World news

EuroGoTV Update: United Kingdom, Turkey, Serbia

AGA news - Thu, 13/03/2014 - 14:48

UK: The Trigantius tournament finished in Cambridge on March 9 with Jon Diamond 4d in first, William Brooks 3d in second, and Toby Manning 3d in third. Turkey: Hulya Colak 4k lead the 2014 Turkish Women’s Championship in Ankara on March 8. Behind her were Sebnem Gurbuzel 4k in second and Evren Bicakci 5k in third. (Photo: Gozde Taskin 5k, place 7 of 19.) Serbia: Also on March 8, Zoran Jankovic 4d dominated the Radnicki Club Tournament in Kragujevac while Mihailo Jacimovic 1k came in second and Dragan Stojadinovic 8k 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

Categories: World news

Wang Chen Wins 2014 World Students Go Oza

IGF - Wed, 12/03/2014 - 23:04

Not long ago, on February 24 to be exact, sixteen globetrotting, go-playing university students gathered at the Hotel Monterey La Soeur Ginza in Tokyo for a reception to kick off the 12th World Students Go Oza (throne) Championship. Half of them, four young men and four young women, came from China, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan, where go is a major intellectual sport. Another six young men and two young women came from Brazil, France, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Russia, Thailand, the Ukraine, and the USA. Ahead of them were two days of competition to determine the champion and put the others in their places.

If you imagine a typical go-playing university student to be slight of build, serious, studious, and quiet, then there was one who looked the part perfectly. That was the young man from China: Wang Chen. But for the past few years Mr Wang has also been one of the 'Four Heavenly Kings' who rule China's amateur rating list.

A native of Dalian, Mr Wang learned go at age seven and started taking part in the annual Chinese professional qualification tournament at age ten. After nine straight failures to make pro, he gave up and enrolled at the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, where he studies economic reporting and captains the university's go team. In the meantime, he had begun winning major amateur tournaments in China, at least one each year since 2009.

Chinese amateur tournaments have significant monetary prizes. When he won the Chenyi Cup in 2011, Mr Wang earned as much as a white-collar worker in China might make in two years. Essentially he was putting himself through college by playing go. Last July he won the first Chinese International University Weiqi (go) Tournament, and this year in January, after taking fourth place in the Evening News Cup, he beat one of China's top pros in the Evening News pro-amateur team match, so this unassuming economist-to-be landed in Tokyo with excellent prospects of winning yet another championship.

And that's what he did. In the first round on the morning of February 25 he downed Ken (Kai Kun) Xie, who had been New Zealand champion at age twelve in 2006. Playing black, Wang killed two groups of white stones and won by resignation in 175 moves. (When played out to the end, a typical game of go lasts nearly 300 moves.)

In the second round Wang faced Yamikumo Tsubasa, an Osaka University student who has consistently done well in the Japanese Students Top Ten Tournament. Playing white, Wang killed a black group at the 120th move. Mr Yamikumo conceded the game 44 moves later. Next morning Wang defeated the other Japanese player, Ritsumei University coed Go Risa. She came out of the opening badly and resigned after only 90 moves. Wang's last opponent, Chung Chen-En, a student at Taiwan's National Central University, put up more resistance than the other three, but in the end he too resigned, following a futile last-ditch attack on one of Wang's groups.

Yamikumo, Go, and Chung did not lose to anyone else, so they finished as part of the four-way tie for runner-up. Tie-breaking points put Yamikumo second, Chung third, and Go fourth. Taiwan's Hu Shih-Yun also lost only one game and came in fifth. The opponent she lost to was the USA's Maojie Xia, who had played the two Japanese and finished a highly commendable sixth.

In his championship interview Mr Wang said that all of his games had gone well. None of his opponents would argue with that. He added that after graduating he hopes to continue his amateur career and is particularly interested in coaching talented young players.

