American Go E-Journal » 2020 » February

Redmond’s Reviews, Episode 20: Michael Redmond 9P vs Shiraishi Yuichi 7P

Friday February 28, 2020

Michael Redmond 9P and Chris Garlock present their latest Redmond’s Review, Episode 20, posted on the AGA’s YouTube Channel.

In this game — from the B section of the Judan tournament — Redmond takes on Shiraishi Yuichi 7P, a player in his 30’s who’s very active on social media and also puts out video commentaries, like Redmond. He’s also one of the players who’s been adopting the computer style of play. “This is the game I said would involve a lot of dead groups,” Redmond says, and in it he makes a series of increasingly bigger sacrifices. “Some of them you might say were captured by my opponent, so perhaps not really valid sacrifices,” he admits. “Some of them worked, and some of them were not working.”

The commentary was originally streamed live on Twitch, which gave viewers a chance to interact with Redmond and Garlock; follow the channel to get notified of live streams.

Video produced by Stephen Hu, Allen Moy, Chris Garlock and Andrew Jackson.

[link]

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Upcoming Go Events: Seattle and Little Neck

Monday February 24, 2020

March 1: Seattle, WA
Seattle Monthly Ratings Tournament – March
Mike Malveaux programs@seattlego.org 206-545-1424

March 7: Little Neck, NY
NYGA Monthly Tournament March
Zhongfan Jian tournaments@ny-go.org 617-921-4105
Stephanie Yin info@ny-go.org

March 9: Seattle, WA
Mr. Daiki Komatsu 3P at Seattle Go Center
Mike Malveaux programs@seattlego.org 206-545-1424 or 253-906-0095

Get the latest go events information.

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Learn to Play Go series now available as ePub

Monday February 24, 2020

The five volumes of Janice Kim’s popular Learn to Play Go series are now available as ePubs from SmartGo Books, which opens them up to readers on Android and Windows. “Janice Kim’s award-winning series takes the complete beginner step-by-step all the way to playing real go,” says SmartGo’s Anders Kierulf.

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Minghan Jiang wins WMGC winter tournament with a perfect record

Sunday February 23, 2020

Weiqiu (Rachel) You 2k, 3-1; Neil Ni 2d, 3-1; Minghan Jiang 1d, 4-0; Joel Kenny 4d, 3-1; Stephen J. Choung 2k, 3-1

The Western Massachusetts Go Club had a respectable turnout of 18 players for the winter tournament, held on February 22 and hosted by Springfield College. There were 3 double-digit kyu players, with the remaining players from 3k to 5d. Players traveled from throughout New England – 200+ mi from Vermont, by Uber and bus from Boston, and from New York City.

Minghan Jiang 1d was the only undefeated player with a 4-0 record. Four other players had 3-1 results (right), and David Richardson 14k won the DDK division. Click here for full results, and here for more photos of the event.

report and photo provided by Trevor Morris.

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4th Latin American Go Congress set for Buenos Aires in October

Sunday February 23, 2020

The fourth Latin American Go Congress will be held October 3-12 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. European pro Mateusz Surma 2P has been confirmed for both a weekend workshop October 3-4 and the boot camp October 5-9. “Mateusz will also be present during the tournament days offering game reviews, etc,” reports Congress Coordinator Haroldo Brown. “We welcome players from all over the world to the biggest go party in Latin America!” Brown adds.

The bird in the Congress logo is the “hornero,” or ovenbird, native to South America. The “hornero” is known for building mud nests that resemble old wood-fired ovens. The other protagonist of the logo is the “tatú carreta,” the largest living species of armadillo, found in most Latin American countries and considered vulnerable to extinction.

For more info on the Congress, email latino2020@go.org.ar

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50 years aGO – February 1970

Saturday February 22, 2020

by Keith L. Arnold, hka, with Patrick Bannister

Humbled by drafting this column in the midst of John Power’s latest excellent reports from Japan, we bring you a slightly less up-to-date view of the Honinbo and Meijin leagues. Fifty years ago, Fujisawa Shuko 9 dan and Kajiwara Takeo 9 dan led the Meijin league and Sakata Eio 9 dan led the Honinbo League. 

