News from the American Go Association
September 11, 2006
Volume 7, #78
DC PREVAILS IN LATEST CLUB CONTEST
NOVA MAKES A MOVE
GO PIC TIX AVAILABLE
GUO JUAN 5P RETURNS
CHALLENGE 2007 LAUNCHED
LIFE MEMBERS LEAD MEMBERSHIP INCREASE
GO FLOATS IN MICHIGAN
GO MAP & GO DISCUSSIONS ONLINE
KOREANS & CHINESE TAKE OVER SAMSUNG
CHALLENGER TAKAO WINS MEIJIN FIRST ROUND
CHO U AND HANE NAOKI IN AGON FINALS
NEW YEAR'S IN LONDON
YOUR MOVE: Watching Our P's & D's; Finding Tourney Info: Three's A Crowd
NONE REDMOND: GRAND DAME OF YOUTH GO
ATTACHED FILE(S): 2006.09.11 Meijin, Cho-Takao.sgf
DC PREVAILS IN LATEST CLUB CONTEST: The Washington (DC) go club remains undefeated in the 4th Rockville Go & Chess Group vs. Greater Washington Go Club Inter-Club Team Match, beating the Rockville (MD) club 7-5 Friday night at the Rockville Pump House Community Center. Complete results: T Morris 6d (DC) defeated JP Quizon 5d (RGCG); M Peterson 5k (DC) defeated T Heidenreich 5k (RGCG); C Grant 8k (DC) defeated C Anderson 10k (RGCG) twice; B Small 14k (DC) defeated M Ponder 20k (RGCG); K Gold 5k (DC) defeated L Hang 2k (RGCG); B. Small 14k (DC) defeated H Huang 25k (RGCG); K Yunokawa 3d (RGCG) defeated H. Small (DC); N Bernardo 1d (RGCG) defeated K Koester (DC); Z Valivullah 17k (RGCG) defeated E Havens 9k (DC); N Klinger 18k (RGCG) defeated M Edey 10k (DC); T Heidenreich 5k (RGCG) defeated C Grant 8k (DC). The next match will be held at the Greater Washington Go Club in Bethesda on Friday, October 13.
NOVA MAKES A MOVE: After twenty-six years at the Central United Methodist Church, the NOVA Go Club in Alexandria, VA has moved down the street to the George Mason University Law School campus. "Our new meeting space is just around the corner from the tournament room 115, where we usually hold NOVA tournaments," reports NOVA organizer Allan Abramson, "through the double doors into the student lounge area." NOVA is an official student club at GMU now, adds Abramson, with "a branch at GMU - Fairfax, with Quynh Vo as President, generally meeting Thursday nights." The new club name is the NOVA Go Club at GMU - Arlington. Info/directions on the web at www.novagoclub.org
GO PIC TIX AVAILABLE: Tickets for the new Go Seigen pic (Go Seigen Pic To Screen In NYC 8/28 EJ) are now on sale online at www.filmlinc.com "The Go Master" screens Sat Sept 30 at 3P and Sun Oct 1 at 6P as part of the the New York Film Festival. Please note that this is a brand-new film (different from The Go Masters), directed by Tian Zhuangzhuang. "...an exquisite feature based on the life of Wu Qingyuan (Go Seigen), the most reknowned modern master of go. A Chinese prodigy who became the undisputed master of this Japanese board game, Wu is torn by the increasingly bellicose relations between the two countries. Remaining in Japan despite the outbreak of war... Wu is the still center of the storm, following his own inner notions of integrity and loyalty to the discipline of his chosen vocation. This perceptive portrait of a man who maintains his own spiritual counse l is as moving as the cinematography and the lighting are ravishing."
