American Go E-Journal

Tournament Go Returns to New York City

Tuesday December 18, 2012

Barely a year old, the Gotham Go Club of Manhattan is hosting its first AGA-rated tournament January 12th. “The go scene when I moved here in 2011 was moribund,” says Club founder and two time Congress Director Peter Armenia. “For a city this big, diverse, talented and wealthy it was almost embarrassing.“ “People are always telling me ‘you can’t do this in NYC, or you can’t have a congress here in the city because it is too expensive,’ Armenia added. “Baloney. Both our weekly Gotham Go Group and our upcoming tournament are in venues that offer the space for free!” The 4-round tournament will be held in Hostelling International New York’s historic building (891 Amsterdam Ave between 103rd & 104th), which offers a “beautiful, clean, quiet space on New York’s Upper West Side.” The hostel offers a range of affordable options for those who need lodging for the tournament. There will be an open section for strong dan players and prizes for all sections; $30 entrance fee (AGA membership required). Click here to register or email Peter Armenia at peter@peterarmenia.com

Categories: U.S./North America
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Newmiller & Louderback Double Winners in Davis/Sacramento

Tuesday December 18, 2012

Jeff Newmiller 1k Allen Louderback 3k topped their divisions in the Davis/Sacramento Go Club Winter Quarterly Tournament on December 15 at the Arden-Dimick library in Sacramento. There was a field of eleven players, including two new AGA members. Newmiller (right) won the upper division, and Louderback (left) the lower, both with three wins. They were also the winners in their divisions of the annual club championship for having the most wins in the four tournaments this year.
- Willard Haynes

Categories: U.S./North America
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Justin Ching Tops NOVA Slate and Shell Open

Tuesday December 18, 2012

The malls in Northern Virginia were a little less crowded on Saturday, December 15th, as 22 go players competed in the NOVA Slate and Shell Open for go books donated by Slate and Shell. The four-round tournament was topped by Justin Ching 3D with a 3-1 record. Other division winners were Julian Erville 3K (4-0), Dan Hiltgen 5K (2-2), Gurujeet Khulsa 6K (4-0), and Bob Crites 12K (3-1). Second place winners were Willis Huang 3D (3-1), Yukino Takehara 2k (2-2), Mohan Sud 6k (2-1), and Anderson Barreal 12K (2-0). All first and second place finishers received books.
- report/photo by Gary Smith, TD/Organizer

 

Categories: U.S./North America
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2012 SportAccord World Mind Games: Pair Go Final Features China-Korea Showdown; School Visit; Redmond Exhibition Game

Tuesday December 18, 2012

Pair Go Tourney Final Features China-Korea Showdown: It’s China vs. Korea in the Pair-Go final at the 2012 Beijing SportAccord World Mind Games, which will be held on Wednesday, December 19, beginning at 9:30A local time. The Chinese team of Jiang Weijie 9 and Li He 3P will face Choi Chulhan 9P and Choi Jeong 2P of Korea; watch for live broadcast on Cyberoro and Michael Redmond’s game commentary on the SAWMG Channel. The semi-final rounds on Tuesday afternoon featured some tremendously exciting games, including the China-Japan match (click here for Michael Redmond 9P’s commentary), which was shaping up as an upset by Japan before a momentary lapse handed the win to China in the late endgame. Click here for Ranka’s first-round and second-round reports; photo of the round 1 Hungary (l)-China (r) game by Ivan Vigano.

School Visit:
December 17 dawned clear and cold in Beijing, excellent weather for a group of World Mind Games go players and officials from China,

Chinese Taipei, Japan, Korea, and North America to pay an afternoon visit to the Shuang Huayuan campus of the Beijing Chaoyang Fangcaodi International school to take on thirty-three primary schoolchildren in simultaneous games. Click here for Ranka’s full report. photos by Ivan Vigano

Su Sheng-fang: The Ranka Interview 
Su Sheng-fang, the 16-year-old pro from Chinese Taipei, was one of the eight unseeded players in the women’s division at the World Mind Games. She started playing go at the age of eight; “I was a noisy child and I wasn’t good at arithmetic, so Mother started sending me to a go club. She thought it would do me good,” said Su (left). She was the amateur women’s champion in Chinese Taipei three years in a row and last year made professional shodan. Click here for Ranka’s complete report; photo by Ivan Vigano

Game Commentary: Redmond Exhibition Game
W: Michael Redmond 9P

[link]

B: Naijing Sun 6D
Commentary: Michael Redmond 9P
Edited by Chris Garlock

Sun, an amateur 6-dan, played very strongly in this limited-time exhibition game on Sunday, December 16; his play in the opening was professional level and he showed great fighting spirit.  Sun was the winner of the Pandanet-SportAccord Online Go Tournament and an official guest at the World Mind Games in Beijing.

