How does men’s go differ from women’s go? Aside from superficial matters such as the players’ average height, some have pointed to a temperamental difference: women tend to play more impetuously–to start a fight at the drop of a hat; men tend to play more patiently, laying deep strategic plans that only slowly mature into victory, sometimes with little or no fighting at all. Others find men’s go more coldly logical and women’s go more ‘human’.
Womanly qualities were on full display in the centerpiece game in the fourth round of women’s individual competition at the SportAccord World Mind Games on December 14th, and what a game it was! The two players, China’s Wang Chenxing and Yu Zhiying, the last remaining undefeated duo, came out fighting to kill from the word ‘go’.
Black (Ms Wang) laid out a loose group on the left side. White (Ms Yu) immediately surrounded it, with lethal intent. Black, with equally lethal intent, cut off and attacked some of the surrounding white stones. White defended them by attacking an adjacent black group–and so it went, both players carefully pondering their moves, with the life of their stones at stake. And then this battle royal had a heartwarming ‘human’ outcome. Every single threatened group lived. Peace descended on the board, the pace of play quickened, and in the end Ms Yu won by 2-1/4 stones or 4.5 points (click here to see the game record). She is now just one more win away from a gold medal, and is assured of at least the silver.
In the repechage section of the women’s competition, the two women from Chinese Taipei staged another protracted fight that involved many groups and ended with them all alive. Chang Cheng-ping was the winner in this tale of war and peace. She was comfortably ahead on territory when Joanne Missingham resigned.
The two Russians put on a similar show in reverse, starting peacefully enough, but ending in a duel to the death between two opposing groups. The duel was won by Svetlana Shikshina, at which her opponent, go ambassador Natalia Kovaleva, tactfully resigned.
It was left to the two Koreans to show that an entire game can be played without any deadly combat at all. Although one small group died, it was not taken by force; it was essentially given away by its owner Oh Jeonga. The gift was given in hope of compensation that failed to materialize, and Park Jieun won by resignation. The repechage winners will join Wang Chenxing to compete for the right to contest the gold and silver medals with Yu Zhiying, and to compete for the bronze.
The third round of the men’s teams event came to an end while the women’s fourth round was still in progress. After losing to powerhouse teams from China and Korea in the first two rounds, the men’s team from Chinese Taipei for the first time found itself facing lower-ranked opponents. The rankings held true and Chinese Taipei won on all three boards, while their North American opponents suffered their third straight shutout defeat. China also defeated Japan on all three boards, and the European team, exuberant after their victory over North America yesterday, were duly chastened, on all three boards, by the Koreans.
These games amply displayed the manly qualities of strategy and deliberation. The young Japanese team in particular seemed determined to make the most of their opportunity to take on three of the best players in China, and their games were among the last to end, even though they all ended in resignation. Two other players, both amateurs, who strove patiently and manfully against strong professional opponents were Daniel Daehyuk Ko, who lost to Wang Yuan-jyun by 6-1/4 stones (12.5 points), and Pavol Lisy. The latter’s effort against Cho Hanseung was broadcast live via YouTube, with commentary by deputy chief referee Michael Redmond.
Men’s team tournament, third round
China 3-0 Japan: Fan Tingyu beat Fujita Akihiko, Zhou Ruiyang beat Hirata Tomoya, Wang Xi beat Tsuruta Kazushi
Korea 3-0 Europe: Park Jeonghwan beat Fan Hui, Kim Jiseok beat Ilya Shikshin, Cho Hanseung beat Pavol Lisy
Chinese Taipei 3-0 North America: Chou Chun-hsun beat Huiren Yang, Wang Yuan-jyun beat Daniel Daehyuk Ko, Lin Chun-yen beat Yongfei Ge
Women’s individual tournament, fourth round
Yu Zhiying (China) beat Wang Chenxing (China), Park Jieun (Korea) beat Oh Jeonga (Korea), Chang Cheng-ping (Chinese Taipei) beat Joanne Missingham (Chinese Taipei), Svetlana Shikshina (Russia) beat Natalia Kovaleva (Russia)
- James Davies
The promising young German, Benjamin Teuber, took on Michael Redmond 9p in a special match held this morning at the venue of the SportAccord World Mind Games 2013. Originally the match was planned for South African Victor Chow (‘RoseDuke’), the winner of the SAWMG 2013 Pandanet tournament, however Teuber was substituted at the last minute as Chow was unable to attend. The handicap was two stones, with a time limit of 30 minutes sudden death.
