World Go News from the American Go Association

July 21, 2007; Volume 8, #53



PROFESSIONALLY SPEAKING: Kobayashi Chizu on Go, Fashion, Bach & Shusaku; Live Feed; The Art Of Go In Woodcuts; Talking Ing Clock Featured In Comic Strip; Go Pair; We’ve Got Problems

U.S. CONGRESS STARTS NEXT SATURDAY: The U.S. Go Congress, the biggest event of the year in U.S. go, starts next Saturday, July 28 in Lancaster, PA. Nearly 500 are registered for the 8-day go extravaganza, which features rated tournament play –including the North American Ing Championship finals, the U.S. Open, the ever-popular Self-Paired and of course Midnight Madness – lectures, workshops and simuls with 18 pros from around the world and “As close to 24/7 go as you’re likely to find,” promises Congress Co-Director Chuck Robbins. There’s still time to register and those who do so between July 16 – 23 will automatically be eligible to win one of 10 free 2–week subscriptions to KGS+.

KOREANS DOMINATE EURO TOURNEY: As expected, the Koreans are dominating top -- or Supergroup – section of the European Go Congress Championship, being held in Villach, Austria. Seok-Bin Park, Jong Wook Park 7d and Da Won Jung 7d are all undefeated halfway through the 10-round tournament, which is on recess while the 5-round weekend tournament is taking place. Play begins Monday morning at 10A CET. Also with 5-0 records are Michal Parkola 2d (PL), Tuomo Salo 2d (FI), Alexandr Linev 1k (RU), Zoltan Fodi 1k (HU), Gergely Aczel (2k) HU, Helena Niinisalo 3k (FI), Maria Zakharchenko 5k (UA), Balazs Samu Fekete 5k (HU), Claire Rioualen 14k (FR), Radka Haneckova 15k (SK), Evaldas Nariunas 15k (LT), Frink Hans Ulrich 15k (DE) and Taizo Hiroishi 20k (JP). The Rapid Play tournament is played in the afternoons and unlike the Main Tournament, in which you must play all 10 rounds to be eligible for prizes, players may drop in and out as they please. Leading after four rounds are Seok Ui Hong 7d (KR), Mateusz Surma 1d (PL), Peter Smolarik 4k (SK), Andras Kosztyu 5k (HU), Thilo Burkhardt 9k (DE), Petr Zelina 14k (CZ) and Evaldas Nariunas 15k (LT). Top right photo: main Congress playing area; above left, Seok-bin Cho 7d of Korea (r) on his way to defeating Rudi Verhagen 5d (NL) in Round 1, with EJ Editor Chris Garlock broadcasting on IGS; photos by Martin Chrz

E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock is filing reports online this week from the 51st European Go Congress in Villach, Austria. Game records are posted online as well as videos and photos Check the main website and the news page for all the EJ’s EGC reports (use the arrows to scroll back day by day).

PROFESSIONALLY SPEAKING: Kobayashi Chizu on Go, Fashion, Bach & Shusaku
“Modern fuseki is like modern women’s fashions,” the impeccably-dressed Kobayashi Chizu told the E-Journal Saturday morning. “Anything goes, so there’s no limits and any style is acceptable. But without basic knowledge, there’s no heart.” Kobayashi, a 5 dan professional at the Nihon Kiin, was a finalist in the Female Honinbo three straight years from 1976 to 1978 and Women's Kakusei 1989. Since March of this year has been on a 1-year teaching assignment in Vienna, Austria for the Nihon Kiin. “With the Internet, new joseki and fuseki speed around the world, but too many are just imitating and don’t really understand the theory. It’s a strange combination.” Koyashi always has a crowd around her after each round at the European Go Championships as she reviews games. “Many people like to study but few like to practice,” she notes. “If you only have 30 minutes a day to study, then practice tsumego and tesuji to learn patterns, and memorize the first 50 moves of classic Japanese go games. They’re the easiest to understand, as far as go theory. For me, Shusaku is like Bach. Just as though there’s not a wasted note in Bach’s music, there’s nothing special about Shusaku’s game, but he’s winning.” photo of Kobayashi Chizu by Martin Chrz

