Ireland finally returned to winning ways tonight, eventually taking Cyprus down after a tense struggle. After Gavin got a bit carried away on board 1, we found ourselves on the wrong side of 1-0. Gradually though, helped by a series of rip-offs, we ploughed our way, Gibson-like, to a 3-1 victory.
The tournament to select the player representing Chinese Taipei in the upcoming World Amateur Go Championship was held at the Ta-an Junior High School in Taipei March 16-17. The entry requirement was an amateur ranking of 6 dan or higher. The 65 participants included several insei and, at the other end of the spectrum, Chen Shi, winner of professional titles in the mid-1980s, who took a decade out to earn a PhD in chemistry in the United States, later retired as a professional go player, and now competes as an amateur.
Dr. Chen was one of sixteen who survived the initial rounds played on the 16th. About half of the other survivors were insei, but most of them fell in the next two rounds, which narrowed the field down to just four players. All four were junior high-school students: Wang I-nan, the local favorite since he attends Ta-an Junior High; Huang Tao-lung of Yuang-lin Junior High; Tseng Ping-sin, who attends Yung-an Junior High and played for Chinese Taipei in the International Amateur Pair Go Championship in 2011; and Lin Hsin-wei of Fushan Junior High in Kaohsiung. Lin was the only insei left and he was in good form; he had posted the best record (12-2) in the February Southern Taiwan Insei League. In his last game on the 16th he had beaten Lo Sheng-chieh, men's bronze medalist at the World Mind Sports Games in Lille last August.
In the afternoon playoff among these four, first Tseng defeated Wang and Lin defeated Huang; then Lin decisevely beat Tseng to win a place at the WAGC, plus a first prize of 30,000 Taiwan dollars (about 1000 U.S. dollars). Wang beat Huang to take the third prize (10,000 Taiwan dollars).
The Irish Go Congress, held on the first three days of March at the Teachers Club in Dublin, began with a handicapped five-round Swiss System rapid tournament played on the evening of March 1. Sixteen players participated, bearing six nationalities and ranks ranging from 4 dan to 10 kyu. Chinese 4-dan Yuanbo Zhang took first with a perfect 5-0 score, beating Zebin Du, another Chinese 4-dan, in the final round. Thomas Shanahan (7-kyu) and Irish champion Roman Pszonka (3-dan) scored 4-1 results to take third and second places, while Du Zebin finished fourth. Full results are here.
Next came the main event, the 2nd Confucius Cup, a five-round McMahon tournament played on March 2-3 with sponsorship from the Confucius Institute for Ireland. The field now expanded to 48 players of 11 nationalities, ranked 6 dan to 20 kyu. In the first round Roman Pszonka lost to the 6-dan, Hungary's Csaba Mero, who had won the 1st Confucius Cup last year. Csaba then beat the eventual 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 6th placers -- Zebin Du (China), Antoine Fenech (France), Brunner Vit (Czechia), and Renaud Julien (France) -- in succession to take first place, while Roman placed eighth. The key game was Csaba's half-point victory over Zebin Du in round 2. Two kyu-level players, Roger Daniel (UK) and Mikulas Kubita (Czechia) also finished unbeaten. Full results are here.
The AGA Go Camp is confirmed for this summer, and will be held two weeks before the Go Congress, from July 20 to July 27. Camp directors Nano Rivera and Amanda Miller will return to organize the event, in an all new location - YMCA Camp T. Frank Soles in Rockwood, PA, about two hours outside of Pittsburgh. Campers from the ages of 8 to 18, of all skill levels, are invited for a week of go-playing and fun. More information regarding the camp will be available on the AGA camp page soon, and registration will open within the next two weeks. Inquiries can be sent to Amanda Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org. All youth who played in the USYGC are eligible for $400 AGF scholarships to camp, and needs based scholarships will also be available. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo by Shawn Ray: Campers try their hand at one-color go, with a computer assist, at last year’s go camp.
