The Irish Championship of 2014 is not yet finished, but a date has been set for the event of next year. On the weekend of January 10th – 11th the Top 8 kick-off event will take place in Dublin. The Annual General meeting will be held on Saturday the 10th of January. Exact time and venue to be confirmed.
The final round of pair go competition at the 4th SportAccord World Mind Games was played in the morning of December 17. Deputy referee Michael Redmond gave the starting instructions. The gold medal game was televised, so Michael next moved into the broadcast booth to do the live commentary.
That game started well for the Chinese pair, due in particular to a couple of overly conservative Korean moves (Kim Chaeyoung’s black 37 and Na Hyun’s black 43, click here to download the sgf file.) in the opening. The Koreans’ conservative style gave their opponents Yu Zhiying and Mi Yuting a territorial lead. Although the Korean pair gained ground through good play in the center, forcing the Chinese to go on the defensive, the Chinese pair handled their weak stones very well and maintained their advantage. Then as the endgame began the Koreans missed making a couple of valuable sente moves and found themselves definitely behind in territory. Although they tried to catch up in a ko fight, they lacked adequate ammunition, lost the ko, and resigned. China had swept all the gold medals in go. Korea’s silver is at least an improvement on the bronze the Korean pair got last year.
The battle for this year’s bronze was won by Chinese Taipei. The Japanese pair (Fujisawa Rina and Ida Atsushi) began well enough, but gave away territory in order to embark on a long and confused fight that did not turn out well for them, and eventually had to resign. The new pair from Chinese Taipei (Cathy Chang and Lin Li-Hsiang) played very well this year, as a different pair from Chinese Taipei had also done in winning the silver medal last year.
The all-European battle for fifth place was waged for the larger monetary prize (5000 USD) instead of medals. After some initial fighting, it turned into a close but peaceful contest of very large territories. The winners, with one stone or two points to spare, were former European champions Svetlana Shikshina and Ilya Shikshin. Their opponents Natalia Kovaleva and Fan Hui took sixth place (4000 USD).
- James Davies
“One of the last bastions of human mastery over computers is about to fall to the relentless onslaught of machine learning algorithms,” according to a December 15 report in the MIT Technology review. Why Neural Networks Look Set to Thrash the Best Human Go Players for the First Time reviews the work of Christopher Clark and Amos Storkey at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, who “have applied the same machine learning techniques that have transformed face recognition algorithms to the problem of finding the next move in a game of Go.”
“The question that these guys have trained a deep convolutional neural network to answer is: given a snapshot of a game between two Go experts, is it possible to predict the next move in the game?…Clark and Storkey used over 160,000 games between experts to generate a database of 16.5 million positions along with their next move. They used almost 15 million of these position-move pairs to train an eight-layer convolutional neural network to recognize which move these expert players made next…the trained network was able to predict the next move up to 44 percent of the time, ‘surpassing previous state of the art on this task by significant margins.’”
After just a few days training, Clark and Storkey’s neural network beat GNU Go almost 90 percent of the time in a run of 200 games, but against Fuego 1.1, it fared less well, winning only just over 10 percent of its games.
“There is no suggestion from Clark and Storkey that this approach will beat the best Go players in the world,” the report concludes. “But surely, it is only a matter of time before even Go players will have to bow to their computerized overlords.”
Thanks to John Goon for passing this along.
China has swept the SportAccord 2014 World Mind Games go competition, winning gold in the men’s team and women’s individual events. Tuo Jiaxi, Mi Yuting and Shi Yue (right) easily dispatched the US team in the final match to clinch their gold medals.
More SAWMG coverage:
Of love of Go, wine and Hollywood (Interview with France’s Fan Hui 2P)
Final Rounds: Gold Medals for China (Ranka)
Women’s Final: Yu Zhiying vs Kim Chaeyoung (Ranka)
Pair Go Begins (Ranka)
Mind Sports at Beijing Schools (Ranka)
Game Records-Men (Pandanet)
Game Records-Women (Pandanet)
Game Records-Pair (Pandanet)
After the first four days of go competition in the 2014 SportAccord World Mind Games, the main issues waiting to be settled were who would win the gold medal in the women's individual event, and who would win the bronze medals in the men's team event. Last year the answers had been China's Yu Zhiying and the men's team from Chinese Taipei. Could Korea's Kim Chaeyoung or the Japanese men's team provide a different answer this year?
The men's teams matches began at 12:30. The team from Chinese Taipei was in their seats early, all in their chipper blue and white uniforms. The black-suited Japanese team arrived just a minute or two before deputy chief referee Michael Redmond began reciting the daily litany: two hours of time per player with five renewable 60-second overtime periods; Chinese rules with 3-3/4 stone compensation; mobile phones off or silenced; the round starts!
