News from the American Go Association

March 3, 2006
Volume 7, #19


Piscataway to Seattle (plus Chicago & Middlebury)
GAME COMMENTARY: Dramatic Swings & Balance in Harmony
GO REVIEW: Kombilo
ATTACHED FILE(S): 2006.03.03 NJ Open, Huang-Chen, Feng Yun; 2006.03.03 Challenge, Mott-Turnipseed, Hung; 2006.03.03 Gu Li on Sanrensei, Weiqi World

JIE LIE TAKES SECOND IN WORLD STUDENT OZA: Jie Li 9d, the top U.S. amateur, took second place in the World Student Oza in Japan last weekend, an unprecedented accomplishment for a representative of a Western country. Details on Monday.

GO-PLAYING ASTRONAUT SPOTTED IN 'SURVIVOR': When we last reported on astronaut Dan Barry, he was playing go high above the Earth. Now Barry has been spotted on the planet in, of all places, CBS's "Survivor Panama: Exile Island." Back in 1996, astronauts and go enthusiasts Barry and Koichi Wakata replayed a famous go game aboard the space shuttle Endeavour on January 18 and then played a game of their own, each on boards specially designed for weightlessness. Today, Robert Pearlman reported on that (warning: the following report includes spoilers.) "After two consecutive weeks losing immunity and voting off tribe mates, three-time Space Shuttle astronaut-turned-castaway Dan Barry and his 'La Mina' teammates found themselves the victors this week on CBS's 'Survivor Panama: Exile Island.'" Thanks to Chuck Robbins for passing this along. Read the rest of the Survivor report at  and read about the 1996 space games at

YAMASHITA RETAKES KISEI: Yamashita Keigo 9P took back the Kisei from Hane Naoki 9P, who took it from him two years ago. Details on Monday.

CEDAR RAPIDS DETHRONES DES MOINES IN IOWA CUP: Cedar Rapids dethroned defending champions the Des Moines Go Club at last weekend's Iowa Go Cup. Details Monday.

SHONEN JUMP PREVIEW: Do you play "Subway Go" or the "Strange Feeling" style? Would you describe your playing as "Cosmic Go" or are you more "Take the Money and Run"? In the April 2006 issue of SHONEN JUMP, America's premiere manga magazine, "Getting Go" columnist Janice Kim 3P discusses different styles of playing go. In the serialized manga Hikaru no Go, Hikaru raises the suspicion that he's the one behind "sai" - the amazingly powerful and utterly anonymous new player on the Internet go servers. And bad boy Yuki Mitani returns. but has he cooled his cheating heart? Two full chapters of manga - in stores on March 7.

YANG'S 2006 PROBLEM: Just a reminder that the deadline for solutions to the 2006 Yang problem (sent out with the 2/24 EJ) is Wednesday, March 8 at midnight. Solutions must be in the form of an .sgf file. We'll award a $25 go vendor gift certificate to a winner drawn at random from the correct answers submitted to us at

GO WORLD BONUS: 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. Renew your membership during the month of March, and you'll get a free copy of Go World 77 (Summer 1996)! Take advantage of this special offer now at  PLUS: two- or three-year renewals get two or three back issues!

WEEKEND GO ACTION: Piscataway to Seattle (plus Chicago & Middlebury)
- March 4: Piscataway, NJ
Feng Yun Go School Monthly rated tournament
Feng Yun 973-992-5675
- March 4: Chicago, IL
Survival of the Fattest
Bob Barber 773-467-0423
- March 4: Middlebury, VT
Tenuki to Vermont Go Tournament
Peter Schumer 802-388-3934
- March 5: Seattle, WA
Ratings Tournament
Jon Boley 206-545-1424

GAME COMMENTARY: Dramatic Swings & Balance in Harmony
       The lead dramatically swings back and forth several times in today's game commentary, as Kevin Huang 8d battles ZhaoNian Chen 7d in the final (and champion-determing) round of last weekend's New Jersey Open. The commentary is by Feng Yun 9P.
       The lead changes hands even more times in our Shodan Challenge game commentary between Joel Turnipseed 4k and Rick Mott 4k in Round 4 of last January's North American Oza East in New York City. Joey Hung 8d, one of the strongest amateurs in the country, provides in-depth commentary showing where both players went wrong and where they should have played instead.
       Our bonus file today features Jiang Zhujiu (Jujo) 9P taking a look at Gu Li's version of the sanrensei: "Seeking Balance in Harmony" appeared in the December 15, 2005 Weiqi World and was translated by Dave Wong.
       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: Kombilo
Reviewed by Philip Waldron 6d
       With the number of computer programmers who play go, it should come as no surprise that several have written useful go programs for the community. One of the most interesting is Kombilo, a go database. Named after the Esperanto word for comb, Kombilo is designed to comb through game records for positions or players of interest.
       Compared to commercial go databases, Kombilo is unique in several respects. First, it is free to download, and users are permitted (and encouraged) to further distribute copies. Kombilo also runs on a variety of computer systems; versions are available for Windows, OS X and Linux. Unlike other go databases, however, Kombilo does not included a collection of game records. Fortunately games are easy to find online, and this is a minor issue.
       My first experience with Kombilo was reading the manual, and I was immediately impressed. A handy tutorial details the program's features, and the documentation quality puts many commercial competitors to shame. Similarly, I found Kombilo's search capabilities to be comparable to commercial programs, although I did find the text used to present search results to be a little small. Users are able to define custom menus items for common searches, a handy features for those studying a particular opening or player. And in what must be its most interesting feature, Kombilo comes with a list of references to games for which English-language commentaries are available. If a search yields a game commented in Go World, Kombilo will let you know.
       Kombilo measures up extremely well against the various commercial go databases. It has many useful features, and the price is right for everyone. I would highly recommend Kombilo to anyone looking for a go database.


WANTED: Looking for World Go issues 1-37, in particular issue 22; price negotiable.

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Published by the American Go Association

Managing Editor: Chris Garlock
Assistant Editor: Bill Cobb

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