News from the American Go Association

May 26, 2006
Volume 7, #44 (Member's Edition)

Baltimore, MD & Round Top, NY
GAME COMMENTARY: Latest "Questions from Actual Play"
GO REVIEW: 400 Years of Go in Japan
YOUR MOVE: Why Chess Is More Popular
ATTACHED FILE(S): 2006.05.26 McGuigan Series #16

JUNG HOON LEE WINS ROCKY MTN TOURNEY: Jung Hoon Lee 8d took 1st place in the May 6 Rocky Mountain Regional Go Tournament. The Springs Go Club hosted the event in Colorado Springs, CO and Jim Michali directed. Winner's report: Section 1: 1st: Jung Hoon Lee 8d; 2nd: Eric Kim 7d; 3rd: Erwin Yu 4d; Section 2: 1st: David Johnson 1k; 2nd: Greg Alexander 2d; 3rd: Bob Sorenson 3k; Section 3: 1st: Karen Jordan 9k; 2nd: Steve Shapland 9k; 3rd: Bob Meyer 8k; Section 4: 1st: Glenn Malloy 14k; 2nd: Chris Butler 19k; 3rd: Brad Edwards 13k; Section 5: 1st: Aeones DeVeyra 20k, 2nd: Michael Fitch 22k; 3rd: Melissa Poates 24k.

EJ TO BROADCAST MD OPEN GAMES:  Upwards of 100 go players of all strengths are expected to attend this weekend's Maryland Open, and this year for the first time thousands more will be able to watch Board 1 games as the E-Journal broadcasts them live on the IGS. The 33rd annual edition of this popular major East Coast event takes place in Baltimore and organizer Keith Arnold 5d reports that 2005 champion Zhaonian Chen 8d has confirmed that he'll be there to defend his title. Watch the AGA website - -- for photos, reports and game records online all weekend; Round 1 starts at 11A Saturday and Round 4 begins at 9:30A Sunday. Email for more info.

NAKAYAMA RETURNS TO CONGRESS: Longtime Congress favorite Noriyuki Nakayama 6P has confirmed he'll be at this year's U.S. Go Congress, reports organizer Paul Celmer. "This brings us to a total of six professionals already confirmed for the Congress," says Celmer. Confirmed pros include Michael Redmond 9d, Kazunori Kawamura 9P and Ryo Maeda 6P. "We have 138 people already registered," says Celmer. "Save $50 by registering before June 22!" Go to for details.

CHALLENGER UPDATE: With the Go Congress drawing ever nearer, 2006 Shodan Challengers continue to work at achieving their goals: you can catch them at work on the next two Sundays as Jon Boley and Norman Tsai, both 6-dan, play simuls on KGS. Watch the games live at 5P EST (2P PST) on May 28 and June 4. The line-up includes: May 28: Norman Tsai plays Thomas Fiorillo, Charles Sutton, and Jason Won; June 4: Jon Boley plays Bob Solovay, Ian Davis, and Michael Su; Norman Tsai plays Nikolas Stimpson, Jonathan Hop, and Terry Fung.
- Reported by Laura Kolb

NOMINATIONS STILL 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

GO CAMP DEADLINE APPROACHING: The clock is ticking away on the deadline to register for the East Coast Youth Go Camp! A deposit of $150 will hold your place at camp: hours of go instruction daily and free time to play pickup games. Get your registration form at  Questions? E-mail

OLDER GENERATION TRIUMPHS IN SPECIAL KUKSU: In a special edition of the Korean Kuksu involving only previous winners, two "old timers" reach the final. Details on Monday.

KOREAN TEEN MAKES FINALS AGAINST LEE CHANGHO: In another sign of the strength of the younger Koreans, Lee Changho 9P finds himself facing teenager Lee Yeongkyu 5P in the finals of the 40th Korean Wangwi, a title Lee has held for the last ten years. Details on Monday.

HEALEY AND MACFADYEN TRIUMPH IN BRITISH PAIR GO CHAMPIONSHIP: Kirsty Healey and Matthew Macfadyen have won the British Pair Go Championship for the tenth time. Details on Monday.

