American Go E-Journal » Go News

Youmacon Anime Convention attendees introduced to go

Monday November 12, 2018

IMG_0684Alexander Yehsakul of the Columbus Go Club partnered with volunteers from three other go clubs in the area to set up a go workshop room at the Youmacon anime convention in Detroit on November 3. About 60 conventioneers came to the workshop, with perhaps 40 on average in the room at any given time. Attendees learned the rules of go and got to play on 9×9 boards. Volunteers taught individuals one on one and groups using a demo board, and were always on hand to answer questions. Go games from OGS were displayed on a projector in the background. “I think the event went really well!” reports Yehsakul. “Turnout was great and we got some really positive feedback.”

This was the first time Yehsakul and this group of volunteers organized a go event like this. They hope to run another go workshop at Ohayocon in January, 2019. “Events like this are really important to spread and develop the go community in North America,” Yehsakul added.

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The Power Report: Cho U wins Meijin title; Young players share lead in Honinbo League; Choi Jeong wins Bingsheng Cup

Wednesday November 7, 2018

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Cho U wins Meijin title: 
This year’s Meijin title match not only when the full distance, but was also decided late in the second day of a two-day game. The challenger Cho U won back a title that he had lost to Iyama Yuta ten years ago. The seventh game of the 43rd title match was held at the Imai Inn in the town of Kawazu in Shizuoka Prefecture on November 1 and 2. Since it was the seventh game, the nigiri was held again and Iyama Yuta Meijin drew black. From the outset, Iyama went for territory, so naturally Cho built thickness. With three very bold moves from 60 to 64, Cho sketched out a large center moyo. The major part of the game consisted of the fight started when Black tried to cut back the potential of the moyo. After2018.11.07_Meijin Cho wins Black lived with his invading group, the position seemed a little favorable for Black, and the players following the game in the pressroom thought that Iyama might have defended his title, though the game was very close. However, Iyama made a mistake in the endgame with move 167, letting White set up a ko that Black didn’t have enough ko threats to win. This decided the game, with White winning by 4.5 points.

At his peak in the late 2000s, Cho dominated the go scene in Japan, becoming the first player to win five of the top-seven titles in 2009 (they were the Meijin, Tengen, Oza, Gosei, and Judan). In 2010, he also became the second player after Cho Chikun to complete a cumulative grand slam. However, his last top-seven titles were the Kisei and Judan in 2012; thereafter, he was eclipsed by the reign of Iyama. He has now made a comeback at the age of 38. The Meijin prize is 31 million yen (about $282,000) (reduced from 33 million last year and, if my memory is correct, from 35 million earlier). This is his fifth Meijin title and his 40thtitle overall. Iyama has been reduced to a quintuple crown for the first time since November 2015.

In an interview after the game, Iyama was asked what Cho U’s strong points were and replied: “His speedy judgment and precision; his decisiveness.” As mentioned in a previous report, Cho has a policy of playing quickly in the opening and middle game to make sure he doesn’t get into time trouble. At the end of this game, Iyama was down to his third-last minute of byo-yomi, while Cho still had 59 minutes. Asked about scene in which this game was decided, Iyama said: “Since several moves earlier [before 167], I didn’t know what to play or what the territorial balance was. I knew that the ko was not good, but my hand played that way. Recently there have been few games that I have played properly from beginning to end. Looking back over the whole series, I couldn’t win games I should have won and I couldn’t play tenaciously. I would like to have some time off to refresh myself.” Cho: “In one way, thinking about having taken a title makes me a burden. I haven’t been able to win international games; I can’t go on like that. I would like to say to the younger playe2018.11.07_honinbo-chartrs that if I can do this, they should be able to try harder.”

Young players share lead in Honinbo League:  The first two games in the second round of the 74th Honinbo League were played on November 1. Ichiriki Ryo 8P (W) beat Yamashita Keigo 9P by resig. and Shibano Toramaru 7P (B) beat Anzai Nobuaki 7P, also by resig. On 2-0, they are the front-runners, though it may be a little early to be talking about the lead. They play each other in the fourth round in January.

