Japan’s National Team: Members of Japan’s brand-new national team — nicknamed ‘Go-Go Japan’ — talk about their practice sessions and how being on the team has changed their approach to the game… Interview with Park Jieun: The bronze medalist in the women’s individual event says go in Korea has changed from an enriching cultural activity to a sport that’s “only about winning”…The Red-Faced King: Inspired to aim for the top by Mikhael Gorbachev, the former President of the Soviet Union, who also has a prominent “port-wine stain” birthmark, Chou Chun-Hsun 9P (right), known as the ‘Red-Faced King’, talks about why teaching is an important responsibility and why go players need to maintain good physical fitness… Designing a Tournament with Martin Stiassny: The European Go Federation President discusses possible format changes for next year’s World Mind Games and the need for an internationally standardized ratings system…
photo at left by Ivan Vigano; Chou Chun-Hsun photo courtesy Pandanet
The third annual SportAccord World Mind Games are taking place December 12-18 in Beijing, China. Click here for latest go competition winner results, here for Ranka Online’s full coverage and here for reports on all 2013 SportAccord World Mind Games competitions (chess, go, bridge, Chinese Chess & draughts). CLICK HERE TO WATCH GAMES LIVE!
NOTE: At 9 pm EST (6p PST) on Sunday, December 15, Michael Redmond 9P and E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock will provide live audio commentary on KGS on Round 4 games from the World Mind Games.
Yu Zhiying Clinches Medal in Women’s Individual Tourney: How does men’s go differ from women’s go? Aside from superficial matters such as the players’ average height, some have pointed to a temperamental difference: women tend to play more impetuously–to start a fight at the drop of a hat; men tend to play more patiently, laying deep strategic plans that only slowly mature into victory, sometimes with little or no fighting at all. Others find men’s go more coldly logical and women’s go more ‘human’. Womanly qualities were on full display in the centerpiece game in the fourth round of women’s individual competition at the SportAccord World Mind Games on December 14th. The two players, China’s Wang Chenxing and Yu Zhiying (right), the last remaining undefeated duo, came out fighting to kill from the word ‘go’. Black (Ms Wang) laid out a loose group on the left side. White (Ms Yu) immediately surrounded it, with lethal intent. Black, with equally lethal intent, cut off and attacked some of the surrounding white stones. White defended them by attacking an adjacent black group, and so it went, both players carefully pondering their moves, with the life of their stones at stake. And then this battle royal had a heartwarming ‘human’ outcome. Every single threatened group lived. Peace descended on the board, the pace of play quickened, and in the end Yu Zhiying won by 5.5 points (click here to see the Michael Redmond’s game commentary), ensuring a berth in the final, one win away from a gold medal, and assured of at least the silver.
- James Davies, Ranka; click here for the rest of his report on the Women’s Individual competition.
China & Korea Continue to Steamroll Men’s Teams, North America Blanked Again: The powerhouse men’s teams from China and Korea continued their dominance in the third round Saturday, with China sweeping Japan on all three boards and Korea chastening the European team — exuberant after their victory over North America in the previous round — with a perfect 3-0 score. The North American team suffered their third straight shutout defeat, this time at the hands of the Chinese Taipei team (NA’s Huiren Yang, at left, plays Taipei’s Chou Chun-hsun). These games amply displayed the “manly” qualities of strategy and deliberation. The young Japanese team in particular seemed determined to make the most of their opportunity to take on three of the best players in China, and their games were among the last to end, even though they all ended in resignation. Two other players, both amateurs, who strove patiently against strong professional opponents were North America’s Daniel Daehyuk Ko, who lost to Wang Yuan-jyun by 12.5 points, and Europe’s Pavol Lisy, who stayed in a tough contest against Korea’s Cho Hanseung until fairly late in a game that was broadcast live via YouTube, with commentary by deputy chief referee Michael Redmond 9P and American Go E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock. The duo also took time to do live audio commentary on KGS on two Men’s Teams Round Two games. - based on a report by Ranka’s James Davies
Day 3 (Saturday, 12/14) Summary: (click on links for game records, uncommented unless otherwise noted)
Men’s team tournament (third round): China 3-0 over Japan: Fan Tingyu beat Fujita Akihiko, Zhou Ruiyang beat Hirata Tomoya, Wang Xi beat Tsuruta Kazushi; Korea 3-0 over Europe: Park Jeonghwan beat Fan Hui, Kim Jiseok beat Ilya Shikshin, Cho Hanseung beat Pavol Lisy; Chinese Taipei 3-0 over North America: Chou Chun-hsun beat Huiren Yang, Wang Yuan-jyun beat Daniel Daehyuk Ko, Lin Chun-yen beat Yongfei Ge (Redmond Commentary).
