It’s Spring in Australia and tournaments are popping up all over. The Australian tournaments all attract selection points towards qualification for the Australian teams at the various world championships. Here’s a quick rundown:
• 1st Sydney Spring Tournament, Sunday 19th October, Surry Hills, New South Wales (see sydney.baduk.org.au)
• 4th Gold Coast Classic, Sunday 26th October, Helensvale, Queensland (rsvp to firstname.lastname@example.org)
• 2014 Wellington Open, Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th November, Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand.
• 37th Australian Championships, Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th December, Sydney City Go Club, Surry Hills (Sydney), New South Wales
• 35th Queensland Championships, Saturday 28th February to Sunday 1st March, University of Queensland (Brisbane), Queensland
Click here for all current Australian go tournament info.
Ukraine: The Ukrainian Championship finished on October 5 in Kyiv with Valerii Krushelnytskyi 3d in first, Dmytro Yatsenko 5d in second, and Vasyl Skochko 4d in third. Russia: Also on October 5, Georgij Pimenov 16k bested Dmitrij Arkhipov 11k at the Korean Council Cup in Sankt-Peterburg while Dmitrij Shpigel 15k placed third. France: Viktor Lin 6d (left) took the European Student Go Championship in Toulouse on September 28. Behind him were Mihai Valentin Serban 5d in second and Johannes Obenaus 5d in third.
Kiseido has released a new series of go books for the kyu-level player. “The Road Map to Shodan” by Rob van Zeijst and Richard Bozulichis is a new series of go books “whose aim is to provide the kyu-level player with the strategic principles and tactical skills needed to rise to the level of an expert player,” says Kiseido. The series includes “Handicap-Go Strategy and the Sanrensei Opening,” “The Basic Principles of the Opening and the Middle Game,” “The Basic Life and Death Position” and “A Survey of the Basic Tesujis.” Other volumes are in preparation. Click here for further information and to order.
Go-Verband Berlin and fm-one Management Services GmbH will host the 17th annual “Go To Innovation” Tournament in Berlin from November 14 through November 16 at the “Manfred von Ardenne – Gewerbezentrum.” Cash prizes will be available for the top 10 players, the best female player, and for players with 8 wins; book prizes will be available for players 11-20 and as consolation. Players who register before November 11 will receive a 10 EU discount. A steep discount is also available for youth players under age 16. To register or for more information, please visit the official 17th “Go To Innovation” website.
—Annalia Linnan; for complete listings, check out the European Tournament Calendar
Andrew Huang 7d was honored at the US Go Congress as the recipient of the 2013 AGF College Scholarship. Applications are due November first for this years award, and can be downloaded on the AGF Scholarship page. Here is a look at the essay that won Huang the scholarship: “I stepped innocently into the go world and in turn the go community welcomed me with open arms,” wrote Huang. “Once I committed my life to go, I was flooded with amazing opportunities and experiences. Over the past ten years, I’ve had the privilege of studying with Mingjiu Jiang 7p, Feng Yun 9p, Yilun Yang 7p, Yin Kuo 3p, and Sun Yuan 3p. I’ve had the honor of representing Canada at the World Youth Go Championships and World Mind Sports Games, and playing in (and losing) a Redmond Cup Final. I’ve had the opportunity to meet people of all shapes and sizes from all over the world. Simply put, I would not be half the person I am today without go in my life.”
Active in his local community, Huang also became involved with the American Go Honor Society (AGHS) and began running tourneys online. “It is not enough that I can indulge in the beauties of go; others should share this opportunity,” wrote Huang. “In my past international competitions, I’ve seen first hand how quickly and effectively go can spread through and inspire a large population of people. When I played in the WYGC in Penghu in 2010, there were several local kids who were on campus for community service (transporting equipment, helping us around town, etc), but after a few days almost all of them were itching to play a game for themselves. Once I realized the power that go can have on people, I paused my pursuit of self-interests in order to contribute to the go community that had nurtured me for years. In 2012 I was offered the position of tournament organizer in the AGHS. I didn’t realize that my board position would be the most demanding, but also the most fun. That year, the AGHS held its annual Young Lions and School Team Tournament, brought back the Brunei Friendship Cup and inherited the Transatlantic Youth Go Friendship matches. I spent countless hours working as the lead organizer for these events, but I have absolutely no regrets, as I know that people from all over the world enjoy these tournaments and cherish the opportunity to play go.” The following year Huang served as Co-President of the AGHS, continuing to help run tournaments, and foster go activities for kids and teens both at home and abroad. Now a freshman at Princeton, he continues to both play and promote go on a regular basis. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo: Huang playing a match at Princeton.
Ranka talked with Belarusian 1-dan Aliaksandr Chakur shortly after his victory over a like-ranked player from Brunei in the first round of the 2014 Korea Prime Minister Cup.
Ranka: How long have you been playing go?
