American Go E-Journal » Go News

Artem Kachanovskyi Prevails in Third European Pro Qualification Tournament

Monday March 7, 2016

Artem Kachanovskyi (right) prevailed over fellow Ukrainian Andrii Kravets in the final of the third European Pro Qualification tournament to2016.03.08_Kachanovskyi-smile become Europe’s latest professional. Sixteen players competed on the weekend of March 5-6 in Baden-Baden to become the next EGF professional. The tournament featured a double elimination to determine a final eight, who ten competed in knockout rounds. The tournament started well for French players Thomas Debarre and Benjamin Dréan-Guénaïzi, who beat respectively Andrii Kravets (Ukraine) and Jan Hora (Czechia), and then Juri Kuronen (Finland) and Csaba Mero (Hungary), advancing to the quarterfinals. 2016.03.08_egf-pro-grpTanguy Le Calvé (France), who lost to Lukáš Podpera (Czechia), entered the repechage, where he could again hold his head high after wins over Lukas Krämer  (Germany) and Juri Kuronen (Finland).

On Saturday afternoon, the quarter-finals saw Debarre lose to Kravets in a repeat match and Tanguy fall to Kachanovskyi. Debarre beat Viktor Lin (Austria) but then on Sunday morning he lost in the semi-finals to Kravets. The two Ukrainians then met in the final where Kachanovskyi emerged as champion.

Kachanovskyi lives in Kyiv, Ukraine started playing when he was just 6 or 7, studying mostly on his own. He’s long dreamed of becoming a professional. “I read many books that were describing not only the games, but how professionals think and some details of their living. That was inspiring.” Now, having finished university, “I’ll have more free time” to play go, he says, though since he works as a programmer, “it’s not so easy to play online each day, after staring almost all the day into a monitor. I think I’ll pay more attention to reviewing pro games on a board, maybe playing online on weekends.”

Full results can be found on the EGF website, along with player bios and tournament photos.

Based on an article in Revue Française de Go by Simon Billouet, posted by Ian Davis and edited by Chris Garlock; photos by Harry van der Krogt 

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Categories: Europe
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Evanston’s March Madness Draws Record Crowd

Sunday March 6, 2016

The Evanston go club held it’s March Madness winter tournament over the weekend, with a record-setting 42 players attending. “The turnout2016.03.07_evanston-playerswas tremendous!” said club president Mark Rubenstein. “We’ve been running four tournaments a year for the past 20 years. However, attendance had been slipping below 20 for some time, and it’s been a year since our last tournament. This turnout is the boost we needed! We will resume our quarterly tournaments with renewed enthusiasm.”

Rubenstein uses a database he built using FileMaker Pro (see below) to manage all aspects of the tournament. “It’s pretty slick, if I do say so myself”, says Rubenstein. “It enables me to run a completely paperless tournament. It imports the AGA’s TD list, shows all the vital stats for every player, automatically pairs the first round, lets me create a new game with two clicks, lets me see all the opponents each player has played, calculates the win/loss percentage for each player, exports the results in the proper format for the AGA’s rating database, and more. I have my laptop connected wirelessly to an iPad for the players to see. So while I am entering game results, anyone can look at the iPad and see who they want to play next. They can also see stats for any player, such as wins/losses, how long their games took, and who else they have already played.”

2016.03.07-evanston-dbThe Evanston go club runs it’s tournaments as self-paired. Only the first round is paired; after that, players may play anyone who is available. “It’s a much more casual and flexible way to run a tournament than having a specified number of rounds”, says Rubenstein. “People can take breaks or eat lunch whenever they want. And if one of their games ends quickly, they have a good chance of finding an opponent for their next game pretty soon, without having to wait until the next round would begin. Some people play each other every week at their local club. Being at the tournament is a great opportunity for them to play other people, and with this style of tournament they have that choice.”

