Mark Sachon reports that in Richard Flanagan’s novel “The Narrow Road to the Deep North,” “References to playing go are found on pages 264, 269 and 295 in the hardback edition. “Moving deftly from a Japanese POW camp to present-day Australia, from the experiences of Dorrigo Evans and his fellow prisoners to that of the Japanese guards, this savagely beautiful novel tells a story of the many forms of love and death, of war and truth, as one man comes of age, prospers, only to discover all that he has lost.” (Amazon).
Sachon also found go in the 1993 movie “Temptation of a Monk,” (You Seng), noting that “two rivals play weiqi in the first few minutes of the film.” Set in 7th century China, the film, directed by Clara Law, stars Joan Chen as a beautiful princess and destructive temptress who wreaks havoc in a young general’s life, telling “the epic story of a disgraced man’s journey into self-discovery.”
Registration is now open for the 2016 International Paris Go tournament, which will be held March 26-28 in Neuilly, in the city’s western suburbs. This is the 44th edition of the event, a 6-round tournament; prize for the winner is 1000€; click here to register.
- Alain Cano, Président de la Ligue Ile-de-France
Lee Sedol 9P (right) defeated Ahn Seongjun 6P and Ke Jie 9P (left) beat Park Younghun 9P in the semifinals of the second MLily Cup, played November 22-25 in Hefei, China. The Ke Jie-Park Younghun showdown — relayed live on the AGA’s YouTube channel with commentary by Myungwan Kim 9P — was one of the most interesting matches of the year.
Ke Jie is ranked #1 in China, is virtually undefeated as White in 2015 and proceeded to the final of the 2015 Samsung Cup in early November by defeating Lee Sedol. Meanwhile, Park Younghun is in his second heyday in 2015. He’s ranked #3 in Korea, and he proceeded to the final of 20th LG Cup by defeating Tuo Jiaxi 9p about only a week ago.
Lee Sedol is currently ranked #2 in Korea, and Ahn Seongjun is ranked #7.
Click here for more analysis, photos, game records and game commentary by Younggil An 8P on Go Game Guru.
- Go Game Guru
Update (12/24): Ke is not, as originally reported, undefeated this year on white; in fact he has lost twice.
Roelofs/Eijkhout Dethrone Defending Champs at 2015 Dutch Pair Go Championships: The Dutch Pair Go Championships took place in the city of Eindhoven on November 15 this year. Ten pairs from all over the country gathered to have fun together and compete for the title. Four rounds were played to determine the winner, with 45 minutes on the clock and no overtime. Under such time pressure, good teamwork was essential to guide the games in the right direction, with enough time to spare for the endgame. The great thing about Pair Go is its unpredictability – surprising things happen all the time – and on several occasions sudden laughter during a match drew the attention of all the others. In the fourth and last round, defending champions Karen Pleit 2k & Willem-Koen Pomstra 5d faced Yvonne Roelofs 4k & Michiel Eijkhout 6d (right), whose strong effort won them the 2015 championship. Pleit/Pomstra shared second/third place with newcomers Justyna Kleczar 2k and Kim Ouweleen 4d (left), with the exact same amount of SOS points. Marika Dubiel 2d & Alexander Eerbeek 5d, another young pair, also scored 3/4 but ended on fourth place due to SOS. Complete results can be found here.
Geert Groenen Wins Brabants Go Tournament: At the same location as the Pair Go Championships, another tournament took place that weekend. A total of exactly 50 players participated in the main tournament in community center Bellefort. Geert Groenen 6d (right, playing Alexander Eerbeek 5d) took the title, with Frank Janssen 6d trailing in second place. Surprisingly, these two titans did not play each other in the tournament. Rudi Verhagen 4d however played against both, managed to win against Frank Janssen, and took third place. Verhagen has the distinction of having played more go tournaments than any Dutch player ever, with the magic number of 324 tournament appearances so far. Complete results can be found here.
News from Go shop Het Paard, Amsterdam: A new book is available in Kiseido’s “Mastering the Basics” series. K79 An Encyclopedia of Go Principles is a compilation of the most important principles of strategy and tactics in go. These are explained through proverbs, such as: do not attack with your thickness, defend before attacking, the tortoise shell is worth 60 points, etc. Other important concepts that do not have sayings, are also included in this book, like: be willing to transfer a moyo from one part of the board to another. A must-have for players who wish to grow in their fundamentals of the game. Price: € 21,00; order here.
