The 3rd SportAccord World Mind Games will be held in Beijing December 12-18. Contestants will compete for gold, silver, and bronze medals in five disciplines: chess, contract bridge, draughts, go, and xianqi. 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 and China's Yu Zhiying, 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 will be provided to a worldwide audience via the SAWMG YouTube channel and other media, with a running commentary by the popular duo of Chris Garlock and Michael Redmond. In addition, daily reports and commentaries will be posted on the Ranka website.
The dates for the much-anticipated match between Lee Sedol 9p (top left) and Gu Li 9p (bottom left) have finally been announced. The jubango, or ten-game match, will begin on January 26, 2014 in Beijing. Sponsor MLily will award the first player to win six games with 5 million RMB (approximately 820,000 USD). The other player will receive a consolation prize of 200,000 RMB (approximately 33,000 USD). If the score is tied 5-5, the prize will be split without a tie-breaker.
“I think these two players are the best choice for a jubango, and the games will be very exciting,” said Liu Siming, president of the Chinese Weiqi Association. “There hasn’t been a jubango like this in the last 70 years, but we’ve pushed ahead to make this one happen.” With twenty-one international titles between the two of them, Liu considers Lee and Gu “still the best” among today’s top players. Liu also delivered the exciting news that each of the ten games will be played in a different city.
Gu and Lee themselves, though, are trying to stay humble. When asked how he will prepare for the jubango, Gu said, “This match will be a very important part of my career and life.” He has already logged many hours studying to prepare. As for Lee, he does not believe that being the top ranked Korean player has anything to do with how the jubango will unfold. “There were many lightning games in the first half of 2013, and I lost many of them,” Lee said. “However there have been more games with longer time limits in the second half of the year, and I’ve been able to achieve better results in those games. That’s all there is to it.”
For more information about the 2014 MLily Gu vs Lee jubango, please visit Go Game Guru. For the full jubango schedule, please visit Go Game Guru’s Pro Go Calendar.
–- Annalia Linnan, based on a longer article by Go Game Guru, photo courtesy of Go Game Guru
Czech Republic: Lukas Podpera 5d (left) dominated the Go Baron Qualification on November 24 in Praha. Behind him were Jan Simara 6d in second and Jan Hora 6d third. Germany: Tobias Berben 4d bested Ji Lu 4d at the Rahlstedter Tengen, Gruppe A on November 17 in Hamburg while Tonny Claasen 4d placed third. Ukraine: At the J. Liedovskoj Memorial tournament in Kharkiv on November 10, Oleksandr Hilliazov 1k came in first, Mykhailo Kovalov 3d in second, and Oleh Lustenko 1k in third.
– Annalia Linnan, based on reports from EuroGoTV, which include complete result tables and all the latest European go news; photo courtesy of EuroGoTV
The Beckley Foundation, a British organization for consciousness and drug policy research, is appealing for passionate go players who have experience with psychedelic drugs to take part in research on LSD. Volunteers will participate in a scientific experiment using the latest brain-imaging technology to investigate changes in cerebral circulation and connectivity during go play after taking either a dose of the hallucinogenic drug or a placebo. The date and location have not yet been fixed, but the study is expected to take place in the new year, either at the organisation’s headquarters at Beckley Park, Oxford or in London. The Beckley Foundation was established in 1998 by Amanda Feilding and is “dedicated to improving national and global drug policies, through research that increases understanding of the health, social and fiscal implications of drug policy, and the development of new evidence-based and rational approaches“. The late Albert Hofmann (right), who first synthesized LSD and was the first human to experience its effects, was the founding member of the Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Board. Possession and supply of LSD are generally prohibited by UK criminal law, but use for scientific research, as in this case, can be licensed by the Home Office – essentially the UK’s interior ministry. The Foundation received government approval for the study in March 2013 and this is the first time permission has been granted to use LSD in scientific research since it was outlawed. Click here to download flyer with full details.
Report by Tony Collman, British correspondent for the EJ. Photo: Albert Hofmann in 2006, at the age of 100, during a discussion, “on Beauty” at the Zürich Helmhaus, courtesy of wikipedia.
The AGA website has undergone some significant changes in the last few months. All the favorites are still there, including news, ratings, youth go, and tournament information, but the main left-side navigation menu has been revised from the top down, focusing on reducing duplication and adding comprehensive titles. “We hope that information is easier to find,” says Greg Smith, AGA Website Volunteer and team leader of the reorganization, on which Roger Schrag, Paul Barchilon and Roy Laird also worked. “We spent a lot of time mapping out the existing content and placing each link into a larger flow of ‘Learn, Play, Outreach, Teach’ ”
The new Outreach section has pages dedicated to presentations and publicity including a dedicated section for handouts. And we created better access to information about the AGA itself: the elections and organizational information each have their own consolidated and categorized page.
