Nearly 60 students in Northern Virginia learned go basics on Monday, thanks to an AGA chapter’s initiative teaming up with the summer camp of Hope Chinese School (HCS). “We started with First Capture to get the students interested,” reports Edward Zhang 6D of the Capital Go Club. “Then we introduced the true goal of the game, strategically getting more territory.”
Justin Teng 6D (right), Assistant AGA Youth Coordinator, also lectured about some basic Go concepts, which students then practiced with each other. A Go Congress introduction and Weiqi Boy video (Chinese) showed off the game’s rich culture as students inquisitively watched them.
Zhang emphasized the etiquette and sportsmanship of go, including greeting the opponent and bowing at the beginning, as well as showing appreciation at the end of the game. “Summer is a great time to learn go and the HCS summer camp is a great platform for the AGA,” says Zhang. “Students were very active in the go class, and while it’s hard to match their energy level, it was certainly a fun experience for us.” Zhang credited Yuan Zhou 7D, Dinny Li and Bin Wen for the event’s planning and administration.
Pokemon Go?! “I thought I was into real go but they stole the name!! How disappointed was I?” writes Ted Terpstra after reading about Pokémon Go in The New York Times recently .
Senior Invitation in Sunnyvale: “I would like to encourage go players 50 and older to meet at the Sunnyvale, CA, Senior Center on Thursdays between 2:30pm and 5:30pm,” writes Jean DeMaiffe, responding to our Beginner at 80, Still Playing at 90 7/10 EJ post. “The Senior Center chess players have graciously agreed to share their playing room with us. For now, I am providing two go sets plus a few books, all of which are stored with the chess players’ equipment.” Although DeMaiffe, who’s taught beginners for years, says she won’t always be able to attend, “if a go player contacts me in advance, I will happily make an effort to attend any particular meeting.” Reach her at 408-930-5888 or email@example.com.
Robert Jasiek, go teacher, author, and strong German amateur player, has released a new book on life and death, or tsumego problems. Titled “First Life and Death,” the book promises to “teach life and death from scratch,” starting with building two eyes and creating dead shapes (nakade). Continuing with techniques for attack and defense of one’s eyespace, 274 problems guide the reader through the theory of life and death, including liberty shortage, capturing races, strategy, and tactical reading. With an approach designed for those first venturing into the concept of life and death, Jasiek says beginners can expect to reach the life and death skill of intermediate players. The book can be purchased here.
- Noah Doss
China Qiyuan has announced the 2016 Gold Cup World Amateur Go Tournament, with online preliminaries for players outside of the major go countries to be held on Tygem. “It is a last minute invitation, but the prizes and playing opportunities for the players who make it past the prelims make it worth a shot,” said AGA President Andy Okun. The deadline for registration is July 21; details and the registration form can be found here. The preliminaries will be held from July 27 to Aug. 10, selecting 10 Chinese players, six Korean players and four from the rest of the world. Although competition can be expected to be rough, players down to 18 kyu are welcome to register. Winners of the online prelim will play face to face at the Xiamen Aqua Resort Hotel in Fujian from Sept. 13-18.
The local Committee that responded to INAF’s request for proposals for a new Go Center on the East Coast is very gratified that Washington DC has been selected. “To get the new National Go Center up and running we’re seeking volunteers with a wide variety of skills,” reports Gurujeet Khalsa, who chaired the Committee’s response. “Most urgently we need help in finding a suitable home for the National Go Center and legal advice as we incorporate and apply for non-profit status.”
Former AGA President Mike Lash is leading the search for a location in DC. “We are looking for a great location in DC that can serve the greater Washington area, support efforts to teach go in schools, and be a great place to play and learn go,” Lash says. If you have knowledge or expertise around DC commercial real estate, contact Lash here: firstname.lastname@example.org
For all other volunteering opportunities including legal and non-profit expertise contact Khalsa here: email@example.com. You can find the National Go Center at their new website, or on Facebook.
