News from the American Go Association

April 6, 2007
Volume 8, #29 (Member's Edition)

WEEKEND ACTION: Chicago & Baltimore
GAME COMMENTARY: Chunlun Cup & Top US Youth
GO REVIEW: The Basics of Go Strategy

ERIC LUI COMPLETES 2-TOURNEY SWEEP: In an impressive back-to-back performance, Eric Lui 8d won the dan section at the University of Maryland John Groesch Memorial tournament on April 1, adding to his March 31 NoVa Cherry Blossom Tournament trophy (ERIC LUI SWEEPS DC CHERRY BLOSSOM 4/2 EJ). Eric Eller won the John Groesch Memorial Prize for the best result by a player under the age of 20 who is new to tournament go. Complete report Monday. Photo above right, Lui (l) plays Matthew Bengston with TD Chuck Robbins watching; photo by Stephen Mount.

YUANXIN XI WINS DAVIS-SAC TOURNEY: Yuanxin Xi 2d won the March 31 Davis/Sacramento Spring Quarterly in Davis, CA, topping a field of twelve. Full winner report Monday.

CRUMPLER & MILLER TOP ALL-IOWA: Ken Crumpler and Matt Miller (left, with his prize) topped the April 1 All-Iowa Tournament, while the Cyclone Go Club retained the All-Iowa Cup for the fifth straight time. Full report in Monday's EJ. photo by Ramon Mercado.

LIEF TOPS IN OAHU: Aaron Lief 12k topped the 5-player Kailua District Park Go Tournament on March 31, in Kailua, Hawaii. Details Monday.

IBEROAMERICAN/TOYOTA TOURNEY SET FOR ECUADOR: The Iberoamerican Go Tournament/Toyota Cup will be held in Quito, Ecuador from October 12-14 at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Quito. Details in Monday's EJ.

EURO CONGRESS TOPS 400: Registration for the 51st European Go Congress has now topped 400, a large and strong field from across Europe, along with contingents from Japan and Korea. Check out a new preview of the event in Austria on gobase or go directly to the Congress site

3 US PROS CONFIRMED FOR US GO CONGRESS: With nearly 100 already signed up for this year's US Go Congress, "the latest news is that we have not one, not two, but three American professional go players attending thus far!" reports Co-Director Peter Nassar. The US pros are James Kerwin 1P, Yilun Yang 7P and Xuefen Lin 1P. Kerwin, author of the new EJ series "Kerwin's Road Map for Beginners," and Mr. Yang, author of "The Fundamentals Principles of Go," are "well-known for their inspired teachings and national workshops," says Nassar. Register today to secure your place at their lectures at this year's Congress, and save $100 off registration.

TWO US YOUTH CAMPS: "Youth go summer camps are a great place to become immersed in go and to meet and play with other enthusiastic go players of all ages and skills," say camp organizers. Click here for details on the two camps: Michigan Go Summer Camp July 1st to 7th in Ortonville MI with Jie Li 9d, and the West Go Camp July 14-21 with Mingjiu Jiang 7P at Pacific Lutheran University Tacoma, Washington.

MOGO REVIEW PREVIEW: "Breakthroughs in computer go are often greeted with both interest and skepticism," writes Phil Waldron in his review of the MoGo go-playing program. "and a recent Reuters report of a go program 'not far from reaching the level of a professional go player' was no exception. 'Put up or shut up' is my usual reaction, and I was delighted when one of MoGo's authors agreed to a test match." See the full review - and some of Waldron's games with MoGo -- in Monday's EJ.

HU YAOYU DEFEATS CHANG HAO TO TAKE RICOH CUP: Hu Yaoyu 8P came out on top of the 48-player field in the Chinese Ricoh Cup, defeating Chang Hao 9P by resignation. Details Monday.

SAKAI HIDEYUKI WINS SIX STRAIGHT IN RYUSEI: In the "win and continue" Ryusei tournament in Japan, Sakai Hideyuki 7P has an amazing six-game winning streak going. Details Monday.