The game was calm with Teuber playing a very solid opening, but when he failed to use his thickness to attack, he slowly but surely fell behind. After an attachment on the lower side that proved to be a little too optimistic, Redmond was able to make territory in the center, tipping the balance into his favor. Redmond emerged the victor after Teuber resigned in the endgame. Click here to see the game record with commentary by Michael Redmond.
After the match we asked Teuber his impressions about the game.
Teuber: I thought the game was going well until White was able to build the center. White played more calmly than I had expected, but in the second part of the game I began to gradually fall behind. I was unhappy with a decision in the upper left, unnecessarily fearing a ladder situation that should have been no trouble.
Teuber is currently taking part in the first year of a new training program held in China for top European players. Each year five young hopefuls will be selected to participate in this intense program lasting for five and a half months. The camp is run by strong Chinese pros, including the main coach Wang Yang 5p.
Ranka: Can you tell us about your daily training regimen?
Teuber: We focus on game practice and in-depth reviews. At the start we mainly played in an internal league with the five European players and one guest teacher. But recently we have been taking part in a league held at possibly the largest professional level go school in the world (180 students). Each evening we are expected to solve tsumego as homework.
Ranka: We hear you have also studied in Japan and China in the past. How does your study program differ from before?
Teuber: The training here is much more intense. In Japan we only did one game review per week and were expected to take responsibility for designing our own study program. Now we have a teacher just for the five of us.
Ranka: And how do you find life in Beijing?
Teuber: Like anywhere else there are ups and downs. I like the food and culture of China very much, but we study for six days every week and even on the rest days usually end up playing go, so there has been almost no time for sightseeing. Perhaps the most fun I have had so far was a soccer match against a team headed by Gu Li!
Ranka: How do you see the future of European go?
Teuber: I think European go is making great progress at the moment, particularly with the introduction of the study program in China. We have secured a ten year contract, and so can only expect Europe’s top players to increase further in strength.
- John Richardson
As games wrap up each day in the playing room at the Sport Accord World Mind Games venue in the Beijing International Conference Center, the review room next door fills up with players, pros and fans who review their games while keeping an eye on monitors showing the games still being played. The rapid clicking of go stones competes with the excited swirl of languages from around the world. Eventually, as darkness falls outside, the game room will empty, the day’s results will be marked on the scoreboard, and even the most hard-core players will tear themselves away from the go boards. For now. Until tomorrow, when the cycle begins again.
- Chris Garloc
Men’s Team – Round 2
White: Jiseok KIM (Korea) 9p
Black: Tomoya HIRATA (Japan) 3p
Click here to start the game viewer.
Commentary by Michael Redmond 9p, transcribed by Chris Garlock.
Once a fervent go player, the 19 year-old Zhao Hanqing began to study international draughts in 2008 and has already secured victory in the World Championship (Junior Girls). She is currently taking part in the SportAccord World Mind Games held in Beijing alongside this year’s go events. The Chinese star gives us an insight into the world of draughts in China.
Ranka: What made you give up go for draughts?
Zhao: I started to play go when I was seven and studied hard for six years. It was at that time by chance that the 1st World Mind Games was being held in Beijing. In those days almost nobody in China could play international draughts, and I was drafted in to help form a Chinese team. Now there are almost 20 million players in China, thanks mainly to the recent promotion of mind games. This includes not only international tournaments such as the SportAccord World Mind Games but also national competitions and the incentive to teach mind games in schools.
Ranka: How does your new sport compare with go? Could you transfer your go skills and experience to draughts?
Zhao: I think both games are interesting and certainly very different, although that doesn’t mean there are no transferable skills. Reading tactical sequences is important in both games and my calculation skills led to quick progress in draughts. Draughts is a very simple game and I think that’s what makes it so appealing. Go is far more complex.
Ranka: How do you spend your time these days?
Zhao: At the moment I am studying draughts and the Russian language at college in Irkutsk. It’s bitterly cold, but I try to get in a game or two of go when time permits.
- John Richardson
Men’s Team – Round 1
White: Ruiyang ZHOU (China) 9p
Black: Daniel Daehyuk KO (USA) 7d
Daniel Ko, the 7-dan from Los Angeles, California acquits himself quite well in this game against a world champion. Zhou won the first Bai Lin Ai Tou Cup, was a finalist in the 18th LG Cup and a member of the championship Chinese team in the 13th Nong Shim Cup. This game features a modern-style professional opening and competing moyos that both players invade. This could have been a close game but in the key fight in the middle-game, white pulls ahead in territory while attacking black.
