News from the American Go Association

June 9, 2006
Volume 7, #48 (Member's Edition)


  Piscataway & Sacramento
GO REVIEW: All About Joseki
ATTACHED FILE(S): 2006.06.09 Zhong-Phipps, Hung; 2006.06.09 Challenge Simul, Tsai-Fiorillo; 2006.06.09 Test Your Level, Weiqi World

CONGRESS REGISTRATIONS TOP 200: "The last two weeks have seen a rush of 70 new US Go Congress registrations, with 214 now signed up," reports organizer Paul Celmer. The Congress, American go's biggest event of the year, attracts hundreds of go players from around the world for 8 days of non-stop go, this year scheduled for August 12-20 in Black Mountain, NC. Congress travel information has been updated: airport shuttle information is now posted on the website -- -- and the June 10th carpool contest information is posted on the Congress ride board. "Register as soon as possible to ensure you get the accommodations you want," says Celmer. "Plus, save $50 if you complete your registration by June 22."

BOARD CONTESTS SHAPING UP: Contested elections in two out of the three AGA Board seats are shaping up, with three nominations each in the Eastern and Central regions. Nominations are open through June 15; the terms of four seats - one in each region and an At-Large seat - expire this September. Arnold Eudell reports that in the Eastern region, Christopher Kubica, Chuck Robbins and Pete Schumer have been nominated, while in the Central region Roy Schmidt, Laura Kolb and Mark Rubenstein have been nominated. Roy Laird is the only nomination for the At-Large seat and thus far there are no nominations in the Western region. Nominations must be made in writing by full members of the AGA. Send to Candidate statements will be posted online June 15 at

LAIRD NEW BOARD CHAIR, CELMER APPOINTED TO BOARD: The AGA Board chose At-Large Board member Roy Laird to replace Allan Abramson (who resigned recently) as Chair of the Board. North Carolina go organizer - and 2006 US Congress coordinator - Paul Celmer was appointed to fill Abramson's East Coast Board seat for the balance of the term through 2007. In other Board news, minutes from the February and March Board meetings are now posted online: to view all minutes of meetings,

WOMEN PROS OUT IN KOREAN ELECTRON-LAND CUP: Both Rui Naiwei 9P and Cho Hyeyeon 7P lost their games in the third round of the Electron-Land Cup, leaving an all male field for the semi-finals. Details on Monday.

WINNINGEST PROS IN 2006: Coming up in Monday's edition: details about the current leaders among pros in China, Japan, and Korea in terms of the number of games they've won so far in 2006.

KIDS TACKLE 500-STONE CHALLENGE: The Boulder (CO) Kids and Teens Go Club has a new program called "500 Stones," reports David Weiss. "It's like the Shodan Challenge, except that instead of being an individual challenge, it is a challenge for the entire club to improve by 500 stones," explains Weiss. "We estimate that it will take 18 - 24 months to achieve this goal, but we intend to celebrate every 100 stones of progress with cake or ice cream or chocolate of some kind." The club has already picked up a collective 30 stones since starting last month, says Weiss. "We get a lot of new kids who start around 35 kyu, so there is lots of room for improvement. We now have a continuous range of kids from 4 - 33 kyu, so it is a lot easier for the 20 kyus to improve now than a year ago when the strongest kids were 20 kyu, and the adults were all 6 kyu or stronger." Find out more from Weiss at

YOUNGSTERS GOING WEST...AND EAST: The West Coast Youth Go Camp deadline is fast approaching: sign up now to participate at  Plus: Are you a strong go player? Would you like a VERY small dan/low-kyu class with a professional teacher? You can at the East Coast Go Camp! Only two players above 10K are registered. Why let them have all the fun? Hurry and sign up now! Visit for the application!

CLASSIFIEDS WORK: "Just to let you know that the EJ classified ad for free Go Worlds and Go Journals had a wonderful response and will be off to a new home soon," writes Norman Pedersen. Classifieds are free for members; email them to

CORRECTING KERWIN: The email for contacting organizers of the July 15 James Kerwin celebration was wrong (Kerwin Day In Minneapolis 6/2 EJ). The correct address is:

CLOSE BUT NO CIGAR: We were mistaken when we called Joey Hung 8d's impressive 6th-place finish in the recent World Amateur Go Championships "the best-ever finish for the US" (Joey Hung Sixth In World Amateurs 6/2 EJ). In 1986 Charles Huh of Seattle finished 5th and in 1994 John Lee also finished 5th. Thanks to several sharp-eyed readers for catching this error, including Keith Arnold, who took the time to do the follow-up research.

