With the first Australian Go Congress set for January 2015 in Sydney, look for more activity Down Under in the months ahead. There’s a new Melbourne City Go Club, complementing the University and Victorian clubs, meeting on Wednesday evenings. The Perth Go Club has settled down to a fixed location at Tzu Chi Australia, 247 Fitzgerald Street, West Perth, meeting on Saturday afternoons from 1pm. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re in the city and you want to play some go. The Armidale Go Club in northern New South Wales meets every Wednesday at 6pm – more details at the flash new web site. Complete club listings here. And mark your calendars for these upcoming tournaments: July 26-27: 2014 Australian Capital Territory Championships, Australian National University, Canberra; August 17: 10th Korean Ambassador’s Cup, Sydney, New South Wales; October 5: 4th Gold Coast Classic, Helensvale, Queensland; December 6-7: 37th Australian Championships, Eastwood (Sydney), New South Wales. Latest events calendar posted here http://www.australiango.asn.au/Events.php. Australia also has an active online scene: David Mitchell 5d of Sydney City Go Club has set up an Australian room on the Online Go Server, and there’s an Australian ladder in the OGS Australia Room, as well as on the KGS Go Server. And finally, 13-year-old Aaron Chen has been selected as this year’s Australian representative to the Korean Prime Ministers Cup, racking up the largest representative points total after his performance in the 2013 Korean Ambassador’s Cup in Sydney. All else being equal, he will be the youngest player ever to represent Australia internationally in a world championship.
- Horatio Davis, Australia Correspondent to the E-Journal
The email contact for Robert Cordingley in Go Clubs Online Offering Free Memberships to Celebrate AGA Pairings Software Certification (6/19 EJ) was incorrect; the correct email address is email@example.com.
GoClubsOnline (GCOL) is offering six unlimited club memberships to celebrate GCOL’s status as the first pairings software to be certified as AGA compliant. To qualify, go clubs must be holding — or plan to hold — tournaments in the near future, says GCOL’s Robert Cordingley. The memberships will be free for the first six months. Visit GCOL’s Overview web page to learn more about their comprehensive web-based system, including membership management, on-line tournament registration and check-in capabilities. Contact Cordingley at firstname.lastname@example.org to apply or for more information. “When applying, please include some details about the club and tournament plan,” adds Cordingley.
The AGA is seeking volunteers to help develop and implement a regular process for pairings certification to expand beyond this first certification. Any interested players or programmers should contact Tournament Coordinator Karoline Burrall Li at email@example.com.
People play go all over the world every day, but Saturday, September 13 will be different. That’s the day Go Game Guru is inviting local go organizers to participate in the launch of the first-ever Learn Go Week. “Every Go player knows that stones work better when they work together,” says GGG’s David Ormerud. “Right now we’re all doing our own things, within our own communities. We’re spread out thinly, all over the world. But if we work together, we can all be part of something bigger.” And while September 13 is the focus of the event, local organizers can also plan an event during the following week. Go Game Guru will support local efforts with adaptable go brochures, posters, checklists and information for running an event, including logistical support, inexpensive go sets, and printable go boards for organizers. While not an official IGF activity, IGF board members expressed support for the idea at last Saturday’s IGF meeting. “I think it’s a tremendously exciting idea and could be a great publicity opportunity for local chapters and clubs across the United States,” said American Go Association president Andy Okun at the World Amateur Go Championship in Korea. World Day events for a wide range of causes and activities have enjoyed various levels of popularity in recent years, generating public and media interest. “The AGA urges participation in Learn Go Week and will support our chapters in their efforts, as well as publicizing participation.”
Croatia: Zoran Mutabzija 5d took the 2014 Croatian Open Go Championship on July 13 in Gorica. Daniel Zrno 2k was second and Mladen Smud 1k placed third. Germany: Also on July 13, the Deutsche Damen-Go-Meisterschaft finished in Kassel with Manja Marz 3d (left) in first, Kirsten Hartmann 1k in second, and Vivian Scheuplein 1k in third. Czech Republic: Ondrej Silt 6d bested Mateusz Surma 6d at the 13th Moyo Open Tournament in Pardubice while Remi Campagnie 5d came in third.
