Though he is a 7-time European Go Champion, the first Russian player to achieve professional rank and currently considered one of Europe’s finest players, Alexandre Dinerchtein 3p (“breakfast” on KGS) keeps his accomplishments in perspective.
Referring to his record against Ilya Shikshin 7d (“roln111″ on KGS), he told the E-Journal in a recent interview that “The official score is 24-8, but we cannot say that I am stronger.” Dinerchtein says he won early games against Shikshin because the distance in strength between them was much greater. For example, in their first match in 2001, Dinerchtein, the European Champion, played Shikshin as a 3-dan amateur. Their score in recent games has been more evenly matched, however, and Dinerchtein says he thinks Shikshin has more talent. “My score is not bad with him only because I know his go style well, his weak and strong points.” Citing strategy as a key Shikshin weakness, Dinerchtein said he forces Shikshin to solve more strategy-oriented problems. Shikshin “plays the same fuseki in every game for exactly the same reason,” says Dinerchtein, “he likes to avoid fuseki and joseki questions and start middlegame fights early.” These middlegame conflicts are Shikshin’s greatest strength and Dinerchtein’s biggest weakness. “I cannot fight as well as Ilya can and I hate any risk on the go board,” Dinerchtein told the E-Journal. Like his favorite professional Kobayashi Koichi 9P, Dinerchtein would rather games be as peaceful and risk-free as possible.
In terms of game study, Dinerchtein said that when he started playing go 25 years ago, “it was hard to find even a single go book, [a] single pro game record.” But now with many go books, game databases, and internet lessons (including his Insei League KGS go school), “it’s easy to find good partners online, so you can improve a lot without even visiting Asian go schools.” Dinerchtein emphasized the importance of studying professional games by using chess as an example. “Every chess grandmaster who wants to win tournaments spends a lot of time preparing new variations using go game databases,” he said, “I am sure soon we will see the same situation in go.”
Though go resources have expanded, the thing Dinerchtein would like to see most in the future is more “serious” interaction between top European and U.S. players. Except for his game with Michael Redmond 9P in 2001, he has never played any top U.S. players in an official event. As for recent U.S.-European events, he said, “I saw the matches between Lee Sedol and U.S. pros (and European pro Taranu), but I don’t think that they were interesting enough” because they were “novelty” fast games. He’d like to see the European Go Federation (EGF) and American Go Association (AGA) sponsor tournaments with big titles and prize purses, like those organized by the Chinese Weiqi Association, Korean Baduk Association and the Nihon Ki-in in Japan. Find out more about Dinerchtein on his homepage, KGS, OGS, DGS, or sign up for the GOAMA newsletter.
- Annalia Linnan
In our April 29 Power Report, we mis-spelled the name of the Huading Tea Industries Cup World Women’s Team Tournament; we apologize for the error.
The Shanghai Ing Foundation has opened its first International Collegiate GO Tournament to US and Canadian college students, according to Michael Fodera of the American Collegiate Go Association. Students who attend the July 7-13 event will play go with players from all over China and the world, travel around Shanghai and Hangzhou and play teaching games with stars Gu Li 9P and Chang Hao 9P. While players must cover their own travel costs to China, their food, accommodation, travel within China, tour costs and sponsored events will be paid for by the Shanghai Ing Foundation. “I was one of the players that attended the [Ing-sponsored] 2011 go summer camp,” Fodera tells the E-Journal, “ and I can honestly say that this is a chance of a lifetime. The Ing Foundation really does not spare any expense when it comes to these events.” The opportunity is open to players who have attended college or will attend college — undergraduate or graduate — in the 2013 calendar year, and who do not hold a professional certification from a recognized go association.
Act fast, however. The deadline for registration is May 15, and, while there is currently no cap on the number of North American students who can attend, the event includes students from the rest of the world as well and if room runs out, requests will be handled on a first-come first-served basis, Fodera says. Click here for details of the trip, as well as links to the registration form and schedule. Questions may be addressed to Fodera at email@example.com or to the Shanghai Ing Foundation’s Min Xiao at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Andy Okun
Nominations for the American Go Foundation’s Teacher of the Year award have been extended until May 30th. The award is presented each year at the U.S. Go Congress and recognizes an outstanding American teacher. The winner will receive an all expenses paid trip to the congress. To be eligible, a teacher must be a member of the AGA, have been teaching go to children for at least two hours a week (during the school year) for two years, have started a go club or organization for youth, and have helped their students enter appropriate tournaments, if possible. If you would like to apply for this award, e-mail email@example.com. Nominations are due by May 30th and should include a description of the teacher’s activities, how long they have been teaching, and how many students attend their program. - Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo: 2011 winner Fritz Balwit teaching his son Theo.
