News from the American Go Association

November 8, 2004

In This Issue:

WORLD GO NEWS: Cho U New Japanese Meijin;Chinen Wins Women‘s Honinbo; Yamashita Makes Good Start In Tengen; Sakai Wins Place In Meijin League; Okura Prize Update; Roads Wins Wessex At Long Last
GO REVIEW: A Dictionary Of Modern Fuseki: The Korean Style


POP FIZZLES AGAINST LI: Jie Li 9d defeated Cristian Pop 7d over the weekend in the US-European playoff for the upcoming Seimitsu Tournament being held by the Nihon Kiin in Japan. Pop, a Romanian and former insei in Japan, is a top European amateur who‘s often finished second in major European tournaments, bested only by European pros. “Not long ago (Pop) claimed that European go was stronger than the U.S. and said he could beat anyone in the U.S.,” notesLi, the current US Open and Ing Cup champion. The game, played on the IGS, features early fighting and all-out battling by both players, and is attached for your viewing pleasure. We hope to have a commented version next week, as well as further details about the tournament.

US PAIR GO TEAM HEADS TO JAPAN: Yuan Zhou 7d and Kristen Burrall 1d will represent the U.S. at the International Pair Go competition in Japan later this week.Zhou and Burrall topped the U.S. Pair Go Championships in August, when 59 pairs competed in the increasingly popular event in which two teams, eachof which include a male and female player, alternate turns. A huge hit inJapan and around the world, the variation emphasizes the social aspects of the game and tournaments are always lively events. The annual International Pair Go competition is sponsored by the Japan Pair Go Association. 

US LEAGUE PLAY IMMINENT: Nationwide league play is on the way, reports organizer Bill Saltman. “Very soon, the adventurous players in your AGA chapter will be able to form official 3-person teams and take on any other team in the whole USA,” Saltman says. “Whether you be low-kyus or high-dans, a handicapped system will allow for even the lowly to pound the mighty!” Tentative plans call for best of three game matches, “so results will come fast and furious,” Saltman promises. As in the popular Self-Paired Tournament at the U.S. Go Congress, numerous competition categories are planned, providing plenty of opportunities for all players. While final detailsof the League are being ironed out, Saltman reportedly plans to captain theWestern Mass Go Club and has already thrown down the gauntlet to the Brooklyn Go Club. Stay tuned here in the EJ and on the AGA‘s website for postingof official rules and sign-up information.

KGS ADDS WEEKLY PROLECTURES: Weekly pro lectures and a monthly tournament are part of the Kiseido Go Server‘s (KGS) new KGS Plus service, announced last week. After hundreds of players participated in recent live audio lectures by Guo Juan and Feng Yun and two recent tournaments, “KGS Plus has been set up to make lectures and tournaments as affordable as possible,” says KGS Administrator William Shubert. While KGS Plus subscriptions will be $15 US per quarter, Shubert reports that “Through the month of November we are having a half-off sale, bringing the price to just $7.50 for three months of lectures and tournaments.” There‘s a 30-day money-back guarantee, Shubert adds, and “as always, playing on KGS will remain totally free of charge.” For more details, visit

REDMOND CUP OPEN TO YOUNG PLAYERS: Young North American go players are invited to jointhe eleventh Redmond Cup Tournament, organized by Michael Redmond 9P and his family, the American Go Association, the Ing Wei-Ch‘i Foundation and the Internet Go Server (IGS). There are two divisions in the Cup; the Junior league for those under 12 and the Senior league for 12 and over (but younger than 18 as of August 1 2005). Competitors in the Senior League must be playing at Dan strength, in the Junior 5 kyu or stronger and must be residents of the U.S., Canada or Mexico. All games are played on the Internet,  courtesy of IGS, except for the finals which will be played at the American Go Congress of 2005. Travel expenses are paid for the finalists, as well as their Congress room, board and registration fees are paid by the Redmond Cup, thanks to the Ing Foundation.  The finals are played using the Ing rules of  Goe.  Prizes for the finalists have been given by Mr and Mrs Taki of IGS PandaNet. Please send the following  information to None Redmond at before January 1st 2005: name,address, telephone #, date of birth, email address, AGA rating, citizenshipand home go club.

BOGDANOV ON THE MEND: “American readers will be relieved to learn is that wonderful Russian leader Victor Bogdanov, who came to U.S. Go Congress one year with about half a dozen very strong young Russian players is still recovering from his serious illness,” reports None Redmond. “While his doctors say he is not well enough to play competitive go yet, he is allowed to direct a tournament.”

WEI CHI SINGS=3FAlert reader Yi spotted a new audio CD out with a very unusual title and artist: “One I Two Eyes” by “Wei Chi”. The E-Journal is interested in a review of this CD and will award our usual go vendor gift certificate to the r eviewer accepted. Query us at  New and used copies of the CD are available from Amazon:

MORE ONLINE VIDEO LESSONS FROM “WAY OF GO” AUTHOR: “The Way of Go” author Troy Anderson continues to provide free videos of his go lessons with Paul Hu, now in a MPEG format.  Go to to download the video and more. The EJ‘s also interested inreviews of these lessons; query us at 

GO PHOTOS POSTED ONLINE: Especially useful for teachers, photos of go stone and board making are now posted online. The photos were taken by E-Journal editor on his 2002 visit to Japan and have been posted by John Eckelkamp. Check them out at


CHO U NEW JAPANESE MEIJIN: Cho U took Game Six and the Japanese Meijin title on November 4, denying Yoda Norimoto a fifth consecutive title and the title of Honorary Meijin.The sixth game, played at the Wakatsuki Villa in Ito City in Shizuoka Prefecture, was a very tight one, reports John Power on the Nihon Kiin‘s home page. “Both players (had) chances to win. Cho took the lead in the middle game, but Yoda successfully reduced his moyo, making the game close. However, he slipped up late in the middle game, omitting a strategic move that would probably have made the position favourable for him.” Cho won by 1.5 points after 280 moves; both players were in the final minute of byo-yomi. “This gave Cho a 4-2 lead in the series, so, at the age of 24, he became thefifth and youngest Meijin-Honinbo in modern tournament history,” Power reports. Cho, who now holds three top titles (the Meijin, the Oza and the Honinbo), collected about $327,000 for his win; Yoda‘s loss means he‘s now down to just one title, the Gosei.

CHINEN WINS WOMEN‘S HONINBO: The other half of the strongest husband-wife team in Japanese go did not fare as well last week, as Kobayashi Izumi lost to Chinen Kaori 3-dan by 2.5 points on November 2 in Game Four of the Women‘s Honinbo. This gave the challenger a 3-1 lock on the title. “This is Chinen‘s fourth Women‘s Honinbo title,” notes John Power. “She has also won the Women‘s Kisei title four times.”  Kobayashi Izumi still holds the Women‘s Meijin and the JAL Women’s Haya-go titles.

YAMASHITA MAKES GOOD START IN TENGEN: Yamashita Keigo 9-dan has made a good start in his return match with his great rivalHane Naoki for the 30th Tengen title, reports John Power. “In the first game, played at the Gifu Grand Hotel in Gifu City on November 4, Yamashita, taking white, defeated Hane by 4.5 points. This title match has a short time allowance of just four hours per player. Yamashita had five minutes left and Hane was down to his final minute. The game started at 9 a.m. and finished at 6:51 p.m.” Game Two will be played in Noboribetsu in Hokkaido on this Friday, November 12.

SAKAI WINS PLACE IN MEIJIN LEAGUE: Although Sakai Hideyuki, former WAGC champion, suffered a setback recently in the King of the New Stars title, he has now scored the biggest success of his career, one that some say is more significant than winning a juniortitle. Sakai has taken the first of the three vacant seats in the 30th Meijin League, reports John Power. “Moreover, he defeated Japan‘s current number one, Hane Naoki Kisei, in the play-off. The game was played at the Nagoya headquarters of the Nihon Ki-in on October 28 and, taking white, Sakai forced a resignation. This comes in the fourth year of his career as a professional after abandoning his medical career, and it may console him for his failure earlier in the year in a play-off for a Kisei League place.” Pairings in the play-offs for the other two places are Ogata Masaki 9-dan vs.Kato Atsushi 8-dan and Komatsu Hideki 9-dan vs. Cho Sonjin 9-dan. The three top players who dropped out of the previous league, Rin Kaiho, Cho Chikun and O Rissei, have failed to win their way back in.