WEEKEND ACTION: Chicago & Baltimore
- April 7: Chicago, IL; Spring Tournament & Youth Qualifier; Bob Barber 773.467.0423
- April 7: Baltimore, MD; 5th Annual Hopkins Go Tournament; Lisa Scott 816.651.6347; Scott Waldron 410.236.4668

How many Canadians get the E-Journal? They're certainly well-represented in this week's Quiz participants, with 5 of 22 (at least, by email address) of the guessers this week, and 5 of the 15 correct folks who knew that it's Takagawa Kaku (photo courtesy of GoBase) who's facing Sakata on the cover of Modern Joseki and Fuseki, Volume One. Several identified the other two figures in the photo - the great Go Seigen, and Kobayashi Reiko, formerly Kitani Reiko - daughter of Kitani Minoru, wife of Kobayashi Koichi, mother of Kobayashi Izumi (the wife of Cho U). The ever helpful Phillip Waldron (Canada) tried to figure out which game, but was only able to narrow it down to two - either from the final of the loser's section of the 1965 Judan Title or the final of the 1964 Nihon Kiin Championship. They played the exact same opening - at least as far as we can tell from the photo. Since Tagagawa lost in 1964, this seems rather stubborn of him...but he won the second try, by 5.5. Waldron still leads 13/13, Denis 10/11, Salamony 9/10, Kerr (Canada) 5/5, and Mercado and Richard Hayes at 4/4. We also now have another sort of leader - who shall remain anonymous - at an impressive 0/7! Congrats to Michael Bull, this week's winner, chosen at random from those answering correctly.
THIS WEEK'S QUIZ: ANOTHER ISHI "HARD" ONE: The book from last week was published in hardback by Ishi Press; how many total books did Ishi both publish and distribute in hardback? Was it five, six, seven or eight? And, for bonus points, show us you're not guessing by listing them in "Comment" section. Click here to vote.
- Go Quiz Editor: Keith L. Arnold, hka

GAME COMMENTARY: Chunlun Cup & Top US Youth
When is a successful result not a successful result? When it just looks like one. See how Peng Quan 7P's good-looking result against Xie He 6P in the March 25 6th Chunlan Cup match winds up being very painful in today's game commentary. The comments are by Alexander Dinerchtein 1P, whose website contains a wealth of information about the world of go as well as commentaries on both pro and strong amateur games that are available by subscription.
Get a look at some of the top young US players in today's bonus game commentaries from the March 24 US Youth Go Championship qualifier in San Francisco, CA. Hugh Zhang 2d plays Christopher Kiguchi 4d and Jimmy Guo 5d plays Calvin Lee 6d in two games commented by Mingjiu Jiang 7P. Special thanks to TD Steve Burrall for his help with the game records.
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 c
lick here to get them for most platforms at Jan van der Steen's Gobase.

GO REVIEW: The Basics of Go Strategy
Mastering the Basics Series Vol. V
by Richard Bozulich
Kiseido , 216 pages $18
Reviewed by Peter Shotwell
If you've been following Bozulich's remarkable series, this is probably the most important book because it reviews the key strategic subtleties that make go so wonderful. The Basics of Go Strategy is an expansion and improvement on his classic, but long-out-of-print, Strategic Concepts of Go. Bozulich starts out by illustrating the delicate balance between the need for retaining aji, and the need for playing forcing moves, which eliminate it. Then he shows how probes continue this dialogue because the opponent is forced to answer in one of only a few ways.
Next is how to avoid-and attack-heavy stones. The proverb says, "Play urgent points before big points," because if you play on big points before securing your weak stones, you end up with heavy ones. Unfortunately, these are all too often too big to sacrifice, so, as you run away, you are left with dameba -- points of no value -- while the attacker profits with every move.
    If there are heavy stones in go, then there are light ones, so a short chapter on sabaki follows, and many examples scattered through the book show how to use them. These basic themes of 'bad' vs. 'good' then continue in a chapter on the differences between junk stones and key stones.
    Putting all these concepts to work on a grand scale, the final chapter on thickness shows how you can end up over-concentrated if you forget four crucial proverbs.
    "Don't play near thickness!" means, don't get too near your opponent's solid stones. "Don't use thickness to make territory!" because you will nearly always end up having played too close to your own. Instead, "Use thickness to attack!" and "Drive your opponent in the direction of your thickness!" and success will follow.
    The book ends with 101 problems that will keep everyone from 10 kyu on up to somewhere past shodan comfortably busy for quite a while, but the results will be worth it.
Shotwell, a longtime go writer, is the author of Go Basics: Concepts And Strategies for New Players.

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Managing Editor: Chris Garlock
Assistant Editor: Bill Cobb

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