An hour and a half later, the women's gold medal game began. Kim Chaeyoung, sole survivor of the losers' bracket, drew white against undefeated Yu Zhiying.
In the team event, the Chinese men clinched their gold medals at about three o'clock, when North America's Huiren Yang and Daniel Daehyuk Ko resigned against Mi Yuting and Tuo Jiaxi. Later Shi Yue defeated Mingjiu Jiang by 5-3/4 stones (11-1/2 points) to complete a shutout victory.
The Korean men clinched their silver medals in similar shutout fashion. First Fan Hui resigned to Park Younghun, then Aleksandr Dinershtein resigned to Na Hyun, and then, after fighting desperately, Ilya Shikshin resigned to Kang Dongyoon. Dead European groups were much in evidence on all three boards.
The next match to end was the women's. Yu Zhiying remained undefeated. She had attacked a weak white group on the right side of the board, starting a huge, confusing struggle that spread through most of the center. There was a point at which white had a chance to win, but she went after the wrong black group and it was the attacking white group that lost the capturing race. The position was still confused, but it was hopeless for white and Kim Chaeyoung resigned. Losing is always bitter. Nevertheless, her silver medal is the best result yet achieved by any non-Chinese go player in three years of SportAccord women's individual competition. Yu Zhiying's two consecutive gold medals would seem to establish her as top in the women's go world, and she is still only seventeen.
And what of the men's team match between Japan and Chinese Taipei? As he had the previous day, Lin Li-Hsiang got Chinese Taipei off to a good start, winning by resignation on board two, but then Seto Taiki evened the score for Japan by defeating Chang Che-Hao by resignation on board three. All now depended on the result on board one, where Japan's Yuki Satoshi was playing Chinese Taipei's Chen Shih-Iuan. Chen (black) had taken the lead by attacking in the center in the opening, but during a difficult middle game Yuki had gradually caught up, and in the endgame it appeared that he might be ahead. When the final score was counted, it turned out that he was indeed ahead. He had won by exactly a quarter of a stone, or half a point. The two players spent considerable time afterward reviewing the endgame, with assistance from Seto Taiki, who interpreted between Chinese and Japanese. Both Yuki and Seto are from the Kansai Kiin, in Osaka. After the failure of Japan's Tokyo-Nagoya based men's team in the 2013, Osaka had come to the rescue.
At the evening awards ceremony, following the presentation of medals for blitz chess and pairs bridge, Mr Park Chimoon, acting president of the International Go Federation, presented the bronze medals to the Japanese men's team, the silver medals to the Korean team, and the gold medals to the Chinese team. Bridge ambassador Fulvio Fantoni gave them their medal certificates; then their national flags were raised and the Chinese national anthem was played. Next the medals for women's individual go were awarded by chief referee Hua Yigang: bronze to Rui Naiwei, silver to Kim Chaeyoung, and gold to Yu Zhiying, who triumphantly mounted the dais as a woman transformed, attired in a long and strikingly attractive flowered skirt. This time it was Ms Wang Wenfei, the other bridge ambassador, who gave out the certificates.
Counting chess and bridge, Chinese mental athletes had had a good day. Their total haul was ten medals: five gold, including one in women's chess; two silver, both won in women's bridge; and three bronze, including two more in women's bridge. The games are not over, but China has already shown that it leads the world in go, and leads the Far East in bridge and chess as well.
- James Davies
The first day of pair go at the 2014 SportAccord World Mind Games began at 9:30 on December 16 under the direction of chief referee Hua Yigang. In the previous three years Chinese and Korean pairs had taken turns winning the gold medal, China prevailing in 2011 and 2013, Korea in 2012, but this year, all eight pairs came out fighting.
In the first game to end in the morning round, China’s Yu Zhiying and Mi Yuting killed a black group and beat North America’s Irene Sha and Daniel Daehyuk Ko by resignation. ‘Of course they are much stronger than us,’ said Daniel, ‘but at least we made them fight for their win.’
The three European pairs also lost by resignation. Playing Korea’s Kim Chaeyoung and Na Hyun, Europe’s Dina Burdakova and Alexandr Dinershteyn gave up quickly when they found themselves with ten dead stones on the right side and a very weak group on the lower side.
The game between Chinese Taipei’s Cathy Chang and Lin Li-Hsiang and Europe’s Natalia Kovaleva and Fan Hui looked hopeful for the Europeans at one point, when they killed a black group on the right side, but they had weak stones elsewhere. A large fight developed in the center, and they surrendered when it became clear that to save a beleaguered white dragon they would have to give up some white stones and bring the dead black group back to life.
