The 22nd annual Redmond Cup will begin in April, and registration is due by March 15th. Preliminary games will be played online and the four finalists will be invited to the 2015 US Go Congress to play the final games. There are two divisions in the Cup; the Junior league for kids 12 and under, and the Senior league for 17 and under. Competitors in both leagues must have an AGA or CGA rank of 1 dan or higher. The Junior league has been expanded to include 12 year olds, and both leagues now require a dan rating (kyu players can compete in the North American Kyu Championships instead). Players who complete the tournament will be eligible for $400 scholarships to the AGA Go Camp, or $200 scholarships to the US Go Congress, on a first come first served basis, courtesy of the AGF. Competitors from Mexico are also invited to the event. The participants must be members of the American Go Association or the Canadian Go Association and either residents of the U.S., Canada or Mexico, or citizens of the United States living anywhere in the world, provided that they are also members of the AGA. For more information on the event, read the rules document here. To register click here. -Story and photo by Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo: Bill Lin 7d (l) vs. Jianing Gan 7d (r), in the foreground, while the Jr. League players compete in the background, at the 2014 US Go Congress in New York..
Park Junghwan 9p has defeated Kim Jiseok 9p to win the 19th LG Cup 2-1. This was Park’s first LG Cup title, and only his second international title since winning the 24th Fujitsu Cup in 2011. Though Park is currently ranked #1 in the world according to the rating system used by the Korean Baduk Association, in recent years many go fans doubted his ranking, because Park hadn’t won any international titles since 2011. The LG Cup final was held on February 9, 10 and 12 in Gangneung, Gangwon-do, Korea.
- based on Youngil An’s longer report on Go Game Guru
SyFy’s “12 Monkeys”: The latest episode of SyFy’s “12 Monkeys” is titled “Atari.” “A character describes a dire post-apocalyptic predicament as being ‘in atari,’” reports Steve Berthiaume. “The character describes go (and) how he used to play it.” Adds Jeffrey McLellan, “He and his friend are in rather desperate straits and he tells his friend that they are in atari. They only have one more move or they are finished. ‘Being in atari is bad.’” Click here to watch the episode.
“The Academia Cubana de Go is organizing a tournament in Havana at the beginning of April and is encouraging US players who want to compete to come,” Bob Gilman writes. “Under President Obama’s new Cuba policies, travel restrictions for US citizens going to Cuba have been liberalized.” Write email@example.com if you want more information about this tournament and travel possibilities.
Canada’s WAGC Player TBA: “The AGA web page says ‘North America will be represented by Danny Ko’ (at the WAGC), but of course Canada also sends a player,” James Sedgwick writes. “Who Canada will send is still up in the air, as our selected rep Ryan Li is no longer eligible due to his now pro status.”
Gambian Go Stamp: “This picture of a stamp, I think it might be from Gambia, was sent to me by my friends at the Beijing Go Club,” writes Gordon Castanza.
Hikaru Cosplay in LA: This year at Anime Los Angeles, held January 9-11, Samantha Davis cosplayed Hikaru from Hikaru no Go. “My friend Kazuki Deng cosplayed Sai (and) we had a little impromptu photo shoot in the hotel lobby.” photo by Cecilia Nguyen.
Brandon Ho 2k, age 13, and Matthew Cheng 2k, age 8, won the top division of the North American Kyu Championships, held Feb. 7th, on KGS. 41 kids and teens, including 8 from Mexico, and one from Canada, joined in the event. First place winners, in all brackets down to 25 kyu, will be receiving engraved crystal trophies, in both Junior (under 13) and Senior (under 18) brackets, and everyone who entered becomes eligible for AGF scholarships to either the AGA Go Camp, or the US Go Congress. Dan players will get their chance to shine in the upcoming Redmond Cup, which will open registration later this week. For full tournament results click here. - Paul Barchilon, AGA Youth Editor
Full report, results, and photos here.
Get the latest go events information.
