News from the American Go Association

March 28, 2005

In This Issue:
U.S. GO NEWS: Cary & Deported Ducks Lead Team League; Congress Registration Nears 100; Yuan Zhou Teaches In DC; Shodan Challenger Update; Grand Ave Club Gets Rhythm;
Who Needs Milk?; Coming Up In Friday's Member's Edition; This Week's New Classified Highlights
WORLD GO NEWS: Honinbo League Winding Up; Choi Recovers In Kisung; Chinese Dominate LG Cup Prelim; Ondrej Silt Wins In Austria
YOUR MOVE: Readers Write
THE TRAVELING BOARD: Games of Asia at the Smithsonian
SPEAKING PROFESSIONALLY: International Pro Tournaments, Part I


CARY & DEPORTED DUCKS LEAD TEAM LEAGUE: The Cary Go Club and the Deported Ducks lead the standings in the inaugural season of the American Go Association Chapter Team League, reports League Director  Bill Saltman. Cary, captained by Brad Jones, and the Deported Ducks, captained by Andrew Jackson, are both undefeated thus far with 2-0 records. "Right now, we have a total of 12 teams and 36 players, representing AGA chapters from across the entire U.S.," adds Saltman, " The Chapter Team League is doing great!" A total of 14 matches have taken place or are in-progress; individual leading players are Matt Bengston of the Penn Go OtakuTeam and Dan Jaqua, Capt ain of The Rice Go Team with perfect 3-0 records. New teams are signing up weekly and although this is a shortened first League Season, Saltman says "everyone still has a chance at the great prizes being offered, even if you sign up and start playing now." Join the action at and follow the links.  Even if you don't belong to a Chapter you can easily join one near you or start your own.

CONGRESS REGISTRATION NEARS 100: From 6-dan to 35-kyu, they're coming to the 2005 U.S. Go Congress! Registration is closing in fast on triple-digits (86 as of the latest count) and so far three nations are represented (the US, Canada and Japan) and over a dozen states or provinces. The Congress features the largest field of any US tournament, prizes in all sections -- more than thirty prizes in all, no elimination (every entrant plays every round), a top prize of $2,000, the winner is the US Champion and top citizens can represent the US in the World Amateur Go Championship. Plus of course 8 days of all things go, from lessons and lectures to more. Find out more now (including who's coming) at

YUAN ZHOU TEACHES IN DC: Yuan Zhou 7d continues his monthly lessons at the Greater Washington Go Club this Friday, April 1st, at 8:30P in the basement of the Cedar Lane Unitarian Church, 9601 Cedar Lane, Bethesda, MD, reports GWGC organizer Haskell Small. Bring game records to participate ($5), or observe for free. Don't have a game? Come early (official opening time 7P) to play and record a game. "Don't be a fool on April Fool's Day- come and learn with Yuan's insightful look at your game!" says Small, who adds "And don't miss next Saturday's Cherry Blossom tournament."  For more info, go to: ht tp://

SHODAN CHALLENGER UPDATE: Here's an update on a couple of the Shodan Challengers, a group of nearly two dozen kyu-level players working to make shodan by this year's Go Congress in Tacoma, WA. Matt Luce has improved from 10k to 7k on KGS since the fall and Jonathan Markowitz, who began the Challenge as a 7k, played in last month's NJ Open as a 1d and now has a solid 1k rating. The E-Journal is following the progress of each Shodan Challenger and has arranged for professional game analysis to help the Shodan Challengers improve their games. See photos of some of the Challengers at   Want to take the Shodan Challenge? Email us today at

GRAND AVE CLUB GETS RHYTHM: The Grand Avenue Go Club in St Louis, MO has moved to Rhythm and Brews, 541 N. Grand Blvd. reports organizer Chris Cyr. "We still meet every Sunday from 12-4P ," Cyr tells the E-Journal, "All ranks are invited and encouraged to show up." Contact Cyr at or Kyle Ladd at or check out the club (an AGA chapter) at

WHO NEEDS MILK? Kalamazoo Go Club members Drew Rushton, Jason Preuss, Paul Miller and Benjamin Schooley model one of the more unusual go t-shirts this week on the AGA's homepage; check 'em out at

COMING UP IN FRIDAY'S MEMBER'S EDITION: Yilun Yang analyzes a Shodan Challenger's game and Kaz Furuyama returns! Plus: Josh Allen takes another view of "Nie Weiping on Go." All this and latest news updates! Non-members can sign up now at

THIS WEEK'S NEW CLASSIFIED HIGHLIGHTS: Go players wanted in Shreveport-Bossier, LA; Ukiyo-e woodblock prints from $400 to $5,750; Check these out in Go Classified below!


