Archive for March, 2007

New “Sydney Go Journal” issue

Wednesday, March 28th, 2007
You can read the latest issue of the “Sydney Go Journal” – number 10¬†- at the regular hosting page. This issue also contains a lesson from The fact that the journal is published as a PDF document means that it makes for an easy and good looking printout.

The art of sacrifice

Tuesday, March 27th, 2007
I wrote a new lesson titled “The art of sacrifice” – inspired by a game I watched on IGS today. It is about the following position (White to play):

Dia. 1

Read it if you want to find out how Dia.1 above is related to Dia.2 below :-)

Samurai fighting several enemies

Dia. 2

Go World Archive in digital format

Saturday, March 24th, 2007
I heard a while ago about Kiseido’s plan to digitize the Go World archive, but today it’s the first time I actually saw their website at They say that soon there will be 3 DVDs for sale containing the whole archive (which will cost $100, according to some other source). For now they sell individual items, in PDF format, for $2.50 each. Here is a sample issue they offer. Go World magazine is awesome, I learned a lot from it over time, mainly from the game commentaries, but also from the many articles on Go theory. I enjoyed a lot “The Great Joseki Debate” series (which was later published as a book) and the 2 series article “The Magnificent Obsession: Sakata Eio and Go”, among many, many others… Here is the index of this wonderful Go magazine. Also, has a searchable index. I bought from Kiseido all the back printed items I could find about one year ago, but since I’m still missing a lot of issues I think I’ll also buy the DVDs when they come out.

Zhou Junxun of Taiwan wins international LG Cup

Wednesday, March 21st, 2007
Taiwan is catching up with the top 3 Go super-powers: Zhou Junxun 9p of Taiwan just won the 11th LG Cup international tournament. He defeated in the final match Hu Yaoyu 8p of China, 2-1. While several Taiwanese born players moved to Japan as kids, became insei and then became top professionals in Japan, this is the first time that a Taiwanese trained professional had such a great success in an international title. There is an old article about Zhou Junxun’s earlier Go career at Mindzine. The first game of the final match is commented at – it is one of the several free sample commented games. After Zhou Junxun won the first game by resign, the next 2 games were very close: both were half-pointers. Here is a diagram from the last game:

Black (Zhou Junxun) ended up sente in the complicated joseki in the lower left, so he invaded the upper-left corner in sente, and then played tengen to reduce White’s central influence. A fight started as White invaded Black’s moyo on the right soon after this.

American Go Yearbook

Tuesday, March 20th, 2007
I got my new and shiny “American Go Yearbook” in the mail yesterday. It looks very nice (except for the quality of the diagrams, yikes for that… looks like something printed with a printer from 15 years ago). I liked a lot the “where should X play next” problems taken from top US games, with short comments by the players. Also, I was sad to read the very bad review for the new “The Go Master” movie (it’s about the life of Go Seigen) – I want to see the movie anyway, hope it will become available.

Lee Changho lost the Guksu title

Sunday, March 18th, 2007
Lee Changho lost the Korean Guksu title to challenger and newcomer Yun Junsang (19 years old, 4 dan). Lenius corrected me: Yun Junsang is not a newcomer to the top professional Go: in 2002 when he was only 1p (and 14-15 years old!) he only lost 2-1 to Cho Hunhyun in a playoff to decide the challenger to Kiseong title (equivalent to the Japanese Kisei). I wrote my thoughts on the 4th and last game. It was interesting how kosumi-tsuke appeared in the opening, how White sacrificed a group, and how Black played 3 moves in a row on the second line, in the middle game.

Kosumi-Tsuke: Use and Abuse

Wednesday, March 14th, 2007
I just finished a new article/lesson, titled “Kosumi-Tsuke: Use and Abuse”.

It is about when to use and when to avoid kosumi-tsuke, and it is based on an article I wrote for a (now defunct) online Romanian Go journal couple of years ago. I think the motivation for the original article was the fact that I’m myself a kosumi-tsuke abuser – I tend to overplay it a lot. I’m recovering now :-) It is longer than the normal lessons on and it is more targeted towards fundamentals, I hope – both of which are requests made by users via the feedback system on the website. I hope you’ll find it useful!

How to study professional games

Tuesday, March 13th, 2007
I wrote a detail page for the “Study professional games” advice. It also touches on subjects as “to read comments or not to read comments“, and “try to understand or learn by heart“. Also, do you know this Google search trick to look for SGF files of Takemiya’s? Just google for Takemiya filetype:sgf and see for yourself. The filetype:sgf part of the search string is a special Google operator that limits the search to files with the sgf extension. Of course, you can replace Takemiya with your favorite Go player.

Sydney Go Journal – and Tags

Monday, March 12th, 2007
I was contacted last week by David Mitchell asking if he could publish some content from in Sydney Go Journal. He also sent me one of the issues, as an example. I liked the journal a lot, and I was wondering why it was the first time I have heard about it. David explained that this journal is normally distributed in PDF format through an email list, to Australian Go players. He agreed to have it hosted on so that Go players from other countries can enjoy it as well. So here it is, all the issues so far in PDF format. The author, David Mitchell, is a strong amateur player with a lot of experience, so I am sure there is a lot to learn from reading his journal. (The PDF files are 1-2 MB large and may take some time to download, so I recommend you to download and read them separately, rather than viewing them in your browser).


You may have noticed already that many pages on have a new “Tags for this page” section on top: each tag is an attribute for the page, and clicking on, say, the lesson tag will bring a list of all pages that have “lesson” as a tag. This is intended as yet another way to explore the content on the website – let me know if you think it is useful. There is also a tag index page, where you can see an alphabetical ordered list of all the tags so far. Feel free to suggest new tags – just add a comment to this blog or through the anonymous feedback on the website page.

Judan game 1: Cho – Yamashita 1-0

Thursday, March 8th, 2007
Yamashita has a much harder time in the Judan title, so far, compared to his Kisei title defense: the Judan title holder Cho Chikun won this first, fighting game. I wrote my thoughts on a nice sacrifice sequence that occurred in the game on the tournament page. It is about the “Sacrifice two stones instead of one” Go proverb that White can apply in the following position, after Black played the triangle-marked move: