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Updated World Go News
Aggiornato: 1 ora 51 min fa

Zixuan Gao sweeps 2021 Eastern Youth Open

9 ore 40 min fa

On February 21, the Eastern Youth Open (EYO) tournament, hosted by New York Go Association, took place online on KGS due to the pandemic. Eighty youth players of all different levels from across North America participated. After 4 rounds of competition, Zixuan Gao 5d took first place, her second recent championship following her performance in the Young Lions Tournament in November of 2020. Below are the results of all seven divisions.

Division A
1st Place: Zixuan Gao
2nd Place: Brady Zhang
3rd Place: Alexander Qi

Division B
1st Place: Jenny Li
2nd Place: Ethan Whitman, Juanshu Lan (tie)

Division C
1st Place: Albert Tang
2nd Place: Evan Tan
3rd Place: Stephanie Tan

Division D
1st Place: Sebastian Liang
2nd Place: Jason Liu
3rd Place: Alex Fan-Cui

Division E
1st Place: Ernest Lam
2nd Place: Juliet Zhang
3rd Place: Hector Lampert-Bates

Division F
1st Place: Naomi Hsieh
2nd Place: Yiting Liu
3rd Place: Duan Gao

Division G
1st Place: Woody Yin
2nd Place: Noah Carrafa
3rd Place: Kye Tang 

-photo provided by Zixuan Gao
-report by Stephanie Yin and Rachel Li 

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Registration Open until March 11 for 2021 San Diego Go Championship to be held online

10 ore 2 min fa

Registration is now open for the 2021 San Diego Go Championship hosted by the San Diego Go Club. This will be the 10th annual San Diego city championship. In 2019, the Open section featured one player with a rating of 10 dan – who finished 4th – and five 6 dans out of a total of 10 players. The handicap section had another 55 players. 

This is an online 5 round tournament. One round will be played a week for five weeks beginning March 13. AGA Membership is required. There will be no entry fee and no cash prizes, but any AGA member can play to become the San Diego Go Champion. Redesigned 2017 U.S. Go Congress – San Diego t-shirts will be awarded to section winners as well as U16 Girls and U16 Boys winners. 

There will be an Open section – in which five 6 dans have already registered – and a Handicap section in which all levels are welcome. Players must register by 11:59 p.m. PDT by March 11, 2021 to play in the first online round. Late registrants can play in any other round. Byes are acceptable if needed. Free registration is open at GoClubsOnline.

The Open winner will become the 2021 San Diego Go Champion, with their name on a perpetual plaque along with past winners: Mark Lee 10d, Chengjie Huang 7d, Ari Saito 7d, Leran Zou 7d, Yi Wang 6, and Yixian Zhou 6d.

-report by Ted Terpstra

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2021 Pro Qualification Plans Announced

10 ore 13 min fa

The North American Go Federation (NAGF) has announced its intention to certify one new professional player through a Pro Qualification tournament this Summer at the National Go Center in Washington D.C.

Any player who is eligible and interested in participating in the tournament must submit this application form by April 1, 2021 to be considered for entrance. For more information on the tournament, including eligibility requirements, please click here. Final details of the competition, along with the selected contestants, will be announced in May.

-report by Hajin Lee

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The Power Report: Meijin League; 32nd Women’s Meijin league; Shin Minjun wins LG Cup

15 ore 55 min fa

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Meijin League
After three rounds of the 46th Meijin League, Ichiriki Ryo holds the provisional lead on 3-0, but Hane Naoki, on 2-0, is also undefeated. Shibano, the previous Meijin, has got off to a bad start on 0-3 and will have to focus on retaining his league place rather than on becoming the challenger. Results this year follow.
(Jan. 7) Ichiriki (B) beat Yo Seiki 8P by resig.; Hane Naoki (B) beat Kono Rin 9P by resig.
(Jan. 21) Motoki Katsuya 8P (W) beat Shibano Toramaru by half a point; Kyo Kagen (B) beat Anzai Nobuaki 7P by resig.
(Feb. 4) Hane (W) beat Yo by resig.
(Feb. 11) Ichiriki (W) beat Kyo by resig.; Anzai (B) beat Kono by resig.
(Feb. 18) Yamashita Keigo 9P (W) beat Shibano by resig.

