Ida wins Judan title: The final game of the 53rd Judan title match was held at the Nihon Ki-in in Ichigaya, Tokyo, on April 22. The challenger, Ida Atsushi 8P, had taken the lead in the match by winning the second and third games, but Takao Shinji 9P, the title-holder, evened the score in the fourth game. The nigiri to decide the colors was held again, and Ida drew black. The lead in the game switched back and forth, with both players having winning chances. Late in the game, a large group of Black’s came under attack, but instead of just making two eyes Ida countered by setting up a capturing race that he won. Takao resigned after 217 moves. This gave Ida the match by a 3-2 margin.This is Ida’s first title. At 21 years one month, he is the youngest player to win the Judan title and the third-youngest player to win a top-seven title. Ida became a professional in April of 2009, so it has taken him exactly six years to win his first title. This is a new record (it used to be held by Iyama Yuta, but he took seven a half years to win his first top-seven title). photo courtesy Go Game Guru; click here for the Game Guru report, which includes game records.
Meijin League: One game from the Meijin League was played last week. Takao Shinji 9P (B) beat Hane Naoki 9P by resignation. Takao improved his score to 3-1, drawing even with Kono Rin 9P and Yamashita Keigo 9P. The provisional leader in the league is Ko Iso 8P on 4-1.
Kisei leagues: The Kisei A and B Leagues have started this month. As I reported in early November last year, there has been a large-scale reorganization of this tournament. The Kisei tournament has always been the most complicated tournament since its founding, but apparently the sponsor, the Yomiuri Newspaper, was not satisfied. The biggest change was instituting five separate leagues instead of just
one. The top players from a large-scale knock-out tournament (with about 400 participants, including four amateurs) move up into the C League (32 players), above which are two B Leagues, the A League, and the S League (so the leagues are in four stages). The winners of the leagues meet in an irregular knock-out tournament, the winner of which meets the winner of the S League in a play-off. The latter is given a one-win advantage in this play-off, so he has to win only one game, whereas his opponent has to win two games to become the challenger. The six-player S League is at the peak of the tournament pyramid, so I plan to report just on its results. The members, in order, are Yamashita Keigo 9P, Murakawa Daisuke Oza, Takao Shinji Tengen, Yoda Norimoto 9P, Yamashiro Hiroshi 9P, and Kobayashi Satoru 9P.
Correction: The phrase “same whole-board decision” in the Nihon Ki-in rule quoted in my previous report is a typo for “same whole-board position.”
Cary Chinese School won the team competition and Eric Zhang 5d (right) topped the individual competition in the 2015 Carolina Spring Go Tournament. The 12th annual tournament Carolina Spring Go Tournament, held in Raleigh on April 19th, co-organized by the Chinese American Friendship Association of North Carolina (CAFA), Confucius Institute at NC State, and the Cary Go Club, attracted 28 go players with a wide range of ages and go experience but with an equal amount of love for go.
Nine young players from Cary Chinese School’s go classes formed three teams to compete in the team competition. As expected, the team competition generated a lot of excitement, with young players eagerly reporting and checking the scoreboard during the breaks between rounds. CCS Team 1 of Alvin Chen, Alex Kuang and Ellen Zeng, and CCS Team 2 of Andy Chen, Jasmine Ye and Ethan Wan scored the same 9 wins (out of 12 games), thus tied as the winners of the team competition (photo at left).
In the individual competition, Eric Zhang 5d, of Chapel Hill, won the open section championship with a score of 3-1. Andrew Zalesak, 1d, of Cary High School, won Section A with a perfect score of 4-0, including an impressive win over a 3-dan player on a non-handicapped game with no komi. One of the youngest players, Ethan Wan of Cary Chinese School won Section D with a perfect score of 4-0. Alvin Chen won Section B with a score of 3-1 while Ellen Zeng and Alex Kuang tied for the first place finish in Section C with the same score of 3-1. Below is the complete list of winners.
Individual Competition Winners:
Section: open (3d-5d) winner: Eric Zhang, 5d. Final score: 3-1
Section: A (3k-2d) winner: Andrew Zalesak, 1d. Final score: 4-0
Section: B (10k-4k) winner: Alvin Chen, 10k. Final score: 3-1
Section: C (11k-20k) winners(tied): Ellen Zeng, 14k, and Alex Kuang 16k and both with a final score of 3-1.
