American Go E-Journal

The Power Report: Shin Minjun wins 6th Globis Cup; China starts well in 9th Huanglongshi Cup; Nakamura Sumire makes pro debut; Gosei challenger: Ichiriki or Hane

Saturday May 11, 2019

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal2019.05.11_6globis Shin

Shin Minjun wins 6th Globis Cup: The Globis Cup is an international tournament sponsored by the Globis University Graduate School of Management (president Hori Yoshito) for players under 20 (as of January 1) and is held at the university’s Tokyo campus, which is quite close to the Nihon Ki-in. The professed aim of the sponsor in founding the tournament was to give younger Japanese players more international experience. This year the tournament was held from April 19 to 21 and was dominated by Korea and China. It was won by Shin Minjun (right) of Korea, who lost in the final last year. He turned 20 on January 11, so he made the most of his last chance to compete. Sixteen players start out in four mini-tournaments in which two wins earn you a seat in the main tournament (the best eight). Below are the results for the main tournament.
(Quarterfinals, April 20). Ding Hao 5P (China) (B) beat Chen Jirui 5P (Chinese Taipei) by resig.; Shin Minjun 9P (Korea) (W) beat Shibano Toramaru 7P (Japan) by 3.5 points; Shin Jinseo 9P (Korea) (B) beat Chen Zijian 7P (China); Wang Zejin 6P (China) (W) beat Park Sangjin 4P (Korea) by 2.5 points.
(Semifinals, April 21) Shin Minjun (W) beat Ding by resig.; Wang (W) beat Shin Jinseo by resig.
(Final, April 22). Shin (B) beat Wang by resig.
(Play-off for 3rd place). Ding (B) beat Shin by resig.

China starts well in 9th Huanglongshi Cup: The first round of this team tournament for five-women teams from China, Korea, and Japan was held in Taizhou City from 23 to 26 April. This continue-until-beaten Chinese-sponsored tournament is similar in format to the Nong Shim Cup, but one difference is that two games are played on most days.  China is threatening to dominate the tournament in the same way their male players did the most recent Nong Shim Cup. After the seven games of the opening round, China has four players left while both Korea and Japan have only two. Japan’s team leader, Rin Shien 8P commented that he was surprised how closely the play of the Chinese players matched the style of AI programs, especially in the opening. He comments that the Chinese players not only study AI go intensively but also share the fruits of the study with each other. Results follow.
Game 1 (April 20). Gao Xing 4P (China) (W) beat Cho Seungah 2P (Korea) by resig.
Game 2 (April 20). Gao (B) beat Xie Yimin 6P (Japan) by 4.5 points.
Game 3 (April 21). Gao (W) beat O Jeongah 4P (Korea) by resig.2019.05.11_Nakamura Sumire
Game 4 (April 21). Mannami Nao 4P (Japan) (W) beat Gao by resig.
Game 5 (April 22). Kim Chaeyoung 5P (Korea) (W) beat Mannami by resig.
Game 6 (April 23). Zhou Hongyu (China) (W) beat Kim by 3.5 points.
Game 7 (April 23). Zhou (B) beat Fujisawa Rina 4P (Japan) by resig.

