Organizer’s of this year’s US Go Congress – July 30- August 7 in Boston, MA — have just announced the following line-up of professionals and their lecture topics. Myungwan Kim 9p: “Mathematical Endgame” (all levels), “Liberty racing” (kyu level), “Puppydog and Bulldozer” (all level) and many more. Yilun Yang 7p on “How to play a reasonable opening” and “Against a strange move.” Andy Liu 1p on “The secret to get stronger.” Stephanie Yin 1p will present a series: “How to improve from one level to another” (15 kyu to 5 kyu) and “How to improve from one level to another” (5 kyu to 1 dan). More pro news and lecture topics are coming in the future, Congress organizers promise. Meanwhile, nearly 300 have already registered for this year’s Congress; click here for complete details.
by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal. As in 2015, I was invited to cover the Globis Cup for the E-Journal; I hope readers will forgive the delay in submitting my report.
China’s Li wins 3rd Globis Cup: The third Globis Cup, an international tournament for young players sponsored by the Globis Corporation, was held from April 22 to 24. Li Qincheng 1P (left) of China won. The full name of the tournament is the Globis Cup World Go U-20, and it is open to players under 20 as of January 1 of this year. Participating were six players from Japan, three from China, three from Korea, and one each from Chinese Taipei, Europe, North America, and the Asia/Oceania zone. The venue was the Graduate School of Management, Globis University, a business school run by the corporation; it is located in the Kojimachi area, a short walk from the Nihon Ki-in. The tournament is the brainchild of Hori Yoshito (right), who is the president of Globis University and also a director of the Nihon Ki-in.
At present, this is the only international tournament held every year in Japan and the only one for players under 20. The aim of the tournament is to raise the level of teenaged players in Japan who may not have many opportunities to take part in international tournaments. Of course, all the participants benefit, but the founder Mr. Hori is particularly concerned to raise the level of Japanese go and has set the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Nihon Ki-in (2024) as the target date for achieving this ambition.
The new tournament started well for Japan, with two Japanese representatives making the final (the first time this had happened for 16 years) in the 1st Cup (Ichiriki Ryo beat Kyo Kagen). In the 2nd edition, on which I reported last year for
the EJ, Huang Yunsong 4P of China beat Na Hyeon 6P of Korea in the final.
Below is a full list of this year’s competitors with their ages.
Japan: Ichiriki Ryo 7P (18), Son Makoto 4P (20, as of February 21), Kyo Kagen 3P (18), Matsuura Yuta 2P (16), Shibano Toramaru 2P (16), Onishi Ryuhei 1P (16)
China: Fan Yunruo 4P (20, as of Jan. 7), Yang Dingxin 3P (17), Li Qincheng 1P (17)
Korea: Lee Donghun 5P (18), Shin Jinseo 5P (16), Byeon Sangil 4P (19)
Chinese Taipei: Lin Shih-Hsun 5p (18)
Europe: Grigorii Fionin 7D (17)
North America: Justin Ching 7D (14)
Thailand: Krit Jamkachornkiat 7D (20, as of March 1)
Like some other international tournaments, the Samsung Cup, for example, the Globis Cup is made up of two stages. In the first, the players are split up in to four groups, in which the players play each other in a double knock-out. You qualify for the main tournament when you win two games (one player will do so with a score of 2-0, the other with 2-1). The second stage is then a regular knock-out tournament. Unfortunately, none of the amateur players scored a win. Below are the results in the second stage. Tournament conditions are the same as for the NHK Cup, that is, 30 seconds per move plus ten minutes’ thinking time to be used in one-minute units.
Quarterfinals: Li (China) (W) beat Shibano (Japan) by resig., Byeon (Korea) (W) beat Lin (Ch. Taipei) by resig., Yang (China) (B) beat Shin (Korea) by 7.5 points, Kyo (Japan) (W) beat Lee by resig.
Semifinals: Li (B) beat Byeon by resig., Kyo (B) beat Yang by resig.
