American Go E-Journal

Your Move/Readers Write: Mac Go Suggestions

Thursday March 28, 2013

“A good program for playing go on Mac is Goban,” (Your Move/Readers Write: Mac Go? 3/25/2013) suggests Porter Howland. “It also works very well as a stand-alone .sgf reader, and I believe it can be used to play online. Goban and its underlying game engine are both open source and distributed freely under the GNU General Public License. Currently, the GNU Go engine is not the strongest; newer engines implement recently discovered algorithms that are more efficient. For example, the Many Faces of Go game engine by David Fotland.”

“For a real beginner, you can’t do much better than Anders Kierulf’s Go Kifu, for iPad (about $10),” writes David Erbach. “For desktop machines, Goban has the gnugo engine behind it, with a very nice interface. It’s plenty strong for a program, but doesn’t have Kifu’s tutorial mode, so it’s not quite as nice as a teaching tool.”

In addition to GNU Go, Ke Lu suggests PANDA-glGo; they’re both available on the IGS Pandanet site. Peter St. John flagged Wikipedia’s listof computer go playing programs and of course there’s always the AGA website’s go software page.

There was also a response posted in the AGA Google+ Community (which now has 164 members) from Ryan Case, suggesting Sen:te software.

 

 

 

 

 

Gansheng Shi-Lee Sedol Match Postponed

Wednesday March 27, 2013

The go9dan.com game this Saturday between Lee Sedol 9P and Gansheng Shi 1P has been postponed “while we move go9dan’s main server to Hong Kong this weekend,” reports Michael Simon. The match will likely be rescheduled for Saturday, April 13 at 10p. Lee is 7-0 in the AGA-Europe Pro vs. Sedol 10-Game Series.

“Something For Everyone” at First Spring Go Expo

Wednesday March 27, 2013

“The Spring Go Expo has something for everyone,” said organizer Michael Fodera as he announced the opening of the 2013 Spring Go Expo at Harvard University’s Student Organization Center at Hillel last weekend.

And so it did. Spread out across four connected areas in a student lounge, the Expo featured exciting performances, thoughtful presentations from a scholarly perspective and an exclusive 15-minute segment of the upcoming documentary film The Surrounding Game. The event was organized by The American Collegiate Go Association  (ACGA) and the  Harvard University Go Club and sponsored by the Ing Chang-ki Weiqi Association.

And for those who wanted it, there was plenty “real go,”  with a self-paired tournament, plenty of space for casual play and simultaneous play with top players ranging from Ing Cup winner Chang Hao 9P to America’s newly minted pros Andy Liu 1P and Gangsheng Shi 1PNarumi Osawa 4P, a Japanese pro currently touring the US, and US-based Chinese 1P Stephanie Yin also made generous use of their time, joining the others in simultaneous play and instruction.   Mid-level players also had the opportunity to play Chinese National University Champion John Xiao and American 7-dan Ben Lockhart. The first round of simuls began at 9a on Saturday.

“Many go events focus on tournament play, but we also wanted to include teaching, and exposure to other aspects of Asian life,” Fodera continued. “Go is considered one of the ‘Four Accomplishments’ in China, so let’s learn more about the others,” he said, yielding the stage to Shin Yi-yang, an accomplished player of the qin. Meanwhile, calligraphers from The Chinese Culture Connection demonstrated their art,  and drummers from The Rhode Island Kung Fu Club chased a  large dragon throughout the space as attendees enjoyed a free lunch. While self-paired and casual games continued, filmmakers Cole Pruitt and Will Lockhart presented a 15-minute of their exciting documentary scheduled for release later this year. After a lecture by Prof. Elywn Berlekamp on “Coupon Go,” Liu played an exhibition game against Hao, losing by only 3.5 points.

On Sunday, while younger players competed in a Youth Tournament, more than 50 participants played and recorded games that were then analyzed in small groups by the professionals. Peter Schumer reprised his college go course talk from this year’s International Go Symposium. (click here to view Schumer’s Symposium talk), and Thomas Wolf described his work studying “The Mathematics of Seki.” Pruitt, Lockhart, Fodera and all the ACGA organizers can take pride in a job in a job well done and extended grateful thanks to the Shanghai Ing Foundation, especially its director, Lu Wen Zhen, and the Secretary General, Ni Yaoliang, who traveled from Shanghai to attend the event.
- report/photos by Roy Laird; collage by Chris Garlock

 

Categories: U.S./North America
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“Crazy Stone” Computer Go Program Defeats Ishida at Japanese UEC Cup

Wednesday March 27, 2013

6th Computer Go UEC Cup

In an ironic showdown between the computer and ‘The Computer’, computer go program Crazy Stone defeated Ishida Yoshio 9P on March 20 at the sixth annual Computer Go UEC Cup in Japan. Ishida, 64, was nicknamed ‘The Computer’ in his prime, because of the accuracy of his counting and endgame skills. Rémi Coulum’s program took just four stones against the former Honinbo champion and won by 2.5 points. After the game, Ishida said he thought Crazy Stone was a “genius,” evincing special admiration for the program’s “calmness” and “flexibility.” Takao Shinji 9P also offered words of praise, calling one of the program’s moves “the kind of move a human would overlook.” UEC chairperson Takeshi Ito expressed his hope that the UEC Cup will continue to “function as a place where program developers can meet face-to-face and make technological changes,” adding that “we should never forget the human being using the programs to play the game.” Rather than seeing computer go advancement as another competition, Takeshi said he believes computer go program technology “should be useful for and able to enrich the hearts of human beings.” Coulom and Crazy Stone also won the 6th Computer Go UEC Cup a week earlier, defeating the defending champion, Zen. For game records and more information about the Ishida-Crazy Stone match, click here.
- Annalia S. Linnan, based on a longer report on Go Game Guru 

