News from the American Go Association

July 28, 2006
Volume 7, #62 (Member's Edition)

WEEKEND GO ACTION: San Francisco, San Antonio & St Paul
GAME COMMENTARY: Gu Li's Fighting Skills
GO REVIEW: Guo Juan 5P's Audio Go Lessons

GO CONGRESS PASSES 400 MARK: Registration for this year's US Go Congress is now over 400, and with the annual 8-day go extravaganza just three weeks away, turnout may well surpass last year's 480 turnout in Tacoma, WA. Set for August 12-20 in Black Mountain, NC, the Congress features several major go tournaments, simultaneous games with a dozen go professionals from Japan, Korea, China and the US, and enough go to satisfy even the most die-hard go fan. Details at  including a schedule of planned events at

CHO U SWEEPS GOSEI TITLE: Cho U 9P has taken the Japanese Gosei title from Yoda Norimoto 9p in three straight games. Details on Monday.

TAKEMIYA IN TENGEN FINALS: Takemiya Masaki 9P, who's now in his fifties and hasn't won a title since the '90s, has made it to the finals of the Japanese Tengen challenger's tournament. Details on Monday.

JULY BOARD MINUTES POSTED: Minutes of the July 9 meeting of the Board of Directors have been posted at, along with the agenda for the Board's August meeting.

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.

WEEKEND GO ACTION: San Francisco, San Antonio & St Paul
- 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

GAME COMMENTARY: Gu Li's Fighting Skills
       Today's game between Lee Sedol 9P of Korea and Gu Li 9P of China -- two of the top players in the world -- shows Gu Li 9P's very strong fighting skills and was decisive for the Chinese winning the 5th CSK Cup in May. The crucial fight heats up after move 101. The commentary is by Liu Shizen 6P and was translated from Weiqi World 2006.10 (May 15, 2006) by Dave Wong 2d of Richmond, VA.
       Our bonus file, the latest installment (#21!) of Haruyama Isamu 9P's Questions from Actual Play, takes a look at the value of an enclosing 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
        The Congress is just three weeks away now. Everyone training should up the intensity level if they can. Try for a long game a day, or as often as you can. This weekend it would be good to play two long games each on Saturday and Sunday. Play as much as you can for the next week and taper off the week before the Congress.
        If you are training to do the best you can in the U.S. Open you should be careful at the Congress. There are so many activities it's easy to overdo. The one thing you must do is to take your Open game to one of the commentary sessions. Otherwise attend lectures, take classes and play a lot of self-paired games. But do not play in other tournaments that require you to work hard. You can play in the lightning or 9x9 if you can be casual about it. Forget the Night Owl.
        The first day usually starts late. Expect it and don't get to the playing room to keyed up. If you have any questions about use of the clock make sure you get them answered before the game starts. Bring a tsume-go book and solve problems while waiting. When the pairings are posted you can put your game face on.
        During the game take short breaks as needed. Do not play through lunch. You are entitled to a lunch break and you should take it, even if your opponent requests to continue playing. You need both the break and the energy. I was never hungry on game days, but I made myself eat. Then I would spend the rest of the break taking a walk. Do the same. Don't schedule anything else until you are certain the game will be over. You don't need the distraction of thinking you should be elsewhere.
        Stop in the early evening and go back to your room. Read or do whatever you find relaxing. Get to bed early and get a good night's sleep. Get up early, no later than 7 and take a long walk, or do what you do for exercise. Have a good breakfast and get to the playing room on time with your tsume-go book.
        This regimen may seem too severe. But the Open is a long tournament, six rounds. I've talked about developing stamina to play the whole game, but you also need enough energy to play the whole tournament. It would be a crime to be in position to win your section and run out of gas the last day. If you've been training to do the best you can and not in hopes of winning then judge for yourself how many more events to participate in. Just be aware of the cost.
        If you have any questions about the Go Congress or would like a particular topic discussed, you can email me at

GO REVIEW: Guo Juan 5P's Audio Go Lessons
by Rich Chalmers 2d
        Guo Juan 5P is well known for her skill teaching go to Westerners. She emphasizes the basics that many of us, being self-taught, are missing. Now Guo is offering professional go instruction in a completely new format - on line, with audio. I find that audio commentary makes a huge difference. You understand so much more hearing your teacher's voice than just reading text. Plus it's more interesting and fun. And at just one Euro per lesson, you can't beat the price.
        Working with a team of professional teachers, Guo makes cutting edge knowledge available and easy for Westerners to understand. The lessons cover all aspects of training from 30 kyu to 5 dan. Lectures include an introductory course for beginners, professional game analysis, lessons on the star point and 3-4 point, opening theory, typical mistakes, how to win a won game and more. New lessons and topics are added regularly. In fact, there are so many lectures that there is a study plan, based on one's level, as a guide to the site.
        To access the lessons, students set up a Paypal account and then choose from a list of pre-recorded lectures, which range from 30 minutes to over an hour. The board is similar to KGS but with audio rather than written commentary. A pause feature allows you to stop the lesson and read out variations in your head. A scroll feature allows you to move throughout the lesson. Once you purchase a lesson, you have access to it for 30 days. This means you can study on your own schedule or stop a lesson at any point and go back to it later.
        I find this site to be an effective and fun way to study. The audio makes it more dynamic and I retain more from the lessons. The ability to review lessons at my own convenience is great: I can study seriously or just watch a recent pro game review after a hard day at work. It's a comprehensive go school that fits my schedule and budget.
        Guo Juan's online lessons are available at

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

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