World Go News from The American Go Association




MEMBER’S EDITION BONUS CONTENT: Two game records and a tough endgame problem for you today. Our first commentary in on the second game of the 2006 Samsung Cup Final between Luo Xihe and Lee Changho. Luo won the first of the best-of-three challenge and needs just one more victory to win the Samsung, while Lee Changho – who has never lost an international final challenge against a non-Korean player – must win the next two to prevail and keep his legend alive. The commentary is by Fan Hui 2P, rated the strongest player in Europe. Also included today is last weekend’s Boston Open game record between Huiren Yang 8d and Jie Liang 8d. Finally, we present the latest endgame problem from Yilun Yang 7P.
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May 26, 2008; Volume 9, #23

YEARBOOK SURVEY: “It is so fun to read about my own clubs and tournaments” “(The Yearbook) needs to help members get better at go with MORE TESUJI” “I was so happy to get it, I spent all night reading it.” Tell us what YOU think of the new American Go Yearbook and you could win a prize! Click here to take our brief survey. Tom Haig is this week's winner. The 124-page compilation is the biggest Yearbook yet, featuring the best of last year's world go coverage in the E-Journal, including major event reports, photos, youth and world go news and a Yearbook CD that includes every 2007 E-Journal, including all game records.

ERIC LUI DEFENDS MD TITLE: Eric Lui repeated as champion of the Maryland Open last weekend in Baltimore, MD, topping 73 players to take home his second consecutive Maryland Open title. The 35th Open, held May 24-25, was a World Mind Sports Qualifier, directed by Sam Zimmerman and assisted by Jon Hilt. Organizer Keith Arnold called it “One of the smoothest Opens ever” and noted that “Section winners received 2”-thick agathis go boards from Samarkand.” Top Winner’s Report: Open Section: 1st: Eric Lui; 2nd: Trevor Morris; 3rd: Daniel Chou; 4th: Yuan Zhou; 5th: Haming Guo; 6th: Nicholas Jirard; 7th: Xan Hue; 8th: Gregory Rosenblatt; 9th: Bo Quian; 10th: Andrew Huang. Lisa Scott won the Fighting Spirit Prize and the Empty Sky Go Club won the Gregory Lefler Award. Click here for complete winner's list. MD Open photo by Allan Abramson.

ZHOU, SUN REPEAT AS USYGC CHAMPIONS: Fifteen-year-old William Zhou 6d and eleven-year-old Calvin Sun 6d won their divisions in the US Youth Go Championship, held May 24-25 in Somerset, New Jersey. Zhou and Sun will represent the US at the World Youth Go Championship in Guiyang, China this year. The Junior Division competition was filled with close games as six 11-year-olds and two 10-year-olds vied for the right to represent the US. Hugh Zhang 6d was upset by Maverick Lin 4d in Round 1, and Calvin Sun 6d almost lost to Aleck Zhao in Round 2. Sun narrowly escaped defeat by capturing Zhao’s group near the end of the game while Zhao was in byo-yomi. In Round 3, Zhang beat Kiguchi in a very close game. At the end of 3 rounds, only Calvin Sun was undefeated. Continuing his winning streak, Sun bested Kiguchi in a game where two large groups were exchanged in a tense battle. Round 5 pitted Sun against Hugh Zhang, a serious contender for the top slot as the only other 6-dan in the junior bracket. Under duress, Sun made an endgame mistake, but nonetheless managed to pull out a half-point victory to keep his championship title. In the Senior Division, all three players from California -- Jimmy Guo 6d, Lawrence Ku 6d, and Cherry Shen 6d -- lost to either defending champion William Zhou 6d or Ricky Zhongxia Zhao 6d in the first three rounds. Round Four featured an exciting match-up between the undefeated Zhao and Zhou and with Zhao in byo-yomi during the middle game, Zhou managed to kill a corner and force a resignation. In Round 5, Jimmy Guo and Zhou fought a fierce battle, with though Guo managed to live in Zhou’s moyo, in the end Zhou won by less than komi after several endgame kos. Sponsored by the Ing Foundation, the event was organized by the Feng Yun Go School, with Paul Matthews directing the tournament at the Madison Suites Hotel. Click here for complete results and photos of each player. Winner’s Report: Senior Division: 1st: William Zhou 7d; 2nd: Zhongxia (Ricky) Zhao 6d; 3rd: Jimmy Guo 6d. Junior Division: 1st: Calvin Sun 7d; 2nd: Hugh Zhang 6d; 3rd: Christopher Kiguchi 5d.
- includes reporting and photos by Lawrence Ku; edited by Paul Barchilon
Photo: William Zhou 7d (l) plays Ricky Zhao 6d in Round 4 of the Senior Division.