Click here to start the game viewer.
Commentary by Michael Redmond 9p, transcribed by Chris Garlock.
Men’ s Team – Round 1
White: Hirata Tomoya (Japan) 3p
Black: Ilya Shikshin (Russia) 7d
Shikshin had a good start, attacking most of the time but ultimately the attacks don’t yield profit and towards the end of the middle game, Hirata is able to pull ahead in territory.
Click here to start the game viewer.
Commentary by Michael Redmond 9p, transcribed by Chris Garlock.
The third annual SportAccord World Mind Games are taking place December 12-18 in Beijing, China. Click here for latest go competition winner results, here for Ranka Online’s full coverage and here for reports on all 2013 SportAccord World Mind Games competitions (chess, go, bridge, Chinese Chess & draughts).Day 2 (Friday, 12/13) Summary (click on links for game records, uncommented unless otherwise noted): Men’s Team: China 3-0 over Chinese Taipei: Fan Tingyu beat Chou Chun-hsun, Zhou Ruiyang beat Wang Yuan-jyun, Wang Xi (left in photo) beat Lin Chun-yen (right). Korea 3-0 over Japan: Park Jeonghwan beat Fujita Akihiko, Kim
Jiseok beat Hirata Tomoy (Redmond commentary), Cho Hanseung beat Tsuruta Kazushi, giving Japan an 0-6 record after two rounds. Europe 3-0 over North America: Fan Hui beat Huiren Yang, Ilya Shikshin beat Daniel Daehyuk Ko, Pavol Lisy (click left for Redmond commentary) beat Yongfei Ge, leaving the N.A. team winless after two rounds.
Women’s individual: Wang Chengxing (China) beat Joanne Missingham (Taipei); Yu Zhiying (China) beat Park Jieun (Korea); Chang Cheng-peng (China) beat Yoshida Mika (Japan); Oh Jeonga (Korea) beat Fujisawa Rina (Japan); Natalia Kovaleva (Russia) beat Dina Burdakova (Russia); Svetlana Shikshina (Russia; click left for Yang Shuang 2P’s KGS game variations) beat Sarah Jin Yu (Canada). Note: Michael Redmond 9P and Chris Garlock did live audio commentary on the Round 2 Missingham-Jeonga game on KGS but because they recorded the game and did variations in the same file (instead of cloning), the record’s trees are a bit of a mess; it’s attached here for those interested.
North America & Japan Men’s Teams Winless as China-Korea Final Looms: On the basis of international tournament results during the current century, China and Korea seemed likely to have the advantage in their matches, but Chinese Taipei’s near-upset of Korea in the first round raised doubts about the size of that advantage. In the second round on Friday, however, the Chinese and Korean teams prevailed handily over Chinese Taipei and Japan. The match between Europe and North America was harder to predict. North America had won a similar match two years ago, but by a close 3-2 score, and this year the European team had the advantage of youth.
In the game between Russia’s Ilya Shikshin (left in photo) and Daniel Daehyuk Ko (right) of the U.S., Shikshin “started out with a complex opening pattern in which my opponent made several mistakes, so I got the lead,” Shikshin told Ranka. “I think I was about twenty points ahead. After that I tried to play simple moves, and my opponent started to take risks, trying to draw me into an error, but in the end I killed a dragon and he resigned.”
Slovakia’s Pavol Lisy, on the other hand, “had a bad opening” against Canada’s Yongfei Ge, “but then somehow I caught up and even pulled ahead. At one point I thought I was going to win by about six points, nearly the size of the komi. Then something happened to a group of mine in the corner. At first it looked as if I was going to lose all my territory there. I was terrified, but I thought for ten minutes and found a way to rescue it, and after I did, my opponent resigned.”
Women’s Individual Tournament Rounds 2 & 3: Triumph for China, Disaster for Japan & North America, Mixed for Rest: The results on Day 2 were a complete triumph for the two Chinese players, a disaster for the women from Japan and North America, and a mixture of wins and losses for the women from Korea, Chinese Taipei, and Russia. The six winners remain in contention, and Joanne Missingham and Park Jieun, who recorded their first losses, are also still in contention. The two Chinese, Wang Chengxing and Yu Zhiying, will contend for the final undefeated position in Round Four. Click here for the complete Ranka report.
