“Registration is now open for the 2013 U.S. Go Congress!” says Congress Co-Director Chris Kirschner. Click on “Sign In” at the top of the Congress website and you can register, choose your housing and meal plans and even sign up for Day Off activities. Although technical glitches delayed opening registration, “We’re back on track and excited about our plans,” adds Kirschner. Carrying on the Northwest tradition of providing something new at Congresses there, Kirschner says this year’s Congress “will include a special workshop for teachers who will get a $50 rebate of their Congress registration courtesy of the American Go Foundation.” The Korean Baduk Association is considering sending Korean pros who are particularly interested in meeting and teaching the American baduk (go) teaching community. And in a groundbreaking style development, Kirchner reports that “There will be alternative Congress tee shirt styles and colors,” including three styles for women and alternative colors in all styles. This year’s Go Congress also features a brand-new competitive event, the pentathlon. “Only for the truly dedicated competitors, the pentathlon will combine results from the U.S. Open, Self-Paired, 9×9, 13×13 and Lightning tournaments,” says Kirschner. “So far as we know, this has never been done before.” - photo: Point Defiance Park, near the 2013 Congress site
Lee Sedol 9P finally meets Kim Jisuk 8P in the GS Caltex tournament finals next week, and Baduk TV will broadcast English commentary on the games. It’s literally a dream come true for Kim (below), who visualized playing Lee (right) in the finals before the tournament even started. Meanwhile, Lee, the top-ranked player in the world, returned to defend his Caltex title by rallying past 4th-ranked Korean Park Younghoon 9P on Tuesday. Kim earned his spot in the finals by beating Cho Hanseung 9P.
After his marriage last year, it seems that Kim is unstoppable, winning 11 consecutive games in the Chinese 1st league and 17 straight wins in Korea this year. The 23-year-old is now ranked third in Korea following Lee Sedol 9P and Park Junghwan 9P. In an interview, Lee said Kim is the prominent player nowadays who will take over his position when he fades away in the future. Kim has been waiting for this challenge for a long time.
GS Caltex tournament is a prestigious blitz game where each player gets 10 minutes with three 40-second byo-yomi periods. The first place prize is $70,000 while the runner-up gets $15,000. Click here to watch games live on Baduk TV’s YouTube channel.
Game 1: Tuesday, April 16 3:00 AM PST (6:00 AM EST); commentary: Dongeun Choi 1P and Ben Lockhart
Game 2: Wednesday, April 17 3:00 AM PST (6:00 AM EST); commentary: Myungwan Kim 9P and James Kim
Game 3: Monday, April 22 3:00 AM PST (6:00 AM EST); commentary: Cho Hyeyun 9P and Ben Lockhart
- reported by Myungwan Kim, special to the E-Journal
Two dozen go players from around the world gathered in a beautiful old Japanese style dojo for a brand-new tournament on April 1. Lush bamboo rustled in the breeze while the sea whispered nearby. But the only real thing was the go. The tournament is taking place in “Second Life,” the popular 3D simulator world with millions of users all over the world. The online virtual world enables many different kinds of activities, including playing go. Second Life’s Kido Go Club is a beautiful old Japanese style location where your 3D avatar can play and review your games online using voice chat. The games are saved on the server in SGF format and can be downloaded. The Meijin League — which runs through the end of the month – tournament is the largest in Second Life history. It has two subdivisions with 12 registered participants each, the first 7d-9k, the second 10k-30k. Players are from the United States, Russia, Japan and many European countries. Each subdivision is a round-robin where players arrange the time of their games and both leagues will reward the first right places with Linden Dollar prizes, the in-game currency. Five matches took place on April 1, when the League launched; The very first day was marked by five Go matches. The games will last at least till the end of April and new participants can still join the tournament. Click here for more on playing go in Second Life.
