News from the American Go Association

November 7, 2005
Volume 5, #97

THE TRAVELING BOARD: Rare Go Treasures in Nara

KOBAYASHI SATORU FORCES GAME 7 IN MEIJIN: In a remarkable show of standing up to maximum pressure, Kobayashi Satoru 9P has managed to win three games in a row after losing the first three games in his title match with Cho U 9P, the current title holder. Now it all comes down to the deciding seventh game, scheduled for November 9th and 10th. Kobayashi won the three games by a total of five and a half points, taking the third by only a half point. You can download the game records from the site.

YAMASHITA CHALLENGES FOR KISEI AND OZA: Yamashita Keigo 9P is the current challenger for both the Kisei and the Oza titles in Japan. He lost the first game in the Oza match against current title holder Cho U 9P, but in the process of becoming the challenger for the Oza, he defeated the current Kisei, Hane Naoki 9P. Now he will also be playing a title match against Hane for the Kisei, having defeated Yuki Satoshi 9P in the playoff game from the tournament to determine the Kisei challenger. Yamashita won the Kisei in 2003, but lost the title to Hane in 2004. He currently holds the Tengen title, having taken it from Hane in 2004.

CHINESE 16-YEAR-OLD SWEEPING JEONGGANJANG CUP: Wang Xaingyun 1P, whose sixteenth birthday is today, has won all four games of the first stage of the Jeongganjang Cup, defeating two members of each of the other teams. The Jeongganjang Cup is a women's international competition between five-member teams from Korea, China, and Japan. Wang Xaingyun was still an amateur two months ago, having only recently achieved pro status by winning the National Women's Individual Championship. You can see several pictures of her at  The Japanese team lost Shinkai Hiroko 5P and Mannami Kana 3P, while the Koreans lost Kim Eunsun 2P and Lee Daehyeoi 3P. The best known players still available are Rui Naiwei 9P for China, Park Jieun 6P for Korea, and Chinen Kaori 4P for Japan , all three of whom have won several national titles. The next stage will be in Pusan, Korea in December. You can download the game records at

REDMOND WINS ANOTHER: Michael Redmond 9P, the Californian who is a member of the Nihon Kiin, recently defeated Shuto Shun 4P by a half-point, in the preliminary rounds of the 31st Kisei.
NEW SEATTLE YOUTH CLUB HAS SEASONED PLAYERS: The Hamilton International Middle School has a new student club - the Go Club. The Seattle public school isn't starting from scratch, though; most of the students have played go in grade school, at John Stanford or Kimball Elementary. Some students also have been regulars at the Tuesday Children's Night at the Seattle Go Center. Three players went to the West Coast Go Camp, and three went to the Tacoma Go Congress. Two of the players are about 6 kyu, and improving rapidly, making them both contenders for Shodan before entering high school.
- reported by Brian Allen

SYRACUSE GO CLUB REACHES OUT: The Syracuse Go Club has been giving a series of presentations on go at public libraries in the Central New York area since last December, reports local organizer Anton Ninno. "This week will be our fourth library program," Ninno tells the EJ. "We don't expect large turnouts for a largely unfamiliar topic like go, but we do our best to promote the game, our club, and the AGA. As we tell our members when recruiting volunteers to help teach the basics of the game after the main presentation, even if our audience is small, we have a chance to create a new go player. We may even recruit a new member for the club. And even if no one shows up at all, we have we still have the opportunity to squeeze in an extra evening of go by playing amongst ourselves. It's a win-win!"

