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2019 Annual Summary of Go in New York

Wednesday March 4, 2020

by Stephanie Yin and Felipo Jian

The New York Institute of Go (NYIG) and the New York Go Association (NYGA) are happy to bring you our annual summary of achievements.  We concluded the year 2019 with lots of prides and great memories, through which all Go players in our community were bounded closely.

Tournament Achievements (Adult) Our two prominent professional players, Ryan Li 1P and Stephanie Yin 1P, continued to be among the top Go players on the North American Continent. Ryan Li competed in the 3rd International Elite Mind Games, and Stephanie Yin 1P participated in the 10th Qionglong Bingsheng Cup and 3rd Go Seigen Cup World Women’s Championship. The AGA City League New York team, consisting of Ryan Li, Hancheng Zhang and Stephanie Yin, won the 2019 Pandanet-AGA City League again.

Tournament Achievements (Youth) The youth training section has always been our focus. Through various Go classes and after-school programs offered by New York Institute of Go (NYIG), our students improved significantly and won numerous achievements nationwide.

The 6th North America Kyu Championship (NYKC), February 2019
Division B: 1st Place Toranosuke Ozawa 3k
Division E: 1st Place Alan Yang 17k
Division F: 1st Place Jeremy Wong 21k; 2nd Place Jason Yang 21k

2019 North American School Team Tournament, April 2019
Top Division: 
– 2nd Place New York Institute of Go Team 2: Chase Lin 1k, Cathy Liao 3k, Alex Huang 4k
– 3rd Place New York Institute of Go Team 1: Patrick Zhao 3d, Sophie Lin 2d, Marcos Yang 1d
Division 2: 
– 1st Place New York Institute of Go Team 6: Jack Zhang 9k, Brandon Zhu 12k, Alan Yang 13k
– 2nd Place New York Institute of Go Team 4: Jason Long 10k, Jonathan Chen 11k, Lillian Wu 12k

The 1st U20 Eastern Youth Open, August 2019
Division B: 1st Place Sophie Lin 2d
Division C: 1st Place Chase Lin 1k, 2nd Place Samantha Soo 4k, 3rd Place Jerry Ju 3k
Division D: 1st Place Xinyu Chen 6k; 2nd Place Jonathan Chen 9k; 3rd Place Crystal Pang 8k 

2019 North American Young Lions Tournament, December 2019
Division A: 1st Place Toranosuke Ozawa 2d; 2nd Place Sophie Lin 2d; 3rd Place Chase Lin 1d
Division B: 3rd Place Samantha Soo 1k
Division D: 2nd Place Joshua Wong 10k
Division F: 1st Place Noah Carrafa 21k, 2nd Place Enzo Aozono-Araldi 23k, 3rd Place Roger Eckner 25k

Go Promotion By holding various go tournaments and events in 2019, the NYGA promote the interests, activity and outreach of go players within the New York City and Tri-state community. 

New York Go Honor Society The New York Go Honor Society is a non-profit chapter supported by the New York Go Association (NYGA). The NYGHS executive team includes multiple honorary members from Harvard, Yale, MIT, and Princeton. The board members, such as the chairman and board of directors, will be selected in a self-recommended fashion, by NYGA officers and honorary presidents. 

The mission of the NYGHS is to learn the philosophical ideas that have been embedded in Go for thousands of years. It is a platform that provides young Go players an environment to enrich their Go experience, improve their organizational skills, and broaden their horizons. Specifically, through the NYGHS, our Go players will work together to hone their leadership, logical reasoning, and problem-solving abilities. They will also communicate and cooperate with students from top American colleges to expand social skills and enrich personal accomplishment.

Tournament Organization
– 4th, 5th and 6th US Go Ranking Competition, New York Division
– The 1st U20 Eastern Youth Open, August 2019
– NYGA Monthly Tournaments

Classes We offered a series of go classes to both youth and adult players from beginner to dan-level.  

After-school Programs
– St. Hilda’s & St. Hugh’s School
– PS 77 Lower Lab School

Social Media Our official Youtube Channel “nyig_go” reached 7000 subscribers in November.

