Just in time for the holidays, SmartGo Books has released half a dozen new titles, including two exclusives. The two volumes of “Lee Chang-Ho’s Endgame Techniques” are published by Yutopian, “but they never made it into print,” says SmartGo’s Anders Kierulf. In Volume 1, Lee, known for his extremely strong endgame play, takes a systematic look at many common patterns, while Volume 2 contains endgame tesuji problems. Also included in this release are “Cross-Cut Workshop” by Richard Hunter and “200 Endgame Problems” by Shirae Haruhiko (both Slate & Shell), as well as “The Basics of Go Strategy” by Richard Bozulich (Kiseido, also includes the German text by Brett & Stein), an extended and revised version of the classic “Strategic Concepts of Go”. Click here for a list of all 86 SmartGo books now available, or check out the free SmartGo Books app for iPad and iPhone.
Maeda Ryo 6P, the popular Japanese professional who’s a regular attendee at the annual U.S.Go Congress, is organizing a 3-week intensive go camp in Osaka again next year, running from June 29 through July 19. “We had 32 attendees from 11 countries all over the world this year, including Iraq and Bahrain, and it was a blast,” Maeda (right) says. “After the long day of training and lectures, they were still playing till midnight! There was lots of laughter and great spirit; we had such a great time.” Osaka Go Camp activities include intensive training by Kansai Kiin professionals, the opportunity to play go at the Kiin with professionals, play against top amateurs and former inseis, as well as sightseeing, cultural trips and making new go friends. Register by the end of February for a 5,000-yen discount. The camp is sponsored by Kansai Kiin and the Osaka University of Commerce. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info or to reserve your space. Maeda photo by Peter Mooyman
The Tournaments Ratings Status page, formerly available at the American Go Association Go Database (AGAGD), is now available here. Game results are submitted to the AGA by the tournament director. Results must be cross checked for
new and duplicate members, payments must be received and processed for new and renewing members, the membership database must be updated, and only then can tournaments be rated. If your event is not listed, it is waiting for submission or weekly processing, and if it’s listed as not rated, the status page now explains why. Thanks to Jonathan Bresler and Greg Smith for their work in creating the new Tournaments Ratings Status page.
The 2013 Cotsen Open was held October 26-27 in Los Angeles, CA. One of the major tournaments on the American Go Association’s annual calendar, the event is sponsored by Eric Cotsen (center, in white shirt), with major organizational support provided by Myung-wan Kim 9P and Andy Okun; Chris Sira was the Tournament Director and top boards — including pro commentaries — were once again broadcast on KGS by the American Go E-Journal. See below for our overview of the coverage, including game records and the final cross-tab, plus never-before-published photos.
Cotsen Open team: Eric Cotsen, Andy Okun, Hunter Knight, Samantha Davis, Susanna Pfeffer, along with Alec Cowan, Zack Craven, Danny Ko, Chris Sira (TD). Plus Daniel Kim and his whole team at the KCC.
Professionals: Myung-wan Kim, Yang Yilun, Lee Hajin and Kim Minhee.
EJ team: Chris Garlock, Richard Dolen, Nick McNelis, David Dows and Joe Cepiel, with online support by KGS.
Evan Cho Wins 2013 Cotsen Open in Thrilling Win Over Andy Liu
Cotsen Guaranteed Through 2017; Korean Baduk Cup Planned for 2014; Cotsen Top-Board Game Records
KABA Opens First Overseas Branch at Korean Go Club in LA
2013.10.27_CotsenRd5Bd1_Beomgeun Cho-Andy Liu-Myungwan Kim Commentary
2013.10.27_CotsenRd5Bd2_Juyong Ko-Won Sik Lee
2013.10.27_CotsenRd5Bd3_Eric Lui-Ari Saito
photos: top right: player game analysis; photo by Chris Garlock. middle: Andy Liu (l) plays Beomgeun Cho in the Round 5, Board 1 final; photo by Chrissy Hampton. bottom: game analysis with Yilun Yang; photo by Chris Garlock
Hwang In-seong 8d, currently the number-one rated player in Europe, has introduced American hours to his Yunguseng internet go school, previously only conveniently available to Europeans. The fully-online format comprises three elements: live, interactive video lectures, student-student games played on KGS in graded leagues and reviews of all these games. It runs in three-month seasons, during which students can interact by text with nine live video lectures which start at 9p Central Time (CT) . They will also play five league games per month on prearranged dates, starting at 8p CT. Students may move up and down between leagues each month, depending on their game results. The games are then reviewed at 10p the same evening. In addition, students can view recordings of all lectures and game reviews, past and present, including those of their European counterparts. The new season starts on January 6, 2014 and is enrolling students now. The cost is $130 per month, or $330 for the full season, $570 for two. There are special rates for spectator-only membership and scholarships are available for under-26s with no regular income. Click here for full details and the chance to view three sample videos free of charge.
