News from the American Go Association

February 24, 2006
Volume 7, #17

Princeton, Santa Barbara & Des Moines
GAME COMMENTARY: Challenger Q&A, Latest Isamu
GO REVIEW: 10 Most Challenging Books
ATTACHED FILE(S): 2006.02.24 Challenge, Thuy-Dou, Hung; 2006.02.24 Yilun Yang's 2006 New Year's Puzzle; 2006.02.24 McGuigan Series #11

COAST-TO-COAST TOURNEYS: East, West or in-between, there's something for go players across the country this weekend, with tournaments in New Jersey, Des Moines and Los Angeles. The largest - and strongest -- East Coast field since the Oza is expected this weekend at the New Jersey Open in Princeton, NJ. The Los Angeles event is a 3-city team event but all are welcome to come watch, and the Des Moines is open to all players. New Jersey organizer Rick Mott urges players "to please pre-register by email if you think you are coming" to help speed things up on Saturday morning. Registration starts at 9:15A and ends at 10:30A, "if you are not there, you will not be paired in the first round," says Mott. Official starting times for the last two rounds on Saturday have been moved up to 2P and 5P and advance pairings will be done by 1:30P for Round 2, and 4P for Round 3. The E-Journal will broadcast Board 1 on the IGS for most rou nds. The tournament will be held at Frist Campus Center; find a map at  For more info or to register, email

YANG'S 2006 PROBLEM: For many years, tsume-go master Yilun Yang 7P has crafted original annual life and death problems using the digits of each New Year. We're very pleased to offer the 2006 problem today for your enjoyment and amusement. We'll award a $25 go vendor gift certificate to a winner drawn at random from the correct answers submitted to us at Deadline is Wednesday, March 8 at midnight.

TWO TOP KOREANS BATTLE FOR MAXIM CUP: Lee Sedol 9P and Choi Cheolhan 9P, currently two of the top Korean pros, are matched in a best-of-three final in the 7th Maxim Cup. Details on Monday.

NONGSHIM CUP CONCLUDES THIS WEEK: The final round of the international team-match Nongshim Cup is this week. Korea has never lost this Cup because Lee Changho 9P has never been beaten in it. Results on Monday.

CALL FOR AGA OVERSEAS REPS: Those interested in attending overseas events this year in the capacity of a non-player representative with American Go Association go players are encouraged to apply by Monday, March 22, reports AGA President Mike Lash. Eligibility criteria include full AGA membership; the complete policy statement and criteria are available at  Anyone wishing to be considered must send in a statement with the required information to Lash at by 3/22.

FREE GO WORLDS: Renew your membership now and get a free copy of Go World! The English-language quarterly from Kiseido that provides in-depth coverage of top tournament games along with a wealth of terrific instructional material, Go World magazine has been publishing since 1977 and remains a unique English language window into the game, people, culture and art of go. Renew your membership during the month of March, and you'll get a free copy of Go World 77 (Summer 1996)! Join now at  PLUS: Sign up for two years and get two back issues and you can triple the fun by signing up for three years (we'll throw in three issues)! Find out more about Go World -- and see some of the fabulous art that graces the cover of each issue -- at   Special thanks to Richard Bozulich, Kiseido and all the good folks at Go World for helping make this special offer possible.

WEEKEND GO ACTION: Princeton, Los Angeles & Des Moines
- February 25-26: Princeton, NJ
New Jersey Open
Rick Mott 609-466-1602
- February 25: Los Angeles, CA
10th Annual Tri-city GO tournament
Goro Nakano 805-968-0226
- February 26: Des Moines, IA
Des Moines All-Iowa Go Tournament
Duncan H. Brown 641-919-7066

GAME COMMENTARY: Challenger Q&A, Latest Isamu
       "After I accepted the Shodan Challenge, I looked at a few professional game records, and decided to imitate the way a "good player" would play," says Ze-Li Dou 2k. "In this game I forced myself to play a few slow moves that I thought were more 'proper.' Were those moves good actually, or did my opponent happen to play badly in the areas of concern?" See Joey Hung 8d's answers to these and other questions in today's game commentary. Hung, one of the strongest amateurs in the United States, runs a go school in California. Dou lives in Fort Worth, TX and has already improved from his 4k Challenger starting strength; you can see photographs of all the Shodan Challengers on pp 79-80 in the 2005 American Go Yearbook.
       Questions from Actual Play # 11 is the eleventh installment of 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 (Haruyama is the author of Basic Techniques of Go). McGuigan translated another series earlier, based on writings of Nakayama Noriyuki 6P, called "What's Wrong with that Move?" This material is used by permission of the Nihon Kiin which published the original text in 1979.
       Today's bonus file is Yilun Yang's 2006 Life and Death problem; we'll award a $25 go vendor gift certificate to a winner drawn at random from the correct answers submitted to us at Deadline is Wednesday, March 8 at midnight.
       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: 10 Most Challenging Books
by Bob Barber 1d
       These are the ten go books I find myself reading and rereading the least. I am convinced that I could be a couple stones stronger if I only paid attention to the fundamentals (and kept a cool head), so the books I rely on stress fundamentals and the opening. This list may provoke some stronger players to encourage me to get off my lazy butt.
- Modern Joseki and Fuseki Vol.1, by Sakata Eio: Very detailed analysis of Parallel Fuseki. The amount of detail here presented may fit inside the skull of a 6 dan, but I find it overwhelming.
- Strategic Concepts of Go, by Nagahara: This book was the only one recommended to me by the late Peter Yam 5d. Again, I find the many variations impossible to keep in mind.
- The Endgame, by Ogawa/Davies: Here is a book I really hope to grow into some day. Mathematical analysis of various endga me moves. Now if I only had the discipline to actually calculate in the heat of battle...
- Enclosure Josekis, by Takemiya: Here I take the advice of Jim Kerwin 1P: When you get burned on a joseki, look it up in the books.
- Appreciating Famous Games, by Shuzo Ohira: A book to display some of the real beauty of go to the amateur. But I'm afraid I'd rather spend my time reading one which will help me beat Mr. Kim tomorrow.
- All About Thickness, by Yoshio Ishida: I think I might have loved this book. I wish that it were in more of a questioning form. Instead, it seems to me that it gives the answer first, and then the question.
- Beyond Forcing Moves, by Takagi Shoichi: And way beyond my comprehension.
- Positional Judgment, by Cho Chikun: Tries to teach us how to quickly judge the size of territories. A useful skill, no doubt. But playing at my level, with so many less than perfect responses to invasions, this book will have to wait for me to catch up.
- Winning a Won Game, by Go Seigen: Easy for him to say. Once again, I don't find that this attention to detail appeals to me.
- Killer of Go, by Sakata Eio: Shows how to win as Honinbo. Rather too elevated for mortals like me.
   Got your own list of favorite go books, software or equipment? Send it to us at!

Published by the American Go Association

Managing Editor: Chris Garlock
Assistant Editor: Bill Cobb

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