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Yuan Zhou sweeps DC Chinese Lunar New Year tourney

Monday February 19, 2018

Forty five players participated in the 11th annual Chinese Lunar New Year tournament on February 10th. The event was held2018.02.19_Ching-Sung Chin(l)-yuan-zhou-khalsa-clny for the first time at the National Go Center in Washington DC with 2018.02.19_dc-screenshot_stream_room_camoverall first place going to Yuan Zhou 7D with a 4-0 record. Josh Lee 6D was second at 3-1.

Nathan Epstein has been building up the broadcasting capabilities at the National Go Center and was joined in the broadcast room by local AGA Pro, Eric Lui 1P, for live streaming of all rounds on Twitch. They were joined with remote live commentary by Sichen Zhong, Michael Fodera, Stephen Hu, and Robert Tirak.

Other winners this year were:
3D-4D division – Frederick Bao 4D (1st), Bryan Kim 4D and Yangqing Sun 3D (2nd)
1D-2D division – Quinn Baranoski 2D (1st), Ryan Hunter 2D and Chang Choi 1D (2nd)
1K-5K division – Patrick Sun 5K (1st), Kathy Qiu 3K and Mike Lash 4K (2nd)
6K-8K division – Sarah Crites 6K (1s2018.02.19_Ching-Sung Chin(l) Hank Chao (r) IMG_5133t), Bob Crites 6K and Joon Lee 6K (2nd)
9K-12K division – Alvin Pee 12K (1st), Raymond Luo 10K (2nd)
13K-19K division – Qidi Xu 15K (1st), Julian Turim 15K (2nd)
20K+ division – Antonina Perez-Lopez 20K (1st), Ethan Tung 22K and Justin Wang 30K (2nd)

“A special thanks to our sponsors for this tournament who have donated great trophies and prizes each year,” said Gurujeet Khalsa. Dr. Yeni Wong, Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO), Culture Center of TECRO, and Financial Accounting Tax Specialists, Inc. as well as the organizers: Great Falls Go Club, (Dr. Ching-Sung Chin) and Hai Hua Community Center (Mr. Hank Chao).

photos: bottom left: Ching-Sung Chin (left), Khalsa and Hank Chao (right); top left: Twitch stream room; top right: Ching-Sung Chin, Yuan Zhou and Khalsa. 

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AlphaGo vs. Alphago; Game 16: “Unusual and different”

Monday February 19, 2018

This game features the mini Chinese opening, and “It’s a fighting game and gets exciting pretty quick,” says Michael Redmond 9p2018.02.16 AlphaGo16 in his commentary on the AlphaGo self-play game. “It’s unusual and different.”
“Thanks so much for continuing the AlphaGo 50 Self-Played-Game Series!” said commenter dontbtme. “It has a very unique flavor while still displaying diverse openings, plus the players being equally matched, the tension rarely drops till the very end.”

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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The Power Report (1): Murakawa to challenge for Judan; Ueno wins Women’s Kisei; Yashiro to challenge for Women’s Meijin title

Monday February 19, 2018

by John Power, special Japan correspondent for the E-Journal2018.02.19_Murakawa-56jyudan0_1-2

Murakawa to challenge for Judan: The play-off to decide the challenger for the 56th Judan title was held at the Kansai Ki-in in Osaka on January 25. Murakawa Daisuke 8P (right) of the Kansai Kiin, playing white, beat Shida Tatsuya 7P of the Nagoya branch of the Nihon Ki-in by resignation. Murakawa, who won the 62nd Oza title in 2014, will make his first challenge for the Judan title. Shida missed his chance to make his first top-seven title challenge. The best-of-five with Iyama Yuta will start on March 6.

Iyama defends Kisei title:  The second game of the 42nd Kisei title match was held at the Hachinohe Hotel in Hachinohe City, Aomori Prefecture, on January 25 and 26. After a solid opening, a difficult fight started. Unlike the first game, in which Ichiriki had some chances, Iyama (left), playing black, kept the initiative throughout and secured a resignation 2018.02.19_Iyama-42kisei4_10after 171 moves. This win may have been a little disheartening for Ichiriki, who had now lost 11 games in a row to Iyama (all title games, including the NHK Cup final). The third game was held at the Olive Bay Hotel in Nishiumi City, Nagasaki Prefecture, on January 31 and February 1. The venue is a little unusual: it is a luxury hotel that was originally built as a guest house for the Oshima Shipbuilding Group and is located right next to a shipbuilding yard. This game was marked by complicated fighting among multiple unstable groups that spread from the top through the centre to the bottom. Perhaps the key move was a brilliant sabaki (settling a group) move with which Iyama (white) foiled a fierce attack by Ichiriki (below right); this led to a counterattack by Iyama. In the desperate fighting that followed, Iyama’s sharper play enabled him to seize the initiative. Ichiriki resigned after White 238. He now faced his first 2018.02.19_Ichiriki-42kisei4_11kadoban (a game that can lose a series).

