American Go E-Journal » 2016 » March

Evanston’s March Madness Draws Record Crowd

Sunday March 6, 2016

The Evanston go club held it’s March Madness winter tournament over the weekend, with a record-setting 42 players attending. “The turnout2016.03.07_evanston-playerswas tremendous!” said club president Mark Rubenstein. “We’ve been running four tournaments a year for the past 20 years. However, attendance had been slipping below 20 for some time, and it’s been a year since our last tournament. This turnout is the boost we needed! We will resume our quarterly tournaments with renewed enthusiasm.”

Rubenstein uses a database he built using FileMaker Pro (see below) to manage all aspects of the tournament. “It’s pretty slick, if I do say so myself”, says Rubenstein. “It enables me to run a completely paperless tournament. It imports the AGA’s TD list, shows all the vital stats for every player, automatically pairs the first round, lets me create a new game with two clicks, lets me see all the opponents each player has played, calculates the win/loss percentage for each player, exports the results in the proper format for the AGA’s rating database, and more. I have my laptop connected wirelessly to an iPad for the players to see. So while I am entering game results, anyone can look at the iPad and see who they want to play next. They can also see stats for any player, such as wins/losses, how long their games took, and who else they have already played.”

2016.03.07-evanston-dbThe Evanston go club runs it’s tournaments as self-paired. Only the first round is paired; after that, players may play anyone who is available. “It’s a much more casual and flexible way to run a tournament than having a specified number of rounds”, says Rubenstein. “People can take breaks or eat lunch whenever they want. And if one of their games ends quickly, they have a good chance of finding an opponent for their next game pretty soon, without having to wait until the next round would begin. Some people play each other every week at their local club. Being at the tournament is a great opportunity for them to play other people, and with this style of tournament they have that choice.”

Winners were: Liqun Liu 7d (4-0), Daniel Puzan 1d (5-0) Cong Chen 4k (5-0), Zaid Alawi 9k (4-0) and Dylan Reiger 10k (6-0). “Kudos to Daniel, Cong and Dylan for continuing to play more games — and risk their assured first-place positions — after winning the requisite four to be eligible for prizes,” says Rubenstein. Honorable mentions for Most Games Played went to Scott Gerson with 9 games, and David Rohde, Chris Martin and Tyler Andryscyk, with 8 games each.

Rubenstein is hosting a Lee Sedol/AlphaGo watch party Tuesday night at his home at 917 Maple Ave in Evanston, IL. Contact him at mark@evanstongoclub.org if you want to attend.

Share
Categories: U.S./North America
Share

Your Move/Readers Write: Computer Chess v. Go is Apples & Oranges

Sunday March 6, 2016

“Apples and oranges,” writes Chris Uzal in response to our 2/29 report, Chess Players Counsel Calm As Computers Close in on Go “Chess has not come to terms with the fact that the game is over. Kasparov lost almost 20 years ago. The most recent computer cheating scandal was last year. Chess players have been facing a brute force program whenever a computer is on the other side of the board. Go players will be facing an 2016.03.03_apples-orangesartificial intelligence. Chess players can give their judges tools to show the best move for a certain rating. Go players will not be able to distinguish human moves versus artificial intelligence moves. Judges will have no such tools. Go players online may soon be faced with a situation that any game slower than blitz will not be accepted. Go players who want a slow, deep game won’t bother with humans once they can gain access to the likes of AlphaGo. Human to human, real-life games will be either very casual, teaching or tournament. Go will become a more philosophical and sublime endeavor. Not necessarily a bad thing. There are too many players using their rank as a measure of mental prowess. People either do not know or do not care about the ancient greats like Shusaku or the not so ancient Go Seigen. Those are just ghosts if they are known at all. AlphaGo would be a welcome symbol of the summit for the game of Go. If you’re not AlphaGo, and you’re not, get back to studying life-and-death. Bottom line: I look forward to playing, losing and learning in the new artificial intelligence era.”
The first game in the Lee Sedol-AlphaGo match will be Tuesday, March 8, 8p PST (11p EST). The match will be livestreamed on DeepMind’s YouTube channel with English commentary by Michael Redmond 9p with American Go E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock.

Share

Ke Jie defeats Lee Sedol to win Nongshim Cup for China

Sunday March 6, 2016

Ke Jie 9p defeated Lee Sedol 9p in the final game of the 17th Nongshim Cup on March 5, enabling Team China to take the Cup back home for 2016.03.06_Ke-Jie-trophy-Nongshim-Cupanother year. While Korea has dominated this event, winning it 11 times, China now has five wins; Japan has won it only once. The Nongshim Cup is a team event between China, Japan and Korea, sponsored by the Korean instant noodles company. Lee Sedol had scored three consecutive wins, beating Gu Li, Lian Xiao and Iyama Yuta. The match against Ke Jie was Lee’s fourth in as many days and though some worried that he’d be tired going into the final round, others said it was a great opportunity for Lee because of his form’s sweeping upturn. Although Ke Jie was the last man standing for China, his head-to-head record against Lee was 7-2 and he demonstrated a superior sense of balance in the Nongshim final, resolving a tense middle game with a trade and employing his excellent endgame technique to close out the win.
- adapted from a longer report on Go Game Guru, which includes more details, game commentaries and more photos.

