News from the American Go Association

September 15, 2006
Volume 7, #79 (Member's Edition)

Davis, CA
GAME COMMENTARY: Live from the Samsung Cup!
THE TRAVELING BOARD: Discovering Baduk's Secrets in Korea
ATTACHED FILE(S): 2006.09.15 Zhou-Lee, Samsung, Lee; 2006.09.15 McGuigan Series #22

JAPANESE OFF TO GOOD START IN NONGSHIM: Hane Naoki 9P of Japan has won the first two games in the international team event, the Nongshim (Spicy Noodle) Cup, defeating Wang Lei 8P of China and Cho Hunhyun 9P of Korea. Details Monday.

SHAW AND CHURCHILL WIN CORNWALL TOURNEYS: Robert Churchill 16k won the Cornish Handicap and Edmund Shaw 5d was first in the Cornish Open last weekend. Details Monday.

FAN HUI 2P'S FREE LIFE-AND-DEATH: Two well-known keys to improving are life-and-death problems and pro study. Now you can get both with Fan Hui 2P's free weekly life-and-death mailing list. Fan Hui 2P, the best-rated player in Europe, promises "problems of various levels: 20 kyu, 10 kyu, 1 dan, and from time to time, a 5 dan problem." To subscribe and learn more, visit

ASSEMBLY MODIFIES LOW-COST MEMBERSHIP: The American Go Association's "limited" memberships have been replaced by "Promotional" memberships. The change was approved at the August 18 AGA National Assembly in Black Mountain, NC and went into effect September 1, 2006. "Several issues had been under discussion, including the idea of eliminating this mid-range membership category entirely," reports AGA President Mike Lash. "Following a thorough review of the issue on the AGA chapter reflector, a public meeting during Congress chaired by Policy and Governance Coordinator Rick Mott, and a very lengthy discussion with the Assembly meeting," the Assembly formally approved the change. New promotional memberships are available only for new members (people who have never been an AGA member in any category); the annual fee is $15. AGA members currently in the limited membership category will be automatically converted to "Promotional membership" at no cost. Promotional membership, whether by conversion or through a new membership, may not exceed two years from the date the individual Promotional membership begins. After two years as a Promotional member, members need to upgrade their membership status to full or life membership. Promotional memberships may be acquired only from AGA Chapter Representatives or at AGA tournaments; they will not be sold online. Promotional members receive all benefits of full membership, including the annual Yearbook and the Games Edition of the E-Journal, for the full two years. Promotional members will count the same as all other members for chapter voting purposes. The Youth Membership category is unchanged; members under 23 years of age still pay only $10. Questions about membership status? Contact the AGA at

E-JOURNAL TEAM EXPANDING: Be a part of one of the most-widely read English-language go publications in the world! We have an opening for someone to help prepare game commentaries for publication; the work involves an hour a week editing comments in SGF files to conform to EJ style and standards. Game editors receive appropriate credit in the game records and are part of the EJ team; if interested, contact Bill Cobb at for more information.

MISSING GAMES & PUNS: "So where was that game attachment?" writes Richard Moseson (Cho-Takao Meijin game 9/11 EJ). "And (you must have considered this), even though Luana asked about 9P and 6D, how come you skipped the opportunity to title the question 'Watching our P's and kyu's'"
The Cho-Takao game is posted on the AGA website AT  We apologize for the inadvertent omission. We're also sorry we missed the clever headline.

September 16, 2006: Davis, CA
Davis/Sacramento Quarterly
Fred Hopkins 916.548.8068

SCHOENACHER & BRESLER WIN GO QUIZ: Anthony Schoenacher and Jonathan Bresler are this week's quiz winner, their namee were selected at random from those who correctly answered that Cho U 9P, the top title holder in Japan was born in Taiwan. "Not only that," writes one reader, "when Cho U was in Taiwan as a little boy he beat the current Taiwanese superstar Zhou Junxun's father. The humiliated father then encouraged Zhou to play go. Maybe one day Zhou will meet Cho U and finally get revenge!" Schoenacher and Bresler (two winners were awarded this week because a technical snafu prevented us from awarding a winner last week) win copies of Yilun Yang's The Workshop Lectures, volume 1.

