Davis/Sacramento Go Club

Volume 3 Issue 2 - June 1997

Next Tournament:

Membership Update:

As of 6/3 we have 29 paid members, 9 down from '96. The club welcomes new members: Art Sommers and Wendy Phillips and to participant Hiroyuki Taya, 2k, a student from Japan at UCD.

Re: AGA Membership

The club is an American Go Club affiliate. If you are interested in AGA, write: American Go Association, P.O. Box 397, Old Chelsea Station, New York, NY 10113.

1997 Numbers:





Number of members:



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

The Club Committee:

Frank Berkenkotter


Will Haynes


Steve Burrall


Peter Kent



On June 1st, the D/SGC held its second tournament of 1997 at the Yolo County Library in Davis. There were 16 players in three divisions. In Division I, Peter Redmond's 4-0 result is prompting calls to promote him. This could cause a rush of self-demotions. All kidding aside, congratulations. In second was Louis Abronson and 3rd was Steve Burrall.

In Division II, Charles So defeated Hiroyuki Taya in their game, breaking a 3-1 tie.

In Division III, Dean Sniegowski, promoted to 6k, went undefeated and continues to progress. In 2nd was Phil Kreiss, who also continues to move up the ladder.

We are indebted to Brian Foster from the S. F. Go Club, who brought enough Ing clocks for the tournament.

Division I

  1. Redmond 1D


  • Abronson 3D
  • 3-1

  • S. Burrall 4D
  • 2-2

  • Haynes 1k
  • 1-3

  • P. Kent 1k
  • 1-3

    Division II

    1. Charles So 3k


  • H. Taya
  • 3-1

  • Newmiller 3k
  • 2-2

  • B. Foster 2k
  • 2-2

  • K. Ping 3k
  • 1-3

  • Berkenkotter 3k
  • 1-3

    Division III

    1. Sniegowski 7k


  • Kreiss 10k
  • 3-1+

  • Newbold 5k
  • 2-2

  • Crawford 8k
  • 1-3

  • M. Burrall 20k
  • 0-4

    * promoted to 6k
    + promoted to 9k

    Club Standings

    The club gives a free membership and a cash prize with the most wins in 3 or more tournaments in 1997 in Div. I and II. Last year's winners were Will Haynes, 8 wins, and Louis Abronson, 13 wins.

    Division I

    1. Burrall 4D

    4 wins

  • Redmond 1D
  • 4 wins

  • Haynes 1k
  • 4 wins

  • Abronson 3D
  • 3 wins

  • P. Kent 1k
  • 3 wins

    Division II

    1. Sniegowski 6k

    7 wins

  • Newbold 5k
  • 6 wins

  • Newmiller 3k
  • 4 wins

  • 3 players tied
  • 3 wins

    Go Booth at Whole Earth Festival

    Many thanks to Peter Kent for being the main force in keeping our booth going at the WEF event on May 9-11. Thanks also to members Tom C., Louis A., the family Burrall, Will H., Fred H., Rich N., Sam S., Dean S., and any others I forgot to mention for dropping by the booth. We sold much Go, but as you see you're lucky if one player becomes a regular member.

    I have contacted the "Hoes Down" festival in Capay Valley (where I live) about a booth. "Hoes Down" is a fund raiser for organic farming and costs nominally to get in but is a worthy cause. There will be music, eats, displays, swimming, farm animals, et al.

    Summer Go Activities

    U.S. Go Congress

    It will be in Lancaster, Pennsylvania this year. Contact: Sam Zimmerman, 717/898-9363, August 16-24.

    The Euro-Go-Congress

    It will be in Marseilles, S. of France, July 19-August 2 (I have all details to make reservations).

