Gold for China in the Women’s Individual Go as Yu Zhiying 5p defeats Korea’s Kim Chaeyoung 2p. Ranka takes a look at their exciting game. Check the game record for detailed comments by Michael Redmond 9p.
The action began with Kim Chaeyoung making a very active extension on the lower side of the board (move 30). Compared to the usual three-space extension, this turned out to be an overplay that would decide the course of the game. In the trade that followed up to move 77, Yu allowed Kim to move out but took ample profit both on the right side and also at the top, giving her a territorial lead.
Kim continued her active play by ignoring her weakness in the centre and shifting to the left side to build a moyo with move 78. This gave Black the opportunity to fight back and begin to surround White’s group on the right side. Up to move 99, White was in a bit of trouble, however Black missed a severe clamp and this gave White some chances to make the position more complicated.
A difficult fight ensued, with both sides having to deal with their many weak groups under the pressure of byoyomi. Move 137 was an inaccuracy for Yu as this move does not give enough eyespace to her central group.
White suddenly went for the kill with move 158 (Diagram 2). But the ensuing semeai was impossible to win and we can call this the losing move. Instead of this all-out strike, the sequence shown in Diagram 3 is how Kim should have played and would have given White a promising position.
Congratulations to Yu Zhiying, who remains undefeated in this year’s World Mind Games. She will be teaming up with Mi Yuting 9p for the Pair Go tournament, hoping for another gold for China.
- John Richardson, based on commentary by Michael Redmond 9p
The Japanese contestants in the women’s individual and mixed pairs events at the 2014 SportAccord World Mind Games had a tough time. They consistently lost to opponents from the other Far Eastern countries. On the other hand, they consistently beat opponents from North America and Russia. Ranka spoke afterward with the two women, Fujisawa Rina and Okuda Aya. They are rivals who, earlier in the year, had played the final game for the Aizu Central Hospital Cup, and the final game that decided which of them would become women’s Honinbo challenger. (Fujisawa won both games, and also won the women’s Honinbo title match.)
Ranka: Okuda-sensei, this is your second SportAccord World Mind games. What impressed you this time?
Okuda: Getting a chance to play Rui Naiwei. She’s had such a fantastic career!
Ranka: Do you have any general comments about the games themselves?
Okuda: Well, the one hour of basic clock time was a lot shorter than the three hours we’re used to in Japan. The main issue becomes how much accurate reading you can do in that limited time. The Chinese and Korean players are very good at this. Particularly in the opening, with only one hour you can’t afford to take time to think things out. You have to rely on prior research, and theirs is more advanced.
Ranka: So was time a major factor in your losses?
Okuda: No, it wasn’t. I actually managed my one hour pretty well, saving some of it for the endgame when I knew I would need it. I lost because of mistakes in the middle game and thereafter. I need to work on my reading skills.
Ranka: How did you prepare for the Mind Games?
Okuda: I had already played most of my prospective opponents in other international tournaments, so I went over my games with them, trying to find better moves.
Ranka: Please tell us about your first game, in which you defeated Russia’s Svetlana Shikshina. Was she one of the players you had played before?
Okuda: No, I don’t think so, but I knew she had a professional ranking from Korea, so I expected her to put up a strong fight. I didn’t expect to be demolished, however.
Ranka: Surely that’s not what happened.
Okuda: It was. I had a terrible opening, and for a long time after that I was in a losing position. I won in the end, but not by playing winning go.
Ranka: If not by playing winning go then how?
Okuda: I guess my opponent was too relentless. She never let up. If she had restrained herself and compromised a bit, on the left side, for example, she could have won easily. The game would have been utterly hopeless for me. But she kept choosing the strongest possible moves, and that gave me some chances.
Ranka: Did you ever consider resigning?
Okuda: Many times! The reason I didn’t was that I couldn’t bear to lose in such a humiliating way. This was my worst game of the tournament.
Ranka: Fujisawa-sensei, how was your game with Russia’s Natalia Kovaleva?
Fujisawa: She had beaten a player from Taiwan, so I expected her to be strong, but I was surprised at how strong she was.
Ranka: Still, you won.
Fujisawa: I guess I played fairly well, for me.
Ranka: How were your other games in the women’s tournament?
Fujisawa: My first opponent, Yu Zhiying, is one I wanted to meet because she’s about the same age as me but she’s so strong. I was badly beaten. I’m going to have to work hard to reach her level.
Ranka: Well, she won the gold medal. How was your game against the silver medalist, Kim Chaeyoung?