Report by Tony Collman, British correspondent for the E-Journal.
The American Go E-Journal collaborated with Ranka Online and SportAccord to again provide comprehensive coverage of the 2013 SportAccord World Mind Games (SAWMG), held December 12-18 in Beijing, China. The team included American Go E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock, Ranka Online Editor Ivan Vigano, James Davies, John Richardson, Yuki Shigeno and Michael Redmond 9P. See below for a selection of highlights of the E-Journal coverage, or click here for all of Ranka’s reports.
Korea Men’s Team & Zhiying Yu Win Gold in World Mind Games
Includes game records/commentaries for Men’s Team Round 5 (finals) and Women’s Individual Round 7 (final).
China Wins World Mind Games Pair Go Tournament; Meeting the Masters; Do Bridge Players Have All The Fun?
Includes game records/commentaries for Pair Go rounds 1-3.
SportAccord World Mind Games Day 4: China & Korea Sweep to Final Showdown in Men’s Team Tourney; Wang Chenxing & Yu Zhiying in All-China Women’s Individual Final; Redmond Audio Game Commentaries
Includes game records/commentaries for Men’s Team Round 4 and Women’s Individual Rounds 5 & 6.
Ranka SAWMG Highlights: Japan’s National Team; Interview with Park Jieun; The Red-Faced King; Designing a Tournament with Martin Stiassny
SportAccord World Mind Games Day 3 (Saturday, December 14): Wang Chenxing Clinches Medal in Women’s Individual Tourney; China & Korea Continue to Steamroll Men’s Teams, North America Blanked Again; Benjamin Teuber on Playing Michael Redmond 9P and Studying in China; Draughted In: Why Zhao Hanqing Changed Games; Going to the Max
Includes game records/commentaries for Men’s Team Round 3 and Women’s Individual Round 4.
SportAccord World Mind Games Day 2 (Friday, December 13): North America & Japan’s Men’s Teams Winless as China-Korea Final Looms; All-China Final in Women’s Individual; PLUS: Svetlana Shikshina 3P Moves to Canada; What We Can Learn from Chess & Japan’s Yoshida Mika Considers Flamenco
Includes game records/commentaries for Men’s Team Round 2 and Women’s Individual Rounds 2 & 3
Men’s Team & Women’s Individual Events Launch Go Competitions at SportAccord World Mind Games (Thursday, December 12)
Includes game records/commentaries for Men’s Team Round 1 and Women’s Individual Round 1
2013 SportAccord World Mind Games Launch in Beijing
SportAccord World Mind Games North American Player Profiles
SportAccord World Mind Games Japanese Player Profiles
2013 SportAccord Online Tournament Into Final Stage
The final round of pair go at the 2013 SportAccord World Mind Games was played in the morning of December 18th. The pairs from China and Chinese Taipei took their seats at board one to play for the gold medal, under the TV cameras in a screened-off corner of the playing room. The pairs from Japan and Korea sat down at board two to play for the bronze medal. Two European pairs took their positions at board three to play for fifth place. At 9:30 chief referee Wang Runan directed them to begin. The games were followed on monitor screens in the spectators’ room next door by the remaining members of the teams from Chinese Taipei and Japan and several of the European and North American players.
