Li Keqiang’s Go Metaphor: In a departure from previous years, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang did not cite any traditional Chinese sayings or poems at a recent news conference after the annual National People’s Congress. Instead, he used a go metaphor to convey his message. “In weiqi – a chessboard game invented by the Chinese – one has to both plan the big picture and also get the key moves right,” he said, explaining his strategy in managing China’s economy.
- Based on a report in the South China Morning Post; thanks to Melanie Manion and Dave Weimer for passing it along.
More on Legal Go Positions: “A colleague of mine 30 years ago offered a very clever way of accurately estimating the number of legal go positions, (Number of Legal 18×18 Go Positions Computed 3/17)” writes Eric Osman. “His name is Peter Sichel and his clever way was this: generate random board arrangements, and see what percentage of those are legal. If you want more accuracy, generate some more! The estimate for the number of legal positions is merely your percentage of legal ones multiplied by the total number of possible positions which of course is 3 to the square of 19 power.”
Get the latest go events information.
The AGA Go Camp will take place from July 18th through July 25th at YMCA Camp Kern in Oregonia, Ohio (just 40 minutes from Cincinatti). Directors Amanda Miller and Nano Rivera return to organize the event, and they invite campers of all skill levels, between the ages of 8 and 18, to join them for a week of go-playing and fun. More information regarding the camp will be available soon, and registration should open within the next two weeks, keep your eyes out for future announcements in the E-J. Potential campers who participated in the NAKC or Redmond Cup are eligible for a $400 scholarship, and need-based scholarships will also be available. Any questions can be e-mailed to Amanda Miller at email@example.com. -Story and Photo by Amanda Miller.
The School Teams Tournament has extended their registration deadline to this Wednesday, to catch any last minute teams that didn’t have time to sign up. The tourney starts this Saturday. All matches will be played online, and schools from Canada, the US, and Mexico are all invited. Scholarship and cash prizes will both be distributed. To register, fill out the form here, by March 25. More information may be found on the AGHS website.
Players from the University of Tokyo edged out players from UCLA in an online friendship match on Saturday, February 14. The University of Tokyo team defeated the UCLA team with a 3-2 record. Players from both teams are active members of their university go clubs. On the top board, Chaohao Pan, the UCLA team captain, yielded to Kentaro Tsutsumi after he lost a string of key stones when trying to capture Tsutsumi’s invading white dragon. On the second board, Norman Tsai from UCLA lost to Hikaru Ishikawa in a game that was peaceful and balanced until the eightieth move, when Ishikawa fatally punished an overplay by Tsai. Leo Zhang scored UCLA’s first victory with a win on the fifth board against Takaya Matsuura, whose mistake in the early endgame cost him the life of a huge group. The game on the fourth board was also decided by an endgame error, but in this case it cost UCLA’s Chenyi Zhu the game against Keito Tabuchi. UCLA’s other win came from Izuki Matsuba, the only club member from Japan, who defeated his compatriot Shuhei Nakajima with a solid lead throughout the game. “It is a great experience to play with the Japanese players,” said Chenyi Zhu. “They are strong, but I am confident that the victory will belong to us the next time.“
Julie Burrall 1d topped the Davis/Sacramento Go Club’s Spring Tournament at the Rancho Cordova library on March 14. There were 10 players. Burrall won the upper division, and Tai-An Cha, 5k, won the lower division. The library co-sponsored the event and advertised it at the library. “In addition to the tournament, we set up an area to teach beginners about go,” reports Willard Haynes. “We introduced the game to five people. We also celebrated Pi Day with a chocolate cream pie.”
photo: John Patterson teaching.
