News from the American Go Association

September 25, 2006
Volume 7, #82

Wired Go; Go Dr Dobbs
KERWIN'S CLOSE-UP: From Small Things Big Things One Day Grow
BEGINNER'S MIND: Go Confidence, Sort Of

XI AND PFAFF WIN DAVIS/SACRAMENTO QUARTERLY: Xi Yuanxin 2d and Jason Pfaff 6k won their divisions in the September 16 Davis/Sacramento Fall Tournament. Eight players participated in this event, held at the Yolo County Library and directed by Willard Haynes. Winner's Report: Xi, Yuanxin 2d 3-1; Pfaff, Jason 6k 3-1.
- reported by Lawrence Ku

YUAN ZHOU DC LESSONS RESUME: Yuan Zhou 7d's lessons at the Greater Washington Go Club (GWGC) resume this Friday, October, Oct. 6. "To help make the event closer to self-supporting, we must raise the charge slightly for participation," reports organizer Hal Small. Game reviews are now $12 per game ($6 per player), "still an incredible bargain for instruction by one of the top players in the country," says Small. The GWGC meets in the basement (room 15) of the Cedar Lane Unitarian Church, 9601 Cedar Lane, Bethesda. Starting time 8:30; bring game records to participate, or observe for free (donations accepted). Don't have a game? Come early (official opening time 7P) to play and record a game.

ROCKVILLE SEEKS REVENGE IN DC: The ongoing metro DC-area club matches continue on Friday, October 13 at 8P when the Rockville (MD) Club takes on DC, this time at on GWGC's home turf. "Refreshments will be served," says organizer Hal Small, who adds " Being Friday the 13th, I'm a bit nervous this may be the time GWGC will break its streak of victories, so please come and help us! Of course, Rockville's ignominious record may only worsen."

GOT CLUB NEWS? You've got it, we want it! Send your club & chapter news to us at  Digital photos always welcome!

GO PIC SCREENS THIS WKEND IN NY: Tickets for the new Go Seigen pic (Go Seigen Pic To Screen In NYC 8/28 EJ) are now on sale online at "The Go Master" screens Sat Sept 30 at 3P and Sun Oct 1 at 6P as part of the the New York Film Festival. This is a brand-new film (different from The Go Masters), directed by Tian Zhuangzhuang. " 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 c ounsel is as moving as the cinematography and the lighting are ravishing."

TAKAO LEADS 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. This puts Cho in a considerable hole in the best-of-seven game match, since he must now win four of the remaining five possible games in order to hold onto his title as Meijin. This is Cho's second defense of the Meijin title, which he won from Yoda Norimoto 9P in 2004. Last year he defended it successfully against Kobayashi Satoru 9P. Cho holds two of the other seven top Japanese titles, the Oza and the Gosei. Takao's only other current title is the Honinbo, which he took from Cho U in 2005 and defended successfully last year against Yamada Kimio 9P.

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. The "King of the New Stars" tournament involves all Nihon Kiin and Kansai Kiin pros 7P and under. The final tournament this year included 33 players, four of whom were women. Three of the women made it into the second round but all lost there. Such well known players as current Tengen title holder Kono Rin 7P and Iyama Yuta 7P who won the Agon Cup last year were also eliminated in earlier rounds.

JIMMY CHA, IN BLACK AND WHITE: The latest edition of "Agora Black & White", the series of articles by leading Korean go journalist Lee HongReal on the site, tells the amazing story of Jimmy Cha 4P who has played a substantial role in the development of US go. Cha was a major presence on the American go scene until he returned to his native Korea a few years ago to care for his aging mother. Read the astonishing details of a player who is by far the wealthiest US Pro, at

YU BIN WINS NEW CHINESE PRO TOURNEY: A new pro tournament has started in China, the Lanke Cup. Eight 9Ps were invited for the first edition, Chen Zude, Nie Weiping, Ma Xiaochun, Yu Bin, Chang Hao, Luo Xihe, Zhou Heyang, and Gu Li. Yu Bin and Gu Li ended up in the final, after defeating Chang Hao and Zhou Heyang respectively. Then Yu triumphed over Gu by resignation to be the first winner of this new event.