Svetlana Shikshina and Ilya Shikshin played out their game against Japan’s Fujisawa Rina and Ida Atsushi nearly to the end, but early in the middle game they had lost a big fight that they should have been able to win. They were over thirty points behind when they finally admitted defeat.
In the afternoon round, winners played winners and losers played losers. The loser’s bracket included an all-European game between the Kovaleva-Fan pair and the Burdakova-Dinershteyn pair. Alexandr Dinershteyn played his first move (black 3) on the 7-7 point, and the table was engulfed in mirth as Dina followed suit with black 5 and Natalia did likewise with white 6. After that, however, the fighting became serious, and it turned out better for white. After less than two hours of play, Dina and Aleksandr agreed to resign.
In the other losers’ game, the brother-sister pair, Svetlana and Ilya, gained a measure of revenge for the European men’s team’s loss to North America by defeating Irene Sha and Daniel Daehyuk Ko in another fighting game, featuring a nifty throw-in that set up a ko at the bottom. This in turn set up an all-European contest for fifth place in the final round on December 17.
In the winner’s bracket, the Chinese pair (Yu and Mi) tried the avalanche against the Japanese pair (Fujisawa and Ida), choosing a somewhat unusual variation of this complex joseki. They handled it perfectly and their opponents did not. This gave the Chinese side an initial advantage, and they added to it as the game progressed. Although the Japanese pair managed to keep the game fairly close throughout the middle game and endgame, they could not catch up, and eventually resigned.
The game between the Korean pair and the pair from Chinese Taipei was also close. The climax came when the Korean pair invaded the upper side and started a ko. They had more ko threats and the invading stones lived in grand style, giving the Koreans a clear lead. Their opponents played on, trying to kill another group instead, but this could not be done, so they resigned. In the final round, China and Korea will play for the gold medal, while Japan and Chinese Taipei play for the bronze.
- James Davies
Gold for China in the Women’s Individual Go as Yu Zhiying 5p defeats Korea’s Kim Chaeyoung 2p. Ranka takes a look at their exciting game. Check the game record for detailed comments by Michael Redmond 9p.
The action began with Kim Chaeyoung making a very active extension on the lower side of the board (move 30). Compared to the usual three-space extension, this turned out to be an overplay that would decide the course of the game. In the trade that followed up to move 77, Yu allowed Kim to move out but took ample profit both on the right side and also at the top, giving her a territorial lead.
Kim continued her active play by ignoring her weakness in the centre and shifting to the left side to build a moyo with move 78. This gave Black the opportunity to fight back and begin to surround White’s group on the right side. Up to move 99, White was in a bit of trouble, however Black missed a severe clamp and this gave White some chances to make the position more complicated.
A difficult fight ensued, with both sides having to deal with their many weak groups under the pressure of byoyomi. Move 137 was an inaccuracy for Yu as this move does not give enough eyespace to her central group.
White suddenly went for the kill with move 158 (Diagram 2). But the ensuing semeai was impossible to win and we can call this the losing move. Instead of this all-out strike, the sequence shown in Diagram 3 is how Kim should have played and would have given White a promising position.
Congratulations to Yu Zhiying, who remains undefeated in this year’s World Mind Games. She will be teaming up with Mi Yuting 9p for the Pair Go tournament, hoping for another gold for China.
- John Richardson, based on commentary by Michael Redmond 9p
After the first four days of go competition in the 2014 SportAccord World Mind Games, the main issues waiting to be settled were who would win the gold medal in the women’s individual event, and who would win the bronze medals in the men’s team event. Last year the answers had been China’s Yu Zhiying and the men’s team from Chinese Taipei. Could Korea’s Kim Chaeyoung or the Japanese men’s team provide a different answer this year?
The men’s teams matches began at 12:30. The team from Chinese Taipei was in their seats early, all in their chipper blue and white uniforms. The black-suited Japanese team arrived just a minute or two before deputy chief referee Michael Redmond began reciting the daily litany: two hours of time per player with five renewable 60-second overtime periods; Chinese rules with 3-3/4 stone compensation; mobile phones off or silenced; the round starts!
An hour and a half later, the women’s gold medal game began. Kim Chaeyoung, sole survivor of the losers’ bracket, drew white against undefeated Yu Zhiying.
In the team event, the Chinese men clinched their gold medals at about three o’clock, when North America’s Huiren Yang and Daniel Daehyuk Ko resigned against Mi Yuting and Tuo Jiaxi. Later Shi Yue defeated Mingjiu Jiang by 5-3/4 stones (11-1/2 points) to complete a shutout victory.
The Korean men clinched their silver medals in similar shutout fashion. First Fan Hui resigned to Park Younghun, then Aleksandr Dinershtein resigned to Na Hyun, and then, after fighting desperately, Ilya Shikshin resigned to Kang Dongyoon. Dead European groups were much in evidence on all three boards.
