The second round of the men’s teams event started at 12:30 p.m. on December 13, following the second round of the women’s individual event. China was matched against Chinese Taipei, Japan against Korea, and Europe against North America. Deputy chief referee Michael Redmond gave the opening instructions.
On the basis of international tournament results during the current century, China and Korea seemed likely to have the advantage in their matches, but Chinese Taipei’s near upset of Korea in the first round raised doubts about the size of that advantage. The match between Europe and North America was harder to predict. North America had won a similar match two year ago, but by a close 3-2 score, and this year the European team had the advantage of youth.
The results of all three matches were decisive. China beat Chinese Taipei 3-0, Korea beat Japan 3-0, and Europe beat Russia 3-0. Following the games, Ranka talked with Russia’s Ilya Shikshin, who had defeated North America’s (Hollywood’s) Daniel Daehyuk Ko, and Slovakia’s Pavol Lisy, who had defeated Canada’s Yongfei Ge.
Ilya Shikshin: ‘Our game started out with a complex opening pattern in which my opponent made several mistakes, so I got the lead. I think I was about twenty points ahead. After that I tried to play simple moves, and my opponent started to take risks, trying to draw me into an error, but in the end I killed a dragon and he resigned.’
Pavol Lisy: ‘I had a bad opening, but then somehow I caught up and even pulled ahead. At one point I thought I was going to win by about six points, nearly the size of the komi. Then something happened to a group of mine in the corner. At first it looked as if I was going to lose all my territory there. I was terrified, but I thought for ten minutes and found a way to rescue it, and after I did, my opponent resigned.’
Here’s the position that caused the terror.
Pavol is white. Yongfei invaded his corner with Black 1-9 in Diagram 1, and suddenly what had looked like 18 points of white territory began to look more like a double life. The saving move that Pavol came up with was White 1 in Diagram 2. After White 3, Yongei abandoned the black stones, played a few moves elsewhere on the board, and then resigned. If he had continued, he can only play as in Diagram 3, but the black group ends up in atari while White still has two liberties left.
Here’s a summary of the match results:
China 3-0 Chinese Taipei: Fan Tingyu beat Chou Chun-hsun, Zhou Ruiyang beat Wang Yuan-jyun. Wang Xi beat Lin Chun-yen
Korea 3-0 Japan: Park Jeonghwan beat Fujita Akihiko, Kim Jiseok beat Hirata Tomoy. Cho Hanseung beat Tsuruta Kazushi
Europe 3-0 North America: Fan Hui beat Huiren Yang, Ilya Shikshin beat Daniel Daehyuk Ko, Pavol Lisy beat Yongfei Ge
- James Davies
The second and third rounds of the Women’s individual event at the third SportAccord World Mind Games were played on Friday, December 13. The second round began at 9:30 in the morning. China’s Wang Chenxing and Yu Zhiying were paired against Japan’s Fujisawa Rina and Mika Yoshida. Korea’s Park Jieun and Oh Jeonga were paired against Chinese Taipei’s Chang Cheng-ping and Joanne Missingham. All players were in their seats in time for the opening instructions, which were given by deputy chief referee Michael Redmond. Time control was one hour per player, followed by three renewable 30-second overtime periods.
On the China-Japan boards, both Chinese players came out ahead. Neither Japanese player resigned, but eventually Wang Chenxing beat Fujisawa Rina by 4-3/4 stones (9.5 points) and Yu Zhiying beat Mika Yoshida by 2-3/4 stones (5.5 points). China has been very hard to beat in international competition this year.
The games between Korea and Chinese Taipei were split. Park Jieun, 9 dan, who has been winning Korean women’s titles since 2000, played Chang Cheng-ping, 4 dan, who made professional shodan in Korea in 1998 and then in Chinese Taipei in 2000. Park won by resignation. Joanne Missingham, however, defeated Oh Jeonga by 2-3/4 stones (5.5 points). Joanne is playing in her third SportAccord World Mind games, and has represented Australia and then Chinese Taipei in numerous international events. Oh Jeonga, for her part, played for Korea at this year’s Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games, winning an individual silver medal and a bronze in pair go.
After an ample break for lunch, the third round began at 3:00 p.m. Starting here, the women’s individual tournament was divided into an undefeated section and a repechage section. In the undefeated section Park Jieun (Korea) was matched against Yu Zhiying (China) and Wang Chenxing (China) was matched against Joanne Missingham.
In one half of the repechage section Natalia Kovaleva (Russia) was matched against Dina Burdakova (Russia) and Svetlana Shikshina (Russia) against Sarah Jin Yu (Canada). The Canadian and the three Russians were now in effect engaged in a knockout to select one player to meet the last player to lose in the undefeated section; the winner of that meeting would proceed into the playoffs for the medals and for fourth to sixth places.
