News from the American Go Association

August 7, 2006
Volume 7, #65


CONGRESS PREVIEW: Ing Players 2006

2006 US GO CONGRESS STARTS SATURDAY: With the 2006 U.S. Go Congress just days away, final preparations are being made for the year's biggest go event, 8 days of go in Black Mountain, NC, beginning this Saturday, August 12 and running through August 20. There's still time to sign up: more than 400 go players already have! Check out the list and the latest Congress updates at  New this week: Day Off activities, including touring the famous Biltmore estate, whitewater raft trips, shopping at the Southern Highland Handicraft Guild, hike in Chimney Rock Park or to waterfalls. NOTE: see the Congress Preview below for a guide to this year's Ing Cup players!

CONGRESS TO FEATURE FIRST INTERCLUB TOURNEY: Washington DC-area go organizers have had such success with their recent club team tournament matches "that we decided to try a new event at the Go Congress this year, a national inter-club team tournament, reports Haskell Small. Any club that wishes to participate must pick 3 players for their team (of any strength- games will be handicapped appropriately). "If possible, do this before the Congress and email me the names, strengths, and club," urges Small. "At the Congress I will make initial pairings and post/announce them. In a similar manner to the final knock-out playoffs of the 9x9, lightning tournament, etc., the players can then find and play each other, report the results to me, and the winners then watch for their next pairings. The games could also, with mutual agreement, simultaneously be counted in the Self-Paired Tournament." In addition to t he undying glory, Small is dangling a valuable prize -- a fan rumored to be signed by the legendary Keith L. Arnold - reach him at

EJ COVERS THE CONGRESS: Once again this year, the E-Journal will provide extensive coverage of the US Go Congress. Look for live daily coverage of the top boards at the US Open and the Ing Cup, broadcast live on the IGS. A special daily edition of the E-Journal will keep you up to date on Congress news and will include game records and commentaries. Photos, news and games will also be posted on an ongoing basis on the AGA website at

GO AT B'MORE'S OTAKON '06: Baltimore Area clubs joined forces to bring go to the OTAKON Japanese Anime Convention in Baltimore this past weekend, reports local organizer Keith Arnold. Todd Blatt (UMBC) headed the team, assisted by Arnold (Baltimore), Scott Waldron, Stephanie Xu , Angel Tao (Hopkins), Mathew Harding and Bryan Kelly (UMBC). "Special thanks go to Juan Pablo Quizon of Rockville, who stepped up to lecture with a laptop and projector when the Baltimore demo board was temporarily misplaced," says Arnold. Over 100 attended the 2-hour seminar which broke up into dozens of instructional and friendly games. Arizona's William Cushing was also on hand all weekend with go boards in the event's game room, taking on all comers. The first four episodes of Hikaru No Go were shown in one of the many screening rooms of this huge event.

FENG YUN IN SAMSUNG CUP PRELIM: As reported last week, Feng Yun 9P, who resides in New Jersey, will be playing in the preliminary round of the international Samsung Cup. We now have more details. This year for the first time there are two women-only sections of the preliminary round and the winner of each is guaranteed a spot in the 32-player final tournament. As a result virtually all of the top women pros are competing (48 altogether), including Rui Naiwei 9P. Feng Yun's first game is against Mukai Chiaki 1P of Japan next Saturday. The preliminary round for the Samsung is one of the largest pro tournaments in the world. This year 299 players, including four amateurs, are competing for sixteen slots in the main tournament. The other sixteen are specially invited. Included among the invited so far are such well known players as Lee Changho 9P, Lee Sedol 9P, Chang Hao 9P, Gu Li 9P, and Cho Chikun 9P.

PARK JIEUN REACHES KOREAN WOMEN'S MYEONGIN FINALS: Park Jieun 6P defeated Cho Hyeyeon 7P to gain the finals of the 8th Myeongin (Meijin) challenger's tournament. This put Cho in the losers' bracket, so she and Park may meet again in the finals. Both Park and Cho have had some successes against current Women's Myeongin Rui Naiwei 9P. Each has held this title once, though Rui has held it five times, including the last two. Cho was the challenger the last two years. You can play through the Park-Cho game at . There are some interesting life and death problems in the early stages.