Svetlana Shikshina 3P Moves to Canada: The Russian-born Korean professional (left) moved to Canada in late June 2013 and talks to Ranka’s James Davies about the challenges of her new life there.
What We Can Learn from Chess: FIDE Chief Executive Officer Geoffrey Borg (right) on an unexpected common link between chess and go and Russia’s Ian Nepomniachtchi on lessons from the cheating scandals in chess.
Japan’s Yoshida Mika Considers Flamenco: After her “tragic loss” to young Chinese star Yu Zhiying 4P, Yoshida, former winner of the Women’s Honinbo, tells Ranka’s John Richardson “maybe my future is in flamenco,” which she took up again earlier this year.
- photos by Ivan Vigano/Ranka Online
Registration for the next AGA On-Line Games Self-Paired Tournament — which will run January 1 to March 31, 2014 on KGS — begins December 15. The initial Self-Paired Tournament — in which 24 players have so far played 44 games — will end December 31, with results announced in early January. Players must be AGA members current through March 1, 2014. A player’s current AGA rating is the default tournament rating. Tournament Ratings may be adjusted by the Tournament Director for those without an AGA rating or for those who whose current AGA rating clearly does not reflect their current playing strength. Games are played and tournament documents are linked in the AGA Tournament Room on KGS.
Simultaneous games will also be offered during this upcoming quarter in the AGA Community Room on KGS by volunteers AGA 4 dan and above. The room is open to all AGA members current through March 31, 2014. Email email@example.com with your AGA ID number and KGS username for access to the room. A schedule is linked in the room and in the AGA Tournament Room. “These games are a fine opportunity for players to test their understanding and technique against stronger players,” says Gilman.
Cup Winner Switch: “The recent article ‘Men’s Team & Women’s Individual Events Launch Go Competitions at SportAccord World Mind Games,’ stated that Fan Tingyu won the Bailing Cup and that Zhou Ruiyang won the Ing Cup,” writes Justin Teng, “but in fact it’s the other way around: Fan Tingyu won the Ing Cup and Zhou Ruiyang won the Bailing Cup.” Good catch, Justin; we’ve corrected the report.
Remembering T Mark Hall: “Some 20 years ago or so, I wanted to learn more about the game I had been briefly introduced to at university and discovered there was a dan-level BGA official living close by,” writes E-Journal British correspondent Tony Collman. “I phoned him and T Mark Hall was kind enough to invite this stranger to come round for a game on the famous goban, where he demonstrated that a beginner can start with 17 stones on the board and end with nothing. In fact I didn’t get into go seriously then, but this year, after having started to really study it thanks to the magic of the internet, I was delighted to renew the acquaintance at the British Open in my home town of Stevenage. T Mark was installed in the lobby of the Cromwell Hotel, just as described by Jon Diamond (but, whether due to current anti-smoking laws or having quit, minus the pipe) and happily chatted away about GoGoD and other matters until he left for dinner. He showed no sign of his illness, nor made any reference to it and it was an honour and a privilege to have had that chance to sit with him.”
Haiku for T Mark Hall: Keith Arnold sent along this haiku in honor of the famously speedy player and GoGoD co-creator who was once banned on IGS.
speed on the go board
careful transcription to bytes
ban over, pipe out
photo: Hall at the 2010 World Amateur Go Championships in China; click here for None Redmond’s interview with him there; photo by John Pinkerton.
The second round of the men’s teams event started at 12:30 p.m. on December 13, following the second round of the women’s individual event. China was matched against Chinese Taipei, Japan against Korea, and Europe against North America. Deputy chief referee Michael Redmond gave the opening instructions.
On the basis of international tournament results during the current century, China and Korea seemed likely to have the advantage in their matches, but Chinese Taipei’s near upset of Korea in the first round raised doubts about the size of that advantage. The match between Europe and North America was harder to predict. North America had won a similar match two year ago, but by a close 3-2 score, and this year the European team had the advantage of youth.
The results of all three matches were decisive. China beat Chinese Taipei 3-0, Korea beat Japan 3-0, and Europe beat Russia 3-0. Following the games, Ranka talked with Russia’s Ilya Shikshin, who had defeated North America’s (Hollywood’s) Daniel Daehyuk Ko, and Slovakia’s Pavol Lisy, who had defeated Canada’s Yongfei Ge.
Ilya Shikshin: ‘Our game started out with a complex opening pattern in which my opponent made several mistakes, so I got the lead. I think I was about twenty points ahead. After that I tried to play simple moves, and my opponent started to take risks, trying to draw me into an error, but in the end I killed a dragon and he resigned.’
