News from the American Go Association

August 14, 2006
Volume 7, #67


2006.08.13IngRd1Bd1NPhipps-JLi; 2006.08.13IngRd1Bd2YZhou-GPrice

JIANG-LI REMATCH SHAPING UP AT U.S. OPEN: Ming Jiu Jiang 7P and Jie Li 9d look to be headed for another rematch. Jiang handed Li his only defeat at the Oza West in January in Las Vegas. Both have cruised to comfortable victories in Rounds 1 and 2 in the US Open, which began yesterday at the 2006 US Go Congress in Black Mountain, NC. Boards 1 and 2 are being broadcast live each morning on IGS beginning at 9A EST. Jiang beat Ron Snyder 7d and Seung Hyun Hong 7d; Li defeated I-Han Lui 7d and Landon Brownell. Teenager Curtis Tang 7d is another top player to keep an eye on (d. Zhaonian Chen 8d & Yongfei Ge 8d); also undefeated so far are Gheorghe (Cornell) Burzo (all the way from Romania) 8d (d. Rui Wang 7d & Dal Soo Kim 7d); Yuan Zhou 7d (d. Ned Phipps 7d & Hiroharu Kotani 7d of Japan); Andy Liu (d. Gus Price 7d & Zhaonian Chen 8d); Canadian Phillip Waldron 6d (d. Michael Cheng 6d & Kenichi Shigemi 7d of Japa n); Trevor Morris 6d (d. Matthew Burrall 6d & Lianzhou Yu 7d).

LI DEFENDING ING TITLE: Jie Li 9d is back defending his Amateur Ing Cup title, which he's now won three times (2002, 2004 & 2005). The 16th annual 4-round tournament is being held in the evenings at the US Go Congress, with Boards 1 & 2 broadcast live on the IGS. Round 1 results: Jie Li 9d d. Ned Phipps 7d; Gus Price 7d d. Yuan Zhou 7d; Yongfei Ge 8d d. Jin Chen 6d; ZhaoNian Chen 8d d. Trevor Morris 6d; Eric Lui 8d d. Jon Boley 6d; Lianzhou Yu 7d d. Matthew Burrall 6d; Seung Hyun Hong 7d d. Juan Pablo Quizon 5d; Norman Chadwick 7d d. I-Han Lui 7d.

FIRE ON BOARD ONE: Strong player games adjourned for the lunch break on Day 1 of the US Open were delayed when a computer used for broadcasting Board 1 exploded and burst into flames around 1P Sunday. "There was a spark and then a big burst of flames," recounted eyewitness Brent Marinello 1k. "It literally went Boom!" said Board 2 recorder Michael Kyriakakis. Added Marinello, "People rushed around it, and two or three people used the table cloth to try and put it out." When the laptop, a 5-year-old Sony Vaio, exploded, "people realized a fire extinguisher was needed," said Marinello. Blue Ridge staffers responded quickly, extinguishing the fiery laptop, but the Strong Players Room -now filled with acrid smoke and CO2 -- had to be sealed off while the staffers aired it out and vacuumed up the mess. Top board players returning to restart adjourned games mingled with curious onlookers who jokingly accused E-Journal Managing Edito r Chris Garlock - whose laptop had exploded - of creating news instead of covering it. Akane Negishi 1d of KGS had borrowed the back-up E-Journal laptop - whose battery apparently overheated -- to simulcast the Ron Snyder 7d vs Jiang Mingjiu 7p Board One game (Garlock was broadcasting the same game on IGS on another laptop). Fortunately, no-one was at Table One when the laptop exploded and there were no injuries. The tablecloth was melted to the computer, and the table itself was charred and permanently warped where the computer rested. "My board didn't blow up, my table did," Snyder told the E-Journal. Meanwhile, AGA computer whiz Chuck Robbins 5d showed off the charred remains of the ill-fated Vaio, explaining that he plans to use it to demonstrate to clients "why they should upgrade before three years."
- reported by Aria von Elbe

TODAY'S GAME RECORDS: We think you'll enjoy today's game records, both from the top boards at Sunday night's Ing Cup. On Board 1, watch how Jie Li 9d handles Ned Phipps 7d's massive center moyo; and on Board 2, 16-year-old Gus Price 7d (who's only been playing a few years) despite having to give Yuan Zhou 7d an 8-point komi, plays his first move on the tengen.and then things get interesting.

