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September 30th, 2005

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Japan out of Samsung Cup

The 3 remaining Japanese players in the Samsung Cup after the first round of the final phase were all knocked out in the second round earlier today. The second round was dominated by the Koreans with 6 of their 8 remaining representatives continuing to the quarter-finals. The other 2 players are Chinese: Hu Yaoyu (8d) eliminated the Korean 1-dan Yoo Jaeho, and Luo Xihe (9d) did well to defeat Song T’ae-kon. In the 8 matches of the second round, 7 were decided by resignation, with the other game between Yi Ch’ang-ho and Gu Li going in Yi’s favour by a half-point. The other 5 quarter-finalists remaining (besides Hu, Luo and Yi) are Yu Ch’ang-hyeok, Ch’oe Ch’eol-han, Cho Hun-hyeon, Kim Myeong-wan and Yi Se-tol.

Since both remaining Chinese players are in the same half of the draw, the Koreans are now guaranteed at least one finalist.

Yesterday, the Japanese Go scene was active as usual. Yoshida Mika (8d) defeated Kobayashi Izumi (6d) in the winner’s section final of the challenger decision tournament for the Female Meijin title.

Prelims were also on the Go for next years Meijin and Tengen titles:

The 31st Meijin is at the final stage of selecting next years’ 3 new league players. There are 3 groups, with each group winner qualifying for the league. In the 1st group, Kono Rin defeated So Yokoku in the semi-final, thus deciding Ko Iso’s opponent in the final. If Ko (4d) wins the game he will be promoted to 7-dan for qualifying for the league.
In the 3rd group, Rin Kaiho was eliminated by Enda Hideki (9d). Enda will face 7-dan Han Zenki in the final of group 3.

The Tengen uses a knockout tournament rather than a league to select a challenger, with 28 players qualifying through the preliminary phases in addition to a few players seeded into the tournament. In the last stage of the preliminaries, Kobayashi Koichi and Kim Sujun both advanced to the finals of their division.

Posted by Steve as Pro News at 12:52 PM, No Comments »

September 30th, 2005

The return of the (Western Cape) Jedi

Konrad Scheffler has been promoted back to 1-dan.

Posted by Steve as Rank Changes, Stellenbosch at 9:43 AM, 1 Comment »

September 30th, 2005

More on Aketa-sensei’s visit

Chris Visser sent the following e-mail to the Joburg club yesterday, but it applies as well to any player in Gauteng, and even players in the Western Cape (except that Aketa-sensei will be staying at Andrew Davies’ house while he is in the Western Cape):

Dear Gautengers,

I hope Pretoria and Soweto club members also read this mail.

The teacher, Aketa Katsuyuki, will arrive in Johannesburg on this coming Tuesday morning, October 04. I tried to get to Joburg in time to welcome him, but the best I could do was to get onto the same flight as his from Singapore. He and I will have plenty of time on the plane to discuss his plans, which include a visit to the Cape. Thus far, we have no dates fixed.

Many people have asked the question, “Which is his first name and which his family name, and how should we address him?” His family name is Aketa. His given name is Katsuyuki. In formal situations and in writing, he should be addressed as “Aketa-san” (meaning more or less the equivalent of “Mr Aketa”) or “Aketa-sensei” (meaning more or less “Teacher Aketa”). If you want him to teach you, it’s better to acknowledge his status as a teacher. If you’re Victor Chow, you can quite happily call him Aketa-san.

When you’re chatting with him about one of your games, it’s normal to call him simply “Sensei”.

While Aketa-sensei is in Johannesburg, he’ll stay in a hotel or B&B in the Rosebank/Emmarentia area. His expressed wish is to “play as much Go with South African players as possible”. I’ll take him to the Joburg Club meeting on Tuesday night. From then onward, please, everyone, be proactive. Invite him for a meal at your house, and he’ll teach you until you want to go to sleep. Invite him to your office at lunchtime for a game. Organise get-togethers. He teaches everybody, from beginners to dan players. Whatever happens, don’t let him sit around and be lonely. He doesn’t want to spend all his time with me (who would?). If we make his visit fruitful and successful, he is likely to spend a year or more teaching in South Africa. I don’t need to spell out the benefits to South African Go if that eventuates.

