This Week’s Quiz: Who said this? “The rules of go are so elegant, organic and rigorously logical that if intelligent life forms exist elsewhere in the universe they almost certainly play go.” Was it Albert Einstein, John Nash or Edward Lasker? Click here to submit your answer. “I had read and been amused by this quote some time ago, then referenced it just a couple of weeks ago, in correspondence with my frequent go adversary, John Collins, who in retirement is doing an M.Sc. in Astrophysics,” writes Tony Collman, the EJ’s UK correspondent. “Annoyingly, although it was beautifully apposite in the context, I couldn’t at the time remember the exact words or who said them, but mere days later I was enquiring about a set of go quotes which had embellished bottles of Monkey Jump Ale, given by the sponsor as prizes for the Skye Tournament back in March. As luck would have it, the full quote was amongst them, together with the author’s name.”
Players are coming from as far away as Chicago and New York for this weekend’s 41st Maryland Open, which is also a NAMT Qualifier and Pro Qualifier. Click here for details and to register. There will be prizes in all sections and cash prizes in the open section. There will be five rounds; three Saturday and two Sunday. “Come for one day or both!” says organizer Keith Arnold. Registration on Saturday runs from 9 until 10:30 am, with the first round at 11 am; first round Sunday 9:30 am. “Our thanks to Yellow Mountain Imports” for sponsoring, Arnold adds.
Iyama Makes Good Start In Honinbo Title Defense: The difference in experience seemed to be a big factor in the opening game of the 69th Honinbo title match, which was held on May 14 and 15. Though still only 24 (until May 24), Iyama Yuta Honinbo (right) has already played in eleven best-of-sevens (and won seven of them). In contrast, Ida Atsushi 8P, at 20, was playing in his first title match and was the youngest player ever to challenge for the Honinbo title.
One advantage for Ida (left) is that this is the first time that Iyama has faced an opponent younger than himself in a title match, so he will now know how his seniors felt. The opening game was played in Ida’s home town of Suzuka in Mie Prefecture, so he also had the overwhelming support of the fans on the spot. The game was actually played in the Tsubaki Okami Yashiro, a Shinto shrine, in a building called the Sanshuden, which had just been renovated as a training center. This game was held to celebrate the upcoming official opening of the hall on May 18. The arrangements for an event like this are made many months in advance; Ida was a complete dark horse in the Honinbo league, so city officials had no way of knowing that a local player would be starring.
Ida drew white in the nigiri. The game started with his taking profit in three corners, letting Iyama build a moyo. Ida made an invasion on the right side and had to fight hard to settle his group. However, he then had to switch to another invasion at the top before he had made the side group completely alive. Iyama made a clever placement on the side that set up a double attack on the two groups and he was able to kill the one at the top. Ida was forced to resign after 197 moves.
The main impression from this game is of Iyama’s greater skill in fighting, but Ida seemed to improve round by round in the Honinbo league, so we can expect him to adapt rapidly to two-day games. His play with black in the second game, scheduled for May 25 and 26, will give an indication of how his challenge
Kisei B League Starts: The first two games were played in the 39th Kisei B League on May 15. Murakawa Daisuke 7P (W) scored an upset half-point win over Yoda Norimoto 9P and Kobayashi Satoru 9P (B) beat Cho Riyu 8P by resignation. The A League starts on the 22nd.
Natasha Regan and Matthew Cocke of Epsom (right) regained the title of British Pair Go Champions at the 24th British Pair Go Championship on Saturday May 17. They had lost it last year to Kirsty Healey and Matthew Macfadyen, but the 2013 Champions were unable to defend the title due to a prior diary fixture*. The clinching game of the three-round tournament was against Ingrid Jendrzejewski and Alex Selby and ended with both pairs having less than two minutes left of their allocated 45 before sudden death could decide it. Nevertheless Regan and Cocke won by a comfortable margin.
A separate handicap competition was won by Jil Segerman and Pat Ridley, four pairs contending. Fighting Spirit prizes went to Edwina Lee and Charles Leedham-Green (main) and siblings Roella and Edmund Smith (handicap). The latter pair’s sister Kelda and father Paul Smith won the quiz, and local pair Sam McCarthy and John Collins took the prize for Best-Dressed Pair. The prizes (below, left) were paired items of Japanese handicraft from the Japan Centre, the prize-winners being invited, in order, to make a selection from amongst those remaining.
