AMERICAN GO E JOURNAL: News from the American Go Association

July 5, 2004

In This Edition:

U.S. GO NEWS: Go=92s Success At Origins; The Way To Go; Fundamental Yang; Go TV; Ward Upsets Lowell In Youth Tourney; Membership Up Again; In Search Of Deep Pockets; What A Difference A Year Makes
WORLD GO NEWS: Redmond Loses A Close One; Kobayashi Izumi In The Judan Again; Yoda Keeping Busy; Yamada Kimio Wins In Gosei; Macfadyen Takes The Welsh Open (Again); Czech Open Coming Up
GAME COMMENTARY: Multiple Attacks, Sharp Reading And A =93Lucky=94 Win
MOMENTS IN GO HISTORY: Go Seigen Almost Becomes Meijin
ATTACHED FILES: 2004.07.05. GoGameWorld.sgf; 2004.07.05.Get Strong at the Endgame Problem.sgf


GO=92S SUCCESS AT ORIGINS: =93Five thousand people stopped to look=94 at the American Go Association=92s booth at the recent Origins board gaming convention June 24-27 in Columbus, Ohio, reports Joe Carl. =93Our booth was right next to chess, cribbage and Bridge and our booth had a crowd all weekend long while theirs were mostly empty,=94 Carl brags, adding that =93the chess booth attendee started playing go and was playing online by Friday night.=94 Carl says although the exposure netted twenty new players, only six players turned out for the go tournament: 1st Place for Division I was David Hawley, 1st Place for Division II was Paul Jacobs, Second Place for Division II was Adam Bridges and Third Place for Division II was Raymond Badder. =93Many of the people stopping by the booth wanted to buy boards too,=94 Carl says, =93It was a shame we didn=92t have time to bring any vendors on board for this event. Next year we=92ll be ready!=94

THE WAY TO GO: Get up, eat, play go, sleep. Repeat for nine straight days, July 31-August 8 in Rochester, NY. For more details about the full schedule of this year's U.S. Go Congress -- including lectures and simuls with professional go players, a screening of "The Go Masters," the Lightning Tournament and much more -- you can check it out now at

FUNDAMENTAL YANG: The Fundamental Principles of Go, Yilun Yang 7p=92s much anticipated new book, is now available from Slate & Shell in both hardback and soft cover versions. The book focuses on guidelines for effective play in the opening and the early middle game. Order at

GO TV: Now you don=92t have to move to Japan, Korea or China to watch go on television, reports reader John Pinkerton, who recently discovered BadukTV streamed online at A Korean television station devoted exclusively to go, BadukTV shows live games, replayed games, commentary, and instruction. =93Even if you don't know Korean, it's not hard to follow the variations from the commentators,=94 Pinkerton says. =93Sometimes they use a magnetic board and merge TV and computers by superimposing stones over video of the real board.=94 The link comes courtesy of a Chris Ball post at Sensei's Library: http://senseis.xmpnet/?Television

WARD UPSETS LOWELL IN YOUTH TOURNEY: In an upset victory, Ward Elementary posted a 3-1 win over Lowell High School's A team in the third installment of the High School Youth Online Team Tournament, reports organizer Christopher Vu. =93Most of the top seeds advanced on through,=94 Vu reports. =93Texas teams still hold all the medal podium spots, with New York Metro's top flight team coming in close to finish fourth. California's Monta Vista HS, last year's runner-up, Rivervview HS in Michigan, and another Texas team are tied to round up the top five.=94 Rankings and round II pairings can be found at

MEMBERSHIP UP AGAIN: Membership in the American Go Association nudged upward last month, snapping a two-month string of decreases. The increase to 1,984 members was fueled primarily by a slight jump in Limited memberships (to 315), which made up for a slight decrease in Full members (to 1,525) in June.

IN SEARCH OF DEEP POCKETS: The American Go Association is now recruiting volunteers to help design a fundraising campaign aimed at generating significant financial support for American go from large donors, reports AGA President Chris Kirchner. =93Initially, this will involve identifying potential funders, as well as designing programs and fundraising strategies,=94 Kirschner adds. Potential volunteers should email

WHAT A DIFFERENCE A YEAR MAKES: The final rounds of the 3rd Honinbo match were held in 1946, not 1945, as we reported last week (Cho-Yoda Battle Backstory). =93The 3rd Honinbo title completed the originally scheduled six games in 1945, but ended in a 3-3 draw,=94 John Power tells the EJ. =93There was provision for a 7th game with 4.5-point komi in case of a draw, but the players were not interested in playing it, as they were focused on rebuilding the go world after the war. It was then decided to play a best-of-three to decide the title (no komi), which was actually held in August 1946, not =9145. Iwamoto won 2-0.=94 The whole story (and lots more fascinating go history) can be found in the indispensable Go Player=92s Almanac 2001.
     Also, Amara Sailing is actually 8 years old, not 9, as reported last week (Huang Tops In Rocky Mountain Tourney); Amara, who won her first game in the recent Rocky Mountain tournament, is one of the players featured in this week=92s homepage photo at


REDMOND LOSES A CLOSE ONE: In the early preliminaries of the competition to select a challenger for the Meijin title match in the Fall of 2005, Michael Redmond 9p lost a half-pointer to Kubo Hideo 6p.

KOBAYASHI IZUMI IN THE JUDAN AGAIN: For the second year, Kobayashi Izumi 6p is the only woman player in the challenger's league for the Judan title in Japan. In the first round she was beaten by O Meien 9p, the same opponent who defeated her in the first round last year. This put her into the losers bracket, where she has one more shot at being the Judan challenger, but this will be quite a challenge since her next opponent will be her father Kobayashi Koichi 9p, who was defeated in the first round by Mimura Tomoyasu 9p by 3.5 points. Father-daughter matches at the highest level of professional go are a great rarity, as are husband-wife matches, but both are likely to become more common thanks to the increasing prominence of strong women pros. Izumi's husband, Cho U 9p, is also playing in the Judan league. He won his first round game against Kataoka Satoshi 9p by 2.5 points. Cho was the challenger last year, but lost the title match to O Rissei 9p.

YODA KEEPING BUSY: Besides defending his Gosei title against Yamada Kimio 8p, Yoda is also involved in challenging for the Honinbo title against Cho U, the current Honinbo. As reported last week, their match stands at 3-2 in favor of Cho, but Yoda has won two of the last three games by resignation. Of course, Yoda must win both of the remaining games to take the title. Game six is scheduled for July 8th and 9th. Moreover, on July 3rd, Yoda won his semifinal match in the 17th Fujitsu against Song Taedon 7p of Korea by 2.5 points with Black, and now must face Park Yeonghun 5p of Korea in the finals on July 5th. Park defeated Yoo Changhyuk 9p of Korea in the other semifinal match. Yoda, approaching forty, also is the current holder of the Japanese Meijin title. The next challenger for that title will be decided in August and will be either Cho U 9p or Yamashita Keigo 9p.

YAMADA KIMIO WINS IN GOSEI: The challenger, Yamada Kimio 8p, won the first game in the 29th Gosei title match in Japan by beating the title holder, Yoda Norimoto 9p, by a half point with White. John Power reports on the Nihon Kiin homepage that the game was a little unusual. In the early middle game Yamada, who was playing White, abandoned a group of six stones in the center to get three moves around a black corner stone while Yoda captured the center stones. That trade set the tone for the game and was followed by lots of unusual fighting with more surprising trades and the closest possible margin at the end. You can download the game record at . Yamada got into the title match by defeating Cho U 9p, current Honinbo, back in May.

MACFADYEN TAKES THE WELSH OPEN (AGAIN): As always, Matthew Macfadyen 6d of Leamington won the Welsh Open, held at Barmouth on June 26th and 27th. Macfadyen now has an unbeaten string of 58 wins at that event. Richard Hunter 4d of Tokyo and Francis Roads 4d of Wanstead tied for second place with 3 out of 5 records. Martin Harvey 3k of Manchester and Roger Peck 4k of Milton Keynes also won prizes. Thirty-two players participated, enjoying the seaside air and entertainment, as well as the games.
- from the British Go Journal

CZECH OPEN COMING UP: The Czech Open will be held on July 16th to 18th in Pardubice, Czech Republic. There will be six rounds with sixty minutes basic time and byoyomi of fifteen moves in five minutes. Information is available at

GAME COMMENTARY: Multiple Attacks, Sharp Reading And A =93Lucky=94 Win
Today=92s game commentary is a nail-biter from the 2002 6th LG Cup Final.
Yoo Changhyeok 9p battles Cho Hunhyun 9p in a fierce game involving multiple attacks, sharp reading and a =93lucky=94 win by 1.5 points. The detailed commentary is by various Chinese pros; the game is provided courtesy of, which provides a subscription service of commented pro games and a great deal of information about the professional go world for free.
This week=92s bonus is an endgame problem from Richard Bozulich=92s Get Strong at the Endgame, available from http://www.kiseidocom
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

MOMENTS IN GO HISTORY: Go Seigen Almost Becomes Meijin
by William Cobb
     After the death of Shusai, the last honorary Meijin, the Nihon Kiin decided to connect the Meijin title with a tournament. So the thirteen top players played a round robin battle, starting in January 1961, that lasted almost two years. In the games, White was given a five point komi and also was declared the winner in the event of a tie. Go Seigen was clearly the dominant player in Japan in those days, but during the tournament he was badly injured when he was hit by a motorcycle. He resumed playing after a brief hospital stay, but suffered bad headaches (which eventually prevented him from playing in serious competition). In this first Meijin tournament, the contest came down to a race between Fujisawa Hosai, Go Seigen, and Sakata Eio. Fujisawa lost his last game (against Hashimoto Shoji), leaving him with a 9-3 record, and in despair he went off to do some serious drinking. Meanwhile, Go and Sakata were playing the final game of the tournament. It ended up a tie, and Go was declared the winner since he was playing White. This gave Go, who had lost to Fujisawa earlier, a 9-3 record, also, but since a =93tie=94 victory was judged inferior to a =93real=94 victory, Fujisawa was designated Meijin without a play-off. It took several hours to find Fujisawa to give him the news; he lost the Meijin title the next year to Sakata. Although Go had won the predecessor tournament to the Meijin, the Japan=92s Strongest Player title in 1958 and 1961, this was as close as he ever came again to winning a title. SOURCES: GO REVIEW AUGUST 1971, GOBASE.ORG, AND SENSEI'S LIBRARY



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. (6/22)

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


WANTED: Go teacher for new player in Stockton, CA area. Call Guy Thro at 209-474-0315 or email (7/5)

AVAILABLE: Lessons online with Cornel Burzo, 7d AGA, 6d EGF and IGS 6d*, for details (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)

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)
KS: Looking for players in Kansas (especially the Wichita area); contact Ted Dover at (6/28)
TX: Go club meeting at InfiniTea, located on the SW intersection of Coit and Cambell in Richardson, Wednesdays from 7P until midnight. If you have boards of your own, please bring them; any rank welcome. Jeff Heckman,

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


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
Firecracker Go 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:

For the European Go Calendar see

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Ratings are on the web! Check the website; for the full list.

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AGA CONTACT LIST: For a full list of AGA officers, contacts & their email addresses, go to:

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