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Updated: 11 hours 55 min ago

Lee Sedol-Gu Li Jubango Commentary US Broadcast Date Saturday, Feb 22 (not 2/24)

Tue, 18/02/2014 - 16:05

The date for the live commentary on the second game of the Lee Sedol-Gu Li jubango is this Saturday, February 22, not the 24th, as originally reported (Lee Sedol-Gu Li Jubango Game 2 Broadcast Set for Feb 24 (US time) 2/17 EJ). Also, the correct name for the location of Myungwan Kim 9P’s game commentary broadcast is GoPanda2.

Categories: World news

Evan Cho Repeats as Dado 2014 SoCal Go Champion

Mon, 17/02/2014 - 20:11

Defending champion Evan Cho 7D held onto his title last weekend at the Dado 2014 SoCal Go Championship. Nearly 60 players attended the Orange County championship on a beautiful sunny weekend in Southern California. Players came from as far as Arizona and a large contingent came from the San Francisco Bay Area. The Open section consisted of 14 strong players 6d-7d and above, including Cho. “Thanks to the generous sponsorship of the Dado (大道) Cultural Exchange Association, the tournament enjoyed an excellent venue, refreshments and substantial cash prizes,” reported Steve Burrall. Kevin Chao directed. photo: (l-r): Aaron Ye, Andrew Lu, Danny Ko, Kevin Hong, Evan Cho, Kevin Chao (in background) and Jay Zheng, president of the Dado Assosociation.
Winner’s Report:
Open Section: Champion Evan Cho 7D; 2nd: Kevin Hong 7D; 3rd: Danny Ko 7D; 4th: Andrew Lu 7D; 5th: Aaron Ye 6D.
Dan handicap: 1st: Wensheng Wang 4D; 2nd: April Ye 1D; 3rd: Steve Burrall 3D; 4th: Alex Lee 1D; 5th: Wai-to Char 1D.
Upper Kyu Handicap: 1st: Hendrick Rommeswinkel 3K; 2nd: Ted Terpstra 5K; 3rd: Preston Hutchins 2K
Mid Kyu Handicap: 1st: Ben Matthews 7K; 2nd: Jerry Lu 8K; 3rd: Susanna Pfeffer 10K
Low Kyu Handicap: 1st: Daniel Su 15K; 2nd: Chris Lin 13K; 3rd: Scott Nichols 12K

Categories: World news

Five Players Notch Perfect Records at NOVA Tourney

Mon, 17/02/2014 - 18:53

Taking advantage of a break in the recent winter weather, twenty-six players turned out for the NOVA Chinese Lunar New Year tournament on Saturday, February 15 at George Mason Law School in Arlington VA. “The tournament results were a bit unusual, as all first place players had perfect records!” reports organizer Allan Abramson. The Lunar New Year beginner’s 13×13 tournament also attracted eight players. “Congratulations to all the beginners who participated: the future of US go!” said Abramson. photo: Beginner’s Tournament players, with Ching-Sung Chin (right); click here for more photos.  
Winner’s Report:
First: Daniel Chou, 6D, 4-0; Hsiao Hsiung, 1K, and Mohan Sud, 3K, both tied at 4-0; Joey Phoon, 5K, 4-0; and Mulan Liu, 16K, 4-0; Second: Zhiyuan Zhang, 6D, 3-1; Tevis Tsai, 9K, 2-2; and Sean Lin, 25K, 3-1
Lunar New Year Beginner’s 13×13 Tournament: First: Ethan Tung, 6-0 and Justin Wang, 6-0; Second: Eric Chang, 4-2; Third: Frank Chang, 3-3 and Minche Lee, 3-3

Categories: World news

Lee Sedol-Gu Li Jubango Game 2 Broadcast Set for Feb 22 (US time)

Mon, 17/02/2014 - 17:50

The second game in the historic Lee Sedol-Gu Li jubango will be broadcast live on GoPanda2 on February 23, starting at 9AM local time in Shanghai (2/22 5p PST, 8p EST). Myungwan Kim 9P will provide live commentary (written, not audio) beginning two hours later (2/22 7p PST, 10p EST). “I hope Gu Li can show a good fighting spirit and even up the match,” Kim says. Click here to download the latest version of GoPanda2 to watch the live commentary.
Correction: the US date for the commentary on GoPanda2 is Saturday, February 22, not 2/24; the time remain the same.