Women’s individual tournament (fourth round): Yu Zhiying (China) beat Wang Chenxing (China), Park Jieun (Korea) beat Oh Jeonga (Korea), Chang Cheng-ping (Chinese Taipei) beat Joanne Missingham (Chinese Taipei), Svetlana Shikshina (Russia) beat Natalia Kovaleva (Russia).
Redmond Audio Game Commentaries Now Available: This year, in addition to the various video feeds made available by SportAccord, Michael Redmond 9P (at left in photo) and American Go E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock (at right) are doing live audio game commentaries on KGS, some of which are also being posted on KGS Plus under Recent Lectures. “12/14/13 9:52″ is the commentary on the Men’s Team Round 3 game between Yongfei Ge 6D and Chun-yen Lin 9P (starts at 6:53); “12/14/13 8:56″ is the commentary on the Women’s Individual Round 4 game between Yu Zhiying and Wang ChengXing (starts 3:43).
Benjamin Teuber on Playing Michael Redmond 9P and Studying in China: The promising young German Benjamin Teuber 6D took on Michael Redmond 9P in a special exhibition match held Saturday morning. South African Victor Chow (‘RoseDuke’), the winner of the SAWMG 2013 Pandanet tournament, was originally slated to play, but Teuber (at left in photo) — who’s currently studying go in China — substituted at the last minute when Chow was unable to attend. The game was calm with Teuber playing a very solid opening, but when he failed to use his thickness to attack, he slowly but surely fell behind. In the Ranka interview, Teuber talks about the new go training program being held in China for top European players and playing soccer with Gu Li.
Draughted In: Why Zhao Hanqing Changed Games: Once a fervent go player, 19-year-old Zhao Hanqing (right) began to study international draughts in 2008 and has already secured victory in the World Championship (Junior Girls). She is currently taking part in the draughts competition at the SportAccord World Mind Games being held in Beijing. Find out more about why she switched games and how China is promoting mind games.
Going to the Max: As games wrap up each day in the playing room at the Sport Accord World Mind Games venue in the Beijing International Conference Center, the review room next door fills up with players, pros and fans who review their games while keeping an eye on monitors showing the games still being played. The rapid clicking of go stones competes with the excited swirl of languages from around the world. Eventually, as darkness falls outside, the game room will empty, the day’s results will be marked on the scoreboard, and even the most hard-core players will tear themselves away from the go boards. For now. Until tomorrow, when the cycle begins again.
- Chris Garlock; all photos this page by Ivan Vigano
Joseki used to take months, sometimes years, to develop and be accepted. Now, like everything else in this hyper-connected world, they zip around the globe like so many electronic mushrooms, popping up overnight and sometimes fading just as fast. At least that’s the way Michael Redmond 9P sees it. “We’ve seen one particular new sequence repeatedly this week,” Redmond told me during one of our daily broadcasts at the SportAccord World Mind Games in Beijing. “Everyone’s been playing it lately but I think it’s really just a fad and doubt that it’ll last.” Unlike the fabled study groups of Japanese professionals and insei who extensively researched, developed and tested new patterns to spring on their opponents in tournaments, there are no secrets in a world where even top professionals play online on a regular basis. Further proof, if any were needed, that go is indeed a game of complete information.
- Chris Garlock; photo by Makoto Moriwaki, Pandanet
SmartGo for Windows is back, reports author Anders Kierulf. A full beta version is available for free download, and includes the full GoGoD game collection of more than 76,000 games. SmartGo offers a wide range of functions for go players from 20 kyu to 6 dan, “with powerful features easily accessible in a well-designed user interface,” according to SmartGo’s website. “The main functions in SmartGo are grouped into tabs that organize your Go activities as well as your games.” SmartGo 3 is a free upgrade for SmartGo 2 users, “and currently only $39 (down from $49) for new users,” Kierulf tells the EJ. “Also, you’ll note that the smartgo.com website is new and shiny, with a matching gobooks.com site.” Before the holidays, Kierulf says “I expect to add five more books to SmartGo Books, including two books from Yutopian that never made it to print and will be SmartGo Books exclusives.” Stay tuned for more details soon.
