American Go E-Journal » World

Go Seigen Turns 100, Keeps On Playing

Thursday June 12, 2014

Go Seigen — regarded by many to be the greatest go player who ever lived — celebrated his 100th birthday on June 12. “I still study Go every day, placing stones on the board,” Go Seigen said in his book ‘A Way of Play for the 21st Century.’ “You might think study is meaningless for me, since I retired so many years ago. But for people who play it, Go is like an eternal friend, a permanent art form. I’ll continue playing and studying Go. Probably just like you.” Many players, including pros, still study and learn from Go Seigen’s games today. “Go Seigen created a new paradigm in the game of go and raised the understanding of future players to a new level,” writes Youngil An 8P on Go Game Guru. Click here to see Youngil An’s commentary on a memorable 1940 Go Seigen game against Kitani Minoru, who was his best friend and rival. “Even though this game was played almost 75 years ago,”  says Youngil An, “Go’s play still feels modern and he plays many moves that normal players wouldn’t even imagine.”
- Based on a report on Go Game Guru; photo by Zhang Jingna

Categories: Japan,World
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Google’s Shusaku Doodle Sparks UK Kerfuffle

Saturday June 7, 2014

A Google doodle on June 6 honoring the 185th birthday of Honinbo Shusaku sparked a bit of a kerfuffle in the UK when Google hastily replaced it with links to letters, photos and maps of the Normandy landings to honor the 70th anniversary of D-Day. “What were you thinking #Google?” chided a tweet. “Unfortunately a technical error crept in and for a short period this morning an international doodle also appeared,” said Peter Barron, Google’s director of communication. “We’re sorry for the mistake, and we’re proud to honour those who took part in D-Day.” The Shusaku doodle remained in some countries, including Japan and Hong Kong, honoring one of the greatest go players of the 19th century. Click here to read Go Game Guru’s report, which includes Shusaku’s famous Ear-reddening Game, and here to read the BBC’s report.  Click here for an interesting discussion on Board Game Geek about which countries the doodle appeared in.
Thanks to readers around the world who sent in sightings and links to reports.

Categories: Go Spotting,World
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Lee Sedol Retirement Plans Apparently On Hold

Thursday May 29, 2014

Lee Sedol 9P’s plans to retire from competitive play and move to the US may not be quite as firm as they seemed last year (In Shocker, Lee Sedol Announces Retirement; May Move to U.S. 2/13/2013).

“One year later, it seems that Lee’s plans are less definite than we originally thought,” Go Game Guru’s David Ormerod reported on May 29. In 2013, according to Ormerod, Lee (at right, with Gu Li) was involved in projects like Go9Dan.com and was missing his daughter, who was studying in Canada. He started to seriously talk about retiring again at that time.

“Unfortunately, Go9Dan didn’t work out as planned, which affected Lee’s other plans,” Ormerod reported. “On a more positive note, the long mooted jubango between Lee Sedol and Gu Li finally became a reality and our source believes this has rekindled Lee’s passion for go. Because of this, Lee has stopped talking about retiring and doesn’t appear to have any plans to do so in the near future.” Lee now leads 3-2 in the jubango.

“If there’s no imminent plan for retirement, then that’s mostly good news for go fans, because we’ll be able to enjoy more of Lee’s spectacular games in the meantime,” Ormerod concludes. “In the long run, Lee will surely do whatever he thinks is best for his family. And North American go players can keep their fingers crossed.”
- based on Ormerod’s longer report on the GGG site.

Categories: Korea,World
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Registration Opens for 2014 World Youth Mind-Sports Fair

Wednesday May 28, 2014

Young go players are invited to participate in the 2014 World Youth Mind-Sports Fair, scheduled for July 25-28 at Gangneng Yeong-dong College in Gangwon-do, Gangneng-si, Rep. of Korea. Participants must be born after 1991; there’s an entry fee of $50 USD and the $150 accommodation fee includes meals. Sponsors include the Korea Amateur Baduk Association. Register online; payments must be made by June 30. For more info/details, email kchesskorea@daum.net, call 82-2-3448-6611 or fax 82-2-6280-9329.

Categories: World,Youth
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Igolocal.net Relaunched as “Find Go Players”

Monday May 26, 2014

Chuck Thomas has launched Find Go Players, “which is a fresh rewrite of my old website Igolocal.net,” he tells the E-Journal. “It’s become difficult to find games where I live, and I hope this will help others as well as me.” Users put themselves on a map and can use it to find other players nearby; the site also automatically notifies users when a new user appears in their area. Thomas, who ran Shodan Imports until shutting it down four years ago, is now a freelance software consultant and says he hopes to re-use the Find Go Players platform with other websites “to help facilitate local communities for people with rare interests such as go.”

