New York University Game Center Director Frank Lantz’ keynote speech at this year’s US Go Congress (Game Theorist Frank Lantz on why go should be “A little less Tang Dynasty and a little more NASCAR” 8/13 EJ) is now available online. Click here for a video of the talk, here for a Powerpoint version and here for a PDF. Lantz says he’s interested in “continu(ing) to be involved in helping grow and promote go worldwide.”
The San Diego Go Club became the first AGA chapter to take advantage of the free pizza offer (AGA Chapter Offer: Play Go, Get Free Pizza! 10/3 EJ) when it held a go party on October 12 at the home of the chapter’s president. Twenty people turned out for the noon-5 p.m. event and seven new members were signed up for the AGA. While many self-paired games were played, only three AGA rated games were played. “At 5 p.m., everyone enjoyed pizza,” reports club president Ted Terpstra. Chapters that meet in October, play at least one rated game, order pizza and send in a photo of the festivities — and the receipt– will have the cost of the pizza reimbursed. This offer only valid for AGA chapters; if your club is not a chapter, click here to sign up as a chapter today. Send your receipts to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Thousands of students, parents, and residents from the Chicago area visited a 4-hour Chinese Cultural Festival on Sept. 27th,” reports organizer Xinming Simon Guo. “This fun and educational event is held to promote Chinese culture and art, and also to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Confucius Institute Day. It is organized by the Confucius Institute in Chicago, Chicago Public Schools, and the Confucius Institute at Valparaiso University. Weiqi/go is one of the most popular booths among 20 different Chinese cultural and art activity booths. As one of the organizers, I couldn’t stay at the booth to promote weiqi as usual. So I turned to the AGA for help. An E-J announcement soliciting help drew two volunteers from the Chicago weiqi community, Nathan and Nicole. They were put in charge of an activity called “Weiqi in 5 minutes” to introduce fundamental rules to passersby. Participants who could solve 80% of the go problems got gift tickets which could be redeemed during the event,” said Guo. CCTV (China Central Television), the largest network in China, broadcast the cultural festival on its international channel. A one-minute video clip featuring the weiqi booth, is here. “It is said that CCTV plans to promote more weiqi on their channels,” says Guo. “I believe the major reason is that Xi Jinping, the President of China, knows how to play weiqi, which was confirmed by Nie Weiping 9P.” - Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor, Photo by Xinming Simon Guo: Nathan and Nicole teach kids how to play go.
This is a continuation of an interview Ranka had with Alexandra when she played in the first World Mind Sports Games in Beijing six year ago. At that time she had interrupted her university studies in Hungary to study go at the International Baduk Academy in Korea. That interview ended with Ranka asking Alexandra what her future plans were. She said she wanted to get stronger at go, see how much progress she had made a year later, and then decide what to do next. What she eventually decided to do was to enroll as a graduate student in Korean literature at a Korean university. Studying Korean literary theory and writing a thesis in Korean left her little time to play go, so when she earned her degree and returned to Hungary, she was playing only at about the 1-dan level. Nevertheless, when a call went out on the Internet for someone to represent Hungary at the 2014 Korea Prime Minister Cup, she answered it.
Ranka: How did you get started playing go?
Alexandra: Actually I got started by accident when I was fifteen. I was looking around on Internet sites, I think Japanese-related sites, and I found this site about go and I got really interested in it. So I started to play on KGS and later looked for some Hungarian players, and that is how I started the game.
Ranka: And how did you come to pursue a graduate degree in Korean literature?
Alexandra: That actually developed from my interest in Korea. After I spent one and a half years in Korea I went back to Hungary and graduated from my university, and after that I went to one of these reading evenings. It was something like a reading circle. They were reading Korean writers' short stories, and I really liked them. I really liked their atmosphere. They were very, like, harmonious. And so when I later applied for a scholarship to Korea, a governmental scholarship, I thought, I could study Korean literature in Korean, which is an asset, and I'm also kind of interested in Korean literature, so why not?
Ranka: Can you tell us about one Korean author that you particularly like?
Alexandra: Of course! To start with, I like female writers a lot, because in Hungary thare are not that many of them; it's still mainly male writers that dominate the scene. One of the writers I like is Kong Ji-young. She's quite famous and has a lot of works in translation. I particularly like her because I wrote my thesis about her. She's one of the first female writers that got really famous. She writes about things in a very female way that I like very much.
Ranka: What does she write about?
