News from the American Go Association

SPECIAL U.S. GO CONGRESS EDITION: Experience the 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.< /P>

August 12, 2005
Volume 5, #71

In This Issue:
LATEST GO NEWS: Li Locks Up Masters & Ing; Lin Closes In On US Championship; Ing Standings; Shen/Hung Win US Pair Go Champions hip; Baum & Lebl Lead Self-Paired; Downstairs With The Kids; More Game Records Posted; E-Team Delivers
A GO REPORTER AT LARGE: The Return of Maeda Ryo 6P
ATTACH ED GAME FILE(S): 2005.08.12 USOpen5 Xuefen Lin-Takahiro Kitagawa.sgf; 2005.08.12 USMasters3 Jie Li-Thomas Hsiang.sgf


LI LOCKS UP MASTERS & ING: In back-to-back victories Frid ay, Jie Li 9d won the 2005 US Masters Tournament and locked up his second consecutive Ing Cup championship. His 11-point win over Jong Moon Lee in the fourth and final round of the Ing gave Li a perfect 4-0 sweep, which he followed just a few hours later with a near-perfect final Masters game in which Thomas Hsiang resigned after just 100 moves, giving Li the Masters championship with a 2-1 score. The Master's game, with commentary by both Li and Hsiang (plus comments by Ron Snyder 7d) is attached . The Ing game is posted on the Congress Updates page:

LIN CLOSES IN ON US CHAMPIONSHIP: In a dramatic come-from-b ehind victory, Xuefen Lin 1P defeated Takahiro Kitagawa 8d in Friday's Round 5 of the US Open. The win makes Lin the favorite to win 2005 US Open Championship, unless she loses Saturday's final round to a player with the same record (ties are being settl ed head-to-head). Friday's game, once again broadcast on TV to the local Congress audience and worldwide via the IGS and KGS, looked good for Kitagawa, who was 4-0 in the Open, 5-0 in the Midnight Madness and 4-0 in the Die Hard Tournament. Viewer's conse nsus was that Lin got the short end of a dueling ko trade-off early on, but late in the game, Kitagawa's lead evaporated when Lin patiently engineered a subtle attack that enabled her to create a small but solid moyo in the center. In the end, Kitagawa he ld onto a 2-point lead on the board but couldn't pay the 7.5 komi. The game, with commentary by Katsuya Fujiwara 6P of Japan, is attached.
       US Open leaders (5-0 rec ords): Band 5: Lin, Xuefen; Band 0: Brownell, Landon, Roads, Francis; Band -2: Shen, Cherry; Band -4: Shen, Hao; Band -6: Bustamante, Richard, Zhang, Lionel; Band -8: Tubman, Asher; Band -11: Larson, Josh; Band -13: Shang, Kevin; Band -17: Smilack, Solom on; Band -21: Huynh, Lee; Band -25: Ning, Jeffrey; Band -26: Fong, Dennis; Band -29: Chang, Toby; Band -43: Enger, Alexander

ING STANDINGS: Full Ing standings were not available at presstime; look for a final report in Monday's EJ. 4th-round resu lts: Jie Li (defeated Jong Moon Lee); Joey Hung (Eric Lui); Thomas Hsiang (Dewu Zhang); Jung Hoon Lee (Edward Kim); Yuan Zhou (Yongfei Ge); I-Han Lui (James Sedgwick); Jin Chen (Jon Boley).

SHEN/HUNG WIN US PAIR GO CHAMPIONSHIP: Cherry Shen and Jo ey Hung squeaked out a half-point victory over Gina Shi and Robert Oto to win the 2005 US Pair Go Championship Thursday night. The Shen/Hung team nearly gave away their victory when an out-of-order move cost them a 3-point pe nalty, but the Shi-Oto team missed the 1-point sente endgame move that would have sealed a half-point win in their favor. Shen and Hung will represent the US at the World Pair Go Championships in Japan this Fall.

BAUM & LEBL LEAD SELF-PAIRED: With 301 games reported and less than a day left to go in the Self-Paired Tournament, Leonard Baum and Martin Lebl are dominating the final stretch of the popular event. However, in most cases their leads are small and there's still time for upsets. Baum lead s Laura Kolb 10-9 in the Champion; has a 5-4 lead over James Fienup in the Dan Killer, a 16-13 lead over Lebl in the Hurricane and a tiny margin over Williams Phillips in the Faithful. Lebl, meanwhile, is tied 23-23 with Horst Sudhoff in the Sensei, leads Sudhoff 22-18 in the Philanthropist, and 35-29 in the Dedicated. Lebl holds a 12-8 lead over Baum in the Straight Shooter. Sudhoff is up 7-2 over Ethan Baldridge in the Kyu Killer, and Jack Chen and Angela Pham look to have the Optimist and Grasshopper all but wrapped up. Look for final standings in Monday's EJ.
- Solomon Smilack

