American Go E-Journal

Go Spotting: Numberphile

Monday July 8, 2019

“I noticed this Numberphile video about the game ‘Amazons’ (and featuring the legendary Elwyn Berlekamp) uses Go stones to mark off borders during game play and makes a reference to Jujo Jiang 9p,” writes Daniel Gentry. “I have also had some success in using this game as a tool for teaching new players the value of controlling territory as a separate concept from attacking the opponent’s pieces.”

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Shikshin clinches first Transatlantic Championship for EGF

Sunday July 7, 2019

In round eight of the Transatlantic Professional Go Team Championship, played on July 7, Ilya Shikshin 3P of the EGF defeated the AGA’s last standing player, Ryan Li 1P. With this critical victory, the EGF team claimed the first Transatlantic Championship and the €10,000 Euro prize.
Black (Shikshin) opened by building a strong moyo on the right side, while white secured territory at the top and lower left. White (Li) split a left-side black group into two parts, and a fight ensued. White’s attack seemed severe, but black managed to live without incurring too much damage to his right-side territory. After the black group secured its life, the two players were neck-and-neck. White stumbled with move 152, a sente push played under time pressure, which forced white spend another move on O5 instead of responding to black on the left side. An intense endgame followed. Black wrapped up the game, winning by 3.5 points in the end.
The Transatlantic Professional Go Team Championship was the first team match between professional players of the European Go Federation and American Go Association. Each team was represented by five players in a win-and-continue format. All games were broadcast live on the American Go Association’s Twitch channel, including commentary by strong players from both North America and Europe. This last round, featuring players Ilya Shikshin and Ryan Li, attracted more than 4,400 simultaneous viewers, a record for the Transatlantic Championship.
– report by Hajin Lee

Go Spotting: Gugong

Sunday July 7, 2019

Screen shot from the Shut Up & Sit Down review of Gugong (see video below).

In the board game Gugong, set in 14th century China, Greg Kulevich reports, “players are trying to skirt the new imperial decree forbidding the bribing of government officials by exchanging gifts instead. One of those gifts is a set of Go stones and bowls.”

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2019 US Go Congress handbook posted

Saturday July 6, 2019

“Since I first moved to Madison, I have thought that Memorial Union (right), on the shore of Lake Mendota, would be a wonderful venue for a Congress,” says 2019 U.S. Go Congress Director Dave Weimer in the just-released Congress handbook (see link below). “During the Congress, you are a member of the Union. Enjoy typical Wisconsin fare on the Terrace as you relax after your games. Enjoy walks along the many miles of trails along the lakeshore that begin at Memorial Union. Have some ice cream at the Daily Scoop made on campus by our Dairy School.” And of course the annual Go Congress — coming up July 13-20 in Madison, WI — is all about the game of go. “The Congress gives you an opportunity to immerse yourself in the wonderful game that brings us together as a community,” says Weimer. “In addition to the tournaments that test your skills and the professional events that help you improve them, you will have an opportunity see old friends and make new ones.”
If you’re already registered for the Congress, this is a great sneak preview of the exciting week coming up. If not, there’s still time: click here for details on how to sign up.

Go Spotting: “The Untold Story” video

Saturday July 6, 2019

“The Untold Story: Internment of Japanese-Americans in Hawaii” shows internees at the Honouliuli Internment Camp playing go (5:01, 6:35, and 8:22), writes Gordon Castanza.

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The Power Report: Shin Jinseo wins 31st TV Asia; Park Junghwan wins Chunlan Cup; Hane wins first Gosei game; Promotions; Obituaries

