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February 27th, 2006

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Honorary membership for Paul Edwards

I am pleased to announce that the SAGA council has decided to award
honorary membership to Paul Edwards, in recognition of his exceptional
services to the development of go in South Africa over the last three
decades. Congratulations and thanks to him.

Some details of Paul’s contributions are mentioned in the letter proposing
and motivating this award, which is available here:
Letter re Paul Edwards

Posted by konrad as News, SAGA at 5:07 PM, No Comments »

February 27th, 2006

SA Internet Championships

Entries for the South African internet championship, first quarter 2006,
are now open. The tournament will take place on Saturday the 18th of March
(just under 3 weeks from now) with format and schedule as below. There is
no entry fee, but players are responsible for their own internet
connections. The tournament is open to all members of SAGA. Development
players may apply to SAGA for sponsorship (contact Sakkie Buys). If you
have a computer with network card but no internet access, it is likely
that free access can be arranged via other players with ADSL. If you can
provide access for players who do not have their own computers, please let
us know.

To enter, please email me ( before Wednesday 15th March with your name and current SAGA membership status. The draw will be done in advance, and will
only include paid-up SAGA members who have registered by the deadline.

Further details:

Tournament Date: Sat 18 March

Registration deadline: Wed 15 March

“Venue”: South African Room, KGS.

Round 1: 9h30
Round 2: 13h00
Round 3: 16h00

Time limit: 1 hour thinking time plus Canadian byo yomi of 5 minutes per
20 stones.

Format: 3 round tournament in groups of 8; player numbers in each group
assigned randomly in advance; draw as below (note slight changes to draw
previously published for the SA Candidates).

Round 1.
Game 1 Player No. 1 vs. Player No. 5
Game 2 Player No. 2 vs. Player No. 6
Game 3 Player No. 3 vs. Player No. 7
Game 4 Player No. 4 vs. Player No. 8

Round 2.
Game 5. Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 3
Game 6. Winner Game 2 vs. Winner Game 4
Game 7. Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 3
Game 8. Loser Game 2 vs. Loser Game 4

Round 3.
Game 9. Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6
Game 10. Winner Game 7 vs. Loser Game 6
Game 11. Winner Game 8 vs. Loser Game 5
Game 12. Loser Game 7 vs. Loser Game 8

Further rules available at

Posted by konrad as SAGA, Tournaments at 1:57 PM, 2 Comments »

February 27th, 2006

Victor “Roseduke” Chow claims victory in African Oza

In the African representative match, relayed live to around 150 viewers on KGS, Victor “Roseduke” Chow (7d) claimed victory over Cheng Lai (2d), to claim the right to represent Africa in the Africa-Oceania-rest of Asia playoff for their sole berth in the final 32 of the Toyota-Denso World Go Oza. Oceania’s representative for the 3rd time running is Guo Yiming, while it is not yet clear who the representative for the “rest of Asia” will be.

Cheng was eliminated from the winner’s bracket by Victor, but claimed the right to meet him in the representative match once again by winning the losers bracket. The final of the loser’s bracket was a tight affair, but Ben Gale (3d) eventually lost on time, with his hand just millimetres from his clock’s button, and safety.

Victor also claimed the South African Open title once again, with his fiancee, Zhou Ya (5d), walking away with second place. Zhou Ya, known in South Africa by her Japanese nickname “Aki”, also won the Best Lady and Best Student prizes comfortably. Third prize went to the visiting Go teacher from the Kansai Ki-in, Aketa Katsuyuki, who also won the Veteran’s prize. Welile Gogotshe claimed the youth prize, narrowly edging out Aki.

A full prize list, as well as the full results, should be posted in the course of this week.

Once again, many thanks to the players who came from far away to participate, particularly the African representative. Also, our thanks to the Nihon Ki-in, as well as the sponsors, the Toyota Corporation and the Denso Corporation.

Posted by Steve as Pro News, Tournaments at 11:25 AM, No Comments »

February 26th, 2006

Victor Chow in Oza final

Well, as expected, Victor Chow (7d) won his 3 games in the Toyota-Denso African Oza yesterday to win the winner’s bracket, thus claiming his place in the African representative match of the African Oza. In the losers bracket, Konrad Scheffler (1d), the main hope of the Western Cape, suffered an early defeat, losing to Tristen Taylor (1k). Lloyd Rubidge (3k) took up Konrad’s slack by defeating Tristen in turn. Lloyd faces Cheng in a semi-final of the loser’s bracket this morning. In the other semi-final, Ben Gale (3d), will face Fouad Tehhani (4k) of Morocco, who has done well by eliminating two 3-kyus, Bernard Broens and Andre Connell.

The current tournament table for the African Oza is available here.

The final of the losers bracket will be played early this afternoon, followed by the African representative match, at around 15h45. We hope to broadcast some of today’s games on KGS, in the English Room – look for username “africanoza”.

