How do you know what rank to choose when checking out a new go server? Maybe you visited Sensei’s World Wide Rank Comparison, maybe you guessed. “The team at OGS wants to dispel some of this mystery, so we’ve created a quick and easy survey to collect feedback about ranks of popular servers and we’d really appreciate your participation,” says Akita Noek. The brief survey takes less than two minutes to complete and you can see the results as soon as you are done. “So far we’ve garnered about 650 responses, but only 86 data points contain AGA data, which is a little over half of what we have for the EGF (146 responses),” says Noek, “so we’d really like to fill that gap a bit in order to get a good rank mapping to and from AGA ranks for the various servers.”
“The results will be used by OGS to further refine our rankings and ratings and bring our system in line with our users’ expectations,” says Noek. “We’re collecting rank data for all the main major servers as well as the AGA and EGF, as well as community impressions about how they feel about the ranks on different servers/organizations. We’ll be making the results of the survey public in both a summarized form as well as the raw data for anyone to use.”
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by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal
Iyama regains sextuple crown: The third game of the 41st Tengen title match was held at the Munakata Yurix in Munakata City, Fukuoka Prefecture on November 25. Taking black, Iyama Yuta (right) forced Takao Shinji (left, in white shirt) to resign after 147 moves. Iyama took a decisive lead in the first large fight of the game and wrapped it up by killing a large group. This win won back the title he lost to Takao on December 19 last year. He also once again held six of the top seven titles; this is his third sextuple crown. Overall, this is his 34th title, and his winning streak is now 24, which puts him in equal second place in modern tournament records with Rin Kaiho, Hon. Tengen. With his twelfth successive win in title matches, he also equals another record, one set by Sakata Eio. Iyama’s cumulative record in title matches is 100 wins to 49 losses, a winning percentage of 67.1%. (Note: the Munakata Yurix is an elaborate complex of facilities including a large library, planetarium, various halls, and sporting facilities.)
Surprise leader in Honinbo League: A surprising player has taken the sole lead after just two rounds in the 71st Honinbo League. The final game of the second round was played on November 26, and league newcomer Motoki Katsuya 7P beat Yamashita Keigo 9P, the top-ranked player in the league, by 1.5 points. Motoki is the only player on 2-0.
Women’s Meijin League: In a game played on November 26, Chinen Kaori 5P picked up her first win. Playing white, she beat Kato Keiko 6P by resignation. Chinen was already doomed to lose her league place, but this win ensured that she had the company of Kato (both are on 1-4).
Judan semifinalists: In the Judan tournament, in which the focus of interest is Iyama’s attempt to go for a genuine grand slam, two more semifinalists have been decided. Imamura Toshiya 9P beat Ichiriki Ryo 7P and will face Iyama in one semifinal. Shida Tatsuya 7P beat Kobayashi Satoru 9P and will meet either Yo Seiki 7P or Takao Shinji 9P in the other semifinal.
Xie regains Women’s Honinbo title: After a gap of two terms, Xie Yimin has won back the Women’s Honinbo title. The fifth game of the 34th title match was played at the Nihon Ki-in on November 27. Taking white, Xie (right) won by resignation after 272 moves. Fujisawa Rina (left) had looked like defending her title when she won the first two games, but then Xie made a stubborn fightback to take the next three. As she also holds the Women’s Meijin and Women’s Kisei titles, Xie once again has a triple crown.
Retirement: Ogoshi Ichiro 8P retired as of November 30. Born in Oita Prefecture on November 7, 1954, Ogoshi became a disciple of Kitani Minoru and made pro 1-dan in 1976. He reached 8-dan in 1999. After retirement, he plans to devote himself to spreading go in Kushiro City, Hokkaido.
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“Mexico gladly welcomed the Sociedad Internacional de Intercambio de Go (SIIG) from Japan, for the first three days of October,” reports Sid Avila. SIIG is a delegation of players, built mainly by retired business men and women, who travel around the world playing and sharing through go.
This is the fourth time SIIG has visited Mexico, and they went to three locations on this trip: Pipiolo art elementary school where Siddhartha Avila teaches a curricular go program; National University, where Emil Garcia leads a team of instructors who teach at open workshops; and Ejoki Buddhist Temple where Ricardo Quintero teaches go on weekends.
Ms. Marcela Zepeda, the principal of Pipiolo, introduced the Japanese group to the students on the first day. The children performed traditional dances and Mexican songs, followed by a rengo atari-go game with kindergarden children, and a three round pair-go tournament with 36 pairs of Japanese go players and Mexican school children mixed.
