by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal
Women’s Meijin League: The final game in the first round of the new league was played on August 28. Aoki Kikuyo 8P (W, at right) beat Okuda Aya 3P by 7.5 points. On September 3, Okuda recovered from her bad start, beating Suzuki Ayumi 6P (B) by 5.5 points. On the same day, Mannami Nao 3P (W) improved her score to 2-0 by beating Kato Keiko 6P by 6.5 points.
Iyama makes good start in Meijin title defense: The first game of the 40th Meijin best-of-seven was played at the Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo on September 3 and 4. Taking white, Iyama secured a resignation after 180 moves. Iyama owed his victory to his skillful play in rescuing a group under attack. Iyama had given Takao this attack as compensation for winning a large ko. After the game, the challenger Takao Shinji 9P commented that perhaps his positional judgment had been a little slack. He said that he played a little mildly in a couple of areas because he thought he was ahead when he may not have been. The second game will be played on September 17 and 18.
Vacant seats in 71st Honinbo League filled: The following four players have won seats in the 71st Honinbo League, due to start in October. They are Takao Shinji Judan, Yo Seiki 8P, Ichiriki Ryo 7P, and Motoki Katsuya 3P (left). The first two, Takao and Yo, won their way back in immediately after dropping out of the previous league. The other two, Ichiriki (aged 18) and Motoki (aged 20), will be making their debuts. Motoki earned promotion to 7-dan for his feat. Ichiriki set a record for youngest player in the Kisei league when he was sixteen years nine months; he is now 18 years two months, the second-youngest player to win a seat in the Honinbo league. He fell just nine days short of breaking the record set by Yo Seiki last year.
To 8-dan: Miyagawa Fumihiko (150 wins) (as of August 28). Miyagawa, born on February 18, 1972, is a disciple of Yamashiro Hiroshi 9P; he is a member of the Central Japan (Nagoya) branch of the Nihon Ki-in. He also serves as a director of the Nihon Ki-in.
To 7-dan: Motoki Katsuya 3P (for winning a place in the 71st Honinbo league; as of September 4)
Searching for a literary go reference: Some time ago I read a go haiku or short poem in which the aging speaker wished he could start a ko and thus postpone the impending end of his life. If anyone has the poem or similar ones, I would really appreciate getting the reference! This has been bugging me for a long time….. Paul Celmer firstname.lastname@example.org
by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal
Yamashita Keigo wins S League: Three important games in the 40th Kisei S League were played recently. The results were: (August 27) Murakawa Daisuke Oza (B) beat Kobayashi Satoru 9P by resig. (September 3) Yamashita Keigo 9P (W) beat Yoda Norimoto 9P by 2.5 points; Murakawa (W) beat Yamashiro Hiroshi 9P by resig. Yamashita (right) finished the league with 4-1, securing first place and a seat in the final play-off to decide the challenger. Since he will start this play-off with a one-win advantage, there’s a good chance we will see the third successive Kisei title match between him and Iyama. Thanks to his win, Murakawa, who ended on 3-2, earned a seat in the knock-out tournament — he goes directly into the semifinal. Yoda finished with the same score, but was ranked fourth to Murakawa’s second, so he drops to third place. Yoda’s loss to Yamashita was probably his most expensive of the year. One game is still to be played in the final round, so we do not know yet who will drop out. The final games in the B Leagues were also played on the 3rd. Awaji Shuzo 9P won the B1 league with a 5-2 score and Yamada Kimio 9P the B2 League, also with 5-2. There will be a play-off between these two to decide the overall B League winner. The winner will join the knock-out tournament at the bottom rung (see the end of the next item).
Kyo wins Kisei C League: After four rounds in the 40th Kisei C League, there were only two players with undefeated records; they were Kyo Kagen 3P and Akiyama Jiro 9P. The game between them in the final round, played on August 20, was in effect a play-off to decide the league winner though this league is nominally a Swiss System. The 17-year-old Kyo (not 15, as I wrote in my previous report; just for the record, he will be 18 on September 19) won this game, taking black, by resignation. This earned him a place in the knock-out tournament to decide the challenger and (assuming he doesn’t become the Kisei challenger) promotion to one of the B Leagues next year. Kyo: “The new league system for the Kisei tournament encourages young players. I aim to be the challenger.” Incidentally, Kyo is leading the most-wins list with 32 wins to six losses (next is Yamashita Keigo on 29-19, followed by Ichiriki Ryo on 27-13). Recently, there have been more and more signs that Kyo may be the strongest teenager in Japan. To summarize the knock-out stage of the Kisei tournament: The C League winner, Kyo Kagen, will play the overall B League winner (Awaji or Yamada); the winner then plays the winner of the A League, Kono Rin; the winner of this game then plays the S League number two, Murakawa; the winner then joins the final match with Yamashita to decide the challenger.
