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Go miscellany Year End Edition (1 of 3)

Monday December 11, 2017

Being a collection of interesting items – in no particular order – that have landed in our in-box in recent months but never 2017.12.11-legend-5-rings-l5c05_ide_tadaji_artmade it into the E-Journal.

Legend of the Five Rings: Fantasy Flight Games publishes a card game called “Legend of the Five Rings” which takes inspiration from Japanese, Chinese, and Korean history and legend. A short story posted to FFG’s website contains an image of a gentleman engaged in an interesting game of go while holding a white stone correctly. The short story, itself, contains a discussion between two characters about Shogi, with a passing comment that one prefers the “purity” of go.
- Joe Marino

Atari origins: “Started in 1972, Atari was named by one of its founders, Nolan Bushnell, for a move in the ancient Asian game of Go. ‘Atari was what you said to your opponent if you put their stones in jeopardy, kind of like check in chess,’ Mr. Bushnell explained in an interview. ‘I just thought it was a cool word and a cool name.’ From Atari (Remember It?), a New Console With Old Games, in The New York Times 11/24/2017
Bushnell gave the keynote address at the 2012 Go Congress.
- Ted Terpstra

Can A.I. Be Taught to Explain Itself? As machine learning becomes more powerful, the field’s researchers increasingly find themselves unable to account for what their algorithms know — or how they know it.
- From The New York Times, 11/21/2017

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IMSA Elite Mind Games 2017 edition underway in China

Sunday December 10, 2017

The second version of the IMSA Elite Mind Games (IEMG) is underway in Huai’an City, Jiangsu Province, China. The event 2017.12.10_Ke Jie taking the players' vowruns December 9-16, and features 72 male and 62 female top athletes from five sports — Bridge, Chess, Draughts, Go, and Xiangqi — competing for medals and the boasting right as world champions. In addition, a total prize pot of €900,000 will be distributed to the participants.

The Go tournament’s first day started shortly after lunch and did not all end until six hours later.  In the men’s team, China drew Korea to feature the clash of four superstars from these two teams – Ke Jie (at right, taking the Player’s Vow), Tang Weixing, Park Jeong-Hwan, and Shin Jin-Seo.  Shin played white against Tang and used a clever sacrifice to build a big moyo and scored the first win of the day. Ke, on the other hand, fought brilliantly with Park to force the team score to 1-1.  On the women’s side, the North American team played against Europe.  Sarah Yu from Canada and Wan Chen from US both lost by resignation to Natalia Kovaleva from Russia and Manja Marz from Germany. The North American team is now likely to fall to the last place.  All other matches had expected results: for men, Japan over Europe, Taipei over North American; for women, China over Taipei, and Korea over Japan – all with 2-0 score.

Tomorrow, for both men and women teams, America will play vs China, Europe vs Korea, and Taipei vs. Japan.

2017.12.10_IEMG'17 openingThe Mind Games launched on Saturday with a grand opening ceremony (left) at the Great People’s Hall of Huai’an. In addition to the same five sports as last year, the Chinese National Guandan Championship will be held at the same venue. Guandan is a traditional Chinese card game which was showcased as a demo sport in 2016.  The International Federation of Card Games (FCG) will also run an international tournament in Huai’an as a parallel event.

In Go, IEMG will have five medal competitions: men’s and women’s team play, men’s and women’s individual blitz play, and pair go. Six countries/regions are represented: China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, USA (joined by Canada), and EU (joined by non-EU European countries). The all-star casts include: from China, Yu Zhiying, Lu Minquan, Ke Jie, and Tang Weixing; from Japan, Fujisawa Rina, Nyu Eiko, Shibano Toramaru, and Matsuura Yuta; from Korea, Oh Yu-Jin, Choi Jeong, Park Jeong-Hwan, and Shin Jinseo; from US-Canada, Sarah Yu, Wan Chen, Mingjiu Jiang, and Ziyang Hu; from EU, Natalia Kovaleva, Manja Marz, Ilya Shikshin, and Mateusz Surma.
- report/photos by Thomas Hsiang

