American Go E-Journal

The Power Report: Ichiriki challenging for Honinbo title, Iyama makes good start; Nakamura Sumire makes first challenge, Fujisawa defends Women’s Meijin

Saturday May 21, 2022

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Ichiriki (right) becomes challenger in Honinbo

Ichiriki challenging for Honinbo title, Iyama makes good start
All the games in the final round of the 77th Honinbo League were played on March 31. Yo Seiki had held the lead all the way in the league, including the sole lead from the third round on, but he slipped up in the final round, coming out on the wrong side of a half-pointer. Ichiriki, who had been in the sole second place from the fourth round on, won his game, so he finally caught up with Yo. In the play-off, Ichiriki was victorious, enabling him to make his first challenge for the Honinbo title. This is also his second successive challenge to Iyama Yuta in a best-of-seven. If Yo had won, he would have been the first Honinbo challenger from the Kansai Ki-in for 60 years. Actually, Shibano, who beat him in the final round, has been his nemesis, and he has won only one of 13 games with him. Results since my last report follow.
(March 26) Ichiriki (B) beat Hane Naoki by resig.
(March 31) Ichiriki (B) beat Sada Atsushi 7-dan by resig.
Kyo Kagen Judan (W) beat Hane Naoki by resig.
Shibano Toramaru 9-dan (B) beat Yo Seiki 8-dan by half a point.
Motoki Katsuya 8-dan (B) beat Tsuruyama Atsushi by resig.
Play-off to decide the challenger (April 4). Ichiriki (W) beat Yo by resig.

The title match has started. Iyama is aiming at setting a new record by winning a big-three title 11 years in a row. Ichiriki is seeking what would be only his third victory in his tenth title match with Iyama. His record versus Iyama before the match began was 21 wins to 33 losses, which actually represents a recovery by Ichiriki. From late 2016 to early 2018, he suffered 13 successive losses to Iyama, at which point his record was 3-15.

Iyama starts with a narrow win
The first game in the best-of-seven was played in the Kinkeikaku (Golden Valley Pavillion) in the Oyama Shrine, Kanazawa City, Ishikawa Prefecture, on May 10 and 11. To review the game conditions: the time allowance is eight hours per player and the final ten minutes are used for byo-yomi.

Iyama drew black in the nigiri. Because of a number of ko fights, the game was the longest in a Honinbo title match: 357 moves. It finished at 9:34 p.m. on the second day, and Iyama won by half a point. From start to finish, the game was marked by relentless fighting. In the early part of the game, Ichiriki seemed to have an edge, but in the latter part Iyama played a clever move that enable him to manipulate the multiple ko fights to his advantage. More than half the game was fought with both players in the final minute of byo-yomi.

The second game will be played on May 24 and 25.

Sumire challenges

Nakamura Sumire makes first challenge, Fujisawa defends Women’s Meijin
As mentioned in my previous report (March 30), Sumire finished the 33rd Women’s Meijin League with the sole lead of 5-1 on March 24. However, if Xie Yimin 7-dan won her final game, she would catch up and force a play-off. That game was played on March 28. Ueno Asami helped her out by beating Xie; taking black, she won by resig., so Sumire became the challenger.

No one will be surprised to hear that Sumire set yet another record. Previously, the youngest challenger for a women’s title was Fujisawa Rina, who was 16 when she challenged for the 33rd Women’s Honinbo. Sumire was 13 years one month when the Women’s Meijin title match started, so she lowered the record by nearly three years.

Other league results since my previous report follow.
(March 24) Sumire (B) beat Mukai Chiaki 6-dan by half a point.
(April 4) Ueno Asami Women’s Kisei (W) beat Suzuki Ayumi 7-dan by resig.

The title match, the Hakata Kamachi Cup 33rd Women’s Meijin Best-of-Three, to give it its full name, is sponsored by what seems to be a related group of organizations, namely,  the Kyoju-no-kai (an incorporated body that runs a hospital), the Total Medical Service Inc., and Medical Tender Inc.

In the title match, Sumire fell short. In the first game, played at the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo on April 14, she drew black in the nigiri. She fought strongly, but Fujisawa took the lead in the middle game. However, she made a blunder that let Sumire catch up. The game became very close, but Sumire also made a mistake. Fujisawa outplayed Sumire in the endgame and steadily expanded her lead. The game became even on the board, so Sumire resigned after move 248.

