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Registration for 2019 AGHS School Team Tournament Closing Soon

Monday March 25, 2019

STT_poster“Registration for the American Go Honor Society’s School Teams Tournament closes this Sunday, March 31st,” says Promotion Head Melissa Cao, “Held on April 7 and 14 this year, the School Team Tournament is a four-round tournament open to teams of three to four players from educational institutions in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.”

Click here for more information

Click here for registration

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Kuksu and X’ian International youth go tournaments

Monday March 25, 2019

Screen Shot 2019-03-23 at 2.04.15 PM “We have been invited to send teams to two youth tournaments in Asia,”  reports AGA President Andy Okun. “With all expenses paid for kids once they arrive, this is an  an incredible go-related cultural experience for the price of round trip air fare.”  The Kuksu Mountain tournament will be held August 2-7, in scenic Jeollanamdo Province, South Korea.  Youth teams will be attending from all over the world, and participants will compete in multiple tournaments, with prizes in various rank brackets.  Go related side events and local tourism are part of the program as well.  Organized by the Korean Baduk Association, the popular event will be held for the sixth time this summer.  Any AGA youth 18 and under are eligible to attend, and a team leader is also sought.  Accompanying adults are welcome as well, but are asked to pay a $270 fee to help cover costs (as is the team leader). If you are interested in the event, or would like more information, fill out the application form here.

IMG_0704The X’ian Education Bureau is organizing an international tournament as well, for youth aged 13-18.  A four person team will be selected for this event.  The date is not set yet, but it is expected to be in mid-late August.  X’ian was the former capital of China and is rich in history and culture, and the famed terracotta army is nearby as well.  The event will include three days of competition and two of sightseeing and cultural exchange.  12-14 teams are expected to participate.   As with the Kuksu participants must pay their own airfare.  There is a $200 charge per person as well, and then all other expenses are covered.  The application form is here-Paul Barchilon, EJ Youth Editor.  Photos: Top: 2018 Kuksu tournament; Bottom: A few members of the life-size Terracotta Army, of which there are 8,000. Photo by Paul Barchilon.

 

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Upcoming Go Events: Sacramento, Washington DC, Cambridge, Seattle

Monday March 25, 2019

March 30: Sacramento, CA
Davis/Sacramento Spring Quarterly Go Tournament
Willard Haynes willard@emeritus.csus.edu 916-929-6112 or 916-601-0829

March 30-31: Washington, DC
2019 NGC Cherry Blossom Tournament
Gurujeet Khalsa gurujeet.khalsa@nationalgocenter.org 202-244-0208

April 7: Cambridge, MA
MGA Spring Handicap Tournament
Neil Ritter ritter.neil@gmail.com 978-621-5936

April 7: Seattle, WA
Seattle Go Center Monthly Ratings Tournament
Mike Malveaux programs@seattlego.org 206-545-1424

Get the latest go events information.

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Categories: Calendar,Main Page
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The Empty Board # 13

Sunday March 24, 2019

By Bill Cobb2019.03.23_empty-go-board-with-bowls-and-stones-heat map green

I’ve just finished reading Cho Hunhyun’s fascinating book Go With the Flow, which was highly recommended by several prominent members of the AGA. It’s fascinating, although the Korean publisher should be ashamed for choosing a translator for such an important book someone is far from fluent in English. The translator probably had a high school course or two. The barbaric language is a constant distraction since it often requires a moment of reflection to decide what Cho Hunhyun must have been saying. Nevertheless, the insight into how one of the best players ever both thinks about and experiences playing the game is both inspiring and enlightening. I think any go player would be happy he or she had discovered go and eager to be more serious about the game after reading this book. Happily, it is not expensive. The overused expression “go is like life” is really true. Thinking more seriously about what playing the game involves and how it is played really will help you to be a better person, or at least to be a more thoughtful person. I know there are a lot of players who don’t think this way about go, treating it as just another of the many games they play, especially on the internet, but they are overlooking a profound experience that will enrich their lives.

photo by Phil Straus; photo art by Chris Garlock

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Registration opens for 2019 U.S. Go Congress

Saturday March 23, 2019

The 35th annual U.S. Go Congress will be held July 13-20 in Madison, Wisconsin. The playing site, Memorial Union on the UW–2019.03.23 UW MemorialUnionTerrMadison campus, is on the shore of Lake Mendota within walking distance of many restaurants and attractions. Click here for detailed information about the Congress.

2019.03.23 2019 Congress logoThe “Register Here” tab on the Congress website will enable you to register and sign up for lunch and dinner plans, the banquet, and the day-off activity. After registering, you will receive an e-mail with a receipt and a link to sign-up for University housing.

