Act Now to Get Discount on US Go Congress Registration

“There’s still time to take advantage of the early registration discount for this year’s US Go Congress,” says Congress Director Josh Larson. “Prices go up June 1st, so sign up and pay to take advantage of the discount.” Click here for details on the biggest annual US go event, which runs August 1-9 in St Paul, Minnesota. “We’ve got a great Congress planned this year!”


via American Go E-Journal

UK Go Updates: British Youth Postponed

British Youth Postponed: Originally planned for May 31, the British Youth Go Championship has been pushed to the fall of 2015. The UK Go Challenge Finals (13×13 boards) is going ahead though on Saturday 18th July in Letchworth Garden City. All young players are welcome to attend.

Challengers’ LeagueThis year’s Challengers’ League, played between the top 8 available players coming out of the Candidates’ Tournament, took place at the Goddard Arms in Swindon on May 23-26. Andrew Kay (the reigning British Champion) won all of his games to lead the field, followed by Andrew Simons who won all of his games except for his game against Andrew Kay. Charles Hibbert, playing in his first Challengers’ League, finished with 4 wins in third place. Andrew Kay and Andrew Simons will now go on to play for this year’s British Championship title.

via American Go E-Journal

Go Commentary: Iyama Yuta vs Takao Shinji – 40th Tengen Final

This is game 4 from the 40th Tengen final.

The game was played between Iyama Yuta 9p and Takao Shinji 9p on December 11, 2014 in Kobe, Japan.

Iyama Yuta 9 dan (left) and Takao Shinji 9 dan at the 40th Tengen final.

Iyama Yuta 9 dan (left) and Takao Shinji 9 dan at the 40th Tengen final.

Iyama Yuta

Iyama Yuta is the absolute #1 player in Japan, and he’s still Japan’s greatest hope in the international Go scene.

He was holding six major titles out of seven when this game was played. However, he was defeated by Murakawa Daisuke 7p in the 62nd Oza final by 3-2 after few days from this game.

Takao Shinji 9 dan (left) and Iyama Yuta 9 dan were walking along the garden.

Takao Shinji 9 dan (left) and Iyama Yuta 9 dan were walking along the garden.

Iyama challenged for 37th Tengen in 2011, and defeated Yuki Satoshi 9p 3-0 in the final to take the Tengen title.

On the following year, Iyama defeated Kono Rin 9p by 3-0 in the final as well.

In 2013, Akiyama Jiro 9p was the new challenger, but he couldn’t win any games against Iyama in the final.

Iyama played nine games in first three finals of Tengen since he challenged, and he shut them out all.

This was his 3rd time defending Tengen, and he was leading the series by 2-1 in the best of five before this game.

Takao Shinji

Takao Shinji was the new challenger, and it was his first time to challenge the Tengen.

He won the 60th Honinbo, defeating Cho U 9p in 2005, and that was his first major title. He won four more major titles up to 2008, and he was one of the best players in Japan by that time.

However, he didn’t add any major titles after five years since then. He challenged for 35th Meijin, but lost to Iyama Yuta by 4-0 in 2010.

Iyama Yuta 9 dan (left) and Takao Shinji 9 dan, when the game was finished.

Iyama Yuta 9 dan (left) and Takao Shinji 9 dan, when the game was finished.

He also challenged for 36th Kisei, but was defeated by Cho U by 4-3 in 2012.

On the following year, he challenged for 68th Honinbo, but lost to Iyama Yuta again by 4-3.

Nevertheless, he eventually came back to the title holder with Judan in 2014. He challenged for 52nd Judan against Yuki Satoshi, and he won the title with a 3-2 score.

Therefore, if he took the Tengen, he would be holding two major titles.

In this final of Tengen, Iyama won game 1 and 3, so this was kadoban for Takao in this best of five match.

Let’s have a look at the game.

Commented game record

Iyama Yuta vs Takao Shinji

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“Playing many games will make you strong!?” Not necessarily

I’ve recently learned that both Ootake Hideo 9dan and Iyama Yuta 9dan claimed that “in order to get strong, one should play a lot of games.”

I confess I was rather shocked to hear this- in my experience, adults who make an effort to play a large number of games at the expense of studying develop a playing style in which many common mistakes become solidified. I have visited dozens of Go clubs and witnessed hundreds of adults who play common mistakes over the years.

