American Go E-Journal

Shin Jinseo bests fellow teen Kim Myounghun in Let’s Run Park Cup to win his first title

Friday December 25, 2015

Shin Jinseo 3p defeated Kim Myounghun 2p, posting a 2-1 record to win the 2015 Let’s Run Park Cup final on December 22, becoming a new 2015.12.25_Shin-Jinseo-Lets-Run-Park-Cup-1-300x200teen champion in Korea. The final featured a battle between two teenagers, the first time such young players had competed since 2003, in the Chunwon (Korean Tengen) final between Choi Cheolhan 9p and Won Seongjin 9p.
- excerpted from Younggil An’s report on Go Game Guru, which includes game records of all three games plus more photos.

Categories: Korea
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Hu, Cheng and Cha Top Davis/Sac Winter Tournament

Friday December 25, 2015

The Davis/Sacramento Go Club held its Winter Tournament at the Rancho Cordova Library in Sacramento on December 12. The event drew 16 2015.12.22_Davis-Sac-winnersplayers from San Jose to Grass Valley. There was a tie between Yufei Hu 4d (right) and Matthew Cheng 1d (left), for Division I. Tai-an Cha 4k (center), won Division II.
- Willard Haynes

Categories: U.S./North America
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Two more books from Go Books, plus updated “Games of Fujisawa Shuko”

Friday December 25, 2015

Go Books from SmartGo has just added two books for a total of 108 digital go books.2015.12.22_principles-book

“An Encyclopedia of Go Principles” by Richard Bozulich is volume 9 in “Mastering the Basics”. It brings together all the strategic and tactical principles of go. As discussed in Bozulich’s essay “The Interplay of Intuition and Brute-Force Analysis in Go,” these principles combined with knowledge of tesuji are what all go players need to develop their intuitions about go.

2015.12.22_japanese-book“Just Enough Japanese, Volume Two: Intermediate Level Practical Japanese for Go Players” by Richard Hunter guides you from knowing zero Japanese to understanding the text of go problems and their answers, and extracting key information from game records. Volume Two methodically introduces vocabulary found on book covers and in headers, captions, and diagrams. It is aimed at go players of all abilities with a fairly wide ra2015.12.22_shuko-booknge of interest in Japanese.

In addition, “The Games of Fujisawa Shuko” by John Power was originally converted to digital form before Go Books supported inline diagrams. Richard Hunter has updated the book with inline diagrams, “making a great book even better,” says Anders Kierulf. As always, improvements like this are a free update if you already have the book.

You can access Go Books on iPad, iPhone, and Macintosh via a free app, with a free chapter for each book, and the full books are available using in-app purchase or directly on the web.

North American Kyu Championship Open for Registration

Thursday December 24, 2015

Crystal TrophyThe annual North American Kyu Championship (NAKC) is returning for the third time this coming January. Any kyu players under the age of 18, from Canada, the United States, or Mexico are welcome to play and fight to become 2016’s North American Kyu Champion. Junior (under 13) and Senior (under 18) players will compete with each other, but crystal trophies will be awarded to both the best Junior player and the best Senior player in each bracket – all the way down to double digit kyu. The winner of the top bracket will also be allowed to join the Redmond Cup, a youth tournament traditionally only open to dan players. Thanks to the AGF, any participant who competes in every round, win or lose, will be eligible for the choice of a $400 scholarship to the summer AGA Go Camp or a $200 scholarship to the 2016 Go Congress.

All four rounds will be held on KGS on January 30. For more details, visit the NAKC’s official Rules and Format page. To register, click here-Julian Erville, E-J Youth Correspondent.

Jeremy Chiu 7d wins Record-setting AGHS Tournament

Wednesday December 23, 2015

Chiu.JeremyJeremy Chiu 7d won the annual Young Lions Tournament, held November 14-15 on KGS.  “A record-setting 54 participants from the US, Canada and Mexico joined the 4-round event,” reports American Go Honor Society (AGHS) Promotion Head Stephen Hu. “It feels great knowing that I was able to come out on top of the tournament,” said the 13-year-old Chiu, who is pictured at right.  “The tournament was larger than I expected, and there were many strong players in the open division. I felt the challenge and thrill of a strong playing field, and there were many good games played throughout.  I watched parts of the stream after the tournament, and it was quite entertaining. To be honest, I felt that I was lucky to win the entire tournament, and that it could have gone any direction”

Winners of each of the five divisions received trophies and 2nd/3rd places earned medals. “Most notably,” adds Hu,  “a total of 6 strong youth players formed an open division with no handicap, producing games of very high quality. In the end Chiu triumphed, and clinched victory with a 4-0 record.”

