Why Doesn’t the West Play Go?

Why isn’t go more popular in the West? That question has preoccupied go author and scholar Peter Shotwell for decades. Shotwell’s recently published “appendix” on the subject — appended to his ongoing “Origins of Go” study — is entitled Why the West Plays Chess and the East Plays Go: How Classical Chinese and Ancient Western Grammars Shaped Different Strategies of War, Weiqi and Chess. Shotwell examines his idea that the presence or absence of abstract nouns, the verb “to be” and other linguistic features developed and shaped the philosophies and resulting different strategic thinking of early Greece and Classical China. He provides the historical background of how and why this happened and concludes with an examination of the Thirty-six Strategies that encapsulate the strategic yin thinking of Chinese generals like Sunzi (right) and weiqi players of the Han dynasty, along with a short discussion of the reasons for the fall of the Qin dynasty. The full article is 274 pages, or you can download a 16-page summarizes of the most significant findings here.

via American Go E-Journal http://www.usgo.org/news/2013/09/why-doesnt-the-west-play-go/

Your Move/Readers Write: Status of the AGA Rating System?

“What’s the status of the AGA rating system?” wonders EJ reader — and AGA member — Brady Daniels. “ It seems updates have become scarce recently, and I’m sure your readers would love to know why, and what solution is planned. Shouldn’t ratings be updated after every weekend tournament, or at least, say, twice a month?”
Provided that tournaments report complete and accurate results, the ratings are currently updated at least twice a month. Email ratings@usgo.org if you have other ratings-related questions or comments. 

via American Go E-Journal http://www.usgo.org/news/2013/09/your-movereaders-write-status-of-the-aga-rating-system/

Ancient City of the Phoenix Cup: Chen Yaoye vs. Park Junghwan

human go stonesEvery other year since 2003, a top Chinese and top Korean player play an exhibition match in Fenghuang City, China. The grand prize is 400,000 RMB (approximately $65,000 USD) and the runner up receives 280,000 RMB. What makes the Ancient City of the Phoenix Cup unique are the 361 human go stones (left) that mimic the game on a 31.7 x 31.7 meter board.

This year, Chinese player Chen Yaoye 9p defeated Korean player Park Junghwan 9p by 14.5 points in a 50 minute sudden-death match. White (Chen), favored in the opening, took a lead after two major ko fights, and stayed ahead until the end after 298 moves. For more information on this year’s Ancient City of the Phoenix Cup including game record and photos, please visit Go Game Guru.
– Annalia Linnan, based on a longer article by Go Game Guru

via American Go E-Journal http://www.usgo.org/news/2013/09/ancient-city-of-the-phoenix-cup-chen-yaoye-vs-park-junghwan/

The Power Report (Part 2): King of the New Stars; Japan’s 15th Nong Shim Cup Team; September Promotions

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the American Go E-Journal

King of the New Stars: Yo Seiki (right), the first player in Japan to jump from 3-dan to 7-dan, was considered the favorite in the 38th King of the New Stars title match, but the first game of the best-of-three was taken by his opponent, Fujita Akihiko 3P (aged 21 to Yo’s 18). The game was played at the Nihon Ki-in in Ichigaya on September 17; taking white, Fujita won by resignation. The second game will be played on the 26th.

Japan’s 15th Nong Shim Cup Team: Japan’s Nong Shim Cup team was decided by a different system this year. As usual, the top players were seeded, but two places were filled through a qualifying tournament for younger players. The seeded players are Yuki Satoshi 9P, Cho U 9P, and Kono Rin 9P. Cho will be playing on the Japanese team for the first time since 2004, as a restriction that was imposed on players representing countries of which they are not citizens has been lifted. Cho is the only member of the Japanese team who has won an international title, whereas the Korean and Chinese teams each have four current or former world champions. In the qualifying tournament, eight players who have been chosen as members of the national team competed in two mini double-knockout tournaments. The winners were Anzai Nobuaki 6P (aged 28, at left) and Cho Chito 1P (aged 15). Anzai has some accomplishments already, notably reaching the final of this year’s Tengen tournament, but Cho was a dark horse who has been a professional for less than a year. Though not uncommon in Korea and China, this will be the first time a 15-year-old has played for Japan. Like Cho U, Cho Chito was born in Taiwan.