OKURA PRIZE UPDATE: Recipients of the 34th Okura Prizes includes two other players well-known to Western go fans, reports John Power. “One is Honda Sachiko 7-dan, who won seven women‘s titles during her career, which lasted from 1947 to her retirement in March 2000. The other is Watanabe Fumio, who served asChairman of the Board of Directors of the Nihon Ki-in from 1993 to 1999. He also served as President of the International Go Federation.”

ROADS WINS WESSEX AT LONG LAST: After 30 years of trying, Francis Roads 4d finally won the Wessex Tournament, held at the Marlborough Town Hall in Marlborough, England. Eighty-two players participated in the 35th annual event.Other winners included: 2nd: Niall Cardin (2d Oxford), 3rd: David M King (1k Swindon), 4th: Jackie Chai (3k Bournemouth), 5th: Chris Poerschke (4k Bath), 6th: Bill Streeten (5k Wanstead), 7th: Thomas Brand (7k Brighton), 8th: James Birkett (10k Bristol), 9th: Eleanor Thomas (11k Bath), 10th: Dave Siegwart (15k Winchester). Francis and James were the only ones winning 4/4.
- British Go E-News

YOURMOVE: Readers Write

BEST GO PDA=3F “What is a good hand-held personal digital assistant for playing go=3F” wonders reader John Krus. “Are PalmPilots too small=3F What‘s the best bargain=3F And how do you get the games in there to view them=3F  How much memory do you need=3F” There are apparently a number of new go PDA software products out now; the E-Journal welcomes reviews and/or comments for future reviews. Send them to us at

GAME COMMENTARY: Shodan Challenge & The Seimitsu Playoff
     Today‘s game is a close look at a recent game by Thomas W. Watson, 3k, one of our Shodan Challengers, ten kyu-level players who have publicly accepted the challenge of trying to achieve 1-dan by next year‘s U.S.Go Congress in Tacoma, Washington. The E-Journal is following the progress of each Shodan Challenger and has arranged for professional game analysis to help the Shodan Challengers improve their games. In today‘s game Watsonplays an even game with a 2d and has good chances, as Yilun Yang‘s comprehensive analysis shows. Want to take the Shodan Challenge=3F Email us today at
     Our bonus file is the Seimitsu Tournament US-European Playoff  game between Jie Li 9d (US) and Cristian Pop 7d (Romania) last weekend. The fighting starts early in this exciting game which determined the representative to the upcoming Seimitsu Tournament in Japan. 
     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

By Roy Laird
      OK, I admit it, when it comes to the history of go, I am a total wonk. There‘s a lot of important history there and I love it!  So when I heard that ancient board games would be the subject of a fascinating exhibit on display at the Asia Society, at 70th St. and Park Avenue in New York City until January 16, 2005, I had to go.     
     The collection includes severalantique examples of go equipment, as well as examples of other ancient games.  I stopped in as a guide was beginning a tour of the three exhibits on display at this small, precious jewel, fifteen minute on foot from the Metropolitan Museum.  After exploring displays of extraordinary Indian jewelry and painting, we moved on to the games exhibit. The guide explained that the curator had divided the games into four categories -- chance, skill, matching and physical prowess.  In the “chance” section, we learned that “Chutes and Ladders”, the game we all played as children, had its origins as an Indian game of moral instruction, which the British adapted as“Snakes and Ladders.”  A similar Chinese game is played on a huge board filled with tiny characters.
     As our group approached the “Skill” area, the guide mentioned that “weegee” was revered in China as one of the “Four Accomplishments” of medieval Chinese noblemen.  She described the game‘s essential “capturing” characteristics while we gathered around a game board.  (Unfortunately the game board was actually sugoroku, a forerunner of backgammon, but it‘s the thought that counts.) 
      The objects on display themselves include a richly decorated board owned by the Tokugawa family, (see this week for a sneak photo of that display) and a more primitive Korean board, the surface scored with numerous markings.  Apparently Korean boards were strung inside to resonate when stones were played. To learn more, go to   If you can‘t make it, in some ways the catalog is even better, with hundreds of color photos and twenty-three chapters that tell the story of Asian games.  I guarantee that learning about the game‘s distinguished history will increase your enjoyment when you know that you‘re placing stones on a board just as people have been placing stones on a boardfor thousands of years.

