Iyama still on track: Iyama Yuta has become the first player to reach the semifinals of the 54th Judan tournament, so he is still on track to secure an unprecedented septuple crown, though of course he still has some distance to go. In the first of the quarterfinals, played on November 5, Iyama (B) defeated Yuki Satoshi 9P by resignation. His semifinal opponent will be the winner of a game between Ichiriki Ryo 7P and Imamura Toshiya 9P. The pairings in the other quarterfinals are Yo Seiki 7P vs. Takao Shinji Tengen and Kobayashi Satoru 9P vs. Shida Tatsuya 7P.
Iyama wins second straight in Oza and Tengen: The second game of the 63rd Oza title match was played at the Yakage-ya inn in the town of Yakage in Okayama Prefecture on November 12. Iyama (white) won by resignation after 164 moves, so he is within one win of regaining the title he lost to Murakawa Daisuke last year. In the middle game, Iyama (left) commented that his play may have been a little unreasonable. However, Murakawa failed to play severely enough to punish him for it. The third game will be played on November 19. The above game was on a Thursday, the usual day for professional play. The following Monday, November 16, Iyama won the second game of the 41st Tengen title match, thus extending his career-best winning streak to 22. Taking white, Iyama beat Takao Shinji Tengen by half a point after 254 moves. Takao had taken the lead in the middle game, but played badly in the latter part of the game, letting Iyama pull off an upset. The third game is scheduled for November 25. photo: Yuki joins in game review; Iyama at left
Honinbo League: Round Two starts: Two games in the 71st Honinbo League were played on November 12. In a game between title-holders, Takao Shinji Tengen (W) beat Ida Atsushi Judan by resignation. In the other game, Ichiriki Ryo 7P (W) beat Yo Seiki 7P by resignation. The large-avalanche joseki appeard in the top left corner and the small-avalanche joseki in the top right corner. All four players are now on 1-1.
Japan eliminated from LG Cup: The quarterfinals of the 20th LG Cup were held in Korea on November 16. Japan’s last remaining representative, Yo Seiki 7P, was forced to resign in his game with Pak Yeong-hun 9P of Korea. Other results: Kang Tong-yun 9P (Korea) (W) beat Ke Jie 9P (China) by resignation; Tuo Jiaxi 9P (China) (B) beat Weon Seong-jin 9P (Korea) by resignation; Shi Yue 9P (China) beat Kim Ji-seok 9P (Korea) by 1.5 points.
The 20th Pandanet Internet World Amateur Go Tournament (IWAG) is currently accepting registrations. The deadline is December 9. All games must be played on the Pandanet server. As in previous years, the registrants are divided into three regions, and in each region further divided into several ranking bands. Winners in each band will receive prizes. In the preliminary round, players play with others in the same band and in the same region. Regional winners then move on to play in the international final rounds. Click here for further details.
The Korea Amateur Baduk Association (KABA) is seeking promising youth players who are interested in participating in its Foreign Promising Baduk Player Invitation and Education Project. While the 2016 project is still the planning stages, it is expected that the thirteen players selected from around the world will receive full airfare, accommodation and lesson cost from KABA. Players will be considered who were born between 1997 and 2009, according to KABA. To be eligible you should be over 7k in strength if you are 7-9 years old, over 5k if 10-12 years old, over 1k if you are 13-15 years old and over 2d if you are 16-19 years old. If you think you are interested in attending, please write to Andy Okun at email@example.com as soon as possible but no later than November 23, with your name, AGA number, strength, date of birth, and a paragraph or two summarizing your go career so far and something about your interest in the game.
New members of the Meijin League: Two of the three vacant places in the 41st Meijin League were decided on October 29. Uchida Shuhei 7P (B) beat Kanazawa Makoto 7P by 3.5 points, so the latter failed to regain his place. Uchida will make his second appearance after an absence of three years. Hirata Tomoya 4P (W) beat So Yokoku 9P, also by 3.5 points. The 21-year-old Hirata won his first league place and secured an automatic promotion to 7-dan (as of the following day). So Yokoku was also a member of the previous league. The final vacant seat was decided on November 5. In a clash between Nagoya players, Hane Naoki 9P (W) beat Ida Atsushi Judan by resignation. Hane also immediately regained his league place. At 39 years three months, he will be the oldest member of the league (Takao is two months younger).