Aliaksandr: I've played go for about ten years. I started to learn in my university days. Then I found a go club in our city, Minsk, where there were other players and also a teacher, Alexandr Suponev. He began to teach me and I started to progress. I played a lot every week.
Ranka: Is there a lot of go activity in Belarus?
Aliaksandr: We have around eighty players, and we sometimes have tournaments.
Ranka: Are you currently the strongest of the eighty?
Aliaksandr: The three strongest players now all play as 1-dan, and then there are three to five 3-kyu players, so I may not be the strongest, but I am one of the strongest.
Ranka: What happened in the game that you just finished this morning?
Aliaksandr: In that game I was stronger. Her opening was much weaker and I killed most of her groups.
Ranka: And what are your hopes for the coming rounds?
Aliaksandr: It's mostly communication -- to communicate with people from other countries -- also to play and review games, maybe become stronger, and maybe find some new ways to progress.
Ranka: How often have you been to the Far East before?
Aliaksandr: One time to China, one time to Japan, and this is my third time in Korea, always to play in a go tournament. I've played in the KPMC twice before, in 2008 and 2012.
Ranka: How did you do those two years?
Aliaksandr: I won about half my games and lost about half. That's my usual result, so I hope that this year I will do the same, or maybe better.
Ranka: Thank you and good luck.
Postscript: This year Aliaksandr broke even again. In his next five games he faced opponents from New Zealand, Turkey, South Africa, Portugal, and Peru, with ranks from 1-dan to 6-dan, and defeated two of them to take 31st place.
The CW Network’s The Originals, a spin off from the popular Vampire Diaries, featured a go game between two characters in a key scene this week. Perhaps after MTV’s stylish use of go in repeated episodes of Teen Wolf last year, the CW thought they would get in on the action as well. Original vampire Klaus Mikaelson (Joseph Morgan), the vampire who made almost all other vampires, is seen playing go with Marcel (Charles Michael Davis), a vampire he sired in the 1800′s who then became his enemy in later years. The game represents a kind of detente between the two characters, in their ongoing fight to control New Orleans, and prevent the witches, the werewolves, and the humans from getting the upper hand. E-J reader Xinming Simon Guo says the game featured is a famous one, and challenges readers to see if they can identify it. The entire episode can be streamed on the CW website here, the go game is about 21 minutes in. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo from the CW website: Charles Michael Davis playing go.
UPDATE: “Although it’s hard to see the rest of the board at this angle, that shape in the close corner looked strangely familiar, so I took a close look,” writes Michael Redmond 9P. “The famous Red Ear game, of course.”
Sweden's new go champion Jakob Bing has played in two Korea Prime Minister Cups, both times winning three games and finishing near the middle of the field. In 2012, playing as a 2-dan and assisted by a McMahon point, he came in 33rd out of 70. In 2014, now ranked 3-dan, he finished 28th out of 51 without McMahon assistance, the tournament having reverted to the normal Swiss system. Ranka interviewed him shortly after his last game.
Ranka: Can you bring us up to date on the go scene in Sweden?
Jakob: Well, sadly, it seems that go in Sweden has been shrinking. It was more active seven years ago when I started playing. There were more tournaments, with more players. We still have one very big tournament, the Gothenburg open, which gets up to sixty or more participants, but a normal tournament can be like twenty to twenty-five people. The number of tournaments has been shrinking as well. How many do we have left now? I think maybe five or six a year. But a new thing that has started is that we have a summer go camp near Gothenburg, arranged by the Gothenburg go club. This has been very successful for three years in a row. It's very nice, very relaxed, in a nice natural setting near a lake. Quite a lot of people come.
Ranka: To learn how to play better?
Jacob: Yes, to learn, but in a more relaxed atmophere than at a tournament. It's good for people who don't like the competitive atmosphere in tournaments, but they want to meet others and play a lot of go. I think it's a very good thing to have, because it's a different way of playing go together, and some people prefer it.
Ranka: And now please tell us how you feel about your performance here at the KPMC.
Jakob: For some reason, I have been playing much too aggressively. In fact, I've been playing very badly for the past few months, though I've played a bit better in the tournament here. I lost all three games on the first day, but I kind of had strong opponents. Then today I won all three games, for the opposite reason. I guess that if you lose all your games on the first day you can expect to meet weaker people.
Ranka: Which do you think was your best game of the six?
Jakob: Either my first game against the player from Malaysia or my third game against Vesa Laatikainen, from Finland. I think I played best in those games. The third game ended with me dying a lot. I thought I was going to kill my opponent and I tried too hard and everything died. But it was fun.
Ranka: Thank you very much.
Photo: Ito Toshiko
James Sedgwick is president of the Canadian Go Association, but was competing in the 2014 Korea Prime Minister Cup as a player. Ranka interviewed him at breakfast at the Olympic ParkTel, before the bus ride to the Korea Baduk Association building for the first round.