And what about the rest of the world? Viktor Ivanov (Russia, 9th place) and Kwan King-Man (Hong Kong, 10th place) matched Maojie Xia by winning two games apiece, and although Yanqi Zhang (France, 12th place) won only once, the opponent she beat was Zhou Shiying, the Chinese female player. At both the reception and the awards ceremony, officials in the All Japan Students Go Association, which handled all the organizational work (drinking party included), remarked on the rising level of play in countries outside the Far East.

Complete results and clickable game records can be found here.

 

Categories: World news

Go Spotting: Teen Wolf Features Go Again

AGA news - Wed, 12/03/2014 - 18:44

MTV drama Teen Wolf again wove go into the latest episode, making two weeks in a row where the game has been featured prominently. Co-star Dylan O’Brien, as Stiles Stilinski, has been possessed by a dark fox spirit, the Nogitsune, who is controlling his mind and body.  Go is alluded to about twelve minutes in, when two werewolves are discussing strategy.  One is trying to use a chess board to figure out what Stiles would do, but the older werewolf observes “Chess is Stiles’ game, it’s not the game of a Japanese fox”.  Later, using psychic werewolf powers, Stiles’ friends are able to enter his mind, where they find him engaged in a game of go with the Nogitsune.  Like all good go players, he is immersed in the game, and deaf to the cries of his friends. It appears that while his mind is trapped in the go game, the Nogitsune has complete control of his body.  We see the board from multiple angles, with Stiles playing white.  Unfortunately, the only move he makes on the board is an empty triangle, although the board position is at least reasonable.  The spell is broken when Tyler Posey, as Scott McCall, transforms into a werewolf and his howl gets through to Stiles.  Suddenly realizing what is going on, Stiles looks up at the Nogitsune, and then sweeps all the stones off the board.  Just as well, nothing good would have come from that empty triangle anyway.  The go match appears at the 35 minute mark, and the entire episode can be viewed on the MTV website here. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo from the MTV website.

Categories: World news

Ireland triumph over Spain in drawn match

Irish Go Association - Wed, 12/03/2014 - 00:11

The Irish team were full of the joys of spring, as they totally dominated the Spanish team in a 2-2 draw on IGS last night. In what was a marathon match, with all 4 games entering overtime, and with multiple disconnections to boot, the squad never looked troubled. Ireland once again are proudly holding onto 8th position in the league.

Categories: World news

Go Classified: Players Wanted in Vancouver, WA

AGA news - Tue, 11/03/2014 - 23:27

Austin Freeman 2k, is looking for players in the Vancouver, WA, area. “I want to be able to play others in person instead of only over the computer, and I know there are others that feel like this too,” says Freeman. Interested parties can contact Freeman at his e-mail: austinjfreeman@live.com , or on KGS, where he plays as AffyTaffyC.

Categories: World news

Northern California Yilun Yang Workshop April 5th and 6th

AGA news - Mon, 10/03/2014 - 17:00

Popular go teacher Yilun Yang 7P will teach a two-day weekend workshop in Berkeley, California on April 5th and 6th. Author of many go books including Whole Board Thinking in Joseki and Fundamental Principles of Go, Mr. Yang is also a regular participant in the U.S. Go Congress, Cotsen Open, and other major go events.

The workshop is open to go players of all strengths; Mr. Yang’s unique teaching format enables students at all levels to get a lot out of the workshop. Mr. Yang will present a series of lectures addressing such topics as how to fight, when to invade versus reduce, how to determine the biggest point in the opening, how to handle crosscuts and many other situations that occur in every game you play. These algorithmic approaches are integrated with games, game analysis, and problem-solving sessions.

More information is available on the Bay Area Go website. Register early as capacity is limited, and advanced registration is required. Photo by Lisa Schrag.

Categories: World news

This Week’s Go Calendar: Seattle, Burlington, Portland

AGA news - Mon, 10/03/2014 - 14:00

March 15-16: Seattle, WA
Yilun Yang 7p Workshop
Brian Allen manager@seattlego.org 206-632-1122 206-545-1424

March 16: Burlington, VT
Queen City Go Tourney Spring 2014
David Felcan dfelcan@yahoo.com 802-860-9587

March 16: Portland, OR
Hikaru No Go Child and Youth Tournament
Peter Freedman peter.freedman@comcast.net 503-242-4203

Get the latest go events information.

