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AlphaGo vs. AlphaGo; Game 24: More human?

Sab, 17/11/2018 - 11:40

“It could be that the way humans play go is changing, but in this game AlphaGo plays a lot of moves that human players are playing these days,” says Michael Redmond 9P in the latest installment of his game commentaries with E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock. “There’s a lot of fighting, as usual, but the territory is balanced and right up into the endgame there are groups whose life and death status is ambiguous,” Redmond says. “That affects the way the endgame is played, which makes it really interesting.”

Thanks to NGC Executive Director Gurujeet Khalsa for technical support, Jeff Fitzgerald for camera, lighting and sound; produced by Nathan Epstein and Michael Wanek.

download SGF file

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Charles French – 1928-2018: a personal good-bye

Ven, 16/11/2018 - 06:06

by Keith Arnold

I loved Charles French.  That is a term I do not throw around much, but I loved Charles French,who passed away, age 90 on November 13.  All of us, who can remember the time before a stroke severely limited his tournament, workshop and Congress attendance, will recall him fondly.

Charley found go as a chess player fairly early in his life, but never truly got to play until he found the AGA in his retirement. His enthusiasm for the game was perhaps the greatest I have ever witnessed, and he played with a glee that would rival any child.

He also played at a pace rivaled only by a glacier.  His determination and concentration were amazing and he played with deliberate joy, outlasting if not outplaying you.  Indeed, his motionless pose before the go board became a thing of legend, immortalized by me in my poem “Charley at the Ban.”

He was an inveterate tournament goer and congress attendee.  Charley ran a go club from his home in Pennsylvania for many years and, with skills from his work as Treasurer of  the Philadelphia Gas Works, he patiently sorted out some long neglected tax issues for the AGA back in the 1990s. He was a favorite student of Jujo Jiang, who unfailingly asked about him long after he stopped holding his Cleveland Workshops.  He reached 2 kyu, a respectable achievement for a man who started playing in retirement. The AGA database shows 522 games and 108 tournaments, but many of his games were too early for the database to capture.

Charley was a wonderful man, a gentleman of the last century in every good way, and perhaps a few of the bad, that term implies.  He was unfailingly courteous, polite, generous and kind. He loved family and children and above all a good joke and a laugh. Charley also appreciated women, a handsome man, he enjoyed attention, and yes,  to be waited upon, but was always thankful and full of praise for the efforts of others.

Probably because he loved my wife, we spent many, many July weekends at his home on the Jersey Shore.  These were truly some of the favorite times of my life, well fed and taken care of by his wife Addie, and the only price of admission endless games (and with Charley games were endless)  in the sun on the deck. And “Uncle Charley’s” delight and joy in the arrival of our daughter is something I will always remember and appreciate.

stalwart opponent
always, now forever, I
await your next move

 

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The Power Report: Samsung Cup update; Yamashita becomes Kisei challenger, sets record; Fujisawa extends lead in Women’s Honinbo challenge; New Faces in Meijin League

Gio, 15/11/2018 - 03:29

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Samsung Cup: Ke v. Ahn, China v. Korea: 
The best-of-three semifinals for the 23rd Samsung Cup were held at a Samsung Research Center in Taejeon City, Korea. Results were as follows:
(Game 1, Nov. 5) Ke Jie 9P (China) (W) beat Xie Erhao 9P (China) by resig.; Ahn Kukhyun 8P (Korea) (W) beat Tang Weixing 9P (China) by resig.
(Game 2, Nov. 6) Xie (W) beat Ke by 1.5 points; Ahn (B) beat Tang by resig.
(Game 3, Nov. 7) Ke (W) beat Xie by resig.
Ke and Ahn will meet in the best-of-three final on December, 3, 4 and 5. Ke will be vying for his sixth international title; Ahn will be making his debut in an international final.

Yamashita becomes Kisei challenger, sets record: The play-off to decide the challenger for the 43rd Kisei title was held at the Tokyo headquarters of the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo on November 9. It featured Yamashita Keigo 9P (left), winner of the S League, and Kono Rin 9P, who was second in the S League but who earned his seat in the play-off by defeating Onishi Ryuhei 3P in the final knockout tournament. Taking white, Yamashita beat Kono by resignation. Although the final is called a “best-of-three,” this was enough for Yamashita to win it, as the S League winner starts with a one-game advantage. Unusually for a big game, this also marked a landmark in Yamashita’s career: his 1,000thwin. He was the 24thplayer in Japan to reach this mark and, at 25 years seven months, the fastest. He broke the record set by Yuki Satoshi 9P of the Kansai Ki-in of 27 years one month.