Fujisawa Rina

The second game was played at the same venue on April 16. Playing with black, Fujisawa dominated the game and held the lead throughout. Sumire resigned after 203 moves. Fujisawa won this title for her fifth year in a row, so she qualified for the title of Honorary Women’s Meijin. First prize is worth 7,000,000 yen (about $54,200 at $1 = 129 yen). This is her 21st title.

Despite her loss, Sumire can be proud of beating a high-level field in the league and of setting a record for challenging at the age of 13. One of her ambitions is to win a title while in middle school, so she still has almost two years to reach this goal.

Tomorrow: Kyo wins Teikei New Stars; Kyo defends Judan; Ueno wins 4th international Senko Cup; Fujisawa reaches best eight in Tengen.

Registration Open for AGHS Blitz Charity Tournament

Tuesday May 17, 2022

Poster by Victoria Xie

“Get ready for the summer with some quick and casual go!” says AGHS Co-President Sophia Wang. “New this year, the AGHS Blitz Charity Tournament will consist of 5 ultra-blitz rounds of fun and frenzy. All players are welcome. Join us on June 5th at the KGS’s AGHS Tournament Room. This year, the AGHS Team has chosen to donate to those in Ukraine affected by the serious ongoing crisis. We are hosting this tournament to encourage donations to this cause (details in the registration form).”

Registration deadline: May 29th 11:59 pm PT.

To register, click here.

For more information about rules and regulations, click here.

“A Contemporary Art Experiment, From Go Seigen to AlphaGo” is winning exhibition

Tuesday May 17, 2022

The proposed exhibition “A Contemporary Art Experiment, From Go Seigen to AlphaGo” has been selected as the winning exhibition for the 2021 OCAT Research-Based Curatorial Project, “ at the OCAT Research Center in Beijing. The selection “means we get to stage another, bigger exhibition for the next stage with the entire museum space at our disposal later this year,” reports Zhiyan Yang, who will curate the show with Chen Jiayi.

“We were happy to be one of the ‘Artists’ providing materials,” says AGF President Terry Benson, who along with longtime AGAers Roy Laird and Barbara Calhoun recorded some Silly Go Songs showing the broader cultural of Go in the west. Some of the old covers of the American Go Journal (below) were also included.

A total of 29 proposals were initially made, with a resulting shortlist of five, including “The Flow of Broken Mirrors: Rewriting ‘Modernity’ in Perception of Boundaries,” “Why Everything Has Not Disappeared,” “The Fragile and Dangerous Domain of Optimism – Redefinition and Reproduction of Failure,” “Algorithms: The Magician of Exhibition Knowledge Production” and the winner, “Go, A Contemporary Art Research Experiment – From Wu Qingyuan to AlphaGo” which “explores how go, as an ‘old media’ and a rearguard culture in the contemporary context, transcends its own attributes as a game, and produces more diversity in the process of blending with cultural practice and artistic creation.” CLICK HERE for a walk-through of the exhibit featuring the five finalist projects.

An expanded exhibition – with more materials from the AGA – will be mounted in Beijing later this year.

Categories: China,Main Page

Manhattan Awards scam alert

Tuesday May 17, 2022

When Bob Bacon received notice recently about being selected as the “Winner for the 2022 Best of Manhattan Awards,” he got that tingly feeling you get when you sense a trick play coming on the go board. Although the stated purpose of the award was “to support and offer public recognition of the contributions of businesses and organizations in and around Manhattan,” Bacon was suspicious, since he’s a local organizer with the Triangle Go Group in North Carolina, some 500 miles from Manhattan. “Looks like a scam to tempt go players into buying a trophy,” says Bacon, who shared a link to You Won!!! How Small Businesses are Scammed into Purchasing Awards. “The point of the scam is to get businesses to buy an award, which is ultimately worthless,” the site warns, adding that “If you didn’t apply for an award, or the group cannot tell you how you were nominated, chances are the award is not legitimate.” Number three on the list of warning signs is that most legitimate awards do not come with costs for the recipient; the Manhattan Awards email says “We just ask each Award recipient to pay the cost of their awards.” Forewarned is forearmed; don’t put yourself in atari!

