News from the American Go Association

July 24, 2006
Volume 7, #61

Readers Write

ROMMEL WINS IN KALAMAZOO: Bob Rommel 2d won the Kalamazoo tournament on July 15 in Kalamazoo, MI, topping a 15-player field. "Bob Rommel played a powerful tournament with decisive games and was a deserving winner," reports organizer Benjamin Schooley. "This was also a notable tournament for Kalamazoo's own Drew Rushton who has been experiencing some mixed tournaments results recently." Schooley was pleased that the event attracted three dan-level players participate, including a 5 dan, a significant increase over previous events. "I am considering changing the format of the tournament somewhat, something along the lines of a bottom-half handicap section for mid-kyu players and purely nigiri section for high-kyu and dan-level players," says Schooley.
      Winner's Report: 1st: Bob Rommel, 2d, 4-0; 2nd: Drew Rushton, 9k, 4-1; 3rd: Nick White, 13k, 4-2.

UPSETS RULE IN NOVA TOURNEY: Upsets abounded in last weekend's NOVA Congress Tune-Up Tournament. Xinmu Tan, 4d upset both Yuan Zhou 8d and Trevor Morris 6d in the regular tournament, while Keiju and Yukino Takehara, with a combined rank of 13k, upset the 1d team of Trevor Morris and Karen Gold in the Pair Go section. Forty-one players participated in the NOVA Congress Tune-up tournament on Saturday, July 22. Of these, four pairs played in the pair go section for two rounds, then joined the main tournament. "Our longest distance visitor was Mehnet Bersbey, from Turkey!" reports Allan Abramson.
       Winner's Report: First place, Xinmu Tan 4d, 4-0; James Wu 1d 3-1; Philip London 5k 4-0; Ching-Sung Chin 6k 3-1; Nathan Schmitz 14k 4-0; Jon Grantham 19k 3-1, and Melody Chao 31k 4-0. Second place, Scott Waldron 3d 3-1; Tianren Tan 1k 2-2; Mehnet Bersbey 2k 3-1; Sudhir Vel 3k 3-1; Stephen Tung 8k 2-2; Jennifer Lin 14k 3-1; Yukino Takehara 19k 2-0 and Bill Strider 27k 2-2. Pair Go: first place, Keiju and Yukino Takehara.

CYCLONES SWEEP IOWA CUP AGAIN: The Cyclone Go Club kept the Iowa Cup in Ames in the July 22 tournament in Iowa City. The Cyclones, based in Ames, fielded nine players who accumulated 16 1/5 points. The Cedar Rapids Go Club brought six players and earned 8 points. The Fairfield Go Club had three players and scored 5 points. A single Waterloo Go Club player earned 1 point. The overall individual tournament winner was Han Hong Lu (2k, Fairfield, 4 wins); he received the kaya table board donated by Andras Kristof. Ian Barnard (19k, Ames, 4 wins) received the second prize, a set of Yunzi go stones, bowls and carrying case, also donated by Andras Kristof. Among the runner-ups were Jitzhou Chen (11k, Ames, 3 wins), Zaida Marreno (25k, Ames, 2 ? wins), Francois Torney (17k, Ames, 2 wins), Matt Pinkston (11k, Cedar Rapids, 2 wins), Ramon Mercado (16k, Ames, 2 wins) and Jacob Uptain (8k, Cedar Rapids, 2 wins). Prizes for winn ing players were books donated by Slate and Shell, or cash. Three new members joined the AGA on the day of the tournament.

U.S. INVITED TO JOIN NANNING TOURNEY: The United States has been invited to participate in the China Nanning International Weiqi Invitational Tournament, scheduled for August 26 - September 1 in Nanning, China. AGA President Mike Lash is looking for a volunteer to be the players' coordinator; those interested in either coordinating or participating in the tournament can email Lash at The tournament is supervised by the Chinese Weiqi Association.

