AMERICAN GO E JOURNAL: News from the American Go Association

May 17, 2004

In This Edition:

U.S. GO NEWS: Benthem Best In Grand Rapids; Garlock Maddest In Arlington; Janice Brings Go To Denver; AGA Seeks 4 Nominees For Board; 2004 U.S. Go Congress Expose; Register Early For 50% Off Origins; Antique Go Equipment; Yang Fundamentals, Discounted; Word Wars On Screen; Seeing Smilack
WORLD GO NEWS: Yu Bin Repeats In 16th Asian TV Cup; Redmond Loses One; Former World Amateur Champ Loses Bid For Kisei Spot; A New Star In The New Star; Yoda Doing Well; Amsterdam Tourney This Week; Scottish Open Set For July
THE TRAVELING BOARD: Report from Shikoku
GO REVIEW: The Best Play: In-Depth Game Analyses
ATTACHED FILES:; 2004.05.17.Furuyama Lesson #13.pdf; 2004.05.17.SlateandShellProblem.sgf


BENTHEM BEST IN GRAND RAPIDS: Jim Benthem 2d won the May 15 tournament in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Twenty-one players attended from all over the state participated, reports organizer David Hast. “We hope to begin to host such tournaments on a regular basis, and to draw from an even wider geographic area as the word gets out,” says Hast.
       The complete Winners Report:
Dan division: 1st: Jim Benthem, 2d; 2nd: David Frankel, 1d; 3rd: Matt Wang, 1d. 1-10 Kyu division: 1st: Daryl Blood, 9k; 2nd: Jason Rudd, 7k; 3rd: Richard Jankowski, 7k. 11-30 Kyu division: 1st: Adam Twork, 19k; 2nd: Paul Miller, 15k; 3rd: Drew Rushton, 16k. In addition, two Fighting Spirit awards were made to those who gave it their best shot: Jared Duncan, 24k and Keith Thobe, 12k.
       Last but not least “We presented a ‘Future of the Game’ certificate to the youth player with the best winning record: Martin Benthem, 20k.

GARLOCK MADDEST IN ARLINGTON: Chris Garlock 2d won all four rounds to take top honors in the May Madness tournament held May 15 by the NoVa Go Club in Arlington, Virginia. Twenty four players participated, competing for nearly twice that many prizes, thanks to organizer Alan Abramson.
The complete Winners Report:
First place winners: Chris Garlock, 2d; Ethan Baldridge, 3k; Raymond Yeh, 7k; Gary Whitten, 14k; Charles Yeon, 26k. Second place winners: Bob Ehrlich, 7k; Todd Heidenreich, 10k; Kurt Haldeman, 21k.

JANICE BRINGS GO TO DENVER: More than fifty Denver (CO) go players turned out for Janice Kim‘s May 1 lecture, “An Evening with Go Seigen.” Kim‘s first lecture as a new resident of Denver was a resounding success, as demonstrated by standing-room-only for late arrivals in the War Museum of VFW Post #1. “Janice used the famous Game of the Century between Go Seigen and Shusai, to help the audience see how go should be played.” local organizer Ulo Tamm reports. “The game of go is simple but not easy,” Kim said, explaining that this seemingly peaceful game between Go and Shusai was really intense. Kim provided a number of hints on improving, including: Do not hold stones in your hand while playing: go is a thinking game and not a “hand reflex” game; count your game as often as possible: it should not take longer than a minute; practice solving simple life and death problems by sight; go is “a game of chicken”: don‘t follow your opponent meekly; the capture of stones is the ultimate gote, so be prudent when offered. For the rest of Kim‘s insights, Tamm recommends attending her next lecture, adding “Those of you who do not have the ‘Learn to Play GO’, volumes 1 to 5, by Janice Kim 3 Dan and Jeong Soo -hyun 9 Dan , should seriously consider buying them before the next Go Congress!”

