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.
April 18: Portland, OR
Pro Workshop with Jennie Shen
Peter Freedman email@example.com 503-242-4203
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The ladder competition has started up again for the new year. In a break with tradition a match has already been played. Philippe defeated James in an exciting game at the top of the ladder.
To enter, contact Tibi.
Pandanet will host the first internet 13×13 go world championship. Registration is free. Click here for details. Two different classes will be set up, for players above and below 2 kyu in strength respectively, each offering generous prizes. The games will be played without handicap stones, but with a komi system that compensates for the rank differences. For example, a half rank difference equals a komi of 3.5 points; 2 rank difference equals a reverse komi of –5.5 points; 4 rank difference equals a reverse komi of -17.5 points, etc. Registration ends May 16, 2015
The Seattle Go Center had their own room at Sakura-Con, Seattle’s big festival of Japanese anime, manga and games, which was held last weekend, April 3-5, in the Washington State Convention Center. One volunteer, John Richards, put in 32 hours of teaching, and several volunteers provided more than 20 hours of instruction. At peak times, more than 10 volunteers were teaching at once. The students ranged from complete beginners to single digit kyu players who come by each year to get more instruction.
I enjoyed the observation that Solomon Choe 6d made while playing one of the students on a 19×19: “You know, playing go is like making kimchi. That group is kind of dead. [And I don't want to add more stones to it right now.] But I want to preserve it. I want to put it in a pot underground and see if something magical happens.” Report/photo by Brian Allen
Nominations for the American Go Foundation’s Teacher of the Year award are now open. The award is presented each year at the U.S. Go Congress and recognizes an outstanding American teacher. The winner will receive an all expenses paid trip to the congress. To be eligible, a teacher must be a member of the AGA, have been teaching go to children for at least two hours a week (during the school year) for two years, have started a go club or organization for youth, and have helped their students enter appropriate tournaments, if possible. If you would like to nominate someone for this award, including yourself, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Nominations are due by May 15th and should include a description of the teacher’s activities, how long they have been teaching, and how many students attend their program. - Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo: Last year’s winner Peter Freedman, working with kids in Portland. To read more about Peter’s work, click here.
The Pandanet AGA City League has been going strong for four rounds now. With a couple more games and one more round to go, at least one league is cutting the top positions close.
In the A League, Greater Washington and Boston are in the lead with 6 points each. As they faced off this past round GW got the better of Boston but they’re holding on from previous wins. Hot on their tails is LA and Seattle 1. LA still has one game left to play and they will most likely be in playoff contention.
The B and C Leagues have pull-away leaders in Princeton and Berkeley. Both teams are new this year with strong players behind them. They lead their leagues with 8 points each. The next team is currently at 4 points each.
Greater Washington def Boston (3-0), Seattle 1 def San Francisco 1 (3-0), Los Angeles def Canwa Vancouver 1 (3-0)
Princeton def Katy, TX 1 (3-0), Bay Area def Canwa Vancouver 2 (3-0), NC Raleigh def Washington DC 2 (3-0)
Boston 2 def New Orleans (2-1), Atlanta 2 def Atlanta 1 (2-1), SF Bay Area/Berkley def DC Team 3 (3-0)
Round 5 will take place on April 26th at 3PM unless otherwise noted on the schedule pages.
Ilia Shikshin 1p (right) of Russia is the 2015 Grand Slam Champion, after defeating Mateusz Surma 1p (left) of Poland in the Grand Slam Berlin tournament, held earlier this week at the Chinese Cultural Center in Berlin, Germany. Ali Jabarin was third, Cristian Pop took fourth and Pavol Lisy was fifth. More reports and photos here and click here for complete results.
