A 10-day “Festival for the Mind”, the 17th Mind Sports Olympiad (MSO) opened in London on Friday 16 August, hosting a myriad of mind sport competitions, including the Creative Thinking World Championship, Hare and Tortoise, Chess – and variations on it, some novel such as Diving Chess – and last, but not least, go.
There will be a free introduction to go on the morning of Saturday, August 24, followed by the 13×13 competition that afternoon. The next day will see the all-day 19×19 go tournament, a 4-round McMahon, 40 minutes each main time + 30 moves in 5 minutes overtime.
Entry is £10 per event (single session) or £15 (double session) and it is being held at the University of London Union, Malet St, London, United Kingdom, WC1E 7HY. Click here for a full schedule of events.
Tony Collman, British Correspondent for the E-Journal. Photo: Mind Map, courtesy of MSO website.
The Play More Go project has released two more videos, What is it about? and Master the Game. Professionally produced by Sven and Lars Walther, the brief videos are designed to provoke interest in the game by a broader audience. All three of the videos are good introductions to go and would be suitable for posting on a go club’s website or Facebook page. “It’s not a game,” the narrator says in “More than a Game,” Play More Go’s first video. “It’s a feeling. An experience. It’s an art. A science…a sport…a craft. “ In “What is it about” (left) the narrator says “It’s not about power. It’s not about experience. Nor wealth, nor education…what is it about? Find out. Play it. Go.” And in the latest, “Master the Game” (right), he says “Know yourself. Master the game. Just go.” While the commercial-like videos have generated some criticism from viewers who feel there’s “not enough go” the general consensus seems to be that they’re effective at making go more accessible to the general public. “I just showed these to my wife, and she thought they were lovely,” said one commenter on GoGameGuru. “’But go IS about friendship!’ she said.”
The project to extend the searchable E-Journal archives to the entire 14-year history of the EJ is now underway. Thanks to the work being done by volunteers Roy Hatcher and Corey McQuarters, our current searchable online archives now go back to January 2010. E-Journals prior to that are available online but are not yet searchable. Anyone interested in joining the team – experience with WordPress is helpful but not necessary – can email email@example.com. Volunteers will be eligible to receive recognition and a stylish EJ cap.
In a surprise announcement, not one but two Lasker Awards were made at this year’s U.S. Go Congress. The recipients were two longtime go organizers, Richard Dolen (middle in photo at right) and Frank Fukuda (right in photo below). As Dolen himself modestly noted, his greatest claim to fame in 60 years in the go community is having taken Michael Redmond to Japan as a young boy, where he was accepted as a pupil by Oeda Yusuke 8P and eventually became the first US-born 9-dan professional go player. Fukuda’s long go history in Seattle includes being part of the Last Exit Go Club’s team that organized the second U.S. Go Congress in Seattle in 1985. Dolen, whose go career has taken him around the world, has played a key role in the Los Angeles go scene for many years, and the Cotsen Open – one of the major events on the U.S. go calendar – is the result of Dolen introducing Eric Cotsen to Yilun Yang 7P. Fukuda was a key player in the creation of the Seattle Go Center, as well as helping ensure its survival and growth. Click here for Dolen’s “Snapshots from 60 Years of Go” and “Chris Kirscher on Frank Fukuda.” The Lasker Award is named after Edward Lasker, a founder of the American Go Association. photos: top right: Dolen (center) with AGA President Andy Okun (left) and E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock; bottom left: Fukuda (right) with 2013 Congress Director Chris Kirschner; photos by Phil Straus
What do Pop Art sculptor Arman the Artist, sci-fi writer Ursula Le Guin and comedian Robin Williams have in common? They’re all listed on “Celebrities who have played Go,” a fascinating page on the British Go Association’s website. Arman the Artist’s “obituary reported that he played a bit of Go in his apartment after retirement,” Le Guin’s The Left Hand of Darkness “mentions Go in chapter 16” and Williams “is known to be a big player of games, including computer and role-playing games, and is known to have bought a Go board and stones.” Check out the page for go tidbits about other go-playing notables, including Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, Alan Turing and more.
