Nauseating Profiles: “Reading the journal is part of my morning routine,” writes Chris Uzal. “Most of the time it is interesting, sometimes it’s not. Can’t win them all, of course. One of your articles today crossed over into the nauseous zone. This morning’s article about “player profiles” (2014 WAGC Player Profiles: Asia 6/24 EJ) is easily among the dumbest stories I’ve ever read. You want to inspire kids to play go? Articles like this is certainly not how you do it.”
Sorry you didn’t like the profiles; our intention is simply to introduce EJ readers to the players who will be competing at the upcoming WAGC, which we’ll be covering in greater depth starting at the end of next week. Thanks for taking the time to respond!
Clarifying Calculated Mistakes: “Just a quick reply to Michael Redmond’s comments on the Chess Life article!” (Michael Redmond 9P on “Calculated Errors” 6/24 EJ) writes Ed Scimia of About Chess. “I’m a lifelong chess player, and I can clarify a couple things that Michael brought up in his commentary. His concept of ‘calculated mistakes’ does exist in chess endgames as well: it is, of course, much easier for humans to play simplifying moves to reach an endgame situation they are certain is a win than to play the ‘perfect’ line according to a computer or deep human analysis (which may be much more complex and therefore tactically dangerous). In chess, nobody would consider those “sub-optimal” moves to be errors either, as long as they clearly lead to a win. In these situations, though, a player would be said to be winning by much more than a half-pawn. That advantage is enough to say that one player’s position is slightly better, but not enough to be certain they can actually win with best play from both sides (remember that in chess, a draw is a common and natural outcome for many games). I hope that helps!”
“The Chess Life article (Your Move/Readers Write: ‘Catching Chess Cheaters’ 6/23 EJ) says that ‘One interesting statistic is that players make 60 percent to 90 percent more errors when half a pawn ahead or behind compared to when the game is even,’” writes Michael Redmond 9P.
“How would you compare half a pawn in chess to a point advantage in go? I don’t know how big an advantage that is for chess masters, but I think that Regan’s observation that the players’ assessment of a game position — and the assumed emotional value — is affecting their ability to think is also true of go players, but to a lesser extent, depending on how big a half pawn is.”
“The article seems to imply that while the player at a disadvantage might have reason to play a high-risk/high-reward move, the winning player must try to play the correct move always. He uses this reasoning to conclude that the players are actually making errors. I suppose that chess, being a race to kill, does not allow for calculated mistakes, but this seems to be less true of go, and could indicate a difference in the endgame stage of the two games.”
“In go, there can be calculated ‘errors’ by the player with an advantage. As a go game nears its end, the leading player can often calculate a win without playing the optimum moves. My opinion is that top go players will sometimes choose technically incorrect moves when 2.5 points ahead, a calculated choice to simplify the game. Such calculated ’mistakes’ by the winning player are usually minor, and two to three mistakes can add up to a one point loss in actual play when compared to the correct endgame sequence. Anything more than that is probably a ‘real’ mistake.”
photo: Redmond at the 2010 WAGC; photo by John Pinkerton
First in a series of profiles of players in the 35th World Amateur Go Championships, which will be held July 4-11 in Gyeongju, Korea. The American Go E-Journal will once again be teaming up with Ranka to provide comprehensive daily coverage of this major amateur tournament featuring top players from 74 countries and territories around the world. These are the players from Asia; missing are China, Indonesia, Korea, Macau, Mongolia, Vietnam; we hope to have their profiles in a future post.
Brunei: Ho Soon Ang 2k (right) is a 24-year-old student who’s been playing for three years. His favorite thing about go is “Meeting new play style” and hobbies include badminton and PC games.
Hong Kong: Nai San Chan 6D (left) is a 21-year-old student at the Polytechnic University of Hong Kong. He’s been playing go since he was 6 and won the HK Go Open (2005-2010, 2013) was WAGC 2nd runner up (2009) and WAGC 3rd runner up (2008,2010). His favorite thing about go is “Fighting.” Hobbies include ball games.
Indonesia: Rafif Shidqi Fitrah 4D (right) is an 11-year-old elementary school student in Bandung. He started playing at age 7and says his favorite thing about go is “Attacking each other.” He was the runner up at the 2013 Japan Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science Cup Elementary School Team Competition as part of a team consisting of Rafif and Rafif’s two little brothers, Faishal Umar and Faiz Utsman. His hobbies include reading books.
