As promised, here is the next batch of newsletters to fill a few hours of July. Included, is a game from the 1992/1993 championship final.
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– Bernard Palmer and Noel Mitchell
The teaser from the last post? Something of a trick question. Eugene Mallon is the name, although definitely not the man. To Irish Go players the fugitive was known as Ben Moore, when captured in France he was using the name Eugene Mallon, whom he had met and played Go with in Dublin, but Ira Einhorn was his real name of the man labelled the Unicorn Killer who the FBI were chasing.
by John Power, EJ Japan Correspondent
Iyama Takes Game 5 To Win Honinbo: Iyama Yuta (at right) completed his Honinbo title defense by winning the fifth round to take the title 4-1 over Ida Atsushi in the best-of-seven match. The fifth game was played at the Hotel Hankyu Expo Park in Suita City, Osaka Prefecture on June 30 and July 1. It was a very difficult game featuring attack and counterattack, and the players following the game in the anteroom at the tournament venue had a lot of trouble predicting the moves. The fighting spilled over from the left side into the center and then into the bottom, but eventually came to a peaceful end with Ida (W) capturing some black stones. A tense endgame fight followed, with Ida using up all his time allowance for the first time. Ida had a good position, but on move 198 he missed a move that would have secured him a win by 2.5 or 3.5 points (according to the newspaper commentator, Yo Seiki 7P). Then, on move 212, Ida made a fatal mistake; the move was played in the final minute of byo-yomi after the game recorder had read out ‘nine’. In conducting the 30-second byo-yomi, the recorder reads out ‘ten seconds,’ ‘twenty seconds,’ then ‘one’ to ‘ten’ for the final ten seconds. If he reads out ‘ten,’ the player loses on time. The move Ida played under this pressure let Iyama upset his lead. Iyama increased his lead after that and was ahead by ten points on the board when Ida resigned on move 247. Click here for Younggil An’s game commentary on Go Game Guru.
In winning the Honinbo League, Ida Atsushi added to his budding reputation for deep and accurate reading and fighting ability, but in this title series Iyama showed that he was more than a match for him. This is Iyama’s 24th title and he has also maintained his sextuple crown, currently holding six out of seven of the major Japanese go titles (the only one he doesn’t currently hold is the Judan). Just to review his record here, he first achieved the sextuple crown when he won the Kisei title in March 2013; he lost the Judan title in the following month, but resumed his sextuple crown when he won the Meijin title in October. He has now kept it for eight months.
Fujisawa Rina Wins First Title: The final of the 1st Aizu Central Hospital Cup Women’s Tournament was held at the Konjakutei, a traditional inn, in Higashiyama Hot Spring, Aizu Wakamatsu City, Fukushima Prefecture on June 26 and 27. Fujisawa Rina 2P (left), playing black, beat Okuda Aya 3P by resignation after 193 moves. This victory will extend the illustrious history of the Fujisawa name in Japanese go; Fujisawa Rina is Fujisawa Shuko’s granddaughter. A number of records were set in this tournament. The prize of seven million yen is the biggest for a women’s tournament in Japan; the final was the first two-day game in a woman’s tournament; at fifteen years nine months, Fujisawa Rin became the youngest woman to win a title in Japan and also the youngest player of either sex to make a sealed move.
Kono Makes Good Start In Gosei Challenge: Kono Rin 9P has made a good start in his challenge for the 39th Gosei title. In the first game, played at the Matsushima Ichi-no-bo hotel in the town of Matsushima in Miyagi Prefecture on June 26, Kono (B) secured a resignation after just 129 moves. After the game, Iyama expressed considerable regret about move 18, a move which seemed to put him on the back foot early in the game. Kono built thickness on the right side and went all out in attack when Iyama invaded. Rather than play negatively and attempt to live small, Iyama also went all out and tried to live on a large scale. However, Kono was able to bring down his group. Kono suffered straight losses in his Gosei challenge last year, so he has already improved on that performance. Iyama suffered his second title-match loss in a row; both games were short, which was perhaps due to Iyama’s aggressive play when he fell behind. The second game is scheduled for July 20.
Kisei Leagues: Recent results in the 39th Kisei Leagues are listed below. It may be a little early to talk about leaders, but just for the record there are four players on 2-0: Yamashita Keigo (right) and Kono Rin in the A League and Murakawa Daisuke and Kobayashi Satoru in the B League.