32nd Women’s Meijin league
With the addition of a new sponsor, this tournament had resumed after a gap of one and a half years. Suzuki Ayumi and Ueno Asami share the lead in the seven-player league, with both on 3-0. Results to date:
(Jan. 21) Nyu Eiko 3P (W) beat Mukai Chiaki 5P by 3.5.
(Jan. 25) Ueno Asami (B) beat Xie Yimin 6P by resig.
(Feb. 1) Suzuki Ayumi, Women’s Kisei, (B) beat Kato Chie 2P by 9.5; Xie (W) beat Tsuji Hana 1P by 2.5.
(Feb. 4) Suzuki (B) beat Mukai by resig.
(Feb. 8) Nyu (B) beat Kato by 7.5.
(Feb. 11) Ueno (W) beat Mukai by resig.; Xie (W) beat Nyu by resig.; Kato (B) beat Tsuji by resig.
(Feb. 18) Ueno (B) beat Tsuji by 6.5; Suzuki Ayumi 7P (W) beat Nyu by resig.

Shin Minjun wins LG Cup
The best-of-three final for the 25th LG Cup was held at the beginning of February. Ke Jie 9P (aged 23) of China made a good start but Shin Minjun (aged 21) of Korea came back strongly to take the next two games and win his first major international title (he won the 6th Globis Cup in 2019). First prize is 300,000,000 won (about $270,000). Below are the results from the quarterfinals on.
Quarterfinals (Nov. 9); Park Junghwan 9P (Korea) (B) beat Yang Dingxin 9P (China) by resig.; Ke Jie 9P (China) (W) beat Weon Seongjin 9P (Korea) by resig.; Shin Minjun 9P (Korea) (W) beat Lee Taihoon 7P (Korea) by resig.; Byan Sangil 9P (Korea) (B) beat Kang Dongyun 9P (Korea) by resig.
Semifinals (Nov. 11). Shin (W) beat Park by resig.; Ke (W) beat Byan by resig.
Final
Game 1 (Feb. 1). Ke (W) by resig.
Game 2 (Feb. 3). Shin (W) by resig.
Game 3 (Feb. 4). Shin (W) by 3.5.

Next: Sumire’s progress; Takemiya wins 1200 games; Yoshida Mika first woman player to win 700 games

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The Power Report: Kyo to challenge for Judan title; Ichiriki shares lead in Honinbo League

Gio, 04/03/2021 - 02:44

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Kyo to challenge for Judan title

Kyo Kagen

The play-off to decide the challenger for the 59th Judan title, held by Shibano Toramaru, was held at the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo on Jan. 28. Taking black, Kyo Kagen (Xu Jiayuan) 8P beat Yo Seiki (Yu Chengqi) 8P by resig. after 147 moves. This will be Kyo’s chance to take revenge for his loss in last year’s Oza title match. The match starts on March 2.

Incidentally, this tournament acquired an extra sponsor as of January 1: Daiwa House Manufacturing, based in Osaka. (The main sponsor since the tournament was founded has been the Sankei Newspaper.) The official name of the tournament now is: Daiwa House Cup Judan Tournament. There has been no increase in the prize money of 7,000,000 yen so far (the reason may be that the new sponsor joined halfway through the current term).

Ichiriki shares lead in Honinbo League

As the sole undefeated player, Ichiriki Ryo Tengen held the lead after the midway round of the 76th Honinbo League, but a fifth-round setback suffered at the hands of Shibano Toramaru Oza has thrown the lead into a three-way tie, with Ichiriki, Shibano, and Hane Naoki all on 4-1. Results this year:

(Jan. 7) Kyo Kagen 8P (B) beat Ko Iso 8P by resig.
(Jan. 14) Shibano (B) beat Tsuruyama Atsushi 8P by resig.
(Feb. 4) Shibano (W) beat Ichiriki by resig.; Ko Iso (W) beat Sada Atsushi 7P by resig.
(Feb. 11) Hane (W) beat Tsuruyama by resig.
(Feb. 18) Onishi Ryuhei 7P (B) beat Kyo Kagen by resig.

