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New York Institute of Go Wins 2020 AGHS School Team Tournament

Mer, 29/04/2020 - 00:19

“The 2020 AGHS School Team Tournament has concluded,” reports Promotion Head Sophia Wang, “Twenty-two teams competed in four rounds. Each round consisted of three games between two teams, and the team that won two or more games won the round. In Division 1, the New York Institute of Go Team 1 took first place after winning all four rounds. The New York Institute of Go Team 3 came in second, and the Feng Yun Go School Team A came in third. The team from CNY Chinese School won Division 2, going undefeated. In second place was the team representing Russellville High School, and in third was the Saint Ann’s School. All players and substitutes who competed in each of their rounds will receive a T-shirt participation prize, and the top three teams in each division will also be awarded trophies.” – Lionel Zhang, EJ Youth Correspondant

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Go video feast on AGA YouTube

Mar, 28/04/2020 - 21:09

If you’re hankering for some more online go content, here’s our latest release schedule on the AGA’s YouTube channel:

April 28: Southeast Asia (SEA) Go Congress: Masters Round 6 (Yang Shuang 2p): US Masters runner-up Jian Zhongfan takes on top Korean amateur Kim Do Hyup in the top division of the Southeast Asia Go Congress.
May 5: Redmond’s Reviews, SEA Edition: Michael Redmond 9P reviews an assortment of Japanese professional games, as well as the third-place match of the Singaporean 7-dan title tournament.
May 12: SEA Congress, Singaporean 7-dan Title Match G2 (Yang Shuang 2p): Having won the first game in the best-of-3 final, can Lin Youzhi 6d go one step further to reach the summit of Singaporean Go?
May 19: China-US Internet Go Tournament, Day 1 (Kim Yoonyoung 8p): Six of the best players in the United States team up against a very strong line-up of Chinese top amateur players.
May 26: China-US Internet Go Tournament, Day 2 (Cho Hyeyeon 9p): The competition is really heating up on Day 2: will there be upsets, and who will survive the ultimate fights in byo-yomi?
Plus tune in on our Twitch channel Sunday nights at 7p EDT for more live broadcasts by Michael Redmond and Chris Garlock; details TBA soon!

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Member’s Edition: Gansheng Shi 1P on Korean Qualifiers, LG Cup

Mar, 28/04/2020 - 07:00

Download SGF File

White: Kim Ji Seok 9p
Black: Shin Jin Seo 9p
Commentary: Gansheng Shi 1P
Game editor: Myron Souris
Published in the April 28, 2020 edition of the American Go Journal

This week’s commentary is a game from the Korean Qualifiers for the LG Cup. Without Gansheng’s explanations of the strategic fighting, most go players might see little more than extended sequences of bewildering moves. Gansheng also notes this tidbit, “Interestingly, games are currently being played on a laptop now instead, because of social distancing measures and COVID-19.

Already 7-dan at the age of 14, Gansheng Shi won the right to represent Canada at the 2008 World Youth Go Championships, where he competed in Guiyang China. In 2012 Shi fought well in the first AGA/Tygem professional certification tourney, earning promotion to Professional One Dan, along with Andy Liu 1P. Shi is now at the University of Toronto studying Immunology. The E-Journal is delighted to have him doing commentary, and we know our readers will enjoy his insights.

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Nominations open for 2020 AGA board elections

Lun, 27/04/2020 - 22:37

This year four American Go Association (AGA) Board of Director seats are open for the Eastern, Western, Central regions and the At-Large position. The current terms of office expire this September. If you know of someone who you believe would offer guidance and service to the AGA, please consider making a nomination. Nominations, including self-nominations, may be made by full members for the region in which the member resides or without restriction for the At-Large seat and must be received by June 15, 2020. Nominations and questions must be emailed to elections@usgo.org. Click here for complete election information and qualifications.