In contrast to the drama of the games yesterday afternoon, which had held the spectators enthralled, the games that decided the medals were both relatively quiet. On board one, Chinese Taipei’s Joanne Missingham and Wang Yuan-jyun launched a series of ko fights, but China’s Wang Chenxing and Zhou Ruiyang simply conceded the kos and took territory. Halfway through the endgame it was clear that the Chinese pair was safely ahead, and the pair from Chinese Taipei resigned. The players then immediately began discussing the game, the Chinese pair all laughter and smiles, their opponents somewhat more solemn. Ms Wang and Mr Zhou had added gold medals to the silver medals they had won in women’s individual and men’s team competition. The silver medals won by Ms Missingham and Mr Wang were a new high for Chinese Taipei in SportAccord World Mind Games competition.
In a brief postgame interview, the Chinese pair said that cooperation had been the most important element in their victory. They added they had never felt behind, in distinct contrast to their game against the Japanese pair the previous day.
On board two, the Korean pair (Park Jieun and Kim Jiseok) answered a Japanese ko challenge by splitting some of their opponents’ stones into two weak groups. That gave them lots of ko ammunition, which they used to win the ko fight, and from then on the Japanese pair (Fujisawa Rina and Fujita Akihiko) was playing catch-up. The final margin was 1-1/4 stones (2.5 points) in favor of the Koreans; they had captured the bronze medals.
On board three, for the second straight day the Russian brother-sister pair (Svetlana Shikshina and Ilya Shikshin) faced European opponents. Yesterday they had been triumphant. Today, playing Russia’s Dina Burdakova and Slovakia’s Pavol Lisy, they were not.
Pavol: ‘I think we won because Dina played very well. Another reason was that we avoided complications. She played moves I could understand and I tried to play moves that she would understand, even if they weren’t the best moves. But it was scary at the end. At one point Ilya wanted to resign. That made me think we were were at least five points ahead, so after Svetlana decided to keep playing, I made some careless mistakes. The final margin was only half a point.’
The medals for pair go, and for individual bridge, Basque system chess, super blitz draughts, and xiangqi, were awarded at a ceremony in the evening. There were also cash prizes for all eight competing pairs of go players, ranging from $24,000 for first place down to $2000 for seventh and eighth places. A huge banquet followed the ceremony, bringing another Sport Accord World Mind Games to a very successful conclusion.
- James Davies
Pair Go – Round 2
White: Wang, Zhou (China)
Black: Fujisawa, Fujita (Japan)
Click here to start the game viewer.
Commentary by Michael Redmond 9p, transcribed by Chris Garlock.
Pair Go: Final
White: Wang, Zhou (China)
Black: Missingham, Wang (Chinese Taipei)
Pair Go is now played at a very high level, as we see in this game featuring top professionals. Good Pair Go players must work as a team and succesful pairs practice and come to their games with fairly well-developed plans, which is quite different than most singles games.
Click here to start the game viewer.
Commentary by Michael Redmond 9p, transcribed by Chris Garlock.
China’s Chenxing Wang 5P and Ruiyang Zhou 9P (left) defeated Chinese Taipei’s Joanne Missingham 6P and Yuan-Jyun Wang 6P on Wednesday to win gold in the SportAccord World Mind Games (SAWMG) Pair Go competition. The 3-round event capped the third annual SAWMG competition, which included men’s team and women’s individual events in go, as well as competitions in chess, bridge, draughts and Chinese Chess, and ran December 12-18 in Beijing, China. The bronze medal was won by Park Jieun and Kim Jiseok, the pair from Korea. Click here for full go coverage on Ranka Online, complete event coverage on the SportAccord World Mind Games website – including video commentaries by Michael Redmond 9P on the SAWMG YouTube channel — and of course on the usgo.org website. Coverage this year included audio commentaries by Redmond on KGS; check KGS Plus under Recent Lectures.
Days 5&6 (Tuesday, 12/16 & Wednesday, 12/17) Summary: (winners denoted with links; click on links for game records, uncommented unless otherwise noted)
Round 1 (12/16): Europe (Kovaleva-Fan)-China; Korea-North America; Europe (Shikshin-Shikshina)-Japan; Chinese Taipei-Europe (Burdakova-Lisi).
Round 2 (12/16): Europe (Burdakova-Lisi)- North America; China-Japan (Redmond commentary); Europe (Shikshin-Shikshina)- Europe (Burdakova-Lisi); Chinese Taipei-Korea.
Round 3 (12/17): China-Chinese Taipei (Redmond commentary); Japan-Korea; Europe (Burdakova-Lisi)-Europe (Shikshina-Shikshin).
