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“GOAMA”, International Go Newsletter
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41st issue

1. An interview with Chang Hao, 9-dan, the winner of the Samsung cup
2. "Go and Chess – Two Games, Shared Experiences". Opinions of our readers.
3. New photos from Korea
4. The most exciting game of the week
5. Ask an expert corner
6. Gifts for our readers
7. Announcement: Free Go lecture on KGS, January 28

Dear friends!
We are glad to present you the 41st issue of the "Goama" newsletter, including:
1. An interview with Chang Hao, 9-dan, the winner of the Samsung cup
2. "Go and Chess – Two Games, Shared Experiences". Opinions of our readers.
3. New photos from Korea
4. The most exciting game of the week
5. Ask an expert corner
6. Gifts for our readers
7. Announcement: Free Go lecture on KGS, January 28


An interview with Chang Hao, 9-dan, the winner of the Samsung cup

The final match has finished. Chang Hao beat Lee Changho with a 2-0 score.

- Congratulations! What can you tell as about the match?
- It's a very important day in my life. I won the Ing cup recently by beating Choi Chelhan, but winning the match against World Number 1 Lee Changho is special. I am very happy now.
- Which game of the match was harder for you? The first or second one?
- The first game was rather difficult. I made an overplay, and my group found itself in a dangerous situation. In the second game we both made some mistakes, but my position was very thick and it was hard to lose it at the endgame stage.
- What do you think about the recent form of Lee Changho, 9-dan?
- We can say that he is in a slump, but I believe that it will only be a short period in his Go life.
- Can you tell us something about Lee Sedol, 9-dan?
- He is the strongest Korean master after Lee Changho. He is very young, so I think we will often play each other in future.
- Can we say that Lee Changho, 9-dan has changed a lot during the last 10 years?
- He is my friend and I know him very well. He was always stronger than me, and you may know about my bad score against him. I don’t think that his playing style or strength has changed a lot, but nowadays it's harder to achieve good results because there are so many strong young players both in Korea and China. As I remarked before, his recent condition has not been so good, but I think he will be able to break this slump. I would be happy if I get another chance to play with Lee Changho for a big title.
- You won the match against Lee Changho, 9-dan, who is the World Number 1. Could you perhaps claim now that you are stronger than him?
- Of course I cannot. Lee Changho, 9-dan has won so many World Go Championships during the last 15 years. For sure, I will not be able to surpass his outstanding record.
- As a friend of Lee Changho, will you invite him for a party?
- Yes, I will. Not this time, perhaps, but certainly I will find a chance to buy him a beer and have a chat.
- You will play with Gu Li, 9-dan soon in the final match of the Chunlan World Go Championship. It's an all-Chinese final. What are your feelings about it?
- Even though we are both Chinese, for me there's a big difference between first and second places. Gu Li really loves to play with me, but I will try to show him that I am not an easy opponent.

The second game of the match was commented by A.Dinerchtein. You may find it on Go4Go: http://www.go4go.net/v2/modules/alex/


"Go and Chess – Two Games, Shared Experiences". Opinions of our readers.

We got some opinions about the article "Go and Chess – Two Games, Shared Experiences" which was published in the previous issue of our magazine

Lionel Vidal wrote his thoughts on http://www.ficgs.com/forum.html :

About your point number 3... A chess world champion could very well note
its moves before playing and yet be mated in one move :-)
In Go pro-matches, the moves are usually recorded during play by another
(younger :-) pro, who has also to deal with time keeping: it makes sense
not to disturb gods at play by basic housekeeping :-). I remember an
article on the WEB counting the numbers of obvious blunders in go
pro-games, and it was very low compared to chess.

Concerning your point 2, it is not quite true AFAIK: most top pros run a
school of younger pros or wanabe pros who play and analyze numerous games
on the Master supervision (He does rarely play with students and then it is
a great honor!). So a master does not really analyze alone, but
discuss many ideas with others.

Concerning your point 4, I think that increasing the number of games would
change the playing calendar too much and a pro cannot play many more games
by year without consequences on his results... even at my very low level, I
find a go game much more tiring than a chess one (here I mean a face to
face game, not correspondence or server go... something I still don't
manage to get used to :-)
BTW, I also find that recovering from a loss in go is much more difficult
(again I mean face to face Go) than in chess: maybe because of a higher
involvement, maybe it is just me. What do others players think?
Another point is that a pro is paid by the federation (a fixed amount
depending on its rank, not linked with his gains in tournaments that are
much more important), and have to give some services to the community:
lessons, conferences, teaching games... and so on... and this is more true
for the lowest ranked pros!

