World Go News from The American Go Association




Popular EJ contributor Kaz Furuyama -- who will be at the upcoming U.S. Go Congress -- takes another look at "Hitting the Head of Two Stones in the latest installment of his "Important, Fundamental Matters" this week. Non-members: join the American Go Association and get all this great content with every EJ! It's all just a click away!

July 28, 2008; Volume 9, #36

HANE TAKES HONINBO IN AMAZING COMEBACK: In a stunning comeback, Hane Naoki 9P has won the Honinbo after losing the first three games of the 7-game title. His back to the wall, Hane won the last four games - all by resignation - against Takao Shinji 9P, who had held this title for the last three years. John Power reports on the Nihon Kiin's home page that the final game saw a difficult center fight that started toward the end of the first day. However, Hane found a brilliant tesuji on the second day that gave him the initiative. Then a ko fight went badly for Takao, who's only remaining hope was to kill a large group in the center, which failed to work out, at which point Takao resigned. SGF files of all seven games can be accessed by clicking here. The loss leaves Takao with only two current titles, the Judan and the fast-play, internet-based Daiwa Cup. Hane also currently holds the Okan. This is his first win of the Honinbo, which he had not even challenged for before. Hane held the Kisei for two years, 2004-2005. The only other top-seven title Hane has won is the Tengen , which he held for three years, 2001-2003. His father, Hane Yasumasa 9P, held the Oza in 1990.

16-KYU CHEN WINS ASCHEIM TOURNEY IN BOSTON: Joseph Chen 16k topped 26 players to take first place at the annual Skip Ascheim Memorial Tournament July 20 in Somerville MA, reports TD Eva Casey. Winner's Report: 1st place: Joseph Chen 16k; 2nd: Yuanliang Chu 2d; 3rd: Eric Reid 4k.

U.S. GO CONGRESS KICKS OFF SATURDAY: The final count-down has begun to eight days of non-stop go. The 24th annual U.S. Go Congress - which features tournaments, simultaneous games, lessons and lectures with pros and much more - kicks off this Saturday in Portland, OR. "There's still time to join nearly 500 go players from around the world," says Congress Co-Director Peter Freedman. Click here to register online. NEW UPDATES: Check the Congress website for ongoing updates, including a distillery tour by Congress sponsor Rogue Ale -- one of Oregon's many famous microbreweries -- next Tuesday night, and an acoustic blues concert by Terry Robb on Wednesday night. Follow the action online daily, as the EJ Congress Team broadcasts top board games from the U.S. Open and North American Ing Masters on KGS. Watch for special Congress editions of the E-Journal and monitor our website for latest Congress news, photos, games and tournament grids. NOTE TO CONGRESS ATTENDEES: If you did not receive an update/confirmation email from the Go Congress last week (some got caught by spam filters), please click here to view the information immediately, as "It contains important information you will need to know to have a happy, hassle-free, Congress experience."

GO CAMP WEST UNDERWAY: Today's first full day of Go Camp West in Tacoma (WA) was sunny and cool as 28 campers settled down for a week of study and fun with Mingjiu Jiang 7P, Jin Chen 7d, Scott Arnold 3d and Yoshi Sawada 2d. Campers came from as far away as the Northwest Territories in Canada; Tokyo, Japan and New Jersey. Some of the youngest players in camp are also the strongest, while some of the beginners are high school seniors. Almost half of the campers will be going on to the Go Congress in Portland, which starts right after camp.
- report/photo by Brian Allen