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Record turnout at San Diego Go Club winter soiree

Sunday December 10, 2017

Setting an all-time record, more than 50 people attended the San Diego Go Club’s “winter” soiree at club president Ted 2017.12.10_san-diego-DSCN4777Terpstra’s home on Sunday, December 3. The quarterly event, which features AGA-rated games and pizzas has become a southern California go fixture for the last seven years. The soiree enables go enthusiasts from the several go clubs in southern California to play self-paired games and socialize in a pleasant surrounding. Players aged 7 to over 70, ranging from beginners to professionals came to 2017.12.10_san-diego-DSCN4781 2play, hailing from Los Angeles, Orange County, Riverside County, UCSD, North County Go Club, San Diego east county, the Chinese bookstore in San Diego and the regulars from the San Diego Go Club. People started coming at 11:30 a.m. and some stayed until 8:30 p.m. analyzing games.

Free pizza, thanks to the AGA rewards program, cake (thanks to a donation) and beverages (thanks to the president) were served to all who stayed to socialize at 5 p.m.

Best quote of the day: “The president needs to buy a larger house.”

photos by Ted Terpstra

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Prevailing over drum ensemble, Trevor Morris tops Boston Winter Open

Sunday December 10, 2017

Nearly three dozen players — 32 to be exact — ranging in strength from beginner to 6d, made their way to the Stratton Student Center at MIT to participate in the Boston Winter Open on December 2. The tournament was divided into two divisions, a 12 person Open Division with dan players playing even games, and a 20 person Handicap Division with kyu players playing handicap – 2 games.

Open Division players competed for cash prizes and our winners were: 1st place Trevor Morris, 6d (4-0), 2nd place David Cho, 5d (3-1), and 3rd place Qingbo Zhang, 5d (3-1).

Handicap Division prizes were awarded to those with 4-0 and 3-1 records. Our winners were: Adam Prescott, 9k (4-0), Jin Greene, 12k (3-1), Eva Casey, 5k (3-1), Michael Scudder, 2k (3-1), and Matt Clarke, 2k (3-1).

This tournament was made particularly unique due to the surprising addition of live music starting in the middle of the third round. The source turned out to be a Senegalese Drum Ensemble participating in MIT’s World Music Day in the auditorium beneath the playing area. In investigating the event, we discovered it would last through our final round and were kindly given a box of ear plugs. We also confirmed the hypothesis that go tournaments and drums do not go well together (in case you were wondering). Fortunately our players are awesome and seemed mostly amused. We will try to be more aware of adjacent events for future tournaments.
Neil Ritter

 

Thanks to everyone for coming and to the MIT Go club and the MGA for organizing!

 

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AlphaGo Zero-AlphaGo Master: A similar “taste” but things turn sour quickly

Friday December 8, 2017

“AG Zero and the Ke Jie version sort of resemble each other, in the way that they play around the 3-3 invasions, and there’s a 2017.12.08_ag-ag-zero-master-3‘taste’ to their play that’s quite similar,” says Michael Redmond 9p in his third commentary on the AG Zero games. “That said, the Ke Jie version tends to jump into fights more quickly and that’s very exciting, but in the Zero version, there’s a lot of hidden reading, like we saw in Game 2. Just as Master did against human players, Zero is controlling the game to a much greater degree, and a lot of the reading is not actually coming out on the board.”

“In this game, Master has black again and will be playing a lot of moves towards the center,” Redmond says. “So there are lot of stones floating around in the center of the board and looking kind of neat. I think Master had a good opening in this game and then there’s one move I really don’t like, that’s really the turning point of the game. And just like when I’m playing a formidable player, I find that just one move can turn things very sour quite quickly.”

Click here for Redmond’s video commentary, hosted by the AGA E-Journal’s Chris Garlock, and see below for the sgf commentary. To support this content, please consider joining or renewing your membership in the American Go Association; click here for details.

Video produced by Michael Wanek and Andrew Jackson. The sgf files were created by Redmond, with editing and transcription by Garlock and Myron Souris.

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Problem of the Week

Classic Corner

Black to play