American Go E-Journal

The Power Report (3): Iyama wins Japan-China Agon Kiriyama play-off; Finland’s Tormanen becomes pro shodan; Promotions

Wednesday December 30, 2015

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal2015.12.28_Agon Kiriyama

Iyama wins Japan-China Agon Kiriyama play-off: The 17th Japan-China Ago 2015.12.28_AgonKiriyama play-off (right) was held at the Shangri-la Hotel Chengdu in the city of Chengdu in China on December 25. Iyama Yuta 9P (left) put an end to a long series of defeats for Japan by beating Huang Yunsong 4P of China. Taking white, Iyama won by resignation. Earlier in the year, Huang won the 2nd Globis Cup; in the final of the Chinese Agon Kiriyama Cup, he beat Chen Yaoye. The game was broadcast live on Chinese TV. After winning the first four play-offs, Japan lost the next twelve, so Iyama’s win was a much-appreciated Xmas present for Japanese fans. First prize is five million yen and second is two million.

Finland’s Tormanen becomes pro shodan: Thanks to good results in the professional qualifying tournament for 2016, Antti Mikael 2015.12.28_antti-tormanenTormanen has qualified as professional shodan as of April 1, 2016. Aged 26, Tormanen (right) has qualified as a Foreign Nationality Special Professional. His record in the qualifying tournament was eight wins to seven losses. He is the first Westerner to become a professional at the Nihon Ki-in since the late Hans Pietsch 6P in 1997. (See our original 12/8 report here.)

To 7-dan: Akedo Kazumi (120 wins) (as of December 18). Akedo was born on June 27, 1947. He became 1-dan in 1968 and is a member of the Central Japan (Nagoya) branch of the Nihon Ki-in.
To 4-dan: Son Makoto (50 wins) (as of December 4).

Categories: Japan,John Power Report

AGA’s MLily Cup commentary delayed to Wednesday

Tuesday December 29, 2015

The AGA’ live game commentary on the MLily Cup finals between Lee Sedol 9P and Ke Jie 9P will begin with Game 2 on Wednesday, December 2015.12.29_MLilyShow2TitleCard30, not Tuesday 12/29 as previously announced. Myungwan Kim 9Ps commentary will begin at 9pm PST (midnight EST) on the AGA’s YouTube channel.
graphic by xhu

Categories: World

Top US Players to Compete in 4th AGA Pro Tourney January 3-9 in LA

Tuesday December 29, 2015

Eight top US go players will gather in Los Angeles next week to determine the next US professional. Play in the 4th AGA Pro Qualification starts2015.12.23_aga-pro-2015-DSC_0026 on Sunday, January 3 and ends on January 9. The games will be broadcast live on KGS from the Hotel Normandie by the E-Journal; morning rounds will begin at 9:30 AM and afternoon rounds will begin at 4:30 PM. The players are Eric Lui 7d, Ben Lockhart 7d, Aaron Ye 7d, Jeremy Chiu 6d, Sarah Yu 6d, Andrew Lu 7d, Daniel Gourdeau 6d and Manuel Velasco 5d. The tournament will be played in two parts, a Round Robin Prelim Sunday through Wednesday, followed by the Championship Thursday and Friday. Myungwan Kim 9P is the tournment referee, Jeff Shaevel is the Tournament Director, AGA President Andy Okun will be on hand and Chris Garlock and Dennis Wheeler will head up the EJ recording team, which will also broadcast game commentaries on the AGA’s YouTube stream.
photo: at the 2015 pro tourney; photo by Chris Garlock

The Power Report (2): Motoki retains lead in Honinbo League; Korea wins team tournament; Iyama’s winning streak ends on 24; Aoki wins Women’s Meijin League

Tuesday December 29, 2015

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Motoki retains lead in Honinbo League: The third round of the 71st Honinbo League was played on December 10 and 17. Motoki Katsuya 7P, the dark horse of the league, continued his good form and retained the sole lead. In contrast, former Honinbo Cho U has made a dismal start, with three losses. Cho’s decision to move to Taiwan to improve his form is not working out yet.
(December 10) Motoki (B) beat Kono Rin 9P by resig.; Takao Shinji 9P (W) beat Ichiriki Ryo 7P by 1.5 points; Yo Seiki 7P (B) beat Ida Atsushi Judan by half a point. (December 17) Yamashita Keigo 9P (W) beat Cho U 9P by resig.