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Redmond on AlphaGo vs AlphaGo Game 41 Sunday night on Twitch

Dom, 26/04/2020 - 01:41

Tune in to the AGA’s Twitch channel Sunday night at 8p EDT (note later time!) to catch Michael Redmond 9P and Chris Garlock with their latest live game commentary on the AlphaGo vs AlphaGo series. SpaceTime Machine calls it “my favorite YouTube series hands down.” Tune in at 8p on Sunday, April 26; viewers will be able to ask Redmond and Garlock questions during the live commentary.
PLUS: Check out None Redmond’s captivating story about “11 year old Michael meets a legendary Go player” on Redmond’s YouTube channel.

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AlphaGo vs. AlphaGo; Game 38: Trippy stuff with ladders

Sab, 25/04/2020 - 02:25

Michael Redmond 9p, hosted by the AGA E-Journal’s Chris Garlock, reviews the 38th 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. Redmond: “This game starts with a complicated variation on the 3-3 invasion, then goes on to a completely different part of the game where a ko is the focus, and then there’s a lot of trippy stuff with ladders and finally there’s some life and death problems.” Garlock: “A little bit of everything.”
Produced by Stephen Hu, Allen Moy and Chris Garlock

Download SGF File

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50 years aGO April 1970

Sab, 25/04/2020 - 02:23

by Keith Arnold, hka with Patrick Bannister

Deprived of face-to-face go, we gaze with great longing at this fantastic photo of the climax of the 24th Honinbo league on April 8, 1970 (right).

In the foreground at left is my favorite player, Fujisawa Hideyuki, forever to be known as Shuko.  A truly brilliant — if erratic — player, his passion for go was without equal.  And you can see him living the game in his face in this photo. We can surmise that perhaps poker would not be his best game, but of course we know go was.  A favorite player of my teacher, Yilun Yang, he played a prominent role in supporting go in China and his teaching boot camps were legendary.  We can access them through Hinoki Press’ two volume “Shuko: The Only Move, as well as Slate and Shell’s 4 volume “Basic Tesjuji” and finally (though first) Ishi Press’ “Reducing Territorial Frameworks”

Foreground right is Kato Masao, the kid in the room, and his manner evokes a quiet respect for his far more emotive elder.  Indeed, in all of my reading about this great player, who went on lead the Nihon Kiin, I have never read a word suggesting anything but kindness about him.  He game was far more aggressive, “Killer Kato” was his reputation, and he shared his skill in Ishi Press’ “Kato’s Attack and Kill”.  He was the first of the “Three Crows” of the Kitani school to make a name for himself, but the last to breakthrough.  He needs to win this game to catch another player in the room to challenge for the title.  Game record here.

Background right, hunched over the board, is Fujisawa Hosai – the older nephew of Shuko and the first Oteai 9 dan.  A player of extraordinary concentration and determination who once played a match with his letter of resignation in his pocket, Hosai was known for his deliberate play, which is evidenced by the far fewer stones on the background board.  Although he could not win the league, he is determined to make his opponent earn it.

His opponent is “Razor Sharp” Sakata, and his personality also shines in this picture.  Wiry and erect, cigarette in hand, Sakata seems amused by time Hosai is taking, his mind racing from one brilliant counter to the next to whatever ploy Hosai comes up with.  This is a man in his element, not showing the pressure of needing this win to become the challenger.  Hosai’s determination would take them until after midnight, and Sakata became the challenger.  Game record here.

April 25-26 featured what was billed the “First International Team Tournament” in New York city.  Fourteen three player teams competed from the USA, China, Korea, Canada, Japan and Yugoslavia.  The Chinese team emerged victorious, followed by Japan and the US.  The US team was Matsuda, Ryder and Kaslow – all 5 dan – as good as it got in those days.  The match was featured in the NY Times and we can clearly see (top left) the great Edward Lasker playing.  In an early moment of “fake news” the Times says the event took place at “The Chess House” but I trust Mr. Horiguchi’s report in Go Review stating the event happened in the Nihon Kiin Chapter House at the same address.

