News from the American Go Association

May 12, 2006
Volume 7, #40 (Member's Edition)

GAME COMMENTARY: Burzo On Tour, Yang's Life & Death
GO REVIEW: Reducing Territorial Frameworks
ATTACHED FILE(S): 2006.05.12 Euro Oza Colmez-Burzo; 2006.05.12 Yang May Puzzle

TOP N.A. PLAYERS TO COMPETE: The continent's top players will compete for over $6,000 in prizes in the North American Masters Tournament (NAMT) beginning next month. Current champion Jie Li 9d and all American professionals who enter the tournament will be seeded into the A section, while the remaining players will make up the B section and participate in a single-elimination tournament to determine a representative to play the A section winner. The B section will play every Saturday at 4P EST on KGS starting on June 10th until a single player is left, at which point the play in the A section will begin. The finals will be held at the US Go Congress and broadcast live on the Internet. Criteria for playing: Full AGA Member for the prior year; AGA rating of greater than 6.0 in the past year; US or Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident; Living in the US for at least six of the last twelve months. Register by email to Include your AGA ID number; registration closes May 31.

ABRAMSON RESIGNS FROM BOARD: "Disappointed and concerned about our lack of progress in many important areas," American Go Association Board Chairman Allan Abramson this week announced his resignation from the AGA Board. Abramson, who served as Chair of the Board and was midway through his second 2-year term as Eastern Region Director, said he's resigning because he feels personally responsible for the lack of progress, "and the President may be better served by a new Chairman." AGA President Mike Lash called the resignation "A great loss for the AGA," praising Abramson's leadership and expressing his hope that Abramson "continues to serve the AGA in a different capacity." In an open letter to the Board, Abramson said that despite renewed activity at the local level, the AGA faces a "leadership crisis" with "too many vacant positions in the organization.too few volunteers for critical jobs." Although Abramson expressed confidence that "The AGA is not in danger" and "can survive at current levels for a long time," he said his concern is the organization's failure to make "a quantum leap to a higher level of membership and activity." Abramson said that the leadership shortage has left too many unfinished critical projects, including a marketing program to double membership over five years, soliciting corporate sponsorships and foundation grants, supporting North American pros and strong players, developing a system to produce and certify American pros and setting up year-round senior level leagues. "Business as usual is not good enough," said Abramson, "Go should be as big as chess in North America." Abramson's resignation is effective June 3; the Board has 30 days to appoint a replacement to complete the remainder of the 2-year term.

NOMINATIONS OPEN FOR 4 BOARD SEATS: Four American Go Association (AGA) Board Director seats are up for election this year, reports Arnold Eudell, who's coordinating this year's election process. The terms of four seats - one in each region and an At-Large seat - expire this September. Nominations are being accepted now and close on June 15; nominations must be made in writing by full members of the AGA. Send to See below for the complete official announcement, including criteria for serving as a Director

TIME TO MAKE YOUR CAMP PLANS: Kids: want to get strong fast? Make sure you're at this summer's Youth Go Camps where you'll play all day (and not just go!). Parents: make your plans now and avoid the last-minute rush. If you haven't signed up your future go champion son or daughter, check out for more information online now.

WELCOMING POLISH GO PLAYERS: We're very pleased to welcome members of the Polish Go Association as readers of the Member's Edition of the American Go E-Journal this week. They join members of the British, Australian, Dutch and New Zealand Go Associations, who are also eligible to receive the Member's Edition thanks to their membership in their national organizations, which enjoy reciprocal recognition with the American Go Association as part of efforts by these organizations to build the world go community. Special thanks to the PGA's Lukasz Blek; we look forward to hearing more about the Polish go scene in the future. Find out more about the PGA at

TAKAO WINS FIRST GAME IN HONINBO DEFENSE: Takao Shinji 9P defeated challenger Yamada Kimio 9P to take the first game in the 61st Honinbo title match in Japan. Details on Monday.

RUI NAIWEI NEARS FINALS IN MAJOR OPEN TOURNEY: Rui Naiwei 9P has reached the third round of the 3rd Electron-Land Cup in Korea. With two more victories she'll be in the finals of another major tournament not restricted to women. Details on Monday.

YORGEY WINS ALERT READER: Brent Yorgey 15k of Washington, DC is this week's Alert Reader winner, selected at random from those spotting the Alert hidden in last week's game commentary. Yorgey wins a $10 gift certificate to the go vendor of his choice.

GAME COMMENTARY: Burzo On Tour, Yang's Life & Death
       Fourth place European IGS-Pandanet Toyota Tour winner Cornel Burzo 6d of Romania takes on Pierre Colmez 6d of France in today's game commentary. The 3rd- round game was played April 20 in Paris, France and turns on a ko, with Burzo providing his usual sharp commentary. Burzo teaches online: find out more (and download all six of his IGS-Pandanet Toyota Tour games) at  plus you can get the full tourney results at
       Check out Yilun Yang's original May life and death problem this week in the attached file; be sure to turn off "next move" if you don't want to see the solution!
       To view the attached .sgf file(s), simply save the file(s) to your computer and then open using an .sgf reader such as Many Faces of Go or SmartGo. Readers who need .sgf readers can get them for most platforms at Jan van der Steen's

