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

Myungwan Kim 9P plans live AlphaGo-Lee Sedol commentary Friday night at LA Korean Cultural Center

Tuesday March 8, 2016

Myungwan Kim 9P will provide live commentary this Friday night on the third game in this week’s DeepMind AlphaGo vs2016.03.09_MyungwanKim_DSC_0373-136x150 Lee Sedol 9P match. LA-area fans can watch in person at the Korean Cultural Center of Los Angeles starting at 7p. The Lee Sedol/AlphaGo challenge match is being held March 9-15 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Seoul, South Korea, and all five of the matches will be livestreamed on DeepMind’s YouTube channel with commentary by Michael Redmond 9P with American Go E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock. Kim, a professional Korean 9-dan player, lives and teaches in Los Angeles. The event is free but registration is required as seating is limited; click here to register.

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Registrations Being Accepted for NJ Open and Philly Open

Tuesday March 8, 2016

East Coast go players will want to mark their calendars for two upcoming events, the New Jersey Open March 19-20 in Princeton, NJ and the Philadelphia Spring Open on Saturday, April 30th.

To register for the Philadelphia Open — or for more information — email hh96@optonline.net.

Preregistration is required for the New Jersey Open; click here to register (If you register and cannot play, your fees will be refunded as long as you let organizers know by March 17th that you aren’t coming). The New Jersey Open is organized by the Princeton Go Club and supported by the Feng Yun Go School. The tournament began at Bell Labs, migrated to Rutgers University and then Princeton, and for the past 27 years has been organized by Rick Mott (a Princeton alumnus) and Paul Matthews (a Stanford alumnus and former Bell Labs research scientist). The AGA itself began with people from Bell Labs (West Street, New York City), “so the New Jersey Open is not only a great regional tournament but also a connection to American go history,” notes Matthews.

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Redmond Cup Deadline March 13th

Monday March 7, 2016

The 23rd annual Redmond Cup will begin in April, and registration is due by March 13th. Preliminary games will be played online and the four finalists will be invited to the 2016 US Go Congress to play the final games. There are two divisions in the Cup; the Junior league for kids 12 and under, and the Senior league for 17 and under. Competitors in both leagues must have an AGA or CGA rank of  1 dan or higher.    The Junior league may be expanded to include ranks down to 5 kyu if there are not enough players.   Players who complete the tournament will be eligible for $400 scholarships to the AGA Go Camp, or $200 scholarships to the US Go Congress, on a first come first served basis, courtesy of the AGF. Competitors from Mexico are also invited to the event. The participants must be members of the American Go Association or the Canadian Go Association and either residents of the U.S., Canada or Mexico, or citizens of the United States living anywhere in the world, provided that they are also members of the AGA.  For more information on the event, read the rules document here. To register click here. 

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Waxler Wins Chess and Go Tourney in Portland

Monday March 7, 2016

Olin-tommyTwenty children competed in a three schools chess and go tournament in Portland, OR, on February 27th, reports organizer Peter Freedman. The prize for  first place  was a $25 gift certificate from Guardian Games, second place a $20 gift certificate, and 3rd place a $15 gift certificate.  Go results: First place – again – Olin Waxler, Beverly Cleary 4-0; 2nd place, Tommy Flynn, Beverly Cleary, 3-1; 3rd place, Luke Halpern, Irvington, 3-1. Four players had 2-2 records: Scout Imboden, Mason Bonner, Kahlial Lofquist, and Diego Hernandez. Diego and Ben Kunze were playing in a Go tournament for the first time. Chess results: Sam Plager, Irvington, 1st place: Aiden Harris, Richmond, 2nd place, and Mason Buchanan, Irvington, 3rd place. - story and photo by Peter Freedman:Olin Waxler (l) playing Tommy Flynn (r)

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Evanston’s March Madness Draws Record Crowd

Sunday March 6, 2016

The Evanston go club held it’s March Madness winter tournament over the weekend, with a record-setting 42 players attending. “The turnout2016.03.07_evanston-playerswas tremendous!” said club president Mark Rubenstein. “We’ve been running four tournaments a year for the past 20 years. However, attendance had been slipping below 20 for some time, and it’s been a year since our last tournament. This turnout is the boost we needed! We will resume our quarterly tournaments with renewed enthusiasm.”

