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Coronavirus impact hits home: the passing of David Saunders AKA dsaun

Wednesday April 15, 2020

Players across the AGA and KGS are mourning the loss of David Saunders, AKA dsaun, who died on Monday March 30th from COVID-19 and pneumonia. A page on Sensei’s Library has been created dedicated to memories of dsaun, particularly the large amount of poetry he wrote and shared with his friends on KGS.

An example: Go is fun // I do not lie // and so is eating apple pie // apple pie is truly great // but playing Go does not add weight.

LGSam remembers his friend in a way Saunders would have appreciated, with “a questionable limerick in honor of the master of questionable limericks.”

Once, there was a great man named dsaun.
A grand Go legacy had he drawn
that will be remembered,
and celebrated too,
into each and every new dawn

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New York Go Honor Society takes New York Go League international

Wednesday April 15, 2020

After initially announcing a league in March of this year that would allow New York players to compete both in-person and online, the New York Go Honor Society has taken the New York Go League international in light of the recent pandemic and the inability of players to meet in person. “We are proud to announce that we will be opening the league to all players, not just those who reside in New York,” says NYGHS vice-president Patrick Zhao. Participants will play two games per week be allowed to schedule their games with their opponents on their own time. Entry and play in the league is completely free and open to any player with a stable rank with any association or credible Go server. All players interested in joining the league should fill out the Google registration form before the registration deadline of May 1, and take time to read the rules and regulations. Players should address any questions to co-president.nyghs@ny-go.org

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AGA Volunteerism Survey; Raffle for Go World Magazines and Game Reviews

Tuesday April 14, 2020

The AGA relies heavily on volunteers in order to operate and continue to provides services to the Go community. An AGA volunteer himself, Justin Teng has designed a survey for AGA members to take to better understand their perspectives on the AGA and motivations in deciding whether to volunteer or not. This survey, which should take approximately 5 minutes to complete, is part of a graduate school Capstone project and aims to determine the core factors affecting volunteerism within the AGA. The results of this survey will be used to help guide possible solutions that can help the AGA sustain a level of volunteerism that will enable it to continue enriching the Go community.

Complete the survey by April 21st to be entered into a raffle for 14 different Go World magazines (US only; shipping included) and/or game reviews by Teng (6 dan) himself. Go World is an English-language magazine covering world Go news, professional game commentaries of major tournaments, and various Go articles that was published in Japan by the Kiseido Publishing Company (and previously Ishi Press) between 1977-2012. Raffle winners (one for the Go World magazines and two for the game reviews) will be randomly drawn on April 22nd and winners will be notified via email.

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China-US Internet Go Tournament set for Tuesday and Wednesday this week

Monday April 13, 2020

The first China-US Internet Go Tournament, organized on the AGA side by Stephanie Yin 1P, will be held this Tuesday and Wednesday, April 14-15 starting at 9:30 PM EDT on the Fox Go Server and broadcast on the AGA Twitch channel. English commentary will be provided by Kim Yoonyoung 8P (Tuesday) and Cho Hyeyeon 9P (Wednesday), hosted by Stephen Hu for the AGA E-Journal.

“With so many of us are feeling isolated from our communities, it is great to have a chance to make some new connections and new friends with other go players around the world,” said AGA president Andy Okun.

The U.S. team includes Andy Liu 1P (New York), Albert Yen 8D (Chicago), Aaron Ye 7D (California), Alan Huang 7D (New Jersey), Kellin Pelrine 6D (Colorado) and Audrey Wang 6D (Indiana).

On the Chinese team are: Hu Yuqing 7D (Shanghai), Cao Ruxu 7D (Zhejiang), Chen Junyu 7D (Jiangxi), Wei Xiaolin 7D (Shanxi), Xia Jun 5D (Jiangsu) and Ren Ke 6D (Hubei).
Note: A setup tutorial video for the Fox Go Server is available on Youtube.

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The Power Report: Discovery Cup: new tournament for young players; Amateur wins seat in Kisei C League; Amateur wins seat in Kisei C League

Monday April 13, 2020

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Discovery Cup: new tournament for young players

A new tournament for young players has been founded. It is the Discovery Cup (using the English word “discovery”), which is open to professionals and inseis at the Nihon Ki-in and Kansai Ki-in up to 2-dan and up to 18 years of age. The tournament is an unofficial one, so results will not be included in players’ official records. The preliminary tournament started on the Net on March 23; the top eight players will qualify for the main tournament, starting on April 29, which will be held at the Nihon Ki-in. The tournament follows the NHK format.

Amateur wins seat in Kisei C League

Two Japanese tournaments are also open to amateur players. One is the Agon Kiriyama Cup, in which eight amateurs took part and four reached Preliminary A. They have all now been eliminated, but their record was a very respectable 17 wins to eight losses. One was Kurita Yoshiki, who beat Kobayashi Satoru 9P before losing to Hoshiai Shiho 2P on March 30. Kurita is actually a former insei who ended up going to college instead. Even more impressive, he also qualified for the C League in the 45th Kisei tournament by winning five games in a row in the qualifying round, called the First Tournament. He has made a good start in the league by winning his first game. Taking white, he beat Mochizuki Kenichi 8P by 5.5 points.

Promotions

Obuchi Kotaro

To 7-dan: Koyama Ryugo (130 wins, as of March 13)
To 5-dan: Obuchi Kotaro (70 wins, as of April 3)
To 2-dan: Shibusawa Machiko (30 wins, as of March 13)

Retirements

Three players retired as of March 31. They are Hagiwara Mutsumi 8P, (Ms.) Shinkai Hiroko 6P, and (Ms.) Nakamura Kuniko 3P. The ladies were both disciples of Iwamoto Kaoru.

Postponement

The semifinals and finals of the new women’s tournament the Hakata Kamachi Cup, originally scheduled for April 13 and 14, have been put off until June 8 and 9. In the semifinals, Ueno Asami, Women’s Honinbo, meets Mukai Chiaki 5P and Fujisawa Rina, holder of the Hollyhock Cup, plays Nyu Eiko 2P.

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The Power Report: Iyama leads Meijin League; Sumire’s progress; Nyu tops wins list

Sunday April 12, 2020

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Iyama leads Meijin League

On 4-0, Iyama Yuta is the only undefeated player in the 45th Meijin League. This is one of those leagues where the higher-ranked players, with one exception, Iyama, do badly. The bottom three players are the only ones with just one loss. Recent results:

(March 19) Cho U 9P (W) beat Kono Rin 9P by resig.; Iyama Yuta Kisei (W) beat Ichiriki Ryo 8P by resig.

(April 2) Murakawa Daisuke Judan (B) beat Cho U 9P by resig.

Sumire’s progress

On March 26, Nakamura Sumire 1P (W) lost to Muramoto Wataru 2P, a fellow member of the Kansai HQ (Kansai Headquarters of the Nihon Ki-in) by 4.5 points in Preliminary C of the 46th Gosei tournament.

On April 2, Sumire played her first game as a sixth-grader, but was not successful. Taking white, she lost by resignation (191 moves) to Takei Takashi 7P (Kansai HQ). The game was in Preliminary C of the 47th Tengen tournament.

On April 6, Sumire played three games on the Net in the female preliminary for the 11th Gratitude Cup, which became an official tournament as of this term. In the first, starting at 10 a.m., she beat Kato Chie 1P; in the second, starting at 1 p.m., she beat Nyu Eiko 2-dan; in the third, starting at 6 p.m., she lost to Xie Yimin 6P. The win over Nyu is significant, as she has been one of the top woman players recently.

At this point, Sumire’s record for the year was 7-10, which makes her cumulative record 24-17. However, the numbers match up only if I repair an omission in my report published on February 21. I overlooked a game played on January 16 in Preliminary B of the 76th Hoininbo tournament. Hane Yasumasa 9P (W) beat Sumire by 5.5 points. In the same report, “Yoshida” in the February 10 game is a mistake for “Furuta.”

Nyu tops wins list

Kyo Kagen

It’s still early days yet, but it’s worth noting that a second woman player has topped the most-wins list, following the lead of Ueno Asami last year. Nyu Eiko has 15 wins to three losses. Following her, on 13-3, are the three players who were in contention in the final round of the Honinbo League: Kyo Kagen, Shibano Toramaru, and Ichiriki Ryo. Kyo’s loss in the Honinbo play-off ended a winning streak of his at nine.

Tomorrow: Discovery Cup: new tournament for young players; Amateur wins seat in Kisei C League; Amateur wins seat in Kisei C League

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Redmond on Shusaku vs. Sanchi, 7p Sunday night

Saturday April 11, 2020

The votes are in and Shusaku vs. Sanchi was the people’s choice for Sunday night’s live commentary by Michael Redmond 9. Tune in to the AGA’s Twitch channel at 7p EDT to see Redmond and Chris Garlock review Honinbo Shusaku’s first castle game. “His opponent is the 9th Yasui Sanchi (Shuntetsu), a strong fighter,” says Redmond. “They have opposite game plans, in that Shusaku has Black and tries to play solidly, while Yasui starts by avoiding the Shusaku opening and plays aggressively.”
Also, the Redmond/Garlock “Alphago to Zero” March 12 Twitch stream has now been released on the AGA’s YouTube channel. The two talked about what it was like to provide the English-language commentary for the 2016 match for a global audience with intense media attention, and took questions from viewers. “Their passion for this game is infectious,” said CalmExit.

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The Power Report: Murakawa evens score in Judan; Iyama wins NHK Cup; Shibano to challenge for Honinbo title; Ichiriki follows two professions

Saturday April 11, 2020

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Murakawa evens score in Judan

Murakawa Daisuke Judan

The second game of the 58th Judan title match was held at the Kansai Ki-in in Osaka on March 26. Taking white, Murakawa Daisuke Judan beat Shibano Toramaru Meijin by 2.5 points after 310 moves. The titleholder seems to have taken the lead in the endgame. This was the first title-match game to be played at the Kansai Ki-in for six years; normally a public commentary would have been held but was cancelled because of the coronavirus. The third game is scheduled for April 16.

