American Go E-Journal

WORLD GO NEWS: China Wins 7th Japan-China Agon Cup; Cho Hanseung Wins GS Caltex Cup; Lee Changho Wins Myeongin; Cho U Evens Match In Tengen Defense; Davis Wins 2nd Irish Championship; Xebo Wins St Nick Tourney In Braunschweig; Hungarian League

Monday December 14, 2009

CHINA WINS 7TH JAPAN-CHINA AGON CUP: Sun Tengyu 4P of China defeated Japan’s Hane Haoki 9P by 3.5 points on December 9th to win this year’s Japan-China Agon Cup. The match between the winners of the Japanese and the Chinese Agon Cup tournaments has been a painful experience for the Japanese lately, as the Chinese Cup holders have now won seven straight matches. Sun is a teen whose only title before winning the Chinese version of the Agon Cup (Ahan Tongshan Cup) this year was the National Individual championship in 2008. Hane is in his thirties and has been a major player on the Japanese pro scene. He is the current Honinbo and held the number one Japanese title, the Kisei, in both 2004 and 2005. In the Chinese event, Sun defeated both Gu Li, China’s current top title holder, and Piao Wenyao 5P, another of the strong young Chinese pros. - Bill Cobb, from Go News, GoGameWorld

CHO HANSEUNG WINS GS CALTEX CUP: Cho Hanseung 9P took the fourth game of the Korean GS Caltex Cup to take the title away from Park Yeonghun 9P by a score of 3-1. Park only won the third game. The GS Caltex Cup is one of the richest among Korean events. In his twenties, Cho’s most recent previous title was the Chunwon, which he won by defeating Lee Sedol 9P in 2006. Park, also in his twenties, has had a more illustrious career, toped off by winning the international Fujitsu twice, in 2004 and 2007. - Bill Cobb, from Go News, GoGameWorld

LEE CHANGHO WINS MYEONGIN: Lee Changho 9P defeated Won Sungjin 9P 3-1 to capture the Korean Myeongin (J: Meijin) title for the thirteenth time. Lee won the decisive fourth game of the match on December 10th by a mere half point. Lee, now in his thirties, has not been so dominant lately, but still wins important titles. His last international title was the LG Cup in 2004. Won is ten years younger and has won only two titles so far, both in 2007: the BC Card Cup and the Chunwon. - Bill Cobb, from Go News, GoGameWorld

CHO U EVENS MATCH IN TENGEN DEFENSE: The Tengen now goes to a decisive fifth game as Cho U 9P leveled the match in defense of his title against challenger Yamashita Keigo 9P. Yamashita went ahead 2-1 by winning the third game on December 3rd, but Cho came back on December 10th to take the fourth of the best-of-five-games match. So far Black has won every game by resignation. The final is scheduled for December 22nd. - Bill Cobb, from Go News, GoGameWorld, Sensei’s Library

DAVIS WINS 2ND IRISH CHAMPIONSHIP: Ian Davis beat Claas Roever 2-1 (date) to take the 2009 Irish Championship title. The championship came down to a final, tense game, “As usual between these two it was a game that could have gone either way,” reported Stephen (last name) on the Irish Go Association website. “After repeating the opening of the second game, Claas took an early lead by switching to a Gibson style strategy using some risky opening plays. However somewhere in the middlegame he lost his way, and Ian forced resignation after a devious invasion.” This was Davis’ second Irish title; he has another 14 wins to pass all time Irish title record holder Noel Mitchell. Davis, President of the Irish Go Association and Irish Correspondent for the E-Journal, credited altitude training in County Donegal for his win. Click here for the record of the final game.

