American Go E-Journal » China

N.A. players wanted for 4th Bailing Cup

Tuesday June 19, 2018

The Chinese Weiqi Association invites two men (professional or amateur) from North America to participate in the 4th Bailing Cup Championship. The first three rounds of the tournament will be held between July 24-27 in Beijing, China. (Note that this is during the US Go Congress and it will not be possible to attend both events.) The final will be held sometime in 2019. Full airfare, meals, and accommodations will be provided to participants. If you have any questions, or to apply to participate, please contact tournaments@usgo.org no later than June 30th.

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ASEAN Board and Card Games International Invitational Tournament 2018

Sunday June 17, 2018

The organizers of this event are inviting participants to this tournament, which will be held from August 8th to 14th, 2018, in the city of Nanning, the capital of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. There are six round of Open Team and Open Individual events and 6 round of Women’s Individual event. Minimum AGA rank is 5D for men and 3D for women. Up to three players may participate and, if necessary, selection criteria will be added should more people express interest. International travel will the responsibility of the participants, but food, accommodations, and local transportation will be provided by the organizers. AGA President Andrew Okun will be in attendance. Please send your interest to attend to president@usgo.org as soon as possible.

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Sarah Yu: Memories of the Go Seigen tournament and his dreams of peace

Monday May 14, 2018

by Sarah Yu 6D2018.05.13_NA team photo with Lin Haifeng in front of Go Seigen's statue at the cemetery

Recently I was lucky to attend the first Wu Qingyuan (Go Seigen) Women’s Tournament in Fuzhou, China. It was like a dream come true. I was one of four North American representatives; the other three were Feng Yun 9P, Stephanie Yin 1P, Gaby Su 6D. A qualifier game was held for the eight North American and European players to determine which four would proceed to the main tournament. After the draw, each North American player would play against a European. Feng Yun, Stephanie Yin, and I won the qualifier (click here for details). Then at the main, we respectively lost to Qu Yin, Yu Zhiying, and Ueno Asami.

I enjoyed playing with Ueno Asami very much and had a good game, and it was a pleasure to be participating in this memorable event with Feng Yun, Stephanie and Gabby. I especially appreciated those who worked so hard to make this tournament happen, and to acknowledge Go Seigen’s milestone contributions to go. Thanks to the tournament, I was able to meet players who had known Go Seigen, and to get a glimpse of his passion for go and peace.

I remember that during the opening ceremony, I felt strongly that Go Seigen had “sacrificed” his life for go. That moment was when children singing “coming towards home,” while photographs of Go Seigen were playing on the screen behind them. We also had the chance to visit the cemetery where Go is buried (photo), where Chang Hao 9P, the Vice Chairman of the Chinese Go Association, gave an inspiring speech. As the children sang and danced, I saw that the future belongs to the next generation. Go Seigen said that the 21st century will be about the harmony of go — North, South, East, West, Heaven and Earth — he dreamed of promoting peace through go, and I hope that with the help of AlphaGo, we will further comprehend both.

photo (l-r): Feng Yun 9P, Rin Kaihō (Lin Haifeng 9P – Go Seigen’s disciple), Sarah Yu 6D, Stephanie Yin 1P, Gabby Su 6D

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Much better results for NA players at Go Seigen Cup

Sunday May 6, 2018

North American players fared much better at this year’s Wu Qingyuan (Go Seigen) Cup, reports Thomas Hsiang.

In the first round, Feng Yun defeated Natalia Kovaleva, Stephanie Ying defeated Irvina Karlberg, Sarah Yu defeated Laura Nvram and Gaby Su lost to Rita Pocsai. Manja Marz and Guo Juan advanced to the second round without playing.

In the second round, Stephanie lost to Yu Zhiying from China, the world’s number 1 woman right now. Feng Yun lost to Yun (Korea), Sarah Yu lost to Ueno (Japan, current Female Kisei in Japan), Rita Pocsai lost to Zhang Xuan (China), Guo Juan lost to Oh (Korea) and Manja Marz lost to Lu (China).

All Western players were eliminated after the second round.

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Hai Li 5P plans to spend more time teaching US amateurs after a successful US Go Congress experience

Tuesday March 20, 2018

4.pic_hdImpressed with the dedication and focus of amateur players at the US Go Congress, Hai Li 5P is planning on coming back to the US to teach in the LA area. Attendees at the 2017 US Go Congress in San Diego will recognize him as one of the pro teachers, and the leader of a large delegation of his students and their families from China. Fourteen students aged seven to eleven and ranging from 2d to 5d came with Mr. Li (photo at right) to the Go Congress and participated in many of the tournaments and youth events, including the US Open. According to Mr. Li, they had a wonderful experience and felt challenged by their tournament games, which Mr. Li hopes will motivate them to study even harder after their return to China. All fourteen students expressed the desire to return for the next Go Congress, and Mr. Li hopes that he can bring an even larger group of students to this year’s Go Congress in Williamsburg, VA.

