AMERICAN GO E JOURNAL: News from the American Go Association

June 21, 2004

In This Edition:

U.S. GO NEWS: Origins Brings Go To 10,000; Record Congress?; Princeton Go Stars Again; Jin Chen Top 10 Scholar Athlete; New Origins Of Go Proposed; Jiang, Not Yang
WORLD GO NEWS: Cho U Holding On In Honinbo; Chinese Mingren Moves To Semi-Finals; Lin Zhihan Holds Lead In Yayi Cup League; This Is Fast?; Zixin Wu Wins In Leicester; Silt Wins Hamburg Toyota-IGS-Pandanet; World Ratings A Step Nearer?
THE TRAVELING BOARD: Report from Shikoku
ATTACHED FILES: 2004.06.21.04. Liping Huang‘s 3 Kyu Game Commentary; 2004.06.21.Nakayama NS-8


ORIGINS BRINGS GO TO 10,000: Over 10,000 attendees are expected at this week92s games convention, Origins, the game industry‘s North American showcase. Go will be well-represented with teaching seminars, an official vendor booth and two tournaments, including a 4-round tournament and a beginner92s tournament Saturday. The convention runs Thursday through Sunday in Columbus, Ohio and features a wide array of gaming events, tournaments, artists, and rare and new gaming paraphernalia for sale. For more info, contact Joe Carl at 330-284-7707 or (be sure to specify “Origins GO” in the subject line)

RECORD CONGRESS? With 341 already registered, this year92s U.S. Go Congress may be well on its way to setting a new attendance record. Players of every strength from 35k to 9P are signed up for the 8-day event, which runs from July 31 through August 8 in Rochester, New York and features the largest and strongest field of any U.S. tournament as well as prizes in every section and a top prize of $2,000. Also on tap: lectures and simuls by professionals, the Lightning Tournament, Pair Go, Crazy Go and much more. Check out the full list of attendees (sorted by name or strength), the full schedule and register at http://www.usgo.or g/congress/index.asp

PRINCETON GO STARS AGAIN: 93It was 8:30 p.m. on a recent Wednesday, and on the second floor of Frist Campus Center, people from different parts of the University community and beyond had gathered to indulge their zeal for a game called “Go,” writes by Jennifer Greenstein Altmann in the May 31 edition of the Princeton Weekly Bulletin. Princeton has been associated with go since the 1940s and both are featured prominently in the film 93A Beautiful Mind.93 Read the whole story at http://www.princet

JIN CHEN TOP 10 SCHOLAR ATHLETE: Seventeen-year-old Jin Chen 7d has been selected one of the Detroit Free Press92 top 10 state Scholar Athletes. The top-level amateur go player captained his high-school soccer, swimming and track teams, maintained a 4.32 grade average and scored 34 (out of 36) on the ACT. Jin Chen graduated last month and was class valedictorian. He92ll be a counselor at next month92s Youth Go Camp, and will be one of the players to watch at the U.S. Go Congress in August. See Jin92s cover photo and read the story at http://www.freep.c om/pdf/2004/scholar_athletes_2004.pdf

NEW ORIGINS OF GO PROPOSED: “More than 20,000 years ago, before the planet Venus settled into its current orbit in our solar system, there lived two men in Asia named Hei and Bai.” Thus begins Craig Hutchinson‘s unique original take on how go got started. “The Origin Of Go” has just been published online at http://users.erols com/crhutch/goh04.html

JIANG, NOT YANG: Mingjiu Jiang took second place in the 2003 pro tournament in Houston, not Huiren Yang, as it says in last week92s game between Yang and Wang Lei (Yang-Fujitsu.sgf, 06.14.04); Yang took third place. Thanks to 2003 AGA Pro Cup Director Jeff Shaevel for the correction.


CHO U HOLDING ON IN HONINBO: In the fourth game of the 29th Honinbo title match in Japan, the title holder Cho U defeated challenger Yoda Norimoto, Meijin, by 3.5 points to take a commanding 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven match. Cho took the title from Kato Masao 9p last year with a 4-2 score. In the preliminary leagues to determine the challenger for the 30th Honinbo title match, Kato Masao defeated Rin Kaiho by 4.5 points, playing White, to take the first step toward getting another crack at the title he held for only one year. Kato‘s next opponent will be Takao Shinji 8p.