Categories: Go News,World

WORLD GO NEWS: Yamashita Takes Lead In Tengen

Monday December 7, 2009

Cho U  9P’s efforts to avoid losing another of his titles has become an uphill fight in the Tengen.  On December 3rd Challenger Yamashita Keigo 9P won the third game of the best-of-five-games title match to take a 2-1 lead. Cho won this title last year for the first time. Yamashita has also held the title for one year, 2004. He lost it the next year to Kono Rin  9P and failed to retake it as challenger the next two years. Cho held five of the top seven Japanese titles at the beginning of this year, but lost the Meijin to Iyama Yuta 9P in November. The fourth game in the Tengen match is scheduled for December 10th.
- Bill Cobb, from Go News & GoGameWorld

WORLD GO NEWS: Korean Myeongin Title Match Tied At 1-1

Monday December 7, 2009

The best-of-five-games match between Lee Changho 9P and Won Sungjin 9P (right) for the Meyongin (Japanese: Meijin) title in Korea was tied at 1-1 when Won won the second game on December 3rd by 1.5 points. The last winner of this title was Lee Sedol 9P, but since he has taken a temporary leave of absence from the pro scene, the title holder will be decided by this match. Lee Changho has won this title twelve times since first taking it from Cho Hunhyun 9P in 1991. Won’s latest title victories were the BC Card Cup and the Chunwon in 2007. He is ten years younger than Lee Changho.
- Bill Cobb, from Go News, GoGameWorld & Sensei’s Library

WORLD GO NEWS: Park Yeonghun Fights Back In GS Caltex Cup

Monday December 7, 2009

On December 2nd, Park Yeonghun 9P avoided a shut-out in the the GS Caltex Cup when he defeated challenger Cho Hanseung 9P in Game 3 of their best-of-five-games title match. Park must win both remaining games to retain the title he has held for the last two years. The GS Caltex Cup is one of the most lucrative in Korea. Park has a more outstanding record of title wins than Cho by a significant margin. Both are in their twenties. Game four in the match is set for December 9th.
- Bill Cobb, from Go News, GoGameWorld & Sensei’s Library

11/24/2009 World Go News: Cho U Evens Up Tengen Title Match; Cho U To Challenge For Kisei; Cho Hanseung Closing In On GS Caltex Cup; Korea Wins Pair Go Championships; U.S. Places 14th

Tuesday November 24, 2009

CHO U EVENS UP TENGEN TITLE MATCH: Cho U 9P (right) won the second game against challenger Yamashita Keigo 9P in the best-of-five-games defense of his Tengen title on November 19th to make the score 1-1. Cho, who holds “only” four titles now, after losing the Meijin to Iyama Yuta 9P, won this title last year for the first time, taking it from Kono Rin 9P who held it for three years. Kono took it from Yamashita in 2005, and Yamashita was unable to regain it despite being the challenger the next two years. Yamashita had held the title for only one year. The third game in the title match is scheduled for December 3rd. Cho is also currently engaged in defending his Oza title against challenger Yamada Kimio 9P. Cho won the first game of that match and the second of the best-of-five-games event will be on November 24th.
- Bill Cobb, from reports in Go News, GoGameWorld, & Sensei’s Library

CHO U TO CHALLENGE FOR KISEI: Cho U 9P defeated O Rissei 9P in the playoff game November 16th between the winners of the two leagues to decide who would get to challenge Yamashita Keigo 9P for the Kisei title. At the age of fifty, O is a member of the older generation now, but has had a remarkable career, doing well in international events and winning his most recent title in 2004, which involved defeating Cho U to retain the Judan title for the fourth consecutive year. The Kisei is the number one title in Japan with a winner’s prize of about $400,000 US. Yamashita has held this title five times, including the last four years. Yamashita first won it in 2003, when he defeated O who had held it for three years, having taken it from Cho Chikun 9P in 2000. This is Cho U’s first challenge for the Kisei. Cho U and Yamashita are currently engaged in the title match for Cho’s Tengen title; Yamashita has won the first game of that contest. The best-of-seven-games finals will begin next January 14th.
- Bill Cobb, from reports in Go News, GoGameWorld, & Haengma

CHO HANSEUNG CLOSING IN ON GS CALTEX CUP: Cho Hanseung 9P (right) won the second game of the GS Caltex Cup title match on November 17th against title holder Park Yeonghun 9P to make the score 2-0 in the best-of-five-games match. Cho, who is not as accomplished as Park, won his most recent title, the Chunwon, in 2006. Park won the international Fujitsu in both 2004 and 2007. The next game in the title match will occur on December 2nd. The GS Caltex Cup has the highest winner’s prize among Korean tournaments.
- Bill Cobb, from reports in Go News & GoGameWorld