Next: Meijin League; 32nd Women’s Meijin league; Shin Minjun wins LG Cup

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Members Edition: Albert Yen 7d on a Pandanet Game

Mar, 02/03/2021 - 12:13

White: Pandanet 6d
Black: Albert Yen 7d
Commentary: Albert Yen
Published in the March 2, 2021, edition of the American Go E-Journal

Albert Yen 7d regularly contributes his commented games to the E-Journal. He came in fourth as the US representative in the 2019 World Amateur Go Championship and continues to be a top player in the US. This game was played online against a Pandanet 6d. Albert plays Black in this game and points out that he used a sacrifice strategy very successfully to reduce White’s moyo, which effectively decided the game. The game is a good example of sacrificing to make the opponent’s moyo overconcentrated. Albert also includes winrates provided by the AI program leelazero.

Download SGF File

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ICYMI: Kim Eunji 2p’s AI cheating incident; Playing Go with Darwin; Remembering John Conway

Lun, 01/03/2021 - 16:09

Kim Eunji 2p’s AI cheating incident
Thirteen-year-old professional Go player Kim Eun-ji was suspended from competing for one year in late November after she admitted to using artificial intelligence (AI) to enhance her gameplay in an online Go competition. The Korea Baduk Association took the punitive measure against Kim Eun-ji, a 2-dan professional Go player who had been considered a genius in the Korean Go scene and the youngest professional player, for violating the rules as a professional Go player and on ethics which stipulate that a player cannot receive outside advice in official competitions. Fellow Korean pro Yeonwoo Cho devoted one of her videos to the incident.
– Excerpted from a report in The Korea Times

Playing Go with Darwin
In Playing Go with Darwin (Nautilus 12/16/2020), David Krakauer writes that “Meditating on some subtleties of (Go’s) strategy can, I think, illuminate our understanding of the strategic character of evolution.” He adds that “Go today has become an epitaph on the tombstone in the cemetery of human defeat at the hands of algorithmic progress” and says “Charles Darwin was very likely the first person to have understood nature in terms of a game played across deep time. I have wondered how much further the Chess-playing naturalist might have taken this metaphor if, like Kawabata, he had studied Go.” It’s a fascinating article about how new research elevates evolution from a tactical process to one of strategic possibility. Thanks to Peter Freedman for passing it along.

John Conway

Remembering John Conway
John Conway is one of Three Mathematicians We Lost in 2020 (The New Yorker 12/31/2020), and midway through the story there’s this:
At Princeton, he could usually be found not in his office—which resembled a mathematical apothecary shop hit by a tornado—but in the large and somewhat soulless common room of Fine Hall, the massive looming tower, on the edge of the Princeton campus, that is the home of the mathematics department. The common room would come to life only in the mid to late afternoon, just as things were revving up for the daily “tea,” a small box-cookie reception roughly marking the time when most classes had ended and a few seminars were about to start. Conway would often hold court there, hard to miss, a cross between Rasputin and a Middle Ages minstrel, loudly talking philosophy and mathematics, playing the board game Go, or engaging in some other kind of mathematical competition, surrounded by adoring and admiring students, faculty, and visitors.

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New AGA Chapters for February 2021

Lun, 01/03/2021 - 15:31

The AGA is regularly asked for new chapters around the country. These are the newly registered chapters from February 2021:


Midway Go Club – We are located in Chicago with meetings upcoming. They are Online for now. Will be at the Japanese Culture Center at 1016 W BELMONT AVE – CHICAGO, IL 60657 – Contact William Shehan

Members should check their information from time to time. If you are not receiving the EJ make sure your email is up to date. Chapters can always update their current chapter through the AGA Membership Manager if they have changed.

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The Power Report: Ueno wins Women’s Kisei; Chunlan Cup

Lun, 01/03/2021 - 15:28

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Ueno wins Women’s Kisei

Ueno Asami

Ueno Asami, who is still a teenager (she turned 19 on October 26) has confirmed her ranking as the number two woman player in Japan by becoming a dual title-holder again. In the 24th Women’s Kisei best-of-three title match, she made a bad start but fought back to take the title from veteran player Suzuki Ayumi (aged 37). In the final game, Ueno scored a decisive win, capturing a group when Suzuki made an overaggressive cut in an attempt to maintain territorial parity. After the game, Ueno revealed that she prepared for the third game with intensive study of life-and-death problems, including competing with her younger sister, Risa 1P, to see who could solve 100 problems more quickly—she won three times out of five. On the morning of the game, she followed her usual routine before a game of skipping rope: 777 times (it took her about ten minutes). First prize is 5,000,000 yen (about $48,000 at $1 = 104 yen). She lost this title to Suzuki last year; she also holds the Senko Cup. Results:

Game 1 (Jan. 21). Suzuki (B) by resig.
Game 2 (Jan. 28). Ueno (B) by resig.
Game 3 (Feb. 8). Ueno (W) by resig.

