American Go E-Journal

Young Lions Registration Open

Thursday October 26, 2017

DSC00509Registration for the annual Young Lions Tournament is now open through November 26th. This American Go Honor Society organized tournament welcomes youth players under the age of 18 (who have not yet graduated high school) to compete in an online tournament. The tournament will be held on December 3rd and December 10th in the AGHS Tournament Room on KGS. There will be four rounds in total, two on each day, but players are not required to play all four rounds. Additionally, prizes will be given to winners of each division. To view the rules, click here; and to register, click here. -Gabriella Su, AGHS Promotion Head. Photo by Paul Barchilon

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Inaugural Latin American Go Congress sparkles in Cancun

Wednesday October 25, 2017

Known worldwide for sparkling beaches and water, these attractions were but a pretty side element at the first Latin American Go Congress in Cancun, Mexico from October 13th to 15th. Sixty-four players from 15 countries played in the six-round 19th Ibero American Go 2017.10.25_Latin American Go CongressChampionship (CIG). After a slightly delayed start on the first day (familiar to many U.S. Go Congress participants), TD Milosh Trnka Rodriguez kept the McMahon event moving smoothly. Time limits were short to fit two rounds each day before lunch – generally 35 minutes per player plus 5 x 30 overtime. The overall winner was Kim Hyuneoo of Korea. The Ibero Championship (limited to citizens of the Ibero-American member states) was won by Fernando Aguilar 7d (below left) of Argentina, the perennial top player from the region.

The first Latin American Youth Go Championship was run by Siddhartha Avila of Mexico and had 16 players from six countries divided in two categories. Division A was won by Soomin Oh 2d from Korea and in Division B Shanti Ramírez 12 kyu from Mexico came out on top. In the first Pandanet Go Latin American Team Championship (PGLATC) Mexico bested guest Argentina in a 3-board match with a 2-1 score.

With generous international support, six pros attended: Enda Hideki 9P and Komatsu Daiki 2P from Japan; Cho Hye-yeon 9P and Youngshin Lee 5P from Korea; Mateusz Surma 1P from the European Go Federation; and Eric Lui 1P from the AGA with funding provided by the American Go Foundation. After the main games, the pros provided quick game analysis and each afternoon half of the players took on the pros in simuls. Few of the amateurs won!

aguilar_DSC0186There were lectures on pros games (including an especially lively one analyzing a victory over a fellow 9P by Cho Hye-yeon, 9P) and sessions on teaching go by a leading Korean expert from KIBA, Mr. Kwon Kapyong 8P. And, of course, there was lots of casual play and discussion of games whenever players sat around a board.

The evening events included Crazy Go (with 19 variants) on Friday night run by AGF President Terry Benson. Rengo Kriegspiel was run for the first time in Spanish. As usual, everybody won. On Saturday evening, The Surrounding Game film was screened.
Each of the three evenings included a round of the second Ibero-American Pair Go Championship – with many of the pros and the Congress Director playing – won by Samy Suastegui, 8k of Mexico and Youngshin Lee, 9P of Korea.
The Emporio hotel provided a classy setting for the event. There was an included opening dinner at the hotel, box lunches each day, and plenty of coffee and water. The closing dinner at Porfirios had a classic Mexican atmosphere – good food and mariachi music. There was even a little impromptu singing of Go songs. And a new one – in Spanish – written by Benson and Ester Monroy added to the canon.
Funding for the event came from the International Go Federation, Pandanet, Nihon Ki-in, Korean Baduk Association, American Go Association, American Go Foundation, and Mexico’s National University UNAM.

The Mexican Go Association Congress team led by Emil Garcia and including Marco Hernandez, Temilotzin Ibarra, Ester Monroy, Dafne Rios, with additional support from UNAM students staff and media team gave a good start to the tradition of Latin American Go Congresses.
The site of the 2018 event will be announced before the end of the year with Bogota, Colombia and Buenos Aires, Argentina the likely candidates. For those who like an international Congress diet, there is a new hearty entrée on the menu.
- report/photos by Terry Benson

Categories: Latin America
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Mark Lee wins 3rd Cotsen title

Sunday October 22, 2017

Sweeping all five games, Mark Lee (left, with Eric Cotsen) won his third consecutive Cotsen Open title October 22 at the Korean Culture Center in Los 2017.10.22_cotsen-MarkLee-awardAngeles. All five wins were by resignation, including the exciting Round 4 game Sunday morning against Mateusz Surma. The European professional fell behind early but made skillful use of two weak groups to generate a thrilling game for viewers watching live on KGS as Surma chased a one-eyed dragon across the board. “Mateusz’ attack was a bit stronger than I expected,” said Lee. “I met him four years ago when we studied at the same school and he’s improved a lot since then.” See below for the game record, with commentary and variations by Lee.
Lee donated his $1,000 prize to the American Go Foundation, “to support its work training a new generation of go players.”