HONINBO LEAGUE WINDING UP: The current Honinbo League to choose the challenger to play Cho U 9P, who is hoping for a third consecutive win of this title, is nearly complete. Takao Shinji 8P holds the advantage with a score of 6-0. His final League game will be against Cho Sonjin 9P, who was recently defeated by Yoda Norimoto 9P to make his score 5-1. Cho still has a chance, of course, but if he defeats Takao to give them both a 6-1 record, he must then play Takao again to decide who will be the challenger. Download records of the League games at

CHOI RECOVERS IN KISUNG: reports that it's been a tough month for Choi Cheolhan 9P of Korea. First he lo st the Ing Cup to Chang Hao 9P of China and then he lost the first two games in his defense of the Kisung title in Korea to challenger Park Yeonghun. However, in the third game of the Kisung match, Choi found a brilliant sequence that totally destroyed Park's large territory and won the game. After 103 moves, it looked like Choi would lose the game and the title when his attack failed and his key stones were captured. Luckily for him, Park made an overplay on move 107 that left very bad aji in a side territory, which Choi took advantage of. Choi's excellent move 120 was followed by a brilliant wedge with 132. After that, it was simply an exhibition of tesuji on Choi's part, and Park had to resign after move 144, as his territory vanished into thin air. You can download the game record at

CHINESE DOMINATE LG CUP PRELIM: In a significant change, t he international LG Cup now begins with a preliminary round in Seoul open to all pros from China, Japan, and Korea, who compete for sixteen slots in the opening round of the official tournament. The Chinese sent 30 players who managed to grab 9 of the slots. 186 Koreans entered the contest, but they only managed to capture 5 seats. The remaining 2 were taken by Japanese. The only other international tournament with this sort of wide-open preliminary is the Samsung, but in the case of the Samsung, players from any place in the world can compete. The LG Cup will begin regular rounds in April. The winner last year was Lee Sedol 9P of Korea.

ONDREJ SILT WINS IN AUSTRIA: Ondrej Silt 6d of Czech Republic won all five of his games to take top honors in the next-to-last event in the current Toyota-IGS-Pandanet European Go Tour, held in Velden, Austria on March 19-20. Pocsai Tibor of Hungary was second and Pei Zhao of Germany third; both lost only to Silt.

YOUR MOVE: Readers Write

SECOND CHANCE: "I just received my copy of the Yearbook," writes Bob McGuigan. "You and your staff did a fine job with it! I find myself browsing through it, rereading things I had already seen in the E-Journal and enjoying them even more the second time through."
       All AGA members who were current as of the end of 2004 should have received the 2004 Yearbook by now; email us at if you haven't. New members can get the 2004 Yearbook at half-price ($15) while supplies last; go to
SHEDDING LIGHT ON PRO TOURNEYS: "I'm constantly reading in the E-Journal that so-and-so won this cup, that Michael Redmond won a preliminary for that cup or that someone else has four titles," writes Richard Moseson. "It would be very nice if someone would write an article listing the various titles, explaining the significance of each, who currently has which title, and provide a little history and background on this subject.  I'm sure many others besides myself would appreciate an article like this -- I'm totally in the dark about it."
    An excellent suggestion; see below for the first installment of an overview of International Pro Tournaments by E-Journal Assistant Editor Bill Cobb.  

THE TRAVELING BOARD: Games of Asia at the Smithsonian
By Jared Roach
         Although the go-related collection in the Smithsonian's "Games of Asia" exhibit in the Sackler Gallery occupies just half of a small room, the few items on display include some of considerable note. Perhaps the most significant is a scroll dating from th e 6th-9th century copied from an original manuscript circa 550 AD. This is the earliest known manual on Weiqi (go) from cave 17 at the Magao caves in Dunhuang and the scroll includes problems and strategies that until its discovery were first thought to have been conceived centuries later.
         There are also several interesting go boards, including a 19th century Korean board with slate and shell stones and an early 18th century Edo board with wood and gold maki-e that belonged to the Tokugawa family, likely as a bridal trousseau. The unusual stones are made of red and white agate. There are other boards, including one from the Chinese Qing dynasty in the 18th-19th century, but I found the go stones far more interesting. In addition to small ceramic Chinese stones embellished with what appeared to be a chrysanthemum stamp, on display are what are thought to be the "earliest go stones," excavated from the Fujiwara province. The ston es, lent by the Nara Cultural Properties Research Institute, are made of crystal, agate, and feldspar and are notable for being irregularly shaped and all different, almost as if they were collected from nature and then maybe buffed a little to remove sharp edges.
         There were no crowds or lines when I showed up on a rainy March Friday afternoon, outside of tourist high season (which begins this weekend with the Cherry Blossom Festival, which includes the Cherry Blossom Go Tournament on Saturday), but there were also no people playing go. An officially-sanctioned "game area" consists of four card tables with cardboard backgammon, chess, and parchesi boards set up, and a lonely cardboard go board in a box to the side. Nobody was playing any of the games, but one reminding his young son of the way chess pieces moved. Overhead a video showed close-ups of various games being played, including a beginner's game of go. If you go, do a service to the go community by bringing your opponent with you, and playing a game, particularly on a weekend or during crowded times. I suspect that if you had a flyer or pamphlet with you, you might be able to discreetly give it to interested kibitzers, although overt proselytizing might be inappropriate. Don't bring more than a small or perhaps medium daypack, though, as post-9/11 security means that airport-style screening is in place, even in museums.
         You can easily absorb the exhibit in an hour or so and have plenty of time left to explore other museums on the National Mall, including the fabulous new National Museum of the American Indian.
Jared Roach is a 3d in Seattle, WA.