SAN DIEGO TEEN BECOMES CHINESE PRO: Fourteen-year-old Joanne Missingham has just passed the Chinese professional exam with nine wins and just two losses. ''Everyone [in the pro exam] is very strong and tough,'' Missingham told the E-Journal, adding ''Wo de xin qing hen hao,'' ("I am in a very good mood"). Half Australian and half Taiwanese, Missingham was born in Australia, but moved to Taiwan at the age of three. Known as Jia-Jia in China, Missingham's first language is Chinese, but she is fluent in English as well. She began playing when she was just 6 years old. In 2005, the Missinghams moved to the United States and now live in San Diego. While enrolled in middle school, Missingham improved from 6d to near-pro level without attending a go school, and earlier this year, she temporarily left school to focus more heavily on go. Her daily schedule consists of learning Chinese, English, and piano in the morning; at noon, she goes to her current teacher's home, Wu Kei 3P, where she takes lessons until after dinnertime. When she gets home, Missingham plays games online or reviews professional games. Besides go, her other interests include swimming, piano, pipa, and calligraphy. As a new professional, Missingham plans to leave school temporarily to become a full-time go player. She will represent Australia in the Toyota Denso Cup in Japan this August, and in the World Mind Games in China in October, returning to the U.S. in November. Missingham was the 2004 Taiwanese representative in the Amateur Pair Go Championship, represented Taiwan at the 2005 International Youth Championship, won the 2006 Taiwan National Female Championship and was the 2008 Australian Oza representative. Photo: Joanne Missingham at the Chinese Pro exam, photo by
- Reported by Cherry Shen, EJ Youth Reporter

MONTHLY TOURNEYS BRING OUT NEW PLAYERS IN NORCAL: "Since the Bay Area Go Players Association started running monthly ratings tournaments in northern California earlier this year, several dozen newer go players have been inspired to join the AGA and play in their first tournament," reports local organizer Roger Schrag. Austen Liao 20k and Arun Varma 15k were two of the six first-timers at the most recent Norcal tourney. "All in all, there were 33 players ranging from 7d to 20k at the July 19 event in Palo Alto," Schrag tells the EJ. Five players won all four rounds: James Senesac 3 dan, Wai Lung Tam 2k, Samuel Gross 4k, Henry Zhang 7k, John Irving 15k. The next monthly ratings tournament is set for August 30 in Palo Alto. Register here by August 27 to save $5.

AGA AT-LARGE VOTES DUE WEDNESDAY: This Wednesday is the deadline to vote in the American Go Association's At-Large Board of Directors election. Roy Laird, Jie Li and Daniel Short are running; click here to see their candidate statements and details on how to vote. AGA members can vote via email or regular mail, but all ballots must be received by midnight on July 30. Email questions to Arnold Eudell at

LATEST GOGOD AVAILABLE: The latest edition of the GoGoD Database and Encyclopaedia is now available, reports T Mark Hall. "Subscribers' copies are in the post," Hall says, "and I will be bringing copies to the US Go Congress via the Red Sox/Yankees game at Fenway Park. Unlike the tickets there, GoGoD will be available at a very modest price, even though we feel we can fairly claim we have a Monster of our own, though perhaps not Green." The new GoGod has almost 53,000 game records "integrated with a massive array of features, books, reference materials, commented games, photos and programs," says Hall. "Although a lot of new material has been added since Winter 2007, a special feature of this edition is that we have once again tried to improve the accuracy of our database," Hall adds. "Thanks partly to having new published sources, we have been able to add extra moves to many existing games and to make corrections elsewhere."

GO CALENDAR: 24th Annual U.S. Go Congress
August 2-9, Portland, OR: US Go Congress
Click here register online!

HONG SUNGJI DEFEATS LEE SEDOL IN KOREAN PRICE INFORMATION CUP: Hong Sungji (right) 6P took the third game of the finals match in the 4th Prices Information Cup on July 27th to defeat Lee Sedol 9P by a score of 2-1. This is the first title Hong, who is just twenty, has ever won. Lee, who still has three current national titles and four international ones, had held this title the last two years. Hong also defeated Lee Changho 9P in the first round of this fast play event.

