American Go E-Journal » Go News

AlphaGo doc now available to rent or buy

Wednesday December 6, 2017

“AlphaGo,” the 2016 documentary about the historic AlphaGo-Lee Sedol match, is now available on the Google “Play” store for2017.12.06_alphaGo-movie rental and purchase.
“AlphaGo” chronicles a journey from the backstreets of Bordeaux, past the coding terminals of Google DeepMind, to Seoul, where a legendary go master faces an unproven AI challenger. As the drama unfolds, questions emerge: What can artificial intelligence reveal about a 3000-year-old game? What will it teach us about humanity?

“This is such a beautiful telling of this historic moment,” comments Ben Murdoch on the site. “An intimate and at times tense portrayal of a milestone moment in AI history. Captivating!” says Marek Barwiński.

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Danny Ko takes over from Roy Schmidt as AGA Treasurer

Wednesday December 6, 2017

After nearly seven years as Treasurer for the American Go Association, Roy Schmidt (right) has passed the ledgers to Daniel Daehyuk2017.12.06_Roy-Schmidt Ko.

Both urge anyone sending paper correspondence — especially membership forms and checks — to use the new address: Treasurer, AGA, PO Box 3678, Gardena, CA  90247.

“Organizers, if you have a supply of membership forms printed for use at 2017.12.06_Daniel-Daehyuk-KOyour next tournament, you can still use them,” says Ko (left), “but make sure to mail them to the new address to avoid a delay in rating your event.  Revised forms are already available on the AGA website for download.

“If tournament participants see organizers using a form with the Portland address at the bottom, ask if they are aware of the change of address, and point them to the AGA website for current contact information,” Ko adds.

Schmidt began playing go in Taiwan in the mid 1970s. “I became an honorary life member of the Taiwan Go Association as appreciation for a translation of the Ing rules.  In 1976 I was the referee for a Telex match between Taiwan and the USA using Ing rules for the first time internationally. Keeping it in the family, I married a go friend’s sister.” After years of organizing local clubs and tournaments back in the States, Bob Barber nominated Schmidt for the AGA Board.  After four years on the board he took a break and then returned as Treasurer. “Back to local now, I am directing a tournament in Portland in January,” Schmidt says.

Danny Ko learned go at the age of five from his parents in Korea and started actively playing at the age of 15 at local go clubs in his hometown. “After finishing the mandatory military service in Korea, I moved to the US in 1998 for my college education.  Since then I have casually played go in local Korean Go clubs in the LA area. In 2006, I have joined American Go Association (AGA) and started playing at AGA tournaments. After playing in numerous domestic and international events for many years, I have decided to contribute to the American go community in different way.”

“We are extremely fortunate to have had such dedicated, responsible and diligent volunteers take on the critical role of Treasurer,” said AGA president Andy Okun. “Both deserve the thanks and appreciation of every AGA member, to which I add my own, along with best wishes for Roy and anticipation of great work in the future with Danny.”

 

 

 

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AGA YouTube channel hits 10,000 subscribers

Tuesday December 5, 2017

The American Go Association’s YouTube Channel hit the 10,000 subscriber mark this week. “This is an awesome number to hit 2017.12.05_aga-youtube-10,000-screengrabfor a channel,” said the AGA’s Steve Colburn. “We are reaching almost every country on the globe,” added AGA president Andy Okun, who credited Michael Redmond 9P — whose AlphaGo video commentaries with American Go E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock have been hugely popular this year –as well as pr2017.12.05_aga-youtube-10,000-colburnoducers Andrew Jackson and Michael Wanek “for growing and expanding our coverage of this game.”

Noting that “10,000 represents four times the current AGA membership right now,” Okun urged fans of the channel to join the AGA to support ongoing coverage.

To celebrate the achievement, Colburn (left) made a brief video that should not be attempted at home.

