American Go E-Journal » Go News

DeepZenGo wins all-AI go competition

Wednesday September 6, 2017

At an all-AI go competition held in China, Japan’s DeepZenGo took first place and then bested top Chinese pro Kong Jie 9p, who was being assisted by one of the AI runners up, CGI, from Taiwan. Jie was able to choose which AI to use as an assistant, and opted for CGI over the Chinese system FineArt, which had come into the tournament as a favorite. Among the 12 contestant systems, one North American entrant, MuGo by Brian Lee, came in 11th. MuGo was only six or so months old, and not that strong yet, but Lee was pleased to play against other systems, and preparing for this event with a short lead time was good motivation to work harder. “It was good to have a goal. I’d been working on it alone for four months, and it’s difficult to construct imaginary castles when there’s no one looking at it but yourself.” Scheduling conflicts kept other North American Go programmers, like Dave Fotland, away and Facebook has not been working on its system actively. The AlphaGo group did not attend, with the final versions of AlphaGo having retired from competition after the match with Ke Jie 9p in May. The competition took place in Ordos City, China, at the first ever Chinese Go Congress, a well-attended event that brought together 5,000 mostly amateur attendees, according to organizers.
- Andy Okun, Special Correspondent

[link]

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Categories: China,Computer Go/AI
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The Power Report (1): Hsieh and Iyama pair win Pair Go tournament; Ichiriki wins Kisei S League; Youngest member ever of Honinbo League

Wednesday September 6, 2017

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal2017.09.06_pair-go

Hsieh and Iyama pair win Pair Go tournament: The Pair Go World Championship Stars Tournament 2017 was held at the Cerulean Tower Tokyu Hotel in Shibuya, Tokyo, on August 12 and 13 and was won by the pair of Hsieh Yimin and Iyama Yuta, representing Japan. In a sense, this tournament is a successor to the Pair Go World Cup 2016 Tokyo, which was held in Shibuya last year and was a great success with go fans. It is actually in two parts. The first part, the Stars Tournament, was a mini-knockout tournament in which two pairs from Japan and one each from Korea and Chinese Taipei took part. The winners are to play the winning pair from last year’s World Cup in the second part of the tournament, called the Masters Match, in October.

The luck of the draw saw the two teams from Japan play each other in the first round. The pair of Hsieh Yimin 6P (spelling is a mixture of two romanization systems but follows the Nihon Ki-in HP) and Iyama Yuta 9P (B) beat the pair of Fujisawa Rina 3Pand Hane Naoki 9P by resig. In the other first-round game, Choi Jeong 7-dan and Park Jeonghwan 9-dan (W) from Korea beat Hei Jia-jia 7P (also known as Joanne Missingham) and Chen Shih-yuan 9P of Chinese Taipei by resig. In the final, Hsieh and Iyama (B) beat Choi and Park by resig. First prize was ten million yen. Hsieh and Iyama will meet the World Cup-winning pair of Yu Zhiying 5P and Ke Jie 9P in the Masters Match. Hei and Chen (B) beat Fujisawa and Hane by 5.5 points in the play-off for 3rd place.

Like last year, a competition in solving life-and-death problems was also held. The four human pairs competed against the Pandanet life-and-death AI program Panda Sensei in solving five problems. The time allowed for the super-difficult problems was ten minutes each. Panda Sensei won easily, like last year, with four correct solutions in the fastest time. Choe and Park came second, with one correct solution, and Hsieh and Iyama third (they solved the same problem, but the Korea pair was a little faster). What is notable, however, is that Panda Sensei was unable to solve one problem.

(Even in Japan, some fans commented that the winning team above is only half Japanese, as Hsieh is Taiwanese, but it has long been established that players can represent the country of their professional affiliation.)

Ichiriki wins Kisei S League: Two games in the S League of the 42nd Kisei tournament were held on August 10. Yamashita Keigo 9P (W) beat Kono Rin 9P by resig. and Murakawa Daisuke 8P (W) beat Cho U 9P, also by resig. As a result, there were four players on 2-2, namely, 2017.09.06_Honinbo league Kyo left Shibano rightKono, Yamashita, Murakawa, and Cho U, which meant that Ichiriki Ryo 7P, on 4-0, became unbeatable with one round still to be played. The other league member is So Yokoku 9P, who is on 0-4. Ichiriki secures a place in the play-off to decide the challenger; he needs only one game in the best-of-three, so he has a good chance of meeting Iyama in the title match.