TAKAO SHINJI TO CHALLENGE FOR JAPANESE MEIJIN: Takao Shinji 9P, the current Honinbo, will challenge Cho U 9P and current Meijin for the 31st Meijin title. Several players had a chance to catch Takao in the final games of the league to determine the challenger, but he won his own game against Han Zenki 7P to hold on to his lead in the league. Takao successfully defended his Honinbo title last month against Yamada Kimio 9P to keep that title for a second year. This is his first time to challenge for the Meijin. Cho U 9P, who holds two other of the top seven Japanese titles, the Oza and the Gosei (which he just took from Yoda Norimoto 9P in three straight games), plus the international Asian TV Cup, is looking to hold on to the Meijin title for the third straight year.

LEE SEDOL WINS KOREAN PRICES INFORMATION CUP: Lee Sedol 9P has defeated Choi Wonyong 4P to win the 2nd Prices Information Cup. Choi defeated Lee Changho 9P to reach the finals, but Lee Sedol triumphed 2-0, winning both games by resignation. Choi, born August 28, 1984 and still a teenager by Western counting, is another of the new crop of amazing young players in Korea. This is his first challenge for a title. Lee won the international Toyota-Denso Cup earlier this year, defeating Chang Hao 9P of China 2-1, as well as the Korean Maxim Cup, defeating Choi Cheolhan 9P 2-1. Lee has won more games this year than any other Korean pro, 43 victories with 17 loses for a 72% winning rate.

KBA FOUNDER CHO NAM-CHUL PASSES: Cho Nam-chul 9P, the founder of the Korea Baduk Association, passed away in his home on July 2, 2006. He was 83 years old. He is survived by his wife, a daughter, two sons, and his nephews Cho Chikun 9 dan and Cho Shoen 5 dan. In 1937 Cho went to Japan to became the pupil of Kitani Minoru, and returned to Korea at the age of 18. The next year he founded the Hansung Kiwon, which later became the Hanguk Kiwon (Korea Baduk Association) as Korea's first professional player. During the 50's and 60's Cho dominated Korean go, winning a total of 30 titles. In 1982 he reached the rank of 9 dan. Up until his passing Cho was the guiding force of the Hanguk Kiwon, leading it into a powerhouse of world title holders, with a base in Korea estimated at 8 million active players. Cho was honored posthumously by the president of Korea, Roh Moo-hyun, with the highest order of cultural merit.
- Reported by Janice Kim

2 NEW BOOKS FROM SLATE & SHELL: Slate & Shell has just published two new books. The first in a new series by Yilun Yang is The Workshop Lectures, volume 1 and contains three lectures, "When to Tenuki in the Opening", "Choosing the Direction of Attack", and "Playing Complicated Joseki". All feature excellent examples of Yang's emphasis on learning principles rather than memorizing sequences. The second book is a small pocket-sized edition, 4-4 Point Joseki: A Brief Introduction, by William Cobb, which is aimed at beginners up to about 5 or 6 kyu. You can check out sample pages at

SHOTWELL COVERS GO BASICS: Well-known go writer Peter Shotwell, author of Go! More Than a Game, has a new book out that introduces a new way to learn to play go. The first book to concentrate solely on 9x9 games, Go Basics "can quickly bring younger kids into the game with the guidance of parents, while older ones can learn from the book on their own," says Shotwell. "The principles of go remain the same on all sizes of boards." The book features seven professional 9x9 games, covering the opening to the endgame and illustrating advanced concepts. "It is hard to believe that what takes place in these games is on small boards, so the book will also appeal to so it will also appeal to time-harried adults who want to quickly learn about the game in a nutshell." says Shotwell. Go Basics also includes the American Go Association CD-ROM, with hundreds of features including how to find other players on and off the Internet, mo re teaching games, and many articles about the world of professional and amateur go along with the game's influence in Eastern and Western history, science, literature and art. Also included is IgoWin, an intelligent, interactive 9x9 game, so readers can begin playing immediately. Available for $16.95 from Tuttle Publishing at, by phone at 1-800-526-2778 in the USA, and in bookstores and on the Internet worldwide.

