World Go News from The American Go Association




GO CALENDAR: Tucson (twice) to Kalamazoo, plus Sacramento & Chicago
TALKING STONES: A Dispatch From The Front Lines Of Computer Go
GO PHOTO: Centennial of Japanese Immigration to Brazil
YOUR MOVE: McCallister Remembers Historic NY Go Club; Koester On Placing Stones
THE TRAVELING BOARD: Ancient Go in Shaanxi

The final two rounds of the KGS Suk Choi Amateur Invitational were watched by nearly 1,000 online last weekend as Shaoyou Ouyang and Andy Liu battled it out for the title. If you saw the games live, now you can see what Jie Li 9d thought; if you missed them, here’s your chance to see what all the excitement was about. Non-members: join the American Go Association and get all this great content with every EJ! It's all just a click away!

June 23, 2008; Volume 9, #31

SHAOYOU OUYANG WINS KGS TOURNEY: Shaoyou Ouyang (l) won the KGS Suk Choi Amateur Invitational on Sunday afternoon, besting Andy Liu in the third and final round for a 2-1 score. Fernando Aguilar was awarded the Fighting Spirit prize. Round 2 on Saturday featured an exciting ko and Liu’s win on time made the score 1-1 and forced the decisive final round on Sunday. Though Ouyang was slightly ahead in the final round, “Andy played a wonderful yose and got the game very close,” reports Akane Negishi of KGS, who was the Tournament Director. “Many thanks to the sponsor, Mr. Suk B. Choi,” (r) Negishi says, “thanks to all the participants for the exciting games, and to the all KGS users for watching!” The final two games over the weekend each drew more than 850 observers. Both game records – with special commentary for the E-Journal by Jie Li 9d -- are attached. Click here for full results and game records.

TENG & DENG WIN NYC TOURNEY: Alfred Teng and Greg Deng topped their divisions in the June 15th New York Go Center tournament. Eighteen players turned out for the third in the Center’s 7-part tournament. “I was very happy to see Carrie and Saul Lapidus, two New York Go Center veterans, come to play,” reports organizer Boris Bernadsky. “They had not been making it to the recent tournaments, and seeing them again was nice.” Alfred Teng 2d took first place in the Dan Division and Greg Deng 8k took first place for the Kyu division. The Center’s next tournament -- a special 8-round Blitz Tournament -- will be held July 12th. Photo by Carrie Lapidus; click here for more photos

NAIM INTERNET QUALIFIER SET: The North American Ing Masters Internet Qualifier will be played online July 19-20. Eligible players must be a current AGA member for the past year, have a rating of 4.0 or better, have been resident in the US for at least 6 months of the prior year, and be a green card holder or US citizen. Contact TD Akane Negishi at with copy to to sign up. Interested players must sign up by July 12. Sign up must include name, AGA #, email address, KGS logon name, current rating and phone number. Rules will be Ing rules, which are implemented as New Zealand rules on KGS. If a special Ing rule situation occurs, the TD will manage it directly.

YUNZI STONES NOW LEAD-FREE: “Thanks to everyone’s efforts and concern, Yunnan Weiqi Factory is now producing lead-safe stones for everyone,” Pong Yen of Yellow Mountain Imports tells the E-Journal (“Chinese Go Stones” 2/4 EJ). “It's been a tough, educational and necessary transition for us here at Yellow Mountain Imports,” Pong Yen says, “but all the go vendors worldwide carrying Yunzi, not just Yellow Mountain Imports, will now be supplied with lead-safe stones.” In addition to swapping their Yunzi inventory out with the new lead-safe version, Pong Yen announced “A new exchange program open to anyone who purchased Yunzi stones from us in the past (who) would like to exchange them for new Yunzi.” Details available online.

CONGRESS INCLUDES COMPUTER TOURNEY: This year’s U.S. Go Congress line-up of tournaments -- events include the week-long US Open, the North American Ing Master's Championship, the Redmond Cup youth championship, as well as 9x9, 13x13, Pair Go, Crazy Go, Lightning Go and Midnight Madness - will include a computer go tournament with prizes totaling at least $1000 in cash. For details and eligibility requirements, contact Peter Drake at

FUNDS STILL AVAILABLE FOR 3 NAIM QUALIFIER EVENTS: Although North American Ing Masters (NAIM) Qualifiers have been run on the East and West coasts, none have yet been scheduled in the Central region. “Ing Championship Qualifier events receive $500 to support Ing rules tournaments,” reports AGA Executive VP Chris Kirschner. Top finishers will qualify to compete at the U.S. Go Congress for the North American Ing Masters Championship with a $10,000 prize fund and a deep prize structure. Click here for details. “The advance notice requirement has been reduced to two weeks,” Kirschner noted, “and tournament may qualify by reporting results as late as July 21.” Contact to get approval and arrange for financial support.

