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Seattle Go Center to require instructors to wear lab coats

Notizie AGA - Lun, 01/04/2019 - 07:00

The Seattle Go Center is pivoting to teaching the science of playing Go, instead of the art of Go playing, according to Program Manager Mike Malveaux.  “Our latest class, held on Wednesdays, is on programming computers in Python with Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning techniques, loosely following Deep Learning and the Game of Go by Max Pumperla and Kevin Ferguson.”  Operations Manager Brian Allen notes that some of the Go Center instructors have impressive scientific credentials.  For example, Yue Zhang has a Phd in Paleontology, in addition to being a 7 dan Go player.  To emphasize their connection to science, all teachers will be required to wear lab coats with Seattle Go Center logo patches.  “In the age of AlphaGo and Leela, our members expect this,” he reports. Visiting instructors will be allowed to wear ethnic costumes, such as two-piece business suits, if they want.  – report by Brian Allen.  photos: (left) Mike Malveaux by Brian Allen; (right) Yue Zhang by Mike Malveaux.

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San Diego Go Club: Cherry Blossom Festival & 8th annual championship

Notizie AGA - Dom, 31/03/2019 - 18:09
The weekend of March 22-24 was a busy time for the members of the San Diego Go Club. On Friday and Saturday, they manned several tables at the annual Cherry Blossom Festival at the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park. Thousands streamed into the garden and many found their way next to the koi pond and under the blooming purple wisteria flowers where SDGC members were teaching and demonstrating go. Several new members were added to the club’s roster. On Sunday, the go club hosted at the San Diego Chess Club the eighth annual San Diego Go Championship.  There was a record turnout of 65 competing, with players coming from Vermont, Arizona, and all over Southern California. Ten players, including two past champions, entered the Open Section to compete for 2019 title of Best Player in San Diego. When the top-rated 9.9-dan player lost in the first round, the title was up for grabs. After four hotly contested rounds, the Open Section ended up with a 4-way tie (3-1 records) for First Place: Hongkui Zheng 6d (2019 Champ), Xinyu Liu 6s, Yi Wang 6d (2018 Champ), Mark Lee 6d (2016 Champ). While all four players shared the combined 1st-3rd place cash prizes totaling $600, Hongkui Zheng was declared the champion based on the GoClubs.org tie-breaking system and awarded the trophy. Thirty-five more competed in the Handicap Sections and an additional twenty youth played in a 5-round 13×13 competition run by Chinese professional Hai Li and the California Go Association. Handicap Section Winners: Dan/High Kyu: 1st:  Christophe Humbert 2d; 2nd: Kevin Yang 1k; 3rd:  Peter Schumer 2k. Single-Digit Kyu: 1st:  Arunas Rudvalis 6k; 2nd: Warren Andrews 6k; 3rd:  Elias Klingbeil 4k. Double-Digit Kyu: 1st:  Lucia Moscola 15k; 2nd: Pasco Kwok 12k; 3rd:  Andy Zhou 12k. 20+ Kyu: 1st:  George Spellman 23k; 2nd: Enzo Moscola 26k; 3rd: David Saponara 24k. 13×13 Youth Competition: 1st: Addison Lee 20k (Girls’ Champion); 2nd: Angelino Zhao 18k; 3rd:  Evan Tan 27k (Boys’ Champion). The San Diego Go Club is now looking forward to hosting the second annual California Go Championship in the fall. Hopefully, Calvin Sun US 1P will return to defend his championship. – Ted Terpstra, President, San Diego Go Club  Photos (l-r from top left): JFG Cherry Blossom Festival; SDGC President Ted Terpstra awarding the first place trophy to Hongkui Zheng; San Diego Chess Club with go players; Hai Li (Left) & 13×13 winners:  Angelino Zhao, Addison Lee, and Evan Tan. photos by Henry You and Soo Yoon
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Tony Tang tops Salt City Tournament

Notizie AGA - Dom, 31/03/2019 - 17:58
The Syracuse Go Club hosted its 12th annual Salt City Tournament on March 23; thirty-seven players participated, one shy of the tournament record. Local high school senior Tony Tang 7d (top right) was the only four-game winner in the tournament’s A division and claimed the $100 1st place prize, while Cornell University students Jiuheng He 5d and Shao-Ting Ho 4d took home the prize money for 2nd and 3rd place, respectively. Thirteen-year-old Liya Luk 2k (bottom right), of Syracuse, swept all four of her games and won the B division.  Syracuse high-school student Sheng Yuan Lin 5k and Buffalo resident Patrick Wesp 7k both had 3-1 records and finished in 2nd and 3rd place in that division.  Jimmy Li 22k (bottom left) was the C division’s only 4-0 winner, while Casey Beach 13k and Benjamin Braun 21k each won three games and finished in 2nd and 3rd place in the division. Allen Noe served as tournament director, and organizer Richard Moseson’s wife Chris once again made the tournament’s traditional Problem Cake (top right), correctly solved by a majority of the players (black to play).  Free refreshments for all were provided by Syracuse players, and at the end of the day, every player was able to select a new go book as a prize.  Pictures from the tournament can be seen here.
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Your Move/Readers Write: On respect and harmony; “Altered Carbon”; “Levar Burton Reads”

