News from the American Go Association

September 5, 2005
Volume 5, #78

In This Issue:
LATEST GO NEWS: Surviving The Storm; Penn Go Re-Starts; Yu an Zhou Back In DC; EJ To Cover Texas Open; Latest MasterGo Released; 2006 Shodan Challenge Expanded; Reviews Wanted
WORLD GO NEWS: Big 3 Prepare To Battle In Nongshim Cup; Amateur Almost Makes It Into Sams ung; Honinbo Awaits Challenger; Koreans Rank Pros
YOUR MOVE: On Mysteries, Physics And Go; Mark Your Calendars; Betrayed By Memory; Missing #75?
GO ONLINE: US Open R esults Posted


SURVIVING THE STORM: The New Orleans Crane's Nest Go Club is re-grouping in the aft ermath of Hurricane Katrina. "The current club president, Sean, managed to get out," reports David Clements, "and has sent out a general email to members of the club to put together a list of who can be contacted. This unfortunately does not include any Tulane students, since the Tulane email server is down, but will get the majority of the club." Bob Barber reports "I got a one word message from Crane's Nest founder David Matson today: alive. Typical of David not to waste words." If anyone has news of how other go club organizers in Louisiana and Mississippi are faring (and what help they need), we'd like to hear it. The clubs are The Cajun Go Club and Crane's Nest Go Club in New Orleans, LA and the LSU Go Club in Baton Rouge, LA; the Mississippi Go So ciety in Pelahatchie, MS and the Tupelo Go Club in Tupelo, MS (we're not aware of any clubs in Alabama). Please contact us at

PENN GO RE-STARTS: The Penn Go Society in Philadelphia, PA will begin meeti ng again every Wednesday evening, reports organizer Matthew Bengtson. The Society meets at Houston Hall at the University of PA, 3417 Spruce Street, on the main level next to the Petite Creperie Cafe, beginning around 5 PM until closing. "We are strongly considering a second weekly meeting time, possibly on the weekend, but need to receive feedback on people's preferences first," says Bengtson. "We would also like to have more instructional sessions for our group of beginning players. We also have an AGA tournament in mind, tentatively scheduled for October. Please come and let your voices be heard. Details will be posted by email as they are available. Annual dues of $3 are required for kyu players, and we are free for dan players." More info at  or email

YUAN ZHOU BACK IN DC: Yuan Zhou 7d resumes his Friday teaching sessions at the Greater Washington Go Club on Friday, Oct.7th, at 8:30 in the basement of the Cedar Lane Unitarian Church, 9601 Cedar Lane, Bethesda. "Bring game records to participate ($5), or observe for free," says organizer Haskell Small. "Don't have a game? Co me early (official opening time 7P) to play and record a game." Also, Small reminds, "Don't miss the Moon Cha Memorial Tournament on 9/24/05! This is a pre-registration-required tournament, deadline 9/17/05." Pre-register direct with Yuan Zhou at yuan.zho

EJ TO COVER TEXAS OPEN: The E-Journal will provide coverage of the upcoming Texas Open, scheduled for October 29-30 in Houston, Texas. A special edition will cover all the activities and action at the Open, including top-board games. THIS JUST IN! The EJ will also broadcast Board 1 games live in the IGS! Stay tuned for more details on who's expected to compete. The Open is preceded by a weeklong workshop with Yilun Yang 7P. Deta ils and registration form at

LATEST MASTERGO RELEASED: The latest MasterGo release, version 2.2.21, has just been released. "Gordon Fraser's team has collected the impressive number of 33,043 games by 1,502 professional players, with games as new as July 2005," reports Andreas Hauenstein. Improvements include manual editing of the shaded search area, a better tenuki probability display, ability to perm anently change the game orientation, the Favorites menu now can add all hits, and fixes of the bugs that occurred when the database size exceeded 32, 000 games. Go to download.cgi

2006 SHODAN CHALLENGE EXPANDED: Want to get stronger? Join the 2006 Shodan Challenge! Open to players of all strengths, the Challenge now has five Divisions: the 20-kyu Challenge, for beginners; the 1 0-kyu Challenge for 11-20k players; the 5-kyu Challenge for 6-10k players, the Shodan Challenge for 5-1k players and the 5d Challenge for 1-4d players. Challengers publicly accept the challenge of trying to achieve a specific goal by next year's U.S. Go Congress August 12-20 in Black Mountain, North Carolina. The E-Journal will track the progress of each Challenger and will provide special incentives and assistance, including free game analyses, books, software and more. Make a move to improve! For more details on how to qualify for the Challenge, email us today at

REVIEWS WANTED: Get published and get a $10 gift certificate too! The E-Journal needs reviews of the following go books: Get Strong at the Endgame (Richard Bozulich), T he Great Joseki Debates (Kunihisa Honda), Beyond Forcing Moves (Shoichi Takagi), Reflections on the Game of Go (William Cobb), Dictionary of Basic Tesuji, vols 1 and 2 (Fujisawa Shuko), All About Joseki (Mingjiu Jiang and Guo Juan), Lee Changho's Novel Plays and Shapes, vol 1 (Lee Changho), Beauty and the Beast: Exquisite Play and Go Theory (Shen Guosun), Cho Hun-hyeon's Lectures on Go Techniques (Cho Hun-hyeon), The Treasure Chest Enigma (Noriyuki Nakayama), Korean Style Ba duk, vol 1, (Lee Changho). Email for details on review specs.