Categories: World news

This Week’s Go Calendar: Berkeley

Mon, 17/02/2014 - 14:06

February 22: Berkeley, CA
Bay Area Go Players Association Winter Tournament
Roger Schrag rs1249@bayareago.org 510-501-2701
Steve Burrall sburrall@comcast.net 916-688-2858

Get the latest go events information.

Categories: World news

Go Promoted at London Animecon

Mon, 17/02/2014 - 13:30

The British Go Association (BGA) took a stand at the first ever combined London Anime and Gaming Convention on Sunday February 9 at the Rocket Complex, part of the London Metropolitan University. It was expected that some anime fans would have a passing familiarity with go from Hikaru No Go and might like to learn more about the game.

The demo was the initiative of BGA member Ben Murphy of Billaricay Go Club, Essex, who first made contact with the London Animecon and ran a stand there at the August event last year with Tony Atkins (see Go Goes To London AnimeCon, EJ  08/02/13 ). This year BGA VP and AGA member Francis Roads provided a dan-level presence.

They showed people how to play, then engaged them in a 9 x 9 game. Roger Huyshe, the BGA’s seller of books and equipment, provided them with starter go sets with combined 9 x 9 and 13 x 13 boards and copies of the book Teach Yourself Go, by Charles Matthews, and they sold three sets and four books. One man who bought both said he was in the Navy and was looking forward to teaching and playing with his shipmates.

“I really enjoyed doing the demo and I played a few games against Francis Roads and it was an amazing experience teaching people,” said Murphy, adding, “I’d like to give a big thank you to everyone at London Anime and Gaming Convention and the British Go Association for helping me with the demo. Many people enjoyed playing go and I think we made a good number of go fans during the day.”

Report by Tony Collman, British correspondent for the E-Journal. Graphic courtesy London Animecon.

Categories: World news

Tuo Jiaxi Achieves First International Title at 18th LG Cup

Mon, 17/02/2014 - 11:30

Although Zhou Ruiyang 9p is ranked the number five Chinese player and defeated Tuo Jiaxi 3p in the Luoyang Longmen Qisheng last year, Tuo got his revenge in the 18th LG Cup Final on February 13 at Seoul National University. After game 2, the title could have gone either way but Tuo’s strong endgame secured game 3 after 254 moves. This victory is not only Tuo’s first international title but his ticket to 9p, or 9 dan professional.

Developed in 1996, the LG Cup is a major international go tournament sponsored by LG Electronics. For more information about this year’s tournament including photos and game records, please visit Go Game Guru. – Annalia Linnan, based on a longer article by Go Game Guru; photo courtesy of Go Game Guru

Categories: World news

Celebrating the Year of the Horse by Teaching Go

Sun, 16/02/2014 - 14:00

When the Lakeforest Mall in Gaithersburg, Maryland sponsored a Chi­nese New Year cel­e­bra­tion recently, local player Benjamin Hong volunteered to teach go, saying “how could you have a Chi­nese New Year cel­e­bra­tion with­out go?” Organizers set up a large 9×9 demo board, a 13×13 and a 19×19 board, as well as mul­ti­ple begin­ner boards for new players. “My big cus­tomer of the day was a lit­tle girl who was about 5,” Hong writes on his blog. “We played a cou­ple games of first cap­ture that went well, and it seemed like she had fun.” A num­ber of inter­ested peo­ple stop by to play and ask ques­tions, and Hong says the suc­cessful event “def­i­nitely got me think­ing about doing more things like this in the future.” Photo by Stephanie  

Categories: World news

Go Quiz: Who Beat Go Seigen in a Jubango?

Sun, 16/02/2014 - 13:30

Thank you for all of your pleased remarks about the return of the quiz.  Unfortunately, your faith in my book collection was misplaced, as the number of unique books is “only” around 750.  Although this was enough to prompt Joel Benyowitz to suggest that my wife Erica “should have a yard sale,” it was not enough for our quizzers, who consistently guessed high, only 4 of 29 getting the correct answer.  Books in Japanese, Chinese and Korean far outnumber the English books (although I do have two of virtually all of the English volumes).  I did not count magazines; with complete sets of Go Review, Go World, the American Go Journal and the British Go Journal, a bunch of Kido magazines and duplicate English books the number would easily double.  Barry Pasicznyk’s query about “How many of these go books did Keith Arnold actually read?” is fair but I must plead the Fifth. Here’s a shot of some of the collection. You will be no doubt be relieved that this week’s question will NOT be Kelsey Dyer’s suggestion: “What is Keith Arnold’s favorite sandwich? (Schlotzsky’s Original – RIP Greg).  Josh Thorsen of Seattle is our winner this week, chosen at random from those answering correctly.

