News from the American Go Association

May 2, 2005

In This Issue:
U.S. GO NEWS: Jie Li Wins 4th Cotsen; Sobolowski Tops Vermont Tourney; Slugging It Out; Last Chance To See "The Art Of Contest"; Yuan Zhou In DC; AGA Membership Passes 2,000; Free Yearbook Offer Extended; Coming Up In Friday's Member's Edition
WORLD GO NEWS: Redmond On Winning Streak; Cho Chikun Wins Judan; Korea Ahead In CSK Team Tourney; Choi Evens The Score In Kisung
YOUR MOVE: READERS WRITE: Mistaken Tesuji; No To Poker; Yes to Poker; Do You Know The Way To The EGCC?
THE TRAVELING BOARD: The Go Player's Guide to Amsterdam


JIE LI WINS 4TH COTSEN: Despite notching his first loss in twenty tournament games, Jie Li 9d successfully defended his Cotsen Open title against a tough field last weekend in Los Angeles, CA. Jong In Jeong 8d took advantage of Li's slip in Round 4 to bring in a 5-point win, but in the end Li beat four out of the top five players to win the Cotsen for the fourth time, taking home the tournament's $1,000 top prize. Check the AGA's website -- -- for new Cotsen photos this week, plus more Cotsen games in this Friday's Member's Edition.
      Complete winner's report ($5,000 in prizes):
      Open Section: 1st: Jie Li 9d ($1,000); 2nd: Joey Hung 8d ($500); 3rd: Rui Wang 7d ($250); 4th: Jong In Jeong 8d ($125); 5th: Seung Hyun Hong 7d ($75); 6th: Ned Phipps 7d ($50).
      Handicap Section: 4-5d: 1st: Anthony Chen 5d ($500); 2nd: The Ming Wu 4d ($250); 3rd: Jim Huang 5d ($125); 2-3d: 1st: Joanne Phipps 3d ($400); 2nd: Tom Xu 2d ($200); 3rd: Tommy Slater 2d ($100); 1d: 1st: Tom Trilling 1d ($300); 2nd: Fu Ming Gong 1d ($150); 3rd: Robert Schrader; 1-6k ($75): 1st: George Huang 6k ($200); 2nd: John Iwanaga 2k ($100); 3rd: Wai-to Char 2k ($60); 7-10k: 1st: Chi-Hse Teng 8k ($100); 2nd: Ryan Fix 8k ($80); 3rd: John Reed 9k ($50); 11-18k: 1st: Chris Burg 12k ($80); Nathan Borggren 14k ($60); 3rd: Ryen Castillo 15k ($40); 4th: Chris Cameron 17k; 5th: Chance Reimer 14k; 20k+: 1st: Steve Hsin 30k ($60); 2nd: Lance Hsu 25k ($40); 3rd: Alex Ledante 30k ($30).
      Our thanks again to Eric Cotsen for hosting the E-Journal's coverage of this event, and to the entire Cotsen Open crew for all their help facilitating that coverage. CORRECTION: Cotsen assistant Chris Hayashida's name was misspelled in Saturday's Special Edition; we apologize for the error.

SOBOLOWSKI TOPS VERMONT TOURNEY: Chris Sobolowski 8k won all four rounds at Saturday's Vermont Spring Go Tournament, topping a field of 17 players (including four new AGA members). The top three finishers were: 1st: Chris Sobolowski 8k (4-0); 2nd: Quentin Dombro 2k (3-1); 3rd: Su Co Chon Duc 19k (3-1). The top five finishers won either Kiseido/Yutopian gift certificates, Go World Magazines, or American Go Yearbooks.
- reported by Pete Schumer

SLUGGING IT OUT: Your next opponent may be three feet tall, bright yellow and named after a slimy invertebrate. David Doshay's SlugGo program was one of two go-playing computer programs playing in the 2005 Cotsen Open (Anders Kierulf's SmartGo was the other). Named after the Banana Slug because it's the mascot of the University of California at Santa Cruz, where Doshay is a Research Associate in computer science and physics (his students wrote the original version according to his specifications). SlugGo also earned its moniker "because it plays so slow," Doshay told the E-Journal yesterday. Powered by 24 Mac minis and a dual G5 Mac tower, SlugGo is a portable version of Doshay's main cluster, which boasts 72 powerful CPUs. The slimmed-down version weighs in at a hefty 200 pounds, with the computers housed in a 3-foot tall bright yellow plastic cart that squats next to the table on which Doshay and SlugGo's opponents play out the games. The Cotsen was SlugGo's debut performan ce and human opponents had the choice of not being paired with either computer program (AGA rules stipulate that games with computers are not rated), although most agreed to play; SlugGo competed at 9k and SmartGo at 10k. After Saturday's three rounds, the score was Humans 6, Computers 0; on Sunday SlugGo scored one victory so the final result was Humans 9, Computers 1. "We didn't come here to win," said Doshay cheerfully, "playing in the tournament was just a statement of our existence." Doshay, who says "there's a chance this is the strongest go-playing computer program," hopes to try it out soon against Go Intellect, the Chapel Hill NC-based program that won last year's Computer Olympiad. He's also considering bringing it to this year's U.S. Go Congress in Tacoma, Washington.

