Welcome to the American Go Association

The Power Report: Ichiriki wins 1st New Ryusei; Ichiriki to challenge for Gosei; Meijin & Kisei S League reports; Sumire’s progress; Most wins, Most successive wins, Recently ended streaks & promotion; Decorations for Iyama and Ishida

Monday May 23, 2022

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Ichiriki wins 1st New Ryusei
This is a new tournament with an unfamiliar (to me) time system known as Fischer Time, after its inventor the late Bobby Fischer, a world chess champion. In the format used in this tournament, players have a time allowance of one minute, but receive an extra five seconds every time they play a move. First prize is 2,000,000 yen (about $15,500). It is separate from the existing Ryusei title, which is now in its 31st term.
The tournament was telecast on the Igo Shogi channel. It culminated in a best-of-three final, in which Ichiriki Ryo defeated Kyo Kagen 2-0. The second game was telecast on May 7. The results in the final, with the dates of actual play, follow.
Game 1 (Jan. 29). Ichiriki (W) by 22.5 points.
Game 2 (Feb. 5). Ichiriki (B) by resig.

Ichiriki to challenge for Gosei
The play-off to decide the challenger for the 47th Gosei title was held at the Nihon Ki-in on May 16. Ichiriki Ryo Kisei (B) beat Yo Seiki 8-dan by resignation after 219 moves. Ichiriki gets a return match with Iyama Yuta, who took the title from him last year. This will be the third title clash this year between these two. The match starts on June 24. Yo has now lost two play-offs in a row to Ichiriki.

47th Meijin League
After five rounds, Shibano Toramaru, former Meijin, holds the sole lead on 4-1, but there are three players on 3-2. Of these, his main rival will probably be Ichiriki Ryo, who has the advantage of being ranked number one in the league. To counterbalance that, Shibano has won their individual encounter. Results since my last report follow.
(March 26) Shibano Toramaru (B) beat Shida Tatsuya 8-dan by resig.
(April 7) Motoki Katsuya 8-dan (B) beat Shibano by resig.
(April 11) Kyo Kagen Judan (W) beat Shida Tatsuya 8-dan by half a point.
(April 14) Ida Atsushi 8-dan (W) beat Yo Seiki 8-dan by resig.
(April 21) Ichiriki (B) beat Yamashita by resig.
(May 2) Shibano (B) beat Yo by resig.
(May 5) Shida (W) beat Hane by resig.

Kisei S League
The 47th Kisei S League got off to a start on April 28. Paying in his first league since the 37th tournament, Iyama Yuta got off to a bad start. Taking black, Takao Shinji 9-dan beat him by resig. This is a short league, with only five rounds, so the other players in the league will be encouraged by Iyama’s initial setback. Other results in the first round follow.
(May 9) Kyo Kagen Judan (W) beat Yo Seiki 8-dran by resig.
(May 12) Shibano Toramaru (W) beat Murakawa Daisuke 9-dan by resig.

Sumire’s progress
Sumire may have suffered a setback in her first title challenge, but overall she is having another good year. As of May 17, her results are 18-9, giving her an excellent winning percentage, and she is again near the top in the most-wins list (see article below). Her cumulative record as a pro is 99 wins to 51 losses (exactly 66%, which is in line with her results this year).
(March 24) Sumire beat Mukai Chiaki (see Women’s Meijin item above)
(March 26) Sumire (W) lost to Kubo Hideo 7-dan by resig. (Prelim. A, Agon 29th Kiriyama Cup).
(March 29) Sumire beat Jo Bun’en 1-dan and Takeshita Ryoya 1-dan (3rd Discovery Cup).
(March 31) Sumire (W) beat Kibe Natsuki 2-dan by resig. (prelim., 41st Women’s Honinbo).
(April 4) Sumire (W) beat Tsuji Hana 2-dan by half a point (Prelim., 7th Senko Cup).
(April 8) Sumire lost to Fujisawa (International Senko Cup – see article aabove)
(April 14 & 16) Sumire lost 0-2 in the Women’s Meijin title match—see above.
(April 18) Sumire lost to Fujii Koki 1-dan (9th Globis Cup). At this point, she had lost four games in a row.
(April 25) Sumire (B) beat Hoshiai Shiho 3-dan by resig. (prelim., 7th Senko Cup). This win secured Sumire a seat in the main tournament. 
(April 28) Sumire (W) beat Yamada Shinji 6-dan by 3.5 (Prelim. C, 48th Meijin).
(May 2). Sumire (B) lost to Kono Rin 9-dan by 6.5. (Prelim. A, 78th Honinbo).
(May 5) Sumire (W) beat Omori Ran 1-dan by resig. (round 1, main tournament, 41st Women’s Honinbo).
(May 12) Sumire (B) beat Takao Mari 1-dan by resig. (round 1, main section, 7th Senko Cup).

