Many chess players who discover go seem to leave chess behind, but notable Swedish grandmaster Tiger Hillarp Person , the author of “Tiger’s Modern,” finds go to be a nice complement to his enjoyment of chess. Persson recently started blogging at “Chess at the Bag of Cats,” where he has set up a go section. He writes: “I started out with Go in the beginning of 2011 and, after a rapid rise to about 9kyu, I’ve been gaining around 4kyu a year since then. I can really recommend chess players to do this for a number of reasons. First, if you are too tactically inclined a player, then by playing Go you will be forced to think about things like ‘structure’ and ‘plans’. Secondly, if you work as a coach, reliving the struggle of being a beginner at a difficult game (like Chess – or Go) will definitely improve your understanding of those you are coaching. Thirdly, there are few things that let you appreciate the ‘nature’ of what you have learned as a chess player. Learning Go will make it obvious that you know stuff that transcends the chess board.” -Roy Laird, with thanks to Michael Bacon for sending the link.
Go is returning to Hollyhock Center, in British Columbia, after more than a decade. Janice Kim 3P will lead a workshop at the popular learning center June 28 through July 3. The Hollyhock website says “Hollyhock was founded in 1983, and is Canada’s leading centre for lifelong learning, but you can also think of us as a ‘refuge for your soul’, a place that allows you access to what matters, or simply time to rest, play and achieve wellness.” Kim promises to “Increase your go skill through interactive lectures, small and large group exercises, game practice and analysis,” as well as help players “Develop critical thinking skills and improve their confidence while exploring effective and positive real world decision-making.” An award-winning author and professional 3-dan, Kim brings decades of experience to her acclaimed workshops; in 1984 she won the World Youth Go Championship, took second place in the 1985 Fuji Women’s Korean Go Champion and in 2008 she placed 4th in the World Poker Tour Bellagio Five Diamond Classic. She’s also been a contributor to the American Go E-Journal, most recently contributing commentary at the 2012 Sport Accord World Mind Sports Games in Beijing. To learn more, and to register for the workshop, click here.
Ireland put in a solid performance to finish off the season in the European Team Championship. With a 4-0 defeat over Kazakhstan, we surged up the table to 4th place, just 1 rung lower than last year.
Thomas Shanahan made his international debut with a 100 point win, overshadowing a classic win by rip-off from John Gibson.
The XVI Torneo de Madrid wrapped up on May 5 with Seok-Bin Cho 8d (left) in first, followed by Lluis Oh 6d and Pau Carles 3d. One week later, Cho defeated Lukas Kraemer 5d at the 2013 Amsterdam International while Merlijn Kuin 6d came in third. Finishing the same day (May 12) was the Grazer Go Turnier Styrian Masters in Graz, Austria. There, Viktor Lin 4d came in first with Lothar Spiegel 4d in second and Martin Unger 3d in third. For complete result tables and all the latest European go news, visit EuroGoTV.com. -Annalia Linnan, photo from Eurogotv.com
“Five days and 50 miles in, we’ve just come out of England’s Lake District, some of the most breathtakingly gorgeous scenery I’ve ever been through and certainly the toughest I’ve ever walked, hiked and rock-climbed,” reports EJ Managing Editor Chris Garlock, who’s walking the 200-mile Coast-to-Coast with his wife Lisa (as reported in the EJ on May 6th) and raising funds for the American Go Foundation (AGF). “We’re enjoying the walk and working hard — still another 150 miles to go! — just like the folks at the AGF, who do so much for American go.” Click here to make a contribution to the AGF. Photo at left by Lisa Garlock: At Hayeswater Tarn, with the Lake District in the background. At right, by Chris Garlock: “Great pub, terrifically creative food, but where’s the go? Hopefully our friends in the BGA will attend to this.”
In a recent interview for EuroGoTV, 17-year-old German player Jonas Welticke 4d shared some insight about his experiences as an insei. Aside from Monday study groups with Ohashi Hirofumi 5d and “playing the other insei kids every weekend,” Wilticke said there is no formal routine, and he mostly studies by himself. His current record after his first week is 10-1.
Though some might imagine feeling out of place as a Caucasian insei, Welticke seems to have had no problem. In fact, there are some that might know him as a familiar face. “They have already published a considerably sized picture of me, though I didn’t know it,” he said. “They used some footage from the European Go Center and made an article about it almost one year ago.” More than the food, habits, and transportation, the biggest difference Welticke has found is how go is treated in Japan. He said there are “easily” 80 players at the Nihon Ki-in every afternoon. “It would be awesome to have as many go players in Europe,” he said. “Also, there are weekly newspapers dedicated to go. They are often sold out, which fascinates me again and again.” Welticke looks forward to having his name listed in the go newspaper toward the end of the month when he is promoted to D class. For the full interview, please visit EuroGoTV. -Annalia Linnan, photo credit EuroGoTV
Last week, once again, members of the Argentine Go Association (AAGo) gathered at the Japanese Garden of Buenos Aires for the celebration of Kodomo No Hi (Children’s Day in Japan) to teach the game of Go to the ones interested, activity which thankfully is becoming regular.