THIS WEEK’S QUIZ: In honor of the current talk of the go world, the Lee Se Dol vs. Gu Li jubango, you can expect a series of questions regarding the players and jubangos.  We will start with a question regarding the greatest “jubangoer” ever, Go Seigen.  Who was the only player to defeat him in a jubango match?  Was it Fujisawa Kuranosuke, Sakata Eio, Takagawa Kaku or Shusaku?  Click here to make your guess by close of business on Thursday and again, feel free to add your own comments!
- Keith Arnold, HKA & AGA Quizmaster

 

Categories: World news

Go Spotting: Top Mind-Bending Games

Sun, 16/02/2014 - 13:00

Go makes the top slot in Top 10 Mind-bending Strategy Games on the How Stuff Works website. “It’s perhaps no coincidence that the most mind-bending of all strategy games is also the oldest,” writes John Kelly. Kelly also reports that “Japanese neurosurgeon Kaneko Mitsuo has studied the effect that playing Go has on older adults, noting that “Randomized trials by the U.S. National Institutes of Health have shown that playing certain types of games — though not a mental health cure — can keep the brain healthy.”
Thanks to Aaron Murg of Bethesda, MD for passing this along! A 15-kyu AGA member, Aaron says “I enjoy waking up each morning to find an E-Journal waiting to be read.”

Categories: World news

In Memoriam: Robert A. McCallister

Sat, 15/02/2014 - 22:21

Robert A. McCallister, one of the key go organizers in the U.S. in the late 1950′s and 60s, died Feb 5 in Winchester, VA at 92. A long time New Jersey organizer, McCallister also served the American Go Association in just about every official capacity, from American Go Journal (AGJ) editor to membership secretary, ratings head and president. “He was part of the first wave of US go after WW II with publication of the American Go Journal and a set of rules for commercial go sets like the one my parents found in Brentanos Bookstore in the Bergen Mall in Paramus NJ,” says former AGA president Terry Benson. McCallister served as AGA Secretary starting in 1957, as well as AGJ staff, and headed AGA publications from 1959 to 1962, editing the AGJ from 1957-1962. He served as president of the AGA in 1961 and 1962, was in charge of membership from 1965 to ’66, then headed ratings with Robert Ryder in 1967, when he drafted a go rating system and, with Richard Dolen, developed a procedure for holding telephone matches that was used for national championships and international friendship matches. ”He was a fixture at the New Jersey Open and remained an active player into the early ’80s,” Benson says. “A quick review of the AGJ during his reign features a nice article by him called ‘My Trip to Japan’ in Vol. 7, No 3 May 1959,” adds Keith Arnold. “He was over for business for five months, coincidentally in the same building that held the Nihon Kiin. He was 3 kyu at the time, and played Segoe Kensaku, Takagawa Kaku and Karigane The game record of the Takagawa game is provided. There is also a photo of him, along with Iwamoto, Karl Davis Robinson and Edward Lasker during Iwamoto’s New York visit.” Benson adds “Thinking of the 55th New Jersey Open coming up on March 1st brings back memories of the fixtures at that tournament: Bob, Harry Gonshor, Bob Ryder and Takao Matsuda. The torch bearers from that era are now all gone.”
photo: McCallister playing Harry Gonshor in 1977; photo by Terry Benson

Categories: World news

Go Game Guru Announces First Book Will Be on Gu-Lee Jubango

Sat, 15/02/2014 - 14:00

Go Game Guru has announced that their first go book will feature the ongoing 10-game match between Gu Li and Lee Sedol. “Over the last few years, many readers have emailed us and suggested that we should publish a go book of my game commentaries,” says GGG’s An Younggil 8P. “We’ve been too busy to do so up until now, but this match is special, so we’ve decided that our first go book will be about Lee Sedol and Gu Li’s jubango,” says An. 

In an unusual move, An has already published his commentary of the first game of the match online, as a draft, and welcomes reader comments and questions. “You can play a part in shaping this book, by asking questions about each game and discussing the games together,” he says. The final book will include extended commentary, based on readers’ questions, and detailed discussion about modern opening strategy with reference to each game. 

