News from the American Go Association
May 1, 2006

Volume 7, #36


ATTACHED GAME: 2006.05.01 Zhou-Chang.sgf

KAROLINE BURRALL PERFECT IN DAVIS/SAC: Karoline Burrall 5k won all four rounds to top the April 29 Davis/Sacramento Spring Tournament, the only player to do so. The first quarterly tournament this year in the Sacramento, CA area drew 14 players to Belle Cooledge Library, including both locals and enthusiasts from as far as Berkeley and Fremont. The diehard players completed four rounds in seven hours without any rest or lunch break; Carl Hopkins directed.
       Results: 1st: Karoline Burrall (4-0); 2nd (tied): Matthew Burrall, Willard Haynes, Roger Schrag (all 3-1).
- reported by Lawrence Ku, EJ West Coast Reporter

JING WEI LIM SWEEPS MGA: Jing Wei Lim 3d swept all four games to win first place in the April 30 MGA Spring Handicap Tournament in Somerville, MA. Thirty two players participated; Zack Grossbart directed.
        Results: 1st: Jing Wei Lim 3d (4-0); 2nd: David Kahn 12k (4-0); 3rd: Tim Button 16k (3-1).

US GO CONGRESS TOPS 100: Over 100 have now registered for this year's US Go Congress, including nine from abroad and three professionals. Confirmed pros are Michael Redmond 9P, Guo Juan 5P, and XianXian Niu 3P. A new ride board is available for anyone attending the 2006 US Go Congress. Whether you need a ride, can give a ride, or want to carpool, you can go to and post your information. For $50 savings, register and pay before June 22nd at

LIFE & CHAPTER MEMBERSHIPS UP IN APRIL: Increases in life and chapter memberships highlighted April's American Go Association membership report. Life memberships jumped a record 6 in April, sparked by a special Go World promotion -- increases in this $1,000 category are usually just one or two - and chapter memberships continued to stay in record territory as well, hitting a new high of 143. "These are folks that are making significant financial or organizational commitments," noted AGA President Mike Lash. While overall membership declined to 2,135 as full, limited and youth memberships recorded decreases, the April membership was nevertheless the 4th-highest total in AGA history.

SHODAN CHALLENGERS ACHIEVING GOALS: An April survey of the nearly fifty 2006 Shodan Challenge participants revealed that over a quarter of the Challengers have already hit their goals, report Challenge Coordinators Lee Huynh and Laura Kolb. "More than half of the Challengers have shown marked improvement in their playing," they add. Challengers reported that setting tangible goals and an actual deadline has motivated many of the Challengers to improve above and beyond normal studies. The survey also revealed that: all but one play go at least weekly, and over a third (38%) play daily; almost all (92%) use books to study, but just over half (51%) study pro games; KGS is the most popular go server, with 74% playing on it; while many think they're likely to improve with more playing (46%), lessons (64%), or game analysis (46%), one Challenger thinks karate would help.
       As part of the Shodan Challenge program, Challengers participate in monthly contests or drawings: March winners are Calvin Clark, Ian Davis, and Gordon Castanza; April drawing winners: Boris Bernadsky, Sean Reeves, and Zeke Tamayo. Prizes for these winners have been generously provided by Samarkand and SmartGo. "With just three months left until the Go Congress, we wish the Challengers the best!" say Huynh and Kolb.
       Challengers Who Have Achieved their 2006 Goal: 20 Kyu Challenge: Heber Nelson, Matthew Martin, Steven Larson, 10 Kyu Challenge: Calvin Clark, Greg Campbell, Sean Reeves, Terry McIntyre, 5 Kyu Challenge: Daniel Poore, Jonathan Hop, Laura Kolb, Lee Huynh, Michael Su
       Challengers Who Have Improved: 20 Kyu Challenge: Edward Hammerbeck, Nikolas J. Stimpson, 10 Kyu Challenge: Boris Bernadsky, David Whiteside, Vincent DiMattia, 5 Kyu Challenge: Ken Crumpler, Shodan Challenge: Boudewijn op 't Hoog, Ian Davis, John Howard, Karen Plomp, Matt Bengtson, Ze-Li Dou, 5 Dan Challenge: Terry Fung.

