American Go E-Journal » U.S./North America

The Power Report: Tang wins again in Samsung Cup; Kisei leagues; Nakamura Sumire wins more official games

Wednesday October 16, 2019

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Tang wins again in Samsung Cup

The 2019 Samsung Cup (the 23rd) was held at a Samsung training center in Taejon, Korea, from August 30 to September 6. It culminated in a best-of-three final in which Tang Weixing 9P of China beat his compatriot Yang Dingxin 9P 2-1. Apparently Tang had been in a bit of a slump recently, which explains why he was rated only no. 28 in China, but he has always done well in this tournament. After making his international debut by beating Lee Sedol 2-0 to win the 2013 Samsung Cup, he took second place in 2014 and 2017, and in-between won the 8th Ing Cup in 20126.

Japan had only three participants in this 64-player tournament: seeded players Iyama Yuta 9P and Kyo Kagen (Xu Jiayuan) 8P were joined by Cho Sonjin 9P, who won a seat in the senior division in the qualifying tournament. All were eliminated in the first round. Actually Iyama had a very good position against Tang Weixing, so much so that the Japanese team captain Ryu Shikun commented that the game was “hard to lose” for him. However, complicated fighting continued during byo-yomi and Iyama slipped up with move 171. He resigned after move 180. Actually Tang is known for his tenacity and has a good winning percentage in games in which AI programs adjudge him as being behind. Kyo lost to Li Qincheng of China. Li won the 3rd Globis Cup in 2016 and the 28th TV Asia Cup in the same year. The latter win earned him promotion from 2-dan to 9-dan, the biggest leap in rank any professional has made. Cho Sonjin lost to Tao Xinran 7P of China.

Kisei leagues

Kono wins S League

The final game of the S League, played on Sept. 26, was like a final, as the winner would win the league. Taking white, Kono Rin 9P (W) beat Kyo Kagen (Xu Jiayuan) by half a point. Kyo, on 3-1, had held the sole lead in the league going into this game, so this was a come-from-behind victory for Kono. Kyo didn’t even have the consolation of taking second place, which would have got him into the final knock-out section; as he was ranked no. 4, he was pipped by no. 3, Takao Shinji. Four players ended up on 3-2, but there are no play-offs in the Kisei leagues, so Kono, ranked no. 2, took first place.

The A League was won by Ichiriki Ryo 8P who scored seven wins in a row. Cho U was in second place on 4-3; both these players will move up to the S League. Three other players ended on 4-3: Yo Seiki 8P, who came third, Shida Tatsuya 8P, who came fourth, and Shibano Toramaru, then 8P, who will drop to the C League. This is one of Shibano’s rare failures recently. The B1 League was won by Yoda Norimoto 9P on 5-2 and the B2 League by Motoki Katsuya 7P on 6-1. Motoki beat Yoda in the play-off. The C League was won by Suzuki Shinji 7P on 5-0.

The challenger will now be decided by an irregular knock-out. The first game was played on October 9 between Suzuki and Motoki. Taking black, Suzuki won by 5.5 points; next he will play Ichiriki; the winner will play Takao; the winner will play Kono Rin in a “best-of-three” in which Kono starts off with one win. It is very hard for someone beside the winner of the S League to become the challenger. Results in the S League since my last report are given below.

(July 14) Kyo Kagen Gosei (W) beat Yamashita Keigo 9P by 5.5 points.

(August 6) Kyo Kagen (W) beat So Yokoku 9P by resig.

(August 22). Takao Shinji 9P (B) beat Yamashita by 6.5 points; Murakawa Daisuke Judan (W) beat Kono Rin 9P by resig.

(September 5) So Yokoku 9P (W) beat Takao Shinji by 2.5 points; Yamashita (W) beat Murakawa Daisuke Judan by resig.

