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Elite Mind Games wrap-up

Sunday December 17, 2017

The go activities during last two days of the IMSA Elite Mind Games included three medal competitions: pair go, men’s  blitz and2017.12.17_pair go last round - Canada vs EU women’s blitz.  The format for these tournaments were new: the six teams were divided into three tiers, China and Korea, Japan and Taiwan, Europe and America.  Then one team from each tier is drawn to form a group of three teams.  In the first day, each group play within the group to determine the three teams’ position. Then in the second day, the top 2017.12.17_pair-go medalistsfour teams from the two groups play two rounds to determine the top four finishers, while the two third place teams play to decide the 5th and 6th places.  In the end, Ke Jie from China won the men’s blitz, while Korea took the two other gold. Japan won all four bronze medals, a surprisingly good result.  Canadian pair Sarah Yu and Ziyang Hu (at left in photo above right) played hard to narrowly defeat Manja Marz and Mateusz Surma (above right) and took a valuable, lone, 5th place for the American team. Wan Chen lost to Manja Marz of Germany, and Mingjiu Jiang forfeited his game with Ilya Shikshin. For the whole event, Ziyang Hu was the top performer from America’s team, winning two games – one against Surma in team play and one in pair go.
During the closing ceremony, medals were awarded in all five mind sports represented by IMSA. China and Russia were the big winners, followed by Ukraine and Korea.  It was announced that the next chapter of this event will likely be held in mid-November, 2018. It is expected that the final details will be announced in February next year.
- Thomas Hsiang; photo above left: Pair Go finalists
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AlphaGo Zero-AlphaGo Master: An early mistake, then things get interesting

Sunday December 17, 2017

“I think Master made a mistake fairly early in this game,” says Michael Redmond 9p in his fourth commentary on the AG Zero2017.12.17_ag-ag-zero-master-4 games. “Then it was supposed to be an easy game for Zero, but Zero made it really interesting, and there are points in the game where I think Master had a chance to win. There’s a big fight toward the end.”

Click here for Redmond’s video commentary, hosted by the AGA E-Journal’s Chris Garlock, and see below for the sgf commentary. To support this content, please consider joining or renewing your membership in the American Go Association; click here for details.

Note: The video commentary team will be taking a break over the holidays to rest up, recharge and work on plans for 2018. Watch for a 2017 recap interview coming soon and more updates and videos in the New Year!

Video produced by Michael Wanek and Andrew Jackson. The sgf files were created by Redmond, with editing and transcription by Garlock and Myron Souris.

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Evanston Go Club’s “Rated Games Night” gets underway

Thursday December 14, 2017

The Evanston Go Club had its second Rated Games Night last week. “The first Wednesday of every month will be Rated Games2017.12.14_evanston Night”, said club president Mark Rubenstein. “Some of our members have recently joined the AGA, and they’re highly motivated to improve their rating. It’s also an opportunity for those members who can’t make it to our tournaments to get some rated games in, and push themselves to get stronger.”

Although only one rated game was played last week, Rubenstein is optimistic about the program. “We are purposefully keeping the structure very open. You can play any number of rated or un-rated games; there’s no pressure to play rated games, it’s just an option. We have clocks for those who want to use one, and signs letting onlookers know that a rated game is in progress. It lends a slightly more serious tone to the evening, which is a nice change of pace.”
Last week’s game was between Scott Gerson (5k) and David Rockwell (5k), pictured here; Scott took black and won. Scott has light-heartedly suggested that the second Wednesday of every month should be Trash-Talk night… but Rubenstein needs some convincing.
photo by Mark Rubenstein
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Go miscellany Year End Edition (bonus)

Thursday December 14, 2017

Being a collection of interesting items – in no particular order – that have landed in our in-box in recent months but never made it into the E-Journal.

New adds to Kiseido’s year-end sale: Kiseido has added a few more items to their year-end sale of go books and go2017.12.14-stop-go-murder equipment, including the 2018 Ukiyo-e Calendar , shell & slate go stones, a new original ukiyo-e print and of course go books.

Stop, Go Murder: A story about murder, the game of go, and the role of happenstance in shaping our lives. Introduces Steven Crane, a homicide detective who has come to see his life, including his current case, as a deceiving game of go. A first novel  — available on Amazon — from Paul Freeman, the former mayor of Laguna Beach, CA, who is available for book signings and other go club functions: call Ken Levine at (818) 414-6002. Bulk club discounts are available.

 

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Elite Mind Games Day 4 report

Wednesday December 13, 2017

The last day of women’s team competition saw plenty of sparks, but the only surprising result was Fujisawa Rina defeating the2017.12.13_Women's team medalists world’s top-ranked female player from China, Yu Zhiying.  Japan was then in a position to tie or defeat China, depending on the outcome of the other game bewteen China’s Lu Minquan and Japan’s Nyu Eiko. In that a game, Nyu played well to be ahead for most of the game, but she slipped in the yose when both players were in byo-yomi.  After 6+ hours of play, the score was an unusual W+1.5 point due to a single-shared-liberty seki.  Another game that could have sent shockwave through the tournament was between Canada’s Sarah Yu and Korea’s Choi Jeong.  Sarah was in a difficult position from the start, but she fought hard and was about to win a large-group semeai with a favorable yose-ko.  Sarah was in byo-yomi 2017.12.13_Men's team medalistsand could not read in out, missing her chance.  She missed a second chance to create a triple ko, which would have tied the game according to the tournament rules. As a result, Korea took first place, China dropped to second, and Japan received a hard-earned bronze medal.
On the men’s side, the games were all lopsided.  Taipei could not follow its previous day’s performance and lost to Korea 0-2. In the end Korea was first, China second, and Taipei third.
Tomorrow the action switches to Pair Go and men’s and women’s blitz go. In two days, there will be three more medals to be won.  For all three tournaments, the first day will be a three-round preliminary.  Participants are divided into two groups.  Preset seedings separate China and Korea, Japan and Taipei, North American and Europe into the two groups.  The groups’ top finishers will meet to determine 1st and 2nd place, etc, in the second day.
- Thomas Hsiang; photos: (right) women’s medalists; (left) men’s medalists
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Seattle prepares for Pair Go Night this Saturday

