News from the American Go Association

February 17, 2006

Volume 7, #15








WEEKEND GO ACTION: Black Mountain, NC & Arlington, VA

GAME COMMENTARY: Honte, A New Fuseki & More Questions from Actual Play

GO REVIEW: The Nihon Ki-in Handbook of Handicap Go (Volume 4)


ATTACHED FILE(S): 2006.02.17 Fujitsu Qualifier Rnd4 Final Jiang-Yang  Feng Yun; 2006.02.17 Korean Women's Myeongin, Cho-Rui, Dinerchtein; 2006.02.17 McGuigan Series #10

PENN TOPS TEAM LEAGUE: The Penn Go Otaku Team topped the just-completed 2005-2006 AGA Chapter Team League, reports League Director Bill Saltman, who says the full winner's list will be announced soon. More details Monday.

TRI-CITIES CORRECTION: The February 25 Tri-cities Go Tournament will be in Los Angeles, CA, not Santa Barbara as previously reported. The 10th annual tourney features teams from Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and San Diego. "Visitors may watch, but only the city teams will participate," reports Tom Trilling. Details at

2006 CONGRESS REGISTRATION OPENS: Registration for this year's U.S. Go Congress in Black Mountain, NC is now open. Projected to be the biggest Congress yet, the event runs Saturday, August 12 through Saturday, August 20. Early registrants can save $50 dollars by registering now. "Due to the reasonable cost, array of family activities, and natural beauty of the location, we anticipate breaking Congress attendance records," says organizer Paul Celmer. "We encourage early registration as some accommodations are limited." For fuller details and to register, go to:

If you're interested in two months of go while seeing some of the great sights of Beijing, you'll want to check out Go'n'games' 3rd Go to China trip, set for June 20 - August 20. A month-long visit is also available. Details at

The Baduk Association of DPR Korea has issued an invitation to go players to enter the Go Competition of the 2nd International Martial Arts Games (IMG) to be held August 22-29 in Pyongyang, Korea. "The Games are an important opportunity to exchange experiences and cherish friendship among go players worldwide," says Ryu Song Il, President of The Baduk Association of DPR Korea and the 2nd International Martial Arts Games. Get details at

HALF-PRICE MASTERGO: MasterGo is now available for a limited time for $50, half the $100 usual price. Details at

British go teachers Peter and Sheila Wendes will be running a go workshop for teachers attending the California Association for the Gifted's Annual Conference in Palm Springs on March 3rd.  The two, who have introduced over 12,000 children and their teachers to go, have some school visits scheduled in California in March, "but we have time for more visits, as we'll be in California through the whole month," says Peter Wendes who is Vice-President and Education Officer of the  British Go Association. Find out more about their work at  
Contact Wendes at:

WEEKEND GO ACTION: Black Mountain, NC & Arlington, VA

- 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 & Valentine's Loner Handicap Tournaments

Allan Abramson 703-684-7676

COMING UP MONDAY: Aria von Elbe on Senior Year Blues & Ronghao Chen goes Inside The Chinese Team Tournament Scene.

GAME COMMENTARY: Honte, A New Fuseki & More Questions from Actual Play

           Big or honte? In today's game commentary, Huiren Yang 1P's move 43 is big but it's not honte, according to Feng Yun 9P, who takes a close look at the Fujitsu Qualifier Final round against Mingjiu Jiang 7P, who went on to win the game and the Qualifier. Thanks again to TD Jeff Shaevel for prompt game result and record reporting.

           Game 3 of the 7th Korean Women's Myeongin Title Match featured a brand-new opening just invented by Lee Changho 9P. Alexandre Dinerchtein 1P reviews the game between Cho Hyeyeon 6P and Rui Naiwei 9P (who went on to take this title for the fifth time), originally published on

           Our bonus file today is the tenth installment of "Questions from Actual Play," a new series of studies brought to us by Robert McGuigan in translation from "Jissen ni tsuyoku naru 80 dai (80 questions for getting strong at real play)" by Haruyama Isamu 9P.

           To view the attached .sgf file(s), simply save the file(s) 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

GO REVIEW: The Nihon Ki-in Handbook of Handicap Go (Volume 4)

236 Pages, Yutopian

Reviewed by Kirk Martinez

"Giving six or more handicap stones, white is forced to play as if half the white stones are dead." - The Nihon Ki-in Handbook of Handicap Go

           A recent E-journal reader asked Janice Kim: "Are there any books that show how to fight against handicap stones?"  Janice provided excellent general advice, and I would like to suggest this book as a good place to explore the subject further.  I am a 2-kyu online player and I often find myself giving handicaps -- often large handicaps -- to other players.  Even though I am comfortable with the standard even-game opening patterns of approach, make a base, approach, pincer, jump out, it is quite daunting to face a field of black stones spread throughout the board - everything you know about the opening seems trite and meani ngless in that environment.

           Most books I've read (like Takagawa's excellent The Power of the Star Point ) don't have white make unusual moves.  But it's the unusual moves that tend to trip black up.  The Nihon Ki-in Handbook of Handicap Go's main virtue for the white player is showing reasonable moves that can be tried to thwart black.  These are not necessarily trick moves, but honest to goodness attempts by white to achieve the best that can be achieved when the odds are stacked heavily against him.  Also presented is the overall idea of dividing black's forces and playing loosely on a grand scale.< SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes">  The moves appropriate to this are ones that you don't often see in other books: jumps down and invasions on the second line, large and extra-large knight jumps toward the center, knight move attachments, double-diagonals, etc.  Of course, the correct responses for black are shown, but often more educational are the errors black is likely to make and the follow-ups, which are also given.

           Seven chapters cover handicaps from nine stones down to three. The beginning of each chapter briefly reviews the strategies for both players.  Next, the basic patterns of play are expounded by presenting a series of partial games.  For example, in a nine-stone game, black's reasonable responses are the diagonal attachment and the one-point jump.  There are nine examples of these two patterns.  Each partial game presents the pattern move in a variety of contexts as the opening progresses around the board, putting moves into the context of the whole board.  Indeed, the ideas behind the opening play (stressing building up a particular area, attack, connectivity, etc) are kept in mind by showing when different follow-ups to the pattern move are appropriate.

           Page 66, for example shows a situation where black might likely play the diagonal attachment, but by strengthening white just this little bit, he makes possible the second-line invasion that would otherwise be a failure.  The book is full of gems like this - showing not only best play by black, but likely play and how to exploit it.  I have begun to put these techniques to use in my own games, and it seems to be making a difference - honestly it's too soon to tell.  Nevertheless, I have definitely added some new weapons to my handicap arsenal.

           I'd like to close this review with a bonus tip for kyu readers: I've won so many games because black mistakenly plays the hane instead of extension in the 3-3 invasion after a pincer.  Learn this and immediately get two stones stronger!


PLAYERS WANTED: Venice, Fl. Looking for go players at the high-school level. Just need enough responses to begin a local go club. Kyle Weeks (1/27/06)

WANT TO BUY:  Used go books; (1/27/06)

FOR SALE: Equipment: 1) ceramic stones and plastic bowls (181 white and 181 black); 2) 1-inch thick shin Kaya go board , sturdy and good-looking (seldom used, bought it new online). The stones, bowls, go board are an $80 value. Asking $40 plus shipping fee. Contact (1/27/06)

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Managing Editor: Chris Garlock

Assistant Editor: Bill Cobb

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