American Go E-Journal » Go News

The Power Report (2 of 3): Park wins Kuksu Mountain; New star wins 1st Go Seigen Cup; Cho U to challenge for Meijin title; Kyo wins Gosei title

Tuesday September 11, 2018

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal2018.09.11_kuksu mt final Park left

Park wins Kuksu Mountain: The Bailing Cup was immediately followed by the 5th Kuksu Mountains International Tournament, held in Jeollanam-do in Korea. Three Japanese players took part but were all eliminated in the first round. Kang Dongyun 9P (Korea) (B) beat Iyama Yuta by resig.; Shin Jinseo 9P (Korea) (W) beat Yuki Satoshi by resig.; and Park Junghwan 9P (Korea) (B) beat Ichiriki Ryo 8P by resig. These games were played on July 28. Park went on to win the tournament, beating Wang Yuan-jun 8P of Chinese Taipei in the final on July 30. A Pair Go tournament was also held with mixed teams made up by drawing lots. Lu Minquan 4P (China) and Lee Chang-ho 9P (Korea) beat Hei Jia-jia (Joanne Missingham) (Chinese Taipei) and Wang Lei 8P (China) in the final.

New star wins 1st Go Seigen Cup: The Wu Qingyuan (Go Seigen) Cup World Women’s Championship is a new international tournament organized by Fuzhou City, the birthplace of Go Seigen, in Fujian Province. The early rounds were held from April 26 to May 1, as described in my June report. The best-of-three final between Kim Chaeyoung 4P and Choi Jeong 9P, both of Korea, was held recently. The latter was the overwhelming favorite: she had already won two world titles and hadn’t lost even one of her 11 games with Kim. However, Kim surprised her by taking the title with straight wins. The games were played on July 23 and 25; Kim won the first with white, then with black won the second by 5.5 points. Choi had a negative record against China’s number one woman player Yu Zhiying of 9-15. During the break in the tournament before the final, Kim studied Yu’s games intensively to work out how to beat Choi. That worked. In recognition of her victory, she was promoted to 5-dan. One of the parallel events was a Pair Go tournament for family pairs. It was won by Rui Naiwei 9P and her husband Jiang Zhujiu 9P; second was Kim Songle 5P and his daughter Kim Dayoung 3P; third was Nyu Lili 5P and her daughter Nyu Eiko 2P; and fourth was Nyu Xianxian 3P and her husband Michael Redmond 9P.

Cho U to challenge for Meijin title: After holding the lead all the way in the 43rd Meijin League, Cho U 9P did not2018.09.11_meijin-chart falter in the final two rounds and so earned the right to play in his first top-seven title match since the Kisei in 2013. Cho actually secured victory when he beat Ko Iso in the July round, as his 7-0 score put him two wins clear of the field, but he put the icing on the cake with another win in the final round. Cho commented that he felt it was important to maintain his momentum by winning all eight games in the league, all the more so to match Iyama Yuta’s record in the previous league. CLICK HERE for the Asahi newspaper’s special English coverage, including reports, videos and commentary by Michael Redmond 9P. 

Putting aside the ultimate success of his challenge, Cho seems to have come out of his slump of recent years. In 2009, he became the first player to hold five of the top seven titles simultaneously and in 2010 the second player to score a cumulative grand slam. However, he was the main victim of the rise of Iyama Yuta. He lost the Meijin title to him in 2009, the Judan in 2011, the Oza in 2012 and the Kisei in 2013. This is his chance to take revenge and make a comeback.

Shibano Toramaru’s performance is also worth of note: a score of 6-2 in a top league is impressive. He won his first three games, seemed to be going downhill when he lost the middle two, but rallied to win the last three and take second place. He will surely emerge as the challenger before long.

Results of games played since my previous report follow.
(July 19) Cho U (W) beat Ko Iso 8P by resig.; Shibano Toramaru 7P (B) beat Kono Rin 9P by 3.5 points.
(August 2) Cho U (W) beat Takao Shinji 9P by resig.; Kono 9P (W) beat Yamashita Keigo 9P by resig.; Shibano (W) beat Ko Iso 8P by resig.; Murakawa Daisuke 8P (W) beat Hane Naoki 9P by resig.

