American Go E-Journal » Europe

Artem Kachanovskyi Prevails in Third European Pro Qualification Tournament

Monday March 7, 2016

Artem Kachanovskyi (right) prevailed over fellow Ukrainian Andrii Kravets in the final of the third European Pro Qualification tournament to2016.03.08_Kachanovskyi-smile become Europe’s latest professional. Sixteen players competed on the weekend of March 5-6 in Baden-Baden to become the next EGF professional. The tournament featured a double elimination to determine a final eight, who ten competed in knockout rounds. The tournament started well for French players Thomas Debarre and Benjamin Dréan-Guénaïzi, who beat respectively Andrii Kravets (Ukraine) and Jan Hora (Czechia), and then Juri Kuronen (Finland) and Csaba Mero (Hungary), advancing to the quarterfinals. 2016.03.08_egf-pro-grpTanguy Le Calvé (France), who lost to Lukáš Podpera (Czechia), entered the repechage, where he could again hold his head high after wins over Lukas Krämer  (Germany) and Juri Kuronen (Finland).

On Saturday afternoon, the quarter-finals saw Debarre lose to Kravets in a repeat match and Tanguy fall to Kachanovskyi. Debarre beat Viktor Lin (Austria) but then on Sunday morning he lost in the semi-finals to Kravets. The two Ukrainians then met in the final where Kachanovskyi emerged as champion.

Kachanovskyi lives in Kyiv, Ukraine started playing when he was just 6 or 7, studying mostly on his own. He’s long dreamed of becoming a professional. “I read many books that were describing not only the games, but how professionals think and some details of their living. That was inspiring.” Now, having finished university, “I’ll have more free time” to play go, he says, though since he works as a programmer, “it’s not so easy to play online each day, after staring almost all the day into a monitor. I think I’ll pay more attention to reviewing pro games on a board, maybe playing online on weekends.”

Full results can be found on the EGF website, along with player bios and tournament photos.

Based on an article in Revue Française de Go by Simon Billouet, posted by Ian Davis and edited by Chris Garlock; photos by Harry van der Krogt 

Share
Categories: Europe
Share

Game Over? AlphaGo Beats Pro 5-0 in Major AI Advance 

Wednesday January 27, 2016

[link]

In a stunning development, the AlphaGo computer program has swept European Go Champion and Chinese professional Fan Hui 2P 5-0, the first time that a go professional has lost such a match. “This signifies a major step forward in one of the great challenges in the development of artificial intelligence – that of game-playing,” said the British Go Association, which released the news on January 27, based on findings reported in the scientific journal Nature this week (click here for the video, here for Nature’s editorial, Digital intuition and here for Go players react to computer defeat). NOTE: This story was posted at 1p EST on Wednesday, January 27; be sure to get the latest breaking go news by following us on Facebook and Twitter.

“AlphaGo’s strength is truly impressive!” said Hajin Lee, Secretary General of the International Go Federation and a Korean go professional herself. “Go has always been thought of as the ultimate challenge to game-playing artificial intelligence,” added Thomas Hsiang, Secretary General of the International Mind Sport Association and Vice President of International Go Federation. “This is exciting news, but bittersweet at the same time,” said American Go Association president Andy Okun. “I think we go players have taken some pride in the fact that we could beat the best computers. Now we’re down to Lee Sedol fighting for us.”

2016.01.27_hui-fanGoogle DeepMind, the British artificial intelligence company which developed AlphaGo, has issued a challenge to Lee Sedol 9P from South Korea, the top player in the world for much of the last 10 years, to play a 5-game, million-dollar in March. “I have played through the five games between AlphaGo and Fan Hui,” said Hsiang. “AlphaGo was clearly the stronger player. The next challenge against Lee Sedol will be much harder.” While Hajin Lee agreed, saying “I still doubt that it’s strong enough to play the world’s top pros,” she added “but maybe it becomes stronger when it faces a stronger opponent.” Fan Hui (left) is a naturalized French 2-dan professional go player originally from China. European Champion in 2014 and 2015, Fan is also a 6-time winner in Paris as well as Amsterdam.

Just as the Kasparov/Deep Blue match did not signal the end of chess between humans, “so the development of AlphaGo does not signal the end of playing go between humans,” the BGA pointed out. “Computers have changed the way that players study and play chess (see this 2012 Wired article), and we expect something similar to occur in the field of go, but not necessarily as assistance during play. It has been recognised for a long time that achievements in game-playing have contributed to developments in other areas, with the game of go being the pinnacle of perfect knowledge games.”  Added Okun, “go has for thousands of years been a contest between humans and a struggle of humans against their own limits, and it will remain so. We still cycle in the Tour de France, even though we’ve invented the motorcycle.”

