E-Journal reader Zhiping You sent us a link to a terrific 2009 NHK documentary about Fujisawa Shuko that’s been posted on YouTube with English narration. The 26-minute video provides an excellent overview of Fujisawa’s fascinating life, with an emphasis on his role as a stern but inspirational teacher for many top players.
One of the best players of his era, Fujisawa was one of the “Three Crows” along with Toshiro Yamabe and Suzuki Keizo (and later Kajiwara Takeo). Even though he was known for controversial acts, such as a drinking habit, his go skill shone through. Besides go, he was known for gambling and was a successful real estate dealer. He was also known for his calligraphy and had several exhibits of his works.
Fujisawa, a student of Fukuda Masayoshi, began studying at the Nihon Kiin in 1934 and turned pro in 1940. Although he struggled at first, taking 23 years to reach 9 dan, he started a title run in the early 1960′s, continuing through the 70′s and 80′s. He won his first major title in 1962, the Meijin. He then won two Asahi Pro Best Ten titles in 1965 and 1968. He held the Oza for three consecutive years from 1967 to 1969. The same year that he lost the Oza, he won the NHK Cup. The Meijin title was Fujisawa’s again when he won it in 1970. He then went on a dry streak of titles. By 1976, he won his first title since the Meijin in 1970, the Tengen.
Perhaps the crowning achievement of his go career was winning the Kisei title on its inception in 1976, at the relatively advanced age of 51, and holding it for 6 straight years from 1976 to 1982. By 1980, nobody thought anyone else but Fujisawa would win the Kisei, but that was silenced when he finally lost it to Cho Chikun in 1982. He won the first three games, controlling each and every move Cho made. It looked like Fujisawa would hold the Kisei for the 7th year in a row, but Cho fought back and won four games, Fujisawa making a blunder in a winning position in the seventh game. After his run of consecutive Kisei titles, the Japanese Nihon Ki-in awarded him Honorary Kisei. He is known to play a very flexible fuseki but infamous in making errors, or poka later in the game.
Fujisawa was getting old now, and wouldn’t win another title until ten years later. Again he won the Oza and held it for two years at the age of 67. He had set a record for the oldest player to defend a title, a record which still stands to this day. In October of 1998, he decided to retire from the Go world at the age of 74. The following year Fujisawa was expelled from the Nihon Ki-in for selling unsanctioned rank diplomas to amateurs in protest against what he considered improper Ki-in policies. In June, 2003, the dispute was resolved and Fujisawa was reinstated in the Ki-in. Fujisawa died on May 8, 2009.
- report based on the YouTube video text
by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal
Iyama’s New Records: As reported previously (Iyama Yuta Achieves Rare ‘Triple Crown’ with 38th Meijin Victory 10/19) Iyama Yuta won the fifth game of the 38th Meijin title match, played on October 16-17, taking the title from Yamashita Keigo with a 4-1 score. Iyama did very well to win four games in a row after losing the opening game of the best-of-seven, though Yamashita did make a gift of the third game. By making a comeback as Meijin after an absence of two terms, Iyama not only won his 20th title, he also became the second player to win the Big Triple Crown of Kisei, Meijin, and Honinbo. As usual, he set a record as the youngest so far (age 24 years four months). As the same time, he reassembled his sextuple crown, with the Meijin replacing the Judan. Since there was a gap, this counts as the second time he has held a sextuple crown.
The previous player to hold the Big Triple Crown is Cho Chikun or 25th Honinbo Chikun. He first achieved the feat in 1983 at the age of 26 years eight months and he maintained it for just over four months, from March 18 until July 28, 1983. He repeated the feat in 1996 (at the age of 40 years four months), and this time he held on to the top three titles for the better part of three years, that is, from November 8, 1996 to July 6, 1999. The first time Cho achieved this success, he also held the Judan title; holding the top four titles simultaneously might seem to be still a goal for Iyama, but actually the Judan has been downgraded to the number seven title, as the sponsors reduced the prize money from 15 to seven million yen. Iyama’s six titles are the top six, so he has far surpassed Cho.
More trivia (this information all comes from the October 28 issue of Go Weekly): Cho won the Big Triple Crown 14 years 11 months after becoming a pro to Iyama’s 11 years six months. Iyama is the third player to hold the Kisei and Meijin simultaneously (the third is Kobayashi Koichi) and the eighth Meijin-Honinbo. Iyama has now won six big-three titles to Cho’s 29 ? here, at least, he has a long way to go. Finally, it’s worth noting that this is the first time Osakan players have held all the seven top titles. It’s the first time Tokyo has been shut out.
