The tournament to select the player representing Chinese Taipei in the upcoming World Amateur Go Championship was held at the Ta-an Junior High School in Taipei March 16-17. The entry requirement was an amateur ranking of 6 dan or higher. The 65 participants included several insei and, at the other end of the spectrum, Chen Shi, winner of professional titles in the mid-1980s, who took a decade out to earn a PhD in chemistry in the United States, later retired as a professional go player, and now competes as an amateur.
Dr. Chen was one of sixteen who survived the initial rounds played on the 16th. About half of the other survivors were insei, but most of them fell in the next two rounds, which narrowed the field down to just four players. All four were junior high-school students: Wang I-nan, the local favorite since he attends Ta-an Junior High; Huang Tao-lung of Yuang-lin Junior High; Tseng Ping-sin, who attends Yung-an Junior High and played for Chinese Taipei in the International Amateur Pair Go Championship in 2011; and Lin Hsin-wei of Fushan Junior High in Kaohsiung. Lin was the only insei left and he was in good form; he had posted the best record (12-2) in the February Southern Taiwan Insei League. In his last game on the 16th he had beaten Lo Sheng-chieh, men's bronze medalist at the World Mind Sports Games in Lille last August.
In the afternoon playoff among these four, first Tseng defeated Wang and Lin defeated Huang; then Lin decisevely beat Tseng to win a place at the WAGC, plus a first prize of 30,000 Taiwan dollars (about 1000 U.S. dollars). Wang beat Huang to take the third prize (10,000 Taiwan dollars).
The Irish Go Congress, held on the first three days of March at the Teachers Club in Dublin, began with a handicapped five-round Swiss System rapid tournament played on the evening of March 1. Sixteen players participated, bearing six nationalities and ranks ranging from 4 dan to 10 kyu. Chinese 4-dan Yuanbo Zhang took first with a perfect 5-0 score, beating Zebin Du, another Chinese 4-dan, in the final round. Thomas Shanahan (7-kyu) and Irish champion Roman Pszonka (3-dan) scored 4-1 results to take third and second places, while Du Zebin finished fourth. Full results are here.
Next came the main event, the 2nd Confucius Cup, a five-round McMahon tournament played on March 2-3 with sponsorship from the Confucius Institute for Ireland. The field now expanded to 48 players of 11 nationalities, ranked 6 dan to 20 kyu. In the first round Roman Pszonka lost to the 6-dan, Hungary's Csaba Mero, who had won the 1st Confucius Cup last year. Csaba then beat the eventual 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 6th placers -- Zebin Du (China), Antoine Fenech (France), Brunner Vit (Czechia), and Renaud Julien (France) -- in succession to take first place, while Roman placed eighth. The key game was Csaba's half-point victory over Zebin Du in round 2. Two kyu-level players, Roger Daniel (UK) and Mikulas Kubita (Czechia) also finished unbeaten. Full results are here.
The AGA Go Camp is confirmed for this summer, and will be held two weeks before the Go Congress, from July 20 to July 27. Camp directors Nano Rivera and Amanda Miller will return to organize the event, in an all new location - YMCA Camp T. Frank Soles in Rockwood, PA, about two hours outside of Pittsburgh. Campers from the ages of 8 to 18, of all skill levels, are invited for a week of go-playing and fun. More information regarding the camp will be available on the AGA camp page soon, and registration will open within the next two weeks. Inquiries can be sent to Amanda Miller at email@example.com. All youth who played in the USYGC are eligible for $400 AGF scholarships to camp, and needs based scholarships will also be available. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo by Shawn Ray: Campers try their hand at one-color go, with a computer assist, at last year’s go camp.
Six young students have won free lessons with professional go players, as part of a new AGF program that is being supported by a private donor. Winners wrote essays on why they wanted the lessons, and some submitted letters of recommendation as well. The winners include a 12 kyu from Illinois, a 7 kyu from New York, a 21 kyu from Washington, two kyu players from Georgia, and a 5 kyu from Texas. The teachers are Yi Lun Yang 7P, Janice Kim 3P, and Jennie Shen 2P, who will give each student six lessons. Four more students will be selected at a future date as well. ”We expect these kids to keep playing, learning, and to try to pass along the knowledge they gain to other players, particularly young people,” writes program organizer Keith Arnold . -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo: Janice Kim 3P
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Lee Sedol has driven the AGA-Europe team to two stones in the ongoing AGA-Europe Pro vs. Sedol 10-Game Series on go9dan.com. In the most recent match, Lee defeated Catalin Taranu, making the overall score 6-0 in his favor. Lee will play Andy Liu on Saturday, March 16 at 10p EDT. Click here for the Round 6 game record; Taranu said he was thinking about 35 at 36 as an alternative, but Sedol commented that 35 was good. “25 should be at 41. 45 is too slow. Instead black should play at around 54 or 47 to grow b’s moyo. Black 93 would have been thick at 94, instead of creating two weak groups. White’s move 114 was strange. If b played 133 instead of 131, then it would have been better for black. But after black’s 45 and w was able to reduce b’s upper moyo at w46, the game is comfortable for white.”
