News from the American Go Association

January 22, 2007
Volume 8, #6

THE PLAYING LIFE: A Chess Player Discovers Go
YOUTH GO: Mission San Jose, CA

MINGJIU JIANG 9P REPEATS AS JUJO TOURNEY CHAMP: Mingjiu Jiang 9P repeated as the open division champion of 15th annual Jujo Jiang Go Tournament held in San Francisco Hilton's Chinese Cultural Center on January 20-21. Two strong dan players from Washington state, five players from Tuscon, Arizona, and ten youth dan players were among the sixty-seven players that attended. Reid Augustin directed, and Ernest Brown organized the tournament.
       WINNER'S REPORT: Open Divison: 1st: Mingjiu Jiang; 2nd: Matthew Burrall 6d; 3rd: Calvin Lee 5d; 4th: Gary Roberts 6d. 4D-2D: 1st: Jacky Chong 3d; 2nd: Hongyu Min 4d; 3rd: Jimmy Guo 4d; 4th: Tony Zhang 4d. 1D-3K: 1st: Hugh Zhang 1d; 2nd: Thomas Holenstein 1d; 3rd: Eric Hoffman 3k; 4th: Daniel Goodell 1k. 4K-8K: 1st: Maria Ma 6k; 2nd: Chris Burg 4k; 3rd: Karolin Burrall 6k; 4th: Colin Rognlie 6k. 9K-25K: 1st: Jason Xie 13k; 2nd: Howard Liu 9k; 3rd: Paul Ruan 12k; 4th: Henry Zhang 14k.
- Reported by West Coast Correspondent Lawrence Ku

LIN & GU WIN JERSEY YOUTH QUALIFIER: Jason Gu 6d and Maverick Lin 1d qualified for the first US Youth Go Championships at the first regional USYGC tournament last weekend in New Jersey. Gu won the under-18 Senior Division and Lin won the under-12 Junior Division at the Feng Yun Youth Go Tournament in Piscataway, NJ on January 20-21, which drew 51 players. Paul Matthews was the TD for the event, which was organized by the Feng Yun Go School. More USYGC Qualifiers are being organized around the country; watch the EJ and website for updates.
           Winner's Report: Senior Division (under 18 on August 1) 28 players. Group A: 1st & USGYGC Qualifier, Jason Gu 6d; 2nd Lionel Zhang 5d. Group B, 4-game winners: Eric Lin 2k, Andrew Shang 10k. 3-game winner: Lawrence Xie 8k. Group C: 4-game winner: Bijan Saniee 14k. 3-game winners: Robert Zimmerman 19k, Sam Huang 22k. Junior Division (under 12 on August 1) 23 players. Group A: 1st & USYGC Qualifier, Maverick Lin 1d; 2nd Sudhir Vel 1d. 3-game winners: Edric Huang 7k, Forest Song 9k. Group B: 5-game winner: Michael Wang 24k. 3-game winners: Kevin Lin 20k, Harrison Fu 21k, Kelley Zhao 22k, Hillary Gao 23k.

SRO FOR SNYDER LECTURE: The New York Go Center's first "Master Player" lecture Sunday was "A complete success," reports NYGC organizer Roy Laird. "More than 25 people packed the main playing area and some had to sit on the stairs. We couldn't have fit too many more people in. Ron Snyder, a well-known local player and teacher, spoke about 'Strategy and Tactics of Cutting', amid the questions and repartee with the audience that have made Ron's sessions at the US Go Congress a big hit over the years." More lectures at the Center are in the planning stages; watch the EJ for details.

GUOZHONG ZHUANG TOPS SALEM WINTER TOURNEY: Guozhong Zhuang 5d topped the January 13 Salem Winter Go Tournament. Held at Lefty's Pizza in Salem Oregon, the one-day 3-round tournament attracted 24 participants. "The strongest players in attendance were two AGA 5 dans Lance Kemper and Guozhong Zhuang," reports organizer Cynthia Gaty. "We had two players who had just learned go two weeks ago and they participated in their own mano-a-mano tournament." Participants from out of state included Masaya Tsukamoto and Lance Kemper, and Daniel (Chih-Yu) Fang entered his first AGA tournament at the age of seven as a 2 kyu. "Daniel has recently moved to Eugene with his parents from Tawian," says Gaty. "He is passionate about the game of Go. Bryant Brownell's three wins at 1k should put him into the Dan class after his rating is recalculated." Entry fees included snacks, pizza for lunch and a birthday cake in honor of Gaty, who adds that prizes were cash, plaques, and a fused glass trophy for the First Dan division. "The pizza parlor was a fun venue and everyone seemed to have a great time."
        Winner's Report: 1st: (Dan Division): Guozhong Zhuang; 1st: (Single Digit Kyu): Bryant Brownell; 1st: (Double Digit Kyu): Scott Card.