AGA SEEKS 4 NOMINEES FOR BOARD: Nominations have opened for four AGA Directors to serve 2-year terms beginning January 1, 2005. The openings are for Directors in the Western, Central and Eastern regions, as well as an At Large Director. Nominations may be made by any member of the AGA; nominations must be accompanied by a notice that the person nominated has read the AGA by-laws and agrees to stand for election. The nominee must have been a full member of the AGA for one year at the time of taking office (1/1/05). Nominations close on June 6; chapters will vote on the nominees and the results will be announced at the U.S. Go Congress in early August. Nominations should be sent to Sam Zimmerman at

2004 U.S. GO CONGRESS EXPOSE! Everyone will tell you they go to the annual U.S. Go Congress for the eight days of go, the pro simuls and lectures and the tough competition but in a stunning expose the E-Journal has uncovered the real reason: friends! It turns out you can92t beat the Congress for go camaraderie; after all, where else can you talk morning noon and night about josekis, tesujis and tsume-go and expect everyone around to know exactly what you92re talking about? Now you can sneak a peek at the Congress registration list and see which of your pals is signed up! Check it out at http://ssl8.pair. com/emptysky/attendees.php And those folks on the list you don92t know are just future friends.

REGISTER EARLY FOR 50% OFF ORIGINS: To get the 50% entry fee discount at the “Origins” game convention June 24-28 in Columbus, Ohio, be sure to contact local go organizer Joe Carl at The AGA will have an official booth and will be hosting a beginners tournament as well as a 4-round AGA tournament with cash prizes. Pre-register online by May 24 for the 50% off convention admission. More info at http://www.origin

ANTIQUE GO EQUIPMENT: Shogun‘s Gallery, an Asian arts and antique store in Portland, Oregon has some interesting collector‘s go boards and stones, many acquired from estate sales in Japan. Check them out at http://www.shogun Thanks to Syracuse go organizer Anton Ninno for the tip.

YANG FUNDAMENTALS, DISCOUNTED: A special hardback edition of Yilun Yang 7p‘s forthcoming “Fundamental Principles of Go” can be pre-ordered for a 20% discount. The selection of Mr. Yang‘s famous guidelines focuses on the opening and early middle game and will be available in early June from Slate & Shell. Sample pages are posted on the web site: http://www.slatea

WORD WARS ON SCREEN: Readers who enjoyed discovering the wild world of competitive Scrabble in “Word Freak” won‘t want to miss “Word Wars,” the brand-new documentary inspired by Stefan Fatsis’ 2001 book. Go players will find many of the idiosyncratic Scrabble characters all too familiar in their board-game obsession. The doc follows four of the top players as they crisscross the country in heated competitions culminating in the $25,000 top prize at the National Championship in San Diego. While the defending champ memorizes thousands of words on his commute to work, clutching slips of paper as he drives, one challenger pursues a regimen of physical training and brain-boosting vitamins and another brings Scrabble to inner-city minority kids. The film does a terrific job of bringing alive the mental processes of game players, using computer graphics to send letters and words flying across the screen as they players sit motionless over the board. Directed by two long-time Scrabble players, “Word Wars” also captures the intense camaraderie of the small group of top competitors who battle each other fiercely on and sometimes even off the board, yet find themselves inextricably linked by their love of the game. Although “Word Wars” is not yet in general release, it‘s being screened at festivals and special events around the country; check for locations near you at http://www.7thart com/wordwars/

SEEING SMILACK: Readers who have been following Solomon Smilack‘s reports from Shikoku, Japan, will want to check out this photo of the author watching some of his Japanese go friends play at http://www.usgo.o rg Smilack, a native of Carbondale, Colorado, teaches English at two high schools in Kochi Prefecture, Japan and has been filing regular reports on his go adventures.