Winners were: Liqun Liu 7d (4-0), Daniel Puzan 1d (5-0) Cong Chen 4k (5-0), Zaid Alawi 9k (4-0) and Dylan Reiger 10k (6-0). “Kudos to Daniel, Cong and Dylan for continuing to play more games — and risk their assured first-place positions — after winning the requisite four to be eligible for prizes,” says Rubenstein. Honorable mentions for Most Games Played went to Scott Gerson with 9 games, and David Rohde, Chris Martin and Tyler Andryscyk, with 8 games each.

Rubenstein is hosting a Lee Sedol/AlphaGo watch party Tuesday night at his home at 917 Maple Ave in Evanston, IL. Contact him at mark@evanstongoclub.org if you want to attend.

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Categories: U.S./North America
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Your Move/Readers Write: Computer Chess v. Go is Apples & Oranges

Sunday March 6, 2016

“Apples and oranges,” writes Chris Uzal in response to our 2/29 report, Chess Players Counsel Calm As Computers Close in on Go “Chess has not come to terms with the fact that the game is over. Kasparov lost almost 20 years ago. The most recent computer cheating scandal was last year. Chess players have been facing a brute force program whenever a computer is on the other side of the board. Go players will be facing an 2016.03.03_apples-orangesartificial intelligence. Chess players can give their judges tools to show the best move for a certain rating. Go players will not be able to distinguish human moves versus artificial intelligence moves. Judges will have no such tools. Go players online may soon be faced with a situation that any game slower than blitz will not be accepted. Go players who want a slow, deep game won’t bother with humans once they can gain access to the likes of AlphaGo. Human to human, real-life games will be either very casual, teaching or tournament. Go will become a more philosophical and sublime endeavor. Not necessarily a bad thing. There are too many players using their rank as a measure of mental prowess. People either do not know or do not care about the ancient greats like Shusaku or the not so ancient Go Seigen. Those are just ghosts if they are known at all. AlphaGo would be a welcome symbol of the summit for the game of Go. If you’re not AlphaGo, and you’re not, get back to studying life-and-death. Bottom line: I look forward to playing, losing and learning in the new artificial intelligence era.”
The first game in the Lee Sedol-AlphaGo match will be Tuesday, March 8, 8p PST (11p EST). The match will be livestreamed on DeepMind’s YouTube channel with English commentary by Michael Redmond 9p with American Go E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock.

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Ke Jie defeats Lee Sedol to win Nongshim Cup for China

Sunday March 6, 2016

Ke Jie 9p defeated Lee Sedol 9p in the final game of the 17th Nongshim Cup on March 5, enabling Team China to take the Cup back home for 2016.03.06_Ke-Jie-trophy-Nongshim-Cupanother year. While Korea has dominated this event, winning it 11 times, China now has five wins; Japan has won it only once. The Nongshim Cup is a team event between China, Japan and Korea, sponsored by the Korean instant noodles company. Lee Sedol had scored three consecutive wins, beating Gu Li, Lian Xiao and Iyama Yuta. The match against Ke Jie was Lee’s fourth in as many days and though some worried that he’d be tired going into the final round, others said it was a great opportunity for Lee because of his form’s sweeping upturn. Although Ke Jie was the last man standing for China, his head-to-head record against Lee was 7-2 and he demonstrated a superior sense of balance in the Nongshim final, resolving a tense middle game with a trade and employing his excellent endgame technique to close out the win.
- adapted from a longer report on Go Game Guru, which includes more details, game commentaries and more photos.

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Categories: China,Japan,Korea
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Lee Sedol confident about upcoming match with AlphaGO

Sunday March 6, 2016

Can machines overtake human intelligence? A breakthrough moment for that answer may come this week when the world champion of the2016.03.06_Korean grandmaster confident ancient board game go takes on an AI program developed by Google. Korean Lee Sedol and AlphaGO will go toe-to-toe in the ultimate man versus machine battle. In this Arirang News video, Kim Ji-yeon reports on how the human champion thinks the match will play out.

