American Go E-Journal

KUO KIN 3P & JIE LI 7d TO COMMENT ON SATURDAY SPOT1 GAMES ON KGS

Friday May 21, 2010

Kuo Yin 3P, former China Ing Cup Universities Champion, will give live commentaries for both Strong Player Online Tournament (SPOT1) games this Saturday, May 22. First up Saturday morning is the battle for third place between Eric Lui 7d (MD) and Michael Chen 7d (NJ). The game starts at 10a EST on KGS and Lui leads 1-0 in the best-of-three match. Next, at 1p, Jie Li 7d, four-time US Open and three-time NAIM Champion, will comment on Finals Game 2 between Myungwan Kim 9P (r) and Jianing Gan 6d (l) as Kim — on a 19-win streak — tries to close out the best-of-three series and collect the SPOT1 trophy.  
- Reported by Tournament Director Zhiyuan ‘Edward’ Zhang

Categories: U.S./North America
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THE TRAVELING GO BOARD: Shanghai: Chicken Feet, New Friends, the Mysteries of Go and Pint-Sized Players

Friday May 21, 2010

“How much you can drink is directly related to how strong you are,” proclaimed Sun Bo, brimming glasses of both wine and beer in front of the amateur 5-dan. E-Journal photographer John Pinkerton and I had landed in Shanghai a few short hours earlier and Jin Sheng Yu (far left) and his wife Dai Zijia (far right) had picked us up and whisked us off to dinner with fellow go players Quin Zhixuan 5d (2nd from left), Du Yufeng 3P (3rd from right) and Sun Bo (3rd from left), who goes by “Jacky.” We’re in China to cover the 31st annual World Amateur Go Championships (WAGC), which start Monday in nearby Hangzhou and arrived a few days early to explore go in Shanghai. Feng Yun 9P had generously provided an introduction to Jin and though we had all just met, we were soon bonding over platters of Cantonese food, wine, beer and of course, go talk. Jin is a 4-dan pro in his early thirties who became a pro at 11 in 1990 who now works days at the Children’s Palace and runs a go school on weekends. His wife, who insisted we call her Diana, teaches English at a Shanghai high school. Jacky, who we immediately nicknamed “Tough Jacky” because he confidently claimed to be strong at everything from go to ping pong, drinking and karaoke, is Jin’s student and colleague at the weekend go school, which is so new — it just opened in March — that it hasn’t been named yet. As we downed one delicacy after another — you haven’t lived until you’ve sucked the fatty skin off chicken feet and slurped up glutinous rice balls in sweet red bean sauce — discussion ranged from the pros and cons of internet play (“anyone can get to 7-dan online”) to how best to study pro games (split between some who said it was necessary to try to understand the moves and others said No, just play through the moves and try to get a feel for them). All agreed that at the top levels go is deeply mysterious and that questions of “good” and “bad” moves largely come down more to a sense of the game and style, rather than absolute assessment. After dinner we adjourned to Jin’s club, near the famous Jingan Temple in downtown Shanghai, on the 6th floor of a nondescript office building. We could hear the chatter of young voices as we came out of the elevator and soon a dozen young go players were crowding around us, practicing their English and excitedly shaking hands. A few minutes later I was playing a simul with 7-year-old Zhu Qiying (l) and 8-year-old Zhang Chi (r), two young kyu players whose seriousness and poise was impressive. Zhu took up the game just 10 months ago on a dare from her classmates in school, and her twice-a-week lessons compete for her attention with dance, piano, English, skating, mathematics and other classes. Zhang — a rosy-cheeked youngster who also studies Chinese chess, piano and calligraphy — would like to be a pro and has been playing for two years. Jin has fifty young students already, and his instruction covers all aspects of go, “because you can’t understand go without understanding its culture, as well.” After the games and brief interviews and photos, the kids went home and we went into the teacher’s room to check out the gambling go game Jacky and Zhixuan were playing. But that’s another story.
- Chris Garlock; photos by John Pinkerton

Categories: Traveling Go Board
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KAZANC DEFEATS KILIC FOR TURKISH YOUTH TITLE

Friday May 21, 2010

Omer Kazanc 1k defeated his main rival Selman Kilic 1d in the final fifth round of the Turkish Youth Championship, held in Istanbul May 15-16. Kazanc swept the tourney. Kilic took silver, while Muhammet Emin Kucuk 16k won bronze.  20 players took part in the tournament.
- Peter Dijkema, EJ European correspondent

Categories: Europe,Youth
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BLOMBACK KEEPS SWEDISH TITLE IN NORRKÖPING

Friday May 21, 2010

Fredrik Blomback  5d defended his title in the 2010 Svenska Mästerskapen in Norrköping, May 14-16. After three rounds in the Championship Tournament, he defeated John Karlsson 4d 2-0 in a play-off for the National Title.  Weiying Sörlin 5d went 6-0 for third place in the tournament with 63 participants.
- Peter Dijkema, EJ European correspondent

