At the annual NOVA Pumpkin Classic, players usually compete for prize pumpkins. At this year’s Classic, on Saturday, October 25, 31 players vied “not to lose a pumpkin,” a result of a surfeit of squash due to what Tournament Allan Abramson admitted was “A massive lack of communication” between him and NOVA Club President Gary Smith that found them both turning up with armfuls of pumpkins. In the end, every attendee, including visitors, left the George Mason Law School in Arlington VA with a grand pumpkin. Top section winner Josh Lee upped his game to finish 4-0. New visitor Saki Fujita 5 Dan from Japan, now studying at Johns Hopkins, promises to be a tough addition to the local scene.
The winners were:
First Place: Josh Lee, 5D, 4-0; Frederick Bao, 1D, 3-1; Quinn Baranoski, 3K, 3-1; Bob Crites, 7K, 4-0, tied with Gary Smith, 9K, 4-0; and Dierdre Golash, 13K, 4-0
Second Place: Saki Fujita, 5D, 3-1; Victor Kang, 2D, 3-1; Zongying Qiu, 3K, 3-1; Anderson Barreal, 9K, 3-1; and a three-way tie among Ning-Yuan Ernest Wang, 10K, Sarah Crites, 13K, and Keith Crank, 13K, each with two wins
photo by Todd Blatt
Justin Chiang topped the Austin Fall Classic Go Tournament on Saturday, October 25th at Great Hall Games in Austin, Tx. Fourteen players participated in the 4 round, handicap tournament, with prizes going to the following players: Justin Chiang 9K (4-0); Yue (John) Zhyang 4D (3-1), Cye Stoner 2K (3-1).
photo: (l-r): John Zhang, Cye Stoner, Justin Chiang
- report by TD Bart Jacob
The 25th International Amateur Pair Go (IAPG) Championship was held at the Hotel Metropolitan Edmont in Tokyo on October 25-26, 2014. To commemorate the 25th anniversary of pair go, two professional exhibition games were also held on the 25th, a World Students Pair Go Championship was held on the 26th, and numerous Pair Go Association officials and supporters and pair go promotion partners (PGPPs) were invited from Japan and overseas. Many of these guests took part in the parallel handicap tournament, also held on the 26th, in which nearly 150 pairs competed for the Araki Cup.
After a kickoff party on the 24th, the 32 pairs competing for the IAPG Cup got right down to business by playing the first round of their five-round Swiss System on the morning of the 25th. The Korean pair (Kim Sooyoung and Jeon Junhak) were favored because (1) they are respectively the highest-rated Korean amateur female and male players, and (2) they won this event last year. They made a good start by beating the pair from Germany. The pairs from China and Chinese Taipei and eight of the eleven Japanese pairs also won their first games, but the pair from Hong Kong (Vanessa Wong and Chan Naisan) lost to the Japanese pair from Hokkaido.
In the field of contestants for the IAPG Cup, by far the largest contingent had scholastic occupations: they were students or teachers, from the middle-school level to the university level. But the field also represented many other walks of life, ranging from company president to manicurist, so Ranka decided to ask some of them about their work, starting with six of the winners in the first round.
Dong Qin (China) 'I'm in charge of the weiqi (go) department of the Hangzhou branch of the China Chess Institute, which is the second largest branch in China. This involves managing the Hangzhou Weiqi Association and Hangzhou's pro team -- that's my main job.'
Yao Jun (China) 'I'm chief editor at the Shanxi Shuhai Publishing House. We publish a wide range of books, including textbooks that use go for educational purposes.'
Pau Carles (Spain) 'I work at a book and game store. We sell mainly science fiction and things like that, but we also have a small go section with books and equipment.'
Isabel Barros (Spain) 'I work for a game company. We produce board games -- not go, but eurogames such as Catan and Carcassonne, and role-playing games.'
Dragan Dubaković (Serbia) 'I'm a go player and a cook. I like everything about go: the people, the philosophy behind the game, getting away from home and going to tournaments -- and maybe it has something to do with China, because I also like to cook Chinese food.'