LIVE FEED: Live feeds of the top board games started broadcasting on TV monitors throughout the Congress on Thursday, thanks to the late-night work of technical wizards Roland Lezuo and Manfred “Fuchsi” Fuchs, enabling hundreds of players to follow all three top boards as the games played out in real time. Photo by M. Fuchs

THE ART OF GO IN WOODCUTS: Erwin Gerstorfer never intended to build one of the world’s most extensive collections of go-themed Japanese Ukiyo-e wood-cut prints. As the 46-year-old Austrian computer scientist tells the story, he was wrapping up a yearlong visit to Japan in the late ‘80s and, with limited funds, had to decide between buying a coveted go print and more travel. He opted for more travel and was chagrined to realize, upon arriving home, that he could have afforded the print after all. Soon after that, while visiting a go-playing friend in Los Angeles, he came across a go print tucked away in an antique shop on Wiltshire Boulevard. “I thought fine, that’s the end of it,” laughs Gerstorfer, “but it turned out that I’d caught a serious case of the collecting disease.” In the nearly twenty years since, Gerstorfer has searched the world for the rare prints, building a collection of 300, a selection of the best of which are now on view in the Galerie Freihausgasse in Villach, Austria. Leading tours of the show, Gerstorfer displays an encyclopedic knowledge of his subject, excitedly describing the social and technical history of the artform, which developed in Japan during the Edo period (1603-1867). Clearly much more than a collector, Gerstorfer’s enthusiasm for the art of both prints and go is infectious as he tells the stories that lie behind the colorful prints, many of which have graced the covers of Go World, as well as the Nihon Kiin’s annual calendars. The exhibit traces the development of Ukiyo-e from black and white prints – including a rare Masanobu from 1725 depicting Tadanobu beating down his enemies with a goban – through a 1792 print touched with hard-to-find natural red ink that’s still bright as fresh blood today. Ukiyo-e are fairly rare “because usually only about 100 were printed,” says Gerstorfer, noting that after that, the wooden blocks were worn out. Also on view and especially rare is an 1820 print by the well-known Hokusai ("Thirty-Six Views") of a man playing with a puppet on a go board. The show continues through August 31 at the Galerie Freihausgasse Villach 43 (0) 42 42 / 205 - 3450; which also has posters and a catalog available. photo by Chris Garlock

TALKING ING CLOCK FEATURED IN COMIC STRIP: If the title of the Empty Triangle comic strip doesn’t give away the strip’s subject, certainly the name of one of the characters – Ing Clock – does. Along with chidori, rei and Triangle – the artist, Radka Haneckova 15k of Slovakia -- who we met here at the EGC and who's 5-0 in the main tournament -- has managed to make the dreaded shape strangely adorable -- the four characters in the online strip make their way through familiar – and not so familiar -- go scenes. The talking Ing clock – which in one strip explains “G8 was too slow” to the steaming Chidori -- is an especially inspired stroke of genius that will be appreciated by legions of go players.

GO PAIR: For several years now, Ondrej Silt, a 6d Czech, and Rita Pocsai, a 4d from Hungary, have not only been a pair in Pair-Go, but also a couple, often traveling to tournaments together. This week the pairing gods apparently decided it would be amusing to pit the two against each other in the very first round of the European Go Championship. Silt is a full-time go-player, participating in many European tournaments, while Pocsai has less time for go, and the two of them had only played each other nine times before Sunday’s pairing. When she couldn’t find a winning way out of a difficult fight, Pocsai resigned the game, though some of the on-lookers thought she gave up a bit too early. Indeed, analysis showed that the fight should have become ko, and with no threats large enough, she should have won the fight and the game. - Peter Dijkema

WE’VE GOT PROBLEMS: Noriyuki Nakayama 6P of the Nihon Kiin and Muraoka Shigeyuki 9P of the Kansai Kiin stopped by the EGC Bulletin/EJ office Friday to chat and left us with some fun and interesting problems for our readers. It’s Black to play in all cases. Look for solutions in our next Special Edition! NOTE: Click here to download dozens of top-board games!

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Managing Editor: Chris Garlock
Assistant Editor: Bill Cobb

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