The next match to end was the women’s. Yu Zhiying remained undefeated. She had attacked a weak white group on the right side of the board, starting a huge, confusing struggle that spread through most of the center. There was a point at which white had a chance to win, but she went after the wrong black group and it was the attacking white group that lost the capturing race. The position was still confused, but it was hopeless for white and Kim Chaeyoung resigned. Losing is always bitter. Nevertheless, her silver medal is the best result yet achieved by any non-Chinese go player in three years of SportAccord women’s individual competition. Yu Zhiying’s two consecutive gold medals would seem to establish her as top in the women’s go world, and she is still only seventeen.
And what of the men’s team match between Japan and Chinese Taipei? As he had yesterday, Lin Li-Hsiang got Chinese Taipei off to a good start, winning by resignation on board two, but then Seto Taiki evened the score for Japan by defeating Chang Che-Hao by resignation on board three. All now depended on the result on board one, where Japan’s Yuki Satoshi was playing Chinese Taipei’s Chen Shih-Iuan. Chen (black) had taken the lead by attacking in the center in the opening, but during a difficult middle game Yuki had gradually caught up, and in the endgame it appeared that he might be ahead. When the final score was counted, it turned out that he was indeed ahead. He had won by exactly a quarter of a stone, or half a point. The two players spent considerable time afterward reviewing the endgame, with assistance from Seto Taiki, who interpreted between Chinese and Japanese.
Both Yuki and Seto are from the Kansai Kiin, in Osaka. After the failure of Japan’s Tokyo-Nagoya based men’s team in the 2013, Osaka had come to the rescue.
At the evening awards ceremony, following the presentation of medals for blitz chess and pairs bridge, Mr Park Chimoon, acting president of the International Go Federation, presented the bronze medals to the Japanese men’s team, the silver medals to the Korean team, and the gold medals to the Chinese team. Bridge ambassador Fulvio Fantoni gave them their medal certificates; then their national flags were raised and the Chinese national anthem was played. Next the medals for women’s individual go were awarded by chief referee Hua Yigang: bronze to Rui Naiwei, silver to Kim Chaeyoung, and gold to Yu Zhiying, who triumphantly mounted the dais as a woman transformed, attired in a long and strikingly attractive flowered skirt. This time it was Ms Wang Wenfei, the other bridge ambassador, who gave out the certificates.
Counting chess and bridge, Chinese mental athletes had had a good day. Their total haul was ten medals: five gold, including one in women’s chess; two silver, both won in women’s bridge; and three bronze, including two more in women’s bridge. The games are not over, but China has already shown that it leads the world in go, and leads the Far East in bridge and chess as well.
- James Davies
Andrew Kay Top Teacher in South London: The second South London kyu players’ teaching day and tournament took place at the Croydon Quaker Meeting House, where nineteen students were taught in the morning by Andrew Kay, Alex Rix, Tim Hunt and Alison Bexfield. In the afternoon there was a three round tournament. Kay won the teachers’ tournament with three wins.
UK Stays Second in C-League: UK remains second behind Bulgaria in the C-League. Bulgaria has won two more boards than the UK. The match against Ireland ended 3:1 and links to the games can be found on the main PGETC page.
- compiled/edited by Amy Su, based on reports on the BGA website
Go makes an appearance in the Netflix series “Borgia,” which is not to be confused with the similar series “The Borgias.” In the 29th minute of the third episode (“1497″) of the third season, Cesare Borgia , the illegitimate son of Pope Alexander VI (r. 1492-1503), uses “the game of strategy from the Orient, go,” to give a plan for his conquest of northern Italian states. He uses a thick go board with legs and colored glass beads to demonstrate his point. “The goal is to add as few men as possible; out-thinking your opponent rather than out-fighting him.” The winner does not eradicate his opponent, but rather entices him to surrender.
- Ted Terpstra, based on a tip from Mark Gilston
At half past four on December 13, a group of players, ambassadors, and other representatives of the mind sports included in the SportAccord World Mind Games paid a one-hour visit to another mind sports tournament, this one for students at Beijing’s primary and middle schools. The venue was the gymnasium of Huilongguan Primary School No. 2, near Beijing University. All five mind sports were being played, but go players were the most numerous. For them, this was the final stage of a grand tournament that had begun with preliminary team qualifiers in Beijing’s various school districts. The teams that had won the qualifiers had been playing since morning, and the last round of games was still in progress. The unheated gymnasium was filled with warmly clad schoolchildren, whose high level of enthusiasm generated additional warmth.
