The 40th London Open Go Congress, the UK’s largest and oldest go event, took place December 28-31 at the International Student House in central London. With a field of 109 players ranging from 5d to 24k, first place in the seven-round main tournament was taken by Zhang Yuanbo 4d (right), a Chinese graduate of the University of Nottingham, with six wins. French visitors Benjamin Drean-Guenaizia 5d and Pierre Paga 4d took second and third place with six and five wins respectively and Briton Andrew Simons 4d, also on five wins, came fourth. Games were 90 minutes main time (60 if both players 20k or weaker), with Canadian (repeating) overtime of 20/5 and tie-breaks decided on McMahon score. In fact, as our photo below shows, Zhang could have had a perfect 7/7 if he had noticed opponent Drean-Guenaizia’s flag fall during overtime in round six. However, his attention was entirely focused on the close battle on the board and he eventually decided the game was lost and resigned. Click here for full results.
After 10-minute round-robin qualifiers, fellow Finns and good friends Mikko Suikola 4d and Janne Nikula 2d emerged from a knockout stage as finalists in the Lightning, held on Monday evening, December 30. The 12-minute final was rather informal, with beer on the table and good-natured banter passing between the competitors as they played, referee Jenny Radcliffe having to step in at one point to warn one of the many spectators not to comment on the position. Despite a stiff handicap of three stones, based on McMahon score after Nikula’s rather poor showing in the main, Suikola nevertheless prevailed to take first prize.
In the Pair Go, an unfortunate paucity of female competitors meant there were a number of all-male teams admitted to balance the numbers and in fact no females figured in the top three (of 14) pairs, who were Boris Mitrivoc 2d and Fynn Bachmann 1k, Andre Stadtler 3d and Chris Volk 2k, and Andrew Russell 4k and Jonathan Green 5k, in that order. The tournament rule that a Pair Go team shall comprize “one lady and one man” was overcome by the forensic observation that the term “lady” was undefined. We spare the blushes of the nominal “ladies” by not specifying who was which. Click here for full results.
Top European-rated player, Korean Hwang In-seong 8d (right, at board facing camera) was present throughout, spending two-three hours per round reviewing games as well as giving a lecture on opening theory on Sunday 12/29 and one on local techniques Monday 12/30 and reviewing the top game on the teaching board on the Tuesday afternoon, 12/31. He told the E-Journal he had competed in the London Open in 2005 and was very happy to have been invited to teach there this year. Guo Juan, who has for many years filled this role, was in Montreal this year and so unable to attend.
There was also a new event on Monday 12/30, the first WBaduk Varsity Match, between teams from Oxford and Cambridge Universities which was drawn (see Oxford and Cambridge Battle to Draw in 1st WBaduk Varsity Match, EJ 1/1).
After the prize-giving ceremony, proceedings ended with Rengo followed by a New Year’s Eve meal.
The Congress was organized by the British Go Association and the Central London Go Club, and also received support from the Nippon Club, the Anglo-Korean Society, WBaduk and others. Martha McGill was the main organizer, Jenny Radcliffe tournament director and organizer and referee for the Lightning and Rengo. Nick Wedd was the referee for the main tournament and organizer and referee for the Pair Go. Tony Atkins organized provision of equipment and David Cantrell ran the bookstall. Others too numerous to mention played smaller roles.
Click here for further details in the British Go Association’s report.
In other British go news Under-10 Champion Oscar Selby 7k (pictured above, looking over Hwang’s shoulder) took the 2013 Youth Grand Prix with 1411 points – more than twice those of his nearest rival, Edmund Smith 17k. Click here for full details.
Tony Collman, British correspondent for the E-Journal.
And then there were three. Calvin Sun, Jianing Gan and Bill Lin are the finalists to be the next U.S. professional go player. Sun and Gan play each other Sunday morning (the game will be broadcast live on KGS) to determine the top-bracket winner, who will then play bottom bracket winner Lin. Click here for pairings, results and game records.
Promotional League Round Four results: Calvin Sun defeated Jianing Gan (top bracket); Bill Lin eliminated Andrew Lu (bottom bracket).
Round Three results: Jianing Gan defeated Calvin Sun (top bracket); Bill Lin eliminated Ryan Li; Andrew Lu eliminated Eric Lui.