Francis Roads organized the event on behalf of the British Go Association (BGA) and it was held this year at a new venue, the function room of the Red Lion Public House – also the home of the Welwyn Garden City Tournament. Roads bemoaned the fact that none of the pairs who had previously complained of the difficulty of reaching the old venue by public transport had in fact taken advantage of the easy accessibility of the Tournament’s new home. With so few attending, Roads made an ad hoc adjustment to the rules so only six pairs competed for the title, not the full eight qualified pairs who should have. Reporting this deviation to the BGA Council, Roads wrote:
“The entry was disappointingly low at ten pairs. I decided to deviate from the official rules and draw only six pairs in the even game section. To have done otherwise would have led to even games between grossly mismatched pairs, and only two pairs in the handicap division. I suggest that the rules be revised to allow for such a possibility.”
Tony Collman, British Correspondent for the E-Journal. Photos: British Pair Go Champions, (L-R) Matthew Cocke and Natasha Regan, play round 3; Prize table. Thanks to John Collins for loan of camera.
by John Power, EJ Japan Correspondent
Yamashita Increases Lead In Meijin League: Yamashita Keigo (right) hasn’t played a game in the 39th league since our last report, but his lead has opened up to two wins because of a loss suffered by Cho U. In a game played on May 8, Yuki Satoshi 9P (W) picked up his first win in the league by beating Cho by half a point. Cho drops back to 3-2, putting him in a three-way tie for second with Hane Naoki 9P and Ryu Shikun 9P. Yamashita is on 5-0, so he has a two-game cushion, which makes him an even better bet for challenger than he appeared to be in the Honinbo league. On the same day, Kono Rin 9P (B) beat Murakawa Daisuke by resig. Murakawa slips to 1-4 and now will have a tough job keeping his place.
Ichiriki Wins New International Tournament: Japan had its best result in an international tournament for 17 years when its representatives took first and second place in the Globis Cup World Igo U-20. The official name notwithstanding, the tournament is open to players 20 and under (there is some confusion, as the Nihon Ki-in’s HP defines it as “under 20,”but the Chinese player Lian Xiao turned 20 on April 8 ). At any rate, 16 top young players from Japan, China, Korea, Chinese Taipei, Europe, North America, and Oceania took part. The time system is NHK-style, that is 30 seconds per move plus ten minutes’ thinking time in one-minute units. The first round consists of four double-elimination mini-tournaments (similar to the opening round of the Samsung Cup). Four players compete in each, playing until they have two wins, thus qualifying for the quarterfinals, or two losses, thus being eliminated. The tournament was held from May 9 to 11.
Globis is a Japanese venture-capital company that also provides educational services in business and management. It runs its own university, the Graduate School of Management, Globis University, and the main force behind its sponsorship is the college president, Hori Yoshito, a keen go player.
Because of their outstanding results recently, the players from Korea and China were considered the favorites, especially Lian Xiao 7-dan of China, who won the 15th Agon Kiriyama Cup play-off with Japan last December. Local fans were surprised and pleased, therefore, to see two of the Japanese representatives make the final. One was Ichiriki Ryo (left), who was recently promoted to 7-dan for winning a place in one of the current Kisei leagues; the other was Kyo Kagen 2P, a Taiwanese-born player, who has been doing very well this year (he is top of the most-wins list at present, with a 23-4 record, including 17 wins in a row; Ichiriki is in second place with 20-2).
Both Ichiriki and Kyo qualified quickly for the quarterfinals with two straight wins; one of the players falling by the wayside with 1-2 was Ida Atsushi, who is now challenging for the Honinbo title. Ichiriki beat Na Hyeon 4P of Korea in the quarterfinals and Lian Xiao 7P of China in the semifinals; Kyo first beat Li Qincheng 1P, then Xia Chenkun 3P, both of China. In the final, Ichiriki (black) beat Kyo by resignation after 155 moves. In the play-off for third place, Lian beat Xia. First prize is worth 3,000,000 yen (close to $30,000), second 500,000, and third 200,000.
