News from the American Go Association

March 6, 2006
Volume 7, #20


YOUR MOVE: Kerwin Also Nihon Kiin Pro; More On Go And The Brain

JIE LIE TAKES SECOND PLACE IN WORLD STUDENT OZA: Jie Li 9d - the top U.S. amateur player -- took second place in the World Student Oza in Japan last week, an unprecedented accomplishment for a representative of a Western country. This was the fourth World Student Oza, and Li's third time representing North America; he placed 11th the first time, 9th the second, and 2nd this year (Yuan Zhou 8d was 13th last year.) Sponsored by a Japanese newspaper, this amateur tournament involves sixteen players, one each from North America, South America, and Thailand; three each from Europe, Japan, and Korea; and two each from China and Taiwan. This year's winner was the Japanese player Emura Kiko; the other three times the tournament was won by one of the Chinese players. Chang Juan-Jung from Taiwan was third this time and Jun Takeda of Japan was fourth. The European players this year were all from Czechia: Hor a Jan, who placed seventh, Zaloudkova Klara, twelfth, and Mero Csaba, fourteenth.

CEDAR RAPIDS DETHRONES DES MOINES IN IOWA CUP: Cedar Rapids dethroned defending champions the Des Moines Go Club at the Iowa Go Cup on February 26. The Des Moines Go Club hosted its first tournament to defend the Iowa Go Cup, with 18 go players battling it out "in beautiful Des Moines, Iowa," reports Mark Hommerding. "When the dust had settled, Cedar Rapids had reclaimed the cup." Eight new participants in the tournament included five new members of the AGA. "New AGA member Ning Sun 1k won the 1st Division, while 11-year-old Will Shirey won the 2nd division." Visit for images from the tournament.

GO-PLAYING ASTRONAUT SPOTTED IN 'SURVIVOR': When we last reported on astronaut Dan Barry, he was playing go high above the Earth. Now Barry has been spotted down on the planet in, of all places, CBS's "Survivor Panama: Exile Island." Back in 1996, astronauts and go enthusiasts Barry and Koichi Wakata replayed a famous go game aboard the space shuttle Endeavour on January 18 and then played a game of their own, each on boards specially designed for weightlessness. Last week, Robert Pearlman reported on that (warning: the following report includes a spoiler) "After two consecutive weeks losing immunity and voting off tribe mates, three-time Space Shuttle astronaut-turned-castaway Dan Barry and his 'La Mina' teammates found themselves the victors this week on CBS's 'Survivor Panama: Exile Island.'" Thanks to Chuck Robbins for passing this along. Read the rest of the Survivor report at  and read about the 1996 space games at

SHONEN JUMP PREVIEW: Do you play "Subway Go" or the "Strange Feeling" style? Would you describe your playing as "Cosmic Go" or are you more "Take the Money and Run"? In the April 2006 issue of SHONEN JUMP, America's premiere manga magazine, "Getting Go" columnist Janice Kim 3P discusses different styles of playing go. In the serialized manga Hikaru no Go, Hikaru raises the suspicion that he's the one behind "sai" - the amazingly powerful and utterly anonymous new player on the Internet go servers. And bad boy Yuki Mitani returns. but has he cooled his cheating heart? Two full chapters of manga - in stores on March 7.

A FEW FREE BOOKS LEFT: There are just a few free copies left of Yilun Yang's Go Puzzles for the first 20 people to register by March 8, reports 2006 Congress organizer Paul Celmer. Sign up now and get yours at

PRE-REGISTRATION REQUIRED FOR NOVA: Advance registration is required for the NOVA Cherry Blossom coming up on Saturday, March 25th. "All I need is your name, AGA number, and playing rank," reports organizer Allan Abramson, warning "If you wait until the morning of the tournament, you will miss the first round." Details at

YAMASHITA KEIGO SWEEPS KISEI: Yamashita Keigo 9P took back the Kisei from Hane Naoki 9P, winning 4-0 in the best-of-seven match. Hane had taken the Kisei from Yamashita two years ago and though Yamashita's sweeping victory was convincing, he took the last two games by only 1.5 and 2.5 points respectively. The Kisei is the top tournament in Japan with a winner's purse of about $360,000 US. This is Yamashita's only title at the moment (he lost the Tengen to Kono Rin 9P last December), but he is the challenger against Cho Chikun 9P in the Judan title match that starts this week. Yamashita also currently shares the top of the most-wins in 2006 list among Japanese pros with Yoda Norimoto 9P with eight wins each.

