American Go E-Journal

Michael Redmond 9P on Pro Pair Go Tsumego 1

Tuesday July 12, 2016

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Michael Redmond 9P is graciously providing all E-Journal readers with a set of tsumego problems featured at the 2016 pro pair go tournament. Of course, these problems are quite tough, but nevertheless entertaining to everyone, especially because Michael will later provide each solution.

In this tsumego contest, each pair has up to 10 minutes to answer each problem, but only the first 5 pairs can answer. The race to answer first makes these problems highly challenging. After signalling having an answer, a pair must play each move within 5 seconds. The pair team plays Black’s moves, while the composer plays White’s, which allows the composers to show their favorite variation for White.

Michael gives this interesting background for this tsumego from Ohashi Hirofumi 6P:

This problem is misleading, in that Black’s first and 3rd moves are relatively easy to find, while White 4 is counter-intuitive. Ohashi tells me that he saw surprise and maybe shock in the top Chinese pairs faces when he played move 4, but Ke Jie quicky recovered, flickering his fingers in a burst of concentration, and was in time to give the correct answer.

Categories: Pair Go
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Chiu, Yang Sweep Redmond Prelims

Monday July 11, 2016

jeremy_chiuJeremy Chiu 6d and Luoyi Yang 4d swept the preliminaries of the 2016 Redmond Cup, beating out last year’s champions Albert Yen 7d and Ary Cheng 4d. However, both defending champions will have a chance for revenge in the finals.  All four youth have won a free trip to congress to compete in person.

The Senior Division featured a field of 16 players under the age of 18, including five former Redmond Cup Finalists.  Chiu 6d, age 14, seeded fourth by rating, displayed his power by sweeping the competition, including last year’s champion Yen, and 4-time Redmond Cup champion Aaron Ye 7d. This will be Chiu’s second appearance in the Redmond Cup Finals since 2014. “The preliminaries were very tough and I faced many strong opponents,” Chiu told the E-J, “however, I think I played quite well, and fortunately, I was able to come out on top.”

The battle for the second coveted spot in the finals came down to defending champion Yen, and newcomer Muzhen (Alan) Ai 7d, both boys are 16 years old. Yen came out on top, ending with a 5-1 record and losing only to Chiu. “I am very happy to make the finals again, and I hope to continue my strong performance from last year,” Yen told the EJ.

luoyi_yangThe Junior Division featured seven budding dan players all below the age of 13, including both of last year’s finalists, Ary Cheng 4d, age 10, and Raymond Feng 2d, age 12. However, newcomer Luoyi Yang 4d, age 12, of Canada came out firing, sweeping the competition. The race for second place was much tighter, and a bit over halfway through the tournament, it seemed that defending champion Ary Cheng would be the likely candidate to make the finals with a 3-1 record. However, nine-year old Matthew Cheng 2d (not related to Ary) upset the defending champion and won the rest of his games to take second place by one SODOS point. Because Matthew is also this year’s Junior representative for the World Youth Go Championships, which occurs the same time as the Redmond Cup Finals, he chose to give up his spot in the finals, and Ary Cheng will have the chance to defend his title.

The Redmond Cup Finals is a best-of-3 match that will occur at the US Go Congress this year, complete with KGS broadcasts and live video commentary by pros. The matches will occur on 7/31, 8/2, and 8/4 (if necessary) at 3 pm EDT. Stay tuned for more detailed player profiles about this year’s finalists. - Story by Justin Teng, photos courtesy Jeremy Chiu (l) and Luoyi Yang (r).

 

Beginner at 80, Still Playing at 90

Sunday July 10, 2016

Yuriko at TournamentYuriko Miyake came later than usual to the Seattle Go Center on Tuesday, June 21, because it was her birthday — her 90th.  Yuriko also came late to playing go — she only started playing about 10 years ago.  She first started by playing Pair Go with her husband Kinju Miyake, one of the founding directors of the Seattle Go Center.   After her husband died in 2008, she became more serious about go, both as a mental discipline and as a way to keep in touch with go playing friends.  She is now a regular on Tuesday afternoons, where she plays with a group that mostly speaks Japanese, but also includes players whose first language is English or French.

