American Go E-Journal

Flying Finn wins London Open

Monday January 17, 2011

Antti Tormanen 6d (l) of Finland bested favorite Wang Wei 6d in the London Open at the end of December. Wang, who had just moved from Cork to London, but is originally from China, was favored for the Open – held December 28-31 — after being the previous year’s runner up, and indeed, after four rounds only he and Tormanen were unbeaten at the top. But when the two players faced off in round 5, the Fin won after an epic battle, and then won his last two games to complete his sweep and take first place. Wei Wang also won the rest of his games to end on six wins and take second place. CLICK HERE for the full results.

Man triumphed decisively in the Man-Machine Challenge, sponsored by the British Go Association and held in parallel with the London Open. John Tromp 2d won 4-0 and went away $1000 richer courtesy of Darren Cook, who was using Many Faces of Go on his laptop. Tromp, who felt the result didn’t reflect the closeness of the games, said that he wasn’t going to repeat his bet, as he expected to lose in a couple of years if the computer continues improving at the current rate.

The 2010 London Open was again sponsored by Pandanet and Winton Capital Management, but attendance was down slightly, no doubt due to the extremely cold weather and snow-related travel difficulties that immediately preceded Christmas. Luckily this had disappeared by the time the London Open started and 99 players turned up to play in this by now traditional 4-day event, which finishes up on New Year’s Eve.

Tormanen, who hails from Oulu in Finland, also won at least one blitz game against Guo Juan 5P at the New Year’s Eve party, during a series of games that was a serious treat to watch and listen to for those attending. Guo, from Amsterdam, was again resident professional, providing game commentaries and lectures throughout the tournament. Although she didn’t play in the Open, she played in the Pair Go Tournament and won, partnered by Ian Davis from Belfast. She also kindly provided a €100 sponsorship for this year’s London Open on her audio site; certificates are given to five young deserving players, each worth 20 audio lectures.

The Lightning was won by Jukka Jylanki 9k from Finland, who beat Andrew Kay 4d from the UK) in the final. The final event was a casual Rengo event after the tournament proper had been closed, and before the New Year’s party, which was won by Frenchmen Arnaud Knippel and Michael White, who attributed their success to brand new hats worn throughout. Geoff Kaniuk and Jenny Radcliffe were the tournament’s main organizers, supported by chief referee Nick Wedd, Tony Atkins and many others. This was Kaniuk’s last year as London Open Tournament Director, after many years of extraordinarily dedicated service and hard work.
- excerpted from Jon Diamond’s report on the British Go Association’s website, which includes all top-board game records and photo galleries of both the main and Pair Go tournaments

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School Teams Tourney Registration

Sunday January 16, 2011

Registration for the AGHS School Teams Tournament is now open. There will be four rounds: Round 1 (12 pm ET) and Round 2 (5 pm ET) will be on February 26; Round 3 (12 pm ET) and Round 4 (5 pm ET) will be the next Saturday, March 5. Players must still be in High School, or younger, and no older than 20 as of February 26. Schools can register a maximum of three teams, each with three players and one alternate. Returning players, please note that the rules have changed for the 2011 tournament: only learning institutions, where a subject other than go is taught are eligible. Regular go clubs are NOT eligible unless they are based at a school. Players are encouraged to form teams from their public/private schools. Registration closes February 12.

Go Featured at Japan Day at Hebrew University in Jerusalem

Sunday January 16, 2011

By setting up tables in the corridor at Hebrew University’s mid-December “Japan Day” in Jerusalem, go organizers Shavit Fragman and Barak Gluska “trapped many of them in ‘geta’ and made them stop, look, ask and learn about go,” reports Fragman. A Hebrew University graduate, Fragman said the school’s spacious Maiersdorf building – where the Japan Day activities were held – was “an ideal place to promote go.” Some students were new to game, while others had played it years ago, and Fragman says that “Some were very enthusiastic about opening a club at the campus.” Nearby, a group of students sang some Japanese songs, a tea ceremony workshop attracted interest, and an artist named Noda gave a lecture about Japanese wood printings. Officials from the Japanese embassy’s culture department visited the Japan Day events, and Professor Ben Ami Shiloni lectured about the relations and differences between Japanese and Jewish traditions, featuring many anecdotes and insights. “Special thanks go to Hadas Kushelevich, a Masters student at the East Asia studies, who organized the event and supported our success,” adds Fragman, “As Hadas proposed, we will organize a go evening at the student’s Bar-Aton club.” Click here www.go-mind.com/gallery.php for a gallery of event photos.

