News from the American Go Association

March 11, 2005

In This Issue:
LATEST GO NEWS: E-Journal Special Edition; 2005 Ing Memorial Round 1 Results; Michael Wins One; Cho U Bags Another Title; Cho Chikun Wins First Game In Judan; Collected Cobb
GAME COMMENTARY: No Quarter in Amsterdam
GO REVIEW: Nie Weiping on Go
ATTACHED FILES: 2005.03.11 Ing Memorial #1.sgf


E-JOURNAL SPECIAL EDITION: Today's special edition of the American Go E-Journal originates at the European Go Centre in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, where the 2005 Ing Memorial Tournament is being held. The Ing Memorial, which began toda y, pits Europe's top players against each other in a 3-day 6-round tournament for over $7,000 (US) in prizes. A side-tournament for lower-ranked amateurs will be held this weekend. We are pleased to provide this special edition, complete with an exciting Round 1 game from this morning, to all our readers as a bonus and encourage non-member readers to consider supporting this kind of world go journalism by subscribing to the Member's Edition at

2005 ING MEMORIAL ROUND 1 RESULTS: Winners after Round 1 of the 2005 Ing Memorial Tournament: Dinerchtein, Alexandre 1P RU (Goddard, Tony 5d UK); Hui, Fan 2P CN (Lazarev, Alexej 6d RU); Juan, Guo 5P NL (Ghioc, Constantin 5d NL); Taranu, Catalin 5P RO(Kuin, Merlijn 5d NL); Bajenaru, Dragos 6d RO (Zhao, Pei 6d DE); Burzo, Cornel 6d RO (Janssen, Frank 6d NL); Dickhut, Franz-Josef 6d DE (Seailles, Jeff 6d FR); Groenen, Geert 6d N L(Bogacki, Dimitrij 6d UA); Kulkov, Andrej 6d RU (Eijkhout, Michiel 6d NL); Nechanicky, Radek 6d CZ (Shikshina, Svetlana 1P RU); Teuber, Benjamin 6d DE (Silt, Ondrej 6d CZ); Rehm, Robert 5d NL (Mero, Csaba 6d HU).

MICHAEL WINS ONE: Michael Redmond 9P defeated Yuichi Sonoda 9P of the Kansai Kiin in a preliminary round of the 45th Judan tournament in Japan.

CHO U BAGS ANOTHER TITLE: Cho U 9P has won the Japanese NEC Cup, defeating Ryu Shikun 9P by resignation. Cho now holds four current titles. Details in Monday's edition.

CHO CHIKUN WINS FIRST GAME IN JUDAN: Playing in a title match for the first time in two years, Cho Chikun 9P defeated O Rissei 9P in the first game of the 43rd Judan title match. Details in Monday's edition.

COLLECTED COBB: A collection of Bill Cobb's writings about go has just been published by Slate & Shell. The book, "Reflections on the Game of Go: The Empty Board 1994-2004" includes Cobb's popular columns, originally publi shed in the American Go Journal and E-Journal over the last ten years. You can see sample pages of "Reflections"  at