SHODAN CHALLENGE Q&A: When is the Shodan Challenge? It's not a one-time event. There will be contests, simuls, game reviews, and other encouragement throughout the coming year. You will be aiming to reach your goal (20 kyu, 10 kyu, 5 kyu, 1 dan, or 5 dan) by the next Go Congress, at the end of July 2007. Do I have to attend the Go Congress? No, although we highly recommend the Congress to anyone who can make it! All Challenge activities will occur before the Congress. Can I set my own goal? Of course. Everyone will be placed in one of the five official brackets, but you are welcome to have your own goal, as well. We will keep track of your progress toward both goals, although only meeting the official goal will be formally recognized. Contact for details.
- Lee Huynh and Laura Kolb, Shodan Challenge Coordinators

GO IN THE NEWS: Wired Go; Go Dr Dobbs

WIRED GO: "Chess was once the pinnacle of geekdom, but then the artificial intelligence geeks got too smart for chess and turned to Go. Why Go?" Brendan Borrell writes in Wired about how "AI Invades Go Territory" online at,71804-0.html?tw=rss.index  Thanks to Robert Cordingley for the tip.

GO DR DOBBS: "I was just looking through 'Dr. Dobbs Journal' for March 2006 (#382) and saw that an advertisement for IEEE has a picture of a person (Ya-Qin Zhang, IEEE Fellow, Managing Director, Microsoft Research Asia) playing go," writes Barry Pasicznyk. "The advertisement is on pg 9. The board situation looks OK, but Mr. Zhang seems to be placing a white stone while the bowl with black stones is closer to him.maybe he's picking up a white stone?"

KERWIN'S CLOSE-UP: From Small Things Big Things One Day Grow
By James Kerwin 1P
      The annual Go Congress Youth Program has been the most important development in go in the US in the last 20 years. The amazing winning results of young players in this year's Open and Ing tournaments - including defeats of both pro and top amateurs -- is incontrovertible proof of the importance and success of the program.
       Developed and directed for many years by None Redmond, mother of Michael Redmond 9P, the Youth Program began after she had already convinced the AGA to sponsor the Redmond Cup for strong young players, which constituted just a handful of players at the time. "The Redmond Cup tournament had been running one or two years," Redmond told me, "and I was sitting watching one of the finals in a large empty room at one Congress when Mike Bull came in and drew me aside. 'There's a meeting which you should really go to,' he told me. 'It's the board meeting of the AGA - you should be there,' he told me. 'I'll sit with them,' indicating the finalists over the boards, 'you go!'
      "So I went," Redmond went on, "and unlike the Board meetings in recent years it was in a small room with not many people present. Very friendly and informal. I sat at the back and wondered what I was doing there. Phil Straus was the President then and gave me a warm smile. And then someone brought up the children. In those days there were hardly any children at Congress and at least one of them was not the best-behaved child in the world. That one was cute but sometimes a nuisance, especially if you were trying to concentrate on reading a go book or playing through a game. Phil seemed to heave a sigh and looking over to me he said 'None, you've had children, you're Michael's mother. What shall we do with the children?' I didn't even think before I replied. 'Well ' I said 'you could teach them?' 'Do it !' he replied. And that was the beginning."