Lee Changho, Park Younghoon and Shi Yue lead go9dan’s World Go League Invitational, all with 4-1 records. Lee Sedol will play Xie He at 7a EDT on Saturday, March 16. Lee defeated Fan, Kong, Xie and Kim, losing to Shi; Park defeated Lee Sedol, Fan, Park Junghwan and Kim, losing to Kong; Shi beat Lee Sedol, Lee Changho, Xie and Chen, losing to Kong. Click here for game records and standings.
Blackie’s International Baduk Academy (The Traveling Go Board 1/19/2013 EJ) will offer their first summer camp this June. “We hope that kids can join to our camp, but anyone is welcomed,” Kim Seung-jun tells the E-Journal. “No age or rank limit, just like in BIBA.” The camp will run June 24 through July 23 in Seoul, South Korea. In addition to helping students improve, the camp’s goals include facilitating cultural exchanges through the game of baduk (go). Highlights of the camp include game reviews and commentaries, studying life and death problems and professional games as well as games; teachers include Kim Seung-jun 9P, Diana Koszegi 1P, On So-jin 7P and Park Young-un 7d. Other activities include visiting the Hangkuk Kiwon and meeting with famous professional players, visiting the Kwon Gap Yong Baduk Academy in Seoul, as well as playing sports in a nearby park and visits to the sea. Click here for details and to register.
- photo courtesy BIBA
This year's European Youth Go Championship, held at the Budai Sport Hotel in Budapest March 8-10, was again dominated by Eastern European players. As last year, they won all three divisions: under 20, under 16, and under 12.
Seventeen youths from ten different countries competed in the U20 division. Slovak champion Pavol Lisy (6d) started out by beating Germany's Jonas Welticke (4d) and Israel's Ali Jabarin (6d) in rounds 1 and 2. Then he disposed of last year's winner and runner-up Lukas Podpera (6d, Czechia) and Aleksandr Vashurov (5d, Russia) in rounds 3 and 4, and finished by beating Frantisek Caha (5k, Czechia) and Dominik Boviz (3d, Hungary) to win the championship with a perfect 6-0 score. His opponents came in 5th, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 9th, and 6th, respectively.
The U16 championship was contested by 47 players. Nearly a third were Hungarian, but it was Stepan Popov (3d, Russia) and Silvestru State (1d, Romania) who ended on top with identical 5-1 scores. Stepan had beaten Silvestru in round 2 and took first place on tie-breaking points despite losing his final game to Vjacheslav Kajmin (2d, Russia), who took third place. For Stepan it was a case of coming through on the third try: he had finished second in 2011 and 2012.
The U12 division had 64 contestants, with large blocs from Russia, Hungary, and the Ukraine. Valerii Krushelnytskyi (1d, Ukraine), the only dan-ranked player, defeated five Russian opponents and one Romanian opponent to finish first with a perfect 6-0 record for the second consecutive year.
By winning the U16 and U12 divisions, Stepan and Valerii earned berths in the World Youth Go Championship scheduled for August in Praha.
There was also a U99 McMahon side tournament, won by the Ukraine's Viktor Redila (8k).
Complete results, pictures, and further information are available at the tournament website.
The European Youth Go Championships were held in Budapest, Hungary from March 8-10. Pavol Lisy 6d (right) won the Under 20 event, Stepan Popov 3d (left) won the Under 16 and Valerii Krushelnytskyi 1d won the Under 12.
Complete results tables and latest European tournament results available on EuroGoTV’s website.
Will some future history of go in the Netherlands refer to this decade, and perhaps several decades to come, as the Kuin dynasty? This year Merlijn and Marika Kuin, the Netherlands' outstanding go-playing couple, won both the Dutch Championship and the Dutch Women's Championship, as they also did in 2011. This was Merlijn's fifth championship and Marika's third.
The Dutch Championship was an 8-round Swiss system with 16 contestants, played at the European Go Cultural Centre in Amstelveen over a span of two weeks in January. Reigning champion Alexander Eerbeek and 2010 champion Geert Groenen got off to bad starts by losing their first games. So did Zeno van Ditzhuijzen, whose victory over Merlijn Kuin last year had given the 2012 championship to Alexander. Zeno then made a splended recovery by winning all seven of his remaining games, including another victory over Merlijn in round 5. This was Merlijn's only loss, so he and Zeno finished in a 1-2 tie with seven wins apiece while Frank Janssen took undisputed third place with six wins. Since the Dutch Championship is not awarded on the basis of tie-breaking points, a best-of-three playoff between Merlijn and Zeno was scheduled for mid-February.
While the championship rounds were finishing up on January 26-27, Marika Kuin sailed undefeated through the Dutch Women's Championship, as she also did in 2011 and 2012. Marieke Overbeek took second place with four wins in this 5-round, 8-player Swiss system. Please read Marika's perspective here. The championship playoff was held with live coverage on EuroGoTV. Merlijn won the first game, played at the EGCC on February 16, by resignation. Next day the playoff moved to the Hotel Theater Figi in Zeist and Merlijn won again, this time by 2.5 points. Full results of both championships, with clickable game records of the playoff (bekijk partij), are available here.