Japan: Kikou Emura 7D (left) is a 34-year-old graduate school student in Hyogo. He’s been playing since the age of four, and has won the 2006 sekaigakuseiouzasen, and the the 2012 and 2013 sekaiamaigosenshuken. He likes that “go is deep” and hobbies include mah-jongg and karaoke.
Malaysia: Suzanne D’Bel 3D (right) is a 24-year-old programmer living in Itabashi, Japan. She’s been playing since the age of 14 and says that “The broadness of the game means that go can be mixed with many interesting fields such as art and design, technologies, music, medical etc.” She also says the game is great for “Making new friends and partners!” Hobbies include traveling around to play go, crafting with electronics, mixture of art and technology, anime.
Nepal: Narendra Sowal 1D (left) is a 28-year-old small businessman in Bhaktapur. He’s been playing for 16 years and won the Nepal Go Championship in 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2014. Long term thinking is his favorite thing about go. He’s married with one son.
Singapore: Jia Cheng Tan 6D (right) is a 29-year-old engineer who’s been playing since he was 6. His favorite thing about go is “The calculation involved and requirement to play with an open mind to adapt to changes.”
Thailand: Thanapol Tiawattananont 4D (right) is a 23-year-old student. He’s been playing since the age of 10 and says that go is “an art of life and a way of life. It’s a philosophy of life. And it makes friends all over the world!” Hobbies include soccer, table-tennis, travelling and bird-watching.
“I read about the Go Camp in Japan (Nihon Kiin Organizing Special Go Camp to Celebrate 90th Birthday 3/22 EJ) this summer,” writes Bob Barber. “I will be in Japan for a wedding, so I couldn’t actually join the Camp, but if I can fit it into my schedule, it would be interesting to hang on the sidelines and at least see some of my buddies whom I no longer see at Congress.” Anyone planning to attend can reach Barber at email@example.com. The EJ is also interested in reports from the Camp; email firstname.lastname@example.org
With personal inscription by author Noriyuki Nakayama on flyleaf. Near new condition, 191 pages, with colorful book cover. Many remember Mr Nakayama, because of his great love for spreading understanding and communications with others around the world, about the value and beauty in go. For sale, $95 or best offer by July 15. Free shipping via priority mail within two days of payment by paypal or other agreed-upon means. Contact Ken Schatten at kschatten AT Alum DOT MIT DOT edu , or by phone at 301- 949-7855.
With the start of the 35th World Amateur Go Championship now less than two weeks away, it is time to take a look at the field. Fifty-seven players from a like number of countries and territories are scheduled to make the trip to Gyeongiu, Korea to compete in the four-day, eight-round Swiss system. Many will be veterans of previous tournaments held in Japan and China, some drawn back to WAGC competition after a long absence, perhaps by the chance to be part of the first WAGC held in Korea. As usual, the largest contingent will come from Europe (30 players) and the youngest from the Far East (15 players, including an 11-year-old from Indonesia).
China, whose players have won this championship seven times so far during the current century, will be represented by Wang Ruorang, a 16-year-old from Nanjing who took third place in the Chinese Evening News Cup in January. Normally the winner of the Evening News Cup represents China at the WAGC, but the winner also has the option of turning pro any time during the ensuing year, and this year’s winner, 13-year-old Yi Lingtao, took that option immediately. In the meantime, Mr Wang has been doing famously, beating a pro opponent right after the Evening News Cup, beating last year’s WAGC runner-up in March, and leading an eight-man Chinese amateur team to victory over a Korean team in April. One recalls that Qiao Zhijian, the Chinese player who won the WAGC two years ago (and then turned pro) was also 16.
Korea, which has won the WAGC four times this century, will be represented by Tae-woong Wi. Mr Wi (age 20) qualified by winning the Korean amateur Guksu title last December, beating the 2010 world amateur champion in the final match. That feat, added to second-place finishes in the Lee Changho Cup and the Nosacho Cup and a 9-3 performance in National League competition, boosted him to second place in the U40 division of the Korean amateur rating system. The Wang-Wi game should be a highlight of the tournament.
Japan, which won the WAGC in 2000 and 2004, will send in Kiko Emura, who represented Japan at the WAGC and the Korea Prime Minister Cup in 2013. Last February Mr Emura also represented all human go players when he trounced Zen, Japan’s and perhaps the world’s strongest go-playing computer program, in consecutive games on 13 x 13 boards.
