More than half a century ago, a small gift changed Terry Benson’s life. His parents bought him a go set at a mall bookstore in 1960. “It was a flimsy, cardboard set with small, flat bottom, plastic stones and a 1949 AGA rule book,” says Benson. “As plain as a game could be. But it was the best gift ever!” Now Benson, President of the American Go Foundation (AGF), is urging go players to also give the gift of go. “Think about what a little go set can do or what the first set or the first experience with go meant to you,” says Benson. Contributions help the AGF work with go organizers to spread the game. “The number of children that the AGF can reach is only limited by the gifts we receive from players who value go,” says Benson. “We need your help to find the next kid who could become an organizer, a champion, the parent of a go fan, or a lifelong player.” AGF projects this year alone include teaching teachers at a dozen schools in LA, where over 300 kids are now learning the game. “Jay Jayaraman in Memphis has started First Capture Go programs through The Confucius Institute at 18 schools with more signing on,” adds Benson. “Peter Freedman and 2011 AGF Teacher of the Year Fritz Balwit have a half-dozen programs in Portland with a chess and go hybrid model,” and the AGF sent more than 100 free Starter Sets to schools and libraries throughout the US that are starting go programs. Another 119 sets of the complete Hikaru no Go manga have been added to libraries and community centers, many of which now sport go clubs or teaching programs run by youth librarians with equipment from the AGF. The AGF also supported the Teacher Workshop at the 2013 Go Congress, provided $3,000 to help the US Go Camp this year in Pennsylvania and another $7,000 for kids coming to the Go Congress, as well as awarded a $1,000 2012 AGF College Scholarship to go organizer Joey Phoon and a $1,500 earmarked donation covered online teaching games for kids who had never experienced professional training. “We’re doing what we can but we need you to keep the game going,” says Benson. “What we can do depends on you.” Click here for details on how to contribute.
Live Korean go matches with commentary, game reviews and lessons are now available 24/7 through KorTV on Apple TV. KorTV — an Internet television network designed to provide free live Korean IPTV — provides HD quality live Korean go streaming services for $2.99 a month. KorTV also provides baduk (as go is known in Korea) VODs, such as lessons for various levels from beginner to professional and hour-long world matches and Korean leagues. The live broadcasting is in Korean, but some VOD have English subtitles or dubbing. Note: this is a separate service from Baduk TV English — the partnership between Baduk TV and Go Game Guru.
Following lively debate on British go community subscription list Gotalk (see British Open Not So Open, Eurogotv 12/30/13), the British Go Association (BGA) has now reviewed its decision to limit entry to the British Open and British Lightning this year to members of the BGA or other national go organization (see footnote to British Open Taking Entries, EJ 12/29/13). Instead non-members will be subject to a £5 surcharge, payable upon attendance. The events form part of the British Go Congress 2014 which, as reported, will be held at the English south coast resort of Bognor Regis, February 28 – March 3, alongside the European Youth Go Championship. Click here to enter.
Tony Collman, British correspondent for the E-Journal
“It was our great pleasure and honor” to play in the recent Zhugang Cup World Weiqi Team Championship (Korea Wins New International Tournament 1/3 EJ), reports Mingming (Stephanie) Yin 1P (at right). Yin, along with MingJiu Jiang 7P (at left) and Zhaonian (Michael) Chen 6D (bottom right) represented the U.S. at the event in Guangzhou, China, where strong players from around the world gathered in teams of three to compete for a total prize pot of over 5,000,000 RMB ($825,000 USD). “After three rounds of heavy competition among unseeded teams, the US team was successfully able to defeat opponents in the qualification sessions and gain entry into the ranked session,” Yin says. “There, we went up against five teams, all of which had a line-up of world-class competitors.” In the first round, the US played China’s seeded team with Shi Yue 9P, Zhou RuiYang 9P, and Chen YaoYe 9P. In the third round, they played Japan’s Wild Card Team with Takemiya Masaki 9P, Kobayashi Koichi 9P and Cho Chikun 9P, and in the fifth round, the US played Korea’s Wild Card Team with Cho Hun-hyeon 9P, Yoo Chang-hyuk 9P and Lee Chang-ho 9P. “We lost to these incredibly strong teams but finished the tournament with a 2-3 record because of 3-0 wins against the Canadian and Czech Republic teams. To our surprise, we were presented with a Zhugang Cup World Team Go Championship ‘Outstanding Contribution Award.”
