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2018 U.S. Go Congress launches in Williamsburg

Sunday July 22, 2018

Heavy daylong rains may have slowed the arrival in Williamsburg, VA of some of the hundreds of go players at the 2018 U.S. Go 2018.07.21_go-congress-fife-drumCongress, but it didn’t dampen their spirits in the slightest, as old friends and new connected and hit the boards. New York City swept DC in the finals of the Pandanet City League — watch for full details soon — and the first round of the 9×9 tournament was held after the opening ceremonies. The U.S. Open commences at 9a sharp Sunday morning;  watch live on Twitch or YouTube and there will also be live pro commentary on KGS.  Plus check out lots of photos and reports on Facebook and Twitter and the free Congress mobile app not only has all the information attendees need  — including latest schedule updates, pairings and more — but a cool social stream as well, where we’ll be posting additional photos and reports, handy for anyone in the world who wants to see what’s going on at this popular event. photo: a fife and drum corps welcomes go players to historic Williamsburg; report/photo by Chris Garlock

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The Power Report (Part 2 of 3): Iyama defends Honinbo title; Fujisawa defends 5thHollyhock Cup

Thursday July 19, 2018

by John Power, special Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Iyama defends Honinbo title: The fourth game of the 73rdHoninbo best-of-seven title match was held at the Hotel Hankyu Expo Park in Suita City, Osaka Prefecture, on June 12 and 13. Yamashita Keigo 9P, the challenger, who had white, 2018.07.19_Honinbo5 Yamashita Kataoka 9P moustache Iyamatook the initiative in the fighting on the first day and went into the second day with a slight advantage. But on the evening of the second day he flinched in the face of an all-out do-or-die challenge by Iyama Yuta (or Honinbo Monyu) and in a flash his lead was upset. He resigned after 189 moves. Iyama had now won three games in a row, so Yamashita faced a kadoban. Incidentally, this is the third year in a row that this hotel was scheduled to host a Honinbo game, but on the previous occasions the match ended before it reached the hotel.
The fifth game was played at the Konjakutei inn in Aizu Wakamatsu City, Fukushima Prefecture, on June 30 and July 1. Playing white, Iyama secured a resignation after 228 moves and won the match 4-1. As in the previous game, Yamashita played well and seemed to have the initiative in the middle-game fighting on the second day, but when he launched an attack there was a chink in his armor; Iyama seized the opportunity to unleash a fierce counterpunch that Yamashita was unable to handle. He fought on until he ran out of options.
The prize money is 30,000,000 yen (about $278,000). Iyama has now held the Honinbo title for seven years in a row, so he has matched the record of Sakata Eio (16th to 26th terms); his next goals will be the nine-in-a-row posted by Takagawa Shukaku (7th to 15th terms), then Cho Chikun’s record of ten in a row (44th to 53rd). This is Iyama’s 52nd title. He is in fourth place after Cho Chikun (74), Sakata Eio (64), and Kobayashi Koichi (60), but in his tally of big-three titles (19) he is second only to Cho (29). Also, he has won 41 top-seven titles, just behind Cho’s record of 42.
Like the venues for the first and second games, the venue for the fifth game has a connection with the Meiji Restoration 150 years ago. The restoration of imperial rules was made possible by the victory of the clans supporting the restoration over those supporting the Tokugawa shogunate. After an attack by Imperial forces on Edo, the last shogun, Yoshinobu, surrendered in May 1868, but the Aizu clan, which supported the Tokugawas, continued fighting. The imperial army attacked Aizu Wakamatsu in October and the city surrendered in early November. The most famous incident in this part of the war was a mass suicide of 19 teenaged Aizu samurai in the White Tiger Corps when they concluded (prematurely) that their side had lost. This episode has been very popular in literature and film. For details of the war, check out “the Boshin war” in Wikipedia2018.07.19_Hollyhock Fujisawa and for the suicide “the Byakkotai.” The players visited the White Tiger graves to make offerings the day before the game.

