World Go News from The American Go Association




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November 3, 2008; Volume 9, #56

IYAMA FIGHTS BACK IN MEIJIN: Down 2-3 in his challenge for the Meijin, Iyama Yuta (left) 9P came roaring back after losing three straight to make the score 3-3 and take the match to a final Game 7 showdown. Defeating defending champion Cho U 9P by resignation after less than a hundred moves, the teen will now try to ride the momentum in his quest to be the first teenager ever to hold one of the top three titles in Japan. The final game of the best-of-seven-game match is scheduled for November 4th and 5th (U.S. time), and will be carried live on IGS starting at 7 PM Eastern Time on Tuesday night, enabling those interested in the U.S. Presidential election to follow two historic contests.

CHO U TAKES FIRST GAME IN OZA: Cho U (right) 9P got off to a good start in his challenge of Yamashita Keigo 9P for the Oza title, winning the first game by resignation. Yamashita is hoping for a three-peat in the Oza, which he first took from Cho U in 2006. Cho had held the title for three years. Yamashita's only other current title is the Kisei. Cho also holds the Meijin, which he is currently defending against Iyama Yuta 8P, and the Gosei among the top seven, and he is the challenger for the Tengen. Cho will quite likely be engaged in three top-seven title matches at the same time. He is also the current holder of the Agon Cup and the NHK Cup. In terms of current titles Cho is clearly number one in Japan. The next game in the Oza match is scheduled for November 13th.

JIE LI WINS N.A. STUDENT OZA: Jie Li swept to victory in this weekend's North American Student Oza online qualifier on KGS, winning all four rounds and the opportunity to represent North America in the upcoming 2009 World Oza in Japan. Yue Zhang (2-2) was the runner-up, losing to Li and Jeffery Fung (1-3) of Canada. And in a nail-biting battle for third place, Kwo-Ping Ho (2-2) forced Xingshuo Liu (1-3) to resign in Sunday's final round. "Many thanks to Phil Waldron, the AGA's new Tournament Coordinator for organizing this event," says online Tournament Director Dennis Wheeler, "and a terrific job by newly-installed Online Tournament Directors Daniel Short, Oren Laskin and Lawrence Ku, as well as our favorite KGS admin, Akane Negishi." Click here for final results and game records. 

SAUL LAPIDUS TOPS ROCHESTER TOURNEY: Saul Lapidus 1d topped the fourth annual Greg Lefler Memorial Tournament , held October 25-26 in Rochester, NY. Thirty-three players from five states and Canada gathered at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) campus. "Two of the winners were deaf players," notes TD Steve Colburn. Winner's Report: Dan Division: 1st: Saul Lapidus 1d, 2nd: Phil Waldron 6d, 3rd: Dan Short 3d. Single Digit Kyu Division: 1st: Carrie Lapidus 6k, 2nd: Victor Kostyuk, 3rd: Peter Wynn 5k. Double Digit Kyu Division: 1st: Jesy Felecia, 2nd: Kevin King, 3rd: Brandon Chan.

ZHANG REPEATS AT ING YOUTH CUP: Hugh Zhang 6d repeated as champion of the Ing's Cup Youth Go Tournament on October 26. The 11th annual event attracted 110 kids - including 36 first-time tourney players -- to the Chinese Cultural Center of Sunnyvale, CA, where youth ranging from 6d to 30k vied for prizes and trophies. This year, tournament organizers Mingjiu Jiang 7P and Reid Augustin 5d decided to combine all of the 13x13 players into one large division., which Darren Huang won, sweeping all five of his games. Winner's Report: Division A (Open): 1st: Hugh Zhang, 2nd: Justin Shieh, 3rd: Albert Chen. Division B: 1st: Anthony Su, 2nd: Brandon Lin, 3rd: David Su. Division C: 1st: Daniel Liu. Division D: 1st: Binjih Lin. Division E: 1st: Alex Zhu. Division F: 1st: Matthew Fu. Division G: 1st: Aaron Ye. Division H: 1st: Alan Hwang. Division I: 1st: Kevin Hung.

XIE YIMIN TAKES LEAD IN HONINBO DEFENSE: Xie Yimin (right) 3P leads 2-1 in her best-of-five-game defense against challenger Suzuki Ayumi 4P for the Women's Honinbo title. Still a teenager, Xie also holds the Women's Meijin title. She lost her first title, Strongest Woman, to Kato Keiko 6P back in July, though she made it to the finals, losing 2-0. At this point Kato has the best record in the League to determine the challenger for the Meijin. The fourth game in the Women's Honinbo title match is scheduled for November 5th.

