American Go E-Journal » Go News

Berlin’s “Go to Innovation” tourney celebrates 20 years with bigger prize pot (and free beer)

Monday November 13, 2017

Perhaps the only go tournament in the world offering free beer, the 20th “Go to Innovation” tournament will be held November 17-19 in Berlin,2017.11.11_go-to-innovation Germany. The 8-round tournament starts Friday with four rounds on Saturday and the final two on Sunday. The free draft beer is not available until noon on Saturday. The top 10 winners will split a prize pool of 4,650€. In addition to the main prizes for the players, there’s a 500€ Omikron Data Quality GmbH prize for the best player, 250€ for the runner-up and 125€ for 3rd-best plus a Jackpot of 500€ for 8 wins. Click here for registration details. Good accommodations near the venue at reasonable prices can be found here or here.

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Life and death on Halloween in Seattle

Sunday November 12, 2017

The Seattle Go Center had eight competitors, all kyu players, in the Contest of Life and Death on Halloween. Halloween Lucy and Nick watchFrank Lam did a great job of curating problems from the Nihon Ki-in that were challenging to our kyu players, and that had a single correct first move. Kyle Burg assisted ably. Lucy Wang won the competition, with 5 out 8 problems solved on the first try.  The prize was a quart of premium ice cream, which Lucy shared.  There was also pumpkin pie.
photo: Lucy Wang and Nick Wilmes watch Zhi Wei Chen try the second set of problems.
- photo/report by Brian Allen

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Boston Winter Open set for December 2

Sunday November 12, 2017

The Boston Winter Open is set for Saturday, December 2 at MIT in Cambridge, MA. The four-round tournament — hosted by MIT, organized by2017.11.11_boston-spring-2017 Cam Wagner and the MIT Go club, the MGA, and The Gojo — is open to up to 80 players, with two divisions, Open and Handicap. Entrants must be AGA 1d+ to play in the Open Division and may opt in on the day of the tournament. Even games with cash prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. Anyone can play in the Handicap Division. Games will be handicap – 2 with prizes for 4-0 and 3-1 records. Click here for details and to RSVP.

photo: at the 2017 Boston Spring Open

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AlphaGo Zero-AlphaGo Master: Two openings, less variety

Saturday November 11, 2017

“In the set of 20 games between AG Zero and AG Master, there are pretty much just two openings — i.e. identical moves for about the first 202017.11.11_ag-ag-zero-opening moves — one with Zero as Black and one with Master as Black,” says Michael Redmond 9p in this first commentary on the recently released AG Zero games. “This provides an opportunity to examine how Zero differs from Master, as well as how Master differs from earlier versions. ”

“When AGMaster plays against AGZero, it does not show the variety that it had before,” says Redmond. “As AG does not change within a version, I find it hard to accept that it apparently does not have the option to play moves that it played before in identical board positions. In the ‘Master series’, 60 games played against top pros in Dec 2016 to Jan 2017, Master could play the 3-4 point as it’s first move in about 1/4 of the games when it had Black. Incidentally, AGKeJie also could play the 3-4 point in some of it’s games. The fact that Master repeats the same opening every time in these games against AGZero bothers me and makes me question, is this truly the same version of AGMaster that played the Master series, and if so, what caused it to play the same opening every time in this series, when it was allowed to have variety in previous games with identical board positions? The difference in calculated winning percentage between A and B should be extremely small and I would expect it to have little or no effect on the ultimate win-loss record. This set of games would be much more valuable if Master had been allowed to vary in it’s choices for moves.”

Click here for Redmond’s video commentary, hosted by the AGA E-Journal’s Chris Garlock, and see below for the two sgf commentaries. Note that these commentaries focus only on the two openings; watch for a full-game Zero-Master commentary next week. Click here for a playlist of all the Redmond AG commentaries.

Video produced by Michael Wanek and Andrew Jackson. The sgf files were created by Redmond, with editing and transcription by Garlock and Myron Souris.

