the strongest players of our time.

Michael Redmond is also working with S&S to produce a new series of books for Western players on the opening. I saw a preliminary proof of Volume One, which will focus on the san-ren-sei opening. In the introduction, Michael says he intends this as “a textbook as well as a game collection.” Considering the Opening: San-Ren-Sei should appear in print before the end of the year.

On a more practical level, I found that I had somehow missed Volume 7 of Kiseido’s “Mastering the Basics” series, Attacking and Defending Moyos. This is the third book in English on the subject. Keshi and Uchikomi (2002; out of print) is organized as a dictionary, showing twenty standard reduction patterns and eighteen common invasion techniques. Reducing Territorial Frameworks (1986) focuses mostly on the “keshi” side of things.  Invading and Reducing Moyos co-authors Richard Bozulich and Rob Van Ziejst take a unique look at the subject by spelling out thirteen general principles, then illustrating these points through extended analysis of six carefully chosen games. The book ends with 151 problems.

Two problem-oriented series continued to grow this year, each serving a different purpose. Korean pro Cho hye-hyon was the youngest female, at eleven, to ever earn Korea professional credentials. In 2010 she became the world’s fourth female 9P. Her blog of challenging problems became so popular that last year she turned it into a book, Creative Life and Death; now she followed up with Volume Two. These books feature extended analysis of dan-level problems. At the other extreme, Oromedia’s Speed Baduk workbook series is now up to twelve volumes. Each book contains hundreds of problems breaking go down to its most basic elements, such as “hane at the 1-2 point.” Dozens of problems illustrate each point.  The workbooks themselves contain no answers – answer books are available separately for each three-volume unit. I also decided to pass up the 21st Century Dictionary of Basic Joseki,Takao Shinji’s update/rewrite of Ishida’s Joseki Dictionary, although I’m sure it contains valuable new material. I have Ishida, much of which is unchanged in the new edition, as well as Kiseido’s Dictionary of Modern Fuseki: The Korean Style. I also subscribe to Go World, where I see more discussion of modern openings than I can ever understand. If I didn’t have a joseki dictionary, though, this is the one I would get. Volume Two, completing the series, will appear early next year.

The long- rumored and anticipated Kiseido art book featuring ukiyo-e with go themes from the Pinckard collection, Japanese Prints and the World of Go, has finally appeared – and I’m sorry to report that it is a big disappointment. Unlike the rich, glossy covers of Go World, the prints seem faded and blurry. William Pinckard’s accompanying commentary in English and Japanese, on the other hand, is richly enlightening. Pinckard was a great scholar of go – click here to read his remarkable essay comparing go to the other ancient classic games, chess and backgammon. If you ever visited the Kiseido website’s “Art Gallery”, from which much of this material was drawn, you know how thoroughly Pinckard researched his acquisitions. I was looking forward to a beautiful book that could live on our coffee table – and I still am.

YOUR MOVE: Congress Ratings?

Tuesday August 23, 2011

“When will the ratings be updated?” wonders Andreas. “Looks like the first two rounds of the main Congress tournament are in there, but nothing after Wednesday, none of the Self-Paired.”
In general, tournaments are rated within a week of our receiving the tournament results report from the tournament director.  From time to time there are delays as we have to clarify some of the results with the tournament directors…its very easy to transpose a number in a players AGA ID, for instance.  Please rest assured that we will rate the tournaments as quickly as possible.
– Jonathan M Bresler, AGA Ratings Coordinator
photo: at the 2011 U.S. Open in Santa Barbara, CA; photo by Chris Garlock

Go Game Guru Marks 1st Anniversary

Tuesday August 23, 2011

Go Game Guru — a frequent contributor to the E-Journal — celebrated its first anniversary on August 22. A collaboration between two go players, Younggil An and David Ormerod – with regular contributions by Jingning – Go Game Guru provides reliable and well-produced international go news, as well as tips for how to improve at go, including lessons for beginners, study techniques, go problems and commentaries. Younggil An is an 8-dan professional go player with the Korean Baduk Association who won the ‘Prize of Victory of the Year’ in 1998. After completing compulsory military service, Younggil left Korea to teach and promote go around the world. He now runs Young Go Academy  in Sydney, Australia and writes for Go Game Guru. Ormerod is a go enthusiast who has been playing the game for nearly ten years. In 2010, he represented Australia at the 31st World Amateur Go Championship in Hangzhou, China.