Nakamura Sumire makes pro debut: After all the waiting and the advance publicity, Japan’s youngest-ever go professional Nakamura Sumire has finally made her debut, by which time she was ten years one month old. Her first professional game was in Preliminary B of the 29th Ryusei tournament and her opponent was another debutante and member of the Kansai Headquarters of the Nihon Ki-in, Ms. Omori Ran 1P, who was all of 16. On the morning of April 22, when the game was played, 100 members of the press, from 40 different media organizations, turned up to cover the game, which was also telecast live on the Igo & Shogi Channel. This was probably a first for a game from the preliminary round. It was also one of the top items on TV news programs that day, which shows that public interest in Sumire is not waning.
Although Sumire lowered Fujisawa Rina’s record for the youngest professional, she did not set a new record for the youngest player to win a pro game. Omori, who had white, outplayed her in the middle-game fighting and forced her to resign after 174 moves. Some people, myself included, have been worried that the excessive media attention may put too much pressure on her, but there were no signs of this on the day. Both she and Omori were relaxed and smiling at the press conference before the game and afterwards Sumire did not appear too upset by her loss. Unfortunately, with the way debutantes are slotted into the opening rounds of tournaments in progress, Sumire will not play her second official game until some time in June, but a week later she took part in an unofficial tournament. This was the 2nd Young Bamboo Cup, a tournament for 16 “young” players (40 and under) at the Kansai Headquarters of the Nihon Ki-in. The first two rounds were held on April 28. Forty members of the press turned up to report on Sumire. Seeing the level of interest, a representative of the sponsor, the Iida Group, who was present, doubled the first prize to 200,000 yen (about $1800) on the spot. In Round One, Sumire beat (Ms.) Tanemura Sayuri 2P but lost in Round Two to Muramatsu Hiroki 6P (who, ironically, is a disciple of her father’s), although this was reported to be a tight game. According to the tournament referee, Goto Shungo 9P, Sumire had the lead at one stage, but was tricked by Muramatsu’s superior technique. In any case, this was clearly a professional-level performance. On May 1, Sumire fever reached a new level when she was tapped for the ceremony of “pitching the first ball” at the first Giants baseball game of the Reiwa era at Tokyo Dome. Her pitch didn’t quite reach the catcher, who was standing closer than on the home base, on the full stretch, but the direction was good, and she got a warm round of applause from the crowd. Sumire was wearing a special Giants uniform with “15” on the back, as this number can be read “igo.”

Gosei challenger: Ichiriki or Hane:  Ichiriki Ryo’s good form against Iyama Yuta continues after his NHK win. In the second semifinal of the 44th Gosei title, played on April 23, Ichiriki (B) beat Iyama by resig. He will meet Hane Naoki 9P in the final; Hane beat Yo Seiki 8P in the first semifinal on April 1; taking white, Hane won by resig.

Next: Kisei S League starts; Otake wins 1,300 games; Meijin League; Shibano wins Grand Champion Tournament; Obituary: Ing Ming-hao

AGA to update web server May 14

Friday May 10, 2019

The AGA IT Team will be upgrading its web server on Tuesday May 14th starting at 7PM EST/4PM PST. “As we upgrade to the new server we will be placing the them into maintenance mode so no data is lost in the transfer,” says Steve Colburn. “We hope to have the changes completed in a timely manner that night.” The largest changes users will notice are that the site will be fully secure HTTPS and should ensure that there are no errors with the Membership Manager when paying membership fees. The site may take 24-48 hours to fully update.  “We are hoping that most users will be able to access the new site by Wednesday morning, and thank you for your patience during this time,” Colburn added.

Professional slate for U.S. Go Congress shaping up

Thursday May 9, 2019

One of the main attractions of the annual U.S. Go Congress is expert coaching from professional players through game analyses,087 PStraus 2018 Yang analyzing copy lectures, simultaneous games, and informal interaction. As in past years, the Chinese, Japanese, and Korean professional associations are all sending representatives to this year’s Congress, set for July 13-20 in Madison, WI. The Chinese Weiqi Association will be sending Tianfeng Fang (8p), Heyang Zhou (9p), and Zhe Li (6p). The Kansai-kiin will be sending Ysuhiro Nakano (9p) “and we expect the Nihon-kiin to send two professionals to lead the Teachers’ Workshop,” says Congress Director Dave Weimer. The Korea Baduk Association is planning on sending two professionals as well.

The AGA expects a number of professional players based in North America to participate, as well. “Renowned teacher Yilun Yang (7p; photo) has already registered, along with our Yoonsung Kim (5p) and Cathy Li (1p) who will be joining us from Canada,” says Weimer.

In-seong Hwang (7d) will again do his four-lecture series. “We also note that the retired but ever popular Hajin Lee (4p) will be attending,” Weimer added.

photo: Yilun Yang at the 2018 US Go Congress; photo by Phil Straus

Registration open for 46th Maryland Open

Thursday May 9, 2019

The 46th Maryland Open is coming up on Memorial Day weekend, May 25-26. The longest running tournament in the nation, many go players use it to prep for the annual U.S. Go Congress, coming up in July. The event – held at the Catonsville Senior Center — includes five rounds, three on Saturday, two on Sunday. “Come for one day or both!” say organizers. So far, 16 players, ranging from 23 kyu to 6 dan have already registered.