Kyo wins Gosei title: The third game of the 43rd Gosei title match was held at the Kansai Headquarters of the Nihon 2018.09.11_43gosei3 KyoKi-in in Osaka on August 3. Taking white, Kyo forced a resignation after 224 moves. The 20-year-old Kyo is the first player of the younger generation to beat Iyama in a title match. As in the first two games, he was able to match Iyama in the precision of his reading and his fighting skill. It’s safe to say that not many people expected him to take the series 3-0.

This brought an end to Iyama’s second septuple crown. He extended his reign to 290 days compared to 197 days for his first grand slam. After his first grand slam was ended 2018.09.11_43gosei3 Kyo leftby the loss of the Meijin title, Iyama was able to hold on to his other titles, then to resurrect the septuple crown by regaining the Meijin title the following year. Of course, he will attempt to repeat this feat, but he has now turned 30, so maintaining peak form may prove tougher.

Kyo won the Gosei title just five years and four months after becoming a professional, which is a new speed record for a top-seven title. At 20 years seven months, he is the youngest Gosei ever and the third-youngest player to win a top-seven title (the record is held by Iyama, who won the Meijin title at 20 years four months.) Iyama’s reign as Gosei lasted for six years. More stats: Iyama has played in 49 title matches and lost eight of them; this is the first time he has suffered straight losses.

Kyo: “When I became the challenger, I felt happy just to be able to play a match with Iyama Sensei. For much of the time, the first and third games were bad for me, so I guess I was lucky.”

Iyama: “I don’t think that holding seven titles is a normal state, so I wasn’t strongly focused on defending. Though I would have liked to make the match more exciting—lasting just three games was a pity. I felt from early on that the third game was bad for me. I did have chances, but I couldn’t make the most of them. I hope I can learn from this defeat and come back stronger.”

Tomorrow: Yamashita wins Kisei S League; New Pair Go World Champion Pair; Iyama starts Meijin defense with a win; Yamashita to challenge for Tengen title; Fujisawa to challenge for Women’s Honinbo; Promotions; Nakayama the most prolific go writer?

Share

The Power Report (1 of 3): Mizokami scores 700th win; Yoda wins Masters Cup; 4th Bailing Cup Report

Monday September 10, 2018

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

This was a harsh summer over most of the Japanese archipelago, with record heat alternating with record rainfalls. For the first time ever, the thermometer topped 40 degrees Celsius within the Tokyo metropolis, and many other areas also set new records. Both extremes are dangerous. There were many fatalities from heat strokes, especially among older people. Some died overnight in their homes because they hesitated to turn on air conditioners (most pensions are not very generous). Heavy rain can be even more dangerous, as it causes floods and landslides that wash away homes or bury them in mud. To cap it off, there was a major earthquake in Hokkaido at the beginning of September. Summer, especially August, has always seemed like a bit of an off season for go, but there has been a lot of activity, as my reports over the next few days will show.

Mizokami scores 700th win: A win scored by Mizokami Tomochika 9P on July 12 against Onishi Ryuhei 3P in Preliminary A of the 44th Meijin Tournament (taking white, he won by 2.5 points) was his 700th win as a professional. He is the 48th player at the Nihon Ki-in to reach this landmark. Mizokami is 41, and it took him 25 years three months to make it to 700.

Yoda wins Masters Cup: The final of the 8th Fumakilla Igo Masters Cup, a tournament for seniors open to former 2018.09.10_masters Yodawinners of top-seven titles aged 50 or over, was held in the Ryusei Studio in the basement of the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo on July 21. Sixteen players competed in the main tournament, but there is also a preliminary for senior players who have done well in the prize money list. The players in the final were Yoda Norimoto 9P (right) and Kataoka Satoshi 9P, neither of whom had won this title before. Two and a half decades ago, they had met in the finals of two minor titles, with victory going to Kataoka on both occasions. Playing white, Yoda forced a resignation after 218 moves and secured the first prize of 5 million yen (about $45,000). The sponsor of the tournament is an insecticide manufacturer, so I had facilely assumed that the company name meant “fume killer,” but not so. The company’s HP indicates that “fuma” comes from “fu” in the Japanicized pronunciation of “fly” and “ma” likewise from “mosquito” but changed from “mo” to “ma” to make the new word easier to pronounce.

