The Korean Prime Minister’s Cup, one of the premier international amateur competitions, took place in Seoul this year. Ireland’s representative was Thomas Shanahan. Over 6 rounds of play, he scored 2 wins over Hungary and Argentina. This placed him in 41st position, just above his seeding of 42nd, and was thus a very good performance. Congratulations to him! The results are available to view here.
You can now read Thomas’s own notes on the event.
Arrived on Wednesday – sandwich for dinner! Next day, tour around a Baduk school and Baduk Association building, then a banquet in the evening – some lovely drummers and then to follow some band whose music can only be called noise. However the food was lovely. Off to bed early for the raging battles ahead. There was much heat; on the board and culinary wise.
First day of games:
There were 6 opponents – Norway, Hungary, Mexico, England, Indonesia and Argentina.
First from Norway on table 1. Unfortunately Odin was not on my side this day and I was defeated but not without the usual scrap here and there spreading all over the board. The game can be found onhttp://www.wbaduk.com/
Second game was with the Hungary. Hadúr was in a funny mood this day, giving Hungary the advantage early on but in classic Irish style the underdog grasps the win. Success!!!
Third game against Mexico – a disaster – it was all so normal until I realised that so much was dead on the board – just outdone by the cheeky Xipe-Totecian Mexican 5D!
Fourth game against old rivals – England. A nice game, went back a forth, unfortunately….
Fifth game against Indonesia – 4 point game – what more can I say.
Ahhh, and then there was Argentina. Fairly bad from the start, lots dead on the board, about to resign but decided to battle on- and then it was there- the light at the end of the tunnel, found the crucial cut .Yes!!! Cú Chulainn was with me in spirit that game.
Final result – 2 out of 6. Rest of the time was spent; eating Kimchee, rice and other fancy Korean food, visiting a palace, playing a 9P and another professional at the Baduk festival (1004 simultaneous games at once), getting ripped off in touristville and doing some Swing dancing. All in all – fair craic.
To encourage chapters of the American Go Association to keep the momentum from “Learn Go” week going, the AGA is offering a special deal during the month of October. Chapters that meet in October, play at least one rated game, order pizza and send in a photo of the festivities — and the receipt– and you’ll have the cost of the pizza reimbursed. “We appreciate the great work our chapters are doing and this is a fun way for them to reach their members” says Andrew Jackson, AGA VP of Operations. This offer only valid for AGA chapters; if your club is not a chapter, click here to sign up as a chapter today. Send your receipts to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Two French scientists have decided to apply network science to the game of go, according to a 2012 report on the Wired blog we just came across. “They constructed their networks in a simple way,” Samuel Arbesman reported in Network Science of the Game of Go (4/20/2012). “If one board position can lead to another, they are connected. Using a dataset of about 1,000 professional games and 4,000 amateur games, they began to construct these networks.” Arbesman says the network analyses in the paper “are a bit odd, though they find many classic graph structures, such as a heavy-tailed link distribution and high amounts of clustering.” And though the networks constructed from amateur and professional games were distinct, Arbesman said that “while I know that network pictures are usually inscrutable hairballs, I was disappointed that networks weren’t visualized at all.” Still, he concluded, “this a fun little network analysis and I recommend checking it out.” photo courtesy Wired blog
Both James have now secured victory in the Irish Correspondence Championship. James Hutchinson topped the Open section with 9 wins, losing only one game. That game was to Martin Klemsa, who shared second place with Irina Davis and Noel Mitchell. Earlier this year, James Aitken had won the Intermediate section. The competition proved to be quite popular, with 21 people taking part. Planning for next year can now begin, and all suggestions are welcome. Next year we might have some prizes!
The Tacoma Go Club is getting back into the go business after “a little hiatus, reports club president Gordon Castanza. The TGC sponsored three events during Learn Go Week” last week and is meeting at the Asia Pacific Cultural Center, 4851 S. Tacoma Way, Tacoma, WA 98409 every Monday from 3 – 6p. The club also meets at Bluebeard’s Café, 2201 6th Ave., Tacoma, WA 98403 (by prior arrangement. Call or e-mail Gordon or Tom), and Starbuck’s, 34024 Hoyt Rd. SW (340th and Hoyt next to Walgreen’s), Federal Way, WA 98023 (by prior arrangement. Call or e-mail Gordon or Tom). During the Tacoma Go Club’s third “Learn Go Week” event last Saturday, “two new players appeared at the Bluebeard Coffee Shop in Tacoma to learn the fine points of both high handicap games and the subtleties of the territory-destroying ‘monkey jump,’” says Castanza. Players from left to right were Mike Malveaux, Tom Cruver, and Mark Mattson, who was playing Castanza, who doubled as official photographer.
The mysterious death of John Bender, the Philadelphia go player who died under suspicious circumstances in 2010 (In Memoriam 10/10/2013) was the subject of the September 27 edition of “48 Hours,” reports Phil Straus, who taught Bender to play go in the mid-1980’s. In “Paradise Lost” correspondent Susan Spencer investigates “How did a Wall Street millionaire end up shot dead in his bedroom?” Bender’s go-playing is not mentioned, although his prowess at poker is.
photo: John Bender, lecturing on the importance of plans and ideas, and how unimportant details and final results are, at the 1987 US Go Congress, Mt. Holyoke College, Massachusetts. photo by Phil Straus
The Seattle Go Center is celebrating its 19th anniversary with a tournament this Sunday, Oct. 5. Titled “19×19x19“, the AGA event will have an open section and several handicapped sections. Registration is from 10:00- 10:30 at the Go Center, and the total purse for prizes will be $500. Last year they had 24 players, with six players who were 5 dan or stronger. More information is available at the Go Center website. Photo: Dong Ma 6d plays Edward Kim 7d at the 17th Anniversary Tournament in 2012, with Dennis Wheeler recording the game. Photo/Report by Brian Allen.
European youth go champion Lukas Podpera, who was Czech champion in 2013 and came in sixth in the World Amateur Go Championship in 2014, started the 2014 Korea Prime Minister Cup by beating Lou Mankao, a 5-dan from Macau. The game ended well before lunch, so Ranka took the opportunity to ask him about his experiences at the Choongam Baduk Academy, where he had studied in the past.
Ranka: When did you first attend the Choongam Baduk Academy?
Lukas: I first attended the Choongam Baduk Dojang two years ago when I told Mr Kim Sungrae, who is now one of our referees, that I would like to study baduk seriously somewhere in Korea. He recommended Choongam as the best, the biggest, and the most famous dojang in Korea, so I went there for one month, and then I returned a year later, last year, again for one month.
Ranka: How much do you think those two months improved your game?
Lukas: Both times, after I studied at Choongam there was a European Go Congress and I played really badly in it. I had learned a lot of new stuff, my head was thoroughly confused, and I didn't know what to do. But now, two years after first going to Choongam, I believe I've improved by at least one stone, from average European 5-dan to strong European 6-dan. So I had to be patient a bit and wait for the results, but the results came.
Ranka: How did you study there?
Lukas: I remember that in the morning there was always almost no one there. Some of the kids went to school, because they were generally about five years younger than me. So in the morning I would do life and death problems and replay games. They way they replay games is not like the European way, where we replay from books very slowly, reading the commentaries. They would replay the game really fast. Sometimes it would take them only fifteen minutes to replay a game. So sometimes I replayed ten or fifteen games a day. And also we played some kind of league games, usually with fast time limits, like at most half an hour of basic time.
Ranka: Do you think you learned a lot by replaying all those games very fast?
Lukas: Yes. At least my reading became much better than before. Before I was like all Europeans, much slower than the Asians, because they're reading by shapes and we're only reading by moves. Although I was much better than them at positional judgement, they would always exploit some of my aji, or kill me somewhere, That didn't happen in Europe. So my reading improved a lot, I think.
Ranka: What other foreign students did you meet there?
Lukas: I guess the most well known European student there was Mateusz Surma, a 5-dan from Poland. He stayed there for two years, I think, so he had been there the longest, but there was also Rémi Campagnie from France, another 5-dan; he was studying there for three months. There were no other European students, but from the USA there was Benjamin Lockhart, who is studying there still, and from Canada there was Gansheng Shi, who stayed for two months.
Ranka: How do you hope to do in the KPMC this year?
Lukas: Two months ago I played in the World Amateur Go Championship and did really well, so I would like to get a similar result. I would like to win five games, which is probably what is needed to finish at least in sixth place.
Ranka: Thank you very much.
Postscript: After lunch, Lukas lost to Juang Cheng-jiun (Chinese Taipei) in the second round, but he won his next three games, beating Kim Ouweleen (Netherlands), Thomas Debarre (France), and Doyoung Kim (New Zealand). In his last game he fought valiantly but unsuccessfully with Tsuchimune Yoshiyuki (Japan) for a place in the top six. Tie-breaking points put him ninth.