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The Power Report: Pair Go Celebrates 25th Anniversary; Korea Takes Lead in Nong Shim Cup; Iyama Makes Good Start in Oza Title Match; Iyama Wins First Tengen Game; Iyama Yuta Defends Meijin Title; Korea Wins O-kage Cup International New Stars Tournament; Two Meijin League Places Decided; Fujisawa Wins Women’s Honinbo; Radical Reorganization of Kisei Tournament

Sunday November 9, 2014

by John Power, EJ Japan Correspondent

Pair Go Celebrates 25th Anniversary: One of the biggest developments in go in recent decades has been the rise of Pair Go to worldwide2014_11.09_Pair-Go_winners-Kim-Sooyoung_Jeon-Junhak popularity. The holding of the 25th International Amateur Pair Go Championship at the end of October also marked the 25th anniversary of the birth of Pair Go…click here to read more on this and all the following reports.
Korea Takes Lead in Nong Shim Cup: In the three-way team tournament, Korea ended this round with two wins to one each for Japan and China…
Iyama Makes Good Start in Oza Title Match: The 62nd Oza best-of-five is another title match in which Iyama Yuta is facing a younger challenger. The first game was held at the Yokohama Royal Park Hotel in Yokohama City on October 21 and the game was a fierce one, which is usually the case with Iyama, and featured some novel variations…
Iyama Wins First Tengen Game: The first game of the 40th Tengen title match was held on October 24, so Iyama was engaged in three concurrent title matches. Here his challenger is Takao Shinji, holder of the only top-seven title missing from Iyama’s portfolio, the Judan…
Iyama Yuta Defends Meijin Title: In the sixth game of the 39th Meijin title match Iyama took a territorial lead early in the game, then 2014.11.09_meijin-game6skillfully reduced a large moyo that Kono built…
Korea Wins O-kage Cup International New Stars Tournament: The O-kage (gratitude) Cup is a regional 2014.11.09_fujisawa-honinbotournament for young players sponsored by an association of tourist shops in Ise City, the site of the famous Ise Shrine. The sponsors held an international tournament for teams from Japan, China, Korea, and Chinese Taipei on November 1 and 2…
Two Meijin League Places Decided: The Meijin is a conservative league, with only three out of nine places opening up every year. Two of the vacant seats were decided on November 6…
Fujisawa Wins Women’s Honinbo: The third game of the 33rd Women’s Honinbo title was held at the Nihon Ki-in in Ichigaya, Tokyo on November 7. Taking black, Fujisawa Rin 2P won by 5.5 points after 233 moves…
Radical Reorganization of Kisei Tournament: There will be complete overhaul of the Yomiuri Newspaper-sponsored Kisei tournament as of the 40th term (the 39th term will be completed with the best-of-seven title match starting in January 2015). The only thing that won’t change is the title match itself. Even with charts, it’s hard to understand the system, but I’ll try to explain it without them…

Continue reading…)

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2014 International Amateur Pair Go Championship Celebrates 25th Anniversary

Thursday November 6, 2014

Nearly 100 Pair Go Promotion Partners and other guests gathered in Tokyo, Japan on October 24 to kick off a weekend-long celebration of OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAthe 25th International Amateur Pair Go Championships. Hisao and Hiroko Taki hosted a fabulous dinner at the Hotel Okura to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the founding of the Japan Pair Go Association and the Pair Go tournament. Mr. Taki is the inventor of Pair Go and the founder of the Japan Pair Go Association of which Mrs. Taki (right) is the current managing director. They held the formal dinner to thank everyone for their continuing efforts to promote Pair Go around the world. The Hotel Okura is a hotel established by and named for Kishichiro Okura, one of the founding patrons of the Nihon Ki-in.

Tournament action got started on Saturday morning at the Hotel Metropolitan Edmont with the drawing of the opening round pairings for the 32 pairs representing 21 countries and territories. The US pair, Yiwen (April) Ye and Daehyuk (Daniel) Ko, drew a difficult first round matchup and fell to one of the strong Japanese pairs.

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International Go Federation Celebrates Successful Year

Saturday August 31, 2013

The last year has been a very successful one for the International Go Federation, its leaders reported Saturday at the annual IGF General Meeting, held the day prior to the launch of the World Amateur Go Championship, this year in Sendai, Japan.

