News from the American Go Association

February 2, 2007
Volume 8, #9 (Member's Edition)

New York, NY & Arlington, VA
GO QUIZ: A Man To Be Envied, A Man To Be Remembered
GO REVIEW: Get Strong at the Opening
GAME COMMENTARY: Amateur Q&A on the 2006 Honinbo & Latest Yang
ATTACHED GAME(S): 2007.02.02 Honinbo (61st) Yamada-Takao, Go World; 2007.02.02 Yilun Yang's February Puzzle

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.

N.A. FUJITSU QUALIFIER KICKS OFF TOMORROW: Thomas Hsiang 7d will take on defending champion Mingjiu Jiang 7P in tomorrow's North American Fujitsu Qualifier Round 1. Other pairings include Wei-Yu Chen-Dong Wang, Huiren Yang-I-Han Lui, Yuan Zhou-Calvin Sun, Jie Li-Young Kwon, Jung Hoon Lee-Gus Price, Andy Liu-Joseph Wang and Eric Lui-Liang Yu. The action begins online on IGS starting at 10A PST. Round 2 will be on Sunday. For pairings, schedule and standings, click on

REDMOND BEATS SAKAI IN TENGEN PRELIM: Michael Redmond 9P has defeated Sakai Hideyuki 7P in the first round of the preliminary tournament for the Japanese Tengen. Details on Monday.

BENSON RECOGNIZED BY DIRECTOR'S GUILD: Longtime go player, organizer and former AGA President Terry Benson will receive the Director's Guild of America's 2006 Franklin J. Schaffner Achievement Award this Saturday. The award - which will be presented at the 59th Annual DGA Awards Dinner in Los Angeles tomorrow night -- is given to an Associate Director or Stage Manager in recognition of career achievement in the industry and service to the Directors Guild of America. More details Monday, or click on

LI HE WINS BAILING CUP IN CHINA: Li He 1P defeated Ye Gui 5P 2-1 to take the Bailing Cup, a Chinese women's event. Details on Monday.

RUI NAIWEI REPEATS AS WOMEN'S MYEONGIN: Rui Naiwei 9P has again won the Women's Myeongin (Meijin) Tournament in Korea. Details on Monday.

Coming up Monday: The latest installment of Motoko Arai's "Can't Stop the Monkey Jump - A Beginner Studies the Pros."

WEEKEND ACTION: New York, NY & Arlington, VA
- February 4: New York, NY
Super Sunday Pre-Game Games
Palani Vel, TD 212.223.0342
- February 3: Arlington, VA
The 1st Chinese New Year Tournament
Allan Abramson 703.684.7676
Chung-Sung Chin 703.706.4311

GO QUIZ: A Man To Be Envied, A Man To Be Remembered
       Congratulations to those (3/6) who successfully alphabetized Paul Anderson (1965-66) and WD Witt (1935) as our AGA Presidential bookends. Paul Anderson took lessons from Takao Matsuda in Greenwich Village in the 1960-61 and then went to Japan in 1961-62 where he swapped go lessons for English lessons with Reiko Kitani. "Every Saturday, I was invited to have dinner with her family, including her father Minoru Kitani Sensei," Paul reports to an envious quizmaster. He served on the British Go Association's Board of Governors (there goes another quiz question) while living in London, and was instrumental in getting his employer, IBM, to sponsor a major tournament in Japan. Today, along with fellow ex-president Roy Laird, he is doing wonderful work at the resurgent New York Go Center. WD Witt was one of the first documented Caucasian go players in 1909. He held the first known tournament, in 1912 in Philadelphia, and became the AGA's first president in 1935. In researching the early history of American go, Craig Hutchinson concludes, "Since WD Witt organized the first Caucasian Go Club and Go Tournament in the U.S., suggested the organization of the AGA, taught many people to play go, it can be said he had done more than anyone else to spread go in the U.S. since Arthur Smith prior to August 1934" He was the first Westerner to examine issues in the Japanese and Chinese Rules. He died in April, 1945 (source - AGA 1995 Historical Book - available on the AGA website) This week's winner, selected at random from thos answering correctly, is Phil Waldron of Gloucester, Ontario (Canada).
     THIS WEEK'S QUIZ: In honor of the Fujitsu Qualifier beginning this weekend -- watch the games online! - here's a Fujitsu question. Michael Redmond 9P and Jimmy Cha 4P battled for the right to represent the U.S. during the 1990s. Name the only player, other than Cha, to defeat Redmond in the Qualifier - was it Thomas Hsiang, James Kerwin, John Lee or Yuan Zhou? Vote here:
- Go Quiz Editor: Keith L. Arnold, hka

