Ida takes lead in Judan: The second game of the 53rd Judan title match was held at the Kuroyon Royal Hotel in the city of Omachi in Nagano Prefecture on April 9. Omachi has become closely linked with the Judan tournament: this is the 22nd year in a row that a game from the title match game has been staged here. Omachi is a gateway to the Northern Alps and it has sought to establish itself as “the Alps go village.” Four years ago, Ida Atsushi was the game recorder for the Judan game held here and now he was playing in the title match, challenging Takao Shinji (right).
The game started with fierce fighting, and the first notable move was a move by Ida, playing black, that defied a go proverb by letting the opponent drive a wedge through some neighbouring stones (the proverb is, “don’t let yourself be split into two”). Despite this, Ida got off to a reasonable start. In the middle-game fighting, Ida took a small lead and managed to hold on to it to the end. He won by 2.5 points after 277 moves. After making a bad start in the title match, he has won two games in a row and now needs just one more win to take the title.
Ko Iso leads Meijin League: Two games were played in the 40th Meijin League last week. On April 6, Ko Iso 8P (B) beat Murakawa Daisuke by 3.5 points. On April 9, So Yokoku 9P (B) Cho U 9P by half a point. There are four players with only one loss in the league, but Ko holds the provisional lead by virtue of having completed five rounds. His score is 4-1; the other players are Rin Kono 9P on 3-1 and Yamashita Keigo 9P and Takao Shinji 9P, both on 2-1.
Quadruple ko: A game between Kono Rin 9P (left) and Mitani Tetsuya 7P (black) played in the main section of the Gosei tournament on April 6 was declared no-contest (by agreement between the players) because of a quadruple ko. There were two double kos in Black’s position, one in the top right, the other in the bottom left. So long as these kos continued, the game could not end, but it was so close that Black could not afford to add a stone inside his territory to finish off either ko.
This was the 24th no-contest in an official tournament at the Nihon Ki-in. Eleven of them were from quadruple kos, ten from triple kos, and one from a quintuple ko. The other two were from “chosei” or “eternal (or long) life” (an example is given on page 185 of The Go Players Almanac). Chosei is a hypothetical position that first occurred in a professional game in 1993 and then again in 2009. According to Wikipedia, it also appeared in a Korean game in 2013. Incidentally, a chosei is embedded in the floor of the concourse of Ichigaya Station (the closest station to the Nihon Ki-in), just before the ticket gates.
LG Challengers Cup: To commemorate the 20th anniversary of the LG Cup, an international tournament for players 18 and under was held at the Korean Kiwon (Ki-in) in Seoul on April 10 and 11. At stake was a seat in the main LG tournament, which starts on June 8. There were eight players from Korea, including inseis, and four each from Japan and China. Representing Japan were Ichiriki Ryo 7P, Kyo Kagen 3P, Fujisawa Rina 2P, and Mutsuura Yuta 1P. Three of these players were eliminated in the first round, but Kyo Kagen made it to the second day; he lost to the eventual winner of the tournament, Byan Sang-il 3P of Korea, in the semifinals.
One of the DC Cherry Blossom princesses checks out go at the DC Cherry Blossom Festival last Saturday in the nation’s capital; check out more of Gurujeet Khalsa’s great photos on his Facebook page.
April 18: Portland, OR
Pro Workshop with Jennie Shen
Peter Freedman email@example.com 503-242-4203
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The ladder competition has started up again for the new year. In a break with tradition a match has already been played. Philippe defeated James in an exciting game at the top of the ladder.
To enter, contact Tibi.
Pandanet will host the first internet 13×13 go world championship. Registration is free. Click here for details. Two different classes will be set up, for players above and below 2 kyu in strength respectively, each offering generous prizes. The games will be played without handicap stones, but with a komi system that compensates for the rank differences. For example, a half rank difference equals a komi of 3.5 points; 2 rank difference equals a reverse komi of –5.5 points; 4 rank difference equals a reverse komi of -17.5 points, etc. Registration ends May 16, 2015
The Seattle Go Center had their own room at Sakura-Con, Seattle’s big festival of Japanese anime, manga and games, which was held last weekend, April 3-5, in the Washington State Convention Center. One volunteer, John Richards, put in 32 hours of teaching, and several volunteers provided more than 20 hours of instruction. At peak times, more than 10 volunteers were teaching at once. The students ranged from complete beginners to single digit kyu players who come by each year to get more instruction.
I enjoyed the observation that Solomon Choe 6d made while playing one of the students on a 19×19: “You know, playing go is like making kimchi. That group is kind of dead. [And I don't want to add more stones to it right now.] But I want to preserve it. I want to put it in a pot underground and see if something magical happens.” Report/photo by Brian Allen
Nominations for the American Go Foundation’s Teacher of the Year award are now open. The award is presented each year at the U.S. Go Congress and recognizes an outstanding American teacher. The winner will receive an all expenses paid trip to the congress. To be eligible, a teacher must be a member of the AGA, have been teaching go to children for at least two hours a week (during the school year) for two years, have started a go club or organization for youth, and have helped their students enter appropriate tournaments, if possible. If you would like to nominate someone for this award, including yourself, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Nominations are due by May 15th and should include a description of the teacher’s activities, how long they have been teaching, and how many students attend their program. - Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo: Last year’s winner Peter Freedman, working with kids in Portland. To read more about Peter’s work, click here.
The Pandanet AGA City League has been going strong for four rounds now. With a couple more games and one more round to go, at least one league is cutting the top positions close.
In the A League, Greater Washington and Boston are in the lead with 6 points each. As they faced off this past round GW got the better of Boston but they’re holding on from previous wins. Hot on their tails is LA and Seattle 1. LA still has one game left to play and they will most likely be in playoff contention.
The B and C Leagues have pull-away leaders in Princeton and Berkeley. Both teams are new this year with strong players behind them. They lead their leagues with 8 points each. The next team is currently at 4 points each.
Greater Washington def Boston (3-0), Seattle 1 def San Francisco 1 (3-0), Los Angeles def Canwa Vancouver 1 (3-0)
Princeton def Katy, TX 1 (3-0), Bay Area def Canwa Vancouver 2 (3-0), NC Raleigh def Washington DC 2 (3-0)
Boston 2 def New Orleans (2-1), Atlanta 2 def Atlanta 1 (2-1), SF Bay Area/Berkley def DC Team 3 (3-0)
Round 5 will take place on April 26th at 3PM unless otherwise noted on the schedule pages.
Ilia Shikshin 1p (right) of Russia is the 2015 Grand Slam Champion, after defeating Mateusz Surma 1p (left) of Poland in the Grand Slam Berlin tournament, held earlier this week at the Chinese Cultural Center in Berlin, Germany. Ali Jabarin was third, Cristian Pop took fourth and Pavol Lisy was fifth. More reports and photos here and click here for complete results.