I have great respect for these pros- after all, they are some of the best in the world- but I could not understand why they said this. So I decided to look into their biographies and playing experience. Some relevant facts I discovered:

1. Both Ootake and Iyama had wonderful Go teachers when they were kids.
2. They began learning Go when they were young, so they learned everything very quickly (young children often learn something once and never forget).
3. In addition, they also happened to be extremely talented Go players.

When Ootake was a child, he went to a Go club near his house and played with many adults. In this Go club, there were some strong players. When I read his biography, I can infer that those strong players had a properly training, so they knew advanced tesuji and techniques. He also had a 5dan Go teacher (at that time, the rank of 5dan was equivalent to what we would today consider 7dan or higher). Under his tautologies, Otaka improved miraculously. Later on, he became an apprentice of Kitani Minoru 9dan.

(It is important to have a good teacher and / or to be surrounded by players who have been well trained. As far as I know, in a majority of Go clubs in Tokyo many of the strong players never have proper training, so they don’t know tesuji or good shapes. But their styles still work because their opponents are also not properly trained.)

When Ootake started living in Kitani Minoru’s house, there were already many talented Go prodigies who were pros and insei (Go apprentices), living in the house. Ootake played stronger players all the time.

Iyama also had a good Go teacher. His grandfather was a 6dan amateur and taught him for a year. Iyama stared playing Go at the age of 5. He became 5 kyu in half year and then became 3dan in another half year. It appears to be like the grandfather had a proper training, so he could teach his grandson well.

Then, he was introduced to Ishii Kunio 9dan pro who entered the Meijin and Honinbo Leagues. About 95% of the Japanese pros cannot enter these leagues. Some pros enter it only once. So the fact that he entered three leagues prove that he was one of the top pros when he started teaching Iyama.

Ishii 9dan taught Iyama twice a week. At first he played a six-stone handicap games and gave the commentary over the phone. Ishi continued to teach Iayam even after he became a pro every week.

Also another pro, Kenmochi Jyo 7dan, played with Iyama once a week before Iyama was a child. He also went to Kenmochi’s house in summer and winter vacations and played with him, Takao Shinji pro, who later became Honinbo, and Akiyama Shinji pro, who later becamse 9dan.

One day Iyama also joined the late Fujisawa Hideyuki Go camp and played many games with top players.

Ootake and Iyama were prodigies, had great Go teachers who played a large number of games and reviewed their games.

But not all pros had this kind of wonderful environment.

For example, Fukui Masaaki 9dan did not have a Go teacher when he was a child. He had only famous Honinbo Dosaku Games. Dosaku was once the strongest player during the Samurai period. Fukui played those games so many times that he eventually memorized all the games.

I was once an assistant of Sensei Fukui’s class and taught with him for three years. During that time, I never heard him say “amateurs should play as many games as possible”. He seemed to give advice differently to a different student.

Consequently, pros’ advice has a lot to do with their personal backgrounds.

Also the advice of Ootake’s and Iyama’s may not apply to adults becuase most amateur adult Go players have different situations.

1. Most adults don’t have very good Go teachers. So they may study for years without learning proper tesuji, shape, joseki, etc.
2. When adults learn tesuji, shape, joseki in a Go class, they have a hard time remembering it. (Kids who are dan level can learn shapes, tesuji, patterns and retain this knowledge for a long time.)
3. Most adults are not Go prodigies like Ootake or Iyama.
4. Most adults started learning Go when they were an adult, not a 5-year-old.

In my experience it takes adults a certain amount of time to learn just one tesuji; it may take up to a month. That’s not what happened with Ootake or Iyama. They could learn one tesuji and begin using it in their games immediately, and they would never forget it.

This is not to say that all children are natural Go players. There are many children who are not as talented as Ootake or Iyama; quite a few stop playing Go because they cannot
improve quickly.

Also without a Go teacher who teaches and cares about kids, it may not be easy to improve or enjoy playing Go. The other day I had an email from Mimura Tomoyasu 9dan, who has entered the Meijin and Honinbo Leagues many times. He runs a Go school for children. Quite a few kyu players quite because there aren’t a Go teacher there. All the pros are busy teaching dan players.

