American Go E-Journal

Jennie Shen 2P Workshop in Philly

Monday December 1, 2008

There’s still space in Jennie Shen (right) 2P’s December 12-14 workshop in Philadelphia, reports organizer Matt Bengtson. “We have players registered from 20k to 5d,” he adds. The workshop includes lectures and game reviews and costs $100, or $50 for youth or Penn Go Society members. Check out the Penn Go Society website for details; contact Matt Bengtson (matt@mattbengtson.com, 215-704-4600) or Peter Nassar (pnassar@vet.upenn.edu, 215-898-6271) for more info. Photo by Flickr user Smudge_47

Categories: U.S./North America
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World Go News: Takao Keeps Japanese Alive in Nongshim; Park Leads 2-0 in GS Caltex Cup Title Match; Zhou Ruiyang Wins Qiwang

Monday December 1, 2008

TAKAO KEEPS JAPANESE ALIVE IN NONGSHIM: The Nongshim Cup, the popular international team tournament, started off being dominated by two teens. First Chinese teen Tuo Jiaxi 3P won four games, eliminating two members of the Japanese and two of the Korean five-player teams. Then Korean teen Kang Dongyun 9P won five games, kicking out three Chinese and two more Japanese. Down to their last player, Takao Shinji (left) 9P, the Japanese finally managed to win a game, with Takao sending Kang down on November 29th. Facing two Koreans, Lee Changho 9P and Lee Sedol 9P, and two Chinese, Chang Hao 9P and Gu Li 9P, it seems highly unlikely — even to Takao, according to an interview in the latest issue of Goama — that Takao can defeat all four, probably the strongest players in the world at the moment, to capture the title for the Japanese, who won this cup in 2006. The Chinese team, with Chang Hao holding the fort, won the Nongshim last year, but the Koreans have won it the other seven times. In every case, Lee Changho was the Koreans’ iron door. The final games start on February 2nd in Shanghai.

PARK LEADS 2-0 IN GS CALTEX CUP TITLE MATCH: Park Yeonghun (right) 9P defeated challenger Won Sungjin 9P November 28th in the second game of the best-of-five-game match for the 13 Korean GS Caltex Cup to make the score 2-0. Park won the international Fujitsu last year, defeating Lee Changho 9P in the final, and also the 12th GS Caltex Cup, defeating Lee Sedol 9P in that final. Earlier this year he won the Korean Maxim Cup and the Gisung. Won won two Korean titles last year, the BC Card Cup (aka New Pro Cup) and the Chunwon (J: Tengen). Both players are in their early twenties. Photo by Picasaweb user BadukNews

ZHOU RUIYANG WINS QIWANG: Zhou Ruiyang 5P, who is seventeen, defeated Li Kang 6P to take the 4th Chinese Qiwang (King of Go) title on November 15th. Zhou has won the Xinren Wang (New Pro) Cup twice (2007 and 2008) and the Weifu Cup in 2008. The Xinren Wang is limited to players under thirty and 7P. Li, twenty-one and yet to win a title, was the runner-up in the Weifu Cup against Zhou back in February, losing that one 2-0.

Categories: World
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European Go News: Oh Chi-Min Sweeps Berlin Tourneys; French Autumn Go Report

Monday December 1, 2008

OH CHI-MIN SWEEPS BERLIN TOURNEYS: Oh Chi-Min 7D has swept two German tournaments back-to-back. After winning the Go-to-Innovation tournament in Berlin on November 21-23, Oh won the ‘Crane’ there a week later. Hong Seul-ki 7D finished 2nd and Zou Jin 6D took 3rd prize in the Innovation and Zou Jin moved up to 2nd in the Crane while Hong took 3rd there. The Innovation tournament is scored with Hahn-rules, which yield better scores for large and consecutive wins, while games with reduced handicaps are possible. These rules enabled some two-digit-kyus to take top places, like Pavel Salom 13k, who placed 5th with 7 wins. Next were Radek Nechanicky 6D, Lukas Podpera 2D and his younger brother Milos Podpera 11k, all Czech players. There were 61 participants; the top board was broadcast by EuroGoTV. In the Crane – where EuroGo TV again broadcast the top board — 171 people took part, and only local youngster August Damm 25k also won all 5 rounds.
- reported by Peter Dijkema, European EJ correspondent; photo: Oh (l) plays Bernd Schütze 4D in the final round of the Crane. Photo by Sabine Wohnig. Click here for a complete album of tourney photos.