– Annalia Linnan, based on reports from EuroGoTV, which include complete result tables and all the latest European go news; photo courtesy of EuroGoTV
The European Go Federation, French Go Federation, and Go Seigen Club of Toulouse will host the 2014 European Student Go Championship on September 27 and 28 in Balma, France. Any university student under age 30 that is a citizen of an EGF country is welcome to enter free of charge. The champion will receive EGF sponsorship to participate in the Ing Foundation 2015 Student event at Shanghai including travel (750 EU for plane tickets) and all local costs. Players who register will also enjoy talks by 2013 European Go Champion Fan Hui 2d. To register or for more information including a full schedule and accommodations, visit the official European Student Go Championship website.
—Annalia Linnan; for complete listings, check out the European Tournament Calendar
“I said for decades that I did not think I would ever be beaten by a computer playing go,” writes Phil Straus 2D in response to Go Spotting: IEEE Spectrum 7/16 EJ. “I was wrong. I was first beaten by a computer program on KGS sometime in the last two years. Laurence Sigmond and I watched Deep Blue beat Garry Kasparov at the Philadelphia Convention Center in 1997. To pass the time between moves we, of course, brought a go board. I showed the go board to Hans Berliner, one of the iconic chess programmers. He looked at it, and just shook his head. He said ‘maybe in 20 years.’ I was even more pessimistic. Go looked impossible in 1997. We were both wrong.”
Straus is a former president of the American Go Association. photo: Rémi Coulom and Crazy Stone. Photo: Takashi Osato/WIRED
With the American Go Association committed to establishing parallel AGA ratings for games played on-line, the AGA is seeking volunteers to implement the new system. “This is an exciting and historic development,” says Bob Gilman, AGA Director for the Central Region. AGA ratings now are limited to in-person games, and those ratings will not be affected. “This is a great project for an entry-level programmer looking for something to put on their resume,” says Andrew Jackson, AGA Operations Vice President, who estimates it will take “a few months of nights and/or weekends for an experienced python programmer.” Mentoring is available. Reply here if interested.
Human go players will undoubtedly find the graphic for “Go-bot, Go” annoying, but the article in the July issue of IEEE Spectrum is an excellent exploration of computer go-playing by Jonathan Schaeffer, Martin Müller and Akihiro Kishimoto, who developed Fuego, which in 2009 defeated a world-class human go player in a no-handicap game for the first time in history. In the online version, AIs Have Mastered Chess. Will Go Be Next?, the Schaffer, Muller and Kishimoto explain how “a know-nothing machine that based its decisions on random choices and statistics” triumphed.
IEEE photo: Dan Saelinger; Prop Stylist: Dominique Baynes
“I am tentatively planning to attend the 16th Ibero-American Go Tournament in Quito, Ecuador this October and wonder whether there may be other AGA members who might also be interested in making the trip,” Bob Gilman writes. “There is information about the tournament here and a form to indicate interest and get additional information here. If your Spanish is as bad as mine, Google translate can help you understand these pages.” Email Gilman at firstname.lastname@example.org if interested.
In a related note for our Spanish-language readers (or those interested in reaching them), our July 13 Prisoners in Cuba Learning Go post has been picked up by El Latino Digital – Reclusos en Cuba aprenden GO – thanks to Chris Uzal.
Nearly 30 professional go players are expected to attend this year’s US Go Congress, August 9-17 in New York City. Ranging in strength from 9-dan to 1-dan, the professionals come from Japan, Korea and China, as well as the United States; click here for the list, which does not yet include the Kansai Ki-in pros, Maeda Ryo 6P, Mariko Deguchi 1P, and newly-minted pro Francis Meyer 1P (right). A major attraction at the annual Congress, the professionals will give lectures and play simuls; the tentative Congress schedule has been posted here. Reminder that late fees for Congress registration will go up after July 15.
Defending champion Andy Liu swept the 4th annual Young Kwon National Online Tournament (YKNOT), winning all five games.
Winners in other divisions were Dazhi Xu in the 4-5D division, Peiyu Tang in the 1-3D division, Ary Cheng in the 1-5k division, and Monsoon Srestha in the 6k+ division. The online tournament ran June 21, 22, and 28th. “Special thanks so tournament sponsor Young Kwon, who has sponsored this tournament for four years now,” said AGA Tournament Coordinator Karoline Li, who also thanked “my TD team of Dennis Wheeler, Julie Burrall, Matthew Burrall, and Jay Tabaniag, as well as KGS for hosting the tournament.”