Korea wins team tournament: The Golden Dragon City Cup World Team Championship is an unusual team tournament that includes consultation games. It started out two years ago as the Zhugang Cup, but in its second term changed its name to the above. Three-player 2015.12.28_Yo So Yoda consultingteams compete and in the first term, only the final was a consultation game; this time the semifinals were also consultation games. This year’s tournament was held in Guangzhou City from December 16 to 22. The semifinalists were the top teams in a five-round Swiss with 16 teams. These included nine teams that had won their way through the preliminaries and seven seeded teams from Japan, China, Korea, and Chinese Taipei. Another unusual feature of this tournament is that, besides their regular teams, Japan, China, and Korea also fielded ‘wild card teams’, made up of players over 29 who had won world titles or who had made outstanding contributions to go. The Japanese wild card team consisted of Cho Chikun, Kobayashi Koichi, and O Rissei, and the regular team of Yoda Norimoto 9P, So Yokoku 9P, and Yo Seiki 7P.
In the Swiss System tournament, China took first place with five wins; its team was made up of its number one to three players, that is, Ke Jie, Shi Yue, and Zhou Ruiyang. Its record was 14-1, with only Zhou dropping a game. Second was Korea, third was Japan, and fourth the Korean wild card team. Just for the record, the 5th to 16th places were as follows: China wild card, Australia, Chinese Taipei, China Hong Kong, Japan wild card, Germany, Ukraine, Russia, Poland, France, Israel, and Singapore. In the semifinals, Korea beat Japan and China beat Korea wild card. In the final, Korea (white) beat China by half a point. In a play-off for third place, Korea wild card beat Japan.

Iyama’s winning streak ends on 24: Iyama Yuta’s winning streak, which started in May and included wins in the Gosei, Meijin, Oza, and Tengen title matches, has finally come to an end. At 24 successive wins, Iyama is in equal second place in the tournament records with Rin Kaiho, Hon. Tengen. Top is Sakata Eio, 23rd Honinbo, with 29 wins in a row. The only information published was that Iyama’s winning streak came to an end with a loss in a TV tournament. Probably this was in the 63rd NHK Cup, in which he was slated to play the winner of a game between Kono Rin 9P and Matsumoto Takehisa 7P in a quarterfinal. We won’t know for sure until the game is televised.

Aoki wins Women’s Meijin League: A win in the fifth round of the 28th Women’s Meijin League has given Aoki Kikuyo 8P the league victory regardless of the result of her sixth game. On December 17, Aoki beat Mannami Nao, improving her score to 5-0. Even if Fujisawa Rina 3P beats Aoki in the final round, tying her on 5-1, Aoki takes precedence thanks to her number two rank in the league (there are no play-offs). Aoki has won the Women’s Meijin title five times, but the last time was in 2006. The title match with Xie Yimin, who will be aiming at her ninth win in a row, will start in March.
Games in December: (Dec. 7) Fujisawa Rina 3P (W) beat Suzuki Ayumi 6P by resig. (Dec. 17) Aoki Kikuyo (W) beat Mannami Nao 3P by resig.; Chinen Kaori 5P (W) beat Okuda Aya 3P by 1.5 points.

Tomorrow: Iyama wins Japan-China Agon Kiriyama play-off; Finland’s Tormanen becomes pro shodan; Promotions

Categories: Japan,John Power Report

AGA to broadcast live commentary on MLily Cup finals this week

Monday December 28, 2015

The AGA will provide live game commentary this week on the upcoming MLily Cup finals between Lee Sedol 9P and Ke Jie 9P. The first game is tomorrow (2015.11.26_Ke-Jie-Lee-Sedol-MLily-Cup-t-150x150Tuesday), December 29; Myungwan Kim 9Ps commentary will begin at 9pm PST (midnight EST) on the AGA’s YouTube channel. Games 2 and 3 are scheduled for 12/30 and 1/1; if the best-of-five contest goes longer, games are scheduled for January 3 and 4, if necessary.

