The fourth annual Jin Chen Memorial Tournament at the Seattle Go Center brought together 46 players from diverse backgrounds. The 12-person open section was won by Ximeng (Simon) Yu, a 1 dan professional from China who is also a local college student. Second place in the open went to longtime Northwest teacher and player Edward Kim 7d. Edward lost his game to Simon on time, but said he was also behind on points. Third place went to Ran Yan, who traveled to Seattle for the tournament. In the handicapped sections, Go Center teacher Nick Sibicky won the upper dan section, and Ning An, visiting from China, placed second. As is often the case in Seattle, the local Betcher brothers ruled the lower dan section, with Jordon first and Job second. In the upper kyu section, Andrew Mott was first and John Richards was second. In the large lower kyu section Wilhelm Fitzpatrick placed first, young Steven He second, and Rainer Romatka third.
Friends and family of the late Jin Chen came to the tournament from China, including 5 players. They donated a large and beautiful scroll painting of wei-chi players to the Go Center. The trip was organized by Shan Chen, Jin’s father. Their able translator was Xingshuo Liu 7d, a law student at Indiana University. Photo: 1st Round, 1st Board (l-r): Simon Yu, Momoko Tsutsui; 2nd Board: Bert Hallonquist and Edward Kim. Photo/Report Brian Allen
Maojie “Jeff” Xia, who’s visiting Santa Barbara during his winter break from the University of Montana, arrived at the Santa Barbara airport on New Year’s Day and went straight to the Santa Barbara Go Club at the Coffee Bean, where he played for three and a half hours non-stop with club members including Stephanie Ho and Melvin Rosenfeld, giving both six stones and winning by resignation. Xia returned to the club last Saturday for “Saturday Sasual Go”, this week held at the home of Goro Nakano, where he played a simul with three club members. Xia, an ex-insei who studied at Nie WeiPing’s Go school in Beijing, is currently studying accounting at the University of Montana.
photo (l-r): Maojie “Jeff” Xia, Stephanie Ho (7 stones handi, B+2.5), Goro Nakano (7 stones handi, W+R), Melvin Rosenfeld (6 stones handi, W+R).
– report/photo by Ed Lee
Netherlands: Michiel Tel 5d (left) took the Heerlen NieuwJaars Go Toernooi on January 5. Behind him were Jonas Welticke 4d and Geert Groenen 6d. England: Yuanbo Zhang 4d bested Benjamin Drean-Guenaizia 5d at the London Open on December 31 while Pierre Paga 4d placed third. Finland: The Takapotku Open finished in Espoo on January 6 with Juri Kuronen 6d in first, Antti Tormanen 7d in second, and Vesa Laatikainen 5d 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
After a rather low key start to the European Team Championship, Ireland sprung into life mid-season against the United Kingdom. Gavin graciously avoided winning on time on board 1, whilst Ian and Justyna used komi well to win with white. James, still somewhat suspiciously playing under the wrong flag, came out on the wrong side of a life and death problem. Overall 2-2 and a reasonable result for the underdogs.
