American Go E-Journal » Go News

Upcoming European Tournaments: Wien 2014, European Women’s Go Championship

Saturday May 17, 2014

European Women's Go Championship 2014Wien 2014, Vienna’s annual international go tournament, will be held June 20-22 at the Vienna Waldorf school. The top ten players will receive cash prizes with additional cash prizes for the best female player and the best player under 18. Book prizes will be awarded to players with 4 or 5 wins. Discounted fees are available for group rooms at the Jugendgästehaus Hütteldorf youth hostel (500 meters from the playing site) for players who register before May 21. In addition to the main tournament, Wien 2014 will be the final stage of the European Professional Qualification and a bonus point tournament, in which top players can accumulate bonus points used as qualification for future higher-level tournaments. There will also be a free tour of the city on Friday evening. To register or for more information, please visit the official Wien 2014 website.

The Russian Go Federation will host this year’s European Women’s Go Championship in Kazan on June 27 through June 29. European Go Federation players are welcome regardless of title or rank and there is no limit to the number of participants per country. However, one representative from each country (EGF rank 5k or stronger) will have compensation for travel expenses and free accommodation at Hotel Regatta. In addition to the main tournament, this year’s EWGC is a qualification event for the SporAccord World Mind Games in Beijing. To register or for more information, please visit the official EWGC 2014 website.

—Annalia Linnan; for complete listings, check out the European Tournament Calendar; photo courtesy of the European Women’s Go Championship

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YKNOT 4 Registration Opens

Friday May 16, 2014

The fourth annual Young Kwon National Online Tournament – or YKNOT 4 — will take place on KGS on June 21st, 22nd, and 28th. The YKNOT is a national online tournament sponsored by Young Kwon, a former US Open Champion. With a total prize purse of nearly $3,000, the YKNOT is one of the largest western online go tournaments and is open to all levels. Any AGA member resident in the US for 6 out of the last 12 months or any AGA life member regardless of residency, can compete for free. Registration is FREE; click here to register for the tournament. Registration will close at midnight on Friday, June 20th. Once a week beginning Friday, May 23, the “See Who’s Playing” document will be updated with current tournament registrants. 
If you would prefer not to be listed in this document prior to the tournament, please indicate this by email to the Tournament Director. Stay tuned for more tournament details.

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Fabulous NAMT Online Qualifier Set for June 7-8

Friday May 16, 2014

The first online North American Masters Tournament (NAMT) qualifier of the 2014 season will be held on June 7-8. The tournament has been dubbed “Age of the Fabulist” by organizer Karoline Burrall, “to celebrate the birth of Jean de la Fontaine (right), a French author of fables, or a fabulist, on June 8, 1621.” Click here for details and schedule, as well as the link to registration, or click here to register directly. Players must be eligible for NAMT and register by Wednesday June 4th 2014. All participants will earn points towards NAMT qualification, which this year means eligibility for the 9-round US Invitational event at the US Go Congress. NAMT qualified players are eligible for an extra $2,000 in prizes at this tournament. Click here to see current NAMT points standings. “Players may wish to keep in mind the proverb from one of de la Fontaine’s fables, Burrall suggests. “’En toute chose il faut considérer la fin,’ or “In all things, one must consider the end.” It is not known whether Mr. de la Fontaine was a go player.

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Categories: U.S./North America
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Wired Magazine on “The Mystery of Go, the Ancient Game That Computers Still Can’t Win”

Tuesday May 13, 2014

“Rémi Coulom is sitting in a rolling desk chair, hunched over a battered Macbook laptop, hoping it will do something no machine has ever done.” So begins Alan Levinovitz’s thorough report on the current state of computer go in Wired Magazine – The Mystery of Go, the Ancient Game That Computers Still Can’t Win – published May 12. Levinovitz covered this year’s UEC Cup, the computer Go tournament held each March that rewards two finalists with matches against a “Go sage” in the Densei-sen, or machine-versus-man matches. The Wired report covers the history of computer go, name-checking Einstein, Turing and Nash, includes an excellent explanation of the game’s branching problem and explains how the development of Monte Carlo Tree Search enabled the latest breakthroughs in computer go, in which Coulom’s Crazy Stone program won the first Densei-sen last year against Japanese professional Yoshio “The Computer” Ishida. American-born pro Michael Redmond — a regular EJ contributor — makes an appearance in the report as the commentator at the UEC Cup. Levinovitz does a good job demystifying computer go, as well, writing that the view that go is “the final bastion of human dominance over computers” is “deeply misguided.” Levinovitz points out that “computers can’t ‘win’ at anything, not until they can experience real joy in victory and sadness in defeat, a programming challenge that makes Go look like tic-tac-toe. Computer Go matches aren’t the brain’s last stand. Rather, they help show just how far machines have to go before achieving something akin to true human intelligence.”
photo: Remi Coulom (left) and his computer program, Crazy Stone, take on grandmaster Norimoto Yoda. Photo: Takashi Osato/WIRED. Thanks to the many EJ readers who quickly spotted this report and passed it along. 

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Categories: Go Spotting,Japan,World
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US Go Congress Announces New Logo & Contest

Monday May 12, 2014

The US Go Congress has a brand-new logo (right), and to celebrate, organizers are holding a contest. The logo was designed by Michael Samuel, a go player and graphic designer whose work includes logos for The History Channel, Sears, Hillary Clinton, and both the Seattle Go Center and the New York Go Center. The logo features a classic go problem in which the enclosed white stone must escape: all registered players who submit a complete and correct solution to the problem will be entered into a pool, “and one lucky player will win $50 off their Go Congress registration fee,” says Congress Director Matthew Hershberger. Solutions must be emailed to registrar@gocongress.org before the end of May. “At first glance it may seem impossible, but don’t give up!” Hershberger adds.