We appreciate everyone who has participated in our Go activities in 2019. We shall continue to bring you more exciting events in the upcoming year 2020. More information can be found here: www.ny-go.org

photos provided by Stephanie Yin

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Empty Sky Go Club celebrates 41st anniversary

Wednesday January 22, 2020

by Steve Colburn
It’s hard to imagine in these days of 24/7 global online go, but back in the late 1970s, if you were one of the few non-Asian Americans interested in go, your playing options were limited to a handful of clubs in places like New York City or San Francisco. A group of go players in upstate New York, hundreds of miles away from the nearest club, decided to organize their own club in Rochester, and formed an official chapter of the American Go Association on January 15, 1979, dubbing it the Empty Sky Go Club, an ironic name coined by organizer William Hewitt in honor of Rochester’s often cloudy sky. Club meetings originally moved from house to house, but from 1980 through 2000 were held regularly at Dave Weimer’s house in the South Wedge.

While the world of go — and indeed the game itself — has transformed dramatically in the 41 years since then, the Empty Sky Go Club is still fundamentally the same, in the sense that it’s a bunch of local players who value getting together every week to play this ancient game. On January 13, the current members of the club gathered to celebrate its 41st birthday.

Like all go clubs, the Empty Sky has gone through both fat and lean years as membership has waxed and waned. Longtime local organizers like Dave Weimer and Chris Garlock have relocated to other communities — where they continue to build the go community — but a steady group of students and locals have kept the game going in The Flower City for nearly half a century. Indeed, Empty Sky hosted two Go Congresses, first in 1991 and then again in 2004. The members that have come through this club are among the most loyal that I have ever seen, moving around the globe and continuing to grow friends through the game.

The Empty Sky Go Club would like to thank all its members, past and present, for coming to club throughout the years. And if you’re ever in Rochester, be sure to drop by (we meet every Monday and Thursday night in Java Wally’s, the RIT coffee shop located in Wallace Library, building 5) and be a part of our future as we look forward to many more years of fun and camaraderie together.

Got a story about your local club? We’d love to hear it! Email us at journal@usgo.org

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The Power Report: December updates

Monday December 30, 2019

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Iyama loses Oza, keeps Tengen

   Iyama Yuta started the year with five titles, but ended it with only three. Like the previous year, he lost two titles, but he remains the number one player even in his 30s.

   The fourth game of the 67th Oza title match was played at the Ginbaso inn in Nishiura Hot Spring in Gamagori City, Aichi Prefecture, on November 29. Taking white, Shibano Toramaru Meijin (left) beat Iyama Yuta (right) by half a point. This gave him a lead of 3-1, so he took the title. The first half of the game focused on a struggle by Black to secure life for a group inside White’s sphere of influence. Shibano’s attack was more severe than Iyama had expected: he seemed to read more deeply in this fight. He discarded a group while capturing the tail of Black’s group in sente, so he took the lead here. However, he made a slip later that let Black catch up. The game was decided by the final half-point ko: Black didn’t have enough threats to win it.

   This is Shibano’s second title, so he has clearly established himself as Japan’s number two. Shibano: “There were many difficult positions and tough fights [in the series]. I was lucky to win.” Iyama: “Shibano has developed into a player who can represent Japan. I expect even bigger things from him. [As for being reduced to three titles,] I would like to commend myself for having been able to secure good results over a long period. Going by my recent form, this loss can’t be helped.”

   Iyama came to the fourth game of the 45th Tengen title match in the same position as in the Oza: down 1-2 to a youthful challenger. Kyo Kagen (aged 21) was also the player who put an end to his second grand slam when he beat Iyama 3-0 in the 43rd Gosei title. The 4th game was played at the Hotel New Awaji, a hot spring hotel in Sumoto City, Hyogo Prefecture, on December 9. Taking black, Iyama forced a resignation after 177 moves. This game started with the large avalanche joseki, which was the king of the josekis in the 70s. Kyo got a bad result, with his outside influence not being a match for Black’s territory. Kyo narrowed the gap with some good play later, but Iyama kept the initiative and scored a comfortable win.

