The recent resumption of diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba has renewed hope that a Cuban delegation will be able to attend this year’s US Go Congress. An effort last year stalled because of problems getting visas from the US State Department. “We are quite hopeful of better success this year,” says Bob Gilman, AGA Director for the Central Region. “We have learned some things from the 2014 effort, and the recent thaw in US – Cuban relations can only be helpful.”
The AGA has invited three Cuban players to the 2015 Go Congress in St. Paul, MN, including Rafael Torres Miranda 2d, President of the Academia Cubana de Go, Roylan de la Torre Marrero 5d and Orlando Mederos Trujillo 5d.
The invitation builds on 2013 visit by US players to Havana, where a friendly competition between US and Cuban players was a great success. “There are Cuban go players in all provinces of the country, and they were a serious and enthusiastic group,” says Gilman, who organized the visit.
Fundraising is now underway to enable the Cuban delegation to attend the Congress. “Cuba is a poor country, and the Cuban players cannot afford this trip without help from the US go community,” says Gilman. “The US go community has received wonderful support from Japan, Korea, and China and we’re now in a position where we can help the growing go community in Cuba.” While the details are worked out and the costs are finalized, those interested in helping can make a pledge here. As in 2014, if donations cannot be used, they will be returned, e.g., if visa problems should again prevent some invitees from coming. Contributions will be made through the American Go Foundation (AGF), and may be taken as a deduction on the donor’s federal income tax.
Pandanet has begun posting E-Journal articles on their site, translated into Japanese. The first one is the EJ’s recent report on the AGA pro tournament. “We’re tremendously pleased that EJ reporting is now available in Japanese,” said E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock. Pandanet plans to post a translated EJ article each week.
Go drives the plotline in a second-season episode of JAG entitled “The Game of Go.” “Harm and a Colombian drug lord play a high-stakes game of go, with the prize being a Marine who was left behind during a covert mission, as Webb and the JAG team once again butt heads,“ reports Dave Holland.
“My recollection of the episode is that several moves were spread out over the unfolding of the plot with closeups of the contested part of the board. It represented middle game fighting. A little far-fetched for a US Navy lawyer and a drug kingpin to be such accomplished players but good exposure for the game nevertheless.“ Note that the moves are played inside the board squares rather than on the intersections.
“I enjoy the EJ’s ‘Go Spotting’ column as go has a way of showing up in unexpected places,” says Holland. “I live in Minneapolis and recently met a young player from northern Minnesota whose grandfather learned baduk during the Korean War. He also went to high school with Bob Dylan.“
Peter Freedman (at far right), Hikaru Saito, Glenn Peters, Jessie Jenkins and Jessie’s friend, Austin, taught at least 50 people to play go at Portland’s Mochitsuki Festival on Sunday January 25th. Held at Portland State University from 10 to 4 , thousands came to celebrate the new year, eat traditional food and experience traditional Japanese culture. -Photo and story courtesy Peter Freedman
The Open Section of the Jin Chen Memorial Tournament at the Seattle Go Center drew twelve players, including two 7 dans and three 6 dans. Since the Jan. 4 tournament had only three rounds, there was a tie for first place between Boyang Chen 6d from Oregon, and Chan Chung 5d from the Seattle area. Edward Kim placed 3rd, after losing one game on time.
Go Center members were intrigued to meet the teacher of Edward Kim 7d, since Edward has taught many of the strong players in the Northwest. Years ago, Edward’s teacher was his older brother Hong Kim, who also lives in the Seattle area. This was the first time Hong played in an AGA rated tournament. He won the handicapped section for players 2 kyu and stronger, playing as a 2d. Second place went to young Chanseok Oh. The 3 kyu to 9 kyu band was won by local Frank Brown, with new player Ben Resnick placing second. The double digit kyu player’s section was won by Elan Ma, with second to California visitor Barry Stiefel. Elan also won the children’s prize. There were 30 players at the tournament, which is held on the first Sunday in January every year to mark the birthday of our old friend Jin Chen. Report and photo illustration by Brian Allen
by John Power, EJ Japan Correspondent
Xie Makes Good Start in Women’s Kisei Defense: The first game of the 18th DoCoMo Cup Women’s Kisei title match, a best-of-three, was played at the Hotel Sunlife Garden in Hiratsuka City, Kanagawa Prefecture, on January 22. Konishi Kazuko 8P (right) of the Kansai Ki-in is making her first appearance in a title match (she has reached the finals of three knock-out titles but lost each time). Xie has held this title for four of the the last five years. In the nigiri to decide colors, Xie drew white. Konishi played positively in the opening and seized the initiative, but Xie managed to set up the kind of confused fight in which she excels. Konishi failed to find the best move in the crucial middle-game fight, and this gave Xie a chance to upset her lead. Konishi resigned after 136 moves. The second game will be played on January 29. It’s a must-win game for Konishi if she is to take the match to a deciding game on February 2.