KOREA WINS PAIR GO CHAMPIONSHIPS; U.S. PLACES 14TH: Korea won the 20th International Amateur Pair Go Championships, held November 14-15 in Tokyo. Thirty two pairs from 22 countries and territories competed. Japanese pairs took 2nd, 3rd and 5th, with a Chinese pair winning 4th place. From the West, only the Russian team managed to crack the top ten – and that just barely – with Elvina Karlsberg 4d and Evgeny Matveev 5d from Russia in 10th. The U.S. team of Yinlin Wang and Yuan Zhou placed 14th, with Canada in 15th. Other top-20 teams from Europe included Germany at 17th place, with the Czech Republic at 18th and the United Kingdom at 19th. Click here for full results.
Categories: World

US Go News: Zhang 3-Peats at ING Youth Cup

Tuesday November 24, 2009

Hugh Zhang 6D (right) captured the ING Cup Youth Goe Tournament for the third consecutive year, winning all four of his games November 8. The 12th annual ING Youth attracted over 100 youth players, with more than 70 in the 19×19 section and over 30 in the 13×13 section at the Chinese Cultural Center in Sunnyvale, CA. Mingjiu Jiang and Reid Augustin directed the tournament.
Winner’s report: Open division (3D+) 1st: Hugh Zhang; 2nd: Justin Shieh; 3rd: Eric Su.
- Lawrence Ku

Categories: U.S./North America

European Go News: Dai Junfu Meijin in Paris; Britain: Healey-Macfadyen Best-Dressed at Pair Go Champs; League Standings; Laitikainen Retakes Finnish Title; Roever to Play Davis in Irish Final; Regginos Wins Cyprus; Hwang and Dickhut Win in Germany; Poland: Torun Players Sweep in Szczecin & Bydgoszcz; Borkum Islanders Reach Out; Young Players Invited to Goodwill Tourney in Thailand; Western Korean-Style Insei Leagues on KGS

Friday November 20, 2009

DAI JUNFU MEIJIN IN PARIS: Dai Junfu 7d (left) took top honors at the 27th Paris Meijin on November 21-22. French Champion Zhang Yanqi won silver. Youth champ Thomas Debarre scored a remarkable win in Round 2, knocking out defending champion and top seed Fan Hui 2P. Guillaume Attia 3k of Alègre club swept the B section. A week earlier, Robin Chauvin 7k won the C-group. Both weekends up to 64 took part. Click here for the tourney page with winners pictures, links to tables and a gallery of more photos.
- Peter Dijkema, after a report by TD Jerome Hubert

BRITAIN: Healey-Macfadyen Best-Dressed at Pair Go Champs; League Standings:
Kirsty Healey 1d and Matthew Macfadyen 6d (right) were the best-dressed winners at the recent amateur Pair Go championships in Japan. In the British League, Cambridge leads Division 1 and haven’t dropped a single game in two matches so far. Cornish Rogues share the lead in Division 2 with Newcastle. Both won 2-1 twice. Durham Blue leads in 3, while in 4 no games have been played yet. Click here for the current tables.
- Peter Dijkema

LAITIKAINEN RETAKES FINNISH TITLE: Vesa Laitikainen 5d retook the Finnish title from Antti Törmänen 5d, who lost the final match 2-1 on November 13-14. The 2009 Championship is Laitikainen ‘s 19th Finnish national title. Click here for details of the play-off and finals, with links to the games.
- Peter Dijkema, after a report on

ROEVER TO PLAY DAVIS IN IRISH FINAL: Defending Irish Champion Claas Roever beat Noel Mitchell in a playoff game on KGS to see who would join Ian Davis for the 2009 Irish Championship Final.
- Ian Davis, Ireland Correspondent

