American Go E-Journal » Go News

Go Camp Registration Opens

Tuesday April 1, 2014

The AGA Go Camp is pleased to announce that registration for the 2014 camp is now open. Camp will be held from August 3 to August 9, the week before Go Congress, at YMCA Camp Kresge in White Haven, PA, about a 2 hour drive from New York City. Camp directors Amanda Miller and Nano Rivera invite campers of all skill levels, and between the ages of 8 and 18, to join them for a week of go-playing and fun. Youth who played in the NAKC or the Redmond Cup are eligible for a $400 scholarship, and need-based scholarships of up to $250 are also available. For more information on the latest camp-related news, and to download the registration forms, please visit the camp website at http://www.gocampeast.org/. Any questions can be e-mailed to Amanda Miller at agagocampeast@gmail.com. - Story and Photo by Amanda Miller

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Cotsen Dates Confirmed for 2014-2016

Tuesday April 1, 2014

Not only have this year’s Cotsen Go Tournament has been confirmed and scheduled for October 25-26, according to AGA President Andy Okun, but dates have been set for 2015 and 2016 as well. For the third time running, this year’s event will take place at the Korean Cultural Center-Los Angeles (KCCLA), in the Mid-Wilshire district of Los Angeles.

“Our thanks to Eric Cotsen (left) for his continued hosting of this outstanding event, and our gratitude as well to retired Ambasador Suh Dae-won (right), the Korean consulate in Los Angeles and the staff and management of KCCLA for providing such a beautiful venue,” said Okun. The two-day, five-round event will include lunch, some pro go teaching and massage therapy and, Okun hopes, “a vendor table or two and other goodies.” As in previous years, the E-Journal will provide full on-site coverage, broadcasting top-boards live on KGS.

In addition, though venues have not been locked down, two more Cotsen tournaments have been agreed to between Cotsen and the AGA for Oct. 24-25, 2015 and Oct. 22-23, 2016.
- photo: Cotsen (left) and  Ambasador Suh Dae-won at the 2013 Cotsen; photo by Chris Garlock
Update: the 2016 dates have been corrected.  

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Dumb Cluck? 9×9 Go Reportedly Solved

Tuesday April 1, 2014

A team of researchers at the University of Brightloch have announced that 9×9 go has been solved. Inspired by recent improvements in computer play by Montecarlo algorithms, they hypothesized that “If a computer can play at random andplay good games, what prevents a more powerful device (like a brain) to do something similar?”

So the researchers picked a team of 100,000 chickens and taught them to play go. “It was hard in the beginning, but once a few knew how to play they started teaching others,” they report. “After a couple months all were playing as 30k players and we set them loose in a field filled with 9×9 go boards and bowls with stones. Also some grain and water.”

A month later the chickens were gone, and the same position was repeated on every 9×9 board: perfect play, with white winning by 0.5 points with 7.5 komi. The chickens had also left a note. It said “So long, and thanks for all the grain.”
- based on a report on Nordic Go Academy by RBERENGUEL; thanks to Go Game Guru, which posted it on their Facebook page

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Categories: World
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Gu Li Strikes Back, Winning Game 3 in MLily Gu vs Lee Jubango

Sunday March 30, 2014

Gu Li 9p (right) chalked up his first win in the MLily Gu vs Lee jubango, forcing Lee Sedol 9p to resign in game 3 on Sunday, March 30. Lee and Gu faced one another in Chengdu – the capital city of Sichuan, China – having traveled straight there after their game at the 10th Chunlan Cup two days earlier.

After 
Lee won game 2 of this historic jubango in February, he led the 10 game match 2-0. Since Gu lost game 2 in regrettable circumstances, many go fans reasonably surmised that Lee would have the psychological advantage going into the third game, but over the last week, Gu defeated Lee in the 4th Zhaoshang Cup (a China vs Korea team tournament) on March 23, and followed it up with another win at the 10th Chunlan Cup on the 28th, which may have helped to restore Gu’s confidence. The win is heartening not only for Gu, of course, but for go fans worldwide who are doubtless hoping the jubango will go the full 10 games.
- Based on Go Game Guru’s report, which includes the game record and An Younggil 8p’s brief analysis. 

 

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Categories: World
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U.S. Go Congress Registration Opens with Special Rebate Offer

Sunday March 30, 2014

Registration for the 2014 U.S. Go Congress has opened with a special offer: $50 cash for using your AGA Capital One Visa credit card. Use it to pay for the Congress and you’ll get an extra $10, for a total of $60. “This year’s Congress is in New York City, one of the continent’s premier destinations,” says AGA president Andy Okun. “To help Congress attendees enjoy themselves in the Big Apple, we’re offering $50 cash walking-around money to any Congress attendee who at the time of registration shows us their AGA Capital One Visa credit card and tells us, hand on heart, they have bought something with it.” 

Possible New York City uses for this cash windfall include museum entry, cab fare, hot dogs, pretzels with mustard, lemonade, pizza slices “or oysters,” says Okun, noting that author Mark Kurlansky has argued that New York should really be called “The Big Oyster”. Oysters used to be plentiful in New York, and when European settlers first arrived, it is estimated that half of the oysters in the world were in New York’s harbors, inlets and riverbeds. Although that’s no longer the case, “$50 should get get you a dozen Blue Point oysters, a bowl of clam chowder and two beers at the Oyster Bar in Grand Central Station,” Okun says.
One payment per credit card. The AGA affinity card is a no fee credit card, “so it costs you nothing to apply and use the card,” says Okun. The AGA receives a one-time payment of $50 the first time you use it and a percentage of your spending on the card thereafter. Click here to apply for the card and here to register for the Congress.

