March Madness is over, “but the American Collegiate Go Association (ACGA) will keep it alive through April,” promises Cole Pruitt. This Saturday, April 12 and the following week, April 19, the ACGA will host the 3rd annual Collegiate Go League championship on KGS.
At 1 pm EST each Saturday in the KGS “Collegiate Go League” room, matches will be held between the ACGA’s top four finishers from the season. The semifinals will be this Saturday, April 12, with Yale taking on top-seeded U. Mich and U. Toronto against U Maryland. The winners from these 5v5 school-based matches will face off in the finals on the next Saturday, for the coveted ACGA Cup (photo), with cash prizes for the top three winners.
ACGA resident professional Stephanie Yin will be on hand each weekend to provide live commentary of the top boards on KGS, starting at 1:30 PM EST once the matches are underway. “We invite anyone to join the matches and kibitz away,” says Pruitt, “especially students interested in promoting go in primary, secondary, and post-secondary school.”
Members of the Twin Cities Go Club last weekend participated in Passage to China, an annual event celebrating Chinese culture. Held at the Mall of America in Bloomington, MN, and sponsored by the Chinese Heritage Foundation, this event welcomes visitors to experience Chinese dance, music, arts, and crafts.
This is the fourth year the Twin Cities Go Club has participated in the event, hosting a table at which attendees can learn the basics of go, or weiqi, as it is known in China, where the game originated. “Typically, we teach how to surround and capture stones, and then encourage visitors to play a game of capture go,” reports local organizer Aaron Broege. “We also are pleased to play more experienced players in a game of go on the 19×19 board. We have the pleasure of teaching individuals from small children to adults, and most people seem to catch on to the basics quickly. We find that this is great exposure for the game and for the club. Many people seem genuinely interested in finding out more about where to purchase a board and stones, and we have also had people attend our club meetings as a result of seeing us at Passage to China.”
The annual event “has been a great experience for us,” Broege adds, “and opened up some additional outreach opportunities. Last year at this event we connected with the group ‘Families with Children from Asia’ and this past fall we had the opportunity to work with that group at one of their own events near the Twin Cities. This year we met other individuals who would like us to teach go at this year’s Dragon Festival to be held in St. Paul. From exposure through this event, we have found inroads into other outreach opportunities and we are very enthusiastic of the positive effect this will have on the Twin Cities go community.”
photos: (top right): Agnes Rzepecki teaches basic life and death to a particularly curious new student of go. This young individual learned capture go and then insisted on learning the “real game,” and stayed around to play multiple handicap games with us on the 9×9; (bottom left): Yanqing Sun plays a game with a young boy. photos by Aaron Broege
Cho U Advances in Chunlan Cup: The opening rounds of the 10th Chunlan Cup, another Chinese-sponsored international tournament, were held in the city of Taizhou in China on March 26 and 28. Japan had five players seeded in the first round, of whom four won their games, but only Cho U (right) survived the second round. Full results for the opening rounds are given below (note that individual seeds, as opposed to country seeds, join the tournament in the second round).
Round 1 (March 26). Iyama (W) beat Wang Yuanjun 7P (Chinese Taipei) by half a point; Tang Weixing 9P (China) (B) beat Yamashita Keigo by resig.; Cho U 9P (B) beat Fan Hui 2P (Europe) by resig.; Kono Rin 9P (B) beat Fan Tingyu 9P (China) by resig.; Murakawa Daisuke 7P (B) beat Lian Xiao 7P by resig.; Gu Li 9P (China) (B) beat Kim 4P (Korea) by resig.; Tuo Jiaxi 9P (China) (B) beat Jiang Mingjiu 7P (North America) by resig; Mi Yuting 9P (China) (B) beat Mok Chin-seok 9P (Korea) by resig. (Black won seven out of eight games.)
Round 2 (March 28). Zhou Ruiyang 9P (China) (B) beat Iyama by resig.; Cho U (W) beat Jiang Weijie 9P (China) by resig.; Chen Yaoye 9P (China) (W) beat Kono by resig.; Shi Yue 9P (China) b. Murakawa by resig.; Gu Li 9P (China) (B) beat Yi Se-tol 9P (Korea) by resig.; Pak Cheong-hwan 9P (Korea) (W) beat Tang Weixing 9P (China) by resig.; Mi (B) beat Ch’oe Ch’eol-han 9P (Korea) by resig.; Kim Chi-seok 9P (Korea) (W) beat Tuo by resig.
There are five Chinese, two Koreans and one Japanese representative in the quarterfinals. Pairings are: Cho vs. Gu, Shi vs. Zhou, Pak vs. Chen, and Kim vs. Mi.
