Tuesday December 6, 2016
AlphaGo is a People’s Choice finalist for Science’s “Breakthrough of the Year.” The stunning win by the go AI over Lee Sedol earlier this year was a top choice in the first round of voting as one of the most momentous scientific developments of the year.
“We’ve just finished one round of voting with more than 11,000 votes tallied,” say Science editors, who will also release their list of top picks later this month. “Now it’s time to make your voice heard again. Choose your winner from among the five finalists. Cast your vote today, and check back on December 22 to see how your choice stacks up against ours.”
Monday December 5, 2016
The AGA’s YouTube and Twitch channels will cover the Samsung Cup finals this week. Coverage of the match between world #1 Ke Jie 9p and Tuo Jiaxi 9p will start at 8p PST, on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday (Dec. 5-7th). This week a new professional will join the AGA team: Stephanie Yin 1p. Yin will comment on the first game on Monday and the final game on Wednesday (if the match goes all three games). Myungwan Kim 9p will be providing commentary on the second game on Tuesday.
Sunday December 4, 2016
A Korean pair won this year’s 27th International Amateur Pair Go Championship in Tokyo, besting a Taiwanese team in the finals. Kim Sooyoung and Park Jongwook of Korea beat Pai Shin-Hui and Huang Wei of Taiwan. Pai and Huang had paved the way, however, by beating a strong Chinese pair in round one of the 32-pair five round event. The US team of Jeremy Chiu and Gabriella Su (right) ended with a solid 3-2 record, losing in rounds one and three to a Japanese pair and the team from China, but beating Germany and Austria before facing a strong Russian pair, Grigorii Fionin and Elvina Kalsberg, also 2-2, in the final round. In the 3rd edition of the World Students Pair Go Championship, North American pair Amira Song of Canada and Andrew Zalesak of North Carolina went 1-3, beating the Mexican pair but failing to beat the percentages in their other games against a Japanese pair and not one, but two, Korean university pairs. A Japanese pair took first.
- report by Andy Okun (standing in photo); photo by Thomas Hsiang
Saturday December 3, 2016
AlphaGo is a top contender for the 2016 “Breakthrough of the Year” in Science’s annual survey of momentous scientific discoveries, developments, or trends. Voting continues through Sunday, December 4; click here to vote. At 14%, “AI Ups its Game” is second only to “Human embryos in a dish,” with 20% response, narrowly leading “Ripples in spacetime” with 13%. After voting closes on Sunday, a second round of voting will be conducted with the 5 finalists to pick the official winner, and the People’s Choice selection, along with Science editors’ pick, will be announced on December 22.
Saturday December 3, 2016
The Maui Go Club held its first rating tournament on November 19 in Wailuku HI. Five members participated in five roundsof play where the ranks of many of the players was formally set for the first time. Play strengths ranged from 13k to 5k. “Not too bad for a club that was only formed in 2015,” reports Danny Topp. The number of AGA members also increased from one to five as a result of holding the tournament.
photo (sitting l-r) Danny Topp and Jason Coughlin; (standing l-r): Ruby Truly, Ty Nakama, Andrew Walker and Konoa Stevens
Saturday December 3, 2016
“Zen plays well in the opening and in open areas that are difficult even for top pros to judge,” says Michael Redmond 9P in his commentary on Game 3 in the recent Cho-DeepZen match, in which Cho bested the AI program. “It makes local mistakes, a problem that seems to be a characteristic weakness of the neural network system. It is playing at a pro level, and is approaching the strength of AlphaGo that we saw in March 2016. In Game 2 I saw some patterns that Zen has been playing for years, so it has not turned into a copy of AlphaGo, but has kept it’s original ‘style’.”
Michael’s game 3 commentary:
Wednesday November 30, 2016
The Nihon Kiin on Tuesday announced a new World Championship tournament that will include top professional players and a strong AI program, to be held in Osaka in March 2017. The tournament is sponsored by NTT Docomo, Mitsui Sumimoto, Daiwa Securities, Hankyu Inc. and Nikkei Inc., and is organized by the Nihon Kiin. With a top prize of \30M (about $270K) and runner-up prize of \10M, the tournament has one of the highest prize structures among go championships.
From March 20-24, three top players from Japan, China, and Korea will join DeepZenGo in a four-round round-robin tournament at Nihon Kiin’s Kansai branch office. Additional playoff will be held in case of ties.
Iyama Yuta (right) has been chosen as the Japanese representative. The ‘seven-crown champion’ who holds all the major Japanese pro titles, Iyama said that he was honored to be chosen and this would be the first time in a long while that he could play in an international tournament without conflicts with the tight domestic competition schedule. He promised to do his best to get good results for Japan. Chinese and Korean representatives will be determined soon.
DeepZenGo was chosen to represent AI. Hideki Kato, DeepZen’s author, expressed gratitude to the great effort and support of the organizers and promised that DeepZenGo would work hard to improve in the next few month to achieve a good result in the tournament.
- Thomas Hsiang
Tuesday November 29, 2016
There have been a number of attempts to create an international map of go clubs, so that instead of each country maintaining a separate map, there can be one reliable map of go clubs which transcends national boundaries.
One such project is being developed by a member of the German Go Federation (Deutsche Go-Bund). It is open-source and based on free data (OpenStreetMap and umap), so even if the creator were to disappear, it could be taken over and continued with minimal effort, and it would never incur licensing costs of any kind.
The database is currently located here, and the map (which is updated regularly from the database, and therefore
doesn’t include recently-added clubs) is here. The source code is at GitHub here and here.
The map can be freely embedded on any website, and a few regional, local and national sites are already using it to display their country’s clubs, but at the moment, although European and South American coverage is quite good, the coverage of US clubs is rather sparse, and the Far East isn’t really covered at all.
You can look for your local club by sorting the list here (for example by ZIP code), and if your club is not there, you can add it here. Clubs can be added, removed and edited by all users of the site, and registration is free, but requires authentication via a third-party account: at the moment, GitHub, Google, Facebook and VK are supported.
Saturday November 26, 2016
The National Go Center planned for Washington, DC has found a space and expects to sign a lease in December, reports Gurujeet Khalsa. The location has 2900 sq/ft near the Tenleytown Metro in Northwest DC. “It’s a great location with lots of restaurants nearby and off-street parking,” Khalsa tells the E-Journal. “Before signing a lease, we need a fit-out estimate from a contractor licensed to do commercial work in DC; recommendations for a reliable contractor that will do smaller jobs is urgently needed.” If all goes as planned, fit-out will occur in February and the Center will open in March. “There is a lot of volunteer work and a wide variety of skills needed to make this vision a reality,” Khalsa adds. Accounting, non-profit planning and marketing, web and social media, space layout and design, teaching go, “or whatever expertise you can bring,” are welcome; contact email@example.com.