World Go News from the American Go Association

April 16, 2007
Volume 8, #32

CAN'T STOP THE MONKEY JUMP: A Beginner Studies Life and Death

JIE LI LOSES TO YODA IN FUJITSU: Jie Li 9d, the North American representative to the 20th international Fujitsu Cup, lost to Japan's Yoda Norimoto 9P by 11.5 points (taking white) in the first round, played in Tokyo on Saturday. The European rep, Svetlana Shikshina 1P from Russia, lost to Yokota Shigeaki 9P, while the South American rep, Fernando Aguilar 6d of Argentina, lost to Nakamura Shinya 8P. Zhou Junxun 9P, the Taiwanese rep who recently won the international LG Cup, lost to Cho U 9P, leaving the contest after the first round to the representatives of the big three: China, Japan, and Korea. Korean pros have won this Cup the last nine times in a row. The Li-Yoda game record is attached.

YOUTH QUALIFIERS WRAP UP: 12-year-old Ricky Zhao won the Senior Division and 9-year old Sudhir Vel won the Junior Division at the Philadelphia US Youth Go Championship (USYGC) Qualifier on Saturday, April 14 at the University of Pennsylvania. Cory Rim, 17, placed as the alternate. At the April 14-15 Boulder, CO Qualifier, 12-year-old Kellin Pelrine 3.6d defeated Jessica Lin 3k to win the Senior Division (playing the final round in high championship style on a traditional floor board in photo at top right) while 9-year-old Matthew Harwit 10k beat his twin brother Nathan to win the Junior Division. "I'm really jazzed to win the tournament," Pelrine told the E-Journal, "and I want to go to the Nationals no matter what!" In the A division of the handicap event, Yaphet Tewahade 9k, took first place, while Katherine Lin, 4k took second. For the B Division, Ian Tenney 20k, won 4 out of 5 games to take first place, while Amara Sailing 19k, took second place with three wins to her credit. The tournament itself scored the biggest prize of all, winning front-page coverage in The Daily Camera (circulation 87,000), with a feature story, three photos on the front page, and four more online. Read it online In Chicago, 13-year-old Will Zhou 6d (pictured at right) took top honors in the Senior Division, while James Pan, also 13, placed second (see below for full report). In the Junior Division 11 year old Daniel Pai, 29k, beat out 10 year old Arthur Li, 28k. TD Bob Barber reports that all four of the top slot winners were students of their local pro, Huang Liping. Thirteen kids came out to compete at the event, which was held on April 7th at the Evanston Go Club. The USYGC finals will be held May 26th and 27th in Seattle, WA.
- reported by Paul Barchilon, E-Journal Youth Editor, with additional reporting by Peter Nassar (Philadelphia) and Bob Barber (Chicago).
photos: top right by Mark Rubenstein; above right by Paul Barchilon

HAN WINS CHI TOURNEY: Changyu Han 2d took first place in the April 7 Chicago Spring Tournament. In the Youth Qualifier, Will Zhou 6d won the Senior Section, while Daniel Pai 29k won the Junior Section. "As a special treat," reports TD Bob Barber, "many got to play teaching games with Yongji Huang, father of Liping Huang, and former Champion of China. 23 players participated.
    WINNER'S REPORT: 1st (Dan): HAN, Changyu 2d; 1st (Low Kyu): KOLB, Laura 2k & KURZ, Steffen 3k (tie); 1st (Mid Kyu): INWOOD, Matt 14k. Youth Qualifier Senior Section (10 players): 1st: ZHOU, Will 6d, 13 years old; 2nd: PAN, James 20k, 12 years old. Junior Section (3 players): 1st: PAI, Daniel 29k, 11 years old; 2nd: LI, Arthur 28k, 10 years old. TDs: Bob Barber, Bob Schattke

ROCKVILLE EDGES DC CLUB AGAIN: Rockville notched a second consecutive win over the Greater Washington Go Club (GWGC) Friday night in their ongoing team match. "Perhaps Friday the 13th affected us, but we nevertheless went down 4 to 3," reports GWGC organizer Haskell Small, who relinquished possession of the match's ceremonial fan. "It was a tightly contested match," said Small. "Next month I am determined that GWGC will regain possession of the title and the grand trophy or I will shave the top of my head…well, that's already accomplished."
    Match Report: Juan Pablo (RV) defeated Hal Small; Ken Koester (GWGC) defeated Todd Heidenreich; Gao (RV) defeated Max Peterson; Chen (RV) defeated Gene Fellner; Craig Anderson (RV) defeated Ben Ontiveros; Marian Edy (GWGC) defeated Craig Anderson; Max Peterson (GWGC) defeated Chen.

MINJIU JIANG & HUIREN YANG CONFIRMED FOR CONGRESS: More than half of the professional go players now living in the US will be attending the 2007 Congress in Lancaster, PA. "We've received confirmation that two more American pros - Mingjiu Jiang 7P and Huiren Yang 1P - will be attending the Congress," reports Congress Co-Director Peter Nassar, "bringing the attendance of the US pros up to five." Mingjiu Jiang is the co-author of "Punishing & Correcting Joseki Mistakes" (with Adam Miller) and "All About Joseki" (with Guo Juan). He is also the chief instructor for the 2007 AGA Summer Go Camp - West. Huiren Yang is the club professional for the Massachusetts Go Club, and author of the books "Cosmic Go" and "Galactic Go," with Sangit Chatterjee. "Both are highly-experienced teachers and experts at game analyses, so register today for the 2007 Congress to secure your spot!" Nassar urges. "Register before June 1 and save $100 off the registration."

