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Membership manager payment problem solved

Notizie AGA - Mar, 26/05/2020 - 01:17

After being alerted to payment issues within the AGA Membership Manager the tech team consulted and patched the issue. The payments are now working again. If you have had an issue in the last month with using the membership manager to make payments, please try again. If there are any continued issues please email webmaster@usgo.org and database@usgo.org to let us know so that we can help you.

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In Memoriam: Gordon Castanza

Notizie AGA - Lun, 25/05/2020 - 03:08

By Mike LePore

Former AGA board member Gordon Castanza passed away on May 24, after a battle with cancer.

Gordon’s life was anything but boring and conventional. At the age of 20, he received a draft notice, and left college to serve in the Air Force for five years during the Vietnam War. Upon returning to civilian life, Gordon finished his bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and went to work for the Alaska public school system. In 1984, when the school board wouldn’t let him take time off to compete in the Iditarod dog sled race, Gordon quit his job and competed anyway. (does this really surprise any of you who knew him?) He then spent several years in the 1980s working for a company that was instrumental in opening up free markets in China. He would later return to Alaska, obtaining his doctorate in his mid-50s while serving as a school district superintendent.

Gordon retired in July 2000, and moved to Gig Harbor, WA. In retirement, go became one of Gordon’s true loves, along with fly fishing and military history. He even found a way to get the story of the famous Atom Bomb Game incorporated into Don Farrell’s book Tinian and the Bomb. Gordon loved go’s beauty and historical significance, and was always delighted at the chance to introduce the game to others. I will miss spotting his wide-brimmed hat at future go events.

“I feel fortunate to have gotten to know Gordon,” said AGA president Andy Okun. “He took me fly fishing high up in the Rockies on the Wednesday off at the Colorado Congress in 2010, a chance to see him in his element, hat, shades, waders, and a quiet stream. He told me stories about his time in China, and witnessing the Tiananmen crackdown, being in the Air Force in Vietnam, his devotion to go, and getting to fish the ant fall on the San Juan River. Keep your line tight, Gordon.”

American Go E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock added that “Gordon joined the EJ Congress game recording team when we were just getting started and was always a reliable and steadfast game recorder, insisting on using his own laptop, an innovation we’ve since adopted for the whole team.”

photos by Chris Garlock (top) and Phil Straus (middle); Andy Okun (bottom)

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LIVE TONIGHT: Redmond and Garlock on AlphaGo vs AlphaGo, Game 42

Notizie AGA - Dom, 24/05/2020 - 09:00

Tune in to the AGA’s Twitch channel tonight at 7p EDT to catch the live commentary by Michael Redmond 9P and Chris Garlock on AlphaGo vs AlphaGo Game 42. Viewers will be able to ask Redmond and Garlock questions during the live commentary.

Also of interest: The 2020 China-US Internet Go Tournament, Day 1 with commentary by Kim Yoonyoung 8p (Originally aired on April 14, 2020).
AlphaGo vs. AlphaGo with Michael Redmond 9p: Game 40. Originally broadcast live on the AGA’s Twitch channel on April 5, in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Michael and Chris begin by checking in on the status of the professional go community in Japan, and they also talk about Michael’s YouTube channel, which he had just launched.

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Survey: planning for online AGA activities

Notizie AGA - Dom, 24/05/2020 - 07:06

While we all continue to take precautions for the health and safety of ourselves and our communities, the AGA wants to encourage people to continue to play Go and to socialize virtually with other people in the Go community.

The AGA is planning to put on some limited online programming during the first week of August to bring the AGA Go community together during the time in-person Go Congress has traditionally been held. We are still figuring out the details, and that’s where you all come in! If you are interested in participating, please take a minute to fill out this survey and help us plan a better event for you!