In the uncontested race to complete Bob Barber’s term as AGA Director for the Central Region, “Bob Gilman wins with 100% of the vote,” reports Arnold Eudell. Gilman (left), who lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, is affiliated with the Santa Fe Go Club. A long time AGA member, Gilman has contributed articles to the E-Journal, edited several pages in the recent update of the AGA web site and organized a trip this past February by a group of US players who traveled to Cuba for friendship games at the Academia Cubana de Go in Havana. “I am interested in encouraging greater active involvement by AGA members in forming and executing AGA development plans,” Gilman says. Reach him at BobGilman.AGA@gmail.com
Oystein Vestgaarden 2d bested Paal Sannes 4d and Kim Johansson 1d came in third at the Oslo Open on April 21. In the League A Japan Counsil Cup in Sankt-Peterburg April 13 and 14, Alexander Dinerchtein 7d defeated Ilya Shikshin 7d while Alexander Vashurov 5d placed third. Silvestru State 1d won the Romanian Youth Championship – U 16 final in Bucuresti on April 14 with Denis Dobranis 3k in second and Darius Dobranis 1k in third. For complete result tables and all the latest European go news, visit EuroGoTV.com.
SmartGo Books has been quietly adding more books over the last months, publisher Anders Kierulf reports. John Fairbairn’s “The Life, Games and Commentaries of Honinbo Shuei” is one of three more books added recently, bringing the total to 61.
“Honinbo Shuei” contains a full biography, detailed commentaries on 79 of his games, and 11 commentaries written by Shuei. “It combines six books that were available for the Kindle (combined price $54) into one $20 masterpiece while vastly improving readability and interactivity,” says Kierulf. “One reason Shuei is so famous is because of his pure but elusive style; he is still esteemed as the best model for even modern professionals to follow.”
“Schwarz am Zug: Das Go-Übungsbuch” by Gunnar Dickfeld is SmartGo Books’ first book in German, containing 131 go problems for beginners. “As with our other multi-lingual books (“Patterns of the Sanrensei” in Japanese and “How NOT to Play Go” in Spanish),” notes Kierulf, “English is always an option.” Click here for more information on books by Brett und Stein Verlag.
“The Workshop Lectures, vol. 5” by Yilun Yang 7P looks at choosing areas in the opening, handling unusual opening moves, and protecting positions. “As always, Mr. Yang emphasizes the importance of understanding general principles rather than memorizing particular patterns,” says Kierulf.
SmartGo Books is a free app for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch, with books available through in-app purchase.
Reviewed by Roy Laird
GoEye, the latest go-related app for iOS 5.0+ iPhones, helps you organize, build and enjoy your sgf collection, but offers no content of its own. I’m pretty happy with the sgf readers I’ve written about before, but GoEye does have a couple of unique functions. For commented games, the PDF creator turns the SGF into a PDF file with numbered stones on a series of diagrams, and the accompanying comments at the bottom at the bottom of each page. So for instance, if the first comment appears at move 5, the PDF will show a game record with moves 1-5 and the comment; if the second comment is at move 17, the next record will show move 6-17; etc. Explanatory diagrams also appear, and the pages curl nicely as you “turn” them. There’s an “Alert” function that tells you when you get to the next comment. The game info pops up, pushing the board down, a move that is sure to get your attention; you can swipe it back into place, but I would prefer an alert that doesn’t disturb the status quo.
I was unable to load large files, such as Kogo’s Joseki Dictionary. I told the developer, who then released an update he claims fixed this bug, but I still can’t get such a large file to load. A link with Go4go.net gives you access to recent pro game records, or for €9.99 purchase the entire 33,000 game archive; but at present you can’t search Go4Go while within GoEye. They also plan to integrate seamlessly with others sites such as GoBase, but for now it’s easy enough to collect the files you want directly, then use the reader of your choice to view them.
