News from the American Go Association

July 18, 2005
Volume 5, #60

In This Issue:
US GO NEWS: Quizon Tops In NoVa Tune-Up; Go Congress Updates; Notes From Youth Camp West; 2004 Go Congress Back In Black; Missing Ira Schnall
WORLD GO NEWS: Lee Changho Wins King Of Kings; Yoda Set To Hold On To Gosei; New Fastplay Korean Tourney; Kobayashi Izumi Doing Well; Regan And Cocke British Pair Go Champs
BEGINNER'S MIND: The Grandfather That Plays Go



QUIZON TOPS IN NOVA TUNE-UP: Juan Pablo Quizon 4d nudged out Eric Lui 7d for top honors in Saturday's NOVA Congress Tune-Up. Thirty-eight players participated in the July 16 event in Arlington VA. In addition to Eric Lui, "Many still-early-in-their-career players, both 'young' and 'youth' made an appearance," reports organizer Allan Abramson.
       Full winner's report: First place: Juan Pablo Quizon 4d, 3-1; Alan Perrin 1d, 3-1; David Wong 1d, 3-0; Jeffrey Chou 6k, 4-0; Alpha Chen 8k, 3-1; Keiju Takehara 13k, 3-1; Kabe Chin,15k, 3-1; Alexander Lee 16k, 3-1; Jennifer Lin 24k, 4-0. Second place: Eric Lui 7d, 3-1; Adam Bridges 3k, 2-2; Raymond Yeh 6k, 3-1; Todd Heidenreich 8k, 3-1; James Wu 10k, 3-1; Tim Kang 19k, 3-1; Kevin Chin 20k, 3-1; Vi Cao 24k, 3-1

GO CONGRESS UPDATES: Nearly 460 have already signed up for this year's US Go Congress, scheduled for August 6-14 in Tacoma, WA. Pete Schumer of Middlebury, VT, won last week's contest, selected at random from those who correctly identified the Japanese contingent of 46 players as the largest national group after the U.S., and California as the state sending the most players (nearly 100). Honorable mention to Nikolas Stimpson who noted that 911 are signed up for the European Go Congress in Prague, which starts this weekend and runs through August 6. "There's still plenty of room" at the US Go Congress, promises organizer Steve Stringfellow, "even if I have to make extra boards myself." The 8-day go marathon is the biggest event of the U.S. go calendar and features the strongest tournament field of the year as well as lectures and simuls with dozens of professional players from the United States and abroad. The E-Journal will provide expanded daily coverage of the Congress, inc luding top games from the US Open and reports, photos and games posted on the AGA's website. Anyone interested in being part of this year's E-Team at the Congress may contact Managing Editor Chris Garlock at

NOTES FROM YOUTH CAMP WEST: "There in the room were 15 go players all under the age of 18," reports one wide-eyed youngster at this week's Youth Camp West in Oakland, CA. "Except for my limited sojourns on the internet I had previously only played adults go and most of them were over the advanced age of 25! I thought I was in go nirvana!" Adds camp organizer Steve Burrall, "We have some amazingly positive thinkers in our go community." Burrall's brand-new Toyota Prius was totaled while he was en route to camp with Maeda sensei (nobody was injured), leaving the car looking like "a squashed beetle." When Dr. Ernest Brown came by to give Burrall and Maeda a lift after the accident, he looked at the pile of scrap metal and said "looks like they can fix that." Says Burrall. "No challenge is too big for this guy. We're lucky to have him in our go community." Dr. Brown also delivered the go equipment to the Youth Camp. For a camp photo, go to

2004 GO CONGRESS BACK IN BLACK: In other Congress-related news, the E-Journal has learned that last year's Congress finances have finally been settled, after months of painstaking fact-finding and negotiations. Instead of the feared $15,000 loss ('04 Congress Reportedly Lost $15k, 1/24 EJ), President Mike Lash reports that Terry Benson late last week finalized a settlement that will net the AGA a nearly $7,000 profit on the Rochester Congress. Lash credited Benson's "tenacious and persistent work and highly professional attitude" as well as the good faith efforts of the RIT Inn and Student Affairs representatives, which contributed to an amicable resolution.

MISSING IRA SCHNALL: "On behalf of the Hartford Go Club, I regret to announce that Ira Schnall 6k died on Thursday, July 14," reports Kirby Huget. "Ira promoted go in Connecticut for years before moving to Erie, Pennsylvania to be closer to his family. I met Ira in Connecticut after I found his telephone number through the AGA. I called him and explained that I was interested in learning to play go. Together we formed the Hartford Go Club and we played hundreds of fast and friendly games. He smiled when I finally won my first game, revealing his pride in my progress and instilling in me his passion for the game. Ira was a gifted mentor and he became a special friend.
       "Ira was a mechanical engineer and had six patents. In addition to go, he was interested in astronomy, banjo, and, at one time, rock climbing. After he retired, Ira volunteered his time as a tax assistant for the elderly with AARP. He is survived by his mother; brother Melvin; son David Jeffrey Schnall and his wife Laurie Anne Bradford; daughter Deborah Lee Oskin and her husband Michael D. Oskin; granddaughters Allison Oskin and Abigail Schnall; and grandson Kenneth Schnall.
     "I haven't played much since the day Ira moved, but my eleven-year-old daughter indulged me in a game on Friday night. While we played, I thought about my games with Ira, and I wished he were here to teach my little girl to play."


