The Hangzhou team defied the odds to win the Jin Li Smartphone Cup on December 6. The Cup is actually a 22-round professional league, the biggest in China, also known as the 17th Chinese Weiqi League A. The Jin Li company sponsors a few other tournaments, including amateur tourneys. The Hangzhou team came in first, with the Wuhan team coming in second and the Zhuhai team in third. The Hangzhou team, not being a famous team or really an elite team, was not necessarily expected to win, but pulled through and was victorious in the end. The player with the best record was Ke Jie with a final score of 16 wins and 5 losses. Following him were Zhou Ruiyang with 16 wins and 6 losses, and Wu Guangya with 15 wins and 7 losses. It has been a hot topic that the Shanghai team, the former marquee team, was demoted to the B league, even with elite players like Chang Hao 9P, Qiu Jun 9P and Hu Yaoyu 8P. The Guangxi team was also demoted. This result is considered due to lack of positive competition within a team, in contrast to surge of the younger generation.
- Jonathan Hop, China correspondent for the E-Journal, with updates from Edward Zhang (12/12).
December 12: Sacramento, CA
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Thirty-two players participated in Syracuse Go Club’s Fall Self-Paired Tournament on Saturday, November 21, with thirteen driving an hour or more to attend (four from Cornell University’s club, two from Rochester’s Empty Sky Go Club, two from near Buffalo, one from Utica, two from the Albany area, and two who drove up from Harrisburg, PA). Free refreshments were provided throughout the tournament, and at the end of the day, every player was able to select a nice prize from the new books kindly provided at a discount by Slate and Shell. The club will hold its annual four-round Salt City Tournament on April 16.
- report/photo by Richard Moseson; click here for our Facebook album of photos from the tournament.
Go players wishing to participate in the 20th Pandanet Cup Internet World Amateur Go Tournament have until next Wednesday, December 9 to register. All games must be played on the Pandanet server. As in previous years, the registrants are divided into three regions, and in each region further divided into several ranking bands. Winners in each band will receive prizes. In the preliminary round, players play with others in the same band and in the same region. Regional winners then move on to play in the international final rounds. This online tournament is supported by International Go Federation and organized by Pandanet.
The preliminary rounds will be played December 18 through January 11.
Choi Cheolhan 9P, the third player from Team Korea, defeated China’s Wu Guangya 6P (who stopped Ichiriki Ryo’s winning streak at the end of Round 1) and Japan’s Ida Atsushi 8P to get the second round of the Nongshim Cup underway November 27 to December 1 in Busan, Korea. Then Choi ran into Gu Li 9P (Team China), who took an early lead and never let go. Gu then beat Japan’s Kono Rin 9P and Korea’s Park Junghwan 9P to extend his winning streak to three. The final round will be played in Shanghai, China, where play resumes on March 1, 2016. Thanks to Gu Li’s dominating performance during this round, China still has three players – Gu Li 9P, Lian Xiao 7P and Ke Jie 9P, while Japan has two, Murakawa Daisuke 8P and Iyama Yuta 9P and Lee Sedol is the last man standing for Korea.
- Adapted from a report on Go Game Guru which includes game records and more photos.
Myungwan Kim 9P is launching a weekly go class in Pasadena, California. A continuation of the Acadia Go Center Saturday class, the target level is players from 7 kyu to 4 dan. Lectures will include participant game reviews, dan level game reviews, pro game analysis, openings and more.
The class will be held most Saturdays from 10am to 1pm, at Reiyukai America in Pasadena (Yu Go Club meeting place), 20 N Raymond Ave, Suite 200, Pasadena, CA 91103. Fee: $30 per session. Reiyukai membership ($3/month) is required and is not included in the lecture fee. Class size is limited to 10, and monthly members have priority. Reserve your place by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Just showing up does not guarantee seats.
The series began on December 5 and continues on December 12 and 19. The January schedule will be announced soon. You can also check out Kim’s live commentaries here.
