American Go E-Journal » 2017 » November

Upcoming Go Events: New York City

Monday November 13, 2017

November 18: New York City, NY
Gotham Go Tournament
Peter Armenia parmenia@earthlink.net 919-450-8770
Chris Sira cbsira@gmail.com

Get the latest go events information.

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DeepMind has yet to find out how smart its AlphaGo Zero AI could be

Monday November 13, 2017

“Perhaps the most interesting thing about AlphaGo Zero, though, isn’t how fast it was able to do what it did, or with such efficacy, but also that2017.11.12_hassabis-techcrunch it ultimately didn’t even achieve its full potential,” reports TechCrunch. “DeepMind CEO and co-founder Demis Hassabis explained on stage at Google’s Go North conference in Toronto that the company actually shut down the experiment before it could determine the upper limits of AlphaGo Zero’s maximum intelligence.”

“We never actually found the limit of how good this version of AlphaGo could get,” he said. “We needed the computers for something else.”

Hassabis said that DeepMind may spin up AlphaGo Zero again in future to find out how much further it can go, though the main benefit of that exercise might be to help teach human AlphaGo players about additional, “alien” moves and stratagems that they can study to improve their own play.

PLUS: The October issue of Games magazine includes “A God of Go: AlphaGo Crosses the Next Frontier of Artificial Intelligence”

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Berlin’s “Go to Innovation” tourney celebrates 20 years with bigger prize pot (and free beer)

Monday November 13, 2017

Perhaps the only go tournament in the world offering free beer, the 20th “Go to Innovation” tournament will be held November 17-19 in Berlin,2017.11.11_go-to-innovation Germany. The 8-round tournament starts Friday with four rounds on Saturday and the final two on Sunday. The free draft beer is not available until noon on Saturday. The top 10 winners will split a prize pool of 4,650€. In addition to the main prizes for the players, there’s a 500€ Omikron Data Quality GmbH prize for the best player, 250€ for the runner-up and 125€ for 3rd-best plus a Jackpot of 500€ for 8 wins. Click here for registration details. Good accommodations near the venue at reasonable prices can be found here or here.

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Life and death on Halloween in Seattle

Sunday November 12, 2017

The Seattle Go Center had eight competitors, all kyu players, in the Contest of Life and Death on Halloween. Halloween Lucy and Nick watchFrank Lam did a great job of curating problems from the Nihon Ki-in that were challenging to our kyu players, and that had a single correct first move. Kyle Burg assisted ably. Lucy Wang won the competition, with 5 out 8 problems solved on the first try.  The prize was a quart of premium ice cream, which Lucy shared.  There was also pumpkin pie.
photo: Lucy Wang and Nick Wilmes watch Zhi Wei Chen try the second set of problems.
- photo/report by Brian Allen

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Go Spotting: Art Institute of Chicago

Sunday November 12, 2017

by Greg KulevichFour Accomplishments

I have searched high and low for any mention of go at the Art Institute of Chicago, and I’ve finally found one (or two). Go is seen being Immortalsplayed in two Chinese scrolls in the new exhibition “As the Story Unrolls.” It’s interesting to note that the board dimensions in these scenes appear to be 25×17. I’m curious if anyone knows if this was just the artist’s choice, or if this was actually the standard size of the time?

If you want to see the scrolls they are at the Art Institute of Chicago in Gallery 134, but time is running out. They are only on view through December 3, 2017.

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Boston Winter Open set for December 2

Sunday November 12, 2017

The Boston Winter Open is set for Saturday, December 2 at MIT in Cambridge, MA. The four-round tournament — hosted by MIT, organized by2017.11.11_boston-spring-2017 Cam Wagner and the MIT Go club, the MGA, and The Gojo — is open to up to 80 players, with two divisions, Open and Handicap. Entrants must be AGA 1d+ to play in the Open Division and may opt in on the day of the tournament. Even games with cash prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. Anyone can play in the Handicap Division. Games will be handicap – 2 with prizes for 4-0 and 3-1 records. Click here for details and to RSVP.

photo: at the 2017 Boston Spring Open

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AlphaGo Zero-AlphaGo Master: Two openings, less variety

Saturday November 11, 2017

“In the set of 20 games between AG Zero and AG Master, there are pretty much just two openings — i.e. identical moves for about the first 202017.11.11_ag-ag-zero-opening moves — one with Zero as Black and one with Master as Black,” says Michael Redmond 9p in this first commentary on the recently released AG Zero games. “This provides an opportunity to examine how Zero differs from Master, as well as how Master differs from earlier versions. ”

“When AGMaster plays against AGZero, it does not show the variety that it had before,” says Redmond. “As AG does not change within a version, I find it hard to accept that it apparently does not have the option to play moves that it played before in identical board positions. In the ‘Master series’, 60 games played against top pros in Dec 2016 to Jan 2017, Master could play the 3-4 point as it’s first move in about 1/4 of the games when it had Black. Incidentally, AGKeJie also could play the 3-4 point in some of it’s games. The fact that Master repeats the same opening every time in these games against AGZero bothers me and makes me question, is this truly the same version of AGMaster that played the Master series, and if so, what caused it to play the same opening every time in this series, when it was allowed to have variety in previous games with identical board positions? The difference in calculated winning percentage between A and B should be extremely small and I would expect it to have little or no effect on the ultimate win-loss record. This set of games would be much more valuable if Master had been allowed to vary in it’s choices for moves.”

