American Go E-Journal » Japan

The Power Report (1 of 3): Kono to challenge for Kisei; Ida wins first Crown title; Iyama defends Oza title; Ichiriki wins Young Carp

Friday December 23, 2016

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal2016.12.23_41Kisei challenger Kono Rin

Kono to challenge for Kisei: The second game of the play-off to decide the 41st Kisei challenger was held at the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo on November 14. Taking white, Kono Rin 9P (right) beat Cho U 9P by 1.5 points, so he will make his first challenge for the Kisei title.
Kono has won nine titles, but the Tengen is the only top-seven title he has held, though that was for three years in a row. This is only his second big-three challenge; he lost the 39th Meijin title match to Iyama 2-4 in 2014. He will turn 36 on January 7, just before the title match starts on January 14.

Ida wins first Crown title: The Crown (Okan) title is restricted to members of the Central Japan branch of the Nihon Ki-in in Nagoya. This year it was held on November 14. Playing black, Ida Atsushi 8P beat the defending title holder Hane Naoki by resig. Surprisingly, the 22-year-old Ida is the first player younger than Hane (40) to win the title. It is his third title: he has also won the Judan and the NHK cup. Hane’s winning run as Okan ended at five terms. First prize is 1,700,000 yen (about $14,500).

2016.12.23_64oza3 Iyama defendsIyama defends Oza title: The third game of the 64th Oza title match was held at the Saryo Soen, an entertainment complex, in Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture on November 18. Yo Seiki (or Yu Zhengqi), the challenger, played well with black, but the severity of his attack was exceeded by the power of Iyama’s “shinogi” (rescuing a group). Yo resigned after 122 moves. Iyama (left) succeeded in defending his title with three successive wins, so he came through his first major test since his loss of the Meijin title. This maintained his sextuple crown and gave h2016.12.23_Ichiriki Young Carpim his 39th title, putting him in equal 6th place with Cho U.
Despite the 3-0 score, the series was far from one-sided. Iyama: “There were scenes in which both the first and second games became definite losses for me.”

Ichiriki wins Young Carp: The main tournament in the 11th Hiroshima Aluminum Cup Young Carp Tournament was held at the Central Japan Newspaper Building in Hiroshima on November 26 and 27. Ichiriki (right) was busy with his Tengen challenge, but he still had the energy to pick up this junior title. In the semifinals, Ichiriki beat Fujisawa Rina, Women’s Honinbo, and Motoki Katsuya 7P beat Oomote (pronounced oh-o-mo-te) Takuto. In the final, Ichiriki had white against Motoki and forced a resignation after 156 moves. First prize is 3,000,000 yen (about $25,600).

Tomorrow: Nyu to challenge for Women’s Kisei; Ke Jie wins Agon Kiriyama Cup play-off; 72nd Honinbo League; 42nd Meijin League; Women’s Meijin League

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Mark Your Calendar: 2017 Go Events

Monday December 19, 2016

European Go Congress 2017: The 2017 European Go Congress has been moved from Turkey to Sochi, Russia (Sochi). More details here.2016.12.17_aussie-congress

Australian Go Congress: The Australian Go Association, Sydney Go Club and Sydney University Go Club have announced that the 2017 Australian Go Congress – the third such Congress — will be held at Sydney University between September 28th and October 1st 2017. Further details will be released in the coming year.

2016.12.18_japan-congressCanadian Open 2017: After two years in eastern Canada, the Canadian Open is tentatively scheduled for Vancouver on the July 1st to 3rd weekend. Once the venue is confirmed the Canadian Go Association will post more details.

Osaka Go Camp/Japan Go Congress: The Kansai Kiin will host the 5th  annual Osaka Go Camp June 25th to July 13th, 2017. The second Japan Go Congress will be held from July 14th to 17th. Registration is now open; click here for details on both. This year more than 80 participated in the camp and 300 attended the congress.

US Go Congress:
And while we’re at it, just a reminder that the US Go Congress will be held August 5-8 in San Diego, California. Read the latest news here.

We love to hear about and promote go events around the world; send us details at journal@usgo.org

 

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Go Spotting: The Tokyo National Museum

Saturday December 10, 2016

by Erwin Gerstorfer2016.12.06_3Screen_IMG_2742A

A few weeks ago while in Tokyo I visited the Tokyo National Museum in Ueno. There I discovered three depictions of go, which was perhaps not surprising in this country with a long history of the game but nevertheless seemed quite a remarkable number for such a renowned art museum.

The first I spotted was a go scene from the Ranka story on a fan mounted on folding screens in the main building of the museum.

2016.12.06_6Kimono_IMG_2738AThen, in the next room I was amazed to find a go board in the embroidery of a kimono representing one of the Four Elegant Pastimes.

