by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal
Lead changes again in Meijin League: Things were shaken up again in the sixth round of the 40th Meijin League and Ko resurfaced
with the provisional lead. Three games were played on June 4. Ko Iso 8P (W) beat Kono Rin 9P by resig.; Cho U 9P (W) beat Kanazawa Makoto 7P by 2.5 points; and So Yokoku 8P (W) beat Takao Shinji by resignation. That left three players on two losses: Ko (5-2), Kono (4-2), and Takao (4-2). Kono has the advantage of being the top-ranked player in the league, but Ko has the advantage of having won an extra game. He gets a bye in the next round, then plays Takao in the final round. Incidentally, the above-mentioned loss cost Kanazawa his place in the league.
Mimura Kaori Promoted: With 40 wins in the cumulative-win system, Mimura Kaori earned promotion to 3-dan on June 11 (though the promotion officially took effect on the following day). Mimura was born on July 31, 1981; she is married to Mimura Tomoyasu 9P. Her younger sisters are Mukai Chiaki 5P (born on December 24, 1987, and Nagashima Kozue 2P, born on October 3, 1984.
Yamashita picks up first win in Honinbo title match: After making an awful start, Yamashita Keigo (right) has finally picked up a win in the 70th Honinbo best-of-seven title match. The fourth game was played at the Olive Bay Hotel in Saikai City, Nagasaki Prefecture on June 16 and 17. Iyama had scored convincing wins in the previous two games, putting a lot of pressure on the challenger. However, Yamashita dominated this game right from the start, and Iyama never had a chance. Taking white, Yamashita forced a resignation after just 128 moves. In retrospect, Iyama queried his 23rd move. Yamashita had played a probe with White 22, and Iyama answered it aggressively rather than safely. However, he was taken aback by Yamashita’s next move, an invasion-cum-attack that was a line deeper — and much severer — that he had expected. Although extremely difficult fighting followed, Yamashita held the initiative for the rest of the game. Yamashita is one of the best fighters in Japanese go; Iyama will probably avoid going toe-to-toe with him after this. This is the third time in a row that Yamashita’s first win in a best-of-seven with Iyama has come in the fourth game. In last year’s Kisei title match, he managed to win two games before losing the match. In this year’s Kisei title match, he improved that to three games before dropping the seventh game. If the upward trend holds, however, he should win this match. The fifth game will be played on June 29 and 30. First, however, the two will meet in the first game of the 40th Gosei title match, scheduled for June 26.
Kisei S League: One game in the 40th Kisei S League was played on June 18. Taking black, Takao Shinji Tengen beat Yamashiro Hiroshi 9P by resignation. This game completed the second round. Yoda Norimoto 9P has the sole lead with 2-0. In the A League, Kono Rin 9P has the sole lead with 4-0.
Tokyo perspective on the LG Cup: The E-Journal has already featured a report on the 20th LG Cup, held on June 8 and 10. Here is how the opening rounds looked from Tokyo. The big surprise was that the most junior Japanese representative, Yo Seiki 7P (actually, a Taiwanese member of the Kansai Ki-in), had the best results. While the other players were eliminated in the first round, Yo, who was making his debut in a full-scale international tournament, won his way through to the quarterfinals. He joins four players from Korea and three from China. In the first round, Yo (W) beat Peng Liyao 5P of China by resignation. In the second round (left), he bested Lee Donghun 5P of Korea; again Yo had white. The latter win gave him revenge for his loss to Lee in the Globis Cup. Two years ago, Iyama Yuta and Takao Shinji also made the best eight but were then eliminated. The challenge for Yo will be to go further. He could become a new hero for Japan. The quarterfinals are scheduled for November 16.
Congress Airport Shuttle: For those finalizing their US Go Congress travel plans, Congress organizers have coordinated with SuperShuttle to provide a quick and easy way for attendees to get from the MSP airport to the University of St. Thomas. Click here to arrange a shuttle that will be ready when your plane lands and takes you directly to St. Thomas. $15 one-way or $26 round trip.
EJ Adds Video Streaming: In addition to the E-Journal’s usual comprehensive coverage of the annual US Go Congress, including daily top-board broadcasts on KGS, updates on the website, Twitter and Facebook and daily E-Journal reports, we’ll also be testing some live-streaming video of top-board games this year. “We’re excited to expand our coverage and hope to develop some innovative approaches,” says Andrew Jackson, who’s coordinating the effort for the E-Journal. “We’ll be streaming the Hajin/Sibicky game as well.” Click here to check out a test stream Jackson conducted recently at the Seattle Go Club.
More go players and teachers are starting to stream their games on Twitch, the world’s leading video platform and community for gamers. More than 45 million gamers gather every month on Twitch to broadcast, watch and chat about gaming. Several go players are getting in on the action, including Shawn Ray 4d, who reviews games and holds lectures; Battousai 5d, who teaches and has lectures using different go servers; and Xiaocheng-Stephen Hu 3d, who goes over many go concepts.