Meeting the Masters: Students at the Huajiadi Experimental Primary School in Beijing got a chance to meet some of the SportAccord World Mind Games’ top go players and officials on Tuesday. The school is known for its cutting-edge approach to teaching and boasts nearly a thousand junior grade go players. The guests were greeted by two rooms of children buzzing with excitement. In the first classroom, a hands-on lesson on nakade grabbed the children’s attention, and in the second the pupils quickly settled down and answered questions about the history and rules of the game. The guests were then taken downstairs to the gymnasium, where boards had been set out for the 40 kids who would take on top professionals in nine-stone handicap games….click here for complete report.
Do Bridge Players Have All The Fun? “Let’s have dinner! We drink vodka!” Not the first words you would expect to hear after the tense final of an international go final. But this is how bridge superstar Fulvio Fantoni greeted the rival Polish team at the conclusion of the Pairs Open at the 2013 SportAccord World Mind Games. “We’re all good friends – we’ve known each other for many years,” Fantoni says… click here for full report
Frequent Go-Spotting contributor Zhiping You came across this amazing go blanket online, which turns out to have a fascinating story behind its creation, which includes a love story, Hikaru No Go, learning how to crochet and instructions on how to make your very own go blanket.
Guo Juan’s Internet Go School’s next term starts on the weekend of January 11. Group classes include separate groups for dan level, single digit kyu and double digit kyu players. “Join us,” says Guo, a 5-dan professional who’s been teaching in the West for more than twenty years. “You will have fun, meet new friends and improve your game!”
photo: Guo teaching at 2011 North Carolina workshop; photo courtesy Bob Bacon
At 9:30 a.m. on December 17th deputy chief referee Michael Redmond greeted the sixteen contestants taking part in the pair go competition, reviewed the time control and other details, and gave the instruction to start the first round. On board one the draw had matched the Korean pair (Park Jieun and Kim Jiseok), who had already won medals in men’s and women’s competition, against the North American pair (Canada’s Sarah Jin Yu and California’s Daniel Daehyuk Ko).
‘Tomorrow it’s my turn to win,’ Daniel had said the day before, after seeing Yongfei Ge (Canada) defeat Lin Chun-yen (Chinese Taipei) in the men’s team event. For a moment it looked as if these words might come true. He and Sarah Jin swallowed up two white stones in the bottom left corner, putting the medal winners at a disadvantage early in the opening. Some black overplays in the bottom right let the Koreans catch up, however, and get ahead, then further ahead, and still further ahead–the North American pair was about ten stones behind (20 points behind) when they resigned.
On board two the pair from Chinese Taipei (Joanne Missingham and Wang Yuan-jyun) was matched against the first European pair (Russia’s Dina Burdakova and Slovakia’s Pavol Lisy). Gone were yesterday’s red jackets; Ms Missingham was dressed in black and Mr Wang was sporting a purple T-shirt. The dapper duo from Chinese Taipei began the middle game by forcing a black group to live in ko, and used their ko threats to invade a framework that Black had built in the bottom right. Their position then looked quite good until Mr Lisy found a knight’s move that both threatened the invaders and broke a ladder. Mr Wang took twenty minutes to consider his reply. Unfortunately for the European pair, a mistake by Ms Burdakova soon allowed White to reach a favorable exchange. Eventually the Europeans, behind in territory and burdened by two weak groups, took one risk too many, lost one of the weak groups, and resigned.
On board three, the Japanese pair (Fujisawa Rina and Fujita Akihiko) and the second European pair (Svetlana Shikshina and Ilya Shikshin) both held steady to the end. The Russian brother-sister pair played well, but the Japanese pair played a little better. Shortly before noon, with the game almost over and the Japanese pair comfortably ahead, the Russians resigned.
The game on board four ended more quickly. The Chinese pair (Wang Chenxing and Zhou Ruiyang) constructed a large black framework. Their European opponents (Russia’s Natalia Kovaleva and France’s Fan Hui) tried a surprisingly deep invasion, initiated by Ms Kovaleva. This lead to a ko exchange, and already the Chinese side had the lead. Abandoning all thoughts of a peaceful territorial victory, the European pair plotted a comeback in a double attack, but the Chinese refuted it in another ko and won by resignation.
