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Ryan Li 1p upsets Chen Yaoye 9p to move to MLily Final 16

Mer, 21/06/2017 - 23:22

American Go Association pro Ryan Li 1p, of Canada, has defeated two-time world champion Chen Yaoye 9p in the second round of the MLily Meng Baihe Cup World Go Open Tournament.

Li, who the day before defeated Cheng Honghao 2p in a 363-move game, played as black against Chen. After a fierce middle game fight, Li (left) settled his groups and took a small lead. The two got into a lengthy ko fight but Li held on to win by 2.5 points at the end of the 327-move game (see game record below). The four-and-a-half-hour game was broadcast live on the AGA’s YouTube channel with commentary by Jennie Shen 2P with Andrew Jackson, and can be viewed here.

The 27-year-old Chen’s accomplishments as a pro include defeating Lee Sedol 9p in the 2013 Chunlan Cup and Ke Jie 9p, the top current player, for the 2016 Bailing Cup, as well as winning 17 other national and continental titles.

Li, who is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in earth sciences at Yale, became the fourth AGA-certified pro in 2015. He has represented North America several times and scored wins over Asian pros before, including defeating Japan’s young talent, Mutsuura Yuta 2p, in the 2016 IEMG in China.

He will face Li Xuanhao 6p on August 24 in the top 16 of the MLily Cup. The winner receives about US $260,000 USD and the runner up close to $90,000.
- reported by Edward Zhang; editing by Andy Okun, sgf file produced by Myron Souris

download SGF file

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Upcoming Go Events: Mountain View and Boston

Lun, 19/06/2017 - 23:52

June 19-23: Mountain View, CA
2017 Summer Go Day Camp
Mingjiu Jiang mingjiu7p@hotmail.com 650-796-1602

June 28: Boston, MA
The Surrounding Game: Boston Premiere
Will Lockhart 917-349-2113

Get the latest go events information.

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MLily: Ryan Li 1p Vs. Chen Yaoye 9p in Second Round; AGA Broadcasts

Lun, 19/06/2017 - 22:58

The AGA Broadcast team will provide coverage of two games from Round 2 of the 3rd Lily Cup tomorrow, June 20th, starting at 10:30 p.m. PDT (UTC-7), with commentary by Jennie Shen 2p. Our very own Ryan Li 1p, winning yesterday against Cheng Honghao 2p, now faces world champ Chen Yaoye 9p. Elsewhere in the tournament, Wang Haoyang 6p scored an upset win against Shin Jinseo, the rising Korean phenom, which wins him the chance to play DeepZenGo in round 2.

Join us at http://www.youtube.com/c/usgoweb/live or http://twitch.tv/usgoweb !

 

The MLily cup is the first traditional tournament in which AI players are seeded just as their human counterparts, and it may also be the last, with Tygem China News reporting that no future Chinese tournaments will allow AI entrants.

 
 
 

Here is Ryan Li’s monster 363(!) move 1st round win over Cheng Honghao 2p:

download SGF file

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Go Congress registration tops 450

Dom, 18/06/2017 - 13:53

More than 450 attendees have already registered for this year’s US Go Congress, set for August 5-13 in San Diego at the Town and Country Resort. So far eleven North American-based professional go players have accepted invitations to attend, including Myungwan Kim 9P, Yilun Yang 7P, Mingjiu Jiang 7P, Cathy Li 1P, Shirley Lin 1P, Jennie Shen 2P, Stephanie Yin 1P, Eric Lui 1P, Ryan Li 1P, Andy Liu 1P and William Shi 1P. “Every afternoon and evening during the Congress — except Wednesday which is a day for sight-seeing — these pros will be lecturing, playing simultaneous exhibitions and analyzing Go Congress players’ games,” reports Congress Co-Director Ted Terpstra. “Multiple sessions will be going on at once, so it may be difficult to go to all of the events that one would like. The complete schedule will be released as soon as it is ready.” In addition to all of the pro events, will be a five-day workshop by noted European-based go teacher In-seong Hwang. Also, foreign professional go players from China, Japan and Korea will be coming to the Congress to teach. More details on them and their lectures will be forthcoming. All of these sessions are included in the price of Congress registration.
photo: main playing area at the 2016 US Go Congress; photo by Chris Garlock