FRENCH AUTUMN GO REPORT: The big go news in France was Fred Donzet 5D’s 8th-place finish in the recent Korean Prime Minister Cup (Europeans Perform Well At Korean PM Cup 11/17 EJ). Look for a mini profile on Donzet and his most successful student Thomas Debarre (see below) in a future EJ. The National Youth Congress took place during France’s Autumn School Holiday during the last week of October, with teachers Fan Hui 2P and Noguchi Motoki 7D instructing 45 young students. Fan, one of Europe’s top players, is well-known to EJ readers for his game commentaries, while Noguchi is not only a strong player and teacher, but ALSO a scholar on go and art, “During the Congress’ Youth Championships, Mélissa Héaulmé won Primary Title, the first girl to win a Youth Title in 20 years, while Thomas Debarre won the College Title and Michel Papin won ‘Lycée’ ahead of Julie Antigny, who took silver,” Noguchi reported on French Go Association’s website. Two weeks later, Fan and Noguchi confirmed their top-player status at the “2e Mondial des Yeux de l’ Esprit,” – the French version of ‘Minds Games’ — held November 13-19 in Aix-les-Bains. In Aix, Fan won, handing Noguchi his only loss in a strong field that included Dai Junfu 7D, Li Yue 6D from Barcelona, Zhang Yanqi 5D of China and Peter Brouwer of Amsterdam. Games were broadcast on KGS and EuroGoTV. Also undefeated in the 60-player field were Paul Bivon 2k, Maxime Pages 5k and Frédérik Wilthölter 10k. And finally, in the middle of the Mondial tournament, the finals of the French Team Championships were held in Rennes, with the team from Tours winning the title for the first time. The Team Championships title is called the ‘Maitre Lim Coupe’, or Master Lim Cup, named after the go teacher who’s trained strong Paris go players for over 30 years. As a scholar, Master Lim has contributed to Paris-based go mags like ‘Noir et Blanc’ (black and white) with erudite and creative essays on the history and culture of go. In one, Master Lim imagined go rankings as animal characters, in which a strong kyu might be nothing more than a weasel, but 5D’s were real tigers.
- reported by Peter Dijkema, European EJ correspondent; photo: Nobuchi Motoki 7d (l) vs Peter Brouwer 4D

Categories: Europe
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Jie Li Wins N.A. Fujitsu; Dennis Liang Tops in Chicago; Six Sweep in Norcal; Crowley Wins Iwamoto Youth 13X13

Monday December 1, 2008

JIE LI WINS N.A. FUJITSU: Jie Li 7D (AGA 9.53) won this year’s North American Fujitsu Cup against Canadian Gan Sheng Shi 7D in front of a crowd of over 400 watching live on KGS on Saturday. The game record is attached.

DENNIS LIANG TOPS IN CHICAGO: Dennis Jong-Rong Liang 6D topped the November 22 “He’s Dead But He Won’t Lie Down” tournament in Chicago, IL, named in honor of Hoagy Carmichael’s birthday. Tied for first place in the High Kyu Division were Laura Kolb 2k and HaoXuan (Henry) Li 4k, while Jesse Chen 17k took first in the Low Kyu. 29 players participated and Bob Barber was the TD. Photo (left): Kevin Zhou and Chang, Chien-Wei; photo by Bob Barber