- Daria Koshkina
Crow in the Starry Sky, or Hoshizora no Karasu, as it is known in Japanese, is a new manga about go appearing in Hana to Yume magazine. The story centers around Karasuma Waka, a young girl who learned to play go from her grandfather, a professional who was despised by his family for placing go above his family life. Karasuma catches the bug though, and resolves to go pro no matter how her mother feels about it. No official translation has been announced, but fansubbers have picked it up and are posting chapters online. As with Hikaru no Go, this can help build a market for a series that might not otherwise get translated. The new manga is a shojo series, which means it is targeted at girls, and will feature both romance and in-depth characterizations. The first chapter has plenty of action on the go board though, and go players of any gender will enjoy the series. To download the original fansub, visit Pandascans. To read the series online, visit Kissmanga. Pandascans reminds readers that they do not own the rights to this manga, and ask that people support the author and the publisher by purchasing the manga when/if it becomes available in the US. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor
Ho Son 7d won the first competition of the Seattle Top Go Player’s Tournament on April 7, while Edward Kim 7d and Chan Jeong tied for 2nd place. The deciding game between Son and Kim was played late on Sunday afternoon, and is posted on the news page of the Seattle Go Center website (Both players are also on the AGA Pandanet City League Seattle A Team, and Edward Kim won the AGA Tygem Pro Preliminary in Seattle last year). The round robin tournament took place on the first Sundays of February, March and April at the Seattle Go Center, and had 8 players. Son won a cash prize of $250, and a trophy topped by the Seattle Space Needle with titles in four languages: English, Japanese, Chinese and Korean.
A second competition is planned for the first Sundays of May, June and July 2013 at the Seattle Go Center. All strong players are welcome to join in. The tournament was organized by Sonny Cho, using a format popular in Korea. All games are played on an open board, but some handicapping is done with reverse komi. The winner of this competition, Ho Son, will be giving extra komi to all players for the next round. Photo: Winner Ho Son/ Text and photo by Brian Allen
“I wanted to show the students of the school club that I advise the winning artwork from one of the International Children’s Go Art Painting Contests,” writes Richard Moseson, “but I can’t find where it is. I found this article (Soo, Ganeva, and Ye Top Children’s Art Contest 8/27/2012 EJ), but the link to ‘the top 20 pieces’ is dead. Can you tell me where I can find some of the art?”
For now, your best bet is on the Go Symposium’s International Go Art Contest page. Graphic: “Having fun with Go,”Hana Richelle Tan, Manila, Philippines
Located in the Latin Quarter of Paris, the Lycée Louis-le-Grand is a secondary school with a long list of famous alumni (Degas, Poincare, Lafayette, Voltaire,...). From March 30 to April 1 it hosted a long list of European go talent: a total of 213 players, 50 of them dan ranked, who were competing in the Paris Go Tournament. The schedule included a 6-round McMahon main tournament and an evening blitz tournament on March 31. Most of the contestants were from France, but the top ten finishers in the main tournament also included players from Austria, Romania, Czechia, and Spain.
The undefeated winner was Junfu Dai of France (formerly China), who also won in 2010 and 2012. He clinched first place by defeating Europe's top rated player Hui Fan in round 5. Junfu has been a major force in French go for the past five years and is the author of a French go book about the middle game. Working as a financial director at Ascendeo has not slowed down his go activity; this year he was undefeated in large tournaments in Antony in February and Levallois in March as well. Photos of him playing in Paris can be found here.
Three more players would have been undefeated if they had not lost to Junfu Dai, and they took the next places. Finishing second was Lluis Oh of Barcelona, Spain (formerly of Seoul, Korea), who lost to Junfu in round 3. Lluis came to Spain as part of Korea's overseas baduk promotion program. He tells his own story in English and Spanish here.
Third and fourth places went to Cristian Pop (Romania) and the former Chinese 2-dan pro Hui Fan (France), who were making strong returns to major competition after periods of inactivity. Fifth to seventh places fell to Czech Go Baron Ondrej Silt, Romanian go instructor Cornel Burzo, and French youth champion Tanguy le Calvé, who won the blitz tournament. Eighth and ninth places were taken by a pair of Austrians, Hamrah Schayan and Viktor Lin, who might also have been undefeated if they had not encountered Junfu, Cristian, Hui, Ondrej, and Cornel. Tenth place went to France's Antoine Fenech, winner of the European Youth Masters' Cup in 2007, who downed Hungarian star Pal Balogh in round 5.
There was one other undefeated contestant. France's Kévin Trouilleux (1 kyu) upset Jean-Loup Naddef (3 dan) and Romania's Lucretiu Carlota (5 dan) in the last two rounds to earn 35 McMahon points and finish 26th. Full results are available here.