Tomorrow: Women’s Meijin League; Iyama makes good start in Meijin title defense; Vacant seats in 71st Honinbo League filled
by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal
Yi Sedol repeats in TV Asia Cup: Our previous report took this tournament as far as the first semifinal, in which Park Junghwan 9P (B) of Korea beat his compatriot Lee Donghun 5P by resig. In the second semifinal, played on August 27, Lee Sedol 9P of Korea, made his first appearance; as the previous winner, he was seeded. Lee (B) beat Yang Dingxin 3P of China by resig. In the final, Lee (B) beat Park by resig., winning this title for the second year in a row and the fourth time overall. This matches the record of Takemiya Masaki, who won the first four titles. By my count, this is Lee’s 17th international title, not counting his jubango win. Though he is rated the world’s number one, Park has been unable to win this tournament in five appearances. For more on this tournament, click here for Go Game Guru’s report, with more photos and game records.
Yuki reaches Tengen final: The second semifinal of the 41st Tengen tournament was held on August 24. Yuki Satoshi 9P (W) came out ahead in an endgame contest, beating Yamashita Keigo 9P by 1.5 points. He will play Iyama Yuta in the final to decide the challenger to Takao Shinji.
Oza semifinal: The second semifinal of the 63rd Oza tournament was played on August 24. Yo Seiki 7P (W) beat Ko Iso 8P by 2.5 points. He will meet Iyama Yuta in the final, scheduled for September 7. This will be the first game between the two. Whoever wins, the title match will be an all-Kansai affair, as the titleholder is Murakawa Daisuke of the Kansai Ki-in.
Xie to challenge for Women’s Honinbo: In the play-off to decide the challenger to Fujisawa Rina for the 34th Women’s Honinbo title, held at the Nihon Ki-in on August 27, Xie Yimin (left), Women’s Meijin and Kisei, (W) defeated Chinen Kaori 4P by resig. Xie will challenge for the title she lost to Mukai Chiaki two years ago (Fujisawa took it from Mukai last year). Xie has an even record, 2-2, against Fujisawa in official games, but this will be their first series. The best-of-five starts on October 8.
Agon Kiriyama semifinal: In the first semifinal of the 22nd Agon Kiriyama Cup, Iyama Yuta (B) beat Son Makoto 3P by 7.5 points, as already reported. The second semifinal was held on August 31 between Yo Seiki 7P and Kyo Kagen 3P. It was held on Yo’s home ground of the Kansai Ki-in, with Kyo traveling from Tokyo. Apparently these two are good friends, often putting each other up when they travel for games, but on the morning of this game there was no chitchat. Kyo (W) won the game by resignation. The final will be played on October 10. This is the third tournament final that Iyama has qualified for recently.
Tomorrow: Yamashita Keigo wins S League; Kyo wins Kisei C League
There’s limited space for international competitors at the 2016 Australian Go Congress, set for January 15-19 at Novotel Sydney Parramatta in Sydney, Australia. There’s an early bird rate for those who book and pay prior to November 26. Apart from the go, Sydney and Australia are two of the world’s best tourism destinations, notes organizer Sang-Dae Hahn. The Congress will provide free tours and guides to participants.
“I hope that those of you who have always wanted to visit Australia but have never had a good enough excuse will take the opportunity to join us for what will be an outstanding event,” says Sang-Dae Hahn. “I look forward to seeing you in Sydney! For registration info, email email@example.com. Click here to see photos and more from the 2015 Australian Go Congress.
Sang-Dae Hahn(韓相大) firstname.lastname@example.org
“Go is possibly one of the last things in this world that involves long-form communication. In a society of five-second videos and messages, go is one of the few opportunities you have to sit down with someone and do something for at least 30 minutes. That chance to interact, to discuss, and to mutually change one another, is what I like most about go.” photo by Phil Straus
First in a series; if you’d like to participate, tell us your favorite thing about the game of go, include your name, age, how long you’ve played go and where you live, and email to email@example.com. Be sure to include a current photo!
