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Tuesday August 3, 2010

Making how to handle 3-3 invasions “clear for everyone” was the topic of Tuesday’s lecture by Ryo Maeda 6P, the third in his 4-part series at the ongoing U.S. Go Congress.  As he explained in Monday’s edition, the key to living is to make six points of space:  “if you try to make two eyes, chances are you may fail.” The invasion at the 3-3 point must be responded to by attaching on either side, but that’s not just true for 3-3 invasions, “you must do that, no matter where it happens on the board.”  Maeda then went through the standard invasion pattern, showing how it corresponded to the Maeda method for making six points of space in the corner. When there are other friendly stones in the area, choosing the proper direction for the attachment is a matter of protecting the widest space, so that you force the opponent into the narrower space.  But the 3-3 invasion should be “the last option,” don’t invade if you can do something else.  On the other hand, taking the “star point does not mean territory — you think you have closed the front door, but the back door is wide open” to the 3-3 invasion.  Maeda recommended using his method in a game first, “then tell your friend.”  In a display of real world application of his technique, Maeda put up a position from the morning’s U.S. Open game between his student Francis Meyer 7D and Myungwan Kim 8P.  Meyer used one of the formations from Maeda’s Sunday lecture, though it was, unfortunately, not the best move in this case.  But Maeda seemed quite proud of how his student was doing in the Open — 2-1 as of Tuesday — and planned to introduce him at the next lecture, which will be held on Thursday. As usual, the lecture concluded with Maeda’s trademark rock-paper-scissors simul.
- report/photos by Jake Edge

Categories: U.S. Go Congress


Saturday June 5, 2010

The new Igowin Pro brings the features of “The Many Faces of Go” to the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. Igowin’s apps include Igowin Tutor – a free introduction to go– Igowin — 9×9 play — Igowin 13×13 — 13×13 play — Igowin Life – solve life and death problems — and Igowin Joseki, a joseki dictionary and tutor. “The playing apps adjust to your rank and can play a good even game against anyone from 19 kyu to 1 dan,” says author David Fotland. “The knowledge-based engine allows the program to play human-like moves at the weaker settings, generally with good shape,” while the Monte Carlo engine from the latest Many Faces of Go “gives the program great strength.” $4.99. available in the iTunes App Store.


5 MINUTES WITH: John Gibson, Ireland

Sunday May 30, 2010

Dubliner John Gibson has an unusual claim to fame, even for a go player. He once played go with Ira Einhorn the infamous “The Unicorn Killer” now serving a life sentence for the 1977 murder of Holly Maddux. In the early ‘80s, Gibson was introduced to “Ben Moore” – a pseudonym of Einhorn’s, while he was on the run — by the Secretary of his Dublin chess club, “and we played a number of games,” says Gibson. “He was about 7 kyu.” Gibson has been playing go for 34 years and participated in the first World Mind Sports Games in 2008. He attends one of the two Dublin go clubs at least once a week and reports that there are ongoing serious efforts to teach go in Ireland, although go is not supported by the Irish government and so they have to supply all their equipment themselves.
- None Redmond, special correspondent for the E-Journal; photo by John Pinkerton