Nakamura Sumire wins more official games

Ten-year-old Nakamura Sumire picked up her third official win in a game played on September 16. In a game in Preliminary C of the 59th Judan tournament, playing white, she beat Furuta Naoyoshi 4P by 1.5 points after 235 moves. The players are both members of the Kansai branch of the Nihon Ki-in, so the game was played at its headquarters. The game was not going well for her, but she pulled off an upset in the endgame. This is actually her first win in a tournament open to all professionals and her first experience of a three-hour time allowance, which is the mainstream for pro tournaments. On September 30, Sumire played her first game in the main section of the 23rd Women’s Kisei tournament; as detailed in my report of August 22, she set a record by becoming the youngest player to reach the main section of a tournament. The game was played in the Ryusei Studio in the basement of the Nihon Ki-in in Ichigaya in Tokyo. She faced a tough opponent in Mannami Nao 4P, who until recently held a women’s title, the 3rd Senko Cup. Sumire has an aggressive style; she attacked early and seized the initiative, getting a promising game. However, her momentum led her to make an overplay that let Mannami counterattack and stage an upset. Sumire resigned after 227 moves.

On October 2, Sumire played a game in Round One of Preliminary C of the 76th Honinbo tournament. Taking white against Yamamoto Kentaro 5P, she won by resignation after 232 moves. From here, nine successive wins will give Sumire a seat in the league that starts in autumn 2020. Sumire’s official record is now 4-2, which is not only eminently respectable but is also evidence that her selection under the new system was not premature.

Sumire is quite possibly the most popular Nihon Ki-in player just now, so she is often invited to go events. She played an exhibition game at the 9th Hankyu Railway Go Festival in Osaka for Enjoying the Cool of the Evening, held on August 14 & 15. A game pitting Sumire against Hane Ayaka 1P, the daughter of Hane Naoki who also became a professional this year, was one of the main attractions. Taking white, she won by resignation after 150 moves. On move 24, she played an AI innovation, which impressed the commentator on the game, Kobayashi Satoru 9P.

Sumire played another exhibition game at a festival, held on August 25, celebrating the 40th anniversary of the founding of the Nihon Ki-in Hiroshima Prefecture Headquarters. Taking white, she played her first game with Fujisawa Rina, holder of four women’s titles. Sumire went on the attack in the middle game and at one stage was doing quite well–an AI program rated her winning chances at 85%. However, she made a bad threat in a ko fight, so the tide turned against her. She resigned after 187 moves.

Finally, Sumire played two games in a preliminary round for Kansai women players of the 14th Hiroshima Aluminum Cup Young Carp Tournament, an unofficial tournament. In the first round, she played another game with Hane Ayaka (W), which the latter lost on time. In the next round, she lost by resignation to Miyamoto Chiharu 1P (W)

Tommorow: Shibano to challenge for Oza title; Son wins King of New Stars; Cho U wins Agon Kiriyama Cup

Share

The Power Report: Ueno to challenge for Women’s Honinbo; Ueno reaches Ryusei final; New members of Honinbo League

Tuesday October 15, 2019

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Ueno to challenge for Women’s Honinbo

The play-off to decide the challenger for the 38th Women’s Honinbo title was held at the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo on August 29. Ueno Asami, the women’s number two at present, takes a fairly relaxed approach to her games: she doesn’t check up what tournament she’s playing in until the game is over. Perhaps this is to avoid putting extra pressure on herself in important games. However, there was a label at the entrance to the playing room reading “play-off to decide the Women’s Honinbo challenger,” so she could not avoid knowing in advance. It did not affect her play, however. Taking white, she beat Suzuki Ayumi 7P by resig.

Ueno has had a spectacular start to her career. Born on October 26, 2001, she set a record for the youngest woman titleholder when she won the 21st Women’s Kisei in 2018 (she was then 16 years three months old) and defended the title this year. However, her challenge to Fujisawa Rina for the Hollyhock Cup earlier this failed, so she has not yet won a title match with multiple games. Ueno: “I’m happy to be able to play another match with Women’s Honinbo Fujisawa Rina. You can play up to five games, so I won’t get discouraged even if I lose two in a row. I’ll do my best and try to have fun.”

