The Seattle Go Center held a large tournament to celebrate their 20th anniversary on Saturday, Oct. 3. It was the largest fall tournament they have had in many years, with 48 players participating. The well organized TD’s, Bill Chiles and Dan Top, kept the event on schedule despite the large crowd. The players were smoothly distributed in terms of strength, so that most of the handicapped games used small handicaps. (88% of the handicapped games used two stones or less.) The next day, Kuma Sensei 6P from the Nihon Ki-in gave a lecture reviewing tournament games.
The Open Section had 8 players and was won by longtime Northwest champion Edward Kim 7d. Edward bested Chanseok Oh, Jeremiah Donley, and Peter Nelson in his three games. Peter Nelson placed 2nd in the Open Section.
Chris Kirschner won all his games in the Dan Handicapped Section, winning that section. Chris is one of the founders of the Go Center, and one of its most active volunteers. Ben Hakala placed 2nd. Jung Doo Nam won the Single Digit Kyu Player Handicapped Section, with David Snow placing second. Mark Richardson won the Double Digit Kyu Player Handicapped Section, with Lucy Wang placing second.
Photo Captions: (Top) Andy Okun, President of the AGA, playing Harry van der Krogt of the European Go Cultural Center in a friendly game in the tatami room of the Seattle Go Center. (Bottom) First round of the tournament. Photos and report by Brian Allen.
by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal
Iyama defends Meijin title: The fourth game of the 40th Meijin title match was held at the Kashikojima Hojoen, a traditional inn in Shima City in Mie Prefecture, on October 5 and 6. Playing black, Iyama Yuta (right) forced a resignation after 227 moves and so defended his Meijin title with four straight wins. This is his third Meijin title in a row and his fifth overall. The game started with Iyama playing a little too aggressively. Takao (left) swallowed up an important black stone, but Iyama kept fighting relentlessly, so he didn’t get a chance to take the lead. The game developed into an enormous fight, but Takao missed his best chance to attack. Iyama increased the pressure in a fight among a number of eyeless groups and eventually came out on top. Takao was unable to improve on his score in his challenge to Iyama for the 35th Meijin title. At the moment, Iyama seems unstoppable. He has defended all the titles in his quadruple crown and next will be aiming at restoring his sextuple crown, with Oza and Tengen challenges starting soon. He has improved his chances in these matches by finishing off the Meijin match early. The above win was his 15th in a row, which is a new personal record.
Kisei knockout tournament begins: The first game in the irregular knockout tournament to decide the Kisei challenger was played on October 1. B League-winner Yamada Kimio 9P (B) beat Kyo Kagen 3P, winner of the C League, by resig.
Honinbo League starts: The 71st Honinbo League got off to a start on October 1 with a game between two heavyweights, Yamashita Keigo 9P and Kono Rin 9P. Playing black, Yamashita won by resig. He has made a good start in his bid to repeat as challenger.
Korea wins 2nd O-kage Cup: The O-kage (gratitude) Cup is an international tournament for players 30 or under sponsored by Hamada Sogyo and the tourist shops in Okage-Yokocho (Gratitude Alley) in the city of Ise. This year the scale was expanded from three-player to five-player teams from Japan, Korea, China, and Chinese Taipei. The extra two places went to women players. Korea showed overwhelming strength. In the first section, an all-play-all league, it lost only two games out of 15, beating Japan 4-1, Chinese Taipei 5-0, and China 4-1. The other three teams tied for second place, each with one win and two losses, but Japan took second place, thanks to having scored seven individual wins to China’s six. On the top board, Ida Atsushi 8P won all his games. Chinese Taipei took fourth place, but it will be satisfied with a rare victory over the Chinese team (3-2). In the final, Korea was awesome, beating Japan 5-0. In the play-off for 3rd place, China took revenge on Chinese Taipei, not dropping a game. There were five prizes for top individual performances; these were all won by Koreans. In an interview, the Korean coach Yang Keon 9P commented: ‘I think we did too well. But I did feel that our activity since setting up a national team has borne fruit little by little.’ He said that the members of the national team study from 10 to 5 every day, playing games and studying the opening. As a result, he said, he felt that they were beginning to catch up with China. Concerning the Japanese team, he commented: ‘Their level is extremely high. I think that one factor in our getting this kind of result is there’s a gap in research into the opening.’ In Korea, a lot of time is devoted to studying the opening; rivals will study together and try to work out definitive openings. The accumulation [of knowledge] makes a big difference. ‘We believe that, with the deluge of information (game records), selecting the best patterns and doing research at a more advanced level is important.’ photo: Okage with the sponsors
