World Go News from the American Go Association
May 7, 2007; Volume 8, #37

GO PHOTOS: Brooklyn & Hawaii
GO ONLINE: The Bob High Memorial Library
YOUTH GO: Camp Scholarships & Raising Go Masters
CAN'T STOP THE MONKEY JUMP: A Beginner Studies Life and Death

GO CALENDAR: Arlington & Tacoma

ONLINE YOUTH TOURNEYS LAUNCH NEW SEASON: A new season of online youth tournaments is underway. The American Go Honor Society (AGHS) kicked off the 2007-08 seasons of the Kato Masao Memorial Series and the Cities Team League Tournament with several recent matches on the Kiseido Go Server, report organizers Christopher Vu and Lisa Zhang of the AGHS. "The first rounds concluded at the end of April and involve many of the brightest go players from all parts of the United States and Canada," report Vu and Zhang. Click here for full story & Winner's Report.

ROCKY MOUNTAIN TOURNEY TO INCLUDE ING QUALIFIER: The upcoming May 19 Rocky Mountain Go Tournament will include an Ing Qualifier section, reports Springs Go Club President Jim Michali. "This is a great opportunity for Central Region players to have a chance to play in an Ing Qualifier tournament," says Michali.

WON WINS BC CARD CUP: Won Sungjin 7P (l) won the Korean BC Card Cup by defeating Baek Hongsuk 5P 2-1 in the finals. Last year Baek won the Korean New Stars Best Ten title and also got into the semifinals in the international Samsung Cup. Click here for full story.

FINALS IN NEW WOMEN'S TOURNEY SET FOR MAY: Park Jieun 7P (r) and Kim Hyeoimin 4P will face off in a best-of-three final this month in the Dali Travel Women's World Professional Go tournament, a new international tournament sponsored by DALI Travel, a Chinese company. Feng Yun 9P was seeded into the second round and defeated Gui Ye of China, but lost to Nai-wei Rui 9P in the quarterfinals. Click here for full story.
- based on reporting by John Power, Roy Laird and Bill Cobb

AGA HITS NEW ALL-TIME HIGH: For the second straight month, membership in
the American Go Association has hit a record new all-time high. Total membership now stands at 2,206, breaking the 2,200 mark for the first time ever. Virtually every category rose in April: Full memberships were up 27, to 1,851, while Youth jumped 30 to 606. Sponsors (44), Sustainers (61) and Chapters (133) were up as well.

GO CONGRESS INCENTIVES: Over 200 have already registered for this year's US Go Congress, set for July 28 through August 4 in Lancaster, PA. Organizers are offering two specials this month: register by May 10 and receive a free one-year AGA membership (offer applies to new AGA members only) and/or register by May 16 and save $20 off the latest version of SmartGo, one of the world's leading commercial go software programs. "The creator of SmartGo, Anders Kierulf, will be attending the Congress himself," reports Congress Co-Director Peter Nassar. View and download a free trial copy of SmartGo and click here to register for the Congress.

GO WORLD ARCHIVE DISCOUNT: E-Journal readers get a discount on the much-anticipated Go World Archive. With a wealth of go information, the Archive is a must-have for any serious go player, with an extensive index and full-text search across the entire archive of nearly 7000 pages; 108 issues of commentaries, news, problems, and articles from over 30 years. Kiseido Digital is making a special offer available to American Go Journal readers: 5% off the individual DVDs, and 8% off the 3-DVD set. Click here and enter promotion code FKKDR4VR

GO PHOTOS: Brooklyn & Hawaii
(left) At the April 29 Brooklyn Botanical Gardens Cherry Blossom Festival. Mr. Inoue teaches a beginner. Photo courtesy JC Chetrit, Brooklyn Go Club.

(top right and below right) At the April 29 Kodomo no hi (Children's Day) festivities at the Japanese Cultural Center in Hawaii. Photos by Xiao Feng.

HELP WANTED: The AGA's communications team is developing new content and features on our website and in the E-Journal. Website projects include a CMS and online store and we're expanding our Go Review section in the E-Journal. If you're interested in helping expand the "go-to" site and publication for players around the world, please contact Volunteer Coordinator Kevin Purvis at

TDLIST AUTOMATED: Tournament directors no longer need to download bulky "TDListA" and TDListN" files, reports Roy Laird. "Now any tournament director -- or anyone, for that matter -- can compile these lists using the latest published data. Click here for details.

HOT OFF THE PRESS: Playing Endgame: In Slate & Shell's brand-new Playing the Endgame: A Brief Introduction, William Cobb discusses basic endgame concepts, such as reverse sente and double sente, explains the basics of calculating the value of endgame moves, and illustrates a number of basic tesuji that are useful in the endgame. Cobb has produced several pocket-sized books for kyu players and say "This one should be useful to players up to about 10 kyu, and even some single digit kyus." See the attached PDF for a sample from the book.