BIG 3 PREPARE TO BATTLE IN NONGSHIM CUP: Teams from Japan, Korea, and China are ready to battle it out as another exciting event on the international scene is getting ready to start. The first round of the Nongshim Cup team tournament will be held in Beijing in October. This is the 7th edition of this tournament involving a single elimination contest betwe en five member teams from Japan, Korea, and China. The battle continues until all the members of two of the teams have been eliminated. The Koreans have won this cup every time because Lee Changho 9P has never been defeated i n this competition. Needless to say, Lee is on the Korean team again this year, along with Cho Hanseung 8P, Yoo Jaehyeong 7P, Won Sungjin 6P, and Kang Kongyun 3P. The Japanese team is composed of Yoda Norimoto 9P, Hane Naoki 9P, Takao Shinji 9P, Mimura T omoyasu 9P, and Yamada Kimio 8P (an impressive group that includes the current Kisei, the Honinbo, and the Gosei title holders). China is sending Chang Hao 9P (who recently won the international Ing Cup), Kong Jie 7P, Liu Xing 7P, Sie He 6P, and Wang Yao 6P. Can Lee Changho do it again? Watch for full coverage here!

AMATEUR ALMOST MAKES IT INTO SAMSUNG: The last 16 participants in the final stage of the international Samsung tournament have been determined through the usual huge preliminary that is open to all pros as well as some selected amateurs. The other 16 are seeded. The inclusion of amateurs is very unusual in Asian pro tournaments; one of them, Kim Namhun 7d of Korea, a former first-class insei, did quite well , defeating a 1P from Taiwan in the first round and So Yokoku 7P of Japan in the second. After benefiting from a forfeit in the semi-final round he finally lost to Kim Myeongwan 7P of Korea in the finals. Of the 16 open seats in the ultimate round, Korea won 10, Japan 2, and China 4. The Korean winners included Rui Naiwei 9P. Many well known international stars are among the seeded players, including Lee Sedol 9P (last year's winner), Lee Changho 9P, and Cho Hunhyun 9P of Korea, Wang Xi 5P (second place last year), Zhou Heyang 9P, and Gu Li 7P of China, and Cho Chikun 9P, Yoda Norimoto 9P, and Hane Naoki 9P of Japan. No players from Taiwan made it into the final stage.

HONINBO AWAITS CHALLENGER: The make-up of the round robin tournament to determi ne the challenger for Honinbo Takao Shinji 9P is almost settled. The four seeded players are Cho U 9P, Cho Sonjin 9P, Yoda Norimoto 9P, and O Meien 9P. They will be joined by O Rissei 9P and So Yokoku 9P, both of whom played in the last league but not well enough to be seeded into this one, along with Hane Naoki 9P, and the winner of a match between Yamada Kimio 8P and Kobayashi Satoru 9P.

KOREANS RANK PROS: The Hankuk Kiwon (Korean Baduk Association) has just issued an official ranking of the top 50 Korean pros. To no one's surprise Lee Changho 9P is number 1; numbers 2 and 3 are also as expected: Lee Sedol 9P and Choi Cheolhan 9P. These three and number 4 were profiled in the August 29th issue of the E-Journal. The rest of the top ten in order are: Park Younghoon 9P, Cho Hanseung 8P, Won Seongjin 6P, Park Jeongsang 5P, Yoo Changhyuk 9P, Lee Younggu 4P, and Cho Hunhyun 9P. The highest ranked woman is #34 Park Jieun 6P, who readers may recall beat Rui Naiwei 9P in a t en-game match a couple of years ago.

YOUR MOVE: Readers Write

ON MYSTERIES, PHYSICS AND GO: "Just read a note from Anton Ninno, noting Chicago writer Sara Paretsky's go-r elated story," (Mysterious Go 8/29 EJ) writes Bob Barber. "Paretsky is married to Courtney Wright, 1 Dan, retired physicist from the University of Chicago. Courtney was for years a regular at the No Exit Go Club and the various Korean clubs on Lawrence A venue. I recall him saying, 'Physics is easy; it's go that's difficult.'