Other players to watch include Naisan Chan (Hong Kong), who took 3rd place in the 2009 WAGC; Yongfei Ge (Canada), who defeated a professional opponent at the SportAccord World Mind Games in Beijing last December; 16-year-old Yi-Tien Chan, youngest of the 22 amateur 7-dans in Chinese Taipei; Sang-Dae Hahn (Australia) and Liang Jie (USA), who also have 7-dan ranks; Czech champion Lukas Podpera; Dutch champion Merlijn Kuin; Finnish champion Juuso Nyyssönen; Hungarian champion Pál Balogh; and Serbian champion Nikola Mitic. Competition for the top ten places should be fierce.
For those who miss out, there will also be two prizes awarded for fair play and fighting spirit. And for everyone there will be a warm week of Korean hospitality. A particular attraction will be the Gyeongju Baduk Festival, July 5, 10:00-12:30 at the tournament hotel (the Hyundai Hotel), where local players will play friendship games with the contestants, Korean pros Lee Hyunwook and Bae Yunjin will play simultaneous games, and former pro world champion Cho Hunhyun will give autographs.
- James Davies
54 Countries and TerritoriesAsia Brunei China Chinese Taipei Hong Kong India Ho Soon ANG Wang RUORAN Yi-Tien CHAN N’ai San CHAN Soni SHAH Age: 24 Age: 16 Age: 20 Age: 21 Age: 36 3 Kyu 6 Dan 7 Dan 6 Dan 1 Dan Indonesia Japan Korea Macau Malaysia Rafif Shidqi FITRAH Kiko EMURA Tae-woong WEI In Hang SAM Suzanne D’BEL Age: 11 Age: 34 Age: 20 Age: 19 Age: 24 4 Dan 7 Dan 7 Dan 5 Dan 3 Dan Mongolia Nepal Singapore Thailand Vietnam Khatanbaatar
8-round Swiss system.
All games to be played on even, with Black giving a 6½ points komi.
Time allowance of 60 minutes per player, followed by byo-yomi of 30 seconds x 3 times.
Tournament clocks will be used for all games.
Any problems during matches will be settled by the referees.
The referees will be professional players from the Korea Baduk Association.
The winner will be given the title of the ’35th World Amateur Go Champion’ and will receive a trophy, the Certificate of Award and a small gift.
Winners of 2nd to 3rd places will receive a trophy, the Certificate of Award, and a small gift
Winners of 4th to 10th places will receive a Certificate of Award, and a small gift.
Two players not placed in the top ten who have demonstrated fair play and fighting spirit will be awarded special prize.
OrganisationHosts Gyeongju City, Republic of Korea Organisers Korea Baduk Association, Korea Amateur Baduk Association Sponsors Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Republic of Korea,
Israeli go champion Ali Jabarin 6d (right) has won the final knockout rounds of the European Pro Qualification Tournament at Vienna in Austria to become the second pro qualifying under the new European Go Federation (EGF) /CEGO pro system (see Pavol Lisy First European Pro – EJ, 6/1). He beat Mateusz Surma 6d of Poland then Lukáš Podpera 6d of Czechia in the two closely-fought knockout rounds comprising this third and final stage of the competition to select two pros from sixteen of Europe’s strongest amateur players. Israel, though not geographically part of Europe, is usually treated as European in international sporting contests and is an EGF member-state. The games were played at the Freie Waldorfschule Wien West on Friday June 20 as a preliminary to the Vienna International Go Tournament, which Jabarin also won, in a field of almost 100. The pro qualification tournament was overseen by Wang Runan, the President of the Chinese Weiqi Association.
The two new pros, Pavol Lisy and Ali Jabarin, will receive their certificates – at which point they officially gain professional status – at the upcoming 58th MLily-WeiqiTV European Go Congress in Sibiu, Romania next month (July 26 – August 9), where they will still be entitled to compete as amateurs. After that they will go to Beijing for another six months’ intensive training. Next year will see the first Bonus Point and Grand Slam Tournaments as well as another Pro Qualification Tournament to select a further two pros. These special tournaments are all part of a complete professional system which is detailed in the EGF/CEGO Agreement (pdf, 6.85Mb).
Click here for full details of the 2014 Pro Qualification Tournament, including results, game records and more.
Report by Tony Collman; photos: (right) Ali Jabarin in Round 5 v Mateusz Surma, courtesy of Vienna 2014 pairings/results page, (left) Chinese Weiqi Association President Wang Runan (at right) congratulates Jabarin, EGF President Martin Stiassny seen at far left, by Lorenz Trippel.