American Go E-Journal » Go News

Nominations Open For 3 AGA Board Seats

Monday May 2, 2011

Three American Go Association (AGA) Board of Director seats are up for election this year, reports Arnold Eudell, who’s coordinating this year’s election process. The terms of three seats – one in each region – expire this September. Nominations are now being accepted and will close on June 15; nominations must be made by email by full members of the AGA. Send to elections@usgo.org Click here for complete election information and qualifications.

Categories: U.S./North America
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Osman Wins in Western MA

Monday May 2, 2011

Eric Osman 2d (l) edged out a win in the Western Massachusetts Go Club Spring 2011 tournament on April 30. The tournament in Amherst, MA “had a modest turnout of 16 hard-core players not lured away by one of the most beautiful spring New England weekends yet this season,” reports organizer Trevor Morris. Three players went into the final round undefeated “but none were able to convert to 4-0 and we ended up with 7 players at 3-1” and Osman won on tiebreak to claim the top prize on a month membership to the KGS Insei League. Other first place finishers were Richard Buckman 5k and Stan Silver 14k.  Additional 3-1 winners were Micah Feldman, Joseph Chaves, Ralph St. Louis and Ruban Mitchel. “Thanks to the sponsorship of the KGS Insei League, we’ll be donating over $100 in proceeds from the tournament to Japan relief efforts,” adds Morris. Click here for photos.

Categories: U.S./North America
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Bordeaux to Host ’11 Euro Go Congress

Monday May 2, 2011

If you like world-class wine with your go, this is the year to plan to attend the European Go Congress. The Zhuyeqing Tea 55th European Go Congress is set for July 23rd to August 6th in Bordeaux, France. The EGC will host two major events this year in addition to a 10-round main tournament – which determines the 2011 European champion – the usual side tournaments, workshop and simuls with professional players. The Pandanet Go European Team Championship will hold its finals during the first weekend, and the China Weiqi League will also play a round during the EGC. Sightseeing will be organized during days off during the two-week event, and Bordeaux offers world-famous vineyards, including in the village of St Emilion, architectural sights, an interesting city center as well as many lakes and rivers and the ocean, which are located nearby. There are also plans to organize tours to the famous Pyla sandhill.

Categories: Europe
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NYC Tsunami Relief Tourney Raises $400

Monday May 2, 2011

”Last week’s Tsunami Relief Tournament in New York City raised over $400 dollars that will be donated through the Japan Society in New York,” reports organizer Boris Bernadsky. Over 30 players attended the April 23 event, some of whom had just started playing earlier this year, including four from the newly-formed Lycee Francias De New York go club. Ben Lockhart 6D won first place with a 3-0 record, winning a month of participation in the KGS insei-league, donated by Alexander Dinerchtein. Other prizes were teaching games donated by Goh Juyeon 8P and Lee Hajin 3P of Korea. The playing space was donated by Randy Au of Meetup.com, whose NY Mostly Go Club meets semi-regularly. Click here http://www.meetup.com/mostlygo/photos/1361253/22934425/ for tournament photos.
- photos by Randy Au.

Categories: U.S./North America
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AGA Seeking Hosts For NAIM Qualifiers

Monday May 2, 2011

The American Go Association (AGA) is looking for chapters interested in hosting qualifiers for this year’s North American Masters’ Tournament (NAIM). The AGA will sanction as many as eight local NAIM qualifiers – which usually draw large crowd of strong players — and two online events over the next two months. All participants of the qualifiers accumulate points for the NAIM, and the clear winner of each event is guaranteed a place in the main NAIM tournament at the 2011 US Go Congress at Santa Barbara, CA this August. If your chapter is interested in holding a NAIM qualifier during May and June, contact National Tournament Coordinator Edward Zhang at tournaments@usgo.org

Congress and Camp Scholarships Available to Young Players

Monday May 2, 2011

The  American Go Foundation (AGF) is again offering youth scholarships to both the AGA Summer Go Camp and the US Go Congress. A limited number of scholarships are available and the application deadline  is  May 30. Up to 15 awardees will be selected by June 1. Applications received after the deadline will be placed in a lottery, along with other applicants who were not selected in the first round. The remaining scholarships will be awarded by chance.  Needs-based scholarships to the Go Camp are also available. To apply for Go Camp, click here.  To apply for Go Congress, click here.
- Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.  Photo: Eight-year-old Aaron Ye, 2d, reviews his US Open game with Yilun Yang 7P, at the 2010 Go Congress in Colorado Springs.

