News from the American Go Association

June 6, 2005

In This Issue:
US GO NEWS: Wang Best In Chi; Huang Tops Colorado Open; Morris To Teach At NoVa; Joey Hung Youth Tourney Cancelled; No Go On Venus?
WORLD GO NEWS: Koreans Hold Onto Fujitsu Cup; OK Dunjin Challenges For Wangwi; Suzuki Doing Well In Women's
YOUR MOVE: Readers Write
THE EMPTY BOARD: The Gentle Go Player
INTERNATIONAL GO FEDERATION REPORT: Thomas Hsiang on New IGS Staff, Rule Updates & Intellympics

WANG BEST IN CHI: Shawn Wang 4d took top honors in the June 4 Summer Tournament in Chicago, IL. "Danny Dowell promoted himself from 2d to 3d, and won half his games," reports organizer Bob Barber. "James Baker promoted himself from 19k to 8k, and still won half his games. Finally, Steffen Kurz entered the tourney at -4.1, and won all four of his games. He expects to do the same sort of thing at the Congress as a 3k." 41 players participated; full winner's report below:
      1st Place Dan: WANG, Shawn, 4d; 2nd Place Dan: HSIEH, Lester, 1d; 1st Place Low Kyu: KURZ, Steffen, 4k; 1st Place Mid Kyu: PUCHTEL, Max, 14k; 1st Place High Kyu: PAN, James, 27k; 2nd Place High Kyu: CHEN, Jesse, 25k.

HUANG TOPS COLORADO OPEN: Alan Huang 7d won the Open section in the May 28th Colorado Open, topping forty-four participants. Winner's report:
        Open section, 1st. Huang, Alan; 2nd Yeo, Yunjong; 3dan to 5 kyu, 1st Ring, David; 2nd Park, Darrell; 6kyu to 12 kyu, 1st Munhofen, David; 2nd Ruth Thomson; 13kyu to 19kyu, 1st Bird, Steven; 2nd Hardman, Dennis. Future of GO section, 1st Yeo, Sukwon; 2nd Morgan, Parker.

MORRIS TO TEACH AT NOVA: Trevor Morris 6d will begin teaching regularly at the NOVA club on Monday nights in Alexandria, VA, where he'll be giving free game reviews for all interested NOVA members. Kyu players are especially encouraged. "Play your games on-line, and e-mail the game records to," Morris says, "or just bring your most confusing loss to the club. Reviewing your games with a stronger player is an excellent way to improve your game."

JOEY HUNG YOUTH TOURNEY CANCELLED: The 1st Joey Cup Youth Go Tournament on June 18 in Milpitas, CA has been cancelled, reports organizer Joey Hung.

NO GO ON VENUS? "It's well-known that the vast majority of go players are male," writes Milton Bradley of the Long Island Go Club. "Yet with 9 Dan female professionals such as Feng Yun and Rui NaiWei it seems clear there's no intrinsic difference in ability. So why the dearth of female players?" One possible answer, suggests Bradley, may be found in a recent New York Times Op-Ed by John Tierney, who suggests that women may simply prefer to cooperate. "Tierney, who was discussing the success of women in corporate life, cites a study by economists Muriel Niederle of Stanford and Lise Vesterlund of Pittsburg, that showed that, given a choice, most women preferred to cooperate, while men preferred competition. This could help explain why relatively few women choose to play the highly competitive game we men love so much. It may also serve to explain the vastly greater popularity with women of games like Bridge, where partnership and cooperation are intrinsic game elements." (See Bill Cobb's "The Gentle Go Player" below, for another view on a related aspect of this issue)

COMING UP THIS WEEK: Special Go Congress Edition, Member's Edition game commentaries, reviews and latest go news updates!


KOREANS HOLD ONTO FUJITSU CUP: For the eighth year in a row, the next winner of the international Fujitsu Cup will be a Korean. In the quarterfinals last Saturday in Seoul, all four Koreans won their games. Choi Cheolhan 9P beat O Meien 9P of Japan by 6.5 points. Song Taekon 7P surprisingly defeated China's current number one Gu Li 7P by resignation. Yoo Changhyuk 9P, who won the Fujitsu in both 1993 and 1999, beat Wang Xi 5P of China, and Lee Sedol 9P, who was the winner in 2002 and 2003, defeated Yu Bin 9P of China by 2.5 points. The last non-Korean winner was Kobayashi Koichi 9P of Japan in 1997. The all Korean semifinals will be on July 2nd in Tokyo. In a disturbing development, the game records of this round have not been released to the public at the sponsor's request. No explanation has been offered thus far.

OK DUNJIN CHALLENGES FOR WANGWI: A relatively unknown Korean pro, Ok Dunjin 2P (also written as Ok Teukjin/Teuchin) has won the challenger's spot in the 39th Korean Wangwi tournament. The current title holder is Lee Changho 9P. Ok won the last three games in the challenger's tournament by resignation, all with White. You can download the game records at  Ok is in his middle twenties and has not risen above the pack in Korea before this. The Wangwi is one of the older Korean tournaments, in its 39th edition, and has a prize of about $27,000 US. Lee Changho is making his tenth consecutive defense of the title, having defeated Lee Sedol 9P last year.

SUZUKI DOING WELL IN WOMEN'S HONINBO: Suzuki Ayumi 3P, who is well-known to E-Journal readers because of her defeat at the hands of Jie Li 9d of the USA in the Seimitsu Cup, is doing well in the 24th Women's Honinbo in Japan, having won her second round game against Inori Yoko 5P. Her opponent in the semi-finals will be either Kato Tomoko 5P or Yashiro Kumiko 5P. Konishi Kazuko 8P also won her second round game and will next face either Kobayashi Izumi 6P or Kato Keiko 4P.

