Nearly forty leaders met to discuss “spreading weiqi to the world” in Beijing on September 23. The summit gathered a number of heavyweights in the Chinese go community, including Ma Xiaoming and Xia Guozhu from China’s Association for International Friendship with Foreign Countries, Liu Siming, Wang Runan, Hua Yigang and Wang Yi from the Chinese Weiqi Association, Li Lizhen from the headquarters of the Confucius Institute, and Wang Ping from China’s National General Administration of Press and Publication. In addition, executives from different media companies were invited, including Window of Golden Street (WGS), Sina, eWeiqi, Sohu, Blue Focus and Qingfeng.
Both Ma and Liu emphasized the urgency of promoting go globally and praised the “Weiqi Travelling Worldwide” project, while Shao Qiang from WGS proposed the idea of a China-US Go Congress. The influential level of the summit attendees is the highest in many years, a strong indication of China’s interest in global Weiqi cooperation.
- Alice Zhang, translated by Rainy Han and Zhiyuan ‘Edward’ Zhang
Go author Jonathan Hop is working on a new project about Chinese culture and language. “I am trying to get funds to do a graphic novel,” Hop tells the E-Journal. In “Journey to the Middle Kingdom,” three modern-day kids travel back to ancient Chinese fairy tales. “The main character’s grandfather plays go and owns an antique shop,” Hop, a 4-dan from Ann Arbor MI and author of the “So You Want to Play Go” series says. “Go will make an appearance in the first book and I’m definitely going to have it in several others because the book series is a celebration of Chinese culture. I also may even teach the readers a little bit about go (because that’s what I do) if the series gets underway, but I gotta get the first book going.” With just 14 days to go, Hop’s Kickstarter campaign has raised nearly $1,200 toward the $10,000 goal.
Online registration for the 2013 Cotsen Go Open and 2nd AGA Pro Prelim is now closed. To register on-site in Los Angeles, come early this Saturday, October 26th; registration opens at 8a at the Korean Cultural Center (5505 Wilshire Blvd). “If you are not registered by 9:30, you will not be allowed to play in the first game,” organizers warn. The Cotsen features a number of unique attractions, including paying the AGA “one time rating fee” for all players who do not currently have an AGA membership, prizes for those who can solve certain go problems, one candidate will be selected for the AGA’s next professional certification tournament to be held later this year. Plus, Myung-wan Kim 9P, one of the organizers of the US pro system, will also be on hand to teach and play simultaneous games and local Southern California favorite and renowned US teacher Yi-Lun Yang 7P will also teach and provide game commentary. There will also be a pro game over the internet between Yi-Lun Yang 7P and another pro. Lee Hajin 3p and Kim Minhee 3p will also be there to do game reviews and simuls along with a late addition to the delegation, Kim Younghwan 9p. Kim (left) became pro in 1987. His nickname is “Younghwan Wizard” because of his ability to give more handicap stones to amateur players than any other pro, and still win. He is currently working as a baduk instructor and a commentator for Baduk TV. The tournament also features free lunch at a food truck (but only for those who pre-register) and two masseuses who will make the rounds “to ease the tensions that arise in your shoulders when you discover that your big group really doesn’t have two eyes.” There are also go club prizes of $1,500, to be awarded to top three clubs that have the most points overall in the tournament. Top-board games will be broadcast live on KGS by the E-Journal. photo: Cotsen with son Lord at the 2012 Cotsen Open; top right photo by Chris Garlock
Andy Liu won the October 12 Gotham Go Tournament in New York City. Liu Xiaohan was second and in 3rd place was Benjamin Lockhart, who qualified to play in the AGA Pro Select tournament in Los Angeles later this year. “We had a total of 82 players competing for $1500 in cash and prizes from all ranks!” report organizers Peter Armenia and Mathew Hershberger. Click here for full results and a photo album. photo: Benjamin Lockhart (l) plays Zhong Sichen in the final round; photo by Peter Armenia
The second year of the Pandanet-AGA City League kicks off this weekend on IGS. Play will start for all of the leagues at 3pm on Saturday, October 28th. “We have 17 teams for this season and play should be very exciting,” says Tournament Director Steve Colburn. “Watch some of the best players in the country vie off against each other.” Play will take place in the AGA City League Room; watch for more information on the Pandanet site.