Sixteen-year-old Calvin Sun narrowly edged out 17-year-old Bill Lin to become the American Go Association’s third pro Monday night. Sun eked out a 1.5-point win in an exciting nearly 300-move final – forced by Lin’s second-round win earlier in the day — that kept hundreds of fans on KGS guessing until the very end. Sun topped a tough field of eight strong players in the second AGA Pro Qualification Tournament and joins Andy Liu 1P and Gansheng Shi 1P – who won the 2012 edition — as the first homegrown U.S. professional go players. Ryan Li won the Exhibition League. Click here for pairings, results and game records. Jeff Shaevel directed the tournament and Dennis Wheeler led the E-Journal game broadcast team, which included Andrew Jackson, Richard Dolen, Dave Dows and Joe Cepiel. Myungwan Kim 9P served as referee and provided live game commentary on KGS (available free under KGS Plus/Recent Lectures) for the two final rounds. The event was hosted by the historic Hotel Normandie in downtown Los Angeles. photo by Dennis Wheeler
It all comes down to one game now. 17-year-old Bill Lin’s 171-move defeat of 16-year-old Calvin Sun Monday morning means the two will play a decisive tie-breaker tonight to decide who the next AGA pro will be. The game will be broadcast live on KGS at 7P EST (4p PST), with commentary by Myungwan Kim 9P. Click here for pairings, results and game records. photo: Bill Lin (right) plays Calvin Sun in the final round; photo by Dennis Wheeler
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Calvin Sun (right) is one win away from being the next American pro. Sun edged out Jianing Gan by 1.5 points in a dramatic game Sunday morning in which the lead appeared to change hands several times, keeping hundreds of viewers on KGS riveted to their screens. Monday’s final between Sun and bottom bracket winner Bill Lin will be accompanied by live game commentary starting at 10a PST (1p EST) on KGS by Myung-wan Kim 9P, James Kim and Matthew Burrall. Since Sun has already beaten Bill Lin (left in photo) in a previous match, one more win for him will clinch his berth as the next US pro. If Lin wins, there will be one final game to determine the tournament winner. Click here for pairings, results and game records. photo by Dennis Wheeler
The 40th London Open Go Congress, the UK’s largest and oldest go event, took place December 28-31 at the International Student House in central London. With a field of 109 players ranging from 5d to 24k, first place in the seven-round main tournament was taken by Zhang Yuanbo 4d (right), a Chinese graduate of the University of Nottingham, with six wins. French visitors Benjamin Drean-Guenaizia 5d and Pierre Paga 4d took second and third place with six and five wins respectively and Briton Andrew Simons 4d, also on five wins, came fourth. Games were 90 minutes main time (60 if both players 20k or weaker), with Canadian (repeating) overtime of 20/5 and tie-breaks decided on McMahon score. In fact, as our photo below shows, Zhang could have had a perfect 7/7 if he had noticed opponent Drean-Guenaizia’s flag fall during overtime in round six. However, his attention was entirely focused on the close battle on the board and he eventually decided the game was lost and resigned. Click here for full results.
After 10-minute round-robin qualifiers, fellow Finns and good friends Mikko Suikola 4d and Janne Nikula 2d emerged from a knockout stage as finalists in the Lightning, held on Monday evening, December 30. The 12-minute final was rather informal, with beer on the table and good-natured banter passing between the competitors as they played, referee Jenny Radcliffe having to step in at one point to warn one of the many spectators not to comment on the position. Despite a stiff handicap of three stones, based on McMahon score after Nikula’s rather poor showing in the main, Suikola nevertheless prevailed to take first prize.
In the Pair Go, an unfortunate paucity of female competitors meant there were a number of all-male teams admitted to balance the numbers and in fact no females figured in the top three (of 14) pairs, who were Boris Mitrivoc 2d and Fynn Bachmann 1k, Andre Stadtler 3d and Chris Volk 2k, and Andrew Russell 4k and Jonathan Green 5k, in that order. The tournament rule that a Pair Go team shall comprize “one lady and one man” was overcome by the forensic observation that the term “lady” was undefined. We spare the blushes of the nominal “ladies” by not specifying who was which. Click here for full results.
Top European-rated player, Korean Hwang In-seong 8d (right, at board facing camera) was present throughout, spending two-three hours per round reviewing games as well as giving a lecture on opening theory on Sunday 12/29 and one on local techniques Monday 12/30 and reviewing the top game on the teaching board on the Tuesday afternoon, 12/31. He told the E-Journal he had competed in the London Open in 2005 and was very happy to have been invited to teach there this year. Guo Juan, who has for many years filled this role, was in Montreal this year and so unable to attend.
There was also a new event on Monday 12/30, the first WBaduk Varsity Match, between teams from Oxford and Cambridge Universities which was drawn (see Oxford and Cambridge Battle to Draw in 1st WBaduk Varsity Match, EJ 1/1).