GO CALENDAR: Tucson (twice) to Kalamazoo, plus Sacramento & Chicago
June 25: Tucson, AZ: Tucson Go Club Congress Tune-up Rating Tournament
Martin Lebl 520.850.9213
June 27-29: Kalamazoo, MI: Jennie Shen Kalamazoo Workshop
Jason Preuss 2693274698
June 28: Tucson, AZ: Tucson Go Club Congress Tune-up Rating Tournament
Martin Lebl 520.850.9213
June 28: Sacramento, CA: Davis/Sacramento Go Club Summer Quarterly

Willard Haynes 916.929.6112
June 28: Chicago, IL: Blazing Battles
Bob Barber 773.467.0423

WOMEN PROS HANG TOUGH IN GG AUCTION CUP: The women pros are down to their last two players in the GG Auction Cup, the Korean win-and-continue tournament between twelve women pros and twelve older male pros. The senior men got off to a good start in this second edition of the event when Jimmy (Minsoo) Cha 4P, who lived in California for some years, defeated five women before losing to Lee Minjin 5P. Lee managed to retire three other men before losing to Kim Jongsoo 6P. Cho Hyeyeon 7P stopped him, but lost to Seo Nungwuk 9P, leaving only two women, Rui Naiwei 9P (r) and Park Jieun 9P against seven men. Rui defeated Seo Nungwuk last week and faces Choi Kyubyeong 9P this week. The women’s team is counting on Rui, backed up by Park Jieun – who was recently promoted to become only the third woman 9P – to keep alive their chances of repeating last year's victory.

KOREA TO FIELD ALL-STAR TEAM AT WMSG: Not to be outdone by the Japan’s Nihon Ki-in and the China Qiyuan – who are both fielding strong teams -- the Hankuk Kiwon in Korea has announced an all-star team for the 2008 World Mind Sports Games (WMSG), reports Thomas Hsiang. “A dozen male pros, nine female pros and three amateurs will make up the team to be led by Lee Sedol (l) and Park Younghoon,” Hsiang tells the EJ. The pros include all of the top 14 players currently ranked, except Lee Changho and Cho Hoonhyun. The amateurs will be chosen by a tournament currently under way. “Other players notably absent are the two Nihon Kiin Korean residents, Cho Chikun and Ryu Shikun who, by WMSG rules, cannot play for Japan either,” notes Hsiang. The KBA has promised a bonus of 5 million Won, or about $5,500 US, to any of their players who wins a gold medal. In other WMSG news, eight posters featuring the games of the competition are now available online and are in both English and Chinese.

UPDATES ON JAPANESE PROFESSIONALS: On the international scene, while no Japanese pros have made it to the semifinals in the Fujitsu Cup, two are still in the running in the third round of the LG Cup, namely, Kono Rin 9P (r) and Yamashita Keigo 9P. None of the international titles is currently held by a Japanese player. On the national scene, Cho U 9P holds five current titles: Meijin, Gosei, Agon Cup, Ryusei, and NHK Cup, and is at the top of the list in this regard. Two players hold two each of the top seven titles: Yamashita Keigo 9P has the Kisei and Oza, and Takao Shinji 9P has the Honinbo and Judan as well as the fast play Internet Daiwa Cup. The other top title, the Tengen, is held by Kono Rin 8P, who also holds the NEC Cup title. Iyama Yuta 7P holds the Shinjin O title and continues to look like the brightest star among the younger generation. He has a very good chance of being the next challenger for the Meijin, has made it to the second round of the Judan, and is in the semifinals of the Oza. Iyama also continues to top the list of Japanese pros with the most wins in 2008, having a 28 and 7 record for an amazing 80% winning rate. Among the women, teen Xie Yimin 3P holds both the Women's Honinbo and the Women's Meijin. Umezawa Yukari 5P has the Kisei, which she successfully defended early this year. Suzuki Ayumi 4P is again the Strongest Woman. Readers will recall that she held that title when Jie Li 9d defeated her in 2004 in the Seimitsu Cup.
- reported by Bill Cobb

