AMERICAN GO E JOURNAL: News from the American Go Association

August 23, 2004

In This Issue:
U.S. GO NEWS: US Reps Lose In Toyota-Denso; SmartGo Adds Pro Games; Riverview Surprise Round 2 Winner; Free Problem Software Released; Taking The Shodan Challenge; This Week=92s Go Photo
WORLD GO NEWS: Changho Wins Battle Of The Lees; Chunwon Goes Into Semis; Ward Edges Macfadyen In Marathon; British Championship First Round; 7th Isle Of Man Go Week; Deadline For 9th Internet World Amateur Go Tournament
GAME COMMENTARY: Bad Moves, But Why?
BEGINNER=92S MIND: The Year That Counts
ATTACHED FILE(S): 2004.08.23.LipingHuang-7k game.sgf; 2004.08.23.Nakayama NS-10.pdf


US REPS LOSE IN TOYOTA-DENSO: Both North American representatives lost in the first round of the 2nd Toyota Denso Cup in Tokyo, Feng Yun 9p falling by resignation to Chang Hao 9p of China and Mingjiu Jiang 7p losing by resignation to Yoda Norimoto 9p of Japan. All the other participants not from China, Japan, or Korea also lost in the first round: the three European representatives, Andrey Kulcof 6d, Frank Jansen 6d, and Alexandre Dinerchtein 6d were defeated by Kong Jie 7p of China, So Yohkoku 7p of Japan, and Sakai Hideyuki 6p of Japan, all by resignation. Fernand Aguilar 6dof Argentina, the South American representative, lost by resignation to Wang Lei 8p of China. The sixteen remaining players include six from China, five from Japan, and five from Korea. Lee Changho 9p, who won this title last year, is still in the running this time after defeating Yang Jinhua 6p ofSingapore by 2.5 points.

SMARTGO ADDS PRO GAMES: The latest release of the popular SmartGo go software now allows users to find out where professionals play. =93Study joseki and fuseki in the context of your game by matching the position in your game against thousands of professional games,=94 says SmartGo=92s Anders Kierulf. The SmartGo family of programs includes SmartGo Player (for playing, recording, replaying, analyzing, annotating, and printing games), SmartGo Viewer (a limited version of Player), SmartGo 9x9, SmartGo Games (which includes over 27,000 professional games) and SmartGo Combo, a lower-priced combination of SmartGo Player and SmartGo Games. SmartGo:Player is $59; add SmartGo Games for $25 more or download the free SmartGo:Viewer (which includes 1,600 san-ren-sei games). Details at

RIVERVIEW SURPRISE ROUND 2 WINNER: Surprises never stop popping up as rookie team Riverview (Michigan) defeated two-time silver medalists Monta Vista (California) in the 3rd US High School TeamGo Championships, reports organizer Christopher Vu. Texas teams continue to show their dominance as Clear Lake and Plano Senior teams are all 8-0. The final qualifying round will get underway soon to determine the national tournament finalists.

FREE PROBLEM SOFTWARE RELEASED: GoGrinder, a software program for practicing go problems has just been released by Tim Kington. The open source freeware comes with 750 problems in .sgf format, ranging in difficulty from 25k to 4d and allows the import and export of problem sets. Users =93can save progress through problem sets to file, so you can go work on a different set of problems, and then pick up where youleft off,=94 says Kington. Details and download at

TAKING THE SHODAN CHALLENGE: =93I recollect a =91shodan by the =9204 Congress=92 challenge initiated a while back via the E-Journal,=94 writes Becci Torrey, =93and was wondering if we have any reports from the contenders.=94 The challenge was initiated by E-Journal columnist JoelTurnipseed at the 2003 Congress in Houston. Turnipseed, a 6 kyu, writer and ex-Marine, bet a round of drinks that he=92d make it to shodan by the 2004 Congress. Progress, as Joel reported over the last year, turned out to be even more difficult than he=92d imagined, and for some reason, the impending arrival of his first child wound up distracting Joel from his studies. Joel, who missed the Congress, is now a 4 kyu and the proud father of Maia Elizabeth Hernandez (since we owe Joel a congratulatory drink, we=92ll just call it even on the bet). 5-kyu Ethan Baldridge of Richmond, VA, joined thechallenge but also fell short and now has a 2-kyu rating, an impressive 3-level jump. As columnist Aria von Elbe reports this week, she=92s now takenup the Shodan By The Congress challenge: anyone else who wants to go on record as taking this on for next year can go on record by email us at and we=92ll follow your progress over the next year.