photos courtesy Mingming (Stephanie) Yin
The fourth annual Jin Chen Memorial Tournament at the Seattle Go Center brought together 46 players from diverse backgrounds. The 12-person open section was won by Ximeng (Simon) Yu, a 1 dan professional from China who is also a local college student. Second place in the open went to longtime Northwest teacher and player Edward Kim 7d. Edward lost his game to Simon on time, but said he was also behind on points. Third place went to Ran Yan, who traveled to Seattle for the tournament. In the handicapped sections, Go Center teacher Nick Sibicky won the upper dan section, and Ning An, visiting from China, placed second. As is often the case in Seattle, the local Betcher brothers ruled the lower dan section, with Jordon first and Job second. In the upper kyu section, Andrew Mott was first and John Richards was second. In the large lower kyu section Wilhelm Fitzpatrick placed first, young Steven He second, and Rainer Romatka third.
Friends and family of the late Jin Chen came to the tournament from China, including 5 players. They donated a large and beautiful scroll painting of wei-chi players to the Go Center. The trip was organized by Shan Chen, Jin’s father. Their able translator was Xingshuo Liu 7d, a law student at Indiana University. Photo: 1st Round, 1st Board (l-r): Simon Yu, Momoko Tsutsui; 2nd Board: Bert Hallonquist and Edward Kim. Photo/Report Brian Allen
Maojie “Jeff” Xia, who’s visiting Santa Barbara during his winter break from the University of Montana, arrived at the Santa Barbara airport on New Year’s Day and went straight to the Santa Barbara Go Club at the Coffee Bean, where he played for three and a half hours non-stop with club members including Stephanie Ho and Melvin Rosenfeld, giving both six stones and winning by resignation. Xia returned to the club last Saturday for “Saturday Sasual Go”, this week held at the home of Goro Nakano, where he played a simul with three club members. Xia, an ex-insei who studied at Nie WeiPing’s Go school in Beijing, is currently studying accounting at the University of Montana.
photo (l-r): Maojie “Jeff” Xia, Stephanie Ho (7 stones handi, B+2.5), Goro Nakano (7 stones handi, W+R), Melvin Rosenfeld (6 stones handi, W+R).
– report/photo by Ed Lee
Netherlands: Michiel Tel 5d (left) took the Heerlen NieuwJaars Go Toernooi on January 5. Behind him were Jonas Welticke 4d and Geert Groenen 6d. England: Yuanbo Zhang 4d bested Benjamin Drean-Guenaizia 5d at the London Open on December 31 while Pierre Paga 4d placed third. Finland: The Takapotku Open finished in Espoo on January 6 with Juri Kuronen 6d in first, Antti Tormanen 7d in second, and Vesa Laatikainen 5d 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
After a rather low key start to the European Team Championship, Ireland sprung into life mid-season against the United Kingdom. Gavin graciously avoided winning on time on board 1, whilst Ian and Justyna used komi well to win with white. James, still somewhat suspiciously playing under the wrong flag, came out on the wrong side of a life and death problem. Overall 2-2 and a reasonable result for the underdogs.
Sixteen-year-old Calvin Sun narrowly edged out 17-year-old Bill Lin to become the American Go Association’s third pro Monday night. Sun eked out a 1.5-point win in an exciting nearly 300-move final – forced by Lin’s second-round win earlier in the day — that kept hundreds of fans on KGS guessing until the very end. Sun topped a tough field of eight strong players in the second AGA Pro Qualification Tournament and joins Andy Liu 1P and Gansheng Shi 1P – who won the 2012 edition — as the first homegrown U.S. professional go players. Ryan Li won the Exhibition League. Click here for pairings, results and game records. Jeff Shaevel directed the tournament and Dennis Wheeler led the E-Journal game broadcast team, which included Andrew Jackson, Richard Dolen, Dave Dows and Joe Cepiel. Myungwan Kim 9P served as referee and provided live game commentary on KGS (available free under KGS Plus/Recent Lectures) for the two final rounds. The event was hosted by the historic Hotel Normandie in downtown Los Angeles. photo by Dennis Wheeler
It all comes down to one game now. 17-year-old Bill Lin’s 171-move defeat of 16-year-old Calvin Sun Monday morning means the two will play a decisive tie-breaker tonight to decide who the next AGA pro will be. The game will be broadcast live on KGS at 7P EST (4p PST), with commentary by Myungwan Kim 9P. Click here for pairings, results and game records. photo: Bill Lin (right) plays Calvin Sun in the final round; photo by Dennis Wheeler