Notizie AGA - Dom, 31/03/2019 - 06:15

On respect and harmony: “The negative tone and harsh criticism of the translator of the Cho Hunhyun book “Go With the Flow” (Empty Board #13 3/24 EJ) caught me by surprise,” writes Hanxi Zhang. “I have read the book in both English and Chinese. To me it is challenging to translate Cho’s abstract thoughts and philosophies from one language/culture to another, and the translator did a decent, if not perfect job. If – as Mr Cobb has often said — Go is all about peace, balance and harmony, I am afraid he has behaved exactly contrary to those virtues. I do not see the point of humiliating the translator, a cultural ambassador, for his imperfect work. In the oriental culture, recognizing people’s mistakes and weaknesses without exposing them in public is considered a virtue. Let’s constantly remind ourselves of these virtues, both when playing Go and in real life.”

“Altered Carbon”: A very plausible Go game shows up in the 7th episode of the Netflix series Altered Carbon at about 40 minute in, and continues to show up in several subsequent episodes. (see our 2/13/2018 Go Spotting: Altered Carbon) 
– Mark Gilston

“Levar Burton Reads”: I just heard the latest episode of the podcast Levar Burton Reads. In it Levar Burton reads Ken Liu’s short story Mono No Aware. The plot centers around culture, and go is ultimately central to the climax of the story. Worth listening to!
– Howard Cornett

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Hengshui to host Mind Sports event in May

Notizie AGA - Ven, 29/03/2019 - 22:06

An international Mind Sports event will be held May 13-18 in Hengshui, China. The event, announced March 26, will feature five sports, Bridge, Chess, Draughts, Go, and Xiangqi and 17 disciplines and will have a total of 99 medals in gold, silver and bronze. More than 200 players from over 40 countries and regions will gather in Hengshui and fight for the title. Representing North America are three male AGA pros: Ryan Li, Eric Lui, and Gansheng Shi, plus two Asia-certified female pros: Shirley Lin and Svetlana Shikshina.
Nie Weiping was appointed event promotion ambassador and Ke Jie will serve event charity ambassador. At the launch press conference, Nie Weiping said that mind sports have added new meaning to competitive sports while there is still room for improvement. He also noted that he was especially pleased the event is being held in his hometown of Hengshui.
An “Artificial Intelligence Summit Forum” will be held during the event, featuring well-known experts and representatives of relevant enterprises from the field of artificial intelligence to discuss how artificial intelligence can be better used for board and card game education and promotion.

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Nuova rubrica di Video-lezioni FIGG

Home Page sito FIGG - Ven, 29/03/2019 - 11:50

Il canale FIGG apre oggi una nuova rubrica di video-lezioni!
Link alla playlist

Le lezioni sono tenute dal giocatore Tiberio Antolini, che ha già alle spalle un ottimo canale di divulgazione

In questa serie di video saranno previste lezioni introduttive, avanzate, review, discussioni di cultura generale e interventi di giocatori Dan.

Se avete proposte per nuovi video scrivete pure nei commenti o a cf[at]figg.org


Iscrivetevi e buona visione!


Incontro settimanale: Tre Olmi (MO)

Notizie Go Club del Tortellino - Mer, 27/03/2019 - 21:30

Proseguono regolarmente i nostri incontri di studio e gioco.

L’appuntamento è per giovedì 28 marzo alle ore 20:30 presso la birreria Keller in località Tre Olmi a Modena in strada Barchetta 411/A.

Trovate la posizione sulla cartina cliccando qui.

Ricordiamo che siamo sempre disponibili a spiegare il gioco a tutti gli interessati, sedetevi con noi e chiedete pure!

Come sempre fate cosa gradita lasciando un commento a questo post per segnalare la vostra presenza o meno. A giovedì!

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Registration for 2019 AGHS School Team Tournament Closing Soon

Notizie AGA - Mar, 26/03/2019 - 01:48

“Registration for the American Go Honor Society’s School Teams Tournament closes this Sunday, March 31st,” says Promotion Head Melissa Cao, “Held on April 7 and 14 this year, the School Team Tournament is a four-round tournament open to teams of three to four players from educational institutions in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.”

