Go Spotting: “The Narrow Road to the Deep North” & “Temptation of a Monk”

Mark Sachon reports that in Richard Flanagan’s novel “The Narrow Road to the Deep North,” “References to playing go are found on pages 264,2015.11.27_Narrow-Road 2015.11.27_Temptation-of-a-monk269 and 295 in the hardback edition. “Moving deftly from a Japanese POW camp to present-day Australia, from the experiences of Dorrigo Evans and his fellow prisoners to that of the Japanese guards, this savagely beautiful novel tells a story of the many forms of love and death, of war and truth, as one man comes of age, prospers, only to discover all that he has lost.” (Amazon).

Sachon also found go in the 1993 movie “Temptation of a Monk,” (You Seng), noting that “two rivals play weiqi in the first few minutes of the film.” Set in 7th century China, the film, directed by Clara Law, stars Joan Chen as a beautiful princess and destructive temptress who wreaks havoc in a young general’s life, telling “the epic story of a disgraced man’s journey into self-discovery.”

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2016 Paris Go Tournament Registration Opens

Registration is now open for the 2016 International Paris Go tournament, which will be held March 26-28 in Neuilly, in the city’s western 2015.11.27_Paris go tournamentsuburbs. This is the 44th edition of the event, a 6-round tournament; prize for the winner is 1000€; click here to register.
– Alain Cano, Président de la Ligue Ile-de-France

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European Go News: The Netherlands

Roelofs/Eijkhout Dethrone Defending Champs at 2015 Dutch Pair Go Championships: The Dutch Pair Go Championships took2015.11.26_PairGo 2015, round 2, Kim and Justyna versus Michiel and Yvonne place in the city of Eindhoven on November 15 this year. Ten pairs from all over the country gathered to have fun together and compete for the title. Four rounds were played to determine the winner, with 45 minutes on the clock and no overtime. Under such time pressure, good teamwork was essential to guide the games in the right direction, with enough time to spare for the endgame. The great thing about Pair Go is its unpredictability – surprising things happen all the time – and on several occasions sudden laughter during a match drew the attention of all the others. In the fourth and last round, defending champions Karen Pleit 2k & Willem-Koen Pomstra 5d faced Yvonne Roelofs 4k & Michiel Eijkhout 6d (right), whose strong effort won them the 2015 championship. Pleit/Pomstra shared second/third place with newcomers Justyna Kleczar 2k and Kim Ouweleen 4d (left), with the exact same amount of SOS points. Marika Dubiel 2d & Alexander Eerbeek 5d, another young pair, also scored 3/4 but ended on fourth place due to SOS. Complete results can be found here.

2015.11.26_Alexander Eerbeek 5d vs tournament winner Geert Groenen 6dGeert Groenen Wins Brabants Go Tournament: At the same location as the Pair Go Championships, another tournament took place that weekend. A total of exactly 50 players participated in the main tournament in community center Bellefort. Geert Groenen 6d (right, playing Alexander Eerbeek 5d) took the title, with Frank Janssen 6d trailing in second place. Surprisingly, these two titans did not play each other in the tournament. Rudi Verhagen 4d however played against both, managed to win against Frank Janssen, and took third place. Verhagen has the distinction of having played more go tournaments than any Dutch player ever, with the magic number of 324 tournament appearances so far. Complete 2015.11.26_Enclopedia of Go Principlesresults can be found here.

News from Go shop Het Paard, Amsterdam: A new book is available in Kiseido’s “Mastering the Basics” series. K79 An Encyclopedia of Go Principles is a compilation of the most important principles of strategy and tactics in go. These are explained through proverbs, such as: do not attack with your thickness, defend before attacking, the tortoise shell is worth 60 points, etc. Other important concepts that do not have sayings, are also included in this book, like: be willing to transfer a moyo from one part of the board to another. A must-have for players who wish to grow in their fundamentals of the game. Price: € 21,00; order here.
– Kim Ouweleen, European Correspondent for the E-Journal

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Lee Sedol 9P to face Ke Jie 9P in MLily Cup Final

Lee Sedol 9P (right) defeated Ahn Seongjun 6P and Ke Jie 9P (left) beat Park Younghun 9P in the semifinals of the second MLily Cup, played November 22-252015.11.26_Ke-Jie-Lee-Sedol-MLily-Cup-t-150x150 in Hefei, China. The Ke Jie-Park Younghun showdown — relayed live on the AGA’s YouTube channel with commentary by Myungwan Kim 9P — was one of the most interesting matches of the year.