After lunch there was a huge goodwill pair go match, to which many of the pairs came dressed in national costume. The Germans came in football uniforms and brought a ball. Including players, officials, and PGPPs, they had nearly a complete football team.
After the goodwill games, some of the players watched the professional exhibition games, or listened to the public commentaries given by 9-dan pros Ishida Yoshio and Michael Redmond. In one game Japan's top men's and women's title-holders Iyama Yuta and Hsieh (Xie) Yi-min defeated Korea's Cho Hunhyun and Lee Hajin; in the other game, which pitted two married couples against each other, China's Chang Hao and Zhang Xuan defeated Japan's Chang Hsu (Cho U) and Kobayashi Izumi. Chinese Taipei was also represented, for although Hsieh Yi-min and Chang Hsu live and play in Japan, by birth and citizenship they belong to Chinese Taipei.
The exhibition games were followed by a lavish party that featured the rousing performance of a new pair go song, penned by screenwriter Koyama Kundo (Iron Chef, Departures). His song is quite different from the go songs traditionally sung at American and European go congresses.
In the second round next morning, the Korean pair beat the Japanese pair from Shikoku, while the young pair from Chinese Taipei (Lin Hsiao-tung and Lai Yu-cheng, both students) defeated the pair from China. Ranka continued its occupational survey by speaking with some of the other second-round winners.
Ito Akio (Hokkaido) 'I have a waterproofing company in Hakodate, with about ten employees. We waterproof the roofs and outer walls of buildings.'
Gyorgy Csizmadia (Hungary) 'I'm a mathematician. I work as a quant for the Budapest branch of Morgan Stanley, doing mathematical modeling of financial instruments.'
Wembris Isral (Indonesia) 'I have my own automobile service workshop. I do body repair on European and Asian cars.'
Lie Diana (Indonesia) 'I'm working for an export-import service, doing network business development. We help our clients ship goods overseas and bring goods from overseas into Indonesia.'
Greatbodin Buranarachada (Thailand) 'I'm an electrical engineer. I design and check electrical systems for mass transport facilities, such as subways and elevators. And my partner Yanakorn Anusiri is an engineering student at Chulalongkorn University, from which I graduated.'
In the third round, Ito Akio and his partner ran up against the pair from Chinese Taipei, to whom they lost, and the Korean pair overcame the pair from Singapore. Other winners included pairs from Australia and Germany, a pair from the Kinki district of Japan (the area around Kyoto, Osaka, and Nara), and the European champion pair. Five of them offered the following information about themselves.
Wei Xu (Australia) 'I'm a machinist. I operate a CNC machine -- a computer-numerically-controlled machine tool -- that makes parts for automobiles and trucks.'
Jana Hollmann (Germany) 'I studied mathematics and have worked for fifteen years as an actuarial consultant for a worldwide consulting company. My specialty is pensions and benefits.'
Fukuda Satoru (Kinki district, Japan) 'I work as a photographer for a company that installs utility poles for a power company. I take pictures of the poles to confirm that they have been properly installed.'
Manuela Marz (European champion pair) 'I'm now a professor of bioinformatics at Friedrich-Schiller University. I do teaching and research -- we have a system in Germany where you have to do both simultaneously -- but my main activity is research and I love it.'
Benjamin Teuber (European champion pair) 'I'm a student of life.'
After lunch, in the fourth round, the pairs from Korea and Chinese Taipei faced Japanese opponents and continued to win. The pairs from France, Russia, and the United Kingdom were also among the winners in this round, and they turned out to include a programmer, an economist, an accountant, and an inventor.
Ngoc-Trang Cao (France) 'Although I'm French and am playing for France, I moved six months ago to work in the United Kingdom. So now I am a game programmer at a British company. We create video games for consoles and PCs.'
Vladimir Gorzhaltsan (Russia) 'I divide my time fifty-fifty between two jobs. I work as an economist for a financial company, and I'm an executive officer in the Russian Go Federation.'
Alison Bexfield (UK) 'I'm a chartered accountant. I work for the BBC, in the audit department. I make sure the BBC spends its money wisely.'