   The fifth game was played at the Tokushima Grandvrio Hotel in Tokushima City, Tokushima Prefecture, on December 18. Kyo drew black in the nigiri. The game was a spectacular one: Kyo fell behind, so he started a fight to the death between two large groups; Iyama outplayed him, saving his group and securing the lead. The game ended in a large capturing race that Kyo lost, so he resigned after move 234.

   Incidentally, ever since he won the Honinbo title in 2012, Iyama has always held at least three titles. 

Nakamura Sumire beats 9-dan, is top new 1-dan

   Ten-year-old Sumire is continuing to enjoy good results, scoring a win against a 9-dan, but her winning streak against male professionals has come to an end. Details of her games since my previous report are given below, but first let’s look at an honor she earned off the go board. A meeting of go-linked media representatives to choose the 37th Japan Igo Journalists Club Prize was held at the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo on November 26, and, not surprisingly, the unanimous choice was Sumire. There were other landmark performances by young players—for example, Shibano Toramaru’s becoming the first teenaged Meijin and Ueno Asami’s becoming the first woman to reach the final of a tournament open to male and female players—but they did not match the impact Sumire had on both the go world and the general public. The citation read: “[Sumire] attracted attention as the youngest professional in history and has had outstanding results since becoming 1-dan. Her success is worthy of the Special Promotion System.” 

   In a game in the second round of the 45th Kisei preliminary tournament, played at the Nagoya branch of the Nihon Ki-in on November 28, Sumire (W) beat Baba Shigeru 9P (aged 71) by resignation after 260 moves. This took her official record to 13-5 and was her seventh win in a row against male players. After the game, she said: “I thought it was bad for me.” Baba commented: “She played tenaciously at the end. I think the lead changed hands two or three times in the endgame.” Three more wins in the Kisei will secure a seat in the C League, which would be quite a coup.

   The sponsors of the 2nd Wu Qingyuan (Go Seigen) tournament arranged as a side event a best-of-three match between Sumire and Wu Yiming 2P of China. It had the grand title of the Japan-China Women Super New Stars Invitational Best-of-Three. The result was a 2-0 win for Wu, who had just turned 13. This victory won her a seeded place in the 3rd Cup next year. The games were played in the Wu Qingyuan Hall in Fuzhou City, which is the hometown of Wu Qingyuan, in Fujian Province on December 2 and 3. Taking black, Wu won the first game by resignation; in the second game, Wu (W) won by 2.5 points. Sumire’s parents accompanied her on the trip, and her father, Shinya 9P, commented: “Overall, she showed all her strength. This result reflects her present level.” Sumire again attracted a lot of attention and a photo of her was used for the cover of the weiqi magazine Weiqi Universe. Incidentally, her opponent Wu became 1-dan last year in the Chinese qualifying tournament; she was one of 14 women who were successful. This year another 12 women made it, but Wu is still the youngest female player in China. (These games are not counted by the Nihon Ki-in as official games; just guessing, but the reason might be that, as invitational games, they are not in a tournament open to other women players.)

   On December 9, Sumire played Hane Ayaka 1P in the preliminary tournament for the 7th Aizu Central Hospital Women’s Hollyhock Cup. Taking black, Sumire won by 7.5 points after 290 moves. Her record against Hane, daughter of Hane Naoki Gosei, is now 2-0. She needs two more wins to get a seat in the main tournament. The game was played at the Nagoya Nihon Ki-in.

   On the 12th, Sumire played Komatsu Daiki 3P in Preliminary B of the 59th Judan tournament. Taking black, she lost by resignation after 202 moves. This put an end to her winning streak against male players. 

   On December 16, Sumire played Nyu Eiko 2P in one of the finals of the preliminary round of the 45th King of the New Stars tournament. Nyu (W) won by 6.5 points. The game was played at the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo.

   On December 19, Sumire played Takatsu Masaaki 1P in the preliminary tournament of the 45th Kisei tournament. Taking white, Sumire won by resignation after 294 moves. 

