American Go E-Journal » Columns

Redmond AlphaGo Q&A released

Wednesday October 11, 2017

Michael Redmond’s series of commentaries on the fascinating AlphaGo-AlphaGo games has proven extremely popular, with nearly 90,0002017.10.11_ag-ag-thumb-qa views so far, and lots of comments from viewers. Today Redmond, along with host Chris Garlock, releases his first Q&A video, responding to some of those questions. “It’s been a wonderful challenge, not only trying to understand these complex, historic games, but figuring out how to explain them,” says Redmond, “so the response to the videos has been quite gratifying and we’re pleased to acknowledge and respond in this new series of Q&A videos.”

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AlphaGo-AlphaGo Game 10 (Part 2): An unexpected trade and a 10-group battle

Saturday October 7, 2017

Part 2 of the Game 10 commentary begins at move 113. “At this point, the game looked ready for a peaceful endgame, with White in the lead.”2017.10.07_AlphaGo vs. Alphago Game 10-part2 2017.10.07_ag-ag-thumb-10bsays Michael Redmond 9p in his commentary. “By move 121, however, White has given away about 20 points, an unexpected trade that transforms the game radically. Back in a wildly dangerous middle game, complications that arise from a fight in the center will put ten groups in danger.”

Click here for Redmond’s video commentary, hosted by the AGA E-Journal’s Chris Garlock. (For Part 1, click here for the video commentary and here for the sgf file).

“Looking forward to these every week,” Leo Dorst commented on Part 1, echoing the sentiments of many viewers. “Such a great way to start the weekend after a late Friday night at the Amsterdam Go Club. Rereading my old Go World magazines I see Michael moving to Japan. If he had not done so and trained there, we might not now have these wonderful commentaries. Sometimes the world just makes sense…” Watch for a Q&A video here next week with Redmond in which he responds to selected comments.

The Game 10 videos are 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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AlphaGo-AlphaGo Game 10 (Part 1): An unusual pincer and a new move

Friday October 6, 2017

“This game is like two games in one, and it starts with an unusual pincer by black and then a new move by white,” says Michael Redmond 9p in 2017.10.06_ag-ag-thumb-10ahis game commentary on AlphaGo-AlphaGo Game 10. “Then there’s a series of fights that goes in a circle around the board, each one contained but each quite exciting.”

Click here for Redmond’s video commentary, hosted by the AGA E-Journal’s Chris Garlock.

The game is so complex that the commentary is being released in two parts; Part 1 goes through move 112 and Part 2, which will be released Saturday, October 7 at 6p EDT, contains the remainder of the commentary. Enjoy!

The Game 10 videos are 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: Iyama takes lead in Meijin title match; Fujisawa Rina does well in Gosei; Xie makes good start in Women’s Honinbo; Shibano wins King of the New Stars

Wednesday October 4, 2017

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal2017.10.03_Meijin 3 Iyama Cho U Takao

Iyama takes lead in Meijin title match: The third game of the 42nd Meijin title match between Takao Shinji Meijin and Iyama Yuta was held at the Kiyomi Mountain Villa: Hana-jukai, Takamatsu City, Kagawa Prefecture on September 21 and 222017.10.03_Meijin4 Iyama02. The match was level at 1-all, so this was a key game: the winner would gain momentum, and the loser would come under pressure. Fighting started early in the top right corner, but Iyama, who had black, surprised the players following the game with a tenuki with 17. After playing just two moves in the bottom left corner, he came back to the first fight. The spectators (via a TV monitor) couldn’t work out the point of the two moves in the bottom left, but, after some hard thought, Cho U 9P, the Asahi Newspaper commentator on the game, worked out that Iyama’s aim was to prevent Takao from playing a sequence that ended up in a ladder if Black kept playing the most aggressive moves. His moves at 17 and 19 acted as a ladder breaker. Takao modified his play and ended up taking profit in the top right while giving Iyama influence.