Alexandra: Well, she writes about several things, but the short stories I particularly like from her are about making the transfer from the eighties, when Korea was still sort of a dictatorship, to the nineties when they finally became democratized. It became an inner struggle inside Korean people, especially Korean youth, university students. At one time in the eighties they thought that socialism was going to be the way to go, but at the end of the eighties a lot of Eastern European socialist states became democratic. So they had this whole world collapsing inside them. How were they to overcome the collapse?
Ranka: You now work as a translator. Have you translated any go books from Korean into Hungarian?
Alexandra: No, because the go population of Hungary is only about 100 to 150.
Ranka: What do you translate?
Alexandra: Well, right now I'm just starting out, so I'm trying to establish myself as a freelancer. So far I've mostly translated literature, and that's what I'm most interested in. Much of my work has been proofreading translations by Koreans who are translating Hungarian literature into Korean: famous Hungarian writers or famous Hungarian historical books. I've also worked as an interpreter; I interpreted for a well-known writer when he was in Hungary. His name is Yi Mun-yeol and he's very famous in Korea, so I was really happy to have that chance.
Ranka: We wish you good luck in your career.
Alexandra: Thank you.
- Photo: Ito Toshiko
The American Go Association’s Twitter account is about to cross the 1,000-follower mark. Those following @theaga are the first to get the AGA’s go news, like Monday’s posting that the 2014 US Open ratings had been released or the Cotsen Open’s request for “Volunteers Needed to help with setup on Friday,October 24, 11am -5pm. Pizza lunch provided.Please contact Samantha at CotsenOpen@gmail.com” Please follow us now @theaga and retweet widely.
Andre Connell is a Johannesburg-based information technology consultant who represented South Africa at the 2014 Korea Prime Minister Cup in Seoul. Ranka spoke with him after he had played two rounds and split two games with very different Asian opponents.
Ranka: How did you learn about the game of go?
Andre: I learned about the game at Stellenbosch University, which is where I studied. We have a student center where the students can go and get fairly cheap food, and the go club used to meet there. So one evening I walked past and asked the guys, 'What are those? Can you eat them?' Which is kind of the standard question. It started from there and I've been playing ever since.
Ranka: How many years ago was that?
Andre: That was in '95, so it was nineteen years ago.
Ranka: How has go developed in South Africa during those nineteen years?
Andre: It's grown. During the Hikaru no Go phase when everyone was watching the manga, it grew quite a lot. We've kept a few of those players, and I think the general level in South Africa has improved quite a bit. We have one very strong player, Victor Chow, who has been playing in South Africa and is pretty much the strongest guy around in our country, but there are a lot of the rest of us who have also increased our level. I'd say we've got between five and ten players at around the two to four dan level now, which is much better than, let's say, fifteen or twenty years ago when I started, when we had only a couple of dan players. So that's basically where we are at the moment. We're not as strong as many of the European countries, for example, but we're doing fairly well.
Ranka: Does Victor Chow teach the rest of you?
Andre: Yes. We generally play against him in tournaments. Every time you get to a tournament, which can be about two to five times a year, you get to play a game against him, and it's pretty much a teaching game.
Ranka: Do you also go into the places where the original African population lives?
Andre: The townships, for example. One of our strongest clubs is actually in Soweto. We have a couple of players from there who have actually gone to the World Amateur Championships and to the KPMC. I think about seven or eight years ago Julius Paulu went to the World Amateur Champs, and Welile Gogotshe went to the KPMC four years ago. Julius was around 1-dan. He's unfortunately passed away since then, but Welile is one of the strongest players in South Africa. He's probably around 3-dan. He's doing very well.
Ranka: And now, can you tell us about your first game, this morning?
Andre: My first game this morning was against Mongolia. It was quite a tight game. I had a large lead up to about move 100, and then I kept losing little chunks of territory and stones, and eventually managed to sneak it by 2-1/2 points, but it was quite tight at the end. It was one of those that almost got away. At least it was 'almost' -- it didn't get properly away.
Ranka: And what was the story this afternoon?
Andre: I played against the Korean player. He is very strong, quite a few stones stronger than I am, but it was a lot of fun. I tried to attack one of his groups. It didn't work out too well, and then he had one of my groups on the run. It managed to live, but he ended up taking a quarter of the board in return, so he was twenty or thirty points ahead and there was no way I could catch up, unfortunately.
Ranka: Thank you and good luck in the upcoming rounds.
Postscript: In the remaining rounds Andre faced four European opponents and beat one of them to finish 36th.
