World Go News from the American Go Association

March 26, 2007
Volume 8, #26

GO PHOTOS: Farrington Go Clinic
Sittin' At The Boards By The Bay
Getting Started

GABBERT, GUO TOP SF TOURNEYS: Thirty players competed in the 2007 San Francisco Go Club Spring tournament and US Youth Go Championship (USYGC) Regional Qualifier on Saturday, March 24th and Sunday the 25th. Adam Gabbert 4d took top honors in the SF Spring tournament, while 14-year-old Jimmy Guo 5d (l) pulled out all the stops to win first place in the USYGC Senior Division, and Tony Zhang 4d took 2nd place. In the USYGC Junior Division, 10-year-old Hugh Zhang 2d rallied to defeat Christopher Kiguchi (also ten) 4d in a best-of-three series on Saturday. Zhang then crossed the Bay on Sunday to play in the Jujo Cup as well, where he beat another ten-year-old titan, 6d Calvin Sun in their game in the fourth round. Zhang, whose days as a 2-dan would seem to be at an end, looks likely to emerge as a top contender in the USYGC finals in Seattle. SF Spring tournament Winner's Report: Dan Division: 1st: Adam Gabbert 4d; 2nd: Changyu Han 2d; 3rd: Ned Phipps 7d & Brian Leahy 3d (tie). Kyu Division winners: 1st: Sammy Zhang 14k; 2nd: Karoline Burrall 5K; 3rd: Bob Nugmanov 5K.
- Reported by Paul Barchilon, Youth Editor. Photo by Kristen Burrall.

SUN CAPTURES JUJO JIANG YOUTH GOE TOURNEY TITLE: Calvin Sun 6d topped a field of 114 youth players at the 11th Jujo Jiang Youth Goe Tournament last Saturday in Sunnyvale, CA. The West Coast's oldest and biggest youth tournament attracted a strong field that included several 6-dan players and 3 US Youth Go Championship qualifiers. Eighty-six players competed in a fierce, all day tournament, while 28 beginners practiced their skills in the half-day 13x13 tournament. Reid Augustin directed. WINNERS REPORT: 6D-3D: SUN Calvin; 2D-1D: LEONG Lim; 1K-6K: FENG Felix; 7K-10K: HUANG Corey; 11K-18K: SHIEH Alex; 19K-23K: QIN Tiantong; 24K-25K: QIN Tiancheng; 26K-29K A: FANG Kevin; 26K-29K B: FANG Alex; 26K-29K C: FANG Justin. 13x13: A: KUANG Alicia; B: LU Mimi; C: WU Nicklaus; D: LI Aaron.
- report/photos by Lawrence Ku, EJ West Coast Correspondent. Photo above: Round 4; San Francisco WYGC Qualifier Champion Hugh Zhang (far right) 3d defeated Calvin Sun 6d, Los Angeles WYGC Qualifier Champion, by a half-point. Michael Cheng 6d defeated Lawrence Ku 6d, Seattle WYGC Qualifier Champion, on time. Photo top right: Mingjiu Jiang 7P scores a game between Hugh Zhang 3d and Yangyang Shi 4d.

LIU SWEEPS RALEIGH TOURNEY: Bing Liu 1d swept all four games in the Spring Fuseki's top division in Raleigh, NC. Jeremiah Reid was also undefeated in Section C. "Special thanks to TD Chuck Robbins," says tourney organizer - and Wolf Go Club President -- Liam Royce. 30 players participated. WINNER'S REPORT: SECTION A: 1D-5D (7 players): 1st: Liu, Bing 1d; 2nd: Kuang, Jeff 4d. SECTION B: 8k-1k (8 players): 1st: Moore, John 1k; 2nd: Bacon, Bob 8k / Plesser, Adam 8k SECTION C: 12k-10k (8 players): 1st: Reid, Jeremiah 10k; 2nd: Daland, William 10k SECTION D: 30k-12k (7 players): 1st: DiMattia, Vincent 14k ; 2nd: Blann, Dale 18k & Chen, Franklin 30k

GO PHOTOS: Playing at the Farrington (HI) Go Clinic on March 23 (left). Photo by Xiao Feng

HIKARU COMES TO CABLE: Hikaru No Go, the anime series that has revived interest in go among Japanese youth and developed a cult following in the West, is finally coming to cable. ImaginAsian TV will begin broadcasting the 75 episodes on April 2. Now the bad news (for some of you): ImaginAsian is only available in nine metropolitan areas at present -- New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Houston, Dallas, Hawaii, and two New Jersey communities (Princeton and Edison). So if you're not one of them, get on the phone and (paraphrasing an old ad) "Call your cable company and say 'I want IATV!' Click here for the broadcast schedule.
- Roy Laird

MORE SHOTWELL ON GO: Go writer Peter Shotwell has just posted updates of his anthropologically-oriented Origins of Go article and its Appendices along with a new commentary on the significance of the new dating of the early Confucian quotes on go. He has also added a new Appendix with pictures of two Tibetan discoveries of old stone go boards. Click here to check it out.

