American Go E-Journal » World
Friday April 28, 2017
Wednesday April 19, 2017
Mexico has been chosen as the host country for this year’s Ibero American Go Championship (CIG) the biggest go event in Latin American. “Last year we launched the first Pandanet Go Latin American Team Championship (PGLATC) a 10-team league with teams formed of the top players of each participating country” reports Mexican Go Association’s president Emil García. The agreement with Pandanet is that the top two teams at the end of the league will get the chance to play an over the board final at the CIG in Mexico- with travel expenses sponsored by Pandanet. More information about the league can be found here. “Our idea is to make this a Latin American Go Congress, run both the CIG and the PGLATC final plus some activities with pro players for the participants, in the fashion of the US Go Congress or the European Go Congress,” adds García.
The event is planned to take place in Cancun, Mexico on October 13th-15th, 2017. More information will be available soon on the Mexican Go Association’s new website.
- Siddhartha Avila, Latin American Correspondent for the E-Journal.
Thursday March 23, 2017
The 34th World Youth Goe Championship is open for registration, reports Mingjiu Jiang 7P. The event is open to US citizens only. The Senior Division is for youth aged 12—15, and the Junior for kids under 12 by July 23rd, 2017. Players cannot be on the team, in the same age division, more than twice within 3 years. The initial qualifiers will be held on KGS with Ing rules, April 8th and 9th. The top two players of each group will play final games face to face, place to be determined, on May 20th and 21st. Final winners will represent the US to this year’s World Youth Goe Championship on July 18-23 in Chiangmai, Thailand. Ing’s Goe Foundation and the American Ing’s Goe Foundation will pay round trip airfare and hotel.
Registration is due by April 3, 2017. To register, email your name, date of birth, division, rank, KGS id, phone and address to email@example.com. You may also call Mingjiu at (650-796-1602) Sponsored by: Ing’s Goe Foundation. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo: Youth competing at a previous WYGC final.
Yuta Iyama, Mi Yu Ting, Park Jeong Hwan & DeepZenGo to battle in Nihon Ki-in’s new “World Go Championship” next week
Wednesday March 15, 2017
A brand-new event, the “World Go Championship”, will be held next week, March 21-23 in Osaka, Japan. Four top players, Iyama Yuta (Japan), Park Jeon Hwan (Korea), Mi Yuting (China), and DeepZenGo (representing AI) will fight it out for the title. The Nihon Kiin will provide streaming and live commentaries on YouTube by Michael Redmond and Anti Tourmanen. Click here for details and the broadcast schedule.
Sunday March 5, 2017
Many go players around the world already know that Guo Juan 5P has an online go school, featuring recorded lectures and problems presented in a Spaced Repetition System for remembering correct play. But you may not know about the new developments. “My website/system has made big improvements in the last half year,” Guo Juan explains. “Now you can use tablets and phones to do the exercises, which makes possible for people to use the system anywhere, instead of sitting before the computer.” She adds that “One of our website users (has) posted a thorough overview/review.”
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
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.
Wednesday December 7, 2016
Abel Perez, of Venezuela, took top honors in the Liga youth tourney, held on OGS. The event is an annual tournament league for players under the age of 18 from all over Latin America. Liga started this year in April and concluded in November; 7 rounds were played each month. There were 24 players from Venezuela, México, Chile and Ecuador. Some games were reviewed by Ignacio Iglesis, a 2 dan go streamer for the Spanish speaking community, on his youtube channel Estudiando Go con Ini. The final matches in round 7 were very competitive as 4 countries had at least one player at the top boards, the winners were: 1st place- Abel Pérez, Venezuela; 2nd place: Leonardo Valdovinos, México; 3rd place: Benjamín Mimiza, Chile; 4th place: Joaquín Proaño, Ecuador; 5th place: Lilian Zavala, México. See full results here.
“The dedication and motivation of the 3 chilean players that took part at the league inspired other kids to become more engaged with go, and it’s very likely that we will have 10 players for next years’ league,” says Sebastián Montiel, Chilean go teacher at Club de Go Aonken. “This was the first time that we organized a tournament as a league system for Latin American youth, and it was quite a great success.” Co- organizer Diego Albuja, Ecuadorian go teacher at Academia de Go, told the Journal: ” I’m delighted that the league tournament concluded so satisfyingly, it depended not only on the guidance of the go instructors, but also on the commitment and will to participate of the young players, this indicates to us as organizers that there is great potential for the youth go scene in Latin America. With this league tournament a very active player in Ecuador, Joaquín Proaño leaves the youth division as he turned 18, and we are glad to see he will continue his path at go as an amateur player.”
Tuesday November 29, 2016
There have been a number of attempts to create an international map of go clubs, so that instead of each country maintaining a separate map, there can be one reliable map of go clubs which transcends national boundaries.
