News from the American Go Association

May 16, 2005

In This Issue:
U.S. GO NEWS: Small Go Live In DC; Big Field At MD Open; Fun & Sports At Youth Go Camps; Smart Move For Challengers; Jie Li Intensive Update
WORLD GO NEWS: Park Yeonghun Notches Third '05 Title; Takao Takes First Game In Honinbo; Sakai Hideyuki Doing Well In Meijin League; Reid Tops Cambridge Barlow
YOUR MOVE: READERS WRITE: The Mysterious Go-Poker Connection; Realistic Kerwin


SMALL GO LIVE IN DC: The Greater Washington Go Club's weekly meeting features a performance of organizer -- and virtuoso piano player -- Haskell Small this week. "Technical prowess become poetry...each note a liquid jewel," says the Washington Post about Small, a 3-dan and renowned composer. Small's concert will take place upstairs at the Cedar Lane Unitarian Church in Bethesda, MD, while the go club meets downstairs as usual. "I do plan on relaxing after my performance and reception with some time in the basement!" promises Small, whose most recent CD -- "Bach: Goldberg Variations; Haskell Small: 25 Preludes" -- has been well-received. The go club begins at 7P, the concert at 8P; concert tickets are $15 and available at the door (the go club is free); 9601 Cedar Lane Bethesda, MD; 301-493-8300.

BIG FIELD AT MD OPEN: One of the biggest East Coast go events is set for this weekend in Baltimore, Maryland. The 2-day, 5-round 32nd Maryland Open features an Open section, a large field and prizes in all sections. Registration begins at 9A on Saturday, Round 1 is scheduled for 11A. Details at

FUN & SPORTS AT YOUTH GO CAMPS: "The teachers are awesome and we don't only play go," says Karoline Burrall. "We play sports, swim, go to the beach, and just hang out. It's so much fun!" If you're a young go player or parent of a go-playing youngster, you won't want to miss this year's Youth Go Camps. This year there are two chances: July 2-9 in Oneonta, NY and July 16-23 in Oakland, CA. "I really improved my game this week," adds Marshall W. Get registration info now at

SMART MOVE FOR CHALLENGERS: Shodan Challengers, kyu-level players who have publicly accepted the challenge of trying to achieve 1-dan by this year's U.S. Go Congress in Tacoma, Washington, are getting even more help in their quest. In addition to free game analyses and simuls with top players, the E-Journal has now arranged for free copies of SmartGo go software for a few lucky Challengers. One of the best ways to improve is to study the games of the masters, and with SmartGo it's easy; the latest version of SmartGo:Combo contains a total of 30,281 professional games, with all the moves and full game info. Just another benefit of being an E-Journal Shodan Challenger. For more info, or to sign up for the 2006 Shodan Challenge, email us at

JIE LI INTENSIVE UPDATE: There are two spots left in the upcoming Jie Li 9d Weekend Intensive, which has been scaled back to one day on Sunday, May 22 in Silver Spring, MD. The daylong Intensive is a rare opportunity for East Coast players to study with one of America's top amateur players; Jie will focus on top-level professional training techniques, including pro game strategic and tactical study and pro-level life-and-death problem-solving. Space is very limited; participants must be 1d or stronger. For info, email

COMING UP IN FRIDAY'S MEMBER'S EDITION: Game commentaries, reviews and the latest news updates! Non-members can sign up now at


PARK YEONGHUN NOTCHES THIRD '05 TITLE: Park Yeonghun 9P has won the 16th Kisung in Korea by a score of 3-2, defeating Choi Cheolhan 9P, who broke Lee Changho 9P's long domination of this title last year. This is Park's third title win in 2005, making him the most successful Korean player of 2005 at this point. He also won the 15th Korean BC Card Cup against Kim Donghee 1P earlier this month, while he was fighting in the Kisung, and he is current King of the New Stars. The final game against Choi was another moyo battle. Choi created an area of more than ninety points, but Park managed to eke out a win by a half point with side and corner territory. You can download the game at
- reported by macelee at