In recognition of the AGA’s Professional Certification program, we created a whole new section on AGA-Certified Go Professionals while continuing to honor those go professionals living in the US and certified by other nations.
“The AGA website has an enormous amount of content. We’ve rearranged it a bit in hopes that we can expand with more easy-to-find information,” adds Smith.
Check it out and let us know what you think by emailing your comments to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Nam-Ban Madrid Go Club will host the first game of the 38th Japanese Kisei Tournament in Alcala de Henares (Madrid) on January 11 and 12. Current Meijin and Honinbo title-holder Yamashita Keigo 9d (left) will battle defending champion Iyama Yuta 9d. In addition to the main tournament, Nam-Ban Madrid Go Club will also host an Open Side Tournament for amateur go players that will parallel the Kisei title match. Cash prizes will be available for first through fifth place along with additional prizes for the top three Spanish players and top five women players. Players who register before January 1 will enjoy significant discounts. To encourage youth players, tournament sponsors will offer more than 30 scholarships for players under age 20. The scholarship includes free registration, lodging, and transportation between Madrid and Alcala de Henares.
First celebrated in 1976, the Keisei (in English, “Go Saint”) Tournament has become “the most prestigious professional tournament in Japan” with a prize pool of ¥42,000,000 (approx $6.9 million). To register or for more information about this year’s tournament including rules, schedule, and lodging information, please visit the official Keisei website.
—Annalia Linnan; for complete listings, check out the European Tournament Calendar; photo courtesy of Kisei 2014. NOTE: this post has been updated to reflect that the Kisei game will be the first of the tournament, not the final game, as previously reported.
Coming to grips with the truth that he will never earn a living playing baduk, a young man’s chance encounter with a local gangster finds him with a new pupil in Deo Seu-ton – The Stone – the 2010 Korean drama about the vastly different past and future of the two men. Check out the trailer here.
Thanks to Devin Fraze for passing this along. This film made the rounds of international festivals last year but we’re not sure if it’s been released in the US; if anyone has info on where it can be seen, let us know.
Yunxuan Li 6d has won the American Go Honor Society’s (AGHS) Young Lion’s tournament, for the third year in a row. “The tournament was very competitive,” writes organizer Calvin Sun, “with many new faces appearing this year. The first board topped the Active Games list, attracting almost 100 observers on KGS.” Competing on Nov. 16th and 17th, Li topped a field of 34 players with a 4-0 record. “The tournament was really great” Li told the E-Journal, “it is amazing to see new players each year. I want to thank the AGHS for giving this opportunity to North American youth, to compete and communicate with each other. All the games I played were so difficult. This was probably the most competitive year for the Young Lion’s yet.” Li graciously agreed to provide commentary on his crucial 2nd round match with Jimmy Yang 5d, and the attached game record is a freebie for all E-J readers. ”I think it is very beneficial for young people to play go, it helps enlarge our imagination, and develops a sense of logic,” says Li. “It is very cool to have go as a friend when you are young, because it really helps you mature a lot.” 11 players 3 dan and up competed in the Open Section, which Li won. In Division 1, from 2d to 3k, Jeremiah Donley 1k took top honors; Division 2, from 5k to 9k was won by Frederick Bao 5k; Matthew Qiu 16k took the prize in Division 3, from 10k to 21k. Stay tuned for AGHS’ next big tournament, the School Team Tournament, which will be held in March. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo by Wenguang Wu: Li, at left, plays with Fang Tian Feng 8P. The kid with the yellow shirt, who is watching the game is Ding Hao 6d, an insei from Beijing Ge Yu Hong Dojo.
The North American delegation to this year’s SportAccord World Mind Games – coming up December 12-18 in Beijing – includes Daniel Ko and Huiren Yang from the US and Sarah Yu and Yongfei Ge from Canada. The American Go E-Journal will once again team up with Ranka to provide coverage this year, with Michael Redmond 9P and EJ Managing Editor Chris Garlock providing play-by-play game commentary on the SAWMG YouTube channel as well as coverage in the EJ. Here are brief biographical sketches of the players.
Sarah Yu 6d is a 23-year-old graduate student in Toronto who’s been playing go for 17 years. She’s looking forward to “learning go from top professional players” at the SAWMG. Her favorite thing about go is that “The rules are simple, but it’s hard to master.” Her advice to players who want to improve is to “Play each move well, work on the skills, and look at professional games.” Her hobbies include playing table tennis.
