Strasbourg Three-Peats as French Club Champs: For the third consecutive year, the Strasbourg Go Club has won the French Club Championship. The 11th French Club Championship — also named “Master Lim Cup”, in honor of Eugene Lim, a great master in France since 1970 – was held November 23-24, with 14 teams competing in Dijon. The Strasbourg club team includes Motoki Noguchi 7d, Thomas Debarre 6d, Fred Donzet 5d and Antoine Fenech 5d. The Grenoble club took second, and Dijon, which hosted the event, finished third. Click here for team results and individual results. photo: the Strasbourg teams; photo by Antoine Fenech.
Dai Junfu Sweeps Paris-Meijin: Dai Junfu 8d swept the 31st Paris-Meijin on December 1, besting Fan Hui 8d in the final game. Held in Paris, this is one of France’s major tournaments, and featured 28 dan players. Benjamin Dréan-Guénézia 5d finished 2nd, Fan Hui 3rd , Motoki Noguchi 7d was 4th and César Lextrait 5th. Click here for results. photo: Dai JUNFU is 5th from left, Benjamin Dréan-Guénézia is 6th from left; photo by Jérôme Hubert.
- Laurent Coquelet, French Correspondent for the E-Journal
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Well-known Chinese pro Mingjiu Jiang 7P will do a weekend workshop at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, OR on Saturday and Sunday, April 26-27. “This is part of the Portland Go Club’s continuing effort to bring a variety of pro players to Portland to teach players of all strengths,” reports local organizer Peter Freedman. Those interested in participating must let Freedman know asap and pay to insure a spot. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org, call 503-242-4203 or send $100* to the Portland Go Club, c/o Peter Freedman, 1710 SW Harbor Way, Unit 303, Portland, OR. *There are reduced rates for students and children: college students pursuing a degree: $50; Children and youth up to age 18: $25. photo by Brian Allen
The following is a response to a discussion about increasing attendance at go clubs, which was initiated by Aulden Murch recently on the AGA-Chapters email list. It has been reprinted here with permission.
by Eric Jankowski
After running the Ann Arbor club for a decade, I moved to Colorado and have been largely invisible as an organizer for the last year. Having been both very and negligibly involved in running clubs, my feeling is that two ingredients are needed for sustainable growth: 1) a tireless advocate for the club who 2) understands the importance of creating an inclusive environment. I suspect we’ve all known someone with this rare combination at some point — the Susan Weirs, Paul Barchilons, Greg Leflers, and Guo Juans, to name just a few. Those of us who try to build clubs may have even been that person occasionally, and can appreciate it is not a trivial effort to maintain.
The great thing about the first ingredient is that it doesn’t depend on rank. Anyone that has been bitten by the beauty of the game can be that tireless advocate. The catch here is that it takes time and energy to be tireless: it can take a big bite out of time for other important life priorities such as work and family. The tireless advocate here is that person who is always at the club, dragging in all of their friends, putting on workshops at libraries and festivals. Someone with infectious enthusiasm. One great example back in Ann Arbor was Albert Guo’s mom; she didn’t ever play, but saw how much her son loved the game and would show up to cook egg rolls at our tournaments. You just can’t beat that for enthusiasm. When you show other people how much you want to be somewhere, they want to be there too.
The second ingredient is a little trickier; it requires leadership from strong players who are willing to teach and maintain a welcoming environment. When the top guns only play each other it creates a feeling of inapproachability. Back in Ann Arbor, we had a great mix of kids, college students, permanent residents, and even a few famed homeless folk, and I think it’s because we went to great lengths to emphasize an inclusive environment. We had an implicit rule: Ignoring or bullying younger players, weaker players, or anyone really, cannot be tolerated. In the most constructive and positive way possible, you need to set the tone: “This is a place for having fun, making friends, and a place to learn about this game; if you’re not helping that, you’re not welcome here.” It’s not enough to parrot that quote; you have to get to know the members of your club and set an example. Every so often, remind your strong players that they became strong because someone had helped them previously, by creating a place where they felt empowered to learn. Set an example by teaching new players. Emphasize that your rank has nothing to do with your value as a human. To grow, your club needs an inclusive culture, but this requires constant attention, and it can fade if you lose that strong player leadership. Sometimes as a strong player, you just want to play a game and try out that new trick you saw. Running a club and improving as a player are different things, but this can be easy to forget when there’s a board in front of you. Resisting that temptation is important if the aim is to grow your club.
So, my advice is: If you wish to grow your club, be tireless in your efforts to make a welcoming place to play. And as folks involved in the AGA, I suppose that we have a responsibility to show that these efforts are appreciated and worthwhile.
Jankowski (top right) is a Research Associate in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of Colorado, Boulder . photo at bottom left: at the 2010 University of Michigan/Ann Arbor United Way tournament.
David Michael Drexler, 58, passed away November 27, 2013 in his beloved home. He was born June 15, 1955 in Rochester, New York. In his brief lifetime he accomplished much. He was a founding member and past president of the Oklahoma Unix Club, instrumental in forming the first go club in Oklahoma City (OKC), recognized by the American Go Association for his volunteer efforts in outreach and promotion of the game of go. He was a member and officer in the Oklahoma Traditional Music Association, playing the mountain dulcimer with astounding beauty and grace. In the early 1990s Drexler established Internet Access Plus, one of the first internet service provider companies in OKC. His many other loves included hiking in the Wichita Mountains, traveling to see friends and family in California, New York, Hawaii, and Alaska, cooking and bicycling. A memorial service will be held at 3pm, Tuesday, December 3, at Memorial Park Historic Cemetery Chapel. -Text courtesy of Dignity Memorial Online. Thanks to Jim Story for letting the E-J know.
The third edition of the SportAccord World Mind Games is set for December 12-18 in Beijing. The American Go E-Journal will once again team up with Ranka to provide coverage this year, with Michael Redmond 9P and EJ Managing Editor Chris Garlock providing play-by-play game commentary on the SAWMG YouTube channel as well as coverage in the EJ. Thirty players (18 men and 12 women) from around the world — China, Chinese Taipei, Europe, Japan, Korea and North America — will compete for major cash prizes; click here to see the player roster and schedule.
The ‘GLOBIS Cup World Go U-20’, a new Japanese world championship for under-20 players, will be held May 8-11 2014 in Tokyo, the Nihon Ki-in has announced. The winner will win 3 million Japanese yen (about $30,000 USD) and all players will receive 35,000 JPY (about $350) for participating. Sixteen players under 20 years of age (as of January 1st 2014) will compete: six from Japan, three each from Korea and China, and one each from Chinese Taipei, Europe, North America and Oceania. “After the termination of the Fujitsu Cup, I am very glad to know that the Nihon Kiin is back to sponsor a world championship,” says AGA Vice President for International
Affairs Thomas Hsiang. The AGA will soon announce a selection procedure for this tournament.
Novice go player and artist Andrew Cole designs images based on specific games of go. “Quiet Garden” (right) “was based on a game played by Todd Blatt and Jianbo Liu on 9/21/06,” Cole tells the E-Journal. “I found the game in the 2007 AGA Yearbook.” Another image, “1573” (at left) “is based on a game played by Kashio Rigen and Honinbo Sansa in 1573, with an interesting seki at the lower end of the board. This game was included with my SmartGo application.” Cole says that “this is a hobby for me. I love playing go, and this is a different way for me to enjoy the game when my skill level limits me.”
“Someone was listening to Roger Schrag’s comments in his article on “Go Spotting: Lan Su Chinese Garden in Portland“ (9/3 EJ)” writes Bob Joyce. Schrag wondered “Is the position on the go board (at left) viable?” and Joyce says “I visited the garden on Saturday, September 28th and the position of the stones had changed (right); however, even a beginner (like me) knows that go games do not begin in the middle of the board.”
Adrenalina will host the 2014 Barcelona Go Seigen Spanish final qualifying tournament on February 22 and 23. First through fourth places will receive portions of the 900 EU cash prize and books will be offered to the players with best results. Players who register before February 21 will receive discounts. Additionally, players who stay at the Alberguinn youth hostel will have the opportunity to room with other go players. To register or for more information about the tournament, please visit the Barcelona Go Seigen official website.
The 2014 Avalanche tournament will take place during the same dates in Oulu, Finland. In addition to the games, Avalanche will also offer a go players’ sauna evening and lectures by Su Yang 6d. Boasting the largest prize pool in Finland, cash prizes will be offered to the top three players. Registration fees are determined by rank, not by date. However, players under 18 years of age at the time of the tournament can enjoy a 5 EU discount. To register or for more information, please visit the official Avalanche 2014 website.
—Annalia Linnan; for complete listings, check out the European Tournament Calendar
The dates for the much-anticipated match between Lee Sedol 9p (top left) and Gu Li 9p (bottom left) have finally been announced. The jubango, or ten-game match, will begin on January 26, 2014 in Beijing. Sponsor MLily will award the first player to win six games with 5 million RMB (approximately 820,000 USD). The other player will receive a consolation prize of 200,000 RMB (approximately 33,000 USD). If the score is tied 5-5, the prize will be split without a tie-breaker.
“I think these two players are the best choice for a jubango, and the games will be very exciting,” said Liu Siming, president of the Chinese Weiqi Association. “There hasn’t been a jubango like this in the last 70 years, but we’ve pushed ahead to make this one happen.” With twenty-one international titles between the two of them, Liu considers Lee and Gu “still the best” among today’s top players. Liu also delivered the exciting news that each of the ten games will be played in a different city.
Gu and Lee themselves, though, are trying to stay humble. When asked how he will prepare for the jubango, Gu said, “This match will be a very important part of my career and life.” He has already logged many hours studying to prepare. As for Lee, he does not believe that being the top ranked Korean player has anything to do with how the jubango will unfold. “There were many lightning games in the first half of 2013, and I lost many of them,” Lee said. “However there have been more games with longer time limits in the second half of the year, and I’ve been able to achieve better results in those games. That’s all there is to it.”
For more information about the 2014 MLily Gu vs Lee jubango, please visit Go Game Guru. For the full jubango schedule, please visit Go Game Guru’s Pro Go Calendar.
–- Annalia Linnan, based on a longer article by Go Game Guru, photo courtesy of Go Game Guru
Czech Republic: Lukas Podpera 5d (left) dominated the Go Baron Qualification on November 24 in Praha. Behind him were Jan Simara 6d in second and Jan Hora 6d third. Germany: Tobias Berben 4d bested Ji Lu 4d at the Rahlstedter Tengen, Gruppe A on November 17 in Hamburg while Tonny Claasen 4d placed third. Ukraine: At the J. Liedovskoj Memorial tournament in Kharkiv on November 10, Oleksandr Hilliazov 1k came in first, Mykhailo Kovalov 3d in second, and Oleh Lustenko 1k 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
The Beckley Foundation, a British organization for consciousness and drug policy research, is appealing for passionate go players who have experience with psychedelic drugs to take part in research on LSD. Volunteers will participate in a scientific experiment using the latest brain-imaging technology to investigate changes in cerebral circulation and connectivity during go play after taking either a dose of the hallucinogenic drug or a placebo. The date and location have not yet been fixed, but the study is expected to take place in the new year, either at the organisation’s headquarters at Beckley Park, Oxford or in London. The Beckley Foundation was established in 1998 by Amanda Feilding and is “dedicated to improving national and global drug policies, through research that increases understanding of the health, social and fiscal implications of drug policy, and the development of new evidence-based and rational approaches“. The late Albert Hofmann (right), who first synthesized LSD and was the first human to experience its effects, was the founding member of the Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Board. Possession and supply of LSD are generally prohibited by UK criminal law, but use for scientific research, as in this case, can be licensed by the Home Office – essentially the UK’s interior ministry. The Foundation received government approval for the study in March 2013 and this is the first time permission has been granted to use LSD in scientific research since it was outlawed. Click here to download flyer with full details.
Report by Tony Collman, British correspondent for the EJ. Photo: Albert Hofmann in 2006, at the age of 100, during a discussion, “on Beauty” at the Zürich Helmhaus, courtesy of wikipedia.
The AGA website has undergone some significant changes in the last few months. All the favorites are still there, including news, ratings, youth go, and tournament information, but the main left-side navigation menu has been revised from the top down, focusing on reducing duplication and adding comprehensive titles. “We hope that information is easier to find,” says Greg Smith, AGA Website Volunteer and team leader of the reorganization, on which Roger Schrag, Paul Barchilon and Roy Laird also worked. “We spent a lot of time mapping out the existing content and placing each link into a larger flow of ‘Learn, Play, Outreach, Teach’ ”
The new Outreach section has pages dedicated to presentations and publicity including a dedicated section for handouts. And we created better access to information about the AGA itself: the elections and organizational information each have their own consolidated and categorized page.
In recognition of the AGA’s Professional Certification program, we created a whole new section on AGA-Certified Go Professionals while continuing to honor those go professionals living in the US and certified by other nations.
“The AGA website has an enormous amount of content. We’ve rearranged it a bit in hopes that we can expand with more easy-to-find information,” adds Smith.
Check it out and let us know what you think by emailing your comments to us at email@example.com
Nam-Ban Madrid Go Club will host the first game of the 38th Japanese Kisei Tournament in Alcala de Henares (Madrid) on January 11 and 12. Current Meijin and Honinbo title-holder Yamashita Keigo 9d (left) will battle defending champion Iyama Yuta 9d. In addition to the main tournament, Nam-Ban Madrid Go Club will also host an Open Side Tournament for amateur go players that will parallel the Kisei title match. Cash prizes will be available for first through fifth place along with additional prizes for the top three Spanish players and top five women players. Players who register before January 1 will enjoy significant discounts. To encourage youth players, tournament sponsors will offer more than 30 scholarships for players under age 20. The scholarship includes free registration, lodging, and transportation between Madrid and Alcala de Henares.
First celebrated in 1976, the Keisei (in English, “Go Saint”) Tournament has become “the most prestigious professional tournament in Japan” with a prize pool of ¥42,000,000 (approx $6.9 million). To register or for more information about this year’s tournament including rules, schedule, and lodging information, please visit the official Keisei website.
—Annalia Linnan; for complete listings, check out the European Tournament Calendar; photo courtesy of Kisei 2014. NOTE: this post has been updated to reflect that the Kisei game will be the first of the tournament, not the final game, as previously reported.
Coming to grips with the truth that he will never earn a living playing baduk, a young man’s chance encounter with a local gangster finds him with a new pupil in Deo Seu-ton – The Stone – the 2010 Korean drama about the vastly different past and future of the two men. Check out the trailer here.
Thanks to Devin Fraze for passing this along. This film made the rounds of international festivals last year but we’re not sure if it’s been released in the US; if anyone has info on where it can be seen, let us know.
Yunxuan Li 6d has won the American Go Honor Society’s (AGHS) Young Lion’s tournament, for the third year in a row. “The tournament was very competitive,” writes organizer Calvin Sun, “with many new faces appearing this year. The first board topped the Active Games list, attracting almost 100 observers on KGS.” Competing on Nov. 16th and 17th, Li topped a field of 34 players with a 4-0 record. “The tournament was really great” Li told the E-Journal, “it is amazing to see new players each year. I want to thank the AGHS for giving this opportunity to North American youth, to compete and communicate with each other. All the games I played were so difficult. This was probably the most competitive year for the Young Lion’s yet.” Li graciously agreed to provide commentary on his crucial 2nd round match with Jimmy Yang 5d, and the attached game record is a freebie for all E-J readers. ”I think it is very beneficial for young people to play go, it helps enlarge our imagination, and develops a sense of logic,” says Li. “It is very cool to have go as a friend when you are young, because it really helps you mature a lot.” 11 players 3 dan and up competed in the Open Section, which Li won. In Division 1, from 2d to 3k, Jeremiah Donley 1k took top honors; Division 2, from 5k to 9k was won by Frederick Bao 5k; Matthew Qiu 16k took the prize in Division 3, from 10k to 21k. Stay tuned for AGHS’ next big tournament, the School Team Tournament, which will be held in March. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo by Wenguang Wu: Li, at left, plays with Fang Tian Feng 8P. The kid with the yellow shirt, who is watching the game is Ding Hao 6d, an insei from Beijing Ge Yu Hong Dojo.
The North American delegation to this year’s SportAccord World Mind Games – coming up December 12-18 in Beijing – includes Daniel Ko and Huiren Yang from the US and Sarah Yu and Yongfei Ge from Canada. The American Go E-Journal will once again team up with Ranka to provide coverage this year, with Michael Redmond 9P and EJ Managing Editor Chris Garlock providing play-by-play game commentary on the SAWMG YouTube channel as well as coverage in the EJ. Here are brief biographical sketches of the players.