Choi Jeong wins Bingsheng Cup: In full, this tournament is called the Qionglong Mountain Bingsheng Cup World2018.11.07_Bingsheng all participants Women’s Go Tournament. This year it was held for the ninth time. As the sponsoring country, China had six players to three each for Korea and Japan, but the Koreans dominated the tournament. Judging by recent results, the Koreans, led by Choi Jeong, seem to be the strongest women players in the world. First prize is 300,000 yuan (about $43,000) and the time allowance is two hours per player, with the last five minutes going to one-minute byo-yomi. Komi is 7.5. Below are full results. Incidentally, in this tournament the key to winning seemed to be drawing black: white won only three out of 15 games.
Round 1 (Oct. 31). Zhou Hongyu 4P (China) (W) beat Fujisawa Rina 4P (Japan) by resig.; Oh Jeongah 3P (Korea) (B) beat 2018.11.07_Bingsheng right Xie winsUeno Asami 2P (Japan) by resig.; Lu Minquan 5P (China) (B) beat Stephanie Yin 1P (US) by resig.; Hei Jiajia 7P (Oceania, also known as Joanne Missingham) (B) beat Natalia Kovaleva 6D (Russia) by 21.5 points; Oh Yujin 6P (Korea) (B) beat Wang Chenxing 5P (China) by resig.; Yang Zixuan 2P (Chinese Taipei) (W) beat Gao Xing 4P (China) by resig.; Choi Jeong 9P (Korea) (B) beat Yu Zhiying 6P (China) by resig.; Xie Yimin 6P (Japan, right) (B) beat Li He 5P (China) by resig.
Quarterfinals (Nov. 1). Oh Yujin (W) beat Lu by resig.; Choi (B) beat Zhou by resig.; Hei (B) beat Xie by 1.5 points; Oh Jeongah (B) beat Yang by resig.
(Semifinals, Nov. 2). Choi (B) beat Hei by resig.; Oh Yujin (B) beat Oh by resig.
(Final, Nov. 2). Choi (B) beat Oh by resig.

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The Power Report (2): Honinbo League; Korea wins International Gratitude Cup; Kono reaches Kisei play-off; Ichiriki makes good start in Oza

Saturday November 3, 2018

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Honinbo League: The third game in the new Honinbo League was played on October 18. Taking black, Ichiriki Ryo 8P beat Ko Iso 8P by resignation. The opening round was completed on October 25 when Shibano Toramaru 7P (B) beat 2018.11.02_74th Honinbo Round 1Kono Rin 9P by 2.5 points. The league chart was given in my previous report (October 21).

Korea wins International Gratitude Cup: The Gratitude Cup is an unofficial tournament for junior players in Japan that was founded nine years ago. Five years ago, it added an international component, pitting five-player teams (including two women players) from China, Korea, Chinese Taipei, and Japan against each other. First, a three-round tournament is held; the top two teams go to the final and the bottom two to a play-off for third place. The 5thGratitude Cup International Young Stars Tournament, to give it its full name, was held in Ise City on October 14 and 15. In the first section, China scored three wins, beating Chinese Taipei 4-1, Korea 3-2, and Japan 4-1. Korea won two matches, beating Japan 4-1 and Chinese Taipei 5-0. Japan beat Chinese Taipei 3-2. In the final, Korea turned the tables, beating China 4-1; Japan beat Chinese Taipei 3-2 to take third place. For Japan, Ichiriki had the best results, scoring 3-1. First prize is 4,500,000 yen (about $41,000).