SIX SWEEP IN NORCAL: Thirty-six go players ranging from seven to nearly 70 years old gathered in Palo Alto, CA the weekend before Thanksgiving to play in the monthly AGA ratings tournament organized by the Bay Area Go Players Association. “We had three fathers and their sons play in this tournament,” tournament organizer Roger Schrag tells the E-Journal. Wenyi Feng (right, in photo) 5d and Gilbert Feng (center) 16k were one such father and son. “Six players won all of their games,” reports TD Steve Burrall, “Four players in the dan division and two players in the kyu division.” The next monthly AGA ratings tournament is scheduled for December 20 in Menlo Park. Winners Report: Dan division: Hugh Zhang 6d (3-0), Wenyi Feng 5d (3-0), Jim Hlavka 2d (3-0), David Su 1d (3-0). Kyu division: Vincent Huang 11k (4-0), Tai-An Cha 5k (4-0). Photo by Lisa Schrag

CROWLEY WINS IWAMOTO YOUTH 13X13: Devin Crowley topped a field of 28 players from preschool to high school who came to the Seattle Go Center to play in the Iwamoto Youth 13×13 Tournament on Sunday, November 23. The handicapped four-round fun tournament had a “prizes for everybody, winners choose first” policy. Crowley was the overall winner, with a 4-0 record. Also undefeated were Jace Sherrill in the high school section, and Jim Do and Anthony Quinto-Tila in the middle school division. Winner of the elementary section was Elan Ma, with a 3-1 record. Two other elementary players had 3-1 records as well: Alexander Pfenning, and Rovel Obata. “These kids really want to play go,” tournament Director Brian Allen noted, “Right after we set up the first pairings, the room became perfectly quiet.” Photo by Brian Allen

Categories: U.S./North America
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Go Review: Monkey Jump Workshop

Monday December 1, 2008

by Phil Waldron
The first encounter with a monkey jump is an intimidating and frustrating experience. In an instant, once promising territories vanish and three-eyed groups become corpses. Most players learn to deal with the monkey jump by trial and error, but all too often they obtain only passing familiarity. For those looking for true mastery of the technique, a big jump comes with Richard Hunter’s “Monkey Jump Workshop.” Sensibly enough, Monkey Jump Workshop begins with the monkey jump at its simplest: a basic reduction against a solid territory. The standard counter-moves are analyzed before considering how things change when the surrounding position is altered. Even subtle differences can be important, and this chapter illustrates this point admirably. All of the important considerations are presented with elegant examples without getting bogged down by details. Coverage continues with the monkey jump in the context of life-and-death situations and ends with a presentation of several professional games in which the monkey jump appears. Distributed throughout is an impressive collection of monkey-jump problems, both of the yose and life-and-death variety. If all this seems like a lot of material to cover in a single book, it is, and the coverage is somewhat uneven. I was particularly impressed by the treatment of the monkey jump as an endgame move, while the chapter on the monkey jump in professional play is presented as a series of uncommented game diagrams that feels like filler material. Part of the difficulty seems due to the origins of the book; the chapters began as a series of stand-alone articles in the British Go Journal, and as a consequence are generally well-organized individually but do not flow together and mesh poorly with the supplementary material added later. This also limits the book’s value as a reference text, which is unfortunate given both the quantity and quality of material contained. Although it needs a good editing job, the Monkey Jump Workshop is a worthwhile addition to the go collection of a kyu-level player. The book is by far the most comprehensive treatment of the topic available in English and contains all the information necessary to become a master of the technique. Monkey Jump Workshop is available from Slate and Shell Publishing.

Go Quiz: Chevy Geo, Of Course!