Simon Bexfield (UK) 'I've just invented a very nice puzzle called the Perplexing Pyramid. It's a 3D printed object, made in one piece but with printed hinges, so it's a fantastic shape that folds into something interesting. Recently I've also been making 3D printers and developing various small technical advances in them, which are being used in the Threedy printers that go into schools, and around the world.'
While the second to fourth rounds were being played, the World Students Pair Go Championship was unfolding on four tables at the side of the playing room. The competitors were all university students: two pairs each from China, Japan, and Korea, and one pair each from Chinese Taipei and Thailand. The champion pair was Kim Hyunah and Park Moonkyu from Korea, who beat Hu Shih-yun and Chan Yi-tien from Chinese Taipei to end undefeated. Full results are here.
Then it was the turn of Korea's Kim Sooyoung and Heon Junhak and Chinese Taipei's Lin Hsiao-tung and Lai Yu-cheng to play the deciding game for the IAPG Cup, in a special quiet playing room with extended time limits, while the rest of the IAPG field continued with the fifth round. Ranka concluded its occupational survey with four of the fifth-round winners, including the Japanese pair that took sixth place, an American accountant, and an aspiring Swiss novelist, the daughter of the Swiss physicist Marcel Golay.
Kuramoto Minoru (Kinki district, Japan) 'I'm a freelance go instructor. I play teaching games and give classroom instruction.'
Saito Naoko (Kinki district, Japan) 'I have my own nail salon.'
Daehyuk Ko (USA) 'I do accounting and financial analysis for Paramount Pictures in Hollywood.'
Monique Golay (Switzerland) 'My novels are addressed to young people. The names of my characters are Japanese names from the game of go. For example, I have a Dark Lord whose name is Moyo. He's a five-billion-year-old elf, and he is fed up with life but unfortunately he is indestructible. The only way for him to destroy himself is to time-travel all the way back to the Big Bang and destroy the entire universe. The other characters try to stop him. I'm trying to make young people laugh, and also to bring them to the game of go.'
To time-travel back to reality, the pairs from Korea and Chinese Taipei had gotten into a corner ko fight. At his public commentary, Michael Redmond said he thought the Korean pair came out of the fight slightly ahead, and in fact they went on to win by resignation. At the ceremony that followed, they received numerous cups, trophies, and other awards, as well as a best-dresser prize, which they accepted in national costume. The pairs from Mexico, Serbia, and the United Kingdom also received best-dresser prizes, likewise in national costume. The chief judge was fashion designer Koshino Junko, and the dress she wore for the awards ceremony was stunning too.
In the final standings, the Korean pair won their second straight IAPG Cup, Chinese Taipei took a second straight second place, Hong Kong took fourth place, Singapore was ninth, Czechia was thirteenth, the European champion pair was fifteenth, and the U.S. pair was sixteenth. Nine Japanese pairs filled out the rest of the top sixteen, led by former insei Tsuji Moeka and Tsunoda Daisuke; their third place earned them a cup as the Japanese amateur champion pair. Complete results and pictures of all the players are here.
And as pair go founder Taki Hisao pointed out, while the Japanese go population has been gradually decreasing during the past quarter century, the pair go population has exploded in Japan and throughout the world. The International Pair Go Association now has 70 member countries and territories. One looks forward to the next twenty-five years.
- James Davies
The October 18 Twin Cities Go Club’s Fall 2014 rated games day took place on the University of Minnesota campus, in a building that sits right on the edge of the Mississippi river. “It was a picturesque autumn day – clear skies and a slightly crisp feeling in the air – the trees at the peak of their color, with bright yellow leaves carpeting streets and walkways around campus,” reports Aaron Broege.
The event began at 9am and lasted until 4 pm. Fifteen AGA members, ranging from 21k to 4d, participated in the rated games day. “There were no set rounds or time limits, so players could play rated games at their leisure,” says Broege. “Many of the stronger players enjoyed taking advantage of the lack of time constraints, and some of the more serious games went on for over 2 hours.”