Friday July 5, 2019

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Shin Jinseo wins 31st TV Asia: This year Japan hosted the TV Asia, a fast-go tournament for the top-two place-getters in TV titles in China, Korea, and Japan. With Japan being eliminated in the first round, the tournament became exclusively a clash between China and Korea, and the latter came out on top. In the final, Shin Jinseo 9P (aged 19) beat Ding Hao 6P of China, who is the same age. Taking white, Shin won by resignation after 276 moves. First prize is 2.5 million yen (about $22,700). Ironically, Shin came only third in the Korean KBS title, but he stood in for Park Junghwan, who came second, when the latter gave priority to competing in the tournament below. Although he has not yet won a large-scale international tournament, Shin has recently passed Park to become the number one in the Korean (world?) ratings. Full results:
Round 1 (June 21). Ding Hao 6P (China) (W) beat Ichiriki Ryo 8P (Japan) by resig.; Shin Minjun 9P (Korea) (B) beat Iyama Yuta (Japan) by resig.; Shin Jinseo 9P (Korea) beat Xu Jiayang 8P (China).
Semifinals (June 22). Ding beat Kim Jiseok 9P (Korea, seeded as last year’s winner); Shin Jinseo beat Shin Minjun.
Final (June 23). Shin (W) beat Ding by resig.

Park Junghwan wins Chunlan Cup: One thing was certain going into the final of the 12th Chunlan Cup: the winner was going to be Park of Korea. But which Park? The final, a best-of-three, was held in Zhejiang Province in China, at the end of June and featured a clash between Park Junghwan 9P and Park Yeonghun 9P. The first game, played on June 27, was won by Junghwan, playing black. In the second, played on June 27, Junghwan (white) won by resignation after 210 moves. However, the game was not smooth sailing. With 96, White made an uncharacteristic blunder, letting Black take the initiative. However, Yeonghun also made a blunder with 147, letting White play a brilliancy that led to an upset. This was the first time Junghwan won this title; Yeonghun had to be content with second place for the second time in a row. First prize is worth about $22,000.

Hane wins first Gosei game: In the 44th Gosei title match, the 42-year-old Hane Naoki is challenging the 21-year-old Kyo Kagen (Xu Jiayuan) for the title he took from Iyama Yuta last year. The first game was played at the Konkai Komyoji temple in Kyoto on June 30. Playing black, Hane forced a resignation after 155 moves. The second game will be played on July 19.

Promotions
To 9-dan: Yanaka Katsunori (Nihon Ki-in Kansai Headquarters) (200 wins, as of June 4)
To 8-dan: Endo Yoshifumi (150 wins, as of June 7), Shida Tatsuya (150 wins, as of June 28)
To 2-dan: Nishioka Masao (NK Nagoya HQ) (30 wins, as of June 7), Muramoto Wataru (30 wins, as of June 28)

Obituaries
Tanida Harumi: Tanida Harumi 8P, a member of the Kansai Ki-in, died of heart disease on May 9. He was born on October 6, 1947 and became a disciple of Kubouchi Shuchi 9P. He made 1-dan in 1964 and reached 8-dan in 19823. He won the rating tournament once.

Hoshino Masaki: Hoshino Masaki 9-dan died of a cerebral hemorrhage on May 14. He was born on Jan. 11, 1967, became a disciple of Oka Nobumitsu 7P and made 1-dan in 1985. He reached 9-dan in 2015. He reached the landmark of 500 wins earlier this year.

Go Spotting: Mono no aware

Friday July 5, 2019

“Hiroto,” Dad said as he shook me awake. “Pack up your things. It’s time.”
My small suitcase was ready. I just had to put my Go set into it. Dad gave this to me when I was five, and the times we played were my favorite hours of the day.

From the story “Mono no aware” by Ken Liu, published in the June 2013 issue of Lightspeed and sent in to us by A. Wadja.

This story is also included in “The Final Frontier,” a recently-published science fiction anthology, edited by Neil Clarke. The story includes go as a metaphor for patience and larger thinking, writes David Bogie. “The Japanese protagonist, young Hiroto, makes sure his go set is among the few articles his family is allowed as they prepare to abandon Earth. While trying to teach go to a young American, Hiroto is told, ‘All the stones are the same…boring. There are no heroes in go!’ The story calmly unfolds into tragedy proving there are heroes in space.”

Go also features in “Shiva In Shadow,” by Nancy Kress (also included in “The Final Frontier,”), which takes place on a star ship visiting a black hole. “Go is proposed as mental and social training intended to bring two scientists closer together as the team attacks a quantum physics discovery,” writes Bogie. “This does not end well.”

