News from the American Go Association

May 30, 2005

In This Issue:
US GO NEWS: Zhaonian Chen MD Open Champ; AGA Membership Sets New Record; Hot Off The WAGC Boards; Double Yuan In June; Deep Shibumi
WORLD GO NEWS: Gu Li Triumphs In China-Korea New Star; Takao Takes 2-0 Lead In Honinbo; "Old-Timers" Show Form At 2005 World Expo; Kwak Wins Bracknell In England
GO ONLINE: Go Art, Nakayama At The Airport & More
ATTACHED FILES: 2005.05.30 WAGC Round 3 Thomas Hsiang-Tae Won Jo.sgf; 2005.05.30 WAGC Round 6 Dmytro Bogatskyy-Thomas Hsiang.sgf

ZHAONIAN CHEN MD OPEN CHAMP: Zhaonian Chen 6d swept all five rounds to take the 2005 Maryland Open championship. Eighty players participated in the 32nd annual event, one of the major events on the East Coast tournament calendar. A big turnout of kyu players left organizer Keith Arnold vowing to plan for more top prizes for the up-and-coming players next year. The 2-day tournament began on time, ran smoothly and was wrapped up before 5P on Sunday, leaving players plenty of time to enjoy the remainder of the long holiday weekend. Yuan Zhou 6d also announced plans for the first annual Moon Cha Memorial Tournament, to be held September 24 in Germantown, MD.
        Full Winner's Report:
        Open Section: 1st: Zhaonian Chen 6d; 2nd (4-way tie): Eric Lui 6d, Yuan Zhou 6d, I-Han Lui 6d, Zhenying Gu 5D, 6th: Edward Kao 6d; 7th: Trevor Morris 6d; 8th: Xue Han 5d.
        3-4D: 1st: Gregory Rosenblatt 3d; 2nd: Haskell Small 3d; 1-2D: 1st: Sigen Chen 1d; 2nd: Andrew Jackson 2d; 1-2K: 1st: Sal Gionfriddo 1k; 2nd: Saul Lapidus 1k; 4-5k: 1st: Zhongxia Zhao 4k; 2nd: Neil Bernardo 5k; 3rd: Arnold Eudell; 7-9K: 1st: Jeffrey Chao 8k; 2nd: Carrie Gustavson 9k; 3rd: John Gipson 7k; 10-14K: 1st: Richard Beyma 13k; 2nd: Peter Zhang 10k; 3rd: David Allen 10k; 17K+: 1st: Samantha Fede 27k; 2nd: Kurt Haldeman 17k; 3rd: Jonathan Hilt 24k; 4th: Christopher Long 25k.

AGA MEMBERSHIP SETS NEW RECORD: Membership in the American Go Association set another new record in May and is now nearing 2,100 after six consecutive months of increases. Full memberships increased to 1,600 this month and total membership is up to 2,079, including 331 Limited members, 33 Life Members, 70 Sustainers and 41 Sponsors (for details on the benefits of the various membership categories, click here: ). Youth membership dipped slightly to 314 (from 318) and chapter memberships held steady at the historical high of 130.

HOT OFF THE WAGC BOARDS: Hot from the top boards of the just-concluded World Amateur Go Championships in Nagoya, Japan are two games played by US representative Thomas Hsiang 7d. Hsiang placed in the top ten, bringing home the 7th-place trophy (see REPORT FROM THE WORLD AMATEURS below) and took time from the post-game celebration in Nagoya to record and comment the games for the E-Journal. Both games, one against North Korea's Tae Won Jo and the other against Dmytro Bogatskyy of Ukraine, are excellent examples of top amateur play and one includes a brand-new variation of the nadare joseki, which caught even the seasoned Hsiang off-guard. We're pleased to provide the game commentaries to all our readers today; members receive game commentaries every week in the Friday Member's Edition; join now at