(June 26) (A League) Yamashita 9P (B) beat Takao Shinji Judan by resig.; Yamashiro Hiroshi 9P (B) beat Hane Naoki 9P by 2.5 points; (B League) Kobayashi Satoru 9P (B) beat Cho Chikun, 25th Honinbo, by resig.
(July 3) Cho Riyu (B) beat Cho Chikun by resig.
Yamashita Misses First Chance To Win 39th Meijin League: On 6-2, Yamashita Keigo was two wins clear of the field in the 39th Meijin League, but he missed his first chance to become the challenger when he dropped his seventh-round game to Cho U. The latter is now on 5-2 and will be hoping for Murakawa Daisuke to help him out by beating Yamashita in the final round. If Cho U won his last game, he would qualify for a play-off with Yamashita. At the other end of the league, Ko Iso, who has played all his games and won only two of them, is the first player to lose his place.
Below are results of games played since my last report.
(June 19) Takao Shinji 9P (W) beat Murakawa Daisuke by resig.
(July 3) Cho U 9P (W) beat Yamashita Keigo 9P by 1.5 points; Takao Shinji 9P (B) beat Ko Iso 8P by resig.
Cho Hunhyun: “No shortcuts” to Stronger Play and World Go
“There are no shortcuts” to getting stronger at go, Cho Hunhyun 9P told the E-Journal in an interview during the World Amateur Go Championship in Korea, where he served as chief referee. “You must study hard. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses, and you must know these and focus your energies accordingly.” Considered one of the greatest go players of all time, Cho has played and won more professional games than any player in the world, with nearly 160 titles and 1,900 wins. After giving the signal for games to begin each day at the WAGC, Cho (right), impeccably attired in a crisp gray suit and perfectly adjusted tie, would quietly move about the playing area observing the games. And while he was impressed with some of the play, he says a lot of work remains to be done. “In the past, Japan has put a lot into developing go around the world, as have China and Korea in recent years, but many other countries should put more effort in as well.” Cho called the recent development of professional systems in both the United States and Europe “a big step for international go” but acknowledged that cultural barriers remain a challenge. “For example, chess is not very popular or very strong in Korea and it’s not easy to change the circumstances or situation, so figuring out how to popularize go in the West is not an easy question.” Cho was quietly optimistic, however, noting that “It took us a lot of time to get to where we are now, proving that the time we have invested in world go has not been wasted.”
- Chris Garlock; photo by John Pinkerton
Striving Hard in Brunei: “Go is hardly known at all in Brunei,” said Chai Hui Lim, President of the Brunei Darussalam Go Association, on her first visit to the World Amateur Go Championship. “It’s a real challenge to get people interested in go but like many other countries we are striving hard to popularize the game,” she said. This was Brunei’s second year of participation in the WAGC. “I think it’s great that so many countries are getting together for an international competition!” said Lim.
- Ranka; photo by Ivan Vigano
2015 WAGC Set for Bangkok; IGF Meeting Highlights: Bangkok has been selected to host next year’s World Amateur Go Championship. Thailand’s selection, reported at the July 5 International Go Federation Annual General Meeting in Gyeongju, Korea, marks the first time this major event will be held outside the traditional go strongholds of Japan, China and Korea, as part of the IGF’s ongoing efforts to internationalize the game. Other IGF meeting highlights included improved IGF finances and successful 2013 events, including the World Amateur Go Championship in Sendai, Japan, the Amateur Pair Go Championship in Tokyo, Japan, and the SportAccord World Mind Games (SAWMG) in Beijing, China. The SAWMG will be held again this year in Beijing from December 11-17, and a brand-new event, the Student Pair Go Championship, is set to take place this October in Tokyo, in conjunction with the standard Pair Go Championship, which this year celebrates the 25th anniversary of Pair Go. Also announced were changes to the IGF Board of Executives. This year will see a rotation of roles from Japan to Korea. The new IGF President will be Seokhyun Hong, previously the Korean Ambassador to the US, taking the reins from Koichiro Matsuura. “I will try my best but my work alone is not enough,” said Hong. “We need everyone’s input and initiative to bring our plans to a successful creation.” Jae-ho Yang, the Secretary General of the Korean Baduk Association, takes up the role of Office Director, carrying on the hard work of Hiroshi Yamashiro and, as previously reported, Yuki Shigeno, the long serving IGF Secretary General, passed the post on to Hajin Lee, the main organizer of this year’s WAGC. Norio Wada, the chairman of the Nihon Kiin, will also join the IGF Board of Directors.
