News from the American Go Association

April 7, 2006
Volume 7, #29

College Park & Cleveland
MY CORNER: The Good Life
ATTACHED FILE(S): 2006.04.07 Yang March Puzzle SOLUTION.sgf; 2006.04.07 Yang 2005 Puzzle SOLUTION.sgf; 2006.04.07 Yang's April Puzzle.sgf

GO AT DC SAKURA MATSURI STREET FEST: Washington, DC-area residents and visitors can check out Japanese culture -- including go, food, arts and more -- at the Japan-America Society of Washington, DC's Sakura Matsuri Japanese Street Festival Saturday, April 9 from 11A-6P (rain or shine). Local organizer John Goon is coordinating go demonstrations all day, reports Allan Abramson. Volunteers to teach and talk with the festival attendees are welcome. The Festival takes place at 12th Street & Pennsylvania Ave, NW (Federal Triangle Metro)

MAKING GO DREAMS COME TRUE: Tax deductible donations can help make young go campers' dreams come true when you support the American Go Foundation (AGF) and the AGA Go Camps. The AGF - the charity arm of American go - has been supporting the US go camps for years with thousands of dollars raised from go players who want to help the next generation of players learn to enjoy the game. For the 2006 Go Camps, the AGF has committed $7,000 in support of scholarships and professional expenses but it needs to replace those precious funds. Please give if you can. Donations are tax deductible and should be sent to: American Go Foundation, c/o Laird, 211 West 106th St. Apt. 3C, New York, NY 10025 with a note "Support the Go Camp."

LOST EMAIL? The email address was out of commission for a while, so if you sent anything to that address, please re-send to which is the preferred address for the EJ.

LEE SEDOL TAKES MAXIM ON FLUKE: Owing to Choi Cheolhan 9P's confusion about the byoyomi, Lee Sedol has won the Korean Maxim Cup 2-1. Details on Monday.

KOREA REORGANIZES GS CALTEX CUP: The Koreans have changed the GS Caltex Cup from a single-elimination tournament to a round robin league of eight top players. Details on Monday.

WEEKEND GO ACTION: College Park & Cleveland
- April 8-9: College Park, MD
John Groesch Memorial
Steve Mount 301-405-6934
- April 9: Cleveland, OH
Case Western Reserve University Spring Tournament
Paul Jacobs 216-402-3071

      You've got problems, we've got answers! Today we've got the answers to Yilun Yang 7P's March 2006 and Year 2005 problems, plus his brand-new April problem. WARNING: be sure to turn off the "next move" function before opening up the April problem, as we've included the solution this month.
       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

Reviewed by Philip Waldron 6d
      With a variety of go databases now available, MoyoGo is another recent entry from Europe. Like other database programs, it is useful for finding games of your favorite player or searching for that joseki or fuseki that you just messed up.
      After loading MoyoGo for the first time, I realized I had no idea what to do next. MoyoGo unfortunately comes with no manual, and its help system consists of a few short "tips" that display upon start-up. While some demo videos are available, they are not enough to avoid an aggravating trial-and-error learning process. Compared to the extensive documentation and tutorials provided with other database programs, MoyoGo comes up painfully short.
      Those willing and able to get past a fairly steep learning curve will find that MoyoGo has a number of useful features. A complete SGF editor for analyzing electronic game records is provided, along with the option to export board position to a variety of graphics formats for web publishing (although MoyoGo offers no support for printing). Users can also search through the Sensei's Library website from within MoyoGo, allowing for easy searches of unfamiliar terms.
      The game database is, of course, MoyoGo's most important feature (and perhaps its most controversial, containing game records that were acquired from other collections without permission. Read more about this issue at and this program tries something new. Its pattern matching system not only reports exact matches, but also suggests moves based on its analysis of similar professional and strong amateur games. In professional games, I found that MoyoGo predicted moves about one-third of the time during the opening and early middle game, but in most cases these involved following known lines of play. The system performed extremely poorly whenever games required strategic decisions, and this weakness became even more evident when analyzing amateur games. In one game I examined, MoyoGo suggested several small tactical moves rather than taking an empty corner. My experience was that MoyoGo's analysis got worse as the strength of the players decreased, noticeable even for low-dan games.
      My overall assessment is that MoyoGo is not yet ready for prime-time. The documentation is inadequate and its crown jewel, the pattern matching system, becomes progressively less useful to weaker players. While the program certainly contains some useful features, most can be found through other free programs and are not enough to justify the purchase price.
      MoyoGo Studio is available from the author at

MY CORNER: The Good Life
By Mike Lash, AGA President
      Life is good. And being a Life Member in the AGA is even better since I received my 10 free issues of Go World. I haven't smiled so broadly about go in a long time. The AGA recently acquired a significant trove of back issues of the fabulous Go World, thanks to a generous contribution from Kiseido Publishing and Richard Bozulich. New and renewing members in March received free copies of Go World and Life Members - who give $1,000 to the AGA - received a full set of the ten back issues. This is one of the single greatest direct benefits I have received as a member of the AGA and on behalf of all Life Members, our deepest thanks to AGA board member and webmaster Roy Laird for coordinating both the contribution and distribution.
      By coincidence, the AGA has experienced a large increase in the number of Life Members in the last year, our Treasurer Ulo Tamm recently informed me. While there's no single explanation for the unusual surge, the AGA is obviously seen as worthy of a significant financial commitment by a growing number of people. I became a Life Member during my term as President partly to confirm my own long-term commitment to the AGA, but also to "lead by example" while asking many others to step up their commitments in time and energy. Becoming a Life Member is a personal statement for each person to make, but it builds a widespread and permanent base of AGA supporters. and feels good along the way. It was also heartening to see AGA Full memberships hit an all-time high last month, as reported in last week's EJ; this too is a vote of confidence that the AGA appreciates. More info on memberships at htt p://
      On the business front, the Board and I are completing the FY 2007 budget for the year beginning June 1, 2006. Beyond the usual operating budget, the AGA will be using capital reserves to provide support for teaching go at the chapter and school levels, as well as our marketing efforts to increase AGA membership. Both programs are long-term investments in our go community, and, accordingly, pay dividends slowly over time. As every go player knows, to succeed in the long run, one must build your territory and strength carefully. There is one caveat on the use of some of these funds: they are designated specifically for AGA Chapters without Congress reserves in the AGA Treasury. This is intended to accomplish two things: first, it will provide resources to chapters without financial resources of their own; and, second, it should encourage by example the AGA Chapters with substantial funds on account to use their resources for the greater good of their local members and communities.
      Finally, I am pleased to recognize two members who have stepped up to volunteer time and energy to support active AGA programs. Arnold Eudell is our new Chapter Services Coordinator, replacing Paul Celmer who is this year's Congress Coordinator in North Carolina. Paul served AGA Chapters very well in this capacity by helping dozens of chapters with equipment issues and managing requests for chapter support. We thank him for his service and hope this year's Congress does not wear him out completely! Next, Christopher Vu, a freshman at Seton Hall, has generously agreed to help support both Membership Services and a new internet league beginning later this year. Thank you Christopher -- we need more young and energetic members like you!

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Published by the American Go Association
Managing Editor: Chris Garlock
Assistant Editor: Bill Cobb

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