Final: Li (B, center) beat Kyo (right) by resig.
Play-off for 3rd place: Byeon (B, left) beat Yang by resig.
In the final, Kyo started fairly well playing white, but he missed the decisive points in large-scale middle-game fighting, so Li took a safe lead. As far as I know, this is Li’s first tournament victory. Kyo had to be satisfied with second place for the second time; he will get one more chance to play in this tournament. Incidentally, both Li and Kyo scored 2-1 in the first stage.
Four schools in Portland competed in a Chess and Go Tournament on April 30th, reports organizer Peter Freedman: “All together, 8 children played in the Go tournament and 11 in the chess tournament. Taking 1st place again in Go was Olin Wexler, Beverly Cleary, sweeping the tournaments this year. Luke Helprin, Irvington, won the play-off for 2nd/3rd place, beating newcomer Patrick Le from Roseway Heights. Patrick took third place in his first ever Go tournament. Conall Wilkinson, Richmond, won all four of his games to take first place, and Sam Plager, Irvington was 3-1 to take second. Aiden Harris, Richmond, won third place with a 2-2 record on tie-breaking points. This completes the tournament season for this year. In all, the children played in five Chess and Go Tournaments, with about 125 competitors total in the five tournaments.” Story and photo by Peter Freedman.
by Phil Straus
In early 1997, I played in a Baltimore tournament as a 45-year-old three-dan. I split the first two games. In my third game I was paired in an even game with a two-dan. Statistically I had about a 2/3 chance of winning. I lost, but what was shocking was that I resigned in less than 30 minutes. I had recently published, with Yilun Yang, Whole-Board Thinking in Joseki. The opening (fuseki) was by far the strongest part of my game. I was ahead at the end of the opening in at least 95% of my tournament games. I was shocked to be so far behind so early in a game. Normally, I have to get to my middle-game weaknesses before I fall behind.
I had spent the previous decade studying intently, hoping to reach the upper levels of amateur play. I looked across the board, and realized my opponent had better potential than I. He was seven years old. I withdrew from the fourth round, went home in time to get a babysitter and go to the movies with my wife. By Monday, I had stopped all my regular lessons and training, and became a full-time photographer.
This past Saturday, I played in the Philadelphia tournament as a 64-year-old two-dan. In my first game, I took six stones from Eric Lui, 1P. I was right. That seven-year-old in 1997 had had more potential. I was delighted that I didn’t lose this game until the fighting in the middle game. The six-stone handicap helped delay my second resignation against this fine player. It was a pleasure to lose again to this young man, who still has such great potential.
Straus is a former president of the American Go Association. He’s at right in the photo above, playing Eric Lui. photo by Henry Hathaway.
The April 30 Philadelphia Spring Open, run by the Penn Go Society, attracted 17 players. There was a wide range of ranks on display from 21kyu to 1p. “The four rounds featured some super competitive games,” reports organizer Henry Hathaway. After four hard-fought rounds, Neil Zod (2-2), won the double digit kyu division. Kai Li won the single digit kyu division and was the only player to go 4-0. In the final round Michael Chen 8d faced Eric Lui 1p, with the title of champion on the line. After a hard, complicated game, Chen emerged victorious with a record of 3-1 and walked away with the $150 cash prize. “Thanks to everyone who took part and for making this a great event,” says Hathaway.
Division 1 (1d and up): 1st: Jonathan Fisher (4d), 2nd: Joshua Fromme (3d), 3rd: Han Lee (1d)
Division 2 (5k-1k): 1st: Rapheal Shreiber (1k), 2nd: Oscar Silva (5k), 3rd: Tony Vick (5k)
Division 3 (8k-6k): 1st: Eric Crawford (8k), 2nd: Aaron Otero (8k), 3rd: Johnny Heckathorne (6k)
Division 4 (9k and down): 1st: Rab Bevery (12k), 2nd: Stefan Kurtenback (9k), 3rd: George Lebovitz (10k)
photo by Paul Wiegand
This year four American Go Association (AGA) regional Board of Director seats are in play. The Eastern, Western, Central as well as the membership elected At-Large seats will be selected. The current terms of office expire this September. If you know of someone who you believe would offer guidance and service to the AGA consider making a nomination. Nominations, including self-nominations may be made by full members for the region in which the member resides or nationwide for the At-Large seat and must be received by June 15, 2016. If no nominations are received Donald Trump wins by default. Chapter representatives should check that the email address in the AGA database is current. Ballots and announcements will go to the primary email address. Nominations and questions must be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Click here for complete election information and qualifications.