EJ ONLINE TOURNEY REPORTING DEBUTS: Now you can quickly and easily report your tournament results for publication in the E-Journal! Just click on and fill in the blanks and we'll take it from there! Report your event by 9A Monday morning and the results will be posted in the Monday EJ. NOTE: this is NOT FOR TOURNAMENT DATA, which still must be sent to (NOT, as reported Friday)

2007 N.A. FUJITSU QUALIFIER SHAPING UP: Participants are being finalized for the upcoming 2007 North American Fujitsu Cup Qualifier, reports TD Dennis Wheeler. The tentative schedule for the games - which will be played on IGS - are Round 1 on Saturday, February 3, Round 2 on the February 4 and Rounds 4 and 5 on the following weekend, February 10-11. Mingjiu Jiang 9P is the defending titleholder. Stay tuned for more details as they're available.

KERWIN RETURNS TO HOLLYHOCK: Jim Kerwin's legendary Hollyhock Go Workshop has returned after a long hiatus. The "perfect place to concentrate on improving your go free from distraction and stress," Hollyhock is on Cortes Island, off the coast of British Columbia, between Vancouver Island and the mainland. "Hollyhock is on the ocean and much of the property is wooded, making the site lovely and relaxing at the same time," says James Kerwin 1P. "The accommodations are comfortable and the food is mostly vegetarian, quite varied, and delicious." The workshop runs from July 8-13. "All ranks are welcome," says Kerwin. "The basic format of the workshop is a combination of selected fundamental strategies and tactics, play, and game review. This combination of learning, practice and correction is the most effective way to improve." Sign up on the Hollyhock website,  Choose 'Programs' and search on "Kerwin" or contact Kerwin directly at 1-800-933-6339 x232 or email

SYRACUSE GO EXPOSED: "It is so simple, so logical in design, that all the rules can be written in a short paragraph," Manlius (NY) Pebble Hill School student Peter Day told the Syracuse (NY) Post Standard in the paper's January 16 story on Syracuse-area go. "But true mastery of the game, the ability to analyze the significance of every single stone on the board, and that of every stone that might be played next or the turn after, is nearly impossible to attain." Read the whole story online at  In other Syracuse go news, local Syracuse Go Club organizers Anton Ninno and Mark Longo ran a go workshop on Saturday, January 13th at a regional youth conference held at the May Memorial Unitarian Universalist Society in Syracuse. Eiqhteen teenagers and three adults heard a short presentation on the history of go and learned to play on 9-line boards provided by the American Go Foundation. Some participants expressed interest in Syracuse Go Club meetings. Anton and Mark, both members of May Memorial, plan to give the workshop at future UU teen conferences. "We suggest that AGA chapters contact local youth programs and offer to teach go as a recreational activity," says Ninno. "Make it your club's New Years resolution!"

GOING HAWAIIAN: Go is taking off in Hawaii, reports Kalani High School Go Club President Xiao Feng Ha. Seven schools participated in the December 22 Farrington Go Clinic in Honolulu and there were go tables at the January 14 Japanese Cultural Center's New Year's Festival on Oahu. "Most of the schools (at the Honolulu event) had Japanese clubs that were just getting into go. I directed them to the AGA site and told them about the starter kits." At the Oahu Festival, "The go tables were on the 5th floor with other tables. There was a lot of food, slides for the kids, games, shows, and tables selling accessories and good luck charms. There were a lot of kids -- the youngest was a 3 year old girl -- and a few adults who were very interested and wanted to follow-up." The next event - another Farrington Go Clinic -- will be on March 23. Watch the website at or email Hamada at

SMARTGO 2.5 ENHANCED: The latest version of SmartGo features "significant enhancements that make your go-playing life easier," says SG's Anders Kierulf. SmartGo 2.5 has easily-defined and reusable game filters, plus predefined filters such as half-point wins, early resignations, and Shusaku's castle games. The Alt-key now shows you all the moves in the game, so you can instantly go to the move you're looking for, and the Copy as ASCII command produces diagrams that you can include in or Sensei's Library. "And thanks to Piotr Lewczuk, SmartGo is now available in Polish!" adds Kierulf. See all the changes at

KOREA IN TROUBLE IN WOMEN'S TEAM MATCH: Korea's chances of winning the Jeongganjang Cup are dimming, with just a single player left. The Koreans are down to their last player, while Japan and China have two each left at the end of the second stage of the international women's team match. With the Korean player, Lee Minjin 5P, up first in the third stage, she must defeat Li Chunhua 4P and Ye Gui 5P of China, as well as Konishi Kazuko 8P and Yashiro Kumiko 5P of Japan for the Korean team to win. The Korean teams won the first two editions of this event, and the Chinese the second two. Although the Japanese have never won, they're in a good position this year since the first game in the third stage is between Lee and the Chinese player Li.