Round Two results: Jianing Gan defeated Eric Lui (B+r); Calvin Sun beat Bill Lin (B+r); Ryan Li eliminated Daniel Gourdeau (B+r); Andrew Lu eliminated Ben Lockhart (W+2.5).
Exhibition League: 1/4 morning session (winner in CAPS): 1) Aaron Ye vs. DANIEL KO; 2) Yixian Zhou vs. BEN LOCKHART
1/4 evening session: 1) ERIC LUI vs. Daniel Ko; 2) RYAN LI vs. Ben Lockhart; 3) Yixian Zhou vs. DANIEL GOURDEAU; 4) François Gourdeau vs. AARON YE
- photo by Dennis Wheeler
Both West Coast NAMT points qualifier tournaments are coming up soon. The Northern California Ing Cup – sponsored by Ing’s Goe Foundation – is set for Saturday, January 18th, while The Dado 2014 Southern California Go Championship – organized by the Orange County Go Club and the Dado Cultural Exchange Association – will be held on Saturday and Sunday February 8-9. The 1-day, 4-round Ing Cup features Jiang ZhuJiu and Rui NaiWei, who will lead a team of 20 players from China, and is hosted by Legend’s Game Store. The Southern California Championship, a 2-day, 5-round event, has $2,500 in cash awards, with $600 to the open section winner; registration deadline is Feb. 5. Winners in both events qualify for the 2014 North American Masters Tournament (NAMT). photo: 2013 NorCal Ing
Aoki To Challenge For Women’s Kisei: For the third year in a row, the Women’s Kisei title will feature a clash between Aoki Kikuyo 8P (right) and Xie Yimin. The play-off to decide the challenger was held at the Ryusei Studio, a TV studio for the cable TV go and shogi channel located in the basement of the Nihon Ki-in at Ichigaya in Tokyo, on December 16. Taking white, Aoki defeated Ishii Akane 2P by resignation after 256 moves. Aoki won this title from Xie in 2012, but lost it back in 2013. The best-of-three title match for the 17th title will begin on January 23.
Iyama Keeps Grand Slam Dreams Alive: Iyama Yuta played an important game on December 17. If he is to have a chance of scoring a full-fledged grand slam next year, he first of all has to become the challenger for the Judan title, the only one of the top seven not in his keeping. To do this, he needed to win two more games. The first was the semifinal, held on the 17th. Taking black, he defeated Mizokami Tomochika 8P by resignation, so he has reached the play-off to decide the challenger. His opponent will be the winner of the other semifinal, Takao Shinji 9P.
First Round Of Meijin League Completed: Two games in the 39th Meijin League were played in mid-December, completing the first round. On the 16th, Takao Shinji 9P (B) defeated Yuki Satoshi Judan by resignation. On the 19th, Kono Rin 9P (W) beat Ko Iso 8P, also by resignation.
Honinbo League Update: On December 19, two games were played in the 69th Honinbo League. Cho U 9P defeated league newcomer Ida Atsushi 7P (left) by just half a point to secure a plus record. He and Ida are both on 2-1. The other league newcomer, Yo Seiki 7P, picked up his first win after starting with two losses. Taking black, he beat Sakai Hideyuki 8P by 3.5 points.
Women’s Meijin League: One game was played in the 26th Women’s Meijin League on December 19. Ishii Akane 2P (B) beat Okuda Aya 3P by resignation, but both players have lost their places in the league. The top four keep their places, but four players already have three wins, so Okuda, now on 1-4, can’t catch up. Ishii is on 2-4 and has played all her games; she has a bye in the final round. Kato Keiko 6P leads the league on 4-1.
Korea Wins New International Tournament: Yet another new international tournament has been founded in China (there are so many now that it’s hard to keep track). The latest arrival is the Zhugang Cup World Weiqi Team Championship, organized by the Chinese Weiqi Association and the Guangzhou City Physical Education Congress. Presumably Zhugang is the name of the sponsor, but I have no information about this. The new tournament is for three-player teams, who play one-on-one games up to the final.
