News from the American Go Association

February 9, 2007
Volume 8, #11 (Member's Edition)

WEEKEND ACTION: Princeton to Kalamazoo
GO QUIZ: First Over Second According To Third
GAME COMMENTARY: 2007 Challenger & Hot Off The Press
GO REVIEW: Opening Theory Made Easy
ATTACHED GAME(S): 2007.02.09 Challenge, HKL-Su, Hsiang.sgf; 2007.02.09 Cho Hun-Hyun Lectures Yutopian.pdf

JOIN OR RENEW NOW AND SAVE BIG! Renew now for two years or more and save! For a limited time, a 2-year AGA membership is just $50 ($10 off the usual $60 cost); save $5 for each additional year: 3 years for $75 ($15 savings), 4 years for $100 ($20 savings) or 5 years for $125 ($25 savings). It's a double savings: you save money and so does the AGA, so we can all concentrate on the game we love! Less mailing, more go, it's win-win for all! Click here now to save: (the discount will be applied for multiple-year memberships) or download at

FUJITSU QUALIFIER FINALS THIS WEEKEND: Defending champion Mingjiu Jiang 7P is still the one to beat in the North American Fujitsu Qualifier. The last two rounds will be held online this weekend, broadcast live on IGS, starting at 1P on both Saturday, 2/10 and Sunday, 2/11. Still in contention are Jiang, Huiren Yang 1P, Jie Li 9d and Andy Liu 8d. Watch for a full report in Monday's EJ.

NJO LIVE FROM PRINCETON: The E-Journal will broadcast Board 1 games live on KGS this weekend from the venerable New Jersey Open, one of the oldest and best-attended East Coast go tournaments. See WEEKEND ACTION below for details or click on

CHAPTER DRIVE MEMBERSHIP SURGE CONTINUES: Forty-eight AGA chapters have increased their membership since the AGA's new chapter membership drive began on September 1. The UMBC club is leading the surge, with a 1300% increase after increasing membership from 1 to 13 members. In another notable increase, the Oahu Go Club jumped from 5 to 30 members and the Feng
Yung school added 31. Collectively chapters have added 190 members. The drive - which rewards chapters for signing up new members - continues until March. Four chapters in reach AGA region can win rewards so it's not too late to get into gear. Starting out small is an advantage but larger chapters can win by adding new members as well. And the long run benefits of having more members in your own chapter speaks for itself. Full details online at drive campaign.pdf

ARGENTINIAN GO CONGRESS SET: the second Argentinean Go Congress will be held in Buenos Aires from March 30, to April 2. For more information, visit or e-mail to

YAMASHITA GETS GOOD START IN DEFENDING KISEI: Yamashita Keigo 9P has gotten off to a good start in defending his Japanese Kisei title against Kobayashi Satoru 9P, taking the first three games for a 3-0 lead. Details on Monday.

LEE CHANGHO FACES GU LI IN NONGSHIM FINAL: The final match-up of the 8th international team event, the Nongshim Cup, is scheduled for Friday between Lee Changho 9P of Korea and Gu Li 9P of China. Details on Monday.

"MOST BEAUTIFUL" UMEZAWA YUKARI CHALLENGES FOR WOMEN'S KISEI: Umezawa Yukari 5P, considered the most beautiful woman go pro in the world (, will challenge Mannami Kana 3P for the Japanese Women's Kisei title. Details on Monday.

KOREAN MAXIM FINALS TIED UP: Lee Sedol 9P and Park Jungsang 9P are tied at one game each in the best-of-three-games finals of the Maxim Cup. Details on Monday.

WEEKEND ACTION: Princeton to Kalamazoo
- February 10-11: Princeton, NJ
New Jersey Open
Rick Mott 609.466.1602
- February 10, 2007: Kalamazoo, MI
Kalamazoo's 6th tournament
Ben Schooley 269.672.7466