LAST CHANCE TO SEE "THE ART OF CONTEST": Go is prominently featured in a Smithsonian exhibit that ends May 15. "Asian Games: The Art of Contest" The exhibit uses boards, pieces, and other game-playing paraphernalia as well as paintings, prints, and decorative arts that depict people playing games, to explore the role of games as social and cultural activities in the diverse societies of pre-modern Asia. Several stunning go sets and scrolls from ancient Japan and Korea are on display, and a board is available for casual play, as well. Hear a May 1 report on National Public Radio at
or check out the show's website at

YUAN ZHOU IN DC: "Our fabulous sensei, Yuan Zhou 7d continues his monthly lessons" this week at the Greater Washington Go Club, reports Haskell Small. Zhou's lecture will be this Friday, May 6th, at 8:30 in the basement of the Cedar Lane Unitarian Church, 9601 Cedar Lane, Bethesda. "Bring game records to participate ($5), or observe for free. Don't have a game? Come early (official opening time 7P) to play and record a game." More info:

AGA MEMBERSHIP PASSES 2,000: Marking a major milestone, membership in the American Go Association topped 2,000 for the first time ever last month. Membership rose in nearly every category, from both Full and Limited members to Youth, Sustainers, Life Members and Chapters. AGA President Mike Lash credited the April membership drive -- which offered a free copy of the 2004 American Go Yearbook to new or returning members -- with helping boost membership to a record 2,017. The April increase also extended to five months a recent streak of membership increases. "This achievement sets a new platform on which we will build more plans to attract new and former members to serve our growing national go community," said Lash.

FREE YEARBOOK OFFER EXTENDED: Because of the huge response, the April free Yearbook offer has been extended one more week. Join the AGA by midnight, May 8 and get a free copy of the brand-new 2004 American Go Yearbook! The 100-page volume (a $30 value) features the best of last year's E-Journals, from game commentaries and reviews to columns and more, including a CD with all the year's EJ content (including all game commentaries!). Member benefits include the weekly Member's Edition with attached game commentaries and reviews, as well as the 2005 Yearbook, which will be published in January, 2006. If you've been thinking about joining (or re-joining: offer open to former members too), now's the time! Sign up now at

COMING UP IN FRIDAY'S MEMBER'S EDITION: Yilun Yang 7P's commented May 1 game against a 8P Chinese pro, James Kerwin 1P on how low-dan players can improve, Jie Li's 10k mistake in Round 4 of the 2005 Cotsen & Jonathan Tien reviews Essential Joseki. All this and the latest news updates! Non-members can sign up now at


REDMOND ON WINNING STREAK: Michael Redmond 9P, the US citizen from California who is the top rated non-Asian pro in the world and a member of the Nihon Kiin, has been on quite a winning streak lately. Most recently, he defeated Ri Ishu 1P in a preliminary round of the Tengen Tournament. On April 18th he played two games in Preliminary A of the 12th Agon Kiriyama Cup, defeating both Kasai Koji 6P and Hoshino Masaki 8P, and on the 14th, he won by 2.5 points over Aoki Shinichi 9P in the final preliminary round of the 44th Judan Tournament.

CHO CHIKUN WINS JUDAN: Cho Chikun 9P ended his unusual two-year title drought by defeating O Rissei 9P 3-2 to take the 43rd Judan in Japan. The loss prevented O from holding the title for five years in a row, which would have earned him the title of Honorary Judan. You can download the game records at . This is Cho's 68th title, further extending his hold on the position of having won the most titles of anyone in the world of professional go.

KOREA AHEAD IN CSK TEAM TOURNEY: Korea narrowly leads the CSK Cup going into tomorrow's third round of the international team tournament. The Japanese team defeated the Chinese in the first round while Taiwan lost to Korea. In the second round, the Taiwanese team, four of whose members come from the Nihon Kiin (native Taiwanese who play as Japanese professionals), lost to the Chinese, and the Koreans defeated the Japanese, giving the Koreans the clear lead with a score of 2-0 and eight individual game wins. The CSK Cup is an international team tournament, with five member teams from Korea, China, Japan, and Taiwan. The teams play each other in groups, instead of the round robin style of the Nongshim Cup which has only one game at a time. The latter has been won by Korea six times in a row by virtue of Lee Changho 9P's never having been defeated in this tournament, but in the CSK Korea, Japan, and China have each won once. In the third round, scheduled for Tuesday, May 2nd, if the Chinese defeat Korea and the Japanese beat Taiwan, there will be a three way tie in terms of team wins with China, Japan, and Korea all going 2-1, and the winning team will be determined by the number of individual games won by each team. If Korea defeats China, the Koreans will be the clear winners with a 3-0 team score. You can download all the games from the first two rounds at .

