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Janice Kim on Why Solving Go Problems Isn’t Boring (& Two Books to Read Now)

Wednesday January 2, 2013

Although I agree with most of the article on how to improve (The Spirit of Play: “What can I do to improve?” 12/31 EJ), I must — tongue firmly in cheek — object to the statement that solving go problems is ‘boring’.

When I was a student at the Korean Baduk Association, the protocol for solving a problem was that you had to be willing to stake your life that your answer was complete and correct. ‘Complete’ is key, as you definitely didn’t want to scramble for a reply if an alternate move in some sequence was suggested; the executioner may have itchy fingers. Solving problems to this day remains a high-octane, nail-biting affair for me, especially if it’s not much of a reading challenge, so tempting then to omit steadying the nerves and triple-checking. You can hold yourself to a higher standard when practicing, and everybody loses sometimes so the pressure is off when playing, so you might think it’s the actual competition that is the tedious part of go…”

Last (well, not really) thoughts. They don’t call the experts ‘practitioners’ for nothing. Janice’s brain cross-references with two suggested reads: The Little Book of Talent, questions-answered-from-real-world-not-author-agenda-practical-really-works tips for improvement in any endeavor, and the science fiction novel Ender’s Game, almost required reading on the American Cultural Experience syllabus. Spoiler alert the entire premise is this idea of thing-itself-is-a small detail or afterthought, the lead-up to the game, not during the game, is where the winner is decided.
- Janice Kim 3P; photo: Kim playing primary schoochildren at the Shuang Huayuan campus of the Beijing Chaoyang Fangcaodi International school on December 17; photo by Chris Garlock

 

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2012 SportAccord World Mind Games: Pair Go Final Features China-Korea Showdown; School Visit; Redmond Exhibition Game

Tuesday December 18, 2012

Pair Go Tourney Final Features China-Korea Showdown: It’s China vs. Korea in the Pair-Go final at the 2012 Beijing SportAccord World Mind Games, which will be held on Wednesday, December 19, beginning at 9:30A local time. The Chinese team of Jiang Weijie 9 and Li He 3P will face Choi Chulhan 9P and Choi Jeong 2P of Korea; watch for live broadcast on Cyberoro and Michael Redmond’s game commentary on the SAWMG Channel. The semi-final rounds on Tuesday afternoon featured some tremendously exciting games, including the China-Japan match (click here for Michael Redmond 9P’s commentary), which was shaping up as an upset by Japan before a momentary lapse handed the win to China in the late endgame. Click here for Ranka’s first-round and second-round reports; photo of the round 1 Hungary (l)-China (r) game by Ivan Vigano.

School Visit:
December 17 dawned clear and cold in Beijing, excellent weather for a group of World Mind Games go players and officials from China,

Chinese Taipei, Japan, Korea, and North America to pay an afternoon visit to the Shuang Huayuan campus of the Beijing Chaoyang Fangcaodi International school to take on thirty-three primary schoolchildren in simultaneous games. Click here for Ranka’s full report. photos by Ivan Vigano

Su Sheng-fang: The Ranka Interview 
Su Sheng-fang, the 16-year-old pro from Chinese Taipei, was one of the eight unseeded players in the women’s division at the World Mind Games. She started playing go at the age of eight; “I was a noisy child and I wasn’t good at arithmetic, so Mother started sending me to a go club. She thought it would do me good,” said Su (left). She was the amateur women’s champion in Chinese Taipei three years in a row and last year made professional shodan. Click here for Ranka’s complete report; photo by Ivan Vigano

Game Commentary: Redmond Exhibition Game
W: Michael Redmond 9P

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B: Naijing Sun 6D
Commentary: Michael Redmond 9P
Edited by Chris Garlock

Sun, an amateur 6-dan, played very strongly in this limited-time exhibition game on Sunday, December 16; his play in the opening was professional level and he showed great fighting spirit.  Sun was the winner of the Pandanet-SportAccord Online Go Tournament and an official guest at the World Mind Games in Beijing.

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2012 WAGC Round 5 Game Records

Tuesday May 15, 2012

DPRK-Korea (Commentary by So Yokoku 8P)UK-US (Commentary by So Yokoku 8P); Taipei-China (commentary by Yang  Shuang 3P); Czechia-Japan
On Board 2, China’s Qiao Zhijian chose a variation of the Dosaku opening and played his first ten moves in less than one second each, quickly constructing a huge black framework in the bottom half of the board…Click here for Ranka Online’s complete Round 5 report

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WAGC Game Report: Round 5

Tuesday May 15, 2012

Tuesday, May 15: On Board 2, China’s Qiao Zhijian chose a variation of the Dosaku opening and played his first ten moves in less than one second each, quickly constructing a huge black framework in the bottom half of the board…There were fewer fireworks on Board 1, but after a good opening and a bad middle game, Korea’s Hyunjoon Lee outplayed DPRK’s Ri Kwang Hyok in the endgame and then won the final one-point ko to prevail by 2.5 points…On Board 7, Samuel Aitken (UK, at right ) used his fifth move to make a three-space extension from the third line to the second line, a new pattern that has been appearing in professional games. He and Yuan Zhou (US) battled it out for the next two and a half hours, but in the end Aitken resigned…On Board 9, Lukas Podpera (Chechia) and Japan’s Nakazono Seizo also battled it out for two and a half hours, but today Nakazono’s Japanese supporters had the satisfaction of seeing Japan’s amateur Honinbo score a convincing win in the longest game of the round. The fastest was the game between Mongolia and Portugal, over in less than an hour and described as ‘an easy win’ by Portugal’s Daniel Tome. The most dramatic involved the players from Romania and Singapore: “I had the game in my pocket for at least 90% of the time,’ said Romania’s Cornel Burzo after it ended, ‘but with the clock counting the time, I got stressed and tried to shorten the process by killing a group. The moment after I played the stone I realized it was a catastrophic mistake. I went from something like a hundred points ahead to a hundred points behind.” Click here for the complete report on Round 5. Click here for Round 5 game records, including Taipei-China (commentary by YangShuang 3P); Czechia-Japan; DPRK-Korea; UK-US.
- adapted from James Davies’ Ranka Online report; photo by John Pinkerton

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