News from the American Go Association

December 26, 2005
Volume 5, #111

ATTACHED FILES: 2005.12.26 Lee-Minjin Chinen-Kaori; 2005.12.26 Challenge, azazil-Britt, Chung; 2005.12.26 Challenge, Castanza-Hiroheatho, Hung; 2005.12.26 Challenge, DiMattia-Stoneham, Hung; 2005.12.26 Challenge, Gonnella-Moseson, Chung; 2005.12.26 Challenge, Larson-James, Cushing

HOLIDAY BONUS EDITION: In the giving spirit of the holidays, we're offering a stocking-stuffer of six game commentaries with today's E-Journal. Our pro game, just played on December 20, is Game 7 of the ongoing Jeongganjang Cup and features two top women players, Chinen Kaori 4P and Lee Minjin 4P (see "Teenager Finally Defeated In Women's Team Match" below for details). The other five games are from some of our record batch of fifty 2006 Shodan Challengers: Phil Britt 6k, Richard Moseson 6k, Jim Gonnella 7k, Gordon Castanza 19k, Vincent DiMattia 19k and Steven Larson 29k. Terrific commentary is provided by Chung Luke 6d, Joey Hung 8d and newcomer William Cushing 1d; we're sure you'll find their comments instructive, helpful and entertaining. Enjoy! To receive commentaries like these each and every week, sign up now for the Friday Member's Edition at

ERIC LUI TOPS NOVA WINTER WARMER: Eric Lui 7d took top honors in the December 17 NoVa Winter Warmer with a 4-0 score. "At a quarter to nine, fifteen minutes before the official starting time, I sat alone in the tournament room wondering whether I had come on the wrong weekend," reports organizer Allan Abramson. "Then Max Peterson came with the sets, and others began filtering in: the problem was heavy traffic on the major highways around Washington, DC." Thirty-eight turned out for the Winter Warmer. "Prizes included a stuffed snow man, a Santa in a sleigh, a package of tea, a sake set, and the usual assortment of old movies, old music, and gadgets," says Abramson. Complete winner's report:
        First-place winners with perfect 4-0 scores: Eric Lui 7d, James Wu 6k, John Porvaznik 27k. First-place winners with 3-1: Evan Johnson 3d, Ching-Sung Chin 7k, Tianren Tan 15k, Kevin Chin 18k. Second places with 3-1: Xinmu Tan 4d, Brian Kleiner 4d, Bob Bacon 11k, Kabe Chin 12k, Vi Cao 24k. Second places with 2 wins (in the holiday spirit, no tie-breakers were used): Scott Waldron 2d, Wei Mao 2k, Max Peterson 2k, Sam Zimmerman 2k, Bill Cobb 5k, Alpha Chen 8k, Samantha Fede 17k, Jon Hilt 18k.
JEFFERSON HIGH TAKES ALL-IOWA CUP: Fielding four players from Cedar Rapids, the Jefferson High School Go Club won the first competition for the All-Iowa Go Tournament Cup. The December 18 event was hosted by the Fairfield Go Club at The Java House in downtown Iowa City. Eleven players registered in the first-ever tournament, while several others came for pickup games. Jim Ehrhardt 1d from Iowa City did not compete in the tournament, but played teaching games with all comers, reports organizer and TD Duncan H. Brown. "This is the largest assemblage of go clubs I've ever seen in Iowa," said Ehrhardt, who had previously only been aware of the Iowa City chapter and the old Ames chapter. "Go is off and running again in Iowa," says Brown. "Des Moines's Brigid Strait is talking about hosting the next tournament there. The two Iowa clubs that have held recent tournaments so far (Jefferson High Sc hool Go Club, Cedar Rapids and the Fairfield Go Club) have offered their support, assistance and advice to help it to be a success." Winner's report:
        The Jefferson High School Go Club (4 players, Cedar Rapids) won the first competition for the All-Iowa Go Tournament Cup with 8 points. The Des Moines Go Club (4 players) and the Fairfield Go Club (3 players) were tied at 6 points, while the Waterloo Go Club (1 player) garnered four points.
        Jacob Uptain 10k (Jefferson High School Go Club) won division I (17 kyu and lower) with 3 wins and 1 loss. Will Shirey 17k (Waterloo) won Division II (18 kyu and higher) with 4 victories. Duncan H. Brown 12k (Fairfield Go Club) placed second in Division I (2 wins, 1 bye, 1 loss), while Ryan Unash 16k (Jefferson High School Go Club) placed second in Division II (3 wins, 1 loss). Prizes for the two top finishers in each division were a selection of go books provided by Slate & Shell.
        Uptain, who also assisted with pairing and scoring, got interested in go through Hikaru No Go, studied Korshelt's book on go and then started a go club at his high school that currently has six members. He ran a tournament in Cedar Rapids in November, which encouraged the Fairfield Go Club to become an AGA chapter and to host the first All-Iowa tourney. Ten-year-old Will Shirey, winner of Division II, is a third grader in Waterloo who's started a go club with six players in his elementary school, and hopes they can become an AGA chapter, reports Brown. "When he got home from the tournament he started counting his quarters: he's saving up right now to buy a full-sized board and stones. He learned about go through the Japanese Anime series Hikaru No Go." For photos of the tournament, go to