Lee Sedol Takes Lead in Jubango With Gu Li

Sunday May 25, 2014

Focus was the name of the mid-point Game 5 in their 10-game match on May 25 but the intense altitude at the jubango venue in Sangri-La added an extra obstacle for Gu Li 9P and Lee Sedol 9P. Held at 3,000 m (10,000 ft) above sea level, both players took breaks but Lee battled through what Go Game Guru’s An Younggil 8P called “the most spectacular game of the match so far.” Just when everyone thought Gu would take the game, Lee dusted himself off and landed several critical blows against Gu in the final complicated fights. With questionable moves beginning at 140, Gu eventually resigned after Lee’s move at 223. Lee will be able to bask in his 3-2 lead for the next two months as the players take leave until Game 6 on July 27. For more information, including photos (check out the one of Lee using an oxygen mask and Joanne Missingham and her sister modeling local costumes) and preliminary analysis from Younggil, visit Go Game Guru.
—Annalia Linnan, based on a longer article by Go Game Guru; photo and game record courtesy of Go Game Guru

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Game 5 Will Break Tie in Mlily Gu-Lee Jubango This Weekend

Friday May 23, 2014

One thing’s for sure about this weekend’s Gu-Lee game: one of them will take the lead in their historic 10-game jubango. With the score tied at 2-2 and their upcoming break in July, whoever wins this game will take the lead for at least two months until they play again. Lee won the first two games but Gu Li has been making a mighty comeback inside and outside the jubango arena. Including matches from other tournaments, Gu currently has a four-game winning streak against Lee, which according to Go Game Guru is “something that’s never happened before between these two players.” Baduk TV will provide live coverage and commentary and Go Game Guru’s An Younggil 8p will translate and discuss the game with Baduk TV Live viewers via chat. For more information including past games and when game five will be available in your time zone, please visit Go Game Guru.
— Annalia Linnan, based on a longer article by Go Game Guru; photo courtesy of Go Game Guru

Chinese-American Teenage Friendship Cup

Monday May 19, 2014

The Jinhua Sports Adminstration, in Zhejiang, China, has agreed to sponsor a friendship match between American teenagers and their Chinese counterparts in Jinhua city.  The match is tentatively planned for late July or early August, and is being organized by Katherine Zhang. The Americans would need to pay their own airfare to China, but after that, all expenses will be covered. Teens can choose where they want to stay,  either with a host family, or in a hotel.  Jinhua Sports will also organize a sight seeing trip in the area. “I think it’s a great opportunity to build  communications between young go players in these two countries. They can share experiences,  and compare and contrast the teaching methods of each country,” said Zhang.  Interested parties should e-mail Zhang, at katherineysz@yahoo.com,  for more information. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.  Photo: The Temple of renowned Taoist Master Huang Da Xian, in Jinhua.  Photo courtesy TripAdvisor.com

 

Wired Magazine on “The Mystery of Go, the Ancient Game That Computers Still Can’t Win”

Tuesday May 13, 2014

“Rémi Coulom is sitting in a rolling desk chair, hunched over a battered Macbook laptop, hoping it will do something no machine has ever done.” So begins Alan Levinovitz’s thorough report on the current state of computer go in Wired Magazine – The Mystery of Go, the Ancient Game That Computers Still Can’t Win – published May 12. Levinovitz covered this year’s UEC Cup, the computer Go tournament held each March that rewards two finalists with matches against a “Go sage” in the Densei-sen, or machine-versus-man matches. The Wired report covers the history of computer go, name-checking Einstein, Turing and Nash, includes an excellent explanation of the game’s branching problem and explains how the development of Monte Carlo Tree Search enabled the latest breakthroughs in computer go, in which Coulom’s Crazy Stone program won the first Densei-sen last year against Japanese professional Yoshio “The Computer” Ishida. American-born pro Michael Redmond — a regular EJ contributor — makes an appearance in the report as the commentator at the UEC Cup. Levinovitz does a good job demystifying computer go, as well, writing that the view that go is “the final bastion of human dominance over computers” is “deeply misguided.” Levinovitz points out that “computers can’t ‘win’ at anything, not until they can experience real joy in victory and sadness in defeat, a programming challenge that makes Go look like tic-tac-toe. Computer Go matches aren’t the brain’s last stand. Rather, they help show just how far machines have to go before achieving something akin to true human intelligence.”
photo: Remi Coulom (left) and his computer program, Crazy Stone, take on grandmaster Norimoto Yoda. Photo: Takashi Osato/WIRED. Thanks to the many EJ readers who quickly spotted this report and passed it along. 

Categories: Go Spotting,Japan,World
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What Can A Game Tell Us About China’s Politics?

Wednesday May 7, 2014

In this May 6 report, the BBC’s China Editor Carrie Gracie speaks with political analyst Deng Yuwen about “what an ancient Chinese game can tell us about China’s current political landscape,” where an epic power struggle is under way.
Thanks to David Saunders for sending this along.

Categories: World
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