THE TRAVELING GO BOARD: Shanghai: Counting Liberties at the Tongzhou Go School

Tuesday May 25, 2010

If you have any doubt about whether go is alive and well in the land where it was invented, show up on a Sunday night at the Tongzhou Middle School in Shanghai. Night has fallen and the streets are quiet, but the school is a beehive of activity. More than eighty kids are gathered in four classrooms, excitedly shouting out answers as their teachers lay out go problems on demonstration boards. The youngsters, ranging in age from four to twelve or so, sit — when they’re not leaping up to try their move — at special classroom desks stencilled with go boards; the plastic go bowls swing out from beneath the desktop. The school, which currently has more than 300 students, is run by the Tongzhou Go Association and was founded in 1998 by Qin You Min, a go-loving amateur 5-dan businessman who’s also on Shanghai’s team of strong amateurs. Most of the students at Tongzhou are from local primary schools, and indeed Qin learned to play when he himself was in primary school. “Go is an important part of traditional Chinese culture and once I learned, I just could not give it up,” he said with a smile and a shrug. When the principal of the Tongzhou Middle School asked him to start up the go school there, “I could not say no.” Like many an American school, trophy cases — in this case for go championships — line the wall in Tongzhou’s front lobby. Unlike the privately-run Blue Elephant School, Tongzhou is part of the official China go sports system and its team participates in national go tournaments. “A good teacher is the secret of good training,” Qin. Liu Yi Yi 2P is the team’s main coach, and other pros often come to teach as well as the three full-time teachers and seven part-timers. In just twelve years, the school has already generated four professionals, Qin tells me proudly. The team trains daily, with cultural lessons in the morning and then go lessons in the afternoon and evening. Tonight’s classes are levels 2 through 5. The Level 2 kids — who teacher Bai Yi Ping has to lift onto a chair to reach the demo board — are 8 kyu and are learning to count liberties. In adjoining rooms a Level 3 class of 7 kyus is reviewing capturing races, a Level 4 group of 4 kyus is reviewing their games and a Level 5 class of 1 kyus is studying life and death problems. The energy in the school is vibrant, with the kids both focussed and having fun. In the Level 4 class, for example, the kids are working intently together to replay and record their games, while in the next room the tiny Level 2 students are literally jumping up and down in their seats to be chosen to solve the problem on the board. “Play more games with Chinese players,” Qin says when I ask his advice for how American players can improve.
- Chris Garlock; photos by John Pinkerton

Categories: Traveling Go Board

THE TRAVELING GO BOARD: Shanghai: At the Blue Elephant Go School

Saturday May 22, 2010

The Shanghai sky is falling in great wet sheets as our taxi careens down the freeway into town. None of the seatbelts work, not even the driver’s, who’s slaloming through an obstacle course of Saturday morning traffic puttering along at 70 miles an hour. A few white-knuckled minutes later we stagger out of the cab and — after grabbing a quick steaming-hot pork dumpling at a street vendor — meet Du Yufeng 3P, who takes us to the Blue Elephant Go School, just around the corner from the famed Fudan University. Founded in 2002, the Blue Elephant is by far the biggest go school in Shanghai — of some 15 — with 400 students. Founder Lao Jian Qun meets us as we exit the elevator and proudly gives us the grand tour of the school’s nine classrooms. In one room several 4-year-old beginners wave their tiny hands frantically in the air for the chance to solve the go problem projected on the wall. In another, teacher Li Jun Liang deftly draws the crowd of 8-year-old kyu players into today’s lesson on sente with humor and a steely glint in his eyes. “This move kills two birds with one stone!” they all shout together, raising two fingers gleefully. And in a third classroom, half a dozen dan players break away from their lesson to beg us to play. E-Journal photographer John Pinkerton and I oblige as the rain draws a grey curtain over the Shanghai skyline outside. John manages to beat Lin Lin, his 9-year-old 1-dan opponent but my budding 4-dan, 12-year-old Xu Wen, proves to be too tough and I soon resign and thank him for the game. Classes meet daily — though the biggest concentration is on the weekend — taught by a 12-member faculty that is half professionals and half strong amateurs. “Most have extensive teaching experience,” Lao tells me, “some as much as 20 years.” As at the school we went to Friday night, the emphasis is “not just on the mechanics of the game,” Lao says, “but on the traditions and culture of go,” as well on the other three classical arts: drawing, music and calligraphy. One floor down is a separate but related school that offers classes in dance and tae kwon do, while next door is an art school with one whole classroom devoted to calligraphy. “We believe that these arts help children’s focus in their other studies as well as in life,” adds Lao. Teacher Li explains that counting liberties is a way “to slip a little math into the go lesson.” As Lao sees us out, I ask him what inspired him to found the school. “Because go is so deep,” he says, “and has such huge possibilities.” Just like children.
- Chris Garlock; photos by John Pinkerton