Wednesday December 13, 2017

The fifth annual Seattle Pair Go Gala will be held this Saturday, Dec. 16, at the Seattle Go Center.   2017 Pair Go Flyer_finalRegistration is at the beginning of the tournament, from 6-6:30 pm. The gala will follow International Pair Go Rules, so teams must have both a female and male player. Last year’s tournament had 24 players, and lots of cake. Photo by Anne Thompson, https://tenukihandcrafts.com/, report by Brian Allen.

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Go miscellany Year End Edition (3 of 3)

Wednesday December 13, 2017

Being a collection of interesting items – in no particular order – that have landed in our in-box in recent months but never 2017.12.13-Myosu_Magazine_FirstIssue_1-320x213made it into the E-Journal.

New go mag launched: Myosu, a new Korea-based go publication, was quietly launched last June. Myosu is a Korean term meaning ‘excellent move’. The team is based out of Myongji University, headed up by Editor-in-chief Le Kieu Khanh Linh. “In this magazine, we want to share all kinds of stories from the Baduk world; not only news and playing techniques, but also insights into Baduk culture, people, etc. We hope that we can connect the Baduk world and bring our community closer.”

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making: There is a passing mention of go on page 149 of The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente. It occurs when the main character, September, is talking to Death.
“Death, I don’t know what to do.”
“It’s very brave of you to admit that. Most knightly folk I happen by bluster and force me to play chess with them. I don’t even like chess! For strategy Wrackglummer and even Go are much superior.”
- Willard Haynes

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Elite Mind Games Day 3 report

Tuesday December 12, 2017

On Day 3 of the IMSA Elite Mind Games, China and Taipei met in men’s team play.  China’s number 1, Ke Jie, had no problem2017.12.12_iemg-Joanne Missingham vs Sarah Yu with Wang Yuan-Jyun; but the 2016 Ing Cup winner Tang Weixing lost to veteran Chen Shih-Yuan to make the team score 1-1. This result leaves the suspense of championship to the last round tomorrow - the winner between Taipei and Korea will be the champion.  But if they are tied, the three teams will have the same team scores and a complicated tie-breaker will be used to determine the winner.  In the other matches, Europe tied North America when Ilya Shikshin defeated Mingjiu Jiang while the young Canadian Ziyang Hu won a complicated fighting game against Mateusz Surma. Korea defeated Japan 2-0.
On the women’s side, China and Korea met for the top match of the day.  China’s Yu Zhiying played a beautiful territory game to win over Choi Jeong. In the second game, which was also the latest to finish for the day, Korea’s Oh Yu-Jin won against Lu Minquan to tie the team score at 1-1.  Japan beat Europe and Taipei beat North America, both at 2-0.  In tomorrow’s fourth and last round, on the men’s side, China will play vs Europe, Taipei vs Korea, and Japan vs North America; on the women’s side, North America will play vs Korea, Europe vs Taipei, and China vs Japan.
- Thomas Hsiang; photo shows the matches between Taipei and North America. In the front are Joanne Missingham and Sarah Yu; in the back are Yang Tzu-Hsuan and Wan Chen.
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Yong Chen wins Slate and Shell tourney at NGC

Tuesday December 12, 2017

The annual Slate and Shell tournament was held at the National Go Center on December 9 with 26 players competing. The2017.12.12_slateshell winners winner in the Dan division was Yong Chen (1D). Runner-up among the Dan players was Ran Zhao (5D). Mike Lash (6K) had the only perfect 4-0 score to score first in the high single-digit Kyu players followed by James Funk (5K). In the lower single-digit Kyu section, Anderson Barreal (7K) and Daniel Acheson (7K) took first and second respectively. Betsy Small (12K) won the double-digit Kyu section followed by Julian Turim (15K).
photo of winners with TDs Gurujeet Khalsa and Gary Smith taken by Jason Turim.

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Go miscellany Year End Edition (2 of 3)

Tuesday December 12, 2017

Being a collection of interesting items – in no particular order – that have landed in our in-box in recent months but never 2017.12.10_Haikyo-The Modern Ruins of Japanmade it into the E-Journal.

Modern ruins of Japan: A floor-style goban and bowls on the couch. From the book Haikyo: The Modern Ruins of Japan, by Shane Thoms.
- David Matson

The Stone of Kannon: A friend recommended the book, The Stone of Kannon, by O. A. Bushnell, to me a couple of weeks ago. The book tells the story of the first Japanese contract laborers who were imported in 1868 to work on sugar plantations in Hawaii. This was the first year of the Meiji reign and there was a lot of turbulence in Japan. Go is mentioned a number of times, but it is not a major aspect of the book. Go is present in many scenes both in Japan and on the ship sailing to Hawaii. There is a sub-plot about a retired prostitute who announced on the first day at sea that she was going to choose a husband before they landed in Hawaii. It is described starting on page 201. “O-Miya’s search for a husband worthy of her helped to lighten those long hours – and gave gamblers endless reasons for laying bets…she did not lack suitors. They surrounded her day and night, paying court. They played Go with her, at which she was very proficient, and hanafuda, at which she excelled…” The story focusses on a group that worked the Wailuku Plantation and Sugar Mill. It describes locations that are still in Wailuku and locations where the Maui Go Club has met. We made it the official book of the Maui Go Club. There is a longer version this story on our website.
- Danny Topp

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