News from the American Go Association

September 26, 2005
Volume 5, #84

In This Issue:

LATEST GO NEWS: Eric Lui Wins Moon Cha Memorial; Peigang Zhang Tops Triangle Marathon; Colorado Update; Texas Go Unscathed; Correction & Bonus; 2006 Challenge Off & Running; Michael Splits A Pair; Cho U Looking Good In Meijin; Iyama Misses A Chance; Izumi Doing Well; Quadruple Ko & The Tie That Wasn't; Go Instanbul
YOUR MOVE: Tie-Break Blues


ERIC LUI WINS MOON CHA MEMORIAL: Eric Lui 7d took first place in the inaugural Moon Cha Memorial Tournament Saturday, September 24 in Germantown, Maryland. Thirty players participated in the event organized and directed by Yuan Zhou 7d. The full winner's report:
  ;     Open Section: 3d and up (even games): 1st: Eric Lui 7d; 2nd: Tong Chen 6d; 3rd: Chuck Robbins 4d. Section A: 1st: Ray Hunley 1d; 2nd: Scott Waldron 1k; 3rd: Wei Mao 3k. Section B: 1st: Todd Blatt 6k; 2nd: James Wu 8k; 3rd: Jonathan Hilt 19k.

PEIGANG ZHANG TOPS TRIANGLE MARATHON: Peigang Zhang swept all five games to take top honors in the September 17 Fifth Memorial Go Marathon, hosted by the Triangle Go Group in Cary, North Carolina. "The last game featured a thrilling finish in the championship game of the Open Section," reports Tournament Director Charles Alden, "when Peigang Zhang managed a successful invasion against Changlong Wu with both players having less than a minute for their final dozen moves in byo-yomi."
        A record 51 players, including 16 dans, participated. In Section A (2D-3D), Jeff Kuang (5-0) edged Woojin Han (4-1) by a half point in the first round. Tom Bitonti swept Section B (1D-2k) with a perfect 5-0 score, and Glenn Williamson was clear first with 4-1 in Group C (3k-5k). Sergio Parreiras and John Moore tied for first in Section D (6k-8k) with scores of 4-1. Walter Nurmi (5-0) topped Joey O'Donnell (4-1) in the final round to win Section E (9k-12k), and Tom Carlson and Jonathan Hilt scored 4-1 to tie for first in Section F (16k and up).
       "Following tradition, the tournament earned its name by packing five rounds of play and two rounds of feasting into one day," adds Alden. "All entry fees were returned to the players as prize money and meals prepared on site. The tournament commemorates Joe Shoenfield and Dick Scoville, two long-time Duke math professors who helped create a go tradition in central North Carolina."

COLORADO UPDATE: "The Kids Go Club at the library in Boulder, Colorado continues to set new records," reports Paul Barchilon. "Two weeks ago we hit our best ever attenda nce with 30 kids and ten adults. The following week we had 22 kids and 8 adults. The library says this is one of the most successful kids programs they have ever had. At the recent Rocky Mountain Go Tournament, four of our kids competed and all of them beat one or more adults."
      On September 17, three Colorado clubs collaborated to host a go demonstration at the ninth annual Nan Desu Kan anime convention in Denver. "Organizers expected fewer than 20 people, but we got well over 60 eager Hikaru no Go fans," says Paul Barchilon. "We provided the first 20 people with take home 9x9 cardboard sets and copies of 'The Way To Go' booklet, courtesy of the AGF. Everyone who came was taught how to play and had a chance for several games with other newbies as well as the four instructors. Colorado Springs Go Club member Karen Jordan was the one with the bright idea of approaching the anime convention, and arranged everything as well as helping t o teach at the demo. Jasmine Sailing and Bruce Young of Fiery Rain of Go Stones club in Denver, and Paul Barchilon of the Boulder clubs joined Karen in introducing Go to a whole new set of people. With such a large turn out, we will definitely do the event again next year."