Women’s Honinbo: Xie fights back: The third game of the Women’s Honinbo title match was held at the Nihon Ki-in headquarters in Ichigaya, Tokyo on October 30. Taking black Xie Yimin (left), Women’s Meijin, defeated the titleholder Fujisawa Rin by resignation. The middle game featured a large exchange that may be the highlight of the series so far. After that, the lead switched back and forth, but Fujisawa made a misjudgment in the endgame, letting Xie take a small lead. The fourth game was played at the same venue on November 11. Playing white, Xie evened the score, forcing a resignation after 214 moves. Actually, the position seemed to be favorable for Fujisawa after a middle-game trade, but she suffered from a hallucination later in the game that let Xie pull off an upset. As a six-time winner of this title, Xie now seems to have the momentum, so Fujisawa will have to pull out all the stops in the deciding game, scheduled for November 27, if she is to defend her title.
Yamashita becomes Kisei challenger: The first game of the play-off to decide the challenger for the 40th Kisei title was held at the Nihon Ki-in in Ichigaya on Monday, November 9. Taking white, Yamashita (right) forced Murakawa to resign after 176 moves. This gives him his third successive crack at Iyama’s Kisei title. Understandably, considering his numerous recent defeats by Iyama, Yamashita said he was going to ignore the past and just focus on the new match. He also commented that the only way to beat Iyama was to eliminate all errors in his own play.
Yamashita’s 900th win: The above win was Yamashita’s 900th as a professional. He has lost 407 games, had one jigo and one no-result. At 37 years, two months, he is the youngest player to reach this landmark (second is Takao Shinji at 38 years one month); he is also the quickest, having taken 22 years seven months (again Takao is second, at 23 years eight months). In the category of winning percentage, however, Takao, on exactly 70% to Yamashita’s 68.9%, keeps top place. Just for reference, Cho Chikun, at 1470, has the most wins.
Tomorrow: Iyama still on track; Iyama wins second straight in Oza and Tengen; Honinbo League: Round Two starts; Japan eliminated from LG Cup
The 2015 AGHS Young Lions Tournament, the premier competition for North American youth players, will take place this weekend (November 14-15) on KGS. This year, an unprecedented 54 players have signed up, including 2 from Canada and 8 from Mexico. There will be 5 divisions, including an Open Division for strong dan players with even games; top games will be streamed live by AGHS promotional head Stephen Hu and secretary April Ye on Twitch.
Another exciting round of games for the Pandanet-AGA City League starts this Sunday. Check the schedule to see who your favorite team is playing. Will Canwa Vancouver, Washington DC 1, and Atlanta 2 keep their leads? We’ll see after this round!
- Steve Colburn, TD
by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal
Over-40 Lightning Go Tournament: The term “haya-go” is usually translated as “rapid go,” and a haya-go in the NHK format actually takes around 90 minutes. In the Over-40 Lightning Go Tournament, which is open to veteran Nihon Ki-in players, the term “lightning” is justified, as the time allowance is ten seconds per move (plus three minutes’ thinking time). This is actually the second term of this unofficial tournament, but I think I missed the first last year. In the original, the name reads “OVER40 Haya-go Tonamento-sen,” but, if the report in Go Weekly is correct, this should be “40 or over.” First, 56 players competed in four preliminary blocks, held on October 27. These were won by O Meien 9P, Nakaonoda Tomomi 9P, Oya Koichi 9P, and O Rissei 9P; they qualified for the main tournament, held on November 7. Cho Sonjin, the winner of the first tournament, lost to Nakaonoda in the final of his block. In the semifinals, held on the morning of November 7, the time expanded to 30 seconds per move plus ten minutes’ thinking time, that is, the NHK format. O Meien beat Oya and O Rissei beat Nakaonoda. In the final, held in the afternoon of the same day, Rissei (W) beat Meien by resignation (photo). First prize is 500,000 yen.
Honinbo League: Good starts for Ida and Motoki: As a former challenger, Ida Atsushi Judan probably feels he has a lot to prove in the Honinbo League, especially against a junior player. In his opening game in the 71st league, played on October 29, Ida (B) defeated Ichiriki Ryo 7P by resignation. In his debut game, the 20-year-old Motoki Katsuya, a newly minted 7-dan by virtue of winning his league place, beat veteran player Cho U 9P, also by resignation. Motoki had white. This completes the opening round of the league.