Andy Liu’s (Sweetrip) Round 5 game against Xuyu Xiang is at right; his previous four rounds are below.
Round 1: Yuan Zhou-Andy Liu
Round 2: Liqun Liu-Andy Liu
Round 3: Andy Liu- Jie Liang
Round 4: Changlong Wu – Andy Liu
Originally published July 12; updated July 14 with game records.
Get the latest go events information.
“At the request of the Cuban Sports Ministry we have started very interesting work in prisons,” reports Rafael Torres Miranda of the Academia Cubana de Go. “Hermes Rodriguez 1D is doing a tremendous job teaching go. The inmates have received it very well, have been highly motivated, and have very quickly grasped the techniques of go. The photo here is from the prison in the province of Guantanamo. Such go programs are also being implemented in other facilities.” In a related story, two of the three Cuban go players invited to attend this year’s US Go Congress (Cuban Delegation Invited to US Go Congress 1/20/2014) have had their applications for US visas rejected, while the third invitee’s application is still pending a decision.
In a related note for our Spanish-language readers (or those interested in reaching them), this post has been picked up by El Latino Digital – Reclusos en Cuba aprenden GO – thanks to Chris Uzal.
The first-ever Australian Go Congress is set for January 25-31, 2015 in Sydney. The new event is timed to coincide with Australia Day on January 26, reports Sang-Dae Hahn, who’s chairing the Australian Baduk Organising Committee. “We’re definitely looking forward to our first Congress,” Australian Go Association vice president Neville Smyth told the E-Journal. Smyth, IGF director for Australia/New Zealand, is in Gyeongjiu, Korea for the World Amateur Go Championship. As at similar congresses in Europe and the U.S., the Australian Go Congress will feature tournaments, simuls with professionals and lessons. The delegation of professionals will be led by An Younggil 8P of the Korean Baduk Association and Go Game Guru. The Congress will be held at Dunmore Lang College, Macquarie University; registration is $200AU ($180 USD) and rooms run A$85 to $98, with hotels also available near the venue.
by John Power, EJ Japan Correspondent
Iyama Takes Game 5 To Win Honinbo: Iyama Yuta (at right) completed his Honinbo title defense by winning the fifth round to take the title 4-1 over Ida Atsushi in the best-of-seven match. The fifth game was played at the Hotel Hankyu Expo Park in Suita City, Osaka Prefecture on June 30 and July 1. It was a very difficult game featuring attack and counterattack, and the players following the game in the anteroom at the tournament venue had a lot of trouble predicting the moves. The fighting spilled over from the left side into the center and then into the bottom, but eventually came to a peaceful end with Ida (W) capturing some black stones. A tense endgame fight followed, with Ida using up all his time allowance for the first time. Ida had a good position, but on move 198 he missed a move that would have secured him a win by 2.5 or 3.5 points (according to the newspaper commentator, Yo Seiki 7P). Then, on move 212, Ida made a fatal mistake; the move was played in the final minute of byo-yomi after the game recorder had read out ‘nine’. In conducting the 30-second byo-yomi, the recorder reads out ‘ten seconds,’ ‘twenty seconds,’ then ‘one’ to ‘ten’ for the final ten seconds. If he reads out ‘ten,’ the player loses on time. The move Ida played under this pressure let Iyama upset his lead. Iyama increased his lead after that and was ahead by ten points on the board when Ida resigned on move 247. Click here for Younggil An’s game commentary on Go Game Guru.
In winning the Honinbo League, Ida Atsushi added to his budding reputation for deep and accurate reading and fighting ability, but in this title series Iyama showed that he was more than a match for him. This is Iyama’s 24th title and he has also maintained his sextuple crown, currently holding six out of seven of the major Japanese go titles (the only one he doesn’t currently hold is the Judan). Just to review his record here, he first achieved the sextuple crown when he won the Kisei title in March 2013; he lost the Judan title in the following month, but resumed his sextuple crown when he won the Meijin title in October. He has now kept it for eight months.