Both sides continued to play aggressively, making the game one complicated fight after another. After a ko fight won by Takao in the bottom left, he invaded Black’s bottom right territory and succeeded in living after fighting a number of kos. Again, Iyama took compensation with outside influence. More fighting followed, and up to move 145 the game was played at a very high level, with neither side making a mistake and the players agreeing in their analysis, but with 146 Takao made a slack move. It was slack presumably because it was purely territorial, saving some cut-off stones. Instead, he should have reinforced his sole remaining weak group. By harassing it, Iyama was able to expand his centre moyo, and there was no way for Takao to reduce it sufficiently. He resigned after Black 241. After the game, Takao commented that he was not too worried about falling behind because he felt he was playing well – putting aside just one move.2017.10.03_Fujisawa Rina

The fourth game was played at the Inn Kaiseki Notoya in Komatsu City, Ishikawa Prefecture, on October 2 and 3. Taking white, Iyama secured a resignation after 164 moves. I will give some more details about the game when available. Takao faces his first kadoban on October 16 and 17.

Fujisawa Rina does well in Gosei tournament: The first ambition of young players is to reach the Main Tournament of the top seven tournaments. This is the final section of a tournament that either produces a challenger or provides entry into leagues. Usually, it more or less means reaching the best 16 or the best 32, but the number may vary. In the previous Judan tournament it was the best 16, but in the previous Gosei tournament the best 29. These are all knock-outs, so in the Gosei some players were seeded into the second round. Historically, women players have not done very well gaining entry to main tournaments, with eight women achieving this goal nine times. (For those interested, the list goes: Honda Sachiko, Kobayashi Reiko, Kusunoki Teruko, Ogawa Tomoko, Yos2017.10.03_Xie wins WomHon1hida Mika, Kobayashi Izumi twice, Kato Keiko, and Kuwabara Yoko.) In a game played on September 21, Fujisawa Rina 3P (right) became the ninth woman, reaching the Main Tournament of the Gosei tournament. The last time this happened was nine years ago (Kato and Kuwabara both qualified in the Tengen). None of her predecessors won a game, so Fujisawa has a chance to set a record for women.2017.10.03_Shibano beats Son

Xie makes good start in Women’s Honinbo: The first game of the 36th Women’s Honinbo title match, in which Xie Yimin (left) is challenging Fujisawa Rina, was held at the Kashoen inn in Hanamaki City, Iwate Prefecture on September 27. Taking black, Xie secured a resignation after 257 moves.

Shibano wins King of the New Stars: The second game of the 42nd King of the New Stars title was held at the Nihon Ki-in headquarters in Tokyo on October 2. Shibano Toramaru 7P (black) beat Son Makoto 5P by resig. Often success in this junior tournament is a good omen for future success, but in Shibano’s case that success is already coming. As described in recent reports, he won the Ryusei title and a seat in the new Honinbo League. Since the Ryusei win earned him promotion to 7-dan (if he hadn’t won it, he would have got the promotion from his Honinbo success), he is not eligible to play in the King of the New Stars tournament again. First prize is worth two million yen (a little over $18,000).

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Categories: Japan,John Power Report
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AlphaGo-AlphaGo Game 9: A trade and the ko that didn’t happen

Friday September 29, 2017

“In this game there’s a big fight on the left side involving a ko and a trade,” says Michael Redmond 9p in his game commentary on AlphaGo-AlphaGo Game 9. “Then there’s another ko that doesn’t happen.”   2017.09.29_ag-ag-thumb-9

Click here for Redmond’s video commentary, hosted by the AGA E-Journal’s Chris Garlock.

Stay tuned for a special video coming soon in which Redmond responds to viewer questions on the AlphaGo-AlphaGo games so far. And Redmond’s Game 10 commentary is coming too, “an outstanding game, a very complicated game that was keeping me up at night trying to understand it. If you’re a serious go player, this game is going to have an impact.”

The Game 9 video is produced by Michael Wanek and Andrew Jackson. The sgf file was created by Redmond, with editing and transcription by Garlock and Myron Souris.