AGF launches professional matching program

Thursday May 9, 2019

IMG_2242.JPG - Version 2The American Go Foundation (AGF) is launching a new matching funds program for visiting professional workshops.  Modeled on a previous, but long defunct AGA program, the new grant encourages established go programs to take advantage of the professional go players residing here in America, both those certified by the AGA and by foreign organizations. The AGF will pay 50% of the cost, up to $1,500 per program, for locations that bring a Pro out to teach. Travel, lodging, and professional fees are all eligible for reimbursement. Each location may request funding up to the $1,500 limit. AGF programs and AGA Chapters are both eligible for this grant. Requests will be considered on a first come first serve basis up to a cap of $15,000 for the year. To view a list of professionals living in the US, visit the AGA Professionals page. To apply for matching, email the AGF at mail@agfgo.org.-Paul Barchilon, AGF Vice President. Photo: Yilun Yang at a 2008 workshop at the Boulder Kids and Teens Go Club.

The Power Report: Murakawa takes Judan title; Ke Jie wins new tournament; Takao wins 1,000 games

Tuesday May 7, 2019

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Murakawa takes Judan title:
The third game of the 57th Judan title match was held at the Kuroyon Royal Hotel in Omachi City, Nagano Prefecture, on April 11. In the second game (March 29), Murakawa had finally put an end to a losing streak of 13 games against Iyama, but the following week Iyama had reasserted his supremacy with a win in the Meijin League (details in our last report), so this was an important game for Murakawa. Early in the game, Murakawa made an oversight, letting Iyama take the lead in territory. However, Iyama also went wrong, making a forcing exchange based on an oversight. He then played aggressively, but for once his policy of always playing the strongest move backfired. The above-mentioned dubious exchange handicapped him in a large-scale fight that broke out, so he had to resign after 151 moves. This is only the second time Murakawa has taken the lead in a title match with Iyama.
The fourth game was played on April 18. Taking white, Murakawa won by resignation after 226 moves, so he won his first Judan title and his second top-seven title (he won the 62nd Oza title in 2014, beating Iyama 3-2). This game was played at the Kansai headquarters of the Nihon Ki-in in Osaka on March 19. There was an interesting start to the game: Iyama played his first move on the 3-3 point and Murakawa immediately did the same in the opposite corner. That did not lead to a territorial contest, however, as the game was marked by continuous fighting. It featured an unresolved ko fight in the opening, that is, a potential ko that neither side could start until they were sure of their ko threats. Murakawa eventually started it on move 100 and ignored Iyama’s ko threat. After hectic middle-game fighting, the outcome was decided by a much bigger ko fight; it was a big white group at stake, but White had good ko threats, so he also won this fight. Black’s compensation was inadequate, so Iyama resigned. Murakawa had turned his losing streak into a winning streak.  “Before when I won a title,” Murakawa said, “I was lazy after that, so this time I’m going to be serious and study to get stronger.” The Judan prize is 7,000,000 yen (about $63,000). It is the last of the top seven open titles. (It used to be ranked fourth when the prize money was 15,000,000 yen. It was reduced as of the 51st term.)
This loss leaves Iyama with “just” four titles: Kisei, Honinbo, Oza, and Tengen. It also puts a third simultaneous grand slam out of reach for some time. Incidentally, this was the last title match of the Heisei era, which yielded to the Reiwa era on May 1.

Ke Jie wins new tournament: The first Japan-China-Korea Ryusei tournament was held in the Ryusei Studio, located in the basement of the Nihon Ki-in, from April 11 to 13. This is where the Go and Shogi Channel, which sponsors the Ryusei tournament, makes many of its go programs. The new tournament is for the holders of the Ryusei titles in the above-mentioned three countries and follows the NHK format (30 seconds per move plus ten minutes thinking time to be used in one-minute units) and is an irregular knock-out. Previously it was the China-Japan Ryusei Play-off, but recently a Korean Ryusei tournament was also founded, so it has become a three-way play-off. The tournament started well for Japan, with Ichiriki Ryo 8P defeating Ke Jie 9P of China, who is one of the world’s top two, but Ke survived the play-off with Kim Jiseok 9P of Korea and took revenge on Ichiriki in the final. The tournament proceeded as follows.
Round 1 (April 11). Ichiriki (W) beat Ke by resig.
Round 2 (April 12). Ke (W) beat Kim Jiseok 9P (Korea) by resig.
Round 3 (April 13). Ke (W) beat Ichiriki by resig.
It’s hard for a knock-out among three players to be fair. The players in the first game get two chances, but the player seeded into the second game gets no second chance if he loses.