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Redmond Cup Registration Opens

Tuesday January 11, 2011

Young American go players can now sign up for the 19th annual Redmond Cup Tournament. Preliminary games will be played on the Internet, courtesy of IGS-PandaNet, and the four finalists will be invited to the 2010 US Go Congress to play the final games. There are two divisions in the Cup; the Junior league for those aged less than 12 years and the Senior league for those 12 and older, but younger than 18, on August 1st 2011. Competitors in the Senior League must be playing at dan strength, in the Junior 5 kyu or stronger. The participants must be members of the American Go Association or the Canadian Go Association and either residents of the U.S., Canada or Mexico or citizens of the United States living anywhere in the world, provided that they are also members of the AGA. The tournament director for the Redmond Cup is Michael Bull; Ing rules of Goe for all games. To register e-mail youth@usgo.org with your name, address, phone #, date of birth, email address, AGA rating, and citizenship. The registration deadline is February 15, 2011 The Cup is sponsored by Michael Redmond 9P and his family, the American Go Association and the American Go Foundation. Photo: 2010 champions, Oliver Wolf 2d (l) Sponsor None Redmond (c), Henry Zhang 1K (r). Photo by Ling Shan. – Paul Barchilon, Youth Editor.

Young Kwon Online Tourney Registration Deadline Extended; KBA to Award Dan Certificates

Monday January 10, 2011

With large cash prizes and free registration, why not sign up for the YKNOT? Nearly 100 have already signed up, and the registration deadline for the Young Kwon Online Tourney (YNOT) has been extended to this Thursday, January 13. “All levels are welcome,” says organizer Edward (Zhiyuan) Zhang, adding that “There are only a small number of players 5k and below enrolled.” Click here for free registration; AGA life members who live outside of U.S. are also eligible. The five round tournament is scheduled for January 22, 23, 29, 30 and February 5; 1p EST for dan divisions and 6p EST for kyu divisions. Basic time is 1 hour for dan and 30 min for kyu players and overtime for both is 5 periods of 30 seconds. Sponsor Young Kwon 7d believes that “kyu players can improve their strength quickly by recognizing the shapes and patterns, rather than reading/solving the problems.” Thanks to Myungwan Kim 9P’s efforts, the Korean Baduk Association has agreed to award KBA certificates to winners in three divisions (KBA 1 dan for 1k-4k division; 4 dan for 1d-3d; 6 dan for 4d-6d). For first-time web camera users, the TD’s (Skype ID: AGATD1) offer a live Q/A and testing at 1-2 pm on Saturday 1/15. Players may try to connect (or video chat) with “AGATD1” on Skype by then.

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Wilde About Go

Monday January 10, 2011

Tron: Legacy actress Olivia Wilde was apparently the inspiration for the inclusion of go in the holiday hit. “That was my nerdy idea because Go is the one game that humans consistently beat computers at,” Wilde said in a December 16 interview in the Times-Union. Taking on an “excited nerd voice,” Wilde said “We should have something about Go, because people who know about it will know computers can’t beat humans and it’ll be this cool reference to what humans can do that computers can’t. So we had that line where I say, ‘Flynn usually beats me.’ I think that people who know might get a little bit of a chuckle out of that.” Wilde also references Buddhism’s “beginner’s mind” in describing her character, Quorra. Kudos to EJ reader “ptw” who noted that Wilde “doesn’t seem to be an AGA member, but having a spokesperson with her combination of intelligence and notoriety would be quite useful in promoting go in the US.”

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Seattle Tourney Honors Jin Chen 7d’s Memory

Monday January 10, 2011

More than two dozen go players recently celebrated Jin Chen 7d’s life by playing the game Chen loved. The Seattle Go Center hosted the 2011 Jin Chen Memorial Tournament on January 2, with 26 players from across the country competing in the 3-round event. Many more visited the Center to watch the tournament and to pay their respects to the parents of Jin Chen, “a near master of one of the most complex strategy games in the world,” who accidentally fell to his death in January 2009. The tournament was held the day before what would have been Chen’s 24th birthday. The event showed that “friends and family of Jin Chen are moving on and celebrating,” Shan Chen told the E-Journal. “The Seattle Go Center has a great history and cultural values, and we are proud that Jin is part of it.” Click here for the Bellevue Reporter’s account and here for more photos of the tournament.

Categories: U.S./North America
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Yilun Yang’s 2011 Life and Death Puzzle

Monday January 10, 2011

For over a decade Yilun Yang 7P has been creating these annual original brain-teasing life and death problems based on the digits of each

[link]

new year. Here’s the latest; enjoy!
Non-members: get this kind of great content every week, from pro game commentaries to lessons and amateur game commentaries from top pros created just for the EJ! Sign up for the Member’s Edition today and start getting it next week!

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Xbox’s Path of Go The New Hikaru No Go?