Most wins
There are six women in the top ten in this list, the most that I can remember. It’s generally agreed that the current top group of women players is the strongest ever. On top of that, the increase in the number of women’s tournaments gives them plenty of competition and, of course, chances to improve their win records. (Results are as of May 17.)
1. Ueno Asami Women’s Kisei: 22-4; Ichiriki Ryo Kisei: 22-8
3. Nakamura Sumire 2-dan, Nyu Eiko 4-dan: both 18-9
5. Kyo Kagen Judan: 17-4; Ida Atsushi 8-dan: 17-5
7. Fujisawa Rina Women’s Honinbo: 15-5
8. Koike Yoshihiro 7-dan: 14-2; Suzuki Ayumi 7-dan: 14-12
10. Mukai Chiaki 5-dan: 13-12

Most successive wins
10: Koike Yoshihiro
7: Hikosaka Naoto 9-dan
5: O Rissei 9-dan, Son Makoto 7-dan, Fujisawa Rina Women’s Honinbo, Konishi Yoshiakira 1-dan

Recently ended streaks
11: Ueno Asami Women’s Kisei
10: Ichiriki Ryo Kisei
8: Fujita Akihiko 7-dan
7: Yokotsuka Riki,
6: Otake Yu 6-dan, Byan Wonkei 3-dan

To 4-dan: Kikkawa Hajime (30 wins, as of March 29)

Decorations for Iyama and Ishida
Two go-players were awarded decorations by the government in the spring honors list. These awards honor persons who have made outstanding contributions in their own fields and, by extension, to Japanese society and culture. The players were Iyama Yuta and Ishida Yoshio. Ishida has won 24 titles and his main achievement was to set an unbroken youth record by winning the Honinbo title at the age of 22. He held this title for five years, earning him the title of 24th Honinbo Shuho. He is now 73 and is still an active player. He is also a popular teacher and commentator. In 2016, he was awarded the Medal with Purple Ribbon; this time he received the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette. At a press conference, he said that his targets as a player are to reach 1200 wins and to play 2000 official games. He is optimistic about reaching the first target, but is not so sanguine about the latter. As of May 17, his record was 1144 wins, 725 losses, 1 no-result, for a total of 1700 games.

Iyama Yuta, holder of the Meijin, Honinbo, Oza, and Gosei titles, was awarded the Medal with Purple Ribbon. At 32, he is the youngest go player to have received an award. At a press conference, he referred to how arduous professional go was, the constant pressure from his rivals, especially the new generation, the consequent need to keep developing, and the importance of studying AI. He also commented that the joy from achieving a successful result was only momentary and that not only was the summit of go not visible, but that one didn’t even know where it was. On the plus side, he cited the profundity and limitless fascination of the game. Twenty-nine go players have received awards, eight of them more than once.


Evanston Go Club 2022 Chicago Open smashes previous attendance record

Sunday May 22, 2022

Chicago Open winner Albert Yen 8d (center) with TD Mark Rubenstein (right) and Devin Fraze (left)

The Evanston Go Club’s 2022 Chicago Open tournament on May 14 saw a record-breaking 84 players. “This turnout was double our highest-ever, and nearly three times our usual size.” said TD Mark Rubenstein. “This wouldn’t have been possible without the dedication of Albert Yen, who brought this tournament to a whole new level. With 16 players ranked 5 dan and above, including a professional player, this was by far the most competitive tournament we’ve ever run.” 

“The energy in the room was special. We had players ranging from elementary schoolers to retirees, beginners to professionals, and travelers from 11 states. The best part is, I know the next time will be even better! Stay tuned for what Chicago has to offer!” said Albert Yen. Simon Guo taught first-time youngsters to play in the free Youth section. “Watch out for these kids next year!” said Rubenstein, adding “Special thanks go to Devin Fraze for running the Open section and bringing his awesome tournament software, 30 Go sets and three players from Ohio!” 

“This tournament really put the program through its paces, and we have a lot of ideas for making the next iteration even better! It will eventually be made available to clubs through the baduk.club website.” said Co-Director Fraze.

Tournament photos can be found here. The top board was streamed live on Twitch, and the recordings can be seen here: Rounds 1 & 2; Rounds 3-5.