“In the past few weeks we have started our chess/go clubs at Beverly Clearly, Irvington, and Grant High,” writes Portland, OR, go teacher Peter Freedman. ”Fritz [Balwit] and I are teaching at Irvington and we have 33 children. 8 have never played go before, the rest have been in the club in past years. They range from 2nd to 6th grades. I am also teaching go at Beverly Cleary, where the chess club coach has agreed to change his club to a chess and go club. We had 13 children at our first meeting and expect more to attend in the future. One child has had some exposure to go previously. The initial response by these chess-playing children is very positive,” adds Freedman. The chess and go program at Grant High, taught with Balwit, is also off to a good start. ”So far there are about 10-12 students coming, some of whom have played go before. We expect the club to grow, one of the Japanese language teachers has 180 students, and has invited me to present to her classes.” The busy Portland organizers also have programs or demos scheduled for three other local schools as well, and plan to create go teams and school matches once all the schools get rolling. “We’ve bought t-shirts for all 33 kids in the Irvington program, at a cost of less than $10 per shirt. Since parents pay $150 a year for the weekly, one hour club, we have raised enough money to support this,” adds Freedman. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo by Peter Freedman: Ansel Wallace (l), a member of the Irvington Chess and Go club, in his new club t-shirt.
The deadline for the American Go Foundation’s College Scholarship is just one month away. The program recognizes high school students who have served as important organizers and promoters for the go community. Read about last year’s winner here, and former winners here. For more information, and the application form, visit the AGF Website. - Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.
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Ten players showed for the Louisville Go Club’s first annual tournament on October 19 in Louisville, KY, including some players from the Cincinnati Go Club. An undefeated Chris Martin 4k (3-0, on right) took first place with Taylor Perkinson 6k (2-1 on left) in second.
- report by Asha Nagaiya
Is Capture Go merely a stepping stone to traditional go, or can it stand on its own as a viable game? In Memphis, two go players and teachers are working hard to answer that question.
The simplified rule set that master teacher Yasuda Yasutoshi 8P describes in his book Go As Communication has been used in hundreds of schools, after-school programs and libraries. Go players who teach Capture Go often hope to quickly move their pupils along to traditional go but Jay Jayaraman 9K and Graham Smart 9K wondered what would happen if a whole program focused just on Capture Go. They’re working with the Confucius Institute at the University of Memphis (CIUM) where they’re teaching Capture Go to Chinese language instructors from CIUM-affiliated after-school programs in the Memphis area, who in turn will introduce hundreds of primary school students to the game this year. The program is currently active in 12 Shelby County elementary schools and will be adding more schools throughout the year, reaching an estimated 40-50 students per program. Jayaraman and Smart also plan to start Capture Go programs in middle and high schools in the area.
“We are not trying to teach go,” Jayaraman, the director of CIUM’s after-school programs told the EJ. “We are presenting 9×9 Capture Go strictly on its own merits, not as a ‘gateway game.’ We call the game we teach go, not Capture Go, so that children who become interested in the long-form game don’t have issues with transition. We hope that even students who don’t enjoy traditional go will have a little fun with Capture Go.” All students, not just winners, can earn Pokémon-style badges (created by Smart) to reward merit, encourage competition and create a sports-like atmosphere. Players will get badges for reaching certain goals, such as completing a certain number of games or playing at least one game with every other player.
The curriculum involves ten two-hour classes, presented as part of CIUM’s Chinese language and history program in partner schools. The American Go Foundation has provided 80 full size sets of stones and more than 200 9×9 boards so far, and Viz Media has granted permission to use Hikaru no Go anime and manga freely as part of their curriculum. Smart is also creating a series of introductory videos for use in the curriculum. The rule set is designed to be completely simple and solvable on the board. However, since the instructors are also new to the game, the organizers will serve as “experts on call” when the classes are taking place. Any instructor can send them a question, along with a picture of the board position if needed, and receive an immediate answer.