Click here for Redmond’s video commentary, hosted by the AGA E-Journal’s Chris Garlock, and see below for the two sgf commentaries. Note that these commentaries focus only on the two openings; watch for a full-game Zero-Master commentary next week. Click here for a playlist of all the Redmond AG commentaries.

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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Two Slate & Shell books back in print

Saturday November 11, 2017

After a short hiatus, two of Slate & Shell’s books have returned to print. Yilun Yang’s clear presentation of basic guidelines for how to find the2017.11.11_fundamental-yang 2017.11.11_masterplay-zhoucorrect play in many common situations has made “Fundamental Principles of Go” an extremely popular book. Yuan Zhou analyzes three of Iyama Yuta’s games in “MasterPlay: The Style of Iyama Yuta.” has dominated the Japanese pro scene in a way no other pro ever has; he leans toward a territorial style but also has excellent fighting skills and Zhou show many illuminating ideas in his analysis.

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Seong-jin Kim dominates EGCC Anniversary Tournament

Saturday November 11, 2017

Seong-Jin Kim 8d won the EGCC 25th Anniversary Tournament, held October 21-22 at the European Go Cultural Centre (EGCC) in2017.11.11_Seong-jin Kim 8d Simul Amstelveen, the Netherlands. The tournament was the centerpiece of the Center’s 25th anniversary celebrations, which included a series of events held October 20-22, from a European Go Teachers’ Day to simuls and an evening reception.

The festivities began on Friday morning, October 20, with a full day of seminars, discussion, presentations and brainstorming by eighteen go teachers from seven different countries. Rob van Zeijst and Kalli Balduin organized the session, which featured topics like the professionalization of Western go education, the mindset of the teacher and his students, the do’s and don’ts of go teaching, obstacles for go teachers and how to overcome them, and the everlasting question “how to best promote our 2017.11.11_Cleaning EGCCs Go Equipmentsport?”

A reception Friday night was highlighted by distinguished guests, including Hiroshi Yamashiro, vice-president of the Nihon Ki-in, Setsuko Kawahara, minister of the Embassy of Japan in the Netherlands, Maaike van Veeningen, alderman of the city of Amstelveen, Kenji Saito, chairman of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce (JCC) in the Netherlands, Martin Stiassny, president of the European Go Federation and Han Ellenbroek, president of the Dutch Go Association.

The EGCC Anniversary Go Tournament ran Saturday and Sunday, October 21-22, and was preceded by the work of three fanatics who cleaned all the EGCC’s go equipment, a long overdue task. Michał Łukasiewicz, Justyna Klęczar and Kim Ouweleen took several days to clean the Center’s 54 kaya and katsura go boards, as well as thousands of slate and shell go stones (left) and their bowls. On Saturday evening, after an Indonesian style dinner, participants had their choice of several fun side events, including simuls with Artem Kachanovskyi 1p, Cătălin Țăranu 5p, Seong-jin Kim 8d (top right) and Stanisław Frejlak 6d.
- adapted from a report by Kim Ouweleen. Click here for complete tournament results. photos by Judith van Dam (EuroGoTV); report edited by Chris Garlock

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The Power Report (2 of 2): Rin Kaiho receives decoration in autumn honors; Ichiriki to challenge for Kisei

Saturday November 11, 2017

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal2017.11.10_Rin Kaiho

Rin Kaiho receives decoration in autumn honors:
Rin Kaiho (Lin Haifeng) 9P has been awarded a decoration by the Japanese government in the autumn honors. Rin (right) was one of the top players in the second half of the 20th century. He has scored 1400 wins as a professional, behind only Cho Chikun, and has won 35 titles, including the Meijin eight times, the Honinbo and Tengen five times each (he is Honorary Tengen), and the Oza, Judan, and Gosei once each. He is a disciple of Go Seigen, who received the same decoration, and has many Taiwanese disciples (though born in Shanghai in 1942, he is a citizen of Taiwan), including Cho U. The success for which Rin is best remembered is defeating Sakata Eio, 2017.11.10_Ichiriki L Yamashita Rconsidered almost invincible at the time, and becoming Meijin at the age of 23, then a youth record. Twenty-six Nihon Ki-in players have received a total of 37 decorations.

Ichiriki to challenge for Kisei: The first game of the play-off to decide the challenger for the 42nd Kisei title was held at the Tokyo headquarters of the Nihon Ki-in on November 9. Taking white, Ichiriki Ryo (left), the winner of the S League, defeated Yamashita Keigo 9P (right), second in the same league, by resignation after 216 moves. As the S League winner, Ichiriki starts the play-off with a one-win advantage, so this win made him 2-0 and made him the challenger to Iyama Yuta Kisei. That means that the two will meet in three successive title matches, making a super-series best-of-17 (a minimum of ten games will be played). Ichiriki is the youngest player to challenge for the Kisei title. Becoming the challenger earned him promotion to 8-dan (as of (November 10). The first game of the title match will be played on January 18 and 19.

Promotion: To 2-dan: Hirose Yuichi (30 wins, as of Nov. 3)

Correction: this post has been updated to reflect the fact that Rin Kaiho has born in 1942, not 1952. 

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