More than satisfied that I had found two go scenes, my go art day was complete when I came across one more — again on folding screens — when I went to the side building of the Horyuji Treasures.2016.12.06_10Horyuji_IMG_2760A

Due to the huge number of exhibits most visitors would probably not notice these go references, but after years of training myself to spot go in Japanese woodblock prints (Ukiyo-e) they just leapt out to me. If you too happen to visit Tokyo in the next months, try to discover them yourself, they are well worth a visit.
Erwin Gerstorfer is an avid collector of go literature and prints.

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Kim Sooyoung and Park Jongwook of Korea Win Amateur Pair Go Championship

Sunday December 4, 2016

A Korean pair won this year’s 27th International Amateur Pair Go Championship in Tokyo, besting a Taiwanese team in the 2016.12.04_us-pairfinals.  Kim Sooyoung and Park Jongwook of Korea beat Pai Shin-Hui and Huang Wei of Taiwan.  Pai and Huang had paved the way, however, by beating a strong Chinese pair in round one of the 32-pair five round event.  The US team of Jeremy Chiu and Gabriella Su (right) ended with a solid 3-2 record, losing in rounds one and three to a Japanese pair and the team from China, but beating Germany and Austria before facing a strong Russian pair, Grigorii Fionin and Elvina Kalsberg, also 2-2, in the final round.  In the 3rd edition of the World Students Pair Go Championship, North American pair Amira Song of Canada and Andrew Zalesak of North Carolina went 1-3, beating the Mexican pair but failing to beat the percentages in their other games against a Japanese pair and not one, but two, Korean university pairs.  A Japanese pair took first.
- report by Andy Okun (standing in photo); photo by Thomas Hsiang

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Cho Chikun 9p defeats AI DeepZen 2-1; Michael Redmond’s Commentary

Saturday December 3, 2016

“Zen plays well in the opening and in open areas that are difficult even for top pros to judge,” says Michael Redmond 9P in his commentary on Game 3 in the recent Cho-DeepZen match, in which Cho bested the AI program. “It makes local mistakes, a problem that seems to be a characteristic weakness of the neural network system. It is playing at a pro level, and is approaching the strength of AlphaGo that we saw in March 2016. In Game 2 I saw some patterns that Zen has been playing for years, so it has not turned into a copy of AlphaGo, but has kept it’s original ‘style’.”

Michael’s game 3 commentary:

[link]

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Nihon Kiin Announces New World Championship Will Include AI Program DeepZenGo

Wednesday November 30, 2016

The Nihon Kiin on Tuesday announced a new World Championship tournament that will include top professional players 2016.11.30_iyama-41meijin7_10and a strong AI program, to be held in Osaka in March 2017. The tournament is sponsored by NTT Docomo, Mitsui Sumimoto, Daiwa Securities, Hankyu Inc. and Nikkei Inc., and is organized by the Nihon Kiin. With a top prize of \30M (about $270K) and runner-up prize of \10M, the tournament has one of the highest prize structures among go championships.

2016.11.30_deepzengoFrom March 20-24, three top players from Japan, China, and Korea will join DeepZenGo in a four-round round-robin tournament at Nihon Kiin’s Kansai branch office. Additional playoff will be held in case of ties.

Iyama Yuta (right) has been chosen as the Japanese representative. The ‘seven-crown champion’ who holds all the major Japanese pro titles, Iyama said that he was honored to be chosen and this would be the first time in a long while that he could play in an international tournament without conflicts with the tight domestic competition schedule. He promised to do his best to get good results for Japan. Chinese and Korean representatives will be determined soon.

DeepZenGo was chosen to represent AI. Hideki Kato, DeepZen’s author, expressed gratitude to the great effort and support of the organizers and promised that DeepZenGo would work hard to improve in the next few month to achieve a good result in the tournament.
- Thomas Hsiang

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Deep Zen Go Wins Game 2; Final Game Tuesday Night

Sunday November 20, 2016

Deep Zen Go won Game 2 of the 3-game match with Cho Chikun 9P on November 20, evening the score at 1-1. “Cho played badly with White 2016.11.17_cho-deepzengoin the opening but invaded Black’s huge moyo later and had a chance to live and win the game,” Michael Redmond 9P tells the E-Journal. “With mistakes by both players in the final fight, Cho’s group died.” Watch for Redmond’s game highlights, which will be posted here when available.

The final and deciding game will start at 11p US Eastern Standard Time on Tuesday, November 22. Redmond and Antti Tormanen 1P will once again provide English commentary live online.