The first Cup was held from December 20 to 25, starting with a preliminary round on the 20th, followed by a ranking tournament from the 22nd to the 24th to decide the 16th to 5th places. The top four teams met in semifinals and the top two played a final, all on the 25th; uniquely for an official tournament, the final took the form of a consultation game, with the players on each team conferring about their moves. There were some famous consultation games in prewar Japan, but they were not in official tournaments. Another novel feature of the tournament is that Japan, China, and Korea each fielded a second team, made up of players who had won international tournaments. These are the teams with “W” after the country’s name (“W” seems to be short for “wild cards”).
First of all, here are the placings in the ranking tournament (ties were broken by win totals).
1. Korea 5-0
2. China: 4-1
3. China W: 4-1
4. Korea W: 3-2
5. Japan W: 3-2
6. Japan: 3-2
7. Chinese Taipei: 3-2
8. Hong Kong: 3-2
9. Thailand: 2-3
10. USA: 2-3
11. Germany: 2-3
12. Australia: 2-3
13. Ukraine: 2-3
14. Czech Republic: 1-4
15. Canada: 1-4
16. Macao: 0-5
In the semifinals, Korea beat Korea W 3-0 and China beat China W by the same margin. In the final, the Korean team of Kang Tong-yun 9P, Ch’oe Ch’eol-han 9P, and Pak Cheong-hwan 9P (B) beat the Chinese team of Shi Yu 9P, Zhou Ruiyang 9P, and Chen Yaoye 9P by resignation. Presumably in order to allow for the extra time required for the players to consult, the time allowance for this game was four and a half hours per team, followed by byo-yomi of 60 seconds x 5 times. This is probably the longest time allowance for an international tournament so far. (For the other games, the time allowance was two hours 45 minutes, with the same byo-yomi.)
In the play-off for third place, held on the same day, China W beat Korea W 3-0. The individual results here were as follows (all players are 9P): Gu Li (B) beat Cho Hun-hyeon by resig.; Chang Hao (W) beat Yu Ch’ang-hyeok by 7.5 points; Kong Jie (B) beat Yi Ch’ang-ho by resig. Just for the record, the Japan W team, which ended above the regular team, was made up of Kobayashi Koichi, Cho Chikun, and Takemiya Masaki. The members of the regular team were O Meien, Ryu Shikun, and Mizokami Tomochika.
Over 500 hundred fans watched online Friday morning as the opening round began for the second AGA Pro Qualification tournament. The games are being held at the historic Hotel Normandie in downtown Los Angeles, and broadcast online on KGS. Games began at 9:30 am (PST) Friday, January 3. Players who lose in the first round will still have a second chance to continue on into Round Two in this double elimination knockout event. Round Two started at 4:30 pm (PST) today (Jan. 3).
Round 1 results: Eric Lui defeated Daniel Gourdeau (W+12.5); Jianing Gan defeated Ryan Li (W+r); Bill Lin defeated Ben Lockhart (W+14.5); Calvin Sun defeated Andrew Lu (B+1.5).
Before the games started, each player was given a portable go set from the Korea Baduk Association (KBA). The winner will not only be certified as the AGA’s third professional player, but will also win a $1,500 cash prize, and each finalist will receive $800.
Jeff Shaevel is the tournament director, Myungwan Kim the referee, and the E-Journal’s game recording team includes Andrew Jackson, Richard Dolen, Dave Dows, Dennis Wheeler and Joe Cepiel. Also on hand are AGA president Andy Okun and Executive Vice President Ted Terpstra.
- report by Dennis Wheeler
At least seven out-of-town players are coming to the Jin Chen Memorial Tournament in Seattle. “Registration is on the morning of the tournament, Sunday, Jan. 5 at 10 a.m., so we don’t know about everybody who is coming,” reports manager Brian Allen. “But we expect the open section to be very competitive.” Xingshuo Liu, 7d and Ran Yan, 6d are traveling to the games for a second year. A young Chinese pro, Ximeng Yu (Simon), 1P, who is now a local college student is also probably coming. ”We also have five amateur dan level players who are visiting from China. Their instructor, Xiaomin Yao, 4P, will provide game analysis. Ms. Yao was a colleague of Guo Juan and Yilun Yang when they lived in China and this is her first trip to the United States.” Photo: Xingshuo Liu (far left) and Ran Yan (far right) at the 2013 Jin Chen Tournament. photo by Brian Allen
Starting this Friday, eight young North American go players will battle it out to be the next American go professional (8 Young North Americans Want To Be Next AGA Pro 11/21/2013 EJ). The second AGA Pro Certification Tournament will take place January 3-7 in Los Angeles and the E-Journal will broadcast top-board games live on KGS in the AGA Tournaments Room. Click here for the schedule and pairings.