FENG YUN WORKSHOP/TOURNEY SET FOR HOLIDAY WEEK: Wondering what to do with the kids during this week's winter break? Feng Yun 9P's special workshop for children could be just the ticket! Her three-day program runs 12/26-28 at the Ramada Hotel in Pocono, PA, starting at noon on the 26th and wrapping up at 5P on the 28th. There will also be a 2-round tournament Tuesday night open to participants and drop-ins. Info/registration at or email

OZA DISCOUNTS EXTENDED: The Fiesta Henderson, site of the upcoming Las Vegas Oza tournament, has extended the Oza discount through January 14. The event is being held simultaneously in New York City at The Hotel Pennsylvania and is expected to be one of the biggest of 2006. Info/registration:

SMARTGO HOLIDAY SPECIAL: For a limited time, SmartGo:Combo is available to E-Journal readers at the discounted price of $69 (regularly $84). "If your New Year's resolution is to become stronger, get a head start with the best go software," says SmartGo's Anders Kierulf. "With more than 30000 professional games, you can study the masters and explore joseki and fuseki in the context of your own games." The deal includes a free upgrade to the forthcoming SmartGo version 2, with new features such as an integrated IGS client and more games. Offer lasts only until January 1, 2006. Enter ejournal as your coupon to get the discount at:

RUSSIANS PIONEER NEW TOURNEY SYSTEM: The first Russian Go & Strategy Championship was held on Saturday, December 17 in Moscow. The Championship employed a new system in which five separate tournaments were held in one room, reports Alexandre Dinerchstein 1P. "With a small number of players, this system is much better than the usual McMahon," says Dinerchstein. Each participant played from 1 to 3 games against opponents of about the same strength, instead of the handicaps found in McMahon. The Russian Pro Championship pitted two players, a pro 1d against an amateur 6d, with a prize fund of $1500. In the Russian Amateur Championship, eight players from 2d to 6d played with short time controls for a $1500 prize. The Go Teachers Championship included four players from 1d to 3d and a $1500 prize. In the Russian Women's Championship, two kyu players competed for $1000 in prizes. Finally, two players participated in the Strategist's Room, for the Russian business, with an unknown prize fund. The action took place in a banquet room in Moscow Chinese restaurant, beginning at noon, running until 11P and including lunch and a dinner banquet. Dinerchstein's game in the Russian Pro Championship was broadcast on KGS and is included, with his commentaries. You can see photos of the event at

KONO WINS TENGEN: The Tengen, which has a best-of-five finals match, is one of the top seven titles in Japan. In its 31st edition, Kono Rin 7P was the challenger against title holder Yamashita Keigo 9P. Yamashita has had a distinguished career so far, winning the Kisei in 2003 and the Tengen in 2004. He also won the New Pro Championship four years in a row in the late '90s. For Kono, on the other hand, who is only three years younger (both are in their twenties), this was his first shot at a title--and he won! It was a hard fought battle. Yamashita took the first game by 6.5 points, but Kono came back to win the second by 5.5 points. Then Kono went ahead by winning the third game by resignation, and Yamashita evened the score by taking the fourth by resignation. In the final game, Kono had White and won by 4.5 points to become the Tengen title holder, winning about $125,000 US. Kono has been a pro only since 1996. He is a student of Kobayashi K oichi 9P.
TEENAGER FINALLY DEFEATED IN WOMEN'S TEAM MATCH: Wang Xiangyun 1P of China, who had just turned 16, dominated the first round of the 4th Jeongganjang Cup, an international women's team match with five member teams from Japan, China, and Korea. She won all four games in the first round, defeating two of the Japanese team and two of the Koreans, winning the first three by a total of 10.5 points. In the second round in Seoul, Korea, she also won the first game, defeating Osawa Narumi 3P of Japan by resignation. However, she finally met her match in Lee Minjin 4P of Korea, losing by resignation. Lee in turn was defeated by Japan's Chinen Kaori 4P, but only by a half point. Chinen then went on to defeat Fan Weijing 1P of China by resignation. So each of the teams is down to three members now, with two more games in the second round. Chinen's defeat of Fan featured the uncommon di agonal opening. We have attached an SGF file of the game for your enjoyment, courtesy of the site.
KO GEUNTAE WINS KOREAN CHUNWON: Ko Geuntae 3P has defeated Park Jeonggeun 1P to take the 10th Chunwon title in Korea. It was a close battle between two players, neither of whom had ever won a title. Ko won the first two games of the best-of-five finals by a half point each, first with Black and then with White. Park then came back to take the third game by 2.5 points, but Ko triumphed by resignation in the fourth game to take the title. On his way to the finals, Ko also defeated both Lee Sedol 9P and Cho Hunhyun 9P, two of the most successful Korean pros.

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