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January 31st, 2006

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New member and rank changes

We welcome our first player from Upington to the rating system, Alida Auret, Christina’s sister, at 23 kyu. After games played during the holidays, Alida has been promoted to 22k, and Christina demoted to 12k.

Posted by Steve as New members, Rank Changes, Stellenbosch at 11:33 AM, No Comments »

January 30th, 2006

A Google breakthrough

Our website now appears on the first results page on Google when one searches for “SAGC” (even if only at number 10).

Posted by Steve as Announcements at 1:06 PM, 3 Comments »

January 27th, 2006

Yi Ch’ang ho gets 10-dan title, Yamada Kimio promoted to 9-dan

International:

The Oceanian qualifying phase of the Toyota-Denso Cup was held in Brisbane, Australia, last weekend, and this time the tournament was not won by Guo Yiming from Sydney. However, the tournament winner, 6-dan amateur Sena Lee was from abroad, so I suspect Guo, who came second due to SOS, will once again represent Oceania at the Africa/Oceania/Rest of Asia playoff for the Toyota-Denso World Oza.

Japan:

Yamada Kimio defeated So Yokoku in a Honinbo league match earlier this month to become the first player promoted to 9-dan via the Nihon Ki-in’s cumulative-wins system instituted in 2003. Yamada achieved the 200 necessary wins required earlier, but because only 90% of wins prior to the start of the system were taken into account as part of the transition, he had to gain more wins before getting the promotion.

Takao Shinji Honinbo became the 40th Japanese player (and the youngest so far at 29) to score 600 wins in professional games after defeating Yamada Kimio 9-dan in the 31st Japanese Meijin league. He is the player to achieve this the quickest – in less than 15 years. He also has the highest winning percentage of the 40 players, winning more than three quarters of his games. In the other Meijin League game played last Thursday, Sakai Hideyuki (7p) defeated Yoda Norimoto Gosei.

Yamashita Keigo won the challenger decision playoff for the Judan title against Takao Shinji yesterday. Japan’s Big Seven titles’ title matches are scheduled to start in a certain order, and with this victory, it will be the fourth successive title match Yamashita will be playing in, the third being the Kisei, where his second match against title-holder Hane Naoki will be played next Wednesday and Thursday at the Gero Hot Springs in Gifu prefecture.

Cho U and Ko Iso won their first round games in the Tengen challenger decision tournament, with Cho U defeating Michael Redmond. Meanwhile, Mimura Tomoyasu (9p) and Iyama Yuta qualified for the challenger decision tournament for the Oza title, and Cho Chikun Judan defeated O Meien in their second round game in the Gosei challenger decision tournament.

On Wednesday, the second semi-final of the Female Kisei challenger decision tournament was broadcast. Yoshida Mika (8p) despatched Kato Tomoko (5p), securing a victory by resignation. Yoshida’s final match against 3-dan Mannami Kana will be broadcast this Wednesday.

Finally, the first semi-final of the 25th NEC Cup will be held tomorrow, featuring Cho Sonjin (9p) and Takao Shinji Honinbo.

Korea:

Yi Ch’ang-ho claimed yet another title this week, becoming the first holder of the new Siptan title by defeating Pak Yeong-hun in the decisive third game of the final in just 154 moves. As holder of this title, the equivalent of the Japanese Judan title, Yi is entitled to call himself 10-dan while holding the title. Next month, Yi will face the Japanese Judan, Cho Chikun, in a new play-off between the two countries.

On Wednesday, Yi Ch’ang-ho also made another step to reclaim the title he lost to Ch’oe Ch’eol-han two years ago, by winning the first game of the title match of the 49th Kuksu. The second game of the best-of-5 match is on Thursday.

Song T’ae-kon has a chance to claim the Gisung title on Thursday, when he plays the second game of the title match against An Cho-yeong. Song leads 1-0 in the best-of-3 match.

In this week’s game in the 7th Maxim Cup, Yi Se-tol eliminated Seo Bong-soo. In next Wednesday’s game, Yoo Changhyuk faces Yun Seonghyeon (both 9-dans). Finally, in a first round game played in the 25th KBS Cup, Kim Myeong-wan (7p) was eliminated by 2-dan Kim Jinwoo.

