News from the American Go Association

December 18, 2006
Volume 7, #107

YOUR MOVE: Cho Holds On
A Beginner Studies the Pros (Part 2)

MASTERS FINALS LIVE TONIGHT: The first round of the 2006 Masters Tournament finals takes place tonight starting at 7P PST when Jie Li 9d will defend his 2005 title against Feng Yun 9P. The game will be broadcast live on both IGS ad KGS. Game 2 will start at 9A Tuesday, 12/19 and Game 3 (if necessary) will start at 2P Tuesday.

SMALL TOPS NOVA TOURNEY: Haskell Small 3d topped the 30-player field at the December 17 NoVa tournament in Arlington, VA. "We used pairing software that Chris Sira has been working on for a while," reported tournament coordinator Mike Lash. "It seemed to do just fine and though there are always bugs to work out, with a small population it worked smoothly and pairings went up without a hitch. Thanks to Chris for bringing it to market!"
       WINNERS REPORT: Dan Section: Haskell Small (3-0); 1k-4k: (tie) Phillip London and Nick Hoover (4-0); 5k-6k (tie) Raymond Yeh and Ching-Sing Chin (3-1); 7k-9k: Keiiju Takehara (2-2); 15k-18k Kevin Chin (4-0); 30+k Melody Chao 2-1.

LEAHY WINS DAVIS/SACRAMENTO QUARTERLY: Brian Leahy 2d won the upper division in the Davis/Sacramento Winter Quarterly Tournament, held December 9 in Sacramento. Twelve players attended from the Bay Area to the foothills. Karoline Burrall 6k won the lower division. Jeff Newmiller directed.
        WINNER'S REPORT: Division I: 1st place: Brian Leahy 2d; 2nd: Jeff Newmiller, 1k; 3rd: Steve Burrall, 5d, Division II: 1st place: Karoline Burrall, 6k; 2nd: Julie Burrall, 6k ; 3rd: Richard Simpson, 15k.

HAMILTON WINS SEATTLE TEAM TOURNEY: With Luke Allen on Board 1, Hamilton International Middle School won the 5th Annual Iwamoto School Team Tournament at the Seattle Go Center on Sunday December 10. Ten teams gathered for the 4-round tournament, with a pizza break between the 1st and 2nd round. A Seattle public school, the Hamilton team included Noah Worton on the second board and Alex Chiles on the third board. Second place went to the Seattle Home Schoolers: Devin Crowley, Alex Engelberg, and Molly Engleberg. Third Place went to two teams from John Stanford International School, a public grade school. They were: Sonty Visuthikraisee, Beckett Arnold, Darius Olson, Soren Worton, Sadie Coffland, and Tyler Evans. All the players got prizes at the end of the tournament.
- reported by Brian Allen, EJ Northwest Photographer  

CONTRIBUTING TO THE SPREAD OF GO: "The equipment is a godsend..." "I've gotten a lot of resources and tips just when I needed them..." "Like coming out of a cave into the light..." "Thank you for your very rapid response." "... the teachers think it could help {the kids} learning other things as well." "All of this is possible due to the donation from your organization." The American Go Foundation has helped fund nearly 50 new teaching programs just since this year's US Go Congress. With the end of the year coming up, now is a great time to consider a contribution to the AGF, which is also looking at projects like an AGF-supported kids page on the AGA website and various Spanish teaching materials. Find out more from AGF President Terry Benson at

CLOCK TICKING ON COOL GO STUFF OFFER: Complete sets of 26 issues of Go World magazine ($60) continue to fly out of the AGA warehouse, along with copies of Go: A Complete Introduction to the Game by Cho Chikun and Graded Go Problems for Beginners, priced at just $5 each. After we learned that some visitors were having a hard time finding the order form at, we fixed that by putting the link at the top of the page. Please come back if you were confused -- sorry about that! At this point, we can't guarantee Christmas delivery -- but we CAN guarantee that you will enjoy the games and instruction you will find. Click on for a complete index of all 108 issues of Go World. You can also purchase additional issues not available in this offer, at $8/ea. Remember, this offer expires December 31, so don't delay! A clarification for non-US residents and non-AGA members who may be interested: to take advantage of this offer, you must become a member of the AGA; click to find out how.
- Roy Laird, webmaster