TAKAO TAKES FIRST GAME IN HONINBO: In his first involvement in a best-of-seven match, Takao Shinji 8P defeated current Japanese Honinbo Cho U 9P. Takao built a large moyo and Cho surprisingly played an extremely deep invasion at move 43. Cho managed to escape with his dragon, but Takao controlled the situation with effective attacks, especially the attachments at moves 90 and 102. Cho then found his group at the top under attack, and Takao managed a win. You can download the game at
- reported by macelee at

SAKAI HIDEYUKI DOING WELL IN MEIJIN LEAGUE: In the 30th Japanese Meijin League to determine the challenger for the title match, Sakai Hideyuki 7P of the Kansai Kiin, the former medical student who won the World Amateur Championship in 1998, is tied for the lead with a 4-1 record. Also at 4-1 are Kobayashi Satoru 9P and Yamashita Keigo 9P. Sakai defeated Yamashita earlier, but has not yet played Kobayashi.

REID TOPS CAMBRIDGE BARLOW: Matthew Reid 1k of Cambridge won the Barlow tournament in Cambridge, England on May 8th with five wins,. The Barlow, which is for kyu players only, had twenty-six participants and was held as part of the Mind Sports Olympiad weekend. Mathieu Flinders 1k of Cambridge was second with four wins. No handicaps were given and Christian Roberts 22 kyu of Norwich and Maria Tabor 16 kyu of Epsom deserve special mention for winning even games against players seven and five ranks above them.
- reported by BGA News


THE MYSTERIOUS GO-POKER CONNECTION: "I must chime in on the poker article flap," writes Paul Celmer of the Triangle Go Group (NC), "I enjoyed the article and feel it in no way detracted from the E-journal." However, Celmer, continues. "The article and the reaction to it revive a line of inquiry I have often wished someone would pursue. That is, what is the mysterious and intriguing connection between go and poker? Many go players are passionate poker players, as can be seen by a post-midnight visit to many a Go Congress (our own go club here in North Carolina was founded by a fellow who had a weekly poker game for over 40 years). Also, there is at least one pro-level go player that is also a professional poker player (and there was a strong AGA 7 dan here in North Carolina who left town two years ago to pursue a pro poker career. Wish we knew what happened to him....). In our local club, at least half of our go players are avid poker players."
       "So what is the connection? Love of games and competition? That seems too broad, as there are many games that would fit this criteria. Love of gambling? Hmm. Possible. Of course, a gambling style can only take one so far, at least in go. I suspect it has something to do with the fact both games appeal to the holistic-thought habits of the typical go player. Unlike most games, both poker and go present a stimulating puzzle to both the mathematical and the intuitive sides of our minds. But this should be investigated further. And I bet I can figure it out if you will give me a hand. Who has a table, board, chips, stones, and cards?"

REALISTIC KERWIN: "The James Kerwin columns on how to improve are a wonderful series of articles!" writes Zeke Tamayo. "They're something that provides a realistic way to reach these goals."