Tomorrow: Fujisawa Rina makes good start in title defense; Women’s Meijin League; Iyama wins Agon Kiriyama title
October 15-17: Ramat Gan, Israel
Israeli 19th Open Go Championship
Shavit Fragman +972-54-4500453
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Three U.S. players will participate in the 17th Ibero-American Championship Tournament October 9-11 in Cuba, where leading Latin American players will compete to determine a champion. Last year in Quito, Ecuador there were 47 players of all levels from eleven countries. Besides Latin America, players also came from Korea, the United Kingdom and the U.S. “Havana is a city rich in history all the way from the 16th century to modern times,” says attendee Bob Gilman, who’s organized several US-Cuba exchanges. “I am eagerly looking forward to playing and extending my relationships with Latin American players.” There is information about the tournament here, and Gilman says people wanting to learn more are welcome to write him at email@example.com.
photo: Cuban Go Federation Rafael Torres Miranda (left) and Cuban go organizer Lazaro Bueno Perez at the 2015 US Go Congress; photo by Phil Straus
The latest edition of the American Go Association Tournament Regulations have been posted on the AGA’s Tournament Resources page, where you’ll find everything local organizers need to run a tournament. “The essence of go is competition, and tournament play takes that rivalry to its highest level,” says the AGA. “Running a tournament will strengthen your club. You will get to know new players from your area, and you may even build your club’s treasury!”
Organizing a tournament is probably easier than you think, especially if you can put some of local club members to work. Size doesn’t matter. A “tournament” can be held with as few as two players, and there are several interesting formats for as few as four players. Tournament game results can be submitted for AGA rating, a major attraction many tournament players.
As an added bonus, “We will be printing new ‘Cotsen Open’ branded products, including never before seen playmat travel go boards with original art,” reports Tournament Organizer Samantha Davis.
photo: Yilun Yang 7P plays pro-pro game at the 2014 Cotsen Open; photo by Chris Garlock
With five straights victories, Tom Chen 5D of Sydney swept the 2015 Australian Digital Championship. Open to players from Australia and New Zealand, the tournament was the first from either country held on the internet (KGS and OGS), and took place during the month of September. The reserve champion in second place was Ken Xie of New Zealand 5D with four victories, beating out third place Xin Lei 3D of UNSW by half a point of SOS. Kudos to the pack of players on four victories, including also Steven Yang of Sydney and Graeme Parmenter of Otago, and thanks to the other 18 survivors who competed through to the end of the tournament. Click here for final results, including SGF game records.
In the second division (handicap stronger than 4k) there was again one player with five victories, the Australian Digital Handicap Champion, Stephen Yang 4D. Second place was Rhys Davies 1D with four victories (except where he went up against Stephen Yang). In this division the peleton starts with Johnny Jiang 1D of Adelaide at third place on three victories, and Yanis Newman-Pache 3D of Southern Cross University Go Club, Harvey Wang 2D of Victoria Go Club, and Graeme Parmenter 4D of Otago University Go Club. Thanks also to the other half-dozen survivors for participating.
In the third division (beginners’ handicap) the winner was Zhenyu Liu 10k (!) of Melbourne University Go Club. Second place was Justin Luafutu 16K from Brisbane Go Club on four victories (crushed by the winner in the third round) and third place was Pan Zhao 8K from Melbourne (also on four victories, also went up against the winner). Thanks to the eleven other competitors who also played through to the end.
Tom Chen wins a free admission to the 2016 Australian Go Congress in January 2016, which handily enough is in his hometown of Sydney. Stephen Yang and Zhenyu Liu win free admission to the 2015 Australian Championships in December 2015 in Brisbane.