LASH TOURS NIHON KIIN, MEETS WITH NHK, IGF, PAIR GO LEADERS: American Go Association President Michael Lash recently visited Nihon Kiin headquarters in Tokyo to meet with the NHK VP Kouichi Kobayashi. The courtesy call was a welcome opportunity for both organizations to strengthen their professional and personal ties. The meeting and Nihon Kiin tour were followed the next day by meetings at the Japanese Professional Pair Go Tournament, sponsored by Ricoh, at which famed American Michael Redmond, 9P was the guest commentator as all games were simulcast on the premises to a very lively and attentive audience. Lash met with the IGF Secretary General, Ms.Yuki Shigeno, and Mrs Taki, the head of the Japanese Pair Go Association. "Meetings like this bring results in the long run as people become familiar with each other and organizations work together in more coordinated ways," says Lash.

GO WHERE THE ACTION IS: "If you are interested in programming computers so that they compete in games, the two interesting ones are poker and go," said McGill computer science professor Monty Newborn in a December 5 New York Times article on the six-game chess match between world champion Vladimir Kramnik of Russia and Deep Fritz. "That is where the action is."" The story is online Thanks to 2007 US Congress EJ team member Steve Colburn for the tip.

GO STAMP EXHIBIT IMPROVES: Les Lanphear III has received the results for his stamp exhibit "Go: Its Culture and History Throughout the Ages" shown at Belgica 2006. "The exhibit received a vermeil, which is between a gold and silver," Lanphear reports. "The exhibit has received silvers in the past but this is the first vermeil award it has received. In the thematic section only four exhibits out of 31 finished better." If any members saw the exhibit Lanphear can be contacted at

REDMOND MOVES UP IN TENGEN: Michael Redmond 9P defeated Ko Iso 7P last week to win a place in the main tournament for the 33rd Japanese Tengen. His first opponent will be Sakai Hideyuki 7P, the former World Amateur Champion who turned pro and is third on the list of game winners in Japan this year with 38 wins and only 14 losses for a 73% winning rate.

KOREANS BEHIND IN JEONGGANJANG: The Koreans lost two players in the first stage of the Jeongganjang Cup, the international women's team tournament sponsored by a Korean company, while the Chinese and Japanese lost only one each. The last game in the first stage was won by Mannami Kana 3P of Japan, so she will lead off when the match resumes in Seoul, Korea in January. This is the fifth edition of this contest, which became a match between five-member teams from the three countries starting in its third edition. Individual Korean players came out on top the first two years, Rui Naiwei 9P and Park Jieun 6P. The Chinese teams won the next two times.

CHO U LOSES ANOTHER: Before losing the Japanese Tengen title recently, Cho U 9P also lost the playoff against the Chinese Agon Cup holder, Liu Xing 7P. There is a one game match each year between the winners of the Japanese and Chinese versions of this tournament that is sponsored by a Buddhist sect. The Chinese player has won the last four times, and the Japanese won the four years before that. Liu is in his early twenties and also won the CCTV Cup in China last year. Cho still holds the Japanese Gosei title and he won the Ryusei last year in Japan. However, two other Japanese players hold two of the top seven Japanese titles: Yamashita Keigo 9P holds the Kisei and the Oza, while Takao Shinji 9P holds both the Meijin and Honinbo titles. So Cho is not dominating the Japanese scene the way he was recently, although he leads the list of game winners this year in Japan with 48 wins to 15 losses for a 76% winning rate.

ONDREJ SILT WINS IN MILAN: Ondrej Silt 6d of the Czech Republic went 5 for 5 to win the Milan Tournament, an event in the Toyota IGS PandaNet European Go Tour that was also part of the Italian Go Congress. Vladimir Danek 6d of the Czech Republic was second after losing only to Silt. Complete results of the 57 player tournament are online.

COMING UP FRIDAY: Part 2 of Xiaoguang Liu 9P's terrific "16 Strategies For Killers," originally published in The World of Weiqi.

YOUR MOVE: Readers Write

CHO HOLDS ON: "Cho U is still the Gosei," writes Jing Wei Lim (CHO U LOSES LAST OF THE BIG 7 12/11 EJ). "which he wrested from Yoda Norimoto earlier this year." Good catch! Our apologies for overlooking that.