A go competition will be part of the International Conference of Mind Sports which will be held in Camaguey, Cuba May 3-6, 2017. The program will also include academic papers on Mind Sports games. It is sponsored by the University of Camaguey. Professor Lazaro Bueno Pérez, who attended the 2015 Go Congress in St. Paul, is the lead organizer. The city of Camaguey, founded in 1514, is one of Cuba’s leading cities, and the Historic Center of Camaguey is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. “I visited Camaguey in 2015 and very much enjoyed it,” says Bob Gilman, AGA Executive VP. “It’s full both of history and of present day activity.” Go players from other countries will be welcome at the conference. You can find more information here.
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The recent Pair Go World Cup in Japan prompted your correspondent to post this photo from the May 15 Pair Go Games at the Seattle Go Center. All 16 contestants were kyu players, so the emphasis was on having fun, and trying to play turns in the correct order. The intermission featured oolong tea from Taiwan, presented by Huei-Ling Shiang. Table 2 winners were Lucy Wang and Bryan Newbold. Table 1 winners were Brian Allen and Deborah Niedermeyer. The Seattle Go Center is planning a gala Holiday Pair Go Tournament for December of this year. Photo: Table 1. Photo and Report by Brian Allen
Michael Redmond 9P is graciously providing all E-Journal readers with a set of tsumego problems featured at the 2016 pro pair go tournament. Of course, these problems are quite tough, but nevertheless entertaining to everyone, especially because Michael will later provide each solution.
In this tsumego contest, each pair has up to 10 minutes to answer each problem, but only the first 5 pairs can answer. The race to answer first makes these problems highly challenging. After signalling having an answer, a pair must play each move within 5 seconds. The pair team plays Black’s moves, while the composer plays White’s, which allows the composers to show their favorite variation for White.
Michael gives this interesting background for this tsumego from Ohashi Hirofumi 6P:
“This problem is misleading, in that Black’s first and 3rd moves are relatively easy to find, while White 4 is counter-intuitive. Ohashi tells me that he saw surprise and maybe shock in the top Chinese pairs faces when he played move 4, but Ke Jie quicky recovered, flickering his fingers in a burst of concentration, and was in time to give the correct answer.“
Jeremy Chiu 6d and Luoyi Yang 4d swept the preliminaries of the 2016 Redmond Cup, beating out last year’s champions Albert Yen 7d and Ary Cheng 4d. However, both defending champions will have a chance for revenge in the finals. All four youth have won a free trip to congress to compete in person.
The Senior Division featured a field of 16 players under the age of 18, including five former Redmond Cup Finalists. Chiu 6d, age 14, seeded fourth by rating, displayed his power by sweeping the competition, including last year’s champion Yen, and 4-time Redmond Cup champion Aaron Ye 7d. This will be Chiu’s second appearance in the Redmond Cup Finals since 2014. “The preliminaries were very tough and I faced many strong opponents,” Chiu told the E-J, “however, I think I played quite well, and fortunately, I was able to come out on top.”
The battle for the second coveted spot in the finals came down to defending champion Yen, and newcomer Muzhen (Alan) Ai 7d, both boys are 16 years old. Yen came out on top, ending with a 5-1 record and losing only to Chiu. “I am very happy to make the finals again, and I hope to continue my strong performance from last year,” Yen told the EJ.
The Junior Division featured seven budding dan players all below the age of 13, including both of last year’s finalists, Ary Cheng 4d, age 10, and Raymond Feng 2d, age 12. However, newcomer Luoyi Yang 4d, age 12, of Canada came out firing, sweeping the competition. The race for second place was much tighter, and a bit over halfway through the tournament, it seemed that defending champion Ary Cheng would be the likely candidate to make the finals with a 3-1 record. However, nine-year old Matthew Cheng 2d (not related to Ary) upset the defending champion and won the rest of his games to take second place by one SODOS point. Because Matthew is also this year’s Junior representative for the World Youth Go Championships, which occurs the same time as the Redmond Cup Finals, he chose to give up his spot in the finals, and Ary Cheng will have the chance to defend his title.
