Monday November 15, 2010
A striking advance in mathematical game theory earned top honors for the team of James Pinkerton 1d (l), and Rafael Setra (r) in the recent Region Five Finals of the 2010-11 Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology
, a premier science research competition for high school students. Pinkerton, an avid go player, and Setra are seniors at Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, Maryland. Their win in the team category has scored them a $6,000 scholarship for their mathematics project, The Duplicator-Spoiler Game for an Ordinal Number of Turns. Their math research might be analogized to mirror go–the players, a spoiler and a duplicator alternate turns, choosing elements from two sets until the duplicator is unable to mirror the spoiler’s move.
In the math, the number of turns for the spoiler to win tells you about the complexity of statements in mathematical logic needed to differentiate the sets. Traditionally the games have a finite number of turns and their research extended the games to arbitrary lengths over various infinite structures. “This team has made a striking extension of a game-theoretic interpretation of descriptive logic that dates back to the 1960s. Using it, they can distinguish between mathematical structures not separable by simple queries,” said competition judge Haynes Miller, Professor of Mathematics at MIT. “Their work has potential applications to resource allocation in designing search algorithms. What impressed me about these students was their clarity of thought. It’s a very confusing subject to work in and they found their way through it to a new frontier.”
Pinkerton is president of the Chess Club and a member of the National Honors Society and French Honors Society. Fluent in French, he single sculls on the Potomac and plays chess and go competitively. Pinkerton teaches chess as a volunteer in several programs in his county and in inner-city Washington, DC. He also teaches mathematics to underclassmen. He credits his father (E-J staff photographer John Pinkerton) who taught him “fun mathematics, not the dreary algebra of secondary school,” with nurturing his love for the subject. Pinkerton would like to study mathematics in college and to become a university professor. Setra was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and moved to the US when he was eight years old. He speaks Portuguese and Spanish and is part of Operation Fly, National Honors Society and the Martial Arts Club. A volunteer at Viers Mill Elementary School, Setra plays Starcraft 2, non-competitive football and has just learned how to play go from Pinkerton. He would like to study mathematics, engineering and computer science and to become a college professor.
“Each year, the Siemens Foundation invites America’s high school students to make their mark in the world of science,” said Jeniffer Harper-Taylor, President of the Siemens Foundation. “We commend these students on rising to the challenge and pushing the envelope of scientific thought.” The students presented their research to a panel of judges from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), host of the Region Five Finals, on November 6th. Pinkerton and Setra will also be invited to compete at the National Finals in Washington, DC, December 3–6, 2010, where the winners of six regional competitions will vie for the $100,000 Grand Prize and national acclaim for extraordinary scientific achievement at the high school level.
-EJ Youth Editor Paul Barchilon, photo: James Pinkerton (l) and Rafael Setra (r), courtesy of the Siemens Foundation
Monday November 15, 2010
A total of 19 players ranging from 17 kyu to 2 dan attended a pair of one-day workshops recently with Tadashi Sasaki 8P in San Francisco and Menlo Park, CA. This was Sasaki’s first visit to Northern California in over 20 years, and he was pleased to finally get to ride the San Francisco cable cars. His last visit was shortly after the 1989 earthquake and the cable cars were not running. Each student got to play a teaching game with Sasaski, including review and analysis. The small class size each day allowed students to ask lots of questions and get individual attention. Click here for more photos. Asked what he enjoys doing when he isn’t playing go, Sasaski laughed and said “Teach go, of course.”
- photo by Paul Goodman
Monday November 15, 2010
Vincent Zhuang 5d took top honors in the 2010 Young Lions Tournament on Saturday, November 6. Organized by the American Go Honor Society (AGHS), the tournament was held on KGS. More than sixty youth go players signed up for the tourney. There were four divisions: Dans, Low Kyus, Middle Kyus, and High Kyus. One of the participants described the tournament as “a hectic but fun experience” and another described it as the “highlight of my week.” More AGHS tournaments, including the annual School Teams Tournament, are in the works. AGHS Presidents Jack Ye and Jasmine Yan directed the tournament, and were assisted by Rebecca Cheng, Eric Chen, Tommy Liu, and Viral Kotecha. - Eric Chen and Jasmine Yan
Winner’s Report: Dan: 1st place, Vincent Zhuang 5d; 2nd place, Andrew Lu 6d, 3rd place: Yunxuan Li 3d , and Aaron Zhang 2d; Low Kyu (1k-5k) division: 1st place, Jeremy Chiu 1k; 2nd place, Jeffrey Yan 2k, 3rd place, Kfir Dolev 2k, and Haisong Yang 5k; Middle Kyu (6k-10k) division: 1st place, Justin Oh 6k; 2nd place, Raymond Liu 10k; 3rd place, Eugene Lee 9k, and Eric Chen 8k; High Kyu (11k-30k) division: Terry Luo 11k; 2nd place, Daniel Zhang 12k; 3rd place: Viral Kotecha 12k, and David Hao 17k.
