News from the American Go Association

October 24, 2005
Volume 5, #92

In This Issue:
YOUR MOVE Readers Write: A Few Words In Praise Of Handicaps; Handicaps Key To Improving
GO ONLINE: Book Listings Expanded

FENG YUN ON AIR: Writer and radio producer Blake Eskin's documentary about Feng Yun 9P (who lives in New Jersey but is in China this week to participate in an international tournament) was commissioned for the Third Coast International Audio Festival, and premiered at their annual conference of 300 radio producers last weekend in Chicago. To hear the story on the web, go to

TEXAS UPDATE: Registration for this week's workshop and tournament in Houston, TX is now closed, reports organizer Robert Cordingley. Anyone with questions can contact Cordingley at 281-333-1614 or at Camp Allen:

NEW TOURNEYS: Several new tournaments have just been added to the calendar:
- Arizona Rating Tournament, Tempe AZ; October 27 & 29, November 2 & 5
William Gundberg 480-429-0300
- Embassy of Japan Go Tournament: Ottawa, Canada, November 6th
Charles Chang, 613-722-0603
- 17th Mid-Atlantic Regional Go Championship: College Park, MD, November 19-20
- Philadelphia Tournament: Philadelphia, PA, December 4
Peter Nassar
See CALENDAR below for the upcoming schedule, or for the full calendar go to  

2006 OZA PLANNING UNDER WAY: The organizers of next January's Third North American Toyota/Denso Oza Tournament have signed contracts for locations in New York and Las Vegas. Registration is now open for both events - expected to be among the biggest of the year -- at where you can download the registration form, fill it out, and fax with credit card info or mail with a check. Online registration will be available in the next few days; stay tuned for details.

FRENCH LAUNCH GO PROBLEMS: The French Go Federation has just launched a go problem mailing list, reports Didier Kropp. "Participants will receive several go problems each week, along with the solutions of the past week," says Kropp. The problems are set up by Chinese pro Fan Hui, currently the best rated player in Europe. The problems vary in level from 20k right on up to 5d, and are in sgf format. Register online at

GU LI SURPRISES LEE SEDOL IN LG CUP: The surprising defeat of Lee Sedol 9P of Korea by Chinese star Gu Li 7P in the semifinals of the international LG Cup means the finals for this tenth edition of the Cup will be between two Chinese players: Gu Li and fifteen year old Chen Yaoye 5P. If the remarkable Chinese teenager wins the title, he will be the youngest ever to win an international event, being eight months younger than the current record holder Lee Changho 9P was when he won his first international title. Lee Sedol has been on a remarkable winning streak in international competition lately, so the victory by Gu Li, who has not been doing well recently, was unexpected. You can download the game records from the site. This event has only been won once before a Chinese player, Yu Bin 9P in 2000.
REDMOND EDGES JIRO IN OZA PRELIM: John Power reports on the Nihon Kiin's home page that Michael Redmond 9P, the Californian who has made it to the top in Japanese professional go, won a game against Akiyama Jiro 8P in the preliminaries of the 54th Oza. His winning margin was a half point. The title match for the 53rd Oza, between Cho U 9P and Yamashita Keigo 9P, begins this coming weekend.

CHO SEOKBIN EXTENDS EURO WINNING STREAK: Cho Seokbin 7d of Germany, who won the Toyota-PandaNet European Go Tour event in Bratislava, Slovakia, the weekend before last, has now won the next such event, this time in Copenhagen. There were twenty-three players at the Danish event. Ulrik Bro-Jorgensen 4d and Thomas Heshe 5d, both of Denmark, took second and third. The next tour event will be November 19-20 in Kiev, followed by the 32nd London Open Go Congress from December 28-31. Complete details about this tour can be found at
KOBAYASHI SATORU STAYS ALIVE IN MEIJIN: Kobayashi Satoru 9P got off to a bad start in his challenge for the 30th Meijin title in Japan against title holder Cho U 9P, losing the first three games of the best-of-seven match to Cho. However, he has come back strongly, winning games four and five by a total of five points (3.5 and 1.5). Though it's very difficult to come back from an 0-3 position, it has happened before. The remaining games will occur in early November.
YASHIRO SWEEPS WOMEN'S HONINBO: Yashiro Kumiko 5P has taken the Japanese Women's Honinbo title from Chinen Kaori 3P, three wins to none. The first game was a 1.5 point victory, but the other two were won by resignation. Chinen has held this title four times, but this is Yashiro's first ever title win. Pictures and a brief bio of Yashiro are at
YOUR MOVE: Readers Write

