Pandanet Go European Team Championship: On January 13th, the UK secured a win against the South African team with a score of 3 wins to 1 loss, making it their fifth win in the league. A commentary by Andrew Simons of his own game against Victor Chow 7d can be found in the news article on the BGA website. The UK team currently ranks second to Bulgaria in their league. The two teams will play on February 24th.
- edited by Amy Su from reports on the BGA website.
How Do You Study Pro Games? “We often hear ‘study professional games to help you improve,’” writes Eric Osman. “But how do you actually do that in practice?” Osman says he plays through pro games on his phone. “At each move, I think for a few seconds about what move I’d make next, then I click to see what the professional did. If the professional’s move differs from mine, I try to see if I can think of a reason the professional’s choice was better than mine.” Osman is a KGS 2k/AGA 2d living in Amherst, MA who’s been playing go since 1976. Send your suggestions/comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
Robert Jasiek, German 5D and author of eight go books aiming to clarify various aspects of the game for kyu players, has released his ninth and tenth instructional books. With Endgame 1 – Fundamentals Jasiek begins a study of the last phase of the game, where “most moves of a scored game belong,” he writes. Most endgame instruction focuses on calculating the value of each remaining sequence. Jasiek takes a more strategic approach. Have you ever wondered how to avoid premature or worthless endgame moves? How can you prepare for the end earlier in the game? Jasiek looks at these considerations while also delving into other strategic factors such as forcing moves, timing, sente/gote and importance of reading. These principles are reinforced with 229 problems. Click to view the table of contents or some sample pages. Volume Two will address how to calculate the value of endgame plays.
Jasiek describes his fourth book on josekis, Easy Learning – Joseki, as a summary of his three-volume joseki series. It is intended as the first or second book on the topic for the aspiring new player. Each of its 196 pages addresses a specific joseki or topic in simple bite-size lessons. Jasiek begins by discussing a dozen or so of the most common patterns, then begins his standard approach of interspersing one- or two-page essayson topics such as “Why To Cut,” “What Is Efficiency?” and “What Group To Defend?” Click to view the table of contents or some sample pages.
These two books are worthy additions to Jasiek’s growing collections of books for aspiring mid-level players. Don’t expect any “New Moves” or groundbreaking strategic concepts, but Jasiek’s books present familiar concepts that appear well-founded in standard thinking. They are organized in a way that is thoughtful and easy to follow. Some of the brief essays seem especially useful in their simplicity and clarity. If you find other mid-level books overly problem-focused and want more explanatory content, have a look at Jasiek’s growing catalog.
- Roy Laird, EJ book review editor
January 24: Middlebury, VT
Vermont Winter Go Tournament
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This Sunday is the second round of the Pandanet-AGA City League. Watch heavyweights from the A League including professionals like Ximeng Yu and Ryan Li, the AGA’s newest pro. “Don’t discount our B and C Leagues; they will be duking it out with the other teams,” says Steve Colburn. Check the schedules for your local team.
Sweden: The Jusandan 2015 finished on January 18 in Stockholm with Yaqi Fu 6d (left) in first, Charlie Aakerblom 4d in second, and Fredrik Blowback 6d in third. Czech Republic: Also on January 18, Martin Jurek 5d took the 5th Decin Open Tournament. Behind him were Ondrej Kachyna 2d in second and Tadeas Berkman 1k in third. Turkey: Ertug Akkol 1d bested Mustafa Morca 2k at the 2nd Istanbul City Championship Finals on January 17 while Barkin Celebican 2k placed third.
– Annalia Linnan, based on reports from EuroGoTV, which include complete result tables and all the latest European go news; photo courtesy of EuroGoTV
Ten children played go and 15 chess in a four round Swiss-McMahon tournament, at Taborspace, in Portland, OR, Jan. 18th, reports organizer Peter Freedman. “All the children were in the chess and Go clubs at Irvington, Richmond and Beverly Cleary schools. Sam Wonciewicz, of Irvington, took first place in go with a perfect record of 4-0. Tied at 3-1, Grant McFeeters-Krone and Luke Helprin, both from Irvington, had a play-off match to determine 2nd and 3rd place. Grant won in a tightly contested game that featured a possible seki which would have led to the death of a neighboring group, and his defeat. Four children finished with 2-2 records, two with 1-3 records, and 1 with a 0-4 record,” said Freedman.
