Why isn’t go more popular in the West? That question has preoccupied go author and scholar Peter Shotwell for decades. Shotwell’s recently published “appendix” on the subject — appended to his ongoing “Origins of Go” study — is entitled Why the West Plays Chess and the East Plays Go: How Classical Chinese and Ancient Western Grammars Shaped Different Strategies of War, Weiqi and Chess. Shotwell examines his idea that the presence or absence of abstract nouns, the verb “to be” and other linguistic features developed and shaped the philosophies and resulting different strategic thinking of early Greece and Classical China. He provides the historical background of how and why this happened and concludes with an examination of the Thirty-six Strategies that encapsulate the strategic yin thinking of Chinese generals like Sunzi (right) and weiqi players of the Han dynasty, along with a short discussion of the reasons for the fall of the Qin dynasty. The full article is 274 pages, or you can download a 16-page summarizes of the most significant findings here.
“What’s the status of the AGA rating system?” wonders EJ reader — and AGA member — Brady Daniels. “ It seems updates have become scarce recently, and I’m sure your readers would love to know why, and what solution is planned. Shouldn’t ratings be updated after every weekend tournament, or at least, say, twice a month?”
Provided that tournaments report complete and accurate results, the ratings are currently updated at least twice a month. Email email@example.com if you have other ratings-related questions or comments.
Every other year since 2003, a top Chinese and top Korean player play an exhibition match in Fenghuang City, China. The grand prize is 400,000 RMB (approximately $65,000 USD) and the runner up receives 280,000 RMB. What makes the Ancient City of the Phoenix Cup unique are the 361 human go stones (left) that mimic the game on a 31.7 x 31.7 meter board.
This year, Chinese player Chen Yaoye 9p defeated Korean player Park Junghwan 9p by 14.5 points in a 50 minute sudden-death match. White (Chen), favored in the opening, took a lead after two major ko fights, and stayed ahead until the end after 298 moves. For more information on this year’s Ancient City of the Phoenix Cup including game record and photos, please visit Go Game Guru.
– Annalia Linnan, based on a longer article by Go Game Guru
“If you haven’t yet registered for the upcoming Gotham Go Tournament on October 12th, you may want to do it soon as space islimited,” reminds organizer Peter Armenia. Register online. “There will be generous cash prizes in all sections, and goodies for all!” Armenia promises. “We will have breakfast bagels and coffee as well as great snacks all through the day. Come celebrate go in the Wonder City!”
King of the New Stars: Yo Seiki (right), the first player in Japan to jump from 3-dan to 7-dan, was considered the favorite in the 38th King of the New Stars title match, but the first game of the best-of-three was taken by his opponent, Fujita Akihiko 3P (aged 21 to Yo’s 18). The game was played at the Nihon Ki-in in Ichigaya on September 17; taking white, Fujita won by resignation. The second game will be played on the 26th.
Japan’s 15th Nong Shim Cup Team: Japan’s Nong Shim Cup team was decided by a different system this year. As usual, the top players were seeded, but two places were filled through a qualifying tournament for younger players. The seeded players are Yuki Satoshi 9P, Cho U 9P, and Kono Rin 9P. Cho will be playing on the Japanese team for the first time since 2004, as a restriction that was imposed on players representing countries of which they are not citizens has been lifted. Cho is the only member of the Japanese team who has won an international title, whereas the Korean and Chinese teams each have four current or former world champions. In the qualifying tournament, eight players who have been chosen as members of the national team competed in two mini double-knockout tournaments. The winners were Anzai Nobuaki 6P (aged 28, at left) and Cho Chito 1P (aged 15). Anzai has some accomplishments already, notably reaching the final of this year’s Tengen tournament, but Cho was a dark horse who has been a professional for less than a year. Though not uncommon in Korea and China, this will be the first time a 15-year-old has played for Japan. Like Cho U, Cho Chito was born in Taiwan.
September Promotions: To 3-dan: Obuchi Kotaro (at right, son of Obuchi Norito 9P); Ms. Mannami Nao (both with 40 wins); To 4-dan: Suzuki Shinji (50 wins).
