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2021 Virginia Open: Winners Report

Friday October 7, 2022

Five Capital Go Club members at the 2022 Go Congress (l-r: Edward Zhang, Xiaodi Huang, Della Tang, head coach Michael Zhou, and Al Tang)

In October last year, nearly 50 AGA players competed online in the 10th Virginia Open via BadukClub‘s tournament platform.

Yi Li 7D (5W-1L), an undergraduate at Duke University and 2021 North Carolina champion, overcame a 3rd-round loss to take 1st place over Zhengbokang Tang 8D (5W-1L) from Colorado by a narrow SOS margin. James Chih-Rong Sun 6D from Canada won the Youth 1st-Place award, and Stephanie Tan 1D from Indiana was the women’s champion.

“Even with the expected errors and no-shows, our TDs worked overtime to maximize the number of games played and perfect the pairings,” stated Co-TD Devin Fraze. “Players seem delighted. With a total of 0 players struggling with technical details and with all games starting automatically. The BadukClub in-page chat helped a few players befriend another and was flooded at the end with many thanks.”

Qingbo Zhang was the co-TD and distributed prizes and certificates. The total prize pool was $560 with 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place of the Open Elite division receiving $200, $100, and $50 respectively.

Full winners report:

Division, Prizes, 1st, 2nd, 3rd (and/or 4th) 

Open Elite (6-8D) $200/100/50 :Yi Li, Zhengbokang Tang, Chen Zhang, Jimmy Creeks (Jing Guo) 
Open (4-5D): Qingbo Zhang, Juanshu Lan, Mani Sanford
Youth 1D+  James Sun, Juanshu Lan, Al Tang 
Youth 1-9K Derek Zhou, Massa Jin, Kai Lan 
Youth 10-20K Chenchen Xiong, Kyle Tang, Lucia Moscola 
Women’s Stephanie Tan, Angel Zhou, Della Tang, Anna Zhou, (5th Serena Tu, 6th Lucia Moscola, 7th Melody Liu)
Expert (1-3D) Al Tang, Stephanie Tan, Evan Tan 
Proficient (1-4K) Derek Hounong Zhou, Massa Jin, Tai-An Cha 
Intermediate (5-9K) Jim Sandy, Justin Collier, Della Tang
Novice (10-20K)  Chenchen Xiong, Kyle Tang, Steven A Zilber

The Capital Go Club also plans to host an in-person tournament in Fairfax Virginia on 11/27/2022, which may feature a hybrid tourney with the California State Championship over the same weekend.

Report by the Capital Go Club

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Upcoming Go Events: San Francisco

Monday October 3, 2022

October 15: San Francisco
Go Hackathon at SF Go Club
Matthew Barcus matt@sfgo.club 415-316-2953

Get the latest go events information.

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The Power Report: King of the New Stars starts; Sumire’s progress; Most wins; Best winning streaks; Promotions

Thursday September 29, 2022

By John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal

King of the New Stars starts

King of New Stars Kato Yuki

The first game in the 47th King of the New Stars best-of-three title match was played at the Nagoya branch of the Nihon Ki-in on September 22. Go Weekly is billing this game as “the plain style” v. “the chaotic style.” Otake Yu 7-dan likes to keep things straightforward, whereas his opponent in the match, Sakai Yuki 3-dan, likes to plunge the game into messy fighting. In the first game, Sakai’s style prevailed. Taking black, he forced a resignation after 207 moves. This loss put an end to a winning streak of 13 games that Otake had enjoyed. The second game will be played on September 30.

Sumire’s progress

Nakamura Sumire’s results for the year so far are 36-16 (see “Most Wins” item below). Her overall results as a pro are 117 wins to 58 losses, so she has won just over two-thirds of her games.

(Aug. 8) Sumire (B) beat Kawai Shoji 6-dan by resig. (Prelim B, 48th Gosei).

(Aug. 11) Sumire beat Hoda Shota 1-dan; beat Kawahara Yu 1-dan; beat Miura Taro 2-dan (these games were in the 3rd Discovery Cup—see article above).

(Aug. 18) Sumire  (W) lost to Ueno Asami Women’s Hollyhock by resig. (semifinal, 41st Women’s Honinbo).

(Aug. 25) Sumire (W) beat Tsuneishi Takashi 5-dan by 6.5 points (Prelim. B, 48th Gosei). With this win, Sumire advanced to the A preliminary.

(Aug. 29) Sumire (W) beat Suzukawa Natsumi 1-dan by resig.; Sumire (W) beat Cho Chien 2-dan by resig.; Sumire (W) beat Taguchi Misei 2-dan by resig. (these games were in the preliminary, 17th Young Carp). Sumire secured a seat in the main tournament (the best 16).

(Sept. 8) Sumire (B) beat Nakaonoda Tomomi 9-dan by resig. (Prelim. B, 71st Oza).

(Sept. 22) Sumire (W) beat Kuwabara Yoko 6-dan by resig. (Prelim. A, 26th Women’s Kisei).