The title match with Iyama Yuta will start on January 10. The Kisei will be a familiar arena for Yamashita, as he held the title for one term in 2003 (the 27thKisei) and for four years in a row from 2006 to 2009 (30thto 33rd). He also made three unsuccessful challenges in a row to Iyama Yuta: he lost the 38thto 40thtitle matches (2014 to 2016) 2-4, 3-4, and 0-4 in sequence. This may be a good time to challenge Iyama, as he seems a little vulnerable recently. First, though, Yamashita has to try to win the Tengen title match between the two that is now tied 1-1. A win here would give him a good springboard for the new year.

Fujisawa extends lead in Women’s Honinbo challenge: The second game of the 37th Women’s Honinbo title match was held at the headquarters of the Nihon Ki-in on November 9. Playing white, Fujisawa Rina (left) forced the title-holder Xie Yimin to resign after 212 moves. Fujisawa also won the first game, so she needs just one more win to take the title. The third game will be held on November 24.

New Faces in Meijin League: The final play-offs for the three vacant seats in the 44thMeijin League were all held on November 8 but at three different locations. At the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo, Mutsuura Yuta 7P (W) beat Ko Iso 8P by resig. At the Nagoya branch, Suzuki Shinji 7P (W) beat Shida Tatsuya 7P by half a point. At the Kansai Ki-in, Son Makoto 6P (B) beat Fujii Shuya 7P (a member of the Kansai Ki-in) by resig. All three players will be making their league debuts. Son also earned a promotion to 7-dan, dated as of the following day. Matsuura’s win was his eighth and Son’s his seventh in ongoing streaks.

Promotion: To 4-dan: Mannami Nao (50 wins, as of Nov. 9)

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Michael Chen 8D tops Gotham Go Tournament

Gio, 15/11/2018 - 03:22

An undefeated Michael Chen 8D took top honors in the Gotham Go Tournament on November 10 in New York City. Tournament Director David Gleckle directed his first tournament with his assistants Ying and Sichen, and organizer Peter Armenia extended special “Thanks to my wife Gretchen for managing all the food and drinks.”

Results:

Open Division:
1: Michael Chen (undefeated) 8d
2: Peixuan Wang 8d
3: Jing Guo 6d

Dan Division:
1: Patrick Zhao 3d
2: Alexander Qi 2d
3: Niel Ni 1d

1-4k Division:
1: Jino Chang 2k
3: Ted Lin 2k
3: Jason Chimon 1k

5-9k Division:
1: Andy Segal 5k
2: Luke Kuo 9k
3: Jeffrey Losapio 5k

DDK Division:
1: Alex Fan-cui 10k
2: Zhiyong Huang 15k
3: Ashley Qi 15k

And winning the drawing for the special Manhattan Go Board was Patrick Zhao.

 

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California State Go Championship set for Nov. 24-25 in San Diego

Mer, 14/11/2018 - 15:00

On the weekend after Thanksgiving, Saturday and Sunday, November 24 & 25, the San Diego Go Club will host the first annual California State Go Championship. The 5-round tournament will include an Open Section and Handicap Sections, and the best record in the Open by a California resident or student will earn the title of 2018 California State Champion, win cash and a trophy and have her or his name engraved on a permanent champion plaque. A total of $600 and trophies will be awarded for the best results in the various sections. AGA membership is required. Pre-registration by 11:59 p.m. Thanksgiving Day is required to play in Round 1. The site for the competition is the San Diego Chess Club in Balboa Park.

In conjunction with the Open Championship, the SDGC is hosting the 2018 13×13 State Go Championship. This competition will be 5-round, 30-minute games, intended for 20-Kyu to 30-Kyu players and beginners. The best boy and girl will be declared the 13×13 California State Champions and win appropriate trophies. The site is the same as the Open State Championship. Pre-registration by 11/23, 11:59 p.m. is required to play in Round 1 but walk-ins can play in later rounds. AGA membership is required but the California Go Association will have Chinese professional Hai Li rate the games for it. Players in this tournament can choose to play in the first three rounds of the AGA-rated 19×19 State championship on Saturday and take byes for rounds 4 & 5 on Sunday.

