44th Amsterdam International Go Tournament Coming Up in May: Preparations for this year’s edition of the Amsterdam Go Tournament – coming up May 15-17 — are in full swing. For almost half a century this has been one of the main go tournaments in Europe, and with Roel van Kollem as the fresh and enthusiastic new chairman of the Amsterdam go club there’s promise of a new atmosphere to the tournament. A special addition to the tournament this year will be Guo Juan 5P, who has been living in Amsterdam for many years and who will be giving lessons and seminars onsite. As an extra bonus, each participant will receive one gift voucher for three lessons on Guo’s website. An added attraction for food lovers is that van Kollem, who’s also a chef (right), will be preparing some exciting food for the Rapid tournament which is held besides the main tournament on Friday.
New Go-shirts by Murugandi from BadukMovies: Kim Ouweleen, better known as ‘Murugandi’, is a Dutch 4-dan. He is mostly known for his go tutorials for EuroGoTV and BadukMovies, but in everyday life Murugandi is also an illustrator and graphic designer. Recently he has designed some go themed t-shirts, which can be found through the BadukMovies webshop and through Kim’s own webshop. You can also check out more of his artwork at murugandi.com.
Kiseido’s Latest Available at Het Paard’s Go Shop: New go books published by Kiseido are now available in the Het Paard’s Go Shop, including the second volume of “The 2014 Ten-Game Match between Gu Li and Lee Sedol,” which features in-depth analysis of games 6-8 of the historic ‘Death Match’: the Jubango between two of the strongest go players of the modern era, Lee Sedol 9p from Korea and Gu Li 9p from China. Also avalailable is “The Basic Principles in the Opening and the Middle Game,” 20 principles that will lay the foundations for the study of opening theory in general as well as the currently popular opening systems, and “The Basics of Life and Death,” an introduction to life and death by Rob van Zeijst.
- Kim Ouweleen & Marianne Diederen
by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal
Iyama wins second Tournament of Champions: This is a tournament for all the title-winners of the previous year, plus one player selected by the votes of fans. The winner is awarded the Prime Minister’s Cup and the Minister of Education’s Prize (actually a shield). The format is the same as the NHK Cup, that is, ten minutes per player plus ten minutes of thinking time to be used in one-minute units. The first two rounds are played on the Net, and the semifinals and final are played in person at the Nihon Ki-in. The final is a public game, being played on stage before an audience with a commentary being given simultaneously on stage. (In the tournament list given in Go Weekly, this is only tournament with no cash prize mentioned. Perhaps the players play just for the glory.)
This year, the first two rounds were played on January 26. Listing the results will serve as a review of 2014 tournament go. In the first round, Ichiriki Ryo, King of the News Stars and winner of the Globis Cup and O-kage (Gratitude) Cup, beat Yo Seiki, winner of the Yucho (the post office bank) Cup; Motoki Katsuya, winner of the Hiroshima Aluminium Cup, beat Fujisawa Rina, Women’s Honinbo and winner of the Aizu Central Hospital Cup; Takao Shinji, Tengen & Judan, beat Ida Atsushi, selected by fan vote; Yuki Satoshi, NHK Cup-winner and Kansai Ki-in Number One, beat Xie Yimin, Women’s Meijin and Kisei; Kono Rin Ryusei beat Hane Naoki Okan; Murakawa Daisuke Oza beat Cho Chikun, winner of Masters Cup; Iyama Yuta, Kisei, Meijin, Honinbo, Gosei, winner of Agon Kiriyama Cup and the first term of this tournament, was seeded into the semifinals.
