“In your recent article (Your Move/Readers Write: Where to Play Go in Japan 9/13 EJ), Devin Flake states that the Diamond Go Salon is ‘mainly for women,’” writes” Adam Harding. “I am a long term member of that salon and I would say that DIS (Diamond Igo Salon) is not as much ‘mainly for women,’ but more for young and middle-aged players. The salon owners do run a monthly ‘Igo for women’ session which is for women only.” Harding says that Diamond’s other strong points include “a strong connection to the professional world; the owner runs her program on the Igo/Shogi channel; the atmosphere is that of a high-class wine bar instead of smoky back-room, with drinks and food available and the age range of players is about 20-50 on Wednesdays and Fridays instead of 40-60 as seems to be at most other places.” While Harding says DIS “is most slightly more expensive,” he notes that membership brings the entrance price down to that of other salons.” Click here for DIS lesson and Go Circle information and the club’s instructor listing (all in Japanese).
Last year a new force appeared in Korean amateur go. Wei Taewoong, who had just turned twenty, came out of essentially nowhere to finish as runner-up in the Lee Changho Cup and the Nosacho Cup. Then at the end of the year he won the Guksu, Korea's top amateur tournament, and earned the right to represent Korea in the 2014 World Amateur Go Championship. Shortly after taking second place in the WAGC, he competed in an eight-player knockout to decide who would represent Korea in the upcoming Korea Prime Minister Cup, and he won that too, beating last year's KPMC champion Park Jaegeun.
Ranka interviewed Wei shortly after he won the 2014 KPMC.
Ranka: Please tell us how you got started and about your playing career up to now.
Wei: There was a baduk academy in my neighborhood and I started going there when I was seven years old. That's how I learned to play, although I don't remember the name of my first teacher. Later I went to another baduk academy for ten years, but I wasn't making very good progress there, so a year and a half ago I switched over to the Choongam Baduk Academy. I now train at Choongam from morning to evening five days a week, preparing for what I hope will be a professional career. Often I don't get home until midnight. On weekends I study at home or take part in other tournaments.
Ranka: How have your parents reacted to your decision to try to make pro?
Wei: They haven't come out clearly for or against it. They've just said, 'If you think you can keep it up then go ahead.'
Ranka: Had you played in other international tournaments before the World Amateur Go Championship in Gyeongju this summer?
Wei: No, that was my first international tournament.
Ranka: Did it make a deep impression on you?
Wei: Yes it did, because I lost to the player from Chinese Taipei and ended up in second place by one SOS point. That loss left a deeper impression on me than anything else in my career so far.
Ranka: How would you compare Chan Yi-tien, the player who beat you in Gyeongju, with Juang Cheng-jiun, the player from Chinese Taipei you beat here?
Wei: After losing to Chan, I was worried about Juang because he was so young, but he turned out to be a little weaker than Chan.
Ranka: Had you played Benjamin Lockhart, the American player, at Choongam?
Wei: No, but I had heard that he was at about the same level as a few other trainees I knew there, so I had some idea of what to expect.
Ranka: Does that mean you were able to relax when you played him in the last round?
Wei: Actually I relaxed too much.
Ranka: How would you describe your style of play?
Wei: I seem to have a reputation for liking to fight.
Ranka: But your game against the Chinese player in the fifth round appeared rather peaceful.
Wei: It may have looked that way, but there was a lot of invisible fighting going on.
Ranka: Is there any professional player that you particularly admire?
Wei: Lee Changho.
Ranka: How do you feel about winning the KPMC?
Wei: After finishing a sad second in Gyeongju I was pretty uneasy about how I might end up here, but now that it's over and I've managed to come in first, I feel very happy.
Ranka: What will your next tournament be?
Wei: I'm not sure whether it will be my next or not, but I plan to compete in the new Jeongseon Arirang Cup in early October.
Ranka: Thank you and good luck.- Photo: Ito Toshiko
The 9th Korea Prime Minister Cup International Amateur Baduk Championship was held on September 19 and 20 at the headquarters of the Korean Baduk Association in Seoul (baduk is the Korean word for go). Korean players had won six of the eight preceding KPMCs, but this year Korean fans had cause for apprehension: just two months before, at the World Amateur Go Championship in Gyeongju, Korea, their player Wei Taewoong had lost to a player from Chinese Taipei and finished only second. In the KPMC, however, Wei came through magnificently. He dispatched opponents from the Ukraine, South Africa, and Hong Kong on the first day, and added three more victories on the second day to score a perfect 6-0 result.