The Redmond Cup Finals is a best-of-3 match that will occur at the US Go Congress this year, complete with KGS broadcasts and live video commentary by pros. The matches will occur on 7/31, 8/2, and 8/4 (if necessary) at 3 pm EDT. Stay tuned for more detailed player profiles about this year’s finalists. - Story by Justin Teng, photos courtesy Jeremy Chiu (l) and Luoyi Yang (r).
Yuriko Miyake came later than usual to the Seattle Go Center on Tuesday, June 21, because it was her birthday — her 90th. Yuriko also came late to playing go — she only started playing about 10 years ago. She first started by playing Pair Go with her husband Kinju Miyake, one of the founding directors of the Seattle Go Center. After her husband died in 2008, she became more serious about go, both as a mental discipline and as a way to keep in touch with go playing friends. She is now a regular on Tuesday afternoons, where she plays with a group that mostly speaks Japanese, but also includes players whose first language is English or French.
A calm and resourceful woman, Yuriko moved with her husband and family from Sapporo, Japan to Sitka, Alaska in 1957, two years before Alaska statehood. Her husband Kinju was a forester for Alaska Lumber and Pulp. They later moved to Oregon, and then retired to the Seattle area. She is now a double digit kyu player who is within handicapping range of many of the Go Center players. She also plays teaching games with beginners, giving them nine stones. She studies go books, and comes to many of the Center’s tournaments. A reliable volunteer, she helps keep the Go Center organized, and helps at outreach events such as the Center’s table at the Bon Odori festival. We are very proud of Yuriko, and think she is an excellent example for our younger beginners who are only 60 or 70 years old.
Report and photo by Brian Allen, Seattle Go Center Manager.
China’s Yu Zhiying and Ke Jie (right) have won the 2016 Pair Go World Cup, defeating Chinese Taipei’s Joanne Missingham and Chen Shih Iuan in the final on Sunday afternoon in Tokyo and collecting the top prize of 10 million yen ($100,000 USD). The two finalist teams earned their berths by defeating Korea’s Choi/Park and Oh/Choi (also Korea) in the semifinals on Sunday morning. Korea’s Choi Jeong and Park Junghwan took third place. Click here for complete standings and details. The tournament field was comprised of 32 players in 16 teams, three teams from Japan, two teams each from China, Korea, Taipei and Europe, and one each from North America, Central/South America, Oceania/Africa, Asia and one team made of the winners of the 26th Amateur Pair Go Championship (who are from Korea).
The remainder of the field participated in a unique Friendship Shuffle Match on Sunday, in which partners were randomly shuffled and brand new pairs formed. As on Saturday, hundreds of local go fans packed the hall to watch the matches and game commentaries.
- report/photos by Chris Garlock. Photo at left (l-r): Ko Rei Bun, Francisco d’Albuquerque, Nei Wei Ping, Takemiya Masaki and Michael Redmond study one of Sunday morning’s matches.
Rain and wind from the edges of Typhoon Nepartak swirled outside Hikarie Hall in in Tokyo’s upscale Shibuya neighborhood Saturday morning as the 2016 Pair Go World Cup contestants gathered for the tournament’s first round. As is traditional at Pair Go events, the players were dressed up, many in outfits native to their countries, and the 32 players made a fine sight as they paraded, two by two, into the playing area. Promptly at 11a, the round began, and shortly thereafter, spectators crowded in to watch, deepest around top player Iyama Yuta and his partner Hsieh Yi Min.
Pair Go at this level is a deeply thrilling game, combining the beauty of go with the excitement of a team sport. Although players cannot betray any hint of their feelings or react to moves, there’s an unmistakable electricity in the air that comes from the intense focus of four players over the go board.
There were no surprises in the first round, as the Central/South American team of Rosario Papeschi and Fernando Aguilar lost to hometown favorites Hsieh Yi Min and Iyama Yuta (above right), Oceania/Africa’s Amy Song and David He fell to Korea’s Choi Jeong and Park Jeonghwan, while Europe’s Natalia Kovaleva and Ilya Shikshin lost to China’s Yu Zhiying and Ke Jie and Chinese Taipei’s Chang Kai Hsin and Wang Yuan Jyun fell to Korea’s Jeon Yujin and Song Hongsuk.