Pavol Lisy: ‘I had a bad opening, but then somehow I caught up and even pulled ahead. At one point I thought I was going to win by about six points, nearly the size of the komi. Then something happened to a group of mine in the corner. At first it looked as if I was going to lose all my territory there. I was terrified, but I thought for ten minutes and found a way to rescue it, and after I did, my opponent resigned.’
Here’s the position that caused the terror.
Pavol is white. Yongfei invaded his corner with Black 1-9 in Diagram 1, and suddenly what had looked like 18 points of white territory began to look more like a double life. The saving move that Pavol came up with was White 1 in Diagram 2. After White 3, Yongei abandoned the black stones, played a few moves elsewhere on the board, and then resigned. If he had continued, he can only play as in Diagram 3, but the black group ends up in atari while White still has two liberties left.
Here’s a summary of the match results:
China 3-0 Chinese Taipei: Fan Tingyu beat Chou Chun-hsun, Zhou Ruiyang beat Wang Yuan-jyun. Wang Xi beat Lin Chun-yen
Korea 3-0 Japan: Park Jeonghwan beat Fujita Akihiko, Kim Jiseok beat Hirata Tomoy. Cho Hanseung beat Tsuruta Kazushi
Europe 3-0 North America: Fan Hui beat Huiren Yang, Ilya Shikshin beat Daniel Daehyuk Ko, Pavol Lisy beat Yongfei Ge
- James Davies
The second and third rounds of the Women’s individual event at the third SportAccord World Mind Games were played on Friday, December 13. The second round began at 9:30 in the morning. China’s Wang Chenxing and Yu Zhiying were paired against Japan’s Fujisawa Rina and Mika Yoshida. Korea’s Park Jieun and Oh Jeonga were paired against Chinese Taipei’s Chang Cheng-ping and Joanne Missingham. All players were in their seats in time for the opening instructions, which were given by deputy chief referee Michael Redmond. Time control was one hour per player, followed by three renewable 30-second overtime periods.
On the China-Japan boards, both Chinese players came out ahead. Neither Japanese player resigned, but eventually Wang Chenxing beat Fujisawa Rina by 4-3/4 stones (9.5 points) and Yu Zhiying beat Mika Yoshida by 2-3/4 stones (5.5 points). China has been very hard to beat in international competition this year.
The games between Korea and Chinese Taipei were split. Park Jieun, 9 dan, who has been winning Korean women’s titles since 2000, played Chang Cheng-ping, 4 dan, who made professional shodan in Korea in 1998 and then in Chinese Taipei in 2000. Park won by resignation. Joanne Missingham, however, defeated Oh Jeonga by 2-3/4 stones (5.5 points). Joanne is playing in her third SportAccord World Mind games, and has represented Australia and then Chinese Taipei in numerous international events. Oh Jeonga, for her part, played for Korea at this year’s Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games, winning an individual silver medal and a bronze in pair go.
After an ample break for lunch, the third round began at 3:00 p.m. Starting here, the women’s individual tournament was divided into an undefeated section and a repechage section. In the undefeated section Park Jieun (Korea) was matched against Yu Zhiying (China) and Wang Chenxing (China) was matched against Joanne Missingham.
In one half of the repechage section Natalia Kovaleva (Russia) was matched against Dina Burdakova (Russia) and Svetlana Shikshina (Russia) against Sarah Jin Yu (Canada). The Canadian and the three Russians were now in effect engaged in a knockout to select one player to meet the last player to lose in the undefeated section; the winner of that meeting would proceed into the playoffs for the medals; the loser into the playoff for fourth and fifth places.
Moving into the other half of the rerpechage section were Yoshida Mika (Japan), who was matched against Chang Cheng-Ping (Chinese Taipei), and Oh Jeonga (Korea), who was matched against Fujisawa Rina (Japan).
The results were a complete triumph for the two Chinese players, a disaster for the women from Japan and North America, and a mixture of wins and losses for the women from Korea, Chinese Taipei, and Russia. Wang Chengxing beat Joanne Missingham; Yu Zhiying beat Park Jieun; Chang Cheng-peng beat Yoshida Mika; Oh Jeonga beat Fujisawa Rina; Natalia Kovaleva beat Dina Burdakova; Svetlana Shikshina beat Sarah Jin Yu. The six winners remain in contention. Joanne Missingham and Park Jieun, who recorded their first losses, are also still in contention. The two Chinese, Wang Chengxing and Yu Zhiying, will contend for the final undefeated position in round four.