BEGINNER'S MIND: Go Confidence, Sort Of
By Aria von Elbe 17k
     During the US Go Congress last month, a strong dan player told me I had "poor go confidence." I replied that I don't have poor go confidence, it's just that I don't study enough, play enough, practice enough, lose enough games, or, honestly, even try hard enough to improve. I know where I stand in the ratings and I know my record compared to my friends'. As a double-digit kyu player, I know who I am, what I am, where I am, why I am and how I am. So in that sense, I'm supremely go confident. But I am confident that I will ever reach the elusive single-digit status? Well, that is an entirely different question altogether.
     Having just started college this fall, I've been hard-pressed to continue my ambitious post-Congress plan of replaying pro games all day. There are essays and books and assignments (it's not called homework anymore but it seems suspiciously similar!), yet somehow I found some time last week to make my way up to the New York Go Center. A friend from this year's Congress, my favorite Japanese calligrapher and 4d Ohori Yoshiteru-san was there, teaching as usual. Before I knew it, six hours had passed, I had played five games, had more cups of green tea than I can remember and had been dubbed a 14k.
     I even found myself a new sensei who is determined to push me through the ominous double-kyu wall to reach my "8k by next Congress" goal. He is very confident and, more importantly, has confidence in my go, which made me realize that in order to get to that 8k I must have pride in my own go, and myself, as well. I'm playing a game that is thousands of years old and so complex that computers can't yet play a real match properly. I can't let myself - or the game -- down.
     Some people just get it right away, it clicks. They go from 30k to 3d in a year, and you can envy them all you want (I do, I do!) but that won't get you stronger. You need to work at it, of course, but you also need to pat yourself on the back for staying with it, for striving to get better. You can't discourage yourself or insult your abilities. It's an easy game to learn, the hard part is getting good, and that's what makes it a difficult game. That's why we all play.
     So, do you have go confidence? Or is that just for strong players? And more importantly, do you need go confidence to have go pride? Because I don't think so. Anyone that knows the stones go on the intersections and not the spaces in-between should have pride in their go. Or am I wrong?
      Aria von Elbe is a freshman at New York University.


BOOK VETTER WANTED: One vetter 5d & stronger is sought for my new book "Improve Fast In Go", designed for players in the 5-15k range. Vetter receives acknowledgment in the book plus an autographed copy on publication. Contact Milt Bradley at with a brief description of qualifications. (9/25)

GO PLAYERS WANTED: Syracuse, NY; If you attend Bishop Grimes JR./SR. High School, I might start go club at school if any people at the school play the game. Matt Jones, (9/25)

GO PLAYERS WANTED: Columbus, Indiana; We have moved here for half year. Looks like no one here plays the game. Please contact me with (9/25)

PLAYERS WANTED: Philadelphia, PA; Anyone interested in playing a quick game over lunch hour in Center City? Email Mark at (9/25)

WANTED TO BUY: Looking for English version of "All About Life
and Death" by Cho Chikun. Contact (9/11)

PLAYERS WANTED (Auburn, NY): Looking for players in and around Auburn, NY who would like to start a Go club. Syracuse is too far away to drive to play go, and my high school club is greatly limited in what we can do due to time and public school regulations. We'd prefer a city club so we have more freedom. Contact Valerie Smith at (9/11)

PLAYERS WANTED (Bayside, NY): Looking for go players in Flushing, Queens or Long Island NY. It's too lonely by myself and my 2 other go players. Please
reveal yourselves. (9/4)

PLAYERS WANTED (Ft Myers FL): Seeking go players of all levels in the Ft. Myers, FL area interested in starting a go club. Contact me at 239-543-7823 or my yahoo email, (8/28)

PLAYERS WANTED (Las Cruces NM): Go in Las Cruces, New Mexico? Contact Peter Shotwell, who has just moved there, at (8/28)

SELL IT, BUY IT OR TRADE IT HERE with over 8,000 go-players worldwide! Classified ads are FREE and run for 4 weeks; email your ad to us now at


September 30, 2006: Chicago, IL
In Cold Blood
Bob Barber 773.467.0423

October 1, 2006: Seattle, WA
Ratings Tournament
Jon Boley 206.545.1424

October 6-8, 2006: Round Top, NY
Guo Juan woodlands workshop
Jean-Claude Chetrit 718.638.2266

October 8, 2006: Somerville, MA
MGA Fall Handicap Tournament
Zack Grossbart 617.497.1232

October 8, 2006: Princeton, NJ
Princeton Fall Self-Paired
(come anytime 9AM-6PM, full handicap)
Rick Mott 609.466.1602

October 21-22, 2006: Portland, OR
Portland Go Tournament
Peter Drake 503.245.1239
Glenn Peters

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

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