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Myungwan Kim 9p to comment the Bailing Cup, 6/29 and 7/1 at 8:30pm PDT (UTC-7)

Tuesday June 28, 2016

Myungwan Kim 9p will return to provide live commentary of the Bailing Cup round of 32, between Tang Weixing and Park Junghwan, starting at 8:30pm PDT on 6/29. He’ll also provide live commentary on the round of 16, on July 1, again starting at 8:30pm. The early rounds of the Bailing cup are being played in Beijing, and the players have 2hrs 45min, with five one-minute byo-yomi periods following. They’ll take a lunch break from 9:30pm to 10:30pm. Twitch broadcaster “badatbaduk”, himself an AGA 4d, will host the commentary.

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Alexandra Mielke Victorious in Central Iowa

Monday June 27, 2016

Central Iowa Go Society’s second casual tournament saw 11 players, more than doubling last tournament’s five entrants, reports Jacob Upland. Players were split into a 13×13 beginner’s section and a 19×19 section. Alex Tong, 2 dan, swept all four games to win first, followed by Dan Klawitter’s impressive 2nd place finish with 3 wins. The beginner’s section came to a dead tie three ways, decided by a round robin.” Alexandra Mielke emerged the final victor to clinch first place,” Upland says.

“Next on the list is Indianola, Iowa on July 9th, continuing the rotation. Be sure to check it out!”

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Your Move/Readers Write: E-Journal Forum (Part 2); Where’s the 2015 Yearbook?

Monday June 27, 2016

E-Journal Forum (Part 2): In another response to Eric Osman’s query about a forum for responses to articles in the E-Journal, Steve Colburn also notes that the AGA has a sub forum on Lifein19x19.com. “This is for AGA stuff much like there is for other organizations. There are a few AGA officials who also read/comment on Reddit.”

Where’s the 2015 Yearbook? “I tried looking through the AGA website to find the archived zip file with all of the yearbook 2015 sgf files,” writes AGA member Shane, “but I’m having a difficult time locating it on your website. The news article doesn’t seem to link me to where to find the file and a website search for ‘year book’ didn’t yield much better results. Help?” In a related email, Dan writes “I am a member who cannot figure out how to download the 2015 Go Yearbook. Please advise.”
The Yearbook is only for AGA members, so it’s not posted on the website; look for your June 22 Member’s Edition of the E-Journal, which contains individual links to the game commentaries published in 2015, as well as in a handy zip file. 

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Matthew Machado Tops Austin Tourney

Monday June 27, 2016

The Austin Go Club held a 7-round handicap tournament June 25-26th.  A total of 18 players participated ranging in strength 2016.06.27_austin-tourneyfrom 6 dan to 10 kyu. Prizes were awarded to the following participants:

Dan Level: 1st Place – Matthew Machado (2d) 6 – 1; 2nd Place – Zhao Zhixun (6d) 4-1; 3rd Place – Chengkai Ruan (4d) 4-4; Chris Hudnall (2d) 4-3

Kyu Level: 1st Place – Bart Jacob (3k) 6-1; 2nd Place – Lei Xu (2k) 5-2; John Jacob (4k) 5-2; 3rd Place –Ken Blake (1k) 4-3; Ray Heitmann (5k) 4-4

Tournament directors Bart Jacob and Jim Conyngham would like to thank all players for participating and Great Hall Games for supplying the playing venue and gift certificates as prizes.

Photo: winners (l-r): Ray Heitmann, Ken Blake, Chis Hudnall, Chengkai (Kyle) Ruan, John Jacob, Cho Chixun, Lei Xu, Matthew Machado

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The Traveling Board: The Small World of Go

Monday June 27, 2016

by Keith Arnold2016.06.27_Beijing story
As I sit down for breakfast at our hotel in Beijing, the gentlemen next to me asks “Are you Chris?”  “No, my name is Keith.” “Sorry, similar face.”  And I thought that was over.


But when he returned with food he tried again. “Your voice is familiar – are you AGA?”

And that is how I met Jeff Kwang 5-dan from North Carolina.  The small world of go.

Longtime go player and local organizer Keith Arnold lives in Baltimore, MD.

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Upcoming Go Events: Sacramento

Monday June 27, 2016

July 2: Sacramento, CA
Davis/Sacramento Summer Quarterly
Willard Haynes willard@emeritus.csus.edu 916-929-6112

Get the latest go events information.

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Categories: Calendar,Main Page
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Your Move/Readers Write: Thanks, Janice; Yearbook Zip File; E-Journal Forum?

Saturday June 25, 2016

Thanks, Janice: “Thanks to Janice Kim for sharing her views on AlphaGo vs Lee Seedol and ‘The Master of Go,’” writes Jean deMaiffe.  “I very much enjoyed her article ‘with my morning coffee.’”


Yearbook Zip File:
 “Thank you for creating the convenient zip file of all 2015 AGA sgf files,” in the 2015 American Go Yearbook, writes AGA member Frank Brown. ” I downloaded it and expect many hours of study to ensue.”

