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“Crazy Stone” Computer Go Program Defeats Ishida at Japanese UEC Cup

Wednesday March 27, 2013

6th Computer Go UEC Cup

In an ironic showdown between the computer and ‘The Computer’, computer go program Crazy Stone defeated Ishida Yoshio 9P on March 20 at the sixth annual Computer Go UEC Cup in Japan. Ishida, 64, was nicknamed ‘The Computer’ in his prime, because of the accuracy of his counting and endgame skills. Rémi Coulum’s program took just four stones against the former Honinbo champion and won by 2.5 points. After the game, Ishida said he thought Crazy Stone was a “genius,” evincing special admiration for the program’s “calmness” and “flexibility.” Takao Shinji 9P also offered words of praise, calling one of the program’s moves “the kind of move a human would overlook.” UEC chairperson Takeshi Ito expressed his hope that the UEC Cup will continue to “function as a place where program developers can meet face-to-face and make technological changes,” adding that “we should never forget the human being using the programs to play the game.” Rather than seeing computer go advancement as another competition, Takeshi said he believes computer go program technology “should be useful for and able to enrich the hearts of human beings.” Coulom and Crazy Stone also won the 6th Computer Go UEC Cup a week earlier, defeating the defending champion, Zen. For game records and more information about the Ishida-Crazy Stone match, click here.
- Annalia S. Linnan, based on a longer report on Go Game Guru 

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Bao Yun’s “Blind Go” Challenge

Tuesday March 26, 2013

Beat Chinese amateur 6-dan Bao Yun and you could win a million RMB ($160,000 USD). There’s a catch: you have to beat him blindfolded. Famous in the Chinese weiqi community for being able to play  blindfolded, Bao has not lost a single game when both sides play blindfolded. His opponents have included professional players and now he’s extending his challenge to the whole world. Bao has played as many as four boards simultaneously blindfolded, and when he visited Singapore, he won against a Singapore 5 dan who was not blindfolded, in a game that lasted 220 moves. Bao says that his strength when playing blindfolded is about one stone weaker than usual. A Korean baduk station recently broadcast a program called Dark Room Game, in which two professionals play blindfolded up to 100 moves. If any side makes an illegal move, they lose a point; after 100 moves, they take off the blindfold and continue regularly. Click here for two games a blindfolded Bao played simultaneously against two players, a 4-dan and a 3-dan.
- translated from a Chinese news report by Zhiping You

Categories: World
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“Fascinating” Go Video Fundraiser Nears Goal as Deadline Looms

Thursday March 21, 2013

The Walthers brothers are tantalizingly close to raising the $8,000 they need to create a free movie trailer (German Brothers Team Up to Produce “Fascinating” Go Video  2/4/2013 EJ) to inspire more go enthusiasts. Sven Walther, a go player and computer scientist, and his brother Lars, an actor and filmmaker, plan to make the video available on YouTube, so anyone “can use it to promote the game wherever you want.” Their goal “is not to explain the rules, but to create some fascinating atmosphere to represent the game. The novice will see it and say ‘Whoa, what’s that game? Wanna learn more!’” The project will only receive funds if at least $8,000 is raised by Monday, March 25 at 11:59PM PT.
- Annalia Linnan 

Categories: Go Art,Go Spotting,World
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Blackie’s Baduk Academy to Offer Summer Camp in Korea

Friday March 15, 2013

Blackie’s International Baduk Academy (The Traveling Go Board 1/19/2013 EJ) will offer their first summer camp this June. “We hope that kids can join to our camp, but anyone is welcomed,” Kim Seung-jun tells the E-Journal. “No age or rank limit, just like in BIBA.” The camp will run June 24 through July 23 in Seoul, South Korea. In addition to helping students improve, the camp’s goals include facilitating cultural exchanges through the game of baduk (go). Highlights of the camp include game reviews and commentaries, studying life and death problems and professional games as well as games; teachers include Kim Seung-jun 9P, Diana Koszegi 1P, On So-jin 7P and Park Young-un 7d. Other activities include visiting the Hangkuk Kiwon and meeting with famous professional players, visiting the Kwon Gap Yong Baduk Academy in Seoul, as well as playing sports in a nearby park and visits to the sea. Click here for details and to register.
- photo courtesy BIBA 

 

Categories: World,Youth
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Going to Extremes

Saturday March 9, 2013

If regular go is getting too easy, you may want to check out the eXtreme Mindgame Challenge, which proposes to expand play to a staggering 57 x 57 board.

“The goal of this project is to make this 4000 year old game really extreme,” say the project’s organizers, who say they’re planning to recruit two teams to eight players each to play on the biggest board in the world. “Players will be quite strong so that they can focus on the whole game,” they add.

It’s not clear who’s behind the grandiose effort, which is trying to raise $5,000 for the summer 2013 project but has only attracted two supporters for a grand total of $60 thus far.

With 3,249 intersections in a 57×57 board, project organizers calculate the number of possible game positions at 10 to the 2,000 power.

- Thanks to Paul Barchilon for passing this along

Categories: Go Spotting,World
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15 Strongest Women in Go Battle in Longshi Cup

Friday March 8, 2013

Late in February, the 3rd Huang Longshi Cup kicked off, pitting the five strongest women from China, Japan, and Korea against each other.