Also we got a letter from Benjamin Schooley:

Dear Alex,
I have been having these very same thoughts. I think after awhile I started
to accept the way things were done in the East and tried to see the positive
side of it. Maybe three world champions are better than one. And really
isn't it better that people don't have endless helpers and seconds, then it
almost becomes a matter of who has the most help and the most money to hire
that help and not the most skill on an individual basis. But I do get the
sense there is more of a community in Go. Go players are more apt to share
their ideas and puzzles with each other and not prepare secret variations in
some unscrupulous plot. I would be more curious if the Korean paper at
least acknowledges your thoughts, I highly doubt they will try to change
anything though.

Still I do lament the absence of a broader tournament format. Not all are
knockout but they all tend to have the knockout "flavor." I think some
players who are really talented get overlooked (Hane Naoki) because their
playing style doesn't mesh as well with a knockout tournament. On the other
hand people who have novel playing styles like Cho U and Takao Shinji do
pretty well in the KO format. They benefit from a smaller sample size,
harder to get a read on their strengths and weaknesses.


New photos from Korea

Samsung cup (Lee Changho vs Chang Hao), final match and prizegiving ceremony

Korean Female Meijin titlematch, Rui Naiwei, 9-dan won it by 2-0 score.


The most exciting game of the week

4th Korean King of Kings, preliminary
2007-01-19: Kim Jiseok 3p (Black) vs. Lee Huiseong 7p (White) B+R
Impressive opening. Big group, killed by Kim Jiseok, 3-dan

4th Korean King of Kings, preliminary
2007-01-19: Kang Dongyun 5p (Black) vs. Lee Sedol 9p (White) W+R
Two unusual josekis (?)

3rd Chinese Changqi Cup, final 2
2007-01-21: Kong Jie 7p (Black) vs. Gu Li 9p (White) B+R
Really huge group, killed by Kong Jie

32nd Japanese Kisei, preliminary
2007-01-25: Kataoka Satoshi 9p (Black) vs. Takemiya Masaki 9p (White) W+R
Takemiya, 9-dan made a huge moyo, but it was destroyed. How did he win the game?

8th Korean Maxim Cup, final 1
2007-01-25: Park Cheongsang 9p (Black) vs. Lee Sedol 9p (White) B+R
Is it a new joseki?


Ask an expert corner

Question from Michael Bormin, 1-dan (Russia):
I have some Go students, who play Go passively. They prefer to give up groups, instead of
trying to save them. Nowadays they improve slowly, mainly because of this problem.
How can I teach them to fight and save the groups?

Answer from Alexander Dinerchtein:
I can give an advice. You may try to introduce them "Kill all" game. Black puts 17 handicap stones (free placement) and try to kill everything on the board. White's goal is to live somewhere, even with a very small group.
The chances are about 50-50 (it was tested by professionals).
If your students practice this game from time to time, they may learn how to save groups, which looks very weak or even dead. They can also learn how to attack groups strongly.

Feel free to send us your questions.


Gifts for our readers

http://www.thetradingcentre.co.uk/ decided to offer a 10% discount on every order you make from their online shop within few months. You may get your discount by entering the coupon keyword "Goama" on http://www.thetradingcentre.co.uk/main.asp?sitepages=Coupons
They have not only Go books (great choice for all levels), equipment (sets, boards, bowls, stones) and software (Many Faces of Go, GoGod, Go++ ) but also everything you need for playing bridge, checkers, classic and Chinese chess, mahjong, shogi and other well-known boards games.

Contact us, please, if you have your own Go shop and would like to set a special discount for our readers.


Announcement: Free Go lecture on KGS

I got a lot of requests from the "Goama" readers, who ask me to show the answers of the Go-test at http://play.baduk.org/
I decided to explain it online on KGS.
I will not only show the right answers, but also explain the positions in details.
I will do it on Sunday, January 28 at 6 PM GMT (21.00 Moscow time) in English Game Room on KGS http://www.gokgs.com/
It will be a free lecture. Please, invite your friends to watch the lecture or inform them on local Go forums.

I suggest you to try the test once again and prepare the questions, you like to ask.
Don't worry, if you cannot attend it online. We will attach the lecture in sgf in the next issue of our journal.

Alexander Dinerchtein ("breakfast" on KGS)


Enjoy the newsletter!
The IGN "Goama" editor's team

You are welcome to republish any text material from the IGN "Goama" without commercial purposes: please note the source and put the link to http://gogame.info/.

To obtain republishing rights for commented game records, please contact:
A.Dinerchtein ("breakfast" on KGS), editor-in-chief
E-mail: qp@omen.ru
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