Iyama wins NHK Cup

Iyama took revenge on Ichiriki Ryo in the final of the 67th NHK Cup, which was telecast on March 22 (it was his fourth final in a row). Ichiriki had beaten Iyama in the final last year, but this time he was outfought and outmaneuvered Taking white, Iyama secured a resignation after 128 moves, winning the title for the third time. I think this is Iyama’s 59th title. His record against Ichiriki is now 19 wins to eight losses, though the latter still leads 4-2 in fast games.

Shibano to challenge for Honinbo title

Shibano Toramaru Meijin

The final games in the sixth round of the 75th Honinbo League was held in late March. On March 23, Shibano Toramaru Meijin (W) beat Yamashita Keigo 9P by half a point, and, on March 26, Kono Rin 9P (B) beat Yokotsuka Riki 7P by resig. This left three players in the running to win the league: Shibano and Kyo Kagen 8P, both on 5-1, and Ichiriki Ryo 8P, who was on 4-2. Since they were not playing each other, there were various possibilities: either Shibano or Kyo could win outright or there could be a two-way or three-way tie. The best Ichiriki could hope for was a tie.

Following recent practice, all the games in the final round were held on the same day, April 3. All three players in contention won, so the result was a tie between Shibano and Kyo. A play-off was held on April 6 and was won by Shibano, whose marvelous form since last year is continuing. He will now make his second challenge for a big-three title; theoretically, he could quite soon hold four top-seven titles. Ichiriki took third place in the league and Hane Naoki 9P came fourth with 4-3. Kono, Yamashita, Shida Tatsuya 8P, and Yokotsuka all lost their seats. Details of the final round are given below.

Round 7 (April 3). Ichiriki (W) beat Kono by 1.5; Shibano (W) beat Yokotsuka by 3.5; Hane (B) beat Yamashita by 6.5; Kyo (B) beat Shida by resig.

Play-off (April 6). Shibano (B) beat Kyo by resig. after 259 moves.

Ichiriki follows two professions

Ichiriki Ryo has established himself as one of the top professionals in Japan, but he has a second string to his bow. In March, he graduated from the Social Science College of Waseda University and, as of April 1, became an employee of the Kahoku Shinpo newspaper company. The newspaper is primarily focused on Sendai, the capital of Miyagi Prefecture, but is also read throughout the six northeastern prefectures. It was founded and run by Ichiriki’s great great grandfather; four generations of his family have served as presidents of the company, so, as an only child, Ichiriki seems to be expected to follow in their footsteps when his father retires. However, for the time being he has been assigned to the Tokyo office of the newspaper so that he can continue to focus on his go career, though he will also work as a reporter. There’s an anecdote reported on the Net that his father permitted him to become an insei only after confirming there was no prohibition on following two professions. (There are pros who have also worked as lawyers or accountants and at one time the great Fujisawa Shuko [Hideyuki] ran a real-estate office.)

Tomorrow: Iyama leads Meijin League; Sumire’s progress; Nyu tops wins list

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Your choice: Redmond commentary vote

Thursday April 9, 2020

Michael Redmond 9P and Chris Garlock continue their Sunday night live game commentary series this Sunday, April 12 at 7P EDT on the AGA’s Twitch channel. And you get to choose the game!
Viewers have asked for a classic game, so the choice is between Shuwa vs Inseki and Shusaku vs. Sanchi. Click here to vote.

One option: Shuwa vs Inseki: Honinbo Shuwa played a challenge match against Inoue Inseki, also known as Genan Inseki, when Inseki wanted to become Meijin. Inseki was thought to have chances against Honinbo Jowa (previous meijin, against whom he would probably be playing with Black without komi, while he had little success against Shuwa. The one dan difference in ranks meant sen-ai-sen, or Shuwa taking White once in 3 games, but Inseki found ways to avoid that, in the hope of winning with White and making a strong claim to be Meijin.

Another option: Shusaku vs. Sanchi: Honinbo Shusaku’s first castle game. His opponent is the 9th Yasui Sanchi (Shuntetsu) a strong fighter. They have opposite game plans, in that Shusaku has Black and tries to play solidly, while Yasui starts by avoiding the Shusaku opening and plays aggressively.

You win, either way! Click here to vote, and tune in at 7P EDT this Sunday, April 12 at 7P EDT on the AGA’s Twitch channel.

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Solve Weekly Go Problems for Prizes

Wednesday April 8, 2020

“All are welcome to participate in the AGHS’s weekly go problems program,” says Promotion Head Sophia Wang, “In addition to playing games, practicing go problems is critical to improving reading and practicing new skills. A Google form with a go problem will be sent via email every Sunday with different problems for each level (beginner, intermediate, and advanced).” Sign up for the email list here by April 18, 2020 11:59 pm PT to have a chance at earning points towards prizes.

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