GU LI WINS CHINESE AGON CUP: Gu Li (left) 9P defeated Chang Hao 9P by 5.5 points to win the 10th Agon Cup in China (Ahan Tongshan Cup). This is the third time Gu has won this event, more than any other player. Liu Xing 7P won it in 2006 and 2007, and Zhou Heyang 9P in 2004 and 2000. Gu will play the winner of the Japanese Agon Cup in a dual international meet. The Japanese event has reached the finals, which will be between Takanashi Seiken 8P and Cho U 9P. Gu won this event in 2004 and 2005. Every time he has won the Chinese event, he has also won the match against the Japanese winner. Cho won the Japanese event the last two years and was defeated by Liu both times.

KANG KANGYUN VS LEE SEDOL IN CHUNWON: Teen Kang Dongyun (right) 8P, who won a gold medal in the recent World Mind Sports, will play a best-of-five-game match with Lee Sedol 9P for the Korean Chunwon (Japanese: Tengen) title. Last year Kang took the King of Kings (aka Electron-Land Cup) title from Lee Changho 9P by a score of 2-1. Now he has a chance to do the same thing to the other of the two top Korean players, Lee Sedol. It would be quite a feat. Lee Sedol holds four international titles currently and two nationals. Only Gu Li 9P of China comes close to that level; he has two international titles and five Chinese nationals. Cho U 9P may soon have that kind of dominance in national Japanese titles, but holds no international ones. Kang played in the finals of the Chunwon last year, as well, losing to Won SeongJin 9P.

GO DISCUSSIONS UPDATE: is currently down. "The site will be coming back soon, so please don't worry," reports AGA webmaster Steve Colburn. "They are working hard to get the site back up and running for everyone soon."

CHRISTMAS SALE AT KISEIDO: Kiseido is currently featuring a Christmas sale of go equipment, large discounts on thick shell and slate stones, Japanese kaya table boards and boards with legs, and go bowls. Click here or see Special Sale For Connoisseurs story below for details.

WONDER GO FOR YOUNG LEARNERS: Seattle based WonderChess has added a prize-filled version of go to their product line. In WonderGo, when a stone is captured, the player removes it from the board, opens it, and claims a prize inside. The hollow stones can be filled with candies, stickers, or small toys, and provides immediate gratification to the game for young learners. Children as young as four can successfully be taught both first capture and go with the new system. "We introduced WonderGo to provide a compelling and unique go teaching set for young children," explains CEO Michel Alvarez, "we also wanted to provide a pathway for this classic game from Asia to capture the imagination of children in this country." The American Go Foundation has added WonderGo to their new online store, and is offering matching funds for qualified programs to help them purchase the set. WonderGo has earned internationally recognized awards including Creative Child Magazine's Top Children's Board Game 2007, and Dr. Toy's Best Products 2007. It was also selected as a "Top 10 Board Game" by the NY Times' in 2007. -Paul Barchilon, EJ Youth Editor; photo: 4-year-old Sophia cracks open a stone to claim her prize. Photo by Paul Barchilon, at the Boulder Kids and Teens Go Club.

FUNNY GAMES: Check out Stephen Colbert's comedic take on the recent World Mind Sports Games in the show's second segment, starting 9:45 into the show. Thanks to Roy Laird for passing this along.

EURO TOURNEY UPDATES: Hong Seul-ki 7D won the November 1-2 Groningen tournament in The Netherlands. Rudi Verhagen 5d took second place. The new venue featured several adjacent small bars in the old center of town and '09 Euro Congress co-organiser Réné Goedhart 3D smilingly acknowledged that "It was my idea to test these pubs as a possible venue for unofficial evening lightning tourneys during next years European Championship. It worked very well. We can easily have a hundred people here for an exciting side event in town." In other recent European tournaments, Rudi Verhagen 5d (NL) won the mid-October 'Bamboo' tourney in Bochum, Germany, besting Matthias Verwey 4D, while Mark Ostendorf 8k was the only other player to remain undefeated. A week later, Jin Zou 6d won in his hometown Leipzig 5-0 ahead of countryman Yi Zhang 4d, also of Leipzig. Only Andreas Melzer 15k won all his games as well. Both tourneys attracted some 50 participants. Another weekend later, in Berlin with 68 players, Bernd Schütze 5d took home the 3rd Japanese Ambassadors Cup with a clean slate, ahead of Manja Marz (left, in purple) 4D from Leipzig. The latter did not lose in Berlin, but she did not play all rounds. She also did well in the German Pair Go Championship: in St. Augustin ten pairs took part and three of them tied for the podium with 4-1. Opponent's points decided the final outcome: 1st: Olga Silber 1k - Benjamin Teuber 6d (Hamburg); 2nd: Manuela Marz 4d - German Go Federation President Michael Marz 3d (Leipzig); 3rd: Judith Conradi 2d - Michael Budahn 3d. Click here for full reports (in German).
- reported by Peter Dijkema, European E-Journal Correspondent