CHALLENGERS REAP BENEFITS: With the December 1 deadline for the 2006 Shodan Challenge looming, benefits are piling up. All Challengers are eligible for a free copy of SmartGo software, with the winner to be chosen randomly on 11/30. PLUS: Jon Boley 6d will play online simuls with 12 lucky Challengers on several upcoming Saturdays. Open to players of all strengths, the Challenge now has more than 30 participants in 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

YEARBOOK X2: Sign up now to get the forthcoming 2005 American Go Yearbook and get a free copy of the 2004 Yearbook! The annual Yearbook, now in production, features the best of the weekly E-Journal: games, reviews, columns, reports, photos and more (including original material produced especially for the Yearbook!). The Yearbook also includes a CD with every game and article published in the E-Journal, organized in an easily accessible and searchable format. This offer applies to new or renewing Full memberships, but you must join or renew no later than November 30 to receive the free 2004 Yearbook. Make an efficient move: get two years worth of great go material for the price of one! Join now at

COMING UP FRIDAY: Peter Nassar visits with Kazunari Firuyama at Ben's Cafe in Tokyo. PLUS: Roy Laird on GoSuite For Pocket PC and Smartphone and all the latest go news!

THE TRAVELING BOARD: Rare Go Treasures in Nara
by Peter Schumer 3k
        Time is running out to catch a once-in-a-lifetime glimpse at the most beautiful go equipment imaginable at the Nara National Museum's 57th annual exhibit of Treasures from the Shoso-in, which runs through November 14 in Nara, Japan. The Nara National Museum is one of four national museums in Japan and its exhibits of Buddhist sculptures and other art from the Nara period (710 - 784 C.E.) are wonderful in their own right, but these particular items are of special interest to go players and may not be on display again for hundreds of years.
        For two weeks each autumn, the museum displays a miniscule fraction of its most special holdings chosen from among nearly 10,000 priceless items held in a special vault known as the Shoso-in Treasure House. The treasures there were all donated to the Todai-ji Temple of Nara in the year 756 by Empress Komyo (at the time recently widowed from Emperor Shomu). The artifacts come from ancient Japan, Tang era China, and even some items from India and Persia.
        On opening day a few weeks ago, my students and I braved a pouring rain to stand in line with hundreds of Japanese art and go enthusiasts just to catch a glimpse of this special exhibit. Included are a red sandalwood go board with tortoise -shaped drawers. Along the sides of the board are pictures of a man leading a camel and another man hunting some exotic creatures. The playing surface is lined in ivory with a 19x19 grid, but there are actually 17 handicap stones (the number of handicap stones I currently give my beginning students in our games). There's also a splendid goban box which snugly holds the board itself. The go board box has a hexagonal or turtle shell pattern and is covered with deer horn. It also has a gold and silver pattern plated within the turtle shell pattern.
        In addition to the board, there are two wonderful sets of go stones on display. One set is made of ivory painted red and navy blue. On each stone, a bird is carefully hand-edged into the ivory. The Shoso-in has 132 such red go stones and 120 navy go stones; they believe that at some point during the past 1250 years, a feudal warlord may have taken some of the stones. The go stones in the other set are quite small and made of white quartz and black serpentine. Finally, there is a pair of black circular wooden go stone holders, featuring a screw-top design - not exactly what we would usually think of as go bowls. The wood is incised with silver designs of a long-tailed silver bird holding leaves in its beak.
        It's a great exhibit and anyone in the neighborhood should get over there quickly; it's worth the trip!
        Schumer is teaching in Japan; check the AGA website at for a photo of him outside the museum (no photos were permitted inside). Email him at


November 12: Syracuse, NY
Syracuse Fall Ratings Tournament
Richard Moseson 315-682-7720

November 12: Cleveland, OH
Case Western Reserve University Fall Tournament
Paul Jacobs 216-402-3071

November 12-13: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Sabaki Go Championship 2005
Luke Chung

November 19-20: College Park, MD
17th Mid-Atlantic Regional Go Championship
Steve Mount 301-405-6934

December 3: Hartford, CT
CCC Winter Tournament
Bill Fung 860-648-1527

December 3: Piscataway NJ
Feng Yun Go School monthly AGA rated game
Feng Yun 973-992-5675

December 3: Chicago, IL
Heart Transplant of Darkness
Bob Barber 773-467-0423

December 4: Philadelphia, PA
Philadelphia Fall Open
Peter Nassar 215-898-6271
Matt Bengtson 215-704-4600

Published by the American Go Association
Managing Editor: Chris Garlock
Assistant Editor: Bill Cobb

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