News from the American Go Association

October 9, 2006
Volume 7, #86

Credit Where Credit Is Due

ATTACHED FILE: 2006.10.09 NAMT Hsiang-Li, Hsiang.sgf

YANG, LI & CHEN WIN WEEKEND MASTER'S GAMES: There was no relaxing this Columbus Day weekend for North American Master's Tournament players. A full weekend of NAMT A League playoffs kicked off Friday when Yilun Yang 7P won by 9 against ZhaoNian Chen 8d; on Saturday, Jie Li 9d won by resignation against Huiren Yang 1P, and in Sunday's tripleheader, Jie Li won on time vs Mingjiu Jiang 7P, ZhaoNian Chen won by resignation vs. Thomas Hsiang 7d and Yilun Yang won by resignation against Huiren Yang. We're pleased to be able to include last Thursday's hard-fought 2.5-point game between Thomas Hsiang and Jie Li, with commentary by Hsiang. The NAMT action resumes on Wednesday, when Xuefen Lin 1P plays Thomas Hsiang beginning at 5P PST on the IGS. Two matches will be played Thursday: Feng Yun 9P vs Mingjiu Jiang at 8A PST and Yilun Yang plays Xuefen Lin at 2P on IGS. Four more games will be played over the weekend . Details, including the full schedule, are online at (click on NAMT on the right).

WILL ZHOU TOPS CHI TOURNEY: Will Zhou 6d won top honors in the September 30 "In Cold Blood" tournament in Chicago, IL. Shodan Challenge Coordinators Laura Kolb and Lee Huynh provided strong evidence of the power of the Challenge by tying for second place in their division (find out more about the Challenge at There were 33 players; Bob Barber was TD.
      Full Winner's Report: 1st Place Dan: ZHOU, Will 6d; 1st Place Low Kyu: ALLEN, Jason 3k (self-promoted 6 ranks and still won all his games); Tie 2nd Place Low Kyu: KOLB, Laura 3k & HUYNH, Lee 3k (Shodan Challenge Coordinators); 1st Place Mid Kyu: LIOTARD, Herve 11K ; 1st Place High Kyu: MAI, Barry 26K
- reported by Bob Barber

PENN GO HELPS CELEBRATE JAPAN: The Penn Go Society of Philadelphia, PA, participated in the 3rd Annual Celebrate Japan! Festival this past Saturday, October 7 at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology. In addition to spending an afternoon of teaching go to passers-by, the event - which celebrated Japanese culture and diversity - included a Japanese tea and more. The go table was run by co-organizers Peter Nassar and Matt Bengtson, and included six volunteers from the Penn Go Society, Nick D'Andrea, Alex Foti, David Kerkeslager, Ally Norton, Jon Nyquist, and Barry Pasicznyk. The festival, which ran from 11A-4P, drew hundreds of visitors, "and we are happy to say we gave out all of our go flyers and 9x9 paper-demonstration boards by the day's end!" reports Nassar. "Special thanks to the American Go Foundation for providing us with plastic demonstration boards and stones." Photos are pos ted online at:

THREE YOUTH CHAMPIONSHIP VENUES ANNOUNCED: Three of the 2007 US Youth Go Championship Qualifier venues have been set: Seattle, WA (3/17-18); San Francisco (3/24-25) and Chicago, IL (April). "We still have need of five additional hosts for Qualifier tournaments," says organizer Nicole Casanta. For more information on how your chapter can host a Qualifier event, contact Casanta at

CHINESE GIANTS BATTLE IN CHUNLAN: Taking all four places in the semifinals of the 6th international Chunlan Cup, the Chinese settled the question of whether a Chinese player would ever win this tournament which has been dominated by the Koreans, who have won every year except for one, which was taken by the Japanese. The four semifinalists were Peng Quan 7P, Chang Hao 9P, Xie He 6P, and Gu Li 9P. Chang and Gu made it into the finals, a best-of-three game contest that won't be held until next Spring. Gu is rated higher in the Chinese ranking than Chang, but that doesn't mean a lot in this kind of situation. Gu's being seven years younger and still in his twenties may mean more.

CHO U FIGHTS BACK IN MEIJIN: Down 0-2 in the best-of-seven match, Cho U 9P got off to a bad start in his second defense of the Japanese Meijin title. The challenger Takao Shinji 9P, who is also the current Honinbo, took the first two games, winning the first by a half point and the second by resignation. Cho took the third game by resignation, but still has to win three of the possible four games remaining to hold the title for a third year. The fourth game is this Tuesday and Wednesday. Takao would obviously like to grab the second of the big three titles to go with the Honinbo he already holds. He won't get a shot at the Kisei, the top title money-wise, since he's not in the current league, but Cho is in the league and still has a good chance to be the challenger for the Kisei with a 3-1 record. No one is doing better at this point.