Monday December 1, 2008

Only a handful of hardy quizzers took a shot at last week’s anagram question, racking their brains with the usual Asian names for go. A couple, including quiz leader Phil Waldron, went as far afield as “shudan” or “handtalk” to try to make “Datsun” fit. One enterprising person actually made a program to look up all different permutations of “igo”, “baduk”, “weichi” and “weigi” and automatically produce a Google search which he then checked based on number of hits. Sadly, this effort only got him an ATV. A couple of you checked “Goe” (thank you Mr. Ing) but only got as far as some concept car called the “Ego.” The correct answer, from 4 of you, including now Quiz co-leader Kim Salamony, was based on Goe: the Chevy Geo. Congrats to this week’s winner Clark B. Wierda, this week’s winner, selected at random from those answering correctly. THIS WEEK’S QUIZ (’08 FINAL!): This will be the last quiz for the year, as we take our usual holiday break. As noted above, Phil Waldron and Kim Salamony have answered every quiz, and both have just 3 wrong at this point. Japanese go has a policy that if you hold a major title for 5 years in a row, you hold that title in an “Honorary” fashion upon turning 60, or retiring. This is the same reason I claim the title “HKA”, or “Honorary Keith Arnold”, after winning the “Keith Arnold” award in the Congress Self-Paired tournament 5 years in a row, and then retiring from the competition. Name the only Japanese “big seven” title where no one has yet to qualify for an “honorary” title upon turning 60 or retiring. Click here to send in your answer.
- Keith Arnold

Categories: Go Quiz
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Correction: Amherst, Not Boston

Monday December 1, 2008

The November 23 Western Massachusetts Go Club’s Fall tournament was in Amherst, MA, not Boston, as we reported last week (Morris Sweeps Western Mass Tournament).

Categories: U.S./North America
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Discounted GoGoD Offer

Monday December 1, 2008

“Prepared to do its bit for the credit crunch,” GoGoD is offering a discount on the upcoming new Winter 2008 edition, reports T Mark Hall. “Our normal prices, for a single issue, or for an issue now and one more up to a year later, are respectively 20 and 25 pounds Sterling (30 and 35 Euros, or 40 and 50 US dollars),” says Hall. “For a limited period up to December 8, we are making those respective prices 15 and 20 pounds Sterling, 25 and 30 Euros and 30 and 40 US dollars.” GoGoD now includes a database of almost 55,000 games, database software, and a large encyclopedia, “We estimate that this gives you the equivalent of almost 200 books,” adds Hall, who notes that GoGoD prices include airmail postage. Paypal payments accepted; email Hall at tmark@gogod.demon.co.uk or chat with him (Tmark) on KGS.

Strange Things Happen at the One-Two Point

Monday December 1, 2008

The Terminator played go on network television, this past Monday night. Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles featured “good” Terminatrix Summer Glau opening up a go board and playing out a position after telling Sarah Connor — and the show’s nationwide audience — that go is a “five thousand year old game, invented by the Chinese.” Earlier episodes of the series have focused on repeated attempts to stop various artificial intelligence programs from turning into Skynet, the military defense system that unleashes nuclear holocaust on humans in the Terminator movies. A previous program that played chess quite well was an initial target, but the Connors were able to stop it in time. A new program reared it’s head in the latest episode, but it doesn’t play chess, it plays go. Glau lays out a position on the board while telling Connor that “Strange things happen at the one two point. It’s a go proverb; it means the usual rules don’t apply.” The scene appears about 14 minutes into the episode, and can be watched on Fox’s website or on HulaTV.
-Paul Barchilon

Categories: Go Spotting
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Shi Knocks Out Jiang & Yang In N.A. Fujitsu; Final Delayed

Monday November 24, 2008

Canadian teenager Gan Sheng Shi (left) defeated both Mingjiu Jiang and Huiren Yang last weekend to earn a berth in the North American Fujitsu Cup championship final against Jie Li. The excitement continued Sunday when the final had to be adjourned because of technical difficulties. It was excitement on all fronts during the North American Fujitsu Cup championship. While top seeds Jie Li, Andy Liu and Huiren Yang made it through unscathed to the semi-finals, defending champion Mingjiu Jiang let a favourable position evaporate when he lost on time to Redmond Cup champion Gan Sheng Shi. The Canadian teenager then astonished a crowd of 500 by taking down professional Huiren Yang to earn a spot in the finals against perennial strongman Jie Li. The excitement continued when Jie Li suffered network problems at move 55 of the final game and could not reconnect to continue. The game has been adjourned and will be rescheduled at a later date. Click here for complete details on the tournament so far.
- Philip Waldron, AGA Tournament Coordinator