Click here for more information

Click here for registration

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Kuksu and X’ian International youth go tournaments

Notizie AGA - Lun, 25/03/2019 - 22:03

“We have been invited to send teams to two youth tournaments in Asia,”  reports AGA President Andy Okun. “With all expenses paid for kids once they arrive, this is an  an incredible go-related cultural experience for the price of round trip air fare.”  The Kuksu Mountain tournament will be held August 2-7, in scenic Jeollanamdo Province, South Korea.  Youth teams will be attending from all over the world, and participants will compete in multiple tournaments, with prizes in various rank brackets.  Go related side events and local tourism are part of the program as well.  Organized by the Korean Baduk Association, the popular event will be held for the sixth time this summer.  Any AGA youth 18 and under are eligible to attend, and a team leader is also sought.  Accompanying adults are welcome as well, but are asked to pay a $270 fee to help cover costs (as is the team leader). If you are interested in the event, or would like more information, fill out the application form here.

The X’ian Education Bureau is organizing an international tournament as well, for youth aged 13-18.  A four person team will be selected for this event.  The date is not set yet, but it is expected to be in mid-late August.  X’ian was the former capital of China and is rich in history and culture, and the famed terracotta army is nearby as well.  The event will include three days of competition and two of sightseeing and cultural exchange.  12-14 teams are expected to participate.   As with the Kuksu participants must pay their own airfare.  There is a $200 charge per person as well, and then all other expenses are covered.  The application form is here-Paul Barchilon, EJ Youth Editor.  Photos: Top: 2018 Kuksu tournament; Bottom: A few members of the life-size Terracotta Army, of which there are 8,000. Photo by Paul Barchilon.

 

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The Empty Board # 13

Notizie AGA - Dom, 24/03/2019 - 18:00

By Bill Cobb

I’ve just finished reading Cho Hunhyun’s fascinating book Go With the Flow, which was highly recommended by several prominent members of the AGA. It’s fascinating, although the Korean publisher should be ashamed for choosing a translator for such an important book someone is far from fluent in English. The translator probably had a high school course or two. The barbaric language is a constant distraction since it often requires a moment of reflection to decide what Cho Hunhyun must have been saying. Nevertheless, the insight into how one of the best players ever both thinks about and experiences playing the game is both inspiring and enlightening. I think any go player would be happy he or she had discovered go and eager to be more serious about the game after reading this book. Happily, it is not expensive. The overused expression “go is like life” is really true. Thinking more seriously about what playing the game involves and how it is played really will help you to be a better person, or at least to be a more thoughtful person. I know there are a lot of players who don’t think this way about go, treating it as just another of the many games they play, especially on the internet, but they are overlooking a profound experience that will enrich their lives.

photo by Phil Straus; photo art by Chris Garlock

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Registration opens for 2019 U.S. Go Congress

Notizie AGA - Sab, 23/03/2019 - 22:28

The 35th annual U.S. Go Congress will be held July 13-20 in Madison, Wisconsin. The playing site, Memorial Union on the UW–Madison campus, is on the shore of Lake Mendota within walking distance of many restaurants and attractions. Click here for detailed information about the Congress.

The “Register Here” tab on the Congress website will enable you to register and sign up for lunch and dinner plans, the banquet, and the day-off activity. After registering, you will receive an e-mail with a receipt and a link to sign-up for University housing.

“One of the day-off activities will be an afternoon MLB game between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Atlanta Braves,” says Congress Director Dave Weimer. “Sign up by March 31 to guarantee a ticket!”

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The Power Report: Fujisawa evens score in 31st Women’s Meijin; Fujisawa & Ichiriki win Pair Go; Hane takes sole lead in 74th Honinbo League; Kono leads 44th Meijin League; Promotions & retirements

Notizie AGA - Gio, 21/03/2019 - 18:00

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Fujisawa evens score in 31st Women’s Meijin
In recent years, the first game of the Women’s Meijin title match has been linked with the first Judan game, being held at the same venue, the Osaka University of Commerce, on the following day. This year it featured yet another title-match clash, the eighth, between Fujisawa Rina, holder of three women’s titles, and Xie Yimin 6P, who has had no title to her name since she lost the Women’s Honinbo to Fujisawa last December. She has memories of this title, as she held it for nine years in a row, so she will be hoping to make a comeback. Fujisawa actually had the better start, but Xie caught up by living inside White’s sphere of influence, then took the lead by reducing White’s main territory. Fujisawa resigned after 241 moves.
The second game was played in the Arisu Pavilion on the campus of Heian Jogakuin University (also known as St. Agnes’ University) on March 14. Fujisawa (black) beat Xie by resignation after 189 moves. Xie took the initiative in the opening, but Fujisawa made a successful attack in the middle game and drew level with her. At the end, Xie slipped up in time trouble, so Fujisawa took a big lead. Up to this loss, Xie had won nine games in a row. The third game will be played at the Nihon Ki-in on March 22.