“I’d like to get the SGF for Cho’s Encyclopedia of Life and Death,” writes Merlyn. “Does anyone know about this? I’ve found the PDF online, and I do know that Kiseido used to sell it on a 3.5″ disk.”
Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
“Issue #37 of Lightspeed (an online fantasy & science fiction magazine) contains a short story by Ken Liu, Mono no aware, in which go plays a big part,” reports Ronald White. “A quote from the story: ‘Individual stones are not heroes, but all the stones together are heroic.’” The story was originally published in The Future is Japanese, a book of science fiction stories about Japan.
Yeong Cha (center), an extremely strong player on the TYGEM go server, showed he’s just as comfortable on a real board by winning the third annual Emory Go Tournament player on Saturday, September 21 at Emory University in Atlanta, GA. “Yeong seemed very comfortable with vague, doubtful positions but he would always convert them into a winning position,” reports Tournament Director Jeffery Kerlagon. Emory University, which hosted the tournament for the third consecutive year, “provides a great tournament game room,” said Kerlagon. “It is truly a grand facility.” Just over two dozen competitors from Georgia, Alabama and South Carolina turned out on a rainy night, and “New faces made this an exciting event,” Kerlagon added.
Winner’s Report: HIGH DAN DIVISION: 1st Place – Yeong Cha ($110); 2nd Place – Eric Kim ($70)
3rd Place – (Oasiny) Zhao ($40); DAN / KYU DIVISION: 1st Place – TIE – Rodney Keaton & Hiroshi Yamane ($40 each); 2nd Place – TIE – Darrell Speck & Adam Chesler ($25 each).
Photo: High Dan Division winners (l-r): Eric Kim, Yeong Cha, Oasiny Zhao; photo by Jeffery Kerlagon
The Collegiate Go League (CGL) started its new season last Saturday with a “stellar” launch. “We had many close matches, a simul with American pro Andy Liu 1P, and an incredible final game which went 362 moves!,” reports organizer Cole Pruitt. Thirteen schools are competing in two leagues, with players in ‘A’ league competing for a spot in the year-end National College Championship next April. Open any university-affiliated go players and clubs in North America, “Last year’s defending champions, University of Michigan, continue to field a strong team, but we’re expecting to see some competition from other perennial strong teams like University of Toronto,” says Pruitt. Click here for full results and game records. The next round is in two weeks, on Saturday October 5. Games are played on KGS, in the Collegiate Go League room, under ‘Tournaments’.
Two dozen players turned out for the September 21 NOVA Back-to-School tournament at the George Mason Law School in Arlington VA. Winners were Shi Zhixiong 3D (4-0), Yang Weiyu 1k (3-0), Bao Frederick 5 K (3-1), Yoo Sungyeon 8k and Bob Crites 9k (tied at 3-1), and Sarah Crites 21k (4-0). Shi Zhixiong was promoted to 4-dan and Sarah Crites was promoted to 19-kyu for the next NOVA tournament, the Pumpkin Classic, coming up on October 26.
- report/photo (of Bob and Sarah Crites) by Allan Abramson
Cho is Oza Challenger: In the final to decide the challenger to Iyama Yuta for the 61st Oza title, held on September 12, Cho U 9P (B) defeated Yuki Satoshi 9P by 2.5 points. Last year Cho (right) missed out on qualifying for the Honorary Oza title when the challenger, Iyama Yuta, beat him 3-0. He now has a chance to take revenge. If he won back the title, it would be his eighth Oza title, so he could aim at securing the honorary title by winning it ten times in total. The title match will start on October 24.
38th Kisei: Yamashita Wins A League: Yamashita Keigo Meijin (left) won the A League of the 38th Kisei tournament before having to play his final game when Yamashiro Hiroshi 9P defeated Kiyonari Tetsuya 9P in the last fourth-round game on September 12. Taking black, Yamashiro Hiroshi won by 1.5 points. That put both players on 2-2 and so both are out of the running. In my previous report, I wrote that a number of players were still in the running in the A League, but I had forgotten that there is no play-off in a Kisei league. If Kiyonari had beaten Yamashiro and then won his fifth-round game while Yamashita lost his, then Kiyonari would have won the league; in any tie, Yamashita would take priority over other players because of his higher ranking. Yamashita will meet Murakawa Daisuke 7P in the play-off to decide the challenger to Iyama Yuta Kisei.
