Welcome to the American Go Association

The most popular international professional go event

Monday October 25, 2021

by Yuan Zhou

At the launch of the 23rd staging of ‘The Three Kingdoms of Korea, China, and Japan Baduk’ and Nongshim Shin Ramyun World Baduk Championship.

My title may be a slight exaggeration, but the Nongshim Cup does get a lot of attention among Asian fans. “Nongshim” in English is “spicy noodles” and the event is named for the Korean instant noodle company that sponsors it. The 23rd running of the event – officially the Nongshim Shin Ramyun World Baduk Championship – began this month. The tournament is being held online again this year; the second round starts November 26 and the finals begin February 21, 2022.

The tournament is a win-and-continue contest among three teams of five players each from China, South Korea, and Japan. The games are played one at a time so there have to be at least ten games (all of the members of two teams must lose), though thirteen or fourteen is normal.

The competing countries send their strongest players to this popular event, which makes for a lot of exciting games and, since they are representing their own countries and not just themselves, the players feel more pressure/stress than in regular international events. The Korean team for the up-coming session contains the top five ranked players, which will be the strongest Korean team ever in terms of ranking. The Chinese team always includes all the current holders of world titles, and the Japanese team is normally the major seven Japanese title holders.

22nd Nongshim Cup winners

Occasionally, one of the players will have an amazing winning stretch. In the 22nd Nongshim Cup, for example (which ended in February of this year), Shin Jinseo 9p, Korea’s number one player, who was the fourth player on the Korean team, won five games in a row to win the event for Korea. He defeated the top two players of the Japanese and the Chinese teams: Iyama Yuta 9p and Ichiriki Ryo 9p of Japan, and Yang Dingxin 9p and Ke Jie 9p of China. The year before, Yang Dingxin was the first member of the Chinese team up, and he managed to defeat three members of the Japanese team and four of the Koreans before being defeated by Iyama Yuta 9p of Japan. The lone remaining Korean was Park Junghwan 9p who won four times: defeating the last member of the Japanese team, Iyama Yuta 9p, and three of the remaining Chinese. However, Park Junghwan lost the final game to Ke Jie 9p of China.

In 2018, another Chinese player, Fan Tingyu 9p, defeated Ichiriki Ryo 7p in the second game (Ichiriki had just defeated Lee Sedol 9p of Korea) and went on to win seven games in a row before losing to Park Junghwan 9p of Korea. Park Junghwan then knocked out the last Japanese player, Iyama Yuta, but lost the final game to Fan Yunruo 5p of China. Korea has won the Cup 13 times. The Chinese team has triumphed more than the others in recent years, their cumulative record is 8 Cup wins. Their last previous loss was in 2010 when Choi Cheolhan 9p of Korea won the last five games of the match, defeating Kong Jie 9p of China in the final game. Lee Changho 9p of Korea won the first six runnings of this Cup, starting in 2000, and then twice more. The Japanese have won the Cup only once: in the seventh running, Yoda Norimoto 9p of Japan defeated Lee Changho in the final game.

Yuan Zhou is a popular teacher and longtime contributor to the E-Journal; find out more on his website.

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50 Years aGO – October 1971

Monday October 25, 2021

by Keith L. Arnold, hka, with Patrick Bannister

Fans of Japan’s “old guard” had gotten hopeful that Fujisawa Shūkō might hold the Meijin title, but those hopes were dashed on 5-6 October as Rin Kaihō won the sixth game, regaining the title with a 4-2 finish. (Game record: Meijin Game 6.)

On 23 to 24 October, the second U.S. International Go Tournament took place in New York City. Once again, the Chinese team led by Dr. C.S. Shen were the victors, with a 16-2 record in the competition between three player teams – two Chinese teams, two Japanese teams, two Korean teams, and one U.S. team. (Author’s note – I suspect that these teams were drawn on racial lines, some of the “foreign players” were probably citizens, certainly residents of the U.S.) The U.S. team of Robert Ryder, Harry Gonshor, and Gerald Rogers were a surprise second place. The Japan A team, headed by long time New York Go Club President Mitsuo Horiguchi, placed third.

