“Want to see some incredible go stones?” writes Peter Freedman. “Check out this link.” Exotic Go Stones offers “Semi-precious Go Stones for the Serious Collector,” made out of everything from black and white onyx to Botswana Agate, Carnelian, Turquoise, Malachite (right), Jasper and more.
by John Power, EJ Japan Correspondent
17-Year-Old Ke Wins Bailing Cup: The best-of-five final of the 2nd Bailing Cup was fought between two Chinese players, the 17-year-old Ke Jie 4P (left) and the 32-year-old Qiu Jun 9P. After splitting the first two games last year, the players resumed the match on January 11. Playing white, Qiu won the third game by resignation, but Ke won the fourth (Jan. 13) and fifth games (Jan 15), both by resignation and holding white, to take the match 3-2. The games were played in Zhuhai City in Guangdong Province. First prize is 1,800,000 yuan (about $293,000). This win earned Ke promotion to 9-dan. photo courtesy GoGameGuru
Kisei Title Match Starts with Half-point Win for Iyama: The first game of the 39th Kisei title match was played at the Westin Hotel Osaka in Osaka City on January 15 and 16. The game was a tense contest, with Yamashita Keigo 9P, the challenger for the second year running, launching a severe attack on a weak black group. Iyama countered with his usual aggressive play, but this group remained unsettled for quite a while, as the fight spread all over the board. Yamashita took the lead when he captured four black stones in the centre, so Iyama countered with a do-or-die attack on a white group that led to a ko and a large trade. At the time, Iyama thought that the game gave him the lead, but later conceded that this was not so. He did manage to take a narrow lead in the endgame contest that followed. After 282 moves, Black wonby half a point. After the game, Iyama commented that ‘ending up a half point ahead was justluck.’ If this game is any indication, it looks like being a very close-fought series. The second game is scheduled for January 29 and 30.
Ida Keeps Sole Lead in Honinbo League: Ida Atsushi 8P’s chances of a return match with Iyama Honinbo are looking better and better. In the second game in the fourth round, played on January 15, Ida (W) beat Ryu Shikun 9P by resignation. That improved his record to 4-0; his closest rival is Yamashita Keigo on 2-1. Every other player has at least two losses. Yamashita has already lost to Ida in the league, so he will have to rely on other players to help him catch up.
Takao and Ko Share Lead in Meijin League: Two games in the 40th Meijin League were played on January 15. Ko Iso 8P (W) beat Cho U 9P by resignation. On 2-0, Ko shares the lead with Takao Shinji 9P, the only other undefeated player. In the other game, league newcomer Kanazawa Makoto 7P (B) beat So Yokoku 9P by half a point to pick up his first win.
Kobayashi Satoru Reaches Judan Play-Off: In the first semifinal of the 53rd Judan tournament, Kobayashi Satoru 9P, who had eliminated Iyama Yuta in the previous round, beat Yo Seiki 7P (B) by resignation. Ida Atsushi meets Shida Tatsuya 7P in the other semifinal, which will be played on January 22.
The first-ever Mexican Go Congress was held November 15-17, 2014 at the Tlatelolco Cultural Center in Mexico City, Mexico. The 3-day Congress hosted several events, including the first Mexican Open Tournament, a 13×13 tournament for kids, and go and origami workshops. Hajin Lee 3P and Kim Sooyong 4P — both sent by the Korean Baduk Association – provided game reviews, lectures and simultaneous game exhibitions.
Organized by the Mexican Go Association and sponsored by UNAM, Mexico’s main public university and KABA, the inaugural Congress was a watershed momento not only for the development of go in Mexico, but in Latin America as well. With a 45-player field for the Open Tournament and a total of more than 300 attendees, the event turned out to be a huge success.
“This Congress was a multi-purpose event” said Mexican Go Association president Emil García, “The players not only had the chance to play in an official tournament and feel the seriousness of it, but also had the opportunity to gain insight of how professional players think of the game. It was also a great chance for the youngest players to share and learn. I was surprised by the amount of youngsters who participated in the 13×13 tournament and in the workshops. Kids are increasingly becoming a main actor in Mexican go.”