CAN'T STOP THE MONKEY JUMP: A Beginner Studies the Pros (Part 2)
by Motoko Arai
       So, we cut the games out of the paper, and when we had a complete game, we started. There were only a few stones and numbers on a single page - yes! One long autumn evening, the two of us sat down and laid out the game. Until at least the third page it was a pleasure, and we kept going without any problems. However, somewhere around the fifth or sixth page... First, the newspaper diagrams have numbers written at the top and on the side of the board. It kind of goes without saying, but our home board didn't have these numbers. What to do?
       Placing stones on the board correctly was a bit complicated, as was measuring distance across the go board. As the number of stones increased, we had to place stones based on their relationship with adjacent stones: "Let's see, this stone goes next to this one, this stone goes two spaces above this one, this stone is placed diagonal to this one..." When there were only ten or twenty stones, this method was fine. But it's rare for a game to end after 20 moves. The number of stones kept increasing, and increasing. Around the point where there were 100 stones on the board, a remarkable thing happened.
       "Umm... the next white stone goes diagonally up from this stone one space... but wait, there's already a stone there."
       "What!? Hmm... so there is."
       "Well, which one is wrong? All right, if we count left from this stone..."
       "Oh no. Something's shifted. This whole black group should be moved one space over, right?"
       "But wait a minute, if we move this stone, what about the white stone we just put down. We used that first stone to find the right spot."
       "Move it! It has to be moved over too."
       "Ahhh, let's just try again."
       In the beginning of this article, I wrote that we "laid out the game." I shouldn't have. That's right. No matter how many times we tried, in the end we couldn't do the whole thing correctly, from start to finish. At some point, in some place, we always ended up having to move stones around. Then, we'd continue on. But not understanding the relationships between the stones, inevitably it would happen again: "Wait, there's already a stone here."
       Now, my husband is a salaryman (Japanese businessman), and he doesn't have a whole lot of spare time between finishing dinner and going to bed to review Go games. Plus we weren't used to doing it, and there was no way we could finish a game in a single night. Instead, we'd leave it set up in the living room for two or three days. And there it sat, just waiting for me to bump it or something while I was cleaning or doing whatever. And of course, being absolute beginners, even if we laid the game out perfectly, we'd inevitably shift a stone or two during the process.
       Anyway, we stubbornly persisted. Eventually, it really did become a way for us to study, and we could lay out a full game smoothly in less than two days. But by then, we had been playing go for well over six months and weren't such beginners anymore.
- Motoko Arai is an award-winning science fiction author in Japan. Translated from the Nihon Kiin's Go Weekly November 6, 2006 issue by Chris Donner, who teaches at an elementary school in northern Japan and hails from Rochester, NY.

Locate go clubs worldwide at

GO PLAYERS WANTED: Clifton Park, NY: Anyone interested, e-mail: or phone: 518-253-9706 (12/18)

WANTED: Volunteers to help run go panel/booth at upcoming AnimeNEXT anime convention, July 6 - 8, 2007, Meadowlands Exposition Center, NJ;
For more information call 646-821-5588 or email (12/11)

FOR SALE: Go Review, complete set, all 164 issues from Jan. 1961 to Spring 1977. If interested, contact Ted Drange, (12/11)

FOR SALE: 7mm Japanese glass go stones in original box, $35 plus $10 shipping. Confirm sale by email, then send a U.S. postal money order to Anton Ninno,
867 Livingston Ave., Syracuse, NY 13210. (12/4)

FOR SALE: Complete go set; board 2 1/8 inch Agathis, shin-kayabowls, 8mm glass stones. Lightly used for ~10 games. Contact John if interested. (11/27)

BOARDS AVAILABLE: Custom-made go boards from master craftsman with 30 years experience. 9x9, 13x13, 19x19, single or double sided. You pick the species of wood, thickness and finish. Quotes from (11/27)

GO PLAYERS WANTED: Piscataway, NJ: looking for players to start a club asap. email , or call 732-925-8890 (11/20)

SELL IT, BUY IT OR TRADE IT HERE with over 9,000 go-players worldwide! Classified ads are FREE and run for 4 weeks; email your ad to us now at

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

Text material published in the AMERICAN GO E JOURNAL may be reproduced
by any recipient: please credit the AGEJ as the source. PLEASE NOTE that
commented game record files MAY NOT BE published, re-distributed, or
made available on the web without the explicit written permission of the
Editor of the E-Journal. Please direct inquiries to

Articles appearing in the E-Journal represent the opinions of the
authors and do not necessarily reflect the official views of the
American Go Association.

American Go Association
P.O. Box 397
Old Chelsea Station
New York, NY 10113-0397

American Go Association P.O. Box 397 Old Chelsea Station New York, NY 10113-0397