News from the American Go Association

June 30, 2005
Volume 5, #55

In This Issue:
LATEST GO NEWS: AGA Membership Growth Continues; Waldron Tops Ottawa Friendship Tourney; Holiday Updates; Takao Takes Honinbo; All-Korean Fujitsu Cup Finals; Magari Retires; Governance Leadership Sought; Holiday Bonus; Stasiewicz Wins Alert Reader
GO REVIEW: Attack and Defense
ATTACHED FILES: 2005.06.30 Shodan Challenge Trevor Morris on PTabor-Javaness; 2005.06.30 Shodan Challenge, Phil Straus on Lester-Edmund; 2005.06.30 Shodan Challenge, Yilun Yang on Costillo-Irving; 2005.06.30 Shodan Challenge, Yuan Zhou on Alexander-SoulFlame; 2005.06.30 Shodan Challenge, Yuan Zhou on Gum-potechi; 2005.06.30 Go Review Middle Game Problem VII. 7, 69

AGA MEMBERSHIP GROWTH CONTINUES: Membership in the American Go Association was up for seventh straight month in June. Total membership increased 10, to 2089 and overall, membership is up a net 105 from a year ago. While Full members dropped slightly to 1,595, limited members were up 13 to 344. Up one each were Sponsors and Sustainers, and Life Members held steady at 33. Chapter memberships dropped to 121 and youth memberships dropped to 311 from 314.

WALDRON TOPS OTTAWA FRIENDSHIP TOURNEY: Philip Waldron was the top winner in last weekend's Friendship Go Open Tournament in Ottawa, Canada. The Ottawa Chinese Go Club, together with the Taipei Economic and Culture Office (TECO) and the Ottawa Chapter of the Global Alliance for Peace and Democracy hosted the tournament. Full winner's report in Monday's edition.

HOLIDAY UPDATES: The E-Journal will publish its regular Monday edition on July 5. The Northern Virginia Go Club will meet this coming Monday night, as usual: 7P at the Central United Methodist Church, 4201 N. Fairfax Dr, corner of Stafford. Check their website at or email organizer Alan Abramson at For other clubs that usually meet on weekends or Mondays, check with local contacts:
TAKAO TAKES HONINBO: Takao Shinji 8P is the 60th Honinbo in Japan. Takao managed to defeat Cho U 9P by a mere half point in game five of their match, giving him the edge at 4-1. Details in Monday's issue.
ALL-KOREAN FUJITSU CUP FINALS: The semifinals and finals of the international Fujitsu Cup will be held this coming weekend. The four remaining players are all from Korea. Complete results in Monday's issue.

MAGARI RETIRES: Magari Reiki 9P, a popular Japanese pro who attended the first Denver Go Congress in 1990, recently retired, reports the Nihon Kiin. The leading disciple of the late Iwamoto Kaoru 9-dan, Magari was born in 1914, became 1-dan in 1942 and reached 9-dan in 1974. He won the 3rd Igo Championship in 1959 and played in the Honinbo league five times. He visited China on a goodwill tour in 1961 and was awarded the Okura Prize in 1996.

GOVERNANCE LEADERSHIP SOUGHT: The American Go Association is seeking a new Chair for its Policy and Governance Committee, AGA President Mike Lash announced this week. "This is an opportunity for AGA members to become involved in national affairs and have an impact on the way the AGA operates," said Lash. The former Chair, longtime volunteer Keith Arnold, recently stepped down from the post "After serving the AGA admirably in this post for several years, most recently in regard to the proposed changes to the by-laws and articles of incorporation," said Lash. "We hope he continues his long-term service to the AGA in another capacity." The Policy and Governance Committee deals with broad corporate, membership and policy issues; members interested in joining or chairing the committee may contact the AGA President at

HOLIDAY BONUS: With the long 4th of July holiday ahead, we're pleased to provide extra game commentaries with this edition, in case you need a break from relaxing this weekend. We're also pleased to share them this week with our non-member readers as a healthy sample of the game commentaries and other additional content available each week to subscribers to the Member's Edition. Don't miss another week: sign up now for the Member's Edition at

STASIEWICZ WINS ALERT READER: Matthew Stasiewicz of Grosse Pointe Woods, MI is this week's Alert Reader winner, winning a $10 go vendor gift certificates for spotting our Alert hidden in last week's game commentary. 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!

        Today's game commentaries feature five of our Shodan Challengers, kyu players who have been working to achieve shodan by this year's US Go Congress in Tacoma, WA. We're also pleased this week to welcome new commentators Trevor Morris 6d and Phil Straus 3d, along with regulars Yilun Yang 7P and Yuan Zhou 7d. With today's games ranging in strength from 3k to 15k, we hope there's something here for everyone, and just to be sure, we've thrown in an interesting middle-game problem from Go Review. Enjoy and have a safe holiday!
         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: Attack and Defense
Elementary Go Series, Vol. 5
Akira Ishida and James Davies
Kiseido; $15
Reviewed by Eric Lavigne 8k
        Attack and Defense is a book worth reading and re-reading. I bought Attack and Defense as a 15 kyu player and understood enough of it then to make the book worthwhile. Now, as a 8-kyu player, I still feel like I've absorbed less that 10% of what this book has to offer, so there's no doubt that it will remain useful to me when I finally reach shodan.
        Attack and Defense starts off with basic positional judgment, discussing the balance of territory and power. It seems obvious that territory and power are important, but this chapter showed me that I wasn't putting sufficient effort into building up power. I would put everything I had into killing something, sometimes without actually making the kill, then spend the rest of the game protecting the weak groups I had created. Attack and Defense emphasizes attacking for other reasons, to build up power or to secure territory, so that, whether the target lives or dies, the attacker benefits in the long run.
        The first half of the book covers how to attack, tesuji for chasing or weakening enemy groups, and strategies for making your attacks more painful. Everything leads clearly back to the two fundamental goals: territory and power.
        The second half of the book covers other middle-game issues. A chapter on defense covers preventive measures, in addition to methods of saving groups that have already come under attack. More advanced topics (which I still have a hard time with) include forcing, inducing, reducing, invading, and ko fights.
        Attack and Defense has a lot in it; trying to absorb it all is an overwhelming task but it'll definitely repay the effort.

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