Friday January 6, 2017
The seventh annual Jin Chen Memorial Tournament will be this Sunday, Jan. 8. at the Seattle Go Center. Registration is on the day of the tournament from 10 – 10:45 am. This is their biggest tournament of the year, a fun challenge for players at all levels, with 3 rounds. The total prize purse is $1050, with $300 for the winner of the Open Section. The fees are $15 general admission/$10 for youth and voting members of the Seattle Go Center. More info is on the Go Center Calendar.
The Go Center will have much improved go boards to play on this year. Nine of their well-used 2 inch table boards have been refinished and relined in Japan. In addition, three excellent table boards, and two gobans have been recently donated. Photo: Unpacking boards refinished in Japan with the help of the Nihon/Ki-in. Photo/Report by Brian Allen.
Thursday January 5, 2017
“Now there are two elementary schools in México City where go is part of the curriculum,” reports Siddhartha Avila, Mexican Youth Go Coordinator. “Pipiolo
elementary has had an active go program since 2008 when Principal Marcela Zepeda first envisioned the educational benefits that go offers at early ages. All the top youth players in México have studied or study at her private K-6 school.” Now Colegio Serapio Rendón
, is adding a program too. “I was contacted by Principals Gloria Pimentel and Dulce Pimentel,” says Avila, “they were looking for an instructor to implement a serious go program at their K-6 private school. We started with one hour a week for all grades, back in September. We ran a successful 13×13 tournament for 3rd to 6th graders on December 6th. The 1st Torneo Escolar de Go
drew 34 students, playing 5 rounds. There was excellent coordination between the directors, teachers and staff; the schedule ran promptly, the students behaved well and played with great concentration.” The school tournament ended with prizes for the top 7 places, as well as a fighting spirit prize. Everybody recieved participation diplomas. “I’m glad we’ve found an activity where we can transmit love for knowledge, this helps kids’ development and critical thinking, their response to the game surpassed our expectations” says Gloria Pimentel.
“I want to thank Thomas Hsiang and the Nihon Kiin directors, pros and staff for their support so that I could take part at The North American Go Instructors’ Workshop last October in Tokyo,” says Avila. “The workshop encouraged us to fully implement go as a part of a school curriculum with a long term perspective at Colegio Serapio Rendón. With the connection between the Mexican Go Association, the Iwamoto North American Go Foundation, and the Nihon Kiin, there is a perfect opportunity to build valuable networks and develop further go education projects. Winner’s report Torneo Escolar: 1st place: Saúl Alejo; 2nd place: Valeria González; 3rd place: Alejandro Vera; 4th place: Rodrigo García; 5th place: César Gael Muñoz; 6th place: Shapdi Bernal; 7th place: Ximena Mora; Fighting spirit: Ana Castro. – Paul Barchilon, EJ Youth Editor. Photo by Siddhartha Avila
Wednesday January 4, 2017
DeepMind on Thursday afternoon confirmed that a “new prototype version” of AlphaGo has been the mystery player playing as Master and Magister on the Tygem and FoxGo servers, defeating more than 50 of the top go players in the world.
“We’ve been hard at work improving AlphaGo,” DeepMind’s Demis Hassabis tweeted, “and over the last few days we’ve played some unofficial online games at fast time controls with our new prototype version, to check that it’s working as well as we hoped.” Hassabis went on to say that “We’re excited by the results and also by what we and the Go community can learn from some of the innovative and successful moves played by the new version of AlphaGo.”
“Having played with AlphaGo, the great grandmaster Gu Li posted that ‘Together, humans and AI will soon uncover the deeper mysteries of Go”. Now that our unofficial testing is complete, we’re looking forward to playing some official full-length games later this year in collaboration with Go organisations and experts, to explore the profound mysteries of the game further in this spirit of mutual enlightenment. We hope to make further announcements soon!”
In addition to the Top 5 placing in the poll of Science (American Association for the Advancement of Science) magazine’s readers, AlphaGo was listed as the 10th most important scientific event in 2016 by Science News Magazine (Society for Science and the Public).
Note: Tobias Berben has posted 41 of the game records here.