Chunlan Cup

The quarterfinals and semifinals of the 13th Chunlan Cup were held in January (Details of the first two rounds are given in my report of August 25). Like all international events these days, games were played on the net. As in many international tournaments, the final (schedule not yet decided) will be Korea vs. China, pitting the world’s top-rated player, Shin Jinseo 9P of Korea), against Tang Weixing 9P of China. On the site “Go Ratings,” Tang is listed as no. 32 in the world; this is a little hard to understand, as he won the 24th Samsung Cup in 2019 and the 8th Ing Cup in 2016. Results follow.

Quarterfinals (Jan. 18): Ke Jie 9P (China) (B) beat Hsu Hao Hong 6P (Chinese Taipei) by resig.; Tang (W) beat Park Yeonghun 9P (Korea) by resig.; Lian Xiao 9P (China) (B) beat Byan Sangil 9P (Korea) by resig.; Shin (W) beat Fan Yuting 9P (China) by resig.

Semifinals (Jan. 20): Tang (W) beat Ke by resig.; Shin (B) beat Lian by resig.

Next: Kyo to challenge for Judan title; Ichiriki shares lead in Honinbo League

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Not too fast, not too slow

Sab, 27/02/2021 - 22:51

by Fred Baldwin

William Cobb’s reflections on taking time to think about Go moves (Empty Board, 2/17) prompted me to, well, think.  I share his feelings about “speed” or “blitz” Go.  If you enjoy it, fine, but it’s not my thing and never will be.  Whether online or playing face-to-face, my mistakes usually result from playing too fast.  Up to a point, slower is better for me – worth a handicap stone or two where the quality of my play is concerned. 

But only up to a point.  Having too much thinking time once threatened to spoil my pleasure in the game of Go. It happened like this.  
Back in pre-Covid days a good friend and I often played on Sunday evenings at a local Panera.  We usually could time our games to end about when employees were closing the doors to new customers but before they needed to start cleaning tables.  Now and then, however, we’d still be in the middle of a game.  On those evenings we’d take cell-phone pictures of the board and any captured stones, make a note on whether Black or White would play next, and a week or so later, we’d pick up our game where we left off.   

One evening it occurred to us that we didn’t need to wait a week to finish our game.  With the board position captured on both our cameras, we could each set up the game on our Go boards at home.  We’d text moves to each other and respond at leisure.  It would be slower than face-to-face play but far faster than, say, correspondence chess.  What could go wrong? 

Technically, nothing.  The process worked fine.  However, I found it seriously stressful. At Panera we almost never used a clock, relying on our mutual instinct to decide when “slow” was becoming “too slow.”  At those times, I could tell myself, “OK.  I haven’t read this out the way a 9-dan would, but I can’t keep my opponent waiting. I’ll plunk down a stone and hope for the best.” 

At home that line of reasoning didn’t apply.  With no one across the board from me, I could take lots of time without keeping anyone waiting.  In the restaurant, especially with closing time approaching, a less-than-optimal move (not to say “dumb move”) seemed excusable.  At home, with lots of time for reading out sequences, mistakes began to feel embarrassing, almost shameful. As a result, I spent a lot more time on every move.  I may have played somewhat better than I usually do, but I enjoyed the game a lot less. I learned that my own Goldilocks game time is “not too fast, not too slow.”  “Too fast” means I make even more mistakes than usual, while “too slow” makes me feel ashamed to play so badly.  

William Cobb might point out – patiently, no doubt – that a Zen-like mindset might help me transcend that kind of puritanical self-criticism.  That thought somehow just makes me feel worse. 

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The Power Report: Korea wins Go Legends National Competition; Ing Cup

Sab, 27/02/2021 - 22:44

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Legends Yoda (l) & Kobayashi (r)

Korea wins Go Legends National Competition
This is a special event that was held in January in conjunction with the 22nd Nong Shim Cup. It pitted teams with two former stars from Korea, China, and Japan against each other, with the games, which were not official, being held on the net. It was won by Korea with 6-2; China came second with 5-3; and Japan came third with 1-7. Prizes from 1st to 3rd were: 50,000,000 won (about $45,000, at $1 = 1100 won), 25 million won, and 15,000,000 won. Note that I didn’t have access to all the details of the games.