WEEKEND GO ACTION:  Piscataway & Sacramento
- June 10 : Piscataway, NJ
Feng Yun Go School Monthly rated tournament
Feng Yun 973-992-5675
- June 10: Sacramento, CA
Davis/Sacramento Quarterly Tournament
Fred Hopkins 973-992-5675

       Another bumper crop of great go material this week! We're very pleased to present a game from last October's Chinese Invitational Tournament, attended by a team from the US that included Ned Phipps 7d, here seen playing 11-year-old Zhong Yi in a game commented by Joey Hung 8d. In our latest Shodan Challenge game commentary, Thomas Fiorillo 24k plays Norman Tsai 4d in a game from the May 28 online simul organized for participants in our ongoing Shodan Challenge, in which almost 50 players are working toward improving their games by the upcoming 2006 US Go Congress.
"Test Your Level" is a terrific set of problems from the January 15 issue of World of Weiqi, the Chinese go publication, translated for us by David Wong 2d of Richmond, VA.
       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: All About Joseki
by Jiang Mingjiu 7P and Guo Juan 5P
Published by Slate & Shell
Reviewed by Jonathan M Bresler 10k
       All About Joseki considers the use - and abuse -- of joseki in the early stages of thirty amateur dan-level games. The book was inspired by the warm reception received by the the authors' lectures each Sunday morning on the Kiseido Go Server. A careful reading of the book is warranted, as frequently a diagram may demonstrate the correct use of a joseki that was inappropriate in a different corner earlier in the game.
       The first half of this slim 114-page book examines sixteen games. In each game there are one or more joseki errors, either in move order or in the placement of stones. The result of these errors is explored in several diagrams, demonstrating why a particular set of moves in a certain order define a joseki. As such the first half of the book may be viewed as a continuation of the Jiang Mingjiu and Adam Miller book Punishing and Correcting Joseki Mistakes.
       The second half of the book considers joseki chosen in fourteen more games. The results of different choices are shown in diagrams and explained in the text. The text focuses not on the first joseki in each game, one that is often easily chosen, but on the second joseki, which is considerably more difficult to coordinate with the stones already in play. This half of the book is considerably more interesting, as its material is unlikely to have been covered elsewhere.
Available at

By James Kerwin 1P
        This is the first in a series of articles about how to prepare for the upcoming US Go Congress. Over the next two months I'll have specific suggestions for first-timers, for players who just want to enjoy the Congress, for those who want to improve, and for those who want to increase their rank or do well in the main tournament.
        This initial article is aimed at those who want to do well in the main tournament, because only they need to get started now. The first thing to realize is that there isn't enough time before the Congress to improve much. If you're not already strong for your rank you will not win your section. (This does not apply to young players who can still increase a stone before the Congress.) Of course, you can still improve your tournament play enough to prevent demotion and to aim for a roughly even win-loss record. The regimen I am recommending is intended to allow you to get the best results you can, given your current strength.
         Start by doing life and death problems. I suggest that you select problems you can solve quickly, in less than 30 seconds. You should do at least 15 minutes a day, but 30 minutes would be better. The purpose here is not to see moves you're not already seeing, but to enable you to see the moves you are capable of seeing more quickly. Most of the time in actual play, if you can't see a move in 30 seconds you're not going to see it at all. Plus this exercise will help you develop the right attitude and work ethic, and build stamina. If you want to do harder problems in addition, go ahead, but daily practice is the key here.
         Start playing longer games. Stamina is important in tournament games: the games are much longer than typical club games, and the intensity - and therefore the effort -- is higher as well. It is hard at a club to ask others to play longer games, but if anyone else at your club is going to the Congress you could ask them for longer games. Internet games tend to be fast games, but I created a room on KGS called the 'Pre-Congress Room' (look under the 'Lessons" category) where anyone interested in playing longer games to prepare for the Congress can meet other likeminded players.
         These two steps will get you going in the right direction. I'll have more suggestions in future articles.


CONGRESS COUPON FOR SALE: $350 AGA coupon for sale for $250 OBO; coupon can be used as $350 cash in the coming Go Congress. Contact Wenjie Xu at or call 646-270-1180

GO TEACHER WANTED: Dan teacher willing to teach a young go player over the internet on KGS, Please contact me by my handle: AppleJacks or by email at:

SPEAKER/TEACHER WANTED: Aspen Meadows, home of the Aspen Institute, is looking for a speaker/teacher to do a segment on go and teach participants to play June 1-4. Contact Tiffany Long at

PLAYERS WANTED, COLUMBUS, GA: If there is anyone who would like to play go in or around Columbus GA please email Also, if anyone even remotely nearby or on the way wants to carpool to the Go Congress please let me know.

WANTED TO PURCHASE: Go board wax in order to refinish a katsura board after sanding. Will buy directly, or tell me where I can get it. Contact: Duncan H. Brown, Fairfield (Iowa) Go Club,

FREE TO A GOOD HOME: Issues 58-61 of "Go World on Disk" on four 5-1/4" floppy disks. I also have 50 Go Problems (unknown levels of difficulty) on a 3-1/2" diskette. If you can read these disks, you're welcome to them. These were gifts to me, and I hate to see them go to waste just because I can't read them on my computer. Jean G. DeMaiffe,

OPPONENT WANTED: 4th or 5th grader who enjoys go to play an enthusiastic 10-year-old boy beginner. Baltimore and its environs. Email contact info to

Classified ads are free for AGA members: send your ad to us at

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