"Bringing Mind Sports into the Classroom and Beyond” was the title of a one-day conference held at the Harvard Law School on June 13. Twenty-four participants representing the worlds of art, bridge, chess, draughts, education, go, library science, and poker, including Andrew Okun from the American Go Association and Thomas Hsiang from the International Go Federation, met to discuss what mind sports can do for schools and libraries. They started the day with a short session of one-card poker led by professor Charles Nelson, who uses poker as a teaching tool in his law classes, and ended it with another poker session. In between, they discussed topics ranging from New York's chess-in-schools program and the rewards of being a star draughts player in the Soviet Union to mathematical game theory and Hikaru no Go.Mind sports were described as, among other things, “an element in the civic construction of local community” and “a way to make nerds cool”.
The Harvard Magazine carried a one-page report, which can be read here.
The Oetinger Villa, a leftist alternative cultural center in a green area in Darmstadt, Germany, is a place for meetings, parties, art projects, and environmental activities, and above all a place to eat, drink, and listen to music by local bands with names like Nerdsmasher and Fear the Beard. On June 7-10, however, the sounds of rock music gave way to the quieter click of go stones. There were three events. A seminar for beginners and advanced players, up to about 2 dan, was held on June 7. It was followed by two parallel tournaments on June 9-10: a five-round MacMahon that drew 57 players from Germany, Luxembourg, and Switzerland; and the German Youth Go Championship, a round-robin among the top six German players under 18.
The MacMahon tournament was won by Matthias Terwey, who was also one of the seminar leaders. Matthias is proof that a player can excel at both chess and go. Up until the age of twenty he was an active chess player, with an ELO rating that peaked at 2104 at the end of 2003; then he shifted into go. He has been competing in about twenty go tournaments a year since 2006, and has won at least one tournament every year since 2008. At 4 dan he was the top-ranked player in the Go Days MacMahon field, and he won all five of his games. Second place went to Andre Staedtler (3d), who won four. Both Matthias and Andre beat Thomas Kettenring (3d), who finished third. Complete results are here.
The German Youth Go Championship was won, for the second straight year, by Jonas Welticke (4d). Like Matthias, he was undefeated. Although only half as old as Matthias, Jonas has been playing go even more intensively, competing in about one German tournament every two weeks since January 2011. In an October 2011 interview he said he was also playing three or four hours a day online, against opponents from all over the world. This is the kind of training that pays off: the German Youth Championship was his fourth tournament victory of 2012. His closest competititor was Niels Schomberg (1d), who won three games to finish second. Complete results are here.
Full Time Municipality School of Caroline Campelo Cruz e Silva (Palmas City, Brazil)
The implementation of full time schools in the municipality of Palmas-TO caused changes in the form of organization of educational work and curriculum design in these schools. The additional time the students stay in the school opened up new space for teaching activities not formally acknowledged as school activities before. Among these new spaces is a room properly equipped for teaching chess and checkers.
The first contact with go came about through research about these two games on the Internet. We found out that there was another game, an oriental game played with glass spheres on a wooden board that is related to chess and checkers.
In 2010 we received our first go board at the school in Palmas. At the beginning it was just curiosity about an ancient game still practiced today. Go has gained our attention thanks to its relationship with mathematics. Even more than chess and checkers, because the game demands calculation activities all the time. We also think that looking at the different shapes built on the board and dealing with the delicate goishi could also help develop motor coordination and laterality, both very important in the literacy process.
In 2012 the first project to teach go to all students in the school was elaborated. For two months the students will have specific go lessons. We will also continually offer workshops to be held after the regular classes, where students will have access to the game of go throughout the school year.
The work being carried out with the game of go aims not only to promote it in the school, but also to support the development of the logical thinking of students and the working content of basic math in a fun and exciting way, to stimulate the organization in the management of school items, especially the school notebook, to encourage values in relation to the productive use of human reasoning, and to promote an understanding of their role in building a better society. The go sets were built with the help of students using ethyl vinyl acetate, a sort of rubber very popular in Brazilian schools for the construction of inexpensive teaching materials. Students were encouraged, due to the low cost of this product, to produce their own game sets. This will also help promote go outside of the school. The schedule of activities also provides a workshop for teaching the basics of the game to other teachers so that they can also work with go in an interdisciplinary way. Board games are also an ordinary human language, which may facilitate the approach of our students to people from other places, other cultures and other languages. To help with this topic, the Kiseido Go Server will be implemented in the school computer room, so that students can use the network to play.