The visitors’ first activity was to play simultaneous games of go, chess, and draughts against young opponents who were not engaged in tournament games. Representing the go contingent, Irene Sha, Natalia Kovaleva, Dina Burdakova, her husband Igor Burnaevsky, and ambassador Lee Hajin took on two or three opponents each. The kids were strong, but there was only thirty minutes in which to play, which was not enough time to complete most of the games.
By the end of the simuls, the tournament itself was over, and the visitors now became the bestowers of the awards. International Go Federation vice president Thomas Hsiang draped medals around the necks of the winners at go, and Lee Hajin gave them trophies. The award winners also received SportAccord canteens.
And then the visit was over and the visitors returned to the Beijing International Conference Center to rejoin their comrades at the World Mind Games.
- photo: Yoshitaka Morimoto
Jian Xiao 4D (left) took the annual NOVA Slate & Shell Open on December 13 with a 4-0 record in a field of 18 players. “Bill Cobb of Slate & Shell generously donated books as prizes for the event,” reports TD Gurujeet Khalsa. Other undefeated players were Gurujeet Khalsa 6K at 3-0 and Deirdre Golash 12K with a 4-0 score.
photo at right: Bill Cobb, with S&S prizes; photos courtesy Gurujeet Khalsa
by James Davies, Ranka Online
As noted in yesterday’s report, the US team beat Europe in the SportAccord World Mind Games Round 3 team match on December 13; click here for Ranka’s details on that match, and here for the interview with Danny Ko, one of the victorious American players.
Round 4 action on December 14 began with two games that would draw the line between the medal winners and non-winners in the women’s section. Both players from Chinese Taipei came up short: Joanne Missingham lost in just 111 moves to Kim Chaeyoung (Korea), while Cathy Chang narrowly lost to famed veteran Rui Naiwei of China; click here for the game commentary. In the afternoon, Rui Naiwei lost by half a point to Kim Chaeyoung who now goes on to play Yu Zhiying for the gold medal.
Chinese Taipei got off to a good start in the fourth round of the men’s team when Lin Li-Hsiang defeated eighteen-year old Chinese superstar Mi Yuting. Chinese Taipei’s upset hopes were dampened, however, when their leading player Chen Shih-Iuan lost a tightly fought game to China’s leading player Shi Yue on board one, and were then dashed when Tuo Jiaxi convincingly defeated Chang Che-Hao on board three. China now has four straight wins, and their remaining match is against North America. While China was struggling past Chinese Taipei, the North American team lost to the Korean team 0-3, so China’s chances of completing a clean sweep of all their matches when they play North America appear quite good.
Europe had no better luck against Japan than North America had against Korea. The Europeans fought hard, but Yuki Satoshi beat Fan Hui by a comfortable 7.5 points, Ida Atsushi beat Aleksandr Dinershteyn by a 14.5 points, and Seto Taiki beat Ilya Shikshin by resignation. Edited from longer reports on Ranka Online. Click here for the complete report on Round 4.
photo: Huiren Yang (left) playing Alexandr Dinershteyn; photo by Ivan Vigano
Game records are available on go4go.net; click here for latest SAWMG results.
The fourth day of go competition in the 4th SportAccord World Mind Games started at 9:30 on December 14 with two games that would draw the line between the medal winners and non-winners in the women’s section. On one board Joanne Missingham (Chinese Taipei) was playing Kim Chaeyoung (Korea), to whom she had narrowly lost two days before. On the other board Cathy Chang (Chinese Taipei) was challenging the famed veteran Rui Naiwei (China). Chinese Taipei had two chances to upset the Chinese-Korean monopoly on women’s medals in years past.
But monopolies are not easy to break. The Missingham-Kim game was over in only 111 moves. Playing black, Ms Kim took a territorial lead in the opening, some white groups got into trouble, and Ms Missingham resigned.
Cathy Chang held out longer. In fact, her game was played out to the end, and if there had been no compensation, she would have won. Unfortunately for Chinese Taipei, Cathy was playing black, and after the 3-3/4 stone compensation had been subtracted from her score, she lost by 2-3/4 stones, or 5-1/2 points.
The medals, accordingly, would go to Yu Zhiying, Rui Naiwei, and Kim Chaeyoung. Ms Rui and Ms Kim would play in the afternoon round for a chance at the gold. Ms Missingham and Ms Chang would play for fourth and fifth places.
Shortly after the end of the Rui-Chang game, the fourth round of the mens team event began, with Europe playing Japan, Korea playing North America, and China playing Chinese Taipei. Once again China Taipei had a chance to upset the medal-cart; a victory over China would give any one of four teams a fair chance at winning the gold.
