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17th World Students Go Oza Championship LIVE on Pandanet this Sunday

Friday November 2, 2018

2017.10.03_PANDANETThis Sunday November 4th students all around North, Central, and South America will play in the 17th World Students Go Oza Championship. Watch LIVE on Pandanet starting at 8am EST for each of the two groups. This tournament is not only for students but run by the All Japan Students Go Association. Check the Schedule throughout the day to see regular updates on who is advancing through the tournament.

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8th Season of Collegiate Go League underway

Friday November 2, 2018

The 8th season of the Collegiate Go League (CGL) is currently underway with last season’s third-place team, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign leading the A-League, and UCLA’s B team leading the B-League. Rounds take place on KGS every two weeks during the academic year, where schools can meet and compete with other university students around the continent. The A-League features highly-competitive even matches, with last season’s average playoff team strength hovering around 5 dan and above. Schools may also join the B-League, which features handicap matches for mainly kyu-level players. Cash prizes are given to top finishers in both leagues.

Last season’s broadcast of the A-League Finals was watched by thousands of viewers on Twitch.tv, featuring a nail-biting half-point victory on the first board for UC Irvine over UCLA to win the championship. If you’re an undergraduate or graduate student at a university in North America, gather at least two other students from your school and you too can compete for glory and eternal posterity on the perennial championship trophy.

Check out the detailed rules, and register to join the next round of the CGL.

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Three Korean pros and Google DeepMind’s Thore Graepel visit CA

Thursday November 1, 2018

California go players have a couple of interesting events coming up.

This Saturday, November 3 from 9:30 a.m. – 2 p.m., three visiting Korean pros — Paul Ah 9P (now living in Southern California), Seo Nungwuk 9P, and Na Joonhoon 8P — will play simultaneous exhibitions and do game analysis in San Diego. The site will be at the University Community Public Library (4155 Governor Dr, San Diego 92122, 858-552-1655. Free parking is available and doors open at 9:30a. Hosted by the San Diego Go Club. Click here for more upcoming events.2018.11.01-ThoreGrapel

And next Wednesday,  November 7, Google DeepMind’s Thore Graepel will give a lecture on “Training Artificial Intelligence by Playing Games” at the David Brower Center, 2150 Allston Way, Berkeley. Registration is optional, but space is limited. Register to reserve a seat. The lecture is at 6p; refreshments at 5:30p.
“Intelligence can be viewed as the ability of agents to achieve goals in a wide range of environments. If we wish to use machine learning to train intelligent agents, we need ways of creating rich environments that provide appropriate challenges and feedback signals to learning agents. Just as in real life (and evolution), the most challenging environments for learning agents arise from interaction with other co-adapting learning agents. So, let’s play games with AI!”
“The first example is learning from self-play in the context of the AlphaGo project which led to the first computer program to beat a top professional Go player at the full-size game of Go. Similar ideas can be used to study the age-old question of how cooperation arises among self-interested agents. Finally, we look at training artificial agents to play the game of Capture-The-Flag, a competitive team game played from a first-person perspective in a complex 3D world.”
Theoretically Speaking is a lecture series highlighting exciting advances in theoretical computer science for a broad general audience. Events are held at the David Brower Center in Downtown Berkeley, and are free and open to the public. No special background is assumed. This event is made possible in part by a grant from the Simons Foundation.

NOTE: San Diego is in Southern, not Northern California. The post has been updated with this correction. 

 

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Registration for 2018 Young Lions Tournament Closing Soon

Thursday November 1, 2018

“Registration for the 2018 American Go Honor Society Young Lions Tournament closes this Saturday, November 3,” says AGHS Vice President Jeremy Chiu, “The Young Lions Tournament is a four round tournament held on November 11 and 18 that is open to all youth players in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

For more detailed rules, please click here.

For registration, please click here.