Wednesday January 4, 2017
Is AlphaGo the Master? A mysterious online player has been making huge waves by defeating dozens of top professionals on go sites in Asia in recent days. “Master” first appeared on December 30, 2016 (Beijing time), registering from Korea. Achieving 30 consecutive wins against many former and current world go champions, Master defeated Park Junghwan four times and Ke Jie twice. After that, Master appeared on a different go site and logged another 20 consecutive wins. That made it 50 games in a row with no losses.
While the essentially universal consensus is that this is another AI player, it’s hotly debated whether this is a new edition of AlphaGo or not. More and more seem to believe it is. There’s been no official statement from the AlphaGo team thus far, and Aja Huang cryptically responded “interesting” to speculation that AlphaGo is Master. Adding fuel to the rumors, ScienceNews tweeted “AlphaGo: Now I am the master” promoting it’s Year in review: AlphaGo scores a win for artificial intelligence story on December 29, just before Master first appeared.
On January 4 (local time), the sina.com news site was ready when Master resurfaced. It broadcast the games live, accompanied with anonymous commentaries. The Taiwanese player Zhou Junxun 9p tried first with a strategy of playing “Symmetry Go” or “Imitation Go.” But Master’s superb opening (Zhou’s own impression after the game) thwarted that effort, notching win #51.
The Chinese player Chen Yaoye 9p was the next challenger. But his computer disconnected and Chen was not able to continue. There were sarcastic comments among viewers that Chen had inadvertently broken Master’s win streak, since a game dropped after only a very few moves was technically ruled a draw.
The next two games, against Fan Tingyu 9p and Huang Yunsong 6p, resulted in Master’s 52nd and 53rd consecutive wins and are posted below. Master’s 59th and 60th (and last) games against Zhou Ruiyang 9p and Gu Li 9p also appear below.
- Ze-Li Dou, with additional reporting by Zhiyuan “Edward” Zhang
Tuesday January 3, 2017
The third annual North American Kyu Championships (NAKC) will be held on February 4th this year on KGS. This one-day, 4-round tournament is open to all kyu-level players under the age of 18 from the United States, Canada, or Mexico. The best Junior (under 13) and Senior (under 18) players in each of five divisions will be able to win a fabulous crystal trophy, and the winners of the top division will also be granted entry into the prestigious Redmond Cup, which is traditionally open only to dan-level players. All players who compete in every round of the NAKC will also be eligible to receive either a $400 scholarship to the AGA Summer Go Camp, or a $200 scholarship to the 2017 US Go Congress, courtesy of the American Go Foundation. The deadline to register for the NAKC is January 29th; click here to register and here for the official Rules and Format. For dan players, registration for the 2017 Redmond cup will open in mid to late February.
Sunday January 1, 2017
Once again this year, many go fans were reunited on the two weekends of November 26-27 and December 3-4, as for the fifteenth time the Paris Ouest Go Club hosted the 34th Paris Meijin tournament. Regular supporters Canon France, the Asahi newspaper, the Nihon-Kiin, Nippon Transeuro and the Association of Expatriot Japanese from the Fukushima Region all supported the tournament.
During the first weekend 59 players, with strength ranging from 20 to 5-kyu, entered into five rounds of competition. Each year it seems that the level of play is higher, perhaps because many players train on the internet. At the end it was 12 year old Vu Linh Tu (5-kyu, right) who was the victor of Section C with 5 wins out of 5, whilst Antonin Masseau won the 10-kyu category. See full results.
During the second weekend there were 64 players whose strength ranged from 4-kyu to 6-dan. Players above 1-dan played in Section A, whilst the rest played in Section B. Amongst the 34 players in Section B was Vu Linh Tu, who had qualified from the previous weekend, and he won this section too, beating Frédéric Berthomier (1-kyu) in the final. See full results.
In Section A, Jiaxin Gao (right), a visiting 6-dan student from China, emerged victorious over all his adversaries. Jiaxin is studying Computer Science at Paris-Sud University and hopes to take part in more tournaments in France. See full results.
Based on the original article in Revue Française de Go by Jérôme Hubert, translated by Ian Davis
Sunday January 1, 2017
The American Go Yearbook 2016 Member’s Edition Collection was released on New Year’s Day, January 1, 2017. One of the benefits of membership in the American Go Association is the Member’s Edition of the American Go E-Journal, the largest English language go publication in the world. If you’re not yet a member, this is a great time to join!
