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Aggiornato: 33 min 31 sec fa

The Power Report (3/4): Ueno makes good start in Women’s Kisei; Xie to challenge for Women’s Meijin

3 ore 57 min fa

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Ueno makes good start in Women’s Kisei: The first game in the 22nd Women’s Kisei title match was held at the Hotel Sunlife Garden in Hiratsuka City, Kanagawa Prefecture, on January 17. The defending champion Ueno Asami (W, at left in photo) beat Fujisawa Rina by 2.5 points after a marathon 310 moves. The challenger took the lead in territory early on, but Ueno attacked tenaciously and finally overhauled Fujisawa in the endgame. The second game will be held on January 28.

Xie to challenge for Women’s Meijin: Xie Yimin 6P (left) may be titleless for the first time in over a decade, but you can’t keep her out of the action. In the play-off to decide the challenger for the 31stWomen’s Meijin title, she beat Koyama Terumi 6P by resignation after 179 moves. She will challenge Fujisawa Rina for the title. Koyama, who has won this title four times, was hoping to play in her first title match for 13 years.
Tomorrow: Ishida Yoshio scores 1100th win; 2018 stats and recent promotions

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Upcoming Go Events: Seattle

Lun, 21/01/2019 - 21:45

February 3: Seattle, WA
Seattle Go Center Monthly Ratings Tournament
Mike Malveaux programs@seattlego.org 206-545-1424

Get the latest go events information.

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SoCal Chinese Club hosts Southern California Go Championship Feb 16-17

Lun, 21/01/2019 - 19:00

The Southern California Chinese Go Club will host a 2-day, 6-round major tournament February 16-17 in Irvine, California. This will be the sixth consecutive year that Jay Zheng has sponsored this event, formally known as the Southern California Go Championship. The event, which will expand to six rounds, will be held at a venue in Orange County near the John Wayne airport. In addition to cash awards and trophies, snacks and refreshments will be provided to ensure that players have enough energy to play long hours of go. Record turnout of around 100 is expected, including a very competitive Open section. Click here to pre-register by Feb 13.
- Kevin Chao

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The Power Report (2/4): League updates; Judan challenger

Lun, 21/01/2019 - 18:00

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Honinbo League: The fourth round of the 74th Honinbo League has been completed. Instead of one player breaking clear, the position has become complicated, with four players sharing the lead. On January 7, Yamashita Keigo 9P (W) beat Anzai Nobuaki 7P by half a point. That improved Yamashita’s score to 2-2, so he is still in the running to win the league (he’s also helped by his number one ranking). Anzai goes to 0-4, so he looks unlikely to retain his league seat. However, the narrow margin shows that he is not being outclassed. In the second game, played on January 10, Yo Seiki 8P (B) beat Hane Naoki 9P by resig. Yo and Hane are now both on 3-1. The only undefeated player at this point was Ichiriki Ryo 8P, who was on 3-0. On January 17, he played Shibano Toramaru 7P; taking white, the latter beat him by resignation, so both went to 3-1. On the same day, Kono Rin 9P (W) beat Ko Iso 8P by resignation. Kono improved to 2-2, but Ko went down to 0-4. Ko also looks like losing his place, but being ranked number two gives him a slight advantage over Anzai.

Meijin League: Two games in the second round of the 44thMeijin League were played on January 10. Kono Rin 9P (B) beat Mutsuura Yuta 7P by resig. and Shibano Toramaru 7P (W) beat Murakawa Daisuke 8P by 2.5 points. Two more games were played on January 17, and one of them could have a big effect on the league. Suzuki Shinji 7P (B) beat the favorite, Iyama Yuta, by half a point. In the other game, Son Makoto 7P (W) beat Hane Naoki 9P by resignation. On 2-0, Kono is the provisional leader.

 

 

Judan challenger: Murakawa or Takao: The first semifinal of the 57th Judan tournament was played on December 27, with Takao Shinji 9P (W) beating Yamashita Keigo 9P by 2.5 points. The second was held on January 7. Murakawa Daisuke 8P (W) beat Onishi Ryuhei 4P by resig.
Tomorrow: Ueno makes good start in Women’s Kisei; Xie to challenge for Women’s Meijin

 

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4th South Central Go Tournament set for Feb 16-17

Dom, 20/01/2019 - 21:47

The fourth running of the South Central Go Tournament will be held Presidents’ Day weekend — February 16 and 17 — in Dallas Texas. There will be Open and Handicap Sections. Prior events have drawn around 40 players and from several states. Prizes will be awarded in both the Open and Handicap Sections, and the Texas resident who finishes best in the Open Section will become the 2019 Texas State Champion.