- Photo: Ito Toshiko
October 18: Minneapolis, MN
TCGO Fall 2014 Rated Games Day
Aaron Broege 612-384-8789
Get the latest go events information.
Go Club Tango and the Slovak go association will host the 2014 Winter Solstice Bratislava on December 27 and 28 at Hotel Viktor. The 13 EU fee must be paid-on site but organizer Julius Masarovic requests that all players register online before December 10. Players who wish to stay at Hotel Viktor for the duration of the tournament will enjoy a discount. Cash and material prizes will be available for top players. To register or for more information, please visit the Klub Taogo website.
The British Go Association and Central London Go Club will host the 41st London Open Go Congress 2014 from December 28 to December 31 at the International Students House. Cash prizes will be available for the top 4 players, the top 2 players “below the bar,” and the top player who started the tournament with a GoR of 10 kyu or below. In addition to the main tournament, there will be lectures, pair go, and lightning games as well as a rengo tournament and New Year’s Eve meal for those who wish to stay for celebrations. Students and junior players (under age 18) will receive discounts. Players who wish to play only for one or two days will also receive lower rates but all players must register before December 15. To register or for more information, please visit the official London Open website.
—Annalia Linnan; for complete listings, check out the European Tournament Calendar
“This is a call to all the metro DC area go players,” writes Nick Jhirad. “There are two excellent Kiwons in the Annandale area which I’ve been attending recently:
The Korean-American Baduk Association of Washington ($15 per day)
7535 Little River Turnpike G 100-A Annandale VA (entrance inside the parking garage)
This one has a monitor broadcasting BadukTV, study material, complimentary drinks, and nonsmoking indoors.
The Washington Hankuk Baduk Club ($10 per day)
4110 Horseshoe Dr Annandale VA (There are two entrances to Horseshoe drive, it’s on a loop, if you’re having difficulty finding it, just keep driving around, it has a sign out in front in Korean and a number of cars in the driveway and around)
This one is a house that is also used as the club, they have a nonsmoking section on the first floor and a deck and basement where smoking does take place.
Both have a good number of players every day and are available from the morning to late at night. In the interests of their profitability and continued existence it would be great if AGA players would make use of them. The average level of the players is a bit stronger than what you might find at clubs that meet once a week, but there are people at all strengths.
Their existence and their openness to outsiders is truly unique, let’s do what we can to make them successful!”
photo: playing on the deck of the Washington Hankuk Baduk Club; photo by Nick Jhirad
Lorenz Trippel is a Swiss 1-dan who works at an office in Zurich, likes cycling, is an active go organiser and is also a prolific provider of go information on the Internet. Ranka talked with him shortly after he arrived in Seoul for the 2014 Korea Prime Minister Cup.
Ranka: Please tell us about go in Switzerland.
Lorenz: We have a long history of go in Switzerland. We started in the late 1970s or early 1980s, and from there we have been growing slowly, like everywhere else in Europe, I think. Now we have about 150, maybe 200 active go players. We have the tradition that every club holds a tournament each year, so we have eight or nine tournaments a year. As we are small, our organization has waves. Sometimes the people get very active and do a lot, and some other times things go a bit slow. But still, we are maintaining quite a good tournament schedule. We also try to promote the game on some special occasions where we can put up a stand, talk to the public, and explain the rules. That's probaby, from my point of view, the most important thing the organization can do: to promote the game.
Ranka: How did you get started in go?
Lorenz: I got started through my family. My father played, my aunt played, and I have an older brother who played -- a half-brother, who is much older than me. When I was like ten he was already in his thirties. So they would play against each other, my father and my brother, and I would watch them playing. That's how I started, just by observing the older family members. And then one day I started to play myself, but I don't really remember the moment when I started to play.
Ranka: Please tell us more about your go-playing aunt.
Lorenz: She's now over one hundred years old, and she has a very emotional connection to the game. She's not a strong player. She just has this feeling about it, about playing the stones. She likes the game, but she is not competitive at all. To her, it's more of a social doing.
Ranka: And what are you looking forward to in the KPMC?
Lorenz: In this tournament I really couldn't say what I'm looking forward to. I just want to play good games. I cannot win a prize. I'm sure that if I play too well in the beginning I will meet some very strong opponents and get crushed, so how well I do cannot be counted by numbers. I just want to to play good games.
Ranka: Thank you and we hope you do.
