Archive for August, 2008

All Chinese Final in World Oza

Friday, August 29th, 2008
Japan was eliminated from World Oza (Toyota-Denso Cup) in the semifinals when Cho U 9p lost by resignation to Gu Li 9p of China.
World Oza 2008 finalists: Cho U vs Gu Li
In the other semifinal game, Piao Wenyao 5p defeated his countryman Xie He 7p.
World Oza 2008 finalists: Piao Wenyao vs Xie He
So the final will be played between the two Chinese players. Gu Li and Piao Wenyao will clash in a best-of-three match to be played on September 6th, 8th and 9th, also in Tokyo.
World Oza 2008 finalists: Piao Wenyao vs Gu Li

Only China and Japan Left In World Oza Semifinals!

Wednesday, August 27th, 2008
In a very unexpected turn of events, only China and Japan are left in the World Oza (Toyota-Denso) Cup semifinals!
In the quarterfinals that just ended three Chinese players eliminated the three Koreans, while Cho U of Japan won against Liu Xing of China. Cho U defeated Liu Xing
Link to game record
Xie He defeated Lee Sedol Link to game record
Gu Li defeated Cho Hanseung Link to game record
Piao Wenyao defeated Mok Jinseok Link to game record
In the semifinals (to be played in 2 days, on August 29th in Tokyo) Cho U will meet Gu Li, and Xie He will meet Piao Wenyao.

“Badung? What the hell is that?”

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008
The title is a quote from Hye Yeon’s blog describing her interaction with the US Customs officers on her entry in the US for the Go Congress this year. She was asked what’s her job, and when she told the officer about “Baduk”, that was the officer’s first reaction. Even if one cannot blame the US officer – the name people learn for this game in the US and Europe (if any) is “the game of Go” because it was Japan who first spread the game internationally – I still find this very hilarious as I try to imagine the scene. Speaking of custom officers, I remember an interaction with a Romanian one back in the early 90’s: a group of us was going by train to a Go competition abroad, and as we crossed the border we wanted to explain what it is we’re playing before being asked, and the officer even felt a bit offended: “Common, we also know a thing or two, of course we heard of Go!”. That was a pleasant surprise! Back to Hye Yeon’s blog: I love the candid way she describes her first US Congress experience. The first entry about the congress is here, then you can follow the next entries in the calendar on the left hand side in the blog.

Toyota and Denso Cup 2008 – Round 1

Saturday, August 23rd, 2008
The first round of the international Toyota and Denso Cup took place in Japan yesterday.
Toyota and Denso Cup 2008 - round 1
I was mostly interested in the games between Asian vs. non-Asian players. Unfortunately there was no surprise out there: Fernando Aguilar lost against Lee Changho 9p of Korea, Cristian Pop of Romania lost to Imamura Toshiya 9p of Japan, Ilia Shikshin of Russia lost to Xie He 7p of China. Maybe just one “reverse surprise”: Jie Li 9d of US, who’s usually giving a hard time to even the very high-ranked Asian professionals living in the US, lost against Alexander Dinerstein 3p of Russia.

Fernando Aguilar vs. Lee Changho

Fernando Aguilar vs. Lee Changho

Link to game record


Cristian Pop vs. Imamura Toshiya

Cristian Pop vs. Imamura Toshiya

Link to game record


Jie Lie vs. Alexander Dinerstein

Link to game record


Ilia Shikshin vs. Xie He

Link to game record


While not involving amateurs players, but worth mentioning as an international match: Jiang Minjiu 7p originally of China, currently playing for the US, was matched against Cho U of Japan and lost:

Jiang Minjiu vs. Cho U

Japan was almost eliminated in the first round, unfortunately: Zhou Junxun defeated Yoda Norimoto, Lee Sedol defeated Kono Rin, Mok Jinseok defeated Hane Naoki, Piao Wenyao defeated Ogata Masaki, the prodigy Han Sanghoon defeated Yamada Kimio, Gu Li defeated Hikosaka Naoko, Cho Hanseung defeated Yamashita Keigo, Park Yeonghun defeated Kim Sujun. The only players for Japan who survived the first round are Takao Shinji (defeated Yang Shihai), Cho U (defeated Jiang Minjiu) and Imamura Toshiya (defeated Cristian Pop).

The next 3 rounds (including semifinals) will be played every other day starting tomorrow.

Cho U Defends Gosei Title

Saturday, August 16th, 2008
Cho U won game 4 in his Gosei Title defense against Yamashita Keigo and kept the title with a 3-1 score.
Gosei 2008, game 4
Here is the 4th and last game (you can download it here).

European and US Go Congresses

Saturday, August 9th, 2008
Both the European and the US Go Congresses are over. Catalin Taranu 5p of Romania won the European Champion title this year as the best placed European, even if his overall place was 6th. His score was 7-3, same as Alexander Dinerstein 3p, Ilia Shishkin 7d and Pal Balogh 6d, but Catalin came ahead on SOS (sum of opponents scores). Otherwise, the congress was dominated by guests from Asia as usual in the last few years: first 5 places overall were taken by Park Jong Wook 7d of Korea (9-1), Hong Seok Ui 7d of Korea (8-2), Lai Yu-Cheng 7d of Taiwan (7-3, after a very good 6-0 start), Kim Joon Sang 7d of Korea (7-3) and Hong Seul-Ki 7d of Korea (7-3). Full results here. European professionals don’t seem to be a match for the Asian top amateurs, unfortunately. On the other hand, the US Go Congress was dominated by professionals – Asian professionals, that is. The winner of the open tornament was Kim Myungwan 8p of Korea (who also played the demonstration match against computer program Mogo) after defeating Jiang Mingjiu 7p of China in the final round. You can see the final results here. Feng Yun 9p of China won Ing Masters after defeating Yang Yilun 7p of China – the game was commented live and extensively by Takemiya Masaki 9p of Japan who was the star guest professional at the US Congress. You can downlowd the commented game record from KGS. Final results are here. It’s too bad that these major events in the non-Asian Go world are overlapping so many players and guest professionals have to choose one or the other – the two Go federations should work together to schedule them better.

New Record in Computer-Go

Friday, August 8th, 2008
After defeating a 5 dan professional on 9×9 in an even game earlier this year, the computer-Go program Mogo broke a record on the normal, 19×19 size board, by winning against an 8 dan professional with 9 stones handicap. During a demonstration match at this year’s US Go Congress, a 19×19, 1 hour thinking time game was arranged between Mogo and Kim MyungWan 8p of Korea. The computer program took 9 stones handicap and won by 1.5 points. Here is the game record with a few variations shown by Kim MyungWan after the game. (You can also download it).
A similar 19×19/9 handicap game was played also at the time of the 9×9 match earlier this year; at that time, though, Catalin Taranu 5p won easily with 9 stones.