On the other side of the draw, North Americans Sarah Yu and Eric Lui had no trouble dispatching Asia’s Pattraporn Aroonphaichitta and Nuttakrit Tarchaamnuayvit (left), Chinese Taipei’s Joanne Missingham and Chen Shih Iuan beat Japan’s Wang Jong Yi, Japan’s Mukai Chiaki and Ichiriki Rui defeated Europe’s Rita Pocsai and Ali Jabarin and Korea’s Oh Yujin and Choi Chulhan prevailed over China’s Wang Chenxing and Shi Yue.
After traditional Japanese box lunches, Round 2 began at 2:30. The playing room had been completely reset, the eight original boards (32 players, two pairs to a board) now shrunk to four. As play began, spectators again flooded in to watch, while hundreds more watched on monitors in an auditorium next door, where professionals provided commentary and children tried their hand at solving life and death problems in the Panda Sensei tent in the back of the hall.
Back on the boards, epic battles were playing out as the pairs fought to get to the semi-finals on Sunday. The North American team got into a major ko fight with Taipei’s Missingham/Chen early on that they had to win and never really recovered, though Sarah Yu later said “I really enjoyed the fight.” Korea’s Oh/Choi beat Japan’s Chiaki/Ryo, China’s Yu/Ke won over Korea’s Jeon/Song and Korea’s Choi/Park defeated Japan’s Hsieh/Iyama. So Yu/Ke will face Choi/Park and Missingham/Chen will face Oh/Choi in the semi-finals on Sunday. Latest results here.
Photo (l-r): Ke Jie, Nie Wei Ping, his son Ko Rei Bun and Yu Zhiying review the Ke/Yu Round 1 game while Michael Redmond looks on.
- report/photos by Chris Garlock
College student go teams are invited to participate in the upcoming European Student Team Go Championship, scheduled for September 8-9 in Petrozavodsk, Russia. The tournament is open so university teams from non-European countries can take part in the event. Details are available on the Russian Go Federation’s website; the Federation, along with the European Go Federation and the Russian Student Sport Union, are hosting the event. Students can also take part in Open Russian Student Go Championship September 10-11, while players who are not students can take part in the All-Russia Go tournament on those same dates.
Order of the Stick: “Order of the Stick is my favorite D&D type role-playing comic strip,” writes Mark Gilston. “So I was delighted to see the go reference by the Oriental style paladins” in this recent strip.
Sandra and Woo: “From the webcomic ‘Sandra and Woo’ I could not help but laugh at the ‘Reality in the year 2050′ panel,” writes Taylor Litteral.
The Iwamoto North American Foundation for Go at its meeting in Tokyo on Thursday announced plans to establish a National Go Center in Washington, DC. Go recently garnered global headlines when Google DeepMind’s AlphaGo AI program defeated top professional Lee Sedol and the National Go Center is intended to build on the increased public awareness and interest in the ancient game.
In addition to its role in advancing artificial intelligence, many studies have shown that go can improve student performance through development of logical and spatial thinking and even to help students with ADHD. A primary mission of the new Center is to work with educators in the region to promote go in schools from primary grades through college.
The Center will also have the mission of developing strong amateur go players in the region who can represent the US in conjunction with the American Go Association at the regional, national, and international levels. Building on an already strong tournament calendar, regional and interscholastic qualifying tournaments are planned.
Organizers of the National Go Center include many AGA volunteers and leaders from the metro Washington region, where there is a long history of promoting go education, developing cultural activities associated with the game, and training strong go players in many of the regional clubs. “It is expected that the new Center will add to the synergy to make the DC area a true national center for go,” said AGA president Andy Okun.
- photo (l-r): Shusuke MASAKI, just retired CEO of Nihon Kiin; Hiroshi YAMASHIRO 9P, Nihon Kiin Vice Chairman; Thomas HSIANG, INAF Executive Director; Hiroaki DAN, Nihon Ki-in Chairman of the Board of Directors and new president of INAF; Yuki SHIGENO, Nihon Kiin Director. Photo by Chris Garlock