American Go E-Journal » World

Playing Go in Hong Kong

Sunday July 3, 2016

-by Dave Weimer

13254283_10153430156721793_2158670935980139262_nTwenty years ago I lived around the corner from the Hong Kong Go Association in the Wan Chi District of Hong Kong. Returning to Hong Kong last fall, I discovered that the HKGA had moved. After some investigation, I was able to find the new location in the Kowloon District. During my first visit I was amazed that a search of a card file revealed my membership at the old location!

Some things were the same: I was the only non-Hong Kong native who regularly played; players were friendly and welcoming, often despite the absence of a common language; and counting was usually by the Chinese method. The major difference was that Friday evenings, rather than Saturdays and Sundays, were the best times to find a lot of players and games against opponents of various strengths. My nemesis, a 13 year old named Matthew, was a regular on Friday evenings and we had many enjoyable games. Unlike twenty years ago, when most games seemed to involve big dragons fighting to the death, games seem to show more style now and players usually spend time going over completed games to improve.

As finding the Association might be difficult for someone not familiar with Hong Kong, I offer the following information:

Hours: Tuesdays through Sundays, 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Fees for non-members: HK$20 (about US$2.50) on weekdays; HK$40 on weekends and public holidays.

Directions: Take the MTR to the Lai Chi Kok Station; take the B1 exit and go straight ahead a few steps to Tai Nan West Road; turn left onto Tai Nan West Road; go three short blocks to its end at King Lam Street (there is a Honda dealer on the corner); turn left onto Kim Lam Street for one block to Yee Kuk West Street; turn left and enter Number 82 on the left almost immediately; take the elevator to the third floor; play Go! (Based on experience, I highly recommend following these directions rather than relying on a map app.) -Photo courtesy of Hong Kong Go Association’s Facebook Page

 

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Categories: China,World
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Mexican Go Congress Breaks Records

Wednesday June 29, 2016

IMG_2831“The 3rd Mexican Go Congress turned out to be a huge success,” reports Mingming Stephanie Yin 1P. “The event was held June 18th-20th at the Tlatelolco Cultural Center in Mexico City, and was full of surprises for everyone. Three Professionals were invited: Hye-Yeon Cho 9p,  William Gansheng Shi 1p, and myself.  We held  game reviews, lectures, and simul games.   A new record high for the Mexican Open Tournament was set as well, with 56 players.   The participation in the Youth tournament was also pretty impressive, with a 36 player field in two categories,” said Yin. Mexican Go Association Youth Coordinator Sid Avila adds  “these kids are starting to compete at higher levels, some have already played in international tournaments and are also playing in the Open.”

“This is the 3rd time Mexico has run its Go Congress and every year the community is growing and people are more interested,” reports Mexican Go Association president Emil Garcia. “I believe the world of go is entering into a new stage of development, and we are really glad Mexico is catching this upheaval with the support of Associations such as KABA, the AGA, and the AGF,  who helped us bring the pros in. Undoubtedly Mexican go will keep growing having such big allies. I see a bright future for North American go as a whole.”IMG_2828

“On the last day, the pros were invited to visit a private Mexican elementary school named CIEA Pipiolo, which is the only elementary school with go as a school subject in Mexico City,” said Yin, “There are around 80 students ranging in age from 5-12 years old. Everyone is talented and extremely passionate about go. We three pros were separated and played pair go with the kids in teams.”

All three pros issued a joint message for the kids: “It’s wonderful to be here with all of you, our futures of go. We hope that you will enjoy playing go, learning go, and some of you may become professionals in the future.” Yin adds “I believe that the world of go will expand much more quickly than we expected. As professional go players, we will do our best to promote, teach, and help. We also hope that more schools will include go as a subject in America. I am seeing a brighter future for the world of go.”

For full standings from the congress click here.  For youth standings, click here.  Story by Stephanie Yin, pictures by Yin, Emil Garcia and Tonatiuh Zama

 

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Baoxiang Bai of China wins 2016 World Amateur Go Championships

Tuesday June 14, 2016

China’s Baoxiang Bai (right) defeated Chinese Taipei’s Chia-Cheng Hsu to win his second world amateur championship with a 2016.06.14_37wagc_BAIperfect 8-0 record. Korea’s Kibaek Kim was second, and Chinese Taipei’s Chia Cheng Hsu was third. Benjamin Lockhart of the US was 13th, Manuel Velasco of Canada was 28th and Emil Garcia of Mexico was 36th. The tournament took place June 5-8 in Wuxi, a city of six million located slightly northwest of Shanghai. Full results here. Click here for more WAGC reports on Ranka.