Ranka: Please tell us about the go community in Canada.
James: Canada is a big country, so it can be hard to get an overall picture of how the community is doing. You notice how one region can have a mini-go-boom for a few years while there's another region where the organizers have fallen away. A lot of Chinese organizations are very active now. There are two or three schools in Toronto that teach kids, mostly Chinese kids from second-generation families, and that's having a big impact. A lot of strong young players are coming in. There was a youth tournament this spring which had forty children under twelve, mostly from these schools.
Ranka: What are the names of these schools?
James: One of them is called the Golden Key Go School, because it operates at the Golden Key Culture Center. They ran the last Toronto Open. Another is just called, in English, the Toronto Go School.
Ranka: And what about the rest of Canada?
James: I think the rest of the community is growing slowly, but when I look at players around my level, about European five dan, there are five to ten of us from a Western background. I don't think there were that many ten or twenty years ago. So it's hard to perceive, but the growth is there.
Ranka: What is it like, trying to organize go in a country as big as Canada?
James: Recently I think we've had a more active executive in the Canadian go organization than we had five or ten years previously, which is a good sign, but it's always a struggle to figure out how you've made a difference at the end of the day. You need the local go communities to do a lot. Well, they're trying, and we're trying too.
Ranka: How was your visit to the Choongam Baduk Academy yesterday?
James: They were very strong, generally stronger than the field here. It was impressive to see. It's always a shock the first time, but I've been to go camps in Shanghai and Beijing -- my wife is originally from Beijing -- so I've had similar experiences elsewhere. It was about what I'd expect at a strong go school here. The intensity of the training the kids go through to get as strong as they are, we're nowhere near that yet in the West.
Ranka: Was it a good warm-up for the KPMC?
James: Oh yes, it got my brain into gear. I'm still thinking through some of the positions in my head. During the tournament I hope I won't make the same mistakes, although I'm sure I'll make make different mistakes.
Ranka: What other hopes and expectations do you have for the KPMC?
James: My hopes are mainly to avoid embarrassment. I'm a little weaker than the last few Canadian representatives. Last year the Canadian representative in the KPMC finished third. I think it's unlikely I'll be able to match that, but my goal is to finish in the top ten.
Ranka: Last year's Canadian representative was Bill Lin. Have you played him very much in Canada?
James: Yes, quite often, in the Canadian Go Association's online Dragon League. That league was created and named by Chuck Elliot, a long-time go organizer in the Canadian prairies who is now in his seventies but doesn't seem able to sit still. I think he's currently involved in setting up some sort of school in China where they teach go and English. I've played Bill maybe five games in the past two years. I don't know that I've been able to win any of them, but I've had chances at fairly late stages in some of the games.
Ranka: Thank you and good luck.
Postscript: After beating Jerusalem Open winner Amir Fragman in round three but losing to the players from China and Chinese Taipei in rounds two and five, James found himself matched against one of Europe's strongest players, Thomas Debarre of France, in round six. The winner of this game would earn an award for placing in the top sixteen. James lost, but still earned an award by placing in the top four in the America and Oceania zone.
- Photo: Ito Toshiko
The Tacoma Go Club held its final event for the recent “Learn Go Week” on September 20 at the Agape Senior Center in Tacoma, Washington. “A great sunny fall afternoon in the Pacific Northwest was enjoyed by newcomers to the newly opened senior center,” reports Tacoma Go Club president Gordon Castanza. After learning the basic rules of go on a 9 x 9 board, some of the fine points of the “Capture Game” were explained on a 19 x 19 demo board.
photo (l-r): Gordon Castanza, Ren Steuernagle , and Tom Cruver. At the end of the event, Reiko Mowery, President Agape Senior Group, and Rina Wariner, Executive Director Agape Senior Group treated the participants to tea and pastries.
Just a few weeks after the conclusion of the historic jubango between Gu Li 9P and Lee Sedol 9P, Kiseido is releasing its latest book, which provides an in-depth analysis of the first five games of the historic ‘Death Match’ between two of the strongest go players of the modern era. Having been rivals for many years, with an almost even score of games won against each other in international tournaments, the ten-game match between Korea’s Lee Sedol 9p and China’s Gu Li 9p would definitively decide the ‘best player’ amongst these titans. “Modern Master Games Volume 2: The 2014 Ten-Game Match Between Gu Li and Lee Sedol Part 1: Games One to Five” is compiled and written by Rob van Zeijst, and co-edited by Michael Redmond 9P. Both players are famous for their severe attacks and their fighting skills. Gu has a thick style accompanied by an exquisite feeling for the opening, while Lee plays a fast, profit-oriented game, leaving behind thin positions. This contrast between styles is what made for the innovative and exciting games this year that would decide who will be crowned as the ‘strongest player of the 21st century’. Available ($ 25.00/ € 20.00) on October 15.