A calm and resourceful woman, Yuriko moved with her husband and family from Sapporo, Japan to Sitka, Alaska in 1957, two years before Alaska statehood. Her husband Kinju was a forester for Alaska Lumber and Pulp. They later moved to Oregon, and then retired to the Seattle area.  She is now a double digit kyu player who is within handicapping range of many of the Go Center players.  She also plays teaching games with beginners, giving them nine stones. She studies go books, and comes to many of the Center’s tournaments.  A reliable volunteer, she helps keep the Go Center organized, and helps at outreach events such as the Center’s table at the Bon Odori festival.  We are very proud of Yuriko, and think she is an excellent example for our younger beginners who are only 60 or 70 years old.
Report and photo by Brian Allen, Seattle Go Center Manager. 

Categories: U.S./North America
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China’s Yu Zhiying and Ke Jie Win 2016 Pair Go World Cup

Sunday July 10, 2016

China’s Yu Zhiying and Ke Jie (right) have won the 2016 Pair Go World Cup, defeating Chinese Taipei’s Joanne Missingham and 2016.07.10_pair-go-winnersChen Shih Iuan in the final on Sunday afternoon in Tokyo and collecting the top prize of 10 million yen ($100,000 USD). The two finalist teams earned their berths by defeating Korea’s Choi/Park and Oh/Choi (also Korea) in the semifinals on Sunday morning. Korea’s Choi Jeong and Park Junghwan took third place. Click here for complete standings and details. The tournament field 2016.07.10_study groupwas comprised of 32 players in 16 teams, three teams from Japan, two teams each from China, Korea, Taipei and Europe, and one each from North America,  Central/South America, Oceania/Africa, Asia and one team made of the winners of the 26th Amateur Pair Go Championship (who are from Korea).

The remainder of the field participated in a unique Friendship Shuffle Match on Sunday, in which partners were randomly shuffled and brand new pairs formed. As on Saturday, hundreds of local go fans packed the hall to watch the matches and game commentaries.
- report/photos by Chris Garlock. Photo at left (l-r): Ko Rei Bun, Francisco d’Albuquerque, Nei Wei Ping, Takemiya Masaki and Michael Redmond study one of Sunday morning’s matches. 

Categories: Pair Go
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China, Korea & Taipei Into Pair Go World Cup Semi-Finals

Saturday July 9, 2016

Rain and wind from the edges of Typhoon Nepartak swirled outside Hikarie Hall in in Tokyo’s upscale Shibuya neighborhood Saturday morning as the 2016 Pair Go 2016.07.09_Iyama-HsiehWorld Cup contestants gathered for the tournament’s first round. As is traditional at Pair Go events, the players were dressed up, many in outfits native to their countries, and the 32 players made a fine sight as they paraded, two by two, into the playing area. Promptly at 11a, the round began, and shortly thereafter, spectators crowded in to watch, deepest around top player Iyama Yuta and his partner Hsieh Yi Min.

Pair Go at this level is a deeply thrilling game, combining the beauty of go with the excitement of a team sport. Although players cannot betray any hint of their feelings or react to moves, there’s an unmistakable electricity in the air that comes from the intense focus of four players over the go board.

2016.07.09_NA-teamThere were no surprises in the first round, as the Central/South American team of Rosario Papeschi and Fernando Aguilar lost to hometown favorites Hsieh Yi Min and Iyama Yuta (above right), Oceania/Africa’s Amy Song and David He fell to Korea’s Choi Jeong and Park Jeonghwan, while Europe’s Natalia Kovaleva and Ilya Shikshin lost to China’s Yu Zhiying and Ke Jie and Chinese Taipei’s Chang Kai Hsin and Wang Yuan Jyun fell to Korea’s Jeon Yujin and Song Hongsuk.
On the other side of the draw, North Americans Sarah Yu and Eric Lui had no trouble dispatching Asia’s Pattraporn Aroonphaichitta and Nuttakrit Tarchaamnuayvit (left), Chinese Taipei’s Joanne Missingham and Chen Shih Iuan beat Japan’s Wang Jong Yi, Japan’s Mukai Chiaki and Ichiriki Rui defeated Europe’s Rita Pocsai and Ali Jabarin and Korea’s Oh Yujin and Choi Chulhan prevailed over China’s Wang Chenxing and Shi Yue.

