News from the American Go Association

June 30, 2006
Volume 7, #54 (Member's Edition)

ATTACHED FILE(S): 2006.06.30 Challenge, Hop-valius, Chung; 2006.06.30 McGuigan Series #19

MASTERS B LEAGUE FINAL 4: The third and semifinal round of the Master's Tournament B League will be held this Saturday, JuLY 1 at 4P EST on KGS. The pairings for this round: Board 1: Zhaonian Chen ZCHEN vs EricLui THEONE. Board 2: Jung Hoon Lee JHLEE vs Yuan ZHou YZHOU. Get more information about the tournament at

CONGRESS CLOSES IN ON 400 MARK: Registration for this year's US Go Congress - August 12-20 in Black Mountain, NC - is closing in fast on the 400 mark, with 367 signed up as of today. The biggest go event of the year features eight days of non-stop go (literally: one tournament begins at midnight), from tournaments to lectures, simuls and more. Details online at  A wide range of non-player activities are planned this year, reports organizer Paul Celmer, including a craft shop that can be open in the evening "to provides something relaxing to do and a place to visit after conference sessions before turning in for the night." The craft shop offers paint-on-pottery, potter's wheels for throwing clay pots, hand building with clay, floor looms for weaving, leatherwork, beads and painting small craft items. Other possible activities: Tower Night Climb Climb the Alpine Tower in the dark, campfires and Appalachian Experiences, which includes Cherokee stories and crafts, Mountain clogging, Star Lab, professional storytelling, square dancing, magic show.

YOUTH CAMPI UPDATE: "The East Coast Youth Camp -- August 5-12 in Delaware Water Gap, PA -- is expecting 20 campers with an exactly 50/50 male/female split," reports Director Karen Jordan. A few spots are still open and there's still room in the West Coast Camp -- July 15-22 in Tacoma, WA. Tomorrow's the deadline for East Coast Camp sign-up: get your application at for details.

STREAMING HIKARU: "Hikaru no Go is coming to a laptop near you!" reports the EJ's Hikaru Desk reporter Joe Sanet. "According to the July issue of NewType USA, our favorite anime is on the initial lineup of shows when the Internet program stream Toonami Jetstream launches July 17. It will share thespotlight with four other shows including Prince of Tennis and the very popular Naruto. New episodes will become available once a week. The Jetstream is a joint venture between Cartoon Network and VIZ Media. Its placeholder website is already up at HnG will also be shown subtitled and dubbed on ImaginAsian TV,

38K GAMES IN SMARTGO 2.2: SmartGo 2.2 -- now with 38,049 professional games -- has been released, reports programmer Anders Kierulf. "One of the new features helps you review games played on a server: SmartGo can automatically find the 10 moves that took the longest time, so you can easily review the moves where you had to make a hard decision. Thanks to Philip Waldron for suggesting that feature."

FUJITSU SEMIFINALS THIS WEEKEND: The semifinals of the 19th international Fujitsu Cup will be held Saturday, July 1st. Results on Monday.

YAMADA HANGING ON IN HONINBO: Yamada Kimio 9P, back to the wall, down three games to one in the best-of-seven title match against Japanese Honinbo Takao Shinji 9P, has managed to pull out a second victory. Details on Monday.

LEE CHANGHO STARTS STRONG IN WANGWI: Lee Changho 9P has won the first game in defense of his Wangwi title in Korea against challenger Lee Yeongku 5P. Details on Monday.

ABRAMSON & SIRA TACKLE NEW JOBS: Two AGA members have recently agreed to take on key positions, reports President Mike Lash. "Former Board Chairman Allan Abramson has accepted the position of AGA Pair Go Coordinator," says Lash. "In this new position, he will continue the activity he started by growing the number of Pair Go events across the nation, spreading awareness of Pair Go tournaments and rules, and working closely with the Nikon Kiin Pair Go Association to obtain international support for Pair Go tournaments here in the US. His effort will compliment those of Jeff Shaevel, our Go Congress Pair Go Tournament Director." Also stepping up is Christopher Sira from the Empty Sky Go Club in Rochester. Sira has agreed to come on as the Acting National Tournament Coordinator. "This job carries a large portfolio," says Lash, "streamlining our current schedule of events, updating the AGA's tournament rules and regulations infrastructure, publishing and maintaining the national calendar of AGA tournaments, the development of new tournaments, and more. Chris will also begin working with Tournament Directors of regular national events to assure consistency of AGA support."