Chinese Taipei got off to a good start on board two when Lin Li-Hsiang, playing black, defeated Mi Yuting. Lin lost five stones early on, but turned the loss to his advantage, and then enlarged his lead in a late ko fight and won by resignation. Lin had lost three title matches in Chinese Taipei this year, but the stocky twenty-one-year-old looked impressive in defeating his eighteen-year old superstar opponent.
Chinese Taipei’s upset hopes were dampened, however, when their leading player Chen Shih-Iuan lost a tightly fought game to China’s leading player Shi Yue on board one, and were then dashed when Tuo Jiaxi convincingly defeated Chang Che-Hao on board three. China now has four straight wins, and their remaining match is against North America. While China was struggling past Chinese Taipei, the North American team lost to the Korean team 0-3, so China’s chances of completing a clean sweep of all their matches when they play North America tomorrow appear quite good.
Europe had no better luck against Japan than North America had against Korea. The Europeans fought hard, but Yuki Satoshi beat Fan Hui by a comfortable 7-1/2 points, Ida Atsushi beat Aleksandr Dinershteyn by 14.5 points, and Seto Taiki beat Ilya Shikshin by resignation.
While the men’s games were ending, the two women’s games, which had started at three o’clock, were still in progress, and both looked very close. Rui Naiwei had been behind in the medal game, but she had caught up and now seemed to be half a point ahead of Kim Chaeyoung. Unfortunately, in the final stage of the endgame she failed to play a one-point sente move in time, allowing her opponent to play it instead. This tilted the outcome to half a point in favor of Kim Chaeyoung, who will play Yu Zhiying for the gold medal tomorrow, while Ms Rui, who won the silver medal two years ago, now takes the bronze. This will be the first time that both the gold and silver medals have not gone to Chinese players.
In the contest for fourth and fifth places, Cathy Chang prevailed over Joanne Missingham by 1-3/4 stones (3-1/2 points). In this game she had never seemed to be behind. Although no medals were at stake, there is a substantial prize differential (5000 USD for fifth place, 8000 USD for fourth place), and perhaps it is fitting that the larger prize will go to the senior player.
- James Davies
Full comments are included in the attached game record.
The Women’s Individual Go event is heating up, as we enter the second half of the 2014 SportAccord World Mind Games in Beijing. We take a look at how Rui Naiwei 9p secured her place in the semi-final, which is to take place this afternoon.
Rui Naiwei is widely considered to be one of the strongest female players in the world. She has lived and worked in many countries, including Korea, the United States and Japan, where she studied under Go Seigen. Rui has won countless titles and just missed out on first place here in Beijing two years ago, losing to Li He in the final.
Her opponent Chang Kai-Hsin 4p has seen much success over the last ten years in Chinese Taipei. She says she has a ‘love-hate relationship’ with Go, with her most memorable game being a half-point loss in a title match final.
The game began with Rui Naiwei showing her intention to build a trademark moyo with moves 24 and 26. Chang’s move 37 was a little strange, leaving a weakness that Rui was soon to exploit. A kosumi on the third line would have been more natural. When Rui came in at the top with move 46, Black could not find a good local reply and so moved into the centre. The game is already good for White at this point, as Rui has a potential splitting attack that will ensure that the moyo on the left side is turned into territory.
Moves 75 and 76 were a bad exchange for Black, increasing White’s lead. It was better to cut, allowing Black either to develop eye-shape or to squeeze White. The position should now have been easy for Rui to convert to a win, but now followed a number of unusually slack moves that gave Chang a chance to get back into the game.
After Chang’s move 81, Rui chose a knight’s move (A in Diagram 2) but the sequence in Diagram 3 is better. White has already invested the two marked stones in Diagram 2 to attack Black’s central group, but this slack move allowed Black to easily make two eyes, rendering those stones ineffective. Black perhaps felt she was behind, as she tried the slightly risky hane at move 85, which left the potential for a ko in the top-right corner. But Rui failed to take advantage of this, playing a bad aji-keshi by capturing on move 104 that removed the potential for ko. It seems she was afraid of lacking ko threats, but nonetheless it was too early to make this play.
Defusing the ko allowed Black to pull back with move 107, a strong move that would not have been possible while there was still the possibility of ko. White suddenly became rather thin and it was now difficult to win cleanly, especially after missing the change to start a ko at move 136 (see variation in attached game record) that would have been very dangerous for Black.
In the end Rui was able to connect up all her groups and reach a winning endgame. She will face Kim Chaeyong 2p this afternoon in the semi-final.
– John Richardson based on commentary by Michael Redmond 9p
Ranka interviewed Daniel Daehyuk Ko just after he won the decisive game in North America’s match against Europe by defeating Ilya Shikshin.
Ranka: How do you feel?
