Lee Changho, Park Younghoon and Shi Yue lead go9dan’s World Go League Invitational, all with 4-1 records. Lee Sedol will play Xie He at 7a EDT on Saturday, March 16. Lee defeated Fan, Kong, Xie and Kim, losing to Shi; Park defeated Lee Sedol, Fan, Park Junghwan and Kim, losing to Kong; Shi beat Lee Sedol, Lee Changho, Xie and Chen, losing to Kong. Click here for game records and standings.
Blackie’s International Baduk Academy (The Traveling Go Board 1/19/2013 EJ) will offer their first summer camp this June. “We hope that kids can join to our camp, but anyone is welcomed,” Kim Seung-jun tells the E-Journal. “No age or rank limit, just like in BIBA.” The camp will run June 24 through July 23 in Seoul, South Korea. In addition to helping students improve, the camp’s goals include facilitating cultural exchanges through the game of baduk (go). Highlights of the camp include game reviews and commentaries, studying life and death problems and professional games as well as games; teachers include Kim Seung-jun 9P, Diana Koszegi 1P, On So-jin 7P and Park Young-un 7d. Other activities include visiting the Hangkuk Kiwon and meeting with famous professional players, visiting the Kwon Gap Yong Baduk Academy in Seoul, as well as playing sports in a nearby park and visits to the sea. Click here for details and to register.
- photo courtesy BIBA
This year's European Youth Go Championship, held at the Budai Sport Hotel in Budapest March 8-10, was again dominated by Eastern European players. As last year, they won all three divisions: under 20, under 16, and under 12.
Seventeen youths from ten different countries competed in the U20 division. Slovak champion Pavol Lisy (6d) started out by beating Germany's Jonas Welticke (4d) and Israel's Ali Jabarin (6d) in rounds 1 and 2. Then he disposed of last year's winner and runner-up Lukas Podpera (6d, Czechia) and Aleksandr Vashurov (5d, Russia) in rounds 3 and 4, and finished by beating Frantisek Caha (5k, Czechia) and Dominik Boviz (3d, Hungary) to win the championship with a perfect 6-0 score. His opponents came in 5th, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 9th, and 6th, respectively.
The U16 championship was contested by 47 players. Nearly a third were Hungarian, but it was Stepan Popov (3d, Russia) and Silvestru State (1d, Romania) who ended on top with identical 5-1 scores. Stepan had beaten Silvestru in round 2 and took first place on tie-breaking points despite losing his final game to Vjacheslav Kajmin (2d, Russia), who took third place. For Stepan it was a case of coming through on the third try: he had finished second in 2011 and 2012.
The U12 division had 64 contestants, with large blocs from Russia, Hungary, and the Ukraine. Valerii Krushelnytskyi (1d, Ukraine), the only dan-ranked player, defeated five Russian opponents and one Romanian opponent to finish first with a perfect 6-0 record for the second consecutive year.
By winning the U16 and U12 divisions, Stepan and Valerii earned berths in the World Youth Go Championship scheduled for August in Praha.
There was also a U99 McMahon side tournament, won by the Ukraine's Viktor Redila (8k).
Complete results, pictures, and further information are available at the tournament website.
The European Youth Go Championships were held in Budapest, Hungary from March 8-10. Pavol Lisy 6d (right) won the Under 20 event, Stepan Popov 3d (left) won the Under 16 and Valerii Krushelnytskyi 1d won the Under 12.
Complete results tables and latest European tournament results available on EuroGoTV’s website.
Will some future history of go in the Netherlands refer to this decade, and perhaps several decades to come, as the Kuin dynasty? This year Merlijn and Marika Kuin, the Netherlands' outstanding go-playing couple, won both the Dutch Championship and the Dutch Women's Championship, as they also did in 2011. This was Merlijn's fifth championship and Marika's third.
