World Go News from The American Go Association

Two of our most popular contributors are back today: Yuan Zhou 8d reviews a game between two 5 kyus and Yilun Yang 7P presents his latest endgame problem.Non-members: join the American Go Association and get all this great content with every EJ! It's all just a click away!

December 15, 2008; Volume 9, #62

LINZ-HOROWITZ WIN DENVER PAIR GO: The Pair Go team of Laurie Linz 7k and Stuart Horowitz 3d took first place in Saturday's Te wo Tsunaide '08 Pair Go Tournament in Boulder, CO. "There were three official rounds and seven award categories at the 4th annual event," reports organizer Jasmine Sailing. Click here for detailed reports and photos. Winner's Report: 1st Place Open: Laurie Linz 7k/Stuart Horowitz 3d; 2nd Place Open: Jasmine Sailing 4k/Paul Barchilon 3k; 1st Place High Kyu: Rachel Daley 20k/Ryan Bernstein 10k; 2nd Place High Kyu: Jay Hoh 23k/Tucker Bergin 19k; Out-Standing Youth Pair: Diana Yang 7k/Albert Hwang 7k; Fighting Spirit: Katherine Lin 3k/David Weiss 3d; Most In-Sync Pair: Jessica Lin 2k/Yaphet Tewahade 2k. Pairings Director: Bruce Young; Organizational Assistants: David Weiss and Paul Barchilon. Photo: Linz-Horowitz (l) play Lin/Tewahade; photo by Bruce Young

SHUNICHI HYODO TOPS NY TOURNEY: Visiting Nihon Kiin instructor Shunichi Hyodo 6d took top honors in Sunday's monthly tournament at the New York Go Club in New York City. "A strong and large range of players attended, ranging from 6 dan to 13 kyu," reports Tournament Director Roman Kudryashov. Adam Connell 8k went undefeated for strong victory in the single-digit kyu range, while Frederick Smadja 13k won the double-digit kyu division and Shunichi Hyodo 6d won the dan division. "The prize pool, each prize donated by a player, was raided like a holiday gift exchange," Kudryashov adds, "with every victor finding something they liked."

MOK JINSEOK FIGHTS BACK IN KOREAN KUKSU: Challenger Mok Jinseok (right) 9P stayed alive in his bid for the Kuksu, winning Round 3 on December 10. It looked like Lee Sedol 9P was going to sail to another title when he took a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five-game finals against Mok in the 52nd Kuksu; although Lee only has two national titles at the moment, he still holds four current international titles, and is definitely the favorite in this match against a player with only a few minor titles and the most recent of those in 2004. Lee won this oldest and prestigious Korean title for the first time last year. The title was swapped back and forth between Lee Changho 9P and his teacher Cho Hunhyun 9P for a number of years until Rui Naiwei 9P made history by being the first woman to win an open title by defeating Cho in 1999. Since then no one has dominated this event the way Lee and Cho did in the past. Cho took it back from Rui in 2000 and Lee has held it three times since then, most recently in 2005. The next game in the title match is scheduled for January 5th.

FAN HUI RECAPTURES PARIS MEIJIN: Fan Hui (right in photo at left) 2P swept all five rounds to win back his Paris Meijin title on November 29-30, reports JÚrome Hubert 3D on the French Federation of Go's (FFG) website. Fan has now won this title six times, losing it last year to to Junfu Dai, who won it in 1995 when he was just 12. Prominent Japanese players also attended the 26th annual event, including Kobayashi Chizu 5P, who has been resident in Europe since last year, when she became the Nihon Kiin's cultural ambassador to Austria and Nobuchi Motoki 7D , who placed 5th. Click here for more pictures, some games and the full results. The FFG site also has a video by Fred Donzet 5D about Fan Hui, combining footage from the last Paris Pandanet with Fan -- a national teacher in France and regular contributor to the EJ -- teaching. Donzet took 8th place in the recent Korean PM Cup, and was one of Youth Champ Thomas Debarre 5D's -- who won 6th place -- first teachers. Debarre also takes lessons from Guo Juan 5P and told the EJ that he's "eager to play the best anywhere in Europe".
-Report by Peter Dijkema, European correspondent; photo by JÚrome Hubert

COMPUTER DEFEATS PRO AT 7 STONES: The Crazy Stone go program apparently defeated Kaori Aoba 4P with a 7-stone handicap at last weekend's Computer Go UEC Cup in Tokyo. "This would make Crazy Stone 4 or 5 dan, by Japanese standards," wrote Darren Cook on a computer-go discussion group, "Maybe 2-3 dan European?" The UEC results were: 1st: Crazy Stone; 2nd: Fudogo; 3rd: Many Faces; 4th: Katsunari; Mogo apparently had time trouble and pulled out. Click here for the unofficial .sgf of the computer-pro game.