Scientists at the 2012 International Go Symposium

Tuesday December 18, 2012

The 2012 International Go Symposium in Black Mountain, North Carolina attracted leading scholars and researchers from around the world for two days of presentations and discussions on the many aspects of the game of go. Hours of footage have now been edited down and posted online to accompany the conference papers. This 3-part series covers highlights of Symposium presentations by teachers, scientists, historians and anthropologists. 

In addition to the teachers and social scientists whose presentations have been described previously in this series, several computer scientists and mathematicians brought their colleagues up to date on recent advances in those areas at the 2012 Symposium. Programmers have been trying to create strong go programs since the creation of the first computers in the 1950’s, but their efforts were so ineffective that go was dubbed “the fruit fly of artificial intelligence.” Top-level play is still an exclusive human domain, but these days computers are closing in, thanks largely to the so-called “Monte Carlo Tree Search” (MCTS) technique, which selects each move by playing out hundreds of thousands of games and choosing the move that seems to win the most games. ZenGo, an MCTS-based program, recently defeated the legendary Takemiya – twice! And in October, playing as “Zen19″, ZenGo finished nearly 200 games over a four-day period on KGS, ending with a ranking of 5D.  Jacques Basaldúa, the author of GoKnot, reviews the basics of the MCTS algorithm and explains how a new filtering mechanism known as “CLOP optimization” is making programs stronger than ever (right)Francois van Niekerk also looks at MCTS, focusing on its unique ability to make use of parallelization and supercomputers.

In the world of mathematics, Prof. Elwyn Berlekamp and others have been exploring how to calculate the “temperature” of endgame moves, for instance in Berlekamp’s Chilling Gets The Last Point. Bill Spight, who wrote a chapter about Berlekamp’s “Coupon Go” in More Games of No Chance, presents some further thoughts on Berlekamp’s concept of “thermographic” analysis, and discovers surprisingly deep questions of life and death on the 3×3 board. Kyle Blocher uses combinatorial game theory in a different way, to develop a method for assessing the value of moves that he calls “miai counting”. Another aspect of the game that seems to yield to mathematical analysis is seki, as we learn from Thomas Wolf, the author of Mastering Ladders. Wolf explores how to recognize a seki when it appears, differentiating among “basic”, “linear” and “circular” types and developing a way to express seki in mathematical terms (left).

The AGA and the 2012 US Go Congress are extremely grateful to The International Go Federation for financial support that made this event possible, and to The American Go Foundation for supporting the video recording.  NOTE: Links to all the videos and to associated papers, links and contact information be found at the Symposium website.

Categories: U.S. Go Congress
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2012 SportAccord World Mind Games Day 6: Round 7 Report; Sun Naijing: The Ranka Interview

Sunday December 16, 2012

Round 7 Report
The four players took their seats in the playing room at the Beijing International Conference Center ten minutes before the starting time of round 7. Choi Chulhan and Kang Dongyoon, playing for the men’s individual gold medal and $100,000 sat facing each other in stony Korean silence. Li He and Rui Naiwei, playing for the women’s individual gold medal and $40,000, chatted cheerily in Chinese. The silver medals come with awards of $40,000 (men) and $20,000 (women). Click here for the full reportwinner’s photos by Ivan Vigano

Up Next: Pair Go
This is not the end of the go competition at the World Mind Games in Beijing. Starting on December 18th, Li, Lin, and the two Choi’s will contend for further medals in the pair go competition, where Choi Chulhan is partnered with Choi Jeong, Li He with Jiang Weijie, and Lin Chi-han with Joanne Missingham.

