World Go News from the American Go Association
June 11, 2007; Volume 8, #46

N.A. ING MASTERS: Weekend Triple Play; Online Deadline
US GO NEWS: SmartGo 2.7 Released; Dancing Stones;
AGA Board Nominations Close Soon
CONGRESS WATCH: Congress Results Online
WORLD GO NEWS: Takao Takes Lead In Honinbo; Cho Hunhyun Last Man Standing In GG Auction Cup; Koreans Roar Back In LG Cup; Initial Ryusei Rounds Nearing Completion
GO PHOTOS: Searching For Iwamoto?; The Clamshells Shine; Romania Celebrates Record WAGC Finish
GO QUIZ: Not One, Not Two, But Three
YOUTH GO: Lexington Middle School Gets Go-Ing
CAN'T STOP THE MONKEY JUMP: A Beginner Studies Life and Death

KEVIN HUANG TAKES THE CAKE AT NYGC ING QUALIFIER: Twelve players spent Sunday fighting for "Ing points" at the New York Go Center's Ing Qualifier. "Eight of them succeeded," reports Roy Laird, "but only one - Kevin Huang (l) -- was undefeated and is now guaranteed a seat in the North American Ing Master's (NAIM) Tournament at the US Go Congress next month." Meanwhile, hundreds of observers looked on and kibitzed on KGS as top boards were broadcast beginning with Round 2. "Thanks to TD Christopher Vu, Larry Russ and others for broadcasting the games, and to KGS and Akane Negishi," says Laird, "at one point more than 400 people were watching our top two boards!" Meanwhile, downstairs, another dozen players watched from time to time, chatted with the players between rounds, and played in the Center's first self-paired tournament. "Judging from the reaction, it won't be the last!" says Laird.
Winner's Report: 1st: Kevin HUANG 8D (2007 ING Qualifier); 2nd: Yong CHEN 6D (15 points); 3rd: Yi WANG 6D (9 pts); 4th (Tie) Dae Yol KIM 7D (4pts), Young K KWON 7D (4 pts); 6th: Xiliang LIU 7D (2 pts); 7th (Tie) Greg ROSENBLATT 4D (.5 pt); Peng LIU 6D (.5 pt).
photos by Roy Laird

THE BEGINNING OF THE END? "A new algorithm can now take on strong human (go) players - and win," reports Karen A. Frenkel in the June Scientific American in an article provocatively entitled "Silicon Smackdown: New Go Algorithm Aims To Depose Humans." As previously reported in the EJ, Sylvain Gelly and Yizao Wang applied Levente Kocsis and Csaba Szepesvári's UCT (for upper confidence bounds applied to trees) algorithm to a go-playing program called MoGo. EJ contributor Phil Wadron conducted an exhibition match with MoGo ("Phil Waldron Takes On MoGo, 4/9 EJ) and found that "It's weaker on larger boards, and it's not pro strength yet on 9x9, but it is easily dan level." Frenkel reports that "Gelly says that UCT is simple to implement and can be improved. So turning the ultimate corner-ending the reign of professional human Go players-could occur in 10 years, Kocsis states."

N.A. ING MASTERS TRIPLE PLAY: Invitations to play in the North American Masters Ing Tournament are the top prizes in qualifiers this weekend in San Francisco, Houston and Piscataway, New Jersey (see UPCOMING EVENTS, below), where the winner will also collect $500. "Players who did not place clear first in the New York NAMT/Ing Qualifier can gain more points toward an invitation by playing in New Jersey," reports TD Paul Matthews. There will also be a booster section with continual pairing through the day for those who want to play at a faster pace.


N.A. ING MASTERS ONLINE: Just one week left to register for the June 30th internet qualifier for the new North American Ing Championship (combined NAMT and Ing Cup). Limited to AGA players rated 6.0 or higher; eligible players may qualify for the Ing Championship at the US Go Congress. See the Ing Championship rules . Players must register 14 days in advance: email Dennis Wheeler at or call 206.375.6781

SMARTGO 2.7 RELEASED: SmartGo's database of professional games has been upgraded to more than 40,500 games in the just-released 2.7 version, including 500 games played in 2007. "Upgrade your go studies before the Go Congress!" says SmartGo's Anders Kierulf. Click here for details.