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KGS Adds Web Registration

Notizie AGA - Sab, 23/05/2020 - 23:45

The KGS Go Server just got easier to join and use. The Java client for KGS has been an ongoing problem for some computers and blocked by many schools. The KGS Home Page features a new link to sign up for a free account. Using ShinKGS, a web-based client developed by Justin Kramer, phones, tablets, or computers can now play on the server while avoiding Java completely. 

The American Go Foundation has been steadily working on improving KGS, but mostly behind the scenes until now. “This is the first of many upgrades to KGS that the AGF wants to see happen.” says AGF President Terry Benson. “To make KGS a better go community, we could use help on the open source ShinKGS code.  While so many people are stuck at their computers, go is a great way to stay busy and connected to other people.”  ShinKGS is still missing some features and has a few bugs, a list of areas that need work is here, access to the code is on Github here. GoUniverse, a plugin for the Chrome Web Browser developed by Ilya Kirillov, is  another way to access KGS without Java, and has almost all of the features in the full client. GoUniverse is also open source, and can be accessed on Github here.

KGS has seen a boom in users with everyone staying home due to Covid-19, and many clubs now meet virtually on the site. The AGF hopes to expand that user base by improving services and growing the community. “Many thanks to lead KGS developer Lee Schumacher for his tireless work on behalf of the server. Our thanks also to Oren Laskin, on the development team, and to all the admins who work daily to keep KGS a safe and friendly space for all,” adds Benson. – Paul Barchilon, AGF Vice-President

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Redmond’s Reviews, Episode 22: Yasui Sanchi 7P vs Honinbo Shusaku 6P

Notizie AGA - Sab, 23/05/2020 - 00:04

In the latest Redmond Review, Michael Redmond 9P and Chris Garlock take a break from their AlphaGo vs AlphaGo series to take a look at another classic game, Honinbo Shusaku’s first castle game, against the 9th Yasui Sanchi (Shuntetsu). The program originally aired on April 12 on Twitch, and includes an update on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the Japanese professional go scene, as well as Michael’s historical insights into the four go houses, the castle games and the connections to modern go, including the influence of AI. Tune in on the AGA’s Twitch channel this Sunday at 7p EDT for the next live game commentary.

Download SGF File

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BadukPop app adds AI opponent

Notizie AGA - Ven, 22/05/2020 - 23:01

BadukPop has added several improvements in its latest update, including the ability to play against artificial intelligence. The popular go problem app, developed by Hajin Lee 4P and Dan Maas, works on both Android and iOS. The interface was designed to be fun for all ages, including kids, and now features 7 humorous AI characters you can play against. The weakest is Bobby – perfect for people who have just learned to play. Next up is Kevin whose “mind wanders off into deep space – and so do his go moves.” As players work their way up, the AI gets much stronger. “I love playing against Cora,” says Lee “she’s my new rival – I have about a 50/50 win rate against her, and it’s really fun to have a quick game with her now and then.” At the top is Max “a powerful AI that plays at human professional level.”

The app only supports games on 9×9 for now, but 13×13 and 19×19 are coming soon says Maas. A new section of lessons has been added as well. Designed as short sequences to teach new players, you can go from learning the rules to mastering basic corner and side positions. Like everything in BadukPop, the lessons are designed to be quick so one can learn something in just a few minutes, but build deep knowledge over time. Lee goes over the new features on her Youtube channel here. The app is free, but has in app purchases for extra features. Download from the Apple or Android stores, or from BadukPop’s website here. -Paul Barchilon, EJ Youth Editor

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Spareggio Italia - Israele

Home Page sito FIGG - Gio, 21/05/2020 - 19:06
Si conclude questa stagione del Pandanet European Team Go Championship, e l'Italia si classifica seconda della Serie B, guadagnando lo spareggio con Israele per tornare in Serie A!
Il match si terrà il 16 giugno 2020, sempre su Pandanet, non perdetelo!
Forza Italia!

Member’s Edition: Lessons with Kaz: Common Mistakes

Notizie AGA - Mar, 19/05/2020 - 07:00

Download SGF File

Published in the May 19, 2020 edition of the American Go E-Journal.