As the second round of the Pandanet AGA City League concludes, a few contenders have risen to the top of the field. Two teams in each league have won their first two rounds; Greater Washington and Canwa Vancouver 1 in League A, Washington DC 1 and 2 in League B, and Boston 3 and Atlanta 2 in League C. The next round will be January 24th. This month bring us a review by Nick Sibicky. He talks about “Seattle’s Secret Weapon” in the A League in his first two games of the season. Sibicky adds that “teams are the way to go” when watching go as a spectator.
Tonight’s Nongshim Cup game — which will be broadcast on the AGA’s YouTube channel starting at 9:30pm PST – is Gu Li vs Park Jungwhan. “We were actually the 2nd most watched live show on Youtube Gaming last night in that coveted 12:00am PST/3:00am EST timeslot,” reports Andrew Jackson. “That put us on the front page of gaming.youtube.com and got us a lot of random ‘foot traffic.’ Too bad the show isn’t more geared towards beginners!”
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How do you know what rank to choose when checking out a new go server? Maybe you visited Sensei’s World Wide Rank Comparison, maybe you guessed. “The team at OGS wants to dispel some of this mystery, so we’ve created a quick and easy survey to collect feedback about ranks of popular servers and we’d really appreciate your participation,” says Akita Noek. The brief survey takes less than two minutes to complete and you can see the results as soon as you are done. “So far we’ve garnered about 650 responses, but only 86 data points contain AGA data, which is a little over half of what we have for the EGF (146 responses),” says Noek, “so we’d really like to fill that gap a bit in order to get a good rank mapping to and from AGA ranks for the various servers.”
“The results will be used by OGS to further refine our rankings and ratings and bring our system in line with our users’ expectations,” says Noek. “We’re collecting rank data for all the main major servers as well as the AGA and EGF, as well as community impressions about how they feel about the ranks on different servers/organizations. We’ll be making the results of the survey public in both a summarized form as well as the raw data for anyone to use.”
by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal
Iyama regains sextuple crown: The third game of the 41st Tengen title match was held at the Munakata Yurix* in Munakata City, Fukuoka Prefecture on November 25. Taking black, Iyama Yuta (right) forced Takao Shinji (left, in white shirt) to resign after 147 moves. Iyama took a decisive lead in the first large fight of the game and wrapped it up by killing a large group. This win won back the title he lost to Takao on December 19 last year. He also once again held six of the top seven titles; this is his third sextuple crown. Overall, this is his 34th title, and his winning streak is now 24, which puts him in equal second place in modern tournament records with Rin Kaiho, Hon. Tengen. With his twelfth successive win in title matches, he also equals another record, one set by Sakata Eio. Iyama’s cumulative record in title matches is 100 wins to 49 losses, a winning percentage of 67.1%. Click here for Go Game Guru’s report, with game records and more photos.
* the Munakata Yurix is an elaborate complex of facilities including a large library, planetarium, various halls, and sporting facilities.
Surprise leader in Honinbo League: A surprising player has taken the sole lead after just two rounds in the 71st Honinbo League. The final game of the second round was played on November 26, and league newcomer Motoki Katsuya 7P (W) beat Yamashita Keigo 9P, the top-ranked player in the league, by 1.5 points. Motoki is the only player on 2-0.
Women’s Meijin League: In a game played on November 26, Chinen Kaori 5P picked up her first win. Playing white, she beat Kato Keiko 6P by resignation. Chinen was already doomed to lose her league place, but this win ensured that she had the company of Kato (both are on 1-4).
Judan semifinalists: In the Judan tournament, in which the focus of interest is Iyama’s attempt to go for a genuine grand slam, two more semifinalists have been decided. Imamura Toshiya 9P beat Ichiriki Ryo 7P and will face Iyama in one semifinal. Shida Tatsuya 7P beat Kobayashi Satoru 9P and will meet either Yo Seiki 7P or Takao Shinji 9P in the other semifinal.
