Davis/Sacramento Go Club
c/o Frank Berkenkotter
Box 4, Guinda, CA 95637

Frank Berkenkotter .....796-3582
Jim Marable ................753-9723
Will Haynes .................929-6112

On-Line at [Ed. note: this address is outdated]

Next Tournament:


Dues were raised to $15.00 to avoid having to collect fees at tournaments. Nonmembers will be charged $2.00 to play, but those over 20 kyu will play free.

With membership you receive notification of our tournaments and simuls and four newsletters. As a member, you are also eligible to win the club's yearly championships in Div. I and II, which are based on most wins. Most important, however, your membership supports the opportunity to play Go.

Make checks payable to Frank Berkenkotter not the club, as a club bank account would be too expensive. Get your dues in soon. Only one reminder will be sent.

1996 Numbers:

AGA Membership

The club is an American Go Association affiliate. If you are interested in being a personal member of the AGA (dues are $25.00/year) write: American Go Association, P.O. Box 397, Old Chelsea Station, New York, NY 10113.


The club welcomes new players for 1997 Dean Snigowski, 10 kyu, Marty Stein, 1 Dan, Wendy Phillips, 10 kyu, Fred Hopkins, 6 kyu, Jing Zhang, 4 kyu, Michael De Vries, 2 kyu, Allen Blue, 2 kyu, Sang Yi, 4 Dan, and Kristen and Mathew Burrall, 22 kyu and 20 kyu.


On December 1, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., the D/SGC held its fourth tournament of 1996 and its first at the Davis Branch of the Yolo County Library. 21 players competed in three divisions. The club is well set in its two new playing locations provided we are able to reserve them.

In Division I Louis Abronson, playing his first event as Shodan, tied with Yoshi Sawada, 4 Dan. Marty Stein, 1 kyu also knocked off some Dan players for 3rd place.

In Division II, young Sam Shiah defeated three stronger opponents and was promoted to 4 kyu. Peter Kent, 2 kyu, and Allen Blue, 2 kyu, tied for second.

In Division III, many were glad to see Phio Kreiss promoted to 10 kyu as the winner of a 3-way tie of 3-1 records with Berdner, 3 kyu, second, and Hopkins, 6 kyu, third.

Division I

  1. Sawada 4D 3-1
  2. Abronson 1D 3-1
  3. M. Stein 1D 3-1
  4. L. Zhang 4D 2-2
  5. D. Kent 1D 1-3
  6. Haynes 1k 1-3
  7. Redmond 1D 1-3
  8. Scammon 1k 2-1
  9. S. Burrall 3D 1-2

Division II

  1. Shiah 5k* 3-1
  2. P. Kent 2k 3-1
  3. A. Blue 2k 3-1
  4. Newmiller 3k 2-2
  5. Corbett 3k 1-3
  6. Berkenkotter 3k 0-4

(*-- promoted to 4 kyu)

Division III

  1. Kreiss 12k* 3-1
  2. Berdner 8k 3-1
  3. Hopkins 6k 3-1
  4. Hughes 7k 2-2
  5. K. Burrall 22k 1-3
  6. M. Burrall 20k 0-4

(* - promoted to 10 kyu)

Note: Rule Interpretation

Unless there is much objection, the Tournament Director shall break ties by declaring as winner that player who defeated other tying player(s). In Division I, Abronson had more points by seeding but had lost to Sawada in their game. Any input?


The Divison I champion with 8 wins was Willard Haynes, 1 kyu. The Division II winner was Louis Abronson with 13 wins. An extra kudo to Louis as I doubt we will soon see another player go from virtual beginner to Shodan in one year! Both players will receive cash awards of $25.00 and free membership for 1997. The championship in each division goes to the club member who has the most wins in 3 or more tournaments.

Division I

  1. Haynes 1k 8 wins
  2. D. Kent 1D 5 wins
  3. Redmond 1D 5 wins
  4. Scammon 1k 4 wins

Division II

  1. Abronson 1D 13 wins
  2. P. Kent 2k 11 wins
  3. Hughes 7k 10 wins
  4. Newmiller 3k 8 wins
  5. Berdner 8k 8 wins


I first encountered Go in a fairly improbable manner. When I was 8, there was a 10-year-old kid on the block who was immersing himself in all things Eastern. He was reading Herman Hesse novels, training Falcons and taught himself to play Go. He taught me and a few other kids on the street, but as you might imagine, we weren't good. My next experiences with Go were in college at UC Irvine, where there was a Go club composed mostly of computer science majors. None of them were strong Go players so I didn't improve much. In fact, I gave up the game for a few years after buying Tesuji by James Davies and finding out I couldn't do most of the problems. Later in life I have had the good fortune to befriend two stronger players who advanced my strength significantly. The first was Ace Barash, who lived in the cottage next to mine during my internship at San Joaquin General Hospital. He had studied the game for a year with Mark Okada in San Francisco before he went to medical school, going from beginner to 5 kyu. By the end of the year we were both upper kyu players. Upon moving to Davis I met Yoshi Sawada 4 Dan (then 2 Dan) who brought me up to Dan level and has continued to be my main playing buddy to this day. That was in 1981 when, if I'm suffering from delusions of grandeur, I started the Davis Go Club. It met at Mr. Nakamura's house during 1982. I have many fond memories of being cut topieces by Nob ("I got no diploma") Aoke, and Mr. ("just connect your stones, you can't lose") Nakamura and kindly old George Okamoto. I then moved to San Francisco and played in all SFGC's tournaments, improving to 3D, until I started having kids in '86. I was so busy with my four kids until last year that I hardly played at all. Often Yoshi and his wife would come over for dinner and we wouldn't even play a single game! Now that the last one is out of diapers, though, I am starting to play again regularly (with Yoshi and IGS [Internet Go Server]). I have lived in Elk Grove since '92 and work at Kaiser, South Sacramento, where there are unfortunately no Go players on the staff despite many of them being first generation Asian immigrants. In fact, the only other four Go players in Elk grove are my own kids.

(Editorial note: Yours truly [Berkenkotter] was also a player in the '81-'82 Davis Go Club. When Steve left for San Francisco, the local place to play was at the Sacramento Asian Center, run by George Okamoto. The Center closed in 1987 (42 years after its establishment in 1945) and for many months thereafter play was sporadic at best. The mounting frustration made it a pleasure to get the D/SGC started (or restarted) in 1988.)


Since the inception of the D/SGC I have made decisions pretty much on my own, but as our numbers have grown I have relied on input from you. What I would like to do now is establish a committee of four to whom you can give your views and ideas and which in turn will act. For now I am appointing Will Haynes, Tom Corbett, Peter Kent and myself as our club committee. We will also be the four Tournament Directors for our tournaments in 1997. Please feel free to give us your ideas about club policy.

The year was a hard one because of the shift to two new tournament locations; but it worked pretty well, and we're looking forward to a "hot" '97 season. Regarding simuls: if we are able to reserve the Yolo Davis Library during library hours, it is free of charge; but getting a master player lined up two months in advance is very hard. We will try for it, however.

An admonition: this is not a time to get complacent about getting new members (a couple of local clubs can so attest). We do a lot of things right, but I have never figured out why our membership has good inflow to offset departures. I think visibility has a lot to do with it. Anyway, I guess the message is: support your local Go club.







Davis/Sacramento Go Club Newsletter

Modified last on November 14, 1997 by Jeff Newmiller.
(Comments and suggestions welcome.)

Davis/Sacramento Go Club Homepage