GO REVIEW: Reducing Territorial Frameworks
by Fujisawa Shuko, 9-dan and Aiba Kazuhiro
Translated by John Power
Kiseido Publishing Company
Reviewed by Peter N. Nassar 5k
       Some joseki books, like Ishida Yoshio's 3-volume Dictionary of Basic Joseki and Takemiya Masaki's Enclosure Josekis, are not only excellent reference texts, but make for worthwhile reading on their own. Together, these books will teach any kyu-level player the basics of joseki, fighting, and making good shape (though the former text is a bit dated, while the latter is sadly out of print). In the preface for Fujisawa Shuko's Reducing Territorial Frameworks, translator John Power writes that Fujisawa's book ".is intended to complement the coverage of invasion techniques presented in Enclosure Josekis." While Fujisawa achieves his goal, he does so without the spark or attention to detail found in Ishida's and Takemiya's masterworks.
       One problem is the nature of the subject matter itself: reducing moves simply aren't sexy. Invasions are dramatic, decisive, and can quickly turn the tables in a game; but reducing moves - as Fujisawa himself states in the introduction - are slower, steadier, and can lead to a long, drawn-out match. While reducing moves are an important element of go, one reads a book on them in the same spirit that one takes a multivitamin: because it's good for you, not necessarily because it's fun.
       Reducing Territorial Frameworks is divided into six chapters. Chapter 1 weighs the value of reducing moves versus outright invasions. Fujisawa lists twelve objectives of reducing moves (e.g., maintaining territorial balance, limiting a moyo), and proceeds to give examples of each objective from professional games. Reducing josekis for the side, the corner, and the Chinese fuseki are presented in Chapters 2 through 4. Chapter 5 examines reduction tactics from professional games, and Chapter 6 presents a series of whole-board problems for the reader to solve.
       Power, who also translated Ishida's and Takemiya's texts, continues with his clear literary style and avoids the overuse of Japanese Go jargon. Fujisawa's book, however, suffers from a number of problems. First, even for a joseki text, it's a very dry read. Fujisawa's writing is logical to the point of being stale, and it lacks personality. The humor, keen insights, and nimble handling of trick plays that made Ishida's and Takemiya's writings so memorable are lacking here. Second, the treatment of the side and corner reduction josekis, perhaps the most valuable component of the book, is too superficial. The josekis are limited to only the more common variations, and while the variations shown are useful, if not a bit simple, many of the josekis are truncated after a half dozen moves (some are over in just three), leaving the reader to wonder how to maintain one's fighting form after the joseki has ended. Reducing moves can often lead to prolonged fights, and a short-coming of this book is that a general overview of how to handle such fights is not given a methodical treatment, but is left instead to more specific examples during the examination of professional games. Third, the art of reduction is, as Fujisawa admits, rather abstract, and despite his best efforts to establish some guidelines on where and how to reduce, much seems to depend on whole-board positioning and one's intuition. Finally, throughout the text, Fujisawa demonstrates the powerful one-two-punch of how to coordinate reducing moves with a subsequent invasion, but the examples he presents only end up giving the reader a taste of this application, leaving one longing for something a bit more satisfying and grounded in the fundamentals.
       The upside is that once the lessons from Fujisawa's book are fully digested, the reader will be armed with a formidable new set of skills when facing that opponent who loves to build moyos. The reduction principles outlined here build upon those found in elementary Go books such as Ishida and Davies's Attack and Defense. The basic joseki are easy to apply, and Fujisawa's sabaki techniques also demonstrate how to prevent one's groups from becoming heavy during the attack. The difficult part is that once the first half dozen moves of the reduction are complete, readers will be left to their own ingenuity in handling their groups afterwards.


WANTED TO PURCHASE: Go board wax in order to refinish a katsura board after sanding. Will buy directly, or tell me where I can get it. Contact: Duncan H. Brown, Fairfield (Iowa) Go Club,

FREE TO A GOOD HOME: Issues 58-61 of "Go World on Disk" on four 5-1/4" floppy disks. I also have 50 Go Problems (unknown levels of difficulty) on a 3-1/2" diskette. If you can read these disks, you're welcome to them. These were gifts to me, and I hate to see them go to waste just because I can't read them on my computer. Jean G. DeMaiffe,

OPPONENT WANTED: 4th or 5th grader who enjoys go to play an enthusiastic 10-year-old boy beginner. Baltimore and its environs. Email contact info to

Classified ads are free for AGA members: send your ad to us at


According to the by-laws of the American Go Association (AGA), we are required to hold an election to fill the positions of four AGA Directors whose terms will end 5 September 2006 and one vacancy caused by resignation. These positions are:
Western Region Director: 1 seat for 2-year term
Central Region Director: 1 seat for 2-year term
Eastern Region Director: 1 seat for 2-year term
Eastern Region Director: 1 seat for 1-year remainder of 2-year term
Member at large: 1 seat for 2-year term

Nominations will be accepted immediately and close on the fifteenth (15th) of June 2006. Nominations must be made in writing and only by full members of the AGA. Any member affiliated with an AGA Chapter may nominate any full AGA member to be a director to represent the region in which that chapter is located. A member must specify a single chapter affiliation for AGA voting purposes even though the member may be a member of more than one chapter. Nominations need to specify the position for which the nomination is made.

To be eligible for election, by the calendar deadline for making nominations, - 15 June 2006 - each candidate must meet all of the following criteria: a. Be at least 21 years of age; b. Be a full member in good standing for a period of at least one year; c. Have been resident in the USA for at least six of the last twelve months. Residence offshore as a member of a US Military service will be regarded as US residence; d. Declare in writing a willingness to run and perform the duties of office; e. Declare in writing that they have read the Constitution and Bylaws of the AGA; f. For regional directors, a candidate must be a resident of the region they wish to represent; g. For at-large directors, a candidate may reside anywhere in the United States, including the territories. The Complete bylaws pertaining to AGA Elections can be viewed at

Nominations must be sent via e-mail to or by ground mail to: Arnold Eudell, 9513 Baroness Ct., Laurel, Maryland 20723

Published by the American Go Association
Managing Editor: Chris Garlock
Assistant Editor: Bill Cobb

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