“Around noon we ordered pizza as part of the AGA’s initiative for free pizza in October. We were so happy and fortunate that this offer coincided with our already-scheduled event. Everyone was happy to enjoy pizza while two 2 dan players reviewed their game. We would like to thank the AGA for having this offer. It really made our local club feel more directly connected to the national organization. I think that this sort of initiative helps to build a stronger community between the national and local organizations.”
photo: Onlookers enjoy their pizza, courtesy of the AGA, while Peter Hansmeier (4d) and Yanqing Sun (2d) (at left) review their game.
Forty-two players participated in the Massachusetts Go Tournament held in Davis Square, Somerville on October 19, so the tournament was divided into two independent sections with two sets of prizes. There were twenty players in section A 4 kyu and stronger, twenty-two in section B ranging from 5 kyu to 20 kyu. “Every participant contributed to the success of the tournament. Thanks to each and every one of you!” says TD Eva Casey. “And many thanks to the Boylston Chess Club for lending us their space.”
Section A winners: Alex Panaccione, 1 dan, and Eric Tillberg, 4 kyu, went 4-0, and thus tied for first place. Third place went to David Cho, 3 dan, who only lost to Alex Panaccione. Honorable mention to the others who went 3-0, Pete Schumer, 2 kyu, Alexander Majercik, 3 kyu (who only lost to Eric Tillberg), and Makio Ogawa, 4 kyu.
Section B winners: Three players went 4-0 and thus the prize money for first second and third was pooled and divided equally. Tied for first were Milan Mladenivic, 6 kyu, Brandan Williams, 18 kyu, and Jacob Zhang, 20 kyu. Honorable Mention to the 3-0 players: Chia Chan 5 kyu, Philip Dreher, 7 kyu, Ralph St. Louis, 7 kyu, and Yuan Yao, 10 kyu. Chia, Philip, and Ralph all only lost to Milan.
November 2: Portland, OR
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As if Irish Go players didn’t have enough excitement, with the upcoming UCC tournament, the finale of the Ladder, and the announcement of the next Confucius Cup – along comes another event. For those who enjoy life in the slow lane, registration is now open for the 2015 Irish Correspondence Championship. The format is very much the same as last year’s, so for those who enjoyed the competition last year, don’t leave it to late to sign up. The event should be kicking off just before 2015 begins.
Dark horse Youwhan Kim 7D, a former Korean insei, won the 2014 Cotsen Open, upsetting 2014 Masters champion Mark Lee in the second round and going on to sweep the rest of the tournament, 5-0. Kim’s play was consistently sharp and tough and he was unfazed by the speedy 20-second overtime, which added pressure to some of his opponents. Tournament sponsor Eric Cotsen congratulated the new tournament champion, saying “I like change. Anything that shakes things up at the top, that works for me.” Click here for top-board game records and complete results. Additional photos are on the AGA’s Facebook page.
Kim is part of an informal dojo at Myungwan Kim 9P’s home in Los Angeles, where Beomgeun “Evan” Cho and Mark Lee also live. Youwhan Kim arrived three months ago to study English and says Myungwan Kim (no relation) “has been a big help with advice about life in Los Angeles.” Although Youwhan Kim and Mark Lee did not know each other back in Korea — Lee is of a younger generation — the two have played at Myungwan Kim’s, where they split games 1-1. Youwhan Kim was in the second insei league, “close to professional,” says Myungwan Kim, but is now too old to become a professional in Korea. He’s studying go at Myongji University and had many friends in Korea who spoke English, and realized he’d need to learn English too. He has one more semester of study at Myongji and will return to finish up in a few months. His advice to amateur players who want to improve: “Review your own games carefully; this is the best way to get better.”
- report/photos by Chris Garlock
Click here for top-board game records and complete results. Additional photos are on the AGA’s Facebook page.
Special Awards: Richard Dolen (top right) and Larry Gross received special awards from tournament sponsor Eric Cotsen for their longtime support and promotion of the game of go.
1. Youwhan Kim 7d
2. Calvin Sun 8d*
3. Mark Lee 7d*
4. Qipeng Luo 7d*
5. Beomgeun Cho 9d*
* Sun & Lee were tied for 2nd; Sun was awarded 2nd place by default when Lee missed the award ceremony; Luo and Cho were tied for 4th place and Luo won 4th place in a rock-paper-scissors shoot-out conducted by Eric Cotsen.