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The Power Report: Ueno to challenge for Hollyhock Cup; Nakamura Sumire update

Thursday July 4, 2019

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Ueno to challenge for Hollyhock Cup: The semifinals and finals of the main tournament in the 6th Aizu Central Hospital Women’s Hollyhock Cup were held in the Konjakutei inn in Higashiyama Hot Spring, Aizu Wakamatsu City, Fukushima Prefecture, on May 18 and 19. The final was won by the 17-year-old Ueno Masami, who has already won two Women’s Kisei titles. She will challenge Fujisawa Rina for the title, with the first game of the best-of-three being played on June 16. Results follow:
(Semifinals) Ueno Asami, Women’s Kisei, (B) beat Hoshiai Shiho 2P by resig.; Suzuki Ayumi 7P (W) beat Nannami Nao, Senko Cup-holder, by resig.
(Final) Ueno (W) beat Suzuki by resig.
The result of the title match is given later.

Nakamura Sumire update: Sumire is still waiting to play her second official game in Japan. In the meantime, she received a special invitation from the tournament sponsors to take part in the international qualifying tournament for the 4th MLily Cup. This is a Chinese-sponsored international tournament; the official name seems to have changed a little: it is now the MLily Dream Lily Pressureless Mattress Cup Open Tournament (“MLily” is in Roman letters and means “Dream Lily”). Sumire took part in the 2nd round, held on May 21, where she played Wang Chenxing 5P, a top Chinese woman player. Taking black, Wang won by resignation after 185 moves. Games in the qualifying tournament have no game fees and are not recognized as official games by the Nihon Ki-in. Subsequently, the tournament sponsor invited Sumire to play in the main tournament, in which 64 players start out. The first round will be played on October 8.

On June 6, Sumire visited Seoul to play a game with Korea’s number two woman player, Oh Yujin 6P. The game was played at the Han Jongjin dojo, where Sumire was formerly a pupil. Playing time was 40 minutes each plus byo-yomi of 40 seconds x 3. Sumire took white; presumably there was a komi, but Go Weekly does not mention it. Inevitably Oh won, with Sumire resigning after 153 moves. In Japan, the game was broadcast on the Net. Like the game above, it was an unofficial game, so Sumire’s official professional record remains 0-1.

On June 30, Sumire was invited to attend a go event, the World Go Festival, organized by Takarazuka City in Hyogo Prefecture. She played yet another unofficial game, this time against Murakawa Daisuke, holder of the Judan title, before an audience of about 300 fans. Taking black, with no komi, Sumire played aggressively. She handled the early fighting fairly well, but fell behind on territory and resigned after 154 moves.

The two international games above show that there is a lot of interest in Sumire’s debut in China and Korea. The go media are making a great fuss over her, but is arranging games for her with top players whom she has little chance of beating really beneficial? It might be kinder to give her a year or two to secure her place in the professional go world in competition with her peers in the early rounds of the professional tournaments.

Tomorrow: Ueno to challenge for Hollyhock Cup; Nakamura Sumire update; Korea wins 9th Huanglongshi; Fujisawa defends Hollyhock; Ueno tops Most Wins list; Mixed success for Japanese team in Chinese B League

Where to play Go in NYC

Thursday July 4, 2019

With the recent closing of Pie by the Pound (Gotham Go Group’s new location, 6/30 EJ), “this is a good time to remind everyone where in-person go can be played in NYC,” reports local organizer Peter Armenia.
Tuesday evenings 6-10:45p: Hungarian Pastry Shop – 1030 Amsterdam Ave – between 110th and 111th
Wednesdays evenings 6-10p: Barnes & Noble (Union Square) – 33 E 17th St. In the cafe on the 3rd floor.  
Sundays 12:30p: Barnes & Noble (Union Square) – 33 E 17th St. In the cafe on the 3rd floor.  
Anytime: Fat Cat – 75 Christopher St, at 7th Ave. – They have a couple sets of boards and stones behind the bar.
Korea Baduk Club –Daily 11AM-12 Midnight  – 36-18 Union Street (Flushing) – Call Sammy Park (718-353-4646) for more info. – Old school, smoky and English sporadically spoken, strong players routinely humbled.

Go Spotting: Go Museum in Kunming

Thursday July 4, 2019

“My son, Liam, went to the Go Museum in Kunming,” writes Rex Weyler. “Thought you might enjoy these images.”