News from the American Go Association

December 30, 2005
Volume 5, #112


GAME COMMENTARY: Learning from High-dan Amateurs
GO REVIEW: Five Hundred and One Tesuji Problems
MY CORNER: Looking Both Ways
ATTACHED FILES: 2005.12.30 Challenge, Smith-Fu, Yang; 2005.12.30 McGuigan Series #7

FRAGMAN & ENTIN TOP ISRAELI GO CONGRESS: Leonid Entin 4d and Amir Fragman 2d topped the Israeli Go Congress, held December 22-24 in Matnas Lev Afek, Israel. "The match-deciding game for the adults happened in the fifth round," reports organizer Shavit Fragman, "with a strong fighting game between Leonid Entin and Lian Yu from China, which ended with the smallest possible margin of half a point to Leonid." Entin was the Adult Champion and Amir Fragman was the Youth Champion. The second Congress drew record attendance, with participation from across Israel, as well as from US, Sweden and China. Organized by the Israeli Go Association and the Mind Go club, a chapter of the AGA. More details at

GUO UPSETS XIONG IN MID-ATLANTIC: Haiming Guo 6d upset second-place finisher and past champion Yupei Xiong 9d in the first round of the November 19-20 Mid-Atlantic Regional Go Championship and went on to win four more games to claim the 17th Mid-Atlantic championship.
New player Joo Young Park, went undefeated in the kyu section and Steve Barberi finished as the top kyu player by band. Other notable results were four-game winners Ed Hsu and Bob Bacon and new player Jia Wang who went undefeated for three rounds in her first AGA tournament. "The tournament got off to a bad start when everyone had to deal with football day parking, but was successful overall," reports organizer Steve Mount. The tournament was sponsored by the Greater Washington and University of Maryland Go Clubs.

DC CLUB UPDATE: The Greater Washington (DC) Go Club will meet as usual tonight, repo rts organizer Haskell Small. The club meets Fridays at 7:30P; for details go to Yuan Zhou 7d continues his monthly teaching sessions at the GWGC next week, January 6th at 8:30P; bring game records to participate ($5), or observe for free. "And," adds Small, "I am going to try a new idea for a new year, taking my lead from the NOVA club. On Friday, Jan 27th, we will open early, at 7P, for all who wish to join us for a dinner at the club. I will bring the food, BYO drinks. Of course, plenty of go. The catch?- I'll ask everyone present for their dues! (still dirt cheap at $15 for the year)." RSVP

SHONEN JUMP PREVIEW: The new issue of SHONEN JUMP, the manga monthly, features the latest installment in Janice Kim's "Getting Go" column. This issue, February 2006, she discusses some of t he younger international stars in Go. And in the Hikaru no Go manga, Hikaru continues his pursuits as an insei - even with the ghost of Sai by his side, he's finding the competition tougher than he'd expected. The issue hits newsstands January 3, 2006.

OZA WHO'S WHO: Check out who's coming to the upcoming Oza in New York City and Las Vegas January 14-15. Registration lists for both sites are up at and There is also a bulletin board at for people who would like to share a room. "For the reception in New Yorj, we have booked Meyer-Hagen recording artist Daisuk e Abe, a well-known jazz guitarist who will perform popular standards and his own composition, 'Go!' reports organizer Roy Laird. Check out Daisuke Abe - and listen to 'Go!' -- at his web site

RUI TAKES OVER IN WORLD WOMEN'S MATCH: Chinen Kaori 4P of Japan won three games in the international team match for women, but Rui Naiwei 9P put China back in charge. Details on Monday.

CHANGHO AND SEDOL FACE OFF IN KUKSU: The two Lees meet again in the finals of the challengers' tournament in the Kuksu in Korea. Details on Monday.