QUIZMASTER WANTED: Will Shortz-wannabe wanted to help run the E-Journal's popular Go Quiz. Encyclopedic go knowledge not necessary but enthusiasm, reliability and sense of humor a must. Interested? Drop us a line at

BUCHAREST CORRECTION & UPDATES: Cornel Burzo won 3rd place in last weekend's Toyota-IGS-PandaNet Tour tournament in Bucharest, Romania, not Pal Balogh, as previously reported (Cho Seok Bin Tops Bucharest Tourney 10/2). Also, reports Romanian Go Federation's Marilena Bara, 16 of the 75 players were juniors, with 12-year-old 7k Diana Ardelean winning Best Result with 5 victories, and 5-year-old Cezar Constantinescu 20k was the youngest player. Full tourney results are online at

YOUR MOVE: Readers Write

CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE: "Despite Mike Lash's kind words about me (Tamm Retires, Again 9/29 EJ)," writes Ulo Tamm, "it was actually Phil Straus, Michael Simon and others who shepherded through the modernization of AGA's financial record keeping as well as the AGA's application for IRS Exempt status (501 C4). "I think that Michael Simon single-handedly worked with the IRS to obtain exempt status for both the AGA and AGF. I just continued the great basis of our records from Michael and Polly Pohl. Also, it should be noted that the first Form 990 for our corporation was prepared by Charles C. French for tax year 1997 and I followed suit from 1998 onwards. Also, while I was never Summer Camp treasurer, camp directors starting with Susan Weir entrusted the AGA with their funds, dealt with AGF directly and kept camp accounting simple and straightforward."

By Russ Williams
       I moved to Wroclaw, Poland in late 2005 and have since played in two go tournaments. In the past couple years, I'd started to fall off the go wagon (even missing the US Go Congress for the first time in 2005, in a chain of events that led me to Poland, but that's another story), so I decided to get back into go after arriving in Wroclaw. I started visiting a small club at the university, but all the conversation is in Polish (which I don't understand well), and often the meetings seem heavy on conversation and light on actual play. So I was happy to have the opportunity to play in a small (roughly 30 players) 1-day 4-round local tournament in Wroclaw, and a larger (77 players) weekend 6-round tournament in Warsaw.
      An obvious first question was what my European Go Federation rating should be. My AGA rating is stale, but I'd been playing a lot on KGS recently, bouncing between 9K and 8K, so several folks said I should enter as a 6K, which seemed reasonable in the end: I ended up 5-5 overall, winning 1 out of 4 in Wroclaw and 4 out of 6 in Warsaw.
      The games were all even; handicap stones are generally not used in European tournaments, and the stronger player doesn't even always play white. The pairing software tries to pair you with players of similar strength, but I had several even games with 4K opponents, and some larger differences came up with other players. The McMahon tournament system is generally used in Europe.
      Time controls were familiar (1 hour + 30 seconds byo yomi in Warsaw) and there were the familiar talking purple Ing clocks, as well as some good old fashioned mechanical chess clocks. There was a lot less formal bureaucracy and introductory discussion about the tournament rules than in US events. It seemed assumed that everyone knew how the rules worked (and indeed I saw no disputes or confusions). Japanese rules were used. In the completed tournament games I saw, players filled dame. Players chose their own table to play in Wroclaw, but in the Warsaw tournament there were assigned board numbers. The small Wroclaw tournament had modest prizes, but the Warsaw tournament had quite generous prizes - first place was 800 euros -- thanks to some sponsorship. Sponsors included various Polish businesses and MoyoGo, and the Japanese Embassy even took an interest in the tournament.
      While there were more male than female players, as in local US tournaments, there are a tiny number of Asian players compared to the US go scene. In the smaller Wroclaw tournament, everyone was Polish, mostly local players. In the larger Warsaw tournament, there were about 10 players from other countries (almost all of European descent). The top three winners were quite international: the winner was a Korean who lives in Germany, second place was from the Czech Republic, and third place was from the Netherlands. There were also some players from Denmark and Hungary.
      The Wroclaw event took place on a Sunday morning and afternoon. The Warsaw event actually lasted three days; the first round was Friday afternoon at 4 (with a trip to a pub in the evening), then three rounds on Saturday and two on Sunday, with the award ceremony at 3P Sunday. This Warsaw event was large enough to attract a vendor, so I was able to buy some replacements for sorely missed go books I now regret selling before my move (turns out go books are even scarcer in regular Polish bookstores than in US bookstores.) There are a few Polish go books, but mostly the vendor sold familiar English titles, along with some problem books in Japanese. Prices are just a little bit higher than buying them in the US.
      I speak Polish at about the 29 kyu level, so the language barrier was sometimes an issue. Generally I only heard Polish being spoken, although the strongest foreign players used English as a common language during their post-game analyses. Most of the players I played spoke English well enough to wish me a good game, etc. But not everyone knows it well enough for general conversation beyond the basics, and my bad Polish skills don't get me very far. The Wroclaw tournament was conducted solely in Polish. I have played in US tournaments with foreign players who didn't understand English well, and now I more directly understand the isolated sense of not understanding the language of the tournament very well. Luckily for me in the Warsaw tournament they made announcements in English as well as Polish, and the strong Korean player from Germany gave a Saturday night presentation about corner invasions in good English. Of course when actually play ing go or watching a strong player's lecture, one can get by without knowing the language well.
      It was good to experience go tournaments again, and I'm looking forward to more tournaments here in Poland and other European countries. There is also a 2-week summer go camp/school in Poland which neither my Polish skill nor my schedule permit this year, but I'm thinking about it for the future...
      The webpage of the Warsaw tournament (in Polish and English) is nicely done and has results and photos, for those interested:
      I am third on the left in this photo:
and standing near the right (glasses and t-shirt) in this photo:
      The main webpage for go in Poland is:

Locate go clubs worldwide at

GO PLAYERS WANTED: Go players in the Lake Tahoe (NV) area. Contact Fred Hopkins or call 916-548-8068 about forming a club. (10/6)

GO PLAYERS WANTED: Monument, CO: Looking for go players in the Monument, CO area. I know of no one that plays around here. Please contact me at Any strength whatsoever. (10/2)

GO PLAYERS WANTED: SW Portland/Beaverton: Ages 10-18 who would be interested in starting a youth go club. Contact Andrew Peterson at (10/2)

BOOK VETTER WANTED: If you could help many frustrated players stick with go, would you jump at the opportunity? Here's your chance! One vetter 5d & stronger is sought for my new book "Improve Fast In Go", designed to help players in the 5-15k range improve more quickly. Vetter receives acknowledgment in the book, an autographed copy on publication and the priceless appreciation of the many players who might otherwise give up the game. Contact Milt Bradley at with a brief description of qualifications. (9/25)
PLAYERS WANTED: Southfield, MI. I have been fascinated by go for years, am anxious to learn more. Looking for players in my area. Am probably a high kyu player, with no rating. Please respond to David at (10/2)

WANTED TO SELL OR TRADE: "Go Proverbs Illustrated" 1st. edition, 1960. Volume 1 of Go Library in English. Good condition, but lacking dust jacket. $50 or trade for certain Ishi Press titles.

GO PLAYERS WANTED: Syracuse, NY; If you attend Bishop Grimes JR./SR. High School, I might start go club at school if any people at the school play the game. Matt Jones, (9/25)

GO PLAYERS WANTED: Columbus, Indiana; We have moved here for half year. Looks like no one here plays the game. Please contact me with (9/25)

PLAYERS WANTED: Philadelphia, PA; Anyone interested in playing a quick game over lunch hour in Center City? Email Mark at (9/25)

WANTED TO BUY: Looking for English version of "All About Life and Death" by Cho Chikun. Contact (9/11)

PLAYERS WANTED (Auburn, NY): Looking for players in and around Auburn, NY who would like to start a Go club. Syracuse is too far away to drive to play go, and my high school club is greatly limited in what we can do due to time and public school regulations. We'd prefer a city club so we have more freedom. Contact Valerie Smith at (9/11)

PLAYERS WANTED (Bayside, NY): Looking for go players in Flushing, Queens or Long Island NY. It's too lonely by myself and my 2 other go players. Please reveal yourselves. (9/4)

SELL IT, BUY IT OR TRADE IT HERE with nearly 9,000 go-players worldwide! Classified ads are FREE and run for 4 weeks; email your ad to us now at

Complete events listings online at

October 14, 2006: Westminster, CO
Rocky Mountain Fall Go Tournament
A 4 round, one day handicap tournament.
David Weiss 303.495.6352

October 21-22, 2006: Portland, OR
Portland Go Tournament
Peter Drake 503.245.1239
Glenn Peters

October 28, 2006: Arlington, VA
Pumpkin Classic
Allan Abramson 703.684.7676

October 28-29, 2006: Los Angeles, CA
Cotsen Go Tournament
Casie Rizer 310.473.5873
Lauren Madison 310.473.2243

October 29, 2006: Sunnyvale, CA
9th Ing's Cup Youth Goe Tournament
Mingjiu Jiang 650.969.2857

November 2-5, 2006: Lancaster, PA
10th Lancaster Yang Workshop
Sam Zimmerman 717.892.1249
Chuck Robbins 717.682.2667

November 5, 2006: Seattle, WA
Ratings Tournament
Jon Boley 206.545.1424

November 5, 2006: Sarasota, FL
Sarasota Self-Paired Fall Tournament
(come anytime between 10am-7pm)
Larry Rabinowitz 941.922.1000
Dan Moise 941.284.6987

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