The Brooklyn Go Club hosted its annual event at the Sakura Matsuri (Cherry Blossom) Festival at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden on April 30 and May 1. “A fair amount of interest was sparked by Alphago,” reports Barbara Calhoun.
photo by Calhoun
Tournament details for this year’s US Go Congress — July 30-August 7 in Boston — are still in development, but in addition to the US Open and US Open Masters, players can already look forward to favorites like the Diehard, Lightning, Crazy Go, and Pair Go tournaments. Some new excitement has been added for all levels in the form of Relay Go tournaments, where teams of players will switch off playing games of pair go, with an added element being that the teams that are currently not playing are able to discuss and strategize. One tournament will be open to all, and one will be an exciting US-China team showdown featuring professional and very strong players that promises to be an exciting addition to Go Congress events. A new Evening League will be a week-long ladder tournament, combining elements of the Self-Paired tournament and Midnight Madness and giving players the opportunity to self-pair and play rated games throughout the day. Stay tuned for further updates as we get closer to game-time.
- Karoline Li, EJ Congress Team (if you’re interested in being on this year’s team, email us at email@example.com)
photo: at the 2015 US Open; photo by Chris Garlock
GO BOOKS AND EQUIPMENT FOR SALE: Solid Kaya bowls $160, Two sets of semiprecious stones (yellow and green) $320, 33 English Go books $80, 18 Asian language Go books $50. All prices include free shipping and insurance to the 48 states of the USA. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for complete photos and descriptions. Payment by Paypal only.
(Things got extra busy here at EJ Central and we fell behind a bit in posting your letters and tips; here’s a batch of recent items sent in)
“On page 331 of ‘Caliban’s War’ by James Corey, “It’s like playing Go. It’s all about exerting influence. Controlling the board without occupying it.” - Peter Freedman
“Sam Hinkie, the controversial GM of the NBA’s Philadelphia 76′ers, just announced his resignation with a 13-page letter that references AlphaGo at one point.” Hinkie wrote “Watch what’s happening with the collaboration between IBM’s Watson and M.D. Anderson or
Google DeepMind’s AlphaGo. It won’t be just an ancient board game that’s disrupted. It’s also anything but a game to Lee Sedol.” Here’s a link to the full letter.” - Freeman Ng
“Although this is a chess article — Historical Chess Ratings – dynamically presented — there is also a short film on Go,” writes Michael Bacon.
“I wonder if the journal team can do a bit of digging and find out more information about this display in Italy,” suggests Ramon Mercado.
Myungwan Kim 9p’s upcoming top game broadcasts have been arranged for the next month! These will be broadcast LIVE over the AGA’s YouTube and Twitch channels, www.youtube.com/c/usgoweb/live and www.twitch.tv/usgoweb. All times listed are PST.
5/19, Thurs, 9:00 – 9:45pm, summary of Ing Cup Quarter-final, Ke Jie vs Park Junghwan, plus a teaser of Kim’s upcoming congress lecture on the AlphaGo matches
5/31, Sat, 7:00 – 11pm, LG Cup (round of 16), players not decided
6/9, Thur, 8:00pm – 12:30am(next day), Ing Cup semifinal 1st game, Lee Sedol vs Park Junghwan
6/11, Sat, 8:00pm – 12:30am(next day), Ing Cup semifinal 2nd game, Lee Sedol vs Park Junghwan
6/13, Mon, 8:00pm – 12:30am(next day), Ing Cup semifinal 3rd game, Lee Sedol vs Park Junghwan, only if the score is tied
6/25, Sat, 8:00 – 8:45pm, Ing Cup semi final, review of commentary, Lee Sedol vs Park Junghwan
by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal
The first game of the 71st Honinbo title match was played in the Honinbo Shusaku Igo Memorial Hall (right) on the island of Inno-shima (Shusaku’s birthplace) in the city of Onomichi in Hiroshima Prefecture on May 9 and 10. This is Iyama Yuta’s first title defence since completing the first-ever Grand Slam of the top seven titles. The challenger is Takao Shinji 9P, who has a bad record against Iyama (13-30 before this match) but who took the Tengen title from him in 2014, thus slowing down his quest for the grand slam. Takao has also been in great form this year and, as of May 3, had 13 wins to one loss.