GUO JUAN 5P RETURNS: Guo Juan 5P will hold a workshop in the Catskills again this Columbus Day weekend, her sixth Woodlands workshop in the last three years. The 5-dan Chinese professional lives and teaches in Amsterdam, participated in European tournaments, rarely misses the French Go Camp and has attended many US Go Congresses. Details/sign-up at
CHALLENGE 2007 LAUNCHED: "If you are like us, then you probably already have your sights set on the next Go Congress," say Shodan Challenge organizers Lee Hunyh and Laura Kolb. "The 2007 Shodan Challenge is back to motivate and help players of all strengths to improve significantly by the 2007 US Go Congress." The third annual Challenge - which drew 50 participants from around the world last year-features contests designed to aid studying and prizes including donations from go vendors, simuls with strong players and more. "The Challenge provides a great opportunity to make studying more effective and more enjoyable," promise Hunyh and Kolb. Those interested in the 2007 Challenge should contact them at email@example.com
LIFE MEMBERS LEAD MEMBERSHIP INCREASE: Membership in the American Go Association was up again in August, bumping up slightly to 2,111. The second straight month of increases included four new Life Members (the biggest single-month increase ever), as well as jumps in Full and Youth memberships. For details on the benefits of AGA membership, go to http://www.usgo.org/org/application.html
GO FLOATS IN MICHIGAN: Kids from the after-school Go Club in Huntington Woods, Michigan decorated a float for this year's July 4 parade, reports local organizer Bill Phillips. "The kids decorated the float and played go on it as we slowly went through the neighborhoods. We had a lot of fun, throwing candy, handing out info on GO and playing on the giant 9x9 boards." Says Phillips, who started the club earlier this year with Jodee and Roy Raines. Get more details from Phillips at firstname.lastname@example.org
GO MAP & GO DISCUSSIONS ONLINE: The E-Journal's "Traveling Board" series tells of rewarding encounters with other go players on the road. Now, reports AGA webmeister Roy Laird, there can be more such meetings than ever before, thanks to the Real World Go Map at http://www.frappr.com/RealWorldGo. "A perfect implementation of the 'user-driven content' concept," says Laird, "RWGM is a place where anyone in the world, including you, can list contact information for your club." You can also post personal contact information, so that any go player traveling through your area can find you. Specials thanks are due to "Don," who set up RWGM at Frapper.com. "Don" is also the creator of www.godiscussions.com, a new place for go players to meet and exchange ideas. Launched in April, godiscussions.com now has over 500 members from around the globe, and is "a moderated and family friendly forum filled with new folks and new energy," reports Keith Arnold. "Here is a site where they actually talk about go, and virtually all of the discussions have been remarkably civil." Arnold suggests that first-time visitors be sure to check out the book review database, entirely member created, with over 400 ratings and reviews.
KOREANS & CHINESE TAKE OVER SAMSUNG: Only one Japanese player, Yamashita Keigo 9P, survived the first round of the 11th international Samsung Cup, along with eight Chinese and seven Koreans, but he was eliminated in the second round by Piao Wenyao 5P of China. The eight players for the third round include four Koreans and four Chinese: from Korea there are Paek Hongsuk 4P, Choi Cheolhan 9P, Lee Changho 9P, and Seo Bongsoo 9P. The Chinese are Yu Bin 9P, Chang Hao 9P, Piao Wenyao 5P, and Wang Yao 6P. None of the players are paired against a fellow countryman for the third round, so there are interesting possibilities. The finals of this event have never involved two players from the same country. The Koreans won seven of the previous ten editions of this event, the Japanese won twice, and the Chinese once --Luo Xihe 9P last year -- but he was defeated in the second round this time by Paek Hongsuk of Korea. Lee C hangho has won this cup three times. Lee Sedol has also won it, but he lost in the second round to Wang Yao of China. China's number one player, Gu Li 9P, was defeated by Choi Cheolhan of Korea in round two. See the complete tournament table at http://igo-kisen.hp.infoseek.co.jp/ss.html WEB EXTRA! Fifty-three-year-old Seo Bongsoo 9P of Korea created a sensation at the Samsung Cup by beating two up-and-coming Chinese juniors, Zhang Wei 5P (the youngest player in the tournament) and Chen Yaoye 5P. Another quarterfinalist, Paek Hongseok 4P of Korea, is the dark horse of the tournament. Go to www.usgo.org (click on Latest News) for an edited version of Goama editor Alexandre Dinerchtein's interviews with Seo and Paek after their 3rd -round wins.
