Simultaneous games with strong players continue to be available to AGA members in the AGA Community Room on KGS. For April, simuls are now scheduled in the evenings beginning this Saturday, April 5 and continuing on Wednesday, April 9, Saturday, April 12, and Wednesday, April 30.
The full simul schedule through June is available here. “Volunteers are adding simuls to the schedule on an on-going basis, so keep checking it for the latest information,” urges organizer Bob Gilman.
Since this program began in October 2013, there have been 128 games played. “These simuls are a great way to test your strength and develop your game,” Gilman says. “You will have the chance to learn tactics and strategies from a stronger player. There will generally be a brief review afterwards. And don’t worry about being ‘too weak.’ These are handicap games and intended to help you learn.”
The games are played in the AGA Community Room on KGS (under “Clubs”) in the Rooms List. If you need room access, email firstname.lastname@example.org with your AGA ID number and KGS username.
Competition has begun for the second Bailing Cup, a biennial event backed by the Guizhou Bailing Group, a Chinese pharmaceutical company, and held under the auspices of the International Go Federation, the People’s Government of Guizhou Province, the Guizhou Sports Bureau, and the professional go associations of China, Japan, and Korea.
Four preliminary rounds were held March 15-16 in Beijing, and the 48 survivors then joined 16 seeded players from China, Chinese Taipei, Japan, and Korea in the main tournament, with the first round held on March 18. Click here for Round 1 results and games, along with some of the preliminary games.
One of the winners in the prelims was a young Chinese pro who had recently won the Shanghai Jianqiao Xinren Wang tournament. This event is known as the Rookie King tournament, but this year’s king was Wu Zhibao 5P (Yu Zhiying, at left), a female player. It’s extremely rare for a go tournament that is open to both men and women to be won by a woman; in the entire history of professional go it has happened perhaps five times. Three of those victories were by Rui Naiwei 9P (right), who Wu faced in the first round of the Bailing Cup, losing by resignation.
The second round has yet to be scheduled; the ultimate winner of the second Bailing Cup is due to be decided next year.
- based on James Davies’ detailed report on the IGF website; game records from www.go4go.net/
UK: Andrew Kay 4d led the Birmingham on March 29. Behind him were Alex Kent 3d in second and Alistair Wall 2d in third. Serbia: Also on March 29, the 3rd Memorial Milos Vucicevic finished in Kragujevac with Zoran Jankovic 4d in first, Dragan Dubakovic 3d in second, Mihailo Jacimovic 1k in third. Germany: Bernd Radmacher 4d (left) bested Jonas Welticke 5d at the 4th Recklinghaeuser Guzumi in Recklinghausen on March 30 while Martin Ruzicka 2d came in third.
– Annalia Linnan, based on reports from EuroGoTV, which include complete result tables and all the latest European go news; photo courtesy of EuroGoTV
The full name is the Bailing Cup World Go Open Tournament. Held under the auspices of the International Go Federation, the People's Government of Guizhou Province, the Guizhou Sports Bureau, and the professional go associations of China, Japan, and Korea, this biennial event is backed by the Guizhou Bailing Group, a Chinese pharmaceutical company. It began in 2012, the year in which the Bailing Group launched a collagen skincare product under the name of Aitou (the Chinese name of the tournament that year was the Bailing Aitou Cup). The inaugural cup was won in 2013 by Zhou Ruiyang, who went on to earn a gold medal in pair go at the 2013 SportAccord World Mind Games. The competition for the second cup began on March 16, 2014 in Beijing.
In the four preliminary rounds, a special bracket was set aside for women, ensuring that four of them would reach the main knockout tournament. One of the winners in this bracket was a young Chinese pro who had recently won the Shanghai Jianqiao Xinren Wang tournament. This U16(male)/U18(female) event is known as the Rookie King tournament, but this year's king was Wu Zhibao, a girl. There was no women's bracket: she had to beat five opponents of the opposite sex. It is extremely rare for a go tournament that is open to both men and women to be won by a woman. In the entire history of professional go it has happened perhaps five times. The past Rookie Kings have all been male, and many of them are now among China's top stars, such as the above Zhou Ruiyang.
After her Rookie King victory, Ms Wu was asked who she considered to be the strongest woman go player in China. Her reply was, 'Rui Naiwei. When I play her I usually lose.' Not surprisingly, Ms Rui also won one of the four women's places in the Bailing knockout. She is something of a living legend, the equivalent in go of Judit Polgár in chess. In a career spanning China, Japan, the USA, and Korea, she has accomplished the rare feat of winning major tournaments open to men three times: the Chinese Hutang Cup in 1989, the Korean Guksu title in 1999, and the Korean Maxim Cup in 2004. She has also won well over thirty women's professional tournaments and was the first woman anywhere to earn a 9-dan ranking in go. Now she and her husband Jiang Zhujiu, likewise a 9-dan pro, operate a go school in Shanghai, but she continues to compete and do well, winning Chinese women's tournaments in 2012 and 2013 and capturing the women's silver medal at the 2012 SportAccord World Mind Games.