Daniel: Great! We had a really painful loss last year – we lost three-nothing. So I felt that we should win at least one game this time. Even just one game! But luckily one of my teammates won too, so we ended up winning the match.
Ranka: How did your game go?
Daniel: In the opening I was trying to get more territory, while Ilya was trying to make a moyo and start a fight. He tried to attack the invading stones I played to reduce his territory, but he was really too aggressive. Throughout the whole game he was aiming at my weak groups, but every time, they were able to survive successfully. This was my game plan. I was still jet-lagged, so I had decided to take more territory and let him attack my weak stones, but make sure I knew how to save them. Each time I gave him a weak group to attack, I had a plan to save it.
Ranka: You seemed to be winning throughout the game. While you were fighting the final one-point ko, were you aware of how far ahead you were?
Daniel: I wasn’t sure exactly how many points I was winning by, but I thought that I was quite far ahead. I guess the final margin was about seven or eight points. I could have won by ten points or more, but I tried to play safe at the end (click here to download the game record).
Ranka: And now, please tell us how you learned to play go in Korea.
Daniel: I learned to play from my dad, who was like ten kyu. I saw my mom and my dad playing each other when I was five. By watching them, I learned the rules in just one game. After that I was interested in learning more, but there was no go club or dojo in my home town, so mostly I just learned by myself. Then when I was fifteen, one of the stronger amateurs in Korea moved to my town and opened a go club, so I went there and learned from him. I quickly became about six or seven dan – in about one year – but it was already a little too late to try to become a pro, so I decided not to be a pro but to stay an amateur. After graduating from highschool in Korea, I moved to the U.S. to go to college and stopped playing go. There was a period of seven or eight years in which I didn’t go to any tournaments.
Ranka: When did you resume?
Daniel: About eight years ago. After graduating from college and getting a job, I joined the American Go Association and started playing in tournaments again.
Ranka: How many American tournaments have you won?
Daniel: I don’t know, but more than ten. Probably fifteen or twenty, counting small local tournaments.
Ranka: If the American professional system continues to develop, would you consider becoming an American pro?
Daniel: I might think about it, but I’m happy to remain an amateur.
Ranka: Thank you.
by James Davies, Ranka Online
Update: The US team beat Europe in the team match on December 13; see report and links below for details.
The morning event on the second day of the SportAccord World Mind Games on December 12 was the second round of the women’s double knockout. The outcome was victory for both Chinese and both Koreans. Choi Jeong needed less than two hours to defeat Natalia Kovaleva by a wide margin. In a somewhat closer game China’s rookie King Yu Zhiying defeated Japan’s Women’s Honinbo Fujisawa Rina. Japan’s Okuda Aya then bowed in resignation to China’s Rui Naiwei after a long ko fight, and Joanne Missingham (right), trailing by a fraction of a stone with only two one-point moves left to play, resigned to Kim Chaeyoung.
In the men’s team matches, Korea’s Kang Dongyoon fell to China’s Tuo Jiaxi on Board 3, followed by Korean youngster Na Hyun’s loss to Mi Yuting of China, clinching the round for China. Park Younghoon saved face for Korea by playing to a narrow but secure victory over China’s top rated Shi Yue.
The Chinese women did equally well in round 3 of the women’s competition in the afternoon, with Yu Zhiying prevailing over Choi Jeong and Rui Naiwei defeating Kim Chaeyoung by the same fractional margin by which Kim had won in the morning. Four games were also played in the losers’ bracket, with good results for Chinese Taipei and mixed results for the rest of the world: Fujisawa Rina defeated Natalia Kovaleva; Joanne Missingham defeated Okuda Aya; Chinese Taipei’s Cathy Chang defeated North America’s Irene Sha; and in an all-Russian game, Svetlana Shikshina defeated Dina Burdakova. The losers of these four games have now been eliminated. Only the two Chinese players remain undefeated, and they will meet each other in round 4.
Preliminary Round 4 results from play on December 13: Joanne Missingham d. Jeong Choi of South Korea, Svetlana Shikshina of Russia lost to Chang Kai-Hsin and Yu Zhiying beat seasoned campaigner Rui Naiwei. In the men’s team event, China beat Japan across two boards, with Tuo Jiaxi and Yue Shi winning for China while Atsushi Ida won for Japan. The USA men’s team beat Europe across two boards, Huren Yang 1P beating Alexandr Dinershteyn 3P and Danny Ko 7D beating Ilya Shikshin 7D, while Fan Hui 2P defeated Mingjiu Jiang 7P. Click here for results and here for an interview with Missingham.
Game records — including Round 3 — are available on go4go.net.
Click here for Michael Redmond’s game commentary on the Fujisawa Rina vs Yu Zhiying Round 2 match.
