The Power Report (1): Women’s Meijin League; Honinbo League; Iyama wins Oza, regains quintuple crown; Terayama repeats in Young Carp

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Women’s Meijin League: Two important games were played in the 28th Women’s Meijin League last week. On November 16, Fujisawa Rina, Women’s Honinbo, (W) beat Mannami Nao 3P by 6.5 points. Fujisawa had to win this game to keep alive her chances of becoming the challenger. She goes to 3-1, in equal second place with Okuda Aya 3P. Mannami drops to 2-2, so all she can aim at is keeping her place. The tough thing for Fujisawa and Okuda is that they are ranked equal 5th in the league. The leader is Aoki Kikuyo 8P, who is ranked second. In my previous report, I mentioned that Aoki just had to win two of her remaining three games to become the challenger, as she would take precedence in a tie. She played the first of those three games on November 19. Taking black, she beat Suzuki Ayumi 6P by 1.5 points. That improves her score to 4-0 and improves her odds to 1 in 2, as she now just has to win one game out of two. Her remaining opponents are Mannami and Fujisawa. The above game was Aoki’s seventh win in a row.

Honinbo League: One game in the 71st Honinbo League was played on November 19. Kono Rin 9P (W) beat Cho U 9P by resignation. 2015.11.24_Oza 3 IyamaKono improves his score to 1-1 and Cho is 0-2. Cho’s decision to return home to Taiwan is not paying off yet.

Iyama wins Oza, regains quintuple crown: The third game of the 63rd Oza title match was held at the Hotel Okura Kobe in Kobe City, Hyogo Prefecture on November 19. In dominating form, Iyama Yuta (black, at left) pounced on a misreading by the titleholder, Murakawa Daisuke (right), and seized the initiative. Iyama’s flawless play then denied Murakawa any chance to get back into the game and he was forced to resign after just 135 moves. Murakawa was unable to match the precision of Iyama’s reading; after a reign of just one year, he surrendered the title he took from Iyama last year. With this win, Iyama regains his quintuple crown after a gap of 11 months. This is his third Oza title and his 33rd title overall. It is also his 23rd successive win. Go journalists are starting to refer to the record set by Sakata Eio, 23rd 2015.11.24_Young carp final, Terayama (left)Honinbo, in 1963 and 1964 of 29 successive wins. What the two streaks have in common is that many of the wins were in title matches or tournament finals, so the defeated opponents were mainly top players.

Teranishi repeats in Young Carp: The semifinals and final of the 10th Hiroshima Aluminium Cup Young Carp Tournament, open to Nihon Ki-in players under 31 and under 8-dan, were held at the Central Japan Newspaper Building in Hiroshima on November 22. In the semifinals, Shida Tatsuya 7P (B) beat Yo Seiki 7P and Teranishi Rei 4P (B) beat last year’s winner Motoki Katsuya 7P; the margin in both games was 2.5 points. In the final, Teranishi (B) forced Shida to resign after 159 moves. Teranishi (at left) also won the 5th cup. First prize is three million yen.
Tomorrow: Pair Go tournament for professional couples; Iyama tops most-wins list; Huang wins Chinese Agon Kiriyama

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Go Commentary: Shi Yue vs Park Younghun – 2015 Samsung Cup

This game is from the 2015 Samsung Cup, round of 32, group stage.
It was played by Shi Yue 9p and Park Younghun 9p on September 8, 2015, in Beijing, China.

Shi-Yue 9 dan (left) and Park Younghun 9 dan at the 2015 Samsung Cup.

Shi Yue

Shi Yue had been ranked #1 in China for more than a year, but Ke Jie 9p has been very powerful, and Shi Yue’s rank was down to #2 in September, 2015.

Shi Yue 9 dan at the 2015 Samsung Cup.

Shi Yue 9 dan at the 2015 Samsung Cup.

His style of play is basically thick and solid, but he’s very tough and bold at fighting.

