American Go E-Journal

South Central Go Tournament update

Sunday February 12, 2017

As the South Central Go Tournament draws near (February 18-19, Plano, TX – Dallas area) things look promising for a 2017.02.12_texas-tourney-reportgood event, reports Bob Gilman. “As of February 6, there are 31 players registered — 6 Open Section, ranging from 7d to 3d, and 25 Handicap Section, ranging from 1k to 21k,” says Gilman. Players from eight states have registered: AR (4), CA (1), CO (1), KY (2), MO (1), NM (3), UT (1), and TX (18). “Additionally, there are 22 players who have said they will probably attend or would like to attend but are not sure.” There will be three rounds played each day. On-line registration remains open through February 15. It will also be possible to register at the door.

This is an AGA rated tournament which means players will need to be current AGA members to compete. If you decide to come, you can check your AGA membership status, find out about the different types of membership, and join or renew on-line here.

There is more information about the tournament and a registration link on Facebook.

Categories: U.S./North America

Stephen Hu wins 25th annual Jujo Jiang Goe tournament

Tuesday February 7, 2017

Stephen Hu topped the 25th annual Jujo Jiang Goe Tournament last weekend. Sponsored by Ing’s Go Foundation of 2017.02.07_jujo-tourney-collageCalifornia, the tournament was held on February 4 and 5th at the Kabuki Hotel in San Francisco. Donna Casey presented Jujo Jiang with a Certificate of Honor from Mayor Ed Lee of San Francisco for 25 years of service to American go players.

Stephen Hu won the open section with a perfect score of five wins. $3000 in prizes were handed out across five divisions: Open, Dan, Expert, Intermediate and Novice. Non-cash prizes were also given to each player who played all five rounds without a victory.

Results by section:
Open: 1st: Stephen Hu; 2nd: Yuefeng Zhang; 3rd: Ary Cheng; 4th: Yufei Hu
Dan: 1st: Linden Chiu; 2nd: James Chiu; 3rd: Steven Burrall; 4th: Jason Won
Expert: 1st: Hojin Lee; 2nd: Jay Chan; 3rd: Nan Zhong; 4th: K Kim
Intermediate: 1st: Chao Zhang; 2nd: Tai-An Cha; 3rd: Elwin Li; 4th: Yunyen Jin
Novice: 1st: David Baran; 2nd: Dahlin Casey; 3rd: Nathan Bouscal; 4th: Bruce Bailey

photos (clockwise, from top left): Various attendees with Jujo and MingJiu; tournament playing area; Elwyn Berlekamp, Karoline Burrall, Steve Burrall; Jujo, Donna Casey, C.O. Armistad; Open Winner Stephen Hu; photos by Ernest Brown 

Categories: U.S./North America

Instant replay saves the day in Evanston

Tuesday February 7, 2017

The Evanston Go Club hosted its Winter Wonderland tournament on Saturday, Feb 4. Turnout was excellent, with 34 players2017.02.07_evanston-counting attending, ranging in rank from 5d to 20k

“Special thanks go to Xinming Simon Guo for catching a counting error that changed the result of a game,” said TD Mark Rubenstein. Guo, the 2015 AGF Teacher of the Year and founder of the Go And Math Academy in Chicago, was video-ing the counting stage of the games. He planned to use the videos in his classes to demonstrate math concepts in the game of go.

One of the games ended with black winning by half a point. However, after the result had been entered by the TD, Guo was reviewing the 2017.02.07_evanston-playing-areavideo and noticed that there were seven black stones lined up on a row that was only six points long. “One of those stones didn’t belong there, it should have been put inside black’s territory. This is the first time I have ever seen a game result overturned based on an instant replay!” said Rubenstein.

Winners were: Na (Nicole) Pan 5d: 3-1, Daniel Puzan 2d: 5-0, William Torres Amesty 3k: 4-0, Scott Gerson 8k: 4-0, Crystal Lin 14k: 4-0, and a prize for most games played to David Rohde with 8 games. “Thanks to Yellow Mountain for providing awesome prizes!” says Rubenstein.

Categories: U.S./North America

Upcoming Go Events: Middlebury and Plano

Monday February 6, 2017

February 11: Middlebury, VT
Vermont Winter Go Tournament
Peter Schumer 802-388-3934

February 18-19: Plano, TX
South Central Go Tournament 2017
Bob Gilman 817-257-6058

Get the latest go events information.

Categories: Calendar

The Power Report (3 of 3): Yo to challenge for Judan; Meijin League; Honinbo League

Monday February 6, 2017

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal2017.02.06_Yo Seiki becomes Judan chall

Yo to challenge for Judan: The first semifinal in the 55th Judan tournament was held on December 26. Imamura Toshiya 9P (B) beat Hane Naoki 9P by resig. The second was held on January 9. Yo Seiki (Yu Zhengqi in Pinyin) (W) beat Yamashita Keigo 9P by 1.5 points. This was a lucky win for Yo (right). When the micro-endgame started, Yamashita was half a point ahead, but he played an invalid ko threat that cost him a point and a move. This meant that the final to decide the challenger was an all-Kansai Ki-in affair for only the second time in the history of this tournament (the first time was Sonoda Yuichi vs. Yuki Satoshi in the 27th Judan). The play-off was held on January 26 and the result couldn’t have been closer. After 317 moves, Yo edged Imamura by half a point. This gives Yo another crack at an Iyama-held title. The first game will be played on March 7.