The tournament was made possible by the young officers of the AGHS, with support from the AGA, and the AGF.  Yunxuan Li, AGHS president, coordinated the entire event; Brandon Ho, Katherine Zhang, Joseph Resch and Amy Su helped out as tournament directors; Yixin Song worked on ordering and delivering prizes to their recipients; Stephen Hu (xhu98), the promotion head, helped advertise the tournament on various go servers and communities. Hu also streamed the top board games on Twitch together with secretary April Ye; recordings can be found on Youtube. -Paul Barchilon, EJ Youth Editor

Winners Report: Open Division: 1st – Jeremy Chiu 7d (4-0), 2nd – Daniel Liu 5d (3-1), 3rd – Alan Huang 6d (2-2); Division A: 1st – Daniel Puzan 2d (4-0), 2nd (tied) – Eden Chen 2d, Gilbert Feng 2d (3-1); Division B: 1st – Terry Luo 3k (4-0), 2nd – Lazaro Lopez 6k (3-1), 3rd – Andrew Zhang 6k (3-1); Division C: 1st – Steve Zhang 13k (4-0), 2nd – Alex Kuang 10k (3-1), 3rd – Sarah Crites 11k (3-1); Division D: 1st – Matthew Ho 20k (3-1), 2nd – Gillian Chu 20k (3-1), 3rd – Alana Noehrenberg 22k (3-1)

KPMC 2015: Eric Lui on Li ZhuoLiang v Lui

Wednesday December 23, 2015

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This week we’re presenting extended coverage of the Korean World Amateur Championships (KPMC; click here for our winner’s report on December 8, and here for Eric Lui on Camaraderie and Pure Joy, and here for Keith Arnold interviews Eric Lui). Today we present Eric’s 5th round game:

White: Li ZhuoLiang (Hong Kong)
Black: Eric Lui (USA)
Commentary: Eric Lui
Published in the December 23, 2015 edition of the American Go E-Journal

In this 5th (of 6) round game of the 2015 Korean World Amateur Championships (KPMC) against Li ZhuoLiang from Hong Kong, Eric Lui walks us through his thinking process at key points. After staying calm during a big unclear middle game fight, Eric emerges with an attack on Li’s weak group. Eric then converts the attack into a territorial advantage to coast to a win.

Categories: Game Commentaries
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Your Move/Readers Write: Ke Jie “awesome” but has lost on white

Tuesday December 22, 2015

“Ke Jie is not undefeated as white this year (Ke Jie Blanks Shi Yue in Samsung to Win Second International Title  12/12 EJ),” writes Lucas Baker. “Please see this page with data provided by go4go. That said, he’s still awesome.”
According the go4go site, Ke Jie, playing white, has lost to both Shin Minjun and Tang Weixing ; thanks for the correction!

Pair Go Gala at Seattle Go Center

Tuesday December 22, 2015

The Third Annual Pair Go Tournament at the Seattle Go Center on December 12 featured cake, raspberries, fancy punch, and friendly competition between 10 pairs of players.  Table one winners were Peter Nelson 5d and Lily Berger 17k, besting Brian Allen 9k and Deborah Niedermeyer 10k.  The same foursome played last year, but with opposite results.  Lily has gotten stronger since last year, according to the other three players.  A graduate student at UW, she said that she only started practicing a week before the tournament, by playing a 9×9 game every day with Peter, and then reviewing the game.  She is pleased with how much that helped.