Six young students have won free lessons with professional go players, as part of a new AGF program that is being supported by a private donor. Winners wrote essays on why they wanted the lessons, and some submitted letters of recommendation as well. The winners include a 12 kyu from Illinois, a 7 kyu from New York, a 21 kyu from Washington, two kyu players from Georgia, and a 5 kyu from Texas. The teachers are Yi Lun Yang 7P, Janice Kim 3P, and Jennie Shen 2P, who will give each student six lessons. Four more students will be selected at a future date as well. ”We expect these kids to keep playing, learning, and to try to pass along the knowledge they gain to other players, particularly young people,” writes program organizer Keith Arnold . -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo: Janice Kim 3P
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Lee Sedol has driven the AGA-Europe team to two stones in the ongoing AGA-Europe Pro vs. Sedol 10-Game Series on go9dan.com. In the most recent match, Lee defeated Catalin Taranu, making the overall score 6-0 in his favor. Lee will play Andy Liu on Saturday, March 16 at 10p EDT. Click here for the Round 6 game record; Taranu said he was thinking about 35 at 36 as an alternative, but Sedol commented that 35 was good. “25 should be at 41. 45 is too slow. Instead black should play at around 54 or 47 to grow b’s moyo. Black 93 would have been thick at 94, instead of creating two weak groups. White’s move 114 was strange. If b played 133 instead of 131, then it would have been better for black. But after black’s 45 and w was able to reduce b’s upper moyo at w46, the game is comfortable for white.”
Lee Changho, Park Younghoon and Shi Yue lead go9dan’s World Go League Invitational, all with 4-1 records. Lee Sedol will play Xie He at 7a EDT on Saturday, March 16. Lee defeated Fan, Kong, Xie and Kim, losing to Shi; Park defeated Lee Sedol, Fan, Park Junghwan and Kim, losing to Kong; Shi beat Lee Sedol, Lee Changho, Xie and Chen, losing to Kong. Click here for game records and standings.
Blackie’s International Baduk Academy (The Traveling Go Board 1/19/2013 EJ) will offer their first summer camp this June. “We hope that kids can join to our camp, but anyone is welcomed,” Kim Seung-jun tells the E-Journal. “No age or rank limit, just like in BIBA.” The camp will run June 24 through July 23 in Seoul, South Korea. In addition to helping students improve, the camp’s goals include facilitating cultural exchanges through the game of baduk (go). Highlights of the camp include game reviews and commentaries, studying life and death problems and professional games as well as games; teachers include Kim Seung-jun 9P, Diana Koszegi 1P, On So-jin 7P and Park Young-un 7d. Other activities include visiting the Hangkuk Kiwon and meeting with famous professional players, visiting the Kwon Gap Yong Baduk Academy in Seoul, as well as playing sports in a nearby park and visits to the sea. Click here for details and to register.
- photo courtesy BIBA
This year's European Youth Go Championship, held at the Budai Sport Hotel in Budapest March 8-10, was again dominated by Eastern European players. As last year, they won all three divisions: under 20, under 16, and under 12.
Seventeen youths from ten different countries competed in the U20 division. Slovak champion Pavol Lisy (6d) started out by beating Germany's Jonas Welticke (4d) and Israel's Ali Jabarin (6d) in rounds 1 and 2. Then he disposed of last year's winner and runner-up Lukas Podpera (6d, Czechia) and Aleksandr Vashurov (5d, Russia) in rounds 3 and 4, and finished by beating Frantisek Caha (5k, Czechia) and Dominik Boviz (3d, Hungary) to win the championship with a perfect 6-0 score. His opponents came in 5th, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 9th, and 6th, respectively.
The U16 championship was contested by 47 players. Nearly a third were Hungarian, but it was Stepan Popov (3d, Russia) and Silvestru State (1d, Romania) who ended on top with identical 5-1 scores. Stepan had beaten Silvestru in round 2 and took first place on tie-breaking points despite losing his final game to Vjacheslav Kajmin (2d, Russia), who took third place. For Stepan it was a case of coming through on the third try: he had finished second in 2011 and 2012.