Meijin League: The first league games of the new year were played on January 11.
Yamashita Keigo 9P (W) beat Sakai Hideyuki 8P by resig.; Cho U 9P (W) beat Hane Naoki 9P by resig.
(January 19) Murakawa Daisuke 8P (W) beat Yo Seiki 7P by resig.
(January 26). Iyama Yuta (W) beat Ko Iso 8P by resig. This game was decided in 104 moves. There’s little doubt that Iyama is the overwhelming2017.02.06_leagues favorite in the league, though he shares the lead after two rounds with Murakawa.

Honinbo League: 
The last game of 2016 didn’t make our previous report. On December 22, Ko Iso 8P (B) beat Cho U 9P by resig. On January 11, two games were played. Motoki Katsuya 7P (B) beat Mitani Tetsuya 7P by resig.; Ko Iso 8P (B) beat
Yuki Satoshi 9P by resig. On January 19, Yamashita Keigo 9P (B) beat Hane Naoki 9P by resig. Hane’s loss meant there was now no undefeated player in the league. On 3-1, Hane shares the lead with Motoki and Ko Iso. On January 26, Takao Shinji Meijin finally picked up his first win in the fourth round when, taking white, he beat Cho U 9P by resig. Cho is now 2-2.

To 7-dan: Kuwamoto Shinpei (120 wins, as of Dec. 23)

Categories: Japan,John Power Report

The Power Report (2 of 3): Xie starts well in Women’s Kisei, Nyu catches up; Cho U wins 900th game

Sunday February 5, 2017

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal2017.02.05_Xie wins #1 Womens Kisei

Xie starts well in Women’s Kisei, Nyu catches up: The first game of the 20th Docomo Cup Women’s Kisei title match, a best-of-three, was played at the Hotel Sunrise Garden in Hiratsuka City, Kanagawa Prefecture on January 19. This year the 2017.02.05_Nyu (L) loses first gamechallenger is the 17-year-old Nyu Eiko (left). A disciple of Michael Redmond, who is her mother’s brother-in-law, she became a professional at the Nagoya branch of the Nihon Ki-in last year. Nyu quickly showed promise and has already represented Japan several times in team tournaments. In the opening game of the title match, Xie Yimin (White, at right), the defending champion, showed the benefit of greater experience and forced a resignation after 154 moves. However, Nyu fought back in the second game, played in the Ryusei Studio in the basement of the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo on January 30. Taking white, Nyu forced a resignation after 186 moves. The fate of the title will be decided on February 6.2017.01.05_Cho U

Cho U wins 900th game: Cho U (right) has become the 25th Nihon Ki-in player to reach the benchmark of 900 wins. In a game in Preliminary C of the 43rd Gosei tournament, played on January 19, Cho (black) beat Kim En 4P by resig. This took his record to 900 wins, 388 losses, 2 jigo, and 1 no-result. At 36 years 11 month, Cho is the youngest player to win 900 games (putting Yamashita Keigo, at 37 years two months, into 2nd place); at 22 years nine months, he is the 2nd fastest (top is Yamashita at 22 years seven months); his winning percentage of 69.9 is the 2nd highest (top is Takao with 70%).

Tomorrow: Yo to challenge for Judan;  Honinbo League; Meijin League


New Jersey Open canceled

Saturday February 4, 2017

This year’s New Jersey Open has been canceled, and will be discontinued indefinitely. One of the longest-running go 2017.02.04_2016NJO-IMG_6304tournaments in the U.S., the NJO — usually held in mid-February — had seen increased turnout in recent years, but ran into organizational problems this year. Princeton University, the longtime site of the tournament, “will not approve the event now unless it is entirely run by students,” says Tournament Director Rick Mott, “and we don’t have enough active students available to pull that off this year.” Another issue was Princeton’s ban on cash prizes. “We’re looking for other regional tournament activities to fill the gap,” says Co-Director Paul Matthews. Meanwhile, East Coast go players can mark their calendars for the nearby Philadelphia Spring Open tournament on March 12.