Youngest member ever of Honinbo League: The four vacant places in the 73rd Honinbo League have been decided. Two of the final play-offs were held on August 17. In one, Kobayashi Satoru 9P (B) beat Terayama Rei 5P by resig.; in the other, Ida Atsushi 8P (W) beat Ichiriki Ryo 7P by half a point. Kobayashi will play in his fifth Honinbo League and Ida in his fourth.
The third place was decided on August 31. Playing black, Yo Seiki (Yu Chengqi) 7P beat Yoda Norimoto 9P by 2.5 points. This will be Yo’s fourth Honinbo League.
The last place was decided on September 4, when Shibano Toramaru 7P (right) beat Kyo Kagen (Xu Jiayuan) 4P (game details not yet available to me). At 17 years nine months, Shibano is the youngest player to win a seat in the Honinbo League. He has been a pro for three years exactly, so he is also the quickest. (The record for all leagues is held by Ichiriki Ryo, who got into the Kisei League aged 16 years nine months. The new league starts in October; many fans will be looking forward to Shibano’s debut, as he is not only the strongest high-teen player in Japan but also has an aggressive, individualistic style.
Tomorrow: Xie to challenge for Women’s Honinbo; Ichiriki to challenge for Oza and Tengen; DeepZenGo wins computer tournament

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Categories: Japan,John Power Report
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2017 Cincy/Tristate Go Tournament held in Mason, OH

Tuesday September 5, 2017

On August 26, go players gathered in Mason, Ohio, for the 3rd annual Cincy/Tri-state go tournament. The tournament, generously sponsored 2017.09.05-CincyGoTournamentby the Asian Pacific American Forum of General Electric and the Confucius institute of Miami University attracted about 40 players from major cities of Ohio and neighboring states including Indiana, Kentucky, and Michigan. Also on hand was a graduate student from George Washington University who traveled all the way from DC to southwest Ohio just to enjoy meeting new friends while playing go.

Eight-year-old Stephanie Tan from Indiana swept with an impressive four wins and was placed top youth in Division C. College student Soren Jaffe of Cleveland Ohio, defeated University of Cincinnati exchange student Feifan Jia (5D) of China in the fourth round (de facto the final game). Other winners of the tournament include: Haoze Zou (5D, youth division A) from Mason, Ohio; Chris Martin (4K, adult Division B) from Louisville, Kentucky; Jonathan Luo (8K, youth Division B) from Mason, Ohio; and Dave Olnhausen (15K, adult Division C) from Toledo, Ohio.

Mason is located in the northeast corner of greater Cincinnati area. Mason was named one of the best places to live in the United States several times by Money magazine and CNN. Mason is home to Kings Island amusement park and home of the Western & Southern Open, one of the world’s top tennis tournaments. It’s the third year the go tournament was hosted here by Mason Go Club and Huaxia Chinese School at Mason.
- report/photos by Frank Luo

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Categories: U.S./North America
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Join the AGHS; Zhang and Ho New Presidents

Tuesday September 5, 2017

aghs logo“Join us now if you want to take on a leadership role in nurturing the next generation of go players in America,” says new American Go Honor Society (AGHS) Co-President Sammy Zhang.  “Our mission is to spread and promote the game of go among youth in the US.” The AGHS runs the School Team Tournament and the Young Lions, two of the largest youth tourneys in North America. Zhang and Brandon Ho are the new Co-Presidents, while Terry Luo will serve as Vice-President. All of the other officer positions are available.  Fill out the application here  and email it to aghspresident@gmail.comApplications are due by September 17th and officers will be selected by the end of the month.

 

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AlphaGo vs AlphaGo Game 5: An AI-like opening, then one fight at a time and a beautiful endgame

Saturday September 2, 2017

“In the opening this game looks very AI-like to me, in that I think the order of moves is not consistent,” says Michael Redmond 9p in his game 2017.09.02_alphago-game5commentary on AlphaGo-AlphaGo Game 5. “In the middle game Black controls the center of the board. Our reading skills are tested as Black invades White’s moyo, and then White lives with three weak groups inside Black’s sphere of influence. Unlike in other games we’ve seen so far in this series, the middle game fights are one at a time instead of all over the place, like in Game 2, for example. It’s more organized, you might say, so in that way, it’s easier for me to explain what’s going on. The game winds up with a very nice endgame, in fact I think it’s a beautiful endgame.”

Click here for Redmond’s video commentary, hosted by the AGA E-Journal’s Chris Garlock. As usual, the commentary in the sgf file here includes variations not covered in the video commentary, and for the first time, the sgf commentary now includes additional comments transcribed from the video. Both include the news that Redmond and Garlock are now working on an e-book about the AlphaGo-AlphaGo games. Redmond and Garlock discuss their plans for more AlphaGo-AlphaGo commentaries in this brief video.