 

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Transcribers wanted for AlphaGo-AlphaGo book project

Thursday September 28, 2017

The popular AlphaGo vs. AlphaGo video commentaries by Michael Redmond are now being turned into an e-book and volunteer transcribers are wanted 2017.09.02_alphago-game5to help transcribe Redmond’s commentary. “We’re really excited to be working with SmartGo Books to bring Michael’s commentaries on these amazing games to the e-book format,” says series host Chris Garlock. “The book will be a great companion to the videos and sgf files that have already proven to be so popular.” Transcribers will be credited in the book. Those interested should have some experience with transcription and be prepared to spend 5-10 hours/week over the next few weeks to keep this project on schedule. “I can’t promise this will make you a stronger player but it’ll certainly help you gain a deeper understanding of these important and historic games,” says Redmond. To apply, email journal@usgo.org

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AlphaGo-AlphaGo Game 8: Two 3-3 invasions and some spectacular fighting

Friday September 22, 2017

“In this game we’re going to see two 3-3 invasions; when AlphaGo jumps in to the 3-3, the other AlphaGo does as well,” says Michael Redmond 9p in his game commentary on AlphaGo-AlphaGo Game 8. “This is something that happens a lot, and I have my own theories about why that might be. We’re also going to see the follow-up moves in both of those corners, so we’ll see some options about possible follow-ups. And then there’s going to be some spectacular fighting inside of Black’s moyo. “2017.09.22_ag-ag-thumb-8

Click here for Redmond’s video commentary, hosted by the AGA E-Journal’s Chris Garlock.

The video is produced by Michael Wanek and Andrew Jackson. The sgf file was created by Redmond, with editing and transcription by Garlock and Myron Souris.

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The Power Report (2): Na of Korea wins 29th TV Asia; King of the New Stars; Promotions

Wednesday September 20, 2017

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal2017.09.20-TV Asia winner Na

Na of Korea wins 29th TV Asia: The TV Asia tournament is a fast-go tournament for the winners and runners-up in the NHK Cup, China’s CCTV Cup, and Korea’s KBS Cup. They are joined by the previous winner if he (not yet she) is not one of the above. The tournament rotates among these three countries and this year was held in the Sun Lake Hotel in Pinghu City, Zhejiang Province on September 15~17. Results were as follows:
(Sept. 15): Round 1, Game 1) Lee Sedol 9P (Korea) beat Iyama Yuta 9P (Japan) by resig. Game 2) Ichiriki Ryo 7P (Japan) (W) beat Zhang Tao 6P (China) by resig.
2017.09.20-Shibano Toramaru(Sept. 16): Round 1, Game 3) Na Hyeon 8P (Korea) (W) beat Li Jianhao 7P (China) by 4.5 points. Semifinal 1) Lee Sedol (B) beat Li Qincheng 9P (China, 2016 winner) by resig.
(Sept. 17): Semifinal 2) Na (B) beat Ichiriki by resig. Final: Na (B, at right) beat Lee Sedol by resig. after 184 moves.
This is Na’s first win in this tournament. Lee missed out on a fifth win. Just for the record, China has won this tournament eight times to ten times each for Japan and Korea. First prize is 2,500,000 yen (about $22,700).

King of the New Stars: The first game of the 42nd King of the New Stars best-of-three title match was held at the Tokyo headquarters of the Nihon Ki-in on September 18. Shibano Toramaru 7P (W, left) beat Son Makoto 5P by resig. The second game will be played at the same venue on October 2.

Promotions
To 7-dan: Kyo Kagen (for winning a place in the Kisei S League)
To 2-dan: Ito Kenryo (20 wins, as of Sept. 8)
Photos courtesy of the Nihon Ki-in

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The Power Report (1): Iyama evens Meijin Score; Iyama and Yamashita advance in Samsung Cup; Kisei leagues completed

Tuesday September 19, 2017

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal2017.09.19-Meijin 2 Iyama looks happy

Iyama evens Meijin Score:
The second game of the 42nd Meijin title match was held at the Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo, which is located in Bunkyo Ward, on September 12 and 13. The highlight of the game was a fierce fight that started on the first day. A large trade followed in which Iyama (W, right) took most of the top and Takao threatened to take most of the bottom. However, his moyo was too big. Iyama succeeded in breaking into it, so Takao resigned after White 146. This evens the score at 1-1. The third game will be played on September 21 and 22.