Kim Chaeyong gave Korea a quick start, taking out Japan’s Osawa Narumi 4P and Ishii Akane 2P, as well as China’s Song Ronghui 5P and Chen Yiming 2P. However, 14-year-old Yu Zhiying 2P from China stopped Kim’s run, and added two of her own, defeating Japan’s Okuda Aya 3P and Korea’s Kim Hyelim 2P. That leaves Xie Yiin 6P and Mukai Chiaki 5P for Japan, and Yu Zhiying 2P, Li He 3P and Wang Chenxing 5P (who won 8 games in a row in last year’s tournament) for China. Korea may be in the best position with Park Jieun 9P left, as well as Choi Jung 3P and Moon Dowon 2P

Round 2 begins on April 6th. The Huang Longshi Cup is an international women’s win-and-continue team tournament between China, Japan and Korea named after Huang Longshi – a famous Chinese go genius from the Qing dynasty.
Adapted from a report on Go Game Guru; click for game records and more information. Edited by Ben Williams
photo: Team Japan – from left: Mukai Chiaki, Xie Yimin and Osawa Narumi. 

Categories: World
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Portland Kids Best Mexico in Inter-School Tourney

Thursday March 7, 2013

Youngsters from Portland, OR, took on kids from Mexico City, in a friendly match on KGS, held on Feb. 24th.  The Portland group, organized by Peter Freedman, played two rounds, and won 9-5, with one tie. The Mexican group are students of Siddhartha Avila’s, at the Pipiolo elementary school, and have competed with the Portland kids before, who Avila says are “much stronger this year”.  The kids video conferenced with each other before the matches, and were able to meet their opponents by Skype as well as across the board.  ”Some of the kids we played plan on visiting Portland before going on the Go Congress in Tacoma this summer,” reports Freedman.  ”They and their parents will homestay with our go families, spending a week playing go, soccer, and sightseeing with us.  Our families are really revved about this idea.”  Winner’s Report: Portland 2 game winners: McCaleb Nessler-Cass 16k, Jordan Reed 24k, Hikaru ?k; 1 game winners: Wilson ?k, Ellis Zehnder 23k; Mexico 2 game winners: Samuel 17k; 1 game winners: David Martinez 16k, Sebastian 20k, Yatzitl 24k.  Story by Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor -Photo: Students from Pipiolo competing, by Siddhartha Avila.

Park Junghwan Reclaims Nongshim Cup for Korea

Thursday March 7, 2013

Park Junghwan continued Korea’s dominance of the Nongshim Cup, defeating Jiang Weijie 9P to take home the 11th Korean win in the Cup’s 14-year history.

Park was the new anchor for Korea in the team tournament,  handpicked by Lee Changho himself. Jiang was a newcomer to the tournament as well.

The final round kicked off on February 26th, with Choi Cheolhan breaking his personal 8-game losing streak against Chen Yaoye. However, he lost his next game to China’s Xie He 9P.

Xie’s record at the Nongshim Cup is 2nd best in the cup’s history, and got him promoted to 9P in the first place. That left Park to face both Xie and Jiang, but he was able to pull out victories against them both and bring the Cup back to Korea after China won the tournament last year.

Adapted from a report on Go Game Guru; click for game records and more information. Edited by Ben Williams

Categories: World
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16-Year-Old Fan Tingyu Becomes Youngest Ing Cup Winner

Thursday March 7, 2013

Sixteen-year-old Fan Tingyu 3P defeated Park Junghwan 9P on March 6th to become the youngest winner of the prestigious Ing Cup.

Fan Tingyu Left, Park Junghwan, Right

The Ing Cup, go’s longest-running international tournament, has been called the Go Olympics, since it held once every four years.

The semifinals, which took place last September, set up a showdown between Park and Fan in Singapore, where the first two games of the final were held. They left Singapore with one win apiece in the best-of-5 final.

The three final games were set for Shanghai, starting on March 4th, with Park hot off his win at the Nongshim Cup. Fan took Game Three, and the pressure was on Park, though he was playing as White, to stay in the match.

Game Four was a thriller, with Park, playing white, making a lot of territory early, with a number of weaker groups. Park ended up sacrificing two of the groups to reinforce the center. However, Fan played brilliantly to take away the center territory, with ko battles throughout the board. By the time it was all settled, black was ahead by 3 points and Fan had captured the title.

By winning the Cup, Fan not only becomes the youngest player to win the Ing Cup, but if he’s promoted to 9P, as is customary after winning an international title,  he will be the youngest player to do that as well, breaking Chen Yaoye 9P’s record.

Fan took home about $400,000 US for his efforts.

Adapted from a report on Go Game Guru; click for game records and more information. Edited by Ben Williams

Categories: World
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Americans Win Brunei Friendship Match

Saturday March 2, 2013

The US has won the Brunei Friendship Cup, which was held Saturday Feb. 16th, on KGS.  Sponsored by the American Go Honor Society, and the Brunei I-Go Society.   “The match revived an earlier tourney last held in 2010, and renewed an international friendship with countries in Southeast Asia,” reports tournament coordinator Andrew Huang. This year’s event featured two teams from Southeast Asia, a team from Canada, and a team from the United States (selected by a qualifying event the prior week). The US team featured Aaron Ye 5d, Jeremy Chiu 5d, Louie Liu 1d, Sathya Singh 1k, Jeremiah Donley 4k, Joshua Song 12k, Eric Liu 3k, Kalin Bradley 6k, and Monsoon Shrestha 8k. In the end, the Americans were victorious after posting a 3-0 record, while SE Asia Team 2 (2-1) got second, SE Asia Team 1(1-2)  got third, and Canada (0-3) got fourth.  ”Most importantly, some international friendships were made,” reports Huang, “and very exciting games were played (including a triple ko in the qualifying event). We look forward to an even more successful event next year.”  Full reports are here. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo of Brunei players from xinwengolife.wordpress.com.