American Go E-Journal

Team Relay Go the “Next Big Thing”?

Wednesday July 27, 2016

Will go events soon include cheerleaders? Team Relay Go as developed in Asia has incorporated a number of NBA 2016.07.27 relay-go2basketball franchise concepts, including teamwork, timeouts, huge live audiences and, yes, even cheerleaders. Greater Washington DC players tried out the idea in May when Team Virginia and Team Maryland squared off in Tysons Corner, VA. Coached by Qiao Shiyao 1P, each team included three players (though 4-7 per team is more typical), sending in one player each per quarter, which is 40 moves in 30 minutes.

In the first quarter, Yong Chen 1D (MD), successfully invaded to Zhao Zhao 5k’s (VA) moyo, while Coach Qiao 1P showed better variations for white to audiences in the nearby discussion room. The live broadcast in the tournament room was via iphone-iMac Facetime.

While everyone felt white’s 30-point comeback was a “mission impossible,” Lin Lu 8d (VA) started the relay by building a bigger moyo in the second quarter. Maryland’s strong player Muyuan Wang 3d might have wanted to play safe to keep his team’s big lead, but an inadvertent overplay triggered a huge battle in the mid-game, which soon turned into a game-deciding chase of a 20-stone black “dragon.”

2016.07.27 relay-go3In the third quarter, event host Edward Zhang 6D (VA) further reduced the eye-shape of black’s dragon. Players are allowed to take one timeout per quarter, but in the excitement of the chase, Team Maryland forgot to call timeout for help from Coach Qiao 1P and Team Virginia won by resignation after a ko-fight in the 4th quarter.

Due to the strength difference of the player pairs, the live audience was often surprised, and the discussion room filled with laughter and sometimes puzzlement. The review was also a good opportunity for players to hear the perspectives of both professionals and fellow amateurs, and many admitted lacking review and group discussion despite years of playing.

“Team Relay Go has had an explosive growth in Asia in the last two years,” said Shiyao Qiao 1P, a member of the Shenzhen Team in the 24-team City Weiqi League in China. “I’m very pleased that everyone had a blast in this team relay go event, and I look forward to teaching and promoting go more in the U.S. in the near future.” The newly emerged City Weiqi League attracted sponsors quickly and the 2016 season total prize rose to over $360,000 USD.
- reporting and photos courtesy Edward Zhang

Categories: U.S./North America
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Michael Redmond 9P on Pro Pair Go Tsumego 3 (Answer)

Wednesday July 27, 2016

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Presented here is the answer to the 3rd tsumego from Michael Redmond 9P’s coverage of the challenging tsumego problems featured at the 2016 pro pair go tournament.

The author of this tsumego is Kono Rin 9P. Michael explains what you may notice as a curious part of this position:

White’s 2 non-attached stones do not change the problem’s result, but have the effect of pruning one of two correct variations for Black at move 5 of the answer, and another alternative answer later in the correct sequence, thus limiting Black to only one variation throughout the entire correct answer. In tsumego, there must be only one correct first move, but serious tsumego composers will avoid variations later in the answer as well.

Categories: Pair Go
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Tennis/Soccer Congress Alert

Tuesday July 26, 2016

Tennis-playing go players who want to burn off some energy on the courts are invited to join E-Journal Managing Editor 2016.07.26_Phil-Straus-Chris-Garlock-go-on-football-field-50-yard-lineChris Garlock on the Boston University tennis courts next week. “Bring your tennis gear!” Garlock urges, fresh off league victories for both his 3.5 and 7.5 combo teams. Terry Benson invites those who prefer to handle balls with their feet to join him for the usual afternoon soccer scrimmage. Details on both TBA; email journal@usgo.org
photo: Garlock and Phil Straus introduce go to the gridiron at the 2015 Go Congress 

Michael Redmond 9P on Pro Pair Go Tsumego 3

Tuesday July 26, 2016

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Presented here is the 3rd tsumego from Michael Redmond 9P’s coverage of the challenging tsumego problems featured at the 2016 pro pair go tournament. Michael gives the detailed solution tomorrow.