- James Davies
Ranka: Please tell us about your present life in Canada.
Svetlana: I moved to Canada in late June last summer. We’ve been living in a village with my husband’s parents, and I haven’t really gone anywhere for the last sixth months. I’ve been to only one tournament, the Canadian Open in Toronto in August. I played simultaneous games and saw many players. They had men’s, women’s, and children’s tournaments running at the same time. The winner of the Open was a young Chinese player. Most of the strongest Canadian players came originally from China, although there are a few Caucasian 5- or 6-dan players. I also met some professional players who were visiting from Korea and had a chance to speak Korean with them. It took three hours to get there, so I stayed there for the tournament, but I can’t do that type of thing often.
Ranka: And what were you doing before you came to Canada?
Svetlana: I was living in Russia, and I was doing many things, teaching in schools and playing in tournaments, but I can’t do that in Canada yet. We need to move to a bigger city first.
Ranka: Since you have Korean professional qualifications, will you continue to play in Korean professional tournaments?
Svetlana: In 2007 I moved back to Russia to have a baby. In January 2008 I got a letter from the Korean Baduk Association in which they told my they had promoted me from shodan to 3 dan, but I had to sign some papers agreeing to work to spread the game in Russia and other countries, and not to participate in Korean professional tournaments in the future–only in international tournaments.
Ranka: Are you now teaching Canadian go players?
Svetlana: No, there are very few people in the village where I live, and our house is far away from everything else. Even to go shopping you need a car, but I don’t have a driver’s license, so I just stay home. I only teach on the Internet.
Ranka: Please tell us more about your Internet teaching activities.
Svetlana: I have six or seven students. They’re from Russia or other European countries, but one of them is from Canada.
Ranka: Are you and your husband planning to live in Canada permanently?
Svetlana: Yes, but we intend to travel to Russia every summer, or at least I would like to take my son to Russia every summer, so that he won’t forget how to speak Russian. After going to school in Canada for six months, now when he speaks to me, sometimes he puts in English words when he can’t remember the Russian word.
Ranka: To change the subject, we’d like to ask you how you rate your brother Ilya.
Svetlana: I think he is as strong as the shodan women professional players in Japan and Korea, but still weaker than the shodan men professional players in those countries. But when he won the European championship a few years ago he was the strongest European player, and he is still one of the strongest.
Ranka: Can you tell us anything about the plans to start a professional system in Europe?
Svetlana: There is talk about this, but there was also talk about it a few years ago and nothing has happened yet. I’ll believe it when I see it.
Rank: Please tell us about the time you won the European Championship.
Svetlana: That was in 2006. That was my best tournament ever. I lost only two games and won the other eight. One player I lost to was Professor Lee Kibong, amateur 7 dan, my teacher at Myongji University in Korea. The other was to a Japanese player. The European Championship was an open tournament so anyone could participate. One of the eight players I beat was my brother Ilya. I beat him twice, in the European Championship and in the Masters’ Tournament, which I also won. Because of winning those two tournaments I was able to come to the Fujitsu Cup for one last time in 2007.
Ranka: Finally, what would you like to do to spread the game of go in the future?
Svetlana: If possible, I would like to start teaching children in Canada. When I was in Russia I taught at a chess club. Besides chess, they taught draughts and go. I was teaching primary school children. They liked my lessons, and when I had to leave they were all sad–some children even cried–they didn’t want me to stop teaching them. So I would like to teach children in Canada too, but I need go sets and a big demonstration board. I’ve already talked to the director of the school my son attends. They say I can teach there on a volunteer basis. The parents would probably approve of go lessons, because I wrote a paper about how go makes you smarter. Maybe next spring I’ll be able to start teaching at that school, if we can get the equipment.
Ranka: Thank you very much.
Note: be sure to check out Svetlanas website.
We asked the Chief Executive Officer of FIDE, Geoffrey Borg, to give us the low-down on the chess tournament at this year’s SportAccord World Mind Games.
You can tell by their ears!
A sign of stress, this subconscious signal is enough to guess the outcome of an important game, according to Mr Borg. It seems that chess, like go, has its fair share of ear-reddening games. But what differentiates our two games?
I think one of the great things about go is the ko rule, preventing repetition of positions. In chess we are plagued with draws and it can reduce the entertainment value for spectators. If you think of chess as a game of war, the stalemate rule makes no sense. If your opponent’s king is trapped without a safe place to move, he deserves to lose!