Thursday November 11, 2010
The first SportAccord World Mind Games will be held in Beijing, China, in September 2011. The brand-new event will feature top players from six mind-sport games — bridge, chess, draughts, go, Chinese chess, and duplicate poker — and was announced on November 10 by Hein Verbruggen, President of SportAccord. “This event is different from the World Mind Sport Games in that it features only a small field of top players, rather than the general representation from all nations as in WMSG,” says Thomas Hsiang, Vice President of the International Go Federation and Secretary General of the International Mind Sport Association, “it is also different from the current international go competitions such as the LG Cup or Fujitsu Cup in that the new event will include top Western players, women players, and youth representation.” The technical details will be worked out in the next few weeks, says Hsiang.
Monday November 8, 2010
China Locks Up LG Cup Semifinal Slots: After knocking Korea out of LG Cup contention November 8, China now has all four spots in the 15th LG Cup semifinals. The only game that did not pit China against Korea was between Kong Jie and Hu Yaoyu, who are both Chinese players. This is the first time in LG Cup history that the semifinals will be played exclusively among Chinese players. It’s also very possible that we will see two mid-level dan players in the final. Here are the third round results: Kong Jie 9P defeated Hu Yaoyu 8P by resignation; Meng Tailing 5P defeated An Choyeong 9P by resignation; Wang Yao 6P defeated Lee Changho 9P by resignation; and Piao Wenyao 5P defeated Choi Cheolhan 9P by resignation. The semifinals are scheduled for November 10th. Kong Jie will play Meng Tailing, and Wang Yao will play Piao Wenyao. Gu Li 9P & Heo Yeongho 7P Advance to Samsung Cup Finals. In their second-round Samsung Cup semifinal matches, which were held November 3, Gu Li (r in photo) defeated Kim Jiseok 7P by a mere half-point, and Heo Yeongho (l in photo) defeated Park Junghwan 8P by resignation, so both advance to the finals. In the first round matches, held November 1, both won by resignation. This will be first time that both players have made it into the Samsung final, and it will be the first international title match for Heo. As the veteran, Gu is the favorite but Heo has demonstrated his skill with some impressive wins lately. The first game of the three-round title match will be played on December 7th.
- JustPlayGo; edited by Jake Edge
Monday November 8, 2010
Francis Meyer 7d won last weekend’s Rocky Mountain Fall Go Tournament, topping a field of 64, which included 22 kids. Winner’s Report: Open Section: 1st Francis Meyer 7d; 2nd Jung Hoon Lee 7d. Main Section: 1st Philip London 5d; 2nd Nathan Harwit 3d; 3rd Ted Brandt 2k. Handicap Section: 1st Matthew Cahn 25k; 2nd Lionel Di Giacomo 12k; 3rd Anthony Zhang 26k. David Weiss directed.
Monday November 8, 2010
Sixteen top players will face off this weekend in the North American BC Card Cup qualifier. The 4-round online tourney starts at 1p (EST) this Saturday, November 13 on KGS, with Round 2 set for 6p Saturday, Round 3 at 1p Sunday 11/14 and Round 4 at 6p on Sunday. The winner will go on to compete in the preliminary tournament in Korea in mid-January 2011, and winners there will join a large group of professional players to fight for the 54 places in the main tournament. The BC Card Cup World Baduk Championship is one of the six major world championships, with prize money of $270,000, and $90,000 for the runner-up. The players in this weekend’s qualifier are: Zhiyuan Liu, Eric Lui, Sorin Gherman, Curtis Tang, Jie Liang, Seung Hyun Hong, Yuan Zhou, Jung Lee, Guthrie Price, Jason Gu, Hugh Zhang, Daniel Chou, Yun-Bo Yi, Yong Chen, Yinli Wang, Martin Lebl. AGA National Tournament Director Edward (Zhiyuan) Zhang is the NA BC Card Cup Tournament Director.