AVRAM NOTCHES 1ST TITLE IN ROMANIAN WOMEN'S TOURNEY: Laura Avram, a 14-year-old 1d, won her first title last weekend at the Romanian National Tournament for women in Braila. Thirteen players competed in the preliminary 4 rounds, and the final 8 played a 6-round double knock-out in which Avram bested 17-year-old Adelina Sora 1d in the final. Runners-up included Adelina Sora 1d, the Romanian champion for the last three years, and Liliana Iacob 2k, the 2002 women's champion. Avram began playing go seven years ago at school in Bistrita with Teodor Virtic and has represented the Bistrita Children's Palace in competitions. In the recent European Youth Go Championship, Avram finished 31st out of 98 participants in the under-18 group.
- report/photo by Marilena Bara, EJ European Correspondent

TAIWANESE PRO WINS INTERNATIONAL LG CUP: In a remarkable sign of how far their pro community has come, Zhou Junxun 9P (r) of Taiwan has won the international LG Cup by defeating China's Hu Yaoyu 8P. Zhou won the first game by resignation, but Hu came back to take the second by a half point. Then Zhou won the decisive game -- by a half point. Zhou also holds three Taiwanese national titles. The LG Cup included two participants from Taiwan: Lin Zhihan 7P, who lost in the second round to Hong Minpyo 5P of Korea, was the other. There were thirteen Koreans, six Japanese, and eleven Chinese. The Chinese and the Japanese have both won this cup twice, while the Koreans have taken it five times, four of them by Lee Changho 9P.

LIU SHIZHEN TO CHALLENGE GU LI FOR TIANYUAN: Liu Shizhen 6P has won the right to challenge Gu Li 9P for the Chinese Tianyuan title with a 1.5 point win over Tao Xin 3P. Gu has held this title for the last four years. He won the Chinese Mingren title for the third consecutive time in January. Liu's only title win so far was of the New Pro Wang tournament in 2000, after which he also won the dual match against the Korean New Pro winner. Gu pulled off the same double success in 2005.

CHANG HAO AND HU YAOYU IN FINALS FOR RICOH CUP: The finalists for the Chinese RICOH Cup will be Chang Hao 9P (r) and Hu Yaoyu 8P. Hu, has won some national titles and done well in several international tournaments, but has yet to win an international title. Chang's most recent international success was defeating Lee Changho 9P 2-0 to win the Samsung Cup in January.

GU LI DEFEATS CHANG HAO TO TAKE CHUNLAN CUP: Gu Li 9P (l) of China defeated China's Chang Hao 9P 2-0 to win the international Chunlan Cup, denying Chang a third current international title. Gu won the first game by only a half point, but took the second by resignation. This is Gu's only current international title, while Chang holds the Samsung, which he won in January, as well the most recent Ing Cup, won in 2005.

YOUTH GO: Sittin' At The Boards By The Bay
    The San Francisco Bay Area had a busy weekend with both the U
S Youth Go Championship (USYGC) in San Francisco and the 11th Jujo Jiang Youth Go Tournament in nearby Sunnyvale (see reports above).
    "I played in the San Francisco Spring handicap tournament while the youth qualifier was going on," USYGC champion Matthew Burrall (left, in photo at right) told
the E-Journal "I had a good time with no pressure since I qualified a few weeks ago in Orange County. Jimmy Guo ended up winning all his games in the senior division. Tony Zhang was second and was really disappointed to miss out on the Go camp scholarship and trip to Seattle for the U.S. championship. In the junior division, Hugh Zhang (left) had a tough opponent in Christopher Kiguchi, but Hugh was at my house a couple of months ago for a Yilun Yang workshop and has been really excited about getting stronger at go since then. He's really improving fast. It's going to be fun going up to Seattle with Jimmy, Lawrence and Hugh in May."
    Fourteen year old Jimmy Guo 5d is currently a freshman at Burlingame High School. "I began playing go at the age of 9," Guo tells the E-Journal, "learning from my father who was 5k at the time. I reached shodan within a year, and then played go on and off (mostly off) for the next five years." Guo adds that "recently, my interest in go has returned and I hope to improve as much as I can. My goal is to reach 9d by the end of high school, and I've begun taking lessons from Mingjiu Jiang to help me reach it." In his spare time Guo says "I like to hang out with friends, and play sports, especially basketball. I am currently also on my school's badminton team."
- Paul Barchilon, Youth Editor