TOP PROS TO ATTEND JUJO JIANG TOURNAMENT: A team of players from Shanghai, China will be attending the annual Jujo Jiang Goe Tournament, to be held January 3rd and 4th in San Francisco, CA. They'll be led by Jujo Jiang (right) 9P and Rui NaiWei 9P. The tournament is sponsored by the Ing Goe Foundation and the San Francisco Chinese Culture Center; all levels are welcome at the AGA-rated event and there will be prizes in four divisions: Open, Dan, Kyu and Novice. Click here to register (there's a $10 discount for current AGA members).

GOCLUBSONLINE OFFERS HELP FOR LOCAL ORGANIZERS: Harried volunteer go club organizers worldwide will be delighted to hear that online software is now available to help run a club and local tournaments. "GoClubsOnline makes it easy for players to register for your tournaments online," says Robert Cordingley, "as well as to export player lists to popular pairings programs, track club memberships, monitor club libraries, keep results of club games, submit rated club games to the AGA and take care of book-keeping." The site is free for subscribers and club members and club organizers can open a Club Account for as little as $95 per year. Other features include email facilities to communicate with tournament attendees and club members, profit and loss reports for each tournament or the club as a whole, membership analysis and tournament registration trends. The system is an upgrade from HGC-Online, developed for Cordingley's Houston Go Club, which has been in use since February "and has saved us tons of time," he says. GoClubsOnline also includes a growing list of productivity tools including printing winners certificates and club membership cards. "The most important benefit though is that it saves club organizers and volunteers tons of time so that they can play more go!" For more information visit the GoClubsOnline website or email  

GO IN THE NEWS: Go Makes Linux Mag: "There is a picture taken by BGA member David Cantrell of a go game on the Swiss-Australian border in the December 2008 Linux Pro Magazine on page 92," reports Bob Bacon. "The scene is described as an international go tournament that was part of the Linux Bier Wanderung. Looks like a great place to play go.... more than a mile higher than Black Mountain!" Click here for the article.

NEWSLETTER FOR GO TEACHERS LAUNCHED: The American Go Foundation has created a newsletter targeted at go teachers. The "Sensei" newsletter addresses an audience of "enthusiasts who are teaching go in after-school programs, at libraries or community centers or during classroom visits," editor Roy Laird tells the E-Journal, "professional educators who recognize that go is a valuable classroom enrichment activity that links naturally to core curriculum content; and anyone else interested in go instruction." With an estimated 200 active teaching programs in the US, the AGF hopes the newsletter will enable this growing community to network with each other. "The intention is that teachers themselves will provide most of the content," says Laird. The first issue, published last week, describes the AGF's partnership with the One Laptop Per Child Project and reports the results of the AGF's annual program survey. Also featured are several new resources for teachers, including the AGF Lesson Plan Cooperative -- a clearinghouse for go-related lesson plans - and the new "Go In The Classroom" page, which explores the effects of go on cognitive and personal development. "It's a sort of 'sales pitch' for teachers who are discovering go for the first time," said Laird. Teachers may also be interested in 200 Go Puzzles For Beginners created by Paul Smith for the British Go Association, which Smith recently agreed to allow the AGA to publish online for the first time. Click here to view the first issue of Sensei; to subscribe, email

CHESS DOPING SCANDAL: "Grandmaster Vassily Ivanchuk refused to submit a urine sample for a drug test at the Chess Olympiad in Dresden and is now considered guilty of doping," reports Maik Grossekath÷fer in Spiegel Online. "The world of chess is outraged that he could face a two-year ban. The incident in Dresden and the possibility of a professional ban for Ivanchuk has caused outrage in the chess world. The players, who fraternize with one another, say that accusing one of them of doping is an insult to their honor and intelligence. Letters of protest were issued, and players are accusing bureaucrats in the world of championship chess of destroying the game, because, as they insist everyone should know, doping provides no benefits in chess." Click here for the complete report. Photo: Vassily Ivanchuk, photo by Dimitri Papadopoulos/

WOMEN CREATING STIR IN JAPANESE RYUSEI: Two female players have created a bit of a stir in the popular Ryusei tournament, now underway. With two wins each, Suzuki Ayumi (left) 4P and Xie Yimin 4P have a good chance to advance to the second round in an event where women players rarely win more than one game. The Ryusei is a fast-play -- 30 seconds per move plus 10 one-minute thinking periods -- event that's broadcast on TV and draws a large audience. The play begins with eight groups of twelve players each who play a win-and-continue round; the winner and the player who wins the most games in each group then join a sixteen player single elimination tournament. Women players are always included though it is rare for them to win more than one game and this year Suzuki Ayumi 4P has defeated two men in Block G, Kuwamoto Shinpei 6P and Furuya Masao 3P, while Xie Yimin 4P has defeated a fellow female player Kim Hyunjung 3P as well as Miyasaki Ryutaro 6P who is male. Xie next faces Ko Iso 7P and Suzuki's next opponent is Sakai Hideyuki 7P. These two male opponents are better-known because they have good records in tournament play and will be a real challenge for Suzuki and Xie. Since it's possible to make it into the final event by winning three games, both women have a chance to reach the next level. Last year Rin Kaiho 9P made it into the final event with only two wins; he outranked the two other two-game winners in his group. Kono Rin 9P won this event last year, and Cho U 9P the two years before that.

