World Go News from The American Go Association


MEMBER'S EDITION BONUS CONTENT: “I think maybe this was the best Congress I ever had,” Feng Yun 9P told the E-Journal after she won the 2008 North American Ing Masters Tournament. “I had much better games than earlier this year in the Toyota Oza.” Look for a more in-depth interview with Feng Yun next week; meanwhile, Member’s Edition readers can enjoy her exclusive commentary on the final Round 5 game (attached) against Yilun Yang 7P, along with Takemiya Masaki’s comments from Friday night.
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August 11, 2008; Volume 9, #43

U.S. CONGRESS TOURNEY REPORTS: There were a number of rated and unrated tournaments at the just-concluded U.S. Go Congress in Portland, OR. See below for a partial list to top winners for the rated events; for full listings of winners -- plus more photos, game records and crossgrids-- go to the AGA website.
North American Pair Go (TD: Allan Abramson): 1st: Yingli Wang/Edward Zhang; 2nd: Joanne/Ned Phipps; Women’s Tournament (TD: Lisa Scott): Section A; 1st: Yoho Takahashi; 2nd: Jasmine Yam; Continuous Self-Paired Tournament (TD: Gordon Castanza): Champion (greatest excess of wins over losses), Hurricane (most wins) & Straight Shooter (most wins over players of increasing rank): Mark Gilston; Philanthropist (most Losses) & Sensei (most games against weaker players): Martin Lebl; Dedicated (most games): Jeff Horn; Keith Arnold (AKA Kyu Killer): Jeff Horn; Giant Killer (kyu player with most wins against dans): Mark Gilston, Trent Carroll; Die Hard (TD: Jim Levenick): Section A, 1st: Daniel Chou; 2nd: Yu Chang; Midnight Madness (TD: Chris Shelley & Bill Shubert): Winner: Terry Fung. Lightning: Jang Bi. photo of US Open main playing area by Josh Gum

SHI WINS REDMOND CUP: Gansheng Shi 7d, 14, won the Redmond Cup Senior Division with an undefeated record, firmly establishing the young Canadian as one of the top youth players in North America. Shi, William Zhou 7d, and Cherry Shen 6d, tied in the online preliminary rounds, forcing a playoff at last week's U.S. Go Congress. Shen was eliminated after losing to both Shi and Zhou, leaving the final a best-of-three match-up between Shi, who represented Canada at the World Youth Go Championships last month, and Zhou, the two-time champion of the USYGC. In their first game, Shi defeated Zhou by 7 points, putting Shi at an advantage to win the title. On Thursday night the pair played again, with nearly 200 observers watching the broadcasted game on KGS. The game proved to be an exciting one, but Shi established a lead that Zhou was never able to make up. "I got destroyed everywhere" Zhou told the E-Journal. Shi, who appeared unflappable throughout the entire tournament, appears ready to take on the Americans any time.
- reported by Calvin Lee with Cherry Shen

EAST COAST WINS YOUTH ALL STARS TOURNAMENT: The third annual Youth All Stars Team Match, which pits the West Coast against the East Coast, was held at the Go Congress in Portland last week. Playing for the West were Matthew Burrall 7d, Cherry Shen 6d, Jimmy Guo 6d, Hugh Zhang 6d, Christopher Kiguchi 6d, Tony Zhang 5d, Tom Xu 4d, and Stephen Sun 4d. The East Coast, which had won the previous two matches, fielded an equally strong team consisting of William Zhou 7d, Jack Yang 6d, Ricky Zhao 6d, Michael Huang 6d, Lionel Zhang 6d, Aleck Zhao 5d, Kevin Shang 5d, and Andrew Huang 5d. With so many strong players at Congress, the usual seven on seven format was expanded to eight on eight, with the top board of Zhou vs. Burrall acting as the tiebreaker. Hoping to break the East's winning streak, the West started out strong by taking three matches, with convincing wins from H. Zhang, Guo, and T. Zhang. The East kept up with two wins of its own from R. Zhao, and Shang. With only two boards still playing, the action now focused on Shen and Yang, who were locked in a fierce fight with multiple groups struggling for life and death. Shen finally lived inside Yang's center, and then killed a corner for good measure. With Shen's win the West now had four games to the East's three. On the Captain's board, Zhou and Burrall -- fighting to kill each other's groups - split the board after numerous dragons died, with Zhou grabbing a significantly larger amount of territory and collecting a fourth win for the East. Courtesy of Zhou's tiebreak, the East successfully defended their title with a 4-4 victory over the West. (Full results: Zhou def. Burrall, Shen def. Yang, Guo def. L. Zhang, H. Zhang def M. Huang, R. Zhao def Kiguchi, T. Zhang def A. Zhao, Shang def. Sun, A. Huang def. Xu)
-Reported by Calvin Lee with Cherry Shen; Photos by Paul Barchilon

CORRECTION: The EJ misquoted David Doshay in our 8/7 report on “Computer Beats Pro At U.S. Go Congress.” “What I said is that computer programs have improved 7 to 9 stones in the last few years, [not “We’ve improved nine stones in just a year and I suspect the next nine will fall quickly now,” as the EJ reported]” Doshay writes, “so the next nine stones will surely happen in a decade. My meaning was and is that computers will be playing even games with Pro players within a decade. I surely did not mean to predict that "it would be over" (unbeatable computer) in that time. I certainly did not expect this when I was on my way to the Congress.” We apologize for the error.