After traditional Japanese box lunches, Round 2 began at 2:30. The playing room had been completely reset, the eight 2016.07.09_Ke-study-grporiginal boards (32 players, two pairs to a board) now shrunk to four. As play began, spectators again flooded in to watch, while hundreds more watched on monitors in an auditorium next door, where professionals provided commentary and children tried their hand at solving life and death problems in the Panda Sensei tent in the back of the hall.

Back on the boards, epic battles were playing out as the pairs fought to get to the semi-finals on Sunday. The North American team got into a major ko fight with Taipei’s Missingham/Chen early on that they had to win and never really recovered, though Sarah Yu later said “I really enjoyed the fight.” Korea’s Oh/Choi beat Japan’s Chiaki/Ryo, China’s Yu/Ke won over Korea’s Jeon/Song and Korea’s Choi/Park defeated Japan’s Hsieh/Iyama. So Yu/Ke will face Choi/Park and Missingham/Chen will face Oh/Choi in the semi-finals on Sunday. Latest results here.

Photo (l-r): Ke Jie, Nie Wei Ping, his son Ko Rei Bun and Yu Zhiying review the Ke/Yu Round 1 game while Michael Redmond looks on. 

- report/photos by Chris Garlock

Categories: Japan,Pair Go
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European Student Team Go Championship Welcomes Non-Euro Teams

Friday July 8, 2016

College student go teams are invited to participate in the upcoming European Student Team Go Championship, scheduled for September 8-9 in Petrozavodsk, Russia. The tournament is open so university teams from non-European countries can take part in the event. Details are available on the Russian Go Federation’s website; the Federation, along with the European Go Federation and the Russian Student Sport Union, are hosting the event. Students can also take part in Open Russian Student Go Championship September 10-11, while players who are not students can take part in the All-Russia Go tournament on those same dates.

Categories: Europe,Youth
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Go Spotting: “Order of the Stick” & “Sandra and Woo” Comics

Friday July 8, 2016

Order of the Stick: “Order of the Stick is my favorite D&D type role-playing comic strip,” writes Mark Gilston. “So I was delighted to see the go2016.07.08_Giant In the Playground Games reference by the Oriental style paladins” in this recent strip.

2016.07.08_Sandra and WooSandra and Woo: “From the webcomic ‘Sandra and Woo’ I could not help but laugh at the ‘Reality in the year 2050′ panel,” writes Taylor Litteral.

Categories: Go Spotting
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National Go Center Planned for DC

Friday July 8, 2016

The Iwamoto North American Foundation for Go at its meeting in Tokyo on Thursday announced plans to establish a National Go Center in 2016.07.08_inaf-mtg-tokyoWashington, DC. Go recently garnered global headlines when Google DeepMind’s AlphaGo AI program defeated top professional Lee Sedol and the National Go Center is intended to build on the increased public awareness and interest in the ancient game.

In addition to its role in advancing artificial intelligence, many studies have shown that go can improve student performance through development of logical and spatial thinking and even to help students with ADHD. A primary mission of the new Center is to work with educators in the region to promote go in schools from primary grades through college.

The Center will also have the mission of developing strong amateur go players in the region who can represent the US in conjunction with the American Go Association at the regional, national, and international levels. Building on an already strong tournament calendar, regional and interscholastic qualifying tournaments are planned.