YODA NORIMOTO TO CHALLENGE FOR HONINBO: Yoda Norimoto 9P (below) has won the right to challenge Takao Shinji 9P for the latter's Honinbo title. Norimoto's 34 career titles put him in the top ranks of Japanese pros; he's been Meijin, Gosei, Judan, and more, and challenged for the Honinbo in 2004. He became a professional in 1980, and reached 9 dan in 1993. Yoda holds no titles at the moment, losing the Gosei, which he had held for three consecutive years, to Cho U 9P last year. Takao now holds both the Honinbo and the Meijin titles; he's hoping for a threepeat in the Honinbo, which he took from Cho U 9P in 2005.

WON SUNGJIN TAKES FIRST GAME IN BC CARD CUP FINALS: In the best-of-three-game finals of the Korean young pros' BC Card Cup, Won Sungjin 7P has defeated Paek Hongsuk 5P in the first game. Won is in his early twenties. As a teenager he twice made it into the international LG Cup, reaching the semifinals in 2002 and the quarter finals in 2003. He was also the runner-up in the Korean Chunwon in 2003, losing the finals to Choi Cheolhan 9P. In 2006, Paek, who is just twenty, won the Korean SK Gas Cup and reached the quarter finals of the international Samsung Cup.

YAMASHITA AVOIDS SHUT-OUT IN JUDAN: Yamashita Keigo 9P won the third game in his challenge for Cho Chikun's Judan title to make the score 2-1 in favor of Cho. Yamashita was the challenger last year as well, and won the third game in that match, too, only to go down to defeat in the end 1-3. Cho, who also won the recent fast play NHK Cup, is going for a threepeat in the defense of this title that he took from O Rissei 9P in 2005. If he wins, this will be the 71st title win for Cho, who is in his fifties and has won more titles than any other pro in history.

1ST ANNUAL N.A. KGS SCHOOL TOURNAMENT: Students from elementary school through college will be able to compete in a Hikaru-style team tournament this fall on KGS, reports Tournament Director Dave Weiss.Three players from a school can form a team and compete in the appropriate division. Home schooled kids can also form teams with other home schooled kids. "Registration will be in September," Weiss tells the EJ, "so now is a good time to teach your schoolmates how to play if you do not have three go players at your school." Click here for more information

FREE, EASY-TO-USE PAIRING SOFTWARE NOW AVAILABLE: Tournament Directors looking easy-to-use pairing software have a new option, reports Chris Sira. His PyTD pairing program "doesn't require much TD'ing know-how to get an event up and running," says Sira, "and has just about everything the average TD needs." PyTD allows users to pair rounds automatically or by hand, tie-break by whichever fields the TD prefers -- and in any order - as well as "generating several different reports and forms with just a few clicks, registering new players and updating old membership information, searching the TD list, etc." And, adds Sira, "It's free!" Sira has worked closely with WinTD creator Chuck Robbins, who has already used it several times to run events. "It shares a lot of features with WinTD," notes Sira, "registration, pairing, and reporting resources, for example. But it isn't built on Access, so the user interface isn't held back by Microsoft widgets." Click here to check out screenshots and download. Questions or comments can be emailed to Sira at

CAN'T STOP THE MONKEY JUMP: A Beginner Studies Life and Death
by Motoko Arai
    When a complete beginner studies go, "study masters' games" is tough advice - I've said this many times already. Similarly, when a complete beginner studies go, "study life and death" is just as tough. That's what I plan to write about next.
    But... I don't want to write it. Which is to say... where I am now, having played go for three years, I have fallen in love with life and death problems. At first it was tough, and our relationship began with a lot of harsh words. You might even say we did nothing but quarrel.         But gradually, little by little, we grew to like each other. Now, if I say all those bad things from the early days again, I'll feel pretty small.
    Ah, this is like some twisted love story. You know the type: the lovers don't like each other at all at first, right? Then, gradually that first intense dislike fades. As they get to know each other, a slight attraction develops. It's a common pattern, right? Okay, so I don't really want to make life and death problems into some kind of love story. Not really. But still...
    If I think back to when I really was an absolute beginner, I just didn't understand the reason for studying life and death. At that time, I only knew the very basic rules of Go: whoever has more territory wins; if you don't have two eyes you die. If you don't know anymore than these basic rules, unraveling life and death problems is really tough.
    The first life and death book I bought was the Nihon Kiin's /180 Easy Life and Death Problems/. Yes, that's the same Nihon Kiin that publishes the "Go Weekly" newspaper that I'm writing this column for, so I'd better write something nice.
    When I look back on it now, that book was a terrible choice. Without a doubt, this was not a book for beginners. (But, it wasn't the book's fault, was it? If you read to the end of this column, you'll see that I don't think that was a bad book. It just definitely wasn't suited for a beginner.)
    Okay, so about this book. In the beginning, there were articles like "The way of life and death" and "The four-four points in the corner." I mean, at the time these didn't seem like articles for a beginner. So, I thought, what if I skip these articles. The next part was, life and death problems.
    Problem #1: "Black's turn. First, a warm-up. In the corner, perhaps there's a shape that if it allows itself to be captured, can then kill." This was the first problem! What kind of problem was it? I couldn't even get that far! (to be continued)
Motoko Arai is an award-winning science fiction author in Japan. Translated by Chris Donner for the E-Journal from the 12/11/06 Nihon Kiin's Go Weekly.

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