Monday January 10, 2011

Judging by the flood of fan mail we received over the holiday break, The Path of Go — the new Xbox LIVE game – is quite the gaming hit, at least in the go community. “I just played The Path of Go with my 8 year old grand daughter and we could not get her to stop,” writes longtime go player and organizer Ernest Brown. “The three year old wanted to try also. This should be a great thing for promoting go.  In fact I believe we will get a bump in people wanting go lessons similar to the Hikaru No Go phenomena.  I think this beginning could attract more attention from the computer gaming community as well.  I hope it gets Bill Gates more engaged with go!”

Thanks to everyone who sent in reviews (Path of Go Available on Xbox 12/23/2010); “It’s a fun game,” wrote Joshua Ward. “It has a story mode that I was able to play through fairly quickly. The story mode is good for beginners as it plays entirely on a 9×9 board and teaches them the basics of the game. There is a multiplayer function to the game as well. You can go onto Xbox Live and play against other people on a 9×9, 13×13, and 19×19 board.” Here’s an edited excerpt of Christian Haught’s review: The game’s plot is interesting. You begin by being summoned to the residence of a wise old go master, who teaches you the basics of go. He then informs you of a twin you didn’t know of, who possesses go prowess like you, but who could never learn how to lose with grace. Leaving to pursue the Path of Go, he left his – and now your – master, who allows you to leave to look for your twin. This is an interesting setup for the game, as it hints to leading to a suspenseful final game between you and your twin, who has an odd habit of leaving games unfinished, which the masters you meet along the way ask you to finish. The control system for the game is relatively simple to understand, graphics were really well done and the three dimensional effects are impressive, adding a sense of depth and realism to the game. The insertion of your xbox live avatar into the game is also carried out quite well, as they make it seem as though your avatar belongs in the game, not just coded in. The settings in which the game takes place are also beautifully put together, and look like places you could find in nature. The computer that you play against is also decently strong, sometimes even forcing players who are more then just beginners into a corner. I wonder how that will work with players who are new to the game, but I imagine that this will force newer players to improve at a more rapid rank. Even if you have never played a game of go in your life, the game starts out with an excellent tutorial that introduces many of the beginning basics. These are, of course, added onto as the game proceeds, but these few beginner tips will allow you to get the basic understanding of the game and begin your journey into becoming a skilled go player. I imagine that most players will be at least 18k in rank, if not higher, by the end of this game.
- click here for the original version of this review

WORLD GO NEWS ROUND-UP December 21 – January 10: Korea’s Moon Dowon keeps winning in Jeongganjang; Lee Changho out of Siptan; Kong Jie advances; Women’s Myeongin final set; Kuksu final set; Maxim round 2

Monday January 10, 2011

Moon Dowon continues her winning streak in Jeongganjang Cup: Korea’s Moon Dowon 2P (r in photo) kept Team Korea on top with her win over Japan’s Chinen Kaori 4P (l) in the third round of the 9th Jeongganjang Cup on January 10th. This was another decisive win for Moon, defeating Chinen by 10.5 points. Round four will be played January 11th. Game records from earlier rounds can be found here. Lee Changho knocked out of Siptan: In another of a series of losses, Lee Changho 9P was knocked out of the 6th Siptan by Lee Younggu 8P in the third round of play. Lee lost ground early on and was never able to sufficiently recover and resigned after 152 moves. The Kuksu title match between Lee Changho and Choi Cheolhan 9P is coming up on January 12th, and with Lee’s significant slump and Choi’s strong showing over the past several months, it will be an uphill battle for Lee to retain his title. Kong Jie advances to quarterfinals in RICOH Cup: In the third round of the 11th RICOH Cup, curent title holder Kong Jie 9P defeated Qiu Jun 8P by resignation. Cho Hyeyeon advances to women’s Myeongin final: In the 12th Female Myeongin challenger decision match, Cho Hyeyeon 9P defeated Park Jieun 9P by a decisive 9.5 points. Cho who was recently promoted to 9 dan will now face defending champion Rui Naiwei 9P for the title. This will be the eighth time since 2003 that Rui Naiwei and Cho Hyeyeon have faced each other for the Myeongin title. Cho has won the title only once, in 2004, against Rui. The title match is a best of three series that will begin on January 13th. Lee Changho and Choi Cheolhan in Kuksu Final: In the third and final round of the 54th Kuksu challenger decision match, Choi Cheolhan 9P  defeated Kim Jiseok 7P by resignation. Choi will now face current Kuksu holder Lee Changho 9P in the title match. This will be Choi’s fourth time playing in the Kuksu final. He has won the title twice and lost it once, all three previous matches were against Lee Changho. Lee has played in the Kuksu final eighteen times since 1990 and won the title ten times. Round 2 Maxim Cup Results: Defending champion Choi Cheolhan 9P defeated Yang Jaeho 9P by resignation in second-round play of the 12th Maxim Cup. In other second-round play, Kang Dongyun 9P defeated Won Sungjin 9P by resignation.
- JustPlayGo; edited by Jake Edge

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