CONGRESS OFFERS FREE AGA MEMBERSHIP: In a special promotion, the 2006 US Go Congress will pay for one year of full AGA membership for any adult player who has never before been an AGA member and who registers for the Congress before July 22, reports organizer Paul Celmer. Contact the registrar at after you register via the website to take advantage of this special offer. "We have updated our list of non-go activities to include Outdoor Challenge Courses, Mountain Exploring, and more," adds Celmer. Save $50 by registering before midnight July 25 (deadline extended from July 22). More details at for details.

KERWIN HONORED: More than 30 people gathered in Minneapolis, MN on Saturday, July 15th, to celebrate James Kerwin 1P's career as go professional and honor his work as a go teacher in the United States. "It was a sweet day and evening," said organizer Steve Titterud 1d. "As a community of go players, we become closely-knit through shared values. We renewed old friendships, made new friends, played go, and honored our sensei. It was a great day." The event began with a five-hour open tournament whose only prizes were informal ones for unlikely distinctions such as "best tesuji that didn't deserve to work." Then came dinner - and toasts. After a number of sometimes funny, always
reverent testimonials, Kerwin rose to speak. Saying that he was "touched and flattered by the people who came and also those who sent their stories and anecdotes," Kerwin demurred that "I don't think of myself in this way, not like I do about Iwamoto. He was one or two or three great men in my life. For him, it would be natural and appropriate to honor him in this way-but I can't see myself on that level." However, Kerwin went on to say, "I think I'm still trying to see myself through others' eyes-everyone tends to think they're doing nothing special, just going about their day-to-day business.maybe they need to see their accomplishments reflected in the mirror of other people to see them at all." The U.S. go scene has changed considerably since Kerwin first discovered go at Carleton College in Northfield, MN (evidently as a diversion from poker). His teacher there, Arthur Gropen, told the crowd that he knew Jim would go places when he accompanied him on his first trip to Jap an: while Gropen was quivering before the go professionals at the Nihon-Kiin, Kerwin kept a steely presence before the board-determined to win. With an accumulated 78 round trips away from home and 169,108 miles traveled throughout the U.S. and Canada teaching go, Kerwin says he's determined as ever to continue to spread his go knowledge. With go, he tells the EJ, "you can't advance by yourself-it's got to be as part of a community. Go is the accumulation of thousands of years-millions of hours-of insight into the game. To try
to recreate that from scratch just by studying the board with stones on it would be impossible."
- reported by Joel Turnipseed

LEE CHANGHO SWEEPS WANGWI: Lee Changho 9P defeated Lee Yeongku 5P 3-0 to hold on to the Korean Wangwi title for the eleventh year in a row. This is the 131st title won by Changho, who now holds five Korean titles: Wangwi, King of Kings (Electron-Land), Kuksu, Sibdang, and the KBS Cup, along with the international Chunlan Cup title. The challenger Lee Yeongku has never won a title, but as another of the amazing Korean teenagers, he has time on his side.

CRISTIAN POP WINS CZECH OPEN: Cristian Pop 7d of Romania won the Czech Open a week ago in Pardubice. Pop was undefeated in six rounds. The victory put him in first place in points toward the 2006-2007 European Cup. In second place, losing only to Pop, was Jan Hora 5d of Prague. Young Ondrej Silt 6d was third, losing only to the first two. There were sixty-five participants in the three day event. The European Cup is a unique event. The prize is created by having local tournaments pay the European Go Federation for points that are awarded to the winners of the tournaments. At six Euros per point a typical tournament awards twenty-five to fifty points. Tournaments in any EGF country can participate, with a limit of two per country. The winner of the Cup is the player who accumulates the most points over a year. This is its third year. Ondrej Silt was the first winner, with twelve tournaments participating, and Seok-Bin Cho was the second. So far this year two participating tournaments have occurred: the Czech Open and an earlier event in Italy. Another is underway now in Sweden and a fourth will take place in Slovakia in October.