   On December 23, Sumire played Tafu Kae 3-dan of the Kansai Ki-on in the preliminary round of the 5th Senko Cup. Taking white, she won by resignation after 224 moves. The game was played at the Kansai Ki-in. Two more wins will secure her a seat in the main tournament, in which the top 16 women players compete.

   Sumire’s last official game of the year was played at the Kansai headquarters of the Nihon Ki-in in preliminary C of the 46th Meijin tournament on December 26. Her opponent was Yamada Wakio 7P, younger brother of Yamada Shiho 7P, whom she beat in October (their younger brother is Yamada Kimio 9P). Taking white, she secured a resignation after 144 moves. Actually her opponent had the lead, but, according to Ishii Kunio 9P, “as if entranced, he played a move he shouldn’t have,” so she pulled off an upset. This result was reported on at least 11 different news sites on the Net,  

   Sumire’s record for the first “year” (actually nine months) of her career was 17-7, a winning record of 70.8%. These stats were the best of the 13 new 1-dans who debuted in 2019. That’s a remarkable performance, and no one can claim to have foreseen it. In an interview after the award ceremony for the above-mentioned press prize, held on December 17, Sumire commented: “I won more than I expected, so I’m happy Becoming a pro and being able to travel to China and Taiwan for games was great. I’ll do my best to get stronger next year.” Her first 2020 game is on January 13. She plans to attend a summer camp in Japan at the end of December and to make a study trip to Korea in the new year.

Choi wins 2nd Wu Qingyuan Cup

   The semifinals and finals of the 2nd Wu Qingyuan Cup World Women’s Championship were held in the Wu Qingyuan Hall in Fuzhou City in Fujian Province. Fuzhou was the birthplace of Wu Qingyuan (Go Seigen). As reported in the June 23 issue of this journal, three Chinese and one Korean made the best four. In the semifinals, held on November 30, Choi Jeong 9P (Korea) beat Li He 5P and Wang Chenxing 5P beat Rui Naiwei 9P. The latter was apparently an epic game. The 28-year-old Wang became well known when she won the 4th Bingsheng Cup in 2013. She married Liu Xing 7P and after having a baby in 2017, became famous for taking it with her around the country as she played in the women’s team league. The 55-year-old Rui, who has won 13 women’s titles, seemed to have a sure win, but Wang fought back, securing a four-approach-move ko, usually quite disadvantageous (she had to add four stones before it became an immediate ko), for a group of hers that had been captured. Somehow she pulled off an upset. Rui was bitterly disappointed: as a disciple of Wu’s, she would have loved to win this tournament.

   The final is a best-of-three. On December 2, Choi (W) beat Chen by resig. and on the 3rd, Choi (B) again won by resig., so she took the title 2-0. First prize is worth 500,000 yuan (about $71,500). Choi has also won the Bingsheng title four times. She confirmed her standing as the world’s number one woman player.

Cho U wins Japan-China Kiriyama Play-off

   The 21st Japan-China Agon Kiriyama Cup Play-off was held at the Guangzhou Garden Hotel in Guangzhou City in China on December 3. Taking white, Cho U 9P (Japan) beat Fan Tingyu 9P (China) by 1.5 points after 300 moves. This is the first win for Japan in four years and its sixth overall. It is also Cho’s first win in five appearances.

Suzuki to challenge for Women’s Kisei

   The play-off to decide the challenger to Ueno Asami for the 23rd Women’s Kisei title was held in the Ryusei Studio in the basement of the Nihon Ki-in on December 5. Playing white, Suzuki Ayumi 7P beat Nyu Eiko 2P by resignation. Suzuki will be making her first challenge for this title and playing in her first title match since 2015. The best-of-three will get off to a start on January 16.

75th Honinbo League

   After three rounds, league debutant Kyo Kagen 8P has the sole lead with 3-0. He is followed by four players with one loss. Recent results: 

(Dec. 5) Hane Naoki Gosei (W) beat Shibano Toramaru Meijin by resig.; Ichiriki Ryo 8P (B) beat Yamashita Keigo 9P by half a point; Kyo Kagen 8P (B) beat Yokotsuka Riki 7P by resig.