Ida Becomes Honinbo Challenger: There was a big upset at the end of the 69th Honinbo League. Going into the final round, held on April 3, only two players were in the running: Yamashita Keigo, on 6-0, and Ida Atsushi (left), on 5-1. To become the challenger, Ida would have to beat Yamashita twice in a row. Surprising many go fans, who had expected to see the third big match between Iyama and Yamashita in less than a year (after the 2013 Meijin and 2014 Kisei matches), he managed to do this, winning the play-off held on April 7. This win also earned him an automatic promotion to 8-dan for becoming a big-three challenger, following his jump from 4-dan to 7-dan when he entered the league last year. Ida just turned 20 on March 15. The title match starts on May 14. Below are league results since my last report.
(24 March) Yuki Satoshi 9P (W) beat Yo Seiki 7P by resig.
Final round (April 3) Ida Atsushi 7P (W) beat Yamashita Keigo 9P by half a point; Yo Seiki 7P (W) beat Takao Shinji 9P by 4.5 points; Kono Rin 9P (B) Sakai Hideyuki 8P by 3.5 points; Yuki Satoshi Judan beat Cho U 9P by forfeit. (Cho thought the game was at the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo, but when he turned up there learned that it was in Osaka. He published an apology in the current Go Weekly.)
Play-off (April 7) Ida (W) won by 5.5 points.
Placings in the league are as follows: 2nd, Yamashita; 3rd, Cho U (4-3); 4th, Kono Rin (4-3). Losing their places are Yuki Satoshi (3-4), Yo Seiki (3-4), Takao Shinji (1-6), and Sakai Hideyuki (1-6).
Meijin League Update: Ryu Shikun 9-dan (right), a strong player who has been lying low over the last decade, is doing well in the 39th Meijin League. With three wins, Yamashita Keigo is still in the lead, but Ryu, on 3-1, is following hard on his heels, along with Kono Rin 9P (3-1) and Cho U 9P (2-1).
(March 27) Ryu Shikun 9P (W) beat Ko Iso 8P by resig.
(April 3) Murakawa Daisuke 7P (W) beat Hane Naoki 9P by resig.
Promotions: To 2-dan: Kyo Kagen (30 wins)
Obituary: Yoshida Yoichi
Yoshida Yoichi 9-dan, a member of the Kansai branch of the Nihon Ki-in, died on March 26. Born on October 7, 1935, he became a disciple of Hosokawa Chihiro (Senjin). He made 1-dan in 195, reached 9-dan in 1977 and retired in 1997.
by John Power, EJ Japan Correspondent
Xie Defends Women’s Meijin Title: The third game of the 26th Women’s Meijin title match was held at the Nihon Ki-in in Ichigaya, Tokyo, on March 24. Drawing black in the nigiri, Xie Yimin (right) played strongly and scored a solid win, forcing a resignation after 209 moves. She made a good comeback from her loss in the second game. This gave her the match 2-1, so she won this title for the seventh year in a row.
Yuki Wins Third NHK Cup In A Row: Yuki Satoshi (at right in photo below) has been going through a spell of bad form recently, especially in the leagues, but he is just as strong as ever at fast games. In the final of the 61st NHK Cup, telecast on March 23, he defeated Kono Rin 9P by resignation to win the title for the third year in a row and the fifth time overall (all in the last six years). Winning three in a row matches the record set by Sakata Eio and Yoda Norimoto; in total titles won, he is tied for second with Otake Hideo and Yoda, but here he is still a long way behind Sakata’s ten. Playing black, Kono took the early lead, but in a game marked by violent fighting the lead shifted back and forth, and Kono missed his best chance to take the lead in the middle game. Kono is known for his endgame skill, but here he was outplayed by Yuki.
Yuki Evens Score In Judan: Perhaps his NHK win will become a turning point for Yuki. He followed it up by beating Takao Shinji 9P in the second game of the 52nd Judan title match (photo at left), which was played in Sumoto City on the island of Awaji in Hyogo Prefecture on March 27. Playing black, the challenger actually took the lead in the middle game, but Yuki went all out in the endgame and wrested a half-point lead from him. That makes the score 1-1; the third game will be played on April 10.
Iyama Wins Tournament of Champions: The semifinals and final of the Tournament Winners Championship, a tournament for all 12 title-winners in 2013 plus a player chosen by fan vote, were held at the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo on March 22 (the first two rounds were held on February 14 and 15). In the semifinals, Iyama Yuta beat Kyo Kagen, winner of last year’s Nakano Cup, and Yamashita Keigo beat Yuki Satoshi Judan. The final thus became a rematch between the player who only recently fought the Kisei title match, and the result was the same. Taking black, Iyama beat Yamashita by resignation after 189 moves. Iyama was awarded the Prime Minister’s Cup and the Minister for Education and Science’s Diploma. The final was open to the public, being played on the stage in the Nihon Ki-in’s large hall while a public commentary was given simultaneously by Ishida Yoshio 9-dan and Yoshihara Yukari 6-dan. Presumably the players were able to shut out the commentary when they concentrated on the game. However, after the game Yamashita said that he did take in one comment by Ishida, which was, “If the players can hear me, their training as professionals is incomplete.” Usually in a public commentary like this, the commentators take care to avoid referring to the colors, instead holding up a black stone if they want to refer to black. However, Ishida told a story from a public commentary he did a long time ago of a player who told him later that he had relied on Ishida for territorial evaluation and just focused on reading.