Murakawa reaches Kisei play-off: Yamada Kimio 9P’s charge through the knock-out section of the Kisei tournament was halted when he ran into Murakawa Daisuke Oza, second-place winner in the S League, on October 29. Taking black, Murakawa won by 2.5 points. That meant that for the third year in a row, the play-off to decide the challenger would pit Murakawa against Yamashita. The big difference is that previously, as the winners of the old A and B Leagues, they met on even terms. This time Yamashita starts the play-off with a one-win advantage, so the only way Murakawa can become the challenger is by winning two in a row. (This play-off is referred to by Go Weekly as “an irregular best-of-three,” the fact that there can never be three games played justifying the adjective.)
Women’s Meijin League: Fujisawa suffers setback: The fourth round of the 28th Women’s Meijin League was completed on November 2 when Okuda Aya 3P (W) defeated Fujisawa Rina by resignation. This was Fujisawa’s first loss, putting her on 2-1, so she dropped into a tie for third place with Mannami Nao 3P. The sole lead is held by Aoki Kikuyo 8P, on 3-0, and Okuda is second. Thanks to her number-two ranking, Aoki just has to win two of her remaining three games to win the league. See chart at left for standings.
Obituary: Hiroe Katsuhiko
Hiroe Katsuhiko died of an eating disorder on October 27 at the age of 75. Born in Gifu Prefecture, Hiroe was a disciple of Sakai Toshio 8P. He qualified as 1-dan in 1960 at the Nagoya branch of the Nihon Ki-in and reached 7-dan in 1981. He was promoted to 8-dan when he retired in 2006. Hiroe Hiroyuki 9P is his son.
McCallister, Not Boz: “Thanks for the interesting update about Kiseido (Bozulich Brings It All Together in New “Encyclopedia of Go Principles” 11/11 EJ),” writes Frank B. “FYI the essay ‘Einstein and Go‘ was not written by Bozulich; it is by Robert A. McCallister.”
Graphic from the Science is Everywhere ‘Einstein a Go Go’ radio show in Melbourne, Australia, which — as far as we know, has nothing to do with the game of go, we just like it and think it works here.
More Levels in Go Than Poker: “Notice that I have left the question mark off the subject line,” writes Roland Crowl, in response to More Levels in Go Than Poker? (11/8 EJ). “Many (~20-25) years ago I saw a rating of game complexity based a level being distinguished from the next level by one player being able to beat the other 75% of the time. Most games – poker in multiple disguises, backgammon, checkers (draughts for our British friends) – came in at about 3-4 levels, chess was 12, and go was 19 all to the best of my recollection.”
The American Go Association (AGA) and Candian Go Association (CGA) are seeking players interested in forming teams and traveling to Guangzhou, China, to compete in the second Jin Long Cheng World Team Go Championship from Dec. 15 to 23. The three players for the US team must be US citizens and be able to pay for their own travel and lodging (550 RMB per day) in Guangzhou; they may also bring a team official. Likewise, the Canadian team must comprise three Canadian citizens able to pay their own way. The tournament will include seeded teams from China, Korea, Japan and Taiwan, as well as three wild card teams from China, Japan and Korea. According to the China Qiyuan, teams from other countries are welcome as well. If more than nine teams register from the rest of the world including the US and Canada, then there will be a preliminary qualifying round to reduce the number to nine. (Teams eliminated at that phase will have a chance to participate in tourism, friendly matches with local players and other go activities.) The final group of up to 16 teams will compete in a five-round Swiss tournament, with the top four teams winning prizes up to 2 million RMB. Teams with no more than one pro player will be in competition for amateur team prizes of 100,000 RMB for winning three rounds, 50,000 RMB for winning two rounds and 30,000 RMB for winning one round. Players or already arranged teams should contact AGA President Andy Okun at firstname.lastname@example.org or CGA president James Sedgwick at email@example.com by November 20. Given the short time line, preference will be given to already formed teams and to players who get in contact fastest.
The Portland (Oregon) Go Club meets almost every day of the week at various locations, but every Tuesday evening the meeting is at Powell’s City of Books at 10th and Burnside. And every second Tuesday of the month the club hosts a self-paired ratings tournament. Of course, AGA membership is required, but you do not have to be a PGC member to participate — all are welcome to play whether just passing through or driving in from a neighboring city. The photo shows some of the games in progress on November 10. At the front right is the tournament director, Daniel Wagner.
- Roy Schmidt
Reports — and photos — about local club activities are welcome! Send them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Kiseido has just released “Mastering the Basics, Volume Nine, An Encyclopedia of Go Principles,” by Richard Bozulich. Bozulich’s purpose is nothing less than “bring(ing) together all the strategic and tactical principles of go,” collecting 100 principles, supplemented with examples. Kiseido has also posted fascinating essays by Bozulich, like “Einstein and Go,” the story of Edward Lasker’s attempt to interest Albert Einstein in go. While you’re at Kiseido’s site, check out their go equipment site as well as their “Luxury Go Equipment Bargains“.
