News from the American Go Association

January 30, 2006
Volume 7, #10


CHAPTER NEWS & NOTES: Go Club Grows In Orange County; Back On The Bayou; Go At The Floating Leaves
YOUR MOVE: Where's The Yearbook? Bonus Files; Oza West Games; More On Late Starts
THE PLAYING LIFE: Painful Medicine
ATTACHED FILES: 2006.01.30 Korean Sibdang, Lee-Park, go4go

EDITOR'S NOTE: Due to technical issues beyond our control, some Member's Edition readers received multiple copies of Friday's E-Journal. We apologize for the annoyance and inconvenience; we have been assured that the problem has been located and solved. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you experience any problems with your E-Journal subscription. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
- Chris Garlock, Ma naging Editor

And then there were eight. Advancing to Round 2 of the 2006 Fujitsu Qualifier are Mingjiu Jiang 9P (Johnny Yoon forfeited), Hui Ren Yang 1P (defeated Kwo-Ping Ho), Thomas Hsiang 7d (d. Trevor Morris), Yuan Zhou 7d (d. Jeffrey Fung), Jung Hoon Lee 7d (d. Edward Kao), Edward Kim 7d (d. Eric Lui), Moon Chong Kim, 7d (d. I-Han Lui) and Zhi Yuan Liu 7d (d. Hosuk Yi). "Approximately 300 spectators watched the games" on KGS, reports Tournament Director Jeff Shaevel. The second round is this Saturday, February 4 1PM USA Eastern time on KGS, where spectators are welcome to watch. Pairings for Round 2 are: Jiang- Liu; Yang-M. Kim; Hsiang-E. Kim; Zhou-Lee.

HOMMERDING & HOMMERDING TIE UP LEAD IN IOWA TOURNEY: Mark (12k) and Vaughn Hommerding (22k), both of Des Moines, IA, swept all four rounds to tie for 1st place in the January 22nd Iowa Snow Grade Go Tournament. There were five second-place finishers; Tristan Webb 12k (3-1, Fairfield), Duncan Brown 12k (3-1, Fairfield), Brigid Strait 12k (3-1, Des Moines), Andras Kristof 14k (3-1, Fairfield) and Jane Hommerding 26k (3-1, Des Moines). Prizes included cash and go books provided by Slate and Shell. "The All-Iowa Go Tournament Cup was also up for grabs again," reports TD Duncan Brown. "This time Des Moines, with six players, went home with the Cup, scoring a total of 17 points. Fairfield's five players placed second with 12 points, Cedar Rapids with six players was third with 6 points, and Waterloo's two players scored 3 points."

GO HOTBED HEATS UP ROCKIES: The January 21 Rocky Mountain Winter Tournament "shattered all previous attendance records," reports organizer Paul Barchilon. "A grand total of 69 participants included 27 kids and 42 adults," says Barchilon. The tournament was run by the Boulder Kids and Teens Go Club. Winners included: (A) Eric Kim, (B) Pierre Tournier, and (C) Thomas Strohmann. Teenagers Patrick Huh and Norris Xu won the D and E brackets, beating out many adults for the top spots. Janet Chen led the kids-only bracket, winning all of her games including a tense playoff match against Peter Lee who was also undefeated up to that point. Daniel Kim won third place, and, reports Barchilon, "a special prize was awarded to Muhammed Tigrek in the 4 years and younger section. OK, he was the only one - but he is really cute and he did play!"

YAMING WANG DOMINATES S&S OPEN: Yaming Wang 6d dominated the January 21 Slate & Shell Open in Richmond, VA, winning all four handicap games. There were also four players who won three games: Adam Bridges 3k, John Moore 6k, Jonathan Hilt 17k, and John Stoneham 21k. "The turnout was relative ly light at 16, most of the area players having spent the previous weekend in New York City playing in the Oza," reports organizer Bill Cobb. Chuck Robbins directed and prizes were provided by Slate & Shell.

MILLER KING IN KALAMAZOO: Paul Miller 9k took first place in the January 21 Kalamazoo (MI) Go Tournament. Sixteen players participated in the two-tier event, with both prize and non-prize sections. "Ten of our 16 entrants opted for the prize section buy-in," reports organizer Benjamin Schooley. "The whole thing was run together as a self-paired tournament." Money winners were Paul Miller 9k (3-2) in first place; tied for second were Laura Kolb and David Grenier. In the non-prize section two players had perfect scores: Carlton "Tom" Spencer 3k (3-0) and Greg Hendrickson 21k (4-0).