- John Richardson, Ranka; photo by Ivan Vigano
EJ, Ranka & IGF Team Up Again: The American Go E-Journal, Ranka and the IGF teamed up again this year to provide comprehensive coverage of the 2014 World Amateur Go Championship in Gyeonjiu, Korea. John Richardson (second from right) contributed illuminating and entertaining game reports, Ivan Vigano (far right) maintained the tournament grid on the Ranka site in virtually real-time and edited the Ranka posts, photographer John Pinkerton (far left) always had the perfect shots for the daily EJ reports, and Chris Garlock (second from left) did game commentaries as well as edited the EJ posts. New IGF Secretary General Hajin Lee (center) not only organized the event, but made sure the team had whatever we needed and even found the time to play some early-morning tennis with the EJ team. Special thanks to Chihyung Nam, Thomas Hsiang, the entire WAGC staff and of course the players themselves, who not only made this such a great event but who were so generous with their time. Finally, James Davies and Michael Redmond were much missed; see you next year in Bangkok! - photo by Yoshitaka Morimoto of the Nihon Ki-in
2014 WAGC FINAL STANDINGS (left to right)
Row 1: 01 Chinese Taipei–Yi-Tien CHAN; 02 Korea–Tae-woong WEI; 03 China–Wang RUORAN; 04 Hong Kong–Nai San CHAN; 05 Ukraine–Bogdan ZHURAKOVSKYI; 06 Czech Republic–Lukas PODPERA; 07 Russia–Dmitri SURIN; 08 Sweden–Fredrik BLOMBACK; 09 Japan–Kiko EMURA
Row 2: 10 U.S.A.–Jie LIANG; 11 Singapore–Tan JIA CHENG; 12 Netherlands–Merlijn KUIN; 13 Finland–Juuso NYYSSÖNEN; 14 Thailand–Tiawattananont THANAPOL; 15 Serbia–Nikola MITIC; 16 Denmark–Arne Steen OHLENBUSH; 17 Hungary–Pál BALOGH; 18 Poland–Stanisław FREJLAK
Row 3: 19 France–Antoine FENECH; 20 Malaysia–Suzanne D’BEL; 21 Canada–Yongfei GE; 22 Macau–In Hang SAM; 23 Israel–Amir FRAGMAN; 24 Slovakia–Peter JADRON; 25 Indonesia–Rafif Shidqi FITRAH; 26 Vietnam–Nhat Minh VO; 27 Norway–Oeystein VESTGAARDEN
Row 4: 28 Germany–Bernd Rainer RADMACHER; 29 Croatia–Zoran MUTABZIJA; 30 New Zealand–Zhijie BEI; 31 Belgium–Dominique Valérie J. VERSYCK; 32 Lithuania–Andrius PETRAUSKAS; 33 Belarus–Aliaksandr SUPONEU; 34 Turkey–Altan KUNTAY; 35 Switzerland–Sylvain Gasana PRAZ; 36 Spain–Carlos PAU
Row 5: 37 Australia–Sang-Dae HAHN; 38 Romania–Lucian CORLAN; 39 Slovenia–Timotej SUC; 40 Luxembourg–Andreas GÖTZFRIED; 41 Austria–Matthias FRISCH; 42 Portugal–Pedro Miguel DE BRAGANÇA REIS PEREIRA; 43 India–Soni SHAH; 44 U.K.–Francis ROADS; 45 South Africa–John William LEUNER
Row 6: 46 Mongolia–Khatanbaatar TSEND-AYUSH; 47 Argentina–Haroldo BROWN; 48 Italy–Niccolò SGARAVATTI; 49 Ireland–John GIBSON; 50 Mexico–Ricardo QUINTERO ZAZUETA; 51 Azerbaijan–Bahadur Bayram THAIRBAYOV; 52 Brazil–Csaba DEÁK; 53 Brunei–Ho Soon ANG; 54 Costa Rica–Luis Enrique BOZA ARAYA
photos by John Pinkerton; photo collage by John Pinkerton & Chris Garlock
Click here for all the EJ’s WAGC reports, here for Ranka’s reports and here for complete 2014 WAGC results.
