American Go E-Journal

Upcoming Go Events: Columbus and Sacramento

Monday December 10, 2018

December 15: Columbus, OH
Columbus Candlenight Cup
Devin Fraze organizer@columbusgo.club 614-705-9839

December 15: Sacramento, CA
Davis/Sacramento Winter Quarterly
Willard Haynes willard@emeritus.csus.edu 916-929-6112 or 916-601-0829

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Historic Mexico-Korea baduk match set for Dec. 8

Friday December 7, 2018

Encuentro de Baduk México-Corea 2018,  a cross cultural baduk (go in Korean) tournament is set for December 8th in Mexico 2018.12.07_Mexico-Korea baduk matchCity.  The match will be held in honor of  South Korea’s ambassador to Mexico, the event will take place at the Korean Cultural Center and the opening ceremony will feature its Director, Mr. Kijin Song. The format is a fast-paced, round robin match consisting of 5 team members, on one side Mexican nationals and on the other Korean residents and/or Korean descendants born in Mexico. Philipp Neubert, a german student from Myongji University who is doing  field research for his Ph.D thesis about go in Latin America is invited as an international observer.

The Korean Cultural Center and a Korean newspaper “El Coreano,” both with established headquarters in Mexico City, are organizing the event. “For many years there have been active Korean players with a limited interaction in their own community,” reports organizer Sid Avila,  “perhaps only Kim Chang-Ha,  a gentle friend and strong player has showed up and participated at the successful Mexican Go Congresses organized so far.”

“Since the  Korean Cultural Center opened their baduk workshop two years ago, there has been a steady increase in public interest for go. There have been two Baduk Festivals, workshops at universities, exhibitions and even international events like the recent Pan-american Baduk Championship 2018 where Aaron Ye, from the US claimed the title.  The Korean community seems to be welcoming the exciting idea that there are strong Mexican players who can compete with them. They are also surprised that baduk is taught at elementary schools, and played at universities, and that there are quite well organized events by the Mexican Go Association,” adds Avila. -Paul Barchilon, EJ Youth Editor.

 

GO Without Borders seeks beta testers

Wednesday December 5, 2018

Bill Frezza and his colleague John Gaby have developed an online go variant called GO Without Borders that they say is perhaps2018.11.26_GO Without Borders torus the first practical online implementation of Toroidal GO, the concept of removing the edges of a go board by allowing the board to “wrap around” both horizontally and vertically.

“What is most fascinating about playing GO Without Borders is the fresh approach required regarding tactics and strategy because every joseki you ever learned is useless,” Frezza, a 12 kyu player, tells the E-Journal. “There is also a premium on good fighting skills. And yet it is still go with all the same rules.”

Frezza and Gaby are actively recruiting a small circle of beta testers to help debug and fully feature the program before public launch. Email go-without-borders+subscribe@googlegroups.com if interested.

 

Go in the News: Game Enthusiasts Gather Weekly in Brentwood to Play Ancient Board Game; Baduk Drives Success of Nongshim Noodles in China

Wednesday December 5, 2018

Game Enthusiasts Gather Weekly in Brentwood to Play Ancient Board Game: Every weekend, you’ll find a group of people playing an ancient board game called Go at Fulin’s in Brentwood. Shawn Ray, of the Middle TN Go Club, spoke with us about the game and how the Middle TN Go Club came to be. The Club plays at Fulin’s in Brentwood every Saturday from 12p-4p and Sunday 5p-9p. Read more here.

Baduk Drives Success of Nongshim Noodles in China: Instant noodle giant Nongshim has capitalized on the popularity of go to drive sales of $280 million in China this year. In cooperation with the Korea Baduk Association, Nongshim founded a world championship known as the Nongshim Cup when it entered the country in 1999. Nongshim chairman Shin Chun-ho is a go enthusiast and wanted to link local fever for the game to the brand. When the tournament is held in China (the 20th edition was held there last month), fans gather in front of the venue or at large outdoor televisions to watch the match, which further promotes the brand. Read more here and here.

Calvin Sun 1p wins inaugural California State Go Championship

Monday December 3, 2018

An undefeated Calvin Sun 1p topped a field of 45 players to win the first annual California State Go Championship on 2018.12.03_CA-state-IMG_5605November 24-25. The two-day, 5-round event was sponsored by the San Diego Go Club and held amid the beautiful surroundings of the San Diego Chess Club in Balboa Park. Players came from as far as the San Francisco Bay area to compete for the title.

Sun not only won the title of 2018 California Go Champion and collected a cash award and an individual trophy but will be the first to have his name engraved on a permanent state go champion plaque. Following him in the Open Section were Yi Wang (6-dan 2018 San Diego Champion) and Yufei Jin 6-dan.

“It was a special treat when American Go Association President Andy Okun, was present to help award the prizes to the winners,” reports organizer Ted Terpstra, president of the San Diego Go Club.

