Pair Go tournament for professional couples: The second Professional Married Couples Pair Go Tournament was held at the Nihon Ki-in on Sunday, November 22. If you write the date 11/22 and take the first syllable of the numbers in Japanese, you get the word “ii fufu,” which means “a good married couple,” so this is an apposite date for this tournament. Last year, eight pairs took part; that increased to 13 this year, but the same pairs reached the final (right): Suzuki Ayumi 6P and her husband Rin Kanketsu 7P and the Mimuras, Kaori 3P and Tomoyasu 9P (at left). The latter took their revenge for their loss last year, playing white and securing a resignation after 206 moves. First prize is one million yen and second 400,000.
Iyama tops most-wins list: Thanks to his winning streak, Iyama Yuta has worked his way to top place in the most-wins list. After his Oza win, his record for the year is 39-9. That’s a winning percentage of 81%, which is astonishing considering the level of his opponents. The top players are given below.
1. Iyama Yuta Kisei: 39-9
2. Kyo Kagen 3P: 38-9; Ichiriki Ryo 7P: 38-16
4. Shibano Toramaru 2P: 36-5
5. Yamashita Keigo 9P: 35-20
6. Ida Atsushi Judan: 32-18
7. Motoki Katsuya 7P: 29-10; Ogata Masaki 9P: 29-12; Kono Rin 9P: 29-12-1 no contest; Tsuruta Kazushi 3P: 29-12; Mutsuura Yuta 2P: 29-13
12. 25th Honinbo Chikun, Son Makoto 3P: 28-14
14. Akiyama Jiro 9P: 27-9; Cho Riyu 8P: 27-10
16. Koyama Kuya 2P: 25-12; Ko Iso 8P: 25-17; Fujisawa Rina: 25-21
Huang wins Chinese Agon Kiriyama: The final of 17th Agon Kiriyama Cup, a sister tournament to the Japanese title, was held in the City of Taiyuan. Taking white, the 18-year-old Huang Yunsong 4P beat Chen Yaoye 9P by resignation. Huang, who won the 2nd Globis Cup U-20 in May, will meet Iyama Yuta in the Japanese-Chinese playoff on December 25.
Demis Hassabis, the artificial intelligence savant behind Google DeepMind, hinted recently that his secretive team has cracked go, reports <re/code> magazine. While DeepMind has has put out a couple papers of its training algorithms beating Atari games it has released little else. Asked in an interview with the Royal Society of London “Maybe you will have a surprise about go?” Hassabis smiled and said “I can’t talk about it yet, but in a few months I think there will be quite a big surprise,” he replied.
Zhu Haichen 7d, a New Jersey resident and onetime student in the go school of Chinese champion Nie Weiping 9p, bested a strong field of 72 players at the 3rd annual Gotham Go Tournament last Saturday. Twelve pairs, meanwhile, played in the Sunday pair go tournament, first of what is hoped to be an annual event.
Zhu took top honors in the open section, but the dark horse of the event was Daniel Koch 2d, who went 4-0 to win the 1-3 dan section, beating a 4d and a 5d in succession in his two last rounds. Click here for complete results.
In the pair go tournament, run with the support and encouragement of the AGA, twelve pairs vied in four sections, with Stephanie Yin 1p and Rongxin Yu 7D going 3-0 to win the top section. Best dressed honors went to Alexandra Patz and her son Douglas who came dressed as go stones, narrowly beating out tournament organizer Peter Armenia and his wife Gretschen. AGA President Andy Okun 1d attended and played for once (going 2-2 in the main tournament and 1-1 in the pair go with partner Marilyn Stern). Okun (second from left) expressed gratitude in the closing ceremony to Armenia TD Yingzhi Qian. Okun said he was pleased with the turnout and wants to make pair go tournaments a more common occurrence around the U.S., not just a feature of the US Go Congress.
– Michael Fodera; click here for more photos.