Categories: Traveling Go Board


Tuesday April 27, 2010

Photographer and former AGA President Phil Straus has posted a brief photo montage of fellow Philadelphia go player Matt Bengtson’s wedding to Seohee You last December, scored to a performance of Bach’s Goldberg Variations played by Bengtson, a pianist. “I was inspired by the minister’s talk,” Straus says. “He had been at the rehearsal dinner the night before, and the conversation went to go.  No surprise to those of us who play the game.  He learned that go is a game that has few rules, but takes a lifetime to learn.  At the altar, he talked to the couple about how that’s true about marriage, too. I got to thinking about how it’s true for piano, as well. Only 88 keys, but…”

Categories: U.S./North America

U.S. GO NEWS: Qu Sweeps Norcal Tourney; World Youth Qualifier Moved Up To April 3; Northeast Interclub Tourney Invites Teams; School Team Tourney Setting New Records; Agf Accepting Apps For College Scholarships; Aga Ratings Updated; New AGA Database Feature Links Players; Why Host A Pro Workshop?

Monday March 15, 2010

QU SWEEPS NORCAL TOURNEY: Larry Qu 7k topped the Bay Area Go Players Association monthly ratings tournament in Palo Alto, CA on March 6, finishing with a perfect 5-0 record. In the Dan division, Bogdan Dobrescu 5d, Lucas Baker 3d, Samuel Gross 1d, and Sammy Zhang 1d each won three games apiece. The playing field consisted of 33 players, ranging from 7d to 24k, with eight playing in their first AGA-rated tournament ever. The next monthly ratings tournament takes place April 10 in Palo Alto. PHOTOS AT BAY AREA GO

WORLD YOUTH QUALIFIER MOVED UP TO APRIL 3: The selection process for the World Youth Go Championships has just been dramatically accelerated, with an online qualifier to be held April 3 and the finals held on April 10-11. “The Ing Foundation has just notified the AGA that our representatives to the World Youth Go Championships must be selected by April 15th, a sudden change from last year’s policy,” reports AGA Youth Coordinator Paul Barchilon. Since this is before the previously-scheduled USYGC Qualifiers will have chosen winners, a new schedule has been established. Youth players who wish to enter must e-mail to register by March 30th. The top sixteen players in each bracket will advance to the finals. The Junior Division is for youth 11 and under, the Senior Division is for youth under 18 as of August 1, 2010. Only US Citizens may enter the qualifier; the winners must be able to travel to Taiwan for the finals (expenses are covered for the youth players, but not for parents). “The previously-scheduled USYGC Qualifiers around the nation will all be held as planned, and the prizes will remain the same, but as those events will no longer select our WYGC representatives, the citizenship requirement will be waived,” says Barchilon.

NORTHEAST INTERCLUB TOURNEY INVITES TEAMS: Go clubs in the Northeast are invited to participate in the upcoming Northeast Inter-club Go Tournament in the Boston area. The team tournament is being organized by the MIT Go Club and the Massachusetts Go Association on March 27 in Somerville MA starting at 9:30a. Teams will have three members and each club may send multiple teams. Clubs must preregister by March 20th with a complete list of participants and their ranks; email

SCHOOL TEAM TOURNEY: A record breaking 92 teams and 307 individuals are competing in the ninth annual American Go Honor Society (AGHS) School Team Tournament, representing 15 states and 3 provinces in Canada. Two schools, Fair Oaks ES (CA) and Saratoga HS (CA), are entering five teams each, matching Clear Lake HS (TX)’s record, back in 2004. Stuyvesant HS (NY) will seek their second consecutive and third national title in the Open Division. However, they will have to overcome JP Stevens HS (NJ), last year’s silver medalists, along with seven California teams, including all three teams from CA’s 2008 medal sweep, who will seek a spot on the podium after being shut out last year. East Meadows HS (NY) fell just short in their bid to become the second team in AGHS history to win both the Rookies Cup and the School Sweepstakes title, awarded to the best new school and best overall school in the tournament, finishing in second place in the final standings. However, two California schools, Morningstar Chinese School and Redwood Shores GC, hope to accomplish this feat after stunning performances in the first round. In addition, fourteen elementary and middle schools will fight for the Junior Cup title this year, including reigning Junior Champions Cary Chinese School (NC). who are expected to put up a stiff fight to retain their title. Yet they were barely able to hold off a surge from Fairs Oaks ES (CA), who will seek to add the Junior title to their long list of achievements under AGHS competitions. Readers can keep track of the teams on the AGHS ” title=”website” target=”_blank”>website http://aghs.c>. All games are played on KGS, in the AGHS Tournament Room (under Tournaments), and observers are welcome.
- Tim Savoie, AGHS Correspondent