2018.12.03_CA-state-DSCN5583Other Section winners were:

Dan Section: 1st Dan Alvira 3-dan; 2nd Zhihong He 3.3-dan; 3rd Seowoo Wang 2.6-dan
Single-Digit Kyu Section: 1st Paul Margetts 2.4-kyu; 2nd Warren T Andrews 6.7-kyu; 3rd Kevin Charles Yang 7-kyu
Double-Digit Kyu Section: 1st Lucia Moscola 17.9-kyu; 2nd Wade Michael Smith 10.5-kyu; 3rd Alexander Niema Moshiri 11.5 Kyu

In conjunction with the California State Go Championship, a 5-round, 13×13 California Go Championship was held on Sunday, also at the SD 2018.12.03_CA-state-13x13-PlayersChess Club. Competing were 32 players many of whom were from the Hai Li Go School. All players earned a playing certificate with their rating as well as a medal with the logo of the San Diego Go Club on one side and the logo of the California Go Association on the other. Hai Li, a Chinese pro who has recently moved to Southern California, was the tournament director for the 13×13 tournament. He is also the president of the California Go Association which rated the 13×13 tournament.

2018 Girl’s State California Go Champion: Angelina Zhao (4-1)
2018 Boy’s California State Go Champion: Kai Yi; who was the only 5-0 player.

“With almost 80 go players competing, the 2018 California Go Championship was a huge success,” said Terpstra. To encourage participation, the San Diego Go Club paid all entry fees and cash prizes out of the profits from the 2017 U.S. Go Congress, which it hosted.

photos: (top right, l-r): Okun, Sun and Terpstra; (bottom right) 13×13 players; photos by Bochen Li and Henry You

Correction: Calvin Sun’s rank has been updated to 1p; the AGA’s top amateur rank is 7d.

 

 

Bozulich on “Attacking and Defending Weak Groups”

Thursday November 29, 2018

“Attacking and Defending Weak Groups,” a new book by Richard Bozulich, is now available both as paperback and in digital 2018.11.26_Attacking and Defending Weak Groupsform in the Go Books app. Weak groups are a crucial factor in the middle game of go, and this book covers all the techniques of attacking and defending weak groups. Each of the first nine chapters starts with a few examples of the technique under study, then continues with a few problems showing how that particular technique was used in a professional game. The tenth chapter presents additional problems whose solutions draw upon the techniques studied in the preceding nine chapters. The book is available in paperback from Kiseido and in digital form in the Go Books app for iPad, iPhone, and Mac. Regardless of which version you get, you can download the professional games used for the problems here.

Traveling Go Board: Montreal, Canada

Thursday November 29, 2018

by Peter Schumer2018.11.26_montreal go boards1

Montreal is just north of the border for go players in New York, Vermont, and New Hampshire. They have a thriving go community and a full time place to play go and enjoy some quality tea, baked goods, soups, and sandwiches at Senthe Tea House located at 6547 Saint-Hubert. They also hosted the 41st Canadian Open at College Jean-de-Brebeuf in early September. I often play in their tournaments; Americans are warmly welcomed!

But I recently discovered an interesting place to play go that the folks in Montreal might not even be aware of. While walking around Old Montreal I found a restaurant, The Keg Steak House and Bar, located at the corner of Saint Paul and Saint Jean-Baptiste that has an outdoor terrace with chairs and tables with full-sized go boards inscribed on them! This is probably unknown to the proprietors as well.

The Empty Board: Philosophical Reflections on Go #12

Wednesday November 28, 2018

By Bill Cobb2018.11.26_empty-go-board-with-bowls-and-stones-bw-inverted

As in life, there is a color issue in go that has an impact on most players’ experience. The fact that Black plays first has an obvious effect. Most players, at least in the early years of playing, find it more comfortable to be Black in a game. It provides a certain comfort to feel like you are in control of the game for at least the first few moves. This preference is particularly evident in handicap games, especially high handicap games where the player with the black stones starts with an enormous advantage but feels like the white stones are invincible. No matter how isolated or surrounded by black stones, a white stone just seems inherently strong and dangerous. “The white stones never die” is a saying familiar to weaker players. I’m not sure that this ever goes away completely, though players who are especially successful with Black may feel differently. The fact that AlphaGo won slightly more often with White than with Black when playing itself makes many feel that part of the problem is that the komi has gotten to be too large. At any rate, this is not a real problem in enjoying the game, but it would be nice if we could at least sometimes in life try a policy of Black goes first.

photo by Phil Straus; photo art by Chris Garlock

The Power Report (2 of 2: Iyama takes lead in Oza and Tengen; Fujita wins Young Carp; Youngest players & one veteran share lead in Honinbo League; Xie picks up first win in Women’s Honinbo; Ida defends Crown