After the prize-giving ceremony, proceedings ended with Rengo followed by a New Year’s Eve meal.
The Congress was organized by the British Go Association and the Central London Go Club, and also received support from the Nippon Club, the Anglo-Korean Society, WBaduk and others. Martha McGill was the main organizer, Jenny Radcliffe tournament director and organizer and referee for the Lightning and Rengo. Nick Wedd was the referee for the main tournament and organizer and referee for the Pair Go. Tony Atkins organized provision of equipment and David Cantrell ran the bookstall. Others too numerous to mention played smaller roles.
Click here for further details in the British Go Association’s report.
In other British go news Under-10 Champion Oscar Selby 7k (pictured above, looking over Hwang’s shoulder) took the 2013 Youth Grand Prix with 1411 points – more than twice those of his nearest rival, Edmund Smith 17k. Click here for full details.
Tony Collman, British correspondent for the E-Journal.
And then there were three. Calvin Sun, Jianing Gan and Bill Lin are the finalists to be the next U.S. professional go player. Sun and Gan play each other Sunday morning (the game will be broadcast live on KGS) to determine the top-bracket winner, who will then play bottom bracket winner Lin. Click here for pairings, results and game records.
Promotional League Round Four results: Calvin Sun defeated Jianing Gan (top bracket); Bill Lin eliminated Andrew Lu (bottom bracket).
Round Three results: Jianing Gan defeated Calvin Sun (top bracket); Bill Lin eliminated Ryan Li; Andrew Lu eliminated Eric Lui.
Round Two results: Jianing Gan defeated Eric Lui (B+r); Calvin Sun beat Bill Lin (B+r); Ryan Li eliminated Daniel Gourdeau (B+r); Andrew Lu eliminated Ben Lockhart (W+2.5).
Exhibition League: 1/4 morning session (winner in CAPS): 1) Aaron Ye vs. DANIEL KO; 2) Yixian Zhou vs. BEN LOCKHART
1/4 evening session: 1) ERIC LUI vs. Daniel Ko; 2) RYAN LI vs. Ben Lockhart; 3) Yixian Zhou vs. DANIEL GOURDEAU; 4) François Gourdeau vs. AARON YE
- photo by Dennis Wheeler
Both West Coast NAMT points qualifier tournaments are coming up soon. The Northern California Ing Cup – sponsored by Ing’s Goe Foundation – is set for Saturday, January 18th, while The Dado 2014 Southern California Go Championship – organized by the Orange County Go Club and the Dado Cultural Exchange Association – will be held on Saturday and Sunday February 8-9. The 1-day, 4-round Ing Cup features Jiang ZhuJiu and Rui NaiWei, who will lead a team of 20 players from China, and is hosted by Legend’s Game Store. The Southern California Championship, a 2-day, 5-round event, has $2,500 in cash awards, with $600 to the open section winner; registration deadline is Feb. 5. Winners in both events qualify for the 2014 North American Masters Tournament (NAMT). photo: 2013 NorCal Ing
Aoki To Challenge For Women’s Kisei: For the third year in a row, the Women’s Kisei title will feature a clash between Aoki Kikuyo 8P (right) and Xie Yimin. The play-off to decide the challenger was held at the Ryusei Studio, a TV studio for the cable TV go and shogi channel located in the basement of the Nihon Ki-in at Ichigaya in Tokyo, on December 16. Taking white, Aoki defeated Ishii Akane 2P by resignation after 256 moves. Aoki won this title from Xie in 2012, but lost it back in 2013. The best-of-three title match for the 17th title will begin on January 23.
Iyama Keeps Grand Slam Dreams Alive: Iyama Yuta played an important game on December 17. If he is to have a chance of scoring a full-fledged grand slam next year, he first of all has to become the challenger for the Judan title, the only one of the top seven not in his keeping. To do this, he needed to win two more games. The first was the semifinal, held on the 17th. Taking black, he defeated Mizokami Tomochika 8P by resignation, so he has reached the play-off to decide the challenger. His opponent will be the winner of the other semifinal, Takao Shinji 9P.