Share
Categories: China,Japan,Korea
Share

Lee Sedol confident about upcoming match with AlphaGO

Sunday March 6, 2016

Can machines overtake human intelligence? A breakthrough moment for that answer may come this week when the world champion of the2016.03.06_Korean grandmaster confident ancient board game go takes on an AI program developed by Google. Korean Lee Sedol and AlphaGO will go toe-to-toe in the ultimate man versus machine battle. In this Arirang News video, Kim Ji-yeon reports on how the human champion thinks the match will play out.

The go world was shocked and intrigued in January, when news broke of DeepMind AlphaGo’s victory over top European pro Fan Hui 2p. Since the publication of DeepMind’s paper in Nature, and the release of the game records, professionals around the globe have had time to analyse AlphaGo’s play in more detail, and a consensus has emerged that although AlphaGo’s victory over top European pro Fan Hui 2p was a great advance in computer go ability, DeepMind would not be celebrating victory if it had been a top professional sitting across the go board back in October. This week we’ll find out.
- adapted from reports by the Arirang News and Go Game Guru.

The first game will be Tuesday, March 8, 8p PST (11p EST). The match will be livestreamed on DeepMind’s YouTube channel with English commentary by Michael Redmond 9p with American Go E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock.

Share
Categories: Computer Go/AI,Korea
Share

Korea Tops IEMG Pair Go

Thursday March 3, 2016

Koreans Park Jeonghwan 9p and Choi Jeong 6p defeated the Chinese team of Tang Weixing 9p and Yu Zhiying 5p to take first place in the three 2016.03.04_mind-games-pair-goround pair go competition at the IMSA Elite Mind Games in Huaian.  

Playing for North America, the Canadian team off Ryan Li 1p and Sarah Yu 6d, took sixth place overall, losing to Ilya Shikshin 1p and Natalya Kovaleva 5d.  Li and Yu lost in round one to the Taiwanese team of Joanne Missingham 7p and Lin-li Hsiang 6p, but scored a win in round two against Ali Jabarin 1p of Israel and Elvina Kalsberg 5d of Russia.  

Japan secured third place with Tomoya Hirata 7P and Hoshiai Shiho 1P defeating Missingham and Hsiang.
- Andy Okun, Special Correspondent for the E-Journal, with reporting by Hajin Lee
photo: Pair go top medalists with Pair Go founder Mrs Taki and local CP official

Share

The Janice Kim Files: Applying David Lee Roth’s “Brown M&M” strategy to go

Thursday March 3, 2016

by Janice Kim 3P2016.02.20-janiceKim

The world is surely converging…years ago after reading about David Lee Roth’s “Brown M&M” strategy for finding an indicator in a complex system, it seemed like the best tool I had ever heard of for approaching the opening in go, a simple and elegant way to understand opening theory, and apply it in real games. (Van Halen Frontman David Lee Roth Taking Go Lessons from Myungwan Kim 3/2 EJ)

Roth’s idea is genius: with an arena rock concert to set up in four hours, how to know with reasonable certainty that every technical specification in a 1000-page manual has been met? Answer: Insert a clause somewhere in the middle that there will be a bowl of M&Ms in your dressing room, with the brown ones picked out. No M&Ms, or brown M&Ms, no show.

The beauty of David Lee Roth, is to actually follow this, and knowing it’s beyond explanation or legal argument, just smash some stuff and refuse to go on. The one time he went on anyway when there were brown M&Ms, part of the set collapsed.

One of the brown M&Ms in go are those pesky third line stones lined up in one direction on one side of the board. I can use no other analysis tool, and so far accurately determine whether the opening is a fail or not. Here, I’ll show you :)

Once, I explained to Kim Myung-wan 9 dan David Lee Roth’s brown M&M strategy and how it applies to go. He may have thought I was kidding, but appeared to good-naturedly accept it as just another example of how go is really at the center of things, after all. Hmmmm, like the chocolate inside that thin, thin colorful shell that melts in your mouth, not in your hand…

My hat is off to David Lee Roth, a great musician whose thought truly spans our odd global modern age, and Kim Myung-wan, a great player of games, who may not know he is the David Lee Roth of the game world. (Sorry!)