DANCING STONES: "GO-BAN" is the latest work from dancer/choreographer Tze Chun. The Chinese-American choreographer draws on her love of visual arts, Asian martial arts, dance and cinema for her dance pieces. GO-Ban premiered May 27th, the last of six pieces performed in the WAXworks (Williamsburg Art Nexus) program at the Triskelion Arts Center in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Inspired by the game of go, the dance featured dancers dressed in identical all-black and all-white outfits and a wide array of props including black and white stones, bowls, ribbons, and even specially-ordered M&M's as dancers moved around the stage dance in a physically demanding and visually striking performance as the dancers turned to playing pieces in a flowing battle for the game. The piece will be performed again in September by the Tze Chun Dance Company
- reported by Sarah Heydemann


CONGRESS RESULTS ONLINE: For the first time, round-by-round results for major Congress tournaments will be posted online this year, reports Congress Co-Director Chuck Robbins. In other Congress news, if your membership expired before April 1, 2007, now you can get it renewed for free if you register for this year's U.S. Go Congress between June 11 - 20. Plus, everyone who registers during that period will automatically be entered into a drawing to win one of ten $20 gift certificates to Slate & Shell, publisher of "The Fundamental Principles of Go" by Yilun Yang. The Congress runs July 28 - August 4 in Lancaster, PA; click here to see who's coming. Check out the Congress website for more information and to register on line. For the full preliminary Congress schedule, click here

AGA BOARD NOMINATIONS CLOSE SOON: Nominations for Western, Central and Eastern Region Directors on the AGA Board close on June 15, reports Arnold Eudell. The terms run for two years. Nominations must be made in writing by full members of the AGA. Any member affiliated with an AGA Chapter may nominate any full AGA member to be a director to represent the region in which that chapter is located. Candidates must meet all of the following criteria: at least 21 years of age; a full member in good standing for a period of at least one year; resident in the USA for at least six of the last twelve months (Residence offshore as a member of a US Military service will be regarded as US residence); declare in writing a willingness to run and perform the duties of office; declare in writing that they have read the Constitution and Bylaws of the AGA; must be a resident of the region they wish to represent. Nominations must be sent via e-mail to or by ground mail to Arnold Eudell, 9513 Baroness Ct., Laurel, Maryland 20723. Click here for complete AGA elections bylaws.


June 16-17: San Francisco, CA: Northern California Open/Ing Qualifier
Ernest Brown 415.641.1452

June 16-17: Houston, TX: North American Ing Masters Qualifiers Tournament
Robert Cordingley 281.333.1614

June 16: Santa Monica, CA: Santa Monica Coffee Cup
Andrew Okun 310.346.5850

June 16: Piscataway, NJ: Feng Yun Open & NAMT/Ing Qualifier
Paul Matthews 908-229-5167

June 16: Tacoma, WA: Bi-Monthly Ratings Tournament
Gordon Castanza 253.853.4831


TAKAO TAKES LEAD IN HONINBO: Takao Shinji 9P (r) took the third game in the defense of his Japanese Honinbo title against Yoda Norimoto 9P, by resignation on Wednesday-Thursday, June 6th-7th, to make the score 2-1 in the best-of-seven-game match. Yoda, who has won several national and international titles in his career, holds none at the moment, and Takao, who holds both the Honinbo and the Meijin, is hoping for a threepeat in the Honinbo. Yoda has never won the Honinbo, though he was the challenger against Cho U 9P in 2004.

CHO HUNHYUN LAST MAN STANDING IN GG AUCTION CUP: Cho Hunhyun 9P is the last male player left in the GG Auction Cup, which pitted twelve Korean women pros against twelve senior males. Eleven of the males went down fairly easily, most not winning a single game. With only four women having lost, Cho managed to defeat teenager Kim Eunsun 3P, who had defeated four of the seniors. On Thursday, June 7th, Cho also managed to defeat Lee Minjin 5P, the closer in the Korean women's successful effort in the international women's team event, the Jeonggangjang Cup earlier this year, winning the last five games in a row. Cho is now the only one of the seniors to win more than one game in the event, but he still has a long way to go if the seniors are to triumph. His next opponent is Yun Youngmin 2P. Waiting in the wings is Rui Naiwei 9P.