September Promotions: To 3-dan: Obuchi Kotaro (at right, son of Obuchi Norito 9P); Ms. Mannami Nao (both with 40 wins); To 4-dan: Suzuki Shinji (50 wins).

via American Go E-Journal http://www.usgo.org/news/2013/09/the-power-report-part-2-king-of-the-new-stars-japans-15th-nong-shim-cup-team-september-promotions/

Yeong Cha Converts for a Winning Position at Emory Tournament

Yeong Cha (center), an extremely strong player on the TYGEM go server, showed he’s just as comfortable on a real board by winning the third annual Emory Go Tournament player on Saturday, September 21 at Emory University in Atlanta, GA. “Yeong seemed very comfortable with vague, doubtful positions but he would always convert them into a winning position,” reports Tournament Director Jeffery Kerlagon. Emory University, which hosted the tournament for the third consecutive  year, “provides a great tournament game room,” said Kerlagon. “It is truly a grand facility.” Just over two dozen competitors from Georgia, Alabama and South Carolina turned out on a rainy night, and “New faces made this an exciting event,” Kerlagon added.

Winner’s Report: HIGH DAN DIVISION: 1st Place – Yeong Cha ($110); 2nd Place – Eric Kim ($70)
3rd Place – (Oasiny) Zhao ($40); DAN / KYU DIVISION: 1st Place – TIE – Rodney Keaton & Hiroshi Yamane ($40 each); 2nd Place – TIE – Darrell Speck & Adam Chesler ($25 each).
Photo: High Dan Division winners (l-r): Eric Kim, Yeong Cha, Oasiny Zhao; photo by Jeffery Kerlagon


via American Go E-Journal http://www.usgo.org/news/2013/09/yeong-cha-converts-for-a-winning-position-at-emory-tournament/

Collegiate Go League Off to “Stellar” New Season

The Collegiate Go League (CGL) started its new season last Saturday with a “stellar” launch. “We had many close matches, a simul with American pro Andy Liu 1P, and an incredible final game which went 362 moves!,” reports organizer Cole Pruitt. Thirteen schools are competing in two leagues, with players in ‘A’ league competing for a spot in the year-end National College Championship next April. Open any university-affiliated go players and clubs in North America, “Last year’s defending champions, University of Michigan, continue to field a strong team, but we’re expecting to see some competition from other perennial strong teams like University of Toronto,” says Pruitt. Click here for full results and game records. The next round is in two weeks, on Saturday October 5. Games are played on KGS, in the Collegiate Go League room, under ‘Tournaments’.


via American Go E-Journal http://www.usgo.org/news/2013/09/collegiate-go-league-off-to-stellar-new-season/

Shi Zhixiong 3D Tops NOVA Back-to-School Tourney

Two dozen players turned out for the September 21 NOVA Back-to-School tournament at the George Mason Law School in Arlington VA. Winners were Shi Zhixiong 3D (4-0), Yang Weiyu 1k (3-0), Bao Frederick 5 K (3-1), Yoo Sungyeon 8k and Bob Crites 9k (tied at 3-1), and Sarah Crites 21k (4-0). Shi Zhixiong was promoted to 4-dan and Sarah Crites was promoted to 19-kyu for the next NOVA tournament, the Pumpkin Classic, coming up on October 26.
– report/photo (of Bob and Sarah Crites) by Allan Abramson

via American Go E-Journal http://www.usgo.org/news/2013/09/shi-zhixiong-3d-tops-nova-back-to-school-tourney/

The Power Report (Part 1): Cho is Oza Challenger; 38th Kisei: Yamashita Wins A League; Iyama Draws Even in Meijin

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the American Go E-Journal

Cho is Oza Challenger: In the final to decide the challenger to Iyama Yuta for the 61st Oza title, held on September 12, Cho U 9P (B) defeated Yuki Satoshi 9P by 2.5 points. Last year Cho (right) missed out on qualifying for the Honorary Oza title when the challenger, Iyama Yuta, beat him 3-0. He now has a chance to take revenge. If he won back the title, it would be his eighth Oza title, so he could aim at securing the honorary title by winning it ten times in total. The title match will start on October 24.