The match of the South African Open this morning (round 4) is Victor Chow against his 5-dan fiancee, Zhou Ya (Aki Zhou), in a game that will likely decide the winner of the tournament. Aki beat Aketa Katsuyuki (6d) by 4.5 points yesterday afternoon, in round 3. If Victor wins this match, he will probably play Aketa this afternoon in round 5.

Posted by Steve as Pro News, Tournaments at 8:19 AM, No Comments »

February 25th, 2006

Results of first Oza games on the site

The results of the first games of the 3rd African Oza, played after the opening ceremony, have been added to the website. The biggest upset was probably Mr. Mory Traore (8k) of Ivory Coast defeating Reinhardt Messerschmidt (3k). Reinhardt was leading most of the game, but made a slip, allowing Mory to grab victory.

The main focus of the second round in the winner’s bracket will definitely be the match between Konrad Scheffler (1d) and Cheng Lai (2d), regarded as 2 of the top 4 players in the tournament.

For the full results so far, visit the African Oza page.

Posted by Steve as Tournaments at 8:17 AM, No Comments »

February 24th, 2006

Updates on the ranking system

With the African Oza and South African Open coming up this weekend, we’ve added some of the new players to the rating system: Manitra Razafindrabe (Madagascar) has been added to the system as a 1-dan, Fouad Tehhani (Morocco) has been added as a 5-kyu, and Traore Mory has been added as a 8-kyu. Aketa-sensei has also been added as a 6-dan, and Aki Zhou, Victor Chow’s fiancee, has been added as a 5-dan. Koos van Zyl, a new member of the Stellenbosch Go Club, has also been added to the system as a 30-kyu.

The Stellenbosch Club also welcomes another new member, Paul Harper.

There have been some promotions due to games this past week. Congratulations to (new ranks in brackets): Andre Heydenrych (27k), Serdyn du Toit (20k), John-Paul Harper (18k), Hanno Botha (15k), Adrian Thom (15k), and Hugo van der Merwe (8k).

Posted by Steve as New members, Rank Changes, SAGA, Tournaments at 2:33 PM, No Comments »

February 23rd, 2006

African Oza and South African Open this weekend

Go players in South Africa could hardly not know that the South African Open is being held this weekend in Stellenbosch, along with the African Oza, a tournament to select the African representative to play in a 3-player play-off for a berth in the final 32 of the Toyota-Denso World Go Oza.

Despite the recurring power cuts in the Western Cape the last week, the tournaments arrangements are progressing satisfactorily, and we are pleased to say that there are already 40 players registered for the South African Open. This is twice the size of any Go tournament held in the Western Cape in the last ten years, maybe ever, and I have no record of a previous South African Open with as many entries. 15 of these players have qualified for the African Oza, which begins on Friday night with an opening ceremony at 17h30.

Note that tournament sizes are increasing in the Western Cape, with the Western Cape Closed beginning on 1 March already having 28 entries as well. Not bad, considering that entry is only open to players living in the Western Cape.

We also intend to post tournament updates on the site if possible, and relay some games from the tournament in the English Game Room on KGS, where possible – the username for the relays is africanoza.

Due to the tournament, the (last) pro news update will be postponed to next week.

Posted by Steve as Pro News, Tournaments at 10:19 AM, No Comments »

February 17th, 2006

Cool discussion of “best yose” problem

Mace Lee of is having a discussion of a “best yose” problem: find the best yose for White to allow him a half-point victory (on a 13×13 board). Very enlightening – check it out.

Posted by Steve as Links at 11:55 AM, No Comments »

February 17th, 2006

New members, promotions

Congratulations to the players in the handicap tournament that were promoted. Adrian Thom was also promoted to 16 kyu. We also welcome Willie Krige to the Stellenbosch Club and the ranking system at 30 kyu. Paul Harper has also been added to the rating system at 15 kyu.

Posted by Steve as New members, Rank Changes, Stellenbosch at 11:51 AM, No Comments »

February 17th, 2006

Aoki claims female Meijin; Kido prize details


The third and final stage of the 7th Nongshim Cup to be held in Shanghai, China, will be the international Go focus between Tuesday and Friday next week. The current defender going into this phase is Korea’s 8-dan Cho Han-seung. On Tuesday he will face China’s Kong Jie, and the winner will face Japan’s last hope, Yoda Norimoto Gosei. The other players waiting in reserve are China’s Chang Hao and Korea’s Yi Ch’ang-ho.