Moving into the other half of the rerpechage section were Yoshida Mika (Japan), who was matched against Chang Cheng-Ping (Chinese Taipei), and Oh Jeonga (Korea), who was matched against Fujisawa Rina (Japan).
The results were a complete triumph for the two Chinese players, a disaster for the women from Japan and North America, and a mixture of wins and losses for the women from Korea, Chinese Taipei, and Russia. Wang Chengxing beat Joanne Missingham; Yu Zhiying beat Park Jieun; Chang Cheng-peng beat Yoshida Mika; Oh Jeonga beat Fujisawa Rina; Natalia Kovaleva beat Dina Burdakova; Svetlana Shikshina beat Sarah Jin Yu. The six winners remain in contention. Joanne Missingham and Park Jieun, who recorded their first losses, are also still in contention. The two Chinese, Wang Chengxing and Yu Zhiying, will contend for the final undefeated position in round four.
- James Davies
Ranka: Please tell us about your present life in Canada.
Svetlana: I moved to Canada in late June last summer. We’ve been living in a village with my husband’s parents, and I haven’t really gone anywhere for the last sixth months. I’ve been to only one tournament, the Canadian Open in Toronto in August. I played simultaneous games and saw many players. They had men’s, women’s, and children’s tournaments running at the same time. The winner of the Open was a young Chinese player. Most of the strongest Canadian players came originally from China, although there are a few Caucasian 5- or 6-dan players. I also met some professional players who were visiting from Korea and had a chance to speak Korean with them. It took three hours to get there, so I stayed there for the tournament, but I can’t do that type of thing often.
Ranka: And what were you doing before you came to Canada?
Svetlana: I was living in Russia, and I was doing many things, teaching in schools and playing in tournaments, but I can’t do that in Canada yet. We need to move to a bigger city first.
Ranka: Since you have Korean professional qualifications, will you continue to play in Korean professional tournaments?
Svetlana: In 2007 I moved back to Russia to have a baby. In January 2008 I got a letter from the Korean Baduk Association in which they told my they had promoted me from shodan to 3 dan, but I had to sign some papers agreeing to work to spread the game in Russia and other countries, and not to participate in Korean professional tournaments in the future–only in international tournaments.
Ranka: Are you now teaching Canadian go players?
Svetlana: No, there are very few people in the village where I live, and our house is far away from everything else. Even to go shopping you need a car, but I don’t have a driver’s license, so I just stay home. I only teach on the Internet.
Ranka: Please tell us more about your Internet teaching activities.
Svetlana: I have six or seven students. They’re from Russia or other European countries, but one of them is from Canada.
Ranka: Are you and your husband planning to live in Canada permanently?
Svetlana: Yes, but we intend to travel to Russia every summer, or at least I would like to take my son to Russia every summer, so that he won’t forget how to speak Russian. After going to school in Canada for six months, now when he speaks to me, sometimes he puts in English words when he can’t remember the Russian word.
Ranka: To change the subject, we’d like to ask you how you rate your brother Ilya.
Svetlana: I think he is as strong as the shodan women professional players in Japan and Korea, but still weaker than the shodan men professional players in those countries. But when he won the European championship a few years ago he was the strongest European player, and he is still one of the strongest.
Ranka: Can you tell us anything about the plans to start a professional system in Europe?
Svetlana: There is talk about this, but there was also talk about it a few years ago and nothing has happened yet. I’ll believe it when I see it.
Rank: Please tell us about the time you won the European Championship.
Svetlana: That was in 2006. That was my best tournament ever. I lost only two games and won the other eight. One player I lost to was Professor Lee Kibong, amateur 7 dan, my teacher at Myongji University in Korea. The other was to a Japanese player. The European Championship was an open tournament so anyone could participate. One of the eight players I beat was my brother Ilya. I beat him twice, in the European Championship and in the Masters’ Tournament, which I also won. Because of winning those two tournaments I was able to come to the Fujitsu Cup for one last time in 2007.
Ranka: Finally, what would you like to do to spread the game of go in the future?
Svetlana: If possible, I would like to start teaching children in Canada. When I was in Russia I taught at a chess club. Besides chess, they taught draughts and go. I was teaching primary school children. They liked my lessons, and when I had to leave they were all sad–some children even cried–they didn’t want me to stop teaching them. So I would like to teach children in Canada too, but I need go sets and a big demonstration board. I’ve already talked to the director of the school my son attends. They say I can teach there on a volunteer basis. The parents would probably approve of go lessons, because I wrote a paper about how go makes you smarter. Maybe next spring I’ll be able to start teaching at that school, if we can get the equipment.
