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

DC “AlphaGo” doc screening update

Tuesday April 25, 2017

Friday’s screening of the new “AlphaGo” documentary as part of the Grand Opening of the National Go Center in Washington, DC is now a2017.04.25_AlphaGo_Greg_Kohs_1
2017.04.25_AlphaGo_Greg_Kohs_1private free event; those interested in attending should email
journal@usgo.org. AGA members, their families and members of the metro DC area go community are encouraged to attend. The screening is at 7p at the AFI Silver Theatre in Silver Spring, MD.

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Austin’s ‘Post Tax Season’ tournament draws record crowd

Sunday April 23, 2017

2017.04.23_austin-winnersOn April 22nd, Austin held it’s ‘Post Tax Season’ tournament with a recent record 32 participants, ranging from 7D to 18K.  Three players finished the tournament with a 4-0 record: Zhixun (Troy) Zhao (7D), Joseph Pan (11K), and Paris Uch (15K). Honorable mention to those players going 3-1: Yi (Victor) Zhu (5d), Jim Conyngham (4K),  Leigh Linden (6K), Raymond Wang (7K), Jiang Lin (8K), Francois Wolf (12K), Nathan Hess (13K).
- report/photo by Bart Jacobs

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AlphaGo film finds the humanity in the code

Saturday April 22, 2017

Machine beat man last year but at last night’s world premiere of “AlphaGo,” the people were the stars. The documentary about the 2016 AlphaGo-Lee Sedol match screened at the Tribeca Film Festival and “chronicles Google’s DeepMind team as it prepares to test the limits of its rapidly-evolving AI technology,” writes Tribeca film programmer Ian Hollander. “The film pits machine against 2017.04.22_alphago-premiere-panelman, and reveals as much about the workings of the human mind as it does the future of AI.” The film has four more showings at Tribeca this week (Sunday at 4:15, Monday 6:15, Wednesday 9:15 and Thursday 4p) and will then screen Friday night at the American Film Institute’s Silver Theatre in Washington, DC to cap the Grand Opening of the National Go Center (stay tuned for details on tickets).

Director Greg Kohs has pulled off the impressive feat of making a film about go that will appeal to both players and non-players. There is, of course, plenty of go, and, for those who followed last year’s match, the film offers a chance not only to revisit the most momentous match in go history, but to venture behind the scenes to see what the DeepMind crew was seeing, thinking and feeling as their creation took on the legendary Lee Sedol. Kohs’ team also captures wonderful small moments that will resonate with go players, like a close-up of Lee’s fingers tapping as he considers a move, or a longshot of Lee from above on an empty terrace as he smokes a cigarette while AlphaGo, oblivious to the presence or absence of its opponent, plays move 37, the famous gasp-inducing shoulder-hit in Game 2. Kohs then takes us inside the AlphaGo team’s room where they explain that that the program calculated that there was a one-in-ten-thousand chance that a human would make that move, yet decided to play it anyway. 

As fascinating as it is to finally “see” AlphaGo in the whiteboard scribbles, screens of data and the laptop that sits next to programmer Aja Huang as he plays AlphaGo’s moves, it’s the dramatic and ultimately deeply emotional and satisfying journey of the DeepMind team that really drives the film. CEO Demis Hassabis, along with programmers Aja Huang and David Silver, are all clearly brilliant and intensely driven, but like go professional Fan Hui, they find beauty and poetry in the lines of code that increasingly shape all our lives. More than that, they find humanity. “To be a master, you must crush the cage of everything you know,” Fan Hui said after Friday night’s screening. “We asked AlphaGo to win a game,” added David Silver, “but we can use AI to win at other things, to solve other problems.”
- report/photo by Chris Garlock; photo (l-r): “AlphaGo” director Greg Kohs, Fan Hui, David Silver, Demis Hassabis and Wired writer Cade Metz. 