The 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.

[link]

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Moon Cha Memorial Tournament set for Sept 9 at Nat’l Go Center

Thursday August 31, 2017

The next tournament at the NGC will be on Saturday, September 9th. It will be a 4-round AGA rated tournament. Online pre-registration is available here at a 20% discount from registering at the tournament. The tournament memorializes Moon Cha, a key figure in popularizing go in the national capitol area. “That we are fortunate to have a National Go Center in DC today can be traced back in many ways to his efforts and those he inspired,” reported the NGC in its latest newsletter.

“Moon was amongst the first wave of strong Asian players who dominated an increasingly active tournament scene on the East Coast in the 1960s and ’70s,” wrote Keith Arnold in the EJ in September 2005 when the first Moon Cha Memorial Tournament was held, two years after Moon Cha’s death. “Along with Matsuda, Kwon, Horiguchi and Shen in New York, Ishikawa in Philadelphia and Kang in Baltimore, he was one of the stalwarts of the “pre Ing Cup” generation – challenging for the U.S. Championship in 1965 and 1966.” 

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Categories: U.S./North America
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Mexico readies for the first Latin American Go Congress in October

Wednesday August 30, 2017

Mexico will be the host country for the first-ever Latin American Go Congress in Cancun, Mexico October 13-15. Sponsored by the International 2017.08.27_CancunGo Federation, the event will host the 19th Ibero American Go Championship, the final match of the 1st Pandanet Go Latin American Team Championship, the 1st Latin American Youth Go Championship, the 2nd Ibero American Pair Go Championship and a Go Instructors seminar taught by experts of Kwonkapyong Baduk Academy, one of the best go academies in South Korea.

2017.08.27_Salón EmporioProfessional players from Japan, Korea and North America will be hand as well to teach lectures, review championship games and play simul games with the participants.

“We are expecting many players from abroad. From Argentina, Colombia, Brasil and Ecuador we have complete delegations registered, among participants from other countries as Costa Rica, Venezuela, Denmark and the US” reports Congress director and Mexican Go Association president Emil García. “It will be a great event. It’s about time that Latin America had its own Congress and considering the nearness of Mexico to the United States we are more than pleased to invite the AGA community to participate. See you in Cancun!”

Register and find more information here.

photos: Cancun beach and playing venue.

 

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Categories: South America
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Microdosing study to use go to test creativity

Tuesday August 29, 2017

For years now, reports Inverse, trendy Silicon Valley bros have been sustaining a slight buzz by microdosing, claiming a few potent hits of LSD can supercharge a workday. Until now, there hasn’t been much in the way of science to back it up, but Amanda Feilding hopes to change that. 2017.08.27_Does LSD Microdosing Make You SmarterFeilding is founder of the Beckley Foundation and a leading researcher in the field of psychedelics and consciousness. She’s got a plan to prove that microdosing LSD makes you a better problem solver. She’s throwing the established protocols for evaluating cognition and creativity out the window in favor of a much more straightforward objective: How do test subjects fare when playing the ancient Chinese game of Go?

It’s a protocol imagined from her experiences among friends as students of physiology and psychology more than 50 years ago. “We were working very, very hard,” she tells Inverse. “And as recreation in the evenings, we used to play the ancient Chinese game of Go. I found that I won more games if I was on LSD, against an opponent I knew well. And that showed me that, actually, my problem-solving, my creative thinking, was enhanced while on LSD.” Feilding’s study, to be run through the Beckley/Imperial Research Programme, is designed to have 20 participants take a dose of LSD at 10, 20, and 50 micrograms (a typical recreational dose is 100 micrograms) and also a placebo. Each time they will complete questionnaires on their mood and other vectors, will undergo brain scans, and will play Go against a computer.

“The tests of creativity, which are current, like Torrance Test, they don’t really test for creativity. They test more for intelligence, or word recognition, or whatever,” says Feilding. “They can’t test those ‘aha’ moments in putting new insights together, whereas the Go game does test for that. You suddenly see, ‘Aha! That’s the right move to enclose the space.’”
- from The Plan to Prove Microdosing Makes You Smarter 

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Your Move/Readers Write: Gary Kasparov on AlphaGo

Tuesday August 29, 2017

By Michael Bacon

Enjoyed the coverage of the Go Congress immensely! Could not help but poke a few of my chess friends in the eye while contrasting all the coverage it received with all the coverage the recent US Open did not receive on the organ of US chess, the USCF webpage. I’ve also been transfixed by Michael Redmond’s videos. The man is a national treasure!