Players can register for the tournament on-line; updated information  is available on Facebook, where there’s also a registration button. Send questions about the Texas State Championship to Bart Jacob at bart.jacob@gmail.com. Send general questions about the tournament to bobgilman.aga@gmail.com
photo: at the 2017 tournament

 

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The Power Report (1/4): Chen Yaoye wins 1st Tianfu Cup; Iyama makes good start in Kisei

Dom, 20/01/2019 - 21:20

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Chen Yaoye wins 1st Tianfu Cup: The semifinals of the 1st Tianfu Cup were held on December 21 and the best-of-three final on December 23, 25, and 26. In one semifinal, Chen Yaoye 9P of China (W) defeated Park Junghwan 9P of Korea by resig. In the other, Shin Jinseo 9P of Korea (B) beat Jiang Weijie 9P of China by resig. In the first game of the final, Chen (W) won by resig.; in the second, Shin (W) won by 2.5 points. In the deciding game, Chen (B) won by resig. Chen, who turned 29 on December 16, won his third international title; Shin missed the chance to take his first. First prize is 2,000,000 yuan (about $292,000).

Iyama makes good start in Kisei: The first game of the 43rd Kisei best-of-seven title match was held at the familiar venue of the Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo in Bunkyo Ward on January 10 and 11. It featured a familiar pairing: Yamashita Keigo challenging Iyama Yuta Kisei for the fourth time, including three times in a row from 2014 to 2016. Iyama has held this title for six years in a row; Yamashita (at right in photo, making the first move) has won it five times, including four years in a row. Besides that, Iyama has made one unsuccessful challenge and Yamashita has made unsuccessful challenges to Hane Naoki 9P and Cho U 9P.
Yamashita drew black in the nigiri. Yamashita started out by taking the lead in territory, then fell behind, and then upset Iyama’s lead. However, Yamashita apparently thought he was still behind, so he started a risky fight and perished. He resigned after 172 moves. If he had played more peacefully, he would have had a good chance of winning.
The second game will be played on January 21 and 22.

Tomorrow: League updates; Judan challenger

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Canadian go news updates

Dom, 20/01/2019 - 15:00
by James Sedgwick, president of the Canadian Go Association

CGA summer go camp: We’re now ready to accept registrations. As previously noted the event will take place August 18-23 2019, at Jouvence resort inside Mount Orford national park. Please go to the camp web page for more details and follow instructions to register.  This is going to be a very special event, don’t miss it! 2019 CGA online league about to start: Registration closes for the first session of 2019 this Tuesday January 15th.  36 players are already registered.  As always this is a great chance for some serious games with friends in the Canadian Go community. Upcoming events

New Go web site: Since gogameguru.com stopped active publishing a couple years back there has been a gap in English language online publishing.  The web site explore baduk has now opened, and it is producing significant content.  There is a book reviewing what it is like to study (as a European) at a Chinese Go school.  And there a a regular sequence of articles being published with game reviews, new variations, etc.  Definitely worth adding this site to your regular browsing!  They are making heavy use of AI analysis, making it possible to produce studies in English that couldn’t have been done before without feedback from top professionals. Yoon-Young Kim 4P reviews top professional games: A couple years the AGA YouTube channel regularly had this sort of review.  But recently they have been focused on the Alphago game reviews, along with some of Michael Redmond’s personal games.  These are wonderful, but its also nice to see top tournament games reviewed.  Yoon-young kim has stepped in to fill some of this gap.  Recent reviews include games from the Tianfu cup, and the Chunlan Cup.  Have a look at her twitch channel, and enjoy!
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Redmond’s Reviews, Episode 13: Redmond 9p v. Cho U 9p

Dom, 20/01/2019 - 02:55

Michael Redmond 9p, hosted by the AGA E-Journal’s Chris Garlock, takes a break from analyzing the AlphaGo self-played games to review his own recent game against Cho U 9P. This game was played just a few days after Cho U became the Meijin and Redmond — who went into this game with a 2-2 record against Cho — says he can see “how much studying with computer programs has changed Cho’s game.” Cho is “a very precise player,” Redmond says, which makes him very tough in the middle and endgame, but “even top professional players have a hard time assigning exact values to positions in the opening” and “the big change I saw in this game is that Cho seems much more confident in his opening, and knew exactly what the computer values were for the various positions in the opening.” Redmond also shares his own experiences with studying with a go AI.

