Tuesday February 23, 2016
by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal
The first game of the 40th Kisei title match was held at the Konjakutei inn in Higashiyama Hot Spring in the city of Aizu-wakamatsu in Fukushima Prefecture on January 14 and 15. Defending champion Iyama Yuta (aged 26) drew white in the nigiri to decide the colors. The challenger Yamashita Keigo 9-dan (37) made a positive start, playing aggressively in the opening. The game was decided by a ko fight in which Yamashita sacrificed a group in order to win a ko started after White invaded a black position. Iyama (right) took the lead in this exchange and hung on for a win, rebuffing some do-or-die attacks by Black. Yamashita resigned after 202 moves. In retrospect, the game was a convincing win for Iyama.
The second game was played at the Bokoro inn in the town of Yurihama in Tottori Prefecture on January 28 and 29. Yamashita (W) played cleverly in the early middle game and took the lead. However, he missed a chance to decide the game and then began playing erratically, letting Iyama upset his lead. Iyama later played a thin move that let Yamashita narrow the gap, but the latter slipped up in the endgame. After 273 moves, Iyama won by 2.5 points. Considering his good play in the first part of the game, this was a painful loss for Yamashita.
The third game was also played in Tottori Prefecture after a break of only two days. It’s quite unusual to schedule two two-day games so close together in the same prefecture. The venue was the Kasuitei inn in Kaike Hot Spring in Yonago City. The game started with difficult fighting in the top right corner in which Iyama took the lead. Yamashita attacked fiercely in the middle game, but Iyama fought back strongly and kept his lead. Yamashita resigned after move 200. Like the first game, this was a good win for Iyama.
The fourth game was played at the Hokkaido Hotel in Obihiro City, Hokkaido on February 17 and 18. Playing black, Iyama controlled the flow of the game and took the lead in the middle-game fighting. Yamashita didn’t seem to make any really bad moves, but his attacks were skilfully parried by Iyama. The latter maintained a comfortable lead, so Yamashita resigned after 189 moves. Last year, after losing the first three games, Yamashita was able to fight back and win the next three before losing the seventh game. However, Iyama seems to be in even better form this year and, apart from the second game, dominated the series. After having his winning streak broken at 24 late last year, he has started another, winning seven games in a row. He has also won 16 games in a row in title matches, starting with the third game of the Gosei title match and continuing with the Meijin, Tengen, and Oza matches. This is his fourth Kisei title in a row and his 36th title overall. He is now in seventh place in the all-time list of title winners.
Monday February 22, 2016
The legendary Lee Sedol, the top go player in the world over the past decade, will take on computer program AlphaGo in a landmark five-match, million-dollar tournament March 9-15. AlphaGo’s 5-game sweep of professional Fan Hui 3P rocked the world in late January (Game Over? AlphaGo Beats Pro 5-0 in Major AI Advance 1/27/2016 EJ)
“Regardless of the result, it will be a meaningful event in baduk (Go) history,” said Lee Sedol (left). “I heard Google DeepMind’s AI is surprisingly strong and getting stronger, but I am confident that I can win, at least this time.” AlphaGo has been developed by Google DeepMind, whose CEO and co-founder Demis Hassabis said “Go is the most profound game that mankind has ever devised. The elegantly simple rules lead to beautiful complexity. Go is a game primarily about intuition and feel rather than brute calculation which is what makes it so hard for computers to play well. We are honoured and excited to be playing this challenge match against Lee Sedol, a true legend of the game, and whether we win or lose, we hope that the match will inspire new interest in go from around the world.”
AlphaGo will play Lee Sedol in a five-game challenge match to be held from Wednesday, March 9 to Tuesday, March 15 in Seoul, South Korea. The games will be even, with $1 million USD in prize money for the winner. If AlphaGo wins, the prize money will be donated to UNICEF, STEM and go charities.
“The whole world is interested in this event as this is the first stage where humans and computers are competing in intelligence,” said Park Chimoon, Vice Chairman of the Korean Baduk Association. “I am proud that this historical stage is baduk (Go). I hope Lee Sedol 9 dan will win this time in order to prove humans’ remarkable intelligence and preserve the mysteries of baduk.”
Sunday February 21, 2016
The first IMSA Elite Mind Games (IEMG) are being held from February 25 to March 3 at the New Century Hotel Huaian, China. A re-branded event of SportAccord World Mind Games, IEMG will feature five mind sports: go, chess, bridge, draughts, and xiangqi. Thirty top players from around the world will be competing for total prize money of 200,000 EUR in three medal events: Men’s Team, Women’s Individual, and Pair. The International Mind Sports Association is organizing the event and Ranka Online will provide full coverage of the event.