First Round Of Meijin League Completed: Two games in the 39th Meijin League were played in mid-December, completing the first round. On the 16th, Takao Shinji 9P (B) defeated Yuki Satoshi Judan by resignation. On the 19th, Kono Rin 9P (W) beat Ko Iso 8P, also by resignation.
Honinbo League Update: On December 19, two games were played in the 69th Honinbo League. Cho U 9P defeated league newcomer Ida Atsushi 7P (left) by just half a point to secure a plus record. He and Ida are both on 2-1. The other league newcomer, Yo Seiki 7P, picked up his first win after starting with two losses. Taking black, he beat Sakai Hideyuki 8P by 3.5 points.
Women’s Meijin League: One game was played in the 26th Women’s Meijin League on December 19. Ishii Akane 2P (B) beat Okuda Aya 3P by resignation, but both players have lost their places in the league. The top four keep their places, but four players already have three wins, so Okuda, now on 1-4, can’t catch up. Ishii is on 2-4 and has played all her games; she has a bye in the final round. Kato Keiko 6P leads the league on 4-1.
Korea Wins New International Tournament: Yet another new international tournament has been founded in China (there are so many now that it’s hard to keep track). The latest arrival is the Zhugang Cup World Weiqi Team Championship, organized by the Chinese Weiqi Association and the Guangzhou City Physical Education Congress. Presumably Zhugang is the name of the sponsor, but I have no information about this. The new tournament is for three-player teams, who play one-on-one games up to the final.
The first Cup was held from December 20 to 25, starting with a preliminary round on the 20th, followed by a ranking tournament from the 22nd to the 24th to decide the 16th to 5th places. The top four teams met in semifinals and the top two played a final, all on the 25th; uniquely for an official tournament, the final took the form of a consultation game, with the players on each team conferring about their moves. There were some famous consultation games in prewar Japan, but they were not in official tournaments. Another novel feature of the tournament is that Japan, China, and Korea each fielded a second team, made up of players who had won international tournaments. These are the teams with “W” after the country’s name (“W” seems to be short for “wild cards”).
First of all, here are the placings in the ranking tournament (ties were broken by win totals).
1. Korea 5-0
2. China: 4-1
3. China W: 4-1
4. Korea W: 3-2
5. Japan W: 3-2
6. Japan: 3-2
7. Chinese Taipei: 3-2
8. Hong Kong: 3-2
9. Thailand: 2-3
10. USA: 2-3
11. Germany: 2-3
12. Australia: 2-3
13. Ukraine: 2-3
14. Czech Republic: 1-4
15. Canada: 1-4
16. Macao: 0-5
In the semifinals, Korea beat Korea W 3-0 and China beat China W by the same margin. In the final, the Korean team of Kang Tong-yun 9P, Ch’oe Ch’eol-han 9P, and Pak Cheong-hwan 9P (B) beat the Chinese team of Shi Yu 9P, Zhou Ruiyang 9P, and Chen Yaoye 9P by resignation. Presumably in order to allow for the extra time required for the players to consult, the time allowance for this game was four and a half hours per team, followed by byo-yomi of 60 seconds x 5 times. This is probably the longest time allowance for an international tournament so far. (For the other games, the time allowance was two hours 45 minutes, with the same byo-yomi.)
In the play-off for third place, held on the same day, China W beat Korea W 3-0. The individual results here were as follows (all players are 9P): Gu Li (B) beat Cho Hun-hyeon by resig.; Chang Hao (W) beat Yu Ch’ang-hyeok by 7.5 points; Kong Jie (B) beat Yi Ch’ang-ho by resig. Just for the record, the Japan W team, which ended above the regular team, was made up of Kobayashi Koichi, Cho Chikun, and Takemiya Masaki. The members of the regular team were O Meien, Ryu Shikun, and Mizokami Tomochika.