    Hollyhock Go Workshop

    July 13-19, a Go Workshop with James Kerwin, 1 Dan-Pro., on Cortes Is., British Columbia. (Call me for details)

    Playing Go with Half a Brain

    By Steve Burrall

    We have all had the experience of making a move and feeling that it was a mistake while moving the stone toward the board and seeing it was just as bad as we had feared. Have you ever wondered why this happens? By way of explanation, let me tell you about a woman who had an operation to sever her corpus callosum a year or so ago. The operation, which cuts all connections between the cerebral hemispheres, was undertaken as a last desperate attempt to cure her intractable seizures. It was successful in that regard, but the interesting part for us is her postoperative behavior. No longer able to communicate with one another, her cerebral hemispheres were in frequent conflict as evidenced by her motor behavior. When one hand picked up an object, the other would frequently grab it away or knock it out of hand. These little "arguments" gradually diminished during the ensuing months as her hemispheres learned to fight less, but the point was dramatically made that the hemispheres often have different ideas about what the body should be doing. If you have a corpus callosum, these differences are usually mediated without your awareness prior to initiating an action, but not always. I believe it is not uncommon for a right-handed person to make a move which is selected by the left hemisphere and which the right hemisphere knows is a bad move as it is being made. The right hemisphere's disapproval is felt as a "bad feeling" about the move, but having no direct motor connection to the right hand, the move is made anyway. It is worth emphasizing that the right hemisphere is known to be stronger at mathematics and spatial relations, so I would assume it is in a position to be critical of moves selected by the left hemisphere. How does one overcome this problem? It's very simple: don't pick up a stone until you feel you have given the move sufficient consideration and don't leave your hand on the mouse between moves on the Internet Go Server. This gives your right hemisphere the bit of extra time it needs to talk some sense into your left hemisphere before making the move. I hope you find this a useful hint.

    A Dutch Go Player in Davis

    By Michiel WallisDeVries

    I came to Davis last year in spring and will stay until October, when I will return to the Netherlands. I am working as a postdoc on grazing behavior research in the UCD Department of Agronomy & Range Science. Go has been one of my favorite hobbies since 1978 when I started studies in biology at the Agricultural Univ. in Wageningen, The Netherlands.

    Dutch Go players have been the terror of many a tournament since the late 60's. Ronald Schlemper, now about 32 years old, has been the strongest Dutch player and one of the top amateur players in the world for over a decade now. He studied in Japan and gained the status of a first Dan professional there. Still, go is not widely known in the Netherlands. Although it is quite popular in university towns, especially among students of mathematics and informatics, it receives marginal attention in the schools and the media. The Dutch Go League probably has no more than 2000 members today. (The Netherlands have 15 million inhabitants). My Wageningen club often stood on the point of extinction.

    I was quite a fanatic go player in the first 6 years after I started to play, participating in many Dutch tournaments and beating Ronald Schlemper in a simultaneous exhibition he gave, with 9 stones on the board for me. Still, he tricked me into lots of ugly moves and I felt ashamed not being able to show him some more elegant play. Over the last 10 years I have played rather infrequently, with the work load building up. Still, I guess that I have not lost too much of my 1st kyu ranking that I had in the good old days. At least I seem to do reasonably well here in Davis. But then there is a tournament saying, "Beware of Dutch first kyu," which perhaps has some truth in it. (In the Netherlands the promotion to Shodan is more difficult to achieve than in other countries.) What I would like to see more often here is that some people analyze some curcial moments in a game after it is over - it is fun and you can learn a lot from it or it may encourage you to dig up some theory. Also, I miss the 20 minute games against the clock: although they are mostly very messy, they also sharpen your go-intuition and lead to hilariously improbable shifts in the balance on the board.

    Well, each time I play I plan to take more time for this fascinating game. As an ecologist, I love to see the intricate connections between the different stones on the board and the enormous impact that one tiny difference may have on the outcome of the game. So I hope you will see more of me this summer!

    Odds 'n' Ends

    By Frank Berkenkotter

    The whirlwind era of Abronson comes to a temporary(?) end, as Louis moves on to further law study in Alaska. Our loss. Fortunately, the Internet exists, as what Alaska has in beauty, it does not have in Go players. Stay in touch.

    Brian Foster hurled down the gauntlet challenging the D/SGC to a team event with the SF Go Club. I accepted immediately. The D/SGC is undefeated in team go (based on our only match with the Sonoma Club). So if the SF Go Club will come to Davis, we'll pick a four person team from Dan to mid-kyu strength. Team go anyone.

    We still do not have permanent clocks, however, Brian Foster brought some up from S.F. for the last tournament. As I am in the Bay area frequently, I am hoping to borrow enough clocks for our tournaments.

    Rating Tournament

    We plan to make the September 6th tournament an AGA rated event. This means that all players would need to be at least limited members of the AGA, which costs $5.00.

    In the future, we sould continue to have an AGA rated tournament in September of each year.

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

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