American Go E-Journal

Go Spotting: Leibniz calls go “ingenious and quite difficult”

Thursday June 11, 2015

“I easily believe that the magnitude of the Board and the quantity of pieces render this game quite ingenious and quite difficult,” wrote the 2015.06.06_Leibniz_WeiqiGerman polymath and philosopher Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz about go in 1710. Leibniz, in “Miscellanea Berolinensia” goes on to note “the singular principle” of go is not “the death of the enemy, but only to push him to the limits of the Table,” which, while not perhaps technically accurate, certainly gets at the heart of the game, though he goes on to draw the questionable conclusion that the game’s inventor “abhorrent of murder, wished to obtain a victory not soiled by blood.” Leibniz learned about go from the book “Christian Expedition among the Chinese,” by Nicolas Trigault, a missionary to China in 1600s.
graphic: from Miscellanea Berolinensia; thanks to Simon Guo for passing this along.

Categories: Go Art,Go Spotting
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Gold for Korea, Silver for China and Bronze for Chinese Taipei

Wednesday June 10, 2015

Changhun Kim 6d (right) of Korea has won the 36th World Amateur Go Championship, held this year for the first time in Thailand. In second was 2015.06.10_Changhun KimAohua Hu 6d of China, and third place was taken by 12-year-old Jyun-Fu Lai 7d from Chinese Taipei. The remainder of the top-ten finishers: [4] Chi-hin Chan (Hong Kong), [5] Satoshi Hiraoka (Japan), [6] Cornel Burzo (Romania), [7] Artem Kachanovskyi (Ukraine), [8] Juyong Koh (Canada), [9] Pal Balogh (Hungary) and [10] Daniel Ko (United States). Click here for the full tournament results and the final-round report. Other reports include Round 6: Hungary vs Belgium; Korea Storms Ahead on Third Day of WAGC & Round 4: China vs Korea.
- Ranka Online

The Power Report (III): Aizu Central Hospital Cup; 2nd Mlily Cup; O Meien wins 1,000 games

Wednesday June 10, 2015

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal2015.06.08_Aizu O & Xie

Aizu Central Hospital Cup: Xie Yimin (right), Women’s Meijin, will meet O Keii 2P (left), the daughter of O Rissei 9P, in the final of the 2nd Aizu Central Hospital Cup. In the semifinals, played on June 7, Xie (W) beat the previous winner Fujisawa Rina 2P by resignation and O (B) beat Kato Keiko 6P by 4.5 points. The final, the only two-day game in women’s go, will be held on July 2 and 3.

2nd Mlily Cup: Nineteen Japanese players took part in the open preliminary tournament for the 2nd Mlily Cup, held at the Chinese Qiyuan (Ki-in) in Beijing from May 22 to 26. They were made up of ten male professionals, five female professionals, and four amateurs. No Japanese players won a seat in the main tournament, but Yo Seiki 7P, Fujisawa Rina 2P and Xie Yimin 6P did reach the semifinals. In the second round, Fujisawa scored a memorable win over the world’s top-rated woman player, Choe Cheong 5P of Korea. Fujisawa, playing white, had fallen behind but found a brilliancy, a move that looked like a suicide move but which turned the game around. Fujisawa commented that Choe, who is two years her senior, is definitely stronger than her, but she was happy to pick up a win.

O Meien wins 1,000 games: A win on June 4 was O Meien’s 1,000th as a pro. He is the 16th player at the Nihon Ki-in to reach this landmark, and it took him 38 years two months. With 571 losses, two jigos and two no-results, his winning percentage is 63.7.

Promotion: To 8-dan: Kitano Ryo (150 wins) (as of May 29)

Correction: In my report about Otake Hideo’s decoration (5/3 EJ), I wrote that he was the 23rd go player to be so honoured. Go Weekly subsequently amended the list it published; actually 25 players have won decorations.

Categories: Japan,John Power Report
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The Power Report (II): China wins 4th Mt. Tiantai Nongshang Bank Cup; Yo Seiki wins Okage Cup; Hane senior wins 1,200 games

Tuesday June 9, 2015

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal

China wins 4th Mt. Tiantai Nongshang Bank Cup: The 4th Mt. Tiantai Nongshang Bank Cup World Women’s Team Championship was held in Taizhou City, Zhejiang Province in China from May 8 to 10. Three-player teams from China, Korea, Japan, and Chinese Taipei competed. The teams finished in the order just given. Representing Japan were Fujisawa Rina 2P, Xie Yimin 6P, and Kaneko Maki 1P. Results are given below.
(Round 1) China beat Japan 3-1; Korea beat Chinese Taipei 3-0. (Round 2) Japan beat Chinese Taipei 3-0; China beat Korea 2-1. (Round 3) Korea beat Japan 3-0; China beat Chinese Taipei 3-0. So Yokoku 9P accompanied the Japanese team as coach. A conversation he had with the top board for China, Yu Zhiying 5P, gives an idea of what goes into becoming a top player. As a member of the national team, Yu studies at the Chinese Qiyuan from 9 to 5, Monday to Friday. At night, she plays Net games, with her norm being 3.5 games a night. Even on days when she has official games, she still completes her norm. She said she plays about 1,700 games a year. So commented that Fujisawa and Xie are also studying hard. In an interview with the Chinese press, Fujisawa said that she studies eight to ten hours a day, at least six days a week. The other members of the Chinese team were Song Rongrui 5P and Rui Naiwei 9P. The Korean players were Choe Cheong 5P, Kim Hye-min 7P, and Pak Ji-yon 3P. Choe inflicted the sole loss suffered by China, defeating Yu on the top board. As of May, Choe was the top-ranked woman player in the world (#193 on the geocities site).

