News from the American Go Association

SPECIAL U.S. GO CONGRESS EDITION: Plus, now you can experience a virtual US Go Congress online by checking out our brand-new Congress Updates page at Latest news and reports, tournament updates, plus photos and games, are posted throughout each day by the Congress E-Team. Check IGS and KGS as well; some games are being broadcast live, i ncluding US Open Boards 1 & 2, top Ing games and more.

August 11, 2005
Volume 5, #70

In This Issue:
LATEST GO NEWS: Jie Li 9d Defeats 7P Korean Pro In Demo Game; Lin Vs Kitagawa In US Open Showdown; Baum Makes Move In Self-Paired; Takahiro Leads Midnight Madness; ABCs of Go; More Game Records Posted
YOUR MOVE: Readers Write
A GO REPORTER AT LARGE: Self-Paired Stratagems
THE EMPTY BOARD: What Do We Really Want?
ATTACHED GAME FILE(S): 2005.08.11 ProAm Kim Myung-Wan vs Jie Li 9d


JIE LI DEFEATS KOREAN PRO IN DEMO GAME: Jie Li 9d defeated Kim Myung-Wan 7P Thursday afternoon in a fast pro-amateur game. A packed Go Congress audience watched Feng Yun 9P give commentary on the game while many more followed the game on the IGS and KGS. The dramatic game featured a large-scale attack by Jie Li and then two exciting ko fights that resulted in Kim resigning after 179 moves. The game - with commentary by Jie Li -- is attached.

LIN VS KITAGAWA IN US OPEN SHOWDOWN: Friday's Round 5 of the US Open will be the critical showdown for the 2005 US Open championship, as the two top players with 4-0 records -- Xuefen Lin 1P and Takahir o Kitagawa 8d - face off on Board 1 (the game will be broadcast live on IGS and KGS, beginning at 8:30A PST). Lin has dominated Board 1 all week, while Kitagawa has not only swept his Open games but all five of his Midnight Madness games as well. US Open leaders (4-0 records): Band 4: Lin, Xuefen, Kitagawa, Takahiro; Band -1: Brownell, Landon, Roads, Francis, Burrall, Steven; Band -3: Shen, Cherry, Fung, Terry; Band -5: Newman, William, Shen, Hao; Band -7: Levenick, Jim, Price, Guthrie, Bustamante, Richa rd, Zhang, Lionel; Band -9: Barber, Robert, Tubman, Asher; Band -12: Fienup, James, Larson, Josh; Band -14: Shang, Kevin; Band -16: Peterson, Max.
- reported by Aria von Elbe

BAUM MAKES MOVE IN SELF-PAIRED: Leonard Baum has grabbed the lead in three Self-Paired Tournament categories, nudging out perennial champs Horst Sudhoff and Martin Lebl. Baum now leads in the Champion, Hurricane and Straight Shooter. Meanwhile, Horst Sudhoff is just two games ahead of Lebl in the Sensei (15-13), Francis Roads has taken over the lead in the Faithful and Jack Chen is ahead in the Optimist (though not by much). Lebl is comfortably ahead in the Philanthropist (18-9), Horst Sudhoff is holding onto his lead in the Kyu Kille r, James Fienup is tied with James Picket and Sam Zimmerman for the Dan Killer and Angela Pham notched her third day as head Grasshopper. As of 1:25 Thursday morning, 240 games had been reported.
- reported by Solomon Smilack

TAKAHIRO LEADS MIDNIGHT MADNESS: Kitagawa Takahiro 8d is undefeated in the Midnight Madness Tournament after five rounds. Solomon Smilack 6k and Justin Chiang 13k also have perfect records with two rounds remaining to be played.

ABCs OF GO: New at the Cong ress this year have been Adult Beginner Classes (ABC), covering the basic rules of go, along with ideas like sente and gote. "I've never played a full game before," says go parent Carrie Won, attending her first Go Congress w ith husband Daniel. "If you play as parents, you really appreciate what your kids are doing, because it's not easy." Although the majority of the five ABC students are chaperoning their go-playing children, a couple simply want to understand the rules. D oug Kendrick, 22 kyu, is a corporate trainer attending the Congress with fellow Ventura (CA) Go Club member David Whiteside. Doug's three US Open matches this week bring his lifetime total of full board games to just nine. Prior to this year's Congress, h e hadn't played since the Cotsen Open, but he is interested in making new discoveries: "There's just too much to know. But I'm a firm believer in the 'aha' moment, and that's what I came for." Alternating with Steve Burall, Scott Arnold scheduled lessons on Tuesday and Thursday as well as classes offered on the first weekend of the Congress. "If there are this many players here, it should be a regular part of the Congress," said Arnold.
- Solomon Smilack

M ORE GAME RECORDS POSTED: Check the Congress Update page for a new batch of Congress game files, including some with commentary:

YOUR MOVE: Readers Write

CONGRESS ARCHIVES? "Great job on the daily Congress updates!," writes Joe Maia. "Does the Congress Updates page change daily? If so, is it possible to save each day's updates on separate pages so we can s ee all the details? Thanks again for all the hard work, this is great for those of us who couldn't make it to Tacoma."
       The Congress Update page is updated daily (often several times), as we get more news, photos and games. Unfortunately we didn't have time to set up an archive before the Congress, but we'll definitely have one next time around; meanwhile, most of each day's reports are published in the next EJ.