AGF ACCEPTING APPS FOR COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIPS: The American Go Foundation is now accepting applications for its College Scholarship, reports AGF board member Matthew Mallory. “The scholarship is intended to reward organizers who create new, or help existing, go programs in their school or community, playing strength is less important than community service,” Mallory says. Applicants must be at least in their junior year of high school; winners will receive $1,000 and will be announced at the US Go Congress. “Last year Lawrence Ku, a model youth organizer, received the scholarship,” Mallory adds. The deadline is May 15: Click here to learn more and download the application form.
- Paul Barchilon, EJ Youth Editor

AGA RATINGS UPDATED; NEW AGA DATABASE FEATURE LINKS PLAYERS: AGA ratings were updated March 12 and include a number of recent tournaments, including the NOVA Chinese Lunar New Year, New Jersey Open, John Groesch, From the Word Go, and Bay Area Tournament. The ratings – which former Tournament Coordinator Phil Waldron did a tremendous amount of work on — are linked to the AGA Go Database, which includes the records of every game and player in all tournaments played in the United States since 1991. A new FindPath feature

AGA Games Database shows how players are linked through opponents. For example, AGA Database creator Jonathan Bresler 14k is just four players from Feng Yun 9P: Bresler played Stephen Leslie 14k in 1994, Leslie played Eric Lui 7k in 1996 and Lui played Feng Yun in 2007. The search can be unlimited across all games in the database, limited by date, or limited to a particular tournament.

WHY HOST A PRO WORKSHOP? The Portland Go Club hosted two pro workshops in the past year, one by Jennie Shen in the fall and one by Yi Lun Yang in the spring. Both were attended by about 20 dan/low kyu players and middle/double kyu players. Jennie’s workshop was short on lectures and long on game review. Most of the weekend was spent with one group playing while the other group reviewed games, and then switching. Jennie’s tone was light and relaxed – she often cracked jokes, asking “You really played that move?” — teasing the players and making them feel at ease. Mr. Yang’s workshop was more balanced between lectures on various aspects of the game – opening, extensions, attacking, defending, life and death – and game review. Many of the kyu players took notes and Mr. Yang was serious and intense, expressing his strong passion for teaching. He also has a well-developed formal methodology for teaching go. As different as the flavor and structure of these workshops were, they were both excellent and well-received by the players. As a double-digit kyu player I had no idea about direction of play in the opening, let alone a systematic way to approach life and death problems. As a dan player, issues about crosscuts and opening strategy were clarified for me. I’d have either of them back in a Portland minute. Based on these two workshops I’d be equally happy bringing new pros in or bringing either of these two pros back.
- Peter Freedman coordinates the Portland Go Club in Portland, Oregon, and co-directed the 2008 U.S. Go Congress.



Monday March 8, 2010

MARIGO RECLAIMS ITALIAN TITLE: Francesco Marigo 4d from Milano regained his Italian title, when he defeated opponent Carlo Metta 1k in his hometown Pisa twice and took the 2009 title (the first game was held last year) 3-0 on Friday, March 5. Marigo held the title from 2001-2006. Viktor Bogdanov 5d of Petrozavodsk (Russia) won the Firenze (Florence) Open, held last weekend in Colleoli, a village in the green hills of Toscany.
- Peter Dijkema, from reports by Nicoletta Corradi at