He’ll have a cell phone, and I’ll publish his number as soon as it’s known.


Chris Visser

Posted by Steve as News at 9:00 AM, No Comments »

September 29th, 2005

Stb Rank changes

Adrian Thom has been promoted to 20 kyu.

Posted by Steve as Rank Changes, Stellenbosch at 2:11 PM, No Comments »

September 29th, 2005

WAGC points: call for discussion

Dear all,

There has been a proposal for an overhaul of the points system currently used
by SAGA to select the South African representative to the annual World Amateur
Go Championship. This system has gone through several changes in recent years,
and is a hotly debated and sensitive topic, with many people having strong and
differing opinions on it. While the proposal will be debated by the SAGA
Council, it is something that concerns all SAGA members, and as such I think
it is important for the council to base its decision on the opinions of the
membership. I therefore call on all interested members to voice their opinions
on this matter. Please answer any/all of the questions following the discussion below by
posting comments to this post.

Konrad Scheffler


The current system awards each SAGA member up to
4000 points per year: up to 2000 “placing” points based on results in the South African
Championship, and up to 2000 “participation” points, which are awarded for
playing in rated club and/or tournament games (since there are not that many
tournaments to play in, players scoring the full 2000 points get most of these
from club games).

The argument for the new proposal (my paraphrasing) is that the WAGC
representative is ultimately a tournament player, and should be selected on
the basis of tournament play (with both results and activity of tournament
participation playing a role). The proposal calls for the system to be based
on participation and results in a larger number of nationwide tournaments, for
example by adding the new South African internet championship (details to be
announced soon) to the currently used South African Championship, and
excluding participation points from club games from the formula.

The proposal does not concern the current mechanism of deducting an increasing
number of points each time a participant represents South Africa through this
system. Thus both the current and the proposed system should ensure that there
is a rotation of representatives.


1. Do you think that participation in rated club games should be considered in choosing the WAGC representative?
2. Do you think that other club activities (e.g. teaching, administration) should be considered?
3. Do you think that participation (as opposed to just results) in tournament games should be considered?
4. Do you think that games played with non-South Africans (e.g. over the internet) should be considered?
5. Do you think that more than one tournament should be used?
6. Do you think that internet tournaments should be used?
7. Any other comments?

Posted by konrad as SAGA at 1:45 PM, 18 Comments »

September 29th, 2005

Cho goes 3-0 in Meijin final

Cho U continued his strong form in the Meijin title match yesterday and today, to go 3-0 up in the best-of-7 match. The challenger, Kobayashi Satoru, resigned after about 230 moves, when he was trailing by around 10 points. Kobayashi now faces kadoban, meaning, effectively: “one more loss and it’s over”. Cho is now in an incredibly strong position: in order to win, Kobayashi will have to pull off the “great comeback” in a Top-3 Japanese title, a feat only ever before accomplished 5 times – 3 times by Cho Chikun.

The final knockout tournament of the Samsung Cup kicked off yesterday – the first 2 rounds of the knockout tournament will happen this week, to reduce the field to 8 players, who will continue in mid-November. Some of the first round results were: Yi Se-tol eliminated Takao Shinji; 7-dan Korean Song T’ae-kon defeated Chinese number 2, Kong Jie (7d); Chen Shien (4d) was eliminated by Chinese Wang Xi (5d); Pak Yeong-hun was ousted by Hu Yaoyu, a 8-dan from China; Cho Chikun also saw the end of the road, going down by 1.5 points to the only 1-dan to qualify, Korean Yoo Jaeho; the only other player below 4-dan, Korean 2-dan Kim Jiseok lost to Yoda Norimoto; Rui Naiwei was also eliminated, going down to Japanese 6-dan Tsuruyama Atsushi. This years’ Samsung Cup has shorter time limits than before – now each player only gets 2 hours of main time. Some game records and short game summaries are available at Go4Go. the first round started with 17 Koreans, 9 Chinese and 6 Japanese – after the first round, all the countries have half of their representatives still remaining (rounding going in China’s favour)

Finally, in the Taiwanese Guoshou (National Champion) title, 3-dan Xiao Zhenghao defeated favourite 7-dan Lin Zhihan in the 9-player league. This makes Xiao the only player with only 1 loss, and puts him in a strong position to win the title. His major competitors are Lin Zhihan and Chen Shien, who are first and second on the Taiwan win-loss table. Xiao is currently third on the table.