He Yuhan, who captured three major Chinese amateur titles this year (the amateur Tianyuan in February, the Fengcheng Cup in May, and the 3rd Qingdao Publishing Cup in June), ended his rampage by winning his way to profession shodan in the 2013 Chinese Go Ranking Promotion Competition, held July 20-25 in Yangzhou. In all, twenty men and five women qualified as pro shodan. The other men included Dai Zhitian, who beat He to win the Yellow River Cup in June, Li Weiqing, who took third in the Yellow River Cup, and Huang Jingyuan, runner-up in the Yellow River Cup last year. The qualification tournament is limited to players under 25 years old. He, Li, and Huang are still 13.
Meanwhile, the promotion competition for players who were already professional was being held July 17-30 at the Tongli Lake Resort. Two of the contestants played in the World Amateur Go Championship last year: Qiao Zhijiang (1st place, China), and Chen Cheng-Hsu (3rd place, Chinese Taipei).
Qiao Zhijiang turned pro shortly after the 2012 WAGC and won a promotion to 2 dan with a 9-3 score in the 2012 Promotion Competition. Overall, his pro record was 21-13 in 2012, and stands at 24-21 so far in 2013, including a strong 7-3 performance in the new HTC Cup. Qiao broke even (6-6) in the 2013 Promotion Competition, and remains 2-dan.
Chen Cheng-Hsu, who turned pro at age 13 in China to challenge himself, started off his professional career by scoring 4-6 at the Chinese Individual Championships in September 2012. Since then he has been continuing to meet his self-imposed challenge head-on; his cumulative professional record after 11 months is a level 29-29. His result in the 2013 Promotion Competition was 7-5, so he remains shodan.
The 34th World Amateur Go Championship will open on August 31 and be held on September 1-4 at the Sendai City Information & Industry Plaza in the AER building in Sendai, Japan. Located next to Sendai Station, AER is a popular commercial complex with many shops and restaurants.
The field of 62 players will range in age from 14 to 57 and in official rank from 7 kyu to 8 dan.
The field is headed by the contestants from China and Korea (Yuqing Hu and Hyunjae Choi); those two countries have not dropped a single game to any other country in this event since 2006. The players from perennially strong Chinese Taipei, Japan, and Hong Kong (Wei-shin Lin, Kikou Emura, and King-man Kwan) will also bear watching, particularly 14-year-old Lin, who will move on from the World Amateur to a pro career in Taiwan.
These Asians will be challenged, however, by a strong European contingent, led by Slovakian prodigy Pavol Lisy, who finished runner-up to former Chinese pro Fan Hui in this year’s European Championship. Joining Pavol will be four other young finalists from the European Championship: Thomas Debarre (France), Ilya Shikshin (Russia), Artem Kachanovskyi (Ukraine), and Nikola Mitic (Serbia). Also competing will be such established European stars as Ondrej Silt (Czechia), Csaba Mero (Hungary), Cornel Burzo (Romania), Merlijn Kuin (Netherlands), and Franz-Josef Dickhut (Germany).
Challenging the Asians and Europeans will be a pair of North American high school students: Curtis Tang (USA), who trained for a year at a go academy in China, and Bill Lin (Canada), who played in the World Mind Games last December and is coming off a 3-1 defense of his Canadian Dragon title.
The Southern hemisphere will be represented by Hao-Song Sun (Australia, 11th place at the 2008 World Mind Sports Games), Xuqi Wu (New Zealand, 12th place at the 2009 Korea Prime Minister Cup), and a pack of hopeful new players from South America and South Africa.
In the past the World Amateur Go Championship has been held in the spring, but this year the schedule was moved back because of the effects of the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011. Thanks to support from all over the world during the past two years, most of the regions hit by the earthquake are now recovering. It is hoped that through the game of go this tournament will give the world proof of the recovery and encourage the local people to press ahead with the long recovery process.