While observing tournament games at the Go Congress in San Diego, Mr. Li was struck with the focus and attention given to the games by the amateur players, particularly the kyu-level players. As a teacher, Mr. Li has trained many top players, including Shi Yue 9P, but now focuses most of his teaching on his go school in Tianjin, China that he built from just three students. JinHai Go School now employs nine other professional teachers – seven full time, two on contract – who train over 200 students in the main campus and satellite campuses around Tianjin. The focus of the go school is young amateurs, based on the belief that training in go is beneficial for the formation of good habits – focus, manners, intelligence, and improved academic performance. 20180101_084503The students also train to improve their ranking, of course, which they can do at a large annual tournament around the turn of the new year. This past January, Mr. Li’s Bohai Rim Tianyuan Go Tournament (photo at left) concluded successfully, with nearly 800 players from Tianjin and five surrounding provinces participating – and even a few players from the US – participating. Mr. Li hopes that more go lovers from the US will attend the tournament in the future.

Mr. Li was moved by the importance with which the amateur players at the Go Congress treated the one-on-one playing experience, particularly the adult kyu-level players. This inspired him to return to the US to promote Go to these players and more generally, and he is hoping to help grow the American go player base more actively by starting a branch of his go school here in the US this year, beginning in the LA area. Stay tuned!

-photos provided by Hai Li 5P
-report by Karoline Li, Tournaments Bureau Chief

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Elite Mind Games wrap-up

Sunday December 17, 2017

The go activities during last two days of the IMSA Elite Mind Games included three medal competitions: pair go, men’s  blitz and2017.12.17_pair go last round - Canada vs EU women’s blitz.  The format for these tournaments were new: the six teams were divided into three tiers, China and Korea, Japan and Taiwan, Europe and America.  Then one team from each tier is drawn to form a group of three teams.  In the first day, each group play within the group to determine the three teams’ position. Then in the second day, the top 2017.12.17_pair-go medalistsfour teams from the two groups play two rounds to determine the top four finishers, while the two third place teams play to decide the 5th and 6th places.  In the end, Ke Jie from China won the men’s blitz, while Korea took the two other gold. Japan won all four bronze medals, a surprisingly good result.  Canadian pair Sarah Yu and Ziyang Hu (at left in photo above right) played hard to narrowly defeat Manja Marz and Mateusz Surma (above right) and took a valuable, lone, 5th place for the American team. Wan Chen lost to Manja Marz of Germany, and Mingjiu Jiang forfeited his game with Ilya Shikshin. For the whole event, Ziyang Hu was the top performer from America’s team, winning two games – one against Surma in team play and one in pair go.
During the closing ceremony, medals were awarded in all five mind sports represented by IMSA. China and Russia were the big winners, followed by Ukraine and Korea.  It was announced that the next chapter of this event will likely be held in mid-November, 2018. It is expected that the final details will be announced in February next year.
- Thomas Hsiang; photo above left: Pair Go finalists
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Elite Mind Games Day 4 report

Wednesday December 13, 2017

The last day of women’s team competition saw plenty of sparks, but the only surprising result was Fujisawa Rina defeating the2017.12.13_Women's team medalists world’s top-ranked female player from China, Yu Zhiying.  Japan was then in a position to tie or defeat China, depending on the outcome of the other game bewteen China’s Lu Minquan and Japan’s Nyu Eiko. In that a game, Nyu played well to be ahead for most of the game, but she slipped in the yose when both players were in byo-yomi.  After 6+ hours of play, the score was an unusual W+1.5 point due to a single-shared-liberty seki.  Another game that could have sent shockwave through the tournament was between Canada’s Sarah Yu and Korea’s Choi Jeong.  Sarah was in a difficult position from the start, but she fought hard and was about to win a large-group semeai with a favorable yose-ko.  Sarah was in byo-yomi 2017.12.13_Men's team medalistsand could not read in out, missing her chance.  She missed a second chance to create a triple ko, which would have tied the game according to the tournament rules. As a result, Korea took first place, China dropped to second, and Japan received a hard-earned bronze medal.
On the men’s side, the games were all lopsided.  Taipei could not follow its previous day’s performance and lost to Korea 0-2. In the end Korea was first, China second, and Taipei third.
Tomorrow the action switches to Pair Go and men’s and women’s blitz go. In two days, there will be three more medals to be won.  For all three tournaments, the first day will be a three-round preliminary.  Participants are divided into two groups.  Preset seedings separate China and Korea, Japan and Taipei, North American and Europe into the two groups.  The groups’ top finishers will meet to determine 1st and 2nd place, etc, in the second day.
- Thomas Hsiang; photos: (right) women’s medalists; (left) men’s medalists
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Elite Mind Games Day 3 report