Section: D (30k-21k) winner:Ethan Wan, 28k, final score: 4-0
Team Competition Winners (tied):
Cary Chinese School Team 1: Alvin Chen, Alex Kuang and Ellen Zeng
Cary Chinese School Team 2: Andy Chen, Jasmine Ye and Ethan Wan
- report by Tournament Director Owen Chen; photos by Jeff Kuang
For the fourth year in a row, the San Diego Go Championship went to a UC San Diego student. This year, it was Leran Zou 7d who won the Open section with the only undefeated record of 3-0. Tying for second place were Paul Chen, Seth Cardew and Jerry Cheng, president of the UCSD Go Club. Twenty-nine players showed up on Sunday, April 19 at UCSD to compete for the 2015 San Diego Go Championship. The event was organized by the combined efforts of the UCSD Go Club, the SDSU Go Club and the San Diego Go Club. The tournament Director was Evan Cho, 9-dan who runs the go school in Arcadia and also the new Atari Go club.
In the Kyu section, Paul Margetts, 3-kyu visiting from England, won with a 3-0 record. The only other undefeated player in the kyu section was Stephen Zhu, 22-kyu, at 2-0. There were four members of the Margetts family in the kyu section, all playing under a family membership in the British Go Association.
- report/photo by Ted Terpstra, President, San Diego Go Club; photo: Competition in the Open Section with winner Leran Zou, in the right foreground playing John Whang.
Joshua Lee 6d (at right, front) swept the ninth annual Orlando Go Tournament, held April 18-19 in Orlando, FL. The event was well attended, with 37 players, ranks 20k-6d, arranged into four divisions.
Division 1 (4d and up):
1st: Joshua Lee (6d), 2nd: Jonathan Fisher (3d), 3rd: Karsten Henckell (4d)
Division 2 (4k-2d): 1st: Steve Barberi (1k), 2nd: Harold Lloyd (2d), 3rd: Raphael Schreiber (4k)
Division 3 (8k-5k): 1st: Cabe Unger (7k), 2nd: Tony Yon (6k), 3rd: Jonathan Heckathorne (6k)
Division 4 (9k-30k): 1st: Heather Crawford (13k), 2nd: George Lebovitz (10k), 3rd: Aaron Otero (8k)
Report/photo by Paul Wiegand
The San Diego Go Club was the first to redeem Chapter Rewards points, getting reimbursed $34.50 for pizza at their Winter Soiree. “The new AGA club rewards program helped pay for pizzas for the 30 plus players who came to our go party,” Ted Terpstra reports from San Diego. “The San Diego Go Club earned points through club members playing rated games and signing up for or renewing AGA memberships. The pizzas provided a pleasant social hour after the games were completed.”
Click here to see the totals for rewards points earned through February. Click here for details on how the new program works. Address any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
photo: Mr. Na, 7P, playing a simultaneous exhibition against club players at the San Diego Winter Soiree; photo courtesy Ted Terpstra
A record 38 players, including 16 students high school age or younger, participated in this year’s Salt City Tournament in Syracuse, New York held on Saturday, April 11. In the A division, Yeunggeul Lee 2d (at right in photo) and Scott Janowski 1k both finished with 3-1 records and split the top prize money, and Jared Beck 3d (at left) took the cash prize for 3rd place. High school student Jake Game 5k swept all four of his games in the B division, with RIT student Kyle Cutler 9k and third grader Liya Luk 11k taking the next two places, both with 3-1 records. Eric Li 22k won the C division with a 4-0 record, and Casey Beach 19k and Rachel Liu 20k both went 3-1 to finish in 2nd and 3rd place.
Every player was able to select a nice prize at the tournament this year thanks to the greatly discounted books provided by Slate and Shell. And the wife of tournament organizer Richard Moseson again baked and decorated the problem cake, shown here just before the problem portion was consumed (black to play). See lots more photos on the club’s Facebook page.