The U12 division had 64 contestants, with large blocs from Russia, Hungary, and the Ukraine. Valerii Krushelnytskyi (1d, Ukraine), the only dan-ranked player, defeated five Russian opponents and one Romanian opponent to finish first with a perfect 6-0 record for the second consecutive year.
By winning the U16 and U12 divisions, Stepan and Valerii earned berths in the World Youth Go Championship scheduled for August in Praha.
There was also a U99 McMahon side tournament, won by the Ukraine's Viktor Redila (8k).
Complete results, pictures, and further information are available at the tournament website.
The European Youth Go Championships were held in Budapest, Hungary from March 8-10. Pavol Lisy 6d (right) won the Under 20 event, Stepan Popov 3d (left) won the Under 16 and Valerii Krushelnytskyi 1d won the Under 12.
Complete results tables and latest European tournament results available on EuroGoTV’s website.
Will some future history of go in the Netherlands refer to this decade, and perhaps several decades to come, as the Kuin dynasty? This year Merlijn and Marika Kuin, the Netherlands' outstanding go-playing couple, won both the Dutch Championship and the Dutch Women's Championship, as they also did in 2011. This was Merlijn's fifth championship and Marika's third.
The Dutch Championship was an 8-round Swiss system with 16 contestants, played at the European Go Cultural Centre in Amstelveen over a span of two weeks in January. Reigning champion Alexander Eerbeek and 2010 champion Geert Groenen got off to bad starts by losing their first games. So did Zeno van Ditzhuijzen, whose victory over Merlijn Kuin last year had given the 2012 championship to Alexander. Zeno then made a splended recovery by winning all seven of his remaining games, including another victory over Merlijn in round 5. This was Merlijn's only loss, so he and Zeno finished in a 1-2 tie with seven wins apiece while Frank Janssen took undisputed third place with six wins. Since the Dutch Championship is not awarded on the basis of tie-breaking points, a best-of-three playoff between Merlijn and Zeno was scheduled for mid-February.
While the championship rounds were finishing up on January 26-27, Marika Kuin sailed undefeated through the Dutch Women's Championship, as she also did in 2011 and 2012. Marieke Overbeek took second place with four wins in this 5-round, 8-player Swiss system. Please read Marika's perspective here. The championship playoff was held with live coverage on EuroGoTV. Merlijn won the first game, played at the EGCC on February 16, by resignation. Next day the playoff moved to the Hotel Theater Figi in Zeist and Merlijn won again, this time by 2.5 points. Full results of both championships, with clickable game records of the playoff (bekijk partij), are available here.
A go board shows up in New World, the 2013 South Korean noir film written and directed by Park Hoon-jung. Starring Lee Jung-jae, Choi Min-shik and Hwang Jung-min, the film — released just last month — shows the conflict between the police and the mob through the eyes of an undercover cop. Click here to see a trailer.
Thanks to Vincent DiMattia for the tip.
That (Folding Board Query 3/8 EJ) looks a lot like the folding Agathis boards — B101, B102 & B104 — currently available from Kiseido,” writes Paul Barchilon. “Samarkand used to sell them too. I had one that lasted fairly well, though it did have metal hinges. I made it sit flat by putting little felt circles on the four corners. The lines eventually came off around the center, but that was after several years of frequent use. They used to sell the same model with a fabric backing, which is probably the one Ramon saw. One could inquire from Kiseido about this, and show them a copy of the photo.”
“That board looks like one that I’ve seen for sale at Uwajimaya, a Japanese grocery and market in downtown Seattle,” adds Dennis Wheeler. “Or it’s also possible that its from Shiga’s imports in the University District (near the Seattle Go Center). I’ll try to remember to stop in to see what they each currently have to offer the next time I’m nearby and report back again.”
Players from Kazan dominated the first Polymetal Rapid Cup, held in Saint Petersburg, Russia on March 8-10. Ilya Shikshin 7d (far left in photo) of Kazan won the individual event, while the Kazan team (photo at right) swept the team event. Kazan is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Tatarstan in Russia. The first official Russian fast go tournament, the Cup was sponsored by Polymetal plc, a leading precious metals producer in Russia and Kazakhstan.
