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April 7, 2008; Volume 9, #16

THIS JUST IN: BRITS ADOPT U.S. RULES: The British Go Association officially adopted AGA rules of go at last weekend's British Go Congress at Hastings, reports BGA President Ron Bell, who was re-elected for another term. "AGA rules have two major benefits," Bell tells the E-Journal, "First, they neatly allow either the Japanese or Chinese styles of counting the score to be used. Second, the use of pass stones allows any disagreement between the players to be resolved by simply resuming play. Since the BGA Council adopted AGA rules last October, they've been used successfully in about half a dozen tournaments. We do have some members who wanted to keep the previous Japanese rule set - but the motion at the AGM to approve the change was passed with no opposition."

Eric Lui (l) 8d won both the March 29 NOVA Cherry Blossom tournament and the March 30 John Groesch Memorial Tournament. Lui topped a 71-player field at the Cherry Blossom in Washington, DC and a 16-player field at the Groesch tournament in nearby College Park, MD.
Cherry Blossom Winner's Report: First place winners: Eric Lui 8d (3-1), Bo Qian 5d (3-1), Phillip London 1d (4-0), Stephen Tung 2k (3-1), Xiaoling Du 3k (4-0), Keiju Takehara 4k (3-1), Sam Zimmerman 4k (3-1), Boris Bernadsky 5k (2-2), Steve Colburn 6k (4-0), Yukino Takehara 9k (3-1), Kevin Chin 9k (3-0), Deirdre Gloash 15k (3-1), Joey Phoon, 17k (4-0), Alex Yen, 20k (4-0), Melody Chao 27k (4-0), Kenny Hyunh 30k (4-0), Second place: Yuan Zhou 8d, (3-1), Hal Small 3d (3-1), Odie Hestnes 1d (3-1), Adam Bridges 2k (3-1), Matthew Harding 3k (2-2), Kathy Qiu 4k (3-1), George Ashworth 6k (3-1), Raymond Yeh 6k (3-1), Gurujeet Khalsa 14k (2-2), Vi Cao 19k (2-2), Justin Hsu 27k (3-1), John Cho 28k (3-1), Katherine Kasischke 32k (3-1). John Groesch Memorial Winner's Report: 1st: Eric Lui; 2nd place: Todd Blatt 1k and Xiaoling Du 3k; Kyu prize: Kuo Tan 6k and Yuan-Chang Luo 7k; Lower Kyu prize: Thomas Teutsch 18k. Jamie Salts was the winner of the John Groesch Memorial prize for the best performance by a new player under 20. Above right: President of the University of Maryland Baltimore County go club Todd Blatt 1k (standing, left), tournament winner Eric Lui 8d (standing, right) watch a game between Andrew Chen 7k (UMD, seated, with back to the camera) and Eric Eller 7k (UMBC)

NEW WMSG U.S. TEAM SELECTION RULES TO BE POSTED SOON: The new rules for selecting the U.S. team to the World Mind Sports Games will be posted on the website soon. While the final rules are still being drafted, it's expected that the 10-point cap guaranteeing qualification will be raised, "as we expect more people to reach that than we have available places on the team," says AGA President Michael Lash. "We may also limit players to counting only two tournaments for their point total, instead of the current three." For women, AGA ratings as of June 1 will be used to select the women's teams. "We will also ask qualifiers to make a firm stronger commitment to go if selected," says Lash. As recently reported (World Mind Sports Games Deadline Changes 3/24 EJ), the deadline for selecting the U.S. team for the World Mind Sports Games (WMSG) has changed, and the current plan is to conclude competition no later than June 15.