Leo Frankunas, Irvington, topped the chess tournament with a 4-0 record, followed in second place by Mason Buchanan, Irvington at 3 ½, and third place, Benjamin Cicilian, Richmond, at 3-1. Trophies were award for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place for both chess and go. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo by Peter Freedman
“I taught one of my best lessons ever this morning,” wrote Stephen Brivati recently on the violinist.com blog. “When this nice thing happens, I always try to figure out why. When playing Go, the greatest intellectual challenge in my life after the cat, one has to do things in the correct order or get slaughtered. Both teaching and practicing the violin are the same: you have to make real-time decisions about what to work on that is appropriate for that time and place and student. Get the wrong order, and the value of the lesson or practice diminishes significantly.”
- Thanks to Justin Teng for sending this in, his dad plays violin and follows this blog.
Online EGF Academy to Launch in March: In “another very important milestone for European go,” European Go Federation (EGF) President Martin Stiassny reports that the new online EGF Academy will launch March 23. “The EGF Academy will offer online-playing, analyzing and teaching in different groups for more than 30 players,” says Stiassny. The Academy is a result of an agreement Ge Yuhong, owner of the go school in Beijing where EGF students are now studying, and Luo Gang, chief manager of CEGO. The General Manager for the project will be Viktor Lin, the vice-president of the Austrian Go Association.
EGF Seeks Young Players for Beijing Go Academy: The EGF is looking for young European go players interested in studying in Beijing under theEGF-CEGO cooperation agreement ((European Go Federation Inks Deal With Chinese to Promote Go in Europe 7/5/2013 EJ). “Our goal is to find players in Europe younger than 18, maybe 16 years old, best case 14 years old,” says Stiassny. “If you have a candidate, Chinese pro Zhao Baolong is coming back to Europe in March, to test these promising boys and girls.” Contact Stiassny at firstname.lastname@example.org for details and to nominate students.
The 2015 Osaka Go Camp is set for June 28 – July 18, supported by the Kansai Kiin and the Osaka University of Commerce. The camp offers intensive training by Kansai-Kiin pros, the opportunity to play go inside the Kiin with pros, play against top amateur players, former inseis, sightseeing to major historical cities like Kyoto and Nara. A discount of 5.000 JPY is available for students who pay the deposit before February 28. Email email@example.com for more info or reservations.
photo: 2014 Osaka Go Camp participants
“Want to see some incredible go stones?” writes Peter Freedman. “Check out this link.” Exotic Go Stones offers “Semi-precious Go Stones for the Serious Collector,” made out of everything from black and white onyx to Botswana Agate, Carnelian, Turquoise, Malachite (right), Jasper and more.
by John Power, EJ Japan Correspondent
17-Year-Old Ke Wins Bailing Cup: The best-of-five final of the 2nd Bailing Cup was fought between two Chinese players, the 17-year-old Ke Jie 4P (left) and the 32-year-old Qiu Jun 9P. After splitting the first two games last year, the players resumed the match on January 11. Playing white, Qiu won the third game by resignation, but Ke won the fourth (Jan. 13) and fifth games (Jan 15), both by resignation and holding white, to take the match 3-2. The games were played in Zhuhai City in Guangdong Province. First prize is 1,800,000 yuan (about $293,000). This win earned Ke promotion to 9-dan. photo courtesy GoGameGuru
Kisei Title Match Starts with Half-point Win for Iyama: The first game of the 39th Kisei title match was played at the Westin Hotel Osaka in Osaka City on January 15 and 16. The game was a tense contest, with Yamashita Keigo 9P, the challenger for the second year running, launching a severe attack on a weak black group. Iyama countered with his usual aggressive play, but this group remained unsettled for quite a while, as the fight spread all over the board. Yamashita took the lead when he captured four black stones in the centre, so Iyama countered with a do-or-die attack on a white group that led to a ko and a large trade. At the time, Iyama thought that the game gave him the lead, but later conceded that this was not so. He did manage to take a narrow lead in the endgame contest that followed. After 282 moves, Black wonby half a point. After the game, Iyama commented that ‘ending up a half point ahead was justluck.’ If this game is any indication, it looks like being a very close-fought series. The second game is scheduled for January 29 and 30.
Ida Keeps Sole Lead in Honinbo League: Ida Atsushi 8P’s chances of a return match with Iyama Honinbo are looking better and better. In the second game in the fourth round, played on January 15, Ida (W) beat Ryu Shikun 9P by resignation. That improved his record to 4-0; his closest rival is Yamashita Keigo on 2-1. Every other player has at least two losses. Yamashita has already lost to Ida in the league, so he will have to rely on other players to help him catch up.