Two teams representing the ancient British universities of Oxford and Cambridge met over the board on the evening of Monday, December 30 as a side event to the London Open, with neither coming out on top. The two rounds constituting the match, in which each team fielded two alumni and two students of their respective universities, were both drawn 2-2. Accordingly, all players shared the champagne earmarked for the winners as well as each taking a £40 cash prize and the team sweaters worn during play. Both teams also took away a set each of the five-volume Learn To Play Go series of books by Janice Kim and Jeong Soo-hyun.
Playing for Oxford were alumni Matthew Macfadyen 6d and Alex Rix 2d and students Jiang Junnun 4d and Stephane Thao 4k (who was given three stones) and for Cambridge, alumni Andrew Simons 4d and Chris Bryant 1d and students “Tony” Lou Yusiang 5d and Jamie Taylor 1d. Rix and Lou were the only players to win both their games. Games were half-hour main time, plus five minutes Milton Keynes overtime then five minutes sudden death.
The match, which was broadcast live on the WBaduk site with the help of four volunteer BGA game recorders, was the first in what it is hoped will be an annual event, the WBaduk Varsity Match, and was sponsored by WBaduk — a South Korean government-backed website for the promotion of go worldwide — and organized in cooperation with the British Go Association (BGA). As well as the prizes, the sponsors also donated magnetic go sets, beginners’ books and T-shirts to both universities’ go clubs. The total budget for the event was $5,300. Organization on the ground was by Toby Manning of the BGA and Lee Semi, wife of London Open guest, top European-rated Korean player Hwang In-Seong, on behalf of WBaduk. For further details, including player profiles and game results, visit WBaduk’s event page.
Tony Collman, British correspondent for the E-Journal. Photos – top: Tony Lou Yusiang (Cambridge, on the left) v Matthew Macfadyen; bottom: Andrew Simons (Cambridge, on the left) v Jiang Junnun. Banner graphic courtesy of WBaduk.
What better way to wish our membership a happy new year, than to remind them of the upcoming Annual General Meeting (AGM) in January. It will be taking place on January the 18th during the Top 8 tournament. Due to the ongoing strategic repositioning of the executive membership, this year all of the top posts are up for grabs. You are therefore very much encouraged to turn up and take part in the meeting to shape the Irish Go Association.
Date: Saturday 18th January Time: 5:30pm Place: Leeson Lounge (148 Upper Leeson Street, Dublin 4)
The following positions are open for election (incumbent in brackets)
President (Rory Wales, who is standing down)
Secretary (Eoghan Barry, resigned due to relocation)
Treasurer (Acting – Rory Wales, not restanding)
Committee Member (Noel Mitchell, Arthur Cater, Justyna Kleczar, Ian Davis (webmaster), James Hutchinson, John Gibson, Rich Brennan)
The following motions are known
Motion 1, proposed by Ian Davis: The current selection process for the Top 8 is proving overly complex to administer (multiple emails & delays etc).For reference we currently have: (1)The Top 8 is composed of the four top finishers from the previous year who intend participating in the current championship and four additional qualifiers. (2)The four additional qualifiers are determined by the Irish Ladder tournament (3)Where a player qualifies for, but is unable to take part in the Top 8, then the next player in line from the same qualification route will be chosen to take his place. I propose to change this as follows (1) The four top finishers in the Top 8 from the previous year earn the right to a qualification spot in the current Top 8, which they may accept or decline. (2) The remaining places are filled from the Irish Ladder tournament
“The kids at our school, Gimnasio de Go, had a very busy December with three tournaments at different places,” reports Mexico City organizer Siddhartha Avila. ”On December 4th Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México ran the El otro Tesuji tournament organized by college and high school students. We sent four elementary school representatives, Paula Corona, Valeria Gonzalez, Mariana García and Omar Zavala-who got 3rd place, pictures here. On December 7th, our group played in the Biblioteca de México, Torneo de Go 2013, a children’s tournament organized by myself, in collaboration with Biblioteca de México José Vasconcelos, a library where we are offering free go workshops on Saturdays. Winners report: 1st place: Fernanda; 2nd place: Diego Alí and Akira; 3rd place: Naohmi and Kairi. Pictures here. Finally, on December 13th, we played in the Torneo de Go Invierno 2013, this was our winter elementary school go tournament, which was divided in two brackets.” Winners report: 20kyu-25kyu division: 1st place: Sebastián; 2nd place: Marcos; 3rd place: Diego Alí; 10kyu-19kyu division: 1st place: Omar; 2nd place: Diego Armando; 3rd place: Valeria, pictures here. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo by Siddhartha Avila: At Biblioteca de México José Vasconcelos
Get the latest go events information.