CHINESE MINGREN MOVES TO SEMI-FINALS: The third round of the 16th Mingren tournament in Beijing, China, was held on June 20th. Yu Bin 9p defeated young star Peng Quan 5p by resignation. Yu will face Gu Li, the current holder of the Tianyuan title, in the semi-finals on June 22nd. Gu defeated Ruo Xihe 9p by resignation. The other semi-final match will be between Shao Weigang 9p, who defeated Wang Lei 8p, also by resignation, and the venerable Nie Weiping 9p, who defeated Liu Shizhen 6p by 2.5 points. Game records can be downloaded from Alexandre Dinerchtein‘s web site at http://www.go4go.n et/english/bytournament2.jsp?id3D7

LIN ZHIHAN HOLDS LEAD IN YAYI CUP LEAGUE: We reported last week on the battle in the Yayi Cup League in Taiwan. As noted, the match between Lin Zhihan, current holder of the LOTR Cup, and Lin Shengzian 7p was an important one. The game was played on June 20th and Lin Zhihan came out the winner to gain a 7 and 1 record against Shengzian‘s record of 6 and 2. Both players have one more game: Shengzian must play Huang Xianren 3p and Zhihan has to meet Chen Yongan 5p, so a final tie between the Lins is still possible. No one else is in a position to challenge the Lins, since the other competitors have all lost at least three games.

THIS IS FAST? The Agon Cup, named for the Buddhist organization that sponsors it, is also known as the All Japan Lightning Go Open Tournament. But this is pro-style lightning go. In the preliminary rounds the basic time is 60 minutes and in the final match it‘s two hours. A number of additional matches have been completed in the preliminaries: Kudo Horio 9p defeated Sugimoto Akira 7p by 1.5 points; Komatsu Hideki 9p won by resignation over Nakaonoda Tomomi 9p; and Oya Koichi 9p defeated Kanazawa Hideo 6p by resignation. Kato Masao 9p won this cup last year.

ZIXIN WU WINS IN LEICESTER: There was a good turnout from local East Midlands players in the Leicester Tournament in England on June 19th. By beating Francis Roads in the final round, Zixin Wu 4d of Nottingham became overall winner with 3 out of 3 victories. Also winning all three of their games were Thomas Hawley 10k of Nottingham, Hetty Boardman-Weston 14k of Leicester, Johannes Kling 15k of Nottingham, and Wilson Hao 23k from Loughborough.
-reported by BGA News

SILT WINS HAMBURG TOYOTA-IGS-PANDANET: The Toyota-IGS-PandaNet European Go Tour event in Hamburg, Germany at the end of May was won by the European Youth Champion, Ondrej Silt 5d from Czechia. Radek Nechanicky 6d of Czechia and Egbert Rittner 6d of Hamburg also won all five games and tied for second on tie-break. There were 205 participants, a 50% increase over last year. Complete results can be found at /tourn/tourn.cgi?f3D04dehhas.txt&mode3Dcml . The players also enjoyed lightning games and a barbeque. The top games were broadcast live on the Internet.
-reported by BGA News

CORRECTION: LEE TO FACE ZHOU HEYANG IN CHUNLAN FINAL: Lee Changho 9p of Korea will face Zhou Heyang 9p of China in the Chunlan Cup final, not Peng Quan 5p, as reported in last week‘s EJ (LEE CHANGHO SWEEPS FOUR, 6/14/04). Zhou defeated Peng to gain his first-ever world championship title match. Thanks to reader Zhiping You for catching this; we apologize for any confusion.