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Go workshop at Youmacon anime convention in Detroit

Wednesday October 31, 2018

This Saturday, November 3, local go players will run a workshop at Youmacon, an anime convention in Detroit, Michigan,2018.10.31_youmacon2018 from 5 to 7p. “Representatives from the London and Windsor go clubs from Canada, as well as the West Michigan and Columbus go clubs from the United States will be running a go workshop to hopefully spread interest and teach people about this game that we all love,” reports the Columbus Go Club’s Alexander Yehsakul. The workshop will be held in Room 141 at the Cobo Center. “It should be a good time, with plenty of play equipment, friendly convention goers, and even some prizes,” Yehsakul adds. “Also, if you follow the Twitch Go scene, streamers such as DanielML001, Balonator, and Skatmaker will be there for the duration of the event.”

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The Empty Board: Philosophical Reflections on Go #11

Wednesday October 31, 2018

By Bill Cobbart poster-purple

I’ve been working with Yuan Zhou on a new book about the astonishing degree to which pros are adopting an AlphaGo tactic that is a direct rejection of traditional theory about how to play. The move in question is invading on a 3-3 point behind the opponent’s 4-4 point stone very early in the game—even as Black’s third move! Any strong player would have laughed (or screamed if it was your teacher) if a relatively weak player had done that a year ago. But now, even the very top pros do it. I have seen several games in which Ke Jie 9p of China, considered by many to be the best player in the world, has done this, including invading with move 3 as Black. If you browse through the games in any pro tournament, you will find a lot of these early 3-3 invasions. I don’t know whether amateurs are picking up on this—the people I play on DragonGo often seem somewhat startled when I do it. But it is an amazing instance of how much freedom there is in playing go. The fact that AlphaGo has pretty much proved that go is not going to be “solved” so that a knowing player with first move can always win (even AlphaGo can’t do that), you can enjoy participating in something that truly offers a real opportunity for creativity and freedom. Of course, this doesn’t mean that anything goes and can be freely tried. Starting on the 1-1 points is not going to lead to a happy result. In that regard, go continues to be a lot like life. There are a lot of quite appropriate restrictions on our behavior, but no one really knows the limits of what can be done. Don’t just stay with the same old routines all the time—look for new possibilities. They could be revolutionary.

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Odds & Ends: Yin to rep N.A. at Qionglong Mountain Bingshend Cup; Go set source? ; Poughkeepsie players wanted

Wednesday October 31, 2018

Yin to rep N.A. at Qionglong Mountain Bingshend Cup: Stephanie Yin, 1p won the recent qualifier for the Qionglong Mountain Bingshend Cup against Wan Chen, 5d and will represent North America at the event.

Go set source? “I was wondering if there were any websites, or locations, that hadn’t yet made it on the ‘Buying Go Equipment and Supplies‘ page,” writes James. “I’m interested in buying a new set, but Yellow Mountain Imports has informed me that they’re uncertain of when the items I inquired about will be back in stock. Due to them offering me a potential wait time of two months, and with even that not necessarily being enough, I am forced to look elsewhere. After numerous obvious scam sites and ‘Unavailable’ legitimate postings, I thought I’d try asking here as the only alternatives remaining seem to be buying something considerably more expensive or something comparable to my current lower-grade set. Any assistance you may offer would be greatly appreciated. While online is my preference, I am not opposed to driving if you know of any shops within 1 – 3 hours drive from Victorville, CA. I tried Chinatown in Los Angeles recently, but that turned up nothing.”

Poughkeepsie players wanted: “I have been trying to find local players in the Poughkeepsie, NY area and have not had any luck,” writes David. “It seems the majority of events/clubs are too far from my home for me to attend.”
Email your suggestions to journal@usgo.org

 

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Dave Felcan tops Vermont Go Championship

Tuesday October 30, 2018

IMG_4400Ten players participated in the Vermont Go Championship on Saturday, October 27th. Dave Felcan 2d (standing at far left) went undefeated with three wins to take first place. Second place went to Jack Homer 1k with a record of 2-1. Rich Chalmers 1d claimed third place, also with a 2-1 record. “It was a very fun and exciting day with lots of great games and tough matches,” reports organizer Pete Schumer.  All players received prizes including trophies, books, magazines, go playing cards, and DVDs. “We look forward to hearing from our fellow states!” Pete tells us.