Postscript: Lorenz played quite well on the first day of the KPMC, beating 2-dan and 3-dan opponents from Norway and Spain and losing only to a 4-dan from the Netherlands. His prediction then came true: on the second day he was matched against a pair of 5-dans from Thailand and Germany and a 4-dan from Israel, lost all three games, and finished 35th. But that was still second highest among the eight 1-dans competing.
- Photo: Ito Toshiko
We are pleased to learn that the next Go tournament in Cork is coming up soon. You can find full details on the UCC website, but as a summary we can tell you this.
The tournament will be a 5 round Swiss, and will take place on the 15th and 16th of November at the Mardyke Pavillion in University College Cork. The prize fund is at least 300 euro, but more importantly there will be free tea, coffee, biscuits, and cake available.
It’s Spring in Australia and tournaments are popping up all over. The Australian tournaments all attract selection points towards qualification for the Australian teams at the various world championships. Here’s a quick rundown:
• 1st Sydney Spring Tournament, Sunday 19th October, Surry Hills, New South Wales (see sydney.baduk.org.au)
• 4th Gold Coast Classic, Sunday 26th October, Helensvale, Queensland (rsvp to email@example.com)
• 2014 Wellington Open, Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th November, Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand.
• 37th Australian Championships, Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th December, Sydney City Go Club, Surry Hills (Sydney), New South Wales
• 35th Queensland Championships, Saturday 28th February to Sunday 1st March, University of Queensland (Brisbane), Queensland
Click here for all current Australian go tournament info.
Ukraine: The Ukrainian Championship finished on October 5 in Kyiv with Valerii Krushelnytskyi 3d in first, Dmytro Yatsenko 5d in second, and Vasyl Skochko 4d in third. Russia: Also on October 5, Georgij Pimenov 16k bested Dmitrij Arkhipov 11k at the Korean Council Cup in Sankt-Peterburg while Dmitrij Shpigel 15k placed third. France: Viktor Lin 6d (left) took the European Student Go Championship in Toulouse on September 28. Behind him were Mihai Valentin Serban 5d in second and Johannes Obenaus 5d in third.
Kiseido has released a new series of go books for the kyu-level player. “The Road Map to Shodan” by Rob van Zeijst and Richard Bozulichis is a new series of go books “whose aim is to provide the kyu-level player with the strategic principles and tactical skills needed to rise to the level of an expert player,” says Kiseido. The series includes “Handicap-Go Strategy and the Sanrensei Opening,” “The Basic Principles of the Opening and the Middle Game,” “The Basic Life and Death Position” and “A Survey of the Basic Tesujis.” Other volumes are in preparation. Click here for further information and to order.
Go-Verband Berlin and fm-one Management Services GmbH will host the 17th annual “Go To Innovation” Tournament in Berlin from November 14 through November 16 at the “Manfred von Ardenne – Gewerbezentrum.” Cash prizes will be available for the top 10 players, the best female player, and for players with 8 wins; book prizes will be available for players 11-20 and as consolation. Players who register before November 11 will receive a 10 EU discount. A steep discount is also available for youth players under age 16. To register or for more information, please visit the official 17th “Go To Innovation” website.
—Annalia Linnan; for complete listings, check out the European Tournament Calendar
Andrew Huang 7d was honored at the US Go Congress as the recipient of the 2013 AGF College Scholarship. Applications are due November first for this years award, and can be downloaded on the AGF Scholarship page. Here is a look at the essay that won Huang the scholarship: “I stepped innocently into the go world and in turn the go community welcomed me with open arms,” wrote Huang. “Once I committed my life to go, I was flooded with amazing opportunities and experiences. Over the past ten years, I’ve had the privilege of studying with Mingjiu Jiang 7p, Feng Yun 9p, Yilun Yang 7p, Yin Kuo 3p, and Sun Yuan 3p. I’ve had the honor of representing Canada at the World Youth Go Championships and World Mind Sports Games, and playing in (and losing) a Redmond Cup Final. I’ve had the opportunity to meet people of all shapes and sizes from all over the world. Simply put, I would not be half the person I am today without go in my life.”
