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Yang v. Qi in decisive Game 3 Thursday morning for next NAGF Pro

Wednesday June 29, 2022

Yang (left) and Qi; photo by I-Han Lui

The next NAGF professional will be decided at Thursday morning’s final between Kevin Yang and Alex Qi, who split games on Wednesday. Yang — the top player in Group A — prevailed in their head-to-head match Wednesday morning, but Qi — the top player in Group B — bounced back to take Game Two on Wednesday afternoon, setting up the exciting finale on Thursday.

Eric Yoder and Remi Campagnie, who had both placed second in their groups and lost their semifinal placement games, mirrored the top-board battle, with Yoder taking the Wednesday morning game and Campagnie returning the favor that afternoon. The winner of their next match on Thursday morning will play the loser in Group A, and the winner of that final best of three showdown will become the second North American professional.

Campagnie (left) vs Yoder; photo by I-Han Lui

Complete standings here, and follow the NAGF Pro Qualifier’s live streaming coverage at 9:30am ET and 2:30pm ET, click here for live pairings and game files. Click here for photos, follow on Twitter, tournament details and player profiles here.

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Kevin Yang & Alexander Qi lead in NAGF Pro Qualifier

Tuesday June 28, 2022

With a 4-0 record, Kevin Yang leads Group A in the NAGF Pro Qualifier taking place at the National Go Center in Washington, DC, while Alexander Qi is 3-0 in Group B. Complete standings here, and follow the NAGF Pro Qualifier’s live streaming coverage daily at 9:30am ET and 2:30pm ET, click here for live pairings and game files. Click here for photos, follow on Twitter, tournament details and player profiles here.

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NAGF pro qualies kick off in NGC; early round results

Monday June 27, 2022

The 2022 North American Go Federation pro qualifiers kicked off today. Players are split into two groups, and from each group two will make it to a playoff round. Eleven players are competing, after one late withdrawal. After two preliminary rounds, Kevin Yang and Eric Lee are 2-0 in Group A, while Edward Zhang, Remi Coulon and Alexander Qi are 1-0 in Group B.
Click here for informal standings (stay tuned for a formal version with SGF links) and here for photos. Tournament details and player profiles here.

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Korea Go Report: KB Baduk League Season 2021-22

Sunday June 26, 2022

by Daniela Trinks, Korea correspondent for the E-Journal

After seven months of intense competition between nine teams, the 2021-2022 season of the major Korean Go League came to an end in May. Below are some key features and highlights of the season.
The KB Baduk League was named after its title sponsor Kookmin Bank (KB). It is the biggest professional Go tournament in Korea in terms of the number of games played and prize money. The 2021-22 season featured nine teams, and each was named after its sponsor (see table).

The qualifiers were held in October 2021. The regular season began in November 2021 and ended in April 2022 which was then followed by the play-in tournament and postseason. Only the top five teams plus the sponsor’s pick advanced to the play-in tournament and postseason. Different from most other professional go competitions held in Korea, all players received a participation fee for each game played during the regular season. The winner got 3 million KRW ($2,300) and the loser 600,000 KRW ($500).
A new team called Youwho participated and was coached by Han Haewon 3p, who is the first female coach in the history of the KB League. Furthermore, the thinking time of one hour per player, and a byoyomi of 30 seconds 3 times was unified for all five games, in contrast to previous seasons which had two different thinking limits. Lastly, all games per round were played concurrently.
The regular season was a double league which consisted of 18 rounds, 72 team matches, and 360 games. It ended with Suryeohan Hapcheon in the first place, followed by Posco Chemical. Both teams scored 10 wins out of 16 matches and shared the same number of board points (BP), however, Suryeohan Hapcheon had a better head-to-head score (2:0).

Table: KB Baduk League Season 2021-22: Final standings of the regular season.

Ace player Shin Jinseo’s team, Celltrion, placed only 6th in the regular season. However, they managed to rise like a phoenix by winning the play-in tournament against fifth-placed team Baduk Mecca Uijeongbu and then defeated three more higher-ranked teams in the postseason to reach the finals. In the finals, Celltrion fell short against the eventual league winner, team Suryeohan Hapcheon.