YU BIN REPEATS IN 16TH ASIAN TV CUP: Yu Bin 9p of China defeated Song Taekon 6p of Korea to claim the title of the Asian TV Cup for the second time. Yu Bin was able to capture a group of about 30 stones and held on for a victory by a margin of 12.5 points. Yu defeated Cho Chikun 9p of Japan in the semi-finals. A summary of the tournament and game records can be found at /games/nn/asiatv/16/. Yu Bin also won his game in the second round of the 16th Mingren tournament in China, defeating Ding Wei 8p.
- reported by Stephen Bazzone

REDMOND LOSES ONE: Michael Redmond 9p was forced to resign in his game against Mizokami Tomochika 7p in the final preliminaries for the Kiriyama Cup on May 13th. The tournament itself will be a knockout round with sixteen players. Unusually, amateurs are allowed in the preliminary rounds and have the chance of making it to the final tournament.

FORMER WORLD AMATEUR CHAMP LOSES BID FOR KISEI SPOT: Former world amateur champion Sakai Hideyuki 6p of the Kansai Kiin was defeated by Miyazawa Goro 9p for a place in the 29th Kisei Leagues (the tournaments to determine the challenger for the title). Yuki Satoshi 9p, also of the Kansai Kiin, was more fortunate, defeating Takemiya Masaki 9p by 5.5 points for the other place that was open in the leagues. Kobayashi Satoru 9p and Ryu Shikun 9p won spots in the leagues earlier.

A NEW STAR IN THE NEW STAR: Ko Geuntae 2p has now won the first three games in the knockout competition for the 4th Korean New Star Cup, defeating Lee Yeongku 3p, Yun Hyeok 3p, and Kang Dongyoon 2p. Ko won all three games by resignation. His next opponent is Kim Whansoo 1p on May 21st.

YODA DOING WELL: Yoda Norimoto 9p defeated Yamashita Keigo 9p in the first round of the challenger‘s tournament for the 43rd Judan title. Cho U 9p also won his first round game, against Kataoka Satoshi 9p. Cho U was the challenger for the 42nd Judan title, but lost to O Rissei 9p last month.

AMSTERDAM TOURNEY THIS WEEK: The 33rd Amsterdam Go Tournament, a major event on the Toyota Pandanet European Go Tour, will occur Thursday May 20 through Sunday May 23, six rounds, 90 minutes basic playing time, large prizes. There will also be many side events. For details see h
ttp:// index.php?page3Dtournaments/amsterdam/2004/announcement.html

SCOTTISH OPEN SET FOR JULY: The Scottish Open is scheduled for July 10th and 11th at the University of Edinburgh. Accommodations are available, but you need to book early. Details can be found at http://dogma.pwp. .

This week‘s game is an exciting blast from the past, as we present the stunning victory by Lee Sedol over Lee Changho in the second round of the 2001 LG Cup. Most of the first fifty moves are taken up with a complicated joseki and by move 82 Lee Changho is already in trouble. White tries to pull it out with move 98 but is forced to resign less than sixty moves later. The sharp commentary is by Ma Xiaochun 9p and was translated by GoGameWorld from China Sports Weekly; www.gogameworld.c om is a site that offers commentaries on pro games on a subscription basis as well as a lot of free go material.
In today92s problem file, Black and White are engaged in a capturing race in the corner in a problem is taken from “200 Tesuji Problems” by Shirae Haruhiko, published by Slate & Shell. Can avoid a shortage of liberties?
The bonus file is another lesson from Kazunari Furuyama; this week Kaz takes a look at the one-space jump.
        To view the attached sgf file(s), simply save the file(s) to your computer and then open using an .sgf reader such as Many Faces of Go or SmartGo. Readers who need .sgf readers can get them for most platforms at Jan van der Steen‘s /sgfeditors.html

