News from the American Go Association

March 20, 2006
Volume 7, #24

RUI NAIWEI 14-4 IN 2006
An Ex-Marine Rediscovers His Fighting Spirit
ATTACHED FILE(S): 2006.03.20 Li-Kono Chunlan Cup

CHERRY BLOSSOM PRE-REGISTRATION REQUIRED: Pre-registration for the March 25 Cherry Blossom Tournament in Washington, DC is required. "More than 40 players have already signed up," reports organizer Allan Abramson. Details (including hotel info) at or register directly with Abramson at

LG CUP OPPORTUNITY: Although there will be no official American or European and representative at next month's LG Cup, the Korean Baduk Association welcomes players who wish to attend at their own expense. The 11th annual tournament runs April 24-28 in Seoul, Korea; for details contact Jinseo Park at

FENG YUN ORGANIZES BEIJING YOUTH GO CAMP: Feng Yun 9P is organizing the first-ever Youth Summer Go Camp in Beijing, China this summer. The camp will run July 9 through August 6. "This program is intended to offer students the experience of studying go with local go players at same age," reports Feng Yun. "In addition, they will be exposed to Chinese culture, as well as an opportunity to visit ancient Beijing." The co-organizer is Beijing XingZe Go School, which has been approved by Beijing Municipal Education Commission. Applicants must be self-motivated students with beginner skills or greater, 8 or older, and in good health. More info at: 973-992-5675

THE LAST MOVE: Frank Berkenkotter died on December 16, 2005. Berkenkotter, 67, was one of the founding members of the Sacramento-Davis Go club, which formed in the 1980's and continues to be strong in participation and membership today. Berkenkotter performed official duties for the club right up until his bone marrow transplant during the summer of 2005. The transplant failed and he died of an aggressive form of Non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

JAPANESE OUT IN CHUNLAN SECOND ROUND: Although they did well in the first round of the international Chunlan Cup, winning four of the eight games, no Japanese players survived the second round, which was joined by eight seeded players. Six Chinese and two Koreans advanced to the third round. The Chunlan is a single-elimination tournament that includes an invited European and American representative, along with twenty-two players from the four main go-playing Asian countries. The tournament is sponsored by a Chinese conglomerate, and the winner's prize is $150,000 US. The American Michael Redmond 9P and the European Catalin Taranu 5P of Romania both lost in the first round, to Ko Geuntae 5P of Korea and Lee Sedol 9P of Korea respectively. In the second round Lee Sedol defeated recent Samsung Cup winner Luo Xihe 9P of China--the game was played on the day after Lee's wedding, which he had to rush back to Korea for between the first and second rounds. Gu Li 7P, number one player in China, had an interesting victory over Kono Rin 8P of Japan in which he allows Kono to take a large profit by making a strange move that lacks obvious possibilities of compensation early on (move 46). We have attached an SGF file of the game courtesy of the site for your enjoyment. Lee Changho 9P of Korea also won in the second round, defeating young Chen Yaoye 5P of China. The six Chinese players moving on the third round are Peng Quan 6P, Zhou Heyang 9P, who defeated Cho Chikun 9P, Xie He 6P, Hu Yaoyu 8P, who ended Yoda Norimoto 9P of Japan's recent winning streak, and Chang Hao 9P.

HANE TRIUMPHS IN JAPANESE NHK: Hane Naoki 9P rebounded from his recent 4-0 loss of the Kisei title to Yamashita Keigo 9P by defeating Imamura Toshiya 9P in the final of the 53rd fast-play NHK Cup in Japan. The games of this tournament are shown on TV and both players in the final match become part of the All Asia TV Cup with the finalists from the Korean and Chinese TV Cups. The NHK has fifty players: all the major titleholders plus the top Japanese money winners. Cho U 9P, last year's winner, was eliminated in the second round by Imamura Yoshiaki 8P, who also defeated Kono Rin 8P in the quarter finals, but lost to Hane in the semifinals. Imamura Toshiya beat Moriyama Naoki 9P in the semifinals to gain a spot in the finals against Hane. This is the only title Hane currently holds, since he lost the Okan, a tournament restricted to members of the Central Japan branch of the Nihon Kiin, that Hane had held for the prev ious three years. He also held the Agon Cup title last year, but was eliminated in the first round by Kobayashi Satoru 9P this year -- Kobayashi then lost in the final to teenager Iyama Yuta 7P. Kobayashi probably got some satisfaction out of defeating Iyama in the second round of the NHK; this was Iyama's first loss after six wins in 2006. Iyama won his first game in the NHK against Hikosaka Naoto 9P.