Fujisawa defends 5th Hollyhock Cup: The games in the 5th Aizu Central Hospital Women’s Hollyhock Cup best-of-three were held in the space of eight days. The first two games were held in the Konjakutei, a traditional Japanese inn, in Aizu Wakamatsu City in 2018.07.19_Hollyhock3 Xie Redmond referee FujisawaFukushima Prefecture with just one rest day between them; the score was a tie, so the deciding game was played at the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo after a break of four days. Xie made a good start in her bid to seek revenge for her loss to Fujisawa last year when she pulled off an upset win in the first game, but Fujisawa fought hard to take the next two games, thus defending her title.
Results
Game 1 (June 15). Xie (W) by resig.
Game 2 (June 17). Fujisawa (W) by resig.
Game 3 (June 22). Fujisawa (B) by resig.
Fujisawa won the inaugural term, so she has now won this title three times. By my count, this is her eighth title. First prize is 7,000,000 yen (close to $65,000).
(Note: Until the third term, this tournament was a knock-out, with the previous winner starting out in the final stage and the final being just one game. Last year the final became a best-of-three, with the winner to defend the title this year. It has taken two years to transform the title to the usual challenger format.)

Tomorrow: Kyo makes good start in Gosei; Kobayashi Koichi wins tournament for senior players; Ryu wins seat in 2018 Samsung Cup; Yamashita leads S League; Cho U keeps lead in Meijin League; Promotions; Obituary: Nishigami Yoshihiko 9P

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Andrea Baisero 4K & Mark Nahabedian 12K top MGA’s Skip Ascheim Memorial Handicap Tournament

Wednesday July 18, 2018

Participants in the Massachusetts Go Association ‘s annual Skip Ascheim Memorial Handicap Tournament held July 15 at 2018.07.18_MA Go assn-Eric_Osman_Andrea_Baisero_Mark_Nahabedian_Inkyu_Chung_Howard_Cornettthe Boylston Chess Club in Cambridge ranged from 5 dan to 14 kyu. “It was a relaxed friendly occasion,” reports TD Eva Casey, “though we did remember solemnly not only Skip, the founder of our club, but also our good friend, and a regular at our tournaments, Wayne Yee Mon (1958-2018) , who died suddenly June 8.”

Two players won all four games. Those players tied for first place, splitting the combined first and second place cash prizes equally. The third place cash prize was won by the three-game winner whom our software deemed had the winningest opponents. The other two three-game winners got honorable mention.

Results:
First Place (4 wins) Andrea Baisero 4-kyu and Mark Nahabedian 12-kyu
Third place (3 wins) Eric Osman 1-dan
Honorable Mention (also 3 wins)   Inkyu Chung 3-kyu and Howard Cornett 10-kyu.

photo: (l-r) Eric Osman, Andrea Baisero, Mark Nahabedian, Inkyu Chung, Howard Cornett; click here for more photos

 

 

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Boot-camp for absolute beginners at Go Congress

Wednesday July 18, 2018

If you’re spouse, friend, or parent of a go player attending the U.S. Go Congress this year, the annual gathering is offering 2018.07.18_AndyLiusomething new: a way for beginning go players to rapidly get up to speed. Led by Andy Liu 1P (left), building on techniques he has evolved in teaching beginners2018.07.18_congress-app, the boot-camp strives to get brand new players near the single-digit kyu level by the week.

Perhaps you’ve wanted to learn and participate but felt intimidated; this is a friendly environment just for you. The camp meets every afternoon (except Wednesday) between lunch and dinner. Come for the entire experience or drop in for a day or two.

There’s still time to register for Congress. You can find more details about this event and all the great things happening at Congress too by downloading the free mobile app for iOS and Android devices.

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AGA membership glitch being resolved

Wednesday July 18, 2018

A glitch in the AGA’s membership manager won’t cause any problems for folks attending the 34th U.S. Go Congress, which begins this weekend in Williamsburg, VA, says AGA president Andy Okun.

“Please be assured that Congress and AGA staff are aware of the problem and will register you as usual,” Okun said. People joining the AGA or renewing their memberships have entered their payments through PayPal, and the AGA has received the money, but the AGA’s membership database has not reflected the payments. “AGA volunteers are working to update the database quickly, and to fix the glitch itself,” Okun added. “If you renewed your membership or joined recently, rest assured that your account will be updated and corrected – it just may take a little longer than usual.”