KOREANS ROAR BACK IN LG CUP: After losing more than half their players - and the advantage of twice as many players as China and Japan -- in the first round of the international LG Cup, the Koreans staged a major comeback in the second round on Wednesday, June 6. Starting the round with five Koreans, five Chinese, and four Japanese, the Koreans still had four players at the end of the second round, while the Chinese and Japanese were down to just two each, restoring the ratio to that of the beginning of the first round. The Korean survivors are Lee Sedol 9P, Park Jungsang 9P, On Sojin 3P, and Han Sanghoon 1P. Remarkably, Han defeated top Chinese player Gu Li 9P. Lee won the last Toyota Denso World Oza and Park won the most recent international Fujitsu, so this is a strong group. The Chinese players in the third round are Hu Yaoyu 8P, who defeated Korean Cho Hunhyun 9P by 2.5 points in the second round and who also beat Lee Changho 9P by a half point in the first round, along with Liu Jing 8P, who knocked out Japan's Cho Chikun by a half point. The Japanese continuers are Cho U 9P and Kono Rin 9P. The third round won't take place until this Fall.

INITIAL RYUSEI ROUNDS NEARING COMPLETION: The Japanese Ryusei tournament begins as a set of eight "win and continue" matches, each with eleven players. The last player standing in each group, along with the one who has the longest winning streak, then join in a single-elimination tournament. At this point there are only two more games in each of the eight preliminary matches and a number of players have gained seats in the final contest by virtue of impressive winning streaks. We reported earlier on Sakai Hideyuki 7P's remarkable seven game streak, which included beating four 9 dans (the players are arranged by rank in the groups) and guaranteed him a spot in the next event even though he was beaten by Takao Shinji 9P by 2.5 points. If two players in a group have equal streaks, the higher ranked one gets in the final tournament. Komatsu Hideki 9P beat out Kato Atsushi 8P that way; both have won three games. Sonoda Yasutaka 9P is also in with three wins, since no one in his group can win more with only two games left. The same goes for Obuchi Morito 9P. Matsumoto Takehisa 6P was the lowest ranked member of his group, but managed four wins and will be in the final contest because no one in his group can do better now. Kubo Hideo 6P has four wins, but Morita Michihiro 9P, who in his group, has three and has not yet lost. Morita's next opponent is Takemiya Masaki 9P. The groups include several women, but only Aoki Kikuyo 8P has a chance of making the final tournament; she has two wins and no one else in her group so far has won more than once. The E-Journal hopes to bring you some commented games from these matches soon.


SEARCHING FOR IWAMOTO? San Francisco go organizer Ernest Brown snapped this shot of international chess icon Josh Waitzkin studying the famous "atom bomb game" at the May 19 Hip Hop, Chess & Life Strategies Exhibition in SF. "I met Josh just prior to that at a book signing for his new book 'The Art of Learning'," Brown tells the EJ. "He says he has played one game of go. I hope someone in New York (where Waitzkin lives) can entice him to play more." Waitzkin burst into the chess world as a child in the mid 1980's; his journey to winning his first National Chess Championship was portrayed in the film "Searching for Bobby Fischer." He's gone on to become eight-time National Chess Champion, a World Champion of Tai Chi Chuan Push Hands and a student of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Find out more about Waitzkin on his website

THE CLAMSHELLS SHINE: Despite a power failure that left the monthly team match playing by candlelight, the Greater Washington Go Club prevailed over the Rockville Go Club at last Friday's match with a 6-3 score. Photo by Eamon Brobowski.
Winner's Report: Ben Ontiveros (GWGC) defeated Todd Heidenreich; Francis Meng (RV) d. Hal Small; Mike Brabanski (GWGC) d. Jess Hickson; Zhong Jian (RV) d. Elliot Fischer; Zhong Jian (RV) d. Marian Edy; Eamon Brobowski (GWGC) d. Craig Anderson; Betsy Small (GWGC) d. Margot Bauman; Max Peterson (GWGC) d. Todd Heidenreich; Alfred Song (GWGC) d. Juan Pablo Quizon.

