News from the American Go Association

June 10, 2005

In This Issue:
LATEST GO NEWS: Deadline Looms For Board Nominations; US Go Congress Update; Still Room At Youth Go Camp; Lin Tops In Boulder Kid's Tourney; Redmond Loses In Meijin Prelim; Roads And Hunt Tie For First At Durham; Weekend Go Action; Davis Wins Alert Reader
GAME COMMENTARY: More Useless Moves & Whether to Split
GO REVIEW: Basic Techniques of Go
ATTACHED FILES: 2005.06.10 Shodan Challenge Yang on S Waldron; 2005.06.10 Go Review Problem V, 12, 58; 2005.06.10 Furuyama Lesson #35


DEADLINE LOOMS FOR BOARD NOMINATIONS: Nominations for three AGA Director slots close next Tuesday, June 14. In the Eastern Region, Quentin Dombro and Allan Abramson have been nominated, and Gordon Castanza has been nominated in the Western Region, but thus far there are no nominations in the Central Region. Each term runs for two years. Nominations may be made by any full member of the AGA and must be accompanied by a notice that the person nominated has read the AGA by-laws and agrees to stand for election. Nominees must have been a full member of the AGA for one year at the time of taking office (1/1/06). Nominations close on June 14, 2005 and may be sent to Samuel E. Zimmerman, 2005 Election committee:

US GO CONGRESS UPDATE: Registration for this year's U.S. Go Congress is now fast heading for the 300 mark; 278 have registered as of today, well ahead of last year's record pace. More pros have now been confirmed: from Korea, Poong-Jho Chun 8P, Sung-Rae Kim 3P and Myung-Wan Kim 7P will be attending, and from Japan, the Nihon Ki-in is sending perennial favorite Nakayama Noriyuki 6P and Sasaki Tadashi 8P to Congress in Tacoma, WA August 6-14. REGISTER ON OR BEFORE NEXT WEDNESDAY, JUNE 15TH to avoid late registration fees (or call 206-579-8071, but not before 7P PDT, please). For the full preliminary CONGRESS SCHEDULE, go to

STILL ROOM AT YOUTH GO CAMP: There's still space and time to sign up for this year's Youth Go Camps, including the East Coast Youth Go Camp from July 2-9 at Hartwick College in Oneonta, NY and the West Coast Youth Go Camp from July 16-23 at Mills College in Oakland, CA. Info/sign-up at

LIN TOPS IN BOULDER KID'S TOURNEY: Jessica Lin 17k took top honors at the June 5 Boulder Kid's Go Club in Boulder, CO. Full report in Monday's edition.

REDMOND LOSES IN MEIJIN PRELIM: Michael Redmond 9P was defeated by 2.5 points by Kato Atsushi 8P in Preliminary A of the 31st Meijin tournament on May 26th. We regret that we have no further information at this time.

ROADS AND HUNT TIE FOR FIRST AT DURHAM: Francis Roads 4d of Wanstead and Tim Hunt 3d of Milton Keynes tied for first in the Durham Go Tournament in England with five wins each. Details in Monday's issue.

WEEKEND GO ACTION: California & Minnesota
- June 11: Davis, CA
Davis/Sacramento Quarterly Ratings Tournament
Fred Hopkins 916-548-8068
- June 11-12: San Francisco, CA
Northern California Open Goe Tournament
Ernest Brown 415-641-6255
- June 12: Minneapolis, MN
Twin Cities Go Club Tournament
Peter Hansmeier 612-85-1681

DAVIS WINS ALERT READER: John T. Davis of Asheboro, NC is this week's Alert Reader win ner, winning a $10 go vendor gift certificates for spotting our Alert hidden in last week's game commentary. "I had no idea about that star-point/3-3 invasion/ladder joseki Black can play in the upper left corner," writes Peter Nassar, "Great stuff, thanks!" Adds Eddy Gorsuch, "Thank you for this commentary. Jon Boley's comments are very understandable." And finally, Jeremy Martin says "I always enjoy the handicap games for the Shodan Challengers. I am signing up for Shodan Challenge '06!" Winners are drawn at random from those who correctly report the Alerts. Keep a sharp eye out in all our game attachments; you could be a winner too!

GAME COMMENTARY: More Useless Moves & Whether to Split
       How many unnecessary or useless moves can you count in today's commentary on a game between two 9-kyus? Yilun Yang 7P finds them all in his usual thorough review of a game that includes Shodan Challenger Scott Waldron 9k.
       To split or not to split, that is the question in today's Whole Board Problem, taken from Go Review. In our extra bonus file, Kaz Furuyama takes a look at another common amateur mistake; keep an eye out for the diagram in which "Black gains thickness like the Great Wall of China."
       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

GO REVIEW: Basic Techniques of Go
Kiseido Publishing Company
Reviewed by Peter N. Nassar 7k
   &nbs p;   After several years away from go, I came back to the game last summer with the desire to relearn some kyu-level principles. One book to which I turned was Haruyama & Nagahara's "Basic Techniques of Go," which was written for high kyu-level players and serves as a follow-up to beginner texts such as Chikun Cho's "Go - A Complete Introduction to the Game," or Janice Kim's "Learn to Play Go" series. The authors recognize that kyu players will often find themselves playing black in handicap games and have steered their discussion accordingly.
       Bozulich has rewritten the text of the third edition of "Basic Techniques," reorganized the chapters, and, in a welcome move, reduced the number of Japanese terms in the hopes that this will make reading the book more accessible to beginners (it has). Finally, since this book was first published in 1969, an appendix has been added to incorporate some of the newer joseki tha t have appeared over the past few decades.
       The book begins with an overview of even-game fuseki - highlighting corner joseki, approach moves, and extensions. The following three chapters are devoted exclusively to the principles of handicap go - 9-stone, 6-stone, and 4-stone games, respectively, with a discussion on star point joseki. Throughout, the emphasis is on simplicity. Chapter 5 introduces twenty types of tesuji, followed by fifty tesuji problems. Chapter 6 examines the endgame, with additional endgame problems.
       What this slim book lacks in detail it compensates for in breadth. Notably missing from its contents, however, are a discussion of life and death and an analysis of the middle game. While readers new to go may find some of the discussions a bit superficial compared to newer go books that are in print, it's important to keep in mind that at the time this book was ori ginally published, few go books had been translated into English, and so this book was one of the first to systematically approach many of these topics for a Western audience. In that sense, some may find the book to be a bit dated, and may chose to forego it in favor of more modern, detailed studies. Another disappointment is the three pages of typographical errors in Chapter 4, where the figure captions and text are not properly correlated, and other small printing errors are scattered throughout. While this might be forgivable in a 1st printing of a first edition, this book is currently in its tenth printing of its third edition.
       After studying this text, readers will be ready for the more detailed coverage to be found in the seven-volume "Elementary Go Series," (also published by Kiseido), particularly Nagahara's contribution, volume 7, "Handicap Go," in which many of the principles outlined in "Basic Techniques" receive fu rther elaboration.

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Editor: Chris Garlock

American Go Association
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American Go Association P.O. Box 397 Old Chelsea Station New York, NY 10113-0397