Ian Nepomniachtchi, with the formidable Elo rating of 2721, is one of Russia’s hopefuls in this year’s competition. We asked him his impressions of the game of go.
Actually I have never tried to play, but my friend has recently started to learn. As a chess player I am interested in go because, unlike in chess, the top human players are still far superior to computers.
Recently there have been many scandals in chess involving cheating with computers, and with the inevitable improvement of go software, perhaps we can learn from the chess world how to deal with this problem before it arises.
There are also many who are unsatisfied with the dan/kyu ranking system used in go. These ratings do not change dynamically and are in most cases kept as honorary titles for life, and therefore often do not reflect the current strength of the player. Furthermore, there exist many variations in the systems used in each region. But what does Nepomniachtchi think about the so-called Elo system used in chess?
The rating system we use serves as an objective indicator of a player’s current strength. In the past it was updated only twice a year but now ratings are recalculated on a monthly basis. There are also separate ratings for each time setting (e.g. standard and blitz). In chess we make heavy use of rankings to determine tournament qualification, so it is important to ensure they are accurate.
And what about draws in chess? Would an anti-repetition rule benefit the game?
I believe chess is already well balanced and that there is no need to change the rules. Draws are just a part of chess and I see no reason why a draw should not be given if both players are performing at a similar level.
It seems both sports have a thing to learn from each other. Will we see a universal rating for go, or anti-drawing measures in chess?
- John Richardson
Day 1 Summary: Men’s teams: China beat North America 3-0, Korea beat Chinese Taipei 2-1, Japan beat Europe 3-0. Women’s individual: Yu Zhiying (China) beat Dina Burdakova (Europe/Russia), Chang Cheng-ping (Chinese Taipei) beat Natalia Kovaleva (Europe/Russia), Oh Jeonga (Korea) beat Sarah Jin Yu (North America/US), Fujisawa Rina (Japan) beat Svetlana Shikshina (Europe/Russia). CLICK HERE TO WATCH SAWMG DAY 1 HIGHLIGHTS. Note: click on hotlinked names below for game records, uncommented unless otherwise indicated.
In the match between China and North America, the game between Wang Xi (China) and Yongfei Ge (Canada) was played at a rapid pace, with Ge challenging Wang to an early ko fight. Wang won the ko and captured five white stones in the center, then used his central power to attack and capture White’s largest group. Ge resigned and the game was over in less than an hour. The other two North American players held out longer, but Huiren Yang resigned to 17-year-old Ing Cup-winner Fang Tingyu in less than two hours, and Daniel Daehyuk Ko, after playing his game out nearly to the end and seeing that he was more than ten points behind, resigned to the Bailing Cup winner Zhou Ruiyang. The Ko-Zhou game (click here for Michael Redmond 9P’s game commentary) was broadcast to a live YouTube audience with a running commentary by Michael Redmond 9P.
The European team put up more stubborn resistance in their match with Japan, but Ilya Shikshin lost by 4.5 points to 19-year-old Hirata Tomoya (photo at right; click here for Michael Redmond 9P’s game commentary); Fan Hui managed to rescue a beleaguered group in a ko fight but eventually had to resign against New King (Shinjin-O) title-holder Fujita Akihiko; and in a battle of 18-year-olds, Pavol Lisy struggled to a 28.5-point loss to Tsuruta Kazuya.
The Korean team was matched against Chinese Taipei. In the first round of the men’s team event in the first SportAccord World Mind Games two years ago, Chinese Taipei had given Korea a bad scare by winning on two of the five boards. This year, with only three boards, Korea could not afford two losses. Both sides played deliberately from the outset. Around four o’clock it looked as if the younger player might win on all three boards, and two of the younger players were from Chinese Taipei. Two of these predictions held up: Park Jeonghwan (Korea, age 19) defeated Chou Chun-hsun (Chinese Taipei, age 33) by half a point on board one, and Lin Chun-yen (Chinese Taipei, age 15) defeated Cho Hanseung (Korea, age 31) by resignation on board three. On board two, however, Kim Jiseok (Korea, age 23) fought back to overcome Wang Yuan-jyun (Chinese Taipei, age 17) by 1.5 points. “I was behind from the opening,” said Kim. “I finally managed to catch up in the endgame, but because of the large number of prisoners it was hard to calculate the score accurately. It wasn’t until I won the ko on the right side that I thought I might be ahead.”