Kono reaches Kisei play-off: The third game in the irregular knock-out to decide the challenger for the 43rd Kisei title was held at the Nihon Ki-in on October 22. There was probably a lot of fan support for the 18-year-old winner of the C League, Onishi Ryuhei 3P, who had beaten the winners of the B and A Leagues. Three more wins and Onishi would be the challenger, but Kono Rin 9P, who came second in the S League, stood in his way. The game was very close, but Kono (W) was too wily for his opponent, eking out a win by half a point.

Ichiriki makes good start in Oza: The first game of the 66th Oza title match was held at the Hotel Gajoen Tokyo in Meguro, Tokyo, on October 26. Taking white, Ichiriki Ryo 8P beat Iyama Yuta Oza by 2.5 points after 285 moves. That’s a very encouraging start to his challenge for Ichiriki after the ordeal he underwent last winter. In effect, Ichiriki played a best-of-17 with Iyama when he made successive challenges for the 2017 Oza and Tengen and the 2018 Kisei titles; he was unable to pick up even one win, which means he lost ten title-match games in a row. However, there is a caveat concerning this win. Iyama actually played brilliantly from the opening on, first making a successful moyo invasion, then, in what was more or less a continuation of the same fight, winning a big ko fight in the center. At this point, he was convinced he had a win. His first misstep came when he missed the best defensive move for securing the capture of some stones related to the center ko fight. Ichiriki was able to take some profit by harassing his position. He then turned his left-side position into a moyo and, according to spectators, seemed to have visibly perked up. When Iyama missed an endgame move that would have kept him narrowly ahead, Ichiriki was able to pull off an upset. The second and third games will be played on November 17 and 19.

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17th World Students Go Oza Championship LIVE on Pandanet this Sunday

Friday November 2, 2018

2017.10.03_PANDANETThis Sunday November 4th students all around North, Central, and South America will play in the 17th World Students Go Oza Championship. Watch LIVE on Pandanet starting at 8am EST for each of the two groups. This tournament is not only for students but run by the All Japan Students Go Association. Check the Schedule throughout the day to see regular updates on who is advancing through the tournament.

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The Power Report (1): Iyama’s sextuple crown under assault; Yoda wins international invitational; Fan of China dominates opening Nong Shim round; Tengen title match tied; Cho catches up in Meijin title match

Friday November 2, 2018

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Iyama’s sextuple crown under assault: 
This is an unusual report. Though he lost the Gosei title to Kyo Kagen, Iyama Yuta still holds six titles, but he is now engaged in defending three of them and is meeting with setbacks in each one. I don’t believe any previous report has included so many Iyama losses over such a short period. These are the last of the top-seven title matches for this year, so at this point all Iyama can be completely confident of is that he will greet the New Year with at least three titles.

Yoda wins international invitational: Yet another special international tournament has been held in China. The previous one was the International Weiqi Great Players Tournament (described in my July 22 report). This one is called Camphor Tree: The Chinese Medical Capital Cup and was held in Camphor Tree (or Zhangshu) City in Jiangxi Province. I was unable to elucidate the meaning of the name, but it sounds as if there’s an interesting story behind it. A player was invited from each of Korea, Japan, and China, and an irregular knock-out was held on October 10 and 11. In the first game, Chang Hao 9P of China (B) beat Yoda Norimoto 9P of Japan by 3.5 points. Chang went directly to the final. In the second round, Yoda (B) beat Lee Changho 9P (Korea) by 1.5 points. The final was held on the second day. Taking white, Yoda beat Chang by resignation, winning the first prize of 150,000 yuan (a little over $21,500).2018.11.02_nongshim Fan left Shibano R

Fan of China dominates opening Nong Shim round: The first round of the 20th Nong Shim Spicy Noodles Cup was held in Beijing in mid-October. Japan got off to a good start when Shibano Toramaru won the first game, but then Fan Tingyu of China took over and won the remaining three games in this round. Results are given below:
Game 1 (Oct. 16). Shibano Toramaru 7P (Japan) (B) beat Ahn Kukhyun 8P (Korea) by resig.
Game 2 (Oct. 17). Fan Tingyu 9P (China) (W) beat Shibano by resig.
Game 3 (Oct. 18). Fan (B) beat Shin Minjoon 9P (Korea) by resig.
Game 4 (Oct. 19). Fan (W) beat Motoki Katsuya 8P (Japan) by resig.
The second round will be played in Busan from November 23 to 27 and the final round in Shanghai from February 18 to 22.