4th Bailing Cup Report: 
The first two rounds of the 4th Bailing Cup World Weiqi Championship were held at the Zhongguo Qiyuan (Chinese Ki-in) from July 24 to 26. Four players from Japan took part; two of them won in the first round (round of 16) but were eliminated in the second. Three Chinese players and one Korean made the semifinals. A senior tournament and an amateur tournament were held at the same time. Yoda Norimoto made the final in the former.

This year major changes were made in the tournament format. Formerly, 64 players competed in the first round, making this a mammoth tournament to rival the Samsung Cup, but that number was reduced to 16. The open preliminary was abolished, with representatives being chosen by their countries.

Selected results (full details not available for some games):
(Round 1) Iyama Yuta (W) (Japan) beat Lian Xiao (China) by resig.; Chen Yaoye (China) beat Park Junghwan (Korea); Gu Jihao (China) beat Yamashita Keigo (Japan); Dang Yifei (China) beat Kyo Kagen (Japan); Shibano Toramaru (Japan) (W) beat Tan Xiao (China) by half a point.
(Round 2) Chen Yaoye (B) beat Shibano by resig.; Gu Jihao (B) beat Iyama by resig.
(Semifinals) Chen v. Ke Jie (China); Gu v. Shin Jinseo (Korea).

Previously, a disproportionate burden of expectation seemed to be placed on Iyama’s shoulders, but recently the most popular Japanese player overseas has been the 18-year-old Shibano. This year he has beaten three top Chinese players in Ke Jie in the Japan-China Ryusei Play-off, Tang Weixing in the LG Cup and now Tan. As a result, he is acquiring fans in China and Korea.

Results in the seniors tournament (there are no Koreans, because the sponsors chose players who starred in the Japan-China go exchange in the 80s):

Round of 8) Nie Weiping 9P (China) beat Takemiya Masaki 9P (Japan); Ma Xiaochun 9P (China) beat Kobayashi Koichi 9P (Japan); Yoda Norimoto 9P (Japan) beat Liu Xiaoguang 9P (China); Chang Hao 9P (China) beat Otake Hideo 9P (Japan).

(Semifinals) Ma beat Nie; Yoda (W) beat Chang by resig.

(Final) Ma v. Yoda

Tomorrow: Park wins Kuksu Mountain; New star wins 1st Go Seigen Cup; Cho U to challenge for Meijin title; Kyo wins Gosei title

Share

Redmond’s Reviews, Episode 12: Redmond 9p v. Akiyama 9p

Monday September 10, 2018

In this episode, Michael Redmond 9p, hosted by the AGA E-Journal’s Chris Garlock, plays Akiyama Jiro 9P, a strong young 2018.09.10_RedmondReviews-thumbplayer in the Kisei B League. This match was in the final elimination 2018.09.10_RedmondReviews-Redmond-Garlocktournament of the Kiriyama Cup before the final, publicized section of the tournament. Japanese tournament games are usually 3 hours each plus byo-yomi, but in this game basic time is just an hour each, making this “a pretty fast game,” Redmond says. The game features an opening “I’ve been playing around with for a while now, and it has a very unusual move,” says Redmond. He wasn’t sure the move would work but when the perfect opportunity came up, “I couldn’t resist playing it.” Click here to see the video.