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Last week to register for the Pandanet AGA City League

Sunday October 28, 2018

2017.10.03_PANDANETRegistration ends Friday November 2nd for the seventh year of the Pandanet AGA City League. We have most of the same strong teams as last year already re-registered. Can your city win their League this year? Check our rules, register, and start training for the first round on November 18th. I hope to see your team compete to be the best this year! Email Steve Colburn for registration.

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Guatemala hosts successful 2nd Latin American Go Congress

Saturday October 27, 2018

By Terry Benson2018.10.26_LatinAmericanCongress-Porta Hotel Pool Grounds Photo TB#2

Following up on last year’s first-ever Latin American Go Congress in Cancun, Mexico, the Ibero American Go Federation staged a well-run event October 13-15 at the Porta Hotel Antigua in Antigua, 2018.10.26_LatinAmericanCongress-Congress Banner TB#1Guatemala.

The Porta Hotel has five stars but still feels authentic and local, with Guatemalan art, crafts and design throughout. The playing room was large and could be set up simultaneously for lecture, simuls and the tournament rounds.

Forty six players – including ten above 3 dan – were spread over six MacMahon bands, run by TD Adrian Ramirez 5k of Guatemala. Abraham Florencia 5d from Mexico won the 2018 Latin American Championship, and Mexico also took the second Pandanet Team Latin American Championship, beating Chile in the final of the 10-team event which started back in January. The second Latin American Youth Tournament was taken by Juan David Ramirez 3d of Colombia, while the winners of the third Latin American Pair Tournament were Eun-kyo Do 1p of Korea and Hector Paiz of Guatemala.

Like the US Go Congress – on which it’s modeled — there was a lot to do at the Latin American Go Congress. Korea once again sent two excellent 2018.10.26_LatinAmericanCongress-Zirui Song TB#4representatives; Cho Hye-yeon was her effervescent and engaging self and Eun-kyo Do was quiet, charming…and deadly. From the U.S., Zirui Song 1d (right) from Chicago attended with funding from the American Go Foundation. The pros played simuls every day, offered free commentary on games as they finished, and each gave a lecture. Zirui’s contribution on Friday detailed two high level games – including one of his own from the last US Go Congress. He led the group though multiple variations – including the “why you can’t cut there” sort of questions which are obvious to the pros but not to the strivers.

2018.10.26_LatinAmericanCongress-Crazy Go Galactic Go 23 line Marco Hernandez v Abraham Florencia  Watching Esli Esquivel TB#5On Sunday I ran Crazy Go (left) – known in this case as “Go Loco” — with the usual laughter at Rengo Kriegspeil, puzzled looks over the spiral board, and real interest in Coupon Go – including from Zirui.

Antigua is a beautifully preserved and restored Spanish city catering to tourists. The food at the Congress was superb – especially the2018.10.26_LatinAmericanCongress-Antigua Guatemala TB#6 included lunch – and reasonably priced for the location. Other than the last day, when the cultural tour encountered several hours of torrential downpour, the weather cooperated – the thunder storms came while we were playing and the temperature was always temperate.

2018.10.26_LatinAmericanCongress-Emil Garcia DS #2Great credit goes to the team from Guatemala including main Congress organizer Jose Romero (at far right with Abraham Florencia, and two Korean pros), to IberoAmerican Go Federation president Emil Garcia (left), and to the many other volunteers who helped in the typical spirit of go congresses.

The venue for next year’s Latin American congre2018.10.26_Do Cho Florencia Director Jose Romero DS #1ss is uncertain, though Buenos Aires is a prime candidate. What is certain is the quality of the event and the fun of an international gathering like this, which will only grow as Latin American players come to know the unforgettable experiences at a Go congress.

Benson is president of the American Go Foundation; photos by Daniela Salamanca and Terry Benson

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