According to Abrago (the Brazilian Go Association), this is the first experience with go in Brazilian schools, so we believe the project will pass through successive revisions, however, the way the modality was received by students is a sign that it has come to stay. For the student Sara Beatriz Santos Nogueira, 5th year of elementary school, go has changed the experience she had with board games. In a report presented to the classroom teacher, she says that the game is wonderful, very enjoyable to play. Students Junior Vilson Ferreira and Jorge Marques dos Santos Victor fell in love with the game and in the second week of the project at the school signed up for the workshop held after school hours. According to Vilson, go is the best game he has ever played.
The next step is to check the impact of the practice of the game in school in order to propose the project also to other teaching units. Board games are still new in the school environment in Brazil. Chess, which is most widespread in schools, is usually used by teachers who do not have access to this culture in their academic training.
We thank Abrago who have at all times shown interest in providing educational materials, technical guidance, and helping further in the dissemination of the work, making possiblet the implementation of this initiative. I, the students and the school are particularly grateful to two people who were essential to the success of the project: Roberto Petresco and Everson Batista da Silva, without them we would not have succeeded.
- Luciano Sanches Teixeira, teacher
The 2012 Turkish Go Championship was played on June 9th and 10th at the Middle East Technical University in Ankara. Eight dan-ranked players and forty kyu-ranked players competed in a five-round MacMahon. After the first three rounds no dan-level player was undefeated, but Hüsrev Aksüt (2d) had lost only once, and he scored straight wins over Bilen Bertan (2d) and Emre Bektöre (1d) in rounds four and five to become the new Turkish champion. Emre finished second. Bertan, who was coming off a triumph in the Hitit (as in 'Hittite') tournament in May, tied for third place with Altan Kuntay (1d). Özgür Değirmenci, the highest-ranked player (3d), finished fifth. Giray Erdi (2d), the only player to beat the new champion, finished seventh. Gökhan Yıldız (1k), Anıl Haydar Yılmaz (5k), Murat Evirgen (6k), Gökhan Karadağ (10k), and Sinem Cantürk (19k) won four games apiece to finish 6th, 20th, 24th, 32nd, and 42nd, respectively.
Complete results can be seen here.
In 2009 Hüsrev, a graduate student in mathematics at Bilkent University, was part of the winning pair in the Turkish Pair Go Championship and represented Turkey at the International Amateur Pair Go Championship in Tokyo. Since then he has been prominent in the Turkish tournament scene, winning the Alpar Kılınç, Eskişehir, and National Hacettepe go tournaments in 2010 and the Canakkale Onsekiz Mart University tournament in 2011. He played for Turkey at the 2011 World Go Amateur Championship and was captain of the Turkish team in the recent Pandanet European Team Championship.
Pairs from ten countries competed in the European Pair Go Championship, a six-round McMahon event held in Lyon, France, June 2-3, 2012. The field featured pros Svetlana Shikshina and Alexander Dinerchstein of Russia, who showed their professional mettle by downing a succession of amateur opponents. These included two very strong Eastern European pairs: Klara Zaloudkova and Jan Hora (Czechia). who finished second, and Natalia Kovaleva and Dimitri Surin (Russia) who finished third. The next three places went to French pairs: Ngoc-Trang Cao and Antoine Fenech (4th), Dominique Cornuejols and Denis Karadaban (5th), and Monique Berreby and Olivier Clergue (6th). Julie Artigny and French champion Thomas Debarre provided the drama of the tournament by losing to another French pair (Charlotte Vielfaure and Benjamin Papazoglou) in the first round, then storming back with four straight wins to earn a pairing with Svetlana and Alexander in the last round. Had they won their last game the championship would have been decided by SOSOS points, but they lost and finished ninth (Charlotte and Benjamin finished tenth), leaving Svetlana and Alexander in undefeated possession of first place.
The complete results can be found here.
Twelve of the games can be viewed here.
