American Go E-Journal

Four American Pros Coming to Congress

Wednesday May 15, 2013

Myungwan Kim 9P, Yilun Yang 7P, Mingjiu Jiang 7P, and Jennie Shen 2p have confirmed they will be teaching at the US Go Congress in Tacoma this year.  Co-Director Chris Kirschner reports: “Pros from Korea, China, and both Kansai Ki-in and Nihon Ki-in in Japan will attend, but we aren’t sure of the names yet.” Korea also plans to send two additional pros to the Teacher Workshop. See the What’s Happening link on the Congress Website for more details and frequent updates.

The Power Report: Cho Leads Meijin; Kisei, Honinbo Begin; Pair Go

Monday May 13, 2013

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

Cho U keeps sole lead in the Meijin League: Two important games in the 38th Meijin League were played on May 2. In one, Cho U 9P (W) beat Mizokami Tomochika 8P by resignation; in the other, Iyama Yuta Kisei (B) beat Sakai Hideyuki 8-dan, also by resignation. As a result, Cho improved his score to 5-0 and kept the sole lead. Iyama is in second place, on 5-1. The two are scheduled to play each other in June. The only other player with one loss is Hane Naoki, who is on 4-1. However, he has a bye in May.

Two more games were played on May 9. Takao Shinji 9P (W) beat Murakawa Daisuke 7P by resignation and Kono Rin 9P beat Yuki Satoshi Judan, also by resignation.  These results meant that Takao and Kono both kept their hopes of winning the league alive, as each has only two losses (Takao is 4-2 and Kono is 3-2). Neither has played Cho yet, so they need to “cooperate” to drag him down. Of course, they need Iyama to stumble as well. Incidentally, Yuki’s jinx continues: he has now lost 15 games in a row over three Meijin legues. Photo: Cho U, Official Nihon Ki-in photo.

Kisei Leagues starts: The 38th Kisei Leagues got off to a start with a game in the A League. Taking black, Yamashita Keigo Meijin beat Yoda Norimoto 9P by 5.5 points.

Honinbo title match starts on 16th: The big game later this week will be the first game of the 68th Honinbo title match, in which Takao Shinji 9P is challenging Iyama Yuta Honinbo. The game will be played on May 16 & 17. Takao has a dismal record against Iyama of 5 wins to 17 losses, but he was in superb form in the Honinbo League, which he won 7-0, so the title match is unlikely to be one-sided.

Professional Pair Go championship: The E-Journal reported on this tournament on May 6th. The Japanese Pair Go Association would like to add some details about the event. The official name of the tournament is the 1st China-Japan-Korea Professional Pair Go Championship. It is notable as the first purely professional international Pair Go tournament.  The first tournament in which professionals took part was the Pair Go World Cup 2010, which was held in Hangzhou, China. It was organized by the World Pair Go Association, and a total of 16 professional and amateur players took part.  This tournament was popular with spectators and go fans. This year’s event was organized by the WPGA with the cooperation of the Chinese Weiqi Association, Anhui Province and Hefei City. Matsuura Koichiro, President of the WPGA and former Director-General of Unesco, attended the tournament to give out prizes. A large number of photos and the game records can be found at the home pages of the Japan Pair Go Association and on the Pandanet page for the tournament. Photo: Pair Go Winners, representing China, Wang Chenxing 5-dan & Chang Hao 9-dan. From Pandanet.

Go Spotting: “The Economist” On “The Game To Beat All Games”

Monday May 13, 2013

“The heavyweight pros on late-night cable television boast nicknames such as Monster, Razor, Butcher, Assassin and Knitting Needle. The most famed matches in history include the Blood Vomiting Game of 1835, the Famous Killing Game of 1926 and the Atomic Bomb Game of 1945. No, this is not some bone-crushing contact sport. It is a simple parlour game where two opponents, comfortably seated and often equipped with nothing more than folding paper fans and cigarettes, take turns placing little stones, some black, some white, on a flat wooden grid…”
- excerpted from the December 16, 2004 report  on “The most intellectually testing game ever devised?” in The Economist; thanks to Glen Peters for passing it along. Photo Getty Images, courtesy The Economist

Categories: Go Spotting

Go Classified: Amateur Lessons

Monday May 13, 2013

I have been teaching go for several years, many people may know of my Youtube channel, “Clossius” where I have done video lessons for beginners. I am offering teaching games and lessons for donations, to anyone who would be willing to help me get to the Go Congress this year.  -Shawn Ray, AGA 4d. Interested parties may contact Shawn at

Categories: Go Classified

Historical Exhibit to Debut at Go Congress

Sunday May 12, 2013

“The Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience will be assisting us to present items of significance to the history of go in this country,” reports Congress Director Chris Kirschner. “We  will have a collection of AGA Journals from the 1940′s and 50′s. Japanese players in Seattle have donated old books dating back to the early 1920′s, including some that were hand written during the wartime internment. Copies of some of these will be available for purchase at the Go Congress.” Also on display will be a floor board and stones, along with a doll that traveled West from Japan about 1900, to Austria, and continued from Europe about 1950, landing in Seattle ultimately.

“We will  have a piece by well known Japanese calligrapher Taiun Yanagida, stating 10 rules for playing well,” said Kirschner. “It was a feature at the original Seattle Go club in Seattle’s international district, which was a chapter of the Nihon Ki-in. It was donated to the Seattle Go Center by surviving members of that club shortly after the Go Center was founded in 1995. A translation will be available.  Copies of early books in English will make an interesting comparison with our modern book style,” adds Kirschner. The organizers are looking for additional display material.  If you have material you would like to see displayed , contact Kirschner at -Paul Barchilon. 

New From Hinoki Press: “Theory and Practice” series by Russian Master

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


Evan Cho takes Second TRENDnet in SoCal

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.

Categories: U.S./North America

OWL NAMT Deadline May 16

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.” 

Categories: U.S./North America

A League Finalists Set in European Team Championship

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 

Categories: Europe

Andrew Kay on Course to Retain British Championship

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.

Categories: Europe,Go News