World Go News from The American Go Association




MEMBER'S EDITION BONUS CONTENT: We're pleased to bring you last Wednesday's game between Tartrate and Jang Bi on KGS, with variations by tartrate. The legendary - but mysterious - online player blazed a virtually unbeaten path across KGS in 2003, defeating Alexandre Dinerchtein 1P, Svetlana Shikshina 1P and Kim Myung Wan 6P before vanishing without a trace. Tartrate's fabled invincibility was only broken once, when he took White with no komi against Charm, and the ease with which he dismissed tough opponents led many to people believe he was a strong professional. Amicable and somewhat chatty, Tartrate insisted on anonymity, however, refusing to answer personal questions. His impressive performance in 2003 was followed by a long silence; during a short comeback in January 2004, his winning streak continued and his game against Weems 9d attracted over 400 observers. Jang Bi is the Korean insei who's been living and playing in the United States since last year. Non-members: join the American Go Association and get all this great content with every EJ! It's all just a click away!

March 10, 2008; Volume 9, #12

KU & ZHOU TOP YOUTH CHAMPIONSHIPS: Lawrence Ku 6d topped the United States Youth Go Championship qualifier in Boulder last weekend, while Will Zhou 7d won in Chicago. The events kicked off the 2008 USYGC season, with more scheduled for each weekend this month. Eric Sears 4k won the senior A division in Boulder and Peter Cannici 20k won the B Division. Andrew Huang 4d won the Junior Division in Chicago. Click here for a complete report and more photos.
- report/photo by Paul Barchilon; photo: Ku (l) in the Boulder final against Kellin Pelrine.

SHENS WIN NOVA INTERNET PAIR GO: Cherry Shen and Jerry Shen took first place in the first internet pair go tournament sponsored by the NOVA-GMU Go Club, reports Allan Abramson. "The 4-1 result netted the Shen team $100 each for their efforts," Abramson told the E-Journal. Ten pairs participated in a five-round handicap format: Zipei Feng and Xingshuo Liu (6D team); Curtis Tang and Tina Zhang (6D team); Ricky Zhao and Jasmine Yan (5D team); Jayme Fosa and Akane Negishi (2D team); Cherry Shen and Jerry Shen (1D team); Andrew Jackson and Quynh Vo (1D team); Allan Abramson and Lisa Scott (1D team); Dave Warzinski and Kim Salamony (5K team); Keiju and Yukino Takehara (6K team); and Howard and Dawn-Marie Cornett (17K team). "If there is enough interest, NOVA-GMU will run a second tournament next Fall," adds Abramson.

CHO SEOKBIN WINS BARCELONA PANDANET CUP: An undefeated Cho Seokbin (r) 7d won the Barcelona Pandanet European Cup in late February, reports Marc Gonzalez-Carnicer. Hong Seulki 7d was the runner up; 3rd was Lluis Oh 6d, 4th: Ondrej Silt 6d; 5th: Radek Nechanicky 6d. Click here for complete results.

FULL MEMBERSHIP BREAKS 2,000: Capping a 6-month surge, membership in the American Go Association broke into new record territory last month, surpassing 2,000 full members for the first time ever. "With 2,019 full members, the AGA is quite clearly growing and sustaining the growth to new levels, and we project our best-ever year for membership based on the extensive list of active programs in place," predicted AGA President Michael Lash. Youth memberships jumped to a new all-time high of 789, helping push overall membership to a record all-time high of 2,383. "This is well within reach of the magic number of 2,500 members before the 2009 Congress, which would be another major milestone for the AGA," added Lash. He credited the cumulative effect of a very active tournament scene this year, E-Journal membership promotions, the highly regarded Yearbook, improved membership and chapter relations, an explosive growth in the schedule of youth events, and the overall increase in the ability of the AGA to deliver better value to its members.

4 WEEKS OF YOUTH GO CAMPS PLANNED: For the first time ever, young go players will be able to attend four straight weeks of summer go camps this year. The American Go Association's annual Youth Summer Camps will run July 19-26 on the East Coast and July 27-August 2 on the West Coast, preceded by Feng Yun 9P's two-week intensive youth workshop July 5-19 in Somerset, NJ. "If you've never been to the AGA Summer Go Camp, there's a great video online," says AGA Board Chair Roy Laird, "if you have, you know you want to be there!" Dozens of students of all strengths are expected at the camps, which include typical summer camp activities as well as "lots of serious go" promise organizers. Feng Yun will also lead the Go Camp East in Somerset, while Ming-jiu Jiang 7P returns to the West Coast Camp in Tacoma, WA, along with Yoshi Sawada, a strong go teacher and a certified tennis pro. Partial scholarships are available from the American Go Foundation which "has never turned away a serious young player who needed help," says AGF Director Terry Benson. US Youth Go Championship finalists will also win $400 toward the camp fees. Transport will be available to the US Go Congress which starts Saturday 8/2 in Portland, OR, about 2 1/2 hours away from the Go Camp West. "Many of today's strongest young players have attended previous camps," adds Laird, "and some will be there this year!" West Coast camp photo by Brian Allen