The Yellow River Cup, one of the largest and oldest of the Chinese amateur go tournaments, was held this year from May 26 to June 1 in Dezhou, China's 'solar city', located between the Yellow River and Beijing. The 341 participants, all ranked 5 dan or higher, included former world amateur champions Hu Yuqing (2005 and 2009) and Bai Baoxiang (2011), last year's Yellow River Cup winner Ma Tianfang, many other noted Chinese amateurs, and a few players from Canada, Japan, Korea, and Thailand. The tournament was organized by the China Weiqi Association and received local public- and private-sector support.
The contestants played a 13-round Swiss system, one game on May 26 and then two games per day for the rest of the tournament. There were cash awards for the top twelve finishers, the top female player, the top senior player (born before 1967), and the top junior player (born after 2000). Although the tournament was basically an individual competition, many of the players also entered as members of teams representing China's numerous go schools and other organizations. The teams were ranked according to their members' scores, and the top eight teams received cups.
After the first six days of play, the undefeated leader was Hu Tian, age about 17, a pupil of 1985 world amateur champion (now pro 9-dan) Wang Jianhong. (Names are being given in Chinese order, family name first, and 'about' means plus or minus one year.) Hu was already a nationally noted player, having finished sixth in the Yellow River Cup in 2008 and second in the Mingbo Cup in 2011. Right behind Hu was Ding Hao, age about 11, whose only loss had been to Hu in round nine. On the morning of the seventh day Hu lost by half a point to Ma Yichao (age 14) and Ding lost to Xu Jiayang (a Nie Weiping pupil, age about 13), but Hu won his afternoon game to finish in undisputed first place with twelve victories and only one defeat. For this he received the 20,000-yuan first prize (about 3000 U.S. dollars or 2500 euros) and a promotion from 6 dan to 7 dan. Xu Jiayang, Su Anyue (age about 19), and Ma Yichao finished second to fourth with only two losses apiece. Then came Xue Guanhua (age about 10), who won the 1,200-yuan junior award in addition to his 4000-yuan fifth-place award. The top female player was Li Yirong (37th place). The top senior was Liu Wenming (253rd place), one of only two seniors competing. The team prize went to the Ge Yuhong Weiqi Daochang (go school).
And what of the famed Bai Baoxiang, Ma Tianfang, and Hu Yuqing? They finished 20th, 22nd, and 25th, respectively. To do well in Chinese go tournaments these days, it helps to be young.
Klas Almroth (4d), pride of the Goeteborg go club, has won his first Swedish Championship. Klas began the three-day tournament (May 18-20) by winning his first five games, including two wins over Jakob Bing (2d) in rounds four and five. He then took a bye in the sixth and final round, and finished one tie-breaking point ahead of John Karlsson (4d), who had lost to Jakob in round three. Jakob took third place.
The tournament was hosted by the Linkoeping go club, whose Erik Ouchterlony (3d) took fourth place.
Go competition is scheduled for August 13-23, following the European and U.S. Go Congresses and the London Olympics.
Only amateur players may compete. There will be individual men’s and women’s events, team and pair events, and a youth event for players under 21.
The go competition is being organized by the European Go Federation, but countries and territories anywhere in the world may send players, pairs, and/or teams.
Details can be found here.
Here is the schedule of the go competition.
A list of recommended hotels with special rate for the 2nd World Mind Sports Games is available on the website of the International Mind Sport Association.
here.Once again Eastern European players dominated the tough top-eight round robin in the Kido Cup, held in Hamburg, Germany August 26-28. Czechia's Ondrej Silt survived the brutal seven rounds with only two losses to capture the the cup, and with it a first prize of 1000 euros. Romania's Christian Pop and Cornel Burzo and Czechia's Jan Simara and Jan Hora also turned in net-plus performances, winning four games while losing three. Last year's winner Pal Balogh (Hungary) notched three wins to finish sixth, exactly where he finished in the recent World Amateur Go Championship. The two Dutch players, Merlijn Kuin and Gilles van Eeden, scored two wins apiece, and had the satisfaction of beating the two Romanians in the first round. Merlijn Kuin was also one of the two players to defeat Ondrej Silt; Jan Hora was the other. Full results are
The much larger main tournament drew over 200 participants, mostly from Germany, nearly 70 holding dan-level ranks. The winner, with a perfect 7-0 score, was Germany's Benjamin Teuber (6d). Barbara Knauf (3d), another German player, won the prize for highest-placing woman (26th), and Poland's Mateusz Surma (5d) took the youth prize by placing fourth, for the second year in a row. Results of the main tournament are here.
