AMERICAN GO E JOURNAL: News from the American Go Association

August 30, 2004

In This Issue:
U.S. GO NEWS: Go Key To Complex Physics Problems?; Cotsen Open Tempts With Freebies; Youth Grant Applications Open; And Then There Were Three; Updated Ratings Online Now; AGA Membership Rebounds; Yuan Zhou Back In DC; Guo Juan Returns
WORLD GO NEWS: Lee Sedol And Chang Hao Square Off For World Oza; Lee Heesung Wins 4th Korea Cup; Yamashita Or Kim Shujun To Be Tengen Challenger; Yoda Wins 800th Game; Major Battle Develops In The Kisei Leagues; Macfadyen Takes Lead In British Go Championship
PRO REVIEW: Current US Women Professionals
GO REVIEW: How to Play Handicap Go
ATTACHED FILE(S): 2004.08.30.Yang commentary.sgf; 2004.08.30.Furuyama Lesson #20.pdf


GO KEY TO COMPLEX PHYSICS PROBLEMS? Playing the ancient Chinese game of go is among the tasks that awaits a powerful new cluster of Macintosh G5 computers set up at UCSC to tackle complex problems in physics and computer science reported the University of California Santa Cruz Currents Online recently. The computers were provided by the Hierarchical Systems Research Foundation (HSRF), established by go player and UCSC alumni David Doshay and his wife Aviva Garrett, and will be used for collaborative research on problems like magnetic phase transitions and protein folding. "The idea was that the go project would serve asa warm-up exercise for the physics project, because it has similar needs for parallel processing. The go project is taking on a life of its own, though, which is kind of fun," UCSC professor of computer science Charles McDowell told Currents. Added Doshay, "Computer go is an extremely difficult problem. People have been working on it for 30 years, but there has not been nearly the progress there has been in chess." Check out the full story (and a photo of Doshay, McDowell and the G5 computers) at

COTSEN OPEN TEMPTS WITH FREEBIES: The only tournament featuring free AGA memberships, professional game reviews, a free luxury lunch buffet and not one but two masseuses is back, withthe The Cotsen Open scheduled for the weekend of September 18-19 in Los Angeles, CA. In the Cotsen Open, sponsored by Lloyd Eric Cotsen with the American Go Association, players 6d and stronger will compete for American Go Tournament Circuit points, which help determine the US representative for theFujitsu Cup. Meanwhile, the Cotsen Handicap Tournament is open to all ranks below 6d. Players must pre-register to qualify for the free lunch buffet and all entry fees are fully refunded Sunday afternoon to those who attended both days. Plus, there will be a pro game over the internet between Yi-Lun Yang 7P and another professional player, and there=92s a $1,000 cash prize for the winning go club. Details at

YOUTH GRANT APPLICATIONS OPEN: Applications are now being accepted for the AGA Youth Grant Program for 2004-5. The program, which began in 2003, provides grants from $250 to $1000 for groups that are teaching go to young players. Last year seven groups participated in the program. The grants cover the period from September 2004 to June 2005. The committee plans to process the grant applications by the end of October. For more information, see
the grant web site at

AND THEN THERE WERE THREE: E-Journal columnist Aria von Elbe 19k, who took up the Shodan By The Congress challenge last week, has company. College students Stephen Bazzone 15k and Mark Penner 7k areboth accepting the challenge to make shodan by next year=92s U.S. Go Congress August 6-15 in Tacoma, WA. My first year in college will presentit's difficulties no doubt, admits Bazzone, but with the hopeful foundation of a Go club at the University, becoming Shodan and doing well in college could happen together. Penner, a college sophomore, is also organizing a go club on campus and figures there ought to be at least one dan level player in a college club so it might as well be him. anyone else who wants to take the Shodan Challenge can email us at andwe=92ll follow your progress over the next year, along with Aria, Stephen and Mark.

UPDATED RATINGS ONLINE NOW: Ratings are now updated continually on the AGA=92s website. You can find an individual rating or get a list of ratings based on various criteria, like all 10 kyus or all ratedplayers in a given club or state. You can also check the list of recently-rated tournaments to make sure the last event you played in was reported.Ratings were last updated on August 21; check them out at

AGA MEMBERSHIP REBOUNDS: After a dip in July, membership in the American Go Association rebounded in August, reaching 1,984 members, the third-highest level in AGA history but still just shy of the record 1,995 reached earlier this year. The 22-member jump in full memberships was the biggest monthly increase since November, 2003 and the 113 AGA chapters sets a new all-time record, surpassing last month=92s 106 chapters (itself a new record).