CHO HUNHYUN LOOKS TO NOTCH #2,500: Go "emperor" Cho Hunhyun (left) 9P is just two games from 2,500 official games: his July 17 game against Yoon Chunsang 7P was number 2,498. He is scheduled to play his next two games at the end of July and on August 10th for his team GS KIXX in the Korean Baduk league. Cho's 71.1% winning rate includes a record 1,770 wins - the most of any pro-- along with 9 draws and 719 losses. He has won 157 titles, including the Paewang - which means emperor and gave him his nickname -- which he has won twenty times, including a sixteen-year consecutive stretch. Cho became a professional at the age of nine and was in 1982 was the first Korean professional to be promoted to 9P. With many more professional tournaments in Korea than in China and Japan, there is little chance of anyone other than another Korean ever matching Cho's total. Seo Bongsu 9P has 2251 games (1436 wins, 3 draws, 812 losses) and Cho's student Lee Changho 9P has 1843 games (1420 wins, 423 losses).
- reported by Jens Henker, EJ Korea Correspondent

CHO U AND IYAMA TO MEET IN OZA FINALS: Iyama Yuta 8P defeated Nakano Hironari 9P on July 24th to gain the finals of the 56th Oza, where he will have another in the increasingly interesting encounters between himself and Cho U 9P (Iyama And Cho U Rivalry Developing, 7/21 EJ). The winner will be the challenger against Yamashita Keigo 9P for the Oza title, which Yamashita has held for the last two years. Yamashita also is the current Kisei.

BGA LANDS MAJOR SPONSOR: The British Go Association announced a major sponsorship deal with Winton Capital Management last week. The deal includes support for the BGA's World Mind Sports Games team. "Winton is proud to be associated with the 2008 British Go Tour in Beijing and wishes the team the best of luck at the WMSG," said Gemma Cochrane, Winton's Head of Charity and Sponsorship. A UK-based global investment management company, Winton "relies solely on scientific research in mathematics, statistics and computer science to develop successful investment management strategies," said BGA President Ron Bell. While the WMSG team sponsorship is the highest-profile event, Winton is "also helping with funds for the services of a professional go player at the UK's major international tournament, the London Open Go Congress, in December and for a series of regional teaching events that we are planning for the forthcoming year," Dr. Bell added. "We are extremely grateful to Winton for this very generous sponsorship."

INCLUDING THE PROF: The recent Korean pro visit to LA (Korean Pros Visit L.A. 7/21 EJ) was led by Professor Hahn Sang Dae of Myeong Ji University in Korea; Professor Hahn's name was inadvertently deleted in the editing process. We apologize for the omission.
UPDATED NOVA RESULTS: We mistakenly reported last week that there was a three-way tie between Collin Cain 8k (3-1) and Tristan Tran 35k in the July 19 NoVa tournament (Garrett Tops NoVa Tourney 7/21 EJ); the tie for 2nd place was actually between Keiju Takehara 2k, Xiaojing Du 3k and Yukino Takehara 5k, all of whom had 2-2 records. We apologize for the error.
IYAMA YUTA STILL TEEN: Nineteen-year-old Iyama Yuta 8P -- who we said was 20 in last week's "Iyama And Cho U Rivalry Developing" -- was born on May 24, 1989. Go journalist John Power - who caught our slip - notes that the Iyama-Cho rivalry "was an interesting angle to pick up on, as Iyama and Cho may well become prominent rivals and they have been playing quite a few important games this year."

YOUR MOVE: Readers Write
PYTD EXPLAINED: "What is pyTD?" (Li wins Internet Ing Qualifier 7/21 EJ) wonders Ken Friedenbach. PyTD is a flexible and powerful tournament directing tool that provides event coordinators with an integrated suite of planning, pairing, and reporting resources in one easy-to-use application.
QUERIES WELCOME: "Can you send me everything I always wanted to know, but never dared to ask, about submitting articles to the E-Journal?" asks an EJ reader. The EJ welcomes inquiries about possible contributions; send us queries outlining your idea at

GO PLAYER MAKES COVER OF CHESS LIFE: "Browsing the local newsstand, I noticed that Larry Kaufman, AGA 2d, one time Shogi Champion of America, graces the cover of the latest number of Chess Life," writes Bob Barber. "Kaufman went 5-0 at a recent Seniors Tourney. He's 60 years old. And, with his new wife, the proud parent of a two-year-old."
WRONG WIDGET, RIGHT GAME: "Ouch," writes Joel Simpson. "I was about to check out Come2Play, a new social gaming site offering go but did a double take when I saw the picture of the game [left] on the widgets page. Fortunately, it looks like they got it right on the inside."