Amongst other great things for the day, the nice people of the Japanese Garden built a giant 7x7 Go board on the floor, with tape and black and white pillows, which was a source of great fun for both kids and grown-ups. Besides, for the latter, big explanatory posters were printed, with a brief history and explanation of the game, so everyone could quickly understand what was going on.
As times goes by and the events held jointly by the AAGo and the Japanese Garden become recurrent, everything gets bigger and, at the same time, easier. Some of the kids had been there already last year, so they knew what was going on and, better yet, they were looking forward to it. Everyone had a really good time, and the possibility of opening up a special course of Go for kids at the AAGo appeared. With some luck, this may come true sometime this year.
One of the aims of these experiences, besides having the kids and the parents know that this great game exists, is to build, step by step, a new reality in which Go is actually played and enjoyed by people of all ages. To take every chance to play some good Go is, of course, the next goal. But above all, having little ones as young as 5 or 6 years, playing and learning Go just in front of you, makes the future, and the present, look brighter than ever.
Report and photo by Luciano Salerno (AAGo).
Dutch go organizers took advantage of a four-day weekend to stage no less than five tournaments in and around Amsterdam on May 8-12, drawing players from all over Europe to celebrate Ascension Day on the go board. There were six different winners, representing the Netherlands, Germany, and Russia.
The action started with a five-round handicap blitz for early arrivers, held on ther evening of May 8 at the Cafe Batavia in Amsterdam. The victor was Kim Ouweleen, who works at the Het Paard Chess and Go Bookshop, which sponsored the event. Niels van den Bogaert shared second place with a pair of players from Finland: Olli Pukkinen and Johannes Laire.
The largest event (81 players) was the 42nd annual Amsterdam International Tournament that began the next day. German players have done well in this tournament for the past few years, and this year they did so again. Seok-Bin Cho, a former Korean insei who moved to Hamburg in 2005, won in all six rounds to take first place for a third time (he also won in 2006 and 2012). Lukas Krämer (Bonn) finished right behind him in second place. Bernd Shütze and Matthias Terwey finished eighth and ninth, giving Germany four of the top ten spots. This was Seok-Bin's second triumph in eight days: he also won the Madrid Tournament in Spain on May 4-5. Full results are here.
In parallel with the Amsterdam International, the European Pair Go Championship was played at the European Go Cultural Centre in Amstelveen, with 24 competing pairs. Ilya Shikshin and Svetlana Shikshina, the brother-sister pair from Kazan, Russia were the unbeaten winners; they will now represent Europe at the SportAccord Mind Games in December. Alexander Vashurov (also from Kazan) and Natalia Kovaleva (Chelyabinsk) led the group of seven pairs with 4-2 results to take third place. Czechia's Jan Hora and Klara Zaloudkova defeated Alexander and Natalia to finish second. Complete results are here.
May 10 was given over to the DNM Amsterdam Rapid, a five-round handicap tournament with 30-minute sudden-death time limits. As in the pair championship, two Russian players proved unbeatable, but this time it was Ilya Shikshin and Natalia Kovaleva who won all their games. Natalia had defeated Seok-Bin Cho with a two-stone handicap in the second round, and she did likewise against Ilya in an extra playoff game to win the tournament. Full results are here.
The fifth tournament was the Kunwa Children's Tournament, which was held on the last day of the Go Together. Although most of the six contestants were from the Netherlands, the winner was a guest from Germany: Ferdinand Marz. Pepijn Joost Jacob took second place.
The strongest pairs in Europe competed in Amsterdam, May 11 and 12, for the European Pair Go Championship. The Shikshin siblings – Ilya and Svetlana, both 7d – who swept the Russian Pair Championship this February, were the clear favorites. Another interesting Russian pair featured Natalia Kovaleva 5d, the 2007 European Female Champion, playing with aspiring young player Alexander Vashurov 5d, who has won several European Youth Championships. Kovaleva has won the European Pair Championship five times, with her usual partner Dmitry Surin 6d, who could not come this year. Other strong competitors included Czech pair, Klara Zaloudkova 3d and Jan Hora 6d, and Hungarians Péter Markó 3d and Rita Pocsai 5d.
The tournament pulled in 24 pairs from 10 countries. The Shikshins won all of their games, capturing first place, in second were Zaloudkova and Hora, while third went to Kovaleva and Vashurov. With their win, the Shikshin siblings earned the right to represent Europe in pair go competitions at the next International Sport-Accord Games.