Fujisawa Rina Wins First Title: The final of the 1st Aizu Central Hospital Cup Women’s Tournament was held at the Konjakutei, a traditional inn, in Higashiyama Hot Spring, Aizu Wakamatsu City, Fukushima Prefecture on June 26 and 27. Fujisawa Rina 2P (left), playing black, beat Okuda Aya 3P by resignation after 193 moves. This victory will extend the illustrious history of the Fujisawa name in Japanese go; Fujisawa Rina is Fujisawa Shuko’s granddaughter. A number of records were set in this tournament. The prize of seven million yen is the biggest for a women’s tournament in Japan; the final was the first two-day game in a woman’s tournament; at fifteen years nine months, Fujisawa Rin became the youngest woman to win a title in Japan and also the youngest player of either sex to make a sealed move.
Kono Makes Good Start In Gosei Challenge: Kono Rin 9P has made a good start in his challenge for the 39th Gosei title. In the first game, played at the Matsushima Ichi-no-bo hotel in the town of Matsushima in Miyagi Prefecture on June 26, Kono (B) secured a resignation after just 129 moves. After the game, Iyama expressed considerable regret about move 18, a move which seemed to put him on the back foot early in the game. Kono built thickness on the right side and went all out in attack when Iyama invaded. Rather than play negatively and attempt to live small, Iyama also went all out and tried to live on a large scale. However, Kono was able to bring down his group. Kono suffered straight losses in his Gosei challenge last year, so he has already improved on that performance. Iyama suffered his second title-match loss in a row; both games were short, which was perhaps due to Iyama’s aggressive play when he fell behind. The second game is scheduled for July 20.
Kisei Leagues: Recent results in the 39th Kisei Leagues are listed below. It may be a little early to talk about leaders, but just for the record there are four players on 2-0: Yamashita Keigo (right) and Kono Rin in the A League and Murakawa Daisuke and Kobayashi Satoru in the B League.
(June 26) (A League) Yamashita 9P (B) beat Takao Shinji Judan by resig.; Yamashiro Hiroshi 9P (B) beat Hane Naoki 9P by 2.5 points; (B League) Kobayashi Satoru 9P (B) beat Cho Chikun, 25th Honinbo, by resig.
(July 3) Cho Riyu (B) beat Cho Chikun by resig.
Yamashita Misses First Chance To Win 39th Meijin League: On 6-2, Yamashita Keigo was two wins clear of the field in the 39th Meijin League, but he missed his first chance to become the challenger when he dropped his seventh-round game to Cho U. The latter is now on 5-2 and will be hoping for Murakawa Daisuke to help him out by beating Yamashita in the final round. If Cho U won his last game, he would qualify for a play-off with Yamashita. At the other end of the league, Ko Iso, who has played all his games and won only two of them, is the first player to lose his place.
Below are results of games played since my last report.
(June 19) Takao Shinji 9P (W) beat Murakawa Daisuke by resig.
(July 3) Cho U 9P (W) beat Yamashita Keigo 9P by 1.5 points; Takao Shinji 9P (B) beat Ko Iso 8P by resig.
Cho Hunhyun: “No shortcuts” to Stronger Play and World Go
“There are no shortcuts” to getting stronger at go, Cho Hunhyun 9P told the E-Journal in an interview during the World Amateur Go Championship in Korea, where he served as chief referee. “You must study hard. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses, and you must know these and focus your energies accordingly.” Considered one of the greatest go players of all time, Cho has played and won more professional games than any player in the world, with nearly 160 titles and 1,900 wins. After giving the signal for games to begin each day at the WAGC, Cho (right), impeccably attired in a crisp gray suit and perfectly adjusted tie, would quietly move about the playing area observing the games. And while he was impressed with some of the play, he says a lot of work remains to be done. “In the past, Japan has put a lot into developing go around the world, as have China and Korea in recent years, but many other countries should put more effort in as well.” Cho called the recent development of professional systems in both the United States and Europe “a big step for international go” but acknowledged that cultural barriers remain a challenge. “For example, chess is not very popular or very strong in Korea and it’s not easy to change the circumstances or situation, so figuring out how to popularize go in the West is not an easy question.” Cho was quietly optimistic, however, noting that “It took us a lot of time to get to where we are now, proving that the time we have invested in world go has not been wasted.”