Organizers of the National Go Center include many AGA volunteers and leaders from the metro Washington region, where there is a long history of promoting go education, developing cultural activities associated with the game, and training strong go players in many of the regional clubs. “It is expected that the new Center will add to the synergy to make the DC area a true national center for go,” said AGA president Andy Okun.
- photo (l-r): Shusuke MASAKI, just retired CEO of Nihon Kiin; Hiroshi YAMASHIRO 9P, Nihon Kiin Vice Chairman; Thomas HSIANG, INAF Executive Director; Hiroaki DAN, Nihon Ki-in Chairman of the Board of Directors and new president of INAF; Yuki SHIGENO, Nihon Kiin Director. Photo by Chris Garlock

 

 

Categories: U.S./North America
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Panda Sensei Tsume-Go Challenge Kicks Off Pair Go World Cup in Tokyo

Friday July 8, 2016

Thirty two players comprising sixteen teams gathered Thursday in Tokyo to launch the second Pair Go World Cup. First 2016.07.08_panda-sensei-chinainvented in 1990 by Hisao and Hiroko Taki to attract more female players to the game, Pair Go has grown steadily in popularity around the world and the Pair Go Association now boasts 74 member countries and territories.

After an elegant Japanese box lunch at the Cerulean Towers Tokyu Hotel in the Shibuya district, the players assembled for the draw ceremony to determine their first-round opponents. With a top prize of $10M JPY, organizers have attracted an impressive array of top players, including Ke Jie – Yu Zhiying (China); Iyama Yuta – Hsieh Yimin (Japan); Park Junghwan – Choi Jeong (Korea) and Chen Shih-Iuan – Hei Jiajia (Taiwan). Notable pairs from the West include Eric Lui – Sarah Yu (North America); Fernando Aguilar – Rosario Papeschi (Latin America) and Ilya Shikshin – Natalia Kovaleva (Europe). All games will be broadcast on Pendant. “I’m very excited to see top professionals and top amateurs gathered here,” said an obviously pleased Mrs. Taki, who then conducted a warm series of interviews with the players.

2016.07.08_panda-sensei-japanThe highlight of the afternoon was the Panda Sensei Tsume-Go Challenge, showing off the Pandanet Sensei life and death computer program, which has been developed over the last 30 years and on which many tsumego creators rely to check their work. In a dramatic timed competition, the professional pairs were given a series of high-level tsumego problems. They had 10 minutes to solve each problem; the first five pairs to hit the call button won the right to show their solution to the judges, led by the famous Ishida Yoshio, also known as “The Computer.” Correct answers were worth up to five points each, while wrong answers penalized the incorrect team two points. Onlookers crowded around the players as they raced to solve the problems, and it was quite entertaining to see top-level professional players wrestling with reading out problems in real time and often, just like amateurs, missing key moves that refuted their solutions. Perhaps not surprisingly, Pandanet Sensei crushed the contest, scoring 24 points; the Chinese team of Ke Jie – Yu Zhiying (top right) scored just 6 points to take second place and the Korean team’s 4 points was enough to take home third place. Acknowledging that the problems were tough and the solving time short, Ishida (at left, refuting a solution from Japan’s Iyama Yuta and Hsieh Yimin) admitted that “I had fun watching all the trouble the top players got into” trying to solve them.

The Pair Go tournament begins Saturday, with two rounds scheduled, followed by semi-finals Sunday morning and the final Sunday afternoon. All games will be broadcast on Pendant.
- report/photos by Chris Garlock

 

Categories: Japan,Pair Go
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Go Spotting: ‘Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst’; Hell on Wheels?

Friday July 8, 2016

“I was watching some beta play-testing for the new ‘Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst’ video game,” writes Erik Walton, “(and) there’s a cut scene in which the 2016.07.08_Mirror'sEdgeCatalystprotagonist Faith is walking in to talk with her mentor, and it turns out he’s playing go with one of the other characters. They even have some nicely rendered wooden bowls.”
The dialogue from the shot, Walton reports: Young character: “I don’t get this game, it has no logic to it!” Mentor: “You’ll get used to it. Faith used to beat me all the time, didn’t you Faith?”

Also: We’ve also received a report from Gordon Castanza that during “Hell on Wheels” Season 5, Episode 10, titled “61 Degrees,” “between minutes 43 and 45, a game of go is being played.” If anyone can track down a screenshot, please send it along!

Categories: Go Spotting
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