YUAN ZHOU BACK IN DC: Yuan Zhou 7d resumes his Friday teaching sessions at the Greater Washington Go Club on Friday, September 10, reports organizer Hal Small. The session begins at 8:30P in thebasement of the Cedar Lane Unitarian Church, 9601 Cedar Lane, Bethesda. The regular schedule will resume with the 10/1 lesson, and then continue withthe first Friday of each month. Bring game records to participate ($5), or observe for free, Small says. Don't have a game? Come at 7P to play and record a game. More info at

GUO JUAN RETURNS: The Brooklyn Go Club is hosting another workshop with Guo Juan 5p, the Amsterdam-based Chinese professional. The workshop is scheduled for Columbus Day weekend, October 8-11, but space is limited. Reservations at or get more details at


LEE SEDOL AND CHANG HAO SQUARE OFF FOR WORLD OZA: The final three game match for the 2nd World Oza Cup will be between Lee Sedol 9p of Korea and Chang Hao9p of China, who defeated Feng Yun 9p of the US in the first round, and will be held next January in Tokyo. Chang Hao was in the finals last year, losing to Lee Changho 9p. Chang defeated two of the strongest younger Koreanpros to reach the finals, Song Taekon 7p and Choi Cheolhan 8p. In the semi-finals, Lee Sedol defeated Kong Jie 7p of China, who had done Lee the great favor of defeating Lee Changho in the previous round by a half point. Game records can be downloaded from

LEE HEESUNG WINS 4TH KOREA CUP: Lee Heesung 5p took the 4th Korea Cup against Ko Geuntae 2p with two straight wins, firstwith White by resignation and then with Black by 3.5 points. Since Lee's twenty-second birthday was just a few days beforehand, this amounts to a very nice celebratory event.

YAMASHITA OR KIM SHUJUN TO BE TENGEN CHALLENGER: The challenger for the Tengen title in Japan this time will beeither Kim Shujun 7p or Yamashita Keigo 9p, reports John Power on the NihonKiin's home page. Kim beat his teacher Cho Chikun 9p by resignation in their first match ever in the semifinals. Like Cho, Kim was born in Korea, but came to Japan to become a pro. Yamashita, who was the challenger for the Tengen last year, defeated Kato Masao 9p in the other semifinal. The current title holder is Hane Naoki 9p.

YODA WINS 800TH GAME: Yoda Norimoto 9p has now won 800 games as a pro, becoming only the 20th Japanese player to do so. Moreover, he did it in the fastest time to date, taking twenty-four years and four months for the feat, which improves on Cho Chikun 9p's record of twenty-five years. Yoda's 800th win was against Jiang Mingjiu 7p of the US in the first round of the Toyota-Denso Oza World Cup on August 21st. Yoda has 366 losses and two ties for a winning percentage of 68.5%.
- reported by John Power on the Nihon Kiin's home page

MAJOR BATTLE DEVELOPS IN THE KISEI LEAGUES: Things are heating up in the 29th Kisei Leagues in Japan. The winners of the two six-player leagues have aone game play-off to decide the challenger for title holder Hane Naoki 9p (who also holds the Tengen title). Currently in the A League, Miyazawa Goro9p is out of the running with a 0-3 record, and there is a four way tie at 2-1 between Yamashita Keigo 9p, Mimura Tomoyasu 9p, Yoda Norimoto 9p, and Ryu Shikun 9p. O Meien 9p is at 1-2. In the B League there is another fourway tie at 2-1 between O Rissei 9p, Cho U 9p, Kobayashi Satoru 9p, and Yuhki Satoshi 9p. Cho Chikun 9p is at 1-2 and Imamura Yoshiaki 8p is 0-3. Inthe case of a tie within a League, the highest ranked player is declared the winner (rankings are on the basis of titles held as well as dan level). In the A League the highest ranked player is Yamashita Keigo and in the B League it's O Rissei.
-reported by John Power on the Nihon Kiin's homepage.

MACFADYEN TAKES LEAD IN BRITISH GO CHAMPIONSHIP: After winning two games in a row, Matthew Macfadyen 6d has taken the lead at 2-1 over challenger David Ward 4d in the five game match for the British Go Championship. You can download the game records with comments at . Game 4 will be on September 19th, and the fifth game, if needed, will be played on October 9th. The gamesare broadcast live on KGS.

     In our second consecutive kyu-level game analysis, Yilun Yang 7p takes an almost move-by-move look on a veritable comedy of errors, as a 7 kyu and an 8kyu trade slow, slack and irrelevant moves on the turn based server Dragon Go Server. Yang not only makes it clear why these players are still at the kyu level, but shows us how they can improve.
     And don=92t miss the Macbeth-like mistake in today=92s installment of Kaz Furuyama=92s lessons, this one on hitting the head of two stones.
     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 readerscan get them for most platforms at Jan van der Steen's