TIAN YE 1P TAKES PANDANET AMSTERDAM OPEN

Wednesday May 19, 2010

Despite being upset by Benjamin Teuber 6d (l) of Hamburg in the last round, Tian Ye 1P (r) from Beijing led three 5-1 players to win the Pandanet Amsterdam Open held May 13-16.  Dai Junfu 7d of France, who lost to Tian by a half-point in the fifth round, came in second based on SOSOS, while Teuber was third based on SOS. “Junfu’s lesson on his book about the middle game paid off, although I went against his advice in my game against the pro!” Teuber told the E-Journal, savoring my first victory over a pro in an official game.” Teuber was a student of the late Hans Pietsch 6P. More than 100 players took part in the tournament, which was held at Iwamoto Kaoru’s European Go Culture Centre.  Peter Liu 2P commented all of the Board 1 games.  This is the 39th year of the Amsterdam Open, making it among the oldest continuously-held events on the European calendar.
- Peter Dijkema, EJ European correspondent; photo by Judith van Dam, EuroGoTV

LIVE FROM THE WORLD AMATEURS!

Monday May 17, 2010

The American Go E-Journal will publish special daily editions next week live from the World Amateur Go Championships (WAGC) in Hangzhou, China. We’re teaming up again with Ranka Online this year to provide complete coverage of the 31st annual competition among top amateur players from around the world, which will run May 24-31. American-born pro Michael Redmond 9P will provide game commentaries for the Ranka/E-Journal effort – which will include ongoing updates on both Ranka and the AGA website , as well as via daily E-Journal reports — while Ivan Vigano, James Davies and Chris Garlock will report and John Pinkerton will provide photos.

COLLEGE STUDENTS GET A BREAK

Monday May 17, 2010

The American Go Foundation (AGF) will be using the Gregory Lefler Memorial Fund to help college students attending U.S. Go Congress this year, reports AGF board member Keith Arnold. “Any student attending college full time this fall can apply for a $50 discount on their registration fees; we have limited funds, so graduating seniors or graduate students will only be considered if funds remain,” Arnold said. To request the discount, send an e-mail with your name, AGA number, name of school, and your fall status (freshman, sophmore etc.) to agf@usgo.org. “We expect available funds to be exhausted so please send your information now, first come, first served,” added Arnold.

JIANING GAN LOOKING TO STAY ALIVE IN SPOT1 TOURNEY SATURDAY

Monday May 17, 2010

Barring an upset win by Jianing Gan 6d, Saturday’s 1p (EST) game could be the final round in the Strong Players Online Tournament (SPOT1), as Myungwan Kim 9P looks to sweep the tournament finals 2-0. Kim is on an 18-game winning streak in AGA tournaments. The game will be broadcast live on KGS. Earlier Saturday, Eric Lui 7d will play Michael Chen 7d at 10a (EST) — also on KGS — in the battle for third place. Lui leads 1-0.  Kim 9P has defeated Hugh Zhang 6d, Daniel Gourdeau 6d, Yongfei Ge 7d, Yue Zhang 7d and Michael Chen 7d. Thiteen-year-old Gan 6D has defeated Patrick Lung 6D, Mengmeng Chen 5D, Yongfei Ge 7D, Hugh Zhang 6D, Sarah Yu 6D, and Eric Lui 7D.
- Edward (Zhiyuan) Zhang, TD

NEW AGA TOURNAMENT COORDINATORS APPOINTED

Monday May 17, 2010

Edward Zhang (r) has been appointed National Tournament Coordinator for the American Go Association (AGA), President Allan Abramson announced Monday. Zhang — who has been coordinating the Strong Players Online Tournament (SPOT1) — will have two Assistant TC’s, Oren Laskin, and Eric Davidson-Sawyer. “This team of three tournament coordinators brings new faces and energy to this important function, spreads the work load, offers new ideas, and better provides for continuity in case of a vacancy, ” Abramson said. “I am pleased that all three stepped up to serve the AGA membership,” he added.

Categories: U.S./North America
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KAMINSKI’S FLOW EARNS HIM FLIGHT TO KOREA

Monday May 17, 2010

Marek Kaminski 3d (r) of Poznan swept the Korean Ambassador’s Cup in Warsaw last weekend, qualifying for the Korean Prime Minister Cup later this year in Korea. Polish Champion Leszek Soldan 5d finished second with one loss and Agnieszka Kacprzyk 1d of Bebnów won bronze on sos. Kaminski won the Young Masters League last month at the age of 23, making this his last year in the League. In the second round the Young Master defeated current Polish Champion Soldan.  “This win gave me the flow to fly to Korea; all my games were tough,” he told the E-Journal. “But our real Young Master is Mateusz Surma, the European Youth Champion. I hope to meet and play him in Korea!” where Surma currently studies go. The tournament was organised by the club Kawangarda in the South of the capital Warsaw. Click here for full results.
- Peter Dijkema, E-Journal European Correspondent

Categories: Europe
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