China:

In the 20th Tianyuan challenger decision tournament, star teenager Zhou Ruiyang (3p) once again proved his mettle this past week, defeating China’s #5 Xie He and #7 Wang Lei to reach the semi-finals. Chen Yaoye (5p) also gave a sterling performance, defeating #8 Qiu Jun in the quarterfinals, after Qiu Jun eliminated Chang Hao in the 3rd round. China’s #2 and #6 respectively, Kong Jie and Luo Xihe also reached the semi-finals to be held on 17/2, but will face each other, guaranteeing one of the young stars a place in the final.

On his return from his victory in the Samsung Cup, Luo Xihe won his first round game in the 2006 CCTV Cup, which was delayed for the final. Taking White, he defeated 5-dan female, Xu Ying.

Taiwan:

The first preliminary tournament to decide who gets the sole unseeded berth in the 6-player knockout tournament to decide Taiwan’s representative at the CSK Cup was decided last Friday. Yang Zhude (5p) was awarded an “arbitration win” over Xiao Zhenghao (5p) – what exactly that means is not clear, but I will post more information if/as I get it. Today Yang faces Lin Zhihan (7p). The winner there faces Zhou Junxun (9p) in the semi-final, and that winner will compete with Chen Shien for the CSK Cup Taiwanese berth.

Finally, in pool 2 of the preliminary phase of the Tianyuan Huang Changyi (1p) beat Lin Shengxian (7p) in the first round.

Posted by Steve as Pro News at 4:27 PM, No Comments »

January 26th, 2006

Johannesburg rank changes

Congratulations to Willem Joubert jnr who was promoted to 10 kyu and to Andre Connell who was promoted to 3 kyu following Tuesday’s games.

Posted by Andre as Joburg, Rank Changes, Stellenbosch at 5:47 PM, No Comments »

January 25th, 2006

First Call for Entries: Stellenbosch Handicap, 1st Quarter

Players can register for the Stellenbosch 1st Quarter Handicap Tournament now by e-mailing Hugo van der Merwe. It is a Swiss tournament in which the pairings are chosen to minimize the maximum handicap each round. (Last quarter had 7H for the largest handicap, the two quarters before that there were only 3 games in each with 9H or more.)

The entry fee for the tournament is R15, with a R10 discount for SAGA members or players who join SAGA before the tournament, payable by 15 February. R5 from each entry fee will be used as prize money. (Note that SAGA charges R80/R35/R20 for normal/student/scholar membership for 2006, providing discounts on e.g. books and tournaments for the rest of the year.)

Posted by Hugo as News, Stellenbosch, Tournaments at 12:10 PM, 1 Comment »

January 25th, 2006

New Cape Town player

We welcome a new player to the ranking system at 20 kyu. Kevin Scaife, a co-worker with Chris Welsh, made his first appearance at the Cape Town Go club yesterday night, after mostly playing online Go in the past.

Posted by Steve as Cape Town, New members at 10:28 AM, No Comments »

January 23rd, 2006

Another Wiki?

Hi folks.

The last few days, David Richfield and I have been installing a new wiki, this time MediaWiki, the platform that Wikipedia, for example runs on. The new Wiki software is much slicker and more powerful than the previous wiki, and the content of the old wiki has been ported to the new platform.

The plan is to shift as much of the website as possible over onto the wiki in due time, and hopefully eliminating the blog eventually. This approach will mean that the website is really everybody’s, since anyone can edit, make suggestions and comments, and correct mistakes they find.

David Richfield is currently maintainer of the wiki, so if you have suggestions etc, you can mail him, or leave him a message on his user talk page on the wiki.

Posted by Steve as Announcements at 9:48 AM, 8 Comments »

January 22nd, 2006

Final WAGC points update for 2005

Here is the final WAGC points update for 2005:

wagcpoints2005.zip
recordsheets2005.zip

Congratulations once again to Julius.

