Mark Lee fended off a last-round challenge to clinch the 2015 Cotsen Open with a perfect 5-0 record. Lee uncharacteristically misread in a capturing race against Ho Son 7D of Seattle but fought back and then pulled ahead decisively in the endgame to win by more than 20 points. Large audiences watched the top-board matches, broadcast by the E-Journal team on both KGS and the AGA’s YouTube channel — where Myungwan Kim 9P and Jennie Shen 2P commented the games live — and Lee’s sharp focus throughout the tournament was impressive. “I was the runner-up last year and really wanted to win this year,” he told the E-Journal. “The games were tough but when I got ahead I tried to stay ahead and when things got complicated I just focused on the immediate problem.” Lee (second from right) donated his $1,000 winnings to the American Go Foundation to support their work with young go players; the donation was gratefully accepted by AGF board member Larry Gross (right), along with AGA President Andy Okun (second from left, next to Eric Cotsen at far left; click here for more photos).
The Cotsen drew a large field of nearly 150, mostly from Southern California but also from other West Coast and Western states. After several years at the LA Korean Cultural Center, the Cotsen returned this year to the LA Center Studios in downtown Los Angeles. Players feasted on free food truck tacos from Komodo Food on Saturday and Kogi BBQ on Sunday, and two experienced masseuses massaged out sore muscles (left) as the players sweated out their moves over the go boards.
Tournament sponsor Eric Cotsen said he was “Really happy with the way the tournament went; everyone seemed to have a good time.” Although he didn’t win as many games as he would have liked, a beaming Cotsen said that “I think the game is awesome! The challenge, the people, everything about it. Figuring out a battle and winning the game, it’s just an awesome feeling.”
- report/photos by Chris Garlock; click here for a Facebook album with more event photos.
2015 Cotsen Winner’s Report (CLICK HERE FOR FINAL CROSSTAB)
Open: 1. Mark Lee (7d) 5 – 0; 2. Jeremy Chiu (7d) 4 – 1; 3. Beomgeun Cho (9d) 4 – 1; 4. Aaron Ye (7d) 3 – 2; 5. Xaiocheng Hu (5d) 3- 2; 6. Ho Son (7d) 3 – 2
Round 4-5 Top-Board Game Records:
Rd4 Mark Lee v. EvanCho ,
Rd4 Daniel Ko v. Boyang Chen ,
Rd4 Aaron Ye v. Jeremy Chiu ,
Rd4 Ho Son v. Daniel Liu ,
Rd5 Mark Lee v. Ho Son ,
Rd5 Evan Cho v. Boyang Chen ,
Rd5 Stephen Hu v. Jeremy Chiu ,
Rd5 Norman Tsai v. Daniel Ko
Mark Lee 7D (left) stormed through the first three rounds of the 2015 Cotsen Open on Saturday as he tried to capture his first Cotsen title. Only young Aaron Ye even came close to upsetting the former Korean insei, in a third-round slugfest in which Ye managed to gain a slight advantage in the middle game, only to see his position collapse in the endgame under time pressure and an exquisite tesuji by Lee. Top boards in the final two rounds will be broadcast again live on KGS Sunday starting at 10a PST, with live-streaming of Board 1 on the AGA’s YouTube channel. Yilun Yang 7P will play another Chinese professional starting at 8a on KGS. Click here for a crosstab of results through Round 3.
Games from the top boards:
Rd1 Michael Zhou v. Mark Lee ,
Rd1 Evan Cho v. SukJun Kim ,
Rd1 Daniel Ko v. Vincent Zhuang ,
Rd1 Kevin Chao v. Boyang Chen ,
Rd2 Jeremy Chiu v. Mark Lee ,
Rd2 VincentZ huang v. Evan Cho ,
Rd2 Boyang Chen v. Daniel Liu ,
Rd2 Aaron Ye v. Stephen Hu ,
Rd3 Aaron Ye v. Mark Lee ,
Rd3 Daniel Liu v. Evan Cho ,
Rd3 Matthew Burrall v. Daniel Ko ,
photo: awaiting Round 1 pairings Saturday morning on the patio at the LA Center, just outside the Strong Players Room; report/photos by Chris Garlock
Andy Liu 1p and Gansheng Shi 1p will play in a Kansai Kiin pro tournament this coming week; their games will be broadcast on Pandanet. The game will take place starting at 10 a.m. on Oct. 26, Japanese time, or 9P EST in the US. Liu will play against Imayi Kazuhiro 6p and Shi will play against Mine Yasuhiro 3p.
The Sankei tournament is a Kansai Kiin knock-out tournament, created in 2005, with 16 pros and 16 amateurs competing in two separate preliminaries. The current title holder is Daisuke Murakawa Oza 8p. This year, in addition to the two AGA pros, two European Go Federation pros will play, Mateusz Surma 1p of Poland against Kurahashi Masayuki 9p and Ali Jabarin of Israel against Yo Seiki 7p. There is also an exchange match scheduled for Oct. 30th, with Liu playing Sinntani Yousuke 1p at 10 a.m and Shi playing Yinaba Karinn 1p at 2 p.m. Japanese time.
Last year, two EGF pros played the pro preliminaries, Pavol Lisy 1p of Slovakia lost to Yuki Satoshi 9p, but Ali Jabarin beat Saito Tadashi 8p, advancing to the second round, where he lost to Nakano Yasuhiro 9p. While American pros have played many times in Japan, and a number of Americans, including Michael Redmond 9p, James Kerwin 1p (retired) and Francis Meyer 1p, received professional status from the Kansai Kiin or Nihon Kiin, this will be the first time AGA-certified pros will play in Japan as professionals.