Archive for the ‘Board Games’ Category

It’s funny how I take the busiest time in the year to update my blog. But anyway, a report on World Pair Go is long overdue.



Pair Go World Cup 2010 was held in Hangzhou, China in commemoration of Pair Go Association 20th anniversary. Malaysia qualified for the final round after coming out second, behind Singapore for the Asia selection ( minus China, Japan, Korea).

This tournament was participated by 16 teams in total, where 8 were professional teams, and the rest were amateurs which won the preliminary round in their respective region i.e. Europe, Asia, Africa, America.

The eight professional teams are from China, Korea, Japan and Taiwan. Each country sent out two teams.

Below are the pics. Female players are named first, followed by their male partner.

China Pair: Song Rong Hui (5d) , Xie He (7d).



China Player: Yi Tang (2d) , Xing Liu (7d)



Korea Pair: Soh Yun Park (2d), Jin Huh (1d)



Korea Pair: Lee Min Jin (5d), Jin Seuk Mok (9d)



Taiwan Pair: Ai Lin Hsiao (1d), Cheng Hao Hsiao (6d)



Taiwan Pair: Joanne Missingham (1d), Chun Hsun Chou (9d)



Japan Pair: Akane Ishii (1d), Hideyuki Sakai (7d)



Japan Pair: Umezawa Yukari (5d), Shinji Takao (9d) 



Suzanne and I were matched up against Korean pair, Lee Min Jin and Mok Jin Seuk in the first round. Apparently my wish was answered 🙂

There is not much to say about the game except that Suzanne started with tengen. The follow up was horrible though because she and I had totally different idea of using the center stone. Anyway, we would have lost but it felt quite like a throw away game, so I did not feel too great.


Mok Jin Seuk was apparently a friendly person, who initiated chat in the elevator 🙂 . When we happened to meet again during the match, he asked about Go development in Malaysia. Evidently, he was quite sad knowing that there are only 100 players in Malaysia, with only 30 active. Honestly, those were just random numbers that I spew out. Hopefully MWA could come out with statistic so that I don’t misinform people anymore.


The final result was that China’s Song Rong Hui and Xie He won the first place after winning by resignation in the final against Korean’s Lee Min Jin and Mok Jin Seuk. The game itself was amazing. Two dragons were in conditional seki, as there was a ko. Towards the end, the Chinese team started filling the opponent’s liberties, ignoring ko threats that the Korean made. They eventually captured the group, forcing resignation.

Anyway, it appeared that Song Rong Hui is really at the top of the World Go now, despite her young age. Last year, she won the female section of World Mind Sport Games. Two World Championship at the age of 16? Wow…

Yea, they won 4,000,000 yen but if I understand correctly, the China Weiqi association will have a 70% share in the money prize. Suzanne and I also were given 100,000 yen to share. No tax will be imposed by MWA because there was no prior agreement. However, from now onwards, MWA will have 30% share from the earning that we win although more contribution will be encouraged.

The tournament report is done. There rest of this post will be mainly pictures that I took. Report about my trip around Hangzhou city, including the West lake will be in another post, hopefully 🙂


The amateur players except for professional Kang Zhang Bin and Singapore’s official, Mr Tan.





Jie Li ( amateur 9d ) vs. Joanne ( professional 1p ) in friendly match.



Me and Umezawa Yukari, the darling of Go 🙂







Old friend Yuki Shigeno



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No preparation whatsoever, except for occassional quick matches on KGS. And that’s for playing solo, instead of pairing with Suzanne. And of course, Visa preparation. I had just collected mine from China Embassy, Bank of China at Jalan Ampang. They had relocated to a new floor some time last year, and it was spacious with plenty of counters. Visa application was very smooth and easy without the long queue. 🙂 Great.

Regarding Go, luckily I’m quite familiar with Suzz’s style and she’s probably familiar with mine too. Everything may not mean much however, with there being plenty of professional pairs in the tournament. 8 professional pairs and 8 amateur pair from various regions, to be exact. If I could choose our opponent, I hope to play against Korean pair Lee Min Jin (5p) and Jin Seuk Mok (9p). Playing against Umezawa Yukari (5p) and Takao Shinji (9p) would be fun too. I could finally fulfill the old dream of meeting Umezawa Yukari since she first appeared in Hikaru No Go. 🙂

The website for the tournament is here.

Just a note to future tournament organizers. Hey, I have plenty of better looking cheerful pictures !!!