Fujisawa & Ichiriki win Pair Go
The final of the Professional Pair Go Championship 2019 was held at the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo on March 3. Taking white, the pair of Fujisawa Rina and Ichiriki Ryo beat Osawa Narumi and Kyo Kagen by resignation.

Hane takes sole lead in 74th Honinbo League
This is one of the closest leagues in memory, with six players still in contention after five rounds; after three games in the sixth round, that number has been reduced by only one. These days, according to a new rule, only the top two players in a multiple tie qualify for the play-off, but in an earlier decade there was a five-man play-off, so it was like a mini-tournament in its own right.
With two wins since our last report, Hane Naoki 9P has improved his score to 5-1, giving him the sole lead. If he can beat Yamashita Keigo in the final round in April, he will be the challenger. Still in the running if he slips up are Shibano Toramaru 7P and Ichiriki Ryo, both on 4-2, and Yamashita and Kono Rin 9P, both on 3-2. One of these four players, though, will lose his place in the league, joining Ko Iso and Anzai Nobuaki. Actually, at this point Hane is the only player immune from demotion. For the first time, all of the games in the final round will be held on the same day, April 5, at the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo with a public commentary being held from 6 to 9 p.m. (to be extended if necessary).
Recent games:
(Feb. 11) Kono Rin 9P (B) beat Yo Seiki 7P by resig. This was Yo’s second loss, so he fell behind Shibano and Kono (both on 3-1 at this point).
(Feb. 21) Hane Naoki (B) beat Ko Iso 8P by resig.; Yamashita Keigo 9P (W) beat Shibano Toramaru 7P by 3.5 points.
(March 7) Ko Iso 8P (B) beat Anzai Nobuaki 7P by 3.5 points.
(March 14) Hane (B) beat Ichiriki Ryo 8P by resig.; Shibano Toramaru (B) beat Yo Seiki 8P by resig.

Kono leads 44th Meijin League
After three and a half rounds, Kono Rin, on 4-0, is the only undefeated player, so he has a theoretical chance of playing in two best-of-sevens this year. His March 14 win detailed below is also his 13thwin in a streak that began last December. The Go Weekly report on the league went off topic in an interesting aside. The reporter wrote that if you were to publish a new book on josekis, the star point would probably take over half the space, as recently star-point variations have evolved a lot and become remarkably complicated. A novel variation appeared in the Kono v. Murakawa game.
Recent results:
(Feb. 21) Kono Rin 9P (B) beat Suzuki Shinji 7P by resig.; Mutsuura Yuta 7P (W) beat Murakawa Daisuke by resig. At this point, Kono, on 3-0, was the sole undefeated player.
(March 7) Shibano Toramaru 7P (W) beat Son Makoto 7P by resig.
(March 14) Kono Rin (W) beat Murakawa Daisuke 8P by 2.5 points.

Promotions  
To 9-dan: Komatsu Fujio (200 wins, as of Feb. 26)
To 8-dan: Sano Takatsugu (150 wins, as of March 5)
To 2-dan: Kuwabara Shun (30 wins, as of March 15)

Retirements
Kusunoki Teruko 7P will retire as of March 31. Born on September 3, 1939, she became 1-dan in 1956 and reached 7-dan in 1984. She won the Women’s Honinbo three years in a row and five times overall and the Women’s Kakusei two years in a row. She is one of the three Honda sisters; her oldest sister, Sugiuchi Kazuko 8P, is still active at the age of 92. The second sister, Honda Sachiko 7P, aged 88, retired in 2000.
Yoshida Harumi 1P will also retire at the end of this month. Born on November 28, 1957, she became a disciple of Iwamoto Kaoru 9P and became a professional in 1981.

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Transatlantic Pro Team match updates; AGA Watch Party pizza offer

Notizie AGA - Gio, 21/03/2019 - 18:00

The Transatlantic Professional Go Team Championship’s players for both the AGA and EGF teams have been announced. Ilya Shikshin 3P is the highest-ranked player on the EGF team, while the AGA team has Ryan Li 1P, who has become a star by defeating a top Chinese pro — Chen Yaoye 9P — in the 3rd MLiliy Cup.

As it did during the AlphaGo – Lee Sedol match, the AGA is offering reimbursement for food and non-alcoholic drinks for organized watch parties for the first round of the Transatlantic Match, which will be live-broadcast on April 7 at 2 PM EDT. A chapter must be current on dues and the expenses must be reasonable for the expected turnout. Send a few pictures of the party and a paragraph description along with a copy of receipt to journal@usgo.org. “We are also encouraging social media sharing of your stories,” says AGA president Andy Okun. Use #transatlanticgo and/or #teamAGA (or #teamEGF) for your stories.