Honinbo League Update: Two games were played in the 70th Honinbo League on January 22. Yamashita Keigo 9P (B) beat Takao Shinji 9P by resignation and Kono Rin 9P (W) beat Yo Seiki 7P, also by resignation. Yamashita goes to 3-1, keeping him in second place behind Ida Atsushi 8P (4-0). Kono evened his score to 2-2, and both Takao and Yo, on 1-3, will now have to focus on keeping their league places.
Judan challenger: Kobayashi Satoru or Ida: The second semifinal of the 53rd Judan tournament was held in Nagoya on January 22. It was contested by two of the leading young players at the Central Japan branch of the Nihon Ki-in, Ida Atsushi 8P and Shida Tatsuya 7P (right). Ida was the top new star of last year, winning the Honinbo League on debut. Although he lost the title match to Iyama Yuta, he seems to be on course to challenge again. Shida is older (24 to Ida’s 20) and was the top young player in Nagoya until Ida emerged. Shida won the Hiroshima Aluminium Cup in his second year as a pro (2007) and came second in the Agon Kiriyama Cup in 2013. Shida had won their two previous encounters, but in the last year Ida has gotten a lot stronger. Taking black in this game, he forced a resignation, so he will meet Kobayashi Satoru in the play-off to decide the challenger to Takao Shinji.
Maidenhead-Hitachi Tournament: On January 24th, Charles Hibbert 2 dan went on to win all three of his games, claiming the Maidenhead title. Coincidentally, it was also his first-ever tournament. Second and third place were claimed by Alistair Wall and Jitka Bartova. All players winning three or two games received a prize. 55 players took part in the event.
- edited by Amy Su from reports on the BGA website.
Ukraine: Oleksandr Hiliazov 1d bested Anton Boreiko 4k at the Kharkiv Championship on January 25 while Leonid Shumakov 5k placed third. United Kingdom: The Maidenhead finished on January 24 with Charles Hibbert 2d in first, Alistair Wall 1d in second, and Jitka Bartova 1d (left) in third. Russia: Mikhail Dobricyn 3k took the Russian Championship Under 12 in Cheljabinsk on January 18. Behind him were Egor Arsentjev 2k in second and Savva Mezin 6k 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
Phoenixville, PA: Players wanted for the Phoenixville Go Club. We meet Sunday afternoons and Wednesday nights at Artisan’s Cafe in downtown Phoenixville. Free mug of coffee for each first time visitor! Contact Craig at email@example.com with questions.
Join the American Go Association and get two months of Baduk TV English for free: Want to try Baduk TV English for free? From now until the end of January, you can get two months of free access to Baduk TV English (valued at $40) when you join the American Go Association…click here to read more.
The deadline for young kyu players who want to compete in the North American Kyu Championships is Feb. 3rd, with the tourney itself held Feb. 7th, on KGS. Kids and teens (under the age of 18) who are members of the AGA, CGA, Gimnasio de Go, or MGA, may all enter in the event. With thousands of dollars in scholarships available, to both the AGA Go Camp, and US Go Congress, kyu players of any rank should enter. Prizes will be awarded roughly every five ranks, starting at 25 kyu, and working up to 1 kyu. The registration form is here, more information is available here.
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On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day 2015, the Atlanta Go Club and the Atlanta Chinese Go Association organized a hike up Stone Mountain, in memory of Dr. King, who referred to the mountain in his I Have a Dream speech — “Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.” Feijun (Frank) Luo 7d, led young kids to play go at both the shelter in the middle of the mountain, and the pavilion on the top of the mountain. “The kids greatly enjoyed mountain climbing, playing go during the trip, and the spectacular view on top of Stone Mountain,” said Luo. Brandon Zhou 4d, who won the Ing Foundation’s World Youth Goe Qualifier in the U.S. junior division in 2014, was among the participants. “Playing go on Stone Mountain is a good way to pay tribute to Dr. King,” said Luo, “go is a board game that best displays equality and freedom — it represents equality because every stone has an equal value by itself, and it expresses freedom because playing styles are unrestricted and free.” -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo by Frank Luo: Clockwise: Ryan Dong, Edwin Lin, Brian Zhou, Ryan Li, Brandon Zhou, Feijun (Frank) Luo, Daniel Luo, and Ethan Zhou. Kids not pictured above: Alex Lin, Vicki Gu, Eileen Chen, and Jerry Chen.
BGC Bullseye: “Although I left Brooklyn behind several years ago, the description of the Brooklyn Go Club (Go in NYC: An Insider’s Guide 1/21 EJ) is disturbingly accurate,” writes Solomon Smilack. “Thank you for the laugh.”
More on Studying Pro Games: “This is a widely debated and discussed topic (Your Move/Readers Write: How Do You Study Pro Games? 1/20 EJ),” writes Dennis Wheeler, “and one can find numerous discussion threads on this very topic in the Life in 19×19 discussion forum. There also may not be just one answer, as I believe the answers can be as varied and personal as the people who give them. And I too would love to hear opinions from EJournal readers who are professional players themselves.” Wheeler goes on to suggest that “Professional games show us how the game should be played, as opposed to the jumbled misguided (yet fun) mess we often play. Why not try to learn from the best? Or just simply enjoy the beauty of a well played game.”