American Go E-Journal » China

Elite Mind Games wrap-up

Sunday December 17, 2017

The go activities during last two days of the IMSA Elite Mind Games included three medal competitions: pair go, men’s  blitz and2017.12.17_pair go last round - Canada vs EU women’s blitz.  The format for these tournaments were new: the six teams were divided into three tiers, China and Korea, Japan and Taiwan, Europe and America.  Then one team from each tier is drawn to form a group of three teams.  In the first day, each group play within the group to determine the three teams’ position. Then in the second day, the top 2017.12.17_pair-go medalistsfour teams from the two groups play two rounds to determine the top four finishers, while the two third place teams play to decide the 5th and 6th places.  In the end, Ke Jie from China won the men’s blitz, while Korea took the two other gold. Japan won all four bronze medals, a surprisingly good result.  Canadian pair Sarah Yu and Ziyang Hu (at left in photo above right) played hard to narrowly defeat Manja Marz and Mateusz Surma (above right) and took a valuable, lone, 5th place for the American team. Wan Chen lost to Manja Marz of Germany, and Mingjiu Jiang forfeited his game with Ilya Shikshin. For the whole event, Ziyang Hu was the top performer from America’s team, winning two games – one against Surma in team play and one in pair go.
During the closing ceremony, medals were awarded in all five mind sports represented by IMSA. China and Russia were the big winners, followed by Ukraine and Korea.  It was announced that the next chapter of this event will likely be held in mid-November, 2018. It is expected that the final details will be announced in February next year.
- Thomas Hsiang; photo above left: Pair Go finalists
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Elite Mind Games Day 4 report

Wednesday December 13, 2017

The last day of women’s team competition saw plenty of sparks, but the only surprising result was Fujisawa Rina defeating the2017.12.13_Women's team medalists world’s top-ranked female player from China, Yu Zhiying.  Japan was then in a position to tie or defeat China, depending on the outcome of the other game bewteen China’s Lu Minquan and Japan’s Nyu Eiko. In that a game, Nyu played well to be ahead for most of the game, but she slipped in the yose when both players were in byo-yomi.  After 6+ hours of play, the score was an unusual W+1.5 point due to a single-shared-liberty seki.  Another game that could have sent shockwave through the tournament was between Canada’s Sarah Yu and Korea’s Choi Jeong.  Sarah was in a difficult position from the start, but she fought hard and was about to win a large-group semeai with a favorable yose-ko.  Sarah was in byo-yomi 2017.12.13_Men's team medalistsand could not read in out, missing her chance.  She missed a second chance to create a triple ko, which would have tied the game according to the tournament rules. As a result, Korea took first place, China dropped to second, and Japan received a hard-earned bronze medal.
On the men’s side, the games were all lopsided.  Taipei could not follow its previous day’s performance and lost to Korea 0-2. In the end Korea was first, China second, and Taipei third.
Tomorrow the action switches to Pair Go and men’s and women’s blitz go. In two days, there will be three more medals to be won.  For all three tournaments, the first day will be a three-round preliminary.  Participants are divided into two groups.  Preset seedings separate China and Korea, Japan and Taipei, North American and Europe into the two groups.  The groups’ top finishers will meet to determine 1st and 2nd place, etc, in the second day.
- Thomas Hsiang; photos: (right) women’s medalists; (left) men’s medalists
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Elite Mind Games Day 3 report