School kids in Mexico City capped off their year with tourneys in two locations, reports organizer Siddhartha Avila. “We gave the North american Kyu Championship prizes sent by the American Go Association to Valeria Gonzalez and Samuel Suástegui,” said Avila. “All the kids received a kanji, made by artist Yuko Kosaka, that conveyed a good wish or thought for their lives. We are thankful to have such wonderful people around us, congrats to all the young go players! Pictures of the event can be seen here. Our final tourney was July 5th, it was organized for the students at Gimnasio de Go and hosted by Templo Budista Eko, the tournament was divided in two brackets, 16-20 kyu and 10-15 kyu. We also held a tourney at a Chinese School,Instituto de Idioma y Cultura China, on June 21st. Players ranging from the ages of 5 to 11 competed on 13×13 boards, 1st place went to Nicholas Moran,” Avila reports. Pictures of the event can be seen here. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photos: top: Siddhartha Avila (standing) observing a game at the Chinese school match; bottom: students compete at the Templo Budista.
Winners report, Gimnasio de Go: 10-15k Bracket: 1. Omar Zavala; 2. Lilian Zavala; 3. Valeria Gonzalez; 4. Paula Herrera; 5. Diego Armando Luciano. 16-20k Bracket: 1. Marcos Gonzalez; 2. Rodrigo Villegas; 3. Dante Zavala; 4. Sebastián Bañuelos; 5. Diego Alí.
Due to technical difficulties with the usual election site the ballots instructing voters to go to www.ballotbin.com have been voided, reports AGA Election Coordinator Arnold Eudell. “If you have successfully voted on Ballotbin your vote will be counted and you will not receive a new ballot,” says Eudell. Every eligible voter should have received a new email that directs them to the Balloteer.com website and includes a voter ID and password. Any questions, email email@example.com
Yitien Chan (Chinese Taipei) snatched victory in the 35th World Amateur Go Championship, overtaking Korea by a single tie-break point. Chinese Taipei take home the trophy for the first time ever, and this is also the first time since 1986 (when Hong Kong won) that the winner was not one of the Big Three (China, Japan and Korea).
In a tie-break lottery of sum of opponents’ scores, Chinese Taipei scored 46 taking first place, followed by 45 points for Korea and 43 points for China. The top 10 comprised of Chinese Taipei (1st), Korea (2nd), China (3rd), Hong Kong (4th), the Ukraine (5th), the Czech Republic (6th), Russia (7th), Sweden (8th), Japan (9th) and the USA (10th).
Full results here
Yitien Chan (Chinese Taipei) snatched victory in the 35th World Amateur Go Championship, overtaking Korea by a single tie-break point. Chinese Taipei take home the trophy for the first time ever, and this is also the first time since 1986 (when Hong Kong won) that the winner was not one of the Big Three (China, Japan and Korea). In a tie-break lottery of sum of opponents’ scores, Chinese Taipei scored 46 taking first place, followed by 45 points for Korea and 43 points for China. The top 10 comprised of Chinese Taipei (1st), Korea (2nd), China (3rd), Hong Kong (4th), the Ukraine (5th), the Czech Republic (6th), Russia (7th), Sweden (8th), Japan (9th) and the USA (10th).
In the final round, Hungarian Pal Balogh had no fear of his Korean opponent, launching into the infamous taisha joseki then sauntering around the playing area as his time ticked down. ‘Balogh The Great’ (as he wrote on his score sheet) did not live up to his name however and was toppled by the Korean powerhouse Taewoong Wei.
Luis Enrique Boza Araya (Costa Rica) again put his money on tengen in a last stab at chalking up his first point, but was defeated by the Azerbaijanian Tahirbayov, who had awoken from his morning’s slumber (see Round 7 report).
In a tense showdown between Russia and the Ukraine, it was the latter who took control, fending off the Russian incursion into his territory. Despite a completely winning position against India, Mexico’s delegate Ricardo Quintero Zazueta was distraught to give away his game to Sonia Shah with a slip under time pressure.
The day concluded with the award ceremony, at which traditional Korean spoon sets were presented to Lucian Corlan (Romania) and Tiawattananont Thanapol (Thailand) for their fighting spirit, and the grand trophy was handed to its new owner, the young Yitien Chan of Chinese Taipei. Special prizes were presented by IGF director Martin Finke to Nhat Minh Vo (Vietnam), Rafif Shidqi Fitrah (Indonesia), Csaba Deak (Brazil) and Soni Shah (India).