A FEW WORDS IN PRAISE OF HANDICAPS: "I just wanted to jot a few lines in support of Phil Waldron's remarks (Accept Your Handicap, 10/10 EJ)," writes Keith Arnold 5d. "Phil is a 6 dan, and how many of us have 6 dans attending their clubs and willing to play weaker players? If Mr. Waldron has the wrong attitude, many of our 6 dans have no attitude at all. There are many ways to teach, but what weaker players everywhere really want is the chance to actually play someone stronger.
        "While I am not as strong as Phil, I'm at least a couple of stones stronger than the regulars at my club in Baltimore. Every week I feel a responsibility to play as many of the folks who turn out as possible. Everyone plays seriously against me, so no matter how fast I play, I only have time for about four games a night. If you want to work on your opening, I do not have a problem playing an even game, but those who spend the entire time trying to lose by 40 points instead of 50 cannot then expect me to take time from other players to provide a thorough review. I do enjoy playing even teaching games, and when my opponent takes the hint that it's time to resign, I get something out of the analysis as well.
        "The problem with both Milt and Jonathan's suggestions (Handicap Perspective & Handicap Alternatives, 10/17 EJ) is that they miss the crucial point - teaching. The weaker player is looking for even-game experience and teaching with a stronger player. Milt's komi just encourages me to make overplays and is not as useful for teaching the weaker player proper opening strategy; Jonathan's trying to make the game 'even' fails to teach by punishing the mistakes. They may well be interesting for the stronger player, but they are bad for the weaker, and I believe both players would prefer proper handicap to these scenarios.
         "If you want to work on your whole game, particularly fighting, the correct handicap is essential. This gives both players proper attitude, and the weaker player the resources to make the stronger player work harder.

HANDICAPS KEY TO IMPROVING: "I would like to respond to recent contributions on the subject of handicap games," writes Steve Burrall 5d. "Since I agree completely with the comments of Phil Waldron, I will only address the two more recent posts. Jonathan Bresler had some good suggestions, one of which was already made by Phil in his original post. These are special case suggestions for teaching and do not speak to the main issue Phil discussed. Milton Bradley's comment about the teaching responsibility of stronger players seems off the mark to me. The best way a stronger player can teach, routinely, is to play challenging interesting games with weaker players, otherwise known as handicap games. Detailed knowledge of even game josekis is probably useful for getting from 7d to 8d, but most of us just need to develop our reading skills and sense of whole board thinking. Playing 50 point komi games isn't nearly as much fun as a 5 stone game. Most strong players will be wil ling to play occasional practice openings, but routinely asking them to play even games to the end is likely to discourage them from playing at all."

GO ONLINE: Book Listings Expanded
by Roy Laird, AGA Webmaster
        Just in time for the holidays, we've updated and expanded our listing of go books and other publications at Now you can easily find the perfect gift for all your go friends! We've added listing for thirteen new books that have been published since the last update, as well as listings for several classics that were mysteriously absent, such as the Whole Board Thinking in Joseki series by Yi-lun Yang and Phil Straus. In addition, every book now in print has a hotlink to the publisher's page, for a more thorough description. We've also added the number of pages and size to each listing, along with hot links to reviews that have appeared in the EJ. If you're ready to take the next step to strengthen your play, have a look. There are literally hundreds of possibilities.


October 27 & 29, November 2 & 5: Tempe AZ
Arizona Rating Tournament
William Gundberg 480-429-0300

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

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

November 3-6: Lancaster, PA
Yang Workshop
Sam Zimmerman 717-892-1249

November 5: Piscataway NJ
Feng Yun Go School monthly AGA rated game
Feng Yun 973-992-5675

November 6: Ottawa, Canada
Embassy of Japan Go tournament
Charles Chang 613-722-0603

November 12: Syracuse, NY
Syracuse Fall Ratings Tournament
Richard Moseson 315-682-7720

November 12: Cleveland, OH
Case Western Reserve University Fall Tournament
Paul Jacobs 216-402-3071

November 19-20: College Park, MD
17th Mid-Atlantic Regional Go Championship
Steve Mount 301-405-6934

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Published by the American Go Association
Managing Editor: Chris Garlock
Assistant Editor: Bill Cobb

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