Just three months after winning the Amateur Tianyuan title, 13-year-old He Yuhan has added the Fencheng Cup to his trophy bag. Fengcheng is a central Chinese city that has prospered through agriculture and coal mining. The prizes in the Fengcheng Cup ranged from 50,000 yuan (over $8000 or €6000) for 1st place down to 500 yuan for 33rd-50th places. There were also prizes of 5000 to 600 yuan for the best ten seniors (age 35 and up) and cups for the members of the best teams. Over 150 players took part. The games were played at the four-star Hongzhou Hotel.
The competition began on May 12. In the afternoon round on that day He Yuhan was paired against Qian Liuru, the only player he lost to in the Amateur Tianyuan. Revenge was duly taken: He won; Qian ended up in 59th place. Round six featured a match between China's two top rated amateurs, Hu Yuqing and Bai Baoxiang. Bai (number two), the Fengcheng Cup winner last year, won this game to stay undefeated. Also undefeated at this point were number-three-rated Ma Tianfang and He Yuhan.
In the seventh round He took undisputed possession of the lead by beating Ma while Bai lost to Ye Lingyun, who eventually finished 8th. For the rest of the tournament He could not be dislodged from first place. In the next two rounds He defeated Liao Yuanhe, a player near his own age but even younger, who was on his way to a 4th-place finish, and Kang Rui, who finished 14th. He finally lost in the tenth round, to Xie Ke (who finished 7th), but then He defeated Bai Baoxiang by resignation in the eleventh and final round on May 17, sending Bai down to 13th place, although with the consolation of a team cup. Ma Tianfang, the Fengcheng Cup winner in 2009, finished 2nd with a 9-2 score, one game behind He's 10-1. Click here for a Java replay of the He-Bai game (He is black)
Dutch go organizers took advantage of a four-day weekend to stage no less than five tournaments in and around Amsterdam on May 8-12, drawing players from all over Europe to celebrate Ascension Day on the go board. There were six different winners, representing the Netherlands, Germany, and Russia.
The action started with a five-round handicap blitz for early arrivers, held on ther evening of May 8 at the Cafe Batavia in Amsterdam. The victor was Kim Ouweleen, who works at the Het Paard Chess and Go Bookshop, which sponsored the event. Niels van den Bogaert shared second place with a pair of players from Finland: Olli Pukkinen and Johannes Laire.
The largest event (81 players) was the 42nd annual Amsterdam International Tournament that began the next day. German players have done well in this tournament for the past few years, and this year they did so again. Seok-Bin Cho, a former Korean insei who moved to Hamburg in 2005, won in all six rounds to take first place for a third time (he also won in 2006 and 2012). Lukas Krämer (Bonn) finished right behind him in second place. Bernd Shütze and Matthias Terwey finished eighth and ninth, giving Germany four of the top ten spots. This was Seok-Bin's second triumph in eight days: he also won the Madrid Tournament in Spain on May 4-5. Full results are here.
In parallel with the Amsterdam International, the European Pair Go Championship was played at the here.European Go Cultural Centre in Amstelveen, with 24 competing pairs. Ilya Shikshin and Svetlana Shikshina, the brother-sister pair from Kazan, Russia were the unbeaten winners; they will now represent Europe at the SportAccord Mind Games in December. Alexander Vashurov (also from Kazan) and Natalia Kovaleva (Chelyabinsk) led the group of seven pairs with 4-2 results to take third place. Czechia's Jan Hora and Klara Zaloudkova defeated Alexander and Natalia to finish second. Complete results are
May 10 was given over to the DNM Amsterdam Rapid, a five-round handicap tournament with 30-minute sudden-death time limits. As in the pair championship, two Russian players proved unbeatable, but this time it was Ilya Shikshin and Natalia Kovaleva who won all their games. Natalia had defeated Seok-Bin Cho with a two-stone handicap in the second round, and she did likewise against Ilya in an extra playoff game to win the tournament. Full results are here.