Wei's opponent in the fourth round was Chinese Taipei's Juang Cheng-jiun, a fourteen-year-old who had defeated Japan's Tsuchimune Yoshiyuki in round three and will start playing professionally next year. Juang seems never to stop smiling -- except when he sits down to play. Then his eyes bore into the board and his friendly grin is replaced by a look of hyper-intense concentration. As his game with Wei progressed, however, hyper-concentration morphed into hyper-agitation, followed by resignation after only an hour and fifteen minutes of play.
Wei's fifth-round opponent was China's Hu Yuqing, two-time world amateur champion and by far China's top-ranked amateur player. Now it was Wei who showed signs of agitation while Hu wore an expression of calm confidence -- until the endgame began. That was when Wei seized on some small mistakes by Hu to surge into the lead. By the end of the game he was more than ten points ahead.
Wei's last opponent was the USA's Benjamin Lockhart who, like Wei, is training at the prestigious Choongam Baduk Academy in Seoul. Had the American taken this game he would have finished in first place, but as it turned out, the tournament had already climaxed in round five. Wei now won decisively again to become undisputed champion.
Meanwhile, Hu was beating Juang in what turned out to be the game that settled second place, and the other forty-seven contestants were fighting pitched battles for the remaining places. A list of final standings is given below.
A complete tournament record is available here.
The tournament was run on the Swiss System with a pairing algorithm that attempted to match players with the closest scores (wins, SOS, SOSOS) in each round. This algorithm is known not to produce the ideal order of finish, Chinese Taipei's 7th place being a case in point, but it generates maximum excitement and tension, and that is important too. The lack of precision in the final standings, which is inevitable with any version of the Swiss system, was largely compensated for at the awards ceremony. Certificates and prize goods were presented to no less than eighteen players, including the top sixteen in the tournament as a whole and the top four in each of three continental zones (ten players got double awards). For the record, let it be said that although Serbia's Dejan Stanković, the oldest contestant, was not among these award-winners, in terms of the players he beat and lost to, he also turned in an award-worthy performance.
Before, during, and after the tournament there were numerous extra activities: a visit to the Choongam Baduk Academy, an opening ceremony with Korean traditional and popular music, an evening excursion to the Seoul Tower, a visit to the Changdeuk Palace and Secret Garden, and two opportunities to participate in simultaneous games against Korean professional opponents. The second opportunity came in a massive car-free street festival in which a team of some hundred pros took on all comers, hoping to break a 1000-game record set in Japan. Whether because of overcast skies or the competing attractions of the Asian games in Incheon, the hoped-for 1004-game mark was not reached, but all fifty-one KPMC players joined in the attempt.
The referees (Korean pros Seo Bongsoo, Cho Hyeyeon, and Kim Sungrae), the interpreters (Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish), and the staff did an outstanding job of assisting the players and keeping everything running smoothly. Particularly impressive was the tactful way they dissuaded players whose games had finished from crowding around the China-Korea board in round five, giving the two players in that critical match ample space in which to concentrate without distraction. Except for the absence of the Brazilian contestant, the whole tournament went without a hitch. Already one looks forward to the 10th KPMC in 2015.