[link]

Share

Yuan Zhou 7d wins DC Fall Open; Redmond inaugurates EJ broadcast center at NGC

Saturday September 8, 2018

Yuan Zhou 7d won the 2018 DC Fall Open, held on September 8 at the National Go Center in Washington, DC. The 4-round 2018.09.08_yuan-zhou-winnertournament was one of a series of events held at the NGC featuring Michael Redmond 9P, thanks to the support of the Nihon Ki-In and the Iwamoto North America Foundation. On Friday, Redmond visited Great Falls and Fox Mill Elementary Schools, Japanese language immersion 2018.09.08_redmond-commentaryelementary schools in Fairfax County, Virginia, to students to go and its culture and to share his story about becoming a professional player. Friday night he and E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock did an AlphaGo game commentary at the NGC and then on Saturday the two inaugurated the brand-new NGC E-Journal broadcast center with live commentaries on Twitch from the top board at the Fall Open (click here to check them out), watched by viewers around the world. Redmond will review game records at 11a Sunday at a special brunch on Sunday morning (register here; email sgf game records to journal@usgo.org).

Share

AlphaGo vs. AlphaGo; Game 22: A big upheaval, plus Redmond in DC!

Wednesday September 5, 2018

AlphaGo’s self-play game 22 features a big attacking game for black, “and it’s interesting to see how white handles these attacks,”2018.09.05_AG22-thumb says Michael Redmond 9P in his latest game commentary, hosted by the AGA E-Journal’s Chris Garlock. “And then when it looks like the game is settling down we’re going to see a big upheaval that takes another 120 moves to resolve. And in case that’s not exciting enough, then there’s a big ko fight.” “Absolutely beautiful game,” says viewer GerSHAK. “Beautiful to watch it almost settle and then spill all over again, haha,” adds oncedidactic.

2018.09.05_AG22-Redmond-Garlock-thumbRedmond will be at the National Go Center in Washington DC this weekend for a series of events, beginning with an AlphaGo commentary with Garlock at 7:30p on Friday night (RSVP here). Then on Saturday he and Garlock will do live commentaries on Twitch on the top-board games at the NGC’s Fall Open (register here), wrapping up with an 11a game review brunch on Sunday morning (register here).

“Don’t miss this rare chance to see Michael Redmond — who’s coming all the way from Japan — in person!” says NGC Executive Director Gurujeet Khalsa. “We’re especially excited to have Michael here to help launch our brand-new E-Journal broadcast facility this weekend,” said Garlock.

[link]

Share

Brand-new E-Journal broadcast facility to launch for Redmond National Go Center visit

Monday September 3, 2018

With Michael Redmond 9P’s visit to the National Go Center less than a week away, preparations for a dedicated broadcast 2018.09.03_NGC-studioroom at the NGC reached a fever pitch last weekend. After live Twitch broadcasts at the recent US Go Congress attracted audiences of over 12,000, E-Journal broadcast team members Nathan Epstein, Joel Cahalan and Jeff Fitzgerald – who worked with director Stephen Hu — enlisted the E-Journal and the NGC to see if a year-round home could be found for the E-Journal’s broadcasting efforts. “We really upped our broadcasting capabilities at the Congress,” Epstein said. “Having a dedicated space will allow us to continue to develop that outreach capability.” Executive Director Gurujeet Khalsa added that “The National Go Center is excited to support this outreach by the E-Journal and the AGA,” with the donated space at the Center.

This Saturday’s tournament at the NGC will mark the launch of the new E-Journal broadcast facility, as Redmond teams up with EJ Managing Editor Chris Garlock for live-streaming game commentary on the tournament top board. “We are absolutely thrilled that Michael Redmond – who was here last year when we opened the National Go Center 2018.09.03_NGC-framing– is returning to help us launch this exciting new venture,” said Khalsa. “We deeply appreciate the ongoing support by the Nihon Ki-In and the Iwamoto North America Foundation, who are sponsoring this visit by Redmond.”

Pre-register for the 4-round AGA-rated tournament here and get a 20% discount on the registration fee. “With fun prizes including cash prizes in the top section and Michael and Chris commenting, it should be a great event,” said Khalsa.