(Dec. 19) Kono Rin 9P (W) beat Shida Tatsuya 8P by 2.5 points.

45th Meijin League

    The new Meijin League got off to a start on December 12. Ichiriki Ryo (B) beat the previous Meijin Cho U 9P by resig.; Hane Naoki (W) beat Yamashita Keigo by 2.5 points; and Kyo Kagen (B) beat Murakawa Daisuke Judan by resig. The first round was concluded on December 26, when Iyama Yuta clashed with Kono Rin, who will challenge him for the Kisei title in January. The result was a convincing win for Iyama, who, playing black, forced a resignation after 161 moves. Kono will have to rethink his strategy over the New Year.

Ueno sets women’s record

    In a game played on December 26 in Preliminary C of the 46th Meijin tournament, Ueno Asami (aged 18) (B) beat Mitsunaga Junzo 6P by half a point. This was her 44th win (to 25 losses), so she broke the record for most wins by a woman player set by Fujisawa Rina last year. She also maintained her third place in the most-wins list.

First pros from Southeast Asia

   The Winter Qualifying Tournament for new professionals next year was held in October and November and concluded on November 24. Usually the top two place-getters qualify as 1-dan, but for players from outside the Far East there is a rule, known as the Special Qualification for Overseas Citizens, according to which a 50-50 score earns you the status of a probationary 1-dan. Two players have just qualified under this rule. They are Chang Fu Kang of Malaysia and Fitra Rafif Shidoki (this spelling is just a guess) of Indonesia. They both scored 9-5 and finished 4th and 5th respectively in the 16-player tournament. Chang was born on January 30, 2003 and is a student of Hong Seisen 4P of the Kansai Ki-in. He learnt go in Shanghai as a preschooler; he wanted to become a pro, but thought that he might have trouble as a Malaysian. Fortunately, he heard about the Nihon Ki-in system and has been studying in Japan since January this year. Fitla was born on August 12, 2002 and has no teacher. He commented: “I want to do well, so people don’t think I’m weaker than regular professionals.” Although his parents are Indonesian, he was actually born and brought up in Tokyo.

   The last player to qualify under this system was Antti Tormanen of Finland four years ago. (Probationary players become full-fledged professionals when they earn promotion to 3-dan, which requires 50 wins. Until then, they receive just half of the regular game fees.) The new pros will start their careers on April 1. 

Promotions

To 9-dan: Omori Yasushi (at right; 200 wins, as of November 29)
To 8-dan: Mochizuki Ken’ichi (150 wins, as of December 13)
To 3-dan: Oomote Takuto (40 wins, as of December 20) 

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Second Annual California State Championship to offer youth titles and fun for all attendees over Thanksgiving weekend

Thursday November 21, 2019

2018 San Diego Champ, Michael Wang vs. 2018 California Champ, Calvin Sun

The best amateur go player in the state of California in 2019 will be crowned over Thanksgiving weekend. The San Diego Go Club will host the 2nd Annual California State Go Championship at the San Diego Chess Club in Balboa Park on Saturday, November 30 and Sunday, December 1. Although only California amateur go players, including students, are eligible to win the top prize and title of Champion in the Open Division, everyone is welcome to play in the tournament. The top boy and girl under 16 years of age will also be crowned California U16 Champions.

The organizers will run a separate 13×13 youth tournament for youngsters without an AGA rating. For non-players, Balboa Park contains nine museums, the world famous San Diego Zoo, and a free organ concert at 2 p.m. on Sunday all within walking distance from the San Diego Chess Club. Registration, information, and directions are available at https://www.goclubs.org.