KUIN WINS NL KOREAN AMBASSADORS CUP: Merlijn Kuin 6d won the Korean Ambassadors Cup (KAC) in the Netherlands, a four round knock-out held June 21-22 to decide participation in the PM Cup later this year in Korea. Runner-up was Robert Rehm 5d. Kuin had been runner-up last year, has won the last two Dutch national titles, once won 7th place at the World Amateur Go Championships, and will play for The Netherlands in the upcoming World Mind Sports Games in Beijing. In between China and Korea he hopes to study in Japan. This year the KAC was part of the Utrecht tournament, in which fifty more players took part. Michiel Eijkhout 6d won the Utrecht Cup. Yoon Young-sun 5P was present all weekend for game commentary.
- report/photo by Peter Dijkema, EJ correspondent in The Netherlands; photo: Robert Rehm (l), Yoon Young-sun 5P & Merlijn Kuin (r)

NL CLUB-TEAM CHAMPS: This year’s club-team championships in the Netherlands, were played in four leagues of six teams each. Leyden won the Major League ahead of Groningen, host of the European Go Championship next year. Although both won four matches, Leyden had crushed Groningen 3-0, giving them the same margin in the number of wins. Amsterdam came in third, although they caused Leyden’s only defeat. Utrecht played a key role, hosting the most matches because of their central location, and entering the most teams; their six beat the four from the North (Groningen). In the other leagues, The Hague took 1st and 3rd and Utrecht 2nd. With prizes for players with the largest gain in rating points in each league, it was no surprise that the winner in the third league also won overall. Bouke van der Spoel gained 88 points, so in a mere five games he became almost a stone stronger. Marieke Overbeek did best in the 2nd league, rising half a stone in strength, like Bas Vet in the 1st league. In the Major League the largest jump was only a quarter of a stone, or 27 points.
- reported by Peter Dijkema

TALKING STONES: A Dispatch From The Front Lines Of Computer Go
By Peter Shotwell
As reported last year in the E-Journal, Monte Carlo-based computer programs such as Crazy Stone, MoGo, Leela and Mango have outdistanced knowledge-based programs, after the invention of UCT, or Upper Confidence Trees, the ‘one-armed bandit’ algorithm. Since then, more progress has been made, but much of it is not yet well-understood. With larger and faster message-passing clusters coming in the fall, MoGo, which has beaten a professional on 9x9 and reached as high as KGS 1-dan on quick 19x19 games, will probably be getting much stronger. In a recent detailed email interview, MoGo’s Olivier Teytaud outlines some of the latest developments, updating a topic I explored in my 2002 essay on Go and Cognition and continuing a discussion in the last part of Appendix I about Remi Coulom and Crazy Stone, and how human learning studies spurred on the development of Monte Carlo methods in many fields. These articles and a lot more about go are in the Bob High Memorial Library.

GO PHOTO: Centennial of Japanese Immigration to Brazil
Brazil – home of the largest Japanese population outside of Japan – is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the first Japanese immigration to Brazil this year. The Brazilian Go Federation’s Roberto Petresco (standing at rear right, wearing cap) sent along these photos of children playing go as part of this month’s celebration of the arrival of the ship Kasato Maru on June 18, 1908, carrying the first Japanese immigrants, who came to work on coffee plantations. Click here for more photos and here for more about the history of the Japanese immigrants in Brazil.

YOUR MOVE: Readers Write
MCCALLISTER REMEMBERS HISTORIC NY GO CLUB: “The photograph in Vol 9, #30 (below) brings back memories,” writes former AGA President Bob McCallister. “You have properly identified Ed Lasker playing in the upper right hand corner. His opponent is Bob Gillooly who was the first New York player to go to Japan to study the game. He returned a shodan. The player to Lasker's left (right in the photograph) is Eddie Andrelos one of the strongest NY players at the time. The man standing behind Andrelos is John Goodell who produced and marketed an inexpensive go set at the time selling some 5,000, as I remember. The player seated in front of Goodell is John Matsumoto a fine gentleman and who was one of the most helpful of the experienced players in helping us to learn the game. Next to John is, as you have identified is Mitsuo Horiguchi who made it possible for the New York Go club to have a playing site at the time. The old Nippon Club had disappeared during World War II and he was selected to re-establish the club, which he did on East 96th Street in New York. He was a great friend of American Go and a good personal friend. Next to Horiguchi San is Dolf Rossof who was very active in the New York Go world at the time. Next to Dolf is Micah Feldman who was learning the game and who I believe is still active in Massachusetts. Micah is playing with Koshi Takashima who was a sort of Go Saint to the American players of the time. He goes back to time of Go at Lee Chumleys and I believe was in a photograph that appeared in Life Magazing in February 1942. Takashima-san provided many of the translations which appeared in the early editions of The American Go Journal and served as a Technical Advisor in the production of AGA Journal at that time. Norbert Jay, a very active NY player at the time is playing the game with Horiguchi-san. And finally in the lower left I am shown playing a game with someone, don't remember who. I was secretary of the American Go Association at the time and one of the editors of The American Go Journal at the time. The two people sitting across from Andrelos are familiar, but I don't recall the names at this time.” McCallister, 86, now lives in Winchester, VA, and still plays go, "on the internet these days," where he can play with old friends around the world, he tells the EJ

