After a last minute defeat in a tense game with the young Chinese star Yu Zhiying 4p, Ranka had the pleasure to speak with Japan’s Yoshida Mika 8p, former winner of the Women’s Honinbo.
Ranka: Could you tell us a little about your game this morning?
Yoshida: A tragic loss! I felt I was playing on top form throughout the early and middle stages of the game, then it all fell apart at the end. I am devastated to have missed this opportunity to secure a victory.
Ranka: We hear you have recently started flamenco dancing – what got you into that?
Yoshida: I love music and dance. My first encounter with flamenco was in my twenties on a visit to Spain. “That’s it!” I thought. But in the end I never got round to learning, and it was only this March when I reencountered the dance and decided to take it up seriously. Looking back at my game this morning, maybe my future is in flamenco…!
Ranka: How else do you spend your free time when away from the go board?
Yoshida: That’s about it these days. I have been very busy with my two daughters.
Ranka: How have you managed your time now you are a mother?
Yoshida: My two daughters are nine and six now, but when they were still young I took a six year break from go. It was impossible to continue playing and studying, and I felt it was an important time to spend with my children. Now they are at school, so I can find some spare time to study in the mornings.
Ranka: We wish you success in the rest of your games.
- John Richardson
T Mark Hall died on Monday, December 9 after a long illness. Perhaps best-known throughout the global go community as the co-creator of GoGoD (Games of Go on Disk), the exhaustive go encyclopaedia, Hall “was a long and faithful servant of the British Go Association, of British go in general,” said BGA president — and longtime friend — Jon Diamond. “He was on our Council for some 22 years, serving for 20 of these as Treasurer, a record of service that will surely be unsurpassed.” “T Mark Hall’s work benefited go players around the world,” said American Go Association president Andy Okun. “We extend our thanks and deepest sympathies to our British go colleagues who so generously shared his gifts with us.” John Fairbairn, Hall’s longtime friend and GoGoD colleague, said that “British Go has been blessed with many fine servants, but very high among them will rank T Mark Hall. I was with him in the last months and hours and so I can testify that he had borne his long illness with great dignity and courage – nonchalance even.” Hall continued to work on GoGoD until very near the end and as recently as April played in the British Open, where he came in fourth. “Mark wished to continue his work for the British Go Association even after he was gone, and has made substantial bequests accordingly,” Diamond says. He also donated his antique go board to the British Museum and asked that GoGoD continue; Diamond says “I hope to keep his flame alive there, although frankly he will be quite irreplaceable.” Diamond added that “Mark was not just well known. He was popular…He will be remembered by many for sitting at tournaments and other events after his game was over with his pipe and chatting to all and sundry. He will be sorely missed.”
- photo courtesy BGA
Fourteen pairs of go players gathered at the Seattle Go Center Saturday night, December 7, for a gala dress-up event that included two rounds of Pair Go and three kinds of cake provided by the stylish Bakery Nouveau of Capitol Hill. Among the strong players, the winning team was “EASTWEST” – Momoko Tsutsui and Jon Friedman. TD Bill Chiles reported that the middle group was led by Deborah Niedermeyer and Brian Allen. The aptly named “DRESS TO KILL”, Marilyn and Rainer Romatka, ruled the last group. Participants enjoyed door prizes from Pandanet Internet Go, while the winners received fans with calligraphy from the Go Center. At the end of the holiday evening, organizer Bill Thompson revealed his secret plan to make this an annual event, and there was no objection. Photo by Joe Schneider, report by Brian Allen
“Sitting in front of a clay oven in which the temperature is kept at 1,200 C, workers use a traditional tool to precisely drop melted materials onto an iron board,” reports ChinaDaily.com. “ As a result, crystal-clear Go pieces, which look like black jade along with the color white, immediately appear. This is how the world-famous Yunzi, the special Go pieces, are produced… Yunzi is short for Yunnan Go pieces, and has a history of more than 500 years. The ancient process of making Yunzi was lost towards the end ofthe Ming Dynasty. In 1974, researchers found the formula from ancient Go pieces and the process remained a secret…” Read more here (be sure to click on the photo to see the entire gallery of how the stones are made).