Xie regains Women’s Honinbo title: After a gap of two terms, Xie Yimin has won back the Women’s Honinbo title. The fifth game of the 34th title match was played at the Nihon Ki-in on November 27. Taking white, Xie (right) won by resignation after 272 moves. Fujisawa Rina (left) had looked like defending her title when she won the first two games, but then Xie made a stubborn fightback to take the next three. As she also holds the Women’s Meijin and Women’s Kisei titles, Xie once again has a triple crown.
Retirement: Ogoshi Ichiro 8P retired as of November 30. Born in Oita Prefecture on November 7, 1954, Ogoshi became a disciple of Kitani Minoru and made pro 1-dan in 1976. He reached 8-dan in 1999. After retirement, he plans to devote himself to spreading go in Kushiro City, Hokkaido.
“Mexico gladly welcomed the Sociedad Internacional de Intercambio de Go (SIIG) from Japan, for the first three days of October,” reports Sid Avila. SIIG is a delegation of players, built mainly by retired business men and women, who travel around the world playing and sharing through go.
This is the fourth time SIIG has visited Mexico, and they went to three locations on this trip: Pipiolo art elementary school where Siddhartha Avila teaches a curricular go program; National University, where Emil Garcia leads a team of instructors who teach at open workshops; and Ejoki Buddhist Temple where Ricardo Quintero teaches go on weekends.
Ms. Marcela Zepeda, the principal of Pipiolo, introduced the Japanese group to the students on the first day. The children performed traditional dances and Mexican songs, followed by a rengo atari-go game with kindergarden children, and a three round pair-go tournament with 36 pairs of Japanese go players and Mexican school children mixed.
The university venue, on October 2nd, was the Contemporary Arts University Museum square, where a Mexico-Japan tournament was held in a 4 round system. Japan won all four rounds and a crystal tablet was given to SIIG President Sugime Masanao by Daniel Morales, the Mexican Go Association’s treasurer, as acknowledgment of their visit. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor, with Emil Garcia and Sid Avila.
The last few games of the current stage of the Nongshim Cup will be broadcast on the AGA’s YouTube channel Sunday and Monday nights, starting at 9:30pm PST. The Nongshim Cup is a major international championship with each country fielding a team of five players. The tournament is a “win and continue” format, where the winning player will continue to face opponents from the other countries, alternating, until only one country has any players remaining. This year, for instance, Ichiriki Ryo (right) put Japan off to a great start by winning the first three games (see GoGameGuru’s report here) Adding to the complications, the teams get to keep the order of their roster a secret: Gu Li or Choi Cheolhan will play the next player on the Japanese roster — but Japan won’t announce their next player until after Saturday’s match. “It’s a complicated format to describe, but ultimately each country is bringing their strongest players. Each national organization takes this competition extremely seriously, and we should get some real fireworks,” said the AGA’s Andrew Jackson, “I’m really thrilled Myungwan Kim has been organizing these broadcasts and I’m excited to see some world-class go!” The remaining players on the Japanese side are Murakawa Daisuke, Kono Rin, and Iyama Yuta. The remaining players for China are Lian Xiao, Ke Jie, and Gu Li. Korea still has Lee Sedol, Choi Cheolhan, and Park Jungwhan.
A new consultation game go server, ConGo launched recently and has already attracted nearly 900 players to the Massively Multiplayer Consultation Go Server. “The idea of this experiment is that we wanted to get as many people as possible to focus on the direction of one game,” says creator Jay Chan. “The hope is that we’ll create a high quality game that weaker players can learn from, and stronger players can debate on.” As of November 10 the game was on move 46 with over 2000 votes cast by about 100 active players. “The server itself is still under constant development, with the last major feature being a chat,” Chan tells the E-Journal. “Jiang MingJiu 7P has agreed to review this game.”