REGGINOS WINS CYPRUS: Dimitris Regginos 1d was the top winner in the Cyprus Go Championship (right) last weekend. Lilia Regginou 25k won the Cyprus Youth Go Championship, which was held simultaneously. Thomas Gaebler, visiting from Finland, was a special guest at the tournament was. Gaebler has appeared in several tournaments on the European scene, with his last appearance in Munich in April. Winner’s Report: Main tournament: 1st:  Dimitris Regginos 1d; 2nd: Giannis Kassinopoulos 4k; 3rd: Thomas Gaebler 4k. Youth tournament: 1st: Lilia Regginou 25k; 2nd: Charalambos Mavrommatis 25k; 3rd: Nika Regginou 25k.
- Nicholas Roussos, Cyprus Correspondent

HWANG AND DICKHUT WIN IN GERMANY: Hwang In-Seong 7d of  Berlin won the 10th “Go to Innovation” in Berlin November 20-22 8-0, ahead of Llouis Oh 6d of Barcelona, who was 7-1. EuroGo TV broadcast the top board, and 102 participated in the tournament. Vladimir Danek 3rd (Prague) and Viktor Lin (Vienna) 4th – both 5d won 5-3 under the tough Hahn-scoring system: as you win more, you give a higher handicap next game. Thus, in the final round Hwang faced Alexander Kurz 3d at 6 stones. Kurz opted for 77.5 komi, but Hwang still won by 117 points. Among 41 players, only Florian Mömmikes 2k also won 7-1. Click here for results  In Düsseldorf, Franz-Josef Dickhut 6d (Mönchengladbach) (right) repeated his 2008 victory, sweeping the third Japanese General Consul’s Cup five straight. Michelle Geilenberg 8k won the ladies award, also 5-0, while the youth prize was for Niilo Syvänen 9k 4-1. Because he was a repeat winner, Dickhut was not eligible for the free ticket to Japan, and Matthias Terwey 4d (Münster) was the lucky winner of the ticket, winning a nigiri with Bernd Radmacher 5d (Meerbusch) to decide the matter.
- Peter Dijkema, based on reports at EuroGoTV and

POLAND: TORUN PLAYERS SWEEP IN SZCZECIN & BYDGOSZCZ: Two players from Torun have swept tournaments in Szczecin and Bygoszcz. Lukasz Pater 2k of Torun swept the 1st anniversary tourney of Porfirion in Szczecin 5-0, ahead of Artur Chmielowski 4k from Starogard. In the Polish harbor-town 18 took part November 14-15. Click here for results and a gallery of pictures. Meanwhile, Robert Oczkowski 4k, also of Torun – Copernicus’ hometown –  swept the 14th Bygoszcz tourney 4-0 on November 14th, where 11 took part. Before that, Tomasz Slazok 2d offered a simul on November 12 in the “Pokój Polski” (‘polish room’) of KGS, to publicize his proposed Wintergo school in the North-West of Poland.
- Peter Dijkema, after

BORKUM ISLANDERS REACH OUT: Local players organized “Let’s Go Borkum” (right) on the German island of Borkum on November 13-15. Borkum is the largest and westernmost of the East Frisian Islands in the North Sea, due north of the Dutch province of Groningen. The Emder Go-Gruppe organized the event to foster good contacts between players in Germany and The Netherlands and the 21 participants had such a good time they’ve already decided to return next year on November 12-14, 2010. Click here  for more photos and a report in German.
- Peter Dijkema, European Correspondent

YOUNG PLAYERS INVITED TO GOODWILL TOURNEY IN THAILAND: Young players are once again being invited to attend the Go Goodwill Tournament. The second annual tournament – organized by the World Chinese Weiqi Federation in cooperation with the Go Association of Thailand — is set for January 30 – February 3 in Bangkok. Children from 11 countries — China, Korea, Japan, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, the United States and Thailand — are being invited. “We can send up to three players as a team in any of four divisions,” reports AGA President Allab Abramson. The divisions are High Dan (3-4 Dan); Low Dan (1-2 Dan); High Kyu (1-4 Kyu); and Low Kyu (5-8 Kyu). “Young players who wish to attend this fun tournament should have their parents contact me before December 2.” Email Abramson at