Children’s Programs Flourishing

Monday April 25, 2011

Elementary school go programs are on the upswing, with organizers across the country launching programs for young kids. Xinming Simon Guo used the Chinese New Year last February to introduce 64 second-graders at Hawthorne Elementary, in Chicago, IL, to the game. “We celebrated a special Chinese Spring Festival. Besides having delicious food for the celebration of the Chinese New Year, the students were treated with ‘delicious’ Chinese culture in the game of weiqi (go).”  Guo reports that some of the kids will soon join his weekly program at the local Chinese school.

In Camp Hill, PA, Mark Lichtenstein started a program at Eisenhower Elementary.  “I received go equipment from the AGF last school year,” reports Lichtenstein, “it got some use at the high school where I was teaching part time but the school closed over the summer, which I had anticipated.  I  brought the equipment with me to my new location, and I am glad I did, because it gave me the opportunity to lead a small go club at Eisenhower.  I had 6 to 8 children in the club plus an assistant from the high school for each meeting.  We met in February and March every other week for about an hour.  Everyone learned some basics.  Due to time constraints and attention spans, we started on 9×9 and moved to 13×13 but never went to 19×19.  A few parents approached me at other school events and told me that their children were having a great time.  The highschooler downloaded a go app for her smart phone.  The parent running the chess club a few tables over was intrigued but I’ve not got him playing yet.”

Programs like these are directly supported by donations to the American Go Foundation (AGF).  The AGF offers free equipment to any go program for kids in the US and Canada (through the CGA).  They also offer free sets of Hikaru no Go to school and public libraries.  For more information, or to make a donation, visit the AGF website. - Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.  Photo – at Hawthorne Elementary in Chicago, Guo is at far left, in the rear, wearing an orange shirt.  Photo by Xinming Simon Guo.

Pray for Japan Festival Raises $1,300

Monday April 25, 2011

The Mexican youth go community helped raise funds for the Japanese at their Pray for Japan Festival on April 16th. “It was a great event,” reports organizer Siddhartha Avila, “we had 50 people participating, both children and adults, at the go workshop. Ranging from absolute beginners to dan players, everybody was teaching and learning, the public came by to learn about go during the day and we held the tournament at the end.  It was a cultural event with many activities like painting, sculpture and photography exhibitions, conferences,  music, movies, and workshops where children taught go and gomoku  to the public. All the artistic and cultural activities at the festival raised approximately $1,300 (in US dollars). The funds were transferred to the Japanese embassy in México City.”  More photos from  the event are here. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo by Siddhartha Avila.

Categories: World,Youth
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Lee Sedol Evens Score With Gu Li in BC Card Cup Final

Monday April 25, 2011

The finals of the 3rd BC Card Cup started this week, with Lee Sedol 9P of Korea facing off against Gu Li 9P of China.

Lee is the defending champion, and qualified for the finals by beating up-and-coming countryman Park Junghwan 9P. Meanwhile, Gu defeated Heo Yeongho 8P to challenge Lee in the final. The first two matches were played on April 23-24 and the score is currently tied at one game apiece, with Lee evening the score in the second game.

This leaves many go fans waiting in suspense to see how the match continues, with the head-to-head record between these two players deadlocked at 12-12. Even the readers at Go Game Guru are evenly divided over who will win the final, with a poll about the outcome split at 50/50 at press-time.

Lee Sedol was in high spirits at the pre-final press conference and banquet in Seoul, admitting to the media that he was no match for Gu when it came to drinking. After Game Two, Lee said that he was lucky to win, after an unsatisfactory opening and that Gu must have made a miscalculation in the middle game. The next game will be on April 26.

- Jingning; based on her report 3rd BC Card Cup: One win apiece in the final at Go Game Guru, which includes the game records.

Categories: World
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GO SPOTTING: Discover Magazine on “Who’s Smarter, a Human or a Computer?”

Sunday April 24, 2011

“Go computers are not even close to human capability,” reported Andrew Moseman last February in Discover Magazine . In “Who’s Smarter, a Human or a Computer?” Moseman reviews “the ways that humans can still out-think our computational creations—for now.” On the eve of the IBM’s supercomputer thumping of Jeopardy champions, Moseman looked at checkers, chess, poker and go, as well as Scrabble and Risk, which are also games where humans still do better than computer programs. “There won’t be any major popular game solved for a while now,” University of Alberta professor Jonathan Schaeffer — a member of a research team that created a poker-playing AI that can best human players in limit Texas hold ‘em — says. “There’s a gap.”
photo: Watson faces its human rivals in a practice round. Image: Jeopardy / IBM