He doesn’t play aggressively when he is ahead, but when he is behind or a battle begins, he changes himself into a fighting mode to becomes a strong warrior.

Shi Yue isn’t only good at fighting, but also good second half of the game.

At an interview in 2013, Lee Sedol said  “Shi Yue is the toughest player to play against, because it’s hard to find his weaknesses”.

He won the 17th LG Cup, by defeating Won Seongjin 9p in the final, in February 2013, and he’s still one of the most powerful players in the world today.

In early November, he defeated Tang Weixing 9p in the semifinals of this Samsung Cup to proceed to the final.

Park Younghun

Park Younghun 9p is ranked #3 in Korea.

Park-Younghun-Samsung-CupPark won the 17th Fujitsu Cup in 2004 by defeating Yoda Norimoto 9p, and that was his first international title.

With the victory, he became the youngest 9p in history in Korea.

He also won the 1st Zhonghuan Cup by defeating O Rissei 9p in 2005, and he won the 20th Fujitsu Cup again by defeating Lee Changho 9p in 2007.

After winning the Fujitsu Cup, he’s added quite a few of domestic titles, but his results in the international tournaments haven’t been impressive.

His style of play is light and peaceful. He doesn’t rush, but tries to maintain the balance of the game.

Park is very specialized at endgame and counting, so his general strategy is to maintain the balance of territory and power until the end of middle game.

And then he can consolidate his winning games or try to reverse losing games in the endgame stage.

He’s been struggling against fighting oriented style players for a while, but he’s been playing quite well in the middle game lately, and his rank has been going up to #3 in Korea just after Park Junghwan 9p and Lee Sedol 9p.

Very recently, he proceeded to the final of the 20th LG Cup by defeating Tuo Jiaxi 9p.

Anyway, their style of play is completely different, and let’s have a look at their game.

Reviewing just after the game.

Reviewing just after the game.

Commented game record

Shi Yue vs Park Younghun

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MLily Semifinal Showdown Tonight: Park Younghoon 9P vs Ke Jie 9P Live on AGA Youtube Channel

Ke Jie 9P lost Game 2 of the MLily Cup semifinal against Park Younghoon 9P Monday night, setting up a decisive Game 3 showdown that will be2015.11.24_mlily-semifinal broadcast Tuesday night. Myungwan Kim 9P will provide live English commentary on the AGA’s Youtube Channel starting at 7P PST (10P EST).

 

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More Pro Go on the AGA Youtube Channel: Park Younghoon 9P vs Ke Jie 9P, with Myungwan Kim 9P commenting, 11/23 at 6pm PST

Catch more top professional games with live English commentary on the AGA’s Youtube Channel Monday, November 23. Myungwan Kim 9P will comment the semifinals of the MLily Cup, between Park Younghoon 9P (#3 in Korea) and Ke Jie 9P (#1 in China). The MLily Cup is one of the major international tournaments, with a grand prize of over a quarter million dollars US. They’re playing a best-of-three series, with the first game already in the books — a win for Ke Jie — and Game #2 will be broadcast LIVE this Monday at 7pm PST (10p EST). As a bonus, Myungwan Kim will also review game #1 during the player’s lunch break.

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EuroGoTV May Return, If Enough Support

EuroGoTV, which regularly streamed live video of tournament games, posted videos on YouTube and was a reliable source of European go news for the E-Journal — may return. If at least 300 people pledge to help EuroGoTV financially “we will resume (and upgrade) our services,” reports Harry Weerheijm. Click here to take EuroGo TV’s poll by November 30. “If EuroGoTV continues, Go-Pro articles, on demand video playback, the complete European Go calendar and the Newsletter will only be available to VIP-members; membership will run 25 Euro for the first year and 20 Euro for the second. Tournament reports will be available to all, including EJ readers, so we urge your support, either a membership or donation pledge.
– Chris Garlock, E-Journal Managing Editor

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Gala Pair Go Tournament Planned for Seattle

2015-Pair-go-Facebook-post-finalSeattle Go Center members are looking forward to the 3rd Annual Pair Go Tournament, set for Saturday, Dec. 12, 2015.  The fun dress-up event features prizes from Japan and fancy cake.   Last year’s tournament had 12 pairs participating.  Tournament details are posted on the Seattle Go Center websitePhoto and styling by Anne Thompson/Report by Brian Allen

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Your Move/Readers Write: Who Really Said Famous Go Quote?