One such project is being developed by a member of the German Go Federation (Deutsche Go-Bund). It is open-source and based on free data (OpenStreetMap and umap), so even if the creator were to disappear, it could be taken over and continued with minimal effort, and it would never incur licensing costs of any kind.
The database is currently located here, and the map (which is updated regularly from the database, and therefore
doesn’t include recently-added clubs) is here. The source code is at GitHub here and here.
The map can be freely embedded on any website, and a few regional, local and national sites are already using it to display their country’s clubs, but at the moment, although European and South American coverage is quite good, the coverage of US clubs is rather sparse, and the Far East isn’t really covered at all.
You can look for your local club by sorting the list here (for example by ZIP code), and if your club is not there, you can add it here. Clubs can be added, removed and edited by all users of the site, and registration is free, but requires authentication via a third-party account: at the moment, GitHub, Google, Facebook and VK are supported.
Wednesday October 19, 2016
An international seminar on strategy games was held at Cambridge University, England, on October 1st and 2nd. Organized by ChessPlus, and co-sponsored by Google’s Deepmind, the event drew about 40 teachers from 15 countries, who shared their expertise on teaching go, chess and other games in schools. The first day began with a compelling presentation from Dr. Barry Hymer, Professor of Psychology in Education at the University of Cumbria, in Lancaster. Hymer provided a brief introduction to mindset theory, and what it does and doesn’t say about achievement as it relates to strategy games. He contrasted two different mindsets: fixed vs. growth. Those with the former believe intelligence is a fixed trait that can’t be changed, while those with the latter believe intelligence is cultivated through learning. Dr. Hymer’s chart (below, at right) shows how these mindsets play out. All of us exhibit some of both types of mindsets at times, and in different areas.
Hymer also expounded on some mindset myths, which included the belief that natural ability and talent don’t exist, or that they don’t matter, and that hard work guarantees ultimate success. Instead, multiple factors come into play to create success, including what Hymer calls metacognitive strategies (how we think about thinking). Hymer noted Gary Kasparov, from the chess world, felt the same way: “It’s not enough to work hard and study late into the night. You must also become intimately aware of the methods you use to reach your decisions.” In a later presentation, Hymer discussed some educational studies with a few surprising results, including that praising students does not lead to any greater level of excellence or even motivation. Negative feedback also does not help. Instead, Hymer advocates engaged, attentive, and non-judgmental feedback, which he said helps create self-motivated students who then cultivate the love of learning for themselves. These types of students outperform all other categories by as much as 30%, said Hymer. An example of this from the go community would be the kinds of questions one asks in a teaching game: “What were you hoping to achieve when you went here? How do you think your opponent might respond? Were there other places you thought of playing, and why?” Getting a student to think about how they reached their decisions is key to creating autonomous learners in Hymer’s approach.
Hymer’s presentation was followed by an equally engaging one from Jorge Nuno Silva, of the University of Lisbon (Portugal). Professor Silva gave a lecture on the intellectual history of games in education. Drawing on games from across the centuries (most now completely forgotten) Silva illustrated how and why games are important to learning. Along the way he fascinated the audience with stories of strange and interesting games, including Rythmomachia: ”Invented as a pedagogical game, to help the teaching of Arithmetic, in the 11th century. Even the setup of the pieces on the board was an important experience. It was popular everywhere where Boethius’ Arithmetic was taught. It vanished, naturally, in the 17th century, as mathematics developed in a different way. Chess then took over.”
The seminar continued with presentations from teachers and specialists from all over the world. Daniela Trinks of Myongji University in Korea spoke on the didactics of go, and Stefan Löffler spoke on the didactics of chess. Mads Jacobsen, from Denmark, spoke about the extraordinary success of chess programs in his country, where 30% of all schools have chess as a scheduled activity. Toby Manning of the British Go Association, and Paul Barchilon of the American Go Foundation both spoke on efforts to introduce go to more schools in their respective countries. “The beautiful rooms of Cambridge University provided a wonderful environment for these two days of learning, teaching, discussing, inspiration and forming cooperations,” said Daniela Trinks. “The success of this seminar proves once more that chess and go teachers shouldn’t see each other as rivals but as colleagues who have a lot in common. By sharing our experiences we can learn from each other, improve teaching praxis and develop more successful educational programs at schools in the future.”
The main organizers were John Foley, Stefan Löffler, Rita Atkins and John Upham from Chessplus. The seminar was sponsored by DeepMind, and supported by the British Go Association, the European Go Federation, the European Go Cultural Centre, the American Go Foundation and the UK Backgammon Federation. An online documentation of the seminar, including videos, photos and presentation files is planned. Interested readers can see the program, and associated slideshows, for all segments highlighted in blue on this page. -Story and photos by Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Top: Seminar participants take a break on the lawn at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge; Lower right: Slide from Dr. Barry Hymer’s presentation; Lower left: Professor Jorge Nuno Silva shows the board for Rythmomachia.