Categories: China,Japan,Korea

The Power Report (1): New Meijin League gets under way; Kansai Ki-in moves; Hane defends Crown title; Yoshihara to challenge for Women’s Kisei

Monday December 28, 2015

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal2015.12.28_Hane wins Crown

New Meijin League gets under way; Kansai Ki-in moves: The first games in the 41st Meijin League were played on December 3. In a match-up between heavyweights, Takao Shinji 9P (W) beat Yamashita Keigo 9P by resig. Ko Iso 8P (B) beat league newcomer Hirata Tomoya 7P by resig. On December 10, Cho U (W) beat Hane Naoki 9P by resig. On December 17, Murakawa Daisuke (B) beat Uchida Shuhei 7P by resignation, completing the first round. Incidentally, this was one of the last games played at the headquarters of the Kansai Ki-in in the Nihon Bunka Kaikan (Japan Culture Hall). After 47 years at this venue, the Kansai Ki-in is moving to a new address: 4th & 5th Floors, Heiwa Building, Kitahama Itchome, Chuo-ku, Osaka 541-0041.

Hane defends Crown title: The final of the 56th Crown title, which is open to Nagoya professionals, was held on December 4. Taking white, Hane (right) rebuffed the challenge of Ogata Masaki 9P, forcing a 2015.12.28_Yoshihararesignation after 150 moves. This is Hane’s fifth Crown title in a row; overall, he has won it 12 times. That takes his tally of titles to 25, which is ninth in the all-time records.

Yoshihara to challenge for Women’s Kisei: The play-off to decide the challenger to Xie Yimin for the 19th DoKoMo Cup Women’s Kisei title was held in the Ryusei Studio in the basement of the Nihon Ki-in at Ichigaya on December 7. Yoshihara Yukari 6P (W) defeated Kato Keiko 6P by resig. Yoshihara (left) won this title three times from 2007 to 2009, then lost the next two matches to Xie. At present, Xie has held the title for three years in a row.

Tomorrow: Motoki retains lead in Honinbo League; Korea wins team tournament; Iyama’s winning streak ends on 24; Aoki wins Women’s Meijin League

Categories: Japan,John Power Report

Oregon updates: Mochitsuki volunteers wanted; Janice Kim coming to Corvallis

Sunday December 27, 2015

Oregon go player alert: the Portland Go Club is looking for volunteers to help host a table at Mochitsuki at PSU on January 31st and Corvallis 2015.12.25_Mochi-Banner-color-webwill host a workshop with Janice Kim 3P February 13-14.

The Portland Go Club will host a table at Mochitsuki at PSU on January 31st, the 20th anniversary of the Japanese American New Year celebration. “Last year was a great success 2015.12.25_JaniceKimand four of us introduced many, many adults and children to go,” reports Peter Freedman. “This is a well-attended event!” Volunteers get free access; email

Corvallis will host their third visit from Janice Kim 3P with a workshop scheduled for February 13 and 14. “The workshop is being aimed at the 9 kyu to 3 dan strength range of the Corvallis Go Club ‘regulars,’ many of whom you will be familiar with from the annual Lewis & Clark tournaments, as well as participation on Braindog,” reports Bob O’Malley. For details and to register, email

Yuan Zhou Leads Go Workshop in North Carolina

Saturday December 26, 2015

Yuan Zhou 7d instructed, enlightened and entertained members of the Triangle Go Group over a warm, sunny North Carolina weekend December 2015.12.25_yuan-zhou-workshop13-14 in Raleigh. In addition to extremely helpful reviews of participants’ games, Zhou (right) also 2015.12.25_yuan-zhou-workshop-team2introduced attendees to a new style of play called Team Play. Team Play (left) is competition between groups, rather than individuals, played on a single board maintained by the TD, with each team located in a separate room.  

