News from the American Go Association

February 13, 2006
Volume 7, #14


YOUR MOVE: Seeing Both Sides Now; Reading SGF Files; Outdated Archives
THE TRAVELING BOARD: Young Lionel Zhang & The Pro
ATTACHED FILE(S): 2006.02.13 Japanese Women's Kisei, Mannami-Chinen Go4Go.sgf

MINGJIU JIANG 2006 FUJITSU N.A. REP: Mingjiu Jiang 7P defeated Huiren Yang 1P Saturday night in the 2006 Fujitsu Qualifier final, becoming the 2006 North American representative to the Fujitsu. "The tournament is over and, as always, the spectators won," reported Tournament Director Jeff Shaevel. Hundreds watched the games live on KGS. Look for a commented game record in Friday's Member's Edition.

REIMER WINS IWAMOTO YOUTH: Chance Reimer, a home-schooled 4th grader, won the Iwamoto Youth 13x13 Tournament, held Sunday, February 12 at the Seattle Go Center. The players ranged from 1st graders to 12th graders, with 33 students competing in four rounds. Reimer chose "Invincible: The games of Shusaku" as his prize. Mary Grace White won in the high school division, while Luke Allen won in the middle school category. Sonty Visuthikraisee won the grade school prize, and William Chae won in the Grade 2-and-under division. The event was organized by six school-based go clubs in the Seattle area; Brian Allen directed. See the AGA homepage for a photo of the players:

WHITE SNOW, BLACK MOUNTAIN & PAIR GO: Anyone wanting an early preview of the 2006 U.S. Congress site can check out the facilities this weekend at the February 17-18 Ice Station Zebra: White Snow, Black Mountain tournament in Black Mountain, NC. Meanwhile, Pair Go comes to the metro Washington area Saturday at the Valentine's Au Pair - Pair Go event in Arlington, VA (singles don't despair: the Valentine's Loner Handicap runs concurrently with the Pair Go event). See Calendar, below, for details.

GO ON THE AIR AND IN PRINT: "Yesterday on National Public Radio I heard the Third Coast Festival program on Games," reports Bob Barber. "Along with Pumpkin Chunking (a serious sport in New Hampshire), one of the essays was on go. This essay had been referenced by the E-Journal a few months back, so I was waiting for it. Very nice piece about Feng Yun and go in America. And in the February 6 edition of the New Yorker, there is a letter in response to the recent article about computer chess. Written by Dale Hoopingarner, a member of the AGA, it is polite and soft spoken, yet should get the attention of many chess players. Finally, there is a full-page article by Victoria Scott, complete with picture, about the Evanston Go Club in the February 8 Evanston RoundTable. All of this exposure can only help us in the never-ending quest to grow go in America."

THE GO & ENGINEERING CONNECTION: "What the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) says about engineering could just as easily apply to go," says Bob Felice, passing along a link to a print ad currently being run by the IEEE. "It features a picture of a very intelligent looking fellow with a go board on his desk," notes Felice. Check it out at

YAMASHITA A WIN AWAY FROM KISEI: Yamashita Keigo 9P is just one win away from reclaiming the Kisei title from Hane Naoki 9P, bringing the score to 3-0 in his favor in the best-of-seven match with a 1.5 point victory last week. This is Yamashita's second effort to regain the title and he's clearly determined. While it's not impossible for Hane to come back -- it's been done before -- the odds are strongly against it. Yamashita has also won the challenger's role in the Judan, in which he will face title holder Cho Chikun 9P early next month. This is Yamashita's first shot at this title and he has won nine of his previous games against Cho while losing only three.

CHINESE TEEN BEATS LEE SEDOL: Lee Sedol 9P of Korea lost to Chinese teenager Chen Yaoye 5P in the Kangwon-Land Cup, an international team match between China and Korea. This is a new team tournament in which games are played one at a time, with the winner continuing until one team
runs out of players. The Koreans started with Lee, who beat Piao Wenyao 5P of China in the first game, but then lost to Chen by 1.5 points. Chen next defeated Hong Sungji 4P of Korea by 2.5 points before losing to An Chotyeong 9P of Korea. An then beat Wang Xi 5P of China to end the first stage of the
tournament in Seoul. The second stage will be in Hangzhou, China, at the end of March when An takes on one of the two remaining Chinese, either Chang Hao 9P or Luo Xihe 9P, both formidable opponents with recent international title wins to their credit. The Korean team still includes Lee Changho 9P and Cho Hunhyun 9P, so the second stage should be quite a contest. The remarkable teenager Chen is also in the finals of the international LG Cup, where he must play a best-of-five match against his countryman Gu Li 7P.