THIRD ARGENTINIAN GO CONGRESS COMING UP: The third annual Argentinian Go Congress is scheduled for March 20-28 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. "Enda Hideki 9P from Japan will play 100 simul games in the city of Tigre," Michel Martens tells the E-Journal. Also featured at the Congress are Argentinians Fernando Aguilar 7d and Eduardo Lopez Herrero 6d, along with ex-insei Naoko Kumasaka 6d from the European Go Federation. The biggest go-related event in Argentina, "We encourage you to come and enjoy our beautiful country," says Martens, who can be reached at

PARIS IN THE SPRING: Big prizes and plenty of competition is on offer at the upcoming Paris Go Tournament, scheduled for March 22-24. The event includes Europe's top players competing in the Pandanet Cup Final, as well as the main Paris Go Tournament and a blitz tournament. In other attractions, Cao Da Yuan 9P will play simuls, Bao Yun 7D will play a blindfolded simul game and Catalin Taranu 5P will take on the Mogo Go program on both 9x9 and 19/19 boards over the weekend. In addition to cash prizes, the winner of the main tournament will receive an original sculpture - valued at 2400 Euros - designed by artist Brigitte Fournier-Valette and sponsored by RécitSproque. The best female player will win a custom-designed "Goïshi" watch by Seiko.

STUDYING GO AROUND THE WORLD: Opportunities for go study and go vacations around the world are proliferating faster than new josekis. Here are just a couple that have come to our attention recently:
- Experience Go in China will run an intensive study program beginning June 22 in Beijing, China. "The program features some of the top players and teachers from the Kiseido Go Server (KGS)," reports Paul Barchilon, who will be attending. Participants can choose both how long they want to stay and how many days a week they want to study. The package includes pick-up at the airport, lodging, 5 hours of teaching a day, visits to the Chinese Professional Go League, and friendly games with pros and amateurs. All teaching is in English, and the staff will assist westerners with travel plans in China and facilitate sight-seeing activities on days off.
- James Kerwin 1P, the longtime U.S. teacher - and the first non-Asian to be made a professional go player by the Japanese Go Association -- returns to British Columbia July 27-August 1 with his legendary workshop at Hollyhock, an internationally renowned "center for learning and well-being."
- Meanwhile, just across The Big Pond, the "Swim and Go - Summer School" takes place August 16-21 on the holiday isle of Texel, in the North of Holland. Easily reached from Amsterdam, "participants look forward to lots of sun 'n fun, swim 'n go," reports Peter Peter Dijkema. the EJ's Dutch correspondent. Photo: Jeff Chang (upper left) analyses a joseki at last year's Experience Go in China program; photo courtesy Jeff Chang.

HALF-PRICE EQUIPMENT AT KISEIDO: Kiseido is offering a special selection of go equipment at large discounts, with up to 50% off their regular prices, Richard Bozulich tells the EJ. "Kiseido is having a sale of extra thick shell and slate go stones," says Bozulich. Airmail shipping and handling charges are included in the discounted prices.

'07 YEARBOOK GOING TO PRESS: Weighing in at a record 130 pages, the 2007 American Go Yearbook is about to go to press! AGA members will be receiving the Yearbook in the mail later this month, and non-members have a chance to get in on the action this week. Join the AGA by midnight this Sunday, March 16, and we'll make sure you get a copy of the 2007 Yearbook! Click here now to join (must be a Full member)! A selection of the best of the E-Journal reports on go throughout last year, the 2007 Yearbook includes comprehensive reports on major U.S. tournaments and events, our new Hot Off The Press go reviews, games and instructional articles from popular contributors like Yilun Yang, James Kerwin, Kazunari Furuyama and Yuan Zhou. The Youth Go section has been expanded, as has the Scoreboard section, with tourney reports and photos from the entire year. The Go Players Guide To The World returns with reports from Ireland, Israel, Tokyo and Europe, and new this year is a Computer Go section. There's lots more, including a CD with all the 2007 EJ content plus all the game records. PLUS: here's your chance to help choose the Yearbook cover! Click here to vote for the cover you prefer and we'll select a prize-winner at random from those voting for the cover that's chosen.

