News from the American Go Association

July 5, 2005
Volume 5, #56

In This Issue:
US GO NEWS: 15 Pros At US Go Congress; Zhang First In Twin Cities; East Coast Go Camp Kicks Off; Classifieds Updated; Reviews Needed
WORLD GO NEWS: Takao Takes Honinbo; Korean GS Cup Underway; Lee Sedol Wins Fujitsu Cup, Again; Meijin League Remains A Close Fight; Waldron Tops Ottawa Friendship Tourney
YOUR MOVE: Readers Write
PROFESSIONALLY SPEAKING: Professional Tournaments in Japan

15 PROS AT US GO CONGRESS: Fifteen professional go players are now confirmed for the upcoming US Go Congress in Tacoma, Washington, reports organizer Steve Stringfellow. Just added to the roster are Feng Yun 9P, who lives and teaches in New Jersey, Xuefen Lin 1P from California, and Li Ang, a 3P from China who coaches the Beijing Youth Team and who teaches as lyonweiqi on KGS. Pros are a big part of the Congress' emphasis on learning and improvement, providing game commentaries, simultaneous play, lectures and helping train the next generation by participating in the children's program. Congress registration is closing in on the 450 mark; find out more or sign up at

ZHANG FIRST IN TWIN CITIES: Edward Zhang 5d topped 30 competitors at the met at the June Twin Cities tournament, "the first such event in quite some time," reports David Wolfe, adding that "The venue at Maplewood's Goodrich Golf Club clubhouse was perfect on a bright sunny day."
        Winner's Report: 1st: Edward Zhang 5d; 2nd: Matthew Curran 5d. Aaron Broege 10k, David Scripps 14k, and Brigid Strait 21k were all undefeated. David Wolfe 1d, Peter Hansmeier 1k, Cory Herberg 6k, and Sam Sheets 14k finished with 3-1 records.

EAST COAST GO CAMP KICKS OFF: The first of this year's two Youth Go Camps kicked off over the weekend, as the East Coast Go Camp got underway in Oneonta, NY. Stay tuned for reports from the camp; meanwhile we'll be featuring photos on the AGA's homepage all week at

CLASSIFIEDS UPDATED; REVIEWS NEEDED: The online Classified Section has now been updated at  There's no charge for listing; classifieds run for four weeks, teachers and players run for three months. Send your information to
        The E-Journal is looking for reviews of the following books: All About Joseki, Mingjiu Jiang and Guo Juan, Slate & Shell; Dictionary of Basic Fuseki, Vol 2, Rin Kaiho, Yutopian; A Dictionary of Modern Fuseki: The Korean Style, Kiseido. Reviewers receive a gift certificate at the go vendor of their choice.


TAKAO TAKES HONINBO: Takao Shinji, now 9P, 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. The victory also gained Takao a promotion from 8P to 9P. This was Takao's first try at a best-of-seven title match. He was the challenger in the Judan in 2003, but that's a best-of-five match. Takao also is the current holder of the Ryusei title and recently won his first round game in the Judan against Yoda Norimoto 9P. We mistakenly said in the initial report last week that this was Takao's first try at a major title, but the "major title" list in Japan includes both best-of-seven (Kisei, Meijin, and Honinbo) and best-of-five title matches (Judan, Tengen, Oza, and Gosei). Thanks to sharp-eyed Keith Arnold for catching the error. You can download the game records at value=title&matchvalue=exact . A picture and career highlights of Takao can be found at

KOREAN GS CUP UNDERWAY: The second round of eight players is now settled in the 10th Korean GS Cup, formerly the Korean LG Cup (not the international LG Cup). Lee Changho 9P has won this cup five times, including the last two, so he will surely be the favorite. The other players are Choi Cheolhan 9P, Park Yeonghun 9P, Cho Hanseung 8P, An Kalhun 6P, Kang Jiseong 6P, Park Cheonsang 5P, and Park Seungcheol 4P. The title match for this tournament is a best-of-five, with the winner receiving over $40,000 US.

LEE SEDOL WINS FUJITSU CUP, AGAIN: Lee Sedol 9P came out on top in the18th Fujitsu Cup, defeating Choi Cheolhan 9P by 2.5 points and taking this international title for the third time in four years, along with the winner's prize of about $140,000 US. The semifinals and finals of the 18th Fujitsu Cup were held this past weekend between four players from Korea. Koreans have now won this contest eight years in a row. In the match for third place, and a seeded position in the next Fujitsu, Yoo Changhyuk 9P defeated Song Taekon 7P. The same two played for third place in last's year's Fujitsu, but Song won that time. You can download the game records from the web site.