B – 1d-2d
1. James Lou 2d
2. Tina Bai 2d
3. Dan Alvira 2d
C – 1k-5k
1. Ryan Kierulf 1k
2. Clement Wong 3k
3. Yunyen Lee 3k
D – 6k-11k
1. Greg Kulevich 8k
2. Christopher Rumsey 9k
3. Chris Kaynor 8k
1. Orange County
2. Bay Area
* YuGo was tied with Arizona and won 3rd in a rock-paper-scissors shoot-out (at right)
Cotsen Staff: Samantha Davis & crew: Wenguang Wu, Katie Dicus, Matthew Jarrell, Torey Byrne was photographer, and Jerry Miller. Chris Sira was the Tournament Director.
E-Journal Team: Richard Dolen (Board 2), Nick McNelis (Board 3), Joe Cepiel (Board 4); team coordination (& Board 1 recording) by Chris Garlock
Netherlands: Zeno van Ditzhuijzen 5d took the Indis (Inter-District) Tournament in Amstelveen on October 19. Behind him were Rudi Verhagen 4d in second and Rene Aaij 4d in third. Russia: Also on October 19, the Cup of Japan Ambassador finished in Moscow with Grigorij Fionin 6d in first, Natalie Kovaleva 5d (left) in second, and Dmytro Yatsenko 5d in third. Portugal: Cristovao Neto 1d bested Pedro Carmona 2k at the Open Porto in Lisboa on October 19 while Pedro Pereira 1k 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
Mark Lee 7D (right), the odds-on favorite to win this year’s Cotsen Open, was upset in the second round on Saturday by Youwhan Kim 7D in a edge-of-the-seat 299-move thriller. The former Korean insei swept the US Masters 9-0 last August and has been visiting Myungwan Kim 9P in LA since then, where he’s also been teaching go and studying English. The Cotsen is being held in Los Angeles, CA this weekend, with a field of 126 players. Lee defeated Yixian Zhou 6D handily in the first round Saturday morning but ran into a formidable opponent in Kim — another former Korean insei — in the second round. Kim and Beomgeun Cho 7D (left) won all three rounds on Saturday and now lead the field. Click here for the crosstab and top-board game records. Other top players at the Cotsen include Calvin Sun 7D, Leran Zou 7D and Qipeng Luo 7D. The E-Journal will broadcast the final two rounds live on KGS on Sunday starting at 10:30 am (PST). from the Korean Cultural Center in Los Angeles, as well as tweeting @theaga and posting updates here.
- report/photos by Chris Garlock; check us out on Facebook and @theaga on Twitter for more photos.
You can tell how some go players feel about their game by the expression on their face, nervous if they’re losing or cheerful if they’re winning. But not Eric Cotsen. He always looks happy and excited to be playing, no matter what the situation is on the board.
“It’s just the way I am, I guess,” Cotsen told the E-Journal in an interview Saturday morning at the Los Angeles Korean Cultural Center as players registered for the Cotsen Open, which he’s been sponsoring for “about 25 years now.” Cotsen’s proud of the tournament’s “different vibe,” pointing out the free lunches and team of masseuses for players, the refundable entry fee for players who attend both days, and the club team prizes. “I wanted it to be something out of the ordinary,” he says.
The 2-kyu started playing in the mid-80’s and while he admits that “sure, I’d love to have a higher rating,” that would mean more intensive studying at the expense of his family, work and other interests. After some three decades, the ancient game continues to fascinate and entertain Cotsen (center in photo), a longtime student of Yilun Yang 7P (at left). “I do feel like I’ve gotten stronger,” Cotsen said thoughtfully. “I can see things I couldn’t see before, though often they’re just shapes and sequences and I have to figure out how they go together.”
Cotsen also says the game has helped him in his business dealings, “though of course my strengths and weaknesses tend to manifest themselves in similar ways.” But his go rank seems to concern Cotsen as little as appearances, whose preferred attire is a comfortable t-shirt, shorts and Crocs. “I learn something new every single time I play,” said Cotsen. “That’s something that never gets old.”