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Power Report (2): AlphaGo plays itself; Iyama extends lead in Honinbo title match; Yuki wins 1,200 games; 42nd Kisei S League

Gio, 15/06/2017 - 15:00

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal

AlphaGo plays itself: As already reported in the E-Journal, AlphaGo triumphed at the Future of Go Summit held in China from May 23 to 27. At the end of the summit, the Deep Mind company announced that they were putting up records of 50 games AlphaGo played with itself on their home page. Playing itself is how AlphaGo improves. Apparently it can finish a game in about three seconds, which means it could play about 30,000 games a day. However, the 50 games mentioned above were played more slowly. The development team mentioned that theoretically the current version is about three stones stronger than the version that played Lee Sedol.  This is a detail that it’s better not to dwell on. If interested, you can find the game records here; I looked at Game 1 while confirming the address. It doesn’t look like any game record I’ve seen before.

Iyama extends lead in Honinbo title match: The third game of the 72nd Honinbo title match was played at the Shotenzan Kankiin temple in Kumagaya City, Saitama Prefecture, on June 8 and 9. Fighting started early and spread all over the board. The defending champion, Iyama Yuta or Monyu Honinbo, played black and fought with his characteristic shrewdness, securing a resignation after move 137. The challenger, Motoki Katsuya 8P, faces his first kadoban in the fourth game, scheduled for 15 and 16.

Yuki wins 1,200 games: In a game in Preliuminary A of the 43rd Meijin tournament, played on June 8 at the Kansai Ki-in, Yuki Satoshi 9P beat Mine Yasuhiro 4P and became the youngest player to win 1,200 games. He is 45 years three months old, and his winning record is 1,200 wins, 506 losses, two jigo, which gives him an excellent winning record of 70%. Until now, the age record was 48 years seven months, set by Cho Chikun. Yuki became a professional in 1984; he has won 14 titles, including the Tengen and Judan titles once each and the NHK Cup five times. He is the seventh player to reach this landmark. Top is Cho Chikun with 1,503 wins.

42nd Kisei S League: In the first game of the second round, played on June 8, Cho U 9P (B) beat Kono Rin 9P by resig. Both players are now 1-1. Yamashita Keigo 9P and Ichiriki Ryo 7P have one win and Murakawa Daisuke 8P and So Yokoku 9P one loss. Cho and Kono were the players who met in the playoff to decide the challenger in the previous tournament. In the A League, which has seven rounds, the only undefeated player after the completion of Round 4 is Kyo Kagen 4P. On June 1, Kyo (W) beat Takao Shinji Meijin by resig.

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Power Report (1): Iyama makes LG Best Eight; Korea wins 7th Hunglongshi Cup; Iyama edges closer to winning Meijin League

Mer, 14/06/2017 - 14:54

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal

Iyama makes LG Best Eight: 
The first two rounds of the 22nd LG Cup were held in Korea on May 29 and 31. Three players from Japan took part and their results were as follows.
Round 1 (round of 32, May 29). Iyama Yuta 9P (W) beat Lee Yeongku 9P (Korea) by resig.; Ida Atsushi 8P (B) beat Choe Cheong 7P (Korea) by resig.; Kang Tongyun 9P (Korea) (W) beat Ichiriki Ryo 7P by resig.
Round 2 (May 31) Iyama (B) beat Zhou Ruiyang 9P (China) by resig.; Shin Jinseo 8p (Korea) beat Ida by resig.
Japan has only three seats in the round of 32 because of poor results in the past, which denied it more seeded places. Iyama has to miss some of the international tournaments because of scheduling clashes with domestic titles, but he is making an effort to make more international appearances. Reaching the quarterfinals is his best result for a while. Zhou Ruiyang was the runner-up in this title last year, so beating him is a good sign for Iyama.

Korea wins 7th Hunglongshi Cup: This is a women’s team tournament for five-player teams from China, Korea, and Japan. The format is a progressive knock-out, like the Nong Shim Cup, that is, each player keeps playing till she loses a game. The first seven games were played from April 20 to 23. In the second game, played on April 20 (as of this term, two games are being played on most days), Japan picked up its only win when Nyu Eiko beat Zhou Hungyu of China. The other members of the team, Xie Yimin, Fujisawa Rina, O Keii, and Mukai Chiaki, failed to make a contribution. Korea won the tournament in the 13th game without needing to field their fifth player. They scored seven wins to five for China and one for Japan.