The Kido Cup is sponsored by Korea's Kido Industrial Co. Ltd., a leading manufacturer of motorcycle clothing, and is supported by the Korean professional and amateur baduk associations and Germany's Omikron Data Quality GmbH.
here.At the age of seventeen, Pavol Lisy (5d) has won his third straight Slovak Championship. The games were played May 4-8 in seven rounds in Stakcin, a village both large (in area) and small (in population) near the eastern tip of Slovakia, noted for its natural scenery. As in 2010, Pavol emerged undefeated, beating all dan-ranked opponents in the 32-man field, including former Slovak champions Xaver Gubas (3d, 2nd) and Miroslav Poliak (1d, 10th). Maros Kral (3d) finished third. Pavol was also undefeated in the five-round 9x9 event, Xaver again being runner-up while Peter Karailiev (1d) finished third. Results of both events are available
Go players who would like to see some of Slovakia's scenery for themselves and play go in a more relaxed atmosphere might want to check out the Slovak Go Festival scheduled for June 15-17 in Plavecky Stvrtok, near Bratislava. An English-language registration form and schedule are available here.
The Go Association of Thailand in cooperation with C.P. All Public Company Limited held the 16th Thailand Open Go Tournament - 2012 from 28th - 30th April 2012 at the Golden Beach Cha-am Hotel, Petchaburi Province.
Mr. Suwit Kingkaew, Secretary General of the Go Association of Thailand, presided over the opening ceremony This tournament brought about 160 students and other Thai go players together to enhance their skills and strengthen their relationships with each other. The tournament was divided into four divisions: high dan (3 dan and higher), low dan (1-2 dan), high kyu (1-4 kyu), and low kyu (5-8 kyu).
The winner of the high dan division was Krit Jamkachornkiat (4 dan, 16 years old) from Assumption College. Krit is a familiar winning face in the many tournaments he has participated in.
Result of the High Dan Division
Result of the Low Dan Division
Result of the High Kyu Division
Result of the Low Kyu Division
The 31st General Meeting of the IGF on May 12 in the conference room at the Baiyun Hotel, following the orientation meeting. The general meeting opened with an address by outgoing IGF president Chang Zhenming, in which he thanked tournament sponsor GAC Trumpchi and announced that the next IGF president would be from Japan. This was followed by an announcement of the names of the proposed new IGF president (former UNESCO secretary general Matsuura Koichiro) and two new directors (Kobayashi Chizu, Nihon Kiin Director, and Ying Minghaw, Chairman of the Board of the Ing Foundation).
After approval of these appointments, IGF office director Liu Shiming gave a detailed report in which he said he hoped to make the IGF more democratic, more effective, and more visible to the world at large. He spoke of the need for more women’s tournaments, his hope for expanded mind games events, and China’s plans support European go.
Director Eduardo Lopez then gave a report on the IGF’s activities in 2011, which included organizing the 32nd World Amateur Go Championship in Matsue, Japan, and the Student Oza and International Amateur Pair Go tournaments in Tokyo. Eduardo also announced that Brunei, Kazakhstan, and Latvia had joined the IGF, bringing the total number of IGF member countries and territories to 74.
IGF secretary general Shigeno Yuki then gave the financial report and announced that Thailand and Australia would act as auditor countries for the coming year.
IGF vice-president Thomas Hsiang announced that the Ing Chang-Ki Foundation would become an Association Member of the IGF, while the Chinese Taipei Weichi Association would become the IGF member organization representing Chinese Taipei. Thomas also reported that the International Mind Sports Association (IMSA) had signed a five-year contract with a firm in Singapore to develop mind sports, that another world mind sports games was being planned for August 9-23 in Lille, France with a shortened go schedule limited to amateur players, and that SportAccord had signed a contract to hold world mind games in Beijing for the next four years, with individual and pair competition and with an expanded auxiliary Internet tournament.
IGF Director Martin Finke then explained the anti-doping rules for the current World Amateur Go Championship.
Finally, it was announced that the World Amateur Go Championship will be held in Sendai, Japan in 2013, and in Korea in 2014, and the International Amateur Pair Go tournament will be held again in Tokyo in 2012. It was also announced that the IMSA subsidy will be used for a go teaching project for children in Latin America, starting this year, and for a go symposium at the upcoming American Go Congress.