Jayaraman discovered the potential of Capture Go as a standalone game last summer when he served as the lead go instructor for CIUM’s K-12 Chinese Summer Immersion Camp. With 20 students ranging from five to eleven years old, he worried about losing them if the game seemed too complex, so he focused on Capture Go after discovering Let’s Play Go, Yasuda’s elegant yet simplified introduction to the game. Jayaraman and local player Wade Humbert “described Yasuda’s ‘Capture Go’ method and hoped for the best,” says Jayaraman. “To see a room full of children playing within thirty minutes of first hearing about the game was quite a treat. We set up daily classes, drawing upon the Freedman-Balwit curriculum available through the ‘Methods and Materials’ page on the AGA’s Teacher Resources site. To our surprise, only a handful of children showed any interest in advancing to traditional go, but they were all incredibly enthusiastic about Capture Go. Campers were actually excited about their homework! We held a tournament on the last day and combined homework scores with results to find the top finishers. Prizes included copies of Hikaru No Go and full size playing sets. It was a joy to watch their enthusiasm and progress.” Positive feedback from parents encouraged CIUM and the Memphis schools to expand the program into the school year. The Memphis program has four goals: reach the largest possible audience; re-envision go and Capture Go as team sports; engage parents, teachers and other stakeholders; strengthen ties with Confucius Institutes nationwide.
Jayaraman thinks one reason go more popular is that the go community has followed the top-down, expert-oriented teaching approach that has worked so well for chess. Unlike chess, however, go experts are few and far between. In addition, programs such as the middle school chess team seen in the recent documentary Brooklyn Castle have high infrastructure costs and are difficult to maintain. Chess-In-the-Schools spends millions of dollars teaching chess in New York City alone.
“There’s another pitfall in expert-based teaching methods,” Jayaraman believes. “Skilled go players often flood beginners with complexity, leaving them feeling hopelessly lost. But Capture Go is easy for anyone to learn. In our model, non-playing teachers and after-school staff receive basic instruction and then learn along with their students. Yasuda sensei never meant for Capture Go to be an introductory tool to regular go. The original program was designed to foster interaction using Capture Go as a great equalizer. Like him, we want to use Capture Go as a standalone vehicle for promoting the ‘four C’s’ — critical thinking, cooperation, competition and communication.”
- Roy Laird
“Thanks for the recent obituaries (In Memoriam: Philadelphia Go Players Hugh Albright and John Bender 10/10 EJ),” writes Bob Barber. “I think it’s a great idea to remember those with whom we’ve shared the game of go. I knew Hugh Albright very well from Congresses. He was perhaps 2 kyu when I was 10 kyu. He was always generous with his time. As I marched up to 1 dan, Hugh may have lingered at 2 kyu. We usually got in a game or two each year. I was at that lecture that John Bender gave at Congress. He looked like a model, and his companion looked like a model. And, he’d gone from zero to 4 dan in no time! I was very impressed. Now I read that he had large talents in other fields. Very sorry to hear that his intense life is over already.”
As if the Honinbo and Kisei were not enough, Iyama Yuta 9p (left) secured his third Meijin title when he defeated Yamashita Keigo 9p in this year’s Meijin on October 17. By holding Japan’s three biggest titles simultaneously, Iyama is the just the second player in the entire history of go to achieve a ‘triple crown.’ The only other player to attain this honor was Cho Chikun 9p – once in 1983 and again in 1997. In a post-game interview, Iyama said, “I have a deep respect [for] Cho Chikun 9p, and I’m very honored to achieve the triple crown, as he did.” Had he not lost the Judan to Yuki Satoshi 9p in April, Iyama would have completed a grand slam, or held all seven Japanese titles at once. For more information about this year’s Meijin including game records from all five games, photos, and more, please visit Go Game Guru.