Zebin Du (right), a Chinese 4-dan, won the British Open last weekend, winning all six games. There were 67 players taking part in the Open, which was part of the British Go Congress weekend April 5-7. Special guest Michael Redmond 9P, the American professional who was concluding his week-long training tour of England — thanks to the Nihon Ki-in and the Sasakawa Foundation — ran a training session on Friday, played simultaneous matches and analyzed games throughout the weekend (Redmond Lecture & Simul Launches British Congress 4/6 EJ). Second was Yuanbo Zhang 4d, with five wins. A group of 4-dans came next with four wins each: Andrew Kay, T.Mark Hall, and Andrew Simons. Oscar Selby 12k (Epsom) won the British Lightning, with some close handicap victories over dan players. Andrew Simons also won the Stacey Grand Prix for the year with 29 points; in second was Toby Manning with 26 points and third was Richard Hunter (17). The weekend event, organised by Alison and Simon Bexfield from the nearby Letchworth Club, also featured the BGA’s AGM and a congress dinner on Saturday evening. Click here for the 4th-round game between Zebin Du and Yuanbo Zhang; click here for complete tournament results.
- based on a longer report on the BGA website; photo by Tony Collman
Visiting Korean go professional Moonyong Choi 6P was the highlight of the annual San Diego Go Club Spring Soiree, held Saturday, April 6 at club president Teddy Terpstra’s home. “Choi played a simultaneous exhibition (right) with anyone who wanted a game,” Terpstra reports, “and more than a dozen players competed.” Players received up to a 9-stone handicap in their games, but only long-time AGA member Les Lanphear was able to pull off a victory, eking out a 1-point win with a 5-stone handicap. Afterwards, Choi remained for dinner and cheerfully went over many go problems of his own design with members. The winner of the door prize for beginners of a go board with legs, wooden bowls and stones was Sam Plantowsky (left), a high school player from Santee.
- photos courtesy Ted Terpstra; (lower left) San Diego Go Club president Ted Terpstra awarding the door prize to Sam Plantowsky
April 13: Boulder, CO
Rocky Mountain NAMT Qualifier
Paul Barchilon firstname.lastname@example.org 303-440-7124
Get the latest go events information.
It is with great sadness that we report that Mark died last Monday, April 1st from cancer.
A 4kyu player, he was very active on KGS and participated in the inter-provincial matches representing Leinster, and Ireland in the European Team Championship.
Our thoughts are with his family at this time.
by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the American Go E-Journal
Yuki Satoshi 9P’s Good Form Continues: The ‘good week’ described in our previous report (Power Report, 4/1 EJ) looks like turning into a good month for Yuki Satoshi 9P (right). The third game of the 51st Judan title match was played at the Kuroyon Royal Hotel in the city of Omachi in Nagano Prefectures on April 4. Taking black, Yuki forced the titleholder, Iyama Yuta, to resign after 189 moves, so he took a 2-1 lead in the series. He is now just one win away from taking his second top-seven title.
This was Yuki’s third win in a row against Iyama, so he is exacting some revenge for the ten successive losses he suffered previously. The fourth game will be played on April 18.
Iyama’s Sextuple Crown in Danger? Past records of multiple crowns show that they don’t usually last very long, usually less than a year (a detailed listing is given on page 6 of Go World 129). Iyama Yuta 9P (right) picked up his quintuple crown in November 22 last year and is in no danger of losing it for a few months yet, but his sextuple crown, acquired as recently as March 14, already seems to be in some danger. Many fans in Japan are rooting for him to score a genuine grand slam by winning all seven top titles, but first he has to defend the ones he already has.
Cho U Keeps Sole Lead in Meijin League: A week ago, Cho U (left) lost his share of the lead in the current Honinbo League, but he remains the sole leader in the 38th Meijin League. In a game played on April 4, he defeated Sakai Hideyuki 9P by 2.5 points to extend his score to 4-0. Cho is the only undefeated player, but he is closely followed by Hane Naoki 9P and Iyama Yuta, who are both on 3-1. To have a shot at a grand slam, Iyama’s first task is to overhaul Cho. In another game played on the same day, Takao Shinji 9P (black) beat Mizokami Tomochika 8P by resignation.
With nominations for the AGA’s Central Region Board seat (Special Election Announced for Central Region Board Seat, 3/26 EJ) closing on April 15, nominations have started to come in, reports Arnold Eudell. “Bob Gilman has been nominated to complete the 2012-2014 central region vacated by Bob Barber,” Eudell says. In his candidate statement, Gilman says that “I am a long time AGA member, have contributed articles to the eJournal, and edited several pages in the recent update of the AGA web site. I organized a trip this past February for a group of US players to travel to Cuba for friendship games at the Academia Cubana de Go in Havana. I am interested in encouraging greater active involvement by AGA members in forming and executing AGA development plans.” Details on qualifications and nominations are available on the AGA Election page; questions can be sent to email@example.com.