WEEKEND GO ACTION: Baltimore, MD & Round Top, NY
- May 27-28: Baltimore MD
33rd Maryland Open
Keith Arnold 410-788-3520
- May 26-29: Round Top, NY
2006 Memorial Day workshop with Guo Juan
Jean-Claude Chetrit 718-638-2266

GAME COMMENTARY: Latest "Questions from Actual Play"
       Today we're pleased to bring you the sixteenth installment of "Questions from Actual Play," Haruyama Isamu 9P's series of studies brought to us by Robert McGuigan in translation from "Jissen ni tsuyoku naru 80 dai (80 questions for getting strong at real play)." Haruyama is the author of Basic Techniques of Go; McGuigan translated another series earlier, based on writings of Nakayama Noriyuki 6P, called "What's Wrong with that Move?" This material is used by permission of the Nihon Kiin which published the original text in 1979. Haruyama says that his primary audience is players who
are aiming for shodan.
       NON-MEMBERS: get game commentaries and instructional material like this each and every week in the Member's Edition on Fridays. Sign up now at
       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: 400 Years of Go in Japan
By Andrew Grant
Slate & Shell, 204 p, $25
Reviewed by Chris Garlock 2d
       With hundreds of English-language go books and thousands more readily available in Japanese, Korean and Chinese, it's a challenge to suggest that one or another in this embarrassment of riches is a "must-read" but you can be confident that the just-published "400 Years of Go in Japan" will long remain in a place of honor in your collection.
       Until now the best overview of go history could be found in "The Go Player's Almanac" (another "must-read") and John Powers' essays there remain the gold standard on the subject. But where Powers' brevity and breadth opens the door to the history of go, Grant steps through and pokes around in some fascinating corners. For example, Grant, describing the famous 1582 triple ko game, is not content to re-tell the story of how Akechi Mitsuhide rebelled and killed Oda Nobunaga, samurai warlord and patron of Sansa, the first Honinbo. The rebellion happened the night a triple ko arose in a game Sansa played in Nobunaga's presence, which is why to this day a triple ko is regarded as inauspicious. What makes Grant so eminently readable is not simply his scholarship (which is indeed remarkable) but his eye for the telling detail. "The reunification of Japan was still far from complete, and heavy fighting was taking place in the western provinces.On the night of the triple ko game Nobunaga ordered another subordinate general, Akechi Mitsuhide, to march west.However, Akechi seems to have harbored a secret grudge against Nobunaga, who was fond of making fun of Akechi's premature baldness and his claims to be a great poet." Grant's history of go is replete with this sort of colorful detail, which brings the dates, names and places to brilliant life.
       "400 Years" for the first time brings between two covers an updated version of Grant's 23-part serialization in the British Go Journal. The book is well-illustrated with woodcuts, photographs and includes records of 37 famous games referenced in the text. Slate & Shell has done the go world a terrific service by bringing out this invaluable history. If there is any minor quibble with "400 Years" it's that Grant rather abruptly draws down the curtain in 2000 as a new and exciting century of go dawned. While go in recent years has certainly been dominated by new stars from Korea and China, go's history in Japan is likely far from over as a brief afterword on the Hikaru no Go manga and anime notes. It's to be hoped that future editions will take us into a fifth century of Japanese go.

YOUR MOVE: Readers Write

WHY CHESS IS MORE POPULAR: "Allan Abramson laments that go is not as big as chess in North America," writes Dennis Sustare of the Austin (TX) Go Club. "Here are four reasons why I think that is so." First, Sustare notes, "most American families originally came from Europe or and not from Asia and brought a chess tradition with them." Secondly, he suggests that "American media are full of direct, violent action, so that youngsters readily relate to a knight striking down a pawn. In contrast, most Americans merely give you a puzzled look when you talk about lightness or influence." Third, Sustare says that Chess Federation benefits are more extensive than the AGA's, and include "a glossy, professional-looking print magazine monthly (Chess Life), with lots of graphics, excellent features and columns, annotated games, problems, and tournament notices and reports, as well as access to tournaments and a rating system." Lastly, the Chess Federation provides extensive support to youngsters, including "a free one-year membership to any young person; all they need to do is play in a single rated tournament. In my area (central Texas), there are lots of scholastic chess tournaments, with very low entrance fees, thanks in no small part to the army of wonderful volunteers." Editor's note: the USCF's current membership is 90,000; the AGA's is 2,135.


SPEAKER/TEACHER WANTED: Aspen Meadows, home of the Aspen Institute, is looking for a speaker/teacher to do a segment on go and teach participants to play June 1-4. Contact Tiffany Long at

PLAYERS WANTED, COLUMBUS, GA: If there is anyone who would like to play go in or around Columbus GA please email Also, if anyone even remotely nearby or on the way wants to carpool to the Go Congress please let me know.

TEACHER WANTED: Searching for go teacher in Florida, NY. If you know a teacher or are a teacher, please email me at

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

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

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