Takao and Ko Share Lead in Meijin League: Two games in the 40th Meijin League were played on January 15. Ko Iso 8P (W) beat Cho U 9P by resignation. On 2-0, Ko shares the lead with Takao Shinji 9P, the only other undefeated player. In the other game, league newcomer Kanazawa Makoto 7P (B) beat So Yokoku 9P by half a point to pick up his first win.
Kobayashi Satoru Reaches Judan Play-Off: In the first semifinal of the 53rd Judan tournament, Kobayashi Satoru 9P, who had eliminated Iyama Yuta in the previous round, beat Yo Seiki 7P (B) by resignation. Ida Atsushi meets Shida Tatsuya 7P in the other semifinal, which will be played on January 22.
The first-ever Mexican Go Congress was held November 15-17, 2014 at the Tlatelolco Cultural Center in Mexico City, Mexico. The 3-day Congress hosted several events, including the first Mexican Open Tournament, a 13×13 tournament for kids, and go and origami workshops. Hajin Lee 3P and Kim Sooyong 4P — both sent by the Korean Baduk Association – provided game reviews, lectures and simultaneous game exhibitions.
Organized by the Mexican Go Association and sponsored by UNAM, Mexico’s main public university and KABA, the inaugural Congress was a watershed momento not only for the development of go in Mexico, but in Latin America as well. With a 45-player field for the Open Tournament and a total of more than 300 attendees, the event turned out to be a huge success.
“This Congress was a multi-purpose event” said Mexican Go Association president Emil García, “The players not only had the chance to play in an official tournament and feel the seriousness of it, but also had the opportunity to gain insight of how professional players think of the game. It was also a great chance for the youngest players to share and learn. I was surprised by the amount of youngsters who participated in the 13×13 tournament and in the workshops. Kids are increasingly becoming a main actor in Mexican go.”
“European and American go are developing really fast, and they are getting a lot of international support; Mexican and Latin American go shouldn’t lag behind,” said Garcia. “That’s why we are working really hard to be catch up.” He added that “2015 will be a year full of surprises for Mexican go, so stay tuned!”
- reporting by Emil Garcia; click here for a Congress photo album.
Enjoying Inseong Hwang’s School: “I signed up for January for Inseong Hwang’s school on KGS, the Yunguseng Dojang, and am much enjoying it,” Bob Gilman writes. “Inseong Hwang, Korean 8D, is an excellent teacher with a gift for explaining ideas and game situations clearly. There are now six leagues of six players each in the American section with strengths ranging from 4d to double digit kyu. I highly recommend this for players with a serious interest in developing their skills and enjoyment of the game.”
Correction: this post has been updated to reflect that Inseong Hwang is an 8-dan amateur, not 8P.
The players in last week’s AGA Pro Qualification Tournament were of course the stars of the event – click here for the final results and game records — but there was an entire team of volunteers who made it possible for the tournament to happen and for it to be broadcast around the world.
AGA President Andy Okun coordinated with local Boston-area organizers including David Kahn of the Massachusetts Go Association to put on the event at the Nantasket Beach Resort. TD Jeff Shaevel not only devised the tournament’s format, which proved popular with players and viewers alike, but made sure the event ran smoothly and on time. Myungwan Kim 9P worked with Okun and Shaevel and also provided live game commentary on KGS.
The E-Journal team included game recorders Andrew Jackson, William Luff, Daniel Steinbrook, Andrew Hall and Brian Lee, as well as AGA president Andy Okun and former Korean insei Mark Lee, who generously pitched in to help out. Akane Negishi and her team of KGS admins helped bring the games to the world, and Dennis Wheeler and Steve Colburn kept the results page updated, including posting each round’s game records. In addition to coordinating the recording team, E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock took his turn at game recording and provided comprehensive daily coverage, including updates on Facebook, Twitter and the AGA’s website.