YOUTH GO: U.S. Youth Championships Kick Off
     The 2008 United States Youth Go Championships (USYGC) began this past weekend with qualifiers in both Boulder, CO and Chicago, IL. Despite some
last-minute cancellations, Boulder pulled in nearly two dozen youth players for their second annual event, including two kids in the Under Five bracket, who each won a trophy for playing a game with each other. Local favorite 13-year-old Kellin Pelrine 4d, won the senior division last year, but this year 17-year-old Lawrence Ku 6d, flew in to compete. Pelrine gave Ku a serious run for his money though, and brought the game to a 5.5 point difference against the stronger-ranked Ku who prevailed to win first place (the game record is attached). In the junior division, ten year-old twin brothers Matthew, 4k, and Nathan Harwit 5k faced off for the second consecutive year. Matthew won last year and went to Seattle, but Nathan rallied to defeat his brother this time around and won the golden ticket to New Jersey for the finals. No hard feelings though; both boys got to go to go camp in China with Feng Yun last year, and both will go to camp again this year. In the senior A division, a dark horse - albeit with bright red hair -- from Colorado Springs took first place. 14-year-old Eric Sears 4k, pulled off a surprising first-round win against Jessica Lin 2k, age 12, while another 12-year-old, Katherine Lin 3k, took second place. In the B division, promising 11 year old Peter Cannici, 20k after only a few weeks, won first place while another Colorado Springs youth, 14-year-old Clayton Delaney 20k took second. After three rounds of tournament play, 6d Lawrence Ku was still up for more, and took on eight players at once in a dynamic simul. "I thought I might intimidate him by putting my trophy on the table by the board" 11 year old Cannici told the E-Journal, "but it didn't seem to work." Kudos to Eric Sears and Skylar Smith though, who were the only two who managed to win their simul games. Despite a full weekend of competition and travel, Ku - Western Correspondent for the EJ -- still had to finish his homework before going back to school on Monday. Tough work being a teenage 6 dan! In Chicago, just 9 youth competed but there were some star players. The senior division again fell to 15-year-old 7 dan Will Zhou, who won the nationals last year and went on to compete in the World Youth Go Championship. The Junior division was picked up by talented newcomer 11 year old Andrew Huang, 4d, who was rated as an 8 kyu only a year ago. Huang has been studying with Feng Yun in the interim, one more of a legion of strong kids coming out of the Feng Yun school on a regular basis these days.
     The USYGC continues every weekend this month, with Menlo Park, CA, on the 15th & 16th, followed by the NJ Feng Yun qualifier (which drew 51 youth last year) on the 22nd and 23rd, and capped off by the Arizona qualifier on the 29th and 30th.
- reported by Paul Barchilon, EJ Youth Editor. Photos: top: Boulder Under-Five winners Madison Lin and Ryan Liao (photo by Paul Barchilon); bottom: Will Zhou 6d, (l) vs. Hao Xuan Li 11k at the Chicago USYGC Qualifier (Photo by Mark Rubenstein).

GO QUIZ: The Machinations Of A Quiz Master
For some reason, I could only think of hard questions last week, so I was relieved when I came up with the translations into English by the "Three Crows." I even made sure folks knew how to handle Ishida's three volume joseki dictionary, and I didn't rope in Takemiya's French book "Le Go Cosmique" (which would not have fooled Steve Fathrop who mentioned it). Sure, I thought some folks might miss "Imagination of the a Go Master" (Takemiya) or maybe Ishida's "All about Thickness", but I basically considered this easy. The answer I was looking for was 8 - Ishida's 4 mentioned above, Takemiya with "Enclosure Joseki" added to "Imagination", and Kato with "Chinese Opening" and "Attack and Kill". But amongst the 9 of you who listed your books - Kim Salamony and Reinhold Burger listed "A Compendium of Trick Plays" Now the cover says "Nihon Kiin" is the author, but the first 77 pages are written by Ishida Yoshio. I simply cannot mark as wrong people who taught me something, so 9 is the correct answer. It must be noted that the perfect Grant Kerr remains perfect - guessing 9 but listing "Attack and Defense" - that was Ishida Akira, as Peter Schumer points out. But Grant gets it right, because I certainly don't want to discourage comments if the answer is right. Similarly, I credit the great Phil Waldron as right, for similar reasons, for while he choose 8, and listed the 8 I wanted, he mentioned Ishida's chapter in "Compendium" in his comment - so he deserves his usual credit. Congrats to Grant Kerr, this week's winner, chosen at random from those answering correctly.
THIS WEEK'S QUIZ: Gamer Gone: Last week we lost Gary Gygax, co-inventor of Dungeons and Dragons (D&D). His passing is worthy of note for us older nerds who played D&D and the newer folk who play World of WarCraft, its direct descendant, and inspires this week's quiz. There were two go players, a classical player and his heir, whose names both began with D (thus the D&D connection). The elder was a true genius, the heir a prodigy who died too soon to succeed his master. What were their names? Click here to send us your answer.
- Keith Arnold, Quizmaster

