World Go News from The American Go Association




MEMBER'S EDITION BONUS CONTENT: "There are a variety of reasons why I choose this game for you, including a psychological, a technical and a personal one," says EJ contributor Rob van Zeijst of today's commentary on the 17th Ryusei Tournament game between Yamada Takuji 9P and Yamada Kimio 9P, played on December 12, 2007. "Are you ever behind, even to the last moment? Or, from a different perspective, are you ever ahead until the last moment? When you are ahead and aware of it, you often stop looking for that extra point. You become conservative and start to slack off. On the other hand, if you are behind but still believe you can win, your mind is hyper-active. It is looking for that opportunity to score an extra point. It actively scans the board for places to rip off your opponent, to kill groups or cut off stones. That's when you are 'in the zone', when you have an open and perceptive mindset and there is no fear for failing or losing. After all, at this point you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. In this game, you will see how Yamada Kimio works himself into this zone to overcome a bad position. Another reason this game will grab you is because of the unbelievable fighting with large running groups everywhere and the techniques, both globally and locally, that both players display. On a personal level, I regret that my games have become a little soft and I believe I need more fighting - after all, that is why I could break into the European top and topple pros." PLUS: check out Yilun Yang 7P's latest endgame problem.

Non-members: join the American Go Association and get all this great content with every EJ! It's all just a click away!

March 24, 2008; Volume 9, #14

JIANG WINS N.A. FUJITSU QUALIFIER: US professional Mingjiu Jiang (l) 7P won the North American Fujitsu Qualifier, held online February 16-17, beating out Jie Li 9d in the qualifier tournament final. There was some confusion a week after the tourney concluded about the N.A. representative, when it was discovered that Jiang should not have been invited to play since AGA members can represent the American Go Association in a maximum of two overseas events per year, and Jiang is already representing the AGA in the World Oza and ING Cup in 2008. However, since this error was discovered after the tournament, AGA officials ruled that the final result stands and Jiang will represent North America at the Fujitsu in Japan. Other top finishers in the N.A. Fujitsu Qualifier this year were: Thomas Hsiang 8d, 3rd and Feng Yun 9P, 4th. Complete round-by-round results and games will be available online soon.

KU SWEEPS JUJO YOUTH TOURNAMENT: Undefeated 17-year-old Lawrence Ku 6d won the 12th annual Jujo Jiang Youth Go Tournament, held March 23 in Sunnyvale, CA. Ku, the E-Journal's West Coast correspondent, topped a field of 120 young go players from around the Bay Area. "I started playing in the A division when I was 2 dan," Ku tells the EJ, "In previous tournaments, I had placed from 2nd to 6th place. This championship completes my collection of open division awards." Ku defeated 10-year-old Hugh Zhang 6D in an exciting final round to capture his first Jujo Youth Tournament championship. The tournament was hosted by the Sunnyvale Chinese Cultural Center, and directed by Reid Augustin, Ernest Brown, and Mingjiu Jiang. Young players from 5 to 17 played in 10 divisions of 19x19 play and 6 divisions of 13x13 play. Photo at right: Yang-yang Shi (front, left) vs Eric Su (front, right), Hugh Zhang (back, left) vs. Lawrence Ku (back, right), while Mingjiu Jiang (standing, middle) and Ernest Brown (standing, left) watch.
Winners Report: 19X19: Division A (Open): 1st: Lawrence Ku 6d; 2nd: Hugh Zhang 6d; 3rd: Yang-yang Shi 4d. Division B (1K-2D); 1st: Albert Chen; 2nd: Kevin Ma; 3rd: Lawrence Chou. Division C (2K-6K): 1st: Edward Chou; 2nd: Alex Shieh; 3rd: Nickie Ding. Division D (7K-8K): 1st: Joey Chou. Division E (9K-12K): 1st: Binjih Lin. Division F (13K-19K): 1st: Wilson Zhang. Division G (20K-23K): 1st: Sean Su. Division H (24K-26K): 1st: Jonathan Ta. Division I
(27K-29K): 1st: Kevin Chang. Division J: (27K-29K): 1st: Michael Wang. 13X13: 5-Game Winner: Jeremy Chiu. 13X13: 4-Game Winners: Patrick Wang, April Ye, Andrew Wang, Aaron Ye, Austin Liao, Daniel Chen, Eric Yang.