For all five game records from the 38th Meijin, check out GoGameGuru’s 10/18 post,
Iyama Yuta completes Japanese trifecta with 38th Meijin victory, where there are also more photos.
Kato Loses Sole Lead In Women’s Meijin League: Just one week after taking the sole lead in the 26th Women’s Meijin League, Kato Keiko 6P let it slip. In the official chart for the league, as published in Go Weekly, the game in which she beat Suzuki Ayumi on October 10, is listed as her November game, and the game with Mukai Chiaki 5P described below is given as her October game (she was playing in successive weeks to open up time for maternity leave in November), though it was played later, on October 17. Taking black, Mukai won by 7.5 points. Another game was played on October 24. Chinen Kaori 4P (B) beat Ishii Akane 2P by resignation.
Start Of 69th Honinbo League: The first game of the new Honinbo League was played on October 17. Taking white, Kono Rin 9P defeated Yuki Satoshi 9P by resignation. Two more games were played on October 24. In a match-up between favorites, Yamashita Keigo 9P (W) defeated Takao Shinji 9P by resignation. In a game between teenagers, Ida Atsushi 7P (Black) beat Yo Seiki 7P by 2.5
Tomorrow: Iyama Starts Well In Tengen And Oza Title Defences; China Makes Good Start In Nong Shim Cup; Mukai Takes Lead In Women’s Honinbo
A spectacular, all-out battle for the British Championship is expected this month between “The Two Andrews.” Andrew Simons 4d (left) will challenge Andrew Kay 4d (right) for the title in the best-of-three British Championship final, set for November 15 and 23. The games, with three hours main time per player, will be played at 10a UTC on 11/15 and 11a on 11/23 in Milton Keynes at the home of Tim Hunt, who will referee. They will be broadcast online in the British Room on the KGS server with live commentary throughout from Alexandre Dinerchtein 3p (11/15) and Guo Juan 5p (11/23). The champ and his challenger are the best of friends and also the greatest of rivals, having both risen to dan level during the same period at Cambridge University Go Club, which will lend a special edge to the competition. In this summer’s European Open, Simons finished 38th while Kay came 58th so a strong challenge is expected as well as a determined defense of the title. Click here for an interview with Kay at this year’s World Amateur Go Championship (WAGC) where he gives his thoughts on the challenge.
Report by Tony Collman, British correspondent for the EJ. Photos: Kay (right) at the 2013 WAGC, courtesy of Ranka Online; Simons (left) by Tony Collman.
There’s still time to sign up for the American Go Honor Society’s Young Lions Tournament,” reports Tournament Organizer Calvin Sun 7d. “Anyone 18 or younger is welcome to come play on Nov. 16 and 17, on KGS. Tell your friends and go club members to sign up. Young Lions has been a big success in previous years, don’t miss this great opportunity to have fun and show that you are worthy to lead the pack! Click here to sign up by Nov. 10th. A confirmation email will be sent one week before the tournament date,” says Sun. For more information, e-mail email@example.com or visit the AGHS website at aghs.cc. -Photo from Wild Encounters.
Twenty American Go Association members turned out for the AGA ratings tournament held in the Twin Cities (MN) this past weekend. “We were extremely pleased with the turnout,” reports Tournament Director Aaron Broege. The players ranged in strength from 3 dan to 19k. Leading the tournament with at least three wins each were Michael Albert 14k, Mark Gerads 10k and Nqua Xiong 3k. Players with “notable endurance for playing the most games” were Bo Hessburg 3k, 6 games; Matt Mayer 4k, 5 games and Nqua Xiong 3k, 5 games. photo: Peter Hansmeier 3d playing against Peter Nelson 3d; Hansmeier won by just 1.5 points. photo by Aaron Broege
AGA On-Line Games are off to a promising start since opening on October 1. “This program offers players an opportunity to play seriously but with a minimum of formality with a wide range of players of different strengths and styles,” says organizer Bob Gilman. “The simuls with AGA volunteers 4 dan and above offer a chance to test yourself and to see techniques and board vision that you may not ordinarily see in your games.” Registration remains open. For the self-paired tournament, there are 50 players now registered, with the following distributions: 1d-9d: 10; 1k-5k: 20; 6k-10k: 7; 11k+: 10; no tournament rating yet assigned: 3.
