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Power Report (1 of 2): Tuo of China wins Agon Kiriyama Cup play-off; Meijin League starts; Honinbo League; Chinese program wins computer go tournament

Monday December 18, 2017

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal2017.12.18_19 Agon leftMutsuura

Tuo of China wins Agon Kiriyama Cup play-off: 
The 19th Agon Kiriyama Cup Japan-China Play-off was held at the Westin Hotel in Beijing on December 6. Tuo Jiaxi 9P (aged 26, below left) of China beat Mutsuura 2017.12.18_19agonn TuoYuta 7P (aged 18, at left in photo at right) of Japan. Tuo had black and secured a resignation after 135 moves. This was China’s 1th win in this series (Japan won the first four and Iyama Yuta won the 17th play-off).

Meijin League starts: The first two games of the 43rd Meijin League were played on December 7 and were won by two former Meijins. Cho U 9P (B) beat Hane Naoki 9P by resig. and Yamashita Keigo 9P beat Yo Seiki 7P, also by resig. Another former Meijin won the third game, played on Dec. 14: Takao Shinji 9P (B) beat Ko Iso 8P by resig.

Honinbo League: The second game in the third round of the 73rd Honinbo League was played on December 7. Ko Iso 8P (W) beat Kobayashi Satoru 9P by half a point. One more game was played on December 14. Ida Atsushi 8P (B) beat Motoki Katsuya 8P by resig. On 3-0 Ida retains the sole lead; Ko is now 2-1, and Motoki and Kobayashi are 1-2.

Chinese program wins computer go tournament: A new tournament for computer go programs, the AI Ryusei Tournament, got off to a start on December 9 and 10. It was held in the UDX Building in front of Akihabara station in Tokyo. Seventeen programs, including four from overseas, took part, with the Igo & Shogi Channel acting as the main sponsor. The tournament is a successor to the UEC Cup, held for ten years by the University of Electro-Communications of Chofu City in Tokyo. FineArt of China, regarded as the favorite as the last winner of the UEC Cup, and DeepZenGo of Japan made the final. Playing white, FineArt won by resignation after 248 moves. It has been developed by the Tencent corporation.

Tomorrow: Ueno to challenge for Women’s Kisei; Awards for Iyama and Habu; World Go Championship 2018

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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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AlphaGo Zero-AlphaGo Master: An early mistake, then things get interesting

Sunday December 17, 2017

“I think Master made a mistake fairly early in this game,” says Michael Redmond 9p in his fourth commentary on the AG Zero2017.12.17_ag-ag-zero-master-4 games. “Then it was supposed to be an easy game for Zero, but Zero made it really interesting, and there are points in the game where I think Master had a chance to win. There’s a big fight toward the end.”

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.

Note: The video commentary team will be taking a break over the holidays to rest up, recharge and work on plans for 2018. Watch for a 2017 recap interview coming soon and more updates and videos in the New Year!

Video produced by Michael Wanek and Andrew Jackson. The sgf files were created by Redmond, with editing and transcription by Garlock and Myron Souris.

[link]

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Evanston Go Club’s “Rated Games Night” gets underway

Thursday December 14, 2017

The Evanston Go Club had its second Rated Games Night last week. “The first Wednesday of every month will be Rated Games2017.12.14_evanston Night”, said club president Mark Rubenstein. “Some of our members have recently joined the AGA, and they’re highly motivated to improve their rating. It’s also an opportunity for those members who can’t make it to our tournaments to get some rated games in, and push themselves to get stronger.”

Although only one rated game was played last week, Rubenstein is optimistic about the program. “We are purposefully keeping the structure very open. You can play any number of rated or un-rated games; there’s no pressure to play rated games, it’s just an option. We have clocks for those who want to use one, and signs letting onlookers know that a rated game is in progress. It lends a slightly more serious tone to the evening, which is a nice change of pace.”
Last week’s game was between Scott Gerson (5k) and David Rockwell (5k), pictured here; Scott took black and won. Scott has light-heartedly suggested that the second Wednesday of every month should be Trash-Talk night… but Rubenstein needs some convincing.
photo by Mark Rubenstein
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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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Seattle prepares for Pair Go Night this Saturday

Wednesday December 13, 2017

The fifth annual Seattle Pair Go Gala will be held this Saturday, Dec. 16, at the Seattle Go Center.   2017 Pair Go Flyer_finalRegistration is at the beginning of the tournament, from 6-6:30 pm. The gala will follow International Pair Go Rules, so teams must have both a female and male player. Last year’s tournament had 24 players, and lots of cake. Photo by Anne Thompson, https://tenukihandcrafts.com/, report by Brian Allen.

