by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the American Go E-Journal
Takao to Challenge Iyama for Honinbo Title: Four years after being deposed as Honinbo, Takao Shinji 9P has earned a chance to regain the title, but to succeed he will have to overcome his nemesis, Iyama Yuta. The 68th Honinbo League ended on April 8 with the grand finale that has become customary for leagues in recent years, with all the games in the final round being held on the same day. By this stage only two results at the top were possible, a win for Takao (right) or a play-off between him and Cho U. Takao avoided complications by defeating his final-round opponent, Imamura Toshiya 9P. As it turned out, Cho U lost his game with Yamashita Keigo Meijin, so Takao could have afforded to drop his game.
Full results in this round and final placings follow. Takao Shinji 9P (W) defeated Imamura Toshiya 9P by resignation; Yamashita Keigo Meijin (W) d. Cho U 9P by resignation; Ko Iso 8P (B) d. Cho Sonjin 9P by resignation; Yuki Satoshi 9P (W) d. Seto Taiki 7P by resignation. 1. Takao Shinji: 7-0; 2. Yamashita Keigo: 5-2; 3. Cho U: 5-2; 4. Yuki Satoshi: 3-4. Ko Iso: 3-4; Imamura Toshiya, Seto Taiki: 2-5; Cho Sonjin: 1-6. The last four players lost their places in the league.
The title match will get off to a start on May 16 and, if it goes the full distance, continue until July 18. Iyama Yuta will be the favorite, as he has a 17-5 lead over Takao, but Takao won their most recent encounter, in the Meijin League in January. They have played one previous title match, when Takao challenged Iyama for the 35th Meijin title in 2010; Iyama won this match 4-0.
Iyama and Hane Keep Chances Alive in Meijin League: Cho U 9P, on 4-0, is the only undefeated player in the 38th Meijin League, but his main rivals, Hane Naoki 9P (left) and Iyama Yuta Kisei (right), who each have only one loss, both won their fifth-round games, played on April 11, so they are keeping up the pressure on Cho. Iyama (W) beat Murakawa Daisuke 7P by resignation and Hane (B) beat Yuki Satoshi 9P, also by resignation. The latter game put an end to Yuki’s recent winning streak, but actually it’s more serious than that: Yuki seems unable to win in the Meijin League. In the previous league, he lost all eight games and the last two in the league before that; he has now lost four in a row in the current league, so he has lost 14 games in a row. This is surely one of the worst losing streaks ever in a league (one reason being that probably not many players who have scored 0-8 have won a place in the next league).
Xie and Kobayashi Win Pair Go: The team of Xie Yimin, holder of the Women’s Triple Crown, and Kobayashi Satoru 9P defeated Osawa Narumi 4-dan and Mizokami Tomochika 8-dan in the final of the Professional Pair Go Championship 2013. The game was played on March 10 and telecast on March 31. This is the fourth year in a row Xie has been on the winning team and fittingly she made a big contribution to her team’s victory this year with a very aggressive clamping move in the middle game that gave her team control of the game. Details of the tournament are given on the homepage of the Japan Pair Go Association.
Korea wins 3rd Huang Longshi Cup: This is a knock-out team tournament for five-player female teams from China, Korea, and Japan, run along the lines of the Nong Shim Cup and sponsored by the City of Jiangyan in Jiangsu Province in China. It is named after Huang Longshi, active in the second half of the 17th century, who was one of the greatest Chinese players of the historical period. After Korea’s first player, Kim Cae-yeong 1-dan, started with four successive wins, the tournament was dominated by the fifteen-year-old Yu Zhiying 2-dan (right), who won six games in a row. She was finally beaten by the sixteen-year-old Ch’oe Cheong 2-dan of Korea, who won three games in a row, securing victory for Korea (the final game was played on April 11). The services of Korea’s top board, Pak Chi-eun 9-dan, were not required. The Japanese team, headed by Xie Yimin 6-dan, was unable to win a game. Actually only three of the fifteen players put a win on the board. Last year, a 20-year-old from China, Wang Chenxing 2-dan, was the star, winning eight games in a row. Every year the players are getting younger.
- photo: Yu Zhiying at the Huang Longshi Cup in 2012; photo courtesy Go Game Guru
Wenguang Wang and Yanping Zhao presented a “Learn to Play Go” program at Sedgwick Elementary School, in Cupertino, CA, on April 2nd. ”It was Sedgwick’s Annual Discovery Day,” reports Wang, “and we introduced go to four classes of third-graders (about 80 kids total). The kids were very excited when they learned some fun facts of go, learned the basic rules, and played a few 9×9 games. We also had a good time with the kids.” – Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo by Wenguang Wang.