“One of the day-off activities will be an afternoon MLB game between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Atlanta Braves,” says Congress Director Dave Weimer. “Sign up by March 31 to guarantee a ticket!”

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The Power Report: Fujisawa evens score in 31st Women’s Meijin; Fujisawa & Ichiriki win Pair Go; Hane takes sole lead in 74th Honinbo League; Kono leads 44th Meijin League; Promotions & retirements

Thursday March 21, 2019

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal2019.03.21_womens meijin 2

Fujisawa evens score in 31st Women’s Meijin
In recent years, the first game of the Women’s Meijin title match has been linked with the first Judan game, being held at the same venue, the Osaka University of Commerce, on the following day. This year it featured yet another title-match clash, the eighth, between Fujisawa Rina, holder of three women’s titles, and Xie Yimin 6P, who has had no title to her name since she lost the Women’s Honinbo to Fujisawa last December. She has memories of this title, as she held it for nine years in a row, so she will be hoping to make a comeback. Fujisawa actually had the better start, but Xie caught up by living inside White’s sphere of influence, then took the lead by reducing White’s main territory. Fujisawa resigned after 241 moves.
The second game was played in the Arisu Pavilion on the campus of Heian Jogakuin University (also known as St. Agnes’ University) on March 14. Fujisawa (black) beat Xie by resignation after 189 moves. Xie took the initiative in the opening, but Fujisawa made a successful attack in the middle game and drew level with her. At the end, Xie slipped up in time trouble, so Fujisawa took a big lead. Up to this loss, Xie had won nine games in a row. The third game will be played at the Nihon Ki-in on March 22.

Fujisawa & Ichiriki win Pair Go
The final of the Professional Pair Go Championship 2019 was held at the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo on March 3. Taking white, the pair of Fujisawa Rina and Ichiriki Ryo beat Osawa Narumi and Kyo Kagen by resignation.

Hane takes sole lead in 74th Honinbo League2019.03.21_Honinbo League
This is one of the closest leagues in memory, with six players still in contention after five rounds; after three games in the sixth round, that number has been reduced by only one. These days, according to a new rule, only the top two players in a multiple tie qualify for the play-off, but in an earlier decade there was a five-man play-off, so it was like a mini-tournament in its own right.
With two wins since our last report, Hane Naoki 9P has improved his score to 5-1, giving him the sole lead. If he can beat Yamashita Keigo in the final round in April, he will be the challenger. Still in the running if he slips up are Shibano Toramaru 7P and Ichiriki Ryo, both on 4-2, and Yamashita and Kono Rin 9P, both on 3-2. One of these four players, though, will lose his place in the league, joining Ko Iso and Anzai Nobuaki. Actually, at this point Hane is the only player immune from demotion. For the first time, all of the games in the final round will be held on the same day, April 5, at the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo with a public commentary being held from 6 to 9 p.m. (to be extended if necessary).
Recent games:
(Feb. 11) Kono Rin 9P (B) beat Yo Seiki 7P by resig. This was Yo’s second loss, so he fell behind Shibano and Kono (both on 3-1 at this point).
(Feb. 21) Hane Naoki (B) beat Ko Iso 8P by resig.; Yamashita Keigo 9P (W) beat Shibano Toramaru 7P by 3.5 points.
(March 7) Ko Iso 8P (B) beat Anzai Nobuaki 7P by 3.5 points.
(March 14) Hane (B) beat Ichiriki Ryo 8P by resig.; Shibano Toramaru (B) beat Yo Seiki 8P by resig.

Kono leads 44th Meijin League2019.03.21_Meijin League
After three and a half rounds, Kono Rin, on 4-0, is the only undefeated player, so he has a theoretical chance of playing in two best-of-sevens this year. His March 14 win detailed below is also his 13thwin in a streak that began last December. The Go Weekly report on the league went off topic in an interesting aside. The reporter wrote that if you were to publish a new book on josekis, the star point would probably take over half the space, as recently star-point variations have evolved a lot and become remarkably complicated. A novel variation appeared in the Kono v. Murakawa game.
Recent results:
(Feb. 21) Kono Rin 9P (B) beat Suzuki Shinji 7P by resig.; Mutsuura Yuta 7P (W) beat Murakawa Daisuke by resig. At this point, Kono, on 3-0, was the sole undefeated player.
(March 7) Shibano Toramaru 7P (W) beat Son Makoto 7P by resig.
(March 14) Kono Rin (W) beat Murakawa Daisuke 8P by 2.5 points.