The third annual SportAccord World Mind Games are taking place December 12-18 in Beijing, China. Click here for latest go competition winner results, here for Ranka Online’s full coverage and here for reports on all 2013 SportAccord World Mind Games competitions (chess, go, bridge, Chinese Chess & draughts).Day 2 (Friday, 12/13) Summary (click on links for game records, uncommented unless otherwise noted): Men’s Team: China 3-0 over Chinese Taipei: Fan Tingyu beat Chou Chun-hsun, Zhou Ruiyang beat Wang Yuan-jyun, Wang Xi (left in photo) beat Lin Chun-yen (right). Korea 3-0 over Japan: Park Jeonghwan beat Fujita Akihiko, Kim
Jiseok beat Hirata Tomoy (Redmond commentary), Cho Hanseung beat Tsuruta Kazushi, giving Japan an 0-6 record after two rounds. Europe 3-0 over North America: Fan Hui beat Huiren Yang, Ilya Shikshin beat Daniel Daehyuk Ko, Pavol Lisy (click left for Redmond commentary) beat Yongfei Ge, leaving the N.A. team winless after two rounds.
Women’s individual: Wang Chengxing (China) beat Joanne Missingham (Taipei); Yu Zhiying (China) beat Park Jieun (Korea); Chang Cheng-peng (China) beat Yoshida Mika (Japan); Oh Jeonga (Korea) beat Fujisawa Rina (Japan); Natalia Kovaleva (Russia) beat Dina Burdakova (Russia); Svetlana Shikshina (Russia; click left for Yang Shuang 2P’s KGS game variations) beat Sarah Jin Yu (Canada). Note: Michael Redmond 9P and Chris Garlock did live audio commentary on the Round 2 Missingham-Jeonga game on KGS but because they recorded the game and did variations in the same file (instead of cloning), the record’s trees are a bit of a mess; it’s attached here for those interested.
North America & Japan Men’s Teams Winless as China-Korea Final Looms: On the basis of international tournament results during the current century, China and Korea seemed likely to have the advantage in their matches, but Chinese Taipei’s near-upset of Korea in the first round raised doubts about the size of that advantage. In the second round on Friday, however, the Chinese and Korean teams prevailed handily over Chinese Taipei and Japan. The match between Europe and North America was harder to predict. North America had won a similar match two years ago, but by a close 3-2 score, and this year the European team had the advantage of youth.
In the game between Russia’s Ilya Shikshin (left in photo) and Daniel Daehyuk Ko (right) of the U.S., Shikshin “started out with a complex opening pattern in which my opponent made several mistakes, so I got the lead,” Shikshin told Ranka. “I think I was about twenty points ahead. After that I tried to play simple moves, and my opponent started to take risks, trying to draw me into an error, but in the end I killed a dragon and he resigned.”
Slovakia’s Pavol Lisy, on the other hand, “had a bad opening” against Canada’s Yongfei Ge, “but then somehow I caught up and even pulled ahead. At one point I thought I was going to win by about six points, nearly the size of the komi. Then something happened to a group of mine in the corner. At first it looked as if I was going to lose all my territory there. I was terrified, but I thought for ten minutes and found a way to rescue it, and after I did, my opponent resigned.”
Women’s Individual Tournament Rounds 2 & 3: Triumph for China, Disaster for Japan & North America, Mixed for Rest: The results on Day 2 were a complete triumph for the two Chinese players, a disaster for the women from Japan and North America, and a mixture of wins and losses for the women from Korea, Chinese Taipei, and Russia. The six winners remain in contention, and Joanne Missingham and Park Jieun, who recorded their first losses, are also still in contention. The two Chinese, Wang Chengxing and Yu Zhiying, will contend for the final undefeated position in Round Four. Click here for the complete Ranka report.