On Monday, Yamashita Keigo (9p) claimed the last Japanese berth for the Fujitsu Cup by beating Sakai Hideyuki (7p). He joins the other qualifiers, Cho Chikun, Yamashiro Hiroshi, and Yuki Satoshi, as well as the 3 seeded players (the holders of the top 3 Japanese titles), Hane Naoki Kisei, Cho U Meijin and Takao Shinji Honinbo. This means that all the Japanese players in the Fujitsu Cup are 9-dans. In last year’s Fujitsu Cup, Japan had 8 representatives, while this year there will be seven. This is likely due to the poor Japanese showing in the final stage last year, with no Japanese players reaching the quarterfinals.

Challenger Aoki Kikuyo (8p) claimed her 10th title on Wednesday, when she followed up her half-point victory over title-holder Koyama Terumi in the first game of the Female Meijin title match, with another victory of 1.5 points. The second game of the Female Kisei title match was also broadcast on Wednesday, but there Chinen Kaori fought back to level the title match against challenger Mannami Kana. The deciding game of the title match was played last Thursday, but will only be broadcast on Wednesday.

The match on the Japanese title scene to look forward to next week is the fourth and potentially final game of the Kisei title match. Challenger Yamashita Keigo is in a very strong position, leading 3-0 against title-holder Hane Naoki.

In one of yesterday’s games in the Judan preliminaries, Rin Kaiho defeated Kataoka Satoshi. This game is interesting because it features a rarely-seen tesuji: “patting the raccoon’s belly”, or, as it seems the Chinese call it, “The Beautiful Bird Catches the Butterfly”. This tesuji was also attempted in the international Kangwon-Land Cup, but didn’t quite work there because of the outside situation. Check out the tesuji and links to the games at this forum on

The Kido prizes are an annual set of awards to Japanese go players that were named after the Nihon Ki-in’s dan-level magazine. The magazine stopped publication in 2000, but the prizes continue. Some prizes are determined purely on game results, but others are awarded by a selection committee, consisting of go journalist from media groups that sponsor Go.

For 2005, Cho U was selected the Most Outstanding Player for the third year in a row, as well as being awarded the International Prize. In addition Hane Naoki Kisei and Takao Shinji Honinbo were awarded Outstanding Player awards. Iyama Yuta was given the New Star award, while Women’s Honinbo Yashiro Kumiko was awarded the Women’s Prize.

Kobayashi Satoru had the most wins for 2005, with 46 wins, closely followed by So Yokoku. Kobayashi also came second in all the other statistics categories: he had the second-highest winning percentage (74.2%), played the second most pro games at 62, and had the second longest winning streak (15 games). Iyama Yuta’s 40-13 record topped the winning percentage stakes (75.5%), Cho U played the most games (63), and Takemiya Masaki’s 16-game winning streak was the longest for 2005. For more details, see the John Power report I extracted this info from on the Nihon Ki-in website (click here)

Finally, 7-dan Hiroe Katsuhiko retired on 31 January, just before his 65th birthday. He has been a pro since 1960. His son, Hiroe Hiroyuki, is a 9-dan.


Yi Ch’ang-ho was resigned early in the 4th game of the Kuksu title match after making a serious reading error. So Ch’oe Ch’eol-han breathes again. The score is now 2-2, and the deciding game will be played on the second of March.

Next Monday, the Women’s Kuksu title match also gets underway. This year, defending champion Cho Hye-yeon faces Rui Naiwei.

Rui must have the psychological edge after beating Cho on Wednesday to win the female pool in the Etland Cup preliminaries. The other 3 pools were also decided this week, with 4-dan Hong Sungji defeating Park Seungcheol(5d), An Cho-yeong (9p) beating Kim Seungjun (9p), and Seo Bongsoo (9p) beating O Kyuchul (9p) in the finals.

An Cho-yeong will also be in action next Wednesday in the deciding game of the Gisung challenger decision match against Song T’ae-kon. The winner of that game will face title-holder Pak Yeong-hun.


Players in the quarterfinals of the Ricoh Cup had about 40 days to prepare for their matches, and in the end it was Gu Li, Kong Jie, Chang Hao, and Wang Xi who emerged victorious. Gu (7p) and Kong (7p), China’s #1 and #2, defeated #7 Wang Lei and #3 Zhou Heyang respectively. Wang Xi (5p), China’s #10 beat #6 Luo Xihe, while Chang Hao (9p,#9) defeated the lone dark horse, Liu Shizhen (6p), who is not placed in the Chinese top 30.

And today’s Chinese pro action is the semi-finals of the Tianyuan challenger decision tournament.


In the Taiwanese prelims for their lone Toyota-Denso Cup berth, Xiao Zhenghao Guoshou beat Lin Zhihan this week to qualify for the finals.

Meanwhile, Chen Shien suffered his first defeat in this year’s Wangjia league on Tuesday, resigning against 4-dan Huang Xiangren. Chen’s score is now 2-1, and Huang’s is 2-2.

Posted by Steve as Pro News at 11:45 AM, No Comments »

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