Takao (left) drew white in the first game. During the middle game, Iyama (right) made a strong attack on a white group; Takao sacrificed it, getting an attack on two black groups as compensation. Later, Takao was able to force Iyama into a large ko fight that could potentially decide the game. Lacking ko threats, Iyama finished off the ko and let Takao revive his dead group. This trade was favorable for Takao. Iyama did his best to catch up, but couldn’t quite manage it. Takao likes to build thickness and in this case his thickness did him in good stead in the endgame. Iyama resigned after White 244. This was Takao’s first win against Iyama after a string of seven losses.
This is just one loss, so, my headline notwithstanding, Iyama will not yet be too worried. The second game will be played on May 23 and 24.
“There were 31 excited third through fifth grade participants at an elementary school tourney in Prince William County of Northern Virginia,” reports organizer Garrett Smith. “The two elementary schools, Neabsco and King, faced off on May 5th. Even though the Lions out numbered the Stars by more than two to one, the Stars carried the day. Both schools have had year-long, before school go clubs generously supported by the the American Go Foundation,” adds Smith. - Paul Barchilon, EJ Youth Editor. Photo by Garret Smith
Organizer’s of this year’s US Go Congress – July 30- August 7 in Boston, MA — have just announced the following line-up of professionals and their lecture topics. Myungwan Kim 9p: “Mathematical Endgame” (all levels), “Liberty racing” (kyu level), “Puppydog and Bulldozer” (all level) and many more. Yilun Yang 7p on “How to play a reasonable opening” and “Against a strange move.” Andy Liu 1p on “The secret to get stronger.” Stephanie Yin 1p will present a series: “How to improve from one level to another” (15 kyu to 5 kyu) and “How to improve from one level to another” (5 kyu to 1 dan). More pro news and lecture topics are coming in the future, Congress organizers promise. Meanwhile, nearly 300 have already registered for this year’s Congress; click here for complete details.
by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal. As in 2015, I was invited to cover the Globis Cup for the E-Journal; I hope readers will forgive the delay in submitting my report.
China’s Li wins 3rd Globis Cup: The third Globis Cup, an international tournament for young players sponsored by the Globis Corporation, was held from April 22 to 24. Li Qincheng 1P (left) of China won. The full name of the tournament is the Globis Cup World Go U-20, and it is open to players under 20 as of January 1 of this year. Participating were six players from Japan, three from China, three from Korea, and one each from Chinese Taipei, Europe, North America, and the Asia/Oceania zone. The venue was the Graduate School of Management, Globis University, a business school run by the corporation; it is located in the Kojimachi area, a short walk from the Nihon Ki-in. The tournament is the brainchild of Hori Yoshito (right), who is the president of Globis University and also a director of the Nihon Ki-in.
At present, this is the only international tournament held every year in Japan and the only one for players under 20. The aim of the tournament is to raise the level of teenaged players in Japan who may not have many opportunities to take part in international tournaments. Of course, all the participants benefit, but the founder Mr. Hori is particularly concerned to raise the level of Japanese go and has set the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Nihon Ki-in (2024) as the target date for achieving this ambition.
The new tournament started well for Japan, with two Japanese representatives making the final (the first time this had happened for 16 years) in the 1st Cup (Ichiriki Ryo beat Kyo Kagen). In the 2nd edition, on which I reported last year for
the EJ, Huang Yunsong 4P of China beat Na Hyeon 6P of Korea in the final.
Below is a full list of this year’s competitors with their ages.
Japan: Ichiriki Ryo 7P (18), Son Makoto 4P (20, as of February 21), Kyo Kagen 3P (18), Matsuura Yuta 2P (16), Shibano Toramaru 2P (16), Onishi Ryuhei 1P (16)
China: Fan Yunruo 4P (20, as of Jan. 7), Yang Dingxin 3P (17), Li Qincheng 1P (17)
Korea: Lee Donghun 5P (18), Shin Jinseo 5P (16), Byeon Sangil 4P (19)
Chinese Taipei: Lin Shih-Hsun 5p (18)
Europe: Grigorii Fionin 7D (17)
North America: Justin Ching 7D (14)
Thailand: Krit Jamkachornkiat 7D (20, as of March 1)
Like some other international tournaments, the Samsung Cup, for example, the Globis Cup is made up of two stages. In the first, the players are split up in to four groups, in which the players play each other in a double knock-out. You qualify for the main tournament when you win two games (one player will do so with a score of 2-0, the other with 2-1). The second stage is then a regular knock-out tournament. Unfortunately, none of the amateur players scored a win. Below are the results in the second stage. Tournament conditions are the same as for the NHK Cup, that is, 30 seconds per move plus ten minutes’ thinking time to be used in one-minute units.