Kaz commented a couple months ago on this 2-stone handicap game, between 1 kyu and 1dan players, but Kaz notes, “However, I realized that I should have explained more. I’m also going to show more moves and comments.

A longtime contributor to the American Go E-Journal, former insei Kazunari Furuyama has returned with his popular EJ column, now in sgf files and re-named “Lessons with Kaz”. Visit his newly improved website, including the advice column and example problems. Kaz also has room for offline teaching.

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Torneo di Primavera 2020

Home Page sito FIGG - Lun, 18/05/2020 - 09:24
Salve giocatori,

considerando il protrarsi della quarantena, vi proponiamo per questo 24 maggio il primo appuntamento di una serie di eventi online che ci accompagneranno quest'anno, in sostituzione di quelli dal vivo.
Il Torneo di Primavera, organizzato dal ToscanaGo, sarà quindi ufficiale (classe D) e si terrà questa domenica in 3 turni da 40 minuti, con vari premi in palio.
Come tutti i tornei ufficiali FIGG viene richiesta l'iscrizione alla federazione, che eccezionalmente in questo 2020 varrà per due anni al prezzo di uno. Cogliete l'occasione!

Per pre-iscriversi, e tutte le info, questo è il link: https://toscanago.wordpress.com/2020/04/26/torneo-di-primavera/

Partecipate numerosi!

How we’re coping: the Austin Go Club blends KGS and video chat to keep connected

Notizie AGA - Lun, 18/05/2020 - 07:15

The Austin Go Club has continued to meet twice per week online on Tuesday evenings from 6-12PM and Saturday afternoons from 1-5PM. Players meet up on KGS in the Austin Go Club room where a Google Hangout link is posted, so that players who join the hangout can still see each other and carry on conversations. “Just like our face-to-face meetings prior to COVID-19, anyone is welcome to attend and play some games,” reports Bart Jacob. “Though we miss being in the same physical room, this has allowed us to continue playing each other and keep up-to-date on our lives and well being. We hope you can come visit!”

For more information email austingoclub@gmail.com.

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LIVE TONIGHT: Redmond and Garlock on AlphaGo vs Lee Sedol, Game 2

Notizie AGA - Dom, 17/05/2020 - 13:49

Tune in to the AGA’s Twitch channel tonight at 7p EDT to catch the live commentary by Michael Redmond 9P and Chris Garlock on AlphaGo vs Lee Sedol Game 2. As they write in their book AlphaGo to Zero: The Complete Games, “AlphaGo’s move 37 is the move heard ‘round the go world. The move that, if AlphaGo were human, would have been the equivalent of announcing that ‘There’s a new sheriff in town.’ On Main Street. At high noon. To call it shocking would be an understatement.” Tune in tonight at 7p, when viewers will be able to ask Redmond and Garlock questions during the live commentary.

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AlphaGo vs. AlphaGo; Game 40: It gets weird in the endgame

Notizie AGA - Sab, 16/05/2020 - 01:02

Michael Redmond 9p, hosted by the AGA E-Journal’s Chris Garlock, reviews the 40th game of the amazing AlphaGo vs. AlphaGo selfplay games. The 50-game series was published by Deepmind after AlphaGo’s victory over world champion Ke Jie 9p in May 2017.

Originally broadcast live on the AGA’s Twitch channel on April 5, in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Michael and Chris begin by checking in on the status of the professional go community in Japan, and they also talk about Michael’s YouTube channel, which he had just launched.

“In this game, AlphaGo is going to look a bit like two human players,” Michael says. The game starts with the mini-Chinese opening and the rest of the game “looks like a game two human players would play, but then it gets weird in the endgame.”

Also, tune in this Sunday on Twitch at 7p EDT for another live commentary on the historic 2016 AlphaGo vs Lee Sedol match; and you get to help choose which game Michael and Chris analyze! Click here now to vote!