- Kim Ouweleen, European Correspondent for the E-Journal
Pair Go tournament for professional couples: The second Professional Married Couples Pair Go Tournament was held at the Nihon Ki-in on Sunday, November 22. If you write the date 11/22 and take the first syllable of the numbers in Japanese, you get the word “ii fufu,” which means “a good married couple,” so this is an apposite date for this tournament. Last year, eight pairs took part; that increased to 13 this year, but the same pairs reached the final (right): Suzuki Ayumi 6P and her husband Rin Kanketsu 7P and the Mimuras, Kaori 3P and Tomoyasu 9P (at left). The latter took their revenge for their loss last year, playing white and securing a resignation after 206 moves. First prize is one million yen and second 400,000.
Iyama tops most-wins list: Thanks to his winning streak, Iyama Yuta has worked his way to top place in the most-wins list. After his Oza win, his record for the year is 39-9. That’s a winning percentage of 81%, which is astonishing considering the level of his opponents. The top players are given below.
1. Iyama Yuta Kisei: 39-9
2. Kyo Kagen 3P: 38-9; Ichiriki Ryo 7P: 38-16
4. Shibano Toramaru 2P: 36-5
5. Yamashita Keigo 9P: 35-20
6. Ida Atsushi Judan: 32-18
7. Motoki Katsuya 7P: 29-10; Ogata Masaki 9P: 29-12; Kono Rin 9P: 29-12-1 no contest; Tsuruta Kazushi 3P: 29-12; Mutsuura Yuta 2P: 29-13
12. 25th Honinbo Chikun, Son Makoto 3P: 28-14
14. Akiyama Jiro 9P: 27-9; Cho Riyu 8P: 27-10
16. Koyama Kuya 2P: 25-12; Ko Iso 8P: 25-17; Fujisawa Rina: 25-21
Huang wins Chinese Agon Kiriyama: The final of 17th Agon Kiriyama Cup, a sister tournament to the Japanese title, was held in the City of Taiyuan. Taking white, the 18-year-old Huang Yunsong 4P beat Chen Yaoye 9P by resignation. Huang, who won the 2nd Globis Cup U-20 in May, will meet Iyama Yuta in the Japanese-Chinese playoff on December 25.
Demis Hassabis, the artificial intelligence savant behind Google DeepMind, hinted recently that his secretive team has cracked go, reports <re/code> magazine. While DeepMind has has put out a couple papers of its training algorithms beating Atari games it has released little else. Asked in an interview with the Royal Society of London “Maybe you will have a surprise about go?” Hassabis smiled and said “I can’t talk about it yet, but in a few months I think there will be quite a big surprise,” he replied.
Zhu Haichen 7d, a New Jersey resident and onetime student in the go school of Chinese champion Nie Weiping 9p, bested a strong field of 72 players at the 3rd annual Gotham Go Tournament last Saturday. Twelve pairs, meanwhile, played in the Sunday pair go tournament, first of what is hoped to be an annual event.
Zhu took top honors in the open section, but the dark horse of the event was Daniel Koch 2d, who went 4-0 to win the 1-3 dan section, beating a 4d and a 5d in succession in his two last rounds. Click here for complete results.
In the pair go tournament, run with the support and encouragement of the AGA, twelve pairs vied in four sections, with Stephanie Yin 1p and Rongxin Yu 7D going 3-0 to win the top section. Best dressed honors went to Alexandra Patz and her son Douglas who came dressed as go stones, narrowly beating out tournament organizer Peter Armenia and his wife Gretschen. AGA President Andy Okun 1d attended and played for once (going 2-2 in the main tournament and 1-1 in the pair go with partner Marilyn Stern). Okun (second from left) expressed gratitude in the closing ceremony to Armenia TD Yingzhi Qian. Okun said he was pleased with the turnout and wants to make pair go tournaments a more common occurrence around the U.S., not just a feature of the US Go Congress.
– Michael Fodera; click here for more photos.
Women’s Meijin League: Two important games were played in the 28th Women’s Meijin League last week. On November 16, Fujisawa Rina, Women’s Honinbo, (W) beat Mannami Nao 3P by 6.5 points. Fujisawa had to win this game to keep alive her chances of becoming the challenger. She goes to 3-1, in equal second place with Okuda Aya 3P. Mannami drops to 2-2, so all she can aim at is keeping her place. The tough thing for Fujisawa and Okuda is that they are ranked equal 5th in the league. The leader is Aoki Kikuyo 8P, who is ranked second. In my previous report, I mentioned that Aoki just had to win two of her remaining three games to become the challenger, as she would take precedence in a tie. She played the first of those three games on November 19. Taking black, she beat Suzuki Ayumi 6P by 1.5 points. That improves her score to 4-0 and improves her odds to 1 in 2, as she now just has to win one game out of two. Her remaining opponents are Mannami and Fujisawa. The above game was Aoki’s seventh win in a row.