Hajin Lee 3p, popular for her YouTube broadcasts under the name Haylee, has announced she will host a series of exhibition games with the AGA-certified professionals on her YouTube channel. Each episode will include a short interview with the guest, the exhibition game and a game review. The schedule of games: Sep. 5 : Calvin Sun 1P; Sep. 12: William Gansheng Shi 1P; Sep. 19: Ryan Li 1P; Oct. 3 : Andy Liu 1P. Broadcast time will be US Eastern Time 7PM. Lee, a frequent attendee at both US and European go congresses, is also secretary general of the International Go Federation. “My thanks to Hajin and our pros for putting on these broadcasts, which I very much look forward to watching,” said AGA President Andy Okun.
Peter Zunick 1d went 3-1 to top the dan level division in the Mason Go Tournament, held August 22 in Mason, Ohio. Sponsored by the Miami University Confucius Institute, the tournament attracted 18 go players from Mason, Cincinnati, Dayton, and Columbus. The youngest player was Yeming You 20K, an 8-year-old go class student at the Mason Huaxia Chinese School. Mason, Ohio has had the enrichment class for over eight years, and they just started a go club at Mason Public Library. This year, reports club organizer Frank Luo, “Go class students got very excited when the AGA Summer Go Camp was held at Camp Kern, 20 minutes away from Mason.” The class was able to send six students to the Go Camp, which inspired Luo to hold the first go tournament in this mid-west area. With support from the Confucius Institute of Miami University and the local library, the tournament went very well, Luo says. “We already have plans to continue the tournament next year,” Luo added.
E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock recently said to me, “Myron, you’ve been doing the Problem Of The Week for quite a while, why don’t you send me some details for an E-Journal article. Oh, and make it interesting.”
Chris’s last sentence scared me. The American Medical Association uses me as a treatment-of-last-resort for insomnia patients. As if that weren’t bad enough, I’m in the half of go players who make the top half possible (You’re welcome, dan players). But as a result, I probably have a good view of what makes a go problem interesting for most players.
I volunteered in April 2004, when I noticed that no one was updating usgo.org’s Problem Of The Week (POTW). In a classic case of “Be careful what you ask for,” I’m still doing the POTW after 11 years and 590 weekly problems. And no one seems willing to let me out of my volunteer contract.
Over the years I’ve been very happy that some high-dan amateurs from different parts of the world have emailed corrections or improvements. But I enjoy hearing from anyone about what kind of problems to post. Based on unique IP address hits on the go problem for each week, hundreds of people seem to be finding something interesting. I do try hard to find just those problems that have something especially interesting, unique, or instructive.
A few of the problems have been of my own making or based on interesting St. Louis Go Club games from my home club. But most of the problems are from the classic go problem collections, back issues of the American Go Journal and Go World magazines, or any other source which the AGA has permission to use.
Your comments and suggestions are welcome: email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The American Go Honor Society’s outgoing leadership has selected Yunxuan Li 7d as this year’s President. The organization runs multiple events every year: the School Team Tournament and the Young Lions are some of the most popular, and draw students nationwide. Li is excited to lead this year’s cohort of high school student organizers: “I am very glad to take the responsibility of AGHS this year. I hope through the effort we all put in together, we can spread go to a wider audience in North America.” He can’t do it alone, though – Li is calling on interested high school students to apply to be officers this year. The open positions include Vice President, Promotion Head, Webmaster, Tournament Organizer, Secretary, and Treasurer. To apply, download the application form on the AGHS’s website and send it in to AGHSpresident@gmail.com by September 19. -Julian Erville, E-J Youth Correspondent
28th Women’s Meijin League starts: The first two games in the 28th Women’s Meijin League were played on August 20. The main interest this year is the debut of Fujisawa Rina (right) in the league. The sixteen-year-old lived up to expectations, defeating Kato Keiko 6P in her opening game. Taking black, Fujisawa forced a resignation. In the other game, Mannami Nao 3P (W) beat Chinen Kaori 4P by resignation. Xie Yimin has held this title for nine years in a row.