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The Power Report (Part 1 of 3): Japan eliminated in LG Cup; China wins 8th Huanglongshi Cup; Japanese team comes 6th in Chinese B League; Nannami Nao wins Senko Cup

Wednesday July 18, 2018

by John Power, special Japan correspondent for the E-Journal2018.08.18_23lg Shibano eliminated

Japan eliminated in LG Cup: The first two rounds of the 23rd LG Cup were held at the Konjiam resort in Gwangju City in Korea on May 28 and 30. This is a large-scale tournament, with 32 players in the first round, so I’m going to give mainly just the results of Japanese players here (I plan to give full details from the quarterfinals on when they are played). Despite making the final in the previous term, Iyama Yuta was eliminated by a player who’s a new name to me. However, Shibano Toramaru (left) made up for it by beating a previous winner of the Samsung Cup. Apparently this success attracted a lot of attention among Korean fans discussing the tournament on a chat site. However, he ran into the world’s number one player in the second round. Shibano lamented that his score against Park Jeonghwan is now 0-4, but he was happy about his first-round win.
The makeup of the participants in this tournament reflects the status quo in international go: 16 Chinese players, 11 Korean, and just four Japanese, with the last player being from Chinese Taipei. The fierceness of the competition is frightening. Besides Iyama, two other semifinalists from the 22ndCup, Xie Erhao and Ke Jie, were also eliminated in the first round, as was all-time great Lee Sedol and the winner of the recent TV Asia tournament, Kim Jiseok.
In this tournament, the winner of the nigiri chooses the color, and the influence of AI was seen in the fact that most players chose white, as the AI programs “think” the komi gives white the advantage. Actually, white won just over half the games: 13 out of 24.
Round 1. Zhao Chen’u 6P (China) beat Iyama Yuta 9P (Japan) by resig.; Yang Tianxin 6P (China) beat Ida Atsushi 8P (Japan) on time; Ichiriki Ryo 8P (Japan) (B) beat Zhong Wenjing 6P (China) by resig.; Shibano Toramaru 7P (B) beat Tang Weixing 9P (China) by resig.; Jiang Weijie 9P (China) (W) beat Yi Sedol 9P (Korea) by resig.; Weon Seongjin 9P (Korea) (W) beat Ke Jie 9P (China) by resig.
Round 2. Kang Tongyun 9P (Korea) (B) beat Ichiriki by resig.; Park Jeonghwan 9P (Korea) (B) beat Shibano by resig.

China wins 8th Huanglongshi Cup: The second round of this women’s team tournament for five-player teams from China, Korea, and Japan was held in Taizhou City, Jiangsu Province in China from June 5 to 8. The star of the first round was Li He 5P of China, who won five in a row before losing to O Yujin 5P of Korea (Nyu Eiko of Japan won the first game – see my report published on April 17 for more details). The result of the first round was that China had four players left, and Korea and Japan two each. In the second and concluding round, the stars were the world’s number two woman player, Choi Jeong, who won three in a row, and Yu Zhiying of China, the world’s number one, who beat Choi in the final game.
Full results
Game 8 (June 5). O Yujin (Korea) (W) beat Ueno Asami 2P (Japan) by resig.
Game 9 (June 5). Zhou Hungyu 4P (China) (W) beat O Yujin by resig.
Game 10 (June 6). Fujisawa Rina 4P (Japan) (B) beat Zhou by resig.
Game 11 (June 6). Choi Jeong 9P (Korea) (B) beat Fujisawa by resig.
Game 12 (June 7). Choi (W) beat Rui Naiwei 9P (China) by resig.
Game 13 (June 8). Choi beat Wang Chenxing 5P (China) by resig.
Game 14 (June 8). Yu Zhiying 6P (China) (W) beat Choi by 4.5 points.

Japanese team comes 6th in Chinese B League: In China, much of the action in go is to be found in the A, B, and C Leagues, in which teams are sponsored by cities or regions or by corporations. This year, too, a four-player Japanese team, officially called the China-Japan Friendship Team, took part in the 16-team B League and performed creditably by taking 6th place, an improvement on its 11th place last year (the top three teams are promoted into the A League). The league was held from June 11 to 20 in Wuxi City in Jiangsu Province, with each team playing eight matches (presumably it was a Swiss System tournament). The Japanese team won two matches 3-1, lost one 1-3, and drew the other five. Individual results were: Shibano Toramaru 5-3, Ida Atsushi 3-5, Yo Seiki 4-4, and Kyo Kagen 5-3.2018.08.18_Mannami left

Nannami Nao wins Senko Cup: 
Occasionally there’s a title match for women players that doesn’t feature Fujisawa Rina and Xie Yimin. That was the case for the 3rd Senko Cup, in which the finalists were Mannami Nao 3P (left) and Nyu Eiko 2p. The game was played at the Guesthouse Akekure in Higashi Omi City, Shiga Prefecture, on July 15. Taking white, Mannami forced a resignation after 180 moves. This is the 32-year-old Manami’s first title — the Senko Cup is a good one to start with, as it has the top prize money for a women’s title of 8,000,000 yen (about $74,000). I hope it’s not sexist to say that her results have been good since her marriage to Ida Atsushi 8P earlier this year. Nyu missed out again in her second title match, but one consolation is that the second prize of 4,000,000 yen is almost as much as first prize in some other women’s titles. (Just for the record, Mananmi beat Fujisawa in the second round of the main tournament, which starts out with 16 players, and Xie was beaten by Yashiro Kumiko in the first round.

