The second round of the AGA City League is set for February 22. The first round concluded on February 10 with a win by Katy TX 1 defeating Syracuse to complete the round. “As always catch the action live on game day at 3PM EST on Pandanet using the new GoPanda2 software,” says TD Steve Colburn. Games will be played in the AGA City League room.
Save $50 USD by registering by February 28 for Maeda Ryo 6P’s 3-week intensive go camp in Osaka, which runs June 29 through July 19. Osaka Go Camp activities include intensive training by Kansai Kiin professionals, the opportunity to play go at the Kiin with professionals, play against top amateurs and former inseis, as well as sightseeing, cultural trips and making new go friends. The camp is sponsored by Kansai Kiin and the Osaka University of Commerce. Email email@example.com for more info or to reserve your space.
The 38th Swiss Go Championship will be April 4-6 at the Hotel Ascona as part of the Ascona Mind Games. Prizes include cash prizes for the top three players and qualification for World Amateur Go Championship (WAGC) and Korea Prime Minister Cup (KPMC). Players who also choose to stay at the Hotel Ascona will receive discounted rates as well as two meals per day. Hwang In-Seong 7d will analyze games throughout the tournament and give a two day’s stage prior to the tournament. To register or for more information, please visit the official Swiss Go Championship website.
—Annalia Linnan; for complete listings, check out the European Tournament Calendar
48 kids and teens competed in the AGA’s new North American Kyu Championships (NAKC) for youth, held Feb. 15th on KGS. The event was dominated by younger players, with 41 kids competing in the Junior Division (12 and under) and just 7 players in the Senior (13-17). Mexico made a strong showing, with 17 players, competing from the Biblioteca de Mexico (a public library in Mexico City), with 11-year-old Valeria Gonzalez 17k (r) taking top honors in the 16-20k bracket. Everyone who entered became eligible for AGF scholarships to Go Camp or Go Congress, and first place winners will receive personalized trophies with their names engraved.
Nine-year-old Raymond Feng 1k was the Jr. winner in the 1-5k bracket, while Yukino Takehara 2k won in the Sr. For complete results in all brackets, click here. The event was run by Paul Barchilon, with very able support from new Assistant Youth Coordinator Justin Teng. The NAKC replaces the former US Youth Go Championships, while the Redmond Cup will provide dan level players in Canada, the US, and Mexico with the chance to compete (dan players can register here). -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photos by Siddhartha Avila: top: Valeria Gonzalez 17k contemplates her next move; bottom: at the Biblioteca de Mexico.
The date for the live commentary on the second game of the Lee Sedol-Gu Li jubango is this Saturday, February 22, not the 24th, as originally reported (Lee Sedol-Gu Li Jubango Game 2 Broadcast Set for Feb 24 (US time) 2/17 EJ). Also, the correct name for the location of Myungwan Kim 9P’s game commentary broadcast is GoPanda2.
Defending champion Evan Cho 7D held onto his title last weekend at the Dado 2014 SoCal Go Championship. Nearly 60 players attended the Orange County championship on a beautiful sunny weekend in Southern California. Players came from as far as Arizona and a large contingent came from the San Francisco Bay Area. The Open section consisted of 14 strong players 6d-7d and above, including Cho. “Thanks to the generous sponsorship of the Dado (大道) Cultural Exchange Association, the tournament enjoyed an excellent venue, refreshments and substantial cash prizes,” reported Steve Burrall. Kevin Chao directed. photo: (l-r): Aaron Ye, Andrew Lu, Danny Ko, Kevin Hong, Evan Cho, Kevin Chao (in background) and Jay Zheng, president of the Dado Assosociation.
Open Section: Champion Evan Cho 7D; 2nd: Kevin Hong 7D; 3rd: Danny Ko 7D; 4th: Andrew Lu 7D; 5th: Aaron Ye 6D.
Dan handicap: 1st: Wensheng Wang 4D; 2nd: April Ye 1D; 3rd: Steve Burrall 3D; 4th: Alex Lee 1D; 5th: Wai-to Char 1D.