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Eric Lui 1P on AI impact on opening theory

Tuesday December 5, 2017

“At the Bay Area Go Players 2017 workshop in Berkeley, California Nov. 18-19, Eric Lui 1p presented a fascinating and2017.12.03_eric-lui-analyzes extensive coverage of the impact of AI on current go opening theory in addition to the staples of game analysis and tsume-go drills,” reports Steve Burrall.

photo: Lui analyzes a game for Mish Awadah (left), president of the SF Go Club; photo by Steve Burrall

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Ryan Li wins Gotham tourney

Monday December 4, 2017

Ryan Li 1P (right) won the recent Gotham Go Tournament, held November 18 in New York City. The handmade ceramic bowls went 2017.12.03_gotham-Lockhart-Lito Tianning Dia via random draw of all first place winners. Other winners in the Open section were Michael Chen (2nd), Alan Huang (3rd) and Ben Lockhart (4th, at left).

Other first-place winners were: High dan: Qingbo Zhang; 1d-2k: Tianning Dia; Single-digit kyu: Brian Ye; Double-digit kyu: Richard Chalfant.

Click here for more photos.

- report/photo courtesy Peter Armenia

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AlphaGo Zero-AlphaGo Master: A Master misread?

Sunday December 3, 2017

“Although the openings in this series are pretty repetitive, the games themselves vary,” says Michael Redmond 9p in his2017.12.01_ag-ag-zero-master-2 second commentary on the AG Zero games. “So in some, you’ll see a half-point game, and in others we’ll see Master crash. This game is interesting because it’s the first time that Zero has black. Also, later in the game, I get the feeling that Master is acting like it did in the 60-game series earlier this year against top human players, where it thinks its winning and is sort of closing up shop and wrapping up the game. So I wonder whether it mis-read a tsume-go — actually a 60-move sequence — in this game.”

Click here for Redmond’s video commentary, hosted by the AGA E-Journal’s Chris Garlock, and see below for the sgf commentary.

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

[link]

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The Power Report: Obituary: Sugiuchi Masao; Nongshim Cup 2nd Stage dominated by China; Xie regains Women’s Honinbo title

Sunday December 3, 2017

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal2017.11.22_sugiuchiforever

Obituary: Sugiuchi Masao
I very much regret having to report the death of Sugiuchi Masao, a player who was a part of 20th-century go history who remained active well into the 21st century, when he acquired new fans as the oldest active professional go player ever.

2017.12.03-SugiuchiSugiuchi died of pneumonia at a Tokyo hospital on November 21. He was born in what is now Miyako-no-jo City in Miyazaki Prefecture on October 20, 1920. As a child, he showed talent at go and in 1933 came to Tokyo to become a disciple of Inoue Ichiro 5P. He became professional 1-dan in 1937, but lost about three years of his career to military service during the war. When he returned to the go world in 1946, he became one of the leaders of the younger generation, along with players like Sakata Eio and Fujisawa Hideyuki (Shuko). The peak of his career came when he challenged Takagawa Kaku (Honinbo Shukaku) for the 9th and 13th Honinbo titles in 1954 and 1958; he lost both matches 2-4. He won the Rapid Go Meijin tournament in 1959 and the 7th Igo Championship in 1963. He played in the Honinbo League seven times and in the (Yomiuri) Meijin league five times. He received a decoration from the Japanese government in 1992, and the Nihon Ki-in awarded him the Okura Prize in 2004. His lifetime record was 883 wins, 677 losses, 12 jigo, and two no result. He also served as a director of the Nihon Ki-in, including a term as the Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors.

Many decades ago, Sugiuchi acquired the nickname of “the god of Go, ” perhaps for his quiet, self-effacing demeanor and his dedication to the game. In his 90s, he became one of the understated wonders of the go world. Although the Nihon Ki-in had introduced a retirement system, which enabled some players to retire as young as in their 50s, he kept playing. His last official game was played on November 2, so his active go career extends to 80 years. This is a record, as is remaining active until the age of 97. He is survived by his wife Kazuko 8P, who is still active at the age of 90, a record for women players. She is now the oldest active professional at the Nihon Ki-in. Her career has lasted 75 years, so she might break her husband’s record. (By the way, a game Sugiuchi played at the age of 95 with the 15-year-old Onishi Ryuhei, then 1P, set a record for the biggest age gap between the players.)