By James Kerwin 1P
    This is the start of a series presenting my road map from absolute beginner to 15 kyu. This road covers a fair distance, and I know you are already at various stages along the way. I'm starting at the very beginning, but I encourage you all to start reading now, wherever you are on the road. In addition to the value of looking backward, a clearer picture of the distance you've covered can help you understand the road ahead.
    Those of you just starting out, let me welcome you to the community of go players. You've begun a wonderful journey exploring the most fascinating, challenging, and, sometimes, maddening game. One of the names for go in Asia is 'rotted axe', from the old tale in which a woodsman encountered two sages playing go in the forest. When he stopped watching them play and turned to pick up his axe he found the handle had rotted. You may not have seen this fascination for yourself yet, but you will.
    You may have already found that the go community does not seem to give you as much help as you would like to travel this road. But it is easier now than it was when I learned the game, and I'll help you with my road map. You won't get stronger from reading the column, but you will learn what to do to become stronger.
    If you're finding go difficult, don't worry. It's not you, it's the game: go is simply difficult. Ask any strong player. Even if you're good at other games, you will find go difficult at first Other games progress by moving pieces from one place to another. In go the pieces do not move, and the game progresses by growth, not displacement. As a complete beginner you can't see the fundamental patterns the stones make, seeing each stone as an individual object, instead of groups (connected stones) and positions (mutually supporting stones). Your first step is to learn to see in this way.
    The good news is that you don't have to do anything special. Your brain learns this automatically. The bad news is that you can't do anything to speed it up. It takes as long as it takes. The only thing you can do is play. The more you play the less time it takes.
Use your playing time to play more fast games. In fact, it isn't even necessary to play go; you can play a subgame of go called the capture game. The rules of play are identical except that the winner is the first player to capture a stone. You can also play on a small board, 9x9 or 13x13. Small board games or the capture game are fun and they're not as frustrating because you're not as handicapped by lack of understanding as you are on the full board. Just play.
    When you play, spend your time making sure you know which stones are connected and form a group and which are not. On top of that use any rules of thumb you may have been taught. But don't worry too much about strategy or even tactics. It's too early for that.
    Although you're just starting out, don't be shy about asking others to play. Other new players are anxious to play too, and more experienced players were newbies once, just like you. When you ask, ask for a short game; it's reasonable to ask for 10 minutes of their time to play a 9x9, but it's not reasonable to ask them to spend an hour playing. If you play an experienced player, expect to lose and don't worry about it. Don't ask for any advice or comments on the game at this point, just say, "Thank you, I appreciate your playing me" and then ask someone else and lose again. For the experienced players out there, remember your obligation to repay your debt to those who helped you get where you are and invest 10 minutes of your time in a new go player.
    Follow this program for the next 30 days. Next month I'll map out the next stretch of the road.
Kerwin, a longtime go teacher, is a regular contributor to the E-Journal and American Go Yearbook. If you have questions on the material in this column, or on how to get stronger, email him at

Click here for complete listing

March 31: Davis, CA
Davis/Sacramento Quarterly
9A-5P, Yolo County Library
Willard Haynes 916.929.6112

March 31: Washington, DC
Cherry Blossom
Allan Abramson 703.684.7676

March 31: Kailua, HI
Oahu Go Club - Spring Quads
Rds 3/G30, 5 /10
Frank H. Alejandro 808.235.1567

April 1: Ames, IA
The All-Iowa Tournament
Hosted by the Cyclone Go Club of Iowa State University
Ramon Mercado 787.410.1977

April 1: College Park, MD
John Groesch Memorial
Steve Mount 301.405.6934
Neil Bernardo

April 1: New York, NY
New York Go Center Monthly Rating Tournament
TD: Boris Bernadsky 212.223.0342

Locate go clubs worldwide

PLAYERS WANTED: Chicago, IL: Looking for go players in West Chicago. Email (3/19)

BOOK SWAP: Looking to trade my mint condition copy of "The Breakthrough to Shodan" by Naoki Miyamoto, 9-Dan, translated by James Davies, The Ishi Press for a copy of "Strategic Principles of Go" by Yoshiaki Nagahara. Contact Richard at (3/19)

PLAYERS WANTED: Bemidji, MN. Seeking go players in this area; I have been playing go for a little less than one year, and am tired of only playing online. If there is anyone interested (new or experienced), please contact me at (3/13)

FOR SALE: "The Breakthrough to Shodan" by Naoki Miyamoto, 9-Dan, translated by James Davies, The Ishi Press, 1976. Hard-to-find work is based on a series of 10 articles on 3- and 4-stone handicap play that Miyamoto wrote for the Igo Shincho in 1973 and 1974. $95 or best offer plus postage. Contact Andy at (3/12)

PLAYERS WANTED: Monument, CO: Anyone in the area of Monument, Colorado willing to start a go club, or just someone to play against. Also anyone who has any ideas on where to host a go club. Please contact (2/26)

WANTED: Go-playing Chinese-speaking English-speaking China Guide. I am looking for one person who will travel through China with me, exploring China and playing go. I will pay expenses but no salary. Please email (2/26)

FOR SALE: 6 go books, all in great condition. Janice Kim's Learn to Play Go,Volumes 1-5, and Elementary Go Series Vol.2, 38 Basic Joseki. Retails ~$90, sellingfor $50. Email at (2/26)

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Assistant Editor: Bill Cobb

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