THE TRAVELING BOARD: Report from Shikoku
By Solomon Smilack

During Golden Week I played go every day. Golden Week is one of Japan‘s holiday seasons, and includes Green Day, Children‘s Day and Constitution Day. On Constitution Day I spent the afternoon at Yokoyama sensei92s house, where we went over some of my recent misplays. He chides me for not taking an extra move to connect my stones on the third or second line. He has taken to describing my style as 93toro toro,94 the English equivalent of 93take take take.94 He says it so emphatically that, at first, I thought he was comparing me with a bull chasing after a bull-fighter. This wasn92t far from the truth 96 he thinks that my style of play is too confrontational. He keeps stressing the importance of give-and-take: he wants me to be more generous. He tells me that strengthening my own position is a threat that should make my opponent do likewise. If they ignore their own weak points, then I can become a bull in a china shop.

In my games with Yokoyama, my handicap has shrunk to three stones. I give and take, patiently making use of my handicap stones. But I don92t have the same luxury at the go club, where I have begun playing even games against Yanagawa-san and Hatakenaka-san. Yanagawa is definitely the more fearsome of the two. He slaps the stones onto the board hurriedly and confidently, even when he92s making moves that are clearly unreasonable. Hatakenaka plays hesitantly, but with a very lighthearted manner. As he places stones he often says, 93Well, one more stone wouldn92t hurt,94 and he laughs a lot at his own mistakes. Against both of them, I try to play patiently. I try to be generous, and spend more moves correcting flaws in my own groups. But as we approach the middle game, my opponents have admirable territories sketched out and my positions feel over-concentrated. I allow Yanagawa92s invasions to jump out, and I happily chase them around the board. I lose against Hatakenaka, and afterwards Yokoyama shows me where I needed to hane instead of extending. He plays out all the possible sequences, and I see where I missed the chance to use my nearby strength to resist.

In the evening on Constitution Day, Yokoyama and I spent a few hours eating and drinking in an izakaya (a restaurant/bar). As we pour sake for each other, I ask him what kinds of foods he likes, and he begins talking about World War II. At first I am confused, but he explains that he grew up during the war: during his childhood he ate everything in his bowl because there were meager rations. He says that many people his age are thin and do not have favorite foods. He turns the discussion toward American and Japanese politics. Japanese people value unity and harmony, and this makes the political hierarchy very strong. Everyone is expected to support Prime Minister Koizumi even if they disagree with his decisions (for example, sending Self Defense Forces to Iraq). Yokoyama asks the inevitable question: Do I like President Bush? I think about answering with a simple negative. Instead, I explain to him that I disagree with Bush92s foreign and environmental policies. I can be generous and resist firmly at the same time.

- Smilack, a native of Carbondale, Colorado, teaches English at two high schools in Kochi Prefecture, Japan. His home club is the Tesuji Go Club in Columbus, Ohio, where he went to college. You can see a picture of Smilack watching some of his Japanese go friends play at

GO REVIEW: The Best Play: In-Depth Game Analyses
by Feng Yun 9 Dan, Slate & Shell, 2004.
Reviewed by James Bonomo, AGA 1 kyu

This brief new book by Feng Yun contains two extensive game reviews, exploring alternative lines of play in over 80 diagrams. The games are between anonymous amateurs who are about AGA 4 dans. As such, the book is probably most useful for players that strong or a bit weaker. Both games end by resignation after a large loss in the middle game. Consequently, the book covers the opening and middle game fighting, but does not discuss even the large end game.
     Weaker players will derive value from Ms. Yun‘s overt comments, as well as from her implicit points, as well. For example, the players do largely follow the natural flow of their games. While they overlook important plays that Ms. Yun points out, these games still have few of the pointless “pass” moves common in kyu-level games.
     Of course, the overt lessons are best developed. Ms. Yun shows very good examples of playing urgent points before big ones. She also shows examples of how to best exploit an opponent‘s weaknesses. The challenge to readers is to apply these lessons in their own games.
     Physically, the book is short, around 50 pages of text, and well made. There are several unfortunate editing errors, though - most strikingly, a diagram (on page 19) is not mentioned. While it appears to show a good line for Black, this should clearly have been explained in the book.
     Overall, the book is an interesting alternative to the commented games available on-line. Its low price and number of alternative lines are attractive, while its 4 dan level and lack of end game analysis limit it. Ideally, many more such volumes will be published, so a player could match the analyses to their own strength.


