Players from six continents and assorted islands will gather at the Montien Riverside Hotel in Bangkok for eight rounds of Swiss system competition at this year's World Amateur Go Championship June 7-10. At stake will be a championship cup and second and third place cups donated by the main sponsors (CP All, The Siam Commercial Bank, and Red Bull); plaques and certificates for fourth to tenth places; and two fighting spirit awards.
The Asian contingent will be young, including 12-year-old contestants from Chinese Taipei, Indonesia, and Malaysia and teenagers from China, Hong Kong, Korea, Macau, Singapore, and the host country Thailand. Japan will field a two-time former world champion, and Europe will field several players who have placed high in past years. Video self-introductions by sixteen of the fifty-eight players can be viewed here.
The schedule also includes a Directors' Meeting and General Meeting of the International Go Federation on June 6, a "Triple Go" side-event likewise on June 6, and sightseeing with a dinner cruise on June 11. Seven games each round will be broadcast on Pandanet. Ranka Online will carry reports of the entire event.
The list of players is here.
On April 5, at the height of the cherry blossom season, a memorial was held at the Nihon Kiin in Tokyo to honor Go Seigen, who died on November 30 last year.
The altar was adorned with seasonal flowers patterned to represent a go board and stones, and with a smiling picture of Go Seigen taken when he was younger. Oikawa Shoichi, executive advisor and senior deputy chief editor of the Yomiuri Newspaper, and Rin Kaiho, honorary Tengen, delivered memorial addresses.
In all 300 people attended, including family members and professional and amateur go players, among whom was Nie Weiping, 9-dan, who flew over from China. To express their condolences, instead of offering flowers they offered stones, by placing one black or white stone apiece on a go board.
This ceremony was followed by a congenial social gathering in another room, where people traded recollections of Go Seigen and played rengo, with Chang Hsu (Cho U) and his wife Kobayashi Izumi presiding.
Those who attended the reception for the 28th World Amateur Go Championship in Tokyo in 2007 will recall the great impression that Go Seigen, who was invited as a special guest, made on the assembled players. At that event he presented the IGF with an ink inscription of the word chuwa, which he had chosen because its two characters (中和) expressed his deep love of the game of go, with its stress on harmony, and his sincere wish for a peaceful world through go. These are ideas will be passed on to multitudes of go players and should be handed down to eternity without end.
The 13th World Students Go Oza Championship was held on February 24 and 25, 2015, at the Ginza Internet Forum in Tokyo. The contestants were sixteen university students: ten from the Far East, three from Europe, two from the Americas, and one from Oceania.
The event was organized by the All-Japan Students Go Association, Nikkei Inc., and Pandanet, with the cooperation of the Nihon Kiin and the International Go Federation. For the eighth time, the winner was Chinese. This year it was Su Guangyue, a fourth-year law student who had been runner-up in 2013. He defeated Johannes Obenaus (Germany), Chidsanupong Jangmark (Thailand), and Park Jongwook (Korea) in the first three rounds. Meanwhile, Yeh Kang-ting (Chinese Taipei) was doing equally well, beating Petr Kouba (Czechia), Tsukada Karin (Japan), and Niwa Junya (Japan), but in the deciding fourth-round game between the two undefeated players, Su Guangyue (black) successfully invaded the top left corner and then the upper side, leaving white about 20 points behind. Shortly afterward, he was reporting victory to his father, Su Demin, in Luoyang, China.
According to an article that appeared in the Luoyang Evening News the next day, Su Guangyue took his triumph rather calmly. He told his father he felt 'relatively happy', but winning came as no surprise. After finishing second two years ago, he had been determined to finish first this time.
The article went on to describe how Guangyue had learned to play go almost before he learned to talk, by watching his father play. Seeing how much his son liked the game, his father enrolled him in a go class at a Luoyang primary school. Within a year, Guangyue had run out of opponents, so his father started taking him to clubs where grownups played, making great efforts to persuade them to treat his son seriously. After three more years, Guangyue and go had become inseparable, and his father decided to pay his room, board, and tuition to train with the Henan Provincial Go Team, where he could get professional instruction. Later, Guangyue went alone to Beijing for more professional training, but in 2011, finding himself still an amateur, he decided to apply to the Shanghai International Studies University. He was accepted on the strength of this go accomplishments, and began to combine university coursework with his go playing. He seems to thrive on serious study, both on and off the board. 'I've never had time to feel homesick or be lazy, and I love playing go, so I never feel tired,' he said.
In the rest of the field, SOS points put Yeh Kang-ting third, behind Korea's Park. Fourth to seventh places also went to students from the Far East (Hong Kong, Korea, and Japan). Johannes Obenaus defeated Chidsanupong Jangmark and Ke Yi-ning (Chinese Taipei) to finish 8th. Zhu Haichen (U.S.A.) defeated Johannes Obenaus and Laura Avram (Romania) to take 9th place. Full results and the record of the Su-Yeh game are here.
- James Davies (photos courtesy of the Nihon-Kin)