MARZ BEST AT BST-MEISTERSCHAFT: Manja Marz 4d of Marburg won the combined Meister(in) title of Brandenburg, Saxony and Thüringen states. Last weekend in Leipzig (Saxony) Marz stayed ahead of locals Jens Henker 4d and David Schmidt 1d . Manja is married to Micha Marz 3d, President of DGoB. Click here for results.
- Peter Dijkema, after

GONZE GOES FOR BELGIAN TITLE: With current Belgian Champion Lucas Neirlinck 4d not defending his title, François Gonze 3d grabbed his chance. In the first weekend of the round-robin with 10 last weekend in Brussels, Gonze won all four rounds, with three close behind at 3-1: Jan Ramon 4d, Thomas Connor 3d and Pieter Beyens 2d. The second and final playoff is set for March 21-22.
- Peter Dijkema, after a report by Frank Segers at

SURMA AND NG EURO YOUTH-CHAMPS: Mateusz Surma 4d (Poland) won the under-16 European Championship and Anson Ng 1k (UK) took the under-12 title in Sibiu, Romania,  March 4-7. Surma and Ng will represent Europe at the next Goe World Youth Championships. Mihai Valentin Serban 4d (RO) won the under-18 and Christian Pop 7d the side event over the weekend. Saijo Masataka 9P was the top special guest at the jubilee 15th Youth-EC. Next was his student Catalin Taranu 5P, now President of the Romanian Go Association and the third guest was Csaba Merö 6d (Hungary), winner of the first Youth-EC back in 1996 in Baile Felix, Romania. The three categories attracted a record number of children, 75 in the under-12, 48 in under-16 and 13 in under-18, while 40 grown-ups took part in the Open tourney. EuroGOTV broadcast video and games on KGS.
- Peter Dijkema

HWANG SNAPS UP BIG CHEESE IN HARBURG MOUSETRAP: Hwang In-seong 7d from Berlin took home the top prize in the March 6-7 “Mausefalle” (‘Mousetrap’, is German for ‘snapback’) in Hamburg-Harburg. A large field of 112 players turned out from 37 German clubs. Hwang joins current Deutscher Meister Christoph Gerlach and Benjamin Teuber as two-time winners. Only Cho Seok-bin 7d has won the Mousetrap three times. Local veteran Stefan Kaitschick 5d finished second, losing only to Hwang. Local hopeful Timo Kreuzer 1k was undefeated, as was Olaf Engel 5k from Flensburg. The former received a thick luxury go-ban as special prize for best youth, while Olga Silber 1k earned her a set of luxury stones as best woman with 4-1. Top winners got money prizes, others got books. Click here for full results.
- Peter Dijkema, after

SILT SWEEPS IRISH CONGRESS: Ondrej Silt 6d from Czech Republic overcame the opposition of Wang Wei 7d, winner of last year’s Irish Congress in his hometown Cork. Silt won the Irish Open 5-0 in the Teachers Club at the heart of old Dublin last weekend. Wang was second, while Willem Mallon 4d and Willem-Koen Pomstra 5d (both of Holland) shared third place. Also Kim Ouweleen 2d (NL) and Quentin Mills 4d (UK) won 3 each. Click here for the full results. At the rapid handicap tourney, the Friday before, Edwin Brady 2k (UK) had best sos. Also Justyna Klaczar 3k (PL), Pomstra, Bernd Sambale 1k (D), James Hutchinson 1k (UK) and Ouweleen won 4-1. Click here for the full results.
- Peter Dijkema, after

MARIGO CAMPIONE ITALIANO: Francesco Marigo 4d from Milano regained his (2001-2006) Italian title for 2009, when he defeated his opponent Carlo Metta 1k in his hometown Pisa twice and took the title 3-0 on Friday, March 5. The first game had been last year. Viktor Bogdanov 5d of Petrozavodsk (Russia) won the Firenze (Florence) Open, held last weekend in Colleoli, a village in the green hills of Toscany.
- Peter Dijkema, from reports by Nicoletta Corradi at

MARZ BEST AT BST-MEISTERSCHAFT: Manja Marz 4d of Marburg won the combined Meister(in) title of Brandenburg, Saxony and Thüringen states. Last weekend in Leipzig (Saxony) she stayed ahead of locals Jens Henker 4d and David Schmidt 1d . Manja is married to Micha Marz 3d, President of DGoB. Click here for the results.
- Peter Dijkema, after

