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The Power Report (1 of 2): Iyama and Xie to meet in LG Cup final; Ida defends Crown title

Sunday November 19, 2017

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal2017.11.19_LG Xie Erhao Iyama

Iyama and Xie to meet in LG Cup final:  A Japanese representative had made the best eight of the 22nd LG Cup, so the Nihon Ki-in offered to host the quarterfinals and semifinals at its headquarters in Tokyo. If one motive was to give its player the advantage of playing on home ground, this worked out just right, as Japan got its first finalist in a world championship since 2007. That year was also the only previous time that Japan hosted LG Cup games. All the games were telecast with live commentary on the Igo & Shogi Channel.

 The quarterfinals were played on November 13. The results were as follows: Ke Jie 9P (China) (W) beat Shin Jinseo 8P (Korea) by resig.; Xie Erhao 5P (China) (W) beat Choi Cheolhan 9P (Korea) by resig.; Jiang Weijie 9P (China) (W) beat Lee Wonyong 7P (Korea) by half a point; Iyama Yuta 9P (Japan) (W) beat Yang Tingxin 6P (China) by resig.

2017.11.19_LG Ke IyamaThe LG Cup is a Korean-sponsored tournament, but no Korean players made the 2017.11.19_LG Ke Jiesemifinals, so perhaps Korean fans didn’t mind the tournament’s being held overseas. Lots are drawn after each round to do the pairings for the next round, and Iyama (at right in photo at left) was paired with Ke Jie (left), who is widely recognized as the world’s number one. In this tournament, the player who wins the nigiri can choose colors; Ke (right) took white—perhaps he was influenced by the fact that White won all the games in the quarterfinals. He started out with two three-three points, showing the influence of AI. In contrast, Iyama played the high Chinese Opening. Initially, Ke took the lead, but in a later fight his play was perhaps a little too aggressive, letting Iyama get back into the game. Later on, Ke made a mistake and resigned after 267 moves. In the all-Chinese semifinal, Xie (W) Jiang beat by resig.

The best-of-three final will be held on February 5, 7, and, if needed, 8. Iyama has won the TV Asia Cup, but this will be his first final in a full-scale international tournament. If he wins, it will be Japan’s first international title since 2005, when Cho U won the LG Cup. Unfortunately, I have no information about Xie Erhao.

Ida defends Crown title: The Crown tournament is open only to players at the Central Japan (Nagoya) branch of the Nihon Ki-in. First prize is 1.7 million yen (about $15,400). Ida Atsushi 8P won this title for the first time last year and was able to defend it this year. The one-game final was played on November 13; taking white, Ida defeated Mutsuura Yuta 7P by resig. after 174 moves.

Tomorrow: Shibano picks up first league win; Fujisawa levels score in Women’s Honinbo; Suzuki makes Tengen main tournament; Iyama increases lead in Oza

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Chinese go authorities ban phones at matches

Sunday November 19, 2017

China’s top authority for the game of go recently announced a ban on phones at go matches in response to the increasing use of artificial2017.11.12_tablet-recording-IMG_8751 intelligence (AI) in the sport. According to a notice released by the Chinese Weiqi Association (CWA) on Tuesday, “during matches, players are not allowed to have or watch mobile phones and any other electronic devices. If they are found with one of the devices, they will be judged losers immediately.” Players are also forbidden from going to their hotel rooms during a break in the matches, unless they have special needs and are accompanied by a judge.

The news has prompted a discussion by the American Go Association’s Board of Directors  about how to address this issue at U.S. go tournaments, where many players now use phones, tablets or laptops to record their games.
- Excerpted/adapted from a report in The Global Times.

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Executive Summary of AGA Board Meeting 11/12/2017

Sunday November 19, 2017

The board discussed the AGA policy for use of computers/electronic devices during tournaments in light of recent advances in Go AI, and moved to form a committee to formulate rules, guidelines, and procedures to ensure fairness while keeping tournaments welcoming. The president’s report included positive feedback on go commentary broadcasts and a potential deal to put go sets on Navy ships. Other business included a status update on the by-law review and ranking system work, as well as how to use the interest in Go AI to expand the AGA and go community in the US.
-Samantha Fede, AGA Secretary

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BGA president Roger Huyshe dies

Thursday November 16, 2017

Roger Huyshe, President of the British Go Association, died unexpectedly on November 13. “Apparently he was out on a bike ride in Derbyshire2017.11.15_Roger Huyshe when he collapsed,” reports Toby Manning. “We do not think it was a traffic accident – and although the air ambulance was called, they could not save him.” Information about funeral arrangements will be posted on the BGA website when available.