Figure: Play-in Tournament andPostseason of the KB Baduk League 2021-2022

Remarkably, Shin Jinseo succeeded in winning all his games in the regular season, the play-in tournament, and the postseason, resulting in a perfect score of 27:0 which is a new record in the history of the Korean Go League. During the prize-giving ceremony, the top five teams were honored, and individual awards were given to Shin Jinseo (MVP, Most Wins) and Ko Keuntae (Best Coach) as listed below.
KB Baduk League Champion: Team Suryeohan Hapcheong (200M KRW = $155,000)
Runner-up: Team Celltrion (100M KRW = $78,000)
3rd Place: Team Posco Medical (50M KRW = $39,000)
4th Place: Team Com2usTygem (25M KRW = $19,000)
5th Place: Team Kixx (15M KRW = $12,000)
MVP Award: Shin Jinseo (Celltrion) (10M KRW = $7,800)
Most-Win Award: Shin Jinseo (Celltrion) (5M KRW = $3,900)
Best Coach Award: Ko Keuntae (Suryeohan Hapcheong) (25M KRW=$19,000)

Photo: Suryeohan Hapcheon won the KB Baduk League 2021-22. Photo courtesy of KBA.

KB Future’s Baduk League Season 2021-22
The KB Future’s League is the minor league among the two KB leagues. Both leagues share the title sponsor, teams, and the coaches; however, the team members are different. Rising stars in the KB Future’s League get the opportunity to play as reserve players in the KB Baduk League. The minor league has only three games per round, and the games are much faster: 10 minutes basic time plus 40 seconds byoyomi 5 times. Also, the game fees (win 450,000 KRW = $350, loss 200,000 KRW=$155), prize money, and notoriety that comes with winning the league are lower.

Photo: KB Future’s Baduk League Champion 2021-22 team Suryeohan Hapcheon. Photo courtesy of Han Changkyu (Hangame).

This year, team Suryeohan Hapcheon achieved the double champion title by winning both KB Leagues. Surprisingly, team Celltrion also came in second – just like in the KB Baduk League. The final standings, players, and coaches are shown in the table. The award for most wins was given to three players who won 12 out of 16 games (75%). Below is the list of the winners and the prize money.

KB Future’s Baduk League Champion: Team Suryeohan Hapcheon (30M KRW = $23,300)
Runner-up: Team Celltrion (12M KRW = $9,300)
3rd Place: Team Posco Chemical (6M KRW = $4,650)
Most-Win Award: Lee Hyunho 6p, Lee Wondo 8p, Wi Taewoong 5p (3M KRW = $2,300 split equally)

Table: Final standings of the KB Future’s Baduk League 2021-22.
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Categories: Korea,Main Page
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50 Years aGO – June 1972

Sunday June 26, 2022

By Keith L. Arnold, hka, with Patrick Bannister

The month began with a tour group visit by 25 Japanese amateur players to London where an informal match was held at Imperial College on June 1. The group was led by Itō Tomoe, who was then 4d. Itō was a disciple of Kita Fumiko, and by the time of the tour, she had won the Women’s Championship seven times, including five consecutive victories. The British Go Journal reported that the locals won most of their games, but “Mrs. Itō…won all of her games.” The photo attached was taken when the tour group visited Köln, Germany.

The big story continued to be the Hon’inbo title rematch between Ishida Hon’inbo and Rin Meijin. The month began with the challenger leading 2-1. On June 7 and 8, Ishida evened the score with a comeback win in Game 4. However, we see a confident Rin after going up 3-2 on June 16 and 17. Finally, we see Ishida concentrating from over the challenger’s shoulder as he survived kadoban and evened the series at 3-3 on June 29 and 30. (Game records: Game Four, Game Five, Game Six).

On the weekend of June 23-24, John Diamond 4d defeated Tony Goddard 4d in straight games for the British Championship.

Rin Kaihō after winning Hon'inbo Game 5

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Photos from Go Review, game records from SmartGoOne

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