Round 1
(Jan. 15) China vs. Korea; Cho Hun-hyun 9P (Korea) (B) beat Chang Hao 9P by resig.; Lee Changho 9P (Korea) (B) beat Nie Weiping by 15.5.
(Jan. 16) Japan vs. China; Nie (China) (B) beat Yoda Norimoto 9P by 4.5; Chang beat Kobayashi Koichi.
(Jan. 17) Japan vs. Korea; Lee Changho 9P (Korea) (B) beat Kobayashi by 8.5; Cho beat Yoda.

Round 2
(Jan. 22) Japan vs. Korea; Cho beat Kobayashi; Yoda (B) beat Lee by 1.5.
(Jan. 23) Japan vs. China; Nie (W) beat Kobayashi by 4.5; Chang (W) beat Yoda by resig.
(Jan. 24) Korea vs. China: 1-1

Ing semi-finalist Ichiriki

Ing Cup
Japanese go fans were encouraged by the outstanding performance last year of Ichiriki Ryo in international tournaments, especially his three successive wins in the 9th Ing Cup, which took him to the semifinals. However, managing your time skillfully is part of the challenge when playing in this tournament, and here he got into trouble, leading to a 0-2 loss to Xie Ke 9P of China. The time allowance is three hours per player, with no byo-yomi. However, you can buy extra time twice, at the rate of 20 minutes for two stones. Ichiriki was doing well in both games but had to buy extra time twice in the first game and once in the second game. He commented: “I’m still not strong enough at converting a lead into a win. Things didn’t go the way I wanted, including my management of my time.”

In the other semifinal, Shin Jinseo 9P of Korea, currently the world’s top-rated player, beat Zhao Chenyu 8P of China 2-0. Dates for the final, also best-of-three, have not yet been decided.

Incidentally, the Nihon Ki-in does not recognize Ing Cup games as official games, because of differences in the rules, such as buying time with stones instead of having byo-yomi. Also, the Ing Rules recognize suicide moves, which can be used as ko threats. Ironically, this rule was not applied this time, as the games were played on the net and the software couldn’t be modified in time.

Semifinals (best-of-three)
Game 1 (Jan. 10). Xie Ke (W) beat Ichiriki by resig.; Shin Jinseo (B) beat Zhao Chenyu by resig.
Game 2 (Jan. 12). Xie (B) beat Ichiriki by 3; Shin (W) beat Zhao by one point.

Next: Chunlan Cup; Ueno wins Women’s Kisei

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Registration opens for the sixth New York Go League

Sab, 27/02/2021 - 06:39

Registration is open again for the New York Go League! Now in its sixth iteration, players can expect to play one round robin game per week with players of similar rank over the two-month league. The organizers continue to hope that organized competitive play can endure even during the pandemic and plan to offer small prizes to the winners of each division, which in the past have included discounts for New York Institute of Go lessons and programs. Registration is open to anyone with a stable rank with any association or online go server.

The New York Go League is organized and run by the New York Go Honor Society, with the first iteration beginning in May of 2020 with over 80 players. Registration for the league will be open until March 13th and the league will officially begin the week of March 15th. Interested players can click here to read the rules and regulations, and click here to register.

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Chinese Weiqi Association publishes Chinese-English Dictionary of Weiqi Terms

Sab, 27/02/2021 - 03:44

Bob Bacon reports that earlier this month, several Chinese news organizations such as Xinhua Net and SINA English reported that the People’s Publishing House and the Chinese Weiqi Association have jointly published the Chinese-English Dictionary of Weiqi Terms. With 643 definitions over six chapters, the dictionary took seven years to compile and was first used during the World Weiqi Summit in Rizhao, China in 2019. “‘As a spiritual symbol of Chinese culture, as well as an internationally recognized public product with positive effects, Weiqi has special requirements in terms of language. It has its own way of thinking, terminology paradigm and communication mode. An important aspect of the Chinese Weiqi Association’s goal is to promote a unified and standardized Weiqi language,’ said Lin Jianchao, chairman of Chinese Weiqi Association.” Informal sources indicate that while the resource is not yet available publicly, it will be made available soon.