: Takemiya on Not Playing To Win
by Bill Cobb
I've written before about how it's very important to play to win. Otherwise the game will be boring for both you and your opponent. However, Takemiya Masaki 9P says that aiming to win is a big mistake. Not only does this undermine your enjoyment of the game you're playing, it also hinders becoming stronger. So what are we supposed to be aiming at when we play? Two complementary aims are appropriate, according to Takemiya: having a good time doing something that's fun to do and becoming a stronger player. If you are concerned about winning the game you are playing, neither of these aims is likely to be achieved. You will be too worried about which play will enable you to win and not knowing that will make you anxious. It's hard to enjoy activities that make you anxious. The proper goal is achieving a better understanding of the game and enjoying the excitement of constantly discovering new things on the board. In this way go is like life. Happiness comes from enjoying what is happening and not worrying about what might happen later. This requires focusing on what is happening at the moment. The thing to look for is not how to win, but what makes good shape, what responds most efficiently to the situation on the board at this moment - and then be delighted when your opponent confronts you with something unexpected, an opportunity to encounter
new possibilities. When most people encounter something in the game for the first time, such as an opponent making their first play on the 6-4 point, they are more likely to break out in a cold sweat than to smile and think "Great, I've never played this way before - this will be fun." Takemiya would say that this is very sad. I think he's right. photo of Takemiya doing calligraphy by Chris Garlock

PARK JONG WOOK WINS EURO TOURNEY; CATALIN TARANU IS EURO CHAMPION: Park Jong Wook won the European Championship, edging out 2007 winner Hong Seok Ui, who took second place, while Lai Yu-Cheng - who led the race through the first week -- took third place. Catalin Taranu of Romania (l) won the European Champion title (overall EC winner collects the main cash prize, while the top-finishing European player wins the European Champion title), with a 5th and 6th place finish shared with Hong Seul-ki. Three players in the EC won nine games: Miguel Castellano (6k, Spain), Isabel Barros (8k, Spain) and Won Yong Jea (20k, Korea). Peter Karlsson (1d, Sweden) leads the list of players with 8 wins; next were Gelmer Bouwman (1k, NL), Martin Reindl (Bratislava, 1k), Anne van Leeuwen Leiden, (1k, NL) Niclas Solin (2k, Sweden), Michael White (4k, France), Malte Sculz (12k, Denmark), Cordula Knauf (17k, Denmark) and Jakub Romaniuk (28k, Poland). Kim Jung Hyeop 7d (Korea) on the Lightning Tournament.
- reported by Peter Dijkema, Special European Correspondent to the E-Journal

GENERATIONS CLASH FOR STRONGEST WOMAN: The best-of-three-games final for the Strongest Woman title in Japan this year is between an established thirty-year old, Kato Keiko 6P (r) and teen phenom Xie Yimin 4P (l) and current Women's Honinbo-Meijin. Kato is frequently in the later rounds of tournaments and won her first title in 2007, the Women's Meijin. She's been the unsuccessful challenger for the Women's Kisei twice, in 2001 and 2003. Xie's first title was Strongest Woman, which she won in 2006 at the age of 17. She was the youngest ever woman pro at the age of 14. She defeated Kato in the finals of the Women's Meijin earlier this year. The first game in the Strongest Woman title match is scheduled for August 11th.

LEE CHANGHO WINS THIRD ELECTRON-LAND CUP: Lee Changho 9P (r) has won the Korean Electron-Land Cup for the third time. Also known as the King of Kings Cup , the tournament was established in 2004 and Lee has now won it three out of five times. His opponent in the finals this year was Mok Jinseok 9P, who has done well in both national and international events, but rarely wins a title. Last year he topped the list of Korean pros with the most wins with a total of 93 victories and only 29 losses, an impressive 76% winning percentage. This year he is tied for fourth on that list, and the 2008 leader is Lee Changho 9P, who now has 45 wins to 12 losses for a 79% rate. Mok is down to 62% this year. Lee now has four current national titles, more than anyone else, and one international title.

YOUR MOVE: Readers Write

MORE ON MOGO-PRO GAME: “In regards to the Mogo vs. Kim match (“Computer Beats Pro At U.S. Go Congress,” 8/7 EJ), it might be good to mention that Kim used around 11 minutes while the computer used around 50,” writes Robert Waite. “Don't know the exact significance... but it was surprising to me.”