GONZE GOES FOR BELGIAN TITLE: With current Belgian Champion Lucas Neirlinck 4d not defending his title, François Gonze 3d grabbed his chance. In the first weekend of the round-robin with 10, last weekend in Brussels, he won all 4. Three follow him at 3-1: Jan Ramon 4d, Thomas Connor 3d and Pieter Beyens 2d. Second and final part is up for March 21-22. Gonze still has to play all three at his heels.
- Peter Dijkema, after a report by Frank Segers at

CHEN DOMINATES DRESDEN: Chen Lei 6d easily swept the 23rd Dresden tournament 5-0 on February 27-28 in Germany. Runner-up Marc Landgraf 3d lost to Chen and Thomas Hübner 3d took third. Click here for results.
- Peter Dijkema, after

SIMEUNOVIC SWEEPS SAMAC: Zoran Simeunovic 5d swept the fifth annual tournament in Samac, Bosnia the last weekend in February. Dragan Barisic 5d, also of Bosnia, was second and Robert Jovicic 3k from Zagreb (Croatia) came in third. The other three players from Zagreb — Mato Tausan 9k, Fran Pejonic 11k and Filip Pejonic 13k also won 4-1. As Rado Babic 12k of Austria reported, the tourney featured 25 players from 8 clubs in 4 different countries. Click here for results.
- Peter Dijkema

BLOMBACK BANKS VAESTERAS: Scandinavian Champion Fredrik Blomback 5d (Stockholm) flowered at the Open Champs in Vaesteras, Sweden the last weekend of February, sweeping the event 5-0. Martin Li 5d of Falun and Charlie Akerblom 4d of Norrköping lost only to Blomback and also made the podium. Jakob Bing 2k, Robert Aahs 4k and Robin Nilsson 11k won 4-1 as well. In Vaesteras 28 took part. Click here for results.
- Peter Dijkema

MGE-1 HUNGARIAN TEAM CHAMP: The MGE-1 team, captained by György Czismadia 4d, narrowly won the Hungarian Team Title,  staying half a point clear of Origo under Zoltán Fódi 1d in the final round. While Origo crushed PaGoda-2 8-1, they defeated PaGoda Agro by only 6-3; half a point more (jigo is possible with 6 komi) would have tied them with MGE-1. Winners were awarded cash prizes and champagne. The student team of PaGoda-1 — Alexandra Urban 1d, Júlia Seres 1k and Péter Markó 2d — won bronze. Click here for the detailed results.
- Peter Dijkema and Péter Korossy (Hungary)

HUNGARIAN SCHOOLKID PRELIMS: The preliminaries of the Hungarian Championship for schoolkids kicked off February 19 in Hejokeresztúr in the East of Hungary, where 45 kids played, mostly on 9×9 and 13×13. “There were lots of age groups, lots of medals, lots of happy kids,” reports Péter Korossy. The next day, 18 played round-robin in three age-groups in Pápa in the West and the following week in Szigetszenmiklós in central Hungary, 14 took part on February 26 and 24 a day later in Budapest, at the the “Rabbity Six” tourney (see last week’s news). For results, click here – for photo links, click here “The finals are up for May in Budapest, where most of Hungarian go-life is concentrated,” adds Korossy.
- Peter Dijkema and Péter Korossy (Hungary)

PARIS DECAMPS FOR SUBURBS: For many years the Paris Pandanet – played during Easter – has been held at the ancient City Hall in Paris’ 13th District. With City Hall now under renovation, the 2010 Paris tourney has been moved to the suburb of Antony and will be held April 3-5. The Paris Pandanet is the final event of the Pandanet season and with a top prize of 1000 euros, many strong players are expected to participate. To sign up, click here
- Peter Dijkema

EURO GO DATABASE TO REACH HALF A MILLION: The European Go Database lists over 26,000 players in almost 5,500 tourneys with almost half a million games as well as more than 400 game records and over 300 player pictures. Over 300 also appear in the new American Go Association Game Database. Click here for current standings.
- Peter Dijkema

