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Eric Lee 6D wins SF Go Club – ING Foundation Tournament

Tuesday May 24, 2022

Thirty players from across the country competed for $500 in prizes at the May 21 SF Go Club – ING Foundation Tournament.  The 3-round event, organized in recognition of the club’s longstanding support from the ING Foundation, was held at the San Francisco Go Club’s dojo in San Francisco’s Japantown.
Eric Lee (6D) came out victorious in Division 1 of the tournament, with Chao Xie (6D) and Christopher Kim (5D) in second and third place, respectively. In Division 2 the winner was Hyun Yong Jin (5 kyu) with Qilu Chen (1D) taking second and David Baran (6 kyu) taking third. And, from Division 3 Casey Dahlin (9 kyu) placed first with Adam Anaya (13 kyu) coming in second and Shuoyuan He (18 kyu) in third. All tournament attendees received a limited edition San Francisco Go Club mousepad.

The San Francisco Go Club will be hosting its next tournament on Saturday June 18th: register here

Report/photos by Matthew Barcus, SFGO Vice President.


In Memoriam: John Greiner & Steve Fawthrop

Tuesday May 24, 2022

We have received news that two longtime go players have passed, John Greiner (1947-2022) and Stephen Fawthrop (1953-2022). Fawthrop, a mathematics professor, was on the AGA rating committee which, in about 1990, set up the current rating system; read more about his go career here.
A celebration of Greiner’s life will be held Sunday, May 29, from 2 until 5 p.m. at The Rural Retreat Depot, 105 W. Railroad Avenue, Rural Retreat, VA.
In lieu of flowers or cards for Steve Fawthrop, send a donation in his name to the local Floyd County (Virginia) Humane Society, to the Best Friends animal charity, or your own local animal charity.


A day of firsts at W Michigan Go 2022 Spring Tournament & Mi State Championship 

Monday May 23, 2022

By Daniel ML

West MI State Championship Final Round

May 21st was a day of firsts for the West Michigan Go Club. It was our first time hosting a tournament. It was my first time as tournament director. It was the first time an AGA Michigan State Champion had ever been declared. Sixteen players gathered at Out Of The Box, a gaming store in the greater Grand Rapids area, to test their skills and have fun playing their best. Five of those players were there to determine who would be the first-ever Michigan State Champion. 

Go brings people together and we were excited to see a diverse group of players from all backgrounds, age groups and skill levels. For the handicap segment of our tournament, cash prizes were rewarded three deep, at $60, $40 and $20 for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. 

Twenty kyu Johnson He wasn’t sure if he had played more than 100 games in his life, but he managed to take third place in the DDK division. Kalamazoo Go Club’s Claudio Mendoza (12k) took second and undefeated five-year-old Winston Yan (10k) took first place with a game record of 5-0. 

Grand Rapids city bus driver Chad Gessner (3k) took third place in the SDK division. Kalamazoo Go Club’s Zachariah Boumediene (5k) took second place and nine-year-old David Fang (5k) took first place with a game record of 3-1. David is very excited to attend the upcoming US Go Congress. Not only is he looking forward to meeting other go players, but he is excited about riding in an airplane and seeing the Colorado Rocky Mountains. 

The Michigan State Championship was a single-elimination tournament using a seeded bracket based on player strength. West Michigan Go Club had good representation with three of five of the competitors being current or former members of our club. Former W MI Go Club member and Kim Yoonyoung’s student Justin Johnson (3 Dan) took bronze and a cash prize of $60. Current W MI Go Club member Andrew Esther (2 Dan) took silver and a cash prize of $80. His daughter Carolyn Esther (18k) also competed in our DDK division. Lansing resident Mani Sanford (3 Dan) remained undefeated and took home the title of AGA MI State Champion for 2022. He also received a trophy and $120 for his excellent performance. Since Mani met fellow championship competitor and Lansing resident Michael Sullivan at this tournament, he is beginning to plan future go meetups in the Lansing area and to possibly create a new Go Club to build our community!

We are so proud to have brought this day of firsts to our region and are anticipating many great events in the months and years to come. Let’s continue to grow this positive and diverse community of people who have fallen in love with the game of go!


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 Co-TD 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


Problem of the Week

Simply Sweet

Black to play