SmartGo’s Go Books for iOS and Macintosh has released three new books. The Go Books app for iPad, iPhone, and Macintosh now offers a total of 102 interactive books about go, including the three newest ones, two of which are available exclusively on Go Books. Iwamoto Kaoru 9 dan’s “Reductions” is a companion volume to “Invasions,” teaching how to reduce many common formations. It’s also available in print from Slate & Shell. “Just Enough Japanese, Vol. 1” by Richard Hunter provides the most relevant kanji for understanding Japanese go books and is exclusively available in Go Books. In Thomas Redecker’s “Igo Hatsuyōron 120: An Elephant in Slices,” the most difficult go problem is split into 120 simpler problems. Only available in Go Books.
In the A League, Boston won their match in the last round making the race for the top very tight. Los Angeles, Greater Washington, and Boston each have 6 points each, but LA and Gr Washington both are outscoring with 9 board points. In this last match up none of the top teams will face each other. Which team will come out on top and travel to the Twin Cities in their last head-to-head match up?
The B League will have a tough fight for second place as it stands now. NC Raleigh and Bay Area are two board points behind Princeton. In the final round Raleigh faces off against the undefeated Princeton for the B League championship. Will Princeton come out on top or will Raleigh and Bay Area kick their games into high gear and make it a tight race?
The C League is also fighting for its second place winner. Berkeley has become a runaway running all of their matches by 2-1 against their opponents. Atlanta 2, DC Team 3, and Boston 2 will have tough matches in the last round.
Make sure to watch LIVE games on Pandanet this Sunday, April 26th in the AGA City League and AGA City League (Manual) rooms. Check out the latest client from Pandanet. Away from your computer when the games are going on? Download the Pandanet (Go) app for Android and iOS!
Players Wanted in Monterey Bay, CA: We hope to find both a North and South County venue for evenings of go play once or twice a month. Click here for details.
Full-size Demonstration boards available: Board dimension 36″x36″; professionally printed/mounted/framed; includes a full set of magnetic stones. Board and stones $500 USD (easel not included) + shipping and handling. Only 6 boards left. Email email@example.com for details.
The AGA East Coast Go Camp has announced Myungwan Kim as the teacher for this year’s camp. Kim is a 9-dan professional, and the only player dispatched to the United States by the Korean Baduk Association since 2008. Kim has more than 10 years of teaching experience, and his students include several US Youth representatives, such as Aaron Ye, Andrew Lu, and Brandon Zhou. He is also three-time US Go Congress Open division winner and currently holds the highest player ranking in the AGA.
Camp directors Amanda Miller and Nano Rivera welcome all campers to join them for a week of go-playing and fun. “If you’re a go player between the ages of 8 and 18 and would like an opportunity to study go for a week with a professional teacher, then the AGA Go Camp is for you,” says Miller.
Anyone who participated in the North American Kyu Championships or the Redmond Cup is eligible to receive $400 off the price of the Go Camp, courtesy of the American Go Foundation. Youth who did not participate in either tournament, but still need financial assistance, are eligible for need-based scholarships here. Visit the camp website for general information, pictures from past camps, and news regarding this year’s upcoming Go Camp. Any questions about camp should be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org. -story by Fernando Rivera. Pictures: top: Myungwan Kim live commenting a tourney match, bottom: campers practice their archery skills at last years camp. Picture by Amanda Miller
Get the latest go events information.
The AGA is selecting two players to represent North America in the prestigious Mlily Meng Baihe Cup World Go Tournament in China. This is one of the biggest go tournaments, attended by top professionals from each country. Eligibility: AGA/CGA member and US/Canada citizenship, AGA 6.5 minimum rating required. Interested players will need to be able to play in Beijing, the the first session May 22-26 and the second session July 7th and 9th if they advance; travel to Beijing and accommodation must be arranged by players themselves. Depending on the number of interested players, the top eight players will compete in an online double-elimination tournament in late April/early May (exact dates TBA). Interested players should send their names, AGA number, AGA ratings, and country of citizenship to email@example.com by midnight, Saturday April 25th.
Takao evens score in Judan: The fourth game of the 53rd Judan title match was played at the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo on April 15. Playing black, Takao Shinji Judan forced a resignation after 167 moves and drew level with the challenger, Ida Atsushi 8P. Ida made a dubious move in the opening (move 46), creating a weak group and letting Takao take the lead. He kept up the pressure and shut Ida out of the game. The deciding game will be played at the same venue on April 22.