Tengen title match tied: The first game of the 44th Tengen title match was held at the Matsuya Sensen inn in Awara2018.11.02_44tengen game 1 Iyama right Hot Spring, Awara City, Fukui Prefecture on October 19. From the opening on, the game featured fierce fighting that spread over the whole board. Playing white, Iyama Yuta punished Black for a mistake toward the end of the game and secured a resignation after 234 moves. However, in the second game, played at the Toyo Grand Hotel in the town of Nakashibetsu (which in Ainu means “a place with many salmon”) in Hokkaido on October 29, Yamashita Keigo 9P (W) won by half a point after 312 moves. There is now a break of three and a half weeks till the third game, scheduled for November 23. Note: photo is from Game 3

Cho catches up in Meijin title match: In my previous report, I promised some more details on the fifth game of the 43rd Meijin title match. Playing white, the challenger, Cho U, won by 9.5 points. This made the score 2-3 and kept his chances alive. The game was held at the Tokiwa Hotel in Kofu City, Yamanashi Prefecture, on October 15 and 16. Unlike the previous game, there was a peaceful start, so it looked like becoming an endgame contest. However, around the evening of the second day, Iyama Yuta Meijin made a do-or-die move, so complicated fighting started. This was tough on Iyama because he was in byo-yomi. Cho has a policy of trying to leave as much time for the late middle game and endgame; when Iyama reached his last ten minutes, which is when byo-yomi starts, Cho still had three hours and a half hours on his clock.
The fighting in the latter part of the game is too complicated to describe; suffice it to say that a major trade took place. During a subsequent ko fight, Iyama went wrong 2018.11.02_43meijin6 Cho rightwith his ko threat, so Cho took a safe lead.
The sixth game was played at the Atami Sekitei, a traditional Japanese inn that has hosted many important games and is located in Atami City, Shizuoka Prefecture, on October 22 and 23. There were no major fights in the first part of the game, so it looked like becoming a contest in endurance. However, Cho, playing black, built a strong wall that affected the whole board and helped him to gain points in various places. As in the previous game, Iyama launched a do-or-die attack in an attempt to upset Cho’s lead. In the difficult fight that followed, Cho’s reading surpassed that of the defending champion, so Iyama resigned after move 195. Akiyama Jiro 9P, the Asahi Newspaper commentator, summed up the game as follows: “This was a convincing win for the challenger. Rather than saying that the Meijin played some bad moves, my feeling was that the challenger’s performance surpassed that of the Meijin.” The deciding game will be played on November 1 and 2.

Tomorrow: Honinbo League; Korea wins International Gratitude Cup; Kono reaches Kisei play-off; Ichiriki makes good start in Oza

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Categories: Japan,John Power Report
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8th Season of Collegiate Go League underway

Friday November 2, 2018

The 8th season of the Collegiate Go League (CGL) is currently underway with last season’s third-place team, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign leading the A-League, and UCLA’s B team leading the B-League. Rounds take place on KGS every two weeks during the academic year, where schools can meet and compete with other university students around the continent. The A-League features highly-competitive even matches, with last season’s average playoff team strength hovering around 5 dan and above. Schools may also join the B-League, which features handicap matches for mainly kyu-level players. Cash prizes are given to top finishers in both leagues.

Last season’s broadcast of the A-League Finals was watched by thousands of viewers on Twitch.tv, featuring a nail-biting half-point victory on the first board for UC Irvine over UCLA to win the championship. If you’re an undergraduate or graduate student at a university in North America, gather at least two other students from your school and you too can compete for glory and eternal posterity on the perennial championship trophy.