In addition to successful editions of the WAGC, World Student Oza, World Mind Sports Games, International Pair Go Championship and SportAccord Mind Sports Games, the IGF for the first time directly funded two new projects. The Central and South American Go Propagation Project resulted in 140 go workshops in Venezuela and the 1st International Go Symposium at the 2012 U.S. Go Congress generated tremendous participation from contributors around the world. IGF VP Thomas Hsiang called both efforts “A very good start.”

The IGF also enjoyed financial success in 2012-2013, thanks largely to major financial support from the China Ki-In for the 2012 WAGC and SAWMSG, reported Secretary-General Yuki Shigeno. Another exciting new event, the first Mlily Cup, came together quickly with support from a new sponsor, and although the late start precluded participation by western players this year, the IGF expressed hope that in the next edition there will be slots for players from both the U.S. and Europe.

The 24th annual International Pair Go Championships are coming up in November in Tokyo, and the 3rd edition of the SportAccord Mind Games will be December 12-18 in Beijing (and will be covered again this year by Ranka and the E-Journal). New countries participating in the 2013 WAGC are Brunei and Kazakhstan, and those players received warm welcomes from the IGF leadership and the assembled players.

The final bit of news is that the 2014 and 2015 editions of the WAGC have been confirmed for Korea, the 2014 location definitely in Seoul, with details to be announced at a later date.
- report by Chris Garlock; photos by John Pinkerton

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Pandanet AGA City League Finals this Saturday

Friday August 2, 2013

Team Los Angeles, captained by Andy Okun, will play Team Washington DC, led by I-han Lui, in the inaugural Pandanet AGA City League finals this Saturday at the U.S. Go Congress in Tacoma, WA.

Schedule: Saturday, August 3, 3:00 p.m. (PST): Beumgeon Cho vs Jie Li on Board 1 and Seung Hyun Hong vs Yuan Zhou on Board 3; at 8:30 p.m. (PST) Dae Hyuk (Daniel) Ko vs Eric Lui (Eric Lui is in Seoul Korea to play in the Samsung Cup preliminaries as a representative of the AGA.  Due to this special circumstance, organizers, working with Myung-wan Kim 9P, arranged for a monitor for Eric and a place for him to play in Seoul at the KBA in Pro Room A)All games will be broadcast on IGS: Board 1 on on AGACL1; Board 2 (Daniel Ko vs Eric Lui) will be played directly against each other online; Board 3 will be broadcast on AGACL2.

Player Notes:
Team Los Angeles
Beungeum Cho
 was undefeated in League play with a score of 10-0. Started playing Baduk at the age of 8.  When he was 13 he turned serious and attempted to become a professional Korean Baduk player. At the age of 18 he had to choose between becoming an Yeonguseng (Insei) at KBA and going to University.  He decided to study English in school with an eye towards teaching Baduk internationally.  He is now in Los Angeles teaching Baduk with Kim Myung-wan 9p.
Dae Hyuk Ko learned Baduk at the age of 5 from his parents.  He started actively playing at the age of 15.  In 1998 he moved to the US to study English and go to college.  In 2006, he joined the AGA and started playing in AGA Tournaments.  His wins include the 2008 Korea Times Myung-In Championship in Los Angelese, 2009 Samsung North Americca qualifier, and 2010 the Cotsen Open in Los Angeles. Three time winner of the Santa Monica Cup.
Seung Hyun Hong is substituting for Curtis Tang who was unable to make the finals.  Seung Hyun starting playing Baduk at the age of 6 from his father a 10 kyu.  In middle school, he was a Yeonguseng at KBA for one year.  In 2006 he came in third place in the US Open. Seung Hyun is now focusing on teaching his daughter to play Baduk.  She is 2 years old.