Imagine sitting at your go board, playing through a game from a printed game commentary. You come to a point where you need further explanation, scan the QR code into your Smartphone, and go online for a tutorial. Or jump online to play the game with the aid of your laptop or tablet. Whichever works best for you, Cooper Stevenson wants to help you enjoy the beauty of the game with his new magazine, Formation. “I want to engage the initial spark people have when they first appreciate the game and carry them all the way to expert levels,” Stevenson told the EJ in a recent interview. “Learning go should feel like a journey through a scenic valley, discovering new treasures along the way.” The inaugural issue includes coverage of a merger to create a potentially major new server, the latest scientific evidence that go actually produces physical changes in the brain, and move-by-move commentary by Go Seigen on a classic encounter with Kitani from 1957. Stevenson adapted Jim Z. Yu’s translation, also available as the first of ten games and several other game analyses in the free download, “Go on Go: The Analyzed Games of Go Seigen.”
By porting instructional material online, Stevenson hopes to make it easier for players to learn, especially those new to the game. “When I was learning from printed books, the diagrams were too hard to read,” Stevenson said. “I wanted to give authors a better way to communicate their ideas to their readers.” Formation will be available in print and online. The print version will have a spiral binding so as to lie flat next to the goban. QR links will enable players to step through a variation, get the answer to a problem, and so on. “The key is delivering the best content respective to the medium by which it is delivered,” Stevenson said. “The online site will have current news because digital media are more timely. The print medium will have more in-depth stories and features from the world of go. The reader can take their time absorbing the content, as a copy is always on the coffee table, ready for a good read.” Subscriptions to the print version will be available soon at the website.
Formation is looking for volunteer proofreaders, interesting games, and authors. If you have an idea for future content, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The go competition at the third SportAccord World Mind Games began with the first round of the men’s team round robin, which started at 12:30 p.m. on December 12, and the first round of the women’s individual tournament, which started at 3:00 p.m. First to arrive in the playing room were the referees (nine Chinese amateur and professional players from four Chinese cities) and the game recording crew (thirteen amateur and near-professional players from the Ma Xiaochun Daochang). The first player to arrive was Pavol Lisy (Slovakia), the youngest member of the European men’s team. He was quickly followed by Fan Hui (France) and the red-clad men’s team from Chinese Taipei. By 12:28 all the men’s teams were complete and Wang Runan, the chief referee, delivered the opening instructions: mobile phones off, Chinese rules, 3-3/4 stones (7.5 points) compensation, two hours per player followed by five 60-second overtime periods, and then, ‘Begin!’
The Korean team was matched against Chinese Taipei. In the first round of the men’s team event in the first SportAccord World Mind Games two years ago, Chinese Taipei had given Korea a bad scare by winning on two of the five boards. This year, with only three boards, Korea could not afford two losses. Both sides played deliberately from the outset.
In the match between China and North America, the game between Wang Xi (China) and Yongfei Ge (Canada) was played at contrastingly a rapid pace. Ge challenged Wang to an early ko fight. Wang won the ko and captured five white stones in the center, then used his central power to attack and capture White’s largest group. Ge resigned. The game was over in less than an hour. The other two North American players held out longer, but Huiren Yang resigned to the 17-year-old Ing cup-winner Fang Tingyu in less than two hours, and Daniel Daehyuk Ko, after playing his game out nearly to the end and seeing that he was more than ten points behind, resigned to Bailing cup-winner Zhou Ruiyang. The Ko-Zhou game was broadcast to a live YouTube audience with a running commentary by Michael Redmond.