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Club News: Evanston Boosts Tourney Turn-Out; Austin Hosts May Tourney

Monday May 12, 2014

Evanston Boosts Tourney Turn-Out: The Evanston Go Club held its regular quarterly tournament on May 10, with 22 players attending. Players ranged from beginner to 6 dan.  Albert Yen took the dan prize with a 4-0 record, Nathan Chan dominated the single-digit kyu division with a 4-1 record, and new-comer Mary Skolnik, playing in her first tournament, won the double-digit kyus at 4-1. “We tried something a little different this time.”, said TD Mark Rubenstein. “In an effort to get more participants, we offered free attendance to anyone who had not been to one of our tournaments in the last 16 months. And in an effort to boost attendance at our weekly club, we also offered free entry to anyone who came to three club meetings before the tournament. Of the 22 players, 9 were first-time attendees, so we think we are onto something. Since there was less money available prizes, books were given instead. Many thanks to Bob Barber for donating the entire 6-volume set of Yilun Yang’s Workshop Lectures series.”
photo: Albert Yen, 6 dan plays teaching games with Teddy Garrison and Emily No, both 25k.

Austin Hosts May Tourney: Sixteen players participated in the “May…you win” tournament held in Austin, TX on May 10th. Players came from as far away as Houston and Dallas to participate in this 4-round handicap tournament held at Great Hall Games, which hosts the Austin Go Club every Tuesday night. Gift certificates were awarded to 5 players who each had 3 wins: Michael Ruiz 1K (3-0); John Zhang 4D (3-1); Andy Olsen 3D (3-1); JT Jackson 8K (3-1); Kyle Highful 13K (3-1).

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Nominations Open for 2014 AGA Board Elections

Saturday May 10, 2014

Four American Go Association (AGA) Board of Director seats are up for election this year, including the three regional seats and the At-Large seat. Broad authority for organizational decisions and management throughout the year resides with the AGA Board, which selects the President. The current terms of office expire this September. Nominations may be made by full AGA members for the At-Large seat and the regional seat in which the member resides and must be received by June 15. Nominations and questions must be emailed to elections@usgo.org. Click here for complete election information and qualifications.

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Categories: U.S./North America
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Ge Bei Lead UK Challenger; Chris Volk Wins Bar-Low

Saturday May 10, 2014

The Candidates’ Tournament, first stage in the British Championship, was held over the bank holiday weekend, Saturday May 3 – Monday May 5, with Ge Bei 6d (right) of no club winning all six rounds. Ge has previously been British Champion two years running after displacing longtime champ Matthew Macfadyen 6d in 2006. Reigning champion Andrew Kay 5d – who once again this year waived his right to bypass this event – placed second, losing only to Ge. The top eight will now contest a Challengers’ League, to be played next bank holiday weekend in London, to decide the two finalists. The other six challengers are: Alex Kent 2d, Boris Mitrovic 2d, Sandy Taylor 2d, Des Cann 5d, Tim Hunt 3d and Bruno Poltronieri 3d. Alistair Wall 4d is reserve. The event was organized by Bruno Poltronieri on behalf of the British Go Association (BGA) at Warwick University in the Midlands of England. Click here for full results.

The Bar-Low Tournament, traditionally held the same weekend, was also played at Warwick alongside the Candidates’ on Sunday May 4 and was won by Chris Volk 1k of Reading, with Ben Ellis 3k of Milton Keynes runner-up. Click here for full results.

Click here to see Tanaka Kiyohiko’s (placed 10=) photo journal of the Candidates’ Tournament.

Report by Tony Collman, from reports (Candidates’ , Bar-Low) and other sources on the BGA website; photo (cropped): Ge Bei plays Harry Fearnley 2d in round one, by Tanaka Kiyohiko

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British Youth Squad Launches

Saturday May 10, 2014

Following the successful hosting of the 19th European Youth Go Championship (EYGC) in Bognor Regis, England earlier this year – but with only seven British youths actually entering – the British Go Association has undertaken to assemble and train up a UK Junior Go Squad to take to next year’s EYGC in Zandvoort in the Netherlands (Holland). Alison Bexfield 1d (left), who runs the Letchworth Junior Chess and Go Club and has two go-playing daughters of her own, is heading up the initiative which aims to get as many young players as possible to 20k or better in time for the EYGC. It launched on bank holiday Monday May 5 with an event at the Mrs Howard Memorial Hall in Letchworth, attended by 16 youngsters aged from around eight or nine to 16. They were split into four coaching groups with Matt Selby 4k and Natasha Regan 1k, who are the parents of Oscar Selby 7k, and Paul Smith 1d, the father of Edmund Smith 13k, also coaching. In addition, five rounds of the UK Go Challenge were held over the course of the day. Bexfield told the E-Journal, “Everybody enjoyed the day and all are looking forward to the next [which is yet to be announced].”

Tony Collman, British correspondent for the E-Journal; photo: Alison Bexfield plays Francis Roads at the recent Welwyn Garden City Tournament.

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What Can A Game Tell Us About China’s Politics?

Wednesday May 7, 2014

In this May 6 report, the BBC’s China Editor Carrie Gracie speaks with political analyst Deng Yuwen about “what an ancient Chinese game can tell us about China’s current political landscape,” where an epic power struggle is under way.
Thanks to David Saunders for sending this along.

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Categories: World
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