- James Davies, Ranka Online. Click here for his complete Day 1 report, the SAWMG Day 1 report, Day 1 men’s results & women’s results.
CORRECTION: this post has been updated to reflect that Fan Tingyu won the Ing Cup and Zhou Ruiyang won the Bailing Cup, rather than the other way around, as originally reported.
After a last minute defeat in a tense game with the young Chinese star Yu Zhiying 4p, Ranka had the pleasure to speak with Japan’s Yoshida Mika 8p, former winner of the Women’s Honinbo.
Ranka: Could you tell us a little about your game this morning?
Yoshida: A tragic loss! I felt I was playing on top form throughout the early and middle stages of the game, then it all fell apart at the end. I am devastated to have missed this opportunity to secure a victory.
Ranka: We hear you have recently started flamenco dancing – what got you into that?
Yoshida: I love music and dance. My first encounter with flamenco was in my twenties on a visit to Spain. “That’s it!” I thought. But in the end I never got round to learning, and it was only this March when I reencountered the dance and decided to take it up seriously. Looking back at my game this morning, maybe my future is in flamenco…!
Ranka: How else do you spend your free time when away from the go board?
Yoshida: That’s about it these days. I have been very busy with my two daughters.
Ranka: How have you managed your time now you are a mother?
Yoshida: My two daughters are nine and six now, but when they were still young I took a six year break from go. It was impossible to continue playing and studying, and I felt it was an important time to spend with my children. Now they are at school, so I can find some spare time to study in the mornings.
Ranka: We wish you success in the rest of your games.
- John Richardson
T Mark Hall died on Monday, December 9 after a long illness. Perhaps best-known throughout the global go community as the co-creator of GoGoD (Games of Go on Disk), the exhaustive go encyclopaedia, Hall “was a long and faithful servant of the British Go Association, of British go in general,” said BGA president — and longtime friend — Jon Diamond. “He was on our Council for some 22 years, serving for 20 of these as Treasurer, a record of service that will surely be unsurpassed.” “T Mark Hall’s work benefited go players around the world,” said American Go Association president Andy Okun. “We extend our thanks and deepest sympathies to our British go colleagues who so generously shared his gifts with us.” John Fairbairn, Hall’s longtime friend and GoGoD colleague, said that “British Go has been blessed with many fine servants, but very high among them will rank T Mark Hall. I was with him in the last months and hours and so I can testify that he had borne his long illness with great dignity and courage – nonchalance even.” Hall continued to work on GoGoD until very near the end and as recently as April played in the British Open, where he came in fourth. “Mark wished to continue his work for the British Go Association even after he was gone, and has made substantial bequests accordingly,” Diamond says. He also donated his antique go board to the British Museum and asked that GoGoD continue; Diamond says “I hope to keep his flame alive there, although frankly he will be quite irreplaceable.” Diamond added that “Mark was not just well known. He was popular…He will be remembered by many for sitting at tournaments and other events after his game was over with his pipe and chatting to all and sundry. He will be sorely missed.”
- photo courtesy BGA
Fourteen pairs of go players gathered at the Seattle Go Center Saturday night, December 7, for a gala dress-up event that included two rounds of Pair Go and three kinds of cake provided by the stylish Bakery Nouveau of Capitol Hill. Among the strong players, the winning team was “EASTWEST” – Momoko Tsutsui and Jon Friedman. TD Bill Chiles reported that the middle group was led by Deborah Niedermeyer and Brian Allen. The aptly named “DRESS TO KILL”, Marilyn and Rainer Romatka, ruled the last group. Participants enjoyed door prizes from Pandanet Internet Go, while the winners received fans with calligraphy from the Go Center. At the end of the holiday evening, organizer Bill Thompson revealed his secret plan to make this an annual event, and there was no objection. Photo by Joe Schneider, report by Brian Allen
“Sitting in front of a clay oven in which the temperature is kept at 1,200 C, workers use a traditional tool to precisely drop melted materials onto an iron board,” reports ChinaDaily.com. “ As a result, crystal-clear Go pieces, which look like black jade along with the color white, immediately appear. This is how the world-famous Yunzi, the special Go pieces, are produced… Yunzi is short for Yunnan Go pieces, and has a history of more than 500 years. The ancient process of making Yunzi was lost towards the end ofthe Ming Dynasty. In 1974, researchers found the formula from ancient Go pieces and the process remained a secret…” Read more here (be sure to click on the photo to see the entire gallery of how the stones are made).