The author of this tsumego is Kono Rin 9P. Michael gives a solution hint for what you may notice as a curious part of this position:

White’s 2 non-attached stones do not change the problem’s result, but have the effect of pruning one of two correct variations for Black at move 5 of the answer, and another alternative answer later in the correct sequence, thus limiting Black to only one variation throughout the entire correct answer. In tsumego, there must be only one correct first move, but serious tsumego composers will avoid variations later in the answer as well.

Categories: Pair Go
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New from Kiseido: “300 Joseki Problems”; “Close Encounters with the Middle Game” & Discounted Slate & Shell Stones

Monday July 25, 2016

“300 Joseki Problems”: The final installment of “Graded Go Problems for Dan Players,” Kiseido’s popular seven-2016.07.24_300 Joseki Problemsvolume dan players’ series, is now available. Aimed primarily at 3-dan to 7-dan players, “300 Joseki Problems” – a continuation of Volume 3 of the series — is divided into two sections, each featuring 150 problems. The first section analyzes local joseki problems, allowing the reader to expand their understanding of local patterns. The second section takes the reader on to the next level, presenting whole-board joseki problems from real professional games, where the global situation must be taken into account.

At times, the correct move is not a standard joseki move, but an innovative move, requiring the reader to “think outside the box.” Consequently, readers will not only gain joseki knowledge, but will gain a real understanding of what joseki means, and how it can be applied to unique positions that might arise in real games. Note that even though the problems in this book are rated as high as 7-dan, Kiseido says the book is actually suitable for players 1-dan and above; even if the correct answer is hard to find, simply studying the answers to get exposure to new ideas and joseki innovations is enough to improve your game.

2016.07.24_Close Encounters with the Middle Game“Close Encounters with the Middle Game”: The game of go is often decided in the middle game. Players strong at the opening can gain an early advantage. Players with precise endgame skills can gain points to finish the game. But excelling at the middle game is the surest way to victory. And what better way to improve middle game expertise than to learn from the best? Michiel Eijkhout’s “Close Encounters with the Middle Game” presents 32 crucial middle-game positions that arose in top professional games. Each position is analyzed in detail, explaining how the players were thinking during the middle game, highlighting the techniques needed to gain an advantage during middle-game fighting. If you’ve ever been confused by professional moves, wondering about alternatives – what moves were good, bad, or difficult to judge – you’ll want to check out this “entertaining journey through the realm of professional go.”

Slate and Shell Stones: Kiseido reports that slate and shell stones are becoming more and more difficult to come by due to a tremendous increase in demand and go players willing to pay premium prices. Fortunately, Kiseido has managed to obtain a small supply of “Jitsuyo grade” stones, and is offering them at a discounted price. Click here for details and to order.
- Brian Kirby

Go Spotting: “Hell on Wheels”

Monday July 25, 2016

As previously reported, go was spotted in “Hell on Wheels” Season 5, Episode 10, titled “61 Degrees,” between minutes 43 2016.07.24_Hell on wheels season 5 episode 10and 45. Here’s the screenshot, thanks to Taylor Litteral.  

Categories: Go Spotting
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European Go Congress 2016 Gets Under Way in Saint Petersburg

Monday July 25, 2016

The 60th European Go Congress got under way on July 23rd in Saint Petersburg, Russia. The Congress is being held at the 2016.07.25_EGC-Opening ceremonyHotel Azimut, a couple of kilometres south of the historic centre of the city. 456 players took part in the first round, including seven Europeans with pro status. Among the guests are professional players including Cho Hye-Yeon 9p, Shao Weigang 9p, Yamashiro Hiroshi 9p, Muraoka Shigeyuki 9p, Ohashi Hirofumi 6p and many others.