2006 CHALLENGER PROGRAM WINDS DOWN: "Within a week I noticed my playing strength drastically increased." "This was a great program that really encouraged players not to procrastinate in their own go studies." "I like having an external target." "...I haven't yet found an effective way of studying pro games. However, a very nice idea was recommended in a recent Ejournal and I intend to try this out." These are some of the comments from the nearly 50 participants in the 2006 Shodan Challenger program, which featured support, lessons, contests, prizes and more for go players looking to achieve specific goals by the 2006 U.S. Go Congress, which begins this Saturday. Look for a wrap-up report soon on who achieved their goals, and details on how to apply for the 2007 Challenge. Thanks to Shodan Challenge Co-coordinators Lee Huynh and Laura Kolb for all their hard work.

NEW GO ARTICLES FROM KOREA: The GoBase site ( has started a new series of articles on go by a leading Korean baduk writer, Lee Hong-Real. The first is about the nicknames associated with well known pros and offers some explanations. Everyone knows of Takemiya's "cosmic style", but did you know of Kobayashi Koichi's "subway style", named for his reluctance to play above the third line? You probably know that Lee Changho is called the "stone buddha" because of his endless patience and ability to out-wait his opponents, but you probably don't know that another of the top players in Korea, Choi Cheolhan, was called "the viper" because of his merciless style, but this was considered too harsh for such a nice guy and after some polling was changed to "mad dog". This should be an interesting series.

PECCI WINS GO QUIZ: Go Seigen's playing career was cruelly shortened by an accident, when he was hit by a motorcycle. Chris Pecci is this week's winner, selected at random from those responding correctly.

THIS WEEK'S GO QUIZ: What US amateur defeated a Japanese pro in the finals of an official tournament? Thomas Hsiang, Jie Li or Joey Hung? Click here to vote:  One winner will be drawn at random from the correct answers and will be awarded a gift certificate from one of our fine go vendors, or a free Limited membership.

CONGRESS PREVIEW: Ing Players 2006
The annual Ing Goe Tournament features a select crop of North America's top go players, who compete for thousands of dollars in prizes at the U.S. Go Congress. Look for live broadcasts of top games on the IGS next week, as well as commentaries in special editions of the E-Journal. Here's a quick guide to some of the invited players.

JON BOLEY 6d manages the Seattle Go Center. Boley began studying go two decades ago, when he was 21. "I studied for 9 years. I played for a year, than stopped, then started again." Boley's hobbies include "dancing -- I play classical guitar -- and I enjoy writing really bad haiku." Boley is also a software programmer on the side, although his priority is the Go Center and the game he calls "a never ending challenge. No matter how much you study, the game stays beautiful, and as you get stronger it gets more beautiful."

JIN CHEN 6d has been playing go for thirteen of his nineteen years. He hails from Riverview, MI, and his hobbies include soccer and video games. He'll be a junior at the University of Michigan this Fall. He has won both the 1d and 4d divisions at the US Open. "My favorite thing about go is the infinite variations and the infinitely varying values each stone can have." Chen's top tip "would be to realize that go isn't about winning and losing. Rather, it's about two players
working together doing their best to create a beautiful piece of artwork, and each game should be played to that purpose."

ZHAONIAN CHEN 7d has been playing go since he was 7. The 17-year-old high school student lives in New Jersey and also likes to play soccer, watch sports and play various games (like what?). Chen's key to being a top player: beginning young, taking lessons and playing frequently.

JIE LI 9d started playing go at the age of 11 in his native China. Now 25 and a recent UC San Diego graduate, Jie is perhaps the winningest amateur title-holder in the United States, with multiple wins in the U.S Open (youngest winner at 17), Ing Cup, Texas Open, Cotsen Open, Toyota Oza, Tokyo Semitsu and he was the first amateur player to win the North American Master's Tournament. His other interests include reading, traveling, teaching "and playing anonymously on the Internet." Adds Jie, "Go is very hard. The more I learn, the less I know about it."