Tuesday December 12, 2017

On Day 3 of the IMSA Elite Mind Games, China and Taipei met in men’s team play.  China’s number 1, Ke Jie, had no problem2017.12.12_iemg-Joanne Missingham vs Sarah Yu with Wang Yuan-Jyun; but the 2016 Ing Cup winner Tang Weixing lost to veteran Chen Shih-Yuan to make the team score 1-1. This result leaves the suspense of championship to the last round tomorrow - the winner between Taipei and Korea will be the champion.  But if they are tied, the three teams will have the same team scores and a complicated tie-breaker will be used to determine the winner.  In the other matches, Europe tied North America when Ilya Shikshin defeated Mingjiu Jiang while the young Canadian Ziyang Hu won a complicated fighting game against Mateusz Surma. Korea defeated Japan 2-0.
On the women’s side, China and Korea met for the top match of the day.  China’s Yu Zhiying played a beautiful territory game to win over Choi Jeong. In the second game, which was also the latest to finish for the day, Korea’s Oh Yu-Jin won against Lu Minquan to tie the team score at 1-1.  Japan beat Europe and Taipei beat North America, both at 2-0.  In tomorrow’s fourth and last round, on the men’s side, China will play vs Europe, Taipei vs Korea, and Japan vs North America; on the women’s side, North America will play vs Korea, Europe vs Taipei, and China vs Japan.
- Thomas Hsiang; photo shows the matches between Taipei and North America. In the front are Joanne Missingham and Sarah Yu; in the back are Yang Tzu-Hsuan and Wan Chen.
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IMSA Elite Mind Games 2017 edition underway in China

Sunday December 10, 2017

The second version of the IMSA Elite Mind Games (IEMG) is underway in Huai’an City, Jiangsu Province, China. The event 2017.12.10_Ke Jie taking the players' vowruns December 9-16, and features 72 male and 62 female top athletes from five sports — Bridge, Chess, Draughts, Go, and Xiangqi — competing for medals and the boasting right as world champions. In addition, a total prize pot of €900,000 will be distributed to the participants.

The Go tournament’s first day started shortly after lunch and did not all end until six hours later.  In the men’s team, China drew Korea to feature the clash of four superstars from these two teams – Ke Jie (at right, taking the Player’s Vow), Tang Weixing, Park Jeong-Hwan, and Shin Jin-Seo.  Shin played white against Tang and used a clever sacrifice to build a big moyo and scored the first win of the day. Ke, on the other hand, fought brilliantly with Park to force the team score to 1-1.  On the women’s side, the North American team played against Europe.  Sarah Yu from Canada and Wan Chen from US both lost by resignation to Natalia Kovaleva from Russia and Manja Marz from Germany. The North American team is now likely to fall to the last place.  All other matches had expected results: for men, Japan over Europe, Taipei over North American; for women, China over Taipei, and Korea over Japan – all with 2-0 score.

Tomorrow, for both men and women teams, America will play vs China, Europe vs Korea, and Taipei vs. Japan.

2017.12.10_IEMG'17 openingThe Mind Games launched on Saturday with a grand opening ceremony (left) at the Great People’s Hall of Huai’an. In addition to the same five sports as last year, the Chinese National Guandan Championship will be held at the same venue. Guandan is a traditional Chinese card game which was showcased as a demo sport in 2016.  The International Federation of Card Games (FCG) will also run an international tournament in Huai’an as a parallel event.

In Go, IEMG will have five medal competitions: men’s and women’s team play, men’s and women’s individual blitz play, and pair go. Six countries/regions are represented: China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, USA (joined by Canada), and EU (joined by non-EU European countries). The all-star casts include: from China, Yu Zhiying, Lu Minquan, Ke Jie, and Tang Weixing; from Japan, Fujisawa Rina, Nyu Eiko, Shibano Toramaru, and Matsuura Yuta; from Korea, Oh Yu-Jin, Choi Jeong, Park Jeong-Hwan, and Shin Jinseo; from US-Canada, Sarah Yu, Wan Chen, Mingjiu Jiang, and Ziyang Hu; from EU, Natalia Kovaleva, Manja Marz, Ilya Shikshin, and Mateusz Surma.
- report/photos by Thomas Hsiang

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Chinese go authorities ban phones at matches

Sunday November 19, 2017

China’s top authority for the game of go recently announced a ban on phones at go matches in response to the increasing use of artificial2017.11.12_tablet-recording-IMG_8751 intelligence (AI) in the sport. According to a notice released by the Chinese Weiqi Association (CWA) on Tuesday, “during matches, players are not allowed to have or watch mobile phones and any other electronic devices. If they are found with one of the devices, they will be judged losers immediately.” Players are also forbidden from going to their hotel rooms during a break in the matches, unless they have special needs and are accompanied by a judge.

The news has prompted a discussion by the American Go Association’s Board of Directors  about how to address this issue at U.S. go tournaments, where many players now use phones, tablets or laptops to record their games.
- Excerpted/adapted from a report in The Global Times.

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