GoEye also contains an “image recognition” feature meant to read images of go games and transform them into sgfs. I found it somewhat tricky and picky. You can use it for instance when players post positions on GoDiscussions.com and ask for comments, but it doesn’t work well with photos. GoEye is integrated with Facebook and Sina Weibo, a popular Chinese microblogging site.
GoEye provides users with first-rate graphics and a couple of nice features, but falls short of its self-proclaimed status as “the best iOS app for go.” If you spend a lot of time looking at SGF files, and you’re not happy with any of the readers that are out there, maybe it’s worth $11.99 to give GoEye a try; unfortunately there is no free trial offer. But if you’re shopping for software that helps you study, consider other apps that offer original content and additional features.
“Go is alive and well here in Manhattan!” reports Big Apple organizer Peter Armenia. “We of course have our very regular Gotham Go Group every Tuesday evening at 7 at the Hungarian Pastry Shop. And it looks like there will be Go every Wednesday night at 6 pm at PIE By the Pound (124 4th Ave btw 12th and 13th). Now all we need is a Go Congress in New York City!”
The sequel to last year’s Oscar Wilde Liberation (OWL) Tournament, “OWL: Resurrection”, will be this year’s first online NAMT qualifier, reports Karoline Burrall, who will direct, with Jasmine Yan. The 4-round tournament will take place the weekend of May 18-19, “the 19th being the 116th anniversary of the great author and playwright Oscar Wilde’s liberation from Reading Gaol Prison in 1897,” Burrall tells the E-Journal. “Participants will have the opportunity to earn points towards the North American Masters Tournament at this year’s Go Congress in August,” Burrall adds. Designed for 16 players, all games will be played on KGS in the AGA Tournament Room. Click here for tournament schedule and rules and here to register by Thursday May 16. Players must be 4D+ and eligible to compete in NAMT (citizen or permanent resident, continuous AGA membership since January 2012, and resident in the US for 6 of the last 12 months). Burrall notes that “should this tournament fall on the same weekend again next year, it will be titled ‘OWL: Apocalypse’”.
“Thank you for posting the history of the German go pro who died in Guatemala (Remembering German Go Professional Hans Pietsch 4/26 EJ),” writes Brazilian go organizer Roberto Petresco. “I knew the history and perhaps I heard about it when it happened, but I had no idea of the details nor (had I seen his) face. I am happy to know his memory is being preserved with events organized in his memory. Imagine how go would be in Germany if he had the chance to keep working.”
Aaron Ye 5d, who has been the Jr. Division US Youth Champion for the past three years, pulled a surprise upset at the Jujo Jiang Youth Cup in Sunnyvale, CA, on March 24th. Ye, who is just 11, lost his Jr. Division title to Jeremy Chiu 5d in the US Youth Go Championships in February, and was out to settle a score. Reigning Sr. Division champion Calvin Sun 7d was also unseated by Andrew Lu 6d at the USYGC. All of these matches were held online, but Ye was determined to even the score when he got the chance to play both Chiu and Lu face to face at the Jujo Cup. Taking white against Chiu, Ye captured a large group on the lower side, and then forced Chiu to resign in just 132 moves. Ye next took on Andrew Lu, and despite falling behind in the opening, was able to regain his footing, and defeat Lu as well. As a special bonus for all E-J readers, Feng Yun’s compelling commentary on the game is being provided for free (see below). Full members of the AGA get exciting commentaries like this every week, and members can compare games like this one with last week’s commentary, where Ye lost to Chiu, and also see an exciting game between Calvin Sun and Andrew Lu from the USYGC. The game commentaries alone are worth the price of AGA membership. For youth it is an even better deal, just $10 a year! The E-J is providing this game as a freebie, full members can also see another game this week, where Guo Juan 5P reviews a game from a 1 dan player, and highlights how to find urgent points in relation to strong and weak groups on the board. To sign up for the members edition, register with the AGA here. Winner’s Report: 5-7 dan: 1st Place: Aaron Ye, 2nd place: Andrew Lu, 3rd place: Jeremy Chiu, 4th place: Tianyi Liu; 1-3dan: 1st place: Daniel Liu; 1k – 8k: 1st: Eric Liu; 17k – 29k: Mathew Cheng; 13 x 13 board: Adam Tang. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo by Abby Zhang: A triumphant Aaron Ye holds up his trophy.