Quarterfinals: Li (China) (W) beat Shibano (Japan) by resig., Byeon (Korea) (W) beat Lin (Ch. Taipei) by resig., Yang (China) (B) beat Shin (Korea) by 7.5 points, Kyo (Japan) (W) beat Lee by resig.
Semifinals: Li (B) beat Byeon by resig., Kyo (B) beat Yang by resig.
Final: Li (B, center) beat Kyo (right) by resig.
Play-off for 3rd place: Byeon (B, left) beat Yang by resig.
In the final, Kyo started fairly well playing white, but he missed the decisive points in large-scale middle-game fighting, so Li took a safe lead. As far as I know, this is Li’s first tournament victory. Kyo had to be satisfied with second place for the second time; he will get one more chance to play in this tournament. Incidentally, both Li and Kyo scored 2-1 in the first stage.
Four schools in Portland competed in a Chess and Go Tournament on April 30th, reports organizer Peter Freedman: “All together, 8 children played in the Go tournament and 11 in the chess tournament. Taking 1st place again in Go was Olin Wexler, Beverly Cleary, sweeping the tournaments this year. Luke Helprin, Irvington, won the play-off for 2nd/3rd place, beating newcomer Patrick Le from Roseway Heights. Patrick took third place in his first ever Go tournament. Conall Wilkinson, Richmond, won all four of his games to take first place, and Sam Plager, Irvington was 3-1 to take second. Aiden Harris, Richmond, won third place with a 2-2 record on tie-breaking points. This completes the tournament season for this year. In all, the children played in five Chess and Go Tournaments, with about 125 competitors total in the five tournaments.” Story and photo by Peter Freedman.
by Phil Straus
In early 1997, I played in a Baltimore tournament as a 45-year-old three-dan. I split the first two games. In my third game I was paired in an even game with a two-dan. Statistically I had about a 2/3 chance of winning. I lost, but what was shocking was that I resigned in less than 30 minutes. I had recently published, with Yilun Yang, Whole-Board Thinking in Joseki. The opening (fuseki) was by far the strongest part of my game. I was ahead at the end of the opening in at least 95% of my tournament games. I was shocked to be so far behind so early in a game. Normally, I have to get to my middle-game weaknesses before I fall behind.
I had spent the previous decade studying intently, hoping to reach the upper levels of amateur play. I looked across the board, and realized my opponent had better potential than I. He was seven years old. I withdrew from the fourth round, went home in time to get a babysitter and go to the movies with my wife. By Monday, I had stopped all my regular lessons and training, and became a full-time photographer.
This past Saturday, I played in the Philadelphia tournament as a 64-year-old two-dan. In my first game, I took six stones from Eric Lui, 1P. I was right. That seven-year-old in 1997 had had more potential. I was delighted that I didn’t lose this game until the fighting in the middle game. The six-stone handicap helped delay my second resignation against this fine player. It was a pleasure to lose again to this young man, who still has such great potential.
Straus is a former president of the American Go Association. He’s at right in the photo above, playing Eric Lui. photo by Henry Hathaway.
The April 30 Philadelphia Spring Open, run by the Penn Go Society, attracted 17 players. There was a wide range of ranks on display from 21kyu to 1p. “The four rounds featured some super competitive games,” reports organizer Henry Hathaway. After four hard-fought rounds, Neil Zod (2-2), won the double digit kyu division. Kai Li won the single digit kyu division and was the only player to go 4-0. In the final round Michael Chen 8d faced Eric Lui 1p, with the title of champion on the line. After a hard, complicated game, Chen emerged victorious with a record of 3-1 and walked away with the $150 cash prize. “Thanks to everyone who took part and for making this a great event,” says Hathaway.