- John Richardson
Chinese Taipei’s Yitien Chan won the 2014 World Amateur Go Championship on July 9, narrowly edging out Korea’s Taewoong Wei and Ruoran Wang of China. The three were all 7-1, so the winner was decided by SOS (sum of opponents’ scores), with Taipei scoring 46 to Korea’s 45, and China in third at 43. This is the first time in nearly 30 years that a country other than the “Big Three” – Korea, China and Japan – has won the WAGC; the last time was 1986, when Hong Kong won, and in recent years, Korea and China have dominated. “The most important thing is to have a good mindset,” Chan (right) told the E-Journal, explaining the key to his victory. “When the situation is not good, just calm down and find a way out.” Past the age at which he could turn pro in Taipei, Chan is in his senior year in college, where he’s studying economics. The 2014 WAGC top 10 was filled out by Hong Kong (4th), the Ukraine (5th), the Czech Republic (6th), Russia (7th), Sweden (8th), Japan (9th) and the USA (10th). Click here for complete 2014 results and here for all WAGC winners 1979-2013.
Round 7: Early morning fog on the final day of the 2014 World Amateur Go Championship gave way to a clear sky and magnificent views of Lake Bomun. But news of the approach of Typhoon Neoguri left many WAGC players worried about their return flights, and there was turbulent weather on the go board in the 7th round as well, with numerous upsets and even a forfeit. Disappointed by his country’s shocking 7-1 loss to Germany in the World Cup semi-final, Brazil’s Csaba Deak earned an equally easy win over Azerbaijan when Bahadur Tahirbayov overslept and missed his morning match. Czech Lukas Podpera won comfortably against Japan’s Kiko Emura, a bitter result for Emura who was pulling out all stops after his disappointing 8th in last year’s tournament. A large Russian group was fatally encircled by China, leaving Dmitry Surin far behind, though the Russian stubbornly played through to the end of his 37-point loss. Korea forced a resignation from the US (click here for the game record) and Chinese Taipei defeated Thailand, leaving the three Asian go giants locked in a tight battle for this year’s title. At the end of the 7th round, Korea and Chinese Taipei had the same tiebreak score of 30 with China close behind with 28, which meant that, assuming that these players all won their final games, the overall winner would depend on the results of their previous opponents, so reporters were keeping a close eye not only on the top matches but on other key ones as well.
Other game records: Taipei-Thailand; Australia-Israel
Round 8: In the final round on Wednesday afternoon, Hungarian Pal Balogh had no fear of his Korean opponent, dubbing himself ‘Balogh The Great’ on his score sheet and launching into the infamous taisha joseki, neither of which impressed Korean powerhouse Taewoong Wei whose solid, powerful play soon forced Balogh’s resignation. After being mauled by Korea in the previous round, Jie Liang of the US fared no better at the hands of China (click here for the game record), coming up winless for the day when his time ran out, while Canada’s Yongfei Ge could not erase a 10-point deficit against France’s Antoine Fenech in the endgame and resigned. Costa Rica’s Luis Enrique Boza Araya once again put his money on tengen in one last stab at chalking up his first score, but Azerbaijanian Tahirbayov, rested from his morning’s slumber, prevailed. In a tense showdown between Russia and the Ukraine, it was the latter who took control, fending off the Russian incursion into his territory. Mexico developed a winning position against India but Ricardo Quintero Zazueta managed to give away the game to Sonia Shah in a slip under time pressure.
Other Game Records: Russia-China; Hungary-Korea; Singapore-Taipei
Random Notes: Hungary’s Pal Balogh uses almost no time on his clock yet he always seems to be up walking around the playing area checking out other games…Though most of the players either dressed casually or wore sports coats, India’s Soni Shah brought some welcome sartorial cheer with her colorful saris…No matter how much trouble his stones might be having on the board, eleven-year-old Rafif Shidqi Fitrah always had a bright smile and was clearly enjoying every moment of his time at the tournament…Long after the final game of the tournament had finished, Russia’s Dmitry Surin and the Ukraine’s Bogdan Zhurakovskyi were deep in a review of their game, a perfect example of the power of go to transcend political turmoil. Shah and Fitrah both won special prizes, as did Nhat Minh Vo of Vietnam and Brazil’s Csaba Deak, and Lucian Corlan (Romania) and Tiawattananont Thanapol (Thailand) won this year’s Fighting Spirit awards.
- Reporting by John Richardson and Chris Garlock, photos by John Pinkerton and coordination by Ivan Vigano. Thanks to Thomas Hsiang for translation assistance with the Yitien Chan interview. Click here for Ranka’s complete reports and here for complete results.