In conclusion pros tend to give advice based on their experiences. But that may not be applicable to anyone.

via Go, Igo, Weiqi, Baduk. Kaz’s original Igo-advice & fundamentals of Igo

May 28, 2015 at 12:17PM

No Nominees Yet For 2015 AGA Board Elections

The three American Go Association (AGA) regional Board of Director seats are up for election and with just over two weeks to go, no candidates have been nominated. The current terms of office expire this September. Nominations, including self-nominations may be made by full members for the region in which the member resides and must be received by June 15, 2015. Nominations and questions must be emailed to Click here for complete election information and qualifications.

via American Go E-Journal

YouTube’s Haylee to Play Live Against Nick Sibicky at US Go Congress

Lee Hajin 3p, popularly known on YouTube as Haylee, will record one of her signature play-and-explain games at the US Go Congress, the AGA announced.  Though the exact format is still to be determined, her opposition will include fellow YouTube broadcaster Nick Sibicky, possibly as part of a team, said AGA VP of Operations Andrew Jackson. “The idea is we stream Hajin in one room telling us about her game while the 2015.05.26_HajinLee-Hayleeopponents are debating their fate in another room, probably also recorded.  We’ll edit the two videos together later to put on YouTube.” This year’s Congress runs August 1-9 in St Paul, MN.

In her videos, Hajin records as she plays a random player on Tygem, explaining her moves and thinking as she goes along.  In Haylee’s gentle but disciplined playing style, games usually proceed rather quietly until her opponent — generally a very strong player — makes a modest mistake and their game disintegrates like an airplane whose rivets turn out to have been made of putty. Lee, a frequent Go Congress attendee, does the Haylee videos as a sideline to her current job as Secretary General of the International Go Federation.  She has more than 2,800 subscribers and 214,000 views for her 90 videos.  Nick Sibicky started his YouTube channel with recordings of his DDK lessons at the Seattle Go Center, and they have grown in popularity, reaching nearly 9,000 subscribers with more than three quarters of a million views.
Andy Okun


via American Go E-Journal

Maryland Open, Played Memorial Day Weekend, Rated Memorial Day Weekend

The 42nd annual Maryland Open, which was played last Saturday and Sunday, was entered into the ratings system the next day and ratings2015.05.25_md-open-keith updated before the players returned to work Tuesday morning, report American Go Association staff.  “Our compliments to organizer Keith Arnold, TD Todd Heidenreich and the other volunteers who manage the event every year,” said AGA president Andy Okun.  “We received an error-free ratings report on Sunday night and quickly confirmed that all the players had memberships.  You can’t ask for better than that.  We should all take inspiration from their example.” photo: Arnold (right) at the MD Open; photo by Steve Colburn


via American Go E-Journal

EuroGoTV Update: Sweden, France, Russia, Romania, Turkey, Switzerland and Austria

2015.05.25_FredrikSweden: The Swedish Championships 2015, played from 5/15-17 in Gothenburg, Sweden, were won by Fredrik Blomback 6d (left). Second came Charlie Aakerblom 5d and third was Yang Huang 5d. Result table.

France: In France several national championships took place in the commune of Cachan, in the weekend of 5/9-5/10.2015.05.25_French Under 16 final
The French Championships in the category of Under 12 was won by Lexiang Sun 7k. Second came Ismael Fathallah 11k and third was Thibault Morel 16k. Result table.
The French Championships – Under 16 – was won by Guillaume Ougier 1k who managed to beat his rival and big talent Isaac Scribe 3k in the thrilling finals by half a point. Third place was claimed by Leo Teychenne 7k. Result table. Photo: final game of Under 16 in France (left) Isaac Scribe, (right) Guillaume Ougier, with Toru Imamura Cornuejols 4d reviewing
2015.05.25_ArienneThe French Championships – Under 18 – was won by Ariane Ougier 1d (left), big sister of Guillaume. Second place was for Sylvain Bousquet 3k and on third place finished Julien Dartigues 6k. Result table.
The second stage of the Main French Championships were played a week later from 5/16-5/17 in the city of Orsay. The victor was Mathieu Daguenet 3d, with Julien Miralles 2d in second place and Stephan Kunne 1d trailing in third place. Result table.
Clearly investing in their youth players, the French also recently organised the Pau Youth Tournament, played on the 17th of May in Pau. It was won by Kim Schott Dedieu 15k. Second came Jade Rindlisbacher 20k and third was Axel Chadeau 20k. Result table.