- Horatio Davis, Australian correspondent for the E-Journal
Junfu Dai 8D (Paris) won the French Championship on October 3-4 in Lyon, topping the field of right of the strongest active amateur French players and becoming the French representative to the next World Amateur Go Championship. Thomas DeBarre 6D (Strasbourg) and Alban Granger 4D (Rennes) took second and third places. Click here for complete details.
Meanwhile, the tournament of Lyon, with about 80 players, was won by Motoki Noguchi 7D (Grenoble), ahead of Florent Labouret 3D (Lyon) and Florent Rioland 3D (Marseille).
- Laurent Coquelet, FFG secretary and French Correspondent for the E-Journal; photo: Dai, at left, in the final, playing Thomas DeBarre
University/college students under the age of 30 are invited to participate in an online preliminary competition for the 14th World Students Go Oza Championship. Click here for details and here for the entry form. Application deadline is October 19. Note that students living in China, Korea, Japan and Chinese Taipei cannot participate in the online preliminary round.
The World Students Go Oza Championship will be held February 22-26, 2016 in Tokyo, Japan, where 16 students from around the world will compete to determine the world’s number one student player.
The Seattle Go Center will have a grand 20th Anniversary Party on Saturday, Oct. 3. with food, refreshments, short speeches and music by three different groups. Hiroshi Yamashiro 9P and Shiung Feng 6P (“Kuma-Sensei”) will be coming from the Nihon Ki-in in Japan, as well as the Manager of the European Go Center in Holland, Harry van der Krogt. The Japanese Consul for Seattle, Consul General Masahiro Omura, and the President of the American Go Association, Andy Okun, will also be attending.
The performers will be Songs of Hope (Fumi Tagata – soprano, and Shiho Kurauchi – koto); Okinawan Mushic by Mako & Noriko (Mako Willet – sanshin/vocal, and Noriko Inafuku – taiko); and the Sound Singers (Mixed chorus group with 15 singers). The Sound Singers include long time Go Center volunteers Frank (Kohya) Fukuda, and Hikojiro Katsuhisa.
All friends of the Seattle Go Center are welcome to attend. The party begins at 6:00 p.m., please send a note to the Go Center Manager if you plan to come.
26 players were present to compete for the title. Amongst them, Motoki Noguchi(7d) was the big favourite, but two pretenders to watch were Tanguy Le Calvé(6d) and Benjamin Dréan-Guénaizia(6d). As is normal in a Swiss System, the results from the first 2 rounds on Friday were mostly as expected.
Then on Saturday, more crucial games for the title took place. We note in round 4, the victory of Motoki against Jérôme Salignon(5d), in a game filled with fighting. At the same time, in the battle of the 6 dans, it was Benjamin Dréan-Guénaizia who dominated Tanguy Le Calvé.
In round 5, what was essentially the final took place between the 2 so-far unbeaten players, Motoki and Benjamin. But Benjamin wilted under the pressure of the day, and ended up resigning rather quickly.
In the other rounds on Sunday, Motoki secured his victory by beating Tanguy and then Benjamin Blanchard(3d). Benjamin Dréan-Guénaizia was assured of second place with his win over Jérôme Salignon, who ended up taking third place.
Thus Motoki pocketed his fourth title, equaling the number of wins of Pierre Colmez and Jeff Séailles. It should be noted that he chose non-standard fuseki, playing no komoku or hoshi throughout the championship!
Based on the article originally published in Revue Française de Go by Simon Billouet
Qiu Jun 9P and Lian Xiao 7P won their Chang Qi Cup semifinal third-round decider matches Monday to advance to the tournament’s final rounds later this year. The games followed the pattern of the first two matches, with Lian Xiao (right) defeating Li Qincheng 1P in just 161 moves, while Qiu Jun (left) prevailed over Tuo Jiaxi 9P in yet another marathon match — this one 331 moves — in which he used a ko threat to cleverly bring a group of dead stones back to life, forcing a resignation for the first time in the series.
Game records: Rd3 QiuJun v. TuoJiaxi, Rd3 LianXiao v. LiQinCheng (also available on KGS, look under ChangQi1 and ChangQi2); special thanks to the Chinese recording team, who generously broadcast the games on KGS as well as on their Chinese servers.