“I am a member of the AGA and enjoy your E-Journal,” writes François Lorrain. “I wonder about this often cited quotation: “While the Baroque rules of chess could only have been created by humans, the rules of go are so elegant, organic, and rigorously logical that if intelligent life forms exist elsewhere in the universe, they almost certainly play go.” which your go quotes page  attributes to Edward Lasker. I have searched far and wide and have never been able to find the source of this quotation. It isn’t from Lasker’s Go and Go-Moku; neither is it from Lasker’s Chess Secrets I Learned from the Masters,”which I read recently. Nor is it in Chess Strategy or in Chess and Checkers: the Way to Mastership. Could the quote be from the other Lasker, Emanuel, also a go-playing chess master? It isn’t in Chess Quotes by Emanuel Lasker, though AZ Quotes attributes the quote to Emanuel Lasker, but without any source. Would anybody you know have any idea about the source of this quote?”
Our best go expert sources — Peter Shotwell, Richard Bozulich and Erwin Gerstorfer — have not been able to track down a definitive attribution for this quote. A prize awaits whoever can do so; email us at journal@usgo.org

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Kang Dongyun and Park Younghun to meet in 20th LG Cup final

 

Kang Dongyun 9p and Park Younghun 9p proceed to the final of the 20th LG Cup.

The quarter finals and semifinals of the 20th LG Cup took place on November 16 and 18, 2015, in Gangwon, Korea.

Two Korean players to meet in the final

Kang Dongyun 9p and Park Younghun 9p defeated Shi Yue 9p and Tuo Jiaxi 9p in the semifinals respectively.

The game between Kang Dongyun and Shi Yue was very exciting and spectacular along with the huge life and death situation over the center. Shi took the lead after a big trade in the center, but Kang magically reversed the game with a two step late ko.

Meanwhile, Park Younghun had a nice opening aginst Tuo Jiaxi, and he leaded the game in his pace with his exquisite haengma.

Tuo started to play aggressively afterwards, but Park maintained his lead through the middle game, and there were no chances for Tuo in the endgame against Park.

The final will be played on early January, 2015, Korea.

Park Younghun 9 dan (left) and Kang Dongyun 9 dan at an interview after their semifinals.

Park Younghun 9 dan (left) and Kang Dongyun 9 dan at an interview after their semifinals.

Shi Yue

Shi Yue 9 dan (left) and Kin Jiseok 9 dan, reviewing the game from the quarter finals.

Shi Yue 9 dan (left) and Kin Jiseok 9 dan, reviewing the game from the quarter finals.

Shi Yue is ranked #2 in China, handing over the #. 1 position to Ke Jie 9p a couple of months ago.

Recently, he defeated Tang Weixing 9p in the semifinal of the 2015 Samsung Cup by 2-1 to proceeded to the final.

His opponent in the final is none other than Ke Jie, so the match will determine the first player who has won international Go tournaments more than once after Gu Li 9p.

In Korea, he is widely known as an enthusiastic reader of Chinese classical books. In contrast, his style of play is very fierce, making him one of the most aggressive players in the world.

He defeated Kim Jiseok 9p in the quarter finals, but he lost to Kang Dongyun in the semifinals.

Kang Dongyun

Kang Dongyun 9 dan (left) and Ke Jie 9 dan in the quarter finals.

Kang Dongyun 9 dan (left) and Ke Jie 9 dan in the quarter finals.

