News from the American Go Association

June 12, 2006
Volume 7, #49

Guo Juan on Thomas Debarre
Attached file: 2006.06.12 Debarre-Tormanen Guo Juan

ALLARD TOP ZOOT SUIT IN CHI: Jean Allard 2d took top honors in the June 3 Zoot Suit Alors! Tourney in Chicago, IL, which drew 35 players. "Since this was the 100th birthday of Josephine Baker, and we had two new players from France, it's fitting that one of them came in first," reports TD Bob Barber, who notes that Allard was the only one to defeat young Will Zhou 5d, "and that by three points." Barber adds that the top winners in the kyu section, Laura Kolb and Lee Huynh "are infamous in Chicago for rising in the ranks so quickly; they assist in the E-Journal's Shodan Challenge, and may soon be shodan themselves." Finally, Barber reports, "One third of our players (and one third of our winners) are students of our resident pro, Huang Liping."
       Winner's Report: 1st Place Dan: ALLARD, Jean 2d; Tie 1st Place Low Kyu: KOLB, Laura 4k, HUYNH, Lee 4k; 1st Place Mid Kyu: DUDZIK, Andrew 15k; 1st Place High Kyu: PAI, Daniel 30k; 2nd Place High Kyu: LI, Arthur 29k.

ZHANGS DOMINATE DAVIS/SAC SUMMER TOURNEY: Tony, Joy and Sammy Zhang dominated the June 10 Davis/Sacramento Summer Tournament. Three of the five players with perfect records came from the Bay Area's Zhang family: Tony Zhang 3d, Joy Zhang 10k, and Sammy Zhang 25k. Other perfect 4-0 records were Xi Yuanxin 2d and Jeff Newmiller 1k. Twenty-two people from as far away as Palo Alto (150 miles) came to play at the Arcade Library in Sacramento, one of the largest turnouts yet, especially considering that there are no prizes at this tourney. Carl Hopkins directed. Check the website - -- for a photo.
       Winner's Report: First place: Tony Zhang; Second place (tied): Jeff Newmiller and Yuanxin Xi.
- reported by Lawrence Ku, EJ West Coast Bureau Reporter

DC PREVAILS AGAIN: "The unstoppable GWGCers trounced the Rockville Club Friday night 11 to 6," reports Greater Washington (DC) Go Club organizer Hal Small 3d. Watch for the full results in an upcoming E-Journal. The next DC-area club tournament match will be July 14 and Small says "We hope to keep this a monthly event, every 2nd Friday of the month, excluding August, although we may try for a larger Club Team tournament as part of the Congress."

CONGRESS REGISTRATIONS TOP 200: Sign-up for the 22nd annual U.S. Go Congress now stands at 223, setting a pace to match last year's record attendance in Tacoma, WA. The Congress, American go's biggest event of the year, attracts hundreds of go players from around the world for 8 days of non-stop go, this year scheduled for August 12-20 in Black Mountain, NC. Congress travel information has been updated: airport shuttle information is now posted on the website -- "Register as soon as possible to ensure you get the accommodations you want," says organizer Paul Celmer. "Plus, save $50 if you complete your registration by June 22."

MIOCH ON THE WAGC: Pieter Mioch's day-by-day reports on the recent World Amateur Go Championships in Japan are available online at, reports European Go Federation President Tony Atkins. Mioch is a Dutch go player who went to Japan in 1988 and studied for three years as an insei at the Nagoya branch of the Nihon Ki-in. Besides helping out at the Nihon Ki-in, Pieter writes go articles in Dutch, English and Japanese. His fascinating and detailed WAGC reports include plenty of photos, news and even some interesting go diagrams from the event.

WOMEN PROS OUT IN KOREAN ELECTRON-LAND CUP: Both Rui Naiwei 9P and Cho Hyeyeon 7P lost their games in the third round of the Electron-Land Cup, leaving an all male field for the semi-finals. Cho lost by resignation to Lee Changho 9P, while Rui was beaten by Park Jungsang 6P. Park is in his early twenties and won the New Stars Best Ten tournament in 2004. Besides Park and Lee, the semifinals of this cup will include the winner of a match between Choi Cheolhan 9P and Choi Kyubyeong 9P and either Cho Hunhyun 9P or Hong Sungji 5P. Hong is another of the surprising Korean teenagers.

WINNINGEST PROS OF 2006 (SO FAR): Halfway through the year, the lists of the most successful pros in terms of the number of games won are increasingly dominated by the most familiar names. In Japan, Yamashita Keigo 9P tops the list with 24 wins, followed by Cho U 9P and Yoda Norimoto 9P each with 20. Cho Chikun 9P, who is staging something of a comeback, has 19 and Yuki Satoshi 9P 18. In Korea, the well known Lee Sedol 9P is tops with 32 wins, followed by Choi Cheolhan 9P with 29. Tied for third are Park Jungsang 6P (see above story) and much less familiar Heo Yeongho 5P with 27 wins each. Heo won the BC Card Cup championship earlier this year. Lee Changho 9P has slipped to a tie for eighth at 24, and Rui Naiwei 9P is tied for 11th with 22 wins. In China, Xie He 6P edges out the number one Chinese player Gu Li 9P by 31 wins to 30. Xie has been having a very good year in international competition, though he has not won any titles. Wang Xi 5P and Zhou Ruiyang 3P are tied for third with 28 victories. Zhou is only fifteen while Wang is in his twenties.