Ranka: Thank you very much.
Note: be sure to check out Svetlanas website.
We asked the Chief Executive Officer of FIDE, Geoffrey Borg, to give us the low-down on the chess tournament at this year’s SportAccord World Mind Games.
You can tell by their ears!
A sign of stress, this subconscious signal is enough to guess the outcome of an important game, according to Mr Borg. It seems that chess, like go, has its fair share of ear-reddening games. But what differentiates our two games?
I think one of the great things about go is the ko rule, preventing repetition of positions. In chess we are plagued with draws and it can reduce the entertainment value for spectators. If you think of chess as a game of war, the stalemate rule makes no sense. If your opponent’s king is trapped without a safe place to move, he deserves to lose!
Ian Nepomniachtchi, with the formidable Elo rating of 2721, is one of Russia’s hopefuls in this year’s competition. We asked him his impressions of the game of go.
Actually I have never tried to play, but my friend has recently started to learn. As a chess player I am interested in go because, unlike in chess, the top human players are still far superior to computers.
Recently there have been many scandals in chess involving cheating with computers, and with the inevitable improvement of go software, perhaps we can learn from the chess world how to deal with this problem before it arises.
There are also many who are unsatisfied with the dan/kyu ranking system used in go. These ratings do not change dynamically and are in most cases kept as honorary titles for life, and therefore often do not reflect the current strength of the player. Furthermore, there exist many variations in the systems used in each region. But what does Nepomniachtchi think about the so-called Elo system used in chess?
The rating system we use serves as an objective indicator of a player’s current strength. In the past it was updated only twice a year but now ratings are recalculated on a monthly basis. There are also separate ratings for each time setting (e.g. standard and blitz). In chess we make heavy use of rankings to determine tournament qualification, so it is important to ensure they are accurate.
And what about draws in chess? Would an anti-repetition rule benefit the game?
I believe chess is already well balanced and that there is no need to change the rules. Draws are just a part of chess and I see no reason why a draw should not be given if both players are performing at a similar level.
It seems both sports have a thing to learn from each other. Will we see a universal rating for go, or anti-drawing measures in chess?
- John Richardson
Day 1 Summary: Men’s teams: China beat North America 3-0, Korea beat Chinese Taipei 2-1, Japan beat Europe 3-0. Women’s individual: Yu Zhiying (China) beat Dina Burdakova (Europe/Russia), Chang Cheng-ping (Chinese Taipei) beat Natalia Kovaleva (Europe/Russia), Oh Jeonga (Korea) beat Sarah Jin Yu (North America/US), Fujisawa Rina (Japan) beat Svetlana Shikshina (Europe/Russia). CLICK HERE TO WATCH SAWMG DAY 1 HIGHLIGHTS
In the match between China and North America, the game between Wang Xi (China) and Yongfei Ge (Canada) was played at a rapid pace, with Ge challenging Wang to an early ko fight. Wang won the ko and captured five white stones in the center, then used his central power to attack and capture White’s largest group. Ge resigned and the game was over in less than an hour. The other two North American players held out longer, but Huiren Yang resigned to Bailing cup-winner Fang Tingyu in less than two hours, and Daniel Daehyuk Ko, after playing his game out nearly to the end and seeing that he was more than ten points behind, resigned to the 17-year-old Ing cup-winner Zhou Ruiyang. The Ko-Zhou game (click here for Michael Redmond 9P’s game commentary) was broadcast to a live YouTube audience with a running commentary by Michael Redmond 9P.
The European team put up more stubborn resistance in their match with Japan, but Ilya Shikshin lost by 4.5 points to 19-year-old Hirata Tomoya (photo at right; click here for Michael Redmond 9P’s game commentary); Fan Hui managed to rescue a beleaguered group in a ko fight but eventually had to resign against New King (Shinjin-O) title-holder Fujita Akihiko; and in a battle of 18-year-olds, Pavol Lisy struggled to a 28.5-point loss to Tsuruta Kazuya.
The Korean team was matched against Chinese Taipei. In the first round of the men’s team event in the first SportAccord World Mind Games two years ago, Chinese Taipei had given Korea a bad scare by winning on two of the five boards. This year, with only three boards, Korea could not afford two losses. Both sides played deliberately from the outset. Around four o’clock it looked as if the younger player might win on all three boards, and two of the younger players were from Chinese Taipei. Two of these predictions held up: Park Jeonghwan (Korea, age 19) defeated Chou Chun-hsun (Chinese Taipei, age 33) by half a point on board one, and Lin Chun-yen (Chinese Taipei, age 15) defeated Cho Hanseung (Korea, age 31) by resignation on board three. On board two, however, Kim Jiseok (Korea, age 23) fought back to overcome Wang Yuan-jyun (Chinese Taipei, age 17) by 1.5 points. “I was behind from the opening,” said Kim. “I finally managed to catch up in the endgame, but because of the large number of prisoners it was hard to calculate the score accurately. It wasn’t until I won the ko on the right side that I thought I might be ahead.”