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Calvin Sun (right) is one win away from being the next American pro. Sun edged out Jianing Gan by 1.5 points in a dramatic game Sunday morning in which the lead appeared to change hands several times, keeping hundreds of viewers on KGS riveted to their screens. Monday’s final between Sun and bottom bracket winner Bill Lin will be accompanied by live game commentary starting at 10a PST (1p EST) on KGS by Myung-wan Kim 9P, James Kim and Matthew Burrall. Since Sun has already beaten Bill Lin (left in photo) in a previous match, one more win for him will clinch his berth as the next US pro. If Lin wins, there will be one final game to determine the tournament winner. Click here for pairings, results and game records. photo by Dennis Wheeler
The 40th London Open Go Congress, the UK’s largest and oldest go event, took place December 28-31 at the International Student House in central London. With a field of 109 players ranging from 5d to 24k, first place in the seven-round main tournament was taken by Zhang Yuanbo 4d (right), a Chinese graduate of the University of Nottingham, with six wins. French visitors Benjamin Drean-Guenaizia 5d and Pierre Paga 4d took second and third place with six and five wins respectively and Briton Andrew Simons 4d, also on five wins, came fourth. Games were 90 minutes main time (60 if both players 20k or weaker), with Canadian (repeating) overtime of 20/5 and tie-breaks decided on McMahon score. In fact, as our photo below shows, Zhang could have had a perfect 7/7 if he had noticed opponent Drean-Guenaizia’s flag fall during overtime in round six. However, his attention was entirely focused on the close battle on the board and he eventually decided the game was lost and resigned. Click here for full results.
After 10-minute round-robin qualifiers, fellow Finns and good friends Mikko Suikola 4d and Janne Nikula 2d emerged from a knockout stage as finalists in the Lightning, held on Monday evening, December 30. The 12-minute final was rather informal, with beer on the table and good-natured banter passing between the competitors as they played, referee Jenny Radcliffe having to step in at one point to warn one of the many spectators not to comment on the position. Despite a stiff handicap of three stones, based on McMahon score after Nikula’s rather poor showing in the main, Suikola nevertheless prevailed to take first prize.
In the Pair Go, an unfortunate paucity of female competitors meant there were a number of all-male teams admitted to balance the numbers and in fact no females figured in the top three (of 14) pairs, who were Boris Mitrivoc 2d and Fynn Bachmann 1k, Andre Stadtler 3d and Chris Volk 2k, and Andrew Russell 4k and Jonathan Green 5k, in that order. The tournament rule that a Pair Go team shall comprize “one lady and one man” was overcome by the forensic observation that the term “lady” was undefined. We spare the blushes of the nominal “ladies” by not specifying who was which. Click here for full results.
Top European-rated player, Korean Hwang In-seong 8d (right, at board facing camera) was present throughout, spending two-three hours per round reviewing games as well as giving a lecture on opening theory on Sunday 12/29 and one on local techniques Monday 12/30 and reviewing the top game on the teaching board on the Tuesday afternoon, 12/31. He told the E-Journal he had competed in the London Open in 2005 and was very happy to have been invited to teach there this year. Guo Juan, who has for many years filled this role, was in Montreal this year and so unable to attend.
There was also a new event on Monday 12/30, the first WBaduk Varsity Match, between teams from Oxford and Cambridge Universities which was drawn (see Oxford and Cambridge Battle to Draw in 1st WBaduk Varsity Match, EJ 1/1).
After the prize-giving ceremony, proceedings ended with Rengo followed by a New Year’s Eve meal.
The Congress was organized by the British Go Association and the Central London Go Club, and also received support from the Nippon Club, the Anglo-Korean Society, WBaduk and others. Martha McGill was the main organizer, Jenny Radcliffe tournament director and organizer and referee for the Lightning and Rengo. Nick Wedd was the referee for the main tournament and organizer and referee for the Pair Go. Tony Atkins organized provision of equipment and David Cantrell ran the bookstall. Others too numerous to mention played smaller roles.
Click here for further details in the British Go Association’s report.
In other British go news Under-10 Champion Oscar Selby 7k (pictured above, looking over Hwang’s shoulder) took the 2013 Youth Grand Prix with 1411 points – more than twice those of his nearest rival, Edmund Smith 17k. Click here for full details.
Tony Collman, British correspondent for the E-Journal.
And then there were three. Calvin Sun, Jianing Gan and Bill Lin are the finalists to be the next U.S. professional go player. Sun and Gan play each other Sunday morning (the game will be broadcast live on KGS) to determine the top-bracket winner, who will then play bottom bracket winner Lin. Click here for pairings, results and game records.