E-Journal Forum?
“I challenge the oft-expressed claim that playing go contributes to our personal development,” writes Eric Osman. “Is there a popular forum for having discussions about things we want to respond to that we originally read in the AGA E-Journal?”
We always welcome letters to the editor. If you think a longer response might be of interest, we also welcome queries about possible submissions for articles as well.  

Thanks.  /Eric

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The Janice Kim Files: Debating the Details

Friday June 24, 2016

by Janice Kim 3P2016.06.24-janiceKim

Andrew Feenberg has made illuminating and interesting points comparing and contrasting the recent match between AlphaGo and Lee Sedol, and the novelized match between Shusai and Kitani in the book The Master of Go.

There are differences in the modern feeling of go, and what go traditionally has been, and it is all about the details; the ones we focus on, and what they mean, are up for debate.

Feenberg suggests (Rational Play? The Master of Go vs. AlphaGo), as some observers in the book do, that move 121 was the central issue, a move away from the main center battle in order to take advantage of the time rules. Kawabata does spend a bit of time on it, but I’d say therein lies the issue for the Master: it’s not a central issue to the game itself.

For that reason, it may have the appearance of a modern attempt to take advantage of ‘fussy’ rules in order to win a game, at some cost to the meaning of the game. In fact, it may be much more insidious than that :), it’s a ‘modern’ way of extracting the maximum number of points whenever you can, without emotional involvement in what appears to be happening on the board at that moment as a battle between two human opponents. In this sense, the modern game is bringing a new, more nuanced sensibility to the concepts of “tempo” in games, specifically “sente” and “gote” in go.

The Master himself allows that it’s a question of timing, and his opponent may not be able to make that small forcing play later, depending on how the center battle goes. It possibly does throw him, as he later misses a crucial timing issue in that center battle (at this level, questions of who is the inferior player I think can’t be shown through one game, or one move in one game, and are beyond the scope of what can be argued through them). But this detail of what the Master actually said is lost as well, perhaps deliberately as it’s subtly suggested that the Master himself is now trying to “justify” an (ugly) move in an attempt to preserve the beauty of go, as if we have a lock on definitions of beauty, and 121 isn’t it, and the players themselves are telling us things about the game that they don’t understand.

If this were a modern game, there would be no question that White would lose a game without komi; there’s no reasonable chance that one top player can spot another Black no komi, the Master is almost certainly going to lose such a game precisely because of tradition. It’s interesting to me to note our human tendency to focus also on the score beyond winning and losing, as if the players would care if it was a 3 or 4 or 5 point loss, and play accordingly. Observers often say a resignation or a bigger loss is somehow indicative of a greater difference in skill exhibited between the players. It’s rare for someone to see that a great player, seeing he or she was behind, would make plays that were arguably better, but perhaps riskier and result in a greater loss.

Focusing on another detail, I’d hesitate to call this a ‘Western’ influence, although perhaps Kawabata appears focused on ‘outside’ influences and is feeling it from the West, and China could be considered west of Japan, or not being looked at, depending on where one is standing :). The way of thinking behind move 121 to me has clear roots in an outside, fresh perspective of analysis through objective territorial counting that Kitani’s great collaborator in the modern way of play, the player who came to Japan from China, Go Seigen, brought to the table.

A more compelling analogy to me would be between Go Seigen and AlphaGo, and the big question still to be answered is if AlphaGo will bring us a rich body of work like Go Seigen did, so much so that it’s said you can do nothing but study the games of Go Seigen 10 times and become a professional shodan, or if we’ll have 10 tantalizing clues of what AlphaGo was thinking at a point in gmaespacetime.

Much thanks to Mr. Feenberg, and the American Go E-Journal, for bringing such thought-provoking pieces right to me with my morning coffee!

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Go Classified: Seeking players in Iowa City

Friday June 24, 2016

Iowa City, IA: Seeking players to form a go club in Iowa City.  All strengths welcome.  Contact: ximane@gmail.com

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Categories: Go Classified,Main Page
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“Computer Go Afternoon” Planned for US Go Congress

Wednesday June 22, 2016

This year’s US Go Congress organizers have lined up “an exciting ‘Computer Go Afternoon’” reports Chun Sun. “We are 2016.06.05.congress-logohonored to have Yuandong Tian from Facebook Research, who will present ‘DarkForest: A DCNN-based open source Go engine,’ on the afternoon of August 4.” Also lined up is John Tromp, who has calculated the exact number of legal go positions, and who will present a lecture on the subject on August 4. As previously reported, Google Deepmind is coming to the Congress this year as well. In addition to giving the opening keynote on Saturday, July 30, Google Deepmind’s Aja Huang and Hui Fan 2P will also present an “AlphaGo Insider” lecture on August 4th’s “Computer Go afternoon,” focusing on the developer community. “After these exciting presentations, DarkForest will play Andy Liu 1p at 3 handicaps,” Chun Sun adds. As the new “JustGo” live recording/broadcasting app will be demoing around the lounge and playing room.

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