Svetlana Shikshina 3P Moves to Canada: The Russian-born Korean professional (left) moved to Canada in late June 2013 and talks to Ranka’s James Davies about the challenges of her new life there.
What We Can Learn from Chess: FIDE Chief Executive Officer Geoffrey Borg (right) on an unexpected common link between chess and go and Russia’s Ian Nepomniachtchi on lessons from the cheating scandals in chess.
Japan’s Yoshida Mika Considers Flamenco: After her “tragic loss” to young Chinese star Yu Zhiying 4P, Yoshida, former winner of the Women’s Honinbo, tells Ranka’s John Richardson “maybe my future is in flamenco,” which she took up again earlier this year.
- photos by Ivan Vigano/Ranka Online
Registration for the next AGA On-Line Games Self-Paired Tournament — which will run January 1 to March 31, 2014 on KGS — begins December 15. The initial Self-Paired Tournament — in which 24 players have so far played 44 games — will end December 31, with results announced in early January. Players must be AGA members current through March 1, 2014. A player’s current AGA rating is the default tournament rating. Tournament Ratings may be adjusted by the Tournament Director for those without an AGA rating or for those who whose current AGA rating clearly does not reflect their current playing strength. Games are played and tournament documents are linked in the AGA Tournament Room on KGS.
Simultaneous games will also be offered during this upcoming quarter in the AGA Community Room on KGS by volunteers AGA 4 dan and above. The room is open to all AGA members current through March 31, 2014. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your AGA ID number and KGS username for access to the room. A schedule is linked in the room and in the AGA Tournament Room. “These games are a fine opportunity for players to test their understanding and technique against stronger players,” says Gilman.
Cup Winner Switch: “The recent article ‘Men’s Team & Women’s Individual Events Launch Go Competitions at SportAccord World Mind Games,’ stated that Fan Tingyu won the Bailing Cup and that Zhou Ruiyang won the Ing Cup,” writes Justin Teng, “but in fact it’s the other way around: Fan Tingyu won the Ing Cup and Zhou Ruiyang won the Bailing Cup.” Good catch, Justin; we’ve corrected the report.
Remembering T Mark Hall: “Some 20 years ago or so, I wanted to learn more about the game I had been briefly introduced to at university and discovered there was a dan-level BGA official living close by,” writes E-Journal British correspondent Tony Collman. “I phoned him and T Mark Hall was kind enough to invite this stranger to come round for a game on the famous goban, where he demonstrated that a beginner can start with 17 stones on the board and end with nothing. In fact I didn’t get into go seriously then, but this year, after having started to really study it thanks to the magic of the internet, I was delighted to renew the acquaintance at the British Open in my home town of Stevenage. T Mark was installed in the lobby of the Cromwell Hotel, just as described by Jon Diamond (but, whether due to current anti-smoking laws or having quit, minus the pipe) and happily chatted away about GoGoD and other matters until he left for dinner. He showed no sign of his illness, nor made any reference to it and it was an honour and a privilege to have had that chance to sit with him.”
Haiku for T Mark Hall: Keith Arnold sent along this haiku in honor of the famously speedy player and GoGoD co-creator who was once banned on IGS.
speed on the go board
careful transcription to bytes
ban over, pipe out
photo: Hall at the 2010 World Amateur Go Championships in China; click here for None Redmond’s interview with him there; photo by John Pinkerton.
Day 1 Summary: Men’s teams: China beat North America 3-0, Korea beat Chinese Taipei 2-1, Japan beat Europe 3-0. Women’s individual: Yu Zhiying (China) beat Dina Burdakova (Europe/Russia), Chang Cheng-ping (Chinese Taipei) beat Natalia Kovaleva (Europe/Russia), Oh Jeonga (Korea) beat Sarah Jin Yu (North America/US), Fujisawa Rina (Japan) beat Svetlana Shikshina (Europe/Russia). CLICK HERE TO WATCH SAWMG DAY 1 HIGHLIGHTS. Note: click on hotlinked names below for game records, uncommented unless otherwise indicated.