The BGA noted that that achievements in game-playing technology have contributed to developments in other areas. The previous major breakthrough in computer go, the introduction of Monte-Carlo tree search, led to corresponding advances in many other areas.

Last year, the Facebook AI Research team also started creating an AI that can learn to play go and earlier today Mark Zuckerberg reported on Facebook that “We’re getting close, and in the past six months we’ve built an AI that can make moves in as fast as 0.1 seconds and still be as good as previous systems that took years to build. Our AI combines a search-based approach that models every possible move as the game progresses along with a pattern matching system built by our computer vision team.”

In a related story, computer scientist John Tromp last week revealed the number of legal go positions, “weighing in at 9*19=171 digits.” Read more here.

Game 1 of the AlphaGo vs. Fan Hui 2P match appears above right. Click below for the match’s remaining game records:
AlphaGo vs. Fan Hui, game 2
AlphaGo vs. Fan Hui, game 3
AlphaGo vs. Fan Hui, game 4
AlphaGo vs. Fan Hui, game 5

Update (11:44pm 1/27): Myungwan Kim 9P will analyze the games played between Fan Hui and AlphaGo during a live stream on the AGA YouTube Channel and TwitchTV this Friday; more details will be posted at 7a EST.

 

Share

Antti Törmänen to play Hajin Lee in online exhibition match

Friday January 8, 2016

Newly-minted professional Antti Törmänen 1P will play an exhibition match against Hajin Lee 3P on OGS this Saturday, January 9, at 11p EST2016.01.08_ogs-anti-haylee(4a UTC). Lee, a Korean 3P and secretary of the International Go Federation, is well known to western go players for her entertaining and instructional YouTube channel, where she’s known as “Haylee.” Antti Törmänen is the first Western player to be granted professional status by the Nihon Ki-in since Hans Pietsch in 1997. He offers paid lessons on OGS and publishes a blog chronicling his go career. Calvin Sun, North American 1P and Stephen Hu, AGA 5 dan (right) will provide live commentary on the game. Click here to see a promotional video for the match on YouTube. To watch the game and commentary, log into OGS and click on the banner links posted at the top right of the page.

Share
Categories: Europe
Share

Finland’s Antti Törmänen Newest Nihon Ki-in Pro, First Westerner in Nearly 20 Years

Tuesday December 8, 2015

Finland’s Antti Törmänen has just been accepted as the newest Nihon Ki-in professional, the first westerner to qualify since the late Hans 2015.12.08_antti-tormanenPietsch, 18 years ago. Törmänen, 26, is a three-time Finnish champion, and a founding member of the Nordic Go Academy. Törmänen started playing go back in spring 2002, has participated in over a hundred European amateur tournaments, and became an insei at the Nihon Ki-in in Fall 2011. Though he did not reach the top two in the most recent Nihon Ki-in pro exam this fall, winning more than half of his games was deemed enough to qualify. His professional debut is scheduled for April 1st, 2016. “I plan to remain in Tokyo and compete in professional tournaments indefinitely,” Törmänen said in an interview with the European Go Federation. “Early on my salary will be fairly limited, so I imagine I will also be teaching go both online and offline, and possibly writing some go literature in English.” Click here to read his “Go of Ten” blog, where Törmänen’s latest post includes a report (in Japanese) in the Mainichi newspaper about the promotion.
- Chris Garlock, based on reports by Tuomo, an E-Journal reader in Finland, and the EGF Facebook page.

Share
Categories: Europe,Japan
Share

2016 Paris Go Tournament Registration Opens

Friday November 27, 2015

Registration is now open for the 2016 International Paris Go tournament, which will be held March 26-28 in Neuilly, in the city’s western 2015.11.27_Paris go tournamentsuburbs. This is the 44th edition of the event, a 6-round tournament; prize for the winner is 1000€; click here to register.
- Alain Cano, Président de la Ligue Ile-de-France