The European team put up more stubborn resistance in their match with Japan, but Ilya Shikshin lost by 2-1/4 stones (4.5 points) to 19-year-old Hirata Tomoya; Fan Hui managed to rescue a beleagured group in a ko fight but eventually had to resign against New King (Shinjin-O) title-holder Fujita Akihiko; and in a battle of 18-year-olds, Pavol Lisy struggled to a 14-1/4 stone (28.5-point) loss to Tsuruta Kazuya. The winners comments:
Fujita Akihiko: ‘The ko was a two-step ko, so by the time White had spent three moves winning it he had lost the game.’
Hirata Tomoya: ‘The opening was difficult, but I felt that I got the lead in the middle game and then I played safe in the endgame.’
Tsuruta Kazushi: ‘There were many difficult situations in the game, much was unclear, but I never felt that I was in danger of losing.’
While these matches were ending, the tension was winding up in the match between Chinese Taipei and Korea. Around four o’clock it looked as if the younger player might win on all three boards, and two of the younger players were from Chinese Taipei. Two of these predictions held up: Park Jeonghwan (Korea, age 19) defeated Chou Chun-hsun (Chinese Taipei, age 33) by 1/4 stone (half a point) on board one, and Lin Chun-yen (Chinese Taipei, age 15) defeated Cho Hanseung (Korea, age 31) by resignation on board three. On board two, however, Kim Jiseok (Korea, age 23) fought back to overcome Wang Yuan-jyun (Chinese Taipei, age 17) by 3/4 stone (1.5 points). This was the last of the men’s games to end. Kim’s comment:
‘I was behind from the opening. I finally managed to catch up in the endgame, but because of the large number of prisoners it was hard to calculate the score accurately. It wasn’t until I won the ko on the right side that I thought I might be ahead.’
In the women’s individual competition, Yu Zhiying (China), Chang Cheng-ping (Chinese Taipei), and Oh Jeonga (Korea) defeated Dina Burdakova (Russia), Natalia Kovaleva (Russia), and Sarah Jin Yu (Canada) by resignation, and Fujisawa Rina (Japan) defeated Svetlana Shikshina (Russia) by 6-1/4 stones (12.5 points). Fujisawa’s comment: ‘It was a difficult opening, but I got the lead in the middle game.’
Summary of the first day of competition:
Men’s teams: China beat North America 3-0, Korea beat Chinese Taipei 2-1, Japan beat Europe 3-0.
Women’s individual: Yu Zhiying beat Dina Burdakova, Chang Cheng-ping beat Natalia Kovaleva, Oh Jeonga beat Sarah Jin Yu, Fujisawa Rina beat Svetlana Shikshina.
- James Davies
Approximately 150 bridge, chess, draughts, go and xianqi players flew into Beijing Monday for the third SportAccord World Mind games, which run through December 18. Daily highlights are available on YouTube, click here for schedule and results and you can also follow the action on Facebook. Go, with 30 players, has the third largest contingent, behind bridge (48 players) and chess (32 players); 18 men and 12 women from China, Chinese Taipei, Europe, North America, Japan, and Korea. The men will compete as teams, the women as individuals, and the Games will also include pair events (see below for Michael Redmond’s commentary on the Round 1 game between Danny Ko 7d and Ruiyang Zhou 9P). The Games were officially declared open Tuesday evening by Yang Xiacho, president of the Organizing Comittee and deputy mayor of Beijing, at an opening ceremony held in the main second floor hall of the Beijing International Conference Center, which will be the competition venue for the coming week. The announcement was accompanied by a musical fanfare and projected images of fireworks and preceded by official greetings from dignitaries, including Wang Wei, executive president of the Organizing Committee and vice chairman of the Beijing Olympic City Development Association (BODA), and Marius Vizer, president of SportAccord. Representative groups of contestants marched onto the stage to witness the raising of the Chinese flag and the SportAccord flag by a crack drill team in white uniforms, after which the stage was taken by a succession of Chinese dance teams, including a shadowboxing demonstration, kickball dance team, military exercises with broadswords and an exhibition of classical dance skills in a ‘Chess Rhyme’, in which the dancers were dressed as black and white chess queens. There was much in these performances to inspire the spectators, who were already in a good mood following a buffet banquet, and the ceremony ended at a quarter past eight, in plenty of time for everyone to rest up for the week ahead, though the go players met briefly for a technical meeting to set up the competition draw. Click here for James Davies’ detailed opening ceremony and technical meeting report on Ranka. photos by Ivan Vigano
Today’s Game Commentary: Daniel Ko (US) vs. Ruiyang Zhou (China)
Daniel Ko, the 7-dan from Los Angeles, California acquits himself quite well in this game against a world champion. Zhou won the first Bai Lin Ai Tou Cup, was a finalist in the 18th LG Cup and a member of the championship Chinese team in the 13th Nong Shim Cup. This game features a modern-style professional opening and competing moyos that both players invade. This could have been a close game but in the key fight in the middle-game, white pulls ahead in territory while attacking black. Click above or here to download the sgf file and open in your favorite go software.
