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Myungwan Kim 9P to Analyze Fan Hui-AlphaGo games this Friday

Thursday January 28, 2016

Myungwan Kim 9P will analyze the Fan Hui-AlphaGo games on the AGA YouTube and TwitchTV channels this Friday at 9p EST (6p PST). And for the first time, the broadcast will be simulcast on weiqitv.com in China. Yesterday’s news2016.01.28_nature-cover that Google’s go-playing AI, AlphaGo, had swept Fan Hui 2P 5-0 rocketed around the world, receiving international coverage including write-ups in the New York Times, Bloomberg News, the BBC, Wall 2016.01.28_myungwan-kimStreet Journal, MIT Technology Review, Wired, NPR and blowing up on the AGA’s  Facebook and Twitter feeds.

“I was shocked at how Alphago played,” Kim (left) told the E-Journal. “It played like a human professional. I am sad that this computer program might beat me, but I don’t think it can beat Lee Sedol. I will tell you why in my commentary.” Google DeepMind, the British artificial intelligence company which developed AlphaGo, has issued a challenge to Lee Sedol 9P from South Korea, the top player in the world for much of the last 10 years, to play a 5-game, million-dollar match in March. Andrew Jackson will host the livestream broadcast.

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Categories: Computer Go/AI,World
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Game Over? AlphaGo Beats Pro 5-0 in Major AI Advance 

Wednesday January 27, 2016

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In a stunning development, the AlphaGo computer program has swept European Go Champion and Chinese professional Fan Hui 2P 5-0, the first time that a go professional has lost such a match. “This signifies a major step forward in one of the great challenges in the development of artificial intelligence – that of game-playing,” said the British Go Association, which released the news on January 27, based on findings reported in the scientific journal Nature this week (click here for the video, here for Nature’s editorial, Digital intuition and here for Go players react to computer defeat). NOTE: This story was posted at 1p EST on Wednesday, January 27; be sure to get the latest breaking go news by following us on Facebook and Twitter.

“AlphaGo’s strength is truly impressive!” said Hajin Lee, Secretary General of the International Go Federation and a Korean go professional herself. “Go has always been thought of as the ultimate challenge to game-playing artificial intelligence,” added Thomas Hsiang, Secretary General of the International Mind Sport Association and Vice President of International Go Federation. “This is exciting news, but bittersweet at the same time,” said American Go Association president Andy Okun. “I think we go players have taken some pride in the fact that we could beat the best computers. Now we’re down to Lee Sedol fighting for us.”

2016.01.27_hui-fanGoogle DeepMind, the British artificial intelligence company which developed AlphaGo, has issued a challenge to Lee Sedol 9P from South Korea, the top player in the world for much of the last 10 years, to play a 5-game, million-dollar in March. “I have played through the five games between AlphaGo and Fan Hui,” said Hsiang. “AlphaGo was clearly the stronger player. The next challenge against Lee Sedol will be much harder.” While Hajin Lee agreed, saying “I still doubt that it’s strong enough to play the world’s top pros,” she added “but maybe it becomes stronger when it faces a stronger opponent.” Fan Hui (left) is a naturalized French 2-dan professional go player originally from China. European Champion in 2014 and 2015, Fan is also a 6-time winner in Paris as well as Amsterdam.

Just as the Kasparov/Deep Blue match did not signal the end of chess between humans, “so the development of AlphaGo does not signal the end of playing go between humans,” the BGA pointed out. “Computers have changed the way that players study and play chess (see this 2012 Wired article), and we expect something similar to occur in the field of go, but not necessarily as assistance during play. It has been recognised for a long time that achievements in game-playing have contributed to developments in other areas, with the game of go being the pinnacle of perfect knowledge games.”  Added Okun, “go has for thousands of years been a contest between humans and a struggle of humans against their own limits, and it will remain so. We still cycle in the Tour de France, even though we’ve invented the motorcycle.”

The BGA noted that that achievements in game-playing technology have contributed to developments in other areas. The previous major breakthrough in computer go, the introduction of Monte-Carlo tree search, led to corresponding advances in many other areas.

Last year, the Facebook AI Research team also started creating an AI that can learn to play go and earlier today Mark Zuckerberg reported on Facebook that “We’re getting close, and in the past six months we’ve built an AI that can make moves in as fast as 0.1 seconds and still be as good as previous systems that took years to build. Our AI combines a search-based approach that models every possible move as the game progresses along with a pattern matching system built by our computer vision team.”