Register here for both tournaments.

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Evanston Go Club tournament attracts diverse, far-flung — and new — crowd

Mar, 13/11/2018 - 12:39

The Evanston Go Club’s November 10 fall tournament drew 42 players from five states; Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota and, “Wait for it,” said TD Mark Rubenstein, “Hawaii!” The diverse field included players ranging in rank from 26k to 7d. Albert Yen 7d, a regular at the Evanston tournaments for many years, was able to play his first-ever even game against another 7 dan, Boya (Eric) Hu.

“With 13 dans, 15 single-digit kyus, 14 double-digit kyus, and ages ranging from 7 to 70, this tournament was one to be remembered!” said Rubenstein. “And exactly half the participants were first-time attendees; a new record!”

Daniel Lambert, who streams his games on Twitch, was recording his games at the tournament and has posted them online with commentary. And Xinming Simon Guo, the AGA’s 2015 Teacher of the Year, was there teaching some of his youngest students.

Prizes were supplied by Yellow Mountain Imports. “YMI has been donating prizes to us for many years; thanks Yellow Mountain!” said Rubenstein.

“You’ll notice all the DDK winners played six games,” Rubenstein added. “In fact, thirteen players played more than four games, which is the minimum to be eligible for a prize. This is one of the advantages of self-paired tournaments; players can play as many games as they like. You’ll also notice that Jim Benthem is holding three coins in his hand, and is the only one without a prize. That’s because there were only two prizes available for the Dan section, so the three players agreed to flip coins for them… and Jim lost the toss.”

As is the tradition, about a dozen players and family members went out for pizza after the tournament.

Click here  for more photos.

Winners:
Dan division:  3-way tie for first place (no second place): Albert Yen 7d (3-1), Yang Yang 3d (3-1); James Benthem 1d (3-1)
Single-Digit Kyu division: Tied for first place: Laura Moon 2k (4-0), Steffen Kurz 4k (4-0); Second place: Daniel Lambert 6k (4-1)
Double-Digit Kyu division: First place: Blake O’Day 10k (6-0); Tied for second place: Mike O’Day 15k (5-1), Jowita Wisniewski 20k (5-1)

Update (11/14): Links added for Daniel Lambert.

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Frederick Bao 5D wins annual Pumpkin Classic

Mar, 13/11/2018 - 12:03
Nearly three dozen — 33, to be exact — players competed to take home Halloween pumpkins at the National Go Center on October 27. The top finishers in the open section were Frederick Bao 5D (pictured, front center) and Justin Teng 6D, each 3-1. Frederick was the overall winner on tiebreaks. All 4-0 and 3-1 finishers (pictured) happily took home pumpkins. Eric Lui 1P teamed up with Nathan Epstein 2D to broadcast the top board in all 4 rounds on Twitch from the new broadcast room at the NGC. Click here for the commentary.  “As always the Pumpkin Classic was a fun event.” reports TD Gurujeet Khalsa, “It was exciting to see Frederick break through with a tournament victory, and great to have Eric’s insightful commentary.”
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1st Round of the Pandanet AGA City League this Sunday

Mar, 13/11/2018 - 03:35

The Seventh year of the Pandanet AGA City League starts this Sunday November 18th. Most games will be played at 3PM EST. Check the list of teams or the lineups for the A League, B League, and C League. Watch using the GoPanda2 client from Pandanet for the best experience. All games will be played in the AGA City League and AGA City League (Manual) rooms. Root on your local team to win their league!

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Upcoming Go Events: Little Neck, Painesville, San Diego

Lun, 12/11/2018 - 22:00

November 17: Little Neck, NY
2018 New York Youth Open
president@ny-go.org 646-287-9536

November 18: Painesville, OH
4th Lake Erie Go Tournament
Soren Jaffe sorenjaffe@gmail.com 440-231-7057

November 24-25: San Diego, CA
2018 California State Go Championship
Ted Terpstra ted.terpstra@gmail.com 619-384-3454

November 25: San Diego, CA
2018 California State 13×13 Go Championship
Ted Terpstra ted.terpstra@gmail.com 619-384-3454

Get the latest go events information.