Special bonus: click here to see the video of E-Journal’s Steve Colburn demonstrating the custom-built Ing table with built-in go board and stones, shot by Andrew Jackson.
- report, photos/collage by Chris Garlock
by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal
Aoki makes good start in Women’s Meijin League: The last game of the third round of the 28th Women’s Meijin League was played on September 24. Taking black, Aoki Kikuyo 8P beat Chinen Kaori 4P by resig. Aoki is now 2-0 (she had a bye in the second round), so she shares the provisional lead with Fujisawa Rina, also on 2-0 (she has a bye in this round).
Awaji scores 1000th win: A win in Preliminary B of the 64th Oza tournament on September 24 was Awaji Shuzo 9P’s 1000th official win. Awaji (right) is the 17th player at the Nihon Ki-in to reach this landmark. His record is 592 losses, 3 jigo, and 1 no-result, a winning percentage of 62.6. Awaji was born on August 13, 1948 in Tokyo. He became a disciple of Ito Tomoe 7P, made 1-dan in 1968 and reached 9-dan in 1984. He also graduated from the College of Law (note that this is not the same as a law school in the US) of Aoyama Gakuin University. He has won four minor titles, but challenged unsuccessfully for the Gosei, Tengen, Honinbo and Meijin titles.
Yuki wins 24th Ryusei tournament: Yuki Satoshi 9P won the 24th Ryusei tournament by default. On the day of the final, Cho Chikun’s wife fell critically ill (she died the following day), so he was unable to play. The result was just revealed in this week’s Go Weekly because the organizers took a while to make their decision. Nonetheless, this counts as a title for Yuki and is his 13th (he is now 21st on the all-time list).
Grand slams update: With the theoretical revival of Iyama’s chance of achieving a simultaneous grand slam of the top seven titles, Go Weekly published some statistics. Three players have scored a cumulative grand slam: Cho Chikun, Cho U, and Iyama Yuta. Three players have won six of the top seven: the late Kato Masao (missing the Kisei), Rin Kaiho (missing the Kisei), and Yamashita Keigo (missing the Judan despite three challenges). Next is Kobayashi Koichi with five (missing the Honinbo and the Oza). They are followed by three players who have won four: Otake Hideo, Takao Shinji, and Hane Naoki. Note that this list refers only to current titles. Sakata Eio won seven titles in 1961 and 1964 (in the latter year the only open title he missed out on was the Judan). The final stage of the 54th Judan tournament starts on October 1. Both Iyama and Yamashita have made the final 20.
A chess player discovers go: “I was a chess player my whole life,” writes David Coffin. “I’m 31 years old and just starting out in the game of iGo. I call the game iGo cause I heard the Japanese call it iGo. I am amazed by the depth of the tactics in this game. It’s this tactical thinking and the great tradition of the game that keep me coming back. I’ve read a couple of the Janice Kim books and plan on finishing her series. I get the American Go eJournal every day and read about the game. Thanks for your commitment to this board game.”
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Searching for a go book: “I discovered go in a local bookstore in Cleveland, where I also found a board and pieces, in a classic games book for kids,” writes Sharon Cenna. “The shelf also contained a wonderful, hard -back, oversized volume, with history of go in Asia, including many interesting art reproductions.It was quite large, with many pages. I couldn’t afford it at the time, circa 2006, and I’m trying to locate it now. If anyone knows which book this is, and where to find it, I would deeply appreciate any help you might offer.”
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Qiu Jun 9P and Li Qincheng 1p evened their Chang Qi Cup semifinal matches Sunday, defeating Tuo Jiaxi 9P (left, below right) and Lian Xiao 7P, respectively, to force third-game deciders on Monday (these should be broadcast live on KGS, starting at 9:30a EST). Once again the two younger players, Li and Lian — who are good friends as well as fierce competitors — finished first, with Li winning by resignation not long after the lunch break, while the Qiu-Tuo game again went the distance, a 7-hour, 231-move marathon that drew nearly 300 spellbound viewers on KGS (Qiu is at right, in light shirt) . There were also professional game commentaries broadcast on the AGA’s YouTube channel, which are available for review. Here are links to the four Round 1 and 2 game records: Rd1 LiQinCheng v. LianXiao , Rd1 TuoJiaxi v. QiuJun , Rd2 LiQinCheng v. LianXiao , Rd2 TuoJiaxi v. QiuJun . (you can also find them on KGS; look under ChangQi1 and ChangQi2)
In the inaugural American Chang Qi amateur tournament, Seo Joon Jung (right in photo above left) prevailed over Evan Cho in a dramatic final round Sunday afternoon, with Cho taking second place. Other top winners and a complete cross tab will be published later this week.
