American Go E-Journal » Go News

Chess blogger Michael Bacon posts on go

Monday March 5, 2018

Chess blogger Michael Bacon — the “Armchair Warrior” has recently published some posts on go, including “AlphaGo and the Hand of God,” “The Surrounding Game” and “Weiqi (Go) Versus Chess.” In addition to being well-written, thoughtful – and sometime provocative — explorations, Bacon’s posts are well-illustrated with photos and videos. 2018.03.03_armchair-warrior-screengrab

“AlphaGo and the Hand of God’ is about the “AlphaGo,” documentary,  which Bacon calls “poignant,” adding that “While watching the movie the thought crossed my mind that what I was watching was a watershed moment in the history of mankind, analogous to Neal Armstrong’s ‘That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.’”

In “The Surrounding Game,”Bacon reminds readers that not only was Edward Lasker – attributed in the film as the source of a famous quote about go – an International Master, not a Grandmaster, as identified in the film, but that there is a dispute about the quote itself, with some attributing it to former World Chess Champion Emanuel Lasker, a distant relative. However, Bacon clearly likes the film, which follows the lives of several top American players, Ben Lockhart and Andy Liu, competing to become the first Western professional. “Despite their diverging paths, Ben and Andy face the same question: is a lifetime dedicated to Go truly worth living?”

And in “Weiqi (Go) Versus Chess”, Bacon contrasts chess and go in politics, popularity and player personalities. Noting that “Chess appeals to people who like to attack and who savor the win over the process,” Bacon says that go “is a game of patience and position. It appeals to very bright people who don’t expect to win quickly but who are willing to earn success one small step at a time. GO players enjoy the process as much as the win.” He also argues that “AlphaGo has done for the game of Go in America what Bobby Fischer did for the game of Chess when he defeated the World Chess Champion, Boris Spassky, in 1972… In a very short period of time the game of Go will be unrivaled, leaving all other board games in its wake.” Further, he suggests that “It could be that the people of the planet are moving away from the brutal, war like, mindset of a war like game such as Chess and toward a more cerebral game such as Go.”

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2018 U.S. Go Congress website launched

Sunday March 4, 2018

Organizers of this year’s US Go Congress recently launched a new design for the Congress website, where you can subscribe to2018.03.03-2018-congress-website the Congress mailing list to stay up to date on Congress news and be among 2018.03.03_2018-congress-sitethe first to know when registration opens. The 2018 Congress runs July 21 – 28 at The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA. “If you’ve never been to Williamsburg, you’re in for a treat,” reports Congress Co-Director Nate Eagle. “The beautiful, tree-lined campus of William & Mary is directly next to Colonial Williamsburg, where you can step directly into a recreation of 18th-century American life. I spent a couple weekends down there in the Fall and am looking forward immensely to seeing some of those beautiful grass lawns filled with go boards and sprawling go players, locked in combat.” Registration is expected to open later this month.

photo (l-r): Congress directors Diego Pierrottet and Nate Eagle “duking it out while Lord Bortetourt suppresses his urge to kibitz.”

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AGA to launch state championships across U.S.

Sunday March 4, 2018

The American Go Association is preparing to launch a brand-new system of state championships around the country and is seeking interest from AGA chapters in the various states.

“Our goals are to promote high-level competition in local areas, develop state level organization, and to provide more direct assistance to local chapters,” said AGA President Andy Okun. The championships will be run by the individual states according to AGA guidelines detailed here: Coordinator Selection, Application, and Summary. AGA chapters within each state will pick a State Championship Coordinator, who will be the point of contact between that state and the AGA State Championship Coordinator Paul Ohmart, who can be reached at 50state@usgo.org.

“The AGA recognizes that different states will have different issues in organizing a statewide event and will need to have different approaches; we will work to find the best approach,” said Ohmart. The AGA will also provide two types of trophies to each participating state, an individual trophy for the winner and a perpetual trophy to be held by the winner until the next championship. Chapter leaders will be contacted individually to help get the programs rolling.

 

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OpenStudyRoom passes 500-user mark

Sunday March 4, 2018

The OpenStudyRoom (OSR), an online community with a focus on playing, studying and teaching go, now has over 500 users. 2018.03.03_OpenStudyRoomFirst created in February 2017, the community features study lectures, events and league games on a weekly basis. OSR is currently partnered with Guo Juan’s InternetGoSchool, Shawn’s Go Group, Explore Baduk and Alexandre Dinerchtein’s go school.

“It’s a group filled with heart,” writes Angie Scheeler. “Not only do they charge nothing, they also give prizes away to the participants. It’s a testament that go is not dead even after artificial intelligence has changed the playing field.”

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Redmond Deadline Wednesday

Saturday March 3, 2018

The deadline to register for the Redmond Cup is March 7th. Preliminaries will be played on KGS, with the top two players in each the Junior (12 and under) and Senior (13-17) division receiving invitations to the finals, which will be held in July at the 2018 US Go Congress in Williamsburg, Virginia. Courtesy of the American Go Association and the American Go Foundation, finalists will also have all basic expenses covered to attend the 2018 US Go Congress, and any participant who completes all rounds of the preliminary tournament will be eligible for a $400 scholarship to the AGA Go Camp (details TBD) or a $200 scholarship to the 2018 US Go Congress.

Players must have an accredited rank of 1 dan or higher, be residents of the US, Canada, or Mexico, and have an active membership with any of aforementioned countries’ go association to register for the Redmond Cup. Please consult the Rules and Regulations for more information about the tournament. Registration is now open and will close on March 7th.