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Youmacon Anime Convention attendees introduced to go

Lun, 12/11/2018 - 15:04

Alexander Yehsakul of the Columbus Go Club partnered with volunteers from three other go clubs in the area to set up a go workshop room at the Youmacon anime convention in Detroit on November 3. About 60 conventioneers came to the workshop, with perhaps 40 on average in the room at any given time. Attendees learned the rules of go and got to play on 9×9 boards. Volunteers taught individuals one on one and groups using a demo board, and were always on hand to answer questions. Go games from OGS were displayed on a projector in the background. “I think the event went really well!” reports Yehsakul. “Turnout was great and we got some really positive feedback.”

This was the first time Yehsakul and this group of volunteers organized a go event like this. They hope to run another go workshop at Ohayocon in January, 2019. “Events like this are really important to spread and develop the go community in North America,” Yehsakul added.

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The Power Report: Cho U wins Meijin title; Young players share lead in Honinbo League; Choi Jeong wins Bingsheng Cup

Gio, 08/11/2018 - 01:55

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Cho U wins Meijin title: 
This year’s Meijin title match not only when the full distance, but was also decided late in the second day of a two-day game. The challenger Cho U won back a title that he had lost to Iyama Yuta ten years ago. The seventh game of the 43rd title match was held at the Imai Inn in the town of Kawazu in Shizuoka Prefecture on November 1 and 2. Since it was the seventh game, the nigiri was held again and Iyama Yuta Meijin drew black. From the outset, Iyama went for territory, so naturally Cho built thickness. With three very bold moves from 60 to 64, Cho sketched out a large center moyo. The major part of the game consisted of the fight started when Black tried to cut back the potential of the moyo. After Black lived with his invading group, the position seemed a little favorable for Black, and the players following the game in the pressroom thought that Iyama might have defended his title, though the game was very close. However, Iyama made a mistake in the endgame with move 167, letting White set up a ko that Black didn’t have enough ko threats to win. This decided the game, with White winning by 4.5 points.

At his peak in the late 2000s, Cho dominated the go scene in Japan, becoming the first player to win five of the top-seven titles in 2009 (they were the Meijin, Tengen, Oza, Gosei, and Judan). In 2010, he also became the second player after Cho Chikun to complete a cumulative grand slam. However, his last top-seven titles were the Kisei and Judan in 2012; thereafter, he was eclipsed by the reign of Iyama. He has now made a comeback at the age of 38. The Meijin prize is 31 million yen (about $282,000) (reduced from 33 million last year and, if my memory is correct, from 35 million earlier). This is his fifth Meijin title and his 40thtitle overall. Iyama has been reduced to a quintuple crown for the first time since November 2015.

In an interview after the game, Iyama was asked what Cho U’s strong points were and replied: “His speedy judgment and precision; his decisiveness.” As mentioned in a previous report, Cho has a policy of playing quickly in the opening and middle game to make sure he doesn’t get into time trouble. At the end of this game, Iyama was down to his third-last minute of byo-yomi, while Cho still had 59 minutes. Asked about scene in which this game was decided, Iyama said: “Since several moves earlier [before 167], I didn’t know what to play or what the territorial balance was. I knew that the ko was not good, but my hand played that way. Recently there have been few games that I have played properly from beginning to end. Looking back over the whole series, I couldn’t win games I should have won and I couldn’t play tenaciously. I would like to have some time off to refresh myself.” Cho: “In one way, thinking about having taken a title makes me a burden. I haven’t been able to win international games; I can’t go on like that. I would like to say to the younger players that if I can do this, they should be able to try harder.”

Young players share lead in Honinbo League:  The first two games in the second round of the 74th Honinbo League were played on November 1. Ichiriki Ryo 8P (W) beat Yamashita Keigo 9P by resig. and Shibano Toramaru 7P (B) beat Anzai Nobuaki 7P, also by resig. On 2-0, they are the front-runners, though it may be a little early to be talking about the lead. They play each other in the fourth round in January.