GAME COMMENTARY: No Quarter in Amsterdam
      Ondrej Silt and Benjamin Teuber are two of Europe's youngest top players. Silt, a 6d from Czecheslovakia, is just 19 and Teuber 6d, from Germany, is 21. Both learned the game young, Silt at 10 and Teuber at 12, and both have spent time as insei in Japan. Though Teuber has returned to university (he's studying computer science at the University of Hamburg), Silt harbors hopes of earning a living at go. The two young men, awkward and shy in casual conversation, are preternaturally intense on the board, their concentration absolute and their reading sharp as the razors they barely need. Today's game, played this morning at the European Go Cent re in Amsterdam, is an white-knuckle battle from virtually the first move. Neither player is willing to yield an inch to the other and each tough move is answered by an even tougher response as the stakes are inexorably raised. Just when you're sure one player is down for the count he turns the tables; no quarter is asked or given, right up to the surprise ending.
      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 Chris Garlock
      The picturesque canals, van Gogh, Rembrandt and infamous women of the Red Light District beckon, but for th e serious go player there is nothing more alluring than the siren call of the wealth of go available in this magical city.
      In just two days Phil Straus and I have played more go than in the last six months. Within hours of our arrival Wednesday we had found a comfortable coffeeshop overlooking one of those picturesque canals, where we whiled away a laid-back Amsterdam afternoon that even endless cups of potent espresso could not hurry.
      As darkness fell, inky as the canal waters, we reluctantly folded up the go board and wended our way to the Cafe Twee Klaveren (The Two Clovers) stopping along the way for a bite (and another game, of course) and a beer. In a town full of cheerful pubs, the Twee Klaveren stands out with its inviting clatter of game pieces as patrons engage in games of chess, backgammon, mah-jong and go. We found a quick and warm welcome from our new go friends who kept us well-supplied with to ugh, fast games and plenty of beer and coffee until closing time. As expected, European ranks are about two stones stronger, but we acquitted ourselves honorably at our discounted 1-dan ranks. The strongest player there, a European 4-dan who easily gave us 3 stones, turned out to be Peter Zandveld, a lightning-fast player with an uncanny eye for shape but more importantly, the owner of Het Paard, the legendary games shop that's higher on the visiting go-players' must-see list than even the famed Anne Frank house nearby.
      Thursday, on our way to the Rijksmuseum to see van Gogh and Rembrandt, we stopped off for a quick cup of the rich hot chocolate for which the Dutch are rightfully famous, served with two cubes of sugar on the side. One cup -- and one game -- led to another and before long it was dinnertime. Leaving our regrets behind, Phil and I agreed we'd simply exchanged one art for another, and headed for the European Go Centre. The 20-mi nute tram-ride south of the city turned out to be just enough time for one more game.
      The cream of European go was gathered at the Go Centre for the 2005 Ing Memorial tournament, "The strongest tournament in Europe," according to the EGC's Frank Janssen, a longtime stalwart organizer and official in the Dutch, European and world go community, as well as a top-ranked player himself. Tournament organizer Erik Puyt put all the familiar names up on the board, Alexandre Dinerchstein and Svetlana Shiksina from Russia, Guo Juan, Catalin Taranu and Cornel Burzo from Romania, Franz-Josef Dickhut from Germany, Csaba Mero from Hungary, Tony Goddard from Britain and more, as the players paired up in a unique system based on the Chinese zodiak that was not nearly as random as it seemed. After a quick dinner hosted by the Centre, the players, who had travelled from across the continent for the tournament, retired to rest up for the next day's play.
&nb sp;     Sleep-deprived and stone-drunk on so much go, Phil and I considered following the example of the top players but since the other club in town was only open Thursday nights and anyway it was sort of on the way back to the hotel, we decided we'd stop by for just one game. Back up the tramline, across a couple of canals and down an alley, we found the Ons Genoegen go club, about a dozen players gathered in a hall whose primary tenant, judging by the cases full of trophies and photos on the walls, is a marching band complete with baton-twirling girls, none of whom were in evidence last night.
      Our welcome became even warmer when several of the players turned out to be big fans of Phil's books with Yilun Yang, "the best joseki books ever," declared one. One game turned into two and time once again slipped away on little cat feet, and we missed the last train home and had to walk back along the canals of Amsterdam, shimm ering in the soft glow of the streetlamps.

GO REVIEW: Nie Weiping on Go
By Philip Waldron
      I must beat the Japanese 9-dans. Move X showed good judgment and took the whole board situation into account. One must come up with a battle strategy that is based on detailed analysis. Memorize these sentences and you will have absorbed 75% of the content of "Nie Weiping on Go".
      Curiously, the first 27 pages of this go book contain no go at all, but rather a biographical sketch of Nie Weiping's childhood and early career. Poorly written and rife with nationalism, the chapter was likely inserted by a government propaganda officer and contributes little to the overall book. The actual go
content of the book is divided into several chapters, including forcing moves and utilizing thickness, each ostensibly related to the overall theme of positional judgment. Il lustrating each concept is a collection of game commentaries, showing how a particular theme played a role in a Nie Weiping win over (you guessed it) a Japanese 9-dan. After suffering through the initial biography, I had hoped that the commentaries might contain a few grains of useful advice, but this was not to be. With the exception of the last two "fully annotated" games, a typical analysis gave a half-dozen variation diagrams accompanied by a largely superficial commentary, which included such trivial advice as "Knowing one's enemy like oneself wins all battles."
      "Nie Weiping on Go" appears to be more of a propaganda piece than a serious effort to teach go. Players interested in positional judgment should consult the book of the same name, while those wanting in-depth game commentaries would do better with a Go World subscription. Overall, this book is a disappointment.
Published by Yutopian Enterprises (, C1995

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