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Upcoming Go Events: Little Neck, Painesville, San Diego

Monday November 12, 2018

November 17: Little Neck, NY
2018 New York Youth Open
president@ny-go.org 646-287-9536

November 18: Painesville, OH
4th Lake Erie Go Tournament
Soren Jaffe sorenjaffe@gmail.com 440-231-7057

November 24-25: San Diego, CA
2018 California State Go Championship
Ted Terpstra ted.terpstra@gmail.com 619-384-3454

November 25: San Diego, CA
2018 California State 13×13 Go Championship
Ted Terpstra ted.terpstra@gmail.com 619-384-3454

Get the latest go events information.

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Youmacon Anime Convention attendees introduced to go

Monday November 12, 2018

IMG_0684Alexander Yehsakul of the Columbus Go Club partnered with volunteers from three other go clubs in the area to set up a go workshop room at the Youmacon anime convention in Detroit on November 3. About 60 conventioneers came to the workshop, with perhaps 40 on average in the room at any given time. Attendees learned the rules of go and got to play on 9×9 boards. Volunteers taught individuals one on one and groups using a demo board, and were always on hand to answer questions. Go games from OGS were displayed on a projector in the background. “I think the event went really well!” reports Yehsakul. “Turnout was great and we got some really positive feedback.”

This was the first time Yehsakul and this group of volunteers organized a go event like this. They hope to run another go workshop at Ohayocon in January, 2019. “Events like this are really important to spread and develop the go community in North America,” Yehsakul added.

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The Power Report: Cho U wins Meijin title; Young players share lead in Honinbo League; Choi Jeong wins Bingsheng Cup

Wednesday November 7, 2018

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Cho U wins Meijin title: 
This year’s Meijin title match not only when the full distance, but was also decided late in the second day of a two-day game. The challenger Cho U won back a title that he had lost to Iyama Yuta ten years ago. The seventh game of the 43rd title match was held at the Imai Inn in the town of Kawazu in Shizuoka Prefecture on November 1 and 2. Since it was the seventh game, the nigiri was held again and Iyama Yuta Meijin drew black. From the outset, Iyama went for territory, so naturally Cho built thickness. With three very bold moves from 60 to 64, Cho sketched out a large center moyo. The major part of the game consisted of the fight started when Black tried to cut back the potential of the moyo. After2018.11.07_Meijin Cho wins Black lived with his invading group, the position seemed a little favorable for Black, and the players following the game in the pressroom thought that Iyama might have defended his title, though the game was very close. However, Iyama made a mistake in the endgame with move 167, letting White set up a ko that Black didn’t have enough ko threats to win. This decided the game, with White winning by 4.5 points.

At his peak in the late 2000s, Cho dominated the go scene in Japan, becoming the first player to win five of the top-seven titles in 2009 (they were the Meijin, Tengen, Oza, Gosei, and Judan). In 2010, he also became the second player after Cho Chikun to complete a cumulative grand slam. However, his last top-seven titles were the Kisei and Judan in 2012; thereafter, he was eclipsed by the reign of Iyama. He has now made a comeback at the age of 38. The Meijin prize is 31 million yen (about $282,000) (reduced from 33 million last year and, if my memory is correct, from 35 million earlier). This is his fifth Meijin title and his 40thtitle overall. Iyama has been reduced to a quintuple crown for the first time since November 2015.

In an interview after the game, Iyama was asked what Cho U’s strong points were and replied: “His speedy judgment and precision; his decisiveness.” As mentioned in a previous report, Cho has a policy of playing quickly in the opening and middle game to make sure he doesn’t get into time trouble. At the end of this game, Iyama was down to his third-last minute of byo-yomi, while Cho still had 59 minutes. Asked about scene in which this game was decided, Iyama said: “Since several moves earlier [before 167], I didn’t know what to play or what the territorial balance was. I knew that the ko was not good, but my hand played that way. Recently there have been few games that I have played properly from beginning to end. Looking back over the whole series, I couldn’t win games I should have won and I couldn’t play tenaciously. I would like to have some time off to refresh myself.” Cho: “In one way, thinking about having taken a title makes me a burden. I haven’t been able to win international games; I can’t go on like that. I would like to say to the younger playe2018.11.07_honinbo-chartrs that if I can do this, they should be able to try harder.”