44th Amsterdam International Go Tournament Coming Up in May: Preparations for this year’s edition of the Amsterdam Go Tournament – coming up May 15-17 — are in full swing. For almost half a century this has been one of the main go tournaments in Europe, and with Roel van Kollem as the fresh and enthusiastic new chairman of the Amsterdam go club there’s promise of a new atmosphere to the tournament. A special addition to the tournament this year will be Guo Juan 5P, who has been living in Amsterdam for many years and who will be giving lessons and seminars onsite. As an extra bonus, each participant will receive one gift voucher for three lessons on Guo’s website. An added attraction for food lovers is that van Kollem, who’s also a chef (right), will be preparing some exciting food for the Rapid tournament which is held besides the main tournament on Friday.
New Go-shirts by Murugandi from BadukMovies: Kim Ouweleen, better known as ‘Murugandi’, is a Dutch 4-dan. He is mostly known for his go tutorials for EuroGoTV and BadukMovies, but in everyday life Murugandi is also an illustrator and graphic designer. Recently he has designed some go themed t-shirts, which can be found through the BadukMovies webshop and through Kim’s own webshop. You can also check out more of his artwork at murugandi.com.
Kiseido’s Latest Available at Het Paard’s Go Shop: New go books published by Kiseido are now available in the Het Paard’s Go Shop, including the second volume of “The 2014 Ten-Game Match between Gu Li and Lee Sedol,” which features in-depth analysis of games 6-8 of the historic ‘Death Match’: the Jubango between two of the strongest go players of the modern era, Lee Sedol 9p from Korea and Gu Li 9p from China. Also avalailable is “The Basic Principles in the Opening and the Middle Game,” 20 principles that will lay the foundations for the study of opening theory in general as well as the currently popular opening systems, and “The Basics of Life and Death,” an introduction to life and death by Rob van Zeijst.
- Kim Ouweleen & Marianne Diederen
by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal
Iyama wins second Tournament of Champions: This is a tournament for all the title-winners of the previous year, plus one player selected by the votes of fans. The winner is awarded the Prime Minister’s Cup and the Minister of Education’s Prize (actually a shield). The format is the same as the NHK Cup, that is, ten minutes per player plus ten minutes of thinking time to be used in one-minute units. The first two rounds are played on the Net, and the semifinals and final are played in person at the Nihon Ki-in. The final is a public game, being played on stage before an audience with a commentary being given simultaneously on stage. (In the tournament list given in Go Weekly, this is only tournament with no cash prize mentioned. Perhaps the players play just for the glory.)
This year, the first two rounds were played on January 26. Listing the results will serve as a review of 2014 tournament go. In the first round, Ichiriki Ryo, King of the News Stars and winner of the Globis Cup and O-kage (Gratitude) Cup, beat Yo Seiki, winner of the Yucho (the post office bank) Cup; Motoki Katsuya, winner of the Hiroshima Aluminium Cup, beat Fujisawa Rina, Women’s Honinbo and winner of the Aizu Central Hospital Cup; Takao Shinji, Tengen & Judan, beat Ida Atsushi, selected by fan vote; Yuki Satoshi, NHK Cup-winner and Kansai Ki-in Number One, beat Xie Yimin, Women’s Meijin and Kisei; Kono Rin Ryusei beat Hane Naoki Okan; Murakawa Daisuke Oza beat Cho Chikun, winner of Masters Cup; Iyama Yuta, Kisei, Meijin, Honinbo, Gosei, winner of Agon Kiriyama Cup and the first term of this tournament, was seeded into the semifinals.
In the second round, Motoki beat Ichiriki, Takao beat Yuki, and Kono beat Murakawa. The semifinals and final were held at the Nihon Ki-in in Ichigaya on March 29. The semifinals were played in the morning; Iyama (W) beat Kono by resig. and Takao (W) beat Motoki by resig. Actually Iyama started badly in the middle-game fighting against Kono, leading Kobayashi to predict an imminent resignation, but Iyama managed to pull off an upset. The afternoon final fittingly matched the two most successful players in top-seven titles last year: quadruple title-holder Iyama vs. dual title-holder Takao. Iyama drew black in the nigiri and killed a large white group, forcing Takao to resign after 157 moves. The commentary on the same stage was given by Kobayashi Satoru 9P and Yoshihara Yukari 6P (earlier they covered the morning games as well). There’s an art to giving commentaries in the presence of the players (who can’t see the demonstration board, of course). Usually the commentators avoid mentioning black or white and instead hold up a black or white stone to show the audience which side they are talking about. However, Iyama joked later that he owed his win to occasionally catching Kobayashi’s comments.