Iyama and Yamashita advance in Samsung Cup: The opening round of the 22nd Samsung Cup (officially, the Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance Cup World Go Masters) 2017.09.19-Samsung Iyama wins 3rd gamewas held at the Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance Global Campus in Goyang City, Gyeonggi Province on September 5 to 7. The “campus” is actually one of a number of training camps the Samsung group owns, and facilities rival those of a five-star hotel. The 1st round takes three days to play as it consists of eight double-elimination mini-leagues. There are four players in each league, and the top two players advance to the round of 16. The condition is two wins, which means a score of 2-0 or 2-1. Two Japanese players, Iyama Yuta and Yamashita Keigo 9P, scored 2-1 and made it to the next round. They were joined by seven Korean and seven Chinese players, including Ke Jie 9P and Lee Sedol 9P. The third Japanese representative, Komatsu Hideki 9P, who won a seat in the qualifying section for senior players, was eliminated with 1-2. The next round will be held on September 25.

Kisei leagues completed: The last games in the S League of the 42nd Kisei tournament were held recently. On September 7, Ichiriki Ryo 7P (W) beat Kono Rin 9P by resig. and Cho U 9P (B) beat So Yokoku 9P by resig. Ichiriki had already won the league in the previous round, 2017.09.19-Yamashita (R) wins third gamebut making a clean sweep of the league was undoubtedly satisfying. Cho’s win made sure that he kept his place. An important game was held on September 9 between Yamashita Keigo 9P and Murakawa Daisuke 8P. The winner would take second place in the league and, more important, gain a place in the irregular knockout to decide the challenger; the loser would lose his league place and drop to the A League. Taking black, Yamashita (right) won by 2.5 points. The final order in the S League is: 1st, Ichiriki, 5-0; 2nd, Yamashita, 3-2; 3rd, Cho U, 3-2; 4th, Kono Rin, 2-3; dropping out: Murakawa on 2-2 and So on 0-5.

Two key games in the A League were played on September 7. Takao Shinji 9P and Kyo Kagen (Xu Jiayuan in Pinyin) 4P were tied on 5-1. However, Takao was ranked number one and Kyo, as a newcomer to the league, was equal last, so to win the league Kyo needed not only to win his game but also to have Takao lose. The latter just made it: taking black, he eked out a half-point win over Yoda Norimoto 9P, so he won the league. Kyo (B) beat Hane Naoki 9P by resig. Although he missed qualifying for the knockout, Kyo earned a consolation prize: promotion to the S League. The top two players go up, so he will be joined by Takao – except if Takao becomes the challenger and wins the Kisei title, in which case Iyama would join Kyo in the S League. The S League promotion carried with it a promotion to 7-dan.

The play-off between the winners of the two B Leagues was held on September 14. Yo Seiki 7P (W), winner of B2, beat Shida Tatsuya 7P, winner of B1, by resig. This is how the final knockout looks: C League winner Motoki Katsuya 8P vs. Yo Seiki; the winner to play Takao; the winner to play Yamashita; the winner to meet Ichiriki in the final “best-of-three”. The quotes are there because three games will never be played. Ichiriki starts with a one-win advantage, so he needs only one win; his opponent can’t drop a game, so he has to win two straight. That won’t be easy: on current form, Ichiriki could claim to be the number three player after Iyama and Takao.
TOMORROW: Na of Korea wins 29th TV Asia; King of the New Stars; Promotions
Photos courtesy of the Nihon Ki-in

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AlphaGo-AlphaGo Game 7: Go Seigen-like attachments, a 3-3 variation and a running fight

Friday September 15, 2017

“In this game we will see some Go Seigen-like attachments that White plays against a Black shimari,” says Michael Redmond 9p in his game 2017.09.15_ag-ag-thumb-7commentary on AlphaGo-AlphaGo Game 7. There’s also “an AlphaGo variation for the early 3-3 invasion, and after White makes a moyo there will be a running fight in the center.”

Click here for Redmond’s video commentary, just posted on the AGA’s YouTube channel and hosted by the AGA E-Journal’s Chris Garlock.

The video is produced by Michael Wanek and Andrew Jackson. The sgf file was created by Redmond, with editing and transcription by Garlock and Myron Souris.

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