News from the American Go Association

March 10, 2006
Volume 7, #19


GAME COMMENTARY: Teen Moyo & Yang Returns!
GO REVIEW: In the Beginning
ATTACHED FILE(S): 2006.03.10 Kangwon-Land Cup, Chen-Hong, Dinerchtein; 2006.03.10 Yang March Puzzle

SCHATTKE HEAVIEST IN CHI: Robert Schattke 2d took top honors in Chicago's "Survival of the Fattest" tournament March 4. Full report in Monday's E-Journal.

HOVEY TOP TENUKI IN VERMONT: George Hovey 14K won all four games to top the March 4 Tenuki to Vermont Go Tournament. Details Monday.

GO CAMP DIRECTOR WANTED: The 2006 AGA East Coast Go Camp is looking for a camp director, reports organizer David Dinhofer. "The main job is to make sure the kids have fun," says Dinhofer. The director should know the game well enough to teach beginners but does not need to be a strong player, says Dinhofer. Other qualifications include tolerance and patience. The job also entails managing the staff of seasoned go players and parents, coordinating activities and keeping track of the children. For more info, contact David Dinhofer, Go Camp organizer, at or call 607-348-4925 (evenings).

KOLB & HUYNH TAKE ON CHALLENGE: Laura Kolb and Lee Huynh have joined the EJ team, taking over as Shodan Challenger Coordinators. The 2006 Challenge now has 50 participants and Kolb and Huynh will be lining up monthly activities and incentives to help the Challengers achieve their goals by the 2006 US Go Congress. More details Monday.
YANG RETURNS WITH NEW SERIES: We're very pleased to welcome back Yilun Yang 7P with a brand-new series of his devilishly tricky life and death puzzles. Each month, Mr Yang will offer an original problem based on the name of the month. Mr Yang is famous for his elegant original problems and Yang fans will remember his popular series of historical problems in the American Go Journal and his monthly problems in the early years of the EJ. See Game Commentary below for details on the new series.

GU LI 1 AWAY FROM LG CUP WIN: Gu Li 7P of China defeated Chen Yaoye 5P of China twice by resignation to start off the best-of-five finals of the international LG Cup. Details on Monday.

CHO CHIKUN 1-0 IN JUDAN DEFENSE: Cho Chikun 9P has gotten off to a good start in his defense of his Judan title in Japan, defeating the challenger, current Kisei Yamashita Keigo 9P, by resignation. Details on Monday.

BEN HE DEFEATS LI SHEN TO WIN CAMBRIDGE TRIGANTIUS: Ben He 4d of Glasgow won the Cambridge Trigantius by defeating Li Shen 6d of London in the final round. Details on Monday.

LIFE MEMBER, CHAPTER BONUS: Life Members and AGA chapters are getting a bonus this month: Life Members will each get a complete set of the 12 back issues of Go World the AGA just received, while new or renewing chapters will get double the current offer for new or renewing members (i.e. 2 Go Worlds for 1 year, 4 for 2 years and 6 for 3 years). The English-language quarterly from Kiseido provides in-depth coverage of top tournament games along with a wealth of terrific instructional material. The set of 12 Go Worlds is a token of appreciation for the support of the AGA by Life Members and chapters. Life Members pay a one-time fee for Full Membership for the life of the member, and chapters organize and promote a host of local go activities across the country. Details at  Reminder: anyone joini ng the AGA - or renewing their membership - this month gets a free copy of Go World!

- March 11: Ann Arbor, MI
Ann Arbor/Umich spring tournament
Jin Chen 313-643-2888

GAME COMMENTARY: Teen Moyo & Yang Returns!
       Although Hong Seongji 4P Hong loses an early fight in today's exciting game with fellow up-and-coming Chinese teenager Chen Yaoye 5P, Hong builds a huge moyo that gives him winning chances. The game is from last month's 1st Kangwon-Land Cup and the commentary is by Alexandre Dinerchtein 1P.
       Our bonus file today marks the welcome return of Yilun Yang 7P's devilishly tricky life and death puzzles. Each month, Mr Yang will offer an original problem based on the name of the month. Winners - drawn at random from those submitting correct solutions - will receive copies of a Yang problem book. Note: solutions must be submitted as .sgf files to by midnight, March 31. The winner of the 2006 Yang problem will be announced Monday.

GO REVIEW: In the Beginning
by Ishigure Ikuo 9P
Reviewed by Yi-Jien Hwa, KGS 16k
       Ishigure's In the Beginning is a great introduction to the opening, the most interesting part of go and of course the least well-understood, not only by beginners, but even by the greatest go players. In chess there are 20 possible first moves, in go there are 361; every beginner knows all too well the utter sense of lostness the first time she plays on the full 19x19 board.
       Ishigure does a wonderful job bringing some sense to the beginner's bewilderment. The first section of the book deals helpfully with the basic moves in the corner, extensions, pincers and invasions, though I do wish he had talked a little about fuseki (the different combinations of opening moves). Although I am fairly clear about the relative strengths of each of the corner points, 3-4, 4-4, 3-3 etc., a little theory concerning the standard openings, e.g. Chinese (3-4 3-4) and Ni-ransei (4-4 4-4) would have helped me. I also wish that he had given some credit to tengen (opening in the center point of the board), even if he couldn't go into any depth with it.
       The second portion of the book is concerned with ten strategic principles, including playing away from strength, reverse strategy and efficiency. I found this section quite useful, with Ishigure's fairly straightforward explanations helping me understand the game better. Even if you already have some clue about each concept, Ishigure's clear illustrations illuminate different tactical and strategic ramifications.
       The last section of the book is a set of 10 difficult whole-board problems. Though I did nail a few of them; I was also quite clueless in my answers to the others. Don't expect to solve them perfectly after reading through the book. They require a good sense of the game that just reading books won't give you.
       In The Beginning is well worth the price of admission. I am surprised that some reviewers find it so intimidating; compared to Toshiro Kageyama's ever-popular "Lessons in the Fundamentals of Go" this book is quite an easy read. That said, it is definitely not a beginner's book. Still, anyone under 20k should be able to get something from it. If you've worked through a decent second go book like "The Second Book of Go" by Richard Bozulich (which I highly recommend) and have a decent number of games under your belt, you will profit immensely from Ishigure's tutelage.

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