Tthrough October 26th, 37 players have participated in simuls with AGA volunteers ranked 4 to 7 dan. The simuls are held in the AGA Community Room on KGS. Upcoming simuls are posted in the AGA events calendar. The full schedule is available here.
The 40th Annual London Open Go Congress will take place December 28-December 31 at the International Student House in London. The top three places will receive cash prizes and additional prizes will be offered to the winners of the Lightning and Pair Go tournaments. For players who register before December 15, the entry fee is 47 GBP. Students receive a 5 GBP discount and juniors (under 18) can play for 27 GBP. Players must register before December 15 to receive these prices as the fees will increase for players who register on or after December 15. Additionally, all players can receive discounted rates should they choose the International Students House for their accommodations. Players who stay at ISH will also receive a continental breakfast voucher and free wifi. To register or for more information including the full schedule, rules, and current registered players, visit the official London Open Go Congress website.
— Annalia Linnan; for complete listings, check out the European Tournament Calendar; photo courtesy of London Open Go Congress
Get the latest go events information.
Players have until this Friday, November 1st to register for the upcoming Pro Qualification Tournament on KGS, scheduled for November 9, 10, 16 and 17. The event is open to US and Canadian citizens who meet a minimal residency requirement and have either an AGA rating or stable KGS rank of 5d or higher. Competitors should also be members of AGA or CGA. The winner will be invited to participate in the pro selection tournament in Los Angeles Jan. 2-8, receiving an $800 travel subsidy. Players can register for the tournament here. Upon registration players should also submit a copy of their US or Canadian passport. The residency requirement is that players have lived in the US or Canada for at least three of the last six years or else obtain a waiver from the AGA president based on their time overseas being temporary and for the purpose of education, go study or an overseas posting. Anyone with questions about the tournament should contact Karoline Burrall Li at firstname.lastname@example.org. Anyone with questions about pro selection or the residency requirement should contact Okun at email@example.com.
Slovenia: The 2013 Slovenian Championship finished October 20 in Fiesa with Gregor Butala 5d in first, Leon Matoh 5d in second, and Timotej Suc 3d in third. Norway: Also on October 20, Micael Svensson 1d bested Jakob Bing 3d at the 2013 Norwegian Championship in Oslo while Paal Sannes 3d placed third. Hungary: Dominik Boviz 4d (left) won the Visegrad Countries International Go Tournament in Budapest on October 20. Renato Tolgyesi 1d took second and Gyorgy Gsizmadia 4d came in third.
- Annalia Linnan, based on reports from EuroGoTV, which include complete result tables and all the latest European go news
Beumgeon (Evan) Cho defeated Zhi Yuan (Andy) Liu in an edge-of-the-seat nailbiting Round 5 victory on Sunday to win the 2013 Cotsen Open. The thrilling last-round contest between the two undefeated players — Liu was going for a bi-coastal sweep after winning the Gotham Open earlier this month in New York City — drew a crowd in the Korean Cultural Center in Los Angeles as well as online where observers watched Myungwan Kim 9P’s live analysis of the game. In third place was Eric Lui, Won Sik Lee took 4th place, Calvin Sun 5th and Andrew Lu 6th. Santa Monica won the $1,000 Club Champion prize, Orange County was second and Tucson third. In other division results, Anders Kierulf won Division A (4d-3d), Daniel Alvira won Division B (2d-1d), Jung Kang won Division C (1-5k), Gary Huang won Division D (6-11k) and Charles Polkiewicz won Division E (12k+). Click here for the final crosstab and see below for game records. photos: at right: Cho (center) with tournament sponsor Eric Cotsen (right) and AGA President Andy Okun; at left: the round 5 game. report by Chris Garlock; photos by Chrissy Hampton.
Justin Teng 6d celebrated his birthday by winning the annual NOVA Pumpkin Classic on October 27 with a 4-0 score. Other divisional winners in the 20-player field were: Nathan Epstein 2k, Edward Lane 7k, Anderson Barreal 10k, and Sarah Crites 19k. Taking second in their divisions were: Ray Hunley 1d, Yukino Takehara 1k, Robert Ehrlich 5k, Garrett Smith 9k, and Bob Crites 9k. All winners took home the traditional pumpkin.