The World Amateur Go Championship (WAGC) took place in Korea this year, normally it is in Japan. Ireland’s representative this year was John Gibson. Every year the field seems to get stronger, and gone are the days when you could expect mark down an easy victory when you saw that you had been drawn against a certain country. John finished in 49th place from 54, picking up good wins against the South American giants Brazil and Argentina. Francis Roads from the UK finished in 44th place, and John Leuner (ex Dublin) from South Africa, took 45th. Japan, Korea, and Chinese Taipei were all tied at the top on 7 wins, but the latter had collected the most SOS to win the event. You can find full coverage of the event at the USGO and Ranka websites.
Click to see one of John’s games from the world championships
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Credit to Ranka&AGA e-journal team for making this record available
This morning treated the WAGC players to a clear sky and magnificent views of Lake Bomun. But news of the approach of Typhoon Neoguri left many worried about their return flights. There was turbulent weather on the Go board too, with numerous upsets and even a disqualification.
The playing room swarmed with referees as Bahadur Tahirbayov’s flag was lowered signaling his disqualification from this morning’s round. The Azerbaijani was nowhere to be seen. Officials were sent on a search party to his hotel room, where it emerged that he had been unable to awake from a deep slumber that cost him his penultimate game.
Japan’s Kiko Emura suffered another defeat, this time at the hands of Czech Lukas Podpera, who played an excellent game winning comfortably with a tight endgame. This means that Japan will struggle to make the top 10, a bitter result for Emura who was pulling out all stops after his disappointing 8th in last year’s tournament.
Russia was dismantled by China. A large Russian group was fatally encirled, leaving Dmitry Surin many points behind. He went all in with a last ditch ko but Ruoran Wang cooly let the Russian take a few points, content with seizing the rest of the board. More wins for China and Chinese Taipei, leaving the three Asian Go giants China, Korea and Chinese Taipei in tied pole position.
Korea and Chinese Taipei have the same tiebreak score (sum of opponents’ scores) of 30 with China close behind with 28. This means, assuming that these players all win their final games, the overall winner will be down to the results of their previous opponents. We will let fate decide.
The anti-doping test will take place immediately after the final round and before the award ceremony.
- John Richardson
From top left: Jie Liang, Rafif Shidqi Fitrah, Amir Fragman, Nikola Mitic, Altan Kuntay, Ricardo Quintera Zaqueta.
More photos here.
Just as we had thought that the Chinese had it in the bag, Korean maestro Taewoong Wei snatched victory in this afternoon’s game, bringing his score to five wins and one loss, now equal to Chinese player. This throws the field open, as there are now six players sharing the lead. Chances are it will come down to the tiebreak (sum of opponents’ scores) and then only fate will decide whose earlier opponents can provide the points to take pole position. Currently Korea’s SOS is 26 compared to China and Chinese Taipei’s 24.
The tournament leader, Chinese Ruoran Wang, let out a huge yawn at the start of the 6th round (only two to go) of the World Amateur Go Championship 2014. Was it this fatigue that led to his downfall? The game turned into an early running battle with the Korean grabbing many points on the right side of the board. This proved to be too much.
As the tournament wears on the challengers are cranking up the pace, and many games are now reaching their conclusions before the one hour mark. Players are getting more experimental too, with Francis Roads (United Kingdom) taking two 5-4 points and a number of 3-3 sightings coming from the New Zealand and Swiss camps.
Dominique Versyck (Belgium) delighted over his defeat of India’s 1 Dan Soni Shah, taking apart a large central group that he “didn’t need to kill but, well, might as well”. While “perhaps not the politest solution”, this victory pushes him to a respectable three wins out of six. The 12 year old Nhat Minh Vo (Vietnam) steered his game into a huge central battle, culminating with a semeai where it was his stones, and not those of his Australian opponent Sang-Dae Hahn, that perished in the fight.
- John Richardson
After his 5th-round win over Chinese Taipei’s Yitien Chan on Tuesday morning, China’s Ruoran Wang (left, below) must have been eying the 2014 World Amateur Go Championship trophy a bit possessively. After all, he had just beaten the only other top undefeated player, and heavy favorite Taewoong Wei of Korea (at right) had lost by half a point to Taipei in the 3rd round on Monday. But when the dust settled after the 6th round on Tuesday afternoon, the top trophy was once more up for grabs, with China, Korea and Taipei all holding 5-1 records, though on SOS, Korea looks to have the edge.