In the second round, Motoki beat Ichiriki, Takao beat Yuki, and Kono beat Murakawa. The semifinals and final were held at the Nihon Ki-in in Ichigaya on March 29. The semifinals were played in the morning; Iyama (W) beat Kono by resig. and Takao (W) beat Motoki by resig. Actually Iyama started badly in the middle-game fighting against Kono, leading Kobayashi to predict an imminent resignation, but Iyama managed to pull off an upset. The afternoon final fittingly matched the two most successful players in top-seven titles last year: quadruple title-holder Iyama vs. dual title-holder Takao. Iyama drew black in the nigiri and killed a large white group, forcing Takao to resign after 157 moves. The commentary on the same stage was given by Kobayashi Satoru 9P and Yoshihara Yukari 6P (earlier they covered the morning games as well). There’s an art to giving commentaries in the presence of the players (who can’t see the demonstration board, of course). Usually the commentators avoid mentioning black or white and instead hold up a black or white stone to show the audience which side they are talking about. However, Iyama joked later that he owed his win to occasionally catching Kobayashi’s comments.
Iyama wins 500th game: A win over Murakawa Daisuke Oza in Round 1 of the Tengen tournament on April 2 was Iyama Yuta’s 500th official win as a professional. He has lost 191 games, so his winning percentage is 72.4%. He is the 100th player to win 500 games and, at 25 years ten months, the third youngest; his winning percentage is the 11th highest. (The youngest player to reach this landmark is Cho U at 25 years five months and the best winning percentage was 76.3, posted by Yamashita Keigo.)
Yamashita becomes Honinbo challenger: Three players were in the running as the 70th Honinbo League entered its final round, held on April 2: Yamashita Keigo (at right), Cho U and Ida Atsushi. However, only Yamashita could win the league outright. Last year he slipped up at the end, losing to Ida Atsushi and letting him force a play-off, which Ida won. This year Yamashita made no mistake: he beat Cho U and topped the league with a score of 6-1. Ida also lost his final game, so Yamashita ended two points clear of the field. Yamashita lost the Honinbo title to Iyama Yuta in 2012, so this will give him a chance to take revenge. The title match will start on May 13. It will be the sixth best-of-seven between these two players; so far, Yamashita has won only one. So far this year, his record is an excellent 12 wins to four losses; since he has just lost a best-of-seven match, the Kisei, that means he hasn’t lost a game to anyone besides Iyama.
Results in the final round:
Yamashita Keigo 9P (B) beat Cho U 9P by resig.
Yo Seiki 7P (W) beat Ida Atsushi 8P by resig.
Kono Rin 9P (B) beat Ryu Shikun 9P by resig.
Mimura 9P (W) beat Takao Shinji 9P by resig.
Placings in the league: 1st: Yamashita, 6-1; 2nd: Ida, 4-3; 3rd: Cho U, 4-3; 4th: Kono Rin, 4-3
Losing their places are: Yo (4-3), Mimura (3-4), Takao (2-5), and Ryu (1-6). Yo can count himself a little unlucky: he won his final game, but to keep his place he needed Kono to lose, as there’s no play-off for fourth place (Kono was rated higher).
The Norwegian Academy of Sciences and Letters has decided to award the Abel Prize for 2015 to the American mathematicians John F. Nash Jr. (left) and Louis Nirenberg “for striking and seminal contributions to the theory of nonlinear partial differential equations and its applications to geometric analysis.” Outside mathematics, Nash is best known for a paper he wrote about game theory, the mathematics of decision-making, which ultimately won him the 1994 Nobel Prize for economics, and which features prominently in the 2001 film about him, A Beautiful Mind. That film included a scene of Nash — played by Russell Crowe (left, in photo at right) — playing go at Princeton that sparked interest in the game after the film’s release.
- Scientific Computing
In-seong Hwang 8D’s American Yunguseng Dojang still has spaces available for students for the online go school’s next session, which starts April 20. Last session there were 40 participants in six leagues, ranging from 12 kyu to 4 dan. A well-known top player in Europe, In-seong Hwang 8D will teach at this year’s U.S Congress. “His enthusiasm is infectious,” says one student, “his energy and his dedication show why he is such a strong go player.” Click here for In-seong Hwang ‘s recent post in Life in 19×19.