Results from Round 4 of the 2015 Confucius Cup Go Results are here.
Results from Round 3 of the 2015 Confucius Cup Go Results are here.
Results from Round 2 of the 2015 Confucius Cup Go Results are here.
Results from Round 1 of the 2015 Confucius Cup Go Results are here.
European Youth Go Team Championship: In round four of the European Youth Go Team Championship, the UK’s youth team narrowly lost to Czechia 2-3. They currently rank 11th out of 13 teams.
- edited by Amy Su from reports on the BGA website.
Cambodian Go Wanted: “One of San Diego go club’s members is now in Cambodia, and would like to find other go players there,” writes Ted Terpstra. “I have arranged to play him on KGS, but as we all know, sitting across the board from an opponent is much more fun.” Send your Cambodian go tips to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Suggestions? “Looking through the extensive collection of documentaries available on HULU I noticed the movie ‘Word Wars’ about competitive Scrabble players, but saw nothing about our game,” writes David Matson. “It reminded me of the many times that I and others have written to the AGA E-Journal when we notice productive techniques used by communities similar to the AGA for raising funds and/or public awareness. Is there a person working with the AGA or the E-Journal to whom these little suggestions should be directed? If not, perhaps someone on the E-Journal staff who subscribes to Chess Life, for example, might like to occasionally push the AGA into implementing an adapted version of what they feel are the most promising of the many ideas that these other communities find to be successful.”
The AGA always welcomes suggestions on how to promote and publicize go throughout the United States. Send yours to email@example.com, keeping in mind that the AGA is an all-volunteer organization, and won’t be able to respond to every email. Ideas that are easy to implement and/or which you are prepared to lead or coordinate are more likely to succeed.
Phil Straus found this reference to go in “The Math Book,” Clifford Pickover’s 2009 book, subtitled “From Pythagoras to the 57th Dimension, 250 Milestones in the History of Mathematics.” The book provides “a veritable history of mathematics by focusing on its greatest theorems and the geniuses who discovered them,” said Martin Gardner in a review. “Topics are chronological, starting with the calculating abilities of ants 150 million years B.C. and ending with Max Tegmark’s recent conjecture that our universe is not just described by math, it is mathematics. Dr. Pickover’s vast love of math, and his awe before its mysteries, permeates every page of this beautiful volume. The illustrations alone are worth the book’s price.”
The weekend you’ve all been waiting for starts tomorrow – the 2015 Confucius Cup! All the details for the Go and Chinese Chess tournaments are available here.
If you can’t come along then you can watch the top Go board from each round broadcasted live on KGS (username ‘IrishGo’) and video stream on UStream. Tune in on Saturday to get all the live updates.
The 36th World Amateur Go Championship will be held in Bangkok, Thailand June 5-12. North America will be represented by Danny Ko. More details will be forthcoming soon.
Six top European players are currently studying in Beijing, China under a program sponsored by CEGO China. The Chinese Go magazine Qi-Shi recently published an interview with five of the players: Pavol Lisy (Slovakia), Ali Jabarin (Israel), Lukas Podpera (Czech Republic), Jan Simara (Czech Republic), Dusan Mitic (Serbia). Andrii Kravets of the Ukraine was not available. Lisy and Jabarin are two new European pros. The report was translated by Jennie Shen and Kevin Huang and edited by Chris Garlock.
Podpera: There are about 250 active go players in Czechia, and their level is getting stronger and stronger. Last year, for example, the Czech team won the European team championship. There are four European 6ds in Czechia; we (Lucas and Jan) are two of them.
Lisy: I’m from Slovakia. There are about 50 active players there, including eight dan players.
Jabarin: Israel has about 50 players. I feel like the talent level is pretty high, because even though some countries have more players, we can beat them. We have some promising young players.
Qi-Shi: How long have you been playing go? What’s your background?
Podpera: I started to play go at the age of 7. My father introduced me to the game because he used to play the game in the university.