Promotions  
To 9-dan: Komatsu Fujio (200 wins, as of Feb. 26)
To 8-dan: Sano Takatsugu (150 wins, as of March 5)
To 2-dan: Kuwabara Shun (30 wins, as of March 15)

Retirements
Kusunoki Teruko 7P will retire as of March 31. Born on September 3, 1939, she became 1-dan in 1956 and reached 7-dan in 1984. She won the Women’s Honinbo three years in a row and five times overall and the Women’s Kakusei two years in a row. She is one of the three Honda sisters; her oldest sister, Sugiuchi Kazuko 8P, is still active at the age of 92. The second sister, Honda Sachiko 7P, aged 88, retired in 2000.
Yoshida Harumi 1P will also retire at the end of this month. Born on November 28, 1957, she became a disciple of Iwamoto Kaoru 9P and became a professional in 1981.

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Transatlantic Pro Team match updates; AGA Watch Party pizza offer

Thursday March 21, 2019

The Transatlantic Professional Go Team Championship’s players for both the AGA and EGF teams have been announced. Ilya Shikshin 3P is the highest-ranked player on the EGF team, while the AGA team has Ryan Li 1P, who has become a star by defeating a top Chinese pro — Chen Yaoye 9P — in the 3rd MLiliy Cup.

As it did during the AlphaGo – Lee Sedol match, the AGA is offering reimbursement for food and non-alcoholic drinks for organized watch parties for the first round of the Transatlantic Match, which will be live-broadcast on April 7 at 2 PM EDT. A chapter must be current on dues and the expenses must be reasonable for the expected turnout. Send a few pictures of the party and a paragraph description along with a copy of receipt to journal@usgo.org. “We are also encouraging social media sharing of your stories,” says AGA president Andy Okun. Use #transatlanticgo and/or #teamAGA (or #teamEGF) for your stories.

 

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Park Junghwan tops World Go Championship; videos posted

Wednesday March 20, 2019

Park Junghwan has topped the World Go Championships for the third year; videos have been posted online  and include commentaries by Michael Redmond 9P. 2019.03.20 World championship-redmondThe 3-day tournament March 18-20 featured Iyama Yuta 9p and Cho U 9p from Japan, Park Jeong Hwan 9p, Shin Jinseo 9p from Korea, Ke Jie 9p of China and qualifiers Jiang Weijie 9p (China), Liao Yuanhe (China) and Yoo Changhyuk 9p (Korea). The event was sponsored by the Hankyu Corporation, Sumitomo Mitsui Card Co., Ltd., NTT DOCOMO, Inc. and IGO&SHOGI CHANNEL INC.

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Categories: Main Page,World
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The Power Report: Ueno & Xie join C League; Iyama defends Kisei title; Yu repeats in Senko Cup; Iyama makes good start in Judan

Wednesday March 20, 2019

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Ueno & Xie join C League
The Kisei qualifying tournament had a big day on February 14, with seven play-offs for seats in the C League, which is a five-round Swiss System. Places in the other leagues are decided by promotions and demotions within the leagues, but 16 players drop out of the 32-player C League, giving a lot of chances to the participants in the massive “First Tournament,” as the qualifying tournament is called.
Two woman players were vying for a place on the above date, with mixed results. Fuijisawa Rina lost to Hirose Yuichi 3P, but Ueno Asami beat Hashimoto Yujiro 9P. She will be the second woman, after Suzuki Ayumi 7P, to make the C League. (By the way, this was her seventh win in a streak that started last year.)
On February 21, Xie Yimin 6P (W) beat Otake Hideo 9P by resig. and also gained a seat in the C League.