Tomorrow: Iyama Makes Good Start In Honinbo Title Defense; Kisei B League Starts
photo (bottom left): Ichiriki Ryo 7 dan plays Kyo Kagen 2 dan at the 1st GLOBIS Cup; photo courtesy Go Game Guru.
While Bellevue is just across Lake Washington from the Seattle Go Center, during rush hours it can be 60 minutes away. This makes it hard for Bellevue players to come to weekday events at the Seattle Go Center. In February, the Go Center started meet-ups at the Crossroads Bellevue Shopping Center, which is close to the Microsoft campus, and about 12 miles east of the Go Center. The Thursday group meets from 5:30 to 8:30 in the “Game Lane” of the mall, and has 12 – 18 players coming, both dan and kyu level. There is a Saturday group as well, meeting at the same place and time, which had five players the last time they met. “We have tried to do this before on the East Side, but we never got a large enough group to keep it going,” reports Manager Brian Allen. This time, thanks to support from Crossroads Bellevue and Uncle’s Games at the shopping center, and dedicated volunteer Thane W., they are able to get a large enough group on Thursdays that everybody can find a game. “Now we are hoping that we can also build up Saturdays.” Most of the publicity was done with the Go Center’s e-mail list, which has about 450 addresses. Photo: Sonny Cho 6d answering question at Crossroads. Photo/Report by Brian Allen.
Last week’s quiz asked about which bit of New York Go history is referenced by one of these shows: “Hong Kong Phooey”, “Underdog”, “Tennessee Tuxedo and His Tales” or “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.” The answer is “Tennessee Tuxedo and His Tales”: Chumley was the name of Tennessee Tuxedo’s walrus sidekick. (click here for this week’s quiz)
The New York go history connection is Lee Chumley, a Greenwich Village resident who had been a soldier, artist, writer and covered wagon driver, and who played a pivotal role in New York go history when he founded his speakeasy in 1922. Chumley’s, frequented by the likes of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Willa Cather, E.E. Cummings, John Steinbeck and Dylan Thomas, became a bohemian incubator of the AGA, which held its early meetings on Monday evenings at the bar.
A report in the January 13th 1934 issue of The New Yorker describes the go scene at Chumley’s, including some of its early practitioners, including Edward Lasker, Karl Davis Robinson and Fritz Kastilan, and observing with The New Yorker’s usual wit that “The Public Library has two books on Go. One hasn’t been taken out since 1916 and the other has never been taken out. Mr. Robinson, of the Chumley group, is writing another one now, but he doesn’t quite know why.” Chumley’s and the AGA Monday night club can be seen in this 1942 photo in Life magazine; Edward Lasker, on the left at the third board from the bottom, was one of the earliest proponents of go in the U.S.
By 1951, meetings had moved to the Marshall Chess Club, but Chumley’s would be a must stop for the attendees of the U.S. Congress this August except that it’s been closed since 2007 for repairs. It was slated to reopen this year, but according to a report in The New York Times last February, local residents are attempting to block the reopening, claiming, ironically, that there are too many bars in the neighborhood to open a “new” one. By the way, Chumley’s is also the originator of the term “86” used in the restaurant business to indicate that something — or someone — should be thrown out. Chumley used it as a means to alert his patrons that a police raid was coming — based on tips usually provided by the police themselves — and customers should exit through the door on 86 Bedford.
Although no one chose the correct answer, the fault doubtless lies with poor wording and editing at our end, and we hope you have enjoyed this trip down New York’s go memory lane. Please send us any memories you have of the place and we will try to preserve this piece of go history.
This Week’s Quiz: Who said this? “The rules of go are so elegant, organic and rigorously logical that if intelligent life forms exist elsewhere in the universe they almost certainly play go.” Was it Albert Einstein, John Nash or Edward Lasker? Click here to submit your answer.
We look forward to seeing all of you at the 41st Maryland Open this weekend in Baltimore. While not as old as Chumley’s, the Gilbert W. Rosenthal Memorial Baltimore Go Club is one of the AGA’s oldest chapters, and has sponsored the Maryland Open go tournament for many years. See you this weekend!