The fifth tournament was the Kunwa Children's Tournament, which was held on the last day of the Go Together. Although most of the six contestants were from the Netherlands, the winner was a guest from Germany: Ferdinand Marz. Pepijn Joost Jacob took second place.
Last week, once again, members of the Argentine Go Association (AAGo) gathered at the Japanese Garden of Buenos Aires for the celebration of Kodomo No Hi (Children’s Day in Japan) to teach the game of Go to the ones interested, activity which thankfully is becoming regular.
Amongst other great things for the day, the nice people of the Japanese Garden built a giant 7x7 Go board on the floor, with tape and black and white pillows, which was a source of great fun for both kids and grown-ups. Besides, for the latter, big explanatory posters were printed, with a brief history and explanation of the game, so everyone could quickly understand what was going on.
As times goes by and the events held jointly by the AAGo and the Japanese Garden become recurrent, everything gets bigger and, at the same time, easier. Some of the kids had been there already last year, so they knew what was going on and, better yet, they were looking forward to it. Everyone had a really good time, and the possibility of opening up a special course of Go for kids at the AAGo appeared. With some luck, this may come true sometime this year.
One of the aims of these experiences, besides having the kids and the parents know that this great game exists, is to build, step by step, a new reality in which Go is actually played and enjoyed by people of all ages. To take every chance to play some good Go is, of course, the next goal. But above all, having little ones as young as 5 or 6 years, playing and learning Go just in front of you, makes the future, and the present, look brighter than ever.
Report and photo by Luciano Salerno (AAGo).
One hundred go players converged on Praha on the weekend of May 4 and 5 for the 42nd International Prague Tournament, better known as the Sixth Korean Amabasador Cup. They came from Austria, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Slovakia, Switzerland, and all over Czechia. The top Czech players turned out in force, but it was Slovak champion Pavol Lisy who emerged unbeaten from the five rounds to win the cup. In the last two rounds Pavol defeated Czechia's Go Baron Ondrej Silt and youth champion Lukas Podpera. Ondrej and Lukas both defeated fellow Czech Jan Hora, who took fourth place. Pavol and Jan defeated Austrian Viktor Lin, who finished fifth, and it was Ondrej and Jan Hora who downed European Champion Jan Simara, consigning him to sixth place. Czechia's Stepan Hrbek (10 kyu) equalled Pavol's feat by winning all five of his games and took 47th place in the McMahon standings.
Complete results are here.
Hard on the heels of the Thailand 15-Dan Go League, the 17th Thailand Open Go Tournament was held on May 4-6 at the Nong Nooch Garden & Resort Hotel in Pattaya, a major Thai resort city. It was divided into four sections: high dan (3 dan and up, 32 contestants), low dan (1-2 dan, 36 contestants), high kyu (1-4 kyu, 24 contestants), and low kyu (5-8 kyu, 30 contestants). Each section was run as a separate Swiss system.
The high dan section was won by Vorawat Charoensitthisathien, the 5-dan Assumption University student who played on the Thai team at the 2010 Asian Games and will represent Thailand at the 2013 World Amateur Go Championship. Second place went to Nuttakrit Taechaamnuayvit, 4 dan, Thailand's player at the 2013 World Student Oza. Choltit Rattanasetyut, 5 dan, who took 11th place in the 2011 World Amateur Go Championship, finished third despite beating Nuttakrit in round 2 (he lost to Vorawat in round 4). None of these three lost to anyone else. Last year's winner Krit Jamkachornkiat encountered Vorawat in round 1 and Nuttakrit in round 5 and finished fourth.
The low dan section was won by Phumin Kongmaung, 2 dan, a student at the Chamnong Business Technological College. The high kyu section was won by Sirathep Chen, 1 kyu, an 11-year-old middle-school student at Assumption College in Bangkok. Emboldened by his victory, Sirathep went right on to take the Thai Go Association's tough shodan qualification test and is now 1 dan. The low kyu section was won by Bunyapon Jaiaree, 6 kyu, a high school student at Assumption College in Samut Prakan.
More pictures and results (mostly in Thai) can be found here.