A Call for Papers has just been issued for the 3rd Hangzhou International Go Culture Conference. The conference, sponsored by the Hangzhou Branch of the China Qi-Yuan (Qi, or Go department) will be held in October 2015 in Hangzhou, China. The conference will invite famous go players, specialists in go culture, principals of go organizations “and people of insight from all walks of life” who will discuss go culture to enrich go’s cultural resources and promote the development of go culture. Click here for details on the conference topics and submission guidelines (scroll down the page for the English version). Proposals for papers must be submitted by April 30th, and the full paper must be submitted by August 1st, 2015.
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Eric Osman sent in this snapshot from a recent meeting of the Western Massachusetts Go Club. The club meets Thursdays at 7:00 pm at Rao’s Coffeehouse in Amherst, MA. “All ages are welcome!” says Osman.
Mok Jinseok 9p (left) won the 20th Caltex Cup on April 2 in Seoul, Korea, defeating Choi Cheolhan 9p with a 3-1 score. This was Mok Jinseok’s second career title, and his first in 15 years: he won the KBS Cup in 2000, defeating Lee Changho 9p. Choi Cheolhan won game 1 of the Caltex, but Mok won the next three games to take the best-of-five match. Mok’s nickname is “Boy Wonder” because he defeated Nie Weiping in the 1995 China Korea Lotte Cup when he was just 15 years old, and many Korean baduk fans thought that he would take the torch from Lee Changho. But after winning the KBS Cup when he was 20, Mok never took another title, until now. When the last game was over, Mok burst into tears as his emotions got the better of him, and it took him some time to calm down and give a post-game interview. Choi Cheolhan has now taken second place in the GS Caltex Cup two years running: he was defeated 3-0 by Kim Jiseok last year and lost to Mok this year.
- adapted from a report on Go Game Guru, which includes more details on Mok’s long road back to winning a title, as well as the Caltex game records.
The deadline to apply for the 2015 Collegiate Go Tournament being held in Taiwan this summer has been extended to May 1st. This event is opento any current, future, or recently graduated college(both undergraduate and graduate) student, who will or has attended school in the year 2015. All costs related to room, board, tours, and travel during the event will be covered by the Ing foundation. Organizer Mike Fodera says that the event is meant for students of any playing strength to participate, and will have four divisions so that everyone will be able to play someone around their rank. Find out more information about the tournament — and the forms to register — on the ACGA’s website.
Players at the March 28 Boston Spring Open were greeted by a beautiful spring day: bright sun, birds chirping, warm breezes… wait, is that snow I see outside? So, players at the Boston Spring Open braved another harsh Boston spring to compete at the Microsoft NERD center overlooking a frozen Charles River. However, the atmosphere inside heated up quickly, as participants battled through four rounds to top their division.
The Boston Open is the first in a new series of tournaments that introduces a new format: players are split into divisions about five ranks wide and play all even games, except for the 6k – 15k range who play with handicap. This led to many competitive games and a few upsets, although this time the highest ranked players won their divisions. Full results are below.
Special thanks to Andrew Hall, who willed the tournament into existence, and Chun Sun, who arranged for space at the NERD center and dealt with much of the logistics. Also, thanks to Kate Baxter for helping to pick up coffee and donuts, as well as Neil Ritter for generously making his boards, stones, and clocks available for general use.
- Walther Chen; photos by Chun Sun 5d and Chanho Park; click here for the complete album.
Division 2: 2k to 3d, even games, 8 players
1st place: Xiaocheng Hu 3d (4-0), $100
2nd place: Brian Lee 2d (3-1), $80
3rd place: Greg Pongraz 2k (3-1), $60
Division 3: 5k to 3k, even games, 14 players
1st place: Mike Sherman 4k (4-0), $60
2nd place: Titi Alailima 5k (3-1), $50
3rd place: Laurent Xu 5k (3-1), $40
Division 4: 15k to 6k, handicap games, 15 players
Tie, 1st place: Chi-Hse Teng 6k (4-0), $45
Tie, 1st place: Andy Wei 15k (4-0), $45
3rd place: Steve Berthiaume 10k (3-1), $30
Junnun Jiang Wins the British Open: The British Open was part of the British Go Congress and it was held this year in the Prince Rupert Hotel in Shrewsbury. The Open was played on Saturday and Sunday, with the BGA AGM held on the Saturday evening in between. 68 players took part. The winner was Junnan Jiang 4d with 6 wins and the runner-up was Alex Kent 3d with 5 wins.