PRO REVIEW: Current US Women Professionals
     This is the first in a series aimed at helping our readers become more familiar with the pros who are currently active in the world, beginning with women pros in the US.
- FENG YUN 9p, the winner of the Eastern Toyota/Denso Oza in 2003 and of the American Pro Ing Cup in 2003 and 2004, lives in New Jersey and runs a large go school for children. She was on the Chinese National Go Teamfor eighteen years, was National Women=92s Champion in China in 1983, and won the World Women=92s Go Championship in 1995. She came to the US in 2000and often gives lectures at the Hoboken Go Club and the New York Go Center and is a regular at US Go Congresses. Examples of her game analyses can befound in her book, Best Play (Slate & Shell), and she occasionally does game commentaries for the E-Journal. More info at:
- GUO JUAN 5p actually lives in the Netherlands, but comes to the US Go Congresses, does workshops regularly in the US, and contributes game commentaries to the E-Journal. She was active as a pro in China in the 1970s and =9180s and plays in all the major European tournaments. Guo maintains a go school on the Internet ( Her book, The World of Chinese Go (Kiseido), includes material about Feng Yun when she was still in China.
- LIPING HUANG 4p, who lives and teaches go in the Chicago area, was one of the top Chinese women pros before coming to the US in 1991. She has a daughter, Nancy Xu, who is a strong amateur player. Liping Huang met many US players at the Go Congress in Chicago in 2002. She has published a book of life and death problems: Liping Huang=92s Problem Series, vol. 1 (Slate & Shell) and regularly does game commentaries for the E-Journal.
- JANICE KIM 3p is wellknown for her excellent introductory series, Learn to Play Go, vols 1-5 (Good Move Press). She is also the owner of Samarkand, a major supplier of gobooks and equipment ( Kim was born in the US and spent time in Korea to achieve pro status. She has played in a number of international women=92s tournaments and now lives in Denver. Kim is a popular figure at US Go Congresses.
- LIN XUEFEN 1p was an active pro in China until 2001 when she moved to Houston. Lin attends US Go Congresses, has played in various tournaments, and is becoming increasingly active on the USgo scene, especially in teaching go to children. She now lives in Los Angeles.

GO REVIEW: How to Play Handicap Go
By Yuan Zhou
Published by Slate and Shell
Reviewed by Joshua Mathews
     How to Play Handicap Go is a collection of nine games with handicaps ranging from 3 to 7 stones. The first eight of these games are tournament games played by the author and feature a nice mix of Black styles. The games supply numerous strategic and tactical situations that Zhou uses to illustrate both the failures and thetriumphs of the players. Better alternatives and explanations are given for the mistakes. Comments are given for nearly every sequence for both sides, as well as for potential threats. The ninth game features two kyu players and is lightly commented as a counter example to the principles laid out in the previous commentary.
     The format of the book makes the commentaries easy to follow. Each page contains two large game diagrams, each with an average of 5 moves. Variations are given via textual labels or occasionally as a smaller inset diagram. Thegame analysis follows along on the right side of the page. I found that this layout makes it easy to follow the commentary without the need for a board.
     Handicap Go provides plenty of learning opportunities and excellent study material for go players seeking to improve their play with, or against, a handicap.
Reach Slate & Shell at:


WANTED: Copy of Handicap Go, the seventh, out-of-print book of the Elementary Go Series. Willing to pay reasonable price; please contact (8/8)

- IGS 5dan offers oneFREE LESSON for those thinking about getting a teacher. For more information contact for more details or to schedule the lesson. (8/30)
- Joey's Go School: Joey Hung AGA 8d is teaching at San Francisco Bay Area. Find out more about Joey's Go School
At 510-659-8220, or (8/23)

AK: Juneau, Alaska ; (8/23)
AZ: Phoenix, AGA 5d looking for go players; (8/23)
FL: Jacksonville; (6/14)
FL: Jacksonville; regular, live game sessions. Contact (5/31)
GA: Augusta; for playing and possible chapter; email Wesley Stewart at (5/31)
IL: Downers Grove; 23k willing to play with anyone who wants a friendly game or will teach those in the area who want to learn. e-mail Kevin Steinbach at (5/31)
KS: Looking for players in Kansas (especially the Wichita area);contact Ted Dover at (6/28)
MA: North Shore (Hamilton); for playing and possible chapter. Email
NY: Go players in New York City. Our club is currently looking for more members. The "Village Go Club" meets in Manhattan on Wednesday
nights. Our club is largely beginning players, but all levels are welcome. Feel free to contact Kerry for more information at
TX: Go club meeting at InfiniTea, located on the SW intersection of Coit and Cambell in Richardson, Wednesdays from 7P until midnight. If you have boards of your own, please bring them; any rank welcome. Jeff Heckman,

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


September 4 & 5: Toronto, CANADA
Canadian Open
Young Kim 416-846-3024

September 4 & 5: San Francisco, CA
Dote Sensei Memorial Tournament
Danny Swarzman 415-221-7194

September 5: Seattle, WA
Monthly Ratings Tournament
Jon Boley 206-545-1424

September 11: Livermore, CA
Vintage GoEvent
Steve Herrick 925-516-2617 (evenings)

September 18/19: Los Angeles CA
Cotsen Go Tournament

September 18: Chicago, IL
Wife Appreciation Tournament
Bob Barber 773-467-0423

September 25: Durham, NC
4th Annual Joe Shoenfield Memorial Marathon Go Tournament
Paul Celmer

October 3: Hoboken, NJ
Hoboken Fall Tournament
Larry Russ 201-216-5379

This is a digest of events for the next month only; for a complete listing see the Tournament Calendar on the AGA website:

For the European Go Calendar see

GET LISTED & BOOST TURN OUT! Got an upcoming event? Reach over 7,000 readers every week! List your Go event/news In the E Journal: email details to us at

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Editor: Chris Garlock