“European and American go are developing really fast, and they are getting a lot of international support; Mexican and Latin American go shouldn’t lag behind,” said Garcia. “That’s why we are working really hard to be catch up.” He added that “2015 will be a year full of surprises for Mexican go, so stay tuned!”
- reporting by Emil Garcia; click here for a Congress photo album.
Enjoying Inseong Hwang’s School: “I signed up for January for Inseong Hwang’s school on KGS, the Yunguseng Dojang, and am much enjoying it,” Bob Gilman writes. “Inseong Hwang, Korean 8D, is an excellent teacher with a gift for explaining ideas and game situations clearly. There are now six leagues of six players each in the American section with strengths ranging from 4d to double digit kyu. I highly recommend this for players with a serious interest in developing their skills and enjoyment of the game.”
Correction: this post has been updated to reflect that Inseong Hwang is an 8-dan amateur, not 8P.
The players in last week’s AGA Pro Qualification Tournament were of course the stars of the event – click here for the final results and game records — but there was an entire team of volunteers who made it possible for the tournament to happen and for it to be broadcast around the world.
AGA President Andy Okun coordinated with local Boston-area organizers including David Kahn of the Massachusetts Go Association to put on the event at the Nantasket Beach Resort. TD Jeff Shaevel not only devised the tournament’s format, which proved popular with players and viewers alike, but made sure the event ran smoothly and on time. Myungwan Kim 9P worked with Okun and Shaevel and also provided live game commentary on KGS.
The E-Journal team included game recorders Andrew Jackson, William Luff, Daniel Steinbrook, Andrew Hall and Brian Lee, as well as AGA president Andy Okun and former Korean insei Mark Lee, who generously pitched in to help out. Akane Negishi and her team of KGS admins helped bring the games to the world, and Dennis Wheeler and Steve Colburn kept the results page updated, including posting each round’s game records. In addition to coordinating the recording team, E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock took his turn at game recording and provided comprehensive daily coverage, including updates on Facebook, Twitter and the AGA’s website.
Volunteers are needed at a number of such events around the country during the course of the year; if you’d like to be considered, email email@example.com.
photos: (left): TD Jeff Shaevel (in suit) observes game counting; (top right): Game recorder William Luff (right) enjoys one of the perks of game recording; a casual game with pro tournament player Daniel Gourdeau; photos by Chris Garlock
SmartGo’s Go Books is no longer limited to the iPad and iPhone: you can now also read your books on the Mac. “And more importantly, the infrastructure is in place for a future Android version,” says SmartGo’s Anders Kierulf. You can continue to buy books using in-app purchase on iOS, “or you can buy books directly, avoiding Apple’s 30% cut, thus leaving more money for go writers and publishers.” Go Books on the Mac can also open SGF files and display them in book view. You can then save and edit the resulting gobook file to create your own annotated games. Click here to download the Mac version of Go Books. Two more books will be added soon, for a total of 99 books: “Invasions” by Iwamoto Kaoru 9 dan, and “Honinbo Tournament — The Early Years” by John Fairbairn. “Invincible is a treat on the iPad, but full-screen on your Mac takes it to a new level. Enjoy!” says Kierulf.
Where are the AGA Pro Game Records? “Isn’t it great having these Qualification tournaments?” writes Jean de Maiffe. “I love seeing our young go players battling it out for the honors and opportunities these tournaments provide. One disappointment, though: the text says ‘Click here for results and game records’ but clicking there only provides results. The results are thrilling and all that, and I wouldn’t want to miss them, but I am yearning for the game records.”
To see the games on the tournament results page, just click on the underlined result (e.g. “B+7.5” under Eric Lui) and an sgf viewer will open up with the game record.
Young players, in the US, Canada, and Mexico have until Feb. 3rd to register for the North American Kyu Championships (NAKC). The tourney will be held on KGS, on Saturday Feb. 7th. Brackets in the NAKC will be divided by rank, with a new bracket formed approximately every 5 ranks or so depending on the range of participants. Within brackets, all games will be played even. Dan level players will be able to compete in the Redmond Cup (including players from Canada and Mexico). Youth who compete in either event will also be eligible for $400 scholarships to the AGA Go Camp, or $200 scholarships to the US Go Congress, courtesy of the AGF, on a first come first served basis. Registration is now open for both the NAKC and the Redmond Cup, and more information can be found on the AGA webpage for youth events. The deadline for the NAKC is Feb. 3rd to register, click here. - Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.