NEW GO JOURNAL AVAILABLE ON THE INTERNET: The Russian Go Federation is now publishing a free go journal in English on the Internet that includes interviews with pros, problems and game commentaries. Check it out at  

VOLUNTEER COORDINATOR WANTED: The AGA's Volunteer Coordinator is responsible for regular recruitment of new volunteers, placement into vacant positions, and providing support to volunteers as appropriate. The Coordinator will formulate and revise job descriptions as needed, evaluate performance related to the job description, recommend revisions, assists volunteers in changing jobs as desirable for either training or personal preferences of the individual. Interested? Email AGA President Mike Lash at To find out more about other opportunities available at the AGA click here:

AGA MEMBERSHIP DIPS: Membership in the American Go Association dipped below the 2,100 mark for the first time this year, after three months of declines in Full memberships. After hitting an all-time record high of 2,180 members at the end of January, total membership has dropped in four out of the last five months and now stands at 2,090. While Sponsors were up slightly to 36, Sustainers dropped slightly to 60, Limited continued its 2006 downward trend to 268 and Youth memberships were also down (to 471). Chapters were down 2 to 145. Life membership continues to be a bright spot, the record 48 up 11 over the beginning of the year.

July 2, 2006: Seattle, WA
Ratings Tournament
Jon Boley 206.545.1424

     Chung Luke 6d takes a close look at Shodan Challenger Jonathan Hop 3k's game in today's game commentary, and in the nineteenth installment of Questions from Actual Play, Haruyama Isamu 9P looks at "an odd move" that "can't be called a good move. However, a move is a move."
      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

By James Kerwin 1P
     This article completes the program for players who want to do well in the Congress main tournament. The longer time limit in the US Open requires you to improve your stamina. The longer time potentially enables you to play at your highest level, but it's important to remember that more time does not automatically mean better play. You have time to learn how to use your time wisely.
     The basic time limit in the US Open is 90 minutes per player plus byo-yomi. (The top sections get two hours per player.) This time limit means the game can easily last four hours or longer. I'll assume 90 minutes is twice what you usually use for a game. Of the extra 45 minutes, reserve 20 minutes for yose and 10 minutes for crunch time (when the game is on the line). Spend the other 15 minutes doing the other things I suggest below. I realize that there are players out there who like more time; adapt my suggestions to your own game, but do consider these recommendations on maximizing the use of time.
     The 45 minutes you currently spend on playing a game are divided into a certain amount of reading, some time on finding reasonable moves ('move candidates'), some time on yose and so on. With the exception of yose, I don't recommend changing how you apportion your time. If you generally read to a certain depth, you won't significantly improve your reading by trying to read each move farther. And if you spend a certain amount of time selecting move candidates, it's unlikely you'll find better moves if you spend a lot more time on it. It's even possible to spend so much time on a move that you find a really bad one.
     Instead, spend time doing things you're not currently doing. Use some of the time to estimate the game state, as suggested last week. Most players should spend more time finding the big area. Here's a clue: if you can't explain why the area you're playing in is the big area, you don't know it's the big area. Take a moment to think about how your play in the big area will affect the next-biggest area. When you take sente and leave an area, spend a moment picking future moves or aims in the area for when you come back to it. Spend some time reading out areas you don't intend to play in next. That effort will reveal forcing moves or aim points that set up gains in those areas. Knowing those points will enable you to link the play in other areas to future play and raise the level of your game. This last item is a good thing to do while your opponent is thinking.
     Don't plan to use up every minute of time. If the game goes smoothly you may only use a fraction of your total time. But if you find you're going through your time speed up your play a little: you need to keep a reserve. While I don't think you will play better by trying to read deeper on every move, it is worthwhile to read as deeply as you can when the game is on the line. Save some clock time for crunch time. And save clock time for yose. Most players should spend more time on yose. For one thing, it's best in the yose to count the actual value of moves instead of estimating. Counting takes time, but it makes a big difference in the quality of your yose. In addition, about half of all games are decided in the yose. Spending more time on the yose can have a dramatic effect on your winning percentage.
     You have the program, now practice it in your games. By the Congress you should have integrated these skills into your game and you'll be able to stand up to the pressure of competition. Good luck!


CONGRESS NON-PLAYERS WANTED: Seeking non-players at this summer's Congress in Black Mountain who are looking for an active week: exploring local (historical) sites, white water rafting, golf, moderate to strenuous hiking, anything outdoors and away from Go boards. Please contact Laura Champagne at: or use the Go Congress message board at:  (6/30)

VETTERS WANTED for new book "Improve Fast In Go", designed for players in the 15K-5K range desiring to reach Dan status. At least one vetter is sought in each of 3 categories: 5 Dan and Stronger, 4 Kyu - 4 Dan, 5 Kyu - 15 Kyu. If interested in participating, email Milton Bradley at with a brief description of your qualifications. (6/30)

GO LIBRARY FOR SALE: 360 Japanese Go Magazines from 1960 through 2006. Most in good to excellent condition. Classic magazines include Takagawa's 9th defense of 15th Honinbo Title (1960), Hashimoto wins 1st 10 Dan (1962), Sakata takes 2nd Meijin (1963), Rin Kaiho takes 4th Meijin (1965), Cho Chikun and Kobayashi Koichi's first titles, etc. $15 apiece OBO. 400 other items available, including books signed personally by Go Seigen, Sakata, etc. Contact: (6/16)

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 (6/9)

Classified ads are free for AGA members and run for 4 weeks: send your ad to us at

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Assistant Editor: Bill Cobb

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