WORLD RATINGS A STEP NEARER? A world rating system may be a little closer, reports Thomas Hsiang, the U.S. representative to the International Go Federation (IGF), which held its annual board and general meetings at the recent World Amateur Go Championships (WAGC) in Kurashiki, Japan. 93The IGF has just been admitted to the General Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) and elected a new president, Kato Masao 9p, and a mostly new Board,94 Thomas told the E-Journal, 93At the meetings, motions were passed to cooperate with GAISF in working towards the first Intellympic Games and to look into establishing a world rating system. More news should be forthcoming in the next few months.94
     Adding to last week92s E-Journal report on the WAGC Championships (Unbeaten Lee Kang Wook Wins World Amateur, 6/14/04), Hsiang notes that 93Reigning champion, China‘s Fu Li and a former professional player, lost two nail-biting games to his younger competitors and took third. A surprising 4th was France‘s Bernard Helmstetter 5 dan, who managed a 6-2 result and placed ahead of Japanese Nakazono Seizo. Canadian Xianyu Li and American Ted Ning placed 6th and 8th respectively. India‘s Shiba Shaw, a 9-year old brought up in a Japanese-funded orphanage, won the Asada prize for fighting spirit. A total of 65 countries participated, with Nepal, Mongolia, and Panama as the newcomers. Players ranged in age between 79 and 9. The North Korean player was a last-minute no-show, with no reasons given.94

Two kyu players, a 3 kyu American player and a 2 kyu Russian player, are featured in today92s game commentary. The game was played In March and April on the Dragon Go Server, a turn-based go site. The commentary is by Liping Huang 4p, who lives and teaches in the Chicago area.
Also this week; Another installment of Nakayama Noriyuki92a 93What92s Wrong With That Move?94
To view the attached .sgf file(s), simply save the file(s) to your computer and then open using an .sgf reader such as Many Faces of Go or SmartGo. Readers who need .sgf readers can get them for most platforms at Jan van der Steen‘s sgfeditors.html

THE TRAVELING BOARD: Report from Shikoku
By Solomon Smilack
       Shitamachi is a little izakaya near Muroto Port. The name Shitamachi means “downtown,” though a literal translation would indicate that the area is “under the castle,” historically, the place where commoners live. The restaurant/bar‘s patrons fit the description, but in such a rural area it would be hard not to. Izui Kei, the owner and sole employee, is a jovial newlywed in his early thirties. Average men and women from different walks of life pack into Kei‘s izakaya to talk, drink, and watch the Hanshin Tigers battle their way towards another pennant. Shitamachi is dominated by the bar, made of polished logs, on which sit huge bowls of fresh appetizers and a glass-windowed cooler filled with fresh fish. The bar seats eight people comfortably, and there are two four-tatami rooms which offer a little privacy or extra space on busy nights.
       On the night that Kei discovered my passion for go, he dug into his storage closet for a folding board and two containers full of plastic stones. He dusted them off bashfully and insisted on giving me the set, saying that he only knew how to play go-moku-nanabe and suggesting that the set ought to get more use. I accepted the gift, knowing that I could now return the set that I had borrowed from my school. Before I left, Kei introduced me to Izui Yasuhisa (no relation). Yasuhisa is the president of a local ironworks, and has a daughter who is currently studying English in the United States. He has a humble and honest attitude, and a face that makes his balding-pattern look quite dignified. He was more eager to practice his English than he was to play go, but we arranged to meet again at Shitamachi to do both.
      Yasuhisa had said that we would use his board, but I was not prepared for what he brought. When he took off the wooden cover, the biggest kaya goban that I had ever seen was revealed. The board was well worn and, looked at from an angle, the lines vanished, leaving just the grain of the wood visible. Yasuhisa set the board on the floor between us in one of tatami rooms, and Kei brought us glasses of beer and plates of food. Yasuhisa offered me white, and my eyes widened as I took a handful from the dark bowl. The stones were a pleasant cream color, and the grain of the clamshell had turned chestnut-brown from age. Each move felt special because every stone had its own personality. I was thrilled to play with them.
      From our low cushions, the height of the board made viewing the game slightly uncomfortable, and I soon found myself winning, which put me further ill at ease. Our skill level seemed almost equal, but three games made clear what Yasuhisa never mentioned: he hasn‘t played go in years. We arranged another get-together, though he might opt for us to play at his home instead of in Shitamachi‘s noisy atmosphere. I have been unable to attend the local go club for several weeks, so we might be on level ground by the time we play again. But I‘ll willingly give him a handicap, rather than risk losing the clamshell stones during nigiri.



