News from the American Go Association

March 9, 2007
Volume 8, #20 (Member's Edition)

GO QUIZ: All Hail The Kisei
GAME COMMENTARY: Double-Digit Kyu Game
HOT OFF THE PRESS: Vital Points and Skillful Finesse for Sabaki
GO REVIEW: Opening Theory Made Easy
ATTACHED FILES: 2007.03.09 ChallengeJordanChung.sgf; 2007.03.09 VitalPointsAndSkillfullThickness.pdf

LIU HEADED TO WORLD AMATEUR GO CHAMPIONSHIP: Andy Liu 8d, playing white, defeated Mozheng Guan 8d by 17.5 point in front of a huge crowd of 570 on KGS last Sunday, reports Dennis Wheeler. The win sends Liu to the World Amateur Go Championships May 28-31 in Tokyo, Japan. "The US representative is normally decided by a points system from the past 5 years of US Go Congress winners and runners-up," Wheeler tells the EJ, "but this year there was a tie, so a last minute internet playoff was held. Turning 16 just prior to the event, Andy will be the youngest US representative to the WAGC."

ROYCE BITES BIG APPLE: Liam Royce 16k topped last Sunday’s Big Apple Tournament with a 4-win sweep at the New York Go Club in New York City. Full Winner’s Report Monday.

REGISTER NOW FOR YOUTH CAMP & SAVE! Lock in your spot at one of this year’s Youth Go Camps and save $50-$75. The Go Camps have an early registration deadline of March 15, after which the cost goes up $50. Plus, previous campers (to either camp) can save an additional $25 off the East Coast camp cost, reports Karen Jordan. The Michigan Go Summer Camp runs July 1-7 in Ortonville MI with Jie Li 9d; for information contact The West Go Camp runs July 14-21 with Mingjiu Jiang 7p at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington. For information contact: Click here for more details on both camps. photo: Michael Redmond 9P at the 2006 camp.

YEARBOOK ON THE WAY: The 2006 American Go Yearbook is in the mail! The 106-page Yearbook is bigger and better than ever, with a selection of the best material from the 2006 American Go E-Journals presented in a brand-new design and featuring extensive tournament and event reports, photos, reviews, game highlights and a redesigned CD with every E-Journal and game from last year. Watch your mailbox for your copy soon!

KATO TAKES JAPANESE WOMEN'S MEIJIN: Kato Keiko 5P defeated Aoki Kikuyo 8P 2-1 to gain her first title. Details on Monday.

CHO CHIKUN 1-0 IN JUDAN DEFENSE: Cho Chikun 9P took the first game in the defense of his Judan title against Yamashita Keigo 9P. Details on Monday.

ZHOU RUIYANG WINS CHINESE XINREN WANG: Zhou Ruiyang 4P defeated Wang Lei 5P 2-0 to win the 14th Chinese Xinren Wang tournament. Details on Monday.

- March 10: Flushing, NY
United States NY Radio Korea 2007 SPRING GO Competition!
Prizes: 42" LCD TV and Home Theater Systems!
Over 100 players expected; Radio Korea is giving all players a gift!
Chuck Robbins 717.682.2667

GO QUIZ: All Hail The Kisei
        The vast majority of you – 29 of 39 – knew the answer to last week’s Hikaru news question: the new Women’s Kisei, Umezawa Yukari 5P (right), also starred in the anime’s go teaching segments. “It would be nice that all of this week’s answers could be correct” quips Kim Salamony, while Jeff Newmiller protested it was too easy, given the announcement of Umezawa’s victory in the same issue of the E-Journal. “Thought we were sleeping? Or was it a case of the left hand not knowing what the right hand was doing? No, just trying to be topical; and I did make sure that the Kisei article did not mention Hikaru. One obviously male reader noted that “Yukari Umezawa is the hottest go player I have ever seen. You are second, Keith.” That is inappropriate on so many levels…anyway, congrats to Jasmine Sailing of Denver, CO for being this week’s Quiz winner, drawn at random from those answering correctly.
This week’s quiz: I was going to do a harder one this week to try to break the tie at the top of our ongoing standings, but the big Hikaru response has inspired me to throw a little Hikaru trivia your way. Which Hikaru character plays online as “zelda”? Is it Sai, Isumi, Waya or Touya? Click here to post your overwhelming responses. photo of Keith Arnold by Phil Straus
- Go Quiz Editor: Keith L. Arnold, hka

GAME COMMENTARY: Double-Digit Kyu Game
       Luke Chung takes a close look at a Shodan Challenger Joe Jordan 13k’s game in today’s commentary, showing how both players have lots of opportunities to win – and lose.
       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 click here to get them for most platforms at Jan van der Steen's Gobase.

HOT OFF THE PRESS: Excerpts from New Go Books
Vital Points and Skillful Finesse for Sabaki, by Yoda Norimoto 9P
Translated by Robert J. Terry, Published by Hinoki Press
       This week we offer an excerpt (see attached PDF) from a book by one of the top current Japanese pros dealing with the art of handling stones in dangerous situations. "Sabaki" is the light play that works wonders in such situations and is the hallmark of a skilled player. Yoda offers helpful instruction in this art, using problem situations in which he analyses both the good and bad moves. This kind of analysis vastly improves the likelihood of the reader's understanding and not just memorizing the proper techniques.

GO REVIEW: Opening Theory Made Easy
By Otake Hideo 9P
Ishi Press, 2002
Reviewed by Ted Terpstra 5k
       Ugh. Another game ending with me trailing by 20+ points after an opening where I stumbled into the midgame with a couple of baseless groups stretched across the board. Time to accept the Shogun Challenge to read and review a book on the opening. Going through my seldom-used go library, I saw a tome that I bought ten years ago and never found the time to read: "Opening Theory Made Easy" by Otake Hideo. It’s a compact book of 170 pages and promises "Twenty Strategic Principles to Improve Your Opening Game."
       I was caught immediately by the simplicity of the method Otake uses to demonstrate his principles. He uses mostly three-quarter-sized boards and in many cases less than twenty stones to show the way. The twenty principles are divided into three chapters: Fuseki Fundamentals, Good Shape and Strategy.
       Here are some of the lessons I learned:
* Principle 7 (Chapter 1); How to build moyos (large territorial frameworks). Too often I have been prone to jump into attacking an opponent when I should instead be patiently building my own territory. Otake demonstrates in clear examples how to build from strength from the side to the middle and build territory.
* Principle 10 (Chapter 2): One can never catch up when pushing from behind. In a running fight, it behooves a player to be the first to jump out in a direction and stay ahead of the opponent. Conversely, one should not trail the opponent in stringing stones across the board. The leading player will have all the flexibility of cutting off the opponent and attacking.
* Principle 17 (In Chapter 3): Use thickness to attack. If one can entice the opponent into jumping into a gap whose one side is a strong position, one should attack from the weak side and push the opponent toward to thickness. More territory can usually be made away from the thickness than next to the thickness itself.
In summary, I found Otake's book well written and full of new ways to look at the go board. This is not a book of joseki. It deals in the establishment of whole-board fundaments into which the joseki are incorporated. His examples are clear, concise and to the point. He shows variations and how they lack the advantage of his examples. Now if I can just avoid the temptations and follow Principle 20: "Don't cling to stones that have served their purpose."

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Managing Editor: Chris Garlock
Assistant Editor: Bill Cobb

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