American Go E-Journal » 2017 » August

Moon Cha Memorial Tournament set for Sept 9 at Nat’l Go Center

Thursday August 31, 2017

The next tournament at the NGC will be on Saturday, September 9th. It will be a 4-round AGA rated tournament. Online pre-registration is available here at a 20% discount from registering at the tournament. The tournament memorializes Moon Cha, a key figure in popularizing go in the national capitol area. “That we are fortunate to have a National Go Center in DC today can be traced back in many ways to his efforts and those he inspired,” reported the NGC in its latest newsletter.

“Moon was amongst the first wave of strong Asian players who dominated an increasingly active tournament scene on the East Coast in the 1960s and ’70s,” wrote Keith Arnold in the EJ in September 2005 when the first Moon Cha Memorial Tournament was held, two years after Moon Cha’s death. “Along with Matsuda, Kwon, Horiguchi and Shen in New York, Ishikawa in Philadelphia and Kang in Baltimore, he was one of the stalwarts of the “pre Ing Cup” generation – challenging for the U.S. Championship in 1965 and 1966.” 

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Categories: U.S./North America
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Mexico readies for the first Latin American Go Congress in October

Wednesday August 30, 2017

Mexico will be the host country for the first-ever Latin American Go Congress in Cancun, Mexico October 13-15. Sponsored by the International 2017.08.27_CancunGo Federation, the event will host the 19th Ibero American Go Championship, the final match of the 1st Pandanet Go Latin American Team Championship, the 1st Latin American Youth Go Championship, the 2nd Ibero American Pair Go Championship and a Go Instructors seminar taught by experts of Kwonkapyong Baduk Academy, one of the best go academies in South Korea.

2017.08.27_Salón EmporioProfessional players from Japan, Korea and North America will be hand as well to teach lectures, review championship games and play simul games with the participants.

“We are expecting many players from abroad. From Argentina, Colombia, Brasil and Ecuador we have complete delegations registered, among participants from other countries as Costa Rica, Venezuela, Denmark and the US” reports Congress director and Mexican Go Association president Emil García. “It will be a great event. It’s about time that Latin America had its own Congress and considering the nearness of Mexico to the United States we are more than pleased to invite the AGA community to participate. See you in Cancun!”

Register and find more information here.

photos: Cancun beach and playing venue.

 

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Categories: South America
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Your Move/Readers Write: How to grow a go community?

Wednesday August 30, 2017

How to grow a go community? For the last couple months, I had been hosting a regular club on sundays to try and establish a go community in Wichita,” writes Billy Bloomquist. “I have a made a group on Facebook to try and publicize it, and so far I do have a few people I have taught and that have been continuing to play, so that’s great. However, I am reaching out to see if I could get any tips on how to expand this kind of thing/keep it visible in a place where hardly anyone knows of the game. A good list of learning materials for people starting from scratch could be helpful as well, just anything you think could be useful for me to invest in. I’d love to see it grow in popularity here in Kansas, and am willing to continue putting in whatever effort I can at least here in my city.”
Email your suggestions to journal@usgo.org

 

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Microdosing study to use go to test creativity

Tuesday August 29, 2017

For years now, reports Inverse, trendy Silicon Valley bros have been sustaining a slight buzz by microdosing, claiming a few potent hits of LSD can supercharge a workday. Until now, there hasn’t been much in the way of science to back it up, but Amanda Feilding hopes to change that. 2017.08.27_Does LSD Microdosing Make You SmarterFeilding is founder of the Beckley Foundation and a leading researcher in the field of psychedelics and consciousness. She’s got a plan to prove that microdosing LSD makes you a better problem solver. She’s throwing the established protocols for evaluating cognition and creativity out the window in favor of a much more straightforward objective: How do test subjects fare when playing the ancient Chinese game of Go?

It’s a protocol imagined from her experiences among friends as students of physiology and psychology more than 50 years ago. “We were working very, very hard,” she tells Inverse. “And as recreation in the evenings, we used to play the ancient Chinese game of Go. I found that I won more games if I was on LSD, against an opponent I knew well. And that showed me that, actually, my problem-solving, my creative thinking, was enhanced while on LSD.” Feilding’s study, to be run through the Beckley/Imperial Research Programme, is designed to have 20 participants take a dose of LSD at 10, 20, and 50 micrograms (a typical recreational dose is 100 micrograms) and also a placebo. Each time they will complete questionnaires on their mood and other vectors, will undergo brain scans, and will play Go against a computer.