Posted by Steve as Pro News at 11:52 AM, No Comments »

September 28th, 2005

Contenders – insider report

The Contenders is the final stage of the annual SA Championship. This year the qualifiers formed the strongest field yet, with Bob Gale being the only non-dan-ranked player to qualify. However, being in Korea he couldn’t play. Cheng Lai 2d also had to pull out at the last minute, due to an unexpected obligation to attend a conference. So we had 6 players and 5 rounds. No one really doubted that Victor Chow 6d would cruise to a straight wins title, using less time to defeat all 5 of his opponents than is allocated for a single game; the questions were whether Ben Gale 3d would take 2nd, who would be the surprise of the tournament, and whether Julius Paulu 1d would get enough points to maintain his lead at the top of the WAGC points log and represent South Africa in Japan next year. For those who can’t wait, the answers turned out to be no, Welile Gogotshe 1d, and, er, it hasn’t been calculated yet.

Round 1: Victor and Ben won comfortably against Paul Edwards 1d and Julius respectively. The longest game was between speed freak Welile and yours truly. Pre-game conversation: me: “We haven’t played before, have we?” Welile: “No – I hope I kill you first time.” Sure enough, instead of making my group safe inside his moyo, I overplayed and ended up without eyes. He didn’t quite kill me, but connecting out on the first line was a dismal result and I had to spend most of the game in byo yomi trying to save a lost cause. Welile didn’t let me back into the game and at 15 points down in the late endgame I threw in the towel.

Round 2: I brought my camera along to this round (photos coming as soon as I’ve downloaded them), and luckily Julius had an early think in our game, giving me a chance to take a picture of Victor vs Welile inside of its first (and only) 15 minutes. Yes, Victor used 5 and Welile used 10. Ben beat Paul and I beat Julius.

Round 3: We considered having a competition to see who would make Victor use the most time. Victor suggested that the best strategy for this is to just continue to play silly moves without resigning. Anyway, people seemed pretty impressed that I managed to make him use 15 minutes – this may have been because I actually managed to capture some stones late in the game that he hadn’t intended to lose (I think), thus transforming the position from a loss into a slightly smaller loss. I celebrated by allowing him to rescue them again a little later. The earlier (more respectable?) part of the game, with a few comments is avalaible here: Victor thumps Konrad (Online replayer here).

The story of the round was Welile getting a great result by beating Ben and becoming the favorite for 2nd place. Paul beat Julius, who evidently was not having his best ever tournament.

Round 4: The game I had been waiting for: playing white against Ben I somehow managed to get an opening advantage and hang on to it throughout a marathon game (though not for lack of my usual efforts to throw away a won game near the end – at one point I was shaking my head and watching my byo-yomi time run out as I searched for a way to save the position – but I found a tricky move which saved the day). Meanwhile, Victor beat Julius and Paul beat Welile to throw the tournament open again.

Round 5: With my game against Ben overrunning the scheduled starting time for the next round, I negotiated a 10 minute lunch break before taking on Paul in the last round. Victor beat Ben and Welile beat Julius, which meant (with the tiebreaking system ruling in favour of the winner of the game between two tied players) that this game would make the difference between a final placing of Paul, Welile, Konrad, Ben and Welile, Konrad, Ben, Paul for places 2-5. So Paul had everything to play for and I co-operated by, again, allowing him to go for a kill when simply defending my group would have given a won endgame. But after the last minute fireworks my group connected out and the tournament was over.

Final standings:
1. Victor
2-3 Welile, Konrad
4-5 Ben, Paul
6 Julius

The top four qualify for next year’s event – tough luck to Paul who loses out on tiebreak and will have to play in the Candidates again next year. Thanks to all for a great tournament, and see you again next year!


