While the clash of titans in the final match at the St. Petersburg Go Consul Cup League A (Dinerchtein’s “Water” Douses Shikshin “Fire” at St. Petersburg Go Consul Cup 4/14/2013 EJ) naturally generated the most general public hullabaloo, the Cup’s B League — consisting of 86 players ranging from 6d to 15k — offered plenty of excitement and surprising results as well.
Thousands of go events around the world routinely show that the game can unite people and draw them together. Shared common interest in go can create the most loyal friendship and, it turns out, love. This is the case of Igor Burnaevskiy 4d and Dina Burdakova 5d, the young Russian married couple who took the two first places of the League B event; Igor managed to defeat Alexey Lazarev 6d, the first Russian player who won European Go Champion Title in 1991, thus leaving him in the 3rd position in League B.
This success is quite unique. We’ve heard of Asian pro marriages but Dina and Igor (at left) are the first and only European high-dan married couple. Dina Burdakova has been playing go since childhood and is an acknowledged Russian go-star, three times Russian Female Champion, winning this title for the first time in 1999 at the age of 12. Husband Igor Burnaevskiy, in contrast, can be called “the dark horse” of this tournament. He started playing go about 6 years ago after watching “Hikaru no Go” and reached 5d on KGS without playing in any major go competitions. He appeared in real tournaments only in 2011. The couple’s secret lies not only in go training but in shared experience and merging the strong points of their different styles. The drama of the Go Consul Cup League B sprang up in the final round when they had to face each other in a match to determine the winner. Here Igor showed his stronger side – the feeling of fuseki – and drew the game to the victory. In any case, the result allowed both spouses to pass to the League A (top 8 with rotation system) and we’ll see them competing with Russian top players at the next Russian grand event.
Though neither the Korean Baduk Association nor the Chinese Weiqi Association have officially confirmed whether the rumored 10-game match, or jubango, between Sedol Lee 9P (right) and Li Gu 9P (left) will actually occur, buzz surrounding the potential match hints otherwise. Major Korean newspaper Dong-A Ilbo reports that “both players have agreed to play the ten games between October 2013 and May 2014, in various locations throughout China.”
While some details remain fuzzy, including venues and exact dates, news reports claim the budget for the match is estimated to be approximately $1.15 million USD. The reason Lee cites for this sum is the damage the loser’s reputation will suffer “throughout the go world and in the history books.” As many fans hail Lee as Korea’s top player and Gu remains the top Chinese player, his concern is understandable. It is not personal, however. In an interview after their most recent match (March 20), Lee said, “Gu Li is the best rival for me to play against, but he’s also a best friend of mine for life.” Gu echoed the sibling-esque rivalry when he said, “I always fight intensely whenever I play against Lee Sedol. I’d like to create more exciting games for go fans.”
So, is it still possible? Will the two players, born the same year and then became pro together twelve years later, have a face-off like never before? Korean player An Younggil 8p says that despite the missing pieces “we have reasons to be optimistic.”
Right now, Lee and Gu’s official record is 17-15 with Gu in the lead (17-17 if one includes exhibition games). For more details surrounding the Lee-Gu jubango, visit Go Game Guru.
-Annalia Linnan, based on a longer article on Go Game Guru
After an exciting first few rounds, the Collegiate Go League post-season concludes this Saturday, April 20. The championship match will be played at 2:30pm EST in the Collegiate Go League room on KGS, reports William Lockhart. Ten schools competed in the inaugural event last year. This year the number increased to 12. Defending champs University of Michigan will take on the winner of Princeton and U. of Toronto, which will be played immediately before at 1pm. U. Toronto is expected to advance to the championships, lead by freshman and recently crowned AGA professional Gansheng Shi. The CGL matches teams of five from schools across the US and Canada every other week. “Come and watch the finals on Saturday!” Lockhart urges.
The 10-game match on go9dan.com between Lee Sedol 9P and three Western professionals, has been called after eight fascinating games, as the Western pros — Catalin Taranu, Gansheng Shi and Andy Liu — were “out of the money,” reports go9dan’s Michael Simon. “All of the many observers found the games enjoyable and even amazing,” Simon added. “There really is no end to go strength.” The game records and reviews are available online: Game #1 Lee-Andy Liu, Game #2 Lee-Gansheng Shi; Game #3 Lee-Catalin Taranu, Game #4 Lee-Andy Liu, Game #5 Lee-Gansheng Shi (uncommented), Game #6 Lee-Catalin Taranu, Game #7 Lee-Andy Liu, Game #8 Lee-Gansheng Shi.
American Go E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock 3D and his wife Lisa are walking nearly 200 miles across England this May to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary and raise funds for the American Go Foundation, which is dedicated to promoting go in the U.S. “This is a really wonderful idea,” said AGF President Terry Benson. “It’s generous players like Chris that make the AGF work possible. The more support we get, the more we can do for go.” With the AGF’s support, thousands of American children have learned go in hundreds of schools, libraries and community centers across the country. The AGF also provide scholarships and resources for youth who play go, and supports go in institutional settings such as prisons, and senior centers. “Donate what you can,” says Garlock, “whatever you give will go to help promote go across the United States.” Click here to donate. Considered the second best walk in the world, the Coast to Coast Walk is a 182-mile unofficial and mostly unsignposted long distance footpath in Northern England. Devised by Alfred Wainwright, it passes through the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales, and North York Moors National Parks.
- photo: Garlock on a training walk on the Seneca Creek Trail Greenway earlier this month; photo by Lisa Garlock
Amazing Kids Art: “That art is amazing! (Missing Children’s Go Art 4/9 EJ),” writes Lee Frankel-Goldwater. “The AGA should do this kind of contest and display winning entries in the main hall of the year’s Congress! Maybe in coordination with Canada and Europe and offer some prize (camp scholarship?) to the winner(s).” That’s basically what the AGA and AGF have done for the past two years. “We haven’t given the kids scholarships, but they have won prizes for their entries,” says Paul Barchilon. “People also bid on the art last year, and a fair amount of money was raised. The money went both to the children and to support Comunidad Mexicana de Go Infantil y Juvenal (Mexican Youth Go Community), who run the event, and are led by Siddhartha Avila. Last year’s exhibit was a big hit, and I am sure we will do it again this year.” Barchilon also notes that a Facebook page for the art competition has just been launched; check it out here.
Choose Your Frequency: “The AGA news email is relentless,” writes Lloyd Westerman. “I would read a condensed version, with major headlines, once a month.” While we’re very proud of our thorough and timely coverage of the world go scene, we understand that not everyone wants to hear the latest news right away, and offer a weekly compilation. Switching is easy: go to “UPDATE YOUR PROFILE” at the bottom of the E-Journal and select the desired frequency (weekly or daily); you can also select your preferred format (HTML, text or mobile).
Graphic: “Dragon Slay – A Fighting Game,” April Ye, Cupertino, USA