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NZ Open results and Happy Christmas

NZ Open results and Happy Christmas


Dear Go Players,

The year is nearly over, eventful in some ways, quiet and stay at home in others. Interesting - as in the supposed curse "May you live in interesting times" - the year has been interesting indeed: We have probably spent more time at home than since we were infants, while probably paying more attention to international affairs than ever. We almost certainly did more online than ever before. The NZGS bookshop had a record year, particularly with expensive high quality sets. Our digital tournament had 45 players making it our biggest tournament ever. Our recent Open was run mixing in person and on-line, another first for us. I thought it went pretty well - I'd like to hear how it worked for people playing online, particularly if they have suggestions for improvement. I have retired as NZGS secretary, Chris Ding has taken on the role - many thanks Chris! But I'm still in the committee and running the bookshop. Thanks everyone for your help, have a great Christmas break and all the best for the new year - whatever it may bring.

Colin Grierson
ex NZGS secretary



Here is a report on the NZ Open and the results


2021 NZ Open

We are a little late with some of the organisation - again - but there is Covid 19 as an excuse this time. What do we organise? Will we be able to get together at all? The best we can do is guess! The Auckland Open has to be cancelled - so we direct people to the Australian Digital Tournament as an alternative. The NZ Open must go ahead, we have to have an event of some sort! You have to be in to win - so we decide to be optimistic and organise for an in person event - but just in case, we will also allow people to play remotely too - in real time in the same draw as the people at the venue. Actually that could work well and increase our field - it's also not something we have tried before... An open division and division 2 for medium strength players. And let’s have a handicap division too - that was the most popular section of our digital tournament earlier in the year.

So we commit ourselves advertise the tournament and get to work organising. The numbers are not encouraging at first, but more people enroll as the date nears and we end up with 31 players - 13 in the Open, 9 in division, 10 in the handicap. Not bad and perhaps modest numbers is good for our first mixed live and remote event. 

Saturday. Let’s make it happen! We are playing at the New Image Group offices near Mangere Bridge. It’s a very good place, comfortable and spacious. Thanks New Image and David Wu. Four more people walk in so we are up to 35 players. Pretty good actually. Getting the tournament underway is a bit of a trial. We are using discord for posting messages, draws & results. Starting with a Zoom conference call... Let’s just say that not everything works for everyone… but we get there, welcome all, explain rules and procedures and post the first pairings. Underway :-) But some of the people here are playing people who are remote and have not used OGS before, and only have their phones...  It's truly great what you can do on a phone these days!  Now where did they hide the option for confirming your move before it is committed? Found it. Very necessary when playing on a phone. Everyone is playing - thanks for your patience people who had to wait.

Round 1 is over. Lunch time :-)  David Wu and New Image shout us - at the Lucky Fortune restaurant. Kevin lets me drive his new Tesla model 3. Quiet and quick of course. The regenerative braking and empty dash I would need to get used to (Kevin says it does not take long) I like it, thanks Kevin. This is the first restaurant I have been in for quarter of a year! Quite a treat - albeit requiring a vaccine certificate to get in. Unfortunately we are still enjoying lunch at 1am when round 2 was supposed to start. I post a message advising a 30 minutes delay - thanks for your patience everyone.  

Getting round 2 started is much easier. Kosta arrives to help with the organisation and to watch. He hooks me up to the projector so I can display the draws to the room. Much better. Thanks Kosta. It’s quite nice not playing, I can spectate when everything is organised and running :-) Zixiang Lei (Jerry) gives Kevin Lui a very good game but Kevin pulls away from him in the end. 

Round 3. Easier still. Kevin is playing Chahine. This should be a good game, and it’s remote - so we can all watch it - we can project it on the big screen too :-)  Jerry replays the game in a AI. It’s very close for a long time. It’s also amusing to see that Kevin and Chahine can miss the important points just like the rest of us. In the end Kevin edges ahead and ends the day with 3 wins. Moses also has three wins (well done Moses!) - we will all be watching their game tomorrow. 

  • Kevin and Chahine’s game:
  • From move 67 to move 118 playing at M2 or thereabouts – to put the bottom right white group on the run, or to secure it, was the largest move by far - and both players missed it!
  • Zixiang Lei (Jerry) has written about the game. His comments are at the at the bottom of this document. Many thanks for this Jerry!


No social on Saturday night - it’s a pity, getting together for cards and casual games used to be a highlight of the tournaments. The Opito Bay Go festival in February seems to be the only time this happens now - and it's not happening this summer (2022) because of Covid 19. Next summer! Let's party where we don’t all have competing commitments and can play games to our heart's content.


Final rounds today. Also the AGM. The Handicap division starts today. Prizegiving and pack up too. It will be busy!  