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2021 South Central Go Tournament On-Line draws 76 players

Sab, 27/02/2021 - 03:30

From 2016 to 2020, there were five consecutive South Central Go Tournaments held in Dallas over the weekend preceding Presidents’ Day. In 2021, because the pandemic rendered in person play unsafe, the tournament was held online February 13 and 14. Altogether there were 76 players – 16 in the Open Section ranging in strength from 8d to 3d, and 60 in the Handicap Section, ranging in strength from 3d to 24k. The online format allowed wide participation; 73 players from the USA from 16 different states, two players from Canada, and one from Vietnam. There were 28 players aged 13 and under, and 17 double digit kyu players.

The champion in the Open Section was Alexander Qi, who was also the top player aged 13 and under. Kevin Yang finished second, and Zhixun Zhao took third place overall but captured the title of 2021 Texas State Champion as the highest placing Texas resident. “We were delighted to bring together such a wide range of players from so many places and with such a mix of Go experience,” said tournament organizer Bob Gilman.

-report and photos provided by Bob Gilman

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The Power Report: New restrictions on players; Pro catches virus; Iyama dominates Kisei but Kono survives first kadoban

Ven, 26/02/2021 - 03:34

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

New restrictions on players
As of Jan. 1, new rules came in effect at all three branches of the Nihon Ki-in limiting the freedom of players in order to insure no one resorts to help from AI programs. Players engaged in games are not allowed to leave the building even during lunch and dinners breaks. They are not allowed to use smoking corners during the game either. Each playing venue has a rest area. Just for the record, lunchtime is from 11:45 to 12:30, and the dinner break is from 5:30 to 6:15. The Kansai Ki-in has not followed suit because it doesn’t have enough space to provide rest areas.

Kisei: Iyama plays first

Pro catches virus
On Jan. 8, the Nihon Ki-in announced that an unnamed professional had become ill with COVID-19 on Dec. 30. The Ki-in did extensive tracing of possible contacts at the Ki-in and concluded that there were no problems. The Ki-in also took medical advice to strengthen its preventive measures.

Iyama dominates Kisei but Kono survives first kadoban
This year Kono Rin made his second successive challenge to Iyama Yuta for the Kisei title. It is actually his fifth best-of-seven with Iyama, as he also challenged for the 39th Meijin title in 2014, the 41st Kisei title in 2017, and the 74th Honinbo title in 2019. The four matches above, including the 44th Kisei, were all won by Iyama 4-2.

The first game of the 45th Kisei was played at the Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo on January 13 and 14. In the nigiri, Kono drew black. Iyama took the lead, but he made an attempt to capture a black group that threw the position into confusion, giving Kono a chance to take the lead. After a spectacular trade, however, Iyama just managed to hang on to his lead. Kono resigned after White 244.

The second game was played in the Shokoji Temple in Takaoka City, Toyama Prefecture, on January 22 and 23. When the players and officials arrived for the game, they found that the city had just had its heaviest snowfall for 36 years. In some places, the snow was 120 centimeters deep. It was a little cold, but the players praised the refreshing clearness of the air. Playing black, Iyama built a lead in the opening, but Kono struck at a chink in his armor, leading to a large-scale life-and-death struggle. Iyama came out on top in the fighting, so Kono resigned after move 143. Already his challenge was in trouble.

The third game was played at the Olive Bay Hotel in Nishiumi City, Nagasaki Prefecture, on February 5 and 6. In the middle game, Iyama (white) played a fiendish move that none of the players following the game predicted. This move enabled him to take the initiative and secure the lead. Kono resigned after 186 moves. The pressure of his bad performance in this match seemed to be affecting his other games: as of mid-February he had yet to win a game this year and his score was 0-6.

The fourth game, which was a kadoban (a game that could lose a series) for Kono, was played at the Hotel Kagetsuen in the town of Hakone, Kanagawa Prefecture, on Feb. 16 and 17. Taking white, Kono got off to the better start on the first day. Iyama went all out on the second day and seemed to catch up, but his aggressive play left some chinks in his armor that were exploited by Kono. Using the threat of an attack on a thin black group, he built up a large center. Iyama resigned after White 212.

Next: Korea wins Go Legends National Competition; Ing Cup

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Member’s Edition: Guo Juan 5P on a Mid-kyu Game

Mer, 24/02/2021 - 07:00

Commentary: Guo Juan 5P
Game Editor: William Cobb
Published in the February 23, 2021 edition of the American Go E-Journal.