Shawn Ray will have Yoonyoung Kim 4p, a pro from South Korea, in his next lecture this Saturday at 8 pm central time, on June 20th. “This should be a fun event as well as my first professional guest on stream. If it goes well I also plan to do more events like these,” Ray notes. The event can be watched on Ray’s Twitch channel here. He also has a list of teachers that are streaming reviews and teaching games, which can be found here.
Xiaocheng-Stephen Hu, also known as xhu98, is the host of an ongoing tournament between teachers found on OGS and KGS. The schedule and participants can be found here. “I am really enjoying the tournament,” says Triton Perrin, “of course I am not strong enough to get far, but it has inspired me to work just a little bit harder to do my best against other teachers I look up to. To me, it seems like this tournament is helping the go community come together and get more people involved.” Hu has a lecture every Friday for all ranks, and occasionally has players join him in his lectures. Times can be found on the spreadsheet link from Shawn Ray above.
Josh Allen, also known as Battousai, has been doing lectures for years, and now puts his videos on his website, as well as Twitch and YouTube. Click here to visit his site. Allen has lectures every Wednesday afternoon from 3pm to 9pm EST. “I love games and problems, but I don’t even play go,’ says username Wreqt, “I stick around because I like you. Your instruction and teaching is fantastic, and it is a blast to hear your commentary on this game. Thanks for such a great channel!”
- Special report by Austin Freeman. Image: Battousi’s cartoon version takes on bots, from www.dwyrin.tv.
The Baltimore Go Club was the first to take advantage of paying their annual chapter dues with AGA chapter rewards points. “It was simple. I just sent an email to firstname.lastname@example.org requesting to renew with points,” club President Keith Arnold said. “They checked that we had the necessary 35,000 points and that was it.” All point totals earned through April can be found here.
- Gurujeet Khalsa
If you’re considering attending this year’s US Go Congress, register before July 1 and save $50. That’s when the late registration fee goes up to $100. This year’s Congress runs August 1-9 in St Paul, Minneapolis.
In addition to lots of go — tournaments, lectures, pro simuls and more — the Go Congress offers exciting options for the traditional day off on Wednesday. “The votes from our online survey are in: the riverboat ride in Stillwater, MN and spending time in the Uptown region of Minneapolis generated the most interest for day off activities,” reports Aaron Broege.”If you choose to join the group going to Stillwater, this will include time to explore the picturesque downtown Stillwater and, of course, go on a 2.5 hr boat ride on the St. Croix river, complete with food and music. The Stillwater main street is home to numerous bars, coffee shops, restaurants, and antique shops.
If you prefer to stick around the city, the Uptown area is a perfect place to spend your day off, Broege says. “The highlight of this region is the chain of four lakes (Cedar, Lake of the Isles, Calhoun, and Harriet), all of which have separate biking and pedestrian paths around them.” Near Lake Calhoun you can rent bikes, canoes, kayaks, paddle boards, paddle boats, and more. “Lake Calhoun and Harriet have beaches if you just want to take a dip.” When you’re ready to take a break from the activities, the adjacent area is filled with restaurants, shops, and theaters. Within walking distance from Uptown is the Walker Art Center, which focuses on modern artistic exhibits. The outdoor sculpture garden associated with the Walker, home to the Spoonbridge and Cherry — aka the cherry spoon — is a must-see landmark of the Twin Cities. This area provides a great example of how the Twin Cities beautifully blends urban living with natural beauty.
“For those with other interests, we are going to include recommended outings in the Congress booklet,” Broege adds. “There is so much to explore in the Twin Cities that we want to give individuals the chance to put together their own adventure.” Keep up-to-date on even more news and things to do in the Twin Cities through the 2015 Go Congress Facebook page.
photos: (top right) A riverboat on the St. Croix River passing under the bridge in Stillwater; (bottom left) downtown Minneapolis as seen from Lake Calhoun.
A go-playing President of the United States would probably be a better president. That’s according to David Z. Hambrick, a professor in the Department of Psychology at Michigan State University who wrote recently in Scientific American that “my colleague Brooke Macnamara and I found that fluid intelligence—the general ability to reason and think logically—was a strong positive predictor of skill in the board game GO, as measured by a laboratory task that was specially designed to measure a GO player’s ability to evaluate game situations and select optimal moves. In turn, performance in this task was strongly related to a player’s tournament GO rating.” Hambrick adds that while IQ isn’t the only predictor of presidential success, “what science tells us is that a high level of intellectual ability translates into a measureable advantage in the Oval Office.”
Thanks to Mark A. Brown for passing this along. Photo credit: Sam Boulton Sr. via Wikimedia Commons
Incumbents Chris Kirschner and Martin Lebl are running unopposed to retain their seats in the Western and Central regions, respectively while newcomers Diego F. Pierrottet and George Lebovitz will be contesting the Eastern region.
“Chapter reps, please take time to insure your contact information is correct for the both the AGA chapters list and the chapter membership/contact information,” says Arnold Eudell. “You should have already received your preliminary voting rights report. Any further information about the election will come through these sources.” Contact Elections@usgo.org with any questions.