- report/photo by Gurujeet Khalsa, Tournament Director
Before a single stone had been played at this weekend’s Cotsen Open in Los Angeles, two announcements drew sustained and resounding applause from the 140 gathered players. First was tournament sponsor Eric Cotsen’s confirmation that “funding has been secured for the next four Cotsen Opens,” guaranteeing the return of the popular annual event through 2017. The second was Asian Go Federation (AGF) President Dae-won Suh’s announcement that plans are in the works for a Korean Baduk Cup in spring 2014, to be held, like the Cotsen, at the Korean Cultural Center. “I wish you all the best of luck,” said a beaming Suh. “Now let’s play baduk!” And with that, a day of fierce competition commenced over three hotly-contested rounds, broken only by a lunch break for free tacos from the food truck conveniently parked in the KCC parking lot, enabling players to enjoy a tasty lunch beneath clear Southern California skies before returning to the boards inside. Hundreds who could not attend the tournament followed the action live on KGS where the E-Journal team broadcast top boards, with pro commentaries on selected games. Leading the field are Beomgeun Cho, Andy Liu, Won Sik Lee and Eric Lui, all with 3-0 records (Click here for the tournament crosstab and see below for game records). The tournament continues Sunday with a pro-pro game on KGS starting at 8a PST between Yilun Yang 7p and Wang Qun 8p, followed by the final two rounds of the Cotsen. photo collage: top right: Haijin Lee 3p reviews a player’s game; bottom right: spectators gather around one of the top boards; bottom left: two masseuses — one of the Cotsen’s unique features — work their way through the field; top left: longtime go author Richard Bozulich (at left, talking to AGA President Andy Okun) dropped by for a brief visit Saturday morning while in town from Japan on a business trip. photo at left: Cotsen staff play a casual game.
Report, photos & collage by Chris Garlock
It takes a lot to get the guys at the Korean Go Club in Los Angeles to stop playing. Their moves are fierce and the concentration is total. But on Friday, they put down their stones and looked up from their boards as Dae-won Suh, President of the Asian Go Federation (AGF) and Vice President of the Korean Amateur Baduk Association (KABA) and Dalsoo Kim, Secretary General of the AGF announced that the club — an AGA chapter — will be the first overseas branch of KABA.
The United States was chosen because of the ongoing collaboration between the Korean and American go communities, especially last year’s inauguration of the US pro system through the Tygem-AGA Pro Tournament. “This is just the fifth professional go system in the world,” said an obviously proud Suh, who’s also a former Korean Ambassador. “We very much hope it will prosper.” And Los Angeles was selected because “it has the largest Korean population outside of our country,” he added. Another connection is the Korean Cultural Center, which this weekend is hosting the Cotsen Open for the second year. “We’re very glad that the KCC can host this tournament again this year and hope that it will help discover new talents,” Suh said.
Ambassador Suh also noted that “there were lots of Korean professionals at this year’s U.S. Go Congress,” adding that the Korean Baduk Association (the professional player’s association in Korea) and KABA “have committed to supporting the U.S. go scene,” including training like that offered by Myung-wan Kim 9P, who beamed quietly in the back of the Korean Go Club as the officials made their remarks. “All of this, we hope, will help promote go in the United States,” said Suh.
AGA President Andy Okun welcomed the move and called KGC organizer Gary Choi “a real friend to the go community and the AGA for a very long time,” and thanked the club’s players “for being so welcoming when we come here and for supporting AGA events like the Cotsen.” Okun also extended an enthusiastic welcome and congratulations to KABA’s new branch, saying that “LA is the right place” for this step.
Korean Consul General Yeonsung Shin closed the brief ceremony — which was also attended by Hajin Lee 3p, Chosun Daily reporter Hongryal Lee, Cyberoro reporter Kim Soo Kwang, KABA staffer Jong-geun Lee and 2015 Go Congress organizer Josh Larson — by announcing that he and Ambassador Suh are interested in working with the AGA to organize a Consul’s Cup and Shin, Suh and Okun could later be seen discussing plans. But first Okun was invited to take on Kim Younghwan 9p — the “Younghwan Wizard” — who quickly demonstrated his ability to give more handicap stones to amateur players than any other pro, and still win.
- report/photos by Chris Garlock
“I am wondering if there is a typographical error in last week’s ‘Capture Go’ story, when Mr. Jayaraman says, ‘We call the game we teach go, not Capture Go,” writes veteran organizer Jean DeMaiffe, a graduate of Yasuda Sensei’s International Go Teacher Certification Program. “Surely the organizers are going to call their game ‘Capture Go’ or better still, as Yasuda-sensei calls it, ‘The Capture Game’. I have taught ‘The Capture Game’ as part of my Go curriculum for years and can readily attest to the importance of clearly differentiating between the goals of the two games. After learning to play capture, most of my students consistently need to be refocused on capturing territory, rather than just stones. Thanks for your help in setting one or more of us straight on this issue.”