 

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Teacher of the Year Nominations Sought

Saturday April 22, 2017

photo-3-552x600Nominations for the American Go Foundation’s  Teacher of the Year award are due by May 21st. Presented each year at the U.S. Go Congress, the award  recognizes an outstanding American teacher. The winner  will receive an all expenses paid trip to the US Go Congress.  To be eligible, a teacher must be a member of the AGA, have been teaching go to children for at least two hours a week (during the school year) for two years, have started a go club or organization for youth, and have helped their students enter appropriate tournaments, if possible.  If you would like to nominate someone for this award, including yourself, e-mail mail@agfgo.org.  Nominations are due by May 21st and should include a description of the teacher’s activities,  how long they have been teaching, and how many students attend their program. - Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo:  Paul Lockhart, 2016 AGF Teacher of the Year, working with students in New York.  Read more about Lockhart’s work here.

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Mexico tapped to host first Latin American Go Congress

Wednesday April 19, 2017

logo-amgoMexico has been chosen as the host country for this year’s Ibero American Go Championship (CIG) the biggest go event in Latin American.  “Last year we launched the first Pandanet Go Latin American Team Championship (PGLATC) a 10-team league with teams formed of the top players of each participating country” reports Mexican Go Association’s president Emil García. The agreement with Pandanet is that the top two teams at the end of the league will get the chance to play an over the board final  at the CIG in Mexico- with travel expenses sponsored by Pandanet.  More information about the league can be found here.  “Our idea  is to make this a Latin American Go Congress, run both the CIG and the PGLATC final plus some activities with pro players for the participants, in the fashion of the US Go Congress or the European Go Congress,” adds García.

The event is planned to take place in Cancun, Mexico on October 13th-15th, 2017.  More information will be available soon on the Mexican Go Association’s new website.
- Siddhartha Avila, Latin American Correspondent for the E-Journal.

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National Go Center opening schedule features Redmond, tournament, kid’s event

Monday April 17, 2017

With the opening of the National Go Center in Northwest Washington DC just two weeks away, a full schedule of events2017.04.16_ngc-logo-4 for the weekend of April 28-30 is being planned. All events take place at the NGC, 4652 Wisconsin Avenue NW, just two blocks from the Tenleytown Metro on the Red Line. Here’s a quick run-down of the schedule so far:

Friday, April 28
3:30p: Grand Opening ribbon-cutting
Featured guests include Nihon Ki-in Chairman Hiroaki Dan and his wife Yasuko and Michael Redmond 9P. This is event is open to the public but space is limited; register here.
7:00p: “AlphaGo” screens at AFI Silver Theatre; link for tickets coming soon!

Saturday, April 29
9:00a: Cherry Blossom 2017, a 4-round AGA rated tournament. Pre-register here; space is limited and pre-registration for this historic first NGC tournament is strongly encouraged.
7:30p: Haskell Small’s “A Game of Go” and commentary by Michael Redmond 9P with Chris Garlock (Member Priority event; see note below)
The evening’s program begins with Pianist Haskell Small and another pianist performing Small’s “A Game of Go,” an original composition inspired by a famous game by the legendary Shusaku.
2017.04.16_Match 1 - Google DeepMind ChallengeMichael Redmond and Chris Garlock will then do a commentary on one of the new games by Master/AlphaGo reprising their roles as commentators on the historic AlphaGo match a year ago. Audience questions and comments are welcome!
NOTE: Saturday night’s event is a “Member Priority” event. Space is limited and first priority will be given to those who have made a membership commitment to the NGC at the basic level of $60/year or more. Click here to join (note “membership” in message).

Sunday, April 30
12 noon: Free go instruction for beginners
12 noon: Children’s event, featuring free pizza, and a friendship match over Skype with children from Mexico City. Young players are strongly encouraged; click here if interested. Teachers and parents also welcome; this is a chance to meet others interested in promoting go in DC-area school programs and discuss how the NGC can support that.

 

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Cotsen Open seeks local organizer

Sunday April 16, 2017

The Cotsen Open is seeking an organizer for this year’s tournament, coming up in October in Los Angeles. “We need 2017.04.16_cotsen-P1000919someone who is organized, has follow-through, and who loves go,” says previous organizer Samantha Davis, who has moved to Chicago. “I’ll be able to train the right applicant, so you won’t be thrown in the deep end,” Davis adds. This is a paid position. If interested, email CotsenOpen@gmail.com.
photo: 2016 Cotsen Open; photo by Chris Garlock

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Tourney Updates: Michael Chen wins Philly Open; Yen-Ta Huang tops in Bay Area tourney; Diverse turn-out for CIRU tourney; NH high-schoolers trek to Boston tourney

Saturday April 15, 2017

Michael Chen wins Philly Open: Michael Chen 8d won the 2017 Philadelphia Spring Open, held March 12th at theOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA University of Pennsylvania. More than 50 players participated. Click here for a full report.