THIS WEEK=92S GO PHOTO: Every regular Go Congress attendee will know the manfeatured on this week=92s AGA homepage photo -- -- but who can come up with the best caption for this wonderfully charming shot?Send them to us at
Last week=92s challenge: Terry Benson gets the nod for correctly identifying E-Journal editor Chris Garlockat work on the board at the recent U.S. Go Congress in photo #6 but we have to applaud Pete Gousious for his creative response: =93It=92s obviouslythe picture of my photogenic back mistitled as Jimmy's nemesis at Pete writes.=93In Round Two of the Open in which I graciously lost to Congress first-time attendee Keiko Matsuo (sitting to the left of Jimmy). As a part-time gogame transcriber for the E-journal, that must be why there is particular relevance for the E-journal. Also, if you strain very hard you can see Aria von Elbe, our exciting new columnist for the E-Journal standing up in the top left of this picture. So there are two reasons for this photo to be the relevant picture, making it much like a good go move that does two things atonce=85I almost was tricked into thinking it was picture 8, professional goplayer Guo Juan, who does such a great job of providing commentary for E-Journal games.=94


CHANGHO WINS BATTLE OF THE LEES: In the decisive fifth game of the 38th Wangwi Title Match in Korea on August 17th, Lee Changho 9p bested Lee Sedol 9p to take the battle of the Lees by a score of 3-2. All five games in this match were won by White, four of them by resignation. Gamerecords can be found at . Changho has now held this title for nine consecutive terms, starting in 1996. He also won the title in 1991. Many consider Lee Changho,not yet thirty years old, to be the strongest player in the world. At onepoint, in 1993, he held twelve titles. Lee Sedol, just out of his teens, is seen by many as the "next Lee Changho". Cho Hunhyeon 9p also held the Wangwi title for nine consecutive years, from 1982 through 1990, but Cho has won it four additional times as well.

CHUNWON GOES INTO SEMIS: In the second round of the 9th Chunwon Tournament in Korea, Cho Hunhyun 9p defeated by resignation Song Taekon 7p, who won the title two years ago, ChoiCheolhan, current title holder, defeated Mok Jinseok 8p by resignation, andAn Dalhun 6p beat Kim Seungjun 8p by resignation. The remaining second round game will be between Rui Naiwei 9p and Lee Sedol 9p. This tournament concludes with a best of five title match. In the semi-finals Cho plays Choi and An plays the winner of the Rui-Lee contest.

WARD EDGES MACFADYEN IN MARATHON BRITISH CHAMPIONSHIP FIRST ROUND: In the first game of the British Championship, challenger David Ward 4d of Cambridge defeated Matthew Macfadyen 6d of Leamington. The game was tied on the board, so Ward won by the 6.5 komi after a game that lasted over six hours. Macfadyen first became British Go Champion in 1978 and has been Champion eighteen times since; if he defeats David Ward's challenge it will be his twentieth Championship. Ward is a 4-dan British player, but has been improving recently, thanks to lessons from a Chinese professional player. See for pictures and full bios of the players.

7TH ISLE OF MAN GO WEEK: More than forty-five players, many accompanied by family members, enjoyed one of the most appealing locales for a go tournament last week at the 7th Isle of Man Go Week at the Cherry Orchard in Port Erin with plenty of sunshine and seaside activity. Piers Shepperson 5d of Slough repeated as the champion, winning all five of his games. Matthew Cocke 5d of Norwich was second and Francis Roads 4d of Wanstead was third. Tony Atkins 3d of Bracknell won the afternoon tournament, whichhad thirty participants, on SOS tie break from Francis Roads. In other tournaments, Bill Streeten 5k of Wanstead won the twenty-seven player handicapevent by tie break over Paul Barnard 1d of Swindon, and the doubles event was taken by mother and son pair, Pauline and Steve Bailey of West Surrey. The 13x13 tournament with twenty-four players was won by Tim Hunt 3d of Milton Keynes, and William Brooks 1k of Cambridge beat Jil Segerman 7k of Brighton in the finals to repeat as lightning title holder.
-reported by BGA News

DEADLINE FOR 9TH INTERNET WORLD AMATEUR GO TOURNAMENT: The deadline for signing up for the 9th Internet World Amateur Go Tournament on IGS, the PandaNet Cup, is August 24th. Details can be found at Pros are not allowed to play in thistournament.

YOUR MOVE: Readers Write

CONGRESS INFO:=93Where I can find information about the last U.S. Go Congress?=94 wonders Angela Zemaitat. =93Where I can find photos and the results of the tournament?=94 Photos are at stay tuned for a new online posting of tournament results.
PLAYING ONLINE: =93How can I play go on the Internet?=94 asks reader C.Yang. Get info and links to software for playing go online on the AGA=92s website at:

GAME COMMENTARY: Bad Moves, But Why?
Two anonymous 7-kyus battle it out to make the slowest and least efficient moves in today=92s game commentary. But wincing readers may recognize some of their own mistakes and learn from the brutally honest commentary by Liping Huang 4p, who lives and teaches go in the Chicago area.
We=92re also pleased to present another installment of the ever-popular =93What=92s Wrong With That Move=94 by Nakayama Noriyuki.
To view the attached .sgf file(s), simply save the file(s) to your computer and then open using an .sgf readersuch as Many Faces of Go or SmartGo. Readers who need .sgf readers can get them for most platforms at Jan van der Steen's

BEGINNER=92S MIND: The Year That Counts
by Aria von Elbe
It wasn=92t until I returned to Miami that I realized just how much the U.S. Go Congress had instilled in me. Not just determination, dedication, and, amazingly, new skills, but also a goal. Not the weak, I-never-got-around-to-following-it-though one that I thought I had after returning from Seattle in January, but one that I am really set on reaching.
        I know that trying to become a shodan by next June is a stretch, but it=92s precisely because it=92s so far out there I yearn for it all that much more. Besides, this is the girl who, before she went out to Seattle for the Toyota/Denso, hesitated to even dream of becoming a writer for the Nihon Ki-in=92s Shuukan Go and ended up becoming a columnist for the E-Journal and got a contact inside the Nihon Ki-In to boot.
I guess the unobtainable seems just a few inches out of my reach, and that=92s okay, because I know I=92m going to grow. Naturally, though, that=92s not to say that it won=92t be a challenge. I=92ll have APs, SATs, ACTs, and let=92s not forget that this will be my junior year in high school, =93the year that counts=94. Not to mention a go club to run on top of all that and most probably some random other endeavor that I will take on, but =93the best way to learn is to teach!=94 Oh, wait, that=92s not a proverb? Well, it=92s a new one, one I=92ll be living by for a while. That and =93Procrastinate now, don=92t put it off=94 =97 I mean...
But I've always liked challenges, otherwise I wouldn't have started playing go, right? You know what I mean, the waiting and waiting to get stronger. But there's just so much forme to look forward to: the club, of course, but also the RSC Tournament at the Sea Otter Go Club I heard about at the Congress. Team matches with high school clubs! If I can get a club trip planned, Texas here we come! There's the Oza again this year, where ever that'll be I'm there. I can just sayI'm college hunting. And of course Internet Go. With all the people I met from the Congress, and all the screen names I have, it'll be back to playing during Chem class. I'll be a shodan in no time, just you watch!
-16-year-old Aria von Elbe starts 11th grade this September in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