The table two winners were Tzu Jen Chan 2d and Winnie Gu 22k, who also played last year,  while the table three winners were new players Carissa Thornock 25k and Julian Banbury 18k.  In the winner’s photo, going left to right, the players are Chan & Gu, Thornock & Banbury, Berger & Nelson.  Report by Brian Allen, photos by Huei-Ling Shiang

Jyoti at Pair GoPair Go Winners

 

Categories: U.S./North America
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KPMC 2015: Keith Arnold Interviews Eric Lui

Tuesday December 22, 2015

This week we’re presenting extended coverage of the Korean World Amateur Championships (KPMC; click here for our winner’s report on December 8 and here for Eric Lui on Camaraderie and Pure Joy). Here’s Keith Arnold’s interview with Lui, which took place at last Sunday’s meeting of the Baltimore Go Club. The longtime local organizer has known Lui since he first began playing go.
photo: Lui reviewing his Round 5 KPMC game with Hong Kong (watch for the review in tomorrow’s EJ); photo by Keith Arnold. 

KA: First of all, Congratulations on the achievement (5-1; played for championship in final round); were you happy with your play 2015.12.22_eric-luioverall?
EL: Thank you. There were some good moments in my games, and I played about as well as I expected to, so on the whole I’m not dissatisfied.
KA: Can you give us a brief description of the tournament format and venue?
EL: The tournament was a 6-round Swiss, with 40 minutes basic time per player and 3 periods of 30 seconds byo yomi. Initially, the players were split into two groups by strength and then paired within the group. The tournament was held at Riverside Hotel in Seoul’s Gangnam district, a seemingly high-class place with fancy, luxurious dining halls, and a long, spacious hall that led to a separate large room for the playing area.
KA: You are known as a slow player, but is it possible that your experience in byo yomi helps you in a quicker game like this?
EL: I’d prefer to think of others as quick players. There is no room for slow players these days, especially in amateur go where time limits are very short. Speed is key and can be a major weapon. My play in byo yomi is far from ideal, but it seems that my opponents also felt the time pressure.
KA: How was the competition? Other than China, who was your toughest opponent?
EL: The player from Hong Kong was strong, and I also had a tough game against Ukraine.
KA: Do you get a chance to look at some of your opponents games’ to prepare for these events, or do you focus on making sure your own game is sharp?
EL: I didn’t know who would be coming, so I just tried to stay in good physical condition.
KA: How did you feel going into a championship game?
EL: I thought of Ben (Lockhart) last year and wondered if history was going to repeat itself (he went 5-0 before losing to Korea in the final). In fact, scarcely 90 minutes before the game, the Chinese player and I were seated at the same table, having lunch together. It felt a bit odd that we would soon be playing for the championship.
KA: In the final game you played mirror go for the first 14 moves, was that an effort to save time, or was it a particular strategy you worked on?
EL: I’ve been interested in mirror go for a while, yet I know little about it from limited practical experience. Actually, I think mirror go is a poor strategy for saving time, since you can’t just blindly copy your opponent’s moves. There is so much reading and strategic planning involved.
KA: Being 5-0 and dropping to 4th seems harsh; can you explain what hurt your SOS?
EL: It’s fair. This year, the Chinese and Korean players were a class above everyone else, although the young kid from Taiwan had very good chances to win against the Chinese player. My first two rounds were against Serbia and Slovakia, and they both ended up with (only) two wins. Those are the breaks, and there’s nothing to do about it.
KA: How does this compare to your 3rd place in the World Amateur Go Championships?
EL: Finishing third in the WAGC is by far my best achievement, yet my KPMC result is no less satisfying.
KA: You have really done well representing the U.S. Go is such a personal game; does representing your country put additional pressure on you, or is your internal competitive will all the motivation you need?
EL: My major goal for this tournament was to have a good time. In the U.S., we are always fighting for prizes, rating points, etc. and the stakes are much higher. Here, I just felt content to play games face-to-face. I wasn’t too concerned about my results.
KA: What do you feel are the strengths of your game right now? What are you most trying to work on?
EL: I feel confident in games with lots of direct fighting. The opening is probably my weakest part, so I’m concentrating on improving it by studying pro games.
KA: We have played together since you first began playing and I often brag that I taught you everything you know. Can you think of anything you actually learned from me?
EL: That it’s always possible to win against stronger players.
KA: Aside from winning games, what was your favorite part of the trip?
EL: Meeting the other players and organizers was by far the best part. Winning games was just a bonus.

TomorrowEric Lui’s commentary on his KPMC Round 5 game with Hong Kong.

