World Go News from The American Go Association




MEMBER'S EDITION BONUS CONTENT: A 4-kyu amateur takes on a 1-dan playing even - with a 40-point komi - in today's game commentary by Yuan Zhou 8d. See how each player attempts to use their advantages. Haruyama Isamu 9P shows how to handle cross-cuts in today's installment of Questions from Actual Play, translated by Robert McGuigan. Plus: check out a special sneak preview of the latest issue of Go World in the attached PDF! Non-members: join the American Go Association and get all this great content with every EJ! It's all just a click away!

July 21, 2008; Volume 9, #35

LI WINS INTERNET ING QUALIFIER: Jie Li (left) 9d swept last weekend's Internet ING Qualifier on KGS, winning all five games. Eric Lui 8d was 2nd, Thomas Hsiang 7d took third, I-han Lui was 4th and ZhaoNian Chen 8d placed 5th. "We had four jigo games," TD Akane Negishi tells the E-Journal, "Including three out of five for Daniel Cho's games." Steve Colburn assisted the TD and maintained the tournament pages, including the results page (which includes all game records); pyTD was used for the pairings and Phil Waldron "helped keep things running smoothly," says Negishi.

CONGRESS ATTENDANCE NEARS 500 MARK: With less than two weeks to go, attendance at this year's U.S. Go Congress - August 2-10 in Portland, OR - is nearing the 500 mark. Attendees include 16 professionals - including the legendary Takemiya Masaki - 174 dan players and 207 kyu players, guaranteeing the largest and most competitive field of the year. The weeklong event features tournaments, simultaneous games, lessons and lectures with pros, fun and unusual events - including interesting go variants - as well as the many attractions of the Pacific Northwest. Click here for details and online registration. NOTE to registrants requesting changes: the Congress Registrar is handling an enormous volume of email requests and is working through requests as quickly as possible. "Thank you for your patience," says Co-Director Akane Negishi.

GARRETT TOPS NOVA TOURNEY: Craig Garrett 1d topped the winners at Saturday's NOVA Congress Tune-Up tournament, held July 19 in Arlington VA. Twenty-four players participated. "An extra attraction was the opportunity to take home a 19" Sony TV, donated to NOVA as a prize," reports TD Allan Abramson, "Matt Bengston, from Pennsylvania, won the coin toss and took it home." Winner's Report: First place: Craig Garrett 1d (3-1); John Zhao 5k (4-0); Dierdre Golash, 15k (3-1); and Kenny Huynh 25k (4-0). Second place: Matt Bengston 1d (3-1); Keiju Takehara 2k (2-2), Xiaojing Du 3k (2-2), Yukino Takehara 5k. Three-way tie: Collin Cain 8k (3-1) and Tristan Tran 35k (2-2).

HUMAN-COMPUTER SHOWDOWN AT CONGRESS: While computers long ago surpassed humans at chess, the best go programs haven't been able to hold a candle to professional human players. In 1997, Janice Kim -- then a professional 1-dan -- beat Handtalk, then the strongest program, despite giving the program a 25-stone handicap. There has been considerable progress in computer go research since then - do humans still reign supreme? Find out on Thursday, August 7 at 1P, when Kim MyungWan 8P takes on MoGo, the world's strongest computer go program. MoGo will connect remotely from France, where it will be running on a supercomputer boasting over 3,000 processor cores. The game will be broadcast live on KGS.

NYC GO CENTER HOSTS GO CAMP & KANAZAWA: The New York Go Center will host the Eastern Go camp this Friday, along with a special appearance by Feng Yun 9P. On July 25 the club will host a field trip for thirty young go campers ranging from 30 kyu-1d and Feng Yun 9P will review one of her recent games. "Afterwards we will have either a blitz tournament, or self paired rated games," reports the Center's Boris Bernadsky. The club is also welcoming Kanazawa sensei, the Center's new guest instructor, a 5-dan amateur from Japan.

U.S. TO SEND TEAM TO TRANS-ATLANTIC GO TEAM CONTEST: There's still room on the U.S. team for the first-ever Trans-Atlantic Go (TAG) Team contest, reports AGA President Mike Lash. The event will be held at the upcoming Isle of Man Tournament and runs August 17-22. A 4-player AGA team of different rating levels will play four rounds against sixteen different British players of the same or very similar rating in the British Go Association-hosted event. The U.S. team receives free entry to the Isle of Man event, including their main tournament, free Friday evening buffet, free passes on the local trains and trams, and passes to enter Manx National Heritage sites. Interested amateur players should submit names and confirmed ratings to

HSIANG TO CO-TD WMSG: Thomas Hsiang has been appointed the Go Co-Tournament Director of the World Mind Sports Games. "I am very flattered by this appointment," said Hsiang, "It is a clear indication that Western representatives are gaining influence in the international go affairs." Saying that "The AGA is very proud of Thomas," American Go Association President Mike Lash added that "Thomas has worked very hard on international issues on behalf of the AGA for many years and this is a terrific achievement." Hsiang represents the American Go Association and is a Director of the International Go Federation. China Qiyuan (go federation) President Mr. Yigang Hua will co-direct with Hsiang.