More details can be found on the official page for the as yet untitled ‘Lee Sedol vs Gu Li Go Book‘. In related news, Benjamin Hong 3-kyu – working with his teacher (“frozensoul” on KGS) — has just published a move-by-move review of the Gu-Lee game on his blog designed to “allow kyu players to easily follow the game and understand some of the most significant moments of the game.”

Categories: World news

SAWMG Highlights Posted on YouTube

Sat, 15/02/2014 - 13:30

Highlights from the 2013 SportAccord World Mind Games — held in Beijing last December — have now been posted on YouTube. The overview (the go part starts at about 35:50) includes some brief commentaries by Michael Redmond 9P on the finals, an interview with Thomas Hsiang and a visit to a go class. There are also links to the daily reports published during the event, including more interviews and Redmond’s game commentaries with EJ Managing Editor Chris Garlock.  

Categories: World news

Go Spotting: Iyama Yuta on NHK

Sat, 15/02/2014 - 13:00

“Just watched an episode of NHK’s documentary series ‘Professionals,’” writes AGA Treasurer Roy Schmidt. “The pro for that week was Iyama Yuta, Meijin. “The program featured several games, including a televised handicap game when he was around six years old.  Also, there were scenes from his private life.”  Click here to see the program (which is in Japanese).

Categories: World news

The Power Report: Iyama Leads 3-0 in Kisei Title Match; Kisei Game One Trivia; Yamashita and Cho U Share Lead in Meijin League; Shi Yue Wins New Year’s Tournament; A Promotion and a Retirement

Fri, 14/02/2014 - 14:00

by John Power, EJ Japan Correspondent

Iyama Leads 3-0 In Kisei Title Match: The 38th Kisei title match feels as if it has barely started, but it might be almost over, as defending title holder, has raced to a 3-0 lead and just needs one more win to stay on top of the rankings for another year. The second game was played at a traditional inn called Yamaya in Kawagoe City, Saitama Prefecture, not far from Tokyo, on January 29 and 30. Yamashita Keigo, the challenger, made an uncharacteristic mistake in the opening, letting Iyama take an early lead. Iyama then gave him no chance to recover, playing solidly in the early middle game, then aggressively later on in order to wrap up the game. Yamashita, who had white, resigned after 167 moves. There was only a week for Yamashita to recover before the third game, and that doesn’t seem to have been enough. The match moved to the city of Kumamoto, about halfway down the western coast of the southern island of Kyushu. It was played at the Kumamoto Hotel Castle on February 6 & 7. Early in the middle game, Iyama (W) invaded Yamashita’s moyo and cleverly dodged when Yamashita attacked him. By the time he had settled his group (on move 60), the game had already tilted in his favour. As in the second game, Iyama played aggressively instead of coasting when he thought he had an opportunity to settle the game. Once again, Yamashita got no chances to pull off an upset and had to resign after 140 moves. Two convincing wins in a row by Iyama, following a close contest in the opening game, have now put the challenger under intense pressure. For the fourth game, the match goes north to Yamashita’s home ground of Hokkaido; it will be played on February 20 and 21.

Kisei Game One Trivia: As reported in the E-Journal, Iyama won the first game by half a point. Although that may seem like a close margin, it was what professionals call a ‘thick’ half-pointer, that is, Yamashita had no chance of winning, though he did catch up a few points in the endgame through slack play by Iyama. Game One was one of the events celebrating 400 years of relations between Japan and Spain. Last year was the 400th anniversary of the visit to Europe, including Spain, by a mission from the Japanese daimyo Date Masamune (whose headquarters was Sendai). It was led by Hasekura Tsunenaga (left) and traveled both ways via the Spanish colony that is now Mexico. The main aim was to visit the Pope, but the group spent seven years in Europe, including a visit to Spain. (It’s worth looking up Hasekura on Wikipedia for some nice illustrations.) Holding the first game of a best-of-seven title match (and occasionally games from best-of-fives) overseas has been popular, but this was actually the first Kisei game to leave Japan for four years (the overseas host in 2010 was Taipei). The Kisei/Yomiuri Newspaper group received a very warm welcome in Madrid. Just to give one example, the group was given a private after-hours tour of the Prado.