Fujisawa: Beaten again, but not as badly.
Ranka: Aside from those losses, you’ve had a very successful year in 2014. What do you think is the reason?
Fujisawa: I haven’t changed the way I study and practice, but I’ve been getting more opportunities to play in international tournaments, and that’s been a real stimulus. Maybe that’s why my results have improved.
After a bad year in the Japanese tournaments (‘My worst yet!’) Seto Taiki scored four wins against only one loss for the Japanese men’s team at the 2014 SportAccord World Mind Games in Beijing, but as he put it, all of his games were tight: he had chances to beat the Korean opponent he lost to in the first round, and the opponents he beat from North America, China, Europe, and Chinese Taipei in the remaining rounds all managed to put him in danger of losing. He described receiving the bronze medal as a memorable experience, the first time he had won any kind of medal for playing go. But he has some medals in other sports, and two years ago he also had a fling at recording a popular song.
Ranka: Please tell us something about Monotone, the song you recorded.
Seto: I recorded it with two players from the Nihon Kiin: Takanashi Seiken, 8-dan, and Hsieh Yimin, women’s meijin. It was Takanashi Seiken who came up with the idea, and when he put it to me I decided to give it a try. The whole project, including making a promotional video, took almost a year. I had some professional coaching in recording an acting. We released one thousand copies of the CD, and got some favorable reactions from within the go community, but sales in general were not very good. We’re not planning a second release.
Ranka: What are your feelings about the project in retrospect?
Seto: It was a good experience, but I think we could have done some things better. I should have rehearsed more, and we could have looked for some more imaginative ways to boost sales. But since we’re professional go players, perhaps we couldn’t have expected any great success in this area.
Ranka: Getting back to go, how did you feel in Beijing?
Seto: This was my first chance to play on a team representing all of Japan in an international tournament, and considering my poor record this year I figured it might be my last chance, so I felt more pressure than I’ve ever felt before. That may have done me some good. I think I played reasonably well. I hope I can keep this momentum going into next year.
Ranka: Aside from the pressure, did playing as part of a team make a difference in your approach to the games?
Seto: Yes, especially in the last game, against the player from Chinese Taipei. The opening went well and later I was moving toward killing a large group of stones. If it had been an individual tournament, I would have gone for that kill, but here I thought about the team. If I won, we might take third place and get the bronze medal. If I went after the group, failed to capture it, and lost, we’d be fourth and get no medal. So since I was ahead anyway, I decided to let the group live and play to win conservatively.
Ranka: Finally, how would you evaluate the European and North American opponents you faced during the World Mind Games?
Seto: They were both strong. There was a point during my game with the North American player (Daniel Dae-hyuk Ko) when he had the upper hand, and my European opponent (Ilya Shikshin) really knew how to put the pressure on in the clinch. For him to defeat a pro would not be surprising.
Ranka: Thank you very much.
After the first four days of go competition in the 2014 SportAccord World Mind Games, the main issues waiting to be settled were who would win the gold medal in the women’s individual event, and who would win the bronze medals in the men’s team event. Last year the answers had been China’s Yu Zhiying and the men’s team from Chinese Taipei. Could Korea’s Kim Chaeyoung or the Japanese men’s team provide a different answer this year?
The men’s teams matches began at 12:30. The team from Chinese Taipei was in their seats early, all in their chipper blue and white uniforms. The black-suited Japanese team arrived just a minute or two before deputy chief referee Michael Redmond began reciting the daily litany: two hours of time per player with five renewable 60-second overtime periods; Chinese rules with 3-3/4 stone compensation; mobile phones off or silenced; the round starts!
An hour and a half later, the women’s gold medal game began. Kim Chaeyoung, sole survivor of the losers’ bracket, drew white against undefeated Yu Zhiying.
In the team event, the Chinese men clinched their gold medals at about three o’clock, when North America’s Huiren Yang and Daniel Daehyuk Ko resigned against Mi Yuting and Tuo Jiaxi. Later Shi Yue defeated Mingjiu Jiang by 5-3/4 stones (11-1/2 points) to complete a shutout victory.
The Korean men clinched their silver medals in similar shutout fashion. First Fan Hui resigned to Park Younghun, then Aleksandr Dinershtein resigned to Na Hyun, and then, after fighting desperately, Ilya Shikshin resigned to Kang Dongyoon. Dead European groups were much in evidence on all three boards.