Categories: World news

Second Spring Go Expo Set for MIT

AGA news - Sun, 09/03/2014 - 22:35

The American Collegiate Go Association (ACGA) — in conjunction with the Ing Foundation — is hosting its second annual Spring Go Expo on March 29 at MIT in Cambridge, MA, featuring simuls with professional go players. “Events include go variants and a brief history of go outreach around the world,” reports organizer Cole Pruitt, as well as “donation of several unique Ing Foundation-commissioned ‘trick boards’ to US universities, simuls before and after lunch, and a 2-3 person simul with Chang Hao 9P against American mid-dans with live commentary.” In addition to former world champion Chang Hao 9P, Hwa Xueming 7P and US pro Andy Liu 1P will be on hand, along with a delegation from China. “And as a special bonus, everyone who pre-registers  will receive a fan signed by Chang Hao 9P upon their arrival at the Expo!” Pruitt adds/ “We still have slots available for the simul, so if anyone is interested in playing a serious game against Chang Hao, they can contact us for more info.” Lunch will be provided, and the entire event is free of charge.
Read about the first Expo here: “Something For Everyone” at First Spring Go Expo 3/27/2013 EJ
photo: Chang Hao 9P (left) with ACGA co-founder Mike Fodera, one of the Expo’s main coordinators  

Categories: World news

Podpera Takes Top Prize at European Youth Go Championships

AGA news - Sun, 09/03/2014 - 22:34

Lukas Podpera 6d (left) of the Czech Republic won the Under-20 division of the 19th European Youth Go Championship (EYGC) held in Bognor Regis, England Feb 28 – Mar 3, thereby securing himself a place in the GLOBIS Cup World Youth Go Championship to be held in Japan on 8 – 11 May 2014 (see Nihon Ki-in Announces New Under-20 World Tourney, EJ 11/30). Jonas Welticke 4d of Germany was runner-up and Frenchman Tanguy LeCalve 5d took third place. In the Under-16s, the top three places went to Alexandru-Petre Pitrop 2d of Romania and Russians Grigorij Fiorin 4d and Viacheslav Kaymin 3d, in that order, and the Under-12 category was won by the only dan player in his age group, Spaniard Oscar Vazquez 2d, with Denis Dobranis 2k of Romania runner-up. 89 took part in all. Click here for full results. Click here also for the results of the pair-go and doubles, held on the Sunday evening, March 2.

The events were organised on behalf of the British Go Association (BGA) by – mainly – Toby Manning, Tony Atkins and Sue Paterson,  and ran alongside the British Go Congress (see Double Victory for Cornel Burzo at British Go Congress, 3/3 EJ) at the Butlins Holiday Park, where competitors had full access to the many facilities and entertainments available for youngsters there. Japanese professionals Minematsu Masaki 6P and Kobayashi Chizu 5P (right) were in residence throughout, teaching and reviewing games. Kobayashi told the EJ she was impressed by the talent of the young Europeans, but stressed that to reach the highest levels it will be important for them to get good professional tuition, the earlier the better.

Click here for the BGA’s EYGC blog, including Tony Atkins’ memoir of the event, and here for their picture gallery.

Report by Tony Collman, British correspondent for the E-Journal. Photos courtesy of the British Go Association: Lukas Podpera proudly displays his trophy and national flag alongside Kobayashi Chizu; pro guests Minematsu Masaki 6P (left of photo) and Kobayashi Chizu 5p take time out by the sea.

Categories: World news

Bitcoin.io: A New Server With Unique Prizes

AGA news - Sun, 09/03/2014 - 14:00

What do you get when you cross the world’s oldest game with the newest form of currency? A bitcoin go tournament, such as the ones being organized online every week at Bitcoingo.io. “Bitcoins are an ideal currency for an international game like go,” founder Steven Pine told the EJ.  “It allows students and teachers to connect and transact without concern for currency exchanges or waiting on a check or wire transfer to clear. The same is true for tournaments. I think the currency has lots of potential to transform the go community in many positive ways.”

