News from the American Go Association

June 16, 2006
Volume 7, #50 (Member's Edition)

  Richmond, Piscataway & Tacoma
GAME COMMENTARY: Playing Their Own Game
ATTACHED FILE(S): 2006.06.16 Kong-Zhou, Tianyuan, Liu.sgf; 2006.06.16 McGuigan Series #18.pdf

N.A. MASTERS STARTS TOMORROW: The 2006 North American Masters Tournament (NAMT) gets underway this weekend as B League players battle live on KGS. "Games will start at 4P EST this Saturday, June 17th on KGS in the NAMT Room," reports Tournament Director Jon Boley. Round 1 pairings: Board 1: Zhaonian Chen vs Hosuk Yi; Board 2: Jie Lang vs Seung Hyun Hong; Board 3: Wei Chen vs Landon Brownell; Board 4: Jung Hoon Lee vs I-han Lui; Board 5: Eric Lui vs Martin Mueller; Board 6: Yuan Zhou vs Jim Huang. Bye: Sorin Gherman. The B League winner will join the seven members of the A League in a round robin to determine the 2006 NAMT finalists. The A League consists of Jie Li (2005 NAMT champion), Thomas Hsiang (2005 finalist), Feng Yun, Mingjiu Jiang, Yang Yilun, Lin Xuefen, and Yang Huiren. For more about the NAMT tournament, check out

GUO IN THE CATSKILLS: The Memorial Day Guo Juan workshop at The Woodlands in Round Top, NY "went very well," reports organizer Jean-Claude Chetrit. "We had a full house that included Jean Michel, the current French go champion and an old friend of The Brooklyn Go Club. The food was spectacular, as usual." Although the event had no tournament, Chetrit reports that "One night, we had 'Survivor Go,' a type of Team Go where one is eliminated if one has made -- according to the pro -- a very bad move." The last day featured a simul with Guo Juan and Jean Michel. "We will be having another similar workshop on the Columbus Day weekend," promises Chetrit. Check out digital pictures online at and  

MAKING GO DREAMS COME TRUE: With the 2006 Youth Go Camps almost here, you can make a go dream come true by making a donation to the American Go Foundation (AGF), the charitable arm of American Go. The AGF has been supporting the US Go Camps for years with thousands of dollars raised from go players who want to help the next generation of players learn to enjoy the game. For the 2006 Go Camps, the AGF has committed funding $7000 in scholarships and professional expenses but must replace those precious funds to continue. Donations are tax deductible and may be sent to: American Go Foundation, c/o Laird, 211 West 106th St. Apt. 3C, New York, NY 10025 with a note "Support the Go Camp."

JOEY'S GO CAMP STARTS MONDAY: Joey Hung 8d's summer go camp starts next week and a few spots remain; the camp runs June 19 - June 30 in Fremont, CA. Details at or call 510-659-8220.

BOARD NOMINATIONS FINALIZED: Nominations have now closed in the races for the AGA Board, with a total of eight candidates running for four seats, one in each region and an At-Large seat. Candidate statements are posted online at  While the At-Large and Western slots are uncontested - Roy Laird is running unopposed for the At-Large seat and Jean DeMaiffe is unopposed in the Western region - there are three nominations each in the Eastern and Central regions. Christopher Kubica, Chuck Robbins and Pete Schumer have been nominated in the East, while in the Central region Roy Schmidt, Laura Kolb and Jason Preuss have been nominated.

TAKAO TAKES COMFORTABLE LEAD IN HONINBO: Takao Shinji 9P how leads 3-1 in his defense of his Japanese Honinbo title against Yamada Kimio 9P. Details on Monday.

TEAMS FROM CHONGQING AND SHANDONG LEAD CHINESE LEAGUE: After six rounds of the Chinese A League competition between four player teams representing various cities, the teams from Chongqing and Shandong lead with four wins each. Details on Monday.

MACFADYEN EXTENDS WELSH OPEN STREAK TO 68: Matthew Macfadyen 6d now has won 68 straight games in the Welsh Open. Details on Monday.

WEEKEND GO ACTION:  Richmond, Piscataway & Tacoma
- 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

GAME COMMENTARY: Playing Their Own Game
       Two top Chinese players ignore each other's moves for the first 15 moves in today's commentary, from a game in the 20th Tianyuan Semifinals, played February 17, 2006 in China. Kong Jie 7P plays Zhou Ruiyang 3P with commentary by Liu Jing 8P, translated from the March 15 edition of Weiqi World by David Wong 2d of Richmond, VA.
       Our bonus file is the latest installment of Haruyama Isamu 9P's popular "Questions from Actual Play" series, translated by Robert McGuigan.
       To view the attached .sgf file(s), simply save the file(s) to your computer and then open using an .sgf reader such as Many Faces of Go or SmartGo. Readers who need .sgf readers can get them for most platforms at Jan van der Steen's

By James Kerwin 1P
       This week's article is aimed at players planning to compete in the U.S. Open, the U.S. Go Congress' main tournament. It's critical to understand the severity of tournament play to prepare for what you will face.
       The Open is a 6-round, 6-day tournament, with 90 minutes per player (2 hrs per player in the top section), and most games take up the full morning, clocking in a three hours and longer. It is proverbial that the race is not always to the swift. This principle is not only true of races, but of all contests. The 'better man' is not always the winner. Why not? Think about the game this way: to win a go game it takes about 120 consecutive good moves. At the top level it takes about 120 outstanding moves. But to lose a game takes only a single mistake. Thus, the stronger player can outplay his opponent for 119 moves, only to lose because of the 120th.
       What does this mean in practice? Outplaying your opponent in a tournament game does not ensure victory, for he or she will almost assuredly neither concede the loss nor despair. Instead, your opponent will bear down and work twice as hard to turn the game around. Every move you make will be subject to increased scrutiny as he or she looks for any mistake, even a tiny one, to use to start catching up. And if the usual course of play won't give your opponent a good chance to reverse, he or she will push the game into an unusual course. Think of the bucking bronco trying desperately trying to unseat his rider. Conversely, if you should find yourself in an unfavorable game, you should do all these things yourself.
       This is why I emphasize stamina. A tired player will play below their level. And if the opponent can play with undiminished energy the odds are good that the tired player will find the losing move and give away a winning game. Obviously, a tired player will be unable to spend the effort to turn around a losing game.
       Those willing to train to do well should follow the regimen I recommended last time (Get Started Now! 6/9 EJ). By playing longer games you will develop the stamina needed to hold on to a winning game, or to reverse a losing game. But you will also develop the work ethic and mental toughness needed to bear down from start to finish. To play as hard on the last move as you did on the first. To see an unfavorable position as a nothing more than a challenge to be overcome. Nothing less will suffice.


GO LIBRARY FOR SALE: 360 Japanese Go Magazines from 1960 through 2006. Most in good to excellent condition. Classic magazines include Takagawa's 9th defense of 15th Honinbo Title (1960), Hashimoto wins 1st 10 Dan (1962), Sakata takes 2nd Meijin (1963), Rin Kaiho takes 4th Meijin (1965), Cho Chikun and Kobayashi Koichi's first titles, etc. $15 apiece OBO. 400 other items available, including books signed personally by Go Seigen, Sakata, etc. Contact: (6/16)

CONGRESS COUPON FOR SALE: $350 AGA coupon for sale for $250 OBO; coupon can be used as $350 cash in the coming Go Congress. Contact Wenjie Xu at or call 646-270-1180 (6/9)

Classified ads are free for AGA members: send your ad to us at

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

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