Women’s Meijin League: Two important games were played in the 28th Women’s Meijin League last week. On November 16, Fujisawa Rina, Women’s Honinbo, (W) beat Mannami Nao 3P by 6.5 points. Fujisawa had to win this game to keep alive her chances of becoming the challenger. She goes to 3-1, in equal second place with Okuda Aya 3P. Mannami drops to 2-2, so all she can aim at is keeping her place. The tough thing for Fujisawa and Okuda is that they are ranked equal 5th in the league. The leader is Aoki Kikuyo 8P, who is ranked second. In my previous report, I mentioned that Aoki just had to win two of her remaining three games to become the challenger, as she would take precedence in a tie. She played the first of those three games on November 19. Taking black, she beat Suzuki Ayumi 6P by 1.5 points. That improves her score to 4-0 and improves her odds to 1 in 2, as she now just has to win one game out of two. Her remaining opponents are Mannami and Fujisawa. The above game was Aoki’s seventh win in a row.
Honinbo League: One game in the 71st Honinbo League was played on November 19. Kono Rin 9P (W) beat Cho U 9P by resignation. Kono improves his score to 1-1 and Cho is 0-2. Cho’s decision to return home to Taiwan is not paying off yet.
Iyama wins Oza, regains quintuple crown: The third game of the 63rd Oza title match was held at the Hotel Okura Kobe in Kobe City, Hyogo Prefecture on November 19. In dominating form, Iyama Yuta (black, at left) pounced on a misreading by the titleholder, Murakawa Daisuke (right), and seized the initiative. Iyama’s flawless play then denied Murakawa any chance to get back into the game and he was forced to resign after just 135 moves. Murakawa was unable to match the precision of Iyama’s reading; after a reign of just one year, he surrendered the title he took from Iyama last year. With this win, Iyama regains his quintuple crown after a gap of 11 months. This is his third Oza title and his 33rd title overall. It is also his 23rd successive win. Go journalists are starting to refer to the record set by Sakata Eio, 23rd Honinbo, in 1963 and 1964 of 29 successive wins. What the two streaks have in common is that many of the wins were in title matches or tournament finals, so the defeated opponents were mainly top players.
Teranishi repeats in Young Carp: The semifinals and final of the 10th Hiroshima Aluminium Cup Young Carp Tournament, open to Nihon Ki-in players under 31 and under 8-dan, were held at the Central Japan Newspaper Building in Hiroshima on November 22. In the semifinals, Shida Tatsuya 7P (B) beat Yo Seiki 7P and Teranishi Rei 4P (B) beat last year’s winner Motoki Katsuya 7P; the margin in both games was 2.5 points. In the final, Teranishi (B) forced Shida to resign after 159 moves. Teranishi (at left) also won the 5th cup. First prize is three million yen.
Tomorrow: Pair Go tournament for professional couples; Iyama tops most-wins list; Huang wins Chinese Agon Kiriyama
Ke Jie 9P lost Game 2 of the MLily Cup semifinal against Park Younghoon 9P Monday night, setting up a decisive Game 3 showdown that will be broadcast Tuesday night. Myungwan Kim 9P will provide live English commentary on the AGA’s Youtube Channel starting at 7P PST (10P EST).
December 5: Portland, OR
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Catch more top professional games with live English commentary on the AGA’s Youtube Channel Monday, November 23. Myungwan Kim 9P will comment the semifinals of the MLily Cup, between Park Younghoon 9P (#3 in Korea) and Ke Jie 9P (#1 in China). The MLily Cup is one of the major international tournaments, with a grand prize of over a quarter million dollars US. They’re playing a best-of-three series, with the first game already in the books — a win for Ke Jie — and Game #2 will be broadcast LIVE this Monday at 7pm PST (10p EST). As a bonus, Myungwan Kim will also review game #1 during the player’s lunch break.