- James Davies (photos by Ito Toshiko)
Final standings in 9th Korea Prime Minister Cup
1 Wei Taewoong (6-0, Korea)
2 Hu Yuqing (5-1, China)
3 Vorawat Tanapatsopol (5-1, Thailand)
4 Tsuchimune Yoshiyuki (5-1, Japan)
5 Benjamin Lockhart (5-1, USA)
6 Emil Garcia (5-1, Mexico)
7 Juang Cheng-jiun (4-2, Chinese Taipei)
8 Dmitry Surin (4-2, Russia)
9 Lukas Podpera (4-2, Czechia)
10 Zhao Jiarui (4-2, Hong Kong)
10 Alvin Han (4-2, Singapore)
12 Thomas Debarre (4-2, France)
13 Trần Quang-tuệ (4-2, Vietnam)
14 Özgür Değirmenci (4-2, Turkey)
15 Stefan Kaitschick (4-2, Germany)
16 Thomas Heshe (4-2, Denmark)
17 Lou Wankao (4-2, Macau)
18 Jimmy Cheng (3-3, Malaysia)
19 Dmytro Yatsenko (3-3, Ukraine)
20 Doyoung Kim (3-3, New Zealand)
21 James Sedgwick (3-3, Canada)
22 Dejan Stanković (3-3, Serbia)
23 Mihai Serban (3-3, Romania)
24 Vesa Laatikainen (3-3, Finland)
25 Kim Ouweleen (3-3, Netherlands)
26 Miguel Castellano (3-3, Spain)
27 Amir Fragman (3-3, Israel)
28 Jakob Bing (3-3, Sweden)
29 Bram Vandenbon (3-3, Belgium)
30 Marcin Majka (3-3, Poland)
31 Aliaksandr Chakur (3-3, Belarus)
32 Sebastian Mualim (3-3, Indonesia)
33 Andrew Kay (3-3, UK)
34 Daniel Tomé (3-3, Portugal)
35 Lorenz Trippel (2-4, Switzerland)
36 Andre Connell (2-4, South Africa)
37 Stefano You (2-4, Italy)
38 Tomas Hjartnes (2-4, Norway)
39 Albertas Petrauskas (2-4, Lithuania)
40 Gregor Butala (2-4, Slovenia)
40 Thomas Shanahan (2-4, Ireland)
42 Alexandra Urbán (2-4, Hungary)
43 Kinyi Kina (2-4, Peru)
44 Dolgorsuren Batmunkh (2-4, Mongolia)
45 Daniel Bosze (2-4, Austria)
46 Aaron Chen (2-4, Australia)
47 Jeremie Hertz (2-4, Luxembourg)
48 Peter Smolarik (1-5, Slovakia)
49 David Pollitzer (1-5, Argentina)
50 Demetrios Katsouris (1-5, Cyprus)
51 Sung Hui-yee (1-5, Brunei)
52 --- (0-6, Brazil, absent)
Zonal Awards: America and Oceania
1 Benjamin Lockhart (USA)
2 Emil Garcia (Mexico)
3 Doyoung Kim (New Zealand)
4 James Sedgwick (Canada)
Zonal Awards: Europe and Africa
1 Dmitry Surin (Russia)
2 Lukas Podpera (Czechia)
3 Thomas Debarre (France)
4 Özgür Değirmenci (Turkey)
Zonal Awards: Asia (excluding China, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, and Macau)
1 Vorawat Tanapatsopol (Thailand)
2 Alvin Han (Singapore )
3 Trần Quang-tuệ (Vietnam)
4 Jimmy Cheng (Malaysia)
This is the last week to sign up your city’s team for the upcoming year of the Pandanet-AGA City League. “We almost have a full roster for this season,” reports League Coordinator Steve Colburn. Any information can be found on the rules page or at email@example.com.
A glorious fall day at the Umstead State Park in Cary, North Carolina welcomed the 14th annual Triangle Memorial Go Tournament on September 20. Despite the tranquil surroundings, mental chaos reigned under the picnic shelter as 34 contestants from four states battled through four rounds. The early prediction for a final repeating last year’s showdown between the two 7-dan prior champions, but all expectations changed when the top three players all fell in the first round. Ultimately Seth Cardew (at right, in white shirt) of Tennessee, entered as 2-dan, emerged as the Open champion with a perfect score of 4-0, defeating both 7-dans in the process, including an astonishing kill against many-time champion Changlong Wu in the final round (right), taking just two stones, which secured the $500 top prize. Second place went to Liqun Liu 7D at 3-1.
Other prize winners were Justin Blank at 4-0 followed by Anthony Long, both 4k, in Group A, Alvin Chen 10k scoring 4-0 in Group B, and Dale Blann 14k sweeping section C at 4-0 with Ellen Zeng at 3-1. Following long tradition, all entry fees were returned to the players in prizes, augmented by a gift from the sponsoring Triangle Go Group, and all players were treated to lunch and snacks throughout. The tournament was directed by AGA membership coordinator Charles Alden (left), with logistical assistance from Bob Bacon, Paul Celmer and Adam Bridges.