- James Davies, Ranka Online. Click here for his complete Day 1 report, the SAWMG Day 1 report, Day 1 men’s results & women’s results.
After a last minute defeat in a tense game with the young Chinese star Yu Zhiying 4p, Ranka had the pleasure to speak with Japan’s Yoshida Mika 8p, former winner of the Women’s Honinbo.
Ranka: Could you tell us a little about your game this morning?
Yoshida: A tragic loss! I felt I was playing on top form throughout the early and middle stages of the game, then it all fell apart at the end. I am devastated to have missed this opportunity to secure a victory.
Ranka: We hear you have recently started flamenco dancing – what got you into that?
Yoshida: I love music and dance. My first encounter with flamenco was in my twenties on a visit to Spain. “That’s it!” I thought. But in the end I never got round to learning, and it was only this March when I reencountered the dance and decided to take it up seriously. Looking back at my game this morning, maybe my future is in flamenco…!
Ranka: How else do you spend your free time when away from the go board?
Yoshida: That’s about it these days. I have been very busy with my two daughters.
Ranka: How have you managed your time now you are a mother?
Yoshida: My two daughters are nine and six now, but when they were still young I took a six year break from go. It was impossible to continue playing and studying, and I felt it was an important time to spend with my children. Now they are at school, so I can find some spare time to study in the mornings.
Ranka: We wish you success in the rest of your games.
- John Richardson
T Mark Hall died on Monday, December 9 after a long illness. Perhaps best-known throughout the global go community as the co-creator of GoGoD (Games of Go on Disk), the exhaustive go encyclopaedia, Hall “was a long and faithful servant of the British Go Association, of British go in general,” said BGA president — and longtime friend — Jon Diamond. “He was on our Council for some 22 years, serving for 20 of these as Treasurer, a record of service that will surely be unsurpassed.” “T Mark Hall’s work benefited go players around the world,” said American Go Association president Andy Okun. “We extend our thanks and deepest sympathies to our British go colleagues who so generously shared his gifts with us.” John Fairbairn, Hall’s longtime friend and GoGoD colleague, said that “British Go has been blessed with many fine servants, but very high among them will rank T Mark Hall. I was with him in the last months and hours and so I can testify that he had borne his long illness with great dignity and courage – nonchalance even.” Hall continued to work on GoGoD until very near the end and as recently as April played in the British Open, where he came in fourth. “Mark wished to continue his work for the British Go Association even after he was gone, and has made substantial bequests accordingly,” Diamond says. He also donated his antique go board to the British Museum and asked that GoGoD continue; Diamond says “I hope to keep his flame alive there, although frankly he will be quite irreplaceable.” Diamond added that “Mark was not just well known. He was popular…He will be remembered by many for sitting at tournaments and other events after his game was over with his pipe and chatting to all and sundry. He will be sorely missed.”
- photo courtesy BGA
Fourteen pairs of go players gathered at the Seattle Go Center Saturday night, December 7, for a gala dress-up event that included two rounds of Pair Go and three kinds of cake provided by the stylish Bakery Nouveau of Capitol Hill. Among the strong players, the winning team was “EASTWEST” – Momoko Tsutsui and Jon Friedman. TD Bill Chiles reported that the middle group was led by Deborah Niedermeyer and Brian Allen. The aptly named “DRESS TO KILL”, Marilyn and Rainer Romatka, ruled the last group. Participants enjoyed door prizes from Pandanet Internet Go, while the winners received fans with calligraphy from the Go Center. At the end of the holiday evening, organizer Bill Thompson revealed his secret plan to make this an annual event, and there was no objection. Photo by Joe Schneider, report by Brian Allen
“Sitting in front of a clay oven in which the temperature is kept at 1,200 C, workers use a traditional tool to precisely drop melted materials onto an iron board,” reports ChinaDaily.com. “ As a result, crystal-clear Go pieces, which look like black jade along with the color white, immediately appear. This is how the world-famous Yunzi, the special Go pieces, are produced… Yunzi is short for Yunnan Go pieces, and has a history of more than 500 years. The ancient process of making Yunzi was lost towards the end ofthe Ming Dynasty. In 1974, researchers found the formula from ancient Go pieces and the process remained a secret…” Read more here (be sure to click on the photo to see the entire gallery of how the stones are made).