Meijin League: One game was played in the 40th Meijin League on April 16. Yamashita Keigo 9P (B) beat Kanazawa Makoto 7P by 10.5 points. Yamashita improved his score to 3-1, just behind Ko Iso 8P on 4-1. On 1-4, Kanazawa is in bottom place and his chances of keeping his seat don’t look good.
More details on quadruple ko: This week’s Go Weekly printed an interview with Kono Rin about his quadruple ko the previous week (see my last report). Some interesting points came up. First of all, Go Weekly states that a quadruple ko comes up once every eight thousand games. Despite this, Kono has featured in two of the 11 recorded cases in Japan and also in a case of triple ko, a record matched only by Cho Chikun (three triple kos). According to Kono, he deliberately set up these kos as the only way to avoid losing the games concerned. In his game against Mitani Tetsuya, Kono set up the second of the double kos in an attempt to make Mitani add a reinforcement; compared to the regular endgame sequence, that would have cost Mitani two thirds of a point. Both Kono and Mitani thought that they were fighting over whether Mitani (black) ended up seven or six points ahead on the board (komi is six and a half). That’s why neither gave way and they agreed to make the game a “no result.” It became clear later, however, that both players had been miscounting the score by one point. Mitani could have given way, as he would still have won the game by half a point. That shows how important counting is. (By the way, Mitani lost the replay on the 13th.) Kono also realized that he (and probably many other professionals) didn’t have an accurate knowledge of the rules. When the quadruple ko started, the players had someone call the referee (probably only one referee was on duty for all the games being played that day). They thought that the referee had to make the decision to declare the game a no-result, but Article 12 of the Japanese rules states: “When the same whole-board decision is repeated during a game, if the players agree, the game ends without result.” In other words, the referee’s job is to oversee the process and confirm the agreement. Kono also commented that he mistakenly thought that the game automatically became a no-result if the same whole-board position was repeated, but the only reference to whole-board repetition is the rule quoted above. He said that he and Mitani could have kept capturing and recapturing the kos all night without infringing the rules. The rule just gives the players the option of agreeing to a no-result to avoid this futility. The reporter interviewing Kono, Sekine Shingo, surmises that go players have perhaps got the go rule mixed up with the shogi rule. In shogi, the rule apparently is that a game is replayed if the same whole-board position occurs four times. The Japanese rules are only one and a half pages long (though there’s a longer commentary), so it’s surprising that players are not completely familiar with them. One reason may be that the average professional would have to play for a dozen lifetimes to experience a no-result.
An early beta of SmartGo for the Macintosh is now available. “It’s taken a while,” says author Anders Kierulf, who’s written up the whole history here. “While this is very much work in progress, I think many go players will already be able to enjoy the GoGoD game collection, joseki and fuseki matching, and SGF editing including the tree view from SmartGo Kifu.” For current users of SmartGo for Windows, this is a free upgrade. For new users, there’s a 15-day free trial, and $39 to buy a license for both Macintosh and Windows version.
Alistair Wall Takes Early Lead in Grand Prix: Alistair Wall made an early start in the new season of the Stacey Grand Prix by winning the 2015 Welwyn Garden City Tournament. Coming first at this four round event, held at the Red Lion in Hatfield, Wall appears to have a good chance of retaining the trophy from the previous 2014-2015 season.
British Team Wins Again in C-League: The BGA team beat Cyprus by three boards to one to stay top of the C-League. Rivals Bulgaria lost four-nil to third place South Africa, who move up to second three points behind us. With just two matches left, against Iceland and Kazakhstan, they hope that they can maintain their place at the top of the league. Game records and additional information on the Pandanet Go European Team Championship can be found on the BGA website.
John Gibson secured final victory for Ireland in the latest match in league C of the PGETC. Playing in a postponed match, his opponent had no answers for his famed high chinese moyo strategy.
His victory secured a 3-1 win, after Tiberiu Gociu and James Hutchinson had secured wins earlier in the week.
Next up, Kazakhstan in a 2pm Sunday match due to extreme differences in the time zones.
On April 5, at the height of the cherry blossom season, a memorial was held at the Nihon Kiin in Tokyo to honor Go Seigen, who died on November 30 last year.