Division 1 (1d and up): 1st: Jonathan Fisher (4d), 2nd: Joshua Fromme (3d), 3rd: Han Lee (1d)
Division 2 (5k-1k): 1st: Rapheal Shreiber (1k), 2nd: Oscar Silva (5k), 3rd: Tony Vick (5k)
Division 3 (8k-6k): 1st: Eric Crawford (8k), 2nd: Aaron Otero (8k), 3rd: Johnny Heckathorne (6k)
Division 4 (9k and down): 1st: Rab Bevery (12k), 2nd: Stefan Kurtenback (9k), 3rd: George Lebovitz (10k)
photo by Paul Wiegand
This year four American Go Association (AGA) regional Board of Director seats are in play. The Eastern, Western, Central as well as the membership elected At-Large seats will be selected. The current terms of office expire this September. If you know of someone who you believe would offer guidance and service to the AGA consider making a nomination. Nominations, including self-nominations may be made by full members for the region in which the member resides or nationwide for the At-Large seat and must be received by June 15, 2016. If no nominations are received Donald Trump wins by default. Chapter representatives should check that the email address in the AGA database is current. Ballots and announcements will go to the primary email address. Nominations and questions must be emailed to email@example.com. Click here for complete election information and qualifications.
The AGA is seeking up to 12 US representatives for the first ENN Cup World Weiqi Open Tournament. The ENN Cup is a new world tournament and the preliminary selection will be held May 24-28 at the China Qiyuan office in Beijing, China. Winners in the preliminary section will go on to compete in the main competition. The tournament will be a knock-out style format. There will be 2,000RMB (about $300 USD) prize money for each game (pre-tax amount). Players must bear all costs themselves (air fare, lodging, food, etc.) Note: Competitions for the top 32, 16, 8 places will take place on November 6th, 8th, and 10th in China. Eligibility: North American citizen, AGA/CGA/Mexico Go Association member, as well as each country’s own eligibility requirements. Interested players should contact firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com immediately.
The early bird discount for this year’s US Go Congress has been extended to midnight Monday night. Click here now to save $25 on registering for the Congress, which runs July 30-August 7 in Boston, MA.
In other Go Congress news, “Super Brain” Bao Yun 7d, the blindfold go master has just confirmed he’ll be attending this year’s Go Congress, where he will challenge an American professional in an even game blindfolded at 1p on Monday August 1.
Also, there will ba a Q&A session right after the AlphaGo team’s keynote address, please submit your questions here.
Fourteen year-old Tony Tang 7d of Syracuse swept all four of his games in the Salt City Tournament’s A division in Syracuse, NY on April 24, and claimed the $100 1st place prize, with Yan Zou 1d and Yuan-Chao Wang 5d (both from Rochester) taking the prize money for 2nd and 3rd place, respectively. Syracuse’s 9th Salt City Tournament on April 16 had 38 players participate, tying its record from a year ago. Players ranged from 9 to 98 years old and from 30 kyu to 7 dan.
Don Cram 4k of Oswego took the 1st place award in the B division as the only four game winner. Buffalo’s Matt Mullins 4k and Sarah Crites 11k from Harrisburg finished in 2nd and 3rd place, respectively (Melissa Harkins of Buffalo and Sarah’s dad Bob also finished with 3-1 records). The top four finishers in the C division all compiled 3-1 records. Tony Sege of Utica took 1st place, followed by Stefan Wang, Theo Eckert-Budis, and Richard Li, all of Syracuse.
All players present at the end of the day were able to select nice prizes for themselves, mostly new books that Slate and Shell provided to the tournament at discount. Allen Noe served as tournament director, and organizer Richard Moseson’s wife Chris once again baked and decorated the tournament’s always-popular problem cake (left; black to play).
The AGA East Coast Go Camp will feature Myungwan Kim as this year’s teacher. Kim is a 9-dan professional, and the only player dispatched to the United States by the Korean Baduk Association since 2008. Kim has more than 10 years of teaching experience, and his students include several US youth champions, such as Aaron Ye, Andrew Lu, and Brandon Zhou. He is also three-time US Go Congress Open division winner and currently holds the second highest player ranking in the AGA.
If you’re a go player between the ages of 8 and 18 and would like an opportunity to study go for a week with a professional teacher, then the AGA Go Camp is for you. Camp directors Nano Rivera and Frank Luo welcome all campers to join them for a week of go-playing and fun.
Anyone who participated in the North American Kyu Championships or the Redmond Cup is eligible to receive $400 off the price of the Go Camp, courtesy of the American Go Foundation. Youth who did not participate in either tournament, but still need financial assistance, are eligible for need-based scholarships here. Visit the camp website for general information, pictures from past camps, and news regarding this year’s upcoming Go Camp. Any questions about camp should be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org.