Posted by konrad as Articles, Game records, SAGA, Tournaments at 1:43 PM, 16 Comments »

September 27th, 2005

Kim Seong-ryong out of 1st Siptan

The only pro news today is that 9-dan Korean pro, winner of last years’ Korean King of Kings title, was eliminated from the 1st Siptan title tournament yesterday by 2-dan Kim Whansoo, losing by half a point. Kim Whansoo will face Song T’ae-kon (7d) in the quarterfinals. Song, team leader of Team Bomyang in the Korean Baduk league, won the 7th Ch’eonweon title in 2003, but this year his performance has not been that good, not even reaching the top 20 in the Korean pro win-loss table.

Posted by Steve as Pro News at 4:13 PM, No Comments »

September 26th, 2005

Kim Sujun is the Japanese New Star

Kim Sujun (7d) won his first title (in six challenges) on Friday, when he defeated Iyama Yuta (4d) again in the second game of the 30th Shinjin O (King of the New Stars) final, clinching the title with his 2-0 victory.

At the Kansai Ki-in, 8-dan Yoshida Mika has won the Kansai Lady’s tournament – her victory over Konishi Kazuko(8d) was televised on TV Osaka over the last two Sundays.

The main feature on the pro scene this week is the Samsung Cup final: the final 32 players take each other on at Taejon in Korea, with the first knockout round on Wednesday, and the second on Friday. After that, there is a long break until mid-November, when the remaining 8 will meet in Taejon again.

In Friday’s first game of the KBS Cup final, Yi Ch’ang-ho started well with a 7.5 point victory over his opponent, Yoo Changhyuk.

Thursday in Japanese pro go was busy, as usual:
-Ko Iso continued in his quest to reach 7-dan by joining the 31st Meijin league, when he caused another upset by eliminating Hane Naoki Kisei in the preliminaries to the final. Ko’s next opponent will be determined on Thursday – if he wins, he gains entry to the league and immediate promotion to 7-dan. His opponent will be either Tengen challenger Kono Rin (7d) or 8-dan So Yokoku, who has the most pro victories this year.

-The second finalist for the Okan challenger decision match was also decided, when Nakane Naoyuki (8d) beat 9-dan Nakano Hironari. Nakane will face Yamashiro Hiroshi (9d) in the final.

-In the 44th Judan challenger decision tournament, Takao Shinji defeated O Rissei to claim his place in the winners’ final, where he will play 9-dan Mimura Tomoyasu.

-In the 31st Gosei, 3 big names completed the preliminary final phase to qualify for the challenger decision tournament: Otake Hideo, Takemiya Masaki and Kobayashi Koichi.

While Otake is making progress in his current games, he lost his 2 games which were televised this weekend: in the NHK cup, he was eliminated by Yamada Kimio (8d), and in the Ryusei he was denied a place in the final by Yuki Satoshi. Yuki’s opponent in the final is Cho U Meijin, who proceeded to the final thanks to a semi-final forfeit by Cho Chikun.

In China, the National Go Individual tournament as well as the National Women Individual tournament came to an end this weekend. While these tournament does not have a prize fund, and as a result many top pros don’t participate, the competition is still fierce, with many pros participating. This years’ winner of the Go Individual tournament was 4-dan pro Chen Yaoye, a former LG Cup quarter-finalist. Runner-up was Xie He, a 21-year old 5-dan pro. Xie is a previous winner of this tournament, as well as being a Samsung cup semi-finalist and challenger for the prestigious Tianyuan title in the past. In the Women Individual tournament, the winner and runner-up were both amateurs: Wang Xiangyun and Wang Qing. According to Chinese professional system, as winner of the women individual tournament, Wang Xiangyun will automatically be awarded pro status as a 1-dan.

(Image of Kim Sujun from the Nihon Ki-in website)

Posted by Steve as Pro News at 12:36 PM, 1 Comment »

September 26th, 2005

Rank change after the SA Contenders’

The only rank change resulting from the SA Contenders’ was Konrad Scheffler’s demotion to 1 kyu, based on his first game in the tournament. During the rest of the tournament, he defeated a 1-dan and a 3-dan in even games, and as a result, he had built his index up to 907 by the end of the tournament.

Posted by Steve as Cape Town, Rank Changes at 10:30 AM, No Comments »

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