“The tests of creativity, which are current, like Torrance Test, they don’t really test for creativity. They test more for intelligence, or word recognition, or whatever,” says Feilding. “They can’t test those ‘aha’ moments in putting new insights together, whereas the Go game does test for that. You suddenly see, ‘Aha! That’s the right move to enclose the space.’”
- from The Plan to Prove Microdosing Makes You Smarter 

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Your Move/Readers Write: Gary Kasparov on AlphaGo

Tuesday August 29, 2017

By Michael Bacon

Enjoyed the coverage of the Go Congress immensely! Could not help but poke a few of my chess friends in the eye while contrasting all the coverage it received with all the coverage the recent US Open did not receive on the organ of US chess, the USCF webpage. I’ve also been transfixed by Michael Redmond’s videos. The man is a national treasure!

Former World Human Chess Champion Gary Kasparov, who will always be remembered as the human who lost to a ‘machine,’ in his apologia for having lost to the computer chess ‘engine’ called ‘Deep Blue’ — not for having turned Kasparov a deep shade of blue, and a whiter shade of pale, I might add — writes about go in ‘Deep Thinking: Where Machine Intelligence Ends and Human Creativity Begins‘:2017.08.27_Deep Thinking-Kasparov
“The nineteen-by-nineteen Go board with its 361 black and white stones is too big of a matrix to crack by brute force, too subtle to be decided by the tactical blunders that define human losses to computers at chess. In that 1990 article on Go as a new target for AI, a team of Go programmers said they were roughly twenty years behind chess. This turned out to be remarkably accurate. In 2016, nineteen years after my loss to Deep Blue, the Google-backed AI project DeepMind and its Go-playing offshoot AlphaGo defeated the world’s top Go player, Lee Sedol. More importantly, and also as predicted, the methods used to create AlphaGo were more interesting as an AI project than anything had produced the top chess machines. It uses machine learning and nural networks to teach itself how to play better, as well as other sophisticated techniques beyond the usual alpha-beta search. Deep Blue was the end; AlphaGo is the beginning.” (pgs. 74-75)

Please note the author capitalizes “Go,” but not “chess.” I find that curious as I have always capitalized “Chess.” (note: the EJ does not capitalize go, consistent with AP style) In addition, Lee Sedol, as all go players know, was not the “…world’s top Go player,” when he lost to the computer program known as AlphaGo.

2017.08.27_kasparov-bookWe move along to page 104 where one finds this:2017.08.27_Kasparov-playing
“The machine-learning approach might have eventually worked with chess, and some attempts have been made. Google’s AlphaGo uses these techniques extensively with a database of around thirty million moves. As predicted, rules and brute force alone weren’t enough to beat the top Go players. But by 1989, Deep Thought had made it quite clear that such experimental techniques weren’t necessary to be good enough at chess to challenge the world’s best players.”

Finally, on page 121, Kasparov, or his co-author Mig Greengard, writes this paragraph:
“More success was had with another method for allowing machines to extend their thinking into the hypothetical outside of the direct search tree. Monte Carlo tree search simulates entire games played out from positions in the search and records them as wins, draws, or losses. It stores the results and uses them to decide which positions to play out next, over and over. Playing out millions of “games within the game” like this was not particularly effective or necessary for chess, but it turned out to be essential in Go and other games where accurate evaluation is very difficult for machines. The Monte Carlo method doesn’t require evaluation knowledge or hand-crafted rules; it just keeps track of the numbers and moves toward the better ones.”

While reading I continually thought of former World Human Chess Champion Emanuel Lasker’s famous quote, “If there are sentient beings on other planets, then they play Go.”

Not chess; go!

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Record number of game records posted from 2017 Congress tourneys

Monday August 28, 2017

More than 80 game records from the 2017 U.S. Masters tournament earlier this month have now been posted on the Masters crosstab, 2017.08.27_congress-arnold-analysis-IMG_8713including an extra bonus treat with the games by Sorin Gherman, who got them all commented by pros, including Yamashiro Hiroshi 9p, Tsuruta Kazushi 4p, Li Yuankun 1p, Myungwan Kim 9p and Matthew Hu 2p (his opponent in round 8 on board 9).

Meanwhile, 126 game records from the 2017 U.S. Open have been posted on the crosstab. Thanks to everyone who submitted records, with special thanks to those who sent in all their games: Keith L. Arnold, Soren Jaffe, Edward Lee, Dave Whipp, and those sent in almost all of their games: Ashish Varma, Eric Wainwright, Andrew Zhang, Eugene Zhang, Steve Zhang. Extra special thanks to Dennis Wheeler for uploading the game records.