CHO U TO CHALLENGE YODA FOR GOSEI: Cho U 9P has won the opportunity to challenge Yoda Norimoto 9P for the Japanese Gosei title by defeating Yamashita Keigo 9P, the current Kisei, by 2.5 points last Thursday. Cho, who has been the dominant title winner in Japan in recent years, has been reduced to holding "only" the Meijin and the Oza titles, so this is his chance to add a third of the big seven titles to his current list. Yoda has held this title for the last three years--he also held it for three consecutive years in the '90s. Like the Kisei and the Tengen among the top seven, this is a title that Cho has never even challenged for before, although, in addition to the Meijin and the Oza, he has held the Honinbo and challenged for the Judan. Yoda held the Judan title in 1995 and 1996, and held the Meijin for four years until he lost it to Cho U in 2004. Yoda challenged Cho U unsuccessfully for the Honinbo in 2004. He also has challenged unsuccessfully for the Kisei. but has never yet challenged for the Tengen and the Oza, so this latest title match-up between these two should be interesting. The first game of the best-of-five contest will be July 6th.

TAKAO RETAKES LEAD IN HONINBO: After losing the second game, Takao Shinji 9P and current Honinbo, took the third game of his title match with challenger Yamada Kimio 9P to make the score 2-1. Takao took this title last year from Cho U 9P, who had held it for the previous two years. The fourth game is on Monday and Tuesday of this week. Yamada challenged for the Gosei in 2004 and for the Oza in 1998, but he has never held one of the top seven Japanese titles.

CAMP SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE: Scholarships are available for both youth go camps this year and there are still openings in both the East and West Coast camps. "I'm very excited to have the chance to attend camp this year and very grateful to those who donated money to the AGF to make attending camp this possible for me!" says one scholarship recipient. " I look forward to learning as much as I can!" Visit for applications.

KERWIN'S CONGRESS PREP GUIDE: "Start by doing life and death problems," said James Kerwin 1P in last Friday's first installment of his new series how to prepare for the upcoming US Go Congress. Over the next two months Kerwin will have specific suggestions for first-timers, for players who just want to enjoy the Congress, for those who want to improve, and for those who want to increase their rank or do well in the main tournament. This Friday Kerwin takes a look at "the severity of tournament play": don't miss out, sign up now for the Member's Edition and you'll be ready too! Sign up now at

By Guo Juan 5P
      I first met young Thomas Debarre in 2004 at the French summer camp. Fred Donzet 6d said "You must play a game with that little boy," so we played and sure enough, I was quite impressed by the way the 11-year-old put himself into the game. It was obvious that he really loved go and had talent. Thomas is from Strasbourg and studies with Antoine Fenech and Fred Doze. Although Thomas was at Go Camp for just a week, he never missed a lesson. He was very small and the table seemed too high for him: he never sat down, always standing right next to the table so that he could reach the board when he wanted to place a stone. He was very quiet and had incredible concentration, able to instantly memorize the josekis and fusekis I was teaching. When he replayed josekis he went so fast that sometimes even I had to slow him down so that I could follow the moves.
      Thomas was my partner in the camp Pair Go Tournament and I had great fun with him. We had very good game against tough opponents but we lost in the end. It was my fault and Thomas was so sad that it really broke my heart. After that I played more seriously and did my best to win the other Pair Go games with him. One night Olivier told me Thomas was crying because his week of Go Camp was over and he really wanted to stay. From that moment on, I knew this little boy would become strong one day. A month later I met him in Vancouver when Thomas played in the Ings' Goe Youth World Championship. My pro friend Mrs Hua XueMing 7P told me "Pay attention to this kid; this little boy plays like a beginner, but he will be good: he has no fear." But it was only when Thomas became one of my students that I really got to know him. We study together and have fun talking about pro games and the mistakes we made in the many games we play together. Thomas is a very gentle, open-minded boy, but on the go board, he is a little killer. I am very proud of him, and glad I have had the chance to work with him.
      Because he had just gotten into the higher under-18 group with many 3-dans, 4-dans and even a young 6-dan, I did not have high expectations of Thomas - now 13 and a 1-dan -- at this year's European Youth Championship,. But Thomas surprised us all by defeating two 4-dans and winning 3rd place. Like many young French go players, Thomas is doing very well indeed, and I hope he continues study hard and reach higher and higher levels in understanding the game of go.
      See the attached game file for Guo's commentary on Debarre's March 25 game with Antti Tormanen 4d of Finland. To get such commentaries every week, sign up now for the EJ Member's Edition at


June 17: Richmond, VA
Virginia Open
William Cobb 804-740-2191

June 17: Piscataway, NJ
Feng Yun Go School Monthly rated tournament
Feng Yun 973-992-5675

June 17: Tacoma, Washington
Late Spring Go Tournament
Gordon E. Castanza

June 24: Hanover, New Hampshire
Upper Valley Go Club Handicap Tournament 2006
Karen Plomp 603-448-0791

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

July 8: Chicago, IL
'Baduk on the Beach' Handicap Tourney
Jason Allen 773-227-1629

July 8-9: Manitoba
Manitoba Open Go Tournament - 2006
Arax Orantz 204-222-1310

July 15: Kalamazoo, MI
Kalamazoo's 5th tournament
Benjamin Schooley 269-672-7466

July 16: Somerville, MA
MGA Summer Handicap Tournament
Zack Grossbart 617-497-1232

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