In the match between China and North America, the game between Wang Xi (China) and Yongfei Ge (Canada) was played at a rapid pace, with Ge challenging Wang to an early ko fight. Wang won the ko and captured five white stones in the center, then used his central power to attack and capture White’s largest group. Ge resigned and the game was over in less than an hour. The other two North American players held out longer, but Huiren Yang resigned to 17-year-old Ing Cup-winner Fang Tingyu in less than two hours, and Daniel Daehyuk Ko, after playing his game out nearly to the end and seeing that he was more than ten points behind, resigned to the Bailing Cup winner Zhou Ruiyang. The Ko-Zhou game (click here for Michael Redmond 9P’s game commentary) was broadcast to a live YouTube audience with a running commentary by Michael Redmond 9P.
The European team put up more stubborn resistance in their match with Japan, but Ilya Shikshin lost by 4.5 points to 19-year-old Hirata Tomoya (photo at right; click here for Michael Redmond 9P’s game commentary); Fan Hui managed to rescue a beleaguered group in a ko fight but eventually had to resign against New King (Shinjin-O) title-holder Fujita Akihiko; and in a battle of 18-year-olds, Pavol Lisy struggled to a 28.5-point loss to Tsuruta Kazuya.
The Korean team was matched against Chinese Taipei. In the first round of the men’s team event in the first SportAccord World Mind Games two years ago, Chinese Taipei had given Korea a bad scare by winning on two of the five boards. This year, with only three boards, Korea could not afford two losses. Both sides played deliberately from the outset. Around four o’clock it looked as if the younger player might win on all three boards, and two of the younger players were from Chinese Taipei. Two of these predictions held up: Park Jeonghwan (Korea, age 19) defeated Chou Chun-hsun (Chinese Taipei, age 33) by half a point on board one, and Lin Chun-yen (Chinese Taipei, age 15) defeated Cho Hanseung (Korea, age 31) by resignation on board three. On board two, however, Kim Jiseok (Korea, age 23) fought back to overcome Wang Yuan-jyun (Chinese Taipei, age 17) by 1.5 points. “I was behind from the opening,” said Kim. “I finally managed to catch up in the endgame, but because of the large number of prisoners it was hard to calculate the score accurately. It wasn’t until I won the ko on the right side that I thought I might be ahead.”
- James Davies, Ranka Online. Click here for his complete Day 1 report, the SAWMG Day 1 report, Day 1 men’s results & women’s results.
CORRECTION: this post has been updated to reflect that Fan Tingyu won the Ing Cup and Zhou Ruiyang won the Bailing Cup, rather than the other way around, as originally reported.
T Mark Hall died on Monday, December 9 after a long illness. Perhaps best-known throughout the global go community as the co-creator of GoGoD (Games of Go on Disk), the exhaustive go encyclopaedia, Hall “was a long and faithful servant of the British Go Association, of British go in general,” said BGA president — and longtime friend — Jon Diamond. “He was on our Council for some 22 years, serving for 20 of these as Treasurer, a record of service that will surely be unsurpassed.” “T Mark Hall’s work benefited go players around the world,” said American Go Association president Andy Okun. “We extend our thanks and deepest sympathies to our British go colleagues who so generously shared his gifts with us.” John Fairbairn, Hall’s longtime friend and GoGoD colleague, said that “British Go has been blessed with many fine servants, but very high among them will rank T Mark Hall. I was with him in the last months and hours and so I can testify that he had borne his long illness with great dignity and courage – nonchalance even.” Hall continued to work on GoGoD until very near the end and as recently as April played in the British Open, where he came in fourth. “Mark wished to continue his work for the British Go Association even after he was gone, and has made substantial bequests accordingly,” Diamond says. He also donated his antique go board to the British Museum and asked that GoGoD continue; Diamond says “I hope to keep his flame alive there, although frankly he will be quite irreplaceable.” Diamond added that “Mark was not just well known. He was popular…He will be remembered by many for sitting at tournaments and other events after his game was over with his pipe and chatting to all and sundry. He will be sorely missed.”