The go world was shocked and intrigued in January, when news broke of DeepMind AlphaGo’s victory over top European pro Fan Hui 2p. Since the publication of DeepMind’s paper in Nature, and the release of the game records, professionals around the globe have had time to analyse AlphaGo’s play in more detail, and a consensus has emerged that although AlphaGo’s victory over top European pro Fan Hui 2p was a great advance in computer go ability, DeepMind would not be celebrating victory if it had been a top professional sitting across the go board back in October. This week we’ll find out.
- adapted from reports by the Arirang News and Go Game Guru.

The first game will be Tuesday, March 8, 8p PST (11p EST). The match will be livestreamed on DeepMind’s YouTube channel with English commentary by Michael Redmond 9p with American Go E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock.

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Categories: Computer Go/AI,Korea
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Korea Tops IEMG Pair Go

Thursday March 3, 2016

Koreans Park Jeonghwan 9p and Choi Jeong 6p defeated the Chinese team of Tang Weixing 9p and Yu Zhiying 5p to take first place in the three 2016.03.04_mind-games-pair-goround pair go competition at the IMSA Elite Mind Games in Huaian.  

Playing for North America, the Canadian team off Ryan Li 1p and Sarah Yu 6d, took sixth place overall, losing to Ilya Shikshin 1p and Natalya Kovaleva 5d.  Li and Yu lost in round one to the Taiwanese team of Joanne Missingham 7p and Lin-li Hsiang 6p, but scored a win in round two against Ali Jabarin 1p of Israel and Elvina Kalsberg 5d of Russia.  

Japan secured third place with Tomoya Hirata 7P and Hoshiai Shiho 1P defeating Missingham and Hsiang.
- Andy Okun, Special Correspondent for the E-Journal, with reporting by Hajin Lee
photo: Pair go top medalists with Pair Go founder Mrs Taki and local CP official

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Report from the 9th annual NOVA Chinese Lunar New Year Tourney

Thursday March 3, 2016

The 9th annual NOVA Chinese Lunar New Year tournament was held on Saturday, 27 Feb, at George Mason University’s Law School in 2016.03.04_nova-new-yearArlington VA. Forty-seven players participated, ranging from 6 dan to 30 Kyu. Click here to see a photo album from the tournament.
In the main tournament, the winners were:
First place: Yuan Wang, 3D (3-1); Kabe Chin, 2D (3-1); Xiaoxhan Zhang, 1D (3-1); Jeremy Young, 3K (4-0); Anderson Barreal, 8K (4-0); Dierdre Golash, 11K (4-0); Christopher Harzer, 13K (4-0); Antonina Perez-Lopez, 20K (3-1); and Timothy Koh, 22K and Sid Suh, 30K (tied at 4-0)
Second place: Justin Teng, 6D (3-1); Yunlong Zheng, 2D (2-2); Mohan Sud, 1D and John Wang, 1D (tie at 2-2); Joey Phoon, 5K (3-1); Patrick Sun, 6K (3-1); Brandon Sloane, 11K (3-1); Sean Lin, 15K and Benjamin Lin, 18K (tied at 3-1); Ethan Tung, 21K and Adam Wang, 21K (tied at 2-2); Andrew Chen, 30K and Anne Shen, 30K (tied at 2-2)
As usual, a side tournament for beginners was played in the afternoon. Six players participated: Julian T won all five games, and Andrew W won four of five to come in second.
- report/photo by Allan Abramson
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Categories: U.S./North America
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Van Halen Frontman David Lee Roth Taking Go Lessons from Myungwan Kim

Wednesday March 2, 2016

David Lee Roth, wit, adventurer and often the lead singer of hard rock veterans Van Halen, has been taking go lessons from Kim Myungwan 9p,2016.03.01_david-lee-roth-go-lesson the EJ has learned.  The rock legend on Monday posted a black and white photo on his Facebook page of the two discussing an early game go position.  The text reads “6:34 Go lesson with Myungwan Kim; losing as usual.”  Roth was lead singer of Van Halen from 1972 to 1985, released such hits as “Unchained,”  “Eruption” and “Dance the Night Away,” then again in 1996, and in 2001.  He rejoined the band in 2007 to tour and record to the present day.  In between his stints with the band, he has had an active solo career, worked as a radio personality and an EMT, and written a best-selling and well-regarded memoir.   Among the many comments fans promptly posted on his photo with Kim: “Oh Dave, you may be a loser at whatever the ***k that is, but you will remain a winner in our hearts.”