Winner’s Report:
Open: Mark Lee (5-0), Aaron Ye (4-1), Andrew Lu (4-1), Xiaocheng Hu (4-1), Mateusz Surma (3-2), Daniel Liu (3-2)
2-4d: Tyler Oyakawa (5-0), Jinming Pan (4-1), Pei Guo (4-1)
1d-2k: Kim In (4-1), Jay Chan (4-1), Irving Lai (4-1)
3k-7k: Matthew Hecht (4-1), Barnett Yang (4-1), Jonathan Zhang (4-1)
8k-19k: Heung Suh (5-0), Choashane Chang (4-1), Zongren Huang (4-1)
20-30k: Xiang Cai (5-0), Kyungsoo Lim (4-1), Alex Ledante
Club prizes: 1st: Santa Monica, 2nd: Orange County; 3rd: San Diego
- report/photo by Chris Garlock

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Mark Lee goes for “three-peat” at Cotsen Open

Saturday October 21, 2017

To say that defending Cotsen Open champion Mark Lee dominated his opponents in the first three rounds Saturday would not do justice to2017.10.21_MarkLee-right Lee’s play. “This is a slaughter,” said one viewer on KGS as Lee (right) effortlessly erased Daniel Liu’s (left) territory, leaving the 5-dan’s groups struggling pointlessly in Round 2. In the first round, Wang Yi 5d attacked Lee strongly, but was forced to resign after just 134 moves when his eyeless group came up short against Lee’s one-eyed group. In the third round, Aaron Ye, in a tenacious display of fighting spirit, threw everything he had at Lee — despite the relentless pressure of the overtime clock — but was unable to find a way to victory and, like Liu and Yi, was forced to resign.

Lee’s sweep Saturday puts him in position to capture the title for the third year in the final two rounds on Sunday, although Poland’s Mateusz Surma, also 3-0, may have something to say about that. Surma was just in Mexico for the Mexican Go Congress and decided to come up for the Cotsen. The top-board games will be broadcast live on KGS, and see photos on Twitter @theaga.

- report/photo by Chris Garlock

Seattle Go Center Celebrates 22nd Anniversary

Saturday October 21, 2017

Playing Beat the KyuNick presenting Beat the Kyu A rousing game of “Beat the Kyu”, led by famous YouTube instructor Nick Sibicky, was the highlight of the 22nd Anniversary Party at the Seattle Go Center on Sunday October 15. Sibicky teaches at the Go Center on Monday nights.  In “Beat the Kyu,” the group reviews a kyu level game together. After each move is made, members have the opportunity to score points by finding a better move than the kyu player did.   Sibicky brought his charming son Beckett along, who provided additional commentary.  About 30 people came to the party, which also included good food, wine and beer, and casual games.  Report /photos by Brian Allen.

AlphaGo-AlphaGo Game 12: An interesting opening and an unusual collapse

Saturday October 21, 2017

“In this game we start with a variation of the mini Chinese opening, so we’re going to have another of these 3-3 invasions,” says Michael 2017.10.20_ag-12Redmond 9p in his game commentary on AlphaGo-AlphaGo Game 12. “It’s a really interesting opening, and it’s one of the games that ends in a collapse, so it’s an unusual game in that way.”

Click here for Redmond’s video commentary, hosted by the AGA E-Journal’s Chris Garlock.

The Game 12 video is produced by Michael Wanek and Andrew Jackson. The sgf file was created by Redmond, with editing and transcription by Garlock and Myron Souris.

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AGA Board Meeting Summary: 10/15/2017

Saturday October 21, 2017

The board was joined by Dave Weimer (director of the 2019 US Go Congress), and a decision was made to put an initial deposit down on conference services at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for the 2019 US Go Congress. Other items of business were that Danny Ko was approved for a two-year term as AGA treasurer, a proposal for a state championship system has been sent out to chapters for feedback, and a FAQ is being developed to address concerns regarding the upcoming ranking certification system. Finally, the board resolved to more greatly involve the membership by posting agendas for monthly board meetings in advance and publicly, as well as publishing summaries of those meetings.

-Samantha Fede, AGA Secretary

Categories: U.S./North America
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Cotsen Open draws top players this weekend

Friday October 20, 2017

Defending champion Mark Lee 7d faces a strong field of top players at this weekend’s Cotsen Open in Los Angeles, including Andrew Lu 7d, 2017.10.20_2016-cotsen-IMG_2019Aaron Ye 7d, Yuefeng Zhao 7d and Vincent Zhuang 7d. Top boards will be broadcast live on KGS starting around 10a PDT on Saturday. The popular annual tournament is also a prelim for the 6th AGA Pro tournament, so competition is expected to be even fiercer than usual. The action takes place at the Korean Cultural Center (5505 Wilshire Blvd) and includes pro simuls and a pro-pro game.
NOTE: pre-registration has closed but walk-ins on Saturday will be accepted; all players who want to play in the first round must be on line to sign in or register by 9:15a on Saturday. Any questions, email
cotsenopen@gmail.com
p
hoto: top board at 2016 Cotsen; photo by Chris Garlock

Self-taught AlphaGo Zero bests all previous versions in record time

Wednesday October 18, 2017

AlphaGo Zero, the latest version of the go-playing AlphaGo AI, defeated all previous versions of AlphaGo in just forty days. More importantly, AlphaGo Zero was taught go’s rules, but given no additional instructions, instead learning the best moves by playing 2017.10.18_alphago-zero-saran-poroongmillions of games against itself. Details of the new program were published Wednesday in the journal Nature.