Categories: Europe,Go News

Nakayama Noriyuki 6P Dies

Friday February 19, 2010

Nakayama Noriyuki 6P died on February 16. The prolific author, reporter and go writer was well-known to American go players who met him during his many trips to the United States over the last three decades. “Nakayama’s deep and abiding love for the game of go and his irrepressible sense of humor endeared him to everyone who was fortunate enough to cross his path over the years,” said American Go Association President Allan Abramson. “He’ll be missed by his many friends around the world.” Said Ji Li 7D, one of the top American amateur players, “Nakayama made significant impacts and contributions to the American go community.” One of Nakayama’s most popular books in the West, The Treasure Chest Enigma, was re-issued in 2005; he ghost wrote books for many top professionals and authored several for himself. Well known as one of the professionals who most toured the West to spread and teach go, Nakayama – born September 3, 1932 — loved to play amateurs and – a twinkle in his eye – would respond to their questionable moves by saying, with a quizzically cocked head, “Ah! New Joseki, neh?!”, or “Oohh! Strong move! But maybe… this (playing his move…) better!!!” Although Nakayama never won a title, “He was funny and approachable,” said longtime fan Keith Arnold 5d. “There was an unmistakable quiet dignity that did not ask for, yet clearly demanded respect. Respect for a dedication to the game, to teaching, and to spreading its joys, winning players with a smile.”
- Chris Garlock, includes reporting on Sensei’s Library; photo by Phil Straus; click here for his album of Nakayama photos


NAKAYAMA’S LAST LECTURE: Longtime Congress favorite Noriyuki Nakayama 6P announced at the 2006 US Go Congress that it would be the last year he’d be attending the U.S Go Congress. His wife had been ill recently and it was a great hardship for him to be away for the month it took to attend both the U.S. and European Congresses. At a standing-room only lecture at the Congress, the irrepressible Nakayama said that “I’m afraid the answer might be ‘jigo’ if my wife asks me which is more important, my American go friends or her.” Much-loved for his cherubic delight in teaching go to players of all strengths, Nakayama said “The best thing about go is that you make many friends.” At the lecture, he set up two life and death problems and invited members of the audience to come up and try to solve them, gleefully refuting the wrong moves until somebody solved the problem correctly. For the game section of the lecture, he showed part of the game he won to get promoted to 2P.
- Chris Garlock; Photo by Jian Zhang


LETTER FROM JAPAN: Goodbye, The Congress I Love

By Noriyuki Nakayama 6P

I participated in the US Go Congress this year (2006) as I have for last 21 years. The US Go Congress, which started in 1985, could just as well be described as “the US Open Go Festival.” Participants include players from European countries, Japan and many other countries who love this “Festival” as well as go enthusiasts and go maniacs from every corner of the United States. For many participants, these events are a vacation involving spouses and other members of the family. Many wives and children learn go and participate in events like Pair Go, the 9×9 tournament and Kid’s Go.

I have been engaged in activities to introduce and popularize the game of go in the USA before the US Go Congress was organized, but unfortunately, this year’s visit will be the last one due to my wife’s health problems. I know that I will miss the Go Congress and my friends there very much since I started this journey when I was 49 and it has lasted a full quarter-century since then.

On August 19, 2006, my last lecture started after all the Congress events were finished. It had become a kind of Congress custom for me to present a lecture as the final event but this year’s — literally “the last lecture” – attracted most of the approximately 250 people at the Congress. In the standing ovation which lasted long after I finished, overwhelmed by the emotion, I could not find the words to say Goodbye Go Congress, Goodbye America, Goodbye my dear American go friends!
- A longer version of this letter appeared in the October 9, 2006 edition of the Nihon Ki-in’s weekly Go magazine. Translated by Frank Fukuda and edited by Chris Garlock. This letter also appears in the 2006 American Go Yearbook.