The Pair Go Championship was held in conjunction with the Amsterdam Rapid. The results here were not so predictable, as the tourney introduced handicap games and short time limits (30 minutes). Russia was also on top here, as the two players who made it to the final match were Ilya Shikshin and Natalia Kovaleva, both of whom were undefeated going in. The final match was held with reduced time-control (only 15 minutes) and Kovaleva, who had 2 handicap stones, was the victor. For full results from the Pair Go Championship go here, for the Amsterdam Rapid go here. Eurogotv also has game records from the Pair Go event here. -Daria Koshkina. Photo: Svetlana Shikshina 7d and Ilya Shikshin 7d, at right, playing Natalia Kovaleva 5d and Alexander Vashurov 5d, at left. Copyright Harry van der Krogt 2013, used by permission.
Myungwan Kim 9P, Yilun Yang 7P, Mingjiu Jiang 7P, and Jennie Shen 2p have confirmed they will be teaching at the US Go Congress in Tacoma this year. Co-Director Chris Kirschner reports: “Pros from Korea, China, and both Kansai Ki-in and Nihon Ki-in in Japan will attend, but we aren’t sure of the names yet.” Korea also plans to send two additional pros to the Teacher Workshop. See the What’s Happening link on the Congress Website for more details and frequent updates.
The Galway Go Club is pleased to announce the FOURTH GALWAY GO TOURNAMENT at the Bridge Club St Mary’s Road Galway City on 8-9 June 2013.
This is a 5 round McMahon tournament with 50min time limit, 20sec per move overtime (3 times) and 6.5 Komi. Tea, coffee and biscuits will be provided. Everyone is welcome! Loads of prizes!
For full details click here.
One hundred go players converged on Praha on the weekend of May 4 and 5 for the 42nd International Prague Tournament, better known as the Sixth Korean Amabasador Cup. They came from Austria, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Slovakia, Switzerland, and all over Czechia. The top Czech players turned out in force, but it was Slovak champion Pavol Lisy who emerged unbeaten from the five rounds to win the cup. In the last two rounds Pavol defeated Czechia's Go Baron Ondrej Silt and youth champion Lukas Podpera. Ondrej and Lukas both defeated fellow Czech Jan Hora, who took fourth place. Pavol and Jan defeated Austrian Viktor Lin, who finished fifth, and it was Ondrej and Jan Hora who downed European Champion Jan Simara, consigning him to sixth place. Czechia's Stepan Hrbek (10 kyu) equalled Pavol's feat by winning all five of his games and took 47th place in the McMahon standings.
Complete results are here.
by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the American Go E-Journal
Cho U keeps sole lead in the Meijin League: Two important games in the 38th Meijin League were played on May 2. In one, Cho U 9P (W) beat Mizokami Tomochika 8P by resignation; in the other, Iyama Yuta Kisei (B) beat Sakai Hideyuki 8-dan, also by resignation. As a result, Cho improved his score to 5-0 and kept the sole lead. Iyama is in second place, on 5-1. The two are scheduled to play each other in June. The only other player with one loss is Hane Naoki, who is on 4-1. However, he has a bye in May.
Two more games were played on May 9. Takao Shinji 9P (W) beat Murakawa Daisuke 7P by resignation and Kono Rin 9P beat Yuki Satoshi Judan, also by resignation. These results meant that Takao and Kono both kept their hopes of winning the league alive, as each has only two losses (Takao is 4-2 and Kono is 3-2). Neither has played Cho yet, so they need to “cooperate” to drag him down. Of course, they need Iyama to stumble as well. Incidentally, Yuki’s jinx continues: he has now lost 15 games in a row over three Meijin legues. Photo: Cho U, Official Nihon Ki-in photo.
Kisei Leagues starts: The 38th Kisei Leagues got off to a start with a game in the A League. Taking black, Yamashita Keigo Meijin beat Yoda Norimoto 9P by 5.5 points.
Honinbo title match starts on 16th: The big game later this week will be the first game of the 68th Honinbo title match, in which Takao Shinji 9P is challenging Iyama Yuta Honinbo. The game will be played on May 16 & 17. Takao has a dismal record against Iyama of 5 wins to 17 losses, but he was in superb form in the Honinbo League, which he won 7-0, so the title match is unlikely to be one-sided.