by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the American Go E-Journal
Yuki takes Judan Title, Reducing Iyama to Quintuple Crown: Challenger Yuki Satoshi 9P put an end to Iyama Yuta’s reign as a sextuple titleholder on April 26 when he won the final game of the 51st Judan title match, which was played at the headquarters of the Kansai Ki-in. Taking white, Yuki won by 1.5 points after 261 moves to win his second top-seven title. Yuki took the lead in the middle game and thereafter, thanks to accurate play, managed to fend off Iyama’s attempts to catch up. Yuki is the fourth Kansai Ki-in player to win the Judan title. He has now won 11 titles, but nine of these are fast-go titles; his only previous top-seven title was the 36th Tengen title, which he won in 2010.
In March, Iyama became the first player ever to hold six of the top-seven titles simultaneously, and there was a lot of speculation about his chances of monopolizing all seven by winning the Meijin title later this year. That prospect has now been ruled out after his reign as a sextuple titleholder ended after just 43 days. To have a second crack at this goal, Iyama will have to hang on to his other titles, then regain the Judan title next year, while also picking up the Meijin title this year or next year.
As with the fourth game, all the interest of the press focused on Iyama at the end of the game, with photographers snapping him, not the winner. The report the next day in the Yomiuri newspaper, for example, featured a photo of Iyama with the headline ‘Iyama reduced to five crowns.’ Yuki probably was philosophical about this; after all, he had the title, and his career had reached a new peak at the ‘advanced’ age, for tournament go, of 41.
Korea Wins Huading Cup After 3-Way Tie: The Huading Tea Industries Cup World Women’s Team Tournament is a tournament for three-player teams from the four East Asian countries with professional go organizations. Last year, in the tournament’s first edition. it was dominated by Korea, which didn’t lose a game, but this year China, Korea, and Japan fought their way to a three-way tie, with each country winning two matches and losing one. Last place was filled by Chinese Taipei, which failed to win a match but did pick up an individual win, one more than last year. The first tie-breaker is the number of games won. Japan had five wins, compared to six each for China and Korea, so it took third place. The second tie-breaker is the results of the players on the top board, but here, too, China and Korea were tied, so the organizers had to resort to the third tie-breaker, the results on the second board. Here the Korean player had one more win, so that gave Korea the championship for the second time running. photo: Xie playing Hei (Joanne Missingham) of Chinese Taipei; photo by sina.com
Round 1 (April 26): Japan 2, Taiwan 1: Xie Yimin (Hsieh I-min) 6P (B) defeated Hei Jiajia (Joanne Missingham) 6P by half a point; Okuda Aya 3P (W) lost to Su Shengfang 2P by resignation; Mukai Chiaki 5P (B) d. Zhang Zhengping 3P by resig.; China 2, Korea 1: Li He 5P (W) d. Pak Chi-eun 9P by 3.5 points; Tang Yi 2P (B) lost to Kim Mi-li 2P by resig; Wang Chenxing 5P (W) d. Kim Ch’ae-yeong 1P by resig.
Round 2 (April 27): Korea 2, Japan 1: Pak (B) d. Xie by resig.; Kim Mi-li (W) d. Okuda by resig.; Kim (B) lost to Mukai by resig.; China 3, Chinese Taipei 0: Li (B) d. Hei by resig.; Tang (W) d. Su by resig.; Wang (B) d. Zhang by resig.
Round 3 (April 28): Japan 2, China 1: Xie (B) d. Li by resig.; Okuda (W) lost to Tang by resig.; Mukai (B) d. Wang by half a point.; Korea 3, Chinese Taipei 0: Pak (W) d. Hei by resig.; Kim Mi-li (B) d. Su by resig.; Kim (W) d. Zhang by resig.
Karl-Ernst Paech, former president of the European Go Federation (EGF) and the German Go Federation (DGoB) — and one of the most influential leaders of European go in the last century — died on April 16 at the age of 90.