Iyama edges closer to winning Meijin League: An important game in the 42nd Meijin League was played recently. At this stage, only three players were still in the running to win the league: Iyama Yuta on 5-0 and Yamashita Keigo 9P and Murakawa Daisuke 8P, who were both on 4-2. On June 5, Iyama (B) beat Yamashita by resig. This improved Iyama’s score to 6-0 and put Yamashita, now 4-3, out of the running. Murakawa will play Iyama in July, but beating Iyama is not enough; he needs Yo Seiki 7P, Iyama’s opponent in the final round in August, to beat him as well while he has to beat Hane Naoki 9P in his final game to tie with Iyama.
Other recent results: (June 1) Ko Iso 8P (W) beat Hane Naoki by resig.; Murakawa Daisuke  (W) beat Kono Rin 9P by resig.

Tomorrow: AlphaGo plays itself; Iyama extends lead in Honinbo title match; Yuki wins 1,200 games; 42nd Kisei S League


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Go Spotting: A doctor’s story of her dying patient, who loved go

Lun, 12/06/2017 - 15:00
A heartfelt account of a doctor’s involvement in an elderly go-playing man’s transition to hospice was featured in The Washington Post recently reports Gwen Patton.  Dr. Aroonsiri Sangarlangkarn tells the story of the bond she formed with her patient, pointing out the “struggle to provide continuity of care despite multiple hand-offs” that physicians face today.  Through her account, readers come to learn about Dr. Sangarlangkarn’s patient, Roger, “the man who loved go.”  Slowly dying from end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), Roger was an eccentric man without many friends.  Initially viewing Roger neither as her patient nor as her friend, Dr. Aroonsiri recounts her growing friendship with the man, coming to understand his childhood background, religious views, and his love for the game of go. As Roger’s condition worsened, Dr. Aroonsiri was faced with the challenge of telling her friend that he was dying.  She came to learn firsthand the importance for today’s healthcare providers to connect with their patients on a “meaningful level”. In the end, Dr. Aroonsiri expressed her appreciation for establishing a close relationship with her patient.  She explained to her colleague, Ben, that she was grateful to take care of Roger since “He doesn’t really have a friend to advocate for him.”  To which Ben replied, “Well, he does.  You are his friend.”
- Brian Kirby; graphic by Brett Ryder/Health Affairs
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Nominations to AGA Board closing soon

Lun, 12/06/2017 - 02:02
Chris Kirschner and Martin Lebl have been nominated to the Western and Central regions respectively. A competitive election is expected in the east with Steve Colburn running against incumbent Diego Pierrottet.  Nominations, including self-nominations, may be made by full members for the region in which the member resides by June 15. Chapters should check their membership roles for recent and upcoming expirations which may affect their vote count. Nominations and questions must be emailed to elections@usgo.org. Election information and qualification info are available at AGA Board Elections | American Go Association
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Go Spotting: Billions

Gio, 08/06/2017 - 15:00

The second season of Showtime’s television drama, Billions, features go in its fifth episode, reports Joe Maia (previously reported here). The series, loosely based on a true story, portrays a high-stake legal battle between U.S. Attorney Chuck Rhoades and hedge-fund manager, Bobby Axelrod. In the episode, Rhoades (played by Paul Giamatti) enters a conference room to find one of his lawyers, Brian, and finds him playing one of several active go club games. After Rhoades points out that he had tried calling, Brian replies that they put all of their phones in a basket before they play because “go players didn’t have cellphones in ancient times.” Rhoades gets back to business, telling Brian that he needs to coordinate with the FBI to set up surveillance. He’s about to leave when he remembers, “Oh, I almost forgot…  You’d better block that monkey jump at the bottom.” The series currently airs Sundays on Showtime.