Professional Pair Go championship: The E-Journal reported on this tournament on May 6th. The Japanese Pair Go Association would like to add some details about the event. The official name of the tournament is the 1st China-Japan-Korea Professional Pair Go Championship. It is notable as the first purely professional international Pair Go tournament. The first tournament in which professionals took part was the Pair Go World Cup 2010, which was held in Hangzhou, China. It was organized by the World Pair Go Association, and a total of 16 professional and amateur players took part. This tournament was popular with spectators and go fans. This year’s event was organized by the WPGA with the cooperation of the Chinese Weiqi Association, Anhui Province and Hefei City. Matsuura Koichiro, President of the WPGA and former Director-General of Unesco, attended the tournament to give out prizes. A large number of photos and the game records can be found at the home pages of the Japan Pair Go Association and on the Pandanet page for the tournament. Photo: Pair Go Winners, representing China, Wang Chenxing 5-dan & Chang Hao 9-dan. From Pandanet.
“The heavyweight pros on late-night cable television boast nicknames such as Monster, Razor, Butcher, Assassin and Knitting Needle. The most famed matches in history include the Blood Vomiting Game of 1835, the Famous Killing Game of 1926 and the Atomic Bomb Game of 1945. No, this is not some bone-crushing contact sport. It is a simple parlour game where two opponents, comfortably seated and often equipped with nothing more than folding paper fans and cigarettes, take turns placing little stones, some black, some white, on a flat wooden grid…”
- excerpted from the December 16, 2004 report on “The most intellectually testing game ever devised?” in The Economist; thanks to Glen Peters for passing it along. Photo Getty Images, courtesy The Economist
This year, the Belfast Open will take place on the 26th and 27th of October, in Belfast Boat Club
See the webpage for full details.
Also, don’t forget about the upcoming Galway event.
May 18: San Francisco, CA
Bay Area Go Players Association AGA Ratings Tournament
Roger Schrag email@example.com 510-501-2701
Steve Burrall firstname.lastname@example.org 916-688-2858
Get the latest go events information.
I have been teaching go for several years, many people may know of my Youtube channel, “Clossius” where I have done video lessons for beginners. I am offering teaching games and lessons for donations, to anyone who would be willing to help me get to the Go Congress this year. -Shawn Ray, AGA 4d. Interested parties may contact Shawn at Clossius.ShawnRay@gmail.com
“The Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience will be assisting us to present items of significance to the history of go in this country,” reports Congress Director Chris Kirschner. “We will have a collection of AGA Journals from the 1940′s and 50′s. Japanese players in Seattle have donated old books dating back to the early 1920′s, including some that were hand written during the wartime internment. Copies of some of these will be available for purchase at the Go Congress.” Also on display will be a floor board and stones, along with a doll that traveled West from Japan about 1900, to Austria, and continued from Europe about 1950, landing in Seattle ultimately.
“We will have a piece by well known Japanese calligrapher Taiun Yanagida, stating 10 rules for playing well,” said Kirschner. “It was a feature at the original Seattle Go club in Seattle’s international district, which was a chapter of the Nihon Ki-in. It was donated to the Seattle Go Center by surviving members of that club shortly after the Go Center was founded in 1995. A translation will be available. Copies of early books in English will make an interesting comparison with our modern book style,” adds Kirschner. The organizers are looking for additional display material. If you have material you would like to see displayed , contact Kirschner at email@example.com. -Paul Barchilon.
In Russia, they take their mind sports seriously. Case in point: the Russian Sports Federation’s (RSF) chess program has produced many of the world’s finest players. Similarly, the RSF’s go program has produced top Western professionals through their partnership with the Hankuk Kiwon, producing players such as Alexander Dinerchtein 3P (“breakfast” on KGS) and Svetlana Shikshina 3P, and continues to produce promising up-and-comers such as Ilya Shikshin 7D.
If asked to name their mentors, all would certainly mention Valery Shikshin, an Honored Trainer of the Russian Federation (and as you may gather, father of both Svetlana and Illya). Shikshin has been teaching and coaching Russian go for 25 years, and has developed a set of axioms and principles that he sets forth in this four-volume “Theory and Practice Series,” now available exclusively in the US through GoGameGuru. Volume 1, The Theory and Practice of Tsumego, includes more than 300 original life-and-death problems, many from Russian master games. Starting with the basic shapes, Shikshin takes the reader all the way through corner positions, side formations, and on into the intricacies of seki and ko. I found the chapter on seki to be uniquely systematic in its understanding of how these strangely symbiotic shapes arise.
While Volume 1 of “Theory and Practice” is a new approach to an area that has been widely studied, Volume 2 — “The Theory and Practice of Semeai“ — is surely unique in English. Here Shikshin takes the same systematic approach to capturing races, illustrating a few dozen basic principles with numerous problems and game examples. As in Volume 1, the principles are illustrated by hundreds of problems and examples, many from actual games. Two other volumes will complete the series in the next few months – The Theory and Practice of Shapes, and The Theory and Practice of Analysis. These materials helped to produce some great Western go masters – they are surely a worthy entry into the Western go canon.
- Roy Laird