GO REVIEW: Get Strong at the Opening
by Richard Bozulich
Reviewed by Dammy Osoba, 11k
      This book is part of the "Get Strong At Go" series from Kiseido. The book has about 172 problems. The first 80 or so problems are fuseki problems that deal with niren-sei, sanren-sei, the Chinese opening and the Shusaku opening. The second part of the book deals with general opening problems, problems more to test positional judgment. I would say that 30k-5k would find the first half of the book more useful. I was able to go through all the problems in the first half.
      A downside to the book is that it does not have a comprehensive theory section. In the first couple of pages, the book explains relevant go terms and it has a very short section on explaining basic opening patterns. However, there is no comprehensive theory section, nothing on what to look for in the opening or guiding principles. It does not explain fuzzy terms like "big point" or concepts like nullifying influence. Particularly in regards to the shusaku opening, the book has an all too brief blurb about it. I found myself not being able to understand the solutions of the shusaku problems especially with newly learned moyo ideas floating in my head.
      The first 80 problems, I found incredibly useful. Problems focused on moyo based strategies. I was able to learn pretty quickly mechanics of building of a moyo in first 20 moves. Most of the problems were focused on where black would play, which is also a downside. I feel that I can play black pretty well with a moyo strategy but playing white is another matter. I would have liked more problems on how white can foil black's moyo strategy. Again shusaku problems I found difficult to understand; either way, I won't be playing the shusaku opening anytime soon.
      The third part of the book I found incredibly opaque. I guess I am simply not strong enough to understand the problems. I would guess that these are dan-level problems. The problems required an attention to detail, and finesse that I could not simply understand what the point was. Especially since the problems did not give a list of possible of answers, the most obvious answer to me would often not be explained in the solutions, which seemed quite arbitrary to me.
      Fuseki is hard, it requires both reading and positional judgment. A lot of the principles are fuzzy and hard to grasp. I do think that this book helped me with the big picture view of the board. It is a certainly a book that I would review again as I get stronger. I would recommend that readers study a more thorough book on fuseki theory and then look at this book to test understanding.
      Osoba is a 2007 Shodan Challenger, one of more than 50 go players working to attain goals by this year's US Go Congress in Millersville, PA. This review was submitted as part of the Challenge's ongoing study program, in this case an assignment to review books about the opening.

GAME COMMENTARY: Amateur Q&A on the 2006 Honinbo & Latest Yang
       Yamada Kimio 9P takes on Takao Shinji 9P and Honinbo in the fourth game of last year's 61st Honinbo title match in today's game commentary. The game was played June 13-14, 2006 in Karatsu City, Saga Prefecture, Japan. The commentary up through move 65 takes the form of a professional answering questions posed by an amateur. The main theme that emerges is the differences between professional and amateur perception, especially about which groups are important and which areas are important for fighting. The aim is to help readers develop their strategic perception. The discussion was written up by Oshima Masao and is translated by John Power from the Nihon Kiin's Monthly Go World for August 2006. Go World is a quarterly English language go magazine that contains a wealth of pro commentaries and additional instructional material.
        Our bonus file today is Yilun Yang 7P's final life and death problem based on the months of the year; be sure to turn off Next Move before opening the file. Look for a new series from Mr Yang starting in March!
       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

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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