GO QUIZ: No Crowing
Well, I can't brag about tricking you this week: only three of you failed to spot my false statement about Takemiya Masaki 9P, who will be attending next week's U.S. Go Congress in Portland. Takemiya's of course famous for his "Cosmic Go," he was indeed the first of the Kitani disciples to win notoriety, with his early 9 dan "killings," and he has actually won the top Japanese backgammon tourney. While Takemiya's also one of the "three crows" of the Kitani house -- as pointed out by the wonderful Yoko Ohashi -- the other two were "Ishida Yoshio and Kato Masao, not Cho Chikun who is much younger than the other three" Two of you missed this and thought all the statements were correct, while one of you thought the wrong statement was the backgammon one. One lucky guesser though Takemiya was NOT one of the three crows - but he gets credit for spotting the false statement, even if it was for the wrong reason. Congrats to Andrew Huang, this week's winner, chosen at random from those answering correctly. REMINDER: Your Quizmaster writes this column on Friday mornings - so if you want credit, answer your quiz by Thursday (Reinhold Burger was a little late getting last week's tough
question correct). NO QUIZ THIS WEEK as we take our annual Go Congress break, but keep an eye out in next week's EJ Congress coverage and don't be surprised if we come up with some fun, not-for-the-competition questions. Current standings: Waldron 17/18, Salamony 16/18, Fawthrop 13/15, Kerr 9/9. Burger 7/7, Fung 7/9 and Schumer 7/9.
- Keith Arnold, Quizmaster

THE TRAVELING BOARD: Taking the Pro Test
By Cherry Shen 6d
This summer I went to Hangzhou, China to play in the Chinese pro exam. I have heard numerous people in the United States wish that they could be pro, but I never knew how fierce the competition was, or how difficult it is to attain that level. Xingshuo Liu, another young
woman who lives in the United States, was also competing, and running into her on an elevator was a nice surprise. For us, playing in the pro exam was just for fun and the experience, but for serious Chinese go players the annual pro exams are not taken lightly. Every year, hundreds of amateurs compete in hopes of reaching the professional level, and many pros also compete to raise their status. As the competition began, I walked into a room of solemn faces; tension hung in the air and the atmosphere was still until the TD signaled the games to begin. Then the only sounds were the beeping of clocks, the clicking of stones, the slight whispers of the score, and the movement of feet. Although our go levels and lifestyle differed, I still had a good time with the Chinese kids. Despite taking go very seriously, the kids there still do ordinary activities. I befriended a couple of people and we went to KTV, played ping-pong, and pool, and jogged in the mornings. Stepping into the world of Chinese go players was an insightful experience. I learned the value of go to the Chinese people, and their great appreciation of the game. Whereas children in America think of go as an enjoyable game, Chinese kids study it seriously, hoping for improvement or to become a professional. Most players aiming to become pro do not attend school, instead living in a go school and studying go full time. Although I was eliminated early on, I still had a memorable time and a great experience. EDITORS NOTE: E-J readers will remember Xingshou Liu and her friends from Paul Barchilon's "Dinner with the future of Chinese go" report in the June 30th edition. Liu won two games in the test but was eliminated early on. Shu Bin and 16-year-old Cherry Shen also won two games. Zhu Zhen decided not to take the test this year. Photo: At the Chinese pro exam, photo by

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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); 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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