Check out the detailed rules, and register to join the next round of the CGL.

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Three Korean pros and Google DeepMind’s Thore Graepel visit CA

Thursday November 1, 2018

California go players have a couple of interesting events coming up.

This Saturday, November 3 from 9:30 a.m. – 2 p.m., three visiting Korean pros — Paul Ah 9P (now living in Southern California), Seo Nungwuk 9P, and Na Joonhoon 8P — will play simultaneous exhibitions and do game analysis in San Diego. The site will be at the University Community Public Library (4155 Governor Dr, San Diego 92122, 858-552-1655. Free parking is available and doors open at 9:30a. Hosted by the San Diego Go Club. Click here for more upcoming events.2018.11.01-ThoreGrapel

And next Wednesday,  November 7, Google DeepMind’s Thore Graepel will give a lecture on “Training Artificial Intelligence by Playing Games” at the David Brower Center, 2150 Allston Way, Berkeley. Registration is optional, but space is limited. Register to reserve a seat. The lecture is at 6p; refreshments at 5:30p.
“Intelligence can be viewed as the ability of agents to achieve goals in a wide range of environments. If we wish to use machine learning to train intelligent agents, we need ways of creating rich environments that provide appropriate challenges and feedback signals to learning agents. Just as in real life (and evolution), the most challenging environments for learning agents arise from interaction with other co-adapting learning agents. So, let’s play games with AI!”
“The first example is learning from self-play in the context of the AlphaGo project which led to the first computer program to beat a top professional Go player at the full-size game of Go. Similar ideas can be used to study the age-old question of how cooperation arises among self-interested agents. Finally, we look at training artificial agents to play the game of Capture-The-Flag, a competitive team game played from a first-person perspective in a complex 3D world.”
Theoretically Speaking is a lecture series highlighting exciting advances in theoretical computer science for a broad general audience. Events are held at the David Brower Center in Downtown Berkeley, and are free and open to the public. No special background is assumed. This event is made possible in part by a grant from the Simons Foundation.

NOTE: San Diego is in Southern, not Northern California. The post has been updated with this correction. 

 

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Registration for 2018 Young Lions Tournament Closing Soon

Thursday November 1, 2018

“Registration for the 2018 American Go Honor Society Young Lions Tournament closes this Saturday, November 3,” says AGHS Vice President Jeremy Chiu, “The Young Lions Tournament is a four round tournament held on November 11 and 18 that is open to all youth players in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

For more detailed rules, please click here.

For registration, please click here.

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Go workshop at Youmacon anime convention in Detroit

Wednesday October 31, 2018

This Saturday, November 3, local go players will run a workshop at Youmacon, an anime convention in Detroit, Michigan,2018.10.31_youmacon2018 from 5 to 7p. “Representatives from the London and Windsor go clubs from Canada, as well as the West Michigan and Columbus go clubs from the United States will be running a go workshop to hopefully spread interest and teach people about this game that we all love,” reports the Columbus Go Club’s Alexander Yehsakul. The workshop will be held in Room 141 at the Cobo Center. “It should be a good time, with plenty of play equipment, friendly convention goers, and even some prizes,” Yehsakul adds. “Also, if you follow the Twitch Go scene, streamers such as DanielML001, Balonator, and Skatmaker will be there for the duration of the event.”

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Dave Felcan tops Vermont Go Championship

Tuesday October 30, 2018

IMG_4400Ten players participated in the Vermont Go Championship on Saturday, October 27th. Dave Felcan 2d (standing at far left) went undefeated with three wins to take first place. Second place went to Jack Homer 1k with a record of 2-1. Rich Chalmers 1d claimed third place, also with a 2-1 record. “It was a very fun and exciting day with lots of great games and tough matches,” reports organizer Pete Schumer.  All players received prizes including trophies, books, magazines, go playing cards, and DVDs. “We look forward to hearing from our fellow states!” Pete tells us.

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