By Rick Lindeman
       My work at the Dutch ministry of economic affairs took me to Brazil last February and when I heard that I was also to visit Sao Paolo, a go bell rang: in the early nineties Kaoru Iwamoto set up continental go centers in Amsterdam, Seattle, New York City and Sao Paolo.
       Like Seattle, Amsterdam, and New York, Sao Paolo turns out to have a strong connection to Japan. When the city's growth took off in the early twentieth century, Japanese workers were recruited to construct the railways that supported the development of the quickly growing metropolis, and they arrived by boat in large numbers at Santos, the nearby harbor city.
       Today, with 18 million inhabitants, Sao Paolo is the third largest city in the world, after Mexico City and Tokyo. Although the railways have been dismantled, there are still over a million Japanese living in Sao Paolo, mostly in an area known as Liberdade. According to Paulistanos (as Sao Paolo residents call themselves), this part of the city is even more Japanese than Tokyo itself, and boasts no less than three daily Japanese newspapers.
       During my hour-long taxi ride to the South American Go Center, the driver told us sadly about the impending unavoidable loss of his favorite soccer team Palmeiras in the game the next day against Sao Paolo FC.
       When I arrived at the Center I found a room full of older Japanese gentlemen at the boards, using the exact same go stones as those used at our own European Go Center back in Amsterdam. Upstairs from the playing room, I met Mr. Henri Iamashita of the Go Center, who was presiding over the Brazilian Championship, which doubles as a qualification tournament for the World Amateur Go Championship. The leading Brazilian, Ronaldo Yasuki, was took a very respectable eighth place in 2000. This year was to be the year of the new generation, and new talents were looking to grab their chances. Ten players took part, varying in strength from 1 kyu up to 6 dan. The rankings used were based on their internet rankings. The main battle appeared to be between Fabio (5d) and Alessandro (6d), both Brazilians with a touch of Japanese, hardly distinguishable in this melting pot of cultures. In the end 12-year-old Fabio Iamashita won the tournament.
       Around five thousand Paulistanos play go, according to Mr. Iamashita. In addition to the Go Center, where older Japanese gather to play go daily, there's also a Chinese and a Korean club, and an annual tournament is held between these three clubs. Another thousand go players are distributed through the rest of Brazil. Brazilian go players also participate in international tournaments. Once a year the Center sends a delegation to the Latin America tournament, which includes countries from Mexico to Chile. Especially large delegations have gone when the tournament has been held in one of the neighboring countries, Paraguay, Uruguay, or Argentina.
       After having been thoroughly beaten during my visit, I can vouch for the abilities of a number of these new talents. I can also report that the sushi in Sao Paolo is excellent, as is the Caiperinha.
       Visit the Nihon Ki-in America do Sul at Rua Dr. Fabricia Vampre, 116 (metro Ana Rosa) in Sao Paolo. Phone: (0055-11)5571-2847
      A longer version of this report appears in the current issue of the Dutch Go Journal. Translated by Rob van Fucht and edited by Chris Garlock. Our thanks to the DGJ and Editor Merijn de Jong for arranging the translation and granting permission to use the report. The author would like to thank Erik Puyt of the European Go and Cultural Center in Amsterdam, and Tokuko Uechi from the foreign affairs department of the Nihon Ki-in for helping arrange his visit to the Sao Paolo Go Center.

WANTED: Go players in the Lakeworth, FL area; 17k looking for people to help start a go club. All ranks welcome; contact

FOR SALE: Joseki & fuseki encyclopedias; Joseki Encyclopedia Vol. 1. (1,119 pp, slipcase and in original box), $320; Joseki Encyclopedia Vol. 2 (1,117 pp, slipcase/original box), $320; Fuseki Encyclopedia (1,117 pp, slipcase/original box); $325. Steve, St. John's College Bookstore, Santa Fe, NM. Call toll free 1-877-752-2665 or email

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


May 27-30: Round Top, NY
Guo Juan Workshop
Jean Claude Chetrit 718-638-2266

May 28: Colorado Open
U. Tamm 303-466-2865

May 28-29: Baltimore, MD
32nd Maryland Open (AGTC event)
Keith Arnold 410-788-3520

June 4: Chicago, IL
Summer Tournament
Robert Barber

June 5: Seattle, WA
Monthly Ratings Tournament
Jon Boley 206-545-1424

June 11-12: San Francisco, CA
Northern California Open Goe Tournament
Ernest Brown 415-641-6255

June 18: Milpitas, CA
1st Joey Cup Youth Go Tournament
Joey Hung 650-387-9422

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

Text material published in the AMERICAN GO E JOURNAL may be reproduced by any recipient: please credit the AGEJ as the source. PLEASE NOTE that commented game record files MAY NOT BE published, re-distributed, or made available on the web without the explicit written permission of the Editor of the E-Journal. Please direct inquiries to

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.

To make name or address corrections, go to 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