WESTERN KOREAN-STYLE INSEI LEAGUES ON KGS: Teachers and top European players Aleksander Dinerchtein 3P and Ilya Shiksin 7d (right) hope to launch Korean-style insei leagues on KGS early next year. Leagues would consist of ten players who would play a maximum of 44 games, including four with each teacher, for a monthly fee of $95 US. Group winners would collect $200 and participants would receive reduced rates for game reviews. The project will proceed if at least 3 leagues can be fully filled. The minimum level to enter is 9k KGS.
- Peter Dijkema

Categories: Europe

EUROPEAN GO NEWS: Trippel Takes Winterthur; Marigo Masters Italian Open; Krämer German Youth Champ; Ulster Sweeps Munster To Reach Irish Interprovincial Finals; Metta Sweeps Lucca; French Youth Congress And Hikaru Cup

Monday November 16, 2009

TRIPPEL TAKES WINTERTHUR: Lorenz Trippel of Zurich was undefeated in the one-day fast-play Swiss Winterthur tourney on November 14, ahead of Mark Wirdnam and Lisa Tao. Click here for results and photos.
- Peter Dijkema, after a report on

MARIGO MASTERS ITALIAN OPEN: Francesco Marigo 4d of Milan swept the 30th Italian Open (photo) field of 52 in Bologna, November 7-8. Only Massimiliano Spallanzi 12k from Modenaalso won all five rounds. Click here for results and photos.
- Peter Dijkema

KRÄMER GERMAN YOUTH CHAMP: Bonn’s Lukas Krämer 4d won the German Youth — Deutsche Jugendmeister — title in Hamburg on November 7-8. The event was hosted at the 27th “Rahlstedter Tengen,” which attracted over a hundred players to three different tourneys. In the traditional ‘Tengen’ events, Lutz Franke won Group One of 44 players on SOS ahead of Lu Ji and Stefan Kaitschick (also of Hamburg), while Björn Hölscher swept Group Two 7-0, topping a field of 50.
- Peter Dijkema

ULSTER SWEEPS MUNSTER TO REACH IRISH INTERPROVINCIAL FINALS: Ulster beat Munster on all three boards on November 13 in the Irish Go Association‘s new online interprovincial competition . This puts them through to the final, where they will play the winner of the Leinster – Connacht match. “The better team won” said Munster Team Captain Rory Wales. “It was a good hard match, and we’re just pleased to have got through it” responded Ulster Team Captain James Hutchinson. Munster clearly missed Cao Tong Yu 4d and Wei Wang 7d. Meanwhile, Colin MacSweeny and Michael Thai join Ian Davis and Noel Mitchell in the Top-8 tourney, which kicks off in January. The other four places will be filled from the ladder. “Intense competition can be expected for the rest of November”, according to the Irish Go Association.
- Ian Davis, Irish Correspondent, with additional reporting by Peter Dijkema

METTA SWEEPS LUCCA: Carlo Metta 1k of Pisa swept the Tai Kai Japan Palace tourney 5-0 in Lucca, Italy on October 31 and November 1. He finished ahead of Fausto Predieri (2nd) and Pasquale De Lucia (3rd). A week later, Metta surprised with silver at the 30th Italian Championship, as reported last week. Click here for results.
- Peter Dijkema, after a link on

FRENCH YOUTH CONGRESS AND HIKARU CUP: The French “Congres National des Jeunes” (right) – or Youth Congress — took place in a castle near Lens en Vercours in the Isereregion of the French Alps October 24-31. After four days of study with the team of teachers led by Fan Hui, students vied for the Hikaru Cups. French-American Thomas Debarre 5d once again won the top category “Lycée” while Florian Melcer won the “College” title and Mélissa Héaulme successfully defended her “Primaire” title, proving one can become a “Championne” starting simply by learning ‘atari-go.’ Héaulme’s father Alain is an active promotor of this teaching style in France. The report on the French site contains links to 5 YouTube videos.
- Peter Dijkema, after a report by Motoki Noguchi

Categories: Europe

WORLD GO NEWS: Yamashita Takes First Game In Tengen Title Match; Korean Myeongin Reaching Final Stages; Honinbo League Proceeding Slowly

