The AGA and the Las Vegas Go Club are hosting a two-day, four-round AGA-rated go tournament as part of MSI’s second Las Vegas Mind Sports Festival this weekend. “Two days of non-stop game-play involving Go, Chess, Scrabble, Magic: The Gathering and a cornucopia of other games will quench the thirst of fans and players looking for a festival tournament quite like no other,” says the Las Vegas Go Club. “The blend of mind sports coupled with an unbeatable stay-and-play hotel package make it an experience not to miss.” Arrive by 9:30 a.m. Saturday, rounds at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. $100 top prize, others based on attendance. Best hat worn by a go player wins a box of Bendicks Bittermints. More info: Chris Tettamanti, 702-604-4000 or email@example.com.
Thirty players (18 men and 12 women) from around the world — China, Chinese Taipei, Europe, Japan, Korea and North America — will compete for major cash prizes in this year’s SportAccord World Mind Games, coming up December 12-18 in Beijing. Here are Michael Redmond’s 9P’s introduction and brief biographical sketches of the Japanese players. Redmond and EJ Managing Editor Chris Garlock will be providing play-by-play game commentary on the SAWMG YouTube channel as well as coverage in the EJ. click here to see the player roster and schedule.
by Michael Redmond 9P
Overall, it is clear that Japan has decided to give younger players a chance this year. Unfortunately, star players from the same age group such as Murakawa Daisuke and Ichiriki Ryo are missing, I would have liked to see them in this tournament. Murakawa was the B league winner of the Kisei league and recently he lost to Yamashita Keigo in the playoff to decide the challenger. In the league he bested top players such as Takao Shinji, Hane Naoki, and Kono Rin. I suppose that the Kisei tournament, among other things, posed a potential schedule issue for him this time. Ichiriki is a formidable 16 year old player, he seems to be winning all the time. Two weeks ago he lost to Ko Iso in the final to enter the Meijin league, his only loss in the recent past that I can remember. I would guess he has some other schedule issues. As to the women, judging from domestic tournaments I would have expected to see Xie Imin, Mukai Chiaki, or Okuda Aya, but actually I have a feeling that Yoshida might have a better track record in international tournaments.
Rina Fujisawa 2P: Born in 1998, at the age of 11 years and 6 months, she became the youngest player to become pro in Japan, breaking Cho Chikun’s record of 11 and 9 months. She began playing as a pro in April 2010, and caused some comment by beating a 9-dan in June of the same year. Rina is the granddaughter of Fujisawa Shuko, and her father is Fujisawa Kazunari 8P. She has an intuitive and aggressive style.
Akihiro Fujita 4P: Born in 1991, Akihiro became a pro in 2006. Won the 38th Shinjin-O (New Kings) tournament in 2013, and in 2010 came one win away from entering the Honinbo league, losing to Yamashiro 9p in the final round. He is considered to be one of the most promising young players in Japan.
Tomoya Hirata 3P: Born in 1994, became pro in 2009. Plays an aggressive style. In June this year I played him and published a commentary in the EJ on the game, which I lost by a mistake in late middlegame.
Kazushi Tsuruta 2P: Born in 1995, became pro in 2010. In 2011 he won into the Gosei Honsen.
The 3rd SportAccord World Mind Games will be held in Beijing, China December 12-18. Contestants will compete for gold, silver, and bronze medals in five disciplines: chess, contract bridge, draughts, go, and xianqi (Chinese chess). This year the go competition will include a round-robin men’s team tournament, a double-knockout women’s individual tournament, and a single-knockout pair-go tournament. China, Chinese Taipei, Japan, and Korea are each sending three men and two women. North America is sending three men and one woman, and Europe is sending three pairs, who will also compete in the men’s and women’s events.
The all-new Chinese contingent includes this year’s winners of three major international tournaments (the Ing, Bailing, and Bingsheng Cups), plus the Bingsheng runner-up. The two Koreans who missed winning medals last year will return to try again, accompanied by three Korean players making their first SportAccord appearances. Among the players from Chinese Taipei and Japan are six teenagers, including the granddaughter of the legendary Fujisawa Shuko.
Europe and North America are fielding mixed pro-amateur teams. The European contingent is primarily Russian, but also includes this year’s European champion (from France) and runner-up (from Slovakia). They will be seeking in particular to avenge Europe’s various losses to the North Americans in the first two SportAccord World Mind Games. Three veteran players on the North American men’s team and one young Canadian woman will try to stop them.
Representing these thirty go players to the world at large will be Russia’s Natalia Kovaleva (far left) and China’s Yu Zhiying (left), the Go Ambassadors of the 2013 World Mind Games. Besides playing in the women’s and pair-go competitions, they will join some of the world’s top stars in the other disciplines in a program of social and publicity events.
Live coverage of the go competition with a running commentary by the popular duo of Chris Garlock and Michael Redmond 9P will be provided to a worldwide audience via the SAWMG YouTube channel, Facebook page and Twitter feed. In addition, daily reports and commentaries will be posted on the Ranka website.
- report by Ranka Online
Cool 404 Message: Now that OGS merged with Nova, some of the Online-Go URLs don’t work, reports avid OGS player Phil Straus, but “click here for a nice version of the 404 error message.”
“How to Learn Anything Fast” Features Go: “A book, ‘The First 20 Hours: How to Learn Anything Fast’ by Josh Kaufman (left), devotes a chapter to learning the game of go,” writes Chris Greene. “His light discussion introduces the basics and provides faint justice to go techniques; but, it does not replace a good beginner’s book. (Kaufman’s) focus is on demonstrating his personal learning technique/adventure.”
See our 6/18 report Expert On “How to Learn Go in 20 Hours”