Tomorrow: Cho U Advances in Chunlan Cup; Ida Becomes Honinbo Challenger; Meijin League Update; Promotions; Obituary: Yoshida Yoichi
by John Power, EJ Japan Correspondent
Chisato Cup: The semifinals and finals of this new tournament for young players were played in the town of Seiro in Niigata Prefecture on March 1 and 2, but I forgot to include it in my previous report. The favorite of the fans was probably Fujisawa Rina 2P (right), the granddaughter of Fujisawa Shuko, but she lost to Hirata Tomoya 3P in one semifinal. In the other, Suzuki Shinji 4P beat Kimoto Katsuya 3P. Suzuki (B) then beat Hirata by resignation in the final to take the first prize of two million yen (a little under $20,000). In my report on the opening rounds of this tournament, I made a bad guess, based on a Net search, about the business of the sponsor, the Chisato corporation. Apparently it is an insurance agency specializing in towns and village councils throughout Japan.
Japan Eliminated from 2nd Bailing Cup: The qualifying section and the first round of the main tournament of this Chinese-sponsored international tournament were held at the Chinese Qiyuan (Ki-in) in Beijing from March 13 to 18. Seventeen professionals and amateurs from Japan took part in the qualifying tournament, but no one won a place in the main tournament, though Ida Atsushi 7P (left), Ichiriki Ryo 7P, and Son Makoto 3-dan did reach the final round. This is a massive tournament, with 64 players competing in the first round. Japan had three seeded players, but they were all eliminated. Their results: Zhang Tao 4P (China) beat Akiyama Jiro 9P (Japan), Mok Chin-seok 9P (Korea) beat Takao Shinji 9P (Japan), and Wang Xi 9P (China) beat Yuki Satoshi 9P (Japan). Twenty-two Chinese and ten Korean players proceeded to the second round. Incidentally, the two players fighting a jubango at present, Yi Se-tol and Gu Li, were both eliminated in this round. See also Battle for 2nd Bailing Cup Cup Begins 4/3 EJ.
Ichiriki Sets Record: The first of the four vacant seats in the 39th Kisei Leagues has been taken by Ichiriki Ryo 4-dan (right). In the final, held on March 21, Ichiriki (B) beat Cho U 9P by 7.5 points. At 16 years nine month, he is the youngest player to win a seat in any of the three leagues. This feat also earned him an automatic promotion to 7-dan. The previous record for the Kisei Leagues was 17 years ten months, set by Iyama Yuta. Iyama still holds the Meijin League record, at 18 years five months, and Yo Seiki set a new record for the Honinbo League last year of 18 years two months. On April 3, the second of the vacant places went to Cho Riyu 8P; playing white, he beat Seto Taiki 7P by 8.5 points.
Tomorrow: Xie Defends Women’s Meijin Title; Yuki Wins Third NHK Cup In A Row; Yuki Evens Score In Judan; Iyama Wins Tournament of Champions
“I expect you’ll have many responses to Stuart French’s question (looking for 1940′s article about how Japanese generals used the game of go to strategize WWII in the Pacific) in the April 7 E-Journal (Your Move/Readers Write: More Responses to The Popular Go Quiz Question), but I give mine anyways,” writes Reinhold Burger. “I think the article may have been a piece in the May 18 1942 edition of Life Magazine (pp. 92-96), entitled ‘Go: Japs play their national game the way they fight their wars.’ The map in question is on page 96. Btw, it includes a photo of Edward Lasker placing a stone on the board.” Burger goes on to wonder “if this is a serious example of the game. After 42 moves, neither player has touched the lower left corner (i.e., where the Indian ocean lies). But I am quite weak (DDK), so perhaps a stronger player could comment.”
Thanks also to David Doshay, Grant Kerr and quizmaster Keith Arnold, who also flagged the same article. It also appears on page 26 of The Go Player’s Almanac published by Kiseido, reports Richard Bozulich.
EJ reader Simon Guo found this description of how to use Perl to parse a go game record file in Simon Cozens computer language book, Advanced Perl Programming.
Nominations for the American Go Foundation’s Teacher of the Year award are now open. The award is presented each year at the U.S. Go Congress and recognizes an outstanding American teacher. The winner will receive an all expenses paid trip to the congress. To be eligible, a teacher must be a member of the AGA, have been teaching go to children for at least two hours a week (during the school year) for two years, have started a go club or organization for youth, and have helped their students enter appropriate tournaments, if possible. If you would like to nominate someone for this award, including yourself, e-mail email@example.com. Nominations are due by May 5th and should include a description of the teacher’s activities, how long they have been teaching, and how many students attend their program. - Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo: Last year’s winner Richard Moseson from New York. To read more about Richard’s work, click here.
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.