CHOI EVENS THE SCORE IN KISUNG: In the 16th Korean Kisung Tournament, title holder Choi Cheolhan 9P evened the score at 2-2 in his match with Park Yeonghun 9P in an exciting game characterized by dueling dragons. Choi managed to capture Park's to save his own. The match has been an uphill battle for Choi, who lost the first two games. The decisive final game is scheduled for May 9th. You can download the game records at


MISTAKEN TESUJI: Our review of the Segoe Kensaku/Go Seigen Tesuji Dictionary (4/28 EJ) mistakenly said the cost of the Dictionary $365, confusing it with a Tesuji Encylopedia, which does sell for that price. You can get the Dictionary for $40 per volume at Kiseido:  Thanks to the alert readers caught this error! Look for a review of the Tesuji Encyclopedia soon.

NO TO POKER: "I am so glad someone else said it!" writes Anton Ninno in response to Jean DeMaiffe's letter last week wondering whether it was appropriate for the E-Journal to run Jonathan Nagy's April 18 report on his poker adventures in Monte Carlo. "Count my vote against any future poker and gambling stories. It's not enough just to be an author who plays go. I don't mind that some people gamble and play poker, but I don't want to read about it the E-Journal. It's not appropriate. Talk to anyone who has a family member with a gambling problem, and you'll find out why. Same goes for any other addictive behavior. Please keep it out of the E-Journal.

YES TO POKER: "I thought the article was great," counters Trevor Morris "I guess Jean wasn't one of the late-night poker players at the Go Congress last year. There was also an officially sponsored poker tournament one night of last year's Go Congress. I'm sure many people who get this newsletter have played go with Nagy and were glad to hear what he's been up to. I'd like to see more human interest articles like this, especially from go players who haven't been around in a while. What ever happened to Q? My real dilemma is going to come at the next Congress: will I play poker all night or take a break to compete in the Midnight Madness tournament?"

DO YOU KNOW THE WAY TO THE EGCC? "A friend in Amsterdam needs an address or directions to the European Go Cultural Centre," writes Ted Terpstra. (Please see The Go Player's Guide to Amsterdam, below)