Imagine sitting at your go board, playing through a game from a printed game commentary. You come to a point where you need further explanation, scan the QR code into your Smartphone, and go online for a tutorial. Or jump online to play the game with the aid of your laptop or tablet. Whichever works best for you, Cooper Stevenson wants to help you enjoy the beauty of the game with his new magazine, Formation. “I want to engage the initial spark people have when they first appreciate the game and carry them all the way to expert levels,” Stevenson told the EJ in a recent interview. “Learning go should feel like a journey through a scenic valley, discovering new treasures along the way.” The inaugural issue includes coverage of a merger to create a potentially major new server, the latest scientific evidence that go actually produces physical changes in the brain, and move-by-move commentary by Go Seigen on a classic encounter with Kitani from 1957. Stevenson adapted Jim Z. Yu’s translation, also available as the first of ten games and several other game analyses in the free download, “Go on Go: The Analyzed Games of Go Seigen.”
By porting instructional material online, Stevenson hopes to make it easier for players to learn, especially those new to the game. “When I was learning from printed books, the diagrams were too hard to read,” Stevenson said. “I wanted to give authors a better way to communicate their ideas to their readers.” Formation will be available in print and online. The print version will have a spiral binding so as to lie flat next to the goban. QR links will enable players to step through a variation, get the answer to a problem, and so on. “The key is delivering the best content respective to the medium by which it is delivered,” Stevenson said. “The online site will have current news because digital media are more timely. The print medium will have more in-depth stories and features from the world of go. The reader can take their time absorbing the content, as a copy is always on the coffee table, ready for a good read.” Subscriptions to the print version will be available soon at the website.
Formation is looking for volunteer proofreaders, interesting games, and authors. If you have an idea for future content, contact email@example.com.
The go competition at the third SportAccord World Mind Games began with the first round of the men’s team round robin, which started at 12:30 p.m. on December 12, and the first round of the women’s individual tournament, which started at 3:00 p.m. First to arrive in the playing room were the referees (nine Chinese amateur and professional players from four Chinese cities) and the game recording crew (thirteen amateur and near-professional players from the Ma Xiaochun Daochang). The first player to arrive was Pavol Lisy (Slovakia), the youngest member of the European men’s team. He was quickly followed by Fan Hui (France) and the red-clad men’s team from Chinese Taipei. By 12:28 all the men’s teams were complete and Wang Runan, the chief referee, delivered the opening instructions: mobile phones off, Chinese rules, 3-3/4 stones (7.5 points) compensation, two hours per player followed by five 60-second overtime periods, and then, ‘Begin!’
The Korean team was matched against Chinese Taipei. In the first round of the men’s team event in the first SportAccord World Mind Games two years ago, Chinese Taipei had given Korea a bad scare by winning on two of the five boards. This year, with only three boards, Korea could not afford two losses. Both sides played deliberately from the outset.
In the match between China and North America, the game between Wang Xi (China) and Yongfei Ge (Canada) was played at contrastingly a rapid pace. Ge challenged Wang to an early ko fight. Wang won the ko and captured five white stones in the center, then used his central power to attack and capture White’s largest group. Ge resigned. The game was over in less than an hour. The other two North American players held out longer, but Huiren Yang resigned to the 17-year-old Ing cup-winner Fang Tingyu in less than two hours, and Daniel Daehyuk Ko, after playing his game out nearly to the end and seeing that he was more than ten points behind, resigned to Bailing cup-winner Zhou Ruiyang. The Ko-Zhou game was broadcast to a live YouTube audience with a running commentary by Michael Redmond.
The European team put up more stubborn resistance in their match with Japan, but Ilya Shikshin lost by 2-1/4 stones (4.5 points) to 19-year-old Hirata Tomoya; Fan Hui managed to rescue a beleagured group in a ko fight but eventually had to resign against New King (Shinjin-O) title-holder Fujita Akihiko; and in a battle of 18-year-olds, Pavol Lisy struggled to a 14-1/4 stone (28.5-point) loss to Tsuruta Kazuya. The winners comments:
Fujita Akihiko: ‘The ko was a two-step ko, so by the time White had spent three moves winning it he had lost the game.’
Hirata Tomoya: ‘The opening was difficult, but I felt that I got the lead in the middle game and then I played safe in the endgame.’
Tsuruta Kazushi: ‘There were many difficult situations in the game, much was unclear, but I never felt that I was in danger of losing.’