38th Kisei: Yamashita Wins A League: Yamashita Keigo Meijin (left) won the A League of the 38th Kisei tournament before having to play his final game when Yamashiro Hiroshi 9P defeated Kiyonari Tetsuya 9P in the last fourth-round game on September 12. Taking black, Yamashiro Hiroshi won by 1.5 points. That put both players on 2-2 and so both are out of the running. In my previous report, I wrote that a number of players were still in the running in the A League, but I had forgotten that there is no play-off in a Kisei league. If Kiyonari had beaten Yamashiro and then won his fifth-round game while Yamashita lost his, then Kiyonari would have won the league; in any tie, Yamashita would take priority over other players because of his higher ranking. Yamashita will meet Murakawa Daisuke 7P in the play-off to decide the challenger to Iyama Yuta Kisei.

Iyama Draws Even in Meijin: The second game in the 38th Meijin title match was just as one-sided as the first, but this time it went in favor of challenger Iyama Yuta (right). On move 59, Yamashita Keigo Meijin made a misreading in a capturing race: he thought that he could get a one-approach-move ko, but it was actually a two-approach-move ko, that is, he would have had to play two extra moves before it became a real ko for him. There’s a big difference, and he was unable to recover from this setback. Black resigned after 162 moves. The third game will be played on September 25 and 26.
Tomorrow: King of the New Stars; Japan’s 15th Nong Shim Cup Team; September Promotions

via American Go E-Journal http://www.usgo.org/news/2013/09/the-power-report-part-1-cho-is-oza-challenger-38th-kisei-yamashita-wins-a-league-iyama-draws-even-in-meijin/

BGA Promotes Go at Mindsports International Fest in Cardiff

The British Go Association  (BGA) promoted go at the UK’s first Mindsports International (MSI) Festival  at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium the weekend of September 14-15. MSI says the event attracted about 500 enthusiasts of Scrabble, chess and the card-trading game Magic.

Rachel Riley (left), co-presenter and number-wizard on British terrestrial Channel 4′s ever-popular words-and-numbers TV gameshow, Countdown  – which also had a stand at the festival – was MSI’s UK ambassador and hosted the event on Sunday, providing commentary on some of the games.

Although no go tournament took place, BGA Councillor Roger Huyshe  ran a stand with the aim of introducing attendees to go, managing to sell four beginner’s books and three basic sets as well as putting eight or nine people in touch with their nearest go club and playing trial games with half a dozen. The most promising contact was with a couple who have Local Authority responsibility for 17 schools and are interested in setting up school chess and go clubs. Also helping staff the stand were BGA Membership Secretary Paul Barnard, Welsh Champion Dylan Carter  and, from the Cardiff Go Club, Neil Greenwood, Keiran Grayson and club secretary Neil Moffatt.

Mindsports (International) Ltd plans to mount a similar festival at the Palazzo Congress Center, LA on Dec 7-8, the second in the US. (See EJ 7/10 for a report of the first LA event).

– Report by Tony Collman, British correspondent for the EJ; Photo: Rachel Riley, seen here appearing on BBC TV’s top-rated reality show Strictly Come Dancing, courtesy of fansite rachelriley.org


via American Go E-Journal http://www.usgo.org/news/2013/09/bga-promotes-go-at-mindsports-international-fest-in-cardiff/

Chen Yaoye and Park Junghwan play a really big game of Go!

On September 21, 2013, Chen Yaoye 9p defeated Park Junghwan 9p by 14.5 points in a giant game of Go, in Fenghuang city, Hunan Province, China.

This was China’s second victory in this biennial exhibition match. The first was when Luo Xihe 9p defeated Lee Sedol 9p in 2007.

Chen Yaoye in excellent form

Chen Yaoye Hua Xueming 2013 ancient city of the phoenix 300x212 picture

Chen Yaoye 9 dan (left) with Hua Xueming 7 dan (captain of China’s national Weiqi team).

Chen Yaoye is currently #1 in China and has been in excellent form this year.