Japan eliminated from TV Asia Cup: The opening round (three games) and the first semifinal of the 27th TV Asia Cup have been played in Seoul. Unfortunately for Japan, its representatives have already been eliminated, so the tournament is now a contest between China and Korea. On August 25, the first two games in Round One were played. Lee Donghun 5P (Korea, at left) (W) beat Ida Atsushi 8P (Japan) by resignation. In the second game, Park Junghwan 9P of Korea (B) beat Liao Xingwen 5P (China) by resignation. The final game of this round was played on the morning of August 26. Yang Dingxin 3P (China) (W) beat Ichiriki Ryo 7P (Japan) by half a point. In the afternoon, the first semifinal was played, with Park (W) beating Lee by resignation. The second semifinal will be played on August 27. Yang will meet Lee Sedol 9P (Japan), who as last year’s cup winner was seeded into the semifinals. The winner of that game will meet Park in the final on August 28.
New women’s tournament with biggest prize: Financial incentives are getting better and better for women players in Japan. First of all, a new tournament, the Aizu Central Hospital Cup, founded last year, raised the bar by offering a record prize of seven million yen. That has now been topped by the Senko Cup, founded by the Osaka-based Senko Corporation. The Senko Cup Women’s Igo Strongest Player Tournament, to give it its full name, offers a first prize of eight million and a second prize of four million yen. The second prize in itself almost matches the three long-established women’s titles (to be specific, their top prizes are 5,800,000 yen for the Women’s Honinbo and 5,000,000 each for the Women’s Meijin and the Women’s Kisei). The new tournament is open to all professional women players in Japan and the preliminaries start in September. The main tournament, in which the top 16 participate, will start in January 2016 and the semifinal and final will be held in July. Fujisawa Rina, Women’s Honinbo, Xie Yimin (left), Women’s Meijin & Kisei, and O Keii, Aizu Central Hospital Cup-holder, will be seeded in the main tournament. The time allowance will be three hours per player.
Death of Cho Chikun’s wife: Cho Chikun’s wife Kyoko died of pancreatic cancer on August 7. She was 65 years old.
The second day of the Mexican Go Congress kicked off on Sunday with a children’s 13 x 13 tournament (right), and Mexican Open rounds 3 and 4 occupied the late morning and early afternoon, followed a lecture by Myungwan Kim 9P on handling crosscuts (left). Kim showed two recent games of Lee Changho’s in which Lee lost early due to not handling crosscuts as well as his younger opponents. Kim explained that the new generation of professionals receives much more in-depth training in reading out long and complicated sequences than was the case 15 years ago. Kim said that this was the most important single lecture topic for two reasons: handling a crosscut correctly may often mean the difference between establishing a superior position or completely collapsing, and learning to handle them requires practice of the reading skills that one should be applying constantly other aspects of the game. The Congress concludes on Monday with a final day of activities.
Report/photos by Steven Burrall; photos: (right) TD’s Emil Garcia and Daphne Rios supervise the children’s 13 x 13 action; (left) Myungwan Kim 9P lectures on the crosscut.
“It would be great if there was a system in place to help people who want to play in the pair-go but don’t have a partner to find one”…”Live broadcasting was good, but I’d rather see live pro comments on a large room with many go players”…”Include the topics discussed on the pro lecture schedule board”…These are just a few of the many suggestions submitted on the US Go Congress Survey. Whether you’ve attended a Go Congress or not, Congress organizers are interested in your opinions on a few basic questions so that they can make future Congresses even better. Click here by midnight this Wednesday to take the brief survey; participants are eligible for go prizes!
photo: Feng Yun 9P plays in a simul at the 2015 US Go Congress; photo by Chris Garlock
Young players make Agon Kiriyama Cup semifinals: The remaining two quarterfinals of the 22nd Agon Kiriyama Cup were played recently. On August 10, Kyo Kagen 3P (B) (aged 15) beat Shuto Shun 7P by resignation. On August 13, Yo Seiki 7P (B) (aged 20) beat Matsumoto Takehisa 7P by resignation. Kyo and Yo will play each other in one semifinal; the other matches Iyama Yuta (aged 26) and Son Makoto 3P (aged 19). As you can see from the ages, all four are young players, though Iyama is already a veteran in experience. The recent results of the Taiwanese players Yo and Kyo show that they both have exceptional promise; they will probably be titleholders before too much longer.
Iyama reaches Oza final: The first semifinal in the 63rd Oza tournament was played on August 17. Iyama Yuta (B) beat Yuki Satoshi by resignation. The other semifinal pits Ko Iso 8P against Yo Seiki 7P. The winner will meet Iyama in the play-off to decide the challenger on September 7.