The San Diego Go Club started out the New Year with more than 30 players gathering on January 3 at its Winter Go Soiree at club president Ted Terpstra’s home. The event featured an 8-player simultaneous exhibition with Jong-Hoon Na, a 7-dan professional from the Korean Baduk Association. “Those not fortunate enough to get to play the pro played AGA-rated games,” Terpstra reports. Pizza and beverages were served after the simul for those interested in socializing. “It was a wonderful mix of players from beginners to 5-dans, from 10-year-olds to 70+-year-old, all enjoying the world’s oldest continuously played game,” said Terpstra. This was one of the first events to occur under the new AGA chapter rewards program (AGA Institutes New Chapter Rewards Program 12/31/14), in which chapters will be rewarded with points for new members and rated games played.
photo by Ted Terpstra
Chunlan Cup Semifinals: In our last report, we gave the results in the quarterfinals of the 10th Chunlan Cup. The semifinals were held two days later, on Tuesday 27th. Zhou Ruiyang 9P (China) (W) beat Chen Yaoye 9P (China) by resig. and Gu Li 9P (W) beat Kim Ji-seok 9P [“Je-seok” in my previous report was a mistake] by resig. That gives an all-Chinese final. It’s good to see that Gu Li (right) seems to have recovered from his loss in the 10-game match with Lee Se-dol.
Chen Yaoye Wins Siyuan Cup World Mingren Championship: The first major go event of the new year was the 4th Siyuan Cup World Mingren (Meijin) Championship, held in the city of Xi’an in Shaansi Province in China from January 5 to 8. Xi-an is the city that was known as Changan when it was the capital of China in the early Han and Tang dynasties. This tournament pits the holders of the Meijin titles in Japan, Korea, and China against each other in an irregular knock-out. The players draw lots to see who plays in the first round; the winner of that game goes to the final, while the loser then plays the third player; the winner of that game goes to the final. Iyama Yuta of Japan was eliminated in the first round in the 1st and 2nd Cups, but did better this time. In the first round, playing white, he beat Pak Yeong-hun 9P of Korea by resig. after 137 moves. Pak (B) then lost to Chen Yaoye 9P of China in a marathon game lasting 306 moves. Pak calculated that he was losing by half a point, so he played a do-or-die move on move 196; that prolonged the game but widened his losing margin, so he resigned. In the final, Iyama, who had white, missed a number of chances to wrap up a narrow win. In the end, his lack of familiarity with the Chinese rules let Chen stage an upset by half a point. Iyama played an endgame move that was correct under the Japanese rules but not the best under the Chinese rules, in which the dame points are important.
Past results: Previously this tournament was known as the China Changde Cup World Mingren Weiqi Championship and was held in the city of Changde in Hunan Province. First prize is 300,000 yuan (about $48,400). Previous winners: 1st (July 24‾27, 2010). Gu Li 9P (China); 2nd (August 17‾20, 2011). Pak Yeong-hun 9P (Korea); 3rd (September 10‾13, 2012). Jiang Weijie 9P (China)
Suzuki to Challenge for Women’s Meijin: All the games in the final round of the 27th Women’s Meijin League were held on January 8 at the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo. The result was that three players ended up on 4-2, but there is no play-off in this league: the top-ranked player takes precedence. This was Suzuki Ayumi 6P (right), ranked number three; actually she lost her last game, but still topped Aoki Kikuo 8P (league newcomer) and Mannami Nao 3P (also a league newcomer), the other players on 4-2. Suzuki will make her first challenge for the Women’s Meijin title, which Xie Yimin has held for seven years in a row. It will be Suzuki’s first title match for seven years. The results: Chinen Kaori 4P (W) beat Suzuki Ayumi by 7.5 points; Mannami Nao (B) beat Mukai Chiaki 5P by 6.5 points; Aoki Kikuyo (W) beat Ishii Akane 2P by resig.