YOUTH CHAMPIONSHIPS GET IN GEAR: The United States Youth Go Championship kicks into high gear this month, with qualifiers across the country for the next four weekends. Up first is Orange County, CA, on April 12th and 13th. Last year's junior division champion, ten-year-old 6-dan Calvin Sun is favored, but young Christopher Kiguchi, at 5.78-dan is hard on his heels. The senior division features 7 dan Matthew Burrall, as well as 15-year-old Cherry Shen, who is one of the strongest female players in the US at 6-dan. The action shifts to Newport, MA, the following week, where organizer Ke Lu will rally East Coast youth on April 19th and 20th, followed by a trip down south to Lexington Middle School, in Fort Myers, FL, where math teacher Joshua Frye has made go part of his curriculum. Frye's students will compete with the best kids in the region on April 26th and 27th. The 8th and final qualifier winds things up back on the west coast on May 3rd and 4th at the Tacoma Go Center in Washington. Registration is still open for all events, and youth of all ranks are encouraged to enter the closest qualifier, click here for the full list. All youth in a region (including kids who have not yet joined the AGA) may compete for prizes, fun and a chance at a $400 scholarship to the AGA Go Camp of their choice. Contestants need not win to be eligible for the camp scholarship: first choice goes to the winners, but if they decline either of the two scholarships allotted per event, any youth who competed in the USYGC can apply for them. The American Go Foundation will select the highest qualified contestant, who is available and willing to attend, from each event.
- Paul Barchilon, EJ Youth Editor

GO EQUIPMENT AVAILABLE FOR CHAPTERS: "AGA chapters are eligible for the short-term loan of equipment, including boards, stones, and now clocks," reports Chapter Services representative Arnold Eudell. "The equipment can be used for tournaments or other special events, and chapters will also be eligible for open-ended loans of sets after the Go Congress, subject to availability," Eudell adds. Chapters are responsible for all shipping. E-mail for more information. The American Go Foundation (AGF) has just reprinted Karl Baker's classic "The Way to Go." AGF President Terry Benson estimates that the latest batch of 40,000 copies puts the total number in print at nearly 75,000 copies. making it, says Benson, "as far as we know the most widely published book on go in the English language." The new 7th edition has been extensively revised to incorporate AGA rules, and includes sections on handicaps, seki, and rule variants, as well as all-new graphics. Limited copies of "The Way to Go" are free upon request for AGA chapters and may be ordered from Larger quantities are available from the AGF at the rate of .30 apiece, email for more information.

CALENDAR: Baltimore
April 12: Baltimore, MD
UMBC Spring Go Tournament,
World Mind Sports Games and North American Ing Qualifiers
Todd Blatt 443.392.6822

FAN HUI WINS 6TH PARIS TOURNEY: Fan Hui (l) 2P defeated Cho Seok-bin in the final round to win the 2008 Paris Go Tournament. The March 22-24 event attracted a record 360 players, Eric Caudal tells the E-Journal. "Cho Seok-bin was clearly leading the tournament with 5 wins" going into the final round, Caudal reports. Fan Hui - who is a regular contributor to the EJ -- suffered a 4^th -round loss against Meng Fanxiong, giving Cho a good opportunity to win the tournament. But in "a breathtaking game," Fan Hui, who's already won Paris five times, took home a 6th trophy after "a tight game full of twists and turns," reports Caudal. "The suspense was thrilling!" Cho Seok-bin won the European Cup Pandanet, a series of major European tournaments.Click here for complete results, final standings, photos and game records.

OTHER EURO TOURNEY UPDATES: FAN HUI NOTCHES 4TH WIN IN ING MEMORIAL: Fan Hui also won the March 14-16 Ing Chang-Ki Memorial in St Petersburg, Russia. It was his fourth win there, and he topped 20 of Europe's top players, dropping just one game to Svetlana Shikshina. Second on tie-break was Alexandr Dinerchtein who only lost to Surin. The group on 4/6 was Shikshin, Shikshina, Taranu, Lazarev, Balogh and Kulkov. KACHANOVSKYJ SWEEPS EURO YOUTH: Artem Kachanovskyj from Ukraine swept the European Youth Goe Championships March 6-9 in Mikulov, Czechia. Just over 100 youngsters under the age of 18 and 58 under 12 took part. Second was Thomas Debarre 4d from France, on tie-break from Javier Savolainen (Finland) and Andrij Kravec (Ukraine). Winner under-12 was Jurij Mykhaljuk 2k from Ukraine with 6 wins; second was Nikita Khabazov from Russia. Vanessa Wong, representing UK, was 13th in the Under-18.
- reported by the British Go News