Rubenstein uses a database he built using FileMaker Pro (see below) to manage all aspects of the tournament. “It’s pretty slick, if I do say so myself”, says Rubenstein. “It enables me to run a completely paperless tournament. It imports the AGA’s TD list, shows all the vital stats for every player, automatically pairs the first round, lets me create a new game with two clicks, lets me see all the opponents each player has played, calculates the win/loss percentage for each player, exports the results in the proper format for the AGA’s rating database, and more. I have my laptop connected wirelessly to an iPad for the players to see. So while I am entering game results, anyone can look at the iPad and see who they want to play next. They can also see stats for any player, such as wins/losses, how long their games took, and who else they have already played.”

2016.03.07-evanston-dbThe Evanston go club runs it’s tournaments as self-paired. Only the first round is paired; after that, players may play anyone who is available. “It’s a much more casual and flexible way to run a tournament than having a specified number of rounds”, says Rubenstein. “People can take breaks or eat lunch whenever they want. And if one of their games ends quickly, they have a good chance of finding an opponent for their next game pretty soon, without having to wait until the next round would begin. Some people play each other every week at their local club. Being at the tournament is a great opportunity for them to play other people, and with this style of tournament they have that choice.”

Winners were: Liqun Liu 7d (4-0), Daniel Puzan 1d (5-0) Cong Chen 4k (5-0), Zaid Alawi 9k (4-0) and Dylan Reiger 10k (6-0). “Kudos to Daniel, Cong and Dylan for continuing to play more games — and risk their assured first-place positions — after winning the requisite four to be eligible for prizes,” says Rubenstein. Honorable mentions for Most Games Played went to Scott Gerson with 9 games, and David Rohde, Chris Martin and Tyler Andryscyk, with 8 games each.

Rubenstein is hosting a Lee Sedol/AlphaGo watch party Tuesday night at his home at 917 Maple Ave in Evanston, IL. Contact him at mark@evanstongoclub.org if you want to attend.

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Report from the 9th annual NOVA Chinese Lunar New Year Tourney

Thursday March 3, 2016

The 9th annual NOVA Chinese Lunar New Year tournament was held on Saturday, 27 Feb, at George Mason University’s Law School in 2016.03.04_nova-new-yearArlington VA. Forty-seven players participated, ranging from 6 dan to 30 Kyu. Click here to see a photo album from the tournament.
In the main tournament, the winners were:
First place: Yuan Wang, 3D (3-1); Kabe Chin, 2D (3-1); Xiaoxhan Zhang, 1D (3-1); Jeremy Young, 3K (4-0); Anderson Barreal, 8K (4-0); Dierdre Golash, 11K (4-0); Christopher Harzer, 13K (4-0); Antonina Perez-Lopez, 20K (3-1); and Timothy Koh, 22K and Sid Suh, 30K (tied at 4-0)
Second place: Justin Teng, 6D (3-1); Yunlong Zheng, 2D (2-2); Mohan Sud, 1D and John Wang, 1D (tie at 2-2); Joey Phoon, 5K (3-1); Patrick Sun, 6K (3-1); Brandon Sloane, 11K (3-1); Sean Lin, 15K and Benjamin Lin, 18K (tied at 3-1); Ethan Tung, 21K and Adam Wang, 21K (tied at 2-2); Andrew Chen, 30K and Anne Shen, 30K (tied at 2-2)
As usual, a side tournament for beginners was played in the afternoon. Six players participated: Julian T won all five games, and Andrew W won four of five to come in second.
- report/photo by Allan Abramson
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Van Halen Frontman David Lee Roth Taking Go Lessons from Myungwan Kim