Iyama wins 500th game: A win over Murakawa Daisuke Oza in Round 1 of the Tengen tournament on April 2 was Iyama Yuta’s 500th official win as a professional. He has lost 191 games, so his winning percentage is 72.4%. He is the 100th player to win 500 games and, at 25 years ten months, the third youngest; his winning percentage is the 11th highest. (The youngest player to reach this landmark is Cho U at 25 years five months and the best winning percentage was 76.3, posted by Yamashita Keigo.)
Yamashita becomes Honinbo challenger: Three players were in the running as the 70th Honinbo League entered its final round, held on April 2: Yamashita Keigo (at right), Cho U and Ida Atsushi. However, only Yamashita could win the league outright. Last year he slipped up at the end, losing to Ida Atsushi and letting him force a play-off, which Ida won. This year Yamashita made no mistake: he beat Cho U and topped the league with a score of 6-1. Ida also lost his final game, so Yamashita ended two points clear of the field. Yamashita lost the Honinbo title to Iyama Yuta in 2012, so this will give him a chance to take revenge. The title match will start on May 13. It will be the sixth best-of-seven between these two players; so far, Yamashita has won only one. So far this year, his record is an excellent 12 wins to four losses; since he has just lost a best-of-seven match, the Kisei, that means he hasn’t lost a game to anyone besides Iyama.
Results in the final round:
Yamashita Keigo 9P (B) beat Cho U 9P by resig.
Yo Seiki 7P (W) beat Ida Atsushi 8P by resig.
Kono Rin 9P (B) beat Ryu Shikun 9P by resig.
Mimura 9P (W) beat Takao Shinji 9P by resig.
Placings in the league: 1st: Yamashita, 6-1; 2nd: Ida, 4-3; 3rd: Cho U, 4-3; 4th: Kono Rin, 4-3
Losing their places are: Yo (4-3), Mimura (3-4), Takao (2-5), and Ryu (1-6). Yo can count himself a little unlucky: he won his final game, but to keep his place he needed Kono to lose, as there’s no play-off for fourth place (Kono was rated higher).
The Norwegian Academy of Sciences and Letters has decided to award the Abel Prize for 2015 to the American mathematicians John F. Nash Jr. (left) and Louis Nirenberg “for striking and seminal contributions to the theory of nonlinear partial differential equations and its applications to geometric analysis.” Outside mathematics, Nash is best known for a paper he wrote about game theory, the mathematics of decision-making, which ultimately won him the 1994 Nobel Prize for economics, and which features prominently in the 2001 film about him, A Beautiful Mind. That film included a scene of Nash — played by Russell Crowe (left, in photo at right) — playing go at Princeton that sparked interest in the game after the film’s release.
- Scientific Computing
In-seong Hwang 8D’s American Yunguseng Dojang still has spaces available for students for the online go school’s next session, which starts April 20. Last session there were 40 participants in six leagues, ranging from 12 kyu to 4 dan. A well-known top player in Europe, In-seong Hwang 8D will teach at this year’s U.S Congress. “His enthusiasm is infectious,” says one student, “his energy and his dedication show why he is such a strong go player.” Click here for In-seong Hwang ‘s recent post in Life in 19×19.
A Call for Papers has just been issued for the 3rd Hangzhou International Go Culture Conference. The conference, sponsored by the Hangzhou Branch of the China Qi-Yuan (Qi, or Go department) will be held in October 2015 in Hangzhou, China. The conference will invite famous go players, specialists in go culture, principals of go organizations “and people of insight from all walks of life” who will discuss go culture to enrich go’s cultural resources and promote the development of go culture. Click here for details on the conference topics and submission guidelines (scroll down the page for the English version). Proposals for papers must be submitted by April 30th, and the full paper must be submitted by August 1st, 2015.
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