LEE MINJIN DEFEATS RUI NAIWEI AGAIN: Lee Minjin (r) 5P defeated Rui Naiwei 9P in the final game of the 6th Jeongganjang Cup on April 3, leading the Koreans to a fourth victory in this tournament. Rui was representing China. Lee had defeated Rui last February in the semifinals of the Korean Women's Kuksu to end Rui's recent domination of that event, although she lost to Park Jieun 9P in the finals. Rui won the final game in the Jeongganjang the first time it was held, in 2003, but that time she was playing for Korea. The Chinese team won the Jeongganjang Cup in 2005 and 2006. The Japanese team has never won, although a Japanese player did make it to the final game last year, only to be beaten by Lee Minjin, who has been the unbeaten player in this team match for two years in a row now. Lee, who is in her twenties, has never won an individual title. Sponsored by a Korean company, this event is structured like the Nongshim Cup: teams of five players each from China, Japan, and Korea. The Japanese did win the Nongshim Cup once, in 2006, but it has been dominated by the Koreans with seven wins. The Chinese team won this one for the first time earlier this year.

CHO U WINS NHK CUP BY SLIMMEST MARGIN: Cho U (l) 9P defeated Cho Chikun 9P in the finals of the NHK Cup by a mere half point. Cho Chikun, who is almost twenty-five years older than Cho U and looking for title win number 72, won this event last year, and in four other years. This is Cho U's third NHK win; he also won in 2002 and 2005. The winner's prize is about $50,000 US for this fast-play tournament that begins with fifty participants, including four women pros this time. The only woman to win a game was teen Xie Yimin 3P, current Women's Honinbo-Meijin, who defeated Rin Shien 7P, but lost to O Rissei 9P in the second round. Another teen, Iyama Yuta 7P made it to the semi-finals, but was defeated there by Cho U by three and a half points

HANE NAOKI TO CHALLENGE FOR HONINBO: Hane Naoki (r) 9P was the stand-out winner of the League to determine the challenger for Takao Shinji 9P's Honinbo title. In the round-robin match between eight players, Hane lost only one game (to Yamada Kimio 9P), ending up with 6-1 record. No one else was close; the other players all lost at least three games. Cho U 9P, who holds five Japanese titles at the moment, including the Meijin, did so badly he was dropped from next year's League. Hane held the Kisei title in 2004 and 2005. He won the NHK Cup in 2006, and has won the Okan tournament several times. The Okan is limited to members of the Nagoya (Central) branch of the Nihon Kiin. Takao is hoping for a fourth consecutive victory.

PRO TEENS DOMINATE MOST-WINS LIST: The current rankings of pros by number of games won so far in 2008 shows clearly that new faces are going to become more familiar. In Japan and China, the pros topping of the list are all teenagers. The one exception is Korea, where thirty-something Lee Changho 9P continues to stage an impressive come-back. So far in 2008 he has won 15 games and lost only 1 for a 94% winning rate. Last year he came in twelfth. In Japan, the amazing teen Iyama Yuta 7P, who will soon hit twenty, is number one with 12 wins to 2 losses for an 86% rate. Iyama came in second last year, behind Cho U 9P, who is nearly thirty. There are two teens tied at the top of China's list: Zhou Ruiyang 5P, who has just turned eighteen, and Gu Lingyi 5P, who is still only seventeen, with 13 wins each. Zhou has lost only 4 to Gu's 5, so his percentage is a bit better, 76% to 72%. Zhou was number one in China last year as well, with 55 wins and a 68% winning rate.