- report by Charles Alden; photos by Bob Bacon
Peter Nelson, a recent arrival to Seattle from Minnesota, was selected for the Seattle 1 Pandanet-AGA City League Team, after winning the Qualifier Tournament at the Seattle Go Center by a narrow margin. Longtime Northwest player Edward Kim placed second at the tournament, with the same win/loss record, and will also join the team. Returning first team members are Simon (Ximeng) Yu, and Ho Son. The Seattle Pandanet-AGA team placed second last August in the A League competition, losing to the team from neighboring Vancouver B.C. The board order for the teams in the online tournament is determined by AGA ratings, so Nelson will probably have the alternate position. Nelson had an AGA rating of 3 dan last month, and has a 4 dan rating at present. However, he won two even games against a 7 dan at the tournament, plus a game against Xiaowu Li, who is a 5 dan in China, so observers expect his rating to continue to improve.
The open tournament was a challenge to both players and Tournament Directors Sonny Cho and Dennis Wheeler. Due to “circular wins” four players had identical records after four rounds, necessitating a playoff round. The tournament lasted 9 hours and some players had five games. In addition to Peter Nelson and Edward Kim, Dong Baek Kim and Xiaowu Li were finalists. This was the first Seattle event for Xiaowu Li, a Visiting Scholar at the University of Washington Law School, and former director of the faculty go club at Tsinghua University, Beijing, China. Photo: Simon (Ximeng) Yu watches the game of Peter Nelson and Xiaowu Li. Report/photo by Brian Allen
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The AGA is holding a 1-day tournament on KGS on Monday, September 22 to select the replacement for Gansheng Shi, who was selected to represent North America at the SportAccord World Mind Games (SAWMG) but could not go. Mingjiu Jiang will play Eric Lui on Monday at 12 noon EDT in the AGA tournament room, and the winner will later play a deciding game with Jie Liang. The time for the second game is yet to be determined, but we’ll try to post it on our Twitter and Facebook accounts.
First place: Keith Arnold 4D (at right, in cap), 3-1; Yukino Takehara 1K, 4-0; Bob Ehrlich 5K, 4-0; Bob Crites 8K, 4-0; and Sarah Crites 15K, 4-0. “Bob and Sarah (left) are father and daughter,” reports Allan Abramson, “Sarah is done with 15K and probably will be 12K by the Pumpkin Classic next month!
Second place: Kabe Chin 2D, 3-1; Frederick Bao 1D, Julian Erville 1D, Quinn Baranosky 3K, and Weisong Kong 3K, all tied at 2-2; Diego Pierrottet 5K, 3-1; Keith Krulack 9K and Tevis Tsai 8K, tied at 3-1; and Keith Crank 13K, 2-2.
photos by Gurujeet Khalsa
Registration for this year’s Cotsen Open is now open. The 2-day tournament will be held on October 25-26 at the Korean Cultural Center in Los Angeles. Sponsored by Eric Cotsen (at right), the tournament is one of the biggest on the annual U.S. go calendar and features thousands of dollars in prizes, an extremely competitive Open Division, live KGS commentary on top board games, free masseuses for players, and free food truck lunches to all those who pre-register for both days of the tournament. There will also be a demonstration game between Yilun Yang 7P and Yigang Hua 8P. As usual, everyone who pre-registers and plays in all five of their matches will have their full entry fee refunded; click here to register. Follow the Cotsen on Twitter and Facebook for the latest tournament news.
Hundreds of people gathered to play Go in Korea’s Gwanghwamun Square, on September 21. The event was part of Seoul’s Street Without Cars Festival and Learn Go Week. Go fans got autographs from players like Lee Changho, Lee Sedol and Kim Hyojeong, president of the Korean Baduk Professionals’ Union. One hundred professional go players played simultaneous games with attendees, including international visitors from the 51 countries participating in the 9th Korean Prime Minister’s Cup. Over 1,000 people attended, including many families with children. However, because not everyone played games, the goal of 1,004 simultaneous games was not achieved, and the Guinness World Record – 1,000 players at Take-machi-dohri and Chuo-cho Shopping Streets, Oita, Japan on June 6, 1999 — remained unbroken this year.