THE TRAVELING BOARD: The Go Player's Guide to Amsterdam
by Chris Garlock
       Amsterdam is one of the most famously go-friendly cities in the world. Everyone seems familiar with go and many of the city's famous coffee bars welcome games players (but not all, so be sure to inquire first to avoid being politely asked to leave). Buy drinks or snacks and although tipping's not required or expected, it's good form if you spend a lot of time there or plan to return. In response to many reader inquiries for details on where to play, here's a brief guide to the best places Phil Straus and I found during our visit last month. Note: smoking (of all sorts of substances) is permitted in most Amsterdam bars and restaurants, so non-smokers be warned and smokers rejoice.
       EUROPEAN GO CENTRE, Schokland 14 (Amstelveen). Phone: 31-20-6455555. email: Hours: call or email for details. A short tram-ride from central Amsterdam, the European Go Centre is just a 10-minute walk from the tram-stop (Kronenburg; take tram #51, which you can get from Amsterdam Centraal Station, or the #5 stops there, too). The Centre is tucked away behind an apartment building, next to a small car dealership; it's not hard to find but it can be easy to miss: from the tram stop go 1 block south (to the right coming from downtown) on Rembrandtweg, turn right onto Laan Rosenburg (may be Van Heuven Goedhartlaan) and immediately turn left onto Vlie LandStratt. Go one block and turn left onto Terschellingstraat The Go Centre will be well-marked, and on your right. Best thing about the Centre: the EGC staff there are wonderfully welcoming and there are not one but two bars where you can play and get a drink or a bite to eat. For the latest events and news, check the EGCC's website at
       TWEE KLAVEREN, de Clerqstraat 136 (Amsterdam). Go club meets Wednesday nights from 8:30P on. This typically small but cozy bar specializes in games: a cupboard on the wall contains dozens of board games, from go and chess to mahjong, Trivial Pursuit and much more. On Wednesday nights you're sure to find a go game and you can play right up until closing time. Heineken is ubiquitous and good, but there are plenty of other local brews that you won't find at home. Dutch coffee is a tasty, chewy cross between regular coffee and espresso, served in small cups with two wrapped sugar cubes, as is the cocoa, which is truly a revelation. Incredibly chocolatey and smooth, the sugar cubes accent the deep cocoa flavor, and when you stir in the rich whipped cream you have one more sweet reason to plan a return trip to this wonderful city
       BUURTHUIS ONS GENOEGEN. Address: Elandsstraat 101 (Amsterdam). Thursday nights from 8:30P. Tucked away on a residential street in a rec center, this go club attracts about a dozen players or so on a regular basis. The playing strength ranges from mid-kyus right on up to mid to high dan-level players, keeping in mind that from the mid-kyus up the European ranks are 1-2 levels higher than those in the U.S. As in all the Amsterdam clubs, the players are very friendly and welcoming to foreign visitors, which they're used to because the European Go Centre acts as a magnet for go players worldwide and especially across Europe. There's a well-stocked self-service bar that includes snacks and, of course, beer. Closing time is whenever the last player decides to go home.
       SCHAAK CAFE, Lange Leidsedwarsstraat 134 (Amsterdam). Phone: 020-624-31-33.  This gem of a bar is not much larger than your living room but it's a fabulous place to while away an afternoon or an evening. They've got chess and go boards behind the bar; the go board set is a little battered and there isn't a full set of stones but we made do with a little prisoner-swapping in the longer games. Play as long as you like; just one waiter keeps an eye on things and will drop around every so often to see if you want a sandwich or a coffee, hot chocolate, beer or jenever, the famous Dutch gin, served icy cold in small glasses and available in either "young" or "old" versions, both served in the traditional manner, topped off right to the edge of the glass for good luck.
       GAMBIT CHESS CLUB, Bloemgracht 20. Open every night until 3A. Perhaps our favorite place to play go, though it's actually a chess club, complete with yellowing photographs of chess masters on the smoke-darkened walls and a computer in the corner to play chess online. Chess rules here, naturally, but there's a perfectly serviceable go board and decent set of stones tucked away in one of the wall cupboards. The usual coffee, cocoa and beer are available at the tiny bar at the back of the club. The fellow behind the bar will come out to check on you once in a while but otherwise you'll pretty much be left alone, which is the way the hard-core games patrons - some of whom look like they've been playing non-stop since the club opened -- want it.
       SCHAAK EN GOWINKEL HET PAARD, Haarlemmerdijk 173; 020-624-11-71;;   No trip to Amsterdam is complete without a visit to the world-famous Schaak en Gowinkel het Paard, or Chess and Go Shop, stocked to the rafters with more chess and go equipment and books than you can possibly lug onto the flight home. Give yourself plenty of time for a leisurely browse through the endless shelves of books and display cases with gleaming golden boards and glistening stones. In fact, you may want to begin your Amsterdam go odyssey at het Paard, where you can pick up a set and get the latest advice on where to play from proprietors Peter and Marianne (last name here); Peter's a strong player who can usually be found at the Wednesday night gathering at Twee Klaveren.
       MISC: As noted previously, many of the coffee shops, bars and even restaurants welcome games players (several nights we enjoyed fine dining over our traveling board) but not all, so be sure to inquire first. One place in particular that's worth a special mention is BARNEY'S BREAKFAST BAR, Haarlemmerstraat 102, where we began several days playing over their hearty breakfasts until discovering it was time for dinner and we'd once again missed the museums.
Very special thanks to fellow go adventurer Phil Straus, as well as David Riezebos, Adam Bridges and Bill Cobb for advice on places to visit, and all our hosts and friends in Amsterdam, most especially the terrific crew at the European Go Centre.


FOR SALE: 7mm used glass stones in original Ishi Press box, $20; 6mm used glass stones in plastic bowls, $25; 8mm new glass stones, $20: new economy wood bowls, $20; new large dark red ash Go Seigen bowls, $60: 11/16-inch used folding board, $30. Contact Anton Ninno:

STUDENTS WANTED: Cornel Burzo 6dan, the Romanian Go Champion who will play in Japan in the 26th JAL WAGC this month, teaches both on IGS (as Cornel 7d*) and KGS (as Cornel 8d) using skype internet telephony. For more details on studying with Burzo, please check

BUY, SELL, OR TRADE equipment, books and go materials, find a go teacher, find someone to play go with! Complete go classifieds online at


May 7: Dearborn, MI
Dearborn Go Tournament III
Danny Walters 313-336-4622

May 8: Seattle, WA
Monthly Ratings Tournament
Jon Boley 206-545-1424

May 12: Competing on KGS
4th Annual National K-12 Team Championship
Christopher Vu 281-480-8615

May 15: Lancaster Go Club
Self Paired Tournament
Sam Zimmerman 717-892-1249

May 27-30: Round Top, NY
Guo Juan Workshop
Jean Claude Chetrit 718-638-2266

May 28 & 29: Baltimore, MD
32nd Maryland Open (AGTC event)
Keith Arnold 410-788-3520

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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