The AGA is seeking up to 12 US representatives for the first ENN Cup World Weiqi Open Tournament. The ENN Cup is a new world tournament and the preliminary selection will be held May 24-28 at the China Qiyuan office in Beijing, China. Winners in the preliminary section will go on to compete in the main competition. The tournament will be a knock-out style format. There will be 2,000RMB (about $300 USD) prize money for each game (pre-tax amount). Players must bear all costs themselves (air fare, lodging, food, etc.) Note: Competitions for the top 32, 16, 8 places will take place on November 6th, 8th, and 10th in China. Eligibility: North American citizen, AGA/CGA/Mexico Go Association member, as well as each country’s own eligibility requirements. Interested players should contact email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org immediately.
Now you can start challenging other players.
If I missed anyone please get back to me and I’ll adjust the entries.
Let the games begin!
The early bird discount for this year’s US Go Congress has been extended to midnight Monday night. Click here now to save $25 on registering for the Congress, which runs July 30-August 7 in Boston, MA.
In other Go Congress news, “Super Brain” Bao Yun 7d, the blindfold go master has just confirmed he’ll be attending this year’s Go Congress, where he will challenge an American professional in an even game blindfolded at 1p on Monday August 1.
Also, there will ba a Q&A session right after the AlphaGo team’s keynote address, please submit your questions here.
Fourteen year-old Tony Tang 7d of Syracuse swept all four of his games in the Salt City Tournament’s A division in Syracuse, NY on April 24, and claimed the $100 1st place prize, with Yan Zou 1d and Yuan-Chao Wang 5d (both from Rochester) taking the prize money for 2nd and 3rd place, respectively. Syracuse’s 9th Salt City Tournament on April 16 had 38 players participate, tying its record from a year ago. Players ranged from 9 to 98 years old and from 30 kyu to 7 dan.
Don Cram 4k of Oswego took the 1st place award in the B division as the only four game winner. Buffalo’s Matt Mullins 4k and Sarah Crites 11k from Harrisburg finished in 2nd and 3rd place, respectively (Melissa Harkins of Buffalo and Sarah’s dad Bob also finished with 3-1 records). The top four finishers in the C division all compiled 3-1 records. Tony Sege of Utica took 1st place, followed by Stefan Wang, Theo Eckert-Budis, and Richard Li, all of Syracuse.
All players present at the end of the day were able to select nice prizes for themselves, mostly new books that Slate and Shell provided to the tournament at discount. Allen Noe served as tournament director, and organizer Richard Moseson’s wife Chris once again baked and decorated the tournament’s always-popular problem cake (left; black to play).
The AGA East Coast Go Camp will feature Myungwan Kim as this year’s teacher. Kim is a 9-dan professional, and the only player dispatched to the United States by the Korean Baduk Association since 2008. Kim has more than 10 years of teaching experience, and his students include several US youth champions, such as Aaron Ye, Andrew Lu, and Brandon Zhou. He is also three-time US Go Congress Open division winner and currently holds the second highest player ranking in the AGA.
If you’re a go player between the ages of 8 and 18 and would like an opportunity to study go for a week with a professional teacher, then the AGA Go Camp is for you. Camp directors Nano Rivera and Frank Luo welcome all campers to join them for a week of go-playing and fun.