The next match to end was the women’s. Yu Zhiying remained undefeated. She had attacked a weak white group on the right side of the board, starting a huge, confusing struggle that spread through most of the center. There was a point at which white had a chance to win, but she went after the wrong black group and it was the attacking white group that lost the capturing race. The position was still confused, but it was hopeless for white and Kim Chaeyoung resigned. Losing is always bitter. Nevertheless, her silver medal is the best result yet achieved by any non-Chinese go player in three years of SportAccord women’s individual competition. Yu Zhiying’s two consecutive gold medals would seem to establish her as top in the women’s go world, and she is still only seventeen.
And what of the men’s team match between Japan and Chinese Taipei? As he had yesterday, Lin Li-Hsiang got Chinese Taipei off to a good start, winning by resignation on board two, but then Seto Taiki evened the score for Japan by defeating Chang Che-Hao by resignation on board three. All now depended on the result on board one, where Japan’s Yuki Satoshi was playing Chinese Taipei’s Chen Shih-Iuan. Chen (black) had taken the lead by attacking in the center in the opening, but during a difficult middle game Yuki had gradually caught up, and in the endgame it appeared that he might be ahead. When the final score was counted, it turned out that he was indeed ahead. He had won by exactly a quarter of a stone, or half a point. The two players spent considerable time afterward reviewing the endgame, with assistance from Seto Taiki, who interpreted between Chinese and Japanese.
Both Yuki and Seto are from the Kansai Kiin, in Osaka. After the failure of Japan’s Tokyo-Nagoya based men’s team in the 2013, Osaka had come to the rescue.
At the evening awards ceremony, following the presentation of medals for blitz chess and pairs bridge, Mr Park Chimoon, acting president of the International Go Federation, presented the bronze medals to the Japanese men’s team, the silver medals to the Korean team, and the gold medals to the Chinese team. Bridge ambassador Fulvio Fantoni gave them their medal certificates; then their national flags were raised and the Chinese national anthem was played. Next the medals for women’s individual go were awarded by chief referee Hua Yigang: bronze to Rui Naiwei, silver to Kim Chaeyoung, and gold to Yu Zhiying, who triumphantly mounted the dais as a woman transformed, attired in a long and strikingly attractive flowered skirt. This time it was Ms Wang Wenfei, the other bridge ambassador, who gave out the certificates.
Counting chess and bridge, Chinese mental athletes had had a good day. Their total haul was ten medals: five gold, including one in women’s chess; two silver, both won in women’s bridge; and three bronze, including two more in women’s bridge. The games are not over, but China has already shown that it leads the world in go, and leads the Far East in bridge and chess as well.
- James Davies
Andrew Kay Top Teacher in South London: The second South London kyu players’ teaching day and tournament took place at the Croydon Quaker Meeting House, where nineteen students were taught in the morning by Andrew Kay, Alex Rix, Tim Hunt and Alison Bexfield. In the afternoon there was a three round tournament. Kay won the teachers’ tournament with three wins.
UK Stays Second in C-League: UK remains second behind Bulgaria in the C-League. Bulgaria has won two more boards than the UK. The match against Ireland ended 3:1 and links to the games can be found on the main PGETC page.
- compiled/edited by Amy Su, based on reports on the BGA website
Go makes an appearance in the Netflix series “Borgia,” which is not to be confused with the similar series “The Borgias.” In the 29th minute of the third episode (“1497″) of the third season, Cesare Borgia , the illegitimate son of Pope Alexander VI (r. 1492-1503), uses “the game of strategy from the Orient, go,” to give a plan for his conquest of northern Italian states. He uses a thick go board with legs and colored glass beads to demonstrate his point. “The goal is to add as few men as possible; out-thinking your opponent rather than out-fighting him.” The winner does not eradicate his opponent, but rather entices him to surrender.
- Ted Terpstra, based on a tip from Mark Gilston
At half past four on December 13, a group of players, ambassadors, and other representatives of the mind sports included in the SportAccord World Mind Games paid a one-hour visit to another mind sports tournament, this one for students at Beijing’s primary and middle schools. The venue was the gymnasium of Huilongguan Primary School No. 2, near Beijing University. All five mind sports were being played, but go players were the most numerous. For them, this was the final stage of a grand tournament that had begun with preliminary team qualifiers in Beijing’s various school districts. The teams that had won the qualifiers had been playing since morning, and the last round of games was still in progress. The unheated gymnasium was filled with warmly clad schoolchildren, whose high level of enthusiasm generated additional warmth.