WANTED: A version of “How To Play Go” specifically designed for American fans of Hikaru No Go manga and anime. We‘re doing a fan con in August and need a tailored and canned prezo to fill half of a one hour slot.

WANTED : Looking for a copy of “The Breakthrough to Shodan”, by Naoki
Miyamoto. Please contact Maurice at (6/7)

AVAILABLE: Fridgego limited-edition 9x9 magnetic go set for fridge/filing cabinet. $18 + shipping; available late 2004/early 2005, but reserve sets by email now; first come, first served: Peter Wendes; You can check out Fridgeplay‘s range of games & artwork at http://www.fridgep (5/31/)

WANTED: Modern Joseki and Fuseki Vols 1 and 2. CT Campbell; (5/31)


AVAILABLE: Lessons online with Cornel Burzo, 7d AGA, 6d EGF and IGS 6d*, for details http://www.golesso (6/21)

WANTED: Go teacher. Prefer in person in NYC area, will consider online. Currently 9 kyu on KGS. Please contact with rates and experience. (6/7)

WANTED: Go teacher in the Hagerstown, MD area (midway between Baltimore MD and Chambersburg PA). E-mail (5/31)

WANTED: Anyone in the Bridgeport, Connecticut area interested in getting involved in a program to teach go to children. Please contact Jonathan Glass at for more information. (5/17)

AVAILABLE: Free evaluation lesson with a 5 dan on any server, For more info, email (5/24)

CA: Sonora; someone willing to introduce go to a friend of mine. Send contact information to Rob Muldowney at (5/10)
FL: Ft. Myers; I‘m interested in starting a club, contact (5/10)
FL: Jacksonville; (6/14)
FL: Jacksonville; regular, live game sessions. Contact (5/31)
GA: Augusta; for playing and possible chapter; email Wesley Stewart at (5/31)
IL: Downers Grove; 23k willing to play with anyone who wants a friendly game or will teach those in the area who want to learn. e-mail Kevin Steinbach at (5/31)

Got go stuff to sell, swap or want to buy? Do it here and reach over 7,000 Go players worldwide every week at Go Classified! Listing are free and run 4 weeks; send to us at


June 24-27: Hackensack, NJ
2004 New Jersey Yang 7p Go Workshop
John Stephenson 201-612-0852

June 26: Columbus, OH
“Origins” Go Tournament
J. Carl 330-284-7707

July 10: Austin, TX
Austin Go Club Annual Tournament

July 11: Boston, MA
MGA Summer Handicap Tournament
Zack Grossbart 617-497-1232

July 11: Seattle, WA
Monthly Ratings Tournament
Jon Boley 206-545-1424

July 11: Lancaster, PA
Lancaster Self Paired Tournament
Sam Zimmerman 717-892-1249

July 17: Arlington, VA
Congress TuneUp
Allan Abramson 703-684-7676

July 24: San Francisco, CA
Northern California Open Go Tournament
Danny Swarzman 415-221-7194
AGTC Event

August 1-7: Rochester, NY
20th US Go Congress
Greg Lefler 585-278-0705

This is a digest of events for the next month only; for a complete
listing see the Tournament Calendar on the AGA website:
http://www.usgo.or g/usa/tournaments.asp

For the European Go Calendar see

GET LISTED & BOOST TURN OUT! Got an upcoming event? Reach over 6,000 readers every week! List your Go event/news In the E Journal: email details to us at

Ratings are on the web! Check the website; http://www.usgo.or g for the full list.

GET YOUR TOURNAMENT RATED! Send your tournament data to

AGA CONTACT LIST: For a full list of AGA officers, contacts & their email addresses, go to:
http://www.usgo.or g/org/index.asp#contactinfo

Published by the American Go Association

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