Team Washington DC
Jie Li has represented the United States nearly a dozen times in top international invitational championships, and has won 11 North American titles, 7 U.S. national titles, and 13 regional titles. Though not holding a professional certificate, he is one of the strongest go players in the United States, playing at an equal level with many American professionals and has earned the all-time-most North American and US titles combined.
Yuan Zhou 7D
was born in Tianjin, China. His father taught him to play go at the age of six and he was twice invited to represent Tianjin in the All China Go Prodigy Cup. In 1989 Zhou immigrated to the USA, joined the American Go Association (AGA) and became a US citizen. Zhou was the president of the University of Maryland Go club, from which he earned a BS in Electrical Engineering, and became increasingly involved in AGA events, winning many go tournaments, including 30 U.S. go titles and has represented USA in international tournaments many times (WAGC, Korea Prime Minister Cup, World Pair Go Championship, etc). Zhou was also elected to be the AGA board of directors in 2005. Zhou is also a popular author, teacher and lecturer; he lives in Germantown, Maryland.
Eric Lui achieved amateur one dan at the age of 6, representing the US internationally in Seoul, Korea a year later. To date, he has had about a dozen international representations to the World Youth Go Championship, WAGC, Korean Prime Minister Cup, World Student Go Oza, Pair Go, and the Samsung. Eric holds Japanese go in high esteem, citing Kobayashi Satoru and Takemiya Masaki among his favorite players. He also has great admiration for Ma Xiaochun and Yoo Changhyuk.

 

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New Sao Paolo Go Club Opens with Style

Sunday November 25, 2012

Go clubs are generally pretty quiet places, where the most you might hear is the click of the go stones, perhaps the rattle of a teacup. But on November 15 the brand-new Paulista Go Center in Sao Paolo, Brazil rocked as visiting pro Murakami Akihide 2P (right) danced to South Korean rapper  PSY’s global hit Gangnam Style, now YouTube’s most-watched-ever video. Earlier in the evening, Murakami – who was part of an 18-member delegation from Japan — participated in a more traditional exercise, playing a game (left) with Wang Sen Feng (KGS wsfbr 5d), currently the strongest player in Brazil. The new club and attendant festivities were just the latest in a “very fruitful year for go in Brazil,” reports Thiago Sinji Shimada. In addition to sending representatives to the World Students Go OZA Championship in Japan, the World Amateur Go Championship in China, the World Mind Sports Games in France and the International Amateur Baduk Championship KPMC in Korea, “We implemented a go program in some schools across the country (Go Teaching Project Takes Root in Brazil 6/18/2012 EJ),” says Shimada, who a few years ago helped found a go school, the Insei Brazil, in collaboration with the Nihon Kiin of Brazil.

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The Spirit of Play: “I’m Stuck”

Monday October 29, 2012

There are countless books, dictionaries and other materials aimed at expanding knowledge in go. But Argentinian champion and teacher Gabriel Benmergui 6D says that “what most of these resources don’t take into account is that there are many things that happen to the players, before, during and after the game that have just as much effect on the result.” In this new column for the E-Journal, Benmergui goes beyond tactics and strategies to look at the player, with a goal of helping develop “an unshakable spirit.” This article is dedicated to Benmergui’s first teacher, Franklin Bassarsky, “the greatest teacher I could ever become,” who recently passed away. “He was Argentina’s greatest go teacher,” says Benmergui, “creating generations and generations of go players here.”

A common situation for go players is the feeling of not moving forward or improving, of being stuck. The reality is that most players go through this phase, and there are actually well-known rank barriers, located around 9k, 5k and 2k, ranks that hold unusually high concentrations of players. In Lessons in the Fundamentals Kageyama 7P said “You can identify when you are stuck when you find yourself playing for fun, with disregard of the outcome. Maybe you even read books but they don’t help you improve. You also rarely review the games you play.”

As a teacher I have seen many go players “plateau” like this. Their common denominator is a fear that they’ve peaked, that they’ve reached their maximum potential and that studying any further will be a waste of time. This usually happens when players are no longer improving naturally, as they tend to do between learning the rules up to around 10k, where just getting advice and playing was enough to steadily improve. The truth is that expecting to go up in rank with little or no effort is like expecting to lose weight without diet and exercise. So when people ask me “I’m stuck, what should I do?” I immediately respond “What are you doing to improve?” And it’s no surprise for me to hear “I watch and play games” as if that alone were an appropriate level of training.

My advice: Just do it! If you want to improve you have to be proactive. You have to set goals and perform a more rigorous training regime. Solve life and death problems, read books with the intention of putting in practice the knowledge gained. Take lessons. Remember that people improve at different speeds, but with effort everyone improves.