Upper Kyu Handicap: 1st: Hendrick Rommeswinkel 3K; 2nd: Ted Terpstra 5K; 3rd: Preston Hutchins 2K
Mid Kyu Handicap: 1st: Ben Matthews 7K; 2nd: Jerry Lu 8K; 3rd: Susanna Pfeffer 10K
Low Kyu Handicap: 1st: Daniel Su 15K; 2nd: Chris Lin 13K; 3rd: Scott Nichols 12K
Taking advantage of a break in the recent winter weather, twenty-six players turned out for the NOVA Chinese Lunar New Year tournament on Saturday, February 15 at George Mason Law School in Arlington VA. “The tournament results were a bit unusual, as all first place players had perfect records!” reports organizer Allan Abramson. The Lunar New Year beginner’s 13×13 tournament also attracted eight players. “Congratulations to all the beginners who participated: the future of US go!” said Abramson. photo: Beginner’s Tournament players, with Ching-Sung Chin (right); click here for more photos.
First: Daniel Chou, 6D, 4-0; Hsiao Hsiung, 1K, and Mohan Sud, 3K, both tied at 4-0; Joey Phoon, 5K, 4-0; and Mulan Liu, 16K, 4-0; Second: Zhiyuan Zhang, 6D, 3-1; Tevis Tsai, 9K, 2-2; and Sean Lin, 25K, 3-1
Lunar New Year Beginner’s 13×13 Tournament: First: Ethan Tung, 6-0 and Justin Wang, 6-0; Second: Eric Chang, 4-2; Third: Frank Chang, 3-3 and Minche Lee, 3-3
The second game in the historic Lee Sedol-Gu Li jubango will be broadcast live on GoPanda2 on February 23, starting at 9AM local time in Shanghai (2/22 5p PST, 8p EST). Myungwan Kim 9P will provide live commentary (written, not audio) beginning two hours later (2/22 7p PST, 10p EST). “I hope Gu Li can show a good fighting spirit and even up the match,” Kim says. Click here to download the latest version of GoPanda2 to watch the live commentary.
Correction: the US date for the commentary on GoPanda2 is Saturday, February 22, not 2/24; the time remain the same.
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The British Go Association (BGA) took a stand at the first ever combined London Anime and Gaming Convention on Sunday February 9 at the Rocket Complex, part of the London Metropolitan University. It was expected that some anime fans would have a passing familiarity with go from Hikaru No Go and might like to learn more about the game.
The demo was the initiative of BGA member Ben Murphy of Billaricay Go Club, Essex, who first made contact with the London Animecon and ran a stand there at the August event last year with Tony Atkins (see Go Goes To London AnimeCon, EJ 08/02/13 ). This year BGA VP and AGA member Francis Roads provided a dan-level presence.
They showed people how to play, then engaged them in a 9 x 9 game. Roger Huyshe, the BGA’s seller of books and equipment, provided them with starter go sets with combined 9 x 9 and 13 x 13 boards and copies of the book Teach Yourself Go, by Charles Matthews, and they sold three sets and four books. One man who bought both said he was in the Navy and was looking forward to teaching and playing with his shipmates.
“I really enjoyed doing the demo and I played a few games against Francis Roads and it was an amazing experience teaching people,” said Murphy, adding, “I’d like to give a big thank you to everyone at London Anime and Gaming Convention and the British Go Association for helping me with the demo. Many people enjoyed playing go and I think we made a good number of go fans during the day.”
Report by Tony Collman, British correspondent for the E-Journal. Graphic courtesy London Animecon.
Although Zhou Ruiyang 9p is ranked the number five Chinese player and defeated Tuo Jiaxi 3p in the Luoyang Longmen Qisheng last year, Tuo got his revenge in the 18th LG Cup Final on February 13 at Seoul National University. After game 2, the title could have gone either way but Tuo’s strong endgame secured game 3 after 254 moves. This victory is not only Tuo’s first international title but his ticket to 9p, or 9 dan professional.