Moonyong Choi 6P spent a week visiting school and youth go clubs in the California Bay area, March 18-24. The Korean Baduk Association (KBA) sent Choi to see first-hand what go programs in America are like, and he is currently in the Los Angeles area visiting programs there as well. “It was really fun,” reports Patrick Wang, of Hyde Park Middle School in Cupertino, “the pro introduced himself, told us how he started playing, why he played, and how he went pro. After that, we asked him questions like how many tournaments he had won or how to improve. Then he played four people at once with nine handicaps on 19×19 and five handicaps on 13×13. Our school teacher even let us stay after lunch to finish the games! To end it off everyone asked him for his autograph.” Choi also visited Meyerholtz Elementary, Valley Christian High, and Berryissa Chinese School, all in San Jose, before finishing up his trip with a visit to the Santa Clara Youth Go Club. At all of the locations, Choi spoke to the children about his challenges in becoming a pro. “I studied for five years at the go school and became an insei which is a preliminary professional. During the course I lost a lot of times, especially games that I was ahead but lost in the end game. Sometimes I cried a lot and felt depressed,” said Choi, “Did you ever lose a game that you thought you had won? Did you hate your opponent for that? However, you don’t have to hate the person. Because you’re the one that made the mistake . We are all in the learning process. Correcting the mistakes and playing better the next time is what is important.”
Choi’s top tips for new players are “First of all, don’t be afraid of losing the game. I myself have played more than 20,000 games and lost half of them. There is a saying that ‘losing means learning’. It’s ok if you lose but knowing the reason and correcting it is how you take your skills to the next level. That’s why having a good teacher is essential. Second, being modest or having a humble attitude is good. There are lots of people that play better than you. You are in the learning process. Learning from your weaker opponent’s mistakes and from your stronger opponent’s good moves will make you a better person the next day. Third, enjoy the game. When you’re playing you always have to do the best you can. Think as much as possible. This is a war game. But once it’s over admit the results and try hard to find better moves. The more you love the game and dedicate yourself to it, the better player you will be.” His advice was well received, and Yanping Zhao of the Santa Clara Youth Go Club reported “It was a wonderful visit to our club. Mr. Choi, and our club members all had a very good time! About 15 kids came to the club to meet the pro. Mr. Choi was very kind to play a teaching game with almost every one of the them. He played several rounds, each round with four or five kids at the same time. During the breaks between the rounds, we had pizza and the pro chatted with kids. At the end, the kids signed a thank you card to express their appreciation. The kids all hope to meet Mr. Choi again and more pros in the future!” The visit was part of a larger outreach to support new programs in America, and was arranged by Myungwan Kim 9P. More pros will be visiting soon, and future trips will be scheduled in other areas of the country if all goes well.
-Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo by Yanping Zhao: Moonyong Choi 6P plays a simul at the Santa Clara Youth Go Club, in California.
US-born Japanese professional Michael Redmond 9P opened proceedings at the 2013 British Go Congress with a teaching session on Friday April 5. Redmond used some of his recent competition games from the Japanese qualifying tournaments to illustrate his remarks about the avalanche joseki and some of the ramifications that arise when using an opening he currently favors, a variation (Black 5 at R8) on the Chinese Opening.
The games were also used as the basis of an informal competition to identify the best (i.e. Redmond’s) play at certain junctures. Each solution was followed by a detailed explanation of why he chose that particular move over others proposed either by him in a multiple-choice format, or occasionally from the floor. Three prizes of a special go fan went to those who got the most right. The fans were hand-decorated by Iyama Yuta 9P, current holder of six of the seven major Japanese titles, with calligraphy which Redmond translated as “play naturally.”
In the evening Redmond gave a simultaneous demonstration (above right), taking on five challengers at a time from a total of 10 playing in relay. Click here for links to all the games used in Redmond’s teaching sessions, in zipped sgf format, courtesy of Tony Atkins.
The events took place at the Cromwell Hotel in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, UK and were organized by Alison Bexfield 2d on behalf of the British Go Association.
- report/photos by Tony Collman, special correspondent to the E-Journal. photos: Redmond playing the simul (top right); Prizewinner Andrew Simons 4d
Amir Fragman 4d won the 2013 Jerusalem Open Baduk tournament, held during the Passover holiday and initiated and hosted by the Korean Culture Center in Jerusalem. Twenty four players competed in the tournament, played March 28-29 in Jerusalem, Israel. In second was Ali Jabarin 5d and third was Ofer Zivony 3d. Tournament results.