Daniel Daehyuk Ko 7d, 37, works in accounting and finance in Los Angeles, CA and has been playing go for 32 years. He’s looking forward to “Playing with top professionals and learning from them” at the SAWMG. His favorite thing about go is meeting people and making friends and his advice on how to get stronger is to “Play with someone 2-3 stones stronger and review your games with strong players.” His hobbies include traveling.
Yongfei Ge 8d is a 44-year-old software architect in Scarborough, Canada who’s been playing go for 30 years. He’s looking forward to “playing with top pro players” at the SAWMG and his favorite thing about go is “Winning after hard fight.” His advice to improving is to “review games after playing” and hobbies include video games, books and ping pong.
Huiren Yang 1P is 60 years old; no further information was available at presstime.
A new East Coast Go Center tops the list of projects of the new Iwamoto North America Foundation (INAF), the result of a collaborative agreement with the American Go Association (AGA) approved today by the Nihon Kiin (NK) Board of Directors. The Foundation is named in honor of the late Kaoru Iwamoto and will be funded by the sale of the New York Go Center. “This is a tremendously exciting development in the history of American go,” said AGA president Andy Okun. “We look forward to continuing to work closely with the Nihon Kiin to realize Iwamoto sensei’s vision of spreading go worldwide.” The INAF will be an equal partnership between NK and AGA, with each side contributing three Directors, the NK Chairman serving as Foundation President and AGA contributing an Executive Director to take care of the Foundation’s regular operation. “I greatly welcome the arrival of this new Foundation,” said Thomas Hsiang, the AGA’s Vice President for International Affairs, who originated the concept for the Foundation and led the negotiations for its creation. “The Nihon Kiin has always been a great friend to American go and the INAF will add a new, grand chapter to this illustrious history.” A Request for Proposal (RFP) for establishing an East Coast Go Center is expected to be sent to regional go communities in the next few months.
Photos: top right: AGA president Andy Okun and NK Chairman Norio Wada signing the INAF Letter of Confirmation in Tokyo on November 5; bottom left: the people involved in negotiating the INAF agreement (l-r): Tadaaki Jagawa (NK VP), Thomas Hsiang (AGA VP-International Affairs), Norio Wada (NK Chairman), Andrew Okun (AGA President), Hiroshi Yamashiro (NK VP), and Shiho Yamada (NK Director in charge of overseas affairs). Photos courtesy Tomotaka Urasoe, NK Overseas Department).
Kay first took the title in 2012, after manytime Championship winner Matthew Macfadyen 6d retired. This year the reigning Champion waived his right to bypass the initial qualifying Candidates’ tournament, winning that round to enter the Challengers’ League from which the finalists emerge (see Simons to Challenge Kay for British Championship, EJ 5/27).
In the first game of the final, played on November 16, Simons (B) resigned whilst in byo yomi.
In the second, Kay (B) – known for his fast and combative play – once again squeezed Simons for time, pushing him into byo yomi with nearly an hour of main time (out of three) left on his own clock. Simons ran out of time in his fourth period of byo yomi. However, comments by referee Tim Hunt suggest Simons probably had about a four-point lead when his flag fell.
Kay said of the decisive game, “Andrew Simons gave me a very tough game” and thanked the large number who watched and commented on the game as it was broadcast live on KGS.
In other British news, David Lee 3d of Dundee won the separate Scottish Championship for the fourth consecutive year, beating Matt Crosby 3d (Edinburgh) in the final. Four players competed in a knockout on KGS in the final stages. The semi-finalists were Piotr Wisthal 1d (Aberdeen) and Crosby’s initiate, Martha McGill 1k, also of Edinburgh.
Report by Tony Collman, British correspondent for the EJ. Photo courtesy of Kay’s website.
November 29-30: Somerset, New Jersey
Wisonet Go Club Slow Game Tournament
Ronghao Chen email@example.com 908-872-6202
Get the latest go event information.
The Seattle Go Center plans to present a gala evening of Pair Go on Saturday, December 7, when there will be a two-round Pair Go tournament featuring a dessert buffet sponsored by Bakery Nouveau of Seattle and prizes for the top teams. The tournament will be played by International Pair Go rules, so participants are encouraged to dress in formal or semi-formal attire.
Registration for the tournament will be open between 6p and 6:45p with the first round beginning at 7p. The fee for participants is $5 for annual and lifetime members of the Seattle Go Center, $5 for children under 18 and $10 for non-member adults. Photo and photo styling by Anne Thompson.