- the editors; photos courtesy Life and the New York Times (Librado Romero)
Dylan Zhu-Dong 10k of Leamington Go Club beat Oscar Selby 6k of Epsom to become British Youth Champion 2014 at the King Edward VI School, Aston in Birmingham, England on Sunday May 18. Zhu-Dong, who also took the Under-14 title, defeated the favorite after successfully taking advantage of Selby’s misreading in a fight. Selby did, however, take the Under-12 title. Melchior Chui 9k from Cambridge won again in the Under-16 section and Hilary Bexfield 26k of Letchworth won the Under-10s. Andreas Ghica 35k from Newmarket won the Under-8 at his first go tournament. There were no entrants in the Under-18 division and 19 entered in all. Click here for full results.
Tony Collman, British correspondent for the E-Journal, from a report by Tony Atkins for the British Go Association; photo by Tony Atkins, courtesy of the British Go Association website.
The Galway tournament took place on the weekend of the 17th and 18th of May, and was again a handicap swiss. This year there was a new winner, Marie Julien. She hails from the Compiègne club in France, and took first place with a perfect 5 wins out of 5. In second place was Aurelien Journet-Brochet from the same club. In third was Julia Bohle, who edged out the local favourite, Rich Brennan, on SOS points.
Full results can be viewed here
What’s a typical day at the AGA Go Camp like? Joe, age 12, writes “I studied everyday with my friends and my teacher, and I had a lot of good times with them. We played games with each other, learned new go problems, joseki, and fuseki, and played in fun tournaments each day. When I left camp, I was sad because I would miss all my new friends, but when I came back home, I was happy because I was beating everyone and showing that I improved.”
Yuga, age 8, writes, “I learned go from morning until evening, and that was my first time studying go for so long. I spent time with a great teacher and lots of new friends, and we played go and talked about go. It made me want to play more and improve more. I learned so much from Mr. Yilun Yang. I learned new josekis. I tried them on KGS, and I feel like my territory is safer than before. I also learned crazy moves that are really good to confuse your opponent. I tried them when I played stronger players, and I won the games!”
Mulan, age 8, sums up everyone’s feelings nicely: “I’m glad I came to the Go Camp because I got to learn new things and learn from players that were stronger than me. It was fun to make new friends and meet up with old friends from the Go Congress and other tournaments.”
Yilun Yang will be joining the Go Camp again this summer as its professional teacher. The camp itself is the week before the Go Congress, at YMCA Camp Kresge in White Haven, PA, about 2 hours outside of New York City. Youth who played in the NAKC or the Redmond Cup are eligible for a $400 scholarship, and need-based scholarships of up to $250 are available. For more information on the latest camp-related news, and to download the registration forms, please visit the camp website at http://www.gocampeast.org/ or e-mail Amanda Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org. - Story and photo by Amanda Miller, Go Camp Director. Photo: Campers at the Pair Go Tournament.
The Jinhua Sports Adminstration, in Zhejiang, China, has agreed to sponsor a friendship match between American teenagers and their Chinese counterparts in Jinhua city. The match is tentatively planned for late July or early August, and is being organized by Katherine Zhang. The Americans would need to pay their own airfare to China, but after that, all expenses will be covered. Teens can choose where they want to stay, either with a host family, or in a hotel. Jinhua Sports will also organize a sight seeing trip in the area. “I think it’s a great opportunity to build communications between young go players in these two countries. They can share experiences, and compare and contrast the teaching methods of each country,” said Zhang. Interested parties should e-mail Zhang, at email@example.com, for more information. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo: The Temple of renowned Taoist Master Huang Da Xian, in Jinhua. Photo courtesy TripAdvisor.com
May 25: Toledo, OH
Toledo Area GO Association Tourney
Jeff w. Head firstname.lastname@example.org 419-360-4636
Get the latest go events information.
The Evanston Go Club taught go on May 17 and 18 to over a hundred enthusiastic attendees at Anime Central (ACen), the largest annual anime convention in the midwest. “We taught non-stop for 13 hours on Friday, and 11 hours on Saturday,” reported tired but happy club president Mark Rubenstein. The two-day event ended with a 9×9 tournament for beginners, with 20 participants. Everyone who participated received a 9×9 starter set and a copy of The Way To Go.