- photo courtesy BGA
Fourteen pairs of go players gathered at the Seattle Go Center Saturday night, December 7, for a gala dress-up event that included two rounds of Pair Go and three kinds of cake provided by the stylish Bakery Nouveau of Capitol Hill. Among the strong players, the winning team was “EASTWEST” – Momoko Tsutsui and Jon Friedman. TD Bill Chiles reported that the middle group was led by Deborah Niedermeyer and Brian Allen. The aptly named “DRESS TO KILL”, Marilyn and Rainer Romatka, ruled the last group. Participants enjoyed door prizes from Pandanet Internet Go, while the winners received fans with calligraphy from the Go Center. At the end of the holiday evening, organizer Bill Thompson revealed his secret plan to make this an annual event, and there was no objection. Photo by Joe Schneider, report by Brian Allen
“Sitting in front of a clay oven in which the temperature is kept at 1,200 C, workers use a traditional tool to precisely drop melted materials onto an iron board,” reports ChinaDaily.com. “ As a result, crystal-clear Go pieces, which look like black jade along with the color white, immediately appear. This is how the world-famous Yunzi, the special Go pieces, are produced… Yunzi is short for Yunnan Go pieces, and has a history of more than 500 years. The ancient process of making Yunzi was lost towards the end ofthe Ming Dynasty. In 1974, researchers found the formula from ancient Go pieces and the process remained a secret…” Read more here (be sure to click on the photo to see the entire gallery of how the stones are made).
Imagine sitting at your go board, playing through a game from a printed game commentary. You come to a point where you need further explanation, scan the QR code into your Smartphone, and go online for a tutorial. Or jump online to play the game with the aid of your laptop or tablet. Whichever works best for you, Cooper Stevenson wants to help you enjoy the beauty of the game with his new magazine, Formation. “I want to engage the initial spark people have when they first appreciate the game and carry them all the way to expert levels,” Stevenson told the EJ in a recent interview. “Learning go should feel like a journey through a scenic valley, discovering new treasures along the way.” The inaugural issue includes coverage of a merger to create a potentially major new server, the latest scientific evidence that go actually produces physical changes in the brain, and move-by-move commentary by Go Seigen on a classic encounter with Kitani from 1957. Stevenson adapted Jim Z. Yu’s translation, also available as the first of ten games and several other game analyses in the free download, “Go on Go: The Analyzed Games of Go Seigen.”
By porting instructional material online, Stevenson hopes to make it easier for players to learn, especially those new to the game. “When I was learning from printed books, the diagrams were too hard to read,” Stevenson said. “I wanted to give authors a better way to communicate their ideas to their readers.” Formation will be available in print and online. The print version will have a spiral binding so as to lie flat next to the goban. QR links will enable players to step through a variation, get the answer to a problem, and so on. “The key is delivering the best content respective to the medium by which it is delivered,” Stevenson said. “The online site will have current news because digital media are more timely. The print medium will have more in-depth stories and features from the world of go. The reader can take their time absorbing the content, as a copy is always on the coffee table, ready for a good read.” Subscriptions to the print version will be available soon at the website.
Formation is looking for volunteer proofreaders, interesting games, and authors. If you have an idea for future content, contact email@example.com.
Approximately 150 bridge, chess, draughts, go and xianqi players flew into Beijing Monday for the third SportAccord World Mind games, which run through December 18. Daily highlights are available on YouTube, click here for schedule and results and you can also follow the action on Facebook. Go, with 30 players, has the third largest contingent, behind bridge (48 players) and chess (32 players); 18 men and 12 women from China, Chinese Taipei, Europe, North America, Japan, and Korea. The men will compete as teams, the women as individuals, and the Games will also include pair events (see below for Michael Redmond’s commentary on the Round 1 game between Danny Ko 7d and Ruiyang Zhou 9P). The Games were officially declared open Tuesday evening by Yang Xiacho, president of the Organizing Comittee and deputy mayor of Beijing, at an opening ceremony held in the main second floor hall of the Beijing International Conference Center, which will be the competition venue for the coming week. The announcement was accompanied by a musical fanfare and projected images of fireworks and preceded by official greetings from dignitaries, including Wang Wei, executive president of the Organizing Committee and vice chairman of the Beijing Olympic City Development Association (BODA), and Marius Vizer, president of SportAccord. Representative groups of contestants marched onto the stage to witness the raising of the Chinese flag and the SportAccord flag by a crack drill team in white uniforms, after which the stage was taken by a succession of Chinese dance teams, including a shadowboxing demonstration, kickball dance team, military exercises with broadswords and an exhibition of classical dance skills in a ‘Chess Rhyme’, in which the dancers were dressed as black and white chess queens. There was much in these performances to inspire the spectators, who were already in a good mood following a buffet banquet, and the ceremony ended at a quarter past eight, in plenty of time for everyone to rest up for the week ahead, though the go players met briefly for a technical meeting to set up the competition draw. Click here for James Davies’ detailed opening ceremony and technical meeting report on Ranka. photos by Ivan Vigano
Today’s Game Commentary: Daniel Ko (US) vs. Ruiyang Zhou (China)
Daniel Ko, the 7-dan from Los Angeles, California acquits himself quite well in this game against a world champion. Zhou won the first Bai Lin Ai Tou Cup, was a finalist in the 18th LG Cup and a member of the championship Chinese team in the 13th Nong Shim Cup. This game features a modern-style professional opening and competing moyos that both players invade. This could have been a close game but in the key fight in the middle-game, white pulls ahead in territory while attacking black. Click above or here to download the sgf file and open in your favorite go software.