Iyama Draws Even in Meijin: The second game in the 38th Meijin title match was just as one-sided as the first, but this time it went in favor of challenger Iyama Yuta (right). On move 59, Yamashita Keigo Meijin made a misreading in a capturing race: he thought that he could get a one-approach-move ko, but it was actually a two-approach-move ko, that is, he would have had to play two extra moves before it became a real ko for him. There’s a big difference, and he was unable to recover from this setback. Black resigned after 162 moves. The third game will be played on September 25 and 26.
Tomorrow: King of the New Stars; Japan’s 15th Nong Shim Cup Team; September Promotions
The British Go Association (BGA) promoted go at the UK’s first Mindsports International (MSI) Festival at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium the weekend of September 14-15. MSI says the event attracted about 500 enthusiasts of Scrabble, chess and the card-trading game Magic.
Rachel Riley (left), co-presenter and number-wizard on British terrestrial Channel 4′s ever-popular words-and-numbers TV gameshow, Countdown – which also had a stand at the festival – was MSI’s UK ambassador and hosted the event on Sunday, providing commentary on some of the games.
Although no go tournament took place, BGA Councillor Roger Huyshe ran a stand with the aim of introducing attendees to go, managing to sell four beginner’s books and three basic sets as well as putting eight or nine people in touch with their nearest go club and playing trial games with half a dozen. The most promising contact was with a couple who have Local Authority responsibility for 17 schools and are interested in setting up school chess and go clubs. Also helping staff the stand were BGA Membership Secretary Paul Barnard, Welsh Champion Dylan Carter and, from the Cardiff Go Club, Neil Greenwood, Keiran Grayson and club secretary Neil Moffatt.
Mindsports (International) Ltd plans to mount a similar festival at the Palazzo Congress Center, LA on Dec 7-8, the second in the US. (See EJ 7/10 for a report of the first LA event).
- Report by Tony Collman, British correspondent for the EJ; Photo: Rachel Riley, seen here appearing on BBC TV’s top-rated reality show Strictly Come Dancing, courtesy of fansite rachelriley.org
The American Go Association is launching a beta program, AGA On-Line Games, on KGS on October 1. “Playing with a good selection of opponents of different styles and strengths is key for player development and satisfaction,” says organizer Bob Gilman, “and many find this difficult to find locally.” The program has two parts, a Self-Paired Tournament, a handicap tournament patterned on the popular tournament of the same name at the annual U.S. Go Congress, and a schedule of simultaneous games given by players AGA 4 dan and stronger.
Click here for self-paired tournament details, and here to register. The AGA On-Line Self-Paired Tournament is open to all current AGA members and will run through the end of December. Players must be members to participate. Prizes will be awarded in eight categories. “Generally, participants will be rewarded for playing a large number of games against a variety of opponents with different ratings,” says Gilman, “and of course, their results in those games.” For this beta tournament, the tournament games will not be AGA-rated. “There are plans underway to set up a parallel AGA rating system for on-line games,” Gilman says, “and, when this is in place, these games may count toward an AGA on-line rating.”
The simultaneous games will be played in a new AGA Community Room on KGS, a private room which will be open to all current AGA members. For admission to this room, contact email@example.com. You will need to give your name, AGA ID, and your KGS user name. In general the simuls will be weekly at dates and times selected by the volunteers offering them.
“We also hope that the AGA On-Line Games playing experience and the relationships it develops will whet players’ appetites to seek out more opportunities for in-person play,” Gilman adds. “The program is the first step in enhancing the AGA’s online presence. The experience we gain from this KGS beta will put us in a position to test with additional servers for a comprehensive program of AGA-rated games, tournaments, prizes, simultaneous games, and more, enabling members to meet and connect with other members.”