CHALLENGER TAKAO WINS MEIJIN FIRST ROUND: Challenger and current Honinbo Takao Shinji 9P defeated current Meijin Cho U 9p in the first game in Cho's title defense this past weekend. Playing White, Cho allowed Takao to make two corner enclosures in the opening and lost a tight territorial battle by a mere half point. We have attached an SGF file of the game for your enjoyment. Cho first won this title two years ago and is hoping for a third consecutive victory. He also is the current holder of the Oza and Gosei titles, which means he has three of the top seven in Japan. Although Takao has an overall winning percentage this year of only 55% to Cho's remarkable 82%, Takao holds the edge in their former meetings, 11-9.
CHO U AND HANE NAOKI IN AGON FINALS: Hane Naoki 9P defeated Takao Shinji 9P to reach the finals against Cho U 9P in the 13th Agon Cup. This title was won last year by teenager Iyama Yuta 4P, but Iyama lost to Cho in the first round by 1.5 points this year. The Agon is sponsored by a Buddhist sect. The winner of the Japanese and the Chinese national contests have a playoff in which Gu Li 9P of China defeated Iyama last year.
NEW YEAR'S IN LONDON: It's not too early to be making plans to attend the London Open in late December. The web site for signing up for the 33rd London Open is up and running with details about the tournament and an online registration form: http://www.kangeo.plus.com/LondonOpen/LOGCInformation.html
YOUR MOVE: Readers Write
WATCHING OUR P'S & D'S: "What is 9P and 6d?" wonders Luana. "I'm relatively new to this game and new to your newsletter."
"P" is the abbreviation for a professional player, in this case a 9-dan pro; lowercase "d" and "k" refer to amateur "dan" and "kyu" ranks.
FINDING TOURNEY INFO: "I just got the new go E-Journal and read with interest Lawrence Wu's column on all the events coming up in Northern California, including a September tournament in San Francisco," writes Michael Ham in Monterey, CA. "Unfortunately, none of the events he mentions are included in the calendar at usgo.org. Do you know I could find out about these events?"
The usgo.org calendar should be up-to-date now; a new user interface ensures that tourney organizers can post their events easily and quickly.
THREE'S A CROWD? "Has anyone suggested playing go with three players?" wonders a reader. "It seemed interesting to me for when you have situations with a very strong player and two weaker players. I'd imagine the game would naturally tend towards cooperation of the two weaker players...It seems like it would bring up all kinds of tactical issues--though I'd imagine it'd be more fun if you didn't allow players to talk to strategize. Do you know of any writings or thoughts along these lines?"
There's a well-known three-player version called Zen Go in which you play a different color each time it's your turn. Everyone wins and everyone loses. Very Zen. Otherwise it's just a form of team go (two weakies vs a strong). If there are three colors, it won't work because of liberty problems in fights. This and other interesting variants are played each year in an event organized by Terry Benson at the annual US Go Congress.
NONE REDMOND: GRAND DAME OF YOUTH GO
By Paul Barchilon
It is a lovely August Carolina evening at the 2006 US Go Congress, and I am sitting on the back porch with None Redmond. Elegantly dressed in a red print skirt and a black chemise, the silver-haired Grand Dame of youth go - and of course American-born Michael Redmond 9P's mother -- is delighting me with her stories, grace and humor, all rendered in a soft British accent. The cicadas are buzzing as we rock gently in the wicker chairs that some industrious salesman seems to have placed on every porch in the state.