Ke Jie is ranked #1 in China, in undefeated as White in 2015 and proceeded to the final of the 2015 Samsung Cup in early November by defeating Lee Sedol. Meanwhile, Park Younghun is in his second heyday in 2015. He’s ranked #3 in Korea, and he proceeded to the final of 20th LG Cup by defeating Tuo Jiaxi 9p about only a week ago.

Lee Sedol is currently ranked #2 in Korea, and Ahn Seongjun is ranked #7. 

Click here for more analysis, photos, game records and game commentary by Younggil An 8P on Go Game Guru.

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Lee Sedol to face Ke Jie in the 2nd MLily Cup final

Lee Sedol 9p to face Ke Jie 9p in the final of the 2nd MLily Cup.

The semifinals of the 2nd MLily Cup were played on November 22 to 25, 2015, in Hefei, China.

Lee Sedol 9p was faced to Ahn Seongjun 6p, and Ke Jie 9p was played against Park Younghun 9p.

Ke Jie vs Park Younghun

Park Younghun 9 dan (left) and Ke Jie 9 dan at the semifinals from the 2nd MLily Cup.

Park Younghun 9 dan (left) and Ke Jie 9 dan at the semifinals from the 2nd MLily Cup.

Ke Jie and Park Younghun’s semifinals was one of the most interesting matches in 2015.

Ke Jie is ranked #1 in China, and he proceeded to the final of the 2015 Samsung Cup in early November by defeating Lee Sedol.

He is officially undefeated as White in 2015, and that’s really unbelievable.

Ke lost to Kang Dongyun at the semifinals of the LG Cup about a week ago, and that was his first defeat in international tournaments in this year. He defeated Wang Zejin 3p and Rong Yi 4p respectively to proceed to the semifinals.

Meanwhile, Park Younghun is in his second heyday in 2015. He’s ranked #3 in Korea, and he proceeded to the final of 20th LG Cup by defeating Tuo Jiaxi 9p about only a week ago.

In this Mlily Cup, he defeated Chang Hao 9p and Zhou Ruiyang 9p before this semifinals.

In game 1, Ke Jie took White and he played smoothly and thickly. The game was peaceful and territorial, which was Park’s pace, but Ke’s thickness built a huge territory in the center at the end.

In game 2, Park played smoothly in the opening, and he didn’t avoid fighting after Ke made an overplay at the bottom. Park managed the game neatly, and Ke didn’t gain any chances afterwards.

In game 3, the game started with a peaceful opening again, which is Park’s favorite. However, Ke’s reduction in the center was exquisite and his endgame was excellent again. There was nowhere for Park to show his special technique in the endgame.

Lee Sedol vs Ahn Seongjun

Ahn Seongjun 6 dan (left) and Lee Sedol 9 dan at the semifinals from the 2nd MLily Cup.

Ahn Seongjun 6 dan (left) and Lee Sedol 9 dan at the semifinals from the 2nd MLily Cup.

Lee Sedol is currently ranked #2 in Korea, and Ahn Seongjun is ranked #7.

Lee defeated Ding Hao 2p and Tang Weixing 9p to the semifinals, and Ahn won against Tuo Jiaxi 9p and Xie Ke 1p to face Lee.

Lee Sedol has been in bad form lately. He lost to Ke Jie at the semifinals of the 2015 Samsung Cup by 2-0 in early November, and he’s lost several domestic games too.

However, Lee was still too superior for Ahn Seongjun to overcome, and Lee won the series pretty easily with a 2-0 score.

Lee showed his power and strength in two games, and his moves were strong and sharp as he did when he was unbeatable.

Lee Sedol vs Ke Jie – Final

Lee Sedol 9 dan at the 2nd MLily Cup.

Lee Sedol 9 dan at the 2nd MLily Cup.

The final of the 2nd Mlily Cup will be started from December 30, 2015.

Lee and Ke have only played two games so far (at the semifinals of the 2015 Samsung Cup), and Ke won both.

At an interview after the MLily Gu vs Lee Jubango in 2014, Lee said “I’ll try my best to win another international title in 2015”, and this final will be a great chance for him to do so.

 

He won the Asian TV Cup in 2014 and 2015, and he’s still very powerful and destructive when he is in good form.

