News from the American Go Association

September 30, 2005
Volume 5, #85

In This Issue:
LATEST GO NEWS: Lefler Memorial Tourney Set; AGA Membership Down Again; Old New York; Korea Off To A Good Start In Samsung; Ge Bei Wins Milton Keynes; Hikarunix 0.4 Released
GAME COMMENTARY: Something for Everyone
GO REVIEW: 100 Challenging Problems
MY CORNER: A Full Fall
ATTACHED FILES: 2005.09.30 Challenge, MacIntyre, Waldron Commentary; 2005.09.30 Pandanet Euro Pop-Burzo; 2005.09.30 McGuigan Series #3


LEFLER MEMORIAL TOURNEY SET: The First Annual Greg Lefler Memorial Go Tournament has been sc heduled for October 22 in Rochester, NY, reports local organizer Christopher Sira. Organized in memory of Rochester go organizer Greg Lefler, who died in August, the 3-round tournament will be held on the campus of the Rochester Institute of Technology. Details at or call 201-230-2383 or email

AGA MEMBERSHIP DOWN AGAIN: Membership in the American Go Association declined for the second straight month in September, dropping 62 to 2,072. Full members, Sponsors and Limited members all showed losses, while Sustainers, Life Members, Chapters and Youth were up, though as Database Manager Sam Zimmerman notes, "The number of youth memberships listed in this month's report reflects the change of the maximum youth membership age from 17 to 22."

OLD NEW YORK: "I'm trying to reconstruct the history of the old NY Go Club," writes Milton Bradley, "but lack some exact dates." Some of the info Bradley's looking for includes: when the NYGC moved downstairs from the Marshall Chess Club, what dates the club was at the old Nippon Club on W96 Street, where the club went after that, and when the current NY Go Center was founded. Anyone with info on the club can reach Bradley at

KOREA OFF TO A GOOD START IN SAMSUNG: The Korean players as a group did well in the first September 28 round of the international Samsung Cup. Details on Monday.

GE BEI WINS MILTON KEYNES: Sixty-five players showed up for the 17th Milton Keynes tournament in Great Britain. Ge Bei 3d won. Details on Monday.

HIKARUNIX 0.4 RELEASED: The latest version of Hikarunix 0.4: Go on the Go includes updated versions of Kogo's Joseki, GNUGo, CGoban, GoGrinder, PANDA-glGo and more. Also included are over 9,300 go problems (3400 more than 0.3) and over 8,500 Game records (2600 more than 0.3). Check out screenshots at  or download now at  Look for a review in the EJ soon.

GAME COMMENTARY: Something for Everyone
       With something for everyone, today's game commentaries range from a double-digit kyu game to a top-level amateur game plus the latest installment of Haruyama's Questions from Actual Play.
       The kyu game features 16k Terry MacIntyre, one of the participants in the E-Journal's 2006 Shodan Challenge. Terry is going for 10k in the Challenge, a goal aided by Philip Waldron 6d's thorough commentary.
       In our dan game, two of Europe's top amateurs, Cristian Pop 7d and Cornel Burzo 6d (both of Romania), battle it o ut in Round 6 of the recent Pandanet European Toyota Tour, held September 3, in Brno, Czech Republic. Burzo provides the commentary.
       Today's installment of "Haruyama's Questions from Actual Play" is the third of a new series of studies brought to us by Robert McGuigan in translation from "Jissen ni tsuyoku naru 80 dai (80 questions for getting strong at real play)" by Haruyama Isamu 9P, the author of Basic Techniques of Go.

GO REVIEW: 100 Challenging Problems
Reviewed by Philip Waldron 6d
       Common wisdom holds that one of the best ways to get stronger at go is to study problems. Opinion differs on whether to study easier or more difficult problems, but those players looking for a mental workout may want to acquire a copy of "100 Challenging Go Problems for 100 Days of Study." Problems are divided into eight chapters, each devoted to a different topic such as sabaki, reading, the endgame and perception.
       The most important word in the title of this book is "Challenging"; these problems are tough. Each one appeared in the Japanese go magazine Kido, and the original readers were invited to mail in their solutions for grading. The English translation gives the fraction of the original respondents who provided a correct solution. In most cases, only about one player in five successfully solved the positions, although success rates as low as 2% can be found. One problem was taken from a professional title game, and it is some comfort that the pro also got it wrong during play!
       While individually each problem is very good, I found that with only a dozen problems per chapter there is little chance to build up momentum on any gi ven topic. No sooner do we begin the sabaki puzzles, for example, than the reading challenges appear. The problems in this book are also unusual enough that studying them really is for its own sake. Unlike studying basic life-and-death, for example, readers will not find the positions appearing later in their own games.
       Ultimately "100 Challenging Go Problems for 100 Days of Study" is exactly as advertised. There are one hundred problems, and they are challenging. While this doesn't stand out as a much-have title, it is worth going through, and I would recommend it as a general interest book for strong-kyu and dan players.

MY CORNER: A Full Fall
by Mike Lash, AGA President
        After a summer break including the Congress, I'm glad to be back. The 2005 Congress set plenty of records, most of which have already been report ed in the E-Journal. Broadcasting top board games live on the internet was a real breakthrough and set a new standard for AGA tournament support and coverage. Overall, it was a great Congress and a perfect springboard for 2006 in North Carolina. Thanks to Tacoma Congress Director Steve Stringfellow and his all-star crew for a job well-done.
        In new business, there is much happening on the tournament scene both here and overseas. The AGA is very pleased to be sending three teams into international competition in Asia next month. The team going to Korea includes Ron Snyder, Michael Chen and Lionel Zhang. The China group includes Thomas Hsiang, Jack Shih, Ned Phipps, Gordon Castanza, Kevin Cha, Steve Wu, Jon Hartsel and myself. Both events occur during the week of October 24 and I plan to send reports back during the week.
        Our top priorities for coming year include setting up a training course on how to be a tournament director, a program I hope to have up and running no later than early 2006. In addition, we continue to make progress on major tournament rules, formats and scheduling. It is anticipated that the next Masters tournament will be held completely outside of the annual Congress, with the final 3-game match held at a
local tournament in the spring. Stay tuned for details.
        With the second season of the Chapter League underway, it's time to get your teams together! We had a good start last year, improved the rules this year and with a ready-made league infrastructure in place all we need now is for you to sign up!
        Pair Go events are beginning to spring up and I encourage everyone to start arranging such events, regardless of whether you have an equal balance of men and women in your clubs. For now, the key is to get more people play ing Pair Go events to get used to the format and the fun! The Congress this year had a huge Pair Go turn out and this will certainly continue in the future.
        Finally, at its most recent meeting last Sunday, the Board confirmed my nomination of Chris Kirschner as the Executive Vice President, one of the new positions created in the By-Laws amendments recently approved by the membership. I am very grateful to the Board for its support, as this is a major appointment in strengthening AGA administration. Chris is an experienced, reliable AGA veteran with plenty of time available for AGA business, and I am very pleased to work with him. Chris will also hold the position of VP for Operations and Administration and will work closely with me on many of the above priorities and daily business issues of keeping the AGA running.
        We still have opportunities in areas of membership ser vices support, archives, policy and governance and others. Please contact me if you are interested in finding out how you can help.



STUDENTS WANTED: Luke Chung Canadian 6d is offering go lessons on KGS.

STUDENTS WANTED: Cornel Burzo 8d is teaching online both on IGS and KGS and accepts PayPal or Bank of America
payments as well, for details email or see

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