If Mukai had won her game, she would have been the challenger. Final placings in the league are: Suzuki, Aoki, Mannami, and Kato Keiko 6P (who had a bye in the last round). Mukai, Chinen, and Ishii lost their places.
Meijin League: Two games were played in the 40th Meijin League on January 8. Takao Shinji Tengen (W) beat Kono Rin 9P by resig. and Yamashita Keigo 9P (W) beat Murakawa Daisuke Oza, also by resig. On 2-0, Takao provisionally leads the league; the other players mentioned above are all 1-1.
Honinbo League: In the first game of the fourth round of the 70th Honinbo League, Mimura Tomoyasu 9P (W) beat Cho U 9P by resig. Mimura and Cho are both on 2-2. Ida Atsushi 8P has the lead with 3-0. He will play Ryu Shikun in this round.
Here are some of the statistics for the 2014 tournament year in Japan.
1. Kono Rin 9P: 50 wins 26 losses
2. Kyo Kagen 2P: 45-12
3. Fujisawa Rina, Women’s Honinbo: 40-14
4. Ichiriki Ryo 7P: 36-14
5. Takao Shinji Tengen: 34-23
6. Ida Atsushi 8P: 33-15
7. Yamashita Keigo 9P: 32-20
8. Shida Tatsuya 7P: 31-10; Iyama Yuta Kisei: 31-19
10. Kobayashi Satoru 9P: 28-11
Best winning percentages
1. Kyo: 78.95%
2. Imamura Yoshiaki 9P: 75.86 % (22-7)
3. Kataoka Satoshi 9P: 75.76% (25-8)
4. Shida: 75.61%
5. Fujisawa: 74.07%
Most successive wins
1. Kono: 19
2. Kyo: 17
3. Ichiriki: 16
4. Kyo: 13
The Central London Go Club A team — Franciso Divers, Michael Webster and Chuck Fisher — won the 2014 season of the online league and reclaimed the GoGoD shield from Edinburgh. The second division was won by the Cornish Rogues, who will be moving up to the first division next year. The next season of the online league is scheduled to start promptly in April.
- edited by Amy Su from a report on the BGA website.
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The special offer of two months of free access to BadukTV English has just been extended through January 31. Anyone who joins, renews or extends their membership with the AGA between now and then will receive two months of free access to BadukTV English thanks to a joint effort of the AGA, GoGameGuru and BadukTV. Baduk TV English takes the best of the 24-hour Korean cable channel Baduk TV, with lessons, game commentary and problems analyzed by professionals, and adds English subtitles. There are several hundred hours of material in the library already and new material all the time. After joining or renewing, click here to take advantage of the offer.
Germany: Matthias Terwey 4d (left) took the Essen 2015 on January 11. Behind him were Barbara Knauf 3d and Bernd Radmacher 4d. Poland: Also on January 11, the Polish Youth Championship – U16 playoff finished in Ozarow Mazowiecki with Stanislaw Frejlak 4d in first, Maksym Walaszewski 1k in second, and Julia Bednarska 18k in third. Netherlands: Frank Janssen 6d bested Rene Aaij 4d at the wintergo_2014 in Overasselt while Dick Riedeman 3d came third.
– Annalia Linnan, based on reports from EuroGoTV, which include complete result tables and all the latest European go news; photo courtesy of EuroGoTV
In two dramatic cliffhangers, Ryan Li beat Eric Lui in back-to-back games Friday to sweep the AGA Pro Qualification Tournament finals, becoming the American Go Association’s fourth professional. Li had won their game in the round-robin section earlier in the week, so Friday’s wins gave him a 3-0 sweep of the best-of-five finals (he only dropped one game in the entire tournament, against Matthew Burrall). Click here for results and game records and check out the AGA Facebook page for photos.
“Eric was a really tough opponent,” Li told the E-Journal after the final round. “I definitely felt a lot of pressure from him and just wanted to try my hardest, do my best and see what happens. It’s still all sinking in.” Li is in his third year at the University of Toronto, where he’s studying physics. He’s also an avid soccer player. His future go plans are a bit up in the air at the moment. “I had planned to play in the World Amateur Go Championships this year but of course now I can’t do that,” he said, laughing.