- report/photo by Chris Garlock; check us out on Facebook and @theaga on Twitter for more photos.
For the past few years, the Twin Cities Go Club has been involved at an annual Chinese culture event in April hosted at the Mall of America. Three years ago at this event we met the organization, Families with Children from Asia-Midwest, a group dedicated to bringing together families with children adopted from Asia. “Part of their goal is to educate the children on various aspects of Chinese culture, to help them feel more connected to their cultural heritage,” says TCGO’s Aaron Broege.
For the past two years, TCGO has been a part of a retreat weekend at a local hotel that brings together families from the Midwest region. Earlier this month, TCGO’s Xiaoyu Wang, Yanqing Sun and Aaron Broege attended the event to teach the children the basics of capture go.
“Like last year, many of the children were eager to learn and picked up the rules very quickly,” says Broege. “To my delight, some of them even remembered us from the previous year and still remembered the basic rules of the game!” Some of the children picked up the rules quickly, and played game after game of capture go. Others, even if they didn’t completely understand the rules, still loved the feel of placing the stones on the board. “It was just great to see them playing with the game and trying to figure out how to win.”
Part 1 of 2: tomorrow: TCGO hosts a pizza and rated games party!
Murakawa Eliminated From Samsung Cup: The second round of the Samsung Cup was held in Taejon City in Korea on October 14. Tang Weixing 9P (right) of China, the previous winner of the tournament, beat Murakawa Daisuke 7P (W), Japan’s sole remaining player, by resig. The semifinalists are Kim chi-seok 9-dan and Pak Jung-hwan of Korea and Shi Yue and Tang of China. photo: Tang at the 2013 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games; photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images AsiaPac
Fujisawa Rin Increases Lead In Women’s Honinbo: The sixteen-year-old Fujisawa Rina has made an excellent start in the 33rd Women’s Honinbo title match, beating Mukai Chiaki, the titleholder, in the first two games. If Fujisawa wins one more game, she will become the youngest player to hold this title. The first game was played in Hanamaki Hot Spring on October 8, with Fujisawa drawing black. Mukai Chiaki, the defending champion, took the lead, but Fujisawa played a series of do-or-die moves, one of which eventually paid off. Mukai resigned after 227 moves. The second game was played at the Ichigaya headquarters of the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo on October 17. Fujisawa (W) won by 2.5 points. The third game will be played on November 7.
Iyama Wins Third Agon Kiriyama Cup: The final of the 21st Agon Kiriyama Cup was held at the Kyoto headquarters of the Agon Buddhist sect (Kiriyama is the name of the head priest) on October 18. It’s surprising how often two players engaged in a big title match run into each other in other titles. The final featured a clash between the players vying for the Meijin title. Iyama Yuta drew black and beat Kono Rin by 1.5 points after 309 moves. This is Iyama’s third win in a row against Kono and it secured him his third victory in this tournament.
Two Landmarks For So Yokoku: Recently there have been two landmarks for So Yokoku, one professional, one personal. On October 13, he scored his 200th win as an 8-dan, so he won promotion to 9-dan. (He beat Cho Sonjin 9P in the first round of the 53rd Judan tournament.) The promotion dates from the following day (when it was confirmed by the Nihon Ki-in tournament office). Very soon after this, So got married. The source of this information is Takao Shinji’s blog on the Nihon Ki-in home page. Takao gives no details, but his blog entry was dated October 17, so presumably So was married on the 14th, 15th or 16th, so the two landmarks could well have come on the same day.
Other Promotions: To 7-dan: Miyazaki Ryutaro (120 wins); To 3-dan: Murakami Akihide (40 wins).
Obituary: Miura Hiroshi
Miura Hiroshi, a top amateur player, died of a cardiac infarction on September 29. He was 68. Miura won nine amateur titles and held the title of Honorary Amateur Honinbo. He took third place in the World Amateur Go Championship in 1988. He was one of the four professional-level amateurs who dominated amateur go in Japan from the 1960s to ‘80s.