Developed in 1996, the LG Cup is a major international go tournament sponsored by LG Electronics. For more information about this year’s tournament including photos and game records, please visit Go Game Guru. – Annalia Linnan, based on a longer article by Go Game Guru; photo courtesy of Go Game Guru
When the Lakeforest Mall in Gaithersburg, Maryland sponsored a Chinese New Year celebration recently, local player Benjamin Hong volunteered to teach go, saying “how could you have a Chinese New Year celebration without go?” Organizers set up a large 9×9 demo board, a 13×13 and a 19×19 board, as well as multiple beginner boards for new players. “My big customer of the day was a little girl who was about 5,” Hong writes on his blog. “We played a couple games of first capture that went well, and it seemed like she had fun.” A number of interested people stop by to play and ask questions, and Hong says the successful event “definitely got me thinking about doing more things like this in the future.” Photo by Stephanie
Thank you for all of your pleased remarks about the return of the quiz. Unfortunately, your faith in my book collection was misplaced, as the number of unique books is “only” around 750. Although this was enough to prompt Joel Benyowitz to suggest that my wife Erica “should have a yard sale,” it was not enough for our quizzers, who consistently guessed high, only 4 of 29 getting the correct answer. Books in Japanese, Chinese and Korean far outnumber the English books (although I do have two of virtually all of the English volumes). I did not count magazines; with complete sets of Go Review, Go World, the American Go Journal and the British Go Journal, a bunch of Kido magazines and duplicate English books the number would easily double. Barry Pasicznyk’s query about “How many of these go books did Keith Arnold actually read?” is fair but I must plead the Fifth. Here’s a shot of some of the collection. You will be no doubt be relieved that this week’s question will NOT be Kelsey Dyer’s suggestion: “What is Keith Arnold’s favorite sandwich? (Schlotzsky’s Original – RIP Greg). Josh Thorsen of Seattle is our winner this week, chosen at random from those answering correctly.
THIS WEEK’S QUIZ: In honor of the current talk of the go world, the Lee Se Dol vs. Gu Li jubango, you can expect a series of questions regarding the players and jubangos. We will start with a question regarding the greatest “jubangoer” ever, Go Seigen. Who was the only player to defeat him in a jubango match? Was it Fujisawa Kuranosuke, Sakata Eio, Takagawa Kaku or Shusaku? Click here to make your guess by close of business on Thursday and again, feel free to add your own comments!
- Keith Arnold, HKA & AGA Quizmaster
Go makes the top slot in Top 10 Mind-bending Strategy Games on the How Stuff Works website. “It’s perhaps no coincidence that the most mind-bending of all strategy games is also the oldest,” writes John Kelly. Kelly also reports that “Japanese neurosurgeon Kaneko Mitsuo has studied the effect that playing Go has on older adults, noting that “Randomized trials by the U.S. National Institutes of Health have shown that playing certain types of games — though not a mental health cure — can keep the brain healthy.”
Thanks to Aaron Murg of Bethesda, MD for passing this along! A 15-kyu AGA member, Aaron says “I enjoy waking up each morning to find an E-Journal waiting to be read.”
Robert A. McCallister, one of the key go organizers in the U.S. in the late 1950′s and 60s, died Feb 5 in Winchester, VA at 92. A long time New Jersey organizer, McCallister also served the American Go Association in just about every official capacity, from American Go Journal (AGJ) editor to membership secretary, ratings head and president. “He was part of the first wave of US go after WW II with publication of the American Go Journal and a set of rules for commercial go sets like the one my parents found in Brentanos Bookstore in the Bergen Mall in Paramus NJ,” says former AGA president Terry Benson. McCallister served as AGA Secretary starting in 1957, as well as AGJ staff, and headed AGA publications from 1959 to 1962, editing the AGJ from 1957-1962. He served as president of the AGA in 1961 and 1962, was in charge of membership from 1965 to ’66, then headed ratings with Robert Ryder in 1967, when he drafted a go rating system and, with Richard Dolen, developed a procedure for holding telephone matches that was used for national championships and international friendship matches. ”He was a fixture at the New Jersey Open and remained an active player into the early ’80s,” Benson says. “A quick review of the AGJ during his reign features a nice article by him called ‘My Trip to Japan’ in Vol. 7, No 3 May 1959,” adds Keith Arnold. “He was over for business for five months, coincidentally in the same building that held the Nihon Kiin. He was 3 kyu at the time, and played Segoe Kensaku, Takagawa Kaku and Karigane The game record of the Takagawa game is provided. There is also a photo of him, along with Iwamoto, Karl Davis Robinson and Edward Lasker during Iwamoto’s New York visit.” Benson adds “Thinking of the 55th New Jersey Open coming up on March 1st brings back memories of the fixtures at that tournament: Bob, Harry Gonshor, Bob Ryder and Takao Matsuda. The torch bearers from that era are now all gone.”
photo: McCallister playing Harry Gonshor in 1977; photo by Terry Benson
Go Game Guru has announced that their first go book will feature the ongoing 10-game match between Gu Li and Lee Sedol. “Over the last few years, many readers have emailed us and suggested that we should publish a go book of my game commentaries,” says GGG’s An Younggil 8P. “We’ve been too busy to do so up until now, but this match is special, so we’ve decided that our first go book will be about Lee Sedol and Gu Li’s jubango,” says An.