In a related story, computer scientist John Tromp last week revealed the number of legal go positions, “weighing in at 9*19=171 digits.” Read more here.

Game 1 of the AlphaGo vs. Fan Hui 2P match appears above right. Click below for the match’s remaining game records:
AlphaGo vs. Fan Hui, game 2
AlphaGo vs. Fan Hui, game 3
AlphaGo vs. Fan Hui, game 4
AlphaGo vs. Fan Hui, game 5

Update (11:44pm 1/27): Myungwan Kim 9P will analyze the games played between Fan Hui and AlphaGo during a live stream on the AGA YouTube Channel and TwitchTV this Friday; more details will be posted at 7a EST.

 

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Ke Jie: “I still feel like I’m in a dream”

Wednesday January 6, 2016

Ke Jie’s defeat of Lee Sedol in the M-Lily Cup is the buzz of Chinese media. The 18-year-old Chinese phenom has been on a stunning run of success, winning2016.01.06_Ke-Jie-2nd-MLily-Cup-Final-300x300 three championships in one year: the Bailing Cup, the Samsung Cup, and then the M-Lily Cup earlier this week. Ke Jie’s record in rated games for the year was 58 wins and 16 losses, with an impressive 34-game winning streak when playing with White, which was broken by Lee Sedol.

Ke Jie is the youngest person in history to win three major international tournaments, taking the mantle from Lee Sedol, who had accomplished the same feat at 22. “I was going to resign,” Ke Jie said in an interview immediately after the M-Lily final. “I still feel like I’m in a dream. I thought I had lost.” Ke Jie’s teacher, Nie Weiping, had been commentating on the game and was worried about his student. He mentioned that the game was “just too exciting.” Ke Jie had felt that he hadn’t played his best. He said “I thought if Lee Sedol is at the top of his game, then there is no way I can win. Strength was not the main factor for deciding who won. I was fortunate to win.”

Ke Jie started learning go at the age of 5 and studied under Zhou Zong Qiang 5 dan. His father was a go enthusiast. Ke Jie lived in Li Shui in Zhejiang province where there were not many places to play, however Ke Jie’s father started his own go center. This attracted many stronger players to come, making for a good environment to learn the game. Ke Jie started studying under Nie Weiping at the age of 8, won the National Youth Tournament in 2007 and became professional in 2008.
- Jonathan Hop, translated from Chinese news reports. Click here for GoGameGuru’s report as well, which includes game records, commentaries, photos and a discussion of how the final game’s result unexpectedly hinged on half point kos and the counting system used, according to Korean professionals.

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Categories: China,World
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“Celestial Arsenal” Translation Released

Friday January 1, 2016

Sun Ruoshi has just released “The Celestial Arsenal,” his English translation of the late Ming dynasty classic “Xianji Wuku.” Originally 2016.01.01_The Celestial Arsenalcompiled around 1629, “The Celestial Arsenal” comprises a collection of hundreds of famous games, corner and side josekis, opening and invasion patterns, and over 400 life-and-death problems. Lu Xuanyu, a famous collector of go manuscripts, carefully selected and edited material from several famous go manuals and game records into eight scrolls: Gold, Rock, Silk, Bamboo, Gourd, Earth, Leather and Wood. This translation, however, is on 500 paper pages. The cover features two problems from the book; White to live on each side of the board. The book is available on Amazon and CreateSpace.

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AGA’s MLily Cup commentary delayed to Wednesday

Tuesday December 29, 2015

The AGA’ live game commentary on the MLily Cup finals between Lee Sedol 9P and Ke Jie 9P will begin with Game 2 on Wednesday, December 2015.12.29_MLilyShow2TitleCard30, not Tuesday 12/29 as previously announced. Myungwan Kim 9Ps commentary will begin at 9pm PST (midnight EST) on the AGA’s YouTube channel.
graphic by xhu

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Categories: World
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Latin American Youth Tourneys Heat Up

Monday December 14, 2015

IMG_4084Chile won the Orion Latin American Online Youth Team Tournament, held November 28 and 29.  The event drew 9 three-player teams from 4 different countries, reports organizer Sid Avila. “We contacted Yunxuan Li,  President of the American Go Honor Society, about having a friendly match between the division winners in the School Teams Tournament with their Latin American counterparts, and Chile is looking forward to the match,” said Avila.  The Chilean team included Matias Salinas, Benjamin Mimiza, and Esteban Orellana.  The Mexican team took second place, and included Diego A. Luciano, Lilian Zavala, and Omar Zavala. The Venezuelan team took third place, with Abel Pérez, Yenderwin Palomino, and Yendervy Palomino.