Go to Feature at FestivalAsia in London: Go is featuring at FestivalAsia, a unique three-day spectacular at Tobacco Dock in London, from Friday 15th May to Sunday 17th May. The BGA will be demonstrating and lecturing on the game, with a number of volunteers headed by Roger Huyshe. The press release can be found here.
Alistair Wall Misses Record by Half Point: Alistair Wall 2d scored a massive 45 points to win the Stacey Grand Prix, the grand prix for most games won in the top group at a year’s tournaments. The record of 45.5 points was set in 1996 by Francis Roads. Ironically, the game that cost Alistair the record was against Francis at the 2014 Mind Sports Olympiad, where Alistair passed with a dame point left on the board and lost the game by half a point.
With 20,000 Euros at stake, Europe’s first Grand Slam tournament launches on Friday in Berlin. Grand Slam Berlin features a dozen top players, including six professionals, competing in Europe’s biggest-prize tournament. All games will be played live on EuroGoTV and KGS; look for EuroGoTV accounts 1-4. Schedule (in CET): Friday 3rd April: 10:15 Preliminary round; Saturday 4th April: 9:30 Quarter-final; Sunday 5th April: 9:30 semi finals; Monday 6th April: 9:30 Final.
Registration for the 2015 AGA Go Camp is now open. The Go Camp will be held from July 18th to July 25th at YMCA Camp Kern in Oregonia, OH, about half an hour from Cincinnati. Camp directors Amanda Miller and Nano Rivera invite campers of all skill levels, between the ages of 8 and 18 to join them for a week of go-playing and fun. Youth who played in the NAKC or the Redmond Cup are eligible for a $400 scholarship, and need-based scholarships of up to $250 are also available. For more information on the latest camp-related news, and to download the registration forms, please visit the camp website. Any questions can be e-mailed to Amanda Miller at email@example.com.
- Story and photo by Amanda Miller: Yilun Yang 7P plays a simul at last year’s camp.
Kellin Pelrine 6d took top honors at the Colorado All-State Go tournament, held March 21st, in Denver. “The inaugural tournament conducted by the Littleton Go Club was a huge success,” said TD Stuart Horowitz. “Thirty players participated in the event, which was sponsored by the Confucius Institute, who graciously provided a lovely venue along with a catered Chinese lunch.” Winner’s report: Dan Section: 1st place Kellin Pelrine (4-0); 2nd place Eric Wainwright (3-1); Upper Kyu Section: 1st place Stanisslav Irisov (4-0); 2nd place tie Kent Evenson (3-1), Christopher Annanie (3-1); Mid/Lower Kyu Section: 1st place Tae Kim (3-0); 2nd place tie Rich Newman (3-1), Akron Amanov (3-1). All winners received go books. -Paul Barchilon. Photo by Laurie Linz.
Su Guangyue, a fourth-year law student who had been runner-up in 2013, won the 13th World Students Go Oza Championship, held February 24-25 at the Ginza Internet Forum in Tokyo. The contestants were sixteen university students: ten from the Far East, three from Europe, two from the Americas, and one from Oceania. For the eighth time, the winner was Chinese. The event was organized by the All-Japan Students Go Association, Nikkei Inc., and Pandanet, with the cooperation of the Nihon Kiin and the International Go Federation.