- Chris Garlock; photo by John Pinkerton
Striving Hard in Brunei: “Go is hardly known at all in Brunei,” said Chai Hui Lim, President of the Brunei Darussalam Go Association, on her first visit to the World Amateur Go Championship. “It’s a real challenge to get people interested in go but like many other countries we are striving hard to popularize the game,” she said. This was Brunei’s second year of participation in the WAGC. “I think it’s great that so many countries are getting together for an international competition!” said Lim.
- Ranka; photo by Ivan Vigano
2015 WAGC Set for Bangkok; IGF Meeting Highlights: Bangkok has been selected to host next year’s World Amateur Go Championship. Thailand’s selection, reported at the July 5 International Go Federation Annual General Meeting in Gyeongju, Korea, marks the first time this major event will be held outside the traditional go strongholds of Japan, China and Korea, as part of the IGF’s ongoing efforts to internationalize the game. Other IGF meeting highlights included improved IGF finances and successful 2013 events, including the World Amateur Go Championship in Sendai, Japan, the Amateur Pair Go Championship in Tokyo, Japan, and the SportAccord World Mind Games (SAWMG) in Beijing, China. The SAWMG will be held again this year in Beijing from December 11-17, and a brand-new event, the Student Pair Go Championship, is set to take place this October in Tokyo, in conjunction with the standard Pair Go Championship, which this year celebrates the 25th anniversary of Pair Go. Also announced were changes to the IGF Board of Executives. This year will see a rotation of roles from Japan to Korea. The new IGF President will be Seokhyun Hong, previously the Korean Ambassador to the US, taking the reins from Koichiro Matsuura. “I will try my best but my work alone is not enough,” said Hong. “We need everyone’s input and initiative to bring our plans to a successful creation.” Jae-ho Yang, the Secretary General of the Korean Baduk Association, takes up the role of Office Director, carrying on the hard work of Hiroshi Yamashiro and, as previously reported, Yuki Shigeno, the long serving IGF Secretary General, passed the post on to Hajin Lee, the main organizer of this year’s WAGC. Norio Wada, the chairman of the Nihon Kiin, will also join the IGF Board of Directors.
- John Richardson, Ranka; photo by Ivan Vigano
EJ, Ranka & IGF Team Up Again: The American Go E-Journal, Ranka and the IGF teamed up again this year to provide comprehensive coverage of the 2014 World Amateur Go Championship in Gyeonjiu, Korea. John Richardson (second from right) contributed illuminating and entertaining game reports, Ivan Vigano (far right) maintained the tournament grid on the Ranka site in virtually real-time and edited the Ranka posts, photographer John Pinkerton (far left) always had the perfect shots for the daily EJ reports, and Chris Garlock (second from left) did game commentaries as well as edited the EJ posts. New IGF Secretary General Hajin Lee (center) not only organized the event, but made sure the team had whatever we needed and even found the time to play some early-morning tennis with the EJ team. Special thanks to Chihyung Nam, Thomas Hsiang, the entire WAGC staff and of course the players themselves, who not only made this such a great event but who were so generous with their time. Finally, James Davies and Michael Redmond were much missed; see you next year in Bangkok! - photo by Yoshitaka Morimoto of the Nihon Ki-in
2014 WAGC FINAL STANDINGS (left to right)
Row 1: 01 Chinese Taipei–Yi-Tien CHAN; 02 Korea–Tae-woong WEI; 03 China–Wang RUORAN; 04 Hong Kong–Nai San CHAN; 05 Ukraine–Bogdan ZHURAKOVSKYI; 06 Czech Republic–Lukas PODPERA; 07 Russia–Dmitri SURIN; 08 Sweden–Fredrik BLOMBACK; 09 Japan–Kiko EMURA
Row 2: 10 U.S.A.–Jie LIANG; 11 Singapore–Tan JIA CHENG; 12 Netherlands–Merlijn KUIN; 13 Finland–Juuso NYYSSÖNEN; 14 Thailand–Tiawattananont THANAPOL; 15 Serbia–Nikola MITIC; 16 Denmark–Arne Steen OHLENBUSH; 17 Hungary–Pál BALOGH; 18 Poland–Stanisław FREJLAK