EuroGoTV, which regularly streamed live video of tournament games, posted videos on YouTube and was a reliable source of European go news for the E-Journal — may return. If at least 300 people pledge to help EuroGoTV financially “we will resume (and upgrade) our services,” reports Harry Weerheijm. Click here to take EuroGo TV’s poll by November 30. “If EuroGoTV continues, Go-Pro articles, on demand video playback, the complete European Go calendar and the Newsletter will only be available to VIP-members; membership will run 25 Euro for the first year and 20 Euro for the second. Tournament reports will be available to all, including EJ readers, so we urge your support, either a membership or donation pledge.
- Chris Garlock, E-Journal Managing Editor
Seattle Go Center members are looking forward to the 3rd Annual Pair Go Tournament, set for Saturday, Dec. 12, 2015. The fun dress-up event features prizes from Japan and fancy cake. Last year’s tournament had 12 pairs participating. Tournament details are posted on the Seattle Go Center website. Photo and styling by Anne Thompson/Report by Brian Allen
“I am a member of the AGA and enjoy your E-Journal,” writes François Lorrain. “I wonder about this often cited quotation: “While the Baroque rules of chess could only have been created by humans, the rules of go are so elegant, organic, and rigorously logical that if intelligent life forms exist elsewhere in the universe, they almost certainly play go.” which your go quotes page attributes to Edward Lasker. I have searched far and wide and have never been able to find the source of this quotation. It isn’t from Lasker’s Go and Go-Moku; neither is it from Lasker’s Chess Secrets I Learned from the Masters,”which I read recently. Nor is it in Chess Strategy or in Chess and Checkers: the Way to Mastership. Could the quote be from the other Lasker, Emanuel, also a go-playing chess master? It isn’t in Chess Quotes by Emanuel Lasker, though AZ Quotes attributes the quote to Emanuel Lasker, but without any source. Would anybody you know have any idea about the source of this quote?”
Our best go expert sources — Peter Shotwell, Richard Bozulich and Erwin Gerstorfer — have not been able to track down a definitive attribution for this quote. A prize awaits whoever can do so; email us at email@example.com
Gansheng Shi 1p is heading to Hangzhou, China, to represent North America is the 2015 Li Min Cup World Best Go Star Championship Finals. The tournament takes place from Nov. 27 to Dec. 3 at the Hangzhou Qiyuan building, one of the more impressive go association headquarters in the world, more than 30 stories high with a luxury hotel, go museum and go school included. Eric Lui 7d meanwhile is representing the US in the 10th Korean Prime Minister Cup in Seoul, Korea. There is still an opening for a US team to attend the 2nd Jin Long Chen Cup in Guangzhou, China (click here for details). “I know it is hard to put together a group on short notice, especially with the need for a visa and to pay your own air fare,” said AGA President Andy Okun. “I’m confident though that anyone who is able to do it will have a cultural and go experience they will always remember.” Guangzhou, Okun noted, is one of the great cities of the world. Once known in the West as Canton, it is the third largest city in China and the central city of one of its western provinces, a hub for trade, finance and manufacturing at the hub of the Pearl River Delta.
Iyama still on track: Iyama Yuta has become the first player to reach the semifinals of the 54th Judan tournament, so he is still on track to secure an unprecedented septuple crown, though of course he still has some distance to go. In the first of the quarterfinals, played on November 5, Iyama (B) defeated Yuki Satoshi 9P by resignation. His semifinal opponent will be the winner of a game between Ichiriki Ryo 7P and Imamura Toshiya 9P. The pairings in the other quarterfinals are Yo Seiki 7P vs. Takao Shinji Tengen and Kobayashi Satoru 9P vs. Shida Tatsuya 7P.