Redmond tells me how her late husband, Peter, first learned to play go in 1963, the year Michael was born. At first she tried to learn too, but decided she was hopeless at the game and resigned herself to becoming a bit of a go widow. When Michael was ten and saw his brother getting math lessons from his father, he wanted special lessons of his own and asked his father to teach him how to play go. Peter began to play with him regularly, and as Michael got better he dreamed of going to the big competition at the Rafu Ki-in in Los Angeles. When his father finally took him, Michael promptly lost all three of his games, but the Japanese organizers took a great deal of interest in such a young American go player, and took Michael into a back room for a private lesson. Michael was very excited by the special attention and started going to all the tournaments. Back in those days the Rafu organizers happened to be grocers and they gave food a s prizes. Ever the industrious mother, None asked her husband to win second prize, which was a 50 pound bag of rice. They were gone at the tournament forever, and None started to worry. Finally, around midnight, her husband and son returned carrying the huge bag of rice, but to her surprise, it was Michael who had won it, not Peter.
Michael started winning tournaments regularly and it was clear he had a talent for the game. Richard Dolen, a family friend who was a go player and a Japanophile (translating many of the early go books available in the US), offered to take the 13-year-old Michael to Japan for the summer. When Michael returned, he said he wanted nothing more than to go back. So the next year he went again and stayed for a whole year. None missed her son terribly, and longed for him to come back home. But when he did, he told his parents that he wanted to stay in Japan and become a professional go player. But None put her foot down; Michael was to stay in this country and go to school. She was not willing to give up her son, who was just 15 years old and not, she felt, in a position to be making such decisions. But her husband told her, "We have to listen to the dreams of children, because we are the only ones who can make them come true. If Michael wan ts to do this so badly, we must let him". In the end, Michael was allowed to pack his bags and return to Japan. The sensei at his go dojo, Oeda Yusuke, had very strict rules and believed that his students must focus entirely on their games. Traditionally, go proteges were more or less adopted by their senseis, living and studying with their teachers. Oeda was insistent that there were to be no distractions from parental visits and it was a full five years before None saw her son again. When he finally returned at the age of 20, he was already a strong pro. His parents were very proud of him, but None says it took her a week to get him to laugh. The child with a ready grin came back a very serious grown up. To this day, None - only half-jokingly -- calls Richard Dolen "the man who stole my son."
None Redmond has since become a vigorous promoter of youth go. Tired of dusting all of Michael's old trophies, she thought they might be put to better use and approached Richard Dolen with the idea of offering one of Michael's nicer trophy cups as a prize for a youth tournament. Dolen loved the idea, but when it turned out that there simply weren't many strong young players, None set out to find and encourage children to discover the magic of go. She got a grant from the Ing foundation and began a California-based event that became the seed of the Redmond Cup. In the early 90's, Mike Bull asked the AGA to sponsor the Cup and it began to be held at the annual Go Congress. Around the same time, None also started the youth room at the Congress, at the request of then-President Phil Straus. When Eileen Barberi, the pro hostess for the Congress, began funneling professionals into the Kids Room, the children began to improve rapidly.
None joined the board of the American Go Foundation about 15 years ago, at the suggestion of Roy Laird. She says she was excited to work with a group of go supporters who were dedicated to making children a priority. The AGF continues to be a tireless advocate for youth go, and has made great progress. None tells me that the people in the go community are among her closest friends. She believes that the future of American go lies with the children and that - as her husband Peter said - "it is our responsibility to give them every opportunity that we can." After all these years it is the faces of the children, and their delight in the game, that she loves the most. Watching them grow to high-dan level -- and now competing and winning in the Open and other major tournaments -- is a source of great satisfaction to her.
The sun has now sunk behind the North Carolina mountains as our interview draws to a close, but I am inspired and re-invigorated by my meeting with this prodigious woman. The next morning at breakfast she tells me that she dreams of the day when the US will have its own professional league. She fears that she may not live to see that day, but, inspired by her example, I tell her that if she doesn't, I will. None Redmond has shown us all how much is possible, and she has inspired a new generation of organizers to carry the torch. After breakfast, I am completely demolished in my game at the US Open. My opponent is 11-year-old Yang Xu, a student of Feng Yun's from New Jersey. On my way out of the main playing room, I hear similar stories from many players, dan and kyu alike. The children are here, and they are on the march!
Paul Barchilon is the recipient of the American Go Association's 2006 Go Teacher of the Year Award. You can reach him at email@example.com
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