 

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Torneo "Il Gladiatore" 2019

Home Page sito FIGG - Gio, 21/03/2019 - 17:04
    Torneo di Go "Il Gladiatore"  Roma  11 / 12 Maggio 2019 - III° tappa FIGG
XV edizione   Il torneo è aperto a tutti i soci FIGG, ma anche i non soci FIGG potranno partecipare associandosi in sede di torneo

Il torneo è tappa del circuito FIGG valido per l'assegnazione dei punti viaggio.     Link al sito

Park Junghwan tops World Go Championship; videos posted

Notizie AGA - Gio, 21/03/2019 - 01:21

Park Junghwan has topped the World Go Championships for the third year; videos have been posted online  and include commentaries by Michael Redmond 9P. The 3-day tournament March 18-20 featured Iyama Yuta 9p and Cho U 9p from Japan, Park Jeong Hwan 9p, Shin Jinseo 9p from Korea, Ke Jie 9p of China and qualifiers Jiang Weijie 9p (China), Liao Yuanhe (China) and Yoo Changhyuk 9p (Korea). The event was sponsored by the Hankyu Corporation, Sumitomo Mitsui Card Co., Ltd., NTT DOCOMO, Inc. and IGO&SHOGI CHANNEL INC.

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The Power Report: Ueno & Xie join C League; Iyama defends Kisei title; Yu repeats in Senko Cup; Iyama makes good start in Judan

Notizie AGA - Mer, 20/03/2019 - 18:00

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Ueno & Xie join C League
The Kisei qualifying tournament had a big day on February 14, with seven play-offs for seats in the C League, which is a five-round Swiss System. Places in the other leagues are decided by promotions and demotions within the leagues, but 16 players drop out of the 32-player C League, giving a lot of chances to the participants in the massive “First Tournament,” as the qualifying tournament is called.
Two woman players were vying for a place on the above date, with mixed results. Fuijisawa Rina lost to Hirose Yuichi 3P, but Ueno Asami beat Hashimoto Yujiro 9P. She will be the second woman, after Suzuki Ayumi 7P, to make the C League. (By the way, this was her seventh win in a streak that started last year.)
On February 21, Xie Yimin 6P (W) beat Otake Hideo 9P by resig. and also gained a seat in the C League.

Iyama defends Kisei title
Iyama Yuta defended the 43rdKisei title but not before being given a scare by the tenacious challenger Yamashita Keigo. After four games, Iyama had a 3-1 lead, so the match seemed as good as over. But Yamashita had other ideas.
The fifth game was held at the Tokiwa Hotel in Kofu City, Yamanashi Prefecture, on February 27 and 28. The game was a kadoban for the challenger, so he was under a lot of pressure. Playing white, Iyama sacrificed a small group in return for outside thickness, and Yamashita seemed dissatisfied with his opening, judging by the fact that he declined to make what looked like an advisable reinforcing move and instead played aggressively in an attempt to counteract White’s thickness. However, Iyama made an overplay in the ensuing center fight, so Yamashita was able to pull off an upset. He won by 6.5 points. With his Judan title defense due to start soon, Iyama, must have been disappointed to let slip this chance to reduce the burden on himself.
The sixth game was held at the Kagetsuen inn in the town of Hakone in Kanagawa Prefecture on March 7 and 8. This was the second kadoban for Yamashita. Starting in the opening, he played an aggressive, attacking game with white and turned the game into one large confused fight. Iyama is at home in this kind of game, so Yamashita was unable to turn it in his favor. However, right at the end he was able to put a large black group into ko and pull off an upset. White won by 6.5 points after 250 moves. Iyama will regret not being able to hang on to the lead, but the mutual aggression made this a very entertaining game.
Yamashita had finally drawn level with Iyama; usually the player catching up has better momentum, so there seemed to be a good chance of Iyama’s being dethroned. The final game of the series was played at Ryugon, a Japanese inn in the city of Minami (south) Uonuma in Niigata Prefecture on March 14 and 15. Yamashita drew black in the nigiri. This was yet another fierce fighting game, with Yamashita making an all-out attempt to capture a large white group. However, he made a mistake in timing, losing two points by failing to make a forcing move. After this slip, he began playing erratically, so Iyama was able to seize the initiative. In the end, he won by 6.5 points, the same margin as in the sixth game.
This is the seventh year in a row that Iyama has won the Kisei title. One more defense and he will match Kobayashi Koichi’s record of eight in a row. He has maintained his quintuple crown. It is his 55thtitle and his 45thtop-seven title, the latter extending his record.