“I am tremendously impressed with Ryan’s progress since last year’s pro tournament,” said AGA President Andy Okun. “His poise and seriousness all week were a real inspiration, as was his steadiness during some truly grueling games.” Okun also said that he was “pleased with the overall strength of the field; clearly we’re onto something here.”
Lui took a solid cash lead early in the morning game and hundreds of viewers on KGS thought he seemed to be in a good position after deftly surviving Li’s splitting attack. But Li kept up the pressure and as Lui went into byo-yomi, the game kept getting more and more complicated. Eventually, with the life and death of multiple groups at stake, several huge kos and even a seki, both players were battling the clock as well and in the end, Lui, behind on the board, lost on time as well. In the other two morning games, Jeremy Chiu’s kill of Ben Lockhart’s large central group evened the score at 1-1 in their battle for third place in the tournament, while Matthew Burrall’s win against Daniel Gourdeau put him within one game of clinching fifth place (Gourdeau lost their match in the round-robin section earlier in the week). The afternoon game between Li and Lui was another no-holds-barred contest, closely followed by hundreds on KGS, who were also treated to a live commentary by Myungwan Kim 9P, with Andrew Jackson. The other two afternoon games were each decided by half a point, Lockhart defeating Chiu to take a 2-1 lead, and Matthew Burrall beating Gourdeau to claim fifth place. Lockhart and Chiu will continue their struggle for third place — and seed in the next pro tournament — in a game Saturday at 9:30a that will be broadcast on KGS; if a fifth game is needed it’ll be played and broadcast at 4p (EST).
- report/photos by Chris Garlock
Xinming Simon Guo, a licensed Math teacher in Illinois and founder of Go and Math Academy, will organize an educational workshop at the 2015 Conference of MMC (Metropolitan Mathematics Club) of Chicago. The workshop will be Saturday, January 24, at Adlai E. Stevenson High School, Lincolnshire, IL. Guo has been advocating go and math in the educational world for many years. Math teachers, math educators, school administrators and even go amateurs are welcome to attend. Details are available at http://mmc2015conference.com.
Though frigid temperatures on Thursday closed schools around Boston and coated the Nantasket Beach with frozen surf, the action was hot on the boards at the AGA pro qualification championship. Ryan Li returned to form Thursday morning in the deciding AGA pro qualification championship top-bracket match against Matthew Burrall, taking just 120 moves to win the game, another crowd-pleaser with plenty of complicated fighting. Li advances to play Jeremy Chiu in the next round, which will be broadcast live at 4p Thursday on KGS. Click here for latest results and game records.
Eric Lui awaits the winner of the Li-Chiu match, having defeated Ben Lockhart Thursday morning to assure his berth in the semi-finals. In the other morning match, Daniel Gourdeau, still battling a nasty cold, needed just 118 moves against Ricky Zhao to advance to the next match, which will be played on Friday against Matthew Burrall. Zhao placed 7th, as Yuan Zhou had to withdraw due a family emergency.
- report/photos by Chris Garlock
Ryan Li 7d defeated Eric Lui 7d by 7.5 points in the final round of the round-robin section of the ongoing AGA professional qualification tournament. In other Round 7 action, Ben Lockhart beat Jeremy Chiu, Ricky Zhao defeated Matthew Burrall and Yuan Zhou – in his second consecutive half-pointer – beat Daniel Gourdeau. Click here for results, game records and the grid for the championship section of the tournament.
In the first round of the championship section on Wednesday afternoon, Matthew Burrall bounced back from his disappointing performance in the round robin to upset Ryan Li in a thrilling game that had hundreds of viewers guessing until the final moments, when Li’s resignation surprised the crowd, which had been hotly debating the close score. The two are now 1-1 (the first meeting in the round robin counts as the first game) and will meet again in the next round. Ricky Zhao only lasted 125 moves against Eric Lui and Ben Lockhart beat Daniel Gourdeau by 7.5 points, so Lui and Lockhart will play Thursday morning, as will Gourdeau and Zhao. As usual, Yuan Zhou’s game was the last of the day’s to finish; this time, however, despite his best endgame efforts, he came up 2.5 points short and he and Chiu will await their opponents in Thursday’s afternoon round.