LIU XING DEFEATS GU LI IN CCTV CUP: Gu Li 7P, the top Chinese player, has hit a bit of a rough spot the last week. Besides losing in the Fujitsu quarter finals, he was also defeated in the finals of the 17th Chinese CCTV Cup, a fast game tournament with 30 second moves, plus ten one minute thinking periods. The winner was Liu Xing 7P, who is barely twenty. You can download the game record at . This is Liu's first-ever professional championship. His best result before this was taking second place twice (2003 and 2004) in the Liguang Cup, a relatively new invitational tournament sponsored by a Hong Kong company. Both the winner and the loser of the finals will play in the Asian TV Cup, along with the finalists of the TV Cups in Japan and Korea.

YOUR MOVE: Readers Write
BRIDGING THE GAP: "Last week's game commentary (2005.06.03 Shodan Challenge, Boley on Chong-Boley) was one of the best, easiest to read and understand game commentaries I've seen yet," writes Dennis Wheeler 12kyu. "Jon Boley's explanations and variations were very clear and detailed. As a beginner, most pro commentaries and books I've read so far seem to speak to much higher level player than myself, stopping just short of a full explanation of certain moves, perhaps because the commentator assumes the reader can already see the end result of certain josekis and tesujis. Other books aimed at players of my level and below seem to only cover the very basics. Jon dis very well at bridging the gap for beginners who are looking for meatier tutorials. I look forward to seeing more of Jon Boley's commentaries in the future."

THE EMPTY BOARD: The Gentle Go Player
By William Cobb
        Actually, "The Gentle Go Player" is something of an oxymoron, as being gentle is not a quality you want to cultivate in your playing style. When I once suggested to Yuan Zhou 7d that he had attacked an opponent's passive play rather viciously, he told me "You have to be mean." Anything less would be an insult to the game as well as to your opponent.
        For many players, learning to be aggressive is the key to getting stronger. If you buy into the stereotype of women as the gentler, more cooperative sex, you might think playing aggressively would be a special problem for them. However, that doesn't seem to be the case. In my years of teaching go to college classes that were usually at least half women, I have found that women players often instinctively play in a very aggressive manner. Certainly Rui Naiwei 9P is a striking example. Her nickname is the "Iron Lady", but I'm always reminded of the "Iron Maiden" medieval torture device. When you find that your opponent in a game is a woman, you'd be making a big mistake to think, "Well, this should be a peaceful game."
        "Peaceful" is not a term of praise when it is applied to a game of go. A game with no fighting can hold some interest if the score is very close, but generally such games are just boring. Setting out to totally destroy your opponent is a disastrous strategy, but just pushing along and avoiding fighting is almost as bad.
        In go, you'd better grab your share of the board with some forcefulness, because to win you need a little more than your share. Do not go gentle into that good fight.
The Empty Board #44; Past columns are archived at

INTERNATIONAL GO FEDERATION REPORT: Thomas Hsiang on New IGS Staff, Rule Updates & Intellympics
by Roy Laird
        The International Go Federation meets once a year, to conduct the World Amateur Go Championship and to consider the future of international Go. This year our representative to the Annual Meeting, held in historic Nagoya in central Japan, was Thomas Hsiang, who also placed a very impressive seventh playing for the US in the WAGC. (See the May 30 EJ at for a full report on the tournament; full results are available at Hsiang also filed a report on what the IGF is up to, available in full at
        Some highlights of the IGF meeting, as reported by Hsiang:
        CHANGES AT THE IGF: some leadership changes at the IGF may mean good things for international go. Kudo Norio was elected president of the board, and a smart, dynamic new Office Director, Fujisawa Kazunari (son of the legendary Fujisawa Shuko) will take over as Office Director. Umesawa Yukari, the certified professional co-author of Hikaru No Go, was also elected to the IGF board.
        INTERNATIONAL RULES: At the IGF annual meeting Hsiang reported on the work of a study group sponsored by the Ing Wei Chi Education Foundation that is trying to come up with a single set of rules for international play, a surprisingly difficult enterprise. (Go to to learn more about this arcane subject.) AGA Rules Committee Chairman Terry Benson and Chris Kirschner, both past AGA Presidents, are playing a crucial role in this process. They have attended two meetings in China in recent months and will attend a third meeting soon.
        INTELLYMPICS: Chess and bridge are already recognized Olympic sports and the Olympic movement, often open to the broader application of Olympic principles, has begun to think of "mind sports" as a valid Olympic arena of competition. Last year, the IGF became a provisional member of the General Association of International Sports Federations (learn more at, a necessary step to IOC recognition, as part of a long-term strategy to achieve Olympic recognition. The IGF hopes to become a permanent member after a mandatory two-year waiting period, in 2006. At the GAISF meeting this year, according to Hsiang's report, representatives of FIDE (chess), IGF (go), WBF (bridge) and WDF (draughts/checkers) agreed to form the World Mind Sports Confederation (WMSC) to "push collectively for the inclusion of mind sports in the Olympic movement." The IGF has asked members to make a one-time contribution toward establishing the WMSC, and on May 28th the AGA Board of Directors approved $5000 for this purpose. The benefits of Olympic recognition would be enormous. Watch for updates on this important story.


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June 11: Davis, CA
Davis/Sacramento Quarterly Ratings Tournament
Fred Hopkins 916-548-8068

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: 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: Piscataway, NJ
Feng Yun Youth Go Tournament

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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