Yu repeats in Senko Cup
The Senko Cup World Go Strongest Woman Player Tournament 2019, to translate the name literally, was held at the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo from February 22 to 24. It is the only international professional women’s tournament sponsored by a Japanese company. The inaugural tournament was held last year and was won by Yu Zhiying 6P of China. She again demonstrated overwhelming strength and repeated as champion. This year she defeated Choi Jeong 9P of Korea in the final. First prize is 10 million yen (just under $90,000). Full results are given below.
Round 1 (Feb. 22). Yu (China) (B) beat Mannami Nao 4P (Japan) by resig.; Tsukuda Akiko 5P (Japan) (W) beat Nataliya Kovaleva 5D (Russia) by resig.; Choi (W) beat Nyu Eiko 2P (Japan) by resig.; Hei Jiajia 7P (Chinese Taipei) (W) beat Ueno Asami 2P (Japan) by resig.
Semifinals (Feb. 23). Yu (B) beat Tsukuda by resig.; Choi (W) beat Hei by 2.5 points.
Final (Feb. 24). Yu (B) beat Choi by 3.5 points. Play-off for 3rd place: Hei (W) beat Tsukuda by resig.

Iyama makes good start in Judan
The 57th Judan best-of-five title match got off to a start on March 5. It was played on the campus of the Osaka University of Commerce. The challenger, Murakawa Daisuke 8P, was playing in his fifth top-seven title match, his opponent in each case being Iyama Yuta. So far, he had succeeded just once, winning the Oza title from him in 2014, but losing it back to him the following year. As he put it last year before his unsuccessful challenge for the Judan title, Iyama is “an extremely large barrier that you can’t avoid.”
Iyama Yuta played positively and took the initiative. Murakawa launched a fierce attack late in the game, but Iyama countered forcefully in rescuing a group under attack and prevented an upset. The second game will be played on March 29. Murakawa has now lost 13 games in a row to Iyama, all in title matches.

Tomorrow: Fujisawa evens score in 31st Women’s Meijin; Fujisawa & Ichiriki win Pair Go; Hane takes sole lead in 74th Honinbo League; Kono leads 44th Meijin League; Promotions & retirements

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Pair Go/Paella Night this Friday at National Go Center

Notizie AGA - Mer, 20/03/2019 - 14:02

The National Go Center’s first Pair Go/Paella Friday social last month “was a big hit so we are having it again this month,” reports the NGC’s Gurujeet Khalsa. The fun, social evening features mixed Pair Go “and a special meal prepared by world-famous chef — and E-Journal editor — Chris Garlock.” This month there will be both vegan and meat paella options; click here to register. “Come with a partner or come yourself and you will be matched with partners as available.” 

Note that the starting time is a bit earlier — 6:30 — to finish before the last Metro. When registering indicate whether you will be having paella ($5 – collected at the door) or just playing Pair Go. If you already have a partner be sure to register them as well.

Address any questions about Pair Go or the event to Haskell Small: haskell@haskellsmall.com or call 202-352-5529.

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Incontro settimanale: Tre Olmi (MO)

Notizie Go Club del Tortellino - Mer, 20/03/2019 - 12:46

Proseguono regolarmente i nostri incontri di studio e gioco.

L’appuntamento è per giovedì 21 marzo alle ore 20:30 presso la birreria Keller in località Tre Olmi a Modena in strada Barchetta 411/A.

Trovate la posizione sulla cartina cliccando qui.

Ricordiamo che siamo sempre disponibili a spiegare il gioco a tutti gli interessati, sedetevi con noi e chiedete pure!

Come sempre fate cosa gradita lasciando un commento a questo post per segnalare la vostra presenza o meno. A giovedì!

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The Power Report: The amazing career of 9-year-old Nakamura Sumire

Notizie AGA - Mar, 19/03/2019 - 18:00

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Back on January 5, this journal carried a report about Nakamura Sumire, who had been granted 1-dan rank at the Nihon Ki-in at the age of nine. When she makes her pro debut in April, she will be exactly ten years old, making her the youngest professional ever in Japan. She gained her 1-dan diploma under a new system in which the Nihon Ki-in can award professional status to promising young players without making them wait to gain the rank through insei competition. The aim, presumably, is to accelerate their development by exposing them at a younger age to professional competition. No one at the Nihon Ki-in has commented on the obvious risk of a premature promotion: the player may be discouraged and suffer a setback if he or she is not equal to the challenge.

During the press conference, Kobayashi also expressed his gratitude to the Kansai Ki-in for all the assistance they had given to Sumire and for letting the Nihon Ki-in “poach” her.

