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August 7th, 2012

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AGA certifies two professionals

In an interesting development, the American Go Association (AGA), in conjunction with the Korean Baduk Academy (KBA), are now certifying professional go players. These players will be invited to participate in all events open to Korean professionals, as well as international events. The first two players are Andy Liu of the USA, who is probably quite well known to many of us, and Gangshen Shi from Canada.

More details are available on Tygem

Posted by Chris Welsh as AGA, KBA, Pro News at 6:32 PM, No Comments »

May 1st, 2012

Kobayashi Koichi talks about go at a TEDx event

Hopefully you’ll find these videos interesting: Kobayashi Koichi (Japanese 9-dan professional) discussing various aspects of Go at a Japanese TEDx event. (There are english subtitles available, just click on the “CC” button below the video.)

TEDx talk
Artificial intelligence discussion including Kobayashi Koichi

Posted by Steve as Links, Pro News at 11:34 AM, No Comments »

January 7th, 2008

The pro who plays like (a little) like Victor

Gan Siyang (Chinese name 甘思阳) is a professional player who, around 2005, started playing unconventional openings. 6-4, tengen, 6-4, for instance, or opening on 8-8. Naturally, this leads to fascinating and unusual games. After struggling to find some more of his games, someone has posted a collection of about 25 of his games onto The collection (and a picture) can be found here.

Note that these sgf files still contain Chinese characters so it may not be that clear what is going on. Gan Siyang is the one with the strange opening moves!

Posted by Chris Welsh as Game records, Links, Pro News at 8:31 AM, 1 Comment »

June 11th, 2007

Commented games from RoseDuke and breakfast

Today we have a bumper crop of comented games: Victor “Roseduke” Chow has kindly provided commented versions of 4 of his World Amateur Go championship games, all against top 10 finishers. Alex Dinerchtein, the Russian 1-dan professional with the Korean Go Institute has also commented one of those games, along with 2 of Victor’s earlier victories against Japanese pro’s in the 2005 IGS Rapid Championships.

Alex plays and offers lessons on KGS as “breakfast”. For more details, check out his pages on Also, if you aren’t subscribed to his free weekly newsletter, you’re missing out. More info is on, including a subscribe link on the sidebar.

Well, here are the games:

Posted by Steve as Game records, Links, Pro News at 10:15 AM, No Comments »

June 8th, 2007

Talking to Solaris

Cristian Pop, the former ex-insei who learnt go along with fellow Romanian, pro Catalin Taranu (5p), did really well at the WAGC this year, placing fourth. Another Romanian ex-insei, Sorin Gherman, caught up with Solaris, as Cristian is known on Go servers, to discuss his performance and development as a player after the tournament.

Check out the interview on 361 points.

Something to look forward to: I’ve got 3 of Victor’s games, commented by a pro: his game against Cristian in the WAGC, as well as his two pro victories in the IGS Rapid Champs. Hopefully I’ll be able to post them on Monday.

Posted by Steve as Links, Pro News, Tournaments at 7:40 AM, No Comments »

January 9th, 2007

Go-test on

Alexander “Breakfast” Dinerchtein, the Russian who made it to 1-dan pro at the Korean Go institute, has been quite busy with popularising Go lately.

Besides the Goama newsletter, which he is editor of, featuring commented games, discussion of josekis and trick plays, interviews with pros, occasional quizzes, and more, Alex has recently made a webpage which allows one to get an idea of one’s strength.

Do the test here (take your time). The ranks given seem generally to be a bit inflated. See the bottom of the linked page on the results page to see how your results match up with European and American ranks.

Posted by Steve as Links, Pro News at 3:05 PM, 1 Comment »

October 16th, 2006

New record: Longest title game

Takao Shinji Honinbo increased his lead to 3-1 in his challenge for the title of Meijin last Wednesday and Thursday. His half-point victory over Cho U took 364 moves, and needless to say, involved a number of ko threats. This is the longest game in a title match ever, with the previous record belonging to Sakata Eio and Fujisawa Hosai, when they played a 361-move game in the 6th Judan title match in 1968.

The longest game ever recorded was a 411-move game in the Oteai of 1950.

For more details of other long game records, you can check out this (slightly outdated) article on MindZine, the (now defunct) webzine for mindsports.