THIS WEEK'S GO QUIZ: Since so many of you complained last week that the quiz was too easy, here's a tougher one. There are six US citizens with official pro status as go players; can you name them all? Click here to enter our Go Quiz Question of The Week: One winner will be drawn at random from the correct answers and will be awarded a go book or $15 gift certificate from one of our fine go vendors.

GAME COMMENTARY: Live from the Samsung Cup!
       Zhou Heyang 9P of China plays Lee Changho 9P of Korea in the September 8 second round of the International Samsung Cup in today's game commentary. Lee Jaeung 5P's commentary is taken from the Chinese version of his real-time comments. "Because of the manner in which the comments were generated, one could discern surprise and uncertainty from the commentator himself," our translator tells us, "at some moments he even seemed to contradict himself. All this provided a sense of immediacy and drama."
       Also included today is Haruyama Isamu 9P's "Questions from Actual Play # 22,"
the series of studies brought to us by Robert McGuigan.
       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

THE TRAVELING BOARD: Discovering Baduk's Secrets in Korea
By Deborah Niedermeyer
       The Six Brothers Baduk Board Company produces 70% of the Baduk (go) boards sold in Korea. In July, we (husband Brian Allen, son Luke and myself) visited Six Brothers with our friend Kim Myung-wan 7P. Owned and run by the six Shin brothers, Six Brothers was started forty-three years ago when the brothers' uncle, a close friend of Cho Nam-chul -- founder of the Hanguk Kiwon and father of modern Korean baduk -- suggested that making baduk boards might become a good business.
       The factory is a modest compound of metal-sided work buildings in Nam Yang Ju just northeast of Seoul. The place feels as much like a home as a production facility. A large family portrait dominates the small administrative office, a friendly pet Rottweiler and her three puppies roam the courtyard, flowers and pumpkin vines grow along the road next to the metal shop buildings, while pigs roam in back of the shop. While the six brothers and their small staff are busy handcrafting beautiful baduk boards of various sizes, their mother borrows a compressed air nozzle from the sanding shop to use as a garlic peeler. It's clear that the Shins are an inventive and creative family.
       Shin Chu-shik, the fifth brother, shows us around. He is an enthusiastic guy with a smile like his mother's that seems to bubble up straight from the heart. Six Brothers makes quality baduk boards in a range of sizes and materials, from large, expensive floor boards of premium-cut kaya wood to less expensive, but still lovely Sitka spruce ("new kaya") table boards. The brothers also use their myriad talents to produce tables for baduk play, teaching boards - anything used for baduk that is made of wood.
       Mr. Shin shows us the cutting and planing shop, and the finishing room. He lets us look at the drying sheds, where, depending on the thickness of the final board, Six Brothers ages its blocks of wood for as much as ten years. Mr. Shin explains that from selecting, buying and aging the wood, to cutting and planing the board, to lining and finishing, Six Brothers baduk board production requires up to 140 separate processes. Forty-three years of experience have led to the perfection of many of these and, of course, involves a number of secret techniques. But Mr. Shin tells us that we should come to with him to the showroom to hear the biggest secret of all.
       In the show room, among the beautiful baduk boards, is a large wooden turtle, hand-carved by the second of the two brothers. It's a wonderful object to look at in itself, then Mr. Shin delights us by lifting off the top shell to reveal a baduk board. Smiling, he lifts the top knuckle off of one front and one rear foot, and there are the baduk stones. But, he says, that's not the secret. The secret is that baduk is life.
       Mr. Shin places two stones adjacent to one another, one black, one white. These are two powers, he tells us, conflicting with each other, but together creating something meaningful. People are born empty-handed. They must make their way in life by playing, by doing something. Baduk comes from the inside. Baduk asks us to find the courage to actually do something. We must have a goal and go steadily to reach it. This is a hard thing to do, he says: most people don't manage it in baduk, or in life either.
       But playing baduk provides an advantage, Mr Shin says. To play baduk we must learn what we can do and to go steady, but not extend too far. Baduk can teach us what to do, when to do it, and how far to reach. Baduk can teach us when we are being too timid, or too aggressive, or too disorganized, or too distracted. It can reaffirm when we are going just right. In this way, baduk teaches us to know ourselves. By finding ourselves in this way, we play better baduk, because baduk comes from inside, and must be played from the inside out. This is the big secret: in baduk, we find ourselves.
       Check out for Brian Allen's photos of Mr. Shin explaining the Big Secret. The Six Brothers website is located at
       Reach Niedermeyer or Allen at

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

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