American Go E-Journal » U.S. Go Congress

WORLD GO NEWS: Korean Teen Park Junghwan Wins Third Title Match; Iyama Yuta Takes Clear Lead In Honinbo League

Monday January 11, 2010

KOREAN TEEN PARK JUNGHWAN WINS THIRD TITLE MATCH: Park Junghwan 5P (l) won’t be twenty until 2013, but he is already becoming a major player. Last year he won two Korean titles, the Siptan (Judan) Cup and the Chunwon (Tengen), and he has just successfully defended the Sibdang against challenger Lee Changho 9P with a score of 2-1. Lee won the first game of the match, but Park took the other two on January 9th and 10th. In the unusual structure of the Siptan, as last year’s winner, Park was seeded into the third round, so he had to win two games just to get into the title match.

IYAMA YUTA TAKES CLEAR LEAD IN HONINBO LEAGUE: In the eight-player round robin league to decide the next challenger for the Honinbo title in Japan, Meijin Iyama Yuta 9P has a 4-0 record with three games to go. Everyone else has at least one defeat. The closest competitor at this point is Yamashita Keigo 9P with a 3-1 record. He and Iyama have not yet met in the league. Yamashita currently holds both the Kisei and the Tengen titles. Iyama is Meijin and also won the Ryusei last year.
– Bill Cobb, from Go News, GoGameWorld, Sensei’s Library

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WORLD GO NEWS: Kong Jie Wins Samsung Cup; Yamashita Takes Tengen From Cho U; Chinese Lead In Jeongganjang Cup

Sunday January 3, 2010

KONG JIE WINS SAMSUNG CUP: Kong Jie 9P defeated Qiu Jun to take the international Samsung Cup on December 17th. Both players are Chinese representatives. Only one non-Chinese made it to the semifinals: Lee Changho 9P of Korea, who was defeated 2-1 by Qiu. Kong defeated China’s Gu Li 9P 2-0 in the semifinals. Lee Sedol 9P of Korea won this event the two previous years, defeating Kong Jie in the finals last year. Overall, the Chinese have won the Samsung three times now, the Japanese twice and the Koreans nine times. This is Kong’s first win of a major international event. He also won the Asian TV Cup this year, defeating Lee Sedol, which prompted Kong’s promotion to 9P. Qiu has also won several titles, including the Chang-ki Cup last year; this is one of China’s most prestigious titles. Reaching the finals of the international Samsung Cup this year led to Qiu’s promotion to 9P.
Bill Cobb, from Go News, GoGameWorld, Sensei’s Library.

YAMASHITA TAKES TENGEN FROM CHO UCho U 9P has lost another of his titles as Yamashita Keigo won the Tengen title match on December 22nd 3-2. All five games of the match were won by Black by resignation. It is surely painful for Cho to now be down to only three titles: Judan, Oza, and Gosei. For Yamashita it has been a hard struggle in the Tengen. He held this title in 2003, but lost it the next year. Then he was the unsuccessful challenger for three years in a row against Kono Rin 9P. Yamashita now holds both the Kisei and the Tengen. Cho can take some comfort from the fact that he is for the first time the challenger for the Kisei; that title match begins January 14th and gives Cho a chance for revenge. – Bill Cobb from Go News, GoGameWorld, Sensei’s Library

CHINESE LEAD IN JEONGGANJANG CUP: The Jeongganjang Cup is a win-and-continue team match for women pros. Japan, China, and Korea each send a five player team. The Chinese team has won this event three times, including last year, and the Koreans four times. The Japanese did take second place in 2007, but have never won. The Chinese started off well this year, with their first player, teenager Wang Chenxing 2P winning the first three games. Aoki Kikuyo 8P of Japan then won the last game in the first round–last year the Japanese team did not win a single game. No one managed a big streak in the second round: the Japanese team scored again when Mukai Chiaki 3P beat Kim Hyeoimin 5P of Korea, who won the only game for Korea in the first two rounds. The second round ended with Song Ronghui 5P of China (another teen) defeating Mukai. The final round is scheduled for early February. The Japanese and Koreans have only one player left: Suzuki Ayumi 4P for Japan and Park Jieun 9P for Korea. Song is up for China with two other players from her team in reserve. It will be surprising if the Chinese don’t repeat as the champions this time.
Bill Cobb from Go News, GoGameWorld, Sensei’s Library

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The Empty Board: The Real Go Player

Monday December 15, 2008

THE EMPTY BOARD: The Real Go Player
by Bill Cobb

At a lecture at this year’s U.S. Go Congress, Takemiya Masaki (right) 9P insisted that it is very important in go to play where you want to, not where you think you ought to. He said that no one believes he is serious about this. It’s easy to understand why. The issue here is what it means to be a “honte” go player. First, think about why we play the game. Surely it’s because we enjoy it: no one is forcing us to play. Those of us at the Congress paid a lot to attend. Takemiya assumes we all agree with this, but he notices that a lot of players often seem to find playing an unpleasant and frustrating experience. He suggested this is because we are worried about where we should play next in the game. For many of us this worry is based in a concern about our ratings, which is what drives us to worry about winning the game we’re playing. It may well be that the excessive focus on ratings so characteristic of the current AGA culture – player rank was the most visible part of Congress ID badges — is the greatest barrier to enjoying playing. The solution is to quit worrying about ratings and winning. Instead, look over the board carefully, and play wherever you want to. Of course, this approach may lead to losses, but it’s the only way to become a real go player, playing your own style of go. This approach requires two essential things, which is where your feelings for the game come from: studying seriously and reviewing your games carefully. Seeing what does and doesn’t work shapes your feeling for the game in the direction that leads to better play. So don’t worry, be happy. Follow your feelings when you play and you’ll not only enjoy the game more, you’ll be a real go player and not someone who only thinks they are a go player.

 

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Koreans Sending Big Group To U.S. Congress

Monday November 17, 2008

A group of more than fifty Korean players will be attending – and competing in – the 2009 U.S. Go Congress in Washington, DC, Thomas Hsiang reports. Hsiang, the American Go Association’s Vice President on International Relations, helped arrange the Korean group visit and adds that “several leaders in the Korean Amateur Baduk Association have expressed interest in joining this group to hopefully inaugurate a permanent link between the US and Korean Baduk communities.” Strong Korean players have been a fixture of the European Go Congress for some years now. Another new development in Korea is the establishment of the “King’s Baduk Academy,” Hsiang tells the E-Journal. “Supported by a number of Korean sponsors, this is a 3-7 year program to train the truly devoted to become pro players and/or go teachers.” Each country is given up to one fully-funded slot for this program and other self-paying slots are available. Applications are being accepted through the end of 2008; stay tuned for more information in future EJ reports.

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