News from the American Go Association

January 29, 2007
Volume 8, #8



EJ UPGRADING: The E-Journal will implement a format change soon that will enable us to significantly upgrade our look and feel, enabling us to include photos and graphics for the first time. Make sure you don't miss a single issue of the new EJ by whitelisting to avoid problems with sensitive spam filters.

GUREVICH WINS MGA WINTER TOURNEY: David Gurevich 1d took first place in the January 14 Massachusetts Go Association Winter Handicap Tournament in Somerville, MA. Alex Borland 7k was second and Edward Faulkner 16k was third. 32 players participated. Check out photos online at  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

BOLEY UNDEFEATED IN VERNA CASTANZA MEMORIAL TOURNEY: Jon Boley 6d took first place in the January 27 Verna Castanza Memorial Go Tournament in Tacoma, WA. "There was a sizable contingent from Seattle, a smaller one from Olympia, plus some of Tacoma's usual suspects and a pretty strong kid from Oregon," reports organizer Gordon Castanza. "Long-time friends and rivals Jon Boley 6d, manager of Seattle Go Center and Dr. Steve Stringfellow 6d squared off yet again. Jon's recent baduk studies in Korea (see his blog at must have paid off, because he prevailed against Steve and all others to become the undefeated tournament winner." Youngster Chih Yu "Daniel" Fang traveled up from Eugene, Oregon, to win the single-digit kyu section, as well as best youth result and furthest traveler. "Not bad for a player who will be 8 years old next month! We expect to see him again March 17, when Tacoma and Seattle co-host a Regional Qualifier for the American Youth Championship. Dr. Gordon Castanza, Tacoma Go Club president and AGA Board of Directors for the Western Region, organized the event in memory of his late mother, Verna Castanza; Mike Malveaux was TD. "Special thanks to Jon Boley and Seattle Go Center for bringing the clocks!" adds Castanza.
       WINNER'S REPORT: 19 players. DAN DIVISION: 1st: BOLEY, Jon 6d; 2nd: STRINGFELLOW, Steve 6d; 3rd: ARNOLD, Scott 3d. SINGLE-DIGIT KYU: 1st: FANG, Chih-Yu 2k; 2nd: ALLEN, Luke 3k; BAGHBOUDARIAN, Jason 3k. DOUBLE-DIGIT KYU: 1st: CASTANZA, Gordon 14k; 2nd: METCALF, Gary 17k; 3rd: NIEDERMEYER, Deborah 13k.

PETERSON TOPS SLATE & SHELL OPEN: Max Peterson 5k won all four rounds to take top honors in the January 27 Slate and Shell Open in Richmond, VA. "The last game to finish in the tournament was also the most exciting," reports organizer Bill Cobb, "as Dewey Cornell 2d tenaciously struggled with five stones against Yuan Zhou 7d and managed to pull out a two point victory. Dewey said his success was a result of having read Yuan's book: How to Play Handicap Go." The 21 participants included 7 dan-level players. All participants received free Slate & Shell books as door prizes. Chuck Robbins was the TD.

FUJITSU QUALIFIER FIELD SET: Defending champion Mingjiu Jiang 7P (not 9P as previously reported) tops the final field of 16 players for the upcoming Fujitsu Qualifier, which is scheduled to kick off online this Saturday. The field includes several up-and-coming youngsters, including Andy Liu 8d, Eric Lui 8d and Guthrie Price 6d, as well as Huiren Yang 1P, Jie Li 9d, Jung Hoon Lee 8d, Wei-Yu Chen 8d, Thomas Hsiang 7d, Yuan Zhou 7d, Young Kwon, I-Han Lui 7d, Joseph Wang, and Steve Stringfellow 6d. Two Canadian players will be playing, as well, and Calvin Sun 6d and Jon Boley 6d are alternates. The tentative schedule for the games - which will be played on IGS - is Round 1 on Saturday, February 3, Round 2 on February 4 and Rounds 4 and 5 on the following weekend, February 10-11. The winner becomes the North American representative to the World Fujitsu Cup, sponsored by Fujitsu Limited, with a top prize of Y15,000,000 and a field that always includes several of the world's top players. Details at

JIN CHEN US REP TO WORLD STUDENT OZA: Jin Chen 7d of the Ann Arbor Michigan Go Club is this year's US representative to the World Student Oza. The international tournament for college student players in Japan is scheduled for the end of February. Sponsored by a Japanese newspaper, the tournament is organized by the Japan Student Go organization and features 16 players, including three each from Japan, China, and Europe (1 woman and 2 men), two from Taiwan, and one each from Thailand and North America. Other recent US reps have included Jie Li 9d and Yuan Zhou 7d.

