American Go E-Journal » U.S./North America

In Memoriam: Leonard Baum

Tuesday June 19, 2018

Note: We just recently learned of the passing of Lenny Baum last year, hence the belated obit below. Please send us any and all go-related news at journal@usgo.org

Leonard Baum (Lenny, fondly known to many as Opa, and a regular at the annual U.S. Go Congress), died unexpectedly at the2018.06.19_LeonardBaum age of 86 on August 14, 2017 at his home in Princeton, NJ. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude in mathematics, from Harvard University in 1953 and received a PhD in Mathematics from Harvard in 1958. He worked for a couple of years at the University of Chicago before moving to Princeton, NJ to work at the Institute for Defense Analysis – a Defense Department think tank which specialized in cryptography. Lenny’s affiliation with IDA in Princeton spanned 1959 through 1978. He wrote over 100 internal papers there and is responsible for what has become the motto of IDA: “No idea is bad. A bad idea is good. A good idea is terrific.” Lenny’s public scientific legacy includes the Baum-Welch algorithm, which directly enabled the first effective speech recognition systems. Today, 50 years later, this work remains at the center of these systems – while its mathematical and algorithmic descendants and other relatives, have impacted many fields from genomics to weather prediction to finance. After leaving IDA, Lenny teamed up with Jim Simons to apply his mathematical modeling to the financial markets. He retired early, legally blind, seeing with only his rods, having lost all his cones to a dystrophy, but that didn’t stop him from travelling the world over, visiting many exotic places. He continued to trade for himself very successfully, often taking very contrarian positions. An avid go player, deep lover of science and seeker of truth, he continued working on math literally up until his death, spending the night before he died reading new math papers on prime numbers. “His greatest pleasure came from facing an opponent many decades younger – often losing but – like the kindly grandfather he was – enjoying every moment of the encounter,” says Terry Benson. The Leonard Baum Prizes are being established in his memory to encourage inter-generational play. “Lenny became part of the mid-Jersey go scene that flourished in the heady world around Princeton’s Institute for Defense Analysis and Institute for Advanced Study,” Benson added. “His visual affliction forced him to track his head inches over the board but was at least partially suited to go. With only rods and no cones he could see what you need to in go: black and white.”

-  Includes reporting originally published in The New York Times on Aug. 18, 2017. photo by Phil Straus

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Fu, Xu and Ou top first Boston Youth Go Tournament

Monday June 18, 2018

Sixteen kids participated the first Boston Youth Go Tournament at the Neo Millennium Go Club on May 28th.
The top three players of the senior division were Chase (Bin) Fu, Andrew (Hancheng) Xu and Hanchi Ou. Top four players of junior division were Hantong Li, Yuheng Xue, Jin Greene and Jate Greene.
- Ke Lu

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Janice Kim on big and small moves in Albuquerque

Monday June 18, 2018

In a recent game review session for Albuquerque players, Janice Kim 3P emphasized ideas about judging big moves and big areas, 2018.06.18_janice-albuquerqueand, looking at that from the reverse side, not making small moves to respond to your opponent’s last play. “Why should you have to know where your opponent’s last move was?” she asked. ” You should be looking at the whole board to find the best place to play.”
- report/photo by Bob Gilman

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Candidates chosen for 2018 AGA election

Sunday June 17, 2018

Candidates for the 2018 board election are in. Central candidate: Lisa Scott; Eastern candidate: Gurujeet Khalsa; Western candidate: Christopher Saenz; At-Large candidate: Paul Celmer. Members and chapters should check their expiration dates and email addresses with the AGA to ensure they receive their ballots.
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PechaKucha go presentation in Chicago

Sunday June 17, 2018

Mark Rubenstein and Bob Barber gave their second presentation about go at PechaKucha last week at Martyr’s in Chicago. Their first presentation in 2011 was about go in general; this one focused on AlphaGo. “It had been 7 years since we did our first one,2018.06.17_PPK presentation and we thought the time was right for version 2.0” said Rubenstein.

PechaKucha is a Japanese word that, roughly translated, means chit-chat. PK was devised in Tokyo in February 2003 as an event for young designers to meet, network, and show their work in public. PK is a simple presentation format where you show 20 images, each for 20 seconds. “PK Nights are informal and fun gatherings where creative people get together and share their ideas, works, thoughts… just about anything, really!” Rubenstein tells the EJ.
PK presentations are usually done by one person. But in the first presentation Bob and Mark broke with tradition and presented together, alternating with each slide. “We wanted to do the same thing this time, but the information was too dense in this one”, said Rubenstein. “It was too complicated to keep alternating, so we agreed that I would present solo.”
 