YOUR MOVE: Readers Write

GO NINTENDO? "Ginsei Igo has a nice-looking function that turns the Nintendo DS into a ... well... GO CLOCK," reports David Oshel. "The game is Japanese-language only. Does anyone have any experience with this go cartridge for the DS, or any other of the 4 or 5 games that allege to teach go, go problems, and/or play games on the 9x9 to 19x19 boards? Umezawa Yukari no Yasashii Igo is another that looks extremely interesting, as well as David Fotlond's AI Igo (also known to gaijin, incorrectly, as "Dekiru Igo"). Also, I have not found any place to buy these cartridges except at; does anyone know of another vendor? I've seen the limited information available at Sensei's Library. Really looking for more up-to-date information from aficionados of both go and the DS." See our review of Umezawa Yukari no Yasashii Igo below. Readers may send responses to Oshel's other questions to us at

SEEKING KERWIN: "Please send me Jim Kerwin's email address," writes Wayne Nelson. "I am interested in his Hollyhock workshop and wish to ask him some questions. I have attended three of his workshops there." Check out Kerwin's Hollyhock workshop online or reach Kerwin directly at

DON'T LEAVE HIKARU HALFWAY: "While I was sad to read about the discontinuation of Hikaru no Go in Shonen Jump magazine (SHONEN JUMP DROPS HIKARU 2/18 EJ), the good news is that the manga will continue to be published in book format," writes Doug Kendrick. "But that's not the case for the Hikaru no Go animated television series," Kendrick continues. "In early January, Viz Media announced that they will no longer be releasing the series on individual DVDs. The last release was Volume 11 which stops at episode 45, right before the completion of the pro exam. The series runs a total of 75 episodes, meaning we're just over half-way through. In addition to lots of tournaments and go-playing action, later episodes contain interesting historical information on the game and the life of Honinbo Shusaku. Hikaru no Go can be viewed on the Toonami Jetstream website and potentially through ‘Download to Own' sites, but those services are not compatible with a Macintosh computer or if you use iTunes (to watch on your iPod or iPhone). It also makes it difficult to pop a disc into your DVD player and watch on your living room TV. There are rumors that Viz may continue to release the remaining episodes in DVD boxed sets, but these are still just rumors. At the rate of five episodes per disc, that would translate to six more discs to complete the series. Hikaru has brought literally hundreds of youth players and members to our wonderful game - it even brought me to the game and I'm in my 40s. Many of us have used the show to introduce children or grandchildren to the game in a fun and interesting way. Please take a moment to write to Viz -- Wendy Shimamura, Home Entertainment Marketing Manager, Viz Media LLC, PO Box 77010, San Francisco, CA 94107 -- and let them know how much you appreciate them bringing this series to an English-speaking audience and that you hope they will continue to publish the remaining episodes on DVD and not leave Hikaru's story only halfway told."

GO REVIEW: Umezawa Yukari no Yasashii Igo (for Nintendo DS)
Reviewed by Justin Carmical 14k
"Umezawa Yukari no Yasashii Igo" (Yukari Umezawa's Easy Go) is, as far as I know, the first licensed Nihon Ki'in Igo/Go game for the Nintendo DS. The impressive point about this fine little piece of software is that after you play a certain mode it will rank you and then give you a password to apply for an official Nihon Ki'in rank from 10 kyu to Shodan.
      Too often, computer go games are just that... computer-looking. Dull. But this one begins with a small caricature of Yukari Umezawa (consultant for the Hikaru no Go series). This inclusion of a professional player is very nice, as well as her actual voice saying "Good luck" and "Thank you for the game".
     The buttons are large and the typeface is easy to read (well, for those who read Japanese). The touch controls are superb in that to place a stone onto the digital Goban, you need to touch that place twice. This makes for fewer mistakes, and is also a great learning feature as the first touch places a red dot.
     What really made this title shine for me, however, was the ability for the computer to resign. A good chunk into my first 19x19 game (about 180-190 stones in) the computer took its time accessing the board and resigned. This was a first for me for computer go games as usually the computer will play to the very end no matter the situation.
     It also boasts a study area with over 1300 life and death, joseki, and fuseki problems of varying difficulty levels to keep you occupied and discussing with friends for quite some time.
It's always nicer to play against a human opponent, but while humans may miss a crucial mistake, a computer opponent most will likely not. This ruthlessness aids beginners and novices in their play, allowing for learning and growth, which is the sole purpose of "Umezawa Yukari no Yasashii Igo." For a Nintendo DS game to take with you on the go, this is a wonderful little title to add to your collection. You can download this from the Nihon Ki'in, Nintendo, or MyCom websites.