“This was a wonderful event that showed off the Ing Foundation’s commitment to go in North America, the strength of the North American go community and the vibrant go life here in Boston,” said American Go Association President Andy Okun.
This pro matches were played live at the Student Organization Center at Hilles, Harvard University, in Cambridge, MA, and were sponsored by the American Collegiate Go Association and the Shanghai Ing-Changki Weiqi Education Foundation in conjunction with the Chinese Chang Qi Cup and the American Go Association. The Changqi Cup is one of China’s most generously sponsored tournaments, with a winner’s prize of about $70,000 USD. It’s jointly hosted by the Chinese Go Association and the Shanghai Branch of the Ing Foundation. The tournament first started in 2004 in memory of Ing Chang-ki.
- report by Chris Garlock; photos by Chris Garlock (right) and Andy Okun (left), Photo at left: Will Lockhart, Cole Pruitt, Liu Siming and Seo Joon Jung
The third game of the 40th Meijin title match was held at the Tokiwa Hotel in Kofu City, Yamanashi Prefecture on September 24 and 25. Playing white, Iyama Yuta Meijin beat Takao Shinji Tengen by resignation after 148 moves. Iyama now needs just one more win to defend his title. Eighty moves were played on the first day, and Takao commented: “I spoiled it on the first day.” Actually, however, according to Go Weekly, he did not play any moves that could clearly be labeled as dubious. Rather, as Takao indicated after the game, he had regrets about some of his moves, as in retrospect he didn’t feel that they were the best attacking moves. Thanks to his skill at settling weak groups, Iyama seems to have gained a slight edge. On the second day, Iyama drew further ahead. In the end, Takao had to play unreasonably, and Iyama wrapped up the game by attacking and bringing down a large group. The fourth game will be played on October 5 and 6. The pressure on Takao has increased; he will want to avoid a repeat of his 0-4 loss to Iyama in the 35th Meijin title match. This, by the way, is Iyama’s 13th successive win. He is now fourth on the list of most games won. He probably has more games left this year than most of his rivals, so he should move up a place or two.
- John Power
An artificial intelligence machine called Giraffe that has taught itself to play chess by evaluating positions much more like humans and in an entirely different way to conventional chess engines may well be the future of AI, according to a recent report in the MIT Technology Review. “Straight out of the box, the new machine plays at the same level as the best conventional chess engines, many of which have been fine-tuned over many years,” the report says. The technology behind the new machine — developed by Matthew Lai (left) at Imperial College London –is a neural network that consists of several layers of nodes that are connected in a way that change as the system is trained. “Lai says it should be straightforward to apply the same approach to other games,” the report concludes. “One that stands out is the traditional Chinese game of Go, where humans still hold an impressive advantage over their silicon competitors. Perhaps Lai could have a crack at that next.”
Thanks to Fred D. Baldwin for passing this along.
The Chang Qi Cup Round 2 semifinal games are underway now and being broadcast live on KGS and YouTube. Qiu Jun 9P and Li Qincheng 1p are battling to force deciding matches; both lost their first-round matches yesterday, to Tuo Jiaxi 9P and Lian Xiao 7P, respectively.
The matches are being played live at the Student Organization Center at Hilles, Harvard University, in Cambridge, MA. Area go players are welcome to stop by and check out the action, including the Chang Qi amateur tournament also underway, sponsored by the American Collegiate Go Association and the Shanghai Ing-Changki Weiqi Education Foundation in conjunction with the Chinese Chang Qi Cup and the American Go Association.
- Chris Garlock