For details of the calculations see this post. A more formal document on how the system works will be drawn up in the near future.

Please check your points and notify me of any errors before or on Friday, 10 February. For the sake of giving finality to the results no corrections will be made for errors pointed out after this date.

Posted by Reinhardt as SAGA at 10:42 PM, 1 Comment »

January 20th, 2006

Luo takes Samsung; China takes Jeongganjang; Gu wins NEC Cup

International:

28-year-old Chinese 9-dan Luo Xihe, playing in his lucky tracksuit, claimed the 10th Samsung Cup and China’s 5th international go title by winning the third game of the final against suit-clad Korean Yi Ch’ang-ho by 5.5 points, for a 2-1 victory in Seoul, Korea, last Friday. The 360-move game is one of the longest title games on record, due to an extended ko-fight (the 2 longest I know of feature Nie Weiping at 368 and 363 moves each). Luo started his Samsung Cup campaign in the preliminary rounds, and fought his way through them and then Korea’s cream-of-the-crop in the final stage of the tournament to claim victory: he was only paired against Koreans in this stage, and besides Yi Ch’ang-ho, Korea’s number 2, he had to overcome Ch’oe Ch’eol-han (#1), Yi Se-tol (#3), Cho Han-seung (#4) and Song T’ae-kon (#11). This was also the first time Yi was beaten in a title match by a non-Korean. What a way to take your first international title!

Luo, who is said to have a genius-level IQ, is considered to be one of the few pro go players whose success comes more from talent then from hard work. He was an avid internet gamer, but apparently he has settled down and started working harder on his go since he settled down after marrying 2-dan pro Liang Yadi in 2003. The other thing that played to Luo’s advantage in the Samsung Cup are the new, shorter time limits than in previous years, since he is generally a fast player, rarely entering byo-yomi. In both his victories in the final, Yi was in serious time trouble during a complex ko fight, whie Luo had ample time left. Luo got his big break in go as a young teenager, when 7-dan pro Luo Jianwen recognised his talent and decided to allow him to live in his home in Beijing. (pictures and more details available on go4go.net

In last weekend’s American Oza, Feng Yun won the New York Division and Jiang Mingjiu the Las Vegas Division of the 3rd North American Toyota Denso Oza Championship to win berths in the final stage of the Toyota-Denso Cup. Both players finished the six round tournament with perfect 6-0 scores. The Oceanian Oza to decide a representative for the Africa/Oceania/rest of Asia playoff, will be held this weekend. The favourite for this tournament is the winner of the previous 2 Oceanian Oza’s, 8-dan Guo Yiming.

This week saw Rui Naiwei (9p) facing her nemesis, and arguably the top female go player in the world, Pak Chi-eun, in the first game of the final stage of the Jeongganjang Cup in Shanghai, China, on Monday. Pak, the last remaining team member of Team Korea, managed to claim a 1.5 point victory to keep Team Korea in with a chance. The next day, Team Japan was disposed of, when their last team member, Female Meijin Koyama Terumi (5p), went down to Pak by 4.5 points. Unfortunately, Pak was not up to the challenge of defeating both remaining Chinese players to reclaim the Cup for Team Korea, being narrowly defeated by Ye Gui (5p) in the next round on Wednesday. The game was decided by a half-point, and means that China retains the Cup and wins the prize money of 75 million won (about $75 000).

Japan:

Yuki Satoshi won a berth to represent Japan in the Fujitsu Cup by winning one of the 4 final preliminary pools. Yuki, taking White, defeated Rin Kaiho by resignation in the final game of the pool.

Yamashita Keigo (9p) got off to a good start in his campaign to reclaim the title Hane Naoki narrowly snatched from him 4-3 two years ago, the Kisei. In the first game of this year’s title match, held in Berlin, Germany, Yamashita forced Hane to resign.

In the NHK Cup, So Yokoku (8p) managed to produce the goods against Kobayashi Satoru (9p) in their game broadcast on Sunday. So won by resignation.