Gabriel Benmergui lives in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Argentinian Champion in 2011 and 2012, he has extensive international amateur tournament experience, representing South America twice at the World Student Oza, two-time Prime Minister Cup representative for Argentina, captained his country’s team in KABA’s World Team Championship in 2005 and was Argentina’s representative for the 2005 WAGC. Benmergui studied go in Korea, in Lee Sang-hun’s dojang, at Kim Sung Rae’s KBC and at BIBA (Blackie’s International Baduk Academy) and now runs the Kaya.gs Go Server. Photo graphic by Chris Garlock

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SPOT1 FINAL FOUR SET TO PLAY SATURDAY

Thursday May 6, 2010

THIS JUST IN (5/7, 7:51p): Live from Beijing, Kuo Yin 3P will provide game commentary for the SPOT1 games begining at 1P Saturday. Runner-up at the 2008 US Open, Kuo only lost to Kim; Kuo holds a BA from Fudan University, and won the China Ing Cup University Championship in 2006.
It’s perhaps no coincidence that the Final Four players in the Strong Players Online Tournament I (SPOT1) are all students. Leading contender MyungWan Kim 9P – a two-time U.S. Open champion — studies accounting at UCLA and besides school he focuses on sharpening his go skills.  “I  really enjoy teaching go,” Kim tells the E-Journal, and, with his summer break starting soon, “I can also teach outside of L.A. , especially before the US Congress.” Kim likes to teach principles instead of techniques, because one can self-study techniques. “The principles I teach apply to both high-kyu and dan players.” About the final four games ahead Kim said “I am studying Lee Se-dol’s games these days, and and I feel I am getting back my strength.” Kim’s semi-final opponent is Michael Chen 7D, 2006 NAIM champion and 2009 US Open runner-up. Chen is a junior at Princeton University, with an emphasis in finance, who’s hoping to get some experience in an investment bank before entering his senior year this fall. Chen has improved his game rapidly during the last few years while maintaining an excellent GPA at Princeton, providing a great example to youth players that one can play go well and do well in school at the same time. The other semi-final match-up is between Jianing Gan 6D and Eric Lui 7D. Just 13 years old, Gan is a bit shy in face-to-face play, and plays much better online. The only Canadian in the Final 4, Gan says that “I am so lucky that I have the opportunity to challenge the top players of North America. I will take each game seriously.” Lui 7D attends the University of Maryland, and has represented United States internationally for the last four years: World Amateur Go Championship (2009), World Student Oza (2008), International Amateur Pair Go Championship (2007) and Korea Prime Minister’s Cup (2006). SPOT1 is sponsored by American Go Association. The Strong Players Online Tournament I resumes this Saturday, May 8 at 1p EST on KGS.
- Reported by Tournament Director Zhiyuan “Edward” Zhang

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Inaugural Latin American Go Congress sparkles in Cancun

Wednesday October 25, 2017

Known worldwide for sparkling beaches and water, these attractions were but a pretty side element at the first Latin American Go Congress in Cancun, Mexico from October 13th to 15th. Sixty-four players from 15 countries played in the six-round 19th Ibero American Go 2017.10.25_Latin American Go CongressChampionship (CIG). After a slightly delayed start on the first day (familiar to many U.S. Go Congress participants), TD Milosh Trnka Rodriguez kept the McMahon event moving smoothly. Time limits were short to fit two rounds each day before lunch – generally 35 minutes per player plus 5 x 30 overtime. The overall winner was Kim Hyuneoo of Korea. The Ibero Championship (limited to citizens of the Ibero-American member states) was won by Fernando Aguilar 7d (below left) of Argentina, the perennial top player from the region.

The first Latin American Youth Go Championship was run by Siddhartha Avila of Mexico and had 16 players from six countries divided in two categories. Division A was won by Soomin Oh 2d from Korea and in Division B Shanti Ramírez 12 kyu from Mexico came out on top. In the first Pandanet Go Latin American Team Championship (PGLATC) Mexico bested guest Argentina in a 3-board match with a 2-1 score.