These videos are made possible by the support of the American Go Association; please consider joining today!

Video produced by Michael Wanek & Andrew Jackson.

download SGF file

 

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Cho Hunhyun 9P’s memoir published in English

Sab, 19/01/2019 - 01:33

“I don’t know anything else but Go…However, it doesn’t mean I don’t know about life.” Thus begins “Go with the Flow: How the Great Master of Go Trained His Mind,” the memoirs of Cho Hunhyun, one of the greatest go masters in history, now published in English and available on Amazon. A Korean professional since the age of nine, Cho has won 1,935 matches and amassed 150 professional titles, more than any player in the world. He’s held all of the open tournaments in Korea three times, in 1980, 1982 and 1986, and has won 11 international titles, third most in the world behind Lee Chang-ho (21) and Lee Sedol (15).

A bestseller in Japan and China as well as Korea, “Go with the Flow” breaks new ground for go books. “We in the West now have many books and teachers that can instruct us how to play the game,” writes AGA president Andy Okun, “but few that tell us what it is like to be a top Go player.” Cho “does this with great openness,” Okun continues, “telling us his emotions, his feelings and perceptions, as he goes through the very taxing life necessary to have a chance to be a champion…What emerges is the portrait of a remarkable man, who had a rich, full life and wide-ranging interests, but all concentrated in a sense by the lens of Go. It was a joy to read.”

Cho’s memoir also includes “many episodes about players who earned Cho’s respect,” writes Michael Redmond 9P, “giving us a fascinating collection of stories about the best Go players of the 20th century…This book can be enjoyed by anyone who has an interest in Go or Asian culture.”

“The strength to think,” writes Cho, “is the only beacon that helps one get through life. Along the journey, we learn more about ourselves.”

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Joseph Chaves wins MGA Winter Handicap

Gio, 17/01/2019 - 00:58

Eight kyu Joseph Chaves went 4-0 to win the Massachusetts Go Association’s annual Winter Handicap Tournament on January 6. A total of 18 players ranging from 6 dan to 13 kyu competed in the tournament at the Boylston Chess Club in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Chaves earned $50 for his first-place finish; tied for second place the following 3-1 players won $10 apiece: YiLin Xu 6d, Benjamin Gunby 3k, Eric Reid 4k, Josh Greene 12k and Albert Brox 13k.
- report/photo by Eva Casey, Tournament Director and Tournament Coordinator of the Massachusetts Go Association. Click here  to see more photos. 
photo: Joseph Chaves and Benjamin Gundy, both 3-0, face off in Round 4

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Free new ebook offers window into studying go in China

Mar, 15/01/2019 - 02:00

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to study in a Chinese go school? Sinan Djepov of Bulgaria, rated 5d by the European Go Federation, recently spent three months studying go at Ge Yuhong Go Academy in Beijing as part of the CEGO Academic Programme. This program, a collaboration between the EGF and Chinese company CEGO teams up pros from China with teachers from Europe to train young players who will become the next generation of top players.

Djepov recently published a new ebook entitled, Go Studies: A History of Adventure, in which he presents new opening ideas, joseki changes, creative moves, and also his experience of what it is like to study go in a Chinese go school in the 21st century. He has made the ebook available for free. You can download your copy in PDF format from his Explore Baduk website.

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2019 Osaka go camp dates announced

Mar, 15/01/2019 - 00:57

The 7th Osaka Go Camp has been announced for June 23 – July 11. Ryo Maeda 6p, long a favorite at the annual U.S. Go Congress, is once again the host and chief organizer.

The camp includes league games in the mornings and teaching programs — in English — with professionals in the afternoons. On days off, there are organized day trips to places like downtown Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, as well as a two-day trip to Ise and Iga. There will also be a friendship tournament with the Ise Go club, and sightseeing includes Ise grand shrine and Ninja museum. A few events will be held at the Kansai-Kiin, where most of the camp’s professionals — including Maeda — are from.