SHANG AND ZHAO TOP FENG YUN YOUTH TOURNEY: Fifteen-year-old Kevin Shang 3d took first place in the senior division of the March 22 Feng Yun Youth Go Tournament, while eleven-year-old Aleck Zhao 4d won the junior division; the winners in both divisions were decided by tiebreak. The US Youth Go Championship (USYGC) qualifier in Piscataway, NJ attracted 35 players. An avid player for five years, Shang also teaches go at his local Chinese school, and plays basketball in his free time. Shang told the EJ he had been "looking forward to meeting lots of stronger players at the USYGC" while Zhao, 4d, says he felt "lucky and excited to qualify for the championship after just one-and-a-half years of playing go." In a day of competition both intense and fun - directed by Paul Matthews -- top players vied for a spot in the USYGC while others just had a great time. "I felt pretty nervous at first . . . but then after I played the first round, it turned out to be okay," said first-timer Daniel Fang 18k. "This tournament is different from others," Robert Zimmerman 8k, told the EJ, "it truly challenges the weaker player, since all games are played even." Between rounds, young players who finished early either watched Harry Potter outside in the lobby or played friendly games with each other.
Winner's Report: 35 players (23 senior, 12 junior); Senior Division (under 18): Equal 1st-3rd in tiebreak order: Kevin Shang 3d, Yang Xu 5d, Lionel Zhang 6d. Other 3-1 game winners: Peter Zhang 3d, Pei Huang 5k, Jonathan Liang 7k, Karen Nan 11k, Jesy Feliccia 12k. Junior Division (under 12): Equal 1st-2nd in tiebreak order: Aleck Zhao 4d, Andrew Huang 4d. Other 3-1 game winners: Patrick Lin 9k. - reported by Karen Nan. The 15-year-old 11k is a student at the Feng Yun Go School; she competed in the event in addition to writing this special report for the EJ. Photo above left: Maverick Lin 4d (l) vs. Andrew Huang, 4d (r) as Sudhir Vel and Aleck Zhao look on; Photo to Right: Senior Division Top Players Ricky Zhao 6d (l) and Jasmine Yan 5d (r) in foreground. Photos by Feng Yun Go School parents

WORLD MIND SPORTS GAMES DEADLINE CHANGES: The deadline for selecting the U.S. team for the World Mind Sports Games (WMSG) has changed, reports American Go Association President Michael Lash. "The final list must now be in event organizer's hands by June 30," Lash tells the E-Journal, "so we cannot select the team at the U.S. Go Congress." The WMSG qualifier point system remains in place as planned, Lash says, and will be used to determine the men's positions on the team. "All male players trying to earn WMSG qualifier points should continue to do so. Female players will not use the point system," Lash adds, as there are not enough women players to field a viable tournament. "AGA ratings will be used to select the female team members." Interested female players should contact the AGA at as soon as possible. "Also," says Lash, "there will only be one Pair Go team supported by the sponsors, not two as previously advised. We are working towards an online Pair Go tournament - which will include Canada -- for a single North American pair go winner." While the Pair Go team's air fare is covered by the hosts, other players on the WMSG team may be asked to pay a portion of the air fare, depending on how the AGA's fundraising goes, says Lash, who encourages potential team members to consider this possible cost in their plans. "Anyone with donor leads should contact Roy Laird at Watch the EJ for the latest WMSG news and developments or email the AGA's central WMSG Coordinator Chris Kirschner at

MAN DEFEATS MACHINE IN PARIS: Catalin Taranu (r) defeated Mogo Sunday in a special exhibition at the Paris Go Tournament. The "IA-GO Challenge" was held amid "a passionate atmosphere" of go fans in the City Hall in the thirteenth arrondissement of Paris, with hundreds of Internet users following along on KGS. The match was a best-of-three, played on a 9x9 board with Chinese rules and a 7.5 komi. Playing White, Taranu - a Romanian pro - won the first game, which was marred with computer problems and malfunctions. Mogo took White and won the second round, taking advantage of a slight error by Taranu. The mood in the hall was electric as the third and decisive round commenced. Mogo was taking Black and started well, but Taranu maintained his advantage. In the end, Mogo mounted an all-out attempt to get out but was unsuccessful and Taranu won the match 2-1. - reported by Marilena Bara, European Correspondent for the E-Journal