Nongshim Cup 2nd Stage dominated by China: The first round of the 19th Nongshim Spicy Noodles Cup was held in2017.12.03-Dang (L) beats Shin Shenyang City in China from September 19 to 22. It was dominated by Shin Minjun 6P of Korea, who won all four games. In the second round, held in Busan in Korea, he extended his winning streak to six games, but then Dang Yifei of China took over and won the remaining games in the round. Results follow.
Game 5 (Nov. 24). Shin (W) beat Chen Yaoye 9P (China) by 4.5 points.
Game 6 (Nov. 25). Shin (W) beat Yamashita Keigo 9P (Japan) by resig.
Game 7 (Nov. 26). Dang Yifei 9D (China) (W) beat Shin by resig.
Game 8 (Nov. 27). Dang (B) beat Ichiriki Ryo 7P (Japan) by resig.
Game 9 (Nov. 28). Dang (B) beat Kim Myounghoon 5P (Korea) by resig.
The final round will be held in Shanghai and will start on February 26. Players remaining are Iyama Yuta for Japan, who will appear in Game 10), Dang and Ke Jie for China, and Kim Jiseok, Shin Jinseo, and Park Junghwan for Korea. Based on players remaining, Korea has an advantage, but someone has to stop Dang.

Xie regains Women’s Honinbo title: The fifth game of the 36th Women’s Honinbo title match was held in the Special2017.12.03_Xie left wins #5 hon05_06 Playing Room on the 7th floor of the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo on November 29. Playing black, Xie Yimin (left) defeated the defending champion Fujisawa Rina by 8.5 titles and regained the title she lost to her last year. She was very relieved to be able to end the year on a good note. In the last year or so, Fujisawa had dominated the women’s titles, winning four to Xie’s one, but this win restored her to her familiar position of multiple title-holder (she already held the Women’s Kisei). Fujisawa is left with the Women’s Hollyhock Cup (sponsored by the Aizu Central Hospital), the Women’s Meijin, and the Senko Cup. This is the ninth time Xie has won the Women’s Honinbo. She and Kusunoki Mitsuko are the only players who have made two comebacks. This is Xie’s 27th title.

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Tokugawa Memorial Go Congress features dozens of high-profile pros

Monday November 27, 2017

Forty-seven high-profile professional go players — including Michael Redmond 9P — will be participating in the Tokugawa Memorial Go 2017.11.27_ShizuokaCongress in Shizuoka, Japan next February. The event will run from February 11-18, 2018, with a main daily tournament game, followed by other events including instruction and commentaries by professional go players, as well as a 13×13 tournament, go relay, and kids tournament. Tokugawa Ieyasu was the founder and first shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate of Japan, which effectively ruled Japan from the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600 until the Meiji Restoration in 1868. Shizuoka is a city on the south coast of Japan. It’s known for views of Mount Fuji from Miho no Matsubara beach and the Nihondaira Plateau. A cable car links the plateau to Kunōzan Tōshō-gū, an ornate 17th-century shrine and original burial place of Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu. Sunpu Castle features ruins of the original castle and a recreated turret. The Toro Museum archaeological site displays Iron Age dwellings.

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Categories: Japan,Main Page
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The Power Report: Iyama defends Oza and Tengen titles

Sunday November 26, 2017

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal2017.11.26_tengen3.IyamaJPG

Iyama defends Oza and Tengen titles: Everything is going well for Iyama Yuta these days, both internationally and domestically. In quick succession, he defended two of his top-seven titles, making sure he ends the year with his Grand Slam intact.