 

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Upcoming Go Events: Palo Alto

Lun, 14/01/2019 - 21:35

January 19: Palo Alto, CA
South Bay Go Tournament
Adam Bender abender@gmail.com

Get the latest go events information.

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AlphaGo vs. AlphaGo; Game 26: Using dead stones

Dom, 13/01/2019 - 01:58

Michael Redmond 9p, hosted by the AGA E-Journal’s Chris Garlock, continue their popular series with a review of the 26th game of the AlphaGo vs. AlphaGo selfplay games. The 50-game series was published by Deepmind after AlphaGo’s victory over world champion Ke Jie 9p in May 2017.

Black builds a large moyo and White occasionally drops a stone in, and they’re all dead, until they come back to life. “It’s not really clear what White’s trying to do, but eventually all of the dead stones get used a lot, which is the main story of this game” says Redmond. “Thank you so much for continuing this series!” posted Yi Sheng Siow. “I always get a big smile on my face when I see a new one of these pop up!” added Rory Mitchell. “I’m really looking forward to watching it right after I finish cooking supper!”

These videos are made possible by the support of the American Go Association; please consider joining today!

Video produced by Michael Wanek & Andrew Jackson.

download SGF file

 

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The Power Report (4 of 4): Honinbo League; 44th Meijin League; Fujisawa sets record

Dom, 13/01/2019 - 01:42

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Honinbo League: Two players share the lead in the 74th Honinbo League: Hane Naoki 9P, at 42 a veteran, and Ichiriki Ryo, aged 21. Both are on 3-0; they are not slated to play each other until the sixth round, in March. Recent results:
(Nov. 29) Yamashita Keigo 9P (W) beat Ko Iso 8P by resig.
(Dec. 6) Hane Naoki 9P (B) beat Shibano Toramaru 7P by resig.; Ichiriki Ryo 8P (W) beat Yo Seiki (Yu Chengqi) 8P by resig.
(Dec. 13) Kono Rin 9P (B) beat Anzai Nobuaki 7P by resig.

44th Meijin League: The new Meijin League got off to a start on December 6 with the newest member, previous Meijin Iyama Yuta, taking on one of the league newcomers. The first round has now been completed. Results to date:
(Dec. 6) Iyama Yuta (W) beat Mutsuura Yuta 7P by resig.
(Dec. 13) Yamashita Keigo 9P (B) beat Son Makoto 7P by resig.; Murakawa Daisuke 8P (B) beat Suzuki Shinji 7P by resig.
(Dec. 20) Kono Rin 8P (B) beat Shibano Toramaru 7P by resig. This was Kono’s 800th win.

Fujisawa sets record: Fujisawa Rina (aged 20) set a new record for most wins by a woman player when she beat Suzuki Shinji 7P in Preliminary B of the 58th Judan tournament on December 24. This was her 42nd win in 2018, one more than the record set by Kobayashi Izumi 6P in 2001. Taking black, Fujisawa won by resignation. On the 27th, she won another game, so her final record was 43 wins to 23 losses. She tied for second place in the most-wins list with Ichiriki Ryo 8P, the highest a woman player has ever placed. (I plan to cover 2018 stats in my next report, which will also feature the first game of the Kisei title match.) Fujisawa’s comment: “I’m happy I was able to top my personal best of 40 wins. This year, my form improved in the latter part of the year and I was able to play above my strength.”

Promotion
To 3-dan: Sotoyanagi Sebun (40 wins, as of Dec. 7)

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The Power Report (3 of 4): Iyama defends Tengen, sets new record; Fujisawa to challenge for Women’s Kisei; Chunlan Cup: all-Korean final

