News from the American Go Association

December 9, 2005
Volume 5, #106

Princeton, NJ
GAME COMMENTARY: Dan Challengers
GO REVIEW: The Treasure Chest Enigma
ATTACHED FILE: 2005.12.09 Challenge, Cai-Cushing, Yang.sgf

ZHOU WINS IN CHI: Will Zhou 4D took top honors in the December 3 Chicago Winter Tournament in Chicago, IL. Full report in Monday's EJ.

11-YEAR-OLD RICKY ZHAO TOPS IN PHILLY: Eleven-year-old Zhongxia ("Ricky") Zhao of Cherry Hill, NJ went undefeated in all four of his games to win the grand prize of $200.00 in the December 4 Philadelphia Fall Open, co-hosted by the Philadelphia Baduk Association and the Penn Go Society. Details Monday.

VICTOR & VICTORIA LI VICTORIOUS IN PAIR GO TOURNEY: Victoria Li 18k and Victo r Li 14k won the Te wo Tsunaide Pair Go Tournament in Denver on December 3. Details Monday.

KONG AND ZHOU REACH FINALS OF CHANG-KI CUP: Kong Jie, who won last year's inaugural event, will face Zhou Heyang 9P in the Chang-Ki Cup in China. The Cup honors Ing Foundation founder Ing Chang-Ki. Details Monday.

KOBAYASHI WINS "STRONGEST WOMAN" IN JAPAN: Kobayashi Izumi 6P defeated Konishi Kazuko 8P to win the Japanese Strongest Woman Tournament. Details Monday.

OZA DISCOUNT DEADLINE LOOMS: Monday is the deadline for guaranteed reduced rates for lodging at the Fiesta Casino in Las Vegas for the Toyota/Denso North American Oza Tournament in January. "If you're planning to come, now is the time to sign up!" says organizer Ray Kukol. If you're thinking of comin g to either the Las Vegas or New York City events, but the room cost seems too high, you can use the "Roommate Exchange" program. Go to, click on New York or Las Vegas, and the "Want to share a room?" link. "If you don't see anyone there you'd like to share with, leave your info and we hope someone will contact you!" says New York organizer Roy Laird.

SYRACUSE CELEBRATES 3RD ANNIVERSARY: In just three years, the Syracuse Go Club has attracted nearly 200 people, held three tournaments, created and maintained a website, created student clubs at several local schools and become an AGA chapter, reports organizer Anton Ninno. The club's first meeting was held December 2, 2002. "Several of our members have volunteered to give presentations on go at public libraries around the Greater Syracuse area," Ninno tells the EJ. "We've put on weekday evening go programs at the Petit Library in Syracuse, the North Syracuse Library, the Baldwinsville Library, the Liverpool Library, and most recently, the Dewitt Library. Plans have just been confirmed for a program at the Fayetteville Free Library next March." A member who can't attend the club's Monday night meetings has arranged for go players to meet at the Liverpool Library on the third Saturday of each month. "We hope this new schedule will appeal to busy adult players, as well as to children and teens who are busy with homework on weeknights," says Ninno. "If you travel through Syracuse, come visit us any Monday night," Ninno adds. "The Market Cafe at Dewitt Wegmans has plenty of tables, a sushi bar, a Chinese buffet, and excellent coffee and tea selections. We'll introduce you to the group, make you feel comfortable, and insist that you win at least one game. We promise!" Find out more about the club at

THE WRITE STUFF: The E-Journal has several openings for columnists and reporters. We're looking for unique points of view on the world and game of go. We're especially interested in expanding our coverage of both domestic and foreign go events. For details on qualifications, please email us at

THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY: "A few months ago a Japanese friend told me that she thought there was an old go board somewhere at Daitokuji Temple in Kyoto." Peter Schumer on "The One That Got Away" in Monday's EJ.

EJ ARCHIVES UPDATED: Missed an issue? Check out back issues of the EJ online at  PLUS: keep up with the latest go news, photos and games at

- December 11: Princeton, NJ
Princeton Fall Self-Paired
Rick Mott 609-466-1602

GAME COMMENTARY: Dan Challengers
       In today's game commentary, Yilun Yang 7P takes a look at a handicap dan-level game between William Cushing 1d and Michael Cai 4d. Cushing, who lives in Tempe, AZ, is a participant in the 2006 E-Journal Challenge. The game was played in the 2005 Portland, OR, Go Tournament. The commentary is by Yilun Yang 7P, whose pointers should prove useful no matter which side of the handicap stones you find yourself on.

GO REVIEW: The Treasure Chest Enigma
by Nakayama Noriyuki
Reviewed by Jonathan Bresler 10k
      The collection of seven short stories that comprise the first part of this book are among the most priceless treasures of English-language go literature. Highlighting the life of young and aspiring professionals, these stories, written in a warm and enticing style, convey something of the Japanese go professional's regard for his art. Each of the stories focuses on a particular aspect of go, ranging from a life and death problem that becomes harder as you become a stronger player to one on the art of resignation. Each reading and rereading provides additional insights. Haiku by the renowned master Shodo contrasts with stories revealing another layer of meaning.
      Of these stories, my personal favorite is "The New Year's Eve Disciple", in which Nakayama starts a game against Suzuki Goro 6 dan professional on New Year's Eve, 1959. At 5 AM on January 1, 1960 , after eight hours of play, Suzuki drew Nakayama's attention from the board, said "Right!" and with that resigned the game. Traditionally, a disciple plays only two games against his master while training to enter the professional ranks, one at the beginning of his training and one at the end, either as a prize for promotion to the ranks of professionals or as a parting gift, indicating the time has come to select a different career path.
       Suzuki had recommended that Nakayama begin studying five years earlier, in 1954, but it was not until 1962, at nearly at the maximum allowed age, that Nakayama qualified as a professional. After rising rapidly to 3 dan, Nakayama continued to gain strength and rank, gaining another dan each decade from 1963 to 1993. He may be only professional to continue improving in such large steps over three decades. The hallmarks of Nakayama's go are the persistence and patience for the decade it took to reach professional, and the three decades since.
       The second section, consisting of three game commentaries, includes a mirror go game in which two ladders approaching from opposite corners collide after more than fifty moves. By move 129, its all over; Black has lost his initial advantage and the game, which must be perhaps the most bizarre on record. The third and final section contains 20 whole board problems, several of which focus on ladders. The problems give a whole new meaning to Kageyama's command to amateurs to practice reading ladders till they are immediately clear. Surely Kageyama did not mean to include these
      More than worthy of its name, The Treasure Chest Enigma holds a cherished place in the libraries of many English-speaking go players.
      Printed privately and available online at sources including Yutopian:

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Assistant Editor: Bill Cobb

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