While these matches were ending, the tension was winding up in the match between Chinese Taipei and Korea. Around four o’clock it looked as if the younger player might win on all three boards, and two of the younger players were from Chinese Taipei. Two of these predictions held up: Park Jeonghwan (Korea, age 19) defeated Chou Chun-hsun (Chinese Taipei, age 33) by 1/4 stone (half a point) on board one, and Lin Chun-yen (Chinese Taipei, age 15) defeated Cho Hanseung (Korea, age 31) by resignation on board three. On board two, however, Kim Jiseok (Korea, age 23) fought back to overcome Wang Yuan-jyun (Chinese Taipei, age 17) by 3/4 stone (1.5 points). This was the last of the men’s games to end. Kim’s comment:
‘I was behind from the opening. I finally managed to catch up in the endgame, but because of the large number of prisoners it was hard to calculate the score accurately. It wasn’t until I won the ko on the right side that I thought I might be ahead.’
In the women’s individual competition, Yu Zhiying (China), Chang Cheng-ping (Chinese Taipei), and Oh Jeonga (Korea) defeated Dina Burdakova (Russia), Natalia Kovaleva (Russia), and Sarah Jin Yu (Canada) by resignation, and Fujisawa Rina (Japan) defeated Svetlana Shikshina (Russia) by 6-1/4 stones (12.5 points). Fujisawa’s comment: ‘It was a difficult opening, but I got the lead in the middle game.’
Summary of the first day of competition:
Men’s teams: China beat North America 3-0, Korea beat Chinese Taipei 2-1, Japan beat Europe 3-0.
Women’s individual: Yu Zhiying beat Dina Burdakova, Chang Cheng-ping beat Natalia Kovaleva, Oh Jeonga beat Sarah Jin Yu, Fujisawa Rina beat Svetlana Shikshina.
- James Davies
Approximately 150 bridge, chess, draughts, go and xianqi players flew into Beijing Monday for the third SportAccord World Mind games, which run through December 18. Daily highlights are available on YouTube, click here for schedule and results and you can also follow the action on Facebook. Go, with 30 players, has the third largest contingent, behind bridge (48 players) and chess (32 players); 18 men and 12 women from China, Chinese Taipei, Europe, North America, Japan, and Korea. The men will compete as teams, the women as individuals, and the Games will also include pair events (see below for Michael Redmond’s commentary on the Round 1 game between Danny Ko 7d and Ruiyang Zhou 9P). The Games were officially declared open Tuesday evening by Yang Xiacho, president of the Organizing Comittee and deputy mayor of Beijing, at an opening ceremony held in the main second floor hall of the Beijing International Conference Center, which will be the competition venue for the coming week. The announcement was accompanied by a musical fanfare and projected images of fireworks and preceded by official greetings from dignitaries, including Wang Wei, executive president of the Organizing Committee and vice chairman of the Beijing Olympic City Development Association (BODA), and Marius Vizer, president of SportAccord. Representative groups of contestants marched onto the stage to witness the raising of the Chinese flag and the SportAccord flag by a crack drill team in white uniforms, after which the stage was taken by a succession of Chinese dance teams, including a shadowboxing demonstration, kickball dance team, military exercises with broadswords and an exhibition of classical dance skills in a ‘Chess Rhyme’, in which the dancers were dressed as black and white chess queens. There was much in these performances to inspire the spectators, who were already in a good mood following a buffet banquet, and the ceremony ended at a quarter past eight, in plenty of time for everyone to rest up for the week ahead, though the go players met briefly for a technical meeting to set up the competition draw. Click here for James Davies’ detailed opening ceremony and technical meeting report on Ranka. photos by Ivan Vigano
Today’s Game Commentary: Daniel Ko (US) vs. Ruiyang Zhou (China)
Daniel Ko, the 7-dan from Los Angeles, California acquits himself quite well in this game against a world champion. Zhou won the first Bai Lin Ai Tou Cup, was a finalist in the 18th LG Cup and a member of the championship Chinese team in the 13th Nong Shim Cup. This game features a modern-style professional opening and competing moyos that both players invade. This could have been a close game but in the key fight in the middle-game, white pulls ahead in territory while attacking black. Click above or here to download the sgf file and open in your favorite go software.
After a very calm start for both players, Lee Sedol 9P starts to attack in the middle game of the Samsung Game 2 final (Korean Fans Shocked By Loss in Samsung Cup Final As Tang Weixing 3P Sweeps Lee Sedol 9P) on
December 11, sparking a very exciting fight, where I’ve concentrated most of my comments. Tang Weixing 3P ably parries Lee’s attack and after the dust settles it’s a very close game.
- Michael Redmond 9P
“On Yang’s puzzle (12/10 Member’s Edition), did you mean white to play instead of black to play?” wonders Eric Osman.
You are correct; sharp find! Sorry about that. We’ve updated the problem, so if you reload the tsumego problem link, you should see the correction.