Sun Naijing: The Ranka Interview
Only one game took place in the playing room at the Beijing International Convention Center on the morning of December 16. Sun Naijing (right), winner of the Pandanet-SportAccord Online Go Tournament and official guest at the World Mind Games, took on Michael Redmond (left) in a regulation game with clocks, broadcast live on the Internet by Sina.com. ” I tried my best, but I was playing a professional 9-dan, and he was much stronger,” Sun said. Though Sun spent most of the game rescuing a large black group, he says that “As an amateur player, I play more for fun than to win.” Click here for the full interview and Michael Redmond’s game commentaryphoto by Ivan Vigano

2012 SportAccord World Mind Games Day 5: Choi Chulhan 9P Wins Men’s Gold, Li He 3P is Women’s Champion; Lin Chi-han 9P: The Ranka Interview

Sunday December 16, 2012

Choi Chulhan 9P Wins Men’s Gold, Li He 3P is Women’s Champion: Choi Chulhan 9P and Li He 3P are the champions of the SportAccord World Mind Games, with Choi (Korea) defeating Kang Dongwan 9P (Korea) in the Men’s Individual event and Li (China) upsetting Rui Naiwei 9P (China) in the Women’s Individual on December 16.  Click here to download Michael Redmond’s commentaries on both games.
Game Commentary: Round 7 (Men’s Individual Final): Choi-Kang
This is an all-Korean final for the 2012 SAWMG Men’s Individual title. The players are top Korean players who have confidence in their reading abilities, which are on full display in this exciting game.
Game Commentary: Round 7 (Women’s Individual Final): Choi-Kang
Rui is a strong fighter, as well as a tenacious player. She’s been at or close to the top of the women’s game for quite a while now. Li, on the other hand, is a new young player who’s recently become very prominent in women’s go.

Lin Chi-han 9P: The Ranka Interview: Chinese Taipei’s Lin Chi-han 9P – who won the third-place bronze medal at this year’s SportAccord World Mind Sports Games — started playing go when he was about six years old. “My uncle could play go, and Mother thought it would be good for me to learn,” he said. When he was about nine or ten he started taking lessons from Lin Sheng-hsian, a 7-dan pro. He became a professional in 2000; he also began studying business administration at Taiwan National University around then. “I graduated in 2004, but I had already starting winning professional tournaments and was committed to a professional career,” Lin said. “My university training may prove useful later when it comes to investing my earnings, but it has not been of any direct use to me as a go player.” When he’s not playing or teaching go, Lin is a big NBA fan. Click here for Ranka’s full interview. photo by Ivan Vigano

Game Commentary: Round 6: Missingham-Kovaleva
Women’s Individual

[link]

W: Joanne Missingham 6P (Taipei)
B: Natalia Kovaleva 5D (Russia)
Commentary: Michael Redmond 9P
Edited by Chris Garlock

I saw Kovaleva in Japan recently at the Pair Go Championships, where she and her partner were among the stronger pairs, and she did well here this week in the SportAccord World Mind Games Women’s Individual event.

In this game against Joanne Missingham 6P, Kovaleva’s attack backfires when Missingham counter-attacks with a devastating ko.

 

Historic 1982 Go Pic Available on DVD

Sunday December 16, 2012

In 1982, a historic film appeared, the first ever co-produced between the Chinese and Japanese film industries. Mikan no Taikyoku, released in 1982 with English subtitles as The Go Masters, explores the impact of world events in the mid-20th century when a Chinese prodigy’s father sends him to Japan. This is NOT the 2006 Go Seigen biopic The Go Master. In fact the current release is entitled “An Unfinished Chess (sic) Game,” which is actually closer to the original title (except for the chess part.) Critics hailed the 1982 film at the time as “an Asian Gone With the Wind,” and it won first prize at The Montreal Film Festival. Then, oddly, it faded into obscurity, but at least one fan never forgot. Yellow Mountain Imports proprietor Pong Yen writes, “I saw this movie a long time ago and have always wanted to carry it . . . After some searching around I was able to find the Chinese distributor.” YMI seems to have an exclusive on the DVD, at least in English. Kudos to Pong Yen for tracking it down. It’s not HD, and the subtitles are a little dark, but if you are a go player who appreciates Asian films, you are in for a treat.
- Roy Laird

Categories: Go Art,Go Spotting
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2012 SportAccord World Mind Games Day 4: Men’s & Women’s Finals Set for Sunday; Semi-Finals; Game Commentary: Round 6: Lin-Kang