Promotional League Round Four results: Calvin Sun defeated Jianing Gan (top bracket); Bill Lin eliminated Andrew Lu (bottom bracket).
Round Three results: Jianing Gan defeated Calvin Sun (top bracket); Bill Lin eliminated Ryan Li; Andrew Lu eliminated Eric Lui.
Round Two results: Jianing Gan defeated Eric Lui (B+r); Calvin Sun beat Bill Lin (B+r); Ryan Li eliminated Daniel Gourdeau (B+r); Andrew Lu eliminated Ben Lockhart (W+2.5).
Exhibition League: 1/4 morning session (winner in CAPS): 1) Aaron Ye vs. DANIEL KO; 2) Yixian Zhou vs. BEN LOCKHART
1/4 evening session: 1) ERIC LUI vs. Daniel Ko; 2) RYAN LI vs. Ben Lockhart; 3) Yixian Zhou vs. DANIEL GOURDEAU; 4) François Gourdeau vs. AARON YE
- photo by Dennis Wheeler
Both West Coast NAMT points qualifier tournaments are coming up soon. The Northern California Ing Cup – sponsored by Ing’s Goe Foundation – is set for Saturday, January 18th, while The Dado 2014 Southern California Go Championship – organized by the Orange County Go Club and the Dado Cultural Exchange Association – will be held on Saturday and Sunday February 8-9. The 1-day, 4-round Ing Cup features Jiang ZhuJiu and Rui NaiWei, who will lead a team of 20 players from China, and is hosted by Legend’s Game Store. The Southern California Championship, a 2-day, 5-round event, has $2,500 in cash awards, with $600 to the open section winner; registration deadline is Feb. 5. Winners in both events qualify for the 2014 North American Masters Tournament (NAMT). photo: 2013 NorCal Ing
Aoki To Challenge For Women’s Kisei: For the third year in a row, the Women’s Kisei title will feature a clash between Aoki Kikuyo 8P (right) and Xie Yimin. The play-off to decide the challenger was held at the Ryusei Studio, a TV studio for the cable TV go and shogi channel located in the basement of the Nihon Ki-in at Ichigaya in Tokyo, on December 16. Taking white, Aoki defeated Ishii Akane 2P by resignation after 256 moves. Aoki won this title from Xie in 2012, but lost it back in 2013. The best-of-three title match for the 17th title will begin on January 23.
Iyama Keeps Grand Slam Dreams Alive: Iyama Yuta played an important game on December 17. If he is to have a chance of scoring a full-fledged grand slam next year, he first of all has to become the challenger for the Judan title, the only one of the top seven not in his keeping. To do this, he needed to win two more games. The first was the semifinal, held on the 17th. Taking black, he defeated Mizokami Tomochika 8P by resignation, so he has reached the play-off to decide the challenger. His opponent will be the winner of the other semifinal, Takao Shinji 9P.
First Round Of Meijin League Completed: Two games in the 39th Meijin League were played in mid-December, completing the first round. On the 16th, Takao Shinji 9P (B) defeated Yuki Satoshi Judan by resignation. On the 19th, Kono Rin 9P (W) beat Ko Iso 8P, also by resignation.
Honinbo League Update: On December 19, two games were played in the 69th Honinbo League. Cho U 9P defeated league newcomer Ida Atsushi 7P (left) by just half a point to secure a plus record. He and Ida are both on 2-1. The other league newcomer, Yo Seiki 7P, picked up his first win after starting with two losses. Taking black, he beat Sakai Hideyuki 8P by 3.5 points.
Women’s Meijin League: One game was played in the 26th Women’s Meijin League on December 19. Ishii Akane 2P (B) beat Okuda Aya 3P by resignation, but both players have lost their places in the league. The top four keep their places, but four players already have three wins, so Okuda, now on 1-4, can’t catch up. Ishii is on 2-4 and has played all her games; she has a bye in the final round. Kato Keiko 6P leads the league on 4-1.
Korea Wins New International Tournament: Yet another new international tournament has been founded in China (there are so many now that it’s hard to keep track). The latest arrival is the Zhugang Cup World Weiqi Team Championship, organized by the Chinese Weiqi Association and the Guangzhou City Physical Education Congress. Presumably Zhugang is the name of the sponsor, but I have no information about this. The new tournament is for three-player teams, who play one-on-one games up to the final.