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Glad to mention that Malaysia will be participating in Pair Go World Cup 2010 in Hangzhou, China after finishing second in Asia selection held yesterday. Suzanne and I, as the Malaysian pair completed four matches yesterday with 3 wins against Indonesia, Phillippines and Vietnam and a loss against Singapore Team 1. The tournament was actually held online on IGS as there was not enough time to organize it in the meat-world.

It was my first time playing Pair Go, and it was a great experience. I normally am very reserved in my game, prefer strategic to tactical fight. But Suzz was the complete opposite, and it seemed our combined style yesterday followed her more. We kept asking for fight when we were already leading against the Indonesian, and we put ourselves in great danger against the Vietnamese pair. I almost wanted to resign, until we managed to counter-attack with a squeezing sequence. Luck maybe, because I didn’t see it at all when reading 5 moves before.

Overall, it was an enlightening experience for me. I cant remember the last time I had intense fighting in my games. I normally wait for overwhelming advantage before I initiate a fight. With Suzz aggressiveness however, there was no wait and warming up before fighting. Haha … 🙂

After the selection round, the next stage will be held in Hangzhou in March 21-23 where 8 professional pairs and 8 additional pairs from various geographical regions will compete. I’ve never been to Hangzhou, so quite looking forward to this. Hopefully we could do well there.

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Jumpy Monk

Kibitzing and blitzing are two nicest things to do on KGS. Today I witnessed the creation of a new KGS Go term during a game between ecstatic[9d] and supertjc[8d].

FarahIzyan[5d] asked about the Go term for S8 move below, whether it should also be called “monkey jump”. Originally, monkey jump means a large knight jump on the first line from a second line, a very useful reduction technique for endgame.

Since S8, is a rather backward monkey jump, from first line to second line instead, Warfreak[6d] suggested a like-sounding name for it, “Jumpy Monk”

Few people quite liked the name 🙂

It already has its own entry in Sensei’s Library.




Edit :

You may also visit an earlier entry on Sensei’s about Inverse Monkey Jump which talked about the same move.

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Tough time KPMC

I know I have not updated this blog for very long. For the past one month, I have been out of control of my own life. I got involved with a lot of people in many activities, and as such, I had trouble keeping my usual routine. I did not blog, study, play Go etc.

The fact that I have started focusing more on my work instead of side activities was the major factor.

Tomorrow, I will leave for Jeonju, Korea to attend the Prime Minister Cup (KPMC). It is one of the major international amateur Go tournaments, the other prominent one being World Amateur Go Championship (WAGC) which I attended in 2008.

Honestly, I still have not recovered from the trauma of performing very badly in previous WAGC. I got 46th place. So large was the number, it was even larger than the answer to the universe. That time, I could still forgive myself for being the nervous newbie to competitive tournaments.

I was quite looking forward to KPMC tournament until I saw the schedule below.


3 matches on Saturday, 4 on Sunday? Are you kidding me? I cannot play more that two matches per day! I almost fell sick during SEA Games 2007 after playing three matches on the first day. Had to rest myself at the massage and therapy centre.

Way long before that when I attended Malaysia Chess Championship, I vomited after playing three matches on the first day. I suppose I’m just not cut out to bear intense pressure from tournament. I’m not a mind sport athlete, just a hobbyist.

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I attended the first day of Daicon at Multimedia University in Cyberjaya today. Daicon, for those who dont know, is a celebration of modern Japanese visual culture. Well, I actually dont know much about the purpose or message of Daicon, but I sure did enjoy the presence of cute university students in anime-like appearance or cosplay.

Reminds me of the old time when I was so infatuated with everything Japanese. I do envy the current generation a bit, for being very brave at expressing themselves. I realise now that I did not really spend my youth in the most fun and satisfying way. Regrets creeping in.

Anyway, I was actually there to promote Go, under the name of Malaysia Weiqi Association. We did get quite a lot of people interested in the game, and at one point, I nearly lost my voice. It was hard explaining the game to the beginners while fighting to be audible against the background singing. Ah, the singing … some were really bad although their courage probably should be commended.

Some of the pictures below. Hopefully I could get more from Yi Zheng later.






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I got another three wins for the League against Philip, Mr Tiong and Jimmy today. Overall, I’m not doing too badly in this League, with only one 0.5 moku loss against Ho out of eight matches.

The game against Mr Tiong today was especially intense. I started the game with slight inferiority, because I lost to him rather badly in the previous league encounter. That was the game where I started behind in fuseki due to mistakenly choosing double hane variation to a 3-3 invasion which did not fit into my overall sanrensei strategy.