Honinbo League: One game in the 71st Honinbo League was played on November 19. Kono Rin 9P (W) beat Cho U 9P by resignation. Kono improves his score to 1-1 and Cho is 0-2. Cho’s decision to return home to Taiwan is not paying off yet.
Iyama wins Oza, regains quintuple crown: The third game of the 63rd Oza title match was held at the Hotel Okura Kobe in Kobe City, Hyogo Prefecture on November 19. In dominating form, Iyama Yuta (black, at left) pounced on a misreading by the titleholder, Murakawa Daisuke (right), and seized the initiative. Iyama’s flawless play then denied Murakawa any chance to get back into the game and he was forced to resign after just 135 moves. Murakawa was unable to match the precision of Iyama’s reading; after a reign of just one year, he surrendered the title he took from Iyama last year. With this win, Iyama regains his quintuple crown after a gap of 11 months. This is his third Oza title and his 33rd title overall. It is also his 23rd successive win. Go journalists are starting to refer to the record set by Sakata Eio, 23rd Honinbo, in 1963 and 1964 of 29 successive wins. What the two streaks have in common is that many of the wins were in title matches or tournament finals, so the defeated opponents were mainly top players.
Teranishi repeats in Young Carp: The semifinals and final of the 10th Hiroshima Aluminium Cup Young Carp Tournament, open to Nihon Ki-in players under 31 and under 8-dan, were held at the Central Japan Newspaper Building in Hiroshima on November 22. In the semifinals, Shida Tatsuya 7P (B) beat Yo Seiki 7P and Teranishi Rei 4P (B) beat last year’s winner Motoki Katsuya 7P; the margin in both games was 2.5 points. In the final, Teranishi (B) forced Shida to resign after 159 moves. Teranishi (at left) also won the 5th cup. First prize is three million yen.
Tomorrow: Pair Go tournament for professional couples; Iyama tops most-wins list; Huang wins Chinese Agon Kiriyama
Ke Jie 9P lost Game 2 of the MLily Cup semifinal against Park Younghoon 9P Monday night, setting up a decisive Game 3 showdown that will be broadcast Tuesday night. Myungwan Kim 9P will provide live English commentary on the AGA’s Youtube Channel starting at 7P PST (10P EST).
Catch more top professional games with live English commentary on the AGA’s Youtube Channel Monday, November 23. Myungwan Kim 9P will comment the semifinals of the MLily Cup, between Park Younghoon 9P (#3 in Korea) and Ke Jie 9P (#1 in China). The MLily Cup is one of the major international tournaments, with a grand prize of over a quarter million dollars US. They’re playing a best-of-three series, with the first game already in the books — a win for Ke Jie — and Game #2 will be broadcast LIVE this Monday at 7pm PST (10p EST). As a bonus, Myungwan Kim will also review game #1 during the player’s lunch break.
EuroGoTV, which regularly streamed live video of tournament games, posted videos on YouTube and was a reliable source of European go news for the E-Journal — may return. If at least 300 people pledge to help EuroGoTV financially “we will resume (and upgrade) our services,” reports Harry Weerheijm. Click here to take EuroGo TV’s poll by November 30. “If EuroGoTV continues, Go-Pro articles, on demand video playback, the complete European Go calendar and the Newsletter will only be available to VIP-members; membership will run 25 Euro for the first year and 20 Euro for the second. Tournament reports will be available to all, including EJ readers, so we urge your support, either a membership or donation pledge.
