News from the American Go Association
January 23, 2006
Volume 7, #8

YOUR MOVE: Getting Back On Track
THE EMPTY BOARD: Let Us Now Praise Local Clubs
ATTACHED FILE: 2006.01.23 Hane-Yamashita, Kisei Title Match 1, go4go

FUJITSU QUALIFIER RESCHEDULED: Round 1 of the four-round 2006 U.S. Fujitsu Qualifier, originally scheduled for last Saturday, will kick off this Sunday, January 29 on KGS at 1P EST. Sixteen top players from across the United States will vie for the right to be the 2006 U.S. Fujitsu representative. The players are: Jeffrey Fung, Kwo-Ping Ho, Thomas Hsiang, Mingjiu Jiang, Edward Kao, Edward Kim, Moon Chong Kim, Young K. Kwon, Jung Hoon Lee, Zhi Yuan (Andy) Liu, Eric Lui, I-Han Lui, Hui Ren Yang, Hosuk Yi, Johnny Yoon and Yuan Zhou. Jeff Shaevel is the TD. Player bios are published online at

2006 US OZA PLACE-WINNERS: Oza West place-winners (80 players, Jeff Shaevel, TD): OPEN SECTION: 1st: Ming Jiu Jiang; 2nd : Jie Li ; 3rd : Xuefen Lin ; 4th (tie): Seung Hyun Seung, Wei-Yu Chen, Moon Chong Kim, Jung Hoon Lee, Kuo-Ruey Han, Dong Wang. HANDICAP A: 1st (tie): Mike Cai, Wenjie Xu; 3rd: Jack Shih; 4th (tie): Steven Burrall, Yen-Zen Jan, Kevin Chao, Louis Abronson, Wayne Cheng. HANDICAP B: 1st (tie): Christopher Hayashida, Ryan Downing; 3rd (tie): William Cushing, Fu Ming Gong, Wai-to Char, James McKee. HANDICAP C: 1st: Sheehan Hsu; 2nd: Lee Huynh; 3rd (tie): Tim Hsiao, Chris Cameron, Nick McNelis, Xu Ming Li. Oza East place-winners (255 players; Chuck Robbins, TD): OPEN SECTION: Feng Yun 9P; 2nd: Yupei Xiong 7d; 3rd: Huiren Yang 1P; 4th: Lu Wang 7d; 5th: Ke Huang 7d; Y oung Kwon 7d. SECTION A: 1st: Xiliang Liu 4d; 2nd: Wei Zhang 5d; 3rd: Sheng Lu 4d; 4th: James Wong 6d SECTION B: 1st: Li Chen 3d; 2nd: Peter Tse 2d; 3rd: Alex Chang 1d; 4th: Zhongxia Zhao 1d SECTION C: 1st: Kevin Shang 3k, 2nd: Zeli Dou 4k; 3rd: Andrew Fu 2k; 4th: Walter Langendorf 5k; SECTION D: 1st: Yang Xu 6k; 2nd: Sean He 14k; 3rd: Nicholas Blake 8k; 4th: Vel Sudhir 9k SECTION E: Jason Ho 18k; 2nd: Eva Mok 30k; 3rd: Samantha Fede 16k; 4th: Francisco Rivera 20k

YAMASHITA TAKES FIRST GAME IN KISEI: Yamashita Keigo 9P won the first game in the best-of-seven Kisei title match in Japan against current title holder Hane Naoki 9P. Hane took this title from Yamashita in 2004 and then held on to it in 2005 by defeating challenger Yuki Satoshi 9P. This time Yamashita managed to win the challenger's tournament by defeating Yuki in a playoff to gain another shot at the title he only held for one year. The first game of this tournament is traditionally held in a major Western city as a way of promoting go; this time it was in Berlin. Yamashita won with Black by resignation. We have attached an SGF file of the game for your enjoyment, courtesy of the site. Get commented games every week by joining the AGA now at Yamashita also recently won his wa y into the finals of the challenger's tournament for the Judan, defeating Mimura Tomoyasu 9P, who had defeated Cho U 9P, all in the loser's bracket. The winner of the winner's bracket is Takao Shinji 9P and current Honinbo. That match will take place this Thursday.

CHINESE TRIUMPH IN 4TH WOMEN'S WORLD CUP: Ye Gui 5P won the last game in the Jeongganjang Cup to give the Chinese their second title in a row. This match of five-member teams from China, Korea, and Japan (like the Nong Shim Cup that has been dominated by the Koreans since its inception in 2000) was won by the Korean teams in its first two occurrences, and now the Chinese have equaled their record. The Japanese teams have not yet won either tournament. This year the Chinese got off to a great start when their sixteen year old phenom Wang Xiangyun 1P won the first five games in the contest, eliminating three of the Japanese and two of the Koreans. The Japanese had a brief moment of glory when Chinen Kaori 4P won three games, but in the end the Chinese were just too strong. Rui Naiwei 9P, playing for the Chinese, only won one game before being defeated by the Koreans last hope, Park J ieun 6P, who then eliminated the last Japanese, Koyama Terumi 5P. But there were still two Chinese players, and Park fell to the first of them, Ye Gui 5P.

IYAMA CONTINUES TO ASTOUND: The Japanese teenager, Iyama Yuta 7P, who amazed the go world by winning a title in Japan last year is continuing to do well. He won a place in the final tournament to fill out the Japanese group who will participate in the World Oza by defeating two 9P players, Ogaki Yusaku and Ishida Akira. Michael Redmond 9P, the pro from California who is a member of the Nihon Kiin, also has a shot at getting into that tournament. He defeated Yuki Satoshi 9P, but must still play Yata Naoki 9P for a slot.

