Saturday May 14, 2016
(Things got extra busy here at EJ Central and we fell behind a bit in posting your letters and tips; here’s a batch of recent items sent in)
“On page 331 of ‘Caliban’s War’ by James Corey, “It’s like playing Go. It’s all about exerting influence. Controlling the board without occupying it.” - Peter Freedman
“Sam Hinkie, the controversial GM of the NBA’s Philadelphia 76′ers, just announced his resignation with a 13-page letter that references AlphaGo at one point.” Hinkie wrote “Watch what’s happening with the collaboration between IBM’s Watson and M.D. Anderson or
Google DeepMind’s AlphaGo. It won’t be just an ancient board game that’s disrupted. It’s also anything but a game to Lee Sedol.” Here’s a link to the full letter.” - Freeman Ng
“Although this is a chess article — Historical Chess Ratings – dynamically presented — there is also a short film on Go,” writes Michael Bacon.
“I wonder if the journal team can do a bit of digging and find out more information about this display in Italy,” suggests Ramon Mercado.
Sunday March 6, 2016
“Apples and oranges,” writes Chris Uzal in response to our 2/29 report, Chess Players Counsel Calm As Computers Close in on Go “Chess has not come to terms with the fact that the game is over. Kasparov lost almost 20 years ago. The most recent computer cheating scandal was last year. Chess players have been facing a brute force program whenever a computer is on the other side of the board. Go players will be facing an artificial intelligence. Chess players can give their judges tools to show the best move for a certain rating. Go players will not be able to distinguish human moves versus artificial intelligence moves. Judges will have no such tools. Go players online may soon be faced with a situation that any game slower than blitz will not be accepted. Go players who want a slow, deep game won’t bother with humans once they can gain access to the likes of AlphaGo. Human to human, real-life games will be either very casual, teaching or tournament. Go will become a more philosophical and sublime endeavor. Not necessarily a bad thing. There are too many players using their rank as a measure of mental prowess. People either do not know or do not care about the ancient greats like Shusaku or the not so ancient Go Seigen. Those are just ghosts if they are known at all. AlphaGo would be a welcome symbol of the summit for the game of Go. If you’re not AlphaGo, and you’re not, get back to studying life-and-death. Bottom line: I look forward to playing, losing and learning in the new artificial intelligence era.”
The first game in the Lee Sedol-AlphaGo match will be Tuesday, March 8, 8p PST (11p EST). The match will be livestreamed on DeepMind’s YouTube channel with English commentary by Michael Redmond 9p with American Go E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock.
Monday February 8, 2016
Blind Go Online? “A friend of mine recently lost his sight, and I helped him get some go equipment,” writes Michael Redmond 9P. “Do you know of any method for the blind to play go on the internet? Since we can expect a blind person to take some extra time, I think a correspondence system for time such as the one OGS has would be good,” Redmond says. “The problem is how to input the moves and check the position, I guess. I know that there are voice- controlled browsers, so I think it should be possible to have the moves voiced as coordinates, but I could be missing something. Surely someone has had this problem before?” Email your suggestions to us at email@example.com
Go in Oscar-Nominated Short: “In the film “Stutterer” (UK/Ireland), one of five films nominated in the Short Films category for the Academy Awards this year, there is an extended scene with the protagonist and his father playing go,” reports Peter Schumer. “BTW the movie is excellent on its own terms as are the other four nominated films.” still from “Stutterer”
Tuesday December 22, 2015
“Ke Jie is not undefeated as white this year (Ke Jie Blanks Shi Yue in Samsung to Win Second International Title 12/12 EJ),” writes Lucas Baker. “Please see this page with data provided by go4go. That said, he’s still awesome.”
According the go4go site, Ke Jie, playing white, has lost to both Shin Minjun and Tang Weixing ; thanks for the correction!
Sunday December 13, 2015
“The Narrow Road to the Deep North (11/27 EJ) is actually named after a Japanese classic,” writes Michael Redmond 9P. “Quoting from Wikipedia: ‘Taking its title from 17th century haiku poet Matsuo Bashō‘s famous haibun, Oku no Hosomichi, best known in English as The Narrow Road to the Deep North…’ The 17th century text is one of the major classics of Japanese literature.”
graphic: Bashō by Hokusai
Saturday November 28, 2015
The mystery deepens about the source of the quote about “if intelligent life forms exist elsewhere in the universe, they almost certainly play go” (“Who Really Said Famous Go Quote? 11/21 EJ).