On 31 October (the following weekend) the 2nd Wessex Tournament was held, sponsored by the Bristol Go Club. The 52-player British Go Association event was won by Rick Hubbell, 3 dan of Seattle Washington.

Rin Kaihō wins Game 6 of the Meijin title match, retaking the Meijin title.
Rin Kaihō retakes the Meijin title

Image courtesy of Igo Club.

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Tang leads after 1st weekend in Virginia Open

Saturday October 16, 2021

Over forty AGA members competed in the first weekend of the 10th Virginia Open, held on OGS October 9-10. Former Maryland Open and Salt City champion Zhengbokang Tang 8D (3-0) edged Li Yi 7D (2-1), the newly minted NC State Champion in in their Round 3 match, a ‘high note’ to conclude the first weekend of the online tournament directed by Devin Fraze and Jeff Zhang.

The board 1 game remained close throughout the long game, yet Tang steadily kept a half-point lead in the final 80 moves. Shuaiheng Tao 7D and Jimmy Creeks 6D are also contenders for the title with 2-1 records.

An additional 150 players watched the tournament online, where all 70 games are listed on one webpage.

VA Open’s final rounds resumed this weekend, Saturday, Oct. 16 (12p ET and 7p ET) and Sunday, Oct. 17 (12p ET)

Here are the division leaders after 3 rounds.

Open: Zhengbokang Tang 8D (3-0), Li Yi 7D (2-1)

Expert (1-4D): Evan Tan 3D (2-1), Cheuk To Tsui 4D (2-1)

Proficient(1-4K): Derek Zhou 1K (3-0), Massa Jin 3K (3-0)

Intermediate(5-9K): Jim Sandy 6K (2-1), Anna Zhou 9K (2-0)

Novice(10-19K): Chenchen Xiong 10K (2-1), Lucia Moscola 10K (2-1)

Report by the Capital Go Club.

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Redmond on another historic game this Sunday

Saturday October 16, 2021

Tune in to the AGA’s Twitch channel at 8p ET Sunday night for Michael Redmond 9Ps latest live game commentary.
This week he’ll review a historical game between Honinbo Shuei (right) and Tamura Yasuhisa, who later was Honinbo Shusai (left), the last in the Iemoto system.
That’s 8p ET this Sunday, October 17 on the AGA’s Twitch channel.

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Registration open for the Canadian Open Online 2021

Thursday October 14, 2021

The Canadian Go Association’s annual Canadian Open tournament will be held online from October 23-31st. Interested players of all levels worldwide are welcome to participate. “I hope to see many of our AGA friends join the tournament!” says TD Ron Mackenzie. All of the tournament information is available on the CGA website.

The tournament will feature an open division for 5d+ players with cash prizes. Other divisions will feature other prizes including those donated by sponsors. There will be six rounds run over 4 days, with rounds at 1PM and 5PM EST each day:
Saturday, Oct 23: Rounds 1 and 2
Sunday, Oct 24: Rounds 3 and 4
Saturday, Oct 30: Rounds 5 and 6
Sunday, Oct 31: Open division playoffs, Pair Go, and Blitz tournaments

Yoonyoung Kim 8p will provide two review periods for players to share their games with her for analysis, which will be broadcast on her twitch stream. Interested players may join the review sessions regardless of whether or not they are playing in the tournament. Ryan Li 3p will also be offering a lecture on the New York Institute of Go Youtube channel on October 23rd at 7:30PM EST, the topic of which will be a review of one of the games from the open division. 

The tournament will be run on OGS and use Baduk Club for coordinating matches. Specific details will updated on the tournament site and sent out to players a week in advance of the event. There have been a number of prizes donated by generous sponsors: the European Go Journal, Awesome Baduk, BenKyo Tutoring, Stoned on the Goban, Go Magic, the New York Institute of Go, and We-Go.

Regular registration is $20 and will close on October 17th. Registration between October 17th and October 22nd will be $25. Any questions after not answered on the tournament page may be sent to TD Ron Mackenzie at ronm.cga@fastmail.com.

-report by Ron Mackenzie

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