TEXAS GO UNSCATHED: Houston, Texas go organizer Robert Cordingley reports that the site for next month's pro workshop with Yilun Yang and the Texas Open was untouched by Huricane Rita, "So it should be full steam ahead (subject to rearranging our lives back into place) on the Tournament and Workshop." Details at

CORRECTION & BONUS: Cornel Burzo lost to Cho Seok Bin (not Csaba Mero 6d of Hungary, as reported in the 9/19 EJ) in the recent Toyota-PandaNet European Go Tour event in Brno, Czech Republic. Burzo defeated Mero in the 5th round; we apologize for the error and are pleased to include the Mero-Burzo game - with commentary by Burzo - as a special bonus in today's EJ. Look for the Round 6 game between Burzo and Brno champ Cristian Pop in Friday's edition. Non-members can receive the weekly game commentaries by signing up now for the Member's Edition at

2006 CHALLENGE OFF & RUNNING: Fifteen Challengers have already been accepted in the 2006 Shodan Challenge. The Challengers hail from 10 states and the District of Columbia in the U.S., as well as from Canada and Northern Ireland, and range in age from 20 to 66 and in strength from 30k to 4d. Reasons for taking the Challenge run the gamut from 4d Greg Rosenblatt's "I'm interested in the challenge because I need to light a fire under myself in order to improve," to 17k Su Cowling's "Just found out I have cervical cancer, starting radiation treatments in a couple weeks. When I tried thinking about all the rea sons to keep alive and strong, I laughed to find that go -- living long enough to get to single-digit kyu -- was high on the list." Open to players of all strengths, the Challenge now has five Divisions: the 20-kyu Challenge, the 10-kyu Challenge, the 5-kyu Challenge, the Shodan Challenge and the 5d Challenge. Make a move to improve! For more details on how to qualify for the Challenge, email us today at

MICHAEL SPLITS A PAIR: John Power reports on the Nihon Kiin homepage that Michael Redmond 9P, who moved to Japan from California as a young teenager and became a top level pro in the Nihon Kiin, has split a pair of games in the Japanese qualifying tournament for the international Fujitsu Cup. Michael won the first game, against Kim Shujun 7P, but lost the second to Mimura Tomoyasu 9P by 3.5 points. Michael's victory over Kim came between Kim's two wins over Iyama in the Shinjin O.

CHO U LOOKING GOOD IN MEIJIN: Cho U 9P, currently considered th e top player in Japan, is in good shape in his defense of his Meijin title against challenger Kobayashi Satoru 9P, having won the first two games of the best-of-seven match. Cho won the first game by resignation and the second by 6.5 points. Kobayashi had good chances in the second game but didn't capitalize on them. You can download the game records at the site.

IYAMA MISSES A CHANCE: Iyama Yuta 4P, the Japanese sixteen year old who is making a big splash at the moment, missed a chance for greater fame in the Shinjin-O title match against Kim Shujun 7P. Shujun, who is ten years older, won 2-0, both games ending in resignation. It's the first title for Shujun (also known as Shushun), who was born in Korea and is a student of Cho Chikun 9P. See Shushun for a picture and career highlights. The Shinjin O is the "King of the New Stars" tournament , open to all Nihon Kiin and Kansai Kiin players who are 7P or lower. Iyama still has a chance to become the youngest winner ever of a title in Japan in his up-coming title match with Kobayashi Satoru 9P in the Agon Cup.

IZUMI DOING WELL: Kobayashi Izumi 6P is continuing her winning ways in September. In the 7th Strongest Woman tournament she won her third round game against Kim En 3P, having defeated Kato Keiko 4P and Sakakibara Fumiko 6P in earlier rounds. Earlier in the month she won her semifinal game against Aoki Kikuyo 8P in the Women's Meijin to gain a spot in the finals of the winners' bracket of this tournament to decide the challenger for the title which she lost at the beginning of this year to Koyama Terumi 5P.