The start of the third SportAccord World Mind Games was officially declared by Mr Yang Xiacho, president of the Organizing Comittee and deputy mayor of Beijing, at an opening ceremony held in the main second floor hall of the Beijing International Conference Center, which will be the competition venue for the coming week. The announcement was accompanied by a musical fanfare and projected images of fireworks. It was preceded by greetings from Mr Wang Wei, executive president of the Organizing Committee and vice chairman of the Beijing Olympic City Development Association (BODA), and Mr Marius Vizer, president of SportAccord. Mr Wang noted that mind games were helping to improve the quality of life in Beijing and wished the contestants a pleasant stay in the city. Mr Vizer thanked the Chinese government, BODA, and the city of Beijing for their support and wished the contestants good luck.
Before these greetings, representative groups of contestants, six to eight in each of the five disciplines, had marched onto the stage to witness the raising of the Chinese flag and the SportAccord flag by a crack drill team in white uniforms. Following the greetings, the contestants marched off and the stage was taken by a succession of dance teams. First a team of Chinese college students gave a prizewinning shadowboxing demonstration. Next a kickball dance team demonstrated their skills, which have won prizes in dance competitions in Beijing and Singapore and have been witnessed as far away as Europe and Africa. National champions in military exercises with broadswords and other weapons then demonstrated their skills in a kungfu dance, and finally another student group displayed classical dance skills in a ‘Chess Rhyme’, in which the dancers were dressed as black and white chess queens. There was much in these performances to inspire the spectators, who were already in a good mood following a buffet banquet, and the ceremony ended at a quarter past eight, in plenty of time for everyone to rest up for the week ahead.
For a group of go players and officials, the opening ceremony was followed by a technical meeting. The meeting was presided over by chief referee Wang Runan, with assistance from technical delegate Shigeno Yuki and interpretation by Zhang Wei. The meeting began with greetings from Mr Wang and Ms Shigeno, proceeded through a summary of the rules, and then moved on to the main order of business: the drawing of the team, pair, and player numbers, which were incorporated into a prearranged schedule in each event.
For the round robin men’s team event, the result of the draw was that on the first day of play (December 12) the Chinese team faces the North American team while Europe challenges Japan and Chinese Taipei challenges Korea. The pairings for the next four days were also determined. In three noteworthy matches, North America will square off against Europe on the 13th, Chinese Taipei will tackle Japan on the 15th, and China and Korea will confront each other in the last round on the 16th.
For the women’s double knockout individual event, the draw began with the drawing of numbers 1, 6, 7, and 12, which were scheduled for byes in the first round. Park Jieun (Korea), Yoshida Mika (Japan) Joanne Missingham (Chinese Taipei), and Wang Chengxing (China) had been preselected to receive these byes, Ms Park and Ms Wang being slotted into numbers 1 and 12, Ms Missingham and Ms Yoshida into numbers 6 and 7. Number 1 was drawn to Ms Park and number 12 to Ms Wang; then number 6 was drawn to Ms Yoshida and number 7 to Ms Missingham. This automatically determined the numbers assigned to their fellow countrywomen Oh Jeonga (9), Chang Cheng-Ping (3), Fujisawa Rina (10), and Yu Zhizhing (4). The four women from Canada and Russia then drew for the remaining numbers: Sarah Jin Yu drew a first-round pairing against Oh Jeonga (Korea); Svetlana Shikshina drew Fujisawa Rina (Japan); Dina Burdakova drew Yu Zhizhing (China); Natalia Kovaleva drew Chang Cheng-Ping (Chinese Taipei).
The pair draw was similar to the women’s draw but without byes. The four pairs from the Far East drew for numbers 1, 4, 5, and 8; then the pairs from Europe and North America drew for the remaining numbers, so that the pairs from Europe and North America all drew opponents from the Far East in the first round. Although the pair competition is a single knockout, it will include play-offs for third to sixth places, so even the pairs who lose in the first round will get to play at least one more game.
Although the draw was in no way a competition, the European contingent put on a winning performance. Their non-playing team captain Martin Stiassny and all six of their players attended the meeting, far outshining the other contingents in this respect. This year apparently Europe means business.
- James Davies
Approximately 150 bridge, chess, draughts, go and xianqi players flew into Beijing from December 9-11 for the third SportAccord World Mind games. They were greeted by clear skies and sunshine, and by a team of volunteers who drove them from the airport to the Beijing Continental Grand Hotel, where they will stay.
The bridge contingent is the largest: 24 men from China, Monaco, Poland, and the USA and 24 women representing China, England, Israel, and the USA. They will compete as teams for three days, then as pairs for two days, and finally as individuals for two days.