At the 2016 NJO; photo by Chris Garlock

Categories: U.S./North America

The Power Report (1 of 3): Fujisawa wins 29th Women’s Meijin League; Kono makes good start in Kisei challenge, Iyama evens the score

Saturday February 4, 2017

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal2017.02.04_Fujisawa (R) beats Aoki

Fujisawa wins 29th Women’s Meijin League: The last league game of 2016 was played on December 22. Suzuki Ayumi 7P (W) beat Sakakibara Fumiko 6P by resig. The final round of the league was held on January 12. Only two players were still in the running for league victory: Fujisawa Rina (below), on 5-0, and Okuda Aya 3P, on 4-1. Okuda needed to win herself and to have Fujisawa lose; there are no play-offs in this league, so, as the higher-ranked player, she would then come first. As it turned out, the gap widened. Fujisawa (W) beat 2017.02.04_Fujisawa RinaAoki Kikuyo 8P by 3.5 points (right), so she finished with a perfect 6-0 and won the league. Okuda lost to Suzuki Ayumi 7P (W) by resig., so she ended up on 4-2, which was good enough for 2nd place. In the third game played, Ishii Akane (W) beat Sakakibara Fumiko by resig. This will be Fujisawa’s first challenge for this title. Xie Yimin is a formidable opponent in the Women’s Kisei and has won it nine times in a row. She is aiming to become the first woman player to hold a title for ten years in a row. The first game will be played on March 1.

Kono makes good start in Kisei challenge, Iyama evens the score: Iyama Yuta was immediately under pressure as the 41st Kisei title match got off to a start. For the third time in his last four title matches, he lost the opening game.
The first game was played at the Sagi-no-yu-so, a traditional Japanese inn in Yasugi City, Shimane Prefecture on January 14 and 15. Holding a title game on Saturday and Sunday is a little unusual, especially playing on a Sunday. The reason was probably that2017.02.04_41kisei2 Iyama wins Iyama (right) is even busier than last year, as now he has Meijin League games to fit into his schedule. Iyama drew black in the nigiri, and the game started at 9 am. At first play was peaceful but slow, as each side tried to frustrate the opponent’s plans. With his 32nd move, a shoulder hit on the 5th line, Kono set out to erase Black’s moyo, provoking an attack by Iyama with move 37. Move 39 was the sealed move, played at 4:56 pm.
On the second day, Kono counterattacked and succeeded in linking up his group under attack. Iyama apparently gained a little from this exchange. Iyama had the lead in territory, but Kono bided his time, building thickness, then staked the game on a double attack on two black groups with move 94. Black managed to survive this attack, but during the course of subsequent fighting, Iyama suffered a hallucination that let White cut off and capture seven black stones in the centre. That decided the issue.
Kono: “I was not confident in my prospects when I attacked, but when I captured the seven stones I could see my way to a win. There were also bad points in my play, but I was able to fight all out.”
Iyama: “I didn’t know the correct way to save my center stones. I fought my hardest, so this result can’t be helped.”
The second game was played at the Sasa-no-ya, another traditional Japanese inn, in Kikuchi City, Kumamoto Prefecture on January 22 (another Sunday) and 23. Once again, Kono found himself attempting to reduce a moyo early in the game
(move 19). Later, with 69, Kono switched to White’s top left corner, but Iyama ignored him in favor of splitting Black’s bottom right position into two. This enabled him to capture three stones and take the lead in territory. There was a lot more action after that, with Kono making a fierce attack and playing do-or-die moves, but Iyama took care of his weak groups with precise play and maintained his lead. The game ended after 301 moves, and White scored a win by 5.5 points.
Iyama: “When the centre clash concluded, I realized that I looked like winning by a little. I made a mistake in the first game, so right to the end I focused on not making another.”
Kono: “I was behind in territory, so I thought I had no choice but to fight [at the top]. Perhaps there was a better way to attack in the centre.”
The third game will be played on February 8 and 9.

Tomorrow: Xie starts well in Women’s Kisei, Nyu catches up; Cho U wins 900th game


Categories: Japan,John Power Report

AGA live commentary on LG Cup finals starts Sunday night

Saturday February 4, 2017

The AGA broadcast team is back at it, starting this weekend with the LG Cup Finals. On Sunday, the AGA’s own Gansheng Shi 1P will provide live commentary on our YouTube channel of the first game of the finals between Zhou Ruiyang 9p vs Dang Yifei 6p, starting at 7PM PST (10P EST).

Then, Tuesday the 7th and Wednesday the 8th, join Stephanie Yin 1P as she comments the next two games in the series.
YouTube commentary on all three broadcasts will begin at 7PM PST (10P EST), about halfway through these long games (main time is 3 hours per player).

Categories: U.S./North America

Go Spotting: “The Vegetarian”

Thursday February 2, 2017

“There is a nice allusion to go in Han Kang’s novel, The Vegetarian, winner of the 2016 Man Booker International Prize,” 2017.01.30_The_vegetarian_-_han_kangwrites Tony Koslow. On page 164 (2016 US paperback edition translated from the Korean by Deborah Smith):

There’s been a time when she could spend hours like this, weighing up all the variables that might have contributed to determining Yeong-hye’s fate. Of course it was entirely in vain, this act of mentally picking up and counting the paduk stones that have been laid out on the board of her sister’s life.

Categories: Go Spotting