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October 31st, 2005

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Ko promoted to 7-dan; Cho goes 1-0 in Oza; Zhou causes upsets


The Jeongganjang Cup kicks off this week in Beijing, China. This tournament is the ladies’ equivalent of the Nongshim Cup, and shares the format used by that tournament and the Korean Baduk Masters. The first four games will be held from tomorrow until Friday, and then there’s a break until the second phase in Pusan, Korea sometime in December. The teams have been announced, with some of the better-known participants being Pak Chi-Eun (kr), Shinkai Hiroko (jp), Umezawa Yukari (jp), Chinen Kaori (jp), and Rui Naiwei (cn).


In Japan, the fight is on for the 4 remaining spots in next years’ Fujitsu Cup. The preliminaries kicked off on Thursday, with both Yuki Satoshi and Rin Kaiho getting off to good starts.

The 53rd Oza title match started last week, and Cho U once again started well in a title match, forcing challenger Yamashita Keigo Tengen to resign in the first game held in Meguro, Tokyo.

Unfortunately for Cho, his defence in the NHK Cup didn’t go as well – he was eliminated from the lightning-go tournament in his first game, losing to 8-dan Imamura Yoshiaki by resignation.

Ko Iso must be a delighted youngster: the 18-year old completed a 3-upset run in the Meijin final preliminaries by defeating Kono Rin in the final of group 1 (after previously eliminating Cho Sonjin (9d) and Hane Naoki Kisei). This means that Ko qualifies for a berth in next years’ Meijin league and is also promoted to 7-dan, effective immediately. Another recent promotion went to Sato Fumitoshi, who was promoted to 5-dan after 18 years as a 4-dan – for winning 70 games as a 4-dan.

Broadcast of this years’ female Kisei final tournament began with a minor upset last Wednesday – Osawa Narumi (3d) beat Okada Yumiko (6d) by resignation.

In the double-elimination Judan challenger decision tournament, Takao Shinji Honinbo claimed a victory by resignation against Mimura Tomoyasu to win the winner’s section of the tournament. In the losers’ section, So Yokoku (one of Takao’s earlier victims) was eliminated by Kobayashi Satoru.

Notable activity on the Japanese go scene this Thursday is: the Kisei challenger playoff between Yuki Satoshi and Yamashita Keigo Tengen; the first game of the best-of-3 final in the Kansai Ki-in 1st place tournament, between Nakano Yasuhiro(9d) vs Yokota Shigeaki(9d); and the kick-off of the Gosei challenger decision tournament. The challenger decision tournament has 31 participants this year, with 24 qualifying through the preliminary system. 22 have already qualified, while 2 games remain to select the final 2 spots – favourites for these berths are Kobayashi Satoru and So Yokoku.


In the next 4 games of the 2005 Baduk Masters, no team managed to claim two victories in a row. Mok Chin-Seok came in to deal with An Tal-hun, but went down in his next match to Pak Yeong-hun. Pak had to win 5 consecutive victories to claim victory for his Team CyberOro, but it was not to be, as he went down in his very next match to 4-dan Yun Junsang. Thursday’s match, in turn, saw Yun defeated by Team Mgame’s 2nd Yi Sanghoon – this one a 8-dan (the other one’s a 5-dan). Yi has a chance to claim victory for Team Mgame today, when he faces Team Tygem’s last representative, Cho Han-seung. If he fails, Mgame has a back-up plan in the form of Yi Ch’ang-ho.

In the Baduk League, Team Hangame scored a 3-1 victory over Park Land, the lone victory for Park Land coming when Korea’s #6, 6-dan Weon Seong-chin defeated Korean #14, Kim Seong-ryong. Ratings are according to the Hankuk Ki-won’s October Top 50 ratings.

In the 1st Siptan tournament, one of the semi-finals has been finalised: Song T’ae-kon, who beat 2-dan Kim Whansoo on Thursday, will face Pak Yeong-hun Gisung, who won his quarter-final against Yi Se-tol today. The semi-final will take place on Thursday.

The final stage of a new pro tournament kicked off this Saturday. Although details are sketchy, it seems the tournament is for rapid games, since the quarter-finals and semi-finals were both played on Saturday. The final will be a best-of-3 match. The final stage started with 8 big-name players. The quarter-finals went as follows: Yi Ch’ang-ho Wangwi bt. Yu Ch’ang-hyeok (once considered to be one of the world’s top 3 players); Cho Han-seung beat Ha Ch’an-seok (a top Korean pro in the 1970’s); Pak Yeong-hun beat Cho Hun-Hyeon; and Yi Se-tol beat Pak Chi-eun. In the semi-finals Cho Han-seung triumphed over Yi Ch’ang-ho, and Yi Se-tol once again got the short end of the stick from Pak Yeong-hun, losing by 10.5 points.