AGA MEMBERSHIP SKYROCKETS: Membership in the American Go Associa tion is closing in on 2,200, jumping 68 to hit an all-time record high of 2,180 at the end of January, and including 1,685 full members, another new record. Sponsors, Life Members and Chapters all nudged up one each while Limited memberships jumped 20. January's increases extend the current membership boom to four months, as E-Journal readership continues to grow steadily and several new membership promotions are on the horizon. For details on membership options, go to

LEE CHANGHO 1: WINS FIRST TITLE IN 2006: Lee Changho 9P is off to a good
start in 2006, taking the new Korean Sibdang to win his first title of the year. Lee's opponent in the finals was Park Yeonghun 9P, whom he beat 2-1 in the best-of-three match. The Sibdang (Judan in Japanese) is a fast-game tournament, with basic time of ten min utes and byoyomi of three periods of forty seconds. The winner's prize is about $26,000 US. On his way to the finals Park defeated Lee Sedol 9P by a mere half point and then beat Song Taekon 7P by 3.5 points. Lee's closest call was in the first round against Kim Youngsam 7P, whom he bested by only 2.5 points. Lee took the first game in the finals by 1.5 points; we have attached an SGF file of that game for your enjoyment. In February there will be an international match between Lee as the winner of this tournament and the current holder of the Japanese Judan (ten dan) title, Cho Chikun 9P.

LEE CHANGHO 2: TAKES FIRST GAME IN KUKSU: In the 49th Korean Kuksu, Lee Changho 9P is trying for a comeback, winning the first game of his match against Choi Cheolhan 9P. Lee defeated Lee Sedol 9P by a score of 2-0 to win the challenger's spot, both times by resignation. He also took the first game of the title match by resignation. Lee has held this prestigious title eight times altogether, taking it first in 1990. He had held it twice in a row when he lost it to Choi in 2004, who successfully defended it against Lee last year as well. The second game of the best-of-five match is scheduled for this Thursday, February 2nd.

NEW KOMI WORKING: The Nihon Kiin's recent move to a 6.5-point komi seems to be achieving the desired result, reports Macelee reports on the go4.go site. According to the Nihon Kiin, in 11,886 professional games, the player with the black stones won only marginally more than 50% of the time.

SMARTGO 2 RELEASED: The latest version of SmartGo features 36,249 professional games, more than 2,000 go problems and, for the first time, an integrated IGS client. "Plus new features like filtering games, user-definable game-info tags, automatic portrait layout, com ment cleanup and a great looking new UI that helps you organize your games," reports SG author Anders Kierulf. "And you can switch between English, Japanese, and Korean on the fly." Download now at and try all the features for free for 15 days. Purchase price is $89 and includes free upgrades to all future 2.x versions, both program and games. More details at

- Go Club Grows In Orange County: Long time AGA members Kevin Chao 5d and Jack Shih 5d have formed a new go club and AGA chapter in Orange County, California. The club's official opening ceremony will be held on Saturday, February 11 at 2P. The club's regular meeting time is on Saturdays, 1-5P at 9 Truman, Irvine CA 92620. For more info, contact Kevin Chao at kevinchao@co or call 949-466-1479.
- Back On The Bayou: Louisiana's Crane's Nest Go Club - formerly known as the Bayou Go Club - is back in business after being sidelined by Hurricane Rita last fall. The club meets Wednesday's at 7P at Rue de la Course on the corner of Oak St. and Carrollton; there another informal meeting at Zot's, a block north of the Rue de la Course. For more info, contact: 504-813-2804;
- Go At The Floating Leaves: The Floating Leaves Taiwan Tea House in Seattle, WA is hosting a games' night; mostly go, though shogi and Chinese chess players are also welcome. Contact info: Rob and Shiuwen Tai Bageant, Floating Leaves Tea House, 2213 NW Market St. Seattle, WA 98107 (Buses 17, 18 and 44 -- Ballard Downtown Stop); 206-529-4268;

2006 GO CALENDAR FILLING UP FAST: With more than thirty events already on the 2006 go calenda r, make sure yours is listed! Post now and avoid the rush (or conflicts with other events)! Check it out at


WHERE'S THE YEARBOOK? "Has the yearly go magazine been sent out?," writes Tom Tamura. "I haven't received mine." The 2005 American Go Yearbook is on the press now and is expected to be mailed out to members by the end of the week. The third annual Yearbook has been completely redesigned and expanded and will once again include a CD containing all the 2005 EJ contents, organized for easy access.