In the second round, played in the afternoon, the Chinese pair played the Japanese. An adventurous move by Ms Wang in the opening led to a fight that turned out well for the Japanese, and Ms Fujisawa and Mr Fujita seized the lead. Their one worry was a large baseless ‘dragon’ group in the center. Big groups are hard to kill, but by harrying the dragon the Chinese pair gradually diminished their opponents’ lead, and then reversed it. The Japanese pair staged an honorable resignation by sacrificing the dragon.
While this drama was unfolding, the pairs from Korea and Chinese Taipei were engaged in an even more dramatic running battle that eventually morphed into a ko fight. Korean players are noted for their prowess in fights and battles, but players from Chinese Taipei like them too, and when the ko stage was reached the lead was unclear. The remaining endgame was not simple, but Ms Missingham and Mr Wang came out clearly ahead, whereupon Ms Park and Mr Kim resigned.
While the second round was in progress, a first playoff round was being held to determine which pairs would advance into tomorrow’s playoff for fifth and sixth places. The game between North America (Ms Yu and Mr Ko) and Europe (Ms Burdakova and Mr Lisy) was televised. The North Americans started out very badly, but they recovered in the middle game and may have even led briefly. At the end, however, the soft-spoken Europeans were ahead by 1-1/4 stone (2.5 points).
The all-European game between Ms Kovaleva and Mr Fan (black) and Ms Shikshina and Mr Shikshin (white) was won by Ms Shikshina and Mr Shikshin. By capturing a scattered assortment of black stones they gained enough territory to make the game even on the board, and won by size of the compensation.
The entire Russian contingent then gathered around one of the monitor screens outside the playing room to watch the outcome of the second-round games, but the keynote remark of the day had already been uttered by Dina Burdakova after her pair’s loss to Chinese Taipei. ‘I enjoyed the game,’ she said. ‘Pavol Lisy played good moves.’
- James Davies
Pair go is a little like contract bridge with stones instead of cards, and with your partner sitting beside you instead of opposite. The pair go competition at the World Mind Games began with the pairs from the Far East beating the pairs from Europe and North America in the morning, and then they tackled each other in the afternoon. The Chinese and Korean pairs were favoured to win, but both met with stout opposition.
Matched against China, the Japanese pair made a good start and led for most of their game. The Chinese pair, however, gradually crept up on them and got slightly ahead near the end. The Japanese pair lost in style by offering a sacrifice of a huge group of stones, which the Chinese pair of course accepted.
The Korean pair had an even harder time with Chinese Taipei. In fact, Joanne Missingham and Wang Yuan-jyun beat them, after an extended running battle and a big ko exchange. Tomorrow Ms Missingham and Mr Wang will play Ms Wang and Mr Zhou for the gold and silver medals, while the Japanese and Korean pairs duel for the bronze and two European pairs vie for fifth place. No predictions are offered for the outcomes of these matches. In pair go anything can happen.
Pair knockout, first round: Park Jieun and Kim Jiseok (Korea) beat Sarah Jin Yu and Daniel Daehyuk Ko (North America), Joanne Missingham and Wang Yuan-jyun (Chinese Taipei) beat Dina Burdakova and Pavol Lisy (Europe), Fujisawa Rina and Fujita Akihiko (Japan) beat Svetlana Shikshina and Ilya Shikshin (Europe), Wang Chenxing and Zhou Ruiyang (China) beat Natalia Kovaleva and Fan Hui (Europe)
Pair knockout, second round: Ms Missingham and Mr Wang (Chinese Taipei) beat Ms Park and Mr Kim (Korea), Ms Wang and Mr Zhou (China) beat Ms Fujisawa and Mr Fujita (Japan)
Pair knockout, first playoff round: Ms Burdakova and Mr Lisy (Europe) beat Ms Yu and Mr Ko (North America), Ms Shikshina and Mr Shikshin (Europe) beat Ms Kovaleva and Mr Fan (Europe)
The much anticipated SAWMG school visit took place on Tuesday afternoon. This was a chance for a lucky few Beijing schoolchildren to meet the top players and officials from the World Mind Games taking place this December in Beijing.