- Younggil An, Go Game Guru; right: 100 " href="https://gogameguru.com/professional-go-players/">professional Go players play simultaneous games in Seoul, Korea; left: Seo Neungwuk plays international visitors, including AGA president Andy Okun (3rd from right) and Andrew Jackson (far right).
Hungary: Pavol Lisy 1p took the Hungarian Open Go Championship on September 14 in Budapest while Pal Balogh 6d was second and Viktor Lin 6d placed third. Luxembourg: Also on September 14, Yaqi Fu 6d (left) bested Jonas Welticke 5d at the 7th Luxembourg Go Tournament in Hollenfels. Andreas Goetzfried 4k came in third. Croatia: The 491st Velika Gorica weekend go tournament finished on September 13 with Mladen Smud 1 in first, Marko Popovic 7k in second, and Filip Galekovic 20k 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
Korea’s Wei TaeWoong (right) swept the 9th Korean World Amateur Championships (KPMC), winning all six games on September 19-20 in Seoul. US representative Ben Lockhart scored an impressive 5-1 record, losing only to Wei in the final round (photo). China came in second, followed by Taiwan, Japan, the US, Mexico and Russia. The key game was Wei’s fifth-round match against Hu YuChing from China; Hu led slightly from the beginning, but Wei hung in and succeeded in turning the game around. “I am very happy to win the KPMC,” said Wei, “and I will prepare with my best for next year’s pro qualification tournaments.”
“You mention that you’re looking for a January 2002 article about go by Katy Kramer (Go Spotting: Northeastern University Magazine 6/7 EJ),” writes Harald Zellerer. “I really liked that article also and republished it on the website of the Amsterdam Go Club.” Click here to read “Go: With the Flow.”
Bob Joyce also sent us a copy of the article, noting that “featured is Sangit Chatterjee, who authored Cosmic Go, Galactic Go, and provided game commentaries for the book Go! More Than a Game by Peter Shotwell. He describes the game’s complexity as ‘Go is like six chessboards joined together, with all six games happening at the same time.’” Joyce extended special thanks to Joan Lynch, Managing Editor, Marketing and Communications, Northeastern University,who provided a copy of the article.
Editor’s Note: This terrific article would make an excellent handout for local clubs to beginners or at public events.
I’ve got a set of new-in-box, size 34 (9.5mm) Yuki (snow) graded shell & slate stones I’m letting go for $750. Serious inquiries only please. firstname.lastname@example.org
“Go is getting interesting in Latin America,” reports Mexican organizer Siddhartha Avila, “we’ve been organizing online tournaments for kids with Chile and Ecuador, and they have been a great success. I’ll be at the Iberoamerican Go Tournament in Quito, Ecuador (Oct 9-12) and I hope to meet some of the other organizers in person. We held the very first children’s online match between Chile and Mexico on June 28th, with the participation of twenty children from both countries! We used the OGS Go Server for this match. Go servers like KGS, OGS, IGS are widely used for tournaments or matches between countries in Latin America, and locally, the biggest of them being the Iberoamerican Online Go Tournament organized by Federación Iberoamericana de Go, its 15th edition last year drew more than 100 players.”
For the Chile-Mexico match, there where kids from 5 different schools in Punta Arenas, Chile: Colegio Luterano, Escuela Pedro Pablo Lemaitre, Escuela Juan Williams, Escuela Contardi, Escuela Manuel Bulnes. The match was organized by Club de Go Aonken and their teacher, Sebastián Montiel. On the Mexican side, all the players were from Escuela de Arte Pipiolo and Gimnasio de Go in Mexico City. “It was a great experience, that fills us with joy and enthusiasm to continue sharing go with children of our city, and around the world,” said Montiel
“We’ve had online matches with other schools in the US and Canada before,” said Avila, “especially with Peter Freedman’s students (Portland, OR) and in tourneys like Tiger’s Mouth, the School Team Tournament by the AGHS, or the AGA’s NAKC. We were glad to receive Sebastián’s invitation to play the Chile-Mexico match, and we have in mind inviting more countries where we know there are go programs, or go is taught to children. Ecuador, Venezuela, Argentina, Colombia, Costa Rica, Brasil and Cuba, all come to mind,” adds Avila. Mexico won the matches 8 – 2, full results, and pictures, can be seen here. A report on the first Chile-Ecuador-Mexico match will run in next week’s E-J. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo: kids from Gimnasio de Go enjoy themselves playing against Chile.