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Categories: U.S./North America
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Your Move/Readers Write: Where to find the AlphaGo-Lee match?

Wednesday March 2, 2016

“Hey folks, you’ve had three stories about watching the AlphaGo-Lee match recently, but in none of them did you bother to give instructions for2016.03.02_deepmind-screengrab how to stream it,” writes Howard A. Landman. “I’d like to host a viewing party, but at the moment I have no idea what URL to go to or what else I’d need to do. Could you possibly give some brief how-to instructions?”
The local US times for the upcoming AlphaGo-Lee Sedol match are 8p PST and 11p EST. The first match will be Tuesday, March 8. The tournament will be livestreamed on DeepMind’s YouTube channel with English commentary by Michael Redmond 9p with American Go E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock. It will also be broadcast on TV throughout Asia through Korea’s Baduk TV, as well as in China, Japan, and elsewhere. More details on the SmartGo website.

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Categories: Computer Go/AI,Korea
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Korea, China Win at IEMG, with NA Players in 5th Place; Li Scores Against Japan Pro

Tuesday March 1, 2016

Two of the three go events at the IMSA Elite Mind Games ended Monday with Korean and Chinese victories, while the North American Men’s2016.03.02_1st_IEMG_team_korea team and lone woman contender Sarah Yu 6d each took 5th place.  In the course of the match, each of the three men players defeated a pro with Ryan Li 1p scoring a final round win against the young Japanese talent Mutsuura Yuta 2p.

The men’s team, comprising Li, Jiang Mingjiu 7p and Eric Lui 1p, were winless in the first three matches of the five match round robin, losing to Korea (see team photo at right), Taiwan and China.  Round four was against the European Go Federation team of Fan Hui 2p, Ali Jabarin 1p and Ilya Shikshin 1p, expected to be the main competition for North America.  On board three, Lui beat Shikshin while on board two, after falling behind early on, Li scrapped hard and fought gallantly, but was unable to catch up with Jabarin.  The match turned then on board one, where Jiang beat Hui, recently in the news for his October match against AlphaGo, in a hard fought half-point game.

North America’s final day match against Japan could not have moved North America out of 5th but was the deciding factor in Japan or Taiwan taking 3rd place in the match.  Japan, needing the win to stay on the medal stand, won by 2-1.  Although Li beat the strong 16-year-old Mutsuura, Lui lost to Toramaru Shibano 2p, another 16-year-old with a strong record in his two years of pro play.  Jiang meanwhile, lost to Hirata Tomoya 7p, although both a disappointed Jiang and some observers in the room thought he had a chance to win.

Li’s win was in line with the opinion expressed by the Asian team captains present, that the young AGA and EGF pros had improved significantly, approaching in strength a new Chinese pro and matching weaker Japanese pros. They mainly need more  opportunities for serious tournament play in order to improve.

Korea effectively won the tournament by beating main rival China by 2-1 in round two.  Both were undefeated against the other teams.  Japan staked its claim on third place against main rival Taiwan in round one when Mutsuura and Shibano prevailed in their games.

In the women’s individual tournament, a 12-player double elimination, Sarah Yu lost in round one to Korea’s Oh Yujin 2p, but then won against Rita Pocsai 4d of Hungary and then Elvina Kalsberg 5d to guarantee at least a fifth place finish.  Her round four match against Yu Zhiying 5p went beautifully until the players were in byo yomi and the Chinese pro took control of the game. Yu Zhiying went on to win the tournament.  Yu’s last game was against Cao Youyin 3p.  Cao won, taking fourth.  Joanne Missingham 7p of Taiwan was third and Choi Jeong 6p of Korea took second.

A three-round pair go event started Tuesday, with Yu and Li facing off against Taiwanese teammates Missingham and Lin Li-Hsiang 6p.

- reported by Andy Okun from Huaian, Jiangsu Province, China; photo courtesy Ranka Online

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