GO ONLINE: The Bob High Memorial Library
The AGA website is a vast archive of every type of online go material you
can imagine, from game records to videos to links to pairing software to possibly the most complete source of information about the origin of go anywhere. This week's highlight: The Bob High Memorial Library is dedicated to the memory of a remarkable polymath who served briefly as President of the AGA before his untimely death in 1993. Click here for more on this unique collection of scholarly and expressive writing, from Buddhism to combinatorial game theory, from crosswords to song parodies and including Peter Shotwell's just-revised expansion of his article in The Go Player's Almanac on "The Origins of Go," wich contains a fascinating description of a recently discovered ancient go board (pictured at right).
- Roy Laird, AGA webmaster

YOUTH GO: Camp Scholarships & Raising Go Masters
    Go Camp Scholarships Available: If you played in a US Youth Go Championship qualifier and want to have fun at an AGA summer go camp, you may be eligible for a scholarship. "Some USYGC winners can't attend go camp," reports AGF President Terry Benson, "and their $400 prize scholarships are available for the highest finishers who can take advantage of them." Families of USYGC players who are interested should contact Walter Knox ( to see whether they qualify for a scholarship.
    How To Raise Go Masters From Scratch: "Since I have four kids who all enjoy playing go, I am often asked what I did to get them all interested," writes veteran San Francisco go organizer Steve Burrall 5d. "I never felt sure it was anything I did as opposed to just being lucky. I generally try to come up with an answer involving starting very young but with very small doses, never making them play if they don't feel like it. However, another answer occurred to me recently: no TV watching. Apart from movies and a few sporting events like the Olympics and Tour de France, my wife and I have not allowed any TV watching. At first I worried that when my kids got old enough to go over to friends' houses, where TVs were always on, they might get seduced. But they don't seem to watch TV at friend's houses even if those friends are otherwise in the habit. Could this affect a kid's attention span in such a way that they are more attracted to go and other things that require extended periods of concentration? It seems possible, and anyway, it's a no-risk proposition. The worst that can happen is that your kid still won't want to play go but will be happier, better educated and get better grades. So, if you're starting a family and hoping they will be go players, try canceling your cable TV subscription and saving up for the next Go Congress." Burrall, 5d, enjoys playing go with everyone in his family. His eldest son, Matthew, 7d, is a USYGC finalist. Next up is Kristen, 2d, then Karoline, 5k, followed by nephew Alexandre,
5k, and youngest daughter Julie, 6k.
- Paul Barchilon, EJ Youth Editor

CAN'T STOP THE MONKEY JUMP: A Beginner Studies Life and Death
by Motoko Arai
    Put yourself in the shoes of an absolute beginner and then look at a book of life and death problems. You'll be like, "I can't make heads or tails of this!" But then someone who is used to go and go problems will be like, "Huh... what don't you understand?" Okay, so it's this disconnect that I want to write about today.
    "Black to kill. First, a warm-up. In the corner, perhaps there's a shape that, if it allows itself to be captured, can lead to a kill." After this, just a go board with some black and white stones positioned on it. Let's start here.
    The first time I looked at this problem, I was pretty much an absolute beginner. I really hadn't done much more than play some games against my Gameboy Advance. This was my first time to try anything like tsumego (life and death). Which is to say, I had no idea what "life and death" even meant, let alone an understanding of terms such as "Black sente" and so on.
    In the book I had bought, it said "Black to kill." I didn't know that this meant Black should play first and try to capture some or all of the white stones. As I said, I didn't even know what life and death problems were and had no idea even what the problem was. So... what was I supposed to do? What was this problem asking me to do?
    Okay, let's look at it again. Fundamentally, this is a killing shape problem. And sure, even without directions, anyone familiar with these problems could just look at the diagram and probably guess that they're supposed to kill white-that's the focus of the problem. But for someone who is just starting out with life and death, even this much isn't obvious, is it? And so at that moment way back then... I was furious.
    What the heck..! This was supposed to be an "Easy Life and Death" pocket book?! Maybe it was too difficult or maybe I just didn't understand what it was all about, but either way you looked at it, it wasn't easy. I had bought this book at a local bookshop, not a place that specialized in go books or anything. Since they didn't have all that many go books there, I had simply picked up the easiest looking one in the bunch. This was that book. But when I read it more carefully, I saw that it said, "This is a book of problems for players who are trying to reach shodan level."
    Umm... was this my bad then? I mean, to think that a 30-kyu beginner could suddenly unravel problems for someone at shodan level was a bit of a mistake, wasn't it? But this bookseller hadn't had any easier life and death books.
    So what's the lesson learned? If you're a beginner who thinks you want to tackle life and death, go to a store that stocks a lot of books and be sure to buy the absolute simplest book there. If you can't find something that looks simple enough, go for a kids' book. Maybe then you'll have a chance.
    Motoko Arai is an award-winning science fiction author in Japan. Translated by Chris Donner for the AGA E-Journal from the December 18, 2006 edition of the Nihon Kiin's Go Weekly.

GO CALENDAR: Arlington & Tacoma
May 12, 2007: Arlington, VA: May Madness
Allan Abramson 703.684.7676
May 12, 2007: Tacoma, WA: 2nd Annual Late Spring Tournament
Gordon Castanza 253.853.4831

Locate go clubs worldwide
PLAYERS WANTED: Philadelphia, PA. Looking for players in the Center City area for a newborn club. If interested, please contact (5/7)
- PLAYERS WANTED: South Jersey: Looking for strong players in the South Jersey area. Contact (4/23)
- BOOKS FOR SALE: Best offer before May 1 (click here for list Please include shipping in your offer. Email bids to: (4/23)
- PLAYERS WANTED: Springfield, OR: I would like to try and start up another go club here; Kurschun Finch (4/23)
- WANTED: Floor go board new or used, no preference. Email 4/23
- PLAYERS WANTED: Anyone in the southern Salt Lake, Utah area that wants
to set up a club, middle-schoolers wanted most. E-mail me at (4/16)

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Assistant Editor: Bill Cobb

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