Yamashita and Cho U Share Lead in Meijin League: Three games were played in the 39th Meijin League on February 6. Cho U 9P (W) beat Ryu Shikun 9P by 7.5 points; Takao Shinji 9P (B) beat Kono Rin by resig; Hane Naoki 9P (W) beat Yuki Satoshi 9P by resig. The only undefeated players are Cho U and Yamashita Keigo, but they have only a provisional lead, as they have played only two games. Kono and Takao, both on 2-1, could join them at the top.

Shi Yue Wins New Year’s Tournament: The CCTV New Year’s Cup is a special tournament held to celebrate the Chinese New Year. Last year only Chinese players took part, but this year it has been upgraded into an international tournament, with a name change to the 2nd CCTV NY’s Cup Japan-China-Korea Tournament. It was won by Shi Yue 9P (right), who at present is rated number one in China. Second place was taken by Murakawa Daisuke 7P of Japan and third by Yi Se-tol 9P of Korea. Actually the sponsors wanted to invite Iyama Yuta from Japan, but it was impossible for him to find the time. Murakawa performed very creditably as substitute. In the first round, he lost to Shi Yue but put up a good fight. In the second round, he beat Yi Se-tol (who drew the bye in the first round); this probably ranks as Murakawa’s most prestigious win to date. In the final, however, he was outplayed by Shi. This may be an unofficial tournament, but first prize was an impressive 80,000 yuan (12 million yen or about $120,000), which would place it sixth among the Japanese titles. It was held from February 2 to 4, with live telecasts every day (apparently a first for a go tournament at this time of the year).

A Promotion and a Retirement: Son Makoto has earned promotion to 3-dan with 40 cumulative wins. Tokimoto Hajime 9P has retired as of January 31. Born in Okinawa, Tokimoto became 1-dan in 1968 and reached 9-dan in 2005. He won the top section of the rating tournament in 1977. Tokimoto’s forte was ultra-fast quick games; at ten seconds a move (in unofficial games), he was almost unbeatable.

Categories: World news

Yunzi Stones and Lead: An Update

Fri, 14/02/2014 - 13:00

“I bought ‘Yunzi Stones’ from Yellow Mountain Imports as a gift for my young children so we can play baduk together,” wrote EJ reader Jason Lee recently. “Later on after ordering, I saw online that this kind of stone can contain lead. So when my order arrived I got a lead test kit from the local hardware store to check them for safety. It turns out that the stones sent to me did contain lead. This is unsafe for my children to use and maybe me too. I wrote about my experience here. Thank you for the great work (the EJ does) for baduk players. I read the website every week.”

The EJ originally reported on this in 2008 (Go Review: Chinese Go Stones 2/4/2008) and we later reported (Yunzi Stones Now Lead-Free 6/23/2008 EJ) that YMI had contacted the manufacturer, who had agreed to eliminate lead from the manufacturing process of yunzi stones, which are special go pieces manufactured in the Chinese province of Yunnan. Apparently the manufacturer did not completely eliminate the lead, instead reducing it below the levels recommended by the Consumer Products Safety Commission; see below for details.

Yellow Mountain Imports responds: “Thanks for reaching out to us. We thought we had resolved this many years back when we had gone through all the reformulation and subsequent tests with the Yunnan Weiqi factory so obviously we were concerned. We take product safety seriously so when we heard these new complaints, we contacted the Yunnan Weiqi Factory immediately. They were equally concerned and arranged for a current official radio spectrometry test. The black stones tested positive at 0.005% (50 parts per million). Lead was also found in the white stones, at an even lower concentration, less than 0.002 (20 ppm). The Yunnan Weiqi Factory reformulated Yunzi stones to be within safe levels as per our request many years ago, while maintaining as much as the original qualities as possible, but it turns out that they cannot eliminate it completely. Lead makes the stones more durable and less brittle. These levels are well below the 0.009 (90 ppm) level recommended by the Consumer Products Safety Commission, but we do not claim that they are lead-free. Anyone who has purchased Yunzi stones and wants to return them can do so and should contact us.” Email customerservice@ymimports.com with any questions or concerns.