Active in his local community, Huang also became involved with the American Go Honor Society (AGHS) and began running tourneys online. “It is not enough that I can indulge in the beauties of go; others should share this opportunity,” wrote Huang. “In my past international competitions, I’ve seen first hand how quickly and effectively go can spread through and inspire a large population of people. When I played in the WYGC in Penghu in 2010, there were several local kids who were on campus for community service (transporting equipment, helping us around town, etc), but after a few days almost all of them were itching to play a game for themselves. Once I realized the power that go can have on people, I paused my pursuit of self-interests in order to contribute to the go community that had nurtured me for years. In 2012 I was offered the position of tournament organizer in the AGHS. I didn’t realize that my board position would be the most demanding, but also the most fun. That year, the AGHS held its annual Young Lions and School Team Tournament, brought back the Brunei Friendship Cup and inherited the Transatlantic Youth Go Friendship matches. I spent countless hours working as the lead organizer for these events, but I have absolutely no regrets, as I know that people from all over the world enjoy these tournaments and cherish the opportunity to play go.” The following year Huang served as Co-President of the AGHS, continuing to help run tournaments, and foster go activities for kids and teens both at home and abroad. Now a freshman at Princeton, he continues to both play and promote go on a regular basis. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo: Huang playing a match at Princeton.
Ranka talked with Belarusian 1-dan Aliaksandr Chakur shortly after his victory over a like-ranked player from Brunei in the first round of the 2014 Korea Prime Minister Cup.
Ranka: How long have you been playing go?
Aliaksandr: I've played go for about ten years. I started to learn in my university days. Then I found a go club in our city, Minsk, where there were other players and also a teacher, Alexandr Suponev. He began to teach me and I started to progress. I played a lot every week.
Ranka: Is there a lot of go activity in Belarus?
Aliaksandr: We have around eighty players, and we sometimes have tournaments.
Ranka: Are you currently the strongest of the eighty?
Aliaksandr: The three strongest players now all play as 1-dan, and then there are three to five 3-kyu players, so I may not be the strongest, but I am one of the strongest.
Ranka: What happened in the game that you just finished this morning?
Aliaksandr: In that game I was stronger. Her opening was much weaker and I killed most of her groups.
Ranka: And what are your hopes for the coming rounds?
Aliaksandr: It's mostly communication -- to communicate with people from other countries -- also to play and review games, maybe become stronger, and maybe find some new ways to progress.
Ranka: How often have you been to the Far East before?
Aliaksandr: One time to China, one time to Japan, and this is my third time in Korea, always to play in a go tournament. I've played in the KPMC twice before, in 2008 and 2012.
Ranka: How did you do those two years?
Aliaksandr: I won about half my games and lost about half. That's my usual result, so I hope that this year I will do the same, or maybe better.
Ranka: Thank you and good luck.
Postscript: This year Aliaksandr broke even again. In his next five games he faced opponents from New Zealand, Turkey, South Africa, Portugal, and Peru, with ranks from 1-dan to 6-dan, and defeated two of them to take 31st place.
The CW Network’s The Originals, a spin off from the popular Vampire Diaries, featured a go game between two characters in a key scene this week. Perhaps after MTV’s stylish use of go in repeated episodes of Teen Wolf last year, the CW thought they would get in on the action as well. Original vampire Klaus Mikaelson (Joseph Morgan), the vampire who made almost all other vampires, is seen playing go with Marcel (Charles Michael Davis), a vampire he sired in the 1800′s who then became his enemy in later years. The game represents a kind of detente between the two characters, in their ongoing fight to control New Orleans, and prevent the witches, the werewolves, and the humans from getting the upper hand. E-J reader Xinming Simon Guo says the game featured is a famous one, and challenges readers to see if they can identify it. The entire episode can be streamed on the CW website here, the go game is about 21 minutes in. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo from the CW website: Charles Michael Davis playing go.
UPDATE: “Although it’s hard to see the rest of the board at this angle, that shape in the close corner looked strangely familiar, so I took a close look,” writes Michael Redmond 9P. “The famous Red Ear game, of course.”
Sweden's new go champion Jakob Bing has played in two Korea Prime Minister Cups, both times winning three games and finishing near the middle of the field. In 2012, playing as a 2-dan and assisted by a McMahon point, he came in 33rd out of 70. In 2014, now ranked 3-dan, he finished 28th out of 51 without McMahon assistance, the tournament having reverted to the normal Swiss system. Ranka interviewed him shortly after his last game.
Ranka: Can you bring us up to date on the go scene in Sweden?
Jakob: Well, sadly, it seems that go in Sweden has been shrinking. It was more active seven years ago when I started playing. There were more tournaments, with more players. We still have one very big tournament, the Gothenburg open, which gets up to sixty or more participants, but a normal tournament can be like twenty to twenty-five people. The number of tournaments has been shrinking as well. How many do we have left now? I think maybe five or six a year. But a new thing that has started is that we have a summer go camp near Gothenburg, arranged by the Gothenburg go club. This has been very successful for three years in a row. It's very nice, very relaxed, in a nice natural setting near a lake. Quite a lot of people come.