In this photo (right) of the competition in the Honinbo league from February 4, we see Kato Masao 6 dan in the foreground against Kano Yoshinori 9 dan.  Kato, of course, is well-known in the West, and Kano has a place as well, as author of the 4-volume graded go problems for beginners.  Behind in the center we see the first tournament 9 dan, Fujisawa Hosai, taking on Hisai Keishi 6 dan.  Finally, in the game on the right, Takagawa Kaku 9 dan takes on Fujisawa Shuko 9 dan.  Takagawa had already held the title for nine straight years and published two English texts – How to Play Go, and Vital Points of Go.  Game records can be found here: Katō v Kano; Takagawa v Shuzo; Hōsai v Hisai.

We can’t leave my favorite player Shuko without comment.  In the photo at left, we see him winning by half a point in the first game of the first All Japan First Place Tournament, which would later become the Gosei.  Shuko had a penchant for making the finals of tournaments in their first year, and usually won them. His opponent is Otake Hideo, who, as the current Judan, we will call 10 dan. The game record is here.

photos courtesy Igo Club

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The Power Report: Amateur makes Kisei C League; Cheating discovered in Korean qualifying tournament; Virus upsetting tournament schedule; Promotions; Yoda suspended for six months

Saturday February 22, 2020

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Amateur makes Kisei C League

For a number of years now, the top four place-getters in the Net Kisei tournament for amateur players have earned places in the professional Kisei qualifying tournament, called the First Tournament. So far the best performance by an amateur had been three wins, but this year Kurita Yoshiki won five games in a row and secured a place in the C League. In the final, held on February 13, he beat Sotoyanagi Sebun 3P playing with black. The C League is an irregular Swiss System: there are five rounds, but players drop out with their third loss.

Cheating discovered in Korean qualifying tournament

On January 14, one of the competitors in the Korean professional qualifying tournament was discovered to be cheating. The player (gender unknown) had concealed a small camera inside his or her clothing and had a wireless earphone hidden in a bandage. An accomplice outside the venue was relaying the moves suggested by an AI program. The player was immediately disqualified; after an emergency meeting of the officials on January 17, it was decided to proceed with a criminal prosecution.

Virus upsetting tournament schedule

The corona virus still shows no signs of letting up in China and is daily getting worse in Japan, so it is beginning to take a toll in deferments of international tournaments. As noted above, the second game of the Wild Fox final was put off, even though it’s a Net tournament. The 13th Chunlan Cup, scheduled to start on February 24 in Taizhou City in China, has likewise been postponed indefinitely. We can expect other casualties. There is no word yet on the Nihon Ki-in’s World Go Championship, scheduled for March 17~19 in Tokyo.

Promotions

To 7-dan: Iwamaru Taira (120 wins, as of Jan. 24)
To 2-dan: Aoki Hirotaka (30 wins, as of Feb. 7)

Yoda suspended for six months

The mills of the Nihon Ki-in grind slowly; whether or not they grind fine is another matter, but they have caught up with Yoda Norimoto. In the E-Journal issue of August 23 last year, I reported that the sponsors of the Masters Cup had cancelled it because of distaste for criticism Yoda was making of the Ki-in administration in tweets and via the Ki-in’s mailing list. When the medium was criticized as inappropriate, Yoda withdrew his tweets, but did not apologize to the persons who felt they had been libeled. Kobayashi Satoru 9P, chairman of the board of directors, said at the time that in due course Yoda would be punished for disturbing and defaming the Nihon Ki-in and causing it to lose a sponsor. On February 12, the Ki-in announced that a board of directors meeting had decided that he would be suspended from tournament participation for six months (from this day to August 11). The decision was announced at a press conference attended by Kobayashi and Obuchi Morito 9P, a director. They said the decision had been transmitted to Yoda through his lawyer. The next day, Yoda turned up to play a previously scheduled game, but was denied access to the playing room. It’s hard to get a full picture, but Yoda’s criticism was said to be related to the dismissal in May 2018 of his wife Hara Sachiko 4P as a director for—what else?–slandering other candidates in an election, though the timeline doesn’t seem to match.