Vagabond Manga: “A favorite coffee barista of mine suggested I read the manga Vagabond, a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Takehiko Inoue,” writes Devin Fraze. “It portrays a fictionalized account of the life of Japanese swordsman Miyamoto Musashi, based on Eiji Yoshikawa’s novel Musashi. In Volume 6, go is being played by the hero’s love interest. Unfortunately more of the game play is not shown as her opponent “accidentally” knocks over the board.
The Uncommon Series: One of the protagonists in The Uncommon Series is an avid go player. “The thriller trilogy follows a pair of entrepreneurs that drop out of college to found a new tech startup and get caught up in an international conspiracy along the way,” author Eliot Peper tells the E-Journal. “James Chen is the protagonist who’s a go enthusiast. He’s Chief Technology Officer of the startup in the book and the brains behind the whole operation. He develops a complex algorithm that identifies fraud in large financial datasets, allow law enforcement to take down money laundering rings, etc. He loves go because it’s all about pattern recognition and is the perfect analog for the breakthrough software he’s developing. He even uses online go players to train the software’s artificial intelligence routines. As the startup in the book skyrockets from garage to IPO, they have to use his technology and their own wits to take down a major cartel that’s in bed with the big banks and government regulators.”
Spotted go somewhere? Let us know by emailing us at email@example.com!
Players traveled from as far away as Houston and Dallas to play in the Austin Go Club’s tournament on Saturday, November 7 in Austin, Texas. Lei Xu 3k, with a 4-0 record, was the overall winner, topping a field of 17. Six other players went 3-1 including John Zhang 4d, Matthew Machado 1d, Stephen Walker 3k, Tracey Su 4k, Ray Heitmann 5k and John Ruder 6k. “We were able to take advantage of the AGA Chapter Rewards Program and supply a pizza lunch to all participants,” reports organizer Bart Jacob.
photo: (l-r) Tracey Su, John Ruder, Ray Heitmann, John Zhang, Matthew Machado, Lei Xu and Stephen Walker; photo by Bart Jacob
With less than a week to go, there are less than two dozen places left in the upcoming Gotham Go Tournament this Saturday, November 14 in New York City. There are cash prizes in all sections and an open section for strong dan players; click here to register. On Sunday there’s a Pair Go tournament, with $500 in cash prizes from the AGA; click here to register.
Ke Jie 9p will face Shi Yue 9p in the 2015 Samsung Cup finals. As previously reported (Ke Jie Wins Samsung Cup Semifinal 11/3 EJ), Ke — thenew #1 in China and ranked #2 in the world in Dr Bai Taeil’s rating system — defeated Lee Sedol 9p 2-0 in the semi-finals last week. Shi Yue 9p — #2 in China — lost the first game in his semi against Tang Weixing 9p but came back to win the next two games. Click here for GoGameGuru’s complete report, including comments by Younggil An 8P, game records and photos.
- photo: Ke Jie 9p (left) and Shi Yue 9p
Facebook’s Go Study Not Deep Enough: “Only good moves? Did anyone tell Facebook that they will lose their first 1000 games?” wonders Chris Uzal (Facebook Tackles Go With “Deep Learning” AI 11/7 EJ) “This is what happens when you think the world can function great with only a “like” button but the sky is full of frowny faces if you have a “dislike” button. I don’t think Facebook is psychologically equipped to play go let alone research the game. In their world, missclicks and undos are part of the game. The only people who lose are not friends with their friends. They would possibly learn more by studying moral hazard.”
More Levels in Go Than Poker? “Christopher F. Chabris, whom I know from chess, has written an article for the WSJ (Could an Amateur Win the World Series of Poker?) in which he writes ‘In the Asian game of Go, there may be even more levels.’ I thought he should have written ‘…there are even more levels,’ in lieu of ‘may be.’ What say you?”
- Michael Bacon; photo courtesy John Locher/Associated Press
Excellent Live Streaming: “Thank you so much for this live streaming,” Fabio G. Moreno from Bogotá, Colombia, posted on Facebook after last week’s Ke Jie-Lee Sedol streaming on the AGA’s YouTube channel. “Andrew and Myungwan did excellent work. I think is great contribution for the spread of go in the world to make this excellent live streaming in English and open access (to) this level of tournament, like the Samsung Cup, and a game in the semi-finals. Was great.”