KOREAN PROS VISIT L.A.: Three Korean professionals visited the Los Angeles area last week. Led by Professor University in Korea where there is a degree program in Baduk, the professionals -- Lee Ha Jin, who holds a woman's title in Korea, An Young Gil and Jang Bi, a Korean prodigy studying to become professional and currently living in Seattle, WA - made appearances at both the Palo Alto and Davis/Sacramento go clubs as part of a West Coast tour from Calgary, Canada to Los Angeles. The Palo Alto Go club visit coincided with Mingjiu Jiang 7P's teaching night, and Janice Kim 3P also turned up. Click here for more of Ernest Brown's photos at the Palo Alto club. Photo right: (from top left) Kristin Burrall, Willard Haynes, Calvin Clark, Jeff Horn play An Young Gil, photo by Steve Burrall; Photo left: Lee Ha Jin at the Palo Alto Club, photo by Ernest Brown

LATEST GO WORLD NOW OUT: Highlights of the latest Go World include the final three games of last year's Meijin title match, in which Cho U wrested back the title he surrendered to Takao Shinji the year before, and the first four games of this year's Kisei title match between Yamashita Keigo and Cho Chikun. "Readers who have been looking at our back issues, which for decades at a time were dominated by Cho Chikun, will look forward to remaking his acquaintance," says John Power. "Cho tries to find the 100% move every move, so his games are always exciting. However, he can't have played many games more complicated than the second game in the Kisei title match, which is one of the games featured in this issue." See the attached file for an excerpt of one of the Cho games. This issue of GW also includes a special EJ Member's Edition bonus: check out the ad on the inside back cover to take advantage of this limited-time offer.

WHY PROGRAMMERS SHOULD PLAY GO: "Go is an ancient strategy game with simple rules and a profound degree of complexity," writes Jon Dahl in the July 14 edition of RailSpikes. "Software development is the art of managing complexity using a limited number of rules, structures, and patterns. Programmers should play Go." Dahl goes on to outline the case for applying go's "combination of simplicity and complexity" to the principles of computer programming, including likening patterns in go to patterns in software design. Click here for Dahl's article. Thanks to Ramon A. Mercado and Mark Hommerding for passing this along.

HELP BUILD A STRONGER GO FUTURE: There are lots of opportunities to help build the go community, report Mike Lash and Allan Abramson, outgoing and incoming Presidents of the American Go Association, respectively. "A stronger go community means more and better players for us all!" notes Abramson. To find out more about volunteer opportunities, "either come to the Job Fair at the Congress or email" adds Lash. Activity areas include - but are not limited to -- website support, chapter services support, policy and governance, planning, marketing/public relations, the new online store, international relations, youth, membership services, Pair Go promotion, summer go camps, tournament coordination and training tournament directors, database management, ratings system and rank certificates, volunteer recruitment/coordination, and fund-raising. "Feel free to contact us about any other areas you feel are important to the future of the AGA," say Lash and Abramson. In addition, the American Go Foundation is looking for a publicity person, help with fundraising, mentors and someone who can code PHP and help maintain the Tigersmouth website. "If a lot of people each do a little, we can continue to grow and progress as an organization," say Lash and Abramson, "Ask not only what the AGA/AGF can do for you, but what you can do for the AGA/AGF!"

HANE EVENS UP HONINBO: Hane Naoki (right) has staged a remarkable comeback in the Honinbo, erasing an 0-3 deficit to even the score in the best-of-seven top title. When Takao Shinji 9P won the first three games of the Honinbo title match against challenger Hane Naoki 9P, it looked like he was a shoo-in for his fourth straight win of this prestigious title. On July 17th, however, Hane won his third straight game, evening the score at 3-3 and setting up a winner-take-all seventh game, scheduled for July 22nd and 23rd. Hane has won the Kisei twice, in 2004 and 2005, and a number of other titles, including the Tengen, but he has never held the Honinbo title. The only title he holds currently is the Okan, which is limited to members of the central branch of the Nihon Kiin. Besides the Honinbo, Takao currently holds the Judan and the Daiwa Cup. He has not been as successful as Hane overall, but he was Meijin-Honinbo in 2006 and has won the Ryusei twice, in 2000 and in 2004.