Ke Jie 9 dan at the 2nd MLily Cup.

Ke Jie 9 dan at the 2nd MLily Cup.

Ke Jie won the 2nd Bailing Cup at the beginning of this year, and he is in the final of 2015 Samsung Cup and this MLily Cup.

If he wins one of these or both, he will soon become the most powerful player in the world after Lee Sedol and Gu Li.

Let’s look forward to the final between Lee Sedol and Ke jie!

MLily Cup

The MLily Cup is a biennial international Go tournament, which started in 2013 and is sponsored by MLily Meng Baihe – a mattress and bedding company.

It’s intended that it will alternate with the (also biennial) Bailing Cup, every other year.

The draw consists of 16 seeded players from China, Korea, Japan and Taiwan and 48 players from preliminary rounds, including 4 women and 4 amateurs.

Each player receives 2 hours thinking time and 5 x 1 minute byo-yomi. The main time is increased to 3 hours each for the final. The semifinals are played as best of three matches and the final is a best of five match.

The winner receives 1.8 million RMB (about $290,000 USD at the time of writing) and the runner up receives 600,000 RMB. This puts the tournament in the same league as the Bailing Cup and Samsung Cup, in terms of prize money.

The official name, ‘MLily Meng Baihe Cup World Go Open Tournament’ (try saying that 10 times) uses the sponsor’s double barrel English and Chinese names.

The Chinese name, 梦百合 Meng (=dream) Baihe (=lilies), translates literally to ‘dream of lilies’. A looser, but more natural translation would be something like ‘sweet dreams’. This explains the somewhat cryptic ‘MLily’ moniker.

Game records

Park Younghun vs Ke Jie  – Game 1

Black 15 was interesting, but Black 27 would have been better at M17.

White 30 was big, and the game up to White 42 was smooth for White.

White 46 to 56 was a sophisticated sequence to make his group stronger.

White 70 was bold, and Black 81 wasn’t big enough for a ko threat. Black should have played C7, White 82, B6, D6, B4.

White consolidated his lead up to 94, and his sequence from 112 to 122 was exquisite.

When White built a huge territory in the center, the game was decided.

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Ahn Seongjun vs Lee Sedol – Game 1

Black 39 was slack, and White took the early lead with a sharp combination at 42 to 44.

White 68 was big, and 72 to 76 was a good decision to develop the upper side.

Black tried to reduce White’s top, but White’s responses from 80 to 96 was accurate.

Black started to attack from 99, but White’s sacrifice strategy was excellent up to Black 117, and White maintained his lead with 118.

Black 149 was a brilliant tesuji, but it was too hard to change the flow of the game.

White 160 was correct, and the game was over up to White 166.

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Ke Jie vs Park Younghun – Game 2

Black 17 was an interesting probe, and the opening up to White 22 was even.

White 30 was a well timed invasion, and the result up to White 44 was still playable for both.

White 50 and 52 were Park’s style of play, and Black 53 wasn’t as good as it looks.

Black 57 was an overplay, and White 58 to 60 formed a strong counter.

Black started to attack White’s left side group, but White’s sabaki up to 76 was flawless.

White 88 and 96 were strong, and White took the solid lead up to 102.

White 108 and 110 were a safe way, and there was nowhere for Black to catch up afterwards.

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Lee Sedol vs Ahn Seongjun – Game 2

The opening up to Black 17 was the same as the 2015 Samsung Cup semifinals game 1. (Lee Sedol played White at the time)

Black 23 was sharp, and Black took the control of the game through to 35.

Black 41 and 47 were vital points to attack White, and White was in trouble up to Black 57.

White won the ko in top right corner with 72, but Black was satisfied with 73.

Black 87 and 93 were accurate responses, and White didn’t gain anything up to Black 111.

Black 117 was strong attack, and 123 was the vital point.

The game was practically finished with 135.

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Ke Jie vs Park Younghun – Game 3

The opening up to White 26 was well balanced.

Black 43 showed a good sense, and White 44 was to take sente.

White 46 was thick, but slow. Invading at N17 would have been better.

Black 51 was a nice attachment, and Black 55 to 57 were brilliant followups.

White 58 was well timed probe, but the game became favorable for Black up to 81.

Black 87 to 93 were bold and subtle, and Black was still ahead up to 103.

Black 107 and 117 were sharp, and it wasn’t easy for Park to catch up in the endgame.