Yoda stumbles in top Kisei league, Kono wins A League: In a game played in the S League, the top league, in the 40th Kisei tournament, on August 13, Yamashita Keigo 9P improved his score to 3-1 when he beat Takao Shinji Tengen (W) by 2.5 points. At this point he was in second place. League leader Yoda Norimoto 9P (left) suffered a painful loss in the S League on August 20. Taking white, he lost to Yamashiro Hiroshi 9P by half a point. On 3-1, Yoda now shares the lead with Yamashita Keigo 9P, who has the advantage of being ranked higher (number one) ? there is no play-off within the Kisei leagues. Yamashiro goes to 2-2, so his chances of keeping his place improve. Kono Rin scored his sixth successive win in the A League in a game played on August 13. Taking black, he beat Cho Riyu 8P by 2.5 points. Everyone else in the league has at least two losses, so Kono wins the league regardless of his result in his final game. He also secured promotion to the S League next year. In the knock-out tournament, he will have to win four games in a row to become the challenger whereas the winner of the S League has to win only one game in what is called an “irregular best-of-three.” How this works is that Kono would have to beat the winner of the game between the B and C League winners (both of whom have to win five games to become the challenger), next win a game against the second-place-getter in the S League, then beat the winner of the S League twice in a row. The latter is given an advantage of one win in the final play-off, so his opponent can’t afford to lose a game. That means that in practice, there can’t be a third game in this “best-of-three,” as the winning score will always be 2-0.
Tomorrow: 28th Women’s Meijin League starts; Japan eliminated from TV Asia Cup; New women’s tournament with biggest prize; Death of Cho Chikun’s wife.
Forty two go players signed up for the Mexican Open, a three-day, six-round tournament this weekend which is the main event of the second Coloquio de Go, or Go Congress, in Mexico City. “Enthusiasm for go is much newer in Mexico than in the United States, but they have a bright future with indefatigable organizer, registrar and TD Emil Garcia,” reports Steve Burrall. Garcia (seated in blue shirt) is also a very strong player, who placed sixth in the recent Prime Minister’s Cup. Saturdays’s two rounds were followed by a lecture from Myungwan Kim 9p on a game he played with Lee Sedol that was a watershed event in his go playing career. Kim then played a simultaneous match with 12 local players. The photo at right, the view from board #8 in the tournament room, shows the ruins of Tlatelolco, a former pyramid transformed into an adjacent church by the Spaniards.
- report/photos by EJ Special Correspondent Steve Burrall
The Mexican Go Association is holding its second Go Congress this weekend, August 29-31 at Centro Cultural Tlatelolco in Mexico City. The main event in the Congress is the second Mexican Go Open Tournament with total cash prizes of 9,000 Mexican pesos. Go and Origami workshops along with a 13 x13 blitz tournament and Hikaru No Go screening will take place for youngsters and the Myungwan Kim 9p will provide lectures, game reviews and simultaneous games, said MGA President Emil Garcia. USA and Europe are making great efforts to develop go in their regions, with Congresses and pro qualification, said Garcia. “Mexico and Latin America shouldn’t lag behind.” Click here for the Congress site; during the Mexican Open, players can follow top-board games on KGS through the GoMex1 and GoMex2 accounts.
The inaugural American Chang Qi Cup, scheduled for September 26-28 at Harvard University in Cambridge, MA, is shaping up to be an exciting event, and over 100 players have already registered.
The 2015 Chang Qi Cup is the first time that the semi-finals of an international professional tournament will be held in North America. Four top pros from China will compete for a berth in the Chang Qi Cup finals. This event will also include the inaugural American Chang Qi Tournament, an AGA-rated tournament with significant cash prizes. The American tournament features a top prize of $4,000 for the open section, and generous prizes for all division winners.
Hosted by the American Collegiate Go Association (ACGA) and the Shanghai Ing Foundation, special activities are planned, including the Tsumego Challenge, in which competitors solve rapid-fire go problems for small prizes. And for participating college students only, there will be an extra event: free bowling on Saturday night. Similar to the AGA E-Journal’s expanded video coverage at this year’s US Go Congress, local organizers are planning complete coverage of the event through video streaming. Professional commentary on the Chang Qi Cup games, commentary on the top boards of the American tournament, and even special interviews will all be broadcast.
Hotels for the weekend are filling up quickly, so the ACGA urges registrants to book soon. Visit the website for details and registration.