GO REVIEW: A Dictionary Of Modern Fuseki: The Korean Style
Compiled from professional Korean games by the Seolim Publishing Company
Translated by Kim Seong June
Kiseido; October, 2004  $30
Reviewed by Peter Shotwell
     Checking in at a big and hefty double-sized 304 pages, this new book from Kiseido is twice the usual price and twice the weight, but I think for any casual or serious player, it is many times the value. It breaks up the old ideas about many fuseki and replaces them with the Koreans’ legendary, fresh and imaginative thinking. This is particularly true if (like me) all that is on your go shelf is the Ishida dictionary and a few of the Japanese standards on fuseki
     Using an easy-to-digest format with four full-board diagrams per page, 59 opening patterns are analyzed in detail in regard to what is old and what is new. The new ideas about the Chinese and mini-Chinese openings covers 54 pages; 47 pages are devoted to a great variety of ingenious pincer openings; and 16 pages cover the san-ren-sei. Also, a number of probe- and invasion-style openings are analyzed; dozens of other pages are devoted to morepeaceful positional openings and the book ends with 36 full-board problems. 
     What all this means is that you can study the whole volume to try to find the new logic of the times, or you can prepare specifically for your next match against an arch-opponent. Several pages are devoted to the “Kobayashi opening” and several more to dealing with a stone on 3-5 point. Even better, you can learn the reasoning behind using an approach with the first-move if you‘re White; or with the third-move if you‘re Black-and both diagonal and same-side approaches are discussed (!).


FOR SALE: Quality go equipment including gobans/bowls/stones, ranging from entry level to elegant collectible items.   or email  (9/20)

- Cornel Burzo 6d is giving lessons on both IGS and KGS using voicechat for review every week day from 8A to 5P using skype (check for details email  (10/18)
- Joey‘s Go School: Free lessons every Thursday night from 8-9P (EST)  on KGS! Joey Hung AGA 8d teaches online and in the San Francisco Bay Area. Find out more about Joey‘s Go School At510-659-8220, or  (10/4)
- Looking for a sensei to improve your Go skills=3F Yang, In Lin, 5-dan from Taiwan is available for online lessons. email for cost details. (9/20)
- IGS 5dan offers one FREE LESSON for those thinking about getting a teacher. For more information contact for more details or to schedule the lesson. (8/30)

AK: Juneau, Alaska ; (8/23)
AL: Birmingham or Hoover: email I‘m about 5k; any level is welcome. (9/6)
AZ: Phoenix, AGA 5d looking for go players; (8/23)
FL: Tampa Bay; Looking for players within 30 minutes of Tampa Bay to help create a club which might be located near USF.  (9/27)
IL: Northern Illinois, Gurnee area. Any rank, age, or shoe size welcome. Looking for friendly or teaching games. Contact (15 kyu) Joe at
NEW! IN: Bloomington: Want to help start an AGA chapter=3F Contact me now at  (11/08/04)
MD: Baltimore, at the Maryland Institute College of Art. 7P Mondays, at
Cafe Doris (Mount Royal Ave) (10/18)
NH: Hanover, Meets 2-5 PM Wed at Hopkins Center Cafeteria;
NY: Syracuse; The Central New York Go Club invites players who live anywhere near Utica, Geneva, Oswego, and  Cortland to join them on Monday nights. Visit the club‘s website at:
: Charleston/Lowcountry area.  Total beginner looking for teaching and friendly games. Contact Doug:
Got go stuff to sell, swap or want to buy=3F 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 usat


November 13:  Orchard Park, Davis, CA (NEW LOCATION!)
Davis/Sacramento Ratings Tounament
Fred Hopkins  916-548-8068

November 13 & 14:  College Park, MD
16th Mid-Atlantic Regional Go Championship
Ken Koester 410-267-0487

December 4:  West Hartford, CT
CCC Winter Go Tournament
Bill Fung 860-648-1527

December 5: Chicago, IL
Four More Years!=3F Tournament
Bob Barber 773-467-0423

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

December 5:  Los Angeles, CA
Southern California Go Club Ratings Tournament
Joe Cepiel 310-823-4760

December 11: Syracuse, NY
1st Annual CNY Go Tournament
Anton Ninno 315-479-9073

March 17-20:  Germantown, MD
10th Annual Maryland YangWorkshop
Gordon Fraser 301-540-2640

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

GET LISTED & BOOSTTURN OUT! Got an upcoming event=3F 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