CONGRESS YOUTH ROOM PROGRAM: U.S. Go Congress organizers have a full schedule planned for the Youth Room at this year's Congress, from a pizza party to a Youth Pro Clinic and tournaments just for youngsters. The Youth Room activities will run between 1:30 and 5:30 each afternoon except Wednesday. "This year, thanks to our hosts, the Blue Ridge Assembly, we have the opportunity to offer additional children's activities in the afternoons," reports Youth Room Coordinator Todd Heidenreich. "These programs are run by staff from the Blue Ridge Assembly and are separate from and in addition to the normal programs of the Go Congress. Each of these programs will run during the afternoon for 3 to 4 hours. Participants in each session must sign up ahead of time and there is an extra fee of $13 per child per session." Special sessions are available for kids ages 3-5 and ages 6-14; for details on activities or to sign up for one o r more of these sessions, contact Heidenreich at 301-922-7996 or before this Thursday, July 27th.

MILLER WINS GO QUIZ: The tournament being played in Hiroshima, Japan in 1945 when the Americans dropped the atomic bomb was of course the Honinbo, as most of our quiz respondents knew. "This game is depicted on the building of the Seattle Go Center which was founded by Iwamoto Kaoru, who was playing that game that fateful day," notes Dennis Wheeler. See a photo at  Adds Marvin Schaefer, "The game was Iwamoto vs Honinbo Hashimoto. Windows were blown out and the stones were blown off the board. The game was resumed and played through as refugees streamed by, evacuating the city. Iwamato lost that game but won the match." Matt Miller is this week's winner, selected at random from those responding correctly. Matt wins a free Limited AGA membership, and will receive the Members' Edition of the EJ for the next year. "It is said that when playing go, you make your own universe," wrote Daniel Poore. "Against that kind of power, even the force of an atomic bomb pales."

THIS WEEK'S GO QUIZ: Rui Naiwei 9P was the first woman to win a pro tournament not restricted to women. Was it the Kisung, the Wangwi or the Kuksu? Click here to vote:   One winner will be drawn at random from the correct answers and will be awarded a gift certificate from one of our fine go vendors, or a free Limited membership.

NEW ERA BEGINS AT NIHON KIIN: The formation of the new Board of Directors of the Nihon Kiin brings to an end the transitional period since the death of Kato Masao on December 31, 2004, during which Kudo Norio served in a temporary capacity. The four years under Kato and Kudo stands as the only period since the inception of Nihon Kiin when it was led by a professional player rather than an outside industrial CEO. Kato and Kudo have been bold in implementing many new policies that resulted in, among others, the first budgetary surplus of the Kiin in 2002. Joining new president Okabe Hiromu (CEO of the Denso Corporation, elected to Nihon Kiin presidency on 7/11) are Kobayashi Koichi 9P and Yasuji Maeda (CEO of Maeda Industry) as vice presidents. Of the other seven Directors, only Kanda Ei 9P, Komatsu Fujio 8P, and Fujisawa Kazunari 8P are hold-overs. The most well-known new director is perhaps Sakai Takeshi 9P, often regarded as the "resident theoretician" of the Nihon Kiin. The new leadership will take office on July 30th. The 69-year-old Okabe Hiromu is originally from Aichi Prefecture in central Japan. A strong amateur player, he learned go while studying at Nagoya University. His stated goals in the new position include the continued financial restructuring and revival of the Nihon Kiin, the focus on youth movement in the Japanese go population, and bringing international championships to Japan. Okabe is expected to simultaneously take over the presidency of the International Go Federation.
- reported by Thomas Hsiang

YOUR MOVE: Readers Write

HOW TO PLAY: "Can you please suggest one or several CDs which explain how to play go?" asks reader Luigi De Santis.
     There are lots of Internet sites. See the "Getting Started" links on the AGA's web site at:


July 29-30, 2006: San Francisco, CA
Northern California Goe Tournament
Ernest Brown 415.641.6255

July 29, 2006: San Antonio, TX
San Antonio Go Club Summer Tournament
Levi Self 210.367.9759

July 29, 2006: St. Paul, MN
Minnjin- Minnesota Meijin Go Tournament
Nathaniel Ming Curran 612.232.1105
Local go professional James Kerwin will provide live commentary

August 12-20, 2006: Black Mountain, NC
The 22nd US Go Congress
Paul Celmer 919.779.7925

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

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