MEIJIN LEAGUE REMAINS A CLOSE FIGHT: In the league to determine the next challenger for the Meijin title in Japan, currently held by Cho U 9P, two players are tied at 5-1 and their remaining game is with each other, so at least one of them will be 6-1. The two are Kobayashi Satoru 9P and Yamashita Keigo 9P and current Tengen. Two other players, Sakai Hideyuki 7P of the Kansai Kiin and Imamura Toshiya 9P are both 4-2 with two games remaining, so the challenger could still be determined by tie break.

WALDRON TOPS OTTAWA FRIENDSHIP TOURNEY: Philip Waldron 6d was the top winner in the recent Friendship Go Open Tournament in Ottawa, Canada. Waldron, former President of the Canadian Go Association, is also a frequent E-Journal contributor. 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 June 18-19. "The roomy tournament venue, nice prizes plus the friendly atmosphere were well appraised by all participants," reports organizer Charles Chang.
        Winner's Report: Section A (4-6d): 1st: Philip Waldron; 2nd: Ryan Li; Section B (1-3d): 1st: Fang-Yi Luo; 2nd: King Wang; Section C (4-10k): 1st: Jordan McManus; 2nd: Vaclav Brazda.

YOUR MOVE: Readers Write

VANISHING TRICK: "Anyone know what happened to Rob van Zeijst's go column The Magic of Go?" wonders Anton Ninno of the Syracuse Go Club. "The Daily Omiuri Online link at  no longer works, and I can't read the Japanese text on the new page."

PROFESSIONALLY SPEAKING: Professional Tournaments in Japan
by William Cobb
        In previous installments I have discussed the main international professional tournaments; this is the first of a series of overviews of the tournaments in individual countries. The Japanese tournaments are the most familiar to Westerners and they include the longest running tournaments in Asia. The oldest and perhaps best known is the Honinbo, of which the 60th was just won by Takao Shinji 9P. The game in 1945 that was interrupted by the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima was part of the 3rd Honinbo. Two others now have larger purses and so are considered more prestigious: The Meijin, which began in 1961, was joined by the Kisei a few years later as a result of competition among newspaper sponsors. The latter has the largest prizes-about $400,000 US for the winner. These three are the only tournaments that have best-of-seven title matches, which puts them in a special category.
        Four other tournaments are considered "major" in Japan: the Judan, the Tengen, the Oza, and the Gosei. (This Oza is not the World Oza which is an international tournament.) These have best-of-five title matches and much smaller, though still generous, purses. These seven tournaments, like most others, have large preliminary rounds to select the small group who play the official tournament to determine the challenger for the title holder. Cho U 9P currently holds both the Meijin and the Oza and had the Honinbo until the end of June. The current Kisei is Hane Naoki 9P, Cho Chikun 9P holds the Judan, and Yamashita Keigo 9P the Tengen.
        In addition to these major tournaments, there are a plethora of others, with old ones dropping out and new ones being added all the time. Some are fast move tournaments (30 seconds plus 10 minutes thinking time), usually shown on TV, such as the NEC Cup and the NHK Cup, which are open only to the top prize money winners each year. Both of these titles are currently held by Cho U. The Agon Cup, of which there is also a Chinese version, is sponsored by a Buddhist sect, and is unusual in that amateurs are included in the preliminary rounds.
        A number of tournaments are restricted in special ways. The Shinjin-O is open only to players below 8P. There are also tournaments limited to members of the Kansai Kiin or to members of the Central Japan branch of the Nihon Kiin. And of course there are a number of women's tournaments, including the Women's Honinbo, Women's Meijin, Women's Kisei, the Strongest Woman, etc. All other tournaments are open to both women and men, though a woman has yet to win one of the "open" titles.
        The pro tournament scene in Japan is incredibly active, and far richer than that in other countries.

NOTE: classified ads appear once in the E-Journal and are then posted on the AGA website at

FL: Deland; Go players wanted, meeting at school library. Jeremy Hoistion;

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


July 16: Arlington, VA
Congress Tune-up
Allan Abramson 703-684-7676

July 16-23: Oakland, CA
West Coast Youth Go Camp

July 17: Somerville, MA
MGA Summer Handicap Tournament
Zack Grossbart 617-497-1232

July 23: Austin, TX
Austin Summer Go Tournament
Michael Heinich 512-505-0055

July 23-August 6: Prague, Czechoslovakia
European Go Congress

August 2-22: Hoi-An, Vietnam
Vietnam Go Camp

August 6-14: Tacoma, WA
21st US Go Congress
Steve Stringfellow 253-761-9466

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

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