LEE CHANGHO AND CHANG HAO IN CHUNLAN FINALS: In the semifinals of the 7th international Chunlan Cup on December 11th there were three Chinese players and one Korean. Lee Changho 9P of Korea defeated Kong Jie 7P while Chang Hao 9P defeated Zhou Heyang 9P, so Lee and Chang will meet in the best-of-three-game finals. Chang came in second last year, losing to fellow countryman Gu Li 9P, which is the only time the Chinese have won this event. Lee has won it twice, in 2003 and 2005. Overall, Koreans have won it four times and the Chinese and Japanese once each. The winner's purse is about $150,000.00 US. Lee is also the only Korean ever to take second place, in the first Chunlan in 1999 when he lost to his teacher Cho Hunhyun 9P.

KOREAN PRO LAUNCHES ENGLISH BLOG: With few Asian professional go players blogging in English, Lee Hajin (right) 3P new blog about her go career is notable. Assisted by her father, Hajin includes her personal diaries and essays, as well as photos on the blog. "It is very cool how members can comment and participate in the discussion, and I have personally signed up and spoken with Hajin; I find her to be very kind," reports Tigersmouth news editor Tom Bahun. "The site is set up well and very easy to use; the news section is great because you get the latest articles before anywhere else. Who better to report them, than someone who is right there?" adds Bahun. For updates on go news by teenagers, check out the new Tigersmouth News section

YES ON BLACKBERRY GO: There are at least two Blackberry go apps, according to readers responding to last week's query (Your Move: Readers Write: Blackberry Go 12/8 EJ) mgo and Gome. There are two versions of mgo, including mgo_x, which features sgf export, notes Hannes, who's involved in mgo development. "The mgo team is currently working on a heavily revised and enhanced version of the software, so all user feedback is highly appreciated," Hannes adds. "You can also download a trial version of Gome to check compatibility with your mobile phone," says Gome author Guillaume.

CORRECTION: "Kono Rin won the Tengen title from 2005 to 2007 -- each year the other player was Yamashita Keigo, who played in the Tengen title match five years in a row -- so Cho U was the challenger," writes longtime go journalist John Power (Cho Holds Onto Tengen, Recaptures Oza 12/8 EJ). "Surprisingly, this year was the first time he had reached the title match. The EJ may have been looking forward a year, as the odds are that Cho will defend in 2009 if he maintains the great form he's in now. Kono Rin also won the Ryusei tournament this year, so he still has two titles. This year was the first time that Kono won more than one title."

THE EMPTY BOARD: The Real Go Player
by Bill Cobb
At a lecture at this year's U.S. Go Congress, Takemiya Masaki (right) 9P insisted that it is very important in go to play where you want to, not where you think you ought to. He said that no one believes he is serious about this. It's easy to understand why. The issue here is what it means to be a "honte" go player. First, think about why we play the game. Surely it's because we enjoy it: no one is forcing us to play. Those of us at the Congress paid a lot to attend. Takemiya assumes we all agree with this, but he notices that a lot of players often seem to find playing an unpleasant and frustrating experience. He suggested this is because we are worried about where we should play next in the game. For many of us this worry is based in a concern about our ratings, which is what drives us to worry about winning the game we're playing. It may well be that the excessive focus on ratings so characteristic of the current AGA culture - player rank was the most visible part of Congress ID badges -- is the greatest barrier to enjoying playing. The solution is to quit worrying about ratings and winning. Instead, look over the board carefully, and play wherever you want to. Of course, this approach may lead to losses, but it's the only way to become a real go player, playing your own style of go. This approach requires two essential things, which is where your feelings for the game come from: studying seriously and reviewing your games carefully. Seeing what does and doesn't work shapes your feeling for the game in the direction that leads to better play. So don't worry, be happy. Follow your feelings when you play and you'll not only enjoy the game more, you'll be a real go player and not someone who only thinks they are a go player.

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PLAYERS WANTED: Downers Grove, IL: Contact Corey McQuarters at (12/15)

PLAYERS WANTED: Western Colorado: Rifle, Grand Junction, Glenwood
Springs, perhaps even further afield, like Vail and Aspen. We have two
players so far, looking for more. Click here or email for more info. (12/15)

PLAYERS WANTED: Lexington, KY: The downtown branch of the Lexington Public Library hosts an evening of go the first and third Wednesday of every month from 6-9P. Players of all skill levels are welcome. Email for more information. (12/15)

PLAYERS WANTED: Abilene, TX: Starting a go club at Abilene Christian University & invite anyone attending any of the area colleges or who is living in Abilene or nearby to come and join us. We meet every Sunday at 2P in front of the Brown Library, where we then go to the location. Contact: Dustin Janssen, (11/24)

PLAYERS WANTED. Baltimore, MD: Lake Walker Go Club in north Baltimore area; we meet on Mondays at 8P. Contact Jim Pickett 410-433-5257 (11/17)

PLAYERS WANTED: Murfreesboro TN: We meet every other weekend & might change location soon due to winter (our club is at a park); possible candidates should call first: 615-977-4528 (11/17)

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)

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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