Entries are now being accepted for the 2014 British Open, which will take place the weekend of March 1-2 2014 as part of the British Go Congress (BGC) 2014 in the south-coast resort town of Bognor Regis*. It is the central event of the BGC which opens on Friday February 28 with the British Lightning (also an open** event) and takes in the British Go Association (BGA) AGM on the Saturday evening (members only), wrapping up with a teaching session on Monday March 3. Click here to enter the British Open.
The BGC will run alongside the European Youth Go Championship (EYGC). This year the winner in the Under-20 category will gain a place in the new GLOBIS Cup World Youth Go Championship (see Nihon Ki-in Announces New Under-20 World Tourney, EJ 11/30), to be held in Japan on 8 – 11 May 2014. Please note that the EYGC venue providers, Butlins, withdrew the original date offered which we reported earlier (2014 European Youth Go Championship Venue Set, EJ 7/16).
Click here for full details of all these events.
Report by Tony Collman, British Correspondent for the E-J. Photo courtesy of BGA website.
*The title Regis (“of the King”) was granted to the town in 1929 by King George V after he spent time convalescing nearby the year before. The King’s famous last words, unprintable here, also concerned Bognor.
**Entrants should, however, be members of their national go association.
Go/English Teachers Wanted: large boarding school in China seeks teachers to teach go and basic English to children at the Century School in Shouguang, Shandong Province (about 4 hours by bus south of Beijing). Grades 3-6; 2 classes of 1.5 hours/week using simple English. Playing strength should be about 1 dan. 6 hours of teacher training will be provided via SKYPE and all teaching materials including lessons, problem sheets will be available on line. Schedule: Sept 1 2014 to June 30 2015; several holidays including 4 paid weeks at Spring Festival. Salary: About $1000 US/month including return airfare and travel cost from Beijing. Accommodation provided: Private staff room with kitchenette, TV, bathroom, water cooler, laptop and more. Meals – 3 meals/day for about $5.00/day or less at school dining hall. Minimum English teaching experience necessary, and knowing Chinese is not required, but you should like teaching. A knowledge of basic English grammar is useful. Email Chuck@kakari.com for more info.
The 2013 SportAccord World Mind Games in Retrospect The short story of the 2013 SportAccord World Mind Games is that Beijing treated the 150 competing mind athletes to a week of good food, good weather, and warm accommodations, and China took the lion's share of the medals. There was no mistaking the look of joy on the faces of China's Wang Chenxing and Zhou Ruiyang when they won the pair go tournament, adding gold medals to the silver medals they had already won in women's individual and men's team competition. China's bridge, chess, and xiangqi players also did well, so China can be very happy with the outcome of the Games. But so can many other countries: Korea for the gold medal won by its men's go team; Chinese Taipei for its silver and bronze medals in go; Russia for the numerous medals won by its chess and draughts players; even countries such as the Ivory Coast, Latvia, and Vietnam, whose players captured medals in draughts and xiangqi. The grand tally can be found here.
