One of the biggest go tournaments on the East Coast is taking place this weekend. The New Jersey Open will be held in Princeton, NJ Saturday February 28 and Sunday March 1st. Registration run from 9-10a at the Frist Campus Center, Princeton University, located at the corner of Washington Road and Ivy Lane. You must be there by 10a to be paired in the first round. $38 for full tournament; $28 youth rate under age 23; $25 Sat. only / $20 Sun. only ($20/$15 under-23). Free to Princeton University students with ID. Cell phones don’t work at the site, but if you’re lost or late, call 609-851-6351 during the last half hour of registration. Info: firstname.lastname@example.org.
photo: TD Paul Matthews at the 2014 NJO; photo by John Pinkerton
Yilun Yang came to the Seattle Go Center for his yearly workshop last weekend, Feb. 21 and 22. There were 13 participants, ranging from 12 kyu to 2 dan; a mixture of new students and old friends. Mr. Yang has been teaching these workshops in Seattle since 2001, and he has fine-tuned his mixture of lectures on theory, reviews of games played by students, and go problems. He recommends that kyu players do go problems to improve, rather than studying professional games. This year, students worked on his go problems throughout the workshop, but still there were very few perfect scores at the end of Sunday.
We had beautiful sunny spring weather during the workshop, with early flowers in full bloom, and we were glad to show Mr. Yang that Seattle is not always cloudy in February. Photo caption: Now that the young man is playing white, it is harder to make territory. – - photo/report by Brian Allen
Kids in Portland, OR, competed for candy in a Chess and Go Tourney, held at Taborspace, on Feb. 22nd, reports Peter Freedman. Four elementary schools, Roseland Heights, Richmond, Irvington, and Beverly Cleary, sent a total of 24 kids. Tommy Boyd Flynn, of Beverly Cleary took the first place trophy in the Go tournament, winning all four games. In a play-off for second place, Olin Waxler, also from Beverly Cleary, defeated Kieran Cronin, of Irvington. Both had 3-1 records. Fourth place was taken by Emmett Mayer with a 3-1 record, one of his wins being a bye. Games were played on 13×13 boards. “All the children were either unranked or double digit kyu players,’ adds Freedman, “kudos to Elsa Warner, the only female go player, and to Ai Rose Solomon, the only female chess player.” The top three places in the chess tournament were all taken by Irvington players: Ansel Wallace, 1st, Mason Buchanan, 2nd, and Leo Frankunas, 3rd. Each Go player received a packet of black and white M&M’s, and each chess player received a chocolate king or queen. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor
“Researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Media Lab are trying to turn chess into a spectator sport like American football or poker,” reports the BBC. “The group wants to make the game more accessible to the uninitiated, by presenting complex information on matches in a simple, visually appealing way and give an expert insight into the state of a game.” “Can’t we do this as well?” wonders EJ reader David Matson, who sent this along.
by John Power, EJ Japan Correspondent
Ida loses sole lead in Honinbo League: Ida Atsushi 8P (right) seemed to be heading inexorably for a rematch with Iyama Yuta Honinbo, but he finally stumbled in the fifth round of the 70th Honinbo League. In a game played on February 19, Kono Rin 9P (W) beat him by resignation. Ida’s loss means that Yamashita Keigo 9P pulls even with him on 4-1; we might see another play-off between these two. Cho U 9P and Kono, both on 3-2, are also in contention. In another game played on the same day, Yo Seiki 7P picked up his second win when he beat Ryu Shikun 9P; playing white, he forced a resignation. Yo improves to 2-3 and has an outside chance of keeping his league place. Ryu and Takao Shinji 9P, both on 1-4, have lost their places.
Yamashita keeps his Kisei challenge alive: Yamashita Keigo (left) finally picked up his first win in the 39th Kisei title match and survived his first kadoban (a game that can lose a series). The fourth game was held at the Zagyoso. The Zagyoso (which literally means ‘fishing-while-seated-villa’) was the retirement villa of a famous statesman, Saionji Kinmochi, who led the Japanese delegation at the Versailles peace conference; it was moved from its original location in Shizuoka to Meiji Village, a theme park in Inuyama City in Aichi Prefecture that recreates traditional Japanese buildings. The game was played on February 19 and 20. Iyama (White) took the lead in the middle game when Yamashita made a misreading about a life-and-death position. His group didn’t die, but he had to add an extra stone and so fell behind. However, Iyama slipped up with an oversight of his own when he tried to wrap up the game. Yamashita played a brilliant atekomi tesuji and pulled off an upset. He won by 2.5 points after 224 moves. Yamashita will be greatly encouraged by this win, but, on 1-3, he is still in a tough position. The fifth game, to be played on February 25 and 26, will show whether he has really changed the flow of the match.
To 2-dan: Komatsu Daiki (30 wins). Komatsu is the son of Komatsu Hideki 9P and Komatsu Hideko 4P. The promotion took effect on the 17th.
Life-Lessons of Go: “If life is a game of go. I wish I (could) place my first move again.” (Go Spotting: “Go Stone” Tweet 2/22 EJ) “And that is the life-lesson of go,” writes Terry Benson. “We don’t get to play our first stone again. As in sports, we have to ‘suck it up’ and look for the next best move with our mistakes glaringly in full view. Go ‘is’ life.”
Did Go Save Edward Lasker’s Life? “What I find most remarkable about Lasker’s story (Go Spotting: Lasker’s “Chess Secrets I learned from the Masters” 2/23 EJ) is that one can argue that go saved Lasker’s life,” writes Vernon Leighton. “Out of college, Lasker worked for a multinational German corporation. He wanted to be transferred to the Japan unit so that he could study go. His company said that he had to be fluent in English to work in Japan. He got a transfer to England to work on his English. WWI broke out and he was jailed as an enemy national. He was transferred to the United States, where he settled and lived the rest of his life. Had he not been in England, he might have been drafted into the German army and killed in a trench in France. Therefore, go may have saved his life.”
photo from LIFE Magazine 18 May 1942
Ireland have heroically secured their first victory in the PGETC with a fabulous triumph over Portugal.
Team captain James Hutchinson started the rout with a comfortable win by default, before number 1 board Ian Davis stormed to victory. John Gibson secured the win in a bloody game with many dead groups. Finally, Tiberiu Gociu managed to exploit the aji in his opponent’s large moyo to secure a fabulous 4-0 victory.
Next up, the mighty Cyprus.
The 2015 edition of the Iwamoto Awards has gone global. “Thanks to internet and social media, the world has become smaller, so we think it is time to invite people on a global scale to submit go promotion projects,” says Harry van der Krogt of the European Go Centre, which organizes the awards, supported by the European Go Federation and the Nihon Ki-in. “So many people are trying so many things these days,” says AGA president Andy Okun, who’s serving on the awards jury. “I think it is great we are giving them rewards, encouragement and incentives to keep to at it.” Now called the World Wide Iwamoto Awards, the contest – with €2,000 in prizes — is named in honor of Iwamoto Kaoru, who devoted much of his career to promoting go around the world. The goal is to motivate go players “to think about how go can be promoted,” organizers say, so that “through the gathering and exchange of ideas it can lead to a higher quality of popularization of go all over the world.” A top prize of €1,000 will be awarded, and two “encouragement” prizes of €500 each will also be awarded; click here to see examples of previous winners. Deadline for submitting proposals is June 1, 2015; click here for criteria/rules and to apply online.