Where is everyone? 8:30 and the building is not open yet. I’m always a bit nervous at this time of a tournament - getting things started can be hard. But David's wife is here and opens the building. People arrive. We get going and are not to much behind the scheduled :-) 

The Open division and Division 2 are underway - time to get the handicap division organised. Maybe the kids are more familiar with working remotely than us adults, or maybe the recent kyu qualifying tournament was good practise. The zoom meeting goes well and soon everyone is playing :-)

Morning tea. Thanks!


Kevin beats Moses to stay top of the table in the Open Division. In Division 2 Chris Ding beat Eric Chen to stay undefeated. The handicap results came in quickly and kept me busy - those guys play fast!

Time for the AGM, another first with half the participants remote on a zoom call. It seems to work.  The previous minutes are read, and accepted. Kevin gives his president’s address - ‘Another strange year’ sums it up.  I give the financial reports and bookshop report. The bookshop has had a very busy year - particularly selling quality sets, and we could have sold more if we had been more brave and ordered more stock. Anyway we made about $700 profit despite our very modest profit margins (we are a non-profit organisation after all)  

Now the exciting bit, elections. I am not standing as secretary this year. Who will take the role?

Kevin Lui is re-elected as President, Gang Du 'vise president' - this is not an official NZGS rank but acknowledges Du's intention to work with Kevin and learn the president's role. Many thanks Kevin and Gang Du.
Chris Ding volunteers to be secretary. Thank you Chris! I'll be working with you to get things better organised and to hand over.
Hanping Li (Humphrey) is treasurer again.
David Wu and Konstantin Kondaurov (Kosta) are elected as ordinary committee members
Sylvain Gantois and Mitzutaka Sato will be invited to join the committee.

Kevin Lui speaks of the offer the Chinese Wequi Association has made to have a formal co-operation agreement with us, as they have already with a number of other international Go organisation. We intend to accept the offer. He also talks of the 361 Go school, and the help given by Gang Du who has done the majority of the teaching.

The meeting closes and it's lunch time. New Image and David Wu are supplying lunch again, this time a local classic - KFC, potatoes and kumara. Very nice but we are late again.


Round 5

Kevin stayed on top in the Open Division by beating Don Wan. Chahine is next with 4 wins, Jerry Lei and Ken Xie following with 3½ wins each.  In Division 2 Chris stayed on top by beating Ray Fan. Chasing him are Amy Bain (4 wins) and Tianze Wang (3½). The handicap division has powered through 3 rounds already. Ziqian Hunag, Rafick Koleejan and Zixing Guo undefeated.


Final round

Kevin keeps his slate clean with a win over Gang Du and finishes champion. Chahine, Jerry and Ken also won, so Chahine is second and Jerry edges out Ken for third with a superior SOS (Sum of opponent's Scores).

In Division 2 Amy Bian beat Chris in the final round to equal him on 5 wins and take the trophy (because when they met she defeated him) Chris takes second and Tianze Wang third.

The handicap division has got through 2 more rounds. Rafick Koleejan and Zixing Guo still undefeated and first equal. Ziqian Hunag is third. This must be the first time in a long time that Rafick can claim to have "beaten" Chahine in a Go tournament!


Prize Giving

Because more than half the players were not there, the crowd was small. I hope the video link worked for everyone else. New Image Group, represented by David Wu and Graeme Clegg, have donated prize money as well as allowing us to use their offices as the venue. Many thanks to them. Thanks also to everyone who played - for their help and at times patience as we learned how to run the tournament. Thanks to Chris Ding for taking over as NZGS secretary - please give him, and the new committee all the help you can. 

Graeme spoke welcoming us and saying he hoped our relationship will continue, also that we help support New Image. 

Photos were taken, the prizes handed out, and the tournament is over. Thanks again everyone, have a great Xmas and New Year break.  



Open Division

 Num   Pl   Name   Rank   NbW  R 1  R 2  R 3  R 4  R 5  R 6  NBW SDC SOS
Lui Kevin 6D 6 4+ 3+ 2+ 5+ 11+ 6+ 6 0 22
Koleejan Chahine 5D 5 15+ 10+ 1- 6+ 5+ 7+ 5 0 17½
Lei Zixiang(Jerry 5D 13+ 1- 11+ 7+ 4= 5+ 0 20
Xie Ken 5D 1- 15+ 14+ 8+ 3= 9+ 0 17½
Fan Moses 5D 3 14+ 6+ 8+ 1- 2- 3- 3 0 22½
Du Gang 5D 3 12+ 5- 10+ 2- 8+ 1- 3 0 21½
Luo Jin 4D 3 8- 13+ 9+ 3- 12+ 2- 3 0 19
Wu David 6D 3 7+ 9+ 5- 4- 6- 11+ 3 0 18½
Li Hanping 5D 3 11+ 8- 7- 12+ 10+ 4- 3 0 17
10  10  Wu Zhaokun 3D 0+ 2- 6- 0+ 9- 13= 0 12½
11  11  Wan Don 4D 2 9- 12+ 3- 13+ 1- 8- 2 1 20
12  12  Parmenter Graeme 4D 2 6- 11- 13+ 9- 7- 0+ 2 0 12½
13  13  Tang Zhong 4D 3- 7- 12- 11- 0+ 10= 0 14
14  14  Zhou Chao Qun 4D 1 5- 0+ 4- 0- 0- 0- 1 0
15  15  Ren Ron 4D 0 2- 4- 0- 0- 0- 0- 0 0