Choi Jeong wins Bingsheng Cup: In full, this tournament is called the Qionglong Mountain Bingsheng Cup World Women’s Go Tournament. This year it was held for the ninth time. As the sponsoring country, China had six players to three each for Korea and Japan, but the Koreans dominated the tournament. Judging by recent results, the Koreans, led by Choi Jeong, seem to be the strongest women players in the world. First prize is 300,000 yuan (about $43,000) and the time allowance is two hours per player, with the last five minutes going to one-minute byo-yomi. Komi is 7.5. Below are full results. Incidentally, in this tournament the key to winning seemed to be drawing black: white won only three out of 15 games.
Round 1 (Oct. 31). Zhou Hongyu 4P (China) (W) beat Fujisawa Rina 4P (Japan) by resig.; Oh Jeongah 3P (Korea) (B) beat Ueno Asami 2P (Japan) by resig.; Lu Minquan 5P (China) (B) beat Stephanie Yin 1P (US) by resig.; Hei Jiajia 7P (Oceania, also known as Joanne Missingham) (B) beat Natalia Kovaleva 6D (Russia) by 21.5 points; Oh Yujin 6P (Korea) (B) beat Wang Chenxing 5P (China) by resig.; Yang Zixuan 2P (Chinese Taipei) (W) beat Gao Xing 4P (China) by resig.; Choi Jeong 9P (Korea) (B) beat Yu Zhiying 6P (China) by resig.; Xie Yimin 6P (Japan, right) (B) beat Li He 5P (China) by resig.
Quarterfinals (Nov. 1). Oh Yujin (W) beat Lu by resig.; Choi (B) beat Zhou by resig.; Hei (B) beat Xie by 1.5 points; Oh Jeongah (B) beat Yang by resig.
(Semifinals, Nov. 2). Choi (B) beat Hei by resig.; Oh Yujin (B) beat Oh by resig.
(Final, Nov. 2). Choi (B) beat Oh by resig.

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Upcoming Go Events: Boulder, Evanston, New York, and more

Mar, 06/11/2018 - 01:45

November 10: Boulder, CO
Colorado Fall Go Tournament
Eric Wainwright ewainwright76@gmail.com 303-506-8846

November 10: Evanston, IL
East Meets West Tournament
Mark Rubenstein mark@evanstongoclub.org 847-869-6020

November 10: New York City, NY
Gotham Go Tournament
Peter Armenia gothamgogroup@gmail.com 929-282-1621

November 11: Tacoma, WA
Veterans Day Tournament – South Sound Go Club
Tom Cruver southsoundgoclub@gmail.com 253-307-8515
Mike Malveaux mike.malveaux@gmail.com 253-906-0095

November 11: Washington, DC
Yuan Zhou’s Monthly Group Lesson – November 2018
Yuan Zhou yuan.zhou@zhouyuan.com 240-271-2304

November 17: Little Neck, NY
2018 New York Youth Open
president@ny-go.org 646-287-9536

November 18: Painesville, OH
4th Lake Erie Go Tournament
Soren Jaffe sorenjaffe@gmail.com 440-231-7057

Get the latest go events information.

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Go spotting: PBS’ “Space Time” series

Lun, 05/11/2018 - 23:31

The Misunderstood Nature of Entropy episode of the PBS “Space Time” series uses a go board as a nice example of thermodynamics, statistical mechanics, and average distributions of energy in a system.

They explain that there are macro states with classical observable properties such as temperature, volume, pressure, etc.  These macro states are manifested from many micro states of particles (position, momentum, spin, etc.), and the macro state we observe correlates to the most possible (most statistically occurring) microstates.

If you arrange 180 black stones on a go board, there are 2 times 10 to the 107th power — (2)(10^107) — possible arrangements.  These arrangements represent the possible micro states of particles, and by far most of these states or arrangements of stones look like a macro state of black stones evenly distributed around the board.  It is a very rare micro state to have all the black stones in one corner or filling half the board.  That macro state is observably quite different than the many distributions of stones around the entire board.  Some micro states are so rare, like one chance in (2)(10^107) possibilities, that they never actually occur, just as we don’t suddenly experience all the oxygen in a room randomly collecting against one wall of the room.