His style is thick and solid, similar to Yoda Norimoto 9p and Kong Jie 9p.

Kong Jie, in particular, may have had an influence on Chen’s play, since they’re team mates in the Chinese A League.

White takes an early lead

The opening was better for white (Chen), and there were two big ko fights, on the left side and in the top right corner.

Black made a mistake on the right side, after the second ko, and white took the lead.

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Human ‘Go stones’ demonstrate traditional martial arts at the 2013 Ancient City of the Phoenix Cup.

Park tried hard to catch up, but Chen’s counters were perfect and the game became even worse for black as a result.

Chen was winning by a big margin when the game ended, after 298 moves, but Park didn’t resign because it was a special exhibition match.

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Park Junghwan 9 dan (left) and Chen Yaoye 9 dan nigiri (choose colors) at the start of the game.

The pressure of sudden death

The time limit for this game was 50 minutes sudden death.

That means that if a player uses more than 50 minutes, they immediately lose the game.

It seems like Park was nervous about running out of time, and he didn’t use his time properly.

Sometimes he played too quickly, in places where he should have spent more time. And he played too passively at times, when he should have fought back.

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Feeling the heat? Being a human Go stone can be a tough gig.

The Ancient City of the Phoenix Cup

This ‘Ancient City of the Phoenix Cup’ started in 2003. It’s an exhibition match that takes place every two years in Fenghuang City, China, between a top player from China and Korea.

Fenghuang (凤凰) is the Chinese word for ‘phoenix’.

The winner’s prize is 400,000 RMB (about $65,000 USD at the time writing). The runner up takes home 280,000 RMB.

The head to head record so far is 3-1-2 in Korea’s favor (one draw because there was a quadruple ko between Chang Hao and Lee Changho in 2005).

During the game, 361 people (dressed in black and white outfits) demonstrate traditional martial arts, before taking a seat as a stone on a giant Go board.

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A game of Go in progress in Fenghuang City, China.

The huge Go board is 31.7 m long, with an area 1005 square meters.

Many people come to watch these spectacular matches.

The board is situated in the world heritage listed area of China’s Southern Great Wall (different to the Great Wall of China), where one of the most beautiful castles in the world is.

The official name of the match translates literally to something like ‘Phoenix Ancient City World Go Champion of Champions’, so it’s not easy to translate it elegantly into English.

Because of this, Go Game Guru has decided to translate the name as ‘Ancient City of the Phoenix Cup’, which flows more naturally in English.

Previous results

  • 2003: Cho Hunhyun 9p (white) defeated Chang Hao 9p by 10.5 points
  • 2005: Lee Changho 9p and Chang Hao 9p drew, after a quadruple ko
  • 2007: Luo Xihe 9p (white) defeated Lee Sedol 9p by resignation
  • 2009: Lee Sedol 9p (black) defeated Gu Li 9p by 5.5 points
  • 2011: Choi Cheolhan 9p (black) defeated Kong Jie 9p by 2.5 points
  • 2013: Chen Yaoye 9p (white) defeated Park Junghwan 9p by 14.5 points.

More photos

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Park Junghwan Chen Yaoye 2013 ancient city of the phoenix 1 150x150 picture
Park Junghwan Chen Yaoye 2013 ancient city of the phoenix 150x150 picture
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Chang Hao 2013 ancient city of the phoenix 150x150 picture
Choi Cheolhan Kong Jie statue 2013 ancient city of the phoenix 150x150 picture
Lee Sedol Gu Li statue 2013 ancient city of the phoenix 150x150 picture
Chang Hao Lee Changho statue 2013 ancient city of the phoenix 150x150 picture
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Game record

Park Junghwan vs Chen Yaoye

[Embedded SGF File]

Is this the world’s biggest Go board?

Even though we have the dimensions of this huge Go board, we’re not sure if it’s bigger than the one at Lanke Mountain (because we don’t have the dimensions for that one at the moment).

What do you think? Have a look at the photos below and the photos of the Lanke Mountain Go board, and leave a comment below to let me know which one you think is bigger!

via Go Game Guru http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/gogameguru/~3/DIGOL09Mu04/