BENGTSON TOPS NOVA TOURNEY: Matt Bengtson 1d led the first-place winners at the NOVA May Madness tournament held on May 17 at GMU in Arlington, VA. Twenty-eight players participated. Players were asked to each bring a wrapped prize so everyone would go home with something, and “Only a few forgot this requirement, and the tournament director provided the ‘missing’ prizes,” reports TD Allan Abramson. Winners Report: First place: Matt Bengtson 1d, Keiju Takehara 3k, Arnold Eudell 4k, Yukino Takehara 9k, Joey Phoon 14k, Katherine Kasischke 32k. Second place: Richard Kim 2d, Baifu Li 5k, Kevin Chin 9k, Evan Schwartz 18k, Kenny Hyunh 27k. The next NOVA tournament will be the July 17 Congress Tune-up.

OUYANG SHAOYOU MAKES KGS QUARTER-FINALS: Ouyang Shaoyou made the quarterfinals of the KGS Suk B Choi Amateur Invitational in a game against Bi Jang that drew nearly 1,000 observers. “Ouyang played very well and kept the good lead from mid-game to the end,” reports Akane Negishi of KGS. “Though Bi Jang made a nice seki on the right side, he was slightly behind on territory and couldn't catch up.” In the battle for the last quarter-final slot, Al Jang -- who beat top seed Bao Yun in the first round -- plays Chris Wong on Tuesday, May 27th Tuesday at 8A EST (5A PST). Game playbacks are available from the tourney website

HUIREN YANG WINS BOSTON OPEN: Huiren Yang 1P won the May 24 Boston Open, with Jie Liang 8d and Xin Xu 5d tying for second. Gang Cai 7d, Yu Zhong 5d, JunZhang Cai 5d and Guobin Luo 5d tied for fourth place. Bin Li 1d won the A Division, while Bin Li 1d won B Division. Click here for the complete winner and prize lists. Round-by-round grid results are also available online: Open Division, Division A, Division B. Tourney photos are also available online. The game record between Huiren Yang 8d and Jie Liang 8d is attached.
- includes reporting by Ke Lu; photo of Huiren Yang (l) playing Xin Xu by Ke Lu.

SAN MATEO HIGH BLOCKS MISSION SAN JOSE HIGH FROM 4-PEAT: An undefeated San Mateo High School team finally dethroned 3-time defending champions Mission San Jose High School in the Northern California High School Team Tournament on May 18th. Six high school teams attended the 5th annual tournament, held at the ING Goe Center in Menlo Park, California. USYGC finalists Jimmy Guo and Lawrence Ku both competed with their schools. Each team was required to have five players, at least one of whom was female; teams were also able to borrow one player from another school. After a heated first round, Carlmont High School edged out the defending champions Mission San Jose, and when Carlmont fell to San Mateo High School in the last round, San Mateo was left standing the only undefeated team and new champions. Players on the winning team were Justin Shieh, Lim Leong, Daniel Ju, Alex Shieh, and Jacklyn Yen. Mingjiu Jiang 7P directed the tournament. Winner’s Report: 1st: San Mateo High School; 2nd: Carlmont High School; 3rd: Mission San Jose High School photo: Montevista High’s Nickie Ding (l), vs. San Mateo High’s Jacklyn Yen.

GO CONGRESS TOPS 200, ADDS PROS: Registration for this year’s U.S. Go Congress has now topped 200 and the field of professionals attending the event – August 2-9 in Portland, OR -- has now grown to 11 with the addition of Xuefen Lin 1P (l) and Nakano Yasuhiro 9P. Born in 1973 in Guangdong Province, China, Ms. Lin learned go at age 11 and obtained one-dan professional rank in China in 1992. She played for the Guangdong Professional Go Club in numerous regional and national Chinese professional tournaments from 1985 thru 2001 and was involved with go education at Nanjing University from 1998 to 2001. Ms Lin moved to the United State in 2001 and won the 2003 Cotsen Cup Championship and 2005 US Open Championship. Nakano Yasuhiro attended the 2007 U.S. Go Congress where he also demonstrated his mastery of the shamisen, a three-stringed musical instrument. This year, he'll be visiting the Congress for the first 3 days. Click here for the complete list of pros at the Congress. Click here to register for the Congress.

WORLD AMATEUR TOURNEY BEGINS THIS WEEK IN TOKYO: Players from 70 countries and territories are gathering in Tokyo this week to compete in the 29th annual World Amateur Go Championship from May 29-31. American Go E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock and photographer John Pinkerton are onsite to provide full live coverage of the 8-round tournament, posting daily updates on the web and in the EJ, including news, features, photos and game records from the playing venue at the Nihon Ki-in. Click here for the main WAGC website and here for complete player profiles.