FINAL CHANCE FOR SMARTGO HOLIDAY SPECIAL: For a limited time, SmartGo:Combo is available to E-Journal readers at the discounted price of $69 (reg ularly $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 30,000 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:

GAME COMMENTARY: Learning from High-dan Amateurs
       If you think high-dan players know all the moves, today's game commentary will be especially instructive, as Yilun Yang 7P finds plenty of mistakes in recent Portland Go Tournament game between Shodan Challenger Ryan Smith 4d and Zhe Fu 3d.
       Our bonus file is the seventh installment of Haruyama Isamu 9P's "Questions from Actual Play," translated by Robert McGuigan.

GO REVIEW: Five Hundred and One Tesuji Problems
Mastering the Basics Vol. 4
By Richard Bozulich
Kiseido 292 pages $18
Reviewed by Peter Shotwell
       Weighing in at nearly 300 hefty pages, this book will surely make you stronger whether you read it or not, by just carrying it around. Perfect for subway reading because each problem is solvable (or not) in more or less an instant, it seems to be everything an upper kyu or lower dan player would want to know about perfecting the dark art of tesuji. For example, even if we know the wisdom of using a guzumi when someone burrows their way into our 4-4 corner formations, what is its proper use in the center of the board? Or, the w arikomi, which "in contrast to the hanekomi . . . is a wedge that has no allied stones adjacent to it, diagonally, horizontally, or vertically"? There isn't much else to be said about this book, except that it is simply another masterpiece from the fertile mind of Bozulich, who has probably done more than anyone else to bring Western go up to Eastern standards over the last three decades. Like its predecessor, Making Good Shape, it is another must-have book for basic players.

MY CORNER: Looking Both Ways
By Mike Lash, AGA President
       2005 comes to a close all too fast. What did the AGA do this year? Quite a lot: we reached all-time record numbers of chapters and members; recorded more AGA-rated games than ever before; sent a record number of people to events overseas; supported the largest Go Congress ever; saw its Ejournal reach new peaks in circulation; supported the creation of the AGA Internet Team League and made significant changes to the Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws, just to name a few accomplishments.
       What's next? The AGA already has a full agenda for the next twelve months. Continued efforts to increase full membership numbers permanently will be a priority. Finding additional sponsors to support and host tournaments, provide equipment for youth and education programs and develop other projects will be another major priority. We continue to work on the issue of advancing the status of professionals and strong players in the US. We are developing a Tournament Directors' training manual and course. And of course I keep seeking fresh volunteers to help make these initiatives reality. That's part of what the AGA will be doing in 2006.
  & nbsp;    Personally, I'd like to thank some people whose effort is essential to keeping the AGA running and making it worthwhile for its members. They make sure I have the information I need, support our members and chapters when they need it, and inform me about new ideas, bad ideas and forgotten ideas. No one person can effectively manage or operate the AGA. It is large and complex and our members have expectations for service that require many contributors and volunteers. Our Treasurer Ulo Tamm has the inglorious job of keeping the books straight and the President and Board informed on multiple financial issues. His firm resolve to do it right and on time is a source of strength and integrity that every successful organization needs. Chris Garlock's Ejournal continues to be a beacon attracting new members and providing more and better services to existing AGA members. He can take direct credit for bringing dozens of new members into the AGA with creati ve and resourceful incentives. Bill Cobb is also on the Ejournal staff but, even more important to me, he is the National Tournaments Coordinator. Bill has been instrumental in developing policies for several of our regular national tournaments and "creating order out of chaos" as he put it when he started. This is a work in progress that would not even be in motion if not for him. Chris Kirschner continues his career of volunteering for the AGA as the AGA's first appointed Executive Vice President. His main role has been to help me every week with administrative issues large and small. His institutional memory has been extremely valuable on many occasions already. We need to keep our experienced colleagues close to home.
       To those not mentioned - please do not feel slighted. The complete list would cover more pages than our EJ editor allows me, but suffice it to say that I continue to work the "Team Concept" with all AGA personnel . More names will appear over time.
       Onward to the New Year! May your holidays be joyful, peaceful and healthy. And may 2006 be a better year for us all.

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

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