American Go E-Journal » 2018 » November

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.

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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.

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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

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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).

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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.”

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Billy Maier 3k wins NM State Championship in upset victory

Monday November 26, 2018

Ten players from across the state met at the Aldea Community Center in Santa Fe, NM on November 3 to compete in the 2018 2018.11.26_NM-1New Mexico State Go Championship. In the three-round Open Section, four players vied to be champion in a round-robin. With even games, 2018.11.26_NM-2expectations were high that the strongest player, Steve Uhl (1.2d), would dispatch the other hopeful kyu players with ease. But Billy Maier (3.2k) from Albuquerque, the next strongest player, had other ideas, winning all his games to become Champion.

“We were pleased to present him with his personal trophy and award him the State Championship trophy,” reports TD
Robert Cordingley. “Billy is expected to defend his title next year.” In the Handicap Section, up-and-coming Kyle Fenimore (9k) from White Rock, NM won all his games to take first place, beating Stewart Kane, who placed second and Bob Gilman, who took third place.  “Our thanks go to local go player Lewis Geer and the AGA for their generous sponsorship of this tournament,” Cordingley added.
photos: (right) Maier (at left) and Uhl; (left) TD Robert Cordingley presents Billy Maier with his trophy.

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NY Institute of Go YouTube channel hits 1,000 subscribers

Monday November 26, 2018

The New York Institute of Go’s (NYIG) official YouTube channel (NYIG_Go) recently achieved a significant milestone, reaching2018.11.26_NYGI-YouTube-1 the 1,000 subscribers mark. “I was surprised by how quickly the numbers are climbing, since our videos are so short and simple,” says Stephanie Yin 1p, NYIG president. “Our goal is to present the English-speaking go community with kick-start knowledge on all aspects of the game,” added Ryan Li 1p. Current active series on the channel include “Mistakes of the Month” and “Joseki Lessons.” “Stay tuned for the weekly uploads!” Yin said. 

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The Power Report (1 of 2): Samsung Cup: Ke v. Ahn, China v. Korea; Yamashita becomes Kisei challenger, sets record; Fujisawa extends lead in Women’s Honinbo challenge; New faces in Meijin League

Monday November 26, 2018

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Samsung Cup: Ke v. Ahn, China v. Korea: The best-of-three semifinals for the 23rd Samsung Cup were held at a Samsung Research Center in Taeon City, Korea.
Results were as follows:
(Game 1, Nov. 5) Ke Jie 9P (China) (W) beat Xie Erhao 9P (China) by resig.; Ahn Kukhyun 8P (Korea) (W) beat Tang Weixing 9P (China) by resig.
(Game 2, Nov. 6) Xie (W) beat Ke by 1.5 points; Ahn (B) beat Tang by resig.
(Game 3, Nov. 7) Ke (W) beat Xie by resig.
Ke and Ahn will meet in the best-of-three final on December 3, 4 and 5. Ke will be vying for his sixth international title; Ahn will be making his debut in an international final.

Yamashita becomes Kisei challenger, sets record: The play-off to decide the challenger for the 43rd Kisei title was Kisei chall L Yamashita R Konoheld at the Tokyo headquarters of the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo on November 9. It featured Yamashita Keigo 9P (left), winner of the S League, and Kono Rin 9P (right), who was second in the S League but who earned his seat in the play-off by defeating Onishi Ryuhei 3P in the final knockout tournament. Taking white, Yamashita beat Kono by resignation. Although the final is called a “best-of-three,” this was enough for Yamashita to win it, as the S League winner starts with a one-game advantage. Unusually for a big game, this also marked a landmark in Yamashita’s career: his 1,000th win. He is the 24th player in Japan to reach this mark and, at 25 years seven months, the fastest. He broke the record set by Yuki Satoshi 9P of the Kansai Ki-in of 27 years one month. The title match with Iyama Yuta will start on January 10. The Kisei will be a familiar arena for Yamashita, as he held the title for one term in 2003 (the 27th Kisei) and for four years in a row from 2006 to 2009 (30th to 33rd). He also made three unsuccessful challenges in a row to Iyama Yuta: he lost the 38th to 40th title matches (2014 to 2016) 2-4, 3-4, and 0-4 in sequence. This may be a good time to challenge Iyama, as he seems a little vulnerable recently. First, though, Yamashita has to try to win the Tengen title match between the two that at this point was tied 1-1. Victory in this match would give him a good springboard for the New Year.

Fujisawa extends lead in Women’s Honinbo challenge: The second game of the 37th Women’s Honinbo title match was held at the headquarters of the Nihon Ki-in on November 9. Playing white, Fujisawa Rina forced the title-holder Xie 2018.11.25_MutsuuraYimin to resign after 212 moves. Fujisawa also won the first game, so she needs just one more win to take the title. The third game will be held on November 24.