During the past couple of months, some of the contestants in the upcoming World Amateur Go Championship in Guangzhou have been taking advantage of the extensive slate of European tournaments to get into shape. Here is a partial rundown of their exploits.
- March 3-4 Finnish WAGC contestant Juri Kuronen (Finland, 5d) won the Rabbity Six tournament in Tampere, Finland. The full Rabbity Six results are here.
- March 17-18: Guitarist, composer, and Cypriot WAGC contestant Dimitris Regginos (1d) won the Friendship Go Tournament in Nicosia, Cyprus. Results here.
- March 24-25 Spanish WAGC contestant Pau Carles (3d) won the Torneo de Go Ubicuo Ki-in in Seville, beating both dan-ranked opponents in the field of 16. Full results.
- At the same time, Italian WAGC contestant Carlo Metta (3d) was winning the Mountain Wind (Yama no Kaze) tournament in Bassano del Grappa, Italy. Full results.
- April 6-8 WAGC contestants Martin Li (Sweden, 5d) and Pal Sannes (Norway, 4d) played in the Nordic Championship in Vaesteraas, Sweden. Martin won the tournament; Pal took sixth place. Full results.
- April 21-22 Dutch Champion and WAGC contestant Alexander Eerbeek (5d) had a rough time in the Martinicup in Groningen, losing to older brother Marc (2d) in the first round, WAGC veteran Robert Rehm in the 3rd round, and Rene Aij (5d) in the 5th round to finish 10th. In April, however, Alexander did better in the U20 section of the European Youth Go Championship in St. Petersburg, beating the champion to take third place. The Martinicup results are here.
- Concurrently with Alexander's struggles, two 17-year-old WAGC contestants, Pavol Lisy (Slovakia, 5d) and European U20 champion Lukas Podpera (Czechia, 5d), clashed in the Vladi Valka Memorial tournament in Ostrava, Czechia. Pavol won the decisive game between the two to take first place; Lukas finished second. The Vladi Valka results are here.
- In Helsinki, Finland, Juri Kuronen topped the Finnish Team Championship Open Qualification tournament, notching a perfect 5-0 score. The full results are here.
- May 4-6 Danish WAGC contestant Jannik Rasmussen (4d) took second place in the Danish Championship in Copenhagen, losing only to winner Per Marquardsen (2d). Full results.
- Further to the east, Hungarian WAGC contestant Pal Balogh (5d) won the Korean Ambassador Cup in Praha, Czechia, beating Lukas Podpera, who finished in second place. Austrian WAGC contestant Lother Spiegel (4d) took ninth place. Full results.
And then there is the tremendous amount of online activity. To mention just one event, WAGC players Xianyu Li (Canada, 7d) and Remi Campagnie (France, 5d) are competing in the current round of Canadian League Internet Go, which is just getting under way. You can follow their progress here.
Japanese Garden of Buenos Aires to teach kids of all ages the game of go, in the celebration of Kodomo No Hi (Children’s Day in Japan). The room was nicely arranged by the staff of the garden to make the experience a great one for everyone, having an exposition of classic Japanese toys and tables with games to play or drawings to colour. Next to these tables, a huge, long one was set, with fifteen 9x9 go boards and stones, and instructors wandering around, waiting for the kids. When they arrived, the fun begun and soon the parents were as excited as the little ones, though a bit slower at learning the rules. Mainly, the teaching consisted of how to play atari-go, and getting the children to play it as soon as possible, to grasp the basic mechanics of the game. A group of them actually ended up playing 9x9 go. There were also a few that knew how to play go, and played 19x19 with some instructors. The speed at which the little ones progressed in the game was really astonishing. The big star was a colourful Korean board, all green with glass stones in four different colours, which every assistant wanted to use. In the opinion of this humble reporter, surely a group of kids of the nearly 70 that attended the event will continue playing and, probably enough, surprise us in a few years.On the afternoon of Saturday, May 5th, nearly 10 players of the Argentine Go Association (AAGo) joined at the Main Hall of the lovely
Report by Luciano Salerno (AAGO). Photo: Mario Nakazato (Jardín Japonés).