In his lectures, Zhou illustrated guidelines for play with examples from the style of Go Seigen, Kabayashi Koichi, Cho Chikun, Lee Changho and others. This year, marking his ninth annual visit to North Carolina, Yuan Zhou treated the attendees to an inspiring deep analysis of the recent Chunlan Cup final game in June between Gu Li and Zhou Rui Yang.

Zhou also reminded workshop participants of the philosophical elements of go, and mentioned some of the underlying principles and basic elements. Introducing a review of a 9-stone handicap game, Zhou encouraged our strong players to welcome high handicap games and to teach those who want to become stronger.
- report/photos by Bob Bacon

Categories: U.S./North America

2016 Online Go Sessions Start Up

Saturday December 26, 2015

With the New Year fast approaching, online go classes are starting new sessions:

Guo Juan’s Internet Go School’s online group class starts on January 9th. “Meet friends, have fun and learn much from pro teachers,” says Go 2015.12.22_guo-juan-logoJuan 5P. Pro teachers include Guo, YoungSun Yoon 8P, Jennie Shen 2P and Mingjiu Jiang 7P. Cost is 135 euros for 8 x 1,5h classes and seven weeks full access to the school’s pro lecture site and the training system.

2015.12.22_American Yunguseng dojang Lecture in US Go congress 2015Inseong Hwang’s new season — the 14th — of his online go academy ‘Yunguseng Dojang’ starts on January 4. The American Yunguseng dojang has been going to two years. It started with three leagues and 20 people and has now increased to seven leagues and 50 participants, with members from AGA 7dan to 12 kyu. “I attended this year’s US Go Congress,” says Hwang. Check out the Yunguseng Doajng Youtube channel.


Yoonyoung Kim 4P visits Seattle

Friday December 25, 2015

yoonyoung at simuls Two baduk teachers visited Seattle in December,  courtesy of the Korean Amateur Baduk Association (KABA).  Yoonyoung Kim 4P, a Korean tournament winner, and Hyunwoo Kim, who is completing the Baduk Studies program at Myongji University, taught a weekend workshop, played simultaneous games, and attended the Pair Go Gala.  The weekend workshop on Dec. 12-13 was attended mostly by single digit kyu players, and was taught in English.  The well prepared teachers led the students through tesuji problem sets, and gave lectures on invasions and reductions.  They also reviewed student games and questions, and presented one of Yoonyoung Kim’s professional games.  Sonny (Sung-Chul) Cho 6d said he “was very much impressed by their sharp analysis of Go games and theory”.

Not much has been written about Yoonyoung Kim in English, but she is a tournament player to watch for.  She became a pro in 2007, and is now 26 years old. Just days before she came to Seattle, she beat Ahn Jo Young 9P in the GX Caltex Qualified.  He is the known as the “Half Point Magician” since he defeated many top players including Lee Sedol and Gu Li by the smallest margin.  In 2014, Yoonyoung Kim made the top 32 in the Samsung Masters World Championship.  She defeated Fan Yunuo, a young Chinese prospect, but lost to Murakawa Daisuke only by two and a half points and did not move to the best of 16 round.   In 2010 she was on the Korean female team for the Asian Games, and won a gold medal as part of that team.  She also won the Women’s Kisung tournament in 2010, and was first runner up in the 2011 Women’s Kook-Soo  Tournament.

Hyunwoo Kim, a former Korean insei,  is finishing coursework at Myongji University, and actually needed a written excuse for missing one of his classes.  His excellent excuse was written by Lee Anne Bowie, who is President of the Seattle Go Center, and a former high school teacher.  Hyunwoo has taught go in many places, including ten months in New Zealand.  Yoonyoung and Hyunwoo were warm and friendly teachers, able to help students at many levels.  Photo: Yoonyoung Kim reviewing simul game.  Photo and Report by Brian Allen.

Categories: U.S./North America