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The Power Report: Nakamura Sumire receives Kansai prize, scores 20th win; Shin Jinseo wins LG Cup; Fourth-generation professional

Friday February 21, 2020

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Nakamura Sumire receives Kansai prize, scores 20th win

On January 27, Sumire was awarded the 2019 New Power Prize by the Association for Promoting the Kansai Cultural Sphere. The committee gives a number of prizes to Kansai figures who have had a national impact. Iyama received prizes in 2011 and 2018. Sumire was busy playing on the 27th, so Goto Shungo 9P, a Nihon Ki-in director, attended in her place. Sumire did send a video message.

Sumire has made a slow start this year, starting out with one win to four losses, but she has now improved her score to 4-4. Her cumulative record is a commendable 21-11; at this rate, she could earn promotion this year. Below are her 2020 results. (Unless otherwise indicated, games were played at the Kansai Headquarters of the Nihon Ki-in.)

(Jan. 13) Miyamoto Chiharu 1P (B) beat Sumire by 2.5 points (Hakata Kamachi Cup preliminary). (Miyamoto also beat her in the Young Carp tournament last September.)
(Jan. 23) Iwamaru Taira 6P (B) beat Sumire by 10.5 points (semifinal of 46th Kisei First Tournament. (This win earned Iwamaru promotion to 7-dan—see below.)
(Jan. 27) Sumire (W) beat (Ms.) Osuga Seira 1P by resig.; Yahata Naoki 2P (B) beat Sumire by resig. (both games in the 7th Globis Cup preliminary round).
(Jan. 30) O Keii 3P (B) beat Sumire by resig. (Women’s Hollyhock Cup preliminary, played at the Nagoya headquarters of the Nihon Ki-in).
(Feb. 3) Sumire (W) beat Yanagawa Hiromasa 7P by 7.5 points (Preliminary C, 46th Gosei tournament).
(Feb. 10) Sumire (W) beat Yoshida Naoyoshi 4P (Preliminary C, 46th Meijin tournament).
(Feb. 13) Sumire (W) beat Ono Ayako 1P by resig. (5th Senko Cup preliminary, played at the Kansai Ki-in).

Shin Jinseo wins LG Cup

Shin Jinseo 9P (aged 19) has been the world’s top-rated player for a while without winning a major international tournament, but he redressed that in the 24th LG Cup. After beating Ke Jie 9P of China in the semifinal, he beat Park Junghwan 2-0 in an all-Korean final. In Game 1 (Feb. 10), he won by resig. with white; in Game 2 (Feb. 12), he won by resig. with black. First prize is 300,000,000 won (about $253,000). The venue was probably in Korea, but I checked three Net sites without being able to confirm this.

Fourth-generation professional

The 2020 Women’s Special Qualification Exam (actually a tournament) concluded on February 8. It was won by the 13-year-old Cho Kosumi, who scored seven wins to one loss. The results have to be ratified by a screening committee and then by a Nihon Ki-in directors meeting, but these are formalities, so Cho should start her professional career on April 1. As a professional, she could hardly be more of a blue blood: her father is Cho U 9P, former Kisei; her mother is Kobayashi Izumi 6P, daughter of Kobayashi Koichi 9P, also a former Kisei, and Kobayashi Reiko 6P, the former Kitani Reiko; her great-grandfather is Kitani Minoru 9P, a legendary player of the mid-20th century. Kosumi is the first fourth-generation professional at the Nihon Ki-in and the second in Japan. The Sekiyama family at the Kansai Ki-in was the first to have four generations of professionals. Incidentally, all the members of Kosumi’s family mentioned above have won titles: the family haul is 125 titles.