Monday November 26, 2018

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Iyama takes lead in Oza and Tengen: This report is a contrast to my reports of November 2 and 3, which told of losses by Iyama in three different titles. His Meijin title is now gone, reducing him to “just” five top-seven titles, but he has turned the tide in the Oza title match, in which the challenger, Ichiriki Ryo 8P, won the first game. The second and third games were held in quick succession at the same venue, a relatively rare practice but seen occasionally in recent years because of Iyama’s tight schedule. The games were played at the Shima Kanko Hotel (“Kanko” means “sightseeing,” but the hotel doesn’t translate the word in its English name) in Shima City, Mie Prefecture, on November 17 and 19. In the second game, Iyama, taking white, secured a resignation after 196 moves, so he evened in the score. This ended a losing streak of four games for him. In the third game, Iyama, playing black, forced a resignation after 175 moves. Ichiriki will face a kadoban in the fourth game, scheduled for November 30. The third game of the 44th Tengen title match was held at the Yutoku Imari Shrine in Kashima City, Saga 2018.11.25_Fujita CarpPrefecture, on November 23. Taking white, Iyama forced the challenger Yamashita Keigo 9P to resign after 140 wins, so he now leads 2-1. The fourth game will be played on December 10.

Fujita wins Young Carp:  The main section of the 13th Hiroshima Aluminum Cup Young Carp Tournament was held at the Central Japan Newspaper Building in Hiroshima on November 17 and 18. Sixteen players took part in a knock-out tournament. In the final, Fujita Akihiko 6P (aged 27, at right) (B) beat Koike Yoshihiro 3P (aged 20) by resignation. These two are both disciples of Takabayashi Takuji 6P. Third place was shared by Fujisawa Rina 4P and Adachi Toshimasa 5P. Shibano Toramaru 7P was probably the favorite, but he lost to Koike in the quarterfinals. This tournament is open to professionals 30 and under and 7-dan and under. The time allowance is 30 seconds per move plus ten minutes’ thinking time to be used in one-minute units. First prize is three million yen (about $26,600).

Youngest players & one veteran share lead in Honinbo League: In my previous report, I mentioned that Shibano Toramaru, who just turned 19 on November 9, and Ichiriki Ryo (aged 21) shared the lead in the 74th Honinbo League, on 2-0. They were joined by the 23-year-old Yo Seiki, so the three youngest players in the league shared the lead at this point. Yo improved his score to 2-0 on November 15, when, taking black, he beat Ko Iso 8P by resignation. The final game of the second round was played on November 22. Hane Naoki 2018.11.25_honinbo-League9P (W) beat Kono Rin 9P by 2.5 points, so the veteran player (aged 42) joins the above three young players in the lead. Four players are on 2-0 and four on 0-2, so fortunes have been cleanly divided so far. That will change in the third round in December, when Yo will play Ichiriki and Hane will play Shibano.

Xie picks up first win in Women’s Honinbo: The third game of the 37th Women’s Honinbo title match was played at the Honinbo Shusaku Memorial Hall on In-no-shima Island, which is part of the mainland city of Onomichi in Hiroshima Prefecture, on November 24. Taking white, Xie won by resignation after 284 moves. Fujisawa Rina won the first two games, but Xie has survived her first kadoban. The fourth game will be played on December 5.

Ida defends Crown: The Crown title is a tournament limited to the 40 members of the Central Japan branch of the Nihon Ki-in in Nagoya. In the final, Nakano Hironari 9P challenged the title-holder Ida Atsushi 8P. Playing white, Ida won by 2.5 points. He has now held this title three years in a row.

Promotions
To 3-dan: Bian Wenkai (40 wins, as of Nov. 16). Bian, who was born in China, is a member of the Central Japan (Nagoya) branch of the Nihon Ki-in. He became a professional in 2013 at the age of 20.
To 5-dan: Takekiyo Isamu (70 wins, as of Nov. 23). Born in 1979, Takekiyo became a professional in 2001.
To 9-dan: Takanashi Seiken (200 wins, as of Nov. 23). Takanashi was promoted to 8-dan in 2002, so it has taken him 16 years to accumulate the wins required to make 9-dan. He is the 78th (active) 9-dan at the Nihon Ki-in (there are 31 at the Kansai Ki-in).

Yuan Zhou’s new book on “Playing AlphaGo’s Early 3-3 Invasion”

Monday November 26, 2018

Yuan Zhou’s new book, Playing AlphaGo’s Early 3-3 Invasion, “includes Yuan’s discussion of current pro understanding of this 2018.11.26_Playing-AGs-early-invasion-bookincreasingly popular tactic along with a large number of examples of current top pro games using it to show how it works out in practice,” reports Slate and Shell publisher Bill Cobb. “This is one of our books that a lot of dan players should find very useful. It is really amazing to see how often this invasion occurs in top tournaments, including in the finals match for the title.”