In an unusual move, An has already published his commentary of the first game of the match online, as a draft, and welcomes reader comments and questions. “You can play a part in shaping this book, by asking questions about each game and discussing the games together,” he says. The final book will include extended commentary, based on readers’ questions, and detailed discussion about modern opening strategy with reference to each game.
More details can be found on the official page for the as yet untitled ‘Lee Sedol vs Gu Li Go Book‘. In related news, Benjamin Hong 3-kyu – working with his teacher (“frozensoul” on KGS) — has just published a move-by-move review of the Gu-Lee game on his blog designed to “allow kyu players to easily follow the game and understand some of the most significant moments of the game.”
Highlights from the 2013 SportAccord World Mind Games — held in Beijing last December — have now been posted on YouTube. The overview (the go part starts at about 35:50) includes some brief commentaries by Michael Redmond 9P on the finals, an interview with Thomas Hsiang and a visit to a go class. There are also links to the daily reports published during the event, including more interviews and Redmond’s game commentaries with EJ Managing Editor Chris Garlock.
“Just watched an episode of NHK’s documentary series ‘Professionals,’” writes AGA Treasurer Roy Schmidt. “The pro for that week was Iyama Yuta, Meijin. “The program featured several games, including a televised handicap game when he was around six years old. Also, there were scenes from his private life.” Click here to see the program (which is in Japanese).
by John Power, EJ Japan Correspondent
Iyama Leads 3-0 In Kisei Title Match: The 38th Kisei title match feels as if it has barely started, but it might be almost over, as defending title holder, has raced to a 3-0 lead and just needs one more win to stay on top of the rankings for another year. The second game was played at a traditional inn called Yamaya in Kawagoe City, Saitama Prefecture, not far from Tokyo, on January 29 and 30. Yamashita Keigo, the challenger, made an uncharacteristic mistake in the opening, letting Iyama take an early lead. Iyama then gave him no chance to recover, playing solidly in the early middle game, then aggressively later on in order to wrap up the game. Yamashita, who had white, resigned after 167 moves. There was only a week for Yamashita to recover before the third game, and that doesn’t seem to have been enough. The match moved to the city of Kumamoto, about halfway down the western coast of the southern island of Kyushu. It was played at the Kumamoto Hotel Castle on February 6 & 7. Early in the middle game, Iyama (W) invaded Yamashita’s moyo and cleverly dodged when Yamashita attacked him. By the time he had settled his group (on move 60), the game had already tilted in his favour. As in the second game, Iyama played aggressively instead of coasting when he thought he had an opportunity to settle the game. Once again, Yamashita got no chances to pull off an upset and had to resign after 140 moves. Two convincing wins in a row by Iyama, following a close contest in the opening game, have now put the challenger under intense pressure. For the fourth game, the match goes north to Yamashita’s home ground of Hokkaido; it will be played on February 20 and 21.
Kisei Game One Trivia: As reported in the E-Journal, Iyama won the first game by half a point. Although that may seem like a close margin, it was what professionals call a ‘thick’ half-pointer, that is, Yamashita had no chance of winning, though he did catch up a few points in the endgame through slack play by Iyama. Game One was one of the events celebrating 400 years of relations between Japan and Spain. Last year was the 400th anniversary of the visit to Europe, including Spain, by a mission from the Japanese daimyo Date Masamune (whose headquarters was Sendai). It was led by Hasekura Tsunenaga (left) and traveled both ways via the Spanish colony that is now Mexico. The main aim was to visit the Pope, but the group spent seven years in Europe, including a visit to Spain. (It’s worth looking up Hasekura on Wikipedia for some nice illustrations.) Holding the first game of a best-of-seven title match (and occasionally games from best-of-fives) overseas has been popular, but this was actually the first Kisei game to leave Japan for four years (the overseas host in 2010 was Taipei). The Kisei/Yomiuri Newspaper group received a very warm welcome in Madrid. Just to give one example, the group was given a private after-hours tour of the Prado.