GO QUIZ: First Over Second According To Third
      America's first homegrown pro, James Kerwin 1P defeated the second, Michael Redmond 9P, according to the third, Janice Kim 3P - who comments "As I recall Jim defeated Michael playing white -- an impressive feat". Janice, along with most of you (8/14) is correct, Kerwin did it in the 1994 Houston Fujitsu Qualifier. Holding white, he opened with 2 3-3 points and won by half a point. I have always maintained he was inspired by going over some of my games at the Congress the summer before. No shame in picking John Lee (3 of you) who defeated Jimmy Cha in the final game in Baltimore in 2003, or Thomas Hsiang (2 of you) who won it in Lancaster in 2001 - although it was Ted Ning who knocked off Jimmy Cha that year. Perennial strong man and author Yuan Zhou (1 of you) has never won a Qualilfier, but he did kill a huge dragon and defeat pro 6 dan Hak Soo Kim in the 1996 Qualifier in Baltimore. Congrats to winner Peter Schumer, chosen at random from those answering correctly this week, and to Phil Waldron and Daniel Denis, topping our yearlong race at five for five - 51 folks have participated in all!
       THIS WEEK'S QUIZ: BACK TO THE FUTURE II - As we await the final details for the 2007 U.S Go Congress's return to Millersville University in Lancaster, your quizmaster recalls that this is not the first time a club has hosted more than one Congress. Greater Washington, Denver, Seattle, Empty Sky, and Western Mass have all sponsored two Congresses. But this is only the second time the Congress will be held in the exact same place - what was the site of Back to the Future I? Make your choice at
- Go Quiz Editor: Keith L. Arnold, hka

GAME COMMENTARY: 2007 Challenger & Hot Off The Press
       Thomas Hsiang 8d reviews 2007 Shodan Challenger Michael Su 2d's game in today's game commentary. Hsiang -- runner-up in the 2005 Masters tournament -- shows how White misses too many chances to get back in the game.
        Today's bonus file is a new feature, "Hot Off the Press: Excerpts from New Go Books." This week's hot new title is "Cho Hun-Hyun's Lectures on the Opening, Volume 1," translated by Seong-June Kim, published by Yutopian Enterprises. This new book from Yutopian begins with a basic presentation of the fundamental principles of opening play and then examines forty-one problems illustrating their application. While the book will be very useful to beginners, it reaches fairly sophisticated levels in the analysis of the examples. Both correct and incorrect plays are analyzed, making clear why bad answers are bad, and good, good. See the attached pdf file for a few examples.
    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: Opening Theory Made Easy
By Otake Hideo (9 dan)
Reviewed by Mark Schlatter, 8k
    Recently, I have been feeling lost in the opening of my games After about the first twenty moves, if no fights were imminent, I was not sure what to do next. Given that confusion, I appreciated Otake Hideo's book for its clarity and insight into the guiding principles of the opening game.
    Otake presents twenty "strategic principles" of the opening game. Each principle has its own proverb (for example, "Have a counterplan to deal with invasions") and a collection of about four examples. The principles are grouped into three sections: the fundamentals (which focus on beginning moves, enclosures, pincers, and moyos), the principles on good shape (such as avoiding empty triangles and creating ponnukis), and strategic concerns (such as thickness, reducing moyos, and stealing the base). Each principle is relatively self-contained, so you can choose to focus on what's most important to you.
    I really benefited from the examples. Otake's style is to set up a situation with one diagram and then use several diagrams to explore alternatives. Not only does he show use how to use his principle, but he shows you the consequences of not using the principle. The result is a very engaging exposition that I found easy to follow and learn from. I especially appreciated the focus on the difference between the third and fourth line --- Otake made the distinction come alive for me with his proverb "The 4th line is the line of development, the 3rd line is the line of completion". I also benefited from his discussion on pushing from behind and avoiding unnecessary ataris. Overall, I believe the shape section has helped me the most, especially since many of the principles are valid beyond just the opening.
    I would recommend the book for anyone just starting to think about joseki. Otake covers a few josekis from the viewpoint of using the star point or the 5-4 point. The emphasis is not on learning the joseki, but appreciating how these points can be used, giving a solid theoretical background for future learning.
    Sadly, the book has no problems per se, although Otake does ask a few times for the reader to choose the next move. I would recommend using the principles on the problems in the back of Ikuro Ishigure's "In The Beginning". I also found a few proverbs nonspecific. Otake's principle to "Find the right pincer" begs the question of what is right? (Based on his examples, I would say "find the pincer that both attacks and extends".) But these are small concerns in light of the quality exposition. I'd recommend the book for anyone struggling with their opening game.

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

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American Go Association P.O. Box 397 Old Chelsea Station New York, NY 10113-0397