RUI NAIWEI 14-4 IN 2006: Rui Naiwei 9P is off to a good start in 2006 with fourteen wins and only four losses, tying for third with Jin Siyoung 1P among Korean pros in terms of the number of victories so far this year. Lee Sedol 9P and Choi Wonyong 4P are tied for first with sixteen wins. Rui has won two Korean titles already this year, the Women's Kuksu and the Women's Myeongin. She won the Myeongin 2-1 in January against Cho Hyeyeon 5P, who won the Women's Myeongin last year. Rui faced the same opponent in the Women's Kuksu, which she just won by a score of 2-0, taking both games in the best-of-three final by resignation. Cho beat Rui in the third round, sending her down to the losers' bracket, where Rui had to defeat Park Jieun 6P to get into the finals against Cho.

FAN HUI WINS EUROPEAN ING CUP: Fan Hui, a Chinese 2P who lives in Toulouse, France, has won the European Ing Cup with six straight wins against the top European players. Losing only to Fan, Alexandre Dinerchtein 1P of Russia took second place. Dragos Bajenaru 6d of Romania and Csaba Mero 6d of Hungary were third and fourth, losing only to Fan and Dinerchtein. Cristian Pop 7d and Catalin Taranu 5P, both of Romania tied for fifth. Filip Vanderstappen 5d of the Netherlands was seventh. Guo Juan 5P, who is well-known in the US through her workshops and participation in US Go Congresses, was eighth. Ninth was Cornel Burzo 6d, who attended last year's US Go Congress. You can check the results of the entire field of twenty-four players at

TIME RUNNING OUT FOR GO WORLD OFFER: The clock is ticking down on the March Go World bonus offer! Anyone joining the AGA - or renewing their membership - this month gets a free copy of Go World! Get a 2 or 3-year membership and double or triple the fun with 2 or 3 free Go Worlds. And AGA chapters who join or renew are eligible too, and get double the current offer for new or renewing members (i.e. 2 Go Worlds for 1 year, 4 for 2 years and 6 for 3 years). The English-language quarterly from Kiseido provides in-depth coverage of top tournament games along with a wealth of terrific instructional material. Join now at

HARD TIMES AT THE GOBAN: An Ex-Marine Rediscovers His Fighting Spirit
By Joel Turnipseed 5k
        Well then. so much for progress. When I flew into New York City for the Oza in January I said to myself: "As strong as I've been playing lately, I can't lose. I'll just take it easy, have fun, spend some time with old pals and meet a few new ones. No sweat."
        And it's true: I didn't sweat much. I should have known something was wrong when Larry Russ said "Thanks. That was peaceful" after beating me in a very close first-round game.
        Now, I may have been a screwball Marine much given to sarcasm and mockery toward self-expressed hard-asses, but even this was a form of antagonism - my contrariness was that of a Marine mocking other Marines (a no-no, true, but sometimes the chuckleheads need a good knocking). There are even occasions when it's right to abandon the competitive spirit: life must go on in a crowded world, no? But then again, there are many times when it's not and a competition is definitely one of the latter.
        As it happened, I not only went 1-5 in the Oza, but when I returned home to Minnesota I went on a losing streak that knocked me from IGS 4K right on down into the basement of 5k, verging on 6K, which I though I'd never see again.
        It was a trip back to the Marine Corps helped set me straight. My good pal and editor Chris Garlock came down to visit while I was at Quantico researching my next book, kicked me all around the board while I paid for the beer and barbecue and when I whined about my losing ways, he laid it out in terms an ex-Marine could understand: "You're playing like a weenie."
        As I spent the rest of the week working at Quantico - and talking to the Marines just returned from Iraq - it occurred to me that these are not times for weenies. Playing games online from my hotel, I threw my cautious ways to the wind. And, wonder of wonders, my opponents crashed and burned. It felt good to win, but it felt even better to fight.
        Since getting back to Minneapolis, I've been on a tear and am now a couple of games away from earning my 4K back on IGS. My fighting spirit is back with a vengeance and I know my 6k days are history. And Larry Russ? I love you, my friend - you're the sweetest of guys - but next time we meet at the go board, I'm looking to beat you silly. I hope you'll let me buy you lunch afterwards, though: the great thing about go is that the fighting spirit can be confined to the board.


March 25: Washington, DC
Cherry Blossom 2006
Allan Abramson 703-684-7676

March 25: Syracuse, NY
2nd Annual Syracuse Spring Go Tournament
Richard Moseson 315-682-7720

March 31: Kiseido Go Server (KGS)
2nd Kato Masao Memorial Series
Christopher Vu 281-704-0357

April 1: Piscataway, NJ
Feng Yun Go School Monthly rated tournament
Feng Yun 973-992-5675

April 2: Seattle, WA
Ratings Tournament
Jon Boley 206-545-1424

April 2: Iowa City, Iowa
Spring Forward Iowa Go Tournament
Duncan H. Brown 641-919-7066

April 15: Piscataway, NJ
The 4th Feng Yun Annual Go Tournament
Feng Yun, 973 992 5675

Published by the American Go Association

Managing Editor: Chris Garlock
Assistant Editor: Bill Cobb

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