Archive for March, 2008

Judan Title: Cho Chikun – Takao Shinji 0-2

Thursday, March 27th, 2008
Takao Shinji is one win away from capturing the Judan title from Cho Chikun after winning the second game as well, since Judan follows a “best-of-five” system.

Judan 2008, game 2

After his unsuccessful attempt to capture the Kisei title from Yamashita, Cho’s last chance to hold a major title during 2008 is to defend his Judan title. (Cho defended the Judan title against Yamashita in 2007 – you can read last year’s title report on 361points.com). Next game will be played on April 3rd. (Links to the games: game 1 game 2)

Vintage Go Sets

Sunday, March 23rd, 2008

There are a couple of vintage Go sets on ebay: an Australian made set from 1950:

(interestingly, the stones are Black and… Green – presumably for camouflage purposes :-) )

… and an US made set from 1951:

None of the above are quite as old as the British Museum Go set, but may be interesting to collectors.

By the way of Go sets: for those of you interested in purchasing a Go set, 361points.com has a page with links to the main vendors and buying sources

Catalin Taranu 5p vs. Mogo Computer-Go bot

Sunday, March 23rd, 2008
During the Paris Go Tournament this weekend there was a demonstration match between Catalin Taranu 5 dan professional and Mogo which is one of the best Computer-Go programs in the world. They played a “best of 3″ match on 9×9 with all games on even, 7.5 points komi. Catalin won by 2-1, but the game won by Mogo shows that there was very much progress in Computer-Go during the past few years. I wrote an article about this match, where you can also replay the game records.

Yamashita defeats Cho in game 7, keeps Kisei title

Thursday, March 20th, 2008
Game 7 was played on March 19 and 20, 2008. This was the last game of the series: the Kisei title is a “best of seven” match, and the score before this was 3-3. Yamashita won by resignation and kept the Kisei title.

game 7 post mortem analysis

The game became most violent in the second half, when Cho tried (unsuccessfully) to turn the tables after Yamashita took territorial advantage around move 136. (Link to the tournament page)

Kisei Title: the final game

Wednesday, March 19th, 2008
The first day of game 7 of the Kisei title has ended. This is the last game of the series because the Kisei title follows a “best of seven” system, and the score so far is 3-3. The following diagram shows the position at the end of day 1. The last move was Yamashita’s (White) 44. Cho will likely play the sealed move as a jump to the left of his stones in the center, putting pressure on the White group in the center-left.

Kisei 2008, game 7, day 1

The rest of the game tomorrow will decide who will hold the top Japanese Go title this year. (Link to the game record)

International Chunlan Cup – round 1

Sunday, March 16th, 2008
First round of the international Chunlan Cup 2008 was played on March 15th in Hangzhou, China. This is a Chinese sponsored tournament, with a prize fund of 1 milion USD (of which 150000 USD for the first prize). Besides several players from each of China, Korea and Japan, there were also one representative from Europe (Cristian Pop) and one from America (Jimmy Cha 4p, who is Korean-American). The first round wasn’t very good for Japan, which saw almost all her team eliminated: Yoda Norimoto lost to Ding Wei of China, Kono Rin lost to Wang Yao of China, Kobayashi Satoru lost to Chen Yaoye of China and Imamura Toshiya lost to Jimmy Cha of US. Takao Shinji was the only Japanese player to play in round 2 (which will be tomorrow, March 17th) after his win against Zhang Li 4p of China. As for the two representatives from Europe and US: Cristian Pop of Romania lost against Won Sungjin 9p of Korea after a fighting game, but Jimmy Cha 4p of US won against Imamura Toshiya 9p of Japan – he had already proven himself in international tournaments in the past, he even defeated Cho Chikun once! The following photo shows the beginning of the game between Won Jungjin and Cristian Pop.

Won Sungjin vs. Cristian Pop

And the next photo shows Lee Sedol (who is seeded directly into the 2nd round, against Ding Wei) studying the game between Mok Jinseok of Korea and Zhou Junxun of Taiwan (Mok won by 5.5 points). There is also another professional player next to him (can anybody recognize him?) studying tsume-go.

Lee Sedol studying Mok's game

Kisei title goes all the way to the 7th game

Friday, March 14th, 2008
Cho Chikun won game 6 of Kisei by 4.5 points and evened the score to 3-3 (after being led 3-1 earlier).

Kisei 2008, game 6

Yamashita’s early attack in the upper right during day 1 and the resulted thickness in the center didn’t pay off in the end, though: Cho’s territory prevailed so the Kisei title is going all the way to the 7th game! The following diagram shows what happened after Yamashita’s attack in the upper-right ended: Black took profit on the left side (although the captured White stones still have aji), but White also became very strong in the lower-left. Also, White’s kikashi with 72 is put to good use later, when White cuts with 94.

Kisei 2008, game 6, moves 72-94

(Link to the title page)

Kisei Title, game 6, day 1

Thursday, March 13th, 2008
Yamashita leads 3 to 2 after the first 5 games: one more win and he can keep the Kisei title one more year, while Cho needs 2 consecutive wins to capture the title. After day 1 in game 6 I like Yamashita’s (Black) position more: after the first 47 moves or so White had to invade Black’s deep moyo and felt under attack, so Black built a lot of thickness in the center. And the attack is not over yet.

Kisei 2008, game 6, day1

(Link to the Kisei Title page, including game records)

S. Korea President likes ikken-tobi

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008
I just found this video showing the S. Korea president playing a few moves. From the few details shown in the video, he seems to really like jumping with ikken-tobi. That’s good in politics too – play safe Mr. President! :-) (Link to video on youtube)

Fuseki is hard

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008
Quiz time. Who recently declared something very similar to:
“Fuseki theory is developing very quickly and it’s getting harder and harder to follow it.”
a. Go Seigen b. TheCaptain c. Cho Chikun d. Yoda Norimoto c. Tartrate d. Lee Sedol e. Rui Naiwei ? (Update) Answer: d. Lee Sedol declared that in a recent interview. I think this is amazing: Lee Sedol is the top player in recent international tournaments – so if fuseki is hard for him, what should the rest of us do… I used to think at some point that fuseki doesn’t really matter for us amateurs, since most games are lost in the middle game fights. That is very wrong: fuseki is the foundation of the whole game, so it should be treated very seriously. If one’s foundation is not solid, the rest of the game will suffer too.