Earlier in the year, on July 4 and 5, the Latin American Online Youth Tournament ´Las Tres Águilas´ was held on the Online Go Server. 55 players from 5 countries represented their schools, academies, and go clubs, their ranks ranging from 25 to 6k.The top three players for the 19 by 19 division were Abel Pérez 12k from Venezuela, Matías Salinas 8k from Chile, and Mateo Nava 12k from Mexico. The top three players for the 13 by 13 division were David Poblete 15k, Juan P. Ascencio 25k, and Francisco Gonzales 16k, all from Chile. Yuri León from Colombia received recognition for his fighting spirit. For more information and pictures click here for Tres Aguilas and here for Orion. -Story by Amy Su. Photo: Students from Chile competing.
Correction (12/19): Poblete, Ascencio and Gonzales are from Chile, not Colombia, as originally reported. 

 

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Ke Jie Blanks Shi Yue in Samsung to Win Second International Title

Saturday December 12, 2015

Ke Jie 9p (right) won the 2015 Samsung Cup by defeating Shi Yue 9p 2-0. The Samsung final was held on December 8-9 in Shanghai, China. This was 2015.12.12_Ke-Jie-Samsung-Cup-300x351Ke Jie’s second international title — his first was the Bailing Cup in January, 2015 — and this was the first time since 2011 that a player has won two international titles in the same calendar year (Lee Sedol 9p won the BC Card Cup and Chunlan Cup in 2011). Ke Jie’s Samsung win also made him the first of the new generation of young Chinese world champions to win a second international title. He’s undefeated on white this year and his games in the Samsung semifinals against Lee Sedol, and the final against Shi Yue, were wonderful and faultless.
- excerpted from Youngil An’s report on Go Game Guru, where you’ll find An’s commentaries on both games and more photos.

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Categories: China,World
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December 9 Deadline to Register for Pandanet Cup Internet World Amateur Go Tourney

Sunday December 6, 2015

Go players wishing to participate in the 20th Pandanet Cup Internet World Amateur Go Tournament have until next Wednesday, December 9 to register. All games must be played on the Pandanet server. As in previous years, the registrants are divided into three regions, and in each region further divided into several ranking bands. Winners in each band will receive prizes. In the preliminary round, players play with others in the same band and in the same region. Regional winners then move on to play in the international final rounds. This online tournament is supported by International Go Federation and organized by Pandanet.

The preliminary rounds will be played December 18 through January 11.

 

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Categories: World
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Gu Li vs Park Jungwhan in Nongshim Cup Monday Night

Monday November 30, 2015

Tonight’s Nongshim Cup game — which will be broadcast on the AGA’s YouTube channel starting at 9:30pm PST – is Gu Li vs Park Jungwhan. “We were actually the 2nd most watched live show on Youtube Gaming last night in that coveted 12:00am PST/3:00am EST timeslot,” reports Andrew Jackson. “That put us on the front page of gaming.youtube.com and got us a lot of random ‘foot traffic.’  Too bad the show isn’t more geared towards beginners!”
Note: Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to get these updates in real time! 

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How Do Online Ratings Compare? OGS Seeks Input for Ratings Survey

Monday November 30, 2015

How do you know what rank to choose when checking out a new go server? Maybe you visited Sensei’s World Wide Rank Comparisonmaybe you guessed. “The team at OGS wants to dispel some of this mystery, so we’ve created a quick and easy survey to collect feedback about ranks of popular servers and we’d really appreciate your participation,” says Akita Noek. The brief survey takes less than two minutes to complete and you can see the results as soon as you are done. “So far we’ve garnered about 650 responses, but only 86 data points contain AGA data, which is a little over half of what we have for the EGF (146 responses),” says Noek, “so we’d really like to fill that gap a bit in order to get a good rank mapping to and from AGA ranks for the various servers.”

“The results will be used by OGS to further refine our rankings and ratings and bring our system in line with our users’ expectations,” says Noek. “We’re collecting rank data for all the main major servers as well as the AGA and EGF, as well as community impressions about how they feel about the ranks on different servers/organizations. We’ll be making the results of the survey public in both a summarized form as well as the raw data for anyone to use.”

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