Division 2

 Num   Pl   Name   Rank   NbW  R 1  R 2  R 3  R 4  R 5  R 6  NBW SDC SOS
Bian Amy 3K 5 4- 0+ 9+ 5+ 7+ 2+ 5 1 15½
Ding Chris 5K 5 0+ 9+ 3+ 6+ 4+ 1- 5 0 17½
Wang Tianze 1K 8+ 5= 2- 7+ 6+ 9+ 0 16½
Fan Xiayang(Ray 1D 4 1+ 6- 7+ 9+ 2- 8+ 4 0 18
Gan Zhang 3K 9- 3= 8+ 1- 0+ 6+ 0 15½
Chen Eric 5K 3 7+ 4+ 0+ 2- 3- 5- 3 0 19
Gui Will 2K 2 6- 8+ 4- 3- 1- 0+ 2 1 18½
Shen Shucheng 3K 2 3- 7- 5- 0+ 9+ 4- 2 0 15
Felix Felix 1K 1 5+ 2- 1- 4- 8- 3- 1 0 24







Handicap Division

 Num   Pl   Name   Rank   NbW  R 1  R 2  R 3  R 4  R 5  NBW SDC SOS
Koleejan Rafick 4K 5 6+ 7+ 10+ 8+ 3+ 5 0 9
Guo Zixing 18K 5 9+ 5+ 8+ 4+ 10+ 5 0 7
Hunag Ziqian 13K 4 5+ 8+ 4+ 6+ 1- 4 0 13
Guo Ziwen 13K 3 8+ 9+ 3- 2- 5+ 3 0 13
Li Chris 14K 2 3- 2- 9+ 7+ 4- 2 0 15
Wang Avery 4K 2 1- 10+ 7+ 3- 8- 2 0 12
Reynolds Emma 6K 2 10+ 1- 6- 5- 9+ 2 0 10
Liu Phoebe 10K 1 4- 3- 2- 1- 6+ 1 0 19
Ma Mathew 14K 1 2- 4- 5- 10+ 7- 1 0 12
10  10  Li Lucas 7K 0 7- 6- 1- 9- 2- 0 0 15










Zixiang Lei (Jerry)'s comments on Kevin vs Chahine in round 3.

Thanks for sharing this Jerry!

It was the third round of the tournament, when Kevin Liu (white) and Chahine Koleejan (black) met earlier than expected, as they were the strongest two in the tournament, which was later proved to be the battle between the champion and the runner-up. Congratulations to Kevin Liu, who won the game and secured a clean win streak of three on the first day, which made the games a lot easier for him the next day. On the other hand however, it was a pity for Chahine, where he had the chance of winning the games in the middle game.

Chahine (black) was slightly winning in the first half the game, but was overtaken by Kevin (white) where he attentively caught the chance to win the game with move 118 in the bottom of the board, putting pressure on black’s group of stones while also protecting the white stones from being attacked by the black pieces. Interestingly, none of the players found the importance of the move since move 71. After Kevin ‘blundered’ move 72, his win rate was as low as 13.6%. The move 72 itself was not a bad move, damaging black’s territory on the top of the board while putting pressure on the two black stones. After a series of battles of 36 moves from the top of the board to the left and then to the right, Kevin finally came back to the bottom of the board occupying the important L3 (move 118). After a combo of attacks on black’s stones on the bottom, Kevin had successfully come back, with a win rate of 64.1%. However, the game was still close, as the move was hard to find and the situation for white required very high skill in order to take the lead, especially having such a strong opponent, Chahine. Finally, with the correct choices and a blunder made by Chahine on move 153, losing the four stones with a great amount of territory. Afterwards, Chahine struggled for a long time, but finally resigned after move 276, knowing that he had no chance.

The win rate chart showed that the game had some big flows meaning that the players were both making consecutive mistakes according to Katago 40 blocks, one of the strongest engines right now. However, with the high accuracies of 68.2 for black and 68.3 for white (as you can see this is very close, and a normal 5D can expect an accuracy of 55-60), both players played extremely well in ambiguous situations of the game. It was one of the best games in the tournament, if not the best game. It was a very valuable and enjoyable game, as not only were the players having an enjoyable experience playing against each other, but also the people watching the game like me, who really enjoyed watching the game and learning a lot from it.