Go Doc Team Having Busy Spring

Wednesday March 27, 2013

It’s been a busy couple of weeks for The Surrounding Game documentary team. They launched an online “collaborative game,” premiered an extended preview of the film at last weekend’s well-attended Spring Go Expo in Boston and kicked off a campaign to raise $30,000 to finish their film. Director Will Lockhart is especially excited about the collaborative game, saying that “You can go to the game and vote for your move, and at the end of the day the votes are tallied and one move is played per day!  I think it should lead to a very interesting game.” An interesting thing to consider, says Lockhart, is “what level of play is reached when each move is decided by democratic vote?” The fundraiser aims to raise the caliber and potential impact of the The Surrounding Game “by hiring a professional editor and paying for legitimate distribution,” Lockhart explains. With less than a month to go, they’ve raised almost $6,000 thus far; click here to see who’s contributed.

 

Special Election Announced for Central Region Board Seat

Tuesday March 26, 2013

A special election is being held to fill the Central Region board seat vacated recently by Bob Barber (Barber & Smith Moving On, Central Region Seeks New Board Members 2/8/2013 EJ). The election is being conducted on a compressed time frame, with nominations closing April 15 and ballots due back by May 1. The winner, who will serve out the remaining year of Barber’s term, will be announced on May 2. Lisa Scott has volunteered to serve the last few months of departing board member Daniel Smith, who was also from the Central Region. The regular elections and call for nominations for the 2013-2015 board seats will be announced on May 4. Details on qualifications and nominations are available on the AGA Election page; questions can be sent to elections@usgo.org.

Categories: U.S./North America
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Bao Yun’s “Blind Go” Challenge

Tuesday March 26, 2013

Beat Chinese amateur 6-dan Bao Yun and you could win a million RMB ($160,000 USD). There’s a catch: you have to beat him blindfolded. Famous in the Chinese weiqi community for being able to play  blindfolded, Bao has not lost a single game when both sides play blindfolded. His opponents have included professional players and now he’s extending his challenge to the whole world. Bao has played as many as four boards simultaneously blindfolded, and when he visited Singapore, he won against a Singapore 5 dan who was not blindfolded, in a game that lasted 220 moves. Bao says that his strength when playing blindfolded is about one stone weaker than usual. A Korean baduk station recently broadcast a program called Dark Room Game, in which two professionals play blindfolded up to 100 moves. If any side makes an illegal move, they lose a point; after 100 moves, they take off the blindfold and continue regularly. Click here for two games a blindfolded Bao played simultaneously against two players, a 4-dan and a 3-dan.
- translated from a Chinese news report by Zhiping You

Categories: World
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Narumi Osawa 4P to Visit DC April 2

Monday March 25, 2013

Japanese 4-dan professional Narumi Osawa (right) will give a free talk and simul in Washington, DC on April 2. The event, which will run from 7-9:30p, is co-hosted by the Japanese Embassy the Greater Washington Go Club and will be held at the Japan Information and Cultural Center in downtown Washington, at 1150 18th St. NW. Born in Saitama Prefecture, Japan on May 22nd, 1976. Ms. Osawa became professional 1-dan in 1998, was promoted to 2-dan in 1999, 3-dan in 2003, and 4-dan in 2009. She won the Women’s Kakusei title in 1999 and 2003, and the Women’s JAL titlein 2005. She participated in the 16th Asian Tournament as a member of the Japanese National Team. The free event will have two parts: a short talk designed for beginners, then a simultaneous exhibition followed by a short analysis of highlights from these games.

Categories: U.S./North America
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Your Move/Readers Write: Mac Go?

Monday March 25, 2013

“I’m looking for a good Mac computer go program to play against as I learn,” writes an EJ reader, “any suggestions?” Email suggestions to journal@usgo.org

Free Go Lessons in NorCal a Hit

Sunday March 24, 2013

On March 17th a group of Bay Area Go Players Association volunteers gathered and gave free go lessons to beginners in Oakland’s Chinatown neighborhood (across the bay from San Francisco). More than 35 people of various ages and diverse backgrounds learned to play go at this fourth annual event. Each took home the informative Way to Go booklet and a 9×9 starter go set. Herb Doughty, a veteran go teacher in the local community, recalled his high point of the day: “I spent some time this afternoon teaching four members of one family, spanning three generations.” Event organizer and Bay Area Go board member Jay Chan reports, “It was a lot of fun. We’re planning to do it again later this year – next time in San Francisco’s Japantown neighborhood.” An AGA ratings tournament was held concurrently with the free lessons, and Argentinian Gabriel Benmergui 6d dominated the dan section with four wins and no losses.
- Roger Schrag 

 

Categories: U.S./North America
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