News from the American Go Association

December 2, 2005
Volume 5, #104

WEEKEND GO ACTION: Hartford, Piscataway, Chicago & Denver
GAME COMMENTARY: Solid Challenger
THE PLAYING LIFE: Lessons with an 8-da n
2005.12.02 Challenge, tmituo-Su, Chung.sgf

CHO U HOLDS ONTO OZA: Cho U 9P defeated Yamashita Keigo 9P 3-0 to hold the Japanese Oza title for a third year. Details on Monday.

CHOI DEFEATS LEE CHANGHO IN CALTEX: In a rare upset, Choi Cheolhan 9P came from behind to take the Korean Caltex Cup from Lee Changho 9P. Details on Monday.

SHONEN JUMP PREVIEW: In the next issue of SHONEN JUMP, "Getting Go" columnist Janice Kim 3P discusses some of the greatest modern go players, including Kato Masao, Kobayashi Koichi and Rin Kaiho. Watch for more SJ preview details in Monday's edition!

THE IMPORTANCE OF SEQUENCING: The PDFs of the last two "Haruyama Isamu 9P's Questions from Actual Play" articles were misnumbered. The real #5 in the series (translated by Robert McGuigan, who is not responsible for the mix-up) was sent in the November 4th issue and titled as #4; #4 then came out on November 26th labeled as #5. The next installment in the series -- #6 -- will be published in the December 16th issue and hopefully labeled as #6. We apologize for any confusion.

MICHAEL REDMOND CUP: Registration is underway for the 13th Redmond Cup Tournament for young North American go players; details Monday.

CARY SWEEPS MIAMI: Latest reports from the ongoing Team Go Tournament; details Monday.

2005 K-12 NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS: Horace Mann HS upset local town rivals Stuyvesa nt HS to earn a berth in the championships. Details Monday.

TIPS FOR HANDICAP PLAYERS: "Take a long time to make your moves" and other tips for handicap players from Barry Pasicznyk.

SHODAN CHALLENGERS SET NEW RECORD: More than fifty go players have taken the 2006 Shodan Challenge; details Monday.

WEEKEND GO ACTION: Hartford, Piscataway, Chicago & Denver
- December 3: Hartford, CT
CCC Winter Tournament
Bill Fung 860-648-1527
- December 3: Piscataway NJ
Feng Yun Go School monthly AGA rated game
Feng Yun 973-992-5675
- December 3: Chicago, IL
Heart Transplant of Darkness
Bob Barber 773-467-0423
- December 3: Denver, CO
Te wo Tsunaide: a Pair Go Tournament
Jasmine Sailing jsailing@netonec 303-388-4666

GAME COMMENTARY: Solid Challenger
       Shodan Challenger Michael Su 9k -- a member of Joey Hung's Go School in Fremont, CA -- plays a very solid game in today's commentary. The thorough commentary is by Luke Chung, a Canadian 6d who has joined the EJ game commentary team. Chung offers lessons over the internet; you can find him on KGS as "HappyGuy" or contact him at

THE PLAYING LIFE: Lessons with an 8-dan
by Larry LeJeune 12k
       Zipei Feng finished up his advanced go class on Saturday, November 18 by playing a simultaneous game with all the students. Zipei is an 8-dan amateur from China now living in Colorado. I enjoyed each of his classes. The class started with a review of opening game, where we played 40 moves against each other, whi ch the teacher reviewed. It struck me that all of us made errors. Zipei's explanation was clear enough that even the kyu players could get useful information out of higher player's openings. We also reviewed the eternal Life/Death problems, which seemed to be challenging for all of us. We also studied shape. In a later class Zipei reviewed several complete games from the students, which we had played as homework. Why didn't my teachers assign something like this when I was in high school? Rumor has it that Zipei will be teaching again in January, I can't wait.