Click here for Ranka’s interview with Hua Xueming, China’s non-playing team captain
photo by Ivan Vigano
Round 3 of the men’s team event and round 4 of the women’s individual event were held on the third day of competition at the 4th SportAccord World Mind Games, under the direction of referee Michael Redmond. The men’s event began at half past noon, with the Chinese playing the Japanese, the North Americans playing the Europeans, and the Koreans playing the team from Chinese Taipei. All of these matches were to end with 2-1 scores.
The North Americans quickly found themselves in a desperate situation. Two of their players, Huiren Yang and Daniel Daehyuk Ko, were part of the team that had had been shut out by the Europeans last year. Their third player, Mingjiu Jiang, outranked his French opponent Fan Hui by five professional dan levels, but he lost. When this game ended at about half past three on board one, North America’s prospects seemed bleak indeed.
An hour or so later on board two, however, North America’s Huiren Yang, who earned a 1-dan professional rank in China before emigrating to Boston, defeated Aleksandr Dinershteyn, who earned a 3-dan professional rank in Korea before returning to his native Russia. Today apparently the lower ranked player had the advantage. The seven-time European champion gave his opponent a territorial lead early in the opening, and Mr Yang held onto it for the rest of the game. This was the dour Yankee’s first SportAccord victory in eight attempts. Suddenly he looked twenty years younger.
On board three both North America’s Daniel Daehyuk Ko and Russia’s Ilya Shikshin had amateur 7-dan ranks, so perhaps neither was at any disadvantage, but here too the North American took a territorial lead, after which he successfully parried all his opponent’s attacks on his weak groups and even won the final one-point ko fight. When the score was counted by the Chinese method of first counting surrounded space and then counting stones, Mr Ko (black) was ahead by double the 3-3/4 stone compensation, so he won by a comfortable margin. This was his first victory in ten SportAccord games. North America had avenged its 2013 loss.
Meanwhile, the Chinese had clinched their match by beating Japan on the first two boards, while Chinese Taipei and Korea had divided two games and were nervously watching the close contest on board one, where Korea’s Park Younghoon was playing Chinese Taipei’s Chen Shih-Iuan. North America’s triumphant Mr Ko, who was born in Korea, joined them and had the additional pleasure of seeing Mr Park win by resignation to keep Korea’s slim gold medal hopes alive.
Like the Chen-Park game, the game between China’s Tuo Jiaxi and Japan’s Seto Taiki on board three was close, but unlike the games on boards one and two, the Japanese player was slightly ahead. When Mr Tuo tried to reverse the lead in a last-ditch ko fight, some Japanese ninja magic devastated his largest territory, so Mr Seto won by resignation.
In the women’s double knockout, Yu Zhiying won the all-Chinese match in the undefeated bracket to earn a day of rest in the next round, and at least a silver medal. The outcome was decided during the first fight of the middle game. Rui Naiwei made a mistake that cost her two stones and considerable territory, and after that Yu gave her no chance. Ms Rui now joins Joanne Missingham and Cathy Chang (Chinese Taipei) and Kim Chaeyoung (Korea) in the losers’ bracket. While Ms Yu was winning her fourth straight game, these three defeated and thereby knocked out Choi Jeong (Korea), Svetlana Shikshina (Russia), and Fujisawa Rina (Japan).
- James Davies
China’s defending champion Tang Weixing 9p faced off against Korea’s secret weapon Kim Jiseok 9p (left) at the 2014 Samsung Cup finals on December 9 and 10 in Xi’an. Though Tang had a previous win and the home field advantage, Kim’s individual performance this year in international tournaments has been almost flawless with 15 wins and only 1 defeat. The result? Kim delighted Korean fans by defeating Tang 2-0 and giving Korea its first major international title since Lee Sedol 9p won the Samsung Cup in 2012. For more information about this year’s tournament including photos, game records, and preliminary commentary by An Younggil 8d, please visit Go Game Guru.
–Younggil An, from a longer article on Go Game Guru; photo courtesy Go Game Guru. Edited by Annalia Linnan.
Russia: The Championship of Karelia finished on December 7 in Petrozavodsk with Vladimir Shvecov 3d in first, Dimitrij Kornev 4d in second, and Dmitrij Konovalov 2d in third. Romania: Mircea Nitu 11k (left) took the 2nd VolGo Cup on December 6 in Voluntary. Behind him were Sebastian State 11k in second and George Gigoi 14k in third. Lithuania: Also on December 7, Giedrius Tumelis 2d bested Andrius Petrauskas 3d at the Lithuanian Go Championship in Vilnius while Ernestas Romeika 1d came in third.
– Annalia Linnan, based on reports from EuroGoTV, which include complete result tables and all the latest European go news; photo courtesy of EuroGoTV