The other two women who survived the Bailing preliminaries were a pair of young Koreans, Choi Jeong and Park Jiyeon, who were taking time out from a Korean women's title match in which they were tied neck-and-neck. In the men's division, one of the survivors was the Chinese amateur Ma Tianfang, and another was from Chinese Taipei, but the rest were all Chinese and Korean pros. The survivors, 48 in all, joined 16 seeded players from China, Chinese Taipei, Japan, and Korea in the main tournament.
The first round of the main tournament was held on March 18. The two Korean women, Choi and Park, found themselves matched against Korean men, to whom they lost. Ma Tianfang, though ranked among the 'Four Heavenly Kings' of Chinese amateur go, bowed to a Chinese 9-dan. The players from Japan and Chinese Taipei all lost to Chinese and Korean opponents. And what of Wu Zhibao and Rui Naiwei, the two women with proven records of triumph over men? As luck would have it they were matched against each other.
After the game a Sports-Sina reporter asked Ms Rui whether she had felt apprehensive about facing the Rookie King, or confident that her greater experience would give her the advantage.
Rui: 'I did not feel very confident. Aside from winning the Rookie King title, Wu has been making progress on all fronts. I was expecting a good, tough game.'
And how did it turn out?
Rui: 'For quite some time the lead remained unclear. Then I lost patience and invaded the top right corner. My opponent didn't have much time to consider her reply, and decided to let me live there so that she could rescue two stones in another part of the board. After living in the corner, I finally found myself in a comfortable position.'
The exchange Rui is describing took place between moves 68 and 77. It was a prelude to all-out war, but after parrying the attacks Wu staged in the center of the board and doing some effective counterattacking herself, Rui won by resignation at move 162. The game record can be viewed here (Rui is white).
In the second round, which has yet to be scheduled, Rui will face Korea's top-rated Park Jyeonghwan. The ultimate winner of the second Bailing Cup is due to be decided next year.
- James Davies
An expanded prize pool and a new tournament structure are planned for the strongest players at this year’s US Go Congress. “The AGA Board, in close consultation with strong players across the country, felt strongly that we needed to raise the stakes, the prestige and the competitiveness of the top tournaments and this is the result,” said American Go Association President Andrew Okun.
In recent years, strong players competed in three separate main tournaments at Congress, the 6-round US Open open section in the mornings, the 4-round North American Masters Tournament (NAMT) for North American professionals and qualified amateurs in the evenings, and the 4-round Strong Player Open, also in the evenings.
In the new structure, these three tournaments will be combined into a single 9-round US Open, which will serve both as the top section of the U.S. Open and as the NAMT. The U.S. Open winner will take a top prize of $5,000 and the NAMT-eligible player with the strongest result will become the North American Masters Champion and win $2,000. Other prizes will be paid to other finishers both overall and in the NAMT. All players 7d and above – and all players who qualified for the NAMT — will be eligible to compete in this new event. Strong players who wish only to play the traditional six rounds of the US Open may do so instead, but will not be eligible for the top prizes.
The U.S. Open/NAMT will take place during the six mornings of the US Open – at the 2014 US Go Congress in New York City August 9-17 — with an additional three rounds in evenings during the week. Click here for the FAQ on these changes.
photo of 2013 NAMT and SPO playing room by Phil Straus
The East Coast is getting a new major tournament. The first Washington Open Baduk Championship will be held in Northern Virginia on the weekend of April 26-27. With a top prize of at least $1,000, and cash prizes for every section, “this two-day tournament is not to be missed!” says organizer Allan Abramson. Click here for more details and to register.
The Championship is sponsored by the Embassy of the Republic of Korea, the Korean Cultural Center – DC and Scorpion Sport Inc. in L.A., co-hosted by the Korean Amateur Baduk Association (KABA) and the American Go Association (AGA), and organized by the NOVA Go Club, the Baltimore Go Club, and the Korean-American Go Association.
The Championship will be a rated five-round, one hour per player event. AGA membership is required. No entry fee, and lunch is free. Other attractions will include a rapid tournament on Friday night, lectures by Myungwan Kim 9P and another Korean professional, and simuls with the pros. “A packed weekend of competition and fun for all,” says Abramson.
“Can you confirm that the Cotsen dates (Cotsen Dates Confirmed for 2014-2016 4/1 EJ) are real, not an April 1st joke?” writes Anders Kierulf. “It just seems so unlikely after the dates moving around every year and being announced very late. Also, the 2016 dates should probably be Oct. 22-23, not Oct. 23-24, as that’s not a weekend.”
Yes, the 2014, 2015 and 2016 Cotsen dates are real, though as Kierulf notes, the 2016 dates are actually October 22-23. The Dumb Cluck? 9×9 Go Reportedly Solved story, on the other hand, is not real. Our apologies for any confusion.