Number of Legal 18×18 Go Positions Computed; 19×19 On The Horizon: “It took about 50,000 CPU hours and 4PB of disk IO, but now we know the exact number of legal 18×18 Go positions,” johntromp wrote in a recent post on slashdot. “Seeking computing power for the ultimate 19×19 count,” the post continues. “Thanks to the Chinese Remainder Theorem, the work of computing L(19,19) can be split up into 9 jobs that each compute 64 bits of the 566-bit result. Allowing for some redundancy, we need from 10 to 13 servers, each with at least 8 cores, 512GB RAM, and ample disk space (10-15TB), running for about 5-9 months.”
Thanks to Steve Colburn for passing this along.
Latest XKCD Go Comic: In a possibly related development, here’s the latest go comic from xkcd, “A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language.”
John Power, Japan Correspondent
China Beats Japan in Agon-Kiriyama Play-off: The 16th Agon Kiriyama Cup Japan-China Play-off was held at the Kyoto headquarters of the Agon sect of Buddhism on March 14. Representing China, the 17-year old Ke Jie (right), winner of the Chinese version of this title, beat Iyama Yuta of Japan, so China won this title for the 12th time in a row. Holding white, Ke secured a resignation after 146 moves. Iyama seems to be in the worst slump of his career. Besides this defeat, he lost the two title matches he played at the end of last year and he has just lost three games in a row in the Kisei title match. The seventh Kisei game is going to be extremely important for him.
Hungarian Schoolkids Championship: The Hungarian Schoolkids Championship, a class C tournament, played on 3/7/2015 in Budapest, Hungary, was won by Dominik Boviz 4d (photo), second came Viktor Toth 13k and third was Barnabas Kollner 8k. Result table.
Trigantius: The Trigantius, a class A tournament, played on 3/7/2015 in Cambridge, United Kingdom, was won by Charles Hibbert 3d, second came Andrew Simons 4d ( photo ) and third was Alex Rix 3d. Result table.
In-seong’s Spring Go Camp: Set for April 16-19 near Freiburg, Germany. Info/registration here.
Get the latest go events information.
The Manhattan Go Club and Seattle Go Center top the first month of the new AGA Chapter Rewards program, earning 150,000 and 125,000 points, respectively. AGA chapters earn points when they get new or renewing members or when their members play rated games. Small and medium clubs get an extra multiplier to earn points faster. “We got off to a great start in January with new and renewing memberships” says Rewards Coordinator Gurujeet Khalsa. Seventy one chapters earned a total of 2,412,500 points, “almost $2,500 that chapters can get reimbursement for expenses related to go promotion.” Click here to see chapter-by-chapter results for January, and details on how points are calculated. Activity by members unaffiliated with a chapter still earn points in an AGA pool (see instructions here on how to affiliate with a chapter). To redeem points, take a picture of a receipt with a smartphone and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Put in a one line description of what the go promotional activity was (e.g. “Advertisement for Cherry Blossom tournament”). Also include the chapter name and the name and address for reimbursement. Reimbursement is to the person listed as the chapter organizer or to a club account with the chapter name. Address any questions to email@example.com.
Former Korean insei Mark Lee took home the $700 first-place prize at the 2015 Southern California Go Championship, held the weekend of February 28-March 1 in Monterey Park, California. Seventy two players from Southern California and as far away as the San Francisco Bay area, Arizona, Oregon and Atlanta, Georgia participated in the tournament, which featured a total prize purse of $3,000 and was organized and directed by Kevin Chao. Thanks to sponsorship by the World Journal and American Asia Culture Exchange Association, the event took place at the spacious headquarters of the Los Angeles division of the World Journal (http://www.worldjournal.com/page-about_us-e/).
Open Section: 1st place Mark Lee (5-0), 2nd place Danny Ko (4-1), 3rd place Youwhan Kim (4-1), 4th place Qipeng Luo (3-2), 5th place two-time defending champion Evan Cho (3-2).