You can watch the presentation hereThe 2011 presentation from 2011 is here. For more information about Pecha Kucha, click here. “We encourage everyone to check out PK and consider doing a presentation”, said Rubenstein. “It’s lots of fun, and a great way to spread the word about Go!”
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Executive Summary of AGA Board Meeting 5/20/2018

Wednesday June 13, 2018

The board of the American Go Association approved a Code of Conduct and creation of a committee to oversee Code of Conduct implementation at its meeting on May 20, 2018. The board also approved bylaw changes to be discussed and voted on by the AGA membership. The president’s report included a discussion of the Tibetan go community. The board also allowed for a budget item for Masters tournament prize money and initiation of the process of developing a formal resolution to address cheating.

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Rengo rules at Seattle Go Center

Tuesday June 12, 2018

Rengo/Pair Go events are consistently popular at the Seattle Go Center, and last Saturday was no exception. Twenty-eight2018.06.12_seattle-pairgo-round-one-600x450 players — fourteen teams of two — competed in the “Rengo with Pie and Coffee” tournament on June 9, organized by Pair Go stalwart Bill Thompson, who brought the fancy pies (strawberry-rhubarb, coconut, wild cherry, and apple), directed the tournament, and even played in it.

The event was run with the International Pair Go Association rules, but with no restrictions to team composition. Thompson used a spreadsheet from longtime Pair Go tournament director Todd Heidenreich to calculate the teams’ handicaps and komi, averaging the individual ratings of the team members.

Time limits were 45 minutes absolute (no byo-yomi). The players at Table 1 had competitive spirt — one of their games finished with 9 seconds on 2018.06.12_seattle-pairgo-table-winners-600x451the clock for Black, and 6 seconds left for White; and another of their games ended in a tie.

Undefeated after two rounds:
Table 1: Lusha Zhou (9k) and Tzu-Jen Chan (3d) (in back).
Table 2: Yulissa Wu Lu (10k) and Lucas Wu Lu (9k) (front center).
Table 3: Hotaka Ozaki (3k) (at far left) and Abigail Chen (20k) (front far right).
Table 4: Joshua Yang (11k) and Shirley Yang (30k) (not pictured).

More pictures will be posted soon on the SeattleGo website.

- report/photos by Mike Malveaux, Seattle Go Center Programs Manager

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AGA board nominations close June 15

Monday June 11, 2018

Christopher Saenz has thrown his hat into the ring and will be running for the western board seat at the American Go Association. He joins incumbents Lisa Scott (central region) and Gurujeet Khalsa (eastern region) running to retain their seats and former board member Paul Celmer running for the at-large position. Nominations, including self-nominations, may be made by full members for the At-Large seat or for the regional seat in which the member resides and must be received by June 15, 2018. Nominations and questions must be emailed to elections@usgo.org. Click here for complete election information and qualifications.

 

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Congress-Goer Mini Tune Up Workshop with Eric Lui 1p

Sunday June 10, 2018

Eric Lui 1p will lead a Congress-Goer Mini Tune Up workshop on Saturday June 30 in Baltimore. “Turn your 3-3 Open record 2018.06.10_EricLui workshopinto a 4-2 with the latest joseki and fuseki developments from AlphaGo and the pros,” says organizer Keith Arnold.  Aimed at low dan and single digit kyu, but all are welcome.  Contact Keith Arnold (hlime81@verizon.net) or Eric Lui (eric_lui2002@yahoo.com) for details. Space is limited.

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Facebook AI “OpenGo” to play simuls at 2018 U.S. Go Congress 

Monday June 4, 2018

Maker:0x4c,Date:2017-9-5,Ver:4,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar01,E-Y

Artificial Intelligence has taken go into new realms and this year at the US Go Congress attendees will be able to learn and improve their own games by playing against one of the new generation of AI players.  Facebook’s OpenGo, which features a 20-0 record against top-30 professionals, will be playing teaching simuls early in the week.

The simuls will be held on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday afternoons (July 22, 23, and 24) with OpenGo playing 20 simultaneous no-handicap teaching games each day. Each player will be mailed an SGF file after the game with annotations from OpenGo.

Participants will play on physical boards, with volunteers relaying the moves to and from OpenGo. The Congress organizers expect high demand for the 60 simultaneous playing slots and are offering the opportunity first to those who have completed their Congress registration by June 20. If more than 60 of those registrants wish to play against OpenGo, a lottery will be held for the seats.

To sign up, select the OpenGo Simul event as part of your registration on the Go Congress websiteIf you’ve already registered, go to “My Account,” click on an attendee name, then find the “Simul against Facebook OpenGo” section to add the event to your registration. If you haven’t already registered, select the event as part of your new attendee registration.

The schedule of events has been added to the Congress mobile app along with other events and lots of information about the Congress. It is available as a free download for iOS and Android devices.

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