In addition to many tournaments, Congress organizers have prepared some special 2016.07.25_EGC-Dinerchtein vs Kravecevents. On July 25 Google DeepMind representatives will give an update on AlphaGo, on July 27 Cho Hye-Yeon will take on Zen AI and two chess Grandmasters will clash in a go battle.

Traditionally the first days of the EGC are marked by the Pandanet Go European Team Tournament finals. Team Ukraine, led by recently-minted European pro Artem Kachanovskyi, prevailed over Team Russia 3-1 in the finals, with a sensational victory by Andrij Kravec over Alexandre Dinerchtein (photo at left), sealing the championship. Russia took second place, France 3rd and Romania 4th.

- Daria Koshkina, with additional reporting from the EGC 2016 site; photos: EGC 60 opening ceremony (right); Dinerchtein vs Kravec

Categories: Europe,Russia
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Michael Redmond 9P on Pro Pair Go Tsumego 2 (Answer)

Sunday July 24, 2016

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Michael Redmond 9P is graciously providing all E-Journal readers with a set of tsumego problems featured at the 2016 pro pair go tournament. Of course, these problems are quite tough, but nevertheless entertaining to everyone, especially because Michael will later provide each solution.

In this tsumego contest, each pair has up to 10 minutes to answer each problem, but only the first 5 pairs can answer. The race to answer first makes these problems highly challenging. After signalling having an answer, a pair must play each move within 5 seconds. The pair team plays Black’s moves, while the composer plays White’s, which allows the composers to show their favorite variation for White.

Michael gives the background for this tsumego from Oba Junya 7P, who is well known for his pro level tsumego problems:

This tsumego is not as difficult as it looks, as there is only one tesuji that jumps to mind for Black, and White 2 is forced, making the first 3 moves fairly easy to find. In fact, Ke Jie 9p slapped down the first 3 moves almost immediately. However, there is a very effective blind spot after that, which tripped some pros.

Categories: Pair Go
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2016 Samsung Cup Prelim: World Division More Diverse and Competitive

Sunday July 24, 2016

Twelve players from 11 countries competed in the Samsung Cup’s World Division among the 19-division preliminary in 2016.07.24_SamsungCupPrelimSeoul, Korea on July 20. Israel’s Ali Jabarin 1P defeated Slovakia’s Pavol Lisy 1P to earn a seat at the upcoming 21st edition of the Samsung. The first round, officially known as the Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance World Masters Baduk Championship, will be on September 6-8 in a double-elimination format. North America’s Eric Lui 1P (US) and Manuel Velasco 6D (Canada) both lost in the first round. See chart at right for the World Division’s full results.

In the division semi-final on July 19, China won 19 of 22 critical matchups against Korea, and accordingly became a huge winner with 14 spots from the prelim. Complete prelim winners: Byun Sangil, Kang Seungmin, Cheong Tae-sang (Korea); Tan Xiao, Tong Mengcheng, Li Qincheng, Guo Wenchao, Fan Tingyu, Liao Xingwen, Xia Chenkun, Fan Yunruo, Cai Jing, Huang Yunsong, Tuo Jiaxi, Yu Bin (‘Senior Division’), Lu Jia, Rui Naiwei (‘Women Division’) (China); Ida Atsushi (Japan); Ali Jabarin (Israel).
by Edward Zhang 

Pandanet AGA City League Finals One Week Away

Sunday July 24, 2016

pandalogo-4885cf7392ac5bc75a68d553b7287b04In one week the Pandanet AGA City League Finals will be played in Boston, MA at the U.S. Go Congress. Canwa Vancouver 1 will take on Greater Washington for the championship. Canwa Vancouver won the second year of the tournament. Greater Washington has been in the finals before. All games will be broadcast on Pandanet in the AGA City League room at 3pm EST.

Your lineup for the finals will be:
Board 1: Hanchen Zhang vs Zirui Tim Song
Board 2: Ryan Li vs Eric Lui
Board 3: Bill Lin vs Yuan Zhou