Ven, 11/01/2019 - 05:36

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Iyama defends Tengen, sets new record: The fourth game of the 44th Tengen title match was held at the Hotel New Awaji in Sumoto City, Hyogo Prefecture on December 10. Taking white, Yamashita Keigo 9P won by 2.5 points after 262 moves. Iyama attacked positively in the opening and secured an advantage, but Yamashita launched a do-or-die attack and pulled off an upset. The fifth game, the last big game of the year, was held at the Tokushima Grandvrio Hotel in Tokushima City on December 19. At his peak, Iyama was often able to wrap a match up quickly, reducing the burden on himself of constant title defenses, but this was his third successive match to go the full distance. Yamashita drew black in the nigiri. Once again, Iyama took the lead in the opening, and this time the challenger’s attempt to stage an upset was unsuccessful. Yamashita resigned after 188 moves. After a hectic autumn/winter tournament season, Iyama ended the year in top form. He has now won the Tengen four years in a row, so he can aim at qualifying for the honorary title next year. This was his 43rd top-seven title, putting him in the sole lead ahead of Cho Chikun. It is his 54th title overall and maintains his quintuple crown. No one will bet against his chances of restoring his septuple crown in 2019. Cho Chikun had a comment: “He’s not even half my age. It’s a great honor for me to be overtaken by a fantastic player like Iyama.”

Fujisawa to challenge for Women’s Kisei: The play-off to decide the challenger for the 22nd Women’s Kisei title was held in the Ryusei Studio in the basement of the Nihon Ki-in on December 10, and it featured yet another clash between Fujisawa Rina (right) and Xie Yimin. Taking white, the former won by resignation after 174 moves. This is the only women’s title Fujisawa has never won; in fact, it’s the first time she got past the second round (out of four) in the final knock-out section. The best-of-three title match with Ueno Asami will begin on January 17. Incidentally, this will be the first time Fujisawa (20) will face a younger opponent in a title match (Ueno is 17).

Chunlan Cup: all-Korean final: Korean players are doing their best to push back against the ascendancy of Chinese players in international tournament recently. The semifinals of the 12th Chunlan Cup were held in Zhejiang Province in China on December 17 and 19. Both featured Chinese-Korean pairings and both ended in narrow victories for the Korean side. Park Junghwan 9P (W) beat Ke Jie by half a point and Park Yonghyun 9P (B) beat Dang Yifei 9P by one and a half points. The final is scheduled for June.
Tomorrow: Honinbo League; 44thMeijin League; Fujisawa sets record

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The Power Report (2 of 4): Fujisawa takes Women’s Honinbo title; Kobayashi Koichi scores 1,400th win; Rin Kanketsu wins SGW Cup; Gu wins Japan-China Agon Kiriyama Cup play-off

Gio, 10/01/2019 - 03:39

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Fujisawa takes Women’s Honinbo title: The fourth game in the 37th Women’s Honinbo title match was held at the Tokyo headquarters of the Nihon Ki-in on December 5. Taking white, Fujisawa Rina forced a resignation after 224 moves and took the title from Xie Yimin with a 3-1 score. This is Fujisawa’s third concurrent title: she also holds the Hollyhock Cup and the Women’s Meijin. It is the third time she has won this title, and it is her ninth title. First prize is 5,500,000 yen (about $50,000). Xie is now without a title to her name for the first time in 11 years. Note: Michael Redmond was the referee for the match.

Kobayashi Koichi scores 1,400th win: On December 6, Kobayashi Koichi (B) defeated Yoshihara Yukari 6P by resig. in the preliminary round (called by the English name of “first tournament”) of the 44th Kisei tournament. This was his 1,400th win, making him the third Nihon Ki-in player to reach this landmark, after Cho Chikun and Rin Kaiho. His record is 1400 wins, 744 losses, 2 jigo; his winning percentage is 65.3, which is the best of the three. The 66-year-old Kobayashi took 51 years eight months to achieve this feat. Kobayashi: “Someone told me [I was close], but when the game started I forgot about it. Even though I have been playing such a long time, I am just as passionate as ever about go. I want to keep playing until I’m no longer physically able to.”

Rin Kanketsu wins SGW Cup: The SGW Cup Golden Mean Tournament is an unusual new tournament: it is open to players aged from 31 to 60 who have not won one of the top seven open tournaments or the Ryusei or Agon Kiriyama titles. The main section of the tournament, a four-round Swiss System for 16 players (who qualified in a preliminary tournament held on the Net) was held at the Nihon Ki-in on December 8 and 9. After three rounds, there were two players with three wins, Rin Kanketsu 8P and Anzai Nobuaki 7P, so their fourth-round clash became the “final.” Taking black, Rin won by resignation. First prize is 2 million yen (about $18,000). Having won this title, Rin “graduates” and can no longer play in it. However, it is not an official tournament, so results are not included in players’ lifetime tallies. Third place was taken by Cho Riyu 8P, who beat the oldest participant, Yamashiro Hiroshi 9P (aged 60), in the final round. According to “Go Weekly,” “golden mean” refers to solid players of a certain age who don’t have as many opportunities to play as the top players or young players, for whom there are many youth tournaments. Apparently this is the first time the Swiss System has been used for Japanese professionals. The participants may not have been the top players, but a big crowd of fans turned out for a public commentary by Cho Chikun.