QUADRUPLE KO & THE TIE THAT WASN'T: A very unusual result was achieved in a game between Lee Changho 9P and Chang Hao 9P in the Southern Great Wall Cup special match between China and Korea on September 11th. The game concluded with a quadr uple ko that was mutually accepted as a tie. Lee and Chang split the combined first and second prize money, but pros later determined that Lee had really won the game. Playing Black, Lee could simply connect one ko and give two others to Chang. Then he would win by 3.5 points. The agreement on the tie was probably prompted by the fact that both players had only one minute of time left at that point and Lee couldn't be sure of his calculation. You can download the game record from the site: look under "Game Collection" and "Search by Player".
-drawn from a report on

GO INSTANBUL: The Turkish Go Players' Association is sponsoring the Istanbul Go Tournament October 8-9, reports EJ reader Utku Uzulmez. Details at

YOUR MOVE: Readers Write
       TIE-BREAK BLUES: "I do not pretend to be an expert on this issue," wrote Keith Arnold in response to our recent report about the US Open (US Open Results Posted, 9/5 EJ) in which we described the standard tiebreak methods used in most go tournaments. "and have always accepted the appropriateness of our tiebreak system. Roy Laird's piece certainly pointed out some of the rationale behind it. However, it seems to me, particularly at a time where we are justifiably boasting about our broadcast of Boards One and Two of the Open, the principal downside of this tiebreak should be mentioned. Under the system outlined by Roy, the final round game on Board One was meaningless (since) the winner had already been determined. This seems quite anticlimactic. There may be nothing that can be done about it, but it is the unmentioned downside of the story."
         "I'm not the b iggest expert on the subject either," responds Laird, "but here's an answer I checked out with smarter people than me. Face-to-face results make intuitive sense, but they are misleading. Knockout tournaments, like most tennis tournaments, pair toward the obligatory, ultimate match. However, go tournaments are more like golf. We want everyone to able to play every round, so we use continuous pairing systems like Swiss-McMahon. In the top band of large tournaments, this often means that no one goes undefeated, which is exactly what happened in this year's US Open when Yongfei Ge (4-1) defeated Xuefen Lin (5-0) in the final round. Looking only at this result, we might conclude that he is stronger. However, Ge had also lost a game -- to Ned Phipps, who finished 18th with a 3-3 record while Xuefen Lin defeated everyone else she played. Which of them lost to a weaker opponent, Lin or Ge? Suppose Ms. Lin had been paired with Phipps and beaten him? This kind of "daisy chain" -- A be ats B, B beats C, C beats A -- is not uncommon in large tournaments that use continuous pairing systems. Knockout tournaments don't have this problem because everyone who loses is eliminated. When Ge lost to Phipps, he would have been knocked out of the tournament. Unless one player goes undefeated, there is no perfect winner. To break ties, it is more equitable to use each player's total result, rather than the one match they played against each other. Informed observers watch the results of each round, calculate each player's SoS, and understand the importance of each game. Or so the experts tell me."


October 7-10: Round Top, NY
2005 Columbus day workshop with Guo Juan
Jean-Claude Chetrit 718-638-2266

October 9: Somerville, MA
MGA Fall Handicap Tournament
Zack Grossbart 617-497-1232

October 15: Blacksburg, VA
Virginia Tech Go Tournament
Al pha Chen 540.818.3692

October 22-23: Portland, OR
Portland Go Tournament
Peter Drake 503-768-7539 (W); 503-245-1239 (H)

October 24-28: Navasota, TX
Pro Workshop with Yilun Yang - in conjunction with the Texas Open
Robert J Cordingley 281-333-1614

October 29: Arlington, VA
Pumpkin Classic
Allan Abramson 703-684-7676

October 29-30: Navasota, TX
2005 Texas Open Go Tournament
Robert J Cordingley 281-333-1614

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Assistant Editor: Bill Cobb

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