AMSTERDAM YOUTH TOURNEY: The Autumn Kids Championship of Amsterdam took place on October 31, with twelve kids under 12 participating, many of them pairs of brothers or sisters. In the first kids tourney, held last Spring, identical twins Nelson and Mozes van der Kar, now 10, had done well, as had Simone Admiraal, 11. After four games at the Autumn event, Nelson looked likely to repeat his Spring success, with a come-from-behind victory against his twin brother in the 4th. However, he then lost to 7-year-old Yuki de Groot, who with his 5-year-old sister Aya were the only participants from outside Amsterdam, all the way from Rijswijk, some 40 miles way. "Yuki started to play only six months ago", explained his proud father Ger. That left three players leading with 4-1. Of the leaders, only Simone and Yuki hadn't yet met yet, but their play-off didn't clarify the lead and in the end, TD Leo Dorst declared the three as equal winners. With only one winner's cup available, Dorst awarded it to Yuki, as "the youngest of the winners, also he traveled the farthest, so he can take this cup home, while Simone and Nelson will receive their copies later." All the kids got prizes for taking part and had a happy Halloween kick-off.
- report/photos by Peter Dijkema

CALENDAR: Gardena, Baltimore, Tacoma, New York & Houston

- November 8-9: Gardena, CA: Tadashi Sasaki 8p Workshop

Andy Okun,; 310-346-5850

- November 8: Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins 7th Annual Fall Tournament
Lisa Scott,; 816-651-6347

- November 8: Tacoma, WA: 3rd Annual Veterans' Day Tournament
Dr. Gordon E. Castanza,; 253-853-4831; Mike Malveaux,; 253.906.0095

- November 9: New York, NY: Masters Open
Boris Bernadsky,; 646-438-1338; Dae Yol Kim,

- November 9: Houston, TX: Houston Fall Tournament 2008
Robert Cordingley, 281-333-1614

Photo: Children play a game of Go on a WonderGo Board. Photo by Paul Barchilion.  

GO QUIZ: Seven For Austria
E-Journal Correspondent Peter Dijkema provided the details for the answer to this week's Quiz: Austria held the "2nd Altenmarkt 1958, 5th Baden 1961, 14th Brunn am Gebirge 1970, 19th Krems 1975, 25th Linz 1981, 34th Vienna 1990 and 51st Villach 2007".He goes on to explain that Poland and Italy have held the event twice each, while France has hosted three times. 19 of 22 were correct, including this week's winner, Ramon Mercado. THIS WEEK'S QUIZ: BACK IN THE USA: As we approach the close of this year's quiz competition, I will try to ask some harder questions - this week is not so hard, but at least no multiple choice. This year's US Congress will be held at George Mason University. GeOrge - contains the word "go" in it, though not consecutively. Can you name the one US Go Congress host city that has "go" in it, consecutive letters and in order? Click here to enter.
- Keith Arnold

GO ONLINE: Special Sale For Connoisseurs
In a previous column, we told you about some sites that offer great bargains on basic equipment, cheaper in some cases than the average board game at ToysRUs. Now let's go to the other extreme. The finest equipment can cost $1000's, and if you've ever played on an kaya floor board with slate and shell stones in quince bowls, you probably know why. Have you been thinking about investing in equipment that is a joy to use? If so, there's never been a better time! In Japan, where the finest equipment is made, interest in go has declined in recent years, and manufacturers are overstocked. Kiseido, the Japan-based publisher of great go books and Go World magazine, has taken advantage of this situation to acquire some extremely fine equipment for a special holiday sale at discounts of 50% and more, as much as 70% in some cases. You'll find stones as thick as 14.2 mm -- any thicker and they would be marbles! -- a floor board made from a 600-year-old kaya tree, and bowls created by a famous artisan. Even if you're not planning a purchase, you'll learn fascinating facts about what makes top level equipment the best. If you can afford it, this is the finest gift you can give your favorite player -- even if that player is you!
- Roy Laird

SELL IT, BUY IT OR TRADE IT HERE with nearly 13,000 go-players worldwide! Classified ads are FREE and run for 4 weeks; email your ad to us now at

GO PLAYERS WANTED: Independence, MO: Open every Tuesday from 5-7P at the game cafe in Independence Square, 107 Lexington, MO 64050; cost is free, $2 for drinks (unlimited refils); (11/3)

GO PLAYERS WANTED: Lexington, KY: New Go club forming at the Lexington Public Library downtown First meetings are November 5th and 19th from 6-9pm, and players of all levels are welcome! Email for more information. (10/20)

GO PLAYERS WANTED: Flint, MI: Go players wanted to either start a club or to get together casually to play some live games. UM-Flint students highly welcome and encouraged! Please contact Dustin at (10/13)

GO PLAYERS WANTED: Online: Looking for go players of all ranks to join Online Go Club. We will be meeting every Saturday around 1pm EST on the KGS. My KGS name is KangningMa if you want to contact me there, or you can email me at: (9/29)

GO PLAYERS WANTED: Montgomery County, PA: We meet Sunday's at Borders in Airport Square, Routes 309 and 202, North Wales, PA. Neil Zod (9/29)

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 Photographer); Keith Arnold (Go Quiz); 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)

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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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