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Seong-jin Kim dominates EGCC Anniversary Tournament

Saturday November 11, 2017

Seong-Jin Kim 8d won the EGCC 25th Anniversary Tournament, held October 21-22 at the European Go Cultural Centre (EGCC) in2017.11.11_Seong-jin Kim 8d Simul Amstelveen, the Netherlands. The tournament was the centerpiece of the Center’s 25th anniversary celebrations, which included a series of events held October 20-22, from a European Go Teachers’ Day to simuls and an evening reception.

The festivities began on Friday morning, October 20, with a full day of seminars, discussion, presentations and brainstorming by eighteen go teachers from seven different countries. Rob van Zeijst and Kalli Balduin organized the session, which featured topics like the professionalization of Western go education, the mindset of the teacher and his students, the do’s and don’ts of go teaching, obstacles for go teachers and how to overcome them, and the everlasting question “how to best promote our 2017.11.11_Cleaning EGCCs Go Equipmentsport?”

A reception Friday night was highlighted by distinguished guests, including Hiroshi Yamashiro, vice-president of the Nihon Ki-in, Setsuko Kawahara, minister of the Embassy of Japan in the Netherlands, Maaike van Veeningen, alderman of the city of Amstelveen, Kenji Saito, chairman of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce (JCC) in the Netherlands, Martin Stiassny, president of the European Go Federation and Han Ellenbroek, president of the Dutch Go Association.

The EGCC Anniversary Go Tournament ran Saturday and Sunday, October 21-22, and was preceded by the work of three fanatics who cleaned all the EGCC’s go equipment, a long overdue task. Michał Łukasiewicz, Justyna Klęczar and Kim Ouweleen took several days to clean the Center’s 54 kaya and katsura go boards, as well as thousands of slate and shell go stones (left) and their bowls. On Saturday evening, after an Indonesian style dinner, participants had their choice of several fun side events, including simuls with Artem Kachanovskyi 1p, Cătălin Țăranu 5p, Seong-jin Kim 8d (top right) and Stanisław Frejlak 6d.
- adapted from a report by Kim Ouweleen. Click here for complete tournament results. photos by Judith van Dam (EuroGoTV); report edited by Chris Garlock

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The Power Report (2 of 2): Rin Kaiho receives decoration in autumn honors; Ichiriki to challenge for Kisei

Saturday November 11, 2017

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal2017.11.10_Rin Kaiho

Rin Kaiho receives decoration in autumn honors:
Rin Kaiho (Lin Haifeng) 9P has been awarded a decoration by the Japanese government in the autumn honors. Rin (right) was one of the top players in the second half of the 20th century. He has scored 1400 wins as a professional, behind only Cho Chikun, and has won 35 titles, including the Meijin eight times, the Honinbo and Tengen five times each (he is Honorary Tengen), and the Oza, Judan, and Gosei once each. He is a disciple of Go Seigen, who received the same decoration, and has many Taiwanese disciples (though born in Shanghai in 1942, he is a citizen of Taiwan), including Cho U. The success for which Rin is best remembered is defeating Sakata Eio, 2017.11.10_Ichiriki L Yamashita Rconsidered almost invincible at the time, and becoming Meijin at the age of 23, then a youth record. Twenty-six Nihon Ki-in players have received a total of 37 decorations.

Ichiriki to challenge for Kisei: The first game of the play-off to decide the challenger for the 42nd Kisei title was held at the Tokyo headquarters of the Nihon Ki-in on November 9. Taking white, Ichiriki Ryo (left), the winner of the S League, defeated Yamashita Keigo 9P (right), second in the same league, by resignation after 216 moves. As the S League winner, Ichiriki starts the play-off with a one-win advantage, so this win made him 2-0 and made him the challenger to Iyama Yuta Kisei. That means that the two will meet in three successive title matches, making a super-series best-of-17 (a minimum of ten games will be played). Ichiriki is the youngest player to challenge for the Kisei title. Becoming the challenger earned him promotion to 8-dan (as of (November 10). The first game of the title match will be played on January 18 and 19.