JUDAN CHALLENGER FINALS SET: Yamashita Keigo 9P will face off against Yoda Norimoto 9P to determine the challenger for the Japanese Judan title. In an unusual twist, Cho U 9P lost two direct chances to get into the finals to determine the challenger for Cho Chikun 9P, current Judan. First Yamashita beat Cho U by resignation to gain the finals, which dropped Cho into the loser's bracket. There he met Yoda Norimoto 9P, who beat him by 12.5 points to join Yamashita in the finals. The Judan is the only title Cho Chikun currently holds. He defeated Yamashita last year to hold it for a second consecutive year.

QIU JUN WINS CHINESE NEC CUP: Qiu Jun 8P defeated Zhou Ruiyang 4P to win the 12th NEC Cup in China. Qiu won all four of his games in this twelve-player tournament by resignation. The NEC Cup is a fast-play event, with ten minutes of basic time and one byoyomi period of 30 seconds. This is Qiu's first NEC Cup win; he was the youngest player ever to win the Chinese Mingren title, in 2004 at the age of 21.

YAMASHITA TAKES LEAD IN KISEI: Yamashita Keigo 9P got off to a good start in the defense of his Kisei title against Hane Naoki 9P, winning the first game in their best-of-seven-game match by resignation. The Kisei is the most prestigious Japanese national title and has the richest prize, about $350,000 US for the winner. Hane took this title from Yamashita in 2004, only to lose it back to him in 2006. Yamashita hopes to hold on for a second consecutive year this time. Only one other player has been involved in the Kisei title match in the last four years, O Rissei 9P in 2003, whom Yamashita defeated for his first win of the title.

BEI GE TOPS AT MAIDENHEAD: The current British national champion, Bei Ge 5d of Milton Keynes won all three of his games to take the top spot in the 16th Maidenhead Tournament in Britain on January 20. Francis Roads 3d of Wanstead, well known to US Go Congress attendees, was second, followed by William Brooks 3d of Cambridge and Tim Hunt 2d of Milton Keynes. 70 players participated in the one day event. Several others won three out of three, including Takuya Ogino 1k of Maidenhead, Marika Dubiel 4k of Lublin, and Eric Hall 5k of Swindon.

THE PLAYING LIFE: A Chess Player Discovers Go
by Doc Kinne, 18k
       I grew up in the Syracuse, New York, chess scene in the early ' 80s so while the 2nd Annual Greg Lefler Memorial Tournament (January 13 in Rochester, NY) was my very first go tournament, I had a reasonable idea of what to expect. I wasn't far wrong: there were pairing sheets, tables of boards set up, clocks, a tournament room and a skittles room. Last but not least, I also found a crowd of nice, friendly people.
       Back in my chess-playing days, we used mechanical clocks that made a solid KER-CHUNK! when you pressed them. The volume of the KER-CHUNK always seemed to rise in relation to the player's time pressure, but the frequency of the KER-CHUNKs were low, since chess, with an average of 40 moves per game, travels more slowly even in timed conditions. But go and the Ing Go clocks are quite different. With over 200 moves per game and the Ing clocks beeping as their button is pressed, the beginning of rounds in a go tournament sound to me like a cricket convention!
     While go, like chess, is a competitive game, there seems to be a difference in the competitive nature between the two communities. This hit me in my very first round. As a certified US Chess Federation Tournament Director I have administered the Laws of Chess for over 15 years. Those Laws, while fairly administered, are meant to produce a result - a win or a loss. At the Rochester tournament, while there were certainly rules that had to be followed, I got the impression that it was the process of the game that was more important than the result. During my first round my opponent, who was not used the clock, got himself in time pressure by forgetting to press his button. Even though I reminded him a few times, he kept forgetting and ultimately ran out of time. The TD verified that I'd won on time, but gently chided me, saying, "You should have resigned 40 moves ago!" I'm sure he was right, but with my shaky 18 kyu grasp of the game, I had still held out hopes of making territory in the center. Still, it was interesting to find that how you win can be as important as winning.
       While go has benefited greatly from the Internet and I look forward to the AGA making more strides in embracing that paradigm, face-to-face competition is its own experience and thrill. Having tasted it, I'm looking forward to my next over-the-goban experience.