Saturday December 15, 2012

Men’s & Women’s Finals Set for Sunday: The men’s final  in the 2012 SportsAccord World Mind Sports Games is an all-Korea final with Kang Dongyoon 9P against Choi Chulhan 9P, while the women’s is all-Chinese, as Li He faces Rui Naiwei in the final round, which will be played at 3p (local time) on Sunday, December 16. Watch for live broadcast on Cyberoro and Michael Redmond’s game commentary on the SAWMG Channel

Semi-Finals: Round 6 began after lunch on December 15, with the same eight players playing as in the fifth round that morning. This was the round that would decide third, fourth, and fifth places. On the top board China’s Lin Chi-han was playing Korea’s Kang Dongyoon, the winner to proceed into the men’s gold/silver medal final, the loser to take the third-place bronze medal. On the next board China’s Chen Yaoye was playing Korea’s Park Jeonghwan, the winner to finish fourth, the loser fifth. Beside them a similar fourth-fifth place playoff was set up in the women’s division, Chinese Taipei’s Joanne Missingham playing Russia’s Natalia Kovaleva. On the last board, China’s Rui Naiwei faced Korea’s Choi Jeong in the women’s medal battle. Michael Redmond gave the players their starting instructions before heading to the YouTube broadcast booth to comment on the Kang-Lin game. In other World Mind Games news, the day ended with medals for the Open and Women’s Bridge Team and Women and Men Chess Blitz competitions; details on the SAWMG siteClick here for Ranka’s full report, which includes Round 6 results. photo by Ivan Vigano

Game Commentary: Round 6: Lin-Kang

December 15, 2012

[link]

W: Chi-Han Lin 9P (Chinese Taipei)
B: Dongyoon Kang (Korea)
Commentary: Michael Redmond 9P
Edited by Chris Garlock

The winner of this game goes to the final, against Choi Chulhan 9P, with the 2012 SportAccord World Mind Games title and $100,000 on the line.

2012 SportAccord World Mind Games Day 3: Round 4: Final Knockouts; Interview with Bill Lin; Game Commentary: Round 4: Park-Missingham

Saturday December 15, 2012

Round 4: Final Knockouts
After lunch on Friday, December 14, the players began to head for the playing room for the final games of the main men’s and women’s knockouts and six games in the repechage (loser’s) sections.The playing room was set up with the women’s games in the front row and the men’s games in back. The television cameras were trained on the game between Korea’s Park Jieun and Chinese Taipei’s Joanne Missingham in the women’s repechage. In the TV commentator’s booth just outside the playing room, Michael Redmond 9P (at left in photo) and American Go E-Journal Managing Editor — and IGS SAWMG Media Officer — Chris Garlock (right)  were giving a live commentary — available on the SAWMG Channel — on this game for a worldwide audience on 54 platforms in countries from Afghanistan on down. The two players obliged them by playing at a brisk pace in the opening.For the second straight day China’s unbeaten Chen Yaoye found himself facing a Korean opponent. Today it was Choi Chulhan, also unbeaten in the World Mind Games. Click here for Ranka’s full report, which includes Round 4 results. photo by Ivan Vigano

Interview with Bill Lin: Canada’s Bill (Tianyu) Lin was one of the first four players to be eliminated, losing to China’s Jiang Weijie in round 1 and Chinese Taipei’s Lin Chun-yen in round 2. Lin was born in Ningbo, a city south of Shanghai and his family emigrated to Vancouver when he was ten. “My father had been crazy about go in his university days, and there was a go board in the house,” Lin says. “I became very interested in playing five-in-a-row, and then I started playing go. An amateur 5-dan named Fan Jiunling had a go school that I attended twice a week for four and a half years until we emigrated. By then I was an amateur 3 dan in China.” Click here to read James Davies’ complete interview on Ranka. photo: Bill Lin (right) playing against Jiang Weijie; photo by Ivan Vigano

Game Commentary: Round 4: Park-Missingham

[link]


December 14, 2012
W: Jieun PARK 9P (Korea)
B: Joanne MISSINGHAM 6P (Chinese Taipei)
Commentary by Michael Redmond 9P
Edited by Chris Garlock

This is a critical game because whoever loses will be knocked out; this is a double-elimination tournament and both players have one loss.

Joanne Missingham, born in Australia,lived in California for a few years and now represents Taipei; she’s also the official Go Ambassador at the SAWMG.

Park Jieun was one of the first Korean female players to really challenge Rui Naiwei when Rui was playing in Korea. So she’s been one of the top Korean players for quite a while now, and she’d be favored to win this match.