IYAMA AND CHO U RIVALRY DEVELOPING: It is unexpected that a twenty-year-old should be in position to become one of the very top players in Japan this year, but Iyama Yuta (left) 8P has been setting a torrid pace so far and may well be challenging Cho U (below) 9P, who currently holds
five Japanese titles, for role of dominant, current player. Iyama will be challenging Cho for his Meijin title, beginning in September. He and Cho are on track to have a one-game match to determine the challenger for the Kisei this year as well. The Kisei has a double league round robin and the winners of each league play for the position of challenger. Both Cho and Iyama are 2-0 in their respective leagues at this point, which is the best current record in both cases. Iyama and Cho are also both competing in the current Judan tournament, and could meet in the finals of the Oza. Cho is already in the finals of the Oza and Iyama is paired against Nakano Hironari 9P in the remaining semifinal game. Cho is currently defending his Gosei title against Yamashita Keigo 9P and Yamashita has won the first game. Cho and Iyama are both in the final stage of the Ryusei. Cho did manage to knock Iyama out of the Agon Cup in the first round back in June, but Iyama is number one of the list of pros winning the most games in 2008, with 30 victories and a 75% winning rate. Cho is fourth with 22 wins and a 79% average. It seems unlikely, but it is possible that at this time next year Iyama will hold more titles than Cho, who is eight years older.

GO CALENDAR: Last Pre-Congress Events!
July 23 & 30: Shenandoah, PA: The Tesuji Workshop
Open 5-10P, a workshop to play go and work on go related problems every
Wednesday. E-mail for address: 570.875.7118

July 26: Dallas, TX: North Texas Go Championship
Anyone is welcome, no entry fee. Check the url for more info. Prizes for 1st and 2nd place. Tournament is in 2 brackets: 30-12 kyu, 11kyu-stronger. This is a roundrobin style tournament. Kris Taylor 469.371.9859

July 27 - August 1: Cortes Island, BC: James Kerwin Go Workshop
The legendary Hollyhock Go Workshop
James Kerwin 612.823.0699
Hollyhock: 800.933.6339

GO QUIZ: O That's A Tough One
With a perfect Congress attendance record, your Quizmaster has an advantage when it comes to which professionals came to U.S. Go Congresses, as this is not something easily researched online. Only one of you came up with the correct answer to last week's question about whether a Kisei winner has ever attended a Congress. At the first Congress in 1985, a shy young man made Westminster, Maryland a part of his honeymoon trip, traveling with senior Chinese Nihon Kiin professional Rin Kaiho and his wife. His shyness evaporated when he observed me with a table tennis bat and a translator informed me that O Rissei (left) 7P (at the time) wanted me to know that "I am a weak go player, but I am a strong ping pong player." Although his victories in the 2000, 2001 and 2002 Kisei titles prove his first comment to be modest, his second was not arrogant. Careful watchers of Umezawa Yukari's go lessons at the end of each Hikaru episode might recall her introducing him as the table tennis champion of the gym they both belong to. I tried provide a hint by putting O Rissei in the background of the photo last week, but congrats to Phil Waldron, our lone winner.
THIS WEEK'S QUIZ: Returning to the start of our Pros at Congresses series, I offer this researchable but tricky Takemiya question. What follows are a series of statements about Takemiya Masaki - are they all true, or can you spot a false one? Early in his career he was nicknamed the "9 dan killer"; He was one of the "Three Crows" of the Kitani school, along with Ishida Yoshio and Cho Chikun; He is famous for his "Cosmic Style"; He is an expert backgammon player. Click here to vote.
- Keith Arnold, Quizmaster

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GO PLAYERS WANTED: At the Atlanta Chess & Game Center. All players, all levels welcome. Anyone interested please e-mail Michael Bacon: or call 404-377-4400 If there is enough interest we hope to start a Go meeting on Thursday evenings in September. (7/21)

GO PLAYERS WANTED: Starting a Go club in the Decatur/Huntsville, AL area. All players, all levels welcome. Anyone interested please e-mail Brandon at (7/14)

GO PLAYERS WANTED: Phoenixville, PA. All levels of player welcome (though currently, we are mostly beginners). Meeting on Saturday afternoons and sometimes weeknights. If interested, please email Craig at for details. (7/7)

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); Jens Henker (Korea 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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