YOUTH GO: Mission San Jose, CA
    Mission San Jose High School is an academically oriented, predominantly Asian high school in the California Bay Area. Over 2,200 students attend this public high school and many of them are into anime and other Asian creations. Dan player Wayne Cheng started the MSJ Go Club as a sophomore in 2002. Over the years, it has steadily grown in size and now averages 20 members, with several newcomers each year.
    The club couples after school go lessons with watching Hikaru no Go episodes. This pulls in many interested students, and those who are really excited about improving their go play dozens of blitz games on KGS each day! Mission has turned out several mid to high kyu players and a dan level player as well. Most of these players love attacking and killing large dragons.
    In the past two years, many new club members are players who learned go at their Chinese schools. These members were taught by high dan players and know much more about go strategy then the players who learned from our club.
    In 2004, our club attended the Northern California High School Go Tournament for the first time. This is a team tournament, where five individuals represent a school. Three team members play on 19x19 boards, while two play on 13x13 boards. The two 13x13 players should not have any prior tournament experience. In our first tournament, our club finished a disappointing 5th place. However, we have been sending out very strong teams for the last two years and captured consecutive championships! Last year, in four rounds of team play, we only lost one game.
    Because of our successes at this tournament, many players are now interested in AGA tournaments and in the Go Congress. Last year, three current members and two ex-presidents attended the congress. We had a great time, and after sharing our experiences when we got home, many more members want to attend the next Congress.
    Reported by Lawrence Ku, 15-year-old EJ West Coast correspondent and a 10th grader at Mission.


January 27, 2007: Des Moines, IA
Ratings Tournament
Anthony Postert 314.497.9679

January 27, 2007: Richmond, VA
Slate & Shell Open
William Cobb 804.740.2191

January 27, 2007: Tacoma, WA
Verna Castanza Memorial
Gordon Castanza 253.732.0874
Mike Malveaux 253.906.0095

February 3, 2007: Arlington, VA
The 1st Chinese New Year Tournament
Please preregister by 2007-01-31
Allan Abramson 703.684.7676
Chung-Sung Chin 703.706.4311

February 4, 2007: New York, NY
New York Go Center Monthly Ratings Tournament
Palani Vel, TD 212.223.0342

February 10-11, 2007: Princeton, NJ
New Jersey Open
Rick Mott 609.466.1602

February 10, 2007: Kalamazoo, MI
Kalamazoo's 6th tournament
Ben Schooley 269.672.7466

February 17-18, 2007: Sarasota, FL
Feng Yun Workshop
Dan Moise 941.284.6987

February 17, 2007: Milwaukee, WI
Cream City Classic
Richard Hayes 414.967.1057

Locate go clubs worldwide at

PLAYERS WANTED: Pikeville, NC: Go players wanted in the area of Pikeville/Goldsboro, NC if you are interested email (1/22)

PLAYERS WANTED: Metro DC: I am a new but enthusiatic player and am looking for people of any level inside the District of Columbia to play with. (1/22)

HS PLAYERS WANTED: Arizona: High School players in Arizona looking for other high school clubs to play against. Can also aid in forming a club, if you are thinking about it. Email (1/22)

CHINA GO CONTACTS WANTED: My wife and I will be traveling to China in two months to pick up a beautiful baby girl we are adopting. We're looking for go (wei-chi) contacts in Chongqing and Guangzhou, as part of learning more about Chinese culture so that we can talk about it intelligently with our daughter. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Jason Taff; (1/15)

PLAYERS WANTED: Kankakee, IL: go players or want to learn in Kankakee area (1/8)

PLAYERS WANTED: Valrico/Brandon, FL: Looking for GO players in the area; the closer to Valrico/Brandon area the better but willing to go into Tampa for games. Contact john at (12/31)

PLAYERS WANTED: Monument, CO: Are there any go players in the Monument area? Looking for people to play or a teacher at 5k or better. Please email (12/31)

PLAYERS WANTED: Indianapolis, IN: Local players looking for others who play go, and are considering the formation of a go club. We're also looking for qualified amateurs or professionals in the Indy area who give go lessons. Please send email to (12/31)

PLAYERS WANTED: Mansfield, OH: Attention go youngsters...I wish to start a go club in Mansfield; anyone who wishes to play please contact me at (12/25)

FOR SALE: Collector's items. The original American Go Journal from vol. 1, no. 1 (Fall 1949) to vol. 8, no. 4 (Sept. 1961): all 29 issues in very good condition. Also the revived American Go Journal from the 1970s. The big journal from vol. 9, no. 1 (Jan. 1974) to vol. 11, no. 3 (May/June 1976), all 15 issues. The small journal from vol. 11, no. 4 (July/Aug. 1976) to vol. 14, nos. 5/6 (Oct., Nov., Dec. 1979), all 16 issues. The Eastern Go Newsletter from no. 1 (May 1975) to no. 12 (April 1976). The Voice of the Go Movement from no. 1 (May 1976) to no. 6 (Oct. 1976). If interested in any of the above, contact Ted Drange, (12/25)

WANTED: Go players in the area of Noblesville, Indiana. Anyone interested, email (12/25)

PLAYERS WANTED: Bucks/Montgomery Counties, PA: Are there any go players in the Bucks Montgomery area outside of Philadelphia? The Penn Go Society is a little bit of a drive so I was thinking more local. Contact me at (12/25)

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Managing Editor: Chris Garlock
Assistant Editor: Bill Cobb

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