VIRTUAL CONGRESS: For those unable to attend this year's US Go Congress in Black Mountain, North Carolina, the E-Journal provides several ways to join us virtually. Photos, games and news are being posted - and constantly updated - online at  The upgraded website now keeps an archive of previously posted material, so you can catch up anytime (use the arrows on the homepage and news pages). As in previous years, we'll also be publishing a special daily E-Journal with the day's latest Congress news. If there's something we're not covering, please let us know at and we'll try to get it for you!

       Returning for his 6th US Go Congress, Maeda Ryo 6p says that American go is "changing," and that there are not only more players, but "more strong players." According to Maeda, an American 4-5 kyu is now equivalent to a 1-dan amateur in Japan.
       Maeda continues to be a popular pro at the Congress, and the E-Journal caught up with him just after Sunday afternoon's lecture on his "Maeda Method" to a packed room. When we wondered where Fujiwara Katsuya 6p - Maeda's rival and friend who has attended many Congresses was, Maeda explained that Fujiwara is teaching the Kansai Kiin Summer Go Camp this year and was unable to get away.
       For Western players wondering about the effect of the recent elimination of the oteai - the longtime series of pro-pro matches the Nihon Kiin and Kansai Kiin used to update rankings - Maeda explains that the purpose was so that higher-level players can now play lower-level players, something that didn't happen outside of title preliminary matches under the old system. Oteai matches were scheduled eight times a year and in order to progress to the next dan level, pros were required to win 6 of the 8 for a 75% pass record. "Now rankings are decided by institute tournaments. The Kansai Kiin has two tournaments for just Kansai pros. The Nagoya Branch of the Nihon Kiin also has one." With the new system, both institutes have a 30 game minimum that professionals must win before promotion to the next level. The insei program and pro test have been changing as well, Maeda says. "Each year the age limit gets lower."
        Despite the domination of world go by Korean players, Maeda seems confident about the future of go in his native Japan, pointing out two of Japan's young pros: Iyama Yuta 7p, 18-year-old winner of the 2006 China-Japan Agon Cup, and Murakawa Daisuke 3p, the Kansai Kiin's youngest pro at 16. Not discouraged by the plethora of "strong young pros in Korea," he is also quick to add Taiwan into the mix of Japan-China-Korea go relations.
       Maeda, now the Kansai Kiin Director, joined the Kansai Kiin's insei program at 13 and began studying to become a professional. After five years, Maeda passed the pro test and was inducted into the Kansai Kiin at 18. He now reviews international pro games and regularly attends the Kansai Kiin study group to strengthen himself, still aspiring to win a title one day. He has high hopes, not only for himself, but also for Japan, who he says still has "lots of talent."
- reported by Aria von Elbe

OTHER TOURNEY REPORTS: Youth Lightning 5-table winners: Tianren Tan 1k; Keiju Takahara 9k; Andrew Shang 13k; Tiffany Wu 17k; John Wang 20k.

2006 GO CONGRESS EJ TEAM: This year's E-Journal team brings together an international crew to cover the biggest US go event of the year. Lead reporter Aria von Elbe, recently of Ft. Lauderdale, FL will soon hail from New York City, where she starts classes at NYU later this month. Board 2 game recorder Michael Kyriakakis is here all the way from Melbourne, Australia, and reporters Laura Kolb and Lee Huynh (tournament reports) are both from Chicago, IL. Photographer Mario Moran lives in Toronto, Canada, and game recorder Akane Negishi is from Seattle, WA. IT support staff: Chuck Robbins (Lancaster, PA) and John Hilt (Roanoke, VA). EJ Managing Editor and Board 1 recorder (IGS) Chris Garlock lives in Washington, DC.

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

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