Categories: World news

Myungwan Kim Opens Go School

Thu, 13/02/2014 - 22:17

Myungwan Kim 9P (left) has opened his own go school, the American Go Institute in the city of Arcadia east of Los Angeles. Kim tells the EJ the Institute offers comprehensive and specialized training programs for kids to approach go and is dedicated to helping and developing kids’ potential. “With expert instruction and a proven training methodology, the Institute provides a true foundation for future success,” Kim said. Kim moved to the US in 2008 to promote go at the behest of the Korea Baduk Association and has been instrumental in starting the AGA’s professional certification program. For the stronger players, the Institute’s methodology involves a great deal of deep reading practice and life and death work in keeping with the latest techniques used in Asian go schools, as well as face-to-face play and review. Beginners are also welcome. In addition to Kim, top level former insei Evan Cho (right) is teaching at the Institute. For more information, call 626-538-4286 or e-mail americangoinstitute@gmail.com.

Categories: World news

The Power Report: January Update: Kato to Challenge for Women’s Meijin; Yamashita Leads In Honinbo League; Meijin League; Iyama Misses Shot at Grand Slam; Chisato Cup; Xie Defends Women’s Kisei; Annual Promotions

Thu, 13/02/2014 - 16:46

by John Power, EJ Japan Correspondent

January in Japan: I failed to submit a report last month, so I would like to make up for it with a review of the first month of professional go in Japan this year.

Kato to Challenge for Women’s Meijin: Kato Keiko 6P (right) hung on to her lead in the 26th Women’s Meijin League and will challenge Xie Yimin for the title. In the final round, held on January 9, she beat Okuda Aya 3P (W) by half a point to end up on 5-1, one point clear of the field. The match starts on March 5.   Actually, this was Kato’s first game for three months. As mentioned in an earlier report, she took the winter off to have her second child. This is Kato’s first title match for six years (she lost the 20th Women’s Meijin title to the challenger, who was Xie Yimin).  She won the title the previous term and the 10th Strongest Woman Player title in 2008. She is married to Mizokami Tomochika 8P.
Other results in the final round: Mukai Chiaki, Women’s Honinbo, (W) beat Yoshida Mika 8P by resig.; Suzuki Ayumi 6P (B) beat Chinen Kaori 4P by 3.5 points. Mukai and Suzuki, both on 4-1, took 2nd and 3rd places respectively. The other player to keep her place in the league was Chinen, on 3-3. Okuda (1-5), Yoshida (2-4), and Ishii Akane 2P (2-4) all dropped out.

Yamashita Leads In Honinbo League: A win over Yuki Satoshi at the end of last year gave Yamashita Keigo (left) a share of the lead with Kono Rin in the 69th Honinbo League; both were on 3-0 and were the only undefeated players.  However, in the fourth round, played in January, Yamashita beat league newcomer Yo Seiki while Kono lost to Cho U, so Yamashita now has the sole lead. The other league newcomer, Ida Atsushi,  shares second place with Kono and Cho U. Games played since my last report are given below.
(26 December) Yamashita Keigo 9P (W) beat Yuki Satoshi Judan by resig.
(January 9) Ida Atsushi 7P (B) beat Takao Shinji 9P by half a point.
(January 16) Cho U 9P (W) beat Kono Rin 9P by half a point; Sakai Hideyuki 8P (B) beat Yuki Satoshi by resig.
(January 23) Yamashita (W) beat Yo Seiki 7P by resig.

Meijin League: Three of the four games in the second round of the 39th Meijin League were played on January 9. At this point, Kono Rin (right) has the provisional lead with 2-0, but the winner of the fourth game, between Yamashita Keigo and Takao Shinji, will draw even with him.
(January 9): Kono Rin 9P (B) beat Hane Naoki 9P by resig.; Cho U 9P (W) beat Murakawa Daisuke 7P by resig.; Ko Iso 8P (W) beat Yuki Satoshi Judan by resig.

Iyama Misses Shot at Grand Slam: Recently, with Iyama Yuta (left) holding six titles, there had been a lot of speculation about whether he would become the first player to score a genuine grand slam of the top seven titles, that is, holding them all concurrently instead of cumulatively. In the past, players have not been able to maintain a big tally of concurrent titles for very long because of the wear and tear of constant title matches, so if Iyama is going to have a try at it, the sooner the better. This year he seemed to have a good chance, as he had reached the play-off to decide the challenger for the only top-seven title he didn’t have, the Judan, and his opponent was a player, Takao Shinji, against whom he had a very good record. The play-off was held on Iyama’s home ground, at the Kansai Headquarters of the Nihon Ki-in, on January 23. The game was a difficult one, with a series of swaps, but Takao, playing white, prevailed by 5.5 points. Takao gets a chance to win back the title that he lost to Cho U in 2009. To keep the dream alive, Iyama will have to try again next year, but he must first defend all his titles this year. There is no precedent in Japan for such a long winning streak in title matches. The first game of the title match between Takao and Yuki Satoshi Judan will be played on March 4.