-report and photo by Ted Terpstra

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Dutch artist combines passions to create Go-themed art

Saturday November 9, 2019

Dutch artist, art historian, author and go teacher Kim Ouweleen has created an original series of Go-themed posters and postcards that are available on his website. “I’m very enthusiastic about combining my passions for drawing and Go,” Ouweleen told the E-Journal.  One of his latest efforts was a drawing he did for the Brazilian Nihon Kiin for the recent Latin American Go Congress. “My work has been travelling all over the world this year and has been sold at the Nihon Kiin in Tokyo, given to students by Blackie’s International Baduk Academy (BIBA) in Korea, was used to promote Teach the Teachers (an event for European go teachers in the EGCC), and much more,” he said. “I’ve also started customizing the backs of the cards for go schools and associations, like these for the Cyprus Go Association.”  To purchase one of his original drawings, contact Ouweleen at kim.ouweleen@gmail.com; you can also see more of his work on his Etsy shop and his t-shirts and other clothing designs can be found on his Spreadshirt webshop. Follow him on Facebook or Instagram.

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Categories: Europe,Go Art,Main Page
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Players win cash and pumpkins at San Diego Go Club Back-to-School tournaments

Saturday October 5, 2019

The San Diego Go Club scheduled on Sunday, September 29, at the San Diego Chess Club in Beautiful Balboa Park, two Back-to-School tournaments – one 19×19 and a 13×13 for youth players – plus a pizza party, and professional instruction by Yilun Yang 7P. Over 50 players competed for pumpkins, vintage Go Worlds, and cash.

In the Open, Tyler Oyakawa 6d went 3-0 to win a giant pumpkin and an envelope of money. Taking second, with a 2-1 record, was Michael Zhou 6d. In the handicap section, the top three finishers were James Acres 1k, 3-0 and the brothers Yang, Tony and Kevin, both 1 dan with 2-1 records. In the 5k-19k section, Arunas Rudvalis 6k, Addison Lee 19k, and Aaron Jones 10k, all went 3-0 with Arunas winning the pumpkin after tiebreakers. In the 20k-35k section, Chloe Li 23k, 3-0, George Spellman 22k, 2-1, and Aenaelle Acres 23k (daughter of James), 2-1, beat the rest of the field.

Concurrently, Hai Li 5P ran a 13×13 youth tournament for 16 kids. He was the tournament director, adjudicator, and teacher for the 4-round competition. The boy and girl winners in the 13×13 Open competition were Johnny Wu 35k, and Jolina Jian 24k respectively. Several of Hai Li’s 13×13 students graduated to the 19×19 tournament this Sunday and did well.

A free pizza break took place after the two tournaments and then Yilun Yang entertained a standing room only group for 2.5 hours with a clear and concise lecture. Matching funds from the American Go Foundation made it possible to have professional go expertise at this event.

-photos by Henry You
-report by Ted Terpstra

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AGF imports blind go sets

Wednesday August 21, 2019

The American Go Foundation has purchased 12 new go sets designed for the visually impaired. Both black and white stones are slotted on the back, and click into a 19×19 grid, with a 9×9 grid on the backside. Black stones also have a raised dot in the middle, so they feel different from the white ones. Sets have been sent to the National Go Center and the Seattle Go Center, and one will be available at the US Go Congress each year as well. Milan Mladenovic ran a pilot program last year at Perkins Institute for the blind in Boston, and it was well received . “Ever since I learned to play go my brain has reconnected with my love for thinking ahead and mind games,” reported S, a student at Perkins. 

AGA Board member Steve Colburn approached the AGF about purchasing the sets. “The AGA Webmaster receives dozens of emails a month from people around the country,” writes Colburn. “Most of these have pretty easy answers, but there are others that can take years to answer.” Colburn says he has received multiple requests for blind sets over the years. “This time we were helped from some users on Go (Baduk, Weiqi) Players on Facebook, which is a nice group of worldwide go players to chat with. Earlier this year someone asked if they knew where to buy a blind go set. Someone in the thread found the right site for the Japan Braille Library Equipment Business Division. After a short consultation with the AGF they agreed to import some of the sets to the US,” said Colburn. Importing proved fairly complicated. Joshua Guarino’s Japanese was crucial to get through the many issues with ordering, importing and payment, and the sets finally arrived at the AGF warehouse just before the Go Congress.