- story edited by Bill Chiles; thanks to Freeman Ng for the story tip. 

 

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The Power Report (2): Honinbo League; Korea wins International Gratitude Cup; Kono reaches Kisei play-off; Ichiriki makes good start in Oza

Sab, 03/11/2018 - 14:00

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Honinbo League: The third game in the new Honinbo League was played on October 18. Taking black, Ichiriki Ryo 8P beat Ko Iso 8P by resignation. The opening round was completed on October 25 when Shibano Toramaru 7P (B) beat Kono Rin 9P by 2.5 points. The league chart was given in my previous report (October 21).

Korea wins International Gratitude Cup: The Gratitude Cup is an unofficial tournament for junior players in Japan that was founded nine years ago. Five years ago, it added an international component, pitting five-player teams (including two women players) from China, Korea, Chinese Taipei, and Japan against each other. First, a three-round tournament is held; the top two teams go to the final and the bottom two to a play-off for third place. The 5thGratitude Cup International Young Stars Tournament, to give it its full name, was held in Ise City on October 14 and 15. In the first section, China scored three wins, beating Chinese Taipei 4-1, Korea 3-2, and Japan 4-1. Korea won two matches, beating Japan 4-1 and Chinese Taipei 5-0. Japan beat Chinese Taipei 3-2. In the final, Korea turned the tables, beating China 4-1; Japan beat Chinese Taipei 3-2 to take third place. For Japan, Ichiriki had the best results, scoring 3-1. First prize is 4,500,000 yen (about $41,000).

Kono reaches Kisei play-off: The third game in the irregular knock-out to decide the challenger for the 43rd Kisei title was held at the Nihon Ki-in on October 22. There was probably a lot of fan support for the 18-year-old winner of the C League, Onishi Ryuhei 3P, who had beaten the winners of the B and A Leagues. Three more wins and Onishi would be the challenger, but Kono Rin 9P, who came second in the S League, stood in his way. The game was very close, but Kono (W) was too wily for his opponent, eking out a win by half a point.

Ichiriki makes good start in Oza: The first game of the 66th Oza title match was held at the Hotel Gajoen Tokyo in Meguro, Tokyo, on October 26. Taking white, Ichiriki Ryo 8P beat Iyama Yuta Oza by 2.5 points after 285 moves. That’s a very encouraging start to his challenge for Ichiriki after the ordeal he underwent last winter. In effect, Ichiriki played a best-of-17 with Iyama when he made successive challenges for the 2017 Oza and Tengen and the 2018 Kisei titles; he was unable to pick up even one win, which means he lost ten title-match games in a row. However, there is a caveat concerning this win. Iyama actually played brilliantly from the opening on, first making a successful moyo invasion, then, in what was more or less a continuation of the same fight, winning a big ko fight in the center. At this point, he was convinced he had a win. His first misstep came when he missed the best defensive move for securing the capture of some stones related to the center ko fight. Ichiriki was able to take some profit by harassing his position. He then turned his left-side position into a moyo and, according to spectators, seemed to have visibly perked up. When Iyama missed an endgame move that would have kept him narrowly ahead, Ichiriki was able to pull off an upset. The second and third games will be played on November 17 and 19.

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17th World Students Go Oza Championship LIVE on Pandanet this Sunday

Ven, 02/11/2018 - 23:07

This Sunday November 4th students all around North, Central, and South America will play in the 17th World Students Go Oza Championship. Watch LIVE on Pandanet starting at 8am EST for each of the two groups. This tournament is not only for students but run by the All Japan Students Go Association. Check the Schedule throughout the day to see regular updates on who is advancing through the tournament.

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The Power Report (1): Iyama’s sextuple crown under assault; Yoda wins international invitational; Fan of China dominates opening Nong Shim round; Tengen title match tied; Cho catches up in Meijin title match

Ven, 02/11/2018 - 18:55

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Iyama’s sextuple crown under assault: 
This is an unusual report. Though he lost the Gosei title to Kyo Kagen, Iyama Yuta still holds six titles, but he is now engaged in defending three of them and is meeting with setbacks in each one. I don’t believe any previous report has included so many Iyama losses over such a short period. These are the last of the top-seven title matches for this year, so at this point all Iyama can be completely confident of is that he will greet the New Year with at least three titles.