“It’s a cold night in January 2012 and Peter Armenia is sitting on a Flushing-bound seven train, anticipating culture shock,” writes Lani Conway in “Go Big Or Go Home” in the April 2 edition of Narrative.ly. “For two decades, Armenia has played the ancient Chinese game of go, always wondering how his skills would hold up at a traditional Asian club. Tonight, he’s finally getting his chance.” The piece is an excellent portrait of the current American go scene, with a focus on New York City but touching on last year’s first American pro tournament, an introduction to the history of the game and how to play, as well as a nice report on Armenia’s humbling visit to a Flushing Korean go club that weaves in stratagems from “Thirty-Six Strategies: The Secret Art of War.” graphic: detail from Mo Oh’s story illustration
Featuring a prize purse on nearly $3,000, the third annual Young Kwon National Online Tournament (YKNOT) will take place in June. Registration is free, and all levels are welcome to participate. Prizes will be awarded in all divisions. Dedicated to promoting go in the US, Young Kwon 7D of Pearl River, NY (see “The Man Behind the YKNOT Tournament” 12/20/2010 EJ) first sponsored this tournament in 2011. The 2013 YKNOT will take place over two weekends in June, following the same format as last year: rounds 1 and 2 on Saturday June 1, round 3 on Sunday June 2, and rounds 4 and 5 on Saturday June 8. All AGA members who have lived in the US six of the past 12 month –and AGA life members living anywhere – are eligible to participate. Registration closes Friday, May 24 at midnight. Click here for tournament details and rules.
The first annual Don Wiener Memorial Tournament was held in Somerville Massachusetts on April 14, attracting 40 players. Gus Heck 1k (middle) won all four of his games to take first place and said he will enter his next tournament as 1 dan. Tied for second were Michael Sun (left) and Kan Yao (right), both 3-1. Runners-up, all also 3-1: Jie Liang, Jonah White, Jed Strohm, Graham Higgins, Tiantian Yuan, Karen Ogg, John Aspinall, James Peters, Wensdy Whitehead, Dmitriy Yamkovoy and Anna Wiggins.
Old technologies met new at the tournament. “The Boylston Chess Club, in whose space we hold the tournament, has an unlocked cabinet with old wind-up chess clocks,” report TD Eva Casey. The dozen or so clocks the Massachusetts Go Association owns are also wind-up. Young Manu Herskovit 17k asked Casey if the clock would tell him when his time was up. “You have to notice when the flag falls,” she told him. “What flag?” Herskovit asked. Casey demonstrated by manually moving the clock’s big hand forward until it started lifting the red flag. “It’s entirely mechanical!” Herskovit said in surprise. With the large number of pre-registrants, Casey was not sure she was going to have enough of the wind-up chess clocks, but Adam Luter got out his smart phone and found a chess clock app. “I would have had to ask Manu how to work that app,” Caseys admits.
- photo (l-r): Michael Sun, Gus Heck, Kan Yao; photo by Eva Casey
Joshua Lee 5d won the Orlando Go Tournament, held April 13-14 in Orlando, FL. Thirty-three players participated in the 5-round event, with strengths ranging from 20 kyu to 7 dan and held in four divisions.
Winner’s Report: Upper Dan (4D and up): 1st: Joshua Lee (5D); 2nd: Long Nguyen (4D); 3rd: Tengxiao Yang (7D). Lower Dan (1K through 3D): 1st: Fuqian Shi (3D); 2nd: Zach Dunham (1D); 3rd: Joel Sanet (2D). Upper Kyu: (7K through 2K); 1st: Efrain Davila (3K); 2nd: Don Colladay (4K); 3rd: Tony Vick (5K). Lower Kyu (8K and down): 1st: Ellis Knickerbocker (10K); 2nd: Michael Shamp (18K); 3rd: Aaron Otero (11K).