Share
Categories: Europe
Share

European Go News: The Netherlands

Thursday November 26, 2015

Roelofs/Eijkhout Dethrone Defending Champs at 2015 Dutch Pair Go Championships: The Dutch Pair Go Championships took2015.11.26_PairGo 2015, round 2, Kim and Justyna versus Michiel and Yvonne place in the city of Eindhoven on November 15 this year. Ten pairs from all over the country gathered to have fun together and compete for the title. Four rounds were played to determine the winner, with 45 minutes on the clock and no overtime. Under such time pressure, good teamwork was essential to guide the games in the right direction, with enough time to spare for the endgame. The great thing about Pair Go is its unpredictability – surprising things happen all the time – and on several occasions sudden laughter during a match drew the attention of all the others. In the fourth and last round, defending champions Karen Pleit 2k & Willem-Koen Pomstra 5d faced Yvonne Roelofs 4k & Michiel Eijkhout 6d (right), whose strong effort won them the 2015 championship. Pleit/Pomstra shared second/third place with newcomers Justyna Kleczar 2k and Kim Ouweleen 4d (left), with the exact same amount of SOS points. Marika Dubiel 2d & Alexander Eerbeek 5d, another young pair, also scored 3/4 but ended on fourth place due to SOS. Complete results can be found here.

2015.11.26_Alexander Eerbeek 5d vs tournament winner Geert Groenen 6dGeert Groenen Wins Brabants Go Tournament: At the same location as the Pair Go Championships, another tournament took place that weekend. A total of exactly 50 players participated in the main tournament in community center Bellefort. Geert Groenen 6d (right, playing Alexander Eerbeek 5d) took the title, with Frank Janssen 6d trailing in second place. Surprisingly, these two titans did not play each other in the tournament. Rudi Verhagen 4d however played against both, managed to win against Frank Janssen, and took third place. Verhagen has the distinction of having played more go tournaments than any Dutch player ever, with the magic number of 324 tournament appearances so far. Complete 2015.11.26_Enclopedia of Go Principlesresults can be found here.

News from Go shop Het Paard, Amsterdam: A new book is available in Kiseido’s “Mastering the Basics” series. K79 An Encyclopedia of Go Principles is a compilation of the most important principles of strategy and tactics in go. These are explained through proverbs, such as: do not attack with your thickness, defend before attacking, the tortoise shell is worth 60 points, etc. Other important concepts that do not have sayings, are also included in this book, like: be willing to transfer a moyo from one part of the board to another. A must-have for players who wish to grow in their fundamentals of the game. Price: € 21,00; order here.
- Kim Ouweleen, European Correspondent for the E-Journal

Share
Categories: Europe
Share

EuroGoTV May Return, If Enough Support

Sunday November 22, 2015

EuroGoTV, which regularly streamed live video of tournament games, posted videos on YouTube and was a reliable source of European go news for the E-Journal — may return. If at least 300 people pledge to help EuroGoTV financially “we will resume (and upgrade) our services,” reports Harry Weerheijm. Click here to take EuroGo TV’s poll by November 30. “If EuroGoTV continues, Go-Pro articles, on demand video playback, the complete European Go calendar and the Newsletter will only be available to VIP-members; membership will run 25 Euro for the first year and 20 Euro for the second. Tournament reports will be available to all, including EJ readers, so we urge your support, either a membership or donation pledge.
- Chris Garlock, E-Journal Managing Editor

Share
Categories: Europe
Share

Free Beer at Berlin’s “Go to Innovation”

Sunday November 8, 2015

No free massages or tacos (a la the Cotsen Open) but next weekend’s 18th “Go to Innovation” tournament  in Berlin does offer free draught beer SONY DSCin the cafeteria starting at noon on Saturday. Ting Li 1P, Pavol Lisy 1P and Ilya Shikshin are among the players slated to compete for over 3,000€ in prizes including a 500€ Omikron Data Quality GmbH-Prize for the best female gamer and a 500€ Jackpot for 8 wins.
- photo from the 15th Go to Innovation; Jaromir Sir