KOESTER ON PLACING STONES: “As author of the AGA Tournament Regulations, I can tell you what my intent was in formulating the regulation in question,” writes Ken Koester (A Stone Laid Is A Stone Played, 6/16 EJ). “This comes in the etiquette or sportsmanship section & also the administration of play section of the Regulations, and the basic intent of all the items in these sections is to induce civil behavior between players, prevent disputes, minimize misunderstandings, & reduce gamesmanship.” Koester cites two rules that specifically address the issue, including, “A player may not prevent his/her opponent's access to, or sight of, the board, the stones on the board, the clock, and the prisoners (under Japanese or territory-style counting) under any circumstances,” (section VF) and “A stone must be played on an intersection with a minimum of adjustment and a minimum of time being touched by the player.” (VI.B.2) Furthermore, “Players are specifically enjoined to remember the spirit of (section) VF when playing a stone.”

THE TRAVELING BOARD: Ancient Go in Shaanxi
by Paul Barchilon
While the Olympics are a generally-accepted reason to visit China, coming here to study go seems incomprehensible to colleagues and friends back home as well as people here in China, where the game originated. People from both cultures think I must really be obsessed, but I am not alone: over 20 people from 13 different countries are enrolled in the Experience Go in China program I’m attending for the next (period of time). We speak seven different languages, range in age from 18 to 42 (I’m the oldest) and while most of us are men, there are also two women attending. Our greenest player is a 10 kyu from Cork, Ireland, our strongest a 5 dan from Germany, with the great bulk of us between 2 and 4 kyu. In addition to sharing a love of go, we all speak English, which is the language in which all classes will be taught. The program officially begins this week, but I arrived a week early for sightseeing. I will be posting regularly on the Tigersmouth website, where interested readers can see photos and get updates on my activities; look for threads named “Paul’s China Trip”
I began my visit to China with a visit to Xi’an and the tomb of Qin Shi Huang Ti, the legendary first emperor. He had a life-size army of terracotta warriors, horses, and attendants sculpted and buried with him. Every soldier is unique, with different facial features, hair, clothing and other little details; it’s believed they were modeled on actual people. There are 6,000 warriors in Pit #1 alone, and there are two other pits as well. This sight was the main thing that bro
ught me to Xi'An, but everywhere I turn I see other amazing things as well. Our guide informed me that we had taken in ten major sights in four days, no wonder I was completely exhausted and my feet were aching. I had a pleasant and unexpected go related surprise at the Shaanxi history museum. In preparation for the Olympics they had an exhibit of games and sports, and our favorite, Wei Qi (as go is known in China) was prominently featured. In fact, they had on display the earliest known go board (r) in history, which was carved on stone and found at the guardhouse for the tomb of emperor Han Yang around 148 B.C.E. I had visited that site the day before, and my guide told me that the oldest go board had been found there. She knew I was into go and did a little research for our trip. She didn't know the board was actually on display at the Shaanxi museum though, so we were both surprised. They had stones too, from a different set around the same time. They were like pebbles actually, but sorted into black and white. There were also stones from the Song dynasty, over 1,000 years later, which had celadon bowls that were very lovely. Though I have heard that Chinese go stones are traditionally flat on one side, I found numerous stones on display from the Tang and Sung Dynasties, most of which were double convex. I found more go-related items in my visit to Ping Yao, which I’ll report on in next week’s EJ.
- Barchilon is the E-Journal’s Youth Editor. Photos: (left) at Huaqing hot springs with guide Ms. Lee; (right) go board from 148 B.C.E. at the Shaanxi history museum


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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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