Finally the first game of the Honinbo title took place on April 27 and 28.  I am not sure challenger Sakata and Honinbo Rin Kaiho are actually interested in whatever Takagawa is saying in this staged photo (top middle).  We will be hearing a lot about Rin who was in the young and early stages of his dominance.  Reading Go Review it seems that the go press was not yet buying it, and seemed to expect Sakata to be the victor. We shall see…Game One record is here.

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Member’s Edition: Yuan Zhou on the 21st Nongshim Cup

Mar, 21/04/2020 - 07:00

Download SGF File

White: Yang Dingxin 9d
Black: Shin Jinseo 9d
Commentary: Yuan Zhou 7d
Game editors: Bill Cobb, Myron Souris
Published in the April 21, 2020 edition of the American Go E-Journal.

In this 8th round game from the recent Nongshim Cup, Yuan Zhou guides the reader through a complicated game with players of highly contrasting styles. Yuan Zhou gives this summary of the event and the players, “The three major go countries agree each year to send their best five players to this event, which is a win and continue match played one game at a time. In this 21st running of the event, Yang Dingxin 9p of China had won six games in a row, eliminating three of both the Korean and the Japanese teams, when he was paired against the young Shin Jinseo 9p, the number two player from Korea. The players have different styles. Shin Jinseo is a serious, aggressive fighter. Yang Dingxin plays a very thick game. He’s like a tank – very strong and powerful, but slow moving.”

Yuan Zhou 7 dan is one of the strongest players in the US. He has won many titles. Zhou is also a popular teacher, lecturer, and author. He lives in Germantown, MD, and can be reached at yuan.zhou@zhouyuan.com . This commentary is typical for Zhou, who has published several books, including such thorough commentaries of pro games at Slate & Shell (www.slateandshell.com).

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China-US Internet Go Tournament’s second round concludes with wins for Chinese team

Lun, 20/04/2020 - 07:57

After two days of games, the China-US internet Go Tournament concluded successfully. “The tournament went well,” says organizer Stephanie Yin 1P. “The CWA appreciated the AGA’s cooperation in this tournament, especially in such a short time.” Albert Yen 7d scored one win for the US team in the first round. “Albert had a good chance against Wei Xiaolin 7d on Board 2 of the second round,” reports broadcast host Stephen Hu. “There was an intense back-and-forth exchange, but eventually Albert lost a large group after a huge ko fight in byo-yomi and had to resign. This means that the final score of the event was 11-1 to China.” Live video commentaries were provided by Kim Yoonyoung 8P and Cho Hyeyeon 9P for the first and second round respectively. Recordings of the commentaries will be uploaded to the AGA’s YouTube channel soon, and in the meantime viewers can find these recordings on Twitch. The tournament was organized and coordinated by Stephanie Yin 1P for the AGA and the Chinese Weiqi Association.

Final results:

DAY 1 – CHINA 5:1 USA
Board 1: REN Ke 6d (B) vs. Albert YEN 7d (W)
Board 2: Andy LIU 1P (B) vs. HU Yuqing 7d (W)       [MAIN BOARD]
Board 3: CAO Ruxu 7d (B) vs. Aaron YE 7d (W)
Board 4: Alan HUANG 7d (B) vs. WEI Xiaolin 7d (W)
Board 5: CHEN Junyu 7d (B) vs. Kellin PELRINE 6d (W)
Board 6: Audrey WANG 6d (B) vs. XIA Jun 5d (W)

DAY 2 – CHINA 6:0 USA
Board 1: Andy LIU 1P (B) vs. HU Yuqing 7d (W)       [MAIN BOARD]
Board 2: WEI Xiaolin 7d (B) vs. Albert YEN 7d (W)
Board 3: Alan HUANG 7d (B) vs. CAO Ruxu 7d (W)
Board 4: CHEN Junyu 7d (B) vs. Aaron YE 7d (W)
Board 5: Audrey WANG 6d (B) vs. XIA Jun 5d (W)
Board 6: REN Ke 6d (B) vs. Kellin PELRINE 6d (W)

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2020 US Go Congress cancelled due to coronavirus

Sab, 18/04/2020 - 02:40

The 2020 U.S. Go Congress has been canceled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The following statement was released on April 17 by the American Go Association Board of Directors:

At a Special Board Meeting held on April 15th, the AGA board, with the agreement of the Go Congress organizers in Colorado, voted to postpone the 2020 US Go Congress in Estes Park to a future year, meaning that there will be no US Go Congress in 2020. 