The university venue, on October 2nd, was the Contemporary Arts University Museum square, where a Mexico-Japan tournament was held in a 4 round system. Japan won all four rounds and a crystal tablet was given to SIIG President Sugime Masanao by Daniel Morales, the Mexican Go Association’s treasurer, as acknowledgment of their visit. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor, with Emil Garcia and Sid Avila.
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The last few games of the current stage of the Nongshim Cup will be broadcast on the AGA’s YouTube channel Sunday and Monday nights, starting at 9:30pm PST.
The Nongshim Cup is a major international championship with each country fielding a team of five players. The tournament is a “win and continue” format, where the winning player will continue to face opponents from the other countries, alternating, until only one country has any players remaining. This year, for instance, Ichiriki Ryo (right) put Japan off to a great start by winning the first three games (see GoGameGuru’s report here)
Adding to the complications, the teams get to keep the order of their roster a secret: Gu Li or Choi Cheolhan will play the next player on the Japanese roster — but Japan won’t announce their next player until after Saturday’s match.
“It’s a complicated format to describe, but ultimately each country is bringing their strongest players. Each national organization takes this competition extremely seriously, and we should get some real fireworks,” said the AGA’s Andrew Jackson, “I’m really thrilled Myungwan Kim has been organizing these broadcasts and I’m excited to see some world-class go!”
The remaining players on the Japanese side are Murakawa Taiske, Gono Lin, and Iyama Yuta. The remaining players for China are Lian Xiao, Ke Jie, and Gu Li. Korea still has Lee Sedol, Choi Cheolhan, and Park Jungwhan.
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“I just found ‘Tokyo Newcomer‘ on the net,” writes Michael Redmond 9P, “but I see that you covered it in the ‘Go Spotting’ column in 2014. The games in the movie were realistic, and there is a scene about 36 minutes into it that shows pros playing in what looks like elimination rounds for a hayago tournament. In this scene the main character is playing against Matsumoto Takehisa 7P. Takemiya Yoko 5P poses as a TV analyst for a game later.”
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The mystery deepens about the source of the quote about “if intelligent life forms exist elsewhere in the universe, they almost certainly play go” (“Who Really Said Famous Go Quote? 11/21 EJ).
“I was a friend of Ed Lasker in the latter part of his life (we played chess together – I wasn’t playing go then),” writes Mike Ryan. “Although he told me a fair amount about his involvement with go, and various things he and his cousin Emmanuel did in that respect, he never once mentioned that quoted idea. I tend to think that neither he nor Emmanuel said that.”
Thomas Rohde in Germany thought that he’d tracked the quote to Emanuel Lasker’s 1930 book “Brettspiele der Völker: Rätsel- und Mathematische Spiele” (“Board Games of the Peoples – Riddles and Mathematical Games”), but had to order a copy of the book to confirm it. Meanwhile Erwin Gerstorfer, who has “Brettspiele der Voelker” in his collection “checked the complete chapter about Go (as well as the introduction chapter) and if I did not overlook something, then there is unfortunately no reference to the quote that we are interested in.” When Rohde’s copy arrived he confirmed that the quote isn’t there but in an online history of European go he found a reference to Emanuel Lasker that reads “In another publication he says: When there are other intelligent beings in the universe, than they maybe know chess, but surely Go.” “I wonder which ‘other publication’ this may be,” says Rohde.
“This is the original German quote,” Rohde adds: “Wenn es im Universum noch irgendwo intelligente Lebewesen gibt, dann kennen sie vielleicht Schach, höchstwahrscheinlich jedoch Go,” which Rohde translates as “If somewhere in the universe there are [other] intelligent beings, then maybe they know Chess, but most probably [they know] Go.”
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The American Go Association’s rank certification program took another step forward when the AGA’s Board of Directors approved proposals laying the groundwork for a general rank certification program based on playing results at its November 23 meeting. Work is ongoing to review analytical models to support the program. The AGA’s president was directed to develop a policy such that a ranking could affect a player’s AGA rating. The president will soon appoint a Rank Certification Coordinator to facilitate the program. Volunteers will be sought to create and send out a large number of certificates. In other updates, volunteers will be sought to work on updating the AGA Tournament Guide, and the board appointed Peter Schumer to be the new AGA secretary. Click here for the complete minutes that have been approved by the board.
– Ted Terpstra
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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, 269 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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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 suburbs. 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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Roelofs/Eijkhout Dethrone Defending Champs at 2015 Dutch Pair Go Championships: The Dutch Pair Go Championships took 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.
Geert 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 results 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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