RUI NAIWEI DEFEATS PARK JIEUN TO MOVE UP IN WOMEN'S KUKSU: Rui Naiwei 9P has defeated Park Jieun 6P in the losers' section of the Women's Kuksu in Korea, earning a spot in the finals against Cho Hyeyeon 6P, whom Rui recently defeated to hold on to the Korean Women's Myeongin title. Rui was in the losers' section because of a loss to Cho in the second round. Cho took this
title in 2005 from Rui, who had held it for the previous three years in a row. Cho was the challenger in the finals in 2003 and 2004, and finally broke through in 2005. Now Rui will try to take it back. Unlike the "open" Kuksu, which Rui has also won, the Women's Kuksu is a tournament in which the title holder must win the right to play in the finals by playing in the main tournament.

JAPANESE WOMEN TITLE-HOLDERS STRUGGLING: The title-holders have lost the first rounds of two ongoing Japanese women's title matches. In the Women's Kisei, title-holder Chinen Kaori 4P lost by resignation to Mannami Kana 3P, while in the Women's Meijin, title-holder Koyama Terumi 5P lost by a half-point to Aoki Kikuyo 8P. Both are best-of-three matches. Chinen held the Women's Kisei title for four years in a row before losing it to Mannami in 2004. She then took it back in 2005. Koyama and Aoki have each held the Women's Meijin title four times. We have attached an SGF file of the game between Chinen and Mannami for your enjoyment courtesy of the site.

YOUR MOVE: Readers Write

SEEING BOTH SIDES NOW: "I play twice a month with three others in Hilo, Hawaii, and typically give from 5 to 9 stones handicap," writes Bill Graham in response to John Dawson's "Painful Medicine" column (1/30 EJ). "We sometimes play 3-man games, putting 10 black stones in the lid of a bowl and one of us playing black with those ten stones while another plays white. After the ten, one of the players changes color and the other drops out and lets the 3rd player pick up. Again there are 10 black stones in the lid for this next segment. We continue this way, being careful that one player does not answer his own play with the other color during changes. This is also a good teaching mechanism that helps with seeing both sides of a game."

READING SGF FILES: "I just recently began downloading games to study," writes a reader. "When I do so, however, I don't understand the moves, which look like this: (;WKL;BML;WPH;BNB;W["
       To view .sgf files, simply save them to your computer and then open using an .sgf reader such as Many Faces of Go or SmartGo. Readers who need .sgf readers can get them for most platforms at Jan van der Steen's

OUTDATED ARCHIVES: "Why is there a link to visit the photo archives on the AGA's homepage but the last times photos have been archived was May 2005?" wonders Dennis Wheeler. We're just finishing up a website infrastructure update that, among other things, will enable us to maintain our popular photo galleries much more easily. We apologize for the out-of-date archive; look for updates soon on when we'll be back on track.

THE TRAVELING BOARD: Young Lionel Zhang & The Pro
       Kids of all ages dream of going to Spring training in Florida and meeting professional baseball players. For 11-year-old Lionel Zhang 3d, there's China.
       As part of the traditional celebration of Chinese New Years, professional go players come to temple fairs and play free simultaneous games. A student at the Feng Yun Go School in New Jersey, Lionel's parents take him to China as often as they can so he can study go there. During their current visit, Lionel and his mother, Bonnie, joined the long lines of hopeful amateurs at one such event, waiting for the opportunity to play Luo Xihe 9P. Arriving early on a day of record cold, Lionel knew it was a long-shot but Luo Xihe 9P had just defeated Lee Changho 9P of Korea to win the international Samsung Cup, bringing him great acclaim and putting him at the top among the world's pros, and young Lionel wanted to play the best.
       Thanks to Bonnie's efforts - and some luck -- Lionel managed to get seated among the first group of five players with whom Luo would play simultaneous games. Lionel got only four stones from the nine dan pro, which suggests that Luo Xihe 9P did not plan to have to work too hard that morning. When the game was over, Lionel not only won by half a point, but he was the only one of that first set of opponents to win.
       There's nothing quite like studying go in China, where huge crowds regularly attend go events, and this kind of support from the parents of talented players is very common. This is why it is important to work to make it possible for as many talented US kids as possible to spend at least a little time being a go student in China.
       Based on reporting by Bonnie Liao and Feng Yun; edited by Bill Cobb.


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

February 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

Published by the American Go Association

Managing Editor: Chris Garlock
Assistant Editor: Bill Cobb

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