- adapted from a report in Ranka Online, which includes the list of players, tournament outline and schedule.
See also Strong North American Go Team Headed for Huai’an for Inaugural IMSA Games.
Sunday February 21, 2016
If you missed the February 14 livestream of “Lee Changho 9p vs Cho Chikun 9p, the LEGENDS OF BADUK FINAL ROUND” you can catch it now on the AGA’s YouTube Channel. Lee Changho plays Cho Chikun (Chihoon), in the last round of the LEGENDS OF BADUK tournament featuring the greatest Korean players of the ’80s and ’90s; Myungwan Kim 9P comments, with Andrew Jackson.
Saturday February 20, 2016
Beomgeun Cho 7D (right) won the 2016 Jujo Ing Cup open section and Ary Cheng 4D won the handicap section. The 24th Jujo Ing Cup tournament was held February 14 at the Hilton Hotel in Chinatown, San Francisco. Jiang ZhuJiu, Rui NaiWei and Jiang MingJiu were all in attendance. “A great time was had by all, but the main topic of discussion always seemed to revert to AlphaGo,” reports organizer and TD Ernest Brown. “Next year’s tournament — the 25th — promises to be a grand affair and we hope to provide free entry to anyone who has participated over the past 25 years.” Click here for complete open section results and handicap section results.
photo by Ernest Brown
Saturday February 20, 2016
Forty-three players from five states competed in the South Central Go Tournament, held in Dallas, Texas February 13th and 14th. Fifteen played in the Open Section (right) and 28 in the Handicap Section. “It went so well we are already thinking of doing something similar next year,” said Tournament Director Kevin Hwang.
In the Open Section, Zelong Dong 7D took first place, Muzhen Ai 5D was second, and Xuyu Xiang 7D took third place. In the Handicap Section (left), Andrew McGowan 1K took first place, Zhiqiang Xiang 1K was second and Billy Maier 4K took third place. “For several players this was a first AGA tournament and for some others marked a return to AGA tournament play after a long interval,” reports Bob Gilman, AGA Central Region Director. photos by Bob Gilman
Saturday February 20, 2016
In “Seven Common Misconceptions Concerning the History of Go in Ancient China,” go author Peter Shotwell — inspired by the recent popular appearance of several errors and misconceptions concerning the history of early go in China — draws on his previously-published work and adds new material based on recent studies to provide a handy guide for those interested in disseminating the “real story” of the history of go. For example, Shotwell writes that there is “no evidence that Go was ever used for astral divination because this was always done on very dissimilar Shi Ban (“Sky Boards”) and the mysteriously arranged playing surfaces of the dice game Liu Bo (“Six Sticks”).” The January post is available in the the Bob High Memorial Library (click on Appendix IX: Seven Common Misconceptions About Early Go).
Wednesday February 17, 2016
The 23rd annual Redmond Cup will begin in April, and registration is due by March 13th. Preliminary games will be played online and the four finalists will be invited to the 2016 US Go Congress to play the final games. There are two divisions in the Cup; the Junior league for kids 12 and under, and the Senior league for 17 and under. Competitors in both leagues must have an AGA or CGA rank of 1 dan or higher. The Junior league has been expanded to include 12 year olds, and both leagues now require a dan rating (kyu players can compete in the North American Kyu Championships instead). Skype will be required this year. Players who complete the tournament will be eligible for $400 scholarships to the AGA Go Camp, or $200 scholarships to the US Go Congress, on a first come first served basis, courtesy of the AGF. Competitors from Mexico are also invited to the event. The participants must be members of the American Go Association or the Canadian Go Association and either residents of the U.S., Canada or Mexico, or citizens of the United States living anywhere in the world, provided that they are also members of the AGA. For more information on the event, read the rules document here. To register click here. -Story and photo by Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo: Raymond Feng 3d (l) competes against Ary Cheng 3d (r) in the Junior Division finals for the Redmond, at the 2015 US Go Congress in St. Paul.
Saturday February 13, 2016
This Sunday morning — February 14 — at 3a PST (6a EST), Myungwan Kim 9P and Andrew Jackson will comment a game from the “Legends of Baduk” league between Lee Changho 9p and Cho Chikun 9p. Watch on YouTube or TwitchTV. Start your Valentine’s Day right!