Takao wins 1,000 games: Takao Shinji 9P scored his 1,000th win on April 18 when he beat Onishi Kenya 3P in Preliminary A of the 75th Honinbo tournament (Takao had white and won by resig.). He is the 26th player to reach this mark. He has 468 losses, two jigo and one no-contest, for a winning record of 67.9%

Tomorrow: Shin Minjun wins 6th Globis Cup; China starts well in 9th Huanglongshi Cup; Nakamura Sumire makes pro debut; Gosei challenger: Ichiriki or Hane

Upcoming Go Events: Seattle, Tempe, Chandler, Raleigh, San Diego

Monday May 6, 2019

May 11: Seattle, WA
Seattle Speed League – May!
Mike Malveaux programs@seattlego.org 206-545-1424

May 14: Tempe, AZ
Arizona AGA Rating Event
Bill Gundberg bill@azgoclub.org 480-831-5567

May 18: Chandler, AZ
Arizona AGA Rating Event
Bill Gundberg bill@azgoclub.org 480-831-5567

May 19: Raleigh, NC
North Carolina Spring Tournament
Bob Bacon bobbacon@earthlink.net 919-732-5184

May 19: San Diego, CA
2019 San Diego 13×13 Youth End-of-School Go Championship
Ted Terpstra ted.terpstra@gmail.com 619-384-3454
Hai Li zgds1102@sina.com

May 19: San DIego, CA
2019 Spring San Diego Go Club Soiree
Ted Terpstra ted.terpstra@gmail.com 619-384-3454

Get the latest go events information.

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Get Involved!

Monday May 6, 2019

agalogoWe here at the American Go Association do a lot of work for our members. We love doing it and we want to do more for you. We need your help. The AGA is looking for some good folks to help us out. There are a number of positions that we are currently looking for. If you think you would fit one of these roles please send us an email to volunteer@usgo.org. We’ve got a full list of open positions on our new Volunteer page. Here are two of the positions we’re actively looking for:

AGA Treasurer

Looking for someone with a minimum 2-3 years Accounting/CPA experience. Will assist the organization in day-to-day operations with members and chapters for payment issues. Person will help run reports for various administrators for operations activities. Person will work on tax documents yearly. This position has a two year commitment.

AGAGD Developer
Looking for a developer to assist with AGAGD programming and upgrades. Software is written in Django and CSS. Needs to also know some PHP and MYSQL for integration. Knowledge of docker/containers helpful.

Categories: Go Classified,Main Page
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Hats on, as Justin Teng sweeps NGC Cinco de Mayo

Sunday May 5, 2019

Twenty six players turned out for the Cinco de Mayo/May the 4th Be With You Tournament at the National Go Center on2019.05.04 NGC cinco de mayo Saturday. Sombrero winners were: High Dan – Justin Teng (6D) 4-0; Low Dan – Raymond Hong (3D) 3-1 (Raymond’s first visit to the NGC, a great showing); Single Digit Kyu – Chizuko Sento (6K) 4-0 (Chizuko was also a winner the night before at Pair Go/Paella night); Double Digit Kyu – Betsy Small (13K) 3-1.

The next tournament at the NGC will be the traditional Congress Tune-up in June, and Pair Go/Paella with Chris Garlock’s delicious paella will resume in September.

– report by Gurujeet Khalsa; photo by Jeff Fitzgerald

Lake Mendota now ice free; time to register for U.S. Go Congress

Saturday May 4, 2019

Spring has arrived in Madison, Wisconsin, and thoughts turn to …go, reports 2019 U.S. Go Congress Director Dave Weimer. 2019.05.04 Madison-springtime“Chairs are out on the lake-side terrace next to the site of the 2019 U.S. Go Congress, ready for go players to relax after their games,” Weimer tells the EJ. “Be sure to register during May to pay the early registration fee and reserve a ticket for the break day excursion to see the Milwaukee Brewers.” Click here for details.

photo by Dave Weimer