Tomorrow: Iyama defends Honinbo title; Fujisawa defends 5th Hollyhock Cup

 

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Baum Prizes Launch at US Go Congress

Monday July 16, 2018

20160515B001An all new fund to promote play between kids and adults has been set up through the AGF, the Baum Prizes.  Leonard Baum passed away last August (see EJ 6-19-18) his daughter Stefi wanted to do something to honor her father’s love of go, and approached the AGF about setting up a long term endowment. “Leonard Baum loved playing (and often losing to) young kids,” writes AGF President Terry Benson. “The idea of the Baum Prizes is to encourage play across generations. Grandfathers often are the most successful teachers of go (and other games) to children. Thus, all games considered for these prizes must have a minimum age difference of 40 years.”  Games will all be self paired at the US Go Congress, and any games that meet the criteria are eligible, both rated and non. Kids (and adults) who rack up the most games will win $50 in gift certificates to the go vendors at congress (kids will also get a medal).  The prizes will begin at this year’s congress, and will be held every year.  The full rules can be found in the official Go Congress App, under Special Events on the schedule.  There are eight prize categories:

1) Youth under 12 who plays the largest number of adults – The Badger
2) Youth age 12 to 15 who plays the largest number of adults – The Grasshopper
3) Young player who beats the largest number of adults – The Elder Slayer
4) Young player who beats the largest number of dan level adults – The Dan Destroyer 5) Adult who plays the most games – The Old Hand
6) Adult who loses the most games – The Encourager
7) Adult who gives the most 9 stone (or higher) teaching games – The Teacher
Reach Across the Ages prizes:
8A, 8B, 8C) Three prizes of $20 Go Bucks each ($10 per player) and a medal for the youth player for the three games with the greatest age diference – Reach Across the Ages A, B, & C. -Story and photo by Paul Barchilon, EJ Youth Editor. 

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Go Spotting: Kanda House in Shirakawa-go

Monday July 16, 2018

After participating in the 6th annual Osaka Go Camp, Vermont go player Peter Schumer headed to the remote mountain village of Shirakawa-go. 2018.07.16_Shirakawa-go Japan Go board-IMG_3426“Due to the recent rains and landslides it was difficult to get there since no trains are operating in the area at this point,” reports Schumer (below, left, in blue shirt). “The village is known for its old A-framed thatch-roofed homes that are well suited for their snowy winters. One that I entered was a four-story structure known as 2018.07.16_schumer-osaka-camp-IMG_3166the Kanda House.  Inside along with other special household items on display was the family’s go board and stones.  Suddenly I felt very much at home!”

Schumer says the Osaka Go Camp, run by Ryo Maeda 6P, who will be attending this year’s U.S. Go Congress, “was a great success as always,” with about 30 participants from Japan, China, Thailand, Australia, France, Germany, Canada and the United States. “This was my fourth time attending and it’s always fun and very worthwhile.”

 

 

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Mr. and Mrs. Clossius, officially

Monday July 16, 2018

Shawn Ray and Kara Whitney – AKA Mr. and Mrs. Clossius online – officially tied the 2018.07.11_ray-wedding-cakeknot on June 16. “We had a go-themed 2018.07.16_mr-mrs-clossiuswedding, including a black and white go stone cake with cherry blossoms,” Shawn — a popular YouTube teacher — tells the E-Journal. “We picked it because go has been such a major part of my life.”

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Game recorders wanted

Wednesday July 11, 2018

The American Go E-Journal has a few openings on its 2018 US Go Congress team. Anyone interested in helping 2018.07.11_2016Congress-IMG_0359record/broadcast top-board games at the US Open/Masters should email journal@usgo.org. Prior experience is useful but not absolutely necessary. You must be available either mornings (Sun-Sat) or evenings (Sunday, Monday, or Friday). “We also need a couple recorders for the Pandanet City League Finals at 3pm on Saturday (July 21) afternoon,” says E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock. “This is a great chance to get an up—close look at top-board games at a major tournament and be a part of the team bringing this event to the world.”
photo: Board 1 at the 2016 US Go Congress

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