by Allan Abramson 4d
       The 16th International Pair Go Championships were held in Tokyo, Japan over the weekend of 11-14 November. Joey Hung 8d and Cherry Shen 3d were the US representatives, having won the US Pair Go Championship at the 2005 Go Congress in Takoma, WA las t August. I was invited as a guest official from the AGA, along with Tony Atkins, President of the European Go Federation, Mr. Chun from Korea, a friend to many of us from past Go Congresses, and Mr. Wang from China.
       The Japan Pair Go Association hosts this annual event at the Hotel Edmont, a first-class hotel in every respect. Friday evening was alive with excitement and introductions as 20 teams from around the world and twelve from Japan registered. The formalities began after lunch on Saturday, with the first round. The time limits are quite severe, 45 minutes a side, sudden death. Michael Redmond-sensei was the referee, and ten pros attended over the weekend. The overall chief judge was Ishida-sensei, who I believe has played this role every year since the first championship.
       After the first round, I participated in a friendship pair game. I managed to lead my partner into a large- scale fight, which resulted in our group dying. And I was so sure that we would either kill their group or end up in mutual life! Such are the dreams of a weak 4-dan playing against a 6-dan... Anyway, it was great fun, illustrating why pair go is so challenging: you are trying to read three minds at every move.
       Saturday night brought a banquet and party, with lots of time to meet people from all over. My impression was that the Japanese teams generally were quite strong, having had to qualify through regional tournaments. Sunday was the big day, with four rounds to finish the main tournament and a public handicap tournament attracting perhaps 360, including many families and lots of children. Everyone dressed up as required by the rules and of course, many photos were taken. Yuki Shigeno also taught over a dozen people how to play pair go, in a separate session, and there were prizes for best national costumes for both adults and children.
       The Chinese team won the main tournament, with second going to Korea and third to Japan. Joey and Cherry placed 17th with a 2-3 result. As their representative official, I spent a lot of time watching their games, most of which were very close. Joey often created such elegant moves that I learned to admire his style. Cherry had her dad there rooting for her, and she really lifted her game under pressure. The best placing non-Asian team was Germany, at 3-2.
       One example of the problems caused by the short time limits was a game I saw in which both teams were in their final minute and the stones really flew around the board! All four were very composed, given the circumstances, but finally the Japanese woman made an illegal capture of a connected stone. Her opponents immediately called for a referee, who called others, who eventually called Michael Redmond. Order was restored, pl ay continued at lightning pace, and her team lost by 1/2 point. It was very intense, and attracted quite a crowd during the action.
       Sunday night things wrapped up with the awards ceremony. I was particularly impressed by the entire event, not only with the first-class accommodations and food, but with the speed of the pairings for each round and the fast and accurate tournament direction. The fun and excitement of Pair Go is definitely contagious and I urge as many clubs as possible to schedule pair tournaments in the coming year. The Japanese Pair Go Association is sending 100 copies of the Pair Go rules to Paul Celmer, for our clubs to use, so nearly every club can have a copy. Also, check out the new Pair Go page on the AGA web site!
       Here is the record of our Joey Hung-Cherry Shen team; look for photos to be posted on the AGA website soon: Round 1: Japan-Risa Sasako/Kikou Emura (Loss ); Rd 2: Turkey-Saadet Eryilmaz/Faith Sulak (Win); Rd 3: Slovak Republic-Lucia Lassakova/Ivo Svek (Win); Rd 4: Hokkaido-Momoyo Sato/Norihiro Hizawa (Loss); Rd 5: Kinki-Yasuko Imamura/Yoshiyuki Imabun (Loss).
       Abramson is Chair of the AGA's Board of Directors.


STUDENTS WANTED: Sign up for go lessons from Cornel Burzo 8d and get a 10% discount in December. See prices at  For details email

TEACHER WANTED: Someone to teach go for one day at a summer camp in the Catskills. Contact Michael Adler at 516-220-5608 for more information.

FOR SALE: Japanese folding Go board, standard size and 5/8-inch thick. Label says made in Japan. Like-new, very clean, in original box with the brown wrapping paper inside still around it. Price is $30, plus $8 shipping. Contact Anton:

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Managing Editor: Chris Garlock
Assistant Editor: Bill Cobb

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