 

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High schooler upsets defending champ to win 2018 San Diego championship

Saturday March 3, 2018

Yi Wang 6d upset the 7-dan defending champion in the first round and then went undefeated to win the 2018 San Diego Go2018 Champion Yi Wang (6d - Torrey Pines High school) playing 2017 Champion Chengjie Huang (7.2d - UCSD) Championship on February 25 at UCSD. He was the only undefeated player in the Open Section. He prevailed over a strong field that included two 7-dans and three other 6-dans. Wang is a local San Diego player who attends Torrey Pines High School. More than 40 players competed in the seventh annual event for the $400 first prize as well as numerous other cash awards totaling $1,250. Players from 6-years-old to 70+ participated with lots of new young players competing for the first time. The president of the San Diego Chess Club, David Saponara, played in his first go tournament and went 2-1.

There was a five-way tie for second in the Open Section (all at 2-1): Chegjie Huang (2017 Champion), Xiaocheng (Steven) Hu, Many girls  played in the tournament.Yixian Zhou, Jun Kim, and Yifan Zhang.

In the dan/kyu section, Konrad Scheffler (3-0, 1.9d) beat Dan Alvira (2-1, 3.1d) and Christophe Humbert (2-1, 2.6d).

In the mid-kyu section, ChaoShane Chang (3-0, 8.8k)  went undefeated to beat out four players that tied for second (2-1): Shawn Blue, 3.3k; Arunas Rudvalis, 6.1k; Yike Deng, 5.9k; and Warren Andrews, 6.7k.

In the high-kyu section, Xiang Cai (3-0, 14.7k) beat out Lucia Moscola (2-1, 18k).6-year-old Eric Yang played a confident game

In the beginners’ section, Tony Yang (3-0, 25k) edged a group of four who ended up with 2-1 records: Andy Zhou, 31k; Anna Zhou, 33k; Kevin Yang, 23k; and David Saponara 30k.

Justin Lee won the 9×9 championship arranged for youth after their 19×19 tournament games.

photos: (top right) 2018 Champion Yi Wang (6d – Torrey Pines High school) playing 2017 Champion Chengjie Huang (7.2d – UCSD) as UCSD Go Club president Weihan Huai watches; (left): Many girls  played in the tournament; (bottom left): 6-year-old Eric Yang played a confident game.

- report/photos by Ted Terpstra

 

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South Central tournament draws 40 players from 10 states

Saturday March 3, 2018

The third South Central Go Tournament — held February 17-18 near Dallas — drew 40 players from ten states. In the Open GameReview2018.03.03_South Central Go Tournament HandicapSection with 10 entrants, Muzhen Ai,6d, took first place. In the Handicap Section with 30 entrants, Luke Belyeu 5k, took first place in the top band. There were three rounds each day, a full schedule, but still time for a good bit of friendly review of the games played.
- report/photos by Robert Gilman

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New “Surrounding Game” web store features 9×9 go sets

Thursday March 1, 2018

A new web store associated with The Surrounding Game documentary launched earlier this week. In addition to movie 2018.03.01_Starter Pack DVDmerchandise, the store is introducing custom-made 9×9 go sets, aimed at new players. “A lot of non-players, after watching the film, asked how they could get their hands on a set and try the game out themselves” reports director Will Lockhart. “So we decided to make our own.”

The new 9x9s can be purchased individually, or at a discount together with the film. “We see the movie as a new way to promote the game, and reach people who might not otherwise be interested in go. And now I believe we’ve put together the most complete beginner set out there: a beautiful, laser-engraved cherry wood board, stones, and a new modern rules booklet – our attempt to present the game in the most elegant and beginner-friendly way possible.”

The Go sets and many other web store items are available here.

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AGA seeking volunteers

Wednesday February 28, 2018

If you appreciate all the great go content brought to you by the American Go Association and want to help grow the go community even more, we’re looking for a few good volunteers for some key positions:

Social Media Coordinator – Experience with Facebook groups, Google Groups, Twitter. Person will manage our social media pages and work with people who have questions; help grow our platforms, gain users, and turn those into AGA members, and will provide assistance for the Streaming team when necessary.

Webmaster – Assist with updating webpages, answer emails sent to webmaster@usgo.org and respond or forward to the appropriate person, and assist with publishing events to the website calendar.

Server Admin – Assist with Server admin duties. Experience with Linux necessary. Helpful to know Apache, Drupal, WordPress, bash scripting.

To find out more and/or volunteer, email steve.colburn@usgo.org.

 

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AlphaGo Zero vs. Master; Game 6: Don’t worry, play tenuki

Sunday February 25, 2018

AG Zero is back, this time “with a big group that looks like it’s about to die, just floating around in the middle of Master’s moyo”2018.02.25_AG-Zero-Master6 says Michael Redmond 9P in his commentary. “But Zero doesn’t seem to be worried, because it plays away and does all sorts of stuff.”

“Master vs Zero with Zero on black are especially great games,” enthuses viewer Stefan Kaitschick. “Master getting beaten with the common sense moves, while Zero does what it pleases, is something of a horror show.” Adds agazmenlyfzsys, “Alphago zero is just from another dimension.”

Click here for Redmond’s video commentary, hosted by the AGA E-Journal’s Chris Garlock, and see below for the sgf commentary. To support this content, please consider joining or renewing your membership in the American Go Association; click here for details.

Video 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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