- Shavit Fragman
Although springtime in Siberia doesn’t hold quite the same allure, as, say, Paris, nearly three dozen go players gathered in Tomsk the last weekend in March for the second annual Tomsk Go Festival. The March 30-31 event featured a tournament, simuls and discussions about developing go in Siberia, the vast and remote area that comprises the central and eastern portion of the Russian Federation,Tomsk, with a population of just over half a million, is one of the biggest and oldest Siberian towns, celebrating its 400th anniversary in 2004. The festival tournament’s players hailed from various Siberian regions and even included a visiting guest from Mexico. Another honorary guest was Natalia Kovaleva 5d (photos), one of the strongest women players in European go, who was once the European female go champion and won the Russian female go championship several times. Kovaleva not only won the 5-round tournament but took part in the side events including the simuls, signing a goban which will be auctioned off. Kirill Denisov 4d took second place and in third was Pavel Prisupa 2d. A major part of the festival focused on the future of Siberian Go, which is a challenge due to the difficulty of players from the far regions of Russia attending the major tournaments and go events in Moscow and Saint-Petersburg. Siberian go centers work to catch up through club, students’ and regional activities and numerous tournaments held each year in different cities in the region. Organizers hope that the success of this year’s Tomsk festival shows that the vast Siberian go community can soon compete with the leading regions.
- Daria Koshkina; photos: Kovaleva with statue of writer Anton Chekhov in Tomsk (top right) and playing (left); photos by Roman Malakhov. Click here for his album on Facebook. CORRECTION: this post has been updated to reflect Kirill Denisov’s 4d rank (not 3d as originally reported).
A new go club is about to bloom in the historic English town of Letchworth, “The first garden city in the world.” Beginning April 18, the Letchworth Garden City Go Club will meet weekly on Thursday evenings at the Central Methodist Church Hall (at right; Norton Way South, entrance £3). Organizer Alison Bexfield 2d previously ran the now-defunct Letchworth Go and Puzzle Club with husband Simon 1k, but they could no longer manage the commitment after their kids were born. Now that her children are old enough to play too, Bexfield is committed to introducing a new generation to the game, and is simultaneously launching the Letchworth Junior Chess and Go Club at the same venue at an earlier time. Bexfield is currently organizing the 2013 British Open Tournament and British Go Congress in nearby Stevenage. “By running the British Open I thought I would see if there were any local players lurking that might give sufficient local interest to restart a public club,” she says. Details of all British clubs are available on the British Go Association’s Clubs Page.
- Tony Collman
SOLD! Gobans, Books For Sale: Aged go player downsizing. Need to sell kaya, 6.25” goban with stones, hinged folding table top goban with stones in portable box. Also an extensive go library of some 60 books, mix of Japanese and English. Note the large Goban has a surface crack of minor importance. I’ve had this for over 50 years and is stable – perfectly useable and could be repaired. All available for your pickup in Winchester, VA. Alternatively could be picked up in Manhattan, NYC. Phone Bob McCallister 540-665-5897. Willing to accept any reasonable offer. UPDATE 4/8: ALL ITEMS HAVE BEEN SOLD.
Goban For Sale: Selling a very nice goban. Unused condition. Weight is around 30 lbs. shinkaya wood 5.9 inches thick. $300 plus shipping (US shipping only). Keith Schkoda firstname.lastname@example.org
Junfu Dai 8D (right) successfully defended his title against Lluis Oh 6D in the 41st Paris International Go Tournament at the Lycée Louis Le Grand on April 1. Though it was the first time Spanish player Oh placed, it was Dai’s third victory in four years, a reign broken only by Liu Yuanbo’s win in 2011. However, there may still be hope for Oh, as Dai was runner-up in 1996 and 2008 before he finally became champion. Joining Dai and Oh in the ranks as top Europeans is Romanian player Cristian Pop 7D. No stranger to tournaments, Pop has won the championship in his home country six times. Founded in 1972, the annual Paris International Go Tournament now holds a level 5 ECup rating and is hailed as “one of the largest go events in Europe behind the European Go Congress.” For more information about this year’s tournament including rules, registered players, and results, visit the official Paris 2013 website.
- Annalia Linnan; photo courtesy EuroGoTV, which includes selected game records