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WAGC Update: China wins WAGC; US’ Danny Ko in 4th

Gio, 08/06/2017 - 06:16
by Thomas Hsiang, special correspondent to the E-Journal In the WAGC’s 7th round, the top three tables featured China vs. Russia, Japan vs. DPR Korea, and Taiwan vs. Korea.  China came in at 6-0 and the other were at 5-1.  Bai Baoxiang had no problem with Dmitry Surin; North Korea played brilliantly to defeat Sakamoto Shusaku of Japan; then Taiwan’s Lai Yucheng surprised most people with an upset over Korean Lee Sangbin.  Lee had played a lot of the new “AlphaGo style” moves in this tournament, but for this game his “alpha-like” 4-4 attachment against B’s 3-4 and ogeima enclosure actually led to a very bad early result that he could not recover.  After that, Bai vs Lai in round 8 became a fight for the championship. Click here for complete results. Bai played a very calm game in round 8, playing solidly and keeping the game close; then pulled ahead in the end game to win the championship.  Lai Yucheng dropped to third.  The second table featured a north-south all-Korean game.  Ri JinUng played very well and led most of the game.  However, in the end game, he repeatedly made errors – missing sente moves, etc – to give away the game by 0.5 point.  Ri dropped from 2nd to 6th due to the loss, a game he will not forget for a long time.  South Korea moved up to second place.  In fourth place was the US’ own Danny Ko, who played solidly in his late-round games.  Japan took fifth after defeating the Czech Republic.  From 7th to 10th are, in order, Romania, Hong Kong, Russia, and Czechia.  Canadian Gong Yujie placed 15th, while Mexico’s Emil Garcia was 17th after winning 5 games in the tournament – a Mexican record in this tournament! Thus concludes another successful chapter of this unique international amateur go event.  Guiyang City offered great hospitality and a beautiful setting.  Next year’s WAGC will move to Tokyo and back to the May schedule (May 2-9, 2018).  In 2019, the 40th WAGC will be held in Matsue City of Shimane prefecture.  In 2020, WAGC moves to Vladivostok, the Far East Russian seaport, assuming the sponsor agrees to the schedule. photo (top, l-r) Lai Yucheng (Taiwan), Bai Baoxiang (China), Lee Sangbin (Korea); (bottom, l-r): Emil Garcia (Mexico), Danny Ko and Thomas Hsiang (US), Yujie Gong (Canada).
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Coffee Cup Set For June 17 in Santa Monica

Gio, 08/06/2017 - 02:38

This year’s Santa Monica Coffee Cup will be held Saturday, June 17, at the legendary UnUrban Coffeehouse. First prize in each division is the eponymous Santa Monica Coffee Cup, lovingly hand painted by Southern California craftspeople, in this year’s theme color of Nattier blue. Coffee beans, certificates and hand-painted tiles will also be awarded at the close of the three-round AGA rated event. More details and pre-registration here. The tournament’s design committee, moved by recent results in AI research, is debating whether to replace next year’s designated color, sangue de boeuf, with stargoon, catbabel, or clardic fug. More information at coffeecup@okun.name.

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Go Spotting: HBO’s “Vice” and the Lane County Museum

Mer, 07/06/2017 - 15:00
HBO’s “Vice”: The fifth season of HBO’s newsmagazine documentary series Vice features go in its eleventh episode, writes Gordon Castanza.  Produced by Bill Maher, Vice is a documentary TV series hosted by Shane Smith aiming to tackle global issues often overlooked by traditional media.  The episode, titled Engineering Immortality & Robot Revolution, starts out on the topic of “Engineering Immortality”, covering scientific advancements with potential to lead to an explosion in human longevity.  The show then transitions to the “Robot Revolution”, showing examples the unfolding revolution of creating systems intelligent enough to actually think for themselves. The show features an interview with the renowned Demis Hassabis in an interview covering the significance of game research.  To see if DeepMind had “successfully built artificial human intuition”, VICE travelled to South Korea to cover the match between AlphaGo and Lee Sedol.  Noting the result of the match, the documentary points out that AlphaGo’s win “reinforced the idea that we may be on the brink of transformative artificial intelligence,” warning of the potential consequences that artificial intelligence may bring.  When questioned about the potential dangers of today’s “Robot Revolution”, Demis Hassabis replied that, “Most technologies are inherently neutral, but it depends on how society uses them and deploys them that ends up determining whether they end up being for good or for bad.” The series currently airs Monday through Thursday at 7:30p ET on HBO. Lane County Museum Castanza also reports that he spotted a July 1942 photo of two Japanese men playing go at the Farm Security Administration farm workers’ camp in Twin Falls, Idaho at the Lane County Museum in Eugene, Oregon.