 

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Matthew Burrall & Tai-An Cha Top Davis/Sacramento Tournament

Sunday March 30, 2014

Matthew Burrall 6d and Tai-An Cha 5k topped their divisions in the Davis/Sacramento Go Club’s Spring Tournament at the Arden-Dimick library in Sacramento on March 29, 2014. There was a field of 17 players ranging in strength from about 20 kyu to 6 dan. “This was the largest number of player that we have had at one of our tournaments in quite a while,” reports Willard Haynes.
photo: Matthew Burrall 6d (left) and Tai-An Cha 5k

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Categories: U.S./North America
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NOVA Cherry Blossom Report

Sunday March 30, 2014

The annual NOVA Cherry Blossom tournament was held on Saturday, March 29, at George Mason University Law School in Arlington, VA. Thirty-nine players participated, including long-distance commuter Paul Celmer from North Carolina. “A special visitor was Mr. I. Moon, Chairman of the Board of the Fairfax County Board of Education, who is promoting go and recruiting go teachers for his elementary schools,” reports organizer Allan Abramson. Reach Moon at IMoon@fcps.edu.

Winners Report:
First place: Justin Teng, 7D, 3-1; Muyuan Wang, 3D, 4-0; Julian Erville, 1K, 4-0; Darren Bias, 4K, 4-0; Barreal Anderson, 9K, 3-0; Steve Manning, 11K, 3-1; and Jonathan Luo, 15K, 3-1
Second place: Josh Lee, 5D, 3-1; Nathan Epstein, 1D, 2-1; Frank Luo, 1K, and Frederick Bao, 2K (tied at 3-1); Matt Payton, 5K, 2-2; Bob Crites, 9K, 3-1; Liam Royce, 11K, and Kevin Stefanik, 11K (tied at 2-2); and Caroline Scheck, 15K, and Sarah Crites, 18K (tied at 2-2)

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Categories: U.S./North America
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Myungwan Kim to Comment Gu-Lee Jubango Game 3 on KGS

Friday March 28, 2014

Myungwan Kim 9P will do live audio commentary on this weekend’s Lee Sedol – Gu Li Jubango on KGS.

His commentary, with James Kim 1d, will start at 8p PST (11p EST) on Saturday, March 29. As previously reported (Gu Li & Lee Sedol Face Off in Jubango Game 3 This Weekend 3/27 EJ), Go Game Guru’s An Younggil 8p will also be commenting the game on Baduk TV Live.

“This third game will be very important for Gu Li,” Kim tells the E-Journal. “If he loses it will be very difficult for him to catch up. “With Lee leading 2-0, Gu should have a lot pressure on this game and needs to overcome it. I hope Gu Li can win and make the series more exciting.” Kim notes that the two are playing a game at Chunlan Cup on Friday, March 28, which may affect the jubango game.

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Categories: World
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Gu Li & Lee Sedol Face Off in Jubango Game 3 This Weekend

Thursday March 27, 2014

Gu Li will be looking to begin erasing his 2-game deficit Game 3 of the Lee Sedol – Gu Li Jubango this weekend. Gu beat Lee in Round 2 of the just-concluded Zhaoshang Cup on March 21 (Korea wins 4th Zhaoshang Cup by a whisker GGG 3/24/2014), and is playing him again in Round 2 of the Chunlan Cup but Lee leads 2-0 in the jubango. Live coverage with commentary of the match will start on Baduk TV three hours after the first move is played. The commentators will replay and analyze the game from the beginning and Go Game Guru’s An Younggil 8p will translate and discuss the game in English with Baduk TV Live viewers. The coverage starts at 1:00 pm Korea time on Sunday, March 30 (Midnight Sunday morning EST). You can watch the game on Baduk TV for as little as $2.70 with a Baduk TV Day Pass.
- Go Game Guru; photo: Gu draws Lee in the Chunlan Cup

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“New Yorker” Reports on Computer Go

Wednesday March 26, 2014

The latest advances in computer go are covered in a new post by The New Yorker. In “The Electronic Holy War”, Patrick House reports on the Densei-sen, “or ‘electronic holy war,’ tournament, in Tokyo, where the best Go programs in the world play against one of the best humans” where Crazy Stone last March defeated Yoshio “the Computer” Ishida.

The article does an excellent job of explaining why go has been so tough for computers to crack. “Part of the difficulty for computers—and humans—is that it is often hard to determine at any given time whether a group of pieces is being surrounded or doing the surrounding, and thus who is ahead…Without a clear understanding of who is ahead, programs like Deep Blue stutter. ‘All the machinery that was built up for computer chess is pretty useless,’” (Murray) Campbell (a member of the IBM Deep Blue team says.

It also explains how “Monte Carlo” algorithms, initially developed seventy years ago as part of the Manhattan Project, have been the key to developing stronger go programs. “The better the programs got, the less they resembled how humans play: during the game with Ishida, for example, Crazy Stone played through, from beginning to end, approximately three hundred and sixty million randomized games. At this pace, it takes Crazy Stone just a few days to play more Go games than humans collectively ever have. ‘I have to be honest: I still find it kind of magical, that it works as well as it does,’ Campbell said.”

The “electronic holy war” will run once a year in Tokyo until 2017, the report continues. “This past weekend, at the second annual tournament, Crazy Stone faced Norimoto Yoda, a Japanese professional who has a reputation for slamming pieces onto the board—sometimes shattering them—to intimidate his opponent. Crazy Stone was given a four-move head start and, lacking the eyes and ears through which another player might have been intimidated, won by two and a half points. “After the match, Yoda, through a translator, told me that he was grateful for Crazy Stone because it eased up at the end and allowed the game to be closer than it actually was: the result of randomness—or, perhaps, of the beginnings of pity.”
Photograph of Rémi Coulom and Ishida Yoshio courtesy of gogameguru.com

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