Anyone can sign up, enter a tournament and begin playing on Bitcoin’s own Python/mySQL-based server. Komi is 6.5 points, and each player starts with 15 minutes; there are five 30-second overtime periods. Territory counting is used but no full rule set has been formally adopted. A tournament win earns the victor at least one point, depending on how many points their opponent has. A new tournaments starts, and the old one finishes, at midnight each Saturday. The self-paired “most points” format favors active competitors, so if you plan to play to win, you may need a comfy chair. The winner of the February 10 tournament had 78 points.

Bitcoins are notoriously unstable – last week it was discovered that as much as 5% of the total bitcoin money supply had been stolen from a prominent exchange without detection several years ago; the exchange declared bankruptcy. (NY Times 2/25/14) If you plan to convert your winnings to real-world money you may face a challenge. The weekly pot has been 6,000,000 “satoshis” but before you start planning your retirement, you should know that it breaks down to about $40 depending on the bitcoin’s daily value relative to the USD. (On 3/1/14 one bitcoin was valued at $556.85 on Coindesk, which monitors exchanges, down more than ten percent from just ten days before.) “Although the ‘satoshi’ – the smallest fraction of a bitcoin that can be transacted, currently .00000001th of a bit coin —  is not well-known, we decided to use it as a base unit to drive home the point that bitcoins are easily divisible and can facilitate micro payments,” Pine said. “Some services talk about ‘millibits,’ but we thought it would be more fun for people to win like 1,000,000 satoshis.” Pine and cofounder Jonathan Hales are underwriting the prizes themselves, hoping that tournament and teaching fees will make the site revenue positive.

If you check it out, bear in mind that it’s a work in progress.  Traffic is very low; a private room on an established server would probably bring in more users. But if you enjoy checking out new servers, Steven and Jonathan will appreciate your visit!
- Roy Laird 

Categories: World news

Tournament Boosts Membership

AGA news - Sun, 09/03/2014 - 13:00

In “a nice little follow-up” to the recent New Jersey Open, organizer Rick Mott reports that “We got 22 new members and 34 renewals, for a total of 56 memberships out of 135 total attendees.” Of those, Mott notes that “almost half – 26 — were youth memberships.”
photo by John Pinkerton 

Categories: World news

Progress Reported on Project to Bring Cuban Delegation to U.S. Go Congress

AGA news - Sat, 08/03/2014 - 22:18

“We are making good progress toward bringing a group of Cuban go players to this year’s U.S. Go Congress,” (Cuban Delegation Invited to US Go Congress 1/20/2014 EJ) reports Bob Gilman, who has been organizing the project. Three Cuban players have accepted the invitation to attend, and fundraising for the project is nearly complete. “Go has been the bridge for us to learn about many cultures, places, and especially good people, for whom friendship and respect are most important values,” says Rafael Alberto Torres Miranda 2D (at left in photo), one of the invitees and President of the Academia Cubana de Go. The other players invited are  Carlos Alberto Perez Palacio 5D and Roilan de la Torre Marrero 5D. The Cubans have their passports now and are working with the Cuban Sports Ministry to obtain US visas.  

The visit will return the hospitality the Academia extended to a group of US players who played there in February 2013. Because the Cubans cannot afford the travel costs themselves, Gilman, working through the American Go Foundation, has been raising money to sponsor the visit. There is a brief video on the project here. “We estimate we will need about $6,000,” says Gilman, “and we are nearly there, but still need some additional donations.” Those interested in supporting the project can make out a check to the American Go Foundation (with “CC2014” in the memo field); include your email address so that Gilman can acknowledge donations as they are received.  Send checks to: Robert D. Gilman, P.O. Box 40020, Albuquerque, NM 87196-0020. “I will  hold them uncashed until the Cubans have their visas, probably in April. At that point I’ll inform contributors and send the checks on to the AGF for cashing.” For more details on the  project, email bobgilman.aga@gmail.com.
photo by Andrew Okun 