“AlphaGo Zero independently found, used and occasionally transcended many established sequences of moves used by human players,” write the AGA’s Andy Okun and Andrew Jackson in an accompanying article. “In particular, the AI’s opening choices and end-game methods have converged on ours — seeing it arrive at our sequences from first principles suggests that we haven’t been on entirely the wrong track. On the other hand, some of its middle-game judgements are truly mysterious and give observing human players the feeling that they are seeing a strong human play, rather than watching a computer calculate.”

The ability to self-train without human input is a crucial step towards the dream of creating a general AI that can tackle any task, reports Nature. In the nearer-term, though, it could enable programs to take on scientific challenges such as protein folding or materials research, said DeepMind chief executive Demis Hassabis at a press briefing. “We’re quite excited because we think this is now good enough to make some real progress on some real problems.”

Prof Satinder Singh, a computer scientist at Michigan University, who reviewed the findings for the journal said: “The AI massively outperforms the already superhuman AlphaGo and, in my view, is one of the biggest advances, in terms of applications, for the field of reinforcement learning so far.”
- Chris Garlock; Image credit: Saran_Poroong Getty Images

Read more…

The AI That Has Nothing to Learn From Humans
DeepMind’s Go-playing AI doesn’t need human help to beat us anymore
AlphaGo Zero: Google DeepMind supercomputer learns 3,000 years of human knowledge in 40 days
DeepMind has a bigger plan for its newest Go-playing AI
AI versus AI: Self-Taught AlphaGo Zero Vanquishes Its Predecessor
AlphaGo Zero Goes From Rank Beginner to Grandmaster in Three Days—Without Any Help
‘It’s able to create knowledge itself’: Google unveils AI that learns on its own
DeepMind AlphaGo Zero learns on its own without meatbag intervention
This more powerful version of AlphaGo learns on its own

The Power Report (Part 3 of 3): Record age gap in women’s game; Mutsuura wins Agon Kiriyama Cup; Tengen title match starts

Wednesday October 18, 2017

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal

Record age gap in women’s game: On October 5, Sugiuchi Kazuko 8P played Ueno Asami 1P in the preliminary round of the Women’s Hollyhock Cup. Playing white, Ueno beat Sugiuchi by resig. This game set a record for the biggest gap in a women’s game: Ueno is 15 and Sugiuchi is 90. Go Weekly gave the age gap as 75 years. Sugiuchi was born on March 6, 1927 and Ueno on October 26, 2001, so, to be precise, the difference is 74 years seven months. Sugiuchi is probably2017.10.18_Kiriyama L Mutsuura R Takao the oldest active female professional ever. Her husband, Sugiuchi Masao 9P, is still playing at the age of 96 (he turns 97 on October 20). It’s hard to imagine this is not a record for male professionals.

Mutsuura wins Agon Kiriyama Cup: The final of the 24th Agon Kiriyama Cup was held at the Kyoto headquarters of the Agon sect of Buddhism on October 7. Playing in his first big final, Mutsuura Yuta 3P (white, left in photo at right) defeated Takao Shinji Meijin (at right). Takao resigned after 210 moves. Mutsuura is a member of the Nagoya or Central Japan branch 2017.10.18_Tengen1 L Ichiriki R Iyamaof the Nihon Ki-in. He was born on May 1, 1999, so yet another strong teenager has emerged in Japan. At 18 years five months, he is the third-youngest player to win an open title. His success earned him promotion to 7-dan (as of October 8).

Tengen title match starts: The final quarter of the tournament year in Japan features two title matches, the Tengen and the Oza, between Iyama Yuta and Ichiriki Ryo, so in effect they are playing a best-of-ten. Ichiriki is also the favourite to challenge for the Kisei title, so it could become a best-of-17. The first game in the 43rd Tengen title was played at the Hotel Foresta in Toyoda City, Aichi Prefecture, on October 11. Taking black, Iyama (at right, photo at left) played aggressively, but Ichiriki held his own in the fighting. In the end, however, Iyama’s good judgment enabled him to draw ahead. Aiming at an upset, Ichiriki started a ko fight at the end, but Black had more ko threats, so he resigned after 273 moves. The second game will be played on October 27. The first Oza game is scheduled for October 20.

Promotion: To 2-dan: Hoshiai Shiho (30 wins, as of Sept. 26)

Correction: This post has been updated to reflect that Mutsuura was born in 1999, not 2009.

Categories: Japan,John Power Report
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