– Annalia Linnan, based on a longer article by Go Game Guru
The online prelim for the American Go Association’s 2013 professional selection process will take place on KGS in November, the AGA Pro System Committee announced earlier this week. The event is open to US and Canadian citizens who meet a minimal residency requirement and have either an AGA rating or stable KGS rank of 5d or higher. Competitors should also be members of AGA or CGA. The tournament will take place November 9, 10, 16 and 17 in the AGA Tournaments Room on KGS. The winner will be invited to participate in the pro selection tournament in Los Angeles Jan. 2-8 2014, receiving an $800 travel subsidy. Players can register for the tournament here. Upon registration players should also submit a copy of their US or Canadian passport. The residency requirement is that players have lived in the US or Canada for at least three of the last six years or else obtain a waiver from the AGA president based on their time overseas being temporary and for the purpose of education, go study or an overseas posting. For questions about the tournament contact Karoline Burrall Li at email@example.com. For questions about pro selection or the residency requirement contact AGA President Andy Okun at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Want to help build the global go community? The American Go E-Journal team is expanding, and has a few immediate openings for dedicated, talented volunteers who want to help maintain and expand the American Go Association’s online presence and better serve the global go community. PHP/Drupal/Database/Linux SysAdmin experience helpful but also looking for writers and editors to keep web content fresh and up to date. For more details email email@example.com
Germany: Manja Marz 3d (left) won the Deutsche Damen-Go-Meisterschaft 2013 in Jena on October 13 while Janine Boehme 1d came in second and Barbara Knauf 3d in third. Ukraine: Also on October 13, the Ukrainian Cup 2013 finished in Kyiv with Bohdan Zhurakovskyi 5d in first, Artem Kachanovskyi 7d in second, and Mykhailo Halchenko 5d in third. Finland: Jesse Savo 4d bested Mikko Siukola 4d in the 2nd qualification for the Finnish Championship in Espoo on October 13. Jusso Nyyssonen 5d placed third.
- Annalia Linnan, based on reports from EuroGoTV, which include complete result tables and all the latest European go news
Looking for someone in Hollywood CA to play go with. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if interested.
After 20 years out of print, Kiseido’s “Handicap Go” was released in an extensively revised and rewritten edition earlier this year. However, reports Anders Kierulf, it may have to be reprinted again soon, as the ship carrying a thousand copies sank in the Indian Ocean last June. “Fortunately, we were insured and the insurance company already paid us the full value,” Richard Bozulich says. “There is a story floating around that the ship was carrying arms for Syrian rebels and the Russian Navy sank it so those arms would not get to Syria,” says Kierulf. Bozulich plans to be at the Cotsen Open later this month. Meanwhile, “Handicap Go” is now available in SmartGo Books, which has a new website, and Kiseido is having a pre-Christmas sale of books until November 15.
At the Japan Festival at the Lauritzen Gardens, in Omaha, NE, October 5-6. “We handed out 96 flyers and some business cards, too,” says James Story. “I’ve had two adults call me about go this week, so far. Hopefully, this will help start some Scholastic Go Clubs, too! We had a number of kids come and learn and play and two adult women learn and play each other for a few games. It was really fun.” photo courtesy James Story
Korea and China fought it out for the top spot in the 8th Korea Prime Minister Cup International Amateur Baduk Championship, held October 10-15. Korean student Park Jae-geun 6d, 17, took first place with a win over China’s Li Fu 8d, 39, principal of the Haikou FuLi Go Training Center. The US representative, Hugh Zhang 7d, came in 16th place with five wins, his only loss being to the 4th place finisher from Hong Kong. Canada’s Bill Lin came in a very strong 3rd place also with five wins and a loss, to the winner Park. The US player was seeded somewhat lower than Canada’s because of mixed US results in prior years, according to tournament organizers. The tournament attracted 62 players from all over the world to the small industrial city of Gumi in the province of Gyeongbuk-do. Gumi was the birthplace of the late Korean leader Park Jeong-hee and benefited from a great deal of industrial development during his 1961-79 time in power, growing from a village to a major city with Samsung, LG and other factories.
- report by Andy Okun; photo by Ling Shan
Iyama Increases Lead in Meijin: Iyama Yuta Kisei (right) now needs only one more win to regain the Meijin title. In the fourth game, played at the Agora Fukuoka Hilltop Hotel & Spa in Fukuoka City on October 9 and 10, Iyama (W) beat Yamashita Keigo Meijin by resignation after 196 moves. Yamashita lost further ground after his disastrous blunder in a winning position in the third game. What stood out in the fourth game was Iyama’s skill at shinogi, that is, rescuing a weak group without incurring a disadvantage. Go reporters covering the game used the term “attacking shinogi,” and Iyama proved that it was not an oxymoron. For much of the middle game, Iyama had a large eyeless group that was subject to attack. Yamashita made leaning attacks on other white groups to build thickness for attacking the weak group. Instead of saving it directly, Iyama took even more profit in neighboring areas but in a way that offered indirect assistance to his large group. When the crunch came, he cleverly secured two eyes for his forty-stone group. Way behind on territory, Yamashita had no choice but to resign. This whole battle was fought by Iyama under time pressure, as he went into byo-yomi on move 80. The fifth game will be played on October 16 and 17.