Ranka: To learn how to play better?
Jacob: Yes, to learn, but in a more relaxed atmophere than at a tournament. It's good for people who don't like the competitive atmosphere in tournaments, but they want to meet others and play a lot of go. I think it's a very good thing to have, because it's a different way of playing go together, and some people prefer it.
Ranka: And now please tell us how you feel about your performance here at the KPMC.
Jakob: For some reason, I have been playing much too aggressively. In fact, I've been playing very badly for the past few months, though I've played a bit better in the tournament here. I lost all three games on the first day, but I kind of had strong opponents. Then today I won all three games, for the opposite reason. I guess that if you lose all your games on the first day you can expect to meet weaker people.
Ranka: Which do you think was your best game of the six?
Jakob: Either my first game against the player from Malaysia or my third game against Vesa Laatikainen, from Finland. I think I played best in those games. The third game ended with me dying a lot. I thought I was going to kill my opponent and I tried too hard and everything died. But it was fun.
Ranka: Thank you very much.
Photo: Ito Toshiko
James Sedgwick is president of the Canadian Go Association, but was competing in the 2014 Korea Prime Minister Cup as a player. Ranka interviewed him at breakfast at the Olympic ParkTel, before the bus ride to the Korea Baduk Association building for the first round.
Ranka: Please tell us about the go community in Canada.
James: Canada is a big country, so it can be hard to get an overall picture of how the community is doing. You notice how one region can have a mini-go-boom for a few years while there's another region where the organizers have fallen away. A lot of Chinese organizations are very active now. There are two or three schools in Toronto that teach kids, mostly Chinese kids from second-generation families, and that's having a big impact. A lot of strong young players are coming in. There was a youth tournament this spring which had forty children under twelve, mostly from these schools.
Ranka: What are the names of these schools?
James: One of them is called the Golden Key Go School, because it operates at the Golden Key Culture Center. They ran the last Toronto Open. Another is just called, in English, the Toronto Go School.
Ranka: And what about the rest of Canada?
James: I think the rest of the community is growing slowly, but when I look at players around my level, about European five dan, there are five to ten of us from a Western background. I don't think there were that many ten or twenty years ago. So it's hard to perceive, but the growth is there.
Ranka: What is it like, trying to organize go in a country as big as Canada?
James: Recently I think we've had a more active executive in the Canadian go organization than we had five or ten years previously, which is a good sign, but it's always a struggle to figure out how you've made a difference at the end of the day. You need the local go communities to do a lot. Well, they're trying, and we're trying too.
Ranka: How was your visit to the Choongam Baduk Academy yesterday?
James: They were very strong, generally stronger than the field here. It was impressive to see. It's always a shock the first time, but I've been to go camps in Shanghai and Beijing -- my wife is originally from Beijing -- so I've had similar experiences elsewhere. It was about what I'd expect at a strong go school here. The intensity of the training the kids go through to get as strong as they are, we're nowhere near that yet in the West.
Ranka: Was it a good warm-up for the KPMC?
James: Oh yes, it got my brain into gear. I'm still thinking through some of the positions in my head. During the tournament I hope I won't make the same mistakes, although I'm sure I'll make make different mistakes.
Ranka: What other hopes and expectations do you have for the KPMC?
James: My hopes are mainly to avoid embarrassment. I'm a little weaker than the last few Canadian representatives. Last year the Canadian representative in the KPMC finished third. I think it's unlikely I'll be able to match that, but my goal is to finish in the top ten.
Ranka: Last year's Canadian representative was Bill Lin. Have you played him very much in Canada?
James: Yes, quite often, in the Canadian Go Association's online Dragon League. That league was created and named by Chuck Elliot, a long-time go organizer in the Canadian prairies who is now in his seventies but doesn't seem able to sit still. I think he's currently involved in setting up some sort of school in China where they teach go and English. I've played Bill maybe five games in the past two years. I don't know that I've been able to win any of them, but I've had chances at fairly late stages in some of the games.
Ranka: Thank you and good luck.
Postscript: After beating Jerusalem Open winner Amir Fragman in round three but losing to the players from China and Chinese Taipei in rounds two and five, James found himself matched against one of Europe's strongest players, Thomas Debarre of France, in round six. The winner of this game would earn an award for placing in the top sixteen. James lost, but still earned an award by placing in the top four in the America and Oceania zone.
- Photo: Ito Toshiko