ROMANIA CELEBRATES RECORD WAGC FINISH: Kanji Tsushima (center), the Ambassador of Japan in Bucharest, Romania joined members of the Romanian Go Federation's June 8 celebration of Cristian Pop's (far left) 4th place finish at the 2007 World Amateur Go Championships. Also present were Catalin Taranu and Dr. Mihai Bisca, a 4-time WAGC participant.
- report/photo by Marilena Bara, EJ European Correspondent

    To peep or not to peep, that's the question popular E-Journal contributor Kazunari Furuyama takes a close look at as he returns this week with the exquisitely timed "Common Amateur Mistake #163: Peeping." Welcome back, Kaz!
    Alexandre Dinerchtein 1P provides his usual incisive commentary on the May 17 Gosei Challenger Decision match between Yokota Shigeaki 9P and Kono Rin 8P.
This game was the finals of the tournament to determine the challenger for Japanese Gosei title holder Cho U 9P. Dinerchtein's web site contains a wealth of information about the world of go as well as commentaries on both pro and strong amateur games that are available by subscription.
    And today's final bonus content is the first installment of Yilun Yang 7P's latest series of endgame puzzles. This week is the easy puzzle (l); look for the hard one next week!

GO QUIZ: Not One, Not Two, But Three
    Eleven out of 15 picked Imamura Fumiaki as the WAGC repeat winner I was looking for - he won not twice, but three times - the 2nd, 9th and 13th Championships. Many pointed out there was another - I knew there were two, but I forgot there were three! Only Christopher Vu provided me with the complete story: "Lui Jun of China won in 1996 and 1997. Hiraoka Satoshi of Japan won in 1994 and 2006" Nie Weiping won the first, and Kikuchi has competed many times, but won only once. Congrats to this week's winner - Gareth Williams, chosen at random from those answering correctly.
    THIS WEEK'S QUIZ: Geography aside, it is no surprise that California heads the list for most sign-ups for this year's U.S. Go Congress with 50. Which state is currently in second place amongst those on the "Who's Coming" list? Is it Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey or New York? Click here to vote.
- Go Quiz Editor: Keith L. Arnold, hka

YOUTH GO: Lexington Middle School Gets Go-Ing
    "It has been an awesome year implementing this program into my curriculum," reports math teacher Joshua Frye of Fort Myers, Florida. "120 kids were exposed to the game of go. They are now, in return, teaching it to their parents and friends," adds Frye.     Frye has been running after-school go programs for the past several years, but this is the first year he has made it part of his regular curriculum at Lexington Middle School. The results have been quite impressive, with 111 kids competing in his end-of-the-year tournament, which attracted local media attention as well. Click here to read all about it.
    "The tournament was quite the thrill to see, we had 30 boards set up with clocks and all," Frye told the E-Journal. "It was a huge satisfaction for me to see all my students displaying the rules of courtesy and respect as they greeted each other. Win or lose they would say 'Excellent match'...or 'Thank you for the game'. That's saying a lot for middle school kids! The kid tourney was so large that I had to have phases for each round because even having 32 boards I still needed around 54 setups to run a whole round. It was a blast! I had a smile of satisfaction on my face the entire day," said Frye.
    Kent Secor, another go activist in Fort Myers, has started programs in two area libraries, and now Frye's kids have a place to play over the summer. With all this go activity, South Florida is fast becoming a hot spot for youth go. Read more about their programs online.
    Both Secor and Frye received support from the American Go Foundation. Frye seems a likely candidate for Teacher of the Year in the future, which gets the winner an all-expenses paid trip to the Go Congress. Check out next week's E-J when we will announce this year's AGF Teacher of the Year and feature an exclusive interview.
-Paul Barchilon, E-Journal Youth Editor. Photos courtesy Joshua Frye.