Row 3: 19 France–Antoine FENECH; 20 Malaysia–Suzanne D’BEL; 21 Canada–Yongfei GE; 22 Macau–In Hang SAM; 23 Israel–Amir FRAGMAN; 24 Slovakia–Peter JADRON; 25 Indonesia–Rafif Shidqi FITRAH; 26 Vietnam–Nhat Minh VO; 27 Norway–Oeystein VESTGAARDEN
Row 4: 28 Germany–Bernd Rainer RADMACHER; 29 Croatia–Zoran MUTABZIJA; 30 New Zealand–Zhijie BEI; 31 Belgium–Dominique Valérie J. VERSYCK; 32 Lithuania–Andrius PETRAUSKAS; 33 Belarus–Aliaksandr SUPONEU; 34 Turkey–Altan KUNTAY; 35 Switzerland–Sylvain Gasana PRAZ; 36 Spain–Carlos PAU
Row 5: 37 Australia–Sang-Dae HAHN; 38 Romania–Lucian CORLAN; 39 Slovenia–Timotej SUC; 40 Luxembourg–Andreas GÖTZFRIED; 41 Austria–Matthias FRISCH; 42 Portugal–Pedro Miguel DE BRAGANÇA REIS PEREIRA; 43 India–Soni SHAH; 44 U.K.–Francis ROADS; 45 South Africa–John William LEUNER
Row 6: 46 Mongolia–Khatanbaatar TSEND-AYUSH; 47 Argentina–Haroldo BROWN; 48 Italy–Niccolò SGARAVATTI; 49 Ireland–John GIBSON; 50 Mexico–Ricardo QUINTERO ZAZUETA; 51 Azerbaijan–Bahadur Bayram THAIRBAYOV; 52 Brazil–Csaba DEÁK; 53 Brunei–Ho Soon ANG; 54 Costa Rica–Luis Enrique BOZA ARAYA
photos by John Pinkerton; photo collage by John Pinkerton & Chris Garlock
Click here for all the EJ’s WAGC reports, here for Ranka’s reports and here for complete 2014 WAGC results.
School kids in Mexico City capped off their year with tourneys in two locations, reports organizer Siddhartha Avila. “We gave the North american Kyu Championship prizes sent by the American Go Association to Valeria Gonzalez and Samuel Suástegui,” said Avila. “All the kids received a kanji, made by artist Yuko Kosaka, that conveyed a good wish or thought for their lives. We are thankful to have such wonderful people around us, congrats to all the young go players! Pictures of the event can be seen here. Our final tourney was July 5th, it was organized for the students at Gimnasio de Go and hosted by Templo Budista Eko, the tournament was divided in two brackets, 16-20 kyu and 10-15 kyu. We also held a tourney at a Chinese School,Instituto de Idioma y Cultura China, on June 21st. Players ranging from the ages of 5 to 11 competed on 13×13 boards, 1st place went to Nicholas Moran,” Avila reports. Pictures of the event can be seen here. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photos: top: Siddhartha Avila (standing) observing a game at the Chinese school match; bottom: students compete at the Templo Budista.
Winners report, Gimnasio de Go: 10-15k Bracket: 1. Omar Zavala; 2. Lilian Zavala; 3. Valeria Gonzalez; 4. Paula Herrera; 5. Diego Armando Luciano. 16-20k Bracket: 1. Marcos Gonzalez; 2. Rodrigo Villegas; 3. Dante Zavala; 4. Sebastián Bañuelos; 5. Diego Alí.
Due to technical difficulties with the usual election site the ballots instructing voters to go to www.ballotbin.com have been voided, reports AGA Election Coordinator Arnold Eudell. “If you have successfully voted on Ballotbin your vote will be counted and you will not receive a new ballot,” says Eudell. Every eligible voter should have received a new email that directs them to the Balloteer.com website and includes a voter ID and password. Any questions, email email@example.com
Chinese Taipei’s Yitien Chan won the 2014 World Amateur Go Championship on July 9, narrowly edging out Korea’s Taewoong Wei and Ruoran Wang of China. The three were all 7-1, so the winner was decided by SOS (sum of opponents’ scores), with Taipei scoring 46 to Korea’s 45, and China in third at 43. This is the first time in nearly 30 years that a country other than the “Big Three” – Korea, China and Japan – has won the WAGC; the last time was 1986, when Hong Kong won, and in recent years, Korea and China have dominated. “The most important thing is to have a good mindset,” Chan (right) told the E-Journal, explaining the key to his victory. “When the situation is not good, just calm down and find a way out.” Past the age at which he could turn pro in Taipei, Chan is in his senior year in college, where he’s studying economics. The 2014 WAGC top 10 was filled out by Hong Kong (4th), the Ukraine (5th), the Czech Republic (6th), Russia (7th), Sweden (8th), Japan (9th) and the USA (10th). Click here for complete 2014 results and here for all WAGC winners 1979-2013.