Note: if you missed the deadline for submitting game records, you can still send them to us at journal@usgo.org and we’ll do our best to get them added. Be sure to complete the game information with both player’s names and the game result.

photo: Yilun Yang 7P (left) analyzes one of Keith Arnold’s (right, in cap) U.S. Open games; photo by Chris Garlock

 

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Your Move/Readers Write: On AlphaGo, an air of defeat, and a haiku

Monday August 28, 2017

“At the recent US Go Congress I sensed an air of defeat among some of the players with respect to AlphaGo,” writes John O’Conner. “They gave 2017.08.27_alphago-lee-sedolme the impression that they consider the study of go to be somewhat of a dead end process because they believe that no one will ever be able to compete with AlphaGo. Well I think just the opposite, and here’s why. It is human nature to observe, study, and discover. We see this in astronomy, geometry, electronics, and really in any scientific area. It’s how we learn to live our lives. I believe that as we observe and study AlphaGo, we will discover new concepts that will lead to the defeat of AlphaGo. Of course those new concepts will be programmed into ‘BetaGo’, and the cycle will continue. So I think that this is perhaps the most exciting time to be playing and studying go, with the goal of being the first to surpass AlphaGo. I’ve re-stated it in the haiku below.”

AlphaGo is king
Wood, fire, earth, metal, water
So who will be next

photo: Lee Sedol playing AlphaGo in 2016

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“Invisible” available online; Yuan Zhou’s “AlphaGo vs. Ke Jie 9P”; Go World/AGJ issues available; Dino Pair Go

Sunday August 27, 2017

“Invisible” available online: “Invisible: The Games of AlphaGo” is now available online. ‘It’s a fascinating account,” says John Power, author of “Invincible: The Games of Shūsaku.” “I strongly recommend Invisible to any go player interested in the present and the future 2017.08.27_alphago-vs-ke-jieof go.”

Yuan Zhou’s “AlphaGo vs. Ke Jie 9P”: Also just out is Yuan Zhou’s “AlphaGo vs. Ke Jie 9P” from Slate & Shell and available through Amazon. Despite losing all three games,2017.08.27_pair-go-dinos Ke Jie did better than any one else had, and Yuan Zhou gives a thorough and insightful analysis of the match and reflects on the significance of AlphaGo for the go community.

Go World/AGJ issues available: You recently published a letter about the donation of go books to libraries (which I have already done) but I have heard nothing about libraries housing go magazines,” writes Joel Sanet. “I have a complete set of Go Worlds and the print version of the American Go Journal (there might be one issue missing) that I am willing to donate for the cost of reimbursement of  shipping which I estimate to be in the range of $40 each. Any library that is interested can contact me at yosdan30@comcast.net. BTW I have not see the NY Times crossword puzzle reported by Roy Schmidt but I suspect the answer to the clue “Travel edition of a classic board game?” is “on the go go.”

photo: a particularly intimidating couple at the Pair Go Tournament at the recent U.S. Go Congress; photo by Eric Wainwright 

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Your Move/Readers Write: Naked go classes; Who wrote ’42 Life story? Next AlphaGo series?

Sunday August 27, 2017

Naked go classes: “The August 12th issue of The Economist relates the decline of Japan’s public baths,” writes Phil Waldron. “From a high of 2700 there are now fewer than 600, and those that remain are struggling to reinvent themselves. Some are turning into spas to cater to upscale clientele or foreigners while others are putting on performances and concerts. The Economist mentions one particularly creative establishment, however, which has gone a different route. In an attempt to appeal to the younger crowd, it now offers naked go classes!”

Who wrote ’42 Life story? “Does anyone know who wrote the May 18, 1942 go article in Life magazine?” wonders Jonathan Chetwynd. “Most articles have a writer, but not this one…”
Email journal@usgo.org 

Next AlphaGo series? “When will the next set of Alphago videos be put on YouTube?” asks George Shutack.
Production has just begun; we’ll keep you posted.

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Go Classified: Go books; Board, bowls & stones for sale

Sunday August 27, 2017

Go books for sale: Selling most of my go book collection comprising about 40 books. Email hughbzhang@gmail.com for the full list if interested.

Board, bowls & stones for sale: Go board, 5.5cm of solid, very fine-grained wood and quite handsome. 12 pounds, 16.5” X 18” X 2.2; two bowls (perhaps mulberry?), 5.5” wide, 3.1” high; stones, 1.87” wide, double convex glass. All in excellent condition in the original box. $75. Pick up in person in Annapolis, Maryland. Contact K. Dove at k.dove@mac.com

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Categories: Go Classified
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