   The usual pattern in a best-of-seven is to alternate breaks of one week and two weeks. So far, however, in this match games were being played once a week. The reason was to free up some time for both players to represent Japan in international tournaments (see reports below). Both players failed in these tournaments, so as far as psychological aftereffects were concerned, conditions were perhaps even. The fourth game was played at the Ofunato Citizens Culture Hall in Ofunato City, Iwate Prefecture, on 2018.02.19_Xie left, Iyama right-22lg3_2February 15 and 16. Once again, Ichiriki (white) was unable to get an advantage in the middle game, so he staked the game on a large-scale counterstrategy. However, Iyama calmly parried his attack, even letting him bring a dead group back to life, since he could secure a safe territorial lead anyway. Ichiriki continued to go all out, but his play was unreasonable and he had to resign after Iyama killed a large group.

   This was a very disappointing series for Ichiriki. In his first title match with Iyama, the 42nd Tengen at the end of 2016, he had at least won a game, but now he had been shut out in three successive title matches. Becoming challenger for three titles in a row is actually an impressive achievement, but it sets you up for some rough treatment at the hands of the grand slam champion. For Iyama, this was his sixth Kisei title in a row, the second-best run in this title after Kobayashi Koichi (who won the 10th to 17th titles). He had now maintained his grand slam for four months (since winning back the Meiijin title on October 17 last year). This is his 49th title, which puts him in sole fourth place, behind Cho Chikun (74), Sakata Eio (64), and Kobayashi Koichi (60). He is also sitting on a winning streak of 14 games in title matches, so he may challenge his personal record of 18 successive title-match wins. The Kisei prize is 45 million yen (about $416,000). The age of Iyama continues.

Ueno wins Women’s Ki2018.02.19_Yashiro-30fmeijin0_1-2sei: The second game of the 21st DoCoMo Cup Women’s Kisei best-of-three title match was held in the Ryusei studio at the Nihon Ki-in on January 29. Taking black, Ueno Asami 2D, the challenger, forced Xie Yimin to resign after 253 moves. This was her second win, so she dethroned the champion and won her first title at the age of 16 years three months. This set a new record in this title, beating Xie’s 20 years two months, but not threatening the overall record for women’s titles—Fujisawa Rina’s winning the Women’s Aizu Central Hospital Cup (now called the Hollyhock Cup) at 15 years nine months. Ueno’s prize is 5,000,000 yen (about $46,000).

Yashiro to challenge for Women’s Meijin title: The play-off to decide the challenger to Fujisawa Rina for the 30th Women’s Honinbo title was held at the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo on February 1. Playing white, Yashiro Kumiko 6P (left) beat Izawa Akino 4P by resignation after 200 moves. Yashiro, who is 41, will be making her first challenge for this title. She won the 24th and 25th Women’s Honinbo Titles in 2005 and 2006. The best-of-five match starts on February 28.

Tomorrow: Xie wins LG Cup; Park wins New Year’s Cup; Ida keeps lead in Honinbo League despite loss

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Upcoming Go Events: San Diego, Irvine, Portland

Monday February 19, 2018

February 25: San Diego, CA
7th Annual San Diego Go Championship
Ted Terpstra ted.terpstra@gmail.com 619-384-3454

March 3: Irvine, CA
5th Zheng Go Tournament
Yixian Zhou missbear@gmail.com 626-617-5870
Kevin Chao kevingochao@gmail.com 949-616-4423

March 6 – April 24: Portland, OR
2018 Rating Tournament and Club Championship
Roy Schmidt rcschmidt76@gmail.com

Get the latest go events information.

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Silver Anniversary of the Redmond Cup – Registration Now Open

Sunday February 18, 2018

20771547_1491980427527052_1440893765_o-600x3372018 marks the 25th anniversary of the Redmond Cup, which began in 1994. Named after Michael Redmond, the only player of non-Asian descent to ever achieve the rank of professional 9 dan, the Redmond Cup has represented the highest-level of competition for youth players in North America. Four of the five current AGA pros are former Redmond Cup champions, and many former champions have represented the US or Canada in international competition.

Preliminaries will be played on KGS, with the top two players in each the Junior (12 and under) and Senior (13-17) division receiving invitations to the finals, which will be held in July at the 2018 US Go Congress in Williamsburg, Virginia. Courtesy of the American Go Association and the American Go Foundation, finalists will also have all basic expenses covered to attend the 2018 US Go Congress, and any participant who completes all rounds of the preliminary tournament will be eligible for a $400 scholarship to the AGA Go Camp (details TBD) or a $200 scholarship to the 2018 US Go Congress.

Players must have an accredited rank of 1 dan or higher, be residents of the US, Canada, or Mexico, and have an active membership with any of aforementioned countries’ Go association to register for the Redmond Cup. Please consult the Rules and Regulations for more information about the tournament. Registration is now open and will close on March 7th. - Story and photo by AGA Youth Coordinator Justin Teng. Photo: 2017 finalists Aaron Ye (l) and Muzhen Ai (r). 

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Problem of the Week

Middle Game Joseki

Black to play