Dan Section: 1st place Tyler Oyakawa (5-0), 2nd place Brandon Zhou (4-1), 3rd place AGA president Andy Okun (4-1), 4th place Ted Drange (4-1), 5th place Hanhua Li (4-1)
Upper Kyu Section: 1st place Suttiat Boonchuen (5-0), 2nd place Julie Burrall (4-1), 3rd place Aijun Song, 4th place Alfred Foung (4-1)
Mid Kyu Section: 1st place Ross Secrest (4-1), 2nd place John Bulcher (4-1), 3rd place Michal Lebl (4-1)
Lower Kyu Section: 1st place Dowson Yang (4-1), 2nd place Derek Su (3-2), 3rd place Vivie Truong (3-2)
Photos: (top right) James Guo, president of World Journal L.A., presents the first place trophy to Mark Lee; tournament playing venue. photo by Kevin Chao.
by John Power, EJ Japan Correspondent
Yamashita Draws Level in Kisei, Forcing Decisive Game 7: The sixth game of the 39th Kisei title match was held at the Gyokushoen Arai inn in Izu City, Shizuoka Prefecture, on March 11 and 12. Taking black, Yamashita Keigo 9P (right) defeated Iyama Yuta 9P by resignation after 189 moves. Yamashita has now won three games in a row, so the title match goes down to the wire. The final game will be played on March 19 and 20.
Xie Defends Women’s Meijin Title: The second game of the 27th Women’s Meijin title match was played at Heian Jogaku University, a private women’s university in Kyoto also known as St. Agnes’ University, on 11 March. Xie Yimin, playing black, forced Suzuki Ayumi 6P to resign after 177 moves and so won this title for the eighth year in a row.
Europe’s newest professional go players are Mateusz Surma (left) from Poland and Ilya Shikshin from Russia. Surma took first place in the European Pro Qualification tournament, held March 6-8 in Pisa; Shiksin was second. They join Pavol Lisy and Ali Jabarin, who were the EGF’s first pros last year. Click here for details on the 2015 tournament, including links to some of the tournament games. The four EGF professionals are now qualified for the Grand Slam Tournament in Berlin coming up April 3-6.
- Martin Stiassny, EGF President
San Diego Go Club members taught go to all interested and played exhibition games at the Tenth Annual Cherry Blossom Festival at the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park in San Diego on March 7 & 8. Thousands came out to the garden in 70 degree weather to see the bursting cherry blossoms on over 150 trees. A new $3,000,000 expansion of the garden, including a tea house next to a water fall and koi pond, is almost compete. Club volunteers were kept busy both days from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., teaching go to eager parties ranging in age from 5 to 85. So many people were eager to learn go that they had to queue up for lessons. Many copies of “The Way to Go,” donated by the American Go Foundation, were given to those who showed interest in learning the game.
- report/photo by Ted Terpstra, President, San Diego Go Club. Photo: San Diego Go Club member Les Lanphear (right, in hat) explaining the intricacies of go;
by John Power, EJ Japan Correspondent
Korea Makes Good Start In Women’s Tournament: The first round of the 5th Huanglong Shuangdeng Cup World Women’s Team Championship was held in the city of Meiyan in Jiangsu Province. It is run along similar lines to the Nong Shim Cup, but is split up into just two stages. Korea made a great start when O Jonga 2P won the first five games, but China won the final two games. The second round starts on April 5. Results are:
Game 1 (March 1). O Jonga (Korea) (W) beat Okuda Aya 3P (Japan) by resig.
Game 2 (March 2). O (B) beat Li He 5P (China) by resig.
Game 3 (March 3). O (W) beat Kibe Natsuki 1P (Japan) by resig.
Game 4 (March 4). O (W) beat Wang Chenxing 5P (China) by resig.
Game 5 (March 5). O (W) beat Fujisawa Rina 2P (Japan) by resig. (photo)
Game 6 (March 6). Song Ronghui 5P (China) beat O by 2.5 points.
Game 7 (March 7). Song (B) beat Hoshiai Shiho 1P (Japan) by resig.