- based on James Davies report in Ranka; photo courtesy of the Nihon-Kin
by John Power, Japan Correspondent
Ida fights back in Judan: Ida Atsushi 8P suffered some setbacks recently but he also won his first open title, as detailed in our last report,
and he seems to be taking his cue from the latter. In the second game of the 53rd Judan title, Ida (W) defeated Takao Shinji Judan (left) by resignation after 220 moves, so he has evened the score in the match at 1-1. Takao fell behind when he missed the best move in a fight: he read a variation out correctly for 17 moves but hallucinated about the result. The game was played on March 26 at the Old Tanaka Family Residence in Kawaguchi City, Saitama Prefecture. This is a three-story Western-style brick house built during the Taisho period (1912-26), with a Japanese-style building, tea house and garden being added later. The whole complex was designated a Nationally Registered Tangible Cultural Asset in 2006. The game was played in the teahouse. The third game will be played on April 9.
Yamashita keeps sole lead in Honinbo League: The last game of the sixth round in the 70th Honinbo League was played on March 26. Yamashita Keigo 9P (B, right) beat Ryu Shikun 9P by resignation. He improved his score to 5-1 and hung on to the sole lead. All the games in the final round will be played on April 2. Two other players, Ida Atsushi 8P and Cho U 9P, are on 4-2 and so still have a chance of winning the league. Cho U plays Yamashita in the final round; if Yamashita wins, he becomes the challenger; if Cho wins, he will be tied with Yamashita and could meet him in a play-off. The word is “could,” because if Ida wins his final game against Yo Seiki 7P, creating a three-way tie, only the top two-ranked players qualify for a play-off, which would mean Ida and Yamashita. If a play-off is necessary, it will be held on April 6.
To 8-dan (as of March 27): Kurotaki Masanori (150 wins)
To 3-dan (as of March 24): Kyo Kagen (40 wins)
Crazy Stone wins computer go tournament: The 8th UEC Cup Computer Go Tournament was held at the Electrical Communications University in Chofu City in Tokyo on March 14 and 15 with 22 programs competing. In the preliminary tournament, the programs that won the 6th and 7th cups, Crazy Stone (developed by Remy Coulom of France) and Zen (developed by Team DepZen of Japan) took first and second place in the seven-round Swiss System preliminary tournament, but Zen suffered an upset loss in the quarterfinals of the knock-out stage. Zen is rated 5- or 6-dan on KGS, but it lost to Nomitan, a Japanese program rated as 2- or 3-dan on KGS. In the final, Crazy Stone beat DolBaram, a Korean program developed by Lim Jae-bum. Two commemorative games were played with Cho Chikun (25th Honinbo Chikun) on March 17. Taking four stones, DolBaram won, but on three stones Zen lost.
Chess Grandmaster Tiger Hillarp has become a dan go player on KGS, according to a recent post on Hillarp’s blog, Chess at the Bag of Cats. “It might seem like a rather small step for mankind, but it felt quite big to me and merited a rather bouncy and ungraceful dance around the livingroom,” wrote Hillarp, who also includes two game commentaries. We were alerted to this news by a post by Michael Bacon on his Armchair Warrior blog, which includes GM Peter Heine Nielsen’s comment about “The tradition of the best Japanese board game players to be interested in a game other than their ‘main’ one.” Bacon has been learning go and writes that “Having playing chess most of my adult life, Go is like entering a portal into a completely new and different universe.”
EYGC: The UK had six players representing it at the European Youth Go Championships held on March 12-15 in Zandvoort am Zee in the Netherlands. The team ended with a score of 14 points out of 36. 5 members played in the Under 16 section, and 1 in the Under 12 section. Photos and results can be found at the official 2015 European Youth Go Championship website.
Pandanet Go European Team Championship: On March 17, Britain dropped their first point of the season with a draw against Portugal. Bulgaria drew with Croatia and South Africa beat Greece to claim third place. The British team remains at the top of the C League.
Students under the age of 25 who register for the Nihon Ki-in Summer Go Camp before May 31 will get 10% off the program fee. The intensive training program for non-Japanese go players who want to raise their level and improve their go skills will receive “excellent lectures and workshops every day by highly-selected and richly-experienced professionals of the Nihon Ki-in.” The camp runs August 21 through September 3 at the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo. In includes a special training program on August 27 at ‘Sugi no yado’ where the legendary Fujisawa Shuko hosted his famous ‘Shuko training camp’ each year with promising young professionals.