Over 500 hundred fans watched online Friday morning as the opening round began for the second AGA Pro Qualification tournament. The games are being held at the historic Hotel Normandie in downtown Los Angeles, and broadcast online on KGS. Games began at 9:30 am (PST) Friday, January 3. Players who lose in the first round will still have a second chance to continue on into Round Two in this double elimination knockout event. Round Two started at 4:30 pm (PST) today (Jan. 3).
Round 1 results: Eric Lui defeated Daniel Gourdeau (W+12.5); Jianing Gan defeated Ryan Li (W+r); Bill Lin defeated Ben Lockhart (W+14.5); Calvin Sun defeated Andrew Lu (B+1.5).
Before the games started, each player was given a portable go set from the Korea Baduk Association (KBA). The winner will not only be certified as the AGA’s third professional player, but will also win a $1,500 cash prize, and each finalist will receive $800.
Jeff Shaevel is the tournament director, Myungwan Kim the referee, and the E-Journal’s game recording team includes Andrew Jackson, Richard Dolen, Dave Dows, Dennis Wheeler and Joe Cepiel. Also on hand are AGA president Andy Okun and Executive Vice President Ted Terpstra.
- report by Dennis Wheeler
At least seven out-of-town players are coming to the Jin Chen Memorial Tournament in Seattle. “Registration is on the morning of the tournament, Sunday, Jan. 5 at 10 a.m., so we don’t know about everybody who is coming,” reports manager Brian Allen. “But we expect the open section to be very competitive.” Xingshuo Liu, 7d and Ran Yan, 6d are traveling to the games for a second year. A young Chinese pro, Ximeng Yu (Simon), 1P, who is now a local college student is also probably coming. ”We also have five amateur dan level players who are visiting from China. Their instructor, Xiaomin Yao, 4P, will provide game analysis. Ms. Yao was a colleague of Guo Juan and Yilun Yang when they lived in China and this is her first trip to the United States.” Photo: Xingshuo Liu (far left) and Ran Yan (far right) at the 2013 Jin Chen Tournament. photo by Brian Allen
Starting this Friday, eight young North American go players will battle it out to be the next American go professional (8 Young North Americans Want To Be Next AGA Pro 11/21/2013 EJ). The second AGA Pro Certification Tournament will take place January 3-7 in Los Angeles and the E-Journal will broadcast top-board games live on KGS in the AGA Tournaments Room. Click here for the schedule and pairings.
Two teams representing the ancient British universities of Oxford and Cambridge met over the board on the evening of Monday, December 30 as a side event to the London Open, with neither coming out on top. The two rounds constituting the match, in which each team fielded two alumni and two students of their respective universities, were both drawn 2-2. Accordingly, all players shared the champagne earmarked for the winners as well as each taking a £40 cash prize and the team sweaters worn during play. Both teams also took away a set each of the five-volume Learn To Play Go series of books by Janice Kim and Jeong Soo-hyun.
Playing for Oxford were alumni Matthew Macfadyen 6d and Alex Rix 2d and students Jiang Junnun 4d and Stephane Thao 4k (who was given three stones) and for Cambridge, alumni Andrew Simons 4d and Chris Bryant 1d and students “Tony” Lou Yusiang 5d and Jamie Taylor 1d. Rix and Lou were the only players to win both their games. Games were half-hour main time, plus five minutes Milton Keynes overtime then five minutes sudden death.
The match, which was broadcast live on the WBaduk site with the help of four volunteer BGA game recorders, was the first in what it is hoped will be an annual event, the WBaduk Varsity Match, and was sponsored by WBaduk — a South Korean government-backed website for the promotion of go worldwide — and organized in cooperation with the British Go Association (BGA). As well as the prizes, the sponsors also donated magnetic go sets, beginners’ books and T-shirts to both universities’ go clubs. The total budget for the event was $5,300. Organization on the ground was by Toby Manning of the BGA and Lee Semi, wife of London Open guest, top European-rated Korean player Hwang In-Seong, on behalf of WBaduk. For further details, including player profiles and game results, visit WBaduk’s event page.