“This is our favorite event of the year!” said Rubenstein. “This is our 10th year at ACen, and it was a blast! Most people stay for perhaps an hour. We teach them the basics, and they play a few games. There’s a lot to do at ACen, and go is a very small part of it. But some of them can’t get enough go, and spend the better part of the weekend with us!”
“Last year there were 25,000 attendees at ACen, and everyone gets along.” said Rubenstein. “I’ve never seen any kind of tension or altercation in all these years. These kids all accept and enjoy each others’ passions and differences without judgement. The world at large could learn a lot from them.”
Rubenstein extended “special thanks to the tireless Lee Huynh for his enthusiastic help all weekend.” Visit the club’s website for more photos.
- photos courtesy Mark Rubenstein
The Chinese School at Chapel Hill Team won the 2014 Team Tournament and Changlong Wu 7d once again topped the Individual Competition in the 2014 Carolina Spring Go Tournament. The 11th annual tournament, held in Raleigh on May 11th, was organized by the Cary Go Club and the Chinese-American Friendship Association of North Carolina, and attracted over 20 go players with a wide range of ages. Owen Chen directed.
As expected, the team competition generated a lot of excitement, with youth players eagerly checking the scoreboard during the breaks between rounds. In the end, the defending champion, the team from the Chinese School at Chapel Hill, won the title with all members winning their individual competition sections. “That this year’s team, comprised of Andrew Zhang, Colin Zhang and their teacher Changlong Wu, were completely different people from those of last year’s team demonstrated the depth of the pool of go talent at the Chinese School of Chapel Hill,” reports Feng Ye of the Cary Go Club.
In the individual competition, Changlong Wu 7d, the highest-ranked player, defended his championship with a perfect score of 4-0, without much surprise. “We were happy to see a new face to AGA, Mr. Hanbo Zhang,” adds Feng Ye. “He took second place by beating two five-dans and one four-dan, losing only to Wu.”
Besides being on the winning team, Andrew Zhang 9k won Section A (9k-1d) with a score of 3-1. Alvin Chen 10k won Section B (15k-10k) with a score of 3-1, and the runner up in this section is Steven Manning 11k, with the same score of 3-1. Another member of team competition winning team, Colin Zhang 17k, topped Section C (30k-16k) with a perfect score of 4-0. Alex Kuang 16k won the 2nd place in this section.
photo: the Chinese School at Chapel Hill team, with TD Owen Chen at right
Ukraine: The Victory’s Day Tournament finished May 11 in Odesa with Yevhen Kolodin 5k in first, Valerii Liverinov 1k in second, and Oleh Folomiiev 12k in third. Norway: Also on May 11, Jakob Bing 3d took the Oslo Open while Paal Sannes 3d placed second and Micael Svensson 2d came in third. Serbia: Nikola Mitic 5d (left) bested Dusan Mitic 6d at the 17th Serbia International Cup on May 11 in Nis. Mijodrag Stankovic 5d was third.
– Annalia Linnan, based on reports from EuroGoTV, which include complete result tables and all the latest European go news; photo courtesy of EuroGoTV
Wien 2014, Vienna’s annual international go tournament, will be held June 20-22 at the Vienna Waldorf school. The top ten players will receive cash prizes with additional cash prizes for the best female player and the best player under 18. Book prizes will be awarded to players with 4 or 5 wins. Discounted fees are available for group rooms at the Jugendgästehaus Hütteldorf youth hostel (500 meters from the playing site) for players who register before May 21. In addition to the main tournament, Wien 2014 will be the final stage of the European Professional Qualification and a bonus point tournament, in which top players can accumulate bonus points used as qualification for future higher-level tournaments. There will also be a free tour of the city on Friday evening. To register or for more information, please visit the official Wien 2014 website.