Anyone who participated in the North American Kyu Championships or the Redmond Cup is eligible to receive $400 off the price of the Go Camp, courtesy of the American Go Foundation. Youth who did not participate in either tournament, but still need financial assistance, are eligible for need-based scholarships here. Visit the camp website for general information, pictures from past camps, and news regarding this year’s upcoming Go Camp. Any questions about camp should be addressed to email@example.com.
The surge in interest in go following the recent match between AlphaGo and Lee Sedol 9p has apparently led to a worldwide shortage of go equipment. Go Game Guru reports that their stocks of go equipment have been significantly depleted “and some products have been removed from our catalog after completely selling out.” In addition, “The factories that make the equipment we sell are facing an even heavier surge in demand,” Go Game Guru reports, “because AlphaGo has caused an even larger ‘go boom’ in Asia. Given that they are struggling to keep up with domestic demand, it’s extremely difficult for them to satisfy the export market.” GGG’s report ends with the warning that “This is not an April Fools’ joke, we deliberately withheld this post for over 48 hours to avoid confusion.”
- Noah Doss, based on a report in Go Game Guru
The University of Toronto and UCLA go teams will face off in the Collegiate Go League Championship finals on Saturday April 30 at 1pm ET / 10am PT. Michael Gallucci (InSente) and William Shi 1p will provide live commentary on KGS and Twitch. Eight top schools — RPI, UCLA, Cornell, UMichigan, UAlberta, UMaryland, UCSD, and UToronto — have been whittled down to the final two in this fifth season championship. U Michigan and Cornell will play for third and fourth.
American professionals Andy Liu 1p and Eric Lui 1p fought bravely earlier this week in an unsuccessful attempt to make it through the first round of the 8th Ing Pro Cup in Shanghai. The two notched strong games but succumbed in the end to the legends they were paired against in the top drawer international tournament. Both played well, according to Kim Myungwan 9p. Eric Lui built up a strong position but his opponent, Hane Naoki 9p, “was such an experienced player that he controlled the game, avoiding Eric’s provocation.” Andy Liu, facing Lee Sedol 9p, actually started ahead. “Andy was winning in the beginning, up until around fifty moves,” Kim said. “I think that Lee Sedol was a little bit nervous because Andy started well. It’s not so surprising because Andy has played very well recently at pro tournaments. Andy later pursued territory too much which eventually backfired.” Hane Naoki fell in the second round, but Lee Sedol made it through and plays Kang Dongyoon on Sunday in the Ing’s third round. Other third round match ups are Park Junghwan 9p v. Ke Jie 9p, Shi Yue 9p v. Chen Youye 9p, and Tang Weixing 9p v. Kim Jiseok 9p. The winners will continue on to June finals in Tibet. Meanwhile, over the weekend, Liu (left in photo at right) came to the end of his run in the Kansai Kiin’s Sankei Cup. After four wins, perhaps the best pro tournament run a Western player has had in Asia, he came up short against Daisuke Murakawa 8p, a very strong opponent. All three games available below.
- report by Andy Okun and Ted Terpstra
2016.04.21_eric lui v hane naoki
2016.04.21_Andy Liu v murakawa
2016.04.21_andy liu v lee sedol
The AGA’s YouTube & Twitch channels will feature commentary from Myungwan Kim 9p on the games of the 8th Ing Cup this Saturday April 23rd, with commentary starting at 8pm Pacific time.“If Round 2 goes as expected, we’ll cover Ke Jie vs Park Jungwhan, who are set to face each other if they both win on Thursday” says co-host Andrew Jackson. “That’s the most likely game. Otherwise, Myungwan will pick which game we cover. Either way, coverage starts at 8pm!” The Ing Cup, a quadrennial international tournament with one of the largest prizes ever, resumed play this past week, with US favorites Andy Liu 1p and Eric Lui 1p drawing hard matches in the early rounds against Lee Sedol 9p and Hane Naoki 9p respectively. Both Liu and Lui lost. Tune in on the AGA’s Twitter or Facebook feeds to find out the final pairing and any other late breaking announcements!