Open: 1 – Albert Yen 8d (5-0); 2 – Xingke Sun 5d (4-1); 3 – Zirui Song 1p (3-2)
Dan: 1 – Stephanie Tan 1d (3-3); 2 – Xiaodong Tan 1d (3-1); 3 – Daniel Puzan 2d (3-1)
High Kyu: 1 – Sean Gibbons 2k (5-2); 2 – Samuel Kennedy 2k (4-1); 3 – Huanzhou Yang 4k (4-2)
Mid Kyu: 1 – Winston Yan 9k (5-2); 2 – David Rohde 5k (4-4); 3 – Robert Qi 5k (4-1)
Low Kyu: 1 – Jeffrey Jiao 15k (6-1); 2 – Grant Song 18k (6-0); 3 – Alicia Seifrid 12k (5-1)
Youth 9×9: 1 – Belle Chao; 2 – Katherine Chen; 3 – Valerie Huang; 4 – Evan Pan


The Power Report: Kyo wins Teikei New Stars; Kyo defends Judan; Ueno wins 4th international Senko Cup; Fujisawa reaches best eight in Tengen

Sunday May 22, 2022

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Teikei Cup Shibano (left) & Kyo

Kyo wins Teikei New Stars
The second game of the 1st Teikei New Stars title match was held in the Ryusei Studio at the Nihon Ki-in in Ichigaya, Tokyo, on April 2. Taking white, Kyo Kagen beat Shibano Toramaru by resignation after 238 moves. Kyo took the lead in the opening. Things became perilous when Shibano made a deep invasion, but Kyo managed to hang on to his lead. This was his second win, so he won the inaugural title. First prize is 10,000,000 yen (about $77,500).

Kyo defends Judan
The third game of the Daiwa House Cup 60th Judan title match was held at the ANA Holiday Inn Resort Shinano Omachi Kuroyon in Omachi City, Nagano Prefecture, on April 7. Taking black, Kyo Kagen Judan (photo) outplayed Yo Seiki 8-dan, the challenger, in the middle game and secured a resignation after 205 moves. This was Kyo’s third win, so he defended his title. First prize is 7,000,000 yen. This is Kyo’s sixth title.

Ueno wins 4th international Senko Cup
The Senko Cup World Go Strongest Woman Player tournament was held on the Net from April 8 to 10. In net tournaments, the venue for Japanese players is usually the Nihon Ki-in, but in this tournament they play at the Hotel Kaie in Koto Ward, which is one of the sponsors of the tournament. Ueno Asami won three games straight and secured her first victory in an international tournament. This was, in fact, the first victory by a Japanese woman in an international tournament. Ueno beat Yu Zhiying of China, winner of the first three Senko Cups, in the first round and her fellow Japanese representative Xie Yimin helped her out by beating Cho Jeong, the world’s top-rated woman player, also in the first round. Second place was taken by Lu Yuhua 4-dan of Chinese Taipei. First prize is 5,000,000 yen.

Round 1 (April 8). Fujisawa Rina 5-dan (Japan) (W) beat Nakamura Sumire 2-dan (Japan) by 2.5 points; Ueno Asami 4-dan (Japan) (W) beat Yu Zhiying 7-dan (China) by resig.; Lu Yuhua 3-dan (Chinese Taipei) (W) beat Suzuki Ayumi 7-dan (Japan) by resig.; Xie Yimin 7-dan (Japan) beat Choi Jeong 9-dan (Korea) by resig.
Round 2 (April 9). Ueno (W) beat Fujisawa by resig.; Lu (B) beat Xie by resig.
Round 3 (April 10). Ueno (B) beat Lu by resig.
Playoff for 3rd place (April 10). Fujisawa (B) beat Xie by resig.

Fujisawa reaches best eight in Tengen
On April 4, Fujisawa Rina (W) beat Cho Riyu 8-dan by resignation in the main section the 48th Tengen tournament. This earned her a seat in the quarterfinals. This is only the second time a woman player has made the best-eight in a top-seven tournament. The first player to do so was the same Fujisawa – in last year’s Judan tournament. Incidentally, in the first round of the main section, Fujisawa beats Cho Chikun, Hon. Meijin.

Tomorrow: Ichiriki wins 1st New Ryusei; Ichiriki to challenge for Gosei; Meijin & Kisei S League reports; Sumire’s progress; Most wins, Most successive wins, Recently ended streaks & promotion

Categories: Japan,Main Page

Korea Go Report: KBA and University of Seoul Sign Agreement on Digital Go Education and Go Globalization; 27th LG Cup Qualifications

Sunday May 22, 2022

by Daniela Trinks, Korea correspondent for the E-Journal

KBA and University of Seoul Sign Agreement on Digital Go Education and Go Globalization
The Korean Baduk Association (KBA) and the University of Seoul have agreed to cooperate with the aim of creating a metaverse and an A.I.-based platform for Go education. The business agreement focuses on the development of Go contents using Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT), research on Go educational methods to vitalize Go education, and the implementation of a Go meta world using metaverse space. The president of the University of Seoul, Seo Soontaek commented, “We expect that the A.I.-based Go education platform to be developed through the business agreement will play a leading role in the domestic and overseas Go education market and contribute to the expansion and globalization of Go.” KBA Secretary-General Yang Jaeho added, “We have tried to spread Go globally, such as the United States, Europe, and South East Asia, but we faced difficulties due to the lack of a Go educational system. I hope we can develop together with the University of Seoul a great Go educational program and spread Go around the world.” 