Kang Dongyun 9p is ranked #4 in Korea, and he defeated the Chinese #1 player Ke Jie at the quarter finals.

As mentioned in the previous article, Ke Jie has been undefeated as white in his official games this year.

However, in the game against Kang Dongyun, he chose to play Black although he had the right to select his preferred color.

Despite complicated battles throughout the game, Kang managed to maintain his lead by a small margin until Ke resigned.

Kang Dongyun’s victory was meaningful in that he checked Ke’s unstoppable pace in the international Go scene.

Park Younghun

Park Younghun 9 dan (left) and Yo Seiki 7 dan at the quarter finals.

Park Younghun 9 dan (left) and Yo Seiki 7 dan at the quarter finals.

Park Younghun is ranked #3 in Korea overtaking players like Kim Jiseok 9p and Kang Dongyun 9p.

He has performed very well in recent international tournaments.

He defeated Chang Hao 9p and Zhou Ruiyang 9p to proceed to the semifinals of the 2nd MLily Cup in early September.

At his young age, he quited playing as an Insei, and participated in amateur tournaments with a number of victories.

His rank is the highest among the ‘baby cow trio’ which refers to Park Younghun, Won Seongjin, and Choi Cheolhan 9p, all of whom were born in 1985; the year of cow in zodiac.

Park has been known as the endgame master after Lee Changho 9p.

Tuo Jiaxi

Won Seongjin 9 dan (left) and Tuo Jiaxi 9 dan at the quarter finals.

Won Seongjin 9 dan (left) and Tuo Jiaxi 9 dan at the quarter finals.

Tuo Jiaxi is ranked #6 in China and the winner of the 18th LG Cup in 2014.

He also won several domestic tournaments in China.

He seems to prefer unsettled fighting games and he is strong at close combat rather than peaceful game.

He showed his power at fighting against Won Seongjin 9p in the quarter finals.

However, there weren’t any good places for him to show his strength against Park Younghun in territorial game in the semifinals.

Results of the quarter finals

The quarterfinal matches had a lot of interesting viewpoints.

First, it represents current trends in the international Go scene well.

Three pairs of Korean and Chinese players ran into each other, and it shows that the competition between the two countries is even.

Yo Seiki (Taiwanese name – Yu Zhengqi) 7p was the only Japanese player, but he wasn’t able to overcome Park Younghun.

All of the three games drew a lot of attention of Go fans as they are all top players in their countries.

Kang Dongyun, Shi Yue and Tuo Jiaxi defeated Ke Jie, Kim Jiseok and Won Seongjin respectively.

LG Cup

The LG Cup is a major international Go tournament. It started in 1996 and the prize money is currently 300 million Won (approximately $270,000 USD at the time of writing). The runner up receives 100 million Won.

The main draw of 32 players is part invitational, comprising of 5 Korean players, 5 Chinese players, 4 Japanese players, 1 Taiwanese player and including the previous year’s winner and runner up.

The rest of the main draw is determined through a preliminary tournament. The format is single knockout, with the final played as a best of three games.

The tournament is sponsored by LG Electronics, a multinational consumer electronics company whose headquarters are in South Korea.

Game records

Kang Dongyun vs Shi Yue – Semifinals

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Kang Dongyun 9 dan (left) and Shi Yue 9 dan at the semifinals from the 20th LG Cup.

Kang Dongyun 9 dan (left) and Shi Yue 9 dan at the semifinals from the 20th LG Cup.

Park Younghun vs Tuo Jiaxi – Semifinals

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Park Younghun 9 dan (left) and Tuo Jiaxi 9 dan at the semifinals from the 20th LG Cup.

Park Younghun 9 dan (left) and Tuo Jiaxi 9 dan at the semifinals from the 20th LG Cup.