For those who want to check out last week’s long games, you can get the .sgf from this page on Mr Kin’s Go News.

Posted by Steve as Links, Pro News at 1:32 PM, No Comments »

August 2nd, 2006

Mr. Cosmic Go visits EGC

Takemiya Masaki, whose style of emphasising influence over territory led to the development of the “Cosmic Go” style, is one of the most popular Japanese Go professionals today. A member of the older generation, he is rarely seen challenging for titles these days, despite 22 title victories in his career.

However, Takemiya may be primed for a comeback. Less than a week ago, Takemiya beat the current Honinbo, Takao Shinji, to reach the final of the Tengen challenger decision tournament. His opponent in the final is Yamashita Keigo, the current Kisei. If Takemiya can defeat him, he should go into the title match against Kono Rin, 8-dan, full of confidence from victories against the title-holders of 2 of the top 3 Japanese title. On the other hand, Yamashita wants to reclaim the title Kono stole from him last year.

Yamashita is also close to challenging for the Oza title, where he will face Kobayashi Satoru in the final of the challenger decision tournament. And for the Yoda fans, the bad news is that Yoda lost his Gosei title 3-0 to Cho U in July, which means that Cho now holds 3 of the top 7 titles (along with the Oza and Meijin).

In the meantime, Takemiya is not holing himself up studying for his big match. On the contrary, he landed in Italy last night, where he’s attending the European Go Congress, which started on 29 July. There he’ll be giving a lecture and taking part in some of the other Go activities. In the main tournament of the EGC, there are 250 players, with just over a 100 at 2-dan level or better. 6 “above the bar” players are currently undefeated, with the 4 leaders being split 2-2 between Korean and Japan. The remaining 2 players are Rudi Verhagen of the Netherlands, and Dragos Bajenaru of Romania. Svetlana Shikshina and Alexandr Dinerchtein have both suffered 3rd round losses against Orientals.

Details of the congress, with links to the full results, are available at

Posted by Steve as Links, Pro News at 11:57 AM, No Comments »

July 10th, 2006

End of an era

Cho Nam-cheol, the founder of the Korean Baduk Association and the most dominent baduk player in Korea in the 1950’s and 1960’s, passed away just over a week ago. 83-year-old Cho died of old age at home on 2 July.

Cho was awarded the Eun-gwam Order of Culture Merit for his development of baduk in Korea in 1989, and on Tuesday, the Korean president, Roh Moo-hyun, posthumously awarded him the Geum-Gwan Order of Culture Merit as well. Cho was a student of Minoru Kitani in Japan from 1937-1944, before he returned to Korea intent on developing the game back home. It is largely due to his efforts that Korea features at all on the international pro scene, not to mention their many recent years of total domination in international tournaments.

More details can be found in this article in the Korea Times.

Posted by Steve as Pro News at 12:16 PM, No Comments »

May 31st, 2006

Julius ends at #50

Unfortunately, Julius was not able to claim victory in his final game, meaning he ended up with 3 wins in 8 games and a final position of 50th out of 68 participants. Nevertheless, the only other South Africans to achieve more than 3 wins before are Ben Gale and Victor Chow, so this is still a good performance by Julius – congratulations!

Hiraoka Satoshi, who lost a game on time earlier in the tournament (because he expected the clock to beep before his time expired), managed to defeat the Chinese 13 year old Tang Wei Xing in the final round, thus claiming victory in the tournament by 1 point of SOS. This is Hiraoka’s second victory in the WAGC – his first was in 1994. Third place went to Cho T’ae-won of DPR Korea, while Korea’s Hong Man-ki claimed fourth. America’s 8-dan, Joey Hung, claimed the highest position by a non-Oriental country (6th), while 2-dan Ting Yu Yen of Singapore ended 18th.

The other African countries participating, Madagascar and Morocco, finished 61st and 62nd respectively.

2 of the 3 new countries at the tournament had comparable performances to Julius, with Cyprus’s Demetris Regginos ending 48th, and Aliaksandr Suponeu of Belarus placing 51st. Azerbaijan, the other newcomer, ended 66th, just ahead of Armenia and Panama.

Posted by Steve as Pro News, Tournaments at 12:51 PM, 2 Comments »

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