Tuesday December 12, 2017

On Day 3 of the IMSA Elite Mind Games, China and Taipei met in men’s team play.  China’s number 1, Ke Jie, had no problem2017.12.12_iemg-Joanne Missingham vs Sarah Yu with Wang Yuan-Jyun; but the 2016 Ing Cup winner Tang Weixing lost to veteran Chen Shih-Yuan to make the team score 1-1. This result leaves the suspense of championship to the last round tomorrow - the winner between Taipei and Korea will be the champion.  But if they are tied, the three teams will have the same team scores and a complicated tie-breaker will be used to determine the winner.  In the other matches, Europe tied North America when Ilya Shikshin defeated Mingjiu Jiang while the young Canadian Ziyang Hu won a complicated fighting game against Mateusz Surma. Korea defeated Japan 2-0.
On the women’s side, China and Korea met for the top match of the day.  China’s Yu Zhiying played a beautiful territory game to win over Choi Jeong. In the second game, which was also the latest to finish for the day, Korea’s Oh Yu-Jin won against Lu Minquan to tie the team score at 1-1.  Japan beat Europe and Taipei beat North America, both at 2-0.  In tomorrow’s fourth and last round, on the men’s side, China will play vs Europe, Taipei vs Korea, and Japan vs North America; on the women’s side, North America will play vs Korea, Europe vs Taipei, and China vs Japan.
- Thomas Hsiang; photo shows the matches between Taipei and North America. In the front are Joanne Missingham and Sarah Yu; in the back are Yang Tzu-Hsuan and Wan Chen.
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IMSA Elite Mind Games 2017 edition underway in China

Sunday December 10, 2017

The second version of the IMSA Elite Mind Games (IEMG) is underway in Huai’an City, Jiangsu Province, China. The event 2017.12.10_Ke Jie taking the players' vowruns December 9-16, and features 72 male and 62 female top athletes from five sports — Bridge, Chess, Draughts, Go, and Xiangqi — competing for medals and the boasting right as world champions. In addition, a total prize pot of €900,000 will be distributed to the participants.

The Go tournament’s first day started shortly after lunch and did not all end until six hours later.  In the men’s team, China drew Korea to feature the clash of four superstars from these two teams – Ke Jie (at right, taking the Player’s Vow), Tang Weixing, Park Jeong-Hwan, and Shin Jin-Seo.  Shin played white against Tang and used a clever sacrifice to build a big moyo and scored the first win of the day. Ke, on the other hand, fought brilliantly with Park to force the team score to 1-1.  On the women’s side, the North American team played against Europe.  Sarah Yu from Canada and Wan Chen from US both lost by resignation to Natalia Kovaleva from Russia and Manja Marz from Germany. The North American team is now likely to fall to the last place.  All other matches had expected results: for men, Japan over Europe, Taipei over North American; for women, China over Taipei, and Korea over Japan – all with 2-0 score.

Tomorrow, for both men and women teams, America will play vs China, Europe vs Korea, and Taipei vs. Japan.

2017.12.10_IEMG'17 openingThe Mind Games launched on Saturday with a grand opening ceremony (left) at the Great People’s Hall of Huai’an. In addition to the same five sports as last year, the Chinese National Guandan Championship will be held at the same venue. Guandan is a traditional Chinese card game which was showcased as a demo sport in 2016.  The International Federation of Card Games (FCG) will also run an international tournament in Huai’an as a parallel event.

In Go, IEMG will have five medal competitions: men’s and women’s team play, men’s and women’s individual blitz play, and pair go. Six countries/regions are represented: China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, USA (joined by Canada), and EU (joined by non-EU European countries). The all-star casts include: from China, Yu Zhiying, Lu Minquan, Ke Jie, and Tang Weixing; from Japan, Fujisawa Rina, Nyu Eiko, Shibano Toramaru, and Matsuura Yuta; from Korea, Oh Yu-Jin, Choi Jeong, Park Jeong-Hwan, and Shin Jinseo; from US-Canada, Sarah Yu, Wan Chen, Mingjiu Jiang, and Ziyang Hu; from EU, Natalia Kovaleva, Manja Marz, Ilya Shikshin, and Mateusz Surma.
- report/photos by Thomas Hsiang

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Categories: China,Main Page
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Chinese go authorities ban phones at matches

Sunday November 19, 2017

China’s top authority for the game of go recently announced a ban on phones at go matches in response to the increasing use of artificial2017.11.12_tablet-recording-IMG_8751 intelligence (AI) in the sport. According to a notice released by the Chinese Weiqi Association (CWA) on Tuesday, “during matches, players are not allowed to have or watch mobile phones and any other electronic devices. If they are found with one of the devices, they will be judged losers immediately.” Players are also forbidden from going to their hotel rooms during a break in the matches, unless they have special needs and are accompanied by a judge.