Iyama defends Kisei title 2019.03.20_43kisei7 Iyama defends
Iyama Yuta defended the 43rdKisei title but not before being given a scare by the tenacious challenger Yamashita Keigo. After four games, Iyama had a 3-1 lead, so the match seemed as good as over. But Yamashita had other ideas.
The fifth game was held at the Tokiwa Hotel in Kofu City, Yamanashi Prefecture, on February 27 and 28. The game was a kadoban for the challenger, so he was under a lot of pressure. Playing white, Iyama sacrificed a small group in return for outside thickness, and Yamashita seemed dissatisfied with his opening, judging by the fact that he declined to 2019.03.20_43kisei6 Yamashitamake what looked like an advisable reinforcing move and instead played aggressively in an attempt to counteract White’s thickness. However, Iyama made an overplay in the ensuing center fight, so Yamashita was able to pull off an upset. He won by 6.5 points. With his Judan title defense due to start soon, Iyama, must have been disappointed to let slip this chance to reduce the burden on himself.
The sixth game was held at the Kagetsuen inn in the town of Hakone in Kanagawa Prefecture on March 7 and 8. This was the second kadoban for Yamashita. Starting in the opening, he played an aggressive, attacking game with white and turned the game into one large confused fight. Iyama is at home in this kind of game, so Yamashita was unable to turn it in his favor. However, right at the end he was able to put a large black group into ko and pull off an upset. White won by 6.5 points after 250 moves. Iyama will regret not being able to hang on to the lead, but the mutual aggression made this a very entertaining game.
Yamashita had finally drawn level with Iyama; usually the player catching up has better momentum, so there seemed to be a good chance of Iyama’s being dethroned. The final game of the series was played at Ryugon, a Japanese inn in the city of Minami (south) Uonuma in Niigata Prefecture on March 14 and 15. Yamashita drew black in the nigiri. This was yet another fierce fighting game, with Yamashita making an all-out attempt to capture a large white group. However, he made a mistake in timing, losing two points by failing to make a forcing move. After this slip, he began playing erratically, so Iyama was able to seize the initiative. In the end, he won by 6.5 points, the same margin as in the sixth game.
This is the seventh year in a row that Iyama has won the Kisei title. One more defense and he will match Kobayashi Koichi’s record of eight in a row. He has maintained his quintuple crown. It is his 55thtitle and his 45thtop-seven title, the latter extending his record.

Yu repeats in Senko Cup2019.03.20_Senko Tsukuda Choi Yu Hei
The Senko Cup World Go Strongest Woman Player Tournament 2019, to translate the name literally, was held at the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo from February 22 to 24. It is the only international professional women’s tournament sponsored by a Japanese company. The inaugural tournament was held last year and was won by Yu Zhiying 6P of China. She again demonstrated overwhelming strength and repeated as champion. This year she defeated Choi Jeong 9P of Korea in the final. First prize is 10 million yen (just under $90,000). Full results are given below.
Round 1 (Feb. 22). Yu (China) (B) beat Mannami Nao 4P (Japan) by resig.; Tsukuda Akiko 5P (Japan) (W) beat Nataliya Kovaleva 5D (Russia) by resig.; Choi (W) beat Nyu Eiko 2P (Japan) by resig.; Hei Jiajia 7P (Chinese Taipei) (W) beat Ueno Asami 2P (Japan) by resig.
Semifinals (Feb. 23). Yu (B) beat Tsukuda by resig.; Choi (W) beat Hei by 2.5 points.
2019.03.20_Judan1 Murakawa IyamaFinal (Feb. 24). Yu (B) beat Choi by 3.5 points. Play-off for 3rd place: Hei (W) beat Tsukuda by resig.

Iyama makes good start in Judan
The 57th Judan best-of-five title match got off to a start on March 5. It was played on the campus of the Osaka University of Commerce. The challenger, Murakawa Daisuke 8P, was playing in his fifth top-seven title match, his opponent in each case being Iyama Yuta. So far, he had succeeded just once, winning the Oza title from him in 2014, but losing it back to him the following year. As he put it last year before his unsuccessful challenge for the Judan title, Iyama is “an extremely large barrier that you can’t avoid.”
Iyama Yuta played positively and took the initiative. Murakawa launched a fierce attack late in the game, but Iyama countered forcefully in rescuing a group under attack and prevented an upset. The second game will be played on March 29. Murakawa has now lost 13 games in a row to Iyama, all in title matches.

Tomorrow: Fujisawa evens score in 31st Women’s Meijin; Fujisawa & Ichiriki win Pair Go; Hane takes sole lead in 74th Honinbo League; Kono leads 44th Meijin League; Promotions & retirements

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Pair Go/Paella Night this Friday at National Go Center

Wednesday March 20, 2019

The National Go Center’s first Pair Go/Paella Friday social last month “was a big hit so we are having it again this month,” 2019.03.20 ngc-paella2019.03.20 ngc-paella2reports the NGC’s Gurujeet Khalsa. The fun, social evening features mixed Pair Go “and a special meal prepared by world-famous chef — and E-Journal editor — Chris Garlock.” This month there will be both vegan and meat paella options; click here to register. “Come with a partner or come yourself and you will be matched with partners as available.” 

Note that the starting time is a bit earlier — 6:30 — to finish before the last Metro. When registering indicate whether you will be having paella ($5 – collected at the door) or just playing Pair Go. If you already have a partner be sure to register them as well.

Address any questions about Pair Go or the event to Haskell Small: haskell@haskellsmall.com or call 202-352-5529.

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