Learn Go Week started last weekend, with go players all around the world — 60 events in 21 countries – running teaching events in their local communities. The first-ever event runs through this coming weekend, so if you want to get involved, you can still run a beginners’ night at your local go club this week; click here to let Go Game Guru know about it. This weekend, on September 21, 1004 go players in Korea will attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the most simultaneous games of Go in one place, the headline event at Seoul’s Street Without Cars festival. Last Saturday, the San Diego Go Club sponsored a go demonstration and teaching event at the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park in San Diego. “Dozens of people touring the garden stopped by the koi pond site to play a game or learn the basics of go,” reports club president Ted Terpstra. And in Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, North Carolina, the Triangle Go Club of hosted Yuan Zhou to come from Maryland for a public outreach event (right) on September 13 in the community room of the Earth Fare grocery store. Zhou gave a lecture on the history and cultural aspects of go in China, and also played a simultaneous exhibition match against eight local players. “Triangle Go Club members and Zhou also chatted with onlookers about the game, played friendly demonstration games outdoors, and distributed Way To Go’ booklets,” reports local organizer Paul Celmer. Click here for Go Game Guru’s report on Learn Go Week activities thus far, including lots of cool photos of events in places like Canberra, Australia (left).
History is Not Offensive: “Regarding the ‘offensive’ qualities of the ‘Highbrow’ item (Your Move/Readers Write: High/Low Brow Matrix Offensive 9/14 EJ), I’d like to rebut on behalf of the long-gone authors,” writes Peter St. John. “The thesis, which I believe was new in that era, is that appreciation of, and interest in, higher levels of abstraction is ‘high-brow’. Go is more abstract than chess in the sense of being a level further removed from physical combat, the way Eisenhower immersed in logistics was a level removed from George Patton deploying tanks, who was several levels removed from the gunner pulling a trigger.” St. John also notes that “At the time of the article  the only places to find go in America would be in the math and physics departments of universities. My dad learned, around that time, in a science laboratory from a mimeograph of a German article, because German scholars collaborated with Japanese scholars after the Russo-Japanese war. I urge people not to be offended by history. We can learn from it, not in the sense of learning from an Authority but in the sense of learning from an Experience. The grid is a bit of history.”
Celebrating Progress: Noah Doss agrees, saying that the matrix “simply records historically the type of people who, in the time period observed in the matrix, were most fascinated with go.” He goes on to say that “Nowadays, go is not, in America, a game of the elite, but just because modern man has made some progress in quashing these societal imbalances in some respects doesn’t mean we need be offended by the fact that they once existed. I truly believe go is for everyone and, to be honest, if it was the way of polo or lacrosse in that everyone I met playing go had a trust fund, I would probably not love it so much, coming from a dirty farm town and an undersized stucco house. At a point in time, go was ‘highbrow’ but I think we should honor the fact that it used to be ‘highbrow’ and now we, as a society, have fixed that problem.”
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Turn-Based INGO Server Growing: The International Network Go Organization (INGO) now has about 606 registered members from 24 regions playing nearly 2,000 games. The turn-based server was established in May 2011 and expanded to the US in 2012 (New Turn-Based Go Server Comes to U.S. 9/17/2012 EJ). Links to INGO and other TBG servers – as well as real-time servers – can be found on the AGA’s Internet Go page.
Vancouver Go Group Meets Saturdays: Austin Freeman has started up a small go group in Vancouver, Washington to teach people interested in learning go. The group meets Saturdays at the Cascade Park Library (next to Firstenburg Center) on Mill Plain and 136th/137th in Vancouver from 4-6pm (though Freeman’s often there as early as 1 or 2p). Reach Freeman at email@example.com.