In this dan level game, Guo Juan covers aspects of attack and defense that arise in every game. Her variations reinforce the concepts with explanations of correct or incorrect play. Guo Juan 5P is a popular go teacher based in Amsterdam. Check out her online go school, featuring recorded lectures and problems presented in a Spaced Repetition System. Here you will learn and remember correct play. And there’s a one-month free trial!

Download SGF File


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A new Winter Olympic sport?

Mar, 23/02/2021 - 02:39

According to AI analysis, cooler areas of the board are lower priorities for play, but when Audrey Wang and Milan Mladenović took to the icy waters of Walden Pond for a game last Saturday, it was a real challenge finding hotspots.

“Milan and I played for over 15 minutes and he resigned,” Wang reported on Facebook. “The first few minutes were intense but after that my body settled in and got used to it. It’s really not that bad. Milan and some other people do this every Saturday at Walden Pond, inspired by the Wim Hof breathing technique and his ice training. It’s believed to be really good for the body.”

“This is my first time in ice water,” said Wang, “but I was in cold water before and it was better than previous times because my hands were not in the water and I was really only half in the water this time.”

“I did it this time for art, not for health benefits,” she added. “But my body felt amazing afterwards. Victory also tastes better when it requires extra work.”

NOTE: Wang and Mladenović are in a pandemic pod; observers were socially distanced. The AGA strongly urges masking and social distancing for everyone’s safety.
photos by Ken Lucas

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Drupal Developer Needed!

Lun, 22/02/2021 - 18:00

The AGA is looking for someone to help with our Drupal upgrade. We are looking to take our install to Drupal 9 and make it more efficient. You can help drive the look of the AGA’s web presence to the world. The AGA Website is visited by over 20,000 visitors per month. Knowledge of Drupal needed, will need PHP knowledge for site theming. We integrate with WordPress and other custom code. If interested contact Steve Colburn to find out more.

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Spanish translation of A Go Guide From a Beginner completed for the Multilingual Go Book Project

Lun, 22/02/2021 - 16:29

The Spanish translation of the Multilingual Go Book Project’s book joins the already existing English, French and Greek translations and is now available. This is yet another step in the project’s goal of making Go content more accessible to new players in their native language. Like with the previous versions, the book can be downloaded for free from the project’s webpage and the addition of the Spanish language is accompanied by a full re-upload of the latest corrections of the English version. 

The Multilingual Go Book Project was started by H. Kapolos in order to provide instructional material to new players for free in their native languages. There are currently 20 printed copies of the book in English, which are available to be distributed for free. Anyone interested in receiving a copy can contact the project via the contact form on its website or through its Facebook page.

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The Power Report: Best performers of 2020

Dom, 21/02/2021 - 13:27

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

This reports focuses on the players with the best performances in various categories last year.

Most wins
Because of a multiple tie for 9th place, the top ten is actually the top eleven. Some other results of interest have been added. Note that three women players make the top eleven. The increase in tournaments for women gives them more playing opportunities and more prize money. It could be argued that this is a golden age for professional women’s go in Japan.
1. Ichiriki Ryo Tengen: 53-13
2. Iyama Yuta Kisei: 38-14
3. Kyo Kagen 8P: 36-23
4. Fujisawa Rina, Women’s Honinbo: 35-15; Shibano Toramaru Oza: 35-21 
6. Ueno Asami, Senko Cup-holder: 34-23 
7. Onishi Ryuhei 7P: 32-15
8. Yamashita Keigo 9P: 30-20
9. Seki Kotaro 3P: 29-8; Mutsuura Yuta 7P: 29-13; Nyu Eiko 3P: 29-16
15. Xie Yimin 6P: 26-19
17. Kono Rin 9P: 25-22
19. Mukai Chiaki 5P: 24-13
22. Suzuki Ayumi, Women’s Kisei: 23-14
27. Nakamura Sumire 1P: 21-17 (7th among women players)

Most consecutive wins
1. Chotoku Tesshi 3P: 14
2. Ichiriki: 11
3. Mutsuura: 10
4. Iyama, Ichiriki, Kyo Kagen, Kanazawa Hideo 8P, Motoki Katsuya 8P: 9