- photo: Joshua Lee (left) and Liangyue Qian (right); report/photo by Paul Wiegand
April 20: Palo Alto, CA
Bay Area Go Players Association Monthly AGA Ratings Tournament
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April 20: Tempe, AZ
Arizona April AGA Rating Tournament
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The American Go Honor Society hosted its 14th annual School Team Tournament on March 16th and 23rd, reports tournament organizer Andrew Huang. Close to a hundred youth players from across the United States, Canada, and Mexico participated in three divisions over two weekends. A total of 30 teams from 17 schools took part in the event. “In the first division, the top ranked team was from Richard Montgomery High School, in Maryland,” reports Huang. “Led by Justin Teng 5d, with Anatol Liu 3k, and Andrew Liu 4k, the team seemed to be early favorites, winning their first two rounds. However, they were defeated in round 3 by local rivals, from Albert Einstein High School, led by Julian Erville 2k, with Ben Withbroe 2k, and Elmer Martinez-Rivas 9k; Richard Montgomery High eventually settled for third place. Albert Einstein High clinched the Division 1 championship in the final round, fending off a fierce challenge from California’s Joaquin Miller Middle School, led by Daniel Liu 3d, with Wilson Zhang 1k, and Oscar Yeh 6k, who placed second. The bottom two divisions were as exciting as the first, with several upsets and dramatic games. Teams from Saint Ann’s School and Albert Einstein High School all placed in prize-winning positions in their respective divisions. However, Divisions 2 and 3 were dominated by teams from Cary Chinese School, from North Carolina, with two of their three teams placing first in both divisions, and another third in Division 3. Cary’s teams had a combined record of 10-2 over four rounds, and earned their school three well-deserved prizes. This year’s School Team Tournament was exciting yet again and showed us some of the best qualities of go. We encourage the kids to maintain their enthusiasm and look forward to seeing everyone again at next year’s tournament,” said Huang. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.
Defeating U.S. professional Gangshen Shi 1P on two stones, Lee Sedol 9P (right) has driven the AGA-Europe pro team to three stones in the AGA-Europe Pro vs. Sedol 10-game series on go9dan.com. The AGA/Europe team desperately needed to clinch their first victory in the series, which has just two games to go. “It was a well-fought game for Gansheng until the game approached the end,” go9dan reports. “Gansheng captured a group in the upper right corner and was ahead in the game. But then after he entered byo-yomi, the board started to get complicated.” Click here for comments on where Shi went wrong and to see the game record. European pro Catalin Taranu will play Lee in Game #9, taking three stones; stay tuned for details on the date/time.
- photo: Lee at the 2012 Olleh KT Cup; photo courtesy GoGameGuru
Over 150 players met in St. Petersburg for the 2013 Cup of Consul General of Japan on April 13-14 but the final showdown between Alexander Dinerchtein 3p (breakfast on KGS) and Ilya Shikshin 7d (roln111 on KGS) attracted the most attention. Though Shikshin’s father was one of Dinerchtein’s earliest instructors, many go enthusiasts know that Dinerchtein and Shikshin junior’s styles could not be more different. A skilled fighter, Shikshin often tries to find ways to create conflict while Dinerchtein would rather be calm and flexible.
While both techniques have their merits, Dinerchtein took control this round as he simultaneously kept an early lead and reduced Shikshin’s large framework. Short on territory, Shikshin resigned after 184 moves and Dinerchtein claimed the title. Alexander Vashurov 5d finished in third. For more information about the tournament including rules and results, visit the official Russian Federation Go website. For more on Dinerchtein, stay tuned for the upcoming EJ interview.
Yang Shaung 2P, known to many American go players from her occasional visits to the US and her teaching at the US Go Congress, invites go players from around the world to visit her go school if they are in Shenyang. Yang and fellow instructor Zhou Tian 3P teach young students of all strengths at the Nie Weiping Go Dojo Liaoning Training Center. Though not as well-known as Beijing or Shanghai, Shenyang is a destination in its own right, Yang says. The largest city in the Northeast, Shenyang was home to China’s last feudal dynasty, the Qing (1644-1911). Word is to visit between April and October as it gets a bit nippy in winter. “I hope if some go friends travel here, they’ll find my place and come to play,” Yang tells the E-Journal. The Center is located at No 55 North Heping Street, Heping District, Shenyang, Liaoning Province, China. Telephone: 86-24-22854921 or 86-13082479875. E-mail: email@example.com
- Andy Okun
French player Cesar Lextrait 2d (left), Romanian player George Ghetu 3d, and German player Daniil Janov 3d have all won Class A tournaments in their respective home countries. The French Championship Stage 2, Mediterranean League concluded March 24 with Olivier Clergue 3d in second place and Manuel Frangi 1d in third. In the 4th annual Radu Baciu Championship on March 31 in Cluj, Romania, Laura Avram 2d took second followed by George Ginguta 1d. The Weiqi im Weinkeller took place April 6-7 in Karisruhe, Germany, with Guido Zakrzewski 2d coming in second and Cuong Nguyen 1d in third. For complete result tables and all the latest European go news, visit EuroGoTV.com.
- Annalia Linnan, based on reports on EuroGoTV.com
Fr. Mark Lichtenstein found this on xkcd, “A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language.”