CAN'T STOP THE MONKEY JUMP: A Beginner Studies Life and Death
by Motoko Arai
    Here I want to take just a little time. Please humor me as I write about something that happened about six months after I started playing go. I had only been playing for about six months (and anyway, it was "go" in name only at that point), when I met and had a chance to learn from a high-dan player. I placed my nine handicap stones and proceeded to get wiped off the board, but afterwards we went back over the game step-by-step.
    "Okay, look-here it would've been better to connect."
    "Here, this is a much bigger move than what you played."
    After we had finished, this much higher level player bit his lip and looked at me like he was thinking, Should I tell her? or What to do, what to do?-that kind of thing.
    "Um, Ms. Arai, have you ever heard of eight lives, six dies before?" I hadn't, but my face lit up with curiosity. "No, what does it mean?"
    "Well, it's a basic measure of whether something lives, but, do you know what to do to live?"
    "Yeah. I mean, you basically need to have two eyes, right? So, if you have four or five points of territory, it should be fine, right?" That's how I thought at this point. And so, my stones were dying.
    "Yes, that's basically it, but, do you know what a throw-in is?"
    "No, what is it?"
    "Um, well, okay, let's start with eight lives, six dies. I'll explain it, all right?"
    And so he explained the go proverb to me. This was where I first learned the concept of reducing your opponent's eye space. So, you can see how this is a bit of a problem, given that this episode happened a full six months after I started playing go. But when I bought my first book of life and death problems, I had just started playing. Which is to say, without knowing anything about go proverbs or how to reduce an opponent's eye space, without even a clue about these things, I was trying to solve life and death problems.
    Not very likely.
    There was no way I could handle life and death yet. Oh, if only I could explain that fact to myself three years ago. There's no doubt that studying life and death will improve your go, but for someone who doesn't know about throw-ins or reducing eye space, it's just a bit too much too soon.
    180 Easy Life and Death Problems. If I think about it now, this isn't a bad book of problems. (In fact, we have two of these books in my house now. My husband and I both thought we'd give life and death problems a shot, and he bought a second copy to try on his train ride into work.) But, for an absolute beginner, this just wasn't the best book to start with, in my humble opinion.
    Motoko Arai is an award-winning science fiction author in Japan. Translated by Chris Donner from the Nihon Kiin's Go Weekly (December 25, 2006 issue)


GA CLUB FORMING: Go club starting in the Fall '07 semester at Gordon College (Barnesville, Georgia). If interested, please contact the club main advisor at If wanting to come and visit to teach a class, please tell me which would be a good time for you, so I can plan the schedule in advance. The club will teach new players, and will have tournaments with other clubs. (6/11)

PLAYERS WANTED: Branford, CT. Looking for players in the area of all
skill and age levels. Contact (6/4)

FOR SALE: 30-year collection of go material, including Go World #1 to #180 except for missing numbers Ishi #38 #48 #52 #53 #54 #55, also Kiseido #76. Issues #1 -#32 ,plus #39-#42 are in cardboard binders. Issues #16 and #51 are missing covers, all others are good or better condition; best offer for all issues. Also available are 35 various books from Ishi press, Yutopian publications, and other miscellaneous material. For further information, call 845-246-9621 or (5/21)

PLAYERS WANTED: PA: Looking for any players in Clifton heights,Aldan, Drexel Hill, Or Upper Darby Pennsylvania Contact (5/21)

PLAYERS WANTED: GA: Seeking go players or those interested in learning how to play in the Savannah, Georgia area. Contact (5/21)

VIRTUAL PLAYERS WANTED: Play go in The Second Life virtual world's go club, The Go Center Of Second Life. Features a playing pavilion with several gobans, twice-weekly meetings, and a 27-meter table board. Click here for more info and photos, or email (5/14)

PLAYERS WANTED: Kansas City metro area; email if you live in the Kansas City area; I am trying to get a go club started. (5/14)

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