- report/photo by Chris Garlock
The American Go Yearbook 2014 Member’s Edition Collection has just been released. The annual compilation is one of the benefits of membership in the American Go Association, collecting the content of the Member’s Edition of the American Go E-Journal, the largest English language go publication in the world. “We appreciate member support of the AGA and hope that our members will find this collection a valuable and useful resource,” said EJ Managing Editor Chris Garlock. Click here for details on AGA membership. New this year (just added): all 2014 sgf files in a handy downloadable zip file.
Each week the E-Journal delivers original content from a team of contributors that now includes Michael Redmond 9P, Myung-wan Kim 9P, Yilun Yang 7P, Guo Juan 5P, longtime teacher Yuan Zhou 7D, the inimitable Kazunari Furuyama, as well as new US professionals Gansheng Shi 1P and Calvin Sun 1P.
The Yearbook also includes the EJ’s special reports on the 2014 U.S. Go Congress, the 2014 World Amateur Go Championship and the 2014 Cotsen Open. The handy online resource gathers links to this wealth of material, enabling members to quickly find what they’re looking for on a month-by-month list. Once selected, game records or PDFs open up quickly and easily for review or download. Click here for details on AGA membership.
After winning both rounds on Tuesday, Ryan Li 7d and Eric Lui 7d – both 6-0 – have locked up the top-seed positions for the final stage of the AGA Pro Qualification Tournament (APQF). They’ll meet Wednesday morning (9:30a on KGS) for the round-robin’s final game; in the event that they meet again in the finals, the result of this game will count towards the final result. The APQF Championship section begins Wednesday afternoon (4p on KGS) to determine this year’s AGA professional. In the modified single-elimination tournament, one player will emerge with the designation of Professional and two runners-up will be named as seeds for next year’s tournament. Click here for latest results and game records, as well as an explanation of the tournament format.
Round 5: In the game between Eric Lui and Yuan Zhou, Zhou’s premature attack in the early middle game resulted in a trade that left both players with large territories, but Lui’s was larger as both players finished a peaceful yose; when Zhou’s two stones were cut off in the middle there was no place left to catch up. Ricky Zhao made a very sharp attack on Ryan Li’s upper side group, but once Ryan settled, Zhao’s invasion of the right side couldn’t reduce Li enough. A fairly quiet game between Ben Lockhart and Daniel Gourdeau got exciting quickly when Lockhart cut off a large group of stones in the center. Gourdeau found a ko for life but had to give up too much to win it and came up short by 12.5 points. Matthew Burrall and Jeremy Chiu’s balanced game with large territories was upended when Chiu lived in sente in Burrall’s corner while Burrall was in time trouble, forcing his resignation.
Round 6: Daniel Gourdeau came out of the opening slightly ahead and when Jeremy Chiu made two slow moves in the middle game Chiu fell further behind and resigned after 143 moves. Ben Lockhart got in trouble early against Ryan Li and though he complicated the game effectively, Li converted enough of his thickness to territory to win by resignation. When Ricky Zhao’s attack on Eric Lui’s unsettled group fizzled, he was never able to erase Lui’s territorial advantage and Lui won yet another resignation. Lastly the lead shifted hands several times in the game between Yuan Zhou and Matthew Burrall, in the end coming down to a ko that proved decisive in Zhou’s half-point win.
One of the highlights of the day was the appearance of Myungwan Kim 9P and his friend and student Mark Lee — the 2014 US Open Masters Division winner – as game recorders, pitching in on the E-Journal team to ensure that all the games were broadcast. Kim will be doing a live game commentary on the Wednesday morning round, starting around 10:30a.
photos: top right: Myungwan Kim fills in as a game recorder on Board 1 while EJ Managing Editor Chris Garlock takes photos; bottom left: Mark Lee records the Board 3 game between Ryan Li and Ben Lockhart.