Tony Collman, British correspondent for the E-Journal. Photos – top: Tony Lou Yusiang (Cambridge, on the left) v Matthew Macfadyen; bottom: Andrew Simons (Cambridge, on the left) v Jiang Junnun. Banner graphic courtesy of WBaduk.
The final round of pair go at the 2013 SportAccord World Mind Games was played in the morning of December 18th. The pairs from China and Chinese Taipei took their seats at board one to play for the gold medal, under the TV cameras in a screened-off corner of the playing room. The pairs from Japan and Korea sat down at board two to play for the bronze medal. Two European pairs took their positions at board three to play for fifth place. At 9:30 chief referee Wang Runan directed them to begin. The games were followed on monitor screens in the spectators’ room next door by the remaining members of the teams from Chinese Taipei and Japan and several of the European and North American players.
In contrast to the drama of the games yesterday afternoon, which had held the spectators enthralled, the games that decided the medals were both relatively quiet. On board one, Chinese Taipei’s Joanne Missingham and Wang Yuan-jyun launched a series of ko fights, but China’s Wang Chenxing and Zhou Ruiyang simply conceded the kos and took territory. Halfway through the endgame it was clear that the Chinese pair was safely ahead, and the pair from Chinese Taipei resigned. The players then immediately began discussing the game, the Chinese pair all laughter and smiles, their opponents somewhat more solemn. Ms Wang and Mr Zhou had added gold medals to the silver medals they had won in women’s individual and men’s team competition. The silver medals won by Ms Missingham and Mr Wang were a new high for Chinese Taipei in SportAccord World Mind Games competition.
In a brief postgame interview, the Chinese pair said that cooperation had been the most important element in their victory. They added they had never felt behind, in distinct contrast to their game against the Japanese pair the previous day.
On board two, the Korean pair (Park Jieun and Kim Jiseok) answered a Japanese ko challenge by splitting some of their opponents’ stones into two weak groups. That gave them lots of ko ammunition, which they used to win the ko fight, and from then on the Japanese pair (Fujisawa Rina and Fujita Akihiko) was playing catch-up. The final margin was 1-1/4 stones (2.5 points) in favor of the Koreans; they had captured the bronze medals.
On board three, for the second straight day the Russian brother-sister pair (Svetlana Shikshina and Ilya Shikshin) faced European opponents. Yesterday they had been triumphant. Today, playing Russia’s Dina Burdakova and Slovakia’s Pavol Lisy, they were not.
Pavol: ‘I think we won because Dina played very well. Another reason was that we avoided complications. She played moves I could understand and I tried to play moves that she would understand, even if they weren’t the best moves. But it was scary at the end. At one point Ilya wanted to resign. That made me think we were were at least five points ahead, so after Svetlana decided to keep playing, I made some careless mistakes. The final margin was only half a point.’
The medals for pair go, and for individual bridge, Basque system chess, super blitz draughts, and xiangqi, were awarded at a ceremony in the evening. There were also cash prizes for all eight competing pairs of go players, ranging from $24,000 for first place down to $2000 for seventh and eighth places. A huge banquet followed the ceremony, bringing another Sport Accord World Mind Games to a very successful conclusion.
- James Davies
Pair Go – Round 2
White: Wang, Zhou (China)
Black: Fujisawa, Fujita (Japan)
Click here to start the game viewer.
Commentary by Michael Redmond 9p, transcribed by Chris Garlock.
Pair Go: Final
White: Wang, Zhou (China)
Black: Missingham, Wang (Chinese Taipei)
Pair Go is now played at a very high level, as we see in this game featuring top professionals. Good Pair Go players must work as a team and succesful pairs practice and come to their games with fairly well-developed plans, which is quite different than most singles games.
Click here to start the game viewer.
Commentary by Michael Redmond 9p, transcribed by Chris Garlock.