Tomorrow: Amateur makes Kisei C League; Cheating discovered in Korean qualifying tournament; Virus upsetting tournament schedule; Promotions; Yoda suspended for six months

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The Power Report: Suzuki wins Women’s Kisei title; Shibano to challenge for Judan; 75th Honinbo League; 45th Meijin League

Thursday February 20, 2020

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Suzuki wins Women’s Kisei title

In the last year or so, women’s go has been dominated by two players, Fujisawa Rina (Women’s Hollyhock Cup, Women’s Meijin, Senko Cup) and Ueno Asami (Women’s Honinbo, Women’s Kisei). This year things may be different. In the 23rd DoCoMo Cup Women’s Kisei title match, Suzuki Ayumi 7P, who at 36 qualifies as a veteran, challenged the 18-year-old Ueno Asami. Suzuki won the match 2-1 and took her first title for 16 years (she won the Strongest Woman Player tournament in 2003 and 2004). The first game was played at the Hotel Sun Life Garden in Hiratsuka City, Kanagawa Prefecture, on January 16. Ueno is known for her fighting strength, but in this game Suzuki (W) outplayed her. She won by 3.5 points after 241 moves.

In the second game, played in the Ryusei Studio at the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo on Jan. 27,Ueno took revenge. Playing white, she fought fiercely and secured a resignation after 144 moves.

The deciding game was played at the same venue on February 10. Ueno (W) seemed to be doing well in the first part of the game, but little by little Suzuki overhauled her and secured the lead. She won by 3.5 points after 285 moves. Winning her third title after a gap of sixteen years is quite an achievement. Like many of the women professionals, Suzuki has been busy with child-rearing in recent years; she has two daughters, Yuzuki (five) and Yuri (two). Yuzuki was happy for her win; Yuri was happy because her mother brings home sweets for them when she’s won a game. Her husband is Rin Kanketsu 8P, who commented: “With [my wife] now falling behind, now taking the lead, any number of times I thought my heart was going to stop.”

Shibano to challenge for Judan

The play-off to decide the challenger for the 58th Judan title was held at the Kansai headquarters of the Nihon Ki-in on January 30 and featured a clash between the current top two: Iyama Yuta and Shibano Toramaru. Taking white, Shibano won by resignation; it was the first time he had qualified for the main section of the Judan (the best 19—the seeding process is too complicated to describe), so he made the most of his opportunity. The title match with Murakawa Daisuke will start on March 3. At 20 years three months, Shibano will be the youngest-ever challenger for the Judan title (the previous record, 20 years 11 months, was set by Ida Atsushi 8P). If Shibano wins, he will draw (almost) even with Iyama as a triple crown-holder.

75th Honinbo League

After two games in the fifth round, Shibano Toramaru and Ichiriki Ryo have the provisional lead on 4-1, but they are closely followed by two players on 3-1: Hane Naoki 9P, and Kyo Kagen 8P. However, Kyo and Hane meet in this round. 2020 results:

(Jan. 9) Ichiriki (W) beat Shida Tatsuya 8P by resig.

(Jan. 16) Shibano Toramaru Meijin (B) beat Kyo Kagen 8P by resig.; Hane Naoki 9P (B) beat Kono Rin 9P by resig.

(Jan. 23) Yokotsuka Riki 7P (B) beat Yamashita Keigo 9P by 10.5 points.

(Feb. 6) Ichiriki Ryo 8P (W) beat Yokotsuka by resig.

45th Meijin League

After three rounds, Kyo Kagen has the sole lead with 3-0. However, Ichiriki and Iyama Yuta, who had byes in the second and third rounds respectively, are also undefeated. Results so far this year:

(Jan. 9) Cho U 9P (B) beat Rin Kanketsu 8P by resig.

(Jan. 16) Iyama Yuta Kisei (B) beat Yamashita Keigo 9P by resig.

(Jan. 30) Kono (B) beat Murakawa Daisuke Judan by resig.; Kyo Kagen 8P (B) beat Hane Naoki Gosei by resig.

(Feb. 13) Ichiriki (B) beat Yamashita by resig.; Kyo Kagen (W) beat Cho U by resig.; Murakawa (W) beat Hane by half a point.

Tomorrow: Nakamura Sumire receives Kansai prize, scores 20th win; Shin Jinseo wins LG Cup; Fourth-generation professional

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Go Spotting: Smithsonian Magazine

Thursday February 20, 2020

This month, Smithsonian Magazine published an article called Great Board Games of the Ancient World; naturally Go is included, though towards the end of the article, along with Mancala, Senet, the Royal Game of Ur, Mehen, Backgammon, the Game of the Goose, and others. Thanks to Steve Zilber for spotting this article.

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