Meanwhile, the US and Russia, also 5-1, are looking to break back into the top five and Japan, Hong Kong, Thailand, Canada and the Czech Republic are battling it out for a top 10 finish. The final two rounds on Wednesday will settle things; top pairings for Round 7 are Korea-US, China-Russia, Taipei-Thailand and Hong Kong-Canada. Click here for latest results.
It was Korean maestro Taewoong Wei who derailed China’s march to the title by snatching victory in his 6th-round game Tuesday afternoon against China’s Ruoran Wang, who had taken the lead just that morning with a win against Taipei (click here for the game record). Wang let out a huge yawn at the start of the afternoon round and the game turned into an early running battle with the Korean collecting points on the right side of the board that in the end proved to be too much (click here for the Korea-China game record).
Meanwhile, Jie Liang (US, below right) edged out Yongfei Ge (Canada, below left) by 1.5 points in a North American showdown Tuesday morning that was one of the last games to finish (click here for the game record). Perhaps drained from his hard-fought 4th-round win against Japan on Monday afternoon, Ge fell behind early and Liang was able to maintain his lead into the finish. Liang then drew the Czech Republic’s Lukas Podpera in the 6th-round. Podpera had fought gamely but vainly against Korea in his morning round (click here for the game record) and threw himself into the battle with Liang, winning three fierce ko’s but coming up short in the end and resigning gracefully (click here for the game record).
As the tournament wears on the challengers are cranking up the pace, and many games are now reaching their conclusions before the one hour mark. Players are getting more experimental too, with Francis Roads (United Kingdom) taking two 5-4 points and 3-3 sightings coming from the New Zealand and Swiss camps. Dominique Versyck (Belgium) was delighted with his 6th-round defeat of India’s Soni Shah 1D, taking apart a large central group that he allowed he “didn’t need to kill but, well, might as well.” While “perhaps not the politest solution,” Versyck’s victory pushed him to a respectable three wins out of six. Twelve-year-old Nhat Minh Vo (Vietnam) steered his 6th-round game into a huge central battle, culminating with a semeai where it was his stones, and not those of Australian opponent Sang-Dae Hahn, that perished in the fight.
Other Round 5 game records: Sweden-Russia
Other Round 6 game records: Thailand-Slovakia; ChineseTaipei-Ukraine
Shigeno Passes the Torch: This year’s WAGC marked the retirement of Yuki Shigeno (at right) from her post as the Secretary General of the International Go Federation (IGF), where she’s served since 2006. Hajin Lee (left) of the KBA is the IGF’s new Secretary General. Shigeno and her husband Ivan Vigano, who edits Ranka, have been longtime friends and supporters of the E-Journal’s WAGC team; we deeply appreciate the many kindnesses she’s shown us over the years and wish her the very best as she continues her work promoting go at the Nihon Kiin. Click here for Ranka’s complete report.
- Game reports by John Richardson, game records by Chris Garlock, photos by John Pinkerton and coordination by Ivan Vigano. Click here for Ranka’s complete reports and here for complete results. Matches are broadcast live each round on WBaduk.
China has taken the sole lead with Ruoran Wang’s decisive victory over Chinese Taipei’s Yitien Chan in the fifth round of the 35th WAGC. The game itself was relatively uneventful but it was clear that Wang was in the driving seat throughout. It remains to be seen whether Korea can level the score with the Korea-China showdown this afternoon. Other players still with a chance include Bogdan Zhurakovskyi (Ukraine), Dmitri Surin (Russia), Peter Jadron (Slovakia), Lukas Podpera (Czech Republic), Jie Liang (USA), Merlijn Kuin (Netherlands) and Tiawattananont Thanapol (Thailand), all with four wins and one loss.
The fifth round of the World Amateur Go Championship began at the usual time of 9.30am this morning. A late arrival from Austria helped German Bernd Rainer Radmacher speed to victory, and the Serbian star Nikola Mitic quickly took down Belgium accountant Dominique Versyck, killing a large group just before the clock struck ten. Zhijie Bei (New Zealand) and Khatanbaatar Tsend-Ayush (Mongolia) both had corner groups captured but it was the Kiwi who was able to fight back and win his game against Altan Kuntay from Turkey. A strong performance from Spanish sales manager Carlos Pau brought him victory against the tough opponent Australia’s Sang-Dae Hahn, a surprise to many.
The young Polish student Stanislaw Frejlak was drawn against Japan’s Kiko Emura. Against the Japanese’s sanrensei, Frejlak responded with an unusual trick-play (white A in diagram 1). But Emura was quick to churn out the book-line refutation (see diagram 2) and subsequently won the game.