BONUS FILES: "I just went to the AGA mainpage, and I saw that the game attachments are only for subscribers, yet I've been getting them," writes Steve. "I don't know if you guys have been meaning to do that, but I just didn't want to be dishonest so I'm letting you guys know. The subscribe page said free subscribers only get issues and no attachments... are you guys meaning to give the game attachments?" While Member's Edition subscribers get game files each and every week, we have been including files in the free Monday edition from time to time as samples of the material available to subscribers. Find out more about joining at

OZA WEST GAMES: "Thanks for posting/attaching Feng Yun's Oza games," writes Dennis Wheeler. "But for fans of Jie Li, Xuefen Lin and Mingjiu Jiang, is there any chance of getting to look at their games?" We're expecting game commentaries from Jie Li soon; stay tuned!

MORE ON LATE STARTS: "While some believe that tournament delays (Getting Back On Track, 1/23 EJ) are an inevitable consequence of larger tournaments," writes Phil Waldron 6d. "The Europeans manage to routinely run 400-player events on schedule." Waldron, former Presid ent of Canadian Go Association and a longtime regular at U.S. tournaments, says that late registrations are the major culprit. "Despite demanding pre-registration and warning of a strict schedule, tournament directors simply refuse to close their registration tables. Ultimately this problem is self-perpetuating; players who learn that registration deadlines are not serious make no effort to show up on time. This behavior, from both players and tournament directors, must stop. I challenge tournament directors everywhere to start enforcing their posted registration times. If that means not pairing latecomers for the first round, so be it. Other players will be grateful, and you can be sure that everyone will be punctual next time." Waldron adds that "It is also time that the AGA examined the way it runs its premiere events. An organization that talks of certifying its own professional go players should at least be able to run its championships on schedule."

THE PLAYING LIFE: Painful Medicine
By John Dawson 3d
       I disagree with Bill Cobb's description of "the proper attitude toward the game" (Let Us Now Praise Local Clubs, 1/23 EJ). The mistake Bill makes is in considering only two purposes for playing, either to play to win or to play to "play the best game I can possibly create." There is a third purpose -- one that I think is frustrated by Bill's description of how he plays at his local club - and that's to get better, to learn to play a better game next time.
       When Bill takes back blunders, he is simply preventing himself from learning the discipline to think thoroughly about each move. Resigning a blundered position may be a painful medicine, but you will find it much harder to advance beyond sloppy play until you force yourself to accept the consequences of your thoughtless errors. Of course, when playing with close friends, it feels like a shame to let an impulsive blunder spoil an otherwise interesting or well-played game. But the less of this you allow yourself, the less often such blunders will happen. I believe that learning to think about each move is an important part of this game, quite aside from the fact that it will make you a stronger player. Isn't thinking about moves what we enjoy? And don't you feel irritated when, just as you discover what was wrong with an opponent's move, he takes it back?
        I think asking for advice during a game is a similar mistake. An occasional teaching game, identified as such before play begins, can be quite useful, but to frequently ask for suggestions during play simply prevents you from learning what you ought to be thinking about. You wind up playing the other person's game rather than your own. There is always a difference between what the issue is locally and what the whole board situation is, and when you ask for help about a move, your opponent cannot help but tell you something about the general situation as well as about the local move. Your subsequent moves will then be based to some degree on his or her assessment of the whole board. Instead of "following his hand" with your moves, you wind up "following his mind" with your ideas and never learn to think for yourself. This is a kind of laziness that will keep you from getting better.
       If you want the stronger player to teach you, it's much better to either record the game or remember it as best you can (another excellent way to learn) and get your lessons after the game is over. During the game, if you want to get better, you have to come up with the best ideas that you can about what is really going on.
        Of course, no one wants to play strictly all the time. But if you want to get stronger and learn to play the best game you can play, then you will play strictly more often than you slap 'em down. These are just my ideas and were probably influenced by a stay in Japan, where the attitudes toward play may be on average a bit more severe than ours. I would be interested in the opinions of stronger players or teaching pros about this "proper attitude" thing.
        Dawson lives in Louisville, CO.


February 4: Piscataway, NJ
Feng Yun Go School Monthly rated tournament
Feng Yun 973-992-5675

February 5: Seattle, WA
Ratings Tournament
Jon Boley 206-545-1424

February 17-18: Black Mountain, NC
Ice Station Zebra: White Snow, Black Mountain
Paul Celmer 919-779-7925

Febr uary 18: Arlington, VA
Valentine's Au Pair - Pair Go
Allan Abramson 703-684-7676

February 18: Arlington, VA
Valentine's Loner Handicap
Allan Abramson 703-684-7676

February 25-26: Princeton, NJ
New Jersey Open
Rick Mott 609-466-1602

February 25-26: Santa Barbara, CA
10th annual tri-city GO tournament
Goro Nakano 805-968-0226

Published by the American Go Association

Managing Editor: Chris Garlock
Assistant Editor: Bill Cobb

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