Simara: I started [to play go] because I played chess, then I met go. When I was about fifteen, I switched from chess to go.
Simara: Go has much more possibilities.
Mitic: It’s the same as with Lukas — I learned go from my father.
Lisy: I started to play go at the age of five. My father taught me.
Ali: I got introduced to the game by a friend. I just started to play when I was twelve, started going to the tournaments, then kept playing since then.
Qi-Shi: You came to Bejing to study at the Ge’s Academy. What did you learn here? Do you have a goal?
Podpera: The European pro qualification which I would like to try to pass. Otherwise I don’t have any real future planning; let’s see how it will go.
Simara: I think I’m improving in all areas.
Lisy: I feel like I’m improving in the school because I spend lots of time on go. I improved mostly at the endgame I think.
Qi-Shi: Do you have a plan for your future? Do you want to be a pro or want to do things related to go?
Simara: About the future, not exactly sure…come back and see, play some games..
Mitic: I have no plans for the future, except I’ll try to become pro.
Lisy: My plan for the future: to get good results at the international tournaments, win some games against Asian pros, but that’s just a dream.
Jabarin: I was in university and I stopped before I came here, and I told myself I that for at least two or three years, let’s see what I can do with go. The dream is to be able to play competitively in Asia. It’s not a plan; I would say it’s a dream, but that’s the end goal. I hope I can improve as well, I know it’s not very easy.
Qi-Shi: What do you think is the most interesting thing about go?
Podpera: The endless numbers of variations.
Qi-Shi: Which part of go is the most difficult to improve?
Podpera: For me the most difficult thing to improve is the endgame. It’s very hard to count the points exactly, most of the games are decided by the endgame. But here they found how to improve in those go schools with practice.
Simara: The most difficult part to improve I think is reading.
Mitic: I agree with most of the things Jan said, I think the most difficult part of go is reading.
Lisy: The most difficult part of go, maybe the judgement, I don’t know.
Jabarin: I think something which is very important is mentality. When you play and also when you study. Having the will to win, the will to try hard, so you’ll study a lot, staying calm while playing is very important, that’s one of the things that I’m trying to improve here. Other than that, I feel like I gained a little bit of knowledge also. I always learn new moves, not just josekis, but new techniques. Then something which I learned about the game, I can just say that to me go is very deep, just feels different from all the other games. It’s not just a game.
Qi-Shi: Who is your go idol?
Podpera and Simara: Iyama Yuta
Pavol: Chen Yaoye
Lisy: I was very happy. The tournament was very good. I enjoyed it, I think, For example the time setting helped me, because I’m used to playing fast games. It was not so difficult to overcome the pressure.
Jabarin: We (Pavol and Ali) just came back from Japan from a tournament, (where) we had decent results. For me, I was feeling a bit more confident. And I was quite proud of some of the games I played in the [Silk Road] tournament. I regret the game I lost to Pavol. The tournament was a lot of fun, so it was good, of course I was happy with the prize money.
Qi-Shi: People think westerners and Asians think differently. Do you think that western go players and Asian go players think differently?
Pavol: I don’t know how they think. I think there’s a difference that they care more about the beginning of the game, they know how to finish the game, that’s the difference.
Qi-Shi: Some Asian pros think the feeling/instinct is very important. Do you play more with your feeling/instinct or reading and judgement?
Ali: Both. I think I understand what he means. The feeling is somehow much more important. Sometimes we play much less territorial, play more for a moyo, maybe not myself, but I think many players in Europe, they play much more moyo style. Sometimes t’s just like ‚Oh wow, this move looks good, feels good,“ not saying it like it is much more precise.
Qi-Shi: What do you want to do for European Go?
Podpera: We can bring some knowledge from China to Europe, open go schools and teach.
Simara: We are all part of the [pro] system. So if some of us are successful, naturally this system is also successful, that’ll be good for everyone.
photos: top right: the Go school in Beijing; 2nd left/3rd right: pro lesson with WangYao 6P; bottom left: Silk Road (also called 1st Qinling Mountains Cup) amateur tournament awards, Pavol won first place, the prize money was 60,000 RM, (US$10,000).