Here are a few more details about her career so far. Nakamura was born into a go family: her father is Shinya 9P and her mother, Miyuki, is a strong amateur who is also a go teacher. Early on, Sumire showed an interest in go, so her mother taught her the game when she was three. She immediately started playing in children’s tournaments. When she lost, she asked her mother how she could win and, on her advice, started studying go two hours in the morning and two hours in the afternoon. In 2015, aged exactly 6, she won a tournament for preschoolers, the 4th Watanabe Kazuyo Kids Cup. At this time, she was already amateur 4-dan. She then started playing in all-Japan tournaments for children and for female players, with good results. However, when she was seven, she started studying go more seriously, so she mainly stopped appearing in amateur tournaments. One exception was in July last year when she played in a tournament organized by Pandanet, the Ladies Tournament, and won it, including a win over a player who had twice won the All-Japan Women’s Amateur Championship. When she was eight, she became an insei at the Kansai Ki-in. She also underwent training in Korea last year from May to December, entering the famous go school of Han Jongjin and becoming a trainee (“kenkuyuusei,” = insei) at the Korean Kiwon. (Apparently she first visited Korea when she was seven, though I don’t have details. Reading between the lines, it may be that her father has more confidence in Korean professional training than in Japanese.) The number of trainees is limited to 108, so you have to win a place through a qualifying tournament. She quickly learned Korean and would interpret for her parents. Apparently she won a children’s tournament in Korea, but, again, I don’t have details.

In the Nihon Ki-in’s press conference, Kobayashi Satoru 9P, who is Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors, described the new system for discovering youthful talent. It is called the Young Stars Special Promotion System for Recommended Players and in principle applies to elementary-school children. Kobayashi: “We made this system, modeled on a Korean system, to solve the problem of Japan’s having fallen behind in world go.” The decision to found it was formally made on December 8. Soon after Sumire became the first candidate. The decisive factor in the decision to award her 1-dan status was her good performance in a test game with Cho U Meijin played on December 13. Taking black and receiving a reverse komi of six points, she secured a jigo (draw). This game was published in the February 11 issue of Go Weekly. According to the commentator, Ichiriki Ryo, she had a lead in the middle game, but lost points in the endgame. This performance is quite close to 1-dan level. Every year Go Weekly organizes games between the players who are about to debut as new professionals; the handicap is black, with no komi, and the results are mixed.

Actually, Nakamura may find things easier playing low-ranked professionals when her career starts in April because she has been put through the wringer in a number of tough teaching/demonstration games. Below is an update on these plus a report on a “temporary” police force promotion.

On January 6, the day after the Nihon Ki-in held a press conference to announce her debut, Sumire played a “public commemorative game” with Iyama Yuta at a go festival in Higashi (East) Osaka City. This was a reward for winning the elementary schoolchildren’s tournament at this festival the previous year. The press conference the day before had attracted a lot of attention, being widely reported on TV, so there was a major media presence at the festival. Taking black with no komi, Sumire played positively and took the lead, but fell behind after an overplay in the middle game. However, the game was suspended after move 170 as the time allotted for it had expired. (It’s quite common for special games like this not to be played to a conclusion.) Iyama had played her at the same festival a year earlier; he commented that he was astonished by her improvement in the interval and added that she was stronger than he was at nine.

On January 12, Sumire acted as Chief of Konohana Police Station for a Day. Konohana is the area in Osaka City where her elementary school is located. Police stations in Japan often ask celebrities to act as a kind of honorary police chief for a day as a publicity measure. Sumire wore a down-sized policewoman’s uniform and a sash with the words Konohana Police Chief on it and attended an “investiture” ceremony and an event designed to raise awareness of swindling, a very common crime these days. She was of course the youngest person ever to act this role in Konohana; it’s unlikely there have been many younger “police chiefs” in Japan. This request by the police reflects the great public interest Sumire’s promotion has attracted. (A Net search for Nakamura Sumire, Konohana Police Chief for a Day or just for her name will locate lots of photos.)

Later in January, Sumire visited Seoul with her family, one reason being for her and her family to express their gratitude to people there who had helped with her training, especially Han Jongjin, who runs one of the top go schools. About 50 members of the Japanese and Korean media attended a press conference held on the 22nd. The next day she played a commemorative game with Choi Jeong 9P, the world’s number one or number two woman player. The game was played in a TV studio in the basement of the Korean Kiwon. Sumire was outplayed by Choi and resigned after 180 moves. In a commentary in Go World,Motoki Katsuya 8P commented that Sumire seemed to be quite familiar with the latest patterns played in international tournaments. In the middle game, Sumire got into trouble with over-aggressive play.