The talk of Chinese Go at the moment is definitely Zhou Ruiyang, a 14-year old 3-dan, who has only turned pro in the last couple of years. Zhou qualified for the 30-player final phase of the 2nd Chang-ki Cup (aka Xiaoqi Cup) over the internet, and has delivered some stunning results. In the first round,
he triumphed over China’s #10 player, Wang Xi. He topped that the next round, eliminating Gu Li, China’s top player. In the quarter-finals, he defeated Shao Weigang, the Chinese #15 – and all three victories were in the space of 5 days. Things won’t be getting easier for him though: in the best-of-3 semi-final, he now faces China’s #2 player, Kong Jie. What makes Zhou’s achievement more remarkable is that he has never attended a professional Go school, or been a student to a professional player. The other semi-final is between Chinese #3 Zhou Heyang and #9 Xie He.


In last weekend’s European Student Championships, victory went to Czech Jan Hora, with 5 wins out of 6. Second-placed Mera Csabo from Hungary defeated him, but lost a game to the 3rd-placed Merlijn Kuin (from Netherlands), so also only finished with 5 wins, losing out on tie-break. This is a very good result for Jan, since Mero is an ex-insei, and also one of the top 25 players in Europe, while Jan is only rated 57th.

(Image of Ko Iso courtesy of Gobase.)

Posted by Steve as Pro News at 3:53 PM, No Comments »

October 31st, 2005

JHB Meeting Tomorrow

Tomorrow evening (1st of Nov., 6:30pm to 7:30pm, at Betties Tearoom) we’ll be having an important meeting to discuss the future of JHB Club and who does what. Btw, I’m resigning of all organising/administration/communication duties. Tomorrow will be my last day. It has been fun, and thanks to you all.

We have a draft Articles of Operation, which Dale will hopefully circulate today on the JHB mailing list. We’ll discuss that at the meeting tomorrow, and throughout the week via email. The aim is to have the Articles of Operation voted on by the following Tuesday. The idea is to spread the load and ensure stability.

At some point, I guess, we will also have to figure out what to do with Aketa.

Posted by tristen as Joburg, News at 12:22 PM, No Comments »

October 27th, 2005

Guillaume’s Gome project

Guillaume Binet, an 8 kyu at the Cape Town club, is in the software development field. One of his recent projects is a Go assistant for PDAs and mobile phones supporting Java.

The program, Gome, is SGF-compatible, and allows users to play and record games, browse others’ games, and also provides access to a library of commented games and problems, which can be updated online.

Gome also supports English, French and Japanese.

Posted by Steve as Links, News at 12:30 PM, No Comments »

October 25th, 2005

Otaku starts Go forum

The Stellenbosch University Anime Club, Otaku, have started a Go forum on their website. They have kindly invited anyone interested in Go and anime to join them there.

For further queries about their forums or their website, email

Posted by Steve as Links, News, Stellenbosch at 3:07 PM, 4 Comments »

October 25th, 2005

SAGC and SAGA rating systems merge

SAGA has adopted the South African Go Clubs website’s rating system as the official ranking system employed by SAGA, after a number of changes to the system were made to the SAGC system to make it acceptable to SAGA. The systems were merged this morning, so from now on, any player can get their up-to-date rank on the SAGC ratings page (assuming their latest games have been added).

A number of people gained promotions during the merge: 25 players were promoted, 2 of them twice. New ranks are: Leander Gaum (2k), Jaco Swanepoel (4k), Daniel Wium (4k), David Richfield (6k), Guillaume Binet (8k), Gerrit Kapp (8k), Willem Joubert Jnr (11k), James Gelant (12k), Marc Loon (13k), Lei Feng (13k), Carle Joubert (14k), Chris Welsh (14k), Hanno Botha (17k), Adrian Thom (19k), Grant Webb (19k), Hennie de Villiers (19k), Timothy Spring (20k), Henk Hoving (21k), Thomas Lawrie (26k), Steven Dawson (27k), James Limbouris (27k), Wim Conradie (27k), Iain Lawrie (28k), and Elrico Heinen (29k)

Posted by Steve as Announcements, Cape Town, Joburg, Pretoria, Rank Changes, SAGA, Stellenbosch at 2:32 PM, No Comments »

October 25th, 2005

Another commented teaching game

On Sunday afternoon I played another 3 stone game against Aketa-sensei. This time a whole bunch of players had conspired to tire him out all day long, and despite a poor start I managed to pull off a win. Here it is:
Konrad v Aketa-sensei (2)

Online replay here.

Posted by konrad as Game records at 11:50 AM, No Comments »

October 24th, 2005

Western Cape Mejin title match starts tomorrow

Konrad Scheffler (1d), honorary Western Cape Meijin, will be fighting Andrew Davies (1k), challenger for the title in the 1st Western Cape Meijin title match. The best-of-3 title match begins tomorrow night at 8 p.m. at the Cape Town club venue, A Touch of Madness.