Yoda wins international invitational: Yet another special international tournament has been held in China. The previous one was the International Weiqi Great Players Tournament (described in my July 22 report). This one is called Camphor Tree: The Chinese Medical Capital Cup and was held in Camphor Tree (or Zhangshu) City in Jiangxi Province. I was unable to elucidate the meaning of the name, but it sounds as if there’s an interesting story behind it. A player was invited from each of Korea, Japan, and China, and an irregular knock-out was held on October 10 and 11. In the first game, Chang Hao 9P of China (B) beat Yoda Norimoto 9P of Japan by 3.5 points. Chang went directly to the final. In the second round, Yoda (B) beat Lee Changho 9P (Korea) by 1.5 points. The final was held on the second day. Taking white, Yoda beat Chang by resignation, winning the first prize of 150,000 yuan (a little over $21,500).

Fan of China dominates opening Nong Shim round: The first round of the 20th Nong Shim Spicy Noodles Cup was held in Beijing in mid-October. Japan got off to a good start when Shibano Toramaru won the first game, but then Fan Tingyu of China took over and won the remaining three games in this round. Results are given below:
Game 1 (Oct. 16). Shibano Toramaru 7P (Japan) (B) beat Ahn Kukhyun 8P (Korea) by resig.
Game 2 (Oct. 17). Fan Tingyu 9P (China) (W) beat Shibano by resig.
Game 3 (Oct. 18). Fan (B) beat Shin Minjoon 9P (Korea) by resig.
Game 4 (Oct. 19). Fan (W) beat Motoki Katsuya 8P (Japan) by resig.
The second round will be played in Busan from November 23 to 27 and the final round in Shanghai from February 18 to 22.

Tengen title match tied: The first game of the 44th Tengen title match was held at the Matsuya Sensen inn in Awara Hot Spring, Awara City, Fukui Prefecture on October 19. From the opening on, the game featured fierce fighting that spread over the whole board. Playing white, Iyama Yuta punished Black for a mistake toward the end of the game and secured a resignation after 234 moves. However, in the second game, played at the Toyo Grand Hotel in the town of Nakashibetsu (which in Ainu means “a place with many salmon”) in Hokkaido on October 29, Yamashita Keigo 9P (W) won by half a point after 312 moves. There is now a break of three and a half weeks till the third game, scheduled for November 23. Note: photo is from Game 3

Cho catches up in Meijin title match: In my previous report, I promised some more details on the fifth game of the 43rd Meijin title match. Playing white, the challenger, Cho U, won by 9.5 points. This made the score 2-3 and kept his chances alive. The game was held at the Tokiwa Hotel in Kofu City, Yamanashi Prefecture, on October 15 and 16. Unlike the previous game, there was a peaceful start, so it looked like becoming an endgame contest. However, around the evening of the second day, Iyama Yuta Meijin made a do-or-die move, so complicated fighting started. This was tough on Iyama because he was in byo-yomi. Cho has a policy of trying to leave as much time for the late middle game and endgame; when Iyama reached his last ten minutes, which is when byo-yomi starts, Cho still had three hours and a half hours on his clock.
The fighting in the latter part of the game is too complicated to describe; suffice it to say that a major trade took place. During a subsequent ko fight, Iyama went wrong with his ko threat, so Cho took a safe lead.
The sixth game was played at the Atami Sekitei, a traditional Japanese inn that has hosted many important games and is located in Atami City, Shizuoka Prefecture, on October 22 and 23. There were no major fights in the first part of the game, so it looked like becoming a contest in endurance. However, Cho, playing black, built a strong wall that affected the whole board and helped him to gain points in various places. As in the previous game, Iyama launched a do-or-die attack in an attempt to upset Cho’s lead. In the difficult fight that followed, Cho’s reading surpassed that of the defending champion, so Iyama resigned after move 195. Akiyama Jiro 9P, the Asahi Newspaper commentator, summed up the game as follows: “This was a convincing win for the challenger. Rather than saying that the Meijin played some bad moves, my feeling was that the challenger’s performance surpassed that of the Meijin.” The deciding game will be played on November 1 and 2.