The Russian Go Federation will host this year’s European Women’s Go Championship in Kazan on June 27 through June 29. European Go Federation players are welcome regardless of title or rank and there is no limit to the number of participants per country. However, one representative from each country (EGF rank 5k or stronger) will have compensation for travel expenses and free accommodation at Hotel Regatta. In addition to the main tournament, this year’s EWGC is a qualification event for the SporAccord World Mind Games in Beijing. To register or for more information, please visit the official EWGC 2014 website.
The fourth annual Young Kwon National Online Tournament – or YKNOT 4 — will take place on KGS on June 21st, 22nd, and 28th. The YKNOT is a national online tournament sponsored by Young Kwon, a former US Open Champion. With a total prize purse of nearly $3,000, the YKNOT is one of the largest western online go tournaments and is open to all levels. Any AGA member resident in the US for 6 out of the last 12 months or any AGA life member regardless of residency, can compete for free. Registration is FREE; click here to register for the tournament. Registration will close at midnight on Friday, June 20th. Once a week beginning Friday, May 23, the “See Who’s Playing” document will be updated with current tournament registrants. If you would prefer not to be listed in this document prior to the tournament, please indicate this by email to the Tournament Director. Stay tuned for more tournament details.
The first online North American Masters Tournament (NAMT) qualifier of the 2014 season will be held on June 7-8. The tournament has been dubbed “Age of the Fabulist” by organizer Karoline Burrall, “to celebrate the birth of Jean de la Fontaine (right), a French author of fables, or a fabulist, on June 8, 1621.” Click here for details and schedule, as well as the link to registration, or click here to register directly. Players must be eligible for NAMT and register by Wednesday June 4th 2014. All participants will earn points towards NAMT qualification, which this year means eligibility for the 9-round US Invitational event at the US Go Congress. NAMT qualified players are eligible for an extra $2,000 in prizes at this tournament. Click here to see current NAMT points standings. “Players may wish to keep in mind the proverb from one of de la Fontaine’s fables, Burrall suggests. “’En toute chose il faut considérer la fin,’ or “In all things, one must consider the end.” It is not known whether Mr. de la Fontaine was a go player.
Play in the fifth round of the AGA City League is set for this Saturday, May 17, to determine which two teams will meet at the Pandanet City League Finals in New York City at the US Go Congress. As previously reported (Canwa Vancouver 1, Chicago & Katy TX 1 Lead AGA City League After 4th Round 5/7 EJ), Canwa Vancouver 1 is leading the A League, with Seattle 1 and Greater Washington hot on their heels. Chicago is leading the B League with NY City their only contender and Katy TX 1 leads the C League.
Catch the action live on game day at 3p EST on Pandanet using the new GoPanda2 software. Games will be played in the AGA City League room. See below for current standings.
“Rémi Coulom is sitting in a rolling desk chair, hunched over a battered Macbook laptop, hoping it will do something no machine has ever done.” So begins Alan Levinovitz’s thorough report on the current state of computer go in Wired Magazine – The Mystery of Go, the Ancient Game That Computers Still Can’t Win – published May 12. Levinovitz covered this year’s UEC Cup, the computer Go tournament held each March that rewards two finalists with matches against a “Go sage” in the Densei-sen, or machine-versus-man matches. The Wired report covers the history of computer go, name-checking Einstein, Turing and Nash, includes an excellent explanation of the game’s branching problem and explains how the development of Monte Carlo Tree Search enabled the latest breakthroughs in computer go, in which Coulom’s Crazy Stone program won the first Densei-sen last year against Japanese professional Yoshio “The Computer” Ishida. American-born pro Michael Redmond — a regular EJ contributor — makes an appearance in the report as the commentator at the UEC Cup. Levinovitz does a good job demystifying computer go, as well, writing that the view that go is “the final bastion of human dominance over computers” is “deeply misguided.” Levinovitz points out that “computers can’t ‘win’ at anything, not until they can experience real joy in victory and sadness in defeat, a programming challenge that makes Go look like tic-tac-toe. Computer Go matches aren’t the brain’s last stand. Rather, they help show just how far machines have to go before achieving something akin to true human intelligence.”
photo: Remi Coulom (left) and his computer program, Crazy Stone, take on grandmaster Norimoto Yoda. Photo: Takashi Osato/WIRED. Thanks to the many EJ readers who quickly spotted this report and passed it along.