Despite many Russian players being away at the European Youth Go Championship in Budapest, 39 players and 9 teams took part in the Polymetal Rapid Cup competitions. The Russian Go Federation and local go supporters ensured a friendly atmosphere for newcomers with public go classes for beginners, a tea ceremony and relaxing facilities.
Organizers hope the Polymetal Rapid Cup launches a new era of fast go events, including rapid, blitz and lightning. While these formats are very popular in the Russian chess world, they’ve not previously been tried out in general go competitions, where players are expecting to face more new and exciting go events.
Results: Individual: 1st: Ilya Shikshin 7d, 2nd: Dmitriy Surin 6d, 3rd: Alexander Dinerchtein 3P. Team tournament: 1st: Kazan team; Ilya Shikshin, Alexander Dinerchtein, Svetlana Shikshina and Igor Nemliy. 2nd: Moscow City; 3rd: Republic of Karelia. Click here for individual results and tournament photos.
- Daria Koshkina, EJ Russia Correspondent; photo by Michail Krylov/ Russian Go Federation
A number of years ago, our family made a habit of renting a cabin in New England during the summer, and part of the ritual was having Don Wiener come to visit us. Needless to say, the days Don was there became a total immersion in go (and second-hand smoke). I got used to being punished repeatedly at any number of handicap stones, but I learned so much from watching his magic at work. It was only after Don drummed into my head that it wasn’t magic, but my own stubbornness that resulted in total collapse time and time again, that I began to appreciate the value of defending weak groups, an essential ingredient to begin to become stronger. I am grateful for those lessons.
Don and I shared another common interest – a love of music. Besides his speed-typing talent alluded to in a previous article, Don was a very capable pianist. One of the few other people I know who had a goban under their Steinway, he had won several national awards in the Piano Guild, and could blaze through a Chopin Etude.
And a word about Don’s attitude about go and life. Don was the ultimate go hippie who believed in the power of go to reflect one’s personal choices. While some people like to say that go is a metaphor for life, Don preferred to say that “life is like go!”
Finally, you haven’t heard snoring unless you experienced a night with Don in the guest room. On one of these occasions, my daughters came into our room in the middle of the night fearful the cabin was about to crumble. I mean, the joint was rocking! Imagine the 6:00 Express rumbling through the station during an earthquake and you have some idea of the magnitude of Don’s snoring.
So a final fond farewell to Don-san san-dan, as he was known when a mere 3-dan. I am grateful for having known him. We had whole lot of good times together, and… I still believe it was magic.
- Haskell Small; photo by Phil Straus
reviewed by James Acres
GoCommentary.com is a cool service from Nate Lee, a very strong amateur player living in Shanghai. His work is kind of like Yuan Zhou’s “Deep Thought” books, except that what Nate does is create a video in which he narrates a professional game while he plays out the moves and some key variations for you.
At first I felt like there would be something lazy about just watching a video of a game. After all, if you aren’t even putting stones on the board yourself, how can you possibly be doing any learning?
But the thing I’ve found about Nate’s commentaries is that they help me appreciate some of the strategic and tactical subtleties of a great professional game, without my having to do much work. And since he provides the game record, you can review the game yourself as many times as you like before or after watching the commentary.
The first thing that Nate does is name most every move. So he’ll say something like “white star point, black keima approach, white jump, black side extension…” which is very helpful in getting into the flow of the game. But at the same time, Nate will choose some specific strategic point on which to hang his narrative of the game, which particularly highlights the difference between the professional and the amateur.
For example, in his commentary on Game Six of the jubango between Go Seigen and Fujisawa Kuranosuke, Nate is careful to explain how Go sacrifices a group simply to build a a four-stone wall in the middle of the board, and how that thickness was decisive to the game. In other games he’s focused on how professionals think about ko, and prepare themselves for ko by not just creating ko threats for themselves, but even deciding to make the ko itself worth more so as to obviate some of their opponent’s threats.
Finally, Nate throws a little John Fairbairn-style historical commentary into the mix, which adds to the fun. To be clear though, where with John the historical context can be seen as the main course, with Nate it is added purely as spice.