AG #40 produced by Stephen Hu, Allen Moy and Chris Garlock

Download SGF File

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Submit stories to the AGA E-Journal

Notizie AGA - Sab, 16/05/2020 - 00:21

The American go community is always eager for reports of local tournaments, mentions of go for our Go Spotting column, new tools or study resources, and any go-related news. Please submit all your stories to our new E-Journal Article Submission form. With a growing team, our new submission method will allow us to better manage your article submissions, improve our workflow and publishing turn-around time. You can still get in touch with us by email for any inquiries related to the E-Journal or your subscription at journal@usgo.org!

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Upcoming AGA Board meeting May 17

Notizie AGA - Gio, 14/05/2020 - 09:22

The AGA Board is meeting on Sunday, May 17th at 8pm EDT.  Topics of discussion include: Financials, Investment Report, Budget, International Affairs, Update on Teaching, Update on Congress, a Privacy Policy, Online Ratings, and topics related to Coronavirus and no US Go Congress in 2020.
For more information, you can find the detailed agenda here.

Are you an AGA member interested in listening in to the meeting?  Please contact the Chairperson at lisa.scott@usgo.org for call-in information.

Are you interested in commenting on past board meeting minutes?  You can submit your comments here, and they’ll be available to entire board and relevant officers. Past minutes are available here.

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Member’s Edition: Guo Juan 5P on a Double Digit Kyu Game

Notizie AGA - Mar, 12/05/2020 - 07:00

Download SGF File

Commentary: Guo Juan 5P
Game Editor: Myron Souris
Published in the May 12, 2020 edition of the American Go E-Journal

In Guo Juan’s commentary of this double digit kyu game, stronger players will instantly recognize the inferior moves, but can still learn something from Guo Juan’s clear explanations of the correct moves.

Guo Juan 5P is a popular go teacher based in Amsterdam. Check out her online go school, featuring recorded lectures and problems presented in a Spaced Repetition System. Here you will learn and remember correct play. And there’s a one month free trial!

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Member’s Edition: Yilun Yang’s May Hard Life and Death Puzzle

Notizie AGA - Mar, 12/05/2020 - 07:00

Download SGF File

Black to play. Black clearly lacks eye shape. What to do?
Published in the May 12, 2020 edition of the American Go E-Journal.

Yilun Yang 7P is one of the most popular go teachers in the US. You can reach him at yly_go@yahoo.com.

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Go Spotting: The Rise of the Phoenixes

Notizie AGA - Lun, 11/05/2020 - 17:41

“The one minute trailer for the 2018 Chinese historical drama The Rise of 
the Phoenixes: Season 1 references Go four times,” reports Joel Sanet. “The first time shows a beautiful woman looking downward then cuts to a single black stone wobbling on an otherwise empty go board. The second time shows two men talking. One says, ‘Are you going to let one stone destroy your entire Go Board?’ The 3rd time shows a man placing the 3rd corner stone but it’s white! (Were the rules different back then or were the film makers just being lazy?) The 4th time is similar to the 3rd. The 3rd and 4th time go appears are preceded, separated, and followed by action scenes so at the least it is being used metaphorically. Hey, that’s better than just window dressing!”

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Letter From Seattle

Notizie AGA - Sab, 09/05/2020 - 14:39

Brian Allen, Operations Manager, Seattle Go Center

Nick Sibicky in Cyberspace

The Seattle Go Center has been closed due to coronavirus precautions for almost two months now. I still go there to check on the building, and to do office work. The neighborhood is much quieter, due to a huge reduction in traffic on nearby I-5, and in jets crossing above. The veterinary clinic downstairs is still open for urgent care, so the building doesn’t feel too lonely. They recently changed their name to “Caring Pet Clinic”, and put up new signs.