Korea Go Report: Pair Go World Cup & Friendship Dream Match; Asian Games Postponed

Monday May 16, 2022

by Daniela Trinks, Korea correspondent for the E-Journal

The Pair Go World Cup 2022 was held in Japan under the auspices of the Japan Pair Go Association and the World Pair Go Association. It consisted of three main events: the Pair Go Friendship Dream Match, the International Pair Go Online Tournament, and the Japanese Professional Pair Go Championship 2022 which were held both in-person and online.
In the Pair Go Friendship Dream Match, 16 pairs of players- Japan (7), China (4), South Korea (4), and Chinese Taipei (1)- made up of top-ranked pros, legends, and young pros participated. The organizers came up with the refreshing idea of hybrid matches – while the players placed their moves on the board in their respective countries, they faced two amateurs who placed the opponent’s moves. In addition, videos of the players were broadcast live, so they could see each other (see photo). For the fans, it was a special experience because they could watch the pros playing on the board and see the opponents’ reactions concurrently – just like in an in-person match. In the pictures, you can see Japan’s Yoshihara Yukari 6p and Cho Chikun 9p playing South Korea’s Park Jieun 9p and Cho Hoonhyun 9p. After a spectacular roller-coaster match, Yoshihara & Cho emerged as victors. Since it was a friendship event, most pairs played only one game regardless of the outcome and no overall winner was declared. The players, results, and game records can be found here.

Pair Go Friendship Dream Match 2022. Photo courtesy of Nihon Kiin and KBaduk.

Pair Go Friendship Dream Match 2022
In the International Pair Go Online Tournament, two teams from Japan, Europe, and North America together with a team each from Africa, China, Oceania, South America, South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand, competed on Pandanet IGS. The South Korean team, made up of Lee Rubee 6d & Heo Youngrak 2p (photo below left), won the tournament undefeated followed by the team China. They repeated the success they had in the 30th International Amateur Pair Go Championship held in 2020. Heo Youngrak became a pro in July 2021 but had qualified prior for the 2021 Amateur Pair Go Championship which was postponed due to the pandemic. The third-fourth place match between Japan and Thailand was won by Japan, placing Japan third and Thailand fourth. For further information, check the link here.

19th Asian Games Postponed, Top Go Nations’ Player Selections Nearly Complete
The Hangzhou Asian Games scheduled for September 2022 was postponed to 2023 due to Covid-19. On the day of this announcement, the months-long qualification process to select six male and four female players to represent Korea came to an end. The successful male candidates are Shin Jinseo 9p, Park Jeonghwan 9p, Byun Sangil 9p, Kim Myunghoon 8p, Shin Minjun 9p, and Lee Jihyun 9p. Meanwhile, the female team consists of Choi Jeong 9p, Oh Yujin 9p, Kim Chaeyoung 7p, and Kim Eunji 2p. The male team consists of the 1-3, 7, 10, and 12th national-ranked players, whereas the female team has the four strongest players (as of May). The players’ age ranges from 14-year-old (Kim Eunji) to 29-year-old (Lee Jihyun and Park Jeonghwan). The selected players will compete with other Asian teams in three competitions: the 5-player male team event, the 3-player female team event, and the male individual event (2 players).
Meanwhile, the player selections for the Chinese, Japanese, and Chinese Taipei teams are almost complete, as shown in the table below. The line-up for each country is impressive, and fierce competition can be expected. It will also be interesting to see how the teams from fast-growing amateur Go nations Thailand, Vietnam, and Singapore fare against the “Big-4”. Furthermore, Indonesia and Malaysia now have pros affiliated with the Nihon Kiin (as reported here) who might partake in the games. So, we can await exciting match-ups next year.

Table: Selected players for the 19th Asian Games Hangzhou 2022. * Nihon Kiin affiliated Taiwanese player
Categories: Korea,Main Page

Hudson Valley gets a new go club

Monday May 16, 2022

If you’re in, near or passing by Rosendale, NY, the Rosendale Library has started a go club on Saturdays to service the go community in Ulster and Dutchess counties in the Hudson Valley of New York.  An introduction and demonstration to the game will be given by Nathan Borggren AGA 2d from 12 pm to 1:30 pm this Saturday, May 21. Games can be started and played all afternoon for experienced players. CLICK HERE for more details. Go boards and chess boards are also available at the Rosendale Library during library hours for patron’s enjoyment. “Come and play!” Borggren urges.