All in all, Nate’s videos are the only thing I’ve found in English that let me just be a spectator of a professional game. And that’s a fine thing for those evenings when the kids are in bed, I’m too tired to play or do problems, but still want to spend some time with go. I very much recommend them, both his free sample videos and his subscription service. The subscription service is $5/month, and he makes two commentaries per month, which seem to average about 45min each.
Finally, I do believe Nate’s commentaries have helped me gain a little strength. I was able to push myself firmly into dan territory on Dragon Go when I started watching his videos. I’m not saying that Nate’s videos are anywhere near as valuable as doing problems for getting stronger. But if you follow his habit of naming all your moves, then it does give you a useful structure on which to hang your thoughts while you’re playing.
Yuqiao Shen, Yinli Wang, Chris Roose and Devin Flake have joined the AGA’s webmaster team, which manages the AGA’s website and online communications. They join Steve Colburn, who leads the team, Rachel Small, the new Pair Go Coordinator, who’s managing the new Pair Go Facebook page, Bart Jacobs, who’s coordinating our new Facebook page, and Jonathan Bresler, Andrew Jackson and Anna Wiggins, who are working on bringing the AGA Database back online. “We’re really fortunate to have such a terrific team of dedicated folks,” says Colburn.
The E-Journal team has openings for two news editors, as Ben Williams – who’s been editing world go news reports – and Taylor Litteral – who’s been editing European go news reports – move on to other projects. Anyone interested should email email@example.com; no experience necessary but enthusiasm and a good sense of humor helpful. “We owe Ben and Taylor a huge round of thanks,” said EJ Managing Editor Chris Garlock. “They took time from their own personal go boards to bring E-Journal readers go news from around the world, and we really appreciate all their great work.”
Two weeks before China's 16-year-old Fan Tingyu became the youngest player ever to gain a major international professional go title by winning the Ing Cup, 13-year-old He Yuhan showed that even younger players can gain big titles by winning the Amateur Tianyuan, a major national tournament in China. This is actually his second major triumph; he won the top youth division of the Lark Cup in 2011, at age 12.
Also known as the Qingyun Cup, the Amateur Tianyuan was played at the New World Hotel in Lishui on February 18-22. The tournament drew seventy amateur players to this city in a part of China noted for its forests and mineral resources. Most of the players had 5-dan rankings, but the field included three 7-dans: Hu Yuqing, Wang Chen, and Qian Liuru, who finished 1-2-4 in this year's Evening News Cup. He Yuhan was one of seventeen 6-dans. The tournament was run as a 9-round Swiss system with 75-minute time limits and no overtime.
He's first opponent was Sha Xingyu, who was five years older and had won the Hotel Cup last November. The game was played in the evening of February 18 and He made a good start by winning it. After drawing somewhat easier opponents in the next three rounds, He then scored his fifth straight victory by beating China's top-rated amateur Hu Yuqing in round 5 on February 20. In round 6 He beat the only other undefeated player left to take sole posession of the lead. Next morning, however, He lost to Qian Liuru. Hu Yuqing also lost in this round, to Feng Yi. He, Qian, and Feng won in the afternoon to stand neck-and-neck at 7-1.
The deciding final round was held on the morning of February 22. He's last opponent was Beijing University student Wang Tianyi, who won a gold medal playing xiangqi (Chinese chess) at the 2012 World Mind Games. Not only is Wang China's xiangqi champion; he is also rated among China's top fifty amateur go players, but He prevailed. Meanwhile Feng beat Qian to tie He with eight wins and one loss, but He had better SOS points. He's triumph brings honor to his native city of Chongqing and to the Nie Weiping Daochang where he trains.
March 16: Tempe, AZ
Arizona March AGA Rating Tournament
Bill Gundberg firstname.lastname@example.org 480-831-5567
March 17: Oakland, CA
Bay Area Go Players Association Monthly AGA Ratings Tournament
Roger Schrag email@example.com 510-501-2701
Steve Burrall firstname.lastname@example.org 916-688-2858
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