The first game was played at the Kashoen inn in Hanamaki City, Iwate Prefecture, on October 9. Taking white, Fujisawa Rina won by 3.5 points. The second game will be played on October 27.

Ueno reaches Ryusei final

Ueno Asami seems to be enjoying the best form of her career, which is saying something, since she already has some impressive achievements (see Women’s Honinbo article above). She has turned in the best performance by a Japanese woman player in a tournament open to both male and female players. First of all, she did well just to reach the final section of the 28th Ryusei tournament, which means making the best 16. At this point, she shifted to high gear, beating Takao Shinji 9P in the first round and Murakawa Daisuke 8P in the quarterfinals. The latter win made her the first woman to reach the semifinals of an open tournament. She was not finished, though. She defeated Kyo Kagen 8P, securing a seat in the final with Ichiriki Ryo 8P. The final was played on September 23. In the middle game, Ueno (B) cut off a large white group and took away its eye shape. Around move 180, the players following the game in the pressroom thought that White was on the verge of resigning. At this point, perhaps, the pressure got to Asami, for she blundered with 181, a move that let Ichiriki save his group by making a shape that’s called “living with a false eye.” His group had one ordinary eye and two long tails that linked up with a shape like a false eye but which could not be put into atari.

For Ichiriki, this was his second successive Ryusei title and his 16th successive win (the winning streak ended with his next game).

Note: In my report of July 3, I mentioned that Ueno had become (probably) the first woman player to top the list of most games won. Starting on June 7, she maintained that place through the summer. In recent weeks, she has shared top billing with Shibano Toramaru, but she is still number one as of October 4.

New members of Honinbo League

The four vacancies in the 75th Honinbo League have been decided and we have yet another leapfrog promotion for a low-ranked player for winning a seat. On August 15, Shida Tatsuya 7P (B) beat Ko Iso 8P by resignation; he will play in his first league ever. Two seats were decided on August 22. Ichiriki Ryo 8P (W) beat Seto Taiki 8P by 4.5 points and Yokotsuka Riki 3P (B) beat Ida Atsushi 8P by 3.5 points. Ichiriki made an immediate comeback after being eliminated in the previous league. Yokotsuka will make his league debut and earned a promotion to 7-dan (as of August 23). The final seat was decided on September 12 when Kyo Kagen 8P (W) beat Suzuki Shinji 7P by 7.5 points. Kyo will be making his debut in the Honinbo League.

Tomorrow: Tang wins again in Samsung Cup; Kisei leagues; Nakamura Sumire wins more official games

Share

Alexander Qi wins first NYGA Monthly Tournament

Monday October 14, 2019

Alexander Qi 4 dan, with a 3-1 record, won the dan-division championship at the New York Go Association’s first NYGA Monthly Tournament, held on October 12 in Little Neck, NY. Twenty-eight players ranked from 21 kyu to 4 dan competed in a 4-round, handicapped AGA-rated tournament.

Niel Li and Toranosuke Ozawa also finished 3-1 in the dan division, but tied for second place with lower SOS scores. Su Jiayang 1 kyu,won the higher kyu division, while Lucas Yang 15 kyu won the lower kyu division.

Starting next year, the NYGA Monthly Tournaments will become the qualifying competitions for the NYGA Grand Final, a season-ending championship featuring the top eight players of the NYGA Monthly Tournaments This annual event will feature live broadcasting and professional commentary. Further details will be released on the NYGA’s website and social media.

The NYGA Grand Final will have a single-elimination format, played by the top eight players with the highest NMT rankings at the end of the season. Players earn NMT ranking points by competing in the 12 NYGA Monthly Tournaments starting January 2020. The Grand Final is expected to take place in the third week of December 2020.

The grand prize for the champion is $500+, subjected to increase from sponsorships and donations.

