News from the American Go Association

September 22, 2006

Volume 7, #81 (Member's Edition)

GAME COMMENTARY: Playing for the Kaya in Iowa
GO REVIEW: Wordplay
ATTACHED FILES: 2006.09.22 Nine Stone Game, Lu-Chen, Yang.sgf; 2006.09.22 Last Dango in Rochester.PDF

XI AND PFAFF WIN DAVIS/SACRAMENTO QUARTERLY: Xi Yuanxin 2d and Jason Pfaff 6k won their divisions in the September Davis/Sacramento Fall Tournament. Details Monday.

STILL ROOM IN HANG ZHOU TOURNEY: Registration is still open for the upcoming team tournament in Hang Zhou, China. The tournament is in late October and there are no eligibility criteria except membership in the AGA. Players may play individually instead of on a team, but there are limited spaces available. Each person pays his or her own transportation costs to and from the venue, and $50 per day for meals and hotel. The playing venue is "walking distance to beautiful West Lake and the weather this time of year is excellent," reports AGA President Mike Lash, who led last year's US delegation. "There is great shopping for silk, garments, tea and plenty of the usual market items also in walking distance." Serious expressions of interest - space is limited and anyone interested needs to have a valid passport and a visa soon -- may be directed to Lash at

TAKAO AHEAD IN QUEST FOR MEIJIN: Takao Shinji 9P, the current Honinbo, leads 2-0 in his challenge of Cho U 9P for the latter's Japanese Meijin title. Details on Monday.

DEAD HEAT IN NEW STARS TOURNEY FINALS: Matsumoto Takehisa 6P and Ko Iso 7P are tied 1-1 in the best-of-three games finals of the 31st Shinjin O tournament in Japan. Details on Monday.

MORE ON TEXAS A&M: The new Texas A&M Go Club meets in College Station, TX, reports organizer Jared Jessen. The club meets Sundays from 1-3P in the University Commons at the tables next to C-store. Contact: Jared Jessen,

PURCHASING AND PROCUREMENT COORDINATOR WANTED: The Purchasing and Procurement Coordinator is responsible for ensuring the appropriate and efficient disbursement of AGA funds to vendors and contractors. In ensuring the interests of the AGA, the Purchasing Coordinator will also be responsible for developing an open bidding process for large single-purchases or recurring-item purchases. This position reports to the Treasurer. Interested? Email AGA President Mike Lash at To find out more about other opportunities available at the AGA click here:

September 23, 2006: Durham, NC
Triangle Memorial
Paul Celmer 919.779.7925 or 919.610.0927

WHEELER WINS GO QUIZ: Dennis Wheeler of Kent, WA, is this week's Go Quiz Winner. His name was selected at random from those submitting at least six names of US citizens with official pro status as go players. As it turns out, there are at least nine such players: Michael Redmond 9P, Jujo Jiang 9P, Yilun Yang 7P, Jimmy Cha 4P, Janice Kim 3P, James Kerwin 1P, Huiren Yang 1P, Mingjiu Jiang 9P & Rui Naiwei 9P. Dennis wins a copy of Kage's Secret Chronicles of Handicap Go by Toshiro Kageyama.

       We all know about the "Grand Slams" in golf and tennis and as go players you're probably familiar with Japan's "Grand Slam" of the Kisei, Mejin, Honinbo and Judan titles. But how about the Grand Slam of U.S. Go: the US Open, Ing Invitational, Fujitsu Qualifier and US representative to the World Amateur Go Championship? Nobody has ever won the US Grand Slam in one year, but if you can name one of the two players who have won all four in their careers, 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: Playing for the Kaya in Iowa
       Today's game commentary is a 9-stone game from the "Race for the Kaya All Iowa Tournament" Championship Game played July 22, 2006, in Iowa City, IA. The commentary is by Yilun Yang 7P; Han Hong Lu 2k of Fairfield, IA plays white against Jizhou Chen 11k of Ames, IA. This game decided the winner of a kaya table board, which was the grand prize at this tournament and was donated by Andras Kristof.
       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

GO REVIEW: Wordplay
Reviewed by Roy Laird
     Take a few hundred enthusiasts who love doing something no computer can do, put them all together for days of competition, friendship and merriment, and what do you get? The American Crossword Puzzle Contest, held in Stamford Connecticut every year since 1978, and the subject of Patrick Creadon's delightful new documentary film, "Wordplay."
    I know, you probably thought I meant the US Go Congress, but although crosswords are as different from go as bonsai are from baseball, the worlds have some surprising features in common. In the film we learn that many crossword enthusiasts are musicians or computer programmers -- sound familiar? The excited post-round post-mortems at the tournament are another familiar feature -- except, of course, that everyone is talking about the same moves. Participants even have a "silly song" night! Contestants speak of the thrill of being in a room filled with like-minded souls -- anyone who has ever attended a go tournament knows that feeling. I don't do crosswords, not even in pencil, but I felt a strong kinship with these lovers of excellent achievement. Not everyone in the film hopes to win -- a former champion just wants to see how he can do; an older woman comes to honor the memory of her husband, who died shortly after the tournament in 1981. But th ey all have their reasons, and they all keep coming. In intermittent breaks from the action, we meet devotees, puzzle makers, champions and celebrity crossword lovers like Jon Stewart, Rick Burns and Bill Clinton. Creadon presents them with wry affection, not taken too seriously, but with respect for their skill and commitment, and their love of crosswords for their own sake. Now we just need to get Creadon to a Go Congress.
    CROSSWORD CONTEST: Attached to this issue you will find the only known crossword puzzle with a go theme, "Last Dango in Rochester," created by former President Bob High in 1991. The first five people who write their name and address on the correct solution and fax it to 212-662-5501 will win a collection of ten issues of Go World magazine, that's over 600 large format pages of outstanding instruction and pro game analysis. "Ready . . . set . . . go!"

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

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Editor: Chris Garlock
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