SPEAKING PROFESSIONALLY: International Pro Tournaments, Part I
by William Cobb
         International tournaments, in which the top players from different countries are pitted against each other, often provide the most exciting moments in modern go. Happily, the number of such tournaments is increasing, and there are several "world" tournaments, that is, international tournaments that are not limited to players from Asian countries. These are perhaps the top three.
         THE FUJITSU CUP was the first to include participants from non-Asian countries. Started in 1988, it is held every year. The winner's prize from the Japanese sponsors is about $150,000 US. Representatives are invited from North American, South America, and Europe. The North American representative for the next Fujitsu will be Jujo Jiang. The previous North American re presentative was Mingjiu Jiang. The Fujitsu has been won by a Chinese player once, by Japanese six times, and by Koreans ten times, including the last seven in a row. The final is a single game.
         THE ING CUP started shortly after the Fujitsu, but is held only every fourth year. It was founded by Ing Chang-Ki, whose foundation provides substantial support for Western go associations, and it also has Japanese sponsors. The first four winners were Korean, but Chang Hao from China recently won the fifth Ing Cup. In that event, the North American representative was Jimmy Cha and Alexandre Dinerchtein represented Europe. The Ing Cup has by far the largest prize fund, with the winner receiving about $400,000 US. The final is a best-of-five-game match.
         THE LG CUP occurs every year and is sponsored by Korean companies. Like most international tournaments it has been dominated by the Koreans , with one Chinese and one Japanese winner in eight terms. The winner receives about $175,000 US and the final is a best-of-five-game match. The last North American representative was MingJiu Jiang and the European was Franz-Josef Dickhut. The finals of the 9th LG Cup will be held shortly between Cho U of Japan and Yu Bin of China, so there will be another non-Korean winner.
     (to be continued)


GO PLAYERS WANTED: LA Shreveport-Bossier: Seeking players for face to face games and to start a go club.

FOR SALE: Ukiyo-e woodblock prints; Print 11-2. Hachiman Taro Yoshiie Cutting a Go Board ($850); Print 10-6. Utanosuke Playing Go. Oban print by Kunisada (signing as Toyokuni III), published by Tsutaya Kichizo in 1861 ($600); Print 5-9. Prince Mitsuuji (Genji) at a Spa. Oban triptych by Kunisada (signing as Toyokuni III), pub lished by Kagaya Kichiemon in 1861 ($1,800);  
Go Board Tadanobu Crushing His Foe by Yoshitora ($1,450); Actor with a Go Board on His Kimono by Toyokuni III ($400); Print 4-3. Kibi and the Chinese Minister Playing Go. Oban triptych by Kunichika, published by Yorozuya Magobei in 1873 ($1400); Print 5-1 Genji spying on two women playing Go. Oban triptych by Kunisada (signing as Toyokuni III), published by Ebisuya, 1849-50 Two left panels only ($950) Yoshitora Triptych ($1700); "Yoshitsune Ichidai Kunko Sugaroku" One of the squares features Go board Tadanobu wielding a go board ($5750). Where available, the numbers above refer to numbers in the Art and Go section of where the historical and artistic backgrounds are available; .jpg pictures of the actual prints can be emailed. All prints are in good shape. Peter Shotwell,

BUY, SELL, OR TRADE equipment, books a nd go materials, find a go teacher, find someone to play go with! Complete go classifieds online at


April 2: Syracuse, NY
Syracuse Spring Ratings Tournament
Anton Ninno 315-479-9073

April 2: Arlington, VA
Cherry Blossom Tournament
Allan Abramson 703-684-7676

April 3: Seattle, WA
Monthly Ratings Tournament
Jon Boley 206-545-1424

April 16 & 17: College Park, MD
2005 John Groesch Memorial Tournament
Steve Mount

April 16 & 17: Houston, TX
Houston Spring Go Tournament 2005
Robert Cordingley 281-333-1614

April 17: Menlo Park, CA
2nd California High School Goe Tournament
Jason Pan jpan05@sbcglo

April 17: Somerville, MA
MGA Spring Handicap Tournament
Zack Grossbart 617-497-1232

April 23: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Alberta Open 2005
Chuck Elliott 780-426-5716

April 23: Seattle, WA
Cherry Blossom Festival Tournament
Jon Boley 206-545-1424

April 30 : Hartford, CT
CCC Weiqi-Spring Tournament
Bill Fung 860-648-1527  

April 30 : Middlebury, VT
Vermont Annual Spring Tournament
Peter Schumer 802-388-3934  

April 30-May 1: Los Angeles, CA
2005 Cotsen Go Tournament

May 1 : Seattle, WA
Monthly Ratings Tournament
Jon Boley 206-545-1424  

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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