General and I: The popular historical romance drama General and I has an entire episode featuring go, reports Crystal Lin.  In episode 52 of the series, heroine Bai Ping Ting is challenged to a game of blind go against an unknown and unseen player.  Little does she know, Bai Ping Ting’s opponent is Chu Bei Jie – her lover and adversary, who believes Bai Ping Ting to be dead. Through a vivid portrayal of the match, the director illustrates the players’ moves through a ninja-like battle on a simulated go board, as the players shout out their moves.  In a dramatic climax of the scene, Bai Ping Ting realizes her opponent from his style of play. Click here for a summary of the episode, along with a video clip illustrating Bai Ping Ting and Chu Bei Jie’s exciting match.
- edited by Brian Kirby
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WAGC Update: Only China remains undefeated

Mer, 07/06/2017 - 05:40
by Thomas Hsiang, special correspondent to the E-Journal

The morning’s round 5 was highlighted by an exciting game between China and DPR Korea, won by China with the smallest margin of 0.5 point.  US rep Danny Ko lost to Cornel Burzo and fell to the 2-loss group.  Japan’s Sakata Shusaku has been playing well since he lost in the second round.  He met Hong Kong’s Chan Naisan and played a strong game from the start, giving his opponent no real chance of coming back. In the afternoon, the top game was China vs. Korea. Because of the large number of spectators, the playing area had to be screened off by a “chair wall”.  The game lasted well after all other games had finished and remained close.  But in the end, Korea made a yose mistake and had to resign.  Japan defeated Romania and sent Burzo to two losses.  Russia’s veteran Dmitry Surin defeated Czech Lukas Podpera to remain the only 1-loss Western player.  Danny Ko played Thailand’s Vorawat Tanapatsopol and fell behind by quite a bit late in the game and had also entered his last period of 30-second byo-yomi. But Ko played a well-designed whole-board yose trap to overtake his opponent.  When his opponent resigned, Danny Ko had played his last sixty or so moves within the last byo-yomi period. Entering the last two rounds tomorrow, the picture is clearer.  Having won all his games, China’s Bai Baoxiang has the championship in his control.  There are five countries at one-loss: Japan, Korea, DPR Korea, Taiwan, and Russia.  These six will play each other in round 7: China vs. Russia, Korean vs. Taiwan, and Japan vs. DPR Korea.

photo: WAGC headquarters hotel; Guiyang Sheraton set next to a large Ming-dynasty temple
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Go Spotting: Wild Kratts

Mar, 06/06/2017 - 15:00
Wild Kratts features go in its episode, Pangolin Rescue, writes Ryan Carroll.  Wild Kratts is an educational animated series aimed at children, created by Chris and Martin Kratt.  In the Pangolin Rescue, the Wild Kratts learn about the ground pangolin, before getting an alert from Chinese Wild Kratts Kids Yi and Duyi that someone has set traps to capture Chinese pangolins, a critically endangered species.  The show features Yi and Duyi playing go as they wait for the Wild Kratts to arrive in China.  The Kratt brothers need to use “Pangolin Powers” to free the captured pangolins and save them from becoming Smoothies.
- edited by Brian Kirby
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WAGC Day 2 Report: China, South Korea, and North Korea undefeated after 4 rounds

Lun, 05/06/2017 - 23:54
by Thomas Hsiang, special correspondent to the E-JournalFor day 2 of the 38th World Amateur Go Championship, there were no major surprises at the top tables.  Round 3 in the morning saw US and Russia lose to China and North Korea respectively; Thailand lose to Czech; Austria lose to Hong Kong; and France lose to South Korea.  The Czech player Lukas Podpera caught a lot of attention after he beat Lai Yucheng from Taiwan yesterday.  In round 3 he played a strong game against the Thai representative Vorawat Tanapatsopol, a Go teacher from Bangkok, and won.  