After a very calm start for both players, Lee Sedol 9P starts to attack in the middle game of the Samsung Game 2 final (Korean Fans Shocked By Loss in Samsung Cup Final As Tang Weixing 3P Sweeps Lee Sedol 9P) on
December 11, sparking a very exciting fight, where I’ve concentrated most of my comments. Tang Weixing 3P ably parries Lee’s attack and after the dust settles it’s a very close game.
- Michael Redmond 9P
“On Yang’s puzzle (12/10 Member’s Edition), did you mean white to play instead of black to play?” wonders Eric Osman.
You are correct; sharp find! Sorry about that. We’ve updated the problem, so if you reload the tsumego problem link, you should see the correction.
The start of the third SportAccord World Mind Games was officially declared by Mr Yang Xiacho, president of the Organizing Comittee and deputy mayor of Beijing, at an opening ceremony held in the main second floor hall of the Beijing International Conference Center, which will be the competition venue for the coming week. The announcement was accompanied by a musical fanfare and projected images of fireworks. It was preceded by greetings from Mr Wang Wei, executive president of the Organizing Committee and vice chairman of the Beijing Olympic City Development Association (BODA), and Mr Marius Vizer, president of SportAccord. Mr Wang noted that mind games were helping to improve the quality of life in Beijing and wished the contestants a pleasant stay in the city. Mr Vizer thanked the Chinese government, BODA, and the city of Beijing for their support and wished the contestants good luck.
Before these greetings, representative groups of contestants, six to eight in each of the five disciplines, had marched onto the stage to witness the raising of the Chinese flag and the SportAccord flag by a crack drill team in white uniforms. Following the greetings, the contestants marched off and the stage was taken by a succession of dance teams. First a team of Chinese college students gave a prizewinning shadowboxing demonstration. Next a kickball dance team demonstrated their skills, which have won prizes in dance competitions in Beijing and Singapore and have been witnessed as far away as Europe and Africa. National champions in military exercises with broadswords and other weapons then demonstrated their skills in a kungfu dance, and finally another student group displayed classical dance skills in a ‘Chess Rhyme’, in which the dancers were dressed as black and white chess queens. There was much in these performances to inspire the spectators, who were already in a good mood following a buffet banquet, and the ceremony ended at a quarter past eight, in plenty of time for everyone to rest up for the week ahead.
For a group of go players and officials, the opening ceremony was followed by a technical meeting. The meeting was presided over by chief referee Wang Runan, with assistance from technical delegate Shigeno Yuki and interpretation by Zhang Wei. The meeting began with greetings from Mr Wang and Ms Shigeno, proceeded through a summary of the rules, and then moved on to the main order of business: the drawing of the team, pair, and player numbers, which were incorporated into a prearranged schedule in each event.
For the round robin men’s team event, the result of the draw was that on the first day of play (December 12) the Chinese team faces the North American team while Europe challenges Japan and Chinese Taipei challenges Korea. The pairings for the next four days were also determined. In three noteworthy matches, North America will square off against Europe on the 13th, Chinese Taipei will tackle Japan on the 15th, and China and Korea will confront each other in the last round on the 16th.
For the women’s double knockout individual event, the draw began with the drawing of numbers 1, 6, 7, and 12, which were scheduled for byes in the first round. Park Jieun (Korea), Yoshida Mika (Japan) Joanne Missingham (Chinese Taipei), and Wang Chengxing (China) had been preselected to receive these byes, Ms Park and Ms Wang being slotted into numbers 1 and 12, Ms Missingham and Ms Yoshida into numbers 6 and 7. Number 1 was drawn to Ms Park and number 12 to Ms Wang; then number 6 was drawn to Ms Yoshida and number 7 to Ms Missingham. This automatically determined the numbers assigned to their fellow countrywomen Oh Jeonga (9), Chang Cheng-Ping (3), Fujisawa Rina (10), and Yu Zhizhing (4). The four women from Canada and Russia then drew for the remaining numbers: Sarah Jin Yu drew a first-round pairing against Oh Jeonga (Korea); Svetlana Shikshina drew Fujisawa Rina (Japan); Dina Burdakova drew Yu Zhizhing (China); Natalia Kovaleva drew Chang Cheng-Ping (Chinese Taipei).
The pair draw was similar to the women’s draw but without byes. The four pairs from the Far East drew for numbers 1, 4, 5, and 8; then the pairs from Europe and North America drew for the remaining numbers, so that the pairs from Europe and North America all drew opponents from the Far East in the first round. Although the pair competition is a single knockout, it will include play-offs for third to sixth places, so even the pairs who lose in the first round will get to play at least one more game.
Although the draw was in no way a competition, the European contingent put on a winning performance. Their non-playing team captain Martin Stiassny and all six of their players attended the meeting, far outshining the other contingents in this respect. This year apparently Europe means business.
- James Davies
Approximately 150 bridge, chess, draughts, go and xianqi players flew into Beijing from December 9-11 for the third SportAccord World Mind games. They were greeted by clear skies and sunshine, and by a team of volunteers who drove them from the airport to the Beijing Continental Grand Hotel, where they will stay.
The bridge contingent is the largest: 24 men from China, Monaco, Poland, and the USA and 24 women representing China, England, Israel, and the USA. They will compete as teams for three days, then as pairs for two days, and finally as individuals for two days.
Chess players make up the next largest group: 16 men and 16 women will compete as individuals in a two-day rapid tournament, followed by a three-day blitz and a two-day Basque system. The field is truly international, coming from Armenia, Bulgaria, China, Cuba, France, Germany, Georgia, Hungary, India, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Russia, Slovenia, Sweden, the Ukraine, the USA, and Vietnam.
Go has the third largest contingent: 18 men and 12 women from China, Chinese Taipei, Europe, North America, Japan, and Korea. The men will compete as teams, the women as individuals, and the Games will also include pair events.
The draughts players consist of 16 men and 12 women, who will vie in two days of rapid competition, followed by a two-day blitz, and then a super-blitz. Like the chess contingent they are highly international, and they represent both hemispheres, coming from Belarus, Brazil, Cameroon, China, Germany, the Ivory Coast, Latvia, Mongolia, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, and the Ukraine.
The xianqi competition has the simplest schedule. The eight men, representing China, Germany, Hong Kong, Macau, the Philippines, and Vietnam, will will play a rapid round robin (one hour per player with 30-second overtime) at the leisurely pace of one round per day. The four women, representing Australia, China, Vietnam, and the USA, will play a two-round knockout.
The first event of the Games was a press conference held on the afternoon of December 11 at the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Press and Publication. Speeches were made by a variety of guests including the President of SportAccord (Marius Vizer) and executives of the Beijing Olympic City. Also present were the two ambassadors for Go, Natalia Kovaleva and Yu Zhiying.