Most wins (as of Sept. 23)

1. Ueno Asami: 38-14

2. Nakamura Sumire: 36-16

3. Ichiriki Ryo: 34-18

4. Nyu Eiko: 33-14

5. Fujisawa Rina Women’s Honinbo: 32-13

6. Koike Yoshihiro 7-dan: 31-9

7. Otake Yu 7-dan: 30-6

8. Suzuki Ayumi 7-dan: 28-18

9. Ida Atsushi 9-dan: 27-12; Kato Chie 2-dan: 27-13

Best winning streaks

10: Hane Yasumasa 9-dan

8: Kato Yuki 7-dan, Nyu Eiko Women’s Senko Cup, Nakamura Sumire 2-dan

7: Rin Kanketsu 8-dan, Koike Yoshihiro 7-dan

6: Mizokami Tomochika 9-dan, Ueno Risa 2-dan

5: Cho U 9-dan, Akiyama Jiro 9-dan, Kono Takashi 8-dan, Sotoyanagi Sebun 4-dan

Streaks that have ended since my last report.

13: Otake Yu 7-dan

9: Sasaka Shiro 8-dan,

8: Sakai Yuki 3-dan, Fukuoka Kotaro 3-dan, Shibano Toramaru 9-dan, Sonoda Yasutaka 9-dan, Tajiri Yuto 5-dan, Tanaka Nobuyuki 4-dan

7: Tsuruyama Atsushi 8-dan, Izumitani Hideo 9-dan, Suzuki Ayumi 7-dan, Hirata Tomoya 7-dan, Mukai Chiaki 6-dan, Muramoto Wataru 4-dan

6: Itani Shunta 2-dan, Nakamura Hidehito 9-dan, Hirose Yuichi 6-dan, Tsuruyama Atsushi, Takao Mari 1-dan, Shuto Shun 8-dan, Ohashi Hirofumi 7-dan

5: Ida Atsushi 8-dan, Kobayashi Izumi 7-dan, Miura Taro 2-dan, Fujisawa Rina Women’s Honinbo, Mimura Tomoyasu 9-dan, Kumamoto Shusei 4-dan, Kato Chie 2-dan, Terayama Rei 6-dan, Sotoyanagi Sebun 4-dan, Arimura Hiroshi 9-dan, Yamagisawa Satoshi 6-dan

Promotions

To 7-dan: Kurotaki Masaki (120 wins, as of Aug. 23); Otake Yu (for entering the Honinbo League, as of Sept. 9)

To 6-dan: Yamamoto Kentaro (90 wins, as of Aug. 12)

To 3-dan: Utani Shunta (40 wins, as of Sept. 16)

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Eric Lui and Alex Qi share 1st place at NGC tourney; Pair Go/Paella Night returns

Wednesday September 28, 2022

On left: Mark Fraser 7K plays six-year-old Winston Yan 7K.
On right: Alex Qi 1P (L) faces off against Eric Lui 2P (R) as rising star Richard Duan 2D (C) watches

Tied up with 3-1 records, Eric Lui 2P and Alex Qi 1P shared first place at the National Go Center’s Back To School Tournament this past Saturday, September 24th. With 27 participants, the tournament featured a “plethora of exciting games” and gave players an opportunity to watch professional players in action. “It was great to see two of our North American professionals competing in one of our local tournaments,” said TD Gurujeet Khalsa.

photo by Chris Garlock

Other notable appearances included rising local go star Richard Duan 2D (pictured above at right watching a game between Eric and Alex), and Mark Fraser 7K from Albuquerque who can be seen above left playing six-year-old Winston Yan 7K.  “Winston is another young up-and-comer destined for the Dan ranks,” Khalsa noted.

The tournament kicked off the previous evening with the return of the popular Pair Go/Paella night. Chris Garlock made his famous paella and 16 players socialized and competed at four tables. The top board winners were James Pinkerton 5D and Larry Kaufman 2D.

Three-game winners at the Back To School Tournament on Saturday were Eric Liu (2P), Alex Qi (1P), Richard Duan (2D), Jake Vikoren (1D), Lee Hyungwook (5K), Mark Fraser (7K) and Ashley Qi (11K).

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The Power Report: Yo to challenge Iyama for Oza; Ueno to challenge for Women’s Honinbo; New youngest player at Nihon Ki-in; Shibano wins Kisei S League

Wednesday September 28, 2022

By John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal

Yo to challenge Iyama for Oza

Yo Seiki 8-dan

The play-off to decide the challenger for the 70th Oza title was held at the Nihon Ki-in on August 29. Taking black, Yo Seiki 8-dan of the Kansai Ki-in beat Shibano Toramaru 9-dan by resig. after 191 moves. This will be his fourth challenge for a top-seven title. In the 64th Oza (2016), he lost 0-3 to Iyama; in the 55th Judan (2017), he lost 1-3 to Iyama; and in the 60th Judan (2022), he lost 0-3 to Yo Kagen. He has also come second in the 38th King of the New Stars (2013), the 23rd (2014) and 26th (2017) Ryusei tournaments, and the 68th NHK Cup (2021), so his career is a little reminiscent of that of the late Kato Masao’s. Yo will be hoping he can turn it around as dramatically as Kato did. It may not be a consolation, but he has won the Kansai Ki-in No. One Position title five years in a row.