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Laughter Goes Hand-in-Hand with Learning at Guo Juan Workshop

Monday August 22, 2011

 Fifteen go players attended the Fifth Annual NC Guo Juan Workshop, held August 12-14, in Raleigh, North Carolina.  Almost half of the attendees were young players, and three were new local players, reports local organizer Bob Bacon. “The registration fees for the first six young players were generously paid by an anonymous Triangle Go Group member,” Bacon adds. Guo “gave a number of interesting and helpful lectures and reviewed games,” co-organizer Thomas McCarthy tells the E-Journal. “She also provided us with the opportunity to play against her in a simultaneous format, and treated us to the joys of Survivor Go.” Workshop participant strength ranged from beginner to 3-dan, “and Guo Juan’s instruction and assistance was perfectly adjusted to each person’s strength.  Laughter went hand in hand with learning, and everyone came away with a stronger appreciation of this wonderful game,” said Bacon.
photo courtesy Bob Bacon

Categories: U.S./North America
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Ting Li 1P Visits the Schaumburg Go Club

Monday August 22, 2011

Ting Li 1P visited the Chicago area after the recent U.S. Go Congress and paid a visit to the Schaumburg Go Club. “She wanted to see ‘American go’ played in a coffee shop,” said Lee Hunyh 1d, a club member and Chicago native whom Ting happened to ask at Congress about the local sights. Ting graciously played two simuls — winning all her games, of course — gave a game review, and signed a board. “She speaks Chinese, Japanese, and English, and hence was able to review each simul game in the native language of the club member,” says local organizer Daniel Smith. Many club members had never met a professional player before, and “everyone greatly appreciated the time Ting spent with us,”
Smith added.

Categories: U.S./North America
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Park Younghun Wins World Meijin Tournament

Sunday August 21, 2011

Park Younghun 9P took the World Meijin title for Korea on Saturday (August 20), defeating China’s Jiang Weijie 5P and Japan’s Iyama Yuta 9P. The 2nd World Meijin tournament – officially called the China Changde Cup, World Mingren Championship – was a contest between the domestic Meijin title holders in China, Japan and Korea. In China and Korea the titles are called Mingren and Myeongin respectively. The format of the tournament was similar to the recent Bosai Cup. There were three rounds and two wins were required to take the title. In the first round, Park defeated Iyama, securing a place in the final. Jiang, who drew a bye in round 1, eliminated Iyama in round 2. Park won the final in 132 moves, after successfully fending off Jiang’s last ditch attempt to kill one of his groups. Congratulations Park Younghun!

Correction: While we’re on topic of Park Younghun, in last week’s article: Park Junghwan Wins Fujitsu Cup, Breaks Record we incorrectly reported that Park Junghwan 9P had broken Lee Sedol 9P’s record as the youngest ever winner of the Fujitsu Cup. While it’s true that Park Junghwan now holds that record, one sharp-eyed E-Journal reader pointed out that it was in fact Park Younghun’s record that was broken. Park Younghun broke Lee’s record by almost two months when he won the Fujitsu Cup in 2004. The original article has been updated.

- Jingning; based on her original article: Park Younghun wins 2nd World Meijin at Go Game Guru. Photo: Park Younghun 9P.

Updating Your E-Journal Profile

Sunday August 21, 2011

Top tourney results…opportunities to participate in international events…upcoming events…to keep you up-to-date on world go news, the E-Journal now publishes whenever go news breaks. If that works for you, you don’t need to do anything. However, if you prefer the once-a-week compilation of the previous week’s posts, simply click on the “Update Your Profile” link at the bottom of each EJ and click on “Weekly.” In that same screen, you can update your email address, renew your AGA membership, check your rating or start receiving the Members’ Edition of the AGA E-Journal. NOTE: be careful to click on the “Update Profile” button when you’re finished and NOT the “Unsubscribe” button (unless that’s what you want)!

Categories: U.S./North America
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