DOWNSTAIRS WITH THE KIDS: Once an unusual sight at go events of any sort, youngsters are now everywhere to be seen, whether it' s a local tournament, go workshop or the annual Go Congress. And with 82 children attending the Congress this year, Todd Heidenreich has his hands full in the Go Congress Youth Room, downstairs from the main playing areas. With the help of Dennis Wheeler, Scott Arnold, and John Hogan, the Kids Room is alive with activity every day of the week. "There are lots of very strong kids," Heidenrich tells the EJ, "Several are 5 or 6-dan. About one third are dan-level."
      &nbs p;Kids to keep an eye on are young Calvin Sun 3d, an 8-year-old who will be representing the United States in Barcelona later this year for the junior division of the Word Youth Go Championship. And 13-year-old Cherry Shen wi ll be going to Japan with her pair go partner Joey Hung in the Fall to represent the US in the World Pair Go Championship.
       The Youth Program mirrors the adult program, so the kids get to enjoy the full variety of tournaments: 9x9, 13x13, lightning, handicap, and pair go. There have been casual and scheduled visits by the pros, reports Heidenreich. "Hideo Son has been here every day. James Kerwin and Feng Yun came during the pro clinic, along with Myung Wan Kim ."
       The finale comes on the final day, when teams will be organized by region for the Grand Prix. In this team relay race, children must run across the room to solve a go problem, and then run back. Color-coded wristbands ensure that the problems match the student's ability. Speed and skill are both critical, as only correct answers will advance their team's car across the finish line. Adults beware: not only do these kids play fast , they're learning to read fast too!
- Solomon Smilack

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

E-TEAM DELIVERS: We hope you've enjoyed our expanded Congress coverage this year! In addition to the daily E-Journal reports, we've had continual updates on the AGA website, with the latest Congress news, up-to-the-minute photos and more than two dozen games from the US Masters, Ing and the US Open, many of which were also broadcast live on the IGS and KGS. We could not have brought you this "virtual Congress" without the generous and dedicated efforts of our wonderful "E-Team." Our thanks to intrepid Congress reporters Aria von Elbe & Solomon Smilack, tireless game recorders Ethan Baldridge & Brian Leahy, techmeister extraordinaire Jeff Boscole and especially to web-techs Ch uck Robbins and Sergej Zoubok for making our expanded coverage possible this year. A very special thanks to tweet at IGS and William Shubert at KGS, who enabled us to bring the Congress to hundreds of go players around the world. Finally, thanks and appr eciation for a job well-done to the wonderful Tacoma Congress crew, who not only made sure the Congress itself ran smoothly, but who went far beyond the call to assist the E-Team at every opportunity.
     See you next year in North Carolina!
- Chris Garlock, Bill Cobb & Roy Laird

A GO REPORTER AT LARGE: The Return of Maeda Ryo
by Aria von Elbe
       Re turning for his fifth US Go Congress, Maeda Ryo 6P of Japan continues to be one of the busiest and most popular professionals at the Congress. Born in Hyogo Prefecture on Japan's main island Honshu, Maeda studied the traditio nal Japanese subjects like tea ceremony, flower arranging, and calligraphy, but go was his favorite. "Tanoshikatta," he says, "It was fun."
       At the age of 13, Maeda-sensei joined the Kansai Kiin's insei program and began studying to become a go professional. During those years, he only went to junior high school five times a year. After five years of study, Maeda-sensei passed the pro test and was inducted into the Kansai Kiin at the age of 18, an impressive fe at considering that the institute only accepts one new professional each year.
       Now 33, Maeda is a 6 dan professional with aspirations of one day winning a title, though he says he started trying "too late." Re minded that Nakayama Noriyuki 6P, a fellow Japanese pro from the Nihon Kiin in Tokyo, started his pro career at 30, Maeda just laughs and replies in English, "Rare case. only one."
      &nbs p;In the meantime, the Kansai native works on his game by replaying pro games from throughout the world and studying tsumego (life and death) problems. Maeda also visits the Kansai Kiin for study groups with about 30 other professionals. Asked who his ma in rivals are and he jokes that "minasan wa ribaru," everyone's a rival. More seriously, he mentions his contemporary, Fujiwara Katsuya -- who is also at this year's Congress -- but only, he's quick to point out, because they are good friends and Fujiwara "wouldn't get mad."
       Go isn't Maeda's only venue for competition. The Kansai Kiin also has its own yakyuu (baseball) team, which Maeda manages. The Stones are "the weakest team in the world," Maeda says, but t hey battle tirelessly anyway. Which is why he travels all the way to the United States, to help the future of go blossom so that we too can fight.

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