Ke Jie vs Kang Dongyun – Quarter Finals

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Shi Yue vs Kim Jiseok – Quarter Finals

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Tuo Jiaxi vs Won Seongjin – Quarter Finals

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Yo Seiki vs Park Younghun – Quarter Finals

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Shi, Lui to Represent in Asian Tournaments

Gansheng Shi 1p is heading to Hangzhou, China, to represent North America is the 2015 Li Min Cup World Best Go Star Championship Finals.  The tournament takes place from Nov. 27 to Dec. 3 at the Hangzhou Qiyuan building, one of the more impressive go association headquarters in the world, more than 30 stories high with a luxury hotel, go museum and go school included.  Eric Lui 7d meanwhile is representing the US in the 10th Korean Prime Minister Cup in Seoul, Korea.  There is still an opening for a US team to attend the 2nd Jin Long Chen Cup in Guangzhou, China (click here for details). “I know it is hard to put together a group on short notice, especially with the need for a visa and to pay your own air fare,” said AGA President Andy Okun.  “I’m confident though that anyone who is able to do it will have a cultural and go experience they will always remember.”  Guangzhou, Okun noted, is one of the great cities of the world.  Once known in the West as Canton, it is the third largest city in China and the central city of one of its western provinces, a hub for trade, finance and manufacturing at the hub of the Pearl River Delta.

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The Power Report (2): Iyama still on track; Iyama wins second straight in Oza and Tengen; Honinbo League: Round Two starts; Japan eliminated from LG Cup

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal2015.11.18_63oza2 Yuki joins in game review. Iyama left

Iyama still on track: Iyama Yuta has become the first player to reach the semifinals of the 54th Judan tournament, so he is still on track to secure an unprecedented septuple crown, though of course he still has some distance to go. In the first of the quarterfinals, played on November 5, Iyama (B) defeated Yuki Satoshi 9P by resignation. His semifinal opponent will be the winner of a game between Ichiriki Ryo 7P and Imamura Toshiya 9P. The pairings in the other quarterfinals are Yo Seiki 7P vs. Takao Shinji Tengen and Kobayashi Satoru 9P vs. Shida Tatsuya 7P.

2015.11.18_Iyama wins Oza 2Iyama wins second straight in Oza and Tengen: The second game of the 63rd Oza title match was played at the Yakage-ya inn in the town of Yakage in Okayama Prefecture on November 12. Iyama (white) won by resignation after 164 moves, so he is within one win of regaining the title he lost to Murakawa Daisuke last year. In the middle game, Iyama (left) commented that his play may have been a little unreasonable. However, Murakawa failed to play severely enough to punish him for it. The third game will be played on November 19. The above game was on a Thursday, the usual day for professional play. The following Monday, November 16, Iyama won the second game of the 41st Tengen title match, thus extending his career-best winning streak to 22. Taking white, Iyama beat Takao Shinji Tengen by half a point after 254 moves. Takao had taken the lead in the middle game, but played badly in the latter part of the game, letting Iyama pull off an upset. The third game is scheduled for November 25. photo: Yuki joins in game review; Iyama at left

Honinbo League: Round Two starts: Two games in the 71st Honinbo League were played on November 12. In a game between title-holders, Takao Shinji Tengen (W) beat Ida Atsushi Judan by resignation. In the other game, Ichiriki Ryo 7P (W) beat Yo Seiki 7P by resignation. The large-avalanche joseki appeard in the top left corner and the small-avalanche joseki in the top right corner. All four players are now on 1-1.

Japan eliminated from LG Cup: The quarterfinals of the 20th LG Cup were held in Korea on November 16. Japan’s last remaining representative, Yo Seiki 7P, was forced to resign in his game with Pak Yeong-hun 9P of Korea. Other results: Kang Tong-yun 9P (Korea) (W) beat Ke Jie 9P (China) by resignation; Tuo Jiaxi 9P (China) (B) beat Weon Seong-jin 9P (Korea) by resignation; Shi Yue 9P (China) beat Kim Ji-seok 9P (Korea) by 1.5 points.

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