Felipo (Zhongfan) Jian, Tournament Director

Share

2019 Congress broadcasts posted to AGA’s YouTube channel

Friday October 11, 2019

The broadcasts from the 2019 US Go Congress in Madison, WI have now been published on the Official AGA YouTube channel – check out the playlist to access pro commentaries on the Pandanet-AGA City League Finals and all seven rounds of the US Masters, featuring Yoonyoung Kim 8p, Yilun Yang 7p, Mingjiu Jiang 7p, Jennie Shen 2p, Ryan Li 1p and Stephanie Yin 1p, as well as various special interviews. If you want to jump to a particular segment, just head to the comments section and choose the corresponding timestamp. These videos were originally broadcast live on Twitch; if you want to support more future broadcasts, please subscribe and become an AGA member. Thanks again to the E-Journal’s 2019 broadcast team and special thanks to Stephen Hu for producing the videos for our YouTube channel.

Share

Rare triple ko at MGA Fall Tournament

Friday October 11, 2019

Twenty three players participated in the Massachusetts Go Association’s Fall Tournament held October 6 at the Boyleston Chess Club in Cambridge. Chi-Hse Teng 5k (pictured at right) swept with a 4-0 record.

In round three a triple ko developed in a game between Pei Guo 4d and Benjamin Gunby 1k. The tournament was played under Japanese rules, Tournament Director Eva Casey explained to the E-Journal. After some hasty internet research which suggested that under Japanese rules this game is a draw, Casey elected to award half a victory to each player. This allowed Gunby to take second place in the tournament with a most unusual 3.5-0 record.

Assistant Tournament Director Milan Mladenovic later pointed out that under AGA rules the players would have had to continue making outside ko threats which would have eventually resolved the situation.
– Roger Schrag

Share
Categories: U.S./North America
Share

U.S. Go Congress survey

Wednesday October 9, 2019

The single biggest Go event in North America each year, the U.S. Go Congress draws hundreds of Go players from across the country for a week of events, and attracts thousands of viewers to broadcasts of the top boards. Whether you’ve ever attended a Congress or not, organizers would like your opinions on a few basic questions so that they can make next year’s Congress – set for August 1-9 in Estes Park, Colorado — an even better event. Click here now to complete the survey.

2019 U.S. Go Congress; photo by Chris Garlock
Share

Still time to register for Cotsen Open

Tuesday October 8, 2019

Over 100 are already registered for the 2019 Cotsen Open, coming up October 26-27, 2019 at MG Studio in downtown Los Angeles. The Cotsen Open features thousands of dollars in prizes, an extremely competitive Open Division, live commentary on top board games, masseuses to massage players during their games, free food truck lunches to all those who pre-register on both Saturday and Sunday of the tournament. And, as always, everyone who pre-registers and plays in all 5 of their matches has their full entry fee refunded. Pre-registration closes on Tuesday, October 22nd; register here.
NOTE: The E-Journal still has a couple game recorder slots available; game recorders — who must have their own laptops — receive EJ caps, $25 per game and the chance to observe top-board games at close range. Email journal@usgo.org if interested.

Share

Eric Lui 1p crowned champion of 8th Virginia Open; Finalists set for Virginia State Championship

Tuesday October 8, 2019

8th Virginia Open Champion Eric Lui 1p

The 8th Virginia Open took place in Vienna, Virginia on September 28th and featured a 26-player field, including nine 5-dan and stronger players in the 10-person Open section. Eric Lui 1p emerged victorious in all three of his games to become the overall champion. Justin Teng 6d took second place after losing to Lui in the final round, while Qingbo Zhang 5d and Joshua Lee 6d took third and fourth place respectively. Among Virginia residents, Qingbo Zhang 5d, Joshua Lee 6d, Yaming Wang 7d, and Ran Zhao 5d qualified for the Finals of the Virginia State Championship, which will take place at a later time. In the Handicap division, Xuhui Zhang 3d, Derek Zhou 7k, and Adam King 15k won first place in their respective sections. All participants received a free Go Book courtesy of Hinoki Press and the Capital Go Club.