The first Cup was held from December 20 to 25, starting with a preliminary round on the 20th, followed by a ranking tournament from the 22nd to the 24th to decide the 16th to 5th places. The top four teams met in semifinals and the top two played a final, all on the 25th; uniquely for an official tournament, the final took the form of a consultation game, with the players on each team conferring about their moves. There were some famous consultation games in prewar Japan, but they were not in official tournaments. Another novel feature of the tournament is that Japan, China, and Korea each fielded a second team, made up of players who had won international tournaments. These are the teams with “W” after the country’s name (“W” seems to be short for “wild cards”).
First of all, here are the placings in the ranking tournament (ties were broken by win totals).
1. Korea 5-0
2. China: 4-1
3. China W: 4-1
4. Korea W: 3-2
5. Japan W: 3-2
6. Japan: 3-2
7. Chinese Taipei: 3-2
8. Hong Kong: 3-2
9. Thailand: 2-3
10. USA: 2-3
11. Germany: 2-3
12. Australia: 2-3
13. Ukraine: 2-3
14. Czech Republic: 1-4
15. Canada: 1-4
16. Macao: 0-5
In the semifinals, Korea beat Korea W 3-0 and China beat China W by the same margin. In the final, the Korean team of Kang Tong-yun 9P, Ch’oe Ch’eol-han 9P, and Pak Cheong-hwan 9P (B) beat the Chinese team of Shi Yu 9P, Zhou Ruiyang 9P, and Chen Yaoye 9P by resignation. Presumably in order to allow for the extra time required for the players to consult, the time allowance for this game was four and a half hours per team, followed by byo-yomi of 60 seconds x 5 times. This is probably the longest time allowance for an international tournament so far. (For the other games, the time allowance was two hours 45 minutes, with the same byo-yomi.)
In the play-off for third place, held on the same day, China W beat Korea W 3-0. The individual results here were as follows (all players are 9P): Gu Li (B) beat Cho Hun-hyeon by resig.; Chang Hao (W) beat Yu Ch’ang-hyeok by 7.5 points; Kong Jie (B) beat Yi Ch’ang-ho by resig. Just for the record, the Japan W team, which ended above the regular team, was made up of Kobayashi Koichi, Cho Chikun, and Takemiya Masaki. The members of the regular team were O Meien, Ryu Shikun, and Mizokami Tomochika.
Over 500 hundred fans watched online Friday morning as the opening round began for the second AGA Pro Qualification tournament. The games are being held at the historic Hotel Normandie in downtown Los Angeles, and broadcast online on KGS. Games began at 9:30 am (PST) Friday, January 3. Players who lose in the first round will still have a second chance to continue on into Round Two in this double elimination knockout event. Round Two started at 4:30 pm (PST) today (Jan. 3).
Round 1 results: Eric Lui defeated Daniel Gourdeau (W+12.5); Jianing Gan defeated Ryan Li (W+r); Bill Lin defeated Ben Lockhart (W+14.5); Calvin Sun defeated Andrew Lu (B+1.5).
Before the games started, each player was given a portable go set from the Korea Baduk Association (KBA). The winner will not only be certified as the AGA’s third professional player, but will also win a $1,500 cash prize, and each finalist will receive $800.
Jeff Shaevel is the tournament director, Myungwan Kim the referee, and the E-Journal’s game recording team includes Andrew Jackson, Richard Dolen, Dave Dows, Dennis Wheeler and Joe Cepiel. Also on hand are AGA president Andy Okun and Executive Vice President Ted Terpstra.
- report by Dennis Wheeler
At least seven out-of-town players are coming to the Jin Chen Memorial Tournament in Seattle. “Registration is on the morning of the tournament, Sunday, Jan. 5 at 10 a.m., so we don’t know about everybody who is coming,” reports manager Brian Allen. “But we expect the open section to be very competitive.” Xingshuo Liu, 7d and Ran Yan, 6d are traveling to the games for a second year. A young Chinese pro, Ximeng Yu (Simon), 1P, who is now a local college student is also probably coming. ”We also have five amateur dan level players who are visiting from China. Their instructor, Xiaomin Yao, 4P, will provide game analysis. Ms. Yao was a colleague of Guo Juan and Yilun Yang when they lived in China and this is her first trip to the United States.” Photo: Xingshuo Liu (far left) and Ran Yan (far right) at the 2013 Jin Chen Tournament. photo by Brian Allen
Starting this Friday, eight young North American go players will battle it out to be the next American go professional (8 Young North Americans Want To Be Next AGA Pro 11/21/2013 EJ). The second AGA Pro Certification Tournament will take place January 3-7 in Los Angeles and the E-Journal will broadcast top-board games live on KGS in the AGA Tournaments Room. Click here for the schedule and pairings.