Nominations coming in for 2022 AGA board election

Monday May 16, 2022

Forget the midterms, all U.S. go eyes are on the upcoming AGA Board elections. Ted Terpstra has been nominated for the Western board seat, while Paul Celmer will be challenging incumbent Stephanie Yin in the East. No nominations yet for the Central and At-Large positions. If you know of someone who you believe would offer guidance and service to the AGA, consider making a nomination. Nominations, including self-nominations, may be made by full members for the regional seat in which the member resides. At-Large nominations may be made from any region. All nominations must be received by June 15, 2022. Nominations and questions must be emailed to Click here for complete election information and qualifications.

Upcoming Go Events: East Windsor, Grand Rapids, San Francisco

Monday May 16, 2022

May 21, East Windsor, CT
Connecticut State Go Championship
Michael Scudder 860-294-1983

May 21: Grand Rapids, MI
W MI Go 2022 Spring Tournament & MI State Championship
Daniel ML 616-987-1623

May 21, San Francisco, CA
San Francisco Go Club – ING Foundation Tournament
Matthew Barcus 480-241-4807

Get the latest go events information.

Categories: Calendar,Main Page

2022 AGA Board Meetings and Updates

Friday May 13, 2022

The AGA Board has recently posted the agendas and approved minutes for their recent Board Meetings (held on January 9, February 27, and May 1).  The schedule of meetings for the 2021-2022 term can be found at the end of each posted agenda and minutes.

Summary of May 1, 2022 Board Meeting
During the May meeting, the board received the annual report of the VP of International Affairs.  The Board spent much of the remainder of the meeting discussing developments with the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the US Go Congress, scheduled to be held in-person in Estes Park, CO, July 31 – August 7, 2022.  The Directors of the 2022 US Go Congress presented on the high number of registrations and their enthusiastic plans for the Congress.  The Board also received an update from the Presidential Search Committee on the progress of the search.  The Board will meet again on May 29 at 8pm EDT for the purposes of electing the next AGA President before the June 1 by-laws deadline.

Summary of February 27, 2022 Board Meeting
During the February meeting, the board discussed whether or not to hold an in-person US Go Congress in 2022. After reviewing the results of the member survey, input from the local organizing team, and advice from the VP of Events, the board gave authorization to proceed with planning and registration for an in-person congress. Consequently, Lisa Scott resigned as VP of Events. Other topics discussed included routine reappointments and notification of vacancies, as well as status updates on ongoing projects.

Summary of January 9, 2022 Board Meeting
The January meeting of the AGA Board had as its main topic of discussion developments of the COVID pandemic and their effects on go, particularly the US Go Congress.  The Board authorized proceeding with the development of an in-person US Go Congress, and authorized a deficit of up to $35,000.

AGA Presidential Search Committee report

Wednesday May 11, 2022

The Presidential Search Committee has received applications from three dedicated and highly capable candidates with long records of service to the AGA: Lisa Scott, Devin Fraze, and Gurujeet Khalsa. Among their many contributions to the go community, they all have experience on the AGA Board. Lisa is the current chair of the board and a Central Region representative; Devin is a Central Region representative, and Gurujeet was formerly chair and an Eastern Region representative.

The application process was conducted in three stages. In the first stage, the Search Committee collected statements of candidacy and CVs from all the applicants. In the second stage, applicants were asked to respond to a set of written questions. And in the third stage, the Search Committee held an interview with each applicant. Each of these stages is now complete.

The AGA bylaws specify that the Board needs to appoint the incoming president with an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the full board, which is five of seven members. However, the bylaws do not address how to specifically handle situations where board members are candidates for the presidency, which is the case with two of the candidates. With this in mind, the Board established the Search Committee to navigate the process and both current board members who are candidates for the presidency have been asked to recuse themselves from the process as well as the vote, which they have agreed to.

The committee invites anyone who wishes to discuss or offer comments on the candidates with the search committee at, or to reach out to their Board representative.

The bylaws stipulate that the Board announces the new president by June 1, 2022. The Board will meet in special session on May 29, 2022, to determine the new president, and will announce its decision by June 1, 2022.