LEE CHANGHO WINS KING OF KINGS: Lee Changho 9P has won the Etland Cup King of Kings Tournament in Korea, defeating Choi Cheolhan 9P with a score of 2-0. Kyeser reports on the site that the game was over relatively quickly. Lee got the lead in the early going but made a mistake. Then Choi countered with a mistake of his own that led to his resignation after move 142. You can download the game record from the go4go site. The score between Lee and Choi is now dead even at 10 wins each. Choi has been on something of a losing streak lately, starting with losing to Lee Sedol in the finals of the Fujitsu Cup on July 4th.

YODA SET TO HOLD ONTO GOSEI: Yoda Norimoto 9P has won the second game in the 30th Gosei title match against challenger Yuki Satoshi 9P, giving him a comfortable 2-0 lead in the best-of-five contest. The Gosei is the only title Yoda holds currently. If he is successful this time, it will be his third consecutive year as Gosei and his 34th title win. He held the Gosei title for three years once before, in 1996-1998. This is Yuki's second challenge this year; he tried unsuccessfully to unseat Hane Naoki 9P as Kisei earlier, though he did win three games. Yuki, who is in his early thirties (Yoda is a few years older), won two titles in 2003: the 1st JAL Super Lightning Go and the 25th Kakusei.

NEW FASTPLAY KOREAN TOURNEY: To the delight of the Korean pros, a brand-new tournament has been started in Korea. The new event doesn't have a complete name yet, but is being called the Wonik Cup. It will be a fast-play contest, with ten minutes basic time and three periods of forty seconds for byoyomi. There will be eight seeded players, including current title holders Lee Changho 9P, Kim Seonryong 9P, Lee Sedol 9P, Choi Cheolhan 9P, and Park Yeonghun 9P, along with three chosen by the sponsor, Cho Hunhyun 9P, Yoo Changhyuk 9P, and Song Taekon 7P. The main tournament will involve 32 players and the other 24 seats are being settled through preliminary rounds that involve a total of 168 players. First prize will be about $25,000 US. Play in the main tournament begins July 28th.

KOBAYASHI IZUMI DOING WELL: Kobayashi Izumi 6P, the well known daughter of the highly popular Kobayashi Koichi 9P, has had some good results lately. She won her second round game in the Strongest Woman Tournament against Kato Keiko 4P by 2.5 points on July 14th. Kobayashi lost to Kato back in May in the second round of the Women's Honinbo. She also won her second round game in the Women's Meijin, defeating Tamura Chiaki 1P by resignation.

REGAN AND COCKE BRITISH PAIR GO CHAMPS: Natasha Regan and Matthew Cocke took the British Pair Go Championship, defeating last year's winning pair, Kirsty Healey and Matthew Macfadyen, in the first round. They also defeated Anna Grifiths and Tony Atkins in the second round and in the finals, Alison and Simon Bexfield. Paul and Maria Tabor of Beckenham, a father and daughter team, won the handicapped division. Healey and Macfadyen were declared the best-dressed pair.

BEGINNER'S MIND: The Grandfather That Plays Go
by Aria von Elbe
       That's it. I can die happy. I've played go in Japan. I feel as if a part of my life is finally complete, though I don't think it's the go playing alone.
       Did I run into a Kansai go pro on the streets of Kyoto? Not to my knowledge, and I didn't find Hikaru or Akira either, except on a t-shirt. Did I run down to the inn and borrow the ghost-inhabited goban? Sadly, no, as we left for Fukuoka the next day for Family Homestays, where I'm living with the Akenaga family. Before this, I stayed with Ninomiya Mieko for four days and went to Kyushu High School, which turned out to have a go club! I don't think my happiness can possibly be expressed in words. I didn't discover the club until my last day there, when I found it in the art building as I was walking by, looking in empty classrooms. Four guys, talking and laughing, pointing at problems in a book while simultaneously eating from their bento-igo bun o mitsuketta. I almost screamed. Come to think of it, I may have.
       I opened the door and bowed, shitsureshimasu, sore wa igo desu ne? I think they were as surprised as this gaijin. I sat down with the club president, beside the studious member who was replaying games from a commentary book and with a not-so-serious pair playing on a 9x9 behind us. It was so wonderful, and if I hadn't had to leave for a closing ceremony, I would have stayed and lost the game with pride. But not by much: I was playing against a 6.5 komi but holding my own. Sensei would have been proud.
       My miraculous go week doesn't end there. My host father and I were flipping through channels one night, stopping at the baseball games and music videos, and then suddenly there was a yellow 19x19 grid on the screen on Channel 60. It was the Igo-Shogi Channel, the 24/7 go TV station (with a few brief interruptions for shogi). Now not only can I watch go whenever I want, I even understand it; ossha for knowing Japanese go terms! The next day my poor group-mates were less than thrilled when I kept babbling on about the go channel and how I saw Michael Redmond on TV. The only way they got me to shut up was by shoving me to the front of the room with the karaoke mike and no, that is not a problem we are going to review here, thank you very much.
       It gets even better. One quick fuseki and a few go programs are wonderful, but not nearly enough to keep me happy for a lifetime. For those of you who are thinking moves ahead, yes, I found the elusive "grandfather that plays go." He's my house mother's father-in-law and I was ecstatic to meet him, despite his beating me twice already. We made plans to play again, and tomorrow I'm off to find a go salon. As I write this, one of the 30th Gosei Preliminary games is being played on the TV to my right. It's amazing. "Ii hane desu, ne?' I love Japan.
- 17-year-old Aria von Elbe has been visiting Japan; she'll be attending the Go Congress in Tacoma and will be a high school senior in Fort Lauderdale, Florida this Fall.

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

For Sale: 6.0mm Japanese glass stones from Ishi Press, $15; Dark-red ash Go Seigen style bowls from Samarkand, $50. Buyer pays $10 UPS shipping. ContactAnton Ninno at:

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

July 23-August 6: Prague, Czech Republic
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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