CAN'T STOP THE MONKEY JUMP: Rendezvous at Ichigaya
by Motoko Arai
That day, my husband and I planned to go to Jingu Stadium to watch a baseball game. Meeting in Shinano Ward would have been the best choice, but Ichigaya station was only a short distance away. So we decided to meet in Ichigaya. After disembarking and meeting inside the station, my husband quickly grabbed my elbow and hurried us out.
"Let's see, through the ticket gates and then turn at the corner and continue up the hill. Ah! Here it is!"
"Huh? What?"
"The Nihon Kiin's headquarters!" And so it was. From Ichigaya station just go up the hill a ways and it really exists: the Nihon Kiin. (Of course it exists. There's no reason why it wouldn't.)
"The same Nihon Kiin where Hikaru no Go was set?"
"Of course."
"So, what? You wanted to show me Nihon Kiin's headquarters, and that's why we're meeting here in Ichigaya?"
"No, not just that. I mean, that too, but then really it's for a completely different reason."
"Well then, what?"
"I mean, the others in our group -- they're all studying go, right? So we need to study too, if we don't want to lose to them all of the time. But I don't like playing online, we don't really read go books at all, and the local clubs are all for dan-level players or higher."
"Yeah. We're kind of stuck, aren't we?"
"I thought so too -- that there was nothing we could do about it. However, we do have one advantage over all the others. Do you know what it is?"
"We don't have kids." That was certainly true.
"But we both work!" That was true also.
"Which means, we can afford to spend more on our own hobbies and interests than most other couples can. So, I did a bit of searching, and I found out that the Nihon Kiin has go classes for complete beginners."
Ah, my husband. I broke out into a wide grin.
"But that's not the whole story, is it?" I said. "I mean, sure we have a decent amount of free spending money. But still, we could just as easily take lessons at our local club, right? So the real reason why you chose not to go to the local club but to meet me here in Ichigaya is..."
Here I stopped. My husband's expression suddenly looked rather glum.
"You're right," he said. "I'm brand obsessed. If I'm going to play go and take classes, I want to have the best. And what better brand is there than the Nihon Kiin? It's true. So go ahead -- let me have it."
No, I thought, and I didn't say anything. Maybe the readers of this column will be a little less kind to my poor husband?
Previously I wrote that I really have no social skills, and that's one of the reasons why I wouldn't go to a go club. What I'm about to say will seem to contradict this, but what I'm about to say is actually what my husband said about me. For him, a place where he would be too
nervous to go alone would be fine to go to, if we could go together. And so, that's how it was that my husband and I started going to go classes at the Nihon Kiin.
Motoko Arai is an award-winning science fiction author in Japan. Translated by Chris Donner from the Nihon Kiin's Go Weekly (March 5, 2008)

Yes, Go Seigen (r) is the player not in the Nihon Kiin Hall of Fame; 14/20 got it right. "At first I though this was a trick question and the answer was easy, Tokugawa Ieyasu; but I had to double check," writes Ramon Mercado. "It's all to easy to Google this one," comments Reinhold Burger. "There is a listing of the Hall of Fame in both Wikipedia and Sensei's Library." The five Honinbos on the list certainly seem to belong, but Baron Okura and Tokugawa may be less-known to go players. Baron Okura was hugely important in subsidizing go and in the founding of the Nihon Kiin. Similarly, though more distantly, Tokugawa Ieyasu established the government subsidy of the four go houses, the foundation for organized Japanese go. Some wondered whether Go is not on the list is because he is not Japanese, or the fact that he is still alive. I doubt the former is the case - according to Sensei's, Go was nominated in the second year, along with Shuei, Shusai, Segoe, Iwamoto and Kitani. Go himself indicated that he should not be included yet, and he is the only living player to be nominated. Five of you chose Tokugawa and one chose Jowa. Interestingly, none of our prior responders this year got it wrong, only new folks. Also interesting, after 5 questions, we have precisely the same number of guessers this year -- 51 -- as last year, but we have three more who have guessed each time, 5 instead of 2. Congrats to Terry Fung, this week's winner, selected at random from those answering correctly.
THIS WEEK'S QUIZ: Hope I see many of you at the 35th Annual Maryland Open on Memorial Day weekend here in Baltimore. We always have a wide range of playing strengths, and we will be a World Mind Sports Qualifier this year. We're the second oldest, still active, annually held AGA rated go tournament in the country: can you name the oldest? Click here with your answer.
- Keith Arnold, Quizmaster

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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
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