Wednesday March 2, 2016

David Lee Roth, wit, adventurer and often the lead singer of hard rock veterans Van Halen, has been taking go lessons from Kim Myungwan 9p,2016.03.01_david-lee-roth-go-lesson the EJ has learned.  The rock legend on Monday posted a black and white photo on his Facebook page of the two discussing an early game go position.  The text reads “6:34 Go lesson with Myungwan Kim; losing as usual.”  Roth was lead singer of Van Halen from 1972 to 1985, released such hits as “Unchained,”  “Eruption” and “Dance the Night Away,” then again in 1996, and in 2001.  He rejoined the band in 2007 to tour and record to the present day.  In between his stints with the band, he has had an active solo career, worked as a radio personality and an EMT, and written a best-selling and well-regarded memoir.   Among the many comments fans promptly posted on his photo with Kim: “Oh Dave, you may be a loser at whatever the ***k that is, but you will remain a winner in our hearts.”

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Do Computers Dream of Pizza?

Tuesday March 1, 2016

Inspired by the Seattle Go Club’s plans to host watching parties for the upcoming AlphaGo-Lee Sedol match, the AGA and its chapter rewards 2016.03.01_Hot_pizzaprogram are offering to cover up to $100 of “reasonable expenses” of AGA chapters’ AlphaGo-Lee Sedol challenge match viewing parties.

“This is a historic moment for the go community,” AGA President Andy Okun said.  “Whether you’re rooting for the human to prevail or cheering AlphaGo in joyful acceptance of the advent of our new rulers, this is an event to see with fellow go players.”

Lee Sedol 9P has accepted the million-dollar challenge to play five games against the deep convolutional neural network system developed by Alphabet’s UK-based DeepMind AI lab.  After the announcement last month that AlphaGo had swept European Champion Fan Hui 2p 5-0, there was an unprecedented level of news coverage.  “We expect a similar level of coverage or even more when the AlphaGo-Lee Sedol match starts,” said Okun, “so your viewing party could also be a chance to get some additional coverage for the game and your chapter.”

A chapter must be current on dues and the food, non-alcoholic beverage or other expenses must be reasonable for the expected turnout (no single person viewing parties at steakhouses please) and you must send a picture or two and a few sentences about the party to the EJ at journal@usgo.org. The last requirement is that, before the party, you reach out to a local news outlet or two to mention the party and encourage them to come and report on this “local angle” on a historic event in the development of artificial intelligence.  To receive reimbursement send smart phone photos of your receipts to rewards@usgo.org.  This offer is separate from your chapter’s rewards balance and will not count against it.

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“The Surrounding Game” Update: Peter Shotwell Interviews Cole Pruitt

Sunday February 28, 2016

If you’ve been following the E-Journal over the last several years, you will know that Cole Pruitt (right), Will Lockhart and many friends have been 2016.02.20_cole-pruittworking on The Surrounding Game, the first major documentary about what’s “going on” in the world of go today. Here’s Peter Shotwell’s November 2015 interview with Pruitt during a visit to the Los Alamos, New Mexico labs where Pruitt was conducting labs tests for his Washington University of St. Louis PhD thesis.

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Evanston Go Club to host Lee Sedol vs AlphaGo Game 1 Watch Party

Saturday February 27, 2016

Following the Seattle Go Center’s lead (Seattle Plans AlphaGo-Lee Sedol Watch Parties 2/25 EJ), the Evanston Go Club will have a watch party 2016.02.27_evanston-go-clubfor the first game of the Lee Sedol/AlphaGo match. The party will be hosted by club President Mark Rubenstein at his home. The game will be shown on a 55” TV in Rubenstein’s rec room, which also has a pool table and a dartboard. “It should be a lot of fun!” says Rubenstein. “There will be plenty of go sets available for people to follow along with the game, play their own games, or both.” The party will start at 10 PM on Tuesday March 8 at 917 Maple Ave, Evanston Illinois. “This is an historic event for the go world. Come and be part of it! And please bring some liquid libations or munchies to share.” says Rubenstein. Please RSVP to mark@evanstongoclub.org.
photo: Evanston Go Club meeting; photo courtesy Mark Rubenstein

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