Over the next few weeks, the AGA and the US Go Congress will continue with the cancellation process, including refunding registration fees that were already paid. We expect these refunds to happen over the next month or so; you do not need to reach out to the Congress team to get your refund.

Given the seriousness of the Coronavirus epidemic, the AGA cannot in good conscience bring together our customary crowd from around the country and the world.  The AGA does not take this decision lightly, and plans to resume our annual US Go Congress in 2021, with as much play (both fun and serious) as always.

At this time, the AGA is recommending cancelling all in-person go events (both club meetings and tournaments) through the end of May, but feels that it is too soon to make recommendations about summer events, given that local conditions may vary.

Please stay safe and healthy

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Albert Yen 8d a winner in first round of China-US Internet Go Tournament

Gio, 16/04/2020 - 08:06

The first round of the China-US tournament, organized by the China Weiqi Association and the AGA and coordinated by Stephanie Yin 1P, was held on Tuesday evening, with Albert Yen 7d giving the US team its first win against Ren Ke 6d of the Chinese team. The second round will be held Wednesday evening April 15th on the Fox Go Server. Viewers can tune into the AGA Twitch channel to see the broadcast of the games and game commentary by Cho Hyeyeon 9P and hosted by Stephen Hu.

US team player photos China team player photos

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Coronavirus impact hits home: the passing of David Saunders AKA dsaun

Gio, 16/04/2020 - 02:24

Players across the AGA and KGS are mourning the loss of David Saunders, AKA dsaun, who died on Monday March 30th from COVID-19 and pneumonia. A page on Sensei’s Library has been created dedicated to memories of dsaun, particularly the large amount of poetry he wrote and shared with his friends on KGS.

An example: Go is fun // I do not lie // and so is eating apple pie // apple pie is truly great // but playing Go does not add weight.

LGSam remembers his friend in a way Saunders would have appreciated, with “a questionable limerick in honor of the master of questionable limericks.”

Once, there was a great man named dsaun.
A grand Go legacy had he drawn
that will be remembered,
and celebrated too,
into each and every new dawn

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New York Go Honor Society takes New York Go League international

Mer, 15/04/2020 - 06:09

After initially announcing a league in March of this year that would allow New York players to compete both in-person and online, the New York Go Honor Society has taken the New York Go League international in light of the recent pandemic and the inability of players to meet in person. “We are proud to announce that we will be opening the league to all players, not just those who reside in New York,” says NYGHS vice-president Patrick Zhao. Participants will play two games per week be allowed to schedule their games with their opponents on their own time. Entry and play in the league is completely free and open to any player with a stable rank with any association or credible Go server. All players interested in joining the league should fill out the Google registration form before the registration deadline of May 1, and take time to read the rules and regulations. Players should address any questions to co-president.nyghs@ny-go.org

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AGA Volunteerism Survey; Raffle for Go World Magazines and Game Reviews

Mar, 14/04/2020 - 11:19

The AGA relies heavily on volunteers in order to operate and continue to provides services to the Go community. An AGA volunteer himself, Justin Teng has designed a survey for AGA members to take to better understand their perspectives on the AGA and motivations in deciding whether to volunteer or not. This survey, which should take approximately 5 minutes to complete, is part of a graduate school Capstone project and aims to determine the core factors affecting volunteerism within the AGA. The results of this survey will be used to help guide possible solutions that can help the AGA sustain a level of volunteerism that will enable it to continue enriching the Go community.