Share
Categories: Europe
Share

Grenoble 1 Retains French Team Championship

Tuesday November 3, 2015

The French Team Championships took place October 24-25 in Lans-en Vercors, near Grenoble, France. Would the defending champions, Grenoble 1,2015.11.03_Lyon-Team maintain their title by defeating the 13 challengers? Grenoble 1 had added Motoki Noguchi — who was unavailable last year — to their squad as a replacement for Denis Karadaban, who is studying in Korea. Logically they were in an excellent position to keep their title, their mean rank of 6 dan being three ranks above their nearest rivals. We note however, the increase in the number of teams with a mean rank of 2 to 3 dan, presented serious challengers for the podium places in Rennes, Lyon, Jussieu, Grenoble 2 and 3.
The first round passed without surprise for the strongest teams. In the closest matches Lyon bested La Rochelle and Toulouse beat Antony. In the second round, the surprises began. Suddenly, Grenoble 1 lost on boards 3 and 4, Toru Imamura-Cornuejols (4d) and Simon Billouet (4d) lost respectively to Louis Meckes (1d) and Robin Chauvin (1k), so  Lyon grabbed a draw. Similarly between Toulouse 1 and Rennes 1, Benjamin Papazoglou (5d) lost to Li Haohan (3d) and Fabien Masson (1d) to Xavier Bonnefond (1k). Thus the top 2 seeds, the 2015.11.03_Zoe Constans-artreigning champions and vice champions, got off to a rotten start. It was Grenoble 2 who took the lead in as they disposed of Jussieu – would they manage to upstage their club mates Grenoble 1? 
On Sunday morning, Grenoble 1 regained their form with a 4-0 whitewash Toulouse 1. Rennes 1 overcame the obstacle of Jussieu with a 3-1 victory. Once again Lyon grabbed a draw, but this time with Grenoble 2. Before the last round then, the battle for the title was unclear: three teams had 5 points (Rennes 1, Grenoble 1 and 2), and none had played the other. Would we see a tie? The draw for the final round set Grenoble 1 against Grenoble 2 and Rennes 1 against Grenoble 3. Rennes 1 won 3-1 (Thibaud Naegele dropping a point against Chen Longteng) while Grenoble 1 also won 3-1 (Toru dropping the point to Xiao Chunyang).
Grenoble 1 and Rennes 1 were then tied for first place with 7 points; but the title stays with Grenoble 1 though, because they had 1 extra board win (13 to Rennes’s 12). Picking up third spot were the brave team from Lyon. Full results can be seen for team and individual games.
- Ian Davis, based on an original article in Revue Française de Go by Simon Billouet; photo by Olivier Dulac; artwork by Zoé Constans
T
Share
Categories: Europe
Share

Nihon Ki-in Pros Join Seattle’s 20th Anniversary Party

Monday October 26, 2015

Anniversary Party CompositeThe recent 20th anniversary celebration at the Seattle Go Center attracted over 100 people, including two professionals from Japan, Hiroshi Yamashiro 9P, vice president of the Nihon Ki-in, and Yuma 6P, who is also known as Kuma-sensei in Seattle.  The October 3 evening reception and concert featured a short speech from Consul General Masahiro Omura from the Seattle Japanese Consulate, who noted that Kaoru Iwamoto’s purchase of the Go Center building for use by the U.S. go community was a good symbol of the continuing reconciliation between Japan and the United States since WWII.  Go Center Board President Lee Anne Bowie reported that the late Iwamoto-sensei’s vision to extend go internationally and promote mutual understanding and friendship through the game of go has been upheld at the Seattle Go Center.  Harry van der Krogt, Manager at the European Go Cultural Center, another Iwamoto-funded center, extended his congratulations to the Seattle Go Center, and hoped for increased international cooperation to promote go in the future.  Andy Okun, president of the AGA, noted that the Seattle Go Center has a strong base of volunteers.

While Mr. Yamashiro had to return to Japan the day after the party, Kuma-sensei gave lectures and played simultaneous games for the next four days at the Seattle Go Center.  This was his second visit to Seattle.  Sunday’s lecture consisted of reviews of games from the Saturday tournament (Seattle Go Center 2oth Anniversary Tournament Draws Big Crowd  10/20 EJ).  His Monday lecture was for the “Double Digit Kyu Class,” which is usually taught by Nick Sibicky.  Kuma-sensei explored the double low approach to the 4-4 stone, and did a very good job of keeping his explanations simple enough for kyu players.  On Tuesday, he played simultaneous games with eight players while others watched, and then gave short lessons as each game finished. As usual on Tuesdays, there were more than 30 players visiting the center. On Wednesday, Kuma taught the “Single Digit Kyu Class”, with Andrew Jackson hosting.  Kuma-sensei also had time to see more of Seattle, and to enjoy Northwest seafood.  Photos: (top) Hiroshi Yamashiro 9P giving greetings from the Nihon Ki-in, (left) Fumi Tagata soprano, (right) Kuma-sensei playing simultaneous games.   More photos here.
- Report/photos by Brian Allen

Share