Young players share lead in Honinbo League:  The first two games in the second round of the 74th Honinbo League were played on November 1. Ichiriki Ryo 8P (W) beat Yamashita Keigo 9P by resig. and Shibano Toramaru 7P (B) beat Anzai Nobuaki 7P, also by resig. On 2-0, they are the front-runners, though it may be a little early to be talking about the lead. They play each other in the fourth round in January.

Choi Jeong wins Bingsheng Cup: In full, this tournament is called the Qionglong Mountain Bingsheng Cup World2018.11.07_Bingsheng all participants Women’s Go Tournament. This year it was held for the ninth time. As the sponsoring country, China had six players to three each for Korea and Japan, but the Koreans dominated the tournament. Judging by recent results, the Koreans, led by Choi Jeong, seem to be the strongest women players in the world. First prize is 300,000 yuan (about $43,000) and the time allowance is two hours per player, with the last five minutes going to one-minute byo-yomi. Komi is 7.5. Below are full results. Incidentally, in this tournament the key to winning seemed to be drawing black: white won only three out of 15 games.
Round 1 (Oct. 31). Zhou Hongyu 4P (China) (W) beat Fujisawa Rina 4P (Japan) by resig.; Oh Jeongah 3P (Korea) (B) beat 2018.11.07_Bingsheng right Xie winsUeno Asami 2P (Japan) by resig.; Lu Minquan 5P (China) (B) beat Stephanie Yin 1P (US) by resig.; Hei Jiajia 7P (Oceania, also known as Joanne Missingham) (B) beat Natalia Kovaleva 6D (Russia) by 21.5 points; Oh Yujin 6P (Korea) (B) beat Wang Chenxing 5P (China) by resig.; Yang Zixuan 2P (Chinese Taipei) (W) beat Gao Xing 4P (China) by resig.; Choi Jeong 9P (Korea) (B) beat Yu Zhiying 6P (China) by resig.; Xie Yimin 6P (Japan, right) (B) beat Li He 5P (China) by resig.
Quarterfinals (Nov. 1). Oh Yujin (W) beat Lu by resig.; Choi (B) beat Zhou by resig.; Hei (B) beat Xie by 1.5 points; Oh Jeongah (B) beat Yang by resig.
(Semifinals, Nov. 2). Choi (B) beat Hei by resig.; Oh Yujin (B) beat Oh by resig.
(Final, Nov. 2). Choi (B) beat Oh by resig.

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Go spotting: PBS’ “Space Time” series

Monday November 5, 2018

go-spotting-thermodynamicsThe Misunderstood Nature of Entropy episode of the PBS “Space Time” series uses a go board as a nice example of thermodynamics, statistical mechanics, and average distributions of energy in a system.

They explain that there are macro states with classical observable properties such as temperature, volume, pressure, etc.  These macro states are manifested from many micro states of particles (position, momentum, spin, etc.), and the macro state we observe correlates to the most possible (most statistically occurring) microstates.

If you arrange 180 black stones on a go board, there are 2 times 10 to the 107th power — (2)(10^107) — possible arrangements.  These arrangements represent the possible micro states of particles, and by far most of these states or arrangements of stones look like a macro state of black stones evenly distributed around the board.  It is a very rare micro state to have all the black stones in one corner or filling half the board.  That macro state is observably quite different than the many distributions of stones around the entire board.  Some micro states are so rare, like one chance in (2)(10^107) possibilities, that they never actually occur, just as we don’t suddenly experience all the oxygen in a room randomly collecting against one wall of the room.

- story edited by Bill Chiles; thanks to Freeman Ng for the story tip. 

 

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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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