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One Week Left to Sign Up for Pandanet 13×13 Internet Go Tournament

Sunday June 12, 2016

There’s just a week left to register for Padanet’s 13×13 Internet Go Tournament. Registration is free but you must sign up by 2016.06.12_13x13June 19. “This year we are holding an open tournament in which all games are played on even and a handicap tournament based on Pandanet ratings,” Pandanet’s Keiko Sota tells the E-Journal. The open tournament is for players 3-dan and higher; the winner will earn the right to challenge Yuki Satoshi 9-dan in a 13×13 game and the second place winner will earn the right to challenge Sakai Hideyuki 8-dan, also in a 13×13 game. The handicap tournament is divided into A class (2-dan~2-kyu) and B Class (3-kyu and under); there are no handicap stones; the handicaps will be in komi. Click here for details and applications; if you are not already a member of Pandanet, register and get an ID here first.

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Categories: World
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World Youth Goe Tourney Open for Registration

Monday April 4, 2016

32nd WYGCThe 33rd World Youth Goe Championship is open for registration, reports Mingjiu Jiang 7P.  The event is open to US citizens only. The Senior Division is for youth aged 12—15, and the  Junior for kids under 12. Players cannot be on the team, in the same age division, more than twice within 3 years. The initial qualifiers will be held on KGS with Ing rules, April 30th and May 1st.  The top two players in each division will play the final games face to face, on May 14th and 15th, at the Ing Foundation in Menlo Park, California.           Round trip airfare to Menlo Park, and lodging, will be paid by the American Ing Goe Foundation.  The final winners will then compete in the 33rd World Youth Goe Championship, to be held in Tokyo, Japan, Aug. 3—8. The players’ airfare, food and lodging will be covered by the organizers.

Registration is due  by April 23, 2016.  To register, email your name, date of birth, division, rank, KGS id, phone and address to mingjiu7p@hotmail.com.  You may also call Mingjiu at (650-796-1602)
Sponsored by: Ing’s Goe Foundation. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.

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Portland Wins Against Mexico

Saturday March 26, 2016

DSC_0371Elementary schools in Mexico City and Portland, OR, squared off on KGS on March 12th, reports organizer Peter Freedman.  Portland came out on top this time, with an 8-6 record.  14 children participated from the two cities, and Portland won each of two rounds by the score of 4-3.  Two game winners: Portland: Emmett Perkins, Miles Gray and Oliver Kuerbis; Mexico City: Bruno Michaca, Kevin Aceves. -Photo: Mexican contestants used both tablets and laptops to play. Photo by Sid Avila
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Lee Sedol Notches Win Against AlphaGo in DeepMind Challenge Game 4

Sunday March 13, 2016

Lee Sedol 9P made a comeback Sunday after three consecutive losses, to beat AlphaGo in the fourth game of the Google 2016.03.13-lee-sedol-round4DeepMind Challenge. Playing as white, Lee won by resignation after 180 moves. AlphaGo held a strong position for the first half of the game, but commentators noted that Lee Sedol played a brilliant move 78, followed by a mistake by AlphaGo at move 79. “Today’s game was another example of AlphaGo playing a very interesting, good game,” said English commentator Michael Redmond 9P. “However, move 78 by Lee Sedol was really brilliant — and enabled him to win.“ Song Taegon 9P, the Korean commentator, said that “It seems Lee Sedol can now read AlphaGo better and has a better understanding of how AlphaGo moves. For the 5th match, it will be a far closer battle than before since we know each better. 2016.03.12_demis-reviewsProfessional go players said that they became more interested in playing go after witnessing AlphaGo’s innovative moves. People started to rethink about moves that were previously regarded as undesirable or bad moves. AlphaGo can help us think outside of the box.“ As in the previous games in this match, Lee used up all of his time and two periods of byō-yomi overtime, playing nearly two hours on his last period. With the match score 3-1, AlphaGo has already secured victory in the Google DeepMind Challenge Match, but Sunday’s loss heightens the drama going into the final game, Game Five, which will be played on Tuesday, March 15 at 1pm KST.
photo (left): AlphaGo’s Demis Hassabis and David Silver review Game 4 with Michael Redmond 9P; photo by Chris Garlock. photo (right): Lee Sedol, courtesy Geordie Wood for Wired.
Click here for Michael Redmond’s Match 3 Game Highlights and here for the Match 4 Livestream commentary by Michel Redmond 9P with Chris Garlock. Click here for complete commentaries on games 1-4, as well as brief game highlights for each round.
The fifth and final game in the 5-game Lee Sedol-AlphaGo match will be Tuesday, March 15, 1P KST (Monday night 9p PST, midnight EST). The match will be livestreamed on DeepMind’s YouTube channel with commentary by Redmond and Garlock. And catch Myungwan Kim 9P’s commentary with Andrew Jackson starting at 10P PST on the AGA’s YouTube Channel. 