OP EN RESULTS? "I wonder whether it would be possible to post interim results for the US Open on the web page (or in the E-journal?" asks Bob McGuigan. "Something like the printout that is posted in the tournament rooms would be ideal, but maybe it's too bi g? I'm enjoying the glimpses of the Congress I get from the E-journal specials."
       We're working on getting that document and posting it online; meanwhile we've got the 4-game winners stay tuned for updates here or on the web.

A GO REPORTER AT LARGE: Self-Paired Stratagems
By Solomon Smilack
      This year's Self-Paired Tournament got off to a slu ggish start. With no bar-coded stickers in the registration packets to advertise the tournament, many more friendly games have gone unrated and unreported. "Almost two hundred players are new this year, and they might not kno w about the Self Paired Tournament," Tournament Director Mike Malveaux told the E-Journal. In previous years, late-night games made up a large portion of the Self-Paired results, but this year the Midnight Madness Tournament has provided an outlet for th e night owls.
       A smaller field means big opportunities for hard-core players like Martin Lebl and Horst Sudhoff. I asked Malveaux, if they simply played fast. "Not just fast," he said, "Relentlessly." Added Jon Boley, "Most likely, they'll ask you to play a game while you're interviewing them."
       Although they have been fierce rivals in the past, Martin admits he's playing fewer games this year. "I've slowed down a lot, " Martin said. "My games take longer now because I'm friends with everyone, and we're socializing while we play. Before, I didn't know people so I didn't have that distraction." And now that Lebl is a dan player, he finds tha t "my games are slower this year because my opponents are actually thinking about their moves." In response to a rumor earlier this week that Self-Paired champion Horst Sudhoff hadn't played any games this year, Malveaux noted: "That could be a ruse." In past years, Sudhoff has been known to strategically withhold result slips until the last moment in an effort to keep his standings hidden. "Horst is no dummy," says veteran TD Chuck Robbins.
       Tony Adria, lookin g to be a dark horse contender, admits to employing the same stratagem this year. His 12-kyu rating affords him fast-playing opponents, and he averages 10 games daily. "I try to play at least one simultaneous game per day. I find four people, and weaker p layers are usually happy to get a fast game with me." With as many as 60 unreported games, Tony is hoping to capture multiple titles with a surprise leap on the final day. Stay tuned!

THE EMPTY BOARD: What Do We Really Want?
by William Cobb
       What do you want? A friend of mine who is a strong player constantly reminds me to ask myself that question as I play. The idea is to contemplate the whole board situation, but the question is not only important while you're playing a game. It's also useful to ask it before you start playing. From listening to conversations here at the Congress, I've gotten the impression that ma ny players would answer by saying that their aim is "to get strong, to improve my rating."
       I think that's a limited goal, which ignores some important aspects of go. Having "getting stronger" as your aim makes you focus strongly on winning. Go is designed so that almost all of us are going to lose about as often as we win. So if getting stronger is what we want, we're going to experience a lot of frustration. It would be nice if pl aying go were -- at least most of the time -- a pleasant, satisfying and enjoyable experience. Since it's difficult to experience go that way when it becomes very important to win, perhaps a different aim would have a happier result.
    ;    What if the answer to "what do you want?" is just "to play go"? If just playing becomes your aim, you'll find many more ways to make the experience a good one. Undoubtedly, winning is fun, and getting stronger helps you to win, bu t perhaps becoming stronger should not be an end, but a means; a means to enjoying the game more, whether you win or lose. So when you sit down to your next tournament game, remember to ask yourself "what do I REALLY want?"

THE E-TEAM: Chris Garloc k, Bill Cobb, Aria von Elbe, Solomon Smilack, Ethan Baldridge, Andrew Briscoe, Chuck Robbins and Jeff Boscole. Special thanks to Shai Simonson who loaned the E-Team his laptop for recording and broadcasting US Open and Ing ga mes.

NOTE TO OUR READERS: We're pleased to make the Member's Edition special Congress reports available to our non-member readers this week. We hope you enjoy the reports, updates and games. Please consider supporting our work by joining the A GA; your membership will get you the weekly Member's Edition, annual Yearbook & CD, as well as entitle you to participate in local and national tournaments, our rating system and, of course, the annual Go Congress. Find out more at

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