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The Bay Area Go Players Association and the San Francisco Go Club got a jump on Learn Go Week at the August 22-24 Japan Expo, which attracted thousands of fans of Japanese culture to San Mateo, California. The BAGPA and SFGC were on hand to teach the constant stream of attendees who wanted to learn to play go.
report/photo by Steve Burrall; photo: (front to back on the right): Matthew Burrall, BAGPA president Jay Chan and SF Go Club VP Eric Branlun, all teaching beginners.
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Players from China, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and the U.S. gathered in Qingdao, China on August 26-28 for the group stage of the 19th Samsung Cup. However, the stand-out competitor was Chinese player Rui Naiwei 9p (left), the only female player make it through to the next, or knockout, stage. Rui is one of only two women to ever make it to the knockout phase of the Samsung; she’s not only done so seven times, but made it to the quarter finals in the 5th and 6th Samsung Cups. This year, she is already off to a good start with two wins against Taiwan’s Xiao Zhenghao 8p (left). Rui will join Park Junghwan 9p, Lee Sedol 9p, and the 13 other knockout finalists in Daejeon, Korea on October 14-16 to compete for this year’s quarter finals. For more information on this year’s Samsung Cup including photos, game records, and pairings for the next round, visit Go Game Guru.
–Annalia Linnan, based on a longer article by Go Game Guru; photos courtesy Go Game Guru
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UK: Aja Huang 5d took the MSO Open on August 25 in London. Francisco Divers 2d placed second and Andrew Simons 4d third. Sweden: John Karlsson 4d bested Mingyu Chen 5d at the Stockholm Open on August 23 while Charlie Aakerblom 4d was third. Netherlands: The Zomergo 2014 finished in Lunteren on August 20 with Matthias Terwey 4d (left) in first, Rene Aaij 4d in second, and Zeno van Ditzhuijzen 5d in third.
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As school starts for most of the country, so has registration for the next year of the Pandanet-AGA City League. “We are changing things up a little this year and are looking for more teams!” reports TD Steve Colburn. “We are expanding the A and B Leagues are expanding to eight teams each.” Teams have until Sunday September 28th to send in registrations. Colburn is also looking for a League Manager to help during the year. All teams should contact Steve.Colburn@usgo.org for more information.
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Terri Schurter 9K posted her best-ever US Go Congress tournament results this year, taking second place in the 9K division. The retired high school art teacher (at left) from Ewing, New Jersey, is a longtime go player who’s taken up fiber arts in retirement and could be seen calmly stitching together hexagonal pieces of fabric throughout the weeklong Congress. “I decided to document my stitching by photographing my progress each day on a go board,” she writes on her Hexy Lady blog. “I think that stitching throughout the week calmed my nerves,” Schurter told the E-Journal. “I find it to be a form of meditation, so it may have helped me to maintain a calm mind. Stitching during games is of questionable value, though sometimes I could not resist the urge with adequate time on my clock.”
photos by Chris Garlock (left) and Terri Schurter
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by John Power, EJ Japan Correspondent
Iyama Takes Lead, Then Kono Catches Up In Gosei Title Match: The third game of the 39th Gosei title match was held at the Nagaoka Grand Hotel in Nagaoka City, Niigata Prefecture, on August 11. This was three weeks after the second game, which is a long gap for a best-of-five. Playing black, the challenger Kono Rin 9-dan (right, in photo) seemed to have a slight advantage when he won a ko and killed a white group fairly early in the game (before move 100), but he made a couple of slack moves later that cost him his chance to wrap up the game. Worse, he made an overly aggressive answer to a white invasion and ended up on the wrong side of a losing capturing race. He resigned on move 204. The fourth game was held on Iyama’s home ground, the Kansai Headquarters of the Nihon Ki-in, on August 25, but that didn’t help him. Playing white, Kono forced a resignation after 224 moves. I don’t have any information about the course of the game. The deciding game will be played on Kono’s home ground, the Tokyo headquarters of the Nihon Ki-in in Ichigaya, on August 29.
Kono Doing Well In Other Tournaments: Regardless of whether or not he takes the Gosei title, Kono Rin (left) is the in-form player at the moment in Japan (see the TV Asia Cup report below). As of August 23, his win-loss record was 42-12, a winning record of nearly 78%. He has the most wins by a comfortable margin. On August 4, he won the play-off to become the Meijin challenger, as reported earlier. On August 13, he beat Yoda Norimoto 9-dan in the semifinal of the 40th Tengen tournament, so there is a good chance he will be making yet another challenge to Iyama; taking white, he won by 6.5 points. (His opponent in the final will be Takao Shinji, who beat Ichiriki Ryo in the other semifinal on August 21.) He has also reached the semifinal of the 21st Agon Kiriyama Cup.
Lee Se-Dol Wins TV Asia Cup: Lee Se-dol (right) had not won an international title for a while, but he is ahead in his ten-game match with Gu Li and he offered more evidence, if it should be needed, that he is still a force to be reckoned with by winning the 26th TV Asia Cup. In the final, he beat Kono Rin (left, in photo at right). Kono had encouraged Japanese fans by beating the player currently ranked number one in the world, Pak Jung-hwan of Korea, in the semifinal, but he was outmatched by Lee in the final. This is the third time Lee has won this title and the first time for six years. This year the tournament was staged in Beijing.