As it turned out, Nakayama was able to attend one last U.S. Go Congress, in 2007…



“There are three steps to get better,” Noriyuki Nakayama 6P said at a lecture at the 2007 U.S. Go Congress. “Step 1: buy a book. Step 2: read it! Step 3: practice!” As entertaining as always, Nakyama kept the attentive crowd laughing appreciatively as he mixed game analysis of Takemiya’s games with fascinating and amusing anecdotes from the go world. “Replay professional games,” Nakyama advised. “Eventually you will start playing better moves because your fingers will know where to play. Not your mind, your fingers.”

“Ah, The Clam Shells Are Heavy”

Excerpted from The Treasure Chest Enigma; A Go Miscellany, by Nakayama Noriyuki

A little before six in the evening, Kajiwara, who had been glaring at the board hard enough to bore a hole in it, suddenly raised his head and glanced at the scenery outside in the gathering dusk. Not surprisingly, he bore signs of considerable fatigue.

The game recorder’s voice rang out. “Time is up. Kajiwara Sensei, please seal the next move.”

Kajiwara gave a deep nod of assent, then shifted his gaze back to the board. Some five minutes passed by. Suddenly he called out in a flurried tone, “What? The next move’s the sealed move.” His eyes were riveted on the board.

With his whole being concentrated on the go board, Kajiwara had only half taken in the game recorder’s words when he first spoke.

“Yes. The next move – is – the sealed move.” The game recorder replied slowly and carefully, enunciating each syllable clearly.

Kajiwara finally seemed to have grasped that the next move was the sealed move. He let out a long sigh. “Oh? The sealed move?” After a little while he sighed again. “I’m tired out,” he muttered. Preoccupied though he was with his own game, Tainaka happened to overhear these words. Glancing over at the neighboring board, he commented sarcastically: “Why? You’ve only played four stones.”

Kajiwara’s reply to this was a masterpiece. Glaring at the board with a look of complete exhaustion on his face, he muttered: “The clam shells are heavy today.”

The essays in Treasure Chest were translated from a collection titled Jitsuroku Igo Kodan. Gokyo Monogatari (Tales of a man crazy about go), reports Bob McGuigan

Photo: Nakayama and Yoshiaki Nagahara 6P watch a casual game at the 2007 Congress; photo by Roy Laird


IN MEMORY OF NAKAYAMA SENSEI: A number of Nakayama appreciations, tributes and memories has been posted on , including a record of a game between Nakayama and Kojima Takaho, which made the Kido yearbook’s section on noteworthy games, posted by John Fairbairn.


Published by the American Go Association
Managing Editor: Chris Garlock
Assistant Editor: Bill Cobb
Website Editor: Gurujeet Khalsa
Games Editor: Myron Souris
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); Nicholas Roussos (Cyprus Correspondent); Horatio Davis (Australia/New Zealand Correspondent).
Columnists: James Kerwin 1P; Kazunari Furuyama; Rob van Zeijst; Roy Laird; Peter Shotwell
Translations: Bob McGuigan (Japan)
Formatting: Adam Wright

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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.


Kiseido Releases 1st 3 Volumes of “Graded Go Problems” Series

Monday November 16, 2009

Kiseido has just published the first three books of a seven-volume series, reports publisher Richard Bozulich. Graded Go Problems for Dan Players “is a translation of a 14-volume series put out by the Nihon Ki-in, compressed into seven volumes,” Bozulich tells the E-Journal. Targeted at aspiring dan players, the series is designed to provide low-kyu and low-dan players with the essential grounding in the basics of life-and-death, tesuji, and joseki needed to develop deeper and more accurate reading and the knowledge they need to compete as dan players. In “300 Life-and-Death Problems,” “300 Tesuji Problems,” and “300 Joseki Problems,” the level of the problems starts at around 5-kyu and works up to 3-dan, with the majority in the 1- to 3-dan bracket. The series will continue with volumes four to six, containing life-and-death, tesuji, and joseki problems for 3-dan players and stronger. Volumes seven will cover the opening (fuseki) and the middle game. Expected publication date for Volumes Four to Six is Spring 2010 and Summer 2010 for Volume Seven.