Categories: World news

Go Quiz: Earliest NJO Appearance

AGA news - Sat, 08/03/2014 - 20:00

Lee Sedol did not need this kiss for luck from his daughter before the first game of his historic jubango with Gu Li, but perhaps it carried over to the second, where he was fortunate to come from behind.  Five out of six of you who ventured into the scary world of no multiple choice did not need luck either, correctly identifying the other pro in last week’s photo (left). “Easy.” comments Brian Kirby,” That’s Cho Hanseung (Hansung) 9P. He’s the current Kuksu, recently beating out Lee Sedol to defend his title. Mr. Cho doesn’t get as much press as Mr. Sedol, but he actually became pro the same year (1995).” Congratulations to Dong Wei of Austin, Texas, our winner this week, selected at random from those answering correctly.

THIS WEEK’S QUIZ: Congratulations to Paul Mathews and Rick Mott for their wildly successful 55th New Jersey Open, attracting a record 125 players March 1-2 in Princeton (including 22 new members and 34 renewals). The oldest continuous tournament in the US (second oldest is the Maryland Open: the 41st is coming up on May 24-25; see you there!), the NJO gathered go players from all over the East Coast.  An informal but 99 44/100% accurate poll of this year’s attendees taken by your quizmaster confirmed the answer to this week’s question: of all those playing in this year’s New Jersey Open, one player held the record for the earliest NJ Open appearance. Did he play in his first NJO in 1973, 1975, 1977 or 1986?  Click here to submit your answer; bonus points if you name the player correctly.

Categories: World news

Go Game Guru Publishes MLily Gu vs Lee Jubango Game Commentary

AGA news - Sat, 08/03/2014 - 19:00

Go Game Guru has just published an excellent detailed game commentary by Younggil An 8P on the second game of the MLily Gu vs Lee Jubango, which was played on February 23 on the outskirts of Shanghai. “Many people expected that Gu Li (right) would have something of an advantage in this match,” says An, “because most of the games will be played in China. However, it doesn’t seem like Lee Sedol is affected by that so far…Actually, it looks like Gu Li is under quite a bit of pressure from his fans and the Chinese media.”

Categories: World news

Go Spotting: Teen Wolf

AGA news - Fri, 07/03/2014 - 20:05

MTV’s popular drama Teen Wolf features go prominently in the latest episode The  Fox and the Wolf.  Part of the episode is set in a Japanese internment camp, during the second World War, and a character named Satomi uses go throughout the episode, to help control her emotions.  ”You take too frequently, and you take too much,” Satomi tells a younger woman, in a conversation at the go board that is as much about stealing supplies for sale on the black market as it is about the game. “The young fox always knows the rules so she can break them, the older  wiser animal learns the exceptions to the rules,” says Satomi as she captures a stone.  The entire episode can be streamed on the MTV website here, go first appears in the episode at the 9 minute mark. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo: Satomi studies the board, from Teen Wolf Episode 21.  

Categories: World news

School Teams Deadline March 14th

AGA news - Tue, 04/03/2014 - 18:47
“The 2014 AGHS School Team Tournament is right around the corner, March 22 and 29,” reports tournament organizer Calvin Sun 1P. “Don’t miss the largest annual youth competition in North America. Registration will end on March 14th, so form your teams quickly!  Teams will consist of three players and an optional substitute player. There are thousands of dollars in prizes, and your team can win a prize either by doing well or simply playing all your games,” adds Sun. For more information about the schedule, prizes, and rules, please visit the AGHS website . Registration is here.  All questions should be addressed to aghsregister@gmail.com. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor
Categories: World news

U.S. Go Congress Website Update

AGA news - Tue, 04/03/2014 - 14:02

The 2014 U.S. Go Congress website is undergoing some testing today and may be offline at times. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Categories: World news