- Chris Garlock, E-Journal Managing Editor
Seattle Go Center members are looking forward to the 3rd Annual Pair Go Tournament, set for Saturday, Dec. 12, 2015. The fun dress-up event features prizes from Japan and fancy cake. Last year’s tournament had 12 pairs participating. Tournament details are posted on the Seattle Go Center website. Photo and styling by Anne Thompson/Report by Brian Allen
“I am a member of the AGA and enjoy your E-Journal,” writes François Lorrain. “I wonder about this often cited quotation: “While the Baroque rules of chess could only have been created by humans, the rules of go are so elegant, organic, and rigorously logical that if intelligent life forms exist elsewhere in the universe, they almost certainly play go.” which your go quotes page attributes to Edward Lasker. I have searched far and wide and have never been able to find the source of this quotation. It isn’t from Lasker’s Go and Go-Moku; neither is it from Lasker’s Chess Secrets I Learned from the Masters,”which I read recently. Nor is it in Chess Strategy or in Chess and Checkers: the Way to Mastership. Could the quote be from the other Lasker, Emanuel, also a go-playing chess master? It isn’t in Chess Quotes by Emanuel Lasker, though AZ Quotes attributes the quote to Emanuel Lasker, but without any source. Would anybody you know have any idea about the source of this quote?”
Our best go expert sources — Peter Shotwell, Richard Bozulich and Erwin Gerstorfer — have not been able to track down a definitive attribution for this quote. A prize awaits whoever can do so; email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Gansheng Shi 1p is heading to Hangzhou, China, to represent North America is the 2015 Li Min Cup World Best Go Star Championship Finals. The tournament takes place from Nov. 27 to Dec. 3 at the Hangzhou Qiyuan building, one of the more impressive go association headquarters in the world, more than 30 stories high with a luxury hotel, go museum and go school included. Eric Lui 7d meanwhile is representing the US in the 10th Korean Prime Minister Cup in Seoul, Korea. There is still an opening for a US team to attend the 2nd Jin Long Chen Cup in Guangzhou, China (click here for details). “I know it is hard to put together a group on short notice, especially with the need for a visa and to pay your own air fare,” said AGA President Andy Okun. “I’m confident though that anyone who is able to do it will have a cultural and go experience they will always remember.” Guangzhou, Okun noted, is one of the great cities of the world. Once known in the West as Canton, it is the third largest city in China and the central city of one of its western provinces, a hub for trade, finance and manufacturing at the hub of the Pearl River Delta.
Iyama still on track: Iyama Yuta has become the first player to reach the semifinals of the 54th Judan tournament, so he is still on track to secure an unprecedented septuple crown, though of course he still has some distance to go. In the first of the quarterfinals, played on November 5, Iyama (B) defeated Yuki Satoshi 9P by resignation. His semifinal opponent will be the winner of a game between Ichiriki Ryo 7P and Imamura Toshiya 9P. The pairings in the other quarterfinals are Yo Seiki 7P vs. Takao Shinji Tengen and Kobayashi Satoru 9P vs. Shida Tatsuya 7P.
Iyama wins second straight in Oza and Tengen: The second game of the 63rd Oza title match was played at the Yakage-ya inn in the town of Yakage in Okayama Prefecture on November 12. Iyama (white) won by resignation after 164 moves, so he is within one win of regaining the title he lost to Murakawa Daisuke last year. In the middle game, Iyama (left) commented that his play may have been a little unreasonable. However, Murakawa failed to play severely enough to punish him for it. The third game will be played on November 19. The above game was on a Thursday, the usual day for professional play. The following Monday, November 16, Iyama won the second game of the 41st Tengen title match, thus extending his career-best winning streak to 22. Taking white, Iyama beat Takao Shinji Tengen by half a point after 254 moves. Takao had taken the lead in the middle game, but played badly in the latter part of the game, letting Iyama pull off an upset. The third game is scheduled for November 25. photo: Yuki joins in game review; Iyama at left
Honinbo League: Round Two starts: Two games in the 71st Honinbo League were played on November 12. In a game between title-holders, Takao Shinji Tengen (W) beat Ida Atsushi Judan by resignation. In the other game, Ichiriki Ryo 7P (W) beat Yo Seiki 7P by resignation. The large-avalanche joseki appeard in the top left corner and the small-avalanche joseki in the top right corner. All four players are now on 1-1.
Japan eliminated from LG Cup: The quarterfinals of the 20th LG Cup were held in Korea on November 16. Japan’s last remaining representative, Yo Seiki 7P, was forced to resign in his game with Pak Yeong-hun 9P of Korea. Other results: Kang Tong-yun 9P (Korea) (W) beat Ke Jie 9P (China) by resignation; Tuo Jiaxi 9P (China) (B) beat Weon Seong-jin 9P (Korea) by resignation; Shi Yue 9P (China) beat Kim Ji-seok 9P (Korea) by 1.5 points.
