American Go E-Journal » U.S./North America

Van Halen Frontman David Lee Roth Taking Go Lessons from Myungwan Kim

Wednesday March 2, 2016

David Lee Roth, wit, adventurer and often the lead singer of hard rock veterans Van Halen, has been taking go lessons from Kim Myungwan 9p,2016.03.01_david-lee-roth-go-lesson the EJ has learned.  The rock legend on Monday posted a black and white photo on his Facebook page of the two discussing an early game go position.  The text reads “6:34 Go lesson with Myungwan Kim; losing as usual.”  Roth was lead singer of Van Halen from 1972 to 1985, released such hits as “Unchained,”  “Eruption” and “Dance the Night Away,” then again in 1996, and in 2001.  He rejoined the band in 2007 to tour and record to the present day.  In between his stints with the band, he has had an active solo career, worked as a radio personality and an EMT, and written a best-selling and well-regarded memoir.   Among the many comments fans promptly posted on his photo with Kim: “Oh Dave, you may be a loser at whatever the ***k that is, but you will remain a winner in our hearts.”

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Do Computers Dream of Pizza?

Tuesday March 1, 2016

Inspired by the Seattle Go Club’s plans to host watching parties for the upcoming AlphaGo-Lee Sedol match, the AGA and its chapter rewards 2016.03.01_Hot_pizzaprogram are offering to cover up to $100 of “reasonable expenses” of AGA chapters’ AlphaGo-Lee Sedol challenge match viewing parties.

“This is a historic moment for the go community,” AGA President Andy Okun said.  “Whether you’re rooting for the human to prevail or cheering AlphaGo in joyful acceptance of the advent of our new rulers, this is an event to see with fellow go players.”

Lee Sedol 9P has accepted the million-dollar challenge to play five games against the deep convolutional neural network system developed by Alphabet’s UK-based DeepMind AI lab.  After the announcement last month that AlphaGo had swept European Champion Fan Hui 2p 5-0, there was an unprecedented level of news coverage.  “We expect a similar level of coverage or even more when the AlphaGo-Lee Sedol match starts,” said Okun, “so your viewing party could also be a chance to get some additional coverage for the game and your chapter.”

A chapter must be current on dues and the food, non-alcoholic beverage or other expenses must be reasonable for the expected turnout (no single person viewing parties at steakhouses please) and you must send a picture or two and a few sentences about the party to the EJ at journal@usgo.org. The last requirement is that, before the party, you reach out to a local news outlet or two to mention the party and encourage them to come and report on this “local angle” on a historic event in the development of artificial intelligence.  To receive reimbursement send smart phone photos of your receipts to rewards@usgo.org.  This offer is separate from your chapter’s rewards balance and will not count against it.

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“The Surrounding Game” Update: Peter Shotwell Interviews Cole Pruitt

Sunday February 28, 2016

If you’ve been following the E-Journal over the last several years, you will know that Cole Pruitt (right), Will Lockhart and many friends have been 2016.02.20_cole-pruittworking on The Surrounding Game, the first major documentary about what’s “going on” in the world of go today. Here’s Peter Shotwell’s November 2015 interview with Pruitt during a visit to the Los Alamos, New Mexico labs where Pruitt was conducting labs tests for his Washington University of St. Louis PhD thesis.

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Evanston Go Club to host Lee Sedol vs AlphaGo Game 1 Watch Party

Saturday February 27, 2016

Following the Seattle Go Center’s lead (Seattle Plans AlphaGo-Lee Sedol Watch Parties 2/25 EJ), the Evanston Go Club will have a watch party 2016.02.27_evanston-go-clubfor the first game of the Lee Sedol/AlphaGo match. The party will be hosted by club President Mark Rubenstein at his home. The game will be shown on a 55” TV in Rubenstein’s rec room, which also has a pool table and a dartboard. “It should be a lot of fun!” says Rubenstein. “There will be plenty of go sets available for people to follow along with the game, play their own games, or both.” The party will start at 10 PM on Tuesday March 8 at 917 Maple Ave, Evanston Illinois. “This is an historic event for the go world. Come and be part of it! And please bring some liquid libations or munchies to share.” says Rubenstein. Please RSVP to mark@evanstongoclub.org.
photo: Evanston Go Club meeting; photo courtesy Mark Rubenstein

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Seattle Plans AlphaGo-Lee Sedol Watch Parties

Thursday February 25, 2016

The Seattle Go Center is planning to host watching parties for the upcoming AlphaGo-Lee Sedol 9P 5-game match, March 7-15. “We did 2016.02.26_seattle-jubango-party-First Gamesomething similar for the Jubango between Lee Sedol and Gu Li in 2014, although those games were longer,” reports club manager Brian Allen. “It was great fun. You can also play casual games at the same time.”

