Sunday May 12, 2013
In Russia, they take their mind sports seriously. Case in point: the Russian Sports Federation’s (RSF) chess program has produced many of the world’s finest players. Similarly, the RSF’s go program has produced top Western professionals through their partnership with the Hankuk Kiwon, producing players such as Alexander Dinerchtein 3P (“breakfast” on KGS) and Svetlana Shikshina 3P, and continues to produce promising up-and-comers such as Ilya Shikshin 7D.
If asked to name their mentors, all would certainly mention Valery Shikshin, an Honored Trainer of the Russian Federation (and as you may gather, father of both Svetlana and Illya). Shikshin has been teaching and coaching Russian go for 25 years, and has developed a set of axioms and principles that he sets forth in this four-volume “Theory and Practice Series,” now available exclusively in the US through GoGameGuru. Volume 1, The Theory and Practice of Tsumego, includes more than 300 original life-and-death problems, many from Russian master games. Starting with the basic shapes, Shikshin takes the reader all the way through corner positions, side formations, and on into the intricacies of seki and ko. I found the chapter on seki to be uniquely systematic in its understanding of how these strangely symbiotic shapes arise.
While Volume 1 of “Theory and Practice” is a new approach to an area that has been widely studied, Volume 2 — “The Theory and Practice of Semeai“ — is surely unique in English. Here Shikshin takes the same systematic approach to capturing races, illustrating a few dozen basic principles with numerous problems and game examples. As in Volume 1, the principles are illustrated by hundreds of problems and examples, many from actual games. Two other volumes will complete the series in the next few months – The Theory and Practice of Shapes, and The Theory and Practice of Analysis. These materials helped to produce some great Western go masters – they are surely a worthy entry into the Western go canon.
- Roy Laird
Saturday May 11, 2013
Go teacher Evan Cho 7d has won the second TRENDnet Southern California Go Championship, reports tournament organizer Kevin Chao. A small but enthusiastic crowd of 32 met at the Arcadia Badminton Club in Arcadia, CA, for the tournament, which is sponsored by the global network hardware provider. Cho beat Curtis Tang 7d for the top section prize and Gus Price 7d came in third. In the dan section, Daniel Alvira won top honors followed by Jay Zheng, Jerry Shen and Jeffrey Zhang. In high kyu, Preston Hutchins won, followed by Andy Cheng and AGA Executive Vice President Ted Terpstra. Mid-kyu: David Baran, followed by AGF Teacher of the Year Joe Walters and Hena Garcia. Low-kyu, Jeremy Shen followed by Sean Tucker and AGF Director Larry Gross. The go playing happened in an upstairs room at the giant badminton club; some players went downstairs and played badminton while waiting for their next round, making the weekend a combined mental and physical workout.
Saturday May 11, 2013
There are still seats open in next weekends tournament OWL: Resurrection. The sequel to last year’s Oscar Wilde Liberation tournament, which falls on the anniversary of Oscar Wilde’s release from Reading Gaol Prison. For the second year in a row, this tournament will give players a chance to earn points towards this year’s North American Masters Tournament at the US Go Congress in August. The 4-round tournament will take place on KGS in the AGA Tournament Room, on Saturday and Sunday, May 18-19. Players must be eligible for NAMT and rated 4D+. Click here for tournament schedule and rules, and click here to register. Registration is free, and participation in the tournament guarantees at least some points to all players. The deadline is May 16th, at midnight. - Karoline Burrall. Photo: Oscar Wilde, who once said “Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.”
Friday May 10, 2013
Hungary and Czechia have now qualified for the finals in the Pandanet Go European Team Championship A league, joining Russia and Ukraine, who had previously qualified. This is the second consecutive trip to the league finals for Hungary and Czechia, while Russia and Ukraine have not missed a final yet, with Russia winning both previous titles. The European Team Championship (ETC), now in its third year, is comparable to the German Bundes League but with national teams from thirty European countries divided into three leagues.
ETC games are played online using the Pandanet Internet Go Server. The top four teams in the A league are invited to compete for 10,000 Euros in the finals at the European Go Congress in Olsztyn, Poland in July, and up to five players per team receive support for their Congress travel costs.
Two-time defending champions Russia may be tough to dethrone, with European professionals Alexander Dinerchtein and Svetlana Shikshina and three-time European Champion Ilya Shiksin heading up the roster. Last year, with no team gathering more than one match win, Russia had to rely on tiebreakers to retain the championship. Germany’s last-place finish means direct demotion to the B league for next season, while Israel, promoted to the A league last season, managed to reach 9th place and need to win a playoff match against Austria to stay league A.
The B league team from Finland will be directly promoted to A league. UK will spend next season in League C, while 9th place Switzerland still hopes of staying in the B league through the playoff match. Their opponent will be Slovakia, Slovenia or Turkey. Slovakia will not leave one of the first two places so they get at least a shot at being promoted. The only team that can still pass them is Slovenia. Turkey must hope for Slovenia to struggle to get a chance in the playoff match against Switzerland.
The last matches in the C League will be played on May 14th. All results will be available on the ECT tournament page.