WANTED: Anyone in the Bridgeport, Connecticut area interested in getting involved in a program to teach go to children. Please contact Jonathan Glass at for more information. (5/17)

WANTED: A club or individual near Sonora, California that would be willing to introduce go to a friend of mine. Send contact information to Rob Muldowney at (5/10)

WANTED: Go players in the Ft. Myers area; I‘m interested in starting a club, contact (5/10)

WANTED: Copies of Go Monthly Review. 1960 1-12; 1961 1-4; 1965 1; 1968 1, 4, 5, 8, 12; 1969 1; 1971 1. Willing to pay a reasonable price. Contact T Mark Hall at or at the US Congress at Rochester. (4/19)

WANTED: Go players in Augusta, GA. Looking for go players of any strength; if I can find enough, I would gladly start a chapter. Wesley Stewart, (4/28)

6D TEACHES ONLINE: Cornel Burzo, 6d, online go tutoring on the IGS. More info at http://www.goless (4/26)

Got go stuff to sell, swap or want to buy? Do it here and reach nearly 7,000 Go players worldwide every week at Go Classified! Listing are free and run 4 weeks; send to us at


May 22 & 23: Houston, TX
Houston Spring Go Tournament
Michael Rouen 281-481-4196

May 29: Piscataway, NJ
2nd Annual Feng Yun Youth Tournament
(Open to players under 18)
Feng Yun 973-618-1821

May 29: Davis, CA
Davis/Sacramento Quarterly Tournament
Fred Hopkins 916-548-8068
http://www.dcn.da vis.caus/~jdnewmil/go/

May 29 & 30: Baltimore, MD
31st Maryland Open
Keith Arnold 410-788-3520

June 3-6: Round Top, NY
Guo Juan Workshop at The Woodlands
Jean-Claude Chetrit 718-638-2266

June 5: Chicago, IL
“Summer” Tourney
Bob Barber 773-467-0423

June 6: Seattle, WA
Monthly Ratings Tournament
Jon Boley 206-545-1424

June 19: Richmond, VA
Virginia Open
William Cobb 804-740-2191

June 24-27: Hackensack, NJ
2004 New Jersey Yang 7p Go Workshop
John Stephenson 201-612-0852

June, July, August: KGS or Yahoo
2004 3rd RSC Team Youth Go Cup
Christopher Vu /seaottergoclub/RSC.html

This is a digest of events for the next month only; for a complete
listing see the Tournament Calendar on the AGA website:
http://www.usgo.o rg/usa/tournaments.asp

For the European Go Calendar see

GET LISTED & BOOST TURN OUT! Got an upcoming event? Reach over 6,000 readers every week! List your Go event/news In the E Journal: email details to us at

Ratings are on the web! Check the website; http://www.usgo.o rg for the full list.

GET YOUR TOURNAMENT RATED! Send your tournament data to

AGA CONTACT LIST: For a full list of AGA officers, contacts & their email addresses, go to:
http://www.usgo.o rg/org/index.asp#contactinfo

Published by the American Go Association

Text material published in the AMERICAN GO E JOURNAL may be reproduced by any recipient: please credit the AGEJ as the source. PLEASE NOTE that commented game record files MAY NOT BE published, re-distributed, or made available on the web without the explicit written permission of the Editor of the E-Journal. Please direct inquiries to

Articles appearing in the E-Journal represent the opinions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official views of the American Go Association.

To make name or address corrections, notify us at the email address below. Story suggestions, event announcements, Letters to the Editor and other material are welcome, subject to editing for clarity and space, and should be directed to:
Editor: Chris Garlock