FINAL 32 SET FOR LG CUP: The original sixty-four participants in the opening rounds of the 11th LG Cup have been pared down to sixteen who will join sixteen invited and seeded players for the main tournament, which is a single-elimination contest of 32 players that begins May 15th in Seoul and concludes with a best-of-five-game final. The final list includes two from Taiwan (Lin Zhihan 7P and Zhou Junxun 9P), six from Japan (Cho Chikun 9P, Takao Shinji 9P, Yamashita Keigo 9P, Kono Rin 8P, So Yokoku 8P, and Ko Iso 7P; the last two got in through surviving the preliminary) and eleven from China, including Gu Li 9P, last time's winner, Chen Yaoye 5P, last time's runner-up, Yu Bin 9P, Chang Hao 9P, and Zhou Heyang 9P. The thirteen Koreans include the top three on the official Korean pro rating list: Lee Changho 9P, Choi Cheolhan 9P, and Lee Sedol 9P. There are no non-Asian representatives this year. Besides the two Japanese, the preliminary tournament yielded one Taiwanese, six Chinese, and seven Koreans. The Koreans have won six of the previous ten editions of the LG Cup, including four victories by Lee Changho. The Chinese and Japanese have each won twice. With recent wins by Japan (Cho U 9P in the 9th LG) and China (Gu Li in the 10th LG), the big question on everyone's mind is whether the Koreans can come back this year.

SURPRISES AMONG TOP PRO WINNERS: The list of the professionals with the most wins so far in 2006 contains some surprises. In Japan the top six winners are well-known: Yamashita Keigo 9P is first with seventeen wins and eight loses. Yoda Norimoto 9P is second with sixteen wins and five loses. Four players are tied with thirteen wins: Cho Chikun 9P, Yuki Satoshi 9P, Cho U 9P, and Yamada Kimio 9P. In Korea, the famous Lee Sedol 9P is number one with twenty-three wins and five loses for an impressive 82% winning percentage.
       But the next names on the list are not so well known. Choi Wonyong 4P is second with twenty-two wins and seven loses. This Choi has not yet broken into the list of title contenders. He's followed by Lee Jaewong 4P and Seo Gunwoo 3P who have twenty-one wins each for third place and are also not yet title contenders. A familiar name pops up among those tied for fifth with twenty wins, namely, Rui Naiwei 9P, winner of numerous Korean titles and the first woman to win a pro tournament not restricted to women; also in this group are Park Yeonghun 9P, who has won both international and national titles, and Park Jungsang 5P, who won the New Stars Best Ten title in 2004. Rounding out this group is another relative unknown, Kang Dongyun 4P.
       The Chinese list has a surprise at the top: Zhou Ruiyang 3P, who has twenty wins and only three loses so far in 2006. Zhou has just turned fifteen. We have attached an SGF file of the record of a recent game in which Zhou defeated one of the top Chinese pros, Chang Hao 9P, in a Chinese City League A game. The file is taken by permission from the site. Second on the Chinese list is Wang Xi 5P, who recently won the Chinese Liguang Cup. The very well-known Chang Hao 9P is tied for third with Ding Wei 8P and Li Zhe 4P with sixteen wins each.Ding was the National Individual Champion in 1997, and Li is the current holder of the Chinese Xinren Wang (New Pro) title. Chang is one of the most successful Chinese pros and won the international Ing Cup last year, the most lucrative pro title. China's number one player Gu Li 9P shows up in sixth place with 15 wins.


May 5: Bethesda, MD
Yuan Zhou 7d Monthly Lesson
8:30P; Cedar Lane Unitarian Church, 9601 Cedar Lane, Bethesda.
Bring game records to participate ($5), or observe for free.
Haskell Small

May 6: Piscataway, NJ
Feng Yun Go School Monthly rated tournament
Feng Yun 973-992-5675

May 6: Baltimore, MD
Hopkins GO Self-Paired and Lecture
Scott Waldron 410-236-4668

May 6: Colorado Springs, CO
Rocky Mtn. Quarterly Regional Tournament
Jim Michali 719-487-8816

May 7: Seattle, WA
Ratings Tournament
Jon Boley 206-545-1424

May 20: Arlington, VA
May Madness Tournament
Allan Abramson 703-684-7676

May 20: Des Moines, IA
All-Iowa (and Beyond) Go Tournament
Duncan H. Brown 641-919-9616

May 26-29: Round Top, NY
2006 Memorial Day workshop with Guo Juan
Jean-Claude Chetrit 718-638-2266 (h)

May 27-28: Baltimore MD
33rd Maryland Open
Keith Arnold 410-788-3520

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Managing Editor: Chris Garlock
Assistant Editor: Bill Cobb

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