There were a number of strong games in round 4.  At the end, only three undefeated players remain – China, South Korea, and North Korea.  The round started with an exciting game between Hong Kong’s Chan Naisan and South Korean Lee Sangbin.  “Lee is just too strong”, sighed Chan after losing a well-fought game.  Lukas Podpera lost by just 0.5 point to North Korean Ri Jin-Ung (whose name was mis-spelled in yesterday’s report).  Anoother Go teacher, Romanian Cornel Burzo lost to China in a game that finished very late and attracted many Chinese Go reporters. The match between Japan’s Sakamoto Shusaku and Vietnam’s 12-year old Vo Duy Minh (right) also attracted a lot of media attention, although the result was hardly surprising.  Danny Ko recovered to defeat the player from Macao. For round 5 on Tuesday, the top games will be China vs. North Korea, Finland vs. South Korea, Japan vs. Hong Kong, and US vs. Romania.
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Redmond plans new video series on AlphaGo-AlphaGo games

Lun, 05/06/2017 - 23:30

Michael Redmond 9P is planning a new video series exploring the recently-released set of 50 games AlphaGo played against itself. “They’re really interesting and complex games,” he tells American Go E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock in a short video announcing the series just released on the AGA’s YouTube channel. “The openings feature a lot of 3-3 invasions, the middle game is very complicated and I’m looking forward to taking a close look at the endgame.” Production on the new series will begin later this month; stay tuned for updates on release plans.

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Players needed to test online go and chess tournament site

Lun, 05/06/2017 - 15:00
The Mindsports Academy is seeking play-testers for their online playing program. The Academy was created in 2013 by Mindsports International in an effort to respond to growing demand for organized Mindsports events. The Mindsports Academy membership gives individuals and clubs the opportunity to become part of a worldwide network of players participating both online and in live evens. The Mindsports program includes games like chess, Scrabble, Magic: The Gathering, and, of course, go. As part of their program, Go and Chess Tournaments are now running online, and they’re looking for players to help test the site. In return for playing and giving feedback to the developers, players will be given free “shields,” an item needed to play in the sportsroom. Feedback should be sent to jgeeser@mindsportsinternational.com along with your screen name so as to be credited with rewards for participation. - edited by Noah Doss
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WAGC Day 1 Report: Early strong pairings

Dom, 04/06/2017 - 17:02

by Thomas Hsiang, special correspondent to the E-Journal

The pairing for WAGC this year, as in 2016, uses a Chinese algorithm that does not pre-order the players. Therefore some early strong pairings have already taken place on the first day.  In round 1, Japanese 7D Sakamoto Shusaku met with South Korean Lee Sangbin, with Lee winning a tough match.  In the second round, Taiwanese representative 7D Lai Yucheng lost to Czech 7D Lukas Podpera by 2.5 points, producing the first major upset.  US representative Danny Ko fought a difficult battle with German Lukas Kraemer and achieved a 2-0 result.  After the game, former world champion Yoo Changhuh reviewed the game for the players in great detail and Danny said that he felt like he had improved from the review.  He will need the extra strength as he prepares to meet Chinese Bai Baoxiang in the third round.  Bai has won the WAGC once previously already.  Canadian representative Yujie Gong lost in the second round to long-time Polish mainstay Leszek Soldan and was 1-1 going into the second day.  Other players who drew special interest include the DPR Korea player Jin Ungri who, although listed only as 4D, defeated a number of famous North Korean players to emerge as the country’s first representative to WAGC in several years; the 12-year old Vo Duyminh from Vietnam and the 72-year old Zoran Mutabzija from Croatia, who the youngest and oldest players respectively.  Jin easily won his first two games so far, while the other two were both 1-1 with Vo given a forfeiture after he misread the schedule and was late by 25 minutes in the first round.  In the third round, the strongest pairings include Danny Ko vs. Bai Baoxiang, Russian Dmitry Surin vs. Lee Sangbin, and Hong Kong 7D Chan Naisan vs. Austrian Victor Lin.

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Go Spotting: Misaeng (An Incomplete Life)