Iyama wins second straight in Oza and Tengen: The second game of the 63rd Oza title match was played at the Yakage-ya inn in the town of Yakage in Okayama Prefecture on November 12. Iyama (white) won by resignation after 164 moves, so he is within one win of regaining the title he lost to Murakawa Daisuke last year. In the middle game, Iyama (left) commented that his play may have been a little unreasonable. However, Murakawa failed to play severely enough to punish him for it. The third game will be played on November 19. The above game was on a Thursday, the usual day for professional play. The following Monday, November 16, Iyama won the second game of the 41st Tengen title match, thus extending his career-best winning streak to 22. Taking white, Iyama beat Takao Shinji Tengen by half a point after 254 moves. Takao had taken the lead in the middle game, but played badly in the latter part of the game, letting Iyama pull off an upset. The third game is scheduled for November 25. photo: Yuki joins in game review; Iyama at left
Honinbo League: Round Two starts: Two games in the 71st Honinbo League were played on November 12. In a game between title-holders, Takao Shinji Tengen (W) beat Ida Atsushi Judan by resignation. In the other game, Ichiriki Ryo 7P (W) beat Yo Seiki 7P by resignation. The large-avalanche joseki appeard in the top left corner and the small-avalanche joseki in the top right corner. All four players are now on 1-1.
Japan eliminated from LG Cup: The quarterfinals of the 20th LG Cup were held in Korea on November 16. Japan’s last remaining representative, Yo Seiki 7P, was forced to resign in his game with Pak Yeong-hun 9P of Korea. Other results: Kang Tong-yun 9P (Korea) (W) beat Ke Jie 9P (China) by resignation; Tuo Jiaxi 9P (China) (B) beat Weon Seong-jin 9P (Korea) by resignation; Shi Yue 9P (China) beat Kim Ji-seok 9P (Korea) by 1.5 points.
The 20th Pandanet Internet World Amateur Go Tournament (IWAG) is currently accepting registrations. The deadline is December 9. All games must be played on the Pandanet server. As in previous years, the registrants are divided into three regions, and in each region further divided into several ranking bands. Winners in each band will receive prizes. In the preliminary round, players play with others in the same band and in the same region. Regional winners then move on to play in the international final rounds. Click here for further details.
The Korea Amateur Baduk Association (KABA) is seeking promising youth players who are interested in participating in its Foreign Promising Baduk Player Invitation and Education Project. While the 2016 project is still the planning stages, it is expected that the thirteen players selected from around the world will receive full airfare, accommodation and lesson cost from KABA. Players will be considered who were born between 1997 and 2009, according to KABA. To be eligible you should be over 7k in strength if you are 7-9 years old, over 5k if 10-12 years old, over 1k if you are 13-15 years old and over 2d if you are 16-19 years old. If you think you are interested in attending, please write to Andy Okun at firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible but no later than November 23, with your name, AGA number, strength, date of birth, and a paragraph or two summarizing your go career so far and something about your interest in the game.
New members of the Meijin League: Two of the three vacant places in the 41st Meijin League were decided on October 29. Uchida Shuhei 7P (B) beat Kanazawa Makoto 7P by 3.5 points, so the latter failed to regain his place. Uchida will make his second appearance after an absence of three years. Hirata Tomoya 4P (W) beat So Yokoku 9P, also by 3.5 points. The 21-year-old Hirata won his first league place and secured an automatic promotion to 7-dan (as of the following day). So Yokoku was also a member of the previous league. The final vacant seat was decided on November 5. In a clash between Nagoya players, Hane Naoki 9P (W) beat Ida Atsushi Judan by resignation. Hane also immediately regained his league place. At 39 years three months, he will be the oldest member of the league (Takao is two months younger).
Women’s Honinbo: Xie fights back: The third game of the Women’s Honinbo title match was held at the Nihon Ki-in headquarters in Ichigaya, Tokyo on October 30. Taking black Xie Yimin (left), Women’s Meijin, defeated the titleholder Fujisawa Rin by resignation. The middle game featured a large exchange that may be the highlight of the series so far. After that, the lead switched back and forth, but Fujisawa made a misjudgment in the endgame, letting Xie take a small lead. The fourth game was played at the same venue on November 11. Playing white, Xie evened the score, forcing a resignation after 214 moves. Actually, the position seemed to be favorable for Fujisawa after a middle-game trade, but she suffered from a hallucination later in the game that let Xie pull off an upset. As a six-time winner of this title, Xie now seems to have the momentum, so Fujisawa will have to pull out all the stops in the deciding game, scheduled for November 27, if she is to defend her title.