By James Kerwin, 1P
        If you want to improve at go, a good editor is an essential tool for efficient and effective study. The most valuable thing you can do, other than taking lessons, is review your own games. For this purpose, Anders Kierulf's popular game editor SmartGo is an outstanding program. I have used various game editors for years to teach and study and SmartGo has become my favorite game editor and I now use it almost exclusively. While all game editors are now powerful, SmartGo has features that put it significantly ahead of the pack. Here are three of my favorite features.
Once I have studied or commented a game, I often jump through the game to quickly reviewit. Sometimes I use the Find tool to jump from comment to comment or variation to variation. While all game editors have Find tools, SmartGo makes it possible to mark a game position at a particular move. There are a number of special-purpose markers but mostly I use two general markers, the checkmark and the hotspot. In SmartGo one can use the Find tool to search for these position markers, which is a fast and powerful way to quickly review games. For example, in game commentaries I mark key moments with the 'hotspot' marker. My student can use the Find tool to find hotspot positions and immediately find the most important points of the game. Then he/she can go back and review all the comments at leisure. Another powerful use of this combination is marking a game position and a superior variation position with a marker such as a checkmark, which I often do in workshops. Using the Find tool I can flip between the two positions. The difference between the game result and the variation result, and the improvement of thevariation really jumps out when shown this way.
Another feature I have come to love is the ability to group games into collections. Insteadof opening one game at a time, one can open a collection containing a number of games. For example, I create a collection for each pro tournament, for each of my students, and a collection of problems and examples for each workshop I give. This is much more convenient and efficient than managing separate files. But more important, one can use the Find tool to search the entire collection. One could make a collection of all the games one played at a workshop or tournament. After the first review, one could search the collection for a marker such as the 'hotspot' and quickly review the key points of all the games in the collection. Or one could quickly reviewall the example positions and problem positions from a workshop.
SmartGo's editing is highly efficient, thanks to context menus. With otherprograms one must move the mouse pointer outside the board area to make a menu choice, such as Add Variation or Add Letter. Then one moves the mousepointer back to the board to add the variation or letter and then one must move the pointer once again to choose a different tool. In SmartGo these chores can be done without ever moving the pointer off the board. Just put the pointer on the place one wants to mark and Right-Click. This bringsup a context menu next to the location and one can choose Add Variation, orAdd Letter, or whatever right there. Click on the choice in the context menu and it's done. Although there's only a small gain in time each time you use this feature, when commenting a number of games these gains add up significantly.
(Kerwin is a professional 1-dan and longtime Americango instructor; this review originally ran in the May 3, 2004 edition of theE-Journal)


WANTED: Copy of Handicap Go, theseventh, out-of-print book of the Elementary Go Series. Willing to pay reasonable price; please contact (8/8)

- Joey's Go School: Joey Hung AGA 8d is teaching at San Francisco Bay Area. Find out more about Joey's Go School
At 510-659-8220, or (8/23)

AK: Juneau, Alaska ; (8/23)
AZ: Phoenix, AGA 5d looking for go players; (8/23)
FL: Jacksonville; (6/14)
FL: Jacksonville; regular, live game sessions. Contact (5/31)
GA: Augusta; for playing and possible chapter; email Wesley Stewartat (5/31)
IL: Downers Grove; 23k willingto 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)
MA: NorthShore (Hamilton); for playing and possible chapter. Email
NY: Go players in New York City. Our club is currently looking for more members. The "Village Go Club" meets in Manhattan on Wednesday
nights. Our club is largely beginning players, but all levels are welcome. Feel free to contact Kerry for more information at
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! Listings are free and run 4 weeks; send to us at


August 28: Davis, CA
Davis/Sacramento Quarterly Tournament
Fred Hopkins 916-548-8068

September 4 & 5: Toronto, CANADA
Canadian Open
Young Kim 416-846-3024

September 4 & 5: San Francisco, CA
Dote Sensei Memorial Tournament
Danny Swarzman 415-221-7194

September 11: Livermore, CA
Vintage Go Event
Steve Herrick 925-516-2617 (evenings)

September 18: Chicago, IL
Wife Appreciation Tournament
Bob Barber 773-467-0423

September 25: Durham, NC
4th Annual Joe Shoenfield Memorial Marathon Go Tournament
Paul Celmer

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

GET LISTED & BOOST TURN OUT! Got an upcoming event? Reach over 7,000 readers every week! List your Go event/news In the E Journal: email details to us at

Published by the American Go Association

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Articles appearing in the E-Journal represent the opinions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect theofficial views of the American Go Association.

To make name or address corrections, notify us at the email address below. Story suggestions, event announcements, Letters to the Editor and other material are welcome, subject to editing for clarity and space, and should be directed to:
Editor: Chris Garlock