ERIC LUI 7d is 17 years old and has been playing go for 12 years. He lives in Ellicott City, Maryland, where he's a high school student and a go teacher at the Chinese Language School of Columbia. Eric has won the New Jersey Open, Nova Cherry Blossom tournaments, the Redmond Cup as well as Children's Handicap Tournaments at the Congress in 2003 and 2004. Eric finished 2nd at the 2005 and 2006 Maryland Opens. His hobbies include the violin (he is a member of the Maryland All-State Orchestra), sports, reading, and painting. Eric says his favorite thing about go is playing in a strong field with other top youth players. The key to being a top go player is to review pro games, do tsumego, and participate in tournaments.

I-HAN LUI 7d is 48 years old and has played go for 30 years. A software engineer, Lui lives in Howard County, near Baltimore, Maryland. I-Han has won several titles, including the NJ Open, Maryland Open, Mid-Atlantic, Cherry Blossom and Eastern Championship. "Besides playing go, I love reading, classical music, and traveling." I-Han says his favorite thing about go is "Winning, of course, especially winning a game from behind." Lui's key to being a top go player? "Playing more tournament go and study games."

TREVOR MORRIS 6d has been playing for 25 years. The 37-year-old computer programmer hails from Germantown, MD. He took 2nd place in the 1 kyu division at the 2nd U.S. Go Congress, won the 1991 Quebec Open, the 1991 and 2005 NOVA Cherry Blossom Tournaments, and 2nd place in the 6 dan division at the 20th U.S. Go Congress. He competed in the 2006 Spring NOVA Pair Go tournament with his 5-year old daughter Abigail. Trevor's favorite reason for playing go: "It's fun and challenging."

NED PHIPPS 7d has been playing go for 33 of his 50 years. He learned go while studying math and physics at Cal and is now a software engineer, recently winning an Academy of Motion Pictures award for his work. He represented the U.S. in the 2nd World Amateurs and World Amateur Pair Go, won the San Francisco Cup, played in many North American Fujitsu qualifiers and Ing Cups; his best results have been 3rd places in the U.S. Open, Ing and Fujitsu. Phipps enjoys playing violin in local orchestra and chamber ensembles and currently has "a renewed interest in analyzing gravity." To get strong in go, Phipps says "One must have a desire to get to the bitter end of tantalizing problems. Dive in and keep at it. Find the key elements. Remember the reasons."

LIANZHOU YU 7d, originally from Beijing, China, now hails from St. Louis, MO. He started studying when he was "10, 11, something like that," and has been playing for more than 30 years. Yu also enjoys studying physics and computer science, and has recently taken up poker. Yu has won university, state and internet go championships, in addition to the Texas, Atlantic and Chicago Opens. Yu calls go "the double-edge sword" and says "Go is like drugs... it's very addictive. Some people spend too much time studying it and not other things. It can be good in discipline and critical thinking ability."

YUAN ZHOU 7d lives in Germantown, MD where he's Client Relations Manager for Institutional Shareholder Services. The 31-year-old has been playing go since the age of 6, when he was taught by his father (AGA member Xin-Li Zhou) in China, where he also received professional training at Tianjin. Zhou has won 23 titles, including the 1992 Eastern Open, the 2004 Ing Redmond Cup, the 2001 Korean Baduk Eastern Open, the 1994 and 2002 Maryland Opens, the 1990 and 2000 Mid Atlantic Opens, the 1995, 1996, 1997 and 2001 New Jersey Opens, the 1992 and 1993 Nova Cherry Blossom tournaments, the 1999 Nova Congress Tune Up, 1993 Nova Pumpkin Classic, 2000 and 2002 Pennsylvania Opens, 1998 Philadelphia Open, 1993 and 1995 University of Maryland Opens, 2004 US Pair Go and the 2003 and 2004 Virginia Opens. Zhou's interests include go history and go people, reading, movies and tennis and he holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of MD. His favorite thing about go is "endles s learning through go." Yuan Zhou's key to being a top player? "Study hard!"


August 12-20, 2006: Black Mountain, NC
The 22nd US Go Congress
Paul Celmer 919.779.7925

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

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