American Go E-Journal

Go Spotting: “Counterpart”

Thursday January 18, 2018

In the opening montage of “Counterpart”, a new sci-fi thriller television series on Starz, “there is part of a stylized go board grid2018.01.07_counterpart with black and white stones appearing on it,” reports Joe Maia. “I’m guessing this might suggest that go will appear regularly, though briefly if the first episode is any guide, on the show.” 

An espionage, sci-fi thriller with a metaphysical twist, “Counterpart” tells the story of Howard Silk (J.K. Simmons), a lowly cog in a bureaucratic UN agency who is turning the last corner of a life filled with regret, when he discovers the agency he works for is guarding a secret: a crossing to a parallel dimension. Through Howard and his “counterpart” on the other side, the show navigates themes of identity, idealism, what ifs, and lost love. Check out a trailer here.

“In the first scene, Simmons is is sitting outside with another man, with an almost finished go game in front of them,” says Maia. “They talk about other things, and make only a mention or two about the game. Later in the episode, Simmons is again seated across from the same man, again with an almost finished go game in front of them. I was interrupted so I was unable to watch the last 20 minutes of the episode, so I do not know if there were additional scenes with go in them. I could not tell if the games looked real or not. The camera angle did not allow a full view of the board.”

“Counterpart” premieres on Starz on January 21.

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Gordon Marsh wins Portland tournament

Tuesday January 16, 2018

Gordon Marsh 1-dan won last weekend’s Portland Tournament, sweeping all five games. Twenty-one players ranging from 6-2018.01.14_portland-tourneydan to 13-kyu participated in the event, held at the University of Portland, Oregon on January 13th and 14th, reports TD Roy Schmidt. Three players tied for second place with 4-1 records: Jim Levenick 2d, Peter Drake 5k and Noah Balena-Doss 1. Masaya Kittaka 1k picked up a special goban prize for best performance by a newcomer.
photo (l-r): Kittaka, Levenick, Marsh, Drake, Balena-Doss, and TD Roy Schmidt. 

The Shanghai Restoration Project’s “AlphaGo” single

Sunday January 14, 2018

The advent of AlphaGo has inspired…well, many things. Chief among them, of course, is self-reflection among serious go players:2018.01.11_Alpha Go-SRP What is it like to be superseded by artificial intelligence? Conversely, what can AlphaGo teach us about being human? Google’s AI inspired a movie, a belief that future health care will be better, endless cartoons and the belief that soon Al will be able to create knowledge itself. But music? It seems so. The Shanghai Restoration Project (SRP), a contemporary electronic music duo of Dave Liang and Sun Yunfan, recently dropped their new album R.U.R., with a single entitled “Alpha Go.” The group tells the E-Journal that R.U.R. explores a world in where robots have supplanted the extinct human civilization that predated them. ‘Alpha Go,’ the musicians say, is both “a tribute and an elegy” to Ke Jie’s defeat by the Google AI; it mixes in human elements with decidedly artificial ones. The tune is an airy, abstract melody. It’s evenly paced but turns on a dime, delivered by Yunfan ‘s vocals, which are digitally manipulated. Both musicians played go growing up, with Ms. Sun playing briefly for her school team. The cover art for the album is currently on display at NYC’s Society Of Illustrators until Jan 27 as part of the Illustrators 60 exhibition. “Alpha Go” can be listened to on YouTube or the SRP website.
Charles “Doc” Sade, with thanks to Santana Afton for the tip

2018 Australian Go Congress set for September

Saturday January 13, 2018

For those making 2018 go travel plans, our friends Down Under have just launched the 2018 Australian Go Congress2018.01.07-australia-congress website and Facebook page. The Congress will be held at the University of Sydney, Australia between September 27th and 30th 2018. “Please note some details are yet to be finalized but the rooms are booked, we have at least two pro teachers and we already have registrations,” report Congress organizers.

 

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Yuan Zhou’s new book on impact of AlphaGo on pro play

Friday January 12, 2018

Slate & Shell has just brought out a new book by Yuan Zhou, “Rethinking Opening Strategy: The Impact of AlphaGo on Pro 2018.01.07_yuan-zhou-bookPlay”. Zhou discusses several new moves introduced by AlphaGo that professionals are using in important games. He explains the moves and several recent games where they have been used by top players.