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The Power Report: Nong Shim second stage honors go to China; Ri Ishu wins Young Carp; Xie regains Women’s Honinbo; Honinbo League

Wednesday December 13, 2017

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal

Nong Shim second stage honors go to China: The second stage, in which the fifth to ninth games are played, of the 19th Nong Shim Spicy Noodles Cup was held in Busan in Korea from November 24 to 28. The first stage was dominated by Shin Minjun 6P of Korea. He also won the first two games of the second stage, taking his winning streak to six games. However, Dang Yifei of China then took over, winning the next three games, so China staged a recovery. Japan is down to its last player, Iyama Yuta, who will meet Dang in the first game of the third stage, scheduled to start in Shanghai on February 26. Korea has three players left and China two, so Iyama will need to reproduce his good form in the LG Cup if Japan is going to avoid early elimination. Full results for this round follow.
Game Five (Nov. 24). Shin Minjun (W) beat Chen Yaoye 9P (China) by 4.5 points.
Game Six (Nov. 25). Shin (W) beat Yamashita Keigo 9P (Japan) by resig.
Game Seven (Nov. 26). Dang Yifei 9P (China) beat Shin by resig.
Game Eight (Nov. 27). Dang (B) beat Ichiriki Ryo 8P (Japan) by resig.
Game Nine (Nov. 28). Dang (B) beat Kim Myeonghoon 5P (Korea) by resig.
Remaining players: (Japan) Iyama Yuta; (Korea) Kim Jiseok 9P, Shin Jinseo 8P, Park Junghwan 9P; (China) Dang, Ke Jie 9P

Ri Ishu wins Young Carp:  The main section (the best 16) of the 12th Hiroshima Aluminum Cup Young Carp Tournament was held in the Western Honshu Newspaper Building in Hiroshima on November 25 and 26. This tournament is open to2017.12.13_Wom Hon Xie players 30 and under and 7-dan and under. The finalists this year were two Nihon Ki-in players of Taiwanese birth, Ri Ishu (Li Yixiu) 7P (aged 29) and Yo Chito (Yao Zhiteng) 4P (aged 19). Playing black, Ri, who came second in the first cup, won by 3.5 points. First prize is 3 million yen (about $27,000).

Xie regains Women’s Honinbo: The 36th Women’s Honinbo title match, a best-of-five, went right down to the wire. Xie Yimin, the challenger (right), twice took the lead, but each time Fujisawa Rina (left), the titleholder, caught up. The deciding game was played in the 2017.12.13_Wom Hon Fujisawa_05Special Playing Room on the 7th floor of the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo on November 29. So far, Black had won every game. The nigiri to decide the colors was held again, and Xie drew black. After a hard-fought game extending to 307 moves, Xie won by 8.5 points. This meant that she took back the title Fujisawa won from her last year. It was the eighth time she had won the Women’s Honinbo and her 27th title overall. After the game, Xie commented: “All the games (in the series) were tough. I made lots of mistakes after going into byo-yomi, so I need to improve here. This year I lost the Women’s Meijin title, the Hollyhook (Aizu Central Hospital) Cup, and the Senko Cup to Fujisawa, so I really wanted to win in the final title match of the year. Not giving up until the end worked out well. I think I was lucky.” Fujisawa is still the top woman player, with three titles, but this win restored Xie to her customary position of multiple titleholder. Fujisawa: “Most of the games in this match were tough. I made lots of mistakes in the final game, so the content was not very good for me. I think your mistakes show your level, so I’ll have to start out from scratch again.” First prize for this tournament is 5.5 million yen (about $51,000), the third-highest of the five women’s titles.

Honinbo League: The first game in the third round of the 73rd Honinbo League was played on November 30. Taking black, Hane Naoki 9P (age 41) beat Shibano Toramaru 7P (age 18) by resig. This was Hane’s first win and Shibano’s second loss, so they are even on 1-2. The only undefeated player is former Honinbo challenger Ida Atsushi 8P on 2-0.

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Categories: Japan,John Power Report
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Go miscellany Year End Edition (3 of 3)

Wednesday December 13, 2017

Being a collection of interesting items – in no particular order – that have landed in our in-box in recent months but never 2017.12.13-Myosu_Magazine_FirstIssue_1-320x213made it into the E-Journal.

New go mag launched: Myosu, a new Korea-based go publication, was quietly launched last June. Myosu is a Korean term meaning ‘excellent move’. The team is based out of Myongji University, headed up by Editor-in-chief Le Kieu Khanh Linh. “In this magazine, we want to share all kinds of stories from the Baduk world; not only news and playing techniques, but also insights into Baduk culture, people, etc. We hope that we can connect the Baduk world and bring our community closer.”

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making: There is a passing mention of go on page 149 of The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente. It occurs when the main character, September, is talking to Death.
“Death, I don’t know what to do.”
“It’s very brave of you to admit that. Most knightly folk I happen by bluster and force me to play chess with them. I don’t even like chess! For strategy Wrackglummer and even Go are much superior.”
- Willard Haynes

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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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Yong Chen wins Slate and Shell tourney at NGC

Tuesday December 12, 2017

The annual Slate and Shell tournament was held at the National Go Center on December 9 with 26 players competing. The2017.12.12_slateshell winners winner in the Dan division was Yong Chen (1D). Runner-up among the Dan players was Ran Zhao (5D). Mike Lash (6K) had the only perfect 4-0 score to score first in the high single-digit Kyu players followed by James Funk (5K). In the lower single-digit Kyu section, Anderson Barreal (7K) and Daniel Acheson (7K) took first and second respectively. Betsy Small (12K) won the double-digit Kyu section followed by Julian Turim (15K).
photo of winners with TDs Gurujeet Khalsa and Gary Smith taken by Jason Turim.

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