Sunday is the deadline go-playing university/college students under the age of 30 to register for the qualifying prelim for the 12th World Students Go Oza Championship, which will be held February 24-28, 2014 in Tokyo. Sixteen students from around the world will gather in Japan to decide the world’s number one student player. There will be an online preliminary round on Pandanet to select the 16 student players. Click here for details. University/college students under the age of 30 are eligible to participate.
The potentially decisive Game 2 of the British Championship (British Championship to Feature “The Two Andrews” 11/3 EJ) will be broadcast on KGS in the English Room (not the British Room, as previously reported) on Saturday, November 23. Broadcast will start at 10a UCT; look for the game owned by BGAadmin, or from 11a, a clone owned by guojuan with her professional audio commentary and analysis. Kay won the first game, so if he wins tomorrow he retains the title.
- Tony Collman, British correspondent for the EJ
“In the October 26 issue of The Economist, on page 8, there is a photo of a couple of old-timers playing Baduk. Underneath is the rather dispiriting label: ‘Not much else to do.’”
- Bob Barber
“The latest episode (102) of Hunter X Hunter featured go. When describing the game, one character says, ‘It may look simple at first, but it is a complex game.’ They play a game, and discuss the general strategy of disrupting your opponents rhythm.”
- Nick Prince
Who will be the next American pro? Eight young North American go players will battle it out for the honor and opportunity early next year in Los Angeles at the second AGA Pro Certification Tournament. The field includes four Americans and four Canadians, all of whom are quite young. 24-year-old Eric Lui, who used to be among the youngest at tournaments is the oldest participant in this tournament. Lui and Jianing Gan (17) are both seeded players from the previous Pro Qualification Tournament; Calvin Sun (16) and Bill Lin (17) qualified at this year’s US Go Open; Ben Lockhart (20) qualified at the Gotham Go Tournament; Daniel Gourdeau (20) qualified at the Canadian Open, Andrew Lu (16) at the Cotsen Open and Ryan Li (19) was the last qualifier, winning last Sunday’s Online Pro Prelim. The AGA Pro Certification Tournament will be held January 2-8 in Los Angeles and all boards will be broadcast live on KGS by the E-Journal. photo: at the 2012 AGA-Tygem Pro Tournament; photo by Nam Chi-Hyung
“I recently spotted go in the anime ‘Bleach’” reports Tyler Keithley. “Unfortunately I haven’t been able to find a screenshot, but it is shown briefly about midway through Episode 258, titled ‘Stray Snake, Tortured Monkey’”.
Matthew Clark spotted go in Star Trek: Enterprise. “In Season 2, Episode 22 at 29:45, there is a scene with commander Tucker and an alien he is trying to teach to think for herself,” Clark reports. “After showing the alien the film ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still’, they are playing go on a floor board in the Commander’s quarters. Tucker says that after just one day of instruction, the alien is able to beat him,” which had taken others months to achieve.
Hungary: The European Baduk Competition finished November 17 in Budapest with Pal Balogh 6d in first, Csaba Mero 6d in second, and Ondrej Silt 6d in third. Italy: Also on November 17, 2k bested Andrea Mori 3k at the Gladiatore 2013 in Rome. Mika Straka 6k placed third. Poland: Bartlomiej Zuchowski 2k took the title at the Pierwszy Turniej Go Ozarowa Mazowieckiego on November 17. In second and third place were Kamil Konieczny 5k and Piotr Kucharski 11k.
– Annalia Linnan, based on reports from EuroGoTV, which include complete result tables and all the latest European go news; photo courtesy of EuroGoTV
“I am a high school student who is also a 5 Duan go player from Shanghai, China,” writes Liwei (David) Xu. “Although I continue my study, I have never given up my hobby. And I am preparing for the application of the US univeristies and I have already achieved my SAT and TOEFL scores. I hope to keep on my hobby in the university. I want to study in a university with the background of go in the US; can you give me some advice?”
“We are always delighted to hear about strong young players who are coming here!” responded EJ Youth Editor Paul Barchilon “To learn more about which colleges have a strong go playing community, visit the ACGA website.” He also suggested the Xu plan to attend the annual US Go Congress, and reach out to some of the strong players here in America, “many of whom are involved in organizing go activities in various schools.” Justin Teng, a strong player and freshman undergraduate at the University of Maryland-College Park (and now Assistant Youth Coordinator for the AGA) adds that “Many of the top universities in the country all have go clubs (Princeton, Yale, Harvard, MIT, etc). I would say University of Toronto has some of the strongest players (although it’s in Canada), along with University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and Princeton University. I can’t speak for how active all of the other university go clubs are, but I think maybe it’s best to pick a university that has a strong program for whatever major you are interested in pursuing, and then see if any of them have go clubs. I suspect you will be applying to some of the top universities, and most of them will have a go club.”