Best winning percentage (over a minimum of 24 games)
1. Ichiriki: 80.3
2. Seki: 78.38
3. Kanazawa: 76
4. Anzai Nobuaki 7P: 73.68 (28-10)
5. Hirata Tomoya 7P: 73.53 (25-9)
6. Iyama: 73.08
7. Onishi: 72.73
8. Mizokami Tomochika 9P, Takei Takashi 7P: 72.41 (both 21-8)
10. Ida Atsushi 8P: 71.05 (27-11)

Prize-money promotions 
The following players from 1- to 6-dan earned promotions based on prize money earned during the year. The top two from 1-dan to 5-dan are promoted a rank, but only one 6-dan is promoted. Players who earned promotions by other means during the year, that is, by cumulative wins or challenging for a title or winning a seat in a league, are excluded, so the players below are the “top” among the rest. Promotions are dated to January 1.
To 7-dan: Numadate Sakiya
To 6-dan: Koike Yoshihiro, Yanagisawa Satoshi
To 5-dan: Hirose Yuichi, Otake Yu
To 4-dan: Cho Zuiketsu, Ueno Asami
To 3-dan: Muramoto Wataru, Chotoku Tesshi
To 2-dan: Terada Shuta, Fukuoka Kotaro 

Most prize money won
For the 10th year in a row, Iyama topped the list of prize-money winners and once again reached the enviable bench mark of 100,000,000 yen (approx. $961,000 at $1 = 104 yen). Actually, the first time he came first was the only time he fell short of this mark, but, with 91,000,000, not very short. The most he has made is 172,000,000 in 2015 and the least is 106,000,000 (these figures are rounded off). Just for the record, only three other players have reached seven figures: Kobayashi Koichi (three times), Cho Chikun (four times), and Cho U (four times). Note the figures below include tournament prize money and game fees but not other income, such as for doing public commentaries or lectures, appearance money, teaching, book royalties, etc. 
1. Iyama Yuta: 128,519,441
2. Ichiriki Ryo: 48,609,332
3. Shibano Toramaru: 47,412,860
4. Fujisawa Rina: 27,410,030
5. Kono Rin: 26,927,300
6. Yamashita Keigo: 20,993,400
7. Kyo Kagen: 20,962,681
8. Ueno Asami: 17,545,862
9. Cho U: 11,969,400
10. Hane Naoki: 11,722,000

54th Kido Prizes  
The magazine Kido is defunct, but its prizes live on and were announced on February 10. They are open only to Nihon Ki-in players. This time they were dominated by Ichiriki Ryo, who won five of the seven prizes he was eligible for.
Most outstanding player: Iyama Yuta Kisei, Meijin & Honinbo.
Outstanding player: Ichiriki Ryo Tengen & Gosei
New star: Seki Kotaro, King of the New Stars
Women’s prize: Fujisawa Rina, Young Carp titleholder, Women’s Honinbo, Women’s Meijin, Women’s Hollyhock Cup holder, Hakata Kamachi Cup holder
International Prize: Ichiriki
Most wins: Ichiriki (53)
Best winning percentage: Ichiriki (80.3%)
Most consecutive wins: Chotoku Tesshi
Most games played: Ichiriki (66)

Kansai Ki-in prizes
The following prizes were announced on January 29. They were dominated by Yo Seiki, who matched Ichiriki in number of prizes won
Most outstanding player: Yo Seiki 8P (aged 25)
Most Wins: Yo (43)
Best winning percentage: Yo (86%)
Risen Prize (fighting spirit): Sada Atsushi 7P
Dogen Prize (special merit): Seto Taiki 8P
New star: Okawa Takuya 2P (aged 19)
Most successive wins: Yo (22)
Yamano Prize (for popularizing go): Tobita Saki 2P
Nagai Prize (outstanding player under 30): Nishi Takenobu 5P
Yoshida Prize (most wins against Nihon Ki-in players): Yo (24)
Taniguchi Prize (to encourage players under 26): Abe Yoshiki 3P (aged 24)

Kansai Ki-in prize-money promotions
The Kansai Ki-in has a more limited system than the Nihon Ki-in: the top three prize-money earners from 1- to 4-dan go up a rank on January 1. In order of earnings they are:
1. Hong Akiyoshi: to 4-dan
2. Nishi Takenobu: to 5-dan
3. Taniguchi Toru: to 5-dan

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