For this week’s quiz, in celebration of go’s prominent role on MTV’s Teen Wolf, as covered in several recent E-Journal reports, let’s hear from you on what you think is the best Western cultural reference to go. Please limit answers to English language and it must be something featuring or mentioning go, but not directly about go or go instruction. And it needs to be original – so the obvious choice of Hikaru No Go does NOT qualify. I will judge the best response on such objective criteria as coolness, popularity, appropriateness and correctness of the reference. This can be books, TV, movies, advertising or news events.
Deadline: 5P Thursday. Nominations so far include Shibumi by Trevanian, Tron: Legacy, Darren Aronofsky’s movie “Pi,” and “A Beautiful Mind” with Russell Crowe. I look forward to hearing from all of you!
- Keith Arnold HKA, quizmaster
The CEGO Online Training for European professional students has just launched. The online training is part of the Pre Pro League, part of the European Go Federation’s (EGF) new contract with the CEGO Chinese investor group to establish a European professional system (European Go Federation Inks Deal With Chinese to Promote Go in Europe 7/5/2013 EJ). ”This is another part of the EGF-CEGO cooperation focused on developing European professional go players,” says EGF president Martin Stiassny. “I wish all the players great games with a lot of fun and success.”
The online training is primarily for students who have been studying in Bejing for the last six months (read more about it on Benjamin Teuber’s blog), but to provide some training access for other players who will participate in the European Pro Qualification starting in Strasbourg in May the number of CEGO Online Training participants was increased to 16.
An initial round was played between eight players to figure out the league division and now five series will be played with an A and B league with 6 players each. A League players include Zhao Baolong (teacher), Pavol Lisy, Ali Jabarin, Ilya Shikshin, Cornel Burzo and Andrij Kravets. In the B League are Dusan Mitic, Fredrik Blomback, Viktor Lin, Benjamin Teuber, Lukas Krämer and Zeno van Ditzhuijzen. Li Ting is the other teacher.
Follow the action in the “Euro Dream Team” room on KGS, where you’ll find nearly daily games (20:00 GMT+2 starting) top games, through June 20. Click here for complete details, including full player roster and bios.
Oh happy days! Tonight Ireland faced the might of Croatia in their league match on IGS. The team stuck to the strategy that they had agreed upon before the game, despite the fierce resistance from the opposing team. The result was a flawless victory – a 4-0 belting. Ireland are now top of the league, in 6th place.
The AGA Go Camp is pleased to announce that registration for the 2014 camp is now open. Camp will be held from August 3 to August 9, the week before Go Congress, at YMCA Camp Kresge in White Haven, PA, about a 2 hour drive from New York City. Camp directors Amanda Miller and Nano Rivera invite campers of all skill levels, and between the ages of 8 and 18, to join them for a week of go-playing and fun. Youth who played in the NAKC or the Redmond Cup are eligible for a $400 scholarship, and need-based scholarships of up to $250 are also available. For more information on the latest camp-related news, and to download the registration forms, please visit the camp website at http://www.gocampeast.org/. Any questions can be e-mailed to Amanda Miller at email@example.com. - Story and Photo by Amanda Miller
“Credit to my wife and daughter for spotting a go board in the Netflix series ‘Orange is the New Black,’” reports Vermont Go Club President Dave Felcan. “In Season 1, Episode 12 (“Fool Me Once”) around the 29:30 mark, a go board can be spotted on a desk next to the main characters. Its there for about 5-7 seconds, so it was a nice spot.”
“I have the Guanzi Pu pdf (‘New on the AGA Website: Classic Chinese Problem Collection‘ 3/16 EJ) in other formats already, but this one is very nicely done,” writes Michael Redmond 9P. “That collection is one of the best of what I call classic tsumego collections, but on the other hand, it wasn’t all problems that would now be called tsumego. It includes many endgame sequences, and some positions in which there is more than one feasible way to play. That is typical of the ancient Chinese collections, which were published before the modern definition of tsumego was established. From the professional viewpoint, those indefinite problems actually add value, although they could confuse weaker players.”
Not only have this year’s Cotsen Go Tournament has been confirmed and scheduled for October 25-26, according to AGA President Andy Okun, but dates have been set for 2015 and 2016 as well. For the third time running, this year’s event will take place at the Korean Cultural Center-Los Angeles (KCCLA), in the Mid-Wilshire district of Los Angeles.
“Our thanks to Eric Cotsen (left) for his continued hosting of this outstanding event, and our gratitude as well to retired Ambasador Suh Dae-won (right), the Korean consulate in Los Angeles and the staff and management of KCCLA for providing such a beautiful venue,” said Okun. The two-day, five-round event will include lunch, some pro go teaching and massage therapy and, Okun hopes, “a vendor table or two and other goodies.” As in previous years, the E-Journal will provide full on-site coverage, broadcasting top-boards live on KGS.
In addition, though venues have not been locked down, two more Cotsen tournaments have been agreed to between Cotsen and the AGA for Oct. 24-25, 2015 and Oct. 22-23, 2016.
- photo: Cotsen (left) and Ambasador Suh Dae-won at the 2013 Cotsen; photo by Chris Garlock
Update: the 2016 dates have been corrected.