“I was a friend of Ed Lasker in the latter part of his life (we played chess together – I wasn’t playing go then),” writes Mike Ryan. “Although he told me a fair amount about his involvement with go, and various things he and his cousin Emmanuel did in that respect, he never once mentioned that quoted idea. I tend to think that neither he nor Emmanuel said that.”
Thomas Rohde in Germany thought that he’d tracked the quote to Emanuel Lasker’s 1930 book “Brettspiele der Völker: Rätsel- und Mathematische Spiele” (“Board Games of the Peoples – Riddles and Mathematical Games”), but had to order a copy of the book to confirm it. Meanwhile Erwin Gerstorfer, who has “Brettspiele der Voelker” in his collection “checked the complete chapter about Go (as well as the introduction chapter) and if I did not overlook something, then there is unfortunately no reference to the quote that we are interested in.” When Rohde’s copy arrived he confirmed that the quote isn’t there but in an online history of European go he found a reference to Emanuel Lasker that reads “In another publication he says: When there are other intelligent beings in the universe, than they maybe know chess, but surely Go.” “I wonder which ‘other publication’ this may be,” says Rohde.
“This is the original German quote,” Rohde adds: “Wenn es im Universum noch irgendwo intelligente Lebewesen gibt, dann kennen sie vielleicht Schach, höchstwahrscheinlich jedoch Go,” which Rohde translates as “If somewhere in the universe there are [other] intelligent beings, then maybe they know Chess, but most probably [they know] Go.”
Saturday November 21, 2015
“I am a member of the AGA and enjoy your E-Journal,” writes François Lorrain. “I wonder about this often cited quotation: “While the Baroque rules of chess could only have been created by humans, the rules of go are so elegant, organic, and rigorously logical that if intelligent life forms exist elsewhere in the universe, they almost certainly play go.” which your go quotes page attributes to Edward Lasker. I have searched far and wide and have never been able to find the source of this quotation. It isn’t from Lasker’s Go and Go-Moku; neither is it from Lasker’s Chess Secrets I Learned from the Masters,”which I read recently. Nor is it in Chess Strategy or in Chess and Checkers: the Way to Mastership. Could the quote be from the other Lasker, Emanuel, also a go-playing chess master? It isn’t in Chess Quotes by Emanuel Lasker, though AZ Quotes attributes the quote to Emanuel Lasker, but without any source. Would anybody you know have any idea about the source of this quote?”
Our best go expert sources — Peter Shotwell, Richard Bozulich and Erwin Gerstorfer — have not been able to track down a definitive attribution for this quote. A prize awaits whoever can do so; email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday November 12, 2015
McCallister, Not Boz: “Thanks for the interesting update about Kiseido (Bozulich Brings It All Together in New “Encyclopedia of Go Principles” 11/11 EJ),” writes Frank B. “FYI the essay ‘Einstein and Go‘ was not written by Bozulich; it is by Robert A. McCallister.”
Graphic from the Science is Everywhere ‘Einstein a Go Go’ radio show in Melbourne, Australia, which — as far as we know, has nothing to do with the game of go, we just like it and think it works here.
More Levels in Go Than Poker: “Notice that I have left the question mark off the subject line,” writes Roland Crowl, in response to More Levels in Go Than Poker? (11/8 EJ). “Many (~20-25) years ago I saw a rating of game complexity based a level being distinguished from the next level by one player being able to beat the other 75% of the time. Most games – poker in multiple disguises, backgammon, checkers (draughts for our British friends) – came in at about 3-4 levels, chess was 12, and go was 19 all to the best of my recollection.”
Sunday October 18, 2015
Go Book Found: In response to a recent query, Richard Bozulich writes that “The book this gentleman is most likely saw was The Go Player’s Almanac 2001, published by Kiseido.
E-Journal Archives: “Are old ejournal email attachments available in an archival area?” wonders Richard Solberg. “I am interested in looking at some of these in my studies.”
The general EJ archives are in two locations: the 2008-2015 archive is here, while older E-Journals — 2004-2008 — are here. Neither archive includes member’s edition content.