Former World Human Chess Champion Gary Kasparov, who will always be remembered as the human who lost to a ‘machine,’ in his apologia for having lost to the computer chess ‘engine’ called ‘Deep Blue’ — not for having turned Kasparov a deep shade of blue, and a whiter shade of pale, I might add — writes about go in ‘Deep Thinking: Where Machine Intelligence Ends and Human Creativity Begins‘:2017.08.27_Deep Thinking-Kasparov
“The nineteen-by-nineteen Go board with its 361 black and white stones is too big of a matrix to crack by brute force, too subtle to be decided by the tactical blunders that define human losses to computers at chess. In that 1990 article on Go as a new target for AI, a team of Go programmers said they were roughly twenty years behind chess. This turned out to be remarkably accurate. In 2016, nineteen years after my loss to Deep Blue, the Google-backed AI project DeepMind and its Go-playing offshoot AlphaGo defeated the world’s top Go player, Lee Sedol. More importantly, and also as predicted, the methods used to create AlphaGo were more interesting as an AI project than anything had produced the top chess machines. It uses machine learning and nural networks to teach itself how to play better, as well as other sophisticated techniques beyond the usual alpha-beta search. Deep Blue was the end; AlphaGo is the beginning.” (pgs. 74-75)

Please note the author capitalizes “Go,” but not “chess.” I find that curious as I have always capitalized “Chess.” (note: the EJ does not capitalize go, consistent with AP style) In addition, Lee Sedol, as all go players know, was not the “…world’s top Go player,” when he lost to the computer program known as AlphaGo.

2017.08.27_kasparov-bookWe move along to page 104 where one finds this:2017.08.27_Kasparov-playing
“The machine-learning approach might have eventually worked with chess, and some attempts have been made. Google’s AlphaGo uses these techniques extensively with a database of around thirty million moves. As predicted, rules and brute force alone weren’t enough to beat the top Go players. But by 1989, Deep Thought had made it quite clear that such experimental techniques weren’t necessary to be good enough at chess to challenge the world’s best players.”

Finally, on page 121, Kasparov, or his co-author Mig Greengard, writes this paragraph:
“More success was had with another method for allowing machines to extend their thinking into the hypothetical outside of the direct search tree. Monte Carlo tree search simulates entire games played out from positions in the search and records them as wins, draws, or losses. It stores the results and uses them to decide which positions to play out next, over and over. Playing out millions of “games within the game” like this was not particularly effective or necessary for chess, but it turned out to be essential in Go and other games where accurate evaluation is very difficult for machines. The Monte Carlo method doesn’t require evaluation knowledge or hand-crafted rules; it just keeps track of the numbers and moves toward the better ones.”

While reading I continually thought of former World Human Chess Champion Emanuel Lasker’s famous quote, “If there are sentient beings on other planets, then they play Go.”

Not chess; go!

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“Invisible” available online; Yuan Zhou’s “AlphaGo vs. Ke Jie 9P”; Go World/AGJ issues available; Dino Pair Go

Sunday August 27, 2017

“Invisible” available online: “Invisible: The Games of AlphaGo” is now available online. ‘It’s a fascinating account,” says John Power, author of “Invincible: The Games of Shūsaku.” “I strongly recommend Invisible to any go player interested in the present and the future 2017.08.27_alphago-vs-ke-jieof go.”

Yuan Zhou’s “AlphaGo vs. Ke Jie 9P”: Also just out is Yuan Zhou’s “AlphaGo vs. Ke Jie 9P” from Slate & Shell and available through Amazon. Despite losing all three games,2017.08.27_pair-go-dinos Ke Jie did better than any one else had, and Yuan Zhou gives a thorough and insightful analysis of the match and reflects on the significance of AlphaGo for the go community.

Go World/AGJ issues available: You recently published a letter about the donation of go books to libraries (which I have already done) but I have heard nothing about libraries housing go magazines,” writes Joel Sanet. “I have a complete set of Go Worlds and the print version of the American Go Journal (there might be one issue missing) that I am willing to donate for the cost of reimbursement of  shipping which I estimate to be in the range of $40 each. Any library that is interested can contact me at yosdan30@comcast.net. BTW I have not see the NY Times crossword puzzle reported by Roy Schmidt but I suspect the answer to the clue “Travel edition of a classic board game?” is “on the go go.”

photo: a particularly intimidating couple at the Pair Go Tournament at the recent U.S. Go Congress; photo by Eric Wainwright 

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