PS. In regard to the other news items I’ve been reading — let’s not get carried away, folks. I’m sure that when Asians first started seeing Westerners play go, they were intrigued, and opinions were all over the place. But no one thought that a Westerner winning a game against a top Asian, or setting up a match with the expectation of winning, meant that Westerners had “surpassed” Asians, or it was only a matter of time. Even if it were so, Asians will probably not stop playing go, of course. And of course, someone will probably make some where-are-you-going-with-this case for Westerners to be inherently better at go playing. The show goes on, with me smashing up dressing rooms in my mind.

Share
Categories: The Janice Kim Files
Share

Report from the 9th annual NOVA Chinese Lunar New Year Tourney

Thursday March 3, 2016

The 9th annual NOVA Chinese Lunar New Year tournament was held on Saturday, 27 Feb, at George Mason University’s Law School in 2016.03.04_nova-new-yearArlington VA. Forty-seven players participated, ranging from 6 dan to 30 Kyu. Click here to see a photo album from the tournament.
In the main tournament, the winners were:
First place: Yuan Wang, 3D (3-1); Kabe Chin, 2D (3-1); Xiaoxhan Zhang, 1D (3-1); Jeremy Young, 3K (4-0); Anderson Barreal, 8K (4-0); Dierdre Golash, 11K (4-0); Christopher Harzer, 13K (4-0); Antonina Perez-Lopez, 20K (3-1); and Timothy Koh, 22K and Sid Suh, 30K (tied at 4-0)
Second place: Justin Teng, 6D (3-1); Yunlong Zheng, 2D (2-2); Mohan Sud, 1D and John Wang, 1D (tie at 2-2); Joey Phoon, 5K (3-1); Patrick Sun, 6K (3-1); Brandon Sloane, 11K (3-1); Sean Lin, 15K and Benjamin Lin, 18K (tied at 3-1); Ethan Tung, 21K and Adam Wang, 21K (tied at 2-2); Andrew Chen, 30K and Anne Shen, 30K (tied at 2-2)
As usual, a side tournament for beginners was played in the afternoon. Six players participated: Julian T won all five games, and Andrew W won four of five to come in second.
- report/photo by Allan Abramson
Share
Categories: U.S./North America
Share

Your Move/Readers Write: Enjoying Shotwell’s Interview; AlphaGo viewing party in San Juan, Puerto Rico

Thursday March 3, 2016

Enjoying Shotwell’s Interview: “I really enjoyed reading Peter Shotwell’s November 2015 interview with Cole Pruitt on ‘The Surrounding Game’” writes Jean de Maiffe. “Thanks for the article linking to it.”

AlphaGo viewing party in San Juan, Puerto Rico: Tuesday night (March 8th), meeting at 23:30 AST (one half hour before game start) in Old San Juan.  Contact Ryan Grant <aga@rgrant.org> for details.

 

Share

Van Halen Frontman David Lee Roth Taking Go Lessons from Myungwan Kim

Wednesday March 2, 2016

David Lee Roth, wit, adventurer and often the lead singer of hard rock veterans Van Halen, has been taking go lessons from Kim Myungwan 9p,2016.03.01_david-lee-roth-go-lesson the EJ has learned.  The rock legend on Monday posted a black and white photo on his Facebook page of the two discussing an early game go position.  The text reads “6:34 Go lesson with Myungwan Kim; losing as usual.”  Roth was lead singer of Van Halen from 1972 to 1985, released such hits as “Unchained,”  “Eruption” and “Dance the Night Away,” then again in 1996, and in 2001.  He rejoined the band in 2007 to tour and record to the present day.  In between his stints with the band, he has had an active solo career, worked as a radio personality and an EMT, and written a best-selling and well-regarded memoir.   Among the many comments fans promptly posted on his photo with Kim: “Oh Dave, you may be a loser at whatever the ***k that is, but you will remain a winner in our hearts.”

Share
Categories: U.S./North America
Share

Your Move/Readers Write: Where to find the AlphaGo-Lee match?

Wednesday March 2, 2016

“Hey folks, you’ve had three stories about watching the AlphaGo-Lee match recently, but in none of them did you bother to give instructions for2016.03.02_deepmind-screengrab how to stream it,” writes Howard A. Landman. “I’d like to host a viewing party, but at the moment I have no idea what URL to go to or what else I’d need to do. Could you possibly give some brief how-to instructions?”
The local US times for the upcoming AlphaGo-Lee Sedol match are 8p PST and 11p EST. The first match will be Tuesday, March 8. The tournament will be livestreamed on DeepMind’s YouTube channel with English commentary by Michael Redmond 9p with American Go E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock. It will also be broadcast on TV throughout Asia through Korea’s Baduk TV, as well as in China, Japan, and elsewhere. More details on the SmartGo website.

Share
Categories: Computer Go/AI,Korea
Share