Click here for more info and photos.
Ukraine: Svitlana Tarasenko 5k took the Open Championship of Rivine on January 31 while Yaroslav Malko 8k placed second; Andrii Pylypchuk 3k came in third. France: Manuel Frangi 1d bested Guillaume Attia 3d at the 19th Orsay tournament on January 25 while Mathieu Daguenet 3d placed third. Turkey: The 1st Istanbul City Handicap Go Championship Finals finished on January 31 with Ertug Akkol 1d (left) in first, Dogac Kose 1d in second, and Hande Olgar 14k 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
by John Power, EJ Japan Correspondent
Iyama Extends Lead in Kisei Title Match: The second game of the 39th Kisei title match was held at the Hachinohe Park Hotel in Hachinohe City, Aomori Prefecture, on January 29 and 30. Playing white, Iyama Yuta (right) won by resignation after 228 moves. This gives him a 2-0 lead over the challenger, Yamashita Keigo 9P. The third game, scheduled for February 5 and 6, is close to being a must-win affair for Yamashita if he is going to stop Iyama from winning the title for the third year in a row. The game got off to an interesting start, with Yamashita coming up with a new variation in an old joseki. Iyama showed his flexibility, however, by playing a bad-shape move that actually worked well for him. Early in the middle game, Iyama went on the offensive, and Yamashita found himself forced into playing a territorial strategy that didn’t suit his style. Having fallen behind a little, he did his best to catch up by attacking aggressively, but Iyama countered with the strongest moves and finally took a decisive lead. When Yamashita resigned, Iyama had a lead on the board.
Xie Defends Women’s Kisei Title: The second game of the 18th DoCoMo Cup Women Kisei title match was held in the Ryusei Studio (in the basement of the Nihon Ki-in in Ichigaya, Tokyo) on January 29. This was a do-or-die game for the challenger, as this title is a best-of-three, but she was outfought by the defending champion, Xie Yimin (left). After 273 moves, Xie, taking black, won by 5.5 points. She won this title for the third year in a row and extended her overall tally to 19, eight ahead of the next woman player (Aoki Kikuyo 8P, with 11).
Iyama Tops Prize-Money List for 2014: Even though he lost two titles last year, Iyama Yuta still earned enough in winnings to top the prize-money list for the fourth year in a row. It was the third year in a row that he topped 100 million yen. Only three other players have reached this mark: Cho Chikun (five times), Cho U (four times) and Kobayashi Koichi (three times). The top ten for 2014 are given below. Fujisawa Rina, aged 16, is probably the youngest player ever to make the list. Xie Yimin made the best ten for the seventh year in a row.
1. Iyama Yuta: ¥140,788,528 (about $1,203,320)
2. Kono Rin: ¥44,983,332
3. Takao Shinji: ¥37,903,600
4. Yamashita Keigo: ¥30,779,458
5. Ida Atsushi: ¥19,210,200
6. Ichiriki Ryo: ¥17,002,800
7. Fujisawa Rin: ¥16,736,161
8. Hane Naoki: ¥13,477,000
9. Xie Yimin: ¥12,931,771
10. Cho U: ¥12,470,600
Annual Promotions: Besides the promotions through the cumulative-win system, a number of promotions are made every year based on prize-money winnings in the top seven titles: the top 6-dan and the top two in the ranks underneath are promoted one rank. The following promotions based on 2014 winnings are dated to January 1.
To 7-dan: Ohashi Naruya
To 6-dan: Tajima Shingo, Shiraishi Yuichi
To 5-dan: Muramatsu Hiroki, Suzuki Shinji
To 4-dan: Hirata Tomoya , Obuchi Kotaro
To 3-dan: Takeuchi Kosuke, Numadate Sakiya
To 2-dan: Tanaka Nobuyuki, Koyama Kuya