The visitors’ first activity was to play simultaneous games of go, chess, and draughts against young opponents who were not engaged in tournament games. Representing the go contingent, Irene Sha, Natalia Kovaleva, Dina Burdakova, her husband Igor Burnaevsky, and ambassador Lee Hajin took on two or three opponents each. The kids were strong, but there was only thirty minutes in which to play, which was not enough time to complete most of the games.
By the end of the simuls, the tournament itself was over, and the visitors now became the bestowers of the awards. International Go Federation vice president Thomas Hsiang draped medals around the necks of the winners at go, and Lee Hajin gave them trophies. The award winners also received SportAccord canteens.
And then the visit was over and the visitors returned to the Beijing International Conference Center to rejoin their comrades at the World Mind Games.
- photo: Yoshitaka Morimoto
Jian Xiao 4D (left) took the annual NOVA Slate & Shell Open on December 13 with a 4-0 record in a field of 18 players. “Bill Cobb of Slate & Shell generously donated books as prizes for the event,” reports TD Gurujeet Khalsa. Other undefeated players were Gurujeet Khalsa 6K at 3-0 and Deirdre Golash 12K with a 4-0 score.
photo at right: Bill Cobb, with S&S prizes; photos courtesy Gurujeet Khalsa
by James Davies, Ranka Online
As noted in yesterday’s report, the US team beat Europe in the SportAccord World Mind Games Round 3 team match on December 13; click here for Ranka’s details on that match, and here for the interview with Danny Ko, one of the victorious American players.
Round 4 action on December 14 began with two games that would draw the line between the medal winners and non-winners in the women’s section. Both players from Chinese Taipei came up short: Joanne Missingham lost in just 111 moves to Kim Chaeyoung (Korea), while Cathy Chang narrowly lost to famed veteran Rui Naiwei of China; click here for the game commentary. In the afternoon, Rui Naiwei lost by half a point to Kim Chaeyoung who now goes on to play Yu Zhiying for the gold medal.
Chinese Taipei got off to a good start in the fourth round of the men’s team when Lin Li-Hsiang defeated eighteen-year old Chinese superstar Mi Yuting. Chinese Taipei’s upset hopes were dampened, however, when their leading player Chen Shih-Iuan lost a tightly fought game to China’s leading player Shi Yue on board one, and were then dashed when Tuo Jiaxi convincingly defeated Chang Che-Hao on board three. China now has four straight wins, and their remaining match is against North America. While China was struggling past Chinese Taipei, the North American team lost to the Korean team 0-3, so China’s chances of completing a clean sweep of all their matches when they play North America appear quite good.
Europe had no better luck against Japan than North America had against Korea. The Europeans fought hard, but Yuki Satoshi beat Fan Hui by a comfortable 7.5 points, Ida Atsushi beat Aleksandr Dinershteyn by a 14.5 points, and Seto Taiki beat Ilya Shikshin by resignation. Edited from longer reports on Ranka Online. Click here for the complete report on Round 4.
photo: Huiren Yang (left) playing Alexandr Dinershteyn; photo by Ivan Vigano
Game records are available on go4go.net; click here for latest SAWMG results.
The fourth day of go competition in the 4th SportAccord World Mind Games started at 9:30 on December 14 with two games that would draw the line between the medal winners and non-winners in the women’s section. On one board Joanne Missingham (Chinese Taipei) was playing Kim Chaeyoung (Korea), to whom she had narrowly lost two days before. On the other board Cathy Chang (Chinese Taipei) was challenging the famed veteran Rui Naiwei (China). Chinese Taipei had two chances to upset the Chinese-Korean monopoly on women’s medals in years past.
But monopolies are not easy to break. The Missingham-Kim game was over in only 111 moves. Playing black, Ms Kim took a territorial lead in the opening, some white groups got into trouble, and Ms Missingham resigned.
Cathy Chang held out longer. In fact, her game was played out to the end, and if there had been no compensation, she would have won. Unfortunately for Chinese Taipei, Cathy was playing black, and after the 3-3/4 stone compensation had been subtracted from her score, she lost by 2-3/4 stones, or 5-1/2 points.
The medals, accordingly, would go to Yu Zhiying, Rui Naiwei, and Kim Chaeyoung. Ms Rui and Ms Kim would play in the afternoon round for a chance at the gold. Ms Missingham and Ms Chang would play for fourth and fifth places.
Shortly after the end of the Rui-Chang game, the fourth round of the mens team event began, with Europe playing Japan, Korea playing North America, and China playing Chinese Taipei. Once again China Taipei had a chance to upset the medal-cart; a victory over China would give any one of four teams a fair chance at winning the gold.