Sunday November 7, 2010
Tadashi Sasaki 8P will give two separate teaching events this week in Los Angeles as part of his West Coast tour. Sasaki, a professional go player from the Nihon Kiin, was a pupil of the late Eio Sakata. Both events will feature simultaneous 3-on-1 games with Sasaki, followed by a game analysis. Players not involved in a teaching game are free to watch, or to play a game with others which will be analyzed later. “Those who have attended Sasaski’s lectures at the annual U.S. Go Congress or at his previous workshops in Washington and Los Angeles will testify to his straightforward answers to questions and his gentle sense of humor,” says organizer Richard Dolen. “His comments are useful for all levels of go strength.” Come early for the best chance to play Sasaki. The events are organized by Andy Okun, Tom Oki of the New Gardena Hotel, Joe Cepiel of the Santa Monica Go Club and others. For more info, contact Dolen at email@example.com
The first LA Sasaki event begins at 7p this Tuesday, November 9th at the Santa Monica Go Club at the Unurban Coffee House (3301 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica, CA); there’s no charge for club members, and $10 for others (there may be a nominal surcharge for playing Sasaki).
The second event begins at 7p Wednesday, November 10th, at the basement level of the New Gardena Hotel (1641West Redondo Beach Blvd # 1, Gardena, CA); the charge for attendance is $20 per person and again, there may or may not be a nominal surcharge for playing a teaching game with Sasaki.
photo: Sasaki at the 2009 U.S. Go Congress; photo by Gurujeet Khalsa
Sunday November 7, 2010
Andrew Lu 6d won the 13th Ing’s Cup Youth Goe Tournament on Sunday, October 24 in Sunnyvale, Northern California. The tournament — an annual one-day event organized by Mingjiu Jiang 7P (below) and Joe Lee — drew more than 135 young go players under the age of 21, including players from neighboring states and China. Players were divided into ten 19×19 sections and multiple groups for 13×13 play according to player’s rank. Trophies were awarded to the top four winners for each section while each section’s top six winners could pick from prizes including scooters, skating boards, basket balls and more. Andrew Lu 6d, coming all the way from Los Angeles, snapped up the top prize by defeating local Hugh Zhang 6d, placing first out of 13 players in section A. The tournament is sponsored by Ing’s Goe Foundation.
WINNER’S REPORT: 19X19 Section A (6D-3D) 1st place: Andrew Lu; Section B (2D-1D) 1st place: Daniel Liu; Section C (1k-5k) 1st place: April Ye; Section D (6k–13k) 1st place: Alan Hwang; Section E (14k-17k) 1st place: Patrick Wang; Section F (18k-20k) 1st place: Oscar Li; Section G (21k-27k) 1st place: Dyson Ye; Section H (28k-29k) 1st place: Raymond Chen; Section I (29k) 1st place: Jason Chu; Section J (29k) 1st place: Jeffrey Chu. 13X13 Section A, 1st place: Dikaios Wang; Section B, 1st place: Jeffrey Xiong; Section C, 1st place: Andrew Korea; Section D, 1st place: Valerie Kuo.
Wednesday November 3, 2010
The competition was fierce for large orange vegetables as a field of 43 competed at the NOVA Pumpkin Classic in Arlington, Virginia on October 30. Justin Teng 4d (r) won the dan division with a 4-1 record, while the 2009 winner, Jing Guo 7d, came in second. First places in the kyu divisions included an undefeated Kelsey Dyer 2k, David Reed 6k (also undefeated), Joey Phoon 7k, Kenny Huynh 10k, Joseph Lee 15k (undefeated), Tristan Tran 17k (undefeated), and Tariq Khan 26k (undefeated). Second places in the kyu divisions included Kevin Chin 3k, Robert Ehrlich 5k, Daniel Monahan 8k, Julian Erville 11k, Jake Altizer 14k, and Jordan Howar 17k. The popular Team Tourney was back and Team Phoooon (below) decimated the competition by winning 15 out of their 16 games. NOVA organizer Gary Smith was “delighted that we signed up 10 new AGA youth members at the event.” Tournament Director Zhiyuan ‘Edward’ Zhang managed to schedule five rounds for players interested, adding an option for fast players to enjoy more go and have more fun. The final score is calculated by winning percentage, with is uniform for traditional four-round players (i.e. 4-1 record is better than 3-1; 3-1 better than 3-2). This new approach not only reduced wait time for some players, but also encouraged a competitive spirit of going the extra mile by playing a fifth game to be the clear winner instead of settling on a tie-breaker.
- Garrett Smith; photos by Zhiyuan ‘Edward’ Zhang