Gu wins Japan-China Agon Kiriyama Cup play-off: The Agon-Kiriyama Cup 20th Japan-China Play-off was held at the Shaka-san Dai-Bodaiji Temple, the headquarters of the Agon sect of Buddhism in Kyoto, on December 9. The game was actually played in a teahouse in the grounds of the temple called the Snail Hermitage (Kagyu-an). It matched the holders of the Japanese and Chinese versions of the Agon Kiriyama Cups, Ichiriki Ryo 8P and Gu Jihao 9P. The 20-year-old Gu is not well known in Japan, but he is a member of the group of players born between 1995 and 2000 that now dominates Chinese go. He jumped from 5-dan to 9-dan in 2017 when he won the 22nd Samsung Cup. Gu drew black in the nigiri. Like most professional games these days, there were many signs of AI influence, but Gu’s 7th move was a diagonal move made popular in the 19th century by Honinbo Shusaku and known as “Shusaku’s kosumi.” At the time, Shusaku commented that no matter how much time passed, this would never become a bad move. It has now held up for over a century and a half. Gu said after the game that recently AI programs had often recommended this move. The game was marked by fierce fighting, with Ichiriki launching an aggressive double attack at the decisive point in the middle game. Gu was able to cope with it, so Ichiriki had to resign after 185 moves. China has now won this play-off 15 times to Japan’s five.
At the press conference after the game, Gu was asked how he used AI. His answer: “All professionals are using AI. In the national team, I am training with Fine Art every day. I also use AI after I go home. I don’t play games with AI. I have resigned myself to the difference in level.”
Tomorrow: Iyama defends Tengen, sets new record; Fujisawa to challenge for Women’s Kisei; Chunlan Cup: all-Korean final

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The Power Report (1 of 4): China dominates Nong Shim Cup; Iyama defends Oza, ties record; Ke wins Samsung Cup

Mer, 09/01/2019 - 02:58

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

China dominates Nong Shim Cup: 
The second round of the 20th Nong Shim Spicy Noodles Cup was held in Pusan near the end of November. In the opening round, held in Beijing in October, Japan got off to a good start when Shibano Toramaru won the first game, but then Fan Tingyu of China took over and won the remaining three games in the round. His good form continued in the second round and he took his winning streak to seven before it was terminated by Park Junghwan. Incidentally, Fan also won seven games in a row in the 18th Nong Shim Cup. His career started at the top: he became the world’s youngest-ever 9-dan when he was promoted for winning the 7th Ing cup in 2013 at the age of 16. Nong Shim results are given below.
Game 5 (Nov. 23). Fan Tingyu 9P (China) (B) beat Choe Cheolhan 9P (Korea) by resig.
Game 6 (Nov. 24). Fan (W) beat Kyo Kagen (Xu Jiayuan) 8P (Japan) by resig.
Game 7 (Nov. 25). Fan (W) beat Lee Sedol 9P (Korea) by resig.
Game 8 (Nov. 26). Fan (W) beat Ichiriki Ryo 8P (Japan) by resig.
Game 9 (Nov. 27). Park Junghwan 9P (Korea) (B) beat Fan by resig.
The final round will be held in Shanghai from February 18 to 22. Japan and Korea are both down to their last player, but China still has four.