Complete the survey by April 21st to be entered into a raffle for 14 different Go World magazines (US only; shipping included) and/or game reviews by Teng (6 dan) himself. Go World is an English-language magazine covering world Go news, professional game commentaries of major tournaments, and various Go articles that was published in Japan by the Kiseido Publishing Company (and previously Ishi Press) between 1977-2012. Raffle winners (one for the Go World magazines and two for the game reviews) will be randomly drawn on April 22nd and winners will be notified via email.

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Members’ Edition: Lessons with Kaz: Common Mistakes

Mar, 14/04/2020 - 07:00

Download SGF File

Published in the April 14, 2020 edition of the American Go E-Journal.

In this game between a 5 kyu and a 3 kyu player, Kaz covers a lot of very common positions that even dan players will want to verify the correct answers.

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

Mar, 14/04/2020 - 07:00

Download SGF File

Black to play. Not an easy puzzle – White has a nice shape.
Published in the April 14, 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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China-US Internet Go Tournament set for Tuesday and Wednesday this week

Mar, 14/04/2020 - 02:23

The first China-US Internet Go Tournament, organized on the AGA side by Stephanie Yin 1P, will be held this Tuesday and Wednesday, April 14-15 starting at 9:30 PM EDT on the Fox Go Server and broadcast on the AGA Twitch channel. English commentary will be provided by Kim Yoonyoung 8P (Tuesday) and Cho Hyeyeon 9P (Wednesday), hosted by Stephen Hu for the AGA E-Journal.

“With so many of us are feeling isolated from our communities, it is great to have a chance to make some new connections and new friends with other go players around the world,” said AGA president Andy Okun.

The U.S. team includes Andy Liu 1P (New York), Albert Yen 8D (Chicago), Aaron Ye 7D (California), Alan Huang 7D (New Jersey), Kellin Pelrine 6D (Colorado) and Audrey Wang 6D (Indiana).

On the Chinese team are: Hu Yuqing 7D (Shanghai), Cao Ruxu 7D (Zhejiang), Chen Junyu 7D (Jiangxi), Wei Xiaolin 7D (Shanxi), Xia Jun 5D (Jiangsu) and Ren Ke 6D (Hubei).
Note: A setup tutorial video for the Fox Go Server is available on Youtube.

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The Power Report: Discovery Cup: new tournament for young players; Amateur wins seat in Kisei C League; Amateur wins seat in Kisei C League

Lun, 13/04/2020 - 18:00

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Discovery Cup: new tournament for young players

A new tournament for young players has been founded. It is the Discovery Cup (using the English word “discovery”), which is open to professionals and inseis at the Nihon Ki-in and Kansai Ki-in up to 2-dan and up to 18 years of age. The tournament is an unofficial one, so results will not be included in players’ official records. The preliminary tournament started on the Net on March 23; the top eight players will qualify for the main tournament, starting on April 29, which will be held at the Nihon Ki-in. The tournament follows the NHK format.

Amateur wins seat in Kisei C League

Two Japanese tournaments are also open to amateur players. One is the Agon Kiriyama Cup, in which eight amateurs took part and four reached Preliminary A. They have all now been eliminated, but their record was a very respectable 17 wins to eight losses. One was Kurita Yoshiki, who beat Kobayashi Satoru 9P before losing to Hoshiai Shiho 2P on March 30. Kurita is actually a former insei who ended up going to college instead. Even more impressive, he also qualified for the C League in the 45th Kisei tournament by winning five games in a row in the qualifying round, called the First Tournament. He has made a good start in the league by winning his first game. Taking white, he beat Mochizuki Kenichi 8P by 5.5 points.

Promotions

Obuchi Kotaro

To 7-dan: Koyama Ryugo (130 wins, as of March 13)
To 5-dan: Obuchi Kotaro (70 wins, as of April 3)
To 2-dan: Shibusawa Machiko (30 wins, as of March 13)

Retirements

Three players retired as of March 31. They are Hagiwara Mutsumi 8P, (Ms.) Shinkai Hiroko 6P, and (Ms.) Nakamura Kuniko 3P. The ladies were both disciples of Iwamoto Kaoru.