THE TRAVELING BOARD: Going to China, Getting to Shodan
By Paul Barchilon
     "I just got back from studying Go in China," said the tall Norwegian. "Really?" I responded, "How on earth did you manage to arrange that?" This conversation took place a couple of years ago at the North Carolina Go Congress. The Norwegian and I both wanted to self-promote to 2 kyu, feeling our ranks were underestimated; by the end of the US Open, I had been definitively proven to be a 4 kyu, while the Norwegian won his section and was promoted to shodan. Hmmm, study go in China I thought on the plane ride home...I did a little research when I got home, but the timing wasn't right and I couldn't afford it. Costly plumbing repairs the next year derailed any chance of getting to China, but this year I am finally going.
I learned to play go over 25 years ago, and like many adult players I have been frustrated by my inability to get to Shodan. It is true that I didn't play for 17 of those years, mainly because I couldn't find anyone to play with, but even in the 8 years since I started playing again, I have seen countless people zoom by me. When I started running a youth program, I noticed it even more. Serious children were able to get to my rank in about a year; one of my students hit Shodan at the one-year mark and is 4 dan now. Though I might never be a high dan, I thought I should at least be able to break out of the kyu ranks. The kids have been a constant source of inspiration to me, especially when they're barking at my heels in the race to beat me in an even game. I have two ten-year-old students in that position now, twin brothers who went to China last summer to study with Feng Yun 9P. They told me I should believe in myself, and that I can get to dan level easy if I try. Who am I to argue with such wisdom from the mouths of children?
China has always intrigued me, with its thousands of years of history and rich traditions and culture. I took Chinese history instead of U.S. history in college, marveling at the Shang bronzes and the Terracotta Warriors, dabbling in the Analects of Confucius, and even identified as a Taoist for a number of years. And of course there was go; these people invented the game! When I found out about the Chinese go program, I saw it as a unique cultural opportunity. Sure, I could go to China as a tourist, stay in hotels and see amazing things, but I would never truly connect with Chinese people or learn what their culture was really like. Here was a chance to go and live in Beijing for a month, interacting with Chinese culture on a daily basis, and improving my go at the same time. With plane fare figured in, it was around $3,000 for a month, less than a month-long stay in most of the usual vacation destinations. So I'm off to China this summer, where I'll study, explore and report in regular dispatches in the E-Journal. But you don't have to just read about it: sign up for Experience Go in China and you'll be part of the story, and the adventure!
- Barchilon is the E-Journal's Youth Editor. Photo by Peter Nassar from his 2007 trip with Feng Yun 9P to the Hangzhou Go Center in Hangzhou, China.

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GO PLAYERS WANTED: North Georgia or Chattanooga, TN. Looking for players in the Chattanooga area to play join newly-founded North Georgia Go Club. Please contact (3/10)
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GO PLAYERS WANTED: Vernon Hills, IL: The new Lake County Baduk Club in Vernon Hills, IL is looking for new members and possibly teachers. Email (2/18)
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GO PLAYERS WANTED: Portland, ME: I am looking for go players of all strength and age to come play at the ME, Greater Portland Area Go Club in Gorham, Maine. Contact me at, or by phone at 207-839-2987. (2/11)
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Published by the American Go Association
Managing Editor: Chris Garlock
Assistant Editor: Bill Cobb
Professionals: Yilun Yang 7P; Alexandr Dinerchtein 3P; Fan Hui 2P
Contributors: Paul Barchilon (Youth Editor); Lawrence Ku (U.S. West Coast Reporter); Brian Allen (U.S. West Coast Photo Editor); Peter Dijekma (Dutch/European Correspondent); Marilena Bara (Romania/European Correspondent)
Columnists: James Kerwin 1P; Kazunari Furuyama; Rob van Ziejst; Roy Laird
Translations: Chris Donner (Japan); Bob McGuigan (Japan); Matt Luce (China)

Text material published in the AMERICAN GO E JOURNAL may be reproduced by any recipient: please credit the AGEJ as the source. PLEASE NOTE that commented game record files MAY NOT BE published, re-distributed, or made available on the web without the explicit written permission of the Editor of the E-Journal. Please direct inquiries to
Articles appearing in the E-Journal represent the opinions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official views of the
American Go Association.

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