With generous international support, six pros attended: Enda Hideki 9P and Komatsu Daiki 2P from Japan; Cho Hye-yeon 9P and Youngshin Lee 5P from Korea; Mateusz Surma 1P from the European Go Federation; and Eric Lui 1P from the AGA with funding provided by the American Go Foundation. After the main games, the pros provided quick game analysis and each afternoon half of the players took on the pros in simuls. Few of the amateurs won!

aguilar_DSC0186There were lectures on pros games (including an especially lively one analyzing a victory over a fellow 9P by Cho Hye-yeon, 9P) and sessions on teaching go by a leading Korean expert from KIBA, Mr. Kwon Kapyong 8P. And, of course, there was lots of casual play and discussion of games whenever players sat around a board.

The evening events included Crazy Go (with 19 variants) on Friday night run by AGF President Terry Benson. Rengo Kriegspiel was run for the first time in Spanish. As usual, everybody won. On Saturday evening, The Surrounding Game film was screened.
Each of the three evenings included a round of the second Ibero-American Pair Go Championship – with many of the pros and the Congress Director playing – won by Samy Suastegui, 8k of Mexico and Youngshin Lee, 9P of Korea.
The Emporio hotel provided a classy setting for the event. There was an included opening dinner at the hotel, box lunches each day, and plenty of coffee and water. The closing dinner at Porfirios had a classic Mexican atmosphere – good food and mariachi music. There was even a little impromptu singing of Go songs. And a new one – in Spanish – written by Benson and Ester Monroy added to the canon.
Funding for the event came from the International Go Federation, Pandanet, Nihon Ki-in, Korean Baduk Association, American Go Association, American Go Foundation, and Mexico’s National University UNAM.

The Mexican Go Association Congress team led by Emil Garcia and including Marco Hernandez, Temilotzin Ibarra, Ester Monroy, Dafne Rios, with additional support from UNAM students staff and media team gave a good start to the tradition of Latin American Go Congresses.
The site of the 2018 event will be announced before the end of the year with Bogota, Colombia and Buenos Aires, Argentina the likely candidates. For those who like an international Congress diet, there is a new hearty entrée on the menu.
- report/photos by Terry Benson

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2017 Cincy/Tristate Go Tournament held in Mason, OH

Tuesday September 5, 2017

On August 26, go players gathered in Mason, Ohio, for the 3rd annual Cincy/Tri-state go tournament. The tournament, generously sponsored 2017.09.05-CincyGoTournamentby the Asian Pacific American Forum of General Electric and the Confucius institute of Miami University attracted about 40 players from major cities of Ohio and neighboring states including Indiana, Kentucky, and Michigan. Also on hand was a graduate student from George Washington University who traveled all the way from DC to southwest Ohio just to enjoy meeting new friends while playing go.

Eight-year-old Stephanie Tan from Indiana swept with an impressive four wins and was placed top youth in Division C. College student Soren Jaffe of Cleveland Ohio, defeated University of Cincinnati exchange student Feifan Jia (5D) of China in the fourth round (de facto the final game). Other winners of the tournament include: Haoze Zou (5D, youth division A) from Mason, Ohio; Chris Martin (4K, adult Division B) from Louisville, Kentucky; Jonathan Luo (8K, youth Division B) from Mason, Ohio; and Dave Olnhausen (15K, adult Division C) from Toledo, Ohio.

Mason is located in the northeast corner of greater Cincinnati area. Mason was named one of the best places to live in the United States several times by Money magazine and CNN. Mason is home to Kings Island amusement park and home of the Western & Southern Open, one of the world’s top tennis tournaments. It’s the third year the go tournament was hosted here by Mason Go Club and Huaxia Chinese School at Mason.
- report/photos by Frank Luo

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Cho, Coplon and Cornett tie to top Skip Ascheim Memorial Go Tournament

Friday July 14, 2017

What do a 5-dan, a 5-kyu and a 12-kyu have in common? They all tied for first at the recent Skip Ascheim Memorial Go Tournament in Boston.2017.07.14_Benjamin_Coplon_David_Cho_Howard_Cornett_all_4-0 David Cho 5D, Benjamin Coplon 5k and Howard Cornett 12k were all 4-0 at the July 9 tournament, organized as usual by the Massachusetts Go Association. “Charles Chapple, the English Teacher from Franklin High School in Franklin NH, who had come with five students to the MGA’s Spring Tournament, was back with student Miriam Fallahi, despite it being summer vacation,” reports TD Eva Casey.
photo (l-r): Coplon, Cho and Cornett. Click here for more photos.

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