TURN-BASED GO ALSO AN OPTION: “This story (The 41-Year-Old Game, 8/5 EJ) makes me think of one of the (turn-based) servers I play at ( ),” writes Alan Wadja. “In case they are not aware of the site, please pass this message along to Mssrs. Ted Drange and Hiroyuki Katsukawa. If they like playing at e-mail pace, it's a much better alternative!”

E-JOURNAL TEAM ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: We hope you enjoyed last week’s coverage of the 24th annual U.S. Go Congress in Portland, OR. It was made possible by a huge investment of time, energy and commitment to the game of go. Our biggest thanks go to all the players for all their great games, as well as for their patience with the E-Journal recording team. Thanks also to the Congress organizers -- Peter Freedman and Akane Negishi -- and terrific Congress staff for their support of the team (special thanks for the sake and plum wine, which kept us going on many a long night facing deadline). Thanks to the American Go Association, its’ members, Board and leadership, for their continuing support for what has become by far the most widely-read English-language go publication in the world, with nearly 13,000 readers. Most of all, thanks to an absolutely wonderful team of volunteers last week, who broadcast a stunning new record number of games this week – 100 – far surpassing last year’s 63, which was also a record. We also published five special editions of the E-Journal and updated the website daily with news, photos, game records and crossgrids. Our team this year was by far the largest-ever, with 35 volunteers helping record and broadcast games and report on the Congress. This was a significantly larger team than we had last year and I want to especially thank Todd Heidenreich and Steve Colburn, who were my right and left-hand men – Todd coordinated the game recorders and Steve handled IT and logistics -- and without whom there’s no way we could have pulled off this amazing coverage. I’d also like to note that Todd is continuing the tradition of EJ staffers moving on to direct Go Congresses: our condolences to Todd – who’s already working on next year’s Congress in my hometown, Washington, DC, and welcome back to Akane Negishi, who’s returning to the EJ team next year (and yes, Peter, of course you’re welcome on the team!).
The rest of the team included: KGS Admins: Matthew Heymering & Akane Negishi; special thanks to KGS – the EJ’s official broadcasting partner -- and especially Bill Schubert! Photographers Phil Straus (who also recorded Ing games) and Brian Allen (if there’s a go category for Pulitzers, we’re nominating you both!). Youth Team: Paul Barchilon, Youth Editor; Calvin Lee & Cherry Shen (three times as big as last year’s; let’s hope this trend keeps up!). Multiple-event game recorders: Dennis Wheeler: Game Recorder (Open/Ing), Richard Dolen: Game Recorder (Open/Ing) and the only EJ team member to win his game in the EJ-Pro Simul, Casey Alexander: Game Recorder (Open/Ing), Troy Wahl: Redmond Cup/Ing, Todd Blatt: Ing simul game commentaries & fastest typist in the west. Ing game recorders: Brian Leahy, Gordon Castanza, Paul Hardin, Terry Fung, Tom Hodges, Dave Weimer, Huck Bennett, Josh Gum, Matt Bengtson, Nial Burnham, Brady Daniels. Oren Laskin recorded in the Open and Landon Brownell in the Pair Go Final. Reporting Team: Assistant Managing Editor Bill Cobb, Laura Kolb, Lee Hunyh.
Finally, there are five other people we are proud to make honorary members of the E-Journal team this year: Takemiya Masaki: the E-Journal is dedicated to communicating go to the world and we take our inspiration from Takemiya, who has done so much to spread go worldwide; Ryo Maeda: many know him as a great lecturer and teacher, but Maeda is also a regular in the EJ office, where he does game commentaries for us, as well as a simul last week for some of the EJ staff; Yoshi Sawada: to call Yoshi a translator doesn’t begin to describe Yoshi’s tremendous communications skills and he’s always been a huge help to the E-Journal; Chris Sira and Jeff Shaevel, as TDs for the U.S. Open and Ing Tournaments, worked hand-in-hand with the EJ recording team at those events and I know everyone at the Congress – as well as thousands of online viewers – deeply appreciated Chris and Jeff for setting a new standard for starting tournaments on time.
- Chris Garlock, Managing Editor; photos: top right: Freedman, Negishi & Takemiya toast the opening of the '08 Congress (photo by Roy Laird); middle left: EJ Team training (photo by Roy Laird); bottom right: Takemiya, Sawada, Maeda, Sira & Shaevel receiving EJ caps and Congress staff shirts (photo by Phil Straus).


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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 Photographer); Keith Arnold (Go Quiz); Peter Dijkema (Dutch/European Correspondent); Marilena Bara (Romania/European Correspondent); Ian Davis (Ireland Correspondent); Jens Henker (Korea Correspondent)
Columnists: James Kerwin 1P; Kazunari Furuyama; Rob van Zeijst; Roy Laird; Peter Shotwell
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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