Chinese Taipei got off to a good start on board two when Lin Li-Hsiang, playing black, defeated Mi Yuting. Lin lost five stones early on, but turned the loss to his advantage, and then enlarged his lead in a late ko fight and won by resignation. Lin had lost three title matches in Chinese Taipei this year, but the stocky twenty-one-year-old looked impressive in defeating his eighteen-year old superstar opponent.
Chinese Taipei’s upset hopes were dampened, however, when their leading player Chen Shih-Iuan lost a tightly fought game to China’s leading player Shi Yue on board one, and were then dashed when Tuo Jiaxi convincingly defeated Chang Che-Hao on board three. China now has four straight wins, and their remaining match is against North America. While China was struggling past Chinese Taipei, the North American team lost to the Korean team 0-3, so China’s chances of completing a clean sweep of all their matches when they play North America tomorrow appear quite good.
Europe had no better luck against Japan than North America had against Korea. The Europeans fought hard, but Yuki Satoshi beat Fan Hui by a comfortable 7-1/2 points, Ida Atsushi beat Aleksandr Dinershteyn by 14.5 points, and Seto Taiki beat Ilya Shikshin by resignation.
While the men’s games were ending, the two women’s games, which had started at three o’clock, were still in progress, and both looked very close. Rui Naiwei had been behind in the medal game, but she had caught up and now seemed to be half a point ahead of Kim Chaeyoung. Unfortunately, in the final stage of the endgame she failed to play a one-point sente move in time, allowing her opponent to play it instead. This tilted the outcome to half a point in favor of Kim Chaeyoung, who will play Yu Zhiying for the gold medal tomorrow, while Ms Rui, who won the silver medal two years ago, now takes the bronze. This will be the first time that both the gold and silver medals have not gone to Chinese players.
In the contest for fourth and fifth places, Cathy Chang prevailed over Joanne Missingham by 1-3/4 stones (3-1/2 points). In this game she had never seemed to be behind. Although no medals were at stake, there is a substantial prize differential (5000 USD for fifth place, 8000 USD for fourth place), and perhaps it is fitting that the larger prize will go to the senior player.
- James Davies
Full comments are included in the attached game record.
The Women’s Individual Go event is heating up, as we enter the second half of the 2014 SportAccord World Mind Games in Beijing. We take a look at how Rui Naiwei 9p secured her place in the semi-final, which is to take place this afternoon.
Rui Naiwei is widely considered to be one of the strongest female players in the world. She has lived and worked in many countries, including Korea, the United States and Japan, where she studied under Go Seigen. Rui has won countless titles and just missed out on first place here in Beijing two years ago, losing to Li He in the final.
Her opponent Chang Kai-Hsin 4p has seen much success over the last ten years in Chinese Taipei. She says she has a ‘love-hate relationship’ with Go, with her most memorable game being a half-point loss in a title match final.
The game began with Rui Naiwei showing her intention to build a trademark moyo with moves 24 and 26. Chang’s move 37 was a little strange, leaving a weakness that Rui was soon to exploit. A kosumi on the third line would have been more natural. When Rui came in at the top with move 46, Black could not find a good local reply and so moved into the centre. The game is already good for White at this point, as Rui has a potential splitting attack that will ensure that the moyo on the left side is turned into territory.
Moves 75 and 76 were a bad exchange for Black, increasing White’s lead. It was better to cut, allowing Black either to develop eye-shape or to squeeze White. The position should now have been easy for Rui to convert to a win, but now followed a number of unusually slack moves that gave Chang a chance to get back into the game.
After Chang’s move 81, Rui chose a knight’s move (A in Diagram 2) but the sequence in Diagram 3 is better. White has already invested the two marked stones in Diagram 2 to attack Black’s central group, but this slack move allowed Black to easily make two eyes, rendering those stones ineffective. Black perhaps felt she was behind, as she tried the slightly risky hane at move 85, which left the potential for a ko in the top-right corner. But Rui failed to take advantage of this, playing a bad aji-keshi by capturing on move 104 that removed the potential for ko. It seems she was afraid of lacking ko threats, but nonetheless it was too early to make this play.
Defusing the ko allowed Black to pull back with move 107, a strong move that would not have been possible while there was still the possibility of ko. White suddenly became rather thin and it was now difficult to win cleanly, especially after missing the change to start a ko at move 136 (see variation in attached game record) that would have been very dangerous for Black.
In the end Rui was able to connect up all her groups and reach a winning endgame. She will face Kim Chaeyong 2p this afternoon in the semi-final.
– John Richardson based on commentary by Michael Redmond 9p