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Categories: Computer Go/AI,Korea,World
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AlphaGo – Sedol Watch Parties Popular at Seattle Go Center

Friday March 11, 2016

Over 60 people watched the broadcast of the first game between Lee Sedol and the Google Deepmind AlphaGo program at the Seattle Go Center.  They enjoyed pizza, fresh bread baked by Chris Kirschner, and some Korean take-out food.  About 25 people stayed until Lee Sedol resigned at 11:30 pm local time.  The second game attracted a smaller group — they only had two pizzas, compared to the six ordered the night before.

The watch parties attracted a few new players, most of whom were invited by go playing friends.  More noticeable were the old friends from the Eastside of Lake Washington, where the Microsoft campus is.  Rush hour traffic often makes it hard for Eastside residents to come to the Go Center for the evening, but since these games started later, at 8 pm, it was easier for them to drive.

The Seattle will have watch parties for all of the remaining games, with Dennis Wheeler as host.   “There will be three more, as Lee Sedol has committed to play the entire five-game match,” noted Go Center Manager Brian Allen.  The schedule will be posted on the Go Center Google CalendarPhotos: Left: Finishing a game on a goban as the first AlphaGo game starts, Right: Exploring variations during the 2nd game.  Photos/report by Brian Allen.

Sedol AlphaGo first game at SGC adj
AlphaGo 2nd game

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Myungwan Kim 9P to Comment Live on Nongshim Cup Starting March 1

Friday February 26, 2016

Myungwan Kim 9P will be providing live commentary in the Nongshim Cup starting Tuesday, March 1st.  The game will begin at 10p PST (1a 3/2 EST) and commentary on the AGA’s YouTube channel will begin at 10:30p PST 1:30a 3/2 EST, UTC-8).  2016.02.26_Nongshim10BracketsThe Nongshim Cup is a win-and-continue team match between Japan, China, and Korea.  On Feb 29th, Gu Li — on a 3-game winning streak after beating Choi Cheolhon, Kono Rin, and Park Jungwhan — will face Japan’s next player, Murakawa Daisuke.  Lee Sedol will face the winner of that match up, and the AGA will continue to broadcast games as long as Lee keeps winning; the remaining games are scheduled for March 2nd, 3rd, and 4th.
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Categories: China,Japan,Korea,World
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Life Sports Invites Kids to Japan

Wednesday February 24, 2016

0720152216Three children from North America are being invited to Japan, for international friendship matches. The sponsors of the trip are paying all expenses while in Japan, and a stipend of 100,000 yen (around $893 at press time) for airfare. Fifty-four children under the age of 13, and at least ten kyu, are being invited from ten countries: Japan, China, Korea, France, Germany, Russia, Mexico, Thailand, Canada, and the US. The kids will stay at the Maisima Lodge, in Osaka Bay, and will have opportunities for cultural exchanges as well as for playing go. The AGA will select three kids, two from the US and one from Canada, based on participation points earned from attending various AGA events. The matches will be held July 25-28, and AGA Go Camp Director Fernando Rivera will lead the team. All expenses are paid for the kids, but parents who wish to come will need to pay their own travel and lodging expenses. If you are interested in attending, please fill out the form here. Any questions should be addressed to youth@usgo.org. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo: Participants at last year’s Life International Go Meeting. The event is sponsored by Life Sports Foundation, and NPO Life Kids Go Club, with the cooperation of the Nihon Ki-in and the Kansai Ki-in.

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