The altar was adorned with seasonal flowers patterned to represent a go board and stones, and with a smiling picture of Go Seigen taken when he was younger. Oikawa Shoichi, executive advisor and senior deputy chief editor of the Yomiuri Newspaper, and Rin Kaiho, honorary Tengen, delivered memorial addresses.
In all 300 people attended, including family members and professional and amateur go players, among whom was Nie Weiping, 9-dan, who flew over from China. To express their condolences, instead of offering flowers they offered stones, by placing one black or white stone apiece on a go board.
This ceremony was followed by a congenial social gathering in another room, where people traded recollections of Go Seigen and played rengo, with Chang Hsu (Cho U) and his wife Kobayashi Izumi presiding.
Those who attended the reception for the 28th World Amateur Go Championship in Tokyo in 2007 will recall the great impression that Go Seigen, who was invited as a special guest, made on the assembled players. At that event he presented the IGF with an ink inscription of the word chuwa, which he had chosen because its two characters (中和) expressed his deep love of the game of go, with its stress on harmony, and his sincere wish for a peaceful world through go. These are ideas will be passed on to multitudes of go players and should be handed down to eternity without end.
Ida takes lead in Judan: The second game of the 53rd Judan title match was held at the Kuroyon Royal Hotel in the city of Omachi in Nagano Prefecture on April 9. Omachi has become closely linked with the Judan tournament: this is the 22nd year in a row that a game from the title match game has been staged here. Omachi is a gateway to the Northern Alps and it has sought to establish itself as “the Alps go village.” Four years ago, Ida Atsushi was the game recorder for the Judan game held here and now he was playing in the title match, challenging Takao Shinji (right).
The game started with fierce fighting, and the first notable move was a move by Ida, playing black, that defied a go proverb by letting the opponent drive a wedge through some neighbouring stones (the proverb is, “don’t let yourself be split into two”). Despite this, Ida got off to a reasonable start. In the middle-game fighting, Ida took a small lead and managed to hold on to it to the end. He won by 2.5 points after 277 moves. After making a bad start in the title match, he has won two games in a row and now needs just one more win to take the title.
Ko Iso leads Meijin League: Two games were played in the 40th Meijin League last week. On April 6, Ko Iso 8P (B) beat Murakawa Daisuke by 3.5 points. On April 9, So Yokoku 9P (B) Cho U 9P by half a point. There are four players with only one loss in the league, but Ko holds the provisional lead by virtue of having completed five rounds. His score is 4-1; the other players are Rin Kono 9P on 3-1 and Yamashita Keigo 9P and Takao Shinji 9P, both on 2-1.
Quadruple ko: A game between Kono Rin 9P (left) and Mitani Tetsuya 7P (black) played in the main section of the Gosei tournament on April 6 was declared no-contest (by agreement between the players) because of a quadruple ko. There were two double kos in Black’s position, one in the top right, the other in the bottom left. So long as these kos continued, the game could not end, but it was so close that Black could not afford to add a stone inside his territory to finish off either ko.
This was the 24th no-contest in an official tournament at the Nihon Ki-in. Eleven of them were from quadruple kos, ten from triple kos, and one from a quintuple ko. The other two were from “chosei” or “eternal (or long) life” (an example is given on page 185 of The Go Players Almanac). Chosei is a hypothetical position that first occurred in a professional game in 1993 and then again in 2009. According to Wikipedia, it also appeared in a Korean game in 2013. Incidentally, a chosei is embedded in the floor of the concourse of Ichigaya Station (the closest station to the Nihon Ki-in), just before the ticket gates.
LG Challengers Cup: To commemorate the 20th anniversary of the LG Cup, an international tournament for players 18 and under was held at the Korean Kiwon (Ki-in) in Seoul on April 10 and 11. At stake was a seat in the main LG tournament, which starts on June 8. There were eight players from Korea, including inseis, and four each from Japan and China. Representing Japan were Ichiriki Ryo 7P, Kyo Kagen 3P, Fujisawa Rina 2P, and Mutsuura Yuta 1P. Three of these players were eliminated in the first round, but Kyo Kagen made it to the second day; he lost to the eventual winner of the tournament, Byan Sang-il 3P of Korea, in the semifinals.
One of the DC Cherry Blossom princesses checks out go at the DC Cherry Blossom Festival last Saturday in the nation’s capital; check out more of Gurujeet Khalsa’s great photos on his Facebook page.