The Dutch Championship was an 8-round Swiss system with 16 contestants, played at the European Go Cultural Centre in Amstelveen over a span of two weeks in January. Reigning champion Alexander Eerbeek and 2010 champion Geert Groenen got off to bad starts by losing their first games. So did Zeno van Ditzhuijzen, whose victory over Merlijn Kuin last year had given the 2012 championship to Alexander. Zeno then made a splended recovery by winning all seven of his remaining games, including another victory over Merlijn in round 5. This was Merlijn's only loss, so he and Zeno finished in a 1-2 tie with seven wins apiece while Frank Janssen took undisputed third place with six wins. Since the Dutch Championship is not awarded on the basis of tie-breaking points, a best-of-three playoff between Merlijn and Zeno was scheduled for mid-February.
While the championship rounds were finishing up on January 26-27, Marika Kuin sailed undefeated through the Dutch Women's Championship, as she also did in 2011 and 2012. Marieke Overbeek took second place with four wins in this 5-round, 8-player Swiss system. Please read Marika's perspective here. The championship playoff was held with live coverage on EuroGoTV. Merlijn won the first game, played at the EGCC on February 16, by resignation. Next day the playoff moved to the Hotel Theater Figi in Zeist and Merlijn won again, this time by 2.5 points. Full results of both championships, with clickable game records of the playoff (bekijk partij), are available here.
A go board shows up in New World, the 2013 South Korean noir film written and directed by Park Hoon-jung. Starring Lee Jung-jae, Choi Min-shik and Hwang Jung-min, the film — released just last month — shows the conflict between the police and the mob through the eyes of an undercover cop. Click here to see a trailer.
Thanks to Vincent DiMattia for the tip.
That (Folding Board Query 3/8 EJ) looks a lot like the folding Agathis boards — B101, B102 & B104 — currently available from Kiseido,” writes Paul Barchilon. “Samarkand used to sell them too. I had one that lasted fairly well, though it did have metal hinges. I made it sit flat by putting little felt circles on the four corners. The lines eventually came off around the center, but that was after several years of frequent use. They used to sell the same model with a fabric backing, which is probably the one Ramon saw. One could inquire from Kiseido about this, and show them a copy of the photo.”
“That board looks like one that I’ve seen for sale at Uwajimaya, a Japanese grocery and market in downtown Seattle,” adds Dennis Wheeler. “Or it’s also possible that its from Shiga’s imports in the University District (near the Seattle Go Center). I’ll try to remember to stop in to see what they each currently have to offer the next time I’m nearby and report back again.”
Players from Kazan dominated the first Polymetal Rapid Cup, held in Saint Petersburg, Russia on March 8-10. Ilya Shikshin 7d (far left in photo) of Kazan won the individual event, while the Kazan team (photo at right) swept the team event. Kazan is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Tatarstan in Russia. The first official Russian fast go tournament, the Cup was sponsored by Polymetal plc, a leading precious metals producer in Russia and Kazakhstan.
Despite many Russian players being away at the European Youth Go Championship in Budapest, 39 players and 9 teams took part in the Polymetal Rapid Cup competitions. The Russian Go Federation and local go supporters ensured a friendly atmosphere for newcomers with public go classes for beginners, a tea ceremony and relaxing facilities.
Organizers hope the Polymetal Rapid Cup launches a new era of fast go events, including rapid, blitz and lightning. While these formats are very popular in the Russian chess world, they’ve not previously been tried out in general go competitions, where players are expecting to face more new and exciting go events.
Results: Individual: 1st: Ilya Shikshin 7d, 2nd: Dmitriy Surin 6d, 3rd: Alexander Dinerchtein 3P. Team tournament: 1st: Kazan team; Ilya Shikshin, Alexander Dinerchtein, Svetlana Shikshina and Igor Nemliy. 2nd: Moscow City; 3rd: Republic of Karelia. Click here for individual results and tournament photos.
- Daria Koshkina, EJ Russia Correspondent; photo by Michail Krylov/ Russian Go Federation
A number of years ago, our family made a habit of renting a cabin in New England during the summer, and part of the ritual was having Don Wiener come to visit us. Needless to say, the days Don was there became a total immersion in go (and second-hand smoke). I got used to being punished repeatedly at any number of handicap stones, but I learned so much from watching his magic at work. It was only after Don drummed into my head that it wasn’t magic, but my own stubbornness that resulted in total collapse time and time again, that I began to appreciate the value of defending weak groups, an essential ingredient to begin to become stronger. I am grateful for those lessons.
Don and I shared another common interest – a love of music. Besides his speed-typing talent alluded to in a previous article, Don was a very capable pianist. One of the few other people I know who had a goban under their Steinway, he had won several national awards in the Piano Guild, and could blaze through a Chopin Etude.
And a word about Don’s attitude about go and life. Don was the ultimate go hippie who believed in the power of go to reflect one’s personal choices. While some people like to say that go is a metaphor for life, Don preferred to say that “life is like go!”
Finally, you haven’t heard snoring unless you experienced a night with Don in the guest room. On one of these occasions, my daughters came into our room in the middle of the night fearful the cabin was about to crumble. I mean, the joint was rocking! Imagine the 6:00 Express rumbling through the station during an earthquake and you have some idea of the magnitude of Don’s snoring.
So a final fond farewell to Don-san san-dan, as he was known when a mere 3-dan. I am grateful for having known him. We had whole lot of good times together, and… I still believe it was magic.
- Haskell Small; photo by Phil Straus
reviewed by James Acres
GoCommentary.com is a cool service from Nate Lee, a very strong amateur player living in Shanghai. His work is kind of like Yuan Zhou’s “Deep Thought” books, except that what Nate does is create a video in which he narrates a professional game while he plays out the moves and some key variations for you.
At first I felt like there would be something lazy about just watching a video of a game. After all, if you aren’t even putting stones on the board yourself, how can you possibly be doing any learning?
But the thing I’ve found about Nate’s commentaries is that they help me appreciate some of the strategic and tactical subtleties of a great professional game, without my having to do much work. And since he provides the game record, you can review the game yourself as many times as you like before or after watching the commentary.
The first thing that Nate does is name most every move. So he’ll say something like “white star point, black keima approach, white jump, black side extension…” which is very helpful in getting into the flow of the game. But at the same time, Nate will choose some specific strategic point on which to hang his narrative of the game, which particularly highlights the difference between the professional and the amateur.
For example, in his commentary on Game Six of the jubango between Go Seigen and Fujisawa Kuranosuke, Nate is careful to explain how Go sacrifices a group simply to build a a four-stone wall in the middle of the board, and how that thickness was decisive to the game. In other games he’s focused on how professionals think about ko, and prepare themselves for ko by not just creating ko threats for themselves, but even deciding to make the ko itself worth more so as to obviate some of their opponent’s threats.
Finally, Nate throws a little John Fairbairn-style historical commentary into the mix, which adds to the fun. To be clear though, where with John the historical context can be seen as the main course, with Nate it is added purely as spice.
All in all, Nate’s videos are the only thing I’ve found in English that let me just be a spectator of a professional game. And that’s a fine thing for those evenings when the kids are in bed, I’m too tired to play or do problems, but still want to spend some time with go. I very much recommend them, both his free sample videos and his subscription service. The subscription service is $5/month, and he makes two commentaries per month, which seem to average about 45min each.
Finally, I do believe Nate’s commentaries have helped me gain a little strength. I was able to push myself firmly into dan territory on Dragon Go when I started watching his videos. I’m not saying that Nate’s videos are anywhere near as valuable as doing problems for getting stronger. But if you follow his habit of naming all your moves, then it does give you a useful structure on which to hang your thoughts while you’re playing.
Yuqiao Shen, Yinli Wang, Chris Roose and Devin Flake have joined the AGA’s webmaster team, which manages the AGA’s website and online communications. They join Steve Colburn, who leads the team, Rachel Small, the new Pair Go Coordinator, who’s managing the new Pair Go Facebook page, Bart Jacobs, who’s coordinating our new Facebook page, and Jonathan Bresler, Andrew Jackson and Anna Wiggins, who are working on bringing the AGA Database back online. “We’re really fortunate to have such a terrific team of dedicated folks,” says Colburn.
The E-Journal team has openings for two news editors, as Ben Williams – who’s been editing world go news reports – and Taylor Litteral – who’s been editing European go news reports – move on to other projects. Anyone interested should email email@example.com; no experience necessary but enthusiasm and a good sense of humor helpful. “We owe Ben and Taylor a huge round of thanks,” said EJ Managing Editor Chris Garlock. “They took time from their own personal go boards to bring E-Journal readers go news from around the world, and we really appreciate all their great work.”
Two weeks before China's 16-year-old Fan Tingyu became the youngest player ever to gain a major international professional go title by winning the Ing Cup, 13-year-old He Yuhan showed that even younger players can gain big titles by winning the Amateur Tianyuan, a major national tournament in China. This is actually his second major triumph; he won the top youth division of the Lark Cup in 2011, at age 12.
Also known as the Qingyun Cup, the Amateur Tianyuan was played at the New World Hotel in Lishui on February 18-22. The tournament drew seventy amateur players to this city in a part of China noted for its forests and mineral resources. Most of the players had 5-dan rankings, but the field included three 7-dans: Hu Yuqing, Wang Chen, and Qian Liuru, who finished 1-2-4 in this year's Evening News Cup. He Yuhan was one of seventeen 6-dans. The tournament was run as a 9-round Swiss system with 75-minute time limits and no overtime.
He's first opponent was Sha Xingyu, who was five years older and had won the Hotel Cup last November. The game was played in the evening of February 18 and He made a good start by winning it. After drawing somewhat easier opponents in the next three rounds, He then scored his fifth straight victory by beating China's top-rated amateur Hu Yuqing in round 5 on February 20. In round 6 He beat the only other undefeated player left to take sole posession of the lead. Next morning, however, He lost to Qian Liuru. Hu Yuqing also lost in this round, to Feng Yi. He, Qian, and Feng won in the afternoon to stand neck-and-neck at 7-1.
The deciding final round was held on the morning of February 22. He's last opponent was Beijing University student Wang Tianyi, who won a gold medal playing xiangqi (Chinese chess) at the 2012 World Mind Games. Not only is Wang China's xiangqi champion; he is also rated among China's top fifty amateur go players, but He prevailed. Meanwhile Feng beat Qian to tie He with eight wins and one loss, but He had better SOS points. He's triumph brings honor to his native city of Chongqing and to the Nie Weiping Daochang where he trains.
March 16: Tempe, AZ
Arizona March AGA Rating Tournament
Bill Gundberg firstname.lastname@example.org 480-831-5567
March 17: Oakland, CA
Bay Area Go Players Association Monthly AGA Ratings Tournament
Roger Schrag email@example.com 510-501-2701
Steve Burrall firstname.lastname@example.org 916-688-2858
Get the latest go events information.
Sixteen enthusiastic go players turned out for the Vermont Moyo Madness tournament held Saturday, March 9th. Players from 14 kyu to 2 dan participated. The winner was Jack Cary 6k, with a perfect 4 – 0 record. Second place went to John Elder 5k with a 3 –1 record. Third place was taken by Andrew Daudelin 14k also on 3 – 1. Trophies, books, and souvenirs were given out to the top four places plus the venerable “fighting spirit” award to the player who demonstrated a great attitude with or without a winning record. “The Vermont Go Club will be well-represented at St. Michael College’s Spring Matsuri 2013 being held on Sunday, April 7th,” adds tournament organizer Peter Schumer. “We hope to attract lots of new players!”
Janice Kim, the popular 3-dan professional, will conduct a two-day go workshop in Berkeley, CA on Saturday and Sunday, May 4-5. She will focus on how research into what it takes to become an expert translates into reaching one’s potential in go. “I’ve adapted activities for the workshop from research and practice — not my own, thankfully — in fields as apparently diverse as competitive tennis, to body-building, to law school, to baking,” says Kim. “I find a common thread, in my own observations in go as well, in concepts behind these activities. People appear to excel, without spending unrealistic amounts of time, when what they do follows these concepts.”
Janice Kim 3P is co-author of the award-winning book series Learn to Play Go, and her lectures at the San Francisco Go Club and past workshops have been very popular. Last year she provided commentary at the Cotsen Open in Los Angeles, and this past December she teamed up with Michael Redmond 9P and the American Go E-Journal to provide commentary at the SportAccord World Mind Games in China.
“To sum up what we’ll cover,” Janice continues, “I’ll show you how maybe surprisingly, you may have to do less to get better, and then we’ll translate that into specifically what to do in a way you can replicate after the workshop. I’ll be presenting go material a little differently, but hopefully in a way that you’ll find interesting and useful. I promise not to go full Karate Kid and tell you to wax the floor if you want to get better at go.”
This workshop is organized by Bay Area Go Players Association. More information is available on this web page, and you can pay your entry fee with PayPal, credit card, or by putting a check in the mail. Register and submit payment before April 8 to get the best price.
photos by Chris Garlock (left) and Brian Allen (right).
Aresh Pourkavoos took first place at the 1st Simsbury Open Scholastic Go Tournament, at the Simsbury Library, in Connecticut, on March 2nd. The tournament was held in conjunction with the Simsbury Scholastic Chess Tournament. “We had 6 fierce go competitors enter the tournament,” reports Mike Spaner. ”This was the first go tournament for all of the entrants. Our young players not only battled for 5 rounds, but they also took the time to teach many curious onlookers from the chess side of the playing hall (there were roughly 90 chess players). Although outnumbered, our young go ambassadors (all new AGA members) did a wonderful job promoting the game of go. The kids were all very excited to meet others who share their love for the game. Between rounds, there were some great hallway discussions on suggested playing strategies and tactics. One of the chess player’s parents had not played go for many years and was excited to get in a game between rounds. As an observer, I was very happy to see how energized the kids were during and after the tournament. A small, friendly, but competitive tournament for our our youth really helps spark a deeper interest in the game that we love. The Central Connecticut Go Club would like to extend a special thank you to Gert Hilhorst for organizing the overall Chess and Go tournament. The entire event was flawlessly executed by Gert and his team with the helpful assistance of the library staff. We also would like to thank Mike Scudder for serving as our Tournament Director. Kiseido publishing graciously provided a discount on gift certificates for our prize winners, and the kids were thrilled with their prizes,” adds Spaner. Winners Report: 1st place: Aresh Pourkavoos; 2nd place: Sophie Spaner; 3rd place: Matt Miller. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Story and photo by Mike Spaner.
If regular go is getting too easy, you may want to check out the eXtreme Mindgame Challenge, which proposes to expand play to a staggering 57 x 57 board.
“The goal of this project is to make this 4000 year old game really extreme,” say the project’s organizers, who say they’re planning to recruit two teams to eight players each to play on the biggest board in the world. “Players will be quite strong so that they can focus on the whole game,” they add.
It’s not clear who’s behind the grandiose effort, which is trying to raise $5,000 for the summer 2013 project but has only attracted two supporters for a grand total of $60 thus far.
With 3,249 intersections in a 57×57 board, project organizers calculate the number of possible game positions at 10 to the 2,000 power.
- Thanks to Paul Barchilon for passing this along
Nominations for the American Go Foundations Teacher of the Year award are now open. The award is presented each year at the U.S. Go Congress and recognizes an outstanding American teacher. The winner will receive an all expenses paid trip to the congress. To be eligible, a teacher must be a member of the AGA, have been teaching go to children for at least two hours a week (during the school year) for two years, have started a go club or organization for youth, and have helped their students enter appropriate tournaments, if possible. If you would like to nominate someone for this award, including yourself, e-mail email@example.com. Nominations are due by April 30th and should include a description of the teacher’s activities, how long they have been teaching, and how many students attend their program. - Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo: Last year’s winner Joe Walters, of Pasadena, CA, with students from his program. To read more about Joe’s work, check out Sensei #8.
Europe’s top youth players are gathered in Budapest this weekend for the European Youth Go Championship, which runs March 8-10. They’ll compete in a 6-round main tournament as well as a 5-round side tournament; click here to see results. Game records and videos are also being posted on the EuroGoTV website.
Csaba Mero 6D (left) won the 2013 Confucius Cup, played March 2-3 in Dublin, Ireland. Zebin Du 4D took second place and in third was Antoine Fenech 5D. Latest European tournament results available on EuroGoTV’s website.