Monday May 19, 2014
The Jinhua Sports Adminstration, in Zhejiang, China, has agreed to sponsor a friendship match between American teenagers and their Chinese counterparts in Jinhua city. The match is tentatively planned for late July or early August, and is being organized by Katherine Zhang. The Americans would need to pay their own airfare to China, but after that, all expenses will be covered. Teens can choose where they want to stay, either with a host family, or in a hotel. Jinhua Sports will also organize a sight seeing trip in the area. “I think it’s a great opportunity to build communications between young go players in these two countries. They can share experiences, and compare and contrast the teaching methods of each country,” said Zhang. Interested parties should e-mail Zhang, at firstname.lastname@example.org, for more information. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo: The Temple of renowned Taoist Master Huang Da Xian, in Jinhua. Photo courtesy TripAdvisor.com
Tuesday May 13, 2014
“Rémi Coulom is sitting in a rolling desk chair, hunched over a battered Macbook laptop, hoping it will do something no machine has ever done.” So begins Alan Levinovitz’s thorough report on the current state of computer go in Wired Magazine – The Mystery of Go, the Ancient Game That Computers Still Can’t Win – published May 12. Levinovitz covered this year’s UEC Cup, the computer Go tournament held each March that rewards two finalists with matches against a “Go sage” in the Densei-sen, or machine-versus-man matches. The Wired report covers the history of computer go, name-checking Einstein, Turing and Nash, includes an excellent explanation of the game’s branching problem and explains how the development of Monte Carlo Tree Search enabled the latest breakthroughs in computer go, in which Coulom’s Crazy Stone program won the first Densei-sen last year against Japanese professional Yoshio “The Computer” Ishida. American-born pro Michael Redmond — a regular EJ contributor — makes an appearance in the report as the commentator at the UEC Cup. Levinovitz does a good job demystifying computer go, as well, writing that the view that go is “the final bastion of human dominance over computers” is “deeply misguided.” Levinovitz points out that “computers can’t ‘win’ at anything, not until they can experience real joy in victory and sadness in defeat, a programming challenge that makes Go look like tic-tac-toe. Computer Go matches aren’t the brain’s last stand. Rather, they help show just how far machines have to go before achieving something akin to true human intelligence.”
photo: Remi Coulom (left) and his computer program, Crazy Stone, take on grandmaster Norimoto Yoda. Photo: Takashi Osato/WIRED. Thanks to the many EJ readers who quickly spotted this report and passed it along.
Wednesday May 7, 2014
In this May 6 report, the BBC’s China Editor Carrie Gracie speaks with political analyst Deng Yuwen about “what an ancient Chinese game can tell us about China’s current political landscape,” where an epic power struggle is under way.
Thanks to David Saunders for sending this along.
Wednesday April 30, 2014
The Korean Baduk Association has once again invited the AGA to send three North American representatives to compete in the World division of the Samsung Cup World Baduk Masters 2014 in Korea. Interested players must be 5D+ citizens or permanent residents of North America, have resided in North America for 6 of the past 12 months, and have maintained continuous AGA membership (does not apply to Canadian players) for the past year. Players will be responsible for their travel and lodging expenses; the tournament will provide a $1,000 incentive to each player to help cover some costs.
To select the players the AGA will hold a flexible scheduling tournament on KGS during the second half of May with default rounds on May 20, 23, 27, and 30. This schedule is designed so that the possible times for each round includes at least one weekend day. The selected players will play in the combined preliminaries set for August 3-6. Those interested and eligible must fill out this electronic form
to register by Friday, May 16. Skype will be required for all players.
- Karoline Burrall
Wednesday April 30, 2014
On May 1 and 2, the Second China-Korea-Japan Professional Pair Go Championship will be held in Anhui, China, with live broadcast on Pandanet-IGS. Three new pairs pairs, Rui Naiwei – Yu Bin (China), Yashiro Kumiko – Iyama Yuta (Japan), and Oh Jeong – Jin Siyoung (Korea), will join the reigning champions Wang Chenxing – Changhao for a top prize of 200,000 RMB (~ 35,000 USD). The venue is the historic Three-Nation Theme Park.