The qualifying stages for next years’ Western Cape Meijin Challengers’ League will be following a different format to this year, with the multiple pool system being replaced by a double-elimination tournament, with players being seeded into the tournament based on performance the previous year.

Posted by Steve as Cape Town, News, Stellenbosch, Tournaments at 5:04 PM, No Comments »

October 24th, 2005

Korea ekes out victory in New Stars Match; Yashiro takes first title


The quarter-finals and semi-finals of the LG Cup were the major focus of attention on the international go scene last week. With 6 Chinese players in the last 8, they were strong favourites for berths in the final (since at least 2 semifinalists were guaranteed to be Chinese). However, 1 of the other 2 players (both Korean) was Yi Se-tol, who has been in terrific form internationally the last 18 months (his international record over this period is 30 wins to 4 losses). Unsurprisingly, Yi proceeded to one of the semi-finals, along with Gu Li, holder of the Chinese Mingren title. The other half of the draw was a little more open, and finally 15 year-old 5-dan Chen Yaoye and Piao Wenyao (4d) proceeded to the semifinals. Chen reached his first international final by defeating Piao, and now has the potential to break a number of records if he wins, including youngest ever winner of an international title, and youungest ever 9-dan, since winning the LG Cup qualifies for a 9-dan promotion in China (and Japan).

Although Gu’s form has been rather dismal of late, he pulled out all the stops in his game against Yi, and his victory over him signalled the end of a 25-game run of consecutive victories against Japanese and Chinese pros in international tournaments – another record. With Chen and Gu both in the final, China is, of course assured of victory in another international title. (Information from

In the Asian New Star Match, it was a tight call between China and Korea in the end, with just 1 win seperating the 2 teams. Korea were the eventual victors, with 18/24 wins, while China were left gritting their teeth at 17/24. China and Korea both beat Japan 6-2, and, although Lin Zhihan (7d) managed to pull off a half-point victory over Korean Cho Hanseung (8d), while China beat Taiwan 8-0, China were kept from victory when they could not pull off a draw against Korea on the final day, but rather lost 5-3. Besides Lin’s victory, Taiwan could score only one more win, with 4-dan Chen Shien forcing Japanese 7-dan Kono Rin to resign. Japan scored 11 wins.


Cho U missed another opportunity to claim the Meijin title last week, with Kobayashi Satoru claiming a 1.5 point victory as White in the game played last Wednesday and Thursday in Kobe City. Kobayashi is still facing kadoban at 3-2 in the best-of-7 series. This game in the title match clashed with Cho’s scheduled game in the 61st Honinbo League last Thursday, so now Cho will face O Meien today instead. Cho’s schedule is getting tighter as time goes on. He begins his defence of his Oza title this week as well (in Meguro, Tokyo), where he is facing Yamashita Keigo Tengen on Friday in the first game of the best-of-5 title match. Cho will undoubtedly be disappointed that he could not wrap up the Meijin title before beginning defending the Oza. The next game in the Meijin title match will be on 3-4 November.

In the 31st Meijin preliminaries, Han Zenki (7d) claimed one of the 3 vacant spots in the 9-player Meijin league on Thursday by defeating 9-dan Enda Hideki. O Rissei (9d) was eliminated for contention for one of the other spots by Takao Shinji Honinbo, while O Meien (9d) put paid to Kanda Ei’s hopes. Takao will face O for one of the vacant positions, while Ko Iso (4d) faces Kono Rin (7d) for the final open berth and a promotion to 7-dan on Thursday.

In the prelims for the 32nd Tengen tournament, Cho Chikun bt Oya Koichi (9d) by resignation to qualify for a spot in the final knockout tournament.

Takao Shinji Honinbo reached the semi-finals of 25th NEC Cup, eliminating Hane Naoki Kisei by a half-point. He will face Cho Sonjin in the semi-final.

In the 53rd NHK Cup, a surprise win by Imamura Yoshiaki (8d) was broadcast yesterday. Imamura eliminated defending champion, Cho U.

Yashiro Kumiko (5d) claimed her first title on Thursday, making a clean sweep of defending Female Honinbo, Chinen Kaori. Yashiro won the 3rd game of the best-of-5 final by resignation to claim the 24th Female Honinbo title.

Xie Yimin (2d) defeated Umezawa Yukari(5d) to claim the last semi-final berth in the Women’s Saikyo tournament. She will face Kobayashi Izumi next.

Yamashiro Hiroshi(9d) defeated Nakane Naoyuki(8d) by resignation to claim the right to challenge Hane Naoki for the Okan (Crown) title. It seems the title match is just 1 game.