After growing up in different German cities Paech (left, in blue shirt) spent most of his life in Munich. He first came across go in 1937 when he discovered a telegraphically-played game between Fritz Dueball and the Japanese Farming Minister. In 1964 Paech founded the Bavarian Go Association (BGoV) and became it’s first president. In 1966 he was elected president of the German Go Federation. One year later he also became president of the European Go Federation for two years and after that served as EGF treasurer. He was a member of the EGF board and DGoB president for ove 15 years. He was appointed Honorary President by both organizations after his retirement. Even after retiring he regularly attended yearly meetings of the the Bavarian Go Association despite being more than 80 years old.
Paech’s proudest honor was the 1988 award of the Japanese Okura prize, the highest award by the Nihon Ki-in for spreading go in the world. Aside from his success in building go federations he was also a proficient player. At his first trip to Japan in 1965 he received a Ni-Dan diploma from the Nihon Ki-in and in 1982 he received a 2-dan amateur diploma from the Korean Baduk Association.
Paech had a major influence on establishing the administrative structures and tournaments that exist in Europe today and he was responsible for numerous activities fostering go in Germany and Europe, including four European Go Congresses which took place in Germany during his leadreship tenure. He also initiated the introduction of the Japanese ranking system in Germany.
- reported by Jan Engelhardt, German correspondent for the E-Journal
“At the 1:10:00 minute mark of ‘Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame’ there is a beautiful scene with an elaborate goban and stones,” writes Vincent DiMattia. I don’t know if this has been reported before but (even if so), watch the movie for it’s great production and story line. It’s filled with mystery and magic and is top quality. Fight scenes are impressive also.”
Read more about this in our October 22, 2011 post: Go Spotting: The Mystery of Detective Dee and the Go Board.
May 4-5: Arcadia, CA
TrendNet 2013 Southern California Go Championship & NAMT Qualifier
Kevin Chao firstname.lastname@example.org 949-466-1479
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Get the latest go events information.
Professional go player and popular teacher Janice Kim 3P will teach a two-day go workshop in Berkeley, CA on May 4 and 5. The class size is being kept very small in order to maximize individual attention and give students the opportunity to ask questions. “A few seats are still available,” reports event organizer Thomas Rike, “but don’t delay.”
Janice Kim 3P is co-author of the award-winning book series Learn to Play Go, and her lectures at the San Francisco Go Club and past workshops have been very popular. One comment from a past workshop student: “Janice is able to get one to focus on those areas of the game where making a conscious effort can completely change the outcome.”
The deadline to sign up for the workshop is Thursday, May 2. More information and a registration link are available on the Bay Area Go workshop page.
“The AGA Go Camp is excited to announce that Yilun Yang 7P will be joining us for camp this year,” reports Camp Director Amanda Miller. Yang became a professional at the age of 14, in 1973. He has trained many notable players, including Rui Naiwei 9P, Chang Hao 9P, and Hua Zueming 7P. An experienced teacher, Yang has been teaching in the United States since 1986. He’s also the author of many popular go books, such as Fundamental Principles of Go, Life and Death by the Numbers, and Life and Death in Chinese Characters. ”If you’re a go player between the ages of 8 and 18, and would like an opportunity to study go for a week with a professional teacher, the AGA East Go Camp is for you,” says Miller. Anyone who played in the US Youth Go Championships is eligible for a $400 AGF scholarship to the camp. Kids who didn’t play, but need financial help to attend, can apply for a needs-based scholarship here. Visit the camp website for general information, pictures from past camps, and news regarding this year’s upcoming Go Camp. Questions about camp can be addressed to Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org -Story/photo by Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo: Yilun Yang teaching a children’s workshop in Boulder, Co.
The Teachers Workshop planned for this year’s U.S. Go Congress has attracted the attention of the Korean Baduk Association, which is sending two Korean pros who are recognized experts in teaching techniques, to add to the program. “They are very enthusiastic about supporting go education in America,” says Myungwan Kim 9P, whose diplomacy made the visit possible. The Koreans are particularly interested in sharing their techniques for bringing youth players into the low single-digit kyu level within a year or two. “Our curriculum this year is aimed at those teaching absolute beginners,” says workshop coordinator Bill Camp. “The Korean expert teachers will allow us to expand the program to include those who want to teach at a higher level.” Enthusiasm for the workshop is much higher than expected, according to Congress co-director Chris Kirschner, who reports that “16% of Congress attendees thus far have registered for the workshop. We aren’t planning on turning anyone away, but we do want people to sign up early so we can plan the workshop sessions to fit the number and types of people attending.” – Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor