American Go E-Journal

LEE SEDOL ADVANCES TO PRICE INFORMATION CUP FINALS

Thursday May 27, 2010

Lee Sedol 9P advanced to the finals of the Price Information Cup after defeating Kim Jiseok 7P by resignation after just 114 moves in the final game of League B play. Jiseok, who has experienced a bumpy start this year, was last year’s Price Information Cup winner. Lee Changho and Yoo Changhyuk will play the final league game on May 26th.
-from JustPlayGo

Categories: World
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LEE CHANGHO LEADS TEAM NETMARBLE TO VICTORY

Wednesday May 26, 2010

Lee Changho 9P earned a win in the first stage of league play in the 2010 Korean Baduk League Cup when Jong Sungji resigned after 135 moves. Combined with wins from Kim Seongjae 3P and Song Taekon 9P, Changho’s win gave Team Netmarble a 3-2 victory over Team Kixx.
-from JustPlayGo

Categories: World
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KOREA AND CHINA DOMINATING RIVALRY AMONG MAJOR GO POWERS

Wednesday May 26, 2010

With the 31st annual World Amateur Go Championships now underway and being held this year for only the second time in China, a look at the current status of the longtime rivalry between the three major go powers is instructive. There are nine currently active international tournaments – the Nongshim, Ing, BC Card, Jeongganjang, Asian TV, Fujitsu, LG, Samsung, and Chunlan — that involve China, Japan, and Korea. Half of the latest winners of these are Chinese, and the other half are Korean. The most recent victory by the Japanese was four years ago, at the 7th Nongshim Cup in 2006 when Yoda Norimoto 9P, in the final game, managed to defeat “iron door” Lee Changho 9P of Korea, who had finished off a win for the Koreans in the first six editions of this win-and-continue team tournament. Several titles have been completely controlled by the Chinese and Koreans. The Ing Cup, which currently has the biggest purse, has been won five times by Koreans and once by Chinese. The Japanese were runners-up twice. The international BC Card Cup, which includes a Taiwanese representative and has one-hour basic time and 30 seconds byoyomi, has been won once by a Korean representative and once by a Chinese. The Jeongganjang Cup, a team event for women pros, has been split five-three between Korean (five wins) and Chinese teams. Others, mostly longer-running events, have had occasional Japanese winners. The Asian TV Fast Game Cup (ten minutes and then thirty seconds) has been won nine times by Japanese players, most recently by Cho U 9P in 2005. Otherwise, the Koreans have seven victories versus five for the Chinese. This is the only event in this group won more often by the Japanese than by either of the other two countries. The Fujitsu is the longest-running of these tournaments and the most fully international. It guarantees a place in the main tournament for representatives from the Americas and Europe as well as Taiwan. On rare occasions one of these representatives has won a game. The Koreans have triumphed in it fourteen times, the Japanese six, but the Chinese only twice. The LG Cup saw the only win of one of this group of events by a Taiwanese player, Zhou Junxun 9P in 2007. Otherwise the Koreans have seven wins and the Chinese four, with the Japanese coming out on top twice. The Samsung is open to all pros and some amateurs in the early stages. It has been won twice by the Japanese, three times by the Chinese, and nine times by Koreans. The Chunlan also includes Western and Taiwanese representatives. It has seen four victories by Koreans, two by Chinese, and one by a Japanese representative. If international events that are no longer held were included, the percentage of Japanese victories would be greater since they had better results in earlier days. At present it is clear that the battle for international dominance is between Korea and China. Korea was clearly dominating until very recently, but China is now making a strong challenge for the top spot.
- Bill Cobb, based on reports on Sensei’s Library, Go News and GoGameWorld

Categories: World
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5 MINUTES WITH: T Mark Hall, UK

Wednesday May 26, 2010

T Mark Hall (left, with correspondent None Redmond), the U.K.’s WAGC rep, lives in London, where he works with John Fairbairn to produce the encyclopedic Games of Go on Disk, better-known as GoGod. We interviewed Hall right after his second-round loss to Canada’s Yongfei Ge 7d and he was planning to use GoGod – “a large database of professional go games supported by an extensive fund of programs, data and articles to help existing players enjoy and benefit from these games” – to analyze his game. Hall is a retiree from the British Foreign Office; his first assignment was in Tokyo, where he learned go and spent three years playing whenever he could. His travels have taken him to places around the world, including Milan, Nigeria, Greece, Burma and a 1992 stint in Seoul. Hall plans to take advantage of his WAGC trip to China to explore the country through mid-June. Through the EJ’s extensive network of sources, we have learned that T is Hall’s legal first name, adopted after an employer insisted on using Hall’s first name even though he preferred Mark.
- None Redmond, special correspondent for the E-Journal; photo by John Pinkerton

MERO SWEEPS IN LAUSANNE

Wednesday May 26, 2010

Csaba Mero 6d (r) of Hungary went 7-0 to win the Swiss Championship tournament, which was held in Lausanne May 22-24.  Viktor Lin 5d of Austria was second at 6-1, only losing to Mero in round 5.  John Walch 3d was third with a 5-2 record, and was the highest placing Swiss making him the 2010 Swiss Champion.  Based on his result, Lorenz Trippel 1d will be the Swiss representative to the World Amateur Go Championship 2011.
- EuroGoTV, photo by Judith van Dam, EuroGoTV

Categories: Europe
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HWANG WINS AGAIN IN HAMBURG

Wednesday May 26, 2010

A week after his win in Madrid, Hwang In-Seong 8d (l) went undefeated again to win the Hamburger Affensprung, held in Hamburg, Germany May 22-24.  The deciding game was played in round 4 when Hwang defeated long-time rival Cho Seok-Bin 7d who came in second with a 6-1 record. Antti Törmänen 6d of Finland came in third.  Zeno van Ditzhuijzen, who was recently promoted to 1d, had a good tournament beating three 3d players and two 4d — a year ago he was 13k.
- EuroGoTV, photo by Judith van Dam, EuroGoTV

Categories: Europe
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ROUND 2 HIGHLIGHTS: DPR Korea Downs Japan, U.S. Squeaks By France, Austria Upsets Czechia

Wednesday May 26, 2010

“I didn’t expect to lose on the first day,” said Japan’s Yohei Sato after his second-round loss to Taewon Jo of DPR Korea. Sato “missed a move in the middle game, completely failed to see it,” he said, admitting “This is going to hurt. But perhaps it’s psychologically easier to lose to an opponent like this early on, instead of after winning five or six games in a row.” Thomas Hsiang 7d (U.S.) squeaked out a half-point win over a visibly distraught Thomas Debarre 5d (France). “After the opening I felt I was far ahead, but then he tried hard to catch up and I almost let him do it,’ said Hsiang.
In one of Day 1’s most surprising upsets, Bernhard Scheid 5d (Austria) defeated Ondrej Silt 6d (l)  of Czechia. Silt “made a joseki mistake and so I got the lead,” said Scheid, “but then he managed to complicate the game and my lead became less clear. But then he began to make mistakes in the endgame, and after a while he resigned.” Meanwhile, Lucian Corlan of Romania recovered from his morning defeat by beating Geert Groenen of the Netherlands, Pal Balogh of Hungary downed Yuxiang Lou of Singapore, Ofer Zivony of Isreal beat Kaikun Xie of New Zealand, Leszek Soldan of Poland prevailed over Emil Estuardo Garcia Bustamante of Mexico, and Frederik Blomback of Sweden outplayed Le Khanh Lam Bui of Vietnam. Meanwhile, on the top boards, the players from China, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, and the Republic of Korea rolled to victory over opponents from the Ukraine, Ireland, Denmark, and Switzerland. Summing up his game against Cheng-hsun Chen of Chinese Taipei, Ireland’s John Gibson (r) said “I resigned when I started getting into time trouble and realized that all my groups were dying. Chen had used up 10 minutes and 15 seconds of his time. It might have been 10 minutes and 30 seconds if I hadn’t helped him get his water bottle open. Perhaps that was the best thing I did during the game.’
- based on James Davies’ report on Ranka online; photos by John Pinkerton

AT 20, PAIR GO LOOKS BACK AND AHEAD

Wednesday May 26, 2010

Pair go is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, and World Pair Go Association Vice President Hiroko Taki (l) looked back and ahead in an interview with Ranka on Tuesday. “When we started the pair go movement twenty years ago, we wrote a lot about the significance of fostering pair go, communication in black and white, international goodwill, and so on,” said Mrs. Taki. “At the time, there was a need to attract more players to the game of go, both in Japan and in western countries. There was a particular need to get more women into the game, and of course that would attract more men. We wanted to present pair go as a game played by ladies and gentlemen, to make it more accessible to women. Our no-smoking policy was a big change. Over these twenty years, I’d say that we have reached and exceeded our goals. In the future I hope to see pair go become an established part of every major go tournament.” Following on the success of the professional Pair Go World Cup held in Hangzhou last March, Mrs. Taki says “We’re hoping to hold more pair go world cups, not next year but perhaps once every four years, like the football world cup.” The next big international pair go tournament will be the Asia Games, where pair go will be one of the events. “Looking beyond that, the World Pair Go Association now has 64 member countries,” notes Mrs. Taki. “Our Chairman is Mr. Koichiro Matsuura, former Director-General of UNESCO, so we’re expecting to develop further under his leadership. We are also now participating in the International Go Federation, and will be working with them.” While the WPGA is developing pair go on the Internet, through Pandanet, Mrs. Taki stresses that “in pair go it’s always important for people to meet face to face over the board.”
- based on James Davies’ report on Ranka online; photo by Ivan Vigano

GO PHOTOS: At The WAGC Opening Ceremony

Wednesday May 26, 2010

TOP LEFT: in the casual playing room after the opening ceremonies & banquet

TOP RIGHT: American Go E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock (r) presents the brand-new American Go Yearbook to new International Go Federation President Zhenming Chang (l)

BOTTOM LEFT: A banquet staffer at the opening ceremonies

BOTTOM RIGHT: total concentration in the casual player’s room

photos by John Pinkerton

Categories: Go Photos
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ROUND 1 HIGHLIGHTS: Thailand Surprises Romania, Canada Routs Russia

Wednesday May 26, 2010

Here are highlights of James Davies’ Ranka Online report on the first round at the WAGC: Kamon Santipojana 4d of Thailand surprised Lucian Corlan 5d of Romania when the 21-year-old Thai student took command of the game early…As previously reported (NO SURPRISES AT TOP IN PRELIM 1ST-ROUND WAGC RESULTS), Canada’s Yongfei Ge 7d defeated Alexey Lazarev 6d of Russia when the closely-matched game turned into a hard-fought rout, with Ge beating Lazarev by 24.5 points…See below for the game, with commentary by Michael Redmond 9P (at left with E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock). The evenly-matched contest between a pair of 3-dans from Mongolia and New Zealand also turned into a rout when the Chinese-born New Zealander, 15-year-old Kaikun Xie, easily forced opponent Oyutbileg Tsendjav to resign. Boonping Teng of Malaysia “outplayed me in the first part of the game” said the United Kingdom’s T Mark Hall, complaining of severe jet lag, ‘but then he made a blunder in a ko fight at the very end.’…The game between Csaba Deak of Brazil and Daniel Baumann (r) of Switzerland, both ranked 1-kyu, took a similar course, when Deak also “blundered (in the end) and had to resign.”…Perhaps the last closely-matched first-round game was also fought between kyu-level players John Gibson (2-kyu) of Ireland and Carlos Leon Rios Joels (1-kyu) of Peru. ‘I’m going to play quickly because I’m hoping to exploit my opponent’s nervousness at being in his first world championship,’ said Gibson. Click here for Ranka Online’s complete report. photos by John Pinkerton

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