MARK YOUR CALENDARS: "It was good to read in this week's go news that the 2006 Go Congress will be in Asheville, NC," writes Ted. "Are the dates set? Time to circle calendars is now." The 22nd Annual US Go Congress will be held
August 12-20, 2006, at Black Mountain, North Carolina. Details at

BETRAYED BY MEMORY: "I'm sorry that my memory betrayed me," writes Sergio Parreiras. "The articles I referred to (Korean Joseki Innovations 8/29 EJ) were published in Go World 102, 103 & 104 which are not on sale. Also, I wrote ' Kobayashi opening' whereas th e the articles and the commented game display the 'mini chinese fuseki'. I got confused because both fusekis look similar (at least for an 8 kyu like me) in the sense that black develops the bottom and white approaches from above -- on the open side."

MISSING #75? "I received issue 74 of the E-Journal, and issue 76 of the E-Journal, but no issue 75," reports Joe Maia. "Please send me issue 75 of the E-Journal. Or maybe a few issues were miss-numbered?" Quite right, Joe: we goofed! Issue #73, pu blished 8/21, was actually #74 (we neglected to change the issue number), and Issue #74, published 8/27, was actually #75, so you didn't miss any issues. We apologize for the confusion.

GO ONLINE: US Open Results Po sted
By Roy Laird, webmaster
       How did you do in this year's US Open? How did your opponents fare? How about your friends? Now you can find out instantly online: the official tiebreak listing of the results of every game played by all 379 players in this year's US Open at the US Go Congress are posted at along with a wealth of other information.
       If you attended the US Open, or have ever played in a major tournament, you've probably se en these charts hanging on the wall in the later rounds; here's what the terms and numbers mean:
- Start Band: The US Open uses the McMahon system, which involves seeding players into various bands based on their playing strength. Top players go in the 0 band, then come the -1 players and so on down the line, like golf handicaps. "Band" is the player's final "score." Win a game, add a point. No one went undefeated -- a common feature of McMahon-style tou rnaments -- but four players won five of their six games. They are players #1 through #4 on the "Results" page, each with a final "Band" score of 5. Next, "Wins/Losses" explains the player's final "Band" score. "Ent Rat" tells the player's ratings at th e tart of the tournament; "Op Rat" tells the average start ratings of that player's opponents.
- SoS & SoDoS: "SoS" is Sum of Scores and "SoDoS" is Sum of Defeated Opponents' Scores. We mentioned that four players finished with identic al records, 5-1, splitting the prize money evenly for places 1 through 4. But there's only one championship trophy, one chance to play for the US in the World Amateur Go Championship next year, so who wins? In most tournaments, including the US Open, the preferred method is to add up the scores of each player's opponents or SoS. The thinking is, the person who faced the toughest field, measured by the fact that those players won more of their games, deserves top honors. As yo u can see, places 1 through 4 were determined in this way.
       What if both players have identical SoS scores? For example, I-Han Lui, who finished at 14, and Jing In Jeong, at 15, both have SoS scores of 185. The usual second-tier tie-break method is a face to face result. Intuitively, this seems like the best way to break a tie. Logically, however, it doesn't work, especially when more than two people are tied. For example, Xue-fen Lin, the US Open winner, was defeated by #3, Yongfei Ge, in the final round. However, Ms. Lin had previously defeated #2 and #4, the only other 5-1s in the top band. Ge, on the other hand, had lost to #18, who finished with a 3-3 record. Taking their whole performance into account , it is clear that Ms. Lin performed faced a tougher road to victory.
       Going back to Lui and Jeong, #14 and #15, it turns out they don't have a face-to-face result anyway. There is still another way to break the tie -- add up the scores of the players who each of them defeated, omitting the scores of the players who beat them. That's the SoDos score. In this case, it gives us a clear way to say that Lui faced a tougher field than Jeong, and so deserves a higher finishing rank.
- ID #s: The last field on the right, gives the player ID numbers of each player's opponents. Victories appear to the left, defeats to the right. Have a look -- you probably know someone who's on the list!


September 10-11: San Francisco, CA
Dote Sensei Memorial Tournament
Steve Burrall

September 10: Broomfield, CO
Summer Rocky Mountain Go Tournament
Ulo Tamm 303-466-2865

September 10: Chicago, IL
"The Truth Is Out There"
Bob Barber 773-467-0423

September 17: Durham, NC
5th Annual Triangle M emorial Marathon Go Tournament
Paul Celmer 919-854-9222 ext. 1120

September 17: Livermore, CA
Vintage Go Event
Stephen C. Herrick 925-423-7458

September 18: Somerville, MA
MGA Even Tournam ent
Zack Grossbart 617-497-1232

September 24: Germantown, MD
Moon Cha Memorial
Yuan Zhou 301-528-7259
Note: Pre-registration is REQUIRED (Space is limited); Deadline: 9/17/05.

September 25: Hoboken, NJ
Hoboken Fall Ratings Tournament
Larry Russ 201-216-5379

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