The Member’s Edition includes game commentaries and other special content and the annual Yearbook collects it all into one handy online document. The 2016 edition includes game records from this year’s US Open, US Masters and Cotsen tournaments, as well as Globis commentary. Extra content includes Michael Redmond 9Ps Pair Go tsumego problems and his Cho v. Deep Zen commentaries, as well as Stephanie Yin 1Ps Women’s Championship commentary.
Once selected in the online Yearbook, game records or PDFs open up quickly and easily for review or download. We appreciate our member’s support of the AGA and hope that they will find the Yearbook a valuable and useful resource. Click here now to join the AGA and begin receiving the Member’s Edition. Special thanks to the Yearbook Games Editor Myron Souris for pulling all the 2016 material together.
- Chris Garlock, Managing Editor
Friday December 30, 2016
Longtime go teacher and author Yuan Zhou (right) recently celebrated a milestone anniversary, leading his tenth North CarolinaWorkshop December 9-11 in Raleigh, North Carolina.
“Members of the Triangle Go Group have benefited from Yuan Zhou’s workshops for 10 years,” reports Bob Bacon, “and we continue to appreciate his expertise and wisdom.” More than just proper play guidelines, Zhou shares insights into the philosophical depths of the ancient game. “As he reviews attendee’s games he tailors his instruction to each individual and clearly shows how correct play leads to good results. Teacher Zhou explains common patterns with easily remembered expressions, such as ‘heroes live a short life’ — describing a foolhardy invasion — and ‘even the demon is afraid,’ after hane at the head of two stones.
Yuan Zhou serves up a rich banquet of information about Chinese language phrases and meanings relating to go, Bacon says. This year, in addition to sharing many new expressions, he examined and explained the Chinese characters 围棋 (wéi qí), including the subtle alteration made to the characters when later adopted by the Japanese.
One of the highlights of the workshop was Lao Shi Zhou’s review of recent professional games played between Ke Jie and Gu Li, and between Ke Jie and Tang Weixing. Attendees received copies of the games prior to the workshop, and Yuan Zhou analysed and explained some interesting new moves.
“As always, the workshop inspired and empowered the lucky listeners, and left us looking forward to his next appearance in the Triangle,” says Bacon. The workshop was sponsored by the Triangle Go Group of North Carolina; read a more detailed report here.
photos courtesy Bob Bacon
Thursday December 29, 2016
Cuba: As previously reported, Cuba will host a International Conference of Mind Sports in May 2017. For those interested in participating beyond just joining in on the competitions, the call for papers to present a workshop is open until January 31. In addition, I-Dared Travels has developed a program that includes the conference and three additional days for traveling and getting to know a bit of Eastern Cuba. Click here for details.
Australia: The third Australian Go Congress has been announced for September 28 through October 1, 2017 in Sydney. The Australian Go Championships will be the central event at the Congress. In addition, a one day ‘kyu’ tournament will enable younger players to take part and enjoy the experience of being part of a major international event. The organizing committee is also planning other events including Pair Go and Lightning Go, with details to be released in the coming months.
Also coming up in 2017: European Go Congress 2017, Canadian Open 2017, Osaka Go Camp/Japan Go Congress and the US Go Congress. More details here.
Wednesday December 28, 2016
The 2017 European Go Congress location has changed. Again. It’s now set for Oberhof, Germany July 22-August 6. Burhaniye, Turkey had originally been chosen back in 2014, but after the supportive local Mayor lost in local elections, the Congress was moved to Capadochia, Turkey. The ongoing conflict in and around Syria eventually led to a recent decision to abandon Turkey as a venue altogether. The Russian Federation, which had hosted the 2016 Congress, offered to step in and the European Go Federation’s executive board chose them as the 2017 hosts over a competing bid from Germany. This decision generated so much controversy that a new vote by the entire EGF was scheduled, with the caveat that both the German and Russian candidates would work together to run the Congress whatever the outcome. The EGF overwhelmingly voted — 47-9 — for Oberhoff, Germany, largely because of a preference for holding the Congress in a different country each year, and the EGF board concurred, finalizing the choice. Oberfhoff is normally known as a winter sports resort, but the nearby countryside ensures it still remains an attractive destination in summer. Click here to see a documentary about the Hotel Panorama, where the 61st European Go Congress will be held.