New faces in Meijin League: The final play-offs for the three vacant seats in the 44th Meijin League 2018.11.25_Sonwere all held on November 8 but at three different locations. At the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo, Mutsuura Yuta 7P (W, right) beat Ko Iso 8P by resig. At the Nagoya branch, Suzuki Shinji 7P (W) beat Shida Tatsuya 7P by half a point. At the Kansai Ki-in, Son Makoto 6P (B, left) beat Fujii Shuya 7P (a member of the Kansai Ki-in) by resig. All three players will be making their league debuts. Son also earned a promotion to 7-dan, dated as of the following day. Matsuura’s win was his eighth and Son’s his seventh in ongoing streaks.

Tmw: 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  

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Ye, Velasco, Trujillo top Pan-American Championship

Saturday November 24, 2018

Screen Shot 2018-11-24 at 3.21.40 PMAaron Ye 7d of the US took first place in the Pan-American Championship in Mexico City on November 10th.  Canadian Player Manuel Velasco came in second and Cuban player Orlando Trujillo placed third.  Mr. Kijin Song, the director of the Korean Cultural Center in Mexico presented the winners with certificates and cash prizes of $30,000, $20,000, and $10,000 Mexican pesos for their respective placings in the tournament. The online qualifiers drew players from Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Colombia, Brazil, Ecuador, Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Peru, Cuba, the USA, and Canada. The finals were held at the Museo Nacional de las Culturas, within walking distance of the Zocalo Plaza in Mexico City. The event drew a large audience from the local go community. “The 2nd Baduk Festival in Mexico was held at the same time,” reports organizer Sid Avila, “we had free games amongst the public participants, the majority of them being children; 2 raffles were held so that 18 people could play simultaneous games with Soohang Ryu 7P, from the Korean Baduk Association.Later prizes were raffled for the public, and we had a baduk book exhibition and a photographic exhibit as well.”

Online preliminaries were held in August, and determined the top five players from different countries. They were invited to Mexico City, with all expenses paid, to compete in the final stage. In addition to Ye and Velasco,  Fernando Aguilar of Argentina (who had to cancel due to family complications), Alfonso Artique of Uruguay, Abner Turkieltaub Melo of Chile, and Orlando Trujillo of Cuba (by invitation) were the finalists.  As the host country, Mexico was excluded from the online qualifier and received a seeded seat into the finals.  The Korean Cultural Center in Mexico held a separate online qualifier for Mexican players, which was won by Abraham Florencia, a high-dan  player who placed 8th at the World Amateur Go Championships earlier in the year.

A great amount of attention was focused on the game between Ye (black) and Velasco (white).  Velasco had a strong opening and held a large territorial lead until a detrimental mistake in the middle-game. Ye successfully seized the opportunity and killed a large group, ultimately securing a win-by-resignation.  After the tournament, the game was displayed on a projector in the background and was reviewed by Ryu.

Ye reports ” I was glad to have the opportunity to attend the event and make new go friends from Latin American countries. Organizing a Pan-American tournament was a creative and innovative idea to connect go players from North and South America. After all, an important part of the game is connecting with the community. I was surprised but excited to see the event attract quite a lot of local Mexican go players. The experience was very unique and memorable and I hope to continue to promote go on the continent in the future.”

The event was sponsored by the Embassy of the Republic of Korea and the Korean Cultural Center in Mexico, with the valuable support of the National Museum of World Cultures, the Korean Baduk Association, the Tygem Go Server, the Korean Sports Promotion Organization, and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. For more pictures, click here. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo by Korean Cultural Center in Mexico photographer Seol Ha Kim.

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Seattle hosts annual Fall Youth Tournament

Friday November 23, 2018

On Sunday, November 18, as part its ongoing Youth programs, the Seattle Go Center hosted its annual fall tournament for go 2018.11 23-Seattle-Youth Tournament 181118-020players age 17 and younger.  It was a just-for-fun event where the kids could choose to play their games on 19×19 or 13×13.  Eight kids played three rounds in the 19×19 group, and thirteen played four rounds in the 13×13 group.

2018.11 23-Seattle-Youth Tournament Prize 181118-026Players ranged from pre-school through 7th grade. For most of them, it was their first tournament ever.  About 24% of the players came from one of the Go Center’s school outreach programs, another 38% from the Northwest Chinese School Weiqi Club headed by Sonny Cho, and the remaining 38% didn’t declare a program affiliation.

Halfway through the event, light snacks were devoured by the growing young go players and their support crews (a.k.a. families).  At the end, all players got to choose a prize, in order of win-loss record.  Donated prizes of go equipment were very popular.  Other prizes included folding fans, sketchbooks, erasers shaped like dinosaurs, etc.

Thanks go to the families who brought the young players, and to the volunteers (Peter Kron, Sonny Cho, and Brian Allen) who helped it all run smoothly.  Seattle Go Center’s next Youth event will be on a Sunday in March 2019 — exact date to be announced soon.
- report by Mike Malveaux, photos by Brian Allen

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