Women’s Honinbo Title Match Tied: Two games have already been played in the 32nd Women’s Honinbo best-of-five title match. The challenger, Mukai Chiaki 5P, made a good start by winning the opening game, but the defending champion, Xie Yimin 6P (left), fought back to even the series in the second game. The first game was played at the Kashoen Inn in Hanamaki City, Iwate Prefecture, on October 2. Mukai, taking black, defeated Xie by resignation after 143 moves. Xie played a little slackly in the middle game and let Mukai cut off and kill a large group. The second game was played at the Nihon Ki-in in Ichigaya in central Tokyo on October 7. Mukai secured a slight advantage in the middle game, but Xie was able to stage an upset. She won by 3.5 points after 274 moves. There are some interesting statistics for Xie’s seven Women’s Honinbo title matches (including this one). She has a minus record in the opening game, having won only three out of the seven. However, she has never lost the second or third game. Mukai will have to break this pattern to take the title. The third game will be played on October 29.
Yamashita Wins Ryusei After Final Replayed: Between his Meijin games, Yamashita Keigo (right) found time to play the final of the 22nd Ryusei tournament. However, once was not enough. His opponent was Kono Rin, and the game ended in a no-result because of a triple ko (Yamashita had black). Incidentally, the referee who adjudicated the game as a no-result was Michael Redmond 9P. In the replay, held on the same day, Yamashita again drew black and forced a resignation after 177 moves. First prize is six million yen
Kisei Leagues Concluded: All the fifth-round games in the 38th Kisei Leagues were played on October 3, but the only suspense involved was the question of which players would keep their places, as the league winners had been decided in the fourth round. The results were as follows. A League: Yamashita Keigo Meijin (W) defeated Kiyonari Tetsuya 9P by 1.5 points. Yoda Norimoto 9P (B) d. Kobayashi Satoru 9P by 2.5 points. Yamashiro Hiroshi 9P (B) d. Cho U 9P by 1.5 points. B League: 25th Honinbo Chikun (W) d. Murakawa Daisuke 7P by resig. Takao Shinji 9P (B) d. Kono Rin 9P by resig. Mizokami Tomochika 8P (W) d. Hane Naoki 9P by resig. Yamashita and Murakawa had already won their respective leagues. In the A League, Cho U and Kiyonari lost their places. Cho U, the immediate past Kisei, was able to win only one game. In the B League, Kono and Mizokami lost their places.
Murakawa Wins Agon Kiriyama Cup: The final of the 20th Agon tournament was held at the Kyoto headquarters of the sponsoring Agon Buddhist sect on October 5. The 22-year-old Murakawa Daisuke 7P of the Kansai Ki-in was matched against Shida Tatsuya 6P, also aged 22, of the Nagoya branch of the Nihon Ki-in. Both players had won minor titles, but whoever won this game would take a new step in his career. Playing black, Murakawa beat Shida by 3.5 points after 246 moves. The prize money is ten million yen, which is the sixth-highest in Japan. Murakawa will represent Japan in the play-off with the winner of the Chinese version of this title.
Women’s Meijin League: Two games in the 26th Women’s Meijin League were played at the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo on October 10. Okuda Aya 3P, the previous challenger, scored her first win when she beat Yoshida Mika 8P (W) by resignation. The other game was between the joint leaders of this year’s league, Kato Keiko 6P and Suzuki Ayumi 6P, who were both on 3-0. Playing black, Kato won by 2.5 points, so she now has the sole lead; however, if she later loses a game she may be handicapped by her number five ranking in the league. This game was originally scheduled for November, but it was brought forward a month, as Kato is due to have a baby next month.