Chisato Cup:  This is a special tournament being held to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the founding of the Chisato corporation, which makes uniforms, helmets, and various other work-related items. Participants were 16 young players recommended by the sponsor. First prize is two million yen. The time allowance is the same as for the NHK Cup, that is, 30 seconds per move plus ten minutes extra time in one-minute units.  The first two rounds were held on January 17th and the following players have reached the semifinals: Suzuki Shinji 4P, Hirata Tomoya 3P, Kimoto Katsuya 2P, and Fujisawa Rina 2P. Fujisawa is the granddaughter of Fujisawa Shuko. The semifinals and final will be held on March 1 and 2.

Xie Defends Women’s Kisei: On her previous challenge, two years ago, Aoki Kikuyo 8P managed to take the Women’s Kisei title from the Xie Yimin (right) , the top woman player in Japan. Xie regained the title last year, but Aoki was back again as challenger. This time she did not do so well, however, and Xie has defended her title with straight wins. The first game was played on January 23; taking white Xie forced a resignation. In the second game, played on January 30, Xie had a different color but the result was the same, a resignation by Aoki. Actually, Aoki had the better of it for most of the first game; after a severe attack, she had a large enemy group at her mercy, but she failed to deliver the coup de grace. This is Xie’s 17th title.

Annual Promotions
In January every year there are a number of promotions for the top prize-money winners of the previous year among players from 1- to 6-dan. The following promotions became effective on February 1.
To 7-dan: Shida Tatsuya (only the top 6-dan is promoted); To 6-dan: Kawada Kohei, Ohashi Naruya; To 5-dan: Tajima Shingo, Sakamoto Yasuo; To 4-dan: Ichiriki Ryo, Muramatsu Hiroki; To 3-dan: Kimoto Katsuya, Adachi Toshimasa; To 2-dan: Kikuchi Masatoshi, Onishi Kenya.
There were also two promotions by the cumulative-wins system. Shimoji Gensho (120 wins) earned promotion to 7-dan as of December 26. With 50 wins, Ms. Makihata Taeko was promoted to 4-dan as of January 31. (Usually the date of the promotion is the day after the game that secured it, as the details have to be confirmed by the Ki-on office.)
Tomorrow: Iyama Leads 3-0 in Kisei Title Match; Kisei Game One Trivia; Yamashita and Cho U Share Lead in Meijin League; Shi Yue Wins New Year’s Tournament; A Promotion and a Retirement  

Categories: World news

Argentine Go Association to hold first Teachers Training Workshop this Weekend

Wed, 12/02/2014 - 00:46

The Argentine Go Association is holding its first Teachers Training Workshop this weekend in Buenos Aires. “Its goals are to develop a teaching system of the game of go to be used in classes and courses and to train the teachers that will give the courses,” Argentine Go Association president Santiago Laplagne told the E-Journal. “Recently, the AAGo signed agreements with the Amateur University Sports Association of Argentina and the Government of the City of Buenos Aires to give classes and courses of go in schools and universities. The workshop is expected to provide the base for these courses.”  Fernando Aguilar (right) is coordinating the workshop on February 15-16; click here for details (in Spanish). “We are planning to organize more workshops in 2014,” Laplagne, “so some players might be interested in attending the future workshops.” 

Categories: World news

EuroGoTV Update: France, Germany, Russia

Wed, 12/02/2014 - 00:34

France: The 29th Antony Tournament finished February 2 with Junfu Dai 8d in first, Benjamin Blanchard 3d in second, and Francois Mizessyn 4d in third. Germany: Also on February 2, Viktor Lin 5d took the 17. Erdinger Go-Turnier in Erding. Behind him were Jonas Fincke 4d in second and Sebastian Koller 3d in third. Russia: Natalia Kovaleva 5d (left) bested Rusian Dmitriev 5d at the Festival Lariks in Moscow on February 2 while Igor Nemlij 5d placed third.
– Annalia Linnan,  based on reports from EuroGoTV, which include complete result tables and all the latest European go news; photo courtesy of EuroGoTV

Categories: World news