2017.11.26_Oza 3 IrikiOn November 20, the third game of the 65th Oza title match was held at the same venue as the second game (on the 18th, covered in my previous report, published on the 21st), that is, at the Hotel Okura Kobe in Kobe City, Hyogo Prefecture. My description of the second game needs to be revised in light of the Go Weekly report. Apparently Ichiriki (white, at left) took the lead in the opening and in the middle game he built a winning position. However, Iyama made a do-or-die attack that ended in his capturing a large group and pulling off an upset. In the third game, in contrast, it was Iyama (white) who got a good position in the opening (mainly because Ichiriki was burdened with a heavy group). In the middle game, he kept up the pressure on Ichiriki and forced him to resign after 174 moves. This gave him a 3-0 lead, so he defended his title. It is his third Oza title in a row. One rest day may not have been enough for Ichiriki to recover from the shock of letting slip the second game. The fourth game was scheduled to be played in his hometown of Sendai, but he couldn’t take the match that far. The Oza prize is 14 million yen (about $127,000).

The third game of the 43rd Tengen title match was played at the Munakata Yurikkusu, an entertainment/sports/cultural complex in 2017.11.26_oza3 Iyama rightMunakata City, Fukuoka Prefecture, on November 24. Playing black, Iyama (right) built central influence in the opening, but Ichiriki attacked his centre group and tried to blockade it. In response, Iyama cut the blockading group into two and tried to surround the centre part of it. Ichiriki came up with a clever answer, so his group was able to break out, but in the subsequent fighting he missed the best sequence. After that, the game went downhill for him. Iyama set up and won two successive ko fights, also killing a white group in the second fight. Ichiriki resigned after Black 171. Iyama’s fighting ability gave him the edge over the challenger. This win made the score 3-0, so he 2017.11.26_tengen3 IchirikiJPGcompleted his Tengen defence just four days after his Oza success. Finishing off both these titles so quickly earns Iyama a lot of extra time for rest and recuperation in December.

Iyama: “In this series, each game could easily have gone either way. I think that in the end I was just lucky.”

Ichiriki (left): “In both the Tengen and Oza matches, I felt a gap between Iyama and me when byo-yomi started.”

The Tengen prize money is 13 million yen (about $118,000). Iyama has now won 48 titles, so he has moved ahead of Kato Masao into equal fourth place with Otake Hideo. It will take him a while to overhaul the players still ahead of him: Kobayashi with 60, Sakata Eio with 64, and Cho Chikun with 74.

Starting with the third game in last year’s Tengen title match, Ichiriki has now lost nine games in a row to Iyama. He has just over seven weeks to regroup before the Kisei title match starts. First of all, he will have to adjust to two-day games.

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Categories: Japan,John Power Report
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In Memoriam: Joel Olson

Sunday November 26, 2017

Joel Olson passed away on November 14 at the age of 76. Olson was a retired meteorologist and veteran. He was a member of a number of local 2017.11.26_joel-olsongroups in Norman, Oklahoma, including the Citizens Climate Lobby (CCL) and the Oklahoma Go Players Association and was knowledgeable in so many areas, ranging from the environment to economics, photography and the arts. He also had a strong background in music, having played in marching bands while at school. “But if Joel had to pin a label on himself,” says longtime friend Donna Clifford-Jones, “he would say that first and foremost he was an environmentalist. He cared about our planet and had a strong commitment to promoting solar energy in Oklahoma.”

A long-time member of AGA (#568), Olson was an organizer of the Oklahoma Go Players Association in Oklahoma City for several years. He attended go congresses at least from 2009-2016 (he won the 7-kyu section in 2016) and was part of the U.S.A. delegation to Cuba in 2013 (he was credited for photos in the E-Journal), reports Ted Terpstra.

“Joel loved to learn new things,” says Clifford-Jones. ” Often he did this through the purchase of books, CD’s, DVD’s, and sheet music in particular. He was an avid Great Courses follower and would sit and watch lecture after lecture until the series was over. He was also a fan of science fiction and maintained a large collection of authors. Joel also liked to travel and had driven to most areas of the United States in his lifetime, as well as a trip to Cuba in 2013. He loved to visit the New Orleans Jazz Festival and was planning on that event for 2018. But I think Joel’s greatest gift was his kindness. He was a calm and gentle person who cared about the welfare of others. I will miss him eternally for the great joy he brought to my life.”

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Categories: U.S./North America
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