In the Ryusei, Kim Sujun (7p) and Kono Rin (8p) continued their winning streaks in the preliminaries, Kim defeating Arakaki Shun (8p), and Kono eliminating Omori Yasushi (8p). Since the players with the most wins in the paramus format preliminaries qualify for the knockout final stage, Kim and Kono must be very happy with their progress. Next week sees 1-dan Ando Kazushige facing Matsuoka Hideki (8p): Ando already has a winning streak of 3 games, one against a 5-dan, and the other 2 against 7-dans, so he may be someone to keep an eye out for in the future.

Korea:

This Sunday will decide who will be the first holder of the Korean Siptan title. This title, the equivalent of the Japanese Judan (10-dan) title, is being contested by Pak Yeong-hun and Yi Ch’ang-ho in the final. Pak, playing White, forced Yi to resign in the second game of the final on Sunday, levelling the score at 1-1.

Yi is also beginning his challenge for the 49th Kuksu title this week. The first game against title-holder Ch’oe Ch’eol-han takes place on Wednesday.

And on Thursday, challenger Cho Hye-yeon will face Rui Naiwei in the third and final game of the 7th Korean Women’s Myeongin title match.

China:

According to the latest issue of the Chinese pro ratings, updated till the end of 2005, the top 10 Chinese go pros are, 1. Gu Li, 2. Kong Jie, 3. Zhou Heyang, 4. Hu Yaoyu, 5. Xie He, 6. Luo Xihe, 7. Wang Lei, 8. Qiu Jun, 9. Chang Hao and 10. Wang Xi.

With Gu Li’s achievement of 3 domestic titles in 5 days, no-one disputes his place at the top of the pile: Gu wrapped up the 11th NEC Cup and its 200, 000 RMB(about $25, 000) prize last Saturday, defeating Liu Shizhen (6p) by resignation. This means that Gu has 5 domestic titles, and he has defeated his counterpart in another country in 3 playoffs in the past year: he won the China-Korea Tengen playoff, the Japan-China Agon Cup playoff, and the China-Korea New Star Match.

The 2006 CCTV Cup got underway this week, with the first round of the 64-player knockout final stage being played on Tuesday. The defending champion, Liu Xing (7p) won his first game. The biggest upset was that China #8, Qiu Jun (7p) was defeated by Zhang Wei (4p). Wang Xiangyun, the talk of the first phase of the Jeongganjang Cup, was defeated by 9-dan Zheng Hong, while Nie Weiping continued to struggle, losing to Chen Yaoye (5p).

And on Wednesday, the challenger decision tournament for Gu Li’s Tianyuan title kicked off. This is a 48-player knockout tournament, with 16 players seeded into the second round. The first round, held on Wednesday, again saw the elimination of Wang Xiangyun, this time by 6-dan Yang Yi, who in turn provided the largest upset in the second round when he beat Chinese #4, Hu Yaoyu. The other upset was the elimination of Ma Xiaochun by 5-dan Li Jie. Nie Weiping scored a victory in the first round against female 8-dan Zhang Xiang, but was not up to the challenge of defeating China’s #2, Kong Jie, in the second round. The third round is on Sunday, with the quarterfinals on Monday.

Tang Weixing, an amateur 7-dan, claimed victory in the Wanbao Cup for a second consecutive year. The Wanbao Cup is the largest amateur tournament in China. Tang would have represented China last year at the World Amateur Go Championship, but missed the opportunity due to a managerial mistake. However, he is expected to represent China at the tournament this year.

Taiwan:

The only noteworthy news on the Taiwanese go scene the past week was Chen Shien’s defeat at the hands of Xia Daming (4p) in the first preliminary pool of the 5th Tianyuan. This means that Chen Shien is relegated from pool 1 to pool 3, which consists of the first-round losers in pools 1 and 2.

Posted by Steve as Pro News at 11:17 AM, No Comments »

January 20th, 2006

Stellenbosch rank changes

Congratulations to Adrian Thom, who was promoted to 18 kyu after yesterday’s games.

Posted by Steve as Rank Changes, Stellenbosch at 8:44 AM, No Comments »

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