Yo Seiki wins Okage Cup: The O-kage (gratitude) Cup is sponsored by a group of tourism-related shops in the street leading to Ise Shrine. It is open to players 30 and under and so far has been won by Cho Riyu (2010), Anzai Nobuaki (2011 and 2012), and Ichiriki Ryo (2013 and 2014). This year, the main tournament (for the best 16) was held in Ise City on May 14 And 15. In the final, Yo Seiki 7P of the Kansai Ki-in (W) beat Ichiriki by resignation.

Hane senior wins 1,200 games: On May 21, Hane Yasumasa 9P became the sixth player at the Nihon Ki-in to reach the landmark of 1,200 wins. It took him 57 years one month (he will turn 71 on June 25). With 641 losses and 5 jigos, his winning percentage is 65.2. He won the Oza title in 1990. He is the father of Hane Naoki.

Tomorrow: 2nd Mlily Cup; O Meien wins 1,000 games; Aizu Central Hospital Cup

Categories: Japan,John Power Report
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Go Spotting: What esports have to learn from go

Tuesday June 9, 2015

While esports have becomes hugely popular in recent years, garnering large audiences, broadcast on ESPN and major sponsorships, they may 2015.06.07_esportsstill have something to learn from the ancient game of go. That’s the premise of “Go: The First Generation of Competitive Games,” an article published recently in “1337,” major e-sports trade magazine. “Despite similarities, go and esports are worlds apart in terms of perception,” writes Michael Cohen. “While go is intertwined with some national cultures, esports faces the stigmatization of video games as a whole.” Noting that go is “accepted by all generations as a legitimate game of mental strength and strategy, as well as a tool for teaching life values to children and adults alike,” Cohen suggests that go “may also be a predictor of what esports can hope to become throughout everyday life.” In an ironic turn, “it looks like they’re looking to go for an example for how to make the jump to legitimacy as a reputable pastime, compared to how we look to them for tips on marketing, sponsorship, and promotion,” says AGA VP of operations Andrew Jackson, who sent us the article.

Categories: Go Spotting
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Top Pros Confirm for US Go Congress

Monday June 8, 2015

Myungwan Kim 9P, Feng Yun 9P (r) and six other professional go players have now been confirmed for this year’s US Go Congress. The pro roster2015.06.08_Feng-Yun-DSC_0027 thus far includes Chinese professionals Wang Qun 8P and Cao Youyin 3P, Korean pro Hajin Lee 3P, Secretary General of the International Go Federation, as well as American professionals Yilun Yang 7P, Mingjiu Jiang 7P and Jennie Shen 2P. The chance to attend lectures by professionals and play in simultaneous games with them is one of the major attractions of the annual Congress for many attendees. This year’s Congress runs August 1-9 in St Paul, MN. Click here for details and to register. photo: Feng Yun 9P at the 2014 US Go Congress; photo by Chris Garlock
Update (6/11): updated to clarify which country each professional represents.

The Power Report (I): Iyama takes 3-0 lead in Honinbo title match

Monday June 8, 2015

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal2015.06.08_70honinbo3_2

Iyama takes 3-0 lead in Honinbo title match: In the 70th Honinbo title match, Yamashita Keigo is seeking to regain the title that he lost to Iyama Yuta in 2012. He is also seeking revenge for his loss to Iyama in this year’s Kisei title match. As defending champion, Iyama is hoping to maintain his quadruple crown; after losing two titles at the end of last year, he will be anxious to avoid any further reductions to his swag. Also, if he defends his title, it will be his fourth in a row, so he will draw near to qualifying for the title of Honorary Honinbo.

Just as in the Kisei title match, Iyama has made a great start, sweeping the first three games. In the Kisei, Yamashita staged a recovery, winning three games in a row himself. Will he be able to do it again?
The first game was played in the Fugetsuro pavilion in Shizuoka City on May 13 and 14. This was the hometown of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the warlord who founded the Tokugawa Shogunate, and the game was one of the events in the celebration of the 400th anniversary of Ieyasu’s death. The Fugetsuro is located on the estate of the 15th and last shogun, Tokugawa Yoshinobu. Yamashita drew black in the nigiri. He was doing fairly well in the fighting, but a couple of slightly dubious moves let Iyama into the game. Yamashita then made a misreading about a possible capturing race and so failed to play the best move. Although he was still ahead on the board, he couldn’t give the komi, so he resigned after 164 moves.