The pet clinic pays us rent, so it is very good to see them still open. Our financial situation is stable for now, but I worry about the effects of a long closure on the Go Center. Meanwhile, the plans for developing the property, with space for us in the new building, are proceeding energetically, despite COVID-19 worries. The property is owned by our benefactor, the Nihon Ki-in of Japan.

Our March calendar showed that we were planning to be open five days a week.  It also showed nine weekly meet-ups in the Seattle-Tacoma area, and two major festivals for outreach in April: Sakura-Con and Cherry Blossom Festival.  Tuesdays were our big days; we had 20-40 visitors each Tuesday this winter. All that has changed.  Some of those Tuesday players are meeting on go servers now at the same time of the week.  Go Center Member Bob (Mingcun) Fan reports that he is now playing Mr. Yao on OGS, and then they have a phone call to review the game.  This is happening with some of the meet-ups too. The Zoka coffeehouse group that used to meet in person on Monday and Friday mornings now meets on the KGS server, using the Go Center “room”.  Member Frank Brown writes that about six players have made the transition, while three others have not, for various reasons. 

Member Dan Cooper is sad that the Seattle Go Center closed. He really enjoyed watching other people’s games in person. Now he spends a lot of time watching games on KGS in his apartment. Deborah Niedermeyer misses “Go Center players’ quiet wry humor, accompanied by the rhythm of clicking stones.” Now she sometimes plays quick games online, sandbagging as “Goldilocks”.

Seattle Go Center members have been taking advantage of online Go education for years.  Some have private online lessons with pros, while others are part of the American Yunguseng Dojang.  Our Wednesday SDK class with Jonathan (Chin Jung) Cheng has now gone completely online.   This class is designed for 9K – 1D players.  He is doing a series on using opening moves suggest by AI.  Jonathan teaches the class live on Wednesdays from 6-7 pm PDT through Zoom. He also posts the lectures afterwards on YouTube .

Before COVID-19, Nick Sibicky used to give his DDK lectures in front of a live audience at the Go Center on Monday nights, and then posted them on Youtube.  Now he is recording them at home. He is up to lecture #387!  Nick’s popular lessons were originally intended for double digit kyu players, but his scope has widened to include many issues of interest to stronger players as well.  His most recent lecture at the Go Center was with Nihon Ki-in Pro Daiki Komatsu in early March.

Washington State Governor Jay Inslee recently announced “Washington’s Phased Approach” to reopening, with four phases.  The Seattle Go Center Board of Directors will meet online to decide how our organization fits into the opening rubric. Certainly, it will be a while before we open.  In the meantime, I will finish washing all the go stones.
Photo and Report by Brian Allen, Operations Manager, Seattle Go Center.

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Member’s Edition: Albert Yen 7d on USA vs China

Notizie AGA - Mar, 05/05/2020 - 07:00

Download SGF File

White: Albert Yen 7d (USA)
Black: Ren Ke (China)
Commentary: Albert Yen 7d
Game Editor: Myron Souris
Published in the May 5, 2020 edition of the American Go E-Journal

In this incredible game from round 1 of the US-China Internet Go Tournament, Albert’s opponent is Ren Ke, who was the Chinese National Amateur Champion in 2019. Buckle up for this roller coaster ride of a review – Albert guides the reader through large scale exchanges, life and death problems, ko fights and ko threats, time pressure strategies, and territory counting. Albert also includes extra playout sequences from Leela for variations that the reader may find helpful.

Albert Yen is an 8 dan player from Chicago. He first started playing go at the age of five after watching Hikaru no Go on television, and became 6 dan in Taiwan when he was 7. Albert continued to compete in America after he moved to Chicago in fifth grade and studied under Jiang Mingjiu 7p. To date, he has made several showings in national and international tournaments, including winning representation to the World Youth Goe Championship in 2014, 1st place in the Redmond Cup in 2015, and 4th place at the 2019 World Amateur Go Championship. Albert is currently a second year undergraduate student in UIC’s GPPA BA/MD program in Chicago. Outside of go, Albert enjoys running and ping pong.

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