DOUBLE YUAN IN JUNE: Yuan Zhou 7d will continue his monthly lessons at the Greater Washington Go Club this Friday, June 3rd, reports GWGC organizer Haskell Small. "Bring game records to participate ($5), or observe for free," says Small. If you don't have a game, come early (official opening time 7P) to play and record a game. The lesson begins at 8:30P in the basement of the Cedar Lane Unitarian Church, 9601 Cedar Lane, Bethesda, MD. Adds Small, "With July 4th weekend next month and then the Go Congress, this will be the last Yuan Zhou lesson this season, but stay tuned for more exciting events including a possible pro visit late July. For dan players, there are a few spots left in Yuan Zhou's joseki workshop at Chris Garlock's house on Sun, June 26th. Contact Chris at"

DEEP SHIBUMI: "Go is to Western chess what philosophy is to double entry accounting." We were reminded of this quote from Trevanian's Shibumi when Bob Barber reported that there's a new paperback edition of the 1979 bestseller, which features a go-playing hero. "The cover caught my eye across a crowded room," says Barber. "Beautiful picture of black and white go stones. Unfortunately, the black stones are in the shape of an empty triangle." On the other hand, sometimes the empty triangle is the only move. After all, Shibumi, as defined in Trevanian's book, "has to do with great refinement underlying commonplace appearances."


GU LI TRIUMPHS IN CHINA-KOREA NEW STAR: Gu Li 7P came back to win the competition between the New Star Tournament winners from China and Korea, defeating Park Yeonghun 9P of Korea 2-1. Park won the first game. In the decisive third game Park built a large moyo and it looked like Gu was in trouble when he had three small groups under its influence. However, Gu managed to create a capturing race that ended with a capture of twenty-two stones. For a photo of the players in the picturesque Chinese setting, click on U367P6T12D1579058F44DT20050525210036.jpg and you can download the games at The participation of such established go stars in the "New" Stars Tournaments reflects the much younger age of top players these days. Gu Li, who also won this event in 2001 and is in his early twenties, has announced that he will no longer compete in the New Stars Tourname nt.

TAKAO TAKES 2-0 LEAD IN HONINBO: Takao Shinji 8P, not yet thirty, has taken the second game of the best-of-seven title match for the 60th Honinbo in Japan, putting Japan's current top player Cho U 9P in a difficult position to hold onto his title, which he has held for two years. Takao won the Ryusei tournament last year and was the challenger for the Judan in 2003. Takao won this game as Black by 4.5 points. It's his first experience in a seven game title match. You can download the game record at

"OLD-TIMERS" SHOW FORM AT 2005 WORLD EXPO: The Japanese came out on top, 4-1 in a competition between five-member teams of go professionals from China and Japan at the 2005 World Exposition in Aichi, Japan. In battles involving some mature powerhouses, Takemiya Masaki 9P of Japan (in his fifties) beat Ma Xiaochun 9P of China (just forty) and Rin Kaiho 9P of Japan (in his sixties) beat Chen Zude 9P of China (also over sixty). Yamashiro Hiroshi 9P (forties) and Kobayashi Koichi 9P of Japan (fifties) beat Luo Xihe 9P (nearly thirty) and Nie Weiping 9P of China (fifties) respectively. The lone Chinese victor was Chang Hao 9P (almost thirty) over Hane Naoki 9P (nearly thirty). Of course, nowadays, players in their upper twenties may well have been title winners for a decade or more. You can download the game records at . The EXPO continues until September (

KWAK WINS BRACKNELL IN ENGLAND: Heung-Soon Kwak, a Korean 5d from Bournemouth won the Bracknell Tournament by beating another 5d, Kaisshu Hirahara from Maidenhead, in the last round. There were 58 participants. Three game winners included William Brooks 1d of Cambridge, Paul Tabor 2k of Epsom (who is a participant in the E-Journal's 2005 Shodan Challenge), Mark Todkill 4k of London, and Stuart Parsons 7k of Staines. Parsons also won the go problems competition.
- reported by BGA News