ONLINE GO: It Takes A Laptop
by Roy Laird, AGA Webmaster
Imagine a world in which every child has a go set. A world where every child has opponents, practice software and instruction. That world may be closer than you think. The One Laptop Per Child Foundation (OLPC), is a project to put "flexible, ultra-low-cost, power-efficient, responsive, and durable machines" in the hands of millions of children in the world's most remote regions. "It's an education project, not a laptop project," says Nicholas Negroponte of the MIT Media Lab, where the project began. The specially designed XO computer, running Linux and programmed mostly in Python, is packed with special software -- music, still and video photography, visual art software, an e-book reader, and of course wi-fi. One of the XO's onboard activites will be Etoys, a SmallTalk-based go program that runs on nearly any platform and contains rudimentary versions of nine games, including chess. So, if Squeak and OLPC agreed, a go program could be hard-wired into every laptop. If you're interested in the project, you can join the OLPC Wiki, which has a "PlayGo" section, join the "Games" discussion list there, or write to Ed Mokurai Cherlin at Earth Treasury More than 500,000 units are already on their way to Third World children -- with go in tow, the XO could widen knowledge of the game more than ever before.

GO QUIZ: Tough Competition/How I Learned To Play Go
     You must have been studying during the quiz's holiday hiatus: so far this year the percentage of correct answers has been impressive! 15/16 of you correctly identified the Judan title as the one with three different initial winners sharing the same beginning initial. They were Hashimoto Utaro, Handa Dogen and Fujisawa Hosai. "I'd be appalled if anyone got this off the top of their head" commented correct responder Justin Blank, though Eric Carter says he did just that (though he had to look up the names to be sure). Our group of inveterate competitors looks familiar at the top, but it seems deeper this year so far: Phil Waldron 4 our of 4 correct answers, Grant Kerr 4/4, Kim Salamony 4/4, Terry Fung 3/3, Justin Blank 3/3, Peter Schumer 3/4, and Steve Fawthrop 3/4. There is still plenty of time to get into the hunt, and you can always be a weekly winner - like Marika (who, judging by her email address, is from the UK!) this week, chosen at random from those responding correctly.
     THIS WEEK'S QUIZ: "Go did appear in the Oriental Adventures campaign book," says Tyler Reynolds, responding to our D&D question from last week. "I know because that is how I first learned of the game." That's a new go starter story, and it gave me a great poll idea. Tell us how you first learned about the game; family member, book, Hikaru, AGA outreach, learned in college here to tell us!

PRESIDENT'S REPORT: Supporting Chapters
By Michael Lash, AGA President
     What's most important to our chapters and how can the American Go Association (AGA) support them better? AGA Life Member Phil Waldron has just done a superb piece of research on this subject, growing out of an initiative I started last year with Phil and Chapter Services Coordinator Arnold Eudell. Contacting AGA chapter representatives by phone rather than by email the three of us talked to many AGA chapters, with particular interest in the smaller chapters from whom we rarely hear. Phil's research is very revealing and he's clearly identified some key opportunities for improvement of our chapter services. Here are some highlights:
• Clubs would love to advertise, but don't have suitable material; developing and providing such materials would be a useful service from the AGA.
• The vast majority of chapters are within 3-4 hour driving distance of another chapter, affording opportunities for more state-wide events than previously thought.
• The consistent chapter criticism of the AGA was the difficulty in getting support for teaching activities; this is an opportunity to develop more teaching programs; check out the Pro Teaching ING grant on the website for starters.
• A mentoring program for new AGA members might be helpful for member retention; the AGF has a version of this for youth - we can explore this for all new members.
• An online community of teachers who want to teach go in the schools; an excellent idea for sharing ideas relating to the mentoring program.
• The E-Journal was particularly mentioned as a very nice benefit of membership.
     Click here to read the full survey; it stands as an exciting blueprint for the AGA to implement new ideas and improve AGA service to our chapters and members. Making it happen is up to you: send Arnold Eudell an email at and let him know what you'd like to help with. Think globally and act locally!

SELL IT, BUY IT OR TRADE IT HERE with over 12,000 go-players worldwide! Classified ads are FREE and run for 4 weeks; email your ad to us now at

GO PLAYERS WANTED: in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia please email (3/24)
GO PLAYERS WANTED: New Brunswick, NJ. The Rutgers Go Club is looking for new members of any level experience for its first official meeting on March 28th. Please contact Andrew at (3/17)
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)
FOR SALE: Complete set of Go World magazine, nos. 1-103. Pristine condition. Owned by retired librarian. Read only on Sundays. Make me an offer. Bob Barber. (3/3)
GO PLAYERS WANTED: Blowing Rock or Boone, NC. Looking for players in Boone or Blowing Rock to play casual games with. Please contact (3/3)
KS: Looking for Go players in Kansas (especially in the Wichita area) to join the city's Go Club. For more information contact Andrew Wrinn email: or visit our website (2/25)

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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