2015.06.08_70honinbo3_3The second game was played at the Shikimeien garden in Naha City, Okinawa on May 25 and 26. Fierce fighting started in the opening. In the middle game, Yamashita (white) made a fatal blunder and fell behind. Iyama wrapped up the game safely, and Yamashita resigned after 177 moves.

The third game was played at the Jozankei Resort Spa Mori no Uta (Song of the Forest) in Sapporo City, Hokkaido on June 3 and 4. In this game, there was no major fighting — when the first proper fight looked like breaking out, the players settled for a peaceful trade, and when another fight looked like starting, it again ended peacefully. In each case, it was Iyama (white) who made the decision to avoid a fight; it retrospect, it can be said that he was confident he had a lead and he denied Yamashita any chance to exert his strength. The latter resigned after 142 moves.

Tomorrow: China wins 4th Mt. Tiantai Nongshang Bank Cup; Yo Seiki wins Okage Cup; Hane senior wins 1,200 games

Categories: Japan,John Power Report
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World Amateur Go Championship: Korea & Chinese Taipei Undefeated After 4 Rounds; US & Canada Both 3-1

Monday June 8, 2015

Twelve-year-old Jyun-Fu Lai 7d of Chinese Taipei (right) and Korea’s Changhun Kim 6d were the only two undefeated players at the end of the2015.06.08_WAGC_Jyun-Fu-Lai second day of the 2015 World Amateur Go Championships (WAGC) in Bangkok, Thailand on June 8. Indonesia’s 12-year-old Rafif Fitrah 4d had notched a surprise victory over Ondrej Silt 6d (Czech Republic) in the only major upset of the first day of the WAGC on June 7, as both Rounds 1 and 2 concluded with few surprises. Danny Ko (US) is 3-1, defeating Germany, Israel and Indonesia and losing to Chinese Taipei in the second round. Canada’s Juyong Koh is also 3-1, beating Poland, Russia and and Colombia and losing to Korea in the 3rd round. Click here for latest results. The festivities kicked off on Saturday morning with a friendship event and the Annual General Meeting of the International Go Federation (IGF) was held that afternoon (click here for full report). Highlights of the reports included the uncertain future of the Sport Accord World Mind Games (SAWMG), which may move from an annual event to biennial, possibly restarting in 2016 in China. China is likely to again host the World Mind Sport Games, probably in Macau in 2016. China will also host next year’s WAGC, although the exact location is yet to be decided. Also reported was the release of the IGF Facebook page and YouTube channel. In other reports, Poland’s Koichiro Habu 4d missed a critical move that could have allowed him to snatch victory from Canadian Juyong Koh 7d, both playing for their first time at this event.
- Ranka Online

36th World Amateur Go Championship Launches June 7

Saturday June 6, 2015

Players from six continents and assorted islands will gather at the Montien Riverside Hotel in Bangkok for this year’s World Amateur Go 2015.06.06_wagc-playersChampionship June 7-10. The Asian contingent will be young, including 12-year-old contestants from Chinese Taipei, Indonesia, and Malaysia and teenagers from China, Hong Kong, Korea, Macau, Singapore, and host country Thailand. Japan will field a two-time former world champion, and Europe will field several players who have placed high in past years. Danny Ko represents the US and Juyong Koh is playing for Canada. Click here for video self-introductions by sixteen of the fifty-eight players. Click here for the list of players and the event schedule. The events main sponsors are CP All, The Siam Commercial Bank, and Red Bull. Seven games each round will be broadcast on Pandanet. Ranka Online will carry reports of the entire event.
- Ranka Online 

Samsung Cup Selection Tournament Planned for North American Players

Saturday June 6, 2015

The AGA is selecting three players to represent North America in the 2015 Samsung Cup World Baduk Masters World Division. The 12-player World Division will be played August 2nd – 5th in Seoul, Korea. Interested players should be available to play in the online selection tournament on the third and fourth weekend of June. Eligibility: AGA/CGA member and US/Canada citizenship, AGA 6.0 minimum rating required, amateur or certified professional by the AGA; US players must meet the AGA overseas eligibility criteria. The selection tournament will be held on KGS Go Server. Interested players should send their names, AGA number and rating and country of citizenship to cherry.shen@usgo.org by midnight, Sunday, June 14th. Note that the format of the tournament is single elimination so players may be out earlier than August 5.

The three selected players will each receive a $1,000 stipend toward their expenses traveling to Korea, but must arrange their own air travel and lodging. The World Division winner will play in the Main Round of the Samsung Cup, so there is a chance that players will go back to Korea in the second week of September. The winning player will also receive approximately $5,000 in Main Round prize money. Note that AGA professionals can participate in the Samsung Cup General Division at the end of July although there are no monetary subsidies. Interested AGA professional players should email Cherry Shen for Main Division details.