Aaron Ye 6d won the Diehard Tournament on Wednesday, the event traditionally held on the Congress day off. 76 players participated and seven had perfect 4-0 records: Aaron Ye 6d (Overall winner); Daniel Puzan 1d; David Frankel 1k; Steve Wishnousky 3k; Vincent Tam 5k; Aaron Pearson 7k and Chris Ramsumair 8k.
- report by Andy Olsen, TD; photo by Garrett Smith
In American Go Association Board of Director election results, incumbents Martin Lebl and Chris Kirschner retained their seats in the Central and Western regions respectively, while Diego F. Pierrottet defeated George Lebovitz for the Eastern seat. Kirschner received 18 votes (85%) while Andrew Jackson got 3 write in votes. Lebl got 19 votes. Pierrottet received 17 votes (60%) while Lebovitz got 7 votes (25%); there were 4 abstentions.
AGA President Andy Okun welcomed Pierrottet, congratulated Lebl and Kirschner and spoke warmly of Celmer. “Paul has been on the board since before I first joined in 2008 and has been thoughtful, positive and productive as a board member,” said Okun. “That’s on top of everything else he’s done for the go community including co-running two successful US Go Congresses. I’ll miss him in our meetings, but look forward
to seeing him at go events around the country.”
Iyama taking aim at two former titles: The first quarterfinal of the 63rd Oza tournament was held on July 13. Playing white, Iyama Yuta (r) defeated Ichiriki Ryo 7P by resignation. With both players in byo-yomi in the late middle game, Ichiriki made a snap judgement that he could live with a large group, so instead of starting a ko to make sure of two eyes he moved into his opponent’s territory. Iyama made a snap judgement that the group couldn’t be saved by a player in byo-yomi; he connected the ko and killed the group. Iyama thus became the first player to reach the semifinals of this tournament. The titleholder is Murakawa Daisuke, who took the title off Iyama last year. Iyama had previously reached the semifinals of the 41st Tengen title by beating beat Ko Iso 8P. In the semifinal, played on July 30, he beat Ri Ishu 7P (W) by resignation. In the play-off to decide the challenger, he will meet the winner of the other semifinal between Yamashita Keigo and Yuki Satoshi 9P.
Iyama retakes lead in Gosei title match: After a break of a month from the opening game, two games were played recently in the 40th Gosei title match. On July 20, the second game was played at the Hokkoku (North Country) Newspaper Hall in Kanazawa City, Ishikawa Prefecture. Iyama Yuta Gosei (white) got a favorable position in the opening, but Yamashita Keigo 9P launched a bold series of do-or-die moves that eventually drew a misjudgment from Iyama. He later started a ko to try to get back into the game, but played an invalid ko threat and had to resign after 183 moves. The third game was played at the Nagaoka Grand Hotel in Nagaoka City, Niigata Prefecture on July 27. Iyama, playing black, built up a small lead, though the game was marked by complicated fighting. Late in the middle game, Iyama had a chance (with move 175) to set up a large-scale capturing race. Research by the players following the game showed that he would have won it by one move, but, in byo-yomi, he hesitated to take the risk. Yamashita almost caught up, but Iyama just managed to hold on to his lead. The game finished after 292 moves and ended in a win for Iyama by one and a half points. The fourth game will be played at the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo on August 7. photo: Iyama Yuta Gosei (l); Yamashita Keigo 9P
Takao to challenge for Meijin title: The final round of the Meijin League is one of the biggest events of the summer, which this year has been its usual hot, humid and unbearable self in Tokyo. Four players were in the running to win the league, which added to the interest. They were, in order of ranking, Kono Rin, Yamashita Keigo, Takao Shinji (right), and Ko Iso.
The results were:
Cho U 9P (B) beat Kono Rin 9P by resignation. Both players finished on 5-3.
Yamashita Keigo 9P (W) beat Ko Iso 8P by resig. Yamashita finished on 6-2 and Ko on 5-3.
Takao Shinji Tengen (W) beat Murakawa Daisuke Oza by resig. Takao finished on 6-2 and Murakawa on 3-5.
Hane Naoki 9P (W) beat Kanazawa Makoto 7P by resig. Hane ended on 2-6 and Kanazawa on 1-7. They both lost their places, as did So Yokoku 9P, who was on 3-5 and had a bye in the last round.
Takao and Yamashita were tied for first, so they met in a play-off on August 3. Takao (W) beat Yamashita by 5.5 points, so he will make his first challenge for the Meijin title for five years. Takao lost his last challenge to Iyama Yuta 0-4 in the 35th Meijin tournament. In general, he has done badly against Iyama, but his results have improved in the last couple of years. The title match will start on September 3.
Promotion: To 2-dan: Mutsuura Yuta (aged 16) (30 wins) (as of July 17)
photo research by Maeda Ryo & Todd Heidenreich
Yulin Tong Takes Lead in US Open Masters: The lead in the Open Masters changed not once but twice on Tuesday. First, Youyin Cao 3P beat defending champion Mark Lee in the morning round. Cao is a Champion Team member of the 2014 Huang Long Shi Shuang Deng Cup Ring Contest. Then in the fifth round on Tuesday night, Yulin Tong 4P (right) defeated Cao in just 107 moves. Click here for the latest results. Three rounds have been played in the US Open; click here for the latest results. (update: this post has been updated; Cao beat Lee by resignation, not by half a point)
Both the AGA Teacher Certification and the Tournament Director Workshops kicked off Monday afternoon. This is the third year for the Teacher Certification, consisting of four 2-hour sessions, which have been a great success. Nearly two dozen participants showed up for the first session Monday afternoon, which was about learning to teach go to an absolute beginner. Later sessions will focus on teaching DDK, SDK players, and one-on-one teaching.
Chris Kirschner conscripted a volunteer from the campus staff at St Thomas University, where the Congress is being held. Interested but somewhat mystified, Diane Kruger, Associate Dean of Finance and operations, College of Education, Leadership and Counseling, stood at the demo board while Kirschner demonstrated how to teach someone to play go for the very first time. He was quite entertaining and encouraging and fielded questions from the audience about various teaching methods. Before the session was over, not only had his volunteer learned some of the basics of the game, but she was eagerly requesting contact info from everyone to continue learning and also to share with the rest of her faculty staff.
This is the first year for the TD Workshop, and actual certifications will not be granted at the end of the four 1-hour sessions, as the format is still evolving. Topics will cover pairing, reporting, and organizing for your own local tournament. To encourage new TDs, the AGA will provide mentoring help from established AGA TDs as they start their first tournaments. A number of experienced go teachers and tournaments have been enlisted to share their knowledge and mentor interested members for both workshops. A schedule of events was included in Congress welcome packets. Myung Wan Kim will be teaching Thursday 1 to 3 — “Mathematical end games”, that is, counting — and “After school programs” on Saturday 1 to 3. Kirschner and Maeda will be teaching the “one on one” session on Friday.
- Dennis Wheeler; photo: volunteer Diane Kruger observing an Open Masters game Tuesday with AGA president Andy Okun; photo by Chris Garlock