The 20th Pandanet Internet World Amateur Go Tournament (IWAG) is currently accepting registrations. The deadline is December 9. All games must be played on the Pandanet server. As in previous years, the registrants are divided into three regions, and in each region further divided into several ranking bands. Winners in each band will receive prizes. In the preliminary round, players play with others in the same band and in the same region. Regional winners then move on to play in the international final rounds. Click here for further details.
The Korea Amateur Baduk Association (KABA) is seeking promising youth players who are interested in participating in its Foreign Promising Baduk Player Invitation and Education Project. While the 2016 project is still the planning stages, it is expected that the thirteen players selected from around the world will receive full airfare, accommodation and lesson cost from KABA. Players will be considered who were born between 1997 and 2009, according to KABA. To be eligible you should be over 7k in strength if you are 7-9 years old, over 5k if 10-12 years old, over 1k if you are 13-15 years old and over 2d if you are 16-19 years old. If you think you are interested in attending, please write to Andy Okun at email@example.com as soon as possible but no later than November 23, with your name, AGA number, strength, date of birth, and a paragraph or two summarizing your go career so far and something about your interest in the game.
New members of the Meijin League: Two of the three vacant places in the 41st Meijin League were decided on October 29. Uchida Shuhei 7P (B) beat Kanazawa Makoto 7P by 3.5 points, so the latter failed to regain his place. Uchida will make his second appearance after an absence of three years. Hirata Tomoya 4P (W) beat So Yokoku 9P, also by 3.5 points. The 21-year-old Hirata won his first league place and secured an automatic promotion to 7-dan (as of the following day). So Yokoku was also a member of the previous league. The final vacant seat was decided on November 5. In a clash between Nagoya players, Hane Naoki 9P (W) beat Ida Atsushi Judan by resignation. Hane also immediately regained his league place. At 39 years three months, he will be the oldest member of the league (Takao is two months younger).
Women’s Honinbo: Xie fights back: The third game of the Women’s Honinbo title match was held at the Nihon Ki-in headquarters in Ichigaya, Tokyo on October 30. Taking black Xie Yimin (left), Women’s Meijin, defeated the titleholder Fujisawa Rin by resignation. The middle game featured a large exchange that may be the highlight of the series so far. After that, the lead switched back and forth, but Fujisawa made a misjudgment in the endgame, letting Xie take a small lead. The fourth game was played at the same venue on November 11. Playing white, Xie evened the score, forcing a resignation after 214 moves. Actually, the position seemed to be favorable for Fujisawa after a middle-game trade, but she suffered from a hallucination later in the game that let Xie pull off an upset. As a six-time winner of this title, Xie now seems to have the momentum, so Fujisawa will have to pull out all the stops in the deciding game, scheduled for November 27, if she is to defend her title.
Yamashita becomes Kisei challenger: The first game of the play-off to decide the challenger for the 40th Kisei title was held at the Nihon Ki-in in Ichigaya on Monday, November 9. Taking white, Yamashita (right) forced Murakawa to resign after 176 moves. This gives him his third successive crack at Iyama’s Kisei title. Understandably, considering his numerous recent defeats by Iyama, Yamashita said he was going to ignore the past and just focus on the new match. He also commented that the only way to beat Iyama was to eliminate all errors in his own play.
Yamashita’s 900th win: The above win was Yamashita’s 900th as a professional. He has lost 407 games, had one jigo and one no-result. At 37 years, two months, he is the youngest player to reach this landmark (second is Takao Shinji at 38 years one month); he is also the quickest, having taken 22 years seven months (again Takao is second, at 23 years eight months). In the category of winning percentage, however, Takao, on exactly 70% to Yamashita’s 68.9%, keeps top place. Just for reference, Cho Chikun, at 1470, has the most wins.
Tomorrow: Iyama still on track; Iyama wins second straight in Oza and Tengen; Honinbo League: Round Two starts; Japan eliminated from LG Cup
The 2015 AGHS Young Lions Tournament, the premier competition for North American youth players, will take place this weekend (November 14-15) on KGS. This year, an unprecedented 54 players have signed up, including 2 from Canada and 8 from Mexico. There will be 5 divisions, including an Open Division for strong dan players with even games; top games will be streamed live by AGHS promotional head Stephen Hu and secretary April Ye on Twitch.
Another exciting round of games for the Pandanet-AGA City League starts this Sunday. Check the schedule to see who your favorite team is playing. Will Canwa Vancouver, Washington DC 1, and Atlanta 2 keep their leads? We’ll see after this round!
- Steve Colburn, TD