The news has prompted a discussion by the American Go Association’s Board of Directors  about how to address this issue at U.S. go tournaments, where many players now use phones, tablets or laptops to record their games.
- Excerpted/adapted from a report in The Global Times.

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Categories: China
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Yinli Wang wins Bingsheng Cup Qualifier

Wednesday October 11, 2017

Yinli (Audrey) Wang has triumphed after a round-robin and elimination qualifier to become the North American representative to the 8th Suzhou Qionglong Mountain Bingsheng Cup World Women Weiqi Tournament. Sixteen women from around the world will be competing at scenic Qionglong Mountain (famous for being the location where Sun Tsu wrote “The Art of War”), from November 6-10 with a top prize of 300,000 RMB (approximately $45,500 US).
- Jeff Shaevel, AGA National Tournament Coordinator
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Go Spotting: Go sculpture in China

Monday October 2, 2017

“Just saw this in Chinese media,” reports Zhiping You. “These are the first go-related sculpture I have ever seen.” At right are Gu Li (right) and2017.10.02_go-sculpture-Lee-Sedol-Gu-Li Lee Sedol (left); in photo at left, Kong Jie (right) and Choe Cheoi-han (left). The sculpture 2017.10.02_go-sculpture2-kong-jie-choe-cheoi-hanis in China, Hunan Province, Fenghuang county. Every two years, beginning in 2003, this county hosts a fight between the top Chinese player and the top Korean player. So far, eight matches have taken place, Korea has won four, China has won three, and there was one tie, between Chang Hao and Lee Changho. “This year’s fight just finished on September 22,” Zhiping You says. “Ke Jie beat Park Junghwan.”

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Shanglv Cup International City Go Tournament in Hangzhou, China

Monday September 11, 2017

The Hangzhou Branch of China Qiyuan is inviting US go players to participate in the Shanglv Cup, to take place between Oct. 27 and Nov. 1. You will need to supply transportation, but they will provide 5-star accommodations at a hotel in Hangzhou. In addition to the main tournament, which features prizes and ranks to players with sufficient standing, there are other side tournaments available: Male Doubles, Female Doubles, Male & Female Mixed Doubles, Family Doubles and Children’s Tournament (below 10 years’ old). Registration deadline is Sept. 30. For more information please e-mail tournaments@usgo.org, or the tournament contact, Di Yang at 616601098@qq.com.
- Jeff Shaevel, AGA National Tournament Coordinator

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Seeking pro or amateur US rep for Bingsheng Cup

Sunday September 10, 2017

The 8th Qionglong Mountain Bingsheng Cup, a women’s weiqi tournament, is seeking a representative from the US. The tournament will be held November 5-11 in Suzhou, China. Professional and amateur women interested in representing the US in this event should send an e-mail to tournaments@usgo.org. Please reply no later than Friday, September 22nd so that we may run a preliminary tournament among the interested players.
- Jeff Shaevel, AGA National Tournament Coordinator
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DeepZenGo wins all-AI go competition

Wednesday September 6, 2017

At an all-AI go competition held in China, Japan’s DeepZenGo took first place and then bested top Chinese pro Kong Jie 9p, who was being assisted by one of the AI runners up, CGI, from Taiwan. Jie was able to choose which AI to use as an assistant, and opted for CGI over the Chinese system FineArt, which had come into the tournament as a favorite. Among the 12 contestant systems, one North American entrant, MuGo by Brian Lee, came in 11th. MuGo was only six or so months old, and not that strong yet, but Lee was pleased to play against other systems, and preparing for this event with a short lead time was good motivation to work harder. “It was good to have a goal. I’d been working on it alone for four months, and it’s difficult to construct imaginary castles when there’s no one looking at it but yourself.” Scheduling conflicts kept other North American Go programmers, like Dave Fotland, away and Facebook has not been working on its system actively. The AlphaGo group did not attend, with the final versions of AlphaGo having retired from competition after the match with Ke Jie 9p in May. The competition took place in Ordos City, China, at the first ever Chinese Go Congress, a well-attended event that brought together 5,000 mostly amateur attendees, according to organizers.
- Andy Okun, Special Correspondent

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Categories: China,Computer Go/AI
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