KPMC 2015: Eric Lui on Camaraderie and Pure Joy

Monday December 21, 2015

This week we’ll present extended coverage of the Korean World Amateur Championships (KPMC; click here for our winner’s report on December 8). Below you’ll find U.S. rep Eric Lui’s delightful reminiscence of the event, where he went undefeated for five rounds, losing only to champion China in the final (Ben Lockhart did the same thing last year, except his final round loss was to Korea). Tomorrow we will have a Q&A with Eric about the event, and finally we will present a brief review of his 5th round game against Hong Kong.

by Eric Lui, U.S. representative to the 2015 Korean World Amateur Championships2015.12.20_Eric-Lui-KPMC

It’s been nine years since I participated in the first Korea Prime Minister’s Cup. My memories of the occasion as a whole are dim at best, but I can still recall a few fragments of the extravagant outdoor opening ceremony, and the completely bonkers closing ceremony that had players and local Korean folk holding hands and running in circles around the plaza square into the night.

Turn the clock forward and it’s time for the 10th Korea Prime Minister’s Cup, held in Seoul’s Gangnam district. While the first KPMC was lavish in style and grand in execution, the 10th edition thrived on the strength of its organizers, a charismatic and multilingual group who couldn’t have been more welcoming. The genuine camaraderie among the players and organizers produced a truly festive atmosphere.

Before each round, music played from a large boombox at the front of the stage. In particular, a rousing rendition of Chicago’s hit song “If You Leave Me Now” put me in a whimsical mood before my important fifth-round match against the player from Hong Kong. If only Peter Cetera were there, he would finally be able to cite definitive proof to any naysayers who claim that his music has yet to reach an international audience. “You see?” He might say, pointing vigorously to a video feed. “I made it!”

The standout performer this time was Cristian Pop of Romania, who, in a first-round heavyweight clash, defeated Japan’s Dr. Shinichiro Osawa, a neurosurgeon and former teacher of the star player Ichiriki Ryo 7p. Pop would go on to finish 3rd. My last-round defeat at the hands of China’s top-rated amateur Hu Yuqing, the tournament winner, landed me in 4th place on SOS. Hu has terrorized the amateur go world for well over a decade, and, playing in his 6th (!) KPMC at the raw age of 34, shows no signs of slowing down.

The closing ceremony was well-attended with VIPs such as Seo Bongsoo 9p, chief referee, Kim Seungjun 9p, Lee Hajin 3p, secretary of IGF, and Martin Stiassny, president of EGF. The highlights featured a male performer, clad in headgear with a long wavy band attached to the brim, executing aerial cartwheels around a circle in a breathtaking display of athleticism and artistry, and a moving interpretation of Secret Garden’s iconic “Song from a Secret Garden” by a quartet on traditional Korean instruments including a vertical fiddle, a bamboo flute, and a long zither.

The next day was the traditional sightseeing day and the first snow of the season. Later that night, while walking in downtown Myeongdong, Seoul’s premier shopping district, clutching bags filled with cosmetics and various beauty products, it crossed my mind that in less than half a day, I would be on my way to the airport and this trip would become just a memory.

When we reached the end of the street, I looked back, shivering slightly in the freezing cold, and took it all in: the bright lights, buildings that seemed to touch the sky, hustle and bustle in a world I didn’t understand, and felt strangely at ease.

In that moment, I saw myself four days ago, sleep-deprived and slightly haggard upon arrival. I recalled the interesting conversations, laughter, and failed attempts at procuring more food. I thought of the first time I participated in this tournament, so eager and determined to prove something.

I felt pure joy at having had the opportunity to play in this tournament again, and a twinge of regret about all the pictures I had forgotten to take, yet I took solace knowing that others would not have done the same.

I remembered standing on an outdoor patio at Tokyo Narita Airport, watching from a distance as a plane barreled down the runway and took off into the sky, my hopes and dreams soaring with it, and I smiled inwardly as I realized how much there was to look forward to.

And then the moment was gone. I heard a voice, and a sudden gust of wind brought me back to earth. Following a few steps behind a small crowd into a donut shop, I rubbed my hands together in anticipation of warmth.

Tomorrowa Q&A with Eric about the 2015 KPMC.