Ke Jie’s endgame was excellent, so that Park Younghun couldn’t catch up.

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The Power Report (2): Pair Go tournament for professional couples; Iyama tops most-wins list; Huang wins Chinese Agon Kiriyama

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal2015.11.24_Married couples final

Pair Go tournament for professional couples: The second Professional Married Couples Pair Go Tournament was held at the Nihon Ki-in on Sunday, November 22. If you write the date 11/22 and take the first syllable of the numbers in Japanese, you get the word “ii fufu,” which means “a good married couple,” so this is an apposite date for this tournament. Last year, eight pairs took part; that increased to 13 this year, but the same pairs reached the final (right): Suzuki Ayumi 6P and her husband Rin Kanketsu 7P and the Mimuras, Kaori 3P and Tomoyasu 9P (at left). The latter took their revenge for their loss last year, playing white and securing a resignation after 206 moves. First prize is one million yen and second 400,000.

Iyama tops most-wins list: Thanks to his winning streak, Iyama Yuta has worked his way to top place in the most-wins list. After his Oza win, his record for the year is 39-9. That’s a winning percentage of 81%, which is astonishing considering the level of his opponents. The top players are given below.
1. Iyama Yuta Kisei: 39-9
2. Kyo Kagen 3P: 38-9; Ichiriki Ryo 7P: 38-16
4. Shibano Toramaru 2P: 36-5
5. Yamashita Keigo 9P: 35-20
6. Ida Atsushi Judan: 32-18
7. Motoki Katsuya 7P: 29-10; Ogata Masaki 9P: 29-12; Kono Rin 9P: 29-12-1 no contest; Tsuruta Kazushi 3P: 29-12; Mutsuura Yuta 2P: 29-13
12. 25th Honinbo Chikun, Son Makoto 3P: 28-14
14. Akiyama Jiro 9P: 27-9; Cho Riyu 8P: 27-10
16. Koyama Kuya 2P: 25-12; Ko Iso 8P: 25-17; Fujisawa Rina: 25-21

Huang wins Chinese Agon Kiriyama: The final of 17th Agon Kiriyama Cup, a sister tournament to the Japanese title, was held in the City of Taiyuan. Taking white, the 18-year-old Huang Yunsong 4P beat Chen Yaoye 9P by resignation. Huang, who won the 2nd Globis Cup U-20 in May, will meet Iyama Yuta in the Japanese-Chinese playoff on December 25.

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Google’s Artificial Intelligence Whiz Hints He’s Cracked Go

Demis Hassabis, the artificial intelligence savant behind Google DeepMind, hinted recently that his secretive team has cracked go, reports 2015.11.25_DeepMind Founder<re/code> magazine. While DeepMind has has put out a couple papers of its training algorithms beating Atari games it has released little else. Asked in an interview with the Royal Society of London “Maybe you will have a surprise about go?” Hassabis smiled and said “I can’t talk about it yet, but in a few months I think there will be quite a big surprise,” he replied.

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Zhu Tops Gotham Tourney; Stephanie Yin 1p/Rongxin Yu 7D Win Pair Go

Zhu Haichen 7d, a New Jersey resident and onetime student in the go school of Chinese champion Nie Weiping 9p, bested a strong field of 722015.11.25_Gotham-go-pair-go players at the 3rd annual Gotham Go Tournament last Saturday.  Twelve pairs, meanwhile, played in the Sunday pair go tournament, first of what is hoped to be an annual event.

Zhu took top honors in the open section, but the dark horse of the event was Daniel Koch 2d, who went 4-0 to win the 1-3 dan section, beating a 4d and a 5d in succession in his two last rounds. Click here for complete results.

In the pair go tournament, run with the support and encouragement of the AGA, twelve pairs vied in four sections, with Stephanie Yin 1p and Rongxin Yu 7D going 3-0 to win the top section.  Best dressed honors went to Alexandra Patz and her son Douglas who came dressed as go stones, narrowly beating out tournament organizer Peter Armenia and his wife Gretschen. AGA President Andy Okun 1d attended and played for once (going 2-2 in the main tournament and 1-1 in the pair go with partner Marilyn Stern).  Okun (second from left) expressed gratitude in the closing ceremony to Armenia TD Yingzhi Qian. Okun said he was pleased with the turnout and wants to make pair go tournaments a more common occurrence around the U.S., not just a feature of the US Go Congress.
– Michael Fodera; click here for more photos.

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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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