Yet more byoyomi drama ensued with Hungarian Pal Balogh blaming a broken timepiece for his loss on time to Dutch legend Merlijn Kuin. His opponent was too deep in thought to have seen what happened, so the decision went down to the referees. Heated discussion led to the final verdict of victory for the Dutchman.
- John Richarson
The 35th World Amateur Go Championship marks the retirement of Yuki Shigeno from her post as the Secretary General of the International Go Federation (IGF). We look back at all she has contributed to the Go world since she began her work in 2006.
Yuki Shigeno’s career began in 1986 when she joined the Nihon Kiin as a professional Go player. In 1994 she moved to Italy, where she would stay for just over ten years teaching and popularising go across Europe. In 2006 she returned from Italy back to Japan and in the same year became the Secretary General of the International Go Federation. This was accompanied by the task of organising the 2006 World Amateur Go Championship, a responsibility that she has continued until 2014, which will be her 9th WAGC.
The WAGC was held solely in Japan for 30 years, thanks partly to sponsorship from Japan Airlines that secured flights for participants for a number of years. Many of the veteran players at this year’s WAGC remember the ‘good old days’ when they did not have to shell out for their trip. It was held for the first time outside of Japan in 2010, when Hangzhou (China) hosted the 31st WAGC. Yuki Shigeno was instrumental in this move towards internationalisation and is delighted that this year’s tournament is being held in Korea, with Thailand on the cards for 2015. Furthermore, the period of her activity saw the inauguration of the first non-Japanese IGF President.
The toughest point in her career was the 2008 World Mind Sports Games, at that time not yet governed by SportAccord. Six hundred participants and a further hundred guests and officials descended on Beijing to take part in what has been one of the largest events to date. Yuki Shigeno, as the IGF technical delegate, was responsible amongst other things for all of the players, including their registration, flights and accommodation. With so many people, flight problems, last-minute cancellations – you name it – the work was so intense that she had enough of the job and wanted to throw in the towel, but thanks to Ruinan Wang’s (former IGF Vice-President) motivation she made it past this gigantic hurdle.
Since then she has been responsible for much of the work behind the scenes keeping the IGF climbing ever onwards and upwards, in particular with organising tournaments across the globe. Her retirement from the post was announced at the IGF Annual General Meeting that kicked off this year’s WAGC.
I am very grateful to all who have helped along the way, especially my husband, who has always been willing to lend a hand. It is wonderful that the young Lee Hajin is taking over and that next year’s WAGC will be held for the first time in Thailand. Fate has brought us here and I believe that same fate will take us forward.
IGF is a platform for friendship and integrity between Go playing nations. We need to keep our fights to the board and act as a family to promote the development of the game across the World. It’s not about who wins. I believe in the future of the IGF and hope to see many splendid achievements in the coming years.
She is looking forward to spending more time with her children’s class in Nagoya alongside her many duties at the Nihon Kiin.
- John Richardson, photo by John Pinkerton
White: Yongfei Ge (Canada) 7D
Black: Kiko Emura (Japan) 7D
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Commentary/variations by Yongfei Ge. Recorded by Chris Garlock
Photos by John Pinkerton. From top left: Nhat Minh Vo, Kiko Emura, Taewoong Wei, Merlijn Kuin, Suzanne D’Bel, Niccolò Sgaravatti, Zoran Mutabzija and Dmitry Surin.
More photos here.
White: Yitien Chan (Chinese Taipei) 7D
Black: Taewoong Wei (Korea) 7D
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Commentary/variations by Chan & Wei, with assistance by Chengping Chang 3P (Taiwan team leader), Chihyung Nam 1P, Thomas Hsiang and translator Hana Lee.
Transcribed by Chris Garlock
Aji’s Quest, the popular online comic about a quoll who plays go, has published its last panel, author Colette Bezio announced on July 5th. Her comic strip was launched two years ago and has grown to 180 pages, and attracted an international audience of kids and adults. Fans followed the witty adventures of a quoll named Aji, on his long quest to become a go master. On the way he encounters a huge variety of go playing animals and creatures, all of whom illustrate different aspects of the game, and provide some kind of lesson to help Aji along the way. “A sequel is possible… I even have a couple of ideas,” said Bezio, “but I have to get back to some other projects before I even think about it seriously.” The strip can be read on Bezio’s website here, and was also featured on Tigersmouth. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Drawing by Colette Bezio: Aji confronts his worst nightmare, the evil white stones monster.
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