Tomorrow: Honinbo League; Korea wins International Gratitude Cup; Kono reaches Kisei play-off; Ichiriki makes good start in Oza

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8th Season of Collegiate Go League underway

Ven, 02/11/2018 - 18:00

The 8th season of the Collegiate Go League (CGL) is currently underway with last season’s third-place team, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign leading the A-League, and UCLA’s B team leading the B-League. Rounds take place on KGS every two weeks during the academic year, where schools can meet and compete with other university students around the continent. The A-League features highly-competitive even matches, with last season’s average playoff team strength hovering around 5 dan and above. Schools may also join the B-League, which features handicap matches for mainly kyu-level players. Cash prizes are given to top finishers in both leagues.

Last season’s broadcast of the A-League Finals was watched by thousands of viewers on Twitch.tv, featuring a nail-biting half-point victory on the first board for UC Irvine over UCLA to win the championship. If you’re an undergraduate or graduate student at a university in North America, gather at least two other students from your school and you too can compete for glory and eternal posterity on the perennial championship trophy.

Check out the detailed rules, and register to join the next round of the CGL.

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Three Korean pros and Google DeepMind’s Thore Graepel visit CA

Ven, 02/11/2018 - 02:28

California go players have a couple of interesting events coming up.

This Saturday, November 3 from 9:30 a.m. – 2 p.m., three visiting Korean pros — Paul Ah 9P (now living in Southern California), Seo Nungwuk 9P, and Na Joonhoon 8P — will play simultaneous exhibitions and do game analysis in San Diego. The site will be at the University Community Public Library (4155 Governor Dr, San Diego 92122, 858-552-1655. Free parking is available and doors open at 9:30a. Hosted by the San Diego Go Club. Click here for more upcoming events.

And next Wednesday,  November 7, Google DeepMind’s Thore Graepel will give a lecture on “Training Artificial Intelligence by Playing Games” at the David Brower Center, 2150 Allston Way, Berkeley. Registration is optional, but space is limited. Register to reserve a seat. The lecture is at 6p; refreshments at 5:30p.
“Intelligence can be viewed as the ability of agents to achieve goals in a wide range of environments. If we wish to use machine learning to train intelligent agents, we need ways of creating rich environments that provide appropriate challenges and feedback signals to learning agents. Just as in real life (and evolution), the most challenging environments for learning agents arise from interaction with other co-adapting learning agents. So, let’s play games with AI!”
“The first example is learning from self-play in the context of the AlphaGo project which led to the first computer program to beat a top professional Go player at the full-size game of Go. Similar ideas can be used to study the age-old question of how cooperation arises among self-interested agents. Finally, we look at training artificial agents to play the game of Capture-The-Flag, a competitive team game played from a first-person perspective in a complex 3D world.”
Theoretically Speaking is a lecture series highlighting exciting advances in theoretical computer science for a broad general audience. Events are held at the David Brower Center in Downtown Berkeley, and are free and open to the public. No special background is assumed. This event is made possible in part by a grant from the Simons Foundation.

NOTE: San Diego is in Southern, not Northern California. The post has been updated with this correction. 

 

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Registration for 2018 Young Lions Tournament Closing Soon

Gio, 01/11/2018 - 21:29

“Registration for the 2018 American Go Honor Society Young Lions Tournament closes this Saturday, November 3,” says AGHS Vice President Jeremy Chiu, “The Young Lions Tournament is a four round tournament held on November 11 and 18 that is open to all youth players in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

For more detailed rules, please click here.

For registration, please click here.

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Go workshop at Youmacon anime convention in Detroit

Mer, 31/10/2018 - 23:11

This Saturday, November 3, local go players will run a workshop at Youmacon, an anime convention in Detroit, Michigan, from 5 to 7p. “Representatives from the London and Windsor go clubs from Canada, as well as the West Michigan and Columbus go clubs from the United States will be running a go workshop to hopefully spread interest and teach people about this game that we all love,” reports the Columbus Go Club’s Alexander Yehsakul. The workshop will be held in Room 141 at the Cobo Center. “It should be a good time, with plenty of play equipment, friendly convention goers, and even some prizes,” Yehsakul adds. “Also, if you follow the Twitch Go scene, streamers such as DanielML001, Balonator, and Skatmaker will be there for the duration of the event.”

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