“Special thanks to the team that spent so much of last weekend making this broadcast room a reality,” Khalsa added.

photos: (right) Khalsa and Garlock test out new EJ broadcast facility; (left) Epstein, Garlock and Cahalan framing ceiling supports for cameras and lights; photos by Epstein (right) and Gurujeet Khalsa

Share

Michael Redmond coming to National Go Center next weekend

Friday August 31, 2018

Michael Redmond 9P is coming to the National Go Center in Washington DC September 7-9. The teaching visit by the popular American-born pro is being 2018.08.31_redmondsponsored by the Nihon Ki-In in association with the Iwamoto North America Foundation. The main public events are an AlphaGo game analysis Friday night, a tournament Saturday and game reviews on Sunday. To guarantee a seat in the 4-round tournament — which has cash prizes in the open section – pre-register here and get a 20% discount off the tournament fee. Redmond and E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock will be doing live game commentaries on Twitch on Saturday from the NGC’s brand-new broadcasting facility. Friday night Redmond and Garlock will do a live AlphaGo game analysis at the NGC, which will also be broadcast on Twitch. On Sunday, Redmond will do game reviews of select games from the previous day’s tournament. Other activities include a visit to two Japanese language immersion schools in Fairfax County and a visit to the satellite NOVA Go Club in Arlington; stay tuned for more details soon.

Share

Local Ning Shao wins 4th annual Cincy Go Tournament

Tuesday August 28, 2018

On August 11, about 40 go players gathered in Mason, Ohio, for the 4th annual Cincy/Tri-state go tournament.  The tournament’s impact reached beyond Ohio and neighboring states like Kentucky and Indiana, as passionate go players 2018.08.28 cincy-tourneytraveled from Wisconsin and Tennessee to the south-western corner of Ohio.

Local resident Ning Shao won the tournament champion by defeating Shawn Ray 4D from Tennessee. “This is the first time in the past four years that a local go player won the title,” reports local organizer Frank Luo. Since no youth played in the dan level open division, Shawn Ray also won a trophy. In order to encourage participation, trophies have always been awarded to both adult and youth winners in each division in the 4-year history of this tournament. Other winners of the tournament include: Matthew Qiu (9K, youth division B), a Mason Middle School student; Wilson Parks (6K, Division B) from Middle Tennessee Go Club; Kyler Huang (18K, Division C) a UC Berkeley student and Cincinnati resident; and Manny Jauregui (18K, youth Division C) from Cleveland, Ohio.

During the main 4-round tournament, a fun-mini-game tournament was also held in the middle of the day, attracting seven local young players. Both William Xiang (9 years old) and Ethan Tu (10 Years old) achieved four wins. Although no trophy was awarded for winners, every kids left with a medal and a go-themed T-shirt designed by Claire Meng, a local high school student.

photos courtesy Frank Luo

Share

Redmond to provide live English commentary on 1st Meijin match

Monday August 27, 2018

For the first ti2018.08.27_redmond-headshotme, Michael Redmond 9P will be providing an English live commentary on the first game of the Meijin title 2018.08.27_Cho U and Iyama Yutamatch between Cho U and Iyama Yuta. The match will be held on August 28-29 in Tokyo, starting at 9am local time each day, making it about 8pm EDT in the US. “I will be providing an English live commentary for the first time,” Redmond tells the E-Journal, “and it will be mostly text comments, with a few videos at chosen times during the game.” Check it out on the Asahi newspaper digital site, “which will be mostly Japanese, but there will be an English link to my commentary.”
Michael Redmond will visit the National Go Center the second week in September, with a full schedule of commentaries, simuls and other appearances; stay tuned for further details soon.

Share
Categories: Japan,Main Page
Share

Mingjiu Jiang defeats Andy Liu to take second N.A. slot at Tianfu Cup

Sunday August 26, 2018

In the final round of the Tianfu Cup Preliminary, Friday night on KGS, Mingjiu Jiang 7P defeated Andy Liu 1P to be the second North American representative. Jiang will join Eric Lui 1P the end of next month in China for the first Tianfu Cup. “Thanks to all the participants who have played this week,” said  Tianfu Cup Preliminary Tournament Director Jeff Shaevel: Dalhoon Ahn 9P, Feng Yun 9P, Ming-jiu Jiang 7P, Andy Liu 1P, Eric Lui 1P, Huiren Yang 1P, Ryan Li 1P, and Stephanie Yin 1P.

Click here for the crosstab, including game records.

Share