“Adding go sets for the visually impaired to our equipment offerings was a natural extension of what the AGF does to promote go in institutional settings and to underserved populations,” says AGF President Terry Benson. The sets will be free for institutions that are working with the visually impaired. Individual players who are blind can also contact the AGF if they are interested in acquiring a set. -Story and photo by Paul Barchilon

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The Power Report: Kido Prize winners announced; Top prize-money winners in 2018; Iyama wins 56th Shusai Prize, Ishida wins Okura Prize

Sunday March 17, 2019

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Kido Prize winners announced
The 52nd Kido Prizes will be awarded at a ceremony scheduled for March 26. They are awarded to the top Nihon Ki-in performers of 2018 in various categories and are named after the predecessor of the magazine “Monthly Go World.” They were selected by a committee of go journalists on February 5.
Most outstanding player: Iyama Yuta, quintuple crown. Iyama has now won this prize for seven years in a row.
Outstanding players: Cho U (won the Meijin title), Kyo Kagen (won the Gosei title)
New Star: Ueno Asami (won a women’s title in her second year as a pro)
Women’s Prize: Fujisawa Rina (won three women’s titles)
International prize: Shibano Toramaru (for beating Ke Jie in the Japan-China Ryusei play-off)
Most wins: Shibano Toramaru (46-23)
Best winning percentage: Fujita Akihiko (83.67%)
Most successive wins: Koike Yoshihiro (19)
Most games played: Shibano Toramaru (69)

Top prize-money winners in 2018
As usual, Iyama was far ahead of anyone else. His income dropped by ¥13,000,000 from last year owing to his loss of two titles from his septuple crown, but it’s considered a major achievement to top one hundred million yen. There’s a big drop to the next player in the list, but Ichiriki is doing well when you consider he’s also a university student. This year only one woman player made the top ten compared to two last year.
1. Iyama Yuta: ¥146,960,000 (about $1.3 million) (top for the eighth year in a row, clearing one hundred million yen for the seventh year in a row)
2. Ichiriki Ryo 8P: ¥51,617,199 (2nd for second year in a row)
3. Cho U: ¥41,519,000
4. Yamashita Keigo: ¥32,838,813
5. Shibano Toramaru: ¥22,266,400
6. Fujisawa Rina: ¥21,897,900
7. Kyo Kagen: ¥20,288,300
8. Kono Rin: ¥18,696,277
9. Hane Naoki: ¥12,746,400
10. Motoki Katsuya: ¥12,485,000

Iyama wins 56th Shusai Prize, Ishida wins Okura Prize
Both these prizes were decided on February 12. The Shusai Prize is awarded to a player with outstanding results in the previous year and who has a promising future. For the seventh year in a row, it went to Iyama Yuta, which is a new record.
The 48th Okura Kishichiro Prizes were awarded to three amateur players who have played a prominent role in spreading go and to Ishida Yoshio, otherwise known as 24th Honinbo Shuho.

Tomorrow: Another Ueno makes pro; Yang wins LG Cup; China’s overwhelming win in Nong Shim Cup

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Go featured in Chicago museum exhibit

Wednesday March 13, 2019

“I was invited to the opening ceremony of a new exhibition at the Chinese American Museum of Chicago,” writes Xinming (Simon) Guo. 2019.03.13_Chicago-exhibit1The exhibition, “The Chinese Helped Build the Railroad – The Railroad Helped Build America,” features the history of the 12,000 plus Chinese 2019.03.13_Chicago-exhibit2workers who contributed in the building of the world’s first Transcontinental Railway in United States in mid-19th century.

“I was so astonished when I found a Weiqi game in the exhibition,” says Guo. The introduction says that these Chinese railroad builders worked in inhospitable environment of the American West and gathered to play fan-tan (a gambling game) or Weiqi after more than 10 hours of back-breaking work each day.

This exhibition will last for one year “and it is a perfect opportunity to promote Weiqi (Chinese for Go). I have been working with the museum for many years. We have organized Weiqi workshops, Weiqi courses, and Weiqi culture stations in the museum several times. With the help from local go community, we will work together to start a new add-on service — providing on-site hands-on Weiqi workshop for students visiting the museum on school field trips.”