Volunteers are needed at a number of such events around the country during the course of the year; if you’d like to be considered, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
photos: (left): TD Jeff Shaevel (in suit) observes game counting; (top right): Game recorder William Luff (right) enjoys one of the perks of game recording; a casual game with pro tournament player Daniel Gourdeau; photos by Chris Garlock
SmartGo’s Go Books is no longer limited to the iPad and iPhone: you can now also read your books on the Mac. “And more importantly, the infrastructure is in place for a future Android version,” says SmartGo’s Anders Kierulf. You can continue to buy books using in-app purchase on iOS, “or you can buy books directly, avoiding Apple’s 30% cut, thus leaving more money for go writers and publishers.” Go Books on the Mac can also open SGF files and display them in book view. You can then save and edit the resulting gobook file to create your own annotated games. Click here to download the Mac version of Go Books. Two more books will be added soon, for a total of 99 books: “Invasions” by Iwamoto Kaoru 9 dan, and “Honinbo Tournament — The Early Years” by John Fairbairn. “Invincible is a treat on the iPad, but full-screen on your Mac takes it to a new level. Enjoy!” says Kierulf.
Where are the AGA Pro Game Records? “Isn’t it great having these Qualification tournaments?” writes Jean de Maiffe. “I love seeing our young go players battling it out for the honors and opportunities these tournaments provide. One disappointment, though: the text says ‘Click here for results and game records’ but clicking there only provides results. The results are thrilling and all that, and I wouldn’t want to miss them, but I am yearning for the game records.”
To see the games on the tournament results page, just click on the underlined result (e.g. “B+7.5” under Eric Lui) and an sgf viewer will open up with the game record.
Tlatelolco Cultural Center was the hosting venue of the1st Mexican Go Congress held from November 15 to 17, 2014 in Mexico City, Mexico. This 1st Congress counted with the distinguished presence of Hajin Lee 3P and an Kim Sooyong 4P both sent by auspice of the Korean Baduk Association.
The 3 day Congress was the host for several events such as the 1st Mexican Open Tournament, a 13x13 tournament for kids, Go and Origami workshops and of course both Korean Pros shared with the Mexican Go community their skill trough reviews from the Open Tournament games, lectures and simultaneous games exhibitions.
Organized by the Mexican Go Association and sponsored by UNAM, Mexico's main public university and KABA, this Congress is pioneer in the development of Go in Mexico and Latin America. With a 45 players field for the Open Tournament and more than 300 attendants in total, the event turned out to be a huge success.
"This Congress was a multi-purpose event" reports Mexican Go Association president, Mr. Emil García, "The players not only had the chance to play in an official tournament and feel the seriousness of it, but also had the opportunity to gain insight of how pro players think of the game trough the several activities we had with them. It was also a great chance of sharing and learning for the youngest players, I'm surprised by the amount of youngsters that participated in the 13x13 Tournament and in the workshops, kids are increasingly becoming a main actor in Mexican Go.
"European and American Go are developing really fast, and they are getting a lot of support from International entities, Mexican and LatinAmerican Go shouldn't lag behind, that's why we are working really hard to be able to catch up with you guys" says Mr. García. "2015 will be a year full of surprises for Mexican Go, so stay tuned!"
For picture galleries of this Congress check the event website.
Young players, in the US, Canada, and Mexico have until Feb. 3rd to register for the North American Kyu Championships (NAKC). The tourney will be held on KGS, on Saturday Feb. 7th. Brackets in the NAKC will be divided by rank, with a new bracket formed approximately every 5 ranks or so depending on the range of participants. Within brackets, all games will be played even. Dan level players will be able to compete in the Redmond Cup (including players from Canada and Mexico). Youth who compete in either event will also be eligible for $400 scholarships to the AGA Go Camp, or $200 scholarships to the US Go Congress, courtesy of the AGF, on a first come first served basis. Registration is now open for both the NAKC and the Redmond Cup, and more information can be found on the AGA webpage for youth events. The deadline for the NAKC is Feb. 3rd to register, click here. - Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.
Another reason to attend next month’s Confucius Cup tournament in Dublin – a special sporting delegation from Beijing will be visiting. They will attend the congress to review top games, play simultaneous games, and award Dan certificates. Below is the list of experts and professional players who will come:Chen Zelan - Vice President of World Xiangqi Federation, Vice President of Board Games & Cards Administrative Centre of General Sport Administration of China. Hua Xueming - 7d, Go Chinese national Team Captain. 16th and 18th National Go Women Individual champion; China 1st Mixed Pair Competition champion; 2nd Women Fast Game champion. Huang Yizhong - 7d Go professional. Guo Liping - Vice Director of the Chinese Chess Department, General Administration of Sport of the People’s Republic of China. Jiang Chuan - Professional Chinese Chess player, National Champion, World Champion.
More details about the Confucius Cup tournament and registration here.