Ueno to challenge for Women’s Honinbo

Kato Chie 2-dan

The play-off to decide the challenger for the 41st Women’s Honinbo title was held at the Nihon Ki-in on September 1. Based on results this year, you can argue that four players make up the top group in Japanese women’s go: Fujisawa Rina, Ueno Asami, Nyu Eiko, and Nakamura Sumire. However, the play-off featured a player who may be a new face for Western readers: Kato Chie 2-dan. I would like to take this opportunity to introduce her. Kato was born on September 13, 2001. Her results have been consistently good since she became a professional in April 2018 and recently she got into the top ten in the “most wins” list. Her consistent results are proof of significant talent, as she has to battle a major handicap in her daily life. As a child, she suffered from a bone disease that prevented the full development of her bones, so she has to use a wheelchair. Her bones were fragile and she had broken bones about 20 times. Fortunately, she received treatment that stopped these breaks. She took up go in kindergarten and in sixth grade, in 2013, she won the 34th (all-Japan) Boys and Girls Tournament, the first time in 14 years that a girl had won it (that was Mukai Chiaki in 1999). She started out at the Osaka branch of the Nihon Ki-in, but then switched to Nagoya. Her win-loss record to date is 116-74 (61%) and she will surely be a title-winner soon. 

The play-off was won by Ueno Asami (W) by 4.5 points. Kato had the lead, but Ueno pulled off an upset in the endgame. Ueno took the 38th Women’s Honinbo title from Fujisawa in 2019, but the latter reclaimed it in 2020. If Ueno wins it back, it will be her 10th title. The match starts on October 4.

New youngest player at Nihon Ki-in

Yanagihara Saki 1-dan

At a press conference held on September 13, the Nihon Ki-in announced that Yanagihara Saki would be inducted as 1-dan by the Ki-in’s Women’s Special Induction Recommendation system. Yanagihara is in sixth grade and is 11 years old; she is a member of the A class in the Nihon Ki-in insei system. She will officially become 1-dan in April 2023, but she will begin playing professional games in January. She took second place in the section for 12 years and under in the World Youth Championship run by the Ing Chang-Ki Foundation. The four insei teachers all recommended Yanagihara and the Nihon Ki-in board of directors approved her appointment on September 13th. She will be the youngest professional. She learned go from her parents, both of whom play go, when she was three. She has studied at Hong Seisen’s dojo. Hong 4-dan is a member of the Kansai Ki-in, but he runs a go school in Tokyo. He seems to be a very good teacher, as many of his students have succeeded in becoming pros and are doing well.

Shibano wins Kisei S League

Although he still has a game to play in the 47th Kisei S League, Shibano Toramaru is in an unbeatable position with 4-0, as every other player has at least two losses. Takao Shinji secured second place when Iyama Yuta lost his last game. Results since my last report follow.

(Aug. 11) Takao Shinji 9-dan (W) beat Yo Seiki by resig.

(Aug. 18) Shibano Toramaru 9-dan (W) beat Kyo Kagen Judan by resig.

(Sept. 1) Iyama Yuta (B) beat Murakawa Daisuke 8-dan by 1.5 points.

(Sept. 12) Takao (B) beat Murakawa by resig.

(Sept. 22) Kyo Kagen Judan (B) beat Iyama Yuta by resig.

A and B Leagues

The play-off between the winners of the B1 and B2 Leagues was held at the Nihon Ki-in on August 25. Taking black, Suzuki Shinji 7-dan beat Fujita Akihiko 7-dan by 5.5 points. Suzuki won the B League 7-0, so he now had eight wins in a row in the Kisei tournament. The A League was decided on August 25, when Yamashita Keigo beat Hane Naoki. This took Yamashita to 6-1, two points clear of the field.

Knock-out to decide the challenger

The final irregular knock-out to decide the challenger looks like this. Otake Yu 7-dan (C winner) v. Suzuki Shinji 7-dan (B winner), the winner v. Yamashita Keigo 9-dan (A winner), the winner v. Takao Shinji (2nd in S), the winner v. Shibano. The last two play a best-of-three in which Shibano is gifted a win at the outset. Takao’s only path to the challengership is winning 2-0 whereas Shibano needs just one win. 

Just for the record: The current league system, topped by the S League and ending in the irregular knock-out, was introduced in the 40th term of the Kisei. So far, it has been held seven times, and each time the winner of the S League has become the challenger. During that time, Kono Rin was the challenger three times and each time he lost the first game in the best-of-three, the only S League winner to do so. In two cases, his opponent was Takao, so he knows from bitter experience how tough the challenge will be for him.

Tomorrow: King of the New Stars starts; Sumire’s progress; Most wins; Best winning streaks; Promotions

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