Double Victory for Cornel Burzo at British Go Congress

AGA news - Mon, 03/03/2014 - 19:19

At the British Go Congress in Bognor Regis, England, Cornel Burzo 6d (right) of Baia Mare, Romania first won the British Lightning on Friday February 28, then followed it up with a sweep of the six-round British Open, March 1-2. In all, 61 players took part in the Open, including nearly 25% from mainland  Europe and beyond. Prizes were awarded in eight separate divisions based on grade, and the runner-up in the first division, Robert Rehm 5d of the Netherlands, also took first prize in the second division, with Bei Ge 5d (UK ) runner-up. Click here for the British Go Association’s (BGA) report giving full list of divisional prize-winners and here for full tournament results. The Stacey Grand Prix, which bestows the Terry Stacey Memorial Trophy on the player with most wins above the McMahon bar in tournaments since the previous Congress, went this year to Toby Manning 2d.

The Congress also took in the BGA’s Annual General Meeting on the evening of  Saturday March 1 and rounded off on Monday March 2 with a teaching day featuring Japanese Nihon Ki-in professionals Minematsu Masaki and Kobayashi Chizu, who have also been teaching and reviewing throughout the weekend.

Meanwhile the European Youth Go Congress, running in parallel at the same venue with eighty-nine players in three age divisions, also finished March 2. The tournament continued at presstime and will be reported soon, but the impatient may click here for full results.

Report by Tony Collman, British correspondent for the E-Journal; photo courtesy of European Go Congress 2014 website.
Update (3/8): there was no communal meal on March 1, as previously reported. 

Categories: World news

Secret Weapon Shi Yue Leads China to Victory at 15th Nongshim Cup

AGA news - Mon, 03/03/2014 - 19:18

China and Korea were the final contenders in the 15th Nongshim Cup after Japan was knocked out at the end of round 2. In round 3, Korea’s Park Junghwan 9p defeated China’s Tan Xiao 7p and Zhou Ruiyang 9p and Korean fans relaxed, thinking Park had secured the cup like last year. However, China’s secret weapon Shi Yue 9p defeated Park in 133 moves. This seems to be a familiar pattern, as Park has only bested Shi once in their five game history.

The Nongshim Cup is a team tournament between China, Japan, and Korea. Since its inception, Korea has won 11 times. This year’s victory puts China at three wins while Japan has only won once.

For more information including photos and game records, please visit Go Game Guru.
— Annalia Linnan, based on a longer article by Go Game Guru; photo courtesy of Go Game Guru

Categories: World news

Jeremy Chiu Sweeps Open Section at Bay Area Go Winter Tournament

AGA news - Mon, 03/03/2014 - 19:17

Forty four kids and adults came to Berkeley, CA on February 22nd to play in the Winter Go Tournament organized by Bay Area Go Players Association. Eleven year old Jeremy Chiu 6d (right in photo at right), winner of the 2013 US Youth Go Championship junior division, led the open section with a 4-0 record. He faced a strong field, however, including 2012 European Women’s Go Championship winner Vanessa Wong 7d, three-time Redmond Cup champion Aaron Ye 6d, and 2012 Korea Prime Minister Cup contestant Matthew Burrall 7d.

Bay Area Go promoted the tournament as appropriate for players of all levels, and in fact a wide range of players participated. Three handicap sections in addition to the open section ensured that all players had a good shot at winning prizes. “It is nice that the really strong players had stiff competition in the open section,” says organizer Roger Schrag, “But I am especially glad that the kyu players, double-digit kyus, and even 20+ kyu players all had people at their level to play.”

Bay Area Go’s Spring Go Tournament is set for Saturday, May 31st in San Francisco’s Japantown Center. Details will be posted soon at www.bayareago.org.

Winners report: Open section: 1st: Jeremy Chiu 6d. 2nd: Vanessa Wong 7d. 3rd: Zhihong Ma 5d. Upper handicap section: 1st: Anbo Chen 3d. 2nd: Linden Chiu 2d. 3rd: Peter de Blanc 1d. Middle handicap section: 1st: Matthew Cheng 7k. 2nd: Yunyen Lee 3k. 3rd: Thomas Rike 6k. Lower handicap section: 1st: Benjamin Yu 10k. 2nd: Sean Wahl 10k. 3rd: Donald Swen 14k.
photos by Zhihong Ma

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