7TH USYGC VENUE ADDED: A seventh US Youth Go Championship Qualifier has just been added, reports Nicole Casanta. The Orange County (CA) Go Club will host a Youth Qualifier February 24-25, joining Tacoma, WA (3/16-17), San Francisco (3/24-3/25), Boulder, CO (4/14-4/15), Chicago, IL (date TBA), and Philadelphia (date TBA). The first was held two weeks ago in Piscataway, NJ by the Feng Yun Go School (Lin & Gu Win Jersey Youth Qualifier 1/22 EJ). For details on rules, eligibility, etc, click on

REGISTER NOW FOR WEEKEND TOURNEYS: It pays to pre-register. Pre-registration is required for the first Chinese New Year Go Tournament in the metropolitan Washington area, scheduled for this Saturday, February 3. Email your name, rating, sign-up session (partner name if Au Pair Pair Go) and a brief description of your go experience to by Wednesday, January 31. Sunday's monthly rating tournament in New York City will be capped at 60 players, and organizers urge anyone interested in playing to email to assure your space. The EJ will broadcast the top boards live on KGS again this month.

RENEW NOW AND SAVE BIG! Beginning February 1, you can join the American Go Association (or renew your membership) now for two years or more and save! For a limited time, a 2-year AGA membership is just $50 ($10 off the usual $60 cost); save $5 for each additional year: 3 years for $75 ($15 savings), 4 years for $100 ($20 savings) or 5 years for $125 ($25 savings). It's a double savings: you save money and so does the AGA, so we can all concentrate on the game we love! Less mailing, more go, it's win-win for all! Click here now to save:

CHANG HAO BLANKS LEE CHANGHO: Continuing the recent surge of Chinese international titlewinners, Chang Hao 9P of China defeated Lee Changho 9P of Korea 2-0 to win the international Samsung Cup. Chang also won the international Ing Cup last year, and will be playing Gu Li 9P of China in the finals of the international Chunlan Cup, won last year by Lee Changho 9P of Korea. The Samsung match is the first time Lee Changho has been beaten in an international title match without winning a single game. Meanwhile, the only wins the Japanese have achieved in the latest international events are Hane Naoki 9P's victory over Huang Yizhong 6P of China in the dual Tengen match and the Japanese team's victory in the last Nongshim Cup.

KONG JIE TAKES CHANG-KI CUP: Kong Jie 7P defeated Gu Li 9P 2-1 to take the 3rd Chang-ki (aka: Xiaoqi) Cup in China. This event honors the founder of the Ing Foundation, which is a generous supporter of go in the West. Kong Jie, who's in his mid-twenties, also won the first edition of this event in 2005. Gu Li still holds two of the most prestigious Chinese national titles, the Mingren and the Tianyuan. Gu also won the international LG Cup last year, defeating the Chinese teenager Chen Yaoye 5P in the finals.

KATO KEIKO 5P IS NEW WOMEN'S MEIJIN CHALLENGER: Kato Keiko 5P has earned a chance to win her first title, the Japanese Women's Meijin. (She hasn't won the title yet, as we mistakenly reported on Friday.) Kato defeated Konishi Kazuko 8P to become the challenger for the title currently held by Aoki Kikuyo 8P. Aoki, who is in her thirties, has held the Women's Meijin, as well as several other Japanese titles, several times. Kato, who is in her twenties, was the challenger for the Women's Kisei in 2001 and 2003, losing to Chinen Kaori 4P both times.

CHO U LEADING HONINBO LEAGUE: Cho U 9P, hoping to win the Challenger's League and get a shot at regaining the Honinbo title he lost to Takao Shinji 9P in 2005, is now leading the League with a 4-0 score. With three more games to play, two others have 3-1 records: Cho Sonjin 9P, whom Cho U just defeated, and So Yokoku 8P, whom Cho has not yet played. Cho also has yet to play Yamada Kimio 9P and Hane Naoki 9P, who have 1-3 and 2-2 records respectively.

COMPUTERS CATCHING UP: "Ever since the stunning victory of Deep Blue, a program running on an IBM supercomputer, over Gary Kasparov, then world chess champion, in 1997, it has been clear that computers would dominate that particular game," reports the January 25 Economist magazine. "Today, though, they are pressing the attack on every front.There is one game, however, where humans still reign supreme: Go. Yet here too their grip is beginning to loosen." According to the report, some go programmers have made "impressive gains with a technique known as the Monte Carlo method," in which "a program using a Monte Carlo algorithm contemplates every move and plays a large number of random games to see what happens. If it wins in 80% of those games, the move is probably good." Check out the original story (thanks to Anton Ninno for the tip) online at


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: Roanoke, VA: Starting club in Roanoke VA and looking for players in my area. Please contact or call 540-297-1344 (1/29)

FOR SALE: 7 go books, all in excellent condition, $122.25 retail, just $80 for all (I pay shipping UPS ground). Contemporary Go Terms, Mastering the Basics, Making Good Shape and more. Email for full list. (1/29)

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)

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Published by the American Go Association
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

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