Yamashita becomes Kisei challenger: The first game of the play-off to decide the challenger for the 40th Kisei title was held at the Nihon Ki-in in Ichigaya on Monday, November 9. Taking white, Yamashita (right) forced Murakawa to resign after 176 moves. This gives him his third successive crack at Iyama’s Kisei title. Understandably, considering his numerous recent defeats by Iyama, Yamashita said he was going to ignore the past and just focus on the new match. He also commented that the only way to beat Iyama was to eliminate all errors in his own play.
Yamashita’s 900th win: The above win was Yamashita’s 900th as a professional. He has lost 407 games, had one jigo and one no-result. At 37 years, two months, he is the youngest player to reach this landmark (second is Takao Shinji at 38 years one month); he is also the quickest, having taken 22 years seven months (again Takao is second, at 23 years eight months). In the category of winning percentage, however, Takao, on exactly 70% to Yamashita’s 68.9%, keeps top place. Just for reference, Cho Chikun, at 1470, has the most wins.
Tomorrow: Iyama still on track; Iyama wins second straight in Oza and Tengen; Honinbo League: Round Two starts; Japan eliminated from LG Cup
The 2015 AGHS Young Lions Tournament, the premier competition for North American youth players, will take place this weekend (November 14-15) on KGS. This year, an unprecedented 54 players have signed up, including 2 from Canada and 8 from Mexico. There will be 5 divisions, including an Open Division for strong dan players with even games; top games will be streamed live by AGHS promotional head Stephen Hu and secretary April Ye on Twitch.
Another exciting round of games for the Pandanet-AGA City League starts this Sunday. Check the schedule to see who your favorite team is playing. Will Canwa Vancouver, Washington DC 1, and Atlanta 2 keep their leads? We’ll see after this round!
- Steve Colburn, TD
by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal
Over-40 Lightning Go Tournament: The term “haya-go” is usually translated as “rapid go,” and a haya-go in the NHK format actually takes around 90 minutes. In the Over-40 Lightning Go Tournament, which is open to veteran Nihon Ki-in players, the term “lightning” is justified, as the time allowance is ten seconds per move (plus three minutes’ thinking time). This is actually the second term of this unofficial tournament, but I think I missed the first last year. In the original, the name reads “OVER40 Haya-go Tonamento-sen,” but, if the report in Go Weekly is correct, this should be “40 or over.” First, 56 players competed in four preliminary blocks, held on October 27. These were won by O Meien 9P, Nakaonoda Tomomi 9P, Oya Koichi 9P, and O Rissei 9P; they qualified for the main tournament, held on November 7. Cho Sonjin, the winner of the first tournament, lost to Nakaonoda in the final of his block. In the semifinals, held on the morning of November 7, the time expanded to 30 seconds per move plus ten minutes’ thinking time, that is, the NHK format. O Meien beat Oya and O Rissei beat Nakaonoda. In the final, held in the afternoon of the same day, Rissei (W) beat Meien by resignation (photo). First prize is 500,000 yen.
Honinbo League: Good starts for Ida and Motoki: As a former challenger, Ida Atsushi Judan probably feels he has a lot to prove in the Honinbo League, especially against a junior player. In his opening game in the 71st league, played on October 29, Ida (B) defeated Ichiriki Ryo 7P by resignation. In his debut game, the 20-year-old Motoki Katsuya, a newly minted 7-dan by virtue of winning his league place, beat veteran player Cho U 9P, also by resignation. Motoki had white. This completes the opening round of the league.