Sunday April 27, 2014
Gu Li 9P won game 4 of the MLily Gu vs Lee Jubango on April 27, drawing even with Lee Sedol 9P at two all for the match so far. Game 4 was held on Jeungdo (Jeung Island) in Shinan County, near Lee Sedol’s hometown, and was the first and only game scheduled in Korea. Before the game, the players paid their respects to the hundreds who died when a ferry tragically capsized on April 16. The ferry incident occurred near the venue for this match. Go fans who like to follow the Lee Sedol – Gu Li rivalry will already know that this is Gu’s fourth consecutive victory against Lee in the last two months. Game 5 will be held in Yunnan Province, China, and is shaping up to be a crucial turning point in the match. Click here to download the game record or click on the link below to see An Younggil 8P’s preliminary comments on the game.
- David Ormerod, Go Game Guru
Saturday April 19, 2014
Amir Fragman defeated Israeli champion Ali Jabarin 6d at the Israeli Korean Prime Minister Cup (KPMC) Qualifier tournament, held 16-17 April 2014 during Olamot (Worlds) festival in Tel Aviv.
Top players in Israel attended the 6-round tournament, where fourteen contestants challenged for the right to represent Israel at the upcoming Korean Prime Minister Cup in October 2014.
The tournament was decided in the 5th round, when Fragman defeated Jabarin 6d by resignation to win first place, with Jabarin in second, while third place was shared by Tal Michaeli and Ofer Zivony.
More details and photos here.
- Reported by Shavit Fragman
Tuesday April 15, 2014
Young Mexican go players are visiting Cuba this week in a historic first exchange between the two countries. Next month the Cuban go community will host a group of go players from Japan, the seventh such visit.
The first Cuba – Mexico School Go Exchange, which includes individual and team competitions, is taking place at the Cuban Go Academy from April 14-18. The Mexican children are a part of an educational go project at the “Center of Educational and Artistic Investigations’, a primary school begun in 2008. The Go project is led by Siddhartha Avila, who has brought Mexican groups to the last two US Go Congresses. The Cuban children attend a local primary school in Havana and are also pupils in the Cuban Go Academy where they study twice a week.
The visit by the Japanese delegation of adult go players (set for May 14-22) will celebrate 400 years of relations between Cuba and Japan. The Samurai Hasekura Tsunenaga visited Havana in 1614. The May event will take place both in the province of Santiago de Cuba and in Havana, and the Japanese teachers will bring a donation of go equipment to the Go School in Santiago de Cuba to support the community in light of the recent hurricane damage.
Monday April 14, 2014
Wang Chen, one of the ‘Four Heavenly Kings’ who rule China’s amateur rating list, won the 12th World Students Go Oza Championship, held in late February in Toyko.
Wang (right) defeated Ken (Kai Kun) Xie of New Zealand, Japan’s Yamikumo Tsubasa, Go Risa, also from Japan, and Chung Chen-En of Taiwan. Yamikumo, Go, and Chung did not lose to anyone else, so they finished as part of the four-way tie for runner-up. Tie-breaking points put Yamikumo second, Chung third, and Go fourth. Taiwan’s Hu Shih-Yun also lost only one game and came in fifth. The opponent she lost to was the USA’s Maojie Xia, who had played the two Japanese and finished a highly commendable sixth.
Viktor Ivanov (Russia, 9th place) and Kwan King-Man (Hong Kong, 10th place) matched Maojie Xia by winning two games apiece, and although Yanqi Zhang (France, 12th place) won only once, the opponent she beat was Zhou Shiying, the Chinese female player. At both the reception and the awards ceremony, officials in the All Japan Students Go Association, which handled all the organizational work (drinking party included), remarked on the rising level of play in countries outside the Far East.
- based on a more extensive report on the IGF news feed, which includes complete results and clickable game records.
Friday April 11, 2014
The 2014 International Collegiate Go Tournament is now accepting applications. To be held in Hong Kong July 7-13, the second annual event, hosted by the Ing Foundation, is open to current, future, or recently graduated college students, both undergraduate and graduate, who will or has attended school in 2014. Players of all strengths are encouraged to apply; the tournament is divided into both a kyu and dan division.
The sponsors pay for student’s room, board, and the tours that take place during the event; students will be responsible for paying their airfare to reach the tournament, and any personal expenses during the tournament such as souvenirs and night life entertainment. “This is a truly unique experience as the Shanghai Ing Foundation does not spare any expense during the planning of this event,” says a post on the American Collegiate Go Association’s website.
While there’s no deadline for application, those interested should apply early as the selection process will be done on a first-come first-serve basis.
- photo: at the 2013 International Collegiate Go Tournament