Yi Wang wins Zheng Youth Tournament

Thursday January 11, 2018

Dozens of young go players turned out last Sunday, January 7, to contest the Second Zheng Youth Tournament in Irvine, 2018.01.11_Zheng Youth Tournament-kidsCalifornia. The venue is located on the second floor of a bowling alley, next door to an amusement park featuring miniature golf, Go Karts racing, bumper boats and a rock climbing wall, the perfect place for kids and adults after go activities.
The four-round AGA rated handicapped event was sponsored by Jingwei Zheng. Fourteen-year-old Yi Wang 6D (below, left), of San Diego, won the top section. 2018.01.11_Zheng Youth Tournament-Yi WangHe is a seasoned tournament player with 7 to 8 years of playing experience.

One of the goals of this southern California tournament was to encourage young beginning go players to enter tournament competition and gain experience. The youngest player in the event was five-year-old Eric Yang 30K and several other 30K players participated. This youth tournament is part of the Zheng Go Tournament. The main event, the 5th Zheng Go Tournament, will be held March 3-4, also in Irvine.

The group leaders were:
Dan Section: First place: Yi Wang 6D; Second place: Seowoo Wang 2D.
Kyu Section One: First Place: Barnett Yang 4K; Second Place: Zongli Huang 11K; Third place: Xiang Cai 18K.
Kyu Section Two: First Place: Tony Yang 30K; Second Place: Ziyu Xia 33K.

- includes reporting by Yixian Zhou and Kevin Chao, edited by Ted Terpstra

Go events in Japan this summer

Thursday January 11, 2018

The dates have been set for the third annual Go Congress in Japan, as well as Osaka Go Camp 2018, reports Ryo Maeda 6p of 2018.01.10_japan-go-congress-17the Kansai-Kiin. Maeda has been a popular lecturer at the last eighteen U.S. Go Congresses.
The camp, held from June 24th through July 12th, 2018, will feature morning league games, with English instruction taught by professionals in the afternoons. Outside of the classroom, sightseeing opportunities include trips to downtown Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, and a two-day trip to Okayama. Friendship events with go players from Okayama and Kansai will be held on Fridays.
The 3rd Japan Go Congress will be held in Takarazuka, immediately following the Osaka go camp, from July 13th through July 16th. The event features a number of tournaments, as well as a go symposium, game reviews, and simultaneous games with Japanese pros.
If you’re a go fan, interested in seeing Japan, be sure to check out this website, which features information about both events. “I promise that everyone can improve quite a lot through the camp and the congress and will have a lot of fun,” says Maeda. “We are looking forward to seeing you in Osaka and Takarazuka!” The cities are only eleven miles apart.
photo: at the 2017 Japan Go Congress
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Go Spotting: Yoshida Kenkō

Thursday January 11, 2018

Fred Baldwin found this on a Twitter feed. Yoshida Kenkō  was a Japanese author and Buddhist monk. His most famous work is2018.01.07_Yoshida Kenkō-quote Tsurezuregusa (Essays in Idleness), one of the most studied works of medieval Japanese literature. Kenko wrote during the Muromachi and Kamakura periods.

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S. Korean drama “Reply 1988” sparks interest in baduk

Wednesday January 10, 2018

Baduk is experiencing heightened popularity in Turkey, especially among female players, thanks to the South Korean television2018.01.08_Turkey-Korean-Culture-Center 2018.01.07_Park_Bo-gum_for_Cupban_Hetban_1series ‘Reply 1988′ in which Park Bo-gum (left) features as “A genius go player who is mostly quiet and struggles with simple day-to-day tasks.” The popular show has led to an increase in ‘Hallyu’ fans who are interested in the game,” according to the  Turkish Go Players Association. Hallyu, or the Korean Wave, refers to the popularity of South Korean musical acts, tv shows, movies and other cultural products worldwide. Read more here.

photo (r): Korean Cultural Center in Turkey

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Go Spotting: “The Memory Palace of Mateo Ricci”

Wednesday January 10, 2018

“The Memory Palace of Mateo Ricci” includes a reference to a European coming across go in China, reports Jose Santiago. 2018.01.07_The Memory Palace of Mateo Ricci On page 157 of Jonathan D Spencer’s book (Penguin Books, 1984 ed.), is a section describing a memory method used by the Jesuits and previously by Greek and Roman scholars referred to as Memory Palaces:

“Hortensius recalled every price of every item sold at auction, while Chen Jian recalled each detail of his accounting books and the produce of his looms. Scaevola, riding back to his home in the country, could replay in his head every move of the pieces in the board game he had lost, while Wang Can could do the same with the game of Chinese checkers (weiqi) where he had been only a spectator.”

“I recall my friend Victor Chow 5p being able to recall five games he played simultaneously in Oxford,” Santiago adds. “I can do about 50 moves with difficulty!”

 

 

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