- Jan Engelhardt, German Correspondent for the E-Journal. Photo: Catalin Taranu (l) vs. Ilya Shiksin (r), from the EGC 2012 Website
Friday May 10, 2013
Reigning British Champion, Andrew Kay 5d, has taken first place at the Candidates’ Tournament, with six straight wins. The tournament, held at Edinburgh University in Scotland this year for the first time ever, is part of the British Championship. Twenty-one contenders, selected on grade, were invited by the British Go Association (BGA); an ineligible player also competed to even out the pairings.
In fact, Kay did not even need to compete, as the current Champion qualifies automatically for the Challengers’ League, between the eight best players from the Candidates’, who also earn qualifying points for selection as the British entrant to the World Amateur Go Championship. The top two players will be pitted against one another in the Title Match itself, decided on the best of three games.
Also qualifying were Des Cann and Matt Crosby with five wins each, and Tim Hunt, Andrew Simons, Boris Mitrovic, Alex Kent and Alex Rix with four. Francis Roads will be the reserve player, Richard Hunter having stood down.
The location in the far north of the UK was deliberately chosen to encourage more Scottish entrants, a ploy which was completely successful, since more Scots (and indeed more women) attended than in any previous year.
The Challengers’ League is due to take place at the Fitzrovia Room, International Student House (ISH), 229 Great Portland Street, London, W1W 5PN between Friday May 24 and Monday May 27 and the Title Match is provisionally scheduled for Sunday June 30 in Cambridge.
Click here for full results of the Candidates’ Tournament.
-Tony Collman. Compiled from material on the BGA’s website. Photo: Andrew Kay, courtesy of his website.
Friday May 10, 2013
The deadline for registration of the first International Collegiate Go Tournament (North American College Players Invited to July Tournament in China, But Must Act Quickly 5/2/2013 EJ) has been extended until May 31. The invitation has been extended to students in Europe as well. More details about the July 7-13 event can be found at the ACGA’s website.
Wednesday May 8, 2013
Three American Go Association (AGA) Board of Director seats are up for election this year, reports Arnold Eudell, who’s coordinating this year’s election process. The terms of three seats – one in each region – expire this September. Nominations are now being accepted and will close on June 15; nominations must be made by email by full members of the AGA. Send to email@example.com Click here for complete election information and qualifications.
Wednesday May 8, 2013
Now that Go World magazine has ceased publication (EJ 11/16/12) , back issues of this matchless archive of top analysis and instruction have become more valuable than ever. The American Go Foundation’s Store offers a selection, and the first 108 issues are also available as PDFs from Kiseido Digital. The AGF was delighted to recently receive a generous donation of hundreds of oldies but goodies from the publisher, including twenty issues that have never been available from the AGF before. Click here to browse the contents of all but the last seven issues. If you’re unfamiliar with this great resource, download a free sample issue of Go World and check it out. A total of more than 50 back issues are now available to AGA members, and AGF programs. Click here to order from the AGF, who will ship anywhere in the US. If you enjoy the “real feel” of actual paper-and-ink, act now — when they’re gone, they’re gone! Still missing an elusive issue? Kiseido is offering all back issues from #72 – #124 on at $8/each including airmail from Japan. Issue #125-129 are $10/each. Some earlier issues are also available. Click here to find more info about Kiseido’s offer (at the bottom of the page). -Roy Laird
Tuesday May 7, 2013
Top winners at this year’s U.S. Go Congress will receive the AGA’s first-ever Rank Certificates. Although the automated rating and tournament reporting system may not be ready by August, “AGA President Andy Okun looked at reports of US Open winners and determined that over 90% of those who place in the top three in their band, or top 6 in the open section, hold or exceed the rank,” reports Congress Co-Director Chris Kirschner. “That’s good enough for us to jump-start the program with certificates based on placing at least third in your band,” said Okun. When the automated process is completed, players who meet the standard for their next rank will receive an email notifying them of their achievement and a printable PDF certificate. Fancier certificates and plaques, suitable for framing, will be available at a reasonable cost. “This is an exciting addition to the tournament scene,” said Karoline Burrall, AGA National Tournament Coordinator. “Since the only way to get the certificate is to compete in AGA tournaments, we are expecting more and larger tournaments.”
Tuesday May 7, 2013
Dueling schools in Portland, OR, are at it again, with Irvington Elementary notching up an 8-4 win over Sun Montessori, at their most recent tourney on April 21st. Irvington Elementary is coached by Peter Freedman, while Sun Montesorri is coached by Fritz Balwit. Richard Blakeslee, a Portland-based go player and film-maker, has been covering go at Irvington, and made a three minute video of the match which can be seen here. Another longer video, just over seven minutes, shows the kids playing and includes interviews with some of the kids about go, and the program, and can be seen here. Interschool match results: Irvington: McCaleb, 2-1, Hikaru, 2-1, Ellis, 2-1, Wilson, 2-1; Sun Montesorri: Amos, 2-1, Hanson, 2-1, Dylan, 0-3, Shelem, 0-3. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo by Peter Freedman: Players square off at the tournament on April 21st.