Multiple Tie In Meijin League: One game was played in the 40th Meijin League on March 5. Yamashita Keigo 9P (B) beat Cho U 9P by 5.5 points. Yamashita improved his score to 2-1 and Cho dropped to 1-2. Yamashita shares the lead with four other players: Kono Rin, Takao Shinji, Murakawa Daisuke, and Ko Iso.
Two Young Players Make NHK Cup Final: Probably not many fans predicted the finalists in the 62nd NHK cup. In the first semifinal, telecast on March 1, the 17-year-old Ichiriki Ryo (W) defeated quadruple title-holder Iyama Yuta by resignation. Ichiriki played brilliantly in the middle-game fighting. Ichiriki made his debut in the NHK Cup this year and so far has won five games in a row, all with white. In his last two games before the semifinal, he beat Kono Rin 9P and Takao Shinji 9P. The second semifinal was telecast on March 8. Playing black, the 20-year-old Ida Atsushi 8P (he turns 21 on March 15) beat Hane Naoki 9P by 6.5 points. In the third round, Ida eliminated the winner of the last three NHK cups, Yuki Satoshi 9P.
To 9-dan: Hoshino Masaki (200 wins)
To 3-dan: Tsuruta Kazushi (40 wins)
Obituary: Okubo Ichigen
Okubo Ichigen 9P (right) died of pneumonia on March 2. Born on March 15, 1929, Okubo became a disciple of (Ms) Masubuchi Tatsuko 8P. He made 1-dan in 1944 and reached 9-dan in 1968. He retired in 1999. He won the rating tournament in 1948 and 1950. In 1965, he played in the final of the Oza tournament, but lost 0-2 to Handa Dogen. He won a number of Kido Prizes during his career. In the late 60s or early 70s, he made a long instruction tour of North America that was a bit of a landmark at the time.
March 14: Sacramento, CA
Davis/Sacramento Spring Quarterly
Willard Haynes firstname.lastname@example.org 916-929-6112
March 14: Tempe, AZ
Arizona AGA Rating Tournament
William Gundberg email@example.com 480-831-5567
March 15: Portland, OR
Sunday Chess and Go Tournament
Peter Freedman firstname.lastname@example.org 503-242-4203
Get the latest go events information.
Tuo Wins New Year’s Cup: The CCTV New Year’s Cup is a TV tournament held to celebrate the Chinese New Year. Last year it was upgraded to an international tournament, with a player each being invited from Japan and Korea. Last year it was won by Shi Yue 9P of China. Murakawa Daisuke 7P, who participated because the original invitee from Japan, Iyama Yuta, was too busy with the Kisei title match, took second place after scoring a win over Yi Sedol. Murakawa took part again this year. In the first round, he lost to Tuo Jiaxi 9P (right) of China by half a point. In this irregular knock-out tournament, Tuo advanced to the final, and Murakawa played Kim Jiseok 9P of Korea, who drew a bye in the first round. Kim won this game but lost to Tuo in the final. The prizes are 800,000, 400,000, and 200,000 yuan. Although he lost both games, Murakawa played well (his loss to Tuo was an upset late in the game), and a team in the Chinese B League made him an offer to play on their top board. Click here for Go Game Guru’s report, which includes game records.
Yamashita Catching Up In Kisei Title Match: The fifth game of the 39th Kisei title match was held at the Tokiwa Hotel in Kofu City, Yamanashi Prefecture, on February 25 and 26. Playing white, Yamashita won by resignation after 194 moves. This is his second wins after three losses, so he needs just one more win to even the score. The sixth game will be played on March 11 and 12. After both sides set up moyos, Yamashita made a shallow reduction of Black’s bottom moyo with White 16. Iyama made a sharp attack, so Yamashita plunged further into Black’s moyo. After White settled his group, the focus of the game became Black’s attempt to reduce White’s moyo. In the extensive fighting that followed, White broke into Black’s top right moyo and took the lead. Yamashita: ‘Last year I lost the match in the sixth game, so I hope to go further this year.’ Iyama: ‘I made lots of simple mistakes. I hope to play a little more solidly.’