“I just found ‘Tokyo Newcomer‘ on the net,” writes Michael Redmond 9P, “but I see that you covered it in the ‘Go Spotting’ column in 2014. The games in the movie were realistic, and there is a scene about 36 minutes into it that shows pros playing in what looks like elimination rounds for a hayago tournament. In this scene the main character is playing against Matsumoto Takehisa 7P. Takemiya Yoko 5P poses as a TV analyst for a game later.”
The mystery deepens about the source of the quote about “if intelligent life forms exist elsewhere in the universe, they almost certainly play go” (“Who Really Said Famous Go Quote? 11/21 EJ).
“I was a friend of Ed Lasker in the latter part of his life (we played chess together – I wasn’t playing go then),” writes Mike Ryan. “Although he told me a fair amount about his involvement with go, and various things he and his cousin Emmanuel did in that respect, he never once mentioned that quoted idea. I tend to think that neither he nor Emmanuel said that.”
Thomas Rohde in Germany thought that he’d tracked the quote to Emanuel Lasker’s 1930 book “Brettspiele der Völker: Rätsel- und Mathematische Spiele” (“Board Games of the Peoples – Riddles and Mathematical Games”), but had to order a copy of the book to confirm it. Meanwhile Erwin Gerstorfer, who has “Brettspiele der Voelker” in his collection “checked the complete chapter about Go (as well as the introduction chapter) and if I did not overlook something, then there is unfortunately no reference to the quote that we are interested in.” When Rohde’s copy arrived he confirmed that the quote isn’t there but in an online history of European go he found a reference to Emanuel Lasker that reads “In another publication he says: When there are other intelligent beings in the universe, than they maybe know chess, but surely Go.” “I wonder which ‘other publication’ this may be,” says Rohde.
“This is the original German quote,” Rohde adds: “Wenn es im Universum noch irgendwo intelligente Lebewesen gibt, dann kennen sie vielleicht Schach, höchstwahrscheinlich jedoch Go,” which Rohde translates as “If somewhere in the universe there are [other] intelligent beings, then maybe they know Chess, but most probably [they know] Go.”
The American Go Association’s rank certification program took another step forward when the AGA’s Board of Directors approved proposals laying the groundwork for a general rank certification program based on playing results at its November 23 meeting. Work is ongoing to review analytical models to support the program. The AGA’s president was directed to develop a policy such that a ranking could affect a player’s AGA rating. The president will soon appoint a Rank Certification Coordinator to facilitate the program. Volunteers will be sought to create and send out a large number of certificates. In other updates, volunteers will be sought to work on updating the AGA Tournament Guide, and the board appointed Peter Schumer to be the new AGA secretary. Click here for the complete minutes that have been approved by the board.
- Ted Terpstra
There will be a one day tournament in Belfast on Saturday January 30th.
Location : Belfast Boat Club
30mn by player + 2x30s byoyomi
Handicap Swiss tournament
Registration : 9-9:15
First round : 9:30-11
Second round : 11-12:30
Third round : 1:30-3
Fourth round : 3-4:30
The room is booked until 5pm, at which point we have to leave as there is another function on after that.
Entries to james8hut(AT)hotmail(DOT)com
Entry fee: £5
Mark Sachon reports that in Richard Flanagan’s novel “The Narrow Road to the Deep North,” “References to playing go are found on pages 264, 269 and 295 in the hardback edition. “Moving deftly from a Japanese POW camp to present-day Australia, from the experiences of Dorrigo Evans and his fellow prisoners to that of the Japanese guards, this savagely beautiful novel tells a story of the many forms of love and death, of war and truth, as one man comes of age, prospers, only to discover all that he has lost.” (Amazon).
Sachon also found go in the 1993 movie “Temptation of a Monk,” (You Seng), noting that “two rivals play weiqi in the first few minutes of the film.” Set in 7th century China, the film, directed by Clara Law, stars Joan Chen as a beautiful princess and destructive temptress who wreaks havoc in a young general’s life, telling “the epic story of a disgraced man’s journey into self-discovery.”