Yamashita and Cho U Share Lead in Meijin League: Three games were played in the 39th Meijin League on February 6. Cho U 9P (W) beat Ryu Shikun 9P by 7.5 points; Takao Shinji 9P (B) beat Kono Rin by resig; Hane Naoki 9P (W) beat Yuki Satoshi 9P by resig. The only undefeated players are Cho U and Yamashita Keigo, but they have only a provisional lead, as they have played only two games. Kono and Takao, both on 2-1, could join them at the top.
Shi Yue Wins New Year’s Tournament: The CCTV New Year’s Cup is a special tournament held to celebrate the Chinese New Year. Last year only Chinese players took part, but this year it has been upgraded into an international tournament, with a name change to the 2nd CCTV NY’s Cup Japan-China-Korea Tournament. It was won by Shi Yue 9P (right), who at present is rated number one in China. Second place was taken by Murakawa Daisuke 7P of Japan and third by Yi Se-tol 9P of Korea. Actually the sponsors wanted to invite Iyama Yuta from Japan, but it was impossible for him to find the time. Murakawa performed very creditably as substitute. In the first round, he lost to Shi Yue but put up a good fight. In the second round, he beat Yi Se-tol (who drew the bye in the first round); this probably ranks as Murakawa’s most prestigious win to date. In the final, however, he was outplayed by Shi. This may be an unofficial tournament, but first prize was an impressive 80,000 yuan (12 million yen or about $120,000), which would place it sixth among the Japanese titles. It was held from February 2 to 4, with live telecasts every day (apparently a first for a go tournament at this time of the year).
A Promotion and a Retirement: Son Makoto has earned promotion to 3-dan with 40 cumulative wins. Tokimoto Hajime 9P has retired as of January 31. Born in Okinawa, Tokimoto became 1-dan in 1968 and reached 9-dan in 2005. He won the top section of the rating tournament in 1977. Tokimoto’s forte was ultra-fast quick games; at ten seconds a move (in unofficial games), he was almost unbeatable.
“I bought ‘Yunzi Stones’ from Yellow Mountain Imports as a gift for my young children so we can play baduk together,” wrote EJ reader Jason Lee recently. “Later on after ordering, I saw online that this kind of stone can contain lead. So when my order arrived I got a lead test kit from the local hardware store to check them for safety. It turns out that the stones sent to me did contain lead. This is unsafe for my children to use and maybe me too. I wrote about my experience here. Thank you for the great work (the EJ does) for baduk players. I read the website every week.”
The EJ originally reported on this in 2008 (Go Review: Chinese Go Stones 2/4/2008) and we later reported (Yunzi Stones Now Lead-Free 6/23/2008 EJ) that YMI had contacted the manufacturer, who had agreed to eliminate lead from the manufacturing process of yunzi stones, which are special go pieces manufactured in the Chinese province of Yunnan. Apparently the manufacturer did not completely eliminate the lead, instead reducing it below the levels recommended by the Consumer Products Safety Commission; see below for details.
Yellow Mountain Imports responds: “Thanks for reaching out to us. We thought we had resolved this many years back when we had gone through all the reformulation and subsequent tests with the Yunnan Weiqi factory so obviously we were concerned. We take product safety seriously so when we heard these new complaints, we contacted the Yunnan Weiqi Factory immediately. They were equally concerned and arranged for a current official radio spectrometry test. The black stones tested positive at 0.005% (50 parts per million). Lead was also found in the white stones, at an even lower concentration, less than 0.002 (20 ppm). The Yunnan Weiqi Factory reformulated Yunzi stones to be within safe levels as per our request many years ago, while maintaining as much as the original qualities as possible, but it turns out that they cannot eliminate it completely. Lead makes the stones more durable and less brittle. These levels are well below the 0.009 (90 ppm) level recommended by the Consumer Products Safety Commission, but we do not claim that they are lead-free. Anyone who has purchased Yunzi stones and wants to return them can do so and should contact us.” Email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or concerns.