Xie Wins First Game Of Women’s Meijin: The first game of the 27th Women’s Meijin best-of-five title match was held at the Osaka University of Commerce in Higashi (East) Osaka City on March 4. Xie Yimin made a good start in her quest for eight titles in a row; playing white, she beat Suzuki Ayumi 6P by resignation after 248 moves. The second game will be played on March 11.
Takao Makes Good Start In Judan Defense: The first game of the Mori Building 53rd Judan tournament title match, to give it its full name, was played at the same venue as the first Women’s Meijin game though on the following day. The defending champion Takao Shinji, playing white, beat Ida Atsushi 8P (left) by resignation after 198 moves. Takao seized the initiative and avoided letting Ida drag the game into the kind of confused fighting that is Ida’s forte. The second game will be played on March 26. This is the fifth year that the first games of the Women’s Meijin and Judan titles have been played in tandem
China Wins Nong Shim Cup: The third round of the Nong Shim Cup was held in Shanghai at the beginning of
this month. Lian Xiao, the fourth batter for China, finished off the opposition in the third game of this round, so Shi Yue of China didn’t have to play. At the start of the round, Iyama Yuta briefly raised Japan’s hopes with his second win, following his win at the end of the second round, but he fell to Kim Jiseok in his next game.
Results in this round:
Game 11 (March 3). Iyama Yuta 9P (Japan) (B) beat Mi Yuting 9P (China) by resig.
Game 12 (March 4). Kim Jiseok 9P (Korea) (B) beat Iyama by 4.5 points.
Game 13 (March 5). Lian Xiao 7P (China) (W) beat Kim by resig.
Tomorrow: Korea Makes Good Start In Women’s Tournament; Multiple Tie In Meijin League; Two Young Players Make NHK Cup Final; Promotions; Obituary: Okubo Ichigen
China Wins Nongshim Cup: Lian Xiao (left) defeated Kim Jiseok in the final round of the 16th Nongshim Cup on March 5. With this victory, Team China takes the Cup back home for another year. Captain Iyama Yuta, who was the last man standing for Team Japan, played against Mi Yuting in the first game of the final round…
- Go Game Guru
New Osaka Camp Website: Maeda Ryo 6P’s 3-week intensive go camp in Osaka, Japan has a new website http://www.osakago.com/; the camp runs June through July 18.
CGA League Registration Deadline Tuesday: Registration for the second session of the Canadian Go Association’s online league play is now open, and will close Tuesday, March 10. Click here for more details and click the “league” tab.
There is still time to sign up for two of the major youth events of the year: the Redmond Cup and the School Teams Tournament. Registration for the Redmond is due by March 15th, School Teams by March 20th.In the Redmond, preliminary games will be played online and the four finalists will be invited to the 2015 US Go Congress to play the final games. There are two divisions in the Cup; the Junior league for kids 12 and under, and the Senior league for 17 and under. Competitors in both leagues must have an AGA or CGA rank of 1 dan or higher. Players who complete the tournament will be eligible for $400 scholarships to the AGA Go Camp, or $200 scholarships to the US Go Congress, on a first come first served basis, courtesy of the AGF. For more information on the event, read the rules document here. To register click here.
The 2015 School Team Tournament (STT) will be held March 28 and April 4. All matches will be played online, and schools from Canada, the US, and Mexico are all invited. As a new top prize this year, the American Go Foundation is offering full scholarships (tuition + room/board) to the AGA Summer Go Camp. All three members of the top dan and top kyu team will win the scholarships. Prizes will also be awarded in the other divisions, including $75 cash for first place, $50 for 2nd, and $25 for 3rd, as well as medals, and the stylish new AGHS T-Shirt. To register, fill out the form here, by March 20. More information may be found on the AGHS website. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo by Siddhartha Avila: Mexican youth compete in a team tourney.