Chess players make up the next largest group: 16 men and 16 women will compete as individuals in a two-day rapid tournament, followed by a three-day blitz and a two-day Basque system. The field is truly international, coming from Armenia, Bulgaria, China, Cuba, France, Germany, Georgia, Hungary, India, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Russia, Slovenia, Sweden, the Ukraine, the USA, and Vietnam.
Go has the third largest contingent: 18 men and 12 women from China, Chinese Taipei, Europe, North America, Japan, and Korea. The men will compete as teams, the women as individuals, and the Games will also include pair events.
The draughts players consist of 16 men and 12 women, who will vie in two days of rapid competition, followed by a two-day blitz, and then a super-blitz. Like the chess contingent they are highly international, and they represent both hemispheres, coming from Belarus, Brazil, Cameroon, China, Germany, the Ivory Coast, Latvia, Mongolia, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, and the Ukraine.
The xianqi competition has the simplest schedule. The eight men, representing China, Germany, Hong Kong, Macau, the Philippines, and Vietnam, will will play a rapid round robin (one hour per player with 30-second overtime) at the leisurely pace of one round per day. The four women, representing Australia, China, Vietnam, and the USA, will play a two-round knockout.
The first event of the Games was a press conference held on the afternoon of December 11 at the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Press and Publication. Speeches were made by a variety of guests including the President of SportAccord (Marius Vizer) and executives of the Beijing Olympic City. Also present were the two ambassadors for Go, Natalia Kovaleva and Yu Zhiying.
The UCC Go Tournament once again turned out to be a success. The attendance wasn’t as good as last year (18 players), but as usual we had a few international guests from the Netherlands, Germany, France and Poland.
Congratulations to Kim Ouweleen 4d for winning the first prize with 5 wins and to his runner ups – Roman Pszonka 4d (2nd place with 4 wins) and Piotr Rzepnikowski 4k (3rd place with 4 wins).
2 brand new beginner players from UCC also took part in the tournament. Congratulations to Michael Pons for winning the Beginner Prize!
Full results of the UCC Go Tournament 2013 are available here.
Chinese rising star Tang Weixing 3P (left) has overcome Korean legend Lee Sedol 9P (right) to claim the 2013 Samsung Cup. Before the match, played December 9-11 in Suzhou, China, Lee said that he was desperate to win for his country. Having won the Samsung Cup four times, Lee, the defending champion, was considered the favorite by many, including his challenger, but Tang, in his debut in an international final, showed nerves of steel to win the title 2-0. The first game was an intense battle that came to a thrilling climax in a complex ko fight. Many commentators thought that Lee had won this fight with some clever exchanges, as did Lee himself. However Tang was equal to the task, extending his threats and gaining enough from the ko to win by half a point. In the second game Lee, holding black, went on the offensive from the get-go and established a commanding position. Once again, however, Tang resisted solidly to claw his way back, and in the end black did not have enough points. It has been 17 years since Korea has not claimed a major international title. This had Korean fans cheering for Lee in the Samsung final, the last major tournament of the year. Instead, Tang reaffirmed the recent Chinese dominance, leaving Korea winless in 2013. Click here for Go Game Guru’s report on the Samsung semi-finals, which includes interviews with Lee and Tang, photos and game records from the semis.
- Ben Gale, Korea Correspondent for the E-Journal
Ted Terpstra of the San Diego Go Club topped a field of 8 at the December 7-8 go section of the 2013 Las Vegas MindSports event. Sponsored by MindSports International, the event included other “brain” games such as chess, Scrabble, Magic: The Gathering and various miniature war-games. Runners-up in the 4-round go competition were locals Michael Wanek (LV Go Club) in second place and Jun-Suk Kim (LV Go Club) placed third; the three medal winners split a nearly $200 prize pot. During breaks, players were allowed to watch the other games at MindSports, watch sports in the Sports Book, or gamble at the gaming tables. “The event coincided with the National Finals Rodeo,” reports local organizer Chris Tettamanti, “and in the Venetian Hotel venue, there were plenty of places to buy authentic Western wear and cowboy gear. photo courtesy Chris Tettamanti
After three successive years of declining participation, the Syracuse Go Club’s Fall Self-Paired Tournament broke its all-time attendance record on November 23, with the 27 players more than doubling the attendance from the previous year. Players ranging in strength from 5d to 28k played 55 AGA-rated games. Bob Sollish 1d of Syracuse had the best individual record, with four wins and no losses against three other dan players and a 1k player. Every participant was able to select a prize to take home at the end of the day, including several discounted books provided by Slate and Shell.
- report/photo by Richard Moseson
photo: Xinde Ji 5d (left) plays an unrated high-handicap game with first-time participant Yan-Yeung Luk 13k, while Luk’s daughter and a friend, also players in the tournament, look on.