Sumire is quite popular in Korea. A week after the above game, she visited Korea again at the invitation of the go channel K Baduk to play another commemorative game, this time with the “emperor” of Korean go, Cho Hunhyun. The game was played on January 30 and telecast on February 3. Playing black with no komi, Sumire lost this game too.

Finally, as part of its regular series pitting debutant pros against senior players, Go Weekly arranged for Sumire to play a game with Hei Jiajia 7P (formerly known as Joanne Missingham) of Taiwan. Hei visited Japan for the Senko Cup (see our report tomorrow). This game was played at the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo on February 20, with Sumire taking black with no komi. According to Fujisawa Rina, who did a commentary for Go Weekly, Sumire was ahead in the middle game but made an overplay that let Hei stage an upset. Sumire resigned after 228 moves. Kobayashi Satoru commented that in content this was the best of the series of games for Sumire. He predicted that she would be appearing in women’s title matches in three years’ time, but Fujisawa Rina amended that to “one or two years’ time.”

Study time: According to her family, Sumire studies go six hours a day during the school year and nine hours a day in the holidays. When asked what was her favorite TV program in a press conference, her parents answered that there was no TV in their home.

Media attention: Recently shogi has been attracting a lot of attention in the media thanks to the exploits of Fujii Sota, who has been rewriting the record book, including starting his career with 29 successive wins. (I wrote a couple of reports on him for the E-Journal, the later one being in the July 19, 2017 issue.) Sumire has been attracting similar interest, with all the above games and the one-day police chief event being widely reported on prime-time TV. Japanese TV loves to show celebrities shedding tears, and they made a lot of a reputation Sumire had for crying when she lost. However, perhaps she’s matured, because she didn’t cry after any of the losses detailed above. Someone in her family said that because she respected these players, she didn’t get upset when she lost.

It’s now only a couple of weeks until she makes her professional debut. Even non-go players will be following her career with keen interest.

Tomorrow: Ueno & Xie join C League; Iyama defends Kisei title; Yu repeats in Senko Cup; Iyama makes good start in Judan

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The Power Report: Another Ueno makes pro; Yang wins LG Cup; China’s overwhelming win in Nong Shim Cup

Notizie AGA - Lun, 18/03/2019 - 18:00

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Another Ueno makes pro
Following older sister Asami’s successful defense of her Women’s Kisei title, related in my previous report, there was more good news for the Ueno family when younger sister Risa qualified as professional 1-dan. Risa took first place in the 2019 women’s tournament for qualification as a professional with a score of 7-1. The tournament concluded on February 8. She will be 12 years nine months old when she starts her career on April 1, which makes her the fourth youngest ever at the Nihon Ki-in. She will make her debut along with the ten-year-old Nakamura Sumire. Her success has also attracted a lot of attention and a press conference was held on the 15th. Like her elder sister (who is 17), she is a disciple of Fujisawa Kazunari 8P, so Fujisawa Rina could reproach her father for creating yet another rival.
Thanks to the example of her older sister Asami, Risa learnt go at the age of four and became an insei in the second year of elementary school. Asked if she respected her older sister, she answered: “M’m, I guess so . . . We’d probably quarrel, so we almost never play with each other.”
There are various routes to professional shodan, with Nakamura Sumire’s path being the newest one (see article below), and two other female players also qualified as 1-dan. They are both from the Central Japan or Nagoya branch of the Nihon Ki-in and both were recommended for promotion by the insei instructor. Takao Mari (aged 17) and Hane Ayaka (aged 16) both scored 9-3 in a league for the top four inseis. Takao actually took first place because of her higher ranking. Hane is the third daughter of Hane Naoki 9P and Shigeko 1P. Her style is aggressive, in contrast to her father, and, like Fujisawa Rina, she is a third-generation professional.

Yang wins LG Cup
The best-of-three final of the 23rd LG Cup was an all-Chinese affair, with Shi Yue 9P (aged 28) playing Yang Dingxin 7P (aged 20; at right). Game One (Feb. 11) was won by Shi (B) by resig., but Yang bounced back, winning Game Two (Feb. 13) by resig. and Game Three, for which he had white, also by resig. First prize is 300,000,000 won (a little over $264,000).

China’s overwhelming win in Nong Shim Cup
The third and final stage of the 20th Nong Shim Spicy Noodles Cup was held in Seoul, but it was over very quickly. In Game 10, played on Feb. 18, Park Junghwan 9P, the last player for Korea, beat Iyama Yuta 9P, the last player for Japan. Park had black and won by resig. The next day, however, China’s second player, Dang Yifei 9P, (B) beat Park by 1.5 points, giving China an overwhelming victory. Scores were: China 8-1; Korea 2-5; Japan 1-5. First prize is 500,000,000 won (nearly $441,000).

Tomorrow: The amazing career of 9-year-old Nakamura Sumire

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