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Third Australian Go Congress “best ever”

Wednesday November 15, 2017

The third Australian Go Congress was held September 28 – October 1 at Sydney University. Players ranged from under 10 to over 70 and came 2017.11.15_aussie-congress-groupfrom across Australia, Korea, China, Hong Kong, Japan and Poland. “The consensus is that the 2017 Australian Go Congress was the best ever,” reports David Mitchell, General Manager for the Congress. “Everybody had a great time, vying with players from across Australia and around the world.”

The Australian National Championships’ top division attracted very strong players from Korea, China and Poland but in the end it was the Koreans who collected the top honors in a very tight finish. The overall winner was GwangHo Choi 7d (left), second was YoungSam Kim and Namgi Yoon was third, all from Korea and all three with six wins.2017.11.15_Gwangho Choi IMG_0544

Other activities included a screening of “The Surrounding Game” and simuls with Jaeho Yang 9P, Yeon Woo Cho 1Pm and An Younggil 9P, who played over 100 simul games, commented on games and gave lectures “which were appreciated by all,” says Mitchell. “Our thanks to them and the KBA for allowing them to visit our event.”

The Australian Go Congress was founded by Sang-Dae Hahn in 2015 and is supported by the Australian Go Association, the Sydney Go Club and the Sydney University Go Club. Check out a gallery of Congress photos here.

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Upcoming Go Events: New York City

Monday November 13, 2017

November 18: New York City, NY
Gotham Go Tournament
Peter Armenia parmenia@earthlink.net 919-450-8770
Chris Sira cbsira@gmail.com

Get the latest go events information.

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DeepMind has yet to find out how smart its AlphaGo Zero AI could be

Monday November 13, 2017

“Perhaps the most interesting thing about AlphaGo Zero, though, isn’t how fast it was able to do what it did, or with such efficacy, but also that2017.11.12_hassabis-techcrunch it ultimately didn’t even achieve its full potential,” reports TechCrunch. “DeepMind CEO and co-founder Demis Hassabis explained on stage at Google’s Go North conference in Toronto that the company actually shut down the experiment before it could determine the upper limits of AlphaGo Zero’s maximum intelligence.”

“We never actually found the limit of how good this version of AlphaGo could get,” he said. “We needed the computers for something else.”

Hassabis said that DeepMind may spin up AlphaGo Zero again in future to find out how much further it can go, though the main benefit of that exercise might be to help teach human AlphaGo players about additional, “alien” moves and stratagems that they can study to improve their own play.

PLUS: The October issue of Games magazine includes “A God of Go: AlphaGo Crosses the Next Frontier of Artificial Intelligence”

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Berlin’s “Go to Innovation” tourney celebrates 20 years with bigger prize pot (and free beer)

Monday November 13, 2017

Perhaps the only go tournament in the world offering free beer, the 20th “Go to Innovation” tournament will be held November 17-19 in Berlin,2017.11.11_go-to-innovation Germany. The 8-round tournament starts Friday with four rounds on Saturday and the final two on Sunday. The free draft beer is not available until noon on Saturday. The top 10 winners will split a prize pool of 4,650€. In addition to the main prizes for the players, there’s a 500€ Omikron Data Quality GmbH prize for the best player, 250€ for the runner-up and 125€ for 3rd-best plus a Jackpot of 500€ for 8 wins. Click here for registration details. Good accommodations near the venue at reasonable prices can be found here or here.

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Life and death on Halloween in Seattle

Sunday November 12, 2017

The Seattle Go Center had eight competitors, all kyu players, in the Contest of Life and Death on Halloween. Halloween Lucy and Nick watchFrank Lam did a great job of curating problems from the Nihon Ki-in that were challenging to our kyu players, and that had a single correct first move. Kyle Burg assisted ably. Lucy Wang won the competition, with 5 out 8 problems solved on the first try.  The prize was a quart of premium ice cream, which Lucy shared.  There was also pumpkin pie.
photo: Lucy Wang and Nick Wilmes watch Zhi Wei Chen try the second set of problems.
- photo/report by Brian Allen

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Go Spotting: Art Institute of Chicago

Sunday November 12, 2017

by Greg KulevichFour Accomplishments

I have searched high and low for any mention of go at the Art Institute of Chicago, and I’ve finally found one (or two). Go is seen being Immortalsplayed in two Chinese scrolls in the new exhibition “As the Story Unrolls.” It’s interesting to note that the board dimensions in these scenes appear to be 25×17. I’m curious if anyone knows if this was just the artist’s choice, or if this was actually the standard size of the time?

If you want to see the scrolls they are at the Art Institute of Chicago in Gallery 134, but time is running out. They are only on view through December 3, 2017.

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