Dom, 04/06/2017 - 15:00
by Daniel Acheson “Misaeng,” which means “an incomplete life,” is a 2014 South Korean television drama about 26-year old Jang Geu-rae and his struggles adapting to corporate life after failing to qualify as a professional go player. Starting with the show’s title, which refers to the life and death status of a group of stones, “Misaeng” is suffused with go imagery and references. Flashbacks to Geu-rae’s go career pepper the storyline, and there are many scenes where the game is used to make analogous connections to his internship. In one episode, for example, Geu-rae adapts his go study system to completely reorganize his section’s shared files, which are a hopeless mess. While this may not sound like much, this early assignment, and the drama that surrounds it, becomes a pivotal moment in the story’s development. Geu-rae’s corporate environment also mimics life on the goban: Among the interns and staff there is fierce competition for survival and promotion. Like the middle game, opening moves – education, internships, career choices – have determined certain relationships, and the characters must find opportunities to advance within (or in spite of) the constraints imposed by their past actions. In this respect Geu-rae is at a distinct disadvantage. Due to the hermetic years spent studying go, Geu-rae possesses none of the educational or social advantages of his peers. He is armed only with a high-school equivalency exam certificate and an aptitude for undertaking difficult, thankless work. Nothing about his start with One International is auspicious. Geu-rae’s manager, Oh Sang-shik, regards this new intern as an unqualified burden and openly voices hopes that Geu-rae will fail. Among peers Geu-rae is known as a “bomb,” meaning someone who will explode under the pressures of the internship and thus fail. Yet Geu-rae surprises everyone with his fortitude. In a similar way, I think “Misaeng” will also pleasantly surprise its viewers. Although the show starts slowly, each episode builds momentum and invests viewers more and more in the characters and their storylines. The data confirms this: Average ratings for “Misaeng” jumped fivefold from its premier in October 2014 to its conclusion in December of that year. One reason for this popularity, I think, is that it is relatable. In 2012, when “Misaeng” started as a webtoon, its creator, Yoon Tae-ho, began with “countless interviews with real-life people who work for corporations.” “Explain it to me as if you were explaining it to a middle school student,” he would say to his interviewees. “If you really want to know about something, you have to have the courage to look like an idiot, the courage to say you don’t know anything about what they know.” As a result Geu-rae’s world, and with that of his contemporaries, feels real and lived in precisely because it is the world inhabited by so many in their personal and professional lives. The struggle for complete life is as present on the goban as it is in the office or home, even if it is less evident. It’s also something that each player must face on their own despite being in the company of others. This is the essence of “Misaeng.” “Misaeng” is available on Hulu Plus. Quotes from The Korea Herald and Korea Joongang Daily
photo (bottom left): Webtoon writer Yoon Tae-ho poses in his office prior to an interview with The Korea Herald on March 7. (Lee Sang-sub/The Korea Herald)
Edited by Howard Wong
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IGF meetings kick off 38th World Amateur Go Championship in Guiyang, China

Dom, 04/06/2017 - 01:06
by Thomas Hsiang, special correspondent to the E-JournalThe 38th World Amateur Go Championship is being held at the five-star Guiyang Sheraton Hotel in downtown Guiyang, China.  On June 3, the first day, the International Go Federation held its annual Board and General Assembly meetings.  A number of important announcements were made by Chairman Chang Zhenming, president and chairman of CITIC Securities, Inc:
  • The next three WAGC’s will be held in Tokyo May 2-9, 2018; in Matsue City of the Shimane Perfecture in 2019; and in Vladevostok, Russia, in 2020.  Maxim Volkov, president of Russian Go Federation, was on hand to celebrate the announcement.
  • IGF will host the “CITIC Securities Cup” – the First International Artificial Intelligence Go Open – on August 16-17, 2017, in the City of Ordos of Inner Mongolia, China.  16 programs will be entered into the competition from over the world.  Generous prizes will be provided.
  • IGF offers a $20,000 grant to support the First Latin America Go Congress, to be held October 12-16, 2017 in Cancun, Mexico.
  • The Second IMSA Elite Mind Games, participated by IGF, will be held December 8-16, 2017 in Huai’an City, China.  This event will continue at least through 2019.
  • The 2017 Pair Go World Cup will be held August 7-10, 2017 in Tokyo.
  • A new member, the Republic of Georgia, was admitted and is now the 77th member of IGF.
Mr. Hiroaki Dan, chairman of Nihon Kiin and vice president of IGF, made the proposal for IGF to take on surveying and building up go instructional materials for schools.  The proposal was approved unanimously by the Board and will become a priority for IGF in the next few years.  Chairman Chang made the following declaration on behalf of IGF: “In recognition of the benefit of Go in the development of intelligence and character of youths, IGF will promote Go education in schools by surveying its members for existing Go educational materials worldwide, followed by sponsoring studies that consolidate these materials to build systematic educational content and pedagogy.  We welcome active participation from IGF members.” Mr. Chang also called on IGF to take up studies to work toward a universal ruleset and to establish a universal rating system. After the General Assembly, the traditional ceremony to draw pairing was held.  In the evening, a lavish dinner banquet concluded the busy day.  Tomorrow the first two rounds of competition will be held.
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