by Thomas Hsiang 7d
        With three new entries and the return of the North Korean representative, this year's World Amateur Go Championship featured the largest group of players ever, with 65 players. The sentimental favorite was 75-year-old Yasuro Kikuchi who has produced many professionals from his go school. There were also many young participants, several pro prospects (Taiwan, Hong Kong, North Korea), and one who just turned pro (South Korea).
        The tournament gives awards to the top 10 finishes, plus the Asada Fighting Spirit Award. The final placement was China (8-0), North Korea (7-1), Taiwan, South Korea, Germany, Japan, US, Hong Kong, Canada, and Australia (all 6-2). The Mongolian representative and the only female player, Tungalag Ravjir, played 8 marvelous rounds and earned a well-deserved Asada Prize.
        The venue this year was a gymnasium adjacent to the beautiful Nagoya Castle where Tokugawa Ieyasu launched his Shogun reign that unified Japan. The city of Nagoya, host to the 2005 World EXPO, offered great support and hospitality for the WAGC.
        There was also the cheery news of the prospect of a new international amateur tournament hosted by South Korea and developments towards an Intellectual Olympics (Intellympics) for "mind sports" around 2009. Stay tuned for more reports!

GO ONLINE: Go Art, Nakayama At The Airport & More
by Roy Laird, AGA Webmaster
        Last week's report by JC Chetrit on Hikarunix, the new Unix-based Go utility that can actually boot your DOS-based computer in Unix, reminds me that we've got a number of new links at  Here's a rundown of our LRA's (links recently added):
        Is it go or is it art? Only Takayuki Tanaka knows for sure. He's the Japanese amateur who has created dozens of problems based on the shape of real objects, and he posts a new one every month at
        Go Game Assistant is a shareware comprehensive tool for go games. It can help you play, study go games, comment a game with reference inserts, play online, record, print, manage go files, convert different formats, and it even includes coaching courses. Download it at  Or you may prefer Compogo, an easy-to-use database for Windows at
        If you're interested in learning the basics of computer go, a good place to start is Jay Burmeister's paper, "An Introduction to the Computer Go Field and Associated Internet Resources," but if you tried to access it from our web site recently, you found that the link was broken. Thanks go out to Tony Horowitz who recently provided us with an updated link: Go/CS-TR-339.html
        Part showman, part shaman, Nakayama Noriyuki has taught and entertained hundreds of Congress attendees over the years with his mirthful, self--effacing lectures and commentary. The author of The Treasure Chest Enigma has granted the AGA permission to publish his brief memoir of an encounter with a fearsome opponent -- the Chicago airport, as he was making his way to Denver for the 2000 US Go Congress. The document, entitled "A Disturbance at the Chicago Airport" can be downloaded from the Bob High memorial Library at
        For aspiring tournament directors, WinTD is now available online! Now you pair any type of tournament and automatically generate a file to submit to the AGA rating system. Go to and you will find links for the program and the manual. NOTE: Thais is a relatively large program (2.4 MB) that requires Microsoft Access 2000 or later. If you do not have Microsoft Access 2000 or later, a run-time version is available. Contact WinTD's author, Chuck Robbins, at for further information.
        And lastly, for the politically inclined, minutes of the March and April meetings of the AGA Board of Directors are now available at, along with minutes of other meetings. In addition, you can see the Board's official positions at, including newly adopted policies for selecting players and guest officials for international tournament, and for cooperating with vendors to advance go in the US.


GO PLAYERS WANTED: NE: Omaha area. I believe that I am the only person in Nebraska that plays go; please prove me wrong! I am looking for go players in Nebraska who are interested in putting together a go club and setting up time to play. Please contact me and let's play.
David Conklin

FOR SALE: Magentic go sets; both approx.11" square and include 160 stones of each
colour. One is $25 the other $30, includes a carrying case. Photo available. Contact


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 12: Minneapolis, MN
Twin Cities Go Club tournament
Peter Hansmeier 612-385-1681

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

June 18: Richmond, VA
The Virginia Open
William Cobb 804-740-2191

June 18: Kalamazoo, MI
Kalamazoo's 3rd Tournament
Benjamin Schooley 989-287-0123

June 18-19: Ottawa, Ontario (Canada)
Friendship Open Go Tournament
Charles Chang 613-722-0603

June 25: New York, NY
NYHSGA Summer Tournament
Alex Pak

June 25-28: Hackensack, NJ
Yilun Yang Go Workshop
John Stephenson 201-612-0852

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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