Full results: Round 1, Game 1 (August 16). Lee Se-dol 9-dan (Korea) (B) beat Tao Xinran 5-dan (China) by resig. Round 1, Game 2 (August 16). Kono (B) beat Li Qinchang 1-dan by 1.5 points. (Though just a 1-dan, the 15-year-old Li won the Chinese qualifying tournament telecast on CCTV.) Round 1, Game 3 (August 17). Pak Jung-hwan 9-dan (Korea) (B) beat Yuki Satoshi 9-dan (Japan) by resig. Semifinal 1 (August 17). Lee (B) beat Iyama Yuta by 2.5 points. Semifinal 2 (August 18) Kono (B) beat Pak by resig. Final (August 19). Lee beat Kono by resig.
Fujisawa Rin To Make First Challenge: The pairing in the play-off to decide the challenger to Mukai Chiaki for the 33rd Women’s Honinbo Title was the same as in the final of the new women’s tournament the Aizu Central Hospital Cup: Fujisawa Rina (right) vs. Okuda Aya (left). The result was the same: a win for Fujisawa. The game was played at the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo on August 21; taking white, Fujisawa forced a resignation. Fujisawa is bidding to become the female Iyama Yuta, as she is rewriting the record book for youth landmarks. She will be exactly 16 when the first game of the title match is played on October 8 (birthday September 18); the previous youngest challenger was Xie Yimin at 17 years 10 months.
27th Women’s Meijin League: Two games were played in the first round of the 27th Women’s Meijin League on August 21. Kato Keiko 6-dan (B) beat Chinen Kaori 4-dan by 1.5 points and Mukai Chiaki, Women’s Honinbo, (B) beat Aoki Kikuyo 8-dan by 4.5 points.
Promotions: To 9-dan: Mizokami Tomochika (200 wins); To 4-dan: Kanazawa Makoto (50 wins); To 2-dan: Fujimura Yosuke (30 wins).
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When you think of a go school you probably imagine us holed up inside for endless hours of study, practice and play. So you would have been surprised to see the Blackie’s International Baduk Academy (BIBA) students recently when we went camping and hit the beach.
After a three-hour drive, we arrived at a cabin on the side of a spectacular mountain; shades of summer camp back in the States. Except that in this cabin there was a very nice go board and bowls of stones waiting for us, and less than ten minutes after we arrived, we were playing go. After losing a couple of games to fellow students, I decided to try my luck on the tennis court just outside the cabin. Tennis is my favorite physical sport, so I jumped at the chance to finally get outside and play and we had time for two matches before lunch.
After lunch, we hiked to a waterfall. It was a bit more strenuous getting there than I’d anticipated but well worth it for the refreshing plunge into the icy waters. When another student dove under the waterfall to try and get a rock from beneath the crashing waters, I had to take the challenge on as well. Just like go, however, it proved to be far more difficult than I had realized. Diving under a waterfall and fighting the current to get to the bottom was very hard! I persevered, however, and was finally able to get a rock as well. Here we are at the side of the waterfall getting ready to take the plunge.
After our trip to the waterfall, we all went back to the camp to play more go and tennis, including doubles and Pair Go. My score for the day: seven games of go, seven tennis matches, and one rock from the waterfall. I slept very well that night but the next day I was really sore! No pain, no gain, right?
A few days after our camping trip, it was time for the yearly trip to the beach. The first day was a bit of a disappointment since the waves were too large and beach security wouldn’t let anyone in. No problem for go players: we went back to the hotel and played go. The second day was far more exciting, still with big waves, but safe enough for us to go in. Again like go, though, appearances were deceptive. After riding the waves a good few times, I was pushed into the beach where I was knocked over and dragged back into the water only to be hit by the next wave. This repeated about four times before I was able to stand up and get out of the current. I probably should have resigned there but no, back in I went. Riding the waves more carefully this time around, I was really enjoying myself, until, a really big wave lifted me and my float ring up, completely flipped me over and threw me into the beach face first. With a bloody nose and sore shoulder, I was 0-2 but not ready to resign just yet and went right back into the water for a few more hours of fun.
Getting good at go is hard work but it’s important to remember to have fun. The BIBA students managed to find challenges on our mountain and beach vacation but most of all we had a lot of fun and welcomed the respite from the continuous study schedule we’re accustomed to. I look forward to our next outing, but now it’s back to work!
Shawn Ray, known as Clossius to his YouTube and KGS fans, recently moved to Korea to do a series of lessons on BadukTV. photos courtesy Ray.
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Wei Zhou 7D won the 2014 Korean Ambassador’s Cup, held August 17 in Sydney, New South Wales. Zenglin Wang 5D won the B Division and Florian Max 5K won Division C. The first Sydney Spring Tournament is set for Sunday October 19 in Surry Hills, New South Wales. Click here for the Australian Go Association’s tournament and event calendar. To receive the Australian go news email newsletter, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
– Horatio Davis, Special Correspondent
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