Iyama defends Oza, ties record:  The fourth game of the 66th Oza title match was held at the Ryugon inn in Minami Uonuma City, Niigata Prefecture, on November 30. This game was a kadoban for the challenger, Ichiriki Ryo 8P, but he responded to the pressure with positive play from the opening on and succeeded in taking the lead. In byo-yomi, Ichiriki (black) was confronted with a position that looked like a crisis for him, but he managed to survive it and scored a win by 1.5 points.
The fifth game was held at the Tokiwa Hotel in Kofu City, Yamanashi Prefecture, on December 13. Ichiriki drew black in the nigiri. Professional observers commented that Ichiriki seemed to have succumbed to the pressure, at least a little, as his play was not quite a freewheeling as in the previous games. Iyama forced him to resign after 186 moves. This is Iyama’s fourth Oza title in a row and his 53rd title overall, behind Cho Chikun on 74, Sakata Eio on 64, and Kobayashi Koichi on 60. He also tied a record held by Cho Chikun of winning 42 top-seven titles. That’s a very high percentage—79% of his titles, as compared to 57% for Cho. The latter reached this mark at the age of 50, which means that it took him 39 years. Iyama got there in 16 years. After the match, Iyama commented: “When I lost titles from my septuple crown, it didn’t upset me very much, but there were a lot of games in which the way I lost left me with regrets. Being able to get a good result here is important. When I started playing, Cho Sensei was someone I greatly admired, so it feels strange [to draw even with him]. It’s a record of patient accumulation, so I think I have done well.”
Ichiriki failed yet again in his fifth challenge to Iyama for a title. This was the first time he got so close, but that probably made the result all the more frustrating.

Ke wins Samsung Cup: The best-of-three final of the 23rd Samsung Cup was played in Korea in early December. It featured a clash between Ahn Kukhyun 8P of Korea, bidding to win his first international title, and Ke Jie 9P of China, who was hoping to pick up his sixth. In the first game, played on Dec. 3, Ahn Kukhyun (W) won by resig. In the second game (Dec. 4), Ke Jie (W) won by resig. In the decider, played on the following day, Ke (W) won by 5.5 points. He earns a prize of 300 million won (about $268,000). Apparently Ahn is now slated to do his military service. Depending on which arm of the military he’s in, the period is from 21 months to two years.

Tomorrow: Fujisawa takes Women’s Honinbo title; Kobayashi Koichi scores 1,400th win; Rin Kanketsu wins SGW Cup; Gu wins Japan-China Agon Kiriyama Cup play-off

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Japanese girl to become youngest professional go player

Dom, 06/01/2019 - 22:37

Ten-year-old Sumire Nakamura will become the youngest professional go player on April 1. She began playing at the age of three and was competing in national tournaments in Japan by the time she was seven. The previous record was set by Rina Fujisawa, who was 11 when she became a professional player in 2010. “I’m happy when I win,” the Osaka schoolgirl told a press conference in Tokyo on Saturday. “I want to have a title while being in junior high school.” When Cho U, one of the leading players, faced off against Sumire last month to gauge her skills, the child prodigy stunned association officials by holding the 38-year-old pro to a draw. “She proved to be a lot stronger than I had imagined,” said Cho after the game. “I played with Iyama when he was in elementary school, but I am under the impression that she is better than he was back then.” She is the only child of professional go player Shinya Nakamura 9P, 45, and wife, Miyuki, 38, a former go instructor. When she was 7, her family moved to Seoul for Sumire to undergo go training, traveling back and forth between Japan and South Korea. The Nihon Ki-in announced Jan. 5 that it will accept Sumire, an Osaka fourth-grader, as the first pro under a special program for elementary school go players “with the potential for becoming the world’s No. 1.” After Japanese players had lost world titles by 2005, an alarmed Japan Go Association set up the program to allow extremely gifted children to play as a professional without requiring them to pass a pro test.

Includes reporting by the BBC and Japan News 

 

 

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AlphaGo vs. AlphaGo; Game 25: The shoulder hit, with a twist

Dom, 06/01/2019 - 16:18

Michael Redmond 9p, hosted by the AGA E-Journal’s Chris Garlock, resume their popular series with a review of the 25th game of the amazing AlphaGo vs. AlphaGo selfplay games.

Black starts out with “a very human-looking opening,” reminiscent of the mini Chinese Opening, an AG shoulder hit (with a twist), followed (of course) by a 3-3 invasion, which prompts a discussion of which side to block. The game also features a sacrifice that isn’t and a dramatic — and confusing — ending involving multiple groups that may or may not be alive.

These videos are made possible by the support of the American Go Association; please consider joining  today!

Video produced by Michael Wanek & Andrew Jackson.

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