The school selected was Huajiadi Experimental Primary School, known for its cutting-edge approach to teaching and for boasting 956 junior grade go players. The visit began with a tour of the school’s go facilities, including a classroom clad in go-related pictures – from photographs of famous players to prints of Hikaru no Go. On the walls of the corridor outside hung posters of go proverbs and manners.
The guests were greeted by two rooms of children buzzing with excitement. In the first classroom, a hands-on lesson on nakade grabbed the children’s attention, and in the second the pupils quickly settled down and answered questions about the history and rules of the game. The guests were then taken downstairs to the gymnasium, where boards had been set out for the 40 kids who would take on top professionals in nine-stone handicap games.
Matsuura Koichiro, the former Director-General of UNESCO and now President of the International Go Federation, gave a speech expressing his support of the event. “We hope that you not only learn about the game, but also develop skills in strategy and planning. I only started to learn the game when I was 18 and am very glad that you have encountered it at such an early age.”
We chatted with two of the participants, Xiaotong and Jialin, both seven years old, after their games with Kim Soojang 9p. They told us how much fun they have playing go, spurred on by a very enthusiastic teacher, and how happy they were to play with Mr Kim.
At the farewell ceremony, everyone who took part was given a goody bag containing a SAWMG official t-shirt and watch from the sponsors (Swatch Group). We hope that this unique event has helped to inspire the next generation of go talent in Beijing.
- John Richardson
White: Chenxing WANG (China) 5p
Black: Zhiying YU (China) 4p
Click here to start the game viewer.
Commentary by Michael Redmond 9p, transcribed by Chris Garlock.
Mingjiu Jiang 7P (center), Stephanie (Mingming) Yin 1P and Zhaonian (Michael) Chen 8D will make up a U.S. team at the upcoming Zhu Gang Cup World Team Go Championship. The brand-new event for both professionals and amateurs features a significant prize-money pool and runs December 19-26 in Guangzhou, China. It’s hosted by the Chinese Weiqi Association and the Guangzhou All-Sport Federation.
While others were out fighting the holiday crowds at local malls in Northern Virginia, some 20 area go players had a better plan. “Win books to give as holiday gifts!” report Slate and Shell Open local organizers Gurujeet Khalsa and Gary Smith. Sponsor Slate and Shell supplied the prizes, which were won by Kelsey Dyer 1D and Quinn Baranoski 9K – who topped the event – along with other first place finishers, including Edward Zhang 6D, John Gipson 5K, and Mulan Liu 17K. Second place finishers included Allan Abramson 2D, Mohan Sud 4K, Anderson Barreal 9K and Timothy Koh 22K.
The US Pro Qualification Tournament, which will be held in Los Angeles Jan. 2-8, is adding a youth tournament for all ranks, to be held Jan 4-5, announced Myungwan Kim 9P, chair of the AGA’s pro system committee. The event will be called the Milton N. Bradley Youth Go Championship, in honor of the late Bradley, who was devoted to youth go. Players must be under the age of 17 (born on or after Jan. 5th 1996). ”I think it’s a good idea to hold a youth go tournament in LA area every year,” Kim told the Journal. ”We already have a great location, the Hotel Normandie, and kids can see professionals, the professional system and very serious games. It will help to stimulate kids to learn go, watching all these top players and their games. I will play 13×13 simul games as well.” Orange County organizer Kevin Chao will be the Tournament Director, and will handle registration. He plans two four round tournaments, both 19×19 and13x13, for a total of eight games in two days. 19×19 games will be AGA-rated. To register e-mail email@example.com. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Image: a page from Bradley’s Go for Kids, illustration by Seho Kim. Bradley’s cartoon form is seated at right.
“Study life and death problems.” We’ve all heard that advice on how to get stronger at go, but it turns out that there’s a missing word that’s key to improving. The word is easy. Literally. Michael Redmond 9P revealed the missing word during one of his KGS audio commentaries on SAWMG games last weekend: “Study easy life and death problems.” Hard problems, “especially really complicated ones,” tend to be discouraging, “and they rarely come up in actual games,” Redmond said. Studying easy problems — “at least 15 minutes a day” — trains your eye to quickly see shapes and patterns and solving problems provides positive reinforcement that makes studying more likely, he adds. And since everyone’s definition of “easy” will necessarily be different, look for problems you can solve in two minutes or less.
- Chris Garlock