[link]

 

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Cho defeats Deep Zen Go; Game 2 Tonight at 11

Saturday November 19, 2016

The legendary Cho Chikun 9P defeated Deep Zen Go in the first game of their 3-game match. “Zen played a pro level opening2016.11.17_cho-deepzengo and middle game, but lost in the endgame,” says Michael Redmond 9P in his game commentary for the E-Journal. (See below; click here for his AlphaGo commentaries) The program resigned after move 223. The match continues tonight, with live English commentary by Redmond and Antti Tormanen 1P on the NiCONiCO website (requires free registration). The Game 1 commentary drew 20,000 viewers, and Myungwan Kim 9P also provided commentary on the AGA’s YouTube channel. Zen is a strong go engine by Japanese programmer Yoji Ojima with cluster parallelism added by Hideki Kato. Cho Chikun 9P is sometimes referred as the 25th Honinbo, an honorific title given for winning the Honinbo title five consecutive times.

Cho Chikun 9P vs. Deep Zen Go:

[link]

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Deep Zen Go to Take on Legendary Cho Chikun 9P in 3-Game Match

Thursday November 17, 2016

In the second “Man vs. Machine” match of the year, Deep Zen Go will take on the legendary Cho Chikun 9P (honorary Meijin) in a 3-match series to be held November 19th, 20th and 23rd. Using the same deep learning system as AlphaGo, 2016.11.17_cho-deepzengoDeep Zen Go is considered the second best computer go program in the world, reaching the No.1 ranking as KGS 9-dan in September 2016. Reportedly, the program has gotten stronger since then.

Michael Redmond 9P and Antti Tormanen 1P will provide live commentaries on the matches in English on the NiCONiCO website (requires free registration; see below for direct links for each match). “From some games I saw on the net I think Zen has reached pro level,” Redmond told the E-Journal. Click here for Redmond’s commentaries on the historic AlphaGo-DeepMind match earlier this year.

The games will start at 13:00 on November 19, 20 and 23 (Japan local time), or 23:00 on November 18, 19, and 22 (US Eastern Standard Time).

Here are the links for each match with US dates/times:
November 18 (11p EST)
November 19 (11p EST)
November 22 (11p EST)

The games may also be watched on Wbaduk (Cyberoro).

THIS JUST IN (11/18 4p): Myungwan Kim 9P will also be providing commentary on the AGA’s Youtube and Twitch channels Friday and Saturday nights, beginning at 10p PST (1a Sat 11/19).

 

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The Power Report (4/4): Kono to challenge for Kisei; Tang wins Ing Cup; Tri-country Young Stars

Wednesday November 16, 2016

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal2016.11.16_41Kisei challenger Kono Rin

THIS JUST IN: Kono to challenge for Kisei
The second game of the “best-of-three” play-off to decide the challenger to Iyama Yuta 2016.11.16_41 Kisei Kono beats Chofor the 41st Kisei title was held at the Nihon Ki-in headquarters in Tokyo on November 14. Taking white, Kono Rin 9P (right) beat Cho U 9P by 1.5 points. As the winner of the S League, Kono started off with a one-win advantage, so this secures him victory. He will be making his first challenge for this title. Kono’s main achievement so far has been to win the Tengen title three years in a row. The title match starts in January.

International tournaments

Tang wins Ing Cup: The final three games in the best-of-five final of the 8th Ing Cup, a tournament held only in the year of the Olympics, were held in Shanghai on October 22, 24, and 26. Tang Weixing 9P of China beat Pak Jeonghwan 9P of Korea 3-2. In the fifth game, the 23-year-old Tang (B) beat Pak by 5.5 points and won this title for the first time (I don’t have the details of the other games). The Ing Cup is known for its special rules: komi is 8 points (Black wins a draw); the time allowance is three hours, but two extensions of 20 minutes can be bought for two points each. First prize is 400,000 dollars.

Tri-country Young Stars: This is a Chinese-sponsored tournament for three young stars, one each from China, Korea, and Japan; it was held in Nanchang City in Jiangxi Province on October 24 and 25. Competing were Li Qinchang for China, Shin Jinseo for Korea, and Ichiriki Ryo for Japan. Ichiriki is the winner of the 1st Globis Cup; Li is the winner of the third Globis Cup and the 28th TV Asia Cup (both held this year); Shin came second in the 28th TV Asia Cup. The format is an irregular knockout, with lots drawn to decide the two players who meet in the first round (playing conditions follow the NHK Cup). It turned out to be Shin and Ichiriki, and the former won. Ichiriki then played Li; taking white, Ichiriki won by
resignation (he now leads Li 2-1), so he met Shin again in the final. Shin (W) won this game by resignation, and Ichiriki took second place.

Obituary: Miyamoto Yoshihisa 9P
Miyamoto Yoshihisa 9-dan of the Kansai Ki-in dies of liver-cell cancer on October 31. He was 77. Born in Hyogo Prefecture on June 16, 1939, Miyamoto became a disciple of Hashimoto Utaro. He became 1-dan in 1951 and reached 9-dan in 1970. He retired last year. He won the 30th Kansai Ki-in No. One Position title in 1986. He is the younger brother of the later Miyamoto Naoki 9P.

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