Note : This particular post is to record my thought during the game against Mr Tiong today for my own future reference. It should be a very dull read to everyone else.

Despite my loss to Mr Tiong in previous league, I got a higher rating and our rating difference dictated that I should play white and and give him 4 moku reverse komi. I knew from the very beginning that I had to attack hard, because Mr Tiong was so much superior in fuseki knowledge that plainly aiming for territory would be a sure fail strategy for me.

Mr Tiong started with a Hoshi and a 6-4, where as I had double hoshis on the opposite site. He did not rush to make shimari but methodically extends to the sides and I followed similarly. I would not make shimari from 6-4 as well, as there seems to be no good move to make shimari from a 6-4.

After having extended to the sides, it came to a point where I had to do something about the 6-4 corner. From experience, playing hoshi against 6-4 will subject myself to double kakari and I would not like any outcome of that. Whereas, playing 3-3 would give him a nice influence and greater control of the centre for some territory points. That option was out of consideration as well. I needed influence and centre, to perhaps have the option to play moyo later if I came out behind in fuseki as normally the case against this particular opponent. Play normal, with moyo as fallback strategy. That was my mindset.

So I invaded at 3-4 point, in the direction that threatens to slide into Mr Tiong’s more valueable framework. He strangely attached to my corner stone to protect that, and let me nobi to 4-4. This is too good for me, I thought for a while. But then another strange move followed.


I found the marked move strange but not without merit. It appeared to me that he planned to play a tight game, with small territories everywhere. Anyway, the followup from here was bad from me. I really should get better result than what actually happened in the game.


I took chances with the marked move. In retrospect, I was probably too eager to start attacking immediately. It’s plain clear that black could easily counter attack, but I wanted a fight to start immediately, whether advantageous or disadvantageous to me. Yea, that was foolish 🙂

For that corner, I settled with worse result. Not only my opponent got the whole corner, but I ended up with an unsettled group. Luckily I got the last fuseki big point (marked), with potential to play moyo. At least the game was not over yet for me. Some might argue it was over though, but this was an amateur game with plenty of mistakes to hope for 🙂



The game continued to be bad for me after I responded wrongly to Mr Tiong’s invasion at the bottom. I hardly had any moyo, there were so many points that black could invade and live prosperously. It was a wonder that I had any will to continue the game at all. I was not so keen on playing moyo anymore, so I invaded top.


Wedge and sacrifice variation. I figured letting my opponent having ponnuki was justified as his top territory was already solid anyway. But Mr Tiong took this chance of sente to invade my moyo at the weakest point, 3-3. In the spirit of doing things the weird way, I did not respond the normal way, and the following resulted.


Nothing hurt more than having gote at the moment 😦 Anyone could easily guess where black was going to play next.


Yes, black invaded the right side. I was so behind in the game that it was not funny! Somehow later, I won this match and was pleased with myself, but right now in reviewing mode, I am just puzzled as to how on earth did I play so badly. Anyway, back to the game, I invaded at sansan, but pushing at E9 first because I was quite concerned with the safety on the top left group. Spending another move on the right was too expensive, so I decided against it.


I managed to live small in the corner. Some exchanges then happened on the right and finally black decided to attack the weak group! The following sequence occured. I tried to attach against his stones to find a way to settle myself.


Black had just missed a large scale attack by playing the marked move. Of course, there was possibility of white playing there, and save the H5 group with sequence White F7, Black G6, White E6, Black D7 and White G5. But understandably, large scale attack was not needed at all. Wrapping up game quickly would be better.


By this time, I have started eyeing the opponent’s right side group. I wanted to have a double attack against black’s right side and middle groups. I was hoping for my opponent to cut at J10, and voila, it came 🙂 The response to J10 was White J9 and sequence followed Black K11, White K9, Black J7 and White L12.

OK, I forgot the the fighting details that followed 😦 It has been more than 6 hours after the game and my memory is not that good to remember a whole Go game. But what happened was, I managed to kill right side group, while my own left side group could still be saved with a ko. Mr Tiong played a ko threat to bring back the right group to life, which I ignored and chose to save my left group. But unlucky for Mr Tiong, the ko threat he played did not guarantee his group an unconditional life. Another complicated fight followed, and finally his group could only live with a 2-step ko. In the end, I let go part of my left side group to settle the ko and thus cleanly kill the right side group. Left group, right group, that was a bad commentary 🙂

Reviewing this game, I realise how weak I am at fuseki. I made so many mistakes in the beginning, but luckily Mr Tiong made some very costly mistakes at the end. I rely too much on big mistakes by my opponents, that has to change !

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