After a very calm start for both players, Lee Sedol 9P starts to attack in the middle game of the Samsung Game 2 final (Korean Fans Shocked By Loss in Samsung Cup Final As Tang Weixing 3P Sweeps Lee Sedol 9P) on
December 11, sparking a very exciting fight, where I’ve concentrated most of my comments. Tang Weixing 3P ably parries Lee’s attack and after the dust settles it’s a very close game.
- Michael Redmond 9P
“On Yang’s puzzle (12/10 Member’s Edition), did you mean white to play instead of black to play?” wonders Eric Osman.
You are correct; sharp find! Sorry about that. We’ve updated the problem, so if you reload the tsumego problem link, you should see the correction.
Chinese rising star Tang Weixing 3P (left) has overcome Korean legend Lee Sedol 9P (right) to claim the 2013 Samsung Cup. Before the match, played December 9-11 in Suzhou, China, Lee said that he was desperate to win for his country. Having won the Samsung Cup four times, Lee, the defending champion, was considered the favorite by many, including his challenger, but Tang, in his debut in an international final, showed nerves of steel to win the title 2-0. The first game was an intense battle that came to a thrilling climax in a complex ko fight. Many commentators thought that Lee had won this fight with some clever exchanges, as did Lee himself. However Tang was equal to the task, extending his threats and gaining enough from the ko to win by half a point. In the second game Lee, holding black, went on the offensive from the get-go and established a commanding position. Once again, however, Tang resisted solidly to claw his way back, and in the end black did not have enough points. It has been 17 years since Korea has not claimed a major international title. This had Korean fans cheering for Lee in the Samsung final, the last major tournament of the year. Instead, Tang reaffirmed the recent Chinese dominance, leaving Korea winless in 2013. Click here for Go Game Guru’s report on the Samsung semi-finals, which includes interviews with Lee and Tang, photos and game records from the semis.
- Ben Gale, Korea Correspondent for the E-Journal
Ted Terpstra of the San Diego Go Club topped a field of 8 at the December 7-8 go section of the 2013 Las Vegas MindSports event. Sponsored by MindSports International, the event included other “brain” games such as chess, Scrabble, Magic: The Gathering and various miniature war-games. Runners-up in the 4-round go competition were locals Michael Wanek (LV Go Club) in second place and Jun-Suk Kim (LV Go Club) placed third; the three medal winners split a nearly $200 prize pot. During breaks, players were allowed to watch the other games at MindSports, watch sports in the Sports Book, or gamble at the gaming tables. “The event coincided with the National Finals Rodeo,” reports local organizer Chris Tettamanti, “and in the Venetian Hotel venue, there were plenty of places to buy authentic Western wear and cowboy gear. photo courtesy Chris Tettamanti
After three successive years of declining participation, the Syracuse Go Club’s Fall Self-Paired Tournament broke its all-time attendance record on November 23, with the 27 players more than doubling the attendance from the previous year. Players ranging in strength from 5d to 28k played 55 AGA-rated games. Bob Sollish 1d of Syracuse had the best individual record, with four wins and no losses against three other dan players and a 1k player. Every participant was able to select a prize to take home at the end of the day, including several discounted books provided by Slate and Shell.