27th LG Cup Qualifications
The 24 participants of the 27th LG Cup were determined via seeds, qualifiers, and a wild card. Among them, 13 Korean players were selected which included five seeds (Shin Jinseo, Park Jeonghwan, Byun Sangil, Shin Minjun, and Kim Myeonghoon), seven qualifiers (Cho Hanseung, Kim Jiseok, Won Seongjin, Park Hamin, Park Jinsol, Seol Hyunjun, and Park Geonho), and one wild card (Kang Dongyun). Kang Dongyun, currently ranked 8 in the Korean ranking list, was the highest ranked player among the eliminated players of the Korean qualifiers and has won the 20th LG Cup in 2016. Veteran Cho Hanseung (40) qualified for the first time in nine years. His best achievement in the LG Cup was reaching the semifinals in the 7th, 9th, and 11th editions.Meanwhile, seven players from China will participate, namely: Yang Dingxin, Ke Jie, and Mi Yuting (seeded), while Shi Yue, Ding Hao, Gu Zihao, and Zhao Chenyu qualified. Furthermore, Shibano Toramaru and Yu Zhengqi were seeded, while Sada Atsushi qualified from Japan. In addition, Wang Yuanjun from Chinese Taipei will also join, completing the round of 24. The main tournament will begin on May 29th and 30th, followed by the round of 16 on June 1st. The quarter-finals and semi-finals will take place in November, and the finals are set for February next year.

Categories: Korea,Main Page

King Bi tops tough San Diego field

Saturday May 21, 2022

Open section winners

The only player to go 3-0 in a strong 10-player Open section, King Bi 5d won the 2022 San Diego Go Championship last weekend. In a four-way tie for second place were Yifan Qu 4d, Aiyang Lu 7d, Yingxu Zhu 6d, and Yixian Zhou 6d, all with 2-1 records. Yifan Qu and Aiyang Lu were declared second and third respectively in the Open based on tiebreakers and took home trophies and cash awards.

Prize money for all sections totaled more than $800.

There was a three-way tie at 3-1 for the leaders of the Handicap Section. By tie-breakers, the results were:
1st: Roxin Cao 1d; 2nd: Isaiah Bird 1d; 3rd: Pasco Kwok 2d.

The single-digit kyu section had 27-single-digit kyu players, so it was divided into two divisions. The top three finishers in both divisions were awarded cash prizes.

Youngest Player Ken Lin, 5

1st Division: 1st: Les Lanphear 2k, AGA Board member (it was his first trophy in more than 50-years of playing go!); 2nd: Angel Zhou 2k, and Pete Schumer 2k, who was recognized for coming the furthest: from Vermont.

2nd division: 1st: David Baran 6k, the only player to go 4-0 & just moved to SD; 2nd: Lucia Moscola 9k;  and 3rd: Jackson Hranek 7k.

Double-Digit Section:

1st: David Saponara 16k, president of the host San Diego Chess Club; 2nd: Donovan Chen 20k; and Rain Zhang 25k.

Nine-year-old Roxin took home a second trophy for becoming the U16 2022 Boys San Diego Go Champion. Angel – also 9 – won her second trophy of the day for being the U16 2022 Girls San Diego Go Champion.

Prizes for the youngsters included those from Yellow Mountain Imports (magnetic go boards, traveling boards, go stones, wooden bowls…). Rubio’s Coastal Grill also provided a meal voucher for it’s famous fish tacos for every youth in attendance.

Five-year-old Ken Lin collected a prize for being the youngest player in the tournament, a SDGC tradition. And “Yes, he did win a game,” reports TD Ted Terpstra.

Covid precautions were followed, with all players and spectators asked to wear masks (except when posing for an E-Journal picture) and be vaccinated. Most go tables had only one game on them and players could take the boards and stones outside to play on picnic tables on a perfect 72-degree San Diego May day.

“SDGC thanks its sponsors, Yellow Mountain Imports, Rubio’s Coast Grill, and State Farm Insurance,” Terpstra says.

SDGC will be hosting the fifth annual California Go Championship on the Saturday and Sunday after Thanksgiving, again at the San Diego Chess Club.


Problem of the Week

Simply Sweet

Black to play