The first game will happen in Korea on March 9, which will be Tuesday, March 8 Seattle time. “We plan to watch it at the Go Center with our video projector,” says Allen. “The game starts at 8 p.m., and is expected to run 4 or 5 hours. Dennis Wheeler will be the host. Lee Sedol 9P, winner of the Jubango between Lee Sedol and Gu Li, and representing the human race, is confident that he can beat the version of AlphaGo that beat the 2 dan pro Fan Hui in October of last year. The big question is: how much has AlphaGo improved since then?”

Allen sent along the Harry Belafonte version of “John Henry” the “steel-drivin’ man” who so famously took on the steam engine.

Check the Seattle Go Club’s calendar for the dates of the other games, which they’ll also be watching. If other clubs plan similar events, please let us know at journal@usgo.org

photo: Frank Lam and Andrew Jackson (r) following the first Jubango game at the Seattle Go Center; photo by Brian Allen

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Life Sports Invites Kids to Japan

Wednesday February 24, 2016

0720152216Three children from North America are being invited to Japan, for international friendship matches. The sponsors of the trip are paying all expenses while in Japan, and a stipend of 100,000 yen (around $893 at press time) for airfare. Fifty-four children under the age of 13, and at least ten kyu, are being invited from ten countries: Japan, China, Korea, France, Germany, Russia, Mexico, Thailand, Canada, and the US. The kids will stay at the Maisima Lodge, in Osaka Bay, and will have opportunities for cultural exchanges as well as for playing go. The AGA will select three kids, two from the US and one from Canada, based on participation points earned from attending various AGA events. The matches will be held July 25-28, and AGA Go Camp Director Fernando Rivera will lead the team. All expenses are paid for the kids, but parents who wish to come will need to pay their own travel and lodging expenses. If you are interested in attending, please fill out the form here. Any questions should be addressed to youth@usgo.org. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo: Participants at last year’s Life International Go Meeting. The event is sponsored by Life Sports Foundation, and NPO Life Kids Go Club, with the cooperation of the Nihon Ki-in and the Kansai Ki-in.

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Slate & Shell 50% Off “Dark of Winter” Sale

Sunday February 21, 2016

Slate & Shell is having its annual “Dark of Winter” sale. The following books are available at 50% off through February 29: The Meijin’s Retirement Game, Old vs 2016.02.20-dark-of-winterNew Fuseki, All About Joseki, Whole Board Thinking in Joseki, Monkey Jump Workshop, Kamakura, The Chinese Opening, 200 Tesuji Problems, and Master Play: The Style of Lee Sedol.

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Beomgeun Cho Wins Jujo Ing Cup

Saturday February 20, 2016

Beomgeun Cho 7D (right) won the 2016 Jujo Ing Cup open section and Ary Cheng 4D won the handicap section. The 24th Jujo Ing Cup tournament was 2016.02.20_Jujo-Cup-Beomgeun Choheld February 14 at the Hilton Hotel in Chinatown, San Francisco. Jiang ZhuJiu, Rui NaiWei and Jiang MingJiu were all in attendance. “A great time was had by all, but the main topic of discussion always seemed to revert to AlphaGo,” reports organizer and TD Ernest Brown. “Next year’s tournament — the 25th — promises to be a grand affair and we hope to provide free entry to anyone who has participated over the past 25 years.” Click here for complete open section results and handicap section results.
photo by Ernest Brown

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South Central Go Tournament Brings Together Players from 5 States

Saturday February 20, 2016

Forty-three players from five states competed in the South Central Go Tournament, held in Dallas, Texas February 13th and 14th. Fifteen played2016.02.20_dallas-open in the Open Section (right) and 28 in the Handicap Section. “It went so well we are already thinking of doing something similar next year,” said Tournament Director Kevin Hwang.
2016.02.20_dallas-handi
In the Open Section, Zelong Dong 7D took first place, Muzhen Ai 5D was second, and Xuyu Xiang 7D took third place. In the Handicap Section (left), Andrew McGowan 1K took first place, Zhiqiang Xiang 1K was second and Billy Maier 4K took third place. “For several players this was a first AGA tournament and for some others marked a return to AGA tournament play after a long interval,” reports Bob Gilman, AGA Central Region Director. photos by Bob Gilman

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Peter Shotwell on “Seven Common Misconceptions About Early Go”

Saturday February 20, 2016

In “Seven Common Misconceptions Concerning the History of Go in Ancient China,” go author Peter Shotwell — inspired by the recent popular 2016.02.20_four-arts-chinese-literati-06_leadingappearance of several errors and misconceptions concerning the history of early go in China —  draws on his previously-published work and adds new material based on recent studies to provide a handy guide for those interested in disseminating the “real story” of the history of go. For example, Shotwell writes that there is “no evidence that Go was ever used for astral divination because this was always done on very dissimilar Shi Ban (“Sky Boards”) and the mysteriously arranged playing surfaces of the dice game Liu Bo (“Six Sticks”).” The January post is available in the the Bob High Memorial Library (click on Appendix IX: Seven Common Misconceptions About Early Go). 

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