Round 7: Early morning fog on the final day of the 2014 World Amateur Go Championship gave way to a clear sky and magnificent views of Lake Bomun. But news of the approach of Typhoon Neoguri left many WAGC players worried about their return flights, and there was turbulent weather on the go board in the 7th round as well, with numerous upsets and even a forfeit. Disappointed by his country’s shocking 7-1 loss to Germany in the World Cup semi-final, Brazil’s Csaba Deak earned an equally easy win over Azerbaijan when Bahadur Tahirbayov overslept and missed his morning match. Czech Lukas Podpera won comfortably against Japan’s Kiko Emura, a bitter result for Emura who was pulling out all stops after his disappointing 8th in last year’s tournament. A large Russian group was fatally encircled by China, leaving Dmitry Surin far behind, though the Russian stubbornly played through to the end of his 37-point loss. Korea forced a resignation from the US (click here for the game record) and Chinese Taipei defeated Thailand, leaving the three Asian go giants locked in a tight battle for this year’s title. At the end of the 7th round, Korea and Chinese Taipei had the same tiebreak score of 30 with China close behind with 28, which meant that, assuming that these players all won their final games, the overall winner would depend on the results of their previous opponents, so reporters were keeping a close eye not only on the top matches but on other key ones as well.
Other game records: Taipei-Thailand; Australia-Israel
Round 8: In the final round on Wednesday afternoon, Hungarian Pal Balogh had no fear of his Korean opponent, dubbing himself ‘Balogh The Great’ on his score sheet and launching into the infamous taisha joseki, neither of which impressed Korean powerhouse Taewoong Wei whose solid, powerful play soon forced Balogh’s resignation. After being mauled by Korea in the previous round, Jie Liang of the US fared no better at the hands of China (click here for the game record), coming up winless for the day when his time ran out, while Canada’s Yongfei Ge could not erase a 10-point deficit against France’s Antoine Fenech in the endgame and resigned. Costa Rica’s Luis Enrique Boza Araya once again put his money on tengen in one last stab at chalking up his first score, but Azerbaijanian Tahirbayov, rested from his morning’s slumber, prevailed. In a tense showdown between Russia and the Ukraine, it was the latter who took control, fending off the Russian incursion into his territory. Mexico developed a winning position against India but Ricardo Quintero Zazueta managed to give away the game to Sonia Shah in a slip under time pressure.
Other Game Records: Russia-China; Hungary-Korea; Singapore-Taipei
Random Notes: Hungary’s Pal Balogh uses almost no time on his clock yet he always seems to be up walking around the playing area checking out other games…Though most of the players either dressed casually or wore sports coats, India’s Soni Shah brought some welcome sartorial cheer with her colorful saris…No matter how much trouble his stones might be having on the board, eleven-year-old Rafif Shidqi Fitrah always had a bright smile and was clearly enjoying every moment of his time at the tournament…Long after the final game of the tournament had finished, Russia’s Dmitry Surin and the Ukraine’s Bogdan Zhurakovskyi were deep in a review of their game, a perfect example of the power of go to transcend political turmoil. Shah and Fitrah both won special prizes, as did Nhat Minh Vo of Vietnam and Brazil’s Csaba Deak, and Lucian Corlan (Romania) and Tiawattananont Thanapol (Thailand) won this year’s Fighting Spirit awards.
- Reporting by John Richardson and Chris Garlock, photos by John Pinkerton and coordination by Ivan Vigano. Thanks to Thomas Hsiang for translation assistance with the Yitien Chan interview. Click here for Ranka’s complete reports and here for complete results.