AGA BOARD NOMINATIONS UPDATE: Nominations are starting to come in for the Board of Directors of the American Go Association, reports Arnold Eudell. Dr. Roy Laird has been confirmed as a candidate for the At-Large directorship. There are four seats open this election for the East, West and Central regions and the At-Large seat. Nominations close in less than one month on June 15; click here for complete information

GO CALENDAR: Orange County, CA
- May 31 - June 1: Orange County, CA

Orange County Go Tournament (World Mind Sports Games, N.A. Ing Qualifier)
Kevin Chao 949.466.1479

YOUR MOVE: Readers Write
KAZ FOR CONGRESS: “Kazunari Furuyama is a treasure!” writes Bob Felice. “I look forward to reading his columns in the E-Journal, and never fail to learn something new from them. Are there any plans to invite him to the US Go Congress in Portland? If not, please consider it. Although Kaz is not a professional, he is a fantastic teacher, and has much to offer Congress attendees. His insights into the game are spot-on. And his energy and enthusiasm, so evident on the printed page, make me want to meet him in person! It's late in the primary season, but I would like to launch the Kazunari Furuyama for US (Go) Congress movement. If you would like to see Kaz at the next Congress, please express your support to the Congress organizers at” Congress organizers tell the EJ that Kaz has been officially invited; we can also report that he personally told the EJ last weekend in Tokyo that he’s seriously considering attending the Congress this year. Photo of Kaz (l) reviewing a game with EJ Editor Chris Garlock at the Seki Shin go club in Tokyo (see story below) by John Pinkerton

GO QUIZ: Who’s Mostest at WAGC?
The World Amateurs takes place this week - May 28-31 -- at the Nihon Kiin in Tokyo, where U.S. representative Mozheng Guan will be making his first appearance at the tournament. THIS WEEK’S QUIZ: Which entrant this year has made the most appearances at the WAGC? Is it Laurent Heiser of Luxembourg, Frank Jansen of the Netherlands, Mathew MacFadyen of the United Kingdom or Ricardo Quintero Zazueta of Mexico? Click here to vote. Bios on all this year’s WAGC players are available online .
- Quizmaster Keith Arnold

THE TRAVELING BOARD: Finding Tokyo’s Heart Of Stone
by Chris Garlock
Saturday night in Tokyo and the city glistens in a cool May rain. The streets reflect the twinkling neon lights outside Ikebukuro station in Toshima ward, one of Toyko’s major commercial and entertainment districts. A million people pass through the station each day but EJ photographer John Pinkerton and I are looking for just one, our go-to Man in Tokyo, Jeremy Banzhaf, who’s promised to take us to a local go club recommended by popular EJ contributor Kaz Furuyama. Just off the grueling 14-hour flight from DC, we’re ready for some Tokyo go adventures before we start our coverage of the World Amateur Go Championships, which begin Tuesday. Soon enough, Jeremy shows up, resplendent in his bright orange Cyprus Go Association t-shirt, and we’re off to find the Seki Shin go club. It’s just a few blocks from the station, the club’s unlit sign a beckoning dark space amidst the neon blazing through the wet night. We take a small elevator up, stopping to let the giggling Japanese schoolgirls off onto a club pulsing with Saturday night fever and step out on the sixth floor to the familiar sound of go stones rattling in their bowls. Within minutes, I’ve been matched with a 4-dan, we take our places at the board, bow, and begin playing. Rain falls on the busy streets outside, music pulses from below and all around me is the clatter of other games but soon there’s nothing but the stones on the board before me. Tokyo go clubs are notorious for being everywhere and nowhere, popping up and vanishing like mushrooms after rain, but the Seki Shin go club has been around for nearly a quarter of a century and from the looks of things this Saturday night – the most popular night at the club -- stones will continue to fly there for years to come. Owner/manager Akio Watanabe has only owned the club for a few years, but has been playing go for 30 years. Strength at the club ranges from 2k to 7d and four pros give lessons there three times a week. Mr Watanabe likes the creativity of the game and says that “like painting, you can only improve with practice.” Most of all, though, he says the best thing about go is “Friends. Unlike friends at work, your go friends are friends for life.” The Seki Shin club – the name means “heart of stone” -- is open 11-10 daily and closes at 9 on Sundays; the daily playing fee is $10. Midway through the game, Kaz shows up, as does Michelle, a friend of Jeremy’s, and after I manage to turn around a lost position in mid-game, we all head out to Jeremy’s favorite local restaurant, where Kaz analyzes the game as we feast on Japanese delicacies and beer, toasting to lifelong go friendships.
Seki Shin has a website in Japanese and can be reached by phone: 03-3980-5056. Foreign players are welcome and the club is smoke-free. Photos by John Pinkerton; click here for more photos


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Published by the American Go Association
Managing Editor: Chris Garlock
Assistant Editor: Bill Cobb
Professionals: Yilun Yang 7P; Alexandr Dinerchtein 3P; Fan Hui 2P
Contributors: Paul Barchilon (Youth Editor); Lawrence Ku (U.S. West Coast Reporter); Brian Allen (U.S. West Coast Photo Editor); Peter Dijkema (Dutch/European Correspondent); Marilena Bara (Romania/European Correspondent); Ian Davis (Ireland Correspondent)
Columnists: James Kerwin 1P; Kazunari Furuyama; Rob van Zeijst; Roy Laird; Peter Shotwell
Translations: Chris Donner (Japan); Bob McGuigan (Japan); Matt Luce (China)

Text material published in the AMERICAN GO E JOURNAL may be reproduced by any recipient: please credit the AGEJ as the source. PLEASE NOTE that commented game record files MAY NOT BE published, re-distributed, or made available on the web without the explicit written permission of the Editor of the E-Journal. Please direct inquiries to

Articles appearing in the E-Journal represent the opinions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official views of the American Go Association.
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