“Our curriculum is meant to serve less as an introduction to regulation go than as an in-depth introduction to the underlying principles of the game,” responds Jayaraman. “These include the basic rules of stone placement, liberties and capturing, as well as the traditions of the game like etiquette, problem study, and history. Our use of the term ‘go’ is also rooted in some practical considerations. Our program is primarily focused on equipping teachers with no prior knowledge of go with the skills, supplies, and support to be able to introduce their students to the game. In many cases these classes may be the only time they ever hear of the game. For those whose interest in regular go is sparked, however, they and their families will be familiar enough with the game to seek out more information about it, and hopefully utilize the existing resources in our community, like the Memphis Go Club or the introductory regulation go workshops the Confucius Institute at the University of Memphis offers. For these students who pursue it, the precise name of the specific rule variation that first set them on the path of go will probably be inconsequential.”
The food truck and masseuses are confirmed, the boards and clocks have been set up and the Koreans professionals await the arrival of players at the 2013 Cotsen Open in Los Angeles, CA today, one of the most competitive tournaments outside the annual U.S. Go Congress. Registration opens at 8a sharp at the Korean Cultural Center (5505 Wilshire Blvd) and walk-ins are welcome to compete for thousands in individual and club prizes. The tournament fee is completely refundable for players attending both days (three rounds Saturday and two rounds Sunday), and the lunches are free both Saturday and Sunday. For those unable to attend, follow the top-board action LIVE on KGS as the American Go E-Journal team broadcasts games on the USGO accounts, and look for updates on the AGA website as well as in daily EJ updates. photo: setting up Friday at the Cotsen; report/photo by Chris Garlock
“How often do you gamble on behalf of your company?” wonders Bill Pieroni, Global Chief Operating Officer at Marsh in his October 11 post on LinkedIn. “It probably occurs more often than you think. The outcomes of most actions are often dependent on a combination of skill and luck. Skill involves impacting the outcome in a purposeful and measurable way. Luck dominates when an outcome is based on random, uncontrollable factors. It is useful to think about skill and luck on a continuum. For example, Wéiqí, a game of strategy, is dominated by skill, while winning the lottery is based on luck.”
The 16th Annual Go To Innovation tournament will take place November 22-24 in Berlin, Germany. Founded in 2004, Dr. Martin Sattelkau teamed up with software developer Alexander Eckert to create a new annual tournament to attract more go players in Germany and throughout Europe. The grand prize for the winner is 1000 EU but cash prizes are available up to 20th place, along with go books for places 21-30 and as 3 consolation prizes. A separate jackpot of 450 EU is available for players with 8 wins. Registration is 35 EU for general players and 10 EU for youths (under 16). To register or for more information, please visit the official Go To Innovation website.
— Annalia Linnan; for complete listings, check out the European Tournament Calendar
“I ran a small tournament at my place in Des Plaines (IL) on October 19 with 9 players,” reports Laura Kolb Moon. “We named it the First Ivy Moon Tournament after my baby daughter.” Daniel Puzan 1k took first place with a perfect 4-0 record, and Lisa Scott (1k) and Matt Inwood (5k) took 2nd with 3-1 records. graphic: the tournament’s namesake demonstrates the rare but surprisingly effective “Cheerio tesuji”; photos by Laura Kolb Moon
Nearly three dozen players attended the 2013 Portland (Oregon) Go Tournament, held (date) at Lewis & Clark College. “This is an increase of over 25% from last year,” said tournament director Peter Drake. Zipei Feng 7d swept the 10-player open division with five wins, followed by Harry Zhou and Nick Zhirad. In the dan handicap division, the winners were Jim Levenick, Glenn Peters, and Eugene Zhang. For single-digit kyu, Maxwell Chen (also 5-0), Minh Pham (president of the Lewis & Clark College Go Club), and Clark Brooks. For double-digit kyu, Eric Hanscom, Eric Wang, and Ethan Zhuang.
The numbers for youth and female players were also improved from last year, Drake reports. Maxwell Chen took the prize for top youth player. Cynthia Gaty was the top female player.
GoClubsOnline was used for tournament administration. “Thanks to Yellow Mountain Imports for a generous prize discount,” says Drake, who also thanked KGS, SmartGo, and Darrell Malick (via Cynthia Gaty) for prize donations and Glenn Peters for bringing boards, stones, clocks, and snacks.