Monday November 16, 2009

YAMASHITA TAKES FIRST GAME IN TENGEN TITLE MATCH: Challenger Yamashita Keigo 9P (left) defeated Tengen title holder Cho U 9P on November 12th to take the first game in their best-of-five-games title match. Cho now holds four of the top seven Japanese titles. He won the Tengen for the first time last year, defeating Kono Rin 9P, who had held it for the preceding three years. Yamashita lost the title to Kono after winning it from Hane Naoki 9P in 2003; he then unsuccessfully challenged for the next three years. Yamashita’s main claim to fame is holding the number one title in Japan, the Kisei five times, including the last four years.
- Bill Cobb, Sources: Go News, GoGameWorld

KOREAN MYEONGIN REACHING FINAL STAGES: On November 12-13, Won Sungjin 9P (right), who had defeated Seo Gunqoo 4P, defeated Hong Sungji 7P by a score of 2-1 (winning his two games by a total of five points) to become the League A final winner in the 37th Myeongin (J: Meijin), which has a complicated structure. This year there are two six-player leagues after the usual preliminary event. The top two players in each league have a best-of-three-games match and the winners of those matches have a final match. Since Lee Sedol 9P, who won this title last year, has taken a leave of absence from the active pro scene, the winner of this final match will be the title winner; this match is a best-of-five-games contest. A further complication arose in one league where a play-off game was needed to determine the second winner. The top two from League B, Lee Changho 9P and Kim Seongje 3P will start their playoff on November 16th. Lee Changho is one of the world’s best-known players, but is not as dominant these days. Kim has never taken a title and is still in his teens. Won won the international Chunwon title and the BC Card Cup in 2007. Of these three only Lee currently holds a title, the Korean KBS Cup, which he has held ten times.
- Bill Cobb, Go News, GoGameWorld, Sensei’s Library

HONINBO LEAGUE PROCEEDING SLOWLY: The eight-player round robin to determine the challenger for Hane Naoki 9P’s Honinbo title is proceeding at its usual leisurely pace. At this point Iyama Yuta 9P (recently promoted for winning the Meijin) and Yamashita Keigo 9P have the best records at 2-0. Neither of these players have even challenged for this title before, let alone won it. Among the other League participants only Takao Shinji 9P (currently 1-1) and Takemiya Masaki 9P (also 1-1) have ever won the Honinbo title. Takao held it three years, from 2005-2007, and Takemiya was Honinbo six times, including four consecutive years in 1985-1988. Yamada Kimio 9P (0-2) was the challenger in 2006, losing to Takao. Cho U 9P (1-1–he lost to Iyama) challenged twice unsuccessfully, in 2001 and 2005. The remaining two players, Yuki Satoshi 9P and Mimura Tomoyasu 9P have also never been the challenger.
- Bill Cobb, from GoGameWorld, Go News, Wikipedia, Wintry Smile

Categories: World

U.S. GO NEWS: Matsumoto Wins Seattle Iwamoto Youth Tournament; Jie Liang Wins Mass. Tourney

Monday November 16, 2009

MATSUMOTO WINS SEATTLE IWAMOTO YOUTH TOURNAMENT: Ken Matsumoto won the Iwamoto Youth 13×13 Tournament (right) at the Seattle Go Center on Sunday, Nov. 15 with a 4-0 record. The handicapped tournament had prizes for all, including go equipment, books and fun little items. An enthusiastic player, Matsumoto has been coming to the Go Center twice a week.  Hardworking Henry Cai, who gave large handicaps to all of his opponents, won the high school division with a 3-1 record.  Isabel Anderson, a frequent competitor, won the middle school section. Michael Larson, who has been training with neighbor and AGA volunteer Dennis Wheeler, won the grade 3-5 section.  Kindergartner Oliver Alt won the K-2 section.
- report/photo by Brian Allen

JIE LIANG WINS MASS. TOURNEY: A few die-hard players braved the rain Saturday to attend out this year’s Western Mass. Go Club Fall tournament at U. Mass. Amherst.  “Jie Liang 7d made the 3-hour trek from New Hampshire to take apart all four of the Amherst residents we threw at him,” reports Trevor Morris. “ Our visiting faculty member from Japan, Hiroyuki Koguchi, rounded out the small winners circle (right) by losing only to Jie.”

Categories: U.S./North America