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ICYMI: Ethan Wang wins first official AGA state championship in PA; Tianfu Cup Prelim crosstab posted; Summer of Outreach in Seattle; Janice Kim in NM; Kissinger on AI and go:

Sunday September 16, 2018

Sometimes folks send in reports late, sometimes those reports just get lost in the EJ in-box, but eventually we do catch up…

Ethan Wang wins first official AGA state championship in PA: The Penn Go Society had the2018.09.16 PA state championship distinction of holding the first tournament under the new AGA State Championship system. Held April 28-29 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, more than 40 players attended the event at the Wharton Center for Student Life. In the Dan division, Chase Fu came in first and Ethan Wang and Yu Liang tied for second. In the Kyu division, Alexander Qi took first and Jino Choung and Evan Springer tied for second. $1000 in cash prizes were distributed.  “The Penn Go Society looks forward to next years state championship and looks forward to seeing other states join this system,” said Benjamin Sauerhaft Coplon.

Tianfu Cup Prelim crosstab posted: The crosstab for the 2018 Tianfu Cup Preliminary is now up, and includes the game records. Thanks to TD Jeff Shaevel, Steve Colburn, Dennis Wheeler and Todd Heidenreich for their work getting this done.

Summer of Outreach in Seattle: July was busy for the Seattle Go Center outreach crew, with events on three weekends.  July 1, players from Seattle Go Center and South Sound Go Club staffed a table at the Seattle Storm women’s professional basketball game during the Storm’s “Japan Night” event, and introduced the game to approximately 50 young sports enthusiasts. The following weekend, July 7 and 8, we were at the two-day “Japan Fair” in Bellevue, WA, where Dave Snow’s collection of Hikaru no Go hangings attracted attention from young adults who were in middle school when HnG was new.

2018.09.16-Bart-Jacob-05-01Bart plays go in Cape Town: “While on holiday in Cape Town, South Africa, I was able to stop by the Cape Town Go Club and play a few games,” writes Bart Jacob. “I am on the right side of picture, along with Christian, Sam, Chris and Michael from Cape Town.”

Janice Kim in NM: On September 1, Janice Kim 3p, offered game reviews for players in Albuquerque and Santa Fe. In commenting on game records brought in by local area players, she introduced her overall thoughts about how to play and how to study. She said that she finds players in the US are strong in the opening game but tend to be relatively weak at life and death. She stressed the importance of being able to visualize a sequence in your head. As an exercise, she put up a common joseki on a board, then took it off and asked one of the players to put it up using only black stones. Here’s an example (right). She said that in playing a game she looks for an “I win” move. To find such a move, you must have a good assessment of the overall game status, i.e., you must count. If you judge that you are ahead, the next step is to ask yourself, “How can I possibly lose this game?” and then to take the necessary steps to lock it up. If you judge that you’re behind, “agitate.” You must take risks. “If you lose, it doesn’t matter whether you lose by a half point or twenty.”
– Bob Gilman, Albuquerque Go Club

Kissinger on AI and go: “AlphaGo defeated the world Go champions by making strategically unprecedented moves—moves that humans had not conceived and have not yet successfully learned to overcome,” wrote HENRY A. KISSINGER in “How the Enlightenment Ends” in the June Atlantic. “Are these moves beyond the capacity of the human brain?” Before AI began to play Go, “the game had varied, layered purposes,” Kissinger continues. “A player sought not only to win, but also to learn new strategies potentially applicable to other of life’s dimensions. For its part, by contrast, AI knows only one purpose: to win. It “learns” not conceptually but mathematically, by marginal adjustments to its algorithms. So in learning to win Go by playing it differently than humans do, AI has changed both the game’s nature and its impact. Does this single-minded insistence on prevailing characterize all AI?” And, reflecting on AlphaGo Zero’s mastery of the game on its own, Kissinger wonders “What will be the impact on human cognition generally? What is the role of ethics in this process?”

 

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