2017.04.15-bay-area-tourneyYen-Ta Huang tops in Bay Area tourney: Yen-Ta Huang 3d topped the 28-player field at the Bay Area Go Spring Tournament held April 1st, in Berkeley, CA. Winner Report: 3d-6d 1st Yen-Ta Huang 3d, 2nd Youfei chen 6d; 1k-2d 1st Chao Zhang 2d, 2nd Daniel Jeppson 1k; 5k-2k 1st Yunyen Lee 2k, 2nd Xiaofei Long 2k; 24k-6k 1st Nathan Bouscal 6k, 2nd Shanthanu Bhardwaj 6k.

Diverse turn-out for CIRU tourney: Seventy six players participated in the April 1 tournament hosted by the Confucius Institute of Rutgers University (CIRU) and the Feng Yun Go School. The players represented “a wide spectrum 2017.04.15_feng-yun-DSCN2569of ages, strengths, and ethnic heritage, girls and boys, men and women,” reports TD Paul Matthews. Feng Yun 9P reviewed players games and signed performance rank certificates for players who won all three of their games: Alan Huang 7d, Amy Su 5d, David Glekel 4d, Andrew McGowan 1k, Ted Lin 2k, Katherine Xie 3k, Seth Liang 5k, Sarah Crites 6k, Micah Murphy 10k, Kaden Li 21k, and John Crossman 25k. Complete tournament data, including all performance ratings and pairings, are available online at Go Tourney Ratings and there’s also a tournament photo gallery. Complete report here.

2017.04.15_4_of_the_5_High_School_girls_who_came_all_the_way_from_Franklin_NH_to_play_in_their_first_Go_tournamentNH high-schoolers trek to Boston tourney: This year’s Don Wiener Memorial Tournament included five high school students who were participated in their first go tournament. The students are members of the Franklin High School in Franklin, NH, and were brought to the April 9 tournament in Cambridge, MA by club advisor Charles Chapple, an English teacher at Franklin High. “Mr. Chapple, 7 kyu, plans to enter the next MGA tournament himself,” reports TD Eva Casey. Winner Report: Matthew Clarke 3k (4-0); Mark Nahabedian 12k (4-0); David Cho 4d ( 3-1); Runner up: Wayne Yee Mon 15k (3-1); Second Runner up: Wanda Metcalf 4k (3-1). photo: four of the Franklin High students. More photos here.

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Yunhan Li 2d takes the cake in Syracuse tourney

Saturday April 15, 2017

Thirty players came from as far away as Buffalo, New York City, Boston, and Mechanicsburg, PA to play in the Syracuse Go2017 saltcity tournament gameofgo mph round3 YunhanLix Club’s 10th annual Salt City Tournament on Saturday, April 8. Yunhan Li 2d (right), Dan Kwan 2d, and Wayne Nelson 1k took home the A division’s cash prizes of $100, $60, and $40, respectively. Liya Luk 8k, after self-promoting to 6 kyu for the tournament, proceeded to sweep all four of her games in the B division, and Stefan Wang 20k went 4-0 in the C division.
2017 saltcity tournament gameofgo mph problemcake
Longtime Syracuse Go Club member Milton Sack 15k pre-celebrated his 100th birthday four months early by winning the one game he played (he drove to the tournament himself and then left after one round to attend a memorial service).

Each player was able to select a new go book to take home at the end of the day, all provided to the tournament at a discount by Slate and Shell. Allen Noe once again served as tournament director, and organizer Richard Moseson’s wife Chris made the tournament’s traditional problem cake (black to play).
- report/photos by Richard Moseson

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AGA news update posted on YouTube channel

Wednesday April 12, 2017

The AGA E-Journal’s broadcasting team has just released a video update for our YouTube subscribers. Join Broadcast 2017.04.12-youtube-updateCoordinator Michael Wanek, and Andrew Jackson, VP of Operations, as they cover recent AGA news, including US Go Congress registration, news on the Master (AlphaGo) Video Reviews, AGA volunteer opportunities and more. Click here to check out the 10-minute update.

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