- report/photo by Richard Moseson
photo: Xinde Ji 5d (left) plays an unrated high-handicap game with first-time participant Yan-Yeung Luk 13k, while Luk’s daughter and a friend, also players in the tournament, look on.
The South London Go Club held a very successful teaching day and tournament for some two dozen kyu-players at the Quaker Meeting House, Croydon on Saturday December 7. In the morning three dan-grade volunteers from the British Go Association (BGA) gave 50-minute teaching sessions in rotation to three groups selected by grade, and in the afternoon each group played a Swiss tournament, while the teachers — joined by Paul Smith 1d, who was escorting his young son Edmund to the event — played a round-robin. For the teaching sessions, our correspondent “added a stone to the weak group”:
British Champion Andrew Kay 4d gave an extremely lucid presentation on probe stones, which he described as stones which ask a question of the opponent. It is though, he explained, actually a trick question designed so that however it is answered, it will receive a response which makes it the wrong answer. He went on to demonstrate exactly what he meant in practical terms on the board, using first a life-and-death situation in the corner, then a joseki not well-known even to low-dan players.
BGA stalwart and AGA member Francis Roads 2d (left, pointing at board) chose a game submitted to the event by one of the attendees for review as the teaching material. It became the subject of a “penny go” exercise, whereby at critical junctures in the review each member of the student group was invited to place a penny where they thought the next play should be. Showing great tact and sensitivity to the diffidence of the learners, Roads not only withheld the identity of the game’s players but even made himself absent as the (identical) pennies were placed. One of the teaching points he was most emphatic about was controlling the knee-jerk tendency of weaker players to “obey the 5cm rule”, ie unthinkingly responding to any move with a play within 5cm of the opponent’s last stone.
Tim Hunt 2d also used a game review to illustrate various teaching points, particularly in the opening. He, however, made his points using a high-level professional game, so here it was more often an analysis of why this or that move was a good one, compared to the students’ various suggestions. The game was from round 1 of the 1998 Japanese Oza qualifiers which Michael Redmond won as white against the legendary Cho Chikun. When Redmond visited the UK earlier this year Hunt had heard someone ask him his favourite game, and this was it. The teacher needed no recourse to a game record, as he had clearly studied it in great depth and knew every move as well as numerous possible variations at each stage.
After a short break for lunch, the tournament(s) got under way: three rounds with half an hour per player then sudden death, and handicaps (for the students, but not the teachers), set equal to grade difference, komi 7.5. Natasha Regan 1k of Epsom won in the first division (1k – 5k), narrowly beating Sue Paterson 4k of Arundel by one point in the third round, with Chris Volk 2k of Reading pushing Paterson into third place with one point more on aggregate. In the second division (6k – 10k) Peter Fisher 7k of Leicester was victorious, while Francis Moore 6k of the home club placed second and Malcolm Hagan 6k of Winchester third. In the third division (11+k) Gerry Gavigan 12k, also of South London, won and Adam Field 13k of Winchester and 8-year-old Edmund Smith 13k of Milton School took second and third place respectively. In the teachers’ tournament, Tim Hunt prevailed, winning all three games. (Placings above are based on tie-break by sum of players’ scores, per the hand-produced tables at the South London Go Club website; click here for official results).
All the prizes were books aimed at improvers: Understanding Dan-level Play, by Yuan Zhou; How Not To Play Go, also by Yuan Zhou; Attack and Defence, by Ishida Akira and James Davies; Opening Theory Made Easy, by Otake Hideo; Go Proverbs vol 1, published by the Nihon Ki-in and finally Go By Example: correcting common mistakes in double-digit kyu play, by Neil Moffat. Prizes went to all with three wins and some with two. In addition, two copies of Anders Kierulf’s SmartGo Kifu iPhone/iPad app, donated to the event by the author, went to the first takers.
The event was the first of its kind for the South London Go Club, but it is intended that it should become an annual event, though perhaps at a different time of year according to organizer David Cantrell, a man with a large beard and quirky sense of humour who signs off unofficial correspondence with such improbable self-stylings as “London Perl Mongers Deputy Chief Heretic”, or “Enforcer, South London Linguistic Massive” often appending an epigram such as, “Human Rights left unattended may be removed, destroyed, or damaged by the security services.”
Report and photos by Tony Collman, British correspondent for the E-Journal.