Murakawa reaches Kisei play-off: Yamada Kimio 9P’s charge through the knock-out section of the Kisei tournament was halted when he ran into Murakawa Daisuke Oza, second-place winner in the S League, on October 29. Taking black, Murakawa won by 2.5 points. That meant that for the third year in a row, the play-off to decide the challenger would pit Murakawa against Yamashita. The big difference is that previously, as the winners of the old A and B Leagues, they met on even terms. This time Yamashita starts the play-off with a one-win advantage, so the only way Murakawa can become the challenger is by winning two in a row. (This play-off is referred to by Go Weekly as “an irregular best-of-three,” the fact that there can never be three games played justifying the adjective.)
Women’s Meijin League: Fujisawa suffers setback: The fourth round of the 28th Women’s Meijin League was completed on November 2 when Okuda Aya 3P (W) defeated Fujisawa Rina by resignation. This was Fujisawa’s first loss, putting her on 2-1, so she dropped into a tie for third place with Mannami Nao 3P. The sole lead is held by Aoki Kikuyo 8P, on 3-0, and Okuda is second. Thanks to her number-two ranking, Aoki just has to win two of her remaining three games to win the league. See chart at left for standings.
Obituary: Hiroe Katsuhiko
Hiroe Katsuhiko died of an eating disorder on October 27 at the age of 75. Born in Gifu Prefecture, Hiroe was a disciple of Sakai Toshio 8P. He qualified as 1-dan in 1960 at the Nagoya branch of the Nihon Ki-in and reached 7-dan in 1981. He was promoted to 8-dan when he retired in 2006. Hiroe Hiroyuki 9P is his son.
McCallister, Not Boz: “Thanks for the interesting update about Kiseido (Bozulich Brings It All Together in New “Encyclopedia of Go Principles” 11/11 EJ),” writes Frank B. “FYI the essay ‘Einstein and Go‘ was not written by Bozulich; it is by Robert A. McCallister.”
Graphic from the Science is Everywhere ‘Einstein a Go Go’ radio show in Melbourne, Australia, which — as far as we know, has nothing to do with the game of go, we just like it and think it works here.
More Levels in Go Than Poker: “Notice that I have left the question mark off the subject line,” writes Roland Crowl, in response to More Levels in Go Than Poker? (11/8 EJ). “Many (~20-25) years ago I saw a rating of game complexity based a level being distinguished from the next level by one player being able to beat the other 75% of the time. Most games – poker in multiple disguises, backgammon, checkers (draughts for our British friends) – came in at about 3-4 levels, chess was 12, and go was 19 all to the best of my recollection.”
The American Go Association (AGA) and Candian Go Association (CGA) are seeking players interested in forming teams and traveling to Guangzhou, China, to compete in the second Jin Long Cheng World Team Go Championship from Dec. 15 to 23. The three players for the US team must be US citizens and be able to pay for their own travel and lodging (550 RMB per day) in Guangzhou; they may also bring a team official. Likewise, the Canadian team must comprise three Canadian citizens able to pay their own way. The tournament will include seeded teams from China, Korea, Japan and Taiwan, as well as three wild card teams from China, Japan and Korea. According to the China Qiyuan, teams from other countries are welcome as well. If more than nine teams register from the rest of the world including the US and Canada, then there will be a preliminary qualifying round to reduce the number to nine. (Teams eliminated at that phase will have a chance to participate in tourism, friendly matches with local players and other go activities.) The final group of up to 16 teams will compete in a five-round Swiss tournament, with the top four teams winning prizes up to 2 million RMB. Teams with no more than one pro player will be in competition for amateur team prizes of 100,000 RMB for winning three rounds, 50,000 RMB for winning two rounds and 30,000 RMB for winning one round. Players or already arranged teams should contact AGA President Andy Okun at email@example.com or CGA president James Sedgwick at firstname.lastname@example.org by November 20. Given the short time line, preference will be given to already formed teams and to players who get in contact fastest.