LEE CHANGHO RETAKES KOREAN KUKSU: Lee Changho 9P continues to justify his ranking as the number one player in Korea, this time taking back the Kuksu title from Choi Cheolhan 9P, the number two Korean pro, by a score of 3-2. This was Lee's third consecutive challenge against Choi since Choi took the title from Lee in 2003. Choi won the first two times, but finally fell this year. All five games in this match were won by Black by resignation. This is the ninth time Lee has won this title. He was also the unsuccessful challenger for the title six times. This gives Lee five current Korean titles: King of Kings, Wangwi, Sibdang Cup, KBS, and Kuksu. Choi has been reduced to only one title, the GS Caltex Cup. Both hold an international title: Lee has the Chunlan and Choi the Zhonguan. Choi shares the top of the most-wins in 2006 list among Korean pros with Lee Sedol 9P at ten wins each. Lee Changho so far in 2006 has se ven wins and six losses.

GO WORLD BONUS: Join the American Go Association now and get a free copy of Go World, the English-language quarterly from Kiseido that provides in-depth coverage of top tournament games along with a wealth of terrific instructional material. Join during the month of March, and you'll get a free copy of Go World 77 (Summer 1996)! Take advantage of this special offer now at  PLUS: two- or three-year memberships get two or three back issues!

MEMBERSHIP DROPS, STILL RECORD LEVELS: A 4-month rise in membership in the American Go Association was snapped in February when total membership dropped slightly for the first time since September, 2005. At 2,153 (down from January's 2,180), AGA membership is still at record levels: February's membership is the 2nd-highest ever reached by the AGA. Membership was down in every category except for Chapters, which were up four, to 141, a new record high.

YOUR MOVE: Readers Write

KERWIN ALSO NIHON KIIN PRO: "I believe, contrary to the E-Journal statement that 'Michael Redmond 9P, the only US citizen who is a Nihon Kiin pro" (Redmond Wins Spot In Japanese Oza, 2/27 EJ), that James Kerwin is also a US citizen and Nihon Kiin pro." writes Richard Dolen. "He's listed in the Nihon Kiin almanac as such." Quite right; we apologize for the oversight.

MORE ON GO AND THE BRAIN: In a paper presented last year, Dr. Ilho Choi "commented that while chess seems to activate somewhat more left-brain, that go activations show greater balance between each side of the brain although with a very slight right-brain bias," writes SlugGo programmer David Doshay in response to our 2/27 report on "Evidence Of Go As A Right-Brain Activity." Choi is head of the Department of Baduk Studies at Myongji University, the only university in the world that has a degree program in go, and presented his paper on fMRI studies and go at the Third International Conference on Baduk, held at in Korea in October 2005. Adds Doshay, "This was something of an aside, with (Dr. Choi's) primary conclusion (being) that expert players used the same area of the brain but substantially less of their brains than do novice players when considering the problems he presented to the participants."


March 11: Ann Arbor, MI
Ann Arbor/Umich spring tournament
Jin Chen 313-643-2888

March 18: Raleigh, NC
Combined NCSU and Cary Go Club Tournament
Owen Chen 919-531-9234

March 19: Sunnyvale, Ca
10th Jujo Jiang Cup Youth Goe Tournament
Mingjiu Jiang 650-969-2857

March 25: Washington, DC
Cherry Blossom 2006
Allan Abramson 703-684-7676

March 25: Syracuse, NY
2nd Annual Syracuse Spring Go Tournament
Richard Moseson 315-682-7720

March 31: Kiseido Go Server (KGS)
2nd Kato Masao Memorial Series
Christopher Vu 281-704-0357

April 1: Piscataway, NJ
Feng Yun Go School Monthly rated tournament
Feng Yun 973-992-5675

April 2: Seattle, WA
Ratings Tournament
Jon Boley 206-545-1424

Published by the American Go Association

Managing Editor: Chris Garlock
Assistant Editor: Bill Cobb

Text material published in the AMERICAN GO E JOURNAL may be reproduced by any recipient: please credit the AGEJ as the source. PLEASE NOTE that commented game record files MAY NOT BE published, re-distributed, or made available on the web without the explicit written permission of the Editor of the E-Journal. Please direct inquiries to

Articles appearing in the E-Journal represent the opinions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official views of the American Go Association.

To make name or address corrections, go to Story suggestions, event announcements, Letters to the Editor and other material are welcome, subject to editing for clarity and space, and should be directed to:
Editor: Chris Garlock

American Go Association P.O. Box 397 Old Chelsea Station New York, NY 10113-0397