Promotion: To 2-dan: Hirose Yuichi (30 wins, as of Nov. 3)

Correction: this post has been updated to reflect the fact that Rin Kaiho has born in 1942, not 1952. 

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AlphaGo-AlphaGo Game 15: New, different and possibly bad

Friday November 10, 2017

“I don’t like to call it weird, but in this game we’re going to see some new and different stuff that AlphaGo is doing with the joseki that I don’t 2017.11.10_ag-ag-thumb-15really understand and I don’t like it,” says Michael Redmond 9p in his commentary on Game 15. “It’ll be interesting to see if eventually I change my mind, but for now I’m going to say it’s a bad move.” Redmond adds that “We’ll also see another typical AlphaGo move later in the game that’s pretty exciting too.”

Click here for Redmond’s video commentary, hosted by the AGA E-Journal’s Chris Garlock. Click here for a playlist of all the Redmond AG commentaries.

And keep an eye out here and on the AGA YouTube channel for the launch of Redmond’s commentaries on the AlphaGo Zero-Master games, coming very soon!

The Game 15 video is produced by Michael Wanek and Andrew Jackson. The sgf file was created by Redmond, with editing and transcription by Garlock and Myron Souris.

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In Memoriam: John Goon

Wednesday November 8, 2017

John Goon, a longtime go organizer and tireless promoter of the game, died recently. A memorial will be held on Saturday, November 18, from 2:30 to 5 at a familiar location: Rockville United Church, 355 Linthicum Drive, Rockville, home of2017.11.08_John-Goon-DC-SakuraMatsuri-2014.04 the Friday night gatherings of the Rockville Go & Chess (and lots of other things) Group. In lieu of flowers, the family welcomes donations in John’s name to WETA-TV and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. “John was one of my first go friends when I started to play go about 35 years ago,” says Haskell Small. “I have fond memories of playing go with John into the wee hours at the Greater Washington Go Club . He worked tirelessly promoting go in our area.”

photo: John Goon (in hat) teaching at the 2014 DC Sakura Matsuri festival

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Everyone’s a winner at Syracuse Fall Self-Pair

Tuesday November 7, 2017

Eighteen players, ranging in strength from 8 dan to 20 kyu, participated in Syracuse Go Club’s Fall Self-Pair Tournament this past Saturday,2017.11.07 Syracuse1 2017.11.07 Syracuse2November 4. “Every player left as a winner at the end of the day,” says organizer Richard Moseson, “getting to select a new go book from Slate and Shell to take home.” The date for Syracuse Go Club’s annual four-round Salt City Tournament has already been set for Saturday, March 24.

photos by Richard Moseson: (r) Joe Fratianni 11k ponders his move; (l) Wayne Nelson 1k, right, and Allen Noe 1k decide on their new take-home books.
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Redmond announces new series on AlphaGo Master vs AG Zero

Saturday November 4, 2017

“We were expecting DeepMind to make some sort of an announcement (about a new version of AlphaGo),” says Michael Redmond 9p, “But 802017.11.04_agzupdatethumb games was a big present.” (Self-taught AlphaGo Zero bests all previous versions in record time Redmond discusses AlphaGo Zero with the E-Journal’s Chris Garlock in a brief video announcing the launch of a new series of game commentaries. DeepMind released four sets of games for the self-taught AI, including training games, games against the Fan Hui version, the Lee Sedol version and the Master version, which defeated 60 top human opponents earlier this year. “I’m going to be looking at the games where Master plays Zero, mainly because Master is such a popular version of AlphaGo,” Redmond says. Master’s tactics, including big shimaris and emphasizing the center “people wanted to play, but were afraid because that way of playing is weak in territory. Master showed us some successful ways…and is still having an effect on how professionals play. So it’s going to be really interesting to see Master playing against a stronger version of AlphaGo.”

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