Postponement

The semifinals and finals of the new women’s tournament the Hakata Kamachi Cup, originally scheduled for April 13 and 14, have been put off until June 8 and 9. In the semifinals, Ueno Asami, Women’s Honinbo, meets Mukai Chiaki 5P and Fujisawa Rina, holder of the Hollyhock Cup, plays Nyu Eiko 2P.

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The Power Report: Iyama leads Meijin League; Sumire’s progress; Nyu tops wins list

Dom, 12/04/2020 - 18:00

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Iyama leads Meijin League

On 4-0, Iyama Yuta is the only undefeated player in the 45th Meijin League. This is one of those leagues where the higher-ranked players, with one exception, Iyama, do badly. The bottom three players are the only ones with just one loss. Recent results:

(March 19) Cho U 9P (W) beat Kono Rin 9P by resig.; Iyama Yuta Kisei (W) beat Ichiriki Ryo 8P by resig.

(April 2) Murakawa Daisuke Judan (B) beat Cho U 9P by resig.

Sumire’s progress

On March 26, Nakamura Sumire 1P (W) lost to Muramoto Wataru 2P, a fellow member of the Kansai HQ (Kansai Headquarters of the Nihon Ki-in) by 4.5 points in Preliminary C of the 46th Gosei tournament.

On April 2, Sumire played her first game as a sixth-grader, but was not successful. Taking white, she lost by resignation (191 moves) to Takei Takashi 7P (Kansai HQ). The game was in Preliminary C of the 47th Tengen tournament.

On April 6, Sumire played three games on the Net in the female preliminary for the 11th Gratitude Cup, which became an official tournament as of this term. In the first, starting at 10 a.m., she beat Kato Chie 1P; in the second, starting at 1 p.m., she beat Nyu Eiko 2-dan; in the third, starting at 6 p.m., she lost to Xie Yimin 6P. The win over Nyu is significant, as she has been one of the top woman players recently.

At this point, Sumire’s record for the year was 7-10, which makes her cumulative record 24-17. However, the numbers match up only if I repair an omission in my report published on February 21. I overlooked a game played on January 16 in Preliminary B of the 76th Hoininbo tournament. Hane Yasumasa 9P (W) beat Sumire by 5.5 points. In the same report, “Yoshida” in the February 10 game is a mistake for “Furuta.”

Nyu tops wins list

Kyo Kagen

It’s still early days yet, but it’s worth noting that a second woman player has topped the most-wins list, following the lead of Ueno Asami last year. Nyu Eiko has 15 wins to three losses. Following her, on 13-3, are the three players who were in contention in the final round of the Honinbo League: Kyo Kagen, Shibano Toramaru, and Ichiriki Ryo. Kyo’s loss in the Honinbo play-off ended a winning streak of his at nine.

Tomorrow: Discovery Cup: new tournament for young players; Amateur wins seat in Kisei C League; Amateur wins seat in Kisei C League

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Redmond on Shusaku vs. Sanchi, 7p Sunday night

Dom, 12/04/2020 - 04:01

The votes are in and Shusaku vs. Sanchi was the people’s choice for Sunday night’s live commentary by Michael Redmond 9. Tune in to the AGA’s Twitch channel at 7p EDT to see Redmond and Chris Garlock review Honinbo Shusaku’s first castle game. “His opponent is the 9th Yasui Sanchi (Shuntetsu), a strong fighter,” says Redmond. “They have opposite game plans, in that Shusaku has Black and tries to play solidly, while Yasui starts by avoiding the Shusaku opening and plays aggressively.”
Also, the Redmond/Garlock “Alphago to Zero” March 12 Twitch stream has now been released on the AGA’s YouTube channel. The two talked about what it was like to provide the English-language commentary for the 2016 match for a global audience with intense media attention, and took questions from viewers. “Their passion for this game is infectious,” said CalmExit.

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