Last Tuesday, Cho Hunhyun (9d) was eliminated from the 1st Siptan tournament by 4-dan Hong Sung-ji. Hong, taking White, won by 1.5 points

In the 10th Cheonweon, 1-dan Park Jeonggeun continued his streak of good form, eliminating 6-dan Kang Jisung by 3.5 points to reach the final of the tournament. The Korean Cheonweon does not have a title match, rather the previous years’ winner (in this case, Ch’oe Ch’eol-han) is only seeded into the last 16 (this year, Ch’oe was eliminated in the first round). Park also eliminated well-known Cho Hanseung(8d) in the first round, and Park Yeonghun Gisung in the second round, to reach the final. Park will face either 9-dan An Choyeong, or rising star 3-dan Ko Geuntae, in the final.

9th SK Gas Cup: Ko Geuntae (3d) forced 6-dan female pro, Pak Chi-eun to resign in the playoff to determine the winner of League B. Ko will now face 4-dan Kang Dong-yun in the best-of-3 final, after the other positional play-offs have been completed.

2005 Korean Baduk League: Team Bomyang managed to pull off a draw thanks to 1-dan Kim Jinwoo defeating 9-dan Jiang Zhujiu of Team No. 1 Fire Insurance. With 6 matches out of 7 completed for each team, Team Net Marble is still undefeated, and it seems sure they will win the league.

In the Samkukji tournament, Ch’oe Ch’eol-han’s dominance last week was replaced by Kim Juho’s. The 6-dan representative for Team Mgame, who ousted Ch’oe the previous week, won 5 successive games before finally succumbing to Team CyberOro’s Park Jungsang (5d) on Thursday. Park was defeated the next day by An Tal-hun (6d), who represents Team Tygem. As things stand now, Team CyberOro is in serious trouble. Pak Yeong-hun Gisung, their only remaining representative will have to win 5 consecutive gamesto clinch the title for them, against players of the caliber of Yi Chang-ho Wangwi, Mok Chin-seok, Cho Hanseung and An Tal-hun. The other 2 teams are still relatively even.


The focus on the Chinese pro go scene this week will be the 2nd Xiaoqi Cup, where the first round was played yesterday. 8 matches were played to select 8 players to proceed to join the 8 players seeded into the last 16 from last years’ tournament. The results saw a few big names eliminated: Luo Xihe (9d) eliminated 8-dan female, Zhang Xiang; Ma Xiaochun (9d) was eliminated by Ding Wei (8d); Liu Jing beat fellow 8-dan Hu Yaoyu; Huang Yizhong (6d) lost to Mingren title-holder and finalist in this years’ LG Cup, Gu Li; Zhou Ruiyang (3d) beat 5-dan Wang Xi; Shao Weigang (9d) bt Dong Yan (7d); Cao Hengting (5d) defeated Chang Hao (9d); Zhou Heyang (9d) beat Fang Zhao (7d); Nie Weiping stayed in the running by defeating 7-dan Liu Xing by 5 points; Peng Quan beat fellow 6-dan Wang Yao; Yu Bin also continued, eliminating Niu Yutian (7d); Qiu Jun (7d) was ousted by Wang Lei (5d); top Taiwanese pro Zhou Junxun (9d) was also eliminated, losing to Wang Yuhui, 7-dan; and Xie He (6d) won his battle against Liu Shizhen (also 6d). The matches of the last 16 will be held tomorrow, and the quarterfinals on Thursday.


In the 1st round of the final stage of the 6th CMC TV Cup, 2-dan Lin Yuxiang caused a bit of an upset by eliminating one of Taiwan’s top players, 7-dan Dai Jiashen.

(Images of Chen Yaoye and Kobayashi Satoru courtesy of Gobase)

Posted by Steve as Pro News at 4:55 PM, No Comments »

October 24th, 2005

Aketa-sensei in Stellenbosch over holidays?

Aketa-sensei may well be spending 3 months in the Western Cape (possibly in Stellenbosch). However, 2 of those 3 months may be the December/January holidays.

In this light, could you please let me know what your holiday plans are, in terms of how close you’ll be to Stellenbosch/Cape Town over the university holidays.

To let me know, please email

Posted by Steve as Cape Town, News, Stellenbosch at 9:36 AM, No Comments »

October 21st, 2005

Hugo wins 4th Quarter Handicap Tournament

With two of the three final round games completed, the top positions of the handicap tournament have been determined. Hugo (who has been promoted two ranks since the tournament started) wins the tournament. Lei Feng (promoted one rank, and very close to a second promotion) takes second place, beating Rory Beling (who has also been promoted) into third place by either SOS or SOSOS (depending on the third game). Fourth place goes to Charl du Plessis, who has also been promoted since the tournament started. The battle for fifth place should be taking place next week, between Christina Auret and David Richfield (who suffered a demotion due to the collective onslaught of Charl and Rory in the first and second rounds).

Posted by Hugo as Stellenbosch, Tournaments at 2:43 PM, No Comments »

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