The winning go club at the upcoming Cotsen Open takes home a $1,000 prize. Points are awarded based on how well each club’s members do in the popular event, scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, October 26-27 at the Korean Cultural Center in Los Angeles, CA. “So make sure your club is well-represented!” says registrar Samantha Davis. Click here for details and to register. The 5-round tournament also features game commentaries by Myung-wan Kim 9P and Yilun Yang 7P, free lunch both days and free shoulder massages while you play. photo: Myungwan Kim commenting a game at the 2012 Cotsen; photo by Chris Garlock
The Sunnyvale, California Go Club is still alive and kicking, reports founder and organizer Jean de Maiffe. “Several years ago our greatest number of players at any one meeting had been set at 20. This past August we broke that record with 23 players at one meeting. Everyone played at least one game, most played at least two. Strengths ranged from unrated beginner to 6D. Ages ranged from roughly 6 years old to definitely over 60 years old. Congratulations to us all.”
- photo by Jean de Maiffe
“Get Ready! Fall Classes start up next week!” reports the Seattle Go Club. “Including Nick Sibicky on Monday Nights, Andrew J on Wednesday Nights, and Classes for Beginners on Thursday Nights. Photo of Sibicky by Brian Allen.
Hiroshi Yamauchi transformed Nintendo from a small maker of traditional Japanese playing cards into to a manufacturer of gaming consoles and software that delivered Super Mario Bros. and Donkey Kong into living rooms around the world.Yet “For all his success in popularizing computer games,” reported the Wall Street Journal, Yamauchi — who died on September 19 at age 85 — “didn’t play them much. He preferred the decidedly classical board game of Go, in which a player seeks to outwit and encircle his opponent.” Thanks to Fred Baldwin for passing this along. Agence France-Presse/Getty Images photo courtesy WSJ
Finland: The Nuorten SM 2013 finished September 15 in Helsinki with Bean Yang 4d in first, Jerry Savo 1k in second, and Samuel Laire 3k in third. Italy: Also on September 15, Carlo Metta 3d (left) took the Torneo di Pisa while Alessandro Pace 2d placed second and Alberto Zingoni 1d came in third. Russia: At the Russian Female Championship in Moscow on September 8, Dina Burdakova 5d bested Natalia Kovaleva 5d and Daria Koshkina 3k was third.
- Annalia Linnan, based on reports from EuroGoTV, which include complete result tables and all the latest European go news
The second Gotham Go Tournament, scheduled for October 12th in New York City, will also be the East Coast AGA Pro-Select Qualifier. The tournament will be at the same place as the last one in January, the Hostelling International New York (891 Amsterdam Ave, btw 103rd & 104th in Manhattan). Click here for details and to register. photo: January 2013 Gotham Tournament; photo by John Pinkerton
Wang Chenxing 5P (left) secured her first major international title when she defeated Yu Zhiying 5p in the 4th Bingsheng Cup on September 12. On her journey to the final round, Wang defeated last year’s winner Rui Naiwei 9P, Xie Yimin 6P, and Li He 3P.
However, 15-year-old Yu deserves recognition in her own right. If she had defeated Wang, she would have broken the world record for youngest international title holder in the go world. The current record is held by Lee Changho 9p for his win at the 3rd Tongyang Securities Cup in 1992 when he was 16 years and 6 months. At 15 years and 10 months, Yu’s triumph would have shattered Lee’s 20-year streak.
First played in 2010, the Bingsheng Cup remains the only women’s individual international go tournament. It draws the top 16 players from China, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Europe, North America, and Oceania. Named after Sun Zi (aka Sun Tzu), the author of The Art Of War, the Bingsheng Cup is held annually at the Sun Wu Memorial Hall on Qionglong Mountain in Suzhou, China. For more information about the 4th Bingsheng Cup including photos, a post-game interview with Wang, and game records, visit Go Game Guru.
- Annalia Linnan, based on a longer article by Go Game Guru; photo courtesy of Go Game Guru