Sarah Yu 6d is a 23-year-old graduate student in Toronto who’s been playing go for 17 years. She’s looking forward to “learning go from top professional players” at the SAWMG. Her favorite thing about go is that “The rules are simple, but it’s hard to master.” Her advice to players who want to improve is to “Play each move well, work on the skills, and look at professional games.” Her hobbies include playing table tennis.
Daniel Daehyuk Ko 7d, 37, works in accounting and finance in Los Angeles, CA and has been playing go for 32 years. He’s looking forward to “Playing with top professionals and learning from them” at the SAWMG. His favorite thing about go is meeting people and making friends and his advice on how to get stronger is to “Play with someone 2-3 stones stronger and review your games with strong players.” His hobbies include traveling.
Yongfei Ge 8d is a 44-year-old software architect in Scarborough, Canada who’s been playing go for 30 years. He’s looking forward to “playing with top pro players” at the SAWMG and his favorite thing about go is “Winning after hard fight.” His advice to improving is to “review games after playing” and hobbies include video games, books and ping pong.
Huiren Yang 1P is 60 years old; no further information was available at presstime.
A new East Coast Go Center tops the list of projects of the new Iwamoto North America Foundation (INAF), the result of a collaborative agreement with the American Go Association (AGA) approved today by the Nihon Kiin (NK) Board of Directors. The Foundation is named in honor of the late Kaoru Iwamoto and will be funded by the sale of the New York Go Center. “This is a tremendously exciting development in the history of American go,” said AGA president Andy Okun. “We look forward to continuing to work closely with the Nihon Kiin to realize Iwamoto sensei’s vision of spreading go worldwide.” The INAF will be an equal partnership between NK and AGA, with each side contributing three Directors, the NK Chairman serving as Foundation President and AGA contributing an Executive Director to take care of the Foundation’s regular operation. “I greatly welcome the arrival of this new Foundation,” said Thomas Hsiang, the AGA’s Vice President for International Affairs, who originated the concept for the Foundation and led the negotiations for its creation. “The Nihon Kiin has always been a great friend to American go and the INAF will add a new, grand chapter to this illustrious history.” A Request for Proposal (RFP) for establishing an East Coast Go Center is expected to be sent to regional go communities in the next few months.
Photos: top right: AGA president Andy Okun and NK Chairman Norio Wada signing the INAF Letter of Confirmation in Tokyo on November 5; bottom left: the people involved in negotiating the INAF agreement (l-r): Tadaaki Jagawa (NK VP), Thomas Hsiang (AGA VP-International Affairs), Norio Wada (NK Chairman), Andrew Okun (AGA President), Hiroshi Yamashiro (NK VP), and Shiho Yamada (NK Director in charge of overseas affairs). Photos courtesy Tomotaka Urasoe, NK Overseas Department).
Kay first took the title in 2012, after manytime Championship winner Matthew Macfadyen 6d retired. This year the reigning Champion waived his right to bypass the initial qualifying Candidates’ tournament, winning that round to enter the Challengers’ League from which the finalists emerge (see Simons to Challenge Kay for British Championship, EJ 5/27).
In the first game of the final, played on November 16, Simons (B) resigned whilst in byo yomi.
In the second, Kay (B) – known for his fast and combative play – once again squeezed Simons for time, pushing him into byo yomi with nearly an hour of main time (out of three) left on his own clock. Simons ran out of time in his fourth period of byo yomi. However, comments by referee Tim Hunt suggest Simons probably had about a four-point lead when his flag fell.
Kay said of the decisive game, “Andrew Simons gave me a very tough game” and thanked the large number who watched and commented on the game as it was broadcast live on KGS.
In other British news, David Lee 3d of Dundee won the separate Scottish Championship for the fourth consecutive year, beating Matt Crosby 3d (Edinburgh) in the final. Four players competed in a knockout on KGS in the final stages. The semi-finalists were Piotr Wisthal 1d (Aberdeen) and Crosby’s initiate, Martha McGill 1k, also of Edinburgh.
Report by Tony Collman, British correspondent for the EJ. Photo courtesy of Kay’s website.