Russia: Another country that has recently been organising many local youth tournaments.
On the 16th of May the third stage of the Youth Moscow Grand Prix took place in Moscow. 36 youngsters competed in the tournament, which was won by Anatolij Khokhlov 12k, with Roman Kolgushkin 14k in second place and Ivan Afanasjev 17k in third place. Result table. In the city of Tolyatti, the Cup of Tolyatti took place on the 17th of May. It was won by Robert Gorbunov 5k. Second came Nikita Semenov 9k and Nikita Allin 6k was third. Result table. The Children’s Group of the same tournament had sixteen kids fighting for the crown. Ivan Peshkov 10k came out as the winner, with Stanislav Arefjev 15k as second best and Alexandr Gurevich 15k in third place. Result table.
The Championships of the Crimean Federal District, played from 5/15-5/17 in Simferopol, was won by Gleb Kajro 1k. Second came Demjan Zavgorodnij 2k and third was Nikolaj Zareckij 3k. Result table.

Romania: The 6th Radu Baciu Grand Prix – stage 3, played from 5/16-5/17 in Bistrita, Romania, was won by Viorel Arsinoaia 2d. Second came George Ginguta 2d and third was Adrian Nedan 1k. Result table.

Turkey: Turkey has been rapidly developing as a go country over the past few years, with more and more tournaments seeing the light of day and a big group of students playing the game. The 10th Hacettepe Tournament, played from 5/16-5/17 in Ankara, Turkey, had a total of 76 participants. The best of them all was Engin Serkan Solmazoglu 1d who won all his games. Second place was claimed by Fatih Sulak 2d and third was Ilyas Tanguler 1d. Result table.

Switzerland: The Veyrier-Ko Go Club Tournament, played from 5/16-5/17 in Club de Bridge des Bergues (CBB), Switzerland, was won by Chunyang Xiao 2d. Second came Semi Lee 2d and third was Longteng Chen 2d. Result table.

Austria: The Go7 Samstagsturnier, played on Sunday the 16th of May 16-05-2015 in Vienna, Austria, had professional player Baolong Zhao competing as well as top Austrian player Lothar Spiegel 5d. As is often the case with handicap games, it does not mean that the strongest players automatically win. The tournament was won by Christian Bernscherer 5k who used his handicap stones to their maximum efficiency, with Alexander Huber 8k in second place and Lisa Mayer 3k in third place. Result table.
– Kim Ouweleen, European Correspondent for the E-Journal, based on reports from EuroGoTV

via American Go E-Journal

Mexico Bests Portland in School Match

DSC_0092Mexico City triumphed over Portland, OR in a friendly children’s tourney held May 16th on KGS, reports organizer Peter Freedman. Each city fielded a team of six children, ranked from 10-21k. They participated in a three-round tournament using 19×19 boards and KGS handicaps. “Luke Helprin’s parents hosted the Portland team at their house, and his dad Ted graciously provided snacks and helped with Spanish,” said Freedman.  Portland got off to a good start in round one by winning 4 out of 6 games.  Round two was a tie with each team winning 3 matches, setting the stage for a decisive showdown.  In the third round, Mexico City came up from behind by winning 5 out of 6 matches. -Austin Freeman with Paul Barchilon.  Photo by Siddhartha Avila: Members of the Mexican team Skyping with Portland.  

Winners Report: Overall Wins: Mexico 10, Portland 8; 3 game winner: Luke Helprin 20k; 2 game winners: Hikaru Saito 10k, Diego Ali Manjarrez 14k, Leonardo Valdovinos 14k, Daniela Luciano 22k, Almudena Espinosa 21k.


via American Go E-Journal

Go Classified: Go World Mags for Sale


Nearly Complete Set of Go World Magazine For Sale: All issues of Go World, except #13 and #23.  #5 is missing its cover and #129 (last issue) is still in the unopened envelope as mailed from Japan.  There are also some extras that could be used to trade. Conditions are generally near perfect, though some of the earlier ones show some wear.  Will entertain offers (including, perhaps, donation to a non-profit of some sort). Located in western Colorado, could possibly be delivered to Denver area. Fairly heavy (roughly 45lbs) so shipping will be somewhat pricey. Contact for more information.
Go classifieds are free; send yours to

via American Go E-Journal