It was encouraging that although the North American go contingent finished nearly winless, it took evident satisfaction in having played well against professional opponents--and having beaten one of them. Europe's performance was also encouraging. European players finished only fifth in men's team, women's individual, and pair competition, but they trounced the North Americans, they nearly beat the spirited team from Chinese Taipei, and in that match Ilya Shikshin overcame a strong Asian pro, after defeating some strong Asian amateurs earlier this year. European go may now be near the level of go in Chinese Taipei one generation ago. It has a group of strong and dedicated young players, and its future looks bright.
Coming at the end of a year dominated by Chinese professional go players, the Korean men's team's gold medal was particularly exciting. The Koreans carried the momentum of that triumph into the new World Team Championship held in Guangzhou the week afterward. Fielding a team consisting of top medalists at the SportAccord World Mind Games this year and last year, they triumphed once again, beating Chinese teams three times. An interesting year lies ahead, and its climax will come at the 2014 SportAccord World Mind Games in Beijing.
- James Davies
The Winter BIBA (Blackie’s International Baduk Academy) Baduk Camp in Hawaii has a few slots open, reports Diana Koszegi 1P. Koszegi and Kim Seung-jun 9P are hosting the 6-day event February 7-12 on Kauai Island. The daily schedule includes golf and sightseeing during the days and go in the evenings. The $1,500 cost covers accommodation, meals, on-island transportation and the go study fee; participants must cover their own travel costs to Kauai. Email email@example.com for details.
The AGA’s crackerjack web team has been as busy as elves with updates to the usgo.org website. Here are a few highlights to check out over the upcoming holidays. The new “Learn To Play” page is a great intro for absolute beginners. All the tournament pages have been updated, especially the calendar — which has a much cleaner, more accessible look – but also the pages for major tournaments and championships, tournament resources and tournament crosstabs, which includes crosstabs for major events from 2008-2013. The “Fun and Miscellaneous” page has some great new stuff, including links to History and Culture, Go Around The World, Learn Overview, and Rules of Go. The ratings page now includes a tournament ratings status page. And following on the heels of the just-concluded SportAccord World Mind Games, there’s now a handy chart showing the International Go Federation’s global relationships and events. Greg Smith heads up the AGA’s website team, which includes Roger Schrag and Tom Hodges, with support by Karoline Burrall, Jason Preuss, Jonathan Bresler, Paul Barchilon, Roy Laird, Terry Benson and Thomas Hsiang. There are a few spots available on the team for qualified and committed volunteers: email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
The British Go Association will host the 2014 European Youth Go Championship in conjunction with the British Go Congress from February 28 through March 3 in Bognor Regis, a resort town on England’s south coast. The EYGC will be split into three age groups: under 12, under 16, and under 20. The British Go Congress will include a lightning tournament, the British Open, a teaching event, and pair go. British Go Association (BGA) members can enjoy discounts for all British Go Congress events. Discounted rates on accommodations are available for all players who make reservations through the official EYGC website. To register for either tournament or for more information including a full schedule, prizes, and the latest news, please visit the official European Youth Go Championship home page.
—Annalia Linnan; for complete listings, check out the European Tournament Calendar; photo courtesy of British Go Association
Austria: The Austrian Women’s Championship finished on December 21 in Go7 with Katrin Unger 5k in first, Lisa Mayer 6k (left) in second, and Chuandi Zhou 6k in third. Hungary: Pal Balogh 6d took the Hungarian Championship Final on December 15 in Budapest. Behind him were Dominik Boviz 4d and Peter Marko 4d. Serbia: Also on December 15, Nikola Mitic 5d bested Dusan Mitic 6d at the 39th Serbian Championship in Kragujevac while Dejan Krstic 4d 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
The fifth season of the British Online League was won by Edinburgh’s first team for the second year running with fellow Scots, Glasgow, winning the second division, and earning promotion to the first next year. Their place in the second division will be taken by the demoted Central London Go Club’s B-team, where they will be joined by third division winners Milton Keynes, while Edinburgh’s second team move down into the third division.
The league was organised on behalf of the British Go Association (BGA) by John Collins, who also captained the St Albans Kyus, winners of the Wooden Spoon, and was played in the British Room on KGS. Registrations are now being taken for the sixth season, expected to start at the beginning of March 2014. Click here for full league standings.
Report by Tony Collman, British correspondent for the E-Journal. Photo: Martha McGill, Edinburgh first team captain, courtesy of BGA website.