Posts Tagged ‘Uncategorized’

Go and Chinese Chess Documentary on CCTV

Friday, May 29th, 2009

I found about this great 3-part documentary of Go from CCTV. Here is also a direct link in case you don’t see the embedded version below.

Thanks to youtube user semedori for uploading this.

Fujisawa Shuko Sensei Passed Away

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

Fujisawa Shuko Sensei passed away earlier today at the age of 83.

Shuko Sensei was born on June 14th, 1925. He is mostly famous for winning Kisei, the top Japanese title in his 50s for six times in a row, from 1976 to 1981. More details about his career can be found here.

I recently posted a video from a study group meeting organized by Shuko Sensei. I’m adding the video below.

Here is a video from Japanese TV announcing his death:

English article from Mainichi here.

The announcement (in Japanese) on the Nihon Ki-in website is here. Here are some thoughts on Shuko Sensei from Cho Hye Yeon.

Photos from the funeral service here. Some recent photos with Shuko Sensei.


Tuesday, March 31st, 2009
A lot of people know about Atari, the arcade games and video games company, founded in 1972. Also, a lot of people know the term “atari” from Go, meaning a group with only one liberty, in danger to be captured. There is also a simplified variation of Go, called “Atari-Go” or “Capture-Go” – one can play that online here. But not some many people know that the arcade game company borrowed the name from Go! I just found that out myself today, when I learned about this video interview of Atari founder Nolan Bushnell where he declares Go as the favorite game of his! I found also an April 2009 interview with him where he declares that Go is his favorite game in “Inc. Magazine”. And here’s a photo of Nolan Bushnell in front of a goban (the fuseki looks strange though, there is a stone on the 2nd line on the left side):
Atari founder Nolan Bushnell in front of a goban

Experimenting with “Google Friend Connect”

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009
I’m experimenting with “Google Friend Connect” on You may notice the blue “floating” bar at the bottom of the screen if you visit that main website. Please help me experiment with it if you find it interesting: one can join on the bottom-left (using any existing Google, AIM, Yahoo or OpenID account), then can read or write comments, see other members, etc. It looks like a cool little gadget – I am not sure whether it fits well with, given that I never thought of as a “social website”, but rather a “content website”, but let’s see… Thanks is advance for participating! (I am already seeing a problem with IE 7: the controls aren’t visible on the “Friends Connect” toolbar. Seems to work well thought in Chrome and Firefox.)  

Kisei Title: Yoda wins game 3

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009
Game 3 of the Kisei Title was won by the challenger, Yoda Norimoto, by half a point. Yamashita Keigo is leading now by 2:1. Interestingly, all 3 games so far were very close: 1.5, 0.5 and 0.5 points. Next game will be played on February 19th and 20th (Japan time). For more photos from game 3 see the Yomiuri online page.
Kisei Title 2009, Game 3
Here is the game record:

Kobayashi Koichi Misses Comeback Chance

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008
Kobayashi Kochi, who used to be a dominant figure in Japanese Go for more than two decades before early 2000, hasn’t been in the news the last few years. So when he qualified in the final of the 4th Daiwa Cup he must have had high hopes for a comeback. Unfortunately it didn’t happen, as the much younger Kono Rin won the game in 95 moves – but even qualifying to the finals shows that Kobayashi Koichi is still a remarkable player. Here’s a photo of the two players commenting on the game.
Daiwa 2008 Final

Here is the game record. Kobayashi seems to have tried his old “surviving with a weak group” tactics – he used that a lot in his title matches with Takemiya in the past – but his weak group was killed by Kono Rin.


World Mind Sports Games at the End

Saturday, October 18th, 2008
The first edition of WMSG 2008 concluded today. As far as Go is concerned, China won the most gold medals:
Country Gold Silver Bronze Total
China 3 1 1 5
Korea 2 4 3 9
DPR Korea 1 0 0 1
Taiwan 0 1 0 1
Japan 0 0 2 2
Surprisingly, DPR Korea’s place in this “medal order” is very good – that’s due to a gold medal to an open amateur even as explained here, but I wan’t able to find out what event was that.

World Mind Sports Games

Friday, October 17th, 2008
In case you haven’t heard already, there is a great international Go event going on right now: the 1st World Mind Sports Games taking place in Beijing, China, which is an equivalent of the Olympic Games for board games. Each country sent their best players, so non-Asian amateurs have a great opportunity to play against Asian professionals. Besides Go, the other games represented are Bridge, Chess, Draughts and Xianqi. The official event homepage is here. A great resoure I just learned about today is this page which features interviews from the event. The best online resource with the results seems to be this one. Unfortunately for my home country, Romania (team picture below) lost to Czech Republic 2-3…      

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.

Hane Wins Honinbo

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008
Hane Naoki went all the way in his recovery from 0-3 by winning all 4 remaining games, capturing the Honinbo title from Takao Shinji!
Honinbo 2008, game 8
Honinbo 2008, game 8

Here is the game record. There was a lot of fighting and sharp moves on both sides.