GU LI TOPS NEW CHINESE PRO RANKING: Gu Li 7P remains number one in a brand-new ranking of Chinese pros; we noted his incredible record so far in 2006 in the January 16th issue of the E-Journal. The rest of the top ten are: Kong Jie 7P, Zhou Heyang 9P, Hu Yaoyu 8P, Xie He 6P, Luo Xihe 9P, Wang Lei 8P, Qiu Jun 7P, Chang Hao 9P, and Wang Xi 5P. The E-Journal will continue to keep our readers informed of the fortunes of these top players.

HIKARU NO GO DVD RELEASED: VIZ Media has announced the highly anticipated launch of its latest anime series with the release of Volume 1 of HIKARU NO GO on DVD. The debut volume contains four episodes, is rated "A" for All Ages, will retail for $24.98 and is available now. The HIKARU NO GO anime series follows the manga counterpart written by Yumi Hotta and illustrated by Takeshi Obata which is also published domestically by VIZ Media and serialized in SHONEN JUMP Magazine. In Japan, HIKARU NO GO has achieved tremendous success as a manga and anime series since its debut in 1998 in the Weekly Shonen Jump comics anthology. Twenty-three volumes of the manga have now been published and the corresponding animated series features 75 half-hour episodes. The success of HIKARU NO GO spurred a nationwide interest in the game among children in Japan. This success has similarly begun to take shape in North America since VIZ Media began publishing the manga series in 2004.

YANG RETURNS TO DC: Yilun Yang 7P returns to the metro DC area March 16-19 for the 11th Annual Maryland Workshop with Yilun Yang, sponsored by the Greater Washington Go Club. "The workshop will consist of lectures and game analysis on games (non-AGA rated) played at the workshop," reports organizer Gordon Fraser. The workshop will start on Thursday morning and go through Sunday afternoon. "The number of participants in the workshop will be limited to a maximum of 16 people so be sure to register early," adds Fraser. The workshop cost is $200 for adults, $150 for children under 18. To register, send your name, address, strength, phone number, email address, and a check made out to Gordon Fraser at 20505 Anndyke Way, Germantown, MD 20874 or email

CHAPTER NEWS & NOTES: The Greater Washington (DC) Go Club will open early this Friday, January 27, for a potluck/membership renewal dinner, reports organizer Haskell Small. Come enjoy food, BYO drinks and "Of course, plenty of go," promises Small. Festivities begin at 7P; RSVP Meanwhile, across the Potomac River, NoVa Club organizer Allan Abramson has issued his first call for the NOVA Valentine's Au Pair Pair Go Tournament, on Saturday February 18, at George Mason Law School. "Pairs need to pre-register," says Abramson, adding "Note that pairs are a woman and a man." There will also be a regular handicap tournament on the side, "so come no matter what!" Abramson also notes that January is the month to renew/register as a NOVA member. "In honor of our completing 25 years at Central United, we are lowering our dues this year to $20/adult and $10/youth 18 and under." Pay at the club, or mail to Abramson at 405 Underhill Place, Alexandria VA 22305. Finally, the NoVa annual dinner will be on Monday, February 6, at the club. GOT CLUB NEWS? Email it to us at

YOUR MOVE: Readers Write

GETTING BACK ON TRACK: "Too many US tournaments are starting very late," writes former AGA president Phil Straus 3d. "Making pre-registered, signed-in players wait for latecomers and players who don't sign in gives power to those who do not follow the rules." Straus, a former tournament director, proposes enforcing two rules for major tournaments: "First, to play in the first round of a tournament, players must register by the deadline. Second: if players do not sign in on the sign-in sheet, they don't play in the first round." Straus adds that "There need to be multiple announcements, both written and out-loud, about the sign-in sheets, in whatever languages are required. Tournament organizers should not have to search out the non-signers: if they can play go, they can learn to sign in. Following these rules will make thousands of players and organizers happy."

THE EMPTY BOARD: Let Us Now Praise Local Clubs
by William Cobb
     The Richmond Go Club is quite small-usually three of us show up, sometimes only two, occasionally four or even five. I often think that if I moved to a city with a larger club I'd probably get stronger as a result of playing a more diverse group of players. But the Richmond Club has something that's very important to me-the proper attitude toward the game. I have often argued in Empty Board columns that playing go is not fundamentally about winning and losing. The point is to try to play the best games I can possibly create, even if I am on the losing side. What's most fun and satisfying about go is the process of playing the game, not being the winner. Since I am often the weakest player at our club meetings, that means I frequently ask my opponents for advice about how to best respond to their moves, and they always give me their best ideas. If an obvious blunder is made, it is, of course, taken back. If a particularly good move is found, much admiring commentary occurs. Go is like a fascinating conversation, what matters is the quality of the process, not who has the last word. I feel lucky to have a local club that encourages such conversations.
       Looking for a club near you? Find it now at
The Empty Board #47; Past columns are archived at


January 28: Zionsville, IN
Second Annual Indiana Open
Chris K. Starkey 317-873-1885

February 4: Piscataway, NJ
Feng Yun Go School Monthly rated tournament
Feng Yun 973-992-5675

February 5: Seattle, WA
Ratings Tournament
Jon Boley 206-545-1424

February 17-18: Black Mountain, NC
Ice Station Zebra: White snow, Black Mountain
Paul Celmer 919-779-7925

February 25-26: Princeton, NJ
New Jersey Open
Rick Mott 609-466-1602

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

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