Players face off in Round 1 of the 8th Virginia Open
Group photo of attendees

The venue also hosted the Jinghua Cup, which was a three vs. three team match between alumni of Peking University and Tsinghua University. Liang Yu 6d and Sihao Li 3d were able to score crucial wins for Peking University to clinch victory with a 2-1 score. Fairfax County Cable TV came to the event mid-day to record some of the action as well as a presentation by Edward Zhang about the cultural aspects of Go in both the West and the East. Virginia House of Delegates member Mark Keam also visited the event to give a brief talk about how he sees Go as a metaphor for global society and a bridge to connect Asian and American culture. More photos from the event can be found in this album compiled by Liang Yu, Hejun Kang, and Anna Liu.

– report by Justin Teng

Share

Players win cash and pumpkins at San Diego Go Club Back-to-School tournaments

Saturday October 5, 2019

The San Diego Go Club scheduled on Sunday, September 29, at the San Diego Chess Club in Beautiful Balboa Park, two Back-to-School tournaments – one 19×19 and a 13×13 for youth players – plus a pizza party, and professional instruction by Yilun Yang 7P. Over 50 players competed for pumpkins, vintage Go Worlds, and cash.

In the Open, Tyler Oyakawa 6d went 3-0 to win a giant pumpkin and an envelope of money. Taking second, with a 2-1 record, was Michael Zhou 6d. In the handicap section, the top three finishers were James Acres 1k, 3-0 and the brothers Yang, Tony and Kevin, both 1 dan with 2-1 records. In the 5k-19k section, Arunas Rudvalis 6k, Addison Lee 19k, and Aaron Jones 10k, all went 3-0 with Arunas winning the pumpkin after tiebreakers. In the 20k-35k section, Chloe Li 23k, 3-0, George Spellman 22k, 2-1, and Aenaelle Acres 23k (daughter of James), 2-1, beat the rest of the field.

Concurrently, Hai Li 5P ran a 13×13 youth tournament for 16 kids. He was the tournament director, adjudicator, and teacher for the 4-round competition. The boy and girl winners in the 13×13 Open competition were Johnny Wu 35k, and Jolina Jian 24k respectively. Several of Hai Li’s 13×13 students graduated to the 19×19 tournament this Sunday and did well.

A free pizza break took place after the two tournaments and then Yilun Yang entertained a standing room only group for 2.5 hours with a clear and concise lecture. Matching funds from the American Go Foundation made it possible to have professional go expertise at this event.

-photos by Henry You
-report by Ted Terpstra

Share

Gotham Go Tournament set for November 2nd

Saturday October 5, 2019

GOTHAM GO TOURNAMENT
Saturday, November 2nd, 2019
AT
Hostelling International New York
891 Amsterdam Ave (btw 103rd & 104th)
Tournament Director: David Glekel 3d Assistant TD: Jino (Steven) Choung (1k) Organizer: Peter Armenia
Players of all strengths welcome!
Breakfast bagels, snacks, coffee and goodies provided!
click here to register early – space limited to 90 players!

WHAT?
GOTHAM GO TOURNAMENT
4 rounds, AGA rated – cash prizes in all sections – open section for strong dans
$30 entrance fee

WHEN?
Saturday, November 2nd, 2019
Check in 10:00, first round starts at 11:00 sharp! (Yes, it’s a little later start, but now there are no excuses for a late arrival.)

WHERE?
Hostelling International New York – 891 Amsterdam Ave (btw 103rd & 104th) Subway 1 to 103rd, walk one block east or C, B to 103rd and walk 3 blocks west
Room location – The Ballroom (NOTE: This is upstairs from our usual room)

WHAT ELSE?
Space is limited to 90 players so register earlyPlease pay online to registerWe’re nice – full refunds if you have to cancel!AGA membership required. Click here to become an AGA member.

WHY?
Because we love Go!
Click here toREGISTER NOW

Share