News from the American Go Association

October 7, 2005
Volume 5, #87

In This Issue:
LATEST GO NEWS: Liu Tops In Hoboken; Chapter League Extends Registration; Holiday Bonus; Three-Way Tie In Euro Women's Championship; Macfadyen Wins British Championship; Coming Up Monday; Syracuse Library Invests In Go; Beat The Rate Increase; Knowles Wins Alert Reader; Weekend Go Action
GAME COMMENTARY: Four for the Weekend
GO REVIEW: Bob Barber's Top 10 Go Books
ATTACHED FILES: 2005.10.07 Challenge, Huber-Tiger796, Yang; 2005.10.07 Challenge, Tamsin-Davis, Chung; 2005.10.07 Challenge, Gionfriddo-Saul, Chung; 2005.10.07 Challenge, gwm-Fung, Feng Yun


LIU TOPS IN HOBOKEN: Andy Liu won the September 25 Hoboken Fall Ratings tournament; details Monday!

CHAPTER LEAGUE EXTENDS REGISTRATION: The AGA Chapter League has extended the time for receiving team rosters, reports organizer Bill Saltman. "The entire month of October will be available for renewing as well as new teams," says Saltman. To sign up or renew, go to and follow the links. "In fact, teams can sign up anytime, but in order to get in enough games to qualify for prizes, the earlier the better."

HOLIDAY BONUS: To help you make it through the 3-day Columbus Day weekend, we're pleased to bring you a whopping four game commentaries in today's Member's Edition of the American Go E-Journal, all featuring participants in the 2006 Shodan Challenge. Open to players of all strengths, the Challenge now has five Divisions: the 20-kyu Challenge, for beginners; the 10-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. For more details on how to qualify for the Challenge, email us today at

THREE-WAY TIE IN EURO WOMEN'S CHAMPIONSHIP: The European Women's Goe Championship, which had not been held in years, ended in a three-way tie between Rita Pocsai 4d of Hungary, Zhao Pei 6d of Germany, and Svetlana Shikshina 1P of Russia. Details Monday.

MACFADYEN WINS BRITISH CHAMPIONSHIP: Matthew Macfadyen 6d of Leamington has won the British Championship for the ninth straight time. Details on Monday.

COMING UP MONDAY: "I would like to address one of my pet peeves in the go world: handicap games," writes Philip Waldron 6d. Find out why in Monday's edition, where you'll also meet more 2006 Shodan Challengers and find out about a great opportunity for Challengers.

SYRACUSE LIBRARY INVESTS IN GO: Richard Moseson of the Syracuse Go Club reports that the downtown branch of the public library in Syracuse, NY has decided to establish a collection of go titles and has just ordered 23 different instructional go books. "This happened out of the blue," Moseson writes, "and the librarian who contacted me for recommendations said she expects to be able to order some more titles next year. We'll have ourselves quite a selection, both for beginners and more experienced players." He added that because the library didn't order any of the Hikaru no Go manga, the Syracuse Go Club plans to donate the first five volumes to the library. "We figure the manga will get some people interested in the rest of the new collection, and hopefully some of them will come check out our weekly club too."

BEAT THE RATE INCREASE: "At the last AGA Assembly meeting in Tacoma (WA) there was a lot of talk about AGA membership and membership drives," writes Terry Benson, "but it's always seemed so simple to me: the chapters and club organizers have to recruit members. The limited membership -- now $10 but soon to be $15 -- was designed to make it possible for clubs to make everyone in the club an AGA member. Collect a dollar every meeting and in a few months send it in. At 20 or 30 cents a week being a member is very cheap. Then club members can play rated games at any time, the club 'ladder' tournament or ongoing events can be rated and everyone can play in a club tournament or any nearby AGA event. All the club members would get ratings and rating updates and - most important - everyone would be supporting go. If all the regular members of all the chapters and clubs became at least limited members we'd double AGA membership. Have a last minute Limited membership drive in your club before the rate goes up! 3,000 members, here we come!"

KNOWLES WINS ALERT READER: Kenn Knowles of Santa Cruz, CA is this week's Alert Reader winner, winning a $10 go vendor gift certificates for spotting our most recent Alert hidden in a game commentary. Winners are drawn at random from those who correctly report the Alerts. Keep a sharp eye out in ALL our game attachments; you could be a winner too!

WEEKEND GO ACTION: Round Top (NY), New York City & Somerville, MA
- October 7-10: Round Top, NY
2005 Columbus day workshop with Guo Juan
Jean-Claude Chetrit 718-638-2266
- October 8th: New York, NY
New York Go club Tournament
Boris Bernadsky
- October 9: Somerville, MA
MGA Fall Handicap Tournament
Zack Grossbart 617-497-1232

GAME COMMENTARY: Four for the Weekend
       Today's game commentaries feature four of the 2006 Shodan Challengers, ranging in strength from Jonathan Huber 9k to Ian Davis 5k on up to Sal Gionfriddo 1d and Terry Fung 3d. In addition to Yilun Yang 7P who provides his usual comprehensive and tough commentary on the Huber- Tiger796 game and Feng Yun 9P who reviews the Fung-gwm game, we're very pleased to welcome Luke Chung, a Canadian 6d who provides useful insights into both the Tamsin-Davis and Gionfriddo-saul games. Enjoy!

GO REVIEW: Bob Barber's Top 10 Go Books
by Bob Barber 1d
       I've been playing and studying go since 1982. During that time, my go library has grown to over 80 books, and I cycle through them year after year, partly in the hope of improving, and partly because studying go soothes me. The ten books which I've found most useful are listed below. The emphasis on fuseki is my personal preference; if I come out ahead in the opening, at least I get to feel good for a while. As Bobby Fischer said, "I like to see 'em squirm."
- IN THE BEGINNING (Ishigure): Clearly explains the meaning of the various first moves in the corner. Demonstrates the value of moves in front of shimari, etc. Introduces nine basic concepts, and concludes with 10 problems.
- OPENING THEORY MADE EASY (Otake): Subtitled "20 Strategic Principles to Improve Your Opening Game," if I consistently followed these principles, I'd have a killer opening.
- DICTIONARY OF BASIC JOSEKI (Ishida): Many counsel against studying joseki; James Kerwin suggests studying the one you've just been stung by. I have memorized about 100 pages of these books. Sometimes I get a good position, sometimes I get stung.
- GRADED GO PROBLEMS FOR BEGINNERS (Kano): Takes you all the way from What is an atari? to quite complex life and death problems.
- FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES OF GO (Yang): Clearly lays out Mr. Yang's theory of priority of moves in the opening. Invaluable discussion of pincers. Comparison of invasion and reduction. A necessary book.
- UNDERSTANDING HOW TO PLAY GO & HOW TO PLAY HANDICAP GO (Zhou): These two books show how actual games developed and what one should think about, especially in the opening. Also covers how to play White in handicap go, and how to avoid trouble as Black. Great books.
- 501 OPENING PROBLEMS (Bozulich): What to think about during the opening: Is there an urgent move? Is there a big move? Is there a big moyo? Hundreds of examples drill these basic and important questions into the student's mind.
- MAKING GOOD SHAPE (Zeijst/Bozulich): In the same series, this book repeatedly demonstrates good shape moves, and shows what will happen if you make the move you and I normally make.
- WHOLE BOARD THINKING IN JOSEKI, VOLS 1 & 2 (Yang/Straus): Finally, these books go One Step Beyond. Once you know some joseki (Yang: "Even though there are approximately 20,000 of these sequences, the most frequent only number about 300. Learning these fundamental variations is not unduly burdensome and is essential